16 concerned organizations in seven states around the US voice their support for the victims of toxic wastes left behind at the former US bases in Clark and Subic, Philippines. In 1992, the US military completely withdrew from its military installations in the Philippines but left behind tremendous evidence of environmental hazards and toxic wastes. The environmental damage is so extensive that if the US decides to clean up these former bases in accordance with US standards, the costs for the clean up and restoration could approach Superfund proportions, according to the US General Accounting Office.
Despite the Superfund proportions of the toxic wastes left behind, the US continues to deny responsibility based on the military bases agreement that it does not impose any well-defined environmental responsibility to clean up after its withdrawal. The Bayanihan Foundation, its 16 new partners including the Alliance for Bases Clean Up (ABC), the Philippine American Group for the Environment (PAGE), the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and many others are appealing to United States Congress for fairness and justice on this issue.
The 16 organizations plan to write letters of support to their US Representatives and Senators and appeal for justice and equity on behalf of the victims affected by toxic wastes left behind at Clark and Subic, Philippines. The 16 groups are as follows (in alphabetical order):
- Bantay Pilipinas (Los Angeles, CA)
- Carol Rose of Christian Peacemaker Teams (Chicago, IL)
- Circa Pintig (Chicago, IL)
- Committee on Pilipino Issues (CPI) (Chicago, IL)
- Damayan Migrant Workers Association (New York, NY)
- Echo Park Community Coalition (Los Angeles, CA)
- Justice for Filipino American Veterans (Los Angeles, CA)
- Latino Union (Chicago, IL)
- Philippine American Group for the Environment (PAGE) (Los Angeles, CA)
- Philippine Study Group of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
- Pilipino Workers Center (Los Angeles, CA)
- Reba Place Fellowship (Evanston, IL)
- Dr. Richard Williams, socioeconomist (Boulder, CO)
- Southwest Workers Union (San Antonio, TX)
- Travel Light Productions (Boston, MA)
- Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ (Chicago, IL).
These groups are in seven states: 1) California; 2) Colorado; 3) Illinois; 4) Massachusetts; 5) Minnesota; 6) New York; and 7) Texas.
I appeal to our US elected officials for fairness and justice on this almost forgotten issue. Beyond the legal agreements and international contracts, we all appeal to the United States’ basic sense of equity and fairness, to face its responsibility to clean up the unexploded ordnance and toxic wastes left behind. I don’t think it’s fair and just for the United States to turn a blind eye and ignore its responsibility.
You could download the latest press release by clicking HERE.