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TABLE OF CONTENTS 30 March 2012
Page Nr TITLEISUMMARYIWRITER Weather Forecast Newspaper Phil Star p. A-30

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Army Related Issues
6 NPAs nabbed, 45 others surrender
At least six ranking members of the New People's Army (NPA), including one of its commanders, were arrested in separate government operations while 45 surrendered to authorities last Wednesday and yesterday. Henry Aguenza, secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)NPA in Catanduanes, and his companion were arrested in Barangay San Isidro, Calamba, Laguna when a taxi driver accused them of robbery, the military said yesterday. Southern luzon Command spokesman Col. Generoso Bolina said a report of Col. Ivan Samarita identified Aguenza's companion as Alicia Cenon, said to be another ranking member of the NPA in Bicol and a resident of Barangay Malictie in Norzagaray, Bulacan. (Alexis Romero) 4 NPAs leaders,3 others nabbed Four top New People's Army (NPA) commanders and three rebels were captured during separate military operations in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and laguna, on the eve of the NPA's 43rd founding anniversary. Col. Hilario lagnada, commander of the Army's 56th Infantry Battalion (IS), said six NPA rebels, including three commanders, were captured after a brief encounter in Barangay Sto. Nino, Sta. Rosa town in Nueva Ecija at around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. (Mario Mallari) 6 Red arrested in Nueva Ecija Six suspected members of NPA, including three of their leaders, were arrested by government forces the other day in Sta Rosa, Nueva Eeija. (Zaida Palanca) NPA commander arrested in Laguna A top NPA commander of Bicol Region with a lady companion was arrested in Calamba, laguna, after the driver of the taxi they were riding accused them of staging a holdup. (Roy Tomandao) Soldiers, cops capture 6 communist rebels on eve of NPA anniversary At least six communist rebels, one of them wounded, were captured following several minutes of gun battle when they were chanced upon by a joint military and police team who were sent to serve a search warrant on a house believed to be used as a rebel hideout in Barangay Santo Nino, Santa Phil Star p. A30

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Tribune p. 3

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People's Tonight p, 12

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p. 6

Business Mirror p. A4

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Rosa, Nueva Ecija, Brig. Gen. Alan Luga. commander of the Army's 7th Infantry "Kaugnay" Division. said on Thursday. "Of the six, one of them is a ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army,· Luga said in a telephone interview. The rebels were arrested on Wednesday, a day before the NPA's 43rd anniversary.(Zaff Solmerin) AFP Claims leftists rebel strength waning Mia Times p. A3 The government troop, AFP on Thursday said that the CPP-NPA strength has waned after the rebel movement's heyday in the 1980's. (Neil Alcober) 7 4 Officers face court-martial for AI Barka clash Army investigators have recommended the convening of a court-martial to try four officers alleged to be behind the clash in AI Barka, Basilan that left 19 soldiers dead last year. Military sources said the panel that would conduct the court Phil Star p. A30 martial is being formed. Another source said the court martial will convene next month. Senior military officers said Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa has approved the recommendation of the Army probers. (Alexis Romero) Peace in Mindanao gaining headway The govemmenfs peace and development efforts is gaining headway in Mindanao as 45 alleged rebels belonging Tempo p. 5 to three different guerilla units voluntarily gave up themselves to the government on Thursday in time of the 43rdanniversary of NPA, reported Mindanao top officials of the AFP. (Mike U Crismundo) Soldiers capture 6 NPA members Soldiers have captured six members of the local NPA, one of them a political instructor, following a brief but intense clash in Santa Rosa town of Nueva Ecija. (Aaron Recueno) Top rebel leader falls An alleged ranking leader of the NPA in the Bical Region and his female companion were arrested after the driver of a taxi accused them of robbery (Gemi Formaran) Dalagita ginahasa n9 sundalo sa Benguet Nananatiling nakatulala hanggang kahapon ang isang 16-anyos dalagita at estudyante matapos umanong gahasain sundalo na si army Cpt Danilo Lalin, ng 861B na nakabase sa bayan ng Mangkayan, sa lalawigan ng Benguet. (Debra Bellosillo) 6 rebelde natimbog Nadakip ang anim na miyembro ng NPA kabitang ang tatlong mataas na lider matapos maka-engkwentro ang pinagsanib na element ng pulis at military sa Nueva Ecija kamakalawa. (Mark Obleada) p.5 People's Journal p. 12

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Police Files p. 3

Police Files p. 3

AFP Related Issues

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AFP braces for Holy Week Troops will be deployed nationwide to thwart any terrorist attempt to commit atrocities during the Holy Week. Brig. Gen. Roberto Almadin, Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council co-chairman, said yesterday among the possible targets of terrorists are airports, seaports, public transportation and vital installations. Speaking at a meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Almadin said the military is closely monitoring churches, tourist spots and public places. (Alexis Romero) Military, police brace for terrorists attacks THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are bracing for a possible Lenten terror attack as intelligence officials admitted that large congregations of people in churches or in tourist spots could tempt terror groups to sow chaos. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Brig. Gen. Roberto Almadin, co-chairman of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC), disclosed on Thursday that all military commands throughout the country were placed on a heightened state of alert because of the assessment of intelligence groups that terror scenarios may come into play during the observance of Holy Week, which officially starts on Sunday. (William Depasupil) Military, defense execs warn of Holy Week terror Defense and military officials on Thursday wamed that "rnedia-hunqry" terrorists might take advantage of the Holy Week to launch a possible attack on vacation spots or religious places even as they have laid out a security plan to thwart any plot "We are ready for the Holy Week. Our contingency plans will be put into play on Monday," said Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who presided over the conference of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council (JPSCC) at Camp Aguinaldo. (OJ Yap) Military, police brace for terrorist attacks THE military has strengthened security in all churches, tourist areas and other places of convergence in the country owing to apprehensions that terrorist groups and even the New People's Army (NPA) may take advantage of the Lenten season to launch attacks. It also doubled up its existing security in areas that have experienced previous attacks by criminals and other lawless groups by beefing up its existing units there, like in the provinces of Sulu, Zamboanga and Basilan. (Rene Acosta Noy to Nokor: Stop rocket launch President Aquino yesterday joined world leaders in condemning North Korea's planned rocket launch and called for collective efforts for peace in the region. 'The use of ballistic missile technology in any launch violates UN Security Council resolutions, and it presents risks to all concerned," Aquino said at the inauguration of the PEFTOK-Korean War Memorial Hall at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. (Delon Procalla)

Phil Star p. 1

Manila Times p. A1

POI p. A6

Business Mirror p. A4

Phil Star p. 1

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P-noy orders dismantling of private armies President Aquino has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to step up its efforts to dismantle private armed groups to ensure the holding of orderly and peaceful elections next year."1 have tasked the PNP to remove all of these private armies wherever they exist," the President said in an interview with reporters after a meeting with concerned officials on the review of voters' registration lists in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) last Wednesda_y. Aurea Catica) Pagasa as tourist spot: Why not? Says Gazmin Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said he supported a plan to develop Philippine-occupied Pagasa Island into a tourist destination despite the protestations of China which is staking a competing claim to the island located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). "Yes, why not? It's our territory," Gazmin told reporters in a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo. (OJ Yap) Philippines, Vietnam Set Military Exercises Malacanang has denied any future war games between the Philippines and Vietnam. But Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that there will be joint military exercises between the Philippine Navy and the Vietnam Navy as part of the memorandum of understanding signed during the state visit of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to the Philippines in October last year.(Madel Sabater) Missile Issue Up at Meet The West Philippine Sea issue and the Pyongyang's long-range missile test will be the two major issues that will be raised by President Benigno S. Aquino III during the 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Cambodia next week, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said. Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Teresita Barsana said North Korea's rocket launch scheduled between April 12 and 16 will be part of the President's agenda when he meets with his fellow Southeast Asian leaders during the ASEAN Leaders' Retreat on April 4. (Charita Luci)

Phil Star p. 30

POI p. A 11

Mia. Bulletin p. 1

Manila Bulletin p. 1

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Photo: Two President
Editorial/Opinion New Marching orders

Mia. Bulletin p 1 Phil Star p. 16

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March 2012

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45 others surrender
At least six ranking members ofthe New People's Army (NPAt including one of its commanders, were arrested in separate government operations while 45 surrendered to authorities last Wednesday and yesterday. Henry Aguenza, secretary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA in Catanduanes, and his companion were arrested in i.. Barangay San Isidro, Calamba, Laguna when I a taxi driver accused them of robbery, the military said yesterday, Southern Luzon Command spokesman CoL Generoso Bolina said a report of CoL Ivan Sal manta identified Aguenza's companion as AliciaCenon, said to be another ranking member of the NPA in Bicol and a resident of Barangay Malictic in Norzagaray, Bulacan. ' Roger Salvoro, 43, of Barangay Catmon , in Malabon City, sought the assistance of a traffic enforcer along the national highway in Cabuyao when the suspects allegedly strangled him using the seatbeltin his taxi when he refused to bring them to Bicol. ' Salvoro said the suspects also took his cellular phone and P2,700 earnings. " Recovered from the suspects were two flash disks, 10 cellular phones and a laptop. Maj. Eugenio Osias IV; spokesman of the Army's 4th Division, said a group of 45 rebels also surrendered to Col. Romeo Gapuz, chief of the Army's 403rd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon yesterday. 1st Lt. Tala Servidad, spokesman for the Army's 7th Division, said six NPArebels, including three 'ranking members, surrendered to authorities in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija last Wednesday. , The rebels were cornered by the troops after a lO-minute firefight in Sto. Nino village. They were identified as Carla Ramos Bau. tista, a political instructor of the Central Luzon regional committee; Andres Lapuz EIy;Jolm Michael Ilito: Felix Sarabia; and Ambrosio Ilito, Efren Delalamon suffered a bullet wound in the arm and was treated by Army doctors. The rebels were detained at the provincial police ~ffice f?r the inquest proceedings. ' Soldiers seized an M-16 rifle and ammunition, two hand grenades, ammunition for a caliber. 45 handgun, a laptop, a portable generator, a radio, a handcuff, three cellular phones; assorted medical paraphernalia and medicines and P116,OOO from the rebels. Meanwhile, the CPP has ordered the NPA to intensify its armed struggle and its recruitment efforts as the armed group celebrated its 43rd anniversary yesterday. . "The party cadres and red commanders .must work together closely in planning political-military training and tactical offensives. Party recruitment and education must be conducted within the people's army," the CPP said in a statement. Latest military data show that the strength of the NPA stood at 4,043 as of last year. - Alex:.is Romero, Eva Visperas, Ric Sapnu

8 NPAs nabbed,

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~leaders, 3 others nabbed
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and Elren B. Chavez
Four top New People's Army (NPA) commanders and three rebels were captured during separate military operations in the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Laguna, on the eve of the NPA's "OOfd founding anniversary. Col. Hilario Lagnad a, t;eaminander of the Army's 56th Infantry Battalion (IB), said six NPA rebels, including three ';coinmanders, were captured t!:after a brief encounter in Barangay Sto. Nino, Sta. Rosa town in Nueva Ecija at around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Lagnada said elements of the 56th IB, led by Capt. Noel Wamn, were dispatched to assist local pol~cemen in serving the warrants of arrest in the NPAinfested area but were engaged in a clash by the rebels. "The joint patrolling elements were approaching an isolated farmhouse in the said village

8y Mario J. Mallari

when they were met with gunfire from the rebels who occupied the said hut, prompting the soldiers to retaliate, n Lagnada said. He added that a lO·minute exchange of gunfire ensued before some of the rebels fled with their casualties. Six of the rebels were cornered by the troops and surrendered. . One of the wounded was identified as Efren Delalamon. He sustained a gunshot wound in the arm and was immediately treated by the Army's combat medics. The other arrested rebels were identified as Carla Ramos Bautista, alias Joy, tagged as the political instructor of the NPA's Central Luzon Regional Committee; Andres Lapuz Ely, alias Marco; John Michael Ilito, Felix Sarabia and Ambrosio Ilito. They are now detained at the provincial police office for the inquest. Recovered from the rebels

were two hand grenades, five live ammunition for .45-caliber guns, 121 live ammunitions for M·16s,one Black Toshiba Laptop, a portable generator set, an two-way radio, one handcuff,· three Nokia ce llphon es , assorted medical paraphernalia and medicines and cash amounting to P116,OOO. The successful military operation came on the eve of the 43rd founding anniversary of the NPA yesterday. In Laguna, elements of the Army's 202nd Brigade nabbed Henry Aguenza, tagged as the front secretary of the NPA's lslacom-Catanduanes Command, and his female companion Alicia Cenon, who is also suspected to be a ranking NPA leader in Bicol. The two rebels were arrested in Barangay San ISidro, Calamba, Laguna after Roger Salvoro, the driver of the taxi they were riding, accused them of staging a holdup.

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CoL Ivan Samarita, commander of the 202nd Brigade stationed in Rizal Laguna reported to Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) spokesman Colonel Generoso Bolina that the arrest of the suspect came about at 12:10 in the afternoon of March 27 after Salvoro asked the assistance of a traffic enforcer on the national highway in Cabuyao, Laguna after the driver was strangled when one of his passengers pulled the seat belt and the other. one threatened him with a knife when he refused to heed the demand of the suspects to transport them to Btcol. Also, his two cellphones worth P2,700 were taken by the suspects. . The complainant said his taxi was rented by the suspects from Cubao, Quezon City to Naga City and agreed to pay P5,OOO. Accordingly, upon reaching the Southern Luzon Expressway near Sta. Rosa City, his taxi

encountered a mechanical problem which meant that the taxi would not be able to travel to Naga City, He informed the suspects of the condition of the taxi and he was instructed to bring them back to Quezon City so that they could find another taxi. When the victim was about to maneuver back at the Cabuyao Exit, the suspects forcibly told him to go straight to Cabuyao instead. When they reached Cabuyao, he said he was lucky to pass a traffic enforcer on the highway. Recovered from the suspects were two flash disks, 10 celJphones and a laptop. As a result of further custodial debriefing and exploitation of the flash drives in coordination with the police and the 202nd Brigade, the duo was found to be connected with the communist rebels operating in the Bicolregion. The laptop and flash drives contain confidential

CPP information. Moreover, the coordination between the PNP and the 202nd Brigade resulted in the revelation of the male suspect's true name as Daniel Frias. Hence, he was positively identified through an affidavitexecuted by two rebel returnees from Catanduanes to the effect that Daniel Frias alias Henry Aguenza was one and the same person. . The suspect has standing warrants of arrests for murder with assault and murder with direct assault, both in Regional Trial Court Branch 42 in Virac, Catanduanes. Solcom commander Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali congratulated the 202 Brigade and the Laguna police for taking extra efforts in verifying the true identities of the suspects. He further praised the troops for respecting the rights of the suspects and exercising tolerance despite their arrogance.

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6 Reds arrested in Nueva Ecija
toon of soldiers led by Capt. Noel Wamil in the area to support. the Iocal police in SIX suspected members . serving search warrant against of New People's Army the rebels. (NPA), iucluding three of When the rebels sensed . their leaders, were arrest- their presence, they immedied by government forces ately fired their guns at the the other day in S18. Rosa, team, triggering a lO-minute

By ZAIDA DELOS RIYES-PALANCA

Nueva Ecija. This was confirmed by Col.

firefight that led to the arrest of the rebels. Recovered from the rebels were two hand grenades, five live ammunition for caliber .45, 121 live ammunition for M-16 rifle, a black Toshiba laptop, a portable generator set, an icom radio, a hand-

cuff, three cellphones, medical paraphernalia, medicines and PI 16.000. Cot. Vic Castro, the newly installed commander. of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, commended the operating troops for their latest accomplishment.

Arrested were Efren DeIaIarnon alias Baste, Carla Ramos Bautista alias Joy, political in--. structor of the Central Luzon . Andres Lapuz alias Marco, John Michaeillito, Felix Sarabia and
Ambrosio' Dito. The arrest of the suspects came following a brief encounter in Sto. Nino Village in sta. Rosa. Regional Committee (CLRC),

Hilario Vicente C. Lagnada, commander of Army 56th Infantry Battalion,

,By ROY TOMANDAO

.GILAMAN

Lagnada said he sent a pla-

A TOP NPA commander of Bieol Region with a lady companion was arrested in Calamba, Laguna, after the driver of . City, to Naga City and the taxi they \Vere riding '.agreed to pay P5,000. accused themo:fstaging , Upon reaching SLEX at a holdup. the vicinity 8ta. Rosa City, Based on the report subhis taxi encountered memitted by Col. Ivan Samarichanical problems which he ta, 202 Brigade commander perceived that· the taxi . stationed in Rizal, Laguna, would not be able to travel
Sol com spokesperson Col to Naga City. Generoso L, Bolina said the He informed the sussuspect was identified as pects about the condition of Henry Aguenza Y Torre, the taxi and he was Infront secretary ofCPPINPA, structed to bring them back ISLACOM·Catanduanes to Quezon City so that they Mth .known postal address could find another taxi. at Zone 2, Balatas, Naga When the victim was about City, while his lady compan- . to maneuver back at ion was identified as Alicia Cabuyao exit, the suspects Cenon Y Pollero ofBgy. Maforcibly told him to go lictic, Norzagaray, Bulaean, straight to Cabuyao instead. also identified by a former When they reached Cabuyao, rebel as ranking officer of he said he was lucky to see NPABicol. traffic enforcers along the The arrest of the sushighway, pects came at 12:10 in the Recovered from the susafternoon on March '}}7 after pects were two flash disks, the taxi driver, Roger Cat- 10cellphones, and a arata Salvoro, 43, married, laptop-As a result of further of Cotmon St., Malabon custodial debriefing and ex. City, asked assistance from ploitation of the flash drives traffic enforcer along the nain coordination with the potional highway in Cabuyao, lice and 202B, the duo was Laguna, after he was stranfound to be connected with gled by pulling the seat belt ehe CPP! NPA operating in the Bieol Region:. The laptop and flash driVlla contain confidential CPP information. demand of the suspects to WithZaida de10s Reyes transport them to Bicol, Also, & GemFonnanw.

his two cell phones worth P2,700 were taken by the suspects. Based from the statemenfofthe complainant, his taxi was rented by the suspects from Cuhao,: Quezon

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Soldiers, cops capture . 6 communist rebels on eve ofNPA anniversary
By ZAFF SOLMERIN
Correspondent

AT least six communist rebels, one of them wounded, were captured following several minutes of gun battle when they were chanced upon by ~ joint military and police team who were sent to serve a search warrant on a house believed to be used- as a rebel hideout in Barangay Santo Nino, Santa Rosa, Nueva Eclja, Brig. Gen. Alan Luga, commander of the Army's 7th Infantry "Kaugnay" Division, said on Thursday. "Of the six, one of them is a ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army;' Luga said iri a telephone interview. The rebels were arrested on Wednesday, a day before the NPKs 43rd anniversary. Lugasaidsoldiers were led byCapt.Noel Wamil from the 56th Infantry Battalion, that is headed by Lt. Col. Hilario Vicente Lagnada,while. the policemen were from the Provincial Public Safety Company. "Colonel Lagnada sent a platoon of soldier in order to support the local police in serving the search warrant in a suspected NPA hideout, actually an isolated farmhouse, in the said barangay. The' joint elements were approaching when they were met by gunfire from the rebels who occupied the said hut and a firefight ensued;' Lugasaid. The firefight ended in about 10 minutes, afterwhich some of the rebels fled with their casualties. "Butsix of them were cornered by our
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troops and surrendered. One of them was identified as EfrEm Delaiamon alias Baste. He sustained a gunshot wound in the arm and was immediately given first aid;' Luga said. Also arrested were Carla Ramos Bautista alias Joy,a political instructor of the Central Luzon Regional Committee (CLRC); Andres Lapuz Ely alias Marco, John Michael Ilito, Felix Sarabia and Ambrosio Ilito. Ina separate interview, the Nueva Ecija police commander, Senior Supt. Francisco Aliggayu, said five of the captured rebels were already detained at the provincial police headquarters where they will undergo inquest proceedings. He said the wounded rebel was still being treated at a hospital. Aliggayu said the troops recc)Vered from the rebels two hand grenades; five rounds of caliber .42 ammunition, 121 rounds of 5.56mm rifle ammunition, a Toshiba laptop, a portable generator set, an leom radio transceiver, a pair of handcuffs, three Nokia cellular phones, assorted medical paraphernalia and medicines and cash amounting to P1l6,000. Meanwhile, the 702nd Infantry Brigade commander, Col. Vic Castro, said the soldiers involved in the operation will be commended for their latest accomplishment. "The action of our soldiers and policemen is highly commendable. We have just shown that we are not after the killing of these misguided fellow Filipinos. We are hopeful that they will realize the futility of their cause after being given another chance at life;' Castro said.
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AFP CLAIMS LEFTIST REBEL STRENGTH WANING
,THEgovernment's troop, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)on Thursday said that the " Communjst Party ofthe ~hilippines-New People's Army's (CPP-NPA)strength has waned ., after the rebel movement's heyday in the 1980s.The APFsaid the CPP-NPA'snumbers have, dropped from 24,430 to less than 5,000 fighters in the past two decades. The military also estimated that the NPAnow only infiuenm 2.4 percent of barangays nationwide, compared to 20 percent in 1986. Meanwhile, the CPPalso on Thursday revealed that it wanted to . . strengthen its rebel forces to train small teams in bomb-making and carry out operations against specifictargets.The CPP's central committee, in a message to its commanders and· fighters on the eve of the NPA's43rd founding anniversary, said its fighters"can be trained . and employed to use AMFO(ammonium nitrate fuel oil) bombs, plastic bombs, TNTand incendiaries, induding the modest cigarette lighter, to destroy target objects such as military vehicles, facilities, fortifications and other fixed structures." It added that the NPA can use land mines and gasoline bombs against government forces,as well as fuel depots" ' motor pools and military planes and helicopters. .. NEil A. AlCOBER

4 officers face court-martial. for AI Barka clash
By ALEXIS ROMERO
'. ,

Army investigators have recOnun~nd" ed the convening of a court-martial to try four officers alleged to be behind . the clash in Al Barka, Basilan that left 19( '. soldiers dead last year. . ·...f Military sources said the panel that ,) would conduct the couh martial is being formed. Another source said the court martial will convene next month . Senior military officers said Armed' Forces chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa has . approved the recommendation of the Army probers. . The pre-trial investigation was completed last January. However.theresults .ofthe probe have yet to be released. At least 19 soldiers were killed and 14 others were wounded when Army , troops clashed with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Sitio Baisung, Barangay.Cambug in Al Barka . last Oct 18. . The encounter occured despite the . i: ongoing peac~ talks and ceasefire agree- . ment between the MILF and the govern!

-ment,

Soldiers who figured in the clash. were supposed to serve a warrantof . arrest on MILF commander Dan Laksaw Asnawi - who was tagged in the killing . . of 14Marines in Basilan in 2007 ~ Long Malat and A 1 C!..""",{ leader Furuii Indama, The Mf nas i.Aamedthe military for the clash, saying the soldiers attacked them.. . Those who underwent the pre-trial were Col. Aminkadra Undog, former. commander of the Army's Special . Forces Regiment (Airbornej: Col. Orlando Edralin, former commander of the Special Forces Regiment's Training School; Col. Alexander Macario, former-chief of the Special Operations Task Force-Basilan: and Lt. Col. Leo . Pena, former chief of the 4th Special Operations Battalion. .
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Peace in Mindanao gainin~gheadway
MALAYBALAY CITY, Philippines the Kaamulan Amphitheatre, Ma- The government's peace and de- laybalay Oty. . . yeIopfJ1enteffort isga..il}iI:K.Lh~ctdWClY.:. _I)~~ng_ ~u.~~~r ri.t~L~ r~. in Mindanao as 45 alleged rebels returnees yielded to 4th 10 5-asbelonging to three different guerrilla sorted high-powered firearms, 33 units voluntarily gave up themselves low-powered firearms, assorted to the government on Thursday live bullets and several improvised in time of the 43rd anniversary of explosive devices (lED's). the communist-New People's Army Out of these 45 NPA rnernters I (NPA), reported Mindanao top of- who surrendered, 27 are indigenous : ficials of the Armed Forces of the people belonging to the Umayamnon ! Philippines (AFP). tribe and members of the Mamerto Maj. Gen. Victor A. Felix, comBagani Command under guerrillamanding general oftheAFP's North- Front (GF) Committee 89 operating·,. ern and Northeastern Mindanao within the areas of Northern BllkidFourth Infantry (Diamond) DivisiOn non and Upper pulangi. This group (4th 10) said the voluntary surrenbroughtalongwiththem30assorted der of NPA regulars is a "triumph fireanns and several lED's, said Col. of the Rlipino people, the success Gapuz where 18 of them are from of Internal Peace and Security Plan Soyboy Roa Command operating in (IPSP) 'Bayanihan'. San Fernando, Bukidnon and also The return to the government of surrendered one Garand rifle, one these rebel returnees on Thursday carbine, assorted live bullets and was received by Officials led by several lED's, he said. (Mike U. Bukidnon Gov. Alex calingasan at Crlsmundo)
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Soldiers capture 6 NPA members
Soldiers have captured six members of the local New people's :. Army (NPA), one of them a political instructor, following a brief but intense dash in Santa Rosa town ··ofNiieva-Ecija-;- a-military-- offi-cial revealed yesterday. Col.HHario Vicente Lagnada, commander of the 56th Infantry Battalion, said one of the captured rebels identified as Efren Delalamon known as "Baste" was wounded in the clash. • The five other captured rebels were Andres Lapuz Ely aka "Marco'~ John Michael Wto, Felix Sarabia and AmbrosiO IIito, and carla Ramos Bautista, a.k.a, "Joy", a political instructor of the Central Luzon Regional Committee (ClRC). lagnada said he deployed a platoon of soldiers in the area due to the request of local policemen who would serve an arrest warrant in a known rebeHnfested area in Barangay Sto. Nino. "They were already approachlng an isolated farmhouse in the area when they were met with gunfire from the rebels who were then occupying a nipa hut;' said Lagnada.

"There was a 10-minute exchange of gunfire before some of the rebels fled with their casualties," he added. It was during the pursuit operation that the six rebels were captured, according to Lagnada. Seized from them were two hand grenades, five live ammunition for cal. 45, 121 live ammunition for M161 a BlackToshiba Laptop, a portable generator set, a lCOM radio, a handQJff,three cellphones, assorted medical paraphernalia and medicines and money worth 116,000 pesos. (Aaron Recuenco)

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Top rebel. leader falls
commander Col. Ivan Sa- was mad, pulled the seat marita said the duo were belt and looped it around An alleged ranking lead- arrested Tuesday after.taxi hisneckwhileCenonpulled er of the New People's drlverRogerSalvoro,43,flled aknUeandpointeditathini.. Army in the Bieol region· a complaint a~t them. The commotion caught and his female compan-· Salvoro said the sus- the attention of the traffic ion were arrested afterthe pects hired him in Cubao, enforcers prompting the driver of a taxi they were Quezon City. He said the suspects to let him go. riding accused them of duo contracted him to take During questiQ.ning, robbery. . them to Naga City in Ca- police discovered tfiatArSouthern Luzon Corn- marines SurIorthe price of guenza's real name .is mand chiefl.t. Gen. Roland P5,OOO. DanielFrias. . Detabaliidentified the duo Thedriverclaimedwhile Authorities discovered as Henry Ag11enza,Front they were traveling along Frias has standing warsecretary of<:PP-NPA-IS- the South LUzon Ex~r.ess. rants for murder with asLACOM-Catanduanes, way in Sta, Rosa Ci ,La-, sault and murder with diandAliciaCenon,ofBaran- guna, the car deve oped. red assault issued by the gay Malktic, Norzagaray, engine trouble prompting Catanduanescourt. Nobail Bulacan,a,lso:i an al1eged'himt(l back ouffromfheir was recommended for his
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B:\GUIO CITY - Nananatiling nakatulala hanggang kahapon an.g IS8ng 16-anyos dalagita at estudyame matapos umanonggaha~am ng sundalo na si army Capt. Danilo Lalin, ng 86 Infantry BattalIon (86IB) na nakabase sa bayan ng Mangkayan, sa lalawigan ng Benguet. . AY01?- ay lnnabuyog-Gabriela k secretary general Mila Lingbawan, nagpakilala umano sa 'di pinangalanang biktima si Lalin sa pangalan na Vince Valde. Sa panayam ni Lingbawan sa biktima, nabatid na nangyari umano ang panggagahasa sa dalagita noon pang ikalawang linggo ng nakalipas na buwan ng Pebrero sa kasalukuyang taon. Napag-alaman na hanggang ngayon nakabinbin pa sa hukuman ang. naturang kaso na isinampa laban sa nasabing opisyal ng hukbong katihan ng Armed Forces of the Philippines. . (Debra BeUosillo/Rey Velasco)

Dalaulla uinahasa nu sundalo sa Benouet

. NADAKIP ang anim na miyernbro ng New People's Army kabiI~ng ang tatlong mataas na 1id~r ~atapos ~aka-engkwentro apg pjnagsauib na e lernento ng pulls at mihtar sa Nueva Ecija . Nakilala ang mga nadakip na rebe1de na sina Efren Delalamon alias Baste na nagtamo ng tama ng bala sa braso at dinala sa pagamu· upang malapatan ng lunas; Carla Ramos Bautista alias Joy, Political I?structor sa Central Luzon Regional Committee; Andres Lapuz Ely alias Marco; John Michael Llito; Felix Sarabia at Ambrosio Llito na pawang nakakulong sa Provincial Police Office sa Nueva Ecija. Ayon kay Col. Hilario Vicente C. Lagnada, Commander ng 56th . Infantry Battalion, dakong 4:45 ng hapon nang' maganap ang engkwentro sa paguan ng rnga otoridad at rebelde sa Brgy. Santo Nino, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija. . . Nab~ti~ na maghahain ng search warrant aug mga otoridad sa isang pmaghlhmalaang hide-out ng mga rebelde at habang papalapit sa isang farmhouse nang paputukan ang mga ito ng rnga rebelde. Gumanti ng putok ang ruga otoridad na tumagal ang engkwentro ng 10 minuto bago tumakas ang mga rebelde. . Nakorner nam~n ng mga otoridad ang anim na rebelde at kusangsnmuko ang mga ItO. (Mark ObleadarIhony Arcenal)

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March 2012

AFP braces for Holy Week
By ALEXIS ROMERO

Troops will be deployed nationwide to thwart any terrorist attempt to commit atrocities during the Holy Week. Brig. Gen. Roberto AImadin, Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council co-chairman, said yesterday among the possible targets of

terrorists are airports, seaports, public transportation and vital installations. Speaking at a meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Almadin said the military is closely monitoring churches, tourist
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spots and public places. "The gatherings of people in churches, cathedral, and places of religious interest and tourist spots may be taken advantage of by terrorists to conduct attacks to sow chaos, disorder and gain media mileage," he said. . The Armed Forces General Headquarters has directed unified commands to coordinate with the police, Coast Guard, the transportation department and other agencies to ensure the safety of the public, he added, . . Almadin said the military is preparing for security risks, although no specific threat had been detected. . lilt's (Holy Week) an opportunity for them (terrorists) so we are not discounting that possibility (that they would launch attacks)," he said. "Logically, we have to be prepared. We are not saying-this (attack) will happen. But if it happens, at least the level of preparedness is higher." Almadin said the Western Mindanao ~ommand will deploy one platoon each ill Isabela cathedral, Maluso church and Lamitan church, all in Basilan. Soldiers will also be tasked to secure churches in Sulu, he added. However, Almadin said the military will also be on alert against other armed

"We expect all of them to do some actions, that's why we prepare for eventualities," he said. . Other areas to be closely monitored are the Cubao-Edsa area in Metro Ma.nil a, Pangasinan, La Union and the Ilocos provinces in northern Luzon, Puerto Galera, Camarines . . .Sur, and ports in . Batangas and Mindoro for southern. Luzon, Palaw an in western Philipof Transportation pines, Boracay and and CommunicaPanglao, Bohol in tions, Bureau of the Visayas, and Fire Protection} Cotabato City and Marina, Philippine Davao in eastern Ports Authority, Mindanao. . Department of EdRepresentatives uca tion, Departfrom various state ment of Science agencies yesterday and Technology. met in Camp AguiRepresentatives naldo to thresh out i of the Philippine the preparations ; Red Cross also atfor the Lenten tended the meetbreak. ing. Attending the Defense Secretary meeting were ofVoltaireGazmin and ficials from the OCD administrator Office of Civil DeBenito Ramos led fense (OCD); the the meeting. military, Philippine Atmospheric . Geophysical Astronomical Services Administra tion, Metro Manila Develop. ment Authcr it y, Department of the' Interior and Local Government, D'e p a r t m e n t of Public Works and Highways, Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Department

and Communications and other concerned government agencies to ensure the security of places of convergence and vital installations, and tourist spots during the long Lenten holiday. Alamadin said that they were keenly watching all enemies of the.state, including theterrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the communist New People's Army (NPA) to ensure March 2012 that bombing incidents similar to what happened in Phuket, Thailand would not happen in the Philippines. . He noted that so far, no terror incident had happened in the Philippines during Holy Week, but admitted that "there will always be a first time." , Even in the absence of a specific threat, Alamadin said that the possibility of a terror attack remains because terrorists may strike at any place and time of their choice. "We are not saying that this will happen. But if ever this will happen, then you can be assured that we are prepared," he stressed. , Alamadin explained that the implementation of the security cooperation and collaboration efforts with the PNP will be done . . II through the JPSCC centers in the regions, provinces and independent cities . . Under the security plan, the.AFP-National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) will secure Metro Manila in coordination with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard and BY WILLIAM B. OEPASUPIL REPORTER other law enforcement agencies. 'In northern LUzon, the AFP-Northern .' .... HEArmed Forces of the LUzon Command (Nolcom) has also rnobilized its operation units In all public areas and Philippines (AFP) and the tourists spots, particularly in the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte and Philippine National Police Ilacos Sur. (PNP) are bracing for a possible The AFP-Southern Luzon Command, . meanwhile, has directed the 2nd Infantry Lenten terror,attack as intelligence Division (ID) and 9th ID to intensify secuofficials admitted that large' rity operations within their area of responsii, ility in coordination with the PNP congregations of people in through the JPSCC. churches or in tourist spots could The Solcom's naval and air units were put on alert for possible troop shipment or insertempt terror groups to sow chaos. tion and close air support. The focus areas of . Defense Secretary Voltaire Cazmin and Brig. Gen. Roberto Solcorn are cathedrals, churches, tourist spots Almadin, co-chairman of the Joint Peace and Security Coordiin Puerto Calera, Mindoro Oriental province; nating Council (JPscq, disclosed on Thursday that all miliCamarines Sur province; and the ports in tary commands throughout the country were plated on a heightBatangas province and Mindoro island . .ened state of alert because of the assessment of intelligence The Western Command ordered naval units groups that terror scenarios may come into play during the to intensify security operations Within. " >AttacksA6 Palawan province, home to the world-famous Puerto Princes Underground River, which observance' of Holy Week, which officially lately has been drawing throngs ofloeal and starts on Sunday. foreign tourists. ' "We are ready f~r the Lenten season, which Two marine companies were dispatched to will start nextweek. As I've said, our contingency augment the Palawan police. Troops and K9 plans will be put into play. Implementing plans units were also positioned along entry and would be on Monday," Gazmin said, . exit points of the province. Almadin said that security wlllbe tightened The Central Command directed the 3rd rD . On potential targets such as churches, known and. 'Sth'II) to intensify security operations tourist destinations in Luzon, Visayas and specifically in Boracay in Aklan province and Mindanao, airports, seaports, public transPanglao.island in Bohol province, Additional ports and vital installations. naval assets were also deployed. : "The gatherings of peopleIn churches, . The Eastern Mindanao Command, meancathedrals and places of religious interest while, alerted its Army, NaY)' and Air Force and tourist spots may be taken advantage units to focus on cathedrals' and churches in of by terror [groups 1 to conduct attacks, to Cotabato City, airports, seaports and tourist sow chaos, disorder and gain media milespots in the Davao region. . > age" he added. . .. ....<,« '.../,)i<, the military's Western Mindanao Com'..' Of'--~-As·p·arf (if secunty prepar'atio'ns, the -riim:- lS,""Emailadd:oacpa~hpa®¥aho~'conmand will secure churches in Sulu and Basilan ..__ . '.' . tary headquarters had directed all unified ... provinces, An additional platoon would be commands to coordinate with the P~P, deployed each to the Isabelacathedral, . -11M~ln~(\ rhllrrh ~nrl I "mit~n rhl1rrh

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Military, defense execs warn of Holy Week terror
By OJ Yap
DEFENSE; and military officials on Thursday warned that "media-hungry" terrorists might take advantage of the Holy Week to launch a possible attack on vacation spots or religious places even as they have laid out a security plan to thwart any plot. "We are ready for the Holy Week. Our contingency plans will be put into play on Monday;" said Defense' Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who presided over the conference of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinat-

ing Council (JPSCC) at Camp Aguinaldo. "It is an opportunity for them so we are Brig. Gen. Roberto Almadin, co-chair of the not discounting that possibility. Terrorists JPSCC, said the council's initial assessment in- . are media-hungry," he told reporters. Asked if they had any group in mind, he dicated a need to monitor places where crowds often gather during the Lenten season, said there is no hard evidence to point, to especially churches and cathedrals, "other anyone in particular although they are prepared for a counter-attack places of religious interest" and tourist spots. "These may be taken advantage of by terOn March 6, all unified commands of the rorists to conduct attacks, sow chaos and Armed Forces of the Philippines were didisorder and gain media mileage," he said rected to coordinate with the Philippine in the briefing, identifying airports, sea- National Police, the Coast Guard, the Deportsrpublic transports and vital installapartment of Transportation and Communitions as other possible targets. cation and other concerned. government agencies in laying out the security plan. In an ambush interview, Almadin said terrorists may launch an attack during the "The implementation of the security cooperation and collaboration efforts with Lenten season, citing the recent terror scare the PNP will be done through the Joint in Thailand following the arrests in January of alleged Iranian bombers. . Peace and Security Coordinating Centers in the regions, provinces and, independent cities," Alrnadin said. In Metro Manila, on the other hand, the AFP's National Capital Region Command will be in close touch with the PNP's National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Coast Guard and other law enforcement agencies. Almadin said the NCR Command would provide security to the NCRPO in conducting visibility patrols, "especially in the Cubao-Edsa area," as well as deploy K-9" teams, bomb OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - Email add: Ol squads and medical teams to assist the MNlDA "Security operations of the Task Force Sea Marshal will be integrated in coordination with the 'Philippine Coast Guard to ensure the security of commercial sea vessels plying in and out of Metro Manila," he added.
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police brace for terrorist attacks
By RENE ACOSTA

Reporter

HE military has strengthened security in all churches, tourist areas and other places of convergence in the country owing to apprehensions that terrorist groups and even the New People's Army (NPA) may take advantage of the Lenten season to launch attacks. It also doubled up its existing security in areas that have experienced previous attacks by criminals and other lawless groups by beefing up its existing units there, like in the provinces ofSulu, Zamboanga and Basilan. "That's an assessment [terrorists taking advantage of the Holy Week], it's an opportunity for them [to carry out attacks], so we are. not discounting that possibility because they are media savvy, media hungry:' said Brig. Gen. Roberto Almadin. Almadin, chairman of the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Council of the Armed Forces,presided avera briefing for the military's preparation for the Lenten season on Thursday. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin attended the meeting. On Wednesday the' National Police went on full alert (equivalent of red alert .in the military) as part of its security pian for the summer vacation and Holy Week. "This movement of people will create

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traffic jams on the highways and congestion at points of convergence with the possibility of occurrence of crimes:' said Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz [r., National Police spokesman. "Likewise, terrorist groups may take advantage of the situation and carry out their nefarious activities during the period ... allunit commanders are reminded to secure all police camps and offices, vital installations, economic keypoints and places of convergence of people;' Cruz added, Almadin said that the holiday break may be used by lawless groups like 'the Abu Sayyaf and the NPA to sow terror by conducting 'attacks, particularly. on tourism areas, churches, and other places where people.converge. "Higher possible targets also include airports, seaports, public transport terminals and vital installations;' he said. Almadin said that as part of the military's elaborate. security preparedness, the Armed "Forces has already directed all of the unified area commands to coordinate with the police, the Coast Guard and other government agencies in order to ensure security in all of the areas that are believed to be threatened. When asked how serious the threat is, Almadin refused to give a categorical answer. He said military authorities were also expecting the NPA to "do some actions" that is why they have prepared

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for any possibility. "Our assessment is always driven by data collected ... so logically, we have to be prepared;' Almadin said. As part of the security arrangement, policemen and soldiers have started patrolling all the possible targets and have made their presence more felt in the identified areas. In Metro Manila the Armed Forces National Capital Region Command has been supporting police visibility patrols and had provided the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority with 1(..9 dogs and deployed explosive ordnance and medical teams. "Currently, theNCRComhas deployed 117 personnel to the National Capital Region Police Office as part of the target hardening measures in Metro Manila and this will be maintained;' Almadin said. "Relatedly, security operations of the Task Force Sea Marshal will be integrated in coordination with the Coast Guard to ensure the security of commercial sea vessels plying in and out of Metro Manila;' he added. For the Northern Luzon Command, the GeneralHeadquarters has directed it to intensify security operations and augment policemen in its area of operations. In Southern Luzon the Army's 2nd and 9th Infantry Divisions were. ordered . to augment security in beaches and other tourism areas in their jurisdictions.

"Likewise, naval and air units were alerted for possible troop shipment or insertion and close air .support. The focus areas of the Southern Luzon Com" mand are religious sites, tourist spots in Puerto Galera, Camarines Sur and ports in Batangas and Mindoro:' Almadin said during his briefing. In Palawan two Marine companies have been ordered to augment the Palawan police for the same purpose, while explosive experts and K-9 units have been pre positioned in the province's entry and exit points. The same arrangements were taken up by the Central Command (Centcom), the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) and the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincon) .. "For Eastmincom, it has directed the Army, Navy and Air Force units to focus in areas such as cathedrals, and churches in Cotabato City and airports, seaports and tourist spots in the Davao region:' said Almadin. "For Wesmincom, it was directed to intensify security operations in coordination with the National Police, specifically in Basilan, One platoon will be deployed in the premises of the Isabela Cathedral, one platoon in Maluso Church and one platoon in Lamitan Church. Task ForceZarnboanga has also [been] directed to closely coordinate with the Zarnboanga City police for the security of that city:' he added.
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March 2012

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Noy to NoKor: Stop rocket launch
President Aquino yesterday joined world leaders in condemning North Korea's planned rocket launch and called for collective efforts for peace in the region. "The use of ballistic missile technology in any launch violates UN Security Council resolutions, and it presents risks to all conearned," Aquino saidat the inauguration of the PEFTOK-Korean War Memorial Hall at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. In a speech to Filipino veterans of the Korean War, he called the rocket launch a "needless provocation" and urged North Korea to abandon it. "It increases tensions, particularly in the period of uncertainty leading up to the launc~ - where no one is sure of the trajectory of the missile," he said. It was Aquino's first categorical statement on the issue after the rocket launch was reported in international media, which also said that the missile trajectory may cross Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. "Similarly, debris from the launch may potentially land in our territory. This is a needless
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By DELON PORCALLA
.~ ~ tension-filled days, and it is precisely out of our desire to promote the well-being of all OUr peoples- Korean and Filipino alike - that we express our grave concerns over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's plans to launch what it claims as an earth observation satellite, hubs widely believed to be a long range-ballistic missile, between April 12 and 16," Aquino said. "We must work with each other in the spirit of cooperation and with the goal of mutual success. Stability, peace and prosperity in our region requires all of us to continue to engage with each other, and the larger international community, in ways that build confidence," he added. Aquino said North Korea should engage the international community and return to actions that promote confidencebuilding among its neighbors. Assistant Secretary Teresita Barsana of the Department of Foreign Affairs told reporters in a briefing at Malacanang that Aquino is expected to raise the issues of North Korea's rocket launch in next week's 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh, . Cambodia. "I believe he (Aquino) will have an opportunity to do that (raise North Korea.rocket issue) during the retreat, during the exchange of views on international and regional issues," Barsana explained. .. . "The retreat (on April 4) is a meeting of all the leaders in a -very informal environment. They can have a freewheeling discussion on issues of common interest and of the pressing is. - sues of the day. So that is where the President can, raise the issue on North Korea," she added. Barsana said the President also expected to raise the issues of the West Philippine Sea (WPS), or the South China Sea, when heads of state hold their retreat on April 4. . DUling the ASEAN leaders' retreat, there will be an exchange of views on in-. ternational and regional issues and on the implementation of the declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, she said. "He (Aquino) will probably bring it up during the ASEAN Summit retreat and during the exchange of views on regional and international issues. Because Rart of the advocacies in ASEAN that the Philippines will be pushing for is the We.st Philippine Sea," Barsana said. "So he (Aquino) will definitely raise it. And also economic development on small and medium enterprise'S and climate change and migrant workers protection and welfare. He will pursue all that during the summit," she added. Barsana added there will be no bilateral talks with other ASEAN-member countries when Aquino attends next week's ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
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FromP~ge1 . orovocation not only on the, Ko;;an p~nnsula, but in our entire region, Aqumo .tressed. IIIt is with our respective peoples in nind that we urge the Democratic Peoole's Republic of Korea not to proceed
with its planned launch," ~e sai,d.

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Aquino recalled the tensions m the r.ezion in November 2010, when the Philppines joined other c(.)Untties in ?rging \l" orth Korea to stop Its aggression tovards South Korea, where thousands, if lot millions, may be put in danger. "No one benefits from a return to those

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Worldwide call
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The President revealed the Philippine government already made its position clear regarding the issue since Vice President [ejomar Binay "has already voiced during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Summit in Korea our opposition to the .. .. (rocket) launch." . Binay, who attended the summit held in Seoul, South Korea, said 53 heads of states worldwide have echoed the Philippine government's call for a nuclearfree world. He said participating heads of states arid organizations from different countries have agreed that it is the fundamental responsibili ty of each country to maintain effective security of all nuclear rnaterial. Binay said he proposed before the Seoul summit thatgovemments of the world should "continue to strengthen the global nuclear security architecture by sharing information, expertise and technologies with one another, using penal laws that have the most effective and widest possible reach, and creating no safe haven or comfort zone for anyone who breaches nuclear security anywhere in the world." Binay added Filipinos have nothing to worry about yet on the rocket launch plan. He said that in case the conflict between North and South Korea worsens, the Philippine embassy in Seoul is prepared to evacuate the Filipino workers in South Korea . . "Our embassy in Seoul is rrepared. They are going together, and i there are some left they will meet in Busan. But we went to the demilitarized zone, there is nothing. When you go to one building, a Korean soldierwould approach. You will see him through the glass window. But the situation is normal. You will feel no jittery feeling while you are there," Binay said. Binay said a UN officer mentioned to him that the last launch by North Korea passed through Japan. . "A UN officer mentioned to me that the last launch passed through [apanand Japan said it will block it. But there was none. Thank God, Japan did not react," he said. . . He said his visit to South Korea gave him a deeper understanding of the problem of the relationship between North and South Korea. "The latest development involves a plan by the North to launch a space satellite to be lifted by a carrier rocket using ballistic missile technology whose use has been banned by UN Security Council," Binay added. He said the plan of the North Korean government to launch a space satellite has provoked serious concern in Northern . Asia, including the Philippines, where CHIEF PUBI some debris could reportedly fall. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ear~ lier said that the Philippine government is seeking US help to track the long-range rocket, partof which is expected to larid off the Philippines. - Jose Rodel Clapano, Pia Lee-Brago, Rudy Santos, Alexis Romero,AP
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,P·Noy orders dismantling of private armies
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President Aquino has ordered the Philippine .:National Police (PNP) to step up its efforts to dismantle private armed groups to ensut:e the holding of orderly and peaceful elections next

year.

."1have tasked the P:t'JP to remove all of these private armies wherever they exist," the . ,President said in an interview with reporters after a meeting with concerned officials on the : review of voters' registration lists in Autono'InOUsRegion in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) last Wednesday. .. . . "Not only ARMM. We're going around the entire country," he said. The President said he met with his Cabinet

and law enforcement agencies to review their information on private armed groups. "There is a need for the PNP to prepare against possible recruitment for private armed groups, These armed groups are usually formed before the elections," PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said in a radio interview yesterday.· I The PNP has started updating its list of private armed groups in compliance with the directive of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Based on statistics, Robredo said most private armies are operating in Mindanao. He said there were reports that politicians used these private armies in previous elections . to harass voters and buy votes. Records show that 28 private armies had· been dismantled with 106 suspects arrested but 86 groups remain active. .. The PNP chief also warned policemen moonlighting as security escorts for politicians saying only the Police Security Protection Group is authorized to provide police security escorts for certain personalities. Bartolome also called on the 'public to report to the police through 09178475757 or 2920 any concern or abuses invol ving policemen. - Aurea Calica, Cecille Suerte Felipe
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Pagasaas tourist spot: Why not? says Gazmin
8yDJYap
DEFENSE Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said he supported a plan to develop Philippine-occupied Pagasa Island into a tourist destination despite the protestations of China which is staking a competing claim to the island located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). ''Yes,why not? It's our territory," Gazmin told reporters in a briefing in Camp Aguinaldo. "Since we have a mayor there, why should we need to ask for permission from another country?" he added. Gazmin said he saw no reason to fear a Chinese invasion of Pagasa despite a statement issued last week by that country's foreign ministry reiterating its claim of • 'sovereignty over the island it referred to as Zhongye and saying that it opposed any illegal activities there. "I hope [any intrusion or harassment] , will not happen but like the United States said, there will be a strong presence in the Pacific and we will be having a lot of exercises with them in these areas," he said. The joint US-Philippine exercises, Gazmin said, should serve as a "deterrent" to others so "we will not be pushed around anymore by the strong countries." I .Asked how the Philippines should respend to China's protest over the plan to develop the island, he said: "Well, it will go '. through a process, this protestor. theirs. Then we can easily answer that because that is part of our territory;" US-Philippine military exercises have been expanded from the annual Balikatan joint training to include more troops on both sides and more activities. The governments of the Philippines and the United States, however, have denied the steppedup exercises had anything to do with the conflict in the West Philippine Sea with China. Pagasa is located in the municipality of Kalayaan under the province of Palawan in. IRS- email add:oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com the Spratlys island chain which is being -.-----------------..._--claimed wholly or in part by the Philip- • pines, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and . Malaysia.

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Philippines, Vietnam Set Military Exercises
games between the Philippines and and President Aquino witnessed the signing of four bilateral agreeVietnam in the Spratlys. "Kung ating matatandaan, nung ments, including the MOU for the Malacafiang has denied any fu- bumisita dito ang Pangulo ng Viet- Enhancement of Mutual Coopture war games between the Philip- nam, pinirmahan ang Memoran- . eration and Information Sharing dum of Understanding kung saan between the Philippine Navy and pines and Vietnam. But Deputy presidential spokes- magkakaroon ng pinaigting na the Vietnamese People's Navy and person AbigailValte said that there koordinasyon at skill-sharing sa the Memorandum of Agreement will be [oint military exercises be- pagitan ng dalawang Hukbong Pan- on the Establishment of a Hotline tween the Philippine Navy and the dagat [If we will recall the visit of Communication between the PhilipVietnam Navy as part of the memo- the Vietnamese President here, an pine Coast Guard and the Vietnam Marine Police. randum of understanding signed MOU was signed for the stronger Under the MOU, the Philippine during the state visit ofVietnamese coordination and skill-sharing beNavy and Vietnam People's Navy President Truong Tan Sang to the tween the Philippine Navy and the will work on information sharing, Vietnam Navy]," she said. ' Philippines in October last year. which include annual talks, naval It will be recalled that Vietnam"Hindi totoo na magkakaroon ng ese President Truong Tan Sang technology cooperation, personnel war games [It is not true that there will be war games]," Valte said fol- visited the Philippines from October training exchange 'and personnel lowingreports that there willbe war 26 to 28 last year wherein both he interaction.
By MADEL R. SABATER
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Aquino To Raise North Korea's Rocket Launch In ASEAN'Summit
.By CHARISSA M. LUCI

and JC BELLO RUIZ

The West Philippine Sea issue and the Pyongyang's long-range missile test will be the two major issues that will be raised by President Benigno S. Aquino III during the 2Qth Association of southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Cambodia next week, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said. Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Teresita Barsana said North Korea's rocket launch scheduled between April 12 and 16 will be part of the President's agenda when he

meets with his fellow Southeast Asian leaders during the ASEAN Leaders' Retreat on April 4. But Vice President.Jejomar C. Binay; who joined the recent Second Nuclear Security 'Summit in Seoul, said there is nothing to worry about North Korea's planned rocket launch next month. Binay said that a United Nations. official told him that the last time North Korea launch a rocket, it said it may pass through Japan, which prepared to block it.However; it never happened. "The retreat is a meeting of all the leaders in a vety informal environ- .
.(Turn to page 6)

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ment and then they can discuss, they can have a freewheeling discussion on issues of common interests and of the pressing issues of the day. So that is where the President may raise the issue on North Korea," she said. Barsana added that President Aquino will continue to promote the country's interest in the West Philippine Sea amid Cambodia's purported refusal to discuss the issue following its strong alliance with China. "He will probably bring it up during the ASEAN Summit retreat and during the exchange of views on regional and international issues. Because part of the advocacies in our ASEAN that we have, that the Philippines will be pushing for is the West Philippine Sea. So he will definitely raise it," Barsana said. She noted that the President will raise the issue in terms of the implementation of the Code of Conduct of State Parties in the South China

Sea, citing the Manila's insistence to establish a "zone of peace, friendship, freedom and cooperation (ZoPFFC)" in the disputed islands. "The Philippines is part of the drafting of the Code of Conduct and that is where we can incorporate the elements that we want in our proposal for the Zone of Peace, Freedom, .Friendship, and Cooperation. The elements of that will be discussed during the working group before the summit. So that is where we come in where we can propose, where we can push our advocacy on West Philippine Sea and maritime cooperation," the DFA official explained. The 10 ASEAN member-countries, including Philippines are tied up with the drafting of a formal code of conduct (CoC) in the West Philippine Sea. Barsana rejected claims that Cambodia, being a known ally of China with Laos is not open to discuss

the issue ofthe West Philippine Sea. J'They are not discouraging the discussion of the West Philippine issue. As a matter of fact, they are encouraging the creation, the formulation of the Code of Conduct in relation to the implementation of the declaration of the Conduct of the State Parties in the South China Sea, because they would like to see that the Code of Conduct could be formulated during the chairmanship because it was 10 years ago when the declaration was signed also in Phnom Penh. So they're really very interested in seeing that something very positive comes out of it," she said. Apart from maritime security, the President is also expected to promote climate change and disaster risk reduction management, migrant workers' protection and welfare,and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to strengthen the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and to contribute to regional efforts towards achieving the establishment of an ASEAN Community in 2015. On April 3, the ASEAN leaders

are expected to discuss the follow- dent, along with nine other ASEAN ing: the Phnom Penh declaration of leaders, will also have a Royal AuASEAN, One Community, One Desdiencewith His Majesty Norodom . Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia. tiny; the progress of implementation ofthe ASEAN Charter and roadmap After the concluding session of . for ASEAN community under the the ASEAN Summit, the President political security, economic and will join three of his colleagues in socio-cultural pillars; the progress another meeting, the 8th Bruneiof implementation of the master plan . Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East on ASEAN connectivity involving ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit. physical, institutional and people to people connectivity; realizing a "They will tackle the core stradrug-free ASEAN by 2015 and the tegic thrusts of BIMP-EAGA within adoption by ASEAN of the initiative the next five years hi the fields of of establishing a global movement enhanced transport, power and communication connectivity, food basket of moderate. On the same day, the President strategy in agri-business and fisherwill join the other ASEAN leaders ies development, tourism developin meeting the ASEAN Inter-Parliament and environment and natural mentary Representatives, the Civil resource' development," Barsana Society Organizations Representadisclosed. tives, and the Youth Representatives. Before his departure for Manila, The Philippine-AIPA delegation Mr. Aquino is expected to meet with will be composed of House Speaker members of the Filipino community Feliciano Belmonte Jr., La Union in Cambodia. There is an estimated Rep. Victor Ortega, the AIPA Sec3,000 Filipinos in Cambodia, 2,000 of retary General former Rep. Antonio whom live in Phnom Penh and work Cuenco. in various fields in medicine, busiBarsana disclosed that the Presiness, and NGOs, Barsana said.

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHIEF PtJBLlCAFFAIRS - EmaHadd: oacpa_hpa@yahoo.com ...Tel no. (02) 892.1693. lOcal: 5287.5295

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29 March 20 12 Philippines,;.Korea Friendship Center ... -: Taguig City

TWO PRESIDENTS - President BenignoS. Aquino III and former President Fidel V. Ramos, a veteran of the n War,

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EDITORIAL
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New marchlnq orders
With the midterm elections just 14 A third problem is that the inability of months away, President Aquino or-. the government to neutra:lize threat deredthe Philippine National Police groups and criminal gangs has long givthe other day to speed up the disman- en politicians, businessmen and other citling of private armies nationwide. Ev- vilians an excuse to arm themselves and, ery president before him issued simi- if they can afford it, maintain their own lar orders before every electoral exer- armed security contingents. This in tum cise. What the nation got was more has allowed politicians to deploy their election-related violence, the worst of armies against rivals during elections. which was the massacre in Maguin- Local elections have always been partiedanao in 2009. .' ularlyviolent, with murder seen as the ulOne problem in implementing the timate weapon to ensure election victory. order is that PNP members themselves This was what happened in Maguinoften form part of politicians' private danao, with members of the Ampatuan armies. They are augmented by some clan now on trial for the gruesome mur- . state-funded militias - the so-called der of 57people in a convoy that includforce multipliers that President Aqui- ed over 30 media workers. The princino himself and his security officials pal targets were on their way to file the ·havebeen reluctant to dismantle. With certificate of candidacy ofa distant relthe PNP and the Armed. Forces of the ative who dared challenge the AmpatuPhilippines strapped for funds, the an patriarch. militias - when they perform ,as inToday,a year before yet another electended - augment defense and law tion, private armed .groups still roam enforcement capabili~y on the cheap. Maguindanaoand the rest of the AutonAnother problem is that there are. omous Region in Muslim Mindanao. , too many political kingpins with pri- Security officials have reported that as vate armies Who remain untouchable, of June last year, 28 private armies had with the government in Manila 100k~ been dismantled nationwide, with 86 ing the other .way in the name of po-more to be neutralized. Those weary of Iitical expediency. Exempt one politi- violence can only hope that this time, dan from dismantling his private the marching orders to dismantle the army and a horde of others will de- private armies will be carried out with. mand the same privilege. decisiveness.'
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