Friday, August 8, 2014

DVIDS: Armed Forces of the Philippines and National police instruct US Marines

From DVIDS (Aug 7): Armed Forces of the Philippines and National police instruct US Marines

Armed Forces of the Philippines and National police instruct US Marines

Philippine Air Force 2nd Lt. Wilzon P. Nicolas, squadron commander of Honor Escort & Ceremonial Group, performs a martial arts technique with a knife, August 6, during Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2014. NOLES is an annual field-training exercise and leadership seminar sponsored by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, and hosted by various nations throughout the Asia-Pacific. This is the 13th iteration of NOLES with members from the AFP, and Philippine National Police participating. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Erik Estrada)

Service members from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) taught U.S. Marines riot control techniques and Filipino Martial Arts, August 6, as part of Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2014. The PNP instructed U.S. Marines on Civil Disturbance Management (CDM), while the AFP taught "Pekiti Tirsia Kali," a form of martial arts, for the other half of the day.

In the morning, the PNP demonstrated crowd control tactics used in the Philippines. The exercise was done using batons and shields given to all those participating.

“The main purpose of CDM is crowd control,” said Police Officer Rafael B. Muchuelas, lead instructor for National Capital Region Police Office in the PNP. “Rallies, demonstrations, or anywhere here in the Philippines where crowd control might be needed, this is perfect to use in those instances.”

As part of the training, the PNP put members of all services together to work in cohesion.

“We had the entire group join, Philippine Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army with PNP, and U.S. Marines,” Muchuelas said. “That way we could all learn together and become better.”

The non-lethal tactics weapons (NLW) training then continued with the AFP in the afternoon. Pekiti Tirsia Kali is specific to the Philippines as it is the martial arts adopted by Philippine armed forces, and police. It is a strictly combat-oriented system that has been around since 1897.

“I spoke to the instructors and they say it's similar to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), but theirs is more based on the Taekwondo, instead of mixed martial arts like ours,” said Sgt. Timothy Brown, platoon sergeant, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

During the martial-arts session, Marines trained with mock daggers and "kalis," a Filipino double-edged sword, that plays a large role in the martial art.

“I loved learning tactics from the Filipinos, it was nice learning something different,” said Brown. “I really hope 3rd LEB is able to come back here and train some more.”

8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army celebrates its 26th Founding Anniversary

From the Samar News (Aug 2): 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army celebrates its 26th Founding Anniversary

wreath laying for the fallen soldiers of 8ID


CATBALOGAN CITY, SamarThe 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine Army celebrated its 26th Founding Anniversary on August 1, 2014.

Hon. Sharee Ann Tan-Delos Santos, Governor of Samar; Hon. Mel Senen S. Sarmiento, 1st District Congressman of Samar Province; Hon. Emil L. Ong, 2nd District Congressman of Northern Samar; Hon. Gracing the occasion was Lt. Gen. John S. Bonafos, Commander, Central Command, who was also the guest of honor and speaker. The activity was well-attended with the presence of key stakeholders throughout the region. Ronaldo S. Aquino, Mayor Calbayog City; Hon Antonio B. Delos Reyes Jr., Mayor of Biri, Northern Samar; Mr. Virgilio DC Galvez, Philippine Information Agency Region 8, Deputy Director General, Mr. Rommel Rutor, President, Stormtrooper Press Corps, PCSUPT Henry P. Losanes, Police Regional Director 8 and representatives from the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

The celebration started with a field mass and was followed by wreath laying for the fallen soldiers of 8ID for the year 2013-2014.

Lt. Gen. Bonafos praised the active and exemplary performance of the Stormtroopers. In his message, “This is an opportune time to commend the Stormtroopers for the accomplishments and the successes you have made in weakening the enemy by constricting their movements and activities.”

In addition, Bonafos also praised the Stormtroopers for its part in the Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response when super typhoon Yolanda struck the region. “Talaga namang nakakamangha ang ginawa ng mga sundalo ng 8ID at ito ay nasaksihan hindi lang ng mga kababayan natin ditto sa ating Bansa, kundi maging ang mga tao sa buong mundo.”

Meanwhile, as 8ID celebrates its 26th Founding Anniversary the following are its accomplishment for CY 2013-2014 in performing its mandate as the protector of the people and the state in Eastern Visayas: It has initiated 56 encounters against NPA rebels which resulted to the neutralization of 8 NPA rebels and the recovery of 22 high-powered and 16 low-powered firearms.

In addition, it facilitated the surrender of 50 NPA rebels to the government who brought along with them eight (8) high powered and 15 low–powered firearms. Under Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (OPAPP), the Division was able to facilitate the release of P1.19M benefits for 21 of the surrenderees. Other surrenderees who have not yet received their benefits are still on process and due to be release anytime.

In performing its mandate, 12 of our comrades made the ultimate sacrifice of defending our beloved country, while 18 soldiers were wounded in action (WIA) during the same period.

The Division was also instrumental in the declaration of 20 of 26 towns of Samar and 21 out of 24 towns of Northern Samar as Manageable Conflict-Affected and Development-Ready areas. By year-end 2014 all the remaining towns are expected to be declared as MCADR. Meaning, peace and order will be stable as NPA influence and presence in the said towns will be minimal and can be adequately addressed by the local governments units thru the Philippine National Police.

Maj. Gen Jet B. Velarmino, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division in his message said, “During the 26 years of the 8ID’s struggle to maintain peace, its partnership with the peace-loving stakeholders of Eastern Visayas was the source of its inner strength in coping with the challenges along its path in the pursuit of peace and development. We were and are indebted with the people for the things that have we accomplished.”

“With the stakeholders as the partner of the Division in all its endeavors, I am full of optimism that the partnership will hurdle all the challenges that lie ahead,” he added.

US legislators tackle EDCA, security and economic ties in 3-day visit

From InterAksyon (Aug 8): US legislators tackle EDCA, security and economic ties in 3-day visit

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes U.S Senator Bob Corker, U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, and the US Congressional Delegation (CODEL) during the courtesy call at the President’s Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Friday (August 08, 2014). (Photo by: Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

Two US senators and four members of the House of Representatives wrapped up Friday their three-day visit to the Philippines that tackled key aspects of PH-US ties, including the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Senators Robert Corker (Republican, Tennessee) and Ronald Wyden (Democrat, Oregon), and a congressional delegation (CODEL) led by Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen called on President Aquino on Friday at the Malacanang Palace. Other members of the CODEL are: Representatives Kay Granger (Republican, Texas), Ken Calvert (Republican, South California), and Jim Moran (Democrat, Virginia).

Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Laura Q. Del Rosario was present during the call together with other Cabinet officials. This visit serves to reinforce the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, said a DFA statement.

Major aspects of PH-US ties were discussed including the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), strategic security collaboration, and economic partnership; among others.

Their visit was an opportunity to share information on developments in the Philippines, discuss matters beneficial to the Philippines now pending with the US Congress such as the benefits for veterans and encourage the visiting members of the House of Representatives to join the Philippine-US Friendship Caucus, added the DFA statement.

Senator Corker is a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee and an active member of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. His Asian trip also includes stops in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

Senator Wyden is a member of the Committee on Intelligence, and Chair of the Sub Committee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness of the Finance Committee. His visit to the Philippines is part of a regional tour that will include Korea, Taiwan and China.

Representative Frelinghuysen serves as Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Aside from being the Majority Deputy Whip, Representative Granger serves as the vice chairman of the powerfulDefense Appropriations Subcommittee and is the top Republican on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.

Representative Calvert continues to serve on the House Appropriations Committee where he is the Chairman of the Interior and the Environment Subcommittee.  A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Representative Moran serves as the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior and Environment and also serves on the Defense and Legislative Branch Subcommittees.

The delegation from the US House of Representatives is on a three-country swing, and the Philippine leg is intended to give members of the Sub-Committee a better appreciation and understanding of the Philippine-US relations amid continuing and changing realities in the region, according to the DFA.

Philippine Navy mobile recruitment now in Bicol

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 8): Philippine Navy mobile recruitment now in Bicol

The Philippine Navy has been conducting its screening for applicants in the Bicol region who will pass its naval officers candidate Course (NOCC) and basic Seaman Course (BSC) which started July 2 until today, August 8.

The examination is set on August 9-19 at the Naval Forces Southern Luzon (Navforsol) Naval Station, Regional Government Site in Rawis here.

Applicants must be a natural born Filipino citizen, single, of good moral character, height of at least 5”0” for both males and females, physically and mentally fir for training and must pass the AFPATB, IQ and SWE exams.

Initial requirements are transcript of records, NSO birth certificate, diploma, NBI Clearance and 2x2 ID picture with white background.

Applicants for NOCC must be between 21-28 years old and graduate of a four-year baccalaureate degree.

Passers will receive P27,425.00 basic salary, P4,400.00 monthly allowance and other benefits.

For BSC, applicants must be between 18-23 years old and holder of at least 72 units or graduate of a two-year vocational course.

Basic salary is P11,265.00 with additional monthly allowance of P5,660.00 and other benefits.

For submission of requirements, applicants should be in plain white t-shirt and maong pants.

Pinuno ng 7ID, napromote

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 8): Pinuno ng 7ID, napromote (Head of 7ID, promoted)

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija -- Maninilbihan na bilang Major General ang pinuno ng Army 7th Infantry Division (7ID) na si Glorioso Miranda matapos aprubahan ang kanyang promosyon.

Pinangunahan ni Army Commander Lieutenant General Hernando Delfin Carmelo Iriberri ang paggawad ng two-star general rank kay Miranda kasabay ng pagdiriwang ng ika-26 anibersaryo ng 7ID kamakailan.

Ayon kay Miranda, ang naturang promosyon ay may kaakibat na karagdagang responsibilidad at pananagutan.

Inialay niya ito sa lahat ng sundalong bahagi ng 7ID sabay paghihikayat sa kanila na ituloy lamang ang misyong makapagbigay serbisyo’t tulong sa mga kababayan at karangalan sa bansa.

Miyembro ng Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, si Miranda ay naupo bilang ika-24 pinuno ng 7ID noong Marso kahalili ng kabatchmate na si Iriberri.

Saklaw ng 7ID ang mga Army Brigades at Battalions sa rehiyong Ilocos at Gitnang Luzon.

Commanding General ng Army, pinuri ang mga kawal at kawani ng 7ID

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 8): Commanding General ng Army, pinuri ang mga kawal at kawani ng 7ID (Commanding General of the Army, praised the soldiers and staff of the 7ID)

FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija -- Binigyang kapurihan ni Army Commander Lieutenant General Hernando Delfin Carmelo Iriberri ang mga kawal at kawani ng 7th Infantry Division (7ID) sa isinagawang pagdiriwang ng ika-26 na anibersaryo nito kamakailan.

Sa kanyang talumpati ay kanyang nabanggit na dapat lamang na batiin ang bawat yunit at kawani na bumubuo sa dibisyon dahil sa mga napagtagumpayang gawain at tungkulin sa bayan.

Ilan rito ang patuloy na kampanyang pangkapayapaan sa mga nasasakupang lugar.

Ayon kay Iriberri, wala nang barangay na sakop ng 7ID ang may banta ng insurgency kaya naman naideklara na ang mga ito na mapayapa at handa sa pag-unlad.

Hinikayat niya ang mga kawal at kawani na ipagpatuloy lamang ang papupursigi sa pagpapanatili ng kapayaan at pag-igihin ang kahandaan laban sa anumang kalamidad upang maging kaagapay ng mga kababayan sa panahon ng pangangailangan.

Hinigi rin niya ang suporta ng mga ito sa pagsusulong ng Army Transformation Roadmap at Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization program.

Saklaw ng 7ID ang mga Army Brigades at Battalions sa rehiyong Ilocos at Gitnang Luzon.

Fil-Chinese businessman donates two boats to Phl Navy

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 6): Fil-Chinese businessman donates two boats to Phl Navy

Filipino-Chinese businessman Edmond Borja recently donated two 5-tonner boats to the Philippine Navy. 

“This desire to help the AFP is a gesture of sense of nationalism and patriotism that should be replicated by everybody,” Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan said during the turn-over ceremony of the boats at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila Monday.

According to Millan, the boats will be beneficial in supporting the administrative requirements of the floating assets that will be stationed especially in Naval Forces West.

Meanwhile, Naval Forces West chief Commodore Manuel Natalio A. Abinuman expressed his appreciation to the donation.

“We at the Naval Forces West are very grateful and happy for this donation as these are another addition to our inventory of vessels which will be utilized to support ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship operations,” Abinuman said.

He added that they will ensure the proper deployment, operation and maintenance of the new naval assets.

MILF chief negotiator confirms 'progress' in BBL talks

From the Business World (Aug 8): MILF chief negotiator confirms 'progress' in BBL talks

Substantial progress has been achieved by the negotiating panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), according to the head of the MILF panel.

In an interview broadcast here, Mohagher Iqbal, MILF’s chief negotiator and chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said, "We are making progress. There are a lot of contentious issues that the two parties are able to head at the level of the two peace panels. And right now, we are still here (Davao City) with our counterpart from government and we expect to solve other contentious issues… But I think we are making so much progress right now in Davao City."

Mr. Iqbal did admit that the "most contentious issues are still unresolved", but gave assurance that the two sides are determined to reach an agreement.

"As far as we are concerned, as part of the MILF we are focused on really finishing this process because right now both government and MILF have no other option except the option of peace," he said.

Mr. Iqbal noted that the two parties are adopting an "open mind" scheme to reach a mutually acceptable draft.

Last Wednesday, the government’s chief negotiator, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, announced that the two panels have reached agreement on 70% of the 18 articles contained in the 100-page proposed draft BBL.

Malacañang, through Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., on Thursday said the draft BBL could still be submitted to Congress for review before the end of the month.'progress'-in-bbl-talks&id=92453

7 killed, more than 1,000 families displaced in Basilan clan wars

From the Philippine Star (Aug 8): 7 killed, more than 1,000 families displaced in Basilan clan wars

At least seven people were killed and more than a thousand families have been displaces in the on going clan war in a far-flung town in Basilan, police said Friday.

Nasser Langis Asikin, chairman of Barangay Cabengbeng, said that the warring clans of Abubakar Palaman and Jabbar Sandiki clashed last August 3 in their village in Mohammad Ajul town.

Seven followers from both sides were killed and an undetermined number of people were hurt in the clash.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao said at least 1,050 families were forced to evacuate to nearby villages.

Four days before the Palaman and Sandiki clans clashed, two other warring factions led respectively by certain Tanad Nasalun and Assalan Asala faced-off in Barangay Languyan.

No one was hurt in the clash, but 28 families were displaced.

Police and military forces have been deployed to Mohammad Ajul town and nearby areas.

Investigators gather clues at Sokol chopper crash site

From the Philippine Star (Aug 8): Investigators gather clues at Sokol chopper crash site

Photo from the defense department shows an Air Force Sokol helicopter providing security to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas after it crashed as it took off from Camp Ranao in Marawi City yesterday.

An air crash investigation team arrived Friday at the site of the Air Force "Sokol" combat utility helicopters in Marawi City to determine the cause of the crash.

Lieutenant Colonel Enrico Canaya, spokesman of the Philippine Air Force, said in state news interview that the team of investigators will be looking into "equipment, environment and piloting" factors that led to the mishap that injured two people on Thursday.

The chopper's crewmember, Staff Sgt. Darius Valdez and a bystander identified as Santiago Savedra were hurt. The bystander was hit by a debris from the chopper.

The Sokol chopper, purchased from Poland brand new in 2012, was a back-up chopper in a convoy carrying Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas III and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin when it crashed at Camp Ranao, headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

Canaya said it is still too early to tell whether the airframe of the wrecked aircraft will be airlifted to Villamor Air Base in Pasay City for a more detailed examination.

Armed Forces chief-of-staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang earlier ordered the Air Force's leadership to investigate on the incident.

The seven remaining "Sokol" helicopters in the Air Force's service were grounded following the accident until the investigation team has released its findings.

226 trainees complete heavy equipment operation training course of South Korea military in Palo, Leyte

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): 226 trainees complete heavy equipment operation training course of South Korea military in Palo, Leyte

The heavy equipment operation (HEO) training extended by South Korea’s military contingent Araw Force in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has already produced 226 graduates.

This was disclosed by TESDA regional director Cleta Omega who graced Friday’s graduation of 47 trainees held at the Araw Camp in Palo, Leyte.

Today’s graduation marked the culmination of the first batch of heavy equipment training designed for heavily affected local government units of Leyte namely Tanauan, Tolosa and Palo and Tacloban City.

The graduates were given the TESDA National Certificate II (NC II) that will enable them to work abroad.

"We will evaluate now to see areas where we need to improve," said Omega.

Omega said that they will also urge local government units (LGUs) to make a follow up of their constituents who have availed of the training as they have received reports that some of their HEO graduates were hired to work in a firm in Korea and Middle East as heavy equipment operators.

Meanwhile, Joy Angelo, who works with the Tacloban City Engineering Office and a recipient of the training, said that she could now operate heavy equipment which she prefers over doing paper works.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez who graced today’s culminating ceremony said that the graduates of HEO will already answer the need for heavy equipment operators amid the ongoing rehabilitation activities after Yolanda.

He also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the Korean military for helping the city government in preparing for the burial site of those who perished during the height of Yolanda.

Romualdez joined by Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin also toured the Araw Force base camp at the government center in Palo.

South Korea military turns over newly-rehabilitated school in Tacloban City

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): South Korea military turns over newly-rehabilitated school in Tacloban City

The South Korean Military Joint Support Group (Araw Forces) on Friday turned over the newly rehabilitated Manlurip Elementary School, one of the heavily-damaged structures in Tacloban City, marking the ninth month after typhoon Yolanda struck in November last year.

The rehabilitation of Manlurip Elementary School at San Jose district was supported by the Korean Presbyterian Church.

Five school buildings were rehabilitated with an addition of a playground.

Capt. Kwon Young Woo, public relations officer of the Araw Forces, said that the Manlurip Elementary School is a special case because they were not allowed to do repair works outside of Palo, Tanauan and Tolosa in Leyte.

In his visit to Tacloban in December last year, United Nation secretary-general Ban Ki Moon promised to provide assistance for the repair of the school.

However, no repair was undertaken after eight months thus prompting the Korean Forces to do the repair.

Classes were held in makeshift classrooms and school children have to endure the scorching heat of the sun or suffered getting wet when heavy rains fall.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Vice -Mayor Jerry Yaokasin expressed their gratefulness to the Araw Force.

Helping the children go back to school is the best way to achieve the dream of building back better, the mayor said, adding that a plaque will be placed at the school campus as reminder of the city government’s gratefulness to the South Korean military troops.

During the turnover, the school also received three laptops while seven children were given cash assistance.

PAF told to forward 'flash report' to 'Sokol' manufacturers

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): PAF told to forward 'flash report' to 'Sokol' manufacturers

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has been directed to immediately forward a "flash report" to the manufacturers concerning the crash of one of its W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopters in Camp Ranao, Marawi City on Thursday afternoon.

"PAF was directed to inform the 'Sokol' manufacturers about the incident. The PAF investigation regarding the air crash is now ongoing," Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Friday.

Defense Undersecretary for Modernization Fernando Manalo confirmed this, saying, "We have directed the PAF to make a flash report to the manufacturers."

When asked whether the crashed "Sokol" was covered by a warranty, Manalo replied, "It is being determined."

The Philippines acquired its eight W-3A "Sokol" from the joint venture of Polish manufacturer PZL-Swidnik and British-Italian firm AugustaWestland for P2.8 billion.

The helicopters arrived in batches starting February and November 2012 and February 2013 and were assigned to the PAF's 505th Search and Rescue Group.

They are now being used to conduct rescue operations in times of calamities and transporting VIPs.

The Marawi City mishap was not the first time for the W-3A "Sokol" to encounter problems.

In July 2013, another "Sokol" helicopter (Tail No. 310925) was stuck for five days in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City after failing to take off due to an undisclosed mechanical problem.

The helicopter was supposed to act as the back-up aircraft for Gazmin's party to a PAF event in Pampanga.

CPP: AFP “promoting” ex-NPA to bag reward money—CPP

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 8): AFP “promoting” ex-NPA to bag reward money—CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today charged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of making false claims about the arrest of a top Party leader in order to pocket millions of pesos from the anomalous reward money system of the Aquino regime.

The CPP statement was in reaction to the arrest last Tuesday of Eduardo Almores Esteban in Jaro, Iloilo whom the AFP claims to be a former secretary of the CPP Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee and head of the so-called Communications Bureau of the CPP. The AFP said there is a P5.8 million reward for Esteban’s arrest.

“Indeed, Esteban, now 60 years old, was once part of the organizational machinery of the CPP. As a cadre and fighter, Esteban served the revolutionary movement for many long years but personal circumstances made him choose to retire around ten years ago,” said the CPP. Since then, Esteban has been living with his family in their hometown in Iloilo.

The CPP clarified, however, that Esteban was never part of the revolutionary forces in the Ilocos-Cordillera region (ICR) nor was he a leading cadre of the CPP in the ICR. “The charges filed against him in Abra and Bangued are clearly fabricated.”

The CPP called for Esteban’s immediate release and the dismissal of all trumped-up charges against him.

“The Aquino regime’s rewards system has been a source of widespread corruption and human rights violations,” said the CPP. “Millions of pesos of public money line the pockets of military officials whenever they claim to have arrested someone with a bounty on his head.”

“A case in point was the arrest and torture in 2012 of security guard Rolando Panesa whom the AFP insisted was a ‘Benjamin Mendoza,’ allegedly the secretary of the CPP committee in the Southern Tagalog region. Panesa was released around a year later, but only after officials of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command had claimed around P10 million in reward money.

“Aquino’s defense and security officials have refused to make public the names of people included in the reward money system of the DILG, making it a virtual sword of Damocles on anyone who chooses to oppose the Aquino regime and its puppet, brutal and corrupt rule,” added the CPP.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Intensify tactical offensives and mass struggle to oust Aquino

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 8): Intensify tactical offensives and mass struggle to oust Aquino

CPP Ang Bayan
Benigno Aquino III was met with one of the biggest rallies in his four-year rule during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28. The nationwide demonstrations attended by more than 60,000 people manifested a new and higher level in the struggle against the US-Aquino regime. Throughout the country, the cry in the streets was Oust Aquino!
The mass actions reflected the Filipino people’s growing anger at the Aquino regime’s corruption and mendacity, its puppetry, treason and fascist brutality. More and more sectors are ready to take action against the increasingly isolated Aquino regime. The Filipino people’s rumbling anger threatens to erupt in the face of their worsening situation and Aquino’s enforcement of increasingly deleterious antipeople and pro-imperialist policies.
The ruling Aquino clique is now deathly anxious in the face of its worsening political crisis. Days before the SONA, Aquino came out on national television to spew the most biting remarks against the Supreme Court and all other sectors that assailed his anomalous use of the nation’s coffers under the DAP. He followed this up with a call to the people to wear yellow or hang and display any yellow item in the belief that he enjoys widespread public support.
Contrary to Aquino’s objectives, this gambit only succeeded in fuelling the people’s anger against the regime. Thus, Aquino used other tactics to court pity and sympathy. He once again employed the empty slogans of the “righteous road” and “inclusive growth.” He invoked his mother and father whom he practically portrayed as saints. The day after, the Aquinos’ “Yellow Army” went on the offensive and floated the idea of “one more term” for Aquino to create the illusion of widespread support by the “silent majority.”
No one, however, has bought these tactics designed to manipulate public opinion. Aquino failed to hoodwink the people and derail them from the path of struggle. In a desperate attempt to conjure illusions of change and progress, Aquino came out with one lie after another in rapid-fire fashion: that his government acted with dispatch to rescue the victims of typhoon Yolanda, that there are measures in place to provide jobs to the people, that the economy has developed and poverty reduced, that government has been cleaned up, that peace has been achieved and that criminality rates have subsided, among other prevarications.
But the illusions of change and progress being conjured by Aquino are exceedingly untenable, as it has become obvious to the Filipino people that Aquino sits on a throne atop the bureaucrat capitalist dung heap in order to use the nation’s coffers and his privileges as president for the political gain of his clique, his friends, relatives and fellow landlords. Despite widespread condemnation of the pork barrel system, Aquino has fouled up the 2015 budget, designing it as a means of extending his clique’s hold on power.
It is the concrete conditions of the Filipino people that teach them the need to trod the difficult path of struggle in order to defend and advance their national and democratic aspirations. Unemployment and underemployment levels are unprecedentedly high. The majority of the people are mired in poverty. Landlessness and landgrabbing continue without letup. It is clear to the people that Aquino’s claims of “development” are a big lie, pleasing only the big foreign banks and capitalists and their local big capitalist cohorts.
The freedom-loving people are enraged at Aquino’s defilement of Philippine national sovereignty. His signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA which paves the way for the construction of US military bases in various parts of the country comprises the height of Aquino’s puppetry.
The people hold the US government accountable for the military support it provides the Aquino regime. The hands of Aquino, the AFP, the PNP and other coercive forces of the state are stained with blood in their suppression of the people and defense of the interests of foreign mining companies and plantations. Killings, massacres, abductions and illegal arrests, threats and abuse continue unabated. For Aquino, the peace talks are nothing but a big show.
It has become self-evident to the people that the Aquino regime is no different from previous regimes in its basic economic policies, its subservience to US imperialism and its repression of the people. The people are determined to put an end to the US-Aquino regime’s rule and advance their national and democratic struggle.
A broad protest movement to oust the Aquino regime is spreading in campuses, factories, communities, markets, offices, churches and other places. The growing call for Aquino’s impeachment threatens to explode in a gigantic mass movement of hundreds of thousands marching in the streets.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) fully supports the intensification of people’s struggles to oust the US-Aquino regime. Along with strengthening the mass movement in the countryside, the CPP directs the New People’s Army (NPA) to intensify armed struggle nationwide. The NPA must continue seizing and maintaining the initiative in launching ever more tactical offensives against the state’s armed forces in order to weaken it and inspire and provide greater momentum to the mass movement to oust Aquino.

AFP bestows arrival honors for Kalayaan troops

From Ang Malaya (Aug 6): AFP bestows arrival honors for Kalayaan troops

The military on Monday bestowed arrival honors to troops who were stationed for five months at the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea on July 21. The arrival honors was held at the Philippine Navy’s 2LT Lagare Tidepole Pier where the government troops were welcomed by no less than the commander of the Palawan-based Armed Forces of the Philippines, LTGEN ROY O DEVERATURDA AFP, after being relieved from their posts.

For five months, the government forces were stationed in Kalayaan to take care of eight detachments located in the islands of Panata, Likas, Rizal Reef, Parola, Lawak, Pag-Asa, Kota, and Patag – all in the contested region. He said troops, who are staying on a navy vessel in Ayungin Shoal are not included in the group that has returned to mainland Palawan.

LTGEN DEVERATURDA said the troops are back for the first time in five months, and they were ferried to Puerto Princesa by LC 550 (BRP Bacolod City). “To be deployed in detachments far away from their families to safeguard the country’s claim is honorable and laudable and for this reason, you are all heroes. This welcome ceremony is the country’s way of saying it is proud of you for accepting the special task to take care of its territories off in the WPS,” LTGEN DEVERATURDA said.

He told the returning troops that they should not think their sacrifices have not paid off because they did. Giving the welcome ceremony, he added, will continue for troops on-rotation in the West Philippines Sea – a small token for a happy return. They were relieved during the weekend and replaced with fresh troops.

US rebalance to Asia-Pacific no backing out

From AngMalaya (Aug 6): US rebalance to Asia-Pacific no backing out

“Our forces are globally deployable no matter where they’re stationed, and the United States military has put a lot of time and effort into being able to get forces where we need them, when we need them, on a timeline that makes sense for us,” Admiral Samuel Locklear III, commander of the US Pacific Command told reporters in Pentagon.

Reporters asked the admiral if unrest in Russia and Ukraine would affect the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Locklear clarified that US Pacific Command remains on course. “I don’t get the sense that we’re backing away from the Asia-Pacific rebalance because of other events occurring in the rest of the world.”

“The rebalance to the Asia-Pacific is a lot more than just about military, but the military piece of it is moving forward,” Locklear said.

“As we started to draw down out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and we found that the Army was able to return to some of its historic roots in the Asia-Pacific, we started looking for opportunities to get the Army more involved in what we do day-to-day in the Pacific.”

Locklear also said that the recently concluded RIMPAC was “an excellent training opportunity for all nations involved.” 25,000 military personnel from 22 countries joined the largest naval drill in the world.

Royal Australian Navy ship in Manila for goodwill visit

From AngMalaya (Aug 7): Royal Australian Navy ship in Manila for goodwill visit

“Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Ship HMAS TOBRUK, a Landing Ship Heavy Vessel that sailed to Eastern Visayas to provide assistance to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda last November 2013, arrives at Pier 15 South Harbor, Manila for a goodwill visit from August 6-9, 2014,” says in Philippine Navy’s official social networking site page.

Australia is one of over 20 countries who helped in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

HMAS Tobruk (L50) in Manila. Photo by Philippine Navy
HMAS Tobruk (L50) in Manila. Photo by Philippine Navy

“HMAS Tobruk (II) gives the Australian Defence Force an amphibious heavy lift capability,” as described by Royal Australian Navy. “The ship is a multi -purpose troop and roll-on/roll-off, heavy vehicle carrier built by Carrington Slipways Pty Ltd.”

Tobruk (II) can transport 18 tanks, 40 Armoured Personnel Carriers or 40 Australian Light Armoured Vehicles. It can accommodate up to 300 troops for extended duration. In an overloaded state, the ship can provide accommodation for up to 520 troops for short periods of time.

Bonafos appointed as AFP vice chief-of-staff

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): Bonafos appointed as AFP vice chief-of-staff

Lt. Gen. John S. Bonafos, of the Cebu-based Central Command, was appointed as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vice chief-of-staff during simple ceremonies Friday.

This took place at the AFP general headquarters conference room in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Bonafos replaced Lt. Gen. Virgilio O. Domingo who served in an acting capacity as AFP vice chief-of-staff after Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang's appointment as chief-of-staff last July.

Prior this appointment, Bonafos was appointed head of the Special Operations Command.

He also served as AFP General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command head in 2013.

He previously served in different capacities in the 3rd Army Training Group, 7th Regional Community Defense Unit, Combat Arms School (CAS), Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Philippine Army, and the Joint Task Force, National Capital Region before becoming the Battalion Commander of the 15th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division in the Visayas.

He formerly held the position as 802nd Infantry Brigade commander, 8th Infantry Division.

As brigade commander, he was responsible for the declaration of Southern Leyte as an insurgent-free province.

During his incumbency, Leyte became manageable and development ready area.

During this time, he and his troops were able to sustain the Provinces of Biliran, Bohol and Cebu as “insurgent-free” provinces from 2010 to 2012.

A member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1982, Bonafos furthered his military training and specialization by taking up various military courses, both local and abroad.

He graduated as number one in the Scout Ranger Course and finished the Instructor Training Course and Infantry Officer Advance Course in the United States Army Infantry School (CONUS).

He also studied at the United Nations Military Observer & Staff Course in Ireland and the Defense Resource Management Course (DRMC) in the Naval Postgraduate School in California, USA.

He finished his Masters of Business Administration (Major in Human Resource Management) at the National College of Business & Arts and the Project Management for Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization from the Asian Institute of Management, here in the Philippines.

China will build five lighthouses in disputed waters

From AngMalaya (Aug 8): China will build five lighthouses in disputed waters

After stating that they can do whatever they want in Spratly Islands, China declared lighthouses will be built in five islands in Paracel group.

“What China does or doesn’t do is up to the Chinese government. Nobody can change the government’s position,” said deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Boundary and Ocean Affairs Department Yi Xianliang.

According to South China Morning Post, the Navigation Guarantee Centre of South China Sea decided to build lighthouses at North Reef, Antelope Reef, Drummond Island, South Sand and Pyramid Rock.

When built, China’s presence and sovereignty claim over the said territory will be stronger. Vietnam government already expressed strong opposition on China’s plan.

Navigation Guarantee Centre of South China Sea gathered firsthand information for eight days that started July 27. Technicians inspected and tested communication signals using the Beidou satellite navigation system and fishing navigation system.

Close-air-support aircraft to be armed with precision guided munitions

From AngMalaya (Aug 8): Close-air-support aircraft to be armed with precision guided munitions

In line with its efforts to make its close air support (CAS) aircraft more capable, the Department of National Defense (DND) has said the plane will be armed with precision guided munitions, a kind of weaponry that can be guided by lasers to its targets.

In a supplemental bid bulletin posted on the DND website, it said this capability must be present in the designs which will be submitted by prospective bidders to the P4.9-billion CAS aircraft project.

Bid opening and submission for the CAS project has been reset to Oct. 3 from the original date of Aug. 11.

In connection with this, DND Special Bids and Awards Committee-1 chair Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said that a second pre-bid conference will be held this coming Sept. 15.

This will be held at the DND Bidding and Awards Committee Conference Room, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Bid opening and submission will also take place at the same place.

The DND is planning to acquire six CAS aircraft to replace or beef up the Philippine Air Force’s existing Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” turboprop attack planes.

CAS refers to the capability to provide air support to infantry and naval units in contact with the enemy.

Funding for this weapon system will be sourced from the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

Manalo earlier said that the contract includes integrated logistic support system.

Winning bidders must be able to deliver the aircraft within 540 calendar days from contract effectivity.

Participants in the DND’s CAS project must have completed a similar program within the last 10 years.

Manalo added that the CAS aircraft must be used by the countries offering and manufacturing them.

Skilled pilots prevented possible casualty aboard downed 'Sokol' -- PAF

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 6): Skilled pilots prevented possible casualty aboard downed 'Sokol' -- PAF

'The skill of the pilots of the crashed W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopter was visibly demonstrated when they managed to land the aircraft without causing too much damage to the airframe and injury to themselves and passengers.

This was disclosed by Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya on Friday.

"(At) very low altitude, (it) takes a highly skilled pilot (s) to maneuver the aircraft to prevent damage, or passengers to be hurt," he added.

"We consider what they have done is a demonstration of their skills, because very low altitude and they just took off and then they were able to maneuver the aircraft in such a manner that they were able to save themselves and their passengers," Canaya said.

The PAF spokesperson said in such incident there is very little room and time for decision making and yet the pilots were able to keep the "Sokol" largely intact.

"The landing may not be perfect because of the surface they landed on but then again, the skills of the pilots was made apparent when they managed to land in a spot where it will not harm the passengers," he pointed out.

At the time of the accident, the W-3A "Sokol" was carrying nine passengers including the pilots and crew.

Among the passengers were 4th Infantry Division commander Major Gen. Ricardo Visaya and his staff. It was flying at a height of 50 feet when it encountered stiff headwinds which caused the aircraft to lose control.

It had just taken off from the helicopter pad of Camp Ranao, the headquarters of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, in Marawi City when the accident took place.

Canaya said the training of the pilots came into fore when they followed procedure by immediately shutting down the engines upon impact.

Canaya said that this is the proper procedure to follow in order to prevent possible explosion and fire.

"They are fully aware of what they are doing, they are very professional because they did not forget the basics of flying and they are conscious of (the) different situations (they encountered)," he stressed.

Canaya added that the pilots are scheduled to return to their families after treatment of their injuries.

He also clarified that the crashed helicopter has already exceeded its warranty of two years.

And until the findings of the air crash team are completed and made public, all seven remaining W-3A combat utility helicopters will be grounded.

These planes are assigned to the 505th Search-and-Rescue Group of the PAF.

The PAF spokesperson added that the Air Force has ample aircraft to utilize should emergencies erupt.

1 killed, 3 hurt in Agusan clash

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 8): 1 killed, 3 hurt in Agusan clash

Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – A member of the Special Cafgu Active Auxiliary (SCAA) was killed while three soldiers were wounded in clash with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at Stand 32, Purok 7, Barangay Zillovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, an Army spokesman said on Friday.

Maj. Christian Uy, spokesman of the Army’s 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division, identified the slain SCAA member as Carlito Perez, Sr.
Wounded were Cpl. Adul Sadjael, Pfc. Viermie Polinar and Cpl. Roberto Tejeros. The SCAA force are from a wood and tree plantation firm.

“The wounded Army soldiers who were slightly hit by shrapnel due to explosion of improvised explosive device (IED), were the reinforcing troops who stepped on the IEDs along the way, ” said Maj. Uy.

“Our reinforcing ground troops also believed that they inflict undetermined casualties on the enemy side during the more than 30 minute heavy gunbattle,” he added.

The rebels were members of guerilla-Front Committee 88 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee, he said.

Rival Philippines factions clash, leaving seven dead

From the World Bulletin (Aug 8): Rival Philippines factions clash, leaving seven dead

A clash between warring clans with members from Abu Sayyaf and MILF left 7 people dead as 1,050 families evacuate.

Extra Philippine security forces were deployed to the Muslim south Friday to pacify two warring families whose recent clash claimed seven lives, an official said.

Nasser Langis Asikin, village chief of Lower Cabengbeng where the bloody shootout occurred, told reporters Friday that the conflict Sunday had killed four from the family of Abubakar Palaman and three from that of Jabbar Sandiki.

Sr. Supt. Mario Dapillosa, Basilan province police provincial director, said the firefight that continued until Wednesday had sent 1,050 families evacuating to safer places as the two armed sides were poised to continue fighting.

Residents of Tuburan town who spoke to the Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal said that some members from the warring groups are either militants of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf or guerrillas of the country's one-time largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Although the root of the feud remained unclear, it was suspected to be a case of "rido", a generic term in most Moro (or Philippine Muslims) vernaculars that means clan war - usually precipitated by land disputes, affronts on family pride and honor and intense political rivalries.

Tuburan in Basilan province was once a stronghold of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), an insurgency from which the MILF broke away. Despite a 1996 peace deal with the government, the MNLF has been threatening to renew war, claiming the government has not implemented some provisions of the agreement.

On March 27, the MILF signed a peace agreement with the government that brought to a close 17 years of negotiations and ended a decades-old armed conflict in the southern area of Mindanao - the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines - while granting Muslim areas greater political autonomy.

Philippines to upgrade Spratlys airstrip amid moratorium bid

From Rappler (Aug 8): Philippines to upgrade Spratlys airstrip amid moratorium bid

The Philippines banks on the 'shared concern' among ASEAN countries 'to convince China to agree' to stop provocative activities in the South China Sea

MORATORIUM APPLIES? The Philippines is set to repair the damaged Rancudo Airfield on Pag-asa Island in the disputed South China Sea.
MORATORIUM APPLIES? The Philippines is set to repair the damaged Rancudo Airfield on Pag-asa Island in the disputed South China Sea.

The Philippines on Friday, August 8, said its proposed moratorium on provocative actions in the South China Sea will not stop it from upgrading its airstrip on the Spratly Islands in the disputed waters.

In a media briefing, Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose explained that upgrading the airstrip on Pag-asa Island, found in the Spratlys, will not disrupt the status quo in the South China Sea. (READ: Hitches in repair of PH airfield in Spratlys)

He said this means the upgrade will not violate paragraph 5 of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea – the basis of the moratorium sought by the Philippines.

The DOC states under paragraph 5 that the parties “undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate and escalate disputes,” and will refrain from inhabiting “presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features.”

When asked if the Philippines will drop the upgrade because of the moratorium, Jose told reporters, “We have been occupying Pag-asa before the 2002 DOC, so any improvements there should not be a violation of the DOC.”

“Ever since we signed the 2002 DOC, I think the Philippines has been faithful. We have not taken any unilateral action to violate the DOC,” he said, as the Philippines has filed diplomatic protests against China for violating the DOC.

The moratorium is part of the Philippines' proposed triple action plan (TAP), a set of strategies to ensure peace in the South China Sea. (READ: PH to ASEAN: Curb 'specific' moves in South China Sea)

China the 'object' of moratorium

The Philippines said it will propose the TAP in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Myanmar from Friday to Sunday, August 10. (READ: Sea row looms as Southeast Asia talks begin)

The Southeast Asian country said at least 3 ASEAN member-states have supported the TAP.

China, however, rejected this, with a Chinese official quoted by Reuters as saying China “can build what it wants in the South China Sea.” The Asian giant said the Philippines is also defeating the moratorium's purpose by planning to upgrade its Spratlys airstrip.

'MORATORIUM' SOUGHT. The Philippines wants a moratorium on activities that raise tensions in the South China Sea. This image dated Feb 25, 2014 shows China's reclamation activities in the disputed waters. Photo courtesy of DFA
Philippines wants a moratorium on activities that raise tensions in the South China Sea. This image dated Feb 25, 2014 shows China's reclamation activities in the disputed waters. Photo courtesy of DFA

On Thursday, August 7, maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal told Rappler the TAP will not work without China's consent.

He said China, after all, is the “object” of the moratorium proposed by the Philippines.

The Philippines crafted the TAP after China started building artificial islands in the South China Sea, which allegedly changes the status quo in the disputed waters.

'Shared concern' to 'convince China'

Despite China's objection to the TAP, Jose said the Philippines remains optimistic about it.

For one, it “would be able to address the issue” of the lighthouses that China, according to Reuters, plans to build on 5 islands in the South China Sea.

Jose said the Philippines will bank on the consensus among ASEAN countries.

If China still rejects the TAP, but ASEAN countries reach a consensus to heed it, Jose explained: “At least one good thing is that we know that our concerns are being shared by other ASEAN member countries, and that they also recognize the exacerbating tension in the region, and that we should take on measures that would deescalate or manage the tension, to create the atmosphere that would lead to the eventual resolution of the disputes.”

He added, “We hope that ASEAN, if we all agree, to be able to convince China to agree to the cessation of activities that escalate tension.”

More benefits for uniformed personnel, vets up at Senate

From InterAksyon (Aug 8): More benefits for uniformed personnel, vets up at Senate

More benefits, including increased subsistence allowances for uniformed personnel and burial allowances for veterans and their dependents, are being considered by the Senate, Senator Teofisto Guingona III said on Friday.

“We are pushing for more substantive benefits for the country’s uniformed officers and enlisted personnel in order to augment their meagre income and give them the dignity and honor they rightfully deserve,” Guingona said.

Senate Joint Resolution No. 2, which Guingona sponsored with Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Juan Edgardo Angara, Loren Legarda and Cynthia Villar to increase the subsistence allowance of officers and enlisted personnel from P90.00 to P150.00 daily.

Once approved, the benefits will cover officers and enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine National Police Academy cadets and Philippine Coast Guard.

“This measure will not only give them honor and recognition for the hard work and sacrifices they make daily to secure peace, to protect the country’s territorial integrity and to defend our sovereignty, but it is also one way of professionalizing these institutions that are integral to the nation,” Guingona said.

He also authored another bill with Trillanes that seeks to increase the burial benefits of veterans and their dependents from P10,000 to P20,000.

“Our veterans have served this country well. It is high time to increase the benefits due them. It is one way of honoring our veterans and their valuable contribution to our nation’s democracy,” Guingona said.

Again with Trillanes, Guingona also authored Senate Bill No. 2269 to revise the AFP modernization program by relaxing the rules on the acquisition of essential military equipment.

Lt. Gen. Bonafos is new AFP Vice Chief of Staff

From InterAksyon (Aug 8): Lt. Gen. Bonafos is new AFP Vice Chief of Staff

AFP Public Information Office

Lt. Gen. John S. Bonafos on Friday assumed the position of Armed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief of Staff at a Change of Chief of Office Ceremony held at the AFP General Headquarters (GHQ) conference room in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Lt. Gen. Bonafos replaced Lt. Gen. Virgilio O. Domingo, who served as the Vice Chief of Staff in an acting capacity after Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang became Chief of Staff in July.

Catapang was himself once appointed to the same position for a few months prior to becoming Chief of Staff.

Bonafos belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Sandigan" Class of 1982.

He spent much of his career with the elite troops of the Philippine Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which he once commanded before he was appointed to lead the Central Command (Cencom).

He graduated at the top of his Scout Ranger Course and finished the Instructor Training Course and Infantry Officer Advance Course in the United States Army Infantry School (CONUS).

He also studied at the United Nations Military Observer & Staff Course in Ireland and the Defense Resource Management Course (DRMC) in the Naval Postgraduate School in California, USA.

He finished his Masters of Business Administration (Major in Human Resource Management) at the National College of Business and Arts, and Project Management for Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization from the Asian Institute of Management, here in the country.

Set to replace him at Cencom based in Cebu City is his PMA classmate, Rear Admiral Alexander Lopez, currently Deputy Chief of Staff for Education and Training (J8) based at GHQ.

Another member of the Sandigan Class 1982, Maj. Gen. Nicanor Vivar, is also set to assume position as the incoming commander of the Western Command (Westcom) upon the mandatory retirement of outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda.

To become the new chief of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) is Brig. Gen. Arnold Quiapo (PMA "Matikas" Class 1983), outgoing commander of the 301st Infantry Brigade.

Quiapo will replace his classmate, Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, who was earlier designated commander of the 10th Infantry Division.

Soon to be receive a new commander is the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), which is currently led by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III.