National-democratic organizations condemn China and US militarization of the West Philippine Sea

This article is available in Pilipino

National-democratic organizations protested in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City today, April 9, to condemn China’s continuous harassment of Filipino fisherfolk and ships and its encroachment in the West Philippine Sea. They called for China, as well as the US, to end militarization of the WPS. The groups launched the protest to coincide with the Araw ng Kagitingan.

“China’s bullying and continuous aggression against its neighboring countries is the reason why its isolation is intensifying,” said the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. It pretends to be friends but shows its true intent of ruling the South China Sea, despite this being against international rules and conflicts with the territorial integrity of its neighboring countries,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said in a statement.

“We call on China to vacate the West Philippine Sea, dismantle its illegal structures and recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling, and stop harassing Filipino fishermen and supply missions,” it said. “We also call for the demilitarization of the West Philippine Sea.”

It said the legitimate objection against China’s aggression should not lead to boosting foreign military presence and “re-colonization” in the Philippines, such as the construction of military facilities in different parts of the country.

Towards this, Bayan criticized the Marcos regime for its collusion with the US and other foreign troops to use the Philippines as “staging ground” for its own interests in Asia. “Marcos has dragged the Philippines into an escalating conflict that will surely bring more suffering to the people.”

While it condemned China, Bayan encouraged the Filipinos to evict all foreign military troops and forces, especially those who are perpetrating genocide in Palestine.

On April 7, the US conducted combat maneuvers in Philippine waters, along with Japan, Australia and the Philippines in what it called a “multilateral maritime cooperation activity.” The next day, it started Cope Thunder, a wargame to show off air power. On April 22, it is scheduled to start Balikatan in the West Philippine Sea, South China Sea and the sea near the Taiwan Strait.

AB: National-democratic organizations condemn China and US militarization of the West Philippine Sea