Thursday, May 28, 2015

10th ID chief graces SCAA graduation

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 28): 10th ID chief graces SCAA graduation

Island Garden City of Samal, May 28, 2015 - No less then the Commander of Philippine Army 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division Major General Eduardo M. Año, AFP attended as the Guest of Honor and Speaker (GOHAS) during the Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) Closing Ceremony at Samal Multi-purpose Gym on May 26.

The 41 graduates  were part of the 3rd batch of SCAA who completed the  45 day Basic Military Training conducted by 72 IB (Infantry Batallion).Task Force Samal is under the 1003rd Brigade of the 10ID. Honing them to also be fish wardens,  the graduates were also given seminar on RA 8550 on Fishery laws, rules and regulations and fishery ordinances of the City conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the local government.

Philippine Army 10ID Commander Major General Eduardo M. Año congratulated the graduates and welcomed them to the honourable profession of maintaining peace and order and public safety. He  commended  them in their vital role in the pursuit of peace and order to further developments in the city.

MGen Eduardo M. Año encouraged the SCAA graduates, “be persistent, maintain self-disciplined , hindi maging abusado kundi maging tagapagtanggol ng kapayapaan at manilbihan ng tapat, arugaan at protektahan  hindi lang ang ari-arian kundi ang buhay ng tao”.

On the same occasion, City Vice Mayor Uy, representing City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan who was on official business,  administered the SCAA Oath Taking as Deputized Fish Wardens and expressed his expectation in their support in the protection and conservation of the fishery and aquatic resources of the island.

City Vice Mayor Al David Uy lauded the SCAA for completing the training and urged them to be physically fit and always ready to provide public safety and security.   He also urged their families to be supportive and understanding to the works of the SCAA not just as protector of lives and property but as fish wardens in our municipal waters.


Part of the program was the Signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the local Government of  IGaCoS with 1003rd Infantry (Raptor) Brigade in the Declaration of IGaCoS as Peaceful and Ready for Further Development.

City Mayor Aniano P. Antalan puts prime concern on peace and order in Island Garden City of Samal. During the recent City Peace and Order Council Meeting, he bared to train more SCAA, with the 87 existing SCAA. He hoped to have a total of 150  so that there will be 50 SCAAs  that can be assigned in every district in the city.

Vietnamese, PHL navies enjoyed Spratly games that irked China – AFP

From GMA News (May 28): Vietnamese, PHL navies enjoyed Spratly games that irked China – AFP

Members of the Philippine Navy recently played a game of volleyball against Vietnam People's Navy personnel during the 2nd Personnel Interactive invitation at Parola Island in the disputed Spratly Islands. PN/HO

Vietnamese Navy personnel enjoyed their engagement with Philippine counterparts during games in the disputed Spratlys on Wednesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines Navy Spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
According to Arevalo, the activity which, he described as a friendly engagement, focused on fostering goodwill among counterparts.
“They were very happy. They were happy about the turnout of the activity and they would like to have another similar event,” he said.
“We can say is was a successful engagement and they were encouraged by its outcome and they hoped there will be future activities like that,” he added. 
Arevalo said over 100 Filipino and Vietnamese troops played tug-of-war, volleyball and football. The Vietnamese contingent was declared overall winner.
Arevalo alo said the games with Vietnam provided a platform for sharing non-military skills.
“For example 'yung last year part ng naging engagement, nagusap sila, nagsharing ng mga best practices at saka 'yung mga lessons learned on humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” he said.
The troops conducted the activities on Parola Island in the West Philippine Sea. Arevalo said China should not see the games as a threat.
But China asked both navies to halt the games and cease intrusive action in the South China Sea, which it says it has a historical claim to.

Four soldiers wounded in Davao Oriental clash with NPAs

From GMA News (May 27): Four soldiers wounded in Davao Oriental clash with NPAs

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) said Wednesday it is in pursuit of New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Cateel, Davao Oriental after four soldiers were wounded in a gunfight Tuesday morning.

In a statement, the Eastmincom said soldiers of the 67th Infantry Battalion (IB) responded to civilian reports of deception and extortion activities by at least 30 NPA bandits.

"Troops are still in pursuit of the NPA bandits in the hinterlands of Cateel and environs. We have ongoing operations in the area. None of those encountered had been caught yet," Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Gubat, Eastmincom spokesman, said in a text message to GMA News Online.

The Eastmincom said the four soldiers are now in stable condition. It could not confirm whether there were wounded NPA members from the clash.

Troops also recovered two unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs), three high-powered firearms, and 13 backpacks from the bandits after they managed to escape from the 20-minute firefight 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Since January, the Eastmincom had recovered 69 high-powered firearms and 16 low-powered firearms as a result of encounters with NPA bandits in the Caraga and Davao regions, as well as parts of North Cotabato and Sarangani province.

“The timely response of our soldiers has protected the community from further abuse and harassment by the NPA bandits in the area”, Eastmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad said.

Cops seize explosives in Zamboanga City

From GMA News (My 28): Cops seize explosives in Zamboanga City

Government forces on Wednesday night seized explosives and grenades during a search on a suspected Abu Sayyaf member's house in Zamboanga City.

Three people were also arrested in the search in Sitio Marangan in Barangay Muti, GMA News correspondent Peewee Bacuño reported.

Zamboanga City Police personnel, backed by military and Police Special Action Force troopers, searched at 11 p.m. the house of suspected Abu Sayyaf bomb maker Walid, reportedly a protégé of Kair Mundos and SPO2 Jun Malvan.

Malvan had been arrested in Malaysia in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Australian national.

Found in the house were a bag of explosives, three unassembled improvised explosive devices, three grenades and two firearms.

Those arrested included one Basit, Jihadi Tibulung, and an old man.

Pursuit operations against Walid and Abu Sayyaf member Marzan Ajijul are ongoing.

50 new military officers sworn into office

From Business World (May 27): 50 new military officers sworn into office

FIFTY new military officers composed of generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were sworn into office at the Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III, together with AFP Chief of Staff Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr., Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Secretary Danilo M. Cortez and Defense Undersecretary Honorio S. Escuet, inducted the officers during an oath-taking ceremony at the Rizal Hall.

Highest ranking officers in the ceremony include Vice Admiral Alexander S. Lopez, who is Commander of the Palawan-based Western Command (WESCOM); Lieutenant General Nicanor M. Vivar, Commander of the Cebu-based Central Command (CENTCOM); Lieutenant General Aurelio B. Baladad, Commander of the Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM).

Also inducted were Lt. Gen. Oscar Lopez, Maj. Gen. Edwin Manuel Remotigue, Maj. Gen. Ivan Samarita, Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, Rear Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, Maj. Gen. Raul del Rosario, Maj. Gen. Isagani Silva, Rear Adm. Primitivo Gopo, Maj. Gen. Demosthenes Santillan, Maj. Gen. Richard Lagrana, Maj. Gen. Romeo Gan, Maj. Gen. Ruben Carandang, Rear Adm. Allan Rosal, Brig. Gen. Leandro Loyao, Brig. Gen. Edgar de Vera, Brig. Gen. Godfrey Julio, Brig. Gen. Apolinario Alobba, Brig. Gen. Joselito Reyes, Brig. Gen. Buenaventura Pascual, Brig. Gen. Jose Mirandilla, Jr., Commodore Edwin Mackay, Brig. Gen. Rozzano Briguez, Brig. Gen. Paolo Leo Miciano, and Brig. Gen. Guillermo Molina, Jr.

Mr. Aquino, also swore in Brig. Gen. Ricardo Castilan, Commodore Narciso Vingson, Brig. Gen. Ernesto Milo, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Ponce, Commodore Vicente Cejoco, Brig. Gen. Ignacio Obligacion, Brig. Gen. Al Perreras, Brig. Gen. Glenn Macasero, Brig. Gen. Arturo Jose Orticio Jr., Brig. Gen. Michael Beverlyn Manquiquis, Brig. Gen. Gregory Cayetano, Commodore Ingemar Pernes, Brig. Gen. Herminigildo Aquino, Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla, Brig. Gen. Marcial Constante Jr., Brig. Gen. Paul Atal, Brig. Gen. Jon Aying, Brig. Gen. Aaron Fetalvero, Brig. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Brig. Gen Tirso Dolina, Brig. Gen. Noelito Albano, Brig. Gen Arnold Rafael Depakakibo, and Brig. Gen. Elvin Hermogino.

The military officers are the newest addition to the almost 125,000 strong military and are assigned to different military units including, but not limited to, the Philippine Military Academy, the Philippine Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the Philippine Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), and the Philippine Air Force’s Air Logistics Command (ALC).

Grenade blast rocks Sultan Kudarat police station

From ABS-CBN (May 28): Grenade blast rocks Sultan Kudarat police station

A grenade blast rocked a police station at the town of Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat on Wednesday morning.

SPO1 Arlan Ramales sustained a knee injury after an unidentified suspect hurled a grenade at the Esperanza Police Station at around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The suspect managed to escape after boarding a motorcycle driven by another person.

Two cars and a police patrol car parked inside the station's compound were damaged due to the explosion.

Police believe that the grenade lobbing was a case of harassment.

Security has been tightened around the police station and an operation hs been launched to capture the perpetrators.

Former NPA members advised to use financial assistance wisely

From the Visayan Daily Star (May 28): Former NPA members advised to use financial assistance wisely

  Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo encouraged the 33 beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program to spend what the government had given them in a wise and productive manner.

The beneficiaries, who had separately returned to the folds of the law in recent years, were granted each P15,000 as immediate assistance, and P50,000 livelihood assistance, or a total of P65,000 each under the CLIP.

“I hope that you will put to good use the assistance that is given to you so you could start anew and successfully reintegrate your life back as well as become a productive member of the community”, Degamo told the former members of the rebel New People's Army.

Degamo also told them not hesitate to approach government officials any time if they need help and expressed joy over their return “to the folds of the law and will start to live a peaceful life”.

The turnover ceremony was attended by top ranking officials of the Philippine Army, headed by Maj. Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero, commanding general of the 3 rd Infantry Division, 302 nd Brigade commander, Col. Alan Martin, Col. Harold Anthony Pascua, 79 th IB commanding officer, and Supt. Reynold Andot of the Negros Oriental PNP.

The CLIP seeks to contribute toward achieving the goal of permanent and peaceful closure of all armed conflicts with non-state armed groups.

Degamo reiterated his consistent stand of rural development over bearing arms as the best solution to the problems facing society today.

Three beneficiaries, who spoke for their group, expressed their gratitude to the governor, the Philippine Army, the police and other line government agencies for giving them the opportunity to start a new life.

Holding back tears, the two male and one female beneficiaries took turns in giving their responses and expressed hope for a better life under the CLIP.

The governor said his administration will continue to work to achieve lasting peace in the province and called on the other NPA members to leave the rebel movement and return to the folds of the law.

Guerrero said this is the biggest, in terms of the number of beneficiaries under the integration program, in the coverage area of the 3ID. He said he is pushing for the declaration of an insurgency-free Negros Oriental by 2016.

Martin said he hopes for a closure to the insurgency problem, as there is a bigger security concern, like the issue of the West Philippine Sea that is threatening the sovereignty of the country, and the passage of the Bangsa Moro Basic Law, that he hopes will be the solution to the Mindanao problem.

The checks were presented Degamo, provincial DILG director Dennis Quinones, and provincial social welfare officer Alice Lagarde.

Photo: MNLF, MILF in OIC meet

MindaNews (May 28): Photo: MNLF, MILF in OIC meet


Leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) — MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim (L), MNLF chair Muslimin Sema (center) and Randolph Parcasio ®, MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari’s representative, arrive at the Al Diwan-Almiri in Kuwait City on Wednesday, May 27, for the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM).  At the sidelines of the Conference is the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum meeting convened by the office of the  OIC Secretary-General. Photo courtesy of Omar Sema

US affirms 'ironclad' vow to defend Philippines

From Rappler (May 28): US affirms 'ironclad' vow to defend Philippines

In talks in Hawaii with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter 'reaffirm' the strong ties between the two countries and discuss territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday, May 27, that Washington's pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains "ironclad" and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), officials said.

In talks in Hawaii with Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the Pentagon chief "reaffirmed" the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been at loggerheads with the Philippines and other states in the region.

Citing Washington's mutual defense treaty with Manila, Carter "stressed that the US commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The meeting came as Carter embarks on a tour of Asia and amid rising tensions over Beijing's massive effort to build artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Carter and Gazmin "agreed that all parties involved in the South China Sea should seek a peaceful resolution of disputes, immediately halt land reclamation, and stop further militarization of disputed features," the statement said.

Manila has said it will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Beijing's warnings. And this month, the Philippines took part in a groundbreaking naval exercise with Japan, in a move aimed at countering a rising China. (READ: PH, Japan to discuss 'transfer of military assets')

Beijing has expanded its land reclamation work in the South China Sea at a dramatic pace in recent months, constructing man-made islands on top of reefs across a wide area to back up its territorial claims.

China insists it has a right to control nearly all of the South China Sea, including waters near the coasts of the Philippines, Vietnam and other Asian neighbors.

The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane to leave an area above the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea. But the American aircraft ignored the demand and said it was flying in what US officials consider international airspace. (READ: China challenges US plane during Balikatan war games and China continues to harass PH air patrols in West PH Sea)

After his stop in Hawaii, Carter is due to visit Singapore, Vietnam and India in his second tour of the region since taking over at the Pentagon in February.

"Over the next 10 days, Carter will reaffirm the US rebalance to the Asia-Pacific," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said.

Washington has deployed more ships and aircraft to the Asia-Pacific region in the past two years and tried to strengthen its ties to partners in the area as part of its "rebalance" to Asia, which comes as a response to China's growing military might.

AFP to consolidate naval assets under West PH Sea command

From Rappler (May 28): AFP to consolidate naval assets under West PH Sea command

The movement follows the transfer of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal located off Zambales province from the Northern Luzon Command to the Western Command

117th ANNIVERSARY: The Philippine Navy celebrates its anniversary in Cavite City

117th ANNIVERSARY: The Philippine Navy celebrates its anniversary in Cavite City

The Philippine Navy is combining the Palawan-based Naval Forces West (Navforwest) and La Union-based Naval Forces Northern Luzon (Navfornol) to strengthen the Western Command (Wescom), the unified military unit responsible for the country's external defense.

"Maraming rason (There are various reasons) – ease of supervision and commonality of equipment," Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan said this week at the anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy, in explaining the consolidation effort.

This movement follows the transfer of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal located off Zambales province from the responsibility of Tarlac-based Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) to the operational area of Wescom. It was done to put all external defense efforts under one commander.

The shoal located within the country's 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone is now practically occupied by the Chinese following the tense standoff in 2012. This incident prompted the Philippines to file its case against China.

The Navfornol is the closest naval unit to Scarborough Shoal but remains under Nolcom. Its transfer to Wescom consolidates the navy's territorial defense assets under one single command, too.

"We will harmonize these efforts," Millan added.

The consolidation of the two naval commands will happen "in a year or two," said Millan.

The reorganization takes place as the Navy expects the delivery of more assets for territorial defense.

PH, US slam China: Stop reclamations, militarizing disputed sea

From InterAksyon (May 28): PH, US slam China: Stop reclamations, militarizing disputed sea

The Philippines and United States urged China to stop all its reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea, especially at the reefs within the municipality of Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).

The Chinese actions include incursions into Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

The call to China was intended to avoid miscalculations that could lead to possible but unnecessary or avoidable armed confrontation.

In a statement released Thursday by the Department of National Defense (DND), Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who is currently in the US, slammed China's unilateral activities in the disputed sea as "inconsistent with international law."

"Actions that could lead to accidents and untoward incidents due to miscalculations should be avoided. For the US, reclamation activities must stop and militarization of the area avoided," Gazmin said.

Gazmin met with his counterpart, Secretary Ashton Carter, where they discussed the magnitude of China’s reclamation activities, converting Philippine reefs into artificial islands believed to be used for military operations and projection of naval power in the region.

Estimate shows more than $100 million of annual economic losses due to the massacre of coral reefs by China’s reclamations that will deny millions of Filipino fishermen and the next generations to come of their live and worst, endangers the ecological balance of country’s marine resources. 

"Unilateral actions escalate tensions which may lead to actual conflict. The rule of law should prevail," Gazmin said.

In a separate development, Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice filed House Resolution No. 2136 aimed at countering China's aggressive expansion in the disputed regional waters.

With Resolution 2136, Erice said it was time for the Philippines to tap the support of its allies against China's "bullying" through its unbridled reclamation activities.

He said the Philippine government should talk with the United States, Japan and other countries for the establishment of a military and economic facility in the Kalayaan Island Group.

"It is high time for the Philippines to initiate the formation of an alliance with other interested countries that will function, not only as a deterrent to the expansionist designs of China, but also as a mechanism for the sustained development of the Kalayaan Island Group, which will also provide additional employment opportunities to Filipinos," Erice said in his resolution.

In pressing for his proposal, Erice said that "efforts at amicable settlement of the said territorial dispute among the claimant countries have consistently failed."

According to Defense Secretary Gazmin, the United States expressed alarm over the developments and, at the same time, supported the Philippines' resorting to international arbitration, which China continues to reject by unilaterally imposing its so-called "nine-dash-line" that practically covers 90 percent of the South China Sea and large portions of the West Philippine Sea.

Other claimant-countries of the disputed sea include Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei.

Gazmin said Carter reiterated that the US remains committed to Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty.

He said both militaries will continue to deepen bilateral defense and military relations through combined activities and regular policy consultations to ensure that positions and actions are coordinated.

"Both militaries will explore opportunities for developing each other’s defense posture," Gazmin said.

The Kalayaan Island Group is within the 350 nautical miles from the baselines of the Philippine archipelago, which means that the country has the sovereign right to explore and exploit the natural resources in the area in accordance with Article 77 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Despite this, China has undertaken massive reclamation of the islands, which ,according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, has resulted in the destruction of some 121 hectares of coral reef systems equivalent to economic losses to coastal states estimated at $100 million.

VIDEO | Treason, sedition charges filed against gov't negotiating panel over BBL

From Inter Aksyon (May 28): VIDEO | Treason, sedition charges filed against gov't negotiating panel over BBL

The first page of the complaint affidavit filed against members of the government negotiating panel on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Even before it could became law, the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Thursday faced its first legal challenge before a local court, which accused its framers of treason and inciting to sedition.

In their complaint affidavit, Representatives Lito Atienza, Michael Velarde Jr. and Irwin Tieng, all from Buhay partylist, Jonathan de la Cruz of Abakada partylist, former Ambassador Jose Romero, Jr. and lawyer Jeremy Gatdula said that the members of the government negotiating panel led by Professor Miriam Coronel Ferrer should be held liable for treason and inciting to sedition for giving in to the demands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which "put the entire nation in a dilemma."

"The acts of the respondents, in executing the Framework Agreement and in proposing the BBL, also effectively aided the MILF armed forces to successfully assert their existence as a separate and independent state. Therefore, the Respondents must be held liable for the crime of treason," the complainants said in their affidavit filed before deputy City Prosecutor Eufrosino Sulla at the Manila City Hall.

The respondents also included the members of the MILF negotiating panel led by Mohagher Iqbal.

The BBL, which is currently being deliberated in Congress, aims to establish a new Bangsamoro region that is fiscally and politically autonomous. 

It was a product of the Framework Agreement and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the government and the MILF last year.

"The BBL intends to establish the Bangsamoro government as a political entity equal to or greater than the government of the Republic of the Philippines. The respondents, therefore, incite people to diminish the supervisory powers of the President," the affidavit said.

It added that, "in proposing the asymmetric relationship, the respondents also incite people to strip away the superiority of the national government and to prevent the executive department to freely exercise its power as provided by the Constitution."

According to the lawmakers, the BBL promotes secessionist moves.

"Through the BBL provisions, which are clearly unconstitutional, the inhabitants of the still undefined Bangsamoro are being instigated to make continuing demands for independence and self-determination," they said.

"The acts of the respondents, in executing the Framework Agreement and in proposing the BBL, also effective aided the MILF armed forces to successfully assert their existence as a separate and independent state," they added. 

The House of Representatives is to begin plenary debates on the BBL on June 1.  At the Senate, the bill is being deliberated at the committee level.


[Video report]

US citizen accosted with hand grenade at NAIA T1

From InterAksyon (May 28): US citizen accosted with hand grenade at NAIA T1

A departing passenger bound for Taipei was intercepted at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 by the Philippine National Police-Aviation Security Group under Chief Supt. Pablo Francisco Balagtas after an MK2 serviceable fragmentation grenade and a kitchen knife were found in his backpack.

According to Balagtas, the interception at 7:20 a.m. last May 26 at X-Ray No. 3 of the initial screening checkpoint at T1's departure area was made in cooperation with the security screening officer of the Office of Transport Security and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), particularly through the office of NAIA-Airport Police Division chief Supt. Joey Tecson and in line with the implementation of strict security procedures.

Supt. Ricardo Layug, head of the Aviation Security Unit-National Capital Region, said the passenger was identified as Cipriano De Guzman, a US citizen. He was about to board flight CI702 bound for Taipei when nabbed.

Layug said personnel from the PNP-AVSEGROUP's K9-explosives ordnance division conducted a 'render safe procedure' and confirmed that one of the items monitored in De Guzman's backpack was a fragmentation grenade.

The grenade and the knife, he said, were monitored by SSO Nolasco Abanco, duty X-Ray operator at X-Ray No. 3. Baggage inspector Enrique Cruz and SPO4 Ericson Engcoy and PO2 Wilfredo Ferrer of K9-EOD confirmed that the item was a hand grenade.  

Tecson said De Guzman was turned over to office of Layug for proper disposition while the items were placed in the custody of PO2 Ferrer.    

It was learned from Layug that the passenger was charged with violation of Sec 1 of R.A. 9516 (Modifying Unlawful Possession of Explosives) and Sec. 1 of Batas Pambansa 6 for illegal possession of bladed weapon, at the Pasay City Prosecutor's Office, while further investigation will be made on him.  

He said the intervention made was based on orders of Balagtas for the rigid implementation of Operations plan (OPLAN) Lambat Sibat, an intensified Pulis Anti Crime Campaign and P.A.T.R.O.L. PLAN 2030 (Peace and Order Agenda for Transformation and Upholding the Rule of Law).

Pentagon chief urges end to island-building in South China Sea

From InterAksyon (May 28): Pentagon chief urges end to island-building in South China Sea

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter called on Wednesday for an immediate end to island-building by China and other countries near the South China Sea, urging the participants to stop militarizing the dispute and find a peaceful solution.

Carter said China's island-building efforts were "out of step" with the regional consensus and that US military aircraft and warships would continue to operate in the area as permitted under international law.

"China's actions are bringing countries in the region together in new ways," he said in a military ceremony in Hawaii. "They're increasing demand for American engagement in the Asia-Pacific. We're going to meet it."

"We will remain the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come," Carter said.

Carter's comments, at Pearl Harbor, came a week after the US Navy sent a P-8 reconnaissance plane carrying navy and television camera crews to film Chinese island-building activity in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

In Beijing, the foreign ministry said the United States had "double standards."

"I want to empathize that the US has been selectively mute on individual countries that have selectively occupied China's islands and reefs, but have made irresponsible remarks on the construction activities that are lawful, fair and reasonable within China’s scope of sovereignty," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing on Thursday.

"The Chinese people can make their own judgment. No one has the right to tell China what to do," she added.

US officials say China has added some 2,000 acres (800 hectares) to five outposts in the Spratlys, including 1,500 acres since the start of this year.

"We want a peaceful resolution of all disputes, and an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by any claimant. We also oppose any further militarization of disputed features," Carter said in his remarks.

"With its actions in the South China Sea, China is out of step with both international norms that underscore the Asia-Pacific's security architecture," he added.

The US aircraft that flew near the Spratlys was repeatedly warned by a Chinese navy radio operator to leave the area.

The islands are claimed by several other countries in the region, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Manila has been particularly vocal in the region in criticizing China's reclamation work, and Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had talks with Carter while attending the ceremony in Hawaii.

"The US expressed alarm on unilateral activities that are inconsistent with international law," Gazmin said in a text message. "Unilateral actions escalate tensions which may lead to actual conflict. Actions that could lead to accidents and untoward incidents due to miscalculations should be avoided."

Carter is on the first leg of a trip that will take him to Singapore for the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference and then on to Vietnam and India, where he will discuss maritime security issues and boosting security ties.

His comments came at a change-of-command ceremony for the US military's Pacific Command, which is responsible for US forces in the Asia-Pacific region.