BAN Balikatan (Bicolano Alliance for Nationalism Against Balikatan)

protests the RP-US military exercies in the Bicol provinces

 

Two Bicol bishops oppose the Balikatan

 

Bonus Tracks: Bushrack

 

January 22, 2009

 

 

     
   
   
   
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Photos courtesy of BAYAN - Bikol
           
Albay: Legazpi City, Jan. 22, 2009        
           

 

Mass Mobilizations Against Balikatan All Over Bicol Today
01/22/2009 by banbalikatan

In Albay, 5,000 people expressed their resounding opposition of the conduct of Balikatan 2009 in Bicol and thundered the streets to shout: STOP BALIKATAN! They also told the US Troops to stay out of Albay Province.

In Sorsogon, 7,000 people stormed into the streets shouting NO TO BALIKATAN and encouraging more Sorsoganon folks to speak out against Balikatan and defend our sovereignty.
Sorsoganons by the thousands rally against Balikatan

In Masbate, 8,000 people congested the narrow streets in order to indicate their strong opposition of Balikatan 2009 and no to indignity, intervention, human rights violations, US terrorism and poverty.

In Camarines Sur, 2,000 people flooded the streets shouting out protests and pouring out their indignation of foreign intervention and violations to the Constitution.

In Camarines Norte, a substantial number of people also participated in an Outdoor Activity to protest against Balikatan.

All over Bicol today, January 22, 2009, more than 22,000 Bicolano nationalists headed by BAN Balikatan expressed their opposition to US Intervention and terrorism. Bicolanos showed that they will never rest until the US troops have totally been driven out of our country, VFA/MLSA have totally been scrapped, genuine peace has been achieved and our country has undergone significant and lasting political and economic change.

 

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01/20/2009 by banbalikatan
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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  • ■  CPP condemns US-RP joint military exercises in Panay

  • ■  Pagbati ng NDF-Bikol sa matagumpay na kilos-protesta laban sa  

  •     Balikatan

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    Kabataang Pinoy (Filipino Youth) of Bicol Speaks Out Against Balikatan

    01/21/2009 by banbalikatan

    Kabataang Pinoy-Bikol Statement:
    Reference: Journey Alfonso, Spokesperson
    ANG KABATAANG PINOY-BIKOL AY KONTRA SA BALIKATAN

    Kaming mga Kabataang Bikolano ng KABATAANG PINOY ay maigting na tumututol sa pagpasok ng Balikatan exercises sa Kabikulan. Walang ibang hatid ang pagdating ng tropang militar ng Kano kundi ang pamamaslang, paninira at pangwawasak ng kabuhayan at mismong buhay nating mga Bikolano.

    Hindi makakatulong sa pag asenso ng ating rehiyon at bansa ang tropang militar ng Kano. Bagkus, lalo lang iigting ang kaguluhan. Kung talagang “Humanitarian Mission” lamang ang kanilang sadya, bakit hindi ang Red Cross na lamang ang maglunsad nito? Pinalalabas lamang nila na Humanitarian Mission ang pakay upang malinlang ang mga tao at malaya nilang magawa ang tunay na anti-mamamayang misyon sa ating rehiyon.

    Siguradong lalaganap na naman ang paglabag sa mga Karapatang Pantao sa ating bansa. Hindi pa ba sapat ang sakripisyo’t kahihiyan na dinanas ni Nicole at kanyang pamilya sa kamay ni Smith at iba pang kasamahang sundalong Kano? Napatunayan nga ng hukuman na nagkasala ang Amerikanong sundalong ito at nahatulan ng habambuhay na pagkabilanggo,ngunit ngayon ay pinalaya at nakabalik na sa sariling bayan.

    Ang kaso ni Nicole na isang kabataang Pilipina ay pagpapatunay sa pagpoprotekta ng tropang Kano ng Balikatan. Hindi makatarungan ang batas. Ang nangyari kay Nicole ay maaring maulit kung hahayaan na lamang natin ang paglulunsad ng Balikatan Exercises dito sa Bikol.

    Tutulan natin ang Balikatan, para sa katahimikan ng Bikol. Tutulan natin ang Balikatan at siguarduhing hindi na lumala pa ang talamak na prostitusyon, droga, sex scandals, pang aabuso, at mismong pagyurak sa Karapatang Pantao nating mga Bikolano. Tutulan natin ang Balikatan upang hindi na mas lumala pa ang pagdanak ng dugo ng maraming sibilyan. Huwag nating hayaang makapasok ang Tropang Kano sa ating Rehiyon na maaring magpakalat ng mga sakit tulad ng AIDS, Syphilis, atbpang klase ng sexually transmitted diseases o STD.

    Hindi ang Balikatan Exercises ang sagot sa kahirapan, at hindi ito ang solusyon sa kagutuman. Huwag tayong magbulag-bulagan, alamin natin ang magiging epekto nito sa ating bayan. Huwag basta paniwalaan ang kasinungalingang sinasabi ng gobyerno, na makakatulong ito, at ito ay para rin sa ating kapakanan, dahil alam naman nating pansariling interes lamang ang iniisip ng may mga katungkulan sa gobyerno at hindi ang kapakanan nating mga mamamayang sibilyan.
    Huwag hayaang dalhin sa Bicol ang gerang nangyayari na sa Mindanao,
    Maigting nating isigaw: NO TO BALIKATAN!!!
     

     

         
         
         
               
         
         
         
         
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    Presss Conference in Legazpi City, Jan 20, 2009
               

    BAYAN - Bicol lheld a press conference on January 20, 2009 where representatvies from the workers, farmers, women, youth, transport and human rights sectors critiqued  the Balikatan.

         
    Camarines Sur: Naga City, Jan. 22, 2009      
               


    PAHAYAG SA MIDYA
    Enero 20, 2009
    Reference: JOEL ASCUTIA, Regional President – PISTON Deputy Secretary General (09153199469 / 4834624)
     

    RP-US BALIKATAN Exercise, Instrumento para sa Higit na Proteksyon sa Industriya ng Langis at sa Interes ng Estados Unidos!
    BALIKATAN Exercise TUTULAN AT LABANAN!

    Tinututulan ng CONDOR-PISTON-BICOL ang pagsasagawa ng ika 25 RP-US BALIKATAN Exercise sa Bikol. Ito ay tahasang paglabag sa soberanya, integridad at mga probinsyon sa Saligang Batas ng bansa.

    Ito ay pagyurak sa kalayaan ng bansa at direktang panghihimasok sa internal na mga usaping dapat ay responsalidad ng ating gubyerno. Ang pagpasok ng mga sundalong Amerikano ay magdudulot ng mas malalalim na suliraning sosyal dahil sa pagdisrespeto sa ating kultura, tradisyon, relihiyon at kababaihan.

    Ang RP-US BALIKATAN Exercise ay ang magkasanib na ehersisyo militar ng mga sundalong Amerikano at sundalong Pilipino. Sa bahagi ng mga sundalong Pilipino, layunin nitong mapamilyarisa at matuto sa mga makabagong teknika sa pakikidigma partikular sa paggamit ng mga sopistikadong kagamitan at sandatang pandigma.

    Sa kabilang banda, matuto naman ang mga sundalong Amerikano sa mga bagong operasyong pangkombat sa mga kagubatan ng bansa.

    Kung kaya’t hindi kami naniniwala sa sinasabi ng mga tagapagsalita ng BALIKATAN na “purong humanitarian mission” ang pakay nito, ito ay isa lamang na panlilinlang at panloloko sa mamamayan para maisagawa ang mas madilim na pakay nitong maglunsad ng mga operasyong militar laban sa mga mamamayang tumututol sa paghahari ng Estados sa buong mundo at sa rehimeng Arroyo bilang pinakamasugid na tagasunod nito sa bansa.

    Sa pangunguna ng sektor ng tranportasyon at CONDOR-PISTON sa Bikol, naitambol natin sa bansa at sa buong daigdig ang ating malakas na panawagang buwagin ang pandaigdigang kartel sa industriya ng langis. Isa sa pangunahing pinagkukunan ng limpak limpak na kita ng Estados Unidos ang pagmamay-ari sa mga dambuhalang kumpanya ng langis gaya ng PETRON at CALTEX na siya ring nagdodomina sa bansa.

    Sa bisa ng OIL DEREGULATION Law, nais ng US na manatili ang kanyang kontrol sa negosyong ito at tahasan nitong gagamitin ang kanyang pwersang militar para nyutralisahin at supilin ang higit pang lumalakas na paglaban ng sektor kasama ang buong mamamayang Bikolano at Pilipino.

    Naninindigan din kami na hindi kailangang magsagawa muna ng BALIKATAN Exercise kung seryoso ang gobyernong Arroyo na tugunan ang problema ng mamamayan Bikolano sa kagutuman, kalusugan, eskwelahan at iba pa.

    Hindi rin kailangan ang mga sundalong Amerikano para magpatupad nito dahil mayroon tayong mga ahensya at organisasyong sibiko na may ma kakayahan at karanasan sa pagpapatupad ng mga proyektong ito.

    Huwag tayong pumayag na insultuhin at bastusin ang ating kalayaan at kasarinlan ng NUMERO UNONG TERORISTA sa daigdig na Estados Unidos. Magkaisa tayong tutulan at labanan ang BALIKATAN Exercise sa Bicol at saanmang lugar sa Pilipinas.
    Buwagin ang Pandaigdigang Kartel sa Langis!
    Wakasan ang Imperyalitang Pandarambong sa Bansa at sa Daigdig!

     

         
         
         
         
               
         
         
               


    Drive Out US Troops and Balikatan! - Tindog Atenista
    01/22/2009 by banbalikatan
     

    Statement
    Tindog Atenista
    Reference: Gerard Edgar O. Surtida, Spokesperson
    STOP BALIKATAN 2009! NO MORE TO FOREIGN INTERVENTION!

    Tindog Atenista, an alliance of individuals and organizations in Ateneo de Naga University, condemns the implementation of the Balikatan 2009 and its suspicious objectives through “humanitarian missions”.

    The news has erupted and was confirmed by the released statements from the advance party movements of the RP-US Balikatan that since October last year, they have ensured that several areas in the Bicol region will be the primary locations for the implementation of the 25th Balikatan Exercies 2009.

    The Chairman of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement Commission Edilberto Adan, other high-ranking officials, and the military spokesperson of the Solcom, 9th ID and 901st 1B also confirmed that there are 3-4 possible provinces in Bicol Region that will be affected.

    JUNK THE MDT and VFA! The implementation of the Balikatan Exercises throughout the country came forth from the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951, which states that the Republic of the Philippines has entered into a “mutual understanding and agreement” with the United States of America in terms of military activities.

    This continues to reflect the characteristics of the country being a dependent, neo-colonial outpost of the United States of America. Such characteristics were observed in US’s wars of aggression against Korea and Vietnam. From the MDT, Visiting Forces Agreement came to be. This This lengthened the direct and indirect interference and stay of US in Philippine soil, making the country open for foreign military activities.

    Provisions in the VFA sets that US military forces need not to be inspected in entering and leaving the country, making us more prone to illegal activities such as illegal drugs, smuggled goods, exploitation of natural resources, nuclear weapons, etc. only US military forces are given the authority to check and inspect their own cargo and transport vehicle as stipulated in the provision.

    Furthermore, a provision of tax exemption is given to these foreign elements, which is a big disadvantage to our economy’s part. Both MDT and VFA aimed to have a more developed and improved military tactics and technology but for more than 50 years of foreign intervention, no development was seen and our AFP still remains backward.

    This is a grave offense against our sovereignty and a severe threat to our national security.

    WE WANT GENUINE SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRITY! Balikatan 2009 with the objective of giving humanitarian actions to the Bikolanos is a farce. It is a farce that was proven in the past Balikatan exercises. Its unwanted effects were further supported by the 17 congressmen of Mindanao for its suspension.

    What the people need is not more foreign activities and intervention happening in our country but a change and progress in economy, politics, and culture. What the people need is change and progress that is not tainted by the filth coming from foreign influences.

    What we need is a government that is efficient and sufficient by itself and free from overseas interference. Provisions of MDT and VFA directly contradict our right to sovereignty and integrity. Such provisions disrespects and puts into utter disregard our laws of the land.

    It is a big conspiracy of lies and deceptions Balikatan will bring more human rights violations as seen in the “Nicole Case”, more environmental degradation, more exploitation of our natural and human resources, and more chaos within the region. This is unacceptable.

    WE NEED WHAT IS NECESSARY! The very fact that this is a humanitarian mission is also as true as the thought that Balikatan 2009 is a free helping hand. The Philippines being the host country for this program will the source of finance for this activity. What we need right now is not the “helping hands” of foreign elements.

    Needless to say, we do not need them at all in these times of crisis and hardships. We need proper and fair subsidies in education, agriculture, development and improvement of facilities and services, and health.

    We do not need hypocrites to walk among the oppressed and suppressed. We do not need more funding for the military activities for this will not save us from our churning stomachs and burnt down lungs.

    What we need is change and progression without this aliens interfering in everything that we do. Drive them out now!

    We therefore call upon the youth sector and the other sectors of Bicol region to stand up and drive out the Balikatan 2009.

    Also, we call upon the people and other public officials to junk the MDT and VFA for it is the basis why such foreign intervention continues to exist in our country.

    YOUTH STOP BALIKATAN!
    DEFEND OUR SOVEREIGNTY & INTEGRITY!
    DRIVE THEM OUT NOW!
     

     

     

     

         
         
         
         
         
         
               
    Press conference and rally in Sorsogon
               

    News Release
    January 17, 2009
    Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuna, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

    More sectors speaking out against Balikatan exercises!
    Sorsogon alliance vs Balikatan launched

    More and more sectors are now voicing out their opposition against the planned Balikatan exercises in the Bicol region. Now, a Sorsogon-wide group named Sorsoganon United Movement Against Balikatan at Para sa Kapayapaan or SUMABA KA (SPEAK OUT) is launched to demand a stop to the exercises.

    According to Jocelyn Bisuna, spokesperson of the region-wide alliance BAN BALIKATAN, "Aside from people's organizations and human rights advocates, Sen. Francis Escudero and the Catholic Church in Legazpi have already taken their position. Sen. Escudero pointed out the 'hidden agenda' that may be behind the Balikatan exercises and expressed fear that it may be used to interfere with Philippine affairs.

    "Meanwhile Bishop Lucilo Quiambao voiced out his view that the Balikatan will just be a bane to Bicolanos because civilians will be the ones caught in the crossfire when US troops are engaged in armed encounters. The bishop also said that prostitution would increase with the presence of US troops and the morality of our youth will be endangered," said Bisuna.
     


    "It is good that more and more people and organizations are now coming out and standing up against Balikatan 09. It is even better now that an alliance like SUMABA KA has been formed to carry out the campaign against this new type of invasion," added the patriotic teacher.

    "We hope that other formations like these will be formed at the soonest time possible in other Bicol provinces so that we can show the US troops that we do not want them here and we have not forgotten our history," ended Bisuna.

    The convenors of SUMABA KA are the following Fr. Rene Mabute, Sorsogon State College(SSC) President Dr. Antonio Fuentes, Pastor Lemuel Igdanes (UCCP), Atty.Joven Laura, Mr. Lito Bonifacio, Mrs. Elisea Bonifacio (Baptist), Mrs. Jenny Decano, SSC Student Council President Jayboy Evano, Joey Goiz, Red Lasay, Noel Gepulle (KADAMAY), Enrique Ermino (LFS), Mark Rosas (KARATULA), Eduardo Ferreras (PORTA), Reynaldo Hababag (BAYAN), Jing Francisco, Teodoro Escanilla (KARAPATAN), Constantino Jerus (KMP) and Lisa Dugan (UMASA SORSOGON BAY) . # # #

     

     

               

    Prof. Jocelyn Bisuna

    spokesperson BAN BALIKATAN

       
    Convenors meeting of SUMABA KA
         
     VIDEO CLIPS

    Sorsogon Bishop Against Balikatan

     

    Bishop Quiambao Says No to Balikatan

     

     

     http://cbcpnews.com/?q=node/7115


    Opposition to balikatan in Bicol mounts with two bishops on the lead
     

    LEGAZPI CITY, January 30, 2009—Opposition to the upcoming military exercises dubbed as “Balikatan” of the US and Filipino forces in Bicol is mounting with two catholic bishops as foremost oppositors.

    In a video presentation viewed by the local media yesterday, the bishops registered their strong opposition to the military exercises.

    Legazpi’s Apostolic Vicar Bishop Lucilo B. Quiambao and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD, DD expressed disgust and disbelief to American forces set to use Bicol Region for their “war games” under the guise of “humanitarian mission.”

    “Their mere presence might provoke the insurgents,” said Bishop Quiambao in an amateur video produced by Stephen Prestado of BikolXpress, an alternative media group that calls for a concerted action to ban the planned military exercises set in April this year.
     

     

    “They will make the situation worst, they will train our Filipino soldiers how to fight their fellow Filipinos,” said Bishop Bastes.

    Sr. Ailyn Binco of the Religious of Good Shepherd also sounded the alarm on child trafficking and prostitution where the US troops are going to land in coastal areas where urban poor women could be affected.

     

    “There is a hidden agenda here by the American soldiers,” she added.

    Engr. Virgilio Perdigon, Secretary General of Aquinas University in Legazpi City pointed out the hidden intentions of the US troops in the country such as spying on the internal conflicts and natural resources.

    He blamed the present administration for corrupting the taxpayers’ money that should have been allotted to basic services while asking US for foreign aid by providing dole outs in exchange for military intervention.

    Although the local military claims that the intention of “Balikatan” is purely humanitarian mission, the BAN-BALIKATAN movement has called it “hypocrisy” that covers the reality of intensified military operations that already plagued the areas of Masbate and Sorsogon where the “war games” will be staged.

    BAN-BALIKATAN is spearheaded by students and tagged themselves as Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan and soliciting reactions from farmers, fisher folk and concerned sectors to form a pressure group that will caution the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the ill-effects of the said military exercises. (Elmer James Bandol)

     

     

       

    SUMABA Convenors' Meeting Video

     

     

       
         
         
    American soldiers in Sorsogon
         
    BONUS TRACKS
               

     

    GUARDIAN.CO.UK


    President orders air strikes on villages in tribal area

        * Ewen MacAskill in Washington
        * The Guardian, Saturday 24 January 2009

    Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.

    Four days after assuming the presidency, he was consulted by US commanders before they launched the two attacks. Although Obama has abandoned many of the "war on terror" policies of George Bush while he was president, he is not retreating from the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

    The US believes they are hiding in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, and made 30 strikes last year in which more than 200 people were killed. In the election, Obama hinted at increased operations in Pakistan, saying he thought Bush had made a mistake in switching to Iraq before completing the job against al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The US marine corp commander said yesterday that his 22,000 troops should be redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan. Gen James Conway said "the time is right" to leave Iraq now the war had become largely nation-building rather than the pitched fighting in which the corps excelled; he wanted the marines in Afghanistan, especially in the south where insurgents, and the Taliban and al-Qaida, benefit from both a nearby safe haven in Pakistan and a booming trade in narcotics.

    Obama has warned that he is prepared to bomb inside Pakistan if he gets relevant intelligence about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. He had also said he would act against militants along the border if the Pakistan government failed to.

    The US missiles were fired by unmanned Predator drones, which hang in the sky gathering intelligence through surveillance and, when commanded and directed by remote control, to launch attacks.

    The strikes will help Obama portray himself as a leader who, though ready to shift the balance of American power towards diplomacy, is not afraid of military action.

    The first attack yesterday was on the village of Zharki, in Waziristan; three missiles destroyed two houses and killed 10 people. One villager told Reuters of phonethat of nine bodies pulled from the rubble of one house, six were its owner and his relatives; Reuters added that intelligence officials said some foreign militants were also killed. A second attack hours later also in Warizistan killed eight people.

    The Pakistan government publicly expressed hope that the arrival of Obama would see a halt to such strikes, which stir up hostility from Pakistanis towards the government; in private, the government may be more relaxed about such attacks.

    There is a lot of nervousness in the new administration about the fragility of Pakistan, particularly as it has nuclear weapons, but it also sees Afghanistan and Pakistan as being linked. In the face of a Taliban resurgence, there is despair in Washington over the leadership of the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, and there will not be much disappointment if he is replaced in elections later this year.

    But Washington insists on seeing as one of its biggest problems the ability of the Taliban and al-Qaida to maintain havens in Pakistan. Obama on Thursday announced he was making veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke a special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. The secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, spoke by phone to the Pakistan president, Asif Ali Zardari.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         BAN Balikatan or Bicolano Alliance for Nationalism Against Balikatan is an alliance of nationalist and patriotic Bicolanos against the 2009 RP-US Balikatan Exercises - the 25th Joint RP-US War Exercises, to be conducted in the provinces of Region V Bicol, Philippines.

    BAN Balikatan believes that the main purpose for conducting joint military exercises by the AFP and US Military in Bicol this 2009 is to intensify the US intervention in our country.This activity is a flagrant violation of our country’s sovereignty and integrity based from the related provisions in the Constitution.

    Contact BAN Balikatan at banbalikatan.media@gmail.com
     

    Visit website at:

     

    http://banbalikatan.wordpress.com/

               
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