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Posts Tagged ‘balikatan in bicol’

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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In April of this year, an estimated 6000 American and 2500 Filipino troops will be forcefully injected in the Bicol Region to participate in the 25th Republic of the Philippines-United States Balikatan Exercises. The provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon are the confirmed target locations of the said exercises.

Previous military exercises in the Philippines provided adverse effects to the masses: Exploitation of minors, abuse of women, extrajudicial killings, prostitution and threats to health, damage to properties and resources and legalization of drugs.

In this regard, Youth Stop Balikatan, a youth alliance denouncing the RP-US Balikatan Exercises, was formed.

Realizing the need to act on this issue, YSB will be launching three consecutive activities on 18 February.

All participants are invited to attend the Regional Convention from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges. This will be followed by a torch march from CSPC-BCAT Hostel to Plaza Quezon, where a free concert will take place featuring Indie Bands like Tanikala, Musikang Bayan and Stolen Shots.

YSB will also be hosting group discussions to further inform the public of Balikatan and the agreements between RP and US that led to the current situation, and of the effects it will bring about to the Filipinos especially to the Bicolanos.

The convenors encourage everyone to unite and take part in uplifting their rights as citizens and in condemning this form of foreign intervention.

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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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From the start the 9th Infantry Division (ID) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been telling the Bicol public that the US troops that are to come here are only to be engaged in “purely humanitarian missions” but many of their actions tell us otherwise. In fact events show that they have been fooling Bicolanos all along and that US troops are preparing for combat operations in the region.

According to Maj. Ramon Zagala, Filipino spokesman for the Balikatan exercises, 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.

Add to this the fact that 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.

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.

It would be naïve for us to think that the US Special Forces came here to Bicol just to play doctor and dentist. They have clear strategic military objectives along the lines of securing US political and military interests and these have to be stopped along with the Balikatan exercises. If it continues, then they may as well spit at our collective faces.

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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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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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News Release
January 29, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

As the Anti-Balikatan Campaign in Bikol escalates, some Bikolano video enthusiasts, writers and members of people’s organization decided to bring together a video production that expresses the different sentiments of people who will be affected if ever the Balikatan exercises pushes through.

On January 29, 2009 at Quick and Hearty Café, Old albay, Legaspi City, alternative media group BikolXPress and regional alliance Ban-BAlikatan will launch the anti-Balikatan video production “Bikolanong Makabayan, Habo sa Balikatan (Nationalist Bicolano Against Balikatan).” This production is the opening salvo of series against Balikatan to be released this year.

The 18 minute video covers the strong sentiments of Bikolanos against Balikatan. Fisher folks of the Albay Gulf, peasants from the third district of Albay, intellectuals and the religious leaders from Sorsogon and Albay, all share their apprehension and annoyance over the coming of the US troops in the region.

The interviewees also expose 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 AFP and US troops claim that it is purely for humanitarian mission, intensified military operations, such as SOTs, have already plagued the areas where Balikatan will be staged.

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