Mar 242013
 

UNITED VOICES OF CONCERN

 Tagalog Version is below this post.

(Amidst the sounds of fury over the Southeast Asian Sea)

6 June 2012  World Peace Bell,

Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines

 

The contending states claiming territorial jurisdiction over sections of the ‘Southeast Asian Sea’ are only heightening regional tensions to a frightening degree.  In particular, the contentious row between the Philippines and China is being amplified by certain quarters to a near-conflict level for seemingly nationalistic, but in fact chauvinistic reasons.  And as the almost daily sounds of fury raise the stakes for the region’s masses of humanity, many more sober voices of concern must now come out to be heard and not be silenced by the saber-rattling of a deluded few.

 

Southeast Asia’s regional security environment faces a clear and present danger.  The Manila-Beijing standoff emanating from their rival claims to the Southeast Asian Sea must urgently be turned around and be resolved through a process of open diplomacy between the two nations.  Both sides need to do so swiftly in order to avert a possible scenario of military confrontation affecting the wider Asia-Pacific region.  If this happens, it would only cause a massive blow to the Philippines—its peoples, the economy and society at large.

 

Undoubtedly, today’s international situation is highly fluid and volatile.  The global capitalist system remains dominated by an elite few and its economic and political control over the world’s social majority is primarily upheld by a corporate-driven and profit-oriented neoliberal paradigm. But ever since last year’s worldwide mass upsurges of the global poor, the 99% was able to directly challenge the exploitative and oppressive rule of the 1% across many regions of the world.  Yet still, the world continues to dangerously swing from one economic crisis to another, from one toppled regime to the next, and from one war of aggression to yet one more.

 

And here in the Philippines, the PNoy regime is now seemingly driving our country into a potential state of war with China.  Malacañang’s over-reactive pro-US imperialist foreign policy stance is needlessly provoking Beijing into taking a more belligerent attitude towards Manila. Instead of initiating and pursuing a long-range strategic foreign policy thrust premised on the universally acknowledged internationalist principles of sovereign independence, humanist solidarity, people-centered development and progressive self-determination, the PNoy regime is merely maintaining a century-old dependency track in managing our external relations.

 

At the same time, China must also be firmly admonished for its increasing militarization and power-bullying of other regional claimants in the Southeast Asian Sea. Beijing must realize that the only long-term comprehensive resolution to the regional crisis is through a regionalized multilateral approach which does not have to involve the world’s chief imperialist power, the United States.  If China adheres to regional cooperation, it can reap more respect and friendly allies from around its neighborhood without having to impose its powerful might to justify its ends.

 

In the meantime, the United States is now re-positioning and enhancing its forward power-projection capabilities around the broader Asian region with its aggressive foreign policy framework of an ‘Asian Pivot’.  This explains why Washington continues to remain actively involved within the ASEAN Regional Forum’s (ARF) political-security dialogue process, which also includes China and all the ASEAN member-states.  Yet given this context, a parallel regional dialogue mechanism which only involves the ASEAN, China, plus other interested and concerned Asian states, can already be initiated and set up to specifically concentrate on resolving the Southeast Asian Sea dilemma without Washington’s undue influence, as is the case with the ARF approach.

 

Nevertheless, the collective voices and actions of the many all around the world have already been able to progressively change and radically alter the course of the early 21st century. The masses in many parts of the world, such as in Latin America and the Middle East, are now marching toward a more consciously self-determined history to further liberate humanity from imposed wars of aggression and systemic misery.   It is this same fundamental spirit that should greatly guide all the peoples living within and around the Southeast Asian region, including its large neighbor China, to always and consistently strive for genuine peace and freedom for the larger regional community of states and societies.  This we must do if we all are to principally advance and eventually establish our common vision of a regionalist community within a truly internationalist world order.

 

Therefore, it is for this principled reason that we are all gathered today to stand together as one united voice concerned for our region’s peace and progress.  We are now collectively and loudly voicing out our immediate and urgent concerns about the presently tense and unstable regional security situation and for it to be directly resolved through a transparent mode of diplomacy.  To reiterate, we do not want any open military confrontation to break out between China and the Philippines in relation to the Southeast Asian Sea problem.  And we certainly do not want the US to intervene in any way because its priority strategic agenda will never be in favor of Manila or the Asian region as a whole, but always in line with Washington’s global hegemonic schemes for world capitalist domination.  We also believe that the claims to the contested Southeast Asian Sea can be equitably resolved through open diplomacies of all governments concerned, under the framework of regional cooperation and sharing, than through gunboat diplomacy or open war, where only the powerful nations stand to gain.

 

Finally, as we all add our voices of concern to this regional problem, we must remain open-minded and critically discerning of the constantly changing conditions that led us to this situation in the first place. We must always pursue a collective regional approach that fosters peace and cooperation. We must not allow ourselves to be used as a ‘provocation agent-state’ for or against another neighboring state, lest we really aim to ignite a broad Asia-Pacific war with horrendous consequences.

 

Thus, we raise our voices today to say that this is what we shall never allow to happen.  Standing united as a broad progressive front, we shall exert all possible efforts to oppose and stop any future conflict or war from breaking out as a result of misplaced national-chauvinist reactions from both sides to this impasse.   We must not wait for tomorrow to pass.  Let us all act today to block the road to a potential regional war fanned by heated passions over rocks and shoals.  Let us now mobilize and support all moves for transparent diplomacy in combination with mass pressure from below and across the region. ###

 

Signed by:

Stop the War Coalition Philippines

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers ASSERT

Alliance of Progressive Labor

Association of Women for Agrarian Reform Devt. And Empowerment  AWARDEE

CONZARRD.

DAMMMBA

KASAMMAKA

Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

Liga Manggagawa

MAKABAYAN

Mindanao Tri-People Women Resource Center, Inc. MTWRC

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan  KAISAKA

Partido Manggagawa

Partido Lakas ng Masa

Peace Women Partners

Philippine Women Network for Peace and Security

SANLAKAS

SCRAP VFA Movement

Socialista Women

WomanHealth

Women’s Education, Devt., Productivity & Research Organization,Inc. WEDPRO

Young Moro Professionals Network

Youth for Nationalism and Democracy

Sanlakas Youth

(more individual/organization signatories still being confirmed. To be added later)

 

— Corazon Valdez Fabros

Stop the War Coalition Philippines

Phone/FAX: +63-2-9311153

Mobile: +63-917-8871153

Skype: corafabros

Email: corafabros@gmail.com

 

Small acts, when multipled by millions of people, can transform the world (Howard Zinn)

 


 

NAGKAKAISANG TINDIG HINGGIL SA NAPIPINTONG DIGMAAN SA SOUTHEAST ASIAN SEA

 

6 June 2012  World Peace Bell,

 

Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines

 

 

Tapos na ang Impeachment Drama sa senado na matagal na pinagkaabalahan ng gobyerno. Dapat nang pagtuunan ng pansin ng Administrasyong PNoy ang tensyong namumuo sa Scarborough Shoal na mas dapat pagkaabalahan ng gobyerno dahil sa matinding epekto nito sa ekonomiya at mamamayan ng Pilipinas. Tensyon na maaring mauwi sa rehiyunal na digmaan sa Southeast Asia (na maaaring umabot pa sa Asia-Pacific region) dahil sa barumbadong asal ng China ng magpadala ito ng mga modernong warships sa pinagtatalunang dagat. Mas tumindi ang tensyon nang makialam ang US, sa basbas ni PNoy, nang biglang sumulpot, sa di-malamang kadahilanan, ang isang warship nito sa baybayin ng Subic. Ang panungusinti ng US ay lalo pang tumampok ng mangako itong magbebenta ng dalawang pinaglumaan nang warship sa Pilipinas para daw sa “seguridad” ng bansa. Bago ito ay nauna nang nagpadala ng kinakalawang na warship ang Pilipinas sa Scarborough Shoal. At sa mga nagdaang panahon, nagpapadala na rin ng mga sasakyang dagat ang Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, at Malaysia dahil ang mga bansang ito ay nakiki-angkin din sa pinagtatalunang bahagi ng Southeast Asian Sea. Kapag hindi napigilan ang military stand-off, lalo na sa pagitan ng China at Pilipinas, malaking epekto nito sa ekonomiya ng mga bansang nagtatalu-talo kung saan direktang apektado ang mamamayan nito, partikular ang mga manggagawa. Mas matindi ang dagok ng digmaan sa Pilipinas dahil ito lamang ang relatibong mahirap na bansa sa mga umaangkin sa Scarborough Shoal.

 

Para sa Stop the War Coalition (SWC), kung matuloy man sa gyera ang namumuong tensyon, ito ay isang gyera ng mga naghaharing uri sa kapitalismong sistema: mga elitistang may kapangyarihan sa burukrasya ng China upang maungusan na nito ang US sa pagdomina sa world economy, mga lokal at internasyunal na kapitalistang nakabase sa Pilipinas na may interes sa yamang-mineral sa shoal, at ang imperyalistang US na gustong mapanatili ang kanilang dominasyon sa ekonomiya ng mundo. Hindi naman lingid sa ating kaalaman na ang malalaking negosyo ng US ay nasa digmaan: pagbebenta ng armas at kagamitang pandigma tulad ng mga lumang warships na ibinenta sa Pilipinas. Kung gayon, ang makikinabang lamang sa pagkapanalo sa digmaang ito ay silang mga elitista rin, habang ang mga mahihirap na mamamayan at manggagawa ay patuloy na papasanin ang dagok ng krisis ng ekonomiya bunga ng digmaan.

 

Ang SWC, bilang isang grupong nagbuklod para sa kapakanan ng mamamayan at manggagawa ng lahat ng bansa sa Southeast Asia ay nananawagan na resolbahin na ang isyung ito sa pamamagitan ng diplomasya at regional unity upang mapanatili ang kapayapaan sa rehiyon. Hindi wasto ang pamamaraan ng Administrasyong PNoy na makipagsabayan ng lakas-militar laban sa China dahil sa totoo lang, wala naman talaga itong “lakas” upang tapatan ang modernong lakas-militar ng China. At lalong kabalintunaan ang paghingi ng tulong-militar sa US dahil taliwas ito sa pambansang soberenya ng Pilipinas na dapat ay malayang resolbahin nito sa sariling inisyatiba ang isyu sa Scarborough Shoal. Ang isali ng Pilipinas ang US sa problema nito sa China ay maliwanag na pagiging dependent ng bansa sa US.

 

Sa pananaw ng SWC, ang diplomatikong negosasyon ay dapat na nakabase sa ekonomikong ganansya ng bawat bansang nagtatalu-talo na kung saan highlighted ang pakinabang ng mamamayan at manggagawa. Dapat alisin ang national barrier sa pagitan ng mga bansa at magkaisang linangin ang yamang-mineral sa Scarborough Shoal. Kung ang China (o alimang bansa na umaangkin) ay may kapasidad na i-develop ang natural resources dahil sa moderno technological industry nito, hayaan na lamang na Pilipinas (na kapos sa technological industry) na sila na ang magproseso ng minerals para maging produkto na magagamit sa industry  ng buong rehiyon. Ngunit dapat makinabang ang Pilipinas sa kita upang maging capital investment ng bansa para naman mapaunlad nito ang sariling industriya, na siya namang magpapasulpot ng isang masiglang ekonomiya at siguradong trabaho para sa mamamayan. Kung sa paanong paraan ito maisasakatuparan, sa diplomatikong negosasyon na pag-aralan.

 

Sa usapin naman ng regional unity, hindi lamang dapat ito nakapatungkol sa pagkakaisa ng mga bansa o liderato ng mga bansa. Dapat ang regional unity ay mas ikinukunsidera ang tunay na representasyon ng mamamayan at manggagawa upang mas maikunsidera sa diplomatic process ang kapakanan at kapakinabangan ng mamamayan at manggagawa at hindi lamang interes ng mga kapitalista sa potensyal na negosyo mula sa yamang-mineral ng dagat. Ito ay para sa international solidarity ng mga manggagawa sa Southeast Asian region. Dito mas mapapatingkad ang tunay na esensya ng demokrasya kung saan ang nagdedesisyon ay ang boses ng nakararami o ng mamamayan. At hindi kailanman papayagan ng masang mamamayan at manggagawa ang digmaan para sa ganansya ng mga elitista. Napatunayan na at pinapatunayan ito ng mga kasalukuyang kaganapan sa buong mundo (Occupy Movements, Arab Spring uprisings, etc.). Ang kapayapaan ay dapat pagpasyahan ng masang mamamayan at manggagawa, at hindi ng mga elitista.

 

Ito ang dapat nating ipanawagan sa araw na ito. Tayong nagtitipun-tipon sa World Peace Bell na simbolo ng pandaigdigang kapayapaan.#

 

 

Stop the War Coalition Philippines

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers ASSERT

Alliance of Progressive Labor

Association of Women for Agrarian Reform Devt. And Empowerment  AWARDEE

CONZARRD.

DAMMMBA

KASAMMAKA

Kilusan Para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

Liga Manggagawa

MAKABAYAN

Mindanao Tri-People Women Resource Center, Inc. MTWRC

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan  KAISAKA

Partido Manggagawa

Partido Lakas ng Masa

Peace Women Partners

Philippine Women Network for Peace and Security

SANLAKAS

SCRAP VFA Movement

Socialista Women

WomanHealth

Women’s Education, Devt., Productivity & Research Organization,Inc. WEDPRO

Young Moro Professionals Network

Youth for Nationalism and Democracy

Sanlakas Youth

 

Stop the War Coalition Philippines

Phone/FAX: +63-2-9311153

Mobile: +63-917-8871153

Skype: corafabros

Email: corafabros@gmail.com

 

Small acts, when multipled by millions of people, can transform the world (Howard Zinn)

 

The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in June. 16th 2012

 

 

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