Leftist lawmaker says US uses Balikatan to trample Philippine sovereignty

Anakpawis Representative Fernando Hicap said the United States is trampling Philippine sovereignty instead of helping Armed Forces of the Philippines increase defense capabilities. The leftist lawmaker under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) adds that military exercises like Balikatan is a way of US to sell arms.

“As the country has always relied on foreign powers and we do not have a national industry that supposed to be the base of our defense capabilities, it has become a habit of big countries to trample on our national sovereignty,” he said.

“One objective of the US is to train Filipino soldiers in using US-made weapons, so as to obligate us to purchase and for them to profit, it is a simple buy-and-sell and has no connection with our defense capabilities, as the US also has big interests in China,” Hicap claims.

Exercise Balikatan 2015 was officially opened today and will last until April 20.

During the 10-day Exercise Balikatan, 6,656 American soldiers and 5,023 Filipino soldiers will participate in three major events namely Field Training Exercises (FTX), Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA) and Command Post Exercise (CPX) with Marine Security (MARSEC) and Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX).