The regional farmers organization Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang
Luson (Farmers’ Alliance in Central Luzon) opposed the commencing
Balikatan military exercises between the United States and Philippines,
especially those to be conducted in the region. The farmers’ group said
that the exercises would be held in Clark Airbase and Basa Airbase in
Angeles City and Floridablanca, Pampanga, respectively, Subic in Zambales,
Crow Valley in Camp O’ Donnel in Capas, Tarlac and Fort Magsaysay in Laur,
Nueva Ecija. Amgl members joined the protest caravan led by Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)
and Balikatan military exercises. The caravan came from Manila that
proceeded to Basa and Clark Airbase.
“The areas of Balikatan exercises are usually where farmers, fisherfolk
and indigenous people get their livelihood. During these dangerous
exercises they are banned from attending their crops nor fishing at the
seas, thus, it affects their livelihood,” said Joseph Canlas, Amgl
The group said that military reservations such as of Clark Airbase in
Pampanga, Crow Valley in Tarlac and Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija include
lands that are being cultivated by farmers and indigenous Ayta. While the
bay area in Zambales near Subic and San Antonio town are usual fishing
grounds to communities along the bay.
“The Balikatan exercises treat farmers and fisherfolk as mere pests as
they are totally driven off their lands, their rights to livelihood are
totally trampled upon. We totally condemn this recurring incident,” Canlas
Canlas said that Clark Airbase military reservation covers 59,600 hectares
while Crow Valley covers 17,814 hectares. Moreover, Fort Magsaysay
military reservation covers 35,000 hectares reaching the Pacific ocean,
including the Sierra Madre mountain ranges and 12 kilometer of coastline.
In Crow Valley, an Ayta community who had ancestral claim was displaced
when the Dept. of National Defense (DND) rejected it. The American forces
from Combat Logistics Battalion 3 recently constructed Camp Palacio in
Crow Valley, equipped with fiber optics technology for communication.
In 3,100 hectares in Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation, a former
administration had ruled that it should be covered by the land reform
program and the DND had turned it over to the Dept. of Agrarian Reform
(DAR), still the leadership of the 7th Infantry Division of the Phil. Army
continues to defy its higher officials’ order and hound farmers
cultivating the land. In Brgy. San Miguel, San Antonio, Zambales, previous
Balikatan exercises that involved sea-to-land assault exercises banned
fisherfolk from the bay area. The American forces maintain a U.S. Naval
Communication Station in the area, though, it is illegal for them to
establish a base.
“As these reservations were proclaimed by previous administrations, do the
American and Philippine government expect the farmers cultivating the
areas to simply stop attending their crops and livelihood and tolerate
hunger, destruction of crops and loss of income? The American forces are
now constructing their bases at different parts of the region, which is a
clear violation of our national sovereignty and constitution as U.S.
military bases were supposedly kicked out in 1991,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that farmers in the region, as well as the country’s citizen
have no benefit from the Balikatan exercises and VFA that led to it. The
group said that its objectives are to secure its base in southeast Asia to
exploit untapped resources such as oil and natural gas, guard against
China and North Korea and to use the country as its base to launch wars of
Aside from establishing it geo-political base in southeast Asia, Amgl said
that the exercise aim to threaten the resurging farmers movement in the
region. The group added that the Aquino government plans to convert major
areas of Central Luzon into industrial and commercial hubs which would
evidently displace many farmers. It is initiated by the implementation of
Metro Luzon Urban Beltway (MLUB) and North Luzon Agri-Business Quadrangle
that included the construction of North Luzon Expressway (NLEx),
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union
Expressway (TPLEx), Central Luzon Expressway (CLEx) and North Luzon East
Expressway (NLEx East).
“Aside from these highway projects, president Aquino is also promoting
mining that seriously damages the environment, displaces farmers and
plunders our natural resources,” Canlas said.
Amgl said that the Aquino government had lined up anti-farmer and
anti-people policies and programs that would undoubtedly drive the
region’s people to resist and protest, thus, the former is using the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Balikatan military exercises and its
counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan to thwart the looming unrest.
“President Aquino is a traitor to the people of Central Luzon and the
country, he has sold the future of our children and of the next
generation. The peasantry and the people of the region should join the
nationwide call to junk the VFA and Balikatan,” Canlas said. #
US using the Philippines as pawn in regional power
play Posted on 17 April 2012 by admin
April 17, 2012
Despite denials by the Philippine and United Staates governments that the
ongoing Balikatan war games had anything to do with the Philippines’
dispute with China, umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that it
was clear the war games were part of a power-projection scheme directed at
Bayan cited the US document “Sustaining US
Global Leadership, Priorities for 21st Century Defense” released by the
Pentagon in January 3, 2012 which the group says shows the real intent of
the US in its war games.
In the new strategy, the US government said
that “over the long term, China’s emergence as a regional power will have
the potential to affect the U.S. economy and our security in a variety of
ways… In order to credibly deter potential adversaries and to prevent them
from achieving their objectives, the United States must maintain its
ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to
operate are challenged…States such as China and Iran will continue to
pursue asymmetric means to counter our power projection capabilities,” it
“There is no doubt that the display of US
military might in the Balikatan war games is directed towards China. As
such, it tends to aggravate the tensions between the Philippines and
China. The projection of US military power, done on Philippine territory,
will only do more harm than good as far as peacefully resolving our
country’s territorial disputes with China is concerned,” said Bayan
secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“We are being used as a pawn in a bigger game
aimed at regional supremacy. The US wants to maintain a dominant role in
the region. It is using the Philppines as a staging ground to achieve that
goal. We shouldn’t be so naive to think that the US is here helping a
friend in need,” he added.
Bayan said that the US uses military exercises
such as the Balikatan war games, along with port calls and rotational
deployments, as means to enjoy permanent miitary presence in any part of
the region. “The Philippines has been an all too willing host for the US
war machine. It has been hoodwinked by promises of modernization for the
Philippine armed forces. The Aquino government is dead wrong if it thinks
that by hanging on the coat-tails of Uncle Sam, our country would be in a
better position to assert our soverignty,” Reyes said.
“To be a nation that can effectively assert
its sovereignty, government must abandon all vestiges of neo-colonialism.
We need an independent foreign policy that is free from US dictates. Only
then can we develop our capability to assert our claims,” he added.
Disclose negotiation terms now
Bayan also called on the Philippine government
to publicly disclose the negotiation terms for the stationing of more US
troops in the Philippines. On April 30, the US and Philippine governments
will be meeting in Washington to finalize details of the deployment of
added US troops in the Philippines. News reports say US Marines from
Okinawa are being moved to Guam and rotated to countries like Australia
and the Philippines.
“After the dust from the Balikatan settles, a
new agreement may be hammered out by the US and Philippine governments.
The people and even our lawmakers are still not aware of the terms for the
stationing of more US troops in the country.The meeting is two weeks away
yet no details have been revealed,” Reyes said. ###
PRESS STATEMENT APRIL 16, 2012
MGA MILITANTE NG TIMOG KATAGALUGAN BALIKATAN
AASAHAN ANG MGA SERYE NG PROTESTA
CALAMBA, LAGUNA - Maglulunsad ng mga serye ng kilos protesta sa buong
rehiyon ang bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Timog Katagalugan (BAYAN -
TK) at ibat-ibang sektoral na organisasyon sa rehiyon sa nagaganap na
Balikatan Exercises sa Palawan at sa iba pang panig ng bansa. Patuloy
ding kinukundina ang tangkang panunumbalik ng Base Militar ng US sa
Sa unang pahayag ng gubyerno, aabot sa 6,000 tropang amerikano ang
nasa bansa ngayon na naglulunsad ng Balikatan Exercises na nagsimula
ngayong araw, Abril 16 na tatagal hanggang April 27 ngayong taon. Ito
na ang ika-28th na pagkakataong maglulunsad ng Balikatan Exercises sa
bansa sa pagitan ng US armed Forces at Armed Forces of the
Philippines, sa katunayanbago pa ang Balikatan ay dumating sa bansa
ang advance team ng US na naglundsad ng Civil Military Operation (CMO)
sa Central Luzon, Bicol at Palawan. Kasabay nito'y ang pagtatayo ng
mini-naval base para sa pagdadausan ng Military Exrcises sa Palawan.
"Marami mamamayan ang maapektuhan dahil inaasahan na walng makakalapit
sa nasabing exercises, pangunahin na ang mga mangingisda sa mga lugar
na apektado katulad ng Palawan. Hindi rin lingid sa ating kaalaman na
ang Palawan ay mayaman sa yamang-kalikasan na kung saan ay intersado
ang US sa bilyong bariles ng langis sa palawan at spratlys island",
pahayag ni XL Fuentes. Pangkalahatng Kalihim ng BAYAN-TK.
Paliwanag pa ng grupo, 17 taong na mula noong mapatalsik ang Base
Militar ng US sa bansa dahil sa matitinding paglabag nito sa karapatan
ng mamamayang Pilipino. Ngayon naman sa anyo ng Visiting Forces
Agreement ay muling nakakapasok ang tropang amerikano ng di kailangan
ang passport o visa, clearance mula sa immigration, nakakapagmaneho ng
di kailangan ang permiso ng LTO.
Nakakatakas sa mga kaso gaya ng murder, attempted murder, rape,
harassment sa mga babae, pagmaltrato sa ating mga kababayan at pagsira
ng kalikasan ng bansa. Sa katunayan, ganito rin ang nangyari sa
Okinawa Japan bago pa napaalis ang US Bases noong nakaraang taon. Sa
ganitong balangkas din ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) malayang
makakatakas sa mga pananagutan ang mga amerikanong sundalo kapag
nakagawa ng kasalanan sa bansa: di saklaw ng hurisdiksyon ng
Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin makapatay o makapanggahasa ang mga amerikanong
ito ay inutil ang Gobyerno ng Pilipinas para sila ay panagutin.
Ang VFA ay isang kasunduan sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at US upang
maglunsad ng mga pagsasanay-militar. Bukod sa paglabag sa soberanya ng
bansa, ang VFA ay kilala rin na dahilan ng malawakang pagsasamantala
sa mamamayang Pilipino katulad ng diskriminasyon sa mga kampo at ang
malawakang pang-aabuso sa kababaihan: prostitusyon at panggagahasa
katulad doon sa kaso ni Nicole, ang Pilipinang ginahasa ng sundalong
Isang kahibangan ang dahilan sa paglulunsad ng VFA, hindi totoong
pinapangalagaan nito ang pambansang teritoryo ng Pilipinas sa
katunayan, binubuyangyang lamang ito ng US sa kanyang mga gyerang
agresyon sa Asya-Pasipiko, nadadamay lamang ang bansa sa mga gyerang
ito ng US: sobra-sobra na ang ating karanasan noong World War II para
pagtibayin ang pagbasang ito.
”Walang ibang dahilan ang pagpasok ng tropang amerikano: malinaw na
habang niyayanig ng krisis ng pandaigdigang sistemang kapital at
pabagsak na ekonomiya ng mga Imperalistang US pinapahigpit lamang nito
ang kontrol at hegemony sa bansa sa larangan ng militar, ekonomiya at
pulitika. ” Pagdidiin ni Fuentes
”Kasaysayan na ang nagturo sa atin na kakambal ng Imperyalismo at
pagbabase ng mga tropang Amerikano sa bansa ang gyera, kakambal ng
Balikatan at VFA ang malawakang paglabag at pagsasamantala sa
soberanya at patrimonya ng bansa, higit sa lahat, itinuro rin sa atin
ng kasaysayan na ang ganitong pagsasamantala ay mayroong hangganan:
tutulan at bibiguin ito ng malawak na hanay ng mamamayang nagtatanggol
sa soberanya ng bansa.”pagwawakas ni XL Fuentes.
STOP BALIKATAN EXERCISES NOW!
JUNK THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT!
DEFEND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND PATRIMONY!
DOWN WITH US IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION!
APRIL 20-US EMBASSY PROTEST ACTION
APRIL 22-US EMBASSY PROTEST ACTION
APRIL 27-ANTI- IMPERIALIST CARAVAN
Reference: XL Fuentes, Secretary General
GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY
April 16, 2012
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203
Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308
US Armed Forces Will Protect US Interests,
Not Philippine Sovereignty – GWP REP. EMMI DE JESUS
“Nakakahiya ang Pangulo na inaasa sa ibang bansa ang kapayapaan ng kanyang
sariling bansa,” thus said GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus on the President
Aquino’s statement that the Philippines is looking to the US for help in
building up its defense capabilities, amid a maritime territorial dispute
with China and a host of other security issues.
“Defense of Philippine sovereignty is the exact opposite of what the US
wants. By increasing our reliance on US military support in exchange for
allowing the US to build up its military presence, the more the
Philippines is unable to develop its ability to defend its sovereignty,”
added De Jesus.
The Gabriela solon issued this statement noting that today, April 16 is
the official start of 2012 Balikatan, and the Philippines will once again
host some 6,000 troops which, according to the local military officials,
aims to enhance the AFP and US Armed Forces interoperability in the
conduct of non-traditional military aspects that reach out communities in
need of urgent assistance.
“Ensuring peace and stability of a country does not rely on stronger
nations but on the ability of its leaders to ensure that the citizens’
rights and welfare are well taken cared of. This is not happening in this
country because President Aquino has not shown political will in asserting
Philippine sovereignty and is serving as a neocolonial adjunct of the US.
He shows a distorted sense of nationalism by giving in to the demands of
the US in the guise of protecting the national sovereignty," De Jesus
“Our women do not need more US soldiers in our land who, as described by a
US marine publication, are attracted to the Philippines because of its
‘raunchy party atmosphere where alcohol and scantily clad women have
attracted Marines and sailors over the years’. Our women are not for sale
and neither are they raised up by their families to be treated as GROs by
US soldiers. It is fun in the Philippines only when our women are treated
with respect and their dignity are upheld. And it is definitely more fun
in the Philippines if we have a President who can assert national
sovereignty instead of assuming a mendicant attitude, begging for US
military ‘support’,” the Gabriela solon ended.###
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, OFWs at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"
April 15, 2012
Anakbayan slams arrest of four anti-Balikatan
youths in Pampanga
The youth group Anakbayan condemned last night’s arrest of four of its
members in Pampanga while putting up posters condemning this week’s
Balikatan war games and the permanent U.S military presence in the
The four were arrested at Abacan Bridge on Balibago, Pampanga. They were
identified as , all residents of the same province.
The Aquino administration is on full alert is quelling any and all forms
of protest which would destroy their carefully-manufactured lie that
Filipinos want ‘G.I Joe’ back in our shores again. After failing to get
the public’s support through its hysterical hyping-up of the North Korean
satellite launch and the territorial disputes with China, the government
is now suppressing our freedom of speech and right to peaceful assembly
instead” said Charisse Bañez, national secretary-general of Anakbayan.
“This is no different from the injustice of Filipinos being prevented from
protesting in their own country’s territory just because it is near the
American Embassy, and at the request of a foreign entity” she said,
referring to the Philippine National Police’s unspoken policy of violently
dispersing any and all protests near the Embassy in Manila.
This year’s war exercises, which have been regularly held in past years,
will be the biggest ever in Balikatan history. This will be the first time
the war games will be held simultaneously in different parts of the
country. Aside from Central Luzon, related activities will be held in
Palawan, Bicol, Mindanao, and even the National Capital Region.
“Contrary to its misleading name, the Balikatan is nothing more than an
excuse to keep a permanent U.S military presence in the Philippines
without a return to the much-hated era of U.S bases in our country.
Furthermore, this is part of the Aquino regime’s propaganda offensive to
make such a blatant violation of our sovereignty acceptable, or at the
least, seemingly normal and harmless” said the youth leader.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. American soldiers have a long
history of being a scourge to the Filipino people: from invading us while
we were busy ending Spanish rule, to the bloody suppression of uprisings
during their formal occupation, to providing assistance to the Armed
Forces of the Philippines’ murderous operations” she added. ###
REFERENCE: Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09174416739
#89 K7 Street corner Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City
Oppose Aquino policy of greater US military presence
through "Balikatan" exercises--CPP
Communist Party of the Philippines
April 15, 2012
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) urged the Filipino people to
oppose the Aquino regime’s policy of national treachery in calling for
increasing American military presence in the Phlippines through the
Balikatan “joint exercises.” The CPP issued this statement as around 4,500
US soldiers are set to arrive in the Philippines to hold naval and other
maneuvers starting tomorrow along the South China Sea off the coast of
Palawan, in the general vicinity of the disputed Spratly islands.
“The so-called joint military exercises to be
carried out this year by the US and Philippine governments are clear acts
of power projection and military muscle flexing by the imperialist US
government directed at China whose rising economic power, political
influence and military strength are perceived by the US as threats to its
aims of expanding and strengthening its hegemony over the Asia-Pacific
region,” said the CPP.
The CPP denounced the Aquino regime for
“deceiving the Filipino people into believing that allowing more American
military troops in the Philippines will help enhance Philippine naval
defense and capability to defend sovereignty. Aquino has stooped to the
lowest levels of colonial submission in declaring that the Philippines can
more effectively defend its sovereignty by putting it in the hands of his
imperialist masters,” said the CPP.
“Aquino is revealing himself more and more to
be a mendicant colonial vassal in allowing the US military to use
Philippine territory as their own in exchange for a few discarded and
obsolete US military surplus hardware and war materiél,” added the CPP.
The CPP said further that the bargain sale of military surplus to the
Philippines is being done by the US not because it seeks to help defend
Philippine sovereignty. “The US military-industrial capitalists stand to
benefit in the US-instigated push to build-up military strength by the
Philippines and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“In outright violation of its own
constitution, the Aquino regime allows the US military to carry out combat
operations in the Philippines by allowing it to fly surveillance drones to
guide ground operations of the AFP, embed American troops in operating
units of the AFP, deploy teams of American military advisers in AFP
tactical command centers, carry out civilian-military operations and
psywar activities, set up satellite and communications infrastructure and
undertake other counterguerrilla-related activities.”
“In order to accomodate the US plan to
increase the number of its troops rotating permanently across several
countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the Aquino regime is currently
seeking to provide the US with military facilities for the regular docking
of American warships, for the operation and stationing of US military
drones, for rest and recreation of thousands of US soldiers and to address
the other needs of the US military.”
The CPP urged the Filipino people “to
untiringly push for the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951,
the Visiting Forces Agreement and other similar one-sided military
agreements which violate the country’s national sovereignty.”
“The Filipino people must wage information and
study campaigns to heighten the patriotic awareness of their history of
anti-colonial and national liberation struggle. They must expose how the
US military and government continue to trample on Philippine sovereingty
in order to extend its hegemony over the Philippines and the entire
The CPP added: “They must wage mass campaigns
in their communities, schools, factories and offices in order to
collectively demonstrate their opposition to the puppetry of the Aquino
regime and demand a stop to US military intervention in the Philippines.”
“The CPP further calls on all revolutionary
forces to stand ground in defense of national sovereignty and raise the
Filipino people’s determination to wage a patriotic armed resistance
against the interventionist troops of the US imperialists.”
17 April 2012
Workers vow bigger, bolder protests vs
“The Filipino workers and people vow to make US troops’ stay in the
Philippines not fun!”
This was the statement of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno as it vowed to
hold bigger and bolder actions to denounce the ongoing US-RP Balikatan
“US troops were never and would never be welcome in our country. We must
not allow them to continue raping not only our women, but also our
sovereignty and dignity as a nation,” KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog
“The growing presence of US military forces in our territory shows how the
US dominates our country’s political, economic, and diplomatic affairs,”
KMU also slammed the Aquino administration for using China’s encroachments
into contested territory to justify expanding USintervention and military
presence in the country.
“Aquino is a lousy hypocrite. He pretends to be patriotic by defending our
claim in Scarborough against China while at the same time opening all
7,100 islands of the Philippines to be war playgrounds of the US,” Labog
“The Aquino administration would even fund the cost of operations of US
troops in the country while Filipino tax payers, especially the poor,
receive less and more expensive social services such as education and
healthcare,” he added.
Protests welcomed the opening of the US-RP Balikatan Exercises yesterday,
with youth groups defacing the US Embassy’s seal in a lightning rally, and
patriotic groups holding a caravan from Manila to Pampanga and Tarlac.
Similar anti-Balikatan protests were also held in other cities in Visayas
“Yesterday’s protests are just appetizers. We assure the US that more
daring and militant protests would hound their troops wherever they hold
these exercises,” Labog said.
“We call on all nation-loving and patriotic Filipino workers and people to
oppose the growing presence of US troops and the directUS intervention in
the country. We must also condemn Aquino’s treachery against our national
sovereignty and the Filipino people,” he concluded. ##
IBON Infographic/ April 2012
US Military Operations in the Philippines, 2001-2011
The United States (US) recently declared a foreign policy pivot toward
Asia involving greater economic, political and military engagement in the
region. The shift however started as early as 2001 when its Quadrennial
Defense Review proclaimed a shift to Asia and a corresponding increase in
the US military presence through fixed bases, rotational deployments,
training exercises and logistical arrangements.
The US called the Philippines its “second front [in the war on terrorism]”
in January 2002 and has dramatically built up a nationwide military
presence since then. The US military has made extensive use of the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to station some 600-700 special forces
troops in the country and to bring in as much as 7,000 other soldiers at a
time on so-called joint exercises, civil-military actions and relief
operations. It has also used the Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement (MLSA)
to establish military outposts and access war materiel for its forces.
The whole archipelago has been transformed into a US military base, which
violates Philippine sovereignty and the 1987 Constitution.
Here is an infomaterial on the presence of US military in the country
during the last decade since it launched its so-called war on terrorism.
On the eve of US-PH Balikatan military
exercises, Kalikasan Partylist joins today's protest-caravan from Manila
to the former US military base in Angeles City, Pampanga. The
protest-caravan aims to raise awareness on the negative social, political
and environmental impacts of the 2012 Balikatan exercises.
"The military exercises have been proven to be enormously taxing on the
environment and local communities. In the past Balikatan exercises, war
and combat simulations which involved naval maneuverings and live fire
exercises have caused coral reef destruction and ecological pollution.
These activities also consumed massive resources like fossil fuels and
released large volumes of toxic waste into air, land and sea," said
Frances Quimpo, secretary-general of Kalikasan Partylist.
Happy hippies showed no love for US-PH Balikatan Exercises
By Kalikasan Partylist (Albums) · Updated on Sunday 15th
Photos by Kalikasan Partylist
KALIKASAN PEOPLE’S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; net+63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 16, 2012
Green groups at the protest caravan against
US-PH military exercises will negatively impact marine and forest
ecosystem in Palawan
On the eve of US-PH military exercises, environmental advocates join today
the protest-caravan from Manila to the former US military base in Angeles
City, Pampanga. The protest-caravan aims to raise awareness on the
negative social, political and environmental impacts of the 2012 balikatan
Around 4,500 military troops from the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) will be
joining 2,300 Filipino troops in the 28th PH-US Balikatan exercises that
will be held from April 16-27. Most of the military exercises will be held
in the Palawan province, widely acclaimed as the last ecological frontier
of the country. Palawan is also the nearest landmass to the highly
contested Spratlys group of islands.
“These military exercises have been proven to be enormously taxing on the
environment and local communities. In the past Balikatan exercises, war
and combat simulations which involved naval maneuverings and live fire
exercises have caused coral reef destruction and ecological pollution.
These activities also consumed massive resources like fossil fuels and
released large volumes of toxic waste into air, land, and sea,” said
Frances Quimpo, secretary-general of environmental political group
In 2004, US Naval ships participating in Balikatan exercises were found to
have indiscriminately discharged sewage waste and oil into the Subic Bay.
There are also records where naval ships which participated in Balikatan
exercises accidentally fired live ammunitions and ordnance into local
communities like in Zambales province in 2000. In Cebu, young waste
pickers were accidentally killed when they unknowingly acquired live
ordnance left by military troops which participated in the exercises.
“These same military exercises will definitely exact a heavy toll on the
pristine environment of Palawan and its surrounding marine ecology. Not
only Palawenos but all Filipinos should oppose the anti-environment
Balikatan exercises. The local government units in Palawan province and
Puerto Princesa can declare their area as a Balikatan-military exercise
free-zone like what Davao City did,” Quimpo said.
Philippine government and US embassy officials said the scheduled military
exercises are meant to promote regional peace and security by ensuring
interoperability and readiness of Philippine and US forces.
“Ecological damage, toxic wastes and live ordnance are among the dangerous
effects of US military exercises on our country’s ecological health.
During exercises, the military use live ammunitions, employ heavy
bombardment, and use mammoth vehicles like tanks and ships. These have a
massive ecological footprint that affects forests, mountains, and coastal
areas. At the same time, these pollutive and wasteful activities endanger
the safety and lives of communities near the exercise area,” explains
Clemente Bautista Jr, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
“For this reason alone, the Philippine government should stop conducting
joint military exercises and abrogate the US-PH Visiting Forces Agreement
(VFA). The premise of VFA is to allow US military forces to engage in
military exercises to take place all over the Philippines. We should
protect our sovereign right to a healthful and balanced environment and
stop the entry of US troops in our lands,” Bautista ended.###
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)
No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099
April 16, 2012 Photos by Neil Murad
April 17, 2012
SHEENA DUAZO - 0949-627-0377
BAI ALI INDAYLA - 0917-424-2149
Mindanaoans hold cultural protest vs. RP-US
As WestMinCom gathers for pro-US protest
Cotabato City - On the first day of Lakbayan Laban sa Balikatan, almost a
thousand delegates arrived in Cotabato City for a cultural protest against
the 2012 RP-US Balikatan Exercises.
Contingents led by Patriotiko Mindanao and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)
from Southern Mindanao Region, North Cotabato, Sockskargends, and Cotabato
City gathered inside Cotabato City State Polytechnic College on the first
day of the protest caravan.
Various youth and cultural organizations held a number of song and dance
numbers mirroring the patriotic stance of Mindanaoans against US
“We see the people’s defiance against cultural RP-US Balikatan. It is not
a mere military exercise, it is a display of US interest to maintain a
strong foothold in the Philippines,” said Sheena Duazo, BAYAN – Southern
Balikatan Exercises is annually hosted by the Philippines based on the
Mutual Defense Treaty signed between US and the Philippines in 1951. This
month, more than 6,000 US troops will arrive in the country to participate
in the military exercise.
Meanwhile, Lakbayan contingents reported to have received information that
the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines based
in Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City are calling for the people to gather for a
pro-US protest in time for the arrival of the Lakbayan participants in
“Soldiers from Western Mindanao Command are organizing a pro-US rally
Zamboanga City,” said Patriotiko Mindanao Bai Ali Indayla. “But we shall
overcome this because we know that we are fighting for freedom and our
national sovereignty,” she said.
The Lakbayan contingents is set to hold a protest action in 6th Infantry
Division Camp Siongco, Awang, Maguindanao before proceeding to Pagadian
for the second day of the caravan. #
April 16, 2012 Photos by Gabriela-Davao
April 18, 2012
“HEY JOE, FILIPINAS ARE NOT FOR SALE!”—GABRIELA
City --- “Filipinas are not for sale. We refuse to be used for your sexual
comforts” said May Ann Sapar, spokesperson of Gabriela Southern Mindanao
in an an all–women protest was staged today
lambasting the US Marines’ insult and denigration of Filipinas for its
statement referring to “scantily clad women” as a source of “fun” in the
Gabriela slammed the silence of the Aquino government on the matter which
the women activist group believes is “compromise” for more war materiel
and logistical support being demanded by the Philippines from Washington.
“Clearly the 6,000 US troops in the country came here for war, and part of
its war booty are the women who are being compromised in exchange for
rusty and obsolete warships and fighter planes,” said
Sapar further demanding the immediate recall of all US troops recently
deployed in the country.
Sapar said such massive troop deployment will lead to heightened
prostitution and abuse of women, similar to the heydays of the US Army in
Olongapo in the 1980’s.
“30,000 women work in brothels and bars in Olongapo in the 80’s. A big
number were merely 14 to 16 years old. If Aquino and other leaders in
government will not stop kowtowing the military agenda of the US
government, then they will be judged in history for being accessory to the
worst crime against women and children and for betraying their country,”
In their protest action, the women activists showcased nationalist poems
and songs. A woman activist wearing a Filipiniana, a pen and a sword stood
the middle of the crowd to demonstrate the revolutionary
and propagandist role of women in history and the present.
On April 16, a new round of Balikatan Exercises kicked off in Palawan
while more than 600 US commandoes, out of the 6000, were deployed
PATRIYOTIKO Mindanao launched a Mindanao – wide Lakbayan Laban sa
Balikatan with a 5000 - strong delegation to protest what it sees as a
heightened US military intervention, marked with the biggest troop
mobilization since the US Army’s basing rights was inked unconstitutional
during Cory Aquino’s time.
To date the Lakbayan delegation has reached 4,000. The delegation is
expected to arrive at Zamboanga City today.
Sapar also lambasted 10th Infantry Battalion Leopoldo Galon who was quoted
saying that US troops are “behaved.”
“As Philippine military officer, Col. Galon is expected to come to the
defense of his masters. As the universal cliché goes, dogs should not bite
the hand that feeds them. Galon should go ahead and tell it to
the marines,” said Sapar recounting the statement of Foreign Affairs
Secretary Albert del Rosario that PhP 22 Billion has been funnelled to the
government as military aid in the last decade.
On April 16,
2012, Bayan Canada along with ILPS Canada held a picket rally in front of
the US consulate in Montreal. The demonstration was to coincide with the
start of the Balikatan military exercises between the US and Philippine
troops. It was also in solidarity with the actions lead by Bayan in the
Philippines opposing Balikatan and calling for the end of the RP-US
Visiting Forces Agreement.
U.S. TROOPS OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES! STOP THE BALIKATAN
Bayan Canada vehemently opposes the Balikatan exercises to be held this
April 16th to the 27th in the Philippines. Balikatan, meaning
shoulder-to-shoulder, refers to joint military exercises between the US
and Philippines. The Philippine government justifies these exercises as
being based on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the 14- year-old
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the two countries.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III is hell bent on accommodating the
"new" US defense strategy that entails a so-called "rebalance to Asia",
including an increase in US military presence in the Philippines. With
China's economic growth threatening US domination over the region, the
Obama administration announced earlier this year the shift in its military
focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan and to renew its commitment to
re-asserting its position in the Asia-Pacific.
The Aquino government is betraying the 1991 Philippine Senate decision to
shut down the US bases in the Philippines. Itsrecent dialogue with the US
government lays down the groundwork for the consolidation of the
Philippines as a key USmilitary base location, serving as a permanent
staging ground for US military offensives, storage space for surveillance
drones, resupply and refueling station for US warships and aircrafts, as
well as rest and recreational facility for US servicemen.
The Aquino administration is aligning the Philippines with an American
military strategy that will threaten peace in the entire Asia-Pacific
region. In an effort to boost up its military-industrial complex at the
expense of the surrounding countries, the US government is in fact
provoking military aggression and creating a war-like situation against
While Bayan Canada along with the Filipino people are for a peaceful
resolution to territorial and maritime disputes with other nations, we are
opposed to the use or threat of force from any party including China. With
the buildup of US military forces in the region, the disputes are
exacerbated and tension rises. The US is only out for its own hegemonic
interests in the region and not for the security and prosperity of the
Recent news reports claim that more than twenty-two thousand people will
benefit from the Balikatan through civil-military operations during the
exercises. Promises of new schools and clinics built in far flung areas
and medical and dental treatments offered by US and Philippine forces
during the military exercises are the usual protocol for “winning hearts
and minds” by American forces during occupations. Worse, these practices
have been exposed as nothing more than intelligence gathering for US and
The Filipino people will not be fooled by candy-coated military invasions.
We ask our compatriots in Canada along with our friends and allies to join
our voices with the Filipino people in demanding an abrogation of the VFA
and the immediate withdrawal of US troops from the Philippines.
TROUPES ÉTATS-UNIENNES HORS DES PHILIPPINES! CESSEZ LES
EXERCICES MILITAIRES «BALIKATAN»!
Bayan Canada s'oppose avec véhémence les exercices «Balikatan» qui auront
lieu du 16 au 27 avril aux Philippines. Le mot «Balikatan», qui signifie «épaule
à épaule», se réfère aux exercices militaires conjoints menés par les
États-Unis et les Philippines. Le gouvernement philippin justifie ces
exercices comme étant fondée sur le Traité de défense mutuelle et l’Accord
des forces en visite établi il y a 14 ans entre les deux pays.
Le président des Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, veut à tout prix
accueillir la "nouvelle" stratégie de défense étatsunienne, qui vise un
soi-disant "rééquilibrage vers l'Asie" et comprend, entre autres, une
augmentation de la présence militaire étatsunienne aux Philippines. En
raison de la menace que constitue la croissance économique de la Chine
pour la domination états-unienne dans la région, le gouvernement Obama a
annoncé, plus tôt cette année, un changement d’orientation militaire des
États-Unis, qui s’éloigneraient de l'Irak et de l'Afghanistan et
renouvelleraient leur engagement à réaffirmer leur position dans la région
Le gouvernement Aquino viole ainsi la décision de 1991 du Sénat philippin
de fermer les bases états-uniennes aux Philippines. Son récent dialogue
avec le gouvernement états-unien a préparé le terrain pour faire en sorte
que les Philippines deviennent un lieu crucial d’établissement de bases
militaires états-uniennes, servant de base arrière des offensives
militaires états-uniennes, d’abri pour les drones de surveillance, de
point ravitaillement en materiel pour les troupes et en combustible pour
les navires de guerre et les avions, ainsi que de lieu de repos et de
loisirs pour les militaires états-uniens.
Le gouvernement Aquino est en train d'aligner les Philippines sur une
stratégie militaire états-unienne qui menace la paix dans l'ensemble de la
région Asie-Pacifique. Afin de stimuler son complexe militaro-industriel
au détriment des pays voisins, le gouvernement états-unien est, en fait,
en train de provoquer une agression militaire et de créer une situation de
guerre contre la Chine.
Notre organisation, Bayan Canada, comme l’ensemble du peuple philippin,
souhaite une résolution pacifique des différends territoriaux et maritimes
avec les autres pays, nous sommes opposés à l'utilisation ou à la menace
d’utilisation de la forcepar toute partie, y compris la Chine.
L’accumulation des forces militaires états-uniennes dans la région
exacerbe lesconflits, et la tension monte. Les États-Unis ne visent qu’à
satisfaire leurs propres intérêts hégémoniques dans la région et non ceux
concernant la sécurité et la prospérité du peuple philippin.
Des rapports de presse récents affirment que plus de vingt-deux mille
personnes bénéfieront des opérations civilo-militaires réalisés dans le
cadre des exercices «Balikatan». Les promesses de nouvelles écoles et de
cliniques construites dans les zones les plus reculées, de traitements
médicaux et dentaires offerts par les forces états-uniennes et philippines
durant les exercices militaires sont la méthode habituelle qu’utilisent
les forces états-uniennes pour "gagner les cœurs et les esprits" lors des
occupations. Pire encore, ces pratiques ont été dénoncées comme n’étant
rien d’autre que des operations de collecte de renseignements par les
forces états-uniennes et philippines.
Le peuple philippin ne sera pas dupé par des invasions militaires enrobées
de sucreries. Nous demandons à nos compatriotes vivant au Canada, ainsi
qu’à nos amis et à nos allies, de se joindre à nous et au peuple philippin
pour exiger l'abrogation de l’Accord des forces en visite et le retrait
immédiat des troupes états-uniennes des Philippines.
New York City:
Philippine Consular Office
April 16, 2012
Stills from the Bayan-USA video
April 16, 2012
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: email@example.com
US Intervention, NOT CHINA, is the Greatest Threat to
Peace & Security in the Philippines-- BAYAN USA
Filipino-American Alliance Calls Aquino Gov't to Junk the VFA, Stop
As today marks the formal opening of the 28th US-Philippine Balikatan
(Shoulder-to-Shoulder) Exercises in Palawan, Filipino-Americans across the
US, under the banner of BAYAN USA, are joined by their American allies in
condemning intensifying US military intervention in the Philippines as the
greatest threat to peace and security in the country and the Asia-Pacific
US is the Real Bully
Contrary to Washington's line, the Chinese government is not flexing its
military might to bully other countries in the region in order to expand
its economic interests. It is the US government that fits said
description, as US military's so-called "rebalance to the Asia-Pacific
region" is motivated by the Obama administration campaign to push the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new free trade agreement akin to NAFTA
that would ensure US economic and political domination in the region, as
well as contain super rival China's emerging economic power and growth.
Decades of US military presence in the Philippines in the name of
peace-keeping and anti-terrorism have proven that it is the US troops, not
China, that are guilty of pointing their own guns at Filipino civilians,
raping Filipino women and children, patronizing and encouraging sex tours
and increased prostitution, polluting and destroying the environment,
requiring the massive displacement of rural communities in order to
accommodate their military operations, advising and training the same
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) documented and denounced by
international human rights organizations as perpetrating gross human
rights abuses in the country, not to the least of which is the blatant
violation and disrespect to Philippine national sovereignty and
territorial integrity. Under Obama, the Philippines is now being used as
testing grounds for US drone air strikes, in line with its historical role
as a strategic launching pad and fueling station for US military
offensives in nearly all of its wars of aggression. The US is also hyping
up anti-China sentiment in the region by intervening in regional
territorial disputes over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal, of
which China is a stakeholder, clearly aimed at provoking military
aggression with the Philippines at the crosshairs.
Hearts and Minds Campaign
Characteristic of this year's Balikatan Exercises is the so-called focus
on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HA/DR), including a
Civil-Military Operations (CMO) component that started in March 12 with an
engineering program to construct schools and facilities in the most
marginalized areas of Palawan. Reminiscent of the same tactics used by the
US military campaign to "win the hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese
people and gather popular support for direct US military intervention
during the Vietnam War, the HA/DR focus of the Balikatan Exercises is
actually in line with the 2009 US State Department's Counter-Insurgency
(US COIN) Guide. The said US COIN guide purports the need for a
population-centric approach, or low-intensity conflict (LIC), wherein "the
margin of victory will be measured in far different terms than the wars of
our past. The allegiance, trust, and confidence of populations will be the
final arbiters" as stated by US Army General William B. Caldwell IV in the
US Army Field Manual on population-centric COIN.
With a strong Philippine movement for sovereignty and democracy gaining
ground, including an armed revolutionary movement popular with the
country's poor and explicit in its aim to fundamentally change the current
failing system in favor of a self-sufficient system implementing genuine
land reform and national industrialization, the US government is driven to
apply LIC tactics to win support away from the cause national liberation
and keep the Philippines as its most reliable hub for power projection in
the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The US government, and its ruling
financial oligarchy, is also driven to maintain the Philippines as a
valuable export position for vast natural resources and cheap human labor
power in the midst of a worsening global economic crisis it is grappling,
but failing, to overcome.
NoyNoy's Bankruptcy Exposed
The US-Aquino regime is becoming increasingly isolated as its promise of
change is exposing itself as bankrupt through Aquino's inaction and "NoyNoying"
over crucial domestic matters of public interest requiring attention. At
the same time Aquino unflinchingly steps to the plate to bat for Uncle
Sam's quest to rattle his saber in the region under the deceptive line of
defending the region against China.
It is obvious that Aquino is desperate to keep enjoying the spoils of US
puppetry by continuing US-funded state repression against civilians who
criticize his policies and championing the US government's initial steps
toward direct US military intervention in the country in the face of a
raging civil war between those wanting to maintain the status quo, and
those wanting to change the system and build a brighter future.
It is in this regard that BAYAN USA calls on all in the US who are
burdened by the effects of the economic crisis to hold the Obama
administration accountable for its maneuvers to invest billions in beefing
up it military presence in the Asia-Pacific region through expanding its
network of military bases, facilities, operations, and agreements in the
region when it could be investing in jobs, education, healthcare, housing,
and social services for the American people. We call on all who are
against US wars of aggression to demand the Obama administration withdraw
its military presence in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region. We
call on all in the US who have been victimized by US counter-insurgency,
including COINTELPRO, and the onslaught of repressive legislation
criminalizing dissent and curtailing democratic rights to condemn US
counter-insurgency in the Philippines, home to the world's longest-running
armed revolution against US imperialism. Lastly, we call on all who are
for freedom to stand in solidarity with the Filipino people's struggle for
genuine national sovereignty and democracy, a mass movement so widespread
and historical in its challenge to US imperialist power projection in the
Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
US TROOPS OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES
JUNK THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT
STOP THE BALIKATAN EXERCISES
UPHOLD PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY
LONG LIVE INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 15 progressive Filipino organizations in the
U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human
rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an
information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines
and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For
more information, visit www.bayanusa.org
Bayan USA, International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) and
International Action Center (IAC) protest against the resumption of "Balikatan
Exercises and Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the Philippines inside
the lobby of the New YorkPhilippine
VIDEO: New Yorkers Stage Surprise
Anti-Balikatan Protest Inside Philippine Consulate
NEW YORK-- As the formal
resumption of joint military exercises between the US and Philippine
governments known as Balikatan commenced last Monday in the
Philippines, members of BAYAN USA, the International League of Peoples
Struggle (ILPS) and the International Action Center (IAC) staged a
surprise protest action inside the lobby of the Philippine Consulate
in New York City to condemn US military buildup in the Philippines and
demand the junking of the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The
action was part of a larger call from BAYAN USA for similar actions
across the US and an international call from ILPS, a global
anti-imperialist formation with members in over 40 countries. On the
same day, nationwide protests in the Philippines against the joint war
games were spearheaded by BAYAN Philippines.
Protesters practiced the
"people's mic" to condemn the Aquino regime's welcoming of greater US
military intervention over territorial disputes in the South China Sea
between the Philippines, China, and other neighboring countries. The
stated the Balikatan exercises as supported by unequal military
agreements such as the VFA play to the intention of the US government
to provoke military aggression against China.
"We denounce all foreign
intervention our country, whether China or the US. It puts our country
in unnecessary danger of being caught in the crossfire between China
and the US," stated the protesters in the lobby led by Yves Nibungco
of Filipino youth group Anakbayan New York/New Jersey. "These military
exercises are a provocation for war," the protesters also declared.
Consulate officials were
unsuccessful in their attempts to silence the protesters and force
them to exit the building.
"As a US citizen, I don't want my
tax dollars to murder Filipino people. US out of the Philippines!"
stated Caleb Maupin of the International Action Center national office
in New York City, who also participated in the surprise action inside
The action was preceded a day
before by a community teach-in on the history of US military presence
in the Philippines, it effects on the Filipino people, and current
implications of the 28th Balikatan exercises in the Philippines in
line with the Obama administration's declaration of a so-called
"rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region" in its new US defense strategy.
But a infographic recently
released by research think tank IBON Foundation illustrates the US
military pivot to the region as early as 2001, when the Bush
administration declared the Philippines as the so-called "Second Front
to the War on Terror". The infographic also challenges claims by both
the US and Philippine governments that continuing US military presence
in the Philippines under the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement is
temporary and respectful of Philippine national sovereignty and
April 16, 2012
Photos by Maria Aurelia