Lawmakers Want Probe Of US Troop Presence

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Manila Times
September 20, 2008

A Mindanao lawmaker on Friday asked her colleagues in the House of Representatives to reconvene the Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to probe the continued presence of American troops in the South.
Rep. Maria Isabelle G. Climaco of Zamboanga City and the partylist house members are wondering about the continued presence of the US troops and discern if they are involved in the US government into the peace negotiations between the GRP and the MILF.
“I already told Ambassador Kristie Kenney that the Committee of the VFA in the House of Representatives should be convened to find out what the Americans are doing here, because as a Representative of Zamboanga City I don’t know for what reason they’ve been there since 2001,” Climaco pointed out.
Climaco said that she had long been asking the Americans what their long-term plan was and the Americans’ response would always be that they have no long-term plan.
House Resolution 754, was filed by party list Reps. Liza Maza, Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino (Bayan Muna).
The measure is urging the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Peace, Reconciliation and Unity to probe the US intrusion with the internal negotiations of the government with MILF.
They want the House to determine whether the US government’s intention, or this alleged intrusion, is intended for use as a possible vehicle for its own economic agenda and indicative of their permanent military presence.
In addition, Climaco stressed that what seemed puzzling was the presence of DYN Corp., a private corporation that facilitates and supplies services to the Americans.
“In our airport, you see the Belle helicopters and the American planes occupying one side of the hangar as though they already owned a certain portion of our airport,” Climaco declared.
Climaco said Zamboanga City was supposed to be their area of supply and their base camp.
“The facility is in the Edwin Andrews Airbase so I don’t know about Malagutay. They used to have three areas when they held the Balikatan in Basilan but now they are in the Western Mindanao Command,” she said.
--Jomar Canlas