Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Navy rescues vessel in distress off Tawi-Tawi

Mindanao News, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/30 August) – Task Force 62 of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) has rescued a wooden-hull vessel in distress in the province of Tawi-Tawi, belated reports from the Philippine Navy said.

Rear Admiral Armando Guzman, NFWM commander, said the vessel loaded with 67 people, including the seven crew, was rescued Thursday 4.8 nautical miles off Pagasinan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. Of the 60 passengers, 12 were children, he added.

Guzman said M/L Virginia departed Sipangkot Island and bound for Lamion Pier in Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi, “when it incurred derangement on her main propulsion.”

The NFWM’s Naval Task Force 62, which is based in Panglima Sugala town, upon receiving a distress call from the M/L Virginia, directed the Patrol Ship-19 (PS-19) to conduct search and rescue operation for the distressed vessel amidst rough seas and strong winds prevailing in the area, Guzman said.

Battered by big waves, he said the vessel was listing on its port side while its crew members were “bailing out” water using pails in attempt to trim the vessel when the task force personnel aboard PS-19 arrived.

He added that the hapless passengers, some throwing up over the sides because of the violent rolling and pitching, were anxiously waiting for help.

Interviewed by the PS-19 personnel, M/L Virginia’s crew confirmed that their main engine incurred technical problem and “that they were already more than four hours dead-on-water,” he said.

Guzman said the PS-19 personnel led by Commander Ernesto Baldovino immediately rendered necessary assistance to the vessel. The PS-19 towed M/L Virginia, which arrived safely at Lamion Pier in Bongao. (MindaNews)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Navy rescues 62 from troubled ship

By Bong Garcia
Sun Star, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NAVY personnel rescued 67 passengers and crew of a wooden-hull vessel drifting lifelessly off Tawi-Tawi province on Thursday, an official said.

Commodore Armando Guzman, Naval Forces Western Mindanao's (NFWM) Task Force 62 commander, said M/L Virginia was four hours "dead on water" before rescue teams arrived.

He said the vessel was bound for Tawi-Tawi's capital of Bongao when its engine conked out. The vessel crew made the distress call 4-8 nautical miles off pangasinan, Simunul,Tawi-Tawi.

After receiving the distress call, NFWM dispatched Patrol Ship-19 (PS-19) to conduct search and rescue operation, Guzman said.

M/L Virginia was listing on its left side and passengers were anxiously waiting for help when the PS-19 arrived, he said.

Crewmembers said M/L Virginia's main engine incurred technical problem after t he vessel left Sipangkot Island, Guzman said.

He said the PS-19 personnel led by Commander Ernesto Baldovino immediately rendered necessary assistance to the vessel particularly on the basic needs of the passengers.

Guzman said the PS-19 towed M/L Virginia and arrived safely at Lamion Pier in Bongao municipality.

Of the rescued 60 passengers, 28 were male adult, 20 female adult, five male children and seven female children, Guzman said.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

12 Vietnamese fishermen rescued by Filipino in Palawan

By Rafael Alonso
PNoy News, Tuesday, August 27, 2011

The Philippine Embassy in Hanoi reported that Philippine fishing vessels rescued 12 Vietnamese fishermen on July 28 on the watres of Palawan. Their boat had capsized previously while fishing.

Philippine Navy Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Edgar Abogado informed Vietnam People's Navy Commander Chief Vice Admiral Nguyen Van Hien that the rescued fishermen were taken to Camp General Artemio Ricarto Station Hospital for medical check-up and treatment. Four of the 12 Vietnamese fishermen obtained minor injuries while the rest are in good health.

At present, the 12 Vietnamese fishermen are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Immigration, the government agency in charge of their disposition.

The Philippine Navy is coordinating with the said agency and the Vietnamese Defense Attache to the Philippines for whatever necessary assistance which can be provided for the fishermen and for their repatriation.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar

Photo by Willy Perez
The Philippine Star, Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the country's first Hamilton-class warship, is docked at South Harbor's Pier 13 for a welcome ceremony attended attended by President Aquino and top military officials yesterday

Aquino vows to fight for Manila sea claims

By Maria Nikka A.Garriga
Manila Times, Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrives at Pier 13, South Harbor, Manila, on Tuesday. A Philippine Navy officer tours President Benigno Aquino 3rd and other officials during an inspection of the facilities of the Hamilton-class cutter. MALACA√ĎANG PHOTO

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino on Tuesday vowed a stronger military defense of the country’s West Philippine Sea claims as the Philippine Navy’s newest warship sailed into Manila Bay from the United States.

President Aquino: Ship symbol of our defense

By Donna Pazzibugan
PDI, Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines newest warship, which sailed on Tuesday into Manila Bay after a 14,679-kilometer voyage from the United States, was hailed by President Benigno Aquino III as a symbol of the countrys determination to defend its claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

This is just the beginning. Expect more good news because we will not stop at one ship," Mr. Aquino said as the refurbished Hamilton-class cutter BRP Gregorio del Pilar dropped anchor, ending a 33-day voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

This ship symbolizes our newly acquired ability to guard, protect, and if necessary, fight for the interests of our country," the President said.

The 3,390-ton, 115-meter Gregorio del Pilar, a decommissioned US Coast Guard vessel, is 46 years old. It replaces a World War II-era destroyer as the country¿s flagship vessel.

Mr. Aquino said the ¿new¿ flagship vessel would help protect the country¿s exclusive economic zone and its oil and gas exploration activities in the contested sea.

This will upgrade our capability to guard our exclusive economic zone as well as the service contract areas," he said in a welcoming speech.

Many of those areas are claimed by China, which insists it has sovereign rights to almost all of the disputed territory, even waters approaching the coasts of Southeast Asian countries.

Other parts of the West Philippine Sea, including a cluster of isles and reefs called the Spratly Islands, are believed to be rich in oil and mineral resources and straddle vital sea lanes. They are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Revival of Philippine Navy

The Philippine Navy chief, Vice Adm. Alexander Pama, hailed the Gregorio del Pilar as a timely boost to the Philippines military power.

"[It] now symbolizes the revival of the Philippine Navy," Pama said at the welcoming ceremony.

¿The Gregorio del Pilar¿s ability to operate in adverse conditions¿ will be vital in securing our maritime nation¿s territory and asserting our sovereignty in areas where our capability is now seriously needed, he added."

US Navy impressed

Officials said the 95 crew members of the Gregorio del Pilar impressed the US Navy with how quickly they learned how to operate one of the largest ships ever built for the US Coast Guard.

Led by Capt. Alberto Cruz, the 13 officers-three of them women-and 82 enlisted personnel trained rigorously in the United States from February before setting out for the Philippines.

They were quite impressed with our troops," Pama said.

An initial batch that included Cruz and 20 other officers and enlisted personnel underwent rigorous training on board the USCG Boutwell, a sister ship, for two months.

The 21-member team then trained the next batch of 74 crew members.

The ship was acquired under the Mutual Defense Treaty that gives the Philippines access to decommissioned US defense equipment.

The Philippine military¿s budget of about $2.5 billion this year is just a fraction of China¿s published defense spending of about $90 billion.

China warning

Manila clinched the deal to acquire the Gregorio del Pilar-named after the youngest Philippine revolutionary general who fought the Spanish and died in combat against American forces-early this year before the tensions with China flared.

The United States has since promised to help upgrade the Philippine military further, but no details have been released.

China¿s state-run media this month warned the Philippines it could pay a high price for building up its military presence in the West Philippine Sea.

But bilateral ties remain strong in other areas, and Mr. Aquino will pay a state visit to China next week.

Jets, armored carriers

Mr. Aquino spent nearly two hours in a tour of the vessel. A select group of reporters were also allowed to tour the ship.

I want everything.But what we will acquire(are)lead-in jet trainers to keep the skill(levels) of the fighter pilots,"Mr Aquino said.

The President has set his sights on acquiring more ships, trainer fighter jets and armored personnel carriers.

He also mentioned acquiring for the Philippine Air Force defense radars, a long-range patrol aircraft and support aircraft.

He also cited the need for amphibious vessels, offshore patrol vessels, at least three naval helicopters and Coast Watch stations.

For the Army, the Philippines plans to buy new assault rifles, armored assets and force protection equipment such as helmets, bulletproof vests, night-fighting equipment and radios, Mr. Aquino said.

Theres a whole list of modernization items for the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and also the (Philippine National Police) and the Coast Guard," the President added.

Defenseless in airspace

The country has been defenseless in its airspace since 2001, when the Philippine Air Force last flew a fighter jet. The obsolete F-5 jets were decommissioned in 2005.

Mr. Aquino said the country had to carefully weigh whether acquiring a submarine is ¿practical, whether or not it meets our needs."

He cited the experience of a Southeast Asian country, which he did not name, that bought submarines from Eastern Europe for a ¿bargain¿ price of $12 million.

But the buyer discovered that the submarines had to be refitted for tropical purposes so it ended up spending the same amount it would have spent had it bought new submarines.

Pama said the Navy planned to acquire at least two more decommissioned ships from the US Coast Guard.

The Philippine Navy has an old and badly equipped fleet of fewer than 80 ships to protect its coastline and vast marine interests. The fleet is mostly made up of aging World War II vessels.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aquino commissions new Phl warship today

By Aurea Calica
Philippine Star, Tuesday, August 23, 2011

President Aquino leads today the inspection of the newly-acquired warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which is part of the upgrading and modernization efforts of the government on the maritime capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP).

Aquino will be welcomed at Pier 13 in South Harbor by government officials including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, AFP chief Lt. Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, and PF15 Commanding Officer Capt. Alberto Cruz.

Manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel, BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrived in the country last week after a month-long voyage from the United States. The warship dropped anchor at the Manila Bay yesterday to undergo customs, immigration and quarantine inspection.

The Navy recently acquired the refurbished US Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WHEC-715) and commissioned it as BRP Gregorio del Pilar Pacific Fleet 15.

The 378-foot vessel with a crew capacity of 180 is equipped with armament and weapons system, propulsion plant, electrical generation, helicopter hangar and flight deck, among others.

It will be deployed to carry out missions for drug interdiction, law enforcement, search and rescue operations, defense readiness and migrant interdiction. It will also perform tasks in protecting the country’s natural gas and oil exploration projects off Palawan amid reported incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

Defense department spokesman Col. Hernando Iriberri said Aquino’s presence during the event signifies the government’s seriousness in modernizing the military.

“It shows the commitment of the government to improve the capability of the AFP to perform its constitutional mandate as protector of our people and guardian of our territory,” Iriberri said.

He said the arrival of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar “is a step forward toward the realization of the thrust to modernize the AFP.”

The ship is the Navy’s first Hamilton-class cutter and is its largest vessel. – With Alexis Romero

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hamilton icon of AFP’s capability upgrade

By William Depasupil
The Manila Times, Monday, August 22, 2011

THE Philippine Navy’s largest and most modern ship, the Hamilton class US Coast Guard cutter, now known as the BRP (Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas) Gregorio del Pilar, symbolizes the country’s resolve and determination to defend its territorial integrity, according to Navy flag-officer in command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama.

Pama disclosed Sunday that the 3,390-ton warship is now anchored at the Manila Bay after a 45-day journey from Coast Guard island in Alameda, San Francisco, California.

“This will be an icon to the revival of the capability upgrade of our Armed Forces,” he said. “This is the symbol of our resolve and determination to protect what is ours.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., earlier said that the cutter would be used for multi-mission operations such as search and rescue, and maritime security patrols, particularly in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) to protect the country’s interests that include the Malampaya Gas Project in the waters of Palawan near the dispute Spratly group of islands.

The ship, even at 46 years old, is now the biggest and most modern in the Philippine Navy’s inventory. It was launched on December 18, 1965, commissioned to the US Coast Guard March 18, 1967 and decom-missioned on March 28, 2011.

It was acquired by the Philippine government at a transfer cost of P450 million, minus the air surface search radar, close-in weapons system and secondary 25-mm gun system.

But Pama said that even if the Hamilton is already old, it is still well-maintained and capable of enduring high weather that can make it sustain longer patrolling at sea.

“It’s not a question of age but the capability of the ship. One of our problems before is our lack of patrol ship that could endure high weather and can sustain longer patrolling at sea,” he said.

“This ship has proven its capability of crossing the Pacific Ocean and I think there’s no other place in the Philippines that has bigger waves [than the Pacific Ocean],” Pama added.

According to him, the ship is now going through the usual customs, immigration and quarantine inspection before it would be dry-docked for at least a month for repainting from white to the Navy’s official gray color. Some minor repairs and fitting of additional facilities and equipment will also be done.

Pama said that the ship has not been formally commissioned yet to the Navy and its name BRP Gregorio del Pilar is not yet final pending approval from the Office of the President.

“The name BRP Gregorio del Pilar is only a provisional name. It still needs to pass through proper procedure until it is approved by the President. It is only then that it can be commissioned and given its final name,” Pama added referring to President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

‘BRP Gregorio del Pilar’ makes port

By Victor Reyes
Malaya, Monday, August 22, 2011

THE Navy’s largest and newly acquired ship arrived from the United States yesterday morning and will be formally welcomed by President Aquino tomorrow.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama boarded the ship at the Manila Bay anchorage and had lunch (boodle fight) with the 95 officers and men, led by Capt. Alberto Cruz, who sailed the Hamilton cutter from San Francisco on July 18.

Pama said the ship had to undergo "customs, quarantine and immigration" inspection as part of procedures for ships coming from abroad.

After the arrival ceremony on Tuesday, the ship to be named BRP Gregorio del Pilar will undergo dry-docking and repainting. Its color will be changed from white to gray which is the official color of the Navy.

The ship will be deployed at the West Philippine Sea where the country has a vast maritime interest to protect.

The 44-year-old ship was acquired from the US Coast Guard through the US Excess Defense Articles program.

President Aquino, accompanied by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, will lead the formal welcome ceremony for the ship and its crew at the South Harbor. Guests will have the chance to tour the ship.

Pama said the ship will be an "icon to the revival of the capability upgrade of the Philippine Navy."

"This will be a symbol of our seriousness (in upgrading the Navy capability). Because we are a maritime nation, this will jumpstart our revival of our Navy’s capability," he also said.

Navy gets new Hamilton-class ship, says it will revive defense capability

By Alexis Romero
Philippine Star, Monday, August 22, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The newly acquired Hamilton-class ship from the US symbolizes the revival of the military’s defense capabilities, the Navy said yesterday.

“We regard this (newly acquired ship) as an icon of the revival of the capability upgrade of the armed forces. This symbolizes our seriousness (to upgrade our military),” Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama told radio station dzBB in Filipino.

“This (ship) would start the revival and the enhancement of the capabilities of the armed forces,” he said.

Pama said upgrading the country’s naval assets is important given that the Philippines is a maritime nation. He said the ship, which has been renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar, would allow them to sail through huge waves.

“One of our weaknesses is the lack of vessels that could withstand a rough environment caused by huge waves. We can now do that through this ship. It symbolizes the government’s presence and is in line with efforts to protect our maritime resources,” Pama said.

The Hamilton-class ship arrived in Philippine territory last Aug. 17 after almost a month of voyage from California.

A total of 95 Navy personnel manned the ship, which arrived in Manila Bay yesterday. The ship underwent customs and immigration quarantine and inspection in line with the existing regulations on vessels from other countries.

President Aquino will lead the arrival ceremonies for the ship tomorrow at the Pier 13 in South Harbor, Manila.

Friday, August 19, 2011

‘Gregorio del Pilar’ is arriving Sunday

By Victor Reyes
Malaya, Friday, August 19, 2011

The Philippines’ newest and second warship, a Hamilton class ship acquired from the United States, is expected in Manila on Sunday.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay said the ship, acquired under the US Excess Defense Articles program, has been named BRP Gregorio del Pilar.

Manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under Capt. Alberto Cruz, Tonsay said the ship will be passing the San Bernardino Strait and is expected to anchor at Manila Bay around 8 a.m. Sunday.

The ship left San Francisco last July 18 and made stops in Hawaii and Guam.

"Her deployment is flexible depending on the operational plan but she will help a lot in protecting our offshore resources by increased maritime domain awareness and added response capability," AFP spokesman Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez said.

The Philippines’ only warship, the BRP Rajah Humabon, is a World War II vintage destroyer escort.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which was launched by the US in 1967, will guard the Malampaya project in Palawan, which is the biggest foreign investment in the country.

Top military officials said the ship will also help protect the country’s maritime interests, including the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. The oil and mineral rich islands are being claimed in part or in whole by the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PH warship heads for port

By Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer,Thursday,August 18,2011

THE PHILIPPINE Navy’s newly-acquired warship, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, arrived in the country yesterday ahead of schedule after a month-long voyage from the United States.

The refurbished former US Coast Guard Hamilton-class weather high endurance cutter will be deployed to protect the country’s natural gas and oil exploration projects off Palawan amid reported incursions in Philippine-claimed territory in the West Philippine Sea.

Manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under the command of Capt. Alberto Cruz, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar entered Philippine territory at 1 p.m. yesterday, a Navy spokesman said.

Around 2:30 p.m., the ship was 273 nautical miles east of Samar and was expected to pass the San Bernardino Strait off the Bicol region, said Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay.

The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is expected to anchor drop at Manila Bay on Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. to undergo customs, immigration and quarantine inspection.

Newest Navy Ship enters P.A.R.

By Elena Aben
Manila Bulletin, Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Philippine Navy's newest and biggest ship, Hamilton cutter class BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, has entered the country's waters, a Navy spokesman announced yesterday Lt.Col Omar Tonsay, Navy spokesman, said the PN frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar, manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under the command pf Capt.Alberto A. Cruz, entered the Philippine area of reponsibility at around 1 p.m. yesterday. The ship is expected to enetr to enter the Manila Bay on August 21."As a multi-mission vessel, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar will be primarily important for the Philippine Navy's maritime security and sovereignity patrols especially upon its deployment at the Malampaya projects west of Palawan,"said Tonsay.

New Navy combat vessel enters country’s waters

By William Depasupil
Manila Times, Thursday, August 18, 2011

THE country’s largest and most modern combat sea vessel, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, has arrived in the country after a 42-day journey from the United States.

The Philippine Navy spokesman, Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay, disclosed that the vessel, formerly the US Coast Guard cutter Hamilton, entered the country’s territory around 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

“The ship will anchor in Manila Bay anchorage area on August 21 [Sunday] for Customs, immigration and quarantine inspection prior to arrival and welcome ceremony at Manila South Harbor, “ he said.

The ship is manned by 13 officers and 82 enlisted personnel under the command of Capt. Alberto Cruz, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988.

As of 1 p.m. yesterday, the vessel was some 273 nautical miles off the baseline of Samar in Eastern Visayas.

It left the United States on July 5.

The deputy spokesman of the Philippine Navy Fleet, Lt. Jr. Grade Rommel Rodriguez, said that Gregorio del Pilar arrived more than a week ahead of its original schedule.

According to him, the ship would be repainted and installed with additional facilities and capabilities, which are cheaper to be done here than in the US.

The Armed Forces chief of staff, Gen. Eduardo Oba Jr., has said that the former US Coast Guard cutter would be used for multi-mission operations such as search and rescue and maritime security patrols, particularly in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) to protect the country’s interests that include the Malampaya Gas Project in the waters of Palawan near the disputed Spratly group of islands.

Oban said that the Hamilton was designed to endure high-sea weather and can sustain longer patrolling at sea.

“It has better and wider range radars to be able to cover a larger scope and has a fire control system that enables it to fire accurate shots even if the ship is in up and down motion, and even if the target is shaking,” he added.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that the acquisition of the “new man-of-war” would certainly be a big boost to the Navy’s fleet, considering its multi-role capability.

Hamilton ship arrives from the US

By Alexis Romero
Philippine Star, Thursday, August 18,2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Hamilton-class ship acquired by the Philippine Navy from the US arrived in Philippine territory yesterday after almost a month of voyage from California.

The vessel, which has been renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar, entered the Philippines Sea at about 1 p.m., Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay said.

It passed through waters off Samar and the San Bernardino Strait off the Bicol region yesterday afternoon.

Once the ship becomes part of the Navy inventory, it would be deployed to the West Philippine Sea to secure energy projects in the area.

“As a multi-mission vessel, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar will be primarily important for the Philippine Navy’s maritime security and sovereignty patrols especially upon its deployment at the Malampaya project west of Palawan,” Tonsay said in a text message.

“Due to its classification as a weather high endurance cutter, its secondary roles will be in support for search and rescue,” he added.

A total of 95 Navy personnel are manning the ship that will dock on Manila Bay on Aug. 21. The ship will undergo customs and immigration quarantine and inspection before it will be presented in a welcome ceremony in the Manila South Harbor.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar is classified as a cutter, a high-speed vessel that can cut through waves.

The ship would be the Philippine Navy’s first Hamilton-class cutter and is now its largest vessel. It was acquired through the United States Excess Defense Act using proceeds from the Malampaya project funds.

The transfer cost has been pegged at P450 million while the operational cost for two years is estimated at P120 million.

The Hamilton-class cutter was largely used by the US Coast Guard for drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement, search and rescue, living marine resources protection, and defense readiness.

The 380 feet-long cutter was turned over by the US Coast Guard to Philippine officials in California last May 13.

The vessel started its voyage on July 18 when it sailed for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from California on July 18.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Navy aasinta ng 4th W

By Dondie Curit
Abante, Tonite, Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pang-apat na dikit na panalo at paghahanda sa susunod na round ang tatrabahuin ngayon ng Philippine Navy sa pakikipagtipan sa Maynilad Water Services Inc. sa Shakey's V-League Season 8 Open Conference eliminations sa The Arena sa San Juan.

Mag-aabot ang Lady Sailors at Lady Water Dragons sa tampok na laro sa alas-kuwatro matapos ang sagupaang Philippine Army at ateneo de manila University sa alas-dos.

Paghahandaan ng mga bata ni playing coach Zeny Ybanez ang Maynilad na may kapasidad na manalo kahit lugmok sa 1-3.

"Yung mga remaning games namin, kailangang paghandaan namin iyon dahil bilog ang bola," ani ni Ybanez," Kahit Maynilad iyan, marunong silang mag volleyball."

Galing ang Navy sa 25-18,25-15,25-17 panalo kontra Philippine Air Force noong Linggo habang sumasadsad ang Maynilad sa Army, 22-25, 15-25, 27-25,15-25.

Sa unang laro,nakataya ang 4-0 kartada ng Lady Troopers at pananatili s atuktok ng team standings kontra Lady Eagles na pasok na rin sa susunod na round bu
nga ng 2-3 rekord.

Sink or Swim with Navy

By Jullie Yap Daza
Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — Repeat 110 times: “We are a maritime nation.”

Now you’re in the good graces of the Philippine Navy chief, Vice Admiral Alexander Pama. (It’s vice because his equivalent in the Army is a four-star, not five-star, general.)

When he had lunch at Sofitel with “Bulong Pulungan” last week, the Admiral was bent on getting his mantra across, that if you don’t buy it hook, line, and sinker, then “we will never have the strong and credible navy” that this maritime nation deserves.

The Navy serves 67 percent of the population who live in coastal areas, in a country with a coastline longer than the USA’s, where in the midst of a grouping of 7,107 islands is the center of the center of marine biodiversity and fishing is a major source of livelihood.

Our waters are a rich source of marine life, yet they are also the graveyard of thousands of boat passengers who have gone down to the bottom of the sea.

What a shame that our Navy has 66 ships and boats, of which only 33 are in ship-shape condition, alas. What can we islanders and the Admiral or his successors do but sink or swim with the Navy?

Coming soon, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a $10-million, 30-year-old “new” Hamilton cutter, so “big and fast” she “can be deployed anywhere.” (More on Thursday)

Photo by Miguel De Guzman
Manila Times, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A member of the 6th Marine battalion glances backward while his comrades stand at attention during their send-off ceremony at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila on Tuesday. They are set to be deployed to the West Mindanao Command in Mindanao, replacing those killed in a recent clash with the Abu Sayyaf.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Off to Zamboanga

Photo by Ali Vicoy
Manila Bulletin, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Members of the 6th Marine Battalion wave at the crowd after they boarded the BRP Dagupan LC551 following their send-off ceremony to Zamboanga, at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila yesterday Aug.9, 2011. The soldiers will undergo training in Sulu.

Navy tossers advance

Manila Standard Today, Monday, August 15,2011

BIG SERVING Philippine Navy routered Air Force with its vaunted attacking game, cruising to a 25-18, 25-15,25-17 victory and joining San Sebastian in the quarterfinal round of the Shakey's V-League Open Conference at The arena in San Juan yesterday.

The Navy tossers unloaded 39 kills as against Air Force's 22 and scored 10 points off the serve to dominate the one-hour, 12-minute encounter and post their third straight win since dropping a four-setter to unbeaten Army in the league sponsored by Shakey's Pizza.

Former most valuable player Nerissa Bautista unleashed five power-packed serves and finished with 16 points, while Suzzane Roces, a former two-time MVP, had four service aces and wound up with 15 hits as the Navy ladies cut the Air Force side down to size in the absence of ace hitter Cherry Rose Macatangay.

Air Force tried to mount a rally in the third, winning four straight points to close within 16-21 but Bautista and Rose Prochina came through with a pair of hits and Navy held Air Force to just one point to wrap up the match.

"We cashed in our offense, which has so many variations and our defense also held up," said Roces, who bagged the Player of the Game award after finishing with 110 kills and one block.

Macatangay, who normed 14 hits in the first four games, sat out the game with a knee injury, but former UST star Aiza Maizo failed to draw solid support from the rest of the team, which took its third loss against two wins in the league backed by Accel, Mikasa and Maynilad Water.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marines joining PNSA sniping tilt

Manila Bulletin,Monday, August 14, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — A demonstration by the crack shooters of the Philippine Marine Corps will highlight the first-ever 2011 Sniper Shooting Competition starting this Sunday at the Taytay Tactical Rifle Range in Rizal.

Philippine National Shooting Association (PNSA) Executive Director Larry Paredes said they have already come to terms with the Marines Corps, led by its Commandant Major Gen. Rustico Guerrero, with regards to its involvement in the four-day event that aims to increase awareness in the sport.

While some of the top Marine shooters will display their capabilities and precision – in the 1 kilometer target – some of them will compete as guests.

PNSA president and Harbour Centre CEO Mikee Romero said the participation and support of the Marine Corps will add challenge to the civilian participants and glamour to the event knowing how deadly and efficient the Marine shooters are.

“I am thankful to Maj. Gen. Guerrero for allowing his elite unit to demonstrate their skills and some of them take part in our event. This is one step to attract more shooters,” said Romero, who also thanked Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula and the Rizal shooters association for hosting the event.

The event, according to tournament director Boy Banaag, will start with the small bore rifle (.22) on Sunday while the proficiency demonstration of the Marine Corps and the competition in the centerpiece .223 (high-powered rifle) are scheduled on Aug. 26-28.

The Marine shooters are acknowledged as the best in the lot, having produced several bemedalled athletes like Bartolome Teyab, Julius Valdez and Andres Maer.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pama-steering the PH Navy Through Rough Seas

Yahoo, Saturday, August 13, 2011

"A morning Prayer: Open my heart so I can see the truth around me, When I am shown anger, Help me see the hurt that sparked it. When I am shown arrogance, let me see insecurity. When I am shown aggression, Help me recognize the fear beneath it. And when I am confronted with hate, Give me the strength and wisdom to respond with love. Amen."

Chito Bertol, Manila Seedling Bank Foundation

"An officer and a gentleman..."

MANILA, Philippines - That sums up my and the "Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel" crowd's impression of Vice Admiral Alexander P. Pama, AFP, the Flag Officer-in-Command of the Philippine Navy when he was our guest at our weekly forum.

Looking trim and fit in his light brown daily uniform ("We wear white to gala affairs"), he answered all questions forthrightly and injected his own witty humor which put everyone at ease. There to break bread with us too was his lovely and brainy "commander-in-chief," his banker wife, Carlette, who works at the PNB, just a few minutes away from the PN headquarters on Roxas Boulevard.

From her we learned that they are both from Iloilo and in fact met at the UP campus there in their freshman year. They separated ways when he entered the PMA in Baguio and she continued her studies in UP Diliman. Their paths crossed again and they eventually married. They now have two boys, both students at the De La Salle University.

Alex has an M. A. in Business Administration from Ateneo while Carlette also has her masters from UP. His well-rounded naval career include commanding six navy vessels and other sea commands, holding various shore assignments in the headquarters and is concurrently the Commander of the naval Intelligence Security Force. He was also Superintendent of the Naval School Center, Naval Education and Training Command and in the Naval Operational Command as Commander, Naval Forces Western Mindanao and concurrently Commander, Joint Task Force "Trillium" (Zamboanga -Basilan). His stint at the headquarters of the AFP took him through intelligence and planning and at the DND, he was both the senior military assistant and chief of staff to the secretary.

The reality of the Philippines being a maritime nation is not fully appreciated by our people, Pama noted. Even some of our national leaders tend to overlook the facts-the Philippines is an archipelago made up of some 7,100 islands bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the West Philippine Sea, and the Celebes Sea. We are also in the middle of major international navigation routes with the Coral Triangle within our waters which is why we are blessed by being the "center of the center of marine biodiversity," Pama reminded us. And we thought sailors weren't knowledgeable and dedicated environmentalists!

Being a maritime nation, we have unique challenges-sea piracy, poaching, repatriating stranded OFWs from overseas, kidnapping, trafficking of narcotics, arms, explosives, even people! And now of course, the hunt for oil deposits and China's interest in the disputed Spratlys. The Navy has been tasked to secure offshore oil drilling explorations, and it maintains personnel in the Spratlys. Not to worry, the sighting Marines, who are also all within the PM Command are there also to safeguard this maritime nation, assured Pama.

Developing and implementing a responsive naval system with the limited resources available to the Navy is not lost on Pama. He realizes that equipment vital to securing our patrimony is sorely lacking, but he is certain that with P-Noy's "walangwang- wang" governance, the Navy will be able to reach its goal of being credible and strong.

"Why, this month alone, the navy will be welcoming the newest and biggest PN vessel, a Hamilton-class vessel acquired from the United States.

It has been re-named BRP Gregorio del Pilar, and 90 men trained in a California naval base to man it." Pama sounded euphoric about this newest addition to the navy's tiny fleet of ships and vessels.

He recounted how overwhelmed he was with the enthusiasm of the Fil-Am community in the American naval base from where the Hamilton sailed to the Philippines. That kind of support for the Navy only makes him more resolute in doing his responsibility in steering the "ship" of the PN where it should be going.

It was a very educational and thought-provoking session, thank you, V. Admiral Pama and your officers, Capt. Danilo Rodelas, Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo and Col. Omar Tonsay! And thank you too to Sofitel's Executive Chef, Marko Rankel for that delicious buffet you prepared for our special guest on our Bulong "budget!"

So, "Sail on" Philippine Navy and V.Admiral Pama! We stakeholders wish you success and you have our support!

Meanwhile, if there is any good that has come from the "blasphemous" art work of one Mideo Cruz and exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (until it was closed down due to P-Noy's urgings and the public indignation) it is the closing of ranks among us Catholics and other denominations as well.

The outrage against the desecration of the symbols of the faith-Jesus Christ, Mary, the Crucifix-augurs well for the Catholic Church in this country. It showed us that we have not been desensitized by some scandals in our Church and that we will defend it when it is attacked.

I talked to Raul Sunico a week after the first storms loomed over the exhibit and he was of the opinion that it was "sanctioned" by UST since Cruz is from that institution. Turns out, UST, in a statement, denied any kind of approval of the exhibit and that Cruz is an undergraduate.

Raul was already bothered about the exhibit but he could not unilaterally decide. There was to be a discussion on it in the coming days and the board appeared to be in favor of allowing the exhibit to continue for the sake of freedom of artistic expression.

Would the President have intervened if the offending art exhibit was held in a private gallery? Would we have reacted with the same passion? I would guess not. The fact that the CCP is funded by our taxes and expected to showcase the best of Philippine art, culture and theatre made all the difference.

Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding the CCP board of their responsibilities.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marines march onboard

Photo by Jonjon Vicencio
Philippine Star, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Marines march onboard a transport ship at the Philippine Navy headquarters yesterday for deployment to Mindanao.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Navy assistance

Manila Bulletin, Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DAVAO CITY(PIA)- Officers and enlisted personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao joined the blood letting activity held at the Seaman's Hospital in Agdao, this city. The Navy personnel donated blood in support to the campaign for dengue awareness program. The donated blood units will be given to dengue patients from all over the region who need blood transfusion. The Rotary Club of Waling-waling - Davao headed by Dr Mae G. Dolendo hosted the blood letting activity dubbed "Saling Dugo, Saling Buhay"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Final Salute

Final Salute:Marines salute as the remains of seven comrades arrive at Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio Sunday. Military officials say Sayyaf bandits beheaded two of the seven Marines they killed in one of the fiercest clashes this year in Sulu.AP