Thursday, August 26, 2010

Philippine groups support abolition of US-RP accord

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 26, 2010) - The Justice for Gregan Cardeño Movement praised Filipino Senator Miriam Santiago for her effort in ending the continued presence of US troops in the Philippines.

This, after Santiago sponsored Joint Resolution No. 3, expressing the sense of Congress as a whole to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement and directing the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs to give the notice of termination to the United States.

She also said that the US has not recognized the VFA as a treaty because the American Congress never given its advice and consent to the accord.

JGCM, a group formed by relatives of Gregan Cardeño and human rights groups, condemned VFA and blamed it for the slow-moving trial of Cardeño’s case.

“I thought my husband’s work is interpreter but he told me before he died, he was asked to do not the work of an interpreter”, Myrna Cardeño, wife of Gregan disclosed.

Cardeño, a Filipino interpreter to US troops in the southern Philippines, was found dead February 3 inside a military base in Marawi City what security officials claimed was a suicide.

By his family said Cardeño did not commit suicide, but possibly abused by US troops in Marawi City. The victim’s relatives filed a petition for Writ of Amparo which the Court of Appeals granted, but US military commanders simply ignored the order and did not attend any court hearing since July.

“VFA hinders the investigation of Cardeño’s case, government agencies like CHR were not allowed to enter their barracks. In this case, how can justice be served to the victim and his family if the government cannot compel the US troops to explain what happened to Gregan Cardeño and his nature of work,” Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of the group said, in a statement.

According to Indayla, VFA clearly violates territorial integrity and breach our national sovereignty. This agreement covers-up US intervention to Philippines, it is unjust and unfair to continue this agreement.

“We are lobbying now to the Congress to favor Joint Resolution No. 3 and terminate immediately Visiting Forces Agreement. The Aquino Administration should also act on this matter to end human rights violations perpetrated by the US troops; PNoy should send home the Yankees,” Indayla said, referring to President Benigno Aquino.

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