US builds military infrastructure in Batanes

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US imperialism continues to drag the Philippines into its potential armed conflict with China. On March 11, Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco announced the American soldiers’ plan to construct a “civilian port.” This is in addition to the naval station on Mavulis Island built for “Filipinos in Taiwan to go to in case of a crisis.”

Construction of the port begins in April, in time for the Balikatan 2024 war exercises. The AFP, in unison with the local government, is using the pretext that these infrastructure can be used by local fishermen and by the AFP during disasters. The US is scheduled to conduct Balikatan on Mavulis Island this year. Last year, it used Batan Island, the major island of Batanes, as a playground for launching its Balikatan.

“The AFP’s proclamation that American soldiers will not use the infrastructure once the construction is completed is an utter lie,” said Guillermo Alcala, spokesperson of the Cagayan Valley Regional Operational Command of the NPA-Cagayan. “They use as bases the EDCA sites paid for by the people’s money, what more these facilities which will be built using money from their own pockets.”

The use of Batanes by the US poses a danger to the people, especially to the people of Cagayan Valley, which is right next to China and Taiwan, Alcala says. “It is a US ploy to challenge and provoke China,” he said. He calls for greater unity of the people, especially the people of Cagayan Valley, to oppose and resist US militarization of the region and the entire country.

AB: US builds military infrastructure in Batanes