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Soldiers Of Fortune Contractor ‘Blackwater’ In Subic?; Filipinos As Blackwater Fighters

August 30, 2009

RT MASTwayne madsen story montage

The American private security contractor (read trainer and deployer of mercenary soldiers) is alleged to have training facilities in both Subic and Clark, the former US  bases shut down in 1991 and now redeveloped as Philippine investment hubs.

First, here’s how the Philipine Daily Inquirer is reporting the story:

An investigative report circulating online said the American military contractor Blackwater was training “mercenaries” of various nationalities, including Filipinos, at the Subic free port in Olongapo City.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza, however, quickly denied the story.
In a video story posted August 28 on the Russia Today website, American investigative journalist Wayne Madsen claimed Satelles Solutions, a Blackwater subsidiary, was using a five-acre ( 2-hectare)facility in the former United States naval base to train operatives for secret US-backed military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots.

Blackwater, founded by a former US Navy Seal in North Carolina, has been denounced in some US media as being America’s “private army.” It does jobs for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Interviewed on Russia Today, Madsen asked: “Who gave them permission? Apparently it’s against the Philippine Constitution to station foreign troops in the country … someone is running around the Constitution of the Philippines. Obviously this is done with the permission of the president of the Philippines,” Madsen said.

He claimed the country was now a “major operating base” for the Blackwater subsidiary.

Madsen alleged the Subic facility could train up to 1,000 operatives. He also claimed that other US companies linked to former US Vice President Dick Cheney had also opened a shooting range at the former Clark Air Base.

In 2007, Blackwater denied it was opening a facility in the Philippines. “We are no longer pursuing a facility in the Philippines,” Anne Tyrrell, a company spokesperson, had said.

Madsen’s report indicates the company went ahead using a subsidiary company.

In a phone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Arreza denied Blackwater was maintaining any kind of facility in the SBMA.

“There is no facility for any military training by Blackwater or any such company,” Arreza said.

The only facility for any kind of military-style training here is the Philippine National Police Leadership School, he said.

He admitted that Blackwater submitted a proposal to set up a training facility in Subic three years ago.

“But this request never materialized. We want to develop the SBMA for commercial and industrial uses. We felt that the request (of Blackwater) went against our charter.”

He also said he was willing to open the facility to inspection or investigation. “There are no restrictions here. Anyone can enter the SBMA.”

That Russia Today report is here:

Ok, watching that, we muse about this expose coming on the heels of the announcement that Manila and Washington DC had ‘mutually agreed’ to extend the tour of duty down in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Basilan of the 600-man elite Joint Special Operations Task Force that does combine anti-insurgeny training for American and Filipino troops, mixed with social development work.

Allegations that the American GIs are actually participating on combat missions prompted a goup of Citizens led by former Senate President Jovito Salonga to ask the Supreme Court to junk the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

This writer fully understands political realities here and abroad which people running state affair deal with on a day to day basis where full transparency is not a comfortable option.

But this principle of real politik cannot sweep aside the Philippine Constitution.

It seems to me that the U.S., our long-time ally, has really been given new military basing rights, and now even a notorious contractor (which is believed to have more mercenaries fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, than there are US soldiers)  is said to be regionally based at Subic.

There are even Filipinos training as Blackwater fighters.


The montage above is from a YouTube video uploaded by the Filipinos themselves!

Just how far will this go with the government accountable to its people keeping this ‘secret’?

Who looks after Blackwater’s Filipino soldiers of fortune?

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