By Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) calls on the Filipino people to heighten their resistance to US military interventionism and the allout puppetry of the Aquino regime. They must oppose the treachery of the Aquino regime in allowing US armed troops to carry out military operations in the Philippines and providing them unhampered access to Philippine facilities.
The CPP and the Philippine revolutionary forces condemn the Strategic Defense Dialogue (SSD) held 26-28 January 2012 in Washington between American security and defense officials and their Philippine stooges in the Aquino government.
Summoned by their American masters, Philippine puppet officials are receiving instructions concerning the role to be played by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Aquino regime within the context of the priorities of US “global military strategy” set forth in the document “Sustaining US Global Leadership” released by the US Department of Defense just a few weeks ago.
Seeking to maintain “global leadership,” the US aims to “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific,” underscoring the importance it gives to increasing its military presence and power projection in the region. The strategic aim is to put economic and military pressure on China, contain its growth, prevent the Asia-Pacific from becoming an exclusive dominion of China and increase US economic, political, diplomatic and military investments in the region.
The prolonged and deepening economic depression in the US is compelling it to engage in greater economic, political and military interventionism in the Asia-Pacific. At the same time, it continues to wage wars to seize control of the principal sources of oil from the Middle East to Africa and Latin America. It engages in heightened trade and economic pressures to push countries to break down national barriers to allow the dumping of American commodities and entry of American capital. It is strategically deploying its military forces to ensure unhampered access to key international trade routes.
The US imperialists specifically aim to widen political and economic investments in the Asia-Pacific region. The key towards achieving these objectives is to intensify its military presence and operations in the region. Even as the Obama government declared that it seeks to reduce US military expenditures and the size of its military machine in the next ten years or so, it has also made clear that its military presence in the region will not wane. The US maintains and seeks to strengthen its military bases in Japan and South Korea. Just recently, it forged an agreement to set up another base in the northernmost region of Australia.
The US imperialist government seeks to take advantage of its dominance of the Philippines in order to use the latter as a pawn to achieve Asia-Pacific hegemony, particularly in its objective of containing China. It aims to use the Philippines as a base for its large warships under the 7th fleet of the US Pacific Command (based in Okinawa) in order to have these forward-deployed near the South China Sea. It wants the Philippines to allow American warships to make more frequent port calls in order to refuel and resupply, offload and provide rest and recreating facilities for American servicemen. It wishes to engage in one joint military exercise after another with the Philippine armed forces in order to align the priorities of the Philippine military with those of the US. It plans to use the Philippines as a base for its surveillance drones.
American imperialist officials are being deceptively shrewd in claiming that they do not seek to establish military bases in the country. The fact is, for the past 15 years or so, the Philippines has already been transformed into one big American military base.
They are lying when they claim not to be seeking permanent stationing of American military forces in the country. For more than 10 years now, a 600-strong contingent of American soldiers belonging to the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines has been stationed inside its permanent exclusive area within Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. These American troops have long been engaged in surveillance operations (using both satellites and unmanned drones), civil-military activities for American public relations operations, combat and logistical support for counter-guerrilla military operations.
US military intervention and domination of the Philippines have intensified under the Aquino regime. Benigno Aquino III is proving himself a most servile toady of the US imperialists. On two separate occasions in the past year and a half, he has even allowed himself to be flown by the American government to its military warships in international waters in complete disregard of protocol and diplomatic niceties. Under the Aquino regime, more and more American warships have docked in Manila, Subic and other ports.
Aquino has played well his role in the US-designed anti-China media offensive in the effort to portray China as a bully, making pretentious claims of defending national territory against China even as it allows the US to lord over the Philippines. In accordance with US plans, the Aquino regime has “acquired” a couple of second-hand naval warships from the US, which in reality serve longstanding US plans to mobilize the local armed forces to help secure for the US the South China Sea trade routes.
For the past several months, more and more American military troops have been allowed access to the headquarters of the AFP’s Western Command, even as they prepare to launch the Balikatan exercises this year in the waters off the island’s western coast. Not a whimper of opposition has been heard from the Aquino regime over the permanent stationing of the JSOTF-P in Zamboanga and the participation of American troops in local surveillance and counter-guerrilla operations.
The Aquino regime has made no pretensions at defending Philippine national sovereignty against US military intervention and domination. The Aquino regime has failed to assert an independent foreign policy. It has equated Philippine national interest with the ultra-national interest of the US to assert global hegemony. Under US direction, the Aquino regime is aligning itself against the enemies of the US, denying the Filipino people the right and initiative to forge alliances and friendships on the basis of mutual interest and benefit. In line with US dictates, the Philippines is making an enemy of China whose growth as a secondary capitalist country is seen as a threat by the US.
Also in line with US policy impositions, the Aquino regime perpetuates the failed neoliberal economic policies of the past 30 years. It continues to allow foreign big capitalists to dominate the local economy, press down on workers wages, align state resources to provide infrastructure and guarantee profits for foreign investments, provide it with tax holidays and other incentives. Big landlords and foreign big plantations continue monopoly ownership of land and carry out landgrabbing.
The toiling masses of workers and peasants, unemployed, small income-earners and ordinary people continue to bear the increasingly burdensome effects of liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization and the Aquino regime’s failure to carry out land reform and national industrialization. Plans are also afoot to complete the economic recolonization of the Philippines by excising provisions of the 1987 Philippine constitution which promote and protect the national patrimony.
To secure national independence and a progressive and democratic future, the Filipino people are faced with the urgent task of heightening their struggle against US military interventionism and domination, imperialist economic hegemonism and against the puppetry and allout treachery of the Aquino regime.
They must reiterate the demand to put an end to the unequal agreements with US imperialism such as the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Force Agreement. They must oppose the schemes of the Obama and Aquino regimes to use the Philippines as a platform for US provocations against China as well as military buildup and maneuvers in the scheme to contain China. They must oppose the scheduled “joint military exercises” which are aimed at US power-projection and building military presence in the South China Sea.
The CPP calls on the New People’s Army (NPA) to further intensify the people’s war and further heighten tactical offensives against the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other state armed groups which are armed by US imperialism and serve to secure US and foreign big capitalist interests in the Philippines. The NPA must launch bigger and more frequent tactical offensives to punish the Aquino regime for its national treachery and out and out puppetry to the US imperialists.
The CPP also calls on all revolutionary forces to exert all efforts to reach out to the people in their millions in order to rouse their patriotism and sense of national dignity and mobilize them to rise up and raise their collective demand for national liberation.