September 29, 2010
The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today described the $434 million granted by the US to the Aquino government as “war funds” in line with the US Counter-insurgency Guide. Of the grant facilitated by the Millenium Challenge Corporation headed by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton, $214.4 million will go to the rehabilitation of the Samar Road while the rest are earmarked for other construction projects and improvement of tax collection.
But according to NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas, “The MCC grant is another addition to the long history of US aggression and intervention in Samar, dating back to the 1901 Balangiga Uprising we commemorated last Sept. 28. It is really US assistance for the Aquino government’s counter-insurgency program in lieu of Oplan Bantay Laya, where the whole island of Samar remains a priority area. Such a program is copied from the 2009 US Counter-insurgency Guide, which comprehensively pushes “counter-insurgency” by emphasizing massive psywar propaganda in tandem with brute military force.”
Fr. Salas noted that no fundamental changes are being undertaken by the Aquino government, while it actively hews to US political and economic interests. “President Benigno Aquino III is no different from Arroyo and other predecessors in being a puppet of US imperialism. It is even laughable for the MCC to give the grant as a gesture of support for Aquino’s supposed anti-corruption.
But not even a hundred days into his office, the people can see through Aquino’s emperor’s new clothes into his own corruption, puppetry and fascism. He has neglected bringing Gloria Arroyo to account for massive corruption and human rights violations. His government is riddled with cronyism through the Kamag-anak Inc. and Kaklase Inc. He is beholden to the interests of big landlords, big business, and US imperialism. He has not resumed peace talks with the NDFP but seems inclined to all-out war coupled with cosmetic reforms.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson also said that the MCC grant comes on the heels of the Aquino government’s 2011 increased military budget and superficial projects to woo the people. “The 2011 military budget of P104.7 billion is 81% bigger than in 2010, while the military is also expanding into untraditional roles like participating in socio-economic projects, such as Kalahi-CIDSS, to deodorize its reputation. The Aquino government is also pushing for superficial economic projects that in the main are infrastucture-building to support foreign investments, such as the MCC’s Samar Road rehabilitation that could spur massive foreign logging and mining. Meanwhile, fundamental changes are ignored, such as land reform and national industrialization, job creation and wage increases, the assurance of basic social services, and protecting and defending the national sovereignty.”
Fr. Salas concluded that the MCC grant for Samar foreshadows massive government deception and military offensives against the people ahead. “The Aquino regime will strive to project that genuine change is happening, while intensifying the military solution against the revolutionary movement of the people. The line will be clearly drawn between superficial and fundamental changes, or between reformism and revolution. We call on the people to resist the US-backed “counter-insurgency” program of the Aquino regime. No manipulation and maneuvering inspired by the US Counter-insurgency Guide can disguise the rottenness of the reactionary ruling system and the need for revolution. The people can best fight back in using their strength of millions in the mass movement, and in supporting and joining the revolutionary armed struggle to bring the people’s war to a new and higher level in the next five years.”#