From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 25): Army official sacked
The death of five Army soldiers in an encounter with suspected New People’s Army rebels last month in Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City, led to the relief of an Army commander in southern Negros, a military report said yesterday.
Lt. Col. Enriqueto Deocadez was replaced by Lt. Col. Ariel Reyes as head of the command of 47th Infantry Battalion.
Deocadez is now assigned with the Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations of the 3rd Infantry Division in Jamindan, Capiz, Maj. Rey Tiongson, local Army spokesman, said yesterday.
The NPA rebels had taken four M-16 assault rifles, an M-14 rifle and a K3 Squad Automatic Weapon light machine gun from the slain soldiers, military records also showed.
A night before the encounter, rebels had burned two bunk houses of Philex Mining Corporation, a Kubota tractor with drilling machine and one generator set, a computer set, ICOM radio and personal belongings on May 5 in Sitio Umas, Brgy. Camindangan, Sipalay City.
The soldiers were responding to the arson incident when the encounter took place.
The destruction of Philex mining properties by suspected communist rebels has been taking place since 2008, military said. This prompted the mining company to suspend its exploration activities.
Rochele Hilario, Philex marketing and communications officer, said in an interview with the Philippine National Agency, that only exploration and drilling activities were temporarily suspended, while work on environmental care and maintenance will continue.
Sipalay Mayor Oscar Montilla had earlier expressed concern about unemployment because of the temporary mine closure.
Hilario said they were concerned over the safety of their geologists after the NPA rebels attacked the Bulog mine site last May 3.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines recently condemned the recent NPA atrocities against the Philex Mining project in Sipalay and in other mine sites.
In 2010 and 2012 respectively, through the endorsement of the UNYPAD national chapter, Mr. Suga and Ms. Martin had attended the School of Peace (SOP’s) community development related advocacy tools coursework in India and become alumni of the SOP.
The two officers of UNYPAD were selected by the organizer based on their skills, talents, and services to the depressed communities in Mindanao. Mr. Suga has knowledge on film making while Ms. Martin is a competent creative writer.
The participants were selected according to the following criteria: first, they must have worked directly with marginalized communities for several years; second, have demonstrated special interest and skill in Photography, Film Making and Creative Writing; and third, have the potential to serve as resource persons in their fields in future ICF programs and activities.
There were fourteen participants who were qualified in the workshop. The Indonesia has four participants, two from the Philippines, one from Timor Leste, five in Cambodia, one from Laos PDR, and one from Thailand-Burma border.
The resource persons and mentors are from International community and have diverse backgrounds on their field of specialization.
Among of them are: Mr. Michael Bade of Active Video for Film Making group, who made several advocacy videos for different entities, living and working in Cambodia with MCC; Ms. Victoria Rue for Creative Writing, who is a professional writer from the United States; and Mr. Max Ediger for Photography group who is an experienced photographer whose photos and works during US-Vietnam war were published in various multimedia forms.
According to the organizer, the goals of the workshop are the following: 1) To help select a group of SOP alumni to strengthen their special talents in Photography, Film Making and Creative Writing as an effective tools for helping marginalized communities to build a strong movement for interfaith just-peace; 2) To help select a group of SOP alumni to develop their ability to serve as resource persons in future ICF programs.
As explained in the ICF website, “the Interfaith Cooperation Forum was formed to facilitate the examination of different religious perspectives on the root causes of some of the threats and conflicts we experience in community today such as poverty, consumptive lifestyles, and unjust distribution of land.”
ICF aims and objectives are: To support a regional inter-religious Asian movement for justice and transformation that focuses on marginalized communities; To confront the roots of violence; and To promotes justice in the economic, political, and social spheres.