BAYAN slams Balikatan 2015,
Various groups support Venezuela's struggle against US intervention

 

US Embassy, Manila

 

April 20, 2015

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Bayan slams Balikatan 2015

Posted date: April 07, 2015In: News Releases

Press Statement

April 7, 2015

 

The veil surrounding the role of the United States in the bloody Mamasapano incident not even been lifted, yet here are the US and Philippine governments planning another joint exercise involving 5,000 US troops starting April 20.

 

The custody issue involving murder suspect US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton has not been resolved in favor of the Philippines yet here is the US allowing its troops to undertake rest and recreation all over the country.

 

The upcoming Balikatan war games is another affront to our sovereignty. It is a spit on the face the Philippines. Why is the Philippine government welcoming these interventionist troops after all the damage they have done to our country?

 

The refusal of the US to reveal its true role in Mamasapano along with their earlier refusal to surrender custody of Pemberton should already be grounds for terminating US military activities in the country. These should be enough basis to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

 

The US provided funding and training, real-time intelligence as well as hands-on direction for the bloody Mamasapano incident that claimed the lives of 67 Filipinos. Six Americans were confirmed to be at the PNP SAF tactical command post during the operation. It is an indication that the US played a leading role in the operation. Filipino troops were sacrificed to satisfy the war on terror obsession of the US. The US even had prior knowledge of the operation, ahead of top officials such as the DND and DILG secretaries and the PNP OIC.

 

It is not true that the US is out to protect us against China’s incursions and reclamation projects in the West Philippine Sea. The US has repeatedly said it that does not take sides in the dispute. The US is a huge debtor to China, to the tune of US $1.3 trillion. The US will not engage China in a shooting war. Our national leaders are only being made to believe that the US is there to support us. In truth, the US in only concerned with its own expansionist interests in Asia. Our national interest is not identical with US imperialist interests.

 

Like vultures, the US is already encircling Mindanao, anticipating the conclusion of Aquino’s so-called peace pact that would allow foreign plunder of natural resources. The US military build-up in the area is tied to US economic interests in mining and oil and energy exploration.

 

The Balikatan war games are a continuing reminder of the subservience of the Aquino regime to foreign dictates. It is this subservience that makes us weak as a nation. The Philippine government refuses to adopt an independent foreign policy. It refuses to assert economic sovereignty which will allow us to develop the capacity to defend our territorial waters. The Aquino government is a shameless puppet government. ###
 

     
     
           
     
 
Click here for video of speech of Teddy Casiño
 
 
     

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US Balikatan will not help PH vs China

Posted date: April 19, 2015In: News Releases

redday_vfa

Press Statement

April 19, 2015

Renato Reyes, Jr. , BAYAN secretary general

The upcoming Balikatan war games is another affront to Philippine sovereignty by the United States government. It comes in the wake of US involvement in the botched Mamasapano operation that resulted in the deaths of 67 Filipinos. The Balikatan war games also takes place during the trial of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton who is accused of murdering Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, and who remains under US custody.

The Balikatan war games will not help the Philippines against the expansionist activities of China in the region. Numerous Balikatan exercises from the 80’s onwards have failed to help modernize the Philippine military. Even the de facto basing pact Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which marks its first anniversary on April27, will not develop our country’s defenses.

The joint exercises are intended to boost US power projection in the region and increase US involvement in the Philippines’ internal affairs. It is not true that the US is out to protect us against China’s incursions and reclamation projects in the West Philippine Sea. The US has repeatedly said that it that does not take sides in the maritime dispute.

The US is a huge debtor to China, to the tune of US $1.3 trillion. The US will not engage China in a shooting war. Our national leaders are only being made to believe that the US is there to support us. In truth, the US in only concerned with its own imperialist interests in Asia. We assert that our national interest is not identical with US strategic pivot to the region.

The supposed new equipment that are being requested by the Department of Foreign Affairs for maritime surveillance will be owned and operated by the United States. The DFA is basically allowing the US to put up military facilities on PH territory, in the guise of helping us counter China.

Increased US involvement in the Philippines should also be seen in the context of the former’s involvement in the Bangsamoro peace process. Like vultures, the US is already encircling Mindanao, anticipating the conclusion of Aquino’s so-called peace pact that would allow foreign plunder of Mindanao’s natural resources. The US military build-up in the area is tied to US economic interests in mining and oil and energy exploration. US economic aid to the region before and after the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law is also aimed at facilitating foreign investments and the plunder of resources.

We cannot effectively defend our territorial waters and exclusive economic zone against China if we continue to remain a neo-colony of the United States. It is our reliance on the US which has made our country weak and unable to develop the economic means and military capability to defend our waters. Only a government that upholds economic sovereignty and an independent foreign policy will be able to muster the strength of the Filipino people against the incursions of both China and the US. ###

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

20 April 2015

 

Balikatan will not counter China’s expansionist activities – student group

 

A day after the official commencement of the US and Philippines’ Balikatan exercises, the League of Filipino Students (LFS) joined other sectoral organizations under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in a protest on Monday in front of the US embassy.

 

LFS said that aside from being another violation of Philippine sovereignty, Balikatan is also a disrespect to the Filipino people who have just recently grieved the death of Jennifer Laude under the hands of US serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton.

 

“Balikatan has always been a deliberate violation of our national sovereignty. As if adding insult to the injury, it was launched amid the prosecution of Joseph Pemberton who murdered our kababayan Jennifer Laude,” said LFS National Spokesperson Charisse Bañez.

 

The youth group asserted that the US military will not help the Philippines counter China’s reclamation activities in the Philippines even through Balikatan and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

 

“The US military has so gallantly posed itself as an ally against territorial dispute but it never really did anything to inhibit Chinese incursion. Instead, it has even set greater threats to our sovereignty through Balikatan and military agreements such as EDCA,” said Bañez.

 

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. earlier said that this year’s Balikatan will not deliberately ward off Chinese reclamation in the West Philippine Sea.

 

Bañez also said that Balikatan will not modernize the AFP and amplify the Philippines’ strength to secure its territorial integrity.

 

“Modernizing the AFP and training them to defend our sovereignty are nothing but lies and cover-ups to the US’ main agenda of bolstering its power in the Asia-Pacific. Even the new military equipment requested by the military for maritime patrolling will be under the control of the US and not of the Philippines,” she told.

 

LFS pointed out that in the Philippines will never successfully triumph against the regional dispute with China if it continues to follow the dictates of a superpower like the US.

 

“We will never assert our territorial integrity if a vulture like the US continues to fly in our midst. It is our decades long of slavery to the US that made us weak in terms of economy and military.”

 

“We do not expect a US puppet like the Aquino regime to uphold sovereignty and an independent foreign policy. The Filipino people must clamor to oust the current administration and put up a government that will truly fight for our independence,” Bañez ended.

  

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References:

 

Charisse Banez

LFS National Spokesperson

0919 617 8979

 

Charlotte Velasco

LFS Media Liaison

0926 594 5243

 

Website: lfs.ph

Facebook: facebook.com/elepsPH
Twitter: twitter.com/LFSPhilippines 

 


Click here for video of Charisse Bañez' speech
 
     
           
     
     
     

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Bayanmuna Partylist

FILED TODAY!
HR 2031, House Resolution condemning China's Reclamation on West Phil Seas.

"We are urging the House of Representatives and the Honorable Speaker to use our international parliamentary networks to condemn China’s aggression. As standing members of the Asian Parliamentary Association (AIPO) and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) we should use these venues to gather international support for our sovereign claim over Panatag shoal."

 

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Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 Quezon City

SIXTEENTH CONGRESS

Second Regular Session


HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 2031

________________________ 

 

Introduced by BAYAN MUNA Rep. NERI J. COLMENARES and Rep. CARLOS ISAGANI T. ZARATE

RESOLUTION

DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL DEFENSETO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION AND AS PART OF ITSOVERSIGHT FUNCTION, ON THE NECESSARY ACTIONS TO DEFEND PHILIPPINETERRITORY AND EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONES AND COUNTER CHINA’S ILLEGAL RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES IN THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEAS AS THECOUNTRY CANNOT RELY ON THE DOUBLE-DEALING UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

WHEREAS
, the Philippines has territorial claims over parts of the Spratly group of islands located within the country's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, as stipulated in the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which states that the coastal state has “sovereign rightsfor the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whetherliving or non-living, of the waters” 200 nautical miles from its coast. The coastal state will also havejurisdiction over “the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; marinescientific research; and the protection and preservation of the marine environment";


WHEREAS,
 Speaker Feliciano ‘Sonny’ Belmonte even stated that “the whole world is unable, unwilling or afraid to help us, the US included. China is obviously violating our territory in front of the whole world. Their activities in the disputed territory will affect the flow of goods among countries, making theissue a serious global problem, China’s blatant expansion activities are making the problem not just aregional security problem, but a global one,”


WHEREAS
, A Chinese coast guard vessel has been reported to have driven away Filipino fishermenfrom their traditional fishing grounds in Panatag Shoal. The Chinese action is deplorable, patentlyprovocative because the Chinese vessel purportedly used water cannons against the fishermen thatcaused the injury of a fisherman. This incident happened more than a year after a group of fishermenfrom Pangasinan and Zambales reported that Chinese vessels fired water cannon at their boats whilethese were anchored at Panatag Shoal;
 

     
     
           
     
     
     
           

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International Release

17 April 2015

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, ILPS Philippines Chairperson, 0908-1636597


US-PH military exercises scored

 

MANILA. The Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS-Phils) scored the Balikatan 2015 military exercise of the United States in the country as an "intensification of war preparations and a growing burden to the Filipino people and the region."

 

Instead of scaling down, the 31st Balikatan exercise has grown to be the biggest in 15 years. It now involves 6,656 American soldiers, 5,023 Filipino soldiers, 76 US military aircraft and three US warships. Some 61 Australian soldiers are also participating.

 

"This shows the US strategic pivot into Asia to project itself militarily in the region. Aside from having security alliances with Japan and Australia, it is using bilateral agreements such as with the Philippines to reinforce US interests using the expanding presence of China as a bogey," ILPS-Phils Chair Elmer "Bong" Labog said.

 

Various military activities are slated in the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Cavite and Zambales in Northern Luzon.  So-called "community services" are also slated in Albay, Bicol, in Capiz, Panay and in Palawan. Activities range from amphibious assault, field training to live fire exercises.

 

"The recent Mamasapano tragedy to get US-wanted terrorists has shown that these trainings and exercises have not really secured the people. In fact, the exercises are a continuing violation of Philippine sovereignty and poses real threat and harm on the people," the ILPS-Phils said.

 

Balikatan 2015 is the first major US military exercise after US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is charged for the murder of Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude in October 2014.

 

"No amount of curfew and restrictions on night clubs and bars can guarantee the safety of civilians from these trained killing men.  The suggestion of Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. to provide 'real women' to prevent another transgender death shows how absurdity can be stretched to great lengths just to host these foreign troops," it added.

 

The first Balikatan exercise was conducted in 1991. In 1995, the Philippines ended Balikatan because of a dispute over the Visiting Forces Agreement. That agreement gives the United States jurisdiction over crimes committed by military personnel while on duty in a foreign country. The Visiting Forces Agreement provided for expanded military cooperation after coming into force in 1999.###

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I L P S   
Philippine Chapter

Office Address:
2/F IBON Center, 114 Timog Avenue 
Quezon City 1103,  PHILIPPINES
Tel: +63 2  9277062
E-mail: 
ilps.phils@gmail.com

Website: www.ilps-phils.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILPSPhils

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ILPS_Phils

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Media Release
20 April 2015

Balikatan shows gov’t ignoring lessons from Mamasapano – KMU 

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined a march to the US Embassy this morning to condemn the 31
st edition of the Balikatan Exercises between US and Filipino troops which is set to start today. 

The labor group said the exercises, in which more than 11,000 American and Filipino troops are expected to participate, shows that the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino is ignoring the lessons of the Mamasapano bloodshed.

“This batch of joint exercises shows that the Aquino government is ignoring the lessons of Mamasapano less than three months after the bloodshed. The death of 68 Filipinos because of a US-directed operation is being met by Aquino with intensified puppetry for the US,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said what happened in Mamasapano is clearly a joint operation between US troops and the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force, which sustained 44 casualties.

“The exercises are trying hard to project ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ equality and solidarity between the Philippines and the US. Actual joint operations, however, result in the death of Filipinos even as the US government’s role continues to be denied by top government officials who are suppposed to know,” said Labog. 

KMU also said that US Pres. Barack Obama made the statement early this month that China is not abiding by international rules and “using… sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions” in order to make Filipinos accept heightened US military presence in the country.

“The US wants to make it appear that it is the Filipinos’ only hope in fighting China’s aggressive statements and actions. This, despite its continuing claim that it does not take sides in our maritime dispute with China and and hopes that the issue can be solved diplomatically,” stated Labog.

The labor leader said the US wants to continue with the Balikatan exercises and increase military presence in the Philippines in order to advance its own economic and geopolitical interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Balikatan is not about defending Philippine territory. It is in fact violating Philippine territory. The US is only increasing tensions stemming from the territorial disputes because of its continued meddling,” stated Labog.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597

           
     
 
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Venezuela stands up to US bullying

 

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
Streetwise | BusinessWorld


The failed coup in Venezuela last February and US President Obama’s declaration this March that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a “national security threat” to the United States have escaped most Filipinos’ notice. Understandably so, with the entire country preoccupied with the ongoing cover-up of another monumental blunder by the Aquino government, one that has cost not just scores of lives including 44 members of its own elite police forces but has also undermined the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

 

Yet Filipinos should sit up and take notice. These most recent events in Venezuela underscore hard lessons being learned by the Venezuelan people and its democratically elected government as they try to chart their nation’s destiny toward greater equity, social cohesion and national progress. In the process they find themselves continuously, systematically and violently opposed by the tiny but still powerful socioeconomic elite with the solid backing of the US government.

 

Fifteen years ago, under the leadership of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan society underwent sweeping reforms that aimed to redistribute the revenue from its oil wealth for the benefit of the greater majority. This entailed nationalizing the oil industry and using its earnings for government socioeconomic programs geared to ensure that basic goods and services such as food, housing and education were universally accessible and affordable. The Chavez leadership also pushed aggressively for genuine land reform. It capitalized on its huge popularity with the masses to build grassroots-based people’s organizations such as worker-managed cooperatives and community councils that galvanized the popular will behind its reforms.

 

The Chavez government prevailed over unrelenting destabilization moves by its opponents up to a successful coup d’état in 2002 that lasted for 48 hours, until the younger loyal officers of the armed forces restored Chavez to power. He ruled from then on, winning a series of democratic elections until his death from illness in 2013.

 

The Maduro government that took over and continues the sweeping reforms of Chavez (dubbed the Bolivarian Revolution) has been met from Day One by a new round of attacks from the US-backed right-wing forces code named “El Salida” or “The Exit.”


The elements of the plot are: (1) sabotage of the supply and distribution chain for food and other basic goods in order to induce artificial shortages and runaway inflation; (2) widespread, violent “protests” that would cause chaos in the streets; (3) systematic and sustained anti-government reportage by the elite-owned private mass media outlets beamed to global media; (4) vilification of President Maduro and his government coupled with the projection of unrepentant coup plotters as representing the legitimate political opposition deserving of support from the US and its allies; and (5) military actions such as assassinations of government officials, bombings of government centers and including false flag operations such as the assassination of some of the expendable leaders of the right wing and deaths in violent street protests to be attributed to state security forces.


For two years now the government has been exerting every effort to overcome the economic sabotage measures. According to reports, while scarcities and inexplicably inflated prices are being fought back through government police action such as forcing stores to lower their prices on pain of takeover and raiding warehouses to flush out hoarded goods, the economic warfare continues. But this situation has not resulted in the kind of mass unrest that is intended; Venezuela’s poor hold fast to their experience of much better times under the Chavez and Maduro governments.

 

The so-called mass protests have died down despite the efforts of opposition leaders holding the reins of local government in rich enclaves to sustain these with sporadic thrashing of public parks and government buildings by hoodlums. Thus the image the destabilizers have been trying to project, that the Maduro government is unable to enforce basic law and order, much more, is violating its citizens’ right to freely assemble and express their grievances, has been unable to stick despite willful media manipulation echoed by imperialist-controlled global corporate media.

 

What has become starkly clear is that the right-wing opposition is resorting to the more dangerous option of military actions up to a full-blown coup d’état to bring the government down. It would appear from the account of the latest attempt in February this year (nipped in the bud when a recidivist coup-plotting general was turned in by another officer he was trying to recruit) that the plan was to conduct aerial bombings of the Presidential Palace, the government media center Telesur, the Ministries of Defense, Interior and Foreign Relations, the Department of Military Intelligence, and the Attorney-General’s Office. The publication of a manifesto in a national newspaper calling for a transition government would be the plotters’ signal fire.

 

There would be a call for street protests once more with intentions of fomenting violence and confusion in order to portray the events as the result of government repression. A video of a detained general, a confessed coup leader in an earlier failed attempt, would be repeatedly shown to agitate members of the armed forces. Failing this, a video of men in the uniforms of the different services of the military would be shown to announce to the country and to the world that the armed forces had risen up against the Maduro government.

 

All of this fell apart when the government discovered the plot and acted quickly to preempt any of the plotters’ moves. According to Mark Weisbrot (Al Jazeera), “The Venezuelan government has produced some credible evidence of a coup in the making: the recording of a former deputy minister of the interior reading what is obviously a communiqué to be issued after the military deposes the elected government, the confessions of some accused military officers, and a recorded phone conversation between opposition leaders acknowledging that a coup is in the works.

 

The government also categorically accused the US embassy in Venezuela of direct involvement in this latest as well as previous attempts to topple it. It pointed to the “close relationship” of the political and military figures at the core of the February attempt at another putsch with US embassy officials.

 

After the standard US denial of any involvement, came in quick succession US President Obama’s declaration that the Venezuelan government is a “national security threat” to the US and that US sanctions would be imposed on seven Venezuelan officials. This is indeed ironic, given the long history of US political interference up to armed intervention not only in Venezuela but the entire breathe of Latin American countries to remove governments not to its liking or to prop up those that are its vassal states.

 

Obama’s declaration of Venezuela being a threat to US national interest is primarily due to Venezuela’s key role in building and strengthening alternative political and economic alliances among Latin American and Caribbean states such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and Petrocaribe which further the interests of these states and their peoples more than the traditional US-initiated and dominated alliances such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the so-called Caribbean Initiative.

 

Rather than isolate Venezuela, Obama’s move to attack and isolate Venezuela is yet another futile attempt to stem the decline of US global supremacy in its own hemisphere.

 

Carol Pagaduan-Araullo is a medical doctor by training, social activist by choice, columnist by accident, happy partner to a liberated spouse and proud mother of two.

carol_araullo@yahoo.com

Published in Business World
March 22, 2015

- See more at: http://bulatlat.com/main/2015/03/24/venezuela-stands-up-to-us-bullying/#sthash.MAiNMcW1.dpuf

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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ILPS CONDEMNS US VILIFICATION OF VENEZUELA,

SUPPORTS VENEZUELAN PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT

by Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Chairperson

International League of Peoples' Struggle

March 18, 2015

 

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, condemn as a brazen violation of the national sovereignty of the Venezuelan people the US vilification of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as a “national security threat” to the US and the US sanctions on seven officials of the Venezuelan government.
 

US imperialism is the one being hostile to and threatening Venezuela. It is  intervening and interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela.  US instrumentalities and the local reactionary forces  manipulate the economic and political situation in order to sow social disorder and seek the overthrow of the democratically elected officials of the Bolivarian and Chavista government of Venezuela headed by President Nicolas Maduro.


We demand that the US  revoke its unjust and malicious misrepresentation of Venezuela as a “national security threat” to the US, end the sanctions it has imposed on Venezuelan officials and stop directing and funding local reactionary forces to carry out provocations  and fabricate charges of  human rights violations.


The Venezuelan people and their government have the sovereign right to adopt all necessary and timely measures to defend themselves from the attempts of US imperialism and its reactionary agents to violate the national independence and socialist aspirations of Venezuela  and reverse all the advances made by the people towards national and social liberation.


We the ILPS support the  just cause of the Venezuelan people and government against US imperialism and the reactionary forces .  In this regard, we call on all our global regional committees, national chapters and member-organizations of the ILPS to undertake information campaigns and protest actions in preparation for bigger mass actions in concert with those to be held on a global scale on April 19.


We have a full month ahead to arouse, organize and mobilize the people within our reach in order to maximize our participation in the World Great Day of Solidarity with Venezuela and Condemnation of US Intervention on April 19, with the slogan “Peoples of the World United on Venezuela.###

 

     
           
     
     
     
           
           
           

 

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