US military exploiting calamity to send in more troops — CPP

By CPP Information Bureau

Other versions: Sinasamantala ng US ang kalamidad para magpadala ng dagdag na tropa (Pilipino)

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today scored the US government for exploiting the widespread devastation brought about by Typhoon Ondoy as an opportunity to send in more interventionist troops from its US Pacific Command. The troops have been brought in ostensibly to help in the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts, said the CPP.

US soldiers belonging to a 3,000-strong force based in Okinawa, Japan began arriving Wednesday evening supposedly to join Filipino troops in conducting relief efforts in Metro Manila's worst flooded areas in Cainta, Pasig and Marikina.

"The US government is taking advantage of the Filipino people's miseries caused by the disaster and the accompanying gross indifference, incompetence and inutility of the Arroyo government. It is doing so to justify the beefing up of its interventionist force in the Philippines," said the CPP. "The US military wants to show off its heavy and high-tech war equipment to awe the calamity-stricken Filipinos and drown the patriotic calls for the expulsion of foreign interventionist troops from the country."

The CPP and various patriotic, progressive and opposition forces have been denouncing the US troops' permanent presence and actual participation in combat and combat-related operations in the Philippines, and are vehemently demanding the pullout of these interventionist troops and the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and other treaties supporting their presence and operations in the country.

The CPP said the US government is "displaying outright contempt of Philippine sovereignty and disregard even of the constitution of the reactionary, puppet government" by sending in more troops in the face of the growing clamor for their pullout.

Questions have also been raised in the Senate and other fora regarding the propriety of the arrival of more US troops for supposed "humanitarian missions" right after two US soldiers were killed in a combat zone in Indanan, Sulu. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who heads the Senate foreign relations committee said that "I don't believe this is mere coincidence. What I'm worried about is they might go to Mindanao afterwards."

"Why send the military troops when the US government could just have sent or supported civilian rescue and humanitarian agencies?" the CPP said, in agreement with others raising the same question.