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PRESS RELEASE: SUSPEND US MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS TO MINDANAO PENDING PROBE -- WATCH GROUP

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A broad coalition of NGOs, social movements, and political parties from Mindanao and the rest of the country today called for all US military deployments in Mindanao suspended pending the conclusion of a fair and thorough probe by lawmakers.

The Citizens' Peace Watch, a group formed to monitor what it fears as the growing and permanent US military presence in the South, reiterated its recommendations from a fact-finding mission it conducted in Zamboanga City and Sulu last February. Members of the mission claim to have seen with their own eyes -- and to have pictures of -- the US' military structures inside Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City.

"The information coming out today about the US military presence in the south confirm what we have been saying all along for many months now," says Corazon Fabros, one of the group's spokespersons. "It is high time to look into them because the government's excuse is becoming more and more ludicrous while the situation is getting more and more dangerous." The group stressed the following findings from its fact-finding mission (which can be downloaded from: http://www.focusweb.org/philippines/docs/CPWReport.pdf):

 that the US has established military basing in the Philippines

 that the US is involved in actual combat operations in the country

 that the US military has, in complicity with the Philippine military, committed human rights violations in the Philippines

 that the US is conducting operations outside the control of the Philippine government and military

 that the US military’s so-called humanitarian projects are mere cover for military operations that do not benefit the local population

 US basing and intervention in the country is contributing to insecurity and leading to an escalation in conflict

"In light of the constitutional violations and actual danger to lives and human rights,  the Citizens’ Peace Watch challenges our elected representatives to take the initiative to demand and conduct Congressional and Senate inquiries into the issue and demands the suspension of US military deployment to the Philippines,  specifically the stationing of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines as well as the military exercises, pending fair and independent review of and investigations on their presence and intervention," the coalition said.


REFERENCE
Cora Fabros:0917887153

MEMBERS OF THE CITIZENS' PEACE WATCH:
Akbayan! Party-list
Alyansa ng Kabataan sa Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan
Anak Mindanao Party List
Balay Rehabilitation Center
Bangsamoro Women’s Foundation
Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights
Focus on the Global South
KaisaKa
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya
Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
Mindanao Peoples Caucus
Mindanao Peoples Peace Movement
Mindanao Tri-People Women Forum
Moro Human Rights Center
Muslim Women’s Organization
Peace Women Partners
Peacebuilders Community
Pinay Kilos
Resource Center for People’s Development
STOP the War Coalition Philippines
Sumpay Mindanao
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
Tulong Lupah Sug, Inc

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