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Posts Tagged ‘balikatan 09’

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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News Release
January 17, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuna, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

More sectors speaking out against Balikatan exercises!
Sorsogon alliance vs Balikatan launched

More and more sectors are now voicing out their opposition against the planned Balikatan exercises in the Bicol region. Now, a Sorsogon-wide group named Sorsoganon United Movement Against Balikatan at Para sa Kapayapaan or SUMABA KA (SPEAK OUT) is launched to demand a stop to the exercises.

According to Jocelyn Bisuna, spokesperson of the region-wide alliance BAN BALIKATAN, “Aside from people’s organizations and human rights advocates, Sen. Francis Escudero and the Catholic Church in Legazpi have already taken their position. Sen. Escudero pointed out the ‘hidden agenda’ that may be behind the Balikatan exercises and expressed fear that it may be used to interfere with Philippine affairs.

“Meanwhile Bishop Lucilo Quiambao voiced out his view that the Balikatan will just be a bane to Bicolanos because civilians will be the ones caught in the crossfire when US troops are engaged in armed encounters. The bishop also said that prostitution would increase with the presence of US troops and the morality of our youth will be endangered,” said Bisuna.

“It is good that more and more people and organizations are now coming out and standing up against Balikatan 09. It is even better now that an alliance like SUMABA KA has been formed to carry out the campaign against this new type of invasion,” added the patriotic teacher.

“We hope that other formations like these will be formed at the soonest time possible in other Bicol provinces so that we can show the US troops that we do not want them here and we have not forgotten our history,” ended Bisuna.

Here are some choice photos during the SUMABA KA Convenors’ Meeting:

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Prof. Jocelyn Bisuna, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

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BAN Balikatan

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The convenors of SUMABA KA are the following Fr. Rene Mabute, Sorsogon State College(SSC) President Dr. Antonio Fuentes, Pastor Lemuel Igdanes (UCCP), Atty.Joven Laura, Mr. Lito Bonifacio, Mrs. Elisea Bonifacio (Baptist), Mrs. Jenny Decano, SSC Student Council President Jayboy Evano, Joey Goiz, Red Lasay, Noel Gepulle (KADAMAY), Enrique Ermino (LFS), Mark Rosas (KARATULA), Eduardo Ferreras (PORTA), Reynaldo Hababag (BAYAN), Jing Francisco, Teodoro Escanilla (KARAPATAN), Constantino Jerus (KMP) and Lisa Dugan (UMASA SORSOGON BAY) . # # #

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News Release
January 16, 2009
Reference: Tessa Lopez, public information officer, BAYAN-Bikol

Militants welcome Church’s opposition to Balikatan
Urges other sectors to do the same

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bikol (BAYAN-Bikol) welcomed the opposition of the Catholic Church against the planned Balikatan here in the region. This developed as Bishop Lucilo Quiambao of the Diocese of Legazpi, voiced out his view that the Balikatan will just be a bane to Bicolanos because civilians will be the ones caught in the crossfire when US troops are engaged in armed encounters. The bishop also said that prostitution would increase with the presence of US troops and the morality of our youth will be endangered.

According to Tessa Lopez, public information officer of BAYAN-Bikol, “this is a positive development and we hope that this will encourage other sectors to speak up against Balikatan 09. Even the good bishop does not believe that the US troops will only be engaged on their so-called “humanitarian missions” because in every Balikatan exercise, war games and even actual combat operations are part of the package,”

“We are calling on all patriotic Bicolanos to stand up and oppose this new type of invasion.  Oragons should join rallies, sign petitions and participate in discussions opposing Balikatan, these are just some of the ways we can show our disgust against the US troops,” ended the militant leader. # # #

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News Release
January 15, 2009
Reference: Tessa Lopez, public information officer, BAYAN-Bikol

“Gen. Simeon Ola would turn in his grave with Balikatan 09”- BAYAN-Bikol

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bikol (BAYAN-Bikol) said that the famous Bicolano revolutionary hero General Simeon Ola would have a fit when he learns that the US troops he had fought against for so long will not only be welcomed in the region but the red carpet would be rolled out for them by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Tessa Lopez, public information officer of BAYAN-Bikol, “Gen. Ola, whose name honors the PNP regional camp in Legazpi City is known to be the last Filipino revolutionary general to surrender to the Americans during the Philippine-American War. The brave general would turn in his grave if he knows that the land he so fervently defended would just be opened up to our foreign oppressors,”

“What the AFP and PNP are doing is treason; these US troops trampled on our sovereignty by being here and meddling in our country’s affairs and second, they do not even have the decency to say the real reason for their operations here” added the militant leader.

“Like Gen. Ola we must continuously oppose the presence of US troops in our country. We must voice out our opposition against the Balikatan exercises and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” ended Lopez. # # #

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Press Release from Senate of the Philippines 14th Congress
January 11, 2009

Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero today cautioned the government to stick to humanitarian missions alone of the 2009 RP-US Balikatan military exercises in the Bicol provinces in April this year.

The Balikatan exercises have been arranged for engineering and medical missions in the provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon.

While Escudero, Senate Committee Chairman of Justice and Human Rights said the aim of the Balikatan exercises would benefit many locals, especially those who have been severely affected by disasters in previous years, he remains wary of other agenda that may be concealed from the public.

“Our government better make sure that this exercise will adhere to the terms it has been devoted to and not use it as front for other endeavors that may antagonize and stir indifference from various sectors.”

Escudero, for one refers to the insurgency problem in the Bicol region with New People’s Army on the other end of the government concerns.

While the senator admits that the insurgency problem in Bicol still persists and needs to be addressed in all fronts, he said the government should keep external forces out of this matter.

“The Balikatan should avoid at all cost any intervention that may straddle in our internal affairs. The insurgency issue in Bicol, and in any part of the country for that matter, remains the national government’s concern and responsibility. Any outside force touching it meddles with our sovereignty”.

The senator also cautioned US soldiers joining the exercises to conduct themselves in the true manner of an officer and a gentleman and adhere to the laws governing the country and its people.

“The Balikatan should not leave any single Filipino disadvantaged in any form or manner. Both sides should make sure that they finish the exercises without any untoward incidents”.

Escudero, who is a Bicolano himself also appealed to all locals and the armed sectors of the province to let the military humanitarian mission proceed peacefully.

“Let no one antagonize any one. If this mission is really for medical and engineering endeavors, let us not get in the way of helping our fellowmen who have suffered from the devastation of previous disasters.”###

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This is a reaction to the PDI article last January 9, titled “RP-US ‘Balikatan’ goes to Bicol; no war games. The US Armed Forces as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are blatantly deceiving the public of the real purpose of Balikatan 09 to be held here in Bicol.

The mere fact that they call their intelligence and psychological warfare operations as “humanitarian missions” is unforgivable. They are using these so-called missions to monitor and gather intelligence against farmers and other Bicolanos who voice out their opposition against oppressive government policies. The US troops then pass on the intelligence gathered to the AFP to harass or kill these people. To date since Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took power in 2001, at least 71, 850 have been victims of human rights violations in Bicol, included are 166 victims of extra-judicial killings.

This is the height of temerity and is very unbecoming for our so-called visitors. If they are indeed visitors then they should be thrown out. Both the US troops and the AFP do not respect anything or anybody. First, the US soldiers trampled our sovereignty by being here and meddling in our country’s affairs and second, they do not even have the decency to say the real reason for their operations here.

These US troops should be declared “persona non grata” by all the governors of the region. If they cannot respect the collective intellect of Bicolanos then they would have nothing but contempt for common folk, which will lead to more human rights violations.

This again is another reason for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to be junked and not to let another such travesty to our country happen again.

John Concepcion
Spokesperson
KARAPATAN-Bikol
664 Barangay 17, Legazpi City, Albay

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News Release

January 9, 2009

Reference: Tessa Lopez, public information officer, BAYAN-Bikol

BAYAN-Bikol: “Balikatan 09 is a disguised intelligence and psywar operation!”

US troops should be declared “persona non grata”

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bikol (BAYAN-Bikol) lambasted the US Armed Forces as well as Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for blatantly deceiving the public of the real purpose of Balikatan 09 to be held here in Bicol.

According to Tessa Lopez, public information officer of BAYAN-Bikol, “Both the US troops and the AFP do not respect anything or anybody. First, they trampled on our sovereignty by being here and meddling in our country’s affairs and second, they do not even have the decency to say the real reason for their operations here”

“These US military troops should be declared “persona non grata” by all the governors of the region. If they cannot respect the intelligence of Bicolanos then they would have nothing but contempt for common folk, which will lead to more human rights violations” said Lopez.

“The mere fact that they call their intelligence and psychological warfare operations as “humanitarian missions” is unforgivable. They are using these so-called missions to monitor and gather intelligence against farmers and other people who voice out their opposition against oppressive government policies. The US troops then pass on the intelligence gathered to the AFP to harass or kill these people. This is the height of temerity and is very unbecoming for our so-called visitors. If they are indeed visitors then they should be thrown out,” added the militant leader.

“This again is another reason for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to be junked and not to let another such travesty to our country happen again,” ended Lopez.

Balikatan 09 is the 25th Balikatan exercise since the VFA was signed. # # #

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