Detained rebel leader: EDCA one-sided

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Friday, May 2, 2014


INCARCERATED rebel leader Alfredo Mapano, also known as "Ka Paris," is dismayed over the defense treaty recently signed between the Philippines and the United States.

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), Mapano said, is nothing but a bone that the American can easily throw to its lapdog.

From the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to EDCA, he said the whole notion of the United States’ troops coming to the Philippines and having these "benefits" they promised to give Filipinos, is merely a "consuelo de bobo."

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“US promised us a lot of things such as a full-blast help whenever we get hit by the natural calamities. Of course! We accept that. Who doesn’t want that? But what is in exchange for that help is the question, right?” Mapano said.

EDCA is an agreement between the Philippines and US signed last April 28 by Philippines Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. The agreement has renewed the initial 10-year-term stay of the US troops in the country to give them a wider access to military bases.

“We are like second-hand clothes sold in the market. Because we like clothes, they give us clothes. Only that, they are second-hand clothes. But we still like them [still]. We don’t see the bigger picture. That is the problem,” he added.

“America needs us that is why they are helping us, in the first place. America isn’t here to simply help. If they will help, surely there will be something in exchange,” Mapano said.

Mapano also considered US President Barack Obama as “an honest man, a not-so political leader.”

“He’s too honest. When he had his press conference, media men asked him about the dispute between our country and China. He clearly, honestly said that US will just be there for alliance but will never interfere. And yet, everybody was boasting prior to the presscon that the US troops will support us,” he explained.

Although he is presently detained at the provincial jail, Mapano said he likes to continue expanding his knowledge even in his cell by reading and watching news to keep him updated.

“What’s funny about today is that it’s not only the militants or the leftists who are fighting against this, but also the ordinary citizens. Many have surely been awaken,” he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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