Transfer of US naval cutter to Philippines stoking Spratly conflict — CPP

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By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the US government is further heightening tension over the Spratly islands issue and provoking a military conflict in the South China Sea region by deploying another naval cutter to the Philippines to help augment its power projection operations in the region.

Yesterday, officials of the US congress announced that its Foreign Relations Committee is about to wrap up its decision to transfer the US naval cutter Dallas by the end of the week and plan to sail it to the Philippines soon thereafter.

The naval cutter Dallas was commissioned by the US Coast Guard in 1967. It is being “sold” to the Philippine armed forces under the Excess Defense Articles program of the US.

“The transfer of another naval cutter from the US government serves the purpose of US military buildup in the South China Sea,” said the CPP. “Through such, the US is able to employ the Philippine Navy as an augmentation force in the course of its operations to permanently project its military presence and power in the area and secure the trade routes and Asian markets in the interest of US monopoly capitalist companies.”

The upcoming transfer of the US naval cutter is part of the US-directed and -supported modernization program of the AFP. Defense and security officials of the US and Philippine governments have been negotiating for the transfer of several F-16 fighter jets and other war materiél from the US EDA program.

“By acquiring the US naval cutters and manning it to serve US interests, the Aquino regime is making the Philippines a possible target of the potential enemies of the US, whether China or another imperialist country or emerging capitalist power which may put its foot forward in challenging US control of sea lanes, markets and sources of raw materials in the Asia-Pacific region,” added the CPP.

“Officials of the Aquino regime are fooling the Filipino people when they claim that the purchase of the aging naval cutter has nothing to do with the brewing US conflict with China and that it seeks only to beef up the naval defense capabilities of the Philippines,” said the CPP. “In the first place, the US government allows only the transfer of its excess military equipment to other countries when such serves the purpose of US national security and foreign policy objectives.”

“Long before the Aquino government made noise over the Spratly islands, security and military officials of the US have been proposing the transfer of US naval and air capabilities to the Philippines in view of what it has long perceived as the threat of the growth of China as an economic and political power,” said the CPP.

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