Advertisements


Top NPA leader arrested, 8 others yield and linked government official to rebel group

Top NPA leader arrested, 8 others yield and linked government official to rebel group.....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerFeb 3rd, 2018

Top NPA leader arrested, 8 others yield and linked government official to rebel group

Top NPA leader arrested, 8 others yield and linked government official to rebel group.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018

Libyan-Canadian cleric linked to Manchester bomber plans return to Canada to clear his name – CBC News

A Libyan-Canadian cleric linked in U.S. and British media reports to Manchester bomber Salman Abedi says he will return to Canada in weeks with the intention of clearing his name. Abdul Baset Egwilla was an Ottawa-based imam until his return to Libya in 2007. In an exclusive interview with CBC News over Skype, Egwilla denied any connection to Abedi. &'8220;I challenge whoever accuses me of such a connection to produce evidence, such as a time, date and place where I met with the suicide bomber,&'8221; Egwilla said. CBC News has agreed not to disclose Egwilla's current location due to concerns for his safety, as he is the subject of death threats in Libya. Salman Abedi, 22, was identified on May 23 as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded more than 60 others, including children, at a pop concert in Manchester. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber's father, Ramadan Abedi, who denies his son was a member of ISIS, has since been arrested by Libyan counter-terrorism officers. U.S. and British media reports, citing anonymous sources, have claimed a link between Salman, his father and Libyan-Canadian cleric Egwilla. A senior American official told the New York Times on May 24 that Salman Abedi &'8220;had links to a radical preacher in Libya&'8221; identified as Abdul Baset Egwilla, and that Egwilla's son had died fighting for ISIS. Egwilla's son did die in 2016, but Libyan news reports and a martyrdom notice at the time said he was killed fighting for the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, a Libyan Islamist militia that is not a listed terrorist organization. The Times newspaper in the U.K. reported May 27 that Ramadan Abedi was an associate of &'8220;extremist Canadian-Libyan preacher&'8221; Egwilla, and that the Libyan-Canadian is believed to have radicalized Ramadan's son, Salman Abedi. The father would regularly meet with Egwilla at Friday prayers in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in 2015, added the Times, citing a resident of the city who asked not to be named. The Greater Manchester Police Force would neither confirm nor deny to CBC News that Egwilla is under investigation for possible involvement in the Manchester bombing. Egwilla, who has been absent from Libya for several months since fleeing a plot to assassinate him, said he has never, to his knowledge, met either Salman or Ramadan Abedi. &'8220;I am a public figure, I appear in the media. I show up in mosques and preach to a multitude of people. People know me, but I do not know them,&'8221; Egwilla said. &'8220;And if I met him once or twice before, it could be that he changed his beliefs later on, but I never met him in the first place,&'8221; Egwilla said of the Manchester bomber. Declassified documents released by Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre in 2014 flagged a YouTube video in which Egwilla is seen &'8220;promoting violent jihad in Libya.&'8221; &'8220;In the video, Egwilla urged an audience of Libyan Islamist fighters to take part in jihad, stating that 'jihad is simply and easily accessible, and does not require moving as in the past, as it was for Afghanistan and Iraq,'&'8221; the report said. Egwilla says that call to jihad was made to recruit people to fight specifically against a militia led by a former general in Moammar Gadhafi's regime, and not a call to support the global jihadi movement. &'8220;I spoke about jihad only through Fajr Libya Dawn (a rebel militia alliance) and only when [Moammar Gadhafi] suppressed peaceful demonstrators and bombed them with anti-aircraft weaponry,&'8221; said Egwilla. &'8220;This was unjust and an act of tyranny.&'8221; Egwilla said people claiming to be with the government of Canada have attempted to reach out to him using the app Viber, though he says he has never agreed to an interview. Egwilla said he intends to speak to authorities to clear his name when he returns to Canada. After seven years in Ottawa, Egwilla left Canada for Libya in 2007, when Gadhafi's regime began sending signals that it would not persecute returning dissidents. ​ He began working at a Tripoli religious radio station and associated with a group of clerics that included Sadiq al-Ghariani, who today is the country's Grand Mufti, the top religious leader, and a strong supporter of Islamist militias. When rebellion broke out in 2011, Egwilla was a prominent supporter, and after the fall of Gadhafi's regime, was promoted to be the administrative director for the mosques in Tripoli. He said he became a prominent imam and broadcaster. In 2014, as splits emerged between liberals and Islamists over the direction post-Gadhafi Libya should take, Egwilla identified with the &'8220;Libya Dawn&'8221; coalition of Islamist militias that seized Tripoli from the UN-backed government. Libya Dawn soon found itself involved in a war with the secular forces of Gadhafi-era general Khalifa Haftar, and Egwilla's Ottawa-raised son Owais joined one of the Islamist militias battling Haftar. Owais died in combat in March last year. It was reported in some quarters that Owais Egwilla had died fighting for Islamic State. In fact, martyrdom notices posted at the time of his death show him as a member of the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, an Islamist militia that was part of the coalition that fought Islamic State and drove it out of its Libyan stronghold in Sirte. Egwilla says he fled Libya eight months ago following the kidnapping and murder of fellow cleric Nadir al-Omrani by assassins of the Madkhali sect of Sunni Islam. Madkhalis, followers of a school of thought founded by a Saudi cleric, have become increasingly active in Libya. Like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Madkhalis in Libya have destroyed ancient shrines and manuscripts they deem un-Islamic and they consider voting to be heresy. In a videotaped confession seen by CBC News, one of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2017

Israel in uproar over Argentina pre-World Cup friendly snub

By Aron Heller, Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — The sports-crazed nation of Israel was in uproar Wednesday over Argentina's abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warmup match following pro-Palestinian protests, with some of the country's leaders accusing Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism. Israel was eagerly awaiting the sold-out international friendly scheduled for Saturday night at Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium and the arrival of some of the world's best players. Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis and fans had been scrambling to get a chance to see Messi in person. But after a fierce Palestinian campaign, which included images of Argentina's white and sky-blue striped jersey stained with red paint resembling blood and threats to burn Messi posters, Argentina's football federation announced it was skipping the event. Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, apologized for cancelling the match but said the safety of the players was at stake. "What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel," he said during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week. "(We) apologize to the Israeli community. It's nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace," he said. "In the end, they've done the right thing, and this is behind us," Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN. "Health and common sense come first. We felt that it wasn't right to go." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene, to no avail. Later Wednesday, Israel's Sports Ministry said a "negotiation" about the match was underway, perhaps in hopes of salvaging it, but gave no further details. "It's unfortunate the soccer knights of Argentina did not withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters, whose only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and bring about the destruction of Israel," said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters." The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and T-shirts if he participated. He has long tried to get soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee to impose sanctions against Israel. Rajoub believes Israel should be punished for restricting movement of Palestinian players, and for forming teams in West Bank settlements. Rajoub had also objected to holding the match in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector the Palestinians claim as their capital. Although the Kollek stadium is in west Jerusalem, it is located in a neighborhood built where a Palestinian village once stood before it was destroyed in the war surrounding Israel's independence in 1948. Following the move, he held a press conference in Ramallah featuring a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi." Rajoub had accused Israel of playing politics with the game, by moving it from its original location in Haifa to Jerusalem, and by trying to link it to celebrations surrounding Israel's 70th anniversary. He called it a victory for "ethics and values" of sports. "They tried to use sport as a tool for political ends, and for this I think, they failed," Rajoub said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said it was a sad morning for Israeli sports fans, including his own grandchildren. "But there are values that are greater than even Messi. The politicization of the Argentinean move worries me greatly," he said. Opposition figures, however, accused Israel's headline-seeking sports minister Miri Regev of bringing on the politicization of the sporting event by insisting on moving the game from Haifa to contested Jerusalem and by trying to orchestrate a politicized photo-op with Messi. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel considers the entire city to be its capital, while the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Regev rejected the backlash at a press conference Wednesday evening saying "there is no bigger lie" than claims her decision to hold the match in Jerusalem aided in its cancellation. She said the Argentinians had not objected and that Messi himself had wanted to visit sacred Christian and Jewish sites in the holy city. Regev said the match was canceled following "threats by terror elements sent to Messi and his family and to other players." Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the snub a "spectacular own goal" by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called for a police investigation into Regev's "corrupt conduct." "We just absorbed a shot in the face. This is not just sports," he tweeted. "This, unfortunately, could start an international tsunami." Regev claimed that "terrorist" groups had made threats against Argentina's players and their families, sending them images of dead children, though she gave no further evidence. She accused members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, of backing the boycott advocates. "Unfortunately, we have Trojan Horses in the Knesset who give headwind to terrorism," she said. The Palestinian militant Islamic group Hamas praised Argentina for canceling the game. Spokesman Husam Badran said Hamas "applauds" the move and reiterated its position that rejects "all forms of normalization" with the Jewish state. A senior official at the Argentine Football Federation said the national team decided to call off the match with Israel after receiving threats from Hamas. The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, did not provide evidence or details of the alleged threats. A Hamas official mocked reports that the group had threatened the players, calling them unrealistic, and saying they don't deserve a comment. The Hamas official was not authorized to comment in the issue and also spoke on condition of anonymity. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since it took over the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider it a terror organization for its bombings, shooting and rocket attacks targeting civilians. Israel has largely fended off the boycott campaign with only a small number of artists and organizations shunning the country. Argentina's snubbing would appear to be the boycott movement's greatest achievement thus far. The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through nonviolent means. Israel says the campaign goes beyond Israeli occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians and masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country. It has formed a government ministry whose primary mission is to combat the boycott movement. The Argentinean move, which featured on the front pages of all the major Israeli dailies, raised fears that it could serve as a template for future boycotts of Jerusalem, most notably next year's scheduled hosting of the popular Eurovision song contest. The Palestinians celebrated the cancellation as a major triumph. Israeli organizers said an offer had been floated to have the game played in Barcelona instead, but it was highly unlikely. "I think sports should never be involved with politics," said Shahaf Ashraga, a fan in Jerusalem. "It just makes me sad to think that the game has to be canceled because of the Palestinian pressure." Argentina opens its Group D campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. It then plays Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26. It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warmup, or if it will arrive in Moscow ahead of schedule. ___ Associated Press writers Debora Rey and Victor Caivano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Top NPA leader caught in Agusan

A high ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested by government forces the other day in Agusan del Sur. Arrested was Pablito Campos alias Batik or Ponsoy, political officer and secretary of Guerrilla Front 21A of the rebel group and spokesperson of Sub Regional Committee of Westland….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsFeb 24th, 2018

Turkey charges father of NBA’s Kanter as terror group member

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has accepted an indictment charging the father of NBA player Enes Kanter with “membership in a terror group,” the country’s official news agency reported Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The indictment followed an investigation of Mehmet Kanter, and prosecutors planned to seek his conviction and a prison term of five to 10 years at trial, Anadolu Agency said. It’s unclear when the trial in western Tekirdag province would begin. Enes Kanter, who plays for the New York Knicks, is a follower of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric who the government accuses of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016. Cleric Fethullah Gulen has denied the allegation, but tens of thousands of people suspected of ties to his network have been arrested or fired. The elder Kanter, a professor, was purged from public service after the coup attempt and detained for five days last summer. Anadolu said the indictment alleges he contacted some 120 suspects with alleged links to Gulen, including dozens who were said to have communicated through an encrypted messaging application. Enes Kanter, a former Oklahoma City Thunder center, has been a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His Turkish passport was canceled last year. Prosecutors charged him in December with insulting the president in a series of tweets. They want to try him in absentia and have him sentenced to more than four years in prison, if he is convicted. I will continue to keep fighting for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Justice and Democracy above all.I will stand for what I believe in.All I’m doing is trying to be voice of innocent people Keep my family,innocent people in your prayers 🙏#DictatorErdogan 🇹🇷@RT_Erdogan pic.twitter.com/i7kK3mwKND — Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 18, 2018 “Keep my family, innocent people in your prayers,” the basketball player tweeted Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) with the hashtag “DictatorErdogan.” His Twitter account is withheld in Turkey. Under a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the coup, Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 and sacked some 110,000 people alleged to have infiltrated state institutions for Gulen. The government said the crackdown was needed to fight alleged acts of terror......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

10 ASG bandits yield in Basilan

A notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader and his nine followers turned over high powered firearms to the government forces the other day in Basilan. This was confirmed by Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerry M. Besana. Besana identified those who surrendered….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 9th, 2018

Ex-Zambo mayor, 14 gun-for-hire members nabbed

A leader of the gun-for-hire group and 14 of his members, including a former mayor and a council representative, were arrested in a law enforcement operation Saturday dawn in a town of Zamboanga del Sur, according to police official......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

Talk to Abu Sayyaf, Australian kidnap victim urges gov’t

ZAMBOANGA CITY --- Like President Rodrigo Duterte, Australian kidnap victim Warren Rodwell said he favored talking to Abu Sayyaf bandits to determine what they really wanted, hoping to stop the group's criminal activities. "I don't want the Philippine government to kill or hurt my captors. The way to reach to them is to talk to them. If they are arrested, don't kill [them]; put them behind bars," Rodwell said through a Facebook chat on Sunday. Rodwell issued the statement after learning that Nurhassan Jamiri, the leader of the group that abducted him in 2011, had yielded to the military. The Basilan-based Jamiri surrendered to soldiers in Hadji Mohammad Ajul town on March 28...Keep on reading: Talk to Abu Sayyaf, Australian kidnap victim urges gov’t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2018

Men posing as government officials arrested

AUTHORITIES have arrested three men who introduced themselves through a phone call as high-ranking government officials in order to extort money from businessmen, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Friday, March 9. Henry Halaghay, 67, the leader of the group and his two other cohorts Antonio Cerbito and Rogem Montesa were served an… link: Men posing as government officials arrested.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

PNP nabs alleged Maute leader in Manila

A key leader of the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group which took part in the five-month long siege of Marawi City was presented by police officials to the media Monday after he was arrested in Divisoria by elements of the Manila Police Department working with military intelligence officers over the weekend. Spouses Abdul Nasser and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMar 5th, 2018

Alleged MNLF official, 4 others nabbed in Maguindanao drug raid

COTABATO CITY -- Joint police and anti-narcotics operatives arrested an alleged official of a Moro rebel group and four others during a raid on a drug den in Maguindanao on Sunday. Juvenal Azurin, the director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM), identified those arrested as Juhery Sampulna Abdul, 39, alias "Tho," who allegedly maintained the drug den in Sitio Siawan in Barangay Tamontaka in Datu Odin Sinsuat town; Muslimin Banigan Udtong, 27; Madelo Kasan Abdulkadir, 25; Datu Solban Makasasa Maulana, 22; and Abdillah B. Abdullah, 36. He described Abdul as troop commander of the Muhtalla National Force Command of the Mor...Keep on reading: Alleged MNLF official, 4 others nabbed in Maguindanao drug raid.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

SABAH IS OURS! ‘Malaysia tightens grip on mineral-rich island of Sulu sultanate’

MALAYSIA HAS tightened its grip on Sabah which is being claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu following a proposal – by a member of the Philippines’ 25-man consultative committee tasked with reviewing and proposing amendments to the Constitution – to include the mineral-rich island as the country’s 13th federal state. Former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr made the proposal while Filipino lawmakers are preparing to amend the 1987 Constitution and shift from presidential to federal form of government. He said the Duterte administration should continue to push for the country’s claim to Sabah in a way acceptable to international laws. “There should be a way that is acceptable under international laws to assert our claim to Sabah. I think we can defer it a little bit more, but to say that we stop doing it is not in the context of my proposal,” he told ABS-CBN Television recently. He also wanted Scarborough and Spratlys – which is being claimed by China and other ASEAN countries as theirs – to be part of the federated states of the Philippines.  Pimentel has also proposed the following to form part of the federal states Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Bangsamoro and Metro Manila as its capital. “Eventually once we have asserted our sovereignty and rights over Sabah, we should include Sabah. Not only Sabah, but also Scarborough, Benham Rise, and Spratlys,” Pimentel said. According to a report by Channel News Asia, Kuala Lumpur has strongly rejected Pimentel’s proposal to include Sabah as a federal state of the Philippines. “Malaysia is aware of remarks made by Mr Aquilino Pimentel Jr, a member of the Philippines’ Consultative Committee, which appeared in the media on the claim on Sabah recently,” it said, citing Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman as saying in a press statement. “The Government of Malaysia reiterates its position that Malaysia does not recognise and will not entertain any claims by any party on Sabah. Sabah is recognised by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Federation on 16 September 1963,” Anifah said. “Therefore, statements such as these will only expose the ignorance of history and international law of those who make them, as well as potentially harming the excellent bilateral relations which Malaysia and the Philippines currently enjoy.” Death Sentence Just last month, Malaysia’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for 9 Filipinos who were charged with waging war against the Malaysian King during the 2013 assault on Lahad Datu in Sabah. The Filipinos have been identified as Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 65; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42; Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77. Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif said the January 15 decision of the five-man panel of the Federal Court was unanimous, according to reports by The Star and Asia News Network, adding, the panel agreed with the Court of Appeal that the death sentence was the most appropriate based on the findings of the facts of the case. The other judges were Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjun, and Justices Ramly Ali and Azahar Mohamed. Basad Manuel is the son of the Jamalul Kiram III, the self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, who died from multiple organ failure in Manila in 2013. The bloody incursion by some 200 followers of Kiram from the southern Philippines in February 2013 was inspired by the supposed sultan’s claims of historical dominion over Sabah. The two-month siege was the most serious security crisis faced by Malaysia in years, involving armed conflict between the Sultan’s loyal followers and the Malaysian armed forces sent to root them out. The panel also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against the acquittal of 14 men on the charge of waging war against the King and terrorist-related offences linked to the intrusion from Feb 12 to April 10, 2013, the reports further said. Chief Justice Md Raus said the panel has no reason to decide otherwise and affirmed the decision by the Court of Appeal delivered last June. At the height of fighting between Kiram’s followers and security forces, Malaysia deployed armoured vehicles and combat helicopters, including naval boats in an effort to flush out the Filipinos on the oil-rich island being claimed by both sides. About a dozen armoured personnel vehicles arrived in the town of Lahad Datu to support ground troops hunting down at least 50 members of the Sultanate of Sulu headed by Raja Muda Agbimuddin, the sultan’s younger brother. The group intruded Sabah in February 2013 to exert claim over Sabah, citing historical and legal claims, but Malaysia rejected this and launched a massive assault on about 200 of the sultan’s men following a deadline for them to surrender peacefully. The assault by Malaysian jets and ground artilleries left at least 62 intruders dead, but the fighting between the two groups also killed and wounded 18 Malaysian policemen and soldiers. Malaysia arrested more than 300 Filipinos who are suspected of supporting or aiding Raja Muda Agbimuddin’s group under a strict anti-terrorism law. More than 2,000 Filipino Muslims have returned to Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces after fleeing Sabah in 2013 for fear they would be arrested in a massive crackdown launched by Malaysian on illegal immigrants and […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018

Military checking if top Malaysian terrorist survived

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is trying to validate intelligence information that a top Malaysian extremist survived the defeat of an Islamic State-linked siege on Marawi City and is helping restart efforts to establish an extremist alliance, a military official said.   The commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, said troops were trying to validate reports that Amin Baco is wounded during the siege but managed to escape to Sulu, where he was hiding with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists.   Yusop Jikiri, central committee chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which has a peace treaty with the government, said that his gro...Keep on reading: Military checking if top Malaysian terrorist survived.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

Rebel surrenderee to get assistance

ROXAS City – A suspected New People’s Army (NPA) official who returned to the folds of the law will get financial assistance from the government. The assistance will be given to 40-year-old Arsencio Magbanua who turned himself in to the police station of Cuartero, Capiz last week. Police identified Magbanua as a squad leader and […] The post Rebel surrenderee to get assistance appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Child warriors ‘on the radar of govt’ – Andanar

The Islamic State-linked terrorists’ continued recruitment of young fighters in the country is on government’s anti- terror radar, a Palace official has said. In a roundtable interview with The Manila Times, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assured the public that the Philippine government was closely monitoring the recruitment by terrorist group Daulah Islamiyah, which is [...] The post Child warriors ‘on the radar of govt’ – Andanar appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

FIFA suspends Brazilian soccer president Marco Polo del Nero

By Stephen Wade and Mauricio Savarese, Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Marco Polo del Nero was suspended as president of Brazil's soccer confederation on Friday, two years after he was indicted in the United States on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. FIFA said Del Nero was under an ethics investigation and has been banned for 90 days from all soccer activities. Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 when other FIFA colleagues were arrested. They included Jose Maria Marin, who was at the time the head of the Brazilian confederation, known as the CBF. Marin and two other South American soccer officials have been on trial in New York. Del Nero was indicted on Dec. 2, 2015. "As many Brazilians that love soccer, my hope is that he is banned for good," soccer great Romario — now a Brazilian federal senator — wrote on his Facebook page. "Del Nero has already had his crimes exposed along with those of other crooks like Jose Maria Marin, who is in jail in the United States, and (former CBF president) Ricardo Teixeira who is still on the loose in Brazil. They all used CBF to get illegally rich." Del Nero's lawyers said in a statement that he is going to appeal FIFA's suspension. They insisted there was no evidence against him. The attorneys labelled the ethics committee report "funny investigative speculations." They argued Del Nero took office as CBF president in 2015 and should not be linked to contracts from previous administrations. FIFA failed to ban Del Nero until Friday. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been questioned about him in recent days. Infantino was photographed at last year's Olympics receiving a Brazilian soccer shirt from Del Nero, and reporters questioned him about Del Nero at the World Cup draw this month in Moscow. "So whatever comes out of these trials, we will deal with it," Infantino said of the U.S. investigation. "We have ethics committees, disciplinary committees. They will deal with these questions. It's not for the FIFA president to deal with them. We have institutions for that." Del Nero has not traveled from Brazil for several years, fearing arrest and extradition to the United States. Brazil has an extradition treaty with the U.S. but seldom sends its own citizens abroad for trial. Brazil's team is among the favorites to win next year's World Cup, but many doubt Del Nero will go there to support the team. The CBF appointed vice president Antonio Carlos Nunes to fill in for Del Nero and did not offer an immediate comment on Del Nero's suspension. Brazilian law does not ban private or commercial corruption. There needs to be a government body or official involved, or taxpayer money. Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was arrested two months ago in Brazil, partly for trying to hamper an investigation into his Brazilian tax declaration. He was eventually charged with money laundering and running a criminal organization. Brazilian and French authorities say Nuzman helped channel $2 million in bribes to help win votes from International Olympic Committee members to stage the 2016 Olympics. Del Nero's name has come up in the U.S. corruption trial. Prosecution witness Jose Hawilla, a Brazilian sports marketing executive, testified Del Nero was among top South American soccer officials who needed to be bribed to secure media contracts to tournaments. In one taped conversation, jurors heard Hawilla in an exchange talk about a $900,000 payment apparently owed to Del Nero or Marin. Del Nero has also been openly criticized by Brazil coach Tite, who is credited with making the team a World Cup favorite. Tite signed an open letter opposing Del Nero before Tite was hired as coach last year. Since then, he has softened his stance but still opposes Del Nero. "This is the best way I can contribute to soccer, offering what I know," he said after being hired as coach. "The ideas of transparency and democratization remain as my principles." ___ Savarese reported from Sao Paulo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

Recruiter of terrorists charged

GOVERNMENT prosecutors yesterday indicted a woman arrested in Taguig City last October for allegedly recruiting through social media fighters for the ISIS-linked Maute terror group who attacked Marawi City. In a resolution, the Department of Justice indicted Karen Aizha Hamidon with 295 counts of inciting rebellion before the Taguig City….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 13th, 2017

NKorean missile frustrates SKorean Olympic preparations

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Just when South Korea thought it was finally creating a buzz for February's Winter Olympics, North Korea fired its most powerful missile yet and re-ignited safety worries about the small mountain town that will host the games not far from the rivals' anxious border. The Pyeongchang Olympics probably aren't in jeopardy because of Wednesday's launch for a number of reasons, including that the North is unlikely to attack the more powerful, U.S.-backed South. Despite its belligerent neighbor, South Korea is also one of the safest places in the world with a wealth of experience hosting international sporting events. Still, the launch, which followed a 10-week lull, was a frustrating development for Pyeongchang's organizers, who have only recently got on track after facing construction delays, controversies over cost overruns and wary sponsors. They can also do little to calm international fears created by North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons and missile tests. Shortly after North Korea fired the Hwasong-15 into the sea Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened a national security meeting where he ordered government officials to closely review whether the launch could hurt South Korea's efforts to successfully host the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 9. South Korea wants more than a million spectators for the Olympics, which will be held just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border, and expects 30 percent of them to be foreign visitors. Organizers have struggled for months to spark enthusiasm for the games locally, where the national conversation over the past year have been dominated by a massive a massive corruption scandal that toppled and jailed the last president and North Korea's flurry of weapons tests. Sung Baikyou, an official from Pyeongchang's organizing committee, on Thursday downplayed worries that North Korea would scare away athletes and visitors to Pyeongchang. Organizers and government officials have held briefings and site inspections for Olympics officials, members and sponsors to reassure them of South Korea's security readiness. The 92 nations that have so far registered to participate in the Pyeongchang Games represent the largest ever Winter Olympics field. And after a slow start, organizers had managed to sell more than half of the available tickets by the end of November. Sung said there hasn't been any talk with the International Olympic Committee about moving or canceling the games. "It wouldn't make sense for anyone to cancel tickets to Pyeongchang because of fears about North Korea," Sung said. "There's no war; bombs aren't being dropped on Pyeongchang." Hyun Jae-gyung, an official from Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating and hockey events during the Olympics, said cancelations at hotels and other accommodation facilities in the areas have been few and sporadic and unlikely linked to security concerns. But there's nothing organizers can do if North Korea raises fears even higher with more tests. North Korea has conducted 20 ballistic missile launches just this year, and the tests are becoming increasingly aggressive; some in the South fear that Washington might consider a pre-emptive strike on the North as the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Wednesday may be able to reach anywhere in the continental United States. Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea's presidential office, thinks it's highly unlikely that the North will do any significant weapons tests or other aggressive acts that would disrupt the Olympics. After Hwasong-15's successful flight test, delighted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that the country has "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force." Many experts, including Koh, believe that this suggests the country could soon consider its nuclear program as "enough" and shift the focus to its dismal economy. It would do nothing for heavily-sanctioned Pyongyang to worsen its awful reputation by creating trouble during the Olympics, Koh said. In recent government statements, including the one announced after Wednesday's missile test, North Korea has repeatedly claimed itself as a "responsible" and "peace-loving" nation, something it has been emphasizing since the United States relisted the country as a state terror sponsor, Koh said. "Even if they do conduct a missile or nuclear test during the Olympics, the games will go on as tests don't start wars. But I think there's almost no possibility that they will," said Koh. "If anything, they might have pushed hard to get their tests done before the start of the Olympics." It would help ease worries if North Korea participates in the Pyeongchang Games. While a North Korean figure skating pair qualified for the Olympics in September, it's unclear whether the North will let them compete in the South. North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea's capital Seoul and has ignored the South's proposals for dialogue in recent months. Securing North Korea's commitment to attend the Pyeongchang Games will be a critical topic at the IOC's next executive board meeting in December, which will be the last one before the start of the Olympics. The IOC has already offered to pay the costs should North Korea decide to participate, and Pyeongchang officials have been talking about granting special entries for North Korean athletes in some ice sports. Kim Kyung-hyup, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling party, said Thursday that Seoul should consider sending a special envoy to the North to persuade it to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. Other than hoping that North Korea accepts the invitation, organizers are stuck. "If there's any other solution, tell me," Sung said. "It's not like we can jump up and catch North Korean missiles with a net.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

Corruption, doping issues aired at global Olympic meeting

By Karel Janicek, Associated Press PRAGUE (AP) — Allegations of corruption and doping were on the minds of national Olympic leaders at their annual gathering on Thursday. The Association of National Olympic Committees assembly was presided over by Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait in a rare public appearance since being implicated six months ago in an American investigation of bribery linked to FIFA. Senior ANOC official Julio Maglione said its ruling committee "unanimously cleared" the sheikh of wrongdoing, and led delegates in applauding him. Sheikh Ahmad, an influential International Olympic Committee member who skipped recent meetings in Switzerland and Peru, said he was "delighted to continue as sport is my life." Officials met one day after an International Olympic Committee panel investigating an alleged Russian doping conspiracy at the 2014 Sochi Olympics found athletes guilty in its first two cases. The rulings finally upheld claims and evidence about Sochi detailed last year by a Russian whistleblower and World Anti-Doping Agency investigator. IOC President Thomas Bach described the case on Thursday as a "direct attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games." Still, Bach was also forceful in attacking critics of the IOC who have demanded severe sanctions for Russia before case verdicts were reached. "It is unacceptable that specific sanctions are already being demanded in public domain before due process," said Bach, who did not name his target. A group of national anti-doping agencies, including the United States and United Kingdom, wants the IOC to expel Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Bach reiterated on Thursday that a decision on Russia's participation should be taken by the IOC board he chairs at a Dec. 5-7 meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before then, more verdicts in Sochi doping cases are expected from the IOC panel. The IOC leader said it was a "human right" to get due process and noted: "Always think how you would react if you were alleged of some wrongdoings." Bach's plea for fairness was heard by the watching Sheikh Ahmad, who is under investigation by the ethics committees of the IOC and FIFA. He continues to lead an IOC committee with a $500 million budget to support Olympic bodies and athletes. Since rising to lead ANOC in 2012 as the long-time Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president, Sheikh Ahmad has built his reputation as an Olympic power broker. He has often been dubbed the IOC "kingmaker." The Prague meetings have been the sheikh's highest profile return to sports politics since he was identified in U.S. federal court as paying bribes to gain influence with Asian soccer officials. On April 27, a FIFA audit committee member from Guam pleaded guilty to various corruption charges. In a Brooklyn court, Richard Lai admitted receiving $850,000 in bribes from 2009 to 2014 from a faction of Kuwaiti officials. Some of the money was wired from an OCA account. Sheikh Ahmad was not named in court, though in published transcripts Lai said he knew the money originated from "co-conspirator 2" — also referred to as the OCA president who later became a FIFA executive committee member. Within days, the Kuwaiti royal withdrew from an election to retain his FIFA role while his eligibility as a candidate was under further review. The sheikh denied wrongdoing and has not been indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice. However, he did not attend meetings of the full IOC membership in July in Switzerland and in September in Peru, which were key to naming Paris and Los Angeles as future Olympic hosts. On Thursday, he won support from Maglione, the head of swimming governing body FINA whose Kuwaiti vice president was identified as "co-conspirator 3" in Brooklyn court. Maglione says he "took all the requisite action" to dispel doubts about Sheikh Ahmad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2017

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017