Alwaght-Filipinos have marched near the United States Embassy in the capital city, Manila demanding the withdrawal of American troops in the country.
During the Friday march, the protesters accused the US of sponsoring state terrorism and condemned Washington’s military intervention in Mindanao, in southern Philippines, where US forces are reportedly assisting government military operations against ISIS-linked militants. The Muslims protesters in the rally held mass prayers.
The protesters, who burned an effigy of US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, called for an immediate pullout of the US troops from the country.
The protesters marched to the US Embassy to commemorate the Philippine Senate’s vote in 1991 to end US military presence in the country.
The US signed a Military Bases Agreement with the Philippines in 1947, which allowed the US to establish and operate air and naval bases for 99 years.
On September 16, 1991, 12 senators led an effort to end US military presence in the Philippines.
Back then, the US Naval Base Subic Bay, known to be the largest US military naval base in Asia, was one of the strategic bases for the US, home to more than 7,000 American servicemen and civilian workers. Other key US military installations in the Philippines in 1991 were Clark Air Base in Pampanga – formerly known as Fort Stotsenberg – and Camp John Hay in Baguio City.
The Philippine defense secretary said Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte has considered the possibility of placing the entire country under martial rule over fears of planned left-wing protests getting out of control, but he added the prospect of such a declaration is “very remote”.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao in May to deal with a deadly siege by ISIS-aligned militants in southern Marawi city and help prevent similar uprisings elsewhere in the country's volatile south.
At least 860 people, including more than 600 terrorists, have been killed in Marawi, a mosque-dotted center of Islamic faith in the nation's south.