16 April 2012
On the 16th of April and in the next 11 days, Philippine and US military troops will hold the 28th Bilateral Military Exercises dubbed as Balikatan 2012 in Luzon and Mindanao, Philippines. This year’s military exercise is the first occasion where other countries – Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and South Korea – are participating in the so-called Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response.
An additional 4,500 US troops will join the more than 600 US troops already stationed in the Philippines under the Joint Special Operations Task Force based permanently in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.
A field training exercise and humanitarian/civil assistance activities will be held simultaneously in different provinces in Luzon. The Philippine Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFACOM) announced that special operations exercises in Jolo, Basilan and Zamboanga will be held from April 16 – 27.
Meanwhile, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training or CARAT, a joint Philippine-US exercise of naval forces in Eastern Mindanao will be held on June 28 to July 9 in Sarangani Province.
Oppose Military Exercises in the Philippines!
Migrante Australia believes that said joint military exercises are aimed to maintain and strengthen US strategic economic and military interests in Asia-Pacific. We join with Patriotiko Mindanao in exposing Balikatan 2012 as “a ploy to increase US military presence in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific under the plan of a realignment of forces in the Region purportedly to contain the growing military strength of China and further entrench US imperialist economic and geo-political interests.”
Again on this occasion, President Benigno Aquino III demonstrates his subservience to the United States as he negotiates with the US government a wider range of military exercises and increased US military aid in the Philippines.
We support the people’s protest against military exercises and condemn the violent dispersal of peasant leaders of the Asian Peasant Coalition on March 29 who demonstrated before the US embassy in Manila to oppose the planned joint military exercises.
Stop the Jeju Naval Base Construction!
Elsewhere in the Pacific region, US is setting up military bases. The South Korean Government and its Navy has begun blasting parts of a treasured world-heritage site on Jeju Island along the Gureombi Coastline to be followed by building a military base.
South Korean citizens denounce President Lee Myung-Bak for acting unlawfully and illegitimately in agreeing with the US to construct a naval base along Gureombi coast. The area is part of the Absolute Preservation Zone which is strictly preserved and protected by South Korean Law.
It is widely believed that the US pressured South Korea to build the naval base for its Aegis destroyers. The Jeju naval base will be used as a key point in US economic and military strategy against China and also in East Asia. This project, along with military excursions and exercises, threatens peace in the wider East Asian region.
Withdraw US and Australian Troops in Afghanistan, Out with US troops in Darwin!
The US Marines, a rifle company of 200, arrived in Darwin earlier this month, evening of 2 April – and will grow to 2,500 to be based for 6 months to conduct joint military exercises.
More than 1500 Australian troops while roughly 89,000 US Troops remain in Afghanistan in February this year.
Is the future of the world foreseen in the situation of Afghanistan and Iraq? How long will the world be under the power and domination of US imperialism and its willing partners? What can patriotic, peace-loving, and just people of the world do?
Migrante Australia & Philippine Caucus for Peace calls for all groups, organizations, and individuals coming from various cultural backgounds to unite and oppose the war project of US and its allies in the Asia Pacific. US imperialism drags countries like Australia, South Korea, and Philippines to participate in its war adventures by deploying troops outside of the US and posturing aggressively against perceived enemies, i.e. China, Iran, North Korea, building bases and show-off military exercises.
Let us fight US imperialism!
No to war!
US and foreign troops out of our land!
Ban Foreign Military Bases!
Oppose US military base construction in Jeju Island!
No to US-led joint military exercises in Asia-Pacific.
Abrogate and junk all visiting forces, status of forces, and other agreements
violative of national sovereignty and freedom!
PHILIPPINE CAUCUS FOR PEACE (PCP) MIGRANTE AUSTRALIA
Berlin Guerrero- Convenor, PCP: Ph 0435 310695, email
George Kotsakis – Chairperson, Migrante Australia: Ph 0413 041514, email