Philippines: “Zamboanga protest vs Balikatan troops shows mounting anti-US sentiment”

US TROOPS OUT NOW!  Participants of the People's Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention.  Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty.  (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

US TROOPS OUT NOW! Participants of the People’s Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention. Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty. (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

[While the US-PH war exercises ended in April 27, it will extend until June in Sarangani.   “We all know that US troops will not leave. The US is only using the feud between China and Philippines over the Spratlys to justify its continued presence here,” says Bai Indayla of Patriyotiko Mindanao].

By KAI A. ROSELLO & MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
Davao Today, April 30, 2012

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — They came.  They saw.  They conquered. Almost.

Only 100 meters away and protesters could have reached the vicinity of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) headquarters where the US Joint Special Operations Task Force also holds office. The militants could have reached the gates if they march for 600 meters farther, only if the military didn’t set up barricades of makeshift barbed-wire fence, three Armored Personnel Carrier, a fire truck and some 300 police riot dispersal personnel.

About 3,000 workers, peasants, youth and students, teachers, church people, Moro, Lumads (indigenous people) and urban poor settlers, among others, converged here to protest the Balikatan military war exercises between the US and Philippine troops.

Dubbed People’s Caravan and Lakbayan against US Militarism and Plunder, participants came from five Mindanao regions in a 77-vehicle caravan.

While the US-PH war exercises ended last  April 27, Patriyotiko Mindanao spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said they are still opposing it because it extends until June in Sarangani in the Soccsksargen region. Continue reading