Thursday, June 13, 2019

Duterte to NPA: You are about to end

From GMA News (Jun 13, 2019): Duterte to NPA: You are about to end

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday considered the New People's Army (NPA) a spent force, saying its five-decade old existence was "about to end."

Speaking before agrarian reform beneficiaries in General Santos City, Duterte claimed the communist rebels have already run out of arms, bullets and food.

"Whether you agree to it or not, you NPAs, the communists, you are about to end. You don’t have guns, you don’t have bullets, you don’t even have food. All you have are sores and you are being bitten by leeches," the President said in his native Cebuano.

Duterte promised to provide housing and skills training to NPA rebels who surrender, as he lamented the "social dysfunction" supposedly caused by the communist insurgency.

"What I really didn’t like was the social dysfunction in the whole Philippines. Just like drugs. There are many children who have not seen their own parents because their mom and dad have joined the armed movement," he said.

On April 13, Duterte said he might create a new peace negotiating panel, weeks after he terminated the peace talks, including the appointments of government negotiators led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and told the rebels to just talk with the next administration.

The President said the new panel will be composed of three members from the military and two civilians. He also said he abolished the former peace panel because the talks in the last three years did not yield positive results.

Apart from the communist insurgency, the President discussed in his speech in General Santos City the trash from Canada, climate change and investment scams as well as his security and critics.

Duterte did not talk about the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat as a result of a collision with a Chinese vessel at the disputed Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9.

NPA Sorsogon vice chair slain, 1 arrested in clash

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 13, 2019): NPA Sorsogon vice chair slain, 1 arrested in clash

The vice chairman of New People’s Army in Sorsogon province was killed while his assistant was arrested in an encounter with authorities on Thursday morning.

Lt. Joseph Millarez, chief of Magallanes police, said while serving a warrant of arrest for murder and illegal possesion of firearms,
Edwin Dematera, aka Dupax, fired at the arresting officers that led to a five-minute firefight in Barangay Incarizan at 12:10 a.m.

Dematera was killed while his assistant
Jimuel Non was arrested for illegal possesion of firearms.

“The suspect immediately fired at the team upon noticing the arrest and authorities retaliated,” he said.

Millarez said Non is now in the custody of the police for inquest proceedings.

Recovered from the suspects were a loaded caliber .45 gun and a caliber .38 pistol. (

Norwegian General gave a talk in Manila on peacekeeping

From Scandasia (Jun13, 2019): Norwegian General gave a talk in Manila on peacekeeping

UNTSO Head of Mission Major General Kristin Lund
(Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila)

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila teamed up with the United Nations (UN) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to host “Women in Peacekeeping Forum” taking place on June 6, 2019 at the DFA Home Office.

The forum was arranged in order to provide participants with peacekeeping experiences from the keynote speaker and to support them to take part in conflict resolution.

“Preventing conflicts, and building and sustaining peace is a cornerstone of Norwegian foreign policy,” said Norwegian Ambassador to Philippines Bjørn Jahnsen.

“The Norwegian government has a long-standing tradition in promoting women’s rights, and we strive to ensure that there is an enabling environment for women to actively participate and contribute in peace processes,” he added.

Having an in-dept knowledge and profound understanding of the critical role of women in peacekeeping for many years, the Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund was invited to be the keynote speaker sharing her experience with participants at the forum.

Currently, General Lund holds the position of Head of Mission which is the highest ranking female representative of the UN Secretary General in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).

Having been in military service for over 34 years, General Lund was the first woman to serve as Force Commander in the United Nations peacekeeping operation’s history and in 2017, she became a UNWOMEN Champion.

(Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila)

According to Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila’s official website, earlier this year Norway’s Government issued the commitment and policies on women, peace, and security cutting across a wide range of foreign policy areas:

-Norway´s global contributions to peace and reconciliations processes
-The implementation of peace agreements
-Peace operations and missions
-Humanitarian and development efforts

Norway has been working in collaboration with Philippines as a long-term partner in the peace processes and has been the third-party facilitator between the CPP-NPA-NDFP (Communist rebellion in the Philippines) and the Philippine government the since 2001.

CPP-NPA-NDFP is an ongoing conflict between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the communist coalition of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Moreover, Norway took a role in the International Monitoring Team to keep track of the ceasefire between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao and is the current Vice Chair of the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) monitoring the MILF decommissioning efforts in the Bangsamoro region.

Source: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila

EASTMINCOM: Military Engineers and TESDA jointly adopts "Training while Building" scheme

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Website (Jun 13, 2019): Military Engineers and TESDA jointly adopts "Training while Building" scheme

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City- "Training while building" scheme was formally adopted by the Eastern Mindanao Command through the 52nd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) XI after a Memorandum of Understanding in the implementation of the "SKILLS TRANSFER PROGRAM” in Region XI was signed at Maguintalunan Elementary School, Sto, Tomas, Davao del Norte on June 5, 2019.

The MOU requires TESDA Regional Training Center to capacitate and certify personnel of the 534th Engineering Battalion under Ltc. Frederick Ancheta to be an official trainer of TESDA particularly in the on-site conduct of skills training in Indigenous Peoples and other far-flung communities in Region XI.

In the same manner, projects being and to be undertaken by the Army Engineers in these areas will piggyback the skills program of TESDA catering the unskilled members of the community who will be working in the project. The project will serve as a laboratory and on the job training site of the program while the military engineers will serve as instructors.

The scheme will also provide the parties the venue of exchanging skills and engineering operations concept in implementing developmental projects in conflict-affected and far-flung areas.

Jive with the signing of the MOU is the enrollment of 18 soldiers from 534th Engineering Battalion who will undergo in theTESDA's Trainer’s Methodology Training.

The signing was made between Col. Rommel R. Hinlo, Commander of the 52nd Engineer Brigade, Philippine Army and Eng. Lorenzo G. Macapili the Regional Director of TESDA Regional Office XI.

Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command welcome the partnership as another template of involving the community in community development and peacebuilding effort.

"This is another template of convergence of peacebuilding where everybody is a winner particularly the community. With this scheme we will enhance the skills of the community while earning; allow them to participate and develop the sense of ownership to the project being implemented for them" Lt Gen. Santos said.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command

Gov’t troops staying in MPadilla

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 13, 2019): Gov’t troops staying in MPadilla

The control of Comelec over Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental may have ended June 12, but state security forces will remain in the town, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.

Arevalo said he is considering the retention of one or two platoons of Army personnel, that is composed of about 50 soldiers, in Moises Padilla, while Col. Romeo Baleros, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, also told him that he will not pull out the police personnel who were deployed in the town during the May 13 election period.

Both the Philippine Army and National Police deployed 300 of their personnel in Moises Padilla, and two armored personnel carriers, after Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control due to poll-related incidents.

Arevalo said they have already established security investments or foothold in Moises Padilla, stressing that he will not allow the New People’s Army and private armed groups to reign in the town again.

The retention of government forces in Moises Padilla was also requested by the newly-proclaimed Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and her running mate, Vice-Mayor Ian Villaflor, who will assume office on June 30.

Two incumbent councilors and a former town Liga ng mga Barangay head were murdered during the election period in Moises Padilla.

Earlier President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the Comelec, AFP and PNP for a job well done in Moises Padilla, noting the absence of poll-related violent incident, after the town was placed under Comelec control.

Arevalo said that troops to be taken from Moises Padilla will be redeployed in areas where they are also needed.

DepEd supports mandatory ROTC – Briones

From Rappler (Jun 13, 2019): DepEd supports mandatory ROTC – Briones

‘When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor through bombing, and then the Philippines was next, the first line of defense were the young ROTC graduates while our military forces were yet to be mobilized,’ says the education secretary.

CADETS IN FORMATION. Competing cadets in the Ultimate ROTC Challenge 2018 attend the opening ceremony prior to the start of their respective events. Photo by the DND

CADETS IN FORMATION. Competing cadets in the Ultimate ROTC Challenge 2018 attend the opening ceremony prior to the start of their respective events. Photo by the DND

CEBU, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Wednesday, June 12, the Department of Education (DepEd) supports the proposed revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for Senior High School (SHS) students.

She had said ROTC graduates are the country’s first line of defense against foreign forces.

“Mao kini nga kami sa Department of Education, pananglitan, ginasuporta namo ang move nga i-offer sa Senior High School,” Briones said. (That’s why, we at DepEd, for example, support the move to offer ROTC to SHS.)

The education secretary spoke at the 121st Independence Day celebration at the Mactan Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, before teachers, DepEd officils, local police, and members of the naval forces. Briones represented President Rodrigo Duterte in the event organized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

“Kay sa panahon nga gi-atake kita sa mga hapon, sa Pearl Harbor, pag-bomb,unya sunod na ‘ta sa Pilipinas, ang una’ng nagdepensa ang mga bata’ngROTC samtang gi-mobilize ang atong mga military forces,” Briones said.

(Because when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor through bombing, and then the Philippines was next, the first line of defense were the young ROTC graduates while our military forces were yet to be mobilized.)

House Bill 8961 says the conduct of military training under the ROTC program “shall apply to all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institutions.”

The Senate earlier said it has no time left to pass the controversial measure.

ROTC in college was scrapped in 2002 after an investigation showed that a University of Santo Tomas student was murdered after he exposed alleged corruption in the program.

Lorenzana now unsure if Chinese vessel sank Philippine boat

From Rappler (Jun 13, 2019): Lorenzana now unsure if Chinese vessel sank Philippine boat

(UPDATED) This comes after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana condemned a Chinese vessel 'in the strongest terms' for sinking a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea

NOW UNSURE. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is now unsure if the vessel that sank a Philippine boat was Chinese. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

NOW UNSURE. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is now unsure if the vessel that sank a Philippine boat was Chinese. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

(UPDATED) – From condemning a Chinese vessel "in the strongest terms" for sinking a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is now unsure if the vessel was Chinese in the first place.

In an interview with reporters in General Santos City, Lorenzana said the government will still conduct an inquiry into whether a Chinese vessel sank the Philippine boat.

"We are just relying on the statement of the fishermen that the ship that hit them was a Chinese ship," Lorenzana said on Thursday, June 13. 

"'Yun lang ang basehan ko nung sinabi kong Chinese 'yon ha. Now we will still get an inquiry, tanungin natin 'yung Vietnamese, ang Vietnam side, Chinese side, kung meron silang report na gano'n," he added. (That was my only basis when I said it was Chinese. Now we will still get an inquiry, we will ask the Vietnamese, the Vietnam side, the Chinese side, if they already have such a report.)

When pressed to confirm if the government has identified that the vessel is Chinese, Lorenzana said, "We were only basing our report to the media, on the statement of the fishermen, kasi hatinggabi nangyari (because it happened at midnight)."

Lorenzana was also confident this will not affect a big part of Philippines-China relations.

"We will find out kung ano ang aksiyon nila, kung it will be proven that it is a Chinese vessel, then we will find out what are their actions," he said.

(We will find out their actions. If it will be proven that it is a Chinese vessel, then we will find out what are their actions.)

Hours after this General Santos interview, Lorenzana told Rappler in a text message that the government is sticking to his earlier statement that a Chinese vessel sank a Philippine boat. But he is now open to the possibility that this can be disproven. "No, we stick to my previous declaration until proven otherwise," Lorenzana said.

This is a far cry from Lorenzana's statement on Wednesday, June 12, when he said: "We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people."

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also said the sinking of the Philippine boat was "far from accidental." AFP Western Command Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Penetrante said there was "intentionality."

Based on Lorenzana's earlier statement, Malacañang on Thursday called on China to sanction the Chinese vessel that sank a Philippine boat, while Foreign Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr tweeted that he filed a diplomatic protest against China. The Department of Foreign Affairs, however, could not offer more details about this protest.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, on the other hand, dismissed the boat sinking as an "ordinary maritime accident," as he cautioned against "irresponsibly politicizing" the situation, according to Reuters.

Bangsamoro gov’t helping 66K displaced residents

From Politiko Mindanao (Jun 13, 2019): Bangsamoro gov’t helping 66K displaced residents

Over 66,000 individuals in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have been displaced as of end May due to various reasons, including armed conflicts, the regional government said.

The humanitarian situation in the Bangsamoro region was discussed during the meeting of the members of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) convened by the Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) Thursday, June 13. Atty. Raisa Jajurie, social services minister, presided the meeting.

A report from the protection working group, led by the region’s Ministry of Social Services and co-lead by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), showed that a total of 66,298 persons were displaced in the entire region this year, as of May 31.

“The displacements were caused by armed conflicts, clan feuds, crimes, and violence,” the Bangsamoro government said.

It said the teams and their other partners, including the Office of the Chief Minister, have been providing cash assistance, food packs, sacks of rice, trays of eggs, canned goods, hygiene kits, and others to the displaced residents.

Jajurie said the BARMM-HEART and MHT will have their next meeting on July 18 at the province of Lanao del Sur to have a closer coordination with the affected communities.

Sabah beefs up security due to Sayyaf threats

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jun 13, 2019): Sabah beefs up security due to Sayyaf threats

SABAH CONTINUES to beef up its security due to persistent threats posed by the pro-ISIS group Abu Sayyaf in southern Philippines. Military forces have been called to back up the police in securing Sabah from militants.

Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador, the Inspector-General of Police, said threats of kidnappings and cross-border raids by the Abu Sayyaf remain high, adding, attacks could happen any day at any time.

He said the threats remain despite the establishment of Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and martial law in several areas in the state. “As such, Esscom will be restructured on the placement of security forces involving the Malaysian Armed Forces, police as well as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Among others, the restructuring will involve the structure of security in the areas and the change of security posts which have been taken over by police and MAF would be updated,” he told Bernama.

Abdul Hamid said the restructuring process is being carried out by the National Security Council (NSC) to further strengthen Esscom. “The threats to the islands of Sabah were there every day. This is because Sabah is very near to the Philippines and it only takes 15 minutes by speedboat to reach Philippines waters,” he said, noting that it is easy for the Abu Sayyaf to intrude into Malaysian waters.

He said the Philippine government earlier created an overall security control in Sulu (Archipelago) islands near Kunak, as well Lahad Datu in Sabah, and the new measure has eased our concerns,” Abdul Hamid said, but nonetheless, Esscom needed to be on the alert on any threats when conducting operation.

Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu previously announced that Esscom would be restructured to improve security on the eastern coast of the state and that the NSC is discussing the decision, including efforts to acquire additional equipment to boost security teams under Esscom.

23 former rebels get E-CLIP package of assistance

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 13, 2019): 23 former rebels get E-CLIP package of assistance

Featured Image

BUTUAN CITY -- Twenty-three former rebels (FRs) received financial assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) during a special provincial peace and order council (PPOC) meeting of Agusan del Norte held Monday, here.

Agusan del Norte governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba led the distribution of the E-Clip package of assistance to the FRs together with governor-elect Dale Corvera and members of the PPOC.

Governor Matba encouraged the FRs to help the government in the peace efforts in their respective communities. Matba even promise to assist them in the education of their children. Every elementary pupil of the FRs will receive P2,000 while the high school students will also receive P6,000 each.

A total of P2,633,000 was distributed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) - Agusan del Norte for E-CLIP assistance and P105,000 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Financial Assistance for the 23 FRs who decided to abandon the armed struggle.

According to alyas “Jakar,” 25 years old and who has been a former member of the rebel group for three years prior to his return to the government, life in the hands of the rebels has no direction. "We keep on fighting for no cause and are being promised to have a good life. Now that I am with the government, being taken care of by the loving people of the 23 Infantry Battalion (23 IB), Philippine Army, I can definitely start a new life and live peacefully without fighting,” Jakar said.

The 23 beneficiaries can start their lives through the government’s local integration program. A firearms remuneration for the 18 FRs worth P1,353,000 was also given.

On June 6, the beneficiaries attended the 3-day financial management seminar –workshop conducted by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and the Philippine Army.

The 23 FRs are composed of four FRs who voluntarily surrendered to 29IB, 13 FRs to 23IB, and six to the Philippine National Police.

Meanwhile, during the PPOC meeting, governor Matba turned over the PPOC chairmanship to Dale Corvera, the newly elected governor of the province. Outgoing governor Matba who is also the newly elected representative of the 1st District of this province was also given tribute by the PPOC members.

Gov’t braces for 75th Leyte Landing anniversary

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): Gov’t braces for 75th Leyte Landing anniversary

The MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park in Palo, Leyte. (PNA file photo)
TACLOBAN CITY -- Preparations are underway for the 75th Leyte Landing anniversary on October 20 with the national government leading the activity backed by the local government.

Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said Thursday that they expect President Rodrigo Duterte and other key officials to grace the occasion since the national government is this year’s host in commemorating the historic event that liberated the country from Japanese invasion.

“Release of budget meant to upgrade the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park has been delayed, but officials from the national and local governments were able to find ways to push for the rehabilitation project in time for the anniversary,” Petilla told reporters on Wednesday.

'The central government leads the preparation through the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Department of Tourism – Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

The memorial park located in Candahug village in Palo town and facing the Leyte Gulf was badly damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Improvement activities in the park started in December last year and include landscaping, construction of a view deck, amphitheater, and visitor center across the park, as well as improvement of the lights and sound system.

This is the first improvement and beautification of the MacArthur Park after 25 years.

One of the structures in the memorial park that is undergoing rehabilitation is the Eternal Flame built for the 50th Leyte Landing commemoration. The Eternal Flame features solidarity messages of leaders of countries involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II led by the United States against Japanese forces.

Additional improvement of the park includes the construction of a two-story building for coconut juice vendors located a few meters away from MacArthur Park.

Pathways will be constructed along the tree park for people to enjoy walking under its shade.

A small bridge will also connect the Leyte Oriental Hotel and McArthur Park to give easy access to hotel guests who wanted to visit the memorial park.

The MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park is situated on a 6.78-hectare land in Candahug village in Palo town that features seven double-life-size bronze statues on a man-made pool depicting the arrival of McArthur in Leyte province.

The bronze statue, inaugurated during the 37th anniversary of the Leyte Landing Commemoration in 1981, was created by famous sculptor Anastacio Tanchauco Caedo. His other works include the Benigno Aquino Monument and the Bonifacio Monument in Pugad Lawin, Balintawak.

MacArthur Park was declared a national park on July 12, 1977, through Letter of Instructions No. 572 signed by then president Ferdinand Marcos.

The site is the same spot where Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived after the largest naval battle of World War II and Japan's eventual defeat and surrender in 1944.

Army holds outreach program for IPs in S. Kudarat

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): Army holds outreach program for IPs in S. Kudarat

OUTREACH PROGRAM. Soldiers of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion Battalion conduct free haircut on children as part of the outreach to the Indigenous Peoples community students in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat on June 11, 2019. (Photo by Cpl. Mark Jay Kadtong - 33rd IB)

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat – The Army's 33rd Infantry Battalion went out of their way to conduct an outreach program for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) group in a far-flung village of Lutayan town, Sultan Kudarat, early this week.

Lt. Colonel Elmer Boongaling, 33IB commander, said Wednesday the soldiers--headed by Capt. Winston Cacatian and 2nd Lt. Nico Encarnacion-- conducted medical and dental services, distribution of free medicines and vitamins, health checkups, and free haircut for children.

Supported by Lutayan Medical Team headed by town health chief, Dr. Wiljun Pangarintao, the outreach benefited a total of 256 residents.

Boongaling said at least 186 pairs of slippers were also given to pupils as part of the outreach program.

Speaking to the residents, Encarnacion warned of the villagers not to believe in the propaganda of the communist New People's Army (NPA) against the government.

He said the NPA was only interested in recruiting villagers to fight for a lost cause, and that the residents must reject the attempts of the rebels to place the area under its influence.

The military official said that contrary to the NPA's claim, the government has an array of programs for the development of IP communities.

“The government cares for the IPs and that basic services are coming to them, including settlement and resolution of their ancestral domain claims,” Encarnacion said.

Lutayan Vice Mayor Noel Antonio, who was present in the program, assured the IPs of the government’s concern for them.

Antonio said local leaders and military officials will join hands to delivering basic services to IP villages.

PRRD promotes Ancan to 2-star rank

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): PRRD promotes Ancan to 2-star rank

PROMOTED. President Rodrigo Duterte dons the rank of Major General to Brig. Gen. Robert Ancan, the Army's 1st Infantry Division commander, after the Chief Executive leads Wednesday, June 12, the commemoration of the 121st Independence Day celebration at the headquarters of the 6th Infantry Division in Barangay Matling, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur. Looking on is Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (Photo courtesy of Army's 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- President Rodrigo Duterte has promoted Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, to the next higher star rank.

President Duterte donned the rank of Major General to Ancan after the chief executive led the commemoration Wednesday of the 121st Independence Day at the headquarters of the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion in Malabang town, Lanao del Sur.

“I am very much privileged and honored because no less than our Commander-in-Chief donned the second star rank that I’ve earned in my military career,” said Ancan in a statement Thursday.

“Rest assured that I will continue to serve the constituents in our area of responsibility and lead our troops in the accomplishment of our mission,” he added.

Ancan is the 45th among the lineage of noble officers to lead the Army’s 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division. He hails from Victorias, Negros Occidental and is a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Hinirang” Class of 1987.

He led the Army’s 1002nd Infantry Brigade based in Malungon, Sarangani before he was assigned on February 7, this year, as the commander of the 1st Infantry Division.

He is a recipient of a long list of rightfully earned awards and commendations, the highest of which is the Distinguished Service Star that sets the bar high for all “Tabak” troopers to emulate.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana witnessed the donning of rank to Ancan.

Palace asks China to sanction Chinese crew in WPS collision

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): Palace asks China to sanction Chinese crew in WPS collision

Malacañang asked Chinese authorities on Wednesday to sanction the crew of a Chinese fishing vessel, who allegedly abandoned a sinking Filipino fishing boat after a recent "collision" in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said that the Filipino vessel F/B GIMVER 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel on June 9.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it supports the view of Lorenzana who denounced the Chinese crew’s actions and called for a probe on the incident.

“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said that whether the collision was accidental or intentional, “common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel.”

He described the abandonment of the Chinese crew as “uncivilized and outrageous”, noting that the crew of the Chinese vessel should not have left the injured party without any assistance.

“The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel,” he added.

Panelo said the “barbaric” abandonment is a “crystal-clear violation of maritime protocols” and “infringement of internationally accepted practice of assisting a vessel in distress.”

He emphasized that the Chinese crew should have offered assistance to the Filipino fishermen regardless of the ongoing sea dispute with the Philippines.

“The present territorial conflict between the countries of the two colliding vessels pertaining to the area where the collision occurred is not -- and cannot be an impediment for the offending vessel to lend a hand to the distressed crew,” Panelo said.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that government continues to provide aid to the Filipino crewmen who were rescued from the collision.

He also thanked the Vietnamese fishing vessel in the vicinity, whose crew rescued the 22 Filipino fishermen.

“We express our sincere gratitude to the seamen of a Vietnamese vessel who rendered relief services to the distressed Filipino fishermen following the collision,” Panelo said.

The Philippines, China, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan have overlapping claims on the South China Sea.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines’ and invalidated Chinese “nine-dash” line claim which covers most of the contested waters.

PH files formal protest vs. China over Pinoy boat sinking in WPS

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): PH files formal protest vs. China over Pinoy boat sinking in WPS

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed a diplomatic protest against China on the recent "collision" between Chinese and Filipino fishing vessels in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea that resulted in the sinking of the Filipino boat.

"I fired off a diplomatic protest yesterday," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. bared Thursday on his official Twitter account.

The agency has yet to provide details on the incident but Locsin described it as a case of "hit and run".

According to the Department of National Defense, the collision happened on June 9 and has resulted in the sinking of Filipino fishing boat F/B GIMVER 1.

Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana said the Chinese vessel immediately left the scene, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements.

The vessel was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese vessel. The Filipinos were later rescued by a Vietnamese ship within the vicinity.

As of posting, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not issued a comment on the issue.

PRRD lauded for release of retired MUP pension hikes

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): PRRD lauded for release of retired MUP pension hikes

Senator Panfilo Lacson

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday thanked President Rodrigo Duterte after the Department of Budget and Management released the pension requirements of retired military and uniformed personnel (MUP).

"On behalf of the 220,000 MUP retirees, let me say a lifetime 'Thank you' to PRRD for Joint Resolution No 1. No other President has shown such concern for those who served and offered their lives for country and people. All we have to do is continue breathing for as long as we can," Lacson said on his Twitter account.

Congress Joint Resolution No. 1 authorizes an increase in the base pay of military and other uniformed personnel in the government, fulfilling Duterte’s promise of increasing the base pay of all MUP.

Lacson, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, is one of the principal authors of the Joint Resolution.

Earlier this week, the DBM released the pension requirements of retired MUP under the Armed Forces of the Philippines-General Headquarters (AFP-GHQ), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

The DBM said it released PHP29.9 billion to the AFP-GHQ, PHP21.7 billion to the PNP, PHP 1.9 billion to the BFP, and around PHP 731 million to the BJMP.

It added that the release order for uniformed personnel of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority shall be issued upon its submission of the required Special Budget Request to the DBM.

"Accordingly, the recently released amounts already include the adjustment of the pension of the retired MUPs as indexed to the base pay scale of MUP in the active service covering the period June to December 2019 based on the available funds as certified by the Bureau of the Treasury," the DBM said.

The indexation of pensions to the current base pay scale was suspended in 2018, also under Joint Resolution No. 1, which states that “pending the review of the current MUP pension system by the Legislative and Executive branches of the government… the indexation of the pension of retired MUP with the base pay of those in the active service shall be suspended with respect to the base pay increase authorized in this Joint Resolution.”

The resolution, however, also provided that the suspension of the indexation to the current base pay scale for MUP would be lifted come January 1, 2019, or if a pension reform law is already implemented.

“This suspension shall be automatically lifted on January 1, 2019, or upon the effectivity of a pension reform law, whichever comes earlier,” the DBM said.

Duterte has certified as urgent the MUP Pension Reform Bill last February.

Air Force in the market for UH-1H engine assembly

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 13, 2019): Air Force in the market for UH-1H engine assembly

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, through the Philippine Air Force Bids and Awards Committee, is allocating the sum of PHP35 million for the acquisition of the so-called "T53-L3B engine assembly" needed for the maintenance of two UH-IH/D helicopters.

The parts are intended for the UH-1 helicopters with tail numbers 508 and 8189.

Submission of bids and opening is scheduled for June 14, 9:15 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center, Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, the bid bulletin posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System website said Thursday.

Prospective bidders should have participated in a similar project within the last five years.

"The Philippine Air Force reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) and its IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) without incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders," said PAF Bids and Awards Committee chair Brig. Gen. Carlo N. Buena in the bid bulletin.

The PAF is known to operate around 30 to 40 types of the UH-1H helicopters which it uses for troop and cargo transport, humanitarian and disaster relief, as well as combat missions.