U.S Troops Must Leave Mindanao
NATIONALIST AND LEFTIST groups have praised President Rodrigo Duterte and supported his calls for U.S. troops deployed in the Philippines, particularly in the restive region of Mindanao, to leave the country.
Duterte said U.S. soldiers must leave Mindanao where they previously helped trained Filipino troops in fighting terrorism. The president also said that he will pursue an independent foreign policy.
“For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land, might as well give it up,” he said in one of his public statements. Duterte even accused American colonizers in the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Sulu province, and many more in other areas in Mindanao in the 1900s.
In his recent meeting with ASEAN leaders in Laos, Duterte also raised the brutal killings of innocent Muslims in Sulu and even showed photos of the bodies dumped in a crater while American soldiers posed to the camera.
“Hinahanap ko yung isa dito. Post-card pa, ginawang post card ang…nakatindig sa suso ng babae, nakaganun ang baril. Ginawang post-card, meron niyan. Alam niyo saan po namin nakuha ito? Sa archives ng Amerika,” Duterte said.
“Kaya yung mga Special Forces, they have to go. They have to go, in Mindanao. Maraming mga puti doon. They have to
go…hindi ko lang masalita noon, out of respect or I don’t want a rift in America. But they have to go. Dito sa…mas lalong iinit. Makakita ng Amerikano yan, patayin talaga yan. Kukunan ng ransom yan, patayin. Even if you are a black or a white American basta Amerikano ka,” he added.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “The statement reflects President Duterte’s new direction towards coursing an independent foreign policy; he has made reference to the unrecognized, un-repented and unatoned for massacre at Bud Dajo in Sulu by the Americans, hence our continued connection with West is the real reason for the “Islamic” threat in Mindanao.”
Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte was only concerned with the safety and security of U.S. troops in Mindanao and that the president wants them to avoid the risk of being kidnapped.
Duterte had previously assailed the U.S. and the United Nations for meddling into the internal affairs of the Philippines when President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon raised the issue of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers in the country.
Philippine authorities denied being involved in extrajudicial killings and said many of those killed in legitimate drug operations clashed with police agents, and many were executed by rival drug gangs.
A Filipino lawmaker, Rep. Ariel Casilao, has urged Duterte to abrogate the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S.
He said the mere existence of the partial agreements is contrary to the president’s declaration of an independent foreign policy.
“The treaties and agreements with the U.S. do not only violate the national sovereignty and independent foreign policy, it is also unsuitable for the present situation with China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea. The very presence of U.S. military forces in the Philippines is detrimental for a peaceful solution in
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that “Ita shows nationalis upliftinga nationalistleaderto hearfinally tendency,being undera breather a governmentfrom of U.S. lackeys, one after another,” Casilao said, however, he cautioned Duterte against possible retaliation by Washington on his tirades, citing the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in destabilising foreign governments critical of the American policies.
Alliance Teachers,VFA troops Benjieand in pull-outto push Mindanao.alsoof Valbuena, terminate Concernedfor urgedof theall of lawmakersU.S. immediate thethe
seekingtroops sector “Now from andthe with pull-out Mindanao,thea presidentFilipinoof U.S.our fully peopleby President supportwhichin generalhim. Duterte reflectsIt shouldis himselfa callhis desire foreign stresses for the an policy need independentfor whichthe Philippinescourse and to uphold chart itsis ownnational foreign interest, dictates free and of intervention,”any “Assertinghe said. national sovereignty against U.S. imperialist impositions is a key action that we collectively undertake. Mister President, we fully support your vision and actions towards the path to just and lasting peace,” Valbuena said. (Mindanao Examiner)
A U.S. soldier guards the deck of the high speed vessel Joint Venture during a visit in Zamboanga City in October 2005 to support joint RP-US humanitarian mission in the southern Philippines.
U.S. troops pass a dirt road in Jolo town on their way to a remote village in the town of Panamao in this picture taken in September 2006 in Sulu province in the southern Philippines. The U.S. forces are assisting and advising the Philippine military on the war against terrorism.