U.S. Prepares for More Military Intervention in the Philippines

June 3, 2003

On May 19, during a meeting with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines, George Bush announced that more military aid will be provided to the Philippines as part of the U.S. "war on terrorism."

Bush pledged $30 million in new aid and 20 UH-1H helicopters. He also reaffirmed that the U.S. would send more troops to take part in joint maneuvers and training with the Filipino armed forces.

During the meeting, the U.S. announced that the Philippines would be granted "major non-NATO ally status," thus giving it greater access to U.S. military equipment and loans.

Besides meeting with President Bush, Arroyo met with Secretary of State Colin Powell, members of Congress, and representatives from the World Bank. She told reporters during her visit that U.S. military aid to the Philippines has grown to more than $100 million from $1.9 million three years ago and was set to increase.

In the Philippines, as elsewhere, the Bush administration is trying to use the flimsy cover of a so-called "war against international terrorism," to hide its colonial objectives. During the last year, several thousand U.S. troops have been deployed in the Philippines. The U.S. troops have not only trained Filipino forces in counter-insurgency operations but also played a direct role in combat. The deployment of U.S. troops is a direct violation of the constitution of the Philippines which bars foreign military forces from operating in the country. The Pentagon, however, aims at both suppressing the Filipino peoples struggles for national liberation and at, again, turning the country into a major U.S. military base and use it as a strategic staging ground for dominating Asia.

In a statement released on May 21, the Communist Party of the Philippines "strongly denounced the interventionist and militarist US government for giving more inducements to the Arroyo government for further US military and political interference in Philippine affairs and for the further intensification of the puppet government's all-out military campaigns of suppression in Mindanao and elsewhere.... All this only means more US military and political intervention."