After the Salaknib military exercises in March and the ongoing Balikatan which will end on April 28, another joint exercise between Philippine and United States troops will take place from May 1 to 12 under the program named Exercise Cope Thunder.

It has been a summer slam of subservience on the part of the Ferdinand Marcos Jr government, and shameless demonstration of imperialist arrogance by the US military.

May be an image of 5 people and text that says "BAYAN DENOUNCES NONSTOP WAR EXERCISES WITH US MILITARY SA07 BAYAN"

The costly, disruptive, and provocative war games could become permanent once Marcos and US President Joe Biden announce an expanded security arrangement during their meeting on May 1.

The ‘visiting’ US forces have practically turned our islands into a semi-permanent mock playground for their weapons of mass destruction.

During a live fire demonstration in Zambales, the drill was delayed by the presence of a so-called ‘interloper’. The irony is that the US military is the biggest interloper whose warmongering diplomacy has militarized the Pacific and intensified regional tensions.

Only a servile government and its apologists will describe the Balikatan as a disaster response program. Its real sinister motive is to advance the hegemonic and self-serving interest of US imperialism.

After 72 years of Mutual Defense Treaty and a century of hosting US bases, 23 years since the signing of the Visiting Forces Agreement, nine years of EDCA and two decades of conducting Balikatan exercises, we are told that the Philippines has no choice but to rely on the US military for our country’s external defense. In fact, all of these military agreements existed when China was aggressively encroaching on our territory but did not make a difference in defending our maritime sovereign rights and the fishing grounds of our fisherfolk.

Only the highest officials of the land including the military top brass beholden to and benefitting from US patronage have benefited from allowing the US military to establish and build facilities in our country and meddle in our domestic affairs.

One of the Balikatan activities involved the sinking of a decommissioned donated warship named BRP Pangasinan, which is reported as a Miguel Malvar corvette of the Philippine Navy. It is a painful reminder of how the Philippines has been a recipient of surplus equipment from its supposedly equal treaty partner; and the heroism of revolutionaries like Malvar who was the last Filipino general to surrender during the Philippine-American war.

We call on all patriotic Filipinos to reject the puppetry of Marcos and resist the continuing military intervention of US imperialism. Let us honor our heroes by calling for the immediate removal of US troops, the repeal of unequal treaties like the VFA and EDCA, and fight for an independent foreign policy and the defense of our sovereignty.

Categories: Statements


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