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TABLE OF CONTENTS 23 March 2012
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TITLE/SUMMARYIWRITER
Weather Forecast

Newspaper Phil Star p. A-30

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ARMY" RELATED

ISSUES
Daily Tribune p. 3

RP seeks US aid in tracking North Korea rocket launch The Department of National Defense (DND) is that North Korea would yield to international "pressure" to call off its planned rocket launch next month to avoid any tension.

2
ALI reaffirms support to military orphans Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) reaffirms its commitment to support the orphans of Filipino soldiers who were killed in the line of duty. Teachers' kidnappers demand P4-M ransom led by one Mangagao alias The kidnappers, Commander Ayatola with 40 followers, sent a letter demanding a ransom payment until Friday for the freedom of Rene Somadang and Tino Sanchez, both teachers at Limonsudan Elementary School. 10 soldiers dead in misencounter The Jose Rapsing Command of the NPA in Masbate has extended its condolences to the families of about 10 soldiers killed when three military units fired each other on March 19 in the mistaken belief that they were confronting NPA guerillas. 2 NPA tigok sa engkwentro Patay and dalawang miyembro ng NPA matapos makasagupa ang mga tropa ng military sa Sitio Bagubaon, Brgy. Ariwaden, sa bayan ng Sta Teresita, Cagayan kamakalawa ng gabi. Action centers Joint force of the PNP and AFP have established four action centers strategically located in all boundaries of Pampanga province to curb criminality and insurgency in Pampanga.
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Daily Tribune p. 9

3

Tempo p. 5

Tempo p. 5

4

Police Files p. 3

Manila Bulletin p. 15

5 6

hurt in NPA ambush Five soldiers were wounded in an ambush staged by NPA rebels in Suriqao del Norte on Wednesday night. 115tn PHILIPPINE ARMY DAY CELEBRATION (photo)

5 troopers

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Malaya p. B-2

Manila Bulletinp. 8 Business Mirror p. A-5

AFP QRLATED ISSUES
Navy set to acquire multirole vessels, helicopters Two multirole vessels (MRVs) along with three new helicopters will be delivered to the Navy under the military's ongoing modernization program. Gov't using smart bombs vs Abu bandits in Sulu jungle Concealed by the night sky, the two aging Philippine Air Force planes unleashed a surprise high-tech weapon: US satellite guided bombs that whizzed down deadly precision toward a long-elusive terrorist and two other top radicals dozing with their men in Jolo Island's jungle.

PDI p. A-1

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Smart bombs no, smart pilots yes, says PAF exec The Philippine Air Force (OAF) used "smart pilots" not US satellite-guided "smart bombs" - when it struck an Abu Sayyaf lair in Parang , Sulu Ion Feb 2 and killed a bandit leader, Gumbahali Jurndail, and other terrorists, a PAF general insisted yesterday. US smart bombs target Abu Sayyaf Concealed by the night sky, the two aging Philippine Air Force planes unleashed a surprise high-tech weapon: US satellite guided bombs that whizzed down deadly precision toward a long-elusive terrorist and two other top radicals dozing wlth their men in Jolo Island's jungle. We now have smart bombs The use of the smart bomsb, confirmed to the Associated Press by four senior Philippine security officials, marks a ne chapter in the long-running battle against the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the south, viewed by the US as a key front in the global efforts to keep terrorists a bay. Retired GMA general denies recruiting soldiers for coup One of the retired generals closely identified with the Arroyo administration on Thursday dispelled rumors he was behind the recruitment of active military personnel for a coup to be launched against the Aquino administration. I'll never be part of a coup: Esperon Former AFP chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr yesterday said he is not and would not be involved in any destabilization move against the Aquino administration. What coup plot? - ex-military chief Former AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr on Thursday belied claims that retired senior officers are recruiting active junior officers for a coup against the Aquino administration. Troops recover seized midwife Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, Sulu police director, said the Abu Sayyaf group led by Minok Sappari was forced to release Roselyn Kiram as acombined group of policemen and Marines mounted pressure on them. Gov't, MILF panels allow ole to sit as observer The peace panels of the government and MILF have approved the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to sit as an observer in the peace talks. Peace panels schedule new meeting Negotiators of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and MILF have scheduled another meeting in April to continue negotiation for the MILF's Comprehensive Compact peace proposal. Palace: Increased US presence not because of China MalacaPiang yesterday denied the disputes with other countries over terrorists in the Wes Philippine Sea (South China Sea) were the reason for increased US presence in the Philippines that was announced by President Aquino on Wednesday. Palace: No need for new agreement with US Malacafiang yesterday reiterated the decision of President Aquino to accept more American troops, increase ship

POI p. A-14

Manila Bulletin p. 1

Tempo p. 2

POI p. A-8

Malaya p. B-2

Business Mirror p. A-5

14

Phil Star p. A-30

Phil Star p. A-30

1.5

Manila Bulletin p. 7

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POI p. A-2

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Phil Star p. 10

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visits and expand military exercises between the Philippines and the United States. 5 soldiers wounded in NPA ambush Five soldiers were wounded when communist rebels set off roadside bombs as they ambushed military convoy in Surigao del Norte yesterday, the military said. 'No coup try vs Ninoy will succeed' Pangasinan Gov Amado Espino Jr said no coup attempt would succeed against President Aquino due to his "relentless drive for reforms and good governance." A US Fighter bomber armed with smart bombs (photo) File photo of police operatives examining site in Jolo where three most wanted leaders of al-Qaeda-Iinked terrorist group Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah were believe killed in a USbacked air strike in early February. (photo)

Phil Star p. A-31

Phil Star p. A-31

19

PDI p. A-14 PDI p. A-14

EDITORIAL
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ROTC Centennial (Final)

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpCl_hpa@yahoo.com - Tel no. (02) 892-1693. Local: 5281, 5295

'C3 March 2012

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to cl6udywith isolated tamsho'Wers ox", 1"\ thunderstorms. ', " _ At 2 p.m. yesterdey.a low pressure, Coastal 'waters throughout th~ archi~:'" aeea was estimated at 130kms east of pelage WiIlbe modeEatetorough. ' Puerto PrincesaGty. Temperatureforecasts: Metro ¥anila, , Luz"Ol'lwill be doudy with scattered ' 23-319.egrees CeIsi'l1s;BaguioCity; 15-25; : . l'amshowe£s and thunderstorms~ becom- Tagijytay€ity, 21-28; "Subicand Clark: , ing \o)"id.espreadr.ains over Palawan and zone, 2S-3Zi Metro' Cebu, 25-30; Metro ,': th.e eastern section of central. and so;q:th- ,Davaot25-33; Cag~yan de Oro, 25-31. : ern Luaoa, ",Tidalpredictions in Manila Bay: high' The Visayas and western Mihdanao tide atlO:43. a.m, atQ.64meter;lowtideat ' will be mostly cloudy with scattered 4,50. a.m. at 0.19 meter; and at 4:46 p.m. at • raiashowers and thunderstorms. The 0.10 meter; Surmise is at 5:58 a.m.: sunset, rest of Mindanao will b.e par~ly cl:D:li!:~Y.. ." ~t 6:07.p.m.

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, OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBlIC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpa:-hpa@yahoo.com -

tel no. (02) 892·1693, Locar: 5287; 5295

OFFICE OF THEARMYCHIEFPUBLICAFFAIRS- Email add:0acp3_hpa@yahoo.com

- Tel no. (02) 892.1693. Local: 5287, 5295

?-3 March

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RP seeks US aid intrac North Korea rocket launch
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The Department of National Defense (DND) is hoping that North Korea would yield to lnternational "pressure" to call off Its planned rocket launch next month to avoid any tension. At the 1l5th founding mniversary of the Philippine Anny n Fort Bonifacio, DND Secretary Toltaire Gazmin cited calls from he United States, Japan and urstralia for North Korea not to ,roceed with its scheduled rocket auneh sometime between April 12 nd 16. Gazmm admitted that the move ~ a cause for concern for the 'hilippines.

"Definitely we are concerned with the pronouncement of the North Koreans but there are warnings issued by the US, Japan and Australia...we hope (the North Koreans) will listen to the warning so that there will be no tension," Gazmin said. North Korea is planning to launch a rocket to put a satellite in orbit. "We need the help of the US to monitor the p~h beoause.wedon't have that capability," the Defense chief added. B'ut the US and other nations see 'the launch as a disguised ballistic missile test, and say that 'it would breach a United Nations ban on. North Korean missile

launches, A previous North Korean longrange rocket in 2009 flew over Japanese territory and the boosters landed safely in waters off Japan. In ja letter to the UN's International Maritime Organization, North Korea said the second stage of its latest rocket was expected to splash down 190kilometers (kIn) or 118 miles east of the northern Philippines. The first stage of the rocket would fall about 140kms off South Korea's west coast, in .international waters between. China and the South, the letter said.

On Wednesday, the Department : of Foreign Affairs (DFA)'brand~ : North Korea's rocket launch pl~n as "unacceptable." i; The US, Japan and AustraJla also issued statements against tl:te planned rocket launch, Meanwhile, GaZlll~n said tlie : April 30 meet in WashingtQn ; involving him and DFASecret~!:Y : Albert del Rosario with their lIS . counterparts US Secretary Df . State Hillary Clinton and Defense : Secretary Leon Panetta will be , pushing through. ? . "There are a lot of agenda Ii~e . economic, defense ...we are stin fixing the agenda. We will let you known after we are firm on thi.s.," . Gazmin said. With AF.P· .
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ALI reaffirms support to military orphans

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) reaffirmed its commitment to support t~ orphans of Filipino soldiers who were killed in the line of duty. ~. a simple ceremony held recently at the ALI headquarters at Tower One and Exchange Plaza in Makati Oity,ALI turned over donations generated through a Hero Christmas Card sales program that has . become a tradition for the past four years. "Each year we were \ able to generate an average of P500,OOO from the sale of Herothemed Christmas card, making it a total of P2 million that ~as : been turned over to the Foundation in four years," ALI corporate 1 cornmunications head and spokesman Jorge Marc6said. At the affair \ are (from left) Maj. Alfonso DS Matias, Jr., operations manager of . the AFP Educational Benefits System Office (AFP·EBSO);Jorge Marco; Torn Mirasol, ALl head for Office Leasing and Operations; I Bobby Dy,ALIGroup head for Residential and Commercial Business I ,. Groups; Antonino Aquino, ALI president and CEOi M~.. Gener~l Raoul Reyes, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel representing U. ~ General Jessie Dellosa, AFP Chief of Staff; Michelle Chan, He~o directorior Marketing; Aniceto Bisnar Jr., Nuvali general manager; .Rowena Tomeldan,ALIhead of Operations for Commercial Business; Augusto Bengzon, ALI head of Treasury; and Bernadette Palo, educational program director for APP-HeroFoundation partnership. they are joined by Hero scholars Miggy,Loise, James and ..Romeo. r ~. .

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacpa:_hpa@yahoo.com

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

March 2012

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Teachers' -dnappers demand P4·M ransom
By ALI G. MACABALANG ·MARAWI CITY - The kidnappers of two lligan City public school teachers have demanded a P4-million ransom for the captives' safe release, according to authorities. .
The kidnappers, led by one Mangagao alias Commander Aya~ tela with 40 followers, sent a letter demanding the ransom payment until Friday for the freedom of Rene Somadang and Tino Sanchez, both teachers at Umonsudan Elementary School in Iligan City. The two victims were snatched last Mondayafternoon while on their way from the I1igan City proper to their campus in Barangay Umonsudan, police said. Senior Supt. Celso Regencia, Iligan City police chiet said the ransom demand letter was sent to the two teachers' families. Col. Daniel Lucero, commanding officer of the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade based here, said Lanao del Sur Gov.Mamintal "Bombit" Adiong Jr. has mobilized local authorities to help track dQwn the kldnappers believed to be holding their captives in Tagoloan IItown. Lucero; who heads the anti-crime Task Force Ranao, said that while Gov. Adiong's emissaries were on a mission to intercede for the release of the victims without ransom, combat troops were combing all possible hideouts of the kidnappers. the victim'S abductors were last spotted, "Not a single shot was fired and no ransom was paid, not a Single centavo:' said Senior Supt. Antonio Freyra, director of the Sulu police, referring to the rescue of Roselyn Kiram, a health worker of the Mu~ nicipality of Patikul. Kiram, 54, was kidnapped along , with her five companions on March 19 but all were released later except her. He said the rescue operation occurred at around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday In SmoBasih, barangay Maligay in Patlkul town. (Aaron ]

MIDWIFE RESCUED

Policeand military forces rescued a kidnapped midwife after combing a mountainous area where

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lO soldiers dead in mlsencounter.
on troops of the Alpha Company of ·he Jose Rapsing Command the New People's Army (NPA- the same battalion and members of the 93rd Division Reconnais:) In Masbate has extended sance-Company (DRe) undertakcondolences to the families about 10 soldiers killed when . Ing operations in the interior towns ~e military units fired at each of Dimasalang and Palanas. "While the unit was positioner on March 19 in the mistaken lng, it received reports from the ef that they were confronting ~guerrillas. masses abqut a group of armed men approaching the NPA squad, peaking on behalf of NPA JRC, forcing it to change position. del Mar said no. NPA guerrilla ; involved in the dashes, which .. Meanwhile, a platoon of soldiers . ted when a military unit tried arrive ddt an 00 k post't· . f ron t Ion In of the place earlier held by guerlose in on an NPA squad fhat rillas " Del Mar said. ; preparing to spring a surprise '

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"Another group of troops. ap-' unit th~t had been pinned down preached the same position from' and w.hlc~,they thought were NPA another direction and firing en- I g~;rnlla~, Del Ma.radded. sued, with the two units not ~ As thiS was gOing on, another knowing they were all military men I platoon came and fired ~n t~e secdue to the creeping darkness," o,ndp~atoon, t~us c~mphcatl~g the she added. • Situation. While firing continued, , "The firing lasted for about 30' the NPA squad maneuvered and minutes, with the groups shout-: left the ~rea. The .':lasses I~ter ing at each other. NPA guerrillas told guernlla~ that military vehicles watching from afar were surprised; worked until dawn to tran~port I that in spite of the call to cease fire th~ dead and the wounded, she /. and after declaring t hi' emse ves to t". said. . t be soldiers, the members of the'-~ The 10 firearms taken ml.ght I: other platoon continued to shoot" I h~ve come from the dead soldiers the NPA island spokesperso~ killed by ~he second platoon," Del stressed. ~ Marsun~JlIsed, "Instead o.frealizing . . their mistake, the soldiers even bragged to their superiors that they killed many NPA guerrillas, andtheir superiors believed them." . .1 (Marvyn N. Benaning) .

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Email add: oacpa_hpa@yahoo.eom - Tel ne, (02) 892-1693, Local: 5287.5295

1--1 March 2012
PATAY ang dalawang miyembro ng rebeldellg New People's Army

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2 NPA l1li. sa enlkWe_

, (NPA) matapos rnakasagupa ang mga tropa ng militar sa Sitio Bagn, bean, Brgy. Aridawen, sa bayan ng Sta, Teresita, Cagayan kamakalawa ng gabi, .. Base sa report nanakarating sa Camp Crame, nangyari ang engkwentro matapos rumesponde ang mga tropang gobyerno sa .' natanggap na sumbong ng isan,g residente sa umano'y ginagawang ; panginglkil sa mga mamamayan ng mga armadong grupo~ . Ayon kayarmy 17th IJ!fantry B.a~lion (I71B) eD~anding ofl!cer ' Ltc, Alvin Flores, tumagal ng humigit kumulang 20 mmuto aug palttan ng putok bago tuluyang umatras ang tinatayang may 20 kasapi ng rebeldeng grupo. Kinumpirma ni Flores na walang naging casualties sapanig ng mga tropang pamahalaan, Patuloy sa pagtukoy ang rnilitar sa pagkakakilanlan ng mg~ nas~wing reb¢ld~ na dinala ang mga lab! sa rsang punerarya sa nasabing Dayan. 'i' (Debra Bellosillo/Rey Velasco)
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. The Natlolla' Newsoeaper

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ACTION CENTERS
ARAYAT; Pampanga - Joint forces of the Philippine National Police ePNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have established four action centers s,tfategically located in ali boundaries of the province to curb criminality and insurgency in Pampanga. Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Atendldo, assistant commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine ArmYr said the action centers are model projects .and first in Central Luzon. "It is only here in Pampanga that there is such a kind of PNP-AFP Actio.n Centers," he said ..Atendido said they are planning to replicate the project in some . other provinces falling under their jurisdictionr particularly in Region 3 and 1, (Mark Anthony N. Manuel) I

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.5 troopers hurt in NPA ambush
FIVE soldiers were wounded in anao Command. an ambush staged by New PeeTheJive injured soldiers were . . ple's Army rebels in Surigao del brought to the Caraga Hospital in Norte on Wednesday night.' Surigao City. The soldiers from the Atmy's Galon said the rebels belong to 30th Infantry Battalion wereiin the same group that attacked large a convoy o(three military trucks mining firmsin Surigaode1 Norte when the. communist insurgents last October. 'the three firms lost ~xP[oded :i:'landmine.:fu· Matin-ao: P3 billion worth of equipment and village, Mainit town around 9:25 other properties that were burned p.m. .' by the rebels. . .' The . insurgents withdrew af-' Officials' have said the three ter a 20-rrunute firefighnwith an firms, including TaganitoMining undetenninednumber of casual- . Corp, were attacked by the-rebels ties, said Col. Leopoldo Galon.. for refusal to give extortion monspokesman of the Eastern Mind- . ey. - Victor Reyes

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFAIRS ~ Email add:catpa__;hpa@;yahoo.com

- Tel no, (02) 892·16t3. Local: 5287. 5295

March2012

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115TH PHILIPPINE ARMY DAY CELEBRATION - Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin salutes as he troops· the line during the l1Sth Philippine Army Day celebration at the Army headquarters, Fort Bonifacio, in . Taguig City yesterday. (Ali Vicoy) .

~March2012

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·.'Na'Y~ettoacquire, multirole vessels, helicopters.
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By RENE ACOSTA Reporter

along with three new helicopters will be delivered to the Navy under the military's ongoing modernization program. Theacquisition of the naval assets and , choppers was disclosed on Thursday by Vice Adm, Alex Pama, Navy flag officer in command, during the celebration of the 115th foundation day of the Army in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City. President Aquino did not attend the event and instead sent Defense Secretary
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wo mUltirOle.vessels. (MRVs)

Voltaire Gazmin as his representative. Pama said. defense and military authorities are expected to sign the contract for the delivery of the MRVs and the three helicopters, at least by July this year. However, hedid not reveal the source or sources of the new assets. . Aside from the vesselsandhelicopters, the Navyis setto receive other major items under the Armed Forces modernization program. A contract for the delivery of one MRV worth P5 billion from South Korea had been Signed by the Arroyo administration. The amortization for the MRV amounting to PI billion annually started last year.
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Meanwhile, Gazmin said the military is expecting to have bigger exercises with the US,with the planned increase of the visits of US troops and the presence of American fOfcesinthe'country,althoughthenumberof . suchactlvities would have to be pared down eventually. "We will be having bigger exerciseswithmore I particlpatlon of : USforcesandour ! forcesaswell.but these [exercises} will be lessened i in order for us to

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focus on the high-value, high-impact exercises that will benefit us;' Gazmin said. - He said these exercises would be on the high seas and in the area of disaster. response, The defense chiefwas not definite on

the number of participating soldiers from both sides, but said. the number "could be bigger" than previous exercises. ~,,_, The US. has more than 600 troops currently stationed in Mindanao.jmder its Joint Special Operations Task Force-

Philippines, that is helping the military' .in counterterrorism operations. I Gazmin said the exercises would be I held under the Visiting Forces Agreement ! with the US, and ruled out anypermanent j basing of US troops in the country, .:

OFFI~6()F THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS '""Emaitadd:' oacpa,;;.l'Ipa@yahoo:com.-.Tel

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~3 March

2012

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Gov't using smart bombs vs Abu, 6andits inSulu jungle
Associated Press

Us, man power ..intensive
The United States has been' assisting the Philippine mill~tary since shortly after the ~ept, 11, 2001, attacks, providing advice, training, and intelligence, including drone' diurveillijnce, but the smart, "'Dotri~are the first major high: : tech hardware supplied to the Philippines. . ~t"!-<lI.hebombs offer a less man-" ,1\ ..).,. • ;~eower-mtenSlve way to comoat the Abu Sayyaf bandits at a time when both the Philip-' ....P~n:es and the US militaries' ~rt\.t~(bcus resourceson ren-" siO'Jir WIth China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), ,' : ~~. They also dovetail with' a I 'change in recent years from massive offensives to' surgical, ! intelligence-driven strikes that I oo~et holdouts of the battered I AIbG. Sayyafbandits.
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By Jim Gomez

CONCEALED by the night sky, the two aging Philip-pine Air Force planes unleashed a surprise high-tech weapon: US satellite-guided bombs that whizzed down with deadly precision: toward a long-elusive terrorist and'two : other top radicals dozing with their men in Jolo Island's jungle. ' , 'k_ 'The use of smart bombs, confirmed to The' Associated Press CAP) by four senior Philippine security officials, marks a new chapter in the long-running battle against an al-Qaida-linked movement in Mindanao, viewed by the United States as a key front iIi tm. global effort to keep terrorists at bay. Successive blasts shattered a hillside encampment of the Abu Sayyaf, which remains one of Southeast Asia's most violent groups despite a decade of battle losses. The Vietnam War-era turboprops
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citing opera- . reasons. How- . ever, its pilots have been: .trainirig vigorously to further improve their proficiency; particularly the precise de- : livery of munitions to its iden- i tified target." Many Western, Middle Eastern Asian countries have : acquired .smart bombs since they were first widely used by , the US-led coalition in the 1990-91 Gulf War. ~. They have guidance kits and fins and use the US GPS satellite system, . laser and other tech-

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Combatants spared .:
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin praised' "trte carefully \ planned precislon attack" in a . statement.days after the strike. I· ~ The well-planned assault, he . said, avoided the military casualties often incurred in ground: raids. ',' " Gazmin would not respond to 'questions about the new bombs in an interview with AP last week, but he said that tech- , nology from the Americans has given the. military lifesaving' skills, such as enabling pilots to fly at night. . Training with US forces has . focused on. ways to avoid harm- , ingnoncombatants and wasting: resources, he said, citing last i month's air strike. "We were able to trace that I they were all together at a cer- , tain time so that was the time to \ hit," Gazmin said. "So we took' off early morning and bombed' them, delivering four' bombs. I We were successful." i The Philippine military au. i nounced that a top Malaysian :. ' terrorist, Zulkifli bin Hir, also, known as Marwan, was among I the dead, along with Singa- _ " . .". . Tel no. (02) 892.1693, Local: 5287, 5295

GPS·guided
qf.~~~the four senior officials said: ~the strike on the Abu Sayyaf lair employed GPS-guided I . bombs, a previously unavail~\t!e technology acquired from' tIle United States under a con- i fidential military assistance'; project, ~~~They spoke on condition of : . .. anonymity because they aren't I authorized to discuss those de- ! tails with the media. 1 00..,.'.(\Pb!Jippine mi,litary docu-

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.xtb~red 'away after de~ering a\ bull's-eye hit near l\1ountainous .i Parang town aroun;.d 3 a.m. on , (mtb. 2. . .; ~hermal imaging. from a us I drone, described by two of the I senior officials, depicted the ~aftermath: Several slain gun-! ~~en lay amid a clutter of de- i stroyed trees, huts and tents, . while survivors pulled away' "'l.l.~}l~adnd wounded in the: a Qiteh darkness .. ,' '.; Althou~b2itrema.Uis.>undear whether all thr the most-' _ ~~h.ji~ terrer~' ,. .re killed, -': PUBLIC J the introduction of smart bombs reflects shifting battlefields and.strategies.
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' ...ment detailing the project, a , copy of which was seen by AP, ! . said • defense- contractor i .: Raytheon Co. w_as'to deliver 22 I kits last year to convert conventional bombs into precisian-guided munitions that could be launched from the: OV-10turboprop. I Accompanying that was : crew training, equipment upgra:d'~,s'~toallow the Oy-10s to : deploy the bombs and two test . AFFJ 'runs. '.com A military spokesperson" Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, ; said the Armed Forces of the 1 philippines "neither confirms I nor denies the existence of i

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAlRS- Email add:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com - Tel no. (02)892.1693, local: 5287,5295

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( .' But doubts ,have arisen abou~ the fates of the two eign terrorists, and two gov- . , ernment reports .seen by AP' : contend that Manvan and > Muawiyah survived the air strike with minor wounds after they heard the buzz of the" OV-10s and fled. ~ Between nine to 15 militants were killed in the barrage but others quickly dragged away the dead, making it difficult to confirm who was killed, according to military officials. Marwan is on the FBI li$t of most-wanted terrorists and has a $5-million bounty on his'. head, Jurndail had been a key target because he sheltered foreign radicals such as Marwan and Muawiyah and has ' been blamed for deadly bomb-. ings and kidnappings. The military presumes Marwan and Muawiyah are dead until an investigation shows otherwise, Burgos said,
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rorists, ac~ ment.l?ep~ The and told , .~y; Jt..el'a,. being ~senamg targe~e y 'm(jJ;~'_ ;a"4Vanced technology. i de. It also indi~a~~d tl;\ere we~e : facgovernment spies in their ranks fighters and reinforced fears that har- and no But the boring foreign fugitives would bandit group remains resilient . make them magnets for attack. and is more violerit~ a military . "Theyhave become very wary assessment· .said, . citing 74,: of things and equipment that are atrocities committed- last year, , being brought into their camp, Including 17 lcidnappings, 16 : suspecting these were laden bombings and 14 killings and with beacons that can be used to ambushes-far more-than each track them," Gazmin said.. . of the. five previous years, , Marwan and Muawiyah were Still its setbacks are reflected lying low with gunmenin a Jolo ·in a poster of the most-Wanted mountainstronghold, the govern- 'terrorists and bandits printed ment reports said, but the top Abu- nearly 10 years agohy the US Sayyaf bandit in the area, Radu- and Philippine governments, lan Sahiren.ordered them out. or'the 24 portraits, 19 have: ' Sahiron..W9,oi~~.bis.,,7.os nd been ,lUll a . ed. The : the groupls:mElSfs~tii~: leader; deaths. ~ofan and: has long been ' ; J"()_~ out-·. Jumdail-« nfinned. i siders=-unflke'Ju,' " .... ,$11.0 also . OnI¥, thre had been treatin:g lJ.f1il cilg<fitsa large, as <tkil
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.Smart bombsno, smart pilots yes, says'PAF'exe,c
By Julie A1ipala Inquirer Mindanao
ZAMBOANGA CI1Y-The , Philippine Air Force (PAP) used ... "smart ptlotsv=-not US satelliteguided "smart hombs"-when it struck an Abu Sayyaf lair in Parang, Sulu, on Pep. 2 and killed a bandit leader, Gumba~,J.ttpldail,!. 'and other terrorists;"'a 'PAP g~~.~ insisted yesterday -s•• ,." Maj. Gen. Jose TonyVilIarete, t"aommander of the 3rd Air Divi, sian based in Zamboanga City, was reacting to an Associated Press report which said the PAP smart pilots using old aircraft." used satellite-guided bombs-a Even if smart bomb technolopreviously unavailable technolgy was made available to the ogy acquired from the United PAl'; Villarete said "it was imStates in blasting the Abu possible to attach guided missiles to aging aircraft." ' Sayyafhideout. Villarete told the INQUIRERe h "No such smart bombs, just felt insulted by the report that smart pilots, please credit our "attributes such victory to Air Force." he said. . American soldiers ... It apVillarete admitted that the pi- : .. pears, we had no capability to lots involved in the strike underwent training with US forces strike using oar ex-isting hardware." here. Villarete said: "Everyone . '1Uld we will always place all knows how old our aircraft are, our pilots under training with like the OV-IOs. What we em- the US, we have been training played were smart pilots, four them before, now and in the fu-

ture," he added.

Oplan Nemesis

The Western Mindanao mand chief Ma], Gen.' Noel Coballes also denied the AP report. He said what the military used in the strikes were two OV· 10 aircraft loaded with 500pound bombs. "I may have not seen how the bombs were attached but I was informed about it," Coballes said. He said the bombing run was theresult of weeks of planning. 'TWoweeks before the operation "code-named Oplan Neme-

COm-

sis" was launched, the pilots that I asked myself if smart bombs were not used in the atthat carried it out were trained by US forces on "how to use the tack," Freyra said by phone, He ' said the explosions left no' said aircraft in a manner that they can deliver a successful air crater "so I also suspected that a new technology was used." strike at dawn," he said .. He said he was later told the Coballes said part of the training module was how to ef- bombs were set off in mid air. Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, . fectively set off bombs to cause spokesperson of the Western Minmore damage. danao Command, said they ex-' Senior Supt. Antonio Freyra, pected issues such as this to be Sulu police chief, said that raised, especially by skeptics. when police investigators went "Basically; what we had was a to the area hit by the bombs a few hours after the strikes, they . reliable asset, timely intelli- '; gence, deliberate planning and : saw a "clean hit." well-trained pilots," he said. . "The destruction was so great
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Bombs:
.Target, \buSayyaf
By JIM GOMEZ· The Associated Press

Concealed by the night sky; the two aging Philippine Air Force (PAF)' .planes unleashed a surprise high-·.! tech weapon: US satellite-guided . .bombs that whizzed down Withdeadly precision toward a long-elusive ter-: rorist suspect and two other top, radicals dozingwith their men in Jolo Island's jungle ...' , The use of smart bombs, confirmed to The Associated Press by four senior Philippine security offieials, marks a new chapter in the. .long-running battle against an al-. Qaida-linked movement in Mindanao;
(Turn to. page 6)

.' OFFICE,DFTHE· ARMY CHIEF'P,UBLIC

viewed by the US as. a key front in conventional bombs into precision- \ guided munitions that could be I the global effort to keep terrorists launched from the OV-10turboprop. at bay. Successive blasts shattered a Accompanying that was crew train'. hillside rebel encampment of Abu . ing, equipment upgrades to allow the OV-lOs to deploytbe bombs and two Sayyaf,which remains one of Southeast Asia's most violent groups de- test runs... A military spokesman, .Col. Arspite a decade of battle losses. The nulfo Marcelo Burgos, said the Vietnam War-era turboprops roared away after delivering a bull's-eye Armed Forces of the Philippfnes hit near tnountamous Parang town "n~i'~et GO~s ~~r de~~s the~~~- ~ in Maguindanao, around 3 '~.m. on t~nce of suc~ mwutions elting ~a. Ii tional secunty reasons. However, Its I;· Feb. 2. Thermal imaging from a US pilots have been training vigorously . to further improve their proficiency drone, described by two of the senior officials,depicted the aftermath: Sev- particularly in the precise delivery of munitions to its identified target." eral slain gunmen lay amid a clutter Many Western, Middle Eastern of destroyed trees, huts and tents, and Asian countries have acquired while survivors pulled away the dead smart bombs since they were first and wounded in the pitch darkness. widely used by the US-led coalition . Although it remains unclear in the 1990-91 Gulf War. They have '! whether all three of the most-wanted guidance kits and fins and use the US terrorists were killed, the introducGPS satellite system, laser and other tion of smart bombs reflects shifting technologies to zero in on targets. battlefields and strategies. Philippine Defense Secretary The US has been assisting the Philippine military since shortly after '. Voltaire Gazmin praised "the carefully planned precision attack" in a the September 11 attacks, providing statement days after the strike. The advice, training, and intelligence, including drone surveillance, but . well-planned assault, he said, avoided the military casualties often incurred the smart bombs are the first major in ground raids. high-tech hardware supplied to the Philippines. Gazmin would not respond to • questions about the new bombs in They offer a less manpower; intensive way to combat Abu Sayyaf an interview with The AP last week, but he said that technology from the at a time when both the Philippines and the US militaries want to focus Americans has given the military lifesaving skills such as enabling pi- : resources on tensions with China lots to fly at night. Training with us : in the South China Sea. They also forces has focused on ways to avoid' dovetail with change in recentyears harming noncombatants and wasting from massive offensives to surgical, resources, he said, citing last month's . .intelligence-driven strikes that target .~ holdouts of the battered Abu Sayyaf. airstrike. The four senior officials said "We were able to trace that they the strike on the Abu Sayyaf lair were all together at a certain time employed GPS-guided bombs, a so that was the time to hit," Gazmin . said. "So we took off early morning i. previously unavailable technology acquired from the United States un- and bombed them, delivering four- ~ bombs. Wewere successful." -I der a confidential military assistance The Philippine military an- ' : project. They spoke on condition of. anonymity because they aren't au· nounced that a top Malaysian ter- 1 ' thorized to discuss those details with rorist suspect, Zulkifli bin Hir, also .. known as Marwan, was among the . the media. dead,alongwith Singaporean martial A Philippine military document arts instructor Muhamda Ali - whose detailing the project, a copy of which AFFAIRS was seen by the AP, said that US de- rebel name is Muawiyah - and Abu fense contractor Raytheon Co. was . SayYafcommander Gumbahali Um- bra Jumdail. '. to deliver 22 kits last year to convert

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The use of smart bombs, confirmed to The Associated Press by four senior Philippine security officialsr marks a new chapter in the long-running battle againstthe al-Qaeda-linkedAbu SayyafGroup (ASG)in the south/ viewed by the U.S.as a key front In the global effort to keep terrorists at bay. Successive blasts shattered a hillside rebel encampment of the PSG,which remains one of SoutheastAsia'smost violent groupsdespitea decadeof battle losses.The VietnamWar-eraturbopropsroared away after delivering a bulls-eve hit near mountainous Parangtown around3 a.m. 011 February2. Thermal imaging from a US drone, described by two. of the senior offiCials, depiGted the aftermath: Several slain gunmeh lay amid a clutter of destroyed trees, huts and tents, while survivors pulled away the dead and wounded i!1 the pitch darkness. , Although it remains undear whetherall three.ofthe most-wanted terrorists were killed, the in1roduction of smart bombs reflects shiftingbattlefields and !J'trategies. The US has been aSSistingthe Armed Forces of the Philippines

MANILA CAP) - Concealed by the night sky, the two aging Philippine Air -:=orce(PAF) planes unleashed a surprise high-tech weapon: United States satellite-guided bombs thatwhlzzed down with deadly . precision toward a long-elusive terrorist suspect and two other top i radicals dozing with their men in lolo Island"s jungle. .
(AFP)since shortly after the september 11 attacks, providing advice, tta[ningr and intelligence,ineludingdrone surveillance,but the smart bombs are the first major high-techhardwaresuppliedto the Philippines. They offer a less manpower-intensiveway to combat the ASGat a time when both the Philippines and the USmilitarieswant to focus resourceson tensions with· China in the South China Sea. Theyalso dovetail with a change in recent years from massive offensives to surgical,intell1gence-driven strikes that targetholdoutsof the battered ASG. The four senior officials said the strike on the ASG lair employed GPS-guidedbombs, a previously unavailable technology acquired from the US under a confidential military assistance project. They spoke on condition of anonymity becausethey were not authorized to discussthose details with the media. An AFF'document detailing the project! a copy of which was seen by the AP, said that US defense contractor Raytheon Co. was to deliver 22 kits last year to convert conventional bombs : into pred- i sion-guided munitions that could • be launched from the 01/-10 tur- : boprop. Accompanying that was crew training, equipment upgrades to allow the OV-10sto deploy the bombsand two test runs. A military spokesperson, Col. Amulfo _MarceloBurgos, said the j AFP "neither confirms nor denies I the existence of such munitions i citing operational security reasons. ' However,its pilots have been train-I~ ing vigorously to further improve their proficiency particularly in the t precisedelivery of munitions to its identified target". Many Western, Middle Eastern and Asian countries have acquired smart bombs sincethey were first r widely used by the US-ledcoalition I. i.nthe 1990 91GulfWar.They have guidance kits and fins and usethe US GPSsatellite system, laser and i other technologies to zero in on I targets. ' Defense SecretaryVoltaire Gaz- . min praised"the carefully planned precision attack" in a statement i days after the strike. The well-· planned assault, he said, avoided i the military casualties often in-/ . curred in ground raids.

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Retired GMA.gener~ de..ies .recruiting soldiers for. conlf
ByDJYap
generals closely identified with the AIroyo administration on ThursdaY'_pispelled rumors he was behind the recruitment of active military personnel for a coup to be iaunched against the Aquino administration. "I am not recruiting or asking

-_

ONE OF the retired

others to recruit forme," said former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Hennogenes Esperon in an interview at Fort Bonifacio on the sidelines of the 115th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army which he once headed as commanding general. "1 don't know about reports linking me [to coup plots] but

this much I can say: First of all, ' let's take a look at whoever is I saying that. Because I have no- i ticed t.~at w.h. oever are sayi~g a coup will happen are those who were involved in coups in the I past," Esperon said. . He said that, on the contrary, he was one of UlOSein the military organization "who had; been fighting attempts to desta- .

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bilize the government since 1987." . "I even became the commander of the counterintelligence unit of the Army in 1990 and 1991 and that was the force that was going after the coup, plotters," Esperon said. "\Vhen I became chief of staff, or even as army commander, 1 truly disliked any action

taken outside of the chain of co;Umand and those who would air their grievances when such a mechanism existed," he said. Esperon said he had no reason to want to topple the Aquino administration. "Why would I do that? Let us learn. from the lessons of the past. Those who were courted

in the active service by coup plotters were those whose' <it""'' ] reers were ruined," he said. "What I can only say is let is<') not destroy the armed forces by t way of besmirching the retirees:!.j; It's like they're saying the armed'!' forces is evil because it breooi.'l· coup plotters. Let us aim for ;if! ;. armed forces that is strong add credible," he said. .' ".""fJ(l
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Mfllaga
. Tit. NaIl""""

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,I'll never be part of a coup: Esperon
fighting destabilization (moves)," commandet of the Army's Coun-. .he smd.' tet-Intelligence Unit "which was FORMER' Armed' Forces chief " .... (I)he problem is that some going after coup plotters." . are .used to making statements ,"When I became chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. yester·Without basts, 'I don't know, may(of the APP) and Army commandday said he isnot and would not be" involved in an)', destabilization be they were guilty for their plots er (during President Arroyo), I move against the Aquino admin·before arid they are getting back at despised (soldiers) going outside istration. ' us," he added, .' the chain of command' and they The supposed recruitment ac- .would air their grievances' outside .Esperon, described by . some , quarters as a one of the most loyal tivity was disclosed a few weeks when we have mechanismsto ad5'enerals of former President fu- . ago by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, .. "dress problems,", said Esperon, royo, ,made 'the statement amid a former Navy officer, who was Esperon .was instrumental in .alks that retired' officers associ- 'among the group of junior officthwarting a plot to overthrow the rted with Arroyo are recruiting' ers who led a mutiny. against i\rArroyo 'government in February soldiers for a coup. " , ' royoin July 2003. " 2006 when he vigorously opposed "Why will I destabilize' the Phil- ' Trillanes reportedly submitted a suggestion by then former SC01;lt .: ppines? Why will I do that?" he a list of those allegedly involved Rangercruef and now customs .aid in an interview after the eelin the recruitment to the Nadeputy.' commissioner for inteltional Intelligence Coordinating ligence Brig. Gen. (ret.) Danilo ESPERON' -bration of the Army's 11Sth aniiversarv in Fort Bohifacio. Agency.' , . . Lim, for the militaryto withdraw would prompt soldiers to' rebel Esperon served as AFP chief for Esperon said. those talking of a its support from Arroyo. 'against the, administration, EspeImost two vears until Jurie2008. coup should verify their informaAsked how hefinds the Aquino. ,ron just said: ',\Vhy' are we look-Ie . is among military' generals ·tion beforelinking him as. officers administration, 'Esperon saidc ."] ing at the AImed. Forces as the .nked to alleged cheating in the who' served under him and are do not want-to comment onpoli-. one who can give solutions 'to the :OQ4 presidential elections to en-, still in active service might also be' tics, That is very well outside my' problems of our 'country?" , ure Arroyo's victorv .. draggedin the supposed destabilicompetence. I havemy own ob- , "There is the rule of-law~,.We "My ob~e.rvation i~ that the one zation move. ", ',servations, I have ITW own ideas, have the legislature, the executive, rho is s~ying there is going to be , 'Esperon said that from 1990 to ~bout that but I prefer not to So let us preserve that set-up, the coup is .the same involved in a 1991, during the time of President comment.' ,democratic war of life: Let us not oup, Since, 1987, I have been Corazon Aquino, he served as Asked if there 15 an issue that 'drag'the Armed Forces," he said.

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BY VICTOR REYES

BusinessMirrOr;

f -AD

What 'coup plot?-ex-military chief
By
RENE ACOSTA

Reporter FORMERArmedForcesChiefofStaffHer~ogenes Esperon Jr.'on Thursday belied claims'that retired senior officers are recruiting active junior officers for a coup against the Aquino administration. Instead, Esperon, who was at the 115th anniversary celebration of the Army in Fort Bonifacio, , Makati City, on Thursday, claime d that those who , are behind the tale are people who may be feeling guilty ~>vertheir involvement in past destabiliza-

OfACEOFn

tion moves, While he did not name names, he was obvi, au sly referring to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a forhe said. mer junior Navy officer involved in a plot against Esperon said it is not the duty of the military to then-President Gloria Arroyo. It was Trtllanes who solve the political problems of the country, as this beclaimed that retired senior officers are behind the longs to.politiclans, citing the ongoinglrnpeachrnent latest plan to oust President Aquino. of Chief]ustice Renato Corona as an example. "There are people au t there who are used to talk"There is the rule of law ... we'have the Senate, ing although they have no basis. They may be guilty the legislature, the executive, so let us preserve that over the plots that they have carried out before and ' set up.,. the democratic way oflife. Let us not drag they are now turning these to us;', Esperon said. ... J3':' the Armed Forces,' he said.

He said he will never destabilize the government, citing his record, as the "stabilizer" by preventing coups during his watch, including those that were hatched by Trillanes and his group. , "Why will I destabilize the Philippines? Why will I do that?" he said. Esperonsaid that from 1990up to 1991, he was the commander ofthe Army's Counter-Intelligence Unit, the unit that was tasked to go after coup plotters who wanted to oust then-President Corazon Aquino. . "When I became chief of staff and Army commander, 1despised [soldiers] going outsidethechain ' of command and airing their grievances outside when we have mechanisms to address probiems;'

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By ROEl PARENO

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'. ZAMBOAr-;JGACITY _ A municipal health worker was recovered by gov'eirlment troops iii. Patikul, Sulu last .Wednesday, two days after Abu Sayyaf militants seized her, police said. Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra, Sulu police director, said the Abu Sayyaf group led by Minok Sap- . 'pari was forced to release Roselyn Kiram as a combined group of policemen and Marines mounted pressure on them. ' . Freyra ;aid Kiram, 54; a 'mid wife Of the Patikul Rural Health Center, was re.covered at around 5:3Q p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Maligay, Patikul town . . ' "The kidnappers freed and abandoned Kiram.due to the mounting pressure, as our police forces and the village leaders and local officials .joined hands in hunting them down," Freyra said. Kiram, together with five other health wor~ers, was seized last Monda~ after-

noon while en route to [olo, the capital town of Sulu. Sappari's group subse. quently released Kiram's colleagu-es 'but held her captive. .' Freyra said Kiram was quite weak after three days and two nights of walking as his captors tried to elude the pursu- '. ing troops. . Freyra said the full participation of the locals paid off after the Patikul . mayor and Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan char .lenged them, . . "The recovery of the victim was successful since not a single shot was .fired even if it happened right in the area known to' be a haven of the Abu Sayyaf," he said. . Freyra said theAbu Sayyaf did not: ", have a chance to demand ransom, as the pursuit against them was ·relentless. . . Freyra. also doubted if the Abu SaYY';1f snatched Kiram to treat its wounded: members, since it kept only her and , ..; freed her five fellow health workers. '

Gov't, Mlf.Epanels allow

ole to ,sit as observer
.By JOSE RODEl:- CL.APANO

.The peace panels of the gove.rn:in~nt wealth sharing," and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front They also signed the terms of re£~r-',~ (MILF) have approved the request of . ence for their consultants.' . ~ the Organization of Islamic Cooperation In their joint statement, the two . .~ (Ole) to sit as an observer in the peace panels thanked President Aquino for talks,' commitment to a just and lasting peaci~: Marvic Leonen, chairman of the' in Mindanao.. .. . ' ..: : government peace panel.and his MILF . They also thanked MaraysianPri~ I counterpart, Muhaquer Iqbal, said a Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Bin Tur~. joint statement that the two panels also Haji Abdul Razak for his continued sup~ ! ,....agreed to meet again next month. port for the peace talks, as well as the ..~ : The two sides' concluded on Tuesday members of the International Contact·' OFFICE Of t.their three-day 26th round of formal Group composed of Japan, Saudi Ara-: ~ocar: 5287, 5295 exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur, bia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom; i .Malaysia. . the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue; i They said they continued their disConciliation Resources; Muhammadicussions on "substantive issues, indudyah; and the Asia Foundation. ing power sharing on governance and ... l4_. ~With John Unson !

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Peace Panels Schedule

.New Meeting
By EDD K. USMAN

".

Negotiators of the Government " of the Philippines (GPH) and Mom , Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have scheduled another meeting in April to continue negotiation for the MILF's Comprehensive Compact , peace proposal. G PH and MILF peace panels headed by Dean Marvic Leonen and Mohagher Iqbal respectively, concluded Wednesday their three-day 26th Round of Formal Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lwnpur, Malaysia. ' They issued a Joint Statement without any hint of what happened in the meeting, aside from agreeing to meet again next month. They also announced their approval of the request of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OlC) to sit as . i observer in the 15-yea'r'-o'ld Mindanao peace process. "The Parties continued their discussions on substantive issues, including power sharing on governance and wealth sharing," the two panels saidin the statement issuedin Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. Another development is the sign- , ing by both parties of the Terms of Reference (ToR) for participation of their respective consultants who will join them in succeeding negotiations. GPH and MILFpanels came out of the latest face-off amid Leonen's open,I

, ing day statement, claiming that the negotiation is nearing a "stalemate.", ' The Ole, formerly Organization of Islamic Conference, established in 1969 after the burning of the AlAqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, is the .biggest pan-Islamic bloc of Muslim countries. OIC addresses issues and con,cerns of the Islamic world, including Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries. Itcan be recalled the OIC brokered .the 1993 to 1996peace talks between ; GPH and the Moro National Libera-i tionFront(MNLF)thatresultedinthe ' signing of the 1996Final Peace Agreement(FPA). Von Al-Haq, spokesman for military affairs of the MILF,confirmed the OlC requested or applied to become an observer in the peace process and ' also to be member of the ICG. Malaysia as third party facilitator , . presented to the two parties the OlC request during the 25th exploratory . talks in February.. Both GPH and MILF panels said then they have to consult their respective principals back:home. "In the case of the MILF, our Central Committee convened a meeting : upon receipt of the request and right ': away approved the OIe's request unanimously" said Al-Haq "The Ole has good track record in the ways of peace-malting. Its presence in the peace process is very much welcome," the MILF leader said. , The ICGforthe GPH-MILFpeace process is composed of the states of Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, and nonstate groups Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Conciliation Resources, Muhammadiyah, and The Asia Foun'dation.
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By Norman

Palace:'Increas.ed US presence not ~" because of China
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over territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) were We : reason for the increased US presence in the Philippines that was 'an- i nounced by President Aquino on Wednesday. ,"
Secretary Edwin Lacierda, Mt: Aquino's spokesperson, nevertheless acknowledged that the rise in the numbers of US troops and vessels · visiting the counttywould contnbute to the stability of the region, as well as improve the Philippine military's capability to protect the country.

MAlACANAl';JG yesterday denied the disputes with other counm~s ;

out," he Said.

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we're getting training, not only from them , (US), by the way," he added. . :. ',' Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazntin. Thursday described plans to hold more j9int military training exercises with the U~ States as an "expanded VPA (VISiting For<l~ Military 'updates' ~ Agreement) but definitely with .no bases", inIacierda said the beefed-up US presencewas volved, ' .' "t'., not related to the tenitorial disputes with ChiHe said the ''high value" and "high inip~~' ~ na and other claimant-countries to the Spradys exercises would benefit the armed forces, ef and other potentially rich islands in the West both the Philippines and the US-which would . Philippine Sea, be sending over more troops=although he ''No, it's in line with the belief of the Presi- could not say how many servicemen would be dent [that] we have to update our military participating on both sides. ., training and capability," he said during the dai''1 cannot be definite on the numbers but defily Malacafiang news briefing. nitely there will be more participation of forces '~ you know 01:l!. military hardware are not from both the US and the Philippines," Gazmin . quite up to date with [that of] our neighbors .: told reporters during the 115th anniversary eelsSo it's imperative for-us to update our military bration of the Philippine Anny at Iort Bonifacio: hardware and thcifS''fbrpurposes of the protec"", 1~,Si;:S · tionof our country tIS well. But this is primarily New exercises. to improve our military training and capability," He said the exercises would be different from those conducted in Mindanao, which he said. As for Whether an increased US presence American forces traditionally visit as part of the contribute to stability in the West Philip- annual Balikatan joint training exercise.J;c. 9Ii2 Lacierda said: "It will certainly. : . ,<~'We: 109J5in.&at !p(~~~ tl]at Will ~ ~frYRl; .' we, however; that the primary rea~ ue to bothJ:Oun~es, those high:~~aet ex~~ xpanding the joint military exercis~, t;lwt canh~ us'M} lot,of:~eas!L saidG~ a United States was the expected ini~ He cited among these exercise,Sat sea69.tAA1.R tJr!'1V'enlentin the' capability of the Philippine the Philippine Navy improve its emerge~cy~d military. disasterresponse skills. . Cal: 5287. 5295 OFFlCEOFT President Aquino earlier said-the Philippines "What we can say for certain is that the acquisition of military hardware and the training was looking to the United States for help in of our Philippine troops would certainly im- building up its defense capability in the midst · prove our capability to protect our borders and of maritime tensions with China in the West to protect ourselves from any threat from with- . Philippine Sea and other security concerns. .:',

"So that is our position. That's the reason .

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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFA1RS - Email add:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com

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Palace: No . .need for new agreement with US'
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By AUREA CALICA

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Malacafiang yesterday reiterated the decision of President Aquino to accept more American troops, increase ship. visits and expand military exercises between the Philippines and the United States. . Aquino had said this was intended , to strengthen the Philippines' defense' capability to protect its borders and that . there was no need to enter into a new agreement with Washington. "We have to update our military training and capability. As we have always maintained, we first acquired the Hamilton class cutter for the purpose of maritime protection and. also environmental protection," presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a r pres~ briefing. Lacierda was responding to questions on whether the decision of Aquino was, related to the disputed West Philippine Sea issue.' . ."01]I military hardware is not quite 41' ''fo date with our neighbors, 50 it's imperative for us to update our military hardware and that's for purposes of the protection for our. country. This is primarily to improve our military training and capacity," Lacierda said. Lacierda stressed the decision of the President was not prompted by the ex. terrial threats but was intended to ensure the Philippine military's capability to protect the country's borders even as .' it joined ASEAN member-countries .in .; seeking a peaceful solution to the disputed West Philippine Sea. . He explained the arrangement has a legal basis and no new agreement was . ne:~sary.
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.. I'he parameters would be based on the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty and also the 1987 Constitution. There are mechanisms involved there. So I think that would b,e the basis for (the number of) troops (that) will be rotated here in the Philippines for exercises and other related , -matters/, Lacierda said. . In an interview with foreign media this week, Aquino said the Philippines would welcome the entry of more U~S troops in the country on a rotational basis but ruled out putting up permanent military bases. The US has announced recently that it was expanding its military presence in the Asia Pacificas a counterweight to the rising presence of China in the region. Last year, it broke red a deal with Australia to place more troops there. It is also expanding its maritime presence in Singapore and is stepping up deployments in Thailand. The Philippines was also asking the US to build up its defense capabilities, Aquino said, as he emphasized that among the country's requests are F-16 : fighter jets, patrol vessels, transport : aircraft and radar systems. He said getting modern fighter jets! from the US is a top priority, consider- i ing the Philippines is probably the most! poorly-equipped in Southeast Asia. Lacierda confirmed Aquino, representing the Philippine government.. is indeed seeking the help of the US; government in acquiring F-16 fighter I jets. ' "We confirm that we were asking for, F-16 jets," he told Palace reporters . Lacierda cited as an example the . country's acquisition of the Hamilton cutter, one of the two warships that the j government is requesting. "We've asked and it's up to the US government whether to accede to our . req1;lest for the fighter jets. That is : •. SUbt: t to a deCISIOnon th,e part of .U.S. .. I

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OFFICE OF.THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS- Emall add: oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com-Tel

no. (02) 892·1693t Locat: 5287,5295

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S· soldiers. .wounded in NPA ambush
By JOHNUNSON
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r CAMP SlONGeO, MagubitdanaO.- Five soldiers were i wounded when communist· i i . rebels set off roadside bombs' a~ they ambushed a military convoy in Surigao del Norte. ~steJ;day, the military said. r ·'The victims, whosenames : were withheld pending notifica- I tion oftheir families;were rushed to a hospital in Sttrigao City. · Col. Leopolda Galon, spokesman of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the wounded soldiers belonged to a team that was to conduct a humanitarian outreach mission in a remote ; .barangay in Mainit, Surigao del Norte when New People's Army guerrillas blasted improvised, explosives along their route and subsequently fired at them. · Although outnumbered, the soldiers managed to rerum fire and prevent the rebels from getting close to their vehicles crippled by the explosions.

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Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. said no coup attempt' would succeed against President Aquino due his "relentless drive for reforms and good governance." In a recent statement, Espino also lauded Aquino's call to the 187 new graduates of the Philippine MilitaryAcademy . (PMA) to shun bribery and self-interests once they step out of the institution. . . f' graduate of PMA Class 1972 and a founding member of the Reform the-Armed Forces Movement (RAM), Espino said no ,regime change can happen if not backed by the Filipino peep le, citing the painful lessons he and his fellow RAM soldiers learned for launching a series of coup attempts in the late . 1980sagainst former President Corazon Aquino. _ "The situations then and now are far different and those-thinking of unseating President Aquino should think twice," said Espino, who served as Metrodiscom command€h' tram 1986 to 1990.' . . Two weeks ago, a number of Espino's P:MA classmates dropped by the provincial capitol in Lingayen following .their alumni homecoming in Baguio City. - Non Alquitran :

- With, Edith Regalado

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBUC AFFAIRS - Emalladd:oacpa:-hpa@yahoo.com - Tel no. (02) 892·1693. LoCal:5287, 5295

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A US FIGHTER bomber armed with smart bombs
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" fiLE phOto of polic; ~ratwes

examining a 'site in Jolo where three 'most wanted leaders ofthe , al.Qaida-II~J<edterrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah were believed killed in a US· : backed air.strike in early February. An Associated Press report says two aging Philippine Air . Force planes unleashed a surprise high-tech weapon: US satellite-guided bombs in the attack. AS' •
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OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Email add:oacPa_hpa@yahoO.com

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onfronted with the formity of Adm, Structure for NSTP front page murder of implementation 2) Some (acuity !. ROTC Cadet Mark - members are chosen on the basis of Chua and the "left- being under-loaded, not on quaUficaist" orchestrated and, tion 3) Honoraria are insufficient to strategically chosen campus protest cover travel expenses etc. amount in Bagnio City, Manila, Cebu, and varies school to school 4) Lack of Davao City, to create the propaganawareness on some school adminisda of "nationwide" dissent, the late trators in the IRR makes it difficult Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes for coordinators to carry out NSTP convened a stakeholders conference effectively 5) Vulnerable to intervenin t~e-.~ational Defense Collpge of tion of "left-leaning" individuals who the- Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo. have access to implementation 6) Welson Chua, (father of lI4ark) was LGU .unfamiliar with NSTF: hence present pleading to maintain ROTC coordination of community projeets as mandatory course in all Colleges generally inefficient 7) A concern to " and Universities. This corner joined sustain gains of NSTP among stusaid conference in unison with a dents who finish one year mandagrieving fathers clarion call, despite tory requirement 8) Lack of eff~ctive his personal tragedy. The obvious project benefit monitoringfevaluaMaoist climate outside the confines tion of NSTP implementation makes however, among niilitant voices, was it difficult to assess gains and gaps of of "Throwing the baby with the bath the program 9) Need to include hasie . water," - removing ROTC 'ft:om all drill and ceremonies to ensure order educational institutions. when students mobilized for com, In the course of said gathering, .munity service 10) Need for wide this corner's modest contribution info, education and communication was: 1) In place of expensive ROTC campaign on NSTP to be effective in fatigues and boots for parents who mobilizing society towards its objeccould ill-afford the complete uniform, - tives and goals. was allow white T-shirts with School _. For a country under siege with ROTC emblems, jeans and rubber _ a twin insurgency for roughly four, shoes as standard uniform for the decades, one Maoist - and violent entire unit. 2) To have the originally In nature; an armed secessionists proposed Law Enforcement Com- movement sponsored by Malaysia;. : ponent (NSTP) to be supervised byandapotentialpropellantin Western Policemen replaced by a different ' Philippine Sea, government leaders " component. ' are tip-toeing over misplaced sensi- ' ,A Study Group was formed by 'bilities rather than charging ahead Secretary Reyes, headed by one of with common sense, strengthening , two Defense officials who eventually instead national defense via ROTC ,torpedoed ROTC, due to a personal (or Citizens_Armed Force Training bias versus Reserve Force DevelopCourse). A significant problem with ment, I recall Reyes giving open and present ROTC, including 5 Bills in specific instructions in the assemCongress is, it fails to address the , bly orderingsaid Defense Official,' "learning curve" of week-ends only that Welson Chua and this corner be' . training. I propose a "One Sumpart"of said Group. The notice fo~ the mer Training' (45-60 days, Mon~ ROTC working group to convene did Fri training) for all requirements: arrive, but by snail-mail, days after The student decides which sum- : , the appointed date.. . mer to enroll in before graduation. An administrator/educator from Rifle firing must be standard for all .... -__,.-..:....---,:,,", , OFF'fCE,DFTHE AI the University of the Philippines, ' schools as well. Hence, the orders, 1693,Local: $287,5295" , who prefers to be unnamed, providsun, map reading, drills, shouting --; .....------ed the following nationwide obser-, etc. will all make sense. Even the . ' vation on NSTP:l)There is no uni- __ saluting.
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