Wednesday, June 4, 2014

G7 backs legal remedy, opposes coercion in South China Sea

From the Philippine Star (Jun 5): G7 backs legal remedy, opposes coercion in South China Sea 

The Group of Seven Industrialized Countries or G7 pushed for the resolution of the dust-up over East and South China Sea through "legal dispute settlement mechanisms" in a communiqué released in Brussels on Wednesday.

"We support the rights of claimants to seek peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including through legal dispute settlement mechanisms," said the forum of leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The Philippines sought relief from the maritime tensions with China by filing before the United Nations an arbitration case, which it calls a "peaceful, open and friendly resolution mechanism."

China, however, rejected the arbitration and refused to participate in the proceedings. It insisted on direct negotiations with rival claimants and continued its surveillance in the waters with Coast Guard vessels.

G7 said that it opposed the use of military force in the waters, considered as among the most important global trade route.

"We oppose any unilateral attempt by any party to assert its territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion or force," the group said.

"We call on all parties to clarify and pursue their territorial and maritime claims in accordance with international law," it added.

The group echoed the United States' call to maintain freedom of navigation and aviation in the maritime areas, claimed by China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam in the South China Sea and Japan, Taiwan and China in the East China Sea.

Also read: Philippines urges China to reconsider arbitration | Canada, Britain back arbitration

"We underscore the importance of the freedom of navigation and overflight and also the effective management of civil air traffic based on international law and International Civil Aviation Organization standards and practices," the group added.

G7, along with the European Union, also pressed for confidence-building measures among rival claimants. Such measures, done to reduce intergovernmental tensions, may include joint training of troops and setting up of demilitarized zones in sensitive areas.

More classrooms for MNLF children

From the Philippine Star (Jun 4): More classrooms for MNLF children

The members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing the 57-strong pan-Islamic states, assured  the children of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)   on Wednesday of more classrooms and encouraged them to pursue peace when they grow up.

This, more or less, is the message delivered by the 10 ambassadors and attachés of the OIC member countries based in Manila as they made their visit to the three sites where the government initiated Pamana programs for the  MNLF communities are implemented.

The visit was part of the group's assessment  of the intervention programs implemented by the Philippine government pursuant to the  1996 peace agreement.

Observers here believe the presence of the OIC member countries could also affect the outcome of the meeting of  the OIC Secretary General with the MNLF and its breakaway faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on June 19 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The OIC has summoned the two largest Muslim insurgent factions to unite them and bring a common representative for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao.

During the visit at a school named after martyred MNLF leader Dais Yusop, Egypt Ambassador Mahmoud Mostafa Ahmed Mohamed committed to talk with his government for the construction of three classrooms.

“We will give three more classrooms, but no war when you grow up,” said Mahmoud to children during a brief interaction inside the classroom.

The teachers and students were  also surprised  when Libyan Attaché for Media and Culture Idris  Tayeb Lamin committed and made an outright purchase of 15 electric fans and two water dispensers from his own money after seeing the school children sweating owing to sweltering heat.

"That’s the way to do it with no lip service, if we want people to embrace peace,” Lamin told newsmen later following the site visitation of the projects which include a health center and farm to market road project, implemented under the Pamana program.

The OIC- member country delegates said the programs of the Office of the Presidential Assistant in the Peace Process (OPAPP) to help alleviate poverty in MNLF communities are  encouraging.

“As we always says peace will only prevail where there are economic gains and dividends. What we have seen today is very encouraging,” Mahmoud, who led the OIC delegates told newsmen in a briefing.

Mahmoud said that while the projects do not represent all what they wanted to see and achieve,  these are "very important" steps to spread "the dividends of peace to the poor and to all strata of people.”

“As we always say peace will only prevail where there are economic gains and dividends,” he added.

The OIC delegates also met in a closed door meeting with the MNLF under the Tawi-Tawi state revolutionary committee.

But before the meeting, Laurel Tahir, chair of the MNLF Tawi-Tawi state revolutionary committee, said they support the full implementation of the 1996 peace agreement and the Bangsamoro agreement.

He said what is needed is to push the livelihood programs to boost the income of the MNLF dependents.

Amrudin Salahuddin alias Commander Amluh, another MNLF leader who fought during the  longest and bloodiest battle at Barangay Karundong, said the MNLF has accepted the Bangsamoro agreement as long as it will deliver  what they have aspired for the Muslim community in the region.

The OIC members said the development they have seen in the MNLF communities in this province encouraged them to visit other former rebel communities in the near future.

“I can say my government is interested in helping and assisting our fellow Muslims in Tawi-Tawi and in short time we would be seeing more things coming from Egypt to this place,” Mahmoud added.

Additional weaponry for BRP Ramon Alcaraz now in PHL

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 5): Additional weaponry for BRP Ramon Alcaraz now in PHL

The Philippine Navy (PN) announced that additional weaponry for its latest acquisition, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), is already in the country.

Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, Navy public affairs office chief, said that the two Mark 38 Model 2 "Bushmaster" 25mm automatic cannons are already in a secured location.

He declined to comment on where this is for security reasons.

"What we are waiting now is the arrival of the US Coast Guard team who will install the weapons," Fabic said in Filipino.

The "Bushmaster" automatic cannons will be fitted to BRP Ramon Alcaraz's port (left) and starboard (right) side and will act as the ship's secondary armament.

The decision to seek US Coast Guard aid in installing these automatic cannons came in the wake of the high cost of having the guns installed by a private shipyard.

The guns were supposed to be installed before BRP Ramon Alcaraz's Nov. 22 commissioning but the cost of having it done here was just too expensive for the Navy.

The weapon was commissioned by the US Navy following the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and was designed to counter high-speed maneuvering surface targets.It will be installed in almost all US surface ships by 2015.

The remotely controlled chain gun system can fire as many as 180 25m rounds per minute at targets as far as two kilometers.

Cops, military agents clash in Southern Philippines

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Jun 4): Cops, military agents clash in Southern Philippines

Google map of Esperanza town in Sultan Kudarat province in southern Philippines

A mistaken encounter on Wednesday between soldiers and policemen left one person dead and three more wounded in the southern Philippine province of Sultan Kudarat, officials said.

Officials said members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police manning a checkpoint tried to stop for inspection a group of men in motorcycle in downtown Esperanza, but a shootout erupted.

The motorcycle men turned out to be members of the military intelligence who were allegedly on a covert operation. One civilian who was near the area was killed after being hit by a stray bullet during an exchange of fire.

It was not immediately known how many were wounded on both sides. Police and military have launched a separate investigation into the incident.

China vessel rams another Vietnam ship

Posted to the Manila Standard Today (Jun 5): China vessel rams another Vietnam ship

China again fired water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel and damaged another of Hanoi’s ships, state media said, in the latest confrontation over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

A Chinese coastguard ship collided with a Vietnamese government vessel on Sunday, state broadcaster China National Radio said, adding that the Vietnamese ship was “severely damaged.”

A sharp rise in tensions between the Communist neighbors was triggered by China’s installation of an oil rig in disputed waters last month, leading to Vietnam’s biggest anti-China riots in decades, where four people were said to have been killed.

Earlier on Sunday, “China fired a water cannon at a Vietnamese ocean inspection ship creating trouble near the 981 oil platform,” the CNR said, adding that the Vietnamese ship retreated after five minutes.

Vietnam last month accused a Chinese ship of ramming and sinking one of its fishing boats, fanning territorial tensions over Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in contested waters.

Relations, though frequently testy, have plummeted between the neighbours over the oil rig’s presence, triggering international alarm.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned China Saturday against “destabilising actions” in the South China Sea, and backed Japan’s plans to take on a more muscular military role as a counterweight to Beijing.

China reacted angrily to Hagel’s comments, with Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army Wang Guanzhong accusing the US of “intimidation.”

The oil rig is positioned in the vicinity of the contested Paracel Islands.

China’s ruling Communist party seeks to win domestic support by taking a tough stance on territorial issues, but also attempts to remain on good terms with neighbours for the sake of economic growth, according to analysts.

Chinese Internet users applauded reports of the latest clash. “This is exactly how we need to deal with Vietnam,” one wrote on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

“China is too soft on Vietnam,” said another.

The incident occurred after  Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the risk of territorial disputes damaging trade in Asia is “very real” and the region must focus on shoring up economic links as well as security ties, according to.

“It’s completely artificial to think that there are somehow firewalls between trade and security,” Ng, 55, said in an interview at the Ministry of Defense.

“We shouldn’t from a security point of view be dominating headlines every few other days and I don’t think it’s necessarily a positive if this continues for the region. At some point it may impact trade and our real economies.”

Ng was speaking after a weekend forum of defense ministers and military leaders in Singapore, where the U.S. and China openly criticized each other over their agenda in the region and China’s claims over large parts of the East China Sea and South China Sea dominated discussion.

The meeting highlighted the growing pains in Asia as China emerges as a military and economic power, challenging decades of U.S. dominance.

“China’s rise is a fact,” Ng said in the interview. “China needs to articulate its own vision, and its own position in this new, revised world order. Our approach has been that dialogue is essential, inclusivity is important.”

“If China and Japan got into a war, that would be a real problem,” Norman Boersma, Bahamas-based chief investment officer of Templeton Global Equity Group, which manages $130 billion in assets, said in an interview in Singapore. “These are two big economies and they would have a fundamental impact.”

The U.S. comments follow Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s appeal for a “stronger voice” from the U.S. against China after clashes between coast guard and fishing vessels near an oil rig China placed in contested waters off Vietnam’s coast. The Philippines, dwarfed militarily by China, has sought support from the U.S. and the United Nations against China’s encroachment into shoals off its coast.

Ng, a medical doctor who previously served in the education and manpower portfolios, said given the current tensions, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and other multinational deals are “quite strategic, not just good to have but a must to have.”

The U.S.-led 12-nation TPP, which would cover an area with about $28 trillion in annual economic output, doesn’t include China.

Gazmin: Ship from S. Korea not in exchange for supply contract

From GMA News (Jun 4): Gazmin: Ship from S. Korea not in exchange for supply contract

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin denied that a transport ship to be donated by South Korea to the Philippines is in exchange for a P18.5-billion supply contract the latter inked with a Korean company for 12 FA-50 fighter jets.

“It's not true that it was given to us because we bought aircraft. That’s not true,” he said.

Gazmin said that discussions about the donation were held even before the signing of the contract for the supply of the 12 jets to the Philippine Air Force with Korean Aerospace Industries in Camp Aguinaldo last March 28.

Gazmin said South Korea will be donating a Landing Craft Utility for the use of the Philippine Navy, 16 rubber boats, and 200 computers.

Asked when the LCU will arrive, the Defense Secretary said: “We are following a process…We are following a protocol where an authorization is needed from the Americans to transfer this to us. That’s easy. Within the year maybe, it will come out.”

US technology was used in building the LCU, so a US authorization is needed to transfer it to another user-country.

Meanwhile, hundreds of South Korean forces helping in the rehabilitation of Leyte, one of the areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last November, will be replaced by a similar number of personnel later this month.

“A new contingent will replace the present contingent. It's returning [to South Korea] and a new group will arrive. They’re going to have a turnover,” Gazmin said. He did not say when the rotation will take place.

AFP Central Command spokesman Lt. Jim Alagao said the first batch of the new contingent will arrive on June 23 while the second batch will arrive a week later.

Gazmin said about 254 South Korean troops are helping in the rehabilitation of Leyte, particularly in Tanauan and Palo towns. Including the crew of their ship, the total rises to 544.

The South Korean contingent arrived last December and will stay for one year.

Gazmin, the concurrent chairman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said he is going to Leyte on June 10 to give awards to the South Korean personnel involved in rehabilitation efforts.

The NDRRMC said the death toll due to Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to make landfall, reached at least 6,300 by April, or six months after it hit the central part of the Philippines.

Countries and organizations around the world pitched in to help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts for Yolanda victims.

Based on the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FaiTH) website, the total foreign aid pledged to the Philippines amounted to P34 billion, but only P14.9 billion has been received by the government.

PHL to China: Arbitration offers ‘durable solution’

From GMA News (Jun 4): PHL to China: Arbitration offers ‘durable solution’

The Philippines on Wednesday called on China to change its stance on the United Nations' arbitration in the two countries' territorial dispute.

“We continue to urge China to reconsider its decision not to participate in the arbitration proceedings,” Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Assistant Secretary Charles Jose said on GMA News' “24 Oras”.

“We wish to reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, open and friendly resolution mechanism that offers a durable solution to the disputes in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea,” he added.

The move came after the international arbitral tribunal ordered China to answer the points raised by the Philippines in its protest regarding China's aggressive behavior in the South China Sea, which the latter claims nearly in its entirety.

The international tribunal gave China until December 15 to answer the Philippines' points, the report said.

However, China again expressed its refusal to join the arbitration proceedings, and rejected the ruling.

"China's stance of not accepting and not participating in the relevant Philippines' arbitration case has not changed," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters on Wednesday.

[Video report on Chinese intention to build and artificial island at Mabini Reef]

Artificial island
The spokesperson also reacted to reports that China was supposedly planning to build an artificial island on a disputed reef in the West Philippine Sea.

The DFA is studying the designs to determine whether the supposed build-up can be added to the Philippines' protests.

The Philippines previously protested China's reclamation work in Mabini Reef, which is part of the territories being disputed in the South China Sea

According to a blog called Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements, the artificial island will be a military base that will include an air strip.

The images on the blog of the planned base came from the website of the No. 9 design and research institute of China's State Shipbuilding Corporation, the report said.

“It's raising tension in the area and it's in violation of international law,” Jose said.

Continued rotation

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ensured that the rotation of supplies and Philippine troops in the South China Sea is ongoing amid increased tensions between China and Vietnam, also over territorial disputes in the area.

“Tayo ay nababahala, pero hindi naman tayo kinakabahan sapagkat ito'y ating responsibilidad na bigyan ng resupply yung ating mga tao doon at irorotate 'yung personnel doon sa area,” Gazmin said.

A Vietnamese ship was sunk during a heated encounter with China, based on reports.

Last March, China also blocked Philippine vessels from replenishing supplies for troops stationed at the Ayungin Shoal in the Kalayaan Island Group.

China rejects tribunal order on sea dispute

From ABS-CBN (Jun 4): China rejects tribunal order on sea dispute

China on Wednesday rejected an arbitration tribunal's ruling giving it six months to respond to a case filed by the Philippines over disputed waters, saying it has no plans to take part.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in one of Asia's most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint. It also has a separate maritime dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea.

The tribunal in The Hague gave Beijing until Dec. 15 to reply to the first international case filed against China related to the energy-rich waters.

In giving China time to respond to the Philippines' filing, the tribunal was fulfilling its obligation to assure "each party a full opportunity to be heard and to present its case", it said in a statement on Tuesday.

China has said all along it will not participate in the arbitration proceedings, preferring a bilateral approach to resolve the conflicts.

"China's stance of not accepting and not participating in the relevant Philippines' arbitration case has not changed," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters on Wednesday.

Manila is seeking confirmation of its right to exploit waters in a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone as allowed under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, its lawyers have said.

"We continue to urge China to reconsider its decision not to participate in the arbitration proceedings," said Charles Jose, spokesman for the Philippine Foreign Affairs department. "We also wish to reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, open and friendly resolution mechanism that offers a durable solution to the disputes in the South China Sea."

The United States has said it supports the Philippines' arbitration case, closely watched by other claimant states including Vietnam which said last month it was considering legal action against China after Beijing moved an oil rig into waters claimed by Hanoi.

That move triggered protests in Vietnam, with angry mobs attacking Taiwanese factories which they mistook to be owned by mainland Chinese. It also led to confrontations in the waters that included the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat which Hanoi blamed on China.

PH, Vietnam soldiers to play sports in Spratlys

From ABS-CBN (Jun 4): PH, Vietnam soldiers to play sports in Spratlys

Soldiers from the Philippines and Vietnam will hold friendly sports games on an island in the Spratlys, a move that could raise eyebrows in China.

A security official, who asked not to be named, said the games will be held on Sunday at the Southwest Cay, an island occupied by Vietnam.

Filipino forces used to occupy the island, also known as Pugad Island, until 40 years ago when the Vietnamese seized it.

Pugad Island is also around five nautical miles from the Northeast Cay, or Parola Island, which the Philippines occupies.

The official said, “this is the first interaction between the ground troops” in the Spratlys, which is also being claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei.

The two nations planned to hold a football games in the Spratlys back in the 1990, but these did not push through.

The soldiers may play football or volleyball. There will also be a cultural presentation.

The official said the objective is to ease tensions between the two nations.

“This is to ease the tension also, that is the objective. We can solve this through peaceful means which is anchored on our peaceful resolution and rules-based approach,” he said.

He said sports games introduce camaraderie among players.

 He hopes other countries will also hold friendly games with the Philippines.

“Hopefully, we’ll have one with the other countries,” he said.

The development comes amid increasing tensions between China and Vietnam, as well as China and the Philippines over maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Police, military urges Sky Eye to file charges vs captors

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 4): Police, military urges Sky Eye to file charges vs captors

Police and military authorities urged the owner of the Sky Eye, the firm contracted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 11 to conduct aerial survey on the National Greening Program plantations to file charges formally against the rebels who abducted five of its personnel.

Lt. Colonel Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, outgoing commanding officer of the 10th Civil-Military Operations Battalion said the idea of not filing charges against the rebels following the commission of the crime is a wrong move.

He said formal charges must be filed against the rebels.

“All our efforts will be back to zero if we will not file charge with the affected agency and firm not minding the incident,” Obligado said.

He said the rebels will be more emboldened to defy the law, violate the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and commit crimes if appropriate charges will not be filed against them.

Obligado said following the whole-nation approach, all agencies of government and even non-government and civil society organizations should be one with the common end to bring services that will promote peace and development.

Senior Superintendent Joel Pernito, director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Davao Region said that a legal offensive must be pursued against the rebels.

He said the rebels can be sued for abduction.

“It is part of our legal offensive in pursuing charges against the rebels for committing abduction,” Pernito said.

Matthew Cua, operator of the Sky Eye said they are still assessing their options following the release of the victims Monday afternoon.

He said their primary concern now is the safety of the victims who have taken a break following a three-day ordeal in the hands of their captors

"Playing Fort" in the South China Sea and Spratly Islands

From the National Interest (Jun 3): "Playing Fort" in the South China Sea and Spratly Islands

The South China Sea is filling up with surreal ocean castles. Hundreds of miles from land, on rocks and spits of sand, structures of concrete and steel rise straight up out of the water and stand guard over empty, open water. Tiny specks of solid ground like Fiery Cross Reef, Len Dao Island and Ardasier Bank have been turned into miniature fortresses, built to withstand the sea more than any human enemy. Some are circular concrete towers; others are low concrete squares or wooden shacks on stilts.

Surrounded by the sea, they are like little worlds all to themselves, inhabited by at most a few dozen marines or soldiers who step out their front door into the middle of the sea.

These strange, lonely structures are physical markers of the claims that China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia make on the Spratly Islands.
The geopolitical contest for control of the South China Sea determines their very physical structure: wherever possible, these structures have a solid structural foundation on rocks or reefs, allowing the building nation to make a legal claim based on occupation of a geological structure that connects to surrounding undersea features.  

China’s open-ocean garrisons are the most heavily fortified in the region. They are almost exclusively built of concrete that entirely covers the reefs and rocks they’re built on, equipped with powerful radars, helicopter pads and 40mm antiaircraft guns. At the other end of the spectrum, one Filipino garrison guards its reef from the rusting hulk of a WWII freighter run aground. The Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipino outposts are scattered randomly onto as many reefs and atolls as they could occupy throughout the archipelago, reflecting the aggressive, zero-sum nature of these countries’ claims, while Malaysia’s outposts are confined to the sector of the Spratlys that Malaysia claims.

The very absurdity of building a minifortress on a semisubmerged rock hundreds of miles from land is indicative of how seriously these countries treat this dispute. The Spratlys dispute is about sovereignty, and these countries, just now finding their feet as nation-states and regional powers, are trying to demonstrate that they will go to any length to defend their sovereignty, even if it means fortifying a worthless, shifting sandbar with a force of five men. The reef outposts are objects of great nationalist pride, particularly among small but active groups of citizens. The Filipino and Vietnamese garrisons are partially supplied by civilian patriotic organizations.

All parties to the Spratly dispute are building up their presence in the region. Taiwan is reinforcing the islands it occupies, China is building an airfield on Johnson South Reef, the Philippines is holding large wargames in the area with the United States, and Vietnam has copied the Philippines and appointed a “mayor” to symbolically administer the archipelago.

Compared to the diplomacy around them, life in the outposts must be positively tranquil; while the politicians battle back and forth, the marines can just sit back and watch the bright blue waves break. Let’s hope it stays that way.

[Jack Mulcaire is a former researcher for the Center for the National Interest and analyst at Nomadic Capital Partners.]

Gazmin: No AFP, DND personnel involved in Napoles racket

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 4): Gazmin: No AFP, DND personnel involved in Napoles racket

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday vouched for the integrity of the personnel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Department of National Defense amid the Janet Napoles scandal.

“I believe that there are no personnel from the AFP or DND that were involved in the scam,” Gazmin said at the induction of the new officers of the Defense Press Corps in Camp Aguinaldo.

On May 17, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published an article on Benhur Luy’s list, revealing that retired Lieutenant General Edgardo Espinosa, former commandant of the Navy Marine Corps, Colonel Natalio Torreno, Col. Luciardo Obena, and Captain Edmund Yurong received allocations from Napoles.

Gazmin advised those allegedly involved in the scam to “concentrate on their work.”

“Don’t ever get affected by the Napoles scam, and always focus on your job,” he said.

CPP: Aquino to blame for classroom shortage, low salaries and overall crisis in education

Anti-government propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Jun 4): Aquino to blame for classroom shortage, low salaries and overall crisis in education

Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the Aquino regime for its continued failure to address the grave crisis in the Philippine educational system highlighted by the widespread shortage of classrooms in public schools and severe overcrowding because of its insistence on reducing the share of education in the national budget and giving priority to projects oriented towards the interests of his cronies and the oligarchs.

The CPP further assailed the Aquino regime for refusing to heed the demands of public school teachers for a raise in their monthly wages amidst rising prices and worsening economic conditions.

“The recent opening of the 2014-15 school year last Monday was marked by widespread overcrowding, cutting classroom size by half, making use of tents and other makeshift structures, shortening school hours and overextending teachers working hours to accommodate kindergarten, elementary and high school students,” pointed out the CPP.

It is estimated that there is a shortage of 66,000 classrooms and 33,000 school teachers.

“The grave conditions in the public school system is a result of the failure of the Aquino regime to allocate sufficient resources for the construction of new school buildings and the repair and expansion of old educational facilities,” said the CPP. “The situation in the areas hit by supertyphoon Yolanda last November 2013 is worse as schools damaged by the strong winds and floods remain in a state of disrepair.”

“The Aquino regime is focused on funding a few school-building projects under the Public-Private Partnership program which give contracts to such oligarchs as Henry Sy to build schools for a profit”, said the CPP. The CPP pointed out that under the PPP, the government will be renting the school buildings from the contractors with an agreed margin of profit.

“Aquino is making such a big show of the couple or so PPP school buildings in a vain attempt to cover up the worsening situation of the public educational system,” added the CPP.

“The Aquino regime exhibited extreme contempt of the public school teachers when it dismissed demands for a salary increase and told teachers to wait next year,” said the CPP. Majority of public school teachers earn P18,549 a month, way below decent living standards. It is estimated that a family of six need P31,620 a month to cover food, transportation and other basic necessities.

“By failing to allocate sufficient resources for the public educational system, the Aquino regime is further increasing the daily burden being experienced by the broad masses of workers and peasants,” said the CPP.

The CPP calls on the Filipino people to protest the Aquino regime’s failure to address their demands for free education to the tertiary level. As parents and students, they must rise up to protest the severe lack of resources allocated to education, as well as to other public services.

CPP/NDFP: NDFP renders highest honors to Bishop Tomas A. Millamena

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Jun 4): NDFP renders highest honors to Bishop Tomas A. Millamena

Luis Jalandoni
NDFP Negotiating Panel
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders highest honors to Bishop Tomas A. Millamena of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for his staunch advocacy for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines, and his firm pro-people stand against the anti-people and anti-national policies of the US-Aquino regime and earlier reactionary regimes.

We are deeply saddened by his death due to a lingering illness. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives, colleagues in the IFI, and numerous friends in the Philippines and abroad.

Bishop Millamena played a significant role in the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace negotiations. He was the mutually accepted Third Party Depositary for depositing the photos for the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). He was also an NDFP Nominated Independent Observer in the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

He fulfilled his functions with heart and soul to the best of his ability. He was present and active participant in the resumption of formal peace talks in Oslo on 27-30 April 2001. He would attend some other formal talks in Oslo thereafter, unafraid to take a principled stand. One clear example is when the GRP delegation walked out after the punishment of notorious torturer Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo in June 2001. He firmly took the position which he stated to the Royal Norwegian officials that the GRP should not have walked out; they should have referred the case to the Joint Monitoring Committee under CARHRIHL.

Together with the other NDFP Nominated Independent Observer to the JMC, Marie Hilao Enriquez of KARAPATAN, he steadfastly advocated the independent investigation of the numerous extrajudical killings and enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations under the Gloria Arroyo regime.

Earlier, as Obispo Maximo of the IFI, he helped secure the release of New People’s Army Commander Leoncio Pitao by receiving him in recognizance.

We are also grateful to Obispo Maximo Millamena for standing up in support of Prof. Jose Maria Sison in September 2002. He spoke out on Dutch TV and other international media against Prof. Sison’s being placed in the list of terrorists. He was concerned that the slander on Prof. Sison, Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, would jeopardize the peace negotiations with the Manila government.

With his good friend, Archbishop Joris Vercammen of the Old Catholic Church, he organized the successful centenary celebration of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in 2002. Hundreds of Filipino, Dutch, and other participants attended the centenary held in The Netherlands.

Later, when his health weakened, he could not attend the peace talks abroad. But he would send text messages to the NDFP Negotiating Panel expressing his wish and desire for the advance of the peace talks to achieve a just and lasting peace.

He would participate in mass protest actions, such as the condemnation of the pork barrel scandal, and in support of the victims of the supertyphoon Yolanda. He would send us text messages requesting solidarity for the mass actions. He was clearly happy to be with the struggling people fighting for justice.

In speeches at various national and international forums, he did not hesitate to expose the role of US imperialism in the exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people.

We shall sorely miss Bishop Millamena’s firm solidarity and his friendship. We are certain that his closeness to the struggling Filipino people and his dedication to a just and lasting peace in the Philippines will be a lasting legacy and inspiration to those who continue the struggle for national and social liberation and a just and lasting peace.

Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
Member, National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Army recruits 300 soldiers

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 4): Army recruits 300 soldiers

The Army’s 3rd Infantry Division hired 300 more soldiers for deployment to its infantry units in Negros and Panay.

Maj. Rey Tiongson, 3ID spokesman, said yesterday that the 300 candidate soldiers will start their basic military training this month.
The Candidate Soldier and Jungle Warfare Mountain Operation Courses at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, of Army trainees will last for six months, Tiongson said.
He also said they have noted that more professionals are now joining the Philippine Army, in response to its effort to recruit and retain the best and brightest in the organization.
The 3ID, led by Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, supervises more than 4,000 Army soldiers in Negros and Panay islands.

Rebel, 2 soldiers wounded in firefight in Palawan

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): Rebel, 2 soldiers wounded in firefight in Palawan

Two troopers from the 44th Marine Company of the 4th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT 4) stationed in Barangay Pancol in the northern Palawan town of Taytay were wounded following a firefight with several suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) early Wednesday morning.

Colonel Vince Blanco, commanding officer of MBLT 4 confirmed to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview that he believes his troops have, on the other hand, seriously wounded a member of the communist-terrorist group CPP-NPA during the firefight that started early morning in a secluded spot of the road in Pancol.

“Two of our Marines suffered from superficial wounds, and they have been brought to the Western Command hospital for treatment. I believe there’s one seriously wounded on the side of the rebels because our troops saw them carrying one while fleeing the site,” he said.

Blanco, who did not name the two wounded Marines, said the troops from the 44th MC were on their way to their home-base in Pancol from a Unity/Peace Walk at Poblacion, Taytay when they saw around seven communist-terrorists (CTs) seemingly planting an improvised explosive device (IED) on the highway.

“Our troops saw them on approach as if they’re lodging something beside the road. They thought it felt different so they prepared, but the rebels managed to detonate the IED and then a firefight ensued,” he said.

Last April, the MBLT 4, in partnership with the JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock, Inc., held a free medical and dental mission in Pancol benefiting over 1,500 residents.

Blanco considers the remaining pocket members of the CPP-NPA just want to display some force in the area because they can no longer “mislead residents in the area to join the leftist movement or scare them about government troops.”

“Their force has decreased in number, residents no longer believe them and are no longer scared by them, this is probably the reason why they’re doing this,” he said.

Pancol is a fishing community in Taytay in northern Palawan adjacent to the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape.

Creation of Center for West Philippine Sea Studies for claims to Spratlys, Scarborough sought

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): Creation of Center for West Philippine Sea Studies for claims to Spratlys, Scarborough sought

Lawmakers are pushing for the creation of the Center for West Philippine Sea Studies (CWPSS), which shall focus on studying, strengthening and defending the country’s claim to the disputed Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.

Reps. Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo B. Rodriguez Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao) filed House Bill No. 4158 which seeks the establishment of the CWPSS attached to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) under the Office of Special and Ocean Concerns.

Rodriguez said the West Philippine Sea, considered one of the world’s busiest sealanes, has rich fishing grounds and is believed to have vast energy reserves. It is home to a myriad of competing territorial claims, including the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.

“These islands are being claimed by the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan as these islands, reefs and coral outcrops are believed to be rich in oil and gas and these overlapping claims have long been feared as Asia’s next source of tension which could lead to armed conflict,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said it shall be the mandate of the Center to study the basis of the claims of the Philippines over the waters and the islands in the West Philippine Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, international law, local laws and historical data.

It shall also be the responsibility of the Center to propose actions and measures in order to defend and prosecute the country’s claims against claims of other neighboring countries as well as prepare concrete plans on how to develop and fully utilize all the natural resources in the area.

“Likewise, the Center is tasked under the measure to perform other duties and responsibilities that would strengthen our sovereignty and other claims over the area and to perform other functions as may be directed by the President of the Philippines in relation to concerns over the West Philippine Sea,” Rodriguez said.

The Center shall be headed by an Assistant Secretary of the DFA.

For the purpose of funding the creation of the Center on the West Philippine Sea Studies, the amount of P50 million not otherwise appropriated shall be initially appropriated out of the funds of the National Treasury and subsequent appropriations shall be provided by Congress in the Annual Budget of the DFA under the General Appropriations Act.

LCU to beef up PN's transport, logistic capability

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): LCU to beef up PN's transport, logistic capability

With South Korea expressing its intention to give a LCU (landing craft utility) to the country, Navy public affairs office chief Cmdr. Gregory Fabic on Wednesday said that having such vessels in service will greatly boost the transport and logistic capabilities of the Philippine Navy.

"The LCU (which will given by South Korea) will increase our logistic and transport capabilities," he added.

The LCU will be assigned to the Philippine Navy (PN)'s Service Force.

The PN currently operates two LCUs.

The South Korean vessel is expected to arrive in the Philippines before the end of 2014.

LCUs are used to ferry troops and other equipment to areas larger ships, by course of their large draft, are unable to dock.

DND chief hopeful EDCA implementation will not be impeded by SC cases

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): DND chief hopeful EDCA implementation will not be impeded by SC cases

Despite the decision of some militant groups to challenge the constitutionality and legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement at the Supreme Court (SC), Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin expressed hope that this development will not impede the implementation of the EDCA.

He made this statement in wake of the SC's ordering Malacanang, Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of National Defense to come out with comments justifying EDCA's signing.

"I think the EDCA implementation would not be delayed, and right now it's still on the planning stage," Gazmin said.

He also stated that their comment will be formulated during the meeting sessions of the Mutual Defense Board and the Security Engagement Board.

Navy's armed AW-109Es to be delivered before year-end

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): Navy's armed AW-109Es to be delivered before year-end

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Wednesday announced that the two armed versions of its AgustaWestland AW-109Es are scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2014.

This was confirmed by Navy public affairs office chief Cmdr. Gregory Fabic in an interview with the PNA.

"They will be delivered before the end of the year," he stressed.

These versions will be armed with machine guns and air-to-ground rockets.

Three of the PN's AW-109Es, the unarmed version, was formally activated and tasked to join the fleet last May 21.

These aircraft were formally commissioned into service last Dec. 22.

The AW-109 "Power" helicopter is a three-ton class eight seat helicopter powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines.

The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles.

The aircraft’s safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.

The AW-109 has established itself as the world’s best selling light-twin helicopter for maritime missions.

It's superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost effective maritime helicopter in its class.

For shipboard operations, the aircraft has a reinforced-wheeled landing gear and deck mooring points as well as extensive corrosion protection measures.

The ability to operate from small ships in high sea state enables the AW-109 to perform its mission when many others helicopters would be confined to the ship’s hangar.

Over 550 AW-109 "Power" and AW-109 light utility helicopters have been ordered for commercial, parapublic and military applications by customers in almost 50 countries.

DND prepares contingency measures should tension soar in West Philippine Sea

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): DND prepares contingency measures should tension soar in West Philippine Sea

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Wednesday said it is preparing contingency measures should tension between China and the Philippines ratchet up in the disputed areas of the West Philippines Sea.

He made this statement when asked what plans the DND would implement should Chinese law enforcement vessels ram and sink Filipino fishing boats operating in the disputed waters.

The question was asked after Chinese fisheries and law enforcement vessels rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing ship operating 17 nautical miles off the Paracel Islands.

The area is near the oil rig the Chinese are constructing.

"Well anything can happen but we are preparing contingency (plans) for this," Gazmin stressed.

And when asked what these plans are, the DND chief refused to elaborate.

To ensure that these incidents will not be repeated against Filipino fishermen, Gazmin said the Philippine Coast Guard is escorting these individuals up to a certain point.

"These steps are being done to ensure that our fishermen will not be harassed," he narrated

The DND chief also took this opportunity to stress that everything possible will be done to ensure that Marine personnel standing watch over Ayungin Shoal will be resupplied and rotated regularly.

Rotation of military personnel detailed in the grounded wreck of the BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) is usually done every three months.

The last resupply and rotation mission was done last March 29. During that period, Chinese Coast Guard ships attempted to prevent Filipino civilian ships from doing their resupply mission.

He added that the government will not renege on the responsibility to both military personnel and civilians at sea.

Korean military contingent in Leyte rehab efforts to be feted on June 10 --DND chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): Korean military contingent in Leyte rehab efforts to be feted on June 10 --DND chief

The South Korean military contingent helping in the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in typhoon "Yolanda"-battered Tanauan and Palo, Leyte will be honored for their contributions on June 10.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin who said that the awarding ceremonies will take place in Leyte.

However, Gazmin did not specify what citation will be given to the 500-member South Korean contingent consisting of engineering and medical personnel.

The troops arrived in Leyte last December. They are expected to be relieved by a similar-sized formation this December.

Gazmin said he went to Seoul last week to express his thanks to the South Korean government for its assistance to the Philippines in the aftermath of super typhoon "Yolanda" in November last year.

"I also requested for the extension of the tour of duty of the South Korean soldiers helping in the rehabilitation works," he added.

PHL maintains stance to resolve territorial row with China via peaceful means

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): PHL maintains stance to resolve territorial row with China via peaceful means

The Philippines is determined to pursue peaceful settlement of disputes with China on overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma reiterated this Wednesday after the International Tribunal gave China until December 15 this year to respond to the country’s complaint that Beijing illegally occupied certain areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) territory.

Coloma said the Philippines notes the arbitral tribunal’s efforts to encourage China to participate in the arbitration process.

“We are determined to pursue the path of peaceful settlement of disputes as the key element in the conduct of states with claims to maritime entitlements in this WPS/SCS (South China Sea),” Coloma said in a text message to the Philippines News Agency.

Coloma believes that assurance of freedom of navigation and aviation in this vital artery of world commerce will promote regional peace and stability.

Citing President Benigno S. Aquino III’s earlier statements, the PCOO chief said that 40 percent of world commerce passes through the South China Sea.

“We still would like to envision a situation where there will be continuing stability in the South China Sea, as we have pointed out its strategic importance not just to regional, but to global commerce and trade,” Coloma earlier said.

Palace: Gov’t committed to ensuring passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): Palace: Gov’t committed to ensuring passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law 

Malacanang on Wednesday said the government remains committed to ensuring that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will pass Congressional approval.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the draft bill on the creation of the Bangsamoro region is still under study by its legal team.

“Talagang binubusisi lang ang draft BBL (the draft bill is really being scrutinized) but the commitment is still we want to make sure that this will pass Congressional approval,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Lacierda said President Benigno S. Aquino III recently received in Malacanang Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman, who attended the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

“So all the instances (indicated that) expectations were increasing for this peace process. Eventually, nagkaroon tayo ng pirmahan (for the agreement),” he noted.

The government has said the legal team of the Office of the President (OP) and the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel are currently reviewing the draft BBL with respect to its constitutionality so it can be passed to Congress for approval within this year.

PHL asks China to reconsider arbitration

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 4): PHL asks China to reconsider arbitration

The Philippine government asked China anew to join in the arbitration proceedings over their long-standing disputes in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) after the Netherlands-based tribunal gave Beijing until December 15 to respond to the complaint filed by Manila.

China has rejected the Philippine case that was filed on January 2013 and insists on resolving the sea row bilaterally.

Manila submitted its written pleading or memorial that contained volumes of documents and maps to bolster its case against China on March 30 this year and the arbitral tribunal gave Beijing six months to file a counter-memorial.

"We continue to urge China to reconsider its decision not to participate in the arbitration proceedings," Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing Wednesday.

Jose noted the Philippines is not asking the court to grant ownership of the disputed territories but is merely seeking clarification of China’s claim of “indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea.”

"We wish to reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, open and friendly resolution mechanism that offers a durable solution to the disputes in the South China Sea," Jose said.

PH Navy to get ship, rubber boats from South Korea

From Rappler (Jun 4): PH Navy to get ship, rubber boats from South Korea

The donations mark the growing defense partnership between Manila and Seoul

LANDING CRAFT UTILITY (LCU): Photo shows BRP Tagbanua (AT296), one of 2 LCUs in the inventory of the Philippine Navy. Malacañang photo

LANDING CRAFT UTILITY (LCU): Photo shows BRP Tagbanua (AT296), one of 2 LCUs in the inventory of the Philippine Navy. Malacañang photo

South Korea is giving the Philippine Navy a transport ship, rubber boats, and computers, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Wednesday, June 4.

"They are giving us one LCU (landing craft utility) and 16 rubber boats. They also promised to give 200 computers for the security elements of their Unit Araw in Leyte," Gazmin said.

The LCU can transport up to 100 troops, excluding the crew of about 40. It will boost the Navy's sealift amphibious force, said spokesperson Commander Gregory Fabic. "It will help us transport troops and supplies," he said.

It is expected to arrive within the year.

The Navy has 2 LCUs in its current inventory – BRP Tagbanua and BRP Manobo – which saw action in the evacuation of Filipinos from Sabah and the transport of troops and supply in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Both emergency situations happened in 2013.

The donations mark the growing defense partnership between the Philippines and South Korea. The Philippines signed in April an P18-billion FA-50 fighter jets contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). (READ: PH Air Force a joke no more, gets fighter jets)

In the aftermath of Yolanda, South Korea also sent monetary assistance and a contigent of medical personnel and engineers to Leyte.

In the 1950s, Filipino troops, including the young Fidel Ramos who would later become president, also helped South Korea in the war against North Korea.

Gazmin was in Seoul last week to attend the Civil Military Technology Exhibition. On June 10, the defense department will recognize the South Korean soldiers for their contributions to the rehabiliation of Tanauan and Palo towns in Leyte.

The stay of the South Koreans troops have been extended until December 2014.

PH prepares contingency plans for West PH Sea

From Rappler (Jun 4): PH prepares contingency plans for West PH Sea

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says, 'Anything can happen but we are preparing a contingency for this'

The Philippines is preparing contingency plans for the West Philippine Sea.

This, following an incident that involved a Chinese ship that rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat, amid tense confrontation over Beijing's deployment of an oil rig.

"Anything can happen. Anything can happen but we are preparing a contingency for this," Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters on June 4, Wednesday, when asked about the fears of the department.

Gazmin refused to elaborate on the contingency plans.

Troops earlier told Rappler about their fears of possible "miscalculation" in the next rotation mission to Ayungin Shoal, a flashpoint in the maritime dispute between Manila and Beijing. The Philippine Navy rotated troops in March after successfully evading a Chinese blockade. (READ: Troops fear miscalculation in next mission ot Ayungin)

"Tayo ay nababahala pero hindi naman tayo kinakabahan. Ito'y ating responsibilidad na bigyan ng resupply yung ating mga tao dun at yung iro-rotate natin yung kanilang personnel doon sa area. Kasama doon sa trabaho so hindi kailangan kabahan," Gazmin said. (We are concerned but we are not nervous. It is our responsibility to resupply our people there and to rotate personnel in the area. That's part of our work so no need to be nervous.)

In 2012, Manila withdrew from a tense standoff with Beijing over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal located off the coast of Zambales. The Chinese Coast Guard now occupying the shoal has driven away Filipino fishermen through water cannon attacks.

There has been no reported incident of Chinese ships ramming Philippine vessels.

The Philippines is pursuing a peaceful resolution of the maritime conflict. It filed an arbitration case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Netherlands. (READ: Tribunal orders China to answer PH pleading)

2 Marines wounded in clash with NPA in Palawan

From InterAksyon (Jun 4): 2 Marines wounded in clash with NPA in Palawan

Two troops of the 44th Marine Company of the 4th Marine Battalion Landing Team were wounded in a firefight with New People’s Army guerrillas in northern Palawan early Wednesday morning.

MBLT4 commander, Colonel Vince Blanco said his troops believed they had also seriously wounded at least one rebel during the clash in Barangay Pancol, Taytay town.

Blanco said the Marines were on their way back to their base in Pancol when they saw around seven men who appeared to be planting an improvised explosive device by the roadside.

However, the rebels managed to detonate the IED, triggering the firefight.

CA confirms promotion of 49 AFP officers

From InterAksyon (Jun 4): CA confirms promotion of 49 AFP officers

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, chairman of the Commission on Appointments, joins senior AFP officers who are among the newly confirmed officials by the CA, in photo taken during the CA plenary session on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Also in picture are CA Vice-Chairman Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, CA Majority Floor Leader Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and CA Committee on National Defense Chairman Rep. Antonio Del Rosario. (PRIB Photo by Joseph Vidal)

The powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) chaired by Senate President Franklin Drilon on Wednesday confirmed the interim appointment to higher rank of 49 officers of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 

Drilon, as presiding officer of CA, said no one objected to their confirmation. Among those confirmed by CA are:                      

Brigadier General
1.   Richard Q. Lagrana
2.       Donato B. San Juan
3.       Martin N. Pinto
4.       Ivan F. Samarita
5.       Ruben L. Carandang
6.       Anselmo Doroteo P. Junsay III
7.       Virgilio R. Garcia
8.       Rodolfo Santiago
9.       Henry G. Sabarre
10.   Ronald N. Albano
11.   Reynaldo G. Mutiangpili
12.   Robert Theodore S. Romero
13.   Rafael C. Valencia
14.   Domingo B. Palisoc Jr.
15.   Jose P. Tanjuan, Jr.
16.   Dario M. Quindoza
17.   Carlito G. Galvez Jr.
18.   Elmer S. Pabale
19.   Jose Johriel M. Cenabre
20.   Benjamin I. Espiritu
21.   Eduardo V. Davalan
22.   Joselito E. Kakilala Major General
23.   Domingo Tutaan Jr.
24.   Yerson E. Depayso
25.   Eusaquito P. Manalo
26.   Oscar P. Lopez
27.   Ricardo R. Visaya
28.   Felicito Virgilio M. Trinidad Jr.
29.   Leonardo B. Geurrero
30.   Silvino A. Alcabasa Jr.
31.   Lysander A. Suerte
32.   Oscar T. Lactao
33.   Julius M. Guillermo
34.   Remigio C. Valdez
35.   Emeraldo C. Magnaye

Lieutenant General
36.   Virgilio O. Domingo
37.   Hernando DCA Iriberri
38.   Jeffrey F. Delgado

39.   Enrico Juan P. Talon
40.   Severino Vicente T. David
41.   Aurelio A. Rabusa Jr.
42.   Rafael G. Mariano
43.   Virgilio S. Garcia
44.   Jorge  F. Amba

Rear Admiral
45.   Romeo Santiago O. Nebres
46.   Alexander S. Lopez

Vice Admiral
47.   Jesus C. Millan

Colonel, Medical Corps
48.   Ma. Linda E. Oropesa

Colonel, Judge Advocate General
49.   Edmund Dante E. Janda