Panalipdan Southern Mindanao: US, China, stop making PH your playground!

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Press Statement

Panalipdan Southern Mindanao
April 11, 2015

US, CHINA, STOP MAKING PH YOUR PLAYGROUND!

Panalipdan-SMR condemns the reported incursion and reclamation activities of Chinese ships in Mischief Reef and the upcoming massive US-PH Balikatan military exercises in Palawan, Panay, Pampanga, and many other parts of the Philippines. We call on the US, China, and even Australia, which will also participate in the Balikatan, to stop making the Philippines their playground for their war games.

The recent action of China does not contribute to peace-building in the region given that the archipelago west of Palawan is being contested by several countries. It is tantamount to bullying, and we cannot accomodate another bully in the country which has not yet fully achieved democracy after centuries of colonization.

We are well aware of the danger of militarism to our environment. The grounding of USS Guardian in Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the latest such incident. We also recall the dumping of toxic wastes in Subic Bay by a US Navy contractor as well as the toxic wastes left by US military at the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga. Of course, who can forget the biggest environmental disaster caused by militarism: atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

We can only blame the puppetry of Pres. BS Aquino for these escalating threats to Philippine environment. It appears that he has already included China in his set of masters, which includes first and foremost the US and other countries which have interests in the country’s natural resources such as Japan, Australia, and Europe. His five years in Malacañang have shown how vulnerable Philippine environment has become from calamities both natural and man-made.

In the upcoming celebration of Earth Day, we will highlight all the environmental disasters which occurred under Aquino. Indigenous people or lumads of entire Mindanao as well as IP support groups will converge in Davao City on April 21-24 to strengthen their unity and resistance against environmental challenges linked to foreign investments such as large-scale mining and logging, agri-industrial plantations, and large dams among others. It will also strengthen their opposition to the rise of militarism and paramilitarism in lumad communities such as military encampments in schools.

Reference: Kim Gargar, Spokesperson, Panalipdan-SMR

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