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Replacement of US troops in RP arriving soon - AFP

October 18, 2007 3:30pm
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday confirmed that a new batch of American soldiers is set to arrive soon to replace those who are currently deployed in the country on non-combat missions.

In an interview, AFP public information office chief Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said the latest deployment of American soldiers in the country is not meant to increase US military presence in the Philippines.

Instead, the fresh batch of US soldiers will only replace their comrades who have been assisting local soldiers in intelligence-gathering, training and civil military operations, including medical and construction missions.

Most of the American soldiers currently deployed in the country are posted in Mindanao where the government is battling the Abu Sayyaf group which is being linked with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

“Indeed may mga darating na US troops but gusto nating liwanagin na itong mga darating na ito ay mga relyebo dun sa current na US forces na kasalukuyang nakikipagtulungan dito sa atin," Bacarro said.

He, however, declined to say when the fresh batch of American soldiers will arrive as well as the size of the contingent.

Bacarro also noted that the US soldiers’ operation in the country will remain confined to non-combat missions.

“We’d like to clarify na yung extent nung tulong na ibinibigay nila in the war against terror are limited to: one, technical intelligence support, pangalawa training, pangatlo ay dun sa civil military activities that they are doing in collaboration with our forces," Bacarro said. - GMANews.TV