Military brass mum on US pullout from Zamboanga

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Philippine military officials were silent over reports that a small group of US troops deployed to Zamboanga City have started packing up after President Rodrigo Duterte canceled a joint patrol in the South China Sea and scrapped future war games between the two countries.

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American soldiers are still maintaining a camp inside the Western Mindanao Command, which was previously used as headquarters of the defunct Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City, Basilan and Sulu.

Basilan and Sulu are part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The US military previously maintained a fleet of P3 Orion surveillance aircraft in Mactan Air Base in Cebu province in central Philippines and smaller unmanned aerial vehicles or drones in Zamboanga.

The aircraft are used in operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan and Sulu, and probably Indonesia and Malaysia to monitor activities of jihadist groups there allied with terrorist groups in the Philippines.

Security has always been tight in American military camps in Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu and even Filipino generals cannot go inside these installations without prior clearance with the US Embassy in Manila.

Even local journalists were not spared by some arrogant US troops who harassed news photographers and television crew and had threatened to smash their equipment if they take pictures of American soldiers deployed in public places in Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu.

A US C-17 Globemaster cargo plane was reported to have landed at the local airport where American troops loaded their equipment.

The Pentagon deployed hundreds of US troops in southern Philippines beginning 2001 and had joined Filipino soldiers in rescuing kidnapped American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham from the Abu Sayyaf.

Martin was killed during rescue operations in Zamboanga del Norte province while his wife was shot and wounded in the leg.

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4 Comments

  1. Rick Delrosario on

    No more threats please. Just severe all ties with US altogether and be done with it. Stop all this clarification fire drills by DU30’s cabinet every time the president make a speech about the west. You all look like fools when the president speech was clear as daylight. Stop putting a spin on the president’s intention. Kick the Americans and the rest of the western world out NOW and and establish military alliance with China and Russia,Iran, North Korea, Palestine, and lets see what happens.

  2. So Duterte wants the Americans out of the Philippines. Hence, the Americans are leaving. If anyone were to remember, the Filipinos kicked the US bases out of the Philippines in 1992.

    Do you think the Americans will like to fight any war WITH unreliable ally?

    Duterte is showing he is AN UNRELIABLE ALLY.

  3. at the rate psychopath Duterte are going against our allies (US, EU, Australia) it is not surprising what to see the american action lately.

  4. Americans can’t suffer forever of cussing, and foul tirades from a hysterical Duterte. It is best that they leave if our President doesn’t have the decency to at least be thankful for the American’s help in times of difficulties specially during typhoon seasons. At least the communist factions of Jalandoni and Sison are now very happy since from day one they have been urging Duterte to kick the Americans out of the Philippines for their own personal interests.