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Philippine President Slammed During U.S. Visit

by Bayan International USA |
October 17, 2000
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Los Angeles, CA - Philippine President Estrada was repeatedly hit with demonstrations during his visit to U.S. cities this summer. Protesters charged that he is a tool of U.S. corporations and Washington D.C., and he has betrayed the interests of the Philippino people.

"Grand Slam Home Run" is how Estrada spun his July 24 thru Aug 2 "working visit". Judging from the military aid, economic pledges, and the personal business deals Estrada and his cronies made in the U.S., it's an apt description.

The so-called "home runs" include: $105 million military aid as foreign assistance, $20 million "non-lethal military aid", $125 million pledges of trade markets from the International Monetary Fund-World Band, and $134 millions to prop up the sagging Philippine currency - the peso.

Estrada personally did business with Walmart President John Menzer, the Monsanto and Pioneer Breedings executives, the Rice Growers Association of California, the American Soybean Society, Bill Gates of Microsoft and with executives of Silicon Valley enterprises.

Some political observers note the most significant result of Estrada's visit was "rebuilding bilateral relations with the U.S. in the political and security areas as well as in the creation of a political environment conducive to peace and cooperation," - which are code words for increased U.S. intervention in the Philippines and for using the country as a base to project American power into Asia.

Years ago, when Estrada was still a budding politician; he painted himself as a "nationalist". As a senator, he voted against keeping U.S. military bases and helped in the campaign to scrap the Military Bases Agreement in September 1992.

Following his election as president, he reversed himself and led the campaign to approve the Visiting Forces Agreement that paved the way to the reintegration of the Philippines into the U.S. military orbit.

Top U.S. puppet in Asia

When President Estrada returned to the U.S. Sep. 8, for the United Nations millennium meeting in New York, he did not talk about the inequities of the world trade, just like the other concerned heads of states. Instead, Estrada called on all nations to "unite and fight international terrorism." By this he means combating those that want justice, liberation, and independence.

After his visit, Estrada did not tell the people of the Philippines about the seven accords he signed in the U.S., covering a wide range of topics such as "security, economic development, and cooperation and trade investments."

Estrada is the arm of U.S. corporate interests in the Philippines and a willing tool in the ongoing counter-insurgency wars against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People's Army (NPA). After the first joint U.S. - Philippines military exercises were conducted last March, the newly trained troops figured prominently in the Armed Forces of the Philippines' assaults on the MILF in Central Mindanao.

U.S. spy satellites and AWACS spy planes were used in intelligence gathering against MILF camps. Mr. Bacon, a U.S. embassy official, proudly declared, "There are no U.S. troops involved in the fighting, but Filipino generals leading the assaults are all West Point graduates." While Estrada is declaring he needs no foreign assistance to deal with the internal problems in the Philippines he admitted in his visit to the U.S. that, "I came to the U.S. to seek extra firepower to deal with our internal security threats."

Estrada did not only rebuild relations with the U.S.. He went farther - he is now the top U.S. puppet in Asia, waging a U.S. backed war, on his own people.

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