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AFP to Gadian: Prove allegations on US troops

- Jaime Laude -

MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday challenged Balikatan fund whistleblower former Navy Lt/SG Nancy Gadian to prove her allegations, including the involvement of US troops in military operations in Mindanao and the exploitation of women.

“She’s no longer in the service and had already said her piece. It’s about time for her to prove her allegations before a civilian court,” said AFP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr.

Brawner was referring to Gadian’s claims that a battalion of US servicemen is now permanently based in the country.

In her eight-page signed affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by defense reporters, Gadian said these US servicemen, all under US Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP), were acting as the US military’s forward unit in the country.

“Their base is in Okinawa, Japan. In military parlance, a ‘forward unit’ is an advance command unit that is installed to serve as the first line of defense against the enemy. The forward unit serves as the central command’s operating arm in the area,” explained Gadian in her statement.

Also, while these US servicemen have established their camps within military camps in Mindanao, Filipino troops have no access to these camps which the Americans have fenced off with barbed wire and with their own Marines standing guard.

These US camps are where they house their personnel and equipment which include tanks and communication and monitoring gadgets, Gadian said.

These are located inside Edwin Andrews Air Base at Camp Navarro, headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) and at Camp Malagutay, an Army training camp, in Zamboanga City.

US troops have also put up a camp inside the Philippine Naval Station in Batu-Bato, Panglina Sugala in Tawi-Tawi and inside the Philippine Marine camp in Busbos, Jolo, Sulu.

Gadian alleged that while the US servicemen are staying here, they have been sexually exploiting Filipina women. She claimed prostitutes are being delivered to render services to US troops inside their camps.

On several occasions, Gadian added that she was also informed about that presence of US warships patrolling inside the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“We in the military don’t want to dignify her allegations anymore. After all, she has been dropped from the rolls. The ball is now her hands to substantiate her allegations,” AFP Civil Military Service (CRS) commander Brig. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said he was just hoping that Gadian is not sliding down to be a part of groups of people who harbor sinister plots against the government.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP MALAGUTAY CAMP NAVARRO CIVIL MILITARY SERVICE EDWIN ANDREWS AIR BASE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE GADIAN GAUDENCIO PANGILINAN JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS TASK FORCE PHILIPPINES MINDANAO
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