Keating’s sabre rattling part of US-Arroyo war of terror

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest possible terms the interventionist statement of US Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of the US Pacific Command, that if requested by the Arroyo regime the US is willing to fight the New People's Army and to provide bigger assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 

By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest possible terms the interventionist statement of US Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of the US Pacific Command, that if requested by the Arroyo regime the US is willing to fight the New People's Army and to provide bigger assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

His arrogant statement is part of the Bush war of terror and scheme to escalate further the ongoing US military intervention in the Philippines and the consequent gross and systematic violations of human rights in the country. Oplan Bantay Laya I and II are an adjunct of the Bush war of terror. They are an attempt to destroy the Filipino people's democratic revolution and to put pressure on the NDFP to capitulate across the negotiating table.

The US has long been engaged in military barbarities in the Philippines since 1899 when it embarked on a war of aggression against the Filipino revolutionary forces of the newly independent Philippine republic from Spain. US military intervention has continued in various forms even after the paper independence on July 4, 1946 through the Military Bases Agreement, the Military Assistance Pact and the Mutual Defense Treaty.

It would serve Keating well to study the recent history of martial law in the Philippines. The US government and military gave full support to the Marcos dictatorship in terms of finance, materiel and manpower but failed to destroy the revolutionary movement and only succeeded to fan the flames of popular resistance.

This US military support continues up to the present Arroyo regime in the form of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA).

But the US and Manila governments have failed to quell the armed revolution of the people. On the contrary, it continues to grow in strength and numbers. The joint forces of the US and Arroyo regime have also failed to destroy the Abu Sayyaf which the CIA and Philippine army intelligence had created in 1991.

The war of terror of the Bush-Arroyo regime which has given its death squads the license to kill progressive legal activists and unarmed civilians has failed to deter the people in their fight. The gross and systematic human rights violations by the Arroyo regime have only resulted in its condemnation and isolation from the Filipino people and the international community.

It would also serve Keating well to recognize the limits of American power. Right now the US is sinking deeper in two quagmires, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even Bush is now in boiling water in Washington for launching wars of aggression. However, should the US decide to bring in more troops to the Philippines and engage in further intervention or aggression against the revolutionary forces, the Filipino people and revolutionary forces would gain the golden opportunity to avenge the more than 1.5 million Filipinos who were martyred by US military actions from the start of the US-Filipino war in1899 to the end of the US pacification campaigns in 1914. 

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