Skip to main content

US suspends Mindanao development projects

By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) Updated December 04, 2009 12:00 AM


MANILA, Philippines - The United States has indefinitely suspended their development projects in Maguindanao while the gruesome murder of 57 civilians and journalists is being investigated.

The US builds classrooms, libraries, and roads in one of the most impoverished areas in the country.

“What we have done is to suspend work for our projects in Maguindanao for a little bit just so we make sure that the security situation is safe. And I think anytime when you have a massacre like that, you don’t know who’s behind it or what happened. I don’t want any of our employees to get hurt,” US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said in an interview during the Christmas lighting event at the US embassy in Manila. She said the security situation in Maguindanao will be evaluated before work on the projects resumes.

“As soon as we evaluate the security situation. You know, on a case by case basis but frankly what’s most important is that they investigate and people be brought to justice,” she said.

The US government strongly condemned the massacre in Maguindanao. Washington has urged the Philippines to conduct a thorough, rapid, and transparent investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has deployed more soldiers to Maguindanao to heighten security in the region.

Military spokesperson Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner said the 33rd Infantry Battalion from Lanao del Sur was detailed to augment the forces already stationed in Shariff Aguak, the provincial capital where the Ampatuan mansion is located.

After the massacre, five infantry battalions and two companies of elite Scout Rangers and Special Forces were deployed to Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato.  

Also sent to Maguindanao were two mechanized battalions equipped with armored vehicles.

“We have deployed more troops to secure the province and prevent other groups from taking advantage of the situation. Their mission is to secure the place and we need more forces just in case,” he said.

There are now at least 3,500 troops securing the three provinces.

Brawner said troops are also protecting the Ampatuans because their safety is being threatened by groups outside the Mangudadatu clan.

The military is also preparing for resistance from the supporters of the Ampatuan clan if they will be served arrest warrants tagging them in the massacre.

AFP National Capital Region Command chief Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu said intelligence units are monitoring developments in the province to determine if there is a possible spillover of atrocities to Metro Manila.
________________________
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=529135&publicationSubCategoryId=67

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.

Ori…