Official CPP Statement: Oppose US-Instigated Marcos War-Mongering And Provocations

Marco Valbuena | Chief Information Officer | Communist Party Of The Philippines

June 11, 2024

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) strongly condemns the US-Marcos regime for its incessant war-mongering which have resulted in heightened tensions with China. The Party condemns Marcos for recent statements pertaining to China as a threat to the country’s freedom, and speculating on possible scenarios which he considers “acts of war.” Acting at the behest of the US, Marcos is obsessed with setting up the stage for engaging China with military force, emboldened by the heightened presence and military intervention of the US imperialists in the South China Sea.

On US instigation, the Marcos government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine Coast Guard have carried out provocative marine and naval maneuvers since last year, resulting in rising number of incidents in the West Philippine Sea, including the May 19 skirmishes at the Ayungin Shoal, that increases the dangers of escalation and igniting an armed conflict.

Tensions at the West Philippine Sea have heightened since March 2023 with the so-called supply missions carried out by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). These were planned with the US military and carried out with US military overflight support (using the unmanned surveillance plane, the P-8 Poseidon). The much-hyped pronouncements that construction supplies will be brought to the BRP Sierra Madre, purportedly for “superficial repairs,” were a deliberate attempt to provoke China, knowing that such directly undermines previous agreements made under the Estrada, Arroyo and Aquino governments[^1].

The 2016 ruling of the International Arbitral Tribunal, among others, recognized that the Ayungin Shoal is well within the Philippines exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and dismissed China’s territorial and maritime claims in the area. This should have given the Philippines the leverage to pursue diplomatic and legal options to assert its rights over the West Philippine Sea.

However, to ingratiate himself to China, Duterte disregarded this legal victory and merely reaffirmed the previous agreement that the Philippines will not bring construction materials to the Ayungin Shoal, an act betraying the country’s national interest.

Like Duterte, Marcos has made no initiative to pursue the 2016 IAT decision and the country’s interests through peaceful courses of action. Marcos’ denials of the existence of a publicly known agreement with China are outright lies and constitute a grave diplomatic breach. Philippine diplomatic officials have been set to play second fiddle to the US-trained attack dogs in the defense and security establishment, the AFP and the rabid Philippine Coast Guard. Abetted by the US, the Marcos regime clearly seeks to inflame and provoke China, to spark incidents which may be used as pretext for invoking the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

Acting like an imperialist bully, China has responded to the provocations with water-cannons and blocking maneuvers. It uses brute strength to unilaterally enforce an old agreement, the basis for which has already been clearly superseded by the 2016 IAT ruling. China stubbornly refuses to recognize this decision, despite being a signatory to the UNCLOS. In the face of heightened US geopolitical strategy to contain and encircle it, imperialist China has become increasingly aggressive and obsessive in defending its interests, that it has trampled on Philippine economic and maritime rights in the West Philippine Sea.

Both China and the Philippines under the US-Marcos regime must be held to account under the principles of the 2002 Code of Conduct. This declaration, signed by China along with ten ASEAN countries, promoted the “peaceful settlement of disputes through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned.”

It is to the interest of the Filipino people to demand an immediate deescalation of tensions in the West Philippine Sea, and for the governments of China and the Philippines to actively engage in dialogue in order to amicably settle disputes and differences in line with international laws. As goodwill and show of respect to the Filipino people, China must rescind its recent order to arrest fishermen in waters within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

They must condemn the Marcos regime for pursuing war as an instrument of national policy. They must resist the Marcos regime’s policies that serve the geopolitical strategy of US imperialism to heighten tensions in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea to serve as alibi for increasing US military presence and heightening military intervention in the Philippines and in the region.

They must demand the dismantling of all US military bases and removal of all US weapons in the Philippines that are the biggest obstacles to the aim of achieving peace in the Philippines and throughout the region.

[^1]: In 2013, news reports quoted Aquino’s defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin as saying “We will not violate the agreement not to construct new structures. We told them we’re only bringing supplies for our troops there, like water, food.”

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