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. TABL£ OF CONTENTS
26 APRIL 201.2

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Weather Forecast

NEWSPAPER
Phil Star p. A-23

ARM)(RELAT£D

ISSUES
Phil Star p. 1

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11 soldiers killed in Ifugao ambush if·· ••.....•••\" < Eleven soldiers, including an Army captain, and a civilian were killed while three others were wounded in an ambush by communist New People's Army (NPA) rebels in a remote village inlfugao province yesterday. The military said the convoy of soldiers led by u.ce; Eugene Batarra of the Army's 86th Infantry Battalion was attacked by the rebels in Gumhang. Tinoctown. The soldiers were on their way to their headquarters in Kiangan. (Jaime Laude) NPAs seen retaliating for deaths of seven in Mt. Province clash -. Eleven soldiers, including an officer, and a civilian were killed I yesterday in an ambush staged by the NPA in Ifugao. (VictorReyes) . .. 11 soldiers, 2 others die in ambush Eleven government soldiers and two residents of Ifugao were killed when suspected communist rebels ambushed the soldiers near the boundary of GUl1)hang and Binablayan villages in Tinoc town on Wednesday, police and militaryofficials said. (Vincent Cabreza} ... NPAs ambush military convoy; kill nine soldiers, two civilians A three-car military convoy was waylaid Wednesday in a mountain village of Ifugao province by an unde-termined number of heavily armed communist New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas, leaving nine soldiers and two civilians dead and three others injured. (William Oepasupil) Ifugao NPA ambush kills 12 soldiers, civilian At least 11 soldiers and a civifian were killed when their convoy was ambushed yesterday morning by members of the New People's Army (NPA) while on their way to their battalion headquarters in Ifugao. U. Col. Eugene Batara, commanding officer of the 86th Infantry Battalion based inKiangan town, confirmed the ambush that killed 11 of his men. .. 11 sundalo, 1 sibilyan utas sa NPA Labingisang sundalo at isang sibilyan anqlnlulat na napatay makaraang tambangan ng mga rebeldeng NPA sa Sitio Buhyo, Brgy Gumhang sa Bayan ng Tinoc, Ifugao kahapon ng umaga. (Joy Cantos) 13 killed in ambush Suspected NPA guerillas ambushed a military convoy killing at least 11 soldiers and 2 civilians in Tinoc town, Ifugao yesterday morning. (Zaida Palanca)

Malaya p. B-1
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POI p. A4

Manila Times p. A-7

Business Mirror p. B2-2

Ngayon p. 5

People's Journal p. 4

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11 sundalo, 2 singer minasaker ng NPA 11 sundalo at 2 sibilyan na miyembro ng musical band ang nasawi sa pananambang ng mga teroristang NPA, ayon sa sketchy report na ibinahagi ng military sa Ifugao Mountain provine kahapon, (V Ruiz) 10 Army. 2 sibilyan patay sa ambush . 10 sundalo habang 2 sibilyarFangnasawi at tatlong sundalo ang sugatan makaraang tambangan ng mga element ng NPA ang convoy ng military sa Tinoc, Ifugao. (Mark Obleada) Remate p. 3

Police Files p. 3

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10 soldiers, 2 civilians killed in Ifugao ambush Suspected communist rebels killed 10 soldiers, including an Army captain, and two civilians in an ambush in Tinoc, Ifugao, yesterday morning. Senior Supt. Lawrence Mcmbaet, director of the Ifugao Police, said the fatalities were riding a military truck and were on their way back to their headquarters in Kiangan town from Tinoc. (Aaron Recuenco)

Manila Bulletin p. 4

AFP REl.A 'fED ISSUES
RP: Stop inaccurate reports China: Don't 'internationalize' The Philippines and China traded fresh accusations yesterday over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea with the 11-12 government complaining to China yesterday that its embassy in Manila have been relaying inaccurate information about the negotiations to resolve the dangerous naval standoff at the Scarborough shoal while the Chinese government warned against efforts to "internationalize" the issue. (Michaela del Callar) China warns PH: Don't complicate shoal issue China warns the Philippines on Wednesday not to 13 "internationalize" the two countries' Simmering territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) .. PH, US soldiers' Storm' West Philippine Sea US and Filipino Marines armed with assault rifles and the West grenades stormed an island in the West Philippine Sea (South China 14 Sea) in war games south of a real-life standoff between ManUa and Beijing. (AFP) Govt grants MILF sub-state demand The gov't has given in to the demand of the MILF for the 15-16 establishment of a "more autonomous' and ministerial sub-state that would replace the ARMM. (Jaime Pllapil) Gov1t. to replace ARMM The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to create a new autonomous political entity to replace 17-18 the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (ARMM), moving closer to a peace agreement that could bring development to the war-torn, impoverished Philippine south. (Christine Avendano) Peace pact to scrap autonomous region The ARMM will be dissolved through a new law once a final 19 peace agreement is signed by the government and the MILF, an official said. (Joyce Panares) China rejects PH bid to bring shoal dispute to int'l court China firmly rejects the Philippines' proposal to bring the 20 Scarborough Shoal dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), but the Philippines is not giving up. (Jerry Esplanada) Ampatuans seek basis for arrests The defense panel in the Maguindanao massacre trial yesterday questioned the "basis" for the arrest of some Ampatuan family 21 members in connection with the deaths of 57 civilians in 2009. (Angel de Leon) Balikatan exercise starts winding down About a hundred American and Filipino forces stormed the beach of Palawan yesterday as part of the "Balikatan" exercises between 22 the two countries despite a warning issued by a mouthpiece of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. (Victor Reyes) Tribune p. 2

Manila Times p. A 1

Manila Times p. A-1

Manila Times p. A-1

POI p. A1

Standard Today p. A1

POI p. A16

Malaya p. 8-4

Malaya p. B-2

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Balikatan Exercises Held in Subic The Hawaii National Guard, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) fire department, conducted a search and rescue exercise here on April 20 as part of the 28th Balikatan exercises between the military forces of the United States and the Philippines. (Jonas Reyes) Phi-US troops nag-'war games' sa Palawan Binalewala ng Pillpinas kahapon ang babala ng China na tigilan na ang joint military exercises upang hindi ito mapalala ng sigalot sa pinag-aagawang teritoryo sa West Philippine Sea kasunod ng idinaos na war games kahapon sa karagatan ng Palawan. (Joy Cantos) Scarborough: China Warns Philippines China warned the Philippines not to "Internationalize" the two countries' simmering territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, as US and Philippine forces staged war games in the area. (AFP) Photo: A soldiers from the Hawaii National Guard rappels down a wall during a high-angle rescue exrcise at the Subic Bay Free Port. (Henry Empeno)

Mia. Bulletin p, 8

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Ngayon p. 2

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Manila Bulletin p. 4

Business Mirror p, A-4

EDITOfUALiCOMMENTARY'/OPINION
27 28 29 30 31 32 While we were sleeping. China slowly crept (Alexander Yano) Ships and Shoals (Giovanni Tapang) Has gov't promised the MILF a sub-state? GPH-MILF Decision Points on Principles as of April 2012 Been there done that (Josephine Codllla) Lasting Peace Manila Times p, A-4 Manila Times p. A-4 Manila Times p. A-4 Manila Times p. A-5 Remate p. 4 People's Tonight p. 4

April 2012

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... he ridge of a high pres-i·. T sure area extendsacross Luzon The entire countniwHl . be partlydoudyto2161ldy with isolated raitishb,vers or thundersformS,fl'l(}stlv .in.the: afterridori().re~'e.,."·

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...'Iemperature forecasts: ....

MetroManHa,25-35d(:-<i· . greesCelsius; BaguioCitYi .••........ SubicandClarkzone, •• ·.i 24·36; Meho Cehu, 25-32; •.. .MetroDavao, 24-32; arid . Cagayande Oro, 23,.32.i ... idal predictibnsirt¥a.c T niIa Bay:highHde at12:25 .: p.m. at 1.02meters.Suruise is at 5:36 cLni,~Surtsetat ... 6:12 p.m, .
15-26; Tagaytay Cit}r.23-32; .

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'reo April 2012

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,11 soldiers killed 'ln Ifugao ambush
By JAIME LAUDE :. Eleven soldiers, ineluding an Army captain, and a civilian were killed while three others were wounded in an .ambushby communist New People's Army, (NPA) rebels in a remote village in lfugao province yesterday, ", The military said the convoy of soldiersled by of the Army's 86th Infantry Battalion was attacked by the rebels in Gumhang, Tinoc town, ' The soldiers were on their way to their headquarters in Kiangan, Batarra and several of his men survived the ' attack. However, his Turn to Page 8
Lt. Col. Eugene Batarra

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battalion operations officerCapt. Seigfred forces encountered in Mountain Province Kafilas was among those killed., four days,ago whensix rebels were killed. "This is considered one of the most Armed Forcesspokesman CoLArnulfo daring attacks by the NPA in this area in Marcelo Burgos condemned the attack "recent years," he said., , "We condemn in' the strongest terms Regional military spokesman Col. the treacherous attack on our troops, who Miguel Puyao identified the other slain were just doing their job in securing and soldiers as S/Sgt. Torres, Cpl. Lazaro, serving the people," Burgos said. Pfc. Salud, Pfc,Lakitero, Pfc. Veloria,Pfc, "We will exhaust all measures to bring Dawaton, Pfc, David, Pfc, Naliw, Pfc. the perpetrators before the bar ofjustice," Lorenzo, and one Pfc, Sanadan who later he added. died in hospital. 'The government last year claimed A civilian identified as Aimee Labug it had decimated the NPA ranks in the was also killed while Jefferson de la Cruz northern mountain regions due to sue- , was among thewounded, along with Lt. cesses on the battlefield and effective Nabatias and Pfc, Lopez. It was learned community work that turned villagers that Labug and De Ia Cruz were civilian against the rebels. members of the Army brass band. Across the Philippines, the military The Army's 5th Infantry Division's said the NPA has dwindled to just Civil Military Operations officer CoL over 4,000 fighters as of 2011 from Miguel Puyao said the soldiers had just' over 26,000 at the peak of its strength come from a turnover ceremony in Tinok in the 1980s. town when they were ambushed by the ' The government, had opened peace rebels. , talks with the communists but negotiaPuyao said the soldiers managed to tions reached an impasse in November fight back, triggering a firefight that lasted after Manila rejected rebel demands to until noon yesterday. An Air Force hell- free 18jailed guerrillas the NPAsaid were copter provided air cover for the troops. consultants to its negotiating team. The same helicopter later evacuated the The rebels have since vowed to step wounded soldiers to the hospita!.)'i up attacks against the military and vital It was not immediately known if the 'government installations. , NPA suffered casualties during the counA major rebel action last year involved terattack 'about 200 guerrillas who attacked three "All is still fluid as the progress of mining sites in Mindanao. , the encounter. We still have to receive The NPAclaimed the attacks were pay~ confirmed information about (supposed) back for years of alleged environmental casualties," Puyao said. damage and abuse by the miners, but the Reports said pursuit operations are military said it was carried out to force ongoing against the rebels, who were be- companies to pay "revolutionary taxes." lieved to be part of the same group led by - Charlie Lagasca, Artemio Dumlao, a certain Arthur Talastas that government AFP,AP

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The National Newspapef

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NPAsseen retaliating for deaths of seven in Mt. Province clash
BY VICTOR REYES ELEVEN soldiers, including an officer, and a civilian were killed yesterday in an ambush staged by the New People's Anuy in Ifugao. It was the biggest loss for the military this year. In October last year, 19 Special Forces officers and men died in a firefight with Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and Abu Sayyaf rebels in Basilan. Cot Miguel Puyao, spokesman of the Army's 5th Infantry Division, said the NPA staged the ambush possibly to avenge the death of at least seven comrades during a firefight in Natonin town, Mt. Province last Saturday. In yesterday'S incident, Puyao said the soldiers from the 86th Infantry Battalion were in a con" voy of three trucks on the way back to headquarters in Kiangan town when they were waylaid by an undetermined number of rebels around 7: 15 a.m. in Gumhang village, Tinok town. Among the fatalities was the battalion's operations officer, whom Puyao identified as one Captain KafIlas. The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Eugene Batara, was in one of the trucks in the convoy but was unscathed. Puyao said Batara and his men clashed with the rebels until about 11 :30 a.m. when the rebels withdrew with undetermined number of casualties. Government forces are conducting pursuit operations. Puyao identified the other slain soldiers as S/Sgt. Torres, Cpl. Lazaro, and Privates First Class Salud, Lakitero, Veloria, Dawaton, David, NaIiw, Loren. zo and Sanadan, A 2it. Navaties and a Pfc. Lopez were injured. The slain civilian was identified as Imee Labug, who was a member of a band that per. formed during the turnover of command of a company under the battalion. Injured was an-· other member of the combo, Jefferson deIa Cruz. - With Raymond Africa

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11 soldiers, 2 others

die in ambush

BAGUIO CITY-Eleven govern- said the ambush took place in an ment soldiers and two residents isolated area in Gumhang village. of Ifugao were killed when sus- . The police' ordered the evacuapected communist rebels am- tion of residents while governbushed the soldiers near the ment troops pursue suspected boundary of Gurnhang and Bin- communist New People's Army ablayan villages in Tinoc town on rebels. Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, Wednesday, police and military Cordillera police director, said Ifuofficials said. Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, gao police director Roger Bilibli has commander of the military's also ordered the setting up of roadNorthern Luzon Command (Nol-. blocks in Tinoc, Kiangan and Hungcom), said sniper fire killed the duantownS. Gomez said the wounded soldriver of a military truck ferrying members of the Philippine Army's diers were taken to the Ifugao 86th Infantry Battalion, as. it Provincial Hospital in Lagawe passed through Sitio Buhyo be- town. On Saturday, the military retween 7 and 8 a.m. on its way back ported that six NPA rebels were to camp. Alcantara said the .driver lost killed in a clash in Natonin,Mt. control of the truck, causing it to Province. But Simon Naogsan, spokesperfall down a cliff. According to inison ofthe Cordillera Peoples Demotial police reports, surviving soldiers engaged the rebels in battle, cratic Front (CPDF), denied that the which lett three . more soldiers NPAsuffered casualties. In a text message, Naogsan wounded. said: "The pronouncement of the Police said the two slain residents, who authorities have yet to [Armed Forces of the 'philippines] identify, may have been caught in that the NPA [had] incurred six casualties in an encounter in Sitio the crossfire. Maj. Gen. Rommel Gomez, Tappo, Banawel in Natonin, is a commander of the 5th Infantry lie. [The] truth is [there were] no Division based in Gamu, Isabela, casualties on both sides. No did not identify the fatalities, but weapon was seized from the NPA; Vincent said an Army captain and a fe- only a backpack." Cabreza, Desiree Caluza and Vilmale soldier were among those lamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer North- . killed. Ifugao Gov. Eugene Balitang ern Luzon

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·OFFICEOF THE ARMvCHIEF CCPUBUCAFFAlRS .. Emailadd:~··hpa@yalloo.cOm

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NPAs ambesh military convoy; kill nine soldiers, two civilians
BY WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL REPORTER

THREE-CAR military convoy was waylaid Wednesday in a mountain village of Ifugao province by an undetermined number of heavily armed communist New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas, leaving nine soldiers and two civilians dead and three others injured.
Ironically, Ifugao is among the
, 24 provinces that has been declared

as insurgency-free by the military. Ambushed were elements of the 86th Infantry Battalion (JB) that included its commander, CoL Miguel Puyao Col. Miguel Puyao, civil military operations officer, 5th Infantry Division, said that the soldiers from

the 86th infantry Battalion were waylaid in Barangay Gumban, Tinok, Ifugao while they were on their way to their headquarters in the nearby town of Kiyangan. Among the casualties was a certain Capt. Kafilas, the operations officers of the said unit. The others were only identified as Staff Sgt. Torres, CpI. Lazaro, Pfc Salud, Pfc

Lakitero. Pfc Veloria, Pfc Dawaton, pfc David and Pfc Naliw. The civilians were identified only as Mrs. Labug and Mr. Dela Cruz. Injured were 2Lt. Labapyes and Pfc's Lopez and Sanadan. The battalion commander of the 86th IB, Col. Eugene Batara, was also with the convoy but came out unscathed. According to Puyao, the convoy was passing a dirt road in Brgy. Gumbang when they were ambushed at around 7:15 a.m. Puyao said the firefight lasted until 12:15 p.m. and thereafter a helicopter evacuated the victims to a station hospital in Gamu, Isabela, Days earlier, he added, an encounter also took place in Natonin, Mt. Province. But despite the NPA series of ambuscades, the AFPhas maintained

that communist insurgents are already a spent force and could no longer resist an encounter for a longer period of time. It said that from a high of25,OOO armed partisans back in the 70s, the CPP.NPA strength, as of last year, was down to 4,043. Military figures also showed that NPA-influenced barangays represent 2.4 percent of the total barangays nationwide from a high of 20 percent in 1986. Aside from lfugao, the others on the list of provinces free from CPP-NPA· NDF influence are Aldan, Apayao, Kalinga, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Nueva Edja, Aurora, Biliran, Cebu. Bohol. Camiguin, Misarnis Oriental, South Cotabato. La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac Cavite, Marinduque, Ramblon, Guimaras, Siquijor, and Northern and Southern Leyte.

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when ambushed by more or less 20 rebels hanan,' when asked ifhewas injured. "We led by a certain Casimiro Binayaon alyas fought and pursued the rebels for 10 minutes. We also hit some of them because Ka Peter fIgam. The ambush happened ataround 8:40 there were bloodstains on their ambush T least 11 soldiers and a cipositions. Yes, automatically Iled my men a.m, inSitio Buhyo, Barangay Gumhang . vilian were killed Whe.ntheir in assaulting the enemy's positions until convoy was ambushed yester- while Batara's three-vehicle convoy was we drove them out while our medics were day morning by members of travelling from Barangay Poblacion, attending to our casualties" . Tinoc back to the battalion headquarters the New People's Army (NPA) while on They recovered thousands of spent in Kiangan. < "-their way to their battalion headquarters shells of high-powered rifles such as AK"We were traversing the Gumhangin Ifugao. , Binablayan road when the rebels am- 47, M-16,M-14 andmachinegun from the ,Lt. Col. Eugene Batara, commanding rebels' ambush positions. officer ofthe 86th Infantry Battalion based bushed us;' Batara said. Batara said his convoy Just came from Batara could not immediately release in Kiangan town, confirmed the ambush the names of the soldiers killed in the am- a turnover ceremony of his battalion's that killed 11 of his men. ' Charlie Company when ambushed. bush pending notification to their families "Yes, 11 of my men were killed. A'ci"The first volley of gunfire from the but he his "53" was among the killed. vilian who was the wife of one of soldiers r~bels hit the driver of our lead vehicle, I An 53 has the rank of a captain and was also killed. We have two wounded . sawwith my two eyeshowour lead vehicle serves as the operations officer of a batsoldiers and a civilian who were currently , crashed to the roadside and turned turtle talion. being treated at our hospital facility at because of the impact; we're just about '1\11 our casualties, killed - and woundth Camp Melchor dela Cruz, our 5 Infantry 15 meters away from them;' Batara said. ed-in -action, were passengers of our lead Division Headquarters based in Gamu, He said the soldier-driver and four of vehicle, a KM450. I was with the second Isabela" Batara told Business Mirror in the soldiers were killed instantly! vehicle, also a KM450. The bukl of our a phone interview. "Our medics tried everything to save soldiers were on the third vehicle, a US. Batara identified'the ~ounded civilian the life of the other wounded but talamade M35 (6 by 6);' Batara said. as Jefferson de la Cruz. gang matindi ang mga tarna nila. They "No, hindi aka tinarnaan, mga ga"The civilian killed in the ambush was were not able to .make it to the nearest las lang dahll sa pag-dive, paggapang at Mrs, lmee Labog," he said. hospital;' Batara said. paghabol kanina sa mga rebelde sa laBatara. said he was with the soldiers By ZAFF SOLMERIN Correspondent

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April 2012

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·llsUlldalo, 1 s_bilvan OlassaNPI
Nina JOY CANTOSy RAYMUND CATINDIG at VICTOR MARTIN
. Labing isang sundalo at isang slbilyan ang iniulat na napatay makaraang tambangan ;,g mga rebeldeng New People's Army sa Sitio Buhyo, 8arangay Gumhang sa bayan og linoc, lfugao kahapon ng·umaga. . Sa .phone interview, kinumpirma ni Col. Miguel Poyao, spokesman ng Army's 5th Infantry Division, bantlang alas-a ng umaga nang surniklab ang pananambanq laban sa tropa ng Army's 86th Infantry Battafion sa nasabing barangay. Kabilang sa mga nasawing sundalo ay sina Capt. Seigfred Kafilas, Staff Sgt. Domingo Torres, CpI EsmaeJ Lazaro, Pfc Ronel SaJud,pte Kennedy Ragutero, Pfe Dan Jun Viloria,Pfe Jojo Dawaton, Pfe Crismar Daviti, Pic Ferdinand Naliw si Pte Ronald Lorenzo at ang sibByang sl Imee Labog ng Solano, Nueva Vizcaya kung saan dinaJana ang mga bangkay sa kampo ng Army's 5th ID sa bayan ng Gamu, tsabela Kinilala naman ang mga nasugatan na sina 2nd u. Nimrad Lavaplez, Pfe Lopez Pte Sanadan at ang sibilyang si Jefferson de la Cruz na miyernbro ng banda. Lumilitaw na lulan ang tropa ng mga sundafo ng dalawang KM450 at M35 vehicle nang tarnbanqan ng mga rebalde kung saan gumantl naman ang mga sundalo hanggang sa umatras ang grupe ng NPA. Nabatid na ang mga ito ay pinalitan sa tropa ng Charlie Company sa bayan nglinoc at pabafik na sa himpilan ng 86th Infantry Battalion sa ilalim nj Lt. Col. Eugene Batara sa bayan ng Kiangan nang maganap ang pananamoong.(dagdag ulat
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By Zaida delos Reyes-Palanca, Alfred Dalizon
and M35 vehicles, came SUSPECTED New PeoSitio Buyo, Barangay from a command conferpIe's Army guerillas amGumhang Dinablayan. ence in Tinoc town and bushed a military conThe names of the fatalvoy killing at least 11 ities, which reportedly in- were on their way back to their headquarters in soldiers and two civileluded the female singer Kiangan when theinciians in Tinoe town, If- .of the Army's 86 1B and dent happened. , ugaoyesterdaymomlng., - an Army Captain! were lfugao police director Cordillera Adminisnot ImmediatelyavailSenior Supt. Lawrence trative Region police Di- . able while the wounded Mumbael said several rector Chief Supt. ,Benwere taken to Lagawe heavily-armed rebels jamin Magalong conGeneral Hospital for fired at the convoy upon firmed the incident which treatment. reaching Sitio Buyo. took place past 7 a.m, in The two civilians were Resaid one of the reportedly members of trucks fell down the cliff .the band although anothwhile the other turned er report said they were turtle. merely hitchhikers. The rebels reportedly Army's 5th Infantry Division spokesman CoL' took away the soldiers' Miguel Puyao said the . weapons and belongings before fleeing soldiers, in two KM450

LABINGISANG sundalo at
dalawang slbilyan.na

L

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHI

tia, PIc. Dawalon, PIc. David yembro og, musIcal gip ang driver ng unang mm· at PIc. NaliW. ang nasawl sa pananam· Ang mga nadamay nalary truck kaya.bumallgtad no. , bang ngmga terorlstang mang sibllyan na kabllang sa Sa impormasyong lbinaNew People's Army, ayon 'sa sketchy ,",pOrt na lblna· , hag) naman ni Army Col. Mi" ' inarkilang bandaay natukoy guel Puyao, CMIMIHtary'Ope- , lamang sa pangalang Mrs, hagi ngmllitar sa Ifuglo rauons officer, 5th Infantry Di· , labug alMr. Dela Cruz. SugaMountain provincekaha· Ian naman sin a 2Lt Labapvision ay kinilala ang mga pon. yes, Pic. Lopez at PIc. SanaAyon kay MGen. Romnasawi na sina Capt. KatHas, dan. V RUIZat E GARCIA operation officer nl Batara, mel Gomez, commander ng Philippine Army 5th Infantry Division, bandang ala5-7:15 ng umaga nang tarnbangan ang grupo sa bisinidad ng Sitio Dontogto. Barangay Tlnaola. yan, Tinoc, Ilugao. Base sa sketchy report na ibinahagi ni Gomez, kabilang ang rnga nasawi sa 86th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army. Patungo sa Lagawe ang taUong tnck na sinasak· yen rig mga sundelo malapos ang turnover 0 pagpalit sa ke· ail add: oacp3_hpi@yahoo.com - Tel 00.(02) 892~1693.Local: nila ng ibang kasarnahan. Habang binabaybay ng , military convoy na kjnabjbila· ngan ng sinasakyan nj Col.

mi· . commander ay bigla silang inulan ng bala aI unang nahaband

Eugene Satara, 8001 BaHa~on

sSgt. Torres, Cpl. Lazaro, Pic. SaJud, PIc. Lakitero. PIc. Velo- '

5287. 529S

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/l.~ April 2012

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SAMPUNG sundalo habang dalawang sibllyanciii'c:.; tatlong sundalo ang sugatan makaraang tambangan TIg ",g:~~;c;.-,:"::: ng New People's Army ang convoy ng militar sa Ti,1I;,-, rr"g~..' kahapon ng umaga, Nakilala ang dalawang sibiiyang nasawi sa pangalang Mrs, Layug at 'Mr. Deja Cruz, habaug aug sunda!o nasawr ay sina Capt Kafilas, SSgt Torres, Cpl Lazaro. Pfc Salud, Pfc Lakitero, Pfe Veloria, Pfe Dawaton, Pfc David at Pfc Naliw. Ang sugatau narnan ay sina 2Jt Labapyes, Pfe Lopez at Pfe Sanadan. Ayon kay CoL Sonny Gadot, Commander ng 502 Infantry Brigade, dakong alas 7:15 urnaga nang tambangan ng mahigit sa 30 mga rebelde ang 3 convoy ng mga element ng 86th Infantry Battalion sa Sitio Buhto Gumhang-Binablayan, Tinoc, Ifugao. Nabatid na pabalik na sa kampo sa kiangan, Ifugao ang mga sundalo mula sa Tinoc nang tambangan ng mga rebelde na ikinasawi ng ilang sundalo at 2 sibilyan na sakay ng truck Gumanti ng putok ang rnga sundalo kung tumagal ang bakakan ng ilang minute bago tumakas aug mga rebelde, , Agad naman dinala sa pagamutan ang ruga sugatan sundalo upang malapatan ng lunas. Patuloy naman ang pagtugis ng military laban sa tumatakas na , mga rebelde, (Mark ObleadalDebra Bellostllo)

10 ARMY, 2 SIBllYAN PATAVSA AMBUSH"

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to-soldiers,2 Civilians llled In Ifugao Ambush
By AARON B: RECUENCO

Suspected communist rebels killed 10 soldiers, including an Army captain, and two civilians in an

ambush inTinoc, Ifugao, yesterday morning, a police officer said. Senior Supt. Lawrence Mombael,.' director of the Ifugao Police, said all the fatalities were on board a military
(Turn to page 4)

10 soldiers, 2 Civilians ...
(Cont'd from pagel)

truck and were on their way back to their headquarters in Kiangan town from Tinoc. "Ten soldiers and two civilians 'Werekilled. One of the soldiers killed has a rank of a captain, apparently a company commander. Two other civilians were killed," Mombael told the Manila Bulletin in a phone in" terview

The fatalities were identified as certain Capt. Kafilas, SSgt. Torres,

Cpl. Lazaro, PFC Salud, PFC Lakitero, PFC Veloria, PFC Dawaton, PFC David, and PFC Naliw. The " two slain civilians were certain Mrs. Labug and Mr." Dela Cruz. Three other soldiers were injured. They were identified as 2Lt. Labapyes, PFC Lopez, and PFC Sanadan. The Tinoc ambush is so far the military's biggest loss in a single clash this year. The officialsaid the soldiers from

" the 86th Infantry Battalion were on their way back from a turnover ceremony at the battalion headquarters held last Tuesday when suspected communist rebels started shooting them in Sitio Buhyo, Barangay Gumhang-Binablayan at around 8

a.m.

"I was informed that they had just been replaced as"a company. That's the reason they attended the turnover ceremony. On their way back to their camp, they were ambushed," said Mombael. (Witha.report from Elena L.Aben)

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April2012

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"ln the noteverbale, the DFA From page 1 noted with concern the Chinese "statement that they have become .and magnify the situation, Chinese '. more assertive because the .,foreign ministry spokesman Liu ~Philippines allegedly broke an Weimin told reporters in response . i1greement on the pull-out of the of endangered species. to a question about the current fiShing boats and smps," Hernandez The fishermen. got away with situation in the dispute. ~'said. "The DFA pointed out ,that their illegal catch, but China kept .,';" The presence of the two sides 'there has never been an agreement .its .presence with the deployment at' Scarborough, both claimed by reached." of big surveillance ships, which, at ·Manila and Beijing, has fluctuated "The DFA is of the view that it one point had been increased to lOur. in more than two weeks since the was unfortunate that the Chinese To assert its' sovereignty in the Standoff began while the two nations .response was based on inaccurate Scarborough, a ring-shaped coral 'struggle to find a solution to the .; appreciation of the fact and reef that' has several rocks tense impasse, dynamics of the negotiations," he encircling a lagoon, Manila has '.. This latest confrontation in an stationed two vessels - one from area in the South China Sea that is . ,~d~:~andezsaid the meeting was th" .;oast guard and a fisheries 'dose to Philippine shore is the most '~onducted in a ·congenial patrol craft, 'serious challenge for Manila since:~tmosphere where both sides Manila calls the shoal Panatag , 1995,when China forcibly occupied agreed to continue to work together or Blijo de Masinloc while China the Manila-claimed Mischief Reef, tomove the process forward." refers to it as Huangyan Island . .located 130 nautical miles from At one point,' he said Ma The Philippines challenged China Palawan and well within the admitted to Lazaro during the to bring the disputes for resolution -eountry's exclusive economic zone 'meeting that ~there was indeed to international arbitration, where ',a'Soutlined by intemationallaw. misunderstanding and it is Manila believes to have a strong ',." Foreign Mfairs spokesman Raul ;;unfortunate that this happened. ,case, but Beijing refused, raising " \Hernandez said . Chi~ese -. To address the impasse and to speculations that it is not prepared Ambassador Ma Ke~mg re~elved ~"avoid future misunderstanding, the to validate its far-reaching claims from Foreign Affam ASSIstant DFA stressed that the dialogue ' in the South China Sea, .•..Secretary Ma. Theresa ~azaro a 7>, between the two governments "must, Scarborough shoal is located 140 [ nautical miles from Zambales and ~....., ..~ no~? ~erbale, exp~es~mg the ~L-'De based on complete trus~ and the lip~@y~hl Pbilippme government s displeasure ,- . confidence" and that details to be ....•.. < . 472 nautical miles from China's over the see,?ingly ..i.naccurate. conveyed to the capitals "must be nearest land mass of Hainan reports reaching BelJlng on ~he accurate rendition offacts.~ province. outcome of,negotiations in Manila.
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The Philippines says the rule Balikatanjoint exercises has fanned Manila insisted the exercise was under the United Nations Convention the risks of armed confrontation in not· directed at China, but Beijing on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) the West Philippine Sea, more than warned the United States against Using long firearms and assault giving maritime nations the right to a hundred combined Filipino and actions that might upset regional rifles armed with blanks, a quick exercise sovereignty within its 200 American troops yesterday staged stability - and refused to rule out firefight ensued before the invading nautical mile EEZ bolsters its claim an amphibious raid training off the military action to resolve the highforce overpowered the defenders to the shoal. waters of Palawan, seas impasse. and rescued several "hostages", China virtually claims the entire Navy Lt. Annalea Cazcarro, Any military action "will be based "It was orie of the best simulated South China Sea, a resource-rich and deputy spokesman of the Balikatan on the needs of diplomacy", China's trainings I've ever had as a Marine," strategically located sealane, on the on the Philippine side, said that the defence minister, General Liang said U~ Sergeant Matthew Milanuk, basis of historical rights. boat raid exercises started at Guanglie, said on .Hong Kong's a 25.year-old Nebraska native who Competing claims to the sea's around 9 a.m. when 12rubber boats, Phoenix Television. . has seen action in Iraq. more than 200 islands, rocks, reefs six each from the Filipino and US But Liang also said he believed "I think the Filipino Marines are and coral outcrops by China and the sides, were released from BRP China and the the Philippines would a capabJe force and can handle their Philippines, as well as Vietnam, Laguna to stage the boat raid on be able to peacefully resolve the own if this were a real situation," Malaysillj Brunei and Taiwan, have Oyster Bay in Puerto Princesa City. escalating row over. Scarborough he said, but declined to comment sparked occasional violence and Cazcarro said the scenario was Shoal - known in Chinese as on the political implications of the now regarded as a potential port retake and seizure, About 300 Ituangyan Island - in the South . war games .. regional flashpoint for armed meters from the shoreline, the China Sea. The beach assault came days conflict. (Michaela P. del Callar) . Filipino and UStroops swam toward The minister added: "We hope the after commando teams roped down "We do not wish to see the the port launch the mock assault things the United StlItesis doing in the from US helicopters onto waiting , Philippines get other countries to retake the island from Asia-Pacificregion will be beneficialtQ rubber boats to "retake" an ! involved and get them to take sides "terrorists'. The exercise was prosperity, stability and development offshore oil rig also supposedly over the issue," Liu said as US and over after more or less two hours, in the Asia-Pacific region." taken OVerby an enemy force. Filipino soldiers staged an "This is the last activity in China claims of t~e South Phillppinefirm Forum Energy l operation in which they stormed the . Palawan ...there will be c1osi~g China Sea as a historic part of its said Tuesday it intended to pursue Pbillppine island ofPalawan in a war (ceremonies) tomorrow.v satd territory, even waters close to the natural-gas eXploration in the South exercise not far from the real-life Cazcarro. .. coasts of the Philippines and other China Sea amid expectations its maritime standoff. The Navy officer mamtamed that Southeast Asian countries, Reed Bank prQject, also claimed by For the past two weeks, Chinese theamphlbiousraidexerciseis~ot Competing claims to tne ' China, contains the Philippines' patrol vessels have pre~nted the in any way connected to th~ ?11g?mg\. strategically vital and potentially oil. largest gas deposit. ' Phllipplnes from a~estmg alleged stando~f between t,he Phtlippines rich waters have long made ·the area The Philippines and United States poachers In the disputed waters and China over the disp~ted Panatag, one of Asia's potential flashpoints are bound by a 1951treaty that calls around the Scarborough Shoal.,. (Scarborough) Shoal III the West· for military conflict. on both sides to come to each A Philippine military offlela! Philippine Sea. Lieutenant-Colonel Rommel other's aid in times of external stressed the ex~rcise ~as no~.a . "This is a bilateral e.x:ercis~that Abrauj operations officer of the . aggression or war. veiled threat agamst China, which we conduct every year, and this has Philippine Marines'amphibious task Lieutenant-Colonel Duane has protested US m~ves· to ~ost already been, planned ?ne year force, said the war games 575 Thiessen, the commander of US its military p~esence m the region, . before, So, this h"as ~othing to do kilometres (360 miles) south .of Marines in the Pacific based in China claims all ~f the. Sou,th with any country, said Cazca.ITo" Scarborough Shoal posed no threat Okinawa, Japan, said on Sunday that Ohlna Sea as a historic part of its A commentary by China s to China. Washington took the treaty very territory, even waters close to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) "Definitely; there is no political seriously. . coasts of the Philippines and other newspaper last week warned that color here. This· has long been The United States has more Southeast ~ countries.. the Balikatan jOi,nt exercises have planned and it is not directed broadly been shlrting mili:ary The PhilIppmes has complru~ed faimed t.he. risks .of armed against anyone, or any country. This reso?rces to Asia, WIth a Marm~s over the past two years that Ch~a confrontation m the disputed We~t is purely a training exercise meant contingent now deployed to Darwin has become increasingl.. yaggressIVe Philippine Sea where a standoff IS to improve our joint capabilities," . in northern Australia, much to in staking its claim to the waters, . now ongoing between Philippine and he said. China's suspicion, with tensions spiking over the Chinese ships. The mid-morning exercise began MarioJ.Mallarl,AFP Scarborough Shoal standofr· The PLA paper stated that with Filipino Marine scouts. Igno~g ~hlnese warnmg that 8.nyone ~th clear ey~s s~w long ago swimming into the U-shaped bay and the continutng conduct of the that behind these drills IS reflected engaging enemy guards in close- ; a mentality that will lead the ~outh quarter combat. .' China Sea issue down a fork m ~he Amid the explosions of red and road towar~ military confrontation white smoke grenades, the rest of and resolution through armed force. 'the troops swept into the beach

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CHINA warned the Philippines on Wednesday not to "internationalize" the two .countries' simmering territorial dispute In the West Philippine Sea (South Chin~ ~ea) .. China has been locked in a maritime dISpute with the Philippines over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, a body of ~ater considered a potential Asian flashpomt ~ue to the overlapping claims of several nations. "Internationalizing this issue will only complicate and magnify the situ~tion,". C?inese foreign ministry spokesman LlU. Welmm told reporters in response to a.quesuon about the current situation in the dIspute. "We do not wish to see the Philippines get other countries in~olve~ and get them to take sides over the issue. He spoke as US and Filipino soldiers stag:d an operation in which they stormed th~ Philippine island of Palawan in a war exerose not far from the real-life maritime standoff. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Northern Luzon Command (Nol.com) believes that the Chinese vessels·at the Panatag Shoal are carrying small arms a~d that Beijing does not intent to pull out Its vessels from the disputed area. Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, Nolcom chief said late Tuesday thatYuzheng 310, one of two vessels which the Chinese Embassy in Manila claimed have left the shoal, was still in the area. "They are there and it looks like t~ey're bent to stay in the area," Alcantara s~ld. The military official said thatthey will continue to keep a dose watch on the Chinese vessel and that the Coast Guard is prepared

in case a new conflict arises. He added that the Philippine navy "is on standby, ready to help the Coast Guard anytime: Alcantara gave assurances that the military is ready "to take care of Qur territory: He said that the AFP can again deploy its most modem wars~p, theBRP Gregorio del Pilar, along WIth several other air force planes If necessary. He added that the warship deployment is part of their c~ntin. gency plan that would be Implemented if the standoff worsens. Alcantara said that they were continuously monitoring the movements of the Chinese to ensure that they would not occupy Panatag. He added that the military will not allow the Chinese to put up structure in the disputed shoal. The military is awaiting the arrival of 21 Huey helicopters and four combat utility helicopters that are expected to strengthen the country's e:nemal defense, Air Force commandmg general Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino G. dela Cruz told The Manila Times. "President Aquino approved the procurement of 21 Huey aside from four more brand new Sokol choppers as part of AFP'.smod:rnization program which WIll realize before 2013 • the PAP chief said. Ea'rlier, Armed forces Chief of Staff lessie Dellosa told The Manila Times that two C-130 cargo aircrafts and two new helicopters are set to arrive before the end of the year. The aircraft are part of the P2.8billion acquisition contract between the Philippine milltary and the PZLSWIDNIK SA of Poland.

Modernization

Chinese not planning to leave

AfP WITIi REPORTS FROM WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL, RHAVDZ BARCIA, KRISTYN NIKA lAZO AND MONIQUE ZIMMERMANN

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PH, US SOLDIERS 'STORM'WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
ULUGAN BAY, Philippines: US and Filipino Marines armed with assault rifles and smoke grenades stormed an island in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) on Wednesday in war games south of a real-life standoff between Manila and Beijing. The mock beach-front assault took place on the shore of Palawan island, where for two weeks Chinese patrol vessels have prevented the Philippines from arresting alleged poachers in the disputed waters. . Manila insisted the exercise was not directed at China, but Beijing warned the United States against actions that might upset regional stability-and refused to rule out military action to resolve the high-seas impasse. ., Any military action Hwill,?e b~se? on the needs of diplomacy, <_:;hllla s defense minister, General Liang Guanglie, said on Hong Kong's Phoenix Television. But Liang added he believed China and the Philippines would be able to peacefully resolve the escalating row over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal-known in Chinese as Huangyan Island. The minister said, "We hope the things the United States is doing in the Asia-Pacific region will be beneficial to prosperity, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region.". China claims all qf the South China Sea as a historic part of its territory, even waters dose to the coasts of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. . . Competing claims to the strategically vital and potentially oil-rich wa- . ters have long made the area one.~f Asia's potential flashpoints for milltary conflict. ' Lt. CoL Rommel Abrau, operations officer of the Philippine Marines' amphibious task force, said the war games 575 kilometres (360 miles) south of Scarborough Shoal posed no threat to China. "Definitely, there is no political color here. This has long been planned and it is not directed against anyone, or any country. This is purely a training exercise meant to improve our joint capabilities," he told Agence France-Presse, The exercise involving about 100 US and Filipino Marines simulated an. assault on an island that had been taken over "by an armed terrorist group," Abrau said. The joint US-Filipino force "retook the base, freed the hostages and neutralized the enemy," he added. The mid-morning exercise began with Filipino Marine scouts swimming into the U-shaped bay and engaging enemy guards in dose-quarter combat .. Amid the explosions of red and white smoke grenades, the rest of the troops swept into. the beach from the sea using inflatable boats launched from a bigger Filipino Marine vessel anchored off the bay. Using long firearms and assault rifles armed with blanks, a quick firefight ensued before the invading force overpowered the defenders and rescued several "hostages." "It was one of the best simulated trainings I've eyer had as a Marine, " said US Sergeant Matthew Milanuk, a 25year-old Nebraska native who has seen action in Iraq. "I think the Filipino Marines are a capable force and can handle their own if this were a real situation," he added, but declined to comment on the political implications of the war games. The beach assault came days after commando teams roped down from US helicopters onto waiting rubber boats to "retake" an offshore oil rig also supposedly taken over by an enemy force. Philippine firm Forum Energy said on Tuesday that it intended to pursue natural-gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea amid expectations its Reed Bank project, also claimed by China, contains the Philippines' largest gas deposit. The Philippines and United States are bound by a 1951 treaty that calls on both sides to come to each other's aid in times of external aggression or war. Lt. Col. Duane Thiessen, the commander of US Marines in the Pacific based in Okinawa, Iapan, said on Sunday that Washington took the treaty

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American soldiers participate in a joint mockbeachfront assault on the share of Ulugan Bay in Palawan province on Wednesday.
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The United States has more broadly been shifting military resources to Asia, with a Marines contingent now deployed to Darwin in northern Australia, much to China's suspicion. AFP

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BY JAIME R. PILAPIL REPORTER AND AL JACINTO AND JULMUNIR JANNARAl CORRESPONDENTS

HE government has given in to the demand of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the establishment of a ."more autonomous" and ministerial sub-state that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
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Both panels signed a lO-item decision points on principles, hurdling one of the biggest stumbling blocks that led to a stalemate in the negotiations. , 'We signed the document containing the decision points on principles with the IMILFJ. This marks a significant and concrete step forward by both Parties in their discussions of substantive issues in these negotiations," said government peace negotiator Marvic Leonen on Wednesday. _ The MILF had previously said it would not sign a peace deal unless the government of President Benigno Aquino 3rd agrees to its demand for '! Muslim substate in Mindanao. As requested by the MILF,the new autonomous region would be parliamentary type or in ministerial form. Included in the agreement, Leonen said, is the replacement of the current ARMM which is composed of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao and Maguindanao. "The autonomous political entity envisioned is a secular political unit, existing within the Republic of the Philippines, located within its territory and subject to its sovereignty as a State," Leonen explained. The MILE in a separate statement, announced that Manila has agreed to the creation of a Muslim sub-srate in the restive region, which it has Qeendemanding for a long time. , Maulana Alonto, a member of the ~ilLFpeace panel, said that the document is vital to the success of thene-

gotiation for a new political entity. 'This new sub-state political entity requirestransitional or interim mechanisms that would ensure the success of the ministerial fonn of Bangs am oro government to be established," he said in a statement posted on the MILF website, http://luwaran.net. The signing of the initial agreement broke what both panels called was a stalemate in the almost two years of negotiations with the Aquino government. The breakthrough allowed the peace panels to proceed to the discussions on power sharing, wealth sharing, and territory among others as important elements of the MILF proposal. On Tuesday in Malaysia, both sides agreed to meet again next month to continue the talks, according to Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF chief peace negotiator. "We have signed the 10 Decision Points Agreement, however, after signing the agreement on Tuesday, they [government peace panel] decided to adjourn and meet [again] in May. They did not discuss power sharing and wealth sharing and reserved these topics for the next session," Iqbal told The Manila Times. Both panels' admission confirmed a February report by the Times quoting Iqbal as saying that President Aquino already agreed to a Muslim sub-state as proposed by the MILE The proposal calls for the direct election by the people of the leaders of the autonomous region to be headed by a chief minister similar to the parliamentary government in the federal states of Malaysia, according to Iqbal. "No less than His Excellency Pre-

sident Benigno Aquino 3rd agreed to the MILF proposal," the Times report said, citing an Oman Tribune story that quoted Iqbal. Leonen said that despite the different standpoints of the two parties, they continue to share one common goal of attaining just peace in Mindanao. ;'If we are to find workable and meaningful answers to the Bangsamoro question, it may be time for us to spend more time to look seriously at each other's reasons rather than to cause our people to believe that we rattle our sabers. We have seen the face of armed conflict, and both of us know that it is the least of the options that we want to pursue," Leonen said. Alonto said that the document that was signed by both panels is vital to the success of the negotiation. "This new sub-state political entity requires transitional or interim mechanisms that would ensure the success of the ministerial form of Bangsamoro government to be established," he stressed. He also said that this would fulfill the MILF's formula of transforming the totality of relationships between the government and Muslim Pilipinos into an asymmetrical statesubstate arrangement consonant with the right to self-determination of the Muslim people that precludes "option to secede." Meanwhile, Leonen said that while territorial scope remains the major stumbling block to craft a peace accord with the MILF, both panels have to hurdle more problems before lasting peace is attained.

Common goal

Breakthrough

ARMM replacement

New law

Leonen.said that his MILF counterparts led by Iqbal were appraised that a new law is necessary to implement the conditions of the peace pact. However, wealth and power sharing would be discussed next as the national government would be in charge of the defense and external security, foreign policy, common market and approval of trade agreements, coinage and monetary rules, citizenship and postal service, among others. Both panels are also confronted with the problem of whether to sign the peace accord before or after the 2013 ARMM elections. Leonen said that the 2013 ARMM polls might be postponed if the new accord is signed within the year. "If there is no agreement in due time, the elections in ARMM will push through," Leonen said in a video conference from Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. "There are many options being . studied, which can include also that the elections may continue in 2013. But we are still finalizing that," Leonen added. He, however, admitted that the contour of the envisioned entity is still under discussion. "Territorial scope is very difficult to negotiate ... I can tell you that our positions are poles apart," he pointed out. Leonen said their major problem is how to convince the MILF panel to abandon the promises of the aborted Bangsamoro Juridical Entity which was crafted during the past administration. The BJE, which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, would have covered more than 700 barangays, including those in Palawan.

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Go_v~t, o replace ARMM , t
PH panel, MILF agree on new political entity
The signing of the document dispelled cynicism about the progress of the peace talks, Leonen said. '1\s far as the government is concerned, these common points are commitments that can be properly accommodated by our current legal and political realities," Leonen said, reading from a prepared statement. Among the issues the two sides agreed upon was the commitment to "work for the creation of an autonomous political entity in place of the ARMM," as both sides recognized that the "status quo is unacceptable." The' ARMM is composed of Basilan, Lanao delSur, Maguindanao ShariffKabunsuan, Sulu and Tawi-Ta'\.vi. It is currently run by officer in charge Mujib Hattaman, appointed by President Aquino last year when Congress passed a law that postponed the August 2011 regional elections to May 2~13, to be held simultaneouslywlth the midterm polls.

8y Christine O. Avendafio

THE GOVERNMENT and the' Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to create a new autonomous political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), moving closer to a peace agreement that could bring development to the war-tom , impoverished Philippine south.
Speaking . from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a day after the government and the MILF . concluded the 27th round of talks, government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen said yesterday that the two sides had signed a document that contained their "decision points on principles." Those points, he said, would guide discussions . on the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.

would meet the requirements of the Constitution. . How this could be done is still under discussion, he said. Included in the IO-point agreement was that the autonomous political entity will have a ministerial form of government. Asked how the talks would affect the ARMM elections scheduled for next year, Leonen said this was being discussed and that there were "various options on the table." But if no peace agreement is signed before then, the regional elections will proceed. Asked . if the regional elections were a pressure to both sides to cometo an agreement, Leonen said: "We are pressured to have an agreement because of the conditions in the area. We are pressured because we know that many people have died in this armed conflict for reasons that we can address on a negotiating table. We are not pressured because of this." Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, a member of the government panel member, explained that the' signing of a final peace agree:" ment would "not automatically suspend the ARMM elections: Both sides would have to meet many requirements, because there were many requirements; including getting Congress tet pass a law that would create <:t, new autonomous political enti!j that would replace the ARJvIM. ~ The two camps are set t(}: meet again next month. With'

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Speaking to reporters via Skype surrounded by his panel members, Leonen said replacing the ARMM with anew entity would require a law. The government must convince Congress to pass such a law. .The new autonomous political entity "should improve on the experiences of the past," Leonen said, referring to, President Aquino's insistence on reforms in the ARMM. Leonen said the two sides "'.?' Were talking about an au- ~@yp~( teports from Ryan Rosauroj~ ;"e''i6 ....... . . . . .... Charlie Senase and Jeoffre;;:' =""""-===~ tonomous political entity that

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2011
AUG. 4-PresidentAquino secretly meets Marc International Liberation Front (MILF) chair Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo. They agree to speed up the peace negotiations. Aug. 9-The MILF posts an editorial on its website, insisting its proposal that a Morosubstate be formed in Mindanao. It says: "Let the Moros run their affairs. Let them decide their own destiny. Let them succeed or selt- destruct. Gone {are] the days when the government in Manila deSigned everything for them." Aug, 22-Government and MILF negotlators hold exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur. The government presents its proposal for "enhanced" autonomy through massive reforms to be undertaken with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The government also demands that the M ILF .. disarm and allow its fighters to be an- . sorbed back into mainstream society. Aug. 23-The MILF rejects the government offer and insists on a Mora substate. Murad stresses that the MILF will not sign an agreement that would not solve the Bangsamoro aspiration for self-rule and right to self-determination. Oct. 6-The INQUIRER reports that the MILF has submitted a new proposal to the government. In the proposal, the MILF maintains its original position for the creation of a Moro substate. Oct. 18-0espite an existing cease-

fire, MILFforces clash with government troops in Al-Barka, Basilan, -killing 19 soldiers. Six rebels are killed. Both groups blame each other for the attack. MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal says a Ma!ayslan~led International Monitoring Team will investigate. Thefindings will be discussed upon the resumption of peace talks. Oct. 21-Seven people are killed in another clash between MILFforces and the military in Zamboanga Sibugay. Despite calls for him to launch an all-out war againstthe MILF, President Aquino instructs the military not to launch offensive operations in Al-Barka. But he gives the go Signal forthe militacy'topursue criminals in ZamnoangaSl!»igay. Oct. 23---Suspected M ILF guerrillas strike in Basllan and Lanao del Norte, killing five civilians and two soldiers. Oct. 24--PresldentAquino declares an "all-out justice" instead of an aU-out war for the slain soldiers. The Air Force starts an air and ground operation against MILF "rogue elements" in Basi.Ianand Zamboanga Sibugay. M ILF spokesperson Von AI Haq denounces the military operations as a violation of the ceasefireagreement Nov. 3-The government and MILF panels hold informal talks in Kuala Lumpur and agree to continue the investigations on AI-Barka clash.

Dec. 5-Peace talks resume in Kuala Lumpur. At the end of the three-day talks, both parties agree on 11 basic points that largely center on defining "genuine autonomy" for the Mora pea pie. They also agree to extend the mandate of international ceasefire monitors until 2013 despite recent clashes.

2012
Jan. 9-The peace panels meetln Kuala Lumpur and tackle details of the autonomy set-up. Feb. 13---10 another round of peace talks, Iqbal says the Aquino administration has given its nod to a parliamentary form of govern ment for the Moro people. He says the negotiations are moving forward although there are still disagreements on several issues like wealth- " sharing, territory and power-sharing. March 19-Both panels meet again in Kuala Lumpur, but Marvic Leonen, chief government negotiator, says both parties are approaching a stalemate, but does not give details. April_:Speaking before a gathering of political scientists in Cagayan de Oro City, Iqbil.l says a "forthcoming breakthrough" in the negotiations can only be achieved if the "government sees the light of our proposal for a state-substate asymmetrical arrangement and adopt it." He adds that a peace agreement with the government "can only happen if the MI LF agrees to its formula or it agrees to ours." Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research Source: Inquirer Archives

April 2012

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Peace pact to serap autonomous region
ByJoyce Pangcopafiares
"There are many discussions in relation to what can be the THE Autonomous Region in form of the autonomous political Muslim Mindanao will be dis· entity and what transitory prosolved through a new law once a . cess are needed in order t~ pu~ in final peace agreement. is signed place some of the newer instituby the government and the Moro tions, if any, in the autono~o~ Islamic Libemtion Front, of- political entity," Leonen said m ficial said Wednesday. a video conference from Kuala , And the elections in the au- Lumpur. . . . tonomous region in 2013· could "There are many options, vanbe affected once the peace pact ous options, that are being diswith the MILF was signed with- cussed on the table, which can in the year, government chief include also that the elections will negotiator Marvic Leonen said. continue in 2013." Next PQge
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ment panel was aware of the objections raised against the , aborted Bangsamoro Juridical Government panel member Entity that was crafted during Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, how- the past administration, The Bangsamoro Juridical Enever, said that even if a comprehensive peace accord was tity, contained in the memoransigned, it would not be imple- dum of agreement on ancestral mented immediately. A new law domain that was struck down would be needed to implement by the Supreme Court as unconthe agreement that would pave stitutional, would have covered the way for an autonomous po- more than 700 villages including litical entity that would replace those in Palawan. Based on the two-page initial theARMM .. agreement signed by the govLeonen said the contour of the envisioned entity was still under ernment and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, the Bangsamoro will discussion. "Territorial scope is an out- have a "ministerial form of govemment." standing issue," he said. The powers that will be re"That is a very difficult issue to hurdle because, as far as the served for the national governgovernment is concerned, we ment are defense and external have a position in terms of the security; foreign policy; comand global trade; territorial scope. Of course, the monmarket coinage and monetary policy; MILF has a particular position, and I must share withyou that citizenship and naturalization; and postal service. they are poles apart." The power to enter into ecoLeonen said the govern-

nomic agr~ements will be transferred to the new Bangsamoro entity. Both sides also agreed that the tuture nangsamoro entity must be given the power to "create its own sources of revenue and to have a just share in therevenues generated through the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources." The political entity will also have powers over the Shariah justice system. "The autonomous political entity envisioned is a secular political unit existing within the. Republic of the Philippines, located within its territory, and subject to its sovereignty as a State," Leonen said. He said the talks on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration will be tabled next for negotiations. The panels will meet again in Malaysia next month.

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China rejects PH . to bring shoal dispute to int'lcourt
By Jerry E',Esplanada
CHINAfirmly rejects the philippines' proposal to bring the Scarborough Shoal dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (jrlos), but 'the Philippines is not giving uP: The Philippine proposal 15 verbal, but Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday said the philippines would send -'aformalinvitation to China,. Del Rosario said Mamla "would like to find a way to setde the impasse [with Beijing]" but at the same time uphold the Philippines' "sovereignty and sovereign rights" over the shoal, located 124 nautical miles (223 kilometers) west of Zambales province. 'Del Rosario maintains that Itlos is the right body to ascertain which country, the Philippines or China, has sovereign rights over the shoal. Located in Hamburg" Germany, ltlos is an independe~t judicial body est<.l.blishedm 1982 by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as a mediator in disputes arising from interpretations and applications of the UN convention, which Beijing calls Huangyan Island "is China's inherent territory 'on which we have sufficient legal basis." The Philippines, on the other hand, refersto the shoalas Bajade Masinlocand Panatag Shoal,and insists it belongsro'thecountry. In a text message, Zhang said Manila should "fully respect China' sovereigntY." He said the Philippine government must "commit to the consensuS we reached on settling the incident through friendly diplomatic consultations and not to complicate or aggr~vate this incident so that peace and stabilitYin that area can be reached."

lines remain open

Final decision
Zhang Hua, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, told the INQUIRER on Tuesday that China's, decision not to bring the conflict to ltlos for arbitration is final. Zhang insisted that the shoal,

Raul Hernandez, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson, told reporters. on Tuesday that "hopefully,the .nnpasse would be re~olve.d as quickly as possib~eW1~ d~s,~ussions with the Chmese Side, "We con~inue to invite~he~ in order to have a durable solution not only to the Scarborough Shoal issue b~t also to the Spratlys dispute m the West Philippine Sea," he said. . If the Chinese side insisted on npt going to Itlos, he said, "we are prepared to do it alone." According to Hernandez, "our lines are open to Chinese representatives. But no meetings have been scheduled yet." Last week the DFAsaid, talks between th~ two sides ended in a stalemate .'

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Malaya
The NaHorlal Newspaper

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Ampaluans seek basis lor arresls
THE defense panel in the Maguindanao massacre trial yesterday questioned the "basis" for the arrest of some Ampatuan family members in connection with the deaths of 57 civilians in 2009. Sigfrid Portun, head of the panel, in his cross-examination of retired Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer asked if there was an indication from a supposed Intelligence report of a supposed "complicity" in the massacre by accused Andal Ampatuan Sr., Andal Ampatuan.Jr. Zaldy Ampatuan and Akmad, Anwar, and Sajid Ampatuan, Ferrer evaded the question saying the arrest orders he issued in his capacity as martial law administrator in Maguindanao were based on the results of investigations of law enforcement agencies including the NBI. Ferrer was silent when asked by Portun if he was aware that his own chronology of events of the state of emergency and martial law emphatically declares that the arrest of Ampatuan Sr. and others were solely for the crime of "rebellion." Portun pointed out that the rebellion case filed against the Ampatuans and their alleged supporters had been dismissed by lower and appellate courts. Judge Jocelyn Soils-Reyes of Quezon City RTC Branch 221 ordered Ferrer to return to court today for "redirect examination" or further examination of a witness after cross-examination. - Angela Lopez de Leon

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Malaya
The Natrona' Newspaper

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·Ialikatan' ... exercise . startS··WindinUdlwn
.gas and oil platform defense and retake exercise-which coincided ABOUT a hurtdredAmetitariWith thestrong c()i11mertta1:'y' made and Filipino forces sronnedrhe: b)' thePeople's' Dilily,tllern.dUth~ beach of Palawan yesterday as piece of the Chinese People's Libpart of the "Balikatan" exer- eration Army. . '. cises between the two countries Short of saying the Balikatan despite a warning issued by a exercises in Palavnu should be mouthpiece Of the ChinesePeo- 'scrapped,the .• hinese dilily said C ple's LibetatioriArrny.... .•.. ' .the . Balikatan •.exercises' '.between , NavyLt. AnnaleaPalad-Cazcar. the •. S. andthePhilippiriesare U ro, deputy chief of the Balikatan .: fanning possible armed confronexercises on the Philippine side,tations over the territorial~§P-u~_ "echoed military officials' state- overthe Sprarly Islands. merits that the exercises, particu-"This is a bilateral exercise conlady at the West Philippine Sea, ducted every year. Besides, this are not related to the dispute over was planned a year before and this. the Spratlys Island or targeted to- has nothing to do With any other wards any country... country," saidCazcarroin justify- .' . The Spratlys in the West Philip- ing the conduct of the training expine Sea (SouthChina Sea) are be- ercises in Palawan, lng claimed in part or on whole by She vexpressed rconfidence that the Philippines, China, Malaysia, the exercise v;,j]notcause furVietnam, Taiwan and Brunei. ther .tension with China, .saying: Cazcarro said as part of the boat ''This was done in out shore and raid exercise, the. BRP Laguna re- this was not done at the middle of leased 12 rubberboars with Amerthe West Philippine Sea-This was lean and Filipino soldiers about done in Puerto Princess City." four to.five.milesoff the shore of Cazcarro said the exercises in Ulugan Bay inPalawan at around Palawan .were conducted to im9 a.rn. The soldiers unloaded from . prove the .capability of Filipino the boats about 300 meters from forces in taking care of "our secuthe shore. The soldiers then swam rity, and other challenges." to shore and assaulted a port 'Today, US and Filipino troops which is supposedly being held are due to conduct live fire exerby terrorists who have also taken cises at the gunnery range of Crow hostages. Valley in Capaz, Tarlac, The exercise is called "port sciOn Friday, the Balikatan will zure and recovery," said Cazcarro, formally close at the AFP general It was the last of two field training headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo exercises at the West Philippine in Quezon City. .$ea. _1'h.e Balikatan opened Aprill§ .... Last Saturday. the American though its civic action programs and Filipino soldiers conducted a phase began as early as last month.
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BY VICTOR REYES

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Balikatan Exercises Held In' Subic
there's no time to train then, and the only time to train is when you " By JONAS REYES get opportunities like this," said Blanchard. SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Blanchard also said that the Hawaii National Guard, together' Subic exercise gave them an opwith the Armed Forces of the Philipportunity to work with different "pines and the SubicBay Metropolitan agencies. Authority <SBMA) fire department, "It's a learning experience conducted a search and rescue exfor everyone. We learned techercise here on April 20 as part of the niques and procedures and we 28th Balikatan exercises between the shared our experiences, too," military forces of the United states he said. . and the Philippines. During the simulation, the The exercise was held at the Col- " participants also used the incilapsed Structure Search and Rescue 'Iraining Facilityin this free port, The dent command system (IeS) , an emergency system designed for facility is designed to simulate differplanned and unplanned events. ent scenarios during an earthquake. According to Capt. Ranny Participants in the exercise demMagno, SBMA fire department onstrateddifferent rescue techniques such as high angle rope rescue, col- chief, the IeS is a very flexible . emergency response system that lapsed structure rescue, shoring, is being used in other countries, . breaching and breaking. "One of the features oncs is Capt. Aaron Blanchard, officer in that it is flexible and modular. In charge of the Hawaii National Guard, other words, its use depends on stressed the importance of disaster the situation. You can adjust it," preparation. Magno said. "Obviously when disaster happens

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Phl ... troopsnag ..'war games"saPalawan US
Binalewala ng Pllipi- ginamitan ng 12 rubber nas kahapon ang babala boats na tig-anim mula sa magka-alyadong pung China na tigilanna angjoint militaryexercises wersa sa Oyster Bay sa upanghindi ito magpalala Puerto Princesa City. May 300 metro ang ng sigalo! sa pinag-aagawang teritoryo sa West nl!angoy ng US. at Phi Philippine Sea kasunod troops na nagsagawa n9 ng idinaos na war games beachfront raid sa lugar kahapon sa karagatan ng sa umano'y kuta ng mga tsrorlsta na tumagal n9 Palawan. Sinabi ni Navy Lt .. halos dalawang oras, . Angnasabingexercise Annafea Cazcarro, deputy spokesman ng ay nilahukan ng may 100 Phi 8alikatan 2012, ang sundalo. beach raid exercises n9 Piliplnas at US troops ay dinaos dakong alas-a ng umaga kahapon na NHinaw ng dalawang country: ang sabi pa n9 oplsyal na ang amphibi- mgailo. Magugunita na sa koous raid exercise ay hindi konektado sa kasaluku- mentaryonitong nakalipas . yang standoff sa pagitan na linggo ngPeople's libng Pilipinas at China sa eration Army ng China ay Scarborough Shoal na nagbabala ang mga ito na nasa ika-iS araw na ka- ang Phi-US joint military exercises ay posibleng hapon, . ''This is a bflateral ex- magpaJalapa ng krisis at ercise that we conduct armadongkornprontasyon every year, and this has sa pagitan ng 'dalawang . already been planned bansa sa pinagtatalunang one year before. So, this teritoryo sa West Philiphas nothingto do with any pine Sea. (Joy Cantos)

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Scarborough:
China Warns Philippines
BEIJING (AFP/AP) - China warned the Philippines yesterday not to "internationalize" the two countries' simmering territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), as US and Philippine forces staged war games in the area, China has been locked in a marltime' dispute with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal (also called Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc) in the West Philippine Sea, a body of water considered a potential Asian flashpoint due to the overlapping claims of several nations, "Internationalizing this issue will only complicate and magnify the
(Turn to page'4)

MOCK ASSAULT Members of Philippine and us marines reconnalssanee team emerge from the sea during a mock beach front assault on the shore of Ulugan Bay in Palawan y~$terday, April 2S, 2012. The sham attack was part of Balikatan 2012~(AFP)

Scarborough ...
(Cont'd from pag~~)

situation" Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters in response to a question about the current situation in the dispute. "We do not wish to see the Philippines get other countries involved and get them to take sides over the issue." He spoke as US and Filipino soldiers staged an operation in which the , stol:'lTIedPala~al,lina war

exercise not far from the real-life maritime standoff. For the past two weeks, Chinese patrol vessels have prevented the Philippines from arresting alleged poachers in the disputed waters around the Scarborough Shoal. A Philippine military official stressed the exercise was not a veiled threat against China, which has protested US moves to boost its militarypres~nc~in theregion,

China claims aU of the South China Sea as a historic part of its territory; even waters close to the coasts of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, The Philippines has complained over the past two years that China has become Increasingly aggressive in staking its claim to the waters, ' with tensions spiking over the Scarborough Shoal standoff. Meanwhile, Philippine authorities said 12 Vietnamese fishermen have been arrested for poaching endangered marine turtles, black corals and reef fishes in Jolo.

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ASOLDIER from the Hawaii National Guard rappels down a wall during a hIgh-angie rescue exercise at the Sub;c Bay Free Port. The drill is part of the ongoing RP-USBalikatan Exercise 2012 which fo(uses on humanitarian assistance and disaster response. HENRYEMPfNQ .

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While we were sleeping, China slowly crept
would followwill definitely be not - China on the Panatag Shoal incion equal terms. '. dent, it is ironic that the country Though it appears that the curvantage of the Lenten break to touted to be the 'oldest civilizarent situation in the Panatag Shoal spiritually reflect, recollect, and tion in the.world is not acting in is mainly a Philippines-China aftake respite from the arduous a civil manner. , fair, other countries, not only grind of daily life, some enterpris. In the context of the foregoing those in' the region, but likewise ing Chinese fishing vessels probvolatile situation, we as a people, those who have a stake in the use ably found the condition at that should put away our differences of the international waters in the time most opportune to intrude and unite in support of our ALEXANDER YANO area are understandably deeply into our territorial waters along country's position which is in acconcerned. The current state of Philippines are deputized to serve the coastlines of Zarnbales and cord with the rules of internaaffairs is slowly evolving from an as Philippine National Police surhelp themselves with the rich tionallaw. Militarily, we are puny ordinary territorial dispute at the rogates in dealing with criminal marine resources in the area. vis-a-vis China's might. Neverthestart, into what it now appears as Luckily, a Philippine Navy surand rebel elements.] less, the legal as well as the moral From a legal standpoint, au-: a hegemonic assertion by a pow. veillance plane spotted the fishaspects of the issue at hand are erful country against its weaker thorities on Public International ing vessels, eight in all, anchored definitely in our favor. neighbors. Put simply by Defense Law argue that China's legal claim inside the Panatag Shoal, a ring .Our country's best recourse at Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, China on the said shoal, or on the whole shape coral reef located 124 nauthe moment would be to bring the • is starting to bully its neighbors in tical miles west from the nearest . expanse of the West Philippine matter to the attention of themthe area. Recent pronouncements Sea for that matter, based on his• coast of Luzon, and dearly within .ternational communityspedfically torical principle is anchored. on from a Chinese military paper that the 200 nautical mile Exclusive the International Tribunals with the People's Liberation Anny has weak grounds. Mere historical Economic Zone (EEZ) of the respect to disputes dealing with warned of an armed confrontation .. " territory, as well as those concernclaim does not vest title of owncountry. This prompted the Philin the area in connection with the ippine Navy to dispatch one of ership of said area to China. The ing wanton disregard in the presongoing BAUKATANmilitary exPhilippine claim on the other its ships, the BRP Gregorio Del Piervation of endangered species. ercise between the Philippines and hand based on the provisions of lar, to the area and enforce appliAdditionally, with respect to the United States not only corthe United Nations Convention cable maritime laws against the the latter .concern, assistance roborate this observation but also intruders. The crew of BRP Del on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) could be sought from internaput into question China's comin which China is a signatory, Pilar, in accord with established tional non-government organizamitment to the various internarules of engagement (ROE), definitely lies on a firmer positionswhose advocacy is the prestionallaws, treaties, and convention. 'The said law which estabboarded the said Chinese vessels 'e'tvift'i'6iiof the' environment, tions that were intended to govern llshesthe extent ofa coastal and found therein a plethora 'of SlltQ as-Green Peace, for instance. the vast expanse of the sea in the state's maritime territory has pro.rare and endangered marine speTovestcredibllity on such acarea. These international laws, spevided for a 200 nautical mile Excies taken from the shoal, in dear tions, however, entails not only clusive Economic Zone (EEZ), for dficallythe UNCLOS and the Dec" violation of local and internathe soundness of our legal argularation of the Code of Conduct of said state. The EEZ, reckoned tional environmental laws. When ments but likewise a manifestafrom the coastal states' shoreline Claimant Countries in the. Area Philippine authorities, that intion of the spirit of nationalism, among others, to which China is a is subject to the owner state's exstance, tried to .make arrests in unity and moral ascendancy of signatory, are expected to be comelusive jurisdiction with respect order to enforce environmental our people in general,' over the plied with by every civilized memto the exploitation of natural relaws, two Chinese vessels interissue. There should be a percepber of the community of nations. sources found therein. This, vened by positioning themselves tion from the international comA side issue of the Panatag China seems bent on refusing to between the Philippine Navy ship munity that the Filipino people Shoal incident which is of equal honor and understand. and the Chinese fishing vessels. are wholeheartedly in support of importance and which China Moreover, China'srefusal, to , the righteousness of our cause. Thus, began what many labeled seems to, have swept under the as a standoff between the-two ' .bring the matter before the Inter.In this critical time of our rug is the Sino fishermen's disrenational Tribunal on the Law of protagonists which has ensued country's history, it pays to be on gard for· the preservation of the the Sea (InOS) in order to settle for almost two weeks. Later on, our toes, alert and vigilant, always marine environment and endanwith finality the controversy of the the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar pulled ready to assert what is fair and gered marine resources in the matter on hand betrays the weakout of the area but not after it was right. We should not be caught area. Lest we forget, video footness of their legal claims. Their relieved by a Philippine Coast sleeping on our post, lest a bully ages and photographs of endaninsistence on settling the matter Guard ship, that rightfully has neighbor uses it to his advantage. gered marine species were docuthrough bilateral discussion is a jurisdiction to enforce Philippine As what I have written in a previmented by our authorities when ' ous column, we might just wake tactical ploy which does not porMaritime Laws within our territhey first accosted the Chinese tend to our advantage considering torial waters. [Editor's note: One up one day finding that a subfishing vessels. . that with their military and ecomust not forget, however, that stantial number of our 7,100 is- ] With the actions exhibited by units of the Armed Forces of the , nomic might, the negotiation that lands are no longer ours.

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April 2012

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Ships and shoals
news about THE recent Shoal (or Isla Scarborough Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag or Panacot) made many of us look at their maps and refresh ourselves in Philippine geography. Long reared on calling the sea to our west as South China Sea, we see that it is now being called West Philippine Sea in reference GIOVANNI TAPANG, Ph;D. to our own location. While shoals are but a sandy stronglyworded statements be.elevation of the bottom of the tween the two countries. These arrests and exchange of words insea, Scarborough seems to have outgrown its size and stature with clude China's negative reactions to the US-Philippines Balikatan mili. the recent standoff and focus tary exercises which usually hapgiven in media and by our officials to this place. Earlier this pens at around the same time. ,Scarborough Shoal lies within month, Philippine Navy ships spotted Chinese fishing boats " the 200 mile exclusive economic laden with corals and other mazone (EEZ) of the Philippines. rine wildlife in the area. As they The EEZ is defined by the UN attempted to pursue these fisherConvention on the Law of the Sea (l,1NCLOS) which gives sovereign men, two Chinese vessels blocked their path. A tense standoff enrights over the seabed and subsued while diplomatic protests soil resources and the resources were being exchanged by both in the water column (from the soil to the surface of the water). countries. Tensions later eased off The EEZ is traced 200 nautical as vessels from both parties miles seaward from the baseline pulled out from the area. One might notice that Scarof a country. Furthermore, if the borough has been on our news continental shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles, a country around this time of the year for more than a decade now. One can could be entitled to an extended recall that in 2000, Defense Seccontinental shelf claim not exretary Orlando Mercado protested ceeding 350 nautical miles. Note the phrase "could be ena similar encroachment by Chititled" means that there is still a nese fishing vessels in the waters .process to which one can claim its around the shoal. These encroach, ments and arrests have become extended EEZ. First we have to .deconstant irritants and led to sevfine om baselines by delineating it eral exchange of protests and through a series of points around our archipelago from which we can which was the regional Cold War then draw up our 200 mile EEZ. frontiers of Southeast Asia. Viet. Our baseline is currently defined nam, Philippines, Malaysia and by Republic Act 9522. · Brunei are now in the mixwith . We can also lay daim to an ex- · China, Taiwan, Japan and tended continental shelfby dearly South Korea. These issues are defining this and submitting it to ripples of the same themes more the proper UN bodies. One can than fifty years ago. recall that the Philippines have With competing claims on the recently laid daim to Benham Rise rest of the area, it is best that we on the eastern pan of the Philipseriously do our pan to start depines to which have extended our Iineating our EEZ by defining our continental shelf claim through a continental shelf and baselines solid geological study done by reand submitting these to the UN. searchers at the National Institute We have scientists that are doing of Geological Sciences; this right now and it would be in , China has this extended claim · OUf country's interests if we supover the West Philippine Sea (or port their work and expedite this South China Sea) by means of a process so that we strenghten our "nine-dashed linen based on hisclaims to the area. torical grounds that are unclear Going back to Panatag or at best. Yet the different claims Scarborough Shoal and its. surto the South China Sea (or the roundings, we can think of other West Philippine Sea) does stem ways to resolve the issue. As an from history. exercise of economic sovereignty As Japan surrendered after World over the EEZ, we can enter into War H, it signed a peace treaty in bilateral or multilateral agreeSeptember 1951 with 48 other mentson common fishing countries in San Francisco. The grounds between claimants of the peace treaty fell short in clarifying area. We can disallow biopiracy the territorial disposition of several but we can tolerate legitimate islands in the area whose legacy of fishermen. We can enter into conflict we are still facing now. joint undertakings [that should The start of the Cold war has be beneficial to Filipinos) on the transformed the treaty and resurvey and development of the sulted in the equivocal wording of whole of the sea, between and the text The Okinawan problem, among nations that border it. the Northern Territories/Southern On the other hand, we can also Kuriles, the Senkaku islands, iinagineways to intlamethesitualion: Takeshima and the Spratlys are a saber- rattling. war games and tough sampling of these flashpoints, All talk which muddle the issue and esof them lie near the Acheson Line calate tension in the region.

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Has gov't promised the 'MILF a sub-state?
OME journalists, including some in The Manila Times, reporting about the "GPH-MILr Decision Points on Principles as of April 2012" -which the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Pront panels signed on Tuesday April . 24-'-write that the government has given in-to the demand of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the establishment of a sub-state more autonomous than Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which would be replaced. . . But other journalists, like Willard Cheng of ABs-eBN News, stick to the words of the document the two panels signed; which does not have the word "sub-state, n and the assurances of the chief of the government panel. Cheng reports that Dean' Marvie Leonen, GPH (Government of . the Philippines) panel chairman, told reporters in Malacafiang via Skype that it is dear "that the new autonomous political entity , being envisioned is nota separate state and is inseparable from the Republic of the Philippines." Leonen is also reported to have said that "the MILF has dropped its demand for independence" and that" it is inaccurate call the new autonomous political entity a Bangsamoro state. n· .' On page A5is the full (unedited} text of the document signed by Dean Leonen, his counterpart MILP panel chairman Mohagher Iqbal, and, signing as witness, Malaysian facilitator Tengku Date AB Chafar Tengku Mohamed. The document was also initialled by every delegate and resource persons brought to the talks by both panels, Thereis no-word "sub-state" in the document.

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"The breakthrough allowed the parties to proceed to the . discussions on power sharing. wealth sharing, territory, normalization, basic law, etc. as important elements of the. substate proposal of the MILE "Mauiana Alonto,a member of the MILP Peace Panel, said that this document is vital to the success of the negotiation for a new political entity in the form of a Mora substate that would replace the central government's "failed experiment" in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), '' 'This new substate political entity requires transitional or interim' mechanisms that would ensure the success of the ministerial form of Bangsamoro government to be established: he said. . "He also said that this would fulfill the MILt's formula of transforming the totality.of relationships between the Philippine state and the Bangsamoro into an asymmetrical state-substate arrangement consonant with the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro people that precludes 'option to secede'. "The 10 Decision Points Agreement was initialed by all members of the MILF and GPH negotiating panels who were present and was signed by their Chairs, Mohagher Iqbal and Dean Marvic Leonen respectively, Affixing his signature as witness was the Malaysian Facilitator, Dato'Tengku AB Ia'afar, "This is the first time in the diplomanc stage of the GPH-MILF peace negotiation that members of both panels were requiredto affix their initials in the document. However, during its domestic 'stage from 1997 up to June 2000, practically documents Were not only initialed by panel members but they signed. them, [This Iuwaran report ends with the list of all panel members.]
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Based on the above Luwaran report, it looks like Dean Marvic Leonen and the MILF panel members-especially Maulana Alonto-don'tquite have the same understanding of what they It would appear that as far as the MILF is concerned=unless . Maulana Alonto does not represent the thinking of the MILF 'Central Committee-their original 'proposal for a Bangsamoro sub-state still stands, If that is so, can the MILFagree to a "secular" political entity? This means not only that a new law has to be passed but also that our Constitution has to be amended. Otherwise we would again have the disaster of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). The MOA-AD was' declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. That ruling drove MILF commanders to murderously raid Christian and mixed Christian-Muslim populations and ambush govemmenrtroops. ' , We ate glad that,as we report in our banner story today, Dean Leonen=and hope his MILF counterpart Mohagher Iqbal agreesrealizes that a lot of work and discussion must still be done to .come up with the final agreement. Leonen admits that territory scope, power sharing and about a dozen other subjects still.have to be settled. He said of "territorial scope" that the government and MILF positions "are poles apart." . And he admits that the major problem is how to convince the MILF panel-and of course the Central Committee-to abandon the promises of the aborted MOA-AD's "Bangsamoro Juridical Entity," To be realistic is the key to peace, ,

Pray there are no dangersahead,'
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The journalists got it from Luwaran, the website of the Central , Committee of the MILE Luwaran on Wednesday, yesterday Apnl 25, posted the news item with the happy title "MILF, gov't break stalemate in talks; sign 10 decision points to guidethem," Here is the full text: , . "April 25, 2012: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (M~LP) and the Govemmentof the Philippines (CPH) peace panels SIgned yesterdaylQ Decision Points thereby breaking their almost two years of technically stalemate situation in their negotiation to guide the peace negotiations on substantive agenda leading to the political solution to the Bangsamoro Question and the four decades armedconflict in Mindanao, (Click here for text of the Agreement and the Joint Statement), ,. "The parties made a compromise on the text to resolve the issue on the lO-pointprinciples which was not signed during the previous 26th Exploratory Talks when the GPH Peace Panel inserted amendments thereto thereby preventing both Parties from going further in their negotiations, In that session, the MILF peace panel did not sign the document, after the GPH made four amendments that to the former destroyed the essence of the document. __ ..."I,j_ICJ)a Lh Pa@ya hoo .com

Where does the "sub-state" come from?

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April 2012

GPH-MILF Decision Points on Principles of April 2012

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. The Panics· agree to the follcwlng.principles, which shall further guide discussions on the substantive agenda of the negotiations. ·This preliminary list does not contain all points so far agreed upon and does not preclude future agreements on other key points. 1. The Parties recognize Bangsamoro identity and the legitimate grievances and claims of the Bangsarnoro people. 1. The Parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable and that the Parnes will work for the creation of a new autonomous political entity in place of the ARMM. 3. The Parties agree 10 the continuity of negotiations in the context of agreed documents. . 4. The Parties agree that the new autonomous political entity shall have a ministerial form of'govemmem. 5. The Parties agree to the 'need for a transition period and the institution of transitional mechanisms in order to implement the provisions of the agreement. 6. There will be power-sharing and wealth-sharing between the Na- . tional Government and the new political entity. In the matter of power sharing. the National Government will. have its reserved powers, the new political entity will have its exclusive powers, and there will be concurrent . powers shared by the National Government and the new political entity.. Parties agree that the following matters are reserved for the competence of the NationalG()vemment: .. ". ., -a. defense and external security -, . b. foreign policy c. common market 'andglobal trade. . (FOOTNarE; 1hepower to enter into economic agreements already·; .allowed uruJer R.A. 9054 shall be transferred to the new political entity.) . d. coinage and monetary policy . . e. citizenship and naturalization f. postal service .

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'" This list is without prejudice to other powers, which the Parties may agree to reserve to the National Government in the course of the negotiation. 7. The Panie~ agree that wealth creation (or revenue generation and. sourcing) is important. The- Parties also acknowledge the power of the new political:erititi tocreate its own sources of revenue, s~b. ject to. limitations as, may be mutually agreed upon by. the .parues. and to have a just share in the revenues generated through the exploration, development or utilization of natural resources. . . ...8. The Parties recognize the need tostrengthen the Shari'ah courts . and to expand their. jurisdiction over cases. Thenew political entity shall also have competence over the Shariah justice system. . 9, TheParties agree tothe creationof (third party) monitoring and .evaluation mechanisms, .which may utilize competencies already available in existing mechanisms, e.g. leG; IMT, eeCH. . , .1{}. In addition. to basic rights already enjoyed, the following rights of-all Citizens residing in-the new political entity bind the legislature; executive and judiciazy as directly enforceable law and are guaranteed: .a, Right to lifcand to inviolability of one's person and dignity; h. Right to freedom and expression of religion and beliefs; ..c.. Right to privacy; .' .' , d. Right to freedom of speech; e. Right to exprese political opinion and pursue democratically political aspirations; . f. Right to seek constitutional change by peaceful and legitimate means; g. Rightofwomento meaningful political participation, and pro, tection from all forms of violence; h. Right to freely choose one's place of residence and the inviolabilityof the home; ,... .. . l.. Right to equal opp<?Itunityand ncin·dis~riminationin social and economic activity and public service, regardless of class, creed, disability, gender or ethnicity; . j. RigJ:ltto establish cultural and religious associations; k, RighttO freedom from religious, ethnic and sectarian harassment and L Rig!lt to redress of grievances and due process of law. ..Done this 24th day of April 2012 in Ku~la Lumpur, Malaysia. FORTHE6PH:

OEAN.MARVIC MVF LEONEN Chair, GPH Panel . \

FOR THE MILF: MOHAGHER IQBAL

Chair, MllF Panel

SIGNED.IN THE PRESENCE OF: TENGKU OATO' AB GHAFAR TENGLU MOHAMED Malaysian facilitator

OFFICE OF THE ARMY CHJEF

PUBUPAFFAlRS~,~iladd:oaepaJlpa@yaIloo.com-Tei

no. (02)892·1693, Local: 5287~ 5295

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'.:'......•.. . .: People .' takepunatourkarag·karagminavalships and tora-tora planes '•.......''....•.•.•• '...••... .: .........••........•............... .Of course some of these descriptionsareexaggei'a1ions. ..· ... Buthowexaclly d6esthe Phillppinesfarecom~redto China . •.interms Of militarymight? i··.· i ....•. ·.·.··.<i·· ....•....•..........•.... ...•.. ·GO¢dnew~tirstthe Philippinesis tWenty-third (23rd) in the Fcitlklrtg6fGl6baiFifePbWer.6ornGFP),camlng immediately next ( to NorthKo~,andranklrighlghertharlAllstralia,canada,8a.udi Arabla,MataySla,$Wedenandspain...<... "/ ......•.....•.....•....• '..•... '.'.:GFpproVidesauniqueanalyti~ display Of dmatXlvering . glObalmllitalYpOwerswithstatisticscornpiledthroughVarlous . sources,·....iiiii>i.· ..• ••• ··.···.i···.·••..... ......••. •.•......•...•.......•....•.•...... ·•·•·.·•·· ••·• ' ( ·•. <:.•. ..:·.Acc()rdingt()data.fromtheUbrary.ofCO~gressandjhe .' ":' ·Centn:illntelllgen6eAgenoy Of the United StcltesaSdorl'iPlledby '. ·GFPasof2011;C~ina(9HN)·.·has2,285,00{)a.ctive·military •. ·comparedt6thePhlllpplnes' (PHL) 14Q,OOO.;.•............................•............. . •In terms of tota.lland weapons;CHN-22,795, PHL-2,379;.·· . · .' total aircratt,GHN-4;092,F'HL-289, ......•.••....•...•.....•................••..........•••..........•.•.. -......•.... .•..• Asregardsfla\fElI power,China. has 56!2Flavy ships Wi1l1e ..' •. ··i .thephllippih9Shas120,i.i <i '...•.•.................•• > 'ii> '.i.····.. ......·lnterrns.6fsubmarines,CHN~55,PHL-O;frigateS,CHN-58,·.· . .' .' PHL-2;patro! craft.GHN~937;f'HL"2; Mine \Vartarecraft,CHN.391 ,PHL~Q;ancl mphibiousassaulteraft,CHN-544,PHL~1O.·. '. a ·•....... Basadonreports,GhlnaIsoonstructingits·. ~rSfair?raft carrier'and two slmilarveSSels;..•....•.•.•••.......•.•.............•..•.•..•......••... '......•........•...•..•..••.....•......••......•......••.....•.........•..• 1haAf:P,hbwever,lsunpertUr1)ed,sayingthat8eljlng'stast· ..' 'mllitaiYexpanslon and growing <issertiveliesS0ntemtonatisSues .' ·is merely part 6fthe oohfidence building measures among naVies Of thewor1d,··.··.·.·.··.·i•• .....••.•.•.•••.••..•..••........••..•...••...•. ••.····•·•· · .••···•·.··•·.· · • ·.•·•·· ..··.·.>.···.···.··.···.. i>·. ···.······i···.····· •• ·.·.·····i· Obviously, the Philippine$canbynomean$d~featChfmi's rTiilitiry strength Interrnsof militarymunitions and manpower . . .lheonly slrenglhthat couldwori<fotit is diplomacy, including a reUanceordriendly forces and thebacldngofinternational organiZations; foremost of whichIs the United Nations. . . ..'.Atthemoment,theg6vEimmenfsattitude Ist6abide by the ..•. CohStitutlon andcontinuetotreatall nationsequally,to treat and · respect all nations as good neighbors klthespirit of arnity and cooPeration •.

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