Aquino playing to US-designed script by stoking Spratlys conflict — CPP

MANILA – By issuing inflammatory and provocative statements, the Aquino government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are stoking
the Spratly Islands conflict in order to justify inviting US military presence in the South China sea lanes on the pretext of defending
Philippine sovereignty.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said that the the Aquino government’s sudden rush to assert Philippine territorial claim over the Spratlys is part of the script written by the US imperialists to create a diplomatic row over the Southern China Sea to justify its buildup of military forces in the disputed region.

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“Despite Malacañang’s official pronouncements that it is wants to settle the dispute through diplomatic means, Aquino’s security and military officials continue to issue provocative statements that do not help efforts to find a peaceful resolution,” said the CPP. A few days ago, the Philippine government denounced China for its “intrusion” in the Spratlys after Filipino fishermen supposedly discovered structures erected by the Chinese government in one of the disputed islands.

The CPP also denounced the “arrogant and undiplomatic statements of the Chinese government claiming sole sovereignty over the Spratlys which completely disregard the multi-country claims over the disputed islands.”

The CPP further condemned AFP Chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Oban who yesterday declared that “Philippine troops will fire back” if they are
attacked in the Spratlys. “The AFP’s blatant warmongering is part of the US-written script to draw US forces into the South China Sea conflict. He further claimed unabashedly that the Aquino visit to the USS Carl Vinson was a ‘message to China’.”

“Oban also overzealously claimed that his US imperialist masters are concerened over claims of Chinese intrusion into Philippine
territory,” pointed the CPP.

The US has long been seeking to deploy its naval fleet in the Southern China sea lanes in an effort to counter the buildup of China’s military strength, secure the international sea route to ensure the free flow of US commodities in the region, put economic pressure on China and allow US companies to explore oil and mineral resources in the area.

“The Aquino government is allowing itself to be used as a pawn in the US’ global strategy of forward deployment of its military forces in key regions of the world,” said the CPP. “It hypocritically asserts sovereignty over the Spratly islands while allowing the US imperialists to blatantly trample on Philippine sovereignty.”

The CPP cited the permanent stationing of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), a 700-strong unit under the US Pacific Command that maintains its headquarters inside Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City. It also cited the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which allows the unhampered intrusion of US military troops in any part of the Philippines.

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