KARAPATAN slams US-PH wargames, calls for an end to US intervention in PH

KARAPATAN condemns in the strongest terms the upcoming Balikatan war games which will involve up to 16,000 US and Filipino troops and the use of advanced weaponry in scenarios simulating aerial and maritime attacks from China. Coupled with the recent deployment by the US in the Philippines of mid-range missiles capable of reaching Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, there can be no conclusion other than that the US, with the Marcos Jr. regime’s collusion, intends to use Philippine territory as a launching pad for hostile acts against China.

The US has long been fattening up the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as its puppet troops in the region. According to IBON Foundation, the Philippines is the biggest recipient of US military and security assistance in Southeast Asia. On top of this, a bipartisan bill has been filed in the US Congress calling for $2.5 billion more in military aid for the AFP in the next five years.

Reflecting the extent of Marcos Jr.’s puppetry, he himself has hinted that should a Filipino die as a result of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, this would justify invoking the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, signalling the escalation of conflict and the unleashing of the US imperialist dogs of war in the region.

The heavy presence of American military troops and armaments in the country already makes the Philippines a potential target of military attack by China. Notwithstanding China’s intensifying incursions into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is condemnable for allowing the US to exploit this issue and willfully acting as a pawn in the US’ gameplan against China especially if he deliberately sacrifices or recklessly endangers Filipino lives to provide a rationalization for direct US military intervention in the South China Sea conflict.

KARAPATAN urgently demands a stop to the Balikatan and other war games that deliberately ramp up tensions in the South China Sea and drag the country closer to being embroiled in an inter-imperialist war. It calls on all freedom-loving peoples in the Philippines and overseas to forge the broadest solidarity front against US imperialist intervention and war-mongering in the South China Sea and in other areas of the world.