CPP demands pullout of American troops from Oplan Bayanihan operations in Bicol

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
March 04, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced as "outright military interventionism" the participation of American troops in Oplan Bayanihan operations in Bicol on March 5-10. An undisclosed number of American soldiers belonging to the 13th US Air Force will be flown into Albay province to carry out military and civil-military activities on under its so-called Operation Pacific Angel 12-1.

"The increasing direct participation of the US military in Oplan Bayanihan is an outright violation of Philippine national sovereignty and shows the contempt of the US imperialists for the Filipino's claim to national freedom," added the CPP.

Earlier, revolutionary forces under the National Democratic Front-Bicol raised opposition to the planned arrival of US troops and urged the people to protest the outright violation of the country's sovereignty.

"US embassy and military officials are going to portray Operation Pacific Angel 12-1 as a 'humanitarian mission' in order to make the presence of American troops palatable to the Filipino people," said the CPP. "They are going to distribute relief goods and probably build schools or roads in order to disarm the people and portray themselves as rendering humanitarian service."

"For the US military, however, humanitarian missions are never what they are made to look like," said the CPP. The CPP cited the US Army Field Manual on Counterinsurgency released in 2006 where American military officials assert that "There is no such thing as impartial humanitarian assistance or civil-military operations in (counterinsurgency)."

The CPP said the contingent of troops belonging to the 13th US Air Force are expected to launch unmanned surveillance vehicles in an attempt to build a detailed map of the counterinsurgency terrain in the Bicol region.

The CPP pointed out that the 13th US Air Force has one of the most advanced aerial surveillance capabilities in the US military. It was given the responsibility of deploying last year an advanced unmanned spy plane to provide the US with a detailed view of North Korea's military.

The CPP recalled that in January 2009, the US military launched spy drones from the base of the AFP's 9th ID in Masbate province and which flew over the towns of Pio V Cruz and Esperanza.

"By directly participating in local counterinsurgency operations, the US military is bringing its troops closer to the firing line," said the CPP. On April 15, 2009, there were reported sightings of American soldiers embedded in the 9th ID's operating units that encountered an NPA unit in Barangay Baras, Esperanza, Masbate. A week later, at least two American soldiers were seen operating with a platoon of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion that fought with an NPA unit in Barangay Lourdes, Barcelona, Sorsogon.