Philippine Intervention Philippine intervention in the Vietnam crisis is inconceivable under the present circumstances without being directly related to U.S. intervention. Thus, the prior discussion on U.S. intervention.
U.S. intervention in Vietnam has been facilitated from the very beginning by the jump-off bases, such as its military bases in the Philippines. It is well-known that these U.S. military bases are being used as launching grounds against the Asian peoples. The people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have felt too often the dangers coming from the direction of these U.S. military bases and they have actually suffered attacks from Philippine-based U.S. military crafts.
Through the SEATO, the U.S. government has made the Philippine government an accomplice in its intervention in and rape of Vietnam. The SEATO has been internationally recognized as the imperialist weapon which made a mockery of the Geneva Agreements.
Ramon Magsaysay was also acting as an agent of U.S. imperialism when in 1955 he extended recognition to South Vietnam as an independent state notwithstanding the Geneva Agreements.
The late Senator Claro M. Recto, as early as 1955, exposed the foolhardiness and puppetry in the policy of Magsaysay to recognize the bogus state of South Vietnam and to risk deeper Philippine involvement in the U.S. policy of intervention in the affairs of the Vietnamese people. Filipino technical men, engineers, nurses, pilots and outright military personnel and so-called social workers have been used by CIA-operated firms in Vietnam as instruments for the U.S. imperialist subversion of South Vietnam.
Now that the U.S. imperialists have a difficult time getting more mercenaries for their projects, especially their last desperate efforts to control South Vietnam, they have resorted to ordering the Philippine government to provide “2,000 Filipino technical men with combat support” to work under the U.S. imperialist command in South Vietnam at the cost of P-35 million for this year alone, with the Filipino people paying the bill.
You remember that our Congress appropriated P1 million for medical aid to the Saigon government in 1964. In the following year, P-25 million was being demanded for an engineering battalion and combatants to be sent to the battlefronts. This year, the escalation continues and we are being asked to contribute P-35 million to the U.S. war effort. At the rate the Philippine government is involving itself, it will certainly abuse the Filipino people increasingly while it helps U.S. imperialism destroy the freedom and welfare of a brother Asian people.
The puppet government of South Korea started to commit 3,000 combatants to the Vietnam War; now it has more than 18,000 men in active combat duty there. The U.S. government used to spend only P-2 million a day in the war; now it is spending $20 million a day—with no effect but continued defeat.
These various forms of Philippine intervention under U.S. direction in Vietnamese affairs mock our own independence as they try to subvert the sovereignty of a brother Asian nation.
These, however, have received their corresponding rebukes from the various sectors of the population, especially the patriotic students and youth led by the Kabataang Makabayan.
As the U.S. imperialists continue to use our military bases to commit aggression and expand their sphere of influence, then these U.S. military bases should be removed or taken over by the Filipino people.
The SEATO has always been used to advance U.S. imperialist interests but it cannot be used now for such a purpose in South Vietnam because of inter-imperialist contradictions between France and the United States. Pakistan, too, has found out that it is against her self- interest to help in U.S. imperialist adventures while the United States supports India, not a SEATO member, against Pakistan, a SEATO member. It is a matter of national interest, dignity and sanity to withdraw from the SEATO.
As the U.S. imperialists continue to hire and use our professionals, technical men and military men, let us remind our own countrymen how injudiciously an alien power is depriving us of the forces and funds badly needed by our own people in our own national crisis.
In response to the continued attempts of U.S. imperialism to deepen Philippine involvement in the Vietnam crisis, let me reiterate the position of Kabataang Makabayan which was stated on the occasion of that memorable demonstration of June 18 attended by 10,000 men and women against U.S. intervention in South Vietnam and Philippine involvement on the side of U.S. imperialism.
We vigorously condemn U.S. intervention in South Vietnam which began in 1954 after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. We abhor the barbarous use of strategic hamlets (concentration camps), lethal gas, napalm bombs, genocide and mass torture and other forms of “special warfare” against the South Vietnamese people. We hereby declare to our people the hypocrisy of U.S. propaganda that dishes out such slogans as “democracy” and “free world” only to suppress the democratic and libertarian aspirations of Afro-Asian peoples like the Vietnamese and establish the worst puppet dictatorships which depend for their existence on imperialist military support.
We consider it unconstitutional, criminal and immoral for Filipino citizens to be involved in one way or another in the war efforts of U.S. imperialism against the South Vietnamese people; and there is no valid reason for declaring war, in accordance with the Philippine Constitution, against the South Vietnamese people, the vast majority of whom, two-thirds, have successfully freed themselves from the Saigon puppet government maintained by U.S. imperialism. If the South Vietnamese people are at war with any foreign nation, it is basically with the United States whose insatiable greed and violence are victimizing people everywhere. Otherwise, a state of civil war in South Vietnam must be respected by all other nations.
We condemn with all our strength the reactionary and imperialist scheme of making the Filipino youth die and suffer injury in foreign battlefields in the ignoble service of U.S. imperialism. We refuse to be mercenaries of a foreign power which deprives and oppresses our own people. We refuse the imposition of war upon the youth for the sake of imperialist interests. The efforts of the Filipino youth must be directed towards building up a national democracy that is free from U.S. imperialism and from those iniquitous encumbrances exposed by the January 25 demonstration—such as the Parity Amendment, the Laurel-Langley Agreement, the Quirino-Foster Agreement, the U.S.-R.P. Military Bases Agreement, the Military Assistance Pact, the Mutual Defense Pact, SEATO, the Peace Corps and countless other agreements and devices—which stifle and destroy our freedom as a nation. We condemn the waste of precious and limited resources, such as the P-35 million appropriated by the House of Representatives for the sake of advancing the material and expansionist interests of U.S. imperialism. These resources must be used for improving our socioeconomic condition, for employing our unemployed youth in productive endeavors and for paying adequately those employees in the government who do not even receive their salaries on time and who are often victimized by layoffs and insecurity.
To contribute anything to the U.S. war effort in any form is criminal, whether that contribution be called combat aid, economic aid, technical aid or medical aid. Anything that contributes to the military aggression is military in character; the distinction can only be semantic and not substantial. We condemn those who advocate sending combat aid and also those who advocate “technical and economic” aid. We know very well that the U.S. government has been step by step aggravating Philippine involvement in the South Vietnam War. Before, it was an appropriation of P-1.0 million for “civic action” and “non-military” aid; now, the stupendous amount of P-35 million is being appropriated, with the military intent more and more evident and demanded by the reactionary politicians and military officials. U.S. policy-makers and propagandists, as a matter of fact, have long announced to the entire world that the Philippines has always been a willing instrument in the U.S. imperialist war in South Vietnam.
In opposing the involvement of the Philippines in the Vietnam War, we, the Kabataang Makabayan, are motivated by the deepest patriotic concern for the welfare and dignity of our people, for the future of the Filipino youth, and for our fraternal bonds with the South Vietnamese youth who must liberate themselves from foreign tyranny.
In conclusion, let us tell the imperialists that if ever the Filipino youth have the opportunity of their own to fight on the side of the Vietnamese people against them, they shall gladly do so as they recall the same brutalities that the same U.S. imperialist power inflicted upon the Filipino people in the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902 and as they still suffer from the exploitative conditions determined and imposed upon them by U.S. imperialism.
If we must fight for democracy, let us first fight for it in our own country against U.S. imperialism which continues to subvert our nationhood, exploits our people and deprives us of the substance of democracy. Let us first free ourselves from U.S. imperialist control formalized in such treaties and agreements as the Parity Amendment, the Revised Bell Trade Act, the U.S.-R.P. Military Assistance Pact, the Quirino-Foster Agreement and others which make us economically, politically, culturally and militarily subservient to U.S. monopoly capitalism.
Let us not be like the colonial conscript, Tano, or the self-seeking careerist, Basilio, in Dr. Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo, so low in sociopolitical consciousness that we can be carried away from the basic problems of our motherland, Sisa, and our own oppressed peasantry, Cabesang Tales. Let us not be carried away from our own land oppressed by U.S. imperialism in overt and covert ways. Let us not kill our fellow youth and the peasants in Vietnam for the cause of U.S. imperialism here and there. #