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Oppose Aquino spending spree for hosting increased US military presence — CPP

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the spending spree of the Aquino government and its armed forces to rush the construction and upgrading of its military facilities in order to accomodate the requirements set by the US military for its increased rotational presence in the Philippines.

“Upon the prodding of the US, the armed forces under the Aquino government is presently making upgrades to its facilities in order to accomodate the increased traffic of US warships and war planes,” said the CPP. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is set to spend at least PhP1 billion (US$22.5 million) for the construction of a port at Ulugan Bay as well as upgrade the facilities at Oyster Bay, both in Palawan, pointed out the CPP.

“This is where most of the much-vaunted military aid of the US goes,” said the CPP. Last year, the US allocated US$40 million in military financing to the Philippines, twice as much as the previous year. “In reality, the US is able to save a lot because its so-called aid, augmented by local funds, is in fact spent for the needs of US military overseas forces.”

The CPP further denounces the negotiations on the Framework Agreement for Increased Rotational Presence (IRP) between the US and Aquino governments which is geared towards further relegating the status of the Philippines as a military base of the US in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The negotiations on the IRP, the details of which are being kept secret from the Filipino people, are clearly being rushed to have the agreement ready for the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama this April,” pointed out the CPP. Another round of IRP negotiations are set for the last week of March.

“The Filipino people must oppose the IRP with all-out vigor as this will draw the Philippines into the military tensions and wars being instigated by the US,” added the CPP. “The increased rotational presence of US forces will strengthen the permanent presence of the US military in the Philippines. Even without the agreement, one or several US warships are stationed in Manila or elsewhere at any given time.” Just last Sunday, another US warship, the USS Cowpens (CG 63), a guided-missile cruiser, docked in Manila.

“Based on the scarce information being released by the Department of National Defense, the IRP will allow the sharing of defined areas within the facilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with the US military,” noted the CPP.

“The term ‘sharing’ is, of course, a euphemism for what really is exclusive control being provided the US, as in the case of the headquarters of the US forces within Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.” The CPP pointed out that the 700-strong US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) maintain an exclusive zone within Camp Navarro which not even the top generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines can enter without prior consent and coordination with US officials.

Such a foothold also facilitates US military intervention, especially in the counterrevolutionary war in the country. US military advisers were active in the design of the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan, a carbon copy of the US Counterinsurgency Guide of 2009. Despite explicit constitutional prohibition, US military personnel are also active in the battlefield providing logistical real-time satellite and drone intelligence support to ground forces.

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