One Joseph Catalan has been bugging me on Twitter for a response to his WSWS article accusing BAYAN of supporting the US war on China. Here then is a short response from an earlier blog post.
“Maoists support US pivot vs China?”
Well, this is new, coming from pseudo-left Trotskyite grouplets already discredited here in the Philippines but still able to find a venue to spread poison overseas. One Joseph Catalan makes the absurd and fantastic claim that Bayan, by protesting Chinese intervention in the West Philippine Sea, is actually siding with the United States. The claim falls flat on its face since Bayan has consistently opposed US intervention including one-sided agreements such as the VFA and EDCA. Bayan’s track record speaks for itself. Whether in the streets, in the courts, or in parliament, we have strongly opposed US intervention and wars of aggression. We have exposed the desire of the US to exploit the dispute with China so that it can bring back US bases and increase the number of US troops in the Philippines.
Catalan’s article suffers from the same logical fallacy as those who claim that protesting US intervention makes you pro-China.
When Bayan cites US connivance with China and that the US is not going to war with China over PH claims, it is meant to counter the PH government’s lie that US military presence will boost our country’s maritime claims. A plain reading of the statement will show that it is neither an invitation nor endorsement of US military intervention in the dispute. For Catalan to continue insisting otherwise is rather childish and dishonest.
When BAYAN supports the arbitration case vs China, it is not because it is willfully supporting the US designs vs China nor is it because we’ve decided to support the Aquino regime. The UNCLOS is a valid legal instrument that establishes and strengthens our West PH Sea claims, including our exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf. It effectively counters the 9-dash line claim of China. We have no illusion though that the reactionary PH government will be in the best position to assert our claims in the future. The people’s democratic government, established upon our liberation from imperialism and the local ruling elite, would be in the best position to do that. Such a revolutionary government would also avail of the international legal instruments and avenues of diplomacy that can help strengthen our maritime claims.
Catalan and his group here in the Philippines should now be asked: When are you going to oppose China’s violations of our sovereignty? Or do you think it is a non-issue? So we should just allow China to grab our islands and waters because in your view, opposing China would make you pro-US? And if you are so opposed to US war provocations, how come you have not come out strongly to oppose the VFA and the EDCA? What have you done exactly to resist the US pivot?
Ah but for Catalan, the issue of national sovereignty is subsumed to the “formation of the independent party of the working class” as if it is not a concern at all of the working class. What is being done to our fishermen and our natural resources is a non-issue for them. They engage in a lot of Left rhetoric to cover up their essentially Rightist position of utter surrender. What they are basically saying is that we do nothing. It justifies their inaction in the face of both US intervention and China incursions.
In the coming days, the people’s movement will undertake more actions and mobilize more people throughout the country in defense of Philippine sovereignty against US and China imperialism. Last June 12, a broad alliance led rallies at the Chinese consulate in Makati and the US embassy in Manila.
Don’t expect Catalan and the WSWS to lift a finger to defend the national interests of the Filipino people, including those of the Filipino working class.