Global alliance of overseas Filipinos and families Migrante International joins the international community in condemning the senseless and brutal massacre of 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday by an American soldier. Among those killed were nine children and three women.
The massacre was the latest in the list of reported atrocities committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan, including the burning of copies of the Koran at a NATO base in Kabul last month which sparked riots across the country. US troops are now entering their 11th year in Afghanistan.
“Migrante reiterates its strong opposition to the deployment of American troops in the Asia Pacific region with the aim to secure the economic and military interests of the US for oil and territorial positioning. Historically, the presence of US troops has had disastrous effects on peoples, especially women and children. This latest massacre is yet another tragedy that Filipinos all over the world condemn in strongest terms,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
He said, “Wherever there are US troops, violence, prostitution, rape and other abuses thrive. Innocent civilians become casualties of a so-called ‘war on terror’ that continues to terrorize and murder peoples and restrict their civil liberties and freedoms.”
Martinez called on the Philippine government to actively condemn the massacre in Afghanistan, and ensure the safety of at least 6,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in US facilities there.
Last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lifted the deployment ban for OFWs who are working inside US facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Because of what happened, a backlash can be expected against US troops and on their army bases. We fear for the safety of our OFWs. It is imperative that the Philippine government publicly condemn the massacre and support the Afghan people’s cry for justice,” Martinez said.
The migrant leader criticized the Aquino administration for its continuous support of the deployment of US troops and foreign wars of aggression in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region under the guise of a “war on terror”. He cited the Philippine government’s abstention in the United Nations vote condemning the violence in Syria as “playing safe” and in effect “supporting the impending US-NATO air strikes on the country”.
“The Aquino administration’s refusal to take a position condemning violence by US troops and military intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere continues to endanger the lives of tens of thousands of Filipinos in these countries. Worse, its continued all-out support for US’ interventionist and proxy wars places Filipinos all over the world under the brunt of anti-US troops and anti-imperialist protests,” Martinez said.
On March 17, death anniversary of OFW icon Flor Contemplacion, Migrante International will hold internationally-coordinated protest actions against the deployment of US troops and US-led wars of aggression.###