Monday, January 24, 2005

NR0124:Solon decries US spy network

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release January 24, 2005


Solon decries reports of US spy network in the Philippines, demands US
Ambassador Francis Ricciardone give a report to members of Senate,
Congress


Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today demanded that the US Embassy
immediately reveal to the Philippine Senate and Congress all details of the
US government's "Strategic Support Branch" group which is supposedly a spy
network that will operate in certain countries where the US has economic and
military interests, among them Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The group is said to facilitate the deployment of case officers, linguists,
interrogators and technical specialists and conduct espionage activities.

Beltran said that US Ambassador to the Philippines Francis Ricciardone should
be compelled to give members of the Senate and the Congress' committees on
foreign affairs a briefing on the entry of its spy experts in the country.
"Who are they reporting their information to and against who is the
information? The US has long been known to foment war between military and
political factions in nations where they interfere, and in the process
insinuate itself and its policies even deeper. "

Beltran said that the Pentagon's denial regarding the existence of such a group
was worth nothing. He said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her
henchmen in the Department of National Defense have not denied helping the US
establish its spy network in t he country. "For the longest time, patriotic
forces in the country have been pointing out the US government's various
means of surveillance which violate civil and democratic rights and sovereignty
laws. Now it's been revealed that the US has already trained spy satellites in
Mindanao as well as unmanned surveillance planes. W here did the US get the
permission to do all this? Malacanang also has its share of serious explaining
to do," he said.

"For all we know, t he Macapagal-Arroyo administration is also in cahoots with
the US government in putting up the spy network system also to spy on members
of t he opposition and its plans," he said. "Up to what extent has Malacanang
allowed the US to spy on its citizenry?"

"There should be transparency in the operations and workings of the US
intelligence and military - it's contemptible that they're even in the country
and continuing their spy activities with impunity. The longer they remain in the
Philippines the greater the threat that the country and the Philippines will be
attacked by the US' enemies."

"The US is already violating numerous civil and democratic rights of the
Filipino people by putting up this spy network in the country. Already, the
conduct of US military troops remain largely unmonitored, or at the least
their activities have not been publicly disclosed. Here we see the complete
and shameless surrender of the Macapagal-Arroyo government of the country's
sovereignty, and it's appalling that the leaders of the Senate and Congress
have not spoken up against this," he said. #

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