Philippines

Vietnam backs Philippine case against Chinese maritime claims

By John Roberts, 30 December 2014

Hanoi rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea and called on the court to take Vietnam’s interests into consideration.

More than 27 dead as Typhoon Hagupit hits Philippines

By Richard Phillips, 9 December 2014

The latest disaster badly damaged infrastructure and destroyed homes throughout central-eastern Philippines.

US Marine accused of murdering Filipino during war games

By Joseph Santolan, 16 October 2014

President Aquino’s government rushed to assure Washington that the killing would not jeopardize the recent signed basing deal.

Philippine Supreme Court controversy: A revealing glimpse into Washington’s machinations

By Joseph Santolan, 22 August 2014

The entire Jardeleza affair reveals the colonial-level control which Washington exercises over Philippine politics, over Manila’s legal case against China in particular.

Bogus agrarian reform ends in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 5 August 2014

Despite the limited character of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the Philippine Congress has ended any further acquisitions of private land.

Constitutional crisis unfolds in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 31 July 2014

The bitter political infighting in ruling circles is fueled by mounting social crisis, the pressure of US imperialism, and the drive towards dictatorship.

Three Philippine Senators arraigned on corruption charges

By Dante Pastrana, 5 July 2014

President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-corruption campaign is in reality a drive to crush opposition in any section of government to his sharp turn toward US imperialism.

Dilapidated, overcrowded public schools in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 20 June 2014

An estimated 21 million students are crammed, in shifts, into buildings that are falling apart, lacking facilities, chairs, textbooks or even chalk.

Global electronics giant NXP sacks union officials in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 5 June 2014

The Maoist KMU, which specialises in militant-sounding demagogy, has called no strike action by NXP workers.

Six months after Typhoon Haiyan

Woman and six children killed in fire in tent city in Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 2 June 2014

The tragedy of the Ocenar family is emblematic of the social devastation that has been inflicted on millions of Filipinos in the wake of the typhoon.

US military basing deal in the Philippines: A step towards neocolonial rule

By Joseph Santolan, 17 May 2014

The US basing deal in the Philippines, part of a drive to militarily encircle China posing the risk of global war, creates the legal framework for neocolonial US rule over its former colony.

Vietnam and Philippines escalate maritime disputes with China

By Mike Head, 13 May 2014

Continuing clashes between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea highlight the potential for a wider conflict.

US military basing deal sets legal framework for neocolonial rule in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 3 May 2014

The agreement allows the US military to base its forces throughout the Philippines at will, immune from oversight under Philippine law.

As Obama visits Manila: US signs agreement for basing forces in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 29 April 2014

Washington is moving to base US forces in the Philippines as a key step in its drive to militarily encircle China, as part of its ‘pivot’ to Asia.

The US to sign major military pact with the Philippines

By Peter Symonds, 28 April 2014

The 10-year agreement to boost American forces in the Philippines will further consolidate the US military encirclement of China.

Manila files legal case against Beijing’s South China Sea claim

By Joseph Santolan, 3 April 2014

The real author of this latest provocation is not Beijing or Manila, but Washington.

Philippine typhoon survivors stage protests

By Dante Pastrana, 7 February 2014

Typhoon Haiyan and the lack of government assistance have compounded the social crisis in some of the country’s poorest areas.

Philippine President Aquino compares China to Nazi Germany

By Joseph Santolan, 6 February 2014

The Philippine president denounced China’s role in the South China Sea as akin to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia.

Philippine peace deal in Mindanao followed by military assault

By Joseph Santolan, 1 February 2014

The attacks that left 52 dead give the lie to claims that the deal, brokered by US, and signed by the MILF and the Philippine government, is about establishing peace.

Washington uses typhoon aid to push for Philippine military bases

By Joseph Santolan, 27 November 2013

Amid the wreckage of Typhoon Haiyan, Philippine Foreign Secretary del Rosario said Manila should conclude basing arrangements with Washington.

The US military and the Philippines

By Bill Van Auken, 21 November 2013

Underlying the military mobilization in response to Typhoon Haiyan are both the long and bloody history of US intervention in the Philippines and Washington’s aim to use the country as a base in its confrontation with China.

Philippine Supreme Court declares legislative pork barrel funds unconstitutional

By Joseph Santolan, 21 November 2013

The decision is an attempt by the Philippine ruling class to stave off a crisis of political credibility, brought to a head by Typhoon Haiyan.

US military build-up continues in Philippine disaster zone

By Joseph Santolan, 20 November 2013

The US military is not just “assisting” its Philippine counterparts, but commanding them.

“A howling wilderness” in Samar

US imperialism returns to the scene of a crime

By Joseph Santolan, 20 November 2013

By massively deploying its forces to the islands of Samar and Leyte after their devastation by Typhoon Haiyan, US imperialism is returning to the scene of one of its historic crimes.

Philippine typhoon victims desperate for aid

By Peter Symonds, 18 November 2013

As the death toll continues to mount, many remote villages and towns are still waiting for desperately-needed assistance.

Mounting anger at Philippine president’s response to typhoon disaster

By Mike Head, 16 November 2013

Despite Aquino’s claims that relief is arriving, millions of displaced people are desperately short of food, water, shelter and medical care.

Climate scientists warn of more super-typhoons

By Peter Symonds, 15 November 2013

Global warming raises the chances of more intense storms, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines.

Millions face desperate plight in Philippines

By Mike Head, 14 November 2013

Despite government efforts to downplay the disaster, shocking scenes are emerging of bodies strewn across towns and children begging for food and water.

The social catastrophe of Typhoon Haiyan

By Joseph Santolan, 13 November 2013

The social catastrophe in the Philippines, in which over 10,000 people lost their lives, was entirely preventable. The basic cause of the death and destruction was global capitalism, which creates grotesque levels of social inequality.

A pittance in international aid for Philippine typhoon victims

By Peter Symonds, 13 November 2013

Behind the ritual expressions of concern from world leaders, more cynical calculations are being made, bound up with geo-political considerations.

Military curfew imposed as humanitarian crisis engulfs Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 12 November 2013

The estimated figure of at least 10,000 dead in the city of Tacloban alone has not been revised.

At least 10,000 dead in Philippine typhoon

By Joseph Santolan, 11 November 2013

Over one million people have been evacuated, and hundreds of thousands have lost their homes.

Record typhoon Haiyan hits central Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 9 November 2013

Approximately 1 million people were forced to evacuate their homes, while the entire population of over 20 million in the Visayas region were affected.

Philippine Senate holds hearing on corruption scandal

By Joseph Santolan, 8 November 2013

What makes this scandal potentially far more explosive than many previous ones is the geopolitical context in which it occurs.

Philippine political opposition deepens as Beijing-Manila relations sour

By Joseph Santolan, 6 November 2013

In the wake of Obama’s no-show in South East Asia in October, a political opposition to Philippine President Aquino has taken shape driven by concerns over the souring relations with Beijing.

US House subcommittee escalates war rhetoric against China

By Joseph Santolan, 2 November 2013

The credibility of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” is being eroded throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

US-China tensions drive Philippine political opposition

By Joseph Santolan, 30 October 2013

Behind a struggle over corrupt use of “pork barrel” funds, the ruling elite is fighting over the Philippines’ role in spearheading the US “pivot to Asia.”

US stages show of naval force in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 26 October 2013

The presence of an aircraft carrier battle group was designed to shore up the US diplomatic position in Asia after Obama’s no-show at key regional summit meetings.

Over 150 dead in earthquake in the central Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 19 October 2013

More than three million people in seven cities were affected by the quake and over 158,000 persons have been displaced from their homes in 38 towns.

Philippine president consolidates power through corruption scandal

By Dylan Lubao, 14 October 2013

Backed by Washington, President Aquino is using a corruption scandal in Congress to remove political opponents and reshape the Senate to his advantage.

Fighting in Southern Philippines creates humanitarian crisis

By Dante Pastrana, 4 October 2013

The protracted assault by government forces against the MNLF devastated portions of Zamboanga City and displaced over 100,000 people.

Amid government shutdown, Obama cancels trip to Malaysia, Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 3 October 2013

Obama’s cancellation does not change Washington’s aggressive “pivot to Asia,” though it presents Washington with a crisis of credibility.

Philippine senators charged in corruption scandal

By Dylan Lubao, 24 September 2013

At the heart of the political infighting are the strategic interests of American imperialism in the region, expressed through the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia.

Heavy fighting in Southern Philippine city

By Dante Pastrana and Joseph Santolan, 20 September 2013

The sudden eruption of fighting in Zamboanga is the result of political tensions produced by the US drive to encircle China and assert its hegemony in Asia.

Philippine government to redistribute Hacienda Luisita plantation

By Dylan Lubao, 16 September 2013

The redistribution of President Benigno Aquino’s family plantation will not improve, but worsen the plight of its thousands of workers.

Corruption scandal in Philippine Congress in its second month

By Dylan Lubao, 13 September 2013

Under the pretext of fighting corruption, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has launched a campaign to remove his political opponents.

US, Japan to establish military bases in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 29 June 2013

The move by Washington and Tokyo to station troops and military equipment in the Philippines is a marked escalation in the war drive against China.

Classes begin in Philippines as education crisis worsens

By Dylan Lubao, 18 June 2013

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino Jr.’s education platform seeks to train a new generation of exportable cheap labour.

Philippines man killed by store security for alleged theft of sandals

By Dante Pastrana, 18 May 2013

The killing of a young man by security guards in one of the largest shopping centres in Cebu is a product of the vast social inequality in the Philippines.

President Aquino’s Liberal Party coalition consolidates power in Philippine election

By Joseph Santolan, 17 May 2013

The Liberal Party coalition won nine of the available twelve senatorial seats, further strengthening President Aquino’s grip on political power.

Philippine coast guard kills Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters

By Joseph Santolan, 14 May 2013

Relations between Taiwan and the Philippines soured dramatically over the weekend after Philippine forces shot and killed an unarmed Taiwanese fisherman.

Violence in the Philippines as election approaches

By Joseph Santolan, 4 May 2013

Elections in the Philippines are a spectacle of pomp, pageantry and bloody violence.

Suicide of Philippine college student sparks protests

By Dylan Lubao, 25 March 2013

Kristel Tejada took her own life after the University of the Philippines administration forced her to leave over the non-payment of fees.

Philippine typhoon victims storm government offices

By Dylan Lubao, 7 March 2013

The distribution of relief goods, under the control of the military, has been exploited to starve out supporters of the Maoist New Peoples Army.

Malaysian military bombs forces of Philippine sultan

By Joseph Santolan, 6 March 2013

The tense stand-off is the result of the Sultan of Sulu in the southern Philippines asserting a long-standing territorial claim to the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Fourteen killed in stand-off between Philippine sultan and Malaysia

By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2013

The sultan sent forces to stake his claim to Sabah, a claim that has the longstanding endorsement of the Philippine government.

Philippine reproductive health bill continues to illegalize abortion

By Dante Pastrana, 22 February 2013

While various Stalinists and liberals present the legislation as a progressive step, it will do little to address the dire situation confronting millions of working class women.

Philippine performance artist jailed for “offending religious feelings”

By Joseph Santolan, 9 February 2013

It is impossible to overstate the pervasive reach of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, which is a key pillar of the country’s political establishment.

The Philippines takes South China Sea dispute to UN tribunal

By Joseph Santolan, 31 January 2013

The case represents a further ratcheting up of tensions between China and other regional claimants to the South China Sea.

Behind the canonization of the second Philippine saint

By Dante Pastrana, 16 January 2013

Calungsod’s promotion to sainthood is not, of course, based on a miracle but is an intensely political act.

Japan, Philippines boost ties as tensions with China escalate

By Joseph Santolan, 12 January 2013

The meeting was calculated to defuse long-standing historical objections to Japanese expansionism throughout the South East Asian region.

Philippine government calls for the rearming of Japan

By Joseph Santolan, 14 December 2012

Amid tensions with China, the Philippine foreign secretary said the government supported Japanese remilitarization as “a balancing factor”.

Death toll from Philippine typhoon exceeds 600

By Joseph Santolan, 10 December 2012

At least 100 of the deaths were the result of collapsed or buried evacuation centers.

Scores dead as typhoon hits the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 5 December 2012

The deaths so far reported have resulted from landslides, flash floods and falling trees and power lines. But the underlying cause is poverty.

Philippine mayor calls for extrajudicial killing

By Dante Pastrana, 20 November 2012

The rise to power of Rodrigo Duterte as Davao City mayor implicates major political figures in the Philippines.

Philippine “left” quarrels over election

By Joseph Santolan, 13 November 2012

The dispute reveals the depth of the opportunism and charlatanry of both Akbayan and Anakbayan, as well as other CPP-front organizations.

Philippine “left” quarrels over election

By Joseph Santolan, 13 November 2012

The dispute reveals the depth of the opportunism and charlatanry of both Akbayan and Anakbayan, as well as other CPP-front organizations.

Philippine anti-mining activist arrested for Facebook posting

By Dante Pastrana, 6 November 2012

The Aquino government has extended the criminalization of libel onto the internet and other forms of electronic media.

Philippine government implements two-tier wages

By Dante Pastrana, 5 November 2012

Along with the expansion of contractualization and underemployment, the new wage system is a major assault on the living standards of Filipino workers.

Former Philippine president arrested on the charge of plunder

By Joseph Santolan, 16 October 2012

The charge filed against her is being used by President Aquino’s administration to hold former President Arroyo without bail.

Philippine politicians declare candidacy for the 2013 election

By Joseph Santolan, 13 October 2012

Two major political coalitions composed of family dynasties are competing for a share in the power and the coffers of the state

Philippine president to sign Mindanao peace accord

By Joseph Santolan, 11 October 2012

Backed by Washington, the Manila political and business elites have struck a bargain with a section of the Mindanao ruling class for the joint exploitation of the island.

Scores killed in Manila floods

By John Roberts, 10 August 2012

Urban planners have described the latest floods in the Philippines as a “man-made disaster.”

Paltry pay rise for workers in Philippine capital

By Dante Pastrana, 5 July 2012

Employers still oppose the 30-pesos daily increase, in sharp contrast to the stance of union leaders, who quickly dropped their original demand for a higher pay rise.

Philippine government presides over schools in crisis

By Dante Pastrana, 13 June 2012

The education system is grossly underfunded, dominated by private profit and geared to producing skilled cheap labor for business and export.

Philippine President Aquino in Washington boosts military ties

By Joseph Santolan, 11 June 2012

The Aquino visit further strengthens Obama’s “pivot” to the Asia Pacific and the calculated policy for the military containment of China.

The ouster of Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona

By Joseph Santolan, 30 May 2012

The removal of Renato Corona was the culmination of a concerted campaign by President Aquino to undermine the judiciary and extend executive power.

Impeachment trial of Philippine chief justice nears end

By Joseph Santolan, 24 May 2012

The prosecution of Chief Justice Corona has dramatically undermined the separation of government powers and created a constitutional crisis.

Tensions ease temporarily between China and the Philippines

By John Chan, 22 May 2012

While the immediate danger appears to have been averted, none of the underlying issues have been resolved.

Philippine protests further escalate tensions with China

By Joseph Santolan, 11 May 2012

The provocative and well-funded protests against China today are part of a calculated campaign that has its origins in Washington.

Locked-in workers die in fire in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 10 May 2012

The practice of locking workers in is routine and any fire will almost certainly result in the loss of life.

Philippine Supreme Court issues decision on Hacienda Luisita

By Joseph Santolan, 7 May 2012

The decision by the Supreme Court is another skirmish in the on-going factional war between rival sections of the Philippine bourgeoisie.

Demonstrator shot dead in housing demolition in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 1 May 2012

The brutal event is part of President Aquino’s policy of forcibly relocating the urban poor onto the dismal floodplains outside the city.

US-Philippine military exercises directed against China

By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2012

The Balikatan exercises, provocatively staged adjacent to the South China Sea, can only heighten US tensions with China.

Power outages wrack southern Philippine island

By Dante Pastrana, 18 April 2012

Electricity rationing in Mindanao, the poorest island group in the Philippines, is now in its fourth month.

Tense naval stand-off in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 13 April 2012

Philippine naval vessels and Chinese marine surveillance ships continue to face off against each other in disputed waters near the Scarborough shoal.

South China Sea tensions mount as Manila prepares to drill for oil

By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2012

The Philippine government announced it would proceed with plans to open several areas in the disputed waters to foreign oil companies.

Prosecution abruptly rests case in Philippine impeachment trial

By Joseph Santolan, 1 March 2012

The decision to cut the prosecution short reflects the rising tide of popular discontent with the trial.

Further US involvement in Philippine constitutional crisis

By Joseph Santolan, 24 February 2012

The vital role played by Washington is becoming ever more transparent, with Aquino appointing an American ‘anti-corruption’ consultant as an official advisor to his cabinet.

Philippine Supreme Court issues restraining order on impeachment trial

By Joseph Santolan, 14 February 2012

The order, an assertion of judicial control over the proceedings in the Senate, brought into sharper acuity the country’s emerging constitutional crisis.

Philippine impeachment trial creates constitutional crisis

By Joseph Santolan, 9 February 2012

The trial is an assault on a separate branch of government, which has proved unruly and unmanageable to Philippine President Aquino.

Philippine ex-left joins attack on Supreme Court

By Joseph Santolan, 3 February 2012

Walden Bello, who established an international reputation in anti-globalization circles for his critique of the World Bank, is now filing a court case in the Philippines on its behalf.

The “Workers Party” and the sell-out of Philippine Airlines workers

By Joseph Santolan and Dante Pastrana, 31 January 2012

The Partido ng Manggagawa, a pseudo-left organization composed of union bureaucrats and ex-Maoists, is carrying out the systematic betrayal of striking airline workers.

US tightens the military noose around China

By Joseph Santolan, 30 January 2012

Washington’s talks with Manila over an expanded US military presence in the Philippines are another step in Obama’s reckless strategy of containing China.

Washington to expand military presence in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 27 January 2012

The deployment of US vessels in the Philippines would be a further ratcheting up of the Obama administration’s confrontation with China.

US Senators escalate tensions in Southeast Asia

By Joseph Santolan, 24 January 2012

Every stop of the visit by McCain and Lieberman was a calculated escalation of US military and political machinations against China.

Twenty-five years since the Mendiola massacre in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 23 January 2012

On January 22, 1987, 17,000 peasants, workers and students marched across Mendiola Bridge in Manila when police opened fire on them.

Impeachment trial of chief justice opens in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 16 January 2012

This is the second impeachment trial in the country’s history and is part of a campaign by President Aquino to consolidate power.

Scores injured, arrested in housing demolition in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 13 January 2012

The demolition is part of the forcible relocation of the Manila poor and working class carried out on behalf of real estate developers.

Landslide in Philippine mining community kills at least 36

By Joseph Santolan, 10 January 2012

On January 4, a landslide of mud, clay, debris and tree roots buried fifty bunkhouses and many of the sleeping miners and their families.