BAN-BALIKATAN:

"Anti-VFA Caravan a Resounding Success! Protesters Burn 25 US flags!”

 

Naga City   Legazpi CityI

 

February. 23-25, 2009

 

■   Anti-VFA rally in Manila in support of the BAN-BALIKATAN caravan in Bicol

condemns the balikatan exercises in the Bicol provinces, Feb. 25, 2009

 

Photo by  BAN-Balikatan         

Photo by BAN-Balikatan         

 

Photo by MR       

Photo by  BAN-Balikatan         

Photo by  BAN-Balikatan         

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Photos courtesy of MR
           


Last Day-Anti-VFA Caravan Update - “Anti-VFA Caravan a Success! Protesters Burn 25 US flags!”

02/25/2009 by banbalikatan

Anti-VFA Caravan Update
February 25, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) declared the region wide anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan a resounding success. This is in spite of the numerous harassments and delaying tactics by the military to sabotage the popular caravan.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “almost a hundred vehicles joined the caravan and every province of the Bicol region is well represented. At least 13,000 people are joining the anti-VFA grand rally which serves as the culmination of the caravan,”

As culmination of the three-day Bicol Anti-VFA Caravan, protesters symbolically burn 25 US flags to signify defiance against US military intervention and aggression.

“As a highlight of the program we burned 25 US flags to symbolize the strong opposition of Bikolanos against US intervention in the Philipines. The VFA and the MDT should be scrapped and the Balikatan exercises should immediately be cancelled,” she ended.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, ANAKPAWIS Rep. Rafael Mariano and Gabriela Women’s Rep. Lisa Maza along with BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes and PISTON secretary general George San Mateo attended the anti-VFA rally to support Bicolanos’ campaign against Balikatan. A representative of Senator Jamby Madrigal also came to express the senators support for the activity.
 

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Day 2-Anti-VFA Caravan Update - Local Bayan Muna leader’s life threatened

02/24/2009 by banbalikatan

Anti-VFA caravan update
8 am February 24, 2009
No. of vehicles: 56
Participants: 1120
References: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN, 09086198971
Jariz Vida, secretary general, BAYAN Muna- Camarines Sur

Military harassment against anti-VFA caravan intensifies!
Local BM leader’s life threatened

The military harassment against the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan has been intensifying since last night, with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) even using dump trucks and fire trucks to block the caravan. Now, the blocking soldiers are in full battle gear and they even fielded operatives to specifically harass and threaten Jariz Vida, secretary general of BAYAN Muna-Camarines Sur.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “the AFP is really getting desperate to sabotage our caravan, now they are resorting to sinister tactics to frighten the participants. In Brgy. Sioton, Magallanes, Sorsogon, 20 elements of the 3rd and 7th Scout Ranger Company forcibly took our coal for cooking and threw it on the road. They also tried to confiscate our rice. They also threatened a driver not to join the caravan anymore and just to go home,”

“Last night around 6pm the military has deployed at least 50 police and soldiers in full battle gear and they even sabotaged the program by not allowing it to start until 9 pm and surrounded the south contingent in Rizal Park, Sorsogon City,” added Bisuña.

“They also fielded intelligence agents to infiltrate our ranks, but they were unsuccessful in Sorsogon. While in the north wing around 10 pm last night three operatives of the Military Intelligence Battalion (MIB) in separate motorcycles chased the jeepney Jariz Vida is occupying and they tried to get him. Fortunately he was able to get away,” said the professor.

Meanwhile Jariz Vida, secretary general of BAYAN Muna- Camarines Sur, “the MIB has been trying to abduct or kill me since April 2006 when they tried to shoot me in Naga City. They failed then and they thought that they can get me now. If anything happens to me then we have nobody to blame but them. Nothing will stop me though from continuing to fight for our rights and the betterment of Bicolanos.”

Posted in Anti-VFA Caravan Updates | Tagged anti-balikatan, balikatan in bicol, ban balikatan, afp, against balikatan, anti-vfa caravan, militarization, caravan, anti-balikatan caravan, anti-vfa, bayan muna, bayan muna leader, 7th scout ranger company, bicolanos, military intelligence battalion, harassment | No Comments »
 

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Day 1 - Anti-VFA Caravan Update - Anti-VFA Caravan Went On Despite Numerous Checkpoints

02/23/2009 by banbalikatan

Anti-VFA caravan update
11:30 pm February 23, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN, 09086198971

Anti-VFA Caravan Went On to Full Swing Despite Numerous Checkpoints
US troops manning some checkpoints, using satellite to monitor caravan

The anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan is still on schedule even if there are numerous checkpoints set up the military and they held some of our vehicles. There are also US troops that have been manning checkpoints in at least two areas where the anti-VFA caravan has passed through.

According Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of the Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN), “Both the north and south contingents of our caravan have managed to keep their schedules. As of now there are more than 50 vehicles and other delegates are to follow suit. The north wing is now being blocked by the military in Tara, Sipocot, Camarines Sur and the south wing is in Juban, Sorsogon”

“But the military is doing all it can to delay and stop us, they even included some US troops in some of the checkpoints particularly that in Pili, Camarines Sur and Matnog, Sorsogon. They have also gone into a propaganda campaign to misinform and scare the Bikolano public from joining the caravan. We have also received reports that the US military is now monitoring the anti-VFA caravan using satellites” added the professor.

“There are no bounds to the temerity of the US troops in violating our Constitution and our sovereignty. We must stand against this and the government should immediately pull out both the US and Filipino troops in the checkpoints. If anything bad happens to us then we have nobody to blame but these soldiers,” ended Bisuña.
 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     


Bikolano oragons join protests against Balikatan war exercises in Bicol, consolidates with widening calls to repeal VFA

02/23/2009 by banbalikatan

The brave, the strong Bikolano faces a new adversary.

ORAGON (Organisadong Bikolano Para Sa Nasyunalismo) LABAN SA BALIKATAN, a formation of Metro Manila-based Bicolanos, has expressed its unity with fellow kababayans to battle against the RP-US Balikatan war exercises in Bicol. Thousands of Bicolanos have already commenced on February 22 a region-wide caravan that will conclude on February 25 with a massive display of protest against the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement and the Balikatan war exercises in Bicol.

The provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate have been identified by the government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as sites for the war games, despite deceiving declarations by the military that only “humanitarian missions” shall be conducted.

ORAGON contends that the Balikatan war exercises, apart from being an explicit encroachment on Philippine sovereignty, likewise amounts to intensified militarization of the Bicol provinces. ORAGON believes that the people of Bicol, however resilient, do not need another disaster in the form of Balikatan, the region having been recently ravaged by supertyphoons, lahar flows and landslides, red tide, and crop infestations.

Past Balikatan experiences have only proven that the poor rural communities bear the brunt of military operations. In fact, a 1-year old baby girl from Barangay Balanac of Ligao, Albay has already been tragically killed when soldiers from the 901st Infantry brigade of the Philippine Army fired grenade launchers during a clearing operation. The operation has also left 9 members of the baby’s family and relatives wounded by shrapnels, and their homes burned. It was found out that Balanac’s neighboring barangay shall be a site for balikatan, hence the military clearing operations.

Balikatan war exercises are inclusions under the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which ORAGON consequently opposes. For its part, ORAGON vows to contribute to the swelling protests back home against Balikatan. Being composed by students, professionals, and community residents in Metro Manila, the group plans to reach out to more Bicolanos to gather support and give battle to Balikatan in Bicol.
 

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“Child killed, families injured by AFP’s Balikatan clearing operations!”-BAN BALIKATAN

02/20/2009 by banbalikatan

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) and KARAPATAN-Bikol condemned the killing of a 1 year old child in the Balikatan clearing operations conducted by elements of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Purok 5, Brgy Balanac, Ligao City, Albay.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “This is unforgivable! A child is now gone because the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is targeting Filipino citizens just to please their US foreign master,”

“Rafaela Polborido, 1year and 4 months old, died at midnight of February 19 when she succumbed to the wounds she sustained, when soldiers shot and fired grenade launchers on their house. This is part of the continuing harassment and the violation of Bicolanos’ rights by the military. Recently they also harassed drivers and people in Guinobatan and Jovellar in the same province threatening them against joining the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan,” said Bisuña.

Meanwhile John Concepcion, spokesperson of KARAPTAN-Bikol said, “not only was Rafaela killed her whole family and others were injured as well, Jocelyn Polborido 30 years old, Ina Polborido 5 years old, Daisy Polborido, 4 years old, Eufemia Polborido, 28 years old, Julius Polborido, 2 years old, Andrea, 4 years old, Rose Dalima 31 years old, Roderick Dalima 5 years old, Mary Rose Dalima, 10 months old and Emerson, 9 years old. We are now assisting the families in whatever action they may take to hold the soldiers accountable,”

“We hope that this is the last, but if the Balikatan continues then we fear that more cases like these may happen,” added Concepcion.

“This is the military’s way to intimidate the Bicolano people into agreeing to the Balikatan exercises, but we will not be cowed. The anti-VFA caravan will continue and we will further intensify our struggle against foreign intervention and to junk the VFA and Balikatan,” ended Bisuña.
 


BICOLANA-GABRIELA Condemns Illegal AFP Balikatan Clearing Operations in Ligao

02/22/2009 by banbalikatan

MGA BATA AT KABABAIHAN BIKTIMA NG CLEARING OPERATIONS NG 901ST BRIGADE NG AFP PARA SA BALIKATAN! ITIGIL ANG OPERASYONG MILITAR SA IKATLONG DISTRITO NG ALBAY LALO NA SA LUNGSOD NG LIGAO! PAPANAGUTIN ANG 901ST BRIGADE!

Kinokondena ng BICOLANA-GABRIELA sa pinakamataas na termino nito ang walang habas na pagbomba ng mga tropa ng 901st Brigade-PA sa dalawang bahay ng mga sibilyan sa Bgy. Balanac, Ligao City noong Pebrero 18 dakong alas-11:30 ng umaga, na nagresulta sa pagkamatay ng batang si Rafaela Polborido, 1 taon at 4 na buwan at malubhang pagkasugat ng 6 pang mga bata na nag-eedad mula 10 buwan hanggang 9 taong gulang at 3 pang kababaihang pawang mga ina ng mga bata at pagkasunog ng mga bahay kasabay ang mga gamit sa loob ng bahay.

Ang karanasang ito ng pamilyang Polborido at Dalima kasama ang buong komunidad ay nagdulot ng matinding takot at trauma lalo na sa mga bata. Nadisloka rin sila sa kanilang mga tahanan dahil sa pagkasunog dulot ng pambobomba. Maraming mga bata ang hindi na pumapasok sa eskwela at maging ang mga guro dahil sa matinding takot na mabiktima din ng karahasang militar.

Kinukundena din namin ang kalupitan, di-makatao at kabulukan ng kontra-insurhensyang gyera na inilulunsad ng rehimeng Arroyo laban sa mga mamamayan nito. Sinasalamin ng pangyayaring ito ang pagiging bayaran/swelduhan, utak pulbura at pasista ng kaisipang isinasaksak ng indoktrinisasyon at mga pagsasanay sa hanay ng ating mga kasundaluhan na tuwirang nakaayon sa disenyo ng pwersang militar ng Etados Unidos. Lalo pa itong napapasama sa pagkakaroon ng mga pinuno gaya ni Col. Ariel Bernardo na hindi marunong tumanggap ng pagkakasala sa mamamayan at ayaw umako ng buong responsabilidad sa mga nagawa ng kanyang mga tauhan sa 901st Brigade.

Ito ba ang pagsasakatuparan ng sinasabing “to serve and protect”? Dito ba napupunta ang malaking bahagi ng pera ng bayan na galing sa buwis na pinaghihirapang pagtrabahuhan ng mga mamamayan? Una sa lahat, dapat isaalang-alang at pangalagaan ng AFP ang buhay ng mga sibilyan lalo’t higit ang buhay ng mga bata at kababaihan na isinasaad sa Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law at maging sa International Convention on the Rights of the Child at International Declaration of Human Rights.

Ang pambobomba ay naganap habang nagsasagawa ang militar ng clearing operations para sa gaganaping BALIKATAN Exercise sa mga lugar ng Ligao City kasama ang mga bayan ng Libon, Pio Duran, Guinobatan at Camalig, Albay. Ngayon pa nga lamang na naghahanda para sa isasagawang joint military exercise ay nakakagawa na ang AFP ng mga paglabag sa karapatan ng mga sibilyan, lalo’t higit sa mga bata at kababaihan, paano pa kaya kapag nagsimula na ang BALIKATAN?

Sa ganitong mga karumal-dumal na pangyayayari, hinahamon namin ang pamunuan ng AFP sa rehiyon at sa buong bansa na papanagutin ang mga may sala sa 901st BRIGADE, Phil. Army kasama ang mga opisyal na nag-utos ng pambobomba at operasyong militar sa lugar. Kagyat ding itigil ang operasyong militar sa ikatlong distrito ng Albay lalo na sa lungsod ng Ligao at huwag ituloy ang gagawing joint military exercises sa mga probinsya ng Albay, Masbate at Sorsogon.

Nananawagan din kami sa mga mamamayan lalo sa Ligao City na maging matapang at mapagmatyag para ilantad at labanan ang mga pandarahas at paglabag sa ating mga karapatang pantao lalo ng mga bata at kababaihan na kagagawan ng AFP.

PANGALAN NG MGA NAGING BIKTIMA NG PAMBOBOMBA NG 901ST BRIGADE:

Namatay - RAFAELA POLBORIDO, 1 taon at 4 na buwan (namatay sa BRTTH noong February 19, 2009, 12 midnnight, dahil sa tama ng sharpnel sa may bahagi ng batok.

Mga may tama ng sharpnel sa iba’t-ibang parte ng katawan:

* JOCELYN POLBORIDO, 30 yo

* INA POLBORIDO, 5 yo anak ni Jocelyn

* DAISY POLBORIDO, 4 yo anak ni Jocelyn

* EUFEMIA POLBORIDO, 28 yo

* ANDREA, 4 yo, anak ng kapatid ng asawa ni Jocelyn

* ROSE DALIMA, 31 yo

* RODERICK DALIMA, 5 yo anak ni Rose

* MARY ROSE DALIMA, 10 mos, anak ni Rose

* EMERSON, 9 yo anak ni Rose
 

           
     
       
           
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◄ The speech of Sen. Jamby Madrigal on the VFA is read by a member of her staff

 

"I add my voice to the call of the many fearless Bicolanos in opposing the RP-US Balikatan military exercise. We must push the Arroyo administration to protect our people from further foreign military intrusion. The rest of the country must emulate your example.

"Let me be clear and straight: the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement must be abrogated. It is a one-sided agreement filled with duplicity. It is an agreement that only serves America's hegemony. These Balikatan exercises, born from the VFA, have no place in the present time as the world moves towards peaceful conflict resolution and negotiations, and not provocation and bellicosity which these war games essentially encourage. The presence of US troops only puts our country in peril."

--- Sen. Ma. Consuelo Madrigal

Read more
 

   
     
           


Youth Stop Balikatan to be launched today

02/18/2009 by banbalikatan

In April of this year, an estimated 6000 American and 2500 Filipino troops will be forcefully injected in the Bicol Region to participate in the 25th Republic of the Philippines-United States Balikatan Exercises. The provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon are the confirmed target locations of the said exercises.

Previous military exercises in the Philippines provided adverse effects to the masses: Exploitation of minors, abuse of women, extrajudicial killings, prostitution and threats to health, damage to properties and resources and legalization of drugs.

In this regard, Youth Stop Balikatan, a youth alliance denouncing the RP-US Balikatan Exercises, was formed.

Realizing the need to act on this issue, YSB will be launching three consecutive activities on 18 February.

All participants are invited to attend the Regional Convention from 1:00pm to 5:00pm at Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges. This will be followed by a torch march from CSPC-BCAT Hostel to Plaza Quezon, where a free concert will take place featuring Indie Bands like Tanikala, Musikang Bayan and Stolen Shots.

YSB will also be hosting group discussions to further inform the public of Balikatan and the agreements between RP and US that led to the current situation, and of the effects it will bring about to the Filipinos especially to the Bicolanos.

The convenors encourage everyone to unite and take part in uplifting their rights as citizens and in condemning this form of foreign intervention.
 

 

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BAN BALIKATAN fully agrees with former SC chief Panganiban

02/16/2009 by banbalikatan

News Release
February 14, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

BAN BALIKATAN fully agrees with former SC chief Panganiban
Vows to intensify fight against VFA and Balikatan exercises

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) fully agrees with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban in his call to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and to treat Smith like any other accused.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “We are one with former CJ Panganiban in saying that the VFA violates our Constitution. Panganiban says that it is unconstitutional because the United States does not recognize and honor it as a treaty the way the Philippines does, but we add that aside from this it also tramples on our sovereignty,”

“Through the VFA the US has been conducting Balikatan exercises that have mobilized US troops in our country. They have also conducted surveillance and combat operations which have blatantly interfered with our internal affairs,” added Bisuña.

“Consequently, to hide the true purpose of the Balikatan exercises, the US soldiers along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines conduct so-called “humanitarian missions”. It would be naïve for us to think that the US Special Forces came here to Bicol just to deliver their dole-outs. They have clear strategic military objectives along the lines of securing US political and military interests,” said the patriotic professor.

“Our freedom and sovereignty is definitely worth more than a few token medical and engineering missions and many of our countrymen have died fighting for it. It is our duty then to defend it and intensify the campaign against the VFA and the Balikatan exercises” ended Bisuña. # # #
 

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US soldiers now conducting illegal census in Sorsogon and Masbate

02/10/2009 by banbalikatan

News Release
February 10, 2009
Reference: Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson, BAN BALIKATAN

“US troops combat operations in Bicol imminent!”-BAN BALIKATAN
US soldiers now conducting illegal census in Sorsogon and Masbate

The Bikolano Alliance for Nationalism against Balikatan (BAN BALIKATAN) lambasted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US armed forces for laying the grounds for combat operations in the region and for trying to fool Bicolanos about it.

According to Prof. Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “It is really insulting that the AFP and the US troops are belittling the collective intelligence of us Bicolanos. They have been trying to fool us all along but their spokespersons do not coordinate so their real intent has been exposed by their own statements. The Balikatan has not yet started but there are already so many violations, what more if it is in full swing.

“First let us start with the Filipino spokesperson of Balikatan exercises, according to Maj. Ramon Zagala, 6,000 US troops will join 2,500 Filipino soldiers with warships and even F-16 fighter jets, starting February 25. If this does not mean US military operations, then I do not know what is. This run counter to what the 9th ID said, from the date of the exercises and even to its very nature,” said Bisuña.

“Second, 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,” added the patriotic professor.

“Third, a US drone was also 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,” she said.

“Fourth, this time according to the Executive Agent for the Balikatan exercises, Col. Rodolfo Santiago, US troops are conducting “census” in Sorsogon because it is necessary to identify potential beneficiaries of the Balikatan projects like civil works, medical and dental missions and rehabilitation and construction of facilities.

The US Troops were seen at Bgy. Liyang in Irosin, Sorsogon and in Bgy Mayngaran, Masbate City, Bgy Bagacay, Marintuk, Lalaguna and Balatukan in Mobo town, barangays Marcilla, Dapdap, Panisihan, Buenvista, Armenia, Sawang, Buenasuerte and Magsaysay in Uson town and in the municipality of Cataingan proper all in Masbate province.

BUt everybody knows this is not part of the “humanitarian missions”, continued the professor

“The Balikatan has not yet started, but there are already so many deceiving statements about its real activities and motives,” ended Bisuña. # # #

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
Photos courtesy of BAN-Balikatan Staff
           
           


Army Checkpoints all over Bikol as the Anti-VFA and Anti-Balikatan Caravan Kicks Off

02/22/2009 by banbalikatan

Militarization in Bikol intensifies due to Balikatan exercises
Army checkpoints all over the region as anti-VFA caravan kicks off

As the anti-Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) caravan starts today the region has experienced increased militarization by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) particularly in the areas where the Balikatan exercises are to be conducted.

Military checkpoints have now sprouted all over the region to delay or stop the caravan. Numerous checkpoints were set up in Sipocot, Libmanan, Pamplona, Pili, and Nabua, Camarines Sur as well as Irosin and Cumadcad, Sorsogon. The military has gone into red alert for the caravan and there have been sightings of US troops in Pili, Camarines Sur.

According to Professor Jocelyn Bisuña, spokesperson of BAN BALIKATAN, “Military presence and activity has definitely increased in Bikol especially in Albay, as we start our caravan. The AFP has even killed a 1 year old girl and injured her family in their clearing operations for Balikatan and to discourage people in joining and supporting our caravan,”

“It is as we feared, the AFP and the PNP has now unleashed their operatives to sabotage the anti-VFA caravan.”

“In Albay alone they have militarized all the coastal communities facing the Pacific Ocean. The AFP has also called for barrio meetings for Balikatan and deployed soldiers in Barangays Bongabong, Baranghawon in Tabaco City and Brgys. Joroan, Bano and Nagas in Tiwi, as well as Brgys San Roque, Rawis, Manito, Homapon up to Taysan in Legazpi City. They will also place a military detachment in Brgy. Calayucay in Sto. Domingo,” said Bisuña.

“The military has even entered universities to garner support for Balikatan like in Aquinas and Bicol University. Fortunately, most of the students and faculty saw through their lies and are against Balikatan. The military has also implemented a curfew in some barangays in Legazpi City like San Roque, saying that because it is near the naval facility. In the town of Santo Domingo all the barangay captains were summoned by the Army to support the Balikatan exercises,” added the patriotic professor.

Meanwhile Joel Ascutia, chairman of CONDOR-PISTON-Bikol said, “A certain policeman named Batumbakal went to the jeepney terminals in Guinobatan and Jovellar, Albay and specifically asked for our members. He said that they were ordered by the military to do this,”

“This is a direct harassment on our ranks and a violation of our right to livelihood as well as our freedom of expression. But we have news to the military we will still participate in the caravan and we are already mulling to file charges against them,” said Ascutia.

Bisuña further says, “The worst the AFP has done so far is the killing of Rafaela Polborido, 1 year and 4 months old and the injury of her family by a grenade launched by elements of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Brgy Balanac, Ligao City, Albay.

“It is very ironic that Brgy. Balanac where the human rights violations are being done by the military is just adjacent to Brgy. Paulba were a so-called medical mission is to be done by the US troops. Are they ensuring that more people would come to the medical mission by injuring and terrorizing them first?”

“We will not allow these desperate moves of the AFP and the PNP to stop the anti-VFA caravan. By doing this they only emboldened us more and showed the righteousness of our call to junk the VFA, the MDT and the Balikatan exercises,” ended Bisuña.
 

     
     
           
     
   

Specially-designed nails to puncture tires of the caravan vehicles and sabotage the anti-VFA/Balaikatan protest caravan.

 Photos courtesy of MR

           


UMALAB-CA o Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan-Camarines Sur Alliance denounces VFA

02/17/2009 by banbalikatan

Press Release
Reference: Ken Serrano, Spokeperson of UMALAB-CA

“Visiting Forces Agreement, Ibasura! Manindigan para sa Soberanya at Integridad ng ating Bansa!”

Nitong nakaraang linggo lamang ay dineklara ng Korte Suprema at kinikilala ang Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) na konstitusyonal sa botong 9-4 pabor sa VFA ngunit tanging ang Pilipinas lamang ang kumikilala dito at ang bansang Estados Unidos ay hindi kailangang pilitin na ipatupad dahil walang ratipikasyon na isinagawa ang US sa sarili nitong batas.

Malaking insulto sa ating bansa na ipagpilitan na konstitusyonal ang VFA gayung hindi naman kinikilala ng US ang kasunduang ito laluna sa kinasangkutang kaso ni Lance Corporal Daniel Smith sa usaping kostudiya ng Pilipinas at ikulong sa National Bilibid Prison dahil sa pagkakasala nito sa ating batas sa panggagahasa kay “Nicole”.

Isang malaking hamon ito sa ating mga mambabatas kung kaya’t ang mga kinatawan ng militanteng grupo sa loob ng mababang kapulungan ay naghapag ng resolusyon ang House Resolution 458 that calls for the abrogation of the VFA in light of the many cases of US troops’ violations of Philippine laws (Including the case of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith) noon pang Pebrero 12, 2008 at hanggang sa ngayon ay patuloy na isinusulong.

Maituturing din na pagyurak ito sa ating Soberanya at Integridad bilang isang bansang nagsasarili ngunit sa esensya ay kontrolado ng Imperyalismong US. Ang VFA ay higit pa sa kanyang pakahulugan sa “Visiting Forces” dahil hindi lamang pagbisita ng mga sundalo ang layunin ng Balikatan kundi pananatili ng pwersa ng US sa ating bansa sa anumang oras, panahon, panig ng bansa na gugustuhin ng US Troops na mistulang napakalaking base militar ang buong kapuluan ng bansa ng walang limitasyon.

Naniniwala din kami na maninindigan ang ilang makabayang lehislador sa Senado at Kongreso upang hadlangan ang VFA at tuluyang maibasura o maratipika ang mga probisyong makaisang panig na pumapabor lamang sa Estados Unidos at ang sambayanang Pilipino ay titindig upang labanan ang labis na pagsasamantalang ito sa ating bansa.

Mariing tutulan ng UMALAB-CA o Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan-Camarines Sur Alliance ang Balikatan ’09 sa rehiyong Bikol. Hinihimok din namin ang mga makabayang Bikolano na manindigan laban sa Balikatan ’09 at VFA.

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged against balikatan, against vfa, balikatan 09, balikatan in bikol, ban balikatan, no to balikatan, stop balikatan, umalab-ca, US, us troops, vfa, visiting forces agreement | No Comments »

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Regional Caravan Against Balikatan to be Launched in Bicol

02/21/2009 by banbalikatan

Nakatakdang ikasa ng BAN BALIKATAN-Bikol, mga alyansang nabuo sa mga probinsya ng rehiyong Bikol tulad ng UMALAB-CA ng Camarines Sur, SUMABA KA ng Sorsogon, ALMA-ALAB ng Albay, ALMA-LABAN ng Masbate at Youth Stop Balikatan ng mga kabataan sa rehiyon (YSB-Bikol).

Mainit namang debate saan mang bahagi ng bansa ang Visiting Forces Agreement dahil sa kaso ni Lance Corporal Daniel Smith at maging ang Senado at Kongreso ay nababahala dahil sa usapin ng Integridad at Soberanya ng bansa ang nakataya na niyuyurakan ng bansang Estados Unidos na patuloy namang sinasamba ng mga alipuris nito sa administrasyong Arroyo.

Ang Balikatan 2009 ay ika-25 military exercises na sa ating bansa at ang pakikilahok ng sundalong amerikano sa usaping internal ng ating bansa ay hindi kailanman ginagarantiya ng konstitusyon ng Pilipinas at maging ang VFA ay hindi naman kinakilala sa bansang Estados Unidos. Ang ipinagmamalaking Humanitarian Missions ay pantabing lamang at pansuhol upang patahimikin ang mamamayang tumututol dahil sa benepisyong maibibigay nito sa ating mga kababayan ngunit maliit na bahagi lamang ito dahil ang pinakalayunin ng Balikatan ay war-games.

Sa huling bisita ng Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines na si General Alexander Yano sa rehiyong Bikol binanggit nito sa mga panayam ng media na nakahanda diumano ang AFP na kanselahin ang Balikatan Exercises sa Bikol kung ang VFA ay may depekto. Ngunit para sa mga bikolanong dumarami ang hanay ng mga tumututol ay maaring tuluyang mahinto lamang ang Balikatan sa Bikol at buong bansa sa sama-samang pagkilos ng sambayanan at tuligsain ang pamahalaang Arroyo sa pagiging bulag, bingi at inutil sa kawalang aksyon at pagpapaka-tuta sa imperyalismong US.

Ayon kay Ken Serrano tagapagsalita ng UMALAB-CA, “wala ng makakapigil sa Sakbayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan sa loob ng rehiyong Bikol na hinati sa dalawang bahagi. Merong magsisimula sa probinsya ng Sorsogon at may magmumula din sa Camarines Norte na sisimulan sa Pebrero 23 hanggang 25 ngayong taon kasalukuyan at nakahanda na ang lahat ng rekisitos upang walang maging dahilan ang AFP at PNP sa ating rehiyon na antalain o pigilan sa pamamagitan ng mga checkpoints ang mamamayang tutol sa Balikatan.”

Dagdag pa ni Ken, “buong lakas na lalabanan ng makabayang mamamayang bikolano at ng mga kasaping alyansa ng BAN BALIKATAN-Bikol ang Balikatan Exercises na ito sa ating rehiyon dahil sa loob ng mahigit 100 taon na pagkakatali ng bansang Pilipinas sa Imperyalistang US ay nananatili pa ring atrasado at nasa ilalim ng kontrol ekonomiya, pulitika at militar at nawawala ang esensya ng pagiging malaya ng bansa na mula pa noon ay pinaiikot sa kamay ng iilan lamang ang kalayaan at demokrasya.”

Inaasahang libo-libong bikolano ang dadagsa sa Sakbayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan upang irehistro ang pagtutol, igiit ang integridad at soberanya, wakasan ang panghihimasok ng US sa ating bansa at ipaglaban ang kalayaan ng bansa sa kamay ng Imperyalismong US.

Dagdag pa nito, “walang karapatan ang AFP/PNP na harangin an gaming delegasyon saan mang panig ng kabikolan na dadaanan ng Sakbayan dahil karapatan naming ipahayag ang aming saloobin, karapatan naming makapagsagawa ng malayang asembliya at pagtitipon at kung patuloy na lalabagin ito ng AFP o PNP ay nakahanda kami na harapin ang mga ito at maging ang mga makabayang Abogado na sumisimpatiya ay nakahandang tumulong sakaling i-harass ang mobilisasyon.”

     
     
     
           
           

 

Transport Sectors Unite Against Balikatan

02/20/2009 by banbalikatan

Sektor ng Transportasyon Magkaisa, Tutulan ang Balikatan

Magsasagawa ng protesta ang sektor ng transportasyon sa pangunguna ng CONDOR-Bicol, ng BUSINA LABAN SA BALIKATAN simula 5:00-5:30 ng hapon ngayong araw, Pebrero 20, 2009 para ipahayag ang pagtutol sa isasagawang ika-25 BALIKATAN Exercise na gaganapin dito sa Bicol at sa iba pang bahagi ng bansa.

Naniniwala ang CONDOR na panabing lamang sa tunay na pakay ng Estados Unidos ang “humanitarian missions” ng BALIKATAN Exercise. Kapalit ng mga serbisyong gamot, daan at repair ng mga paaralan ay sisingilin tayo ng mas pinatinding mga polisiya sa pulitika, ekonomiya at militar para patuloy na makapagdomina ang kanilang bansa. Ang katangiang ito ng US ay pinatunayan ng maraming karanasan mismo ng ating bansa at iba pang mga bansa sa daigdig.

Tinututulan ng sektor ng transportasyon ang dominasyon ng Estados Unidos dahil numero unong nagpapahirap sa sektor ang mga polisiyang imposisyon nito sa bansa gaya ng Oil Deregulation Law, ang 12% Vat sa langis at ang bago ngayon na 200-1,200% na pagtaas sa mga babayaran sa mga traffic at administrative violations at at mga administrative fees at charges sa driver’s at conductor’s license na ipapatupad sa ilalim ng LTO Department Order #2008-39 at Department Order 2008-38 na nakatakdang iimplementa ngayong taon.

Dagdag na pasanin ito sa sektor ng transportasyon na patuloy nang dumaranas na higit na kahirapan dahil sa pagbapabago-bagong presyo ng mga produktong petrolyo, nagtataasang presyo ng mga peyesa, samu’t saring bayarin sa pagkuha ng prangkesa, rehistrasyon, nagtataasang bilihin, at sebisyo sosyal. Napakalinaw ng motibo ng DOTC at LTO na ang pagpataw ng mga dagdag na bayarin ay hindi upang disiplinahin ang sektor kundi patuloy na gatasan o pagkakitaan ng gobyerno ang dugo at pawis ng buong sektor ng trasportasyon upang magkamal ng malaking pera para sa kanilang mga layaw at interes dahil sa talamak ng na korapsyon ng pamahalaang ito. Ang pera na dapat sa ay mapupunta na sa mga hapag kainan ng aming pamilya ay legal na nanakawin at pagpapapasasaan.

Kung kaya kami kasama ang buong pamilya namin at mga mamamayan ay tumututol sa lahat ng anyo ng maniobra ng Rehimeng Arroyo at Estados Unidos para mandambong sa mamamayang Pilipino at sa yaman ng ating bansa.

Mariin naming tinututulan ng BALAKATAN Exercise, ang Visiting forces Agreement at mga polisiyang direktang tumatama sa aming sektor.

TUTULAN ANG DOMINASYON NG ESTADOS UNIDOS SA LARANGAN NG PULITIKA,EKONOMIYA AT MILITAR NG ATING BANSA!

Ibasura ang Oil Deregulation Law, 12% VAT sa langis,

TUTULAN ANG PANIBAGONG DEPARTMENT ORDER #2008-39 AT DEPARTMENT ORDER 2008-38 NA 200-1,200% PAGTAAS SA MGA PENALIDAD NG SEKTOR NG TRANSPORTASYON.

- CONDOR - PISTON - BIKOL

Reference: Joel Ascutia, President

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
Selected videos from BAN-Balikatan website
           

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See Arkibong Bayan related posting:

 

■    Anti-VFA rally in Manila in support of the BAN-BALIKATAN caravan in Bicol condemns the balikatan exercises in the Bicol provinces, Feb. 25, 2009

 

 

 


UMALAB-CA o Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan-Camarines Sur Alliance denounces VFA

02/17/2009 by banbalikatan

Press Release
Reference: Ken Serrano, Spokeperson of UMALAB-CA

“Visiting Forces Agreement, Ibasura! Manindigan para sa Soberanya at Integridad ng ating Bansa!”

Nitong nakaraang linggo lamang ay dineklara ng Korte Suprema at kinikilala ang Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) na konstitusyonal sa botong 9-4 pabor sa VFA ngunit tanging ang Pilipinas lamang ang kumikilala dito at ang bansang Estados Unidos ay hindi kailangang pilitin na ipatupad dahil walang ratipikasyon na isinagawa ang US sa sarili nitong batas.

Malaking insulto sa ating bansa na ipagpilitan na konstitusyonal ang VFA gayung hindi naman kinikilala ng US ang kasunduang ito laluna sa kinasangkutang kaso ni Lance Corporal Daniel Smith sa usaping kostudiya ng Pilipinas at ikulong sa National Bilibid Prison dahil sa pagkakasala nito sa ating batas sa panggagahasa kay “Nicole”.

Isang malaking hamon ito sa ating mga mambabatas kung kaya’t ang mga kinatawan ng militanteng grupo sa loob ng mababang kapulungan ay naghapag ng resolusyon ang House Resolution 458 that calls for the abrogation of the VFA in light of the many cases of US troops’ violations of Philippine laws (Including the case of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith) noon pang Pebrero 12, 2008 at hanggang sa ngayon ay patuloy na isinusulong.

Maituturing din na pagyurak ito sa ating Soberanya at Integridad bilang isang bansang nagsasarili ngunit sa esensya ay kontrolado ng Imperyalismong US. Ang VFA ay higit pa sa kanyang pakahulugan sa “Visiting Forces” dahil hindi lamang pagbisita ng mga sundalo ang layunin ng Balikatan kundi pananatili ng pwersa ng US sa ating bansa sa anumang oras, panahon, panig ng bansa na gugustuhin ng US Troops na mistulang napakalaking base militar ang buong kapuluan ng bansa ng walang limitasyon.

Naniniwala din kami na maninindigan ang ilang makabayang lehislador sa Senado at Kongreso upang hadlangan ang VFA at tuluyang maibasura o maratipika ang mga probisyong makaisang panig na pumapabor lamang sa Estados Unidos at ang sambayanang Pilipino ay titindig upang labanan ang labis na pagsasamantalang ito sa ating bansa.

Mariing tutulan ng UMALAB-CA o Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Balikatan-Camarines Sur Alliance ang Balikatan ’09 sa rehiyong Bikol. Hinihimok din namin ang mga makabayang Bikolano na manindigan laban sa Balikatan ’09 at VFA.
 

     
     
           
     
     

 

PROMOTION OF CHURCH PEOPLE’S RESPONSE (PCPR)
3/F NCCP Compound, 879 EDSA Quezon City 1101
Tele-fax: 9251786
 

VFA: A Camouflaging Aggression

We would like to reiterate once again our position against the upcoming US-RP Military Exercises (Balikatan ’09) under the Visiting Forces Agreement in Bicol and in other parts of the Philippines. As church people, we consider the VFA and the military exercise as an instrument of foreign intervention in our internal affairs, and an insult to our sovereignty as a nation.

The Arroyo administration and its AFP is trying to camouflage the real intention of the military exercises thru “humanitarian missions” and other civic actions. In its desperate effort to defeat the growing insurgency in the country and decimate the armed rebels, GMA under US auspices, is using various military methods and tactics at expense of nation’s sovereignty and people’s lives.

 

It cannot be denied that along with the medical missions and infrastructure projects are rampant violations of people’s rights. The most recent case of Nicole who was raped by Cpl. Daniel Smith was a glaring example of how the US troops contradict its own supposedly “good intention” of helping the people. In Zamboanga City, Arsid Baharun, was indiscriminately hit during a US troops testing mission conducted in 2004.. Bizma Juhan who at the age of 50-years has to suffer sustained shrapnel wounds from a misfired bomb during a military training in Indanan, Sulu in 2006. Buyung Isnijal was allegedly shot by an American soldier participating in a military operation in Tuburan, Basilan in 2002. Except for the case of Nicole, all cases were not tried underPhilippine jurisdiction which clearly shows that the treaty and the military exercises are one sided and have never been intended for humanitarian purposes.

Our national sovereignty must be defended at all cost. We Filipinos are tasked to protect, guard and develop our land according to our own terms and for our own mutual benefit. Sovereignty is a gift of freedom hard-fought by the people.. With this belief, we are supporting the call to abrogate the VFA and immediately cancel US-RP military exercises in Bicol.

 

 

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