On the renewed US-Philippines 34th Balikatan Exercises
NO TO IMPERIALIST MILITARY AGGRESSION IN PHILIPPINES AND ASIA!
STATEMENT ON THE RENEWED US-PHILIPPINES 34TH BALIKATAN EXERCISES
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) calls for the immediate termination and removal of military exercises by the United States (US) Military and other imperialist countries in the Philippines after the opening of the renewed Balikatan Exercises last May 7, 2018. This outright foreign military intervention will further instigate the aggression currently escalating in the West Philippine Sea putting the sovereignty and safety of women, children, and Indigenous Peoples (IP) in grave danger, and the natural environment at risk of destruction.
Major provinces in Central Luzon and Cagayan region, home for Aeta IP villages and other local communities, will be the war games zone to almost 8,000 military forces from the US, Japan, Australia, and Philippines in the guise of improved “counter-terrorism capabilities” for the “eradication of global terror networks.” For the Aeta farmers, this means threats of dislocation from their ancestral lands, as well as disruption of livelihood and ways of life. In Central Luzon, a sprawling 18,000 hectare Camp O’Donnell, a component facility of Clark Air Base which used to be US Air Force’s military base, captured the IP ancestral lands causing major dislocation to thousands of Aetas.
For 70 years under the US and Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) which was signed after World War II, the military machinery of US has mobilized direct and indirect military intervention to protect their political and economic interests in several countries. This militarism impacts against the people in their own countries through increased military bases occupation, proxy wars, intensive intelligence surveillance, and counterinsurgency plans usually employed to quell local dissent to both local and foreign economic and military intrusions.
The fueling of militarist actions is directly tantamount to several cases of massive environmental destruction like the damage caused by the US Navy warship to the World Heritage Site, Tubbataha Reef National Park in Palawan, in 2013 which also victimized indigenous fisherfolks. IP are also exposed to grave human rights violations as seen when 6,000 US troops, double of those deployed in Iran, occupied Zamboanga in Mindanao, where Lumad indigenous communities faced blows of attacks on their houses and schools. Subsequently, military exercises and military deployment target areas that are rich with natural resources which become ideal locations for mining, plantation, extractivism and energy projects by the state and multinational and transnational foreign corporations.
Intensified militarism only jeopardizes IP, peasants, women, fisherfolks, and children, subjecting them and their communities to military atrocities and human rights violations. It escalates environmental plunder and uses third world countries as pawns to global military offensive of imperialist powers. We call for solidarity from all IP and freedom advocates against US intervention and imperialist militarism that threatens the rights of peoples and IP all over the world!
STOP THE US MILITARY INTERVENTION IN PHILIPPINES!
STOP THE BALIKATAN EXERCISES!
FIGHT FOR IP RIGHTS ON ANCESTRAL LANDS AND TERRITORIES!
DOWN WITH US IMPERIALISM!
Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.org