Catandunganons, act now to oppose the destructive and invasive naval base in Panay Island!
Rapid Preparations are now underway to build the so-called Forward Operating Base of the Philippine Navy in Panay Island, Panganiban, Catanduanes. Foremost of these, are the requirements needed to acquire the land needed for this purpose. At this point, the lapdog Governor Joseph Cua is overcome with his promise to do all he can in his power, even use provincial government funds to purchase the less than six-hectare lot where the FOB will be built. The said provincial official will leave no stone unturned for the US-Duterte regime at its armed forces in order for him to likewise enrich his own political and economic interests.
Similar to what Cua have previously done when he openly obeyed the dictates of the RTF-ELCAC, placing the towns of Catanduanes under military operations like the RCSP, he welcomes with open arms the presence of the naval base in the province. Akin to what has happened in the past, after implementing the orders of the trigger-happy US-Duterte regime, the opening of the naval base warns of the persistence of worse human rights violations in the province and the region.
The Philippine Navy’s FOB will be set-up on where the Loran Station, a former US Coast Guard base was located during the time when US imperialist military bases used to be in the country. It’s easy to say that the establishment of such a facility will be build to protect the country from the entry of Chinese sea vessels which have been sighted on several occasions at Benham Rise. Under the existing EDCA, it is not farfetched that the strategic base which will be set-up will be occupied by imperialist military or naval forces. This will mean that it is not impossible that US armed forces will once again visit Bicol like it did in 2009. This will therefore easily facilitate joint US-Philippine military exercises in the said area.
Catandunganons must not easily fall prey and give in to the establishment of the FOB nor must they agree with the intrusion of foreign forces in the form of the Bayanihan Exercises. To oppose the Philippine Navy is to oppose the worsening of human rights violations against the Bicolanos and the Filipino people which will be brought about not only by the armed butchers of the regime but more so of the imperialist forces who wish to occupy this side of the country to self-centeredly protect their own interests in the midst of the heightening contest among imperialist countries. Catandunganons must uphold and defend the country’s sovereignty just like how the rest of the Filipino people guards against the attempts of the China to occupy the West Philippine Sea.
The RJC- BHB-Bikol calls on all Catandunganons to stand and act to champion their rights. They must stop the initial steps being undertaken by the US-Duterte regime to put up the naval base. This is an opportune time for Catandunganons to further show their unity and fight for their rights and welfare. Now more than ever is the time for the Catandunganons and the rest of the Bikolanos to take up arms and defend the rights of every Filipino in the region and the country. The Bicolanos will be able to truly display their resilience rightfully needed to fight against feudalism, capitalist bureaucracy and most of all imperialism.