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On the Withdrawal of Filipino Mercenary Troops from IRAQ and Shameless Blabbering of US Government Officials

By Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

22 July 2004

I share the joy of the Filipino nation and the family of Angelo de la Cruz over his release and homecoming. I congratulate the cause-oriented organizations headed by Bayan and Migrante International, all other patriotic forces and the broad masses of the Filipino people for successfully pressing the Macapagal-Arroyo regime to withdraw the contingent of Filipino mercenary troops from Iraq and thus pave the way for the release of Angelo de la Cruz from his Iraqi captors.

I am also pleased that Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has heeded the overwhelming public demand, after showing reluctance to listen to it and going to the extent of unleashing police brutality against the unarmed and peaceful rallyists of Bayan and other patriotic organizations.

Officials of the US government are shameless for blabbering that the Philippines has succumbed to the demand of terrorists and that it has reneged on its commitment to serve the interests and objectives of the US in Iraq. In the first place, in invading and occupying Iraq, the US has once again exposed itself as the No.1 terrorist monster. The previous dispatch of Filipino mercenary troops to serve US and UK imperialism is an affront to the national sovereignty and self-respect of the Filipino people.

There can be no bigger crime of terrorism than a war of aggression. The US has murdered tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and injured hundreds of thousands of them. It has destroyed the livelihood, properties and social infrastructure of the Iraqi people. It has seized the oil resources and other major profitable assets of Iraq. Even as it tries to use one puppet clique after another, it is the principal terrorist force oppressing and exploiting the Iraqi people. The people of the world have increasingly manifested their hatred of US imperialism through unprecedented protest mass actions.

Even within the US and the UK, the Bush and Blair ruling cliques are increasingly being taken to account for their crimes of carrying out aggression, violating the UN charter, misusing and manipulating reports and records, lying about supposed Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction and collaboration with Al Qaida, misappropriating public funds, sending American men and women in harm's way without any justification allowed by the UN charter and violating human rights and humanitarian law inside and outside Iraqi prisons.

The withdrawal of Filipino mercenary troops from Iraq is welcomed by the Filipino people. But it is not yet a clear indication of any change in the Macapagal-Arroyo policy of collaborating with the US in acts of war and repression under the pretext of anti-terrorism. Because of the collaboration of the puppet regime, the US is escalating its military intervention in the Philippines and making provocations against nearby countries under the guise of joint military exercises.

In its peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is determined to press for upholding the national sovereignty and independence of the Filipino people and for realizing national industrialization and land reform. Let us see whether the GRP would be able to come to terms with the NDFP in addressing the roots of the armed conflict (confronting the problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism) and paving the way for a just and lasting peace. ###

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