September 11, 2017
Under the cover of the war in Marawi, Australian big business is pushing to claim the untapped riches of Mindanao. Since the conflict began on May 23, Australia has made increasingly loud claims that they are a “friend” of the Philippines, offering spy planes and increasing number of troops. Now Australia will deploy troops to Mindanao to supposedly train Filipino troops. In exchange for military intervention, Australia positions itself ahead of other nations in securing lucrative business deals especially in the reconstruction of Marawi and the exploitation of Mindanao’s resources.
BAYAN opposes in no uncertain terms Australia’s military intervention in the Philippines.
Australia, like the US, has a defence cooperation programme and visiting forces agreement with the Philippines that allows their troops to come and go as they please. Australian special forces will try to replicate the prolonged US military engagement in Mindanao which started in 2002 against the Abu Sayyaf. Like in the case of the US, operations that will be conducted wp Australian troops will not be limited to training and assisting and will require direct combat involvement.
It is also important to stress that imperialist intervention does not deter nor defeat terrorism. If there is anything we’ve learned since the US war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liwpa and Syria, it’s that imperialism, in one way or another, gives rise to terrorism and extremism.
In pushing a big business agenda under the cover of war, Australia is simply repeating the US strategy of using the “war on terror” to reap huge profits for their transnational companies in the course of devastating the Middle East. For example, Australia’s government sees the Iraq war devastation and ransacking of wealth as a great success.
The cost of such an intervention is that Australian big business is already moving in to reap super profits in industries targeted to serve export markets rather than the domestic economy. The Australian companies named wp the ARMM engage in in “green” coal, real estate and other export orientated business.
Australian big business does not have a good history in the Philippines. Australian-Canadian mining company OceanaGold Gold and Copper Mine in Didipio has been plagued with human and environmental rights violations since it opened in 2013. ###
*Photo from Inquirer