This article was published on Philippine Revolution in October 2008.
Resist US military intervention in the country
American troops are permanently stationed in the country, contrary to claims that they are merely visiting. Since 2001, when the Bush regime cited the Philippines as its “second front” in the US’ global terrorist war, American troops have been pushing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to wage war against various armed groups in Mindanao and have had bigger and broader involvement in these wars as well.
American troops are involved in intelligence work, provide weapons and training to the AFP and directly participate in combat operations. Their permanent presence in the Philippines enables the US to prop up the puppet regime and protect US power in Southeast Asia.
The US invokes the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)–an agreement it exploits and circumvents at will–to justify its troops’ continued presence in the country. The American soldiers’ permanent presence is camouflaged through “joint military exercises” that are held several times a year.
The US troops that have been here on a longterm basis belong to the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTPF). The JSOTPF constitutes close to half of the 1,200-strong Joint Task Force-510 (JTF-510) that was sent to Mindanao by the US Pacific Command in January 2002. Staying until July that year, the JTF-510’s mission was to “clear” the island for the conduct of “Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines.”
American troops detailed with the JSOTF-P use their showcase civic-military projects as a cover for their actual and direct participation in military operations. Their roles range from the conduct of reconnaissance operations to providing intelligence, logistical and other forms of combat support to actual participation in combat.
To support its operations, the JSOTF-P has built concrete facilities and infrastructure within a number of AFP military camps in Mindanao. More than 300 US troops are encamped in a portion of the AFP Western Mindanao Command’s (Westmincom) Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. The JSOTF-P also has its own air asset facility inside the Zamboanga City International Airport that is undergoing expansion. It also has its own seaport at the Majini Pier inside the Westmincom Naval Base and a separate facility inside Camp Arturo Enrile in Malagutay, Zamboanga City.
AFP officers do not even have the right to look into the activities of American forces within these facilities. Even the highest-ranking leaders of the AFP are not allowed into these facilities which are located in their own camps. Anyone who wants to talk to someone working in these facilities must first seek official authorization from the US Embassy.
The Arroyo regime demonstrates its utter and shameless puppetry in the face of US imperialism’s blatant trampling of the country’s sovereignty. Deepening and broadening US military intervention in the Philippines stems from the Arroyo regime and the AFP’s allout collusion with their imperialist master. The Arroyo regime actually promotes and even seeks US military intervention in exchange for its imperialist overlord’s continued support and other “assistance” from the US.
American soldiers are involved not only in anti-Abu Sayyaf operations but in the escalating war against the Bangsamoro and other revolutionary forces. The US made a pretense of publicly supporting the GRP-MILF peace talks with the aim of putting a stop to the Bangsamoro’s armed resistance and paving the way for the influx of more US “assistance” and investments in Mindanao. But having failed to ensnare the MILF, the US military is now focused on supporting the AFP in waging war against the Moro armed revolutionary forces.
For now, the US’ main arena of direct military intervention in the Philippines is Mindanao, with most of its forces focused on operations against the Abu Sayyaf and the MILF. Simultaneously, however, US interventionist troops are targeting the forces that have most militantly and most determinedly been resisting US imperialism in the Philippines–the national-democratic revolutionary forces.
The CPP calls on the Filipino people to step up their exposés, sharpen their condemnation and intensify struggle against continued US military presence and deepening US military intervention in the country. Only the determined struggle of all patriotic forces in the country to oust US interventionist troops and resist imperialist rule in the Philippines can stop US military intervention from rearing its ugly head in the country.