The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today urged the Filipino people to demand disclosure of the mission of US air officers who were in the Philippines recently to meet with top defense and security officials of the Aquino government.
The commander of the United States Pacific Air Forces, Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, was at Clark Air Field in Pampanga the other day where he met Defense Undersecretary Honorio Azcueta, AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista and PAF commander Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino de la Cruz. Official statements released by the AFP and US embassy state only that the military officials discussed matters of “mutual interest”.
“Are the US government and its puppets planning to set up a drone airbase at Clark?,” said the CPP. The CPP pointed out that US defense officials have long expressed their desire to build a facility in the Philippines to house and operate its military drones. These were first raised in the discussions of the Strategic Defense Dialogue (SDD) held in Washington early last year, and reiterated in a subsequent meeting of the SDD and the Mutual Defense Board in Manila.
“The Filipino people stand firmly against any plan to set up more military facilities in the Philippines. They demand an independent foreign policy and aspire for genuine national freedom and sovereignty,” said the CPP.
“In the drive to increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the US government and military are more and more making use of the Philippines as one of its military strongholds which serve as a base and platform of operations for its naval and air forces,” pointed out the CPP. “The plan to set up military facilities to house its drones has been one of the key items in the US agenda in the Philippines.”
“Plans to set up military facilities in Clark and Subic come on top of the permanent base of operations of the 700-strong Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) of the US Pacific Command inside Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City,” said the CPP.
“The US also wants to supply or facilitate the sale of refurbished or low-end jet fighters to the Philippine Air Force in an effort to enable the PAF to serve as an auxiliary to US Air Force operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” pointed out the CPP.