1994 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Aimee Houghton <aimeeh@igc.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 18:25:34 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Philippine Update
***55 LINES***
Status: RO

November 14, 1994

President Clinton and President Ramos held a lengthy discussion on
the military toxic contamination left at former Clark Air Force and
Subic Bay Naval bases during the weekend meeting in Manila.

This was revealed during the joint press conference at the end of
the meeting. Six reporters were allowed to ask questions; three
Filipino, 3 Americans. The second question was on U.S. financial
and moral obligation on the toxics at the former bases.

President Clinton tried to sidestep the issue by saying there was
no legal basis for financial obligation (which there is not), etc.

President Ramos finally interrupted him and said, "I want to assure
[the Filipino people] that I brought up the toxic issue with
President Clinton. I have had lengthy discussion with President
Clinton." Ramos went on to say they had discussed increasing the
technical expertise of the Philippines and finished with the U.S.
and Philippines would share their technical expertise to get to the
truth of the matter.

Clinton then came back again and reiterated the "no legal basis for
financial obligation" (I think he was playing to Washington).

It was the only question in which there was an exchange.

President Ramos was under intense political pressure to raise the
issue and it was only three days before Clinton arrived that he
finally got Cabinet-level recommendations on where to go with the

The Senate had held a series of hearings on the issue and all the
Philippine Senators had asked that Ramos raise the issue. The
Philippine House had also held hearings. This had all received
extensive press in the weeks prior to the visit along with
testimony by Jorge Emmanuel, Ph.D. and Dr. Ted Schetter, both
members of the 2nd UUSC Positive Legacy Tour Delegation and
sponsored on this trip by the U.S. Working Group for Philippine
Bases Cleanup.

Also the day President Clinton arrived, on the front page of all
the major Manila dailies was pictures of the rally held at the U.S.
Embassy the day before by the Peoples Task Force for a Bases
Cleanup. The rally members included a number of residents from the
former base areas. The peaceful demonstration ended with a former
Clark Air Base worker and a Task Force member delivering to a
U.S. Embassy official a statement of responsiblity for President

This is a great breakthrough.


Polly Parks

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