Friday, June 21, 2013

Army imposes ‘no drinking policy’ for soldiers and militiamen on duty

From the Leyte Samar Daily Express (Jun 21): Army imposes ‘no drinking policy’ for soldiers and militiamen on duty

“Senseless deaths” during an amok incident in a detachment in Burauen, Leyte prompted the Philippine Army’s (PA) 8th Infantry Division (ID) to reiterate the “no drinking policy” for soldiers and militiamen on duty.

Captain Amado Gutierriez, spokesman of the Philippine Army’s 8th ID said Brigadier Gen. Gerardo Layug, PA 8th ID’s commanding general issued an order to strictly observe the policy in all of the region’s army camps and detachments.

Eastern Visayas has 5,000 soldiers and nearly 2,000 Cafgu(Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit)members assigned in 10 battalions and three brigades in six provinces of the region.

“The death of an Army officer and Cafgu members was senseless and we don’t the same incident to happen in the future because of a mere violation of a policy,” Gutierrez said adding that it would be more acceptable if a member of the armed forces died in an operation.

The “no drinking policy” will be emphasized by the Army through their troop information and education program to raise the soldier and militiamen’s level of understanding on this internal rule.

On Monday, drunken Cafgu member Cesar Manidlangan run amok in a military detachment in Burauen, Leyte, shooting to death Sgt. Renato Cabarse, assistant commander of Philippine Army’s 78th Infantry Brigade operational control detachment, and Alexander Estrella, a Cafgu member.

Another Cafgu member Abner Tolibas was injured during the incident and he’s now recuperating in a hospital in Tacloban City.

Manidlangan also shot to death by comrade Genes Cabidog to prevent him from shooting others inside the camp. The incident occurred inside the Army detachment in Barangay Anonang in Burauen town, 47 kilometers south from this city.

“The suspect violated the policy prohibiting military and Cafgu members from drinking alcoholic beverages while on duty. We should instill the value of discipline because anybody who is drunk is not anymore coherent,” Gutierrez told Leyte Samar Daily Express.

He added that “no to drinking policy” is not specified in the code of conduct but it is embedded on internal rules of discipline.

Intoxicated Manidlangan reportedly came from a birthday party when he ran amok inside the detachment since his commander disallowed him to attend a fiesta celebration.

“The commander’s action is justifiable. He did not allow any Cafgu member on duty to leave the camp since the troop is depleted,” he added.

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