2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs - Hiroshima
August 4, 2004
Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition
Your Excellencies Ambassador Haniff and Ambassador de Alba, the
Honourable Mohamed El Din, the honorable Judge Weeramantory, the
Honorable Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, friends and comrades in the peace
Allow me to express warm solidarity greetings from the nuclear
free Philippines and the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific Movement.
I bring you one good news today and share the joy of the Filipino
nation in welcoming our troops back to the Philippines.
After some agonizing days of indecision whether to displease the
United States or listen to the overwhelming clamor of Filipinos
for the Philippine troops to leave Iraq, the Philippine President
had no choice but to save the life of the Filipino overseas worker
who had become a symbol of the eight million Filipino workers overseas.
The Philippine government went to the extent of unleashing police
brutality against unarmed and peaceful rallyists and demonstrators
never before seen since the anti-bases campaign 10 years ago.
The withdrawal of Filipino troops from Iraq is welcomed by the
Filipino people. But it is not a clear indication of any change
in the government policy of collaboration with the U.S. in acts
of war and repression under the pretext of anti-terrorism. Because
of the collaboration, the U.S. is escalating its military intervention
in the Philippines and making provocations against nearby countries
under the guise of joint military exercises.
Having US troops in our homeland is the same as having foreign
troops occupying Iraq. Our struggle to stop any and all plans of
the US to re-establish its military facilities remain our top priority.
We do not lose face, nor honor when we stand up to a bullying superpower
and say NO to its wrongdoings and global interventions.
The presence of US bases and US troops in our land are not only
illegal as it violates our constitution, it is as well immoral and
unjust as it violates our right to live in peace and security.
I salute the peace-loving people of Okinawa in their relentless
campaign to oppose the presence of US bases. I call for international
solidarity during these crucial times when the United States plan
to assign to its troops in Japan the responsibility of securing
the entire Pacific region.
We must continue to break the myth - that our economy will collapse
without the bases. The Philippine economy did not collapse when
the bases left. The past victories of Asian anti-colonial struggles,
including those for self-determination in Vietnam and elsewhere,
the democratic movements against pro-US dictatorships as in the
anti-Marcos dictatorship struggles and the dismantling of the formidable
US bases in 1991, the anti-war movements against the War in Iraq,
the anti-neo globalization movements that have worked to stop the
new round of negotiations in Cancun on the WTO, the growing anti-bases
movements in Korea, here in Japan and in Okinawa, the struggles
in the Marshalls and in Guam and the recent victory of the patriotic
struggle of the people of Tahiti and in the rest of Asia and the
Pacific, all these initiatives demonstrate the desire of the peoples
of the Asia and the Pacific to live in freedom, peace, justice and
Our work is to inform, mobilize and organize to broaden the constituency
of people who understand the issue. Our work is right there in our
own communities, in every village, in every school, in every place
where we need to win the hearts and minds of people so that they
will take up the struggle as their own.
In closing I call on you today especially to the young generation
of this land, to join the ever-growing movement to oppose the continued
presence of US bases and US troops in our land. I wish for you to
embrace it as a lifetime commitment and dedicate your life to realize
a nuclear -free and bases-free world.
Thank you and letfs keep the fire of hope and courage in our hearts.