rving the- people, securing the


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Manila Bulletin p~ 8-2




Body of Army soldier seized by NPAs found The remains of a soldier seized last year by New People's Army (NPA) rebels was dug up in a remote village in Bukidnon on Tuesday, the Army said yesterday. NPA 'helps' family retrieve remains of abducted soldier - The body of a soldier abducted by the New People's Army last year was exhumed in Bukidnon last Tuesday, a military spokesman said yesterday. Body of abducted soldier found The remains of a soldier believed to be abducted and executed by communist rebels last year was found in Pagan village, Bukidnon more than a year after he was declared missing, the military_said Wednesday. Sundalong bihag, inutas - Tinorture bago pinaslang ng mga rebeJdeng New People's Army (NPA) ang isang sundalo na dinukot ng mga ito sa Quezon, Bukidnon noong Pebrero 2011 na nadiskubre matapos matunton ang pinaglibingan rito kamakalawa. Kinidnap na sundalo pifiata


Phil Star p. A-22

Malaya p. 8-3


POI p. A-7

Ngayon p, 6

PMp.2 Phil Star p. A-22

2 military generals get new posts Two military officers have been named to key positions with the retirement of two generals who are members of the controversial Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1978.


Military vows justice for slain Mangyan leader
The military has vowed justice for a slain Mangyan tribal leader programs in his who actively pushed for development community. hits police raid on enclave


Phil Star p. A-22



Phil Star p. A-22 Manila Bulletin p. 14



Outstanding Soldiers An engineer. An administrator. An inventor. A helicopter gunner. What do they all have in common? They are all soldiers. Gazmin hopeful AFP modernization bill to be passed this year Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin hopes the bill seeking to fund the military's modernization program would be passed into law within the year. Navy Rescue AFP offers to help East Timor ARMED Forces chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa yesterday offered to military improve its capability through help Timor-Leste's education and training. RP offers military assistance to Timor teste



Phil Star p. 11

Manila Bulletin p. 17 Malaya p. B-3


Daily Tribune

p, 3


While it is struggling to upgrade its own capability, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday offered assistance to fledgling Southeast Asian neighbor Timor leste to build up its military capability. Chinese fishing fleet closes in on Pag-asa A fleet of 20 Chinese fishing vessels believed to be escorted by at least two naval frigates of the People's Liberation Army has been deployed around pag-asa Island in a move likely to escalate tensions over disputed territories in the SpraUy archipelago between the Philippines and China.



PDI p. A-1





Facing up to China with sheer guts POI p. A-9 If a surface-to-air missile were fired from a Chinese frigate, it would have easily taken out a blue-colored surveillance plane of the Philippine Navy that flew over the Hasa-Hasa Reef in the mornina of July 14. Sansha: China's expanding toehold in disputed area PDI p. A-15 China's newest city is a remote island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) barely large enough to host a single airstrip. It has a post office, bank, supermarket and a hospital, but little else. Fresh water comes by freighter on a 13-hour journey from China's southernmost province. SOVFA to boost cooperation on border security Phil Star p. 17 The Status of the Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) between the Philippines and Australia would enhance the two countries' cooperation on border security, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said yesterday. Defense chief pleased with Senate ratification of SoVFA Daily Tribune p. 3 The Status of the Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA) between the Philippines and Australia would enhance the two countries' cooperation on border security, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said yesterday.




16-17 18

Phil Star p. 15

P-Noys SONA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Oapat noon pal




AFP, tuloy ang operasyon vs ASG kahit panahon ng Ramadan Hindi umano isususpinde ng militar ang kanilang operasyon laban sa rebeldeng Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) at iba pang mga grupo na nag-o-operate sa ilang mga lugar sa Western Mindanao kahit nasa kalagitnaan og obserbasyon og buwan ng Ramadan na nagsimula noonq ika-21 ng buwan ito.


.···OFFlCEOF THEARMYCHIEFPUBUCAFFAlRS~ Ernailadd:oaCpa...hPa@yahOc.com"'TelnO.

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Thursday, July 26, 20 I 2 UV: 11 Rft85%



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High;1ow Norma! igh,Aow h

32.2/24.4 31.1/23.9

Baguio :;H/16 RF:28/16
;;;:.,,'!;\ -

. Tuesday Monthto date

NormaJmorrtfl to date 334.3 mm . Yearto date 1067.1 mm Normalyear to date 792,2 mm
Shown Is1ilday's we..tIJer. Tempel'8lu~ are today,. hiIIhs and tonight\! lows. Rf: The patented Ac1lllWeathar.com Re8lFeel Temperaturro" is an exclUGive index of effective temper'&ufe based (II) eight wemher factors. W: The higher !h~

. .6.1 mm 402.1 mm



UV:::Ji RH:80%


MWWeather.com IN fnlfex'" fltImtlf:r,the greater lIle flee<! lor ffje and sltin protection. fl.2low; 3·S MOOerate: 6-7 High;a.1O Very
High; 11+ Extreme. RIt Relawe Humidity.

Puerto Princesa RF:42/28
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July 2012

Body of Army soldier seized by NPAs found
The remains of a soldier seized last year by New People's Army (NPA) rebels was . dug up in a remote village in Bukidnon on Tuesday, the Army said yesterday. Maj. Eugenio Julio Osias IV; spokesman of the Army's 4th Infantry Division, said the recovery.of the body of S/Sgt. Wilton Pairat doused his family's hopes that he was still alive. NPA rebels snatched the 55-year-old Pairat, formerly assigned to the 67th Infantry Battalion, in Barangay Kipolot in Quezon, Bukidnon on Feb. 6 last year. "Since then, efforts to secure his release failed to materialize until recent reports were obtained that his NPA captors have executed him," Osias said. The search ended on Tuesday when his family, after reportedly spending P30,OOO, was able to pinpoint the exact location of his grave in the outskirts of Barangay Kitubo in Kitaota town. - Jaime Laude

~. B-.3

NPA'helps' family retrieve remains of abducted soldier
THE body of a soldier abducted by the New People's Army last year was exhumed in Bukidnon last Tuesday, a military spokesman said yesterday. The exhumation in Pagan village, Kitaotao town was "supervised" by NPA rebels who told the family of S/Sgt. Wilton Pairat, 55, where they buried the soldier, said Maj. Eugenia Julio Ostas, spokesman of the Army's 4th Infantry Division. Pairat was taken on February 6 last year in Kipolot village, Quezon town, "They (rebels) called the famii:, ',:;1\'; asked them if they wanted to retrieve the body (of the soldier) ... But they said they will only tum over the body to the family. So they (family) went uphill to recover the body," Osias said. Osias said Pairat's family spent about P30,OOO for the workers who dug the remains and the vehicle they contracted, He said the family of Pairat received the body from the rebels in Kitubo village, also in Kitaotao. Based on the state of decomposition, Pairat was killed "a month ago or more." Pairat, a father of two, already flled for retirement before he was abducted, said' Osias. - Victor Reyes .

Body of. abducted soldier found ~.P'I
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THEMlIlfARYyester- said in a statement ". day accused the New He added they ! People's Army (NPA) would also assist the .of abducting and victim's family. . killing a soldier 'Whose; The military said body was recovered Pairat was abducted Thesday in Bukidnonby the NPA in Baranafter being missing for 'gay Kipolot, Quemorethanayeru: :zon, Bukidnon on The remains of Feb. 6, 2011. Staff Sgt. "WIlton: "He was murdered Pairat, 55, fonnerly of •and was buried at the 67th Infantry Bat- Barangay Pagan of talion of the 10th In- the same municipalifantry Division, were . ty. With his abduction, recovered in Barangay I his family still hoped Pagan, Kitaotao, Buki- and Waited for any don, Thesday mom- signs of life until July ing. He was abducted of this year, when it by the NPA in 2011, was confirmed to the military said. .them by the NPAs that "My condolence to Pairatis dead," said the family of your sol- the statement. diet: We will help the It said the 67th In10th Infantry Division fanny Battalion nego' '.. . .•. . in hunting the culprit tiated with the rebels -ARMY ..•• .... EF.· in this ruthl~s do ev- to l~te but the NPA ...........•... : der and we will mur- remams, the soldiers :.·CHt.· .:. .' >"... erything in our capac- demanded that only ity to give justice for his family' could reyour soldier;"4th In- \ coverhis body. " fantry Division chief The victim's famiMaj. Gen. Victor Felix ly then.z-id the buriI,

a1 site dug and the.
soldier's body was' recovered, the statement said. "Pairar is a father of two clilldren who had foresighted to spend more time with their father since the latter alreadyappliedforretirement. Since he is a soldier; he only spent a limited time with his family, and his retirement was supposed to be the opportunity for him to be a full-time husband and father;" the statement said. "He could have given his family more quality time and he could have saved more memories of a happy family for his 'son and daughter; but this will never

NPA who does not care and .who will murder anyone who will hinder their selfish cause," it added.

Philip C. Meza


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2 military generals get new posts
Two military officers have been named to key positions with the retirement of two genends who are members of the controversial Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1978. Brig. Gen. Benito de Leon was named acting commandant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Command and General Staff College, succeeding Rear Adm. Victor Martir who retired from the service on Tuesday. On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad was designated acting commander of the Army's 9th Infantry Division based in Camarines Sur. He succeeded Maj. Gen. Josue Caverza who bowed out of service yesterday. Martir and Gaverza belong to PMA Class 1978, which adopted former President Gloria MacapagaI-Arroyo as honorary member. Martir was former deputy chief for intelligence while Gaverza used to be the commander of the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade. De Leon and Baladad are members of PMA Class 1981 and 1982, respectively. Both officers have been implicated in criminal offenses but the allegations against them have yet to be proven. . De Leon was among the military officers implicated in the large-scale corruption in the military. Last January, the Department of Justice recommended the indictment of De Leon and other officers for plunder. On the other hand, Baladad was among the military officers accused by the so-called "Morang 43" of torture and robbery. - Alexis Romero


Sundalong bihag, inutas

ng matagal na pagkawala Tinorture bago pinaslang ng mga rebeldeng New Peo- ng biktima ay umaasa ang Isang sundalo na kinid- kesman Major Eugenio Sa pamamagitan ng pamilya nito na buhay itong ple's Army (NPA) ang isang nap noong Pebrero 2011 sa Julio Osias IV,angbiktima plnalakas na pakikipagmakakauwi sa kanilang tasundalo na dinukot ng mga Quezon, Bukidnon ng rnga na si Staff Sergeant Wilton ugnayan sa kanilang mga hanan hanggang nitong Hulito sa Quezon, Bukidnon rebeldeng New People's Pairat.Sfi.daring nakatalaga asset ay natunton naman noong Pebrero 2011 na yo ng taong ito ay nakatang{Army (NPA) ay matagal sa Army's 67th Infantry kamakalawa ang pinaglibigap ang mga ito ng balita .nadlskubre matapos manang.pinatay matapos na Battalion ng Army's 10th ngan sanesabing sundaloua tunton ang pinaglibingan rita mula sa sumukong rebelde matunton ang pinaglibiInfantry Division, nahukay sa nasabing Ingar, na tuluyan ng pinaslang ng kamakalawa. ngan nito kamakalawa Magugunita na ang Samantalang bago NPA rebels ang bihag na Ayon kay Army's 4th ng alas-5:00,ng umaga sa biktima ay puwersahang umano pinahintulutan ng sundalo. Infantry Division (10) Spokesisang magubat na bahagi tinangay ng mga armadong mga rebelde .na makuha Sa pamamagitan ng piman Major Eugenio Julio ng Brgy. Kitubo, Kitaotao, rebelde matapos na itong ng pamilya ng biktima ang nalakas na pakikipag-ugnaOsias IV, bandang alas-5 ng Bukidnon, matiyempuhan sa Brgy. kalansay at bungo nito ay umaga kamakalawa ng rna- yan sa kanilang mga asset '" Kinilala'Jli,Anny-'s4thlGipowt,QuezoJl,BukidllOll"'" sWngil.pa ang mga ~o ng tuldukan ang paghahanap sa ay natunton naman kamakalawa ang pinaglibingan sa dinukot na sundalo sa isang ~nfa~lrY~i~_isi?n(ID!~J?Ct, noc;m~Peb~ro~,2fH 1;. .·r~fJOOJJJ_,--:!oYr:O/JWs,Y. ':2·- .: ~!.-~~~,~~:.~_:~~;:~)~-n'''rr, ':'f!l?" r~'ji:~j':R' magubat na bahagi ng Brgy. nasabing sundalo na nahukay sa nasabing lugar. Joy Kitubo, Kitaotao, Bukidnon. 'P, Kinilala ni Osias ang bik- ; Cantos tima na ai Staff Sergeant Wilton Pairat, 55-anyos, dating nakatalaga sa Army's 67th Infantry Battalion ng Army's 1Oth Infantry Division. Ang biktima ay puwersahang timingay ng mga armadong rebelde matapos ltong matiyempuhan sa Brgy. Kipolot, Quezon, Bukidnon noong Pebrero 6, 2011. Nabatid na sa kabita ......................................•. '............•........... ' .......•. '...' .. ....< •....•..•.........•.................•... '...•. '. . '.......•..••..•.
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Military vows justice for slain Mangyan leader
The military has vowed justice for a slain Mangyan tribal leader who actively pushed for development programs in his community. Armed Forces spokesman CoL Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said on Tuesday that they would work closely with authorities probing the death of Ariston Mameng, who was shot dead last July 20 in Oriental Mindoro. uWe will extend all the necessary support in putting the perpetrators behind bars, We will exert all efforts to support the PNP (Philippine National Police)," Burgos said in a press briefing. UWe really condemn the perpetrators (of the killing), The (victim) was a partner

in peace and development undertakings of the Armed Forces and other organizations," he added. . Burgos said Mameng's death is a huge loss since the latter served as a communicator of the concerns of Mangyans, "He (Mameng) did not think of anything but the welfare of Mangyans," he said. Burgos said they would continue the projects started by Mameng while running after the armed men behind his death, "We have increased coordination with them (victim's family) and strengthen monitoring and intelligence collection so

the investigation can prosper,' he said, Mameng was gunned down by 10 suspected New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas in Sitio Yunot, Barangay Nasukob in Bulalacao town. The armed men barged into Mameng's house' and seized him before shooting him four times. Mameng was head of the Mangyan Community Affairs and was involved in various projects intended to improve the lives of the indigenous community. These progra!TIs included the construction of school buildings, livelihood projects, electrification programs, and the construction of access roads.

MILF hits police raid on enclave
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said on Tuesday that police commandos have endangered a years-long ceasefire by raiding a guerrilla strongholdLINGAYEN,Pangaslnanwhere they believed al-Qae-natlves da-linked terrorists had taken refuge. The MILF said the police commandos failed to arrest any terrorist in last week's raid on the rebel stronghold in mountainous Butig town in Lanao del Sur. The rebels said police did not coordinate the raid with them as agreed on in the past to avoid accidental clashes that could endanger the , tru~he rebels have asked

of this province were included in the 2012 Search ForTheOutstandlng Philippine Soldiers (TOPS) conducted by the MetrcibankFoundation,Inc. and the Rotary Club of Makatf 'i1Yletro~Gov.AmadoT. Espino ti!.saidAniceto· M. Sobrepefia, president of MetrobankFoundation, Inc, congratulated him. following the selection of Col. Raul J.Tangco/who was born -ln Bayarnbanq.iand Sr. Master ~gt.Augusto D: Reyes who was lorn In San Qumtlnt as among the outstanding soldiers. Tangco was selected under the Technlcal and Administrative Servjce~ Corps of Professors Category. He is the Dean of Academics of the Academic Group of the Philippine


a Malaysia-led contingent safeguarding the ceasefire to investigate the incident. Police spok~sman CenetarOrgSeOteCde~~aOh~ag~_~~u~t~~~~or_ .......•..... , .« :: ,.: ': ",..:."',' ' :-rnmuI'l>JI:e1:'JLlDe e ... ..a......... .·····1 ist target" but no arrest was·.("vu ..... "",....r~i:I~UN' .. ,IU.U.O.atpaJ made. The rebels are engaged in peace talks with the government. -AP

ilitaryI,Aca)demY(PMA). (.LleZle asa OIgo .

r 14


July 2012

Page. ____"I..:...'


Gazmin hopeful AFP modernization bill to-be passed this year
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin hopes the bill seeking to fund the military's modernization program would be passed into law within the year. "We have huge confidence in our legislators that the modernization bill will be passed within the year," Gazmin told radio dzRH yesterday. Gazmin said he is counting on the support of lawmakers like former Armed Forces chief and Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon as the bill is expected to be tackled by Congress soon. Gazmin also thanked President Aquino for mentioning the Armed Forces modernization bill in his state of the nation address (SONA) last Monday. "I am happy that the President strongly supports the measure. He sees our security needs," he said. Gazmin said the funding to be provided by the bill would fill the gaps in the military's modernization thrust. The military; for its part, is upbeat about the prospects of the military modernization bilL "We remain optimistic about the passage of the modernization program," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said. "We are indeed very grateful because of the development of the modernization and capability upgrade program as articulated by the President in his SONA," he added. Burgos said the upgrade

program would benefit not only the soldiers but also the public,. "With right men, abilities, and right 'gear we can effectively perform our constitutional


mandate," he said. Burgos gave assurance that the bidding for the equipment to be acquired would be transparent. equipment acquisition. It also entails training, doctrines, bases support development and (ensuring that the) right people will handle the equipment," Burgos said. .

. . He said the bidding would be open to civil society groups, the. private sector and the media. "The modernization program is not focused only on


ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) -- The Philippine' Navy has rescued 107 people from a sinking wooden-hulled vessel Sunday night off the coast of Tawl-Tawl. Rear Admiral Armand Guzman, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the boat's 107 passengers and crew were rescued around 7 p.m. Sunday, five nautical miles off the island municipality of Sibutu. Guzman said the Naval Task Force 62 based in Panglima Sugala town has dispatched the BRP Dioscoro Papa upon the phone call of BabylynOmar, DXGD radio station manager, seeking assistance ' for a ferry in distress. The MIL j Lucky Man was sailing to Sibutu


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'lJr July 2012




AFP offers to help East Timor
ARMED Forces chief Gen. jessie Dellosa yesterday offered to help Ttrnor-Leste's military improve its capability through education and training. Dellosa made the offer during the visit of his counterpart, Maj. Gen. Lere Anan Timur, in Camp Aguinaldo, said Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo . Burgos. "Since East Timor is a very young nation with a newly-organized defense force, the Armed Forces of the Philippines offered its assistance in building their military capability, n Burgos said after the meeting. Burgos said the two countries will be crafting a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation which will focus on "education and training, as well as institution building," and pave the way for more "military to military engagements. " The Philippines has sent peacekeepers to East Timor which became an independent country in 2002. Now, the Philippines maintains only a small number of officers acting as observers. Burgos said the visit of Timur seeks to "enhance bilateral relations

Timor Leste general

is here. Armed Forces chief Jessie Dellosa welcomes Maj. Gen. Lere Anan Timur, chief of Timor Leste Defense Force, at Camp Aguinaldo. .

between the Philippines and East Timor." He said Timur arrived in Manila Monday night for a five-day visit. After meeting Ddlosa, Burgos said Timur also paid a visit to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazrnin, Timur is due to meet also with Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalina dela Cruz, Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama, Northern Luzon

Command chief Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, Army Training and Doctrines Command chief Maj. Gen. Joel1banez, and Army Light Armor Division chief Maj. Gen. Carlos Luces. Burgos said Timur will also meet with Col. Abraham Cases, commander of the military's Peacekeeping Operations Center. - Vu-tor Reyes



.ruly 2012

PageM_3 __

assistance to Timor Leste

RP offers military

building." While it is struggling to Aside from Dellosa, Timur upgrade its own capability, the also met with Defense Secretary Armed Forces of the Philippines Voltaire Gazmin. The visiting (AFP) yesterday offered military official also went to the . assistance to fledgling Southeast Asian neighbor Timor Leste to AFP Medical Center, the National Defense College of the build up its military capability. Philippines and the Command AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo and General Staff College. Marcelo Burgos Jr. said that AFP Timur will also be meeting Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa made the offer to Maj. with Navy chief Vice Admiral Gen. Lere Anan Timur, chief of Alexander Pama, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela the Timor Leste Defense Force Cruz, NorthernLuzon Command' (F-FDTL) during the latter's chief Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, official visit to Camp Aguinaldo Army Training and Doctrines yesterday. commander Ma]. Gen. Joel "Since East Timor is a very Ibanez and Army Light Armor young nation with a newlyDivision chief Maj. Gen. Carlos organized defense force. the Luces during his five-day visit. Armed Forces of the Philippines 'I'Imo r Leste gained its offered its assistance in building . independence in 2002. During its their military capability," said transition, then Philippine Army Burgos. Lt. Gen. Jaime de los Santos Burgos, however, added that there is a need for the AFP and served as force commander- of United Nations-led ,the F-FDTL to sign a the Transitional Administration in memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation to pave East Timor, He was the first Filipino to head a UN the way for more military-topeacekeeping force. military engagements between Currently, the AFI;>is also . the Philippines and Timor Leste. undergoing its own billions-worth Burgos stressed that the of modernization and capability defense cooperation would be focused more on "education and upgrade program. Mario J. Mallari training as well as institution-



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Tensions over territories likely to rise
By Redempto D.Anda, Inquirer Southern Luzon

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY-A fleet of 20 Chinese fishing vessels believed to be escorted by at least two . naval frigates of the People's Liberation Army has deployed around Pag-asa Island in a move likely to escalate tensions over disputed territories in the Spratly archipelago between the Philippines and China.
Highly placed sources in the Philippine military reported that
;,From ~~ge A I

at least 20 Chinese fishing vessels had congregated about 9 kilome,.

ters (5 nautical miles) from Pagasa beginning late TUesday. The fishing vessels were accompanied by two naval frigates of China's People's liberation Army, according to one source who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the matter. . Col. Neil Estrella, spokesperson of the Western Command, confirmed the Chinese presence near Pag-asa but declined to

give details. He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) would address the latest development in the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Sansha: China's expanding toehold in disputed sea I A 15 • Facing up to China with sheer guts I A9

Staging ground


"We will let the DFA address that. But The Chinese pr~sen~e was also confirmed ';.yes Chinese vessels are there around the is- by Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon of Kalayaan hand," Estrella told the INQUIRER by phone mumc~~ality, which ll?udes Pag-asa, ., Wd da A military source said the Armed Forces of ~on A :i'the Naval Forces West based the ~hllippin~s believed that the Chinese-oc"here said that at least four Philippine Navy cupied MIschief Reef was being used as the \a.nd Coast Guard vessels were patrolling the sta~g ground th~ stepPt;d-up presence ~XPhilippine-claimed territories in the Spratlys. of ~~~: inside ~~hpp~ne :emtory. . ;,;;, But like Estrella the source declined to·. occupie Mischief Reef in 1995, •" ' . .amid protests from th Philirmi d th ~~ay how the Navy would respond to a Chi- . .. e pp~es an. e '40 • •• . :tnese intrusion into Phili iuppine waters. ,Association of Southeast Asian Nations .... " ~\ Pag-asa Island, which measures 32.7 .cAsea~). BeIjIng then said that It was con:%hectares, is located 480 km off southwestern jstructmg a shelter there for fish~~n, _. if':Palawan.The largest of five islands and islets in _Rece~t photos taken by Philippine naval r 1'" • I'Uno;:! CI11alI auu. ~~ "~_lVV __". Ie. $ the Spradys being claimed by the Philippines, _ Pag-asa has a 1.3-lan airstrip used by the Philip. pine military to transport troops and supply. Declared in the late 1970s as a municipali.:"ty, Pag-asa has a census population of 150 'and a kindergarten school for children of some 50 families residing there. -8~




surveillance planes showed Mischief Reef had been turned into a highly fortified garrison, with gun embankments on elevated towers . Bito-onon said that Filipino fishermen ~ho had approached Mischief Reef recently by bartering sea turtles for Chinese goods reported that the Chinese had dredged pornons of the .reef ostensibly to allow larger ships into the lagoon within the reef system . 'That entire area measures around 9 by 6 km with a WI e east t 0 west c I id earance suit- . able for entry oflarge vessels," he said. •

Harvesting corals

Bito-onon, interviewed while in Puerto P.rincesa City, reported· "frequent sightings • since last week of the Chinese fishing party on the eastern side of the island."

fortress. He said that the Chinese completed in May the construction on a half-submerged . reef of a four -story building with a domeshaped radar on its deck. Recent aerial photos of Subi taken by the Western Command, copies of which were obtained by the INQUIRER, showed a "landing ship" type vessel anchored in the inner portion of the reef. Bito-onon said the Pag-asa residents did not feel physically threatened by the reported Chinese presence. He said he expected the vessels to depart after fishing and harvesting corals. "Our staff have been observing their movements since last week, What we knowis that those Chinese armed vessels were mere passing through on their way to Subi Reef. I don't think they are staying put there," he said. The mayor said it was unclear from the report he received yesterday from administrative personnel on the island whether the fishing fleet was part of the armed fishing party dispatched by Beijing last week to the Parace1s, an area disputed by China and Vietnam. "We don't know. if they are accompanied by warships but for us, it appears to be a coral-gathering expedition by Chinese commercial fishers," he said. Bito-onon explained that Chinese fishers were frequently observed collecting large amounts of corals in the unprotected areas of the Philippines. The corals, he said, were more valuable than fish "as they are sold in Hainan as some kind of raw material for the manufacture of a type of marine glue." Bito-ononsaid the Chinese were also developing Subi Reef near Pag-asa into another ..

Opposite side isVietnam's
Bito-onon, however, expressed concern about the "coral mining" activities. "They are there not primarily to fish. We think they are mainly engaged in gathering corals which is a more lucrative business in Haman," he said. He explained that the corals were used by the Chinese as base ingredient for some type of marine glue in shipbuilding, In the last two weeks, he said several Chinese boats had been gathering corals around the area. Bito-onon also claimed that the Chinese vessels were congregating near Pag-asa "because on the opposite side are the Vietnamese in Southwest Cay and they have gun emplacements there." ''They prefer to anchor near Pag-asa because they are not safe on the Vietnamese side of. the passage where there are large canons pointed toward the sea," he added.

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14 JuJy 2012


acing up toChina with sheer guts
By Redempto D. Anda
Puerto Princesa City

F SURFACE-TO-AIRmissile were fired from a A Chinese frigate, it would have easily taken out a blue-colored surveillance plane of the Philippine Navy that flew over the Hasa-Hasa Reef in the morning of July 14. thing couldhappen, and a missile


The plane was flying dangerously close to a. Chinese fleet spread out in battle formation as it sped toward a solitary warship=one of their own-which had run aground on the contested shoal the night before. Among those aboard the aircraft was no less than the second-in-command of the regional brass, Brig. Gen. Elmer R. Amon, and several other senior officials of the Philippine military's Western Command (Wescom). The pilot of a responding fighter plane, who was just returning from honeymoon, had to fly on a straight line so as to conserve fuel and return to his nervous wife. . Had the missile .been let loose-a scenario considered by Wescorn officials when they decided to undertake a flyby over the Hasa-Hasa Reef, where the Chinese frigate was stuck+the pilot of the fighter, plane would not know what hit' him. His plane, the only other air asset at hand for such circumstances, has no evasive capabilities like flares and decoys to confuse a: heat-seeking missile and make an escape. One of the officerson board the surveillance plane told the INQUIRER that they believed they were being tracked by the missile.Any-

strike would have plunged ..the .. Philippinesinto an unwanted war with China, with far-reaching regionaland globalimplications. At least, it would have averted the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) meltdovm in Cambodia over the issue of Scarborough, along with China's renewed aggression. . As the bleak scenario did not . play out, Wescom, whic~~as)urisdiction over the Phihppme claim in the West Philippine" Sea, was instead rewarded with grainy pictures of Chinese war .: . vessels maneuvering inside philippine territory and .di~appearing, albeit temporanly into the blue., It was also observed that based on previOUSinformation confirmed by recent pictures,. the Chinese were speeding up development of the Subi Re~f, an islet closest to the main Philippine-occupied island of pag-asa. A landing ship usually asso_ dated with constructlon and engineering works was spot~ ted in Subi's lagoqn, evidence of the buildup activities. Ac-

Grainy images

cording to Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., the Chinese only recently took down the scaffolding of a fourstory building in Subi, which houses a giant dome-shaped radar on top. .. The buildup, the officials observed, was centered' around the radar facility and the installation of a lighthouse and mooring buoys leading to the inner lagoon, which can cradle a large warship. The next day, Beijing announced that it was sending a fleet of 30 fishing vessels back into the Spratlys, escorted by warships. They were last reported to be in Vietnam's mar. .itimebackyard.

Wescom War room
The war room of Wescom under Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban is just big enough to as-· semble the command's top . brass around an oversized oval table. There are no electronic contraptions more advanced . than an overhead projector to suggest any sophisticated monitoring over the vast West . Philippine Sea. At the center of the table is a three-dimensional day rendition of the entire Spratlys, with miniature flags of all countries laying claim to it. It is not 'scaled and loo'ks .crudely rendered, but it is useful enough to _ put everyone on the same page . '., . ------la@yahoo.com- Ta no. (02) 892·1693. local: 5287,5295



~S radar dome in Subi Reef seen

by the

Philippine Navy rslander during an aerial reconnaissance on


as to what particular claimant country is occupying which islet or shoal. Not nearly enough of the hundreds of islets have Chinese markers, but it belies the erstwhile heavily felt presence and military buildup of China. "The presumption was that the Chinese might fire the first shot. At least that's what they have been trying to project they might do," said Lt. Col. Neil Estrella, Wescorn spokesperson. Just as when China has been playing the game of brinkmanship in the disputed region to assert its claim, the Philippines is planning to catch up militarily with what it described was a goal to install "minimum credlble defense." "At a given situation, for exrernal and internal defense, it's a condition where we can' act .. It's a condition where you have

. armaments, you can communicate for command and control, and have human resources. available," Estrella said. Among the capability upgrades on the pipeline for Wescorn are land-based surveillance monitoring and sea interdiction capability as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' overall modernization thrust, according to defertse sources. In the meantime, Wescom has to contend with a single surveillance light plane and a fighter plane that.cannot afford to loiter too long in "the sea expanse of the Kalayaan Island chain lest it runs out of fuel.

edged when sought to confirm the information gathered by the INQillRER. As AFP assets approached the beleaguered survey vessel of the oil contract Forum Energy; the Chinese stood down and backed away.

State of preparedness

Intelligence support
Is the Philippines getting support from the United States in .terms of live satellite feeds showing China's movements? Wescom is mum. But a source . disclosed that during the 'incident in Reed Bank back in February when a Chinese warship threatened to ram a government survey vessel, the United States was constantly feeding the Philippines with real-time satellite feed. Intelligence information has allowed the Wescom brass to make decisions from the war room without having to wait for orders from higher authorities or Malacafiang to take over operational command, the source said. "General Sabban decided to deploy our air and navalassets to guard the exploration vessel. General Sabban decided he could not wait because all Forum Energy needed was a few more days to complete the survey;" Estrella' acknowl-

Estrella said the regional top brass had recently begun going through "contingency scenarios" in case a limited skirmish with China takes place .. "We have those in place long time ago," he said. But what happens, for example, when just one missile misses its target and explodes in a populated area in the main·land? Do we wait for Congress to declare war? Estrella said. the AFP has "rules of engagement in place." The military command is not inclined to unduly alarm the CHINA'S lighthouse located civilian population with warnsouthwest of Sub I Reefseen on ings of an imminent danger July 17 by the Philippine Navy. from errant Chinese missiles or deliberate armed provocatures that China will prevail tion, Most senior defense offi- here," he mused. . cials, however, feel that while In the capital city of Puerto the operational" command is Princesa, there" is little eviclear on the "rules of engage- " dence of worrying among the the overarching de- locals. None of the local gov. ment," fense strategy needs to be "ernment units have expressed clearly understood. concern and Gov. Abraham "We know that even if we re- Kahlil Mitra: has not responded alize we are facing a much su- to queries on. whether the perior military force, we have provincial government plans no other option but to impose to weigh in on the territorial our sovereignty over our terridispute with China. tory," Estrella said. "I think only when we find But Kalayaan Mayor Biro- half the stores in town are onon, a devout Adventist fol- closed, and that's because they lower, laughs off scenarios of a are Chinese, only then shall Chinese invasion or aggression. people realize were in some "It's just because of my religious kind of armed conflict," said conviction. It's not in the scrip- businessman Rey Rafols.

sported by the Philippine Navy reconnaissance plane on July 17 in the lagoon of Sub! Reef. '

THIS Chinese fishing vessel was


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July 2012

Page: .

A -/'f

Sansha: China's expanding toehold in disputed sea
BEIJING-China's newest city Vietnam and China both claim is a remote island in the West the Paracels, of which Yongxing, Philippine Sea (South China little more than half the size of Sea) barely large enough to Manhattan's Central Park, is part. host a single airstrip, It has a The two countries along with the post office, bank, supermarket Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and and a hospital, but little/else. Taiwan also claim all or parts of Fresh water comes by freighter the Spratlys. on a 13-hour journey from ChiThe Philippines refers to the .ia's southernmost province. strategic waterway as the West Welcome to Sansha, China's Philippine Sea, while China and expanding toehold in the Vietnam call it the South China .vorld's most disputed waters, Sea and East Sea, respectively. oortions of which are also China claims virtually the en.laimed by the Philippines, Viet- tire sea and its island groups, and lam and three other neighbors. its territorial disputes with other On Tuesday, as blustery island countries occasionally erupt into vinds buffeted palm trees, a open confrontation. The islands, tew mayor declared Sansha to many of them occupied by garie China's newest municipality. risons from the various claimants, Beijing has created the city ad-sit amid some of the world's busininistration to oversee not only est commercial sea lanes, along he rugged outpost with a popu - with rich fishing grounds and poation of just 1,000 but also hun- tential oil and gas deposits. lreds of thousands of square China has approved the formal dlometers of water where, it establishment of a military garrivants to strengthen its control son for Sansha, though specific rver disputed-and potentially details have yet to be released,

ril-rich=-islands ..

The Philippines said it did not ecognfze the city or its jurisdicion, and Vietnam said China's acions violated intemational law, The United States also voiced its :oncem over "unilateral moves" in he disputed sea where it said colective diplomacy was needed to esolve competing claims. The city administration is on iny Yongxing island, 350 kiloneters southeast from China's

tA_ wise


Official broadcaster China I Central Television aired Tuesday i morning's formal establishment I ceremony live from Sansha, with speeches from the new mayor and other officials. The Chinese flag was raised and national anthem was played before plaques for the Sansha Municipal Government and the

ropical Hainan Island.
The cabinet approved Sansha ast month to "consolidate adminstration" over the Paracel and :pratly island chains and the Maclesfield Bank, a large, completely ubmerged atoll that boasts rich shing grounds that is also claimed y the Philippines and Thiwan. ---

Sansha Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China were unveiled on a whitecolumned government building. Mayor Xiao Jie trumpeted Sansha's important role in protecting China's sovereignty, saying the island's designation as a new city was "a wise decision made by the party and the government of China to protect the sovereign rights of China, and to strengthen the protection and the development of natural resources." . The official Xinhua News Agency reported earlier that Sansha's jurisdiction covers just 13 sq km of land, including other islands and atolls in the West Philippine Sea around Yongxing, but 2 million sq km of surrounding waters. Sansha means ''three sandbanks" in Mandarin and appears to refer to the Chinese names for the disputed island chains and atoll, known in Chinese as the West, SOJIth and Middle Banks, or Xisha, Nansha and Zhongsha. A description from a former ..• People's Liberation Army officer who was among the officials overseeing the island before Sansha was established paints a picture of a harsh and isolated post where officials rotate staffing for a month at a time. Fishermen though live on the island all year ' round. 'The living conditions are pretty simple," Tan Xiankun, director of the office in Haman overseeing Xisha and other outlying territories, told The Associated Press in 2010. "It's very humid and hot, more than 30 degrees, and there's salt everywhere. There's no fresh water, except for what's shipped in and what's collected from rain water;'

Manila, Hanoi protest
Raul Hernandez, spokesperson of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, said Manila had expressed its concern and registered a strong protest'with Beijing over the decision to set up a military garrison on Sansha. "The Philippines does not recognize the Sansha city and the extent of its jurisdiction and considers recent measures taken by China as unacceptable," Hernandez told a news conference, Luong Thanh Nghi, spokesperson of Vietnam's foreign ministry, said Vietnam had protested to the Chinese foreign ministry. "China's establishment of the so-called 'Sansha City' .. , violated internationallaw, seriouslyviolating Vietnam sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos," the statement said. Asked about the establishment of the city, US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told a news briefing on Tuesday: ''We remain concerned should there be any unilateral moves of this kind that would seem to prejudge an issue that we have said repeatedly can only be so!ved by negotiations, by dialogue and by a collaborative diplomatic pro<ess among all the claimants."




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July 2012

Page. ......_;,_f1__

SO VF A to boost cooperation' on border security
By ALEXIS ROMERO The Status of the VIsitingForc- Armed Forces of the Philippines Only Sen.Joker Arroyo voted SOVFA were Senate President and the Australian Defense es Agreement (SOVFA)between against the SOVFA. Senators Juan Ponce Emile, Majority the Philippines and Australia Force. Voting 17-1, the Senate rati- Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Leader Vicente Sotto ill, Presiwould enhance thetwo countries' cooperation on border security, fied the SOVFA between the Ferdinand Marcos [r., who ear- dent Pro-Tempore Jinggoy EsDefense Secretary Voltaire Gaz- Philippines and Australia on lier expressed concerns over the trada, Sen. Loren Legarda who Tuesday amid criticisms that agreement, were absent during heads the foreign relations commin said yesterday. mittee, and Senators Edgardo Gazmin thanked the Senate the agreement would violate the the voting. Those who voted to ratify.the Angara, Pia Cayetano, Franklin for· ratifying the SOVFA, say- country's sovereignty. ing it would also enhance bilateral "The agreement Drilon, Francis Escudero, Teo- use land and sea areas of the relations between will broaden our fisto Guingona III, Gregorio Philippines for combined train-: the two countries. cooperation on Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, ing, exercises or other activities; "This will really maritime security, Lito Lapid, Francis Pangilinan, agreed upon by the two parties» help a lot because border security will Aquilino Pimentel Ill, Ramon .The agreement wassigned on we have secured enhance the capaRevilla [r., Antonio Trillanes IV May 31,2007 in Canberra, Aus-. another ally who bility and training tralia. 'The Arroyo administration: and Manuel Villar Jr. will help us with of the armed foreThe SOVFA allows troops submitted the agreement to the-) our security issues ~zmin-said, from Australia to temporarily Senate for concurrence in 2008. in the region," the He said the defense chief told SOVFA would alsO' radio dzRH. promote interoper"We will have ability among the clear exchanges of irtformation, exchanges of technology on border security, maritime border security as well as our anti-terrorist campaign," he added. The ratification of SOVFA came as the Philippines is embroiled ina tense territorial row with China over areas in the West Philippine Sea, which has vast marine and natural resources. Officials, howeversaid the visiting forces agreement is not directed against China or any country in particular.

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.July 2012

Page. --...;-3;,,__

'Defense chief pleased with Senate ratification ofSo'VFA

Marlo J. Manari

iO;~.:TheSenate's ratification of the : ,~ofVlsiting Forces Agreement ;;(~qVFA) with Australia gives the ) J)~Uippines another strong ally in C)j~~essing pressing securitY,issues Ii' P.;L~. regioI1; ~cludingthe increasing ~w,.sions in the disputed West nlpilippine Sea or South China Sea. ri., 'This was according to Defense S~cretary Voltaire Gazmin, who ,~lcomed yesterday the Senate's 17~~,l..,vote on Tuesday for the .r.atification of SoVFA as a huge L'-'~OOst to the Armed Forces of the


"philippines' (AFP) capability through .... tr~ings and other exchanges with ,~Australianmilitary. .

"Wewill have clear exchanges of information, exchanges of technology in our border security, maritime border security and it could also help us in our anti-terrorism campaign," added Gazmin. With the ratification, a deeper engagement, increased number of activities and greater cooperation in the field of defense and security is expected between the AFP and the Australian military. "The department is thankful to the Senate for ratifying the SoVFA with Australia. ..this will make up the foundation for a deeper relationship between the two militaries, » said . According to Gazmin, the scope of cooperation between the Philippines and Australia MIl be broadened to include maritime


"That (ratification of SoVFA)is ,..a, big boost because we got another ,':~ong ally that will help us with the "se~urity issues in the region," said

security, border security, pursuit of defense reforms, capacity building and training. "Ihis will further enhance the already robust and longstanding relationship between the two countries," Gazmin said. The PIlL-AUS SoVFA is also seen to provide a stable foundation for a partnership that yields mutual benefits for both countries. For his part, AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. echoed Gazmin's statements, saying the SoVFA with Australia will further enhance the AFP's humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) capability.He stressed that the agreement will be mutually beneficial to both countries. "Australia is a key ally in this part ofthe region.SoVFA mutually is beneficial to both countries' armed

forces. The SoVFA wUI further strengthen bilateral ties as we upgrade our soldiers' knowledge and skills particularly in the. conduct of HADR," said Burgos. "This will further strengthen our bilateral relationship wkth Australia in view of mutuallycontrfbutlng in the maintenance of peace and stability in the region as we gear towards a minimum credible defense capability and reliable disaster response cap.acity;" added Burgos. The ratification of the RP-AUS SoVFAcame amid the increasing tension between the I'hilippines and China over the West 'Philippine Sea Or the South China where the disputed Kalayaan ;Islands Group (KIGs) or the Spr::rtlys and the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal area located.



July 2012



Shooting Straight

P-Noy's SONA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
It was the longest State of the Nation Address (SONA) in recent memory (after all, few people remember that then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos made a three-hour SONA) and yes, as I pointed out in previous SONAs, I never did hear of a lousy one. If at all, President Aquino made a great delivery of his SONA because the teleprompter helped him a lot. Like all SONA's past, we'd like to see the "meat" inside, not on how the speech is delivered,but rather whether there is some truth in that speech or whether these are mere rhetoric or just simply another "motherhood statement. ' With the dust starting to settle, the opposition has already issued their comments that it was a wen delivered speech, but seriously lacking in substance. The anti-P-Noy insist fhat these were mere "Motherhood statements." However in my book, P-Noy's SONA had something good, something bad and yes, something downright ugly. Let me start with the good. That PNay was all praises for Energy Secretary Rene Almendras is a recognition that not all his "Kaklase" are there because they can get something out of it. I personally know Sec. Rene Almendras to be an upright man who works harder than most people. P-Noywas right in giving him a commendation for keeping the power industry on the go. Without power, there would be no development. I know that Sec. Rene is showing signs of being weary, but he is doing a damn good job! The taS of his being a "Kaklase" may be unfair ... but it is the truth ... they were classmates in Ateneo. But Sec. Alrnendras is proof that being a"Kaklase" is not all that bad. But there are "Kaklase" that ought to go! Another good point for the President is his asking Filipinos for a show of unity in defending our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. I'm [our square behind the President on this ... after all, under his watch, we have lost the Scarborough ShoaL.. so it is only proper for us to regain it. In his twoyear reign, P-Noy already poured a total of P28 bi llion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, which he says would be increased to P33 billion, even as high as P75 billion. With this, P-Noy is doing exactly what a Commander-In-Chief ought to be doing. Unfortunately, his SONA fell short of bringing back the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), a program that would boost our AFP. . That the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is still on the rise and has become one of the nation's top employers is worth mentioning. But this WaS largely due to the previous administration and yes, then DTr Sec. Manuel Roxas during GMA's time. P-Noy was also extremely happy with the performance of Department of Tourism (OaT) Sec. Ramon Jimenez. Yes, it's more fun in the Philippines alright ... but P-Noy must stop the average of one robbery per tourist in the Ermita district. Indeed, tourism is our bright spot and we must continue to shine on thfs industry. That's the good of P-Noy's SONA. Now for the Bad! P~Noy should have never prophesied that by the year 2016 there will be 10 million tourists because it's just too far in the future to make such a pronouncement. Secondly, if NAIA continues to have a single runway and there are no plans to put that railway to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (OMIA) r seriously doubt that this would happen. All one needs to do is look at Hong Kong when it was still
Turn to Page 16


OF THEARMY CHIEfPUaUCAFFAIRS *" EmaUadd:oacpajlpa@yahoo.eom-Tefno.{(}2}892·1693,tocaJ:

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Pahina. ---S

Oapat noon pal
ISA sa mga punto na inihayag nl President Aquino sa kanyang SONA ay ang modernisasyon ng AFP, lalo na ang PAF. Binanggit na mamimili tayo n9 karagdagang helicopter, pati na mga eroplanong pandigma sa mga darating na taon. Hindi na magiging biro na ang ating Air Force ay puro "air" at walang "force". Ang budget na nakataan para sa modernisasyon 09 AFP ngayon ay hihlgit pa sa budget ng AFP sa nakaraang 15 taont At lalaki pa ito sa mga darating na taon, Dahil panahon na talaga para palakasin ang ating kapabihdad para ipagtanggol ailg lupain natin. Kung ang AFP ay kinaligtaan ng mga nakaraang administrasyon - kaya siguro maraming heneral ang nangurakot na lang imbis na maging heneral - hindi ganito ang katayuan n9 administrasyong Aquino. At dapat lang. Sa mga nakaraang araw, tila mas nagiging agresibo na ang China sa kan ilang pag-engkin ng mga .islang pinaqtata!unan pa ng ilang bansa, kasama na ang Pilipinas. Magtatayo na raw sna ng isang garrison sa isaog isla na mainit nUang pinagtatalunan ng Vietnam. Bagarna't wala tayong interes sa nasabing isla, hindi katanggap-tanggap ang mga kilos ng China ngayon. Kung matuloy ang pagtayo ng garrison sa nasabing isla, sino ang pipigil sa kanilang magtayo n9 mga garrison sa lahat ng isla? . May isang heneral sa China na nagpapanukala na bigyan n9 armas ang kanitang mga mangingisda para panindak sa mga haharang sa kanila! Nagyabang pa na mas rnalakas pa ang puwersa ng mga armadong mangingisda kaysa mga militar ng mga katunggaH nila sa South China Sea! At dahil hindi naman mga sundalo, hindi raw puwedeng makialam ang mgaAmerikanol Iba rin tala9an9 mag-isip! May pahayagan din sa China na hinihikayat ang Beijing na huwag tulungan ang Pilipinas! Sa tingin ko kaya ganito ang nagiging kilos ng China ngayon ay dahll napahiya sa ginawa ng Russia sa kanila! Pinagbabaril at binangga ang mga barko nil a at hil1u!; ang mga mangingisda, daM pumasok sa isang teritoryo ng karagatan na kontrolado ng Russia! Akala siguro, hindi sila papansinin, pero nagkamali sila. ~ Nagbabala na si Sen. John McCain, na isang dating sundalo, na ang paglagay ng garrison ng China sa isang isla na pinagtatalunan pa ay pamukaw sa rehiyon. Parnukaw na hindi kailangan dahil walang oasehan ang China para angkinin lamangang mga isla n9 walang dayalogong maayos sa pagitan ng lahat ng ban sang may makatarungang pag-aangkin sa mga isla. Walang may gusto ng gulo. Pero ang kilos ng China ay doon pumupunta. Dapat noon pa ginawang rnoderno ang AFP.



AFP$ tuloy ang operasyon vs ASG kahit pananon ng Ramadan
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Hindi umano isususpinde ng militar ang kanilang operasyon laban sa rebeldeng Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) at iba pang mga grupa na nag-a-operate sa Hang mga tugar sa Western Mindanao kanit nasa ka1agitnaan ng obserbasyon ng buwan ng Ramadan na nagsimuJa noong ika-21 ng buwan ito. Nilinaw ni Rear Admiral Armando Guzman, ang commander ng Naval Forces Western Mindanao, nirerespeto nila ang Ramadan subalit hindi umana sila mag-aatubiJing magtunsad ng operasyon laban sa rebeldeng grupo sa oras na aatake ang mga ito. Aniya, watang din silang natanggap na order sa suspension of miJitary operations (SOMO) sa panahon 09 Ramadan. Siniguro naman nj Guzman na walang gagawin ang tropa ng gobyemo kung mananatiling mapayapa ang mga rebelde sa kanilang paggunjta sa buwan ng Ramadan. (MHDS)