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News Release
February 4, 2009
Reference: Fred Mansos, convenor, ALMAALAB
Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

Albay anti-Balikatan alliance launched!
Says US troops checking local hospitals if they can treat injured US soldiers

Members of the academe, media, lawyer’s groups, religious groups, business sector, students, people’s organizations and progressive party list groups convened the Alyansa ng Mamamayang Albayano Laban sa Balikatan (ALMAALAB) in order to have a collective stand in the province against the outright US intervention in the Philippines hidden behind the so-called RP-US Joint Military Exercise.

According to Fred Mansos, convenor of ALMAALAB, “we know that the disguised humanitarian missions that will be conducted are just cover for their real purpose and that is to launch psychological and combat operations in the region. 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, meaning they are indeed going to conduct at least live military exercises and at most combat operations in the province,” said Mansos.

Meanwhile Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, said “this information adds to the fact that a US drone was 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,”

“They have been fooling Bicolanos all along and are endangering our lives with their cloak and dagger schemes..   They should be held accountable and be punished for their actions. 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,” ended Bisuña.

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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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