April 8, 2013
We must rise up as true patriots and condemn the 2013 RP-US joint military exercises
The Philippines and the United States have formally commenced the 29th Balikatan military exercise on April 5, 2013. Again, we join our hands in raising our fists and voices to condemn the exercise that truly manifest the continued intrusion of US imperialism into the sovereignty of our country and demand for the immediate pull-out of military troops and armaments from the Philippines.
Just like the previous joint military exercises, today’s Balikatan is clad with sweet rhetoric of humanitarianism and assistance to communities. Let us not be deceived by such empty expressions that the organizers have so crafted fashionably to coat the deep and dark intent of the US-Aquino regime in staging such military exercises that will involve more than 8,000 combined Filipino and American forces.
The current crisis in the Korean peninsula and the posture that the imperialist US government displays are the recurring motives behind such 2013 Balikatan. The exercise will serve as a venue to justify deployment of US troops in the Asian region as well as the positioning of their air and naval powers. Likewise, the puppet US-Aquino regime concurs to such move by deceiving the Filipino people. President Aquino is heaving the entire nation into the Korean crisis.
We must know that the US government is massing-up its military dominance and control in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines, through the sanction of President Aquino and the rest of the ruling elites, will become the staging point of future military aggressions of the US in the region, including on this recent military tensions in the Korean peninsula.
In his official statement during the opening of Balitakan 2013, US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. stressed the so-called strong collaboration between the armed forces of the US and the Philippines in extending assistance to typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims last year. This is a connotation that American forces, through said exercises will again set foot here in Mindanao in the name of humanitarian relief operations.
But beyond humanitarianism is the fact that Balikatan 2013 will only intensify the implementation of ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ in the hinterlands of Mindanao, especially in Davao regions where American-controlled mining corporations are presently devouring mineral deposits and resources. This year’s fusion of Balikatan and ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ will certainly displace more ‘Pablo’ victims, especially the Lumads from their abodes, denying them of their rights to their ancestral lands and self-determination.
Let us not allow ourselves to be deaf and mute witnesses to these cunning and devious efforts of US imperialism to vigorously transform our nation into a battery of weapons and munitions in order to advance their fascist interests in the region. We must oppose the continued escalation of militarization in the hinterlands of Mindanao.
As our puppet leaders failed us time and again, we as sovereign Filipino people must unite to oppose in all fronts the US dominance in our land. We are a force powerful enough to end imperialism, one of the root causes to our nation’s political instability, economic woes and cultural degradation.
NO TO US IMPERIALISM AND STAND AGAINST THE 2013 BALIKATAN MILITARY EXERCISES! PULL OUT US TROOPS NOW! STOP OPLAN BAYANIHAN IN MINDANAO!
Bishop Antonio Ablon