Published On: Wed, May 4th, 2022

Say No to Foreign Military Base In Mindanao

 

Photo Ilustration

By Yonax Guiterrez

The Ranao Youth Council said, it did not want the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARM) to “end up the host” to the convergence of the foreign military bases. The Muslim youth organization already held different protest against foreign troops present ini Mindano, They even expressed concerns that any conduct of multinational military exercises within the territory of Bangsamoro could stir security peril on a fragile local peace situation. Unfortunately, both government and civil society did not pay much attention to this important issue.

According to the news reports, Australian military intelligence unit already put up a military forward base inside Zamboanga Philippine military camp with the assistance of the Philippine counterpart. Moro peace advocates urged the Bangsamoro government to be vigilant of existentence of foreign troops in Mindano. These foreign troops caused anxiety among local Muslim community. They are worrying about the purpose of Australian troops which has poor human rights rating. It is recalled that several years ago Australia Department of Defence exposed that their own troops in Afghanistan got involved in at least 39 brutal criminal killing cases againts local civilians. The Australian Department of Defence promise of comprehensive investigation, but nothing happens until now. Bangsamoro Muslim human rights activists filed complaint againts Australian troops war crime in the Hague International Criminal Court.

The bloody history lessons tell us, the existence of foreign military bases is againts the Philippine constitution, and againts the interest of the Philippine people. Every Filipino remembers the famous case of the American soldier Pemberton, 6 years after he killed Jennifer Laude in Clark, he was set free and sent back to the U.S, the victim’s family was silenced. Justice is not done. Australian troops has bad human rights records, if similiar tragedy happen to Muslim civilians in Mindanao, we have reasons to believe that the foreign troops will run away without punishment. We understand that the Philippine government entered Visisting Forces Agreemeents (VFA) with different allies, and the Philippine military hold joint, exercises with different foreign troops every year. But, according to the constitution, foreign Military base inside the Philipppine territory is not allowed.

The ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia also gives us lessons. It is a tragedy that a small country sided and used by one big power to challenge another big power. The Philippines is a small country, it is in the best interests of the country to remain neutral and focus on our own economic and social development. There are hundreds of harm but no benefit to allow foreign troops station in the Philippines. These foreign troops are fighting for the interest of their own countries, not for the Philippines. It s time for our new coming government to review our military relations with different foreign countries, for the sustainable peace in Mindanao, any foreign military base should not be allowed here.

 

 

Source: The Mindanao Cross, date April 23, 2022 page 3

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- Akun ini merupakan akun milik tim redaksi MaritimNews.com dan dikelola oleh tim. akun twitter @MaritimNewsCom

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