In an April 21 statement, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) cited pictures taken by Reuters photographer Romeo Ranoco and published on the Yahoo! News website (http://ph.news.yahoo.com/photos/balikatan-exercise-slideshow/) and other outlets clearly showing that so-called joint military exercises between the U.S. military and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are geared towards U.S. involvement in local counter-guerrilla operations in the Philippines.
The pictures were taken on April 19 in Ternate, Cavite where a contingent of American soldiers engaged in war games with Filipino troops are shown portraying situations of armed engagement against the New People’s Army (NPA). Several pictures show American soldiers engaged in mock ambushes against NPA fighters. One of the captions read: “U.S. soldiers inspect a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise…”
“Clearly, Aquino and his military spokesmen are lying when they claim that the Balikatan exercises are only meant to boost the external defense capabilities of the Philippines,” said the CPP. “These pictures explicitly show American troops engaged in counter-guerrilla war games to situate themselves more squarely in the fascist war of suppression against the Filipino people and their army.”
“It is plain to see that the Balikatan war exercises are meant to increase the inter-operations capability of the U.S. military and AFP to engage in internal domestic counter-guerrilla combat operations in the Philippines,” added the CPP.
“The Filipino people vigorously condemn U.S. military intervention in the Philippines and involvement in the internal affairs of the Philippines,” said the CPP. “U.S. military intervention in the Philippines involves the arming, planning and training of the reactionary AFP to gear it to suppress the Filipino people’s anti-imperialist armed resistance.”
“The Filipino people will not forget the long history of U.S. armed intervention of the Philippines, including the war of aggression and occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the century which saw the massacre of close to half a million Filipinos by American soldiers,” said the CPP. “Heightened U.S. military intervention and the outright puppetry of the Aquino regime compel the Filipino people to raise high the banner of patriotism and intensify their armed struggle for national and social liberation.”