Two key points on the June 9 Recto Bank incident
Communist Party of the Philippines
June 18, 2019
1.Duterte has displayed utter spinelessness before China. He has completely failed to act in line with Philippine sovereign interests in the face of widespread clamor to demand China’s culpability over the reported June 9 incident at Recto Bank.
Duterte merely parroted the statement issued earlier by the Chinese embassy which tried to explain away the incident as a “simple maritime accident.”
Duterte glosses over not only the fact that a Chinese trawler identified as Yuemaobinyu 42212 rammed and abandoned a sinking fishing boat and its 22 Filipino crew; but also the more prejudicial fact that a Chinese vessel was fishing in Philippine territorial waters.
The incident is evidence of the increasing arrogance of China in transgressing and plundering Philippine maritime territory. Such impunity is a consequence of the Duterte regime’s slavishness and complete failure to uphold Philippine sovereign rights and laws.
Duterte is spineless because he is in China’s pockets. Duterte fears losing the millions of dollars of bribe money and other favors he and his cohorts are receiving from the state monopoly capitalists of China in exchange for the onerous and odious loans.
2. At the same time, Duterte is muted and tame amid US noise and threats of military intervention. Yesterday, the US embassy declared that the incident may “trigger” the provision of the Mutual Defense Treaty, raising threats of armed confrontation or war with China using the Philippines as its launching pad.
The US is condemnable for taking advantage of the Recto Bank incident to aggressively push its geopolitical aim of establishing its military presence in the Philippines and South China Sea.
The US is acting like an imperial overlord when it announced a few days ago its plans of deploying the USS Stratton, a US Coast Guard cutter, purportedly to help the Philippines and other countries who cannot defend their own exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
In its drive to assert its hegemony amid China’s rising power, the US is increasingly fortifying its foothold in the Philippines. Over the past years, the US military has built several facilities to preposition its personnel and war materiél across the country.
The US has maintained military permanent presence along the western coasts of the Philippines (from Zambales, Palawan, Zamboanga and Sulu) with the aim of projecting its power along the South China Sea trade routes.