Thursday, April 30, 2015
IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay – Having seen the impact of the “Plastic ni Juan” project to the community and environment, the 102nd Infantry “Igsoon” Brigade with the help of the Ipil Taebo Enthusiast Organization has replicated it here to benefit several schools in the province.
As an opening salvo, the group led by Captain Divar Crisostomo, civil military operations officer of 102nd Infantry Brigade has recently visited several establishments in Ipil town to collect plastic wastes.
As a result, the group was able to collect 14 sacks of plastic bottles from Barangay Sanito, AJJ-JC Store, Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative (ZAMSURECO)-II, Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Police Office (ZSPPO) and Sibugay Grand Plaza Hotel, which were among the first participating groups and agencies.
“We are planning to collect more before we turn-over next the collected plastic bottles to the Tabak Division next month,” Capt. Crisostomo said in a media interview.
“Plastic ni Juan: Sa Plastic at Basura may Dalang Pag-asa” is an eco-project of the television network Global Media Arts (GMA)-7 aimed at collecting waste plastics to be recycled into plastic chairs that will be donated to public schools.
Crisostomo said public schools in Zamboanga Sibugay province would be the beneficiaries of the effort of 102nd brigade.
“This will not only benefit our schools but the environment as well. I believe we have so much wastes that we have to attend to. And this is just the right answer how we must address the issue,” Crisostomo pointed out.
Crisostomo also lauded the efforts of the Ipil Taebo Enthusiast Organization for making it a success.
“They coordinated with the establishments and made this all possible.”This project was first initiated by the 1st Infantry Tabak Division of the Philippine Army, which was able to turn-over last month more than 100 kilos of empty plastic containers to Eat Bulaga at the Broadway Centrum in Quezon City.
Chinese ships and dredgers at Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef
Laude family is asking for PhP200 million for the death of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude from the camp of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton. Jeffrey’s sister Marilou said the amount is still not enough but this will stand as warning for other American servicemen.
According to Laude family, P100 million is for the agony their family went through for the cruel death of Jeffrey and the other P100 million for civil damages.
“P100 million moral and P100 million exemplary as civil damages,” Attorney Harry Roque, family’s counsel told GMA News Online.
Trial of US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is being held at Olongapo Regional Trial Court as a marathon trial every Monday and Tuesday weekly. Visiting Forces Agreement says that local courts have one year to complete a legal proceedings.
A day after ASEAN members expressed serious concerns over China’s massive reclamation in West Philippine Sea, China accuses Philippines of doing large scale construction in Spratly Islands in the past.
“For quite a long time, a few ASEAN countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have been carrying out large-scale construction on China’s maritime features of Nansha illegally seized by them,” a Chinese foreign ministry official said.
“The Philippines has built and expanded an airport on China’s Zhongye Dao (Pag-asa Island) of Nansha (Spratly), and built a dock and other facilities on the island. It has also built so-called tourism facilities on Zhongye Dao, Mahuan Dao (Lawak Island), Feixin Dao (Patag Island) and other islands and reefs,” China said.
“What’s more, the Philippines has attempted to occupy the Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal) by reinforcing its illegally “grounded” military vessel on it,” the official added.
“China is gravely concerned about and firmly opposed to the aforementioned illegal activities, urging the countries concerned to immediately terminate all words and actions that infringe upon China’s sovereignty and rights and interests,” China’s foreign ministry said.
What the communist country did not say was Philippines built an airstrip in Pagasa Island and grounded a military vessel in Ayungin Shoal prior to the signing of Declaration On The Conduct Of Parties In The South China Sea. The DOC was signed year 2002 where ASEAN members and China are signatories.
Article 5 of the said declaration says parties must “exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.”
United States of America President Barrack Obama and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe share concern over China’s massive reclamation in West Philippine Sea. US and Japan, during PM Abe’s state visit in US, unveiled new defense cooperation guidelines.
“We share a concern about China’s land reclamation and construction activities in the South China Sea, and the United States and Japan are united in our commitment to freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes without coercion,” Obama said in a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart April 28.
Rather than resolve maritime issues throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia through normal international dispute settlements, China is flexing their muscles, Obama added.
“In the East China Sea and in the South China Sea, China continues to make forays into the oceans,” Abe said.
Japan and United States of America establish mechanism to defend an ally when need arises. “Today we mark the establishment of Japan’s capacity to defend not just its own territory, but also the United States and other partners as needed,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said during the unveiling of new guidelines on US-Japan defense cooperation.
“This is a historic meeting. It’s a historic transition in the defense relationship between our two countries,” the American government official said.
“Together, our forces will be more flexible and better prepared to cooperate on a range of challenges, from maritime security to disaster response. Our forces will plan, train and operate even more closely,” US President Obama said. “We’ll expand our cooperation, including on cyber threats and in space. And Japan will take on greater roles and responsibilities in the Asia Pacific and around the world.”
“We hope to promote a broad-based Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation so that the deterrents as well as responsibilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance will be further strengthened,” Japan Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida.
“The U.S.-Japan alliance characterized by the firmness of its bond is now indispensable to the peace and stability of not only the Asia Pacific but to the world,” Japan Prime Minister Abe said.
Japan may soon seek permission from Philippine government to land air assets in Filipino air bases in a bid to join United States in conducting maritime air patrols in South China Sea. Japanese maritime air patrol in South China Sea is currently being discussed within Japanese military, Reuters reports.
A US military source of Reuters said that if Japan decides to begin flights in South China Sea, Tokyo may ask the Philippines for access to air bases under disaster relief training and other joint training exercises to give Japanese aircraft added range to stay out on patrol longer.
Japan Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said Japan may consider involvement in the disputed South China Sea, Kyodo News reports last February 3. He said that Japan currently does not conduct patrols in South China Sea, however, it may be considered in the future because the situation in South China Sea has an impact on Japan’s national security.
“We want to be a country that can contribute to peace and prosperity of the world,” Japan Prime Minister Abe said recently in US.
Philippines and Japan, in January 2015, inked “Memorandum on Defense Cooperation and Exchanges between the Ministry of Defense of Japan and the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines” that will facilitate closer relationship between Japan Self-Defense Forces and Armed Forces of the Philippines in security and defense field.
Under the said memorandum, Japanese Ministry of Defense-JSDF will conduct capacity building assistance for members of Philippine Air Force and joint naval training based on Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.
This coming June 2 to 5, President Aquino is scheduled for a state visit to Japan. The visit will focus on the enhancement of the Philippine-Japan Strategic Partnership.
After Japan and United States updated guidelines on defense cooperation, China said “We will keep an eye on the future security cooperation between America and Japan.” Chinese foreign ministry said Japan-US alliance should not damage peace in Asia-Pacific.
“It is our strong belief that the US and Japan shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that a third party’s interests will not be damaged and peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific not be undermined by their alliance,” China’s ministry said.
The Chinese government also issued statement regarding Japan and US leaders’ expression of concern over massive reclamation in West Philippine Sea.
“America and Japan are not parties to the South China Sea issue. They should be objective and impartial, and refrain from words and deeds that may complicate the dispute and sabotage regional peace and stability,” the communist country added.
Japan and US recently unveiled new guidelines on defense cooperation that will establish “Japan’s capacity to defend not just its own territory, but also the United States and other partners as needed,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang on Thursday lauded the US for helping the country protect its interests in the middle of a dispute with China over territories in the South China Sea.
Catapang made the remark during the closing ceremonies of this year's Balikatan joint military exercises between Filipino and US troops.
"There is no other country that can help us in addressing these global concern, no other country we can think about but the United States of America, our big brother, our friend and our ally," Catapang said.
In an interview after the ceremony, Catapang said the joint military exercises had helped strengthen the country's capabilities, particularly in addressing maritime security issues in the West Philippine Sea—or that portion of the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines.
"It's more of developing our capabilities through these Balikatan exercises that the US is helping us protect our national interest in the West Philippine Sea," Catapang said.
Catapang said that aside from internal security problems, the country was also facing global challenges such as terrorism, maritime security issues, climate change, and transnational crimes.
He said the help of the United States in addressing these issues was significant.
He added that the country should eventually have enough capabilities to "stand up and be able to protect our national interest."
"We are developing our armed forces through this training, it can help us a lot," he added. However, "we also have to buy our own equipment and improve our own capabilities, more ships, airplanes, amphibious vehicles," Capatang said.
More than 11,500 Filipino and US troops are involved in the 10-day joint military exercises, which officially ended on Thursday.
Catapang said he was thankful for the participation of the United States that had spent $15 million to move in the troops participating in the exercises.
For his part, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, in a statement read by Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, said "personal ties and strengthened institutional links would certainly enhance our collective capacity to meet common security challenges."
"I am certain that this training program has improved our professional skills in various aspects and facets of our combined and joint military operational endeavors," he added.
'Never stand alone'
Joni Scandola, deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy, said the joint military exercises was the "manifestation of the commitment of the United States of America to you, our friend and ally, the Republic of the Philippines."
"I would like to reinforce a promise that our President made just one year ago: 'Allies never stand alone'," Scandola said.
"We are standing with you, side by side, not just for an annual exercise, but for whenever our partnership is truly needed," she added.
A MUSLIM rebel group has been working with government security forces to stem violence arising from shadow economies such as kidnapping and the drug trade, data collected by the World Bank-funded Bangsamoro Conflict Monitoring System (BCMS) said.
“To a certain extent, yes, especially through the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG),” Mr. Iqbal said through text, referring to the cooperative mechanism between the government and the MILF that responds to criminality and terrorism in areas with MILF presence.
Mr. Iqbal refused to elaborate although the BCMS presentation said that the “alliance with the MILF is crucial in countering the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) threat.”
Based on the same presentation, cases of violent conflict in the region rose to almost 1,200 cases in 2014 from only 700 the year before.
During both years, the largest causes of conflict were violence that arose from shadow economies, which cover illegal firearms, illegal drugs, kidnap for ransom, illegal gambling, human trafficking, financial scams, and extortion, BCMS Team Leader Liezl P. Bugtay said.
Moreover, shadow economies topped the causes of violent conflict from 2011 to 2014. Extrajudicial issues were the 2nd, with political issues, identity issues, governance issues and resource issues following.
Data can also be used to measure performance, he said.
“You can monitor the performance of state and non-state actors” with regards to conflict, to see the impact of work being done in the Bangsamoro.
“The third is for historical reasons, the injustices perpetrated in
During the open forum, International Alert methodology specialist Ever J. Abasolo said that they are not noting conflicts just for the sake of it.
“We hope at some point we can influence development planning and policy making,” Mr. Abasolo said, adding that “most plans are blind of conflict data” as violence is “currently not considered.”
The BCMS sources its data from police and media reports of violent crime, including ‘blotter reports, spot reports and progress reports.”
Multi-Stakeholder Validation Groups (MSVG) based in Western Mindanao State University, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and Mindanao State University-General Santos City, International Alert’s partners, validate the reports in the BCMS.
THE OFFICE of the President, the police, and the armed forces were among several Philippine agencies found to have been “infected” by two recently discovered cyberespionage groups, international software security group Kaspersky Lab said in a statement.
Although the analysts do not yet know who are behind the cyberespionage groups, they noted that orchestrated attempts to get sensitive, confidential data do not come from “just some regular hackers.”
Philippine agencies also infected by Naikon were: the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Presidential Management Staff, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Solicitor General, National Security Council, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the
Its infected e-mail attachments had file names that made them seem like correspondence on national security and foreign relations.
Kaspersky Lab’s data also revealed that there were 6,043 incidents of hosted malware in the country for the first quarter of the year, placing it at 78th rank worldwide.
The military exercises, which involved hundreds of Filipino and American troops and more than 50 Australian soldiers, began on April 21 at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, an area that
The shoal is a rich fishing ground
For his part,
In his message, Mr. Lopez said that the war games was the “link among all major events to the general exercise scenario that focused on territorial defense with humanitarian and disaster response implications.”
Owing to the Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) 2015 exercises, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) now has “enhanced capacity, capability and interoperability,” Mr. Lopez added.
This year’s exercises -- the 31st conducted after both countries entered into a Mutual Defense Treaty -- is a “milestone” in the AFP’s commitment to meeting the actual demands of defending the Philippines, AFP chief Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr. said in a chance interview.
In addressing global challenges, Mr. Catapang said that there is “no other country we can think of (for assistance)” but the
Mr. Catapang added that the
A Moro Islamic Liberation Front sniper from an undisclosed community poses with his .50-caliber M82 Barrett copy, in Maguindanao province, on March 30, 2015. Some communities maintain private armies to protect their properties. Photographer: Norman P. Aquino/Bloomberg
The afternoon heat often sends Filipino farmers inside to rest and brings a stillness to the country’s restive south. That quiet was shattered two months ago by loud gunshots near Kampua Untong’s house, jolting him awake and forcing him to flee his village.
The mayor of Naga town in Zamboanga Sibugay, whom unidentified gunmen seized at her home on April 6, is now in the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, a military official said yesterday.
Luis Jalandoni and author Ina Alleco R. Silverio at the launch of 'Louie Jalandoni: Revolutionary: An Illustrated Biography'. Photos courtesy of Arkibong Bayan
Members of the international diplomatic community packed the anteroom of Ang Bahay ng Alumni's Luciano E. Salazar Hall at the University of the Philippines in Diliman last April 25 for the launch of Ina Alleco R. Silverio’s "Louie Jalandoni: Revolutionary, An Illustrated Biography."
Together with activists from church-based organizations, leaders of grassroots groups, artists, academics and students, they raised their copies of the book, which sold out at the event.
The International Network of Philippine Studies (INPS) and Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) led the launch of the graphic bio of ex-priest Luis Jalandoni, chairman of the National Democratic front of the Philippines (NDFP) panel in its peace negotiations with the Government of the Philippines (GPH).
It features 11 chapters drawn and illustrated by six artists led by UP College of Fine Arts Dean Neil Doloricon, Renan Ortiz, Max Santiago, Enrico Maniago, Fernando Argosino, Mervin Malonzo, and Roberto Elias.
In an interview with GMA News Online, Silverio said that the book was the product of 15 days’ worth of conversations with Jalandoni.
“I was in the Netherlands in August 2010 on a personal trip with my family, and Ka Coni [Coni Ledesma of the NDFP peace panel] congratulated me on my first book ‘Ka Bel, The Life and Struggle of Crispin Beltran,’ which had come out two months before,” she said.
“We got to talking about how important it was to write about the lives of senior activists
so that lessons from their experiences fighting the Marcos dictatorship and building political mass organizations could be shared with the current generation of activists and even ordinary Filipinos,” Silverio added.
“She asked me what my next project was, and I said, well, maybe I should write about her and her husband, Luis Jalandoni.”
Looking back, she said one of the most crucial criticisms she received was that the narrative was too linear, too chronological. “I had to jar the reader out of complacency when reading. To do this I put in vignettes that did not follow the timeline in between chapters, and in the middle part I inserted an essay on the peace process and Ka Louie’s role in it,” she explained.
In June 2014, Silverio had a three-day session with Jalandoni to lay the finishing touches to the book. “Ang daming nawala sa book kasi I had to focus on Louie. He had so many stories about other people, mga masa na tumulong sa kanya, people who inspired him, people he looked up to. It was sometimes hard to get him back to talking about himself kasi he's so humble,” she said.
In her poetics, she mentioned, “I am writing this biography in a form of a graphic novel because I want it to come in a form that is popular. I want it to be read by the younger generation of Filipinos who are in great need of role models; I want the younger generation of Filipinos to become aware that such men as Mr. Jalandoni exist, and that they continue to give their life to the cause of national freedom and democracy.”
But UP IWP Director Butch Dalisay thought otherwise.
“I think ‘graphic novel’ would be very much a misnomer for this; first of all, it’s not a novel. We do need more biographies; we don’t know our leaders well enough; every biography is a means for us to understand ourselves,” he raised in Silverio’s panel session.
Dalisay proposed to drop the notion of a graphic novel. “It would be better if it were an illustrated biography where images would be put in certain portions. The subgenre I am proposing for this is the sympathetic biography, as opposed to the critical, more scholarly form of biography. Biography is a very ill-developed form in this country, and so they usually get commissioned by institutions. And so presumably, those biographies will be sympathetic, either for money or for political propaganda,” he explained.
Gabriela partylist reps Emmi de Jesus (front, left) and Luz Ilagan and MILF peace panel member Abdullah Camlian (wearing jacket) at the book launch
The term "graphic novel" itself has been a hot topic of debate and discussion amongst the international community in recent years. In Barry Kavanagh’s interview with Alan Moore, the creator of "Watchmen", "V for Vendetta" and "From Hell", said that the term "graphic novel" is a marketing term that he never had any sympathy with. He was comfortable with the term “comic book.” In some countries, the term can also include non-fiction and anthologized work. Whatever one chooses to call it, in the
US soldier instructs Filipino counterparts during a joint military exercise. REUTERS FILE PHOTO
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) jointly conducted here a shoulder-to-shoulder training on how to move into collapsed buildings in case of real world urban search and rescue (USAR).
The Philippine military dismisses Beijing’s attempt to weaken Manila's arbitration case
File photo of Pag-Asa Island
The Philippine military denied new allegations it also has reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), dismissing it as