fix articles 44690, bartolome bacarro
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.
MILF UNFAZED BY ARREST WARRANTS, MILITARY OFFENSIVE (tags)
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is unfazed by the threat of “punitive action” from the government and urged it to review first the provisions of the ceasefire agreement before serving the warrants of arrest on those allegedly involved in the July 10 ambush of Marines in Basilan. MILF chief negotiator Muhaquer Iqbal said they are unfazed by the military’s threat to arrest those behind the ambush.
AFP chief gives green light for Basilan offensive (tags)
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. issued an order yesterday to the troops currently on standby in Basilan to commence military operations in the island province. “It’s all systems go. The units can now start punitive actions against the perpetrators. The orders have been given,” said AFP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, referring to military actions against those behind the beheading of the 10 Marines during the July 10 ambush in Tipo-Tipo. Brig. Gen. Juancho Sabban, deputy chief of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), was designated to head the newly formed Task Force Meteor aimed at capturing the group responsible for the ambush.
MILF given one week to surrender ambushers (tags)
---THE Armed Forces on Wednesday gave the Moro Islamic Liberation Front seven days to surrender its fighters that took part in a bloody battle with Marines in Basilan last week. Another Marine battalion will be deployed to the island province, which is also a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf. The Armed Forces Public Information chief, Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro, said the additional battalion will beef up troops going after Moro rebels who ambushed a group of Marines in Tipo-Tipo town.
ANOTHER BATALLION SENT TO BASILAN (tags)
-The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is deploying another Marine battalion in Basilan to augment government forces massing up in the province in preparation for the hunt for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels behind the June 10 ambush. “We will be deploying another Marine battalion to the area, on top of the earlier deployment of a Marine battalion from Sulu to Basilan,” AFP Public Information Office chief Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. He said the deployment of additional troops is in anticipation of a bigger force against military operations following “punitive actions against the suspects.”
Ermita raises possibility of political pardon to Honasan, Trillanes (tags)
Malacañang yesterday floated the possibility of Presi-dent Arroyo granting senators-elect Gregorio Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV political amnesty in the spirit of reconciliation, good governance and national progress, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) quoted Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as saying yesterday. In his regular media briefing this afternoon in Malacañang, Ermita was said to have cited the President’s policy of extending her hand of reconciliation to detractors of her administration, including armed rebels and political leaders.
Talks with MILF to resume after elections (tags)
Stalled peace talks between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are to resume after the May 14 elections. Both sides have agreed to work toward a resumption of the talks, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said in a statement Thursday. ---BACKED by howitzer and mortar fire, elite Army troops on Thursday seized a makeshift camp of the Moro National Liberation Front in Sulu where nearly 100 Abu Sayyaf extremists were believed to be hiding.
War in Mindanao :Palace, AFP reject OIC call for ceasefire in Sulu (tags)
Manila-- Malacañang is giving full support to the military offensive against renegade Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces in Sulu, which entered its fourth day of fierce fighting yesterday. While the government acknowledges the appeal of the 47-nation Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to disengage forces, Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said there must be an assurance against further attacks from the renegade forces. Nearly 8,500 families ( 40,000 people)have fled the fighting and thousands crammed into schools and gymnasiums in downtown Jolo, relying on food rations from disaster agencies. The mass evacuations are a bitter development for conflict-scarred residents, who had hoped Jolo was becoming a more stable place after a long-running military campaign to rid the island of scores of Islamic militants.
8,000 families displaced in Sulu fighting; OIC steps in (tags)
More than 8,000 families ( 40,000 people)have fled their homes as Marines and Army troops hunted down renegade Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) commander Habier Malik and his men, who have killed 12 people in Sulu. For three days now, thousands of troops have been sent to Sulu to run after Malik’s band after he escaped when the military captured his sprawling hilltop encampment in Panamao, Sulu on Sunday. Reports said several MNLF commanders, along with an undetermined number of fighters from the towns of Pata, Daungdong and Capual in Sulu, are now fighting alongside Malik.
54 AFP mutineers plead guilty, get 7 years (tags)
A military court, in a plea bargain deal, sentenced yesterday 54 soldiers out of the more than 600 involved in the failed Oakwood mutiny in July 2003 to seven years and six months in prison. Aside from the jail term, the seven-member military tribunal chaired by Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Legaspi also ordered the dishonorable discharge of the convicted officers. In secret balloting, the seven members unanimously found the 54 soldiers guilty of violating the Articles of War for "conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline."
Military officers involved in last year’s coup plot ordered detained (tags)
— Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. ordered the detention here of all the military officers involved in last year’s foiled coup attempt. Esperon effectively wanted all those implicated in the power grab detained in one facility, directing the various commands to relinquish custody of the 28 officers charged before the General Court Martial to effectively acquire jurisdiction over them. The announcement came after the arraignment of the 28 accused officers was rescheduled after defense lawyers demanded to see a copy of the pre-trial investigation.
New GMA's Appointments: Ebdane to DND, Nachura to SC (tags)
Malacañang formally announced yesterday the appointment of former public works chief Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. as the new defense secretary, ignoring recommendations for a civilian to head the sensitive post. Ebdane, 58, replaces Avelino Cruz, who quit unexpectedly in November, fueling speculation of a rift in President Arroyo’s Cabinet over moves to change the Constitution. Also at Malacañang yesterday, Chief Justice Reynato Puno announced Mrs. Arroyo’s appointment of Solicitor General Antonio Eduardo Nachura as Supreme Court associate justice. Ebdane was reportedly the one who brought out of the country former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano at the height of the vote rigging controversy involving Mrs. Arroyo. Ebdane denied the accusations
Tight security ring thrown around six detained colonels (tags)
-The military threw a tight security ring around the six Marine colonels involved in the failed February coup attempt following reports of sympathizers planning to free them. The six colonels—Ariel Querubin, Orlando de Leon, Januario Caringal, Armando Banez, Custodio Parcon and Achilles Segumalian—were currently being detained at a Marine base in Manila. They are among 13 Marine officers and 25 Army officers, including a brigadier general, detained for their alleged involvement in a plot with communist insurgents and opposition figures to bring down the government in February.
Gov’t troops clash with Silay attackers (tags)
rmy troopers clashed yesterday with a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels believed responsible for the attack on the construction site of an international airport in Silay City in Negros Occidental last Sunday.
NPA GUERILLAS STRIKES IN NEGROS, WESTERN VISAYAS (tags)
About 50 communist rebels, posing as policemen, attacked the construction site of a foreign-funded international airport in Silay City, Negros Occidental, early Sunday, burning down P30-million worth of equipment. The P4.3-billion airport is one of three newly developed airports in three provinces mentioned by the President in her State of the Nation address in July.