Saturday, May 11, 2024

CPP/Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis: Various groups hold protest on Balikatan 39-24's last day

Ang Bayan Daily News and Analysis propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) Website (May 10, 2024): Various groups hold protest on Balikatan 39-24's last day

This article is available in Pilipino

May 10, 2024

Various groups burned the US imperialist flag in front of the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City today, May 10. This is part of their protest against the US-launched Balikatan 39-24 joined by AFP forces. The protest coincided with the closing ceremony of Balikatan which was being held inside the camp.

Balikatan 39-24 was launched on April 22. This series is the 39th iteration since it was first launched in the 1990s. Balikatan 39-24 is considered the largest in history with 11,000 American soldiers and 5,000 Filipino troops participating. Military officials representing 14 other foreign countries also entered the country to participate and observe.

“This Balikatan is a symbol, a clear example of direct US intervention in our country. It provides no benefit to our people, it’s a disruption, a social scourge,” Raymond Palatino, general secretary of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said. He insisted that this squanders billions of pesos from public funds with absolutely no benefit to the Filipino people.

The groups also condemned the disruption of the livelihoods of the communities affected by the war games and the environmental destruction due to bombings. Among them is the ban on fisherfolk from fishing off the coast of Palawan and the western provinces of Luzon due to the live-fire exercises of Balikatan. Thousands of fisherfolk have been without income for weeks.

Palatino says Balikatan has long been used to keep the AFP’s dependence and mendicancy for rotten and outdated weapons and military equipment from the imperialist country. He added, these weapons “are used for violence, for bombing our communities.”

They also condemned the imperialist US for supporting Zionist Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people and ravaging Gaza. “The weapons and bombs that come from the US are used [in Gaza],” Palatino stressed. While the US and Filipino military forces are allegedly being trained in the detonation and use of war weaponry in the Philippines, similar weapons are killing thousands in Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

“We do not want the country to be used as a staging ground by the US for its imperialist agenda in Asia and in other parts of the world. The government of Marcos Jr, instead of addressing the issue of the people—hunger, [dealing with] El NiƱo, national poverty — prioritizes foreign interests, especially the imperialist US,” he emphasized.

Palatino also called for the continuation of propaganda and education campaigns to expose the crimes of US imperialism in the country, especially with the upcoming 25th anniversary of the signing of the Visiting Forces Agreement by the Philippine Government with the US on May 27.

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