Serving the- peop e, securing the

TABLE

OF CONTENTS

27 JULY 2012
PA6£

NR
1 Weather Forecast

TlTLE/SUMMARY /W!UT£'R

NEWSPAPER
Phil star p. A-28

,

ARMY R£th TED ISSUES 12 Killed in Basilan encounter
2 Fighting broke out in Basilan yesterday morning when elite military forces changed upon of suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan yesterday morning, leavmu eight soldiers and four bandits dead. 12 Rangers killed in clahes with Abu Sayyaf Twe1ve Scout Rangers died yesterday in an assault on a lair of the Abu Sayyaf at the outskirts of Sumisip town in Basllan and in an ambuscades staged by the bandit Qroup hOUfSlater. 7 soldiers, 5 bandits dead Seven Scout Rangers and five members of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf were killed in a clash in Sumisip, Basilan yesterday. Five soldiers were wounded. 7 troops, 4 ASG kiJ1ed in Basilan clash Seven soldiers from the Army's elite Scout Ranger and four Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits were killed after an intense clash erupted between them on the outskirts of Basilan yesterday morning.

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Manila Bulletin p. 5

3

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Malaya p. 8-1

PO! p, A-17

4

5

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Daily Tribune p. 3

AFP RELATED iSSUES
6
Bloody Jand feud spills overto more villages Clashes between two groups of Morn gueriltas spurred by a land feud continued for a fourth day yesterday and have spread to four villages tn the town of Sultan sa Baronqis in this province. PH urged to seek UN peacekeeping force in Spratlys With China aggressively asserting its claims in the West Philippine Sea, a lawmaker suggested yesterday that it might be time for the Philippines to ask the United Nations for a peacekeeping force to prevent armed clashes between the two countries in the disouted waters. China pushes aggression Despite Malacanang's efforts to downplay the ongoing conflict in the South China Sea, Beijing on Thursday continued its aggressive stance on the issue following a statement from a high-ranking military officer asking the Chinese government to put up "maritime and air spaces" there. Navy to ask China boats to leave Pagasa The military's Naval Forces West (Navforwest) would ask the Chinese fishing boats spotted within the Philippines' territorial waters near Pagasa Island to leave the area, which is part of the Kalayaan Island Group {KIG) or the Spratlys in the disputed West Philippine Sea. Soldiers' kids A non-govemment organization is helping children of soldiers who were either kilted or disabled in line of their duties. China's hawks gaining sway in S. China Sea dispute China has adopted a more aggressive stance in recent weeks on territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)

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POI

p. A-iS

POI p. A-1

7-8

Standard Today p. A-1

9

Daily Tribune p.

3

10

Manila Bulletin p. 19

11

12-13

POI p. A-22

as hard line officials and commentators call on Beijing to take a tougher line with rival claimants.

oNLmENElis
Authorities bewail NPA's use of E1Ds against civilians
14-15 The police and the military appealed anew to the New People's Army in Central Mindanao to adhere to International Humanitarian Laws (IHL) restricting the use of explosives to harm non-combatants either for retaliatory attacks or to intimidate local communities into shelling out "protection money" and revolutionary taxes.

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21-JuIy2012

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12 Killed ·In Basilan Encounter
BY AARON
B. RECUENCO

Fighting broke out in Basilan yesterday morning when elite military forces Chanced upon a large band of suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilanyesterday morning, leaving eight soldiers and four bandits dead. As of press time yesterday, the fierce gun battIe was still ongoing, aecording to Maj. Gen. Ricardo Rainer Cruz, commander of the 1st Infantry Division. The latest casualty count was that eight members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company were killed while three others were-wounded, Fbur ASG bandits, on the other hand, were killed while two others were wounded. Cruz said the clash erupted at around 7:30 am. yesterday when the elite Army troopers were engaged by the bandits in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng in Sumisip town. Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, said yesterday's clash was an offshoot of the gun battle between 20 suspected ASG and cornbinedmembers of the soldiers and militiamen guarding the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (TARBlDC) on Wednesday morning. He said that at around 10:30 am,
r--·-··

on Wednesday, at least 20 ASG men attacked the military detachment in Barangay Cabengbeng that resulted in 10 minutes gunfight. ''All troops were alerted for reinforcement. Our Special Forces coordinated with the headquarters for possible deployment of air and close air assets during the attack," said Caber. He, however, could not say if the group of ASG that attacked the military detachment was the same that engaged the Scout Rangers yesterday. "The engaged troops actually requested for reinforcement," said Caber, referring to yesterday's clash. Government troops have intensifled the security in the area as the rubberplantatiQnoftheTARBIDChas been a favorite target of the ASG for refusal to yield to the group's extortion demand. A few weeks ago, the bandits killed six employees of the rubber plantation in anambush in the area. Aside from Basilan, the province ofSulu remains the strongholds of the ASG which the military said is already suffering from dwindling force. It was recalled that the ASG gained notoriety due to high-profile kidnappings, beheading of captives and bombing operations.

·-C---H---iEF·PuBt.lcAfFAIRS"'Emaltadd:oacpa_hPa@y3hoo.C:om"felno.(02189M693.LCJCa1:5287.529S··· OFFICE-·-·-·-·OF-·-THE--·-·ARMY-·'·-·

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFAIRS - Emailadd:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com

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

~

July 2012

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12 Rangers killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf
BY VICTOR REYES

Rangers died yesterday in an assault on a lair of the Abu Sayyaf at the outskirts of SUIhisip town in Basilan and in ambuscades staged by the bandit group hours later: Four Abu Sayyaf members were also killed, Two were wounded and captured by government forces. Maj. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army's tst Infantry Division, said troops

TWELVE Scout

from the Army's 4th Scout Ranger Battalion were deployed to Upper Cabengbeng village after pinpointing the enemy lair. The fighting started at around 7:30 a.m. between the soldiers led by Capt, Rholie Villanueva and an undetermined number of Abu, Sayyaf men. The clash was followed by an attack by some 20 Abu Sayyaf members on a military detachment in Cabengbeng village around 10:55 a.m. Ataround 1:30p.m., the bandits

harassed a detachment of the 4th Spedal Forces Battalion in Upper Cabengbeng village. No one was reported killed or injured. Caber said, troops from the 32nd Infantry Battalion were sent to reinforce the engaged troops "but while reinforcing said detachment, (they) were ambushed by the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group)," He said two soldiers died in the ambush. Troops from the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion who were also sent to reinforce the harassed

detachment were also waylaid by the terrorists, resulting in the death of two more soldiers and wounding of another, Government troops (are) still in battle position," said Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, Cruz said the Abu Sayyafgroup encountered by the Rangers who assaulted the lair earlier ambushed workers from the Tumahubong AgrarianReform BeneficiariesInteSee 12 RANGERS
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Page B4

village, Sumisip town died that in the ambush, Twenty other workers and two militiamenwerewmmded. grated Development Corporation, Army spokesman Maj. Harold "We traced their camp, thus the Cabunoc said more government encounter," he said. The ambush occurred July 11. troops were deployed to area. "We are saddened by the unFiveworkers and a militiaman in a convoy of vehicles in Sapah Bulak timely deaths of our soldiers:

12 RANGERS

Our focused military operations against the bandits will continue. We could not allow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civiliansin a mixed MuslimChristian community ... Banditry has no place in a civilized world,' said Cabunoc.

OFFICE OF THEARMY CHIEF PUBlIC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpa_hpaOyahoo.com-Telno.tOl)

892-1693, local: 5287, 5295

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d-yJu)y 2012

Page: _ A,.,

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tsy MaflOl"fttimos in Manila and . Former workers· JulieAlipaia. Inquirer Mindanao of the cooperative,

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season for rubber in the province. . . ..apparently bearing "The rubber business is ZAMBOANGA Cl1Y-Seven I a grudge for their booming and it's (rubber) Scout Rangers and five mem- ouster from the co-· considered to be as precious bers of the bandit group Abu. operative, joined as gold so armed men, espeSayyaf were killed in a clash in : the Abu Sayyaf in cially the Abu Sayyaf andothSumisip, Basilan yesterday. Five the clash against· er lawless elements, .are taksoldiers were wounded. soldiers. One of the ing advantage· not just by Col. Ramon Yogyog, chief of slain bandits was sending extortion letters but the Joint Special Operations identified as Ale- by stealing rubber saps," YoTask Force Basilan, said the man Bottong, a for- gyog said. clash took place as the soldiers mer cooperative ofYogyog said the series of atwere in an ongoing operation ficial, according to tacks on Tarbidci workers were against the bandit group that Yogyog. not isolated cases . .h~ b~n haf:~ssing a~~ th.rea~.: . Lt. CoL Randolph j; Ceoperativ~e ,y, ore.family-, emn~l;re~anllltloEtn~r~, .. Cabangbang, dW".Md·~er p~t~"' ers belonging .to the spokesperson of the'tne towns of Maluso, Sumistp;" Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Western Mindanao Ungkaya Pukan and Tipo-tipo Beneficiaries InteCommand, said reported continuing harassgrated Developaside from Bottong, ment Cooperative four other bandits. ment from armed groups, he Inc, (Tarbidci), were dead in the said. •. . On Wednesday, clash. .' Rubber tappers In.the village armed men fired at Yogyog said. ban-' of Calan~ Canas In Maluso an Army. detachdits are preying on ' town and in ~~ahubong were ment securing Tarworkers in the rubthe latest vIc.tIms- of har~ss~ bidci in ber plantation be-. rnent, accor:dmg to Iarbldej Tumahubong, a viicause it is harvest m~nager Taha Katoh. . . lage in Sumisip .. Armed men are making it where the rubber difficult for bur workers to go to plantations are. the field," he said. "It's either Yogyog said two o~r workers are ambushed. or soldiers were immekilled because We refuse rogrve diately fired upon in to their extortion demands," and wounded when he added. the dash started Arnold Yap$l'fof ~pe .Departpast 7 a.m. ·."~1f~~~4.ilndustry in When the fight. BasIlan,.saId a·kilogram of rubing lasted, at least bersaplSworthatleastPllO. 40 members of the There are some 21,700 hectares ofland planted to rub.bertrees throughout Basilan. Maj. Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesperson, said more soldiers were sent to the area as reinforcements. "[While] we are saddened by the untimely deaths of our. soldiers, our focused military operations against the bandits -will continue," Cabunoc said .in a statement, "We will not allow the trim.' inals to disturb the peace, tar- --. -.-.-.---. -.--. -.-.:.:-.-.-.-.-. --.-.-. ___ .. geting innocent civilians in a felno.(02)892·1693.LocaI:5287.5295. mixed Muslim-Christian .. .. . . .. community in Tumahubong village. Banditry has no place in a civilized world," he added.

Abu Sayyaf came as reinforcements for the initial group of at least 20 bandits. "We matched their strength," said Yogyog. He said more soldiers were deployed and the gun battle continued until past 3 p.m. yesterday.

1···.·······oFFlcEOFTHEARMYCtlIEFPUBUCAFFAIRS-EJ .

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2.'1 July 2012

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Z troops,
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4 ASG killed in Basilan clash
. .

BY;~.rio J. Mallari
'.; _.')_' I ,.~.

Sevensoldiersfrom the Army's ept.e'§~out Ranger and four Abu S~'Group (ASG) bandits were k1f&(["iher an. intense clash erupted , them on the outskirts of 'yesterday morning; ":MillY 1st Infantry Division (ID) c1il~fM~,Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz, qJ.1otlr.g reports from the field, si'I~elements of the 11th Scout ~~'bompany (SRC) led by Capt. Rfi'lil~e"'Villaluna encountered an illldE!t~rmined number of Abu si~iert'()l'ists while conducting ~hi;operations. . .' ?t:ffi.~Scout Rangers, composed ofetW6'-officers and 48 enlisted pp.,rs.pnnel, were conducting ~ffi!tation Order-Water Dragon 2" when they clashed with the fuHy armed ASG terrorists in an encampment in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip at around 7:30a.m. It was gathered that "Operation . Order-Water Dragon 2" was a operation following Wednesday's harassment by the ASG of members of the Special Operations Task Force-Basllan and Speeial Cafgu Armed Auxiliary of 'Iumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (TARBIDC) also in the same l:!arangay. No casualty was reported Oil the government side during the
harassment, defiberaie and well-planned pursuit

The military said the harassment by the ASO was in retaliation for the confiscatiun of assorted ASO rifles and rocket. propelled grenades in a clash last July 20. Accordir.g Cruz, initial reports to said sevenScout Ranger personnel were killed and three ethers were wounded. The identities of the government casualties were not madeavallablepending notificatiOi1 of their families. On the other hand, four ASG terrorists were killed end two were wounded and were subsequently Government reinforcements were immediatelysent to assist the .engagedtroops. . Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said the military will continuewith its focused operations . . against the bandit group. ~We are saddened by the untimely deaths of our soldiers. Ourfocused military operations against the bandits will continue. We could not allow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civilians in a mixed MusHm-Christian community in Tumaaubong village," Cabunoc said. "Banditry has no place in a civilized world," he added. The ASG gunmen had initially attacked rubber plantation workers in the island and the military had rushed to the scene to repel them, said regional milit:ny spokesman Lt. Col, .
captured.

RandolphCabangbang. Helicopter gunships. were deployed to support the troops, he area. Our troops are engaged in an intense running gunbattle," Cabangbangtold .Agence Proace Press« The same group of ASG fighters .had launched similar attacks in the same part of Basllan in previous weeks including an ambush that left six fat:m workers dead and 22 wounded on July 11, Cabangbang said. The plaraatton workers' cooperative operating in the area had previously received extortion letters purportedly from the ASG demanding payment of more than . $ltOOO a monthin exchange for not being harmed. The heavily forested island of Basilan has long been a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, which was . fc.unJed in the 19908 with seed money from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The group has been blamed for the worst terror a~tacks in Philippine history, includingdeadly bombings and kidnappings for ransom, often targ3tting foreigners and Christians. About 600 US troops have been rotating through the :;outhern . Philippines :(or a decade to help train local troops in hunting the Abu Sayyaf. HO'l'I8Yef the Amerioans are barred from taking part in actual combat. AFP
said, "The fighting is taking place in

a forested

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a.~July2012

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B[oo~Yi;la.fld feud spills over to more villages
.• AMP ..•.•... c SI()NGCO, .....Maguinc· known onlyas Bascoand Kubota pacifythe warring groups, ..• .... .toaid the displaced people.. ·. .•....• • dai1a~Iashesbetweentwo started on Monday as residents Zamzamin Ampatuan, chair Brig. Gen. Leo Cresente Fergroups of .Moro guerrillas of two villages-Kulambog and of Barangay Poblacion iwrtY<lr~ rei; a senior military adviser to ~pti1t~dbyalandfe.ud.continThkanakoden-were observing by Raja Buayan, MaguiIida~Qi .·1:he.governmentpeace panel,

Ramadan. said at least 300 families dis.. , CoL Mayoralgo dela Cruz, placed by the fighting arenow in the to"VIr' of Sultan sa head of the Army's First in hisvillage. .sarollgismthisprovince, .Mechanized Brigade; said the "Wepity our brothers and sis"
and have spread-to four villages

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erupted over a land ~~~f~:~~~s~~~~~~d o!~e:~ pe~~e pr~~~r uncoordinated VonAlHaq,MILF.spokesper. but still have to evacuate," Am- MILF guerrilla .:movements son.vsaid.clashes between the patuan said. believed to. be related ..othe t twogrol1pswererepOrted}iti><··. ·.Sultatfsa"BarOrigis.Mayoti1:\1'" ':ftghtlfigdre'lllM1titn~the mil- ' two more villages of Sultan sa Ian Angassaid.ar leastl5.,OOOit8.ry.>.· ............••.... '.•.. ,.

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said the MILFshould resolve the dispute between Bascoand Kubota and similar feuds because these could threaten the

.OFFIcE OF11IEARMYCHJEF POBuc AFFAIRS;..

Email add:·o8cpa_hpa@yahoO.com .. teino.(02) 892-1693,

Local: 5287. 5295

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(}_--July 2012 1

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PH urged to seek UN peacekeeping force in Spratlys
114thanniversary yesterday that coincided with the I48th birth anniversary of Apolinario ¥abini, the brains of the Philip" pil)e~olution against Spain .. "The' .President refused to By Christian V. Esguerra comment on the report that the Chinese fishing fleet was ac. WITH China aggressively asserting its claims in companied by two warships. the West Philippine Sea, a lawmaker suggested The whole world "could testify" is at Panatag yesterday that it might be time for the Philippines to what Mr.happening said, referShoal, Aquino to ask the United Nations for a peacekeeping ring to a shoal in the West force to prevent armed clashes between the two Philippine Sea claimed by both China and the Philippines. countries in the disputed waters. . China sent a fleet of 30 fishing vessels to the Spratlys on July 11, Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo reporters in an interviewyestera month after Vietnam passed a .'Blazon, chair of the House com- day. new maritime law that put the mittee on national defense; But President Aquino called " raised the question of UN help for calm, saying the govern- archipelago and the Paracel Isamid reports that a large fleet of ment was looking for a peaceful I.lands under its sovereignty. China is claiming the Paracels Chinese fishing' vessels had resolution of the Philippines' and the Spratlys, and has put been sighted near Pag-asa Is- territorial dispute with China. land in the Philippine part of Reporters asked Mr. Aquino :them under its administration the Spratlyarchipelago. pointblank: Is the Philippines ! through a new city called Sansha in June to strengthen its grip on The military's Western Com- ready for war? . mand confirmed the sighting on "We are always ready," ' he the disputed territories in the Wednesday, and the Navy said replied, but quickly added that West Philippine Sea. . The Philippines, Vietnam, yesterday that it had vessels his government stressed .the ready to stop the Chinese fish- search for a peaceful resolution Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan are claiming parts of the Spratlys. ing fleet from entering Philip. of the conflict. But China claims all of those ispine territory. Mr. Aquino answered re"We will assert our sovereign- porters' questions on the side- lands as well as other rock and ty in that area because that's our lines of ceremonies at the De- coral formations in the West territory," Commodore Rustom partment of Foreign Affairs Philippine Sea believed to be sitPefia, commander of the mili- (DFA), which celebrated its ting on vast oil and gas deposits, tary's Naval Forces West, told PH UR.GED! Al2 The islands also straddle major sea ltiQes vital to global trade. •The;'Philippines refers to the stratefic waterway as the West PhiPtJpine Sea. China calls it the Sf}UthChina Sea while Vietnam ~fer~to i~as the Ea~t Sea. .'Tije:Chmese fishing fleet, accompanied by a cargo vessel . and two People's Liberation ,._ ._ --_ Army missile frigates, arrived
r;

:P-Noycalls for calm . but says weare ready

the Chinese fishingvesseIS to have moved close to Pag-asa Island on . the Philippine side of theSpratlys.

OnWednesday, thePhiIippfue . military reported sighting·.20 of

Presence confirmed
Commodore Pefia confirmed the INQUIRER report yesterday about the Chinese fishing fleet's latest location. He said 20 fishing vessels were anchored about 9 kilometers off Pag-asa Island, the seat of government of the Kalayaan municipality in Palawan province. Controlled by the Philippines since the 1970s, Pag-asa Island is located 527 kIn west of Palawan. It is home to 150 Filipino families. It has a town hall, a health center; an airstrip and a naval station. In June the local government opened a public school on the island. Perra said there were no sightings of the reported military escort of the fishing fleet. "There are no other vessels there," he said. Asked about his assessment of the situation, Pefia said he had no authority to make an assessment. "It's the DFAwhich issues statements and assessments," he said. But the DFAwas not ready with a statement. Raul Hernandez DFA spokesperson, said the de~ partment had yet to be formally' informed about the situation .. "We have not received an official report from the Navy or the COastGuard," Hernandez said.

UN help
The report of the Chinese fishing fleet's presence at the Philip" pines' doorstep raised questions about thecountIy's capability to defend its territory.

t_··. .

OfFICE OF THE ARMYCHIEF PUBl.lCAFFAIRs-Emailadd:oacon
'. '.' .. . . '. '. '. .

the Vietnamese side of the '. Sp.ratlys on July 15.

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Since it does not have the hardware to,fight, shouldn't the Philippines, which has already decided to, seek international arbitration to settle its territorial dispute with China, go, the United Nations far help? Speaking at a news forum in Quezon City, Biazon, a former military chief of staff, suggested that the government ask the United Nations for a peacekeeping force "if the tension rises to a dangerous level." He said the request could. be included in the case to be bought .by the DFA to the International

Tribunal far the Law of the Sea could resolve that problem. the shoal unless China pulled (Itlos) for the settlement of the "Of what rise is the Unclos, out its maritime vessels as welL Philippines' dispute with China signed by 152 nations, if it canChina has not budged, and reover Panatag Shoal (Scarbor- not be enforced?" Blazon asked. parts said Chinese fishing vessels augh Shoaljaccording to, the. He painted out that the Philip- had returned to,Panatag Shoal, United Nations Convention an I pines had troops in UN peacethe Law of the Sea (Unclos) "~) keeping missions in conflict ar- Escorted fleet ''What would prevent us from i eas, among them the Golan Blazon said the Philippines proposing (that) to, the United Heights in the Middle East. should send a fleet of fishing Nations if the tension rises to a Both the Philippines and Chi- vessels, escorted by the Coast dangerous level?" Biazon said. na are signatories to,the Unclas. Guard or even by the Navy; to, Beijing, "however, refuses to rec- the shoal to assert Philippine Unclos enforcement . ognize Manila's sovereignty sovereignty Reacting to an observation that I.over territories in the West He suggested the government the Unclos did not have a clear Philippine Sea that are within should also, repair or even expand process for enforcing Itlos rulings, ·the country's 370-kilometer ex" the airstrip on Pag-asa Island. Blazon said a peacekeeping force .elusive economic zone, insisting Simultaneausly, he said, the .that those are its territory. Philippines should proceed with China also rejects interna- joint exploration and develop" tional arbitration to settle the ment of energy resources within dispute, insisting on bilateral the country's exclusive economic talks with the Philippines, as it . zone in the West Philippine Sea. does in its disputes with other Blazon suggested partner" rivals for territory in the West ships with Japan, Sauth Korea, Philippine Sea. . the United States or European Blazon said the Philippine countries.' government should focus on He acknowledged that such the Uncles instead of acquiring steps could increase tensions in warships and aircraft, though . the West Philippine Sea but he the country needs hardware, said the Philippines should not because the convention favored back down just because of a pothe country's case. tential heightening of tensions.

Go back to Panatag
In the meantime, he said, the government should send back ships to Panatag Shoal to "shew our flag" there. . Philippine and Chinese ves" sels faced off with each other at Panatag Shoal from early April to, mid-June. The standoff tern. porarily ended when President Aquino, ordered two, government vessels to seek shelter from a storm en the night of June 15. China called its fishing vessels heme from the shoal, but not its maritime ships. President Aquino threatened to,send .back the Philippine vessels to,

Cautious Navy
Still, the Navy will handle an ' incursion in the Spratlys with caution. "Wewill investigate [their pres. ence] and then if the situation warrants, we will advise them . that that's our territory and that' they should leave," Pefia said, referring to,the Chinese fishing ves.sels anchored offPag;asa Island. "Once the weather'gets better, we will send our boats to, warn them to, leave our area," he said. ''We have boats ready to, be deployed there." With reportsfrom Michael Lim Ubac, Marlon Ramos and 1WTa Quismundo

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Presiden! Benigno ~quino III delivers his spee~h dunng celebrations markm~ the l1~th . foundation ofthe Department of Foreign AffairS.

Special gue~.

By Sara Susanne Fabunan and Joyce Pangco~Panares

DESPITE Malacatiang's efforts to downplay the ongoing conflict in the South China Sea, ., ~e-ijmg on ThursdaxcQ;!i\tWr.ued its aggressive stance on the issue following a statement. from a high-ranking military officer asking the Chinese government to put up: "maritime and air spaces" there.
The latest development happened even as .Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing was conspicuously absent during the 114th anniversary 'Ofthe.Department ofForeignAff'airs Thursday morning, an affair usually attended by all diplomats stationed in Manila.; ChineseEmbassy spokesman Zhang Huasaid Mit was "out of town" and instead 'sent Chinese Senior Col. Chen Fagming in her behalf. Zhang said Ma would also not be able to attend the 85th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Armyoa July 31 in Beijing, Ma's absence has fueled speculation that Beijing ~lowly,distanci~g itself from Manila due to their spat III the South_<;:hma ea. S .... . . . Next pase People·s.Libemtio;~y Maj. Gen, Lou Yuan, meanwhile, sug-. gested to Beijing that it establish three maritime spaces and three' air spaces to underscore China's military presence in the South ..: China Sea. .

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in Sansha City, Ch. na i boun:t to arouse a new round of 'China's military threat theory' in the neighboring countries, which we should just disregard," he said. "We didn't clearly define these The fishery administration : three maritime spaces in the past, and the Navy according to Lou ibl +'. cti ., but they will be clarified from are responsi e lor prote mg now on," Luo said. China's fishing maritime territoThe "air space" or air idenries and managing conflict in the . tification zone, meanwhile, ' South China Sea. will be tasked to identify and Beijing's standoff with Manila monitor any aircraft flying at Scarborough Shoal may have over Chinese territories. sparked China's aggressive claim "The air identification zone over the islands in the South China serves mainly to identify what Sea. Last month, it established model the aircraft is, whether the Sansha City to administer control aircraft is a civilian one or a miliover the three major islands in the tary one, what country the aircraft South Sea-the.Spratlys, the Parabelongs to, and so on," Luo said. eels and the Maeclesfiled Bank-. "The defense zone is our coundespite strong objectionsfrom Matry's air territory, where any hos.nila and Hanoi tile aircraft will definitely be shot The city government, which is down if they are trespassing," located on the 2J3-square km Lou said the classification criYongxinglsland, has a small airteria for the "air spaces" would port, a sea port, roads, a clinic, a be set up in accordance with inpost office, a radar and an obsertemational standards and formu. vatory. Its establishment was' f01lated with references to "relevant" . lowed by the establishment of a rules and regulations, military garrison and the deploy"In this way, the defense tasks of ment of troops from the PLA. the garrison command can go by In his speech during Foreign the book and follow rules andreguAffairs' anniversary, President lations with the reasons, advantagBenigno Aquino III said talks es, and controlsjustified," he said. of a possible armed conflict over Luo said the establishment of the territorial disputes in the West the garrison aimed to "maintain Philippine Sea would only escaan effective deterrence against late the tensions in the region. those countries with inordinate "Let reiterate: our interest is ambition towards Beijing's na- . .a 'pe~eful res~lution ~f ~is ~n. - tional territories," ...-..... flict, the President said man m- terview. Sara Susann~.Fabunan . '., , '. . . . .' and Joyce Pangco Panares ........... ..

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NaVy to ask China boats to leavePagasa
but Pagasa is our territory so we maintain a 12·nautical mile territory, ~he said. Pena, however, expressed bellef that the Chinese boats were not actually fish~ng in the area. "Weare monitoring ...they are not fishing, they are just taking shelter because there are areas there that are covered from waves," said Pena, The mnitary official said no Chinese military vessel was monitored ire the area. However, there were reports that the Chinese fishing fleet was. IGG.···, escorted by frigates and maritime ", "We will assert our sovereignty surveillance ships, ip.:!l~,!area beeausc that's our "Ihere were fishingboats ...but tMrl~p.ry,~ Pena said, "If the there are no other ships, only warrants, we win advise fishingboats ...more or less 20 of tbe.m,t;hatthat's our territory and them as of lWednesday),~he said. t.~~-¥;~~ouid le&ve.". . Pena, however, said no assets ~,~y;~r at the Palace, amid from the Navforwest have been ,_~~~tons that the Philippines dispatched to check on the was ready to got to war given an Chinese ihhing boat.s,citingrough iJl!~Jon by foreign forces, seas now prevailing in the area. ~!4~~t.Aqwn~, appealed to the The milital'Yofficial said that gjl}A~-to. stop toying with the during latest Navforwestpatrol in tJWi$J# o.r armed conflict, the area, the Chinese fishing )~;/an -ambush interview, boats were not yet present. ~~.\pp who was ,at the 114th' The presence of Chinese fOp.uding anniversary of the f:shing boats near Pagasa could ~~~ment of Foreign Affairs; add tension to the already ~e'@T>~rsistent discussion of complicated dispute between the p,,,,~!?le mil~tary action would Philippines and China over the Q,m.y·Cp'ntributemoretensi~nand KIG or the Spratlys. China ir..cl"~se prospects of armed continued to build up its presence ~~. . in the are-a despite its supposed Pagasa is one of the biggest fishing ban that runs up to islands in the KIG and serves as August. the seat of government of Aside from the tension in the K~lay;;:an town, under Mayor Spratlvs, the Philippines and Eugenio Bito-onon in Palawan.· China are also locked in a Both F.ilipinotroops and civilians standoff in Panatag (Scarborough) are fIring in Paga'la.· Shoal off Masialoc town in Pena 'admitted that the Zambales since lest April. The C'lIinp-se fishing boats were Philippine government has filed a1i~idy ill the country's numerous diplomatic protests te'rri't+0rialwaters, although still against China overthe incursions. qu\"p{ the 200·nauticat mild Aquino, who had madethe ro!ctuslveeconomic zone (EEZ). most confrontational statements ~·"Thatis still outside our EEZ against China, reiterated the ~:::T.1ie; military's Naval Forces 'Y.~~mavforwest) would ask the <4\tn~e fishing boats .spotted Widwithe Philippines' territorial W;!lt~.z:snear Pagasa Island to hliive:the area, which is part of th'e ItaIayaan Island Group (KIG) Qr, Ute ,Spratlys in the disputed W~~~iiWppine Sea. -.liff.Worwe!;tchief Commodore ~~~~ Pena yesterday said his c~and has monitored on W~~J,lesday more or less 20 q~~~~ vessels or-iyfive fishing rw.~ roUesfrom the Philippineo{1!:!APjedagasa Island in the P
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government's position for a resolution ofthe dispute between the neighboring Asian countries through diplomatic avenues. Earlier, pt esidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda shrugged off an observaticnof the Brussels-based International Crisis Group that portrayed the Philippines as very close to engaging in a war against China overthe WestPhilippine Sea amid tbe tenslcn overcompedng clatms . in of a territory known for its abundant marine 'resources and a rich oil deposits According to the lCG, the tension could escalate into open conflict amid an arms buildup among rival narions. "Weare no way on the brink or' armed conflict. We have continued to conduct a peaceful discussion with our Chinese have done it through <iipl()matic means and we will eonnnue to maintcirt a PGlicy ofde-escalation." The palace mouthpiece said • the Philippines continues to advocate the creation and adoption of a binding Gone of Conduct that will address conflicting claims in the region, "Right now, even in the absence' of a Code of Conduct, we have exhibited restraint. China has a150voiced its preference fer a peaceful and diplomaticsolution," he said. "So we hope that even while we are still drafting the Code of Conduct,we can exhibit restraint between the two nations and we are going 1;0 malnrain a peaceful and diplomatic stance (in resolving) thePanatag Shoal The leo feit the chances of the Philippines avoiding war "seem to be dlmirdshmg," Mario J. Malian amiFeman J.
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China's hawks gaining sway in S, China Sea dispute
HONG KONp-china has it raises the prospect of US in- Out militarymissions." claim territory that historically adopted a. more aggressive tervention, The city government is locat- . belonged to China. stance in recent weeks on terriHowever,analysts say Beijing ed on the 2.13-squarekilometer He said there had been no todal disputes in the West is increasingly determined to Yongxing Island, which con- I disputes in the West Philippine Philippine Sea (South China block any unified effort from ri- rains a small military airport, a Sea before .the 1970s when Sea) as hardline officials and val claimants to negotiate over seaport, roads, a clinic, a post maps published by rival commentators call on Beijingto disputes, preferring instead to office and an observatory. This claimants also.acknowledged it take a tougher line with rival isolate much smaller and weak- is in the Paracels, a group of is- was Chineseterritory. Claimants. er states in direct talks. lands also claimed by Vietnam "Relevant countries did not ': China's supreme policymakThere was evidence of this andTaiwan. begin to layclaimto islands and ing body, the Politburo Stand- harder line at the recent annual A ship calls twice in a month; seawaters in the area untilthe Ing Committee of the Chinese foreign ministers' meeting of from nearby Hainan province to disco-veryof large amounts of Communist Party, is made up the 10-member Association of serveYongxing's613 residents. oil and gas reservesin the South entirely of civilians, but out- Southeast Asian Nations· ChinaSea," he said, according . spoken People's Liberation (Asean) where diplomats said US blamed for tensions to an extract of his speech pubArmy (PLA) officers, intelli-· China's influence behind the X~, a regular commentator lished in the official Global gence advisers and maritime scenes led to an unprecedented on maritime security issues, is Timesnewspaper last week. . agency chiefs are arguing that breakdown in the grouping's one of many analysts arguing Zhu also blamed US "med~eijing should be more force, traditional preference for main- that recent tensions are a direct dling" for prolonging the: curful in asserting its sovereignty raining an appearance of har- result of the Obama administra- rent tension. over the sea and the oil and mony and unity. tion's announcement late last· iThe' retired general is best natural gas believed to lie unThe meeting in Phnom Penh year of a strategic shift which known for his assertion in 2005 der the seabed. ended in disarray without would eventually see 60 per- that China should use nuclear ~. Most of them blame the Unit- progress on a proposed code of cent of the US Navy'swarships weapons against the United ed States' so-called strategic conduct that was aimed at mini- deployed to the Asia'Pacificre- States if American forces inter'.'pivot"to Asia for emboldening mizing the risk of conflictin the gion, up from the current 50 vened in a conflictover Taiwan. neighboring countries, particu- . WestPhilippine Sea or issuing a percent. Iarly the Philippines and Viet- concluding communique. . The US move is widely seen He escaped any serious cen. sure over what he stressedat the nam, to challenge China's Cambodia, China's close ally as a response to China's growclaims. which served as the meeting's ing military power and increas- time were his personal views "China now faces a who 1e host, blocked every attempt to .'. mgIy assertive-behavior in deal- , and has since become a regular ,. ,• . member of high-level Chinese f aggressive neighbors include tensions in the West mgwith contested territory. pack 0 headed by Vietnam and the Philippine Sea on the agenda, China's recent rows with the military delegations in security Philippines and also a set of said the diplomats from other Philippines over the Scarbor- talks with UScounterparts. menacing challengers headed member nations. , ough Shoal and Vietnam over· ProvocatiVe views by the United States, forming I oil exploration rights have . ' their encirclement fromoutside Military garrison heightened regional fears that Othercfflcials calling for a. the region," Xu Zhirong, a On the military front; China's to~gh.er line include CuiLiru, deputy-chiefcaptain with China powerful Central Military Com- tension in the strategic' water:' president of the ChinaInstitutes Marine Surveillance, wrote in mission has approved the for- way could lead to armedcon- of Contemporary International flict.i,~lati()IlS, a Beijing thinktank the June edition of China Eye, a ! mal establishment of a military closelylinked to China's intellipublication of the Hong Kong- . garrison for the disputed sea. . 1:>asedChina Energy.Fund ComThe move, announced this Unreasonable and illegal. gence services, and Maj. Gen. mittee .., week, is essentially a further asOne of China's most hawkish LuoYuan,a retired militaryoffi: '~d; such a band of eager sertion of China's sovereignty military 'officers, Maj. General cer who is well known for his l IF . . tacxeys is exactly what the US claims after it last month raised Zhu Chenghu, an lIT fluennai1 hardline views and provocative di . needs for its strategic return to the administrative status of the teacher and strategy researcher me ia commentanes. Asia,"Xu added. seas to the level of a city, which. at Beijing's National Defense It is unclear how.much sway' it calls Sansha. University, has dismissed the these blunt-speaking officials Harder line' The offidalXinhua news: entitlement of these rivals to exercise over foreign and miliMost Chinese and foreign se- agency said the Sansha garrison ' the disputed waters. tary policies or whether their curity policy analysts believe would be responsible for "na- . In a: speech to the World viewsreflect officialthinking. China wants to avoid military tional defense mobilization ... Peace Forum in Beijing earlier But for the PLA,the persisconflict across sea lanes that l guarding the city and support- this month, Zhu said it was "un- tent territorial disputes underearry an annual $5 trillion in \ ing local emergency rescue and reasonable and illegal" for the mine a carefullyhoned imageas ship-borne trade, particularly if . disaster relief" and "carrying ,Ph_ilippines and Vietnam to
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a force that will never allow for- should accept that an increaseign powers to encroach on Chi- inglypowerful China would nese territory as they did in the seek to reshape relationships colonial period. that had been established earli"The South China Sea situa- er when it was weak. tion is certainly highly frustrarStephen Hadley, former Pres.ing for Chinese military offi- ident George W Bush's national eers," said Sun Yun, a. WaShing •. security adviser and now a con.ton-based China security policy' sultant, said he was on a visit to expert and a former analyst. Beijing earlier this month and a with the International Crisis senior Chinese official told him Group in Beijing. that China's views should be "If the PLA cannot even de- given more weight now that it fend China's own territory at its had become stronger, . doorstep, what capacity or le- . In a talk to the Atlantic COUIl,gitimacy does it have to cruise cil think tank in Washington last , around the world?" Sun added, week, Hadley said he could see some merit to this view but he New China added it could be a "destruc.Some top Chinese policymak- tive" way of framing issues. ers say neighboring countries "This new China is going to be hard to manage," he said. However, notwithstanding the recent assertiveness and the bellicose statements of military and security officials, some analysts note that policymaking in China is not entirely in the hands of hawks.

Broad set of hardliners
"Given that all the members of the Politburo Standing Committee are civilians, their perceptions of the South China Sea issue are clearly more comprehensive than the generals," said Sun, the Washington-based expert. Other analysts, however, warn against making distinctions between the views of China's military brass, civilian leaders and diplomats. Dean Cheng, China security expert at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said Beijing was hardening its stance in the disputed sea and also in other maritime areas where it had disputes with Japan and South Korea. "We have a broad set of hardliners, not just in uniform, but across the board," he said. Reuters

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Authorities bewail NPA's use of EIOs against civilians
COTABA TO CITY, Philippines - The police and the military appealed anew to the New People's Army in Central Mindanao to adhere to International Humanitarian Laws (IHL) restricting the use of explosives to harm non-combatants either for retaliatory attacks or to intimidate local communities into shelling out "protection money" and revolutionary taxes. Major Gen. Rey Ardo, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, said they are alarmed by the recovery of two very powerful bombs planted separately by the NPAs along farming trails in North Cotabato's Arakan and Mag pet towns after last week's fall of a guerrilla camp at the border of the two municipalities. 1lt. Nash Serna, civil-military relations officer of the Army's 57th Infantry Battalion, in a report to the 6th 10, said the first lED was found by patrolling soldiers along a trail in Barangay Celo, Magpet which Manobo and Visayan farmers trek when they go to trading areas to sell their farm products. The lED, weighing about 15 kilos, was safely defused by bomb experts about an hour after the troops found its trip wire laid on the center of the trail. Ardo said the foiled roadside bombings were supposed to be in retaliation for the Army's recovery of an NPA camp in Magpet, which rebels used as "take off" point for their extortion activities and bombings of military and civilian vehicles at thoroughfares lin the second district of North Cotabato. The NPAs reportedly set on fire some 50 houses of ethnic Manobo villagers along their escape route as they abandoned their camp and fled towards a hinterland area at the forested border of North Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces. Soldiers and operatives of the police's Special Action Force that forced the rebels out of their camp recovered from the scene ammunition of assorted calibers, documents and lists of members of the North Cotabato's business community the NPAs allegedly subject to their taxation activities. Another !ED was found by policemen in nearby Barangay MaHbatuan, Arakan three days after the deactivation of the one found earlier in Barangay Celo. The lED, which weighed eight kilos, was discovered by Manobo tribesmen, who reported what they found to the police. Residents displaced by the hostilities said they saw rebels fleeing their camp in Magpet carry several dead and wounded companions as the rebels escape towards the border of North Cotabato and Bukidnon. The director of the Region 12 police office, Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, also urged the NPAs to spare civilians from any retaliation Monteagudo has ordered all municipal police offices in North Cotabato where there are NPA members to step up their intelligence mission to pre-empt any attempt by rebels to terrorize civilians with !EDs and roadside bombs. The NPAs have launched dose to 20 lED attacks in North Cotabato's adjoining Magpet, Arakan, and Makilala towns, and in Kidapawan City in recent months.

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Rebels also burned down multi-million worth of road-building equipment of private contractors engaged in various projects in the second district of the province in a spate of attacks early this year after their owners refused to shell out "protection money."

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