Protest permanent presence of US military forces in the Philippines—CPP

March 23, 2013

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today urged the Filipino people to raise their voices in protest against the increasing frequency of US warship dockings in the Philippines that have resulted in the permanent presence of US military forces in the country in total disregard of Philippine sovereignty.

The CPP issued the call following the simultaneous docking yesterday of three US warships in Manila, Subic and Cebu which it described as “a triple slap on the face of Philippine sovereignty.” The USS Decatur naval destroyer docked at Manila Bay, while the USS Ohio submarine docked at Subic and the USS Frank Cable submarine tender at Cebu.

“The simultaneous dockings of these US military vessels clearly demonstrate that the US government and military treat the Philippines as nothing more than their naval outpost in the Asia-Pacific and that Benigno Aquino III acts like an American governor at the beck and call of his masters.”

Just a few days ago, the USS Emory S. Land, another submarine tender also docked at Subic. It was the source of toxic waste dumped off the coast of Subic by a US defense contractor last October 15.

These American military naval vessels came at a time when the grounding last January of the USS Guardian and the widespread damage it has caused to the corals and wildlife at the Tubbataha Reefs protected area remain unresolved, pointed out the CPP.

“The Philippine government has miserably failed the Filipino people in its refusal to make the the USS Guardian personnel and the entire US military accountable for violations of Philippine laws,” added the CPP. “Worse, the US acted high-handedly in announcing the other day that it was seeking the cooperation of the Philippine government in the investigation that it would be carrying out on the grounding of the USS Guardian.”

“In the first place, it is the Philippine government that is supposed to carry out such an investigation. The American military officers and personnel of the grounded USS Guardian should have been remanded to the custody of Philippine authorities pending the investigation of their culpability,” said the CPP.

The CPP said the increasing frequency of the US military naval dockings in the Philippines is exacerbated by the permanent stationing of 700 US combat soldiers under the US Pacific Command’s Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P). The JSOTF-P is based in an exclusive area within Camp Navarro, the headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The CPP reiterated the need to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty and other unequal military agreements between the Philippine and US governments.