Posts Tagged ‘balikatan in mindanao’

TV Patrol Bicol episode January 8, 2009, reported the recently conducted AFP-Bicol press conference with regards to the 25th Balikatan exercises in Bicol which will commence by April, 2009.

According to declarations of US Military and AFP spokespersons, the provinces chosen as the primary sites of Balikatan are Masbate, Sorsogon and Albay. They will be concentrating in the 3rd district of Albay, Municipalities of Uson and Mobo in Masbate and Municipalities of Juban and Irosin in Sorsogon.

The US Military spokesperson, Captain Kelly Schmader declared that they are committed to conducting Humanitarian Missions and nothing else.

By the 1st week of April, Medical Missions will be commenced and even veterinarians will also be available.

By the 2nd week of April, they will start the Infrastructure project, wherein construction of water facilities will be the priority. The construction materials for these projects will be purchased mainly in Bicol to help the industry.

The US Government/US Military had initially budgeted $450,000 USD for these projects.

Watch the full report about this at TV Patrol Bicol, January 8, 2009 episode by downloading the video.

What the US Military says about this Balikatan exercises in Bicol being purely Humanitarian Missions is all very well, but we must not forget that they have also said the same about the previous Balikatan exercises in Mindanao which culminated to cases of civilian executions, killings, damage of property, and other military atrocities and abuses of power committed shamelessly by no less than US military servicemen and AFP personnel who are part of the Balikatan.

Let us also not forget about the Subic Rape Case wherein several members of US troops from Balikatan were involved – Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith and 3 other US military servicemen were convicted of sexually assaulting and gang raping 22 year-old Nicole, a Filipino.

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