January 21, 2002
For Immediate Release
Overseas Filipino women are outraged by the arrival of 650 US combat troops in the Philippines. The US military presence is blatant intervention in what is now being called a "new Vietnam." With the full welcome and approval of the puppet Macapagal-Arroyo regime, the US combat troops threaten to continue its US war of aggression on the Filipino people in the guise of fighting the Abu Sayyaf group -- the very creation of the CIA and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the first place. This intervention is an outright violation of the Filipino people's national sovereignty.
US military presence in the Philippines also means further rape and prostitution of Filipino women. History is marred with the violent acts of rape and terror inflicted on women by the US military in its wars of agression during the Philippine-American War (1899-1913), the Korean War (1950s), and the Vietnam War (1960s). Decades of US military presence in Olongapo and Subic Bay contributed to the fast growth of institutionalized prostitution and trafficking of Filipino women and girls for the "R & R" (Rest and Relaxation) of US troops.
As Filipino women abroad, we know that our presence in Canada is linked to the worsening political and economic situation in the Philippines. Today, Filipino women make up 70% of migrants who are trafficked en masse for sex and profit worldwide as mail-order brides, prostitutes, entertainers and domestic workers.
We are outraged by the US military intervention in the Philippines!
We say no to more exploitation of our women!
We want the US military to get out of the Philippines!
We call on all progressive individuals and organizations to support the Filipino people's cry for national freedom and democracy rather than Macapagal-Arroyo's subservience to the dictates of the United States!
We support GABRIELA-Philippines' call for Macapagal-Arroyo to be removed from office for her anti-people and anti-national policies!
We will join Filipinos across Canada in voicing our demands to Macapagal-Arroyo when she visits Canada at the end of January!
Philippine Women Centre of British Columbia