Common Statement in support of the People of the Philippines affected by Typhoon
10 December 2013
Right from the start it was clear that the destruction of human beings and things were striking and now, after more than two weeks, the official figures speak of 5500 victims, but the wounded are many more of those admitted at the beginning: more than 26,000. Thousands are still missing and some international experts say that for the complete reconstruction may take up to 10 years.
Officially nine million inhabitants, or 10% of the entire population, were involved in the event, but the UN brings the figure to 13 million. Over four million are homeless. The most affected areas of the archipelago are the islands Leyte, Samar and Cebu, Negros, Visayas Eastern, Central and Western, about 5 regions and 36 provinces, and in particular the city of Tacloban, coastal and mountain areas among the poorest in throughout the country, where most are poor peasants, agricultural workers unemployed, small-scale fishers and indigenous peoples. Faced with this tragedy political organizations and trade unions of the Philippines who fight for the defence of the conditions of life and labour of the people immediately mobilized carrying out support and calling for a general mobilization in the country and abroad for proper co-ordination in order to distribute appropriate help and materials, water, food, shelter, medical care and aid to rebuild homes, recover farm animals, collection of tubers to those who have greater and more urgent need of help starting with the children and the elders. And the Communist Party of the Philippines has also declared a unilateral ceasefire for two months to allow and facilitate relief efforts in any way. Appeals to which the government has not yet responded. The government of the Philippines of President Aquino, despite the information and alert branched from the Observatory of Manila that said “You may need a massive evacuation of residential areas on low lands within 8 to 16 km of the coast” has not taken appropriate measures (pompously declared “zero victims”) and then has intervened with considerable delay in rescue, first allocating insignificant funds for such a catastrophe and on the other side filling these areas with military bunkers and checkpoints, instead of immediately building homes and help those affected by the tragedy in areas too difficult to reach; this behaviour has in fact aggravated the general conditions of affected populations, minimizing inter alia constantly the number of victims. The anger of these people is mounting as delays become fatal to save more lives and give immediate responses to the needs of the moment. On some occasions the President Aquino has had the “courage” to criticize the Filipinos because they were unprepared! And he is doing an effusive populist propaganda about the funds that are in its immediate disposal, such as the President’s Social Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which says falsely that he has used for the relief effort, and is on the contrary an excuse to increase them.
Even in these terrible hours, the Aquino government has not stopped for a moment to continue to militarize the Mindanao campaigns and across the Community Organizing COPD) and to harass (through a real war of extermination through the operation that bears the name of “Oplan Bayanihan” – increasing the firepower on the field and diverting millions of dollars in money and means of the state) the activists of the Communist Party of the Philippines that in these areas is present with different people’s local governments. The government, thanks also to an enslaved press, continued to use the farce of the attacks suffered and clashes with fighters to denigrate the people’s war, especially in areas that have been virtually abandoned by the reactionary government.
The government is pursuing this militarization of aid in Haiti style, even allowing for the armed forces of the United States to intervene directly in the affected areas. The U.S. imperialists are once again taking advantage of the tragedy to intensify in a “legitimate” way the presence in the area that have entered into their strategy which they gave the name of “Asia Pivot” (Asia at the centre). In fact they have deployed in the Philippines no less than six warships including the flagship of the U.S., the aircraft carrier George Washington, which
carries at least 80 fighter jets and helicopter, in addition to 5000 marines. The aircraft carrier will be accompanied by the USS Antietam, USS Coepwns, USS Mustin, from the cruiser with guided missiles Lasses. Other U.S. military are moving from ports in the area such as Hong Kong toward the Philippines and are invading the capital and took over the airport in Tacloban. American imperialism keeps for many years an extraordinary military presence in the area and considers the Philippines a more “own backyard”. Even British imperialism has sent the warship HMS Daring and a Boeing C-17 for military transport.
Imperialism takes every opportunity to strengthen its military presence and gain control of strategic areas to protect the profits of multinational corporations. The power never seen of this typhoon also caused by environmental destruction going on in the world, and especially in the Philippines made up of savage deforestation to make way for agribusiness and mining that enrich the masters of the world and impoverish and leave in inhumane conditions amount impressive populations, has devastated millions of people who now have to raise again, focusing on their strengths and on a genuine international solidarity that knows how to target aid in the reconstruction of houses and living conditions.
The solidarity we express is to support the dignity of a people conscious that must struggle to recover and get rid of parasites internal and at international level. We express solidarity capable of strongly denounce military interventionism of the Aquino government against its own population and that of imperialism, the United States first. For this it will need to engage in a campaign of denunciation and information as wide as possible to bring to the proletariat of the imperialist countries and around the world.
It is with this kind of solidarity in the heart that we express the maximum proximity, at this particular moment, to the masses of the Philippines who have suffered this terrible tragedy.
ATIK – Slai Cobas per il sindacato di classe – Frap
Address for Relief:
NDFP International Information Office in The Netherlands:
NDF ST. INT. INFORMATIE
Account number 39 45 70 642
Bank branch: Utrecht, The Netherlands
IBAN NL 70 RABO 0394 5706 42
BIC RABONL 2U
Please put “Haiyan/Yoland Relief Funds”