BAYAN and JUNK THE VFA MOVEMENT slam plans

to bring more US troops into the country

 

Recto Hall, UP Diliman campus

 

February 8, 2012

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Forum at  Recto Hall, UP Diliman campus
Photo by Arkibong Bayan
 

BAYAN march to the US embassy in Manila
Photo by BAYAN
 
 


 
/p

/p
 


Art work by Parts Bagani
From: http://philippinerevolution.net/images/14

 
 
Photos by Arkibong Bayan and BAYAN as indicated
           
     

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REVOLUTIONARY JOSE MARIA SISON ON US IMPERIALISM
AND A WAY FORWARD FOR THE PHILIPPINES


The US government claims he’s a supporter of terrorism. Millions of others consider Sison a Marxist theorist and revolutionary

By Bill Fletcher Jr
AlterNet
22 January 2012

In 2002, seemingly out of nowhere, then US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that the USA henceforth considered the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and their armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), to be terrorist organizations. Additionally, they labeled a long-time Philippine revolutionary leader and theorist—Jose Maria Sison—to be a supporter of terrorism. Sison had been living in exile in the Netherlands. This labeling, denounced immediately by civil liberties advocates in the USA, the Philippines and other parts of the world, has resulted in myriad of legal ramblings and complications for all those associated with the NDFP and CPP. What made this announcement by Powell so odd was that the conflict in the Philippines represented a long-running—and internationally recognized—civil war and the NDFP (and Sison) had been engaged in peace negotiations, a process that was certainly harmed by the Bush administration’s allegations. These allegations also emerged at a time of increasing usage by the US government of the label of “terrorist” or “supporter of terrorism” to describe opponents.

The following is drawn from a longer interview with Professor Sison. This component focuses upon his analysis of the current situation in the Philippines, negotiations with the Philippine government and the question of the terrorist label used by the US government against various forces.

If you apply your search engine to research Professor Sison you will find a considerable number of references, including his own website which provides biographical background (see:www.josemariasison.org). Sison, born in 1939, has been a major leader in Philippine radical politics since the 1960s. He served as the founding chair of the revamped Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968 and helped in the creation of the New People’s Army the following year. He was captured by the government forces of then dictator Ferdinand Marcos at which time he was both imprisoned and tortured. He gained release in 1986 when Marcos was overthrown in the famous “People Power” uprising. He then attempted to assist in negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (the broad umbrella group coordinating the insurrection in which the CPP and NPA can be found) and the government of President Corazon Aquino, but these came to nothing as the government moved more to the Right and repression was imposed on opponents of the government. Sison found himself in exile when he was traveling and his passport was cancelled.

Though in exile, Sison was tapped to serve as the chief political consultant to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. As a result he has been very much in touch with the unfolding of the struggle on that archipelago, a struggle that includes the armed insurrection led by the CPP/NPA, as well as a secessionist movement on the southern island of Mindanao among the largely Muslim Moro people (a movement supported by the NDFP).

Despite the length of the immediate insurrection, and the long-term struggle that the Philippine people have conducted to achieve genuine freedom from US domination—a struggle dating back to the Spanish-American War—the Philippines rarely receives much attention except when the US government discusses alleged Muslim terrorism on Mindanao. For that reason it is useful for US audiences to understand the point of view of the insurrectionists irrespective of whether one agrees with their objectives and/or means.

1. You have described the Philippines as semi-colonial/semi-feudal. Please explain what this means in practical terms. We are in the early years of the 21st century. How could there be a semi-feudal situation in the Philippines? The Philippines seems, for all intents and purposes, to be tied into global capitalism.

You can say bluntly that the Philippines is capitalist and has long been capitalist since the 19th century if you mean that the commodity system of production and exchange through money has come on top of the natural economy of feudalism when local communities could subsist on a diversified agriculture and engage mainly in barter. The specialization in crops for domestic food(rice and corn) and for export (tobacco, hemp and sugar) and the import of a certain amount of manufactures from Europe for consumption pushed the domestic commodity system of production as well as integration with global capitalism through colonialism as a part of the primitive accumulation of capital in Europe and subsequently under the banner of colonial free trade.

But it is utterly wrong to say that the Philippines is industrial capitalist or even semi-industrial capitalist. The Philippines does not have an industrial foundation. Its floating kind of industry consists of imported equipment paid for bythe export of raw materials and by foreign loans necessitated by the chronic trade deficits. It is most precise to describe the Philippine economy as semi-feudal to denote the persistence of the large vestiges of feudalism in the form of disguised and undisguised landlord- tenant relations and usury at the base of the economy, the peasant class constituting 75 per cent of the population and the combination of the big compradors and landlords as the main exploiting classes. The big compradors are the chief financial and trading agents of the foreign monopolies and are often big landlords themselves, especially on land producing crops for export.

Global capitalism under theneoliberal policy of “free trade” globalizationhas not changed but has aggravated and deepened the pre-industrial and underdeveloped semi-feudal character of the Philippine economy. The share of manufacturing with the use of imported equipment and raw materials under the policy of low-value addedexport-oriented manufacturing in the last three decades has decreased in comparison to that share under the previous policy of import substitution. The illusion of industrial development has been conjured by excessive foreign borrowing for consumption of foreignmanufactures, by conspicuous private construction projects and by the sweat shops that engage in the fringe-processing ofimported manufactured components and yield little net export income.

Neither the series of bogus land reform programs since decades ago nor the neoliberal policy of imperialist globalization has broken up feudalism completely and given way to a well-founded industrialization. The backward agrarian and semi-feudal character of the Philippine economy is now increasingly exposed by its depression and ruination due to the decreasing demand for its type of exports, the closure of many sweatshops of semi-manufacturing for export, the tighteningof international credit and the decrease of remittances by overseas contract workers in the current prolonged global economic and financial crisis in this 21st century of desperate, barbaric and imploding global capitalism. The conditions have become more fertile for people’s war in the Philippines.

In the 1980s,certain elements in the Philippinespushed the notion that the Philippine economy was no longer semi-feudal but semi-capitalist or semi-industrial capitalist in order to glorify the Marcos fascist dictatorship as having industrialized the Philippines. This notion also aimed to undercut the Communist Party’s strategic line of protracted people’s war involving the encirclement of the cities from the countryside by the armed revolutionary movementof the workers and peasants until such time that they have accumulated enough politico-military strengthto seize the cities on a nationwide scale in a strategic offensive.

The bureaucratic big compradorFerdinand Marcosconjured the illusion of industrial development by borrowing heavily from abroad and by importing consumption goods and luxuries and construction equipment and structural steel in order to build roads, bridges, hotels andother tourist facilities. The profligate spending of foreign loans only served to maintain the agrarian and pre-industrial character of the Philippine economy. Cognizant of the persistent semi-feudal reality, the New People’s Army under CPP leadership has been ableto wage people’s war successfully with the main support of the peasantry and under the class leadership of the working class.

2. When one talks of the Philippine working class, what are the main sectors in which it is found and how is neo-liberalism affecting it?

The Philippine working class is found in such main sectors as the following: food and beverages, hotels and restaurants, public utilities (power generation, water and sewage system), mining and quarrying, metal fabrication (imported metals), car assembly, ship assembly, transportation, communications, mass media, assembly of electronic and electrical products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil refining, construction, construction materials (cement and wood), banks and other financial institutions and public sector services (education, health, etc.).

In the Philippines, theneoliberal policy has favored certain enterprisesaway from industrial development and has expanded employment in such enterprises during boom periods. The favored enterprises include those in mining and export-crop plantations, the assembly of electronic and electrical products, the semi-manufacturing of garments, shoes and other low-value added products for re-export,car assembly, construction of office and residential towers,cement production, hotels and restaurants, business call centers and financial services. They are vulnerable to the ups and downs characteristic of global capitalism under neoliberal policyand now to the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Closures and reduction of production have resulted in a high rate of unemployment and the further immiseration of the people.

Under the neoliberal policy, the working class has been subjected to wage freezes and reductions, loss of job security, flexibilization or casualization (reducing the number of regular employees and increasing the number of temporaries or casuals),systematic prevention or break up of workers’ unions and ceaseless attack on union rights and other democratic rights. The kinds of enterprises generatedby the neoliberal policy involve cheap labor and the most tiring and health-damaging processes and conditions. They also limit the number of regular employees and expand the ranks of the casuals subjected to a series of short-term employment contracts in order to circumvent the law on regular employment. The scarcity of employment opportunities in the Philippines has compelled nearly 10 per cent of the population to seek employment abroad as overseas contract workers and undocumented workers with practically no rights. This fact proves the lack of national industrial development.

3. Would you sum-up the situation in the Philippines, particularly the state of negotiations between the NDFP and the government; the situation facing workers and farmers; the overall economy; and fighting that may be taking place?

The Philippines is severely stricken by crisis because of the rotting semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system and the growing impact of the crisis of the US and global capitalist system. The prices of the raw materials and semi-manufactures produced for export by the Philippines are depressed and foreign loans to cover the trade deficits and debt service are becoming more onerous than before. There is now less demand for overseas contract workers and thus their remittances are decreasing. The global economic and financial crisis is hitting hard the Philippines. The growing public deficits (budgetary and trade) and the public debt are growing and exposing the bankruptcy of the big comprador-landlord state.

Various forms of popular resistance, includingpeople’s war, are ever growing because of the extreme and ever worsening conditions of exploitation and oppression of more than 90 per cent of the people, the toiling masses of workers and peasants. Like preceding regimes, the Aquino regime wants to destroy the armed revolutionary movement. It is implementing the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan, which is the same dog as Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya but which tries to be different by dressing up brutal military operations as peace and development operations and maintaining human rights desks in the reactionary army and national police for the purpose of shifting the blame for human rights violations to the revolutionaries. On the other hand, the New People’s Army led by the Communist Party of the Party is carrying out a five-year plan to advance from the strategic defensive to strategic stalemate in the people’s war,increasing the number of guerrilla fronts from 120 to 180.

While their respectivearmed forces continue to fight, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are supposed to engage in peace negotiations in order to address the roots of the armed conflict by forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms. But the GPH has paralyzed the peace negotiationsby refusing to release a few political prisoners who are NDFP consultants in the negotiations and thus violatingthe Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The GPH is also grossly violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIL) by refusing to release more than 350 political prisoners who are imprisoned on false charges of common crimes.

4. What have been the chief obstacles to a negotiated settlement between the NDFP and the government?

The Manila government and NDFP have their respective constitutions, governments and armies. To lay the ground for peace negotiations, they issued The Hague Joint Declaration to define the framework for peace negotiations. They agreed to address the roots of the armed conflict or the civil war by negotiating and forging agreements on human rights and international humanitarian lawand on social, economic and political reforms. They also agreed that they areguided by the mutually acceptable principles of national sovereignty, democracy and social justice and that no precondition shall be made by any side to negate the inherent character and purpose of peace negotiations, i.e. no side can demand the surrender of the other side.

Under the currentAquino regime,his presidential adviser and his negotiating panel want to undermine and nullify the aforesaid declaration by asserting that it is a document of perpetual division. They are practically demanding the immediate surrender of the revolutionary movement. They do not respect the agreement on the sequence, formation and operationalization of the reciprocal working committees that are to negotiate and work out the agreements on reforms. The question of what kind of authority will be formed to implement the comprehensive agreements on reforms shall be settled when the time comes for negotiating the political and constitutional reforms.

The Benigno Aquino III regime hasshown no respect for and has in fact violated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) by refusing to release some 14 political prisoners who are NDFP negotiating personnel and are therefore JASIG-protected. It has not called to account those military and police personnel who have abducted, tortured and murdered NDFP consultants who are JASIG-protected. Also, it has violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by condoning violations of human rights of suspected revolutionaries and sympathizers by the Arroyo regime and by his own troops and by refusing to release 350 political prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned on trumped up charges of common crimes.

The regime keeps on demanding ceasefire in order to distract public attention from the agreement to address the roots of the civil war though basic reforms. The NDFP has offered truce and alliance on the basis of a general declaration on common intent on ten points, including the assertion of national independence, empowerment of the working people, land reform and national industrialization, immediate assistance and employmentfor theimpoverished and unemployed, promotion of a patriotic, scientific and popular culture, self-determination of national minorities and independent foreign policy for peace and development.

The biggest obstacle to the peace negotiations is US political and military intervention. The US has upset the peace negotiations by unjustly designating the CPP, the NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as terrorists. It has dictated upon the Aquino regime to draw up Oplan Bayanihan under the US Counterinsurgency Guide, which considers peace negotiations as a mere psy-war2device for outwitting, isolating and destroying the revolutionary movement. Oplan Bayanihan is a campaign plan of military suppression. But it masquerades as a peace and development plan. It regards peace negotiations only as a means to enhance the triad of psy-war, intelligence-gathering and combat operations. Many people think that the US does not allow the puppet regime to make the overall agreement for a just and lasting peace with the NDFP.

5. Are you optimistic that negotiations can result in a just settlement?

Frankly speaking, I am not optimistic that negotiations can result in a just settlement. Like its predecessors, the Aquino regime is too servile to US imperialism and stands as the current chief representative of the local exploiting classes, the comprador big bourgeoisie and landlord class. It has shown no inclination to assert national independence and undo unequal treaties, agreements and arrangements that keep the Philippines semi-colonial. It also has shown no inclination to realize democracy through significant representation of workers and peasants in government and through land reform and national industrialization.

It has become clear that the reactionary government is not seriously interested in peace negotiations as a way of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through agreements on basic reforms. Especially under the Aquino regime, the negotiators are always trying to lay aside the substantive agenda and to push the NDFP towards capitulation and pacification. Failing to accomplish their vile objective, they paralyze the peace negotiations by refusing to comply with obligations under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees.

6. What has been the role of the USA? And,have US policies towards the Philippines changed under President Obama? If so, how? What is your overall assessment of the Obama administration?

The USA has not been helpful to the peace negotiations. In fact, it has obstructed these. The US designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and myself (the National Democratic Front of the Philippines’ chief political consultant) as terrorists is meant to intimidate and put pressure on the NDFP in the peace negotiations. The US Counterinsurgency Guide actually tells the Philippine reactionary government that peace negotiations are dispensable but are useful only for purposes of psy-war to mislead the people, possibly split the revolutionary forces and make the reactionary killing machine more efficient. But the US policy against peace negotiations with the NDFP has served to make the revolutionary force and people more vigilant and more resolute in opposing US intervention in the internal affairs of the Philippines.

From the Bush II to the Obama regime, there has been no change in US policy towards the Philippines. Obama continues the policy of serving the interests of the US imperialists in the economic, political, military and cultural fields, collaborating with the big compradors and landlords, manipulating the puppet regime and its military forces, preventing land reform and national industrialization, controlling the fundamentals and direction of the Philippine cultural and educational system and stationing US troops in the Philippines and maintaining a permanent relay of US military forces under the US-RP3Mutual Defense Pact and the Visiting Forces Agreement. Obama is a good servant of US imperialism. He used his glibness to make himself look better than the brazenly brutal Bush. But he is using the same glibness to cover many acts as bad as or even worse than those that made Bush infamous.

7. How did the CPP and NPA end up on a list of terrorist organizations? How did you end up on a list of supporters of terrorism? What steps are being taken to remove this label from you, the CPP and the NPA?

During the November 2001 visit of then Philippine president Gloria M. Arroyo to Washington, she requested then US President Bush to have the US agencies(State Department and the Office of Foreign Asset Control of the Treasury Department)designate the CPP,NPAand myself as “terrorists”. When US state secretary Colin Powell visited the Philippines in the early days of August 2002, he was reminded of the request and he assured Arroyo that he would act on itimmediately upon his return to the US. Indeed,within August 2002 the CPP, NPA and I were designated as “terrorists.”

The Philippine and U.S. governments connived to take advantage of the terrorism scare that followed 9-11. They themselves engaged in terrorism by deciding to undertake harmful actions against the CPP, NPA and myself. The designationof the CPP and NPAas “terrorist”is absolutely absurd because they [the NPA—interviewer] have carried outrevolutionary actions strictly within the Philippines, have not engaged in any cross-border attacks against the US and up to now have not been discovered to keep bank accounts in the US or anywhere else outside of the Philippines.

In my case, I have been falsely accused of being the current CPP chairman and being responsible for the alleged terrorist acts, in fact the revolutionary actions, of the NPA despite the fact that I have been out of the Philippines since 1986 when I was released from nearly a decade of detention under the Marcos fascist dictatorship. The malicious intention of the US and Philippine governments is to pressure the entireNDFP negotiating panel and me as its chief political consultant. Like the Arroyo regime,the Aquino regime uses the terrorist designation as a kind of lever against the NDFP in the peace negotiations.

It is impossible for theCPP, NPA or myselfto begin any legal process for undoingthe terrorist designation in the US or in any other country tailing after the US in the so-called war on terror, without proving first the legal personality and material interest of the plaintiff. In my case, I could take legal action against the Dutch government for putting me in the terrorist list because I live in The Netherlands. After my administrative complaint, the Dutch government repealed its decision to put me in its terrorist list but took the initiative in having me put in the terrorist list of the European Union in October 2002. I went to the European Court of Justice and I succeeded in having my name removed from the EU terrorist list in December 2010 after eight years of legal struggle.

8. Do you think that the US media has consciously mischaracterized the situation in the Philippines by focusing on groups like Abu Sayyaf4?

Yes, the US media drum up US policy and corporate interests and consciously misrepresent the Philippine situation, as in the focusing on the Abu Sayyaf. This small bandit gang, whose origin can be traced to the CIA and intelligence operatives of the Philippine army who organized andused it against the Moro revolutionaries (MNLF and then MILF),is magnifiedas an extension of Al Qaeda in order to serve the false claim of [President] Bushthat the Philippines is the second front of a global war on terror as well as to rationalize state terrorism and US military intervention in the Philippines.

Through the mass media, the US has spread the scare about terrorism in order to justify a whole range of actions: the curtailment of democratic rights in the US and on a global scale, the stepping up of war production to please the military-industrial complex and the unleashing of wars of aggression

9. Has the “terrorism” designation made it difficult for NDFP supporters in the Philippines and in other parts of the world? If so, how? Have civilian political activists faced increased government-inspired violence as a result of this terrorism designation?

The “terrorism” designation is an incitation to hatred and violence and various forms of discrimination and harassment against known or suspected NDFP supporters in the Philippines and other parts of the world. Although the NDFP is not designated as terrorist, everyone knows that the CPP and NPA are the most important components of the NDFP. In the Philippines, the incitation to hatred and violence is quite deadly because the military, police and their death squads are emboldened to go on terrorist-hunting and are assured that they can abduct, torture and kill people with impunity…

The Dutch authorities have advised the Norwegian government not to give any assistance to the NDFP negotiating panel for maintaining office and staff in The Netherlands on the claim that such assistance would be for building the infrastructure of “terrorists”. They have also raided the NDFP office and houses of NDFP panelists and consultants and seized documents and equipmentneeded in the peace negotiations.

10. Periodically the US media discuss alleged Muslim fundamentalist terrorism in the Philippines. What is the situation? In Mindanao there have been efforts at autonomy and self-determination. What has been the stand of the NDFP on these efforts? What is your take on allegations of Muslim terrorism?

The NDFP supports the Moro people’s struggle for self-determination, including the right to secede from an oppressive state or opt for regional autonomy in a non-oppressive political system. The Moro people have long been oppressed by the Manila governmentand by local reactionary agents. Theyare not free in their own homeland and are victims of Christian chauvinism and discrimination. They have beendeprived of their ancestral domain. They have been robbed of agricultural land as well as forest, mineral and marine resources.

The Moro people have all the right to fight for national and social liberation. The NDFP has therefore found common ground for alliance with the Moro National Liberation Front(MNLF) and subsequently with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after the MNLF capitulated to the Ramos regime in 1996. By fighting well against their common enemy, the NDFP and the MILF gain better conditions for growing in strength and advancing in their respective struggles.

The US government and the US media exaggerate the threat of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism because they wish to promote the entry of US corporations for the purpose of plundering the rich natural resources of Mindanao, especially oil, gold and deuterium. They also wish to justify the current stationing of US military forces and eventually the basing of larger US military forces for the purpose of strategic control over Islamic countries in Southeast Asia and strategic countervailing of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea] in Northeast Asia.

Like Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf was originally a creature of CIA and the intelligence agency of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to counteract the MNLF. It has become a bandit gang since the capitulation of MNLF. It has also been convenient for the US and Manila government to depict the Abu Sayyaf as a Muslim fundamentalist group and as an extension of the Al Qaeda, since 2001 when Bush declared Moro land as the second front in the so-called global war on terror. There are indications that the US and Philippine governments continue to arm and finance the Abu Sayyaf in order to block the advance of the MILF in Sulu and to provide the pretext for US military intervention in the Philippines.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a long-time racial justice, labor and international writer and activist. He is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com, and a Visiting Scholar with the City University of New York Graduate Center. For a lengthy biography of Jose Maria Sison, one source can be found in a biographical sketch at: http://www.josemariasison.org/?p=2560.
 

Source: http://www.josemariasison.org (http://s.tt/15lBt)

 

▲  Forum at  Recto Hall, UP Diliman campus
Feb. 8, 2012  ▼
Photos by Arkibong Bayan
     
     

UP Prof. Roland Simbulan
 
     

BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes, Jr.
 
     

Former Philippine Airforce Capt. Joenel Pogoy
 
     
     

MAKABAYAN's Liza Maza
 

JR Guerrero of Canadian multimedia group
 
     
     
           
     


Rica Nepomuceno of the UP College of Music faculty sings a kundiman
 

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ON CURRENT ISSUES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson of International League of Peoples’ Struggle and NDFP Chief Political Consultant

By Rio Mondelo
Correspondent, Bulatlat
02 February 2012

1. Is the report true that you are returning to the Philippines soon to take a cabinet position in the Aquino government and that the New People’s Army is going to be integrated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines? Do you know the source of the report.

JMS: The report is false. It comes from the direction of a group of military officers and politicians loyal to the past Arroyo regime and coordinated by former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, the butcher general Palparan and Alcover of ANAD. They are engaged in a psywar intrigue related to the sharpening contradictions between the pro-Aquino and pro-Arroyo reactionaries within the military and entire ruling system.

They think Aquino would be discredited among the reactionary military officers by being reported as giving to me a cabinet position. Even if the presidency of the puppet republic were offered to me, I would not accept it because I do not wish to become the chief puppet of the US and chief representative of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords, like Aquino.

2. At any rate, what is the status of of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations? Will the negotiating panels of the two sides resume their formal talks soon?

JMS: In principle, the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations are still on because no side has yet terminated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), despite the blatant attempts of the GPH side to undermine and render it useless. It is still unclear whether the GPH will comply with the JASIG and release the JASIG-protected consultants of the NDFP. Thus, it is still unclear when the formal talks of the negotiating panels shall be held.

3. The armed conflict between the GPH and NDFP is intensifying, with the armed forces of the GPH carrying out Oplan Bayanihan and the armed forces NDFP striving to advance the people’s war from strategic defensive to strategic stalemate? How does the armed conflict affect the peace negotiations?

JMS: Because of the armed conflict, there are peace negotiations. The GPH finds the need for peace negotiations so long as it is failing to suppress the people and the revolutionaries with the current Oplan Bayanihan and so long as the New People’s Army is successful in carrying out an extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare and creating an ever widening and deepening mass base.

4. Is the Aquino regime serious about running after Arroyo and her top colleagues for plunder? Are you satisfied with the pace at which Aquino has been running after them?

JMS: Compared with the speed of Arroyo in jailing Estrada for plunder, Aquino is a sluggard in making Arroyo accountable for plunder. He has jailed her on the charge of electoral sabotage and has reduced the plunder charges to graft charges after gaining control over the office of Ombudsman. It remains to be seen whether he will push a plunder charge as a result of Senate findings.

5. So far the Aquino regime has not run after Arroyo and her military cohorts for the gross and systematic violations of human rights under the Arroyo regime, except for the dramatic although belated and token action against Palparan. Why the big delay or inaction of Aquino against Arroyo on human rights violations.?

JMS: Indeed, Aquino has been too slow or even comatose about Arroyo’s huge responsibility for gross and systematic violations of human rights. Many people think that he is afraid of the military or he himself wants to use the military for human rights violations under Oplan Bayanihan the same way that Arroyo used the military under Oplan Bantay Laya. The action so far taken against Palparan is quite belated and tokenistic in view of the so many human rights violations committed under the Arroyo regime and the growing violations under the current regime.

6. The Aquino regime continues to keep the more than 350 political prisoners. Does it mean that Aquino agrees with Arroyo in detaining them on charges of common crimes? Is he not condoning Arroyo’s crimes and he himself is now doing what Arroyo has done?

JMS: So far Aquino has not proven himself any different from Arroyo when it comes to human rights violations. Even the Human Rights Watch has pointed to this glaring fact. Like Arroyo, Aquino is culpable for the gross and systematic violation of human rights by continuing to detain the hundreds of political prisoners and by allowing the military to violate human rights, including abductions, torture, extrajudicial killings and the detention of people on trumped up charges of common crimes.

7.So far the NDFP negotiating panel has been known more to demand the release of a few individuals protected by the JASIG. But should not the panel demand the release of all political prisoners in accordance with CARHRIHL?

JMS: The NDFP Negotiating Panel has demanded the release of the imprisoned consultants by invoking the JASIG because this is the bilateral agreement that is most pertinent to them and that should expedite their release. At the same time, the NDFP panel is demanding the release of the more than 350 political prisoners in accordance with CARHRIHL. This also covers the JASIG-protected consultants.

8. Aquino and his followers claim that they must do everything to remove Corona from the Supreme Court because he is blocking the way to the punishment of Gloria M. Arroyo and others. Is this the only purpose of Aquino in causing the impeachment of Corona and pushing his possible conviction by the Senate?

JMS: Indeed, there are purposes other than the very popular one of clearing the way for the eventual punishment of Arroyo and her accomplices. But I think that the most urgent purpose of Aquino is to shake down the Supreme Court and make sure that the Aquino -Cojuangco clan get a huge amount of unjust compensation for giving up Hacienda Luisita, at least 5 billion pesos. The question of compensation is still a subject of contention before the Supreme Court.

One more important purpose of Aquino is to seek control over the Supreme Court and increase his power over the entire reactionary government. The anti-Arroyo purpose is not the most compelling purpose for Aquino because until now he has not pushed the cases of plunder and human rights violations against Arroyo. Two cases of plunder have been reduced to plain cases of graft and corruption. We still have to see what is done with the plunder case recommended by the Senate.

9. Aquino seems to enjoy the support of the mass media and gain more popularity as he attacks Corona. Is this some kind of a show to distract attention from the growing economic and social problems?

JMS: Yes, the Corona trial in the Senate is a big propaganda show that has the effect of boosting Aquino’s so-called popularity. The show is indeed to draw attention away from the big economic and social problems and to obscure Aquino’s failure to adopt policies for solving these problems. But the broad masses of the people have already begun to complain strongly against the ever rising prices of fuel and basic goods and services.

It is still possible for the protest mass actions to grow until these can totally discredit the current incompetent and corrupt puppet regime. It is also possible for the prosecutors to fail in getting the conviction of Corona because the articles of impeachment were haphazardly prepared under the orders of a president enraged by the Supreme Court decision on Hacienda Luisita and because the prosecutors are already being widely criticized for engaging in fishing expedition and in excelling at trial by publicity.

10. With the progressive Makabayan congressmen going along with the Aquino coalition against Arroyo and against Corona, are they not concerned that Aquino is further boosting his popularity and eventually turn this against the revolutionary movement . But of course, the other possibility is that Aquino cannot become any more popular because incompetence and corruption will soon discredit his rule?

JMS: It is easy to understand that Makabayan congressmen and people are very willing to initiate as well as join any action to run after Arroyo and her mates for their crimes. Aquino cannot be allowed to monopolize the credit for running after them and yet fall short of the just expectations of the people. But I think that the progressive congressmen are careful to distinguish themselves from Aquino and remain vigilant and are critical of Aquino’s pro-imperialist and big comprador-landlord agenda.

11. What are the forces of the Left doing to prevent Aquino from using the anti-Arroyo and anti-Corona threatrics to consolidate his power and then push even harder his anti-national and anti-democratic policies against the people?

JMS: The patriotic and progressive forces and people continue to demand that Arroyo and her accomplices be punished for plunder and human rights violations and criticize Aquino for having failed to fulfill his election promise of punishing the plunderers and human rights violators.

At the same time, they are intensifying their efforts to arouse organize and mobilize the people against the pro-imperialist and reactionary policies and acts of the Aquino regime, including the continuance of the neoliberal economic policy, aggravation of underdevelopment, exploitation and poverty, rampant corruption, Oplan Bantay Laya and escalating US military intervention.

12. How much attention should be given to the economic and social problems which are expected to hit the Philippines hard this year?

JMS: We should pay close to the economic and social problems. Even the World Bank has stated in a recent report that the economic and financial crisis will hit the Philippines hard this year. We should encourage and join the masses of working people in rising up against the rotten ruling system and fighting for national and social liberation against the imperialists and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords like Aquino. ###

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Source: http://www.josemariasison.org (http://s.tt/15x6U)

     
 
     
     
     
     

February 4, 2012
BAYAN march to the US embassy in Manila
in commemoration of the 113th anniversary of the Fil-Am War ▼
Photos by BAYAN
 
     
     
     
           
     

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As US troops issue heats up: Bayan tells Aquino to emulate co-celebrant, nationalist Claro M. Recto

News Release
February 8, 2012


The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called on President Benigno Aquino III, who is celebrating his 52nd birthday, to emulate his co-celebrant, the nationalist Claro M. Recto, and to abandon all plans of bringing back more US troops in the Philippines. Recto is celebrating his 122nd birth anniversary today, amid renewed efforts to bring back the US troops and bases that he fought against during his storied political career.
 

Groups belonging to the Junk VFA Movement and Bayan today held a forum at the University of the Philippines, Diliman Claro M. Recto Hall to discuss the plans to bring more US troops into the country.
 

“The Philippine government is upholding what Recto criticized then as a mendicant foreign policy. Aquino is surrendering Philippine sovereignty in exchange for the false promise of modernizing our Armed Forces,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
 

“If the plan doesn’t stop, Aquino may turn out to be worse than Arroyo insofar as the issue of US troops and the VFA is concerned. Arroyo allowed the permanent stationing of 600 US troops in Mindanao. Aquino will allow the return and stationing of thousands of US troops throughout the country,” he added.
 

In his famous speech delivered at the UP commencement exercises in 1951, Recto said that “our foreign policy was conducted from the very beginning, and is being pursued, on the erroneous assumption of an identity of American and Filipino interest or more correctly of the desirability, and even the necessity, of subordinating our interests to those of America,”
 

“Recto’s words ring true even today, especially for Aquino. Aquino believes that Filipino and American economic and security interests in the region are identical. The government also fosters the illusion of mutuality in our relations with the US. The history books will show otherwise,” Reyes said.
Never say goodbye
 

Various news reports quoting Philippine and US sources have pointed out the possibility of “rotating” 4,000 US troops from Okinawa to countries like Australia, the Philippines and to US territory like Hawaii.
 

“Let us not be fooled. The US won’t be here as short-term visitors. They will be here indefinitely as they are trying to compensate for the loss of the Okinawa base. They will never say goodbye,” Reyes said.
 

Bayan explained that the “rotational deployment” may be a means to circumvent the constitutional prohibition of foreign military bases absent a treaty. “The US and PH governments make it appear that the US forces are here for short term visits, but their presence has become permanent as what is happening with the 600 Special Forces in Mindanao,” Reyes said.
 

The United States maintains a vast global network of more than 700 military bases in more than 60 countries worldwide. These are air, land and naval bases complimented by a worldwide web of communication and spy bases. US troops are also deployed in around 156 countries.
 

“The US is making budget cuts on defense spending. Its fiscal crisis is forcing it to scale down on plans such as the expansion of the base in Guam. What it wants now is for its allies like the Philippines to play host to the displaced US troops. They want to shift the burden to us,” Reyes said. ###
 

     
     
           
     

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US military buildup is biggest threat to regional peace – Bayan
Posted on 30 January 2012 by admin

News Release
January 30, 2011


The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called on the Philippine government not to allow the country to be used by the United States in its attempt to strengthen its dominance in Asia. The call came after the US announced it would be stationing more troops in the Philippines to counter the alleged threats from China. The Chinese government has called for peace and stability in the region but state newspaper Global Times has called for sanctions against the Philippine government.
 

“While we may not agree with the call to punish the Philippines, we must also point out that the US military does pose a threat to regional peace. If we think China has tendencies to impose its power in the region, the same can certainly be said of the US which is an even bigger bully. The US wants to encircle China and counter North Korea because they are not wholly subservient to the US,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
 

“We support a peaceful resolution of all maritime and territorial disputes in the region and vehemently oppose the use or threat of force from any party including China. However, once the US military is involved, the disputes will become even more complicated and tensions will rise. The US only cares for its own hegemonic interests and is merely exploiting the weakness of the Philippine government,” Reyes added.
 

Bayan also criticized the Philippine government’s inconsistent reasoning for allowing additional US troop deployment in the country. Initially, the Philippine government said that the added deployment was meant to counter China. It later backtracked and said that the deployment was aimed at modernizing the AFP, with or without the ongoing disputes in the region.
 

“The Philippine government is mistaken on both counts. If the reason is to counter China, then this undermines the prospect of a peaceful resolution of the disputes. If the reason is modernizing the AFP, we don’t see how this could happen if all we are getting are Excess Defense Articles from the US. We have a Mutual Defense Treaty with the US which has been in effect for 60 years but has not led to the modernization of the AFP,” Reyes said.

Disclose results of VFA review
 

Bayan called on the Aquino administration to officially disclose the results of the review it conducted on the Visiting Forces Agreement before entering into any negotiations for additional US troops in the country.
 

“The Aquino government pledged to review the VFA and from the information we received from various sources, the review has been concluded, yet no results have been made public. We have not addressed the problems of the VFA yet here is the Aquino government asking for more US troops to be stationed in the country. Where is the national interest in that?” Reyes asked.
 

“How can the Philippine government justify more US troops when the outstanding problems such as the custody of erring or convicted US soldiers and their permanent stationing in the country are not even discussed?” he added. ###

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Groups protest plans for more US troops in PH

News Release
January 28, 2012


The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today slammed the Philippine and US governments for the ongoing negotiations that aim to put more US troops and ships in the Philippines as part of the US build-up against China. Bayan and its member organization held a protest action today in front of the US embassy and demanded discolusre of the terms of the negotiations while opposing additional US troops.
 

“The US and Philippine governments are reversing the hard-won gains in booting out US bases from our country. They want more US troops to have a permanent and continuing presence, much like during the time of the US bases. They are deceiving the public when they say that US troops will be here on a temporary basis. That’s a big, fat lie,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“If the US troops are here on a temporary and rotational basis, how come they haven’t left Mindanao since 2002? If we allow more US troops to enter our country, the entire archipelago will be transformed into one military outpost for US hegemonic interests. Worse, the VFA does not set a limit on the number of US troops that can enter the Philippine territory,” Reyes added.
 

Prof. Roland Simbulan of the JUNK VFA Movement lamented that talks of additional US troops are underway when government has not addressed the problems with the Visiting Forces Agreement.
“This is an about-face from the position taken by P-Noy when he was senator, reneging on the resolution he signed to review the VFA and if the US ignores it, have the VFA abrogated,” Simbulan said.
 

The International League of People’s Struggle Philippine chapter meanwhile said that the people of Southeast Asia should oppose US expansionism and bulllying. “The US, not China, is the biggest bully around. The US is the biggest threat to world peace, having launched two major wars over the past ten years. US military presence is not a detterent to war. US presence here adds tension to the region,” the group said.
 

Reyes said that the Philippine government is either naïve or ignorant when it believes that US troop presence will help our claims over the West Philippine Sea.
 

“It is so obvious that the US is merely playing-up the China-card and the Spratly’s issue so they can get a better foothold on this region. The US doesn’t care for our interests. They only care for their own economic, political and military agenda,” Reyes said.
 

“Let’s not put a price tag on our sovereignty and national interest. The Aquino government is so easily swayed and dictated upon by the promise of US miiitary junk and second-hand equipment,” he added.

 

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Washington Post article reveals ongoing US, PH negotiations for more US troops, ships in Philippines

News Release
January 26, 2012


The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today expressed alarm over a Washington Post article publisehd on January 26 which revealed that negotiations are underway between Manila and Washington on the increased presence and access of US troops in the Philippines. The article entitled “Philippines may allow greater U.S. military presence in reaction to China’s rise” was written by Craig Whitlock and appears on the following link .
 

“Although negotiations are in the early stages, officials from both governments said they are favorably inclined toward a deal. They are scheduled to intensify the discussions Thursday and Friday in Washington before higher-level meetings in March. If an arrangement is reached, it would follow other recent agreements to base thousands of U.S. Marines in northern Australia and to station Navy warships in Singapore,” the article said.
 

“Among the options under consideration are operating Navy ships from the Philippines, deploying troops on a rotational basis and staging more frequent joint exercises. Under each scenario, U.S. forces would effectively be guests at existing foreign bases,” it added.
 

“Philippine officials said they favor allowing the United States to deploy more troops or ships, as long as they rotate periodically or are considered temporary. Neither Philippine nor Obama administration officials would rule out a return by U.S. ships or forces to Subic Bay,” the article said.
 

A senior PH official was quoted as saying that the Philippine is not alone in embracing more US military

presence saying that “Nobody wants to have to face China or confront China.”
 

The article also reveals that both the US and PH governments are sensitive that the moves may be construed as the return of Cold War-era US bases. The Philippine official said that it hopes to meet the objective of increased US military presence sans “political friction”.
 

Two decades ago, the PH senate booted out the US bases from the Philippines. There is a constitutional ban on foreign bases sans any treaty ratified by both countries. US troops however are able to stay in the Philippines under the very vague Visiting Forces Agreement. Bayan has protested the decade-long deployment and basing of US troops in Mindanao.
 

Bayan opposes more US troops, return of bases
 

Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said that the Washington Post article confirms the group’s fears of increased US troop presence and return of virtual US bases in the country. The group warned of this after the US revealed its new defense strategy last January 3. He said that the Aquino government will be answerable to the people and to Congress should it enter into a “virtual basing agreement” with the US.
“The revelation comes in the wake of recent high profile visits to the Philippines by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman of the powerful US Armed Services Committee. The question now is: Does the Aquino government plan to keep these negotiations secret? Will we be simply surpirsed that US troops are returning en masse to the country and reclaiming Subic?” Reyes said.
 

“With the new US defense strategy in place, and with the mendicant and pliant PH foreign policy carried over from the Arroyo regime, there will be more US troops in our country, in violation of our national sovereignty. We should not allow our country to be a military outpost of the US for the latter’s hegemonic interests. The Aquino government must say NO to more US troops and demand the pull-out of the US forces based in Mindanao for about a decade now,” he added.
 

Bayan called on the Philippine Senate to probe DFA officials on the status of the negotiations. The Senate has oversight on the implementation of the VFA.
 

“Clearly the PH and US officials involved in the negotiations aim to circumvent the constitution by making it appear that the US troops are here on a rotational and temporary basis, quite similar to what they are doing in Mindanao. We believe that is still virtual basing that violates the constituion and our national sovereignty. The US troops in Mindanao have been here for a decade yet the US and PH governments still consider them ‘visitors’ deployed on a ‘temporary’ basis,” Reyes said.
 

“On the question of China, having US troops surround the Philippines is not an assurance of peace in the region. Quite the contrary, it will only serve to provoke China and increase tensions in the region,” he added.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
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Manifestation on the Increased US Military Presence and Intervention
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luz C. Ilagan
08 February 2012

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues:

Over the weekend, the AFP reported successful airstrikes in Sulu which led to the deaths of three suspected leaders of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror network and their supporters.

I was alarmed however, to read an article by the Zamboanga-based publication, Mindanao Examiner which reported the airstrike to have been “US-led” and that an unmanned US drone supposedly helped track down the targets. Yet another article quoting the Wall Street Journal reports US defense plans to increase the US fleet of armed unmanned aircraft by 30% in the coming years.

If reports are true, then US troops are participating in and conducting operations beyond what is allowed in the Visiting Forces Agreement and directly transgress our sovereignty.

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues these developments come at the heels of President Benigno Aquino III’s decision allowing heightened US military presence in the Philippines. This also coincides with reports of the US government’s plan to send about 4,500 U.S. Marines stationed in Japan to Guam and to rotate an additional 4,000 through Australia, Subic Bay and perhaps a smaller base in the Philippines and Hawaii.

The Philippine government’s decision to kowtow to the US government’s militarist plans in the region has sparked disquiet on the part of our neighbor, China who views this move as an attempt by the US government to interfere in the Spratly territorial dispute. This decision likewise sparked disquiet among our constituents, women, who have witnessed how US military presence translates to increased violence, prostitution and human rights abuses.

We in Gabriela Women’s Party believe that President Aquino has made this decision without the benefit of a review or study of the impact of US military presence in the Philippines. Certainly, the decision to escalate US military presence and activity is an ill-timed and imprudent decision reflective of this administration’s failure to learn from lessons past.

Early into the President’s term, he supposedly ordered a review of the Visiting Forces Agreement. We have yet to hear from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defense. The Presidential Commission on the VFA has yet to give its recommendations following a supposed review of the VFA. Meanwhile the House Joint Resolution 7, which this representation co-authored with my colleagues from the Makabayan progressive bloc, calling for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement has been pending with the Committee on National Defense and Security since August 2010.

Higit na kapahamakan kaysa kapakinabangan ang ihahatid ng karagdagang presensya ng mga sundalong Amerikano sa ating bansa. We have long witnessed the social ills that come with their presence, including increased prostitution, sex trafficking and sexually transmitted diseases; as well as the countless cases of human rights violations ranging from the deaths of individuals, the rape of women and the closure of public facilities leading to the denial of much needed social services.

Since the VFA was approved in 1999, several violations of US soldiers have been reported. These include the shooting of Buyong-buyong Isnijal by American soldier Reggie Lane in Basilan in 2002, the closing of the Panamao District Hospital in Sulu allegedly ordered by US soldiers led by a Master Sergeant Ron Berg in 2007. We have witnessed injustice with the acquittal of the Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith after an obvious manipulation between the Philippine and US governments. Yet again in 2009, a 21-year old Filipina came forward after having been raped by a US military personnel from Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG)/ Balikatan. These are just the reported cases and probably many more remain hidden from public's knowledge.

Let us be reminded that there have been countless violations, including their active combat participation yet no sanctions have been imposed. There is no question that the VFA is not a mutually beneficial agreement. Pursuing its implementation certainly poses more harm than good.

Thank you and good afternoon.

 

     
           
January 28, 2012
Groups protest plans for more US troops in PH ▼
Photos by BAYAN
     

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Media Release
08 February 2012

Workers oppose deployment of more US troops in PH

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno expressed today its opposition to the US’s plan, revealed by a Bloomberg news report, to station troops currently in Guam and Japan to the Philippines and other countries, saying the move is in accordance with the US’ geopolitical plan and not with the country’s interests.

The Feb. 3 Bloomberg report says that US Pres. Barack Obama will stop a plan, costing by as much as P21.1 Billion, to expand US presence in Guam and will instead temporarily station 4,000 Marines in Australia, Hawaii, Subic Bay and another part of the country.

An estimated 3,300 troops will be stationed in the said countries, in a temporary basing scheme known as “rotation.”

“The US wants to maintain its military presence in the Philippines and the whole of Asia-Pacific to militarily contain China while trying to reduce its military spending. Contrary to the Aquino government’s propaganda, the US is doing this not to defend the Philippines but to uphold its military and economic interests in the region,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“It was the modernization of the military which the US promised in exchange for maintaining the US bases in the country for decades. It is plain to see that the US failed to modernize the country’s military and was only trying to fool us with the aid of previous governments,” he added.

KMU said the indefinite stay of between 500 and 600 US troops in Mindanao since Jan. 2002 runs counter even to the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement, which it said is merely an excuse for permanent basing by US troops in the country.

“This rotation scheme is another attempt to circumvent the 1987 Constitution’s provision saying no foreign bases will be allowed in the country without a treaty approved by the legislature. The US wants to avail of the existing Visiting Forces Agreement despite the fact that its military troops are not visiting forces anymore, but are permanently basing in the country,” Labog said.

“Our country’s sovereignty and Constitution are being trampled on right before our eyes. Because of the Aquino government’s collusion with the US, the country is being treated like a colonial outpost, with the US deciding unilaterally to widen and extend US military presence in the country,” he added.

“We are calling on all nation-loving Filipino workers and people to resist the entry of more US troops into the country and to call for the removal of those still stationed in the country,” he said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597

 

 
           

Press Release
4 February 2012

In commemoration of the Filipino-American War
Liza Maza of International Women's Alliance warns:
Increased US military presence to boost prostitution and sex trafficking of Filipinas

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) raised alarm over the United States’ policy to increase military presence in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region under “America's Pacific Century” project. This renewed drive to militarize the region involves the deployment of more US troops and war materiel and the acquisition of more facilities and access for military exercises, rapid deployment of forces and expansion of basing rights.

IWA Chairperson and former Gabriela Women's Party representative said, “The heightened US military presence will increase prostitution and sex trafficking of Filipinas within and outside the Philippine borders.” She added that, “Already Filipinas along with Russian women comprise the majority of foreign “entertainers” working in so-called juicy bars near the US bases in South Korea. Many Filipinas likewise work as “singers” and “dancers” in entertainment bars around the US bases in Okinawa and mainland Japan.”

IWA noted that where there is US military presence, there is proliferation of the rest and recreation industry where prostitution and sex trafficking thrive. This was the Philippine experience with the US bases in Angeles and Olongapo, where an estimated 55,000 prostituted women had been documented in 1981-85. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand also had a boom in military prostitution with the entry of US military troops. Prostitution in Thailand, for instance, escalated during the 1960s when the United States set up bases for the Vietnam War.

 

 

According to IWA, the abolition of the US-Philippine Military Bases Agreement in 1991 did nothing to stop the prostitution and sex trafficking of women, because the Visiting Forces Agreement ensured the continued presence of American soldiers in the country and thus of the continued victimization of women, especially those from the rural areas.


Maza also criticized the use of the Spratlys issue as justification for the militarization of the region. She said that the US government’s claim of a “pivot shift” in military focus from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region is a desperate move to resuscitate its ailing economy which never really recovered from the economic and financial crisis since 2008. As US Secretary of the State Hilary Clinton said in her speech at the APEC leaders' week in Hawaii in November 2011, “Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia.”

The deployment of troops and battleships which is short of reinstalling permanent bases in the Philippines and other countries in the Asia Pacific region, is to secure available opportunities for the US on investments, trade and technology against any and all forms of resistance from the people. The shift, therefore, serves only the interest of the United States and not of the people. In fact, it is a dangerous move that posts very serious threats on the lives and livelihood of the already poverty-stricken people in the Asia Pacific region.

Maza also slammed the Benigno Aquino government for allowing the US government to intervene with its foreign policy. “The President should stop being a US government puppet and learn to make independent decisions based on what is good for the Filipino people and not for Uncle Sam,” the IWA Chair said.

     

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Oppose special facilities for rotational docking of American warships and spy planes--CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
February 08, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on the Filipino people to oppose negotiations between the US and Philippine governments to set up special facilities for the rotational docking of American naval warships, unloading of US soldiers and basing of US spy planes. The plans are a component of the US drive to expand its military presence in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region.


The CPP assailed such plans, saying they were “tantamount to setting up US military bases in outright contempt of the Filipino people’s long historic struggles to defend and uphold Philippine sovereignty and rid the country of foreign military bases."

The matter is among the top concerns to be taken up in scheduled talks between the US and Philippine governments following the recently concluded Strategic Defense Dialogue (SDD) held January 26-28 in Washington D.C. The US government is awaiting proposals by the Aquino government on where to set up these special facilities.

The CPP urged the Filipino people to demand disclosure of the details of these negotiations, citing concerns on national sovereignty. “The Filipino people must demand an end to the secrecy that cloaks such military and security negotiations between the US and Philippine governments.”

“The Filipino people must resist the Aquino government’s subservience to the hegemonic aims of the US government to secure its military dominance in the Asia-Pacific region. The regime has served as a willing tool in accomodating the US strategy of maintaining permanent military presence in the country and making use of the Philippines as a base of its power-projection operations to contain China,” added the CPP.

The CPP called on the Filipino people to take firm hold of their aspirations for national sovereignty. "They must untiringly reiterate and struggle to oppose the permanent presence and basing of US military troops in the Philippines. They must push forward with their demand for the abrogation of the 1956 Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement.

They must vigorously demand the pullout of the 600-strong Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) of the US Pacific Command from its base inside the headquarters of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command in Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City, the expanded presence of American soldiers in the Western Command in Palawan, the increasing rotational docking of American military warships in Manila and elsewhere and the participation of American military troops in counter-guerrilla operations in the Philippines.

 

http://philippinerevolution.net/statements/oppose-special-facilities-for-rotational-docking-of-american-warships-and-spy-planes-cpp

 

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Aquino puppetry, US military intervention incites people's patriotism and armed revolution--CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
February 01, 2012
Focus topics: Fight US intervention!, Oppose counter-revolution!

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today lambasted demands by the Philippine government for the New People’s Army (NPA) to surrender its weapons, even as it reiterated its calls for the intensification of tactical offensives to punish the Aquino regime’s national treachery.
 

“It is completely moronic for the Aquino regime’s chief negotiator Alex Padilla to think that the revolutionary forces will heed his call for them to cease their offensives, lay down their weapons and negotiate for surrender,” said the CPP. “Such a proposal by the chief peace negotiator of the Aquino regime betrays the reactionary government’s total disregard for the political and socio-economic issues that lie at the roots of the raging civil war in the Philippines.”
 

“In the face of the Aquino regime’s national treachery and total submission to US imperialism and allowing the US government to use the Philippines as one big American base in its its aim of asserting economic, political and military hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region, the Filipino people have no other recourse but to wage armed revolution and mass struggles in order to uphold national freedom and fight for sovereignty,” said the CPP.
 

In an earlierstatement, the CPP called on the NPA to “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.” It condemned the Aquino regime for acting as a pawn in the US imperialist drive to provoke tension in the South China Sea and justify the deployment of more American warships for power-projection operations in the region."
 

Security and defense officials of the US had met with representatives of the Aquino government in Washington on January 26-28 in the so-called Strategic Defense Dialogue. During the meeting, the Aquino regime agreed to allow more and more American naval warships to dock in the Philippines, participate in more “joint military exercises” particularly in the South China Sea region, allow the US to fly more drone surveillance aircraft in Philipine airspace, continue the permanent presence of the 600-strong US Joint Special Operations Task Force based in Zamboanga City and allow more US soldiers to operate within the scope of the AFP’s Western Command in Palawan.
 

Such increased US military operations in the Philippines are being carried out within the framework of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. The US also seeks to increase its military aid to the AFP to enable it to upgrade its arsenal, particularly naval military equipment, to serve more effectively US needs to project power and patrol the South China Sea.
 

The US military is also active in the AFP’s war to suppress the people’s revolutionary resistance and advises the Philippine military in line with the Counter-insurgency Guide issued in 2009 by the US Department of Defense.

 

http://philippinerevolution.net/statements/aquino-puppetry-us-military-intervention-incites-people-s-patriotism-and-armed-revolution-cpp

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Resist US military intervention and Aquino's puppetry

ANG BAYAN
7 February 2012

The recently concluded Strategic Defense Dialogue (SDD) held January 26-28 in Washington D.C. signals the intensification of US military intervention in the Philippines and the entire Asia-Pacific. It also marks the heightened use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by the US to pursue its objective of suppressing China and becoming the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific region. Simultaneously, the US aims for tighter control over Philippine economic and political affairs.

The Philippines has long been serving as one big US military base, where American troops are able to enter and leave any part of the country at will. For the past 15 years or so, the 600-strong Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines has been permanently stationed in an exclusive area within Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. These American troops have long been involved in surveillance and civil-military operations and providing combat and logistical support to AFP counter-guerrilla military operations.

US military intervention and hegemony over the Philippines are to be stepped up even further under the Aquino regime. Benigno Aquino III is proving himself to be a most obedient puppet of US imperialism.

Aquino plays to the hilt his US-assigned role in the media psywar offensive to portray China as a bully that is out to grab Philippine territory. The media portrayal is meant to justify US military presence ostensibly to strengthen Philippine defenses.

In reality, the US is using the Philippines as a launching pad for its operations in the South China Sea, a major trade route it wants to control. The two vintage warships sold by the US to the AFP are being used in support of the US' anti-China objectives.

US warships have also been conducting more frequent patrols and docking more often in the Philippines. Aside from the Philippines, the US maintains military bases, treaties or arrangements with Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia. By maintaining its presence in these countries, the US is able to rapidly deploy its forces anywhere in the Asia-Pacific.

Joint military exercises between the AFP and US troops will also be held more often to make the Philippine puppet government's military priorities hew closer to those of the US. More and more American troops have been given access to the AFP Western Command headquarters as preparations are underway for the this year's Balikatan exercises to be held off the western coast of Palawan.

The Aquino regime does not even bother to make a pretense of defending the nation's sovereignty against US military intervention and hegemony. Its puppetry and treachery to the national interest are without bounds. It has no independent foreign policy to speak of and presumes that Philippine national interest is synonymous to the US' ultranationalist interest of seekng worldwide hegemony. On its master's bidding, the Aquino regime considers the US' enemies as its own. It deprives the Filipino people of the right and the initiative to forge alliances and friendships based on mutual benefit and interest.

Also in accordance with US-imposed policies, the Aquino regime perpetuates the failed neoliberal economic policies of the last 30 years. It continues to allow foreign big capitalists to lord it over the local economy, depress workers' wages and use the state to guarantee foreign profits and provide tax holidays and other incetives. Big landlords, foreign big mining companies and plantations continue to enjoy a monopoly over land ownership and seize farmers' lands.

It is the toiling masses of peasants and workers, the unemployed, small wage-earners and other ordinary people who continue to bear the brunt of the increasingly onerous effects of liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization and the Aquino regime's failure to implement land reform and national industrialization.

Plans are also afoot to complete the economic recolonization of the Philippines through the removal of provisions in the 1987 constitution that advance and protect the national patrimony.

To defend national sovereignty and ensure a progressive and democratic future, the Filipino people are faced with the urgent task of heightening their struggle against US military interventionism and economic domination, and against the puppetry and allout treachery of the Aquino regime.

They must demand an end to unequal agreements with US imperialism such as the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Forces 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 to further intensify the people's war and heighten tactical offensives against the AFP 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 urge them to assert their aspirations for national liberation.

 

http://philippinerevolution.net/statements/labanan-ang-panghihimasok-militar-ng-us-at-pagpapakatuta-ni-aquino

 

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Transfer of US naval cutter to Philippines stoking Spratly conflict--CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
February 09, 2012
Focus topics: Fight US intervention!
 

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the US government is further heightening tension over the Spratly islands issue and provoking a military conflict in the South China Sea region by deploying another naval cutter to the Philippines to help augment its power projection operations in the region.
 

Yesterday, officials of the US congress announced that its Foreign Relations Committee is about to wrap up its decision to transfer the US naval cutter Dallas by the end of the week and plan to sail it to the Philippines soon thereafter. The naval cutter Dallas was commissioned by the US Coast Guard in 1967. It is being “sold” to the Philippine armed forces under the Excess Defense Articles program of the US.
 

“The transfer of another naval cutter from the US government serves the purpose of US military buildup in the South China Sea,” said the CPP. “Through such, the US is able to employ the Philippine Navy as an augmentation force in the course of its operations to permanently project its military presence and power in the area and secure the trade routes and Asian markets in the interest of US monopoly capitalist companies.”
 

The upcoming transfer of the US naval cutter is part of the US-directed and -supported modernization program of the AFP. Defense and security officials of the US and Philippine governments have been negotiating for the transfer of several F-16 fighter jets and other war materiél from the US EDA program.
 

“By acquiring the US naval cutters and manning it to serve US interests, the Aquino regime is making the Philippines a possible target of the potential enemies of the US, whether China or another imperialist country or emerging capitalist power which may put its foot forward in challenging US control of sea lanes, markets and sources of raw materials in the Asia-Pacific region,” added the CPP.
 

“Officials of the Aquino regime are fooling the Filipino people when they claim that the purchase of the aging naval cutter has nothing to do with the brewing US conflict with China and that it seeks only to beef up the naval defense capabilities of the Philippines,” said the CPP. “In the first place, the US government allows only the transfer of its excess military equipment to other countries when such serves the purpose of US national security and foreign policy objectives.”
 

“Long before the Aquino government made noise over the Spratly islands, security and military officials of the US have been proposing the transfer of US naval and air capabilities to the Philippines in view of what it has long perceived as the threat of the growth of China as an economic and political power,” said the CPP.

 

http://philippinerevolution.net/statements/transfer-of-us-naval-cutter-to-philippines-stoking-spratly-conflict-cpp

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           


US to move Marines from Japan to Guam, PH: reports

www.abs-cbnnews.com

TOKYO - Tokyo and Washington have agreed to move 4,700 Marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to Guam in a bid to revive a stalled plan for the realignment of US forces in Japan, reports said Sunday.

 

The Yanks are coming back

globalnation.inquirer.net

The United States plans to send 4,500 Marines currently stationed in Japan to Guam and to rotate an additional 4,000 troops “through Australia, Hawaii, Subic Bay, and perhaps a smaller base in the Philippines,” according to a Bloomberg News report.

 
   
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