Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Volume 2, Number 26              August 4-10,  2002            Quezon City, Philippines

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A Pattern of Deception & Disinformation

By Capt. Danilo P. Vizmanos (Ret.)

Convenor, "US Troops Out Now!"


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A pattern of deception, disinformation, duplicity, impositions and political arm-twisting!

This has been the thrust of US power politics in persistent attempts to restore permanent US military presence in the Philippines. What makes it unconscionable is the Arroyo government's conspiracy with the Bush administration in making a mockery of the Constitution and a travesty of the national sovereignty.

Consider the following:

First, the conspirators said that Exercise Balikatan 02-1 is just an ordinary training exercise. Later, it turns out to be a military operation involving combat troops from the US Special Forces

Second, they said that only 600 American troops would be involved. This was a lie because eventually there would be 1,240 US troops in Basilan and Zamboanga.

Third, they said that Balikatan 02-1 is an anti-terrorism exercise directed mainly against the Abu Sayyaf group. This turned out to be another lie because later, 550 US naval construction personnel and security forces suddenly appeared in Basilan to undertake so-called "civic action" projects.

Fourth, they said that the military exercise would be limited to six months. Now they are talking about extending it indefinitely until God-knows-when by using  the open-ended civic action projects as justification.

Fifth, they said that there is no intention to prolong the stay of US forces in the country. It turns out that all along, there has been a conspiracy between DND/AFP and US Pacific Command authorities to impose a Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement (MLSA). This is a deceptive title for the restoration of US military bases and facilities in the country.

Sixth, they say that the MLSA is intended primarily to benefit the AFP in terms of logistics support. But a closer look at the so-called "arrangement" reveals that its aim is to provide US forces with permanent access and basing rights in the country  The unusual secretiveness of the conspirators is explained in Part 3 of the deceptive arrangement which provides the following support and services to permanent US military presence in the country:

Billeting, transportation (including airlift), communication services, medical services, base operations support (and construction incident to base operations support), storage services, training services, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, and port services.

This key provision of the MLSA actually provides all the essential features of a military base complex. Undoubtedly imposed by the US government, the MLSA is intended to replace the defunct military bases agreement through circumvention of Article 18, Section 25 of the Constitution.

In order to ensure its approval, the conspirators in Malacanang and the Bush administration have to get rid of Foreign Secretary Teofisto Guingona who is considered as a major stumbling block to the designs of US power politics in the country.

A relevant question:  Why is it that among southeast Asian countries, it is only the Philippines that has acceded to US military presence and intervention in the country's internal affairs?

The answer is because the national leaders in the other countries are imbued with a high sense of nationalism, national dignity, national pride and self-respect which are sterling qualities of leadership that make the difference between a prestigious nation in contrast to a vassal state that describes the colonial-oriented and subservient Arroyo government today.

According to the latest opinion survey, more and more Filipinos have despaired and lost hope on what they describe as an inutile and  rotten system of governance. Subjectively, this reflects a growing political awareness among the people, particularly the victimized toiling masses. Sooner or later, through political education and enlightenment, they will come to know the true role of US military forces and their local proxies as coercive instruments of US power politics in the country.

Eventually, they will also come to know the dominant role played by US imperialist policies and impositions, particularly the so-called "free market" globalization, that explains the perpetuation of mass and grinding poverty, wretchedness of living conditions and unabated suffering of the oppressed, exploited and marginalized toiling masses in Philippine society.

Finally, the people will eventually realize that a truly just and liberated Philippine society can only be achieved through arduous people's struggle.  Punitive acts of suppression and repression by the State will only serve to hasten the eruption of the long smoldering and rumbling social volcano! 

3 July 2002. Bulatlat.com

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