19 February 2008
President Arroyo disregarded
against Balikatan exercises in Mindanao
Despite calls from different sectors to stop Balikatan exercises in
Mindanao the joint PR-US military training is scheduled today February 18,
2008 to March 03, 2008 in Sulu, Basilan, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Lanao
del Norte and in North Cotabato.
Arroyo administration disregarded calls from different sectors to stop
holding of Balikatan in the country especially in Mindanao and investigate
human rights violations committed by US troops.
This only shows how irresponsible and inutile the Arroyo administration as
they ignored calls from ordinary citizens. Instead of listening to the
sentiments of the people Pres. Arroyo favored Bush government to hold
Balikatan in the country to run after the “terrorists”.
The Philippine government and the US officials claim that the presence of
US troops in Mindanao is merely to provide assistance to the Philippine
army and for “humanitarian and medical” missions for the people Mindanao
but what kind of support? Is there an assurance that these troops will not
join the actual combat operations?
In 2002, Buyung-Buyung Isnijal was shot allegedly by an American soldier
identified by witnesses as a certain Sgt. Reggie Lane , who was accused of
participating in a military operation on July 27, 2002 in Tuburan, Basilan.
Also, the shooting and maiming of civilians purportedly by US soldiers who
accidentally fired at civilians in the community while on their testing
missions. One case was the shooting and wounding of Arsid Baharun in
Zamboanga City while soldiers were conducting a marksmanship practice in
In 2004, Sardiya Abu Calderon, 54-year old died due to heart attack when a
helicopter boarding two US soldiers landed into their farm during the
clearing operation conducted by the US troops and Filipino soldiers in
August 2004 and in September 2006 where shrapnel of a misfired bomb hit
the back of a 50-year old mother Bizma Juhan in Indanan, Sulu.
In Zamboanga City , passengers of a tricycle complained in a radio station
about US soldiers who accidentally bumped the tricycle they were riding in
Calarian village on December 15, 2007. Instead of helping the victims to
get up, US soldiers got down from their vehicle complete with high-powered
guns that according to the complainants looked like they were going to
On 04 February 2008, one of the survivors of the Maimbung, Sulu massacre
Rawina Wahid exposed that when the soldiers brought her and her body’s
husband Corporal Ibno Wahid to a Philippine Navy boat she saw four (4) US
soldiers among the Filipino soldiers inside the boat.
Presence of US troops does not deter to prevent “terrorist threat” in the
country instead, attracts terrorism. US operations in Mindanao can be
considered as “clandestine act of terrorism”. Through lies and deception,
US maintained a “low profile role” in painting chaos in the island to
justify its presence.
Kawagib fear the vulnerability of the Moro civilians in areas where
Balikatans are held. Previous statements made by US officials on having
the right to carry guns and fire at people whom they think will compromise
their security absolves them of these crimes.
Kawagib joined protests against balikatan exercises with Liga ng Kabataang
Moro (LKM), Suara Bangsamoro and other progressive organizations calling
for immediate pull-out of US troops from the Philippines this morning
February 18, 2008 in Cagayan de Oro City, North Cotabato, Cotabato City
and Davao City .
The Moro groups are calling for an investigation on cases of human rights
violations committed by US troops in Mindanao and justice must serve to
the victims .
Sittie Rajabia Sundang
Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization
c/o Kalinaw Center for Interfaith Resources
Francisco Avenue, Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City
Email address: email@example.com
February 17, 2008
Grupo at residente ng Pikit, North
Cotabato nanawagang iboycot ang missions
Pikit, North Cotabato- Nagpahayag ng matinding pagtutol ang mga residente
ng mga barangay dito sa gaganaping Balikatan-Humanitarian Mission ng
pinagsamang pwersa ng tropang Pilipino at Amerikano sa ilang Baranggay ng
Pikit, North Cotabato.
Ang mga tropa ay nakatakdang magsagawa ng dental mission sa Bagu-inged
Elementary School, Barangay Bagu-inged, Barangay Talitay at Barangay
Rajamuda sa Pebrero 22. Ang mga barangay na ito ay kilala ring
“stronghold” areas ng Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Kinukuwestyon din ng mga residente ang tunay na intension ng
napapabalitang plano ng mga tropang ayusin ang tulay papasok sa Buliok
Complex na kinikilalang Islamic Center ng mga mamamayang Muslim sa Pikit,
North Cotabato. Ang barangay Buliok din ay may layong 5 kilometro mula sa
Liguasan Marsh na may 3 Trillion cubic feet gas deposit.
Ayon kay Mesriya Mamasalagat, convenor ng Out Now Coalition, nagulat na
lamang sila ng mamigay ng poster ang mga sundalo ng 7th IB at sabihing may
magaganap na medical mission sa kanilang mga Barangay sa susunod na linggo
at darating ang mga amerikanong sundalo sa Pebrero 18.
Kaugnay nito, nanawagan ang
nasabing grupo na iboycot ang gaganaping medical mission at huwag
tanggapin ang anumang tulong na ibibigay ng mga amerikanong sundalo. “Ito
ay suhol sa mga bangsamoro para kalimutan na lamnag ang mga kaso ng
paglabag sa karapatang pantao kung saan nasangkot ang ilang tropang kano,
katulad na massacre sa sulu” ayon kay Mamasalagat.
Kaugnay din ng Humanitarian mission na nakatakdang gawin sa Marawi City sa
lunes, isang grupo ng mga kabataan at kababaihan ang nagsagawa ng protesta
sa intersection ng capitol at basak Malulut sa Marawi City ang nambato sa
sasakyang lulan ang mga amerikanong sundalo noong Pebrero 15.
Bukas naman ay nakatakdang magsagawa ng sabay-sabay na kilos protesta ang
mga mamamayan sa Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Cotabato City, at Pikit
North Cotabato bilang pagsalubong sa mga amerikanong sundalo at sa
pagsisimula ng mga Balikatan Exercises.