The peasant masses and fisherfolks are not cannon fodder
AFP’s proposal to train the peasantry and fisherfolks as defense force in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) is utter madness. They capitalize on the issue of ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’ to sell their agenda. But why don’t they pull the thousands of their military force who do nothing but lay siege upon communities, threaten and abuse the masses, kill and massacre civilians, orchestrate fake encounters and bomb productive fields out from the countryside and employ them for defense?
On one hand, they say that their personnel are lacking. But, barrios crawl with military units and numerous military detachments encircle the whole countryside. The masses should not be used as cannon fodder. It is the AFP’s mandate to ‘defend national sovereignty’. They must be the first ones to do their duty.
Because actually, the AFP and the entire armed territorial army of the reactionary government are experts only in terrorizing the people. They are ruthless against the civilian population but are quaking in fear and reduced to cowards when facing foreign powers. In fact, at the same time as the tensions in WPS escalate and the AFP pushes for the military training of masses, Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) operations continue unabatedly in the region. Military and police force are occupied with attacking communities and prowling public infrastructures, which are both directly in violation of the international humanitarian law, even though additional forces are needed to defend the national territory.
They cannot take the moral high ground and question the people’s patriotism. The public has long clamored for the need to remove the Philippines from the clutches of foreign powers. The masses have been valiantly expressing their nationalism in their tireless struggle to push the government to disentangle the country from unfair economic and military agreements that endanger the nation. The sole responsibility for the sovereignty crisis that troubles the country lies upon the government that insists in its servility towards imperialist US and China and other powerful countries despite widespread public disavowal. In fact, it has been revealed recently that there has been a clear-cut agreement between China and the Philippine government under former president Joseph Estrada tantamount to the definite surrender of the latter’s rights to its territories.
The peasantry and the Filipino nation are not the ones who have to prove their nationalism but the mercenary AFP-PNP-CAFGU, bureaucrat capitalists and ruling classes who have long betrayed national sovereignty in exchange for their self-interests and gains. The people are ever-ready to defend the national sovereignty against foreign domination. The bigger question is if the puppet government and its armed forces ready to do the same – cut loose from being dummies of foreign power and truly defend national patrimony.