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