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NPA INTENSIFIES ATTACKS (tags)
The communist New People’s Army (NPA) has apparently intensified its rebellious campaign as it has launched attacks on government stablishments and a private-owned business for allegedly not paying its demanded “revolutionary tax.”
New AFP chief dared to bring abusive military personnel before Congress (tags)
Taking cue from the statement of newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander Yano to make good his promise to turn over to civilian authorities military personnel involved in abusing military detainees, opposition lawmaker Rep. Teofisto Guingona III yesterday challenged the latter to fulfill his promise by turning over erring personnel to the House committee on human rights. “Bring those erring officers before the committee on human rights of the House of Representatives so that we may know the truth,” Guingona said.
Philippines: Senate alarmed by resurgence of killings (tags)
Senate leaders yesterday raised the alarm over the apparent resur-gence of extra-judicial killings in the country, taking to task the Philippine National Police (PNP) in containing the situation before it gets worse. Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., in condemning the killing of Fr. Rey Roda, OMI in Sulu, and the abduction of teacher Omar Taub during a raid on a church-run school, also warned authorities that the case had already raised tension in the province.
AFP seeks additional troops, P3.5B to quash insurgents (tags)
President Arroyo yesterday said she is merely awaiting the recommendation of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro to approve the proposal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) leadership to beef up its strength by six battalions to bolster the government’s campaign to stamp out the decades-old local communist insurgency. Presiding over the first AFP Command Conference of 2008 at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday morning, Mrs. Arroyo listened intently to the presentations of the military brass, led by AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on the insurgency situation and other threats to national security. Esperon reported to the President that the AFP needs six more battalions and P3.5 billion to implement its “unified command” program. In addition to the six battalions, the AFP hopes to constitute 20 more Cafgu (Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit) companies to help the military fight insurgency in the countryside.
Palace alarmed, denies slash: US State Dep’t cuts aid to RP military (tags)
Aid to the Philippine military has been from slashed from some $30 million to a mere $11 million for 2008 or a cut of two thirds, by the United States State Department, as shown in its Web site. Malacañang executives, clearly alarmed at the report, yesterday claimed that the report was false, while US Embassy spokesman Matthew Lussenhop failed to provide a categorical response on whether there was a slashing of military aid, saying instead that no US budget has been submitted as yet and that the budget is a “complex” and “negotiated” procedure by Congress, even when the Web site of the State Department showed the slashed figures, which the Washington Post reported was personally allocated by State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, country by country. The Congress Web site, moreover, showed a higher aid figure for the Philippines.
State raises concession in ultimatum to MILF (tags)
Making it more apparent that it is walking on eggshells on the matter, the government yesterday said while its set deadline for it had lapsed last Sunday, its doors are still open to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to surrender its members who were responsible for killing 14 Marines soldiers after an encounter in the island province of Basilan in the South two weeks ago. Government peace panel chief Rodolfo Garcia told reporters in an interview that even after its ultimatum had passed with the Muslim secessionist group ignoring its call, the government still hopes the MNLF’s leadership would be honorable enough to yield its members who killed 14 Marines soldiers, and even beheaded and mutilated the bodies of 10 of them, in an accidental clash in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan last July 10.
AFP attack planes mobilized; 12 killed in NPA-military clashes (tags)
The area command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has mobilized attack planes and gunship helicopters to extend air support to the combat battalions currently pursuing communist insurgents in Compostela Valley province and Davao Oriental. Clashes between government troops and members of the New People’s Army (NPA) left four soldiers and eight rebels dead, military officials yesterday said. Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Obaniana, AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command area chief, ordered Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, 10th Infantry Division (ID) commander, to use all available combat personnel and military bulldozers to “pin down” the communist rebels.