The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) urges the Filipino people to protest the successive presence and power projection of US and China naval forces in the country and stand firm to defend Philippine sovereignty against military intervention by big superpowers which is now being allowed by the Duterte regime.
The CPP said the May 8-19 “Balikatan” military exercises involving 2,600 American troops and 2,800 AFP soldiers are using so-called humanitarian assistance and disaster response “as a camouflage to conceal the more hegemonic aims of US military.”
“The Balikatan exercises this year, one of 257 scheduled joint exercises between the US and Philippine armed forces this year, aim to more firmly establish US military foothold in the Philippines amid the Duterte regime’s efforts to establish closer military and economic links with China,” said the CPP.
“In particular, the joint naval maneuvers carried out by the US and Philippine armed forces under Balikatan seek to reinforce US military presence in the Philippine eastern seaboard by more firmly establishing its foothold in Leyte, Samar and coastal towns of Aurora up to Northern Luzon,” said the CPP. “The aim is clearly to impede China from establishing its facilities in the Philippines’ resource-rich Benham Rise.”
“The US has since 2013 established its military presence in the town of Guian, Samar, taking advantage of the disaster wrought by supertyphoon Yolanda to set up facilities in the local airport,” pointed out the CPP. “American military facilities are also set to be built in Casiguran, Aurora.”
Balikatan exercises are also being held in Panay. “Despite declarations of an ‘independent foreign policy’ by the Duterte regime, US military presence in the country remains pervasive” with military facilities and bases established or being constructed in Clark and Subic, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Palawan, Cebu, Samar, Cagayan de Oro City, Zamboanga City and elsewhere.
“The Duterte regime has so far failed to carry out steps to abrogate several unequal military treaties with the US including the EDCA, the VFA and the MDT which all serve to further US military intervention.”
“While condemning increasing US military presence in the Philippines, the Filipino people must also denounce rising presence of China’s naval forces, including those patrolling Philippine territorial seas and docking at local ports in order to establish China’s superpower military presence in the country,” said the CPP.
Just over two weeks ago, three Chinese naval ships docked at the Sasa Wharf in Davao City. “The docking of Chinese naval ships, euphemistically described as a ‘goodwill visit’, cannot be taken out of the context of China’s recent building spree of military facilities in and around the Spratly islands, as well as extended presence of Chinese research ships at the Benham Rise area.”
“China cannot win the friendship of the Filipino people by aping what the US imperialists have been doing in the Philippines, including projecting its military forces in Philippine territorial seas and building military bases in the country’s territories, albeit disputed,” pointed out the CPP.
“The Filipino people must firmly oppose joint exercises with China’s armed forces in the same grain that they firmly oppose joint exercises with the US armed forces as both aim to extend the reach and to project military might of the rival imperialist superpowers,” said the CPP.
“In declaring an independent foreign policy, the Duterte regime is obliged to assert the country’s national sovereignty and right against foreign military interference as a basic condition to achieve peaceful coexistence and equality with all countries.”