The scheduled “2+2 meeting” between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on April 30 is reminiscent of Emilio Aguinaldo’s compliance with Commodore George Dewey in subjecting the Philippines under the “protection” of the US Navy Fleet while supposedly recognizing Philippine independence that eventually led to an easy occupation of the country by American forces.
The meeting was just one of the many recent talks between officials from both countries, however. For like his predecessors, the current Aquino’s administration has allowed the continued exploit of our country by the US by abiding to unequal treaties with the imperialist country since he came into power. Not only did these arrangements allow for the easy intrusion of big foreign companies in the Philippines which extorts huge profits at the people’s expense, but also grants US troops entry in the country and their stay for an indefinite time, as is the case with the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The “2+2 meeting” is supposed to discuss “regional issues, bilateral and defense issues, and economic cooperation.”
PNOY: A man with no sense of history
The League of Filipino Students (LFS) would like to remind Noynoy to look back at history which has long disputed the US’ claims that its intent in intervening with the internal affairs of a country is to help the people of that nation. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle East countries, thousands of civilian casualties from the US’ “war on terror” have been reported. Its “allied” nations, the Philippines included, have also been dragged into war numerous times in “defending democracy,” which is nothing more but the suppression of the people’s national-democratic movements from across the globe, like what happened in North Korea and Vietnam.
Yet the Aquino government permits the unceasing presence of the US in the Philippines as an exemplary US lapdog while turning a blind eye to the people’s plights. Prices of petroleum products have skyrocketed since the start of the year. The budgets for basic social services are slashed in favour of increased military spending and foreign debt servicing. Workers’ wages remain pegged at P426, a far cry from P993 daily cost of living, while they themselves are at risk of losing their jobs because of the government promoting contractualization. Farmers remain without lands to till. Countless communities are threatened with demolition. Ancestral domains are defaced to give way to large-scale mining operations.
2+2: Cementing the econ-pol-mil outpost of US in Asia Pacific
AMERICAN PACIFIC CENTURY (APC)
The US government released last year, its economic-political and military strategy which aims to maximize its presence in the Asia-Pacific region while reducing “boots on the ground” on other parts of the globe. Instead, it will abuse naval and aerial space of different countries, to maintain its global leadership while reducing military expenditures due to bourgeoning debt and budget deficit.
The US’ presence in the recently convened APEC and ASEAN summit (November 2011) proved to be in pursuit of American Pacific Century, in particular its economic blueprint, Trans Pacific Century. Under this program, developing and developed countries in the region are reduced to a single trading community. This means, that while US is keen on maintaining its stronghold on the World Trade Organization, it aims to strengthen its grasp on the region that has provided for $320B sales in export products and 850,000 jobs for its citizens.
SUSTAINING US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP: PRIORITIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY DEFENSE
To envisioned success of the American Pacific Century is hand-in-hand with the full implementation its new defense strategy stipulated in the US Defense Strategic Review of 2012. In all subtlety, APC is hell bent on rejecting the popular notion that China as a threat to US’ hegemony; US” manoeuvres prove otherwise.
To keep its head above the protracted depression, it has its eyes set upon the South China Sea where half of the world’s products are routed. To justify its naval presence in the region, the US urged member countries of both aforementioned summits to respect “freedom of navigation” in addition to local treaties it has forged with the Philippines (BALIKATAN, VFA), military alliance with India for surveillance over the Indian Ocean, and other “inter-operationability” (maximization of military elements in allied countries as extensions of the US military forces) agreements with other countries in the region. It has also deployed 4,500 US Marines to Guam (pulled-out from Japan), rotate additional 4,000 military forces through Australia and Subic—as part of the well-orchestrated plan to encircle and contain China, North Korea and other nations that pose threat to the economic and political interests of US in the region.
Since 2000, US troops have been staying in the country and has been participating in combat operations as justified by the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTF-P). This framework is accountable for the death of a fisherman in a mishap, a day after the resumption of BALIKATAN under the Aquino regime. And recently, this justifies the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as Drones which killed prominent jihadists in Sulu.
PNOY: BOOTLICKING TOADIE, NOYNOYING ON REAL PEOPLES DEMANDS
The implementation of TPP and APC, is manifested in NoyNoy’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP), where its economic flagship programs of Public-Private Partnerships and Conditional Cash Transfers abides by the US’ imperative for free-trade agreements and finance liberalization.
Under PPP, the natural resources of the country (both natural and human capital) are put up for intervention, if not, abuse of foreign capitalists for massive profiteering to the expense of our supposed national industrialization.
The government of the country proves to be one of the most loyal puppets of the Imperialist US. It denounces any form of development for the masses by denying any form of national industrialization. It drives away urban informal settlers, national minorities and indigenous people to pave the way for central business districts and foreign investments. The government would rather resort to dole-out-padrino system of “supporting” the people, when it should create quality jobs, increase wages, industrialize agriculture for the subsistence and welfare of its people. It denies accessible education to the youth, instead railroaded the approval of tuition increase in no less than 250 academic institutions and is proud of the illogical additional 2years to basic education.
A CALL FOR PATRIOTISM AND NATIONALISM
The 2+2 talks in Washington, will mean nothing but intensified abuse of national sovereignty and patrimony. The presence of US troops and its political-economic operations in the country
We call on every youth, every Filipino across the globe who knows of true freedom and love country—to be unwavering and tireless in struggle. What we have is a de facto martial law; a brand of democracy under the machinations of US imperialism. Collectively, we must wave a struggle that is commensurate to centuries-long of colonization and puppetry. The youth, with its vigor and receptiveness to radical ideas must serve at the frontlines in advocating national democracy, with arms linked with the oppressed classes of the society. Our collective resolve to fight for freedom and democracy is a struggle that will fan the flames of liberation movements and anti-imperialist movements across the globe. ###