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NO TO THE PERA-ACT! END US SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO THE MARCOS REGIME!

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Statement by FFPS-US

“United States Senators Bill Hagerty and Tim Kaine, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Philippines Enhanced Resilience Act of 2024 (PERA Act) amidst a trilateral summit between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines in Washington, D.C. that was met with protests by Filipino activists and allies (such as BAYAN, Malaya, Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle and International Coalition For Human Rights in the Philippines) both in DC and across the US.

The PERA Act was posed as a needed step towards strengthening and modernizing the U.S.-Philippines “alliance” in response to aggression by China. As Friends of the Filipino People in Struggle, we view this as another method for the United States to maintain imperialist domination over the Philippines by making them more dependent on a proposed annual Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant of $500 million per fiscal year from 2025 to 2029, totaling $2.5 billion over five fiscal years. The PERA Act would allow the US to further direct and control the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), including the mercenary army’s counter-revolutionary war in the Philippine countryside and their ongoing, futile attempts to “crush” the Filipino people’s just struggle for national liberation. The US continues to direct the Philippines’ counterinsurgency efforts because they know that their main obstacle to inciting further aggression against China via the Philippine islands is the People’s War being waged by the New People’s Army and led by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Another qualifier for this Act includes allowing the U.S. to dictate what the Philippine government needs in terms of defense capabilities to continue Marcos’ “modernization” efforts – efforts to fill up the AFP’s war chest with US surplus goods.

The 2 Senators proposed the Act as a way to increase the Philippines’ defense capabilities, in the name of the “ironclad” friendship that Joe Biden mentioned at the start of their trilateral summit with Japan This is all part of the US’ heightening incitement of imperialist war with China. But the AFP has already shown that their primary concern is the counter-revolutionary war in the countryside – the majority of their battalions are deployed to NPA guerrilla fronts, rather than in areas that might be targets of Chinese aggression. It is clear that the $500 million per year from the US will go towards escalating the aerial bombings, artillery shelling, and strafing in the countryside, as well as the enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and other war crimes being committed by the US-Marcos regime.

As FFPS-US, we condemn the US imperialists for even considering the PERA Act. It is an obvious play of escalation in the United States imperialist aggression towards China. We condemn the control it would provide to the U.S. and continued unequal military agreements heavily in favor of the U.S., allowing them to use the archipelago as their military playground with complete disregard for the lives and land it is effecting.⁩

FFPS-US demands not only a halt to the PERA Act, but a complete end of any US Security Assistance to the Marcos regime. We demand an end to the bombings in the Philippine countryside, and an end to the US-backed violations of International Humanitarian Law being committed in the Philippines. The crimes of the US-Marcos and Duterte regimes will be on full display at this May’s International Peoples Tribunal in Brussels, where the NDFP will raise the complaints of IHL violations and submit the results to the ICC, exposing the fascist crimes of the Philippine government and military. We call the international community to stand with the Filipino people and join or support the Tribunal: https://peoplestribunal.net
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