Aquino preempting Duterte for inviting US military intervention over Scarborough — CPP

Information Bureau | Communist Party of the Philippines
Press Release May 21, 2016

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Aquino regime for war mongering and inviting US military intervention in disputes between the Philippines and China over the Scarborough Shoal.

Speaking before foreign reporters yesterday, Aquino sought US military action as a response to a possible scenario of China building a military outpost at the area claiming such will maintain US ascendancy and confidence of “one of its allies”.

“Aquino’s combative statements made just a few weeks before leaving office is a foolhardy attempt to preempt the incoming Duterte government from approaching the South China Sea disputes with more diplomatic circumspect,” said the CPP.

“Aquino’s statements were obviously made under the advice of the US which has started to become concerned over the possibility of more amicable negotiations between the incoming Duterte regime and the Chinese government concerning disputes over the Scarborough Shoal and other parts of the South China Sea,” added the CPP.

The Scarborough Shoal is an area of rocks and corals which has served as a rich fishing area less than 200 kilometers west of Subic Bay. It is currently effectively controlled by China since 2012 after a standoff with the Philippines.

Backchannelling talks to arrange for the withdrawal of Chinese sea vessels from the reefs were torpedoed by the Aquino regime upon the goading of the US. China’s amenability to withdraw the last three of its Chinese Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships from 90 vessels at the start of the standoff was undermined when Aquino brought the matter before the US-influenced ASEAN ending then quiet but fruitful backchanneling.

“Aquino’s six years of US-instigated jingoism in combination with US military muscle-flexing has only escalated tension and heightened militarization in the South China Sea,” said the CPP.

“The CPP advises the incoming Duterte government to assert Philippine sovereignty over the country’s territorial seas principally by calling for the demilitarization of the area, by generating international pressure to urge both the US and China to withdraw their militaries from the area,” said the CPP.

“To assert Philippine sovereignty, the Duterte government can urge China to reduce its military presence in the South China Sea by working for the reciprocal withdrawal or planned reduction of US troops, US naval ships, jetfighters, surveillance planes and drones, long-range artillery and other war materiél from Philippine soil and seas,” said the CPP.

“US military presence in the Philippines and in the South China Sea has aggravated China and instigated it to become more aggressive in defending its national sovereignty to the point of escalating and militarizing disputes with the Philippines,” said the CPP.

“Withdrawal of US and China military forces in the South China Sea will pave the way for developing economic relations with China in parallel with that of the US and other countries,” added the CPP.