Binay, ex-senators to mark US bases treaty rejection


Posted at Sep 15 2011 02:00 AM | Updated as of Sep 15 2011 10:32 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Vice-President Jejomar Binay will join activists on Friday in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Senate's vote rejecting the Philippine-US military bases treaty.

Binay, a former human rights lawyer and Makati mayor, remains an active member of the lawyers group Mabini.

He has confirmed participation in the Club Filipino event organized by the Jose W. Diokno Foundation, the Lorenzo Tañada Foundation, and the Constantino Foundation, in cooperation with various peoples organizations.

More than 200 other personalities, including some of the "Magnificent 12" senators who thumbed down a proposed Philippine-US treaty on September 16, 1991, are also expected to attend the gathering.

The Senate vote rejected what would have indefinitely extended American control over several military bases in the Philippines.

The event's organizers earlier held the Kasarinlan Bike Ride, which saw 100 cyclists travel almost 190 kilometers from Manila to Clark to Subic over the weekend.

"We intend to honor with this event not just the 12 senators but the sacrifice and struggle as well of countless nationalist individuals and groups across generations. They stood on the frontline to assert the nation's dignity and interest," Renato Constantino Jr. said in a press statement.

"New threats loom in the horizon yet the issue of national sovereignty appears to have receded from the public's eye. With this event, we hope once more to renew national memory, which is a prerequisite to informed debate and participation," he said.

Excerpts from the speeches delivered by the Magnificent 12 will be read during the event.

The former senators, including lawyer Rene Saguisag, will also share a few words.