It seems that the United States never left the Philippines after they vacated Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base in 1991. With the combination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and the newly signed Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), US military and political presence is now as firm as it was during the heyday of the old bases here in the country. Let us see how this new equation plays out in the US military presence in our country.
Contrary to the pronouncements by the Aquino government that the defense pact between US and the Philippines contains ‘robust provisions’ on environmental protection, scientist group Agham Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham) believes that the agreement is an open invitation to US nuclear weapons and wastes in the country.
“The US is the world’s number one possessor of nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered military vehicles. By granting ‘unimpeded access’ and ‘operational control’ over agreed locations to US forces and contractors, the Philippine government has facilitated the entry of nuclear weapons and wastes," says Dr. Giovanni Tapang, chairperson of Agham.
Interested students may submit a letter of intent, biodata and endorsement letter from your school to the Agham National secretariat. You may also contact us for further questions and details.
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) wrought havoc to the greater part of the Visayan Region and resulted to the grounding of the 32-MW Power Barge 103 on the shores of Brgy. Botongon, Municipality of Estancia in the province of Iloilo. As of December 14, 2013, the Philippine Coastguard reported that almost 2 km of the coastline had been dispersed with 200,000 liters of bunker oil. The power barge, which contained 1.4 million liters of bunker oil, is owned by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and operated by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR).
International and local scientists reiterate their call for the immediate release of physicist Kim Gargar who is currently detained and facing trumped up charges in Mindanao. It has been more than three months since Gargar was arrested by the millitary in Cateel, Davao Oriental as he was working on a rehabilitation project in devastated areas hit by Typhoon Pablo.
“We, at Agham, finds Kim’s arrest and detention absurd and baseless. The military should be taught basic science and logic for hastily equating his presence in far-flung communities doing rehabilitation work as subversion and involvement with armed groups,” says Finesa Cosico of Agham Advocates and Science and Technology for the People.
Kim Gargar was found injured on a creek by the elements of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army last October 1, 2013 at Brgy. Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental.