Sunday, December 13, 2009

RP, Indonesia tackle border dispute in gab

By: CARLO P. MALLO, Reporter

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 10, 2009.

DEFINING the border of the Philippines and Indonesia is one of issues discussed during the 28th Vice Chairman's Conference of the Philippines-Indonesia Border Committee conducted in Manado , Indonesia last week.

The Philippines and Indonesia are now working together to draw up a clearer definition of the border between the two countries to prevent the overlapping of territorial areas.

"We hope to be able to resolve a few issues in this meeting. And one of them is the definition of mutually agreed coordinated border patrol area between the two countries. We want to have a clearer definition of our border area," said Commodore Ediberto Suria, chief of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) who headed the Philippine delegation during the conference.

The Naval Force chief said there is a strong need to revise the area of coordinated patrol operation because of the changes brought about by the new baseline laws of both countries that were separately passed recently.

He said the coordinated patrol between Indonesia and the Philippines has actually identified certain existing areas but these have to be revised to define a common maritime border patrol area with respect to the new baseline laws.

"There is a need to identify new coordinates for the common maritime border patrol areas to meet the challenging demands of addressing various perceived and possible threats between the two countries," Suria said.

The need to define an agreed median line in the border area has to be mutually agreed upon by both Indonesia and the Philippines .

"Once it will be defined, it will now determine where we can conduct combined or coordinated patrols. Right now, without that median line, we just look at which areas can become the border areas," the NFEM chief said..

At present, the Philippines and Indonesia have three border patrol stations and are currently actively working on ushering business opportunities for the two countries in Mindanao and East Indonesia .

"What we are trying to do here is to as much as possible come up with a formal trade route that would enhance cross-border trading and travel between the two areas. Those passing through the route that we establish would be protected by authorities especially since they also pay the correct tariffs and duties," Suria added. (CPM)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Navy rescues 20 fishermen off Palawan

By; Bong Garcia Jr/Correspondent

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Navy rescued 20 fishermen drifting off Palawan on Monday. Four others are still missing.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said the fishermen were rescued at about 1 p.m. on Monday about 10 nautical miles off Sinamahan Reef, Palawan.

Arevalo said the fishermen, who are all from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, were traveling to Sinamahan Reef aboard FB John Paul when their boat capsized after it was battered by big waves spawned by Tropical Storm Ondoy.

He said Navy personnel aboard ML Super Nashville who were at the time conducting routine maritime patrol immediately acted on reports of the incident and rescued the 20 fishermen 10 nautical miles off Sinamahan Reef.

Arevalo said the Navy tried to sustain the search-and-rescue operations but failed to find the other four owing to deteriorating weather condition.

Rescued were Armando Wagwag, 57, owner of the FB John Paul and boat master; Micheal Conversion, 40; Romulo Wagwag, 25; Gomercindo Tanyo, 24; Charlito Celiona, 51; Eric Macaraya, 37; Renato Degrano, 18; Roman Tanyo, 31; Raymund Duallo, 26; Reymundo Duallo, 50; Micheal Duallo, 30; Edgar Lambuon, 18; Saturnino Unok, 36; Rolando Amorin, 32; Diosephos Degrano, 20; Martin Segurino, 51; Isagani Flores, 36; Reymundo Balasi, 36; Juanito Paquhibot, 39; and Charlito Wagwag, 35.

Arevalo said the rescued fishermen were taken to Balabac town, where they were transferred to BRP Juan Magluyan (PG-392) and transported to Puerto Princesa City for medical treatment.

Arevalo said the Naval Forces West commander, Commo. Orwen Cortez, has dispatched all available assets to conduct search and rescue for the remaining four missing fishermen.

Still missing are Romulo Manahay, 31; Roque Legaspi, 32; Federico Amit Jr., 28; and German Gonzales, 30.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Navy brings life to Batanes

The Philippine STAR Wednesday, 23 September 2009

By: Jack CastaƱo

BASCO, Batanes - Life in this northernmost province of
the country is returning to normalcy, following the arrival of
a Philippine Navy mine sweeper frigate on Sunday to
deliver emergency fuel to run the National Power Corp. generators.

The islanders have been without electric fuel since
Sept. 4. To solve the problem, the Napocor initially reduced
its operating hours to 16, from 12 midnight to 8 a.m. for the
whole Batan island.

In the island-municipalities of Sabtang and Itbayat,
power was reduced to 12 hours.

On Sept. 13, electric power was further reduced to 12
hours in the mainland and six hours in Sabtang and Itbayat.

In as much as the Napocor could not get a ship large
enough to bring a year's supply of diesel fuel, the mission
was given to the Philippine Navy.

However, for lack of a logistics ship, the Navy had to pullout
Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas Quezon (PS70) from the
operation area in Southern Philippines to bring immediately

Early Sunday morning PS70, under the command of
one Commodore Quines, steamed to port with 60,000 liters
of Napocor fuel. The fuel is expected to last for at least
24 days at the reduced operating hours of 16 hours a day.

In a speech Monday afternoon in Mahatao town, where
the Navy conducted a medical-dental-civic program, Naval
Forces Northern Philippines Chief, Commodore Jose
Alano said, their quick response was the result of the
coordination of three offices.

"Gov. Telesforo Castillejos has a standing invitation to the
Navy to conduct maritime patrol in the sea frontier of the
province and to conduct civil military operations," Alano
told his audience.

"The governor's request was delayed because of the operational
commitments of the Navy vessels in Mindanao,"
he said.

"When Rep. Carlo Diasnes' request came last week, Admiral
Ferdinand Golez, Navy chief, immediately informed
me to get ready for the joint mission in response to the requests
of Gov. Castillejos, Rep. Diasnes and that of our unit,"
Alano said.

The Civil-military group of the NFNL attended to at least
120 medical and dental patients and painted the home
economics building of the Mahatao Elementary School.

The Naval personnel also distributed 220 liters of regular
gasoline to local residents who own a motor vehicle.

Moreover, the MV Transend, a 700 ton-commercial ship
docked Monday afternoon at the Basco pier to unload much
needed supplies.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Navy, PAF: Gallantry amid disaster

Manila Bulletin, Sunday, 13 September 2009

By: Dexter A See

The Armed Forces' naval and air force assets and personnel once again
proved their genuine humanism as they displayed amazing gallantry amid
disaster when they braved the perilous seas to save lives following the sinking
of SuperFerry 9 off Sibuco Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and M/V Hera
in Eastern Samar.

Responding to a distress call, the men and women of the Navy and
the Philippine Air Force (PAF) faced danger and demonstrated the true
meaning of soldiery as they worked day and night, scouring the seas in search
of survivors.

This selfless act of the military only attests to what President Arroyo once
said when she gave recognition to the bravery of soldiers, that "the uniform
is not only a symbol of vigilance but a symbol of caring and sharing in a world
of calamity and strife."


OnThursday, the Navy bestowed the "Distinguished Navy Cross" award to
Gunnersmate 3rd Class Anifer Bucao and Fireman 1st Class Aviation Mechanic
Oliver Cogo, for distinguished heroism while serving as sea marshals
onboard the ill-fated SuperFerry 9.

Cogo, 33, was reportedly the last person to jump off the sinking ship.
Disregarding his own safety, Cogo did not leave the ship until he was sure
there was no one else left on board the vessel.

Based on his narration, among those he was able to help safely disembark
were 15 children, the last of whom was a special child whom he recalled
was even punching him then. Cogo and Bucao, 35,were presented to the media
by Navy Flag Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, who
pinned their medals.

An order signed by Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue, Chief of Naval Staff,
stated, "Upon hearing the ship master's command to abandon ship, Bucao
and Cogo disregarded personal safety and voluntarily remained on board to
provide aid and comfort to disoriented passengers."

Throughout the incident, Bucao and Cogo demonstrated remarkable gallantry
and sound judgment by giving clear "abandon ship" instructions to
passengers and personally led them to disembarkation stations.

Bucao and Cogo helped distribute lifejackets while trying to calm down
the passengers by telling them that rescue is on its way. Bucao admitted
fearing for his own life but still managed to maintain presence of mind.
He said he decided to jump off the sinking vessel only after making sure
that there was no one else left in his sector.

Cogo said, "Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon dahil binigyan niya ako ng
lakas ng loob," he narrated.
"Nakita ko nakahawak na ang mga tao sa railings, ang mga bata nag-iiyakan
na so as a sea marshal I checked the lifejackets of all passengers. There
were almost 300 passengers on my side."

The abandon ship order was announced by the captain at about 3:35
a.m. but it was already around 8:00 a.m. when Cogo jumped off the ship.
As he jumped into the sea, Cogo said he noticed a man having difficulty with
his lifejacket so he decided to throw his lifejacket to the man, thinking that he
can handle the situation better than the civilian because of his training.
Without any lifesupport, Cogoswam as fast as he could, away from the sinking
SuperFerry 9 until he reached one of the navy vessels that responded to the
distress call.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said Naval Forces Western
Mindanao Commander Rear Admiral Alexander Pama dispatched as early as
4:40a.m. on that fateful day two Patrol Gunboats - PG 116 under Commander
Carlos Sabarre and PG117 under LCdr Teofilo Pulmano - to respond to a distress
call from the SuperFerry 9.

Navy personnel rescued a total of 444 survivors, including the Captain of
the ship, and recovered four out of the ten fatalities during the entire rescue
and recovery operations.


With the advent of modernization, the very war machines that used to
conquer territories and punish the belligerent were given new tasks - to
save lives.

This was proven anew by the Philippine Air Force in the typhoon-swept
seas of Eastern Samar where the treacherous waters of the Pacific
Ocean and the Eastern Philippine Sea battered a Panamanian registered cargo
vessel, M/V Hera, manned by four Korean nationals and 15 Filipinos.

The vessel sunk off the coast of Eastern Samar around 6 p.m. on the
same day that tragedy hit the SuperFerry 9.

Two hours past midnight following the sinking, Lt. Col Romeo Jerome
Dirilo Jr., the deputy commander of Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations
Group based in Tacloban City, was informed by the commander of
AFP Central Command based in Cebu to prepare for an early morning search
and rescue operation.

At 5:40 a.m. the PAF's 2nd Air Division based in Mactan sent two UH-IH
- the trusted workhorse of most armies all over the world - with a rescue team
from the 505th Search and Rescue Group on board, to the headquarters
of the Philippine Army's 14th Infantry Battalion in Oras, Eastern Samar,
which was the military's nearest outpost in the scene of the sinking.

Hueys number 516 and 514,piloted by Captain Arvin Zara and Captain
Almer Augustine Irineo, respectively, were joined by UH-IH number 225
and 276 piloted by Captain Cherrylane Laforteza and Captain Celito Balico,

The gutsy lady pilot and her wingman, who were based in Tacloban,
took off at exactly 6:27 a.m. amidst inclement weather. They were initially
set to conduct resupply mission that day to support ground troopers of the
Army's 803rd Infantry Brigade but were instead directed to support the
search and rescue operation.

It was a case of what to prioritize for the Tacloban based helicopters - to
save lives or to deliver the supplies of the troops. At the 14IB base, they were
informed that the 19 survivors of M/V Hera were already onboard a lifeboat
and are being towed by a responding fishing vessel towards Oras, Eastern
Samar. With the seafarers now in safe hands, the lady pilot and her wingman
proceeded to the 803rd Infantry Brigade in Catarman. A few minutes later,
her Cebu compatriots arrived.

Soon after delivering the goods, the Tacloban-based Hueys returned
to Oras to join the Cebu contingent in airlifting the survivors to Cebu upon
the request of the owners of the sunken vessel.

Twelve hours of flight amidst inclement weather and 10 sorties that
rescued 4 Korean and 15 Filipino seafarers were performed without
any untoward incident - a testament to the readiness of Air Force units in
performing life-sensitive missions that has become their way of life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Navy cites two sea marshals for saving lives

Malaya, Friday, 11 September 2009

By: Victor Reyes

Two Navy personnel who were among four sea marshals in the Super-
Ferry 9 which sank Sunday off Siocon town in Zamboanga del Norte were
recognized yesterday by the Navy for acting "beyond the call of duty."

Gunnersmate Third Class Anifer Bucao and Fireman First Class
Aviation Mechanic Oliver Cogo received the Distinguished Navy Cross
from Navy chief Yice Adm. Ferdinand Golez at the Navy headquarters.

The Distinguished Navy Cross is the third highest decoration for
Navv personnel, after the Distinguished Conduct Star and the highest,
the Medal of Valor. It is the counterpart of the Gold Cross medal
which is awarded to soldiers engaged in combat.

"They helped a great number of passengers, rescued them and without
their efforts I'm sure, there could have been more casualties," said
Golez in citing the two personnel.

Authorities have been deploying sea marshals in commercial vessels
since the February 2004 sinking of the Super Ferry 14 off Manila Bay after
it caught fire. Investigations showed an explosive device planted by the
Abu Sayyaf caused the sinking. The attack left at least 120 people dead.

The marshals are tasked mainly to secure the vessels and thwart
possible terror attacks.

Aside from Bucao and Cogo, the two other marshals were from the
PNP and Coast Guard.

The SuperFerry 9, which was carrying at 969 passengers and crew,
listed for hours before it sank. Ten passengers died.

Bucao, who was positioned at the sun deck, said the passengers panicked
when the ship listed and the captain issued an order to abandon
ship around 3 a.m.

He said the vessel sank around 9 a.m. after all the passengers and
crew had disembarked.

He said many of the passengers were in panic and crying. "We tried
to calm them by informing them that rescuers are coming," he said.
A male passenger some distance away from him jumped off the ship,
he said. The man's head hit the ship's hull, resulting in his death.

He said he abandoned ship after seeing his area clear of passengers.

"I jumped because the ship is already in danger. It's no longer advisable
to stay there," he said.

Bucao said he did not hear any explosion or fire that occurred prior
to the listing, down playing possibility that it could have been caused
by a terrorist attack.

Initial reports indicated a hole in the hull caused the sinking. There
were also reports that the generator set of the vessel went on and off
before the vessel listed.

Cogo said he was stationed at the middle part of the ship, particularly
the billeting area. He said the passengers gathered at the portside or
left side of the ship as it listed starboard side or the right side.

He said while he was checking if the passengers were already wearing
life vests, he was telling them not to give up.

"I told them we'll be staying together and I won't leave them," he
said. Cogo said the since it was not possible to jump from the portside,
he taught the passengers how to slide starboard where a Navy ship was
already waiting to rescue them. The ship had listed about 50 degrees
from the initial 35 degrees.

Cogo also said he fetched at least 15 children from the portside and
brought them to the right side of the vessel.

The last child he fetched, Cogo said, was a special child who punched
him. He said three crewmembers and a Canadian helped him.

Cogo also said he gave his life vest to one passenger he saw having
trouble with his life vest.

Cogo said after the passengers had disemharked, Cogo said he double
checked the cabins to make sure there were no passengers left.

When it was already clear, he said he and his companions also left
the ship. He said they used a firehouse to rappel from the portside
because the vessel had already listed 90 degree,. Cogo said he was the
last to abandon ship.

The passengers were later picked up by ships fWI11 the Navy, Coast
Guard and other vessels that responded to the distress call.

2 sea marshals cited for SuperFerry rescue

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Friday, 11 September 2009

By:Jocelyn R Uy

Navy (PN) received one of the highest
awards the command can bestow for "gallantry"
and "sound judgment" during the
rescue of passengers of SuperFerry 9 which
sank over the weekend.

Gunnersmate 3rd dass Anifer Bucao and
Fireman 1st Class Aviation Mechanic Oliver Cogo
yesterday received the Distinguished Navy Cross
in rites at PN headquarters in Manila.

As a counterterrorism measure, the Navy
started deploying sea marshals on interisland
passenger and cargo ships following
the bombing of SuperFerry 14 in 2004.

The Navy credited its swift response to the
tragedy to an early morning "Alay Lakad"
walk the Armed Forces of the Philippines
had scheduled before dawn on Sunday.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Ferdinand Golez
said most of his force was up by 3 a.m.

"It was good fortune that we had a very early
morning activity that day...we got word immediately
and relayed instructions to operating
forces in that part of the country,so the rescue
happened in the quickest possible time," Golez
told reporters at the rites.

Twelve people died in the panic and
scramble for exits as SuperFerry 9 listed to
its starboard side off Sibuco Point in Zamboanga
del Norte, at about the same time
that naval personnel were waking up in
Metro Manila.

More than 900 people were saved and
everyone has been accounted for, including
the 12 fatalities.

Bucao said he got scared when passengers
started panicking and jumping from
the ship.

"I was also afraid, of course. But I made
sure to keep my presence of mind," he said.

Cogo said calming down and assuring
the passengers that rescuers were on the
way helped them exit the ship in an orderly

He said he tied rope to the port side railing
for people to hold onto as they slid on
the deck down to the starboard side.

When he saw a man struggling in the sea
with a life vest, he threw him his own vest
and ring, Cogo said.

Cogo and Bucao were among the last to
abandon ship as they went through the vessel
one last time to make sure no one had
been left behind.

"They disregarded personal safety and
voluntarily remained on board to provide
aid and comfort to disoriented passengers,"
Acting Naval Adjutant Commander Gerardo
Ebro read from the commendation.

Ebro said they demonstrated "remarkable
gallantry" and "sound judgment" by
giving passengers clear instructions on how
to safely abandon the ship and personally
led them to the exits.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Navy public affairs takes a big shift

The Philippine Star Tuesday, 01 Sep 09

The Philippine Navy convened its
first Public Affairs symposium on Aug.
26,2009 at the First Villa Cristina Hotel
in Antipolo City. The Fleet Marine
Ready Force Commander, Capt. Miguel Jose Rodriguez
Philippine Navy, graced the opening ceremony
as guest of honor.

The activity was organized by the
Naval Public Affairs Office headed by
LCol Edgard Arevalo Philippine Navy
(Marines). The spokesperson of the
Philippine Navy believes that bringing
together all public affairs officers from
the different line units of the Navy will
synchronize the overall plan for effective
public information and community

Specifically, the activity aims to enhance
the writing, verbal communication,
TV and radio appearances and
guestings and crisis management skills
among the participants. In between the
lectures, a series of team-building activities,
fun games and brainstormingwere injected
to build rapport and camaraderie
among the participants.

In recent events, it was found out
that the military public information
process has to be improved in order
that the flow of accurate information
from first-hand sources, particularly
from the lowest level of the hierarchy,
should reach the media recipient on

The first lecture was given by Charie
Villa, the news gathering head of the
ANC Channel, focusing on effective
public relations writing for broadcast
media. Villa shared tips on prepaTing
for TV and radio appearances; avoiding
off-the record statements and managing
ambush interviews and hypothetical

The second day highlighted print
media with Marichu Villanueva, editor/columnist
of the Philippine STAR,as the guest lecturer.
She discussed the basics of press release
writings that will help the participants make
effective press releases.

Several media personalities and resource
persons were also invited to discuss
combat photography and radio
guestings for the remaining topics before
the three-day symposium in-house
activity culminated on Aug. 28, 2009
with the Flag Officer In Command of
the Philippine Navy, Vice Admiral Ferdinand
Golez AFP,as the guest of honor
and keynote speaker.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tree planting sa Navotas

Tonight, Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pinangunahan ni John Rey Tiangco
ang tree planting
project na isinagawa
kamakailan sa kahabaan
ng R-lO Road sa
Lungsod ng Navotas.
Ang nasabing
proyekto ay sa pakikipagtulungan
Barangay Council
ng North Bay Boulevard
North (NBBN),
Philippine Navy at
ng 202nd Naval Reserve Squadron.
Layunin ng nasabing
proyekto na gawing luntian
at kaiga-igaya ang
kahabaan ng mahigit
isang kilometrong R-10
Road na sumasakop sa
tatlong barangay sa
Navotas. Kasabay nito
ang pag-enganyo sa mga
NavoteƱo lalo na sa mga
kabataan na pahalagahan
at alagaan ang Inang
Si John Rey, leutenant Commander ng
202nd Naval Reserve
Squadron, ay regular
na katuwang ng iba't
ibang sektor sa Navotas
na nagsusulong ng Cleanliness, .Beautification
at Environmental
programs tulad
ng wall painting and
graffiti projects upang
panatiliin ang pagkakakilala
sa Navotas
bilang NCR's cleanest
and greenest.

2 Korean Navy ships arrive today

Manila Bulletin, Monday, 24 August 2009
By: Elena Aben

Two South Korean Navy vessels--
a destroyer and a logistics ship -- will
arrive in Manila today for a four-day
goodwill visit, the Philippine Navy
announced yesterday.
Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said arriving in Manila
today are the Choi Young, a Korean
destroyer commanded by Capt. Hur
Chul, and Dae Cheong, a logistics ship
commanded by Capt. Song Taek.

The South Korean naval contingent
is headed by Task Group Commander,
Rear Admiral Kim Dong Kyun. The ships have a complement
of 68 officers, 122 midshipmen, 434
enlisted men and five civilians.
Arevalo said the ships will be arriving
between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. at
Pier 13. South Harbor, Manila. Upon
their arrival. BRP Apolinario Mabini
of the Philippine Navy will conduct
meeting procedures off Corregidor
island and escort them to Pier 13.

The four-day goodwill visit of the
two Korean ships will then start with a scheduled 10-minute press conference,
followed by a call on Navy
Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Adm.
Ferdinand Golez.

Arevalo said the Korean visitors
will also make a courtesy call on
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and the
Manila Police District (MPD) chief.
Arevalo said both the Korean and
Philippine navies are hosting receptions,
a ship tour, and other activities
during the visit.

Balabac residents return

Manila Bulletin, Sunday, 23 August 2009
By: Elena Aben

Some 1,500 residents of Balabac
Island in Palawan who fled their
village following a siege staged by
renegade Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF) members have
returned to their homes, the Armed
Forces said on Friday.
Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo, said as of 1:00 p.m. Friday,
the residents, numbering about 1,500
have been returned to their normal
lives following the successful fleet-marine
operations that ended the
atrocities committed by the renegade
MNLF group. 10 renegade MNLF
members were killed in the process.
In a report sent by Naval Forces
West commander, Commodore Orwen
Cortez to Philippine Navy Flag
Officer-in-Command (FOIC), Vice
Admiral Ferdinand Golez, he said
"the jubilant residents started heading
to their homes this morning and
returned to their normal lives."
Cortez, Marine Battalion Landing
Team 8 (MBLT8) commanding officer,
Lt. Col. Yuri Pesigan; Western
Command commanding officer, Maj.
Gen. Hernane Perez; and Palawan
Provincial director, P/Senior Supt.
Aurelio Trampe visited the town folk
who thanked the AFP and the PNP
for coming to their aid.
Arevalo said a company-size
Marine team from 38th Marine
Company established their post as a
stay-behind force to ensure that the
situation shall continue to remain
"We feel elated by the people's
display of gratitude even as we continue
to be haunted by accusations
as to how the fleet-marine operations
were conducted in support of
the local PNP of Mantangule island,"
Arevalo said.
"But the Navy will remain steadfast
in its commitment to be our
people's partner in peace, progress,
and prosperity," he added.
AFP public affairs office chief, Lt.
Col.Romeo Brawner, Jr., meanwhile,
said the security of the area was left
to the local police, who shall continue
to secure the place to prevent another
attack by the rebels.
Brawner also assured the people
that government forces from the
Western Command are prepared to
respond in case the need arises.

Marines sent to keep watch on island

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Jocelyn Uy

hundred Marines to Matangule Island, Balabac to
keep the peace following the killing of 10 members
of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in a
clash with government soldiers there.

Lt.Col Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesperson, said the roughly 1,500 residents that fled their homes have already returned to their communities following the clash between government soldiers and MNLF members on the island.
At least 30 MNLF members, led by Guru Abdullah Abdurajak, seized the island over the weekend and took several residents hostage to extort money, according to military officials.
Government soldiers launched an attack on the group when it failed to surrender by sundown Tuesday.
Soldiers from the 38th Marine Company yesterday established their presence to ensure the safety of the islet, Arevalo said in a text message yesterday.

People's Support
"We feel elated by the people's display of gratitude even as we continue to be haunted by accusation as to how the operations were conducted in support of the local police," he said.
"But the Navy will remain steadfast in its commitment to be our people's partner in peace, progress and prosperity," he added.
Nur Misuari, chair of a faction of the MNLF, was outraged at the military assault, describing it as "Corregidor Island massacre".
Ten MNLF members fell in gunfights with government troops on Wednesday that lasted for about a day. Of the fatalities, three bodies got lost in the sea as the armed men shot it out with Navy Seals and Marines while trying to escape from the island in a pump boat.
The Armed Forces urged Misuari to help instead in the arrest warrants.

The military's Western Command said the gunmen looted homes and small establishements prior to fleeing.
Western Command Deputy Commander Bernard Ferrer said the military received complaints from returning residents about the looting.
Ferrer said police are preparing to file charges against the MNLF men.
"They...took advantage of the situation after the inhabitants fled," said Ferrer.
Authorities said they were still interviewing the residents to estimate the property damage caused by the assault on the islet by the group of MNLF leader Guru Abdullah Abdurajak.

Militia role
Western Command Chief Hernani Perez visited Matangule island on Friday with various commanders of the region's armed services.
Perez ordered the continued deployment of Marines to help at least 20 policemen who were deployed to Matangule to train a group of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) that authorities said will maintain peace and order on the island.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RP, US join Zambo sea exercises

Manila Bulletin, Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Elena Aben

The Exercise Southeast Asia Cooperation
Against Terrorism (SEACAT)
2009 concluded on Thursday in General
Santos City after participating assets
from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao
(NFEM) have completed the series
of activities that began last Monday
in the waters off Zamboanga.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said Naval Forces Western
Mindanao (NFWM) and NFEM dispatched
patrol gunboats, patrol ships,
and Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) teams to engage the United
States Navy Ship (USNS) Safeguard
in scenarios such as the Maritime
Interdiction Operation (MIO)and Visit
Board Search and Seizure (VBSS).
"These activities focused on information
exchange, coordinated surveillance
operations, locating, tracking,
and intercepting of enemies that allow
the participating naval forces to employ
appropriate measures in dealing with
pirates and other lawless elements at
sea during real-life situations," Arevalo
Also dispatched was the Philippine
Navy Islander aircraft that conducted
maritime air patrol/reconnaissance in
support of the floating assets, Arevalo
Coast Watch Station-Zamboanga
was also utilized during the exercise
in monitoring the movement of USNS
Safeguard - the designated target vessel
during the MIO and VBSS.
The USNS Safeguard sets sail to
Singapore for the closing ceremonies
the other day.
"By undertaking the exercise, participating
naval forces are exposed to
techniques useful to combat maritime
threats and fight lawless elements
operating in the high seas. The exercise
also enhances the naval forces'
cooperation." Arevalo said.

US warship stopped off Mindanao

Philippine Star, Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Jaime Laude

Philippine Navy gunboats stopped a
US warship off the coast of Mindanao
and Navy commandos went on board as
part of regional war games with the US
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said commandos from Naval
Forces Eastern Mindanao and Naval
Force Western Mindanao boarded the
USNS Safeguard during a drill concluding
the weeklong regional naval anti-terror
exercise dubbed SEACAT (Southeast
Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism).
SEACAT involved a series of activities
that started Monday in waters off the
Zamboanga Peninsula.
The militalry exercise called for the deployment
of Navy gunboats, patrol ships,
and Naval Special Operations commandos to engage the Safeguard as part of
Maritime Interdiction Operation and Visit
Board Search and Seizure.
"These activities focused on information
exchange, coordinated surveillance
operations, locating, tracking, and intercepting
of enemies that allow the participating navies to employ appropriate
measures in dealing with pirates and other
lawless elements at sea during real-life
situations," Arevalo said.
A Philippine Navy reconnaissance
plane monitored the Safeguard's movement
in Mindanao waters.
Following the conclusion of the exercise
in General Santos City the other day,
the Safeguard sailed to Singapore for the
closing ceremony of the regional sea drill.
"By undertaking the exercise, participating navies exposed to techniques
useful to combat maritime threats and
fight lawless elements operating in the
high seas," Arevalo said.

300 unemployed college graduates join Marines

Manila Bulletin Saturday, 22 August 2009
By: Tony Rimando & Vic Arevalo

find employment for the past several
years prompted some 300 local college
graduates from the Zamboanga
Peninsula and Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to join
the Philippine Marines, completely
ignoring the high risk in the life of
soldiers who suffered 23 casualties
during a recent armed clashes with
members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in
nearby Basilan.
Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commanding
general of the Philippine
Marines (PM), said the 300 local
recruits were among the 1,200 soldiers
the Marines intends to recruit
nationwide this year, where close to
850 of them or 70 percent have been
enlisted as of the end of July after
passing the necessary physical and
neuro examinations.
The new local recruits - 23 of
them females - took their oath early
this week before Sabban at the Naval Forces Headquarters at the Western
Mindanao Command (Westmincom)
They are scheduled to report to
Ternate, Cavite to undergo a six month
rigorous training.
According to Sabban, this year's
biggest number of qualified applicants
came from the Western Mindanao
provinces ofZamboanga del Sur;
Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga
Sibugay and Zamboanga City,and the
ARMM provinces of Basilan, Tawi-
Tawi and Sulu.
Sabban said a part of the new recruits'
six-month training period will
be conducted right here in Western
Mindanao where, he said, most of
them will later be deployed.
The newly recruited soldiers said
they enlisted in the Marines not only
to help the government pursue its
peace and order drive but also because
of financial difficulty owing to
their failure to find jobs after finishing
their college education, many of them
graduates of Bachelor of Science in
Criminology, several years ago.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This military group saves taxpayers money

Tuesday, November 18, 2008, PDI, pageA3
By: Jocelyn R. Uy

by colleagues in the armed services, a group of
naval; officers with an eye for detail an a
reputations for grit is prudently weeding out
beneficiaries from the long list of military
pensioners who no longer deserve to be there.
In the first three months of the year alone,
the Armed Forces of the Philippines was able
to save over P120 million in taxpayer money
after some 4,100 beneficiaries were removed from
the pension rolls.
At the same time, legitimate pensioners
have started receiving their monthly
payments on time, a sign the government may be
slowly making a dent on its backlong of
pension arrears totaling P14.5 billion since 2000.
All this is thanks to the Philippine Navy's
Capt. Cornelio de la Cruz Jr., Lt. Commander
Brendo Casaclang, Commander Antonio Cantoria
and Lt. Maynard Cabungkal, the core group from
the AFP Finance Center that introduced the
plan in November last year that is effectively
cleansing the military pension rolls.
For the achievement, all four were accorded
the Outstanding Achievement Medal by the
Department of National Defense at Camp
Aguinaldo during the DND's 69th founding anniversary
last week.
"A pension is taxpayer money so we have
to do our part in making sure it ends up with
the rightful beneficiaries. This is the
hard-earned money of our soldiers too," said
De La Cruz, chief of the AFP Finance Center, in an
interview with the INQUIRER.
The pensions range from P4,800 to more
than P31,000 a month, depending on one's rank.
Initially the project entailed poring long
hours over lists of deceased soldiers buried
in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, cross-checking
these with records of the Philippine
Veterans Affairs Office and National Statistics Office,
said De La Cruz.
The operation also required them to scrutinize
marriage contracts and birth certificates
to make sure pensioners' widows and widowers had
not remarried and children receiving a pension were under 21.
The group sometimes went the extra
mile, setting off to pensioners' homes to
personally verify their eligibility.
Along the way, there were assurances the
project was going to work.
Inspecting the voluminous death records
on one occasion, they found out one beneficiary
had long been dead but money continued to be
deposited into his account until this grew to over P100,000.
The discovery allowed them to retrieve
the money, said De La Cruz.
The group also temporarily shifted the
mode of paying out the pensions from
automated teller machines to checks which had
to be personally claimed by the pensioners.
This way the beneficiaries' qualifications
could be thoroughly checked.
Once a pensioner had claimed his check,
he would receive the succeeding ones via ATM.
"When you put out the best carrots in
town, all the rabbits will come to you, so we
have to carefully validate them," said De La Cruz.
A military person should be at least 56
years old and have rendered at least 10
years of service in order to receive a
pension, said De La Cruz.
When a pensioners dies, the spouse
continues to receive the pension until he or she
remarries. Their children below 21 years of
age are legitimate beneficiaries.
The records of 70 percent of the 106,000
military pensioners across the country have
been validated, Casaclang said. The cleansing
group has been traveling from one
province to another since last year. Work now
awaits them in northern Luzon, they said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4 Sundalong nasawi sa Basilan clash pinarangalan

Abante, Thursday, 20 August 2009

By: Jojo de Guzman

L1NGAYEN, Pangasinan - Panalangin at pagkilala
ang ipinagkaloob ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan sa
4 na sundalong Pangasinense na kasama sa 23
sundalong nasawi sa madugong bakbakan sa pagitan
ng puwersa ng pamahalaan at mga bandidong
Abu Sayyaf noong Agosto 5 sa Tipo-tipo, Basilan.
Sa pamumuno ni Vice Governor Marlyn
Primicias-Agabas, pinagtibay ang resolusyon na
kumikilala sa kabayanihan nina First Lieutenant
Dhel Jhun Evanghelista ng 3rd Light Reaction Company,
Private First Class Richie Estrada, Sergeant
Aguedo Casiano at Sergeant Johnny Corpuz ng
Philippine Marines.
Nabatid na nagtapos si Evangelista bilang
cum laude sa Philippine Military Academy Class
2006 at siya ay tubong Bgy. Estanza, Lingayen,
mula naman si Casiano sa Bgy. Balsa, Agno
samantalang si Corpuz ay mula sa bayan ng Mangatarem.
Si Estrada na nagdiwang sana ng kanyang kaarawan
noong Agosto 14, ay napaulat na nilaslas pa ang leeg nito.

7 suspected MNLF rebels killed in clash with Marines on Palawan island

Manila Bulletin, Thursday, 20 August 2009

By: Elena Aben

Seven members of a Moro separatist
group that occupied an island
vil1agein Palawan were killed and two
others were captured, while a Marine
soldier was wounded when fighting
erupted between the armed men and
the military yesterday morning.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said a report from the ground
commander of the fleet-marine operations
team, Lt. Col. Yuri Pesigan,
stated that seven bodies of suspected
Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF) members had been retrieved by the military.
He said that firearms were also
seized from the marauders. These
included two Garand rifles, an M-14
rifle, an M-79 grenade launcher and
two caliber .45 pistols. A kris was also
Initial report from the field stated
that among those kil1ed was Abdullah
Abdurajak, alias "Pa Guro", the leader
of the armed men. The military, however,
said this information has yet to
be verified.
Arevalo said two more suspected
MNLF were captured in the running
gun battle. A wounded Marine, grazed
by bullet near his eye, was airlifted to
a hospital in Rio Tuba in the southern
tip of mainland Palawan.
"Pesigan and Commander Alberto
Cruz of Naval Task Group 41.5, and
members of the local police, with orders
coming from Commodore Orwen
Cortez, the Commander Naval Forces
West, endeavor to get all the MNLF
members before sundown to prevent
their possible escape," Arevalo said.
The Navy spokesman earlier said a report sent by Cortez to Navy Flag
officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ferdinand
Golez,showed Pesigan decided
to attack the armed men Tuesday
afternoon after a military ultimatum
for them to surrender lapsed.
The men were holed up in a mosque
in Sitio Marabon, Mantangule in Balabac
Abdurajak and his followers arrived
in the village island on Saturday
and terrorized residents, who were
forced to evacuate to a nearby island.
Local government officials tried to
persuade the armed men to surrender
through peaceful negotiations.
On Tuesday,a surrender feeler was
sent by Abdurajak to authorities.
However,Arevalo said Abdurajak's
group failed to surrender before sundown
on Tuesday, the ultimatum given
by Pesigan to Haji Sukarno Jamal,
the rebels' emissary. This prompted
the Navy Special Operations Group
and teams from the Marine Battalion
Landing Team 8 to launch the assault
on midnight of August 18.(With a report
from Nonoy E. Lacson)

It's Isabela's turn to fete honor guards

Philippine Daily Inquirer,Thursday, 20 August 2009

By: Villamor Visaya Jr

the four honor guards who stood
by the casket of former President
Corazon Aquino during her
nine-hour funeral procession on
Aug. 5 returned to their native
Isabela on Monday to the praise
of local officials and their
province mates.
In a program at the provincial
capitol here, local officials led
by Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo
Padaca gave P02 Danilo Malab
Jr. and Pfc Antonio Cadiente
P20,OOO each, plaques of recognition,
copies of resolutions of commendation from the
provincial board and various tokens.
"For their extraordinary
feat ... these two Isabela residents
are worthy of the
awards and cash incentives,"
Padaca said.
Malab is a native of Echague
town while Cadiente hails from
Aurora town.
Residents who witnessed
the program here on Monday
gathered around Malab and
Cadiente to shake their hands
and have their photographs taken with them. Local students
serenaded them with
folk songs.
The honor guards also signed
the Isabela government's condolence
book for the Aquino
Malab, Cadiente and their
relatives later shared lunch
with Padaca and other Isabela
"We are overwhelmed by
these awards and assistance.
We are very lucky," Malab
Malab said he could not explain how he and the three other
honor guards managed to
stay motionless for almost nine
hours despite suffering from leg
cramps and having no toilet
breaks, food and water.
He and Cadiente, however,
said seeing the huge number of
people who gathered along the
more than 22-km funeral procession
route to pay their last
respects to Aquino helped take
away the exhaustion and discomfort
they felt that day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MILF rebels ambushed Marines

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Saturday, August 15, 2009

By: Jocelyn Uy

not have suffered heavy losses
in its latest offensive against the
Abu Sayyaf bandits if Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF)
guerrillas-who were supposed to be observing a ceasefire-
had not ambushed the
government troops, the military
said yesterday.
Eighteen of the 23 soldiers
who died in Wednesday's day-long
gun battle were not operating
against the MILF but were on their way to reinforce soldiers
caught in heavy fighting
with the Abu Sayyaf in Tipo-
Tipo, Basilan, a military
. spokesperson said.
"The Marines were going to
rescue their comrades who
were already being attacked in the Abu Sayyaf camp but they
were ambushed by members of
the MILF," Lt. Col. Romeo
Brawner Jr. told the INQUIRER
over the phone yesterday.
Brawner said the MILF fighters
still proceeded with their attack-which took place outside
the Abu Sayyaf camp in
Barangay Silangkum-even if
they knew they were not the
target of the operation and
that a suspension of military
operations had been agreed
upon between them and the
Brawner said the Armed
Forces was set to file a formal
protest with the Coordinating
Committee on Cessation of
Hostilities against the MILF's
114th base command fat violating
the ceasefire.

Mutual agreement
"We would like to note that
this operation was intelligence-
driven and target-specific
and we did this in order to
reduce the number of collateral
casualties," Brawner said in
a separate talk with reporters
at Camp Aguinaldo.
Upon the orders of Malacanang,
the military had suspended
combat operations
against the MILF and placed its
troops in Mindanao on an "active
defense mode" since July
24 to pave the way for the resumption
of stalled peace
Two days after the government
halted its operations,
MILF chair Murad Ebrahim returned
the gesture and also ordered the suspension of military
actions (Soma) in all areas
where the MILF has fighters.
In Wednesday's clashes,
which raged until nighttime,
the military said that from 30
to 40 Abu Sayyaf bandits were
killed, but that it had counted
only 21 bodies.
Of the number, 10 of them
were believed members of the

Naval blockade
A spokesperson for the MILF,
Eid Kabalu, confirmed 10 MILF
fighters were killed and accused
the military of triggering
the fight by entering into MILF
territory without seeking permission.
This was denied by Brig.
Gen. Ben Dolorfino, Western
Command chief, who said the
military had sent prior notice
to the MILE
In the wake of Wednesday's
fighting, the military has ordered
pursuit operations
against the Abu Sayyaf and a
"naval blockade" or "naval barrier
patrol" in the seas surrounding
Basilan to prevent
the bandit group from escaping
to other islands, Brawner
He said members of the
group might try to escape to
neighboring Sulu island or
even to Zamboanga City.
Navy spokesperson Lt. Col.
Edgard Arevalo said at least
three patrol gunboats, three
multipurpose attack seacraft
and another vessel had been
sent to the area for the blockade.

Isolated case
Presidential Adviser on the
Peace Process Avelino Razon
Jr. said the involvement of
some MILF fighters in the gun
battle was an "isolated case"
and would not in anyway affect
the upcoming peace talks.
Razon is looking forward to
the resumption of talks in
Malaysia soon between the
government panel, headed by
Ambassador Rafael E. Seguis,
and the MILF panel, led by Mohagher
During Wednesday's fighting,
the Army's First Light Reaction
Company recovered
various high-powered
weapons, a "sizeable number"
of improvised explosive
devices, and bomb-making
equipment and components
from the Abu Sayyaf camp,
the Army said.
Among the recovered items
were four light machine guns,
four M-14 rifles, five M203
grenade launchers, two rocket propelled grenades, five M-16
rifles (two of them fitted with
scopes), a "Baby Armalite"
with an M203 grenade launcher,
five Minimi squad automatic
weapons and five cellular
phones, Army spokesperson Lt.
Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said.

Need for talks questioned
In Baguio City, Sen. Rodolfo
Biazon called for a "recalculation"
of the government's position
on the peace talks with the
Biazon, a former chief of
staff of the Armed Forces, also
wanted Malaysia, who had
been acting as a broker, out of
the negotiating table.
"Is the resumption of the
peace talks between the government
and the MILF still necessary?
Are we still going to
pursue in the format followed
in the past or should we recalculate
our position?" Biazon
He said the government
should also look into the impact
of the Somo.
If there is a resumption of
peace talks, Biazon said
Malaysia should no longer be a
"We have conflicts of interest
with Malaysia," said Biazon,
chair of the Senate committee
on national defense and security.
He said among these are the
disputes on the ownership of Sabah and parts of the oil-rich
Spratly Islands.

Abu, MILF together?
Biazon said the government
should also study what went
wrong in Basilan.
"Why did this happen? Why
are there more casualties in the
government than the enemy?"
he asked.
Biazon also said that investigation
should be launched on
the role of the MILF in the
"Is it just the Abu Sayyaf or
the MILF or the two together?"
he asked.

PNP backs AFP
Elite troops of the Philippine
National Police (PNP), such as
those from the Special Action
Force, the Regional Mobile
Group and the Provincial Mobile
Group, are backing the
military in its pursuit of the
Abu Sayyaf bandits.
"They are in strategic locations
where they (are) deployed
per request of the lead
elements from the military,"
PNP spokesperson Senior Supt.
Leonardo Espina said.
The PNP suffered one
wounded in Wednesday's
fighting, P02 Dennis Labrador
of SAF.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

US aircraft carrier Washington arrives

Manila Bulletin, Wednesday, August 12,2009, page 1


The US aircraft carrier USS
George Washington, with 6,000 crew
members on board, arrived in the
country yesterday for a four·day
goodwill visit which will focus mainly
on humanitarian activities to further
boost the strong community and military
connections between the United
States and the Philippines.
Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan,
commander of Task Force 70 of the
US Navy and head of the delegation,
assured that the carrier's visit to the
country is "nothing political."
Interviewed by reporters following
his call to Philippine Navy Flag
Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral
Ferdinand Golez, Donegan said about
25 percent of USS George Washington's
crew either have relatives or
friends in the Philippines and are very
excited to be in the country.
The aircraft carrier arrived at 8
a.m. yesterday and was met near
Corregidor by a Philippine Navy ship,
which guided the warship to its docking
area in the Manila Bay.
"Our visit is not connected to what
is happening in the world stage. In
2008, we had 130 port calls to the Philippines,
but it is only now in recent
years that an aircraft carrier came,
but we hope to make it an ordinary
event," Donegan said when asked on
whether the visit is connected with
recent developments in the contested
Spratly Islands in the South China
Sea and the political developments
in the country.
During the visit, sailors of the USS
George Washington will participate
in a number of events in Metro Manila.
Led by Capt. David Lausman,
the ship's commander, the carrier's
crew will hold several community·
service projects today as a show of
goodwill and partnership from the
U.S. Navy. They will hold a Facilities
Improvement Project at the Veterans
Memorial Medical Center Quezon
City; lead the "Read Along with Eco-
Defenders" program at the Herme·
negildo Atienza Elementary School in
Baseco, Tondo, Manila; and construct
a New Library at the Nangka High
School in Camacho Road, Barangay
Nangka, Marikina City.

Nothing 'fishy' with aircraft carrier's visit, US admiral says

The Daily Tribune, Wednesday, August 12, 2009, page 3

By: Mario Mallari

United States Task Force 70
Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan
yesterday said there was nothing
unusual in the aircraft carrier USS
George Washington's docking in
Manila as the stop is nothing but
a goodwill visit aimed at enhancing
the cooperation between the US
and Philippine navies.
Donegan gave this assurance
during his courtesy call on
Philippine Navy Flag-Officer-in-
Command Vice Admiral Ferdinand
Golez, where he spoke to
reporters about the intention of
the US vessel's visit.
"No way is it connected to
the events you are discussing now
or the world stage. Our goodwill
visit here has been scheduled a
long time ago,' he said when he
asked by the media if the visit
had something to do with the
issue concerning disputed
territories in the South China Sea
on the recent political events in
the country.
Donegan noted that just in 2008,
there have been 134 visits
by US military vessels in the
country, but stressed it was the
"first time we had an aircraft
carrier here for some time.'
The USS George Washington
presently docked in Manila Bay
has some 6,000 US Navy personnel,
25 percent of whom has connection
or relatives in the Philippines, he
Some of them came to see
the Philippines for the first time,
the US Navy official said.
"The four-day visit is basically
centered on a goodwill visit. We
are here to do exchanges with
the Philippine Navy and work with
the Philippine. We have some
of their sailors who are coming
to board the ship and some of ours that are
working together, "Donegan said.
Last June, US Central
Intelligence Agency Director Leon
Panetta made a lightning visit to
the country amid then persistent
talks that President Arroyo was
planning to declare emergency rule
following a spate of bombings in
Metro Manila and Mindanao.
Also in June, a sonar array
being towed by destroyer USS John
S Mc Cain collided with a Chinese
submarine just outside the
Philippines' territorial waters,
drawing security concerns from
Philippine authorities.
Last March, US and Chinese
vessels reportedly had a standoff
in the disputed Spratly Islands in
the South China Sea, where China
reportedly deployed a battle ship.
Washington accused Beijing of
behaving in an aggressive manner
in the disputed territory, but China
maintained that it was the US
which had violated maritime laws.
The Spratlys are being claimed
in part or in whole by Chin, the
Philippine, Vietnam, Malaysia,
Brunei and Taiwan.
In 2002, Southeast Asian
Nationsand China signed in
Vientian, Laos a landmark non-
binding Code of Conduct in the
Spratlys to reduce the tension
among the claimant countries by
their agreeing to maintain a status
quo in the area and shelving the
ownership issue pertaining to the region.
The Code of Conduct also
prohibits any activity that might
cause the tense situation in the
area to escalate and encourages
activities that would help build
mutual trust, cooperation among the
claimant nations.
At the same time, Donegan said
the officers and crew of the USS
George Washington are prepared
to extend assistance to the
government in addressing the
destruction wrought by tropical
storm "Kiko," particularly in
Central Luzon areas.
"If you ask for assistance, we
are always around and can help
if we have the forces available.
Part of the reason that
we train together, our two Navies,
is so that we can effectively provide relief
when needed, " he said.
Typhoon "Kiko" had triggered
flashfloods in the province of
Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales
and landslides in Iloilo and Baguio City.
The death toll in incidents
related to the storm that lashed
the northern part of the country
even as it veered away and did
not make landfall in the country
last weekend, has reached 23,
while several others were
reported injured.

AFP honors Cory funeral guards

Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, August 11, 2009, page 6

with a report from Aaron Recuenco

The Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) yesterday awarded six
honor guards who caught,nationwide
attention when they stood like stoic
statues for several hours beside the
coffin bearing the remains of former
President Corazon Aquino as it was
being transferred from La Salle
Greenhills to the Manila Cathedral
and from the Cathedral to her final
resting place at the Manila Memorial
Park in Paranaque City.
Lt. Col.Romeo Brawner, Jr., AFP
Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief,
the six honor guards- Army PFC
Antonio Cadiente, Airman 2nd Class
Gener Laguindam, Navy Petty Officer
3 Edgardo Rodriguez, Army
PFC Rico Seno, Seaman First Class Arturo Roadilla Jr,
and Airman 1st Class Sherwin Del Rosario - received
military merit medals and plaques of
recognition from AFP Vice Chief of
Staff, Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang. "
Cadiente, Laguindam, and Rodriguez
stood as honor guards to their
former Commander-in-Chief during
the almost nine-hour funeral procession
from the Manila Cathedral to
Manila Memorial Park, while Seno,
Roadilla, and Del Rosario escorted
the late President Aquino's remains
when it was transferred from La Salle
Greenhills to the Manila Cathedral
on August 3.
Brawner said the honor guards
were given military merit medals
and plaque of recognition "for having
shown exemplary performance,
endurance, extraordinary display of
discipline and professionalism that gave all
praises to the AFP."
Maclang, who graced the awarding
expressed joy and pride in the
outpouring of praises and admiration,
especially to Cadiente, Laguindam,
and Rodriguez who stood still beside
the former President's casket for
more than eight houts amid intermittent
weather condition on August 5.
As this developed, the Philippine
National Police (PNP) is eyeing the
inclusion of the feat of Police Officer
2 Danilo Malab, Jr. and the three
soldiers, who stood 'at attention for
almost nine hours while serving
as honor guard during the funeral
procession on a flatbed truck carrying
the coffin of the late former
President Corazon Aquino last Tuesday;
to the Guinness Book of World

Aircraft carrier arriving today

Business World, Tuesday, August 11, 2009, page 2

THE US aircraft carrier USS
George Washington will be arriving
in Manila today for a five-day
goodwill visit.
In a text message to reporters
yesterday, Philippine Navy
spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard A.
Arevalo said the carrier's officers
and crew headed by Capt. David
Lausman will take part in humanitarian
efforts such as community
development projects and
outreach programs in 10
Navy flag Officer in Command
Vice Admiral Ferdinand
Golez said in the text message:
"We are eager to embark on the
many worthwhile endeavors lined
up for this visit. This is one of the
opportunities when your navy
goes in partnership with brother
navies from around the world in
civic action and community relations
projects:' he said.
Named after the first US president,
the George Washington, which will depart on Aug. 15,
is of the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered
super carriers and is under
the US Navy's Seventh Fleet
based in Japan. The fleet was formerly
based in Subic.

Navy to welcome visiting US aircraft carrier

Daily Tribune, Tuesday, August 11, 2009, page 3

By: Marlo J. Mallari

The Philippine Navy is set to welcome today the arrival of United States
aircraft carrier USS George Washingtonin Manila for a five-day goodwill visit to
the country.
Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said officers and crew members
of the US aircraft carrier would be undertaking community development projects.
outreach and sports programs and other humanitarian missions during their
brief stay in the country.
The USS George Washington, which will be in Manila until under the
command of Capt. David Lausman.
Arevalo said the joint community development programs are scheduled in at
least 10 barangays (villages).
"We are eager to embark on the many worthwhile endeavors lined up for this
visit. This is one of those opportunities that your Navy does in partnership with
brother navies from around the world in civic action and community relations
projects." Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Vite Admiral Ferdinand Golez told
newsmen in a briefing.
US Navy Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan, US Task Force 70 commander and
head of the US delegation, will make a traditional courtesy call on Golez upon
arrival which will be followed by a professional exchange between the officers of
the two Navies.
"The days following shall see both navies busy with Filipino veterans and
elementary school children's welfare projects, among many other endeavors,"
Arevalo said.

USS George Washington arrives in RP today



US aircraft carrier USS
George Washington is set to arrive
in the country today for a
five-day goodwill visit, the
Philippine Navy said yesterday.
Lt. Col Edgard Arevalo,
Navy spokesman said. the
ship's crew would participate
in various community development
projects, mostly for
Filipino veterans and school
Arevalo said projects lined
up include the improvement
of facilities at the Veterans Memorial
Medical Center in Quezon
City, as well as repair and
painting of several elementary
schools in Metro Manda.
"After a traditional courtesy
call by Rear Admiral Kevin
Donegan, head of the entire
delegation and chief of Task
Force 70 to Navy chief Vice
Admiral Ferdinand Golez, the
activity kicks off with the professional
exchange between the officers of the two Navies,"
he said.
The vessel is the fourth US Navy to be named after
George Washington, the first US President.
The ship has more than 3,000 officers and sailors.
Its skipper is Commander David Alan Lausman.
The visit came several months after the USS Blue Ridge's
own port call in the Philippines, during which its crew
took part in several humanitarian projects,
Arevalo allayed fears that
the vessel could be bringing in
nuclear weapons when it enters Philippine territory
saying they expect the US to comply
with the provisions of the
Constitution on nuclear armaments.
"The US government neither
confirms nor denies that
the USS Washington is carrying
nuclear weapon, but we
are inclined to believe that
they know the provisions of
our laws and that we are
counting on mutual trust," he
The Constitution prohibits
the entry of foreign vessels
that carry nuclear arms. The
Department of Foreign Affairs
said the entry of the vessel
does not violate the Constitution
because it is only an aircraft
carrier that runs on nuclear
Just a week ago, President
Arroyo met with US President
Barack Obama in Washington
to discuss, among others, mutual
security concerns.

RP Navy ·welcomes US carrier

Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, August 11, 2009, page 12


The Philippine Navy, led by its
Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC),
Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, will
meet with their American counterparts
as the aircraft carrier USS
George Washington arrives today in
Manila for a five-day goodwill visit to
the country. ,
Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said officers and crew of the
USS Navy aircraft carrier headed by
Capt. David Lausman will participate
in community development projects,
which will include a 10 barangay
outreach program, sports events, and
other humanitarian pursuits.
"We are eager to embark on the
many worthwhile endeavors lined-up
for this visit," said Golez. "This is
one of those opportunities that our
navy goes in partnership with brother
navies from around the world in civic
action and community relations projects,"
he added.
Arevalo said after a traditional
courtesy call by the head of the entire
delegation and Commander, Task
Force 70, Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan
of the US Navy with the Philippine
Navy FOIC, the activity kicks off with
the professional exchange between
the officers of the two navies.
"The days following shall see both
navies busy with Filipino veterans
and elementary school children's
welfare projects, among many other
endeavors," Arevalo added.
USS Washington is set to leave
Manila on Saturday, Aug. 15.

4 Cory honor guards may end up in Guinness Book

TONIGHT, AGOSTO 10, 2009, Page 7

By: Alfred Dalizon

A ROOKIE policeman
and three soldiers who
stood motionless for !;line
hours while acting as
honor guards for the late
ex-President Corazon C.
Aquino may end up in
the Guinness Book of
World Records for their.
It could be very possible
since the four-- Police Officer
I Danilo Malab Jr. and
Armed Forces personnel:
Army Private First Class
Antonio Cadiente, Navy
Petty Officer 3 Edgardo
Roriguez and Airman 2nd
Class Gener Laguindan,
may hold the distinction of
standing still for nine hours
without eating and relieving
themselves while guarding
the coffin of a beloved leader.
The four said they did it out of their
dedication to duty and love and respect for
the revered icon of democracy
who now lies in her final
resting place at the Manila
Memorial Park after a nine-hour
long procession from
Manila Cathedral last
A grateful Aquino family
had expressed its sincerest
thanks to the Philippine
National Police and the AFP
particularly its honor guards
and security personnel who
helped bury the late
president without any hitch
last Wednesday. This
morning, PNP chief, Director
General Jesus A. Verzosa
and his command group will
honor all PNP officers and
men who played a part in
the successful security and
honor rite for Mrs, Aquino.
Ex- Tarlac Congressman
Jose "Peping" Cojuangco and
his wife Margarita, president
ofthe Philippine Public Safety
CollegegavePIO.OOO to Malab
the other night all a token of
their appreciation. The Aquino
family gave P25,OOO each to
Malab and his three fellow
escorts from the AFP.
PNP spokesman, Senior
Supt. Leonardo A. Espina
said Malab will lead today's
"We're particularly proud
of PO1 Malab who really
showed what a disciplined
police officer should be. He
and the other PNP honor
guards really displayed
dedication to duty and
professionalism and will be
cited for their fine display of
discipline," said Espina.

3 Cory honor guards to get AFP medals



Following a wave of recognition
and rewards, three of the
four honor guards during the
funeral of former President
Corazon Aquino would be given
military merit medals for
their exemplary performance.
Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) spokesman Lt.
Col. Romeo Brawner said
Army Pfc. Antonio Cadiente,
Airman Second Class Gener
Laguindan, Navy Petty Officer
3 Edgardo Rodriguez
would be awarded in a formal
ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo
today for showing the highest
form of discipline and professionalism
when they guarded
the remains of the late leader
to her final resting place.
Brawner said the three carried
out their task in the finest
military fashion - even if it
was not in the field of combat
- earning them not only local,
but international recognition.
But he clarified that the
three would not be the only
ones to be awarded but also
other soldier's who were involved
from the wake at La
Salle Greenhills to the Manila
"It would not be a single
awarding because they are
about 1,000 AFP personnel,
but definitely everybody
would be awarded," he said.
Brawner said AFP chief
Gen. Victor Ibrado is very
proud of what the soldiers did,
because they not only showed
the present state of discipline
within the ranks but also they
were able to show the military's
love for the beloved leader by the simple
gesture of rendering full military honors.
He said they are expecting
the three to become role models
among their colleagues and
inspire others to do thei r job
well regardless of their assignment.
Following the funeral
march, the three soldiers became
instant celebrities. Everywhere
they went, people
would want to have their picture
taken with the four, who
gained recognition because of
the extraordinary display of
discipline and professionalism
in standing beside the coffin
bearing Aquino's remains for
more than eight hours.
Last Friday, they were given
"cash rewards" by Sen.
Alan Peter Cayetano and
former senator Butz Aquino in
Makati City.
Last Thursday night, the
four were invited by the Aquino
family to join a Mass and
dinner at the house of Philippine
Olympic Committee
chair Jose "Peping" Cojuangco
at his residence in Makati
There, they were also given
"cash rewards" for their extraordinary
feat, which according
to Cadiente, would go
to their families.
Laguindan said the recognition
that they received after
serving as honor guards made
them feel that every assignment
in the AFP is never too
little for anyone.
"Even if, as a soldier, you
are not fighting out in the field,
even if you are assigned in the
office, we should do our share
and do our job in the best way
we could," he said.

AFP nilunod ni GMA sa 'stars'

Abante, Agosto 8, 2009 page 2

By: Bernard Taguinod

Nagpaulan ng mga
'stars' si Pangulong Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo sa
top brass ngArmed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP).
Ganito inilarawan ng
makapangyarihang Commission
on Appointment
(CA) ang natanggap na appointment
papers kahapon
mula sa Malacanang para
sa pagtataas ng ranggo ng
mga top officials ng AFP.
Ayon kay Cebu Rep.
Eduardo Gullas, pinuno
ng House contingent to the
bicameral Commission on
Appointment, 22 opisyales
ng AFP ang madadagdagan
ng isang 'star' 0 bituin
sa kanilang balikat.
Pinakamataas na pinagbigyan
ng dagdag na bituin
sa balikat si Vice Admiral
(katumbas ng Lt. General)
Emilio Marayag Jr.,
na kasalukuyang umuokupa sa AFP deputy chief
of staff.
Magkakaroon naman ng
bagong anim na major generals
sa katauhan nina Anthony
Alcantara, commander
of the Army Training and
Doctrine Command; Hilario
Antendido, the Armed Forces
deputy chief of staff for
education and training; Antonio
Bautista, the Anlled
Forces adjutant general; Irineo
Espino, the Army chief
of staff; Lino Horacio Lapinid,
commander of the First
Air Division; at Anemio
Orozco, the Air Force inspector
Umaabot naman sa 15
ang naidagdag sa hanay ng
mga heneral dahil itinaas
ni Arroyo ang ranggo ng
mga ito mula sa Colonel.
Kabilang sa mga ito sina
Emmanuel Amat, Rey
Ardo, Eugenio Clemen, Noel Coballes, Francisco
Cruz Jr., Lauro Catalino
Dela Cruz, Carlix Donila,
Romeo Fajardo, Cipriano
Gundao, Rolando Hautea
Jr., Gregorio Macapagal,
Joel Marayag, Celstino
Pereyra, Gominto Pirino
at Pedro Rieza Jr.
"Their appointment papers
are now with the CA,"
ani Gullas at nakatakdang
isalang sa pagsusuri ng
komisyon sa susunod na
Bukod sa mga heneral,
umaabot naman sa 165
ang bagong koronel at tat-
10pang Naval captains ang
"All told, the Palace
has endorsed to the CA
the appointment papers of
a fresh batch of 190 senior
military officers," dagdag
pa ng kongresista.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

'Fantastic 4' may cash incentive pa

Abante, Agosto 8, 2009, page 2

By: Noel Abuel
with Armida Rico & Eralyn Prado

Tumanggap ng cash incentives
ang apat na honor
guards, tinatawag na
ring 'Fantastic 4', sa funeral
procession ni dating
Pangulong Corazon Aquino
mula sa pamilya Aquino
at ilang negosyante.
Nabatid na pinagkalooban
ng tig-P25,OOO ang apat
na honor guards sa pagbibigay
ng parangal sa kanila
kahapon ng umaga na isinagawa
sa isang restaurant
sa Dela Rosa, Makati City.
Pinangunahan ni dating
Sen. Butz Aquino, kapatid
ni slain Sen. Ninoy Aquino
Jr. na esposo ng yumaong
pangulo, ang pagbibigay ng insentibo kina
P02 Danilo Malab Jr., Army
Private First Class Antonio
Cadiente, Airman Second
Class Gener Laguindan
at Navy Petty Officer 3
Edgardo Rodriguez.
Sinabi ni Aquino na mula
ang naturang halaga sa
kanilang pamilya at sa mga
negosyante sa Makati City.
Iginiit ng bayaw ng dating
pangulo na nakakataba
ng puso ang ipinakitang
sakripisyo ng apat na honor
guards habang inihahatid
sa huling hantungan
ang dating lider ng bansa.

4 honor guards pinarangalan, biniyayaan

Police Metro, AGOSTO 8, 2009, page 2

By: Joy Cantos, Danilo Garcia, Malou Escudero

Dahil sa pagganap ng mahalagang papel sa funeral
march ng labi ni daling Pangulong Cory Aquino, binigyan
kahapon ng parangal at cash incentives ng pamilya
Aquino ang apat na honor guards.
Pinangunahan ni dating Senador Butz Aquino,
kapatid ni dating Senador Ninoy Aquino ang pagbibigay
ng natatanging pagkilala a1 cash incentives nat
tig-P25.000 bawat isa kina P02 Danilo Maalab Jr. ng
PNP, Private First Class Amonio Cadiente, Airman I
I Second Class Gener Laguindam at Navy Petty Officer 3
Edgardo Rodriguez na mula naman sa AFP.
Sinabi ni Butz na mula ang naturang halaga sa
kanilang pamilya at sa mga negosyamc sa Makati
City dahil sa ipinakitang sakripisyo ng apat na honor
guards na tumayo ng mahigit kumulang na walong oras
mula sa Manila Cathedral sa Intramuros hanggang sa
Manila Memorial Park sa Paranaque City.
Inihayag namal1 ng apat na hanggang sa ngayon ay
hindi sila makapalliwala sa atensyong ibinibigay sa
kanila matapos tuparin ang kanilang tungkulin at
karangalan nilang maihatid sa huling hantungan ang
dating punong ehekutibo na kilalang 'icon ' ng demokrasya ng bansa.

Honor guards ..pinarangalan ng mga Aquino

Bandera, Saturday, August 8, 2009, Page 4

By: Inquirer

sakripisyong ipinamalas
ng apat na
honor guard na
nagtiis ng mahigit
siyalll na oras sa
pagtayo sa tabi ng
labi ni dating Pangulong
Aquino habang in ihahatid
ito sa huling
hantungan sa Manila
Memorial Park.
Kahapon ay
pinarangalan at
pinasalamatan ang
mga ita ng pamilya
Aquino at mga
negosyante sa Makati.
Mismong si dating
senador Butch
Aquino na siyang
kumatawan sa pamilya
Aquino ang
nagbigay ng pagpupugay
kina P02
Danilo Malab, Jr .•
Private First Class
Antonio Cadienle.
Airman 2nd Class Gener Laguindan at
Navy Petty Officer 3
Edgardo Rodriguez
sa ginanap na selebrasyon
Bukod sa parangal,
din ng pamilya
Aquino ang apat ng
tig-P25,OOO bilang
pabuya. Ayon sa
senador. ang pera ay
ambag mula sa pamilya
at sa mga
Samantala, sinabi
naman ni Eldon
Cruz, son-in-law ng
dating pangulo na
personal nilang
pasasalamatan ang
apat sa Agosto 21,
ang anibersaryo ng
kamatayan ni Ninoy
"The Aquino
family will thank
them personally and
honor them on the
21st," ani Cruz.

Honor guards hailed, rewarded

PEOPLE'S JOURNAL, Saturday, August 8,2009, 2 NEWS

By Alvin Murcia

THE Aquino family and the business community in Makati City
formally hailed and thanked the four honor guards that escorted
the coffin of President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino for nine hours
during the procession to the Manila Memorial Park three days
The Aquino family was represented by former senator Agapito
"Butch" Aquino during the formal recognition given to paz
Danilo Malab, Private First Class Antonio Cadiente, Airman Znd
Class Gener Laguindan and Navy Petty Officer 3 Edgardo
The recognition ceremonies were held at the Solid Mills Building
located on Dela Rosa Street, Makati City.
Aside from the recognition the four honor guards were given
P25,OOO each by Aquino as a form of reward for their exemplary
performance during the occasion.
The former senator said he and his businessmen friends including Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano put up the monetary reward.
Aquino relayed the heartfelt thanks of Sen. Benigno "Noynoy"
Aquino, his sister Kris and U,e other Aquino siblings for the perseverance
shown by U,e honor guards who stood motionless throughout
the long funeral procession unmindful of the rain and ignoring
their personal need and convenience.
Aquino said the exemplary performance of the four is worth emulating
and he hoped that it will be considered a trait so the public
will again give back their full respect to the Armed Forces of the
Philippines and Philippine National Police.
The four honor guards became instant celebrities with people taking
turns having their pictures taken beside them. Others praised
them and some were happy to just shake their hands.
Aquino said that they also wanted to fete the four honor guards
that stood beside the casket of Mrs. Aquino when it was transferred
from La Salle Greenhill to Manila Cathedral
The four stood atop the truck for five hours during the entire procession
last Monday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

P25,OOO each for 4 honor guards


By Nina Catherine Calleja, Fe Zamora and Tarra Quismundo

THE FOUR HONOR GUARDS who received heaps of praise
and recognition as they stood immobile on a flatbed truck
carrying the casket of former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino
during her funeral procession received P25,O0O each
for "nine hours of honor and duty," raised. by grateful businessmen
and former senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino.
For almost nine hours, the four honor guards-Police Officer
1 Danilo Malab Jr., Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez,
Airman 2nd Class Gener Laquindam and Private 1st Class Antonio Cadiente-
stayed motionless, without taking a break for
meals or going to the toilet, as the truck brought the casket of the former president through
a 23-kilometer route from the Manila Cathedral to
Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque Ciry.
"Many sacrificed, but we cannot reward them all," said
Butz, Aquino, younger brother of the former president's
husband, Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
"What they did seem ordinary to us. But try standing
up for hours on the truck without moving and you'd
see how difficult it was," he said.
Changing AFP image
By rewarding the guards, they were trying to change
the image of the military and police who implemented martial
law during Ninoy's time, Aquino added.
He said the suggestion of coming up with a reward came
from businessmen he met with every Wednesday. "The sentiments
were unanimous. Everybody wanted to say thank you," he said.
"We should keep the ball rolling," added Greg Garcia, a
businessman who accompanied Aquino during the turnover at a
Makati City restaurant yesterday.
He added that although praises and promotions were
psychic rewards, a bit of monetary help could mean a lot
for men in uniform who earn only around p11,aOO monthly.
Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano and Metro Manila police commander
Roberto Rosales were also around to congratulate the four.
Not 15 minutes of fame
"This is not about what your assignment is but how you do
it," Cayetano said. "What they did was not 15 minutes of fame
but nine hours of honor and duty."
The four have become instant celebrities, with people
swarming around them, shaking their hands and taking
At Camp Crame's weekly forum yesterday, Malab attributed
his capacity to endure the nine-hour journey to "maximum
tolerance," a crowd control policy adopted by the military
and policy especially during mass demonstrations or rallies.
"People threw coins-one peso coins, 25 centavos at us,
often hitting me in the face. It hurt but I just practiced maximum
tolerance," Malab said.
"I was tired but I had to overcome the feeling because I was
representing the PNP uniform and badge," said the 25-yearold
Isabela native, who entered the service just a year ago. "I only
did my job."
Senior Insp. Jesus Manalo Jr., chief of the PNP Escort and
Honor Guard Service, said he chose Malab because of his
height (5'9"), his youth and physical fitness.
'The Escort and Honor Guard Service, a unit under
Camp Crame's Headquarters Support Service, began security
and honor preparations for Aquino in coordination
with the military and the Aquino family a week before
she passed on Aug. 1, he added.
20 female guards also honored
Malab and 20 female honor guards who took part in rites
to honor the late former president will also be recognized
Monday morning in Camp Crame, said PNP spokesperson
Senior Supt. Leonardo Espina.
The Aquino family will personally thank the four soldiers
on Aug. 21, the 26th anniversary of Ninoy's assassination,
according to a text message sent to INQUIRER yesterday by
Cory's son-in-law, Eldon Cruz.
They will also thank Private 1st Class Rico Seno, Airman
1st Class Sherwin del Rosario, Sgt. Carlo Tiongson,
EM3 Samuel Fuertes and SN1 Arturo Roadilla- the five soldiers who
stood guard by the former president's casket when it
was moved from La Salle Green Hills in San Juan City
to the Manila Cathedral on Aug. 3.
Aquino was buried beside her husband, Ninoy on the
site where the family gathers every Aug. 21 in a memorial
for the senator who was assassinated in 1983.

Rewards heaped on honor guards

The Philippine STAR, SATURDAY, AUGUST 8,2009, Page 1

With Cecille Suerte Felipe, James Mananghaya

The four honor guards who stood
throughout the day long funeral procession
for former President Corazon Aquino have
been given cash rewards by various donors
in recognition of a job well done.
Former senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino,
brother-in-law of Mrs. Aquino, along with
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, donated P25,000
to each of the four honor guards.
Aquino and Cayetano personally handed
the cash awards to Police Officer 1 Dani-
l0 Malab Jr., Armv Pfc. Antonio Cadiente,
Airman Second Class Gener Laguindan and
Navy Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez at
a ceremony in Makati City yesterday.
Aquino said the money came from private
donors who considered the four as symbols for the
thousands who showed support for the late president.
Aquino said the donors recognized the sacrifice
of the four, who stood motionless during the nine hour
funeral procession.
The STAR president Miguel Belmonte revealed
that an anonymous donor also sent P25,000 for each
of the honor' guards.
Aquino said the family could not possibly express
proper thanks to each of those who condoled, and
so "we chose symbols for the people,"
He said his niece, Kris Aquino-Yap, wanted to
thank everyone but it would be difficult to do because
there were just too mam·.
"The four were the most visible during the nine hour
funeral procession. It's not an easy task standing
for nine hours under the rain, getting hungry,
and ignoring the call of nature," he said. '.
"(What they did was) bring back the condolence
in the (uniformed) forces," Aquino said,
The Makati Business Club also acknowledged the
stoic heroism displayed by the four honor guards who
earned the admiration and respect of the public.
Mrs. Aquino's grandson Jiggy Aquino-Cruz described
them as the "Fantastic FOUL"
Malab, who represented the Philippine National
Police (PNP) in the honor guards, said they were
grateful (or the monetary rewards given to them,
Malab said they found themselves busy granting
interviews from the media.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner added the four honor
guards are even scheduled to appear as contestant
in "Singing Bee," a television musical show of ABS-CBN next week.
On Thursday night, the "Fantastic Four" were guests
at a dinner hosted by the Cojuangco-Aquino family.
Malab said thev attended a ma% before the dinner
and posed for pictures with the members of the
Cojuangco-Aquino family. .
Malab told the family that being part of the last moments of late
former president was his memorable experience and the
recognition and praises he earned from the effort was
just too much,
"I thought our orders to stand as honor guards during the
funeral was part of our ordinary duties, but I realized it carried
a lot of responsibilities on our part. We didn't realized our little contribution to
stand as honor guards for the late president made us
the inspiration for the people," he said.
Aside from promotion, recognition, and monetary rewards, Malab, a
member of the PNP Headquarters Support Service (PNPHSS), was given a
week long rest by his superiors, Chief Superintendent
Franklin Alpabeto and Senior Inspector Jesus Manalo.
Even without the promotion, recognition, monetary
reward, Malab said he would stand for nine
hours again as an honor guard if he has to.
"It was a great honor for us to have stood beside the
former president, we never knew we would be given
this much attention," Rodriguez, for his part, said.
Cadiente also said they never expected the recognition
and admiration for their effort.
."We never expected this, that we would be given
this kind of treatment but we really appreciate it, the
rewards they gave us in appreciation for what we
did would go a long way for our families," he said.
Laguindan said that the recognition that they got
alter servll1g as honor guards made them feel that
every assignment in the Armed Forces is never too
little for anyone.
"Even if, as a soldier, you are not fighting out in
the field, even If you are assigned in the office, we
should do our share and do our job in the best way
we could," he said.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, said the financial rewards
given to them would be a big help for his family.
He said he would use the money for their house
and sustain the needs of his three children.
Rodriguez said his youngest child was very happy
seeing him on TV.He added he would be grateful
if the Senate approves the resolution commending
them for their effort.
Rodriguez admitted that he almost buckled during
the nine-hour funeral procession.
"My knees were already hurting because my feet
were soaked by the rain. I was praying hard and kept
reminding myself not to give way to fatigue and
show them what it takes to be in the avy," he said.
Rodriquez said the crowd gave him inspiration
to continue standing.
"After the funeral procession reached the destination
I was not even able to walk straight.
knees had locked for standing straight so I had to
be assisted down the truck," he said.

4 honor guards stand motionless on truck for 9 hours

PDI, Thursday, August 4, 2009

By: Jocelyn R. Uy

who stood motionless and
braved the rains for almost nine
hours atop the flat-bed truck
that carried the late President
Corazon Aquino from Manila
Cathedral to Manila Memorial
Park were trained to do just
They were handpicked from
the elite honor guard units of
the Philippine Navy; Army, Air
Force and National Police,
Navy spokesperson Lt. Col.
Edgard Arevalo told the INQUIRER
last night.
He identified them as Pfc.
Antonio Cadiente, Airman
2nd Class Gener Laguindam,
Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez
and Police Officer 1
Danilo Maalab.
"They're specially trained to
undertake such ceremonial duties,
specially to bear such difficult
task to be immobile,"
Arevalo said. He added they
were trained even to resist "the
call of nature."
Rigorous field training and
routine formation were among
the secrets to their remarkable
strength, he added.
If nature called, they would
have to do it where they were
standing, he said. But since the
four men were among the fittest
in the pack, it was expected that
they would stand still up to the
final moments of their task for
the day, he said.
The four honor guards boarded
the truck at past 11 a.m.
when police generals, acting as
pallbearers, carried Aquino's
wooden casket out of the cathedral
after the more than two hour
Requiem Mass.
They got off the truck past 8
p.m. when they reached Manila
Memorial Park where the
revered People Power heroine
was laid to rest next to her martyred
husband, former Sen. Benigno
"Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
"Apart from discipline inherent
in security forces, the prestige
of the various services of
the AFP and PNP is at stake
here," he said.
He added that he was inclined
to believe that aside from
skills acquired from training, it
was the privilege and the honor
to stand guard on the remains
of Aquino, "the epitome of sacrifice,
selflessness and
strength," that made them last
long, said Arevalo.
"That was their own tribute
to the former President," he