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08 MAY' 2012.

Weather Forecast

NEWSPAPER Phil Star p..A-19


PA foils NPA re-entry to Bohol, Cebu The Army's elite Special Forces (SF) have foiled an attempt by the communist New People's Army (NPA) to re-establish armed units in Bohol and Cebu provinces, a military official said yesterday. Daily Tribune p, 3


PA battalion commander sacked over Ifugao massacre Another Army battalion commander was sacked in connection with the ambush staged by the New People's Army (NPA) against his troops in Ifugao province late last month, resulting in the killing of 11 soldiers, including a captain. Commander of 11 soldiers killed in Ifugao ambush sacked An Army battalion commander who lost 11 of his men in an ambush by New People's Army rebels in Tinoc, Ifugao last month was relieved from his post. New 49thiB chief assumes post The new commander of the Camarines Norte-based 49th Infantry Battalion (IB) has assumed office, replacing Lt. Col. Epimaco Macalisang, who was relieved after an attack by communist rebels that left four soldiers dead. Battalion chief in Ifugao ambush relieved for operational lapses A battalion commander was ordered relieved for lapses in connection with a recent ambush by NPA rebels in Ifugao, which left 11 soldiers and a civilian dead. NPA denied foothold in Bohol, Cebu The military yesterday said it has foiled attempts by the NPA to regain foothold in Sohal and Cebu provinces which were declared insurgency-free in March 201 D. Kampo sinugod Muli nanamang naghasik ng kaguluhan ang mga rebeldeng NPA sa Bicol matapos na sugurin ng hindi pa mabatid na bHang ng nasabing grupo ang isang detachment ng Philippine Army sa bayan ng Lupi, Camarines Sur at walang humpay na paputukan kahapon ng madaling araw. Army battalion commander in Ifugao ambush sacked The Army battalion commander who - together with his men fought off more than 50 communist rebels kin Ifugao has been reassigned, said Col Miguel Puyao, spokesman of the 5th Infantry Division. Indigenous group's report Child abuse cases brought to UNICEF Indigenous people's groups, including party-list group Katribu have linked the Aquino administration to cases of alleged child rights violations, in a report that was submitted last month to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

Daily Tribune p. 3

Phil Star p. A-19


Phil Star p. A-19

Malaya p, B-2

Malaya p. B-2


Abante p. 3

Business Mirror p..B-3


POI p. A-16


7-8 DND eyes second-hand jets, gunboats from other countries The DND is eyeing a second-hand fighter jets and missilefiring gunboats from at least four friendly states apart from the US in line with the country's ongoing effort to build a credible territorial defense. DND keeping options open on military hardware purchase The Department of National Defense (DND) is not limiting its options with the United States in its programmed acquisition of modern military hardware like fighter jets and gunboats as part of the capability upgrade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 2 abducted bird watchers in Sulu, says g.ov Two European bird watchers who were abducted by Abu Sayyaf members in Tawl-tawi in February have been moved to Sulu, according to Tawi-tawi Gov Sadikul Sahali. US military aid - Solon A veteran lawmaker from the House of opposition bloc yesterday urged the Aquino administration to abort accepting military assistance from the United States, saying the country may only get outdated patrol boat and aircrafts that would not meet its requirements to build "a minimum credible defense". Police team pulled out from Aussie mining site Policemen stationed for years at the proposed mining site of an Australian mining firm in Kasibu town have been withdrawn from the area, police officials said. Stop accepting Phil Star p..8

Daily Tribune p. 1


POI p. A-15



People's Tonight p. 14

POI p. A-16


Army detachment sa CamSur, nilusob ng mga NPA Panibagong pangha-harass na naman ang inilunsad ng mga rebeldeng New People's Army (NPA) sa isang army detachment sa bayan ng Lupi sa lalawigan ng Camarines Sur.



'No mHitary strike sa Scarborough issue' Scarborough Shoal binasura ng Chinese government ang panawagan sa isang local survey kung saan suportado umano ng halos 80 porsyento ng mga Chinese respondents ang military solution sa nagpapatuloy pa ring standoff sa pagltan ng Pilipinas sa ScarborouQh Shoal. Kampo ng militar sa North Cotabato inatake ng mga NPA Sinalakay ng mga miyembro ng New People's Army (NPA) dakong alas-10:55 ng gabi ang community outpost ng peace development team ng 57th Infantry Battalion Phil. Army sa Purok 2, Bgry Kinarum, North Cotabato. 1 patay, 2 sugatan sa pagsabog sa bahay ng pulis sa Zamboanga Isa ang patay, dalawa ang sugatan sa nangyaring pagsabog sa bahay ng isang pulis sa Zamboanga City kaninang alas-5:15 ng hapon. 4 soldiers wounded in Mindanao clash Four soldiers were wounded following a series of encounters with leftist rebels in the southern Philippines today, police and military officials said.


16 17 PHL-Indonesia ties on the upswing Economic perspective of Scarborough Lessons from Vietnam issue

Business Mirror p. A-6 Business Mirror p. A-6 POI p. A-13

-. May2012

Page: -,-'~-----''--


Diffused tail-end of a cold front affecting the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon trough of a low pressure area (LPA) affecting Mindanao, The eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon and Mindanao will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon Of evening. Light to moderate winds blowing from the east to south will prevail over Luzon and coming from the east to northeast over the rest of the country. The coastal waters throughoutthe archipelago will be slight to moderate. Temperanrre forecast: Metro Manila, . 25-34 degrees Celsius: Baguio City, 15-26; Tagaytay City,. 22-31; Subic and Clark Zone, 25-32; Metro Cebu, 25~ 33; Cagayan de Oro, 23-33 and Metro Davao, 24.-33. Tidal predictions in Manila Sa y: high tide at 10:50 a.m, at 129 meters. Sunrise is at 5:31 a.m.; sunset at 6:1.5p.m. .,



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, May2012



PA foilsNPA re-entry to Bohol, Cebu
By Mario J. Malian .
The Anny's. elite Special Forces (SF) have foiled an attempt by the communist New People's Army (NPA) to re-establish armed units in Bohol and Cebu provinces, a military official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the 2nd SF Battalion based in Bohol, said intelligence operatives have monitored attempts by the communist group to retumto Bohol and Cebu, which .were among the provinces declared insurgeneyfree in March 2010. commander Col. Donato San Juan "Around 27 members of the Bohol did notsucceed," Brawner semi-legal teams of the CNN Il, Brawner attributed the said. successful blocking of the . (Communist Party of the In fact, Brawner said; operations Philippines-National Democratic . communist group's 'attempts to' conducted with the Philippine : reenter Bohol and Cebu to the National Police (PNP) led to the FrontNPAJ entered Bohol and Cebu combination of combat and security from Negros Oriental during the surrender of Alberto Canete Miano, operations with various alias Bonbon, vice commander ofthe, third quarter of 2011 to prepare humanitarian and development NPA's Platoon Ivory. the grounds for the entry or return programs under the internal peace' of the' armed NPAs in the first Under the 2nd SF Battalion's and security plan (IPSP) quarter of 2m2, ~ Brawner said. community-based peace and development programs, Brawner "With the Vigilance of the people Bayani/I.aT]. . and the application of prosperity "This was validated by the . said his command partnered with recovery of subversive documents local government units and none teams coupled with enhanced by intelligence units operating in government organizations in security operations, the reentry Negros Oriental' and Cebu. However, constructing school buildings in was preempted," he added . In his report to SF regiment the plan of the CNN to recover Bohol, With GinaPeraHa-Elor.


ut 'esr or rltllOf




\', '

PA battalion commander. sacked over lfugao massacre
By.Mario J. M~lIari
Another Army battalton commander was sacked in connection with the ambush staged by the New People's Army (NPA) against his troops in Ifugao province late last month, resulting in the killing of 11 soldiers, including a captain. Army 5t;h. Infantry Division (ID) spokesman Col. Miguel Puyao said 86th Infantry Battalion (m) commander Lt. Col. Eugene Batara was ordered relieved by Maj. Gen. Rommel Gomez, 5th ID commander.

Puyao said the relief of Bat ar a,' a member of the Philippine Military Academy CPMA) Class of 1991, was based on the recommendation of the board of inquiry (BoI) created by Gomez immediately after the April :,l5 ambush against the 86th IB. . . "The action of the commander , is to relieve the battalion. commander based on the recommendation orthe BoI," said Puyao. ' . Puyao, however, said the of the Bol were considered restricted and not for public consumption, but added "I think maybe there were lapses because the commander would not approve the recommendation) without bases;" he said.' He, however, could not say whether Batara would still face . administrative sanction apart from his relief.


Puyao said Batara was replaced by hlsmistah, Lt. Col. Emilio PaJarito Jr. Last April 25, Batara's threevehicle convoy was waylaid by NPA rebels In Tinoc town, Ifugao after attending change of command ceremonies in nearby Kiangan. Eleven soldiers, including Batara's operations officer Capt, Seigfred Kafilas, were killed along with a civilian. Last week, another battalion commander, erstwhile 49th lB chief Lt. Col. Epimaco Macallsang, was also relieved from his post after four of his men were killed during an attack staged by NPA rebels- in Camarines Norte province.


May 2012


Commander of 11 soldiers killed in Ifugao ambush sacked

An Army battalion com- Military Academy's Class of convoy was attacked by .mander who lost 11 of his men 199t Batara, who also served rebels on the way batkfo in an ambush by New People's as former spokesman for the the battalion headquarters in 'Army rebels in Tinoc, Ifugao Western Mindanao Command, ..Kiangan town ..,· . . last month was relieved from was replaced by his mistah, Lt, . Batara is also likely to face his post. Col. Emilio Pajarito Jr. . administrative sanctions for Lt. Col. Eugene Batara was Batara was leading his his apparent lapsesin ensursacked upon the, after presiding over a ing the saIety of his men, Col. tion of the military's Board of company command turnMiguel Puyao, spokesman for Inquiry. . over in Tinoc town last April the 5th Infantry Division said. A member of the Philippine 25 when their three-vehicle ' . . - Jaime Laude'


New 49th 18 chief 'assumes post , .
The new commander of the Camarines Norte-based49th Infantry Battal-, ion (IB) has assumed office, replacing Lt.' Col. Epimaco Macalisang, who relieved after an attack by commurust rebels that left four soldiers dead. . Lt. Col. Michael Buhat took over the reins of the battalion last Saturday during a change of command cere~ony presided by 902nd Infantry Brigade chief Col. Richard Lagrana. _. "Lt. Col. Buhat's experience as the 9th .Infantry Division's CMO (civil-military operations) officer makes him very ~uch qualified and familiar' to the operations of the 49th lE, which is focused on peace and development operations in Camarines Norte," Lagrana said. Macalisang was transferred to the 903rd lE based in Castilla, Sorsogon, Four soldiers and a civilian were killed after more than 20 suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked an Army peace and development team in Labo town. Killed during the attack were CpL Amado Perillo, .Pfc, Paulo Orticio, Pfc, Teodoro Ojeda, Pfc. Sonecio Potian and a civilian identified as Francisco Ruales. A soldier identified as Pfc. Leland Besada sustained a btiUet wound on his neck A civilian named Marlo Matibang was also injured. - Alexis Romero

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May 2012~'

Th{l' NIIti!maJ Newspaper

Page: 137..

analionchiel inIlugao ambush relieved lor operalionallapses
A BA TI,\LION commander was ordered relieved for lapses in connection with a recent ambush by New People's Army rebels in Ifugao, which left 11 soldiers and a civilian dead, The relief of Lt. CoL Eugene Batara as commander of the Arrnv's 86th Infantrv Battalion \Y3S 'recommended by a Board of Inquiry that looked into the debacle and which was formed b~' l-laj, Gen. Rommel Gomez, commander of the 5th Infantry Division. CoL :\IigUel Puyao, Srh ID spokesman, declined to gh-e details on the "lapses" committed by Batara, He said the recommendation and findings of the board is restricted and therefore not for public consumption. Puna said no other officer will be r~lie,-ed for the debacle, which AFP Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Anthonv Alcantara blamed on the "complacency't.of the troops. Alcantara has said the troops have grown overconfident becauseIfugao is peaceful. Batara and his men were on a three-vehicle conroy when thev were wavlaid by about' 30 to 50 rebels in'Tinoc rOlm last April 25. Among the fatalities was the battalion's operation's officer, Capt. Siegfred Kafilas. Batara and his men were on the wav back to the battalion headquarters after installing a new commander of a eompan~', under the operational comrol of his battalion, in Tinoe town when they were wavlaid by the rebels. Barara' will be replaced by Lt. CO,J. Emilio Pajarito J1'. as commander of 86th IB based in Kiangan town, in Ifugao. Batara and Pajarito are members of the Philippine l.Iilitan· Academy Class of ,1991. The -incident is the biggest blow so far to the militarv this vear, In October last year, 19 Special Forces soldiers died in a firefight with ;\1O'rO' Islamic Liberation Front rebels and. Abu Savvaf bandits in Basilan. '

NPA denied foothold in Bohol, Cebu
of a "semi-legal" team were sent THE militarv yesterday said it has to the tI\'Q provinces in the third foiled attempt's b)' th~ Ne\\' Peoquarter of last vear to prepare for ple's Army to regain foothold in the entry of armed fighters in the Bohol and Cebu provinces which were declared insurgencv-free in , first quarter of this rear, The' semi-legal teams, he said, March 2010. are "sectoral organizations" that Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, are ','supposed to lay the groundcommander of the 2nd Special work for the entrv of the NPAs." ,Forces Battalion, said 27 members "Under the organization of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines), these semi-legal teams are tasked to organize massbase, support, suppon structure," he also said. He said the plan was pre-empted "with the vigilance of the people arid the application of Prosperity Teams (Army units involved in peace and development efforts), coupled with security operations." The communist movement has been aiming to expand its areas of operation and increase its 'strength which is down to an ail-time low of about 4,000 from a high of at least 20,000 in the 19805. - Victor Reyes



. ..

Muli ua narnang naghasik ng kaguluhan aug rnga rebeldeng ew People's Ann_' (NPA) sa Bicol matapos na sugurin ng hindi pa mabutid na bilang ng nasablng grupe ang isang detachment ng Philippine Army (PA) 8ft bayan ng Lupi, Camarines Sur at walang hnmpay na p3putukan kahapon ng madaling-araw, Nabatid sa tagapagsa[ita ngPA-Bicol na si Maj, Angelo Guzman, pasado ala-unangmadalIng-aruw nang sugurin ng mga rebelde ang nasabing de-

tachment na matatagpuan

sa Barangay Casay,

Armado ng mahahabang kalibre ng baril ay niratrat I1g mga rebelde ang nasabing kampo duo hilan upang hindi makuhang, makaput k ang ilang sundalo na nasa loob nito. Matapo ang ilang rninutong pagpapaputok ay mabllis ding umalis ang rnga rebelde at agad nawala a masukal na bahagl ng lugar. Wala namang aaiulat na nasaktan o nasawi sa mga sundalo. (Edwin Balasa)

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.Army battalion. commander in Ifugao ambush sacked
THE Army battalion commander who':""together with his men-s-fought off more than 50 communist rebels in Ifugao has been reassigned, said Col. Miguel Puyao,spokesman' of the 5th Infantry Division., ' per recommendation of the' Board of Inquiry .[BOI]. that looked , into the incident, tl1.~ commander of the 86th Infantry Battalion, has been relieved from his position;' Puyao said . in a phone interview. He did not anymore go into the details. as the result of the investiga.·tion remains operational and i:on~ibattalion Batara. commander Lt. Col. Eugene


dential. The relief was confirmed

by the

"I'm expecting that considering the gravity of the incident. That's normal to us commanders. Hindi naman natin . ginusto ang nangyari" Batara said. , He was reassigned to the Division headquarters based in Gamu; Isabela. Batara's tlm~e-!;:QJ;lYoy vehicle .. was ambushed by the New People's Army (NPA) on April 25 in Tinoc town while they were heading to the battalion headquarters in Kiangan town, also in Ifugao. . 'Eleven soldiers and a female Civilian were killed in the ambush. All the fatalities in the ambush were from the

first vehicle. Tw~ soldiers and a civilian were also seriously wounded. Batara led his men in the ensuing fire fight until the. rebels withdrew. Lt. CoL Emilio PajaritoIr, has replaced Batara. Both 'are classmates at the Philippine Military Academy "Sambisig" Class of 1991. . After tha.Ifugao incident, another NPA ambush occurred in Labo, Camarines Norte, where four soldiers were kilied. The 9th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Josue Gaverza, has immediately relieved the commander of the 49th IB, Lt. Col. Epimaco Macalisang. laff Solmerin '

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, May2012

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Child.abllSeC~e~brought . to Unlqe~ .
BAGUlO .'.CI'IT~.Indigen~us ., .. peoples' groups, including party-Iist gtoupKatribu, have linked the Aquino administra.Lorrgid;:


. The .report was signed by . ·.Datu: Jomorito


. Guaynon, chair 'of Kalumbay . Regional. Lumad Organization; Sr; Maria Farnita Somogod, actlion to· casesof alleged child 'irig subregional coordinator of rights violations, in .a 'report, that was submitted last month 'Rural Mis.~ionades()f the theVititedNatio~s Children's pines-Northern Mindanao Re,Fund (Unicef), " . .glon; Audrey Beltran, deputy Beverly Longid.Katribu'pres-v secretary general of Cordillera ident, gave the INQUIRER atopy, Human Rights Alliance; and of their April 30 report 'wh_ich. Cynthia Deduro of the Dagsaw said that "the government's esPanayand Guimaras Indigecalation of military operations,', nous Peoples' Network Inc. and practice of .vilification [of . Lt. "Gen. AnthonyAlcantara, , indigenous communities identi-" head, of the AFP Northern Lufied as having leftist leanings, 'zen Command, said he would, . had]' not spared [indigenous look into the allegations. . Filipino] children." , ,.·Orie of the aJ,Ieged violations , . "Documentations and our excited by theIP report is the danperience 'show .that the Armed ger posed .by military units, Forces of the Philippines and' . which ,set, lip camps near' other state security agents [are schools or villages, rendering possible culprits in) grave child inhabited areas potential tar, rights violations inthe context gers of Violence, Longid said. oLthe' armed conflict," the re" "In the course of military pGitsajd. . 'combat operations, the AFP enIIi an- e-mailed message,' camps within.civilian communiLo~gid said, "Our concern [reties, not just occupying public garding] the impact of militariza - , buildings or grounds but also tion Vilification and government people's homes. This has been: 'negle~t' of indigenous, pe?the case in indigenous commu'ples-especially indigenous chilnities like in Lacub and Tubo in dren-shall bea highlight ofour Abra and in .Mt. Province and observation in the upcoming Ifugao," the report said. Universal Periodic Review (lJIlR) , "On March 11, 2012, in 'session on 1\'1ay29in G'eneva," Panay shrapnel [from an exploThe,' a mechanisffitmsion at an Army detachment sitdertaken every-four years'to reuated near the community] hit view the human rights conditions . sisters Rodelyn and Roda .of every membeNtateofth.e Aguirre, The military detachUnited Nations. ment was 200 meters away _~

from the home of their grandfather. Rodel yn died on the way to the hospital and Roda was seriously wounded." The report said that "indigenous communities are targets of military operations as they are .classified in Oplan Bayanihan as 'red areas, communist-infested or rebel. or insurgency-controlled areas.'" Another case cited by the report involved the alleged sexual abuse of girls in Benguet by a military official, who reportedly courted and seduced them. On May 3, Benguet Assistant . Prosecutor Hazen Binay-an conducted a clarificatory hearing on ' a complaint filed by a girl, who accused the officer of luring her to a military camp where she was reportedly raped. In a text message to the INQUIRER, Alcantara said an investigation of the Benguet rape com- ' plaints had been launched. "Let me check [the] results of the investigation [of] the Army's 51st Infantry Division [where the suspected officer Wasdeployed]. The Army normally [evaluates' these) cases," he said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon, and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon


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. ,May2012





DND eyes secon an . ets.qunboats from other cou ntries ~




The Department of N aThe defense acquisition By JAIME LAUDE tional Defense (DND) is eyeing program is among 132projects OV-I0 Bronco bombers, UH-IH fight our battle on our own," second-hand fighter jets and the department is eyeing to and M520 attack helicopters as he said. . missile-firing gunboats from at complete before the end of July. well as four newly delivered Foreign Affairs Secretary least four friendly states apart. ."With the full backing of Sokol helicopters from Poland Albert del Rosario and Defense from the United States in line the President and with the to guard the country's skies. Secretary Voltaire Gazmin with the country's' ongoing assistance corning from friendThe Navy, aside from sev- recently discussed with their effort to build a credible ter- ly states,' we will be able to eral Peacock-class warships US counterparts the' country's ritorial defense. achieve ... a credible territorial and a couple of World War II- standoff with China over PanaAccording to Peter Paul defense," Galvez said. vintage ships, simply relies on tag Shoal. Galvez, DND spokesman, The US-based Center for· its newly acquired HamUton-, American ofhclals, howthere are now ongoing acqui- a New American Security class cutter from the US, BRP ever, said they could not take sition efforts for these air and (CNAS) has said that the Phil- Gregorio del Pilar, to secure sides in the dispute. But they sea fighting equipment from ippines needs up to four. maritime domain. promised help inthe strengthFrance, Italy, the United King- squadrons (48) of upgraded The country, through the ening of the Philippinemilidam and South Korea. Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) tary. "We now have this defense jets, well-armed' frigates and and absent a ,credible territoAlbano supported the posicooperative arrangements with corvette-size, fast to surface rial defense, couldonly watch Han of President Aquino that these countries and through combatant vessels and mine- . China lording it over Panatag the territorial conflict with this scheme we will able to ac- sweepers and four to six mini Shoal, a rich Filipino fishing China must be resolved peacequire fighter jets and gunboats submarines, possibly obtained ground 124 nautical miles from fully and through diplomatic at a lower price from them,"from Russia, to build a cred- Zambales province.· means. Galvez said yesterday. . ible defense force in the face . . .. '. ':We must exhaust all peaceAmong .the factors being China's increasing belliger- Fight our own battles fur and diplomatic means not considered by the department encein the West Philippine Sea Meanwhile, a cong~ssman because China is stronger than in its defense procurement (South China Sea). said yesterday that the Philip- the Philippines ill. all aspects. program are the capability, IonIn an article "Defending pines should deal with China Small country as we are, we gevityand cost of maintenance the Philippines: Military mod- on its own in resolving the have the obligation and the of these air and naval assets. emization and the challenges dispute over' Panatag Shoal right to fight for the territory Now locked in a standoff. ahead': written by Richard and the Spratly Islands. which has been ours long bewith China over Panatag Shoal Fisher, CNAS pointed out that "We cannot rely on the fore China made its claim," in Zambales, the country was . this level of capability would United States or the Asso- he said. earlier reported to be eyeing far exceed current Philippine dation of Southeast Asian' He said the plan to bring 'the procurement of a squadron . planning and finances and Nations for help. How then the issue before international of second-hand F-16 fighter it would be in Washington's can,we expect these nations to forums like the United.Nations planes and ·gunboats from the interest to make it easier for help us out when they have to is the right tack. US Coast Guard. Manila to acquire US fighters, protect their relations with and "We can win this battle over "It's not necessarily F-16s. frigates and other weapons business interests in China? It's (Panatag) Shoal even without Weare also looking at jetfight- system and encourage other quite pathetic for us fa even help from other countries ers. with the same capability countries such as Japan and' seek their help," Isabela Rep. because the territory is ours .. as that of the F-16s but are' South Korea to help modernize Rodolfo Albano said. We should make China accept cost-efficierit and low in.main- th~ Armed Forces of the Philip"We should stop our prac- thatfact through peaceful and terrance," he said. pines (AFP), . . tice of begging for help and' diplomatic means," he added .' He added the acquisition The Philippine Air Force is hiding. behind stronger econo- . A...a.:ftL.·.na 'hysteria' hit. program would also cover the presently relying on a single, mies when things- get rough Jl'UI,"",1 Navy, which is awaiting trans- trainer jet converted. into a . for our country. Weca;nnot For the National Democratic fer of the Hamilton-class cutter fighter aircraft as well as sev- and should not always run to . Front, the US military activities USS Dallas later this year. eral units of Vietnam-vintage' others for help. It's time we in the Philippines are as much




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a form of foreign intervention as the Chinese incursion in . Panatag Shoal, " "Alongside our condemnation of China's incursion into '(Panatag) Shoal, we mustdefy continued US troop presence and forward, military deployment because these 'not only impinge on our sovereign right but, worse, drag the nation to the brink of ,an unjust war as well," Jorge Madlos.: spokesman for the l\)"DF-Mindanae, said. . "Werecognize, however, that it has been imbued upon the collective consciousness of the-Chinese people that the West Philippine Sea is part of China, as much as Filipinos strongly believe that it is part ?f the Philippines ..Thu.s, IS at ·stake here IS the very integrity of both peoples," he said. , "The answer to this interterritorial dispute, therefore, is not war, but rather a diplomatic political solution between two countries in a third-party international tribunal," Madlos said. "His for this reason that we condemn the military solu.tion foisted by tne US-Aquino regime, the, pro-imperialist Akbayan special agents, and other rabid war mongers with'in the reactionary state. These war mongers shamelessly spread an anti-China hysteria that is engineered to drum up amilitary solution by upgrad- . ing the military ,capability of the Armed Forces' of. the Philippines, and worse, insist on US military intervention,"

he added. He said prominent Chinese businessmen like Henry Sy and Lucio Tan have connived with the US to exploit the environment and the Filipino workers. "Th e (Pa n a t ag ) Shoal standoff is but symptomatic of their corporate greed, just a scratch to their decades-long plunder and explOitation., Adding to the tension in the standoff in (Panatag) Shoal, the recently concluded BaIikatan exercises (US-RP joint military exercises), which was participated in by 4,500 US troops, and military contingents from seven other, countries, sent a serious message to China that US imperialist power, in collusion with the Philippine reactionary government, is capable of engaging against those that threaten US hegemony in Southeast Asia," Madlos said. .. Madlos said the US "handsoff" policy expressed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is part of her country's" containment and engagement" approach to dealing with China. . "Historically, US military forces have never been known to defend the sovereign right of the Filipino people, but only-to protect US imperialist interests in Asia and the Pacific. In fact, US imperialism owes the Filipino people blood debts for over a century of oppression and exploitation, and its continued intervention has dragged the country into bloody wars," he said. Turn to Page 9


"Thus, while we denounce powers, 0rtJy be used as a Chinese incursion into our ter- platform for their hegemonic ritory, the Filipino people must conquest," he said. equally if not more strongly,' "If we recall; during World, condemn USimperiaJistmtervenWar It the then emergent tion as shown in its direct troop imperialist Japan attacked the presencein Mindanao and in , Philippines because the US's other partsof our country, which ,largest armament in Asia is imperils the Philippines by bring- stationed in the country, and, ingit on the verge of a war against in, turn, the Philippines also China," he pointed out. became a launch pad of Japan "We must not be dragged in occupying Vietnam, Laos, into war on account of the West Indonesia; and Thailand. We' Philippine Sea dispute and cannot allow the horrors of become a helpless war theater this history repeat itself," he fortwo of the biggest and most added. - With Jess Diaz, Jose aggressive' competing world Rodel Clapano


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May 2012



.:DND keeping options open on military hardware purchase
BI Mario J. ~allari
United Kingdom. assistance coming from "Wehave defense cooperative friendly states, we will be able arrangements with -these . to achieve.its desired objective The Department of National countries' and through this of establishing a credible Defense CDND) is notIimiting scheme we wlll he able to .territorial defense," he said. its options with the United fighter jets and' The AFP is set to acquire States in' its programmed . acquire gunboats at a lower price," he its second Hamilton class acquisition of modern 'military added. cutter from the US Coast hardware like fighter jets. and According to Galvez, the Guard within the year. The gunboats as part of the planned acquisition ofilghters Philippine Navy last year capability upgrade ofthe Armed acquired its first ever cutter,' Forces of the Philippines CAFP). jets and gunboats are among the 132 projects programmed to be the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, . DND spokesman Peter Paul approved this year. also from the US Coast Guard. Galvez said the department is ".with the full backing of the . The Navyvessel Was branded also open to countries such as President and, with the . as ~he iconic symbol of the France, Italy,' South Korea and ongoing capabilityupgrade of the AFP which started middle of last year after the military reported the alarming increase in the number of Intrusions . into Philippine-claimed· terrltories in the ~ Philippine Sea, particularly by Chinese vessels. . The AFP has also acquired eight" brand new Sokol multipurpose attack helicopters' from Swidnik of Poland, four of which have already been,
. .

Turn to page 2 .

"To enable us to achieve the A member of the House minority bloc, meanwhile, warned the Aquino minimum credible defense, we should strictly Implement: the administration from accepting delivered. Aside from these, the AFP is also patrol boats and aircraft..from the modernization of the Philippine United States, saying these could be Navy. The government can do it if modernizing its radar system, it has the political will," he stressed. ' apparently to closely monitor the , outdated, But Antipolo City Rep. Rpmeo Acording to Isabela Rep. Rodolfo .country'sterritorial waters, particuIarly Acop said the Aquino government the West Philippine Sea where the Albano m, the UScould shortchange could not be blamed if it had asked , di~uted Kalayaan islands Group the government by giving equipment military assistance from the US. that would not meet the required i(KlGs) or-the Spratlys are located. "The country is in no position not At present, Philippine ships arc "minimum credible defense." Albano claimed that the US to ask and accept militarY aid from tangled in a standeff with Chinese the US government. If we modernize would only give the garbage military vessels in Panatag (Scarborough) hardware which would be too costly the AFP sans help from the US arid Shoal off Zambales. . other allies, it will take a very long The standoff, which is now (0 maintain. ~When will we learn? What the period of time," he added. entering its fourth week, started last Foreign Secretary Alberto del 'April9 when BRP Gregorio del PHar . US will give us will not enable us to Rosario and Defense Secretary aehieve the so-called minimum accosted eight Chinese fishing vessels in Panatag Shoal after being credible defense. On the other hand, Voltaire Gazmin appealed to the caught with corals, giant clams, live these could endanger the lives of United States during talks in military personnel as hlstory would Washington, D.C. recently with .sharks and other endangered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton show us n he noted. marine species. But two Chinese and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Albano said what the government maritime surveillance ships arrived should do at this point is to beef up to help the country build a in the area and prevented the "minimum credible defense." the forces of the Navy under the AFP Philippine from arresting the GenyBaldo modernization program. Chinese fishermen.







2 abducted bird watchers in Sulu, says gov
ZAMBOANGACITY-Two European bird watchers who were abducted by Abu Sayyaf members in Tawi-tawi in February have been moved to Sulu, according to Thwi-Tawi GoY. Sadikul Sahali, Sahali told the INQUIRER by phone that the transfer of Qutchman Ewold Horn, 52, and Swiss Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 47, as early as March was relayed to him by "friends and contacts" with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Sulu. This was the main reason he could not provide updates on the kidnapping, he said, Horn and Vinciguerra, along :w-ith Filiplno bird watcher Ivan Sarenas, were abducted while heading back in a Bongao town after bird watching activities on: Panglima Sugala town, Sarerias 'was able to escape while two other Fillplnos, the boat's operator and a local official serving as their guide, were allowed to go horne.. As head of the crisis management committee, Sahali said the case was no longer under pis jurisdiction. "I no longer handle the crisis." he said. But Senior Supt, Antonio Freyra, Sulu police chief, said he could not affirm the governor's claim. "The two Europeans are pot here in Sulu, we have validated this inforrnation several times," he said. "Here in Sulu, it would be difficult to hide the arrival of any nonresident, especially foreigners. But they are not here ," Freyra said, Sahali said he believed his own sources, citing other indications that the captives were no longer in 'Iawi-Tawi, "There was no single comrnunication established between the people I tapped to locate them and the people behind the abduction of the two foreigners," he said. Another indication, he said, was that the Dutch and the Swiss embassies in Manila had stopped calling him. Freyra said the only kidnap case that the police were handling was that of airport employee Carlos Tee, 62, who was seized on April 7.' Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao

Albano III predicted that the U.S. will only give the country alleged garbage A'VETERAN lawmaker military hardware whose ·from the Honse oppo· maintenance may Jake a toll on the country's sition bloc yesterday urged the Aquino ad- depleted resources .. "When will we learn? ministration .to abort acceptingmilitary What the U.S. Will give us assistance from the not enable us to "Unites States, .saying· achieve the so-called mithe country may only nimum credible defense, .get outdated patrol On the other hand, .these boats 'and. aircl'afts could endanger the lives ·that would not meet its of military personnel as requirements to bulld history would show us," a "minimum credible said Albano, a leader of defense." the opposition bloc. Isabela Rep, Rodolfo Albano. said what the


Stop accepting U.S. military aid ....solOn
government should do at thispoint Is to beef up the forces of the Philippine Navy (PN) under the modernization program of the. Armed .Forces of the Philippines (AFP). . 'To enable us toachieve the minimum credible defense, we should strictly implement the modernization of the Philippine Navy. The government candoitifithasthepolitical will," said Albal1o.' But Antipolo City Hep. Romeo Acop, a former police deputy director for comptr·oller~~ip during the time of Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson as director general of the Philippine NationalPolice(PNP),said the Aquino government cannot be blamed if it had . asked military assistance from the U,S. 'The country kin no position not to ask and accept military aid from the U.S, government. If we modernize the AFP sans' help from the U.S. and other allies, it will take a vcrylongpertod oftime," 'said Albano. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario· and Defense' Secretary . Voltaire Gazmin appealed" to the United States during . the unprecedented joint' . talks in Washington: recently with their counterpartsSecretaryofState Hillary .Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to help the country build a "minimum credible defense," . The U.S, vowed to help upgrade the country's naval system. but will remain neutral on the standoff.



. May 2012



=Police team' -pulled out

:Nueva Vizcaya to evade pursu.Jng Army troops, so we keep a constant patrol of the area," he ' -said, The police pullout was seen . 'as the latest expression of the provincial government's disap.proval for the mining project. .Last year, the provincial board ,reversed its endorsement for the project: Ii" · During a rally at the provincial . ;CAMP SATURNINO DUMLAO, capitol on April 23, Cuaresma and . :Nueva Vizcaya-Policemen sta-' Catholic Bishop Ramon Villena ;'-tioned for years at the proposed urged President Aquino to heed ~mining site of an Australian their call to stop the project. . :mining firm in. Kasibu town Tabian said the decision to ~.-havebeen withdrawn fro~ the' ,withdraw the police team was alarea, police officials here said. . so meant to discourage a repeat of Senior Supt. Valfrie 'Tabian ,the violence that erupted between acting police provincial direc~ company workers and Didipio tor, said he pulled out members residents during the company's of Police Public Safety Co. from demolition activities in 2009. N. . Barangay Didipio in Kasibu to the time, the policemen were porbelie allegations thatuniformed trayed as mine company lackeys, . men had been harassing resi·he said. dents who were against the · Tabian was referring to' findmining project. ,ings released in January 2011 by Didipio is the site of a pro· the Commission on Ruman posed. $1l7-million gold-cop> Rights (CRR), which criticized per venture by OceanaGold .the policemen for acting like a Philippines Inc., which expects . "private security agency for to start operations by yearend .. OceanaGold." . The INQUIRER asked Oceana Gold • Tabian was then Nueva Vizcaya officials for comment, but they . · commander of the defunct police declined to issue a statement. "regional mobile group, which was . . Since the provincial govern:.deployed in Didipio. ment has opposed the project, "The [CRR] reminds the.secuTabian said that withdrawing rity sector, particularly the pohis men from the site was the :lice in Didipio, that they are the "proper thing to do." ~ protector of all people, not sole"Besides, this [was] also th'e ly of the rich and the powerful," . 'Order of [Nueva Vizcaya] GoY.. ;'the CHR reported; Melvin GasjLuisa] Cuaresma and [Cacon, Inquirer Northern Luzon .;gayan police .director, Chief Supt. Rodrigo] de Gracia," he -said.

'from Aussie ~mining site


Source: Bomba Radyo

Army detachment sa CamSur, nilusob ng mga NPA
NAGA CITY - Panibagong pangha-harass na naman ang inilunsad ng mga rebeldeng New People's Army (NPA) sa isang army detachment sa bayan ng Lupi sa lalawigan ng Camarines Sur. Sa panayam ng Bombo Radyo Naga kay S/lnsp. Danilo Bagacina, sinabi nita na pinaputukan umana ng hindi pa mabilang na mga rebelde ang army detachment sa Barangay Casay sa nabanggit na bayan pasado ala-1 :00 ng madaling araw. Wala namang nangyaring palitan ng putok kasunod ng pangyayari at wala ring nasugatan sa pangyayari. Nabatid na ang naturang lugar ay nasa liblib na bahagi ng bayan kung saan kadalasang umaali-aligid ang mga myembro ng NPA. Ito na ang pangatlo na insidente ngayong buwan lamang sa pananalakay ng mga rebeldeng grupo kabilang na ang pananambang sa Sorsogon at ang engkwentro sa bayan ng Labo, Camarines Norte.

Source: Bomba Radyo

INo military strike sa Scarborough issue'
Scarborough Shoal binasura ng Chinese government ang panawagan sa isang local survey kung saan suportado umano ng halos 80 porsyento ng mga Chinese respondents ang military solution sa nagpapatuloy pa ring standoff sa pagitan ng Pilipinas sa Scarborough Shoal. Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ni Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin na katulad ng Philippine government, nais din umano nilang maresolba ang isyu sa pamamagitan ng negosasyon at "friendly consultations". Una rito, inilathala ng nationalistic Chinese tabloid na Global Times ang resultang isinagawang survey noong April 25 hanggang 28, kung saan 78. 5 percent ng mga natanong ay suportado ang panghihimasok ng Chinese military sa isyu. Ang telephone survey sa kabuuang 1,482 respondents. Muli namang binigyang diin ng opisyal na ang Pilipinas umana ang nagpasimula ng tensyon sa West Philippine Sea.


"On the South China Sea issue, China is committed to resolving disputes with directlyinvolved countries through negotiations and friendly consultations," ayon sa pahayag ng Chinese official. Sa panig ng Pilipinas, una ng inihayag ng Department of Foreign Affairs na kanila ng idudulog sa international tribunal ang pagresolba sa namamagitang territorial disputes.

Source: Bomba Radyo

Kampo ng militar sa North Cotabato inatake ng mga NPA
COTABATO CITY - Sinalakay ng mga miyembro ng New People's Army (NPA) dakong alas10:55 ng gabi ang community outpost ng peace development team ng 57th Infantry Battalion Phil. Army sa Purok 2, Bgry Kinarum, North Cotabato. Ayonkay 6th Infantry Division Public Affairs chief Col. Prudencio Asto, tumagal ng 10 minuto ang palitan ng putok sa magkabilang panig. Tumakas ang mga rebelde paakyat ng Mount Apo nang matunugan nito na paparating na ang karagdagang pwersa ng militar. Wala namang nasugatan sa panig ng mga kawal ng pamahalaan habang hindi pa matiyak sa mga armadong rebelde. (Bombo Garry Fuerzas)

1 patay, 2 sugatan sa pagsabog sa bahay ng pulls sa Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Isa ang patay, dalawa ang sugatan sa nangyaring pagsabog sa bahay ng isang pulis sa Zamboanga City kaninang alas-5:15 ng hapon. Kinilala ang namatay sa pangalang Fahad at pagkasugat ni Benhar Samali at Alji. Ayon kay Capt. Albert Caber, PIO ng 1st lD Phil. Army, lumalabas sa inisyal na imbestigasyon nangyari ang insidente sa bahay ng isang SP04 Nurul Samali na naka-assign sa Sulu provincial police office. Dahil sa lakas ng pagsabog, wasak ang bahay ng pulis. Patuloy pa ang imbestigasyon ng mga otoridad at explosive expert upang tukuyin kung anong klaseng bomba ang sumabog. (AMS)



4 soldiers wounded in Mindanao clash
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) - Four soldiers were wounded following a series of encounters with leftist rebels in the southern Philippines today, police and military officials said. The encounters happened in a three-hour span between the army's 25th Infantry Battalion and the New People's Army's Guerrilla Front 20 in the forested border between Agusan del Sur and Cornpostela Valley provinces in Mindanao, according to Colonel Roberto Domines Jr., commander of an army brigade in the area. Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Rafal, Caraga regional police chief, told Xinhua by mobile phone the incidents occurred past 9 a. m. until 1 p.m. in New Visayas village, Trento town in Agusan del Sur. Rafal said the first encounter lasted for more than an hour when troops from the 25th IB engaged some 30 NPA guerrillas. "Four soldiers were wounded and an undetermined number of casualties on the NPA side. Our troops were also able to recover four improvised landmines, grenades and personal belonging," Rafal said, adding the second clash happened past 1 p.m. when reinforcing army troops ran into a rebel blocking force. He said the second fireflqht did not cause any casualties on the government side. Rafal said pursuit operations continued against the fleeing rebels while the wounded soldiers were now being treated at the Eastern Mindanao Command hospital in this city. The 4,OOO-strongNPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting a 43-year leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces.



.. .

May 2012


' ,_'_

Pl'll-Jndonesiatics onthe 'upswing



'. JAKARTA isn't ~ha't it used to , be. On my first visit in 2003, the Central Business District was ai-'. ready getting .crowded with impressive high-rise offices and residenHal buildings standing cheek-by-jowl with low-rise buildings that had seen . better days. . " But when I revisited the city in April to escape from the stifling heat of Holy Week in Manila.' the Jakarta skyline had changed remarkably, with more skyscrapers now and ultra-modern , shopping malls that 'would rival the' .\, best Metro Manila has to offer. And a . construction boom was in full SWing, raising the inevitable question: has Indonesiaovertaken ~sinsocioeconomic' development? Truth to tell, I don't know. But from' what I've seen in the Indonesian capital, they might have, considering that Indonesian-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is now a regular fixature in G-20 meetings, where, you won't be invited if you're not a rich country. · indonesia, is rich with oil and other natural resources. · population But it also has a big land area with and avast

We used to drink ourselves silly with, other photojournalists in Malate's nowdefunct but much-lamented "Saigon» beer house throughout the 19805. G acad said he had been covering the trial of Usman Patek. the Indonesian terrorist suspect believed to be responsible' for the deadly Bali bombings a decade, ago. Patek had been arrested in the same city in Pakistan-Abbottabadwhere Osarna bin Laden had holed up' for years before US Navy SEALs tracked him down and killed him in a spectacular military operation last year. Patek is said to have escaped to the , southern Philippines after his Bali, caper and linked up with the Abu Sayyaf extremists in Mindanao. Newspaper reports last month quoted Patek as having said he had neither met nor knew bin Laden at all. Was he lying through' his teeth? At any rate, I'm glad to know that Philippine-Indonesian relations have considerably warmed lately, because we have a lot of things in common, from ethnlcity to the travails we have gone through as a developing country. Last year. for instance, the Philippines and Indonesia signed a pact to fight terror, with the Indonesia:n.presi~· dent declaring there should be "no safe

The Indon ambassador' said he wa.s also trying
, to



many islands. . I met up with an old friend from Ma nila, Romy Gacad, chiefphotographer of the Jakarta bureau of the French wire agency Agence France Presse. Romy has been assigned to the capital for the ~ past several years after a long stint in a \FF:AtR!

change the outlook' of Filipiilo traders who ,see lndcnesia as instead a competitor instea ' of a trade partner. He pointed out that while both countries , had'simila r products to trade, they could use these similarities to strengthen trade. relationships and . prepare' for a bigger global market.



· similar capacity in its Manila bureau. -

have~s for terrorists': during President Aquino's offici~l visit to our neighboring country. The two presidents inked a deal the' Merdeka Palace to improve intelligence· gathering and sharing, coordinated sea and air patrols, and traintng. ". Yudhoyono, a former army general. noted that "leaders" of terror groups have been "freely moving" across the region, while President Aquino said "it ~would be a crime" if regional leaders did not cooperate with each other in fight, ing terror since the terrorists themselves had been coordinating at the national, regional and even global levels. , But it is not only in fighting terror that the Philippines and Indonesia have forged stronger ties. Indonesian Ambassador Kristiarto Legowa has indicated keen interest in seeing increased trading activities be, . tween the two countries. He wants both countries to have.a . balanced trade as Indonesia, whi~h is the 14th largest trading partner of the Philippines, exports moretorhe Phi.l.iJppines than the Philippines imports from' that predominantly Muslim country. Indonesia's exports to the Philipplnes.are worth $1 billion while the Philippines exports to Indonesia reached only $383 million in 2010. . Bilateral trade reached $2.27 billion from January to November in 2010. This was higher than the tradevalue of the same period in 2009, which only reached $1.81 billion. The lndon ambassador said he was also trying to change the outlook of Filipino traders who see Indonesia as a competitor instead ofa trade partner. He pointed out that while both countries had similar products to trade, they could. use these similarities to strengthen trade relationships and prepare for a bigger global market. "We, cart go on joint promotions in other markets·like Europe. the United States and other areas as well as en- . . courage our people to visit Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2010 Indonesia's , tourist traffic was at 7 million and only _ 2.5 million came from Asia. and only.a ~Tel few carne from the Philippines. On the _ other hand, of the Philippines's 3.3 million tourists, only 31,997 are from In- donesia. We can both strengthen this;' Legowa said.



~ May2012




,Economic perspective of Scarborough issue
My position is that we own the Scarat poverty from the point of view of '!ra-b~roug~J'Shza~·an_d aU! of us EiUpin-os' tionalsoverelgnry,' national pride or na:Shouldl,lta.n&. b.elSi'nd.President Aquino, tional dignity, ' in defending what is dearly ours, , These are hard realities, which' we Viewed from another perspective, my , should consider as challenges to nioVe gut feeling is that China would not be : our economy faster. Every Filipino should bullying us if we have an economy strong, consider building our economy as rep enough to support a national defense sys- i , priority, and fast growth (not just the '3~7 tern, including a powerful navy. ." 'percent we saw in 2011)' should be our As thingsstand right now.we cannot: VtUar primary goal because it'is the only w~y defend our sovereignty, and recent devel- : , to' create a bigger economy. " " opments showed we could not even rely : We can look at our Asian neighbors, on the United States in ,a confrontation' HE latest dispute between the They were once behind us' in terms "of with China, which is a much bigger invest- . economic growth, but they ani, now able Phi,liPP,ines and China st~rted ',: , ments and trade partner for theAmerican to establish strong defense systems. Bigg~r 'on April 10 when two. Chinese 'economy than the Philippines:, surveillance ships stopped ' countries may harass them, but they canIn the natural scheme of things in the the Philippine Navy from apprehending not be bullied because the bullies know " eight Chinese fishing boats for poaching , . global economy, China is an elephant and they aap defend:th~m.' , . 'I . the Philippines is a tiny mouse. At about . marine life in the waters around ScarWe should work-to-get to the same borough Shoal or Panatag Shoal, which $7.9 trillion in terms of gross domestic . , position. When we reach the point where 'is part of the municipality of.Masinloc , ,product (GDP), China now accourtts for our economy is able to finance a reliable ' in Zambales. ' more than a tenth of all global economic and modern defense system to guardpur On May 3, the fourth week of the borders, then .lntematlonal bullies will activity. standoff, the news reports' cited the , The Philippines, on the other hand, i , have second thoughts before attempting Armed Forces of-the Philippines 'as,hav'hadaGDPof$188.7billionin2010,avery: to intrude into our territories. ing said there were already 14 Chinese tiny percent of China's economy. ; Then we w'ill: ave the clout to remind h The' World Bank estimates China's I bullies and would-be bullies about going ships in the shoal, conslstingof'lu fishing boats and four maritime ships-the economy, which grew by 9,2 percent in', to. the negotiating table as the best way 'Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) 2011, to slow down to 8.2 percent this year to settledisputes. vessels 71, 75 and 81 and the' Fisheries and recover to 8.6 percent next year. For When that time comes, we would have Law Enforcement Command (FLEC) 310, , the Philippines, the World Bank's forecast really established our sovereignty and~;,said to be China's most mo dern and most is a GDP growth of 4.2 percent for 2012 gained our national dignity, ' powerful maritime ship. , , . and 5 percent for 2013, , ,i On the Philippine side were the BuChina's economy provides it with You may send yourcomments/feedback . reau of fisheries and Aquatic Resources the money to buy or b~ild expensive' to milita~y equipment like an aircraft! 'vessel MCS 3008 and the BRP Edsa 2, a ,ca;ier" submarines and sophisticated' c ~l ,,~, Coast Guard search-and-rescue vessel fi 'rer planes. ' "I, (SARV) 002, . We, on the other hand, have to beg for I don't even want to know the kind 'U~cle Sam to. give us its discarded vesof weaponry our vessels have compared sels that-we can turn into flagships. It just' with those of the Chinese ships. makes us look more pathetic, . 1 also d~n't want to 'dwell too much, Anyone who thinks the US will send . on the exchanges going on between the' its troops in the very remote (good for us) , Philippine and Chinese governments. So i possibilityof a war between the Philip- . far, China does not even want to go to. , pines and China is dreaming: the Ameri- : the International Tribunal on the Law of ; cans will not come to our aid! ' the Sea, although it is a signatory to the! That's our predicament as a poor I United Nations Convention on the Law j ountry 'The problem of poverty is not of the Sea, which is supposed to serve as ; c . th d .',. . ' . di id I; , , f confined to e epnvanons m m IVI ua , guidelines in the peaceful resolution 0 , --households,.It,exten 'd ,.---., , ', s to. our d e alimgs :-__ , _ territorial disputes" " . hS b h OFFJ..... vr m!;; "nIVl' ",nll:~I"UtsLIC Aft:AIRSwlth other countnes, as t e ~ar oroug ° Tel no. (02) 892·1693, Local! 5287,5295 ' '--------------------5hoal dispute has shown. . . In other words, we should also look ;

Manny B.




May 2012



Lessons from Vietnam

I WENT on a recent weeklong visit to what the French col~nialists called "the Paris of the East"-Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City-and the southern areas of Vietnam. On April 30, Vietnam celebrated the 37th anniversary of the complete. liberation of its southern part from "US aggressors and its puppet government," It was a victory that led to the reunification of North and South Vietnam and the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam . In the Philippines' current dispute with China over territorial claims, we can look to Vietnam for lessons on how not M'MENTARY to surrender our self-respect and sovereignty to any Roland .G.Simbulan big power. Vietnam was colonized by the Chinese, the French and the Americans, all of whom emerged bruised and tra~matized after ultimately being defeated in protracted people's wars waged by the' Vietnamese people and their resistance fighters. In the Battle ofDien Bien Phu, the best French gen-. erals and officers, schooled in St. Cyr, the elite French military academy, were outwitted and defeated byVo Nguyen Giap, a former school teacher turned guerrilla leader; the battle capped the defeat of France in the hands of the Viet Minh people's army. During the American War in Vietnam in 19611975, the United States was humbled by the Vietnam People's Army and the black-pajama 'Vietcong" guerrillas of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, I had long heard of the legendary.Cu Chi Tunnels, which can be reached after a one-and-a half-hour trip northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, before I traveled to Vietnam. I had imagined that the tunnels were simply like an ant hill with several layers. But the visitor to the Cu Chi Tunnels would be left in awe of and admiration at the determination and creativity of the Vietcong, who were demonized in our country by US black propaganda during the Vietnam War. The tunnels are actually a vast, intricate, multistory network carved out by hand, bucket by bucket which functioned as residence and fortress of thousands of Vietcong fighters and their families. . The tunnel network functioned as an underground city. It . was started by the small farming community of Cu Chi in its resistance against the French colonialists. It expanded for 20 years, covering almost 250 kilometers, to defeat, in April 1975, the strongest military superpower on earth, . The Vietcong guerrillas and their families lived,' ate and slept in the tunnels that also served as command centers meeting .and conference areas, cultural halls, kitchens:' weapons factories, storage rooms, and field hospitals. These were where many Cu Chi residents got married, gave birth, and cared for and educated their children. , The tunnels were protected by a sophisticated array of Roland G. Simbulan is board director and senior fellow of the booby traps directed against intruders, Almost 20 percent of Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg). He is the total US troop, casualties during the Vietnam also a professor at the University of the Philippines. War-deaths as well as injuries-were inflicted by these ~ ~ -booby traps. . acp.iLh-p:a:@~anoQJl!Qm-Tell no, (02~,g92·1'693.. ~~al: 52:S~, 5295 The US war machine used every weapon in its arsenal to t......~ __ ...... ~~---=~__;::.._ __ ~=~-=-~ __ ~ flush out and destroy the guerrillas in the Cu Chi Tun- ;


nels=-carpet bombing with 1,000-pourid .bombs defoliants . lik~ the deadly Agent Orange, strategic hamlets and a special untt of US forces called the 'funnel Rats. But it failed. Eventually, the tunnels even extended under the US military bases and facilities, so that the American forces wondered how many of their weapons in their base arsenals were being pilfered by the Vietcong right under their noses. .. . In its heyday, the tunnel network was considered a "holy revolutionary base" of the Vietnamese resistance to colonial and superpower intervention. It was the head- I quarters of the Saigon-Gia Dinh Regional Party and its military command, which led the resistance against the US forces and contributed in no small way-to the complete liberation of South Vietnam. It is now a national historical site, as it is for most Vietnamese a symbol of their revolu-: tionary heroism, .. In Apiil1965, during the US military intervention in Viet.nam, the P~ilip~ines s~nt to TayNinh a contingent of 2,000 troops, which Vietnam s War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City describes as "troops of satellite countries." The museum also takes note that ".. .in addition, the Philippines provided the US military forces the Navy Base at Subic Base and the Air Force Base at Clark Field for launching air attacks over Vietnam." The museum documents in exhibits and photos the war crimes of the French colonialists, but focuses more on the atrocities during the US military intervention and occupation of South Vietnam, Also displayed there are the tanks warplanes,' artillery, small arms, and weapons of mass de: struction and defoliants like Agent Orange that were used in the war against the Vietnamese and their people's army. The Vietnamese people's resistance and the world's support of this resistance are also well documented. . Although China provided critical support to the Vietnamese resistance in the anti-French, anti-Japanese and anti-US intervention wars, Vietnam has not hesitated in standing up to its former close ally and supporter. It even engaged China in combat when necessary, as when China began encroaching on Vietnam's borders in the north and in contested islands in the Spradys of which Vietnam is also a claimant. It did ?ot rely on the US Navy to stand up and say no to China, but instead developed the military capability of its own Vietnam People's Army, which it combines with astute diplomatic work. China was prudent not to continue to bully or to militarilyerigage this small country of 80 million, which had defeated and' humbled, ori its own terms, the strongest military superpower on earth. The Vietnamese people's staunch resistance against France and the United States, and even against the later bullying by China, made up for the scarcity and limitations brought by wartime. The Cu Chi TUnnels are a testament. to their endurance, ingenuity and sheer will to fight for their country and defeat those who would trample their sovereignty.