Govt nixed for ‘ignoring lessons’ of Mamasapano with new Balikatan

Apr. 20, 2015

DAVAO CITY – The 31st edition of the Balikatan Exercises between US and Filipino troops today shows that the government has ignored the lessons of the Mamasapano incident, a group said.

Malacanang announced on Sunday the start of Balikatan exercises aimed at enhancing the readiness of both militaries.

Elmer Labog,  chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno said “ what happened in Mamasapano is clearly a joint operation between US troops and the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force.”

“The exercises are trying hard to project ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ equality and solidarity between the Philippines and the US. Actual joint operations, however, result in the death of Filipinos even as the US government’s role continues to be denied by top government officials who are supposed to know,” said Labog.

Labog said the US wants to continue with the Balikatan exercises and increase military presence in the Philippines in order to advance its own economic and geopolitical interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Balikatan is not about defending Philippine territory. It is in fact violating Philippine territory. The US is only increasing tensions stemming from the territorial disputes because of its continued meddling,” said Labog.

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