DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said the country will only gain war, not freedom and independence as the US continue to step on the Philippines’national sovereignty.
“Wherever there is U.S. involvement and presence of U.S. troops, there is war and destruction. We have seen this in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world where U.S. instigated proxy wars. This war against the Maute group was practically started by the U.S.,” KMP Secretary General Antonio Flores said in a statement sent to the media on Monday, June 12, in time with the commemoration of Independence Day.
Flores is referring to the Maute group’s alleged origins and linkage to ISIS and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The peasant leader also hit the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, asserting that: “There can be no freedom when civil and political rights are curtailed and when the military rule is above civilian supremacy.”
President Rodrigo Duterte, he added, has undermined the sovereignty and independence of the country when he authorized Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to run the affairs of the state under martial law.
“While Duterte is constantly mouthing strong words and empty threats, he practically acted like a lame duck when he admitted that he is not aware of the participation of U.S. troops in the military operations in Marawi,” Flores said.
In Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday, June 11, Duterte said he is not aware of the role of US Special Forces on the continuing military offensives in Marawi.
The President added that he gave the powers to the defense department when he declared martial law last May 23.
He also hinted the lack of technical expertise, the reason why American forces are assisting the ground troops in the area.
(See related story: Duterte unaware of US’ role in Marawi, admits Philippine Army is ‘pro-American’)
Flores said that government officials under the Duterte administration admitted of the US military presence in the area through the provision of training and equipment.
“Duterte just accepted the fact and situation that U.S. forces are involved in the military’s fight against terrorists that have turned Marawi City into a battle zone, displacing thousands of Moro people,” he said, adding that Lorenzana himself previously admitted that US Special Forces at Camp Ranao were coordinating communications link between the P3 Orion spy plane and AFP forces fighting the Maute group on the ground.
“The presence and meddling of U.S. forces will only prolong and complicate this war,” he said.
KMP also expressed grief over the displacement of more than 200,000 residents of Marawi due to the continuing war.
Flores also asked Duterte to “heed the people’s demand for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao.” (davaotoday.com)duterte, farmers, KMP, Marawi, Martial Law, militants, philippines, US troops