• ‘US troops should leave Mindanao’

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    Duterte: American soldiers stirring unrest in South

    Just days after saying that the Philippines will follow an independent foreign policy, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday shooed US Special Forces out of Mindanao, saying their presence was stirring unrest in the region.

    “Those US special forces, they have to go. They have to go. In Mindanao, there are many white people there.
    They have to go,” the President said in his speech during the oath-taking of new government officials in Malacañang.

    The President said the United States’ violent pacification program in Mindanao continues to stir unrest, adding to the tension in the region.

    “Look at the bodies there. Paano tayo, paano mag-hold up [How will things hold-up]. For as long as we stay with America, we will never have peace in that land. We might as well give it up,” Duterte said.

    The President said he has long wanted to “review foreign policy.”

    “Di ko lang masalita noon [I just could not say it before] out of respect [because]I do not want a rift with America. But they have to go,” he stressed.

    Duterte said American soldiers are prime targets for the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

    “The situation in Mindanao will get more intense. If Americans are seen there, they will really be killed,” he warned.

    “Kukunan ng ransom iyan, patayin (They will be hostaged for ransom. They will be killed). Even if you’re a black or a white American, basta Amerikano ka [Even if you’re black or white, as long as you’re American],” he added.

    Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s statement reflects his government’s new direction towards coursing an independent foreign policy.

    “He has made reference to the unrecognized, unrepented and unatoned massacre at Bud Dajo in Sulu by the Americans, hence our continued connection with the West is the real reason for the ‘Islamic’ threat in Mindanao,” Abella said in a statement.

    The Palace official said the American silence on the matter “lacks congruence with its ‘moral’ position.”
    “Mr. Duterte is on morally firm ground by breaking up walls that cover dark corners in US-RP relations,” Abella said.

    The Philippines and the US had formed a Joint Special Operations Task Forces, a unit that trained Filipino troops in fighting terrorists in Mindanao. The task force was based in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City, where the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command is based.

    However, the program that started in 2002 officially ended in early 2015.

    Despite the termination of the US mission, some US troops stayed in the country to assist in the counter-terrorism programs in the South. It was not immediately known how many American soldiers remain in Mindanao.

    The Philippines and US also signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement under which the US can rotate troops in the Philippines for extended stays. The Visiting Forces Agreement signed by the two countries allow the holding of the annual Balikatan military exercises by Filipino and American troops.

    Duterte shocked Asian leaders last week when he veered off his prepared speech and launched a tirade against the US for the killings in the Philippines when it was an American colony from 1898 to 1946.

    The President presented a picture of Filipinos killed by American soldiers.

    Just before flying to the Asean summit, Duterte also launched a barrage of insults at President Barack Obama for his alleged plan to question him over his war on drugs.

    bama canceled a planned meeting with the President. The two briefly met during the summit and Duterte later clarified that he did not curse the US president.

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    21 Comments

    1. If Duterte raises the issue of Americans’ atrocities against the Filipinos in Fil-Am War, then he should also mention Spain that colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years and the Japanese for killing hundreds of thousands Filipinos in WW2.

      • Agreed, but neither Spain nor the Japanese were criticizing Duterte about his human rights record. Also, neither Spain nor Japan are current world hegemons, so their policies are not as important.

    2. This government is dysfunctional.
      President says one thing, it is open to interpretation and is not policy. Wtf do we have here? Mickey Mouse as president and dumb and dumber as cabinet ministers?
      This country needs to be saved from itself.
      Six more years of spin doctors and apologists.

    3. jose b taganahan on

      So be it! Let Pres. Duterte expell all those US forces stationed here in the Philippines, if he is that stupid.
      The Japanese and the South Koreans are certainly more nationalistic than us Filipinos (including Duterte) and yet they allow Americans forces to be stationed on their respective countries.with the US even getting some support from the host countries in the maintenance of those American forces.

    4. senator Trillantes was right after all during the elections. this guy is a commie. this guy needs to be removed from office by force if necessary if he does not want to resign. people should now demand his resignation before more damaged will be done. he is no longer capable of making right decisions and his uncontrolled mouth and ill advised by his commie advisers. if you want to save the country demand he resign now.

    5. The troops have been there for over a decade. There are only a few left. And he’s criticizing the US for doing a hundred years ago exactly what he’s doing now to the ASG, but with less success.

    6. 2001 pa ang mga US Special Forces Sa Basilan, Jolo, Tawi Tawi at Zamboanga City at ni minsan Hindi ginalaw yan ng mga Abusayaff! Samantala ang mga Sundalo ng AFP labas ng campo(Bakod) Lang Nila tinitira Na ng mga Abusayaff. Hindi naman physically nag operate ang mga US Special Forces Sa ground at hanggang intelligence information, training at logistics Lamang ang napro provide Nila at ang AFP ang nakipag bakbakan Sa mga Abusayaff. Ni minsan walang casualty Sa US Forces at puro AFP ang casualty at Hindi sila(US Special Forces) sumasama Sa actual combat operation at bawal Sa atin Phil Constitution. Panalo sina Misuari MNLF, Murad MILF, Radulan Abusayaff at Sison CPP Sa decision Na yan.

      • Nicarter Baguio on

        Anong intelligence information and training and maibigay ng nga kano when they are just inside the camp. “Do it according to the book” lang ang ma-forge nila sa filipino troops resulting to ineffective field operations such as the huge casualties of Mamasapano, Jolo, etc.

    7. “However, the program that started in 2002 officially ended in early 2015.”

      Any connection with the increase of kidnappings maybe?

    8. Silverio Cabellon Jr. on

      It is the judgement of the Philippines whether the cooperation of the United States enhances the security of the Philippines or harms it. This must be viewed not only in the context of Mindanao but also of the South China Sea. For Mindanao, a terrorist group runs havoc in the waters of Sulu. For the South China Sea a country does not honor a treaty it signed called UNCLOS. Is it the national interest of the Philippines to cooperate with the United States?

    9. matino na pinoy on

      PDU30 is getting old because his way of thinking and reasoning are no longer in line with the truth and operating at a different wavelength and frequency. How can those U.S. Special Forces, imbedded in Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City interfere with the AFP’s operations against the lawlessness in the region? The mentioned U.S. Special Forces mission there is to advice and assists AFP troops, and they are forbidden, by U.S. law to engage in combat operations, such as going out on patrol and setting up ambush missions. The “FEW” U.S. soldiers are elements of JUSMAG MISSION headquartered in Camp Aguinaldo, and they are not “combat troops” The Joint U.S. Mission and Advisory Group belonged to the U.S. Embassy Military Attache Section. Here is the bottom line: PDU30 is confused and was not briefed properly about the U.S. position in general, in the country.

      U.S. killings in the Philippines when it was American Colony from 1898 to 1946? When was the World War II? The American soldiers did not kill Filipinos during WW II, and the picture he showed in Laos during the conference was when the American Forces massacred Moros during the Philippine American War in 1898. This was over a century ago and there were no United Nations nor Law of War at that time. Therefore, this type of excuses are very shallow and DU30 is only trying to cover his embarrassment when he cussed Obama.

      Finally, few U.S. Soldiers imbedded with AFP in camp Navarro in Zamboanga City is NOT the cause of the problem in Mindanao. Duterte was ill advised on this issue and should hire advisers that have better analytical mind that can distinguish between apples and oranges. Or was this his theory? assumption? his guess?

    10. I just finished watching ABS-CBN’s Karen Davila program “Headstart” with DFA Sec. Yasay s guest. Whether or not she’s paid by the Yellow Party is a question; but in her program she kept saying that Duterte said in his speech that he didn’t like the US and Americans. She even played the video twice. It turned out that what Duterte said was “Not that I don’t like the US…Not that I don’t like the Americans. It’s just a matter of principle for me.” It took her executive producer to hand her a note that she misquoted Duerte’s statement. She was visibly embarrassed.

    11. Something is terribly wrong with Duterte. He is bringing our country back to the stone age. Pilipinos who voted for Duterte feels that they made the wrong decision. The Liberal party has the biggest mistake by letting drugs control our country.

    12. 2002-2003 started the US/RP JTF in Westmincom in Mindanao, and supposedly ended immediately following the Mamasapano massacre in 2015. Conincidence? No way! Duterte is correct, and very brave.

      • 2002-2003 cia Michael Merring setting up bombs in Mindanao to blame the MILF, and leave following Mamasapano 2015….. Its not rocket science to see and understand they used a ‘domestic flashpoint’ to sow terror in George Bush’s “war on terror” and needed HIS coalition to include a country in SE Asia- their puppet- RP. Duterte is 100% correct in his knowledge of the recent history, and past history of US human rights abuses (and war crimes) in RP.

    13. Ignacio Balbutin on

      What a wrong decision and what a flimsy reason. The americans soldiers to be kidnapped for ransom? you must be kidding Mr. President, even a child cannot believe it. The americans soldiers are a big help in many ways. They give jobs to the people and do many social works for the community. As a said communism is a deadly beast and we need every help that we can get to fight and stop terrorism in our country. Will you having an independent posture with China? China took out scarborough shoal from us and flooded our country with drugs but u never raise a word against them. Is that an independent posture?

    14. The strange thing, is that the FBI don’t care about criminals abroad. Probably it was CIA showing fake FBI – ID
      So ?

    15. Apparently only Mr Duterte and me – you journalist pretend to know nothin…

      Mysterious Davao City blast fuels Duterte’s ‘hatred’ for US
      by The New York Times
      May 14, 2016 (updated)
      Share3.8K Tweet7 Share7 Email7 Share3.9K
      By The New York Times

      image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/de1.jpg

      THE PUNISHER – The prestigious Time Magazine will have president-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte on the cover of its May 23, 2016 issue. Duterte posed for Asian Dragon Magazine in July, 2015 and licensed this photo to Time for one-time use only. (Edwin Tuyay, courtesy of Asian Dragon Magazine)
      THE PUNISHER – The prestigious Time Magazine will have president-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte on the cover of its May 23, 2016 issue. Duterte posed for Asian Dragon Magazine in July, 2015 and licensed this photo to Time for one-time use only. (Edwin Tuyay, courtesy of Asian Dragon Magazine)
      For more than a decade, a mysterious explosion at the Evergreen Hotel in Davao City has been a footnote in the long, checkered history between the Philippines and the United States. But among those who never let it go was the city’s mayor, Rodrigo Duterte — who is now poised to become the Philippines’ new president.

      In an interview last year before he announced his candidacy, Duterte went so far as to acknowledge “hatred” for the United States stemming from the obscure episode, when an American named Michael Terrence Meiring was charged with possession of explosives but managed to flee the Philippines.

      Meiring called himself a treasure hunter and joked about being with the CIA, meaning “Christ in Action.” He told the hotel staff not to touch a metal box in his room, apparently with good reason. On May 16, 2002, the box exploded, mangling his legs and damaging the hotel.

      But three days later, despite severe injuries and the charges against him, Meiring vanished from his hospital room. Philippine officials later said that men waving FBI badges had taken him in the dark of night and flown him out of the country without their permission.

      Duterte expressed outrage that the United States would help a criminal suspect leave the country without regard to Philippine law. He also fanned speculation that Meiring was involved in covert operations conducted by the United States in the Philippines.

      Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/mysterious-davao-city-blast-fuels-dutertes-hatred-for-us/#2uhrf2Eh8vug5168.99