Skip to main content

No red tagging, harassment of Benedictine nun: Army

THE Philippine Army in Davao Oriental denied Tuesday accusations hurled against them by environmentalist groups that they harassed and tagged a Benedictine nun as member of the New People's Army (NPA).

The soldiers brought with them some barangay leaders to back up their denial.

In the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP) press conference at Task Force Davao (TFD) headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Leopoldo Imbang, commander of the Army's 28th Infantry Battalion, described the accusation as "just intrigues and all lies" to mislead the people who have supported the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) of the government.

"In my experience as battalion commander and former junior officer, such deceptions, lies, intrigues, and propaganda have been always there. It never changes. It is obvious naman that these groups are just sowing intrigues, mas mabuti sana na alamin muna natin ang katotohanan before we jump into conclusions," Imbang said.

He said government troops are actually grateful and supportive on the advocacy of Sr. Stella Matutina for environment protection, and that none of them accused her as member of the communist group.

First Lieutenant Hermie V. Montelibano, Civil Military Office (CMO) chief of the 28th IB, said he vehemently denied the same accusations, adding he never said a word against the nun.

He said the issue started when the barangay officials invited the 28th IB in an assembly to discuss Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) of the Army in the area. 

"Along the discussion with the barangay officials, nihangyo si sister na muistorya siya, so we gave her the floor to speak. But we were surprised because what she wanted is to remove the troops in the area," Montelibano said.

"The barangay officials answered them back and told them that there was a resolution for us to remain and continue our PDOP in the area. After she talked in front of us, I even thanked her for their advocacy. I didn't say anything against them," Montelibano said.
Three barangay officials from Lupon in Davao Oriental echoed the same sentiment with the soldiers. 

Emelita Gastardo, barangay councilman of San Isidro in Lupon, said they never heard any Army official in the area accusing Sr. Matutina as NPA member.

"We are there. We know the agenda of the barangay officials with the 28th IB, and I can assure that Sir Montelibano and Sir Lingat did not say anything against them. It was Sis. Matutina and the groups, who insisted that issue," village chief Arlene Luzon, of Lantawan in Lupon, said.

SunStar.Com.Ph | May 8, 2012 | Article Link


More Philippine Defense News

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…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…