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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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