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Posts Tagged ‘against balikatan’

Anti-VFA Caravan Update
February 25, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) declared the region wide anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan a resounding success. This is in spite of the numerous harassments and delaying tactics by the military to sabotage the popular caravan.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “almost a hundred vehicles joined the caravan and every province of the Bicol region is well represented. At least 13,000 people are joining the anti-VFA grand rally which serves as the culmination of the caravan,”

As culmination of the three-day Bicol Anti-VFA Caravan, protesters symbolically burn 25 US flags to signify defiance against US military intervention and aggression.

As culmination of the successful three-day Bicol Anti-VFA Caravan participants symbolically burn 25 US flags to signify defiance against US military intervention and aggression.

“As a highlight of the program we burned 25 US flags to symbolize the strong opposition of Bikolanos against US intervention in the Philipines. The VFA and the MDT should be scrapped and the Balikatan exercises should immediately be cancelled,” she ended.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, ANAKPAWIS Rep. Rafael Mariano and Gabriela Women’s Rep. Lisa Maza along with BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes and PISTON secretary general George San Mateo attended the anti-VFA rally to support Bicolanos’ campaign against Balikatan.  A representative of Senator Jamby Madrigal also came to express the senators support for the activity.

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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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The brave, the strong Bikolano faces a new adversary.

ORAGON (Organisadong Bikolano Para Sa Nasyunalismo) LABAN SA BALIKATAN, a formation of Metro Manila-based Bicolanos, has expressed its unity with fellow kababayans to battle against the RP-US Balikatan war exercises in Bicol. Thousands of Bicolanos have already commenced on February 22 a region-wide caravan that will conclude on February 25 with a massive display of protest against the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement and the Balikatan war exercises in Bicol.

The provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate have been identified by the government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as sites for the war games, despite deceiving declarations by the military that only “humanitarian missions” shall be conducted.

ORAGON contends that the Balikatan war exercises, apart from being an explicit encroachment on Philippine sovereignty, likewise amounts to intensified militarization of the Bicol provinces. ORAGON believes that the people of Bicol, however resilient, do not need another disaster in the form of Balikatan, the region having been recently ravaged by supertyphoons, lahar flows and landslides, red tide, and crop infestations.

Past Balikatan experiences have only proven that the poor rural communities bear the brunt of military operations. In fact, a 1-year old baby girl from Barangay Balanac of Ligao, Albay has already been tragically killed when soldiers from the 901st Infantry brigade of the Philippine Army fired grenade launchers during a clearing operation. The operation has also left 9 members of the baby’s family and relatives wounded by shrapnels, and their homes burned. It was found out that Balanac’s neighboring barangay shall be a site for balikatan, hence the military clearing operations.

Balikatan war exercises are inclusions under the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which ORAGON consequently opposes. For its part, ORAGON vows to contribute to the swelling protests back home against Balikatan. Being composed by students, professionals, and community residents in Metro Manila, the group plans to reach out to more Bicolanos to gather support and give battle to Balikatan in Bicol.

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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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Press Release
Reference: Ken Serrano, Spokeperson of UMALAB-CA

“Visiting Forces Agreement, Ibasura! Manindigan para sa Soberanya at Integridad ng ating Bansa!”

Nitong nakaraang linggo lamang ay dineklara ng Korte Suprema at kinikilala ang Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) na konstitusyonal sa botong 9-4 pabor sa VFA ngunit tanging ang Pilipinas lamang ang kumikilala dito at ang bansang Estados Unidos ay hindi kailangang pilitin na ipatupad dahil walang ratipikasyon na isinagawa ang US sa sarili nitong batas.

Malaking insulto sa ating bansa na ipagpilitan na konstitusyonal ang VFA gayung hindi naman kinikilala ng US ang kasunduang ito laluna sa kinasangkutang kaso ni Lance Corporal Daniel Smith sa usaping kostudiya ng Pilipinas at ikulong sa National Bilibid Prison dahil sa pagkakasala nito sa ating batas sa panggagahasa kay “Nicole”.

Isang malaking hamon ito sa ating mga mambabatas kung kaya’t ang mga kinatawan ng militanteng grupo sa loob ng mababang kapulungan ay naghapag ng resolusyon ang House Resolution 458 that calls for the abrogation of the VFA in light of the many cases of US troops’ violations of Philippine laws (Including the case of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith) noon pang Pebrero 12, 2008 at hanggang sa ngayon ay patuloy na isinusulong.

Maituturing din na pagyurak ito sa ating Soberanya at Integridad bilang isang bansang nagsasarili ngunit sa esensya ay kontrolado ng Imperyalismong US. Ang VFA ay higit pa sa kanyang pakahulugan sa “Visiting Forces” dahil hindi lamang pagbisita ng mga sundalo ang layunin ng Balikatan kundi  pananatili ng pwersa ng US sa ating bansa sa anumang oras, panahon, panig ng bansa na gugustuhin ng US Troops na mistulang napakalaking base militar ang buong kapuluan ng bansa ng walang limitasyon.

Naniniwala din kami na maninindigan ang ilang makabayang lehislador sa Senado at Kongreso upang hadlangan ang VFA at tuluyang maibasura o maratipika ang mga probisyong makaisang panig na pumapabor lamang sa Estados Unidos at ang sambayanang Pilipino ay titindig upang labanan ang labis na pagsasamantalang ito sa ating bansa.

Mariing tutulan ng UMALAB-CA o Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan-Camarines Sur Alliance ang Balikatan ’09 sa rehiyong Bikol. Hinihimok din namin ang mga makabayang Bikolano na manindigan laban sa Balikatan ’09 at VFA.

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SYNOPSIS:
Title:  Bikolanong Makabayan, Habo sa Balikatan!
Produced by: BikolXPress, The Region’s Alternative Media Group and Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN Balikatan)
Duration: 18 mins

In the advent of the Anti-Balikatan Campaign in Bikol, some Bikolano video enthusiasts, writers and members of people’s organization decided to bring together different sentiments of people who will be affected if Balikatan exercises pushes through. This production is the opening salvo of the Anti-Balikatan series to be released this year.

Hosted by Jocelyn Bisuña, convenor of the regional alliance, BAN BALIKATAN, the video highlights the broad alliance of Bikolanos regarding the US military presence in Bikol.  It covers the sentiments of Bikolanos from two of the most vocal bishops in the Bikol region, Bishop Lucilo Quiambao DD of Legaspi and Bishop Arturo Bastes SVD DD of Sorsogon..

It also discussed the fears of local fisherfolks in Albay gulf of being prevented from fishing if BFAR implements the 15-kilometer policy. It also exposed how the farmers from Albay are infested by the continuous clearing operations of Special Operations Team of the Armed forces of the Philippines in their area in preparation for the joint exercise.

Environmentalist and Aquinas University Secretary General, Engr. Virgilio Perdigon pointed out the hidden intentions of US troops in the country, such as spying on the internal conflicts and natural resources. He blamed the Philippine government for corrupting the taxpayers’ money that should have been allotted to basic services while asking US for foreign aid to provide dole outs in exchange for military intervention.

Sr. Ailyn Binco of the Religious of Good Shepherd expressed her alarm on the spread of prostitution and child trafficking. She said that the areas where US troops are going to land are coastal areas where they might prostitute urban poor women.

The interviewees also exposed the hypocrisy of the Humanitarian Services as a cover for the military exercise they are planning in the region, thus questioning why should US  military personnel do humanitarian aid and why Bikol region.

Balikatan 2009 is the 25th military exercise in the country. Although the military claims that it is purely for humanitarian mission, intensified military operations, such as SOTs, has already plagued the areas where Balikatan will be staged.

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(Part1 of 5)

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The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) together with the BikolXPress, the region’s alternative media group produced a nationalist video titled “Bikolanong Makabayan, Habo sa Balikatan! (Nationalist Bicolanos Against Balikatan” to jump start a massive education campaign against the Balikatan exercises.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “ we know that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) along with the US Armed Forces are going all out in deceiving Bicolanos of the real purpose of the Balikatan,”

“This 18 minute production will serve as a compact tool to expose the ill effects of the military exercises. This can be used in video presentations in schools, universities and communities to start off discussions on the many constitutional, social, political, economic, moral and environmental problems that will be caused by the Balikatan,” added the patriotic professor.

“The video will also show that many sectors are against the exercises and that the evils that it will be bring far out weighs it’s so called benefits. We hope that this help in educating more Bicolanos and that our friends in media will extensively use it,” ended Bisuña.

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