PHOTOS | Thousands protest Obama visit, new PH-US military pact

April 29, 2014

It was a “warm welcome” indeed.

Thousands marched in protest against US Pres. Barack Obama’s state visit of the Philippines yesterday, April 28. It happened during one of the hottest days in Manila this year so far, and was punctuated by burning of an effigy of the American president, with a pit bull that bears the image of Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino III.

The protesters condemned the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), a new defense pact which purportedly allows for the US military to use Philippine bases and military installations across the country. Philippine Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg signed the agreement hours before Obama’s Air Force One touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the afternoon.

The progressives called EDCA a virtual “re-occupation” of the Philippines by its former colonial master, US, which has sought to bolster its military presence in Asia-Pacific amid growing economic influence of rival China.

They also condemned the Aquino administration’s bid to join the US-led multilateral economic agreement in Asia-Pacific called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The EDCA, as well as the TPPA, according to the umbrella progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance), form part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” policy of repositioning the majority of US warships to the Asia-Pacific region in order to protect its economic interests in the region.

Here are some of the photos of the protest action:

Protesters march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Mendiola, Manila. <strong>Boy Bagwis</strong>

Protesters march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Mendiola, Manila. Boy Bagwis

<strong>Macky Macaspac</strong>

Macky Macaspac

Scientists and environmentalists join in the protest against new US military basing rights in the Philippines. They cite, among others, last year's grounding of a US warship in the protected Tubbataha reef as proof of the danger of US military to the environment. <strong>Macky Macaspac</strong>

Scientists and environmentalists join in the protest against new US military basing rights in the Philippines. They cite, among others, last year’s grounding of a US warship in the protected Tubbataha reef as proof of the danger of US military to the environment. Macky Macaspac

<strong>Boy Bagwis</strong>

Boy Bagwis

Dr. Carol Araullo ng Bayan: Our protest against Obama's state visit is as hot as the midday sun. <strong>KR Guda</strong>

Dr. Carol Araullo of Bayan: Our protest against Obama’s state visit is as hot as the midday sun. KR Guda

<strong>Boy Bagwis</strong>

Boy Bagwis

Members of Anakpawis and Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap <strong>KR Guda<strong>

Tonying Flores, peasant leader from Anakpawis and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. KR Guda

<strong>Pher Pasion</strong>

Pher Pasion

<strong>KR Guda</strong>

KR Guda

Youth activists attempt to remove concertina wires placed by cops in front of Mendiola Bridge. <strong>KR Guda</strong>

Youth activists attempt to remove concertina wires placed by cops in front of Mendiola Bridge. KR Guda

<strong>Pher Pasion</strong>

Cops block protesters’ path to the Malacanang Palace, where the Aquino administration hosts US Pres. Barack Obama. Pher Pasion

The protesters burn the Aquino-Obama effigy. <strong>Macky Macaspac</strong>

The protesters burn the Aquino-Obama effigy. Macky Macaspac

<strong>KR Guda</strong>

KR Guda

Photos by Boy Bagwis, Macky Macaspac, Pher Pasion & KR Guda