US soldiers leaving Sarangani

The source, who asked not to be named, said the transfer has nothing to do with the earlier incident. The team will end its six-month tour of duty in Sarangani on October 15.

Col. Gaudencio Pangilinan, chief of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, said he could not confirm the team's transfer.

"No official word yet," he said.

The American soldiers are stationed at the headquarters of  the Philippine Army in Camp Herminigildo Agaab in Malungon, Sarangani province where they put up their own headquarters and installed sophisticated surveillance equipment.

The Americans, members of the United States Armed Fordces, have reportedly dismantled their bunkhouses and started packing their equipment that included modern medical and surgical instruments.

Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez last month urged the recall of the five  American soldiers who displayed their firearms in a restaurant in General Santos.

US embassy press attaché Rebecca Thompson declined to comment on the incident but instead sent a electronic brochure to explain the presence of the Americans soldiers in Southwestern Mindanao

Col. Pangilinan explained that the Americans are giving trainings to local police and the military here as part of the global war on terrorism.

Efforts to get an interview with the American soldiers were futile as Col. Pangilinan said they (Americans) were under strict orders not to give interviews.