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News Release
Sorsogon City
January 17, 2009

SUMABA KA HOLDS CONVENORS MEETING

SUMABA KA  (Sorsogon United Movement  Against Balikatan for Peace)launches its opening activity against the US-RP Balikatan in the province of Sorsogon with a meeting of its Convenors Group. Pastor Lemuel Igdanes of the UCCP Barcelona, Brother Lito Bonifacio of the Sorsogon Baptist Church and Mr. Eduardo Ferreras, Secretary-General of the Provincial Transport Alliance (PORTA) were elected as Provincial Spokesperson, Spokesperson for the Ist District and 2nd District of Sorsogon, respectively. SUMABA KA is part of BAN BALIKATAN (Bicolano Alliance for Nationalism Against Balikatan), a regional formation of organizations and individuals against Balikatan.

SUMABA KA formulated and affirmed its stand against the conduct of Balikatan in the province, namely: it is a transgression of Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity; it is an interference on Philippine internal affairs; it will cause economic dislocations on the farmers and fisherfolks and will cause gross human rights violations within the radius and perimeter of the war exercises; it will contribute to the immense growth of prostitution, the proliferation of prohibited drugs and spread of sexually-transmitted disease in the province and a host of other social problems. Also the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) under whose mandate the Balikatan operates will subsume the local government units under its authority, thus, placing  these LGU’s of a sovereign government under a foreign power.

On January 7, US troops surreptitiously entered the province without observing the customary protocol of courtesy call to the Local Chief Executive of the province, Sangguniang Panlalawigan and church dignitaries which stirred a torrent of protests and consternation among patriotic and civic-spirited citizens from the basic social sectors, church, academe, the professions and local government officials.

The US-RP Balikatan is a joint exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US Armed Forces. It has a very bad image and reputation in Mindanao.#

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