U.S. Troops in Philippines Under Restrictions after Killings
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The spokesman at Clark Air Base announced Friday that U.S. troops, Defense Department civilians and military dependents could not leave the base except on essential business.
U.S. officials cited an undisclosed security threat in the area, where communist rebels killed two U.S. airmen last month.
″Local, current conditions dictate we take action right now,″ said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Ron Rand, without elaboration in an announcement broadcast by the U.S. military’s television station.
He said 20,300 people are affected.
The chief of the Philippine Constabulary, Maj. Gen. Cesar Nazareno, said Friday he ordered increased security patrols around U.S. bases because of the communist threat.
U.S. officials one week ago had relaxed restrictions imposed after rebels killed Airmen John Raven and James Green on May 13, one day before U.S. and Philippine officials began talks on the future of U.S. bases here.
Clark, one of the largest American installations abroad, lies 50 miles north of Manila in a stronghold of the Communist New People’s Army.
The Communist guerrillas have fought for 21 years to establish a Marxist state and have pledged to continue attacking Americans until all U.S. troops leave the Philippines.
Eight Americans have died in politically motivated violence in the Philippines since April 1989.
Stars and Stripes, the unofficial newspaper of the U.S. military, meanwhile reported Friday that dependents no longer will be allowed to accompany troops to the Philippines unless housing for them exists on the bases.
It said about half the personnel at Clark live off post and the waiting list for base housing ranges from six months to nearly three years, depending on rank.