We are expressing our utmost concern over the most recent plans of conducting another US-RP Balikatan Exercises in Mindanao.
Over the past years, we witnessed that these exercises affected most of all, small and resource poor farmers and their families.
It has also been a trend that in areas where US-RP Balikatan Exercises are held, there are huge interests in the establishment or expansion of various development aggression projects. In the Philippines and worldwide, the presence of US Troops is almost always equivalent to war.Mindanao hosts one of the richest biodiversity in the world.
Our island is a gigantic depository of fossil fuels and other mineral resources. Our lands are vast and fertile enough to support the food security of its people.
Mindanao catches the eyes of profit-hungry investors and the economies of industrialized countries dependent on foreign energy sources; top on the list is the US.
With the economic recession that US is experiencing, it cannot afford to spend for the expensive sending of forces in Asia just to conduct medical and dental sessions or train less capable forces of Asian countries with no larger interests.
Exercises of this sort aiming to produce well-trained Filipino soldiers insult the capacities of our own Armed Forces to resolve national threats to the state.
Who in the first place has enemies, but the US?Historically, the agreements that our government contracted with the United States were never impartial and ended up destroying the sovereignty of the Filipino people over their resources.
The 322 POs, 28 NGOs and 15 scientists under the network of MASIPAG-Mindanao convey our disagreement to the presence of the US Forces in our country.
We need genuine peace and security of farmers’ and Filipino people’s rights and not war. Balikatan are exercises to make war and not peace, hunger and not food security. Together with other sectors with sincere values for life, we say US Troops OUT NOW!