US-operated AFP at the wheel on war on terror – fisherfolk group

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US-operated AFP at the wheel on war on terror – fisherfolk groupDSC_0407.JPG

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday lashed out at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for letting the United States (U.S.) intervene on the ongoing war against the local terrorist group Maute in Marawi City.

The fisherfolk group said President Rodrigo Duterte loses its command over his own military. It seems that only those military generals in his Cabinet have control on the ongoing conflict particularly Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año who deliberately allow American military forces to intervene in the Marawi siege. President Duterte admitted that he was unaware of the presence of American troops in Marawi to provide Filipino troopers with “technical support”.

PAMALAKAYA said foreign meddling in our internal conflict is a clear violation of our sovereignty and constitution. Whether it is for technical or direct support through operations, the U.S. army has no right to interfere in our civil war. The group warned President Duterte on how the U.S. leaves Middle East countries that have ongoing armed conflict devastated after its “military aid and assistance”.

We fear for further devastation of Marawi if we continue to allow U.S. in the picture. The AFP is associating the Maute group to international terrorist network ISIS to make it appear as a transnational threat and attract foreign military aid,”

“Secretary Lorenzana is acting like he is the Commander-in-Chief for making such decision to allow American troops to  butt in when in fact, the AFP has enough resources and forces to curtail terrorism in Mindanao,”

The U.S. government under President Donald Trump is using the terrorism issue in Mindanao as a smooth way of getting in without prior notice for the forward deployment of their troops in the country,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA demands President Duterte to become true to his promise of kicking out U.S. troops in the country.

Duterte should fulfill his earlier pronouncement to reject U.S. military intervention in the country like what he did in Davao City where he rejected drone operations to take place. He must also do it in the whole Mindanao and expel the American forces who are now covertly and overtly participating in the military operations. In order for this, he must refuse what the military officials prescribe that is in accordance with the militarist program of the United States,” Hicap ended. ###

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