More than 500 residents of Batangas converged in front of the provincial capitol on March 29 to oppose and condemn Balikatan 2019 which was then scheduled to be launched in their communities. More than 7,500 Filipino and American troops participated in Balikatan 2019 which was launched in various areas in Luzon.
This exercise is a bane to the people and only results in human rights violations. Residents of Barangay San Diego, Lian reported that helicopters were frequently sighted flying overhead which disturb the community. Residents of Barangay Sto. Domingo, Batangas City also complained about the operations of US and AFP troops in their communities.
Military and surveillance operations (under the guise of conducting census) were heightened by joint forces of the PNP and 1st IB in the towns of Nasugbu, San Juan and Rosario. Soldiers deployed in five coastal barangays in Lian used barangay halls as their camps and detachments.
Meanwhile, hundreds of rallyists converged in front of the Chinese Embassy in Makati City on April 9, Day of Valor, to condemn Chinese intervention in the country and its imposition of unequal agreements. The Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1NAS) spearheaded the protest and criticized China for conducting reclamation activities and erecting infrastructures at the West Philippine Sea.
The group also condemned the reactionary government for entering into unequal loan agreements with China for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and Laiban Kaliwa-Kanan Dam.
Similar protest actions were mounted in Cebu, Davao and Iloilo City on the same day.