Thursday, August 27, 2009
Pinangunahan ni John Rey Tiangco
ang tree planting
project na isinagawa
kamakailan sa kahabaan
ng R-lO Road sa
Lungsod ng Navotas.
proyekto ay sa pakikipagtulungan
ng North Bay Boulevard
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
Navoteño 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
ng wall painting and
graffiti projects upang
panatiliin ang pagkakakilala
bilang NCR's cleanest
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
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.
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.
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,"
"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.
By: Jocelyn Uy
THE MILITARY YESTERDAY SENT ABOUT A
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.
"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.
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
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.
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
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.
By: Tony Rimando & Vic Arevalo
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Failure to
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
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
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
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
By: Jocelyn R. Uy
AMID THE FINANCIAL SCANDALS SET OFF
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
"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
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
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.
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
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)
By: Villamor Visaya Jr
lLAGAN, ISABEIA-TWO OF
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
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,"
Malab is a native of Echague
town while Cadiente hails from
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?"
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?"
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
Thursday, August 13, 2009
By ELENA L ABEN
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.
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
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
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
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
By ELENA L. ABEN
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
THE US aircraft carrier USS
George Washington will be arriving
in Manila today for a five-day
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.
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
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 Saturday.is 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,"
By JAMES MANANGHAYA
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,"
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
By: ELENA L. ABEN
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,"
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.
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.
By: JAMES MANANGHAYA
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
Last Thursday night, the
four were invited by the Aquino
family to join a Mass and
dinner at the house of Philippine
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.
By: Bernard Taguinod
Nagpaulan ng mga
'stars' si Pangulong Gloria
top brass ngArmed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP).
Ganito inilarawan ng
(CA) ang natanggap na appointment
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
Magkakaroon naman ng
bagong anim na major generals
sa katauhan nina Anthony
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
By: Noel Abuel
with Armida Rico & Eralyn Prado
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
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.
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.
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
mga ita ng pamilya
Aquino at mga
negosyante sa Makati.
Mismong si dating
Aquino na siyang
kumatawan sa pamilya
nagbigay ng pagpupugay
Danilo Malab, Jr .•
Private First Class
Airman 2nd Class Gener Laguindan at
Navy Petty Officer 3
sa ginanap na selebrasyon
Bukod sa parangal,
din ng pamilya
Aquino ang apat ng
pabuya. Ayon sa
senador. ang pera ay
ambag mula sa pamilya
at sa mga
naman ni Eldon
Cruz, son-in-law ng
dating pangulo na
apat sa Agosto 21,
ang anibersaryo ng
kamatayan ni Ninoy
family will thank
them personally and
honor them on the
21st," ani Cruz.
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
Saturday, August 8, 2009
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.
By: AUREA CALICA
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
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. ..my
knees had locked for standing straight so I had to
be assisted down the truck," he said.
By: Jocelyn R. Uy
THE FOUR HONOR GUARDS
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
He identified them as Pfc.
Antonio Cadiente, Airman
2nd Class Gener Laguindam,
Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez
and Police Officer 1
"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
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,
strength," that made them last
long, said Arevalo.
"That was their own tribute
to the former President," he
Friday, August 7, 2009
By JAMES MANANGHAYA
with stories from Jaime Laude, Cecille Suerte Felipe
For more than eight hours, they stood in snappy military
fashion, undaunted by rain and steadfast in form despite
the hunger everybody else experienced during the long
procession that brought the late former President Corazon
Aquino to her final resting place at Manila Memorial Park
in Paranaque City yesterday.
Army Pfc. Antonio Cadiente, Airman Second Class
Gener Laguindan, Navy Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez
and Police Officer 1 Danilo Maalab, who served as honor
guards for Mrs. Aquino's remains, displayed exceptional
discipline in the performance of their extraordinary task.
The ride from the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros was
agonizingly slow due to tens of thousands who wanted to pay
their last respects to the leader they fondly call "Tita Cory,"
but the four men in uniform stood in finest tradition, adding
solemnity and honor to the ceremony.
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) spokesman told The STAR that the organization
is glad to have been given the chance to honor their
"And we are happy because
our soldiers and our police counterpart displayed our finest
tradition of discipline and professionalism."
Brawner said that the Army and Air Force soldiers came
from thei r mother unit' s escort battalions, while the Navy enlisted
man came from the office of reservist affairs. He said that after the exceptional
display of dedication to duty by these soldiers, the AFP
might recommend that they be given awards equivalent to
their recent task. "They were handpicked from the among the best our
honor guards. They can with stand hours and even a day I
without doing something but stand in attention. It's part of
their training. We call it discipline," Marine Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo, spokesman for the Philippine Navy (PN), said.
Also during the funeral rites, Mrs. Aquino's former security
chief, retired Lt. Gen. Voltaire Gazmin, her former junior military aide now Cavite
Rep. Jun Abaya and her former close-in escorts chief Lt. Gen. Jose Angel Homado
served as pallbearers at the Manila Memorial Park.
At the Manila Cathedral, senior police officers carried
her casket out of the church for the funeral march.
The Philippine National Police also rendered full honors
to the former President before she was laid to rest.
Manila Bulletin Sunday, July 26, 2009 7
By MADEL R. SABATER
In a bid to secure Filipino seafarers against piracy, President Arroyo has contributed US $20,OOO to the United Nations (UN) Trust Fund in Support of the Somali Transitional Security Institutions. The Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA) said the funds will be used by the Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to beef up its security forces which will play a critical role in combating sea piracy and their principals on land. The fund will be managed by the UN Political Office for Somalia. There are currently 44 Filipino seafarers in the hands of Somali pirates. The Philippine Government has imposed a ban on the deployment of .Filipino seafarers in the Gulf of Aden and surrounding areas. It recently designated a Philippine navy officer to act as naval liaison to the Combined Maritime Forces in Manama, Bahrain.DOWNLOAD PDF FILE
2 Tuesday July 28,2009
By ELENA L. ABEN
The Philippine Navy has confiscated more than P10 million worth of smuggled goods, including some 10,800 sacks of Vietnamese rice and 4,000 sacks of refined sugar, during a maritime patrol in Sulu and Basilan. Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, said reports reaching the Philippine Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard in Manila showed that BRP Jose Loor (PG 390), skippered by Lt. Reymond Umbac, was conducting maritime interdiction operation last week off Belan Point in Jolo when it sighted a watercraft transiting to Jun Dilan wharf in a suspicious manner. Arevalo said the Navy vessel immediately intercepted the watercraft and conducted board and search procedure. The watercraft with 12 crew and 10 passengers was identified M/L Menham and owned by a certain Hadji Hamsi Puntukan Hamsiraji. Inspection of the watercraft reportedly yielded some P8.25 million worth of dutiable goods comprised of 8,800 sacks of Vietnamese rice, 2,000 sacks of Thailand refined sugar, and other assorted food stuffs in cartons. Arevalo said it was also discovered that 800sacks of rice and 1,000sacksof sugar were misdeclared. The origin of the smuggled items is still unknown. The confiscated items were immediately turned over to the Bureau of Custom (BoC) Jolo port operation officer in the presence of Cdr. Ronnei Paba, Commander of the Naval Task Group "Sulu."Earlier, the Philippine Navy vessel IBRP Anastacio Cacayurin (PG387)'1skippered by Lt. Bernie Lim was also conducting maritime patrol in the west coast of Basilan province when it sighted an unknown watercraft transiting the vicinity northeast of Pilas Island. The Navy vessel immediately intercepted the watercraft and conducted board and search procedure. The watercraft was identified as M/L Fatima Zhiea operated by a certain Nursin Aukusa and owned by a certain Hji Eyam Kajibon of Isabela City. An inspection of the intercepted watercraft reportedly yielded some P2.7 million worth of dutiable goods from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.
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The manila Times thursday july 23, 2007 a7
By: AL JACINTO
ZAMBOANGA City: The Philippine Navy has stepped up its patrol in the southern region of Mindanao following the spate of bombings and attacks blamed on terrorists. Authorities blamed the lndonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiah and the Abu Sayyaf and Mora rebels for the series of bombings in Sulu and Mindanao in recent weeks that left scores of civilians among fatalities
and the wounded. Indonesia also tagged the Jemaah Islamiah for the recent suicide bombings of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, which killed nine people and wounded at least 53 others. We have stepped up our security patrol. We are fighting terrorism here,' said Admiral Alexander Pama, the Navy's regional commander in Mindanao. He said Navy gunboats regularly
patrol the Moro Gulf, the Mindanao, Sulu and Celebes seas where pirates are actively operating.
Last week, authorities seized some 350 kilos of banned ammonium nitrate and 1,800 pieces of blasting caps and detonating cords from a cargo vessel in Cebu that was heading for Iligan City in Mindanao. The spikes in bomb attacks in Mindanao and Sulu also coincided with the release of three kidnapped Red Cross workers held by the Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah. The military has last week deployed hundreds of soldiers in Basilan and Sulu provinces to crush
the Abu Sayyaf.DOWNLOAD PDF FILE
By: Al Jacinto
ZAMBOANGA CITY --- Naghigpil Ngayon ang Philippine Navy at lalong pinaigting ang pagpapatrulya sa karagatan ng Mindanao matapos ang sunud-sunod na pambobomba ng mga terorista at rebeldeng grupo. lbinintang ng mga awtoridad sa Indonesian terror group na Jemaah Islamiya at Abu Sayyaf, gayundin sa rebeleng Moro ang mga pagsabog sa Sulu at Mindanao na ikinasawi at ikinasugat ng maraming sibilyan. Sa Indonesia ay isinabit rin ng mga awtoridad doon ·sa Jemaah Islamiya ang pambobomba sa Marriott at Ritz-Carlton hotels sa Jakarta na ikinamatay ng siyam nakatao at pagkasugat ng 53iba pa."We have stepped upour security patrol. We are fighting terrorism here,"ani Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, ang commander ng navy sa Mindanao, Patuloy ang patrulya ng navy sa Moro Gulf, Mindanao, Sulu at Celebes Seas, mga lugar na kung saan ay aktibo ang mga pirata.DOWNLOAD PDF FILE
Manila Bulletin Sunday, July 19, 2009 13
By ELENA L. ABEN
The Philippine Navy has embarked on a new project dubbed "urban vegetable gardening." "From eliminating, we now do growing," Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said, as he discussed the Naval force’s new project. Arevalo said that from eliminating enemies in line with the governments, war on terror to conducting rescue and relief missions, the Philippine Navy led by its Flag Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, focuses on a new program aimed at fighting bigger enemy - hunger. In support of the government's campaign against hunger, the Philippine Navy has converted a 600-square meter former trash site at the Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig City into an organic vegetable garden. Arevalo said that the organic garden is one of the Navy's environment friendly projects. He said that the program will showcase an eco-friendly garden in Metro Manila, which can also be a good source of healthy diet and additional income. The urban vegetable gardening is pioneered by the Navy's engineering arm, the Naval Construction Brigade (NCBde) or Seabees. In promoting the "green project," the Team Navy collaborated with the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) in transforming the land into a garden. "The Navy's urban garden was realized thru the initiative of the Seabees
aided by the technical expertise and seedlings from BPI. Organic fertilizers like compost and farming methods were used to grow vegetables like alugbati, upland kangkong, bush sitaw, s31uyot, pechay, raddish, eggplant, and ginger. At the launching ceremony, the Navy chief expressed cited the health benefits of organic-grown vegetables. He said: "Vegetable is an important ingredient of our diet and input for good health." Seeing the potential of the garden,
Golez challenged Navy personnel to replicate the project in all units of the Command and to sustain the project and make vegetable gardening "a part of our daily life in the Navy." Arevalo said the project which targets optimum yield over minimum inputs will showcase technologies
in growing vegetables, herbs and spices. He added that the new project will serve as a model for other communities in the urban area to grow vegetables in their backyards or even in containers.
"This in a way will produce quality vegetables for home consumption, generate income, and help minimize waste in the area through composting," the Navy spokesman said. The Philippine Navy has expanded its role to include the protection of our environment. After launching its own Ecological Waste Segregation Program at Fort San Felipe, Cavite City early this year, the Navy now embarks into another eco-friendly project, the Urban Garden. "This project further attests to the Navy's commitment in preserving our natural resources," Arevalo said. Josephine Garcia, representative from the BPI, said: "The garden is not only a good source of organic vegetables
that promotes one's health, but is also a good source of additional income."DOWNLOAD PDF FILE
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009 PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
By Jocelyn R. Uy
NEWLY APPOINTED MARINE COMMANdant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban vowed yesterday
that Marines based in Sulu would not take a softer line in their pursuit against the Abu Sayyaf bandit group. Saban yesterday took over the highest post in the Philippine Marines as its new commandant. He replaced Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, who is taking command of government
forces in Southwestern Mindanao. But despite his new designation, Sabban will have to fly back to Sulu to continue ongoing offensives against the bandit group while his replacement as chief of Task Force Comet has yet to be named, Sabban told reporters after the turnover rites at the Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig City. "Until such time there is a replacement, I will have to continue my duty. It's very basic in the military that when you are not relieved [from your post], you have to stand your ground," he said. The US-educated top Marine firmly said that government troops on the ground would never relent in going after the Abu Sayyaf. “As what
we have been saying before, there should be no negotiations with terrorists," he added. He said troops on Jolo island were sufficient in number but they needed additional modern equipment to step up the fight against terrorism, Sabban pointed out as he disclosed the military's acquisition of new tools in its mission. ''We are in the process of getting these equipment," he said, but declined to elaborate. Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Philippine National Red Cross, had proposed granting amnesty to elderly Abu Sayyaf leaders but this· was rejected by Malacañang.
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By: Mario J. Mallari
Former coup plotter and Young Officers Union (YOU) founding member Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban yesterday formally assumed the post of commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). Sabban, a member of the controversial Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1978 which has President Arroyo as its honorary member, replaced Maj. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, who was appointed commanding general of the military's Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City. "He is a seasoned officer, he can walk chin up with his promotion, “a Marine officer facing court martial prooceedings fur the February 2006 alleged mutiny told the Tribune during a hearing on Thursday. "He is well-respected, not only within the Marines, but also in the entire military circle,' the officer, who wanted to be anonymous, said of Sabban. "He is a principled gentleman. He deserves it,' another officer said of Sabban. Other members of the PMA Class of 1978include incumbent Army chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena, National Capital Region Police Office director, Chief Supt. Roberto Rosales and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Preztosa. As ajunior officer, Sabban was among the YOU members, including now detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and fellow Marine and Medal of Valor awardee Col. Ariel Querubin, who joined forces with the Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM) in staging the bloody December 1989coup d'etat against the Aquino administration. Before his promotion, Sabban served as the commanding general of the Joint Task Force Comet, the lead military unit running after the Abu Sayyaf terror group led by Albader Parad and Abu Jumdail, alias "Dr. Abu,' which had kidnapped three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers and held them in captivity in the jungles of the southern island province of Sulu. His appointment as Marine commandant was announced a day after the last ICRC hostage to be held by the Abu Sayyaf, Italian Eugenio Vagni, was released by the bandit group in Maimbung town, Sulu last Sunday.The two other ICRC workers - Filipino Mary Jean Lacaba and Swiss Andreas Notter - were released by the militants last April 2 and 18, respectively, in Indanan town. The turnover ceremonies at the PMC headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City were presided over by Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez and was attended by the military's top brass, led by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Victor Ibrado. In his assumption speech, Sabban, who was chosen as among the 10 Outstanding Pilipino Soldiers by the Metrobank Foundation in 2003, called on the 8,000 strong Marines, who are known to be the AFP's invasion force, to be ready for non-traditional roles to properly cope up with the changing times. "To be able to cope with the rapidly evolving national security concerns, exigencies and demands brought about by these modern times, the Marine Corps must evolve as well, and its men and women must acquire new knowledge and skills and be prepared to perform non-traditional roles and tasks,' he said.
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8 Saturday, July 18, 2009 TempoBy: Nonoy E. Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Newly-installed Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) chief, Marine Major General Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino has a clear policy eliminate the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). "We will sustain our combat operations and enhance further the intensity of the operations against the Abu sayyaf Group, so that we will be able to eliminate this group the soonest time possible," Dolorfino said yesterday. Dolorfino assumed Thursday as the third commander of WesMil1- Com which was activated on Aug. 29, 2006. He replaced Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga who stepped down upon his retirement. The new WesMinCom commander told his men that the offensive against the ASG, particularly in Sulu and Basilan, will be intelligence-driven and must beprecise in nature to avoid collateral damage and displacement of civilians.
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A6 Philippine Daily Inquirer Wednesday, July 15, 2009
By Tarra Quismundo
With a report from Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
PRESIDENT MACAPAGAL-Arroyo has chosen another "mistah" to lead a major military
command, appointing Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban as commandant of the Philippine Marines.
Sabban, a member of Ms Arroyo's adoptive Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of
1978, headed Task Force Comet, the military's joint antiterrorism unit, based in Sulu. Sabban's appointment on Monday came two days after Italian aid worker Eugenio Vagni was released by Abu Sayyaf kidnappers. . Sabban will replace Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfmo during a command turnover ceremony on Friday, according to Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Armed Forces spokesperson. Dolorfino will take over the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), one of the busiest military unified area commands because of their active campaigns against terrorism
and insurgency in Mindanao. Dolorfino will succeed Lt. Gen. Nelson Allaga, who will retire
tomorrow upon reaching the age of 56 years. Reached by the INQUIRER for comment· last night in Manila, Dolorfino, a two-star general, said in a text message that "there is no promotion or demotion in assignments.'! Dolorfino viewed his new post as a promotion since it was actually held by three-star generals. Being Wesmincom' chief is "better," he said, since he could perform as "ground operator," directly supervising his men. Sabban "is the most senior among the Marines for the position," Brawner Jr. said, explaining that deliberations wertt on long before Sabban succeeded in securing Vagni's release. Nominations went through the Armed Forces' Board of Generals, Department of National Offense and, finally, Malacañang, Brawner Jr. said.
Sabban, he said, was among those on the short list. "We're expecting that General Sabban can do a good job as commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps. He has done a good job as commander of Task Force Comet and, of course, our chief of staff, Gen. Victor Ibrado, has full trust and confidence in him," the military spokesperson said. Sabban was known to have taken part in the December 1989 coup attempt against then President Corazon Aquino, alongside his mistah, Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, as members of the Young Officers' Union. Lim is now detained on rebellion charges. But the military believes in second chances, Brawner Jr. said. "Everybody is given another chance ... There might have been instances in his career where he might have gone against military rules and regulations, but everybody's given an equal chance to prove himself." In May, one of Ms Arroyo's most favorite generals, Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, became chief of the Philippine Army, the largest military service command. The assignment was widely believed to be preposturing for his eventual ascent to the military helm by election season
next year.DOWNLOAD PDF FILE