‘PH-US military exercises a cover to open mining activities’—church group

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AFP FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Militant groups are up in arms against the holding of the joint US-Philippine Balikatan exercises in typhoon Pablo-affected areas, saying US troops are only using it to set foot in mine-reach areas in Mindanao in the name of humanitarian assistance.

“Balikatan 2013 will only intensify the implementation of ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ in the hinterlands of Mindanao, especially in Davao regions where American-controlled mining corporations are presently devouring mineral deposits and resources,” Philippine Independent Church Bishop Antonio Ablon, chairperson of Patriotiko Mindanao, said in a statement.

Ablon was reacting to the statement of US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. about the so-called “strong collaboration” between the armed forces of the US and the Philippines in extending aid to typhoon Pablo survivors in December 2012.

“This is a (signal) that American forces, through the Balikatan military exercises, will again set foot here in Mindanao in the name of humanitarian relief operations,” Ablon said as militant groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) trooped to Camp Panacan here, expressing their protest.

Earlier, the group led protesting Pablo survivors, who demanded their share of the relief goods distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) but which they claimed they failed to receive. The protests ended up with Pablo survivors taking matters into their own hands by taking sacks of rice kept inside a DSWD warehouse.

“Again, we raise our fists and voices to condemn the exercise that truly manifests the continued intrusion of US imperialism into the sovereignty of our country,” Ablon said as the Philippines and the United States formally commenced the 29th Balikatan military exercise on April 5. The joint military exercises will involve more than 8,000 combined Filipino and American forces.

“We demand the immediate pull-out of military troops and armaments from the Philippines,” he said.

“Just like the previous joint military exercises, today’s Balikatan is clad with sweet rhetoric of humanitarianism and assistance to communities,” he added.

“This year’s fusion of Balikatan and ‘Oplan Bayanihan’ will certainly displace more ‘Pablo’ victims, especially the Lumads, already deprived of their ancestral lands and their right to self determination,” he said.

He said foreign mining companies have been hotly eyeing Mindanao’s rich mining resources, mostly concentrated in the lumad’s ancestral lands.

He urged people to “unite” and “to oppose in all fronts the US dominance in our land.”

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  • $5699914

    Ho-hum!
    Any other better conspiracy theory up your sleeves?

    • Crazy_horse101010

      trying to divert attention from the fishing boat that ran aground

  • Crazy_horse101010

    paranoia garbage. must think people are stupid what are they doing to help the victims

  • $5699914

    The Aglipayan Bishop is being praning!

  • Albert Einstien

    ha ha …BANTAY SALAKAY ang US….parang CHINA at MALAYSIA din…naka-AWA na ang RP sa panahon ni PNOY …kung gahasain ang bansa HARAP-HARAPAN na lang….ALAM nila mahina si PNOY…..NUCLEAR attack magnet yan mga US WARSHIPS..dapat ipostpone muna yan balikatan GAMES …pag wala na NUCLEAR THREAT sa kanila damay ang 100 milyon na buhay ..wala naman tayo AWAY sa NK

    .dapat ang simbahan ang magMULAT sa mga KALOKOHAN na nangyayari sa NASASAKUPAN nila..hindi lumalabas sa mga NEWS ang mga KABABALAGHAN ngayon ng mga KKK proetktors at mga kasabwat nila…kaya AYAW ni PNOY ang FOI MABUBULAGAR mga KABABALAGHAN ng KKK at PROTEKTORS …:> )

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    Many of the things we use are made out of mined metals and minerals. Unless we do not use celphones, cars, steel roofs, etc we should not be against mining and should advocate responsible mining that will ensure mined areas will not become environmental disasters and can still be productively used in the future. Mining must not be allowed though if the government cannot stop the smuggling of gold and other metals to Hong Kong and China and if mining communities will end up just like Palawan where crooks stole the money that should have made the province the most progressive in the Philippines.

    • $5699914

      Correct!

  • band1do

    “Mine-reach areas” or mine-rich?

  • Mamang Pulis

    really? do they need a cover up so they can open up the way for mining companies to go in?

    mga sira ulo nyo—

  • Mamang Pulis

    These are propaganda sh*t by Ablon…..and the rest of the NPA’s in region XI.

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