The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) unites with various Filipino patriotic forces in demanding the immediate pull-out of all Chinese armed maritime vessels illegally moored or carrying out fishing or extraction of marine resources in and around the Julian Felipe Reef and other areas within the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The Party considers China’s deployment of more than 220 armed vessels as part of its systematic encroachment and expansion of its imperialist annexation of Philippine maritime territory both for economic and military purposes. As an imperialist power, China has committed military aggression against the Philippines by building military fortresses in a number of artificial islands within the country’s EEZ.
The Party reiterates its position that all military structures built by China within the Philippine EEZ must immediately be dismantled, and that it must be made to pay compensation as back rental for all the illegally occupied areas. It must also remunerate the country for the coral reefs damaged in its land reclamation, as well as the fish and other marine resources illegally harvested by state-subsidized Chinese vessels.
The Party denounces the continued kowtowing of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to China. He has quieted the just protestations of some of his key officials and downplayed the outright armed encroachment into Philippine territory by Chinese militia vessels and its negative implications on Philippine sovereignty by insisting that Philippine-China relations are on a “positive trajectory.” Duterte is clearly persuaded by China’s “vaccine diplomacy,” false promises of “economic investments” and by the numerous bribes he has received and relations with Chinese drug syndicates cultivated over the past few years.
The Party calls for the establishment of a national united front against Chinese imperialist marine annexation. It calls on all forces, from the mass-based democratic forces to the conservative political oppositions as well as elements within the ruling regime and in the military and police forces, to exert all effort to assert the country’s sovereign rights and drive away the Chinese imperialist aggressors. The democratic mass movement, in particular, must mobilize its forces to manifest the strong united position of the Filipino people demanding respect for Philippine sovereignty and an end to Chinese economic plunder of Philippine natural resources.
They must demand the Duterte regime to make an unequivocal stand against Chinese military aggression and exhaust all political and diplomatic means to make China respect Philippine sovereignty and rights as validated by the 2016 international arbitral ruling under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS). Failure and refusal to do so must be considered as national treachery.
The Party acknowledges the calls of various sectors to divert resources from counterinsurgency to strengthening national defense. A growing number of military and police officers are increasingly disgruntled that fighter planes and attack helicopters are being used for aerial bombing of farming villages and mountain communities instead of being deployed to defend Philippine territory, as well as for the urgent need of ramping up the public health system amid the surge in the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are realizing the futility of deploying thousands of its troops to impose garrison-like conditions on rural villages and inflict abuses against the peasant masses that only succeed in further rousing people to join the armed resistance. There are also those who are critical of the extrajudicial killings being committed with impunity by police and military personnel that ultimately serve the schemes of the Duterte ruling clique to perpetuate its political dynasty in power and its regime of servility to China.
It must be clearly declared that, in line with the struggle to attain genuine national freedom, it is the patriotic duty of all Filipinos to defend Philippine sovereignty against all forms of foreign encroachments in the country’s marine, land and air territories. In the face of outright Chinese annexation of Philippine territories and plunder of resources, the country must rise and resist together as one.