Yesterday, the US and Philippine military forces formally ended their 18-day joint war games under the 38th version of the Balikatan. The various exercises, held in Northern and Central Luzon, involved more than 17,000 troops and live-firing of a variety of US modern weapons systems.
In Zambales, 18-day fishing ban during Balikatan ‘highly unacceptable’
A Filipino fisherfolk group decried the “no-sail zone” policy in at least five towns in the province of Zambales in the 18-day run of joint military exercises between the US and Philippine troops.
PH-US Balikatan will intensify abuses, corruption, fisherfolk displacement – Groups
Progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) denounced the upcoming Balikatan exercises called “Salaknib” between the Philippines and the United States as it can provoke regional geopolitical tension and violate the country’s sovereignty.
US troops presence to intensify tension in the West Philippine Sea – groups
“It would be best for the Philippine government to assert its sovereignty on the West Philippine Sea without playing one superpower against the other. If this competition for dominance escalate, we will surely be crushed in the middle of it all.”
‘End VFA, Edca’ | Progressives urge Duterte to act on anti-US imperialism tirades
“If President Duterte cannot get support from his officials, we assure him that Filipino workers are willing to back his assertion of our sovereignty against US and other foreign intervention once he has turned it into actual, concrete and written policies.”
No Legal Obstacle to Abrogating VFA, Lawyer Says
Amid snowballing calls for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Malacañang through one of its spokespersons has argued that the said pact cannot be abrogated since doing so would affect the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the US. But lawyer Neri Javier Colmenares, secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), disagrees.