BAYAN leads rallies vs. foreign military buildup in PH, trilateral summit in DC

Anti-imperialist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) led a protest rally at the Chinese consulate on Tuesday, demanding foreign troops within the Philippine territory to stop militarizing the West Philippine Sea.

The group again denounced China’s incursions into Philippine maritime territories as well as repeated harassment of Filipino fisherfolk and ships in what has become an annual rally held every Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor).

“China’s bully behavior and continued aggression against its neighbors is the reason for its increasing isolation. It claims to maintain friendly relations but its provocative actions betray its real intent of dominating the whole of South China Sea even if it contravenes international rules and undermines the territorial integrity of its neighboring countries,” BAYAN said.

Day of Valor symbolizes the commitment of Filipinos to resist foreign aggressors, marking the day when the Philippines fell in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942.

BAYAN pointed out that China also endured suffering during the Second World War, adding that its arrogance against the Philippines is a “shameful betrayal of how it fought foreign invaders in the past.”

“We call on China to move out of the West Philippine Sea, dismantle its illegal structures, recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling, and to stop harassing Filipino fisherfolk and Philippine supply missions,” it said.

BAYAN said it continues to call for the demilitarization of the West Philippine Sea, saying Philippine resistance against Chinese aggression should not lead to foreign military buildup and the “recolonization” of the Philippines through the installation of American military facilities across the country.

It also condemned the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government for turning the West Philippine Sea into a staging ground for foreign troops led by the US.

“Marcos Jr. is needlessly dragging the country into an escalation of conflict that will inflict more suffering among our people. We should not be a cannon fodder in the inter-imperialist rivalry and war between China and the US,” BAYAN said.

Police prevent anti-imperialist activists from conducting a protest rally in Manila. (Photo by N. Bacarra/Kodao)

Trilateral Summit to polarize region further

On Thursday, April 11, BAYAN also led a rally at he US Embassy in Manila, condemning the US-Japan-Philippines trilateral summit to be held at the White House.

In a statement, BAYAN also said the summit in Washington DC today is pushing existing tensions to a critical level.

BAYAN accused the summit as an escalation of the “US-led imperialist economic and military warfare” that will devastate the lives of working peoples in the region and squander the people’s money away from much needed services and welfare.

Caricature images of Biden, Kishida and Marcos Jr. at an anti-imperialist rally in Manila. (Photo by N. Bacarra/Kodao)

President Marcos is attending the summit, announced as the strengthening of security ties though joint military exercises among the three nations.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is representing Japan while US President Joe Biden serves as host.

“What is obfuscated in Washington’s war propaganda is the fact that these military exercises are happening only in the Philippines with the US-Marcos regime’s increased subservience to the US through additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDCA) sites or bases, and the Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between Japan and the Philippines, similar to the 25-year long RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” BAYAN explained.

The group also recalled that both the US and Japan invaded the Philippines last century.

“We call on peace advocates and anti-imperialist formations in these three countries to play a lead role in arousing, organizing and mobilizing against US-led militarism, interventionism and aggression by mounting protest actions that expose and oppose the April 11 Trilateral Summit to be held in the White House,” BAYAN said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)