Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Navy planning to acquire seven vessels next year

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, Wednesday, December 29, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - The Navy plans to acquire seven vessels next year to improve its operations and upgrade its capabilities.

Navy spokesman Capt. Giovanni Bacordo told The STAR that they want to buy three offshore patrol vessels, three multipurpose attack craft and a landing craft utility in 2011.

“We seek to upgrade the capabilities of the Navy. The acquisition will help us perform our duties,” Bacordo said.

He said the attack craft, which will be used to insert troops during combat operations, would cost P89 million each.

On the other hand, the P178-million landing craft utility would be used to transport troops and logistics.

Bacordo said the patrol vessels would be used to conduct patrols at the Malampaya natural gas offshore facility in Palawan.

Information about the cost of the patrol vessels is not yet available.

Bacordo said the Navy has three multipurpose attack vessels in its inventory.

Two are deployed in Western Mindanao while another is stationed in Palawan.

He said they also have three landing craft utility but no offshore patrol vessels.

Bacordo said the purchase of a multi-role vessel is still in the pipeline but this would depend on the availability of funds.

He said they could not rely solely on the Navy’s annual budget for funds to cover the purchases since 70 percent of it goes to salaries while the rest is used to fund maintenance and operating expenses.

The purchase of the multi-role vessel, which costs about P5 billion, has been planned since 2007. Its acquisition, however, was stalled due to lack of financial resources.

A multi-role vessel is capable of delivering basic services to far-flung areas and can be used for disaster and humanitarian missions.

Earlier, the military announced plans to lease its properties to private firms to generate funds for its modernization program.

Officials said such a scheme would allow the military to procure equipment without bloating the deficit, which is expected to hit P325 billion this year.

Authorities are still determining how much would be generated from the project.

Last November, acting Navy chief Rear Adm. Danilo Cortez told The STAR that at least six firms have expressed interest in the project.

One of the six firms – Malaysian Resources Corp. Berhad – has submitted a proposal that would involve the lease of a 33-hectare Navy property in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.

The Armed Forces Modernization Act, which took effect on Feb. 23, 1995, has given the military the opportunity to modernize in 15 years with a total fund of P331 billion.

More than 15 years have passed since the law was enacted but there are views that the military is not even close to what may be called a modern battle force. The delay in the law’s implementation has been attributed to the lack of state resources.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Never say die

By: Bert Amoroso
Daily Tribune, Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Members of the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team 6 (MBLT-6) land in Manila after 10 years of battling lawless elements in Mindanao. In recognition of the battalion's role in neutralizing the operations of terror groups in the South, the 380-man team will be accorded honors at the Navy headquarters along Roxas Boulevard, Manila

500 Marines tigil muna sa 10-taong pakikipagbakbakan

By: Joy Cantos
Pilipino Star Ngayon, Wednesday, Disyembre 15, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Matapos ang isang dekada o 10 taong pagsabak sa combat operations, nabigyan ng pagkakataon para sa Christmas break at reunion ang isang batalyon o 500 tropa ng Philippine Marines.

Pinayagan nang makauwi sa kani-kanilang mga pamil­ya ang mga elemento ng Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 6 makaraan ang mahabang panahong walang puknat na pakikipaglaban sa iba’t ibang klaseng kriminal partikular ang bandidong Abu Sayyaf Group sa Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, North Cotabato at maging sa Lanao del Norte.

Ang naturang grupo ay elite force na panlaban sa mga ASG dahil sa kakaibang training ng mga ito.

Pinoy sea marshals honored by IMO

By: Pia Lee-Brago
Philippine Star, Sunday, December 12, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Four Filipino sea marshals received awards from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for their bravery while on duty onboard the Super Ferry 9 that sank in September 2009, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced.

The Philippine embassy in London reported to the DFA that members of the Task Force Sea Marshals received Certificates of Commendation from the IMO at ceremonies for the 2010 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea held at the IMO headquarters in London recently.

The Filipino awardees were Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Samuel Boniol, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Anifer Bucao, Navy Seaman First Class Oliver Cogo, and Philippine National Police Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Loreto Justo.

Except for Justo who has retired from service, the three awardees personally received their commendation from IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos.

They were accompanied by Charge d’Affaires Reynaldo Catapang and Coast Guard Commodore and Task Force Sea Marshals head Luis Tuason Jr.

Following the order to abandon ship as Super Ferry 9 sank, the four assisted with the evacuation of the passengers and shepherded them as they were being rescued.

They were the last persons to abandon the severely listing vessel after ensuring that all passengers had been evacuated.

The three Filipino sailors were presented to leaders of the Filipino community in London by Catapang during the annual charity dinner and dance hosted by the Kapampangan Association of UK.

“The bravery of these Filipino service personnel, in complete disregard of their personal safety, highlights the natural inclination of Filipino soldiers to willingly put their lives on the line to protect civilians. We are indeed proud of their international recognition by IMO,” Catapang remarked.

The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was established by the IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment and, by so doing, help to raise the profile of shipping and enhance its image.

Fijian seaman James Fanifau received the award this year for his rescue of Dr. Jerome Morgan from the sinking yacht Sumatra II in May 2009, amid severe weather conditions in the Tasman Sea in Brisbane, Australia.

In 2009, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Lieutenant Commander Vanessa Anne Garon and Ensign Maria Alexandra Garon received Letters of Commendation from IMO for their role in the recovery of bodies from the capsized M/V Princess of the Stars.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Manila Times, Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Soldiers participate in a joint training exercise dubbed Exercise "Dagit 2010" in Sangley Point, Cavite City, which aims to enhance interoperability between the Navy and the Air Force through the sharing of information on maritime matters.

3 World War II barko ng Navy, pinagretiro na

By: Joy Cantos

Pilipino Star Ngayon, Friday, December 10, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Sa kabila ng kakulangan sa multi-bilyong pondo para sa Mo­dernization Program ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), tatlong lumang mga barko na panahon pa ng World War II ang pinagretiro na ang ope­rasyon ng Philippine Navy kahapon.

Ayon kay Philippine Navy Spokesman Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo ang PS-23 at P 29; pawang mga patrol ship ay gamit sa Internal Security Operations habang ang Patrol gunboat PG -844 ay pawang sobrang luma na at may 67 taon ng ginagamit ng hukbong dagat.

Ang naturang mga barko ay nakadaong sa Naval Shipyard sa Navy Station Pascual Ledesma sa Cavite City.

Ipinaliwanag naman ng opisyal na ang pagpapatigil sa paggamit ng naturang mga barko ay dahilan sa masyadong magastos ang magmintina ng mga lumang barko na panahon pa ng World War II bukod sa masyado na itong mabagal at maraming depekto.

“They are impossible to maintain due to old age,” ani Bacordo kung saan sa kabuuang 53 patrol ships ay 25 lamang ang ma­aring magamit sa patrol ope­ration­.

Samantalang nabatid naman kay Captain Noel de Vera, Commander ng Naval Shipyard na aabot lamang sa P35- M ang pondo­ para sa pagmamantine ng may 102 barko ng Philippine Navy kaya’t importanteng maisulong ang mo­dernisasyon ng naturang hukbo.

Vintage Navy ships taken off the shelf

By: Victor Reyes

Malaya, Friday, December 10, 2010

THE Navy yesterday decommissioned three vintage ships.

It is coordinating with the donors of the two patrol ships and a patrol gunboat prior to selling these as scrap metal.

Parts of these vessels have already been removed and used for other Navy ships.

"If we needed spares, we just goet them from these (now decommissioned ships)," said Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Navy spokesman.

"They are beyond economic repair. It will entail a lot of cost if they are going to be revived so we preferred to remove them from the inventory of the Philippine Navy," said Bacordo.

Bacordo also said the decommissioning of the ships would not have effect on the Navy’s operational capability because these have not been used for a long while, remaining idle at Sangley Point in Cavite City, home of the Philippine Fleet.

He said the two patrol ships, PS 29 or BRP Negros Occidental and PS 23 or BRP Datu Marikudo, were donated by the US after the World War II and are 67 years old.

The gunboat (PG 844 or BRP Jose Artiaga) saw action with the Philippine Navy in 1993 after their donation by South Korea. It is about 30 years old.

With the decommissioning of the three ships, the Navy is left with 99 patrol, transport, and auxiliary ships and small craft, many of them also ageing. Of the number, 54 are operational, the Navy said.

Navy decommissions 3 WW II patrol boats

By: Alexis Romero

Philippine Star, Friday, December 10, 2010

SANGLEY POINT– Three World War II-era Navy patrol boats given by the United States were decommissioned yesterday.

Navy spokesman Capt. Giovanni Bacordo said the 67-year-old patrol boats, which saw action in World War II, will be sold as scrap metal.

“We have a Navy disposal committee,” he said.

Capt. Noel de Vera, Navy shipyard commander, said they have to get approval from the Armed Forces chief and the Joint United States Military Advisory Committee (JUSMAG) before they can proceed with the bidding.

The Navy disposal committee is still assessing the value of the decommissioned vessels, he added, Bacordo said only four of the 10 Navy auxiliary ships are operational.

Among the 32 small craft, 23 are operational, with an average age of 21 years old, he added.

Bacordo said the Navy budget cannot bankroll the purchase of new assets because 70 percent of the outlay goes to the salary of personnel.

The rest is for maintenance and operational expenses, he added.

Navy data showed that out of the 53 ships in the inventory, only 25 are operational.

These patrol boats are, on average, 36 years old.

The bigger ships like mine sweeper frigates and patrol craft escorts are 66 and 67 years old.

PH, Royal Brunei navies in joint exercises

By: Phoebe Jen Indino

Manila Bulletin, Friday, December 10, 2010

CAMP LAPU-LAPU, Cebu City, Philippines — The Ambassador of the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam to the Philippines, Her Excellency, Malai Majah Haji Yussof, along with officers of the Royal Brunei Navy paid a courtesy visit to Lt. Gen. Ralph Villanueva, Commander, Central Command earlier this week at the start of the bilateral maritime training activity between the Philippine Navy and Royal Brunei Navy.

The Royal Brunei Navy is here for a six-day bilateral training exercises with the Philippine Navy in Cebu, from December 6 to 12.

Around 130 uniformed personnel of the Philippine Navy are expected to participate in the six-day training exercise together with some 56 officers and men of the Royal Brunei Navy.

Said bilateral maritime training exercise between the navies of the two countries is conducted every two years to enhance both their capabilities in maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

In an interview, Ensign Joseph Ison, Public Information Officer of the Naval Forces Central (NAVFORCEN), said that this year, the training will be focused largely on cross training.

Ison added that there will also be an exchange of some of the best practices from both navies. “We are expected to learn from them even as we share with them our best practices and vice versa,” he said.

Moreover, the six-day training will also include a series of lectures and demonstrations and, on the last, day, debriefing sessions will be held and plaques exchanged between members of both naval forces.

The lectures will touch on Disaster Response at Sea, Maritime Interdiction Operation and Visit Board Search and Seizure. (Phoebe Jen Indino)

2 Navy personnel cited in London for bravery

By: Elena Aben

Manila Bulletin, November 27, 2010

MANILA, Philippines — Two Philippine Navy personnel received commendation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, in recognition of their gallant acts during the evacuation and rescue of passengers of the ill-fated Super Ferry 9 that sank off Siocon town in Zamboanga del Norte in September 2009.

Twelve people perished from the incident while more than 900 were saved from the tragedy.

Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, acting Navy spokesman, said Gunnersmate 3rd Class Anifer Bucao and Fireman 1st Class Aviation Mechanic Oliver Cogo were presented the certificates of commendation on November 25 at the IMO headquarters in London.

On September 10, 2009, the Navy Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez also presented to Bucao and Cogo, members of the four-man Task Force Sea Marshal, the “Distinguished Navy Cross,” the highest award the command can bestow, also for their “sound judgment” and swift action during the incident.

Bacordo said the IMO gave the award in recognition of the duo’s actions in assisting in the evacuation and disembarkation of the panicked-stricken passengers of the severely listing ship. He added the same recognition will be presented to Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel Boniol of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The certificates were presented to the two Navy personnel by His Excellency Eftimios Mitropoulos, IMO Secretary General, during the 88th session of the Maritime Safety Commission Meeting in London.

Bacordo said the IMO Council, during its 104th session held June 7 to 11, decided the said sea marshals should receive the certificates with their actions after the ship listed and the captain issued an order to abandon the ship at around 3:00 a.m. The ship sank six hours later.

Bucao and Cogo became nominees for the 2010 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

During the presentation of the Distinguished Navy Cross medal to the duo in 2009, the former Navy chief said Cogo was the last person to jump off the sinking ship on that fateful day.

Disregarding his own safety, Cogo said he 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 from the sinking ferry were 15 children, the last of whom was a special child he recalled kept punching him then.

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 there was no one else left in his sector.

The two Navy personnel helped distribute lifejackets while trying to calm down the passengers by telling them that rescue is on its way.

The abandon ship order was announced by the captain at about 3:35 a.m. but it was already around 8 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 life support, Cogo swam 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.

An order signed by Rear Admiral Feliciano Angue, then 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.”

200 PAF, Navy men join 'Dagit'

By: Alexis Romero

Philippine Star, Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - A total of 200 soldiers from the Navy and the Air Force are participating in the annual “Dagit” military exercises which kicked off yesterday at Sangley Point in Cavite City.

Philippine Fleet spokesman Ltjg. Rommel Rodriguez said the joint exercise aims to improve the interoperability between the Navy and Air Force, and is part of efforts to prepare for possible terror attacks.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photo on Manila Bulletin re 147th Birth Anniversary of Gat Bonifacio

Manila Bulletin, Wednesday, 01 December 2010

Manila Marks 147th Birth Anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio - Manila Mayor Alfredo S Lim (left) and Lt Commander Efren Madlangbayan of the Philippine Navy lead guests in the celebration of the 147th birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio at the Bonifacio Shrine yesterday, Nov 30, 2010.

Photo on X-Files re 147 Birthday Anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio

By: Tony Cunanan
X-Files, Wednesday, 01 December 2010

Ipinagdiwang ang ika-47 taong kaarawan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio na ipinanganak sa Tondo, Maynila at pinangunahan ni Manila Mayor Alfredo S Lim, Lt Commander Phil Navy Efren Madlangbayan, mga kaanak ni Espiridiona Bonifacio Distrito, DepEd Mla Dr Ponciano Menguito, Gemma Cruz Araneta at Knight of Columbus ang pag-aalay ng mga bulaklak sa Bonifacio Shrine Arroceros St, Malate, Manila.

Monday, November 29, 2010

3 Pinoy sea marshals, pinarangalan sa UK

Bomba, Nobyembre 29, 2010

Pinarangalan ng International Maritime Organization sa London ang tatlong Pinoy na kabilang sa four man task force sea marshals na tumulong para ilikas ang mga pasahero ng lumubog na Super Ferry 9 noong Setyembre 6, 2009.

Magugunitang naganap ang insidente sa baybayin ng Siocon sa Zamboanga del Sur, kung saan siyam ang nasawi mula sa mahigit 900 pasahero nito.

Kabilang sa mga binigyan ng pagkilala sina Navy gunner mate third class Anifer Bucao; Fireman first class aviation mechanic Oliver Cogo at Petty officer 2nd class Samuel Boniol ng Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Nabatid na iginawad ni IMO Sec. Gen. Eftimios Mitropoulus ang parangal kasabay ng 88th session ng Maritime Safety Commission meeting na ginanap sa United Kingdom.

3 Pinoy pinarangalan sa London

By: Alex Agne
Police Files Tonite, Sabado, Nobyembre 27, 2010

TATLONG Pinoy ang tumanggap
ng parangal sa mayamang bansang
London dahil sa ipinamalas
nilang kabayanihan.

Ang naturang mga Pinoy ay
sina Navy Gunnersmate
3rd Class Anifer Bucao,
Fireman First Class Aviation
Mechanic Oliver Cogo at
Petty Officer 2nd Class
Samuel Buniol ng Philippine
Coast Guard (PCG).

Kabilang ang tatlo sa Task Force
Sea Marshall na tumulong
para iligtas at ilikas ang mga
pasahero ng lumubog na Super
Ferry noong Setyembre 6, 2009
sa Siocon, Zamboanga Del Sur.

Tumanggap ang mga ito ng
certificate of commendation
mula sa International Maritime
Organization (IMO) sa London.

Iginawad ang parangal
kasabay ng 88th session
ng Maritime Safety Commission
meeting na ginanap sa United Kingdom

2 Navy sea marshals awarded for heroic act

Philippine Navy sea marshals Third Class Anifer Bucao and Fireman First Class Aviation Mechanic Oliver Cogo receive an award on Thursday at the IMO headquarters in London for helping save lives during the Super Ferry tragedy last year.

By: Jaime Laude
Philippine star, Sunday, November 28, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The heroism of the two Philippine Navy sea marshals that led to the saving of 926 lives during the sinking of Super Ferry 9 off the coast of Zamboanga del Norte last year has earned them international recognition.

Gunnersmate Third Class Anifer Bucao and Fireman First Class Aviation Mechanic Oliver Cogo received an award on Thursday at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

Navy spokesman Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the two, members of a four-man Task Force Sea Marshal, considered their actions at the height of Sept. 6 Super Ferry disaster as part of their job.

Both recipients of the Navy’s Distinguished Cross last September, the two were informed only recently that their heroism has earned them a nomination to an IMO award, which the international seafarers body approved following deliberations during its council meeting last June.

Bucao and Cogo shared the IMO award, handed out by IMO’s Secretary General Eftimios Metropoulos during the body’s 88th Session on the Maritime Safety Commission Meeting last Thursday in London, with two PCG personnel, one of them Petty Officer Second Class Samuel Boniol.

“The four were presented the certificates of commendation in recognition of their actions in assisting in the evacuation and disembarkation of the panicked-stricken passengers of the severely listing ship,” Bacordo said.

When the captain of the ill-fated vessel ordered everybody to abandon ship, the four, whose duty was to protect the vessel and passengers from threats of terror, went out of their way to ensure an orderly and safe evacuation of the passengers.

Had it not for their gallant move, the number of fatalities could have been higher. A total of nine passengers died in that particular sea mishap.

Marines sent to Palawan to counter insurgency

By Mario J. Mallari
Daily Tribune, Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Navy yesterday sent another Marine battalion in Palawan to augment present troops operating in Western part of the country against insurgency.

During send off ceremonies, Navy Flag Officer in Command Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez reminded 413-strong 12th Marine Battalion of the importance of their mission of keeping the people safe from enemies of the state.

“Your deployment to the operational area is very important to the Navy’s mission and to the Armed Forces. It is in your hands to sustain the peace in your respective areas of responsibilities and to make the lives of its people free from violence and fear,” said Cortez.

The 12th Marine Battalion, led by Col. Jesus Raul Caldez, left for Palawan aboard BRP Dagupan City. The contingent is composed of 16 officers and 397 enlisted personnel.

Cortez said the 12th Marine Battalion will augment the Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 (MBLT-8) which is presently deployed in Palawan.

“Once again, the Fleet-Marine operations will be validated as our Marines and sailors work in tandem so that peace and development will reign in this particular part of the region,” said Cortez.

The Navy deploys Marine battalions in the operational area in view of the internal security requirements of the Naval Forces and Area Commands in their respective theater of operation. The 12th Marine Battalion will be under the operational command of Western Command led by Marine Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban.

For his part, Caldez vowed to lead his men to accomplish the mission.

“The responsibilities entrusted to us are enormous and a road full of danger lies ahead. But in the end, we have to take into consideration the best interest of the Filipino populace,” said Caldez.

Meanwhile, BRP Dagupan City, commanded by Capt. Loumer Bernabe, will proceed to Zamboanga City to transport members of the MBLT-9, who just completed its retraining and refurbishing program in October to relieve-in-place MBLT-6 in Indanan, Sulu.

Members of the MBLT-6 are due for a six-month retraining and refurbishing at Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps, Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Taguig City.

By: Wally Vicoy
X-Files, Sabado, Nobyembre 27, 2010

DAAN-DAANG miyembro ng Philippine Marines ang pinadala kahapon sa Palawan para panatilihin ang kapayapaan dito. Ang Palawan ay sentro ngayon ng atraksiyon ng mga turista.

Sweet goodbye

By: Sonny Espiritu
Manila Standard, November 27, 2010

A Philippine Marine Raul Caldez kisses his son Ryan Jacob before he boards BRP Dagupan City for Palawan. The Navy is sending the 12th Marine Battalion to the south to augment military forces in the Western Command's area of responsibility and to sustain the military's operational thrust in Palawan.
By: Jonas Sulit
Abante Tonite, Nobyembre 27, 2010

Ang mga miyembro ng Philippine Marines Task Force KKK (Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran sa Kanluran) habang papasakay ng kanilang barko patungo ng Palawan matapos ang kanilang send-off ceremony kahapon sa Philippine Navy headquarters sa Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Ang mga sundalong ito ay ipinadala upang paigtingin ang kapayapaan at kaunlaran sa nabanggit na lugar.

By: Linus G. Escandor II
Tempo, Saturday, November 27, 2010

SOLDIERS of The Task Group KKK (Kapayapaan, Kaunlaran sa Kanluran) wave goodbye on board the BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) as they left the Navy Headquarters on Roxas Boulevard, Manila yesterday morning. The Marines were shipped to Palawan to augment the Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 to sustain the military's peace and development campaign in the province.

By: Wally Vicoy
Police Files Tonite, Sabado, Nobyembre 27, 2010

DAAN-DAANG miyembro ng Philippine Marines ang pinadala kahapon sa Palawan para panatilihin ang kapayapaan dito. ang Palawan ay sentro ngayon ng atraksiyon ng mga turista.


By: Jonas Sulit
Abante, Sabado, Nobyembre 27, 2010

Hinalikan ni Col. Raul Caldez ng Phil. Marines ang kanyang anak bago tuluyang sumakay ng Philippine Navy ship patungo sa lalawigan ng Palawan para sa bagong misyon matapos ang isinakatuparang 'send off ceremony' kahapon sa Philippine Navy Headquarters sa Roxas Blvd., Manila

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Naval Training Exercise Kicks Off

By: Elmer Cajilig

Visayan Daily Headlines, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

ILOILO CITY - A training exercise led by the Philippine Navy kicked off Tuesday following a simple send-off ceremony here.

The send-off ceremony was held at the compound of Milagrosa J Shipping Corporation at Lapuz Norte, La Paz, Iloilo City with Capt Jesus C Millan, commander of the Naval Reserve Command as guest of honor.

Dubbed as "Exercise Pagsasama 2010", the said training is joined by the 802nd Disaster Response and Rescue Unit (DRRU) in Iloilo City, Naval ROTC cadet officers, organic personnel coming from the Naval Reserve Command, Naval Reserve Center in Western Visayas and the Naval Forces Central based in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

A vessel of the Milagrosa J Shipping Corporation has been utilized for the said exercise, with the Philippine Navy Boat 140 as convoy.

Scenario on search and rescue, communication, sealift, maneuvers, convoy and ship operational protocol are among the tasks to be performed during the trip from Iloilo City to Cebu City.

Medical and dental civic action project as well as mangrove planting will be the closing activities upon their arrival at Naval Forces Central (NAVFORCEN) Cebu Bay, Cebu City on Wednesday morning, November 10, 2010.

Photos on Visayan Daily Headlines re Exercise Pagsasama 2010

By: Elmer Cajilig
Visayan Daily Headlines, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Philippine Navy personnel prepare to board a vessel during a send-off ceremony yesterday. A training exercise dubbed as “Exercise Pagsasama 2010” will be conducted by the personnel of the Philippine Navy midway to Cebu.

M/V Milagros Cinco with personnel of the Philippine Navy and Naval ROTC cadet officers on board maneuvers its way through the Iloilo River as it departs Iloilo City for a training exercise dubbed as “Exercise Pagsasama 2010”.

Capt Jesus C Millan, Commander of the Naval Reserve Command and Capt Jose Renan Suarez, deputy commander, Naval Forces Central, Philippine Navy.

Philippine Navy vessel BRP Hen Emilio Aguinaldo departs Iloilo City shortly after a send-off ceremony Tuesday. Dubbed as “Exercise Pagsasama 2010”, Navy personnel are joined by the Naval ROTC Cadet officers and contingents from the Naval Reserve Command, Naval Reserve Center in Western Visayas and the Naval Forces Central based in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Navy ship completes 23-day mission to typhoon-hit Isabela

By: Elena L Aben

Manila Bulletin, Friday, 19 November 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Phippine Navy (PN) transport ship, BRP Dagupan City (LC 551) returned "home" after completing a 23-day humanitarian mission to typhoon-ravaged Isabela province, which also highlighted the crucial need for the military to acquire a multi-role vessel (MRV) for the country's naval fleet.

Col. Ariel Caculitan, Navy spokesman, said LC 551 arrived in Manila Wednesday evening. The transport ship sailed off at dawn on Oct. 25 to bring tons of much needed relief goods, heavy equipment, construction materials and medical and engineering teams to the typhoon-hit towns of Maconacon, Divilacan, and Palanan in Isabela.

Caculitan said some 170 sailors and Marines who composed Task Group Amianan Recovery (TGAR) led by Capt. Nodolfo Tejada, provided medical assistance and distributed relief goods to the typhoon victims. The task group also took part in the construction of the Maconacon elementary and high school buildings, and in putting up temporary shelters for the victims.

LC 551 was immediately dispatched to Isabela on Oct. 25 to undertake relief and rehabilitation in the wake of the devastation left by super typhoon “Juan.”

From the Navy headquarters on Roxas Blvd., Manila, four naval combat engineering teams, a 60-man rescue team, a communications team, and a medical team boarded the vessel. Also on board were two payloaders, trailers, and a crane used for undertaking engineering and rehabilitation of various facilities, along with a 25-ton relief goods.

However, due to the unfavorable sea condition, LC 551 was forced to take shelter in San Fernando City, La Union where it stayed for two days. While it was moored there, the Task Group received instruction from the Northern Luzon Command to proceed to Port Irene, San Vicente, Cagayan and loaded relief goods and construction materials from the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) intended for the coastal towns of Isabela.

LC 551 arrived at Port Irene in the morning of Oct. 30 where it loaded 211 tons of cargo — hygiene kits, water kits, tents, medicines, including school items for students and teachers. Also loaded were 1,200 packs of relief goods from the Vice President as well as 2,000 GI sheets and other construction materials from the provincial government of Isabela.

Four representatives from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), three from Smart Communications, and two from Ateneo de Manila boarded the vessel together with 52 residents of Maconacon and Divilacan.

Caculitan said the way to Isabela proved to be a difficult one as huge waves of up to seven to nine meters’ high slowed down the vessel.

"The long hours and days of nauseatic ‘roller coaster ride’ were certainly a draining experience, but this did not deter the sailors and Marines to continue on with their mission," said Caculitan.

He said although rough seas prevented the ship to dock in Maconacon for days, LC 551 while anchored in the vicinity off Bicobian Bay, Divilacan, Isabela utilized its two Landing Craft Vessel Personnel (LCVP) to transport the relief goods to dry land.

By noon of Nov. 6, all relief goods intended for the town of Palanan had been unloaded in Divilacan. The ship proceeded to Maconacon the next day to unload other relief goods which consisted of 525 bottles of mineral water, 500 packs of food items, and 500 packs of clothing items.

"The crucial importance of the Navy has been once again emphasized during these times of calamities," said Caculitan, adding: "Naval vessels are strategic assets that can transport huge complement of rescue and humanitarian response to victims of disasters. It can serve as a platform for both local and national government, NGOs, and other agencies in providing different immediate services."

The Navy spokesman said it was the same situation in 2006 when Albay was ravaged by typhoon “Reming” and road networks were rendered impassable, with only the sea left as the unhampered maneuver space for rescue and relief activities.

Photo on The Philippine Star re Arrival of TF Amianan Recovery

By: Jonjon Vicencio
The Philippine Star, Friday, 19 November 2010

Members of the Philippine Navy Task Force Amianan arrive at the Navy headquarters in Manila after a 23-day humanitarian mission in Isabela, one of the provinces hit hardest by typhoon "Juan".

Photo on Manila Standard Today re Arrival of TF Amianan Recovery

By: Ey Acasio
Manila Standard Today, Friday, 19 November 2010

Peace-time heroes. Task Force Amianan Recovery members composed of some 170 sailors and Marines, feast on puto and dinuguan at arrival honors at the Naval Headquarters in Manila Thursday. The group provided humanitarian and relief mission for 23 consecutive days in the northern provinces of Pangasinan, Cagayan, and Isabela in the aftermath of typhoon Juan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Navy operatives seize P1.4-M banned shells

By: Bong Garcia
Sun Star, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) operatives have intercepted and confiscated a shipment of P1.4 million banned shells in Zamboanga City, an official announced Wednesday.

Commodore Orwen Cortez, NFWM commander, said the shipment of the Trocas shells was intercepted by his men around 1 a.m. Wednesday at a private wharf in the village of Baliwasan, west of the city.

The interception happened following receipt of intelligence report by Cortez's command.

Cortez said the Trocas shells packed in 70 sacks were loaded aboard M/L Kimberbie that dropped anchor coming from Palawan when the cargoes were intercepted.

Aside from the banned cargoes, M/L Kimberbie was also loaded with 21 people, 11 of them are boat crew while 10 are passengers that include women and children, Cortez said.

The Trocas shells can only be found in Tubataha, Palawan, which is declared as one of the protected areas in the country.

The estimated volume of the Trocas shells is 9, 100 kilos as each sacks contain at least 130 kilos, Cortez said.

He said the government banned the gathering of Trocas shells as it is listed as one of the endangered marine species.

"This type of shell has ornamental value. It is used for making buttons for high-end clothing," he said.

Cortez also said the violation of the ban is penalized through imprisonment from 12 to 20 years and with payment of corresponding fine.

The confiscated Trocas shells will be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for appropriate action while the Navy will pursue against the owner of M/L Kimberbie, Cortez added.

P1.4-M Trocas shells seized at Zambo port

By: Nonoy E Lacson
Tempo, Friday, 12 November 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Some P1.4 million worth of banned shells was intercepted at a local wharf here by operatives of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM).

Commodore Orwen Cortez, NFWM commander, said the shipment of the Trocas shells was intercepted by his men around 1 a.m. Wednesday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan in this city.

He said the shipment was seized after concerned citizen informed his command on the arrival in this city of the banned shell aboard a motor launch coming from Palawan.

Cortez said the Trocas shells packed in 70 sacks with an estimated volume of 9,100 kilos were
found inside M/L Kimberbie.

Trocas shells can only be found in Tubbataha, Palawan, which has been declared as one of the protected areas in the country. The national government has banned the gathering of Trocas shell as it is listed as one of the endangered marine species.

"This type of shell has ornamental value. It is used for making buttons for high-end clothing," Cortez said.

Violators of the ban face 12 to 20 years of imprisonment with corresponding fines.

The confiscated Trocas shells would be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for appropriate action while NFWM would pursue charges against the owner of M/L Kimberbie.

Banned Shell Products Seized

By: Nonoy E Lacson
Manila Bulletin, Friday, 12 November 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Some P1.4 million worth of banned shell products was intercepted at a
local wharf here by operatives of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM).

Commodore Orwen Cortez, NFWM commander, said the shipment of the Trocas shells was intercepted by his men around 1 a.m. Wednesday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan in this city. He said this was made after a concerned citizen tipped off his command on the arrival in this city of the banned shells aboard a motor launch coming from Palawan.

Cortez said the Trocas shells packed in 70 sacks with an estimated volume of 9,100 kilos were loaded aboard M/L Kimberbie which dropped anchor coming from Palawan at a local port here. Trocas shells can only be found in Tubbataha, Palawan, which is declared as one of the protected areas in the Country.

More Marines fielded in Cotabato

By: John Unson
The Philippine Star, Friday, 12 November 2010

COTABATO CITY – Four more companies of Marines arrived yesterday to help the local police fight kidnappers and extortionists whose attacks in recent months have stifled the city’s economy.

The Marines, who belong to the Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 (MBLT-7), were personally endorsed to Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. by Commodore Philip Lacayan, commander of the Naval Forces in Eastern Mindanao, during simple rites at the Polloc port in Parang, Maguindanao.

The Marines were brought by a Navy boat from Basilan, where they spent almost four years of peacekeeping missions.

“We ought to thank President Aquino for having listened to the clamors of residents of Cotabato City, including the business and religious communities, for him to send the Marines,” Guiani said.

The MBLT-7 members are taking over all security installations here of the Army’s anti-crime Task Force Tugis, an erstwhile unit of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Datu Odin, Maguindanao.

Task Force Tugis was disbanded last month and re-organized into a new humanitarian group dubbed Task Force Bigkis Lahi.

More Marines deployed in Cotabato

Daily Tribune, Friday, 12 November 2010

POLLOC PORT, Maguindanao — Fresh from their stint in Basilan, some 300 additional troops from the 7th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) arrived here yesterday to boost efforts on restoring peace and order in Cotabato City following a spate of kidnapping and bombing incidents targeting against the local business sector.

“We are here upon the request of Cotabato City officials and business leaders,” Marine Forces Eastern Mindanao Commander Philip Cacayan told newsmen here during a welcome ceremony conducted by the city government.

The additional Marine force forms part of a small contingent, comprising some 50 Marine personnel, sent earlier this month to immediately address the rising criminality in the city.

Prior to their arrival, two kidnappings and four bombings occurred, respectively, in a span of three months in the area.

Cacayan said the 7th MBLT will not focus mainly in Cotabato City but also parts of nearby Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces where intermittent fighting between armed factions of influential clans were reported.

“Actually, another 300 Marine troopers would be deployed in the coastal areas of Kalamansig and Lebak in Sultan Kudarat and Datu Blah Sinsuat in Maguindanao,” the Marine official said.

“Our order is to stay in the areas concerned as long as our presence is needed,” he stressed. PNA

During the Marines’ first deployment here in the mid-90s, crime significantly decreased, including kidnappings and bombings, due to a series of arrests made by Marines against outlaws.

Sometime in 2002 after a change in the national leadership, the Marines were pulled out from Cotabato and reassigned to hostile parts in Basilan, Sulu and Lamitan.

“Now that they are back, Cotabatenos are somehow relieved of their fears from criminal activities that have hounded the city for several years,” Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. said.

The mayor, who led in welcoming the Marine contingent, pointed out that the soldiers could also help much on instilling “discipline” among Cotabatenos, particularly the youth.

“The Marines as an elite fighting force has the reputation of valueing discipline and this can be instilled on the minds of the young Cotabatenos who are exposed on illegal acts such as gang wars, drugs and gamblings, among other vices,” he said.

The 7th MBLT was based temporarily in Pedro Colina Hill, a military reservation area in Cotabato, where the undermanned local police force, comprising of 150 cops and personnel, is also holding office.

Cotabato City has a population of over 200,000 Christian and Muslim settlers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hanging Bridge

Photo By Ruby Thursday More
Tempo, Monday, 8 November 2010

A woman Crosses this 70-meter-long hanging bridge in Pikit, North Cotabato yesterday. The Bridge connects Pikit to Pagalungan town in Maguindanao province. The two towns are separated by the Pulang River. The Bridge was constructed by the Philippine Marines after the war in 2003.

Hanging Bridge

Photo By Ruby Thursday More
Manila Bulletin, Monday, 8 November 2010

A 70- meter hanging bridge connects the town of Pikit in North Cotabato to Pagalugan in Maguindanao province, which are separated by the Pulang River. The Bridge was constructed by the Philippine Marines in 2003.

Navy taps Cortez as NFWM acting commander

By Mario J. Mallari
The Daily Tribune, Monday, 8 November 2010

The Navy leadership has tapped a combat-tested senior officer to head the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) where Abu Sayyaf terrorists and rogue elements of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are known to be operating.

Military Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said that Commodore Orwen Cortez was designated as acting commander of the NFWM, which has jurisdiction over naval operations in the provinces of Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Dolorfino said Cortez, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1979, formally took over the NFWM last Nov. 4. Cortez was the erstwhile commander of the Naval Forces Western Command.

Cortez was known for leading his forces in assaulting Matanggue Island in Balabac, Palawan in August of 2009 when lawless elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), led by Abdullah Abdurajak, alias Pa Guro, staged atrocities against civilians in the area.

The Navy operations led to the killing of at least 10 MNLF rebels, including Abdurajak.

The NFWM was originally assigned to Rear Adm. Feliciano Angue but was recalled after the disgruntled Navy officer publicly criticized alleged “prostitution” of the military promotions system. He was subsequently put under investigation and was held on a floating status pending the result of the Navy probe.

The NFWM was subsequently taken over by 1st Marine Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen on a concurrent capacity.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said Cortez was tapped by the Navy leadership in an acting capacity.

Meanwhile, Dolorfino is formally retiring from the military service last Wednesday but his replacement as Wesmincom chief has yet to be announced.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo David Jr. earlier had said the military’s Board of Generals has already convened for its recommended shortlist.

David said the post is up for grabs for Navy, Marines and Army officers.

Earlier, military sources feared that an Army officer might be appointed to the post following the pull out of the 1st Marine Brigade from Basilan and replaced by elements of the Army’s Special Operations Command.

Cortez assumes NFWMC

By Elena L Aben
Manila Bulletin, Monday, 8 November 2010

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class '79, Commodore Orwen Cortez has assumed post as head of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Command (NFWMC) based in Zamboanga City, an Armed Forces official said yesterday.

MANILA, Philippines - With the approval of the Office of the President, the post of NFWMC chief was earlier given to controversial Navy officer, Rear Adm. Feliciano Angue, former Armed Forces of the Philippines -National Capital Region Command (NCRCom) commander, who is now facing an investigation for alleged violation of the military code of conduct.

Cortez replaced Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen, 1st Marine Brigade commander, who was assigned earlier to the command in an acting capacity.

Retiring Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, Marine Lt. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino confirmed that Cortez has taken over the NFWMC top post last week.

But Dolorfino, who is set to retire on Wednesday, November 10, declined to comment on the circumstances of the designation of Cortez. He said, “it's a regular position."

Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., AFP spokesman, said that Cortez was designated by the Philippine Navy as NFWMC chief in an acting capacity. Angue may still assume the post depending on the outcome of the investigation of his case.

Angue's assumption as NFWMC chief was held in abeyance after he was placed under investigation for violation of the AFP code of conduct after he slammed the alleged “prostitution” of the military’s promotion system.

Angue claimed his designation to the two-star post oc NFMWC chief was a “demotion” since he had already been assigned to the three-star post of NCRCom commander.

New Navy Western Mindanao chief named

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, Monday, 8 November 2010

MANILA, Philippines - A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class ’79 has been appointed as acting commander of the Naval Forces in Western Mindanao.

Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) chief Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said Commodore Orwen Cortez has been designated as acting chief of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, which covers areas believed to be hideouts of local terrorists.

“Commodore Orwen Cor tez assumed on Nov. 4,” Dolorfino said.

Cortez succeeded Brig. Gen. Eugenio Clemen who was previously assigned to the post in an acting capacity. Prior to his appointment as Western Mindanao Naval Forces chief, Cortez was commander of the Naval Forces Western Command based in Palawan.

Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta, Jr. said Cortez will only serve in an acting capacity since Rear. Adm. Feliciano Angue, who has been appointed to the post, is being probed for airing his concerns to the media.

“Admiral Angue’s designation as Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief has been approved by the President. Since he is being investigated, he cannot assume the post,” he said in a phone interview.

“He (Cortez) will serve in an acting capacity. The issuance (of designation) is only at the Navy level. It is not approved by the President.”

Mabanta said Cortez is competent and qualified to handle his new assignment.

Angue has been named Naval Forces Western Mindanao chief but his appointment was deferred pending the probe on his alleged violation of the military code of ethics.

Angue had claimed that the promotion system is politicized and that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin is meddling in the giving of posts. He claimed that PMA class ’79 members, especially those who served as Gazmin’s subordinates, benefited from the favoritism in the promotion system.

Rehab teams deployed in ravaged Isabela towns

By Charlie Lagasca and Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, Monday, 8 November 2010

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines – Amid the inclement weather, the 60-man “Amianan Recovery” team composed of sailors and Marines from the Navy finally reached Divilacan town, one of the three typhoon Juan-devastated Pacific coast towns of Isabela being prioritized for relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The said team aboard the BRP Dagupan City or LC 551 logistical support vessel brought along with them the equipment needed to conduct road clearing, create communication lines and conduct needed engineering assistance for the typhoon-hit coastal areas.

The task group was activated in the aftermath of typhoon Juan to alleviate the plight of residents who were heavily affected in the province, to help in road clearing, and to undertake other engineering assistance,” said Navy Col. Ariel Caculitan, acting director of the Naval Affairs Office.

The mission team, which also brought along with them 66 tons of relief goods, consists of 60-man rescue as well as medical, engineering and communication experts.

Besides Divilacan, the mission is also set to conduct relief and rehabilitation activities in the coastal towns of Palanan and Maconacon, whose power and communication facilities have yet to be normalized since typhoon Juan lashed through the province two weeks ago.

The typhoon, the worst to hit Isabela and the rest of the region in recent years, also brought severe damage to the towns’ road networks as well as school and residential buildings.

After a 10-day setback due to heavy rains, the relief mission finally arrived over the weekend at Aubarede Point in Divilacan town, instead of the usual landing in Palanan town.

The said rains had earlier caused the members of the mission to wait it out at Port Irene, Santa Ana, Cagayan, until the weather relatively cleared up.

Members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) and Mobile Group of the Philippine National Police have been dispatched in Isabela and Cagayan to assist families displaced and affected by floodings caused by heavy rains in the area.

PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said SAF and Police MG were deployed to help families, who were forced to vacate their houses and live along the national road in Baggao, Amulung, Alcala, Iguig, Apad and Tuguegarao in Cagayan.

Over the weekend, Cruz said 500 barangays in 45 municipalities in six provinces in Cagayan Valley Region (Region 2), Central Luzon and Cordillera Region were affected by continuous heavy downpour.

More families affected

Cruz said the total number of families affected has increased from 67,459 families or 250,865 persons to 106,923 families or 417,318 persons.

Reports reaching Camp Crame showed authorities in the affected areas are checking the effect of the floodings to road sections and six bridges in Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora and Apayao.

The collapsed portion of Mt. Musimos in Lubuagan, Kalinga resulted in an embankment and has impounded large volume of water.

Relatedly, agricultural damage caused by the massive flooding in Northern Luzon has exceeded P316 million, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said yesterday.

NDRRMC said as of 6 a.m. yesterday, agricultural losses in Cagayan region totaled P313.75 million, representing 30,092 hectares of palay and corn. On the other hand, damage to agriculture in Central Luzon hit P2.44 million and covered 78 hectares of rice, vegetable, fruit trees, and fishery. 

Based on these statistics, agricultural losses posted by regions affected by the flood totaled about P316.19 million  

NDRRMC said the death toll stayed at 13, majority of them killed in a landslide. Ten of these fatalities were from Cagayan, two from Central Luzon and one from Cordillera. Two people from Aurora province were injured while two others from Cagayan region are missing. 

NDRRMC said the number of affected families has risen to 106,923 or 417,318 persons. Of these, 2,517 families or 11,763 persons were brought inside 69 evacuation centers. NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos said people are starting to return to their residents as the flood waters are starting to subside. 

The floods damaged 46 houses located in parts of Aurora, Cagayan, and Apayao. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Helen Flores

Navy wants multi-role vessels

By Ding Cervantes
Philippine Star, Monday, 8 November 2010

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – The Navy wants to procure multi-role vessels (MRVs) similar to one that sailed through turbulent waters to deliver relief goods to residents of Pangasinan and Isabela isolated by rains during typhoon “Juan.”

Col. Ariel Caculitan, acting Navy public affairs chief, said these vessels will enhance the Navy’s security efforts and boost its capability in performing disaster and calamity-related missions.

An MRV can also serve as a floating government humanitarian center during times of calamity, he added.

Caculitan said the vessel can be a platform for medical treatment of calamity victims in isolated areas.

“It can also accommodate a host of activities of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and non-government organizations for the affected communities, be a springboard for disaster response and rescue operations teams, and carry other logistic and engineering supplies and equipment that are needed in response to a humanitarian emergency anywhere in the archipelago,” he said.

During typhoon “Juan,” Caculitan said an MRV carrying Marines and Navy men surged through rough seas and reached isolated folk in Divilacan and Isabela to deliver 36 tons of food and other basic needs from the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and the DSWD.

“The MRV also had a 60-man rescue team, a communications team, medical team, two payloaders, trailers, and a crane used for undertaking engineering and rehabilitation of various facilities,” he said.

“The urgency of acquiring the MRV is often felt strongly during times when people’s lives and properties are in great danger,” he said.

The MRV measures 120 meters and can load up to 7,200 tons of cargo.

It can accommodate 100 crewmen and 500 passengers and travels at a speed of 12 knots.

Meanwhile, Aerotech Philippines Inc., the local counterpart of Italian aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, has turned over to the Air Force four brand new SF-620 trainer aircraft, comprising the first batch of 18 such aircraft costing a total of P622.59 million intended to be delivered to the PAF up to April next year.

4 sea marshals to receive int'l award for bravery

Manila Bulletin, Sunday, 7 November 2010

MANILA, Philippines — More than a year after the sinking of the passenger vessel M/V Super Ferry 9 off the Zamboanga Peninsula, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London lauded the four sea marshals under the command of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for their unconditional bravery in saving the lives of passengers during that tragic incident.

Commodore Luis Tuason Jr., district commander of the PCG National Capital Region who also heads Task Force Sea Marshals, said the four sea marshals cited were Coast Guard's Petty Officer Second-class Samuel Boniol, Philippine Navy's Petty Officer Third-class Aniifer Bucao and Seaman First-class Oliver Cogo, and SPO3 Loreto F. Justo of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group.

They are set to receive their Certificates of Commendation in London in recognition of their action and bravery in the conduct of actual evacuation, disembarkation and rescue operations of the passengers and crew of the ill-fated M/V Super Ferry 9 which sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula on Sept. 6, 2009.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show of Force

By Bert Amoroso
The Daily Tribune, Friday, 5 November 2010

Marines display an array of war weapons as they celebrate the 6oth Philippine Marine Corps birthday at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Show of Force

By Edwin Bacasmas
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Friday, 5 November 2010

Philippine Marines strut their stuff during Thursday's demonstration held at the back of the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Why not at their headquarters?

By Philip Duquiatan
Malaya, Friday, 5 November 2010

The dress rehearsal of the Marines at the back of SM Mall of Asia for the 60th Marine anniversary celebration on Sunday makes one wonder why it was held near the biggest mall in the country.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Marines set up recruitment center at Mall of Asia

By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star, Friday, 5 November 2010

Recruitment of idealistic and disciplined young men and women to its ranks highlighted the celebration of the Marine Corps’ 60th anniversary yesterday.

The recruitment was held at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Also part of the celebration was a photo exhibit of the Marine Corps’ achievements and fighting capability.

Marine recruitment officer 2Lt. Gizzell Sernat said successful applicants would have a stable job and an opportunity to serve the country.

“The Marines would rather die than lose their honor. Trainees will be idealistic. They will be given a stable job and good salary,” Sernat told The STAR.

“The trainees would learn the value of discipline. They will also experience the camaraderie shared by the Marines,” she added.

Sernat said another recruitment activity would be held in Isabela province next week. She said the Marines target 2,000 recruits this year.

Applicants should be 18 to 21 years old and should have completed at least 72 units of any college course. Those who graduated from courses offered by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority are also qualified to apply.

Applicants must submit accomplished application forms and take tests designed to assess their intelligence quotient, abstract, verbal, and mathematical skills and knowledge of current events.

After passing such tests, applicants will be subjected to physical tests to determine if they are fit to join the training.

Sernat said the Marines have also conducted recruitment activities in Iloilo, Tugegarao and in Pangasinan.

Other activities marking the corps’ anniversary were film showing, demonstration of fighting and rescue capabilities, and silent drills.

There are about 9,000 Marine troops and trainees in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Meanwhile, the AFP launched its yearly military sports festival yesterday. AFP chief of staff Gen. Ricardo David graced the event held at Camp Aguinaldo.

Also present were Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena and Navy chief Vice Admiral Danilo Cortez.

The three declined to comment when asked about the alleged terror threat that prompted the US and four other countries to issue travel advisories to their citizens in the country.

“The AFP chief had spoken,” Ortiz said.

Earlier, David downplayed the terror plot, saying that the military had not detected any credible terror threat in Metro Manila or in other parts of the country.