US Pacific Partnership 2014 exploits ‘Yolanda’ missions for war exercises in Eastern Visayas – Bayan EV


July 3, 2014

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) formation in Eastern Visayas condemns today the ongoing naval exercises of the United States under the US Pacific Partnership (PP) 2014 being conducted since the month of June off the coast of Tacloban City. Bayan Eastern Visayas spokesperson Pol Escalona condemns the pro-US President Benigno Simeon Aquino “for exploiting the issue of Yolanda to facilitate the US’ permanent basing in Philippine territories, a violation of the constitution and national sovereignty.”

Bayan Eastern Visayas said that the US PP 2014 under the direction of US Admiral and US Pacific Fleet commander Harry B. Harris, Jr. exploit humanitarian missions to strengthen the United States’ economic hegemony in the Pacific in a rebalancing of 60% of its military might towards the Asia-Pacific region by the year 2020.

Last April 2014, President Benigno Simeon Aquino railroaded the passage of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) despite its “clear lopsided provisions in favor of the US which has virtually converted the whole country as a permanent US military base. US military drones, nuclear weapons-carrying submarines and warships can freely navigate and dock in any port of any ‘agreed location’ in the Philippines. This violates the constitution but Philippine authorities under EDCA cannot inspect any of the US’ facilities and carrier.”

“For failure to expedite relief assistance after the onslaught of Yolanda and for continuing negligence to look after the welfare of thousands hungry, jobless and suffering survivors in Eastern Visayas, Aquino is yet to be made accountable. In an effort to conceal his criminal negligence, the Aquino government has been riding on in relief and rehabilitation assistance being provided by international NGOs. The US PP14 has taken advantage of both the calamity and government neglect-induced suffering in Yolanda areas to gain acceptability from token assistance they provide,” adds Escalona.

From July 5-14 in Tacloban City, US troops will hold humanitarian missions in Tacloban City, particularly in San Jose District Airport area.

Escalona adds, “The people of Tacloban and Eastern Visayas still need assistance, especially since the Aquino government failed to provide basic social services on health, shelter and education. But alongside this, we must expose the real motives behind this joint US-Aquino government’s machination to dupe the Yolanda survivors through token assistance. It is important that we unite and rise up to defend the sovereignty and account the Aquino government for its treachery and criminal negligence. It is still the government’s responsibility to provide for the people in terms of relief and rehabilitation.”

“Exploiting ‘relief and rehabilitation efforts’ as an excuse to facilitate more presence of US troops adds up to Aquino’s crime against the Yolanda survivors and the people. Genuine reconstruction and development will only happen if our country is sovereign and free from foreign exploitation. Meanwhile, genuine rehabilitation after the disaster is definitely not the US PP14’s main business. They engage in humanitarian activities to serve as media gimmick to sugarcoat war exercises in the region. Foreign troops must be out of the Philippines now! Oust the criminally negligent and treasonous Aquino regime!”

Reference: Pol Escalona,
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Eastern Visayas