Friday, September 5, 2014
NPA Remnants killed in Abra rise to 6, firearms recovered now 13, Military leadership calls for NPA to bring down arms to save wounded rebels
The number of NPA remnants killed in a fierce firefight in Abra yesterday rose to six and authorities believe there could be more dead and wounded who might die if not given proper medical attention while firearms recovered by troops is now 13.
The gunbattle which started at 5:00AM until noon Sept 4 in Brgy Guiguinabang, Lacub, Abra is considered a major tactical victory for the AFP.
Elements of the 41st Infantry Battalion who engaged the NPA remnants were on pursuit operation and scouring the area when they found the still unidentified additional body and the five additional firearms believed to be left by wounded NPA or belonging to the dead ones who were possibly dragged by their comrades.
Four of the NPA killed were identified as Arnold Jaramillo a.k.a Mando, a high ranking NPA leader being the Secretary of the Abra Provincial Party Committee; Joel Banganan a.ka Ka Payas, another high ranking NPA leader being the CO of the Komite Larangang Gerilya North; next is Ronald Lang-ey Cocha and a certain Dumageng a.k.a Jess.
The two other dead bodies, a male and a female are still unidentified as of latest report.
Recovered firearms include 8 - M16 armalite rifles, 2 - M653 baby armalite, 1-AK47, 1 Garand Rifle and 1- 45 cal pistol. Other items recovered are a laptop, a generator set, 2- handheld radios, a cellphone and many electronics and IT equipment; and subversive documents.
The bodies were transported to two Tamo Funeral Homes in Lagangilang and Tayum both in Abra so that they may be claimed by their relatives and be given decent burial.
Lt.Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, Commander of Northern Luzon Command appealed for the NPA leadership to “let the wounded bring down their arms so that our soldiers can give them emergency medical help and evacuate them to the hospital so that we can save their lives. We appeal to them to bring down their wounded comrades for medical treatment or if they cannot do it, they can contact the nearest AFP units so that our soldiers can bring the wounded to the hospital”.
“My prompt directive to the troops is to prioritize medical evacuation of any wounded NPA if found. We would like the NPA to realize that our soldiers treat them as fellow Filipinos and that the encounter was a result of their armed and bloody way of furthering their belief. We encourage them to shed that violent way and use peaceful means.”Lt.Gen Trinidad said.
“With this major tactical engagement, maybe it’s time for the remaining NPA to rethink about their armed struggle, come out and join the mainstream society and collectively work for lasting peace, development and progress in our country.” Lt. Gen. Trinidad concluded.
FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The Armed Forces of the Philippines has acquired P1.9-billion worth of brand-new assault rifles from a United States-based company to beef up its forces as part of its modernization program and in spite of the “missing rifles” scandal.
An initial 100 of these units were given out in this military camp Thursday afternoon, with 27,200 more to be distributed within this month and another 12,000 in December, according to AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang.
Catapang said the new rifles, involving 5.56mm M4 rifles, form part of the joint Philippine Army-Philippine Marine Corps Assault Rifles Acquisition Project (PAPMPCARAP) of the government.
Catapang was assisted by 7th Infantry Division commanding general, Brig. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, during the turn-over of the initial 100 units at the firing range here to troops from the Light Reaction Regiment (LRR) of the Special Operation Command (Socom) and 79th Infantry Battalion under 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) who have undergone the Battalion of Excellence (BOC) training.
Catapang said the Army is set to receive a total of 44,186 units while another branch, the Philippine Navy, will get 6,443 units.
The funds for the weapons were sourced from the AFP Capability Upgrade Program of 2012. The US-based Remington Outdoor Company won the public bidding in October last year.
“This weapons program will contribute significantly to the transformation of the AFP into a multi-mission oriented force capable of confronting both internal and external threats,” Catapang said.
The heavy-barreled, full automatic, wear-resistant rifles will replace the old, worn-out M16A2 assault rifles.
Comparatively, the M4 Carbine rifle is lighter, shorter, more cost-efficient and can reach a target up to 600 meters. In contrast, the M16-A1 rifle’s maximum ceffective range is only up to 460 meters.
Catapang said they chose to give these new rifles to field soldiers because they are the front liners and “so we must assure that they are fully equipped in every encounter.”
He stressed that soldiers should live with the paradigm “kawal disiplinado, bawal abusado dapat asintado (disciplined soldier, no to abusiveness and must be a sharpshooter).” Manny Galvez)
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija–An incumbent barangay chairman and nephew of Board Member Pol Interior was gunned down by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija Thursday afternoon, police said.
Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, identified the slain barangay official as Rodante Interior-Garcia, barangay chairman of San Bartolome.
Garcia died on-the-spot from three gunshot wounds of a caliber 40 revolver.
Chief Inspector Alexander Aurelio, San Leonardo police chief, said the attack was staged at around 5:30 pm Thursday in the same barangay.
Aurelio said Garcia was walking along the provincial road in the same barangay when the gunmen aboard a red unlicensed Honda motorcycle appeared from behind and shot him point-blank, hitting him in the neck.
As he was sprawled on the pavement, the gunmen fire two more shots then fled in the direction of nearby Peñaranda town.
One of the bullets hit a bystander Rowena Nogue, 49. She was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
PO2 Giovani Penamante, case investigator, said they have several witnesses who already executed affidavits. “The problem is they have not known the suspects personally,” he said.
SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija–Two detained University of the Philippines graduates who were arrested by police and military operatives last month and charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives were ordered transferred by a Regional Trial Court from their detention cell at the provincial public safety company (PPSC) to the district jail in this city.
Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, said Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano were brought by the Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology at 3 pm Wednesday.
The two were transported under heavy security by a police team led by Inspector Allan Batle which was dispatched by PPSC commander, Superintendent Ricardo Villanueva.
Nieves said the transfer was in compliance with a commitment order issued by San Jose City RTC 39 Judge Cynthia Martinez-Florendo. They were received at 7 pm Wednesday by Jail Officer 2 Renato C. Fernandez Jr.
The two are facing charges for violations of Republic Act 10591 and Republic Act 9516.
Salonga and Cadano were arrested by joint teams from the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the Nueva Ecija police in a house in Barangay R.T. Padilla, Carranglan town on August 9. The lawmen were serving an arrest warrant to suspected New People’s Army commander Ely Taray, also known as Ka Emong.
The military said the two were platoon guides of the NPA unit operating in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan provinces. But they identified themselves to arresting teams as organizers of the youth groups Kabataan and Anakbayan.
Cadano and Salonga are Pi Sigma and Sigma Kappa Pi fraternity members, respectively. They obtained degrees in business management and psychology, respectively at the UP Diliman Extension program in Pampanga province at Clark Freeport.
Cecil Ruiz, chair of the human rights watchdog Karapatan in Central Luzon, said the arrest warrant was for Taray, not for Cadana and Salonga which is a blatant violation of the two former UP students’ human rights.
Ruiz said the two were forced by their captors to admit they were NPA rebels during interrogation, a claim which the military and police denied.
MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda today said that she is confident the Philippines will have an impressive national pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale come May 9, 2015.
Legarda, principal advocate of the Philippines’ participation in the Art Venice Biennale 2015, made the statement as she acknowledged the expertise and experience of the jurors who are involved in the review of the curatorial proposals.
“We have very talented curators and artists in the country, and with the help of our jurors, who are experienced in contemporary art, we are confident we will be able to select the proposal that would be best for the Philippine pavilion,” she said.
“I am grateful to our jurors for accepting our invitation to be part of the country’s preparation for the Venice Biennale 2015. The fact that they agreed to be part of this process means that they believe in the Filipino talent,” Legarda added.
Leading the panel of jurors is the Philippine Art Venice Biennale Commissioner, Felipe M. De Leon, Jr., Chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); Cid Reyes, one of the country’s top art critics and an artist with 17 solo exhibitions to date; Mami Kataoka, chief curator of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan; Paul Pfeiffer, a New York based sculptor, photographer and video artist who already participated in the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001; and Renaud Proch, Executive Director of Independent Curators International, a non-profit organization in New York that has produced exhibitions, events and publications.
Also part of the panel is Legarda, who is the visionary behind the comeback of the Philippines to the Venice Biennale after a 50-year hiatus.
Legarda recalled that the country’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale was conceived during a Senate hearing on the budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the cultural agencies of government, when she asked why other Asian nations are taking part in this prestigious contemporary art exhibition, but not the Philippines.
The Philippines’ first national pavilion was in the 32nd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 1964. Jose Joya and Napoleon Abueva were chosen to represent the country.
Emphasizing the necessity for the Philippines to engage the international community on the cultural level, the Senator convinced the NCCA and the DFA to work on the Philippines’ entry to the Art Venice Biennale 2015.
“I know that Filipinos have what it takes to be part once again of the Art Venice Biennale. This will also be a big boost to Philippine contemporary art and will provide our Filipino artists and curators the opportunity to be recognized abroad. Hopefully, our participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale will be the start of our strengthened presence on the international stage,” she stressed.
The Art Venice Biennale 2015 will be held in Venice, Italy from May 9 to November 22, 2015.
The Artistic Director for the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale is Okwui Enwezor, a Nigerian-American who is the current Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich. He will curate the main exhibition in the central pavilion.
Enwezor has served as Artistic Director for several major exhibitions including the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa (1996-1998), documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (1998-2002), the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla in Spain (2005-2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008), and the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo (2012).