DAVAO CITY – A child-rights group expressed worry that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement signed between the government and the United States would result to more cases of child exploitation.
Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns Secretary General Kharlo Manano said they are demanding the Supreme Court to reconsider the petitions questioning the constitutionality of the EDCA, saying “the High Court should also take into account the decades-long impact posed to Filipino women and children as a result of foreign military presence in the country.”
“We call on the Supreme Court to recuperate the confidence of the Filipino people and uphold the nation’s sovereignty by issuing a new decision disallowing the presence of foreign military troops and declaring EDCA as unconstitutional and invalid,” he said.
Manano said the approval of EDCA “also signaled” the return of US military bases in the country.
“This would not only undermine the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country but would also generate social disaster comparable to that of Clark and Subic where thousands of women and children fell victim to prostitution and sexual abuse,” he said.
“Prostituted women in the red light districts started long before they reached 18 years old while there is still a great number of minors being rescued in bars and brothels,” Manano added.
Manano said they would be conducting “Rise, Raise, Rage: Rhythm and Dance Against Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation” on February 6 at the Quezon City Hall.
The activity is part of the global campaign, One Billion Rising: Revolution to raise awareness and call the attention of authorities regarding child sexual abuse.(davaotoday.com)