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CPP hails Duterte's announcement of independent foreign policy

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BAGUIO CITY, Philippines -- The Communist Party of the Philippines has hailed President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of an independent foreign policy, saying it could lead to the scrapping of military treaties with the US and the exit of US troops from the country. 
 
Duterte, the CPP said, “has the distinction of being the first [Government of the Republic of the Philippines] president to set himself squarely opposed to US and foreign meddling in the internal affairs of the Philippines."
 
The principle upholding an independent and peaceful foreign policy is among the key items in the 12-point program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the CPP said. “Such policy congruence between the Duterte regime and the NDFP program can serve as one of the solid starting points in forging agreements on socio-economic and political reforms.”
 
The CPP believes that imperialism -- particularly US imperialism -- feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism (the use of political power and influence for economic gain) are the main causes of poverty and underdevelopment in the Philippines.
 
The party added that Duterte “can work together with the patriotic forces to rouse the Filipino people from the stupor of colonial mentality and undo close to a century of US brainwashing.” 
 
Duterte has been raising the issue of the Bud Dajo massacre, where around a thousand Moros were killed in a pacification campaign in Jolo in 1906.
 
“Not one American official has been made to answer for the numerous heinous war crimes of the US colonial forces, not even General Jacob Smith, who ordered the killing of all males over 10 years old in the campaign to turn Samar into a 'howling wilderness'," the communist party said. 
 
The CPP said that Duterte can work with them in generating  “an educational and cultural campaign to bring forth a renaissance of Filipino nationalism, similar to the educational campaign launched by the eminent nationalist Claro M. Recto in the late 1950s.”

'Non-alignment'

The party also said Duterte “must also declare and pursue a policy of non-alignment by ending dependence on US military aid as well as doctrinal affiliation with US counter insurgency ideology.” 
 
The CPP said Duterte can stand on moral high ground and lead such a movement by making the country fully compliant with the principles of non-alignment such as dismantling of all US military facilities; causing the withdrawal of all US troops, warships, jet fighters, drones and other war materiel stationed in the Philippines; and rescinding the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement  and other unequal military treaties.
 
He can also initiate a multi-country declaration calling for the pull-out of all US warships and Chinese military vessels in the South China Sea to effect the demilitarization of that international trade route, the CPP said.
 
The Palace, in a press briefing Tuesday, said the Philippines is not turning its back on its alliance with the US.

'Independent economy'

The Duterte admnistration can also forge economic ties with all countries regardless of their alignments. “As a country tied to the US and dependent on US-aligned institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, economic opportunities beyond the US-dominated economic world were long closed to the Philippines.”
 
The Philippines can also assert its national prerogative to forge trade agreements with countries such as Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, Russia, North Korea and China, who, the party said, can offer the country crude oil and other resources at much lower prices.
 
The Philippines can further promote its ties with China without becoming its lackey, the CPP said, by promoting an independent foreign policy and asserting mutuality and equality.
 
It said the Duterte administration “can offer to open joint infrastructure projects that will allow China to expand its investments but with clear terms protecting Philippine patrimony from unmitigated plunder and oppressive interest rates on loans.”
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