7 March 2012
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) strongly assailed the participation of American forces in Oplan Bayanihan in the Bicol region. The CPP likewise demanded the pullout of US forces in the region who are scheduled to launch Operation Pacific Angel 12-1 on March 5-10. The joint military exercise to be conducted by the 13th US Air Force is part of the US Pacific Command's civil-military operations.
In a separate statement, National Democratic Front-Bicol spokesperson Ka Greg Bañares said that the troops from the 13th US Air Force have been able to join Oplan Bayanihan operations by using "humanitarian and relief missions" as cover.
The US has been camouflaging its interventionist activities by invoking "peace and development." The US wants to deceive the people through such catchphrases to make the presence of American soldiers in Bicol palatable to the public.
Bañares explained that the 13th US Air Force's real considerations are military and not humanitarian in nature. The CPP recalled that this particular US military unit was ordered in 2011 to send spy planes to North Korea to build a detailed map of its military capabilities.
Surveillance drones will be flown simultaneous with the 13th US Air Force's overt activities to conduct more intense espionage activities against the state's enemies and to obtain familiarity with the status of guerrilla warfare in Bicol.
It is right for patriotic Bicolanos to oppose the presence of foreign troops in the region, added Bañares. Huge protests were able to thwart plans to conduct the US-RP Military Exercises in Bicol in 2009.
Meanwhile, women and youth launched a protest action in front of the US embassy against the visit of US trade secretary Demetrius Marantis on February 28. Marantis arrived for extended talks on expanding the presence of US military forces in the country.