$40M US military aid, bane to rights and sovereignty of Filipino people

Human rights group Karapatan considers the $40 million US military aid pledged by US State Secretary John Kerry during his visit in the Philippines as “another hefty addition to the growing war chest of the Aquino and Obama administrations against the Filipino people and the people of Asia and the Pacific.”

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said that “while Kerry euphemistically stated that the funds are for ‘maritime security assistance and counter-terrorism training in the Philippines,’ we believe that these funds are meant for, and will inevitably be used for Aquino’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which has spawned extrajudicial killings, disappearances, tortures, bombings of communities and other human rights violations in the country.”

“We also believe that this recent package of military aid is a wily measure of the Obama administration meant to circumvent the existing block on the $3 million of annual financial military assistance to the Philippines as a result of the international campaign by human rights groups on the issues of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations in the country,” she added.

The funds will be sourced reportedly from a US program known as the Global Security Contingency Fund, which, according to the US State department website, is an “initiative to incentivize joint planning and to pool the resources of the Departments of State and Defense, along with the expertise of other departments to provide security sector assistance for partner countries so they can address emergent challenges and opportunities important to U.S. national security.”

"Coupled with the sugar-coated bullets through US aid for the relief and rehabilitation of typhoon Yolanda stricken provinces, Kerry's pronouncements are made to appear that the US is an altruistic entity that the Philippine nation needs to overcome disasters and 'threats' in our country. Thus, the US uses this pretext to seal the deal of the Framework Agreement with the BS Aquino government which aims to build bases, increase US military presence in our country and in the Asia Pacific region, along its US pivot program," Palabay continued. 

Karapatan said “the Filipino people will continue to oppose all forms of US imperialist and interventionist designs in the country and counter-insurgency measures that result to gross violations of people’s rights.”

"We oppose US intervention to the Philippines, we oppose the US COIN and BS Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan," Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said as a response to US State Secretary John Kerry. 

"It is the same banana, the same counter-insurgency program, the same Asian pivot of the US government," Palabay said. "It may not be openly giving aid to the Philippine Army due to its stench of human rights violations but the $400 M is still part of the US Counter-Insurgency (US COIN) Guide which the Oplan Bayanihan is following. Part of the second phase of BS Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan is to enable the police to perform counter-terrorism activities," Palabay explained. 

"Human rights violations will continue under this new aid, and might be in a larger scope of the police," Palabay feared. 

"In order to lay ground on this, the $400M military aid is said to be for maritime security assistance in Mindanao we which in truth is a jump start to protect the US interests in area," Palabay said. "The Philippine-China tension on disputed territories is a convenient reason to 'defend' territories alongside with the US," Palabay cited. 

"We will not be fooled, the US has already done this to the Haitian people taking away their sovereignty posing as reliable friend but acted as a parasite that sucked all the natural resources and richness of the nation," Palabay ended.