Friday, August 22, 2014

Military: Town councilor’s killers not NPAs

From the Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Aug 23): Military: Town councilor’s killers not NPAs
THE military has brushed aside suspicion that the New People’s Army (NPA) insurgents were the ones responsible for killing a councilor of Opol, Misamis Oriental the other day, instead of putting the blame on them.

The Philippine Army has confirmed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Friday that the death of the municipal councilor was not the handiwork of the NPA.

Major Christian Uy, the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) spokesman, dismissed the possibility that armed guerrilla members were behind the ruthless killing of Opol council member Cecilio Abuhan last Thursday around 3 p.m. in Barangay Bagocboc.

Uy told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone that the NPA's influence in Opol is not as strong as the other areas in the province.

Opol police said Abuhan was on board a motorcycle traversing the roads of Sitio Inayaw in Bagocboc from Barangay Tungalan when a group of unidentified suspects shot the public official.

Police Officer 3 (PO3) Jonathan Eduave, chief investigator at Opol police station, said they are still establishing how the suspects killed Abuhan as no witnesses have come forward yet.

Eduave said the attackers might have waited for the victim to pass by or they had followed him.

According to Abuhan's wife Margielen, Bagocboc village chair, his husband had been receiving death threats a month ago.

Margielen added that politics may have cost the life of her husband.

"My husband's been so good to his people especially in the hinterlands which other politicians might have envied him," Margielen said of his husband in a TV interview.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered a total of 11 empty shells from a .45 caliber and .9mm gun at the crime scene.

Dr. West Edquila, Soco team leader, said the victim succumbed to four gunshot wounds on the back of his head, one on his neck's left side and one on the chest.

Misamis Oriental provincial administrator Edmundo Pacamalan Jr. said in an interview that Abuhan had been receiving complaints for maltreatment of his constituents, but that it happened years ago.

Pacamalan said authorities are also looking at other angles.

However, he believed that the NPA has not established a stronghold in Opol.

Army: NPA ‘desperate’

Meanwhile, the 4ID called the act of the NPA “desperate” after the communist group released a statement denying that the two people killed in a raid by the 26th Infantry Battalion were not one of theirs but civilians.

“They are desperate because they know that they are now outnumbered,” Uy said.

According to reports, two people were killed during a raid conducted by the 26IB and those were later identified as members of the NPA by the military.

High-powered firearms were also confiscated including grenade launchers, rifles and a shotgun.

In an e-mailed statement sent to Sun.Star, the NPA said their “red fighters” were in Barangay Mahagsay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur last August 15 to help the residents in harvesting corn, while their medics were also giving medical assistance to children and the elderly.

“The NPA squad was temporarily stationed in a hut at the time while helping some peasants harvest their corn. The area is isolated and more than two kilometers away from the sitio center. NPA medics were also giving medical checkup to some residents in the area,” the statement said.

According to the Maoist rebels, the raid turned bloody when a civilian named Iya Manlapindig, 40, and Oto Prisyoso, 19, were shot dead.

“When the raid started, the 'red fighters' just finished their lunch together with seven civilians, three of whom were children. Among the civilians were a mother, who availed of a medical check-up, and her newborn baby. Even so, the ruthless soldiers unhesitatingly strafed at the hut,” the NPA statement said.

“The red fighters swiftly took all the civilians to a safe place except for two, [Manlapindig], who immediately died of a gunshot wound on her chest; and [Prisyoso], who was scraped by a bullet on his calf but was subsequently killed by the soldiers,” it added.

The 4ID, however, denied this, saying the allegations are just to turn the “real” story against the leftist insurgents.

“Well, I am not surprised they would not own it up. That is their doing. It was a legitimate encounter and the two people killed were NPAs. Even the civilians could attest to that,” Uy said.

The NPA feels that retired Major General Jovito Palparan’s "doings" are still continuing up to this day.

“The two were added to the mounting list of the bloodthirsty military’s victims. This proves the ‘Palparan culture’ still prevails in the Aquino regime’s armed forces,” the NPA said.
However Uy said: “They said before that the ‘Berdugo’ is Palparan. Well, I think it is the other way around.”

CPP/NPA: 26th IB killed two civilians, not NPAs, in San Luis, Agusan del Sur

NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 18): 26th IB killed two civilians, not NPAs, in San Luis, Agusan del Sur
Omar Ibarra
Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-Regional Command (Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-Regional Command)

The New People’s Army confirms that a squad of Red fighters was raided by troops of the 26th IB-CAFGU in Km. 35, Brgy. Mahagsay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur in August 15, 2014, around 12:00 NN. We, however, condemn the fascist troops’ indiscriminate firing which resulted in the deaths of two civilians.

The NPA squad was temporarily stationed in a hut at the time while helping some peasants harvest their corn. The area is isolated and is more than two kilometers away from the sitio center. NPA medics were also giving medical check-ups to some residents in the area.

When the raid started, the Red fighters just finished their lunch together with seven civilians, three of whom were children. Among the civilians were a mother, who availed of a medical check-up, and her newborn baby. Even so, the ruthless soldiers unhesitatingly strafed at the hut. The Red fighters swiftly took all the civilians to a safe place except for two, namely, Iya Manlapindig, more than 40 years old, married, who immediately died of a gunshot wound on her chest; and Oto Prisyoso, 19 years old, single, who was scraped by a bullet on his calf but was subsequently killed by the enemy soldiers.

The AFP confiscated nine firearms consisting of four AK47 rifles, an M203 grenade launcher, three M16 rifles and a shotgun. Even the milk for the children was taken by the soldiers, together with other supplies. The NPA unit, however, did not suffer any casualties, being able to withdraw while protecting the civilians.

In order to cover up the AFP’s culpability in the deaths of the two peasants, the mercenary soldiers declared that the two were NPA fighters. Citizens of the locality however will confirm that the two really were civilians. They were merely helped by the NPA in harvesting their crop and were among those who received medical services. They and millions of poor are continually deprived of needed social services by the Aquino government.
And now, the two were added to the mounting list of the bloodthirsty military’s victims. This proves that the “Palparan” culture still prevails in the Aquino regime’s armed forces.

The NPA extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and neighbors of Manlapindig and Prisyoso who were killed in this unforeseen incident. We will try our best to extend some help for the decent burial of the victims.

While we condemn the bloodthirsty enemy armed forces, we also acknowledge our share of burden in these deaths. We will thoroughly investigate this incident to prevent such from happening in the future and to better protect civilians. The families of the deceased can count on the NPA to continue the struggle against the bloodthirsty enemy armed forces now drenched in the blood of innocent civilians. Only through intensifying armed resistance can the people serve revolutionary justice to all victims of state terrorism.

CPP/NDF: 1 ang patay, 6 nasamdan sa mga atake sa South Cotabato; AFP namomba, 3 sibilyan patay

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 22): 1 ang patay, 6 nasamdan sa mga atake sa South Cotabato; AFP namomba, 3 sibilyan patay (1 dead, 6 wounded in attack in South Cotabato; AFP (bombing?), 3 civilians dead)

Ka Efren Aksasato
NDFP Far South Mindanao Chapter
Usa ka sundalo ang namatay ug laing 6 ka tropa sa gubyerno ang nasamdan sa serye sa mga aksyong militar nga gilunsad sa New People’s Army (NPA) sa probinsya sa South Cotabato niadtong Agosto 15, 16 ug 21.

Duha ka tropa sa gubyerno ang naangol dihang gipabusikaran og granada sa usa ka tim nga operatiba sa Mt. Alip Command – Front 72 sa NPA ang detatsmen sa South Cotabato Police Public Safety Company (PSC-PNP) sa Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Tampakan bandang alas 4:30 ang takna sa buntag niadtong Agosto 15. Ang mga nasamdan mao sila PO1 Norberto Lanaria ug Cpl. Florante Basco, usa ka sundalo sa 27th IB nga nakadetalye sa maong detatsmen.

Gipanghimakak sa maong aksyon ang ginapanghambog sa 27th IB-AFP ug gubyernong probinsyal nga huyang na kaayo ang pwersa sa NPA sa South Cotabato. Inay, napamatud-an hinuon sa NPA nga mamahimo kining molunsad og aksyon militar diha mismo sa nataran sa sentrong syudad sa probinsya. Ang naasoy nga detatsment nahimutang sa utlanan sa Tampakan ug Koronadal City, ang kapitolyo sa South Cotabato ug sentrong panggubyerno sa Rehiyon 12.

Pagka-alas 2:30 ang takna sa kahaponon sa mao gihapong adlawa, usa ka sapper team sa BHB ilalom sa Julito Banda Command – Front 73 ang miharas sa usa ka kolum sa 27th IB nga nag-operisyon sa Brgy. Tudok sakop sa lungsod sa T’boli. Nasundan pa kini og laing aksyong harassment niadtong Agosto 16 sa alas 10:30 ang takna sa buntag sulod gihapon sa maong barangay. Dili moubos sa 4 ka mga sundalo ang nasamdan ug usa ang namatay niining magkalambigit nga mga aksyon. Walay kaswalti sa bahin sa mga Pulang manggugubat.

Usa ka dakung bakak ug tinumo-tumo lamang ang gipagula nga taho ni Col. Shalimar Imperial ug sa 27th IB nga tulo ka mga membro sa NPA ang namatay sa magkasunod nga mga engkwentro sa T’boli. Aron tabonan ang kaulaw ug demoralisasyon sa ilang tropa, gilimod nila ang ilang tinuod nga kaswalti ug nangandak pa ginamit ang daan, gasgas na kaayo ug dili-matuohan nga mga linyang panangyaw sama sa “daghang kaswalti ang NPA kay daghang bulit sa dugo ang nakita ”, “ang mga patay gilubong o gitaguan sa wala matino nga lugar”, ug uban pa.

Tungod sa naagomang kapildihan, milunsad og pagpamomba ang AFP sa bukirong lugar sa T’boli niadtong Agosto 16. Mga sibilyang komunidad ang apektado sa paturagas nga aerial bomb attacks ug tulo ka mga sibilyang T’boli nga molupyo sa maong dapit ang nakabsan sa kinabuhi, lakip niini ang usa ka babae. Gatosan ka mga pamilya ang pugsanong namakwet tungod sa panghitabo.

Agosto 21, laing aksyon na usab ang gilunsad sa mga Pulang manggugubat sa JBC-Front 73 sa lungsod sa Lake Sebu. Tunga’ng gabii dihang magkadungang giharas sa magkabulag nga mga sapper teams ang detatsmen sa 27th IB sa Sitio Blit ug ang mga tropa niining nagpahigayon og “peace and development operation” (PDOP) sa Sitio Tawan Dagat, parehong sakop sa Brgy. Ned.

Ang PSC-PNP ug 27th IB parehong aktibong tigpanalipod sa large-scale mining sa Sagittarius Mines Inc. nga nag-opereyt sa gold-copper project sa Tampakan. Daku ang nahimong papel sa PNP aron pitolon ang mga kalihukan sa katawhan nga mibarug batok sa mining project samtang notoryos ang rekord sa 27th IB isip tigpanghinlo sa minahan pinaagi sa pagpang-ihaw sa mga aktibistang kontra-mina. Ang South Cotabato Police direktang tigprotekta sab sa makadaut sa kinaiyahang quarry operations sa mga construction companies nga gipaluyohan sa lokal nga mga burukrata ug nagkupot og mga kontrata sa mga dagkung proyekto sa gubyerno. Ang quarry operations malahutayon nang gireklamo sa mga molupyo labina sa mga mag-uuma sa Tampakan ug Koronadal City tungod sa kadaut nga epekto niini sa ilang mga kabtangan ug panginabuhian.

Niadtong 2012, gitukod sa 27th IB ang Task Force 73 sa erya sa T’boli ug Lake Sebu aron iseguro ang operisyon sa coal mines sa San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC), ingonman ang pagsulod sa mga langyawng large-scale mining sa erya. Ang SMEC mao ang pang-enerhiyang dibisyon sa San Miguel Corporation, usa sa kinadak-ang kumpanya sa nasud nga gipanag-iyahan ni Danding Cojuangco, uyoan ni Noynoy Aquino.

Sukad pa niadtong sayong bahin sa 2011 gisugdan sa 27th IB ang militarisasyon sa daghang mga barangay sa Allah Valley (gilangkoban sa mga munisipiladad sa Banga, Surallah, Sto. Nino, Norala, T’boli ug Lake Sebu) aron hawanan ang dalan alang sa pagpalapad sa mga mangingilog og yutang multinasyunal nga Itochu-Dole ug Sumifru.

Ang gubyernong probinsyal sa South Cotabato ilalom ni Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes maoy tigpasiugda sa pagpatuman sa PDOP sa 27th IB ilalom sa Oplan Bayanihan aron pugsanong iduso ang bogus nga mga “kalambuan” nga iyang gipagarpar sa labing ulahi niyang state of the province address (SOPA) bisan kun nagkahulugan kini sa padayon nga pagpangilog sa kayutaan, dislokasyon, ug kabangis batok sa katawhan. Samtang labaw pang nagkalisod ang kahimtang sa katawhan tungod sa agresibong pagpalapad sa makadaut sa kinaiyahan ug mangawkaway nga mga dagkung langyaw ug lokal nga mga negosyo ug bangis nga pagpahamtang sa estado, hugtanong kuptan sa NPA ang kaakuhan niining panalipdan ang interes ug kaayohan sa katawhan, labina sa mga labing kabus sa han-ay.

KMP urges release of ‘farmer activist’

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 22): KMP urges release of ‘farmer activist’

The Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas-Negros chapter yesterday called for the immediate dismissal of what they described as trumped-up cases against Abraham Villanueva, an organizer and farmer activist, saying that he was apprehended without an arrest warrant.

KMP-Negros secretary general Felipe Gelle claimed that the arson charges against Villanueva were among the fabricated charges also filed against Romulo Bitoon and Rogina Quilop.
Gelle said Villanueva was also arrested in 2005 in Kabankalan City, with six other KMP leaders for alleged illegal possession of firearms.
Villanueva, with the aliases of Tikboy and Gamay, has been tagged by the military and police as the secretary of the South West Front of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, in southern Negros.
He has a pending arrest warrant for violation of Section 3, Paragraph 4 of Presidential Decree 1613, or arson, issued by San Carlos Regional Trial Court Judge Kathrine Go, who denied him bail.
Gelle said they will launch a protest action to call for the immediate release of Villanueva and 28 others in Negros whom he called “political detainees.”

1 dead, 3 hurt in wedding shootout in North Cotabato

From the Philippine Star (Aug 22): 1 dead, 3 hurt in wedding shootout in North Cotabato

NORTH COTABATO - A villager was killed while three others were wounded in a gunfight that marred a traditional Moro wedding rite in Midsayap town on Thursday, police said.

Superintendent Reinante Delos Santos, chief of the Midsayap municipal police, said violence erupted when one of the guests in the wedding ceremony, Kandao Pulalon, shot dead Suharto Kulilung with an M-16 assault rifle.

The Pulalon and Kulilung families in Barangay Tugal, a secluded district in the southeast of Midsayap, are locked in a clan war or "rido."

The attack sent guests to the wedding “kanduli” (banquet) running for their lives.

Delos Santos said a relative of Kulilung, Hashim Mamalampay, was hit by a stray bullet. He was rushed by barangay officials to a nearby hospital.

Responding village watchmen and local members of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit who tried to chase the fleeing Pulalon figured in a 25-minute firefight with his relatives, armed with M16 and M14 assault rifles.
In a statement issued Friday, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID), which has jurisdiction over North Cotabato province, said a certain Kagui Tandoy from the Pulalon clan and his followers traded shots with the pursuing militiamen and barangay tanods for more than 20 minutes.

Tandoy and his followers escaped, carrying two wounded companions, when they ran out of ammunition.

The 6th ID said combatants of the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion are now helping the municipal police secure the areas where members of the feuding clans reside to prevent the escalation of hostilities.

MILF sees no easy approval for Bangsamoro law

From the Philippine Star (Aug 22): MILF sees no easy approval for Bangsamoro law

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is expecting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) to be questioned before the Supreme Court and to face “trials and tribulations” while it is being deliberated upon by decision-makers.

The group, however, said it is unfazed by the challenges awaiting the draft law, which will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

“Today, the real happening is in the Office of the President where the proposed BBL is under scrutiny; after which the battle will shift to Congress, then to the conduct of the plebiscite in which people will approve (or disapprove) of the BBL,” MILF said in an editorial posted on its website

“That is not the end of the trials and tribulations. It is almost certain that people or groups will question the constitutionality of the BBL before the Supreme Court. All of these scenarios are risks-laden, but the MILF is not cowed at all,” it added.

Last March, the government and the MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the document that will serve as basis of the BBL. The agreement will pave the way for the creation of a new region with enhanced political and economic autonomy.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission submitted the draft of the BBL to Malacañang last April.  A legal team from the Office of the President was tasked to review the draft law before endorsing it to Congress.
The government originally planned to submit the draft law to Congress in May but the deadline was not met. The final draft of the BBL, one of the priority measures of Malacañang, was submitted to Aquino last Wednesday after a series of reviews by the peace panels.

The MILF said it won’t be answering questions that are based on suppositions including the possibility that the BBL will not be approved by Congress or is declared unconstitutional.

“It is rare or not at all that success comes in handy or on a silver platter. There are no rewards without risk. Taking risks is part of the undertaking,” the group said.

”What is good is that both parties are in a problem-solving exercise. They have also set aside rigidity in favor of creativity, so that even hard issues are not handled fairly well,” it added.

The MILF is optimistic that the BBL will soon be submitted to Congress.

Pentagon cites 'dangerous' Chinese jet intercept

Posted to the Philippine Star (Aug 22): Pentagon cites 'dangerous' Chinese jet intercept

The Pentagon on Friday accused a Chinese fighter jet of conducting a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace.

The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, calling the fighter pilot's actions "unsafe and unprofessional."

Kirby said it happened Aug. 19.

He said the maneuvering by the Chinese jet posed a risk to the safety of the U.S. air crew, was "inconsistent with customary international law," and complicates efforts to improve military-to-military relations, which are often strained.

Kirby said the Chinese jet made several close passes by the Navy P-8 Poseidon plane, coming within 30 feet of it at one point. He said the Chinese jet did a "barrel roll" maneuver over the top of the Poseidon at one point and also passed across the nose of the Navy plane, exposing the belly of the fighter in a way apparently designed to show that it was armed.

Kirby said it happened about 135 miles east of China's Hainan Island. In 2001 a Chinese jet collided with a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off Hainan Island, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the Navy plane to make an emergency landing on the island.

The Navy's P-8 Poseidon aircraft are designed for long-range missions including intelligence collection and reconnaissance.

Breakaway Moro group admits alliance with ISIS

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 22): Breakaway Moro group admits alliance with ISIS
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) confirmed Friday that it has forged an alliance with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

However, Abu Misry Mama, BIFM spokesperson, said they have not sent any of their men to Iraq or Syria to fight alongside ISIS, or even to train there.

Earlier, former president Fidel Ramos said around 100 Filipino Muslims had gone to Iraq and Syria to train there and help ISIS in its campaign to put up a Caliphate.

ISIS or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is the successor Islamist militant group that emanated from Al Qaeda in Iraq.

“There is no truth to the reports that we have sent fighters to Syria and Iraq. We do not need to train there because our training grounds in Mindanao are enough already,” Mama said in a telephone interview.

He said members of the BIFM’s armed-wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), did not need foreign trainings.

“In fact, there are also no foreigners in our camps to train us because we can train on our own,” Mama said.

But while denying the BIFM has sent fighters to Iraq and Syria, Mama said an alliance had indeed been formed between ISIS and BIFM.

He said the alliance between ISIS and the BIFM was finalized through the use of mobile phones and the Internet in July.

He said it was BIFM vice chair for political affairs Sheikh Ismail Abu Bakr and the group’s Islamic Supreme Council chair, identified only as Kuti, who formalized the alliance.

“There was also a time that they directly communicated with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Mama said.

Al-Baghdadi is the self-proclaimed “Caliph” or head of state of the Islamic State, as ISIS is also known.

“In the alliance, we have agreed that we are brothers under the same sky… that if one finger is hurt the entire body will feel the pain,” Mama said.

But the BIFM mouthpiece said his organization did not financially benefit from the alliance.

“If we will ask them for money they might send us millions but we are not asking for any,” Mama said.

He said the funds the BIFM uses for its operational expenses come mostly from “supportive businessmen and politicians.”

“They believe that we are fighting the right war that is why they support us financially,” Mama said.

Aside from moneyed individuals, he said,  Moro communities also keep the BIFM alive by pitching any amount they could afford.

This is not taxation, he said, but a “required charity contribution” by the communities to “fund the jihad.”

“For example, if you till the soil and you harvest 10 sacks you give one sack to the mujahideens,” Mama said.

Reacting to the beheading that the ISIS had reportedly conducted, Mama said it must have been strictly guided by Islamic principles.

“You cannot just cut hands and heads because you want to. It is being done as part of a judicial process. Your hands will only be cut if you steal and the beheading is only done to those who killed people as a crime,” Mama said.

He said for example, the BIFM had to expel one of its senior leaders for the beheading of two civilians in Midsayap, North Cotabato in September 2013.

Mama said one of those beheaded, 31-year-old Ricarte Dionio, was a policeman – who had become a legitimate target.

But he said beheading him was inappropriate and a violation of the rules of the BIFM.

He said because of this, then BIFM vice chair for political affairs Muhammad Ali Tambako was expelled from the rebel group.
“The man was a legitimate target but the beheading was unnecessary. What is worse is that the man was beheaded even if he was dead already,” Mama said.

China’s nine-dash line came ahead of Unclos, says expert

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 22): China’s nine-dash line came ahead of Unclos, says expert

Wu Shicun, president of National Institute for South China Sea Studies. Photo from
A Chinese scholar claimed that China has a more solid hold on the South China Sea because its nine-dash line claim over nearly 90 percent of the area has existed before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

“The Nine-dash line had existed for nearly half a century ahead of Unclos, you have no reason to ask the Nine-dash Line to conform to a later convention,” Wu Shicun, president of National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said in a video report of state-run China Central Television (CCTV) Friday.

“A basic principle of international law is non-retroactivity. Today’s law cannot overwrite existing facts of the past,” Wu said.

The Philippines has challenged the nine-dash line claim before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) after the April 2012 standoff between Chinese coast guard and Philippines authorities at Scarborough Shoal which China calls Huangyan Island.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that China has maintained an overwhelming presence in the South China Sea including the disputed Spratly Islands off the coast of Palawan.

Several incidents of Chinese ships using force to turn away Filipino fishermen have been reported. Reclamation projects on submerged reefs were seen through a series of aerial surveillance photographs publicized by the DFA.

A Filipino maritime law expert however refuted Wu’s claims, saying that even if China’s nine-dash line claim existed before Unclos which came into force in 1994, it would not have had any legal consequences.

“Prior to Unclos, no state could lay claim to waters more than three nautical miles from shore,” Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said in a text message to

“Besides, the nine-dash line was not published internationally aside from a Chinese map. Even if the nine-dash line was issued in 1947, it could not have had any legal effect,” he said.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio had also debunked China’s own historical claims caling the nine-dash line a “gigantic historical fraud.”

Carpio, in one of his series of lectures entitled “Historical Facts, Historical Lies and Historical Rights in the West Philippine Sea,” showed copies of maps of China dating back to the 13th century and to the 1930s, made by Chinese authorities or individuals and even foreigners, that showed the southernmost territory of China has always been Hainan Island.
Carpio also showed that Chinese territory never included the Spratly Islands in the middle of the South China Sea and Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

“There is not a single ancient map, whether made by Chinese or foreigners, showing that the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal were ever part of Chinese territory,” Carpio said.

China’s so-called historical facts to justify its nine-dash line are glaringly inconsistent with actual historical facts, based on China’s own historical maps, constitutions and official pronouncements,” he said.

China has repeatedly refused to participate in the arbitration proceedings insisting on bilateral talks and negotiations with the Philippines.

DFA secretary Albert del Rosario however said that China has also been refusing to meet with Philippine officials despite repeated requests.

1st Cavalry squadron lauded for dedication, bravery during Zamboanga City crisis

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 20): 1st Cavalry squadron lauded for dedication, bravery during Zamboanga City crisis

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur – The 1st Cavalry Squadron (Tagapanguna) Battalion was lauded by the Mechanized Infantry Division (MID), Philippine Army (PA) for the very its bravery during the Zamboanga City crisis in September last year.

MID commander Major General (MGen.) Mayoralgo Dela Cruz in his message delivered by his assistant commander Brigadier General (BGen.) Edgar Gonzales during the squadron’s 38th founding anniversary last Saturday said the unit had “manifested its sincere and dedicated service to the nation.”

Dela Cruz said the success of Zamboanga operations is one of the regiment’s greatest achievements.

“The skill, courage and deliberate actions displayed to the rescue of more than 100 hostages and the neutralization of some 500 rebels along with other members of the AFP during the Zamboanga City crisis deserved credit and recognition for a mission well-accomplished,” Dela Cruz proudly announced.

“Bilang inyong pinuno, lubos kong ipinagmamalaki ang bawat isa sa inyo sa dedikasyon at katatagang ipinamalas ninyong lahat na marating ang tagumpay ng ating hukbo.”

(As your commander, I am very proud of each one of you on your dedication and courage you have contributed in attaining success for our organization),” Dela Cruz said.

“Nais ko kayong hikayatin na lalo nating palakasin ang ating pagkakaisa bilang ‘team armor’ at higit na palawakin ang ating kampanya tungo sa isang  professional, tapat, at nakabagong mechanized division na aayon sa nakalalatag na daan tungo transpromasyon,” De la Cruz urged.

(I urge you to strengthen our unity as team armor and intensify our campaign to be a professional, committed, new mechanized division anchored toward the path of transformation.)

Meanwhile, 1st Cavalry Squadron battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel (Lt.Col.) Antonio John Divinagracia recognized the hard work of the troopers.

“Your hard work, dedication, diligence and teamwork in performing your difficult mission speaks for your accomplishments as we are awarded as best cavalry squadron,” Divinagracia said.

Divinagracia said the squadron was awarded two Distinguished Conduct Service Medals, 36 Gold Cross Medals and 25 Bronze Cross Medals by no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on Nov. 4, 2013 at the General Headquarters for the bravery in combat and valuable service rendered in the operations.

“The awards were not given to us in a silver platter. They are the products of our team’s hard work and sacrifices,” Divinagracia added.

Divinagracia urged the troopers to contribute to the attainment of the objective of AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan.

Divinagracia also encouraged the soldiers to be dependable, professional and well-disciplined. “We have to respect the rights of others, adhere to the International Humanitarian Law and will act as role models,” he concluded.

The celebration was highlighted by the distribution of awards to 32 deserving officers, enlisted personnel and civilians who contributed to the accomplishment of the Squadron’s mission.

Phl Navy invites Bataeños to be reservists

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 20): Phl Navy invites Bataeños to be reservists

Physically fit men and women from Bataan, which is known as training ground of caliber naval stalwarts, are invited to join the Philippine Navy Reserve Force.

The Philippine Navy is offering free military uniform and subsistence allowance in selected Reservist Training Program, leadership and skills training, opportunity for career advancement, and the chance to serve the country.

“Applicants must be natural-born Filipino citizen of good moral character, must not have any pending civil/criminal case, physically and mentally fit, must possess spirit of volunteerism, and not less than 18 years of age for enlisted and 21 years old for officers, and not over 64 years old at the time of appointment as reserve officer,” the Armed Forces service branch said in a statement.

For Enlistment, basic requirements include accomplished Reservist Information Data Sheet, basic/advance ROTC certificate, transcript of records and diploma, PRC license if any, NBI clearance, two pieces 2x2 pictures, and NSO birth certificate.

For Commission, basic requirements include accomplished Reservist Information Data Sheet, affidavit of no pending case, whole body postcard size picture, personal data sheet or resume, PSA birth certificate, and service record.

Also needed for the latter is a certified true copy of the following: college diploma and transcript of records, COMELEC certificate (for elected officials only), appointment order from the President (for appointed officials only), basic and advance ROTC certificate (for advance ROTC graduate only), board certificate/board rating/PRC license if any, physical examination report, and National Agency Command Clearance.

Applications should be sent to Naval Reserve Center-NCR, Molave St., Bonifacio Naval Station, Taguig City 1202. For details, contact +63 (02) 526-3920 local 129 or +639178795106; or visit

The Philippine Navy Reserve Force consists of the Ready Reserve Force and the Philippine Navy Affiliated Reserve Units.

During peacetime, administrative control of the reservists fall under the Philippine Navy Naval Reserve Command, while during wartime, the mobilized reservists come under the control of the Philippine Fleet and the Philippine Marines.

Catapang urges NOLCOM unit heads to continue IPSP Bayanihan initiatives

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 22): Catapang urges NOLCOM unit heads to continue IPSP Bayanihan initiatives

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. urged heads of Air Force, Army, and Naval units of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) to continue the initiatives under the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan.

The program, noted Catapang, was significant in delivering maximum service to the public, which assured peace, progress and prosperity in NOLCOM’s area of responsibility.

"The IPSP Bayanihan is bringing us peace and we should all protect this from those who seek to test its merits," he added.

Catapang likewise ordered the soldiers to maintain discipline and core competence in the highest standards in order to ensure the achievement of mandates under AFP directives.

"We have to project ourselves as modern armed forces. We will conduct our operations without collateral damage. There should be no human rights violations," Catapang reiterated.

He also reminded the soldiers to stay focused on their mission and not be distracted by the on-going political dynamics in the country.

The IPSP Bayanihan is a comprehensive military campaign package, which highlights a significant interplay of peace and development in sustaining progress and growth in the country.

Government will not waver in West Philippine Sea claims, Palace official says

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 23): Government will not waver in West Philippine Sea claims, Palace official says

The Philippine government will continue to push for its claim in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and will use all diplomatic ways to resolve its dispute with China, a Palace official said.

"The Philippine government will not cease in filing and availing of the legal and diplomatic means in resolving this dispute. We have filed a diplomatic protest," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in an interview in Malacañang on Friday.

"It is not a question of whether they will heed the diplomatic protest. What is important is that the Philippine government continues to assert its right against its neighbors," Secretary Lacierda said, noting that the Philippines has availed of diplomatic and arbitration channels in resolving its dispute with China.

Asked if the country is open to bilateral negotiations with China, he said, “It makes no sense for us to negotiate bilaterally if the claimants to those disputed seas or waters would comprise more than two claimant-countries.”

He said the government is very cognizant of the situation in the West Philippine Sea and it will take measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos in the area.

Lacierda however said that while the dispute with China remains unresolved, the Philippines is still interested in dealing with the Asian giant, especially in terms of trade.

9 of top 10 illiterate barangays found in Mindanao

From the Manila Standard Today (Aug 22): 9 of top 10 illiterate barangays found in Mindanao

Seventeen of the “30 illiterate” barangays are found in Mindanao with nine of them ranked in the “Top 10”, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

The DepEd Literacy Coordinating Council (LCC) describes “illiteracy” as a “situation where most, if not all, of a  village inhabitants have little knowledge in the basic literacy skills of reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic or numeracy, also known as the Three Rs”.

The LCC report—based on the  “literacy mapping data” of the Department of Interior and Local Government on the 5th and 6th class municipalities—received recently at the DepEd region 9 office here, noted the failure of  children to enroll in remote public schools result in their growing up “no-read, no-write” like their parents.

The report said three Misamis Oriental villages, all in Salay town, led the  list of the 30 barangays: Matampa had the lowest  basic literacy rate (BLR) of 30.4 percent followed by Alipuaton and Bunal with  32.9 percent and 44.8 percent , respectively.

Zamboanga del Sur’s Nangan-Nangan and Mate, both in Tigbao town, got a BLR  of 55.21 percent and 65.6 percent, respectively, to place 4th and 8th.

Also in the Top 10 are Lanao del Norte’s (LDN) Pandalunan in Munai town with  56.3 percent BLR, 5th; Dansalan in Sapad, 65.1 percent, 7th; and Rapadan in Munai, 72.3 percent, 10th even as four other LdN villages were in the “Magic 30”—namely, Cabaslagan, 73 percent, 11th; Natangcopan,75.6 percent,  14th;   Old Poblacion, 82.6 percent, 23rd; and Bangcal, 85.7 percent, 28th.

Misamis Occidental’s  Dioyo  (72 percent) and Ventura (82.4 percent) both in Sapang Dalaga, and Manalad in Calamba (87.3 percent) came out 9th, 22nd and 29th, respectively, while Surigao del Norte’s Sto. Rosario (83.3 percent) and Poblacion Uno (83 percent) both in Bacuag, respectively,  placed 25th and 26th.

Completing the country’s Top 30 “illiterate” villages, the DepEd said, are Cardiz in Bagulin, La Union, 6th; Dananao, Tinglayan, Kalinga, 12th;  Estrella, San Guillermo, Isabela, 13th; Nanungaran, Rizal, Cagayan, 15th; Progreso, San Guillermo, Isabela, 16th;  Marapilit, Zumaraga, Western Samar, 17th; Dao-angan, Bolinay, Abra, 18th;  Paroyhog, Sta. Maria, Romblon, 19th; Bekigan, Sadangan, Mt. Province, 20th; San  Miguel, Maslog, Eastern Samar, 21st; Canlasog, Larena, Siquijor, 24th;  San Julian, Eastern Samar, 27th, and  Malijao, Dimiao, Bohol, 30th.

PSG arrests woman for trying to bring gun to Palace

From GMA News (Aug 22): PSG arrests woman for trying to bring gun to Palace

Presidential guards arrested a woman on Friday afternoon for allegedly trying to bring a cal-.45 pistol into the Malacañang compound in Manila.

The Presidential Security Group is now questioning the woman, initially identified as Flora Pineda, radio dzBB's Benjie Liwanag Jr. reported.

Initial investigation showed Pineda tried to enter the part of the Palace compound where the New Executive Building is located between 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

She reportedly called for the removal of President Benigno Aquino III, supposedly because she pitied children affected by poverty.

The report said Pineda claimed she got the cal-.45 pistol from an eatery.

NEB houses several agencies under the Office of the President, including the Presidential Communications Operations Office and the offices of the presidential spokesperson and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

Palace to submit Bagsamoro law to Congress next week

From the Business World (Aug 22): Palace to submit Bagsamoro law to Congress next week

MALACAÑANG is hoping to submit the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to Congress next week, a Palace official said yesterday. President Benigno S.C. Aquino III is set to certify the bill as urgent to fast-track legislative action on the measure which will create a new political entity in Mindanao.

In an interview on Friday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin S. Lacierda said the President has started the review of the draft bill and “is going through it with close coordination” with government peace panel chairwoman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa who attended the talks between the peace panels in Davao last week.

“We hope to submit the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law within the month of August,” he said.

“Right now, he’s just going through it. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see his impression and if he still wants something done about the draft after the review. Between now and then, we are hoping that we will be able to submit the draft Bangsomoro Basic Law within the agreed timeline,” he added.

The Palace spokesman noted that should the Office of the President introduce any amendments to the draft law -- submitted by the peace panels to Malacanang on Wednesday night -- it would only involve few provisions.

“Well, whatever the Palace inputs are... my understanding from Chair Ferrer is that they were able to come up with at least a big percentage of the draft. So, if there are parts that needs to be studied... They defer to the President to take a look, one final review of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law. And... we’ll see,” Mr. Lacierda said.

“The bulk of it has already been agreed upon by both panels. More than 70% have been agreed upon so we are looking at a few provisions that would still need the President’s observation,” he added.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law -- the intended outcome of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed on March 27 -- serves to establish a new political region for the Bangsamoro people that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The draft law, among others, will embody provisions contained in the CAB particularly on wealth and power-sharing between the national government and the new Bangsamoro government.

The government earlier expressed optimism the draft law could still be passed within the year as earlier scheduled, to be followed by a plebiscite in 2015 and elections for officials to oversee the Bangsamoro government in 2016.

Militiaman killed, 2 wounded in clash

From the Business Mirror (Aug 22): Militiaman killed, 2 wounded in clash

A MILITIAMAN was killed while two others were wounded on Thursday in a firefight between two groups in North Cotabato, the military said.
Maj. Dante Gania, public affairs officer of the Army’s Sixth Infantry “Kampilan” Division, said members of the Barangay Peace and Action Team led by Ping Kolilong Pulalon clashed for 25 minutes with the group headed by Kagi Tadoy.
During the firefight, a member of Pulalong’s barangay militia was killed while two others were wounded.
Gania said casualties were also reported from the side of Tadoy during the gunbattle, which was reported to have been fueled by a personal grudge.
Pulalon is the barangay chairman of Tugal, Midsayap, North Cotabato. On the other hand, Tadoy is from Barangay Kapinpilan, also in Midsayap.
Gania said the military has already intervened in order to ensure that there would be no more clashes between the two groups. He said the police is currently investigating the incident.

Progressive payment scheme eyed for P18-billion frigate program

From the Business Mirror (Aug 22): Progressive payment scheme eyed for P18-billion frigate program

The government is looking at the possibility of using the so-called progressive payment scheme for the Department of National Defense’s (DND) P18-billion frigate program.

This was confirmed by Commodore Roland Mercado, Navy technical working group head, in a text message to the Philippines News Agency.

“The issue that has to be resolved is the progressive payment scheme because this will affect proponents’ financial proposals,” he said.

Mercado also stressed that the GPPB or Government Procurement Policy Board must also give its go-ahead for this setup to speed up the frigate program.

Sources earlier said that the DND is looking at the possibility of making eight payments for the two ships, which will give the Navy a much-needed boost in surveillance and firepower capability.

This can be broken down into the following:

15 percent during the awarding of the contract.

15 percent for the finalization of the contract.

10 percent for the laying of the keel of the ships.

10 percent for the construction of the vessel.

15 percent for installation of engines, weapons, communications, sensor systems, and auxiliary machinery.

15 percent during the acceptance trials.

10 percent during the delivery of the frigates to the Philippines.

10 percent for the completion of the warranty period.

Building of the two ships is expected to be completed within two years.

Technical specifications of the DND’s P18-billion frigate program include a capability to conduct air-to-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, antisubmarine warfare, and electronic warfare.

Aside from this, these naval vessels should be able to do extended maritime patrol with an embarked helicopter and operating up to Sea State 6.

It must also have a range of 4,500 nautical miles at 15 knots, endurance of 30 days in tropical condition, and capable of running up to 25 knots of continuous speed.

Navigation equipment of the two ships, at a minimum, must consist of two navigation radars; GPS, depth sounding set, and vessel tracking system compatible to PN’s existing system.

The frigates’ weapon system, at a minimum, should consist of a 76-mili-meter gun; stabilized secondary gun; four .50-caliber machine guns; surface-to-surface missile launchers; surface-to-air missile launching system; and anti-submarine torpedoes.

Earlier, two more foreign shipbuilders have joined the Navy’s P18-billion frigate program. These are Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. of India and STX France SA.

They were allowed to join in the bidding after their motions for reconsideration were considered by the DND’s Special Bidding Awards Committee.

They were earlier excluded from the project due to deficiencies in documentary requirements.

These companies now join Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures) of Spain and South Korean firms STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Heavy Industries Inc. who have passed the first stage of the bidding.

PH rejects bilateral approach in resolving sea row

From ABS-CBN (Aug 22): PH rejects bilateral approach in resolving sea row

The Philippines is maintaining its position of taking a multilateral approach in addressing territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea amid reports on the presence of Chinese vessels in Recto Bank.

"We cannot have a bilateral discussion with them because it’s a dispute that involves more than two parties so it makes no sense for us to negotiate bilaterally if the claimants to those disputed seas or waters would comprise more than two claimant countries. For that particular reason, it is not for us feasible to do bilateral negotiations,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

"I think the Philippine government will not cease in filing and availing of the legal and diplomatic means in resolving this dispute. We have filed a diplomatic protest. It’s not a question of whether they will heed the diplomatic protest. What is important is that the Philippine government continues to assert its right against its neighbors. And we will continue to do so and for that particular reason, we have availed of the diplomatic and arbitration channels in resolving this dispute with China."

The Philippines said Monday it would protest to China about what it called Beijing's increasing patrols in a disputed area of the South China Sea believed to hold vast oil and gas resources.

Foreign Department spokesman Charles Jose announced the protest a day after the airing of a television interview in which President Benigno Aquino III raised the alarm over the Chinese vessels at Reed Bank.

"The frequent passage of Chinese vessels in Recto Bank is not an innocent exercise of freedom of navigation but is actually done as part of a pattern of illegitimate sovereign patrol in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, pursuant to China's unilateral effort to change the status quo in the South China Sea," Jose told reporters, referring to Reed Bank by its Filipino name.

He said Reed Bank was about 85 nautical miles (157 kilometers) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, making it well within the country's internationally-recognized exclusive economic zone.

In contrast, Jose said the bank was 595 nautical miles from the coast of China's Hainan island.

A day earlier, Aquino expressed concern at the presence of Chinese government ships in the disputed waters, questioning how far China intended to push its claims.

In an interview with ABC-5 television network, transcripts of which were released by the presidential palace, Aquino said: "They want to claim what is ours. How far will we let this go? Are we going to be content to just tell them, 'Okay, you can go this far'"?

"What are they doing there? What studies are they doing? Hopefully this will not add to the tensions between the two of us," Aquino said.

Defense Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said Monday the ships were "hydrological research vessels" capable of mapping the ocean floor, adding they were first sighted in June but could remain at sea for over a month.

China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of its neighbors. This conflicts with the territorial claims of the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

In recent years, tensions between the Philippines and China have risen as China has aggressively pressed its claim, citing "historical facts" and occupying and fortifying outcrops and islets.

Aquino joked that China could eventually claim all of the Philippines, citing the presence of Chinese migrants in Manila as early as the 16th century when the archipelago was a Spanish colony.

Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma said Monday the Philippines would continue to rely mainly on a "strategy of finding a peaceful and diplomatic solution" to the South China Sea dispute.

Video: Engkwentro ng militar at NPA, nakunan ng video

From ABS-CBN (Aug 22): Video: Engkwentro ng militar at NPA, nakunan ng video

Military, NPA clash in Davao del Norte

Nakunan ng video ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Kapalong, Davao del Norte ang engkwentro sa pagitan ng militar at New People's Army noong ika-11 ng Agosto. Napatay ang isang tinyente at naipit naman ang ilang residente sa engkwentro. Nagpa-Patrol, Hernel Tocmo. TV Patrol, Agosto 22, 2014, Biyernes

Palawan high school students tour military camp

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 22): Palawan high school students tour military camp

High school students from the Palawan Adventist Academy (PAA) in the southern town of Narra were given the unique opportunity of touring the Western Command (WESCOM) camp Thursday afternoon.

The tour of the facility was conducted as part of an ongoing educational trip of the students together with 12 of their teachers and principal, Elvira R. Tamparong.

"Our soldiers gave us a tour to their military facility, which allowed us to get a glimpse of their activities, plus letting us know that our role in nation building is important," said Tamparong. “It was very nice to have this opportunity.”

After the guided tour, the students and their teachers were given a lecture showcasing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), while the 6th Civil Relations Group provided an audio-visual presentation and information drive.

At the end of the film showing, the students were encouraged to raise questions.

"They always asked interesting questions. The teenagers’ hunger for knowledge is inspiring," said Lt. Cherryl Tindog, chief of Wescom’s Public Affairs Office.

A former teacher, Tindog said she hoped the visit would enable the students to expand their horizons in the field.

P-Noy to review final draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law -- Deles

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 22): P-Noy to review final draft of Bangsamoro Basic Law -- Deles

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles on Friday confirmed the submission of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.

"As agreed upon by the Parties, the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) submitted the final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to the Office of the Executive Secretary yesterday evening," Deles said. The submission was witnessed by Atty. Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, the President’s chief legal counsel, and Atty. Mike Musngi, the Assistant Executive Secretary.

According to Deles, "the latest draft (of the BBL) has been submitted to the President for his review" and "further discussions may be held based on the guidance of the President."

In a news release on, the M‎ILF noted that "the two parties are also in the same level of understanding that an "agreed version" of the BBL is the only way that would strengthen their partnership in jointly pushing for the early passage of the bill in Congress."

MILF peace panel and Bangsamoro Transition Commission chair Mohagher Iqbal, in a letter accompanying the BBL submission, likewise committed to "adhere to our understanding to work on the final text of the proposed BBL after its review by the President."

‎With this, Deles says she is "confident that a mutually acceptable bill will be filed in Congress as a true demonstration of the parties' firm partnership for peace.‎"

‎The draft BBL is expected to be submitted to Congress upon the instructions of the President. "We will await his signal. We are all aware it is an urgent matter," she said.

1 killed, 2 hurt in Midsayap

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 22): 1 killed, 2 hurt in Midsayap fighting
One person was killed while two others were wounded after barangay peacekeeping action team (BPATs) had a 25-minute firefight with a rival group in Barangay Tugal, Midsayap town, North Cotabato Thursday afternoon.

This took place around 3:25 p.m. 6th Infantry Division public affairs officer Major Dante Gania said.

He added that the BPATs were assigned to Barangay Tugal chairman Ping Kolilong Pulalon.

Gania said that these men encountered armed men under one Kagi Kadoy who reportedly harbors a grudge against Pulalon.

In the issuing firefight, one BPAT member was killed while two others were wounded.

An undetermined number of injured/casualty were sustained by Kadoy's group.

Pursuit operations and investigations are now ongoing.

PROTEST FRIDAY | Youth groups mount simultaneous actions vs pork barrel, graft, term extension

From InterAksyon (Aug 22): PROTEST FRIDAY | Youth groups mount simultaneous actions vs pork barrel, graft, term extension

UST Students, Yellow Jackets and other youth groups staged #MakeSomeNoise Against Corruption and All kinds of Pork and BS Aquino's term extension. Victor Villanueva, Spokesperson of Youth ACT Now and President of UST Civil Law Student Council, said: "Huwag natin hayaang manahin natin ang bulok na sistema, DAPat managot lahat ng sangkot!". | PHOTO by: Michael Francis Andrada, Pinoy Media Center

In the run-up to the first anniversary on Monday (Aug.25) of the massive anti-pork barrel movement's rally at Luneta, youth groups held simultaneous protests in various schools in Metro Manila Friday.

Taking part in the fight against what they called the “Yellow Dictatorship,” students and youth from various universities and communities along Mendiola, the University Belt, and Intramuros conducted noise barrage protests on Friday afternoon.

Participants used slogans, whistles and drums to demonstrate their rage against the deep-seated corruption perpetuated by the Aquino regime.

Among the activities was a noise barrage together with college drumbeaters at San Beda College on Mendiola; a noise barrage featuring UST drummers at the University of Sto. Tomas Gate 2; and a cultural march against pork barrel, with students of PLM, Mapua and Letran at the ASEAN Garden in Intramuros, Manila.

The youth and students dubbed the simultaneous protests “DAPat Mag-ingay” protests vs Aquino Dictatorship.

The League of Filipino Students’ (LFS) national spokesperson Charlotte Velasco, in a statement, assailed the Aquino government’s call for term extension and Charter Change (Cha-Cha). 

The simultaneous actions dubbed as “DAPat Mag-ingay” were led by youth groups LFS, Anakbayan, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Karatula, National Union of Students of the Philippines, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Kabataan Partylist. LFS invited the youth to participate in the upcoming rallies against DAP and the entire pork system.

“The administration’s solid persistence to protect the system stealing from the public trust must be confronted by more agitated and vigorous protests renouncing the corrupt regime. Aquino disgustingly extols the P250-billion DAP used for projects when it only fattened funds for corruption and brought more despair to the people,” Velasco said.

The groups urged onlookers to commemorate National Heroes’ Day on August 25 by joining the “Stand Up, Sign Up” protest at Luneta and signing the People’s Initiative Bill to abolish the pork barrel system.

“There would be no other way to put justice to the lives of our heroes and martyrs than combining our initiative to forge an act that would inhibit corruption. To enable broad participation in the battle against plunder and impunity is the foreground cause of our protest on August 25,” stated Velasco.