MANILA, Philippines -- Just before Barack Obama takes his oath as the 44th president of the United States, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance) on Tuesday trooped to the US Embassy to demand an end to ?unequal? Philippine-American ties.
The activists bore placards with the words ?The Change We Need,? taken from Obama?s campaign slogan, and demanded ?urgent and necessary changes in RP-US relations.?
?The election of Barack Obama is historic, but the tasks he faces are immense. The clamor for change will now grow stronger than ever,? Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said in a statement. ?Worldwide, there is tremendous expectation that his regime will be different from George W. Bush. Filipinos will be at the forefront of demands for change US foreign policy.?
Bayan also demanded an end to American military presence in the country.
?If Obama will pull out troops in Iraq, he should do the same with the US troops in Mindanao,? Reyes said.
?We don't want to be dragged into another war as what Bush did to [President] Gloria [Macapagal] Arroyo in 2003, when Filipino troops were sent to Iraq. We want the Bush war on terror to end. We also want an end to US military aid for the fascist Arroyo regime,? Reyes said.
?The new US president will now be under scrutiny by a world that has had enough of US wars and economic liberalization,? he added.