Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pentagon to send hundreds of additional spies overseas: report

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 3): Pentagon to send hundreds of additional spies overseas: report

The Pentagon will send hundreds of additional spies overseas as part of an ambitious plan to assemble an espionage network that rivals the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in size, a newspaper report said on Sunday. The five-year project is aimed at transforming the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which has been dominated in the past decade by the demands of the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, into a spy service focused on emerging threats and more closely aligned with the CIA and elite military commando units, The Washington Post said in its report.

 Once the DIA expansion is complete, it will have 1,600 "collectors" deployed around the world -- something unprecedented for the agency, said the report. In addition to military attaches and others who do not work undercover, more clandestine operatives will be deployed overseas. They will be trained by the CIA and often work with the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, but they will get their spying assignments from the Department of Defense. "This is a major adjustment for national security," DIA Director Michael Flynn said at a recent conference while outlining the changes. The sharp increase in DIA undercover operatives is part of a far-reaching trend: a convergence of the military and intelligence agencies that has blurred their once-distinct missions, capabilities and even their leadership ranks, according to the report.  The DIA overhaul, combined with the CIA expansion since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, will create a U.S. spy network of unprecedented size. It reflects the Obama administration's affinity for espionage and covert action over conventional force, said the report. Pentagon officials added that sending more DIA operatives overseas will shore up intelligence on subjects that the CIA is not able or willing to pursue.

CPP/NPA: 2 fascist soldiers killed in an encounter with the NPA

Posted to the CPP Website (Dec 2): 2 fascist soldiers killed in an encounter with the NPA

Tipon Gil-ayab
NPA Kalinga (Lejo Cawilan Command)

At 9 o’clock in the morning of November 30, an encounter ensued in Inumbog, Bagtayan, Pasil between two platoon-sized columns of the anti-people Philippine Army from the 21st IB and an undersized platoon of the NPA. Instantly killed were two fascist soldiers. Immediately after, the NPA retreated to a safe place without any casualty. In the afternoon of the same day, two helicopters dropped bombs indiscriminately in the forest areas between Inumbog, Bagtayan, Pasil and Gaang, Talalang, Balbalan. Inumbog and Gaang are just two of the five small-scale mining areas of the Guinaang and Banao tribes in that mountainous vicinity. Fearing that the fascist soldiers might avenge and commit again human rights violations against the small-scale miners who are daily workers in the Inumbog area, civilians from Barangay Bagtayan went immediately to Inumbog in order to tell the reactionary army not to do any harm to their tribemates. But latest reports indicate that about 20 small-scale miners were rounded-up and harassed by the 21st IB.

Actually, the two platoon-sized columns from the 21st IB were on patrol as part of their “Peace and Development Team” (PDT) operations under OPlan Bayanihan of the reactionary AFP and the present anti-Filipino US-Aquino Regime. In reality, the 501st Infantry Brigade and the 21st IB do serve as “Investment Defense Force” for the safe entry of foreign capitalist large-scale mines, hydropower dams and geothermal energy projects that virtually land grab the ancestral lands, deny and destroy the national minorities’ livelihood and resources.

Pasil is just one of the municipalities of Kalinga, enclosed by the Exploration Permit Applications of four foreign mining companies, namely: Asia Pacific Basin Mining Corp., Philippine Mining Development Corp., Facets Minerals, Inc. and Makilala Mining Corp. Note that Asia Pacific Basin Mining Corp. not only covers the other municipalities of Kalinga but also the two municipalities of Abra, namely, Boliney and Daguiman. Boliney is also encased by Makilala Mining Corp. Another application by Mount Franz Mining Corp. (owned by Lepanto) for Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) also covers Pasil, the 5 other municipalities of Kalinga (Balbalan, Lubuagan, Tinglayan, Tanudan and Tabuk), and the two municipalities of Mountain Province (Sadanga and Bontoc). The municipality of Pasil is also affected greatly by the Chevron Geothermal Philippines and its two subsidiaries, the Aragorn Energy and Power Corporation (APEC) and Guidance Management Corporation (GMC). Chevron shall be constructing a 100-megawatt geothermal power plant. This project will cost $300 million (about P13 billion). It covers 17,580 hectares of the ancestral lands of the tribes of Culayo, Balatoc, Guinaang, Dangtalan and Ableg in Pasil; the Uma tribe in Lubuagan; and the tribes of Tongrayan, Dananao, Sumadel, Tulgao and Bangad in Tinglayan.

Bangsamoro region to correct ARMM flaws

From the Business World (Dec 2): Bangsamoro region to correct ARMM flaws

The new leadership of the future Bangsamoro region in Mindanao will overhaul and eradicate flaws of the existing autonomous Muslim region, a Moro rebel official said. "I appeal to all to support the Framework Agreement because we are optimistic that when this agreement is fully realized then it will usher in our long-sought entrenchment of a Bangsamoro Government," Ghazali Jaafar, vice-chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said in a statement.

Mr. Jaafar said establishing Islamic principles for the new government system is one of the main objectives of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro that the government and the MILF inked last October. "The MILF vision for a Bangsamoro government with a system characterized by good governance, transparency, of real democracy anchored on Islamic principles, rule of law, and guarantee of equal rights and responsibilities," he said. He said the system of governance is not new and possible to achieve under the Bangsamoro. "The Bangsamoro had lived up to that grandeur of governance during the regimes of the Moro sultanates," he said.

Both parties are now nearing to complete the agreement with the three annexes on wealth and power sharing, and the normalization process, where Moro fighters are expected to lay down their arms. The new region, which will replace the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by 2016 as projected by the two parties, aims to respond to the aspiration of the Bangsamoro for self-determination through self-governance under a basic law.

Mr. Jaafar said the Bangsamoro government will weed out the traditional politics and politicians capitulated by political dynasties. "What we will build and restore is Bangsamoro government that is strong, popular and responsible. A government that is honest and accountable. A government that will really care and will not exploit its people," he added.

During a recent forum here, Johaira C. Wahab, the head of the government technical team who led the drafting of the agreement with the MILF, described the framework deal as a political document. She said the framework and planned basic law will rely more on principles rather than a mere enumeration of rights and duties to make the Bangsamoro autonomy workable and genuine.

Estafa filed vs general’s wife, 6 others for P2.2-billion scam

From the Business Mirror (Dec 2): Estafa filed vs general’s wife, 6 others for P2.2-billion scam

A large-scale estafa against a multimillion-peso business venture similar to the Aman Futures business scam was filed against the wife of a ranking military general and six accomplices in connection with the alleged construction of an aquaculture and hydrophonic project with a total cost of P2.2 billion. Luis Baldoz, president of Big Five Corp., and Erwin Prado, a project engineer of RC Tagala Construction Co. have filed a joint complaint affidavit charging Ma. Nenita Sodusta, Cynthia and Bernardo Cielo, George Cofreros, Danilo Navarro, Luis Gonzales and Christopher Gonzaga for large-scale estafa for alleged conspiracy and fraud in the construction of 20 units of a one-story aquaculture building with amenities purportedly to be constructed and installed in Barangay Victoria, Dumangas, Iloilo.

The complaint was filed on Nov. 27, at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Crame, a copy of which reached the BusinessMirror. The complaint alleged that Sodusta, Cielo, Cofreros, Navarro, Gonzales and Gonzaga have falsely represented themselves as possessing credit business and power through the alleged Hong Kong-based company Sun City Capital Investment Corp. Ltd., (SCCIC), an alleged corporation with corporate office address at 28th Floor, Soundwill Plaza, 38 Russel Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, to provide and facilitate funding of the project.....

Sodusta, alleged wife of Armed Forces’ National Intelligence Communications Agency (NICA) chief Gen. Jeffrey Sodusta, is president of Dumangas Integrated Aqua Green System Corp. (DIAGSCORP); while Cynthia and Bernardo Cielo, Cofreros, Navarro, Gonzales are all members of the board of directors. Gonzaga allegedly acts as the treasurer and corporate secretary of the company which proposed the aquaculture and hydrophonic project. In the negotiations, General Sodusta was allegedly always present but claimed he is not part of DIAGSCORP because he is with the AFP. The complainants claimed that despite the resources of NICA, it failed to detect the bogus status of SCCIC.....

Detained marine cries persecution

From the Manila Standard Today (Dec 3): Detained marine cries persecution

A RETIRED colonel who has been restricted to quarters since July 2011 for criticizing the administration of President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday questioned his continued detention and accused the military brass of persecution. “What is my status? Am I a prisoner of war, a political prisoner or what?” said retired Col. Generoso Mariano, who was arrested on July 15, 2011, three days shy of his retirement, for the remarks that were captured on video and posted on the Internet.

When he was restricted to quarters, he was not apprised of his rights, Mariano said. Visits by relatives and friends were disallowed, and he needed approval from the officers in charge even to go to church to hear Mass. Mariano also accused outgoing Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama of prolonging his court martial, and seeking to evict him and his family from their home inside Marine headquarters. He said they want to move him —without his family—to a small room in another building. Mariano was adjudged best commander of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 9 in 2006 and 2009, but he was also among the officers sent to military prison for leading the bloody 1989 coup attempt against the President’s mother, then President Corazon Aquino. A spokesman for Pama, Col. Omar Tonsay, declined to comment on Mariano’s claims.

The former colonel’s recent problems began when an unknown party uploaded onto YouTube a video of Mariano criticizing President Aquino hours before he was to arrive at Armed Forces headquarters for his fourth command conference. The video was dated July 3, 2011, but Mariano said the video was taken by a group that invited him as speaker in an “academic forum” on June 24, 2011, at Club Filipino. Mariano’s friend, retired Col. Ariel Querubin, said the Solidarity for Sovereignty (S4) could be responsible for recording the video and uploading it....

.....Mariano’s counsel, Fernando Perito, said they are preparing to file a petition before the Court of Appeals to seek a temporary restraining order against the military court. Mariano’s retirement benefits remain on hold pending the trial by the military court.

Indons Urge MILF-MNLF Unity

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 2): Indons Urge MILF-MNLF Unity

Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second biggest Islamic group with over 37-million members, has joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in seeking to unite the two Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Dr. Sirajuddin "Din" Syamsuddin, Muhammadiyah president, convened a meeting between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Bogor City, Western Java, Indonesia, for three days on Nov. 24 to 26. Syamsuddin invited MNLF founding Chairman Nur Misuari as well as Cotabato City Vice Mayor Muslimin Sema, who chairs his own MNLF group, for a meeting at the sidelines of the 4th World Peace Forum (WPF) on Nov. 23 to 26. The MILF sent Sheikh Abduwahab Faisal, Hadji Abdulla Camlian, MILF peace panel member, and Hadji Salim Sahaji to the meeting. Muhammadiyah also invited representatives of the Government of the Philippines (GPH), led by Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Q. Deles to the MNLF-MILF peace talks. Lawyer Bayan G. Balt, legal counsel and adviser to the MNLF-Sema group, relayed this to the Manila Bulletin yesterday. At the meeting, Syamsuddin gave lecture in front the Moro fronts' leaders on the Holy Qur'an and Hadith injunctions on Islamic unity.

“Dr. Din Syamsuddin had made it clear at the meeting that Muhammadiyah was only following the OIC resolution in Djibouti that called for the convergence of the Framework Agreement with the Tripoli Agreement and Final Peace Agreement," said Balt. He said the OIC resolution called for the creation of the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF). The Indonesian leader was referring to the call of the 57 foreign ministers of OIC member during the 39th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Djibouti, East Africa, on Nov. 15 to 17. Balt said that at the end of the MNLF-MILF meeting, Muhammadiyah came up with a document titled "Towards Permanent Unity and Peace for the Bangsamoro." Only Syamsuddin and Dr. Sodibyo Markus, Muhammadiyah vice president for International Relations, signed the document, he said. None of the participants from the Philippines did, said Balt. Balt quoted Misuari as describing the document as "dangerous." "I will leave the problem to the OIC," Misuari said as quoted by Balt. On the other hand, the MILF representatives and Sema were opened to the idea of unity for the benefit of the Bangsamoro people, he said.

At the opening of the MNLF-MILF meeting, Deles cited GPH's "intention" under President Benigno S. Aquino III "to bring the MILF and MNLF peace tracks to converge, knowing fully well that it is not possible to talk about separate futures for both." Balt marveled at the resources of Muhammadiyah. "We were billeted one room each at the five-start Novotel Bogor Hotel, with each room at $350 a night," said Balt, expressing admiration at Muhammadiyah's funding. On second thought, it is not surprising, he said, because the Indonesian group has its own investments in hospitals, schools, etc., and has even sent relief assistance to the Philippines.

Kidnappers contact Zamboanga teacher’s family

From the Philippine Star (Dec 2): Kidnappers contact Zamboanga teacher’s family

Gunmen holding captive a public school teacher here have reportedly contacted the victim’s family and made their demands, a local official said yesterday. Mayor Celso Lobregat said the kidnappers have called the family of Flordeliza Ongchua, 48, a resident of Labuan village in this city. “The suspects have already contacted the victim’s family who requested to the crisis management committee to allow them to deal privately with the kidnappers,” Lobregat said. The mayor, however, refused to divulge the demands made by the suspects in exchange for the victim’s release. Ongchua was snatched by 13 gunmen who disguised as soldiers last Nov. 13 in Barangay Labuan. Police have not located the whereabouts of the victim since her kidnapping although they are monitoring the nearby provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Basilan province where most kidnapped victims were being held for a certain period before their release. Senior Superintendent James Mejia, city police director and Task Force Flor commander, admitted they have no idea whose group was responsible for the kidnapping of Ongchua.

Storm signal #1 over 18 provinces

From Rappler (Dec 2): Storm signal #1 over 18 provinces

Typhoon "Pablo"accelerated after entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and storm signal #1 was raised over 18 provinces in Mindanao and Visayas on Sunday, December 2. In its 11 pm bulletin, weather bureau PAGASA announced that as of 10pm Pablo (international codename: Bopha) was located 810 kilometers (km) Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (6.4°N, 134.0°E). The typhoon is packing maximum sustained winds of 185 km per hour and gusts of up to 220 km/h, and moving west northwest at 26 km/h. PAGASA chief weather forecaster Robert Sawi earlier said that Pablo would make landfall in northern Mindanao or eastern Visayas Tuesday, December 4.

Mindanao, Visayas to be hit

Pablo is forecast to pass through central Visayas toward Panay, then northern Palawan and Mindoro before exiting the country into the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). Heavy to intense rainfall (20-30 millimeters per hour) is expected within the typhoon's 700 km diameter, and large parts of Mindanao and Visayas should prepare for floods and landslides. Public storm signal warning #1 (45-60 km/h winds in the next 36 hours) is in place over 18 provinces in Mindanao and Visayas:
  • Surigao del Sur
  • Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island
  • Dinagat Island
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Norte inluding Samal Island
  • Compostela Valley
  • Bukidnon
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Camiguin
  • Bohol
  • Biliran
  • Camotes Island
  • Southern Leyte
  • Leyte
  • Eastern Samar
  • Western Samar
By Monday evening, Pablo will be 235 km East of Hinatuan and is expected to make landfall before noon on Tuesday over the northern portion of Surigao del Sur. The typhoon will then travel to the Bohol, Cebu, Negros and Panay, and by Tuesday evening will be in the vicinity of Iloilo. Pablo is forecast to continue moving toward Busuanga (northern Palawan) on Wednesday and on early Thursday morning will exit the PAR unless it makes a U-turn and approaches Luzon. The typhoon is being closely monitored by foreign weather bureaus: US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center classified Pablo as a "super typhoon", while the Japan Meteorological Agency said it was a "very strong" storm......

MOVING WEST. Typhoon track as of 8 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Two teachers no longer report for work in Davao’s NPA-infested village

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 2): Two teachers no longer report for work in Davao’s NPA-infested village

At least two teachers assigned in a school in Barangay Malabog in Paquibato District here have not reported for work for more than two weeks due to fear of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area. This was confirmed recently by Lt. Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, commander of the 69th Infantry Battalion (IB), in an interview at the sidelines of the installation of the new chief of Task Force Davao at its headquarters inside the Sta. Ana Wharf compound. Pasaporte said the teacher's move came after 17 families were evacuated from their houses in Purok 26, Sitio Alon, to Sitio Malikongkong in November 6, and since then stayed away from the area due to sightings of NPA rebels in the place.

He also confirmed that there were elementary students among the evacuees, whose studies might be affected because of the sudden evacuation. “Merong mga elementary students at lalong nakapasaklap dyan ay pati na yung mga guro dun sa school nay yun na may Grade I and II classrooms ay hindi na rin nag-rereport sa trabaho nila kasi natatakot na rin (There were elementary students but what is sad to note is that even teachers in that school with two Grades, I and II, have also failed to report for work due to fear),” he said.

Pasaporte said this was the result of the continued harassment by the rebel group, especially the one led by Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, Pulang Bagani Command. He said residents who would not give in to the demands of Pitao to join rallies and demonstrations in protest to the presence of government troops in the area are immediately suspected as being military informants. The military official said now that the main headquarters of the battalion is already in Paquibato district, they will be augmenting forces from the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) especially that they received intelligence reports that the abandoned village will be reportedly used as venue for the 44th year anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 27.

Reinvestigation set on murder raps vs Abu Sayyaf

From the Sun Star (Dec 2): Reinvestigation set on murder raps vs Abu Sayyaf

The Department of Justice will conduct a reinvestigation of the murder and kidnapping for ransom case filed against suspected members of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group responsible for the abduction of six members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Patikul, Sulu in August 2002. Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said the reinvestigation was based on the request made by several accused who, insisting on their innocence, claimed that they were randomly arrested by military officers based on erroneous intelligence data.

The reinvestigation will take place on Monday at 10 a.m., upon the orders of Judge Toribio Ilao Jr. of the Pasig regional trial court Branch 266, who has jurisdiction to hear the case at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, where the accused are currently detained while undergoing trial. Without naming the accused who requested for investigation, Ong said the RTC felt that there was merit in the request of the alleged suspects behind the abduction and the beheading of at least two Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The victims – four females and two males – were doing door-to-door sale of Avon cosmetic products when the Abu Sayyaf bandits seized them. Records showed that the bandits beheaded the two male hostages, whose bodies were found in an open air market in Jolo a day after they were kidnapped. Officials identified the two dead men as Lemuel Bantolo and Leonel Mantic. They said Mantic's 23-year-old wife was among the two other captives. The rest of the hostages were rescued after weeks of military operations against the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Sulu.

Last November 25, joint military and police operatives arrested in Zamboanga City another suspected Abu Sayyaf bandit involved in the 2002 kidnapping, based on the report of the Philippine Army’s First Infantry Division. Walid Amping alias Tuma has a standing warrant from the Pasig court, as well as for another murder case filed before a Zamboanga City RTC.

Arrival of new PH navy ship pushed back

From ABS-CBN (Dec 2): Arrival of new PH navy ship pushed back

Ongoing repairs on the Philippines’ second Hamilton-class cutter will further delay its arrival in the country’s shores. "The repair is continuing, ongoing. Its new (arrival) schedule is most probably March or early April (next year)," Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said. The warship was named after war hero Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a distinguished Philippine Navy Officer during the Second World War who was awarded the Silver Star for shooting down three Japanese planes off Bataan in 1942.  The ship was formally transferred to the Philippine government, under its first Filipino Commanding Officer Ernesto Baldovin, last May 22 in South Carolina. Pama said the warship is still being fitted with a new engine. "The governing (work) is the installation of a new main engine, replacement of one of the engines. That is what's being done now, it’s not yet complete.”

Nonetheless, the delay will allow 90 officers and men of the Philippine Navy will have more time to train in handling the warship, he said. "Our men are taking advantage of this (delay) to have additional training," said Pama. They are currently being trained by the US Coast Guard in South Carolina, where the warship is docked. Defense and military officials had said BRP Ramon Alcaraz has a better fire control and weapon systems than the country's first warship also bought from the US. BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrived in August 2011. It has since been dispatched to the West Philippine Sea. Pama said BRP Ramon Alcaraz will be “sent where it is needed, just like del Pilar.” The country is claiming ownership over the West Philippine Sea, which is being questioned by China.

US Navy predicts Typhoon Bopha's path to cut across Visayas

Posted to GMANews (Dec 2): US Navy predicts Typhoon Bopha's path to cut across Visayas
Uploaded on 5:54AM
US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center's prediction of Typhoon Bopha's path. US Navy JTWC

Solons call for release of DND-DILG rebel list

From the Daily Tribune (Dec 1): Solons call for release of DND-DILG rebel list

Lawmakers affiliated with the Makabayan bloc yesterday hit the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Order 14-2012 which lists an alleged “235 wanted communists” with an updated bounty on their heads of P466.88 million. The bloc also file House Resolution 2927 to investigate what they called “a very dangerous list.”

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares said “the list should be scrapped or at the very least there should be a full disclosure of such a listing, which in military terms is basically an order of battle.” “This list is essentially telling state security forces that the policy of neutralizing and eliminating activists and communists remain. Members of legal organizations and party-lists might be on the said list as the government continues to file and pursue fabricated charges and violate due-process rights of activists,” Colmenares said. “One very frightening consequence of this list is that certain military officials might resort to surveilling, arresting or killing fall guys, activists and anyone or producing fake surrenderees in order to get the money reward,” he added.

For his part, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said the Aquino administration refused to release the more than 401 political prisoners and continued to jail 13 National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants and personnel in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (Jasig). “This DND-DILG increased-bounty list will also violate the Jasig and sabotage the already stalled peace talks, as the list includes NDF consultants and personnel. How can peace talks continue if the consultants for one side are always being threatened with arrest, harassment or being killed because of this list,” said Mariano.

Gabriela Women’s Rep. Luz Ilagan said the so-called rebel lists betray the insincerity of the Aquino government with regards to the peace talks with the communist group. “They are saying they are serious with the peace talks and yet it seems they want to have the peace negotiators arrested,” Ilagan said. “This so-called list can be used by death squads to assassinate anyone who is supposed to be there,” said Colmenares.

4 Basilan municipalities to receive P40-M PAMANA projects

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 2): 4 Basilan municipalities to receive P40-M PAMANA projects

Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar has recently announced that four municipalities in the province are set to receive P40 million worth of the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn-Department of Interior and Local Government(PAMANA)-DILG projects. Akbar said this came about as the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) last week has approved and endorsed the project proposals submitted to the PAMANA-DILG Funds. Akbar, as the governor, chairs the PPOC. Akbar said that under the law, the PPOC is tasked to assist in the approval and implementation of the PAMANA projects which cover Lantawan, Maluso, Tipo-Tipo, and Tuburan in the aggregate amount of P40 million.

 The provincial office of DILG has already received a notice of cash allocation for the implementation of the project, she said. The funds under the PAMANA-DILG Fund for CY-2012 were already released and downloaded to the DILG Regional Office-9, she added. The projects to be implemented in the four areas are as follows: construction of public market building (P5 million), water supply development (P 3 million), and provision of rubber nursery (P 2 million) in Lantawan; concreting of 500 linear meters road (P 7.5 million), and provision of fish cage livelihood project (P 2.5 million) in Maluso; and, provision of organic farming livelihood (P 7 million), and construction of box culvert for four locations (P 3-M) in Tuburan. The Municipality of Tipo-Tipo will have P 10 million-worth of farm-to-market road projects with a P 1.1 million counterpart from the municipal government. The farm-to-market roads projects are: rehabilitation of three kilometers (km) Badja-Bangcuang farm-to-market road; 2.5-km Lagayas-Limpoupas road; three-km Lagayas-Bohetambak road; and, 2.5-km Tipo-Tipo proper-Sitio Sumenne Tarbadeko road.

The implementation of PAMANA projects is the national government’s program and framework for peace and development. It is implemented in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements.

Newly-promoted AFP generals, flag officers to take oath before President Aquino on Monday

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 2): Newly-promoted AFP generals, flag officers to take oath before President Aquino on Monday

Fifty-three newly-promoted generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will take their oaths before President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang on Monday. The AFP said heading the pack are newly-appointed Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel A. Coballes and Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio E. Macapagal. The oath-taking is customary following an officer’s promotion to a star rank. The VCSAFP and TDCSAFP will be joined by Vice Admiral Jose Luis M. Alano, current commander of the Central Command (CENTCOM); Lt.Gen. Rey C. Ardo, current commander of Eastern Mindanao Command; and Major Gen. Alan R. Luga, current commander of the Southern Luzon Command.

 Infantry Division commanders will also take their oath, including Major Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, commander of 1st ID; Major Gen. Gerardo T. Layug, commander of 8th ID; Major Gen. Nestor A. Añonuevo, commander of 4th ID; Major Gen. Ariel B. Bernardo, commander of 10th ID; and Brig.Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr., commander of 7th ID.

Top officers holding vital offices in the AFP are also set to be sworn in. They include Major Gen. Marlou L. Salazar, Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs; Rear Adm. Wenefredo B. Banua, Chief AFP Resource Management Office; Rear Adm. Zyril D. Carlos, Chairman of the AFP Bids and Awards Committee (BAC); Major Gen. Virgilio O. Domingo, Commandant of the AFP Command and General Staff College; and Major Gen. Jeffrey F. Delgado, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans.

They will be joined by Major Gen. Raul L. Dimatatac, Philippine Air Force Vice Commander; Major Gen. Romeo V. Poquiz, Air Force Inspector General; Major Gen. Wilfredo O. Ona, PAF Chief of Air Staff; Major Gen. Essel C. Soriano, Philippine Army Vice Commander; Major Gen. Samuel L. Narbuada, Army Inspector General; and Rear Adm. Roberto V. Santos, Commander of Naval Sea Systems Command. Brig. Gen. Rene E. Santos, Commander of 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing; Brig. Gen. Alfredo M. Andres, Commander of AFP Procurement Service; Brig. Gen. Domingo J. Tutaan Jr., Chief of AFP Human Rights Office; Brig. Gen. Gerardo D. Jamorabo, Chairman of PAF BAC; Brig. Gen. Jonas C. Sumagaysay, Deputy Commander of CENTCOM; Brig. Gen. Danilo H. Peñafiel, Commander of 355th Aviation Engineering Wing; Brig. Gen. Juanario G. Caringal, Commander of Service Support Brigade, Philippine Marine Corps; Brig. Gen. Romeo L. Gapuz, Assistant Deputy Commander, 4th ID; and Brig. Gen. Alexander F. Balutan, Commander of 1st Marine Brigade, PMC.

They will be joined by other star-rank officers, including Brig. Gen. Virgilio M. Espineli, ADC 8th ID; Brig. Gen. Cesar Dionisio T. Sedillo, ADC, 6th ID; Brig. Gen. Yerson E. Depayso, ADC, 10th ID; Brig. Gen. Roberto D. Domines Jr., ADC, 7th ID; Brig. Gen. Lysander A. Suerte, ADC, 3rd ID; Brig. Gen. Eusaquito P. Manalo, Commander of 570th Composite Tactical Wing; Brig. Gen. Silvino A. Alcabasa, Commander of 51st Engineering Brigade; Brig. Gen. John S. Bonafos, Commander of General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command; Brig. Gen. Rolando V. Picar, Chief of AFP Finance Center; Brig. Gen. Gamaliel S. Cruz, Deputy Commander of Army Support Command; Brig. Gen. Carlos C. Solomon, Commander of 53rd Engineering Brigade; Brig. Gen. Eduardo M. Año, Chief of Intelligence Service, AFP; and Brig. Gen. Daniel A. Lucero, Commander of 103rd Infantry Brigade. Brig. Gen. Rolando M. Aquino, Commander of 410th Maintenance Wing; Commodore Reynaldo L. Yoma, Commander of Philippine Fleet Service Force; Brig. Gen. Andre P. Tanyag, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; Brig. Gen. Isagani P. Silva, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics; Brig. Gen. Rodelio V. Santos, Commander of 603rd Infantry Brigade; Brig. Gen. Raul L. Del Rosario, Commander of Air Defense Wing; Brig. Gen. Abraham B. Bagasin, Commander, First Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Command, PA; Brig. Gen. Florentino P. Manalastas Jr., Dean of Corps of Professors; Brig. Gen. Marcelo B. Javier, Commander of 15th ID Ready Reserve.

Immediately after the activity in Malacañang, the newly- promoted generals and flag officers will be given honors in front of the GHQ Building, to be followed by the traditional courtesy call on AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa at the Main Restaurant of the AFP Commissioned Officers Club in Camp Aguinaldo, in Quezon City. “As newly promoted officers and leaders of the AFP, we take our oath to uphold the chain of command and set an example to our subordinates of the importance of maintaining a professional military organization accountable to the Filipino people that we serve,” Dellosa said.

PN alerts all naval units, DRTUs for typhoon 'Bopha'

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 2): PN alerts all naval units, DRTUs for typhoon 'Bopha'

With typhoon "Bopha" (international name) expected to enter the country's area of responsibility Sunday night or early Monday, the Philippine Navy said all of its available naval units are placed on alert in anticipation of possible disaster response missions. Aside from the ships, PN spokesperson Col. Omar Tonsay said all of their disaster response task units (DRTUs) are also on alert. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration has said that once the typhoon enters Philippine territory, it will be locally named “Pablo” –- the first in December and the 16th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year.

Naval units in alert include:

* Naval Forces Southern Luzon, which is based in Legazpi City, Albay and has two DRTUs and five ships in its roster -- the BRP Apollo Tiano (PG-851), BRP Gen. Antonio Luna (PG-141), BRP Simeon Castro, BRP Hilario Ruiz (PG-378), and DF-338.

* Naval Forces Northern Luzon, which is located in San Fernando City, La Union, which has two DRTUs and three ships -- DF-317, BRP Manuel Gomez (PG-388), and BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15);

* Naval Forces West, which is headquartered in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, with three DRTUs and 11 vessels in commission, namely BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37), BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35), BRP Rizal (PS-74), BRP Ismael Lumibao (PG-383), BRP Juan Magluyan (PG-392), BRP Federico Martir (PG-385), BRP Filipino Flojo (PG-386), DF-342, BA-484, BRP Mangyan (AS-71), and BRP Benguet (LT-507).

* Naval Forces Central, based in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, which will deploy five DRTUs and eight ships -- BRP Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo (PG-140); BRP Abraham Campo (PG-396), BRP Jose Andrada (PG-370); BRP Carlos Albert (PG-375), DF-352, DF-353, DF-354, and DF-339.

* Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, which is located in Panacan, Davao City and will deploy two DRTUs and 10 ships -- BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19), BRP Iloilo (PS-32), BRP Salvador Abcede (PG-114), BU-471, BRP Enrique Jurado (PG-371), BRP Felix Apolinario (PG-395), DF-350, AT-291, BRP Teotimo Figuracion (PG-389), and DF-322.

* Naval Forces Western Mindanao, located in Lower Calarian, Zamboanga City, will contribute two DRTUs and three ships, namely, BRP Pangasinan (PS-31), BRP Emilio Liwanag (PG-118), and DF-333.

* Fleet Marine React Force in Sangley Point, Cavite which will round up the PN efforts for typhoon "Pablo" with 11 DRTUs.