By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — The RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) is said to be the “mother of all unequal military treaties and agreements” the Philippines has entered into with the US since achieving independence in 1946. In its 60 years of existence, it has proved useless for the Philippines, said various critics. For Satur Ocampo, president of Makabayan, the MDT’s call to respond or assist each other, “subject to Constitutional processes,” has not been tested until 9/11. But he noted that the US did not invoke the MDT even then, as it had called for a “coalition of the willing instead.” Yet, the MDT remains in force up to now.
According to geopolitics expert Prof. Roland Simbulan, some examples of the unequal agreements inked to “operationalize” the MDT are the US-RP Military Assistance Agreement which was renamed into US-RP Military Advisory Group in the 50s, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Logistics Servicing Agreement. He said the US military bases agreement, the renewal of which the Philippine Senate rejected amid a strong campaign for its abrogation conducted by progressive groups twenty years ago, in 1991, also traced its roots from the MDT.
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