MANILA, Philippines – As the region deals with security issues involving two communist states, where do leftist groups in the Philippines stand?
They are defending North Korea’s “sovereign right” to launch a rocket but are assailing China for “intruding” in Philippine territory.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. slammed Malacañang for supposedly echoing the U.S. line “hyping the so-called nuclear threat” posed by the rocket launch of North Korea.
“The US is trying to deny North Korea’s sovereign right to launch a satellite for peaceful use by hypocritically using the specter of nuclear weapons,” Reyes said. Bayan is the umbrella organization of key leftist groups in the Philippines.
Leftist human rights group Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez also criticized President Aquino over North Korea. “What PNoy (President Aquino) wants is for the Filipino people to rally behind him in his subservient attempt to kowtow to American efforts to provoke war with North Korea,” she said.
But leftist groups are not taking the side of China in the ongoing standoff with the Philippine Navy in the Scarborough Shoal. Chinese surveillance ships are preventing the Philippine government from arresting Chinese nationals fishing in the disputed territory controlled by the Philippines.
“We condemn China’s reported intrusion in the Scarborough Shoal,” said Rep. Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna partylist group, the political arm of Bayan. “This is blatant infringement of our territory. China is obviously targeting our rich marine, mineral, and energy deposits. This must stop,” Casiño added.
“We must ensure that we will continue to defend what is ours. We must also be wary of U.S. entry into the picture as it will only worsen the situation and even escalate it,” added Rep. Neri Colmenares, also of Bayan Muna. – Rappler.com