Youth activists deface U.S. embassy signage

Leftist activists defaced U.S. Embassy in Manila signage early Monday as part of protests against the US-PH military exercises.

Members of the League of Filipino Students held a lightning rally in front of the U.S. Embassy, where they threw red and blue paint at the sign and seal in front of the compound. The activists also reportedly burned an American flag.

A picture on LFS's Facebook page showed the sign missing letters and its seal covered in paint.

According to a statement from LFS, the lightning rally is part of a campaign against U.S. intervention in Philippine affairs. The group said U.S. armed forces are using the Philippines as its outpost in the Asia Pacific.

"It is a well-orchestrated plan to encircle and contain threatening economies to U.S. such as China and North Korea. It is also a strategy to control 30 percent of trade and investments coursed through the South China Sea with 60,000 ships passing through this area every year," LFS spokesperson Gemma Canalis said.

"The persistence of military troops not only in training, but years proven of actual combat operations is a clear breach of our Constitution," she also said.

Canalis warned President Aquino of "more militant and massive" protests against the annual PH-U.S. Balikatan military exercises if he "will stand firm in siding with the U.S. and its imperialist interests."

A protest caravan is also headed towards Clark Air Base in Angeles City, according to a text message from activist media group Pinoy Media Center.

American and Philippine troops have been holding military exercises each year under the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. The VFA is currently being reviewed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and has been subject of investigations in both houses of Congress.

Last week, a Philippine Navy ship was caught in a standoff with Chinese ships in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which the Philippines considers its territory. There were no protests in front of the Chinese Embassy. Tension with China has yet to be resolved.

Also last week, North Korea launched a rocket to send a sattelite into space. Leftist militants criticized the government for a perceived overreaction to the launch, which failed to reach orbit.

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