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Mario J. Mallari

AFP exec: No Halloween break for military offensive vs Abus

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00 Published in Nation

Military troops operating in Sulu will not have their Halloween break as Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin ordered them to sustain the pressure against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group.
Col. Allan Arrojado, military commander in Sulu, said that Gazmin gave the marching order for government security forces to continuously pursue the terrorists.
“Continues (operation), that’s the marching orders to us by the secretary of national defense, to keep up the lawless elements running. So that they cannot flank out, they cannot rest,” Arrojado said.
The military launched its all-out law enforcement operation against the Abu sayyaf last Oct. 17, hours before the Abu Sayyaf group released German hostages Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Herike Diesen, 55.
However, since launching the offensive, the military has not engaged the Abu Sayyaf and managed only to recover three abandoned encampments used by the terrorists in holding their captives.
Arrojado said that the troops have no problem with the order to keep up with the operation.
“It’s really understandable. Because of our current situation, they have to endure…we really need to do our job here in Sulu,” Arrojado said.
“We should be prepared for possibilities,” he added.
According to Arrojado, the operating troops are still in the mountainous areas of Sulu tracking down the Abu Sayyaf.
Arrojado said that alert status remains normal in Sulu.
“Our troops are still in the mountains…we are just monitoring now, we have our intelligence units…the monitoring is good,” Arrojado said.
The Abu Sayyaf group still holds at least nine hostages, including the two European birdwatchers kidnapped in February 2012 in Tawi Tawi and a Japanese.

4 holdup men slain in Bulacan shootout

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00 Published in Nation

Four suspected holdup men were killed while a policeman was wounded during an alleged shootout in Bulacan province yesterday.
Reports showed that the suspects were about to rob Palayan sa Nayon Cooperative office in Barangay Ligas, Maloslos but aborted the supposed plan due to the presence of a police mobile patrol in the area.
The suspects fled the area aboard a Toyota Vios with licensed plate numbers TQK-562 but the lawmen gave chase.
However, when cornered at around 9:30 a.m. at the Malolos Flyover crossing in Barangay Guinhawa, the suspects allegedly shot it out with the policemen.
The identities of the slain armed men were not immediately known.
Reports said that aside from the policeman who was wounded during the shootout, a civilian was also hit by stray bullet. Their identities were also withheld.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police inducted 3,496 recruits into the police service to fill-up requirements of Police Regional Offices (PROs) for more warm bodies for police visibility and anti-crime operations.
Oath-taking ceremonies were held in the 17 Police Regional Offices across the country from October 7-21, 2014 formalizing the appointment of 3,496 recruits to the rank of Police Officer 1 with a basic monthly salary of P14,834 with mandatory allowances and other non-cash benefits totalling P5,660 per month.
PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said the new recruits are expected to further beef-up the existing PNP personnel complement for law enforcement and public safety operations of regional offices.
In his report to Purisima, Police Director Jaime Morente, PNP director for Personnel and Records Management, said the 3,496 police recruits, composed of 2,877 male and 619 female police rookies, have completed the required recruitment processes of neuro-psychiatric (NP) screening; physical, medical and dental examinations; physical agility test, drug test, complete background investigation, and eligibility examinations.
Morente explained that random drug testing is further conducted anytime during the entire recruitment processing and training period.
Upon appointment into the service, the recruits will undergo the mandatory Public Safety Basic Recruit Course at the Police National Training Institute for six months after which the trainees will undergo another six months of Field Training Program before they are assigned to full duty status in the Regional Public Safety Battalion in the police regional offices.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is mulling over possible disbarment of lawyer Harry Roque for his alleged “misbehavior” inside Camp Aguinaldo last Oct. 22.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief, said that AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. is seriously considering filing the complaint against Roque, who serves as counsel for the family of slain transgender Jeffrey Laude, alias Jennifer.
“The CSAFP (chief of staff, AFP) is strongly considering the filing of a formal complaint against him before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, if warranted,” said Cabunoc ina statement.
“The bases for this complaint are his inappropriate actions inside camp premises during the intrusion incident on Oct. 22,” he added.
It will be recalled that last Oct. 22, Roque, along with Laude’s mother Julita, sister Marilou Laude and her fiancé German Marc Sueselbeck, trooped to Camp Aguinaldo immediately after suspect United States Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton was transferred there.
However, Marilou and Sueselbeck scaled down the perimeter fence of the Mutual Defense Board-Security and Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) facility where Pemberton was detained, in their attempt to see the suspect.
After “illegally” entering the restricted area, Sueselbeck was seen shoving an AFP-Military Police.
Cabunoc previously accused Roque of deception and lying to gain entry into the AFP General Headquarters.
According to Cabunoc, the AFP leadership is hoping that the IBP would act on their complaint.
“He is a brilliant lawyer who should be an epitome of discipline and respect for law and order. We expect the IBP to take appropriate sanctions like disbarment,” said Cabunoc.
“We don’t want him to misbehave inside military camps and subject our soldiers to his tirades again,” he added.
Earlier, the AFP filed a letter before the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to declare Sueselbeck as undesirable alien to bar him from returning to the country.
However, Cabunoc said that the AFP chief will not file criminal case against the German.
“The AFP stands by its belief that Marc Sueselbeck violated camp rules and regulations. His apologies are accepted but he should still be held accountable,” said Cabunoc.
“We have already filed a motion for him to be declared an undesirable alien so that he will be barred from entering our country again. Early evening today (Oct. 29), the CSAFP has decided not file any criminal case against him so that he can be allowed to leave the country,” he added.

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