On the recent visit of US Defense Secretary Austin
The recent visit of US Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin served to reinforce the master-puppet relationship between the US government and the subservient Marcos regime. In exchange for new military hardware contracts and other promises, Marcos and his officials gave Austin assurances to allow the US to establish more military bases and facilities inside AFP military camps and allow “joint maritime patrols” with the US military in the South China Sea.
In doing so, Marcos is more and more allowing the Philippines to be used by the US as a launching pad for its provocations against China. He is practically allowing the imperialist US to drag the Philippines into a war against its own interest.
By allowing the US to use the country as a base of its operations, Marcos is virtually turning the Philippines into a target of China’s weapons, whether for aggression or counter-aggression.
Austin makes false assurances that the military bases and facilities being established by the US inside the military camps of the AFP are “not permanent.” The US and its puppets have been using the term “rotational presence” to circumvent the prohibition of the 1987 constitution against foreign military bases.
However, the fact cannot be denied that US military forces have maintained permanent presence in the country for more than twenty years now, stationing troops from Luzon to Mindanao. The US has kept weapons and military equipment in various military bases. Naval warships of the US have regularly docked in Philippine ports and other parts of the country’s waters, anytime they wish, with or without permission of the Philippine government.
Austin’s visit to South Korea and the Philippines forms part of the US government’s continuing strategy of preparing the war theater against China. The US geopolitical strategy is to encircle China from all sides and provoke it by undermining the One China policy, inciting subversion in Taiwan, making naval passes through the Taiwan strait and patrols in the South China Sea.
The Filipino people, together with peoples of Asia and the world, must continue to demand a stop to imperialist war mongering and an end to war preparations especially by the US. They must demand the dismantling of all US military bases and call for the removal of US and other foreign military troops in the country, as well as the dismantling of Chinese military facilities within its maritime territory.