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HAU TO HOLD LECTURE ON HISTORIC SENATE VOTE ON RP-US BASES TREATY

Holy Angel University will host a lecture-symposium on the historic Senate vote on September 16, 1991 which rejected a proposed new treaty that would have extended the stay of American military bases in the Philippines.


Prof. Roland Simbulan, chair of the Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition, is guest speaker with reactors from media, labor, academe, business and other sectors. It will be held on November 24, 2016, which is the 24th anniversary of the closure of the Subic Naval Station, the last US military base in the Philippines following the closure of Clark Air Base the year before.


This year is the 25th anniversary of the Senate vote, which is the reason the University is hosting the lecture-symposium. It is part of the Pedro Abad Santos Memorial Lecture Series named after the founder of the Socialist Party of the Philippines, and is sponsored by the University’s Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS) in partnership with the Social Science Department under the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Basic Education Department.


CKS director Robby Tantingco said that after 25 years, it is a good time to revisit the historic event especially in the light of the recent surge of nationalism following President Duterte's anti-US pronouncements.


US military presence in the Philippines started in 1899 following the defeat of the Spanish forces in Manila. After World War II, the United States and the Philippines signed a treaty that allowed Americans to own and operate industries in the country and to keep military bases, including Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Station, the two largest US military installations outside mainland United States.


On September 16, 1966, the two countries reviewed the bases treaty and agreed to reduce its remaining effectivity from 99 years to 25 years, which would have been September 16, 1991.


As the date neared, however, the two countries met to negotiate an extension. The Philippine panel led by Raul Manglapus offered a seven-year extension and a fixed rental fee of $825 million a year, while the US panel led by Richard Armitage countered with a proposal of only $360 million a year and a ten-year extension minimum.


After Mt. Pinatubo erupted in June 1991, or three months before the treaty’s expiry date, the US lost interest in Clark Air Base and the Philippines lost its bargaining leverage. Thus, the two countries rushed a new treaty that would have given the Americans 10 more years to stay at the Subic Naval Station, but on September 16, 1991, the Senate voted to reject the new treaty.


On November 26, 1991, the US flag was lowered at Clark Air Base for the last time, and on November 24, 1992, it was lowered at Subic Naval Station. It was the first time since 1521, when Magellan landed in Mactan, and 1571, when Legazpi arrived in Manila, that no foreign military forces were present in the Philippines.


The lecture-symposium will be held at the PGN Auditorium, 9th floor, Peter G. Nepomuceno Building, Holy Angel University, Angeles City. For inquiries, please text Myra Lopez at 0999 959 0601 or email kapampangancenter@gmail.com.


Date Posted: 11-16-2016