More than 100 activist farmers led by the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today stormed the United States embassy in Manila with paint bombs saying the protest “signals the start of a series of militant actions against the planned joint military exercises between US and Philippine troops” set on April 16 to 27 this year.
“The so-called ‘war games’ between US and Philippine troops are coupled with forced displacements and human rights violations in the countryside. Farmers are the most affected by military operations before, during, and after the Balikatan exercises,” says KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis warning: “farmers’ resistance will welcome US interventionist troops in the country.”
Echanis said the entry of 4,500 US troops next month will be an additional deployment to the more than 600 US troops under the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines that are now “permanently based at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.”
“The apparent permanent stationing of US armed troops in the country clearly demonstrates that Aquino is the most rabid US puppet in the region,” he said.
The KMP leader said that “Balikatan under Aquino is no less than a continuation of pro-US, militarist policies that counter our national sovereignty and patrimony. By allowing Balikatan, Aquino authorized indefinite US military presence in the country.”
Echanis also announced that “together with Central Luzon farmers, the KMP will hold a caravan and launch protest actions at the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga on April 16, the start of the Balikatan exercises.”
“Aquino’s all-out surrender of the country’s sovereignty shows the continuing master-puppet relationship between the US and the Philippines,” the KMP leader said.
Echanis called on all freedom-loving and patriotic forces in the Philippines to “assert national sovereignty and resist the US’ increasing military intervention in the country.”
“The permanent presence of thousands of US troops in the country will surely arouse the patriotic tradition of the Filipino people and face intense resistance,” the peasant leader said. #