More US planes, ships join Balikatan
Exiled CPP leader orders attacks
By Fred Roxas - Manilia Bulletin

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga — At least 39 US military aircraft and a warship with some 2,003 personnel are scheduled to arrive here and at the Subic Bay Freeport to participate in week-long Balikatan 2002 war exercises in Central Luzon starting April 22.

Reports reaching here from Ambassador Jaime Yambao, executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA-Com), said that the US Air Force will be flying in seven C130 cargo planes while the US Navy is bringing in the USS Fort McHenry which will dock in Manila Bay.

The US Army is bringing three UH-160 helicopters and the US Marines four F/A-18-D Hornets fighter planes, 29 other aircraft, four KC 130 cargo planes, and 14 helicopters.

VFA-Com officials said that this year's Balikatan RP-US war games will be the biggest in terms of military aircraft to be used. It will be the first time that F/A-18-D Hornet fighter planes will be used since the joint exercises started in 1999.

Yambao said that 822 American military personnel will participate in the exercise at the Crow Valley firing range in Tarlac and at Clark Field while the rest will participate in the war games in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and Tanate in Cavite.

The US military contingent will be coming mostly from Japan and the Pacific.

The American personnel will be joined by a total of 2,858 troops from various military services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

VFA-Com authorities have notified all the communities where the joint exercises are scheduled to be conducted so they can take precautionary and necessary measures.

Participants in the joint military exercises also have been directed to observe strict military discipline during their rest and recreation periods. Military personnel will be allowed to go only to designated places where curfew will be imposed.

Chief Supt. Reynaldo Berroya, regional director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Central Luzon, said that security measures are in place for the safety and protection of the participants. ---

CPP orders

BAGUIO CITY (AFP) - The exiled founder of the Philippines' communist insurgent movement has ordered his guerrillas to "inflict severe casualties" on US troops participating in joint exercises in this country, in an official publication obtained here Saturday.

The order came in the latest issue of the communists' Ang Bayan publication and was issued by insurgent chief "Armando Liwanag," widely considered to be a pen name for Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison.

The publication, copies of which were obtained in this northern city, told communist guerrillas that "we must be ready to use the social and physical terrain of the Philippines to inflict severe casualties on the invading US forces and to take punitive action against US economic and related interests".

The communists' guerrilla arm, the New People's Army (NPA), "must deliver lethal blows against the US imperialists and the puppet military and police forces, whatever extent that the US intervenes or aggresses against the people".

It added: "The way for the NPA to strengthen itself is to wipe out the enemy forces and seize firearms and other war material from them."

The threats came as the United States prepared to increase the number of American soldiers taking part in joint exercises in this country.