The Aquino regime's treachery

Editorial
Ang Bayan
July 09, 2013

For the past three years under the US-Aquino regime, an unprecedented number of American warships and combat planes have entered and exited the Philippines, also with unprecedented frequency. US warships dock in Subic, Manila and other Philippine ports practically on a weekly basis.

Every day, American soldiers are a constant presence all over the country, with their ships docking or sailing and their planes taking off or landing whenever and wherever they want.

To justify the US military forces' unlimited access to Philippine waters and air space, American and Philippine  military officials invoke the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), slapping these two documents in the Filipino people's faces.

Nonetheless, Aquino and the US government are not content with the number of US soldiers and combat vehicles enjoying free and frequent ingress and egress in the Philippines. In accordance with the US' desire to maintain a more permanent presence in the Asia-Pacific, especially in the Philippines, the Aquino regime has been preparing facilities in Subic and other ports for the US military's use.

Aquino has been pushing to grant the US the right to conduct operations from and run facilities in the Philippines. To circumvent the provisions of the 1987 constitution that ban the establishment of foreign facilities and military bases, Aquino misrepresents these as Philippine facilities made available for use by the US military and its allies.

With such plans, the US and Aquino are obviously dissatisfied with the fact that ships, submarines and other nuclear-capable US war ships are already able to come and go as they please. They are not content with the Philippines' current role as an outpost for rest and recreation, repairs and resupply.

They want to enhance the Philippines' status as a vast naval outpost in the Asia-Pacific by restoring the US military's basing privileges in the Philippines. Marking the extent of his puppetry, no less than Aquino has led the way in rationalizing the grant of basing privileges as part of the "military alliance" between the US and the Philippines.

What Corazon Aquino failed to do in 1991, her son Benigno III now wants to accomplish. In 1991, the first Aquino regime failed in its bid to extend the Military Bases Agreement (MBA), which was set to end after 50 years of existence. Aquino now wants to grant basing privileges to the US military even without a treaty. Aquino allies are currently riding on this as a pretext to push for the amendment of the 1987 constitution, in order to once and for all get rid of provisions barring foreign military bases.

The Aquino government is completely at the beck and call of US imperialism and in the service of US world military strategy. In exchange for Aquino's full support, the US has been buttressing his regime politically and militarily, actively intervening in the country's politics to ensure the Aquino government's stability. US media and political experts have also been assiduously guiding the course of the Aquino regime.

To justify growing US military presence, both the US and the Aquino regime have been whipping up conflicts on the Spratly Islands and other land formations in the South China Sea that have been the subject of disputes among the Philippines, China and other countries. Since 2011, the US has intensified its military presence in the Asia-Pacific and established military bases and other military arrangements in northern Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam up to Japan and South Korea.

Its aim is to encircle China and make sure that trade routes like the South China Sea and Malacca Strait remain under US control. The US' growing presence in the Asia-Pacific has been provoking China to enhance its military strength and act more aggressively in defending its national interest.

The growing US military presence in the Asia-Pacific runs counter to the interests of the Philippines and the Filipino people. It is exacerbating military and diplomatic tensions and preventing the peaceful resolution of the disputes regarding the Spratlys and other islands in the South China Sea.

Granting the US military complete freedom to enter and leave and station troops, equipment, war ships and combat planes in the Philippines comprise unmitigated trampling by the US of Philippine independence and sovereignty.

The Aquino regime is committing treason against the Filipino people, going to the extent of leading efforts for the US military to lord it over the country. In acceding to the US government's desires, the Aquino regime has ceded the country's right to blaze its own path and has bound the Philippines and its foreign policy to US designs. Every time Aquino complies with US military directives, he surrenders the Philippines' right to adopt a position of non-alignment or non-intervention should international conflicts erupt.

The Filipino people must take a stand for national independence. They must act to put a stop to and resist the Aquino regime's treachery in completely ceding Philippine sovereignty to its American imperialist masters. They must resist Aquino's plans to restore to the US the privilege of basing and stationing troops, equipment and other facilities for their war materiel. They must advance the struggle to abrogate the VFA, the MDT and all other unequal treaties that run counter to the people's interests.

It is highly ironic that Aquino's plans to grant greater basing privileges to the US military are being executed as the Filipino people prepare to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the great patriotic leader Andres Bonifacio on November 30.

In conjunction with this celebration, it is but right for the people to intensify their struggle for national liberation and put an end to the rule of puppet leaders who surrender the country's sovereignty and patrimony.