By Kabataan Partylist
The recently-released US Senate report on the torture techniques of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is another compelling reason for the Philippine government to shoot down the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a party-list lawmaker said Tuesday.
“The CIA torture report provides us a grisly picture on what happens behind the doors of US-controlled military facilities – an image of savagery, depravity, and utter lack of respect for human rights,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said.
Yesterday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a 528-page document dubbed as the “CIA Torture Report,” which summarizes the 6,000-page classified report on interrogation practices employed by the CIA on detainees linked to the September 11 attacks.
The report contains several grisly details on the CIA’s torture tactics including waterboarding, sexual threats, sleep deprivation, and “rectal feeding.” The Senate report also detailed how the CIA spread false information to justify the use of torture to obtain information, and the agency’s failure to discipline its officers who have abused and even killed detainees.
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration kept several “black sites” or detention centers in undisclosed areas around the world, including secret prisons in Thailand, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, and the infamous Guantamo Bay.
“With knowledge on what’s happening on US military-controlled facilities, we should not let EDCA to be implemented in the Philippines,” Ridon said.
The legislator explained that under the new military pact, US military forces are given unimpeded access and use of “agreed locations” or Philippine military and civilian facilities, lands, ports, and airfields.
Philippine officials have earlier revealed that under EDCA, the US military will be able to access three to five Philippine military bases including Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
“Do we want to turn Clark Air Base, Fort Magsaysay or even Camp Aguinaldo into the next Guantamo Bay? If the Aquino administration insists on implementing EDCA, the horrendous events detailed in the CIA Torture Report are not far from being repeated in our own backyard,” Ridon said.
EDCA has been the subject of debate both in the Supreme Court and Congress in the past months.
Progressive groups, including Kabataan Partylist have earlier said that EDCA is prejudicial to the national interests of the Philippines and is grossly lopsided in favor of the US.
“The CIA Torture Report must serve as a wake-up call for Aquino and his cohorts. If the president has even a sliver of compassion and decency, he should immediately call the agreement off in light of the US Senate report,” Ridon concluded.###
Cong. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist Representative (09155310725)
Marjohara Tucay, Kabataan Partylist National Media Officer (09202205556)