After Death of US Troops, Sulu Folk Fear Escalation of Conflict

According to Simbulan, the issue goes beyond the length of time that US troops can stay in the Philippines.

“First, there is the issue of unequal treatment before our own laws,” Simbulan said. “Why should groups of armed foreign soldiers entering our territory be given special rights and privileges like exemption from our immigration, customs and quarantine laws, exemption from berthing and port fees, Land Transportation Office requirements, and even being given special treatment in case of violations of our criminal laws or other laws in the country? There is no reciprocity for these rights and privileges that we have given them, which are not even accorded to foreign diplomats.”

Second, Simbulan added, “why are we allowing and even inviting foreign troops to interfere with our internal problems like kidnapping cases, and other peace and order problems? Rebellion and insurgency are also internal problems that our government is asking them to interfere in clandestinely. Otherwise, why are the Balikatan joint training exercises which are ostensibly the ‘activities’ being covered by the VFA being held in the most volatile areas of our country? If these were purely for military training purposes, then they should be held outside the conflict areas like in the Philippine Army training camps in Nueva Ecija or in Tanay, Rizal.���

He said that “under the cover or let me even call it camouflage of the VFA and Balikatan, we have allowed foreign troops to engage in secret combat operations for counter-insurgency, even allowing them to construct ‘forward operating bases’ inside Philippine Army camps, which is a violation of the Philippine Constitution. Official US documents call them ‘forward operating bases’, but US Embassy officials here and the Armed Forces of the Philippines still deny that they are bases.”

Allowing them to engage in counterinsurgency in both covert or overt ways is already in violation of the Constitution, Simbulan said. “US specialists in counterinsurgency, covert operations, psy-ops and intelligence from the elite units of the US Army are already here actively involved in combat by being embedded in many combat units of the local armed forces. But usually, they engage in their own ‘surgical missions’ independently. This is a transgression of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he pointed out.

“So the issue of their length of time in their stay here is an issue, but not the fundamental issue. They can always skirt this issue by rotating their troops for a specified time but keep their presence all year round, as they have been doing since 2002 in the permanent military bases and facilities worth more than $14 million that they have constructed.”

A press release by the US Department of Defense described Martin and Shaw as being “in the Philippines supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name given to the US government’s military response to the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City. It entails a series of anti-“terrorism” activities in Afghanistan, the Philippines, the Horn of Africa, Trans-Sahara, and Pakinsi Gorge.

The Philippine Constitution prohibits foreign military presence in the country, “except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”

The US government does not recognize the VFA as a treaty, but merely considers it an “executive agreement”.

“For us, the VFA should have been abrogated a long time ago,” Indayla said. “With this incident that claimed the lives of two American soldiers, residents of Sulu are fearful that the war in their province will escalate.” (Bulatlat.com)

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  1. I have read so many articles or reviews on the topic of
    the blogger lovers but this paragraph is actually a fastidious paragraph, keep it up.

  2. The US soldiers were not killed by a landmine. That supposed landmine attack was just a cover-up in order to show that the American soldiers were not killed in combat. But the truth is, they died during a retaliatory attack by the people of Sulu against those who bombarded them during Eid celebration.

    The crusaders suffered heavy casualties in the said attack. Two of their APC's were left burning while the rest run away. All the soldiers on board the said vehicles were killed and among them were a number of US soldiers.

    By the way, we never feared invaders. In fact, our excitement to see them is overflowing. Our politicians love their grants and dollars, the would-be 'collateral damages' love their 'humanitarian aids' and 'medical missions' while our mujahidin love to meet them in battlefields.

    None should entertain any thought that the children of Bud Dahu and Bud Bagsak warriors would ever fear any one, especially if they are Americans.

    The September 26th Eid bombardment of Sulu proved without doubt that the crusaders are back in our homeland. It is sad that after trying to make us part of the Philippine Republic for more than a hundred years, the government are now treating us like complete aliens.

    Perhaps, we have been too naive to believe we are being treated as citizens ever since. Massive poverty, government neglect, open corruption, huge militarization of our homeland are more than enough to prove that we have never been treated as part of this country.

    The presence of American soldiers to help kill our people and the collective punishment we suffered during Eid have unmasked all the pretensions of this republic to bring the 'blessings of democracy' to our homeland.

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