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SA CLEARING OPERATIONS NG BALIKATAN, buhay at kabuhayan na ang nasasalanta ng kalamidad na dulot ng mapaminsalang mga operasyong militar ng 9th ID na ang layunin ay ma-secure umano ang mga eryang paglulunsaran ng US-RP Balikatan exercises sa Bikol.

Balikatan Clearing Operations sa Albay, pinaslang ang isang sanggol.

Sa tuluy-tuloy na clearing operations sa mga barangay ng Ligao City, napaslang ang isang taon at apat na buwang sanggol na si Rafaela Polborido noong Pebrero 18. Namatay ang sanggol dahil sa matinding tama ng shrapnel mula sa bombang pinasabog ng pasistang tropa ng 901st IB na pinamumunuan ng isang upisyal ng AFP na may nameplate na Flordeliza.

Ayon mismo sa mga Brgy Official ng Brgy Balanac, walang habas na nagpaputok ng baril at nagpalipad ng mga grenade launcher ang mga militar.

Walang crossfire na nangyari. Kapalpakan ng militar ang pagpasabog ng isang grenade launcher sa bahay ng mga sibilyan. Sugatan ang apat pang bata at ang ina ng sanggol na si Jocelyn Polborido. Nakisilong lamang ang mag-iina nang biglang sumabog ang bomba mula sa bubong ng bahay na kanilang tinutuluyan. Naging abo ang bahay na nasabugan ng bomba.

Naganap ang pasistang krimen na ito habang nagsasagawa ng clearing operations ang mga militar sa mga barangay na malapit sa  Brgy. Paulba, kung saan isasagawa ang  Medical Action Program (Medcap) ng Balikatan.

Sa Albay, isinasagawa ngayon ang malawakang clearing operations para sa Balikatan war exercises. Nakapwesto ang tropa ng 49th IB sa Brgy. San Francisco, Legazpi City. Ayon sa pahayag ni  Maj Gen Jeffrey Sodusta ng 9th ID, ito ang magsisibilbing security force para sa Balikatan.

Ang pinatinding operasyong militar sa Albay ay nagdudulot na ng dislokasyon sa mga komunidad. Hindi na rin makapagtrabaho nang normal ang mga magsasaka dahil sa takot sa mga nag-ooperasyong militar.

Militarisasyon sa mga kostal na barangay.

Takot at pangamba ang nadarama ng mga residente sa mga aktibidad ng Special Operations Team (SOT) ng 901st IB sa mga kostal na barangay ng Legazpi City. Nababahala ang mga residente sa pinapatupad na curfew at sa mga pagpapatawag ng Philippine Army sa mga Barangay Council. Pinipilit silang dumalo sa mga pulung-pulong kung saan nagsasalita ang Civic Military Operation (CMO) unit ng militar. Binabantaan sila ng mga militar, huwag daw lumahok sa anumang pagkilos laban sa  Balikatan. Nahaharap sa ganitong sitwasyon ang mahigit 50 barangay sa Legazpi City.

Sa bayan ng Sto Domingo, pinatawag din ng commanding officer ng 901st IB ang lahat ng Barangay Kapitan. Ginigipit ang mga residente ng Brgy Salvacion, Lidong at San Andres, na binabansagan ng militar na hotspots diumano at may presensya ng NPA. Nababahala din ang mga residente sa pagtatayo ng military detachment sa Brgy Salvacion.

Sa Tabaco City, nangangamba ang mga residente sa pagdagsa ng mga tropa ng militar mula noong Pebrero. Militarisado ang Brgy. Baranghawon, Bongabong, San Roque, Quinastillohan, Bantayan at Tabiguian.

Sa bayan ng Tiwi na halos lahat ng baranggay ay nasa kostal, pinipilit ang mga residente na dumalo sa mga pulung-pulong ng CMO unit ng militar para sa Balikatan. Pilit na ipinapatanggap sa mamamayan na humanitarian mission lang diumano ang aktibidad nito.

Malinaw na ang mga aktibidad ng SOT ay bahagi ng isang sistematikong kampanya sa psychological operations para ikubli ang tunay na pakay ng Balikatan, ang gera at ang pang-uupat ng gera.

Mantinido rin ang presensya ng mga tropa ng militar sa mga kostal na barangay ng Malinao, Malilipot, Bacacay at Manito, Albay. Nananalasa rin ang pinatinding operasyong militar sa mga kostal barangay na nakaharap sa Pacific ocean.

Nauna nang idineklara ni  Major Ramon Zagala, ang tagapagsalita ng Balikatan-09 na aabot sa 5,500 to 6,000 US troops ang lalahok sa war games na gaganapin sa Silangang bahagi ng Bikol.

Apektado na ang kabuhayan ng mga mangingisda. Dahil sa takot at pangamba sa presensya ng napakaraming militar sa tabing dagat, nililimita na ang pang-ekonomyang aktibidad ng mga mangingisda.

Dagdag pa, ang ipinapatupad na fishing ban ng BFAR. Kahit paulit-ulit na idinideklara ng tagapagsalita ng 901st IB na wala itong kaugnayan sa Balikatan, hindi nila itinatanggi na mayroong security measures sa mga pantalan na pagdadaungan ng mga US warship. Hindi pa man dumadaong ang mga barko ng tropang US, ramdam na ng mga mangingisda ang gutom at panganib.

Nararapat na harapin ng tapang at paglaban ang mas mabangis at mapaminsalang Balikatan clearing operations ng militar sa kanayunan at kalunsuran ng Bikol.

Ilantad at Labanan ang mga abusong militar ng 9th ID at US troops

Hustisya at bayad pinsala sa mga biktima ng Balikatan clearing operations!

Bikolanong makabayan, magkaisa at lumaban!

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Anti-VFA caravan update
8 am February 24, 2009
No. of vehicles: 56
Participants: 1120

References: Prof.  Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN, 09086198971
Jariz Vida, secretary general, BAYAN Muna- Camarines Sur

Military harassment against anti-VFA caravan intensifies!
Local BM leader’s life threatened

The military harassment against the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan has been intensifying since last night, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) even using dump trucks and fire trucks to block the caravan. Now, the blocking soldiers are in full battle gear and they even fielded operatives to specifically harass and threaten Jariz Vida, secretary general of BAYAN Muna-Camarines Sur.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “the AFP is really getting desperate to sabotage our caravan, now they are resorting to sinister tactics to frighten the participants. In Brgy. Sioton, Magallanes,  Sorsogon, 20 elements of the 3rd and 7th Scout Ranger Company forcibly took our coal for cooking and threw it on the road. They also tried to confiscate our rice. They also threatened a driver not to join the caravan anymore and just to go home,”

“Last night around 6pm the military has deployed at least 50 police and soldiers in full battle gear and they even sabotaged the program by not allowing it to start until 9 pm and surrounded the south contingent in Rizal Park, Sorsogon City,” added Bisuña.

“They also fielded intelligence agents to infiltrate our ranks, but they were unsuccessful in Sorsogon. While in the north wing around 10 pm last night three operatives of the Military Intelligence Battalion (MIB) in separate motorcycles chased the jeepney Jariz Vida is occupying and they tried to get him. Fortunately he was able to get away,” said the professor.

Meanwhile Jariz Vida, secretary general of BAYAN Muna- Camarines Sur, “the MIB has been trying to abduct or kill me since April 2006 when they tried to shoot me in Naga City. They failed then and they thought that they can get me now. If anything happens to me then we have nobody to blame but them. Nothing will stop me though from continuing to fight for our rights and the betterment of Bicolanos.”

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Anti-VFA caravan update
11:30 pm February 23, 2009
Reference: Prof.  Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN, 09086198971

Anti-VFA Caravan Went On to Full Swing Despite Numerous Checkpoints
US troops manning some checkpoints, using satellite to monitor caravan

The anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan is still on schedule even if there are numerous checkpoints set up the military and they held some of our vehicles. There are also US troops that have been manning checkpoints in at least two areas where the anti-VFA caravan has passed through.

According Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of the Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN), “Both the north and south contingents of our caravan have managed to keep their schedules. As of now there are more than 50 vehicles and other delegates are to follow suit. The north wing is now being blocked by the military in Tara, Sipocot, Camarines Sur and the south wing is in Juban, Sorsogon”

“But the military is doing all it can to delay and stop us, they even included some US troops in some of the checkpoints particularly that in Pili, Camarines Sur and Matnog, Sorsogon. They have also gone into a propaganda campaign to misinform and scare the Bikolano public from joining the caravan. We have also received reports that the US military is now monitoring the anti-VFA caravan using satellites” added the professor.

“There are no bounds to the temerity of the US troops in violating our Constitution and our sovereignty. We must stand against this and the government should immediately pull out both the US and Filipino troops in the checkpoints. If anything bad happens to us then we have nobody to blame but these soldiers,” ended Bisuña.

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Militarization in Bikol intensifies due to Balikatan exercises
Army checkpoints all over the region as anti-VFA caravan kicks off

As the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan starts today the region has experienced increased militarization by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) particularly in the areas where the Balikatan exercises are to be conducted.

Military checkpoints have now sprouted all over the region to delay or stop the caravan. Numerous checkpoints were set up in Sipocot, Libmanan, Pamplona, Pili, and Nabua, Camarines Sur as well as Irosin and Cumadcad, Sorsogon. The military has gone into red alert for the caravan and there have been sightings of US troops in Pili, Camarines Sur.

According to Professor Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “Military presence and activity has definitely increased in Bikol especially in Albay, as we start our caravan. The AFP has even killed a 1 year old girl and injured her family in their clearing operations for Balikatan and to discourage people in joining and supporting our caravan,”

“It is as we feared, the AFP and the PNP has now unleashed their operatives to sabotage the anti-VFA caravan.”

“In Albay alone they have militarized all the coastal communities facing the Pacific Ocean. The AFP has also called for barrio meetings for Balikatan and deployed soldiers in Barangays Bongabong, Baranghawon in Tabaco City and Brgys. Joroan, Bano and Nagas in Tiwi, as well as Brgys San Roque, Rawis, Manito, Homapon up to Taysan in Legazpi City. They will also place a military detachment in Brgy. Calayucay in Sto. Domingo,” said Bisuña.

“The military has even entered universities to garner support for Balikatan like in Aquinas and Bicol University. Fortunately, most of the students and faculty saw through their lies and are against Balikatan. The military has also implemented a curfew in some barangays in Legazpi City like San Roque, saying that because it is near the naval facility. In the town of Santo Domingo all the barangay captains were summoned by the Army to support the Balikatan exercises,” added the patriotic professor.

Meanwhile Joel Ascutia, chairman of CONDOR-PISTON-Bikol said, “A certain policeman named Batumbakal went to the jeepney terminals in Guinobatan and Jovellar, Albay and specifically asked for our members. He said that they were ordered by the military to do this,”

“This is a direct harassment on our ranks and a violation of our right to livelihood as well as our freedom of expression. But we have news to the military we will still participate in the caravan and we are already mulling to file charges against them,” said Ascutia.

Bisuña further says, “The worst the AFP has done so far is the killing of Rafaela Polborido, 1 year and 4 months old and the injury of her family by a grenade launched by elements of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Brgy Balanac, Ligao City, Albay.

“It is very ironic that Brgy. Balanac where the human rights violations are being done by the military is just adjacent to Brgy. Paulba were a so-called medical mission is to be done by the US troops. Are they ensuring that more people would come to the medical mission by injuring and terrorizing them first?”

“We will not allow these desperate moves of the AFP and the PNP to stop the anti-VFA caravan. By doing this they only emboldened us more and showed the righteousness of our call to junk the VFA, the MDT and the Balikatan exercises,” ended Bisuña.

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Nakatakdang ikasa ng BAN BALIKATAN-Bikol, mga alyansang nabuo sa mga probinsya ng rehiyong Bikol tulad ng UMALAB-CA ng Camarines Sur, SUMABA KA ng Sorsogon, ALMA-ALAB ng Albay, ALMA-LABAN ng Masbate at Youth Stop Balikatan ng mga kabataan sa rehiyon (YSB-Bikol).

Mainit namang debate saan mang bahagi ng bansa ang Visiting Forces Agreement dahil sa kaso ni Lance Corporal Daniel Smith at maging ang Senado at Kongreso ay nababahala dahil sa usapin ng Integridad at Soberanya ng bansa ang nakataya na niyuyurakan ng bansang Estados Unidos na patuloy namang sinasamba ng mga alipuris nito sa administrasyong Arroyo.

Ang Balikatan 2009 ay ika-25 military exercises na sa ating bansa at ang pakikilahok ng sundalong amerikano sa usaping internal ng ating bansa ay hindi kailanman ginagarantiya ng konstitusyon ng Pilipinas at maging ang VFA ay hindi naman kinakilala sa bansang Estados Unidos. Ang ipinagmamalaking Humanitarian Missions ay pantabing lamang at pansuhol upang patahimikin ang mamamayang tumututol dahil sa benepisyong maibibigay nito sa ating mga kababayan ngunit maliit na bahagi lamang ito dahil ang pinakalayunin ng Balikatan ay war-games.

Sa huling bisita ng Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines na si General Alexander Yano sa rehiyong Bikol binanggit nito sa mga panayam ng media na nakahanda diumano ang AFP na kanselahin ang Balikatan Exercises sa Bikol kung ang VFA ay may depekto. Ngunit para sa mga bikolanong dumarami ang hanay ng mga tumututol ay maaring tuluyang mahinto lamang ang Balikatan sa Bikol at buong bansa sa sama-samang pagkilos ng sambayanan at tuligsain ang pamahalaang Arroyo sa pagiging bulag, bingi at inutil sa kawalang aksyon at pagpapaka-tuta sa imperyalismong US.

Ayon kay Ken Serrano tagapagsalita ng UMALAB-CA, “wala ng makakapigil sa Sakbayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan sa loob ng rehiyong Bikol na hinati sa dalawang bahagi. Merong magsisimula sa probinsya ng Sorsogon at may magmumula din sa Camarines Norte na sisimulan sa Pebrero 23 hanggang 25 ngayong taon kasalukuyan at nakahanda na ang lahat ng rekisitos upang walang maging dahilan ang AFP at PNP sa ating rehiyon na antalain o pigilan sa pamamagitan ng mga checkpoints ang mamamayang tutol sa Balikatan.”

Dagdag pa ni Ken, “buong lakas na lalabanan ng makabayang mamamayang bikolano at ng mga kasaping alyansa ng BAN BALIKATAN-Bikol ang Balikatan Exercises na ito sa ating rehiyon dahil sa loob ng mahigit 100 taon na pagkakatali ng bansang Pilipinas sa Imperyalistang US ay nananatili pa ring atrasado at nasa ilalim ng kontrol ekonomiya, pulitika at militar at nawawala ang esensya ng pagiging malaya ng bansa na mula pa noon ay pinaiikot sa kamay ng iilan lamang ang kalayaan at demokrasya.”

Inaasahang libo-libong bikolano ang dadagsa sa Sakbayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan upang irehistro ang pagtutol, igiit ang integridad at soberanya, wakasan ang panghihimasok ng US sa ating bansa at ipaglaban ang kalayaan ng bansa sa kamay ng Imperyalismong US.

Dagdag pa nito, “walang karapatan ang AFP/PNP na harangin an gaming delegasyon saan mang panig ng kabikolan na dadaanan ng Sakbayan dahil karapatan naming ipahayag ang aming saloobin, karapatan naming makapagsagawa ng malayang asembliya at pagtitipon at kung patuloy na lalabagin ito ng AFP o PNP ay nakahanda kami na harapin ang mga ito at maging ang mga makabayang Abogado na sumisimpatiya ay nakahandang tumulong sakaling i-harass ang mobilisasyon.”

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The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) and KARAPATAN-Bikol condemned the killing of a 1 year old child in the Balikatan clearing operations conducted by elements of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Purok 5, Brgy Balanac, Ligao City, Albay.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “This is unforgivable! A child is now gone because the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is targeting Filipino citizens just to please their US foreign master,”

“Rafaela Polborido, 1year and 4 months old, died at midnight of February 19 when she succumbed to the wounds she sustained, when soldiers shot and fired grenade launchers on their house. This is part of the continuing harassment and the violation of Bicolanos’ rights by the military. Recently they also harassed drivers and people in Guinobatan and Jovellar in the same province threatening them against joining the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan,” said Bisuña.

Meanwhile John Concepcion, spokesperson of KARAPTAN-Bikol said, “not only was Rafaela killed her whole family and others were injured as well, Jocelyn Polborido 30 years old, Ina Polborido 5 years old, Daisy Polborido, 4 years old, Eufemia Polborido, 28 years old, Julius Polborido, 2 years old, Andrea, 4 years old, Rose Dalima 31 years old, Roderick Dalima 5 years old, Mary Rose Dalima, 10 months old and Emerson, 9 years old. We are now assisting the families in whatever action they may take to hold the soldiers accountable,”

“We hope that this is the last, but if the Balikatan continues then we fear that more cases like these may happen,” added Concepcion.

“This is the military’s way to intimidate the Bicolano people into agreeing to the Balikatan exercises, but we will not be cowed. The anti-VFA caravan will continue and we will further intensify our struggle against foreign intervention and to junk the VFA and Balikatan,” ended Bisuña.

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News Release
February 10, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

“US troops combat operations in Bicol imminent!”-BAN BALIKATAN
US soldiers now conducting illegal census in Sorsogon and Masbate

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US armed forces for laying the grounds for combat operations in the region and for trying to fool Bicolanos about it.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “It is really insulting that the AFP and the US troops are belittling the collective intelligence of us Bicolanos. They have been trying to fool us all along but their spokespersons do not coordinate so their real intent has been exposed by their own statements. The Balikatan has not yet started but there are already so many violations, what more if it is in full swing.

“First let us start with the Filipino spokesperson of Balikatan exercises, according to Maj. Ramon Zagala, 6,000 US troops will join 2,500 Filipino soldiers with warships and even F-16 fighter jets, starting February 25. If this does not mean US military operations, then I do not know what is.  This run counter to what the 9th ID said, from the date of the exercises and even to its very nature,” said Bisuña.

“Second, in the middle of January a US naval officer came to inquire at different Albay hospitals asking if they have orthopedic facilities and experts. This is highly irregular because if they will only hold humanitarian missions then they would already have a complete medical profile of the provinces months before the actual activity. Another point is that they are only asking about orthopedic facilities and experts, this is the usual branch of medicine that treats injuries from combat operations,” added the patriotic professor.

“Third, a US drone was also found to have crashed in Masbate around 6:30pm last January 29 in between the towns of Esperanza and Pio V. Corpuz.. They were evidently mapping the areas where they will conduct their military operations,” she said.

“Fourth, this time according to the Executive Agent for the Balikatan exercises, Col. Rodolfo Santiago, US troops are conducting “census” in Sorsogon because it is necessary to identify potential beneficiaries of the Balikatan projects like civil works, medical and dental missions and rehabilitation and construction of facilities.

The US Troops were seen at Bgy. Liyang in Irosin, Sorsogon and in Bgy Mayngaran, Masbate City, Bgy Bagacay, Marintuk, Lalaguna and Balatukan in Mobo town, barangays Marcilla, Dapdap, Panisihan, Buenvista, Armenia, Sawang, Buenasuerte and Magsaysay in Uson town and in the municipality of Cataingan proper all in Masbate province.

BUt everybody knows this is not part of the “humanitarian missions”, continued the professor

“The Balikatan has not yet started, but there are already so many deceiving statements about its real activities and motives,” ended Bisuña. # # #

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