Groups protest Obama’s visit, US-RP defense deal

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014


TO SHOW condemnation over the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the government and the United States in time for the visit of US president Barack Obama Monday, activists set an American flag on fire.

“This protest rally is to condemn the US presence in our country and the signing of the Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement on Obama’s visit. This agreement would only push and provoke this country into inevitable war and we will be in the losing end because the US is only helping us for its economic interest,” said Wildon Barros, secretary general Bayan –Northern Mindanao Region.

Barros said that the US is only taking advantage of the country’s weak defense.

“This recent territorial event only gave the US an opportunity to take advantage of the ongoing issue with China. This gives the US leverage on the Philippines through the so-called defense agreement. In fact, it’s also jumping into territorial issues of Japan,” said Barros.

Barros is optimistic that the country doesn't need the US in the territorial dispute.

Threatened by China’s booming economy, fast production of its products, Obama is currently making links with Japan, Guam, Thailand and other neighboring countries in Asia Pacific impeding China’s rising economic development, Barros added.

“The territorial issue with China can be solved through diplomatic means, as members of the United Nations we can solve this through proper means. We don’t need to court with war and end up in unnecessary bloodshed,” he said.

Rocha Mae Bihag of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines in Northern Mindanao feared the the Philippines’ continuing pro-US stand.

“It is very obvious that Obama’s visit has a hidden agenda, an interest that of the US and not for this country. These agreements on the defense and on the trade mask the real agenda – the economic interest of the US in the region,” said Bihag.

Bihag reiterated that for the country to grow it should learn full independence.

“We should learn not to rely on foreign intervention especially in terms of our economy and defense, if we keep on accepting these interventions we would undoubtedly undermine our nation’s sovereignty and patrimony,” she said. (With Lynyrd Alexsei N. Corrales XU-DevCom Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 29, 2014.

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