Military & Police –
Customs-NAIA destroys 20 tons of unsafe forfeited goods

Customs officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on November 21, 2019, destroyed 20 tons of goods in Trece Martires, Cavite.

In a statement, Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan said the condemnation proceeding is part of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) efforts to decongest their storage facilities.

It is also in line with the directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to clear storage facilities of abandoned and illegally shipped items to better facilitate trade within the port.

She added that the goods were destroyed using the thermal decomposer (pyrolysis) facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc. (IWMI).

Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of substance and materials without any trace of molecular oxygen in the destruction chamber.

The activity was in coordination with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Optical Media Board (OMB) National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) and the Commission on Audit (COA).

The condemnation is in accordance with the provisions of Section 1145 (Disposition of Goods Injurious to Public Health) and 1148 (Disposition of Regulated Goods) of the Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)

Top photo: DESTROYED. Customs officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport destroyed 20 tons of forfeited goods in Trece Martires, Cavite on Thursday (Nov. 21, 2019). The goods were destroyed using the thermal decomposer (pyrolysis) facility of the Integrated Waste Management Inc. (IWMI). (Photo courtesy of BOC-NAIA)

Pinoys celebrate peaceful Holy Week

The traditional observance of this year’s Holy week has been generally peaceful, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

Except for the blast that occurred at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on Black Saturday, “the observance of Holy Week is generally peaceful,” PNP spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac said in a news article published by the Philippine News Agency.

Banac attributed the peaceful observance of Holy Week to the strict implementation of the “Oplan Ligtas Sumvac 2019”, the nationwide-coordinated police operations that aim to provide security during the Lenten season and summer vacation.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde earlier said the PNP has deployed 91,000 cops nationwide “for route security target hardening, and security operations in places of convergence and transportation hubs”.

“Deployment of personnel will focus now on terminals as activities and movement of the traveling public will be more in these areas,” Banac said.

Banac reiterated his appeal to travelers, including those using their own vehicles, to take extra precaution by observing traffic rules and speed limits to prevent vehicular accidents.

Banac also advised commuters to avoid wearing expensive jewelry and to look after their belongings and constantly check them.

DCPO director Col. Alexander Tagum said the cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

Col. Tagum urged the public not to speculate on the cause of the incident. “We can’t speculate on what was exploded because presently, a post-blast investigation is being conducted by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team led by Maj. Garcia of Police Regional Office (PRO) 11,” Tagum said.

South Korea to provide assistance in modernizing PH defense capability

One of the Philippines’ closest allies, South Korea, will help the country modernize its defense capability, particularly the acquisition of new helicopters and submarines.

This was confirmed by South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man in an exclusive interview over the weekend with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

“Korea is now looking to provide helicopters, small firearms and eventually submarines, since Korean military gear and arsenal are cost-effective and would contribute to enhancing the defense capability of the Philippines,” Han said.

The Philippines had bought a dozen of brand new FA-50 jetfighters from South Korea for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The FA-50s were extensively used during the Marawi siege last year, blasting away ISIS-linked Maute terror group that occupied the southern Philippine city for almost five months before they were crushed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

During the interview, Han said Korea is “very happy to be part of the modernization of the Philippine military by reinforcing the capability of the Air Force.”

“Even President Duterte and Defense Secretary Lorenzana were pleased with the Korean FA-50 fighter planes, which proved to be very effective in fighting terrorists in Marawi last year,” Han said.

“Korea will continue to be part of this modernization program by providing more military equipment,” he added.

Han thanked the Philippines anew for helping South Korea during the Korean War in 1950-1955, when the Philippines sent more than 7,000 combat troops that comprised the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK).

“Today’s Korea would not be enjoying peace, democracy, and economic prosperity without the great and noble sacrifice of the Filipino Korean War veterans,” Han pointed out.

“When I met former President Fidel V. Ramos, who is a Korean War veteran, I, on behalf of the Korean people and government, expressed my deep gratitude to all the Korean War veterans as deserve the title of a “hero,” he added.

Han also acknowledged that “after the Korean War, many Filipino engineers and technicians came to Korea to help (build) a gymnasium and government complex, adding that “Koreans cannot forget their contribution in the process of Korean development.”

AFP congratulates Col. Manny Pacquiao for victory

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joins the rest of the nation in celebrating the victory of Filipino boxing icon and Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao over Argentinian boxer Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Sunday.

“We, at the Armed Forces of the Philippines joins the whole nation in celebrating another victory by our Pambansang Kamao, Senator and Reserve Army Colonel Manny Pacquiao against Lucas Matthysse,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said in a message to reporters.

He added that Pacquiao’s latest victory, the 60th of the boxing champion’s long and illustrious career, demonstrated the Filipino’s natural trait of strength and courage.

“He also showed the world, how determined, disciplined and hardworking the Filipinos are; just like his comrades in the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Detoyato said.

The AFP official added that all Filipino soldiers are not only proud and inspired by the Pacman’s latest win but as well as the humility he manifested despite his triumphant win.

“The whole Armed Forces is all out in its support to our boxing champion. His discipline, dedication, and hard-work continue to inspire our soldiers to do the same in the exercise of their duties and the fulfillment of their mandates to our country,” Detoyato added.

Pacquiao won against Matthysse via technical knockout during the bout’s seventh round.

On Samar ‘misencoutner’: ‘Nobody wants it’ — Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said the “misencounter” between government troops and policemen in Samar, where six policemen were killed and nine others were wounded, was an event which nobody wanted to happen.

“Nobody wants it. That wasn’t intentionally done. Actually, what happens there is the Murphy’s Law. If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong, just like the misencounter,” President Duterte said.

The President said he wanted to visit the slain and wounded cops in Samar but did not give further details. “I want to go there. I want the Army to go with me,” he said.

The Philippine government will provide the necessary assistance to the families of the six slain policemen and the nine others, who were injured during the chance encounter.

“All victims, or those wounded in an encounter with government forces are being taken care of by the government,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said the government is still waiting for the results of the joint investigation being conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the incident.

On Monday morning, soldiers of the Army’s 87th Infantry Battalion “incidentally engaged” elements of the 1st Platoon, 805th Company, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 8 of the PNP as they were patrolling Sitio Lonoy, Barangay San Roque, Sta. Rita, Samar.

Rodrigo Duterte graces Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary

Assuring the Philippine Navy of the administration’s efforts to enhance their capability, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined the celebration of the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary held at the Coconut Palace, CCP Complex in Pasay City on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.

President Duterte, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines congratulated the Philippine Navy for its 120 years of “unwavering service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment” to defend shores, protect seas, and secure maritime borders.

Among the highlights of the anniversary celebration included the Navy’s capability demonstration on amphibious operations, counter-terrorism, and hostage crisis response by the Naval Special Operations Group and the Marines Special Operations Group.

Aside from showcasing the Navy’s capabilities, the event honored outstanding units, officers and enlisted personnel for serving with honor and excellence.

The President congratulated the Philippine Navy for its 120 years of unwavering service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to “defend our shores, protect our seas, and secure our maritime borders.”

“To the brave soldiers and marines of our Navy, you have made the Filipino people proud and continue to do so with gallantry in defending our sovereignty in our territorial waters, particularly in the West Philippine Sea,” President Duterte said.

President Duterte also recognized the efforts of the men and women of the Navy and Marines in the liberation of Marawi.

“It was only last year when we celebrated the Philippine Navy’s anniversary during the Marawi Siege. Then, we honored the heroic efforts of the men and women of the Navy and Marines in the liberation of Marawi. Today, we once again honor them as we make significant progress in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of that city,” President Duterte said.

The President also recognized the Navy’s accomplishments and contributions in humanitarian assistance, maritime law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and disaster relief operations.

“These noble endeavors have made our kababayans feel safer in challenging circumstances,” President Duterte said.

President Duterte also expressed confidence that together with the AFP, the country can realize its aspiration of building a strong and resilient nation.

President Duterte reiterated that he cannot afford to go to war at this time and cannot go into a battle which he cannot win, noting that it would only result in the destruction and probably a lot of losses for the Armed Forces.

“It has something to do with my desire to defend but at the same time not to make any move that would be destructive to the nation,” he said.

“Ako gusto ko, I really want to do something to assert. But you know, when I assumed the presidency, there was already this ruckus in the West Philippine Sea. It used to be China Sea,” President Duterte said.

AFP: Southern Command remains strong support to gov’t

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday denied a “Messenger” post which claimed that soldiers from “Southern Command” are allegedly withdrawing support to the national government.

“A ‘Messenger’ post purportedly from the soldiers of the “Southern Command” allegedly withdrawing support to government and President Rodrigo R. Duterte and encouraging other AFP units to follow suit is now circulating in social media,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

“Few people sent it to me to determine its veracity. That is a fake statement. It did not come from the military,” he said.

He also clarified that there is no “Southern Command” of the AFP, saying that the post is the handiwork of individuals who intend to sow discord and discredit the military as a professional organization.

Arevalo also assured the public that the AFP will be “united and steadfast” amid such disinformation.

“Your AFP shall and will remain united and steadfast following duly constituted authority and under the Chain-of-Command with the President and Commander-in-Chief on top of the hierarchy,” Arevalo said.

New AFP Chief to intensify fight vs. terrorism

The new Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff has vowed to protect Filipinos against looming threats from terrorists.

“As I assume command of the Armed Forces, I now address my fellow officers, the men, women and civilian employees of the AFP,” said Western Mindanao Command head Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez.

“Our Commander-in-Chief has directed us to defend the Filipino people from all enemies of peace and democracy. With your unwavering support, [I] intend to carry this order to the best of my abilities,” he added.

Galvez also noted he would seek for a reconciliation with “misguided Filipino brothers and sisters” and help them realize peace with the government.

“It is the time to rebuild and reconcile with our Filipino brothers and sisters. We must now walk the path of peace. I now extend to our misguided brothers and sisters a chance to end all conflict. Hundreds of our comrades have already [stacked] arms and abandoned your hopeless cause and they have seen by themselves that our government is a just and fair government,” he said.

Recalling the five-month battle in Marawi City, Galvez stressed the military will strengthen its force to defend the public from terrorism.

“We have won many battles but we have yet to win the war. Violent extremists and their corrupted ideology remain a threat, too much [blood] has been spilled, too many lives have been lost to terror and hate,” he said.

The new AFP chief also called for unity among Filipinos.

“Hence we shall support all peace initiatives of the government, we shall more vigorously work hand in hand with government agencies, non-government organizations and other stakeholders to address the underlying cause of conflict. We shall keep our door open with all peaceful possibilities,” Galvez said.

“Toward this end I enjoin all peace loving Filipinos most especially our Muslim brothers and sisters to stand with us in the fight against all forms of violent extremism. We will pursue with even more vigor our campaign to end insurgency and terrorism which with your help we will definitely win,” he added.

PNP urges youth to stay away from illegal drugs

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has urged the Filipino youth to not engage themselves to drugs and just choose to be active in sports, music and other recreational activities this summer season.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the PNP, called on the attention of children and young adults to stay away from illegal drugs, as he led the opening ceremony of the 2018 Summer Sports Training and Recreational Program at the PNP Gymnasium.

This summer activity, Dela Rosa noted, seeks to promote the overall development of uniformed, non-uniformed personnel and their dependents by ensuring their total well-being, health and fitness.

“Ang tao na nag-eengage sa sports is after his health and talagang mapapaiwas ka sa droga dahil dito. It will boost your personality and you will feel confident dahil sa ma-e-experience niyong training,” Dela Rosa said.

“I hope you enjoy while you learn and learn while you enjoy in this program,” he added.

This year’s theme is “Sports at Musika Handog ng Kapulisan Upang Droga ay Maiwasan,” which offers training on 15 different sports namely aikido, arnis, badminton, dance sports, basketball, boxing, chess, judo, karatedo, muay thai, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and even swimming for persons with disability (PWD).

Chief Supt. Philip Gil Philipps, PNP-HSS director, said around 1,100 participants have already registered for the program.

He also noted that even outsiders are welcome to participate.

“We are open kahit ‘di dependent ng PNP, kahit purely outsider. This program is for free, walang bayad,” Philipps said.