Thursday, April 7, 2016

CPP/NDF: US Balikatan forces to speed up construction of military bases

Posted to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Website (Apr 4): US Balikatan forces to speed up construction of military bases

Communist Party of the Philippines | April 4, 2016

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Balikatan 2016 exercises through which the US military is deploying large numbers of troops and equipment to speed-up the construction of US military bases and facilities agreed upon under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The US military has deployed almost 5,000 US soldiers for the Balikatan 2016 exercises scheduled for April 4-16. Besides bringing along modern US weapons of mass destruction for exhibition, promotion and forward deployment, it has also deployed an army of backhoes and bulldozers that will help speed up the construction of five US military facilities.

The presence of thousands of US soldiers with their warships, jetfighters and weapons systems in the Philippines constitute a gross violation of Philippine sovereignty and is a slap in the face of freedom-loving Filipinos.

The US government carries out with impunity such gross violation of Philippine sovereignty through such unequal treaties as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the EDCA and the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

The Balikatan 2016 exercises are being held a few weeks after security and defense officials of the US and Aquino regime agreed to have the US military setup military bases initially inside five Philippine military camps.

US bases are set to be built inside Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay in Palayan, Nueva Ecija; Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro; and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu. The US military is eyeing at least three more bases.

US officials claim that the large number of construction equipment brought along by the US military will be used in humanitarian and civil works. Surely, these equipment will be used beyond the publicity-stunt construction and repair of three elementary school buildings in certain towns of Capiz and Iloilo.

The CPP further condemns the US and Aquino regime for using disaster-response and humanitarian aid as pretext to heighten US military intervention and further entrench the US military in the country.

The US government is militarizing humanitarian work wherein interventionist troops with large-scale weapons systems are put at the front line of rescue and relief operations, subjecting such operations to military conflict, thus, further endangering the lives of people.

By deploying its military in disaster response, the US is virtually hindering other countries which it may be in conflict with to deploy their own agencies and resources for humanitarian assistance.

The US government wishes to strenghten its military foothold in the Philippines in order to continue using the country as a large base for the forward deployment of its military forces and assets in line with its hegemonic “Asia pivot” to secure for itself the trade routes, sources of cheap labor and areas for investments in the Asia-Pacific countries.

With the Aquino regime, the US has been provoking China to become more aggressive by deploying its war machinery around the South China Sea.

By having its military forces permanently stationed in the Philippines, the US seeks to suppress the national liberation movement being carried forward by the CPP and other revolutionary forces. American military advisers have been directing the local armed forces in waging counter-guerrilla warfare arming soldiers with its surplus weaponry, deploying surveillance drones and other tactical equipment, providing logistical support and having its forces engage in actual combat operations.

With the planned five US military bases and increased deployment of US troops in the Philippines, anti-imperialist forces must amplify the Filipino people’s demand for the immediate abrogation of the VFA , EDCA and MDT and for an end to construction by US forces inside the military camps. Direct increasingly large demonstrations against US bases in these camps of the AFP.

The New People’s Army must contribute to the struggle against US military intervention and US military bases by, among others, directing tactical offensives against the host camps and the treacherous armed forces that provide perimeter security to the interventionist troops.

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