The Communist Party of the Philippines is utterly disgusted by Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of being “okay” with US military presence in the country under the Visiting Forces Agreement—as long as they pay with military weapons. “National freedom has no price tag,” the CPP declared in the editorial of the latest issue of Ang Bayan, its official publication.
Duterte demanded payment after revealing that the US is “already stockpiling weapons” anyway in the former Subic Naval Base in Zambales and Palawan. His spokesperson later insisted that the US should pay an amount equal to what it has given Pakistan—shamelessly calling for a full-on military intervention. The US used Pakistan as a launching pad for its aggression, occupation and continued intervention in Afghanistan for close to 20 years. Duterte tried to justify his “mukhang pera” remark by insisting that the Philippines should get enough since it will surely be dragged into the conflict between the US and China should war break out in the South China Sea.
Duterte merely posed as “angry at the US” to show-off to China. In reality, he has done nothing to defend Philippine national sovereignty. He surrounded himself with US yes-men who perpetuated old pro-US policies, especially in the military and economy. He never questioned the lopsided military agreements including the Military Assistance Agreement (MAA), the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), the VFA, the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
The stance was merely to show-off to China for which he secure the promise of tens of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure loans for his cronies.
But Duterte’s sycophancy to China has become a cause for concern for US imperialism that it is noq taking measures to ensure the support and loyalty of its followers in the Philippines, the Party added. he new Biden government has made it clear that the US will no longer tolerate Philippine rapport with China and will take steps to “mobilize its forces in the Philippines, inside and outside the ruling regime, to further strengthen and ensure its military, economic and political control of the Philippine ruling class.”
The CPP foresees a more intense political crisis. “Expect the pro-US politicians to intensify opposition to growing Chinese economic and political influence,” it said. n the other hand, expect also China to take measures to counter US influence by using both its economic and military might, it added.