News / Asia

Filipino Activists Protest Obama's Upcoming Visit

A protester burns a mock U.S. flag during a protest in Manila, April 25, 2014.
A protester burns a mock U.S. flag during a protest in Manila, April 25, 2014.
Reuters
Filipino activists protested in Manila Friday, three days before a scheduled state visit of President Barack Obama.
          
The visit is the final leg of Obama's four-nation tour of U.S. allies in Asia.
          
The U.S. and Philippine governments are set to sign a recently drafted military agreement that would boost the presence and movement of American troops in the island nation.
          
Chanting nationalist slogans and bearing anti-U.S. placards near a monument to a national hero, activists set alight a mock American flag emblazoned with skulls instead of stars.
          
“Our nation has been subjected to foreign domination for 116 years. And the United States has continued to drag us into its wars, greatly affecting the Filipino people,” said Mark Louie Aquino, secretary-general of the Metro Manila chapter of the New Patriotic Alliance (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) activist group.
          
On the heels of the Philippines' recent tensions in territorial disputes with China, the protesters have voiced strong opposition to the U.S. defense pact, saying that the move to increase foreign access to military facilities will further threaten Philippine sovereignty and do little to counter a rising China.
          
“We call on our Filipino brothers and sisters, do not depend on another imperialist power such as the U.S. to defend ourselves against a regional bully like China. The Philippines must stand clearly, independently, firmly, progressively, in sovereignty and in solidarity, with the rest of the peaceful peoples of the world. We should not depend on another war power to wage war against another war power,” said Rasti Delizo, political coordinator of the Sanlakas (Unified Strength) group.
          
Members of Sanlakas marched towards the U.S. embassy to demonstrate, but were stopped by dozens of policemen.
          
Obama's four-nation visit, which also includes stops in Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, aims to convince allies that the U.S. pivot of military and diplomatic assets to Asia is real.
          
Manila's acceptance of a beefed-up U.S. military presence, a politically sensitive issue in the independent-minded archipelago nation, would reveal the scale of Philippine anxiety over China amid disputes in the South China Sea.
          
While sticking to a U.S. refusal to take sides in the maritime disputes, Obama will seek to reassure South Korea, Japan and the Philippines that Washington is “fully committed to our defense treaties” with them, a U.S. official said.
          
The administration has promised that the United States will reposition naval forces so that 60 percent of its warships are based in Asia-Pacific by the end of the decade, up from about 50 percent now. But as the U.S. military budget contracts, that likely would represent part of a shrinking U.S. defense pie.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid