New facility for US troops intrudes into Bangsamoro territory – Moro group

Sep. 19, 2014

DAVAO CITY – The proposed facility for US troops in Cotabato City would be seen as an intrusion into the Bangsamoro homeland and would be regarded as “direct US intervention in Mindanao”, a militant Moro group said.

Jerome Abba, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro based in Cotabato City, said the construction of a training center and facilities in a village in Cotabato City as proposed by the Joint Enter Agency Task Force West (Jiatf-West) and the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command “is a clear move of forward-basing and meddling with Bangsamoro affairs.”

Abba blamed the Aquino administration for allowing “direct US intervention in Mindanao” when it signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), saying the Presidently “evidently surrenderred Philippine sovereignty and integrity”

He said the Edca was a “one-sided agreement that demonstrates Aquino’s puppetry to the whims of his Imperialist boss” and disregarded the Philippine constitutional prohibition on installing foreign military bases and facilities in the country.

“We strongly oppose this direct US intervention to Philippine soils and Bangsamoro homeland. We are underlining once again the duplicity of US-Aquino regime that is pledging autonomy up front but are conspicuously formulating policies to constraint Bangsamoro’s self-determination,” Abba said.

The proposed two-storey facility for US troops would be constructed in Barangay Pedro Colina Hill (PC Hill) Rosary Heights– in downtown Cotabato City.

A document obtained Davao Today showed that the center would have classrooms, conference room, cafeteria, rooms to accommodate 30 students, park area and an elevated water storage and  to be finance by U.S. Government.

The group repeated previous warnings by oppositors to the Edca that US facilities allowed inside military campas would still be off-limits to Philippine jurisdiction.” the group said.

“To construct US facility in Philippine land is dismissing past victories against aggression and intervention of war mongering countries like the United States,” said Abba, citing that “Filipino people has successfully booted out US bases on September 16, 1991.”

The Barangay Council of Barangay Pedro Colina Hill (PC Hill) also aired its opposition to the construction of the proposed facility saying it “lacks clearance from proper authorities.”

The barangay council said that the area was declared as reservation for constabulary soldiers.

“We sought the help of Cotabato City Mayor Japal J. Guiani Jr on this issue and we asked him to reject or to deny the issuance of building permits. Our residents here have spoken and we hope they would respect our decision. We are opposing it,” said Peter C. Morales, village chief of Barangay Pedro Colina Hill, Rosary Heights 1.

Abba said “once again, a volley of human rights violations with this planned US intervention in our country.”

“We will never forget the Subic Rape Case in which L/Cpl. Daniel Smith who was found guilty of raping a Filipina but was secretly taken out of Philippine jail and transferred to US control. We will never forget Gregan Cardeño who was killed in a US facility in Marawi City but was never given justice.” (

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