Archive | April, 2012

Isulong ang tunay na nasyunalismo! Ipaglaban ang pambansang demokrasya!

Posted on 30 April 2012 by admin

Pahayag ni Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, Tagapangulo ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) para sa paggunita sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa, Mayo 1, 2012

Rebolusyunaryong pagpupugay para sa mga dakilang manggagawang Pilipino at sa lahat ng mga manggagawa sa buong daigdig ang ipinaaabot ng Bayan at ng lahat ng balangay nito sa loob at labas ng bansa sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa!

Maaga pa lamang, natunton na natin si Pangulong Aquino bilang bagong kinatawan ng naghaharing uri – ng mga panginoong maylupa, ng mga malaking burgesya kumprador, at ng mga burukrata kapitalista – sa nabubulok na lipunang Pilipino. Gayundin, inilantad na natin si Aquino bilang bagong tuta ng imperyalismong US.

Pinatunayan mismo ni Aquino ang reaksyunaryong katangian ng kanyang rehimen. Mula nang maging Pangulo, ipinakita niya kung kaninong interes ang kanyang pinagsisilbihan, at kung sino ang kanyang totoong boss – hindi ang manggagawa, hindi ang mamamayang Pilipino, kundi ang malalaking kumprador kapitalista’t panginoong maylupa, at higit pa, ang kanyang tunay na among imperyalismong Kano.

Kaya akma ang tema ng ating paggunita sa Araw ng Paggawa ngayong taon – Labanan ang inutil sa masa, papet, at pasistang rehimeng US-Aquino!

Labanan dahil tayo ay walang habas na inaatake ng rehimeng ito.

At isa sa pinakamatinding atake ni Aquino sa mamamayang Pilipino ay ang walang hiyang pagkakanulo nito sa soberanya ng bansa. Para sa iba nating mga kababayan, marahil nakakagulat ang ganitong pahayag. Paanong inaatake ni Aquino ang pambansang soberanya gayung mukhang agresibo ito sa pagtatanggol sa Panatag Shoal at Kalayaan Islands laban sa panghihimasok ng China? Hindi ba’t makabayan si Aquino?

Ito ay malaking ilusyon!

Si Aquino ang pinakamatapat na tuta ng imperyalismong US. Nakikipagsabwatan ito sa US at ginagamit ang tensyon sa China para bigyang-katwiran ang mas malaking presensya at interbensyong militar ng US sa Pilipinas at sa Asya Pasipiko. Nag-iilusyon ito sa pag-aakalang dedepensahan ng US ang bansa sa ilalim ng inutil na Mutual Defense Treaty.

Tandaan nating ang galaw ng US ay kalkulado ayon sa imperyalistang mga layunin nito sa rehiyon. Sa gitna ng kinakaharap nitong napakatinding krisis, habol ng US na lalong pumiga ng supertubo sa murang lakas paggawa, yamang likas, at merkado sa mga bansa sa daigdig. Kaya kung sa hanayan ng mga bansang nais dambungin at kontrolin ng US, di hamak na mas mahalaga para rito ang China, sa simpleng lawak at laki nito. Ginagamit lamang ng US ang Pilipinas para sa estratehiko’t taktikal na layunin nito sa China habang handang-handa itong makipagkaisa sa naghaharing uri sa China para sa pagsasamantala sa mamamayang Tsino at sa lahat ng mamamayan sa Asya Pasipiko.

Pero nag-aambisyon ang mga naghaharing-uri ng papalakas na kapitalistang bansang China na maging dominanteng kapangyarihan ito sa rehiyon, kundi man sa daigdig. Pinalalakas nito ang kanyang militar para ipagtanggol ang kanyang ipinagpapalagay na teritoryo at labanan ang anumang banta ng panghihimasok ng mga imperyalistang kapangyarihan, pangunahin ang US. Iginigiit nito ang kanyang posisyon sa Panatag Shoal at Kalayaan Islands.

Kaya ang banggaan ay banggaan ng US at China para sa kanya-kanyang sariling interes ng kanilang mga naghaharing uri. Pero sa halip na kilalanin ang ganitong katangian ng tunggalian ng US at China, buong-buong itinaya ni Aquino ang pambansang interes sa imperyalistang adyenda ng gobyerno ng US.

Habang ipinapanawagan nito ang pagsusulong daw ng diplomatikong pamamaraan para resolbahin ang tensyon, naglulunsad naman ito ng mga ehersisyong militar katuwang ang US, kabilang sa karagatan kung saan nandoon ang sigalot. Ginagatungan nito ang banta ng gera habang nagpapanggap na para sa kapayapaan at pagkakaisa sa rehiyon.

Habang sinasabi ng rehimeng Aquino na dapat gamitin ang mga pandaigdigan at panrehiyong mga institusyon para ayusin ang gulo, panay ang takbo nito kay Uncle Sam upang makakuha ng mga pahayag at pangako ng pagkampi sa Pilipinas. Higit pa, bigay-todo ang gobyernong Aquino sa mga pabor sa US tulad ng pagpayag sa mas malaking bilang ng mga tropa at gamit-pandigma ng Kano sa teritoryo ng Pilipinas, pagdaos ng mas malalaki’t mas madadalas na ehersisyong militar, at tuwirang pakikisangkot ng US sa kampanyang kontra-insurhensya laban sa anti-imperyalistang New People’s Army.

Paglapastangan ito sa mga Nicole, mga Gregan Cardeño, mga Ahbam Juhurin, at sa marami pang ibang biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao ng mga tropang Amerikano! Pagyurak ito sa soberanya ng bansa! Payag ang rehimeng Aquino na magpatuloy na mistulang isang malaking base militar ang buong bansa sa pamamagitan ng VFA at iba pang tratadong makaisang-panig.

Ginagatungan ng matinding krisis ng imperyalismo ang agawan ng mga teritoryo’t rekurso sa daigdig.
Kaya ngayon, higit kailanman, kailangan ang pagiging makabayan ng mga manggagawa’t mamamayang Pilipino sa larangan ng ekonomya, pulitika’t patakarang panlabas.

Pero hindi ito ang makitid at mababaw na patriyotismong nag-aanyaya ng di kinakailangang gera kontra sa China habang ibinebenta sa US ang pambansang kalayaan. Hindi ito ang patriyotismong sumisigaw na ipagtanggol ang teritoryo ng Pilipinas laban sa panghihimasok ng China habang walang habas na ibinebenta sa imperyalistang pandarambong ang yamang likas at mga manggagawa ng bansa.

Ipokrito ang pagiging makabayan ni Aquino at mga alipores nito kasama na ang huwad na makabayan na partylist ng Akbayan. Maingay sila laban sa China pero tahimik sa pagpasok ng libu-libong sundalong Kano. Maingay sila laban sa China pero tahimik, at ang totoo’y sunud-sunuran pa nga, sa pagpapatupad ng mga imperyalistang dikta sa ekonomya’t pulitika ng Pilipinas.

Simula bukas, idaraos sa bansa ang malaking pulong ng Asian Development Bank – imperyalistang bangko na nagbaon sa Pilipinas sa utang habang ibinebenta sa mga dambuhalang dayuhang negosyo ang pambansang patrimonya – ang ating yamang mineral, yamang enerhiya, pagkain, at marami pang iba. VIP treatment ang pasalubong sa ADB ni Aquino, sa ADB na matagal nang nilalapastangan ang ating ekonomya’t kalayaan! Salubungin natin ng malakas na protesta ang pulong ng ADB!

Si Aquino’y tuta ng imperyalismo! Hindi makabayan kundi taksil sa interes ng mamamayang Pilipino!

Dapat pangunahan ng mga manggagawang Pilipino, kasama ang mga magsasaka, kabataan, kababaihan, katutubo, mga propesyunal, maliliit na negosyante, at ng lahat ng inaapi’t pinagsasamantalahan ng imperyalismo na isulong ang tunay na pagiging makabayan!

Isulong natin ang patriyotismong laban sa lahat ng porma ng dayuhang panghihimasok!

Yakapin natin at isabuhay ang nasyunalismong magtatatag ng isang bansang tunay na may demokrasya’t kalayaan!

Panghawakan at ipagtagumpay natin ang pambansa demokratikong pakikibaka ng mamamayang Pilipino!

Mabuhay ang mga manggagawang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang mga manggagawa sa buong daigdig! (end)

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Posted on 30 April 2012 by admin

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Protests at DFA and US embassy as PH-US defense talks begin in Washington

Posted on 30 April 2012 by admin

News Release

April 30, 2012

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today staged a protest action today at the start of top-level talks between the Philippine and United States government in Washington. The talks are expected to focus on defense cooperation between the two countries. The protest started at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pasay before proceeding to the US embassy in Manila. At the DAFT, Bayan placed a mock seal that called the department an adjunct of the US State Department.

The historic talks are taking place amid a dispute between China and the Philippines over a shoal west of the Philippines. The two countries have sent boats to the disputed area. Bayan has opposed Chinese incursions in Philippine territory but is more wary of US maneuvers in the region.

“Even before the dispute at Piñata Shoal, the US has been planning to increase its military presence in the Philippines in accordance with its new strategy of rebalancing its forces towards the Asia-Pacific. The latest PH-China dispute is being exploited by the US in further justifying its permanent military presence in our country,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The PH government has allowed itself to be hoodwinked by the promise of assistance from the US in the ongoing dispute. This is of course nothing but a sweet talking imperial power trying to take advantage of a situation for its own agenda. The US will milk this for all its worth, especially since it can set the stage for the setting up of virtual bases in the Philippines,” he added.

The US is seeking increased presence in the Philippines through more frequent military exercises, the rotational deployment of troops such as the 600 Special Forces in Mindanao, more frequent port calls by US warships and unhampered access to former US bases such as Subic.

Bayan has suspected that the US and Philippines may renew and expand their Mutual Logistics Support Agreement which is expected to expire on November 2012.

The Philippines meanwhile is clinging on to the promise of increased military aid through the Mutual Defense Treaty. However, Foreign Military Financing from the US to the Philippines has decreased over the past two years, presumably because of the current US fiscal crisis.

“The US immediately coming to the defense of the Philippines against China is a pipe dream. There is no automatic retaliation provision in the Mutual Defense Treaty. The US will have to go through its own constitutional processes before undertaking any military action. The US will not likely go to war with China over the Piñata Shoal, not when the US economy is so intertwined with China’s economy,”

Reyes said.

“In the end, the US will be able to position its troops and warships while the Philippines get crumbs. This is proof of the one-sided character of our treaties with the US. The MDT and the VIA primarily serve US interests,” he added. ###

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Silverio Compound: A fight for the right to live

Posted on 27 April 2012 by admin

The Silverio Compound demolition in Parañaque City was the most brutal in recent memory, leaving at least one dead and some 36 hurt, mostly by gunshot wounds. Some 33 residents and protesters were also arrested, including seven minors and two women. Twenty-nine of them were eventually charged with resistance and disobedience to a person in authority and disturbance of public order. While some of the wounded were brought to various hospitals, many others refused to seek proper medical attention out of fear of being arrested or simply due to lack of money.

Negotiations

On April 23, residents blocked certain portions of Silverio Compound as early as 5 a.m. The main barricade was set up at Purok 4, which fronts the SM Hypermart. By 7 AM, five 6×6 trucks each carrying 30 to 40 policemen from the Parañaque City Civil Disturbance Management Unit (CDMU) along with two fire trucks began arriving in the area. They were backed by several members of the police’s Special Weapons and Tactics unit (SWAT) who were armed with high-powered assault rifles. By around 7:30 AM, many residents had already occupied Sucat Road, which was meant to cause traffic and delay the demolition. A demolition team of some 50 men arrived at about 8 a.m.

Initial findings of the emergency fact-finding mission (FFM) conducted by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) several hours after the bloody incident show that members of the CDMU provoked the violent confrontation. Prior to the hostility, leaders of the residents and local politicians Cong. Edwin Olivarez, former Cong. Ed Zialcita, and Councilor Eric Olivarez were negotiating with the police (talks began at around 9 a.m.) to suspend the demolition as the Silverio compound is the subject of a pending court case. The CDMU, on the other hand, was asking the protesters to free up a portion of the road to let vehicles pass.

Gun shots

Despite ongoing negotiations to suspend the demolition and willingness of residents to heed the police’s request to allow traffic flow, the CDMU prepared to turn toward the direction of the protesters at past 10 a.m. Witnesses also said they saw men secure the local politicians, which indicated that the police was getting ready to move. Thinking that the CDMU was about to disperse them, the residents started to hurl stones at the police. Eventually, the police responded by firing teargas toward the direction of the protesters. Accounts claimed that the police fired more than 10 teargas canisters.

The CDMU and SWAT members were forced to backtrack a bit but moments later, gun shots were heard, apparently fired by the police, sporadic at first and then in succession. The string of gun shots forced protesters to back down and run away while the CDMU and SWAT teams advanced and began arresting people. One person – later identified as 21-year old Arnel Leonor, a resident of Silverio Compound – was seen lying on the pavement, with what appeared to be a fatal gunshot wound in the head. He was brought to a hospital by the police many minutes later but was declared dead on arrival.

Violations galore

The atrocities committed by the police did not end in the indiscriminate shooting of the residents that killed Leonor and wounded others. Many of those who were already apprehended or subdued were still assaulted by the angry police. They were truncheoned, punched, kicked and slapped at whim by the arresting officers. These were captured by the media who were covering the incident. Worse, the arrests were arbitrary; the police picked up anyone they wanted. Some of those arrested and assaulted by the police were mere onlookers. They said they did not run away because they did not participate in the protest and thus thought will not be arrested, much less assaulted by members of the CDMU.

Arbitrary house-to-house searches were also carried out by the police to look for more people to pick up. Witnesses claimed that some police officers again fired their guns during these house searches. The demolition team, meanwhile, pushed through with the demolition of several stalls and houses.

Private profits over public housing

This bloody incident could have been prevented had Mayor Florencio Bernabe respected the original agreement between Silverio Compound residents and former Mayor Joey Marquez that the entire 9.7-hectare property will be used for socialized housing. This means that the 28,000 families occupying the property will just amortize the land to the Parañaque City government. It was Marquez who, in 2003, initiated the expropriation proceedings by virtue of an ordinance against Silverio Compound’s private owner Magdiwang Realty Corp. But Bernabe changed the plan, reduced the size for socialized housing to 3 hectares, and pushed for the construction of 32 medium-rise condos that can only accommodate some 1,900 families.

Bernabe is pushing for a public-private partnership (PPP) project for Silverio Compound, eyeing big developers including SM Development Corp. (SMDC) to build the medium-rise buildings and other infrastructures in the area. The remaining 6.7 hectares of the property will also be devoted for commercial development in a bid to entice private investors in the city. Clearly, this is a case of the local government prioritizing private profits over the people’s basic right to shelter.

Impunity

The blatant disregard for human rights displayed by the police involved in the incident speaks volume of how deep the culture of impunity has been ingrained among our law enforcers and security forces. To end this culture of impunity, those who are involved, directly and indirectly, and not only members of the SWAT and CDMU but even police and civilian officials, in the tragic Silverio Compound demolition must be held liable.

What is alarming is that recent developments point to the regrettable possibility of a whitewash. National officials, for instance, are now seemingly conditioning the public mind that Leonor could have died from a bullet fired by one of the protesters. Supposedly, one of those arrested tested positive for gunpowder. Only an independent probe of the incident, including a re-autopsy of Leonor’s body by an independent party, could provide a more credible finding.

There is no doubt that the police used excessive force in enforcing the demolition order. Their abuses have been well-documented by media outfits who covered the incident and their identities could be easily established. Bernabe, on the other hand, clearly abused his power in insisting to implement the demolition. There are more than enough grounds to immediately make these people accountable.

Call for support

While the residents of Silverio Compound remain undaunted by oppression and brutality, they need all the support that they can muster to ensure that justice will be served. At the same time, they also need assistance – medical, legal, etc. – to help them cope with the tragedy inflicted on them by institutions that are supposed to uphold their rights and promote their interests.

The people of Silverio Compound, like those in other urban poor communities who have been dislocated or threatened by PPP projects that only profit the few, are fighting not only for their homes but for their right to live as human beings. All those who value this very fundamental human right could not allow them to fail. (end)

Photo from Tudla Prod

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US intervention will not help resolve PH-China dispute

Posted on 27 April 2012 by admin

News Release

April 27, 2012

Nothing good will come out if the Philippines takes the side of one bully over another.

This was the sentiment of the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan as it warned of complications arising from United States intervention in the dispute between China and the Philippines. Top officials from the Philippines and the US and expected to meet in Washington on April 30 to discuss terms of allowing more US troops in the Philippines. The issue of China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea are also said to be part of the agenda as the Philippine government hopes to “maximize” its treaty with the US.

“The Philippines should stand up to China without any form of US intervention. We must fully assert our sovereignty but we cannot rely on one bully in fending off another. The problem here is that the US is a bigger bully than China and has greater interests not just in the Philippines but in the entire East Asia. The US is using the dispute between China and the Philippines so it can position itself and advance its hegemonic interests in the region,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“We are being used as a pawn, nothing more than a footstool for US regional power play. The US needs every justification to position more troops in East Asia. The Philippine government is giving the US a reason for more Balikatan war games and more war ships entering Philippine territory and the South China Sea. However, instead of paving the way for the peaceful solution to any dispute, such actions only serve to provoke and increase tension,” Reyes said.

Bayan doubted that the US will ever go to war with China on the question of Scarborough Shoal. The group also doubted that the US intends to modernize the Philippine armed forces to help it stand against China.

“The Philippine government is living under the illusion that the US will help us. History shows otherwise. Sixty years of the Mutual Defense Treaty and still our armed forces are backward and poorly equipped. All we receive are second-hand equipment under the Excess Defense Articles program of the US,” Reyes said.

“In the event of a shooting war with China, the US will not immediately come to our aid. There is no automatic retaliation provision in the RP-US MDT. We are being misled by both the US and PH governments when they say that US support is key to resolving the dispute,” he added.

Disclose terms of US troops deployment

Bayan pressed the Philippine government to disclose the terms of deployment of US troops in the Philippines, citing news disturbing news reports that more rotational troops such as US Marines in Okinawa will be deployed to the Philippines.

“The US wants more war games, more port calls and more rotational deployments like the 600 US Special Forces in Zamboanga. They may be contemplating setting up facilities in Palawan, Batanes and Cebu. There is a lot of speculation that the US will expand its virtual basing opportunities in the country soon after the high-level talks in Washington,” Reyes said.

“We believe that the Philippine government will use the China card to justify the stationing or virtual basing of US troops in the Philippines. That would violate our sovereignty and set us back some 20 years, to a time when we still had US bases in Clark and Subic,” he added.

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Groups to PNoy: Make Bernabe, PNP, Henry Sy accountable

Posted on 25 April 2012 by admin

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On the SC’s final ruling on Hacienda Luisita

Posted on 24 April 2012 by admin

Press Statement
April 24, 2012

This is a historic day. We congratulate the farmers of Hacienda Luisita for their hardwon and well-deserved legal victory in the Supreme Court’s final ruling on the Luisita land distribution. We are happy that the HLI management’s motion for reconsideration was defeated. There is no legal impediment now for the immediate distribution of the Luisita land to the farmers. It is good that the HLI management’s bid to overvalue the land and increase their so-called “just compensation” has been soundly defeated. Both the HLI management and the Aquino government should take immediate and concrete steps for land distributinon. No more excuses. No more delays.

The farmer’s struggle is not over yet and they deserve our support in their efforts to make the land truly beneficial for the people. They desererve our support against possible further maneuvers of the HLI management  ###

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ON PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY, US & CHINA

Posted on 20 April 2012 by admin

Reply to Questions from Renato Reyes, BAYAN  Secretary General

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle

April 20, 2012

Renato Reyes (RR): I hope that you can answer briefly the following questions re China, Philippines and the assertion of national sovereignty. We have an all-leaders meeting this Saturday and we are trying to get views on how to deal with the issue of China’s incursions on Philippine  territory, the Aquino regime’s response and US intervention.

Jose Maria Sison (JMS):  First of all,  as a matter of principle, the Filipino people must assert their national sovereignty and Philippine territorial integrity over the issue of Spratlys (Kalayaan) and other islands, reefs and shoals which are well within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  According to the Philippine reactionary government, it  submitted on time to the UN the necessary scientific and technical grounds to define the Philippine 200-mile EEZ under UNCLOS.

The  UNCLOS is the strongest legal basis for the definition of the territorial sea and EEZ of the Philippine archipelago..  Also,  archaeological evidence shows that the islands, reefs  and shoals at issue have been  used by inhabitants of what is now the Philippines since prehistoric times. But the Philippine reactionary government muddles the issue and undermines its own position by making historical claims that date back only to a few decades ago when pseudo-admiral Cloma made formal claims to the Kalayaan group of islands.

Chinese historical claims since ancient times amount to an absurdity as this would be like Italy claiming as its sovereign possession all areas previously occupied by the Roman empire.  The name China Sea was invented by European cartographers and should not lead anyone to think that the entire sea belongs to China.  In the same vein, neither does the  entire Indian Ocean belong to India.

RR 1:  How do we view the incursions and aggressive behavior of China in territories claimed by the Philippines? Is this aggressiveness proof that China has imperialist ambitions and should be criticized as an imperialist power?  What is the relationship between China’s revisionist regime and its apparent desire to flex its muscles in the region?

JMS: The Filipino people and progressive forces must  oppose what may be deemed as incursions and what may appear as aggressive behavior of China with regard  to

the territories belonging to the Philippines.  But so far China’s actions and actuations manifest assertiveness rather than outright military aggression. The Philippine reactionary government should desist from self-fulfilling its claim of China’s aggression by engaging in an anti-China scare campaign.

The Filipino people and progressive forces must consciously differentiate their position from that of the Aquino regime, its military subalterns and its Akbayan special agents who pretend to be super patriots against China but are in fact servile to the interests of US imperialism and are using the anti-China scare campaign to justify the escalation of US military intervention in the Philippines and US hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region.

At any rate, China must not violate Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity,  the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Code of Conduct it agreed to with the ASEAN.  The apparently aggressive or assertive acts and words of China are in consonance with its own premise of national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as with the bourgeois character of the Chinese state that may indicate an imperialist tendency or ambitions.

The Chinese state is blatantly a capitalist state.  Only occasionally does it  claim to be socialist so as to cover up its capitalist character as the revisionists in power systematically did in the past.  Whatever is its character, the Chinese state must not infringe or threaten to infringe Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity. When it does, it opens itself to criticism and opposition by political and diplomatic action.

RR 2:  On the other hand, would criticism of China serve the US ploy of increasing its military presence in the region by supporting the claim that China is indeed a major threat to Philippine sovereignty?  Would such criticism serve to support the claim that China is indeed a major threat while obfuscating the US continuous undermining and violation of Philippine sovereignty? How important is it that the Left join in the assertion of Philippine sovereignty against incursions by China?

JMS:  Criticism and opposition to any actual incursion by China is consistent with the assertion of national sovereignty and does not serve the US ploy so long as we expose at the same time why and how the Aquino regime’s posture against alleged incursions by China are meant to serve US goals in the region.

We must be alert to and oppose the malicious efforts of the US and the Aquino regime to hype China as an imperialist aggressor in order to allow the No. 1 imperialist to further entrench itself militarily in the Philippines and realize its strategy of encircling China and enhancing its hegemony over East Asia and entire Asia-Pacific region.  You should take critical notice of the fact that the agents of US imperialism like Aquino, his military sidekicks and his Akbayan hangers-on are presenting themselves as superpatriots against China while they allow the US to increase  to increase the  presence of military forces and activities under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Balikatan exercises and various other pretexts.

It is a matter of principle to invoke national sovereignty and territorial integrity against China’s claims on certain islands, reefs and shoals that belong to the Philippines.  But we should expose and oppose the US and the Aquino regime for actively undertaking what are obviously anti-China provocations and propaganda aimed at justifying the escalation of US military intervention and further entrenchment of US forces in the Philippines, as part of the strategic scheme of the US to preserve and strengthen its hegemony over  the Asia-Pacific region, particularly East Asia.

Further, the US imperialists are increasing their pressure on China to privatize its state-owned enterprises, to restrain its  bourgeois nationalist impulses, to yield further to US economic and security dictates and to further promote the pro-US or pro-West bourgeois forces within China.  In comparison to the Philippines, China is a far larger country for imperialist exploitation and oppression.  Having more economic and political interests in China than in the Philippines, the US is using the Philippines as a staging base for actions aimed at  pressuring and influencing China rather than protecting the Philippines from China.

The US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty does not contain an automatic retaliation provision.  The  US has used this treaty as the basis for the Visiting Forces Agreement and for the escalation of US military intervention in the Philippines.  But in case of attack from any foreign power, the Philippines has no basis for expecting  or demanding

automatic retaliation from the US.  The treaty allows the US to act strictly in its national interest and use its constitutional processes to bar the Philippines from demanding automatic retaliation against a third party that attacks the Philippines.

TheUS and China can always agree to cooperate in exploiting  the Philippines.  In fact, they have long been cooperating in exploiting the Philippines.  The  Chinese comprador big bourgeoisie in both the Philippines (Henry Sy, Lucio Tan and the like) and China (within the bureaucracy and outside) are trading and financial agents of the US and other imperialist powers.

RR 3:  The Aquino government has availed of diplomatic venues to resolve the dispute. Meanwhile, the Chinese incursions continue.  The Philippines is a weak country militarily and has no capability for securing its territory. What would be the requirements for the Philippines to be able to effectively assert its sovereignty (not limited of course to questions of territory)?  Briefly, how can the Philippines develop a credible external defense?

JMS: Rather than entertain hopes that the Aquino regime would defend Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Filipino people and progressive forces must resolutely and militantly  expose and oppose the puppetry,  shameless mendicancy  and  the hypocrisy of the regime in pretending to be for  national sovereignty and territorial integrity against China while inviting and welcoming increased US military intervention in the Philippines and using the country as a base for strengthening US hegemony in the Asia Pacific region.

Only the Filipino people and revolutionary forces can gain the capability to secure, control and defend their territory by  fighting for and achieving national and social liberation in the first place from US imperialist domination and from such reactionary regimes of the big compradors and landlords like the Aquino regime. Otherwise the US and their puppets will always be the bantay salakay at the expense of the people.

When the Filipino people and revolutionary forces come to power, they will certainly engage strongly among others in metal manufacturing, ship building and fishing in close connection with securing the Philippine territorial sea and exclusive economic zone.

They shall have internal political-military strength and socio-economic satisfaction. And they shall develop international solidarity and  use diplomatic action against any foreign power that violates Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.

At the moment, the US and Aquino regime are engaged in a calibrated anti-China propaganda campaign in order to  justify and allow the US to control the Philippines and East Asia militarily.  We are being subjected to an anti-China scare aimed at further strengthening the dominance of US imperialism and the domestic rule of its reactionary puppets like Aquino. Right now, we must give the highest priority to fighting these monsters.

The Filipino people and the progressive forces must complain to the entire world against any incursive act of China and at the same time against the maneuvers of the US and its Filipino puppets to use the anti-China campaign to further oppress and exploit the Filipino nation and people.  By the way, the Aquino regime blows hot and cold against China. In fact, it is vulnerable to China’s manipulation of Philippine exports to China like some semimanufactures and agricultural and mineral products.

When the Filipino people and revolutionary forces win, they shall be able to bring up through official  representatives  the issues concerning the UNCLOS to the UN General Assembly and the Hamburg-based International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.  They can encourage  the cooperation of  certain countries like Russia and Norway to avoid unwelcome impositions  from US, UK and Netherlands in the exploration and development of oil and gas in the areas of the Philippines.

Even at this time,  approaches  can be made to China to avoid confrontations and tensions over the territories that belong to the Philippines and to engage in  all-round cooperation for mutual benefit, especially for the  advance of national independence, the industrial development of the Philippines and the termination of the  extremely oppressive and exploitative US hegemony over East Asia, which victimizes both the Philippines and China.

RR 4: What approaches would you like the Philippines to make towards China? Were such approaches taken into account in the 2011 NDFP proposal to the Aquino regime for an alliance and truce? In this regard, what can the Left do in view of the rabid servility of the Aquino regime to the US.

JMS:  China has been known for its policy of dealing diplomatically solely with the state (rather than with the revolutionary forces) in any country  and  for its flexibility in considering the needs and demands of that state or country.  It is not as imposing and as aggressive as the US in diplomatic and economic relations with other countries.  It tries  to comply with what it professes, such as the principles of independence, non-interference, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.

Thus, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines has proposed to the Aquino regime strategic alliance and truce in the context of peace negotiations.  It has challenged the Aquino regime to make a general declaration of common intent with the NDFP to assert national independence and end unequal treaties and agreements; expand democracy through empowerment of the workers and peasants; carry out national industrialization and land reform; foster a patriotic, scientific and pro-people culture; and  adopt an independent  foreign policy for world peace and development.

A key part of the NDFP proposal is for the Philippines to approach China and other countries for cooperation in the establishment of key industrial projects for the national industrialization of the country.  Certainly, it would be greatly beneficial for the Filipino people that the Philippines is industrialized and ceases to be merely an exporter of raw materials, semi-manufactures and migrant workers, mostly women.

But the US agents in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and in Akbayan and Aquino himself supplied information on the NDFP proposal to the US embassy and Washington.  They proceeded to cook up the anti-China scare campaign in order to undercut the proposal and serve US imperialist interests.  It would be absurd for BAYAN, Bayan Muna and MAKABAYAN to join  the rabidly pro-Aquino Akbayan or even compete with it in the anti-China scare campaign that draws away attention from US imperialism as well as justifies US military intervention and aggression in the Philippines and the whole of East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.

The people should know that the agents of US imperialism in the Aquino regime have used various malicious  and cruel tactics to block the road to a just peace.  The tactics  include the abduction, torture and extrajudicial killing of NDFP consultants in violation of JASIG and the continued imprisonment of hundreds of political prisoners in violation of CARHRIHL.

RR 5: How would you describe the contradictions between the US and China? On one hand, the US is wary of the rise of China as a military power and has sought to encircle China, yet on the other hand, the US economy is closely linked to China’s. and China is said to be the biggest creditor of the US.

JMS: There is unity and struggle between two capitalist powers in the relationship between the US and China. The US is not yet really worried about China having the military strength that can be projected outside its borders.  It is more worried about China’s military strength being able to defend China, fend off US imperialist dictates and threats and combat separatist forces in Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The US strategy of encirclement is calculated to keep China as a friendly partner in the exploitation of the Chinese and other peoples. The US and China have already more than three decades of being close partners in promoting and benefiting from the neoliberal policy of globalization.  The super-exploitation of the Chinese working people, China’s  trade surpluses and huge indebtedness of the US to China are matters well within the negotiable relations of two capitalist powers, which would rather go on taking

advantage of the working people rather than go to war against each other.

The efforts of China to find its own sources of energy and raw materials and markets and fields of investment can be at times irritating or even infuriating to the US (when the conflicts of interest occur as in Iran, Sudan, Libya and Syria).  But the capitalist powers can settle their relations with each other at the expense of the working people and underdeveloped countries, until the crisis of the world capitalist system further worsens to the point that a number of capitalist powers accelerate their aggressiveness and even become fascist in their home grounds. ###

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Bayan pushes for probe of fisherman’s death in US operations in Basilan

Posted on 19 April 2012 by admin

News Release

April 20, 2012

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today called on the Philippine government through its Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Joint Congressional Oversight on the VFA to conduct investigations into the death of a Filipino fisherman during US military operations in Basilan in Mindanao.The US and Philippine government have denied that the US troops were involved in the ongoing Ballikatan war games involving 4,000 US soldiers

On April 18 at around 7pm, Ahbam Juhurin  was on his way home with his 20-year-old son to the island municipality of Hadji Muhtamad his boat hit a still unidentified American sea vessel. Reports say that the collision occurred on the coast of Baluk-Baluk near Hadji Muhtamad town. Juhurin died as a result of the collision while his son was reportedly injured and brought to the hospital.

The US embassy in Manila has confirmed the incident involving the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines, a unit of US Special Forces under the US Special Operations Command which has been based in Zamboanga in Mindanao since 2002. “During routine maritime activity on April 18 involving Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) and Philippine security forces, their boat collided with a local fishing vessel. Despite rescue efforts, one local fisherman was killed, and another injured in the accident,” the embassy statement said.

Media reports say the family of the victim will be accepting compensation from the US. Meanwhile, the Basilan Provincial Police is said to be investigating the incident.

“This is not simply a police matter. A Filipino died because of the US troops operating in Mindanao. This is not the first time Filipinos have suffered injury because of these so-called US exercises and operations. It is time for other government agencies to look into the culpability of the US troops. The names of these US troops should be released and they should be prevented from leaving the country pending investigation,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“While the probe is ongoing, the Philippines should move to terminate all ongoing US military exercises and operations all over the country. If similar incidents happen elsewhere, the VFA does not provide protection for Filipinos. All Balikatan-related activities should be terminated immediately,” he added.

Bayan said that under the VFA, the US has exclusive jurisdiction over its troops involved in incidents that are in the performance of official duty. Even before any investigation by PH authorities takes place, the US commander can already issue a certification that the US troops involved in the sea mishap were part of an official activity. This would make them beyond the reach of Philippine law, according to the group.

“Normally when someone is killed, the Philippine authorities will ask for custody of the perpetrators, but from the way the VFA works, this is not likely to happen. This is why we’re saying that the pact is one-sided in favor of the US,” Reyes said.

Bayan demanded that the US government release the names of the US troops involved in the death of the Filipino fisherman and to subject these personnel to the proper investigation by Philippine authorities.

The group also criticized the Aquino government for failing to deliver on its promise of reviewing the VFA, particularly the provisions of custody of erring US troops. “Nearly two years into his term in office, Aquino has produced zero results on the VFA review he promised while he was campaigning as president. Meanwhile, violations of our sovereignty by US troops continue to take place,” Reyes said.

Bayan supported a Senate resolution passed in 2009 calling for the review or termination of the VFA.  It recently led nationwide protests against the Balikatan war games. A four-day caravan to Zamboanga City was the main protest in Mindanao.

Curious case

The US Embassy and West Mincom pointed out that the US troops involved in the incident “were not part of Balikatan 2012″ and that they were “on routine maritime activity”.

“The nature of the operations of the US-JSOTF is a mystery. What were they doing in those waters? What was their operation all about? Was it really a joint maritime activity with the Philippine forces or was it a unilateral activity of the US forces that have long been based in Mindanao? What do US troops mean as a ‘routine’ activity? An independent probe is necessary,” Reyes said.  ###

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Denounce US-PR and US-ROK military exercises! All US troops out of Okinawa, ‘mainland’ of Japan and whole Asia-Pacific!

Posted on 19 April 2012 by admin

Statement of Protest

AWC-Japan
April 16, 2012

The United States and Republic of the Philippines launched the joint military exercise BALIKATAN 2012 today, April 16, 2012. We strongly denounce the start of this military exercise that raise military tension in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to press, this year’s BALIKATAN exercise is held in many places in Philippine including Palawan Island that is located near the disputed Spratly Islands and around 4,500 US troops and around 2,300 of AFP join it. It clearly aimed at containing China. The US also seek for reinforcement of military presence in Philippine through deployment of the Marines and US warships. We also denounce the US and Japanese governments’ maneuver for integration of both army and preparations of invasive war in the region.

On the other hand, the large scale of US-ROK military exercises named KEY RESOLVE and FOAL EAGLE is conducting with participation of more than 10,000 US troops from February 27 to April 30 in Korean Peninsula. In addition, a large scale of US-ROK joint landing exercises named DOUBLE DRAGON was implemented on the end of March. These are clearly rehearsals for wars of aggression against DPRK. Governments of the US, Japan and South Korea had propagated the ‘threat of North Korea’, saying that the launching of satellite by DPRK is actually a test of long-range ballistic missile. But in reality, the governments of the US, Japan and South Korea have continue warmongering and war preparation against DPRK. We condemn their moves.

On January 2012, the US Obama administration announced the ‘new military strategy’ that aimed to reinforce the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In parallel, the US have launched the maneuvers including the start of deployment of the Marine Corps in Australia, the seeking of rotational deployment of the Marine in Philippine, Hawaii, South Korea and other places and the construction of naval base for the US in Jeju Island of South Korea. We shall intensify our joint struggle against such moves in solidarity with people in Asia-Pacific.

Now the US and Japanese governments intend to consolidate US bases in Japan and the US-Japanese military alliance under the name of ‘review’ of realignment of US bases in Japan. They continue to seek construction of new US base in Henoko, Okinawa and new heliports in Takae, Okinawa. They also intend to deploy multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft named MV Osprey to and move the marines in Iwakuni base. In addition, they express the repair of Futenma base in Okinawa but it means the fix of the base permanently. We strongly condemn the moves of these moves of the US and Japanese government.

We shall fight against our struggle against strengthening US-Japanese military alliance and US military presence in Asia-Pacific in solidarity with struggling people in the region, including people in Okinawa, Iwakuni and Kanagawa who resist the realignment of US bases in Japan. Junk US-Japanese military alliance! All US troops out of Okinawa, ‘mainland ‘ of Japan and whole Asia-Pacific! ###

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