Friday, September 24, 2010

PN scorecards: Accomplishment

Manila Bulletin, Thursday, September 22, 2010

Service to constituency is normally the last perspective, which all other perspectives serve. This is true of the Navy Sail Plan, which prefers to label this last perspective as “accomplishment.”

Two priorities are listed under the accomplishment perspective. The first is a “secured maritime environment.” For the Navy, the proposed initiative to pursue this first priority is to set up an efficient data collection and reporting system on naval operations. Such system should be able to highlight progress using the business confidence index (maritime). This index is now at 20 percent (in 2010) and is targeted to rise to 25 percent (2011), 40 percent (2012 and 2013), and finally to 54 percent (2020). The other index such a system would highlight is the naval operations index. This one starts at an even lower base, and is targeted to rise to 6 percent (2011), 12 percent (2012), 18 percent (2013), and finally 85 percent (2020). This is a dramatic jump, an indication of the quantum leap the PN intends to execute through its Sail Plan.

Such a dramatic jump gives an indication of the distance the Navy intends to cover through its Sail Plan. A lay observer has no idea what goes into a naval operations index. But from the targets set for 2011-2013, one gets the idea that the index is currently at a very low level, and that it will take enormous effort, involving considerable commitment and resources, to lift such an index up, let alone to reach a high of 85 percent by 2020. By this, one appreciates the value of a measure that needs to be specified in any performance scorecard: It marks out where an institution is, indicating where one is currently; and it marks out a future milestone that needs to be reached, particularly at the end of the Vision period. On this measure alone, the naval operations index, the performance scorecard is calling for a genuine breakthrough result for the Navy to deliver in the next 10 years.

The second priority under the accomplishment perspective is “highly satisfied stakeholders.” The initiative the Navy proposes to undertake to secure this priority is to implement a dynamic strategic communications plan. The plan should result in an average satisfaction rating on the part of internal stakeholders (i.e. Navy personnel): On a scale of 1 to 10, the rating is targeted to be at 6 during the period 2011-2013. It should then gradually rise until it reaches nine in 2020. There are external stakeholders too: Their satisfaction rating also has to be tracked. At present, the Navy does not have such a satisfaction rating involving its external stakeholders: This has to be developed and subsequently surveys have to be undertaken regularly. These surveys need to be given due importance, especially in light of the Vision in the Navy Sail Plan: That Vision calls for a strong and credible Navy that our maritime nation can be proud of. The Filipino people must come around to regard their Navy highly, and because of the Navy’s accomplishments they should end up becoming proud of their Navy.

The strategic communications plan initiative is a recognition on the part of the PN that it is impossible for it to achieve the targets set out in the Sail Plan without the support and active involvement of other sectors of Philippine society. The general public has got to know what the Navy is supposed to do, and what resources the Navy should be able to count upon in order to carry out its Mission and realize its 2020 Vision. Indeed, the Navy’s rapport with the citizenry has to be deepened and constantly nurtured: The Navy has to keep investing in a well-thought-out and smartly-executed outreach program pitched to all Filipinos. It is the Navy’s good fortune that the people it serves are open; it should not be difficult, therefore, to win over their hearts and minds: In fact, they are craving for an institution they can genuinely be proud of, and the Navy is a deserving candidate for the people’s trust and affection, especially if it sails far and wide with the use of its Sail Plan.

PN Scorecard on Capability

Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, September 20, 2010

Using the performance governance system (PGS), which calls for a balance of perspectives, one would ordinarily gloss over the issue about which of those perspectives are more important than the others. After all, under the PGS, what is important is that all key perspectives need to be duly taken into account.

In the case of the Philippine Navy (PN), however, one gets the distinct impression that the perspectives of personnel, organization, and resources have to be taken into account because of their bearing on capability. This is the perspective that matters deeply: After all, what the Navy can accomplish would depend critically upon its capability.

The PN has listed four priorities under the capability perspective. The first of these is “responsive naval support.” This has elicited the proposed initiative of pursuing a modernized PN logistics system. The timely arrival of resources is the proposed measure of success for this initiative. The targets for 2011, 2012, and 2013 are 80 percent, 85 percent, and 90 percent, respectively. For 2020, the target is 99 percent. The proposed measure shows how dependent this initiative is upon the availability of resources and upon when those resources are made available to the Navy. Delay can be damaging.

The second priority is “reliable naval facilities.” The Navy proposes two initiatives to pursue this priority. A high customer satisfaction on the use of naval facilities, as the first initiative, would have as its measure of success the increase in the average “customer satisfaction rating,” presumably on the part of PN personnel. The targets are: 75 percent for 2011, 80 percent for 2012, 85 percent for 2013, and finally 95 percent for 2020. The second initiative calls for a comprehensive PN real estate utilization program. The measure of success of this initiative is the average MDP completion rate of PN bases and stations. Starting from a low base in 2010, the Navy has set the following targets: 50 percent for 2011, 60 percent for 2012, 70 percent for 2013, and 100 percent for 2020.

Under the third priority of securing “up-to-date naval capability,” two initiatives have been put forward. The first is to establish a responsive self-reliance defense posture program, with the measure of success being the rating of equipment of OPREVAL. The targets start at 75 percent for 2011, 80 percent for 2012, and 85 percent for 2013. They end at 100 percent for 2020. The second initiative is full utilization of PN Defense Capability Assessment and Planning System. The measure of success is the percentage of capability proposal complied with (i.e. actual versus programmed), and this is targeted at 25 percent in 2011 (from the base of 20 percent in 2010). The target moves up to 40 percent in 2012, 60 percent in 2013, and finally 90 percent in 2020.

The fourth and final priority under the capability perspective is “optimal level of operational readiness.” Only one initiative is proposed, and it is to improve operational readiness program management. The critical measure of success of this initiative is the OPREVAL rating with the following targets: 60 percent in 2011, 65 percent in 2012, 70 percent in 2013, and 85 percent in 2020. The Navy is starting at a low base with respect to this measure, and the targets it has set for this measure indicate how difficult it is for the PN to push it up; even by 2020, it can put forward a target of only 85 percent.

One quick look at the performance scorecards the Navy has proposed under the capability perspective would impress upon anyone how critically important the indicated initiatives, measures, and targets are for success of the Navy Sail Plan. It is true that all performance scorecards have to be given due attention along with the necessary commitment, dogged perseverance, and resources. But it is the attention to the performance scorecards under the capability perspective which would ultimately determine whether the PN has succeeded with its Navy Sail Plan.

BCDA extends deadline for Bonifacio South

By Ben Arnold O. De Vera
The Manila Times, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

State-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said it gave prospective bidders for the Fort Bonifacio property it is privatizing another month to prepare their elibility documents.

In a text message on Monday, Aileen Zosa, BCDA executive vice president and spokesperson, said that bidders for the 33.1-hectare Bonifacio South property can submit their eligibility documents until October 20.

The official said the agency granted the extension because bidders had asked for an extension.

Real estate giants Ayala Land Inc., Filinvest Land Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, Megaworld Corp.,Robinsons Land Corp. and Rockwell Land Corp. have expressed interest to challenge SM Land Inc.’s bid to develop the Bonifacio South lot covering the Philippine Army’s Army Support Command (ASCOM) and Special Services Unit (SSU), as well as the Philippine Navy’s Bonifacio Naval Station (BNS) and Philippine Marine Corps. (PMC).

SM Land had submitted to BCDA an unsolicited proposal to develop Bonifacio South for a minimum investment commitment of P20 billion.

The company’s bid offers an upfront cash amounting P2 billion upon signing the joint venture (JV) contract and also secured annual revenues of P25.9 billion, for a present value of P36,900 per square meter, for 20 years.

SM Land’s proposal will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, under Annex C of the National Economic and Development Authority’s JV Guidelines.

Under the Bonifacio South master plan, the BNS/PMC/ASCOM/SSU lots would be developed into a medium- to high-density residential and mixed-use complex, with a maximum allowable gross floor area of 1.355 million square meters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Navy’s Resources

Saturday, September 17, 2010

As a unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Navy (PN) operates on the basis of budgetary allocations that the national government provides and releases to it. This amount has always been subject to severe constraints: the Navy is always called upon to do so much on the basis of so little.

There is little the Navy can do about the budgetary allocations the General Appropriations Act provides for the AFP in general and for the PN in particular.

Thus, under the priority of “balanced financial programs,” one of two priorities listed under the resources perspective, the PN puts forward this initiative, to strengthen PN fiscal administration. The first measure of success under this initiative is keep at 100% the rate of obligation, i.e., ensure that the entire budgeted amount and released to the PN is duly and properly obligated and deployed. The other measure of success is to keep at zero Commission on Audit (COA) exceptions: the Navy plays by CoA rules and regulations, and intends to stay well within their ambit.

There is a limit, however, to what can be done under such stringent fiscal straits. Despite the inventiveness and creativity of PN personnel, inevitably budgetary tightness has long-term consequences. “Having to make do with so little” imposes severe constraints on the modernization of the fleet and the needed capital and other requirements of a modern Navy serving such a huge maritime area that the Philippines is blessed with. The President himself in his first State-of-the-Nation Address in July, 2010, specifically referred to the “MacArthur vintage” of some of our Navy ships, which miraculously are being made to run and operate in large part due to the maintenance expertise of PN personnel.

It is against this background that the second priority under this perspective should be understood. That priority is to secure “adequate financial resources” for the Navy Sail Plan. This priority is in line with the AFP modernization program, which calls for a sustainable non-traditional resource generating system for the PN. This means looking for other sources of funds that the Navy can use for its fleet modernization as well as its capital and other requirements. The President mentioned the Navy as a specific case under his proposed public-private partnership. Under such a partnership, with Navy land and other assets properly and judiciously deployed, the PN should start building a trust fund in 2011.
The initial amount targeted for 2011 is small: Only half a billion pesos. This amount should rise each year by half a billion pesos until 2013. The target for 2020 is modest at only five billion pesos: It is from the earnings of this fund that the Navy should be able to find the much needed supplement to the budgetary allocation it gets through the annual General Appropriations Act.

In fact, more broadly, through public-private partnership, the PN can have access to extra-budgetary resources that can be made available for its programs. The key lies in properly packaging the programs that can be funded under PPP arrangements; this would entail due observance of all relevant laws and proper practices of transparent, accountable governance that the President has called for.

The PN has already taken various steps in the direction of building a multi-sector governance coalition that would assist it in raising the standards of governance that it practices. It is also beginning to find out that with the commitment of such a coalition whose membership is drawn from various sectors of the Philippine community, it has many doors leading to additional financial resources it can tap for the critical priorities it included in its Sail Plan.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Marines Get New Combat Gadgets

Manila Bulletin, Friday, September 16, 2010

The fighting capability of the troops from the Philippine Marines Corp (PMC) will be further enhanced with the acquisition of new gadgets, a top military official disclosed Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mohammad Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) commander, said the PMC recently acquired nightfighting system gadgets.

Most if not all of the battalions of the PMC’s three brigades are deployed within the area of jurisdiction of the Wesmincom that stretches from Tawi-Tawi up to Misamis Occidental.

Dolorfino said the night-fighting system gadgets are a combination of night-vision goggle and target system that are shock- and water-proof.

“It will give us complete nightfighting capability and accuracy,” he said.

Dolorfino said previously the troops could only see their enemy during night time using their nightvision goggles. But there is no target accuracy that the newly-acquired gadgets provide, he said.

He said the PMC is set to train personnel on the use of the newly-acquired gadgets for their eventual use in the fight against bandits belonging to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

“Definitely, marami ang matutumba na ASG (many ASG members will fall),” he said.

Dolorfino’s command is running after at least 300 ASG bandits, including Jemaah Islamiyah militant Marwan, whose real name is Zulkifli bin Hir, and reportedly hiding in the province of Sulu.

Marwan is a Malaysian national and an engineer by profession.

The United States government is offering a reward of up to $ 5 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Marwan, a terrorist believed to be involved in multiple deadly bomb attacks in the Philippines.

Of the remaining 300 Abu Sayyaf bandits, 200 of them are hiding in the province of Sulu while the 100 are in the province of Basilan, Dolorfino said.

3 PN Priorities

Manila Bulletin, Thursday, September 15, 2010

Under the organization perspective, the Philippine Navy (PN) has listed three priorities, for which it presents several performance scorecards – each with initiatives, measures, and targets.

Under the first priority of “sound and appropriate and maritime doctrines," the initiative proposed is the validation of the soundness of maritime doctrines developed. Here, the measure is a percentage: Of the required doctrines developed, what is the percentage of those fully validated for appropriateness and soundness. The current base in 2010 is listed at only 10 percent. The targets for 2011, 2012, and 2013 are 20 percent, 30 percent, and 40 percent, respectively. For 2020, the target is 90-95 percent.

A lay observer who looks at this performance scorecard is left awed by the effort that must go into the validation of the appropriateness and soundness of the doctrines developed. The effort may involve continuing assessment and dynamic reformulation, taking into account the changing seascape that would confront the Philippines as a maritime nation. This initiative leaves a clear impression of the imperative for the Navy to develop a high level of strategic thinking, which has to be adapted to the particular circumstances of the fast-changing environment within which our nation operates.

The second priority of a “responsive naval reservists’ program” is to be pursued through the following initiative, to institute a sustainable PN reservists system. Two concrete measures, with corresponding targets, are proposed to monitor progress under this specific initiative. The first is the percentage fill-up of reservist positions: Starting at less than 20 percent in 2010, this should move up to 23 percent in 2011; 50 percent in 2012, 53 percent in 2013, and eventually 100 percent in 2020. The second is the reservists training readiness profile. This is now at 65 percent in 2010. The targets for the immediate succeeding years ahead are: 70 percent in 2011, 75 percent in 2012, 80 percent in 2013. By 2020, this percentage should hit 95 percent.

This initiative underscores the outreach program the Navy has to undertake with a view to winning many highly qualified applicants to its reservists’ program. Moreover, such a program should be designed to inculcate the core values in the PN Governance Charter, including deep loyalty and very high level commitment to – duly accompanied by competence required by – the PN Mission.

The third priority of a “dynamic and responsive naval organization” calls for two initiatives that the PN has committed to undertake. The first of these is to institute a reliable and responsive PN force structure. The proposed measure of progress for this initiative is the completion rate of the desired force structure. Now at 80 percent in 2010, this moves up to 90 percent in 2011 before finally reaching 100 percent as early as 2012. It will be maintained at that percent completion rate from 2013 onwards. The second initiative is to pursue ISO-certified PN systems. The measure of progress is straightforward: The number of PN units with ISO certification. In 2010, the figure set is one. Each year up to 2013, there should be one more PN unit obtaining ISO certification, and this increase should be sustained until the number reaches 10 PN units ISO-certified in 2020.

Benchmarking against global best practices and therefore obtaining ISO certification for various PN units would constitute an important step forward. They need to be complemented with the usual creativity and inventiveness of all Navy personnel: They are always called upon to innovate and bring up to the highest possible standard of effectiveness all processes within the organization, despite the perennial constraints under which the PN operates.

Defense contract review for multi-role vehicle purchase done in 1 month

By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star, Thursday, September 16, 2010

The review of the P10 billion defense contract for the purchase of two Multi-Role Vessels (MRVs) from South Korea will be completed in a month’s time, a senior South Korean official said yesterday.

South Korean defense attaché to the Philippines Col. Kim Yi Kon said the review of the contract to purchase, entered into by the previous defense leadership, is now underway.

In his remaining weeks as defense chief, then secretary Norberto Gonzales ordered the deferment of the bidding process to favor a government-to-government acquisition for the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The rush was largely due to Gonzales’ eagerness to strike a huge military deal with friendly states to re-equip the AFP major commands before the P330 billion AFP modernization program expires this year.

Gonzales then noted that out of the staggering defense budget to purchase military hardware only P30 billion were used.

Aside from the two MRVs for the Navy, bankrolled by the 2009 and 2010 AFP modernization program, Gonzales also was able to strike a deal with the Polish government to purchase eight brand-new combat utility helicopters for P3.2 billion.

But when the administration of President Aquino came in, a review of these multi-billion defense contracts entered into by Gonzales was ordered, in effort to cast aside speculations that these were part of the midnight deals by the Arroyo administration.

“We are not saying that something is wrong with these defense contracts which have not been perfected yet. We are just reviewing these to determine if all are aboveboard,” Defense spokesman Eduardo Batac said in an earlier interview.

Kim said that once the review is completed and approved by the new defense leadership, it would take sometime before these two MRVs can be delivered to the Philippine Navy.

Kim made the statement during a media briefing on the preparations for the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War.

The Philippines, as among the countries that fought during the Korean War, was represented by the Philippine Marines to the five-day Wonju Tattoo International Military and Marching Bands Music Festival at Gangwan-Do, South Korea.

Marine spokesman Capt. Alden Gwyn Amargo said the crowd was impressed by the showmanship of the Philippine Marines, compared to the large delegation from their counterparts from Russia, Mexico, Thailand, New Zealand, Taiwan, the US and the South Korean Marines.

He said the Philippine Marine band had earned admiration from their counterparts for their musical and drill performances.

“Of the 11 participating military and marching bands, the Philippine Marine Corps Marine Drum Bugle Team has the least number of performers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

PN Performance Scorecards

Manila bulletin, Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Having listed its priorities under the five perspectives it has chosen, the Philippine Navy (PN) sailed further and went on to craft performance scorecards for each priority.

Under the personnel perspective, the Navy had listed only one priority, “highly competent and motivated professionals.” It went on to answer this question, “How are we to pursue this priority?”

To be able to do so, the Navy has put forward a first initiative, which it labelled as the PN Education & Training System. It then proposes a measure, which it will be using to track progress and monitor accomplishment in pursuit of the priority. The measure is quantitative, and it is the “Personnel Readiness Profile.” The base, in 2010, of this measure is 44 percent. The Navy has targets for this measure to go up to 50 percent, 55 percent, and 65 percent in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. By the end of the Vision period, 2020, the Navy has set a target of 95 percent for this measure.

It is clear that the Navy sets great store upon its training system, which should produce for it the “highly competent and motivated professionals” it seeks. Furthermore, the Navy recognizes that it is starting from a low base, by the measure it has chosen, at 44 percent in its Personnel Readiness Profile. But note the ambitious target: By 2013, or within three years, this should shoot up by 21 basis points. Moreover, by 2020, it should shoot up by another 30 basis points from the level it will have reached in 2013. Considering how important the personnel perspective is in the Navy Sail Plan, this measure and the targets set for it is a bell-weather of any substantive, breakthrough results the Navy would deliver under its Sail Plan.

The Navy has also put forward a second initiative, which is equally fundamental: It is a Competency-Based PN Personnel/Human Resource Management System. Again, the Navy stresses the word “system,” and in this specific instance it also underscores competency as at the very core of its HR management. Through a system it proposes to introduce upgrading its HR management, it expects to reduce the “Turn-over Rate of Skilled Personnel” within the Navy. The baseline data, still to be finally determined, show that this rate is currently at a high level, above 75 percent. Thus, the Navy has set the following targets for 2011, 2012, and 2013: 75 percent; 70 percent; and 65 percent, respectively. The target for 2020 is 30 percent.

A high turn-over rate is expensive for any organization. In the case of the Navy, such a high rate can be debilitating relative to the Mission it has to carry out. Thus, in view of the imperative to strengthen the organization, the PN has correctly put forward this initiative, with its corresponding measure and targets: On this initiative, it has committed to turn in substantive breakthrough results. The turn-over-rate of skilled Navy personnel must be cut drastically within the Vision period. By 2020, it should be down by more than half of its current rate.

Into the two systemic initiatives the PN has put forward, the first related to education and training, and the second related to competency-based HR management, it needs to consider embedding the demands of a transformation culture that its Sail Plan calls for. This would entail giving concrete flesh and substance to the core values the Navy has chosen to enshrine in its Governance Charter. It has to look for specific ways and means by which those core values, with the level of competence and motivation associated with them, find life in every facet and at all levels of day-to-day operations. This is a tall order, but it happens to be one that a deeply committed Philippine Navy should be able to meet and fill.

Military strategy sa Western Mindanao papalitan ng 'Fleet Marine concept'

Saksi, Monday, 13 September 2010

Dahil sa ilang mga pagbabago na ipinapatupad ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) para mas lalong maging epektibo sa kanilang misyon at mapanatili ang kapayapaan at seguridad, ilan sa mga tinitignan ngayon ang pagpapatupad na ng "Fleet Marine concept" at ang pag-deactivate ng Joint Task Force Comet na nakabase sa probinsya ng Sulu.

Ayon kay Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) commander Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, kinakailangan na ring palitan ang kasalukuyang estratehiya ng militar partikular sa mga inilulunsad nitong opensiba laban sa mga bandidong Abu Sayyaf at iba pang mga armadong rebelde.

Naniniwala si Dolorfino na ang pagpapatupad ng "Fleet Marine concept" na strategy sa mga military operation ay isang epektibong paraan sa pagtugis at pag-neutralize sa mga terorista sa bahagi ng Basilan, Sulu at Tawi-Tawi.

Paliwanag pa ng heneral, sa "Fleet Marine concept" mas paiigtingin ng militar ang kanilang sea maneuvers pwera sa ground at aerial operation.

Layunin nito para mabawasan ang human casualties sa labanan.

Sa kasalukuyan ang JTF Comet ang siyang tumututok sa lahat ng mga operasyon ng militar sa probinsiya ng Sulu.

Dagdag pa ni Dolorfino ang Naval Forces Western Mindanao ang tututok nito at isang deputy commander for ground operation ang itatalaga.

Sa kasalukuyan pansamantalang si 3rd Marine Brigade commander B/Gen. Mario Montejo ang OIC ng JTFComet ito'y bunsod sa pagtatalaga kay M/Gen. Rustico Guerrero bilang bagong commandant ng Philippine Marine Corps.


Bandera, Saturday, September 11, 2010

Inaalalayan si Pangulong Aquino bumaba mula sa isang Rigid City inflatable boat na nagdala sa kanya sa Sangley Point sa Cavite City mula sa Navy headquarters sa Maynila para dumalo sa capability demonstration ng Navy forces.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Photo by Jasper Barcelon
Abante, Sabado, Setyembre 11, 2010

Nagpakitang gilas ang tropa ng Philippine Navy (PN)
sa kanilang isinagawang demonstrasyon laban sa terorismo
sa Sangley Point, Cavite kahapon na sinaksihan mismo ni
Pangulong Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III.


Photo by Jasper Barcelon
Abante, Sabado, Setyenbre 11, 2010

Nakisalo sa boodle fight si Pangulong Benigno ‘Noynoy’
Aquino III kasama ang mga miyembro ng Philippine Navy
kasunod ng isinagawang Anti-Terrorism Demo sa Sangley
Point Naval Base kahapon.

The Navy Sail Plan

By Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao
Manila Bulletin, Saturday, September 11, 2010

Based on its adopted Governance Charter, the Navy proceeded
to look at itself, using five perspectives, as it charted a
course towards the future, in this case 2020, when it expects
to give substance and realization to its Vision. Using these
five perspectives, it had to think hard and deep about the
priorities it must focus on, and give significant importance
to, in order to realize its Vision.

Understandably, the first perspective it chose relates to
personnel. The Navy considered this as its fundamental perspec-
tive, upon which it sets great store; and it listed only one
strategic priority under this perspective, which is as follows:
"highly competent and motivated professionals." Here one sees
the immediate connection with at least one of its core values,
Professionalism, in its Governance Charter.

The second perspective is organization. Under this perspec-
tive, three priorities are listed. The first is "sound/appro-
priate maritime doctrines," which obviously are of top importance
in a military organization. The second is "responsive naval
reservist program;" and the third is the all-embracing "dynamic/
responsive naval organization." Any lay observer would immediately
understand the importance given to this third priority; but if he/
she were almost totally unfamiliar with the Navy or any of the
other units in the AFP, he/she would at first glance be surprised
by the importance given to the reservist program: This, in itself,
points to the Navy's imperative to have an active, positive outreach
program to the civilian sector, with which it has to work closely
and productively.

The third perspective is resources. The first priority under
this perspective is "adequate financial resources," which
should pose a great challenge, taking into account the tight
budgetary circumstances under which the Philippine government
operates. And the second priority is closely associated with
the first priority; it relates to the imperative of a "balanced
financial program," with the key word, balance, being pregnant
with possibilities, even within the tight budgetary realities
imposed on the Navy.The fourth perspective is capability. This
has four strategic priorities listed under it: "Responsive naval
support system;" "reliable naval facilities;" "up-to-date naval
capability;" and finally, "optimal level of operational readiness.
" All four are closely related with one another. All demand resour-
ces, not only of the financial type, but also those closely associa-
ted with "balance," which includes, the level of motivation and
competence already indicated in the first perspective referring
to personnel.

The fifth and final perspective is accomplishment, which in other
strategy maps would refer to service to the constituency. Under
this perspective, the Navy lists two priorities: A "secured mari-
time environment" and "highly satisfied stakeholders," which at
the end of the day are the Filipino people.

It is immediately apparent, even to an ordinary lay observer,
that the five perspectives are closely connected with each other:
Personnel connect directly with organization; and organization
has to bank on resources, which help shape and determine the
capability of the organization, i.e., its capacity to serve its
constituency. Since the perspectives closely connect with each
other, it follows that the different priorities listed under
the different perspectives are also inter-dependent: one set of
priorities directly leads to another. Thus, success in the pursuit
of a set of priorities would greatly facilitate the pursuit of
other priorities. This feature of connectedness and interdependence
between the different perspectives and the different priorities
listed under them has enabled the Navy to draw up its strategy map.
Since this is the Navy, it has chosen to call its strategy map
"The Philippine Navy Strategic Sail Plan 2020.

"One more feature stands out in the Navy Sail Plan: as in any
proper strategy map, it lists on top three strategic themes, under
each of which it shows the priorities in different perspectives
that are more closely connected with each other. The strategic
themes are: Mission responsiveness, maritime security, and
prestige. These themes further underscore the interdependence
of the priorities in the Sail Plan. They also give the added
advantage of giving only a few "headlines," which need to be
remembered and used as easy summaries and references for the
entire Sail Plan. Remembering only these three "headlines"
than all 12 strategic priorities in the Navy Sail Plan should
be an easier imperative to meet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

‘Filipino mafia’ on US warship

Manila Bulletin, Monday, September 6, 2010,

Aboard the United States’ 100,000-ton nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier, USS George Washington which is now on
a four-day port visit in Manila, is a “Filipino mafia.”

This, in light banter, is how Filipino sailors described
their bond as part of the 5,000 crew of what is known as
one of the world’s largest warships dubbed “City at Sea.”

Capt. David “Too Tall” Lausman, USS GW commanding officer,
told a group of reporters given a tour of the ship as it
docked at Manila Bay their visit also serves as a homecoming
for its Filipino sailors, who comprise about 30 percent of
the crewmembers.

The USS George Washington and embarked Carrier Air Wing 5
(CVW 5) along with guided-missile destroyers, USS John S
McCain (DDG 56) and USS McCampbell (DDG 85), arrived before
dawn last Saturday near Corregidor island where she was met
by the Philippine Navy ship, BRP Leopoldo Regis (PG 847) and
escorted her to the vicinity of the SM Mall of Asia (MoA).

This is the warship’s second port call to Manila, the last
being in August, 2009, when its sailors also took the time
to enjoy Philippine culture.

“As you know from last year, about 30 percent of the crew
have direct ties to the Philippines either through aunts,
uncles, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, great uncles,
great grandmothers, etc., and this is really a homecoming
of families and cultures because they are waiting to come
back to their homes as well,” Lausman said.

He noted that during their last port call in Manila, “there
was a lot of unique family reunions” and there are some
again this year.

“I know there’s a lot of families that’s going to be welcomed
aboard for a personal tour while we’re on port and some of
them (sailors) are going on leave,” said Lausman, even
recounting that some of the returning Filipino sailors talked
about a special family gathering or reunion in their neighborhoods.

Asked how he would rate the Filipino sailors’ performance on
the ship, Lausman quickly responded,

“I don’t need to say anything, this is a great warship, they
did it.” He added, “This is great. I’m very proud to be their

Meanwhile, the Filipino sailors expressed their excitement in
coming home to the country as they also shared their life on
the ship and how they anxiously await their chance to see or
visit their families, relatives, and friends even for t a brief time.

“I am glad that I get this opportunity to visit my family and
friends,” said Olongapo-born Aviation Ordnance Airman Steven
Hoffman of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 28.

“It has been six years since I was in the Philippines, so it
would be nice to see how things have changed and to talk with
my family about the things I have done in the US Navy,” he said.

For Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Carlo Roberto
Toledo, a port visit to Manila is the chance of a lifetime for
sailors who are from the Philippines.

With the big number of Filipino and Filipino-American sailors
on board the giant warship, some of those interviewed laughingly
said there is, in fact, what some of the crewmembers from other
nations tagged as “Filipino mafia” not for anything else, but
because of the strong brotherhood that exists among them.

Aviation Ordnance expert Gza Ione Larican, a petite lass from
Isabela province, said Filipino sailors on board USS George
Washington “stick together, that is why they call us “Filipino

“It doesn’t matter if someone says something bad or good, we
just stick together,” Larican said, adding while they support
one another, they also blend with fellow sailors of other

She also described how Filipino sailors show their friendliness
as they say hi to everyone they see or meet along the hallway
and resiliency as they just go on even in some instances they
experience a bit of discrimination.

“We always try to be happy,” she said.

But aside from the Filipino sailors, the rest of the crewmembers
of the warship, according to Lausman, are also excited to come
to Manila, having fully enjoyed their first visit last year.

He said the first area of interest of the sailors is a trip to
the SM Mall of Asia, the fourth largest shopping mall in the world.

“They are ready to go shop, shop, shop and eat. Eat. eat. And
hey enjoyed that last year, and I think some of the shop owners
are waiting for them to return as well,” said Lausman.

The sailors will also get the chance to tour Corregidor, go
scuba diving, among others.

Philippine Navy at US Navy, lilinisin ang estero

Report from Henry Atuelan
Bomba, Lunes, Setyembre 06, 2010

Magsasanib-puwersa ang mga miyembro ng Philippine Navy
at United States Navy na lulan ng USS George Washington
upang maglinis ng estero sa Maynila bukas.

Partikular na lilinisin ng grupo ang Estero de San Miguel
sa Maynila at pagkatapos, magsasagawa sila ng sports
activity sa naval station sa Taguig City.

Matatandaang Sabado nang dumaong sa bansa ang aircraft
carrier na USS George Washington para sa apat na araw na
goodwill visit sa bansa.

DENR to sue councilor for 'stealing' own motorboat

By Michelle Zoleta
The Philippine Star, Monday, September 06, 2010

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – The Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) will file criminal and
administrative charges against a municipal councilor of
Mauban town for “stealing” his own motorboat, which was
earlier seized by the Navy for transporting undocumented

DENR-Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria
said the department’s legal office is preparing charges
against Rodante Almacen, a councilor under Lakas- Kampi
and a political ally of Mauban Mayor Ferdinand Llamas.

Tamoria said a Navy patrol intercepted the boat that was
loaded with 482 pieces of Lauaan lumber at Lamon Bay off
Infanta, Quezon last Aug. 22.

He said the boat and the illegal cargo were turned over
to Community Environment and Natural Resources Office
(CENRO) in Real for safe keeping pending the filing of
charges against the offenders.

Forester Wilfredo Riña, DENR-Calabarzon’s chief of forest
resources conservation division, said Almacen arrived and
claimed ownership of the boat. He said Almacen requested
the CENRO personnel that the boat be brought to Mauban and
be placed under his custody, but the environment officers
rejected his request.

Riña and other CENRO personnel inspected the boat on Sept.
1 but the vessel was already missing. He said Almacen
reportedly took the boat at around 11 a.m. on Aug. 31,
telling the boat’s custodian the case had been settled at
the DENR.

Riña and his group proceeded to Mauban to look for the
boat but they failed to find the vessel.

Almacen denied the report that he stole the boat from its
custodian. He said he told another person to check up on
the boat and “he was the one who took it, not me.”

Almacen said he did not hide the boat as earlier reported,
but just put it in a safer place.

Almacen also clarified that he did not know that the boat
was transporting lumber. He said he sent some people to
fetch something from Infanta, and “I did not know that when
they returned, they brought lumber with them.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Marines honored for poll integrity

By: Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star

Sunday, 05 September 2010

Marines who refused a bribe offer in Patikul,
Sulu during the May 2010 elections have been
awarded the Philippine Marine Corps Plaque.

In a statement, Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo said feted were 2Lt. Marcelo Flores
and his 15-man team deployed to secure poll
precincts in Kaumpang Elementary School.

"The team ... was reportedly approached by
campaign leaders and supporters of local
candidates who offered them money. They
wanted the Marines to leave the school to
let the unscrupulous politicians to fill
up the remaining ballots for their favored
candidates," Arevalo said.

He said Pfc. Rhomel Divina, one of the
members of the team, was approached by a
campaign leader and offered Pl00,000.

Divina turned down the offer and told the
briber that his money "cannot buy my

SSgt. William Magpili was reportedly told
that he would be taken care of as long as
he would allow the men to fill up the rest
of the ballots. Magpili also rejected the offer.

"The award given to them is unique. It gives
importance to their display of integrity,
devotion to duty and incorruptibility,"
Arevalo said.

"Their heroism was displayed during the
time when people tended to doubt the outcome of
the elections... What they did was critical
since it was the first automated elections."

Marines to use K9 units in Mindanao

By: Elena L Aben, Manila Bulletin

Saturday, 04 September 2010

To help track down foes during combat operations,
the Philippine Marines will use 12 specially-
trained dogs to Mindanao, a Navy spokesman
said yesterday.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy Public Affairs
Office director, said demonstration of the
dog's capabilities in combat tracking operations
will be held on Monday at the Naval Station
Jose Francisco in Ft. Bonifacio, Taguig.

Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez, Navy flag
officer-in-command, Brig. Gen.Rustico Guerrero,
Marine Corps commandant, will witness the
event which precedes the send-off ceremony for
the Marine Drum and Bugle Team which will
fly to Gangwan-do, South Korea for the Wonju
Tattoo 2010 Music Festival.

According to Arevalo, the use K-9 dogs
will enhance the Marines' security operations,
specially in Southern Philippines where
government troops have to deal with members
of the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
and other enemies of the state.

"What happens usually is that every time
there's an encounter, we often read (in the
news) the enemy withdrew towards a direction
and then bloodstains were all over the place
indicating there were casualties on the enemy
side," Arevalo said.

He said that while the miltary now wants
to get rid of the body count syndrome,the
recovery of firearms and physical count of
enemies, whether dead or wounded, remains
the measure of success of combat operations.

Marine K-9 dogs see action

By: Elena L Aben, Tempo

Saturday, 04 September 2010

To help track down fleeing enemies during
combat operations, the Philippine Marines has
deployed 12 especially trained canines that will
see action in Mindanao, a Navy spokesman said

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy Public Affairs
Office (NPAO)director, said a capability
demonstrationof six of the 12 canines for
combat tracking operations willbe held on
Monday, Sept. 6, atthe Naval Station Jose
Franciscoin Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez, Navy Flag
Officer-in-Command(FOIC), together with
Brig. Gen.Rustico Guerrero, commandant,
Philippine Marine Corps, will witness the
event that precedes thesend-off ceremony
for the MarineDrum and Bugle Team that will
fly to Gangwan-do, South Koreafor the Wonju
Tattoo 2010 Music Festival.

According to Arevalo, the K-9 unit will
enhance the Marines'security operations,
especially inthe southern Philippines where
government troops have to deal with members
of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
and other enemies of the State.

"What happens usually is that every time there
is an encounter,we often read (in the news) the
enemy withdrew towards a direction and then
bloodstains were all over the place
indicating there were casualties on the
enemy side," Arevalo said.

He added, while the military now wants to
get rid of the body count syndrome , still the
recovery of firearms and physical count of
enemies whether dead or wounded, are the
tangible results that can be seen in
terms of operations as he noted that the
enemies usually drag with them their escape.

"So with the advent of the K-9 units that
we are forming, we will now be able to
counter this," Arevalo said, adding,
"Our K-9 units will help us track them down."
Aside from helping chase fleeing enemies,
Arevalo said the dogs can also be used to
augmentthe Marines' ordnance explosives
experts, having been trained to locate
bombs and booby traps.

US aircraft carrier in RP for 4-day visit

By: Mario J Mallari, The Daily Tribune

Saturday, 04 September 2010

A United States aircraft carrier will arrive
today for a four-day goodwill visit in the
country, a Navy spokesman said yesterday.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said
that USS George Washington (CVN-73),under the
command of Rear Admiral Dan Cloyd, is expected
to arrive at the vicinity of Corregidor Island
at around 5 a.m.

Arevalo said that Philippine Navy ship BRP
Leopoldo Regis (PG-847) will meet the US aircraft
carrier and escort it to the vicinity of Mall
of Asia in Pasay City where it will dock during
its four-day stay.

"The goodwill visit highlights the strong historic,
community and military connections between the
United States and the Republic the Philippines,"
said Arevalo.

"This paves the way for further strengthening the
ties that bind both countries especially the united
commitment to defeat terrorism. Among the community
of nations aspiring for peace and stability in
the region, the Philippines and the United States
of America stand as enduring and dependable allies,"
added Arevalo.

Arevalo said that the visit serves as good
avenue to discuss with US counterparts the
possibilities for closer linkages such as
mutual visits, exchange of subject matter
experts and research analysts, and similar
activities that would contribute to a
mutually beneficial relationship between
the Philippines and US armed forces in the
area of defense and military research.

"Moreover, this will give opportunity for
both navies to learn from one another the
best practices in technology and warfare,"
said Arevalo.

The Navy spokesman said that the officers
and personnel of both navies are also
scheduled to participate in Coastal Clean-up
of Estero de San Miguel on Monday as part
of the goodwill visit's humanitarian and
civic action.

The goodwill visit came at a time when the
Philippines relation with China was tainted
by the killing of eight Hong Kong nationals
during a bloody hostage-taking at the
Quirino Grandstand on Aug 23.

US Navy supercarrier here

By: Elena L Aben, Tempo

Saturday, 04 September 2010

Nuclear-powered US Navy super carrier USS George
Washington(CVN73), with her combined crew of
about 6,000 sailors, arrives in Manila today for
a four-day goodwill visit.

US sailors, together with their counterparts in
the Philippine Navy, will conduct humanitarian
and development activities that include coastal
clean-up and other community service, aside from
having the opportunity to have an exchange of

CVN 73 is arriving along with guided-missile
destroyers USSJohn S McCain (DDG56), USS
McCampbell (DDG 86), and USS Cowpens (CG 63).

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Philippine Navy
spokesman ,said Rear Admiral Dan Cloyd, head
of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG),leads the
US delegation while Capt. David "Too Tall"
Lausman is the commander of CVN 73, the CSG
or Carrier Task Force 70 (CTF-70)flagship.

The visit comes amid escalating tensions over
territorial dispute in the South China Sea
as China recently adopted a harder line on
its claims to the area and with the United
States getting into the debate.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photo by Vic Alhambra Jr.
The Philippine Star, Friday, September 3, 2010

Soldiers carry uprooted marijuana plants for destruction following
a recent raid on a plantation in San Gabriel, La Union. Authorities
uprooted and burned some 499,000 fully grown marijuana plants and
destroyed 88,000 seedlings – with an estimated total market value
of P102.3 million – in the three-day operation.

P102-milion marijuana destroyed in La Union

Friday, 03 September 2010

SAN GABRIEL, La Union: Government authorities have uprooted and
burned some 499,000 fully grown marijuana plants and destroyed
88,000 of its seedlings in a separate three-day operation—August
24 to 25 and September 1—in Sitio Mogong, Barangay Bayabas, San
Gabriel, La Union.

The joint operation was conducted by the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency, Philippine Navy, La Union Police Provincial
Office and the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations
Group near the Benguet-La Union boundary.

The group, despite foggy and heavy rains, braved treacherous,
mountainous and forested areas in an eight-hour trek by foot,
passing through strong river currents in Barangay Lon-oy, leading
to the plantation, on a tip by an informant.

It was learned that the marijuana plants were sowed from atop and
down to the slope of a mountain—some of them were concealed by
reinforced bamboo stalks, placed by the cultivators above them.

No cultivators, however, were arrested despite the presence of
houses, far apart in the said remote area. Authorities later
estimated the market value of the haul to P102,320,000.

Barangay Captain Gavino Baludda of Bayabas, in an interview said
that he is thankful that finally, authorities with high-powered
firearms are able to come to the area.

He suspected that the alleged cultivators scampered away upon the
arrival of authorities wielding high-powered firearms.

PMA honors Cortez and others

By Elena Aben
Manila Bulletin, Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) recently rendered honors
to Navy Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC) Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez,
who vigorously pursues capability upgrade of the Philippine Navy
by advocating means to finance the stalled modernization program.

Aside from Cortez, Navy also honored two other alumni, Rear Admiral
Roberto Estioko, Vice Commander, Philippine Navy; and Rear Admiral
Vicente Agdamag, Commander, Naval Education and Training Command.

The three, all members of PMA “Masikap” Class of 1977, were honored in a ceremony held at Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City.

The honorees received the Superintendent Plaque of Distinction from
Vice Admiral Leonardo Calderon, PMA Superintendent.

Except for Cortez who is set to bow out of the service in January
2011, both Estioko and Agdamag are set to retire this year.

Cortez took the Navy helm in acting capacity in May this year
following the retirement of former Navy FOIC, Vice Admiral Ferdinand

Marines tumanggi sa suhol pinarangalan

Ni Joy Cantos
Pilipino Star Ngayon, September 02, 2010

Pinarangalan ng mga opisyal ng Philippine Marines ang isa sa
kanilang sundalo na sinasabing tumanggi sa suhol noong kasagsagan
ng May 10, 2010 national elections sa bayan ng Patikul, Sulu.

Ito ang inihayag kaha­pon ni Navy spokesman Marine Lt. Colonel
Edgard Arevalo, na tinukoy ang pi­narangalan mula sa tropa ng
Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 5.

Ayon sa ulat, ang mga sundalo ng MBLT 5 sa ila­lim ni ex-Philippine
Marines Commandant Major Gen. Juancho Sabban na nagti­yagang
nagbabantay sa polling precinct sa Baran­gay Buhanginan sa na­banggit
na bayan ay hindi ipinagpalit ang kani­lang dignidad at hindi
nag­pa­silaw sa tukso ng salapi.

Iprinisinta ni Sabban sa lider ng 15-men team ng MBLT 5 na si 2nd
Lt. Mar­celo Flores na tumangging kunin ang P.1 milyong su­hol ng mga
mandara­yang lokal na kandidato.

Sinabi ni Arevalo na ang tropa ni Flores ay nila­ pitan ng mga lider
ng campaign at supporters ng ti­waling lokal na kandidato na inalok
ang mga ito ng ma­laking halaga para ma­­ka­pandaya sa eleksyon pero
tumanggi ang mga sundalo na lisanin ang kanilang binabantayang
polling precinct.

“They wanted the Marines to leave the school to let the unscrupulous
politicians to fill up the remaining ballots for their favored
candidates,” ayon kay Are­valo kaugnay sa salaysay ni Pfc. Rhomel

Napag-alamang tinang­gihan ni Divina ang suhol na sinabing kapalit
ng 300 balota ang nais ng mga mandaraya na sila ang mag-fill up sa
nasabing poll­ing precints kaya pina­aalis ang mga sundalong nagbabantay

Nabatid pa na ang MBLT 5 ay pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col Camilo Balutan na matinding disiplina ang itinanim sa kaniyang mga tauhan.

Officers and gentlemen

Photo courtesy of MBLT5
The Manila Times, September 2, 2010

Second lieutenant Marcelo Flores and Private First Class Rhomel
Divina receive their awards from Marine commandant Maj. Gen.
Juancho Sabban for turning down the bribe offered to them by
campaign leaders and supporters during the May 10 elections.
The Marines were guarding polling precincts in Kaumpang
Elementary supporters School in Patikul, Sulu, during the polls.

4 sea marshals to receive citations from IMO

By Evelyn Macairan
The Philippine Star, September 02, 2010

Four sea marshals who showed bravery as they assisted the
passengers of M/V SuperFerry 9 that sank off the Zamboanga
Peninsula last year, will receive commendations from the
London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) in

Commodore Luis Tuason Jr., Philippine Coast Guard-National
Capital Region (PCG-NCR) district commander, identified the
four as Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Samuel Boniol,
Navy Petty Officer Third Class Anifer Bucao, and Seaman First
Class Oliver Cogo and SPO3 Loreto Justo of the Philippine
National Police-Maritime Group.

Tuason, who also supervises Task Force Sea Marshal, said they
will receive the 2010 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea
on Nov. 24 at the IMO headquarters in London.

The four sea marshals were on board M/V SuperFerry9 when it
capsized off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the early morning of
Sept. 6 last year.

The IMO recognized the sea marshals’ actions and bravery during
the actual evacuation, disembarkation and rescue of the passengers
and crew members of the ill-fated vessel.

Investigation showed that M/V SuperFerry 9, owned by Aboitiz
Transport Services Corp., left General Santos on Sept. 5, 2009 for
a two-day voyage to Iloilo. It was expected to arrive at the Iloilo
port at around 1 p.m. the following day.

However, at around 3:30 a.m. of Sept. 6, the vessel tilted 25
degrees toward its starboard side. The ship’s captain, Jose Yap,
made an “abandon ship” call, but some of the passengers opted to
wait for the sun to shine before jumping into the water, thinking
this would make it easier for search and rescue vessels to see and
rescue them.

The ship sank at around 9:30 a.m. or six hours after the passengers
were told to abandon it. More than 900 people survived while 10 were
confirmed dead.

The four sea marshals assisted the passengers in wearing their life
vests and advised them to stay calm while the life rafts were being
lowered into the water.

They, along with Yap, were the last to jump into the water as the
ship began to sink.

It was PCG commandant Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, when he was still
a captain, who formed Task Force Sea Marshal in response to threats to passenger ships.

It was created after the bombing of M/V SuperFerry 14 on Feb. 27, 2004, which left 116 people dead.

Elite strike force needs proper equipment, training - Navy

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, August 30, 2010

The Navy believes a strike force to break a hostage crisis
would require adequate equipment and training of troops.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said elite units must
be reconstituted since most of them have been assigned to
conflict-infested areas.

“We have ordered the commanders of our elite Navy Special
Operations Group and Marine Force Reconnaissance to conduct
an inventory of our men and equipment,” he said.

Arevalo said retooling is also important since the military
does not have all the needed equipment and high-powered weapons.

“At present, we do not have suitable high-powered but shorter
automatic weapons, masks, and night fighting systems, among
other state of the art weaponry and equipment they need,” he said.

Arevalo said special forces must also undergo refresher training
to ensure that they can operate in urban areas.

“Our Seal Teams and Force Recon Marines have all been trained
for commando-type operations,” he said.

“However, their present deployments are in combat operations against
the terrorists holed in the jungles of Basilan and Sulu.

“They need to brush up their skills and tactics to reintroduce
them to urban counterterrorist actions.”

Arevalo said the Navy’s elite forces should also undergo train with
the police so they would become a cohesive fighting force.

“We just need some time for training before they can gel and be a
potent anti-terrorist strike force deployable anywhere in the
country at a moment’s notice,” he said.

President Aquino has proposed the creation of an elite task force
of military and police following the bloody hostage crisis in Manila
last week.


Ni Edwin Balasa
Abante, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Umaabot sa P1 mil­yong halaga ng iba’t ibang uri ng troso ang
nasabat ng mga tauhan ng Philippine Navy sa ginawang magkasunod
na operasyon sa lalawigan ng Sorsogon at Quezon.

Ayon kay Ensign Denver Ramon, tagapagsalita ng Naval Forces
Southern Luzon (NAVFORSOL), nakuha nila ang iba’t ibang uri
ng kahoy sa dalawang lalawigan kamakalawa subalit wala silang
nadakip na mga suspek matapos na makatunog ang mga ito sa

Unang nasabat ng mga tauhan ng Philippine Navy ang mga kahoy sa
bayan ng Balogo sa lalawigan ng Sorsogon at agad na sinunod ang
kanilang operasyon sa Real, Quezon.

Nabatid na isang tip ang kanilang natanggap mula sa mga concerned
citizen na mayroon umanong ibibyaheng ile­gal na troso sa nasabing
lalawigan kaya agad na nakipag-ugnayan ang mga operatiba sa
Community Environmental Resources Office upang isagawa ang

Subalit wala ng inabot na mga suspek ang awtoridad nang isagawa
ang raid kaya posible umanong nakatanggap na rin ng tip ang mga ito
sa gagawing pagharang sa kanila kaya iniwan na lang ang mga kahoy
at nagsitakas na ang mga ito.

Dinala ang mga nakumpiskang troso sa tanggapan ng Department of
Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) habang patuloy na
nagsasagawa ng follow-up operation ang awtoridad sa posibleng
pagdakip sa mga suspek.
Photo by Rudy Santos
The Philippine Star, August 26, 2010

Philippine Navy honor guards escort the coffins of eight slain
Hong Kong tourists as they are set to be loaded onto a Cathay
Pacific plane at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday.
Photo by Jay Chua
Malaya, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sad homecoming. The remains of the eight Hong Kong tourists were
flown Wednesday night to the former British colony with full
military honors.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High-level group going to HK, Beijing

By Jay Chua and Victor Reyes

Malaya, Thursday, August 26, 2010

PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday said he is sending a high-level
delegation to China and Hong Kong to explain to their leaders
what happened during the hostage-taking on Monday which left
eight Hong Kong residents dead.

Vice President Jejomar Binay is leading the delegation which
includes Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and presidential
spokesman Edwin Lacierda. The group is leaving this morning.

"They’re conducting the necessary arrangements with the embassy
to travel to Beijing and to Hong Kong. In Beijing, they will
personally deliver our messages to President Hu Jintao and also
the foreign minister (Yang Jiechi) and they will then proceed to
Hong Kong to talk to the chief of the Special Administrative
Region, Mr. Donald Tsang, again to deliver our letters," Aquino

A chartered Cathay Pacific flight left yesterday afternoon for
Hong Kong, carrying eight survivors and 19 relatives, and the
bodies of the eight fatalities in sealed containers. Also aboard
the Airbus 330 were some 30 officials and 26 media members,
according to Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila
International Airport.

Cabinet officials sent them off.

Sixty Navy men in white acted as pall bearers. The sailors also
provided plane-side honors.

Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said the honors were
meant to show the Filipino people’s unity with the victims’
families and with other Hong Kong residents in mourning the

Arevalo could not say when the last time the Navy provided
similar honors to foreigners. He said such honors are usually
given to a military dignitary or hero.

Arevalo said the sailors paid honors without firearms, without
a military band, and in white uniforms in keeping with Chinese

Arevalo said Navy chief Rear Adm. Danilo Cortez ordered the
honors on the instruction of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,
after coordinating with Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman.

The sealed coffins started to arrive at the Miascor Cargo Center
at about 3 p.m. in eight funeral cars.

Media men were prevented from going near the coffins. They were
also not allowed to take pictures, reportedly on orders of
Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo.

Aside from Robredo, the other officials who were at the airport’s
Dignitaries’ Lounge were Lacierda, Soliman, Executive Secretary
Paquito Ochoa, Tourism Secretary Bert Lim and Sen. Ferdinand Marcos

The survivors were ushered into pre-departure gate Number 1 to
wait for their 7 p.m. departure.

Some covered themselves with blankets, evading cameras. All of
the survivors refused to be interviewed.

An elderly woman could not hold back her tears and kept saying
"zhe-zhe (thank you)" to all of the officials who shook her hands.

New Marines chief takes over

Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The battle-ready Philippine Marine Corps had a new commandant
as part of the Armed Forces' reorganization under the Aquino

Brig. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, former commander of the Sulu-based
Joint Task Force Comet, officially assumed his post as Marines
commandant Tuesday.

He replaced Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban who was assigned as commander
of the AFP Western Command (Wescom) based in Palawan.

Navy Flag Officer in Command Rear Admiral Danilo Cortez presided
over the turnover ceremonies.