at your service across the land ...

25 May 2012 Friday

TABLE.

or CONTENTS
NEWSPAPER
Phil Star p. A-30

25MAl'2012
PA6.£

NR
1 Weather Forecast

TITLE/SUMMAR" MtVTER AIUn'RELATED ISSUES

2

3

Albay PA brigade commander moved to Basilan after NPA airport attack The Army brigade commander in Albay was transferred to Basilan following last week's attack against an international airport undergoing construction in Daraga town. Army affirms commitment to promote human rights - There are times when the battle is won not by brute force but by sincere dialogue and communication, (24 May 2012 article)

Tribune p. 2

-

Business Mirror p, A4

AFP RELATED ISSUES
AFP sends HR head to UN amid censures on Noynoy The Armed Forces of the Philippines dispatched its Human Rights Office (HRO) chief yesterday to Switzerland as part of a delegation that is expected to report to the United Nations (UN) the current state of human rights protection in the country amid a string of criticisms from civil rights groups on the failure of President Aquino to end the culture of impunity under his administration. (Mario Mallari) 5 foreigners kidnapped by bandits taken to Sulu - Five foreigners snatched on different dates by the Abu Sayyaf Group in different Mindanao provinces have been taken to Sulu while the bandits are negotiating for the ransom. (R. Acosta) Malaysian Trader Recounts Sayyaf Ordeal - A Malaysian gecko trader held captive by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants for a year in the southern Philippines says he saw group members as young as 15 skilled in using M16 rifles that were prevalent in the impoverished region. OPAPP to build farm-to-market roads in 5 Quezon municipalities - Five municipalities in Quezon province that were identified by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the areas would soon Philippines (AFP) as conflict-affected implement projects in line with the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). (Efren Chavez) PAF Announces Newly Promoted Colonels - PAF Commanding General, Lt Gen Lauro Catalino G De1a Cruz AFP, led the formal donning of ranks to the newly promoted PAF Colonels last May 21, 2012 at the Hall of Flags in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. (Anjo Perez) Navy needs P500 B for upgrade - The Philippine Navy needs P500 billion to upgrade and strengthen its warfare capabilities under its 15-year Strategic Development Plan. (Jaime Laude)

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Tribune p. 1

4-5

Business Mirror p. A5

6

Mia Bulletin p. 1

7

Tribune p. 2

8

Mia. Bulletin p. 9

9

Phil Star p. 17

10

11-12

13

14-15

16

PSOOSneeded to secure PH shores - Navy - To effectively secure the country's shorelines and vast maritime territory, the Philippine Navy needs a gargantuan P500 billion more for it to become a strong and credible force at sea, not a laughable fleet of naval junks. (William Depasupil) Credible Navy wHi cost PSOOS - The Navy needs nearly P500 billion to acquire assets, including additional submarines and frigates, to have a "strong and credible force at sea," according to a Navy officer. (Victor Reyes) China's sea claims exceed what's allowed by int'llaw, says Hillary - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday said that China's claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) exceeded what was permitted by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) as the Obama administration began a new push to join the 30-year-old treaty. Search for 2 missing PAF pilots trainer plane continues - Search and retrieval operations for two Philippine Air Force (PAF) missing pilots and their trainer plane that crashed in Manila Bay Friday last week will continue even if the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) had terminated its operations. (Jaime Laude)

Mia Times p. A2

Malaya p. B-4

PDI p. A1

Phil Star p, 6

SPORTS NEWS
17
Philippine Army holds badminton match for a cause The Philippine Army and MaxForce Shuttlers will hold a friendly badminton playoff at the Philippine Army Well ness Center at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City this Saturday, May 26, 2012. Army sets badminton for a cause - The Philippine Army and MaxForce Shuttlers will hold a friendly badminton playoff at the Philippine Army Well ness Center at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Saturday. Army marksmen hit mark in Aussie meet - Army shooters bagged two gold, four silver and nine bronze medals for seventh overall in the Army Skills-at-Arms Meeting (AASAM at the Puckapunyala Military Area in Victoria, Australia recently: {Jaime Laude)

-

Abante p. 5

Business Mirror p, C2

18

Phil Star p. A-31

19

ONUN£N£WS
20 Military continues pursuit of JI, ASG members The foreign terrorist group Jemaah lslarnlyah (JI) continues its training with the Abu Sayyaf in two island provinces known to have presence of the terror group, according to a military official here. Southern Tagalog human rights situation worsening - Karapatan-ST - The Armed Forces of the Philippines claims that it has not committed a single human rights violation during the year, but human rights and people's organizations, as well as victims and their relatives in Southern Tagalog say it is even getting worse.

-

www.l2hilstar.com

www.bulatlat.com

21-23

24-26

Negros farmers suffer atrocities from 'landlord-hired bandit group' - All they want is to own the land that they have been tilling for generations but hacienderos (big landlords) have hired an armed group, which signed a peace pact with the government, to attack them.

www.bulatlat.com

27-29

The peace pact with the RPA-ABB - During the recently concluded fact finding mission, armed men could be seen from afar, guarding the disputed lands of the 24hectare Hacienda Baldevia. Since they arrived, farmworkers and their families have been living in hell.

www.bulatlat.com

EDITORIAL/OPINION/COMMENTARY
30 31 Kidnapped Editorial Photo Phil Star p. 14 Phil Star p. 14

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May2012

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or
.'AOORtSSJNG the
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Army.·affirms····coll1nlltment.··to •. promote····hum<ln· •••. ·rig}1ts
t:umm\mkaUon;

The rni!lUll'V hQo'ited hsimage as otganltatidui;on theutlier. . ..........•.•••..••.••.. "':4lD(~nlfer, at· "pwtN:tor of the people" following the One ml\j!~r offshoot infue series (if . .·ftmI~dtbtAmtts. . .-:. dialogue Was thectt't4rlo1\ $fthe Hurl1<ln Mmrspartltit)ationin aconlmu.nity~ .:tDIIlmitmtnt to. ttl, baseelclhilogue session on human- . ' ... Rights Del!fdntheA:rnied H:utes to ·. btfdhuman·rlgbts: rights (HRf pro..I110tlO:n herein this city, ad<licgs~oncetnt. (l!lhumsrtl'ight~ ..' ·. priiniGtJoftanu fJf~ . down to the natt{iliOtl level. ..•......... '.'. ...... TlwC;munISSionon Humim mgnb' . ·. ",moo atlNfthIW. . (CHRi.andrhe;;ivi!,s(.ciety groups .'.'Mabantasaid thet;orrtmunity-ba$ed .thmpul'l.klptltedintheone'day .• · .: .'dlaJt)guese,.~tl$haveJedt(}bdtet . 'und#rstanniogandcooperatlonfmm .' dialogue haveglv~ll thc3.dlnfantry ~Spt;arhead'Di\'ision thi?thumb$~up partkulnt!ylntheArmy, havE'Mdoubt . . •... bothsidesln tacldingfmiSsues'··.· ..•.... .':dlat m~in.g: pesce aln'be achteved\i.!ith .'. . .'.·H.e. reiterated that the military 'will' .sigltfor~haring Yiewsandl!xpl¥teiu:~.· . i11. t1bli.,fdng ,ma promotlngfilU'l1<iTI .(1nrpartiH~t~hip!npl'(mt()ting human Wfllintlet{).explGfe wlly$lnupnolclihg.· . rights; Maoontasaid, .•. ., •.•..•• .. ' • •.•... •.•... .' resp«t f(ltlinmtUi rights and .: . rightsinlhetotlntrr. i··.·· . .The v¢nturewas SUch a sueces:'ithat •"We will <:otldnue Invitmghuman" th('. observariee of 1I1ternatlonat .. right!> advocate groups ioWe-stern .. .. "}{umaJ\itllrlantaw, mgani~rsalldPartjtlpant$agreM tiJ t~p!kaW !heHR dial(lguc~ssion iathe . VtsayaSsnchasilieKarapatnl1:tnd. . .: .............Durtriglhedful~sf!SSWiltth~ " .•. ' vr~aY<1$tpmtklllai'ly itt the prOVlI'lOe$ Baran ~Panay,,~ho~har(>wjthm,the' .'.:.grnupidentlt~dlloilo,NCgt{\50tiental. ' '.. l'lfHoilo, }tegro%Or!e:~aratid Ea,~em t(>riWi1tHI aspination prf)rOOti!1gand·andEa~eNls.amataltfi.itUfCVetltles for ., Samar. " . . pmtecUng hunmo rightst6 heil PQl~ • sud!undertaiQng, rwtingfue challenges Th~.HRS!issi6nwM funded .of thiSi:l1ultis~"t()ral iilitU'OSlOn; he <onrnb1ingandil18u~cYi:nthe$e af~s, . Mid $pearh~aded h~' nnnpro.lll the asS,ired, . ' '.' •... ' ....•..... . OthetCSOS' presm1twere orgarlitatl6n Hiu:Ulii Seidel Fm)nd.lition ·.'fh.e.t\tu'led Fortes has grapplli'd "Process Fanay.Kai;sah~nTu'11g() ~)fGetn'umy~whlchh"1ih€>eCl pilshing with itCCusatlQm,,,(viotatlnghumallSZKanl1iaranngl<anayt1nru;;1t '. '. '. fo r democracy, peac~andMveh}pment . rights I:MthemHitaryhaIi £oughtl0 R~pormang: Pangsakahan.Ormoc, an}und ilicw6tid, address thh imagept6bleIrt. . .PROlUGHTS;Envtronm1l'rttaILegal The proj('l'it was initilited in 11ttbt\gh the yelu<s;'it hasniallaged Assil'l:2InceCenter?Ea.'!ternVlSa'Yas, partne'l'sbip wit1t· the CHl~, the . to chip awaystKh lrnagerrohtethwith· Chlldren\i J..regal13ureiminc" lUterriath'", Lil.•Gr~l1p, Ninoyand { the help IJr dvli·I,Qd~ty g.roups ... '.. .... .HER()c Humann,,!!, &irnar, and the C(}f r Aqub'tofoltnaation' the Armed The turning pornt was themiUtary'sAltei:"riaLivlJ; iawGroup !tI<:;~ FO!'l:fS and Hw Natiofl<1! PoUce. active engagem€l1tand openness RiX:eiltly. Mabaritaand the t'lltite Addressing the HR dialugue, Maj. with hUf:tlan~!'htsgroups and oth~r .Army force jmnt'd the growilignumber Gen. rose M<:lbanta 1t~,3!D commander, stakeholder" ..:' Of CSOS, dergyai\d local uffidat" in \~mrlned the Army'$ t(m1l'nitrrientto As early as ;l008, the military, as fitronglye.ol1aemningtherDntltmous u;;e well as the po!k~':,'has h~ell engaging .' of land mines by the- NcwPeopl('); Anny uphold HIt promotion and protection at "U times. 1fiviI-sodety organlzations (CSO$.), The Armyal.sor:alk'<i on the NPA Mabanta expressed.hts appredation local (;ommun.ity leaders, including to abide with the accord stipulated to the organizers for undertaking this human-right, defenders/acti vii;.!!> in in the Comprehensive Agreement on kind <lctivilv in the region, n~sultingon discu5sing fHlmilJ1 'righ~s issues a.nd the Re-.spect for Human Right!! and better under~tallding and inter~lcti()n cooperative dforts. International Humanitarian Law to among ;a1l5t-<ikeholders. The engilgeml;'l1t5 were aimed at stop once at'ld for :allthe senseless

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May2012
Parong added the Aquino administration had yet to deliver on its social contract with the people regarding the protection of human rights noting a failure of leadership at the national level during a year of unrest transition and conflicts in 2011. AFP spokesman CoL Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said that AFPliRO chief Col. Domingo 'futaan will fly to Geneva as part of the Philippine delegation, led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, to the Second Cycle 'UN Human Rights Council's UniversalPeriodic Review. "As chief of the AFP-HRO, Colonel Tutaan will report on the efforts undertaken by the AFP in promoting human rights and milestones achieved," Burgos said. Aside from the AFP and the Department of Justice, a representatlvefromthe Commisston on Human Rights (CHR) will also join the Philippine delegation, Burgos stressed that the AFP has been doing its share in addressing human rights issues concerning the military. Parong cited among the prominent human-rights cases tha remained unresolved under Aquino are the abduction and killing of Rodel Estrelleado, a Bayan Muna activist, six months !ifterthe filing of charges against nine military officials and personnel; and the killing of environmental activist and journalist Gerry Ortega which had a breakthrough last January with the filing of charges against former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Ortega.The AI said the police should double their efforts to locate and arrest the Reyes brothers who are

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head to: UN amid censures ,onNoynoy
'By Mario J. MaIIari

AFP sends HR

i......•....••...

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Parong, dis patch e d its Parong also insisted that th~' HUman Rights re~uc~ion of maternal deaths Office (HRO) which IS one of the international' chi e' f commitments of the Philippines ,yesterday to , under the millenium development Switzeriandai goals (MDGs) most likely will not part of a' be met by the year 2015, unless delegation ?omprehensive efforts which that is mclude the implementation ora expected to reproductive health law 1~report to the achieved. U nit ed "yte have to disband privat~ Nations (UN) armres, because they are the the current reason why there are reports :O.f state-of human in the ~o,rtu.re and other hum~it C?~9try amid a string of criticisms from l1\IustlCes Parong said. ..., CIVll rights groups on the failure of The slow progress in making .President Aquino to end the culture of government forces accountable impunity under his administration. ~ade perpetrators of human , Just yesterday, Amnesty International rlgh~s abuse feel that they could (Ap accused Aquino of reneging on his vow continue violating rights withQ~~ to end human rights abuses under his fear of accountability, prosecutlpn administration. and punishment, she said," "In the past two years of Aquino as The slow wheels ofjustice also President, reports of torture, extrajudicial d? ~ot deter crimes and make executions; enforced disappearance vietlms and their families lose .persisted and other human rights iIUustices trust in goven'lment, Parong :,may be moving slowlybut hundreds of past added. cases remained unresolved," a local AI She said the Philippine official said. government must show legitimate .AI said Aquino government should leadership and reject iqjustice by ',"--protecting the powerless victims d ou bi e its efforts to resolve ~, of human rights abuse and human-rights cases as much as the currently in hiding, attention 't h d ' The AI added in the celebrated restraining the powerful. corruption c~es, a given on Maguindanao massacre, prime "The '. suspect Governor Zaldy Ampatuan corruptio ca~alg~ a~ainst , has not been arraigned. Political human nr~~ts our dte?tIo~ but activist Jonas Burgos) five years es eci n g an justtce, after disappearance, remain ~ a y for the powerless and missing and the military official VOicelesspeople, deserve as much h' . th ., passton and d dilig' fro w 018 e suspect on his abduction ue 'I ence m our h arge db ut t h e pre 1" governme t ff' t was c immary . n 0 icia s a the local, investigation is still on-going regional and national levels" Adding to 'the problen:_s on . Aurora Parong , AI director for the . .rights protection are the failure >countIy, said. . ..' : '.' < • 77T'""'7'""'7~~~~'""'7~~~~-c---c------ ..•...........•....•.•........•... OFFICEOFTHEARMYCHIEFPUBLICAf to enact laws tha~ .wIlI furt~er ...............</...................................................<................................ .....> ....' ............•••...............•.......... .........•...•...•..•... .....•....•. ..• to AI. <» >. ......•. ..> enhance accountabillty, according ¥,~h~o.C()m~Telno/(02)892.1693~Local!52875295·· . · '. .. . .' .•...'. ....• .. <..... f ..
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We still do not have an antie~tced disappearance law antidIscrimination law a~d reproductive health law,~deClare;

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The New York-based Human Rights Watch eHRW)last Tuesday criticized the present administration for failing to take significant measures to prosecute soldiers, policemen and militiaml'1R tagged as involved into human rights violations during Aquino's two-year tenure. _ HRW deputy Asia director Elaine Pearson stressed that Aquino should make the message clear that human rights violators .must be held accountable. In 2011alone, the HRWsaid it documented at least 10 cases of killings and disappearances attributed to government secur)w forces. The HRW lamented that no suspect has been successfully prosecuted. "The AFP is doing everything to investigate reports on human .rights violation which are reported or referred to the AFP Human Rights Office," said Burgos. KIt is embodied in our IPSP Bayanihan that as protectors qf the people, we must at all ti~s uphold the rule of law, promote and protect Human Rights and strictly adhere to the International Humanitarian Law:This is whywe have strengthened our AFPHRO which has been replicated down to our battalion level to address human rights issues and concerns;n added Burgos. ", Erwin D.G. Nunez, Hana Tam.c

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5 foreigners kidnapped by bandits taken , toSulu ,
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FIVE foreigners snatched on different dates by the Abu Sayyaf Group in differ- . ent Mindanao povinces have been taken to Sulu while the bandits are negotiating for their ransom. . At least P50 million was demanded for the release of two Europeans, a military source said. . The kidnap victims were identified as Australian Richard Warren Rodwell, 53; Swiss Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47; Dutchman Ewold Horn, 52; Japanese Toshio Ito, 63, and Indian Biju Kolara Veetil, 36. Abu Sayyaf bandits snatched Rodwell from his house at Barangay Pangi in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, on December 4, 2011, while Ito was abducted on July 16, 2010, in Pangutaran, Sulu; On the other hand, Vinciguerre and , Horn were taken on February 1 this year while they were on a bird-watching trip at Panglima, Sugala, Tawi- TawL Veetil was snatched on June 22, 2011, while visiting his Filipino in-laws at Barangay Tempok, Patikul, Sulu. The source s~id the captors ofVinciguerre and Horn have demanded PSO million for their release. "The Abu Sayyafare now demanding P50million ransom for their Swiss and Dutch hostages;' he said, adding that the same group collected PL5 million in ransom from the family of their Malaysian kidnapped victim, Mohammad Nasaruddin Bensaidin, whom they recently released. "Most of thevictims who were snatched in other areas, including Zamboanga, havebeen consolidated by their Abu Sayyaf abductors in Sulu" the source added. He added that most of the Abu Sayyaf bandits now holding these foreign nationals belong to the younger generation of the homegrown bandit group .. Meanwhile Maj. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo, chief of the Intelligence Service,Armed Forces, said at Ieastfive members of the Asean terror group Ierna'ah Islamiyah are still present in Mindanao. While refusing to reavel theiridentities and the areas where they operate, ,Ordoyo said the terrorists are still attempting to recruit local members.

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May2012

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Malaysian Trader Recounts Sayyaf Ordeal
SUNGAI BULOH, Malaysia (AP) - A Malaysian gecko trader held I captive by suspected Abu Sayyaf •
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militants for a year in the southern Philippines says he saw group membersas young as 15 skilled in using MIS rifles that were prevalent in the impoverished region. . Nazarrudin Saidin's account in an interview with The Associated Press gives a rare glimpse into the operations of the al-Qaieda-linked militant group, blamed for many ransom kidnappings, bomb attacks and beheadings over more than two. decades. It also details an ordeal that started in May of last year when masked gunmen abducted Nazarrudin on

the Philippine island of JoIo, moving him to hideouts on other islands over the following 12months. He escaped at one point and.hid in a mangrove, only to return to his kidnappers out of hunger - "I felt like 1 was on the verge of dying." He finally escaped to safety two weeks ago. "1 saw teenagers as young as 15 walking around in the villages with MI6 rifles and pistols," Nazarrudin said in a small, run-down home just north of Kuala Lumpur, where he lives with his wife, six children, and parents near a palm oil plantation. "Sometimes they practiced shoot-

ing in the jungle and seemed skillful in handling the weapons," he said, adding that he believed they were Abu Sayyaf members. A2011 United Nations report said other former Abu Sayyaf captives also have reported children in the group's ranks, but that the claims "could not be verified owing to seeurity constraints." Photographs 'and TV footage taken inside Abu Sayyaf camps have appeared to confirm the presence of armed teenagers. Abu Sayyaf has not commented publicly on child soldiers, but other militant Muslim groups in the Philippines have described a policy of admitting youths as young as 15 as trainees, while requiring them to be 18 before engaging in combat.

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OPAPP to build farmto-market roads in 5 Qnezon municipalities
Five municipalities in Quezon Buenavista, Catanauan, Mulanay, San province that were identified by the Francisco and San Narciso town. Philippine National Police (PNP) and The identified priority projects to the Armed Forces of the Philippines be implemented in the five (AFP) as conflict-affected areas would municipalities include road improvement soon implement projects in line with and bridge rehabilitation of the Del the Payapa at Masaganang Rosario farm-to-market road in Pamayanan (Pamana) program of the . Buenavista, Quezon; concreting of Office of the Presidential Adviser on portions of farm-to-market roads in the Peace Process (OPAPP). Barangay Andres Bonifacio to Villa Each municipality will receive P7 Aurin in San Narciso, Quezon; million from the OPAPP through the improvement of 3.2 kilometers of a Pamana fund upon submission of farm-to-market road in barangays project proposals and other supporting Cawayan 1 and Inabuan in San papers. Francisco, Quezon; concreting of a farmPedro Mendoza, provincial director of to-market road in barangays San the Department of the Interior and Local Vicente Kanluran and' San Vicente Government's (DILG) Quezon provincial Silangan in Catanauan, Quezon and office, said during the provincial technical construction of the seven-kilometer working group meeting on Pamana Bagupaye-Anonang-Magsaysay farm to program that the municipalities that will market road in Mulanay, Quezon. implement priority projects are Etren B. Ch:lvez

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PAF Announces Newly Promoted Colonels
Fabrigar, Col.' J esulito Dalumpines, Col. Gerry Felizardo Soliven, Col. Fer.By ANJO PEREZ dinand Torres, Col. Antonio Celestino Dy, CoL Tomasito Tibayan, Col. Auphilippine Air Force Commanding gusto Gaite, Col. Jeffrey Hechanova, General, Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino G Col. C_arlosEvangelista, CoLRomero Dela Cruz AFP, led the formal donJerome Dirilo, Col. Teofilo Bailon Jr., ning of ranks to the newly promoted Col. Frederick Cutler, Col. Edward Philippine Air Force Colonels last Libago and Col. Dennis Estrella, May 21, 2012 at the Hall of Flags in . Among the newly promoted Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. Colonels is CoL Miguel Ernesto G Air Force spokesperson Col. Okol, Director, PAF Public InformaMiguel Okol identified the newly promoted officials as Col. Gerardo M Za- tionOffice. Promotion in rank is an achievemudioJr., CoL Florante Amano, Col. ment which carries a huge responFernyl G Buca, Col. Arthur Cordura, . sibility and a mission of which is to Col. Arnfin Arce, CoL Rene Diaco, fulfill all duties and responsibilities Col. Ramon GuiangPAF, Col. Rocky assigned to the ranks and position. Binag, Col. Rene Raoul DC Hona. Lt. Gen. Dela Cruz congratulated san, Col. Araus Musico, Col. Maxima the newly promoted officers and exIgnacio, Col. Michael Lorenzo, CoL pressed his gratitude to them for their Elpidio Taija, CoL'Rummuell Perez, continued hard work, dedication to Col. Aldrick Dela Torre, Col. Fertheir duties, and contribution to the nando Reboja, Col. Sharon Gernale, betterment of the organization. Col. Llewillyn Banaag, Col. Amerigo
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Navy needsP500 B for upgrade
By JAIME LAUDE

Navy needs P500 billion to upgrade and strengthen its warfare capabilities under its 15-year Strategic: Development Plan. In a Navy journal this month, Philippine Fleet acting chief of staff for plans and programs Lt. Commander Nerelito Martinez said that the multi-billion funding would be used to bankroll its "Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix" strategy concept. Martinez said the newly qeveloped naval strategy calls for the acquisition - within a 15-year-period - of six frigates configured for anti-air warfare, 12 corvettes designed for anti-

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submarine warfare, and 18 offshore patrol vessels forming Craft Utility; three Logistics the backbone for naval patrol. Support / Replenishment To effectively address naval Ship; three Ocean tugs and underwater and marine war- six Yard / Fire tugs; which fare, the Philippine Fleet plan- would provide critical supners came up with a proposal port to warships in docking. for the procurement of three and undocking. . submarines and three Mine In Interdiction and Special Boat Operations, the fleet is Countermeasure Vessels. For its amphibious, sea- also eyeing additional p'rolift and auxiliary services curement of 12 Cyclone dass requirements, Martinez said Coast Patrol Interdiction that the Navy fighting force Craft, 30 Patrol gunboats, 42 should have four Strategic Multi-Purpose Assault Craft Sealift Vessels (SSVs) ca- and 24 Rigid Hull Inflatable pable to move one brigade Boats. of Marines amphibious force For its Naval Air Operaor any ground force and its tions, the fleet is also looking forward to the acquisition of support system; 18 Landing

He added that based on the current market research and eight Amphibious Maritime Patrol Aircraft needed for assessment, the new planned maritime air surveillance; 18 procurement would cost the government about P497 bilNaval Helicopters embarked on frigates and corvettes and lion. "It may be costly at our eight Multi-Purpose Helicopcurrent standards but it is not ters embarked on the SSVs. "Looking at the Navy in- unrealistic. With the establishment of this Force Mix, the ventory of mission essential equipment, it is VE:ry discern- Navy will have a ready list ible that majority of our assets, and working figure of what' particularly our vessels, were we really need in order for the acquired not necessarily be- fleet to provide the minimum cause they fit into our strategy credible deterrence; a force and or operational requirement but capability package for a strong because they are available as and credible navy that this grant from the United States maritime nation can be proud or from our allies," Martinez of," Martinez said. The fleet's capability was noted.

reviewed during a strategic planning workshop in May last year based on the Navy's 15:-yearStrategic Development Plan, the Philippine Scenarios 2013-2022 and the various restraints and constraints, including the operating environment, the capacity to acquire and maintain and the timeliness. . The assessment also tried to answer what naval warfare capabilities the Navy needed to develop, given the current resources limitations; what types of vessels, aircraft and ancillary equipment must be acquired and how big or small the Navy would be.

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P500B needed to secure PH shores Navy
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BY WI LLiAM B. DEPASUPI L REPORTER

secure the country's shorelines and vast maritime territory, the Philippine Navy needs a gargantuan P500 billion more for it to become a strong and credible force at sea, not a laughable fleet of naval junks.
Lt. Commander Nerelito Martinez, acting chief of fleet staff for plans and programs, said that the funding requirement was intended for a desired "force mix" that would equip the Navy with the desired warfare capabilities that it really needs, given its limited resources. The force mix, according to Martinez, is a modest list of sea vessels and aircraft that can provide surface warfare, naval air warfare, undersea warfare and naval special operations capabilities. He explained the fleet force mix was developed based on operational strategy, strategic defense, tactical, and deployment and sustainment concepts. "Current market research and assessment will give us a figure of about P497 billion for the acquisition of all the .listed equipment It may be costly at our current standards, but it is not unrealistic/ Martinez said in an article written in the April 2012 issue of Phil. Fleet magazine. The force mix concept came out during the conduct of the Fleet's capability review during a strategic planningworkshopheldlastyearthattook into consideration the Navy's IS-year

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Strategic Development Plan, the Phil.ippineScenarios 2013-2022 and various restraints and constraints, such as operating environment, capacity to acquire and maintain. In its mix force list, the Philippine Fleet eyes the acquisition of three submarines for undersea' warfare and deterrence and three mine counter measure vessels for defensive mining in the critical areas to deny enemy entry. Also on the list were six frigates configured for anti-air warfare, 12 Corvettes primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare, four strategic sealift vessels, 18 landing craft utility, three ocean tugs to tow large units, six yard/fire tugs to provide critical support to the warships in dockingjundocking, providing firefighting and salvage services, and providing personnel transfer platforms. To complete the Navy's shopping

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The Navy would have by year end its second warship, the ERP Ramon Alcaraz, formerly known as the USCG Dallas, The 378-foot vessel had already been turned over by the US Coast Guard to the Philippine government. The US Coast Guard decommissioned the Dallas all March 30 after 45 years of service, According to an article posted at Unfit WorltBoat.com, the transfer saved the Martinez noted that majority of the Navy's equipment are no longer fit US Coast Guard $10 million, for its operational requirements as roughly P430 million which, it said, is the cost of preparing the boat for they were acquired many years back Too old use as an artificial coral reef. through grants from the US and other allied countries. While theBRP Gregorio del Pilar is Prior to the arrival of Gregorio. del now the biggest, most capable and Pi/ar, the Navy's lone warship then 'They are either cheap to acquire and preferred by our leaders, which most modern among the sea assets was the 308Jeet long BRP Rajah Humabon, a World War II vintage we consider, during that time, as . of the Navy, it is not that new either practical," he said. and under normal circumstances • ship that has long outlived its existence under normal circumstances, Navy records showed that out of can be considered "too old: its 53 patrol ships, only 25 or 47.2 The BRPGregorio del Pilar is 48 years The Navy continues to use the old, It was launched December 18, Humabon, saying that the old and percent .are on operational status, 1965, commissioned to the US Coast obsolete ship is still capable-of proThe average age of the patrol ship is viding internal security and protect36.4 years old, way beyond the 20 Guard on March 18, 1967 and decommissioned on March 28, 2011. ing the country's territorial integrity .. years maximum age for sea vessels.
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list are 12 coastal patrol interdiction craft, 30 patrol gunboats for territorial and coastal patrol, 42 multipurpose assault craft, 24 right hull inflatable boats for naval special operations, 18 amphibious maritime patrol aircraft for maritime surveillance, 18 naval helicopters, and 18 multi-purpose helicopters,

It has seven IS-year old transport vessels, but only two or 28,6 percen t are operational. The other five are 64 years old and no longer operational, Of its 10 auxiliary ships, only four or 40 percent are operational. Among its 32 small crafts,23 or 71.9 percent are operational. Said crafts have an average age of 21.3 years old. The nine-hectare Pascual Ledesrna Naval Station in Cavite City serves as the gravesite for naval junks, which are sold as scrap to interested bidders,

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'Credible' navy will cost P500B
BY VICTOR REYES

THE Navy needs nearly P500 billion to acquire assets, including additional submarines and frigates, to have a "strong and credible force at sea," according to a Navy officer. Lt. Commander Nerellto Martinez, acting chief of staff for plans and programs ofthe Navy's Philippine Fleet, said the assets needed were identified under the "Force Mix" whim he said is a product of a strategicplanning workshop held last year. Martinez discussed the desired "Force J\1ix" in an article at the "Phil Fleet," official publication of the Philippine Fleet, in an April 2012 issue, in time for the 74th foundation anniversary of the fleet last April 24. "The Philippine Force Mix was developed based on our operational strategy, strategic defense

concepts, tactical concepts, and deployment, and sustainment concepts," said Martinez, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1997. "Current market research and assessment will give us a figure of about P497 billion for the acquisition of all the listed equipment. It may be costly at our current standards but is not unrealistic," said Martinez. Martinez said that with the crafting of the Force Mix, the Navy will have a "ready list and working figure" of what is needed for the Fleet to provide a "minimum credible deterrence, a force and capability package for a strong credible navy that this maritime nation can be proud of. " He said the assets listed to attain the desired force mix includes six frigates configured for anti-air warfare, which would also have on board he-

Iicopters, that are capable of defending themselves against surface and subsurface attacks. "The vessels shall be deployed for naval deterrence and naval presence in critical areas. The vessels shall also be deployed to support the country's international defense and security engagements having (the) capability for long-range high seas navigation," The Navy has two frigates, the BRP Rajah Humabon and the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, but these are already ageing. A third frigate, the former USS Dallas which is from the US Coast Guard like the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is due to arrive in the country this November. The list also includes 12 Corvettes, also with helicopters onboard; 18 offshore patrol vessels that will serve as the Navy's backbone in their patrol; three submarines "for undersea war-

fare and deterrence"; and three mine counter-measure vessels "for defensive mining in critical areas to deny enemy entry." Martinez said the Force Mix also calls for the acquisition of four strategic sealift vessels, 18 landing craft utility, three logistics support/replenishment ships, three ocean tugs to tow large units, six yard/fire tugs to provide critical support to warship, 12 coastal patrol interdiction craft, 30 patrol gunboats for territorial and coastal patrol, 42 multipurpose assault craft, 24 rigid hull inflatable boats for naval special operations, eight amphibious maritime patrol aircraft for mantime air surveillance, 18 naval helicopters embarked aboard frigates and Corvettes, and eight multi-purpose helicopter, ernbarked aboard strategic sealift vessels, that have anti-submarine warfare capability.

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HILLARY CLINTON winks at a member of the US Senate's for~ign relatl.ons cOl1lmittee during a hearing on the·~N Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China's sea claims exceed what's allowed by int'llaw, says Hillary
WASHINGTON-US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday said that China's claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) exceeded what was permitted by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Undos) as the Obama administration began a new push to join the 30-year-old treaty; 1Wo Democratic senators also criticized Beijing's claims in the West Philippine Sea during a hearing of the Senate cornmit-. tee on foreign relations, where Clinton and top military leaders warned that Washington's failure to ratify Unclos weakened its support for US allies in the disputed waterway and put the US military at increasing risk of confrontation with China. "China and other countries are staking out illegal claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere," said Democratic Sen. John Kerry,chair of the foreign relations committee. During the hearing, Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer produced a map showing that Chi-. na's claims extended far beyond its 320-kilometer (200-nautical-mile) exclusive economic zone provided for in Unclos and amounted to a "significant territorial grab .that comes very close to the land borders of countries in the region." China, which is among the more than 160 nations that are party to the convention that was concluded in 1982 and has been in force since 1994, has made expansive claims in the West Philippine Sea based on ancient maps. A map that China submitted to the United Nations in 2009 claims virtually the entire strategic waterway, but the Asian power has failed to clarify the exact extent of its claims that overlap those of Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines, a UStreaty ally. Confrontations have erupted between China and some of these countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, Even the US military has had repeatCHINA'S/ A 17

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find ourselves." the (negotiating) table, then we During the hearing, top mili- have to deal with it at seawith ed run-ins in the waterway with tary and defense officials also our naval power," said Defense Chinese vessels and aircraft, in- said that without the treaty, the Secretary Leon Panetta. 'And cluding a midair collision in. US military had been forced to once that happens, you dearly 2001 that killed a Chinese jet pi- base rights of navigation around . increase the risk of confrontalot and forced a US Navy recon- the globe on.customary interna- tion." For his part, Kerry said "benaissance plane to make an tional law, or long-standing practice, which was subject to coming a party to the treaty emergency landing on China's differing interpretations. would. give an immediate boost Hainan Island. Gen. Martin Dempsey; chair to US credibility as we push 'On the defensive' of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said back against excessive maritime To China's chagrin, the Oba- Washington's ratification of Un- claims and illegal restrictions rna administration has asserted clos would strengthen USsecu- on our warships or commercial since 2010 that although the rity interests as it would provide vessels." United States is not itself·a clarity in definitionofnavigaclaimant state in the strategic tional rights and maritime Opposition waterway; it has an interest in zones-at a time of growing Panetta and Clinton told the the peaceful resolution of the competition for resources. Senate committee that Unclos disputes and in the freedom of would bring huge economic navigation in waters that carry Not at negotiating table and military benefits to the a large chunk of global trade., '~d from that clarity comes country. .. Washington has also declared . stability. And as we now begin. But the issue quickly ran into support for countries threat- to rebalance our security inter- the same objections that have ened by China's claims. ests into the Padfic,this be- stymied the pact's passage since Even so, Clinton told the comes very important," the mid-1990s. Twice in the Senate committee that "as a Dempsey said. past decade, the treaty was apnonparty, we cede the legal "If we do not ratify over time, proved at committee level but high ground to China. We put what would happen is that we the pact never made it the floor ourselves on the defensive. put ourselves at risk of con- for a vote by the full Senate. We are not as strong an advo- frontation with others who are Despite considerable biparticate for our friends and allies interpreting customary interna- san support and the backing of, in the region as I would like us tional law to their own benefit," probusiness groups for Unclos, to be, and I don't think that's he warned. Kerry acknowledged the diffiany place for the world's pre- . "If we are not a party to this . culty in moving the treaty; espeeminent maritime power to treaty and can't"deal with it at cially in an election year. Several Republican lawmakers on Wednesday voiced oppo.sition to the pact. "My problem is with sovereignty," Republican Sen. Jim Risch said, flipping through the pages of the treaty. "There's 288 pages here, and as you read it, there's some good stuff in here. But if we have to give up
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one scintilla of sovereignty that this country has fought, has bled for ... Ican't vote for it." Opponents of the treaty are also concerned it would cede US sovereignty to an international organization that would have the power to collect royalties on oil and mineral exploitation and use the funds to help poorer countries.

More benefits
Proponents say the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks, citing support by groups as diverse as the Chamber of Commerce, Greenpeace, members of the oil and gas industry; top US military officials and recent. Republican and Democratic administrations. The accord creates 370-km (200-nautical-mile) exclusive economic zones that give coastal states rights of development and exploitation of natural resources but protect the ability of other countries to navigate, overfly and lay communications cables across the regions. . The treaty also grants countries rights to continental shelf regions beyond the economic zones. Because of its extensive coastal regions, the United States stands to benefit more than other countries by joining the treaty; proponents say. It would extend US sovereignty to vast areas of the ocean, while putting the military's worldwide rights of navigation on firmer legal footing. Reports from AP and Reuters

OFFICEOFTHEARMYCHIEFPUBLI6AFFAIAS-EJ11ailadd:()aCpa~h~a®yiit\oo.~ofuwo

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Search for 2 missing PAF pilots, trainer plane continues
Search and retrieval operations for By JAIME LAUDE two Philippine Air Force (PAF) miss"The Air Force, in coordination with· ing pilots and their trainer plane that the Navy, deployed a boat team .to crashed in Manila Bay Friday last week intensify search in Mariveles, Bataan will continue even if the Philippine yesterday." Coast Guard (PCG) had terminated its The Coast Guard had announced that operations. . it has terminated its search and rescue Col. Miguel Okol, PAF spokesman, o'perationsforthetwomissingAirForce said a joint search team from the Navy . pilots and their trainer plane. and the Air Force as well as those comOkol said the PCG's move is uning from civilian partners ofthe military derstandablebecause they are not inwill continue scanning the seabed near valved in the sonar search and diving Corregidorisland for the missing SF-260 . operations which are being conducted' trainer and its two pilots. .' by search teams from the Air Force and "Combined Air Force and Navy team the Navy. will continue its search despite the pullThe Navy has deployed its Patrol out of the Coast Guard to attend to its Gunboat 847 and an l l-meter Rigid other important tasks," Okol said. Hull Inflatable Boat equipped with side scan sonar. Okol added thatNaval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) divers continue to search the seabed northwest of La Monja island or between the tips of Hormos and Cochinas point. An undersea Remote Operated Vehicle was also deployed to get a clearer picture of the seabed and underwater environs of the dive sites where the missing PAF trainer plane was monitored to have plunged an hour after taking off from Sangley Point in Cavite. . The Air Force also placed on standby its brand new Sokol helicopters for pessible deployment in the ongoing search and retrieval operations.

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Philippine ArlnY hold8 bsdlnln'.n
The Philippine Army and MaxForce Shuttlers will hold a friendly badminton playoffat the Philippine Army Wellness Center at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City this Saturday, May 26,2012. The open games dubbed as "Game for a Cause" aims to strengthen the collaboration between officers of the Philippine Army and badminton enthusiasts from Makati City who comprise MaxForce Shuttlers. MaxForce Shuttlers is an open group of badminton enthusiasts established to consolidate a regular badminton practice, which later developed into consistent badminton assemblies. It holds at least two tournaments a year to foster camaraderie and intensify the members' badminton expertise. It is also involved in charity works. This playoff between the two groups of badminton aficionados is expected to be the first of more friendly matches that will not" only promote good physical form among the participants, but also enhance social responsibility between the uniformed service and civic organizations towards less-privileged groups of the civilian community. :" ~~r?~c:eds of the <b~grp!~t?f! game wil! .bLd.o~.e? .t?

Inslell :For eSUGe #I

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines Inc. (OB), a nonprofit humanitarian organizatio'h that works to fight hunger, disease, unemployment, illiteracy, and abuse by providing medical missions, disaster relief, feeding, and other community development assistance to economically disadvantaged people in the Philippines. For the past 16 years, OB and the Philippine Army have worked together in organizing various civil-military operations to touch lives, share hope, and put joy in the hearts of our kababayans in the countryside. Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines is the humanitarian arm of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Asia, producer of weeknight inspirational program The 700 Club Asia. For more information on Operation Blessing's various humanitarian programs, visit www.obphil.com or call their Manila office at 477-7802 to 04.

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OFFICE OF THE ARMYCHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS .;.~mail add:oacpa.:..hpa@yahoo.com-

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THE Philippine Army and MaxForce Shuttlers will hold a friendly badminton playoff at the Army Wellness Center inside Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on Saturday. The open games, dubbed "Game for a Cause;' aims to strengthen the collaboration between officers of the Army and badminton enthusiasts from Makati City, who comprise MaxForce Shuttlers. Maxforce Shuttlers is an open group 'ofbadminton enthusiasts established to consolidate a regular badminton practice, which later developed into consistent badminton assemblies. It holds at least two tournaments a year to foster camaraderie and intensify the members' badminton expertise. It is also involved in charity works.
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The duel between the two groups of badminton aficionados is expected to be the first of more friendly matches that will not only promote good physical form among the participants, but also enhance social responsibility between the uniformed service and civic organizations towards less-privileged groups of the civilian community. Proceeds of the badminton game will be donated to Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines Inc. (OB),a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works to. fight hunger, disease, unemployment, il: literacy and abuse by providing medical missions, disaster relief feeding and other community-development assistance to economically disadvantaged people in the Philippines.

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Army marksmen hit mark inAussie meet
By JAIME LAUDE
Army shooters bagged two gold, four silver and nine bronze medals for seventh overall in the ArmySkills-at-Arms Meeting (AASAM) at the Puckapunyala Military Area in Victoria, Australia recently. ATl)lY spokesperson, Maj. Harold Cabunoc, said the Army shooting team, which arrived yesterday, finished seventh overall among firendly states, including members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and military contingents from Japan, US Army and Marines, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and French Forces New Caledonia. "The team's victory is another concrete manifestation of the Army's dynamic nature. We do not only hold guns for bloody war but also for friendly battles," he added. Aside from joining shooting competitions in foreign countries, the team is also actively involved in implementing various marksmanship training programs in different Army units . throughout the country. In 2010, the team received the Perpetual Trophy for the Rifle Falling Plates Match andhas recorded the fastest time in the obstacle course race inAASAM history. The Army shooting team also won the Megg!t International Trophy for the Battle Stimulation. The AASAM, started in 1984 at North Queensland Australia, is an annual event open to international competitors . . .Itis designed to enhance Army operational ability by means of a rigorous, challenging and combat-focused skill at arms competition . .,.With Aecaya Calero

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www.philstar.com Military continues pursuit of JI, ASG members

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The foreign terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) continues its training with the Abu Sayyaf in two island provinces known to have presence of the terror group, according to a military official here. However, LL Col. Randolf Cabangbang, spokesman of Western Mindanao Commafld (Westmincom), said the training might have been limited owing the military pursuit of the terror groups in Basilan, Sulu and in the mainland of Mindanao. "The intelligence back operations have preempted several large scale training of the terrorists and what we believed that the Jls, if they are still here, can only do so much training on mere interaction because they have always been on the run," Cabangbang said. Following capture of the Abu Sayyaf camp in the mountains of Barangay Upper Baiwas, Sumisip town, Basllan in late February, the military said the terrorists were training on bomb-making and other sabotage tactics. Cabangbang said soldiers have been stationed in the area to prevent the militants from regaining the camp and continuing their training. He said the airstrike launched by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on the Abu Sayyaf and JI camp in Parang town, Sulu last February also disrupted the training of the two terrorist factions. Meanwhile, Cabangbang clarified that only one foreign national has been abducted in the mainland of Mindanao in the recent months, while at least five others were being kept by the kidnappers in Sulu. He said the whereabouts of Australian national Warren Richard Rodwell, who was abducted last Dec. in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay province, have remained uncertain since he was sighted to be under Abu Sayyaf's captivity in Basilan, The military said the Abu Sayyaf tried to transfer Rodwell to the custody of the Sulubased Abu Sayyaf group but was turned down owing to the heightened military offensive against the militant groups. "Rodwell was brought back to Basilan and has been moved to several places out of Basilan. But as to the exact location, that is being determined," a senior military official said. However, the military and police confirmed reports that European bird watchers Elwold Horn, 52,of Holland, and Lorenzo Vinceguerre, 47, of Switzerland were already brought to Sulu. The two foreigners were forcibly taken last February 1 in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi province while on the last day of bird watching activity along with a Filipino guide who was able to escape. Cabangbang said police and military forces continue their efforts to pursue the abductors of Indian national Biju Kollaraveettil, 36, who was taken last June 22 while visiting his Filipino inlaws in Barangay Timpook, Patikul town. Police were also tracking down Hiroshima native Toshio Ito alias Amir Katayama Mamaito, who has been in captivity for more than a year now since he was taken on July 16, 2010 in Pangutaran island municipality and brought to the mainland of Sulu.

www.bulatlat.com Southern Tagalog human rights situation worsening - Karapatan-S'T The Armed Forces of the Philippines claims that it has not committed a single human rights violation during the year, but human rights and people's organizations, as well as victims and their relatives in Southern Tagalog say it is even getting worse.

By INAALLECO R. SILVERIO Bulatlat.com Karapatan Southern Tagalog is determined to do its share in exposing what it said are the lies of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when in comes to human rights. In a series of activities this May, the group denounced the AFP as "an institution swimming in the blood of victims of human rights violations in Southern Tagalog and the rest of the Philippines." Last May 14, AFP officials were quoted in an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer saying that the AFP has a clean human rights slate from January to April this year and all other human rights violations cases filed at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from July 2010 are mere accusations. In an article written by Inquirer reporter Dona Pazzibugan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office (AFPHRO) said, "No soldier has been accused of human rights violations this year." In the same report, the AFPHRO said 84 cases of alleged human rights abuses were filed against military personnel at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) since July 2010 when the Aquino administration took over. All of these complaints, however, were considered by the AFPHRO as "not having a leg to stand on based on its internal investigation." "The findings of the BOI revealed that all of the human rights violation cases tagging military personnel were only accusations and did not produce sufficient evidence against soldiers," Pazzibugan quoted AFPHRO chief Colonel Domingo Tutaan as saying. The official said the AFP's clean human rights slate from January to April showed that its advocacy to educate and train soldiers to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law on warfare was working. "The AFPHRO was very active in teaching soldiers in garrisons and in the field about human rights, international humanitarian law and pertinent laws such as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 (Republic Act No.7 438) and the rights of arrested or detained persons as well as the duties of arresting, detaining and investigating officers," he said. Karapatan-ST secretary-general Glendhyl Malabanan immediately reacted saying that for the AFP to make such a claim was ludicrous.

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"The AFP should stop spreading its lies. Currently, there are an estimated eight battalions of the army, police and Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) stationed in 22 towns and 50 barangays in the southern part of Quezon," she said. She pointed out that a such a high concentration of military forces in rural communities automatically translates to an escalation of human rights violations," she said. Units deployed in the area include Philippine Army's 85th, 76th, 74th, 59th Infantry Battalions, ist Special Forces of the Philippine Army, 201st Brigade, znd Infantry Division, CAFGU and 416th Provincial Police Mobile Group. Malabanan said while past administrations campaigns in their counterinsurgency alarming considering the concentrated deployed. Malabanan explained that Quezon, specifically South Quezon and Bondoe Peninsula, can be considered as center of agricultural production where products such as coconut, corn, and grains abound. "Minerals such as gold and petroleum are also abundant in these areas. Development programs of both the government and private companies which include Bio-diesel in Gumaca, Mirant Powerplant Extension in Atimonan, and dam construction in Macalelon are also concentrated thousands of farm lands owned by the families of Murray, Soleta, Estrada-Quizon, Matias," she said. Malabanan said given the mass potential of the region's natural resources and the agricultural gains of the provinces, it is no wonder why the government has deployed that much number of military and police to South Quezon and Bondoc Peninsula. in South Quezon Tan, Reyes and and Bondoc Peninsula. Touted as a 'Hacienda belt,' the Bondoc Peninsula, meanwhile, has also used militarization programs, the recent deployment in South Quezon is still number of military relative to the areas where they have been

Soldiers on a rampage against civilians
In a recent press conference, farmers from Quezon shared their experiences of military abuse. Malabanan said the AFP has a long record of harassing civilians and accusing them of being members of the New People's Army (NPA) or its supporters. Among the fanners who spoke was Christopher Prieto from Mulanay, Quezon. In his testimony, Prieto said that around
1:00

a.m. on May 9, several armed men came to his house and accused him

of hiding a gun. When his wife asked the unwanted visitors who they were, they only answered 'Why do you need to know who we are?"

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Prieto said that earlier in January, several of his neighbors were taken by soldiers to the military camp and subjected to interrogation and verbal abuse. One was also beaten.

In Catanuan, Quezon, military men disrupted the funeral wake of 17-year-old Manilyn Caribot. Caribot was a resident who was killed during a crossfire between the 85th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (!BPA) and the Nl'Alast April zo. According to reports, Caribot's aunt, Genelyn Dichoso, was offered P150,OOO by two soldiers for her silence and to desist from filing a case against the military. She declined. One of the men introduced himself as a lieutenant from the 76th !BPA.

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www.bulatlat.com

Negros farmers suffer atrocities from 'landlord-hired bandit group'
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO

All they want is to own the land that they have been tilling for generations but hacienderos (big landlords) have hired an armed group, which signed a peace pact with the povernment, to attack them. BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental - Her husband and her in-laws have been living in Hacienda Baldevia for more than half a century already. Grace Juayong, 22, will do what it takes to put up a good fight because of threats to their homes, their livelihood and their very lives. "Life is hard here. There are times when we eat only once or twice day. We are very lucky if we get to eat at least three times a day. But that is very rare," Juayong told Bulatlat.com in a mix of Filipino and the local language Iionggo. In a recent fact finding, medical and solidarity mission led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the team visited and interviewed residents and workers of Hacienda Baldevia regarding their conflict with the armed group Revolutionary Proletarian Army - Alex Boncayao Brigade, who were reportedly hired by landlords to quell the peasants struggle for genuine agrarian reform. Their families are being driven away from the land they have cultivated for several decades now. Juayong's 64-year-old mother-in-law was born in the disputed lands, long before it was claimed by Angel Villasor or Aquiles Baldevia. Their family earned a living by planting and selling root crops, bananas, among other staple food. Villasor then came into the picture and claimed to own some 400 hectares of the land. He hired the farmers to plant sugarcanes. In 1973, Villasor sold 24 hectares to Baldevia. The area then became known as Hacienda Baldevia. For decades after Villasor thenBaldevia laid claim to the land, the farmworkers and their families were paid meager wages ,which were not enough to provide for decent living conditions. "Back in 1973, they earned $0.70 per day. It was increased to $3.49 in 2011," Juayong said, "But they do not get to work everyday. Only if it is planting or milling season." Her husband Henry, 28, who has been working in Hacienda Baldevia since he was young takes whatever job is available. At times he would be contracted and paid $13 per hectare of land he is able to cultivate or $21 for every hectare he is able to weed. "He takes any work possible. But he is only able to find work when it is in season: during planting and milling," Juayong said. At times, she would also work in the hacienda to cover more hectares of land but under the same contract as his husband's.

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Human rights violations Farmworkers were not allowed to plant anything else even on their backyard. Once caught, Juayong said, the private security guards would destroy it. There was a time when Juayong and her family decided to plant bananas but the guards chopped it. "The land owner said that the land is only for their profit," she said. Their meager income, however, has forced them to plant root crops on idle lands beside the sugarcane plantation. The farmworkers did this collectively begining on Feb~uary 25, 2011. "We decided to cultivate the land because of our impoverished conditions. We were not asking them for the whole land, we just wanted a small garden where we can plant something that we can eat during times when there is no work available," she said, adding that they planted bananas, rice, sweet potato, monggo (mung beans), corn, coconut near the sugarcanes. In Negros, the period after the harvest and before the planting season, from April to August of every year, is called tiempo muerto because no jobs could be had and the sugar workers go hungry. But the farmworkers never had the chance to reap the fruits of their labor. "We were the ones who planted but the goons of the landlord ate it," Juayong said referring to the Revolutionary Proletarian Army - Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB, who were hired by the Baldevias to quell their defiance. The RPA-ABB is a breakaway group from the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Since it signed a peace pact with former president Joseph Estrada, with Danding Cojuangco, a landlord and uncle of President Benigno "Noynoy" C. Aquino III, acting as witness, they have been integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines as force multiplier and member of the special Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit. They are being used against the NPA and its supposed "legal fronts." The RPA-ABB members are also being hired by the provincial capitol in its projects and by landlords to protect "their lands." According to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), a total of P267 million ($ 6.21 million) of government funds have already been released to the RPA-ABB since the 1990s. In Negros OCCidental, the provincial government and the RPA-ABB have reportedly forged a memorandum of agreement, stipulating that P31 million ($720,930) of the P91 million ($2.12 million) will be released in order to fund "developmental projects." According to Willy Marbella, deputy secretary general for internal affairs of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, the farmers already filed a petition before the Department of Agrarian Reform to distribute the land. Since then, Baldevia has intensified its efforts to quell their struggle. "The source of this conflict is rooted in the land," Marbella said during the forum on the results of the fact finding, medical and solidarity mission, which was held at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.

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On December 6 to 7, 2011, the RPA~ABB first arrived in the hacienda. In a portent of things to come, Juayong said, several cases of harassments targeting the farmworkers were immediately monitored. Residents were summoned for a so-called "meeting" with the armedqroup. "It was a matter of our ranks fighting for our principles and our lives while they are here only for the money," she said, adding that RPA-ABB members reportedly receive $23.26 a day. This was also the time that the armed group introduced themselves as members of the RPA-ABB. During the December 6 meeting, one of the RPA-ABB members pointed a .38 caliber pistol at Juayong, forcing her to run for her life. The following day, members of the armed group went to their community and indiscriminately fired at them. "At times, it seems like it was a warning because their guns were painted upwards. But there were also times when they were shooting at our homes," Juayong said, "I was very angry." The RPA-ABBs WOUld,at times, go from one house to another just to provoke a fight, Juayong added. The armed group also used psywar against the residents by spreading news that the members of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers (NFSW) in Hacienda Baldevia are actually members of the New People's Army. Juayong, an active member of the NFSW, said she ignores these vilification campaigns against their legal struggle. "Whenever I would hear it, I would just ask them if they have ever seen me armed." On January 22-25, members of RPA-ABB demolished 25 homes of the farmworkers, seven were burned to the ground. "They were even laughing while they were burning our houses," Juayong said. 'They want us to leave the NFSW and support them instead," Juayong said, adding that they were really afraid at that time. Some families who lost their homes were forced to put up makeshift tents. Others moved to a nearby sugarcane plantation. They do not know yet when they would be asked by its owner to leave the property. Still, others moved to homes of their relatives in nearby sub-villages. Their relatives, who also work as sugarcane workers, are also as poor as they are but have big hearts ' to accommodate them.

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www.bulatlat.com The peace pact with the RPA-ABB BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental- During the recently concluded fact finding mission, armed men could be seen from afar, guarding the disputed lands of the 24-hectare Hacienda Baldevia. Since they arrived, farmworkers and their families have been living in hell. The armed men, who introduced themselves as members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army - Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB), arrived in Hacienda Baldevia on Dec. 6, 2011. They have committed numerous atrocities ever since, in an apparent attempt to force the farmworkers out of the hacienda. Worse, the results of the fact finding, solidarity and medical mission led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas show that their atrocities have spread to several towns and cities in Negros Island. Kiliings,abductions, burning of homes, demolition, and, consequently displacement are among the atrocities that the mission has documented. But no one has been held responsible. What is the RPA-ABB? How are they able to commit these atrocities with impunity? A breakaway group The RPA-ABB is a breakaway group of the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The split was reportedly fueled by ideological differences. But since the RPA-ABB signed a peace pact with former president Joseph Estrada, with Danding Cojuangco, a landlord and uncle of President Benigno C. Aquino III, acting as witness, in 2000 they have been integrated into the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a force multiplier and member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, which is being used against the NPA and for the neutralization of the so-called "legal fronts" of the communist group. According to its leadership, they have some 500 members in the entire Negros Island. They are now hired by the provincial and local governments as such as to become members of Task Force lIahas, a Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-led task force against illegal logging. When the local government could no longer accommodate them, they are hired by landlords as private guards to quell the struggle for genuine agrarian reform. Since the Signing of the peace pact, the RPA-ABB has received $6.21 million out of the supposed $11.62 million fund, said Willy Marbella, deputy secretary general for internal affairs, said in a press conference. Earlier in April, the Philippine Information Agency reported that Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo intends to finalize a peace agreement with the RPA-ABB . The official was also said to be pushing for the immediate Implementation of the livelihood and development programs in the province as outlined in the agreement. Degamo met with officials of the Office of the

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Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to discuss a proposed memorandum of agreement that provides for the implementation of livelihood programs once the peace talks are concluded. Government-funded Under the Aquino administration, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process has reportedly released $720,000 to the RPA-ABB. Progressive groups based in the islands of Panay and Negros were quick to criticize it, saying that the funds should be used to improve social services. "These funds should be utilized to improve much needed social services for the poor. For instance, the $720,000 can buy 17 million sacks of rice that can feed the poor families in Iloilo City. It is also more than enough to supplement the $488,000 lack of funding for state colleges and universities in Western Visayas," Bayan-Panay spokesman Lean Porquia said. Right after the dialogue with the participants of the recently concluded fact finding, solidarity and medical mission, the OPAPP issued a statement saying that they would study the findings of the mission, assuring that that "justice will be pursued." "The GPH (Government of the Phllippines)-RPM-P/RPA-ABB peace track will need all the feedback we can get from the ground. We want to put a proper closure to this track," OPAPP undersecretary Luisito Montalbo said in a statement. He added that the "closure track does not deal with nameless or bogus members. We have done member profiling and have undergone an inventory of their firearms. We can cross check if the alleged perpetrators of violence and other atrocities are indeed on the list of the RPM-P/RPAIABB members." Montalbo said the OPAPP has "only signed a memorandum of agreement with the provincial local government units but no release (offunds) was made yet pending the signing of a closure agreement." He added that the "funds are intended for development projects in the communities and will be coursed through appropriate government agencies that will implement the projects." But the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas thinks otherwise. "The memorandum is already signed. It is just a question on when it would be implemented and when the money would be released," Marbella said. Call to disband According to Fred Caria, spokesperson of Karapatan-Negros, who is also a victim of strafing of the RPA-ABB when they conducted the first fact-finding mission on March 2012, calls for the disbandment of the armed group. The RPA-ABB indiscriminately fired at the participants of the first fact-finding mission. The RPA-ABB, according to Cafia, has gained political power because the government and big landlords coddle and use them. The residents, through the help of progressive peasant and rights group, will file cases before the government agencies concerned. "We know that these are just some of the many atrocities

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perpetrated by the RPA-ABB in the Negros Island. We found more reason for the government to disband this bandit group, hold them accountable for these crimes. We seek justice for all victims of state repression," Greg Ratin, KMP-Negros spokesperson, said. Marbella reminds the people that these atrocities are rooted in the land disputes between landowners and farmworkers. "These cases highlight the need for genuine agrarian reform."

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May 2012

Page:_I_!f_

EDITORIAL
, •• ~ i

t_ f

d..f

Kidnapped
Lest the govemmerithas forgotten" there are six foreigners from at least five countries who continue to be held captive by Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu. A P50-miIIion ransom is reportedly being demanded for two of the foreigners" from the Netherlands and Switzerland, who were snatched in Tawi-Tawi where they were on a bird-watching tour. The other captives are from Australia, India and Japan. Security officials have withheld the identity and nationality of the sixth captive. All countries have security problems, and Sulu, Basilan and TawiTawi have never been tourist or investment destinations. But longfestering security problems in those three provinces, and in several other areas of Mindanao, are still bad news particularly for a country that is trying to attract more investors and tourists. A big loser is Tawi-Tawi, which is trying to change its image and transform the province, with its unique culture and natural attractions, into a tourist destination. Those two bird watchers could have brought back with them to Europe stories of how truly fun it is in the Philippines. While all countries have security problems, each is judged by the measures taken to promote public safety. Tourists aren't the only ones threatened in certain areas in the Philippines, major investments, particularly in underdeveloped rural areas where they are most needed, also suffer violent, destructive attacks staged by members of the New People's Army and other extortion groups. Foreign engineers working on development projects have been kidnapped and held for ransom. If these kidnapping cases aren't solved soon and further attacks prevented, the government could find itself facing a situation similar to the time when the entire Philippine travel and tourism industry suffered from the Abu Sayyaf's kidnapping spree in Sulu and Basilan. Allowing the Abu Sayyaf to pocket huge sums of ransom moneYr reportedly with certain local executives sharing in the loot, guaranteed the flourishing of kidnapping for a few more years. This problem must be dealt with quickly and decisively, with no one being allowed to profit from the crime.

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-1 r: u> May 2012

BUSINE~ A~USUAL.'

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