Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes over the weekend disclosed that the government has kept Filipinos in the dark about Operation Pacific Eagle: Philippines, a new US-“counter terror” operation in the country.
According to Reyes, Operation Pacific Eagle: Philippines aims to maintain “active US military presence in the region.”
“It was launched by the US as early as September 2017, yet the Duterte government has kept silent about it,” said Reyes.
The US Pacific Command had previously sought what’s called a “named-operation” in the Philippines to allow it greater leeway in conducting direct military intervention.
This, BAYAN pointed out, is in violation of the Philippine Constitution.
It asked: “Was the US also the one that recommended that Martial Law in Mindanao be extended to 1 year, to allow unhampered US intervention and basing? What are the terms of reference for armed US troops conducting operations in Mindanao? The Philippine government has declared victory in Marawi, so why allow continued US military intervention? What does this say about Duterte’s so-called independent foreign policy?”
On September 5, 2017, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis designated the fight against ISIS-affiliated groups in the Philippines as an “overseas contingency operation”, called Operation Pacific Eagle – Philippines, under the “comprehensive oversight” of U.S. Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, who was the Lead Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve.
The stated purpose of Pacific Eagle – Philippines was to support counter terrorism efforts of the Philippine Government. A “contingency operation”, in the words of the Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, US Department of Defense 2005, “is a military operation that: a. is designated by the Secretary of Defense as an operation in which members of the Armed Forces are or may become involved in military actions, operations, or hostilities against an enemy of the United States or against an opposing force; or b. is created by definition of law. Under 10 USC 101 (a)(13)(B), a contingency operation exists if a military operation results in the (1) call up to (or retention on) active duty of members of the uniformed Services under certain enumerated statutes (10 USC Sections 688, 12301(a), 12302, 12304, 12305, 12406, or 331-335); and (2) the call up to (or retention on) active duty of members of the uniformed Services under other (non-enumerated) statutes during war or national emergency declared by the President or Congress.”
In 2009, during the Obama Administration, the Washington Post had reported a leaked email to Pentagon staff that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT]. Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.'” The memo was said to have been sourced from the Management and Budget Office, which, among other tasks, vets public statements by US officials.
US president George Bush first referred publicly to the “war on terror” less than two weeks after the September 11 2001 attacks.
Click and watch this YouTube video below, a Vishnu Production of the Philippine Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM). WORD OF CAUTION: SOME SCENES MAY BE TOO SENSITIVE TO VIEW.
The video was written, edited, and directed by 1Lt. Bala Tamayo “celebrating” the liberation of Marawi from ISIS militants. The video is described as highlighting “a shocking level of destruction inflicted upon the small city. Noticeably absent from the video are American advisers who were on the ground advising Philippine commandos. But, evidence of American material support can be seen throughout the video.” The video also shows Philippine forces equipped with an array of American weapons, including M4s, rifle optics, PEQ-2 laser designators, grenade launchers, machine guns, and Harris tactical radio systems.