Senior military officers get new posts

Several senior military officers have assumed new posts, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 24th, 2023

Heroes Lounge sans real lionhearts

Once upon a time, in a small town, there lived a retired soldier named Leo who devoted his life to his country, valiantly defending its citizens. He fought in countless battles, demonstrated unparalleled courage and earned the utmost respect of his fellow soldiers. Following years of dedicated service, he eventually retired and returned to his hometown, longing for a peaceful life among the people he had fiercely safeguarded. Regrettably, he discovered that the reality fell significantly short of his expectations. The residents of the town, preoccupied with their own lives and concerns, appeared to have disregarded the sacrifices made by soldiers like him. He was ignored and overlooked; his presence was almost invisible to those around him. He was perplexed at how he transitioned from being a revered hero to an unnoticed figure within his community. Leo’s experience is not unique. Numerous other soldiers, such as retired Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin, can empathize. In a Facebook post on 23 September, the 67-year-old decorated military veteran expressed his disappointment over  being denied access, along with other retired generals, to a private lounge at the Tuguegarao airport because it was already occupied. “After a very fruitful trip to Isabela and Tuguegarao the past few days, I was very disappointed to find that myself and a handful of retired generals were not allowed to use the Heroes Lounge at the Tuguegarao Airport because it was reserved for these Chinese-looking individuals,” Querubin’s post read. “Are the Chinese the new heroes in this country? Definitely NOT!” To this day, Tuguegarao Airport manager Mary Sulyn Sogorsor has yet to issue a statement on the degrading incident. Is Manager Sogorsor unaware that real heroes were denied entry to the Heroes Lounge? Does she even acknowledge that Colonel Querubin, a recipient of the Medal of Valor, the highest honor bestowed upon a Filipino, was among them? Colonel Querubin played a crucial role in capturing the MILF’s strategic staging area, Camp Mack in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, in the early 2000s. Has she forgotten the services and sacrifices of the retired generals, who put themselves in immense danger for decades? Querubin, who is no stranger to brushes with death and sustained 67 battle wounds during his more than 30 years in the military service, lamented: “If they can do it to senior officers, what more to the others?” Retired soldier heroes do not deserve the indifference. Being preoccupied with their own lives is never an excuse not to acknowledge their struggles, sacrifices, and contributions. They may have proven that a hero’s spirit can prevail despite the apathy, but they should never become a symbol of forgotten heroes they  who had dedicated their lives to selflessly protecting the nation. Otherwise, it is heartbreaking. The post Heroes Lounge sans real lionhearts appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 29th, 2023

US army chief and allies discuss Asia-Pacific in India

Army chiefs and senior officers from 30 countries including the United States met in India Tuesday to discuss threats facing the Asia-Pacific region, in the face of concern at an increasingly assertive China. US Army chief Randy George said the region was "critically important", speaking to reporters alongside his Indian counterpart Manoj Pande, and vowed to boost cooperation to "maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific". Generals from Japan and Australia, which make up the "Quad" defense cooperation forum alongside Washington and New Delhi, also took part, as did Britain and France. As the generals met, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing would oppose the "wanton expansion of military alliances", the latest in a string of warnings as Washington deepens security ties in the Asia-Pacific. Beijing has long said that any effort to establish a NATO-like military alliance in the Asia-Pacific would provoke conflict. Nations present at the two-day conference in New Delhi included Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which have longstanding pending territorial disputes with China. The conference, which launched in 1999, brings together army chiefs and top officers from 30 countries. India's Pande said the region faced challenges on both land and at sea. "These range from territorial disputes over land masses, or in some cases, even over artificially expanded islands to acquire real estate and establish military bases," Pande added, in an indirect reference to China. India has also had to balance its traditional alliance with Russia -- the provider of most of its arms imports, and now a source of cut-price oil -- with growing ties to Washington. "The partnership between India and the US armies is vital for stability in the region, and the relationship between our armies is strong and growing stronger," George said. The post US army chief and allies discuss Asia-Pacific in India appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2023

Chop-chop murder suspect shot dead

JOLO, Sulu — An alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf Group was killed while nine police officers were wounded, including three senior police officers, during a nearly three-hour clash in Barangay Siet Higad, Panamao, Sulu. Police and military operatives were about to serve a warrant of arrest against the suspect at about 2:30 a.m. yesterday when a firefight erupted and lasted until 5 a.m., P/Col. John Francis Encinareal said. Encinareal identified the slain suspect as Muksidal A. Jumadil, a resident of Barangay Kamindus, Luuk, Sulu, and temporarily residing in Barangay Siet Higad, Panamao, Sulu. Jumadil was the primary suspect in the brutal killing of Nurdija Dammang Aminiddin, a small-town businesswoman in Barangay Kanmindus, Luuk, according to Encinareal. Jumadil killed Dammang, and her body was cut into small pieces and found scattered in different locations in the village. A case for murder was filed against Jumadil and is still pending at the office of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. The wounded police officers were identified as P/Capt. Nolie L. Agmaliw, P/Lt. Jhorlino Rico D. Apal, and P/Lt. Jose Earl Abdurajan III. Also wounded were Pat. Lionel A. Suarverdez, P/Cpl. Reymir M. Subion, P/Cpl. Lindo M. Macua, Pat. Edison Ray D. Paris, P/Cpl. Oliver R. Alviar, and P/Cpl. Andres G. Dalang. Jumadil was facing charges for violating RA 10591, or Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition, with a P200,000 bail bond. Recovered at the encounter site were one unit M14 rifle, one piece bandolier, five M14 magazines, and a total of 65 live 7.62 bullets. Two body-worn cameras (with Boblov serial numbers LYY1127 and 1234567890 of CIDG Sulu PFU were used during the operation, Encinareal said. The post Chop-chop murder suspect shot dead appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2023

Teodoro gets CA nod

The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday approved the ad interim appointment of Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. as secretary of the Department of National Defense. Prior to his confirmation, the 12-member House contingent of the powerful CA spared Teodoro from questioning as a “courtesy” to the Defense chief who previously worked as Tarlac's 1st district representative. “The 12-member House of Representatives contingent will no longer ask questions regarding the nominee being a former member of Congress for three consecutive terms in the 11th, 12th, and 13th Congress,” said Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. LRay Villafuerte, the majority leader of the CA. Villafuerte added that the House contingent “has no doubt regarding the fitness and integrity of the nominee”. He appealed to their counterpart, the Senate to accord the same courtesy to Teodoro. From the 12-member Senate contingent, only Senator Risa Hontiveros asked questions to Teodoro. Hontiveros questioned Teodoro about his plans for the DND, now under his watch for the second time. He held the same position under the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the age of 43, the youngest ever appointee to the agency. Responding to the lawmaker’s query, Teodoro admitted that there has been a “shift in the evolution” from his first stint in the DND. He noted that he is now focusing on “straddling the balance between maintaining internal security and with an emphasis definitely given what is happening to the outside environment.” “We are strengthening our defense posture. We are gradually enhancing the capabilities of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” he said. The Defense chief said he is also working on “leveraging” the country’s alliance with other nations to strengthen the country’s capability to protect itself from external threats. By doing so, he noted that he would try to introduce “management solutions to managerial problems, and not military solutions to managerial problems.” “That is the transformation that we are trying to make. We are also deeply restrategizing what we intend to do at least in the next five years in order not only to make the defense department more responsive to the outside and internal environments but also to make more efficient our use of resources, and to use information technology to the highest extent possible,” he added. Teodoro also underscored the importance of strengthening the country’s capability to respond to external strength and not just rely on diplomacy. “[T]he intensity of the need to focus on protecting our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, in the exclusive economic zone and other jurisdictions of the country become more paramount now, as the whole world is in a raise for resources,” he said. “We could not afford to be laidback here. We should be cognizant of it because we can and principally use diplomacy, however, if diplomacy is not backed up by a strong spinal cord, then we will just be stymied by a greater force,” he added. He made the remarks amid the increasing tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea. China claims the vast South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won its arbitral case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration – a landmark decision that China continues to reject. Teodoro said the Defense Department wishes the concentrate on not only guarding the islands of the archipelago and its internal waters but also on securing “peaceful, unimpeded, and unobstructed exploitation, and exploration of our sovereign rights over the 200 nautical mile EEZ of the republic and in all areas of the Philippines, to secure our baselines.” Last June, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced Teodoro’s appointment as the new DND secretary, replacing Carlito Galvez Jr. who led the agency for five months. Aside from Teodoro, the CA also approved the promotion of 11 generals and senior officers of the AFP. Jose Jesus Luntok, Ramon Flores, Dennis Pacis, Nasser Lidasan, Benedict Balaba, Steve Crespillo, Arvin Lagamon, Ivan Papera, Lloyd Cabacuñgan, and Fernando Ventura secured CA’s approval for their rank of Brigadier General. Peter Jempsun de Guzman’s rank of Commodore was also approved. The post Teodoro gets CA nod appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2023

Brawner, US envoy, USAF chief to visit EDCA sites in Cagayan, Pampanga

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., United States Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay Carlson and US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral John Aquilino will be visiting facilities within the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites located in Lal-lo Airport and Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and in Basa Air Base, Pampanga tomorrow, Wednesday. AFP Public Affairs chief Lt.Col. Enrico Gil Ileto said Brawner, Carlson and Aquilino will conduct an “extensive tour” at the completed EDCA projects in Basa Air Base, along with other high-ranking AFP and U.S. Armed Forces officers. “The tour will also provide an opportunity for the senior military officials to gain firsthand knowledge of the bases' potential for the development of key facilities to support HADR operations and modernization priorities of the AFP,” Ileto told reporters on Tuesday. After the visit, the Philippines and US delegations will attend the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting at the Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Thursday, 14 September. Ileto said: “These underscore the continued partnership and collaboration between the Philippines and United States militaries in enhancing national defense capabilities, as well as the shared commitment to regional security and disaster response efforts,” while Brawner and Aquilino’s visit to EDCA sites “signifies the commitment of both AFP and US Armed Forces to further strengthen its mutual cooperation.” This also ensures that both militaries are “prepared and well-equipped to respond to evolving security challenges and humanitarian crises,” he added. “The AFP looks forward to sharing insights from this visit and the MDB-SEB meeting, which together contribute to the enduring partnership between the two nations,” Ileto said. The post Brawner, US envoy, USAF chief to visit EDCA sites in Cagayan, Pampanga appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

Chavez vows greater role for NDCPAAI

Led by Transportation Undersecretary Cesar B. Chavez, the newly elected officers of the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Association Inc. took their oath before Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin on Monday. Chavez, a consistent appointee to various government agencies by seven successive presidents, was elected president of the NDCPAAI for 2023-2025. He is currently Undersecretary for Railways under the Department of Transportation. “Grateful to Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin for administering our oath in Malacañang this morning as the newly elected officers of the National Defense College of the Philippines Alumni Association Inc.,” Chavez said. “Our association will strive to be more meaningful and relevant for its members and the country. We will actively foster a platform that encourages greater collaboration between the NDCP, its alumni, and stakeholders, contributing to the national discourse and policy development on all aspects of national security,” he added. Chavez pursued a military and national security education, completing courses such as basic and advance intelligence, psychological warfare, and command and general staff management. He earned a Master’s degree in National Security Administration at NDCP, a Ph.D. in Peace and Security Administration from Bicol University, and a Senior Executive certificate on national and international security from Harvard Kennedy School. He also finished the Strategic Management Program at the National University of Singapore. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Affairs Jesus “Gary” Domingo was elected vice president. Domingo has served as ambassador to New Zealand and held positions in the Philippine Missions to the UN, in New York and Geneva, as well as the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh. NDCP executive vice president Aldrin Cuña was elected secretary general of the association. Captain Luidegar “Lloyd” Casis will head the committee on military affairs. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy. Casis is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Tanglaw-Diwa Class of 1992. He is currently chief of the capabilities and weapons systems division of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, OJ5, of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Aboitiz InfraCapital first vice president Christopher Camba will chair the Committee on Ways and Means. With over 20 years of corporate experience within the Aboitiz Group, he has had diverse roles spanning audit, finance, operations, marketing, risk management, and government relations. Commission on Appointments director and NDCP professor Vladimir Mata was elected head of the Homecoming Committee. He is a lieutenant colonel and currently acting commander of the Marine Reserve Brigade in Northern Luzon. Zamboanga del Sur First District Rep. Divina Grace Yu will serve as chairperson of the Committee on Chairmanship. She has been serving as Deputy House Speaker since 2020. Morong, Rizal RTC Branch 79 Judge Maria Josefina San Juan-Torres was chosen to chair the Committee on Awards. She is vice president of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (Asia Pacific Chapter). Valenzuela City Administrator Atty. Jaime De Veyra will join Judge San Juan-Torres in the Awards Committee. He has held roles in the Public Estates Authority and the Philippine Mining Development Corporation as chief legal counsel and CEO. CGA Capt. Jeremias “Jerry” Simon will chair the Committee on Membership. The post Chavez vows greater role for NDCPAAI appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 11th, 2023

DBM flags PNP’s P27-B ‘overdraft’

  The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been spending a whopping P26.7 billion annually for “unauthorized” excess positions in the organization, covering ranks from Lieutenant Generals and below, according to a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) document, In a letter dated 12 October 2022 addressed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos Jr., Mary Anne Z. Dela Vega, Director of the Budget Department’s Budget and Management Bureau,  submitted a matrix of PNP rank distribution approved by the DBM covering the 226,410 members of the police force. The DBM-approved rank distribution did not match the actual strength and distribution of ranks implemented by the PNP leadership, contrary to existing laws and regulations. The following excess positions were noted in the following ranks: Lieutenant General, 5; Major General, 6; Brigadier General, 24; Colonel, 232; Lieutenant Colonel, 910; Major, 1,410; Captain, 1,835; Staff Sergeant, 31,729; and Corporal, 30,052. The total excess positions stand at 66,203 with a combined annual base pay of P26.707 billion. DILG sources said these excess positions, which go beyond the DBM-authorized number of personnel, are considered “illegal." On the other hand, DBM and DILG data showed that there are 77,190 unfilled positions in the PNP hierarchy, with the rank of Patrolman/Patrolwoman suffering the biggest discrepancy with 66,958 unfilled posts. The DBM-authorized positions for Patrolman stands at 129,926 but the actual strength per PNP record as of 30 June 2023 stood at only 62,968. These unfilled positions have a combined budget of P23.838 billion that was not spent on the recruitment of more Patrolmen and women. “This explains why we severely lack police visibility in our communities. And this has an adverse effect on the overall campaign to preserve peace and order and protect the people from crimes,” said a DILG insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Other PNP ranks that remain unfilled include Lieutenant, 1,066; Executive Master Sergeant, 2,382; Chief Master Sergeant, 3,878; Senior Master Sergeant, 463; and Master Sergeant, 2,443. For star rank positions, the DBM allows only three for Lieutenant Generals but there are presently eight officials having that rank. For Major General, the DBM allows only 11 but 17 are now occupying the position while for Brig. General, only 86 are allowed but 110 were appointed to the rank. For non-star ranks, there are only 624 colonels allowed by the DBM but the PNP has 856. The DBM authorized 2,000 for Lt. Cols. but the actual number of officers with that rank stands at 2,910. “… we wish to reiterate that any changes in the PNP’s organizational structure should be supported by a study and recommendation of NAPOLCOM (National Police Commission), to include its impact on the hierarchy and leadership structure of the organization, and subsequently, the same shall be subject to the President’s approval,” the DBM letter said. Napolcom Commissioner Alberto Bernardo, who is also Vice Chairperson of the body, was furnished a copy of the said letter but could not be reached for comment. An earlier letter to the DILG dated 19 July 2018 and signed by then Secretary Benjamin Diokno warned that except for such offices created by the Constitution, the creation of public offices is primarily a legislative function. Therefore, these excess positions in the PNP not otherwise authorized by the DBM are contrary to law and may only be considered ad hoc or temporary positions. Likewise, the realignment of PNP funds to these excess positions was a power reserved only to the President and the use of savings to augment items in the general appropriations law for the executive branch is his sole prerogative and not any police official in the case of the PNP. Executive Order No. 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987, specifically states that; “the General Appropriations Act shall not contain any itemization of personal services, which shall be prepared by the Secretary after enactment of the (GAA), for consideration and approval of the President.” The twin acts of creating excess positions and using realigned savings to fund these posts by the PNP leadership are prohibited by law. “While the Napolcom is duty-bound to advise the president on all matters relating to police functions and administration, it cannot recommend to the President the promotion of Third Level PNP officers to excess and prohibited positions,” the DILG source further explained. The post DBM flags PNP’s P27-B ‘overdraft’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2023

Myanmar hub bomb attack kills 5

Yangon, Myanmar (AFP)  — A bomb attack on a government compound in the Myanmar border hub of Myawady killed five government and security officials and wounded 11 policemen, sources told AFP on Monday. The town on the border with Thailand has seen sporadic clashes between the military and anti-junta fighters since a coup in 2021 plunged the country into turmoil. Early Sunday evening two “drop bombs” fell into a compound containing the district police office and general administration office, a military source told AFP. As officials took “security measures” after the blasts, another two bombs were dropped, killing five and wounding 11, they said, requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media. The dead included a military officer, two police officers and two officials from the administration department, they said. Eleven “junior and senior” police officers were wounded, five critically, they added. A local police source who also requested anonymity confirmed the incident and casualty figures. Neither source said who was responsible for the attack. The junta said “some security members and government staff” were wounded in the attack, without giving a figure. It blamed anti-coup “People’s Defense Forces” and the Karen National Liberation Army, an established ethnic rebel group that has fought the military for decades. Anti-junta fighters battling to overturn the coup that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s government have used commercial drones for surveillance and also as crude bomb-dropping devices. A Myawady resident who did not want to be named told AFP they heard two blasts in the town, which abuts the Thai province of Tak, on Sunday evening. Since the coup, the KNLA and PDF groups have clashed sporadically with the military in Myawady town and its surrounds in Karen state, sending tens of thousands fleeing into Thailand. The post Myanmar hub bomb attack kills 5 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 4th, 2023

CA confirms Brawner, 29 military officers

The Commission on Appointments, led by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, confirmed Wednesday the ad interim appointment of Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of four-star general and the nomination of other 29 generals, flag officers, and senior military officers. Zubiri lauded the soldiers for their loyalty to the Philippine flag and their willingness to make sacrifices for the country. “Once again, you are the vanguards of democracy in our country. We cannot have hearings today, we cannot have these institutions in place without the brave men and women of the Armed Forces,” Zubiri said. During the bicameral CA deliberation of his appointment, Brawner vowed the AFP military officials are ready to defend and protect the country and Filipino people against any security threats. Senator Risa Hontiveros started the deliberation by asking Brawner about his primary objectives intended to be accomplished through the AFP's revolving door policy and Republic Act 11939. Brawner responded by enumerating his priority thrusts for the armed forces embodied in an acronym U.N.I.T.Y, which stands for unification, normalization, territorial defense, internal security operations and youth programs. Brawner said the AFP will focus on the the normalization of the Bangsamoro region, particularly the decommissioning, disarmament and reintegration of the former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. “Now that we believe that we are winding down with our internal security operations, we will have to sustain the gains that we had,” he added. Brawner also noted that the AFP will have to recalibrate its doctrines, training and the entire organization in order to be able to cope with the demands of defending the country’s territory. The AFP, he added, will focus on developing the Filipino youth through programs such as the revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Brawner said the AFP will make sure that those who will handle the ROTC activities “are prepared and are professional” to prevent a repeat of abuses, including grades for sale, hazing and maltreatment of students. “We are anticipating the passing of that bill for the mandatory ROTC. Naghahanda na po ang inyong armed forces and we want to make sure that we will not repeat the mistakes that we had, the abuses that happened during the past when we had the ROTC program,” he said. On sending military officers to China Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino scrutinized the AFP’s engagements with China, particularly the sending of senior officials and cadets to Chinese military schools. Brawner explained that the Philippines’ military-to-military relationship with China is covered by a memorandum of agreement on Defense Cooperation that was forged in 2004. “That is why we are allowed to send officers to China to study and vice versa, they are sent here because we find value in sending our officers abroad not just to China but in fact to so many countries in order for them to train and to bring back the knowledge that they gain so that we can learn from them and probably apply the best practices that they are applying in other countries,” he said. However, Brawner noted that the AFP is currently studying the revisitation of the memorandum following the blocking and water cannon actions by  Chinese vessels against Philippine ships last 5 August in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. “I ordered the temporary stop to sending officers to China. Just last week there was a communication, an invitation from China for us to send cadets to China to join a conference of cadets from all over the world,” he said. Tolentino urged Brawner to provide updates on the results of the study. Senator Imee Marcos also pushed for the local production and procurement of firearms and equipment for the AFP to lessen the country's dependence on foreign suppliers for its national defense. Brawner said the AFP is eyeing the revival of the country’s Self-Reliant Defense Posture program. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel filing for early retirement has increased due to the bill on the reform of the pension system for military and uniformed personnel. "Tumaas po 'yung nagfa-file ng early retirement dahil nga po they are anticipating na kapag lumabas yung batas, 'yung unang version po, they are basing it on the early versions (The number of personnel filing for early retirement increased because they are anticipating the law on the reform of the MUP pension system. They are basing it on the early version),” the AFP chief. "Gusto nila na mapaloob pa sila sa lumang sistema (They want to be covered by the old system). They want to avail of the old system wherein they will receive one-rank higher pay when they retire and indexation,” he added. However, Brawner said there is no cause for concern as many Filipinos are willing to join and apply for the AFP service. "The alarming situation would be 'yung mawawala po 'yung ating senior non-commissioned officers. So kung puro bata naman yung ating Armed Forces, it will not be a healthy organization (The alarming situation would be when our senior non-commissioned officers leave the AFP. So we will be left with mostly young personnel, it will not be a healthy organization),” Brawner said, noting that the military organization also needs the leadership of its non-commissioned officers. According to Brawner, he already advised AFP personnel “to just wait for the final version of the law before making a decision on their retirement.” He added that soldiers are always willing to sacrifice a portion of their pay for the country's benefit. Brawner stressed the Department of National Defense has developed a plan that would enable the AFP to generate pension funds, including utilizing available real estate assets. The post CA confirms Brawner, 29 military officers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

AFP eyes review of 2004 Phl-China defense cooperation agreement

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is considering the review of the country’s military engagement with the Chinese government amid increasing tensions in parts of the West Philippine Sea, military chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Wednesday This came after Senator Francis Tolentino scrutinized the AFP’s engagements with China, particularly the sending of senior officials and cadets to Chinese military schools. Brawner explained that the Philippines’ military-to-military relationship with China is covered by a memorandum of agreement on Defense Cooperation that was forged in 2004. He clarified that it was an exchange program designed to fostered stronger military relations between the two countries. “That is why we are allowed to send officers to China to study and vice versa, they are sent here because we find value in sending our officers abroad not just to China, but in fact to so many countries in order for them to train and to bring back the knowledge that they gain so that we can learn from them and probably apply the best practices that they are applying in other countries,” he said. However, Brawner noted that the AFP is currently studying the revisitation of the memorandum, following the blocking and water cannon action by Chinese vessels against Philippine ships last 5 August in Ayungin shoal in WPS. “I ordered the temporary stoppage of sending officers to China. In fact, just last week there was a communication, an invitation from China for us to send cadets to China to join a conference of cadets from all over the world,” he said. Tolentino urged Brawner to provide him with updates on the results of the study once completed. The post AFP eyes review of 2004 Phl-China defense cooperation agreement appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

Brawner up for deliberations

The Commission on Appointments will start deliberating on the confirmation of Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr. as the 60th Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel, CA’s assistant minority leader, announced on Sunday that the CA’s national defense panel, chaired by Camiguin Representative Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, will hold its confirmation hearing on Brawner’s ad interim appointment on Wednesday. “The CA has likewise scheduled a caucus and a plenary session that day,” Pimentel said. The CA — consisting of 25 members from the Senate and the House of Representatives — has the ultimate authority to approve or reject Brawner’s appointment. On the same day, 29 other newly promoted senior military officers, from colonel to major general, will also face confirmation hearings before the Romualdo panel. To recall, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Brawner, a Marawi siege veteran, on 19 July as the AFP’s new chief of staff, replacing General Andres Centino, who has since retired and is now Presidential Adviser on the West Philippine Sea. A native of Baguio, Brawner is the third AFP chief under the Marcos administration. Prior to his assumption, Brawner served as the 65th Commanding General of the Philippine Army from 10 December to 21 July 2023. The post Brawner up for deliberations appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

Ukraine attack hits Russian warship at Black Sea base

Ukraine carried out a seaborne drone strike on a Russian navy ship at a Black Sea base, a security source told AFP Friday, as Moscow said it had repelled a similar attack over annexed Crimea. The number of attacks in the sea has increased from both sides since Moscow exited a deal last month that had allowed Ukrainian grain exports via the shipping hub during the conflict between the two countries. In a video of the attack obtained by AFP, a naval drone is seen speeding towards the darkened silhouette of a military vessel before the connection abruptly cuts off. A Ukrainian attack targeting the Olenegrorsky Gornyak landing ship in the Novorossiysk naval base in southern Russia was "successful", a Ukrainian security source told AFP Friday. "The goal was to show that Ukraine can attack any Russian warship in that zone," the source added. Russia said it had repelled an attempted attack on the base by the Ukrainian armed forces "with the use of two unmanned sea boats". Russia's Black Sea Fleet has been targeted since the beginning of Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine more than a year ago, but attacks have increased in recent weeks. "The presence of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea... will be put to an end," Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said on social media following the most recent drone strike. "Ukraine will ensure freedom and security in the Black Sea for world trade." The port of Novorossiysk also hosts the terminus of a pipeline that carries most Kazakh oil exports through Russia. The fuel artery's operator Caspian Pipeline Consortium said it was continuing to ship oil to moored tankers at the terminal, Russian state media reported Friday. Crimea attack The Russian defence ministry meanwhile said it had downed 13 drones over the Crimean peninsula, without recording casualties or damage. Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, has been targeted by Kyiv throughout Moscow's Ukraine offensive but has seen more intense attacks in recent weeks. Ukrainian drone strikes on Crimea in July blew up an ammunition depot and damaged a strategic and symbolic bridge linking Russia's mainland to the peninsula. Earlier this week, Russia's defence ministry said it foiled a Ukrainian drone attack targeting patrol boats in the Black Sea. Three drones were trained on ships navigating in waters 340 kilometres (210 miles) southwest of Sevastopol, the base of Russia's Black Sea fleet in Crimea. Also announced Friday was Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to a combat zone in Ukraine to inspect a command post and meet senior military officers. Shoigu got an update on the situation on the front and "thanked commanders and soldiers... for successful offensive operations" in Lyman in eastern Ukraine, the army said, without mentioning when the visit took place. Frontline under microscope Shoigu last visited the front at the end of June after an aborted rebellion by the Russian paramilitary group Wagner fighting along with Moscow's forces in Ukraine. Ukraine began its long-awaited counteroffensive in the same month but has made modest advances in the face of stiff resistance from Russian forces on the front line. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that the counteroffensive was difficult, reporting "very violent" fighting in the key areas on the eastern and southern fronts. In late summer and early autumn 2022, Ukraine retook swathes of territory around Kherson and Kharkiv in rapid counteroffensives. But Ukrainian forces are now contending with well-entrenched Russian defensive positions built over several months. In the southern sector, Ukrainian troops were "gradually but persistently moving forward", deputy defence minister Ganna Malyar said on Telegram. The post Ukraine attack hits Russian warship at Black Sea base appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 4th, 2023

Islamic State claims responsibility for Pakistan blast that killed 54

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Monday for a suicide bomb blast in Pakistan that killed at least 54 people, including 23 children, at a political party gathering ahead of elections due later this year. The blast has raised fears Pakistan could be in for a bloody election period following months of political chaos prompted by the ousting of Imran Khan as prime minister in April last year. Around 400 members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) party -- a key government coalition partner led by a firebrand cleric -- were waiting Sunday for speeches to begin when a bomber detonated a vest packed with explosives and ball bearings near the front stage. "I was confronted with a devastating sight -- lifeless bodies scattered on the ground while people cried out for help," Fazal Aman, who was near the tent when the bomb went off, told AFP. Shaukat Abbas, a senior official with the counter-terrorism department (CTD) told AFP that 54 people had been killed, including 23 under the age of 18. On Monday the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. "A suicide attacker from the Islamic State... detonated his explosive jacket in the middle of a crowd" in Khar, the jihadist group's news arm Amaq said in a statement Monday. The attack occurred in the town of Khar in the northwestern Bajaur district, just 45 kilometers from the Afghan border, in an area where militancy has been rising since the Taliban took control of Kabul in 2021. Parliament is likely to be dissolved after it completes its term in the next two weeks, with national elections to be held by mid-November or earlier. The local chapter of the jihadist Islamic State group has in the past targeted JUI-F rallies and leaders. Shattered family On Monday, blood-stained shoes and prayer caps littered the site, along with ball bearings and steel bolts from the suicide vest. Pieces of human flesh could still be seen, blasted 30 meters (100 feet) from the stage where the bomber detonated his device. Thousands of mourners attended the first funeral ceremonies, including for two young cousins aged 16 and 17. "It was not easy for us to lift two coffins. This tragedy has shattered our family," said Najib Ullah, the brother of one of the boys. "Our women are profoundly shocked and devastated. When I see the mothers of the victims, I find myself losing my own courage." JUI-F's leader, cleric Fazl-ur-Rehman, started political life as a firebrand Islamist hardliner, and while his party continues to advocate for socially conservative policies, he has more recently forged alliances with secular rivals. He has operated in the past as a facilitator for talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a rival of the jihadist Islamic State group. Last year, IS said it was behind attacks against religious scholars affiliated with JUI-F, which has a huge network of mosques and schools in the north and west of the country. The jihadist group accuses the JUI-F of hypocrisy for being a religious party while supporting secular governments and the military. JUI-F officials hit out at the government for failing to provide security in areas where militants operate. "The state has not fulfilled its responsibilities. I think the state has failed regardless of who is in power," said Shams uz Zaman, deputy general secretary of its Bajaur branch. "For God's sake take notice of the situation." While Rehman's party never musters more than a dozen or so seats in parliament, they can be crucial in any coalition and his ability to mobilize tens of thousands of religious school students allows him to punch above his weight. "It is important to consider why workers of a religious inclined political party could have been subjected to such bestial violence," Dawn newspaper said in an editorial Monday. "However ultra-conservative the JUI-F's worldview, the party has chosen to contest power and operate within the parameters set by the Constitution of Pakistan." A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said the blast was "an attempt to weaken democracy". Rise in attacks Pakistan has seen a sharp rise in militant attacks since the Afghan Taliban surged back to power in neighboring Afghanistan in 2021. In January, a suicide bomber linked to Pakistan's Taliban blew himself up in a mosque inside a police compound in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing more than 80 officers. The militant assaults have been focused in regions abutting Afghanistan, and Islamabad alleges some are being planned on Afghan soil -- a charge Kabul denies. Analysts say militants in the former tribal areas have become emboldened since the return of the Afghan Taliban. The blast coincides with a visit to the country by a senior delegation of Chinese officials, including Vice Premier He Lifeng, who arrived in the capital Sunday evening. The post Islamic State claims responsibility for Pakistan blast that killed 54 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2023

‘5 in pastillas scam dismissed from BI’

A senior official of the Bureau of Immigration and four other officers convicted for involvement in the pastillas scheme have been dismissed from their posts after they lost their cases before the Court of Appeals, the BI said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 5th, 2023

Catholic school students say no to ROTC

More than half of Catholic school students expressed disapproval of the proposed revival of the mandatory Reserved Officers’ Training Corps or ROTC program in schools, according to a survey conducted by the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines. Published in the May 2023 issue of the CEAP Online Gazette, the study showed 53 percent of the 20,461 respondents said they disapprove of the mandatory ROTC program, 32 percent of which said they “strongly disagree.” CEAP said that among the said population of students who said no to mandatory ROTC, 54 percent said that bringing back the program ‘would be an added burden’ to them, while 42 percent of them also cited burden in expenses, saying that the program would bring additional costs. Some 34 percent of students who disapproved of the mandatory ROTC program also said that they have been “alarmed by the threat of violence and corruption.” Other cited issues include the program clashing with their religious beliefs, health and safety concerns and some personal opinions that it needed to be a voluntary measure in schools. The same study also noted 28 percent of the population sample expressed support for mandatory ROTC, with 68 percent of them citing the need for military training, physical activities, disaster preparedness skills and civic engagement through the program. Nearly 50 percent of them also said that the program would instill discipline, patriotism and nationalism, and would be helpful in compensating students. CEAP conducted the survey from 3 to 24 April of this year with 20,461 respondents, 65 percent of which are females, and 35 percent males, and 70 percent of whom are enrolled in senior high school and the remaining in higher education. The return of mandatory ROTC in schools has become a highly-disputed issue among the youth and academic sector, yet President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte, expressed their support for reinstating the program in schools. In legislation, mandatory ROTC, through a two-year National Citizens Service Training program, has been approved in the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to approve their version of the bill, with six bills on the measure currently pending. One thing to note is that the opinion polls on the issue have been different, with Pulse Asia’s March survey saying that eight in 10 Filipinos support ROTC, while the Social Weather Stations’ poll said that only 42 percent support the program as an optional measure. The post Catholic school students say no to ROTC appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 15th, 2023

CA confirms DFA envoys, 86 AFP officers

The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday confirmed the ad interim appointments of Henry Bensurto Jr. as Philippine ambassador to Turkiye, Raul Hernandez as ambassador to Oman, and Carlos Sorreta as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of Renato Villa as ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Paul Cortez as ambassador to Portugal, Josel Ignacio as ambassador to India, and Maria Angela Ponce as ambassador to Malaysia. During the plenary session, Bensurto, who was part of the country’s delegation to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS that gave the Philippines its landmark victory against China in 2016, was asked about the importance of the arbitral ruling. “I think it’s very important for us to tell the world what exactly was the ruling and it is very important for the international community to understand the legal and political implications of the ruling,” he said. “If I may be more specific on that, in the past, whereas more than 500,000 square kilometers of Philippine exclusive economic zone and another more than 500,000 square km of the continental shelf, that’s about a million square km of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone — most of this are now no longer disputed because of the ruling,” he added. He said: “What used to be a large disputed area is just now limited to something like 13,000 square km, 13,000 sq km out of a million sq km.”   Smooth deliberation The CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of 86 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the designation of former Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade Jr. as a colonel in the Philippine Air Force reserves. The deliberations by the bicameral CA Committee on National Defense were conducted smoothly as it did not even last an hour — with CA members including 2nd District Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria, BacoRep. Greg Gasataya, Sen. Nancy Binay, and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go manifesting full support for the promotion of the 86 AFP general and senior officers. During his manifestation, Go vouched for Tugade’s dedication to public service, saying it could be an asset to the military reserve forces. Tugade formally joined the Philippine Air Force Reserves as a lieutenant colonel in December 2017. Go also acknowledged the sacrifices and dedication of the AFP soldiers in providing service to the Filipinos on top of defending the country. Speaking at the CA plenary, Pangasinan Rep. Ramon Guico commended the newly confirmed AFP officials, particularly those soldiers adopted by the Pangasinan province. “I believe that they will act in the best interest of the country in line with the social and moral obligations expected of them,” Guico said. Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri noted that many of the newly promoted AFP officers had served in Mindanao and were instrumental in keeping a long period of peace in the region. “I thank you all for your service to our country, to our flag and nation,” he said, noting that these officers had faced “insurmountable odds” and always looking out for the interest of the country, sacrificing even their lives, above all. Before the CA adjourned its first regular session, Zubiri announced that the commission had confirmed 597 nominations and appointments, of which 452 were AFP officers. The post CA confirms DFA envoys, 86 AFP officers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 31st, 2023

PM Imran Khan’s arrest sparks clash, protest call

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was arrested Tuesday sparking a clash between his supporters and police, plus a call for protest. Khan was arrested during a court appearance in the capital Islamabad for one of dozens of cases pending since he was ousted from office last year. “Imran Khan has been arrested in the Qadir Trust case,” the official Islamabad police Twitter account said, referring to a graft case. Local TV stations showed chaotic scenes outside the court as hundreds of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party supporters clashed with security officers. Officials from PTI immediately made the call for protest against his arrest, which comes a day after the military warned him against making “baseless allegations” after he again accused a senior officer of plotting to kill him. At a weekend rally in Lahore, Khan repeated claims that a senior intelligence officer Major-General Faisal Naseer was involved in an assassination attempt last year during which he was shot in the leg. The military’s Inter-Services Public Relations wing said in a statement that “this fabricated and malicious allegation is extremely unfortunate, deplorable and unacceptable.” “This has been a consistent pattern for the last year wherein military and intelligence agencies officials are targeted with insinuations and sensational propaganda for the furtherance of political objectives,” it said. Pakistan’s government has said the assassination attempt was the work of a lone gunman, who is now in custody and who confessed in a video controversially leaked to media. Khan rejects those findings and insists authorities have refused to accept his attempts to file a so-called first information report with police identifying the real culprits. Khan repeated his allegations in a video statement released ahead of his court appearance Tuesday, saying that “there is no reason for me to fabricate the facts.” ISPR said it reserved the right to “take legal course of action against patently false and malafide statements and propaganda.” Khan faces dozens of charges that were brought against him since he was ousted — a tactic analysts say successive Pakistan governments have used to silence their opponents. Pakistan’s military, the world’s sixth largest, holds undue influence over the nation. It staged at least three coups since the country gained independence in 1947 and ruled for more than three decades. The post PM Imran Khan’s arrest sparks clash, protest call appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 10th, 2023

Maayos na pagpapatupad ng ROTC, hiling ng MOP

MANILA, Philippines – Hiniling ng Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP) na isulong ang maayos na pagpapatupad ng Manadatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at pagtutulungan ng pamahalaan upang makamit ang mabuting layuning ng hakbang. Ito ang mensahe ni MOP Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio sa posibilidad ng pagpapatupad ng Mandatory ROTC sa Senior High School […] The post Maayos na pagpapatupad ng ROTC, hiling ng MOP appeared first on REMATE ONLINE......»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2023

Russian spooks get EU ban

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — The EU and Britain imposed sanctions Thursday on senior Russian intelligence officers for their alleged role in hacking the computer network in the German parliament in 2015. The head of the GRU military intelligence agency, Igor Kostyukov, and intelligence officer Dmitri Badin have been banned from EU soil and are subject […] The post Russian spooks get EU ban appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2020

43 PhilHealth senior officials resign, retire from posts

CALOOCAN CITY, Oct. 11 (PIA) -- At least 43 senior officers of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) have resigned and retired from their positions amid allegations of a P15-billion co.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsOct 12th, 2020