Oppose US military intervention and heightening war-mongering
The Philippine’s false sovereignty is increasingly being exposed amid heightening military intervention of US imperialism. The strategic goal of the US is to reinforce its dominance and control of the country and to use it as launching pad for provoking war with its imperialist rival China in the Asia-Pacific region.
Heightening US military intervention in the Philippines at present has two salient aspects: first, the push to strengthen American troop presence and deployment of weapons, using the country as a military base or military outpost within its network of military bases in the Asia-Pacific; and second, increasing military assistance to the intensified war of suppression against revolutionary and progressive forces who raise the flag of national freedom.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the main instrument of the US in these two aspects. It is the pillar of US domination and interference in the Philippines. The AFP was formed, molded and trained in line with US imperialist doctrine and since the outset has been used to secure the neocolonial state in the country. Over the past decades, it has been reliant on US military assistance and policy, could not stand on its own feet and is incapable of defending the country’s territory, especially in the face of Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.
US Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent visit highlighted the country’s false independence. She used the AFP and the Marcos regime’s reliance on US assistance to promote US military presence in the Philippines as defense against China’s threats. Harris also used the visit to push for the use of nuclear energy which will benefit American capitalists and further drown the Philippines in a sea of foreign debt.
At the same time, Harris made use of the Philippines, especially when she traveled to Palawan, closest to China’s military facilities within Philippine maritime territory, to further raise tensions with China which she criticized for “irresponsible behavior” in the South China Sea.
Harris pushed the US demand for five more locations to set up US facilities under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Currently, the US has military facilities inside AFP camps at Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro, Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan and Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.
The Marcos regime promptly acquiesced to the US demand when the AFP declared willingness to open two camps in Cagayan, and one each in Palawan, Zambales and Isabela, areas that are key to the US strategy of countering China’s growing military strength and expansion. The US clearly wants to riddle the country with its military facilities. This is brazenly overturning the historical victories of the Filipino people in the struggle against US military bases.
Harris’ visit forms part of the US push to raise the temperature of armed tensions in the Asia-Pacific. Prior to the Philippines, Harris also traveled to Japan and South Korea, to project military strength from US military bases in those countries, to which both China and North Korea responded with their own display of firepower. It was only a few months ago when US Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan and assured it of “US defense” in a direct slap to China and the US’ long-standing recognition of the “One China” policy.
The US push to heighten armed tensions in the Asia-Pacific also complements its relentless stoking, together with the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), of the war in Ukraine against Russia. In fact, incited by the US, the Europe-centric NATO has now declared itself anti-China. By feeding an endless war, US monopoly capitalists in the military industry and its allies are raking in huge amounts of profits.
To further strengthen its power in the Philippines, the US also continuously provides the AFP with assistance to suppress the revolutionary and patriotic forces fighting US imperialist dominance and control in the country. The US trains, advises, funds, and arms the AFP to carry out a brutal counterinsurgency war against the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces.
All-out state terrorism is now underway across the country in the form of massacres and murders, torture, and imprisonment of suspected supporters of the New People’s Army. Capitalists earn superprofits with US supplying drones, airplanes and cannons to carry out the bombing of communities, farms and forests. Through the AFP and the fascist NTF-Elcac, and by occasionally joining ground operations, the US is again applying its tactics of widespread terrorism used in its failed Vietnam war. The Anti-Terror Law (patterned after the US “war against terrorism”) is being used to crush the patriotic and progressive forces, and prevent peace negotiations.
US imperialism is directly responsible for gross human rights violations and war crimes of the AFP. The US, Marcos and the AFP have bloodied hands in their relentless fascist attacks against the Filipino people. They should be held responsible and punished.
The ongoing crisis of the global capitalist system, particularly the US economy’s slide back to recession, will further push it to strengthen its hegemony and control over countries and areas to source natural resources and invest excessive capital, as well as over strategic international trade routes. This includes US imperialist control of the Philippines.
The people should fight against US military intervention, inter-imperialist war-mongering, and sponsoring fascist terrorism in the country. Agreements that bind the Philippines to the US and give American troops excessive rights to use the country for their strategic interests, must be abrogated. Filipinos should unite with peoples all over the world to fight imperialism and imperialist war.
The Filipino people must struggle to end US imperialist military, economic, political and cultural domination in the Philippines. This is the key element in the struggle for national democracy.