Militants promise to give Obama ‘fiery welcome’
MANILA— A “fiery welcome” awaits United States President Barack Obama when he arrives in Manila in October, the militant farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said on Saturday.
It is planning to “hound” the American president wherever he would go and set fire to US flags as part of a week-long protest, KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella said in a statement.
“The Filipino peasantry assures President Obama to have not only a warm welcome in October but a fiery one,” he said.
Marbella said the burning of American flags would coincide with the group’s week-long “Peasant and Rural People’s Caravan and Protest against US Intervention and Aquino’s Puppetry” in October.
It is the group’s tradition to hold a series of protests in October to observe the anniversary of Presidential Decree 27 issued by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in October 1972 declaring the “emancipation of tenants from bondage to the soil,” which the militants describe as “bogus land reform.”
“The Filipino peasantry will hound Obama wherever he is in the Philippines,” Marbella said.
Obama will travel to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines from October 6 to 12 “as part of his ongoing commitment to increase US political, economic and security engagement with the Asia Pacific,” according to a statement from Washington.
“The President will then travel to the Philippines, the fifth Asian treaty ally he has visited during his presidency. He will meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between our two countries,” the statement said.
“Obama’s visit will be a strong push for the US’ agenda for the further opening up of the economy, the 100 percent foreign ownership of lands, and the intensification of US military intervention and increased US troops’ presence in the country in accordance with the Pentagon’s strategic military pivot in the Asia Pacific,” KMP said.
“On the other hand, Aquino’s all-out surrender of the country’s sovereignty clearly demonstrates the master-puppet relationship between the US and the Aquino government,” Marbella said.
He said he was calling on “all freedom-loving and patriotic forces in the Philippines” to assert their national sovereignty and resist the Americans’ increasing military intervention in the country.