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News Release
January 24, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

“Congress and Senate should probe US intervention in Jolo!”-BAN BALIKATAN
US troops even shut down hospital in Sulu, group fears it will happen in Bicol.

The region wide alliance BAN BALIKATAN called on Congress and the Senate to immediately launch a thorough probe on the real role of US troops in Mindanao, when further proof of their military intervention came to light. The group also enumerated some of the recent violations of the US soldiers, they even sited the closing of a hospital by American soldiers.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “Firstly we would like to register our condemnation of the abduction of the three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jolo, but this is no excuse for US intervention in our country’s internal affairs. Kidnapping should be dealt with by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and at the maximum by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but it seems that the police and the military go to the US military any chance they get. The US drones sighting in Jolo is not the first time, the same drones were sighted in 2007 in Indanan, Sulu,”

“This is the latest proof that US troops have never left the country and that they are actively involved in combat operations like in August 2007 when US troops were photographed and the Agence France Press photographer even testified that US troops were indeed in combat operations with Philippine soldiers in Mindanao.,” said Bisuña.

“In December 2007, American soldiers forced the shutdown of Panamao District Hospital once again in Sulu province. These are all very damning evidence of US military intervention in our country and a concrete manifestation of the US government’s contempt for our national sovereignty,” added the patriotic professor.

“These incidents are clear violations of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and a slap on the face of the Filipino people. We in BAN BALIKATAN will not like the same to happen here in Bicol, in the guise of humanitarian missions. At the very least a probe is in order and the immediate pull out of US troops in the area, as well as the cancellation of the Balikatan. The junking of the Visiting Forces Agreement is also not far off, because of this” ended Bisuña.

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