Posts Tagged ‘bayan-bikol’

News Release
January 20, 2009
References: Tessa Lopez, public information officer, BAYAN-Bikol
John Concepcion, spokesperson, KARAPATAN-Bikol

Bicol militants challenge new US President Obama to Stop Balikatan!

Sets massive rally against Balikatan on Jan. 22

Leaders of people’s organizations comprising the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bikol (BAYAN-Bikol) gathered in Legazpi City today to issue a challenge to US President-elect Barack Obama on the day of his inaguration to put a stop to the Balikatan exercises in the country, as well as to rescind the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

According to Tessa Lopez, public information officer of BAYAN-Bikol; “As the new president of the sole superpower in the world, we hope that Obama will make a clear foreign policy shift contrary to the war-mongering Bush regime.. In this light, our challenge to him is to stop the Balikatan exercises in the Philippines before it cause more damage to the lives of Filipinos,”

“To show the urgency and seriousness of our call we will lead a massive rally against the Balikatan this coming January 22. All provinces of the region will mobilize on this day and we expect at least 20,000 people to participate. This is a clear manifestation of the Bicolano people’s opposition against the exercises,” added Lopez.

Meanwhile John Concepcion, spokesperson of KARAPATAN-Bikol said, “If the Balikatan is not stopped we fear that the number of human rights violations will spike in the region. This is aside from the fact that the US troops are trampling on our country’s sovereignty and they are also endangering the lives of Bicolanos with their war games,”

“So we are enjoining more Oragons to come and participate in the rally so that early on we can register our opposition to the Balikatan and the VFA. Like Gen. Simeon Ola we must continuously oppose the presence of US troops in our country,” ended Concepcion. # # #


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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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