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Philippines: US intrusion could turn ongoing civil war into a full-blown war for national liberation

23. February 2003

KMU News Release, February 22, 2003

The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) today raised strong alarm on the imminent participation of US troops in direct combat operations against the ragtag kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and said that this could effect far more destruction on the Filipino people`s lives and the failing economy. The labor group also blamed the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government and her blatant patronage to the US-led war of aggression as the primary reason for the comprehensive deterioration of the country`s social conditions.”

KMU Secretary for Federation Affairs Joel Maglunsod strongly argued that Abu Sayyaf is not the real target of US military presence in the country. “The so-called pursuit operations against the ASG is just a grand cover-up concocted by both US and local military strategists. The genuine objective and ultimate aim of the impending joint military operations of US and government troops is to crush the people`s movement opposing US aggression and exploitation. The real targets of upcoming US led combat operations are the New People`s Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), their mass of supporters and advocates. Both the NPA and MILF vowed to fight US military presence in the country and the US government is obviously threatened. So far, Arroyo, had been Bush`s most reliable ally in his war campaign, and a strong anti-US war movement in the Philippines would be a forceful hindrance to their merciless acts.”

With direct US military intervention, Maglunsod pictured the inevitable intensification of the continuing war for national liberation and self-determination separately waged by legitimate revolutionary organizations, the NPA and MILF respectively. “Arroyo`s blind submission to US dictates, particularly her avid support to US-led war of aggression could turn the ongoing civil war in the country into a full blown war for national liberation.”

The labor leader said that the poorest section of the country`s 80 million population especially workers, urban and rural poor are determined to face the intensifying US aggression in the country. “We are ready to mobilize our ranks and thousands more against US sponsored attacks on the Moro people in Mindanao and other people.

“More and more people from middle and upper classes are joining poor people in expressing their opposition to Arroyo`s pro-war and pro-US stance. Various religious sectors are even drawn into leading prayer rallies and protests against the US-led war. Soon, Arroyo would find herself completely isolated from the people.”

KMU will join the newly-formed basic masses organization, ANAKPAWIS, in a protest rally at Mendiola and United States Embassy on Monday to assail Arroyo`s extreme puppetry to US, the heightened presence of US troops in the country and their actual engagement in combat operations.