PH urged to shun US show of force

Wednesday 13 February 2013

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Date: 8 February 2013

Type: News Release

Source: Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)

Keyword/s: US military power, West Philippine Sea, violation of Philippine sovereignty

Describing the US-Japan-Australia war maneuvers as nothing more than the actions of a bully flexing its military muscle, umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today called on the Philippine government to shun US military power projection in the region.

The call came after the US and its two treaty allies embarked on the Cope North military exercises which are believed to be aimed at projecting US military power towards China. News reports say that the Philippines could soon be joining the military exericses, being also a treaty partner of the US.

“The Philippine government must adopt an independent foreign policy, one that is able to assert sovereignty both against the US and China. It would be foolish to think that the US is looking after the interests of the Philippines, or that the US will go to war with China over the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea. We will not gain much from joining US regional military exercises. We would just be used as a footstool for US military power projection,”said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The US is out to advance its own hegemonic interests. It is using its junior partners like Japan and Australia to advance US dominance in the region, and to pressure China to continue bowing to US economic dictates. The US is not concerned with Philippine sovereignty as the US routinely violates PH sovereignty via the VFA,” Reyes added.

The US plans to rebalace 60% of its warships towards Asia as part of a move to contain China. Bayan however believes that the US does not appear headed for open war with China because of the economic relations between the two.

“The Philippines will not be able to modernize its military for a credible defense posture if it keeps hanging on the coat-tails of Uncle Sam. The Philippnes won’t modernize from the frequent US-led military exercises that only seek to project US military might and use the Philippines as a convenient military outpost. Years of exercises with the US have in fact kept our armed forces backward as we are only given second-hand military hardware,” Reyes said.

“Instead of aspiring to join the war games of the US and its junior military partners, the Philippines must resolve the current Tubbataha incident involving the serious damage to a national treasure and the violation of our sovereignty. The Phililppines must move towards the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement which continues to pose threats not only to our sovereignty but also to our environment,” he added.

Bayan said that the Filipino people should continue standing up against any incursions by China, but should also oppese maneuvers by the US government. ###

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