The Party denounces the 10-day Kamandag war exercises (October 9-18) being conducted by US military forces together with the AFP and the Japan Self Defense Force in Ternate, Cavite.
The war exercises are being conducted behind the veil of “counterterrorism,” “humanitarian assistance” and “disaster response”, but are, in fact, part of the overall effort of the US military to strengthen its military presence and foothold in the Philippines under its Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines.
The Kamandag and other joint exercises are also part of the whole muscle-flexing of the US as it prepares for wars especially in the face of rising super-power conflicts with China over spheres of influence and investments.
Since 2017, the US military and the AFP have conducted an increasing number of war exercises to counter China’s military build-up in the South China Sea. The aim of these exercises is to ensure that the US will remain militarily dominant in order to protect its economic interests in the Philippines and across the region.
The Filipino people must reject the idea that Philippine sovereignty cannot be defended without US military support. The fight to take back control of the fishing grounds and resources in the Philippine seas which China has encroached upon can and must be won through the independent political, diplomatic and military action of the Filipino people.
Through these war exercises, the US military is able to achieve what they call “interoperability” with the AFP, which is a euphemism for having the AFP act as a military stooge and operate in accordance with US plans and maneuvers. The US military is also able to direct the needs and purchases of the AFP in order to have the latter serve as dumping ground of excess US military equipment.
The war exercises and continuing AFP loyalty to the US show that the US continues to exercise dominance over the country and the Duterte regime, despite Duterte’s recent visits to China and Russia. By wielding the AFP and the PNP and its rabid pro-US officers, the US is able to have Duterte by the balls and have him act in line with US economic and geo-political interests.