Visiting Forces Agreement and Contraceptives

The militant groups are definitely inconsistent. When I was in college writing for our school paper, I happened to meet some people from Anakbayan, KMU, Gabriela, LFS and so on. My friends and I joined their sessions which were mostly on Marxist interpretation of Philippine society. But what stuck on my mind was the item American Imperialism. If you say that word with conviction and anger, that makes you quite a good tibak. That was more than a decade ago. I did not understand it that well then, and it is still beyond my comprehension now. But what becomes clear is that the triumvirate, military, economics and culture are intimately related in the analysis of imperialism. In our recent case, junking of the VFACom will never happen.

This came to mind upon reading the statement of Neri Colmenares and his colleagues. They said that “the failure of the government to arrest Pemberton and detain him was “a big slap on the face of the Filipino nation and downright revolting.” Further, they say “This incident proves once again the one-sided, pro-US and anti-Filipino character of VFA and highlighted the patently onerous provisions of the VFA on the custody of erring US troops, prescription of criminal prosecution and waiver of jurisdiction that essentially grant immunity from prosecution to US military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos, effectively denying justice for the victims and all Filipinos.”* Apparently they are revolting against the pro-US attitude of Philippine government over the case of Pemberton. At the root is that the VFA and its provisions seem to be on the side of US. Obviously, in terms of might and influence, it is. But it is just one side of the triptych.

What is baffling in our militant groups is that they voice out their anti-American sentiments but at times they welcome America wholesale. I am talking here of the friends of Colmenares and his colleagues from Bayan Muna and others – we have in mind GABRIELA. Remember that GABRIELA et aI., fought for the passage of RH Bill. That for me was the most surprising act of a supposed to be anti-American-Imperialism group would do. That was unimaginable. They have fastened the Philippines economically and culturally to the US. Henceforth we will buy condoms, pills, IUDs and other sorts of devices that have to be inserted into our women. We will import the methodologies of Planned Parenthood Program from the US. We will copy their textbooks regarding sex to teach our young people who will run their generation – as if the Americans have the right to teach us how to conduct ourselves sexually. The implications are vast and irreversible. Why, because you just made those things into “law”! You have made those cultural imports present, binding and influential to the shaping of Filipino culture. With the present scenario, VFACom’s pro-American provisions are puny compared to RH Bill. Needless to say, both are pro-American, one sided, politically, militarily and economically. The deep connections between the two can easily surface with one hard look. In life they are all interrelated.

Cross and the Sword, that is passé. Business and the Sword, that is modern. Economic and military powers are twins. Culture is their gateway.

We keep losing our Democracy to people who wear sarong, baro’t saya, g-strings and ethnic jewelries but very American inside. VFA won’t go. You made them stay.

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