Joint patrols with US military will be inimical to Philippine sovereignty
The proposal to conduct joint maritime patrols with the US military in the West Philippine Sea must be rejected. Such a plan is inimical to the country as it further bounds the Philippines to the US military at a time that economic and military tensions between the US and China are rising.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo brought up the proposal over the weekend during a press conference.
Joining the US military in a maritime patrol will completely take away the country’s capacity to act independently and in line with its national interests in the face of rising conflicts between the US and China. It will shamelessly put on display how the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is an appendage of the US military and make the country a target of US imperialism’s enemies or rivals.
Such joint patrol can be used to provoke China to make miscalculated armed actions and, thus, lay the conditions for invoking the US-RP 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, towards serving the US goal of escalating armed hostilities. In a way, this can be similar to how the US used Ukraine to provoke Russia to mount a military assault, and thus create conditions of war which the US military industrial complex is now making huge profits from.
The Marcos regime claims to uphold an independent foreign policy but is, in fact, subservient to both the US and China. So far, however, it has more acts of subservience to the US in the face of the Biden government’s aggressive push to establish its power in the Asia-Pacific, from Taiwan, to the Philippines all the way to the Solomon Islands.
Marcos showed utter spinelessness before Sec. Blinken when he downplayed the brazen provocation by the US against China through the official visit last week to Taiwan by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi who was accompanied by a US military plane. The visit clearly intended to instigate China to conduct military actions to assert its sovereignty and push the situation closer to the brink of open armed hostilities.
Earlier, the Marcos regime exhibited gross subservience to the US when it cancelled military purchase contracts with Russia for fear that the Philippines will be subjected to US sanctions. This cancellation, announced last week by US stooge Delfin Lorenzana, cost the country ₱2 billion.
It is urgent for the Filipino to push for abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), as well as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. They must also call for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops and advisers in Philippine soil. As long as these agreements are in place, and as long as American troops enjoy extraterritorial rights in the country, the Philippines cannot assert itself to be truly independent and non-aligned.
At the same time, the Filipino people must demand China to dismantle its military facilities, and put a stop to industrial fishing and the plunder of marine resources within the country’s maritime territory, exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf, respect the July 2016 decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal.
In the face of heightening inter-imperialist conflicts and rising dangers of war, the Filipino people must more vigorously push for the country to be truly independent, non-aligned and peace-loving, in order not to allow the Philippines to be used as a pawn by either side, or be trampled underfoot by the imperialist giants.