3:35 pm | Monday, July 8th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—Fisherfolk group on Monday urged Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to issue a legal opinion that puts question on the constitutionality of the proposal to allow the US government and other military allies of the Philippines to use military bases across the country.
In a three-page letter to De Lima dated July 8, members of the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) through its Vice Chairperson Salvador France and Peter Gonzalez, Chairperson-Southern Tagalog said they believe the Justice Department is “constitutionally, politically and morally obliged to issue a legal opinion that questions the legality of such proposal.
“We ask the honourable chief of the justice department to break her silence and tell the people in Malacañang that the proposal to give greater access to US, Japan and other junior partners of Washington DC for rated-A military intervention and aggression all over the country is a flagrant violation of the 1987 Constitution and grand affront to the sovereign rights of more than 100-million Filipinos,” they said in their letter.
President Benigno Aquino III defended the plan to give the US and Japan access to the former US bases in the Philippines.
The government has dismissed report that the Philippines is planning to build new air and naval bases that US forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the West Philippine Sea.
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