Philippines: LGBTQ people say no to Austin, U.S. troops and EDCA!

Militant LGBTQ group Lakapati Laguna strongly objects to the visit of U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and reiterates people’s calls to junk the ruthless Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is currently in the Philippines to meet with Marcos Jr. and other government officials, with the advancement of the Indo-Pacific strategy and strengthening of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA as part of his agenda.

Thirty-two years after the Philippine Senate voted against the idea to ratify a U.S. bases treaty between the two countries which led to the abolishment of U.S. military bases at the time, the U.S. is more eager than ever to reassemble its bases in the country in a true selfish, exploitative imperialist fashion.

Masquerading as “strengthening” the relation between two countries, Austin’s visit will be a way for the U.S. to get its troops back on the Philippine soil, build new facilities inside our territory, which will then be de facto military bases, and conduct various activities that are protected by the law — no matter what the activities may be. 

Nine EDCA bases are expected to be built in the country after his visit. EDCA serves as one of the U.S. instruments for its imperialist aspirations. It is the key to further widen U.S. domination in the Southeast Asian region, with gigantic foreign capitalists exploiting the Filipino people and benefiting from the agreement.

The presence of U.S. troops in different parts of the country normally causes the emergence of red-light districts where prostitution of Filipino women and LGBTQ are normalized and supported by the U.S. government. More women and LGBTQ will be subjected to sexual abuse as well as other forms of violence by the troops.

Additionally, the government of the U.S., with the support of the lapdog Marcos-Duterte administration, will surely use the renewed agreement and presence of U.S. troops to intensify the bloody counter-insurgency campaign of the state. Military operations of U.S. troops and the Armed Forces of the Philippines—attacking both the revolutionary movement and the legal democratic forces— will only make it difficult for the country to attain genuine social justice and lasting peace.

There is no other way to welcome an imperialist tool like Lloyd Austin but with much contempt. Lakapati Laguna joins the Filipino people in defending the country’s sovereignty, calling for the EDCA and all U.S.-Philippines agreements to be junked immediately, and in resisting the imperialist aggression and wars by the U.S.

Defend our sovereignty!

Down with U.S. imperialism!

Source: Lakapati Laguna

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