January 31, 2024
KARAPATAN assails attempts by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to entice intellectuals based in the University of the Philippines College of Science (UPCS) to conduct researches, results of such could be used in the development of weapons and technologies beneficial to US-involved wars and offensives. The strategy, said the AFOSR, has resulted in three ongoing priority projects focused on combat aerial vehicles and communication satellites.
The UP College of Science objected to the scheduled conduct of a forum on February 1, 2024 at the UPCS administration building designed to encourage scientists to apply for research grants with the AFOSR, and has circulated a petition calling for the cancellation of the activity or for it to be held outside the UPCS.
US imperialism’s use of Filipino scientists in the development of such advanced technologies is deplorable because their research will facilitate the commission of war crimes. We cite Israel’s war of genocide against Palestine, where US-supplied bombs have been wreaking large-scale havoc in the occupied territory. By mid-December 2023, Israel had dropped 29,000 bombs, munitions and shells on Gaza, destroying or damaging almost 70% of homes, according to a Wall Street Journal report quoted by Aljazeera. In addition, more than 21,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of active hostilities on October 7, 2023, most of them children and women, and with thousands more missing.
The potential use of such technologies in the counter-insurgency war in the Philippines, which has increasingly involved the use by the military of bombing and artillery attacks against rural communities suspected of supporting the New People’s Army, is an ominous possibility. Filipino know-how may be utilized to develop weapons that will be used to kill, maim or dislocate their fellow Filipinos.
KARAPATAN stands in solidarity with the UP College of Science in its objective of making science serve the people, not for purposes that are anathema to building a just and peaceful society. #