The Communist Party of the Philippines condemned on 8 August the proposal for the military forces of the Republic of the Philippines and the US to conduct joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. Marco Valbuena, CPP Chief Information Officer, said, “Such a plan is inimical to the country as it further bounds the Philippines to the US military at a time that economic and military tensions between the US and China are rising.”

Valbuena said the proposed joint maritime patrols will deprive the country’s capacity to act independently and in line with its national interest. “It will shamelessly put on display how the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is an appendage of the US military and make the country a target of US imperialism’s enemies or rivals,” he said.

He warned, “Such joint patrols can be used to provoke China to make miscalculated armed actions… thus serving the US goal of escalating armed hostilities. In a way, this can be similar to how the US used Ukraine to provoke Russia to mount a military assault, and thus create conditions of war which the US military industrial complex is now making huge profits from.”

The Marcos government’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, in a virtual press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on 6 August, confirmed the proposal, asserting that this falls under the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Valbuena explained that the Marcos regime is subservient to both the US and China, but has thus far shown greater docility to the US in the face of its increasingly aggressive posturing in the Asia-Pacific region, from Taiwan, to the Philippines all the way to the Solomon Islands.

He revealed, “Marcos showed utter spinelessness when he downplayed the brazen provocation by the US against China through the official visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi… The Marcos regime exhibited gross subservience to the US when it cancelled military purchase contracts with Russia for fear that the Philippines will be subjected to US sanctions.”

The CPP called on the Filipino people to push for the abrogation of the US-RP Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and for the withdrawal of all US troops and advisers from the country.

“At the same time, the Filipino people must demand China to dismantle its military facilities, and put a stop to industrial fishing and the plunder of marine resources within the country’s maritime territory, exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf, and to respect the July 2016 decision of the International Arbitral Tribunal,” concluded Valbuena.