Opposition to Balikatan exercises snowballs

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 13:00

LEGAZPI CITY--Calls to consolidate efforts by multisectoral groups against the planned US-RP Balikatan military exercises this April, has snowballed following a three-day rally held here.

Diocese of Legazpi spokesman, Rev. Fr. Rex Orjona said parishes will continue to document people’s reactions to Balikatan exercises and the possible human violations that go with it.

Orjona celebrated the Mass during a multi-sectoral rally that include militants and support groups called Oragon-Bikol, Kabataan Makabayan Laban sa Balikatan and Ban Balikatan organizations.

The protesters, who marched from Daet, Camarines Norte and Matnog, Sorsogon converged in Legazpi City’s historical land mark, The Battle of Legazpi.

Partylist Representative and Lower House Assistant Minority Leader, Liza Largoza Maza has expressed gratitude to Bishop Administrator Lucilo B. Quiambao for showing concerns about possible increase of prostitution of women as Balikatan Exercises is nearing.

Maza has earlier denounced the intensive military operations and grenade firing by the 901st Brigade of the Philippine Army in Barangay Balanac, Ligao City. The Feb. 18 incident razed houses that left one-year and four-month old girl, Rafaela Polborido, and six other children, including three mothers injured.

Aside from Maza, militant representatives Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna, Rafael and Mariano of Anak Pawis, have also talked to Bishop Quiambao after joining the rally and pushed for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement. (Elmer James Bandol)