By BAZOO DE JESUS
BANGUED, Abra — Indigenous peoples from Abra, led by the Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan (Kastan CPA-Abra), called on President Rodrigo Duterte to make real of his strong pronouncements against foreign intervention towards a pro-people independent foreign policy.
“While we do not tolerate the spate of killings under the Duterte administration, it is without doubt that the United States government does not have any ascendency to call out the Philippine government while they are committing grave abuses throughout the world.”, said Theresa Forag, deputy secretary-general of KASTAN.
The alliance expressed its support to the administration amid the President’s statements calling on the Philippines “to stand up on its own” and to pursue independent foreign relations in spite of the criticisms hurled by the United States government and other foreign entities upon the regime due to the massive killings of alleged drug-related personalities.
Forag pointed to the wide scale involvement of the United States government in the grave abuse and violations of human rights committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), other law enforcement agencies, and paramilitary groups.
“The US government keeps on providing “military aid” to the Philippines despite committing gross human rights violations,” Forag added.
“Aside from providing military aid, Oplan Bayanihan, the counter-insurgency program of the Aquino administration which is being continued by the Duterte administration, is patterned after the US counter-insurgency program upon the recommendation of U.S. military advisers,” she said.
The group also blasted the recent statements of the United States embassy in Manila that reminds the Philippine government of how the US government “helped” after typhoon Yolanda.
Forag claimed that the reach of fascism of the US government, manifested in how it treats prisoners and civilians in war-torn, anti-imperialist countries, can be seen in “the way AFP soldiers treat people who are critical of the government”.
“From 2002 to 2015, the US government gave the Philippine government around $500 million as part of its military aid, aside from various equipment despite committing human rights violations,” Forag said.
It was during this period that several human rights violations perpetrated by the AFP, particularly in the Cordillera, were reported, including the brutal massacre of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Tineg and Lacub, the use of human shields and murder of civilians in Lacub and Ligiw, indiscriminate bombing and sexual abuses against women in Malibcong.
“We urge President Duterte to immediately terminate unfair treaties and agreements with foreign powers and to push for laws that will enable national industrialization and enact a genuine land reform law that will replace the bogus and pro-landlord Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER),” she added.
Kastan challenged the President to make real of his statements by creating industries, mechanizing the agricultural sector, strengthening the defense system, and therefore building a backbone for the economy and the nation as a whole.
“Rest assured, as long as President Duterte pushes for meaningful pro-people reforms, the people will stand by him,” ended Forag. # nordis.net