Kabataang Makabayan denounces use of surveillance drones in pork barrel protest

Ma. Laya Guerrero
Kabataang Makabayan
August 27, 2013

Kabataang Makabayan (KM) slams the use of drones in pork barrel protest that mapped out the breadth of people’s #1millionmarch at Luneta. KM condemns the use of a drone purportedly for aerial photography of yesterday’s protest and demands prohibition of government and private sector’s use of drones. According to KM, drone surveillance has been an abused and misused reason to map out the legitimate activities of the civilian population. Yesterday it was used for photography, tomorrow it will be a sloppy excuse to normalize and legitimize drone flights in the country.

“Surveillance cannot be without any political motives, especially yesterday, when no less than 400,000 people gathered to express dissent against corruption by the Aquino administration. We doubt that it was to monitor peace and order, in the people’s experience, violence has always been initiated by state police force,” said Ma. Laya Guerrero, national spokesperson, Kabataang Makabayan.

“A drone with or without armaments is still a drone and its main purpose can’t be but eavesdropping. Drones have been invented by the US imperialism to map out its enemies and it is notorious for liquidating civilians across the globe”, asserted Guerrero.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or more commonly known as drones) have been in operation as Bush’s response to the September 11, 2001 incident. It has been expanded by the Obama administration, justified thru its ‘war on terror’ and claims to have liquidated 4,700 Talibans and members of al-Queda. However, it has been revealed that a bigger percentage of deaths by drones claimed more lives of civilians than actual targets.  

“Lest we forget, no less than Aquino has admitted that drones have been approved for military use in the country. Earlier this year, a drone crashed near Masbate. As a military ally of US, we have been beneficiaries of military technology making the people insecure more than safe,” added Guerrero.

The use of drones has been met with protest even in the US. Legislators and civilians staunchly opposed the use of drones as a threat to civil liberties and democracy, and because drones do not discriminate enemies from civilians everybody is a target, of local and international surveillance.

“The US government has been notorious for treating each and every civilian its enemy. US is the personification of Orwell’s Big Brother, haunted with unparalleled paranoia, treating peoples resistance as terrorism, thus, candidate for liquidation,” said Guerrero.

With plans of increased military presence of US and its allied forces in the country, boots-on-the-ground and other armaments including drones can also enter the country without control or scrutiny. Thus, the people are called to intensify calls and movements to denounce the access agreement and the increased US intervention facilitated by US-subservient Aquino.

“The Filipino youth and people should continue to mobilize against plans for US and allies’ re-basing in the country. US heightened intervention in our country tramples on our national sovereignty, territorial integrity and will further entrench impunity and violence in the country.”

“Alongside plans of its pivot to Asia, the Filipino youth and people should denounce the use of American military gadgetry that has claimed thousands of lives across the globe.”

“The people should not be cowed. Kabataang Makabayan vows to strengthen the youth movement  that denounces Aquino’s puppetry to imperialist impositions and vows to contribute to strengthen armed resistance in the countryside resolved to wage war to achieve the fullness of national liberation and democracy,” ended Guerrero. ###