28 April 2014
With no clear independent foreign policy to speak of, the Philippines, in hastily concurring with the Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC), tied itself unconditionally to Obama’s hegemonic agenda called “pivot to Asia,” according to Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
The labor group believed it was the US that aggressively sought PH’s approval of the AEDC as it tries to assemble its military power in the region as quickly as possible to counter China’s rapid rise as a regional and global power. The Aquino administration on its part instantly acceded to this new partnership with the US in the face of increasing territorial transgressions by China on Philippine waters.
Obama’s “Pivot Asia” program, the group said during the Scrap VFA Movement rally heldin Mendiola in time for the scheduled visit by US President Barack Obama, “involves a major shift in projecting US military from the Middle East to Asia, along with aggressive trade expansion in the region to revive the ailing US economy.”
“Militarily ‘pivot Asia’ establishes strategic military alliances in the region through permanent and temporary basing arrangements with regional allies. Economically trade expansion will be done through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements, a US-led trading platform that represent about 40% of world trade,” said PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza.
Drumbeating for war
Reacting to Barack Obama’s four-nation Asian tour, Fortaleza said “drumbeating for war” is clearly the main message of the US President, citing for example the assurances he gave to Japan, Korea and the Philippines that in case hostilities break out between them and China, they are assured that the US will go to war with its allies.
“That is expected since his “pivot to Asia” essentially has war logic,” said Fortaleza. This war logic, he added, is clearly understood by China.
Thus, for the anti-war movement, the increasing assertiveness of China and the provocative and imposing presence of US forces in the region constitute the biggest threat to peace and stability in the region.
To avoid that senseless armed confrontation, PM and the Scrap VFA Movement are demanding the demilitarization of Asia, and disputed territories be declared as regional commons and war-free zones.
Furthermore for PM the signing of the AEDCcapped Obama’s successful Asian tour, with the Philippines and other allies willing to play host to the US’ political and economic agenda in the region.
“Obama was able to project himself as redeemer and a man of peace when in truth he is a war monger, while back home, he is considered a failure by the American working class,” the group concluded.