Bayan slams Balikatan 2023

(Statement of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – BAYAN)

Bayan stands opposed to the Balikatan war games , as a matter of principle, based on our historical experience with US forces and based on our understanding of current developments in the region. There is no truth to the claim that these war games are beneficial and helpful for Filipinos , and that they are intended to boost our disaster response capabilities. The war games that will kick off on April 11 has little to do with humanitarian assistance and everything to do with US war preparations and imperialist power projection in the region.

The live-fire exercises and the simulated sinking of a decommissioned ship makes this iteration of Balikatan even more provocative. It will flare up tensions in the region. This is not in our best interest as a nation.

The Philippines is caught between an inter-imperialist conflict between the US and China. All actions of the US are intended to advance its imperialist agenda in the region. The US agenda and Philippine interests are not identical. We are merely being used as a foot stool for American power projection and provocation in the region. We are a convenient playground for US soldiers, and now a giant forward operating base for US weapons and warships through the EDCA.

The presence of foreign troops on our shores is a glaring sign that we are not truly free. Our foreign policy is shaped by American interests. Even our “internal security” follows the US counter-insurgency doctrine. We constantly wait for US excess defense articles and military aid as reward for being a US neo-colony. What is tragic is that after decades of having US bases and troops in the Philippines. our AFP has remained backward and undeveloped, contrary to claims that it will modernize through our agreements with the US.

We should not be dependent on the US when it comes to asserting our sovereignty versus China. The US has different goals in this region and we must be careful not to be dragged into US provocations and war. Bayan stands against both US intervention and China incursions. We oppose the lopsided military arrangements with the US that are an affront to our sovereignty and have caused the further weakening of our country. We call for the scrapping of all unequal military agreements with the US.

By arkibongbayanph

Arkibong Bayan is not just a simple repository. Before there was intense use of social media around the world, Monram through Arkibong Bayan digitally shared the vibrant stories of valiant struggle of the Filipino people (and the world) for human rights, peace, justice, democracy, and freedom.