rving the- peop e, securing the

TABLE OF CONTMTS 21 JULY 2012
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Weather Forecast Phil Star p. 8-25

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Military denies ustng kid-'guides' The Philippine Anny on Friday said the New People's Army (NPA) and its supporters in North Cotabato and other parts of the country are at loss on what "imaginary" violations can be huned against the military. NPA rebels take two child hostages Leftist rebels seized mo children on Thursday after gun battle with government security forces in the South Cotabato province, a local military commander said Friday. President fine4:uning his SONA President Benigno Aquino 3rd spent Friday meeting with his speechwriters to tine-tune the State of the Nation (SONA) that he will deliver on July 23. This came as senators hoped that the speech would focus on economic, security and labor Issues, white the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) said that it saw no direct security threats to Monday's event Gov says graft raps politically motivated Cebu Gov Gwendolyn Garcia has dismissed as "politically motivated" the filing of two counts of graft and one count of illegal use of public funds at the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of 24.9 hectares of land worth P98.9 million in Naga City that tumed out to be mostly underwater. Masters' course a prerequisite for generals Military officers seeking promotion to one-star general may have to take the ministers' course in national security administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), officials said. China continues to beef up presence in Panatag Shoal China continued to beef up its presence in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal as about 30 Chinese boats were spotted in the Philippine-owned area last Thursday, a security official said yesterday. Militants set probe into military abuses More militants group have decried the Aquino governments' worsening human rights record and have launched an independent factfinding mission on military abuses. Military to allow Muslim troops to observe Ramadan The military'S Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), which has jurisdiction over the Muslim-dominated provinces in southern Philippines, yesterday vowed to continue addressing security concerns in the area even during the month-long observance of the holy month of Ramadan. Gov't, MILF end exploratory talks After three days of exchanging views and opinion, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Morc Islamic Liberation Front (M1LF) successfully concluded their 29th formal exploratory talks on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital and most populous city in Malaysia.

Manila Bulletin p. 5

Manila Times p. A6

Manila Times p. A 1

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POI p. A14

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POI p. A4

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Phil Star p. 6

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Daily Tribune p. 3

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Daily Tribune p. 2

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Manila Billetin p. 9

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WiUP.-Noy

ever act firmly vs HR violations? force

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P-Noy needs own commando

Phil star p. 11 POI p. A10 Manila Times

I PH

SPOOTSNEWS
Army paddlers

cop gold medal in Indonesia

p. AS

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS-

Email add:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com

- Tel no. (02) 892-1693, Local: 5287, 5295ccc

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Military Denies Using Kid-'Guides' .
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"It was in fact a 'focused military operation' targeting the armed group that occupied fortified bunkers in a The Philippiae Army on Frisecluded place located in the hinterday said the New People's lands. Therefore, the claim that the Army <NPA) and its supporters soldiers used the innocent children in North Cotabato and other parts to guide them towards this camp is a of the country are at a loss on what silly story," he added. "imaginary" violations can be hurled The Army spokesman also said against the military. that Lt. Col. Noel Dela Cruz, the comThis, as Maj. Harold Cabunoc, manding officer of the 57th Infantry the Anny spokesman, stressed that Battalion (lB), investigated the solsoldiers are aware that employment diers of Charlie Company who "were of children for combat purposes is a involved in the operation to shed light big "no" under Army policies and eson the incident. pecially against the existing laws of "He (Dela Cruz) has vowed to punarmed conflict. ish the offenders if anyone is foood to Cabunoc made the statement folhave committed the offense," said lowing reports that government seCabunoc. curlty.forces used children as guides "The soldiers will remain steadduringa.recent military operation in fast in their drive to keep the peace Magpet, North Cotabato. by flushing out the armed rebels from "This allegation is a lame excuse the communities. They will do this by the communists in their rampant while ensuring that the rights of the employment of child combatants as people will be respected," he said. reported by the United Nations SecIn Kidapawan City, meanwhile, retary General Ban ki-Moon during to prove that children were allegedly the 66th General Assembly in Sepused as "guides" during a military optember 2011," said Cabunoc. eration in Magpet, relatives brought The official -pointed out that, the victims to media and recounted "in the first place, the accuser who what happened. claimed that two children were used Domeng, not his real name and as 'guides', didn't surface to show his uncle of Dodong, 13, and Jun-Jun, identity. It is unfair that we are ac12, claimed they decided to bring the cused by faceless people of these sechildren in theopen to refute earlier rious human rights violations." >' '. statements made by a top Army of"The accusation has no merit and ficial that soldiers did not use non- . selt-contradlctory at the very least," combatants when they conducted on . he added.· Monday combat patrol operations in ' Cabunoc said the soldiers did not the villages of Bagumbayan, Amabel, need "guides" duriilgthe operation in andBasak, all in Magpet town. Magpet ''because the exact location Domeng said they took the risk of the encampment was accurately - of disclosing in public what allegedly by a former rebel who be- \F happened with his nephews on July [pinpointed came disgruntled by the senseless - 15 so the people would understand fighting." that they are not creating stories just to destroy the Army.
By ELENA L. ABEN arid MALU CADELINA MANAR

. They also requested media.J~ cover their true identities for securitY reasons. ..

Domeng claimed that on Sunday, at 11 a.m., Dodong and Jun-Jun were headed towards the house of a relative at Sitio Boay-Boay in Barangay • Basak to charge lit cellular phone battery when they chanced upon some . 50 fully-armed elements of the Charlie Company of the 57th lB. . "The soldiers asked us where we're going. When we told them the place, they won't believe us. Instead, they told us to join them in their search for rebels. If we won't tell them, they told us we would be tied to the rubber trees," Dodong recounted in the native dialect. "The soldiers searched two houses in the area yet they could not find any rebels. We were freed at 3 p.m.," recounted .tun-Jun. Domeng claimed they did not meet any staff of the Commission on Human Rights (CRR) in Region 12 when they visited Barangay Bagumbayan last Wednesday to check on the veracity of the reports. "We were not informed of the CHR visit. Besides, we were afraid toeven go to the nearby village for fear we might meet the soldiers along the way. We are afraid of them;" he explained. They, however, are willing to give testimonies to the CHR. Earlier, Lt. Nasrullah Serna of the 57th IB denied allegations that some of their men used children as guides. "We know that using children or civilians during wars is prohibited by law and by existing covenants and . agreements like the CARHRIHL We were trained to respect h~~ rrights, especially children'S rights, at' all times," said Serna.' _. The armed fighting between the ~y and the communist guerrillas last Monday resulted in the evacuation of several families from three villages, many of whom had returned homes after two days, the reports said.

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II SONA FROM A1

President fine-tuning his SONA
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President flne-tuninq ..
"He [President Aquino J has to be dear on. our stand and have concrete plans 0 f action that will address the impending problems involving trade, tourism and national security. . This will have a great impact not , only on our national territory, but also on our economy with China, it being our third-largest trading partner," Revilla said. Th1~senator also wants the President to. give his real stand on moves to amend the 1987 Constitution. He . also expects Mr. Aquino to say something on measures like' the freedom ofinformation (FOI) bill, the sin tax law and the administration's plan on power supply. . Sm. Panfilo Lacson, believes that . President Aquino would also tackle the new executive order on mining and judicial reform. Meanwhile, Col. Amulfo Marcelo Burgos Ir., Armed Forces spokesman, said that the military is closely coordinating with the PNP in preparation for Monday. ' "We have not monitored {any direef:threat] but as I've said, we will continue to monItor and coordinate with the security forces and grouud forces" Burgos said. He added that as a security precaution, AFP National Capital Region Commandhas prepared seven crowd dispersal management (CDM) units coming from the Anl1Y, Air Force ind the Navy in support of the National Capital Region Police Office WCRPO), which is leading the security preparations. WITH REPORTS fROM JEFfERSON ANTIPORDA AND WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

BY JAIME R. PllAPIL REPORTER PRESfDENTBenigno Aquino 3rd spent Friday meeting with his speechwriters to finetune the State ofthe Nation Addresu (SaNA) that he will deliveron July 23. This came as senators hoped that the speech would focus on economic, security and labor issues, while the Intelligeace Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) said that it saw no direct security threats to Monday's event. According to .Palace spokesman Edwin Laderda, Aquino's speech is already on its seventh draft. "This year's speech takes much more time to prepare, and the drafts are a lot fewer {compared to last year] ... The President is going to roll out what happened during the past year and from 'there you could already see our programs of government. our two, pillars: the anti-corruption [and] social alleviation

>--SONAA2

programs. There will be a slew of topics to be discussed by the President, • . Laderda said. He added that though Mr. Aquino will deliver his speech in Filipino, "there will be a translation" to cater to foreign dignitaries who will troop to the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City. Iaderda said that besides enumerating the administration's gains, the President will unveil his economic road map, which some had perceived as lacking in his administration. For her part, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that the priority bills approved by Congress would form part of President Aquino's speech. "One is the Kasambahay bill. [Anotheris] the bill to extend lifeline rates for discounts on electricity to a certain demographic of the population. The whistleblower's act also successfully passed the Lower House. 'Thereare about ten to eleven bills that have already passed the Lower House: she said. Atthe Senate,Senate Presidentluan Ponce Emile said that he is hoping President Aquino would discuss the economic direction of his administration and the problem of security. . Enrile also hopes to hear Mr. Aquino discuss the country's general security situation, but not necessarily the ongoing disputes between Manila and Beijing over parts of the West Philippines Sea (South China Sea). For his part, Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. said that the President should discuss his plans and policy on how to proceed with our relations with China.

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Gov says graft raps politically motivated
18y C~el.Loise Matus Inqui'fer'Visayas

CEBU CITY-Cebu Gov. !(}wenddlyn Garcia has dismissed as "politically pIotivated" the filing of two counts of graft and <;me count of illegal use of public funds at the Sandiganbayan for the purchase of 24.9 hectares of land worth f98.9 .• illion in Naga m City that turned out to be mostly under water.
o Garcia told reporters on ;rhursday night that she found jhe timing of the filing suspio€ious ecause it was done after b me' announcement that she was among the possible senatorial 'Candidates of the United NarionalistAlliance (UNA) in the ~013 elections, " She added that the charges ;wereJiled.a day before she was to'; deliver the State of the Frovince Address. .''Itis rather eerie that it (the illi?g) occurred now. The political seasonis on," Garciapointedout. The governor said they have filed two motions-motion to dismiss and reiterative motion to dismiss. They had yet to receive copies of the resolutions . . . .on the two motions. ,"

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the UNA and her inclusion in the senatorial lineup, said Vice President Jejomar Binay who' was in Cebu with other UNA stalwarts. , "We have no reason not to support her. She is the first lady governor of Cebu and first lady governor to run for senatar whose talent and confidencehave been proven;' Binay told reporters during the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commander's Forum at the Central Command. , ' Garcia and two of her corespondents~Anthony Sususco and Emme Gingoyon-met on Friday morning with her four lawyers at the Capitol. They were spokesperson Rory Jon Sepulveda, legal officer Marino Martinqui1la, consultantand head of the Committee. on Discipline and Investigation LitoAstillero and Cristina Garcia-Frasco, daughter of the governor who will be the lead counseL After the meeting, Sepulveda, who spoke on behalf of the group, said that they would prioritize the posting of the baiL The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday found prob-

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able cause to indict the governor with two counts. of graft and one count of illegal use of public funds for the 2008 purchase of 24,9-hectare Balili estate in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City It turned OUtthat at least 19 hectares of the property was under water, according to the Department of Enviroriment and Natural Resources. . Garcia, 'the Ombudsman said, also signed the deal with the Balilis despite the province having no funds earmarked for it. ' The Ombudsman said the officials also lied about the real condition of the land and disregarded findings that more than half of it is under water to ensure passage of a provincial board resolution authorizing Garcia to enterinto the deal. ,Charged with one, count of graft with Garciawere Gingoyon, then provincial budget officer; Sususco,then chair of the ProvincialAppraisalCommittee(CPAC), then provincial Board Member Juan Bolo; then CPACmembers Roy Salubre and EulogioPelayre; and landownerAmparoBaliliand her lawyerRomeoBalili. Garcia said she found it strange that only her name came out. 'We are not aware that the others who were included in the complaint were dropped from the case," she said. The other respondents in the Balilicase induded the late Vice

_[The pending graft cases will not affect Garcia's standing at

WIth a rep?rtfr~m Chito O. Aragon, Inqulrer Vzsayas

<11 July 2012

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Masters' course a prerequisite for generals
By TJ Burgonio
MILITI\RY officers seeking promotion to
one-star general may have to take the masters' course in national security administration at the National Defense College of the philippines (NDCP), officialssaid. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazrnin and Armed Forces Chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa have agreed to make the Master in National security Administration (MNSA) a requirement for nomination to the rank of brigadier-general, accord-· ing to NDCP president Fermin de Leon in an interview. 'We're benchmarking with 'oUr AFP's counterparts. The US National Defense University in washington DC requires . their MNSA equivalent course for offices before they become one-star generals," . De Leon said. The MNSA is a one-year course offeredby the NDCP for militarY officials, and personnel in civilian government agencies and the private sector .. After the NDCP was removed from the Armed Forces and made a civilian bureau under the Department of National Defense in 1973, the MNSA became an optional course for military officers .. In a 20n audit report, the Co~~sion on Audit (COA) observed that military representation 9id not reach the College's required 60 percent, and the number of graduateS did not reach 50. . Some of the enrollees were observed to be over the NDCP's age limit although De Leon argued that the Defense s~etary was authorized to grant warvers, among others, based on the ~ec?mmen.dation of the board of adnusslons, depending on the merits of the applicant. "It's based on a smce case-to-case basis depending on the merits," he said. "We have cases where they top the four components of the exams, and the only problem is that they are over-aged or under-aged by a few months. These are some of the reasons the Secretary upon the recommendation of the board of admissions, [waive the age requirement]." The age limit for uniformed personnel, applicants from private sector; and . military officers from allied countries is 51, and for civilians, 55, according to theCOA. De Leon also said it was the military that failed to fill up the required quota of 30 in a class of 50 students. Now that MNSA is mandatory, the quota for military officers is being increased to 40, he said. .

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China continues to beef up presence in Panatag Shoal
China continued to beef up By ALEXIS ROMERO its presence in Panatag (Scar- vesselsin the area afterPresident borough) Shoal as about 30 Aquino ordered the pullout of Chinese boats were spotted in two localships last JW1e alleg15 the Philippine-owned area last edly due to bad weather. Thursday, a security offlcial .. Theseships:-;one from the said yesterday. .'......" Coast Guardandone from The source, whospokeon the BureauofPisheries and condition of anonymity"saidAquaticResources -:',usedto there were indications that the , symbclizethe PhiHppines' Chinese vessels were fiShing . ownership of the area)i well within the Philippines' ex'Thesevessels faced'offwith elusive economic zone (EEZ). Chinese ships that started ocThe number of Chineseves-cupying the shoal lasti\.pril. sels was 10 times more than the I t remains unclear whether three ships spotted in the shoal Philippine vessels would' be during a previous monitoring redeployed to the shoal, by the government early this In contrast, China-mainmonth. tained its presence in theshoal · "They seem to becontinueven though the Philippines' ing their fishingactivities. ownership of the area is backed There is really no fishing ban," by international law, . .: '. . the source said, Panatag Shoal is located 124 ' The information about the nautical miles from the nearest presence of Chinese boats was base point-in Zambales. The based on a reportby officials Philippines' ownership of the monitoring the situation in shoal.is backed bythe United the area. Nations Conventiorr.on the The ships were spotted last Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), bf Thursday, two days after the which China is a signatory .. ·Russian Coast Guard appreBothManila and Beijingsup- . hendedSe Chinese fishermen port peaceful means to resolve , and seized two Chinese vessels the dispute despite incidents that entered its territory. of bullying by Chinese ships of . The Chinese fishermen re- Filipinovessels and fishermen. : · portedlytried.to fish in the Last June 25, the Depart-' Primorsky region, which is ment of Foreign Affairs (DFA) within Russia's EEZ. . announced that the Philip..decJined,!9 PJ:();:',Pill~,.an,d.Cl1iI1a.had.reached ..•. to how,manY.a'/e,~aLagreemenno pull out . the ]fartatagtromtheJagoonbutno.t the wider vicinity of the shoal. .however, ChiChina, however, did. not nese fishermen who engaged honor the agreement-as the I in illegal fishing in the shoal Philippine Navy reported the j were accompanied by govern-following day that 23 Chinese ment vessels. boats were inside 'the lagoon. When asked why the num-. China, the Philippines; and ber of Chinese vessels in- other Southeast countries are creased, the source said: Per- embroiled in a territorial dispute
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Militants set probe into military abuses
up charges against the government's critics, More militant groups have harassment, intimidation and decried the Aquino witch hunting continue, government's wor'seningKarapatan-STaverred. human-rights record and have "Such wanton disregard of launched an independent fact. human rights in the country .finding mission on military called the attention of the abuses. international community. The Militant group Bagong Aquino administration was 'Alyansang Makabayan Timog- ' criticizedby almost70countries Katagalugan(Bayan-TK) last May during the United , assailed the continuing Nations Periodic Reviewof the violationsofhwnan rights in the UNHuman Rights Council in ',country. Geneva, Switzerland for not . " In a statement through its resolving significant cases of secretary general, XLFuentes, human rights abuses Bayan-TKpointed out that the committed against the people," '. Aquino regime was no different Fuentes added, j~om those of Gloria Arroyo "With this, it now becomes and Ferdinand Marcos. imperative for the people to "The Aquino regime did further the struggle toward a nothing to advance the respect humane future. In Quezon, for of our human rights, instead example, human-rights i-'the regime through its Oplan advocates started a fact.finding ~iBayanihan campaign, mission (FFM) at San Narciso' intensified military operations town, where there were : against our people were being reports of recent skirmishes - pursued; indiscriminate firing, between the military and the <burning of properties, among New People's Army. The FFM ' ':"others become rampant like has been gathering relevant, ;,iwhat happened last June 30 in unbiased and credible data on Quezon Province. It aims to the incidents and will provide further the prevailing culture recommendations on how the of impunity," Fuentes claimed. rights of people, especially Another human-rights children must be respected on .' group, Karapatan-S'P has places with armed conflict," , .decried the filing of trumped- Fuentes added.

By

PafC. Santos

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Military to allow Muslim troops to observe Ramadan
By Mario J. Mallari

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The railitiJ.fY's Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), which has jurisdiction over the Muslim-dominated provinces in So.u.thern Philippines, yestp,rday vowed to continue addressing security concerns in the area even during the month-long ObS. ervance (lithe holy month of Ramadan. Lt. Col. Erwin Alea, commander .. of the 4th Civil Relations Group (CRG) based in Zamboanga City, however, said the we.smincom would also give consideration to its MuWn personnel in the observance of Ramadan which started yesterday up to Aug. 18. "The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Western Mindanao Commandjolns the entire

continue to do its part to secure Muslim community in the observance of the month long . the communities and its populace and will see to it that there will be celebration of Ramadan, a sacred pillar of Islam," Alea said. no thre!lt or any untoward incident of ."Ramadan i$ a time of spiritua l during the observance reflection and worship where RamaJall," he said. Muslims are expected to put more During Ramadan, Muslims observafasttng ail part of effort into fo1!owing the teachings of Islam, Traditionally, they retrain cleansingtheirhlner soul and from eating, drinking, smoking and freeing it from harm. It also from irreligious sights and sounds teaches Muslims to practice selfdiscipline, self-control, sacrifice from dawn to sunset, hence, the AFP gives due conskieration to its and empathy :or those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging' members of Islam faith to revere actions of generosity and and observe solemnly this occasion," he added .. charity. . .. However, Alea stressed that this The WeJffiUnCOm the Muslimhas dominstedpwinces ofSulu, Basilan occasion will not hinder military and '1'awi4'awi. under its juri~diction. forces from performing its mandate Basilan and Sulu are known to be in addressing the security concerns the operating areas of the terrorist in Western Mindanao. "The government forces will Abu 3ayyaf group.

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Gov't ,'MILF End Exploratory Talks
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By NONOY E. LACSON

ZAMBOANGA CITY - After three days of exchanging views and opinion, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) successfully concluded their 29th formal exploratory talks on Thursday in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital and most populous City in Malaysia. Both the GPHand the MILFrepresentatives expressed confidence in their discussions on mechanisms towards realizing the New Autonomous Political Entity (NAPE) set to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao CARMM).The NPE is one of the 10common standpoints indicated in the Decision Points on Principles signed by the panels in April. In a joint statement, the parties said they continued discussions on substantive issues, which include power-sharing and other related matters. They agreed to meet again

in August. "We are aware that we are now approaching the cusp of history," GPH peace panel chair Dean Marvic Leonen said in his closing statement. "For a centuries-old conflict and years of negotiations, we definitely will face the hardest questions and confront our principals with the hardest decisions yet ever to be made in these negotiations." Leonen stated that both parties have accomplished "something which the GPH and the MILF have never achieved before in these talks. These agreements may be in principle, some in detail," However, he was quick to add that the government remains guardedly optimistic. "For the GPH, there are still many issues to be resolved, including the mechanisms that will ensure the delivery of all these commitments made through broad acceptance by all our critical sectors." Malaysian facilitator Tengku Dato' Ghafar Tengku bin Mohamed

the vision of the Final Peace Agreement." "However, we feel there are a lot of work to be .done. One thing is -we are moving very fast. I think thatis important. The spirit of the whole Final Agreement is understood by both parties," he said. . On the same note, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal agreed that the parties "have achieved something." He congratulatedeveryone for enduring three days of hard discussions. Leonen said the government looks forward to the day when both sides are "able to sign the first of a series of agreements." "The GPH believes that we are at the door of something new, and that something new would be to sign an agreement. And then to go on to the next phase of our relationship - to actually implement and be able to achieve the just and lasting peace that our people so richly deserve," he added.

GPH and the MILF are "closer to

also. expressed optimism that the

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AIGround level
.BySATURC. OCAMPO

firmly vs HR violations?
As he prepares to deliver his third Human lfignts Watch, which last ridicule of our culture. We make efforts state-of-the-nationaddress on Monday, March urged the P-Noy government to such as establishingschools through the President Aquino is once again being act on 10extrajudicialkillings it had re- support of church organizations and sharply rebuked for continuing human corded in 2011,now has focused on the non-government organizations. rights violationsunder his watch - and killings of environmen tal activists. "Education not only teaches Lumads pressed to act decisively against these. . Since the crimes are attributed mostly basic literacy and numeracy. It is also an Last May 29, at the UN Human to paramilitary forces underAFPconinstrument to teachLumad children our Rights Council "universal periodic re- i trol, HRW presses the government to culture, our traditions, our direction, as view" of the Philippines' human rights ban such armed groups "because of apeople. Education becomes an instruperformance, 22 nations deplored the • their ICinghistory of serious human ment to teach our children to'defend our gov~rnment's "dismal.rec?~dflit; I?ros- I rights.vi?lations." , land. Education is our right." ecutmg cases of extrajudicial killings, Coincidentally, Environment SecreThe. group says that since 2011, enforced disappearances, and torture. tary Ramon Paje has reported that 20 Northeastern Mindanao has become the Theyurged the government to take de- DENRworkersand civil-society partners AFP's staging ground for intensified cisive measures" to end the climate of havebeen killedinthe last two years.The military operations against the New impunity. . TigilMina and Kalikasan People's NetPeople's Army,and since February 2012 However, P-Noy has apparently ig- i work for their part claimthat 17environthe AFP has launched "live-fire excurnored that international reprobation ..mentalactivists havebeen slain under the sions,aerial strafingand bombing runs" and demand for decisive action. . ' present administration. .'. . over their ancestral mountain land. For one, his administration hasn't HRW warns of further killings in . Such operations, phis the presence of done what Australia, among others, view of the government's determined government troops in the Lumad com'specificallydemanded: to arrest retired push for more investments in mining. munifies, have adversely affected Maj. Gen. Jovita Palparan Ir.,tagged by In a statement from New York, HRW schools in Paquibato district in Davao human rights lawyers as "Exhibit A" deplores the factthat while the governand in the provincesof Surigao,Agusan, and "poster boy" for impunity. ment "has enacted decrees to encourDavao del Norte,. Sarangani, and Palparan has defied the Bulacan court age mining investments in the PhilipBukidnon. arrest order issued last year on the pines, (it) has done little to stop attacks The statement adds: charges against him of abduction, tor- on environmental advocates." "There is a common threat to the ture, and disappearance of twofotmer In~ related move, advocacy groups schools (by) the presence of soldiers in UP coeds in 2006. asserting have launched a campaign to pursuit of 'peace and development' pro~ Worse,the government has allowed defend.the indigenous people's right to gram in far-flung communities. ,. Solthe extrajudicial killings to continue.. education, protesting the military's indiers have occupied our communities, . The report to the UNHRC, submit-: trusionontheir'schools'~ndharassment questioned the existenceof our schools, . ted by ~a~apa~a~,showed 76 cases of of teachers and schoolchildren. interrogated our teachers, and branded extralud~c~al l~ngs and 49,frustra~ed ~ Through the "Mindanao Conference ou~, chools as 'rebel ~chools.' s . extrajudicial killingsunder the AqUl,no in Defense of Schools under Attack," Government soldl~rshave begun to government as .0£ end~March 2012. recently held in Davao City, 118teach.. conduct classes for children, We ,:,o'nAs of June 30, the EJK cases rose to ers, directors ofliteracy and non-formal . der why they take over our f1;1ncho~s. 99 and the frustrated EJKs,to 60. , schools, and indigenous (Lumad) com- . They also b,randus Lumads as enem~es . Karapatan says ~a~ most of the VIC- munity leaders, issued a statement?f the state ..Thus, har~ssm~nt and killtims w~r~farmers, m~:hgenous per~ons, .which sa s in art: .' . mg of our people continue, .. . and actl;l1stsadvocating ff!rland nghts "We fo!'action from the. overn.The conferencestate,ment c~mcludes and er:vI~onrnenta: rotection, It ~lame~ ment to uphold our right to ed~cation WIth a de.n:andfor the Imn:e.dlatepu!lp the kIll,mgs mainly on t,he new and defend our community schools out of military and 'p~ramlh~ary U~ltS count~rmsurge;ncy campa~gn, Opl~n from continuing harassment from the f~omt~e I~ communities,the mvestigaBayanihan, th~t~sallegedly tied up WIth military. For so long, we Lumads have lion of:nCldentsof harassments, and the large-scale mlm~g, energy, and other. suffered from conditions of discrun ina- ~crapJ;)1t;gf laws and p~ograms pusho government proJects. . tion and neglect, the plunder of our an- mg mmmg and other projectsthat plunII

wm·p.Noy ever act

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·OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com

... Tel no. (02) 892.1693, Local: 5257.5295

Will P~Noy ever heed the ever-incre~sing dema,nds to decisively act agamst human nghts violations? UP law professor and rights lawyer Teodoro Te aptly puts across this unsolicited advice to the President: "In ,all your previous (SONAs), human rights have gotten a token reference, It is about time that it occupied not only your whole speech but your entire tenure," E-mail: satur.ocampo@gmail.com

*

OFRCE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpa.Jlpa@yahoo.com

- Tel no. (02) 892·1693.local~ 5287,5295

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.2, Jufy 2012

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P-Noy needs own commando force
THE CREEPING downward movement of President Aquino's approval rating is giving his critics' spirits a Hft. They see in it some lightat . the end of the tunnel, which buoys their outlook for 2013, Expect them to rev up their griping about his performance. The Palace boys, especially the fellows in the communications group, may not show it but they must be having jitters. . Why the declining numbers? P-Noy has been in Malacafiang for two years. 'While abstract yardsticks have been good and hailed by the liberal community, concrete measures of progress haven't been as tangible. Local and foreign businessmen are excited anew, the stock market is astir, and foreign rating agencies are waxing sanguine again. And yet, the masses are getting restless, with a little push from his critics. The man is making life hard for government officials accustomed to having the national treasury as their milking cow. Government projects are said to now be clean, meaning the widespread. practice of kickbacks and bribery has been exorcised from the system. Key public agencies, like the Metro Manila Development Authority, appear to be working earnestly to transform the metropolis into a less chaotic place. The Bureau of Internal Revenue is going after tax evaders like there is no tomorrow. Self-sufficiency in rice, an elusive Holy Grail so desperately sought by past presidents, may be in sight. P.Noy has commanded his Cabinet to perform-or else. But why are his survey numbers dropping, to the delight of those who don't like him? Is the people's goodwill gone? Is the Ninoy/Cory halo atop his head fading? . The exertions of P-Noy and his people haven't translated into improved incomes 'across the board; from the middle class to the dirt-poor. Commodities have yet to be more affordable to the masses. Except for the recent easing of gas prices because of lower demand in the wealthy countries, the cost of practically everything has been a continuing burden on the people, not only the really poor. Despite overall bright economic indicators,

Leandro V. Coronel
prosperity is not knocking on the doors of those who really need it. As INQUIRER columnist Cielito Habito has noted, the rising economic tide hasn't lifted all boats; The poor are still poor. Crime has been terrorizing communities. Street crimes, home burglaries and kidnappings have been filling newscasts and newspaper pages. Personal crimes-those that involve persons being robbed, molested or killed-appear to be on the rise, or at least are more visible, police claims to the contrary notwithstanding. When citizens are murdered for a mere cell phone; society must be alarmed, not only those who are often in the streets and, therefore, are vulnerable, but also those who seem to be safe in their gated enclaves. P-Noy must crack the whip and sic the police on criminals. Crime may be happening on individual streets, in individual homes and in indio vidual communities, but it's a national problem, a societal scourge. Crack the whip, P-Noy must, .especially because policemen themselves are said to carry out some or many ofthe crimes. If the police are too inept.and helpless against criminals, P-Noy must find other ways to make our communities clean and the citizenry safe. He cannot Simply wait for the police to do their job, he must make them do it. In this connection, the continuing elusiveness of fugitives like the so-called "butcher" Jovita Palparan, suspected murder mastermind ex-Gov Joel Reyes, and the hard-to-describe convicted murderer Ruben Ecleo is a nagging embarrassment to the President, like a nasty boil on his neck. The government's failure to capture these high-profile suspects and others contributes significantly to the perception of the Aquino administration as inept. And now a Jordanian national has been kidnapped in Mindanao, further embarrassing local executives, the police and the national govern-

ment, Justice has evaded the families of the' missing Jonas Burgos and the two University of the Philippines coeds said to have been abducted by the military. If the police can't do the job, P-Noy should mobilize his own, personal SWAT-like.force to.., track down criminals on the lam. Civil rights. advocates may cavil about such an operation;' but he has to do something. In any case, thi commandos-or more accurately, the tracking team-will not take out the fugitives them' selves; they'll just sniff and stake out the latter's whereabouts and then let the police cap" . ture them. All right, let's not call them a commando force, let's just call them trackers. . P-Noy has to. be able to present Palparan, Reyes or Ec1eo-better still, all of them-to the public soon. Or his survey numbers will continue to tumble. Arid while he's at it, ,F-Noy needs one or two . trusted personal advisers who can be frank with him about what's working and what's not in his administration. He needs someone with savvy and gravitas to break down issues and problems for him, the better for him to make the right decisions on how to implement things. Perhaps P-Noy already has some kind of setup that includes personal advisers who give him sage counsel on key issues. He may have in place action men (and women) as his personal posse or trackers to go after those who defy and dodge conventional police action. Despite what his critics say and spread, I believe that the President is no dummy. But with Palparan et al. still at large and no police results so far, we can safely conclude that there is no such setup under P-Noy. Time .to get cracking. '------. I Leandro V. Corpnel's commentaries have aw peared in a number of Manila dailies and are currently carried by FiZ-Am newspapers ·in Washington and Toronto. Juan L. M~rcado is on medical leave. He will resume his "Viewpoint" shortly.-ED.

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J/.July 2012

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At

PHArmy paddlers cop gold medal in Indonesia meet
BY EMIL C. NOGUERA REPORTER

'TI

E Philippine Army dragon boat team dded another feather to 'its nip by' ' winning a gold medal in the lOth Padang ~ International Dragon Boat Festival held at the Banda Bakali River Haji Agus -Salim Complex Stadium in West Sumatra, Indonesia.
Games champion Indonesia arid perennial title contenders Myanmar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. "We are very honored to represent the Army and the courttry in the international Dragon

The Filipino paddlers submitted the fastest time of three minutes and 36:39 seconds to dominate the men's BOO·meter Inter-Union event, beating 15 other teams including those from reigning Southeast Asian

Boat competitions. This is our humble way of showing to the people that we have homegrown world-class athletes who can make a difference in the' sport," said team captain Sgt. Usman Anterola, Indonesian teams Marwitim Surabaya (3:39:73) and Dolphin Marinir Jakarta (3:40:04) settled for silverand bronze, respectively. Other members of the team were Elpidio Lucero, Franco Tinoco, Reynaldo Baylon, Rodrigo Tanuan Ir.. Salvador Sumagansay, Ronald Tan, Romy Dionio, Ioernar Ocquiana, Elwin Juan, Iomon Ocquiana, Sonny Bendebel. raj ere Sahibad, Rey

Rizada, Jose Ijalo, Ramel Donesa, Isagani Bayson, Alvin Sab ijo n, Gerald dela Cruz, Ramie Llano, Jayson dela Cruz, Hardy Pabulayan, Joseph Cabarles Ir., Reynel Parafiaque and Leomar Mirasol, Some of the Philippine Army paddlers were members of the national squad that won five gold and two silver medals in the prestigious International Dragon Boat Federation World Championship held in Tampa, Florida last year. They also ruledtournaments in dragon goat championships in .Carnarines Sur,Boracay,Zarnbales .and Manila earlythis year.