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Showing posts from February, 2013

Villager takes NPA’s AK-47

A villager from Surigao del Sur already fed up with the abuses of the New People's Army (NPA) took away an AK-47 rifle from the insurgent group and turned over the firearm to the military. 1Lt. Joe Patrick Martinez, commanding officer of the 42nd CMO Company, 4th Infantry Division (4ID), said the villager carted one AK-47 (Norinco brand with defaced serial number), two magazines, and 80 rounds 7.62 mm ammunitions from the members Platoon 2 of Guerilla Front 16 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee who were then conducting extortion activities at a community in Barangay Aurora, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte last February 20. Martinez said the villager told them that while the NPAs were having a short rest after their extortion activities, he saw one of the insurgents put down his weapon, an AK-47 rifle. When the insurgents took a nap, he then grabbed the opportunity to sneak and take away the firearm. The villager then went straight to the 30th Infantry Battalion of the 4ID  base…

MDSU 1 safely removes funnel of USS Guardian

SULU SEA (Feb. 25, 2013) Sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 and U.S. Navy contracted salvage crew members from the M/V Jascon 25 safely remove the exhaust funnel structure from the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5). Guardian ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef Jan. 17. The funnel's removal was a milestone in the dismantling process of the Guardian. 

The U.S. Navy and contracted salvage teams are safely dismantling and removing the ship from Tubbataha Reef. 

The U.S. Navy continues to work in close cooperation with the Philippine authorities to safely dismantle Guardian from the reef while minimizing environmental effects.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anderson | U.S. Navy | February 25, 2013 | Article Link

2 NPAs killed in Cagayan clash

MANILA, Philippines - Two suspected communist rebels were killed during an encounter with government troops in Cagayan, police said on Wednesday. Police Inspector Ceasar Orlanes, information officer of the Cagayan Provincial Police Office, said the firefight between soldiers and members of the New People's Army took place on Tuesday at around 1:30 p.m. in Barangay Lakambini, Tuao. Ornales said authorities have yet to identify the casualties. He said policemen were dispatched to the village after they received information on the presence of at least eight heavily-armed men in the area. The firefight lasted for almost an hour after which the rebels retreated from the area. Authorities recovered from the site an M-14 carbine rifle, an M-16 assault rifle and a caliber 45 pistol. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dennis Carcamo | The Philippine Star | February 27, 2013 | Article Link

Communist Rebel tagged in Bukidnon attack falls

A SUSPECTED member of the New People’s Army (NPA) who was reportedly among those who attacked two pineapple plantations in Bukidnon last week was arrested on Tuesday. Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao spokesman Police Superintendent Ronnie Francis M. Cariaga identified the alleged NPA member as Valeriano Anonsaon Jr., alias “Junior.” Cariaga said Anonsaon, who was nabbed in Barangay Sil-ipon in Libona town, Bukidnon, has a pending arrest warrant for attempted homicide issued by Judge Lourdes Eltanal-Ignacio of the 1st Municipal Trial Court of Bukidnon. Last February 19, NPA rebels simultaneously attacked the plantations and offices of Del Monte Philippines in Camp Phillips and Dole in Impasug-ong. A few hours after the attack, at least two suspected NPA rebels were arrested in a manhunt operation in Barangay Kihare, Manolo Fortich, Cariaga added. “Local police of Libona received information from a confidential informant that Valeriano was last spotted in Barangay Sil-ipon wher…

Rebels raid village, seize arms cache

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Some 60-armed members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) raided a Moro community in a town in Makilala, North Cotabato, and carted away 16 firearms, at 3:15 p.m. last Saturday, an Army official said. Lt. Manuel Gatus, commander of the Charlie Company of the 57th Infantry Battalion, said the rebels arrived on foot at Sitio Lacobe in Barangay Malabuan in Makilala town and pretended they were soldiers from the 38th Infantry Battalion allegedly tasked to get the villagers' firearms for inspection. "The villagers, mostly members of a Maguindanaon tribe, were told to gather at the village center for a meeting and while this was on going, some of the rebels forcibly entered the houses and confiscated whatever firearms they could recover from the place," Gatus said. Gatus said the rebels confiscated eight home-made Uzi pistols, five home-made Ingram pistols, two 38 caliber revolvers, and an M-79 grenade launcher. The guns, said Gatus, are owned by the Baclid family and …

Rebel leader behind Army camp attack nabbed

THE leader of the New People's Army (NPA) group, which attacked an Army detachment in northern Negros more than two years ago, was arrested in Calatrava town last Saturday. Arrested by elements of the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force was a certain Joel Danioso alias Ewen, commanding officer of the Yunit Milista (YM) of Barangay Malatas, Calatrava town. Danioso was arrested in Sitio Minatipik, Barangay Winaswasan, Calatrava by virtue of a warrant of arrest for the crime of robbery with homicide and physical injuries issued by presiding judge Katherine Go of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 in San Carlos City. Danioso, a resident of Sitio Minatipik, Barangay Winaswasan, Calatrava, Negros Occidental, 34, led the raid of Polopangyan detachment in Barangay Bug-ang, Toboso Negros Occidental on August 28, 2010. He was brought to Calatrava PNP after the arrest and further brought to Toboso PNP for detention. "We will cont…

Philippine gov't dispatches humanitarian ship to ferry back Filipinos in Lahad Datu

MANILA, Feb. 24 (PNA) -- A ship on a humanitarian mission will be dispatched Sunday evening to fetch and ferry back the women and other civilians among the 180-member group who are holed out in Lahad Datu, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

The Philippine Navy ship, with hull number AT296, will sail from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi to the village of Tanduo in Lahad Datu.

The DFA said the ship is being prepositioned offshore Lahad Datu while talks with the group are underway.

There are reportedly some 180 individuals in the group, including some 30 armed escorts.
Onboard the ship are Filipino-Muslim leaders as well as social workers and medical personnel.

"We sent the ship to Lahad Datu on a humanitarian mission. We are deeply concerned about the presence of five women and other civilians in the group, and we urge them to board the ship without delay and return home," said DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario.

"As we have stated in countless occasions previously, w…

Legislating prosperity

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that communism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. 

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on communism".. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. 

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. 

When the 3rd test rolled a…

No more second frigates for Philippine Navy - DND official

MANILA, Feb. 22 (PNA) -- A ranking Department of National Defense (DND) official has said the option to acquire second-hand frigates to boost the numbers and capabilities of the Philippine Navy (PN) has been waived.

Fernando Manalo, DND undersecretary for finance, munitions,installation and materiel, said this because evaluation studies found out that acquiring these vessels will be more costly in the long run.

"The PN found out that it will be more expensive to maintain second hand vessel(s) than buying a new one," he added.

With this conclusion, the Italian-made "Maestrale" frigates, are no longer in the running for possible acquisition by the Philippines.

"Its no longer being evaluated," Manalo stressed.

The "Maestrale" was earlier touted by the DND as the next ships to be acquired for the PN due to its credible missile and anti-submarine capabilities.

With this development, Manalo said the Philippines is now looking for new build naval ships with …

DND chief hopes Sabah row will be settled peacefully

MANILA, Feb. 22 (PNA) -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin is hoping the stand-off between Filipino Muslims and Malaysian forces in Lahad Datu, Eastern Sabah will end peacefully.

Gazmin said on Friday that he and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista have been in constant talks with their Malaysian counterparts so that the issue will conclude as soon as possible without bloodshed.

"Both us and our counterparts agreed that this issue must be resolved peacefully," Gazmin stressed.

As negotiations are ongoing, the DND chief stated that efforts are now underway to ensure that no additional Filipino Muslims will arrive at the disputed territory that could further complicate the situation.

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Thursday announced that it has beefed up its patrol operations off the Sulu Sea in wake of the ongoing stand-off between the Filipino Muslim followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram and Malaysian forces in …

Salvage works for USS Guardian ongoing - PCG

MANILA, Feb. 22 (PNA) -- Helped by improving weather conditions, salvage crews are working aboard the grounded USS Guardian (MCM-5), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday.

Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesperson, said crewmen aboard the pipelay ship Jascon 25 have stabilized their position near the stricken minesweeper.

He salvage works were being pushed as the weather off Tubbataha Reef, where the USS Guardian has been stuck since Jan. 17, had improved compared to Thursday's.

On Wednesday and Thursday, big waves, poor visibility and bad weather conditions threatened the safety of the salvage crews. 

Philippine News Agency | February 22, 2013 | Article Link

Troops exhume NPA mass purge victim

GOVERNMENT forces exhumed the skeletal remains of a New People’s Army (NPA) rebel believed to be a victim of a mass purge implemented by the Communist Party of the Philippines within the rebels’ rank several years back.
Major Angelo Guzman, Ninth Infantry Division spokesman, on Thursday, said that combined elements of the 49th Infantry Battalion and the local police recovered the remains of Juanito Hirang in Sitio Santol, Barangay Old Camp in Capalonga, Camarines Norte.

Lt. Col. Micheael Buhat, Ninth Infantry Battalion commander, said that the information was tipped off to them by the victim’s former comrade, who was then with the underground movement when Hirang was executed on July 9, 2004.

“It has been bothering his conscience for years that is why he reported it to the Army in order for the victim to have a decent burial,” Buhat said.

Hirang’s skeletal remains was turned over to his family in the municipality of Jose Panganiban.

Last year, some 30 skeletal remains of people also believ…

Philippines, Japan to hold dialogue on maritime security

The Philippines and Japan will hold the Second Dialogue on Maritime and Oceanic Affairs today amid maritime territorial tensions with neighboring China, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday.
According to the Foreign Affairs agency, the two sides will “discuss various areas of cooperation in maritime safety, maritime security, anti-piracy measures, fisheries and marine scientific research” during the dialogue, which will be held at the department’s main office in Pasay City.

The Philippine delegation will be headed by Gilberto Asuque, assistant secretary for the Office of Special and Ocean Concerns, and Henry Bensurto, special assistant for the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy.

Other representatives will also come from the Foreign Affairs department, Department of National Defense, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

The Japanese delegation, meanwhi…

DND to buy P979-M coast watch system

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) will acquire coast watch system equipment worth P979 million to secure the government's energy projects. In a bid bulletin, DND said the project would involve the supply and delivery of coast watch requirements, boats, firearms and ammunition, oil takedown equipment, and night vision devices. DND Undersecretary Eduardo Batac, chairman of the DND Special Bids and Awards Committee, said the project is divided into five lots or projects. Lot 1 involves the purchase of coast watch system requirements worth P877 million to enhance maritime domain awareness and security of energy service contract areas. The second lot entails the procurement of two rigid hull inflatable boats worth P63.16 million. The supply and delivery of firearms, accessories and ammunition worth P21.81 million constitute lot 3. Lot 4, meanwhile, involves the supply and delivery of P10.58-million worth of gas and oil platform takedown equipment and gears. The s…

Philippine Navy deploys ships to patrol Sulu seas

MANILA – The Philippine Navy has deployed 6 ships to prevent the possible escalation of the standoff between Malaysian forces and hundreds of followers of the Sultan of Sulu, who are laying claim to Sabah.
But Navy spokesman Lt. Comm. Gregory Fabic clarified on Thursday that the Navy ships are only conducting patrol within the seas of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
“Instructions [given to us] is to support the Western Mindanao Command and ensure that everything is stable in that area,” he told ANC’s “Top Story”.
Fabic said they were not given instructions to dock in Sabah but assured that the Navy “is there to make the situation stable.”
Fabic also said no instructions were given in relation to the evacuation of the Crown Prince of the Sultanate of Sulu and his men.
“We are hoping that this will be resolved peacefully. If they are retreating, we are not there to help them because we need instructions if they can be picked up,” he said.
Fabic noted that should conflict erupt between Malaysian forces an…

Sulu sultanate denies sabotaging peace efforts

MANILA – A spokesperson for the Sultanate of Sulu on Wednesday denied accusations that the royal family and its followers are out to sabotage the peace efforts of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesperson of the sultanate, said the followers of Sultan Jamalaul Kiram III who have been holed up in Lahad Datu in the Malaysia's Sabah have history on their side in claiming the land.
"We completely deny that. That is unfounded, baseless. I think the president should not listen to anybody na nagsabi ng ganyan," Idjirani told radio dzMM.
"Ang Sabah issue ay iba sa MILF peace talks. Ang MILF peace talks ay internal problem. Ang Sabah issue, geopolitics ang involved dito."
Idjirani was reacting to the sources cited by The Philippine Star who said Sultan Jamalul Kiram III is not acting on his own in highlighting his family's claim over Sabah.
Among those being eyed by administration officials as insti…

China twits Philippines' 'historical, legal errors'

BEIJING, China (UPDATED) -  The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that China had rejected the Philippines' request to submit the two countries' territorial disputes in the South China Sea to international arbitration.
The ministry's spokesman Hong Lei said China's ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing, met on Tuesday with officials from the Philippines' Foreign Ministry to reject the request. Hong stressed that China has consistently advocated resolving territorial disputes bilaterally, a stance he said was supported by the ASEAN countries.
"The Philippines' actions not only violated this consensus, they also make numerous historical and legal errors, including false criticism of China. China absolutely cannot accept it," Hong told a regular news conference in Beijing.
"We hope the Philippine side can scrupulously abide by its promises, not take actions to expand and complicate the situation, and positively respond to proposals made by Chin…

US Ready To Disassemble Warship Stranded At Reef

With the Jascon 25 pipelay crane vessel now at the Tubbataha reef, a spokesman of the United States Navy (USN) said yesterday salvage personnel will begin disassembling and removing the stricken Guardian minesweeper as soon as possible. Lt. Frederick Martin, the USN Combined Task Unit (CTU) Guardian public affairs officer, gave the Manila Bulletin a summary of their salvage plan. He stressed though that "individual steps, such as when to begin disassembling portions of the Guardian, are decisions made by the on-scene salvage experts based on weather and conditions at the site." According to the USN officer, "Jascon 25, a dynamic positioning crane, has arrived in the area. This crane does not need to anchor, so it is expected to be able to operate where the other crane, Smit Borneo, could not. It also has a higher lifting capacity, needed to remove some sections of Guardian." "Once the Jascon completes the Philippine Customs process and aligns and tests its dynamic…

Maguindanao Massacre Suspect Wounded, Captured After Clash With Troops

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato — A suspect in the “Maguindanao Massacre” was wounded and captured when his group clashed with government troops in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Saturday, local authorities said. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) based in Maguindanao said reported Sunday that one gunman was killed in an encounter and that one of those wounded was a certain Tammy Talimbong, a suspect in the Maguindanao Massacre case. An Army official identified as Captain Louie Male of the 45th Infantry Battalion was also wounded during the clash. Male was leading a team in patrolling the highway in Manungkaling district in Mamasapano town when they encountered Talimbong’s group. The soldiers were sent to the area to guard the residents from a group of armed men reported to police. When authorities had Talimbong’s identity checked, they found out the suspect was a former member of the so-called Ampatuan militia and is among those wanted in the Maguindanao massacre in 2009 in which …

Dismantling of US Navy ship to start on Monday

MANILA, Philippines—The American minesweeper USS Guardian, which is stuck on the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan, will be “chopped up” beginning Monday, a Philippine Coast Guard official said Saturday. PCG Palawan District commander Commodore Enrico Evangelista said the crane ship MT Jascon 25 was due to arrive in the area at 11 p.m. Saturday and that salvaging operations for the USS Guardian would begin on Monday. “For the past one month, we prepared the USS Guardian for removal and the best scheme to remove (it) is through cutting,” Evangelista said in an interview. “We have already removed the things that can be removed so now [the entire ship] is ready for removal. We will begin cutting (on Monday).” Evangelista said they had already removed “50-caliber machine guns, small guns and ammunition but no missiles.” The United States earlier hired the services of the salvaging ships MT Trabajador 1 of Malayan Towage and Salvaging Corp. and the Vos Apollo of a Malaysian company based in Singapore.…

Air Force obtains last batch of 8 new W-3 Sokol helicopter

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - With the arrival of two helicopters in Manial early this morning, the Philippine Air Force has received all the eight brand new W-3A Sokol helicopters purchased from Poland, the military said.

The Philippines spent P2.8 billion ($70 million) for the acquisition of the helicopters.

Air Force spokesman Miguel Ernesto Okol said, "With the complement of the eight (Sokols), these will greatly improve our search and rescue capability."

Okol said the senior leadership, including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Air Force chief Lauro Catalino dela Cruz, decided last year to utilize the Sokol aircraft for search and rescue missions because they are twin-engine and have more modern avionics.

The Polish firm delivered the four Sokols in February last year while two others were flown in to the country nine months later. All the six previously-delivered Sokol helicopters are now being used by the Air Force.

The PZL W-3 Sokol helicopter is a medium-siz…