Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ilocos Cops Gear Up to Counter Terrorism

In strategic partnership with Civil Relations Service (CRS) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP Civil-Military Operations School and Media and Civil Affairs Group CRS AFP, and 1st Civil Relations Group CRS AFP, the PNP’s Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB 1) conducted a Community Engagement and Information Support Affairs training at the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO 1) at Camp Oscar Florendo in San Fernando, La Union.
December 11, 2014, San Fernando, La Union – As 2014 closes and the military slowly shifts to external defense, the Philipine National Police (PNP) is set to take greater Internal Security Operations (ISO) responsibility and accountability.
The big question – “Is the PNP prepared to take on a bigger role in counter-insurgency?”
In strategic partnership with Civil Relations Service (CRS) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP Civil-Military Operations School and Media and Civil Affairs Group CRS AFP, and 1st Civil Relations Group CRS AFP, the PNP’s Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB 1) conducted a Community Engagement and Information Support Affairs training at the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO 1) at Camp Oscar Florendo in San Fernando, La Union.
This capacity building activity for police officers in Region 1 aims to be a model for harnessing PNP-AFP collaboration towards smooth and effective transition.
The 50 trainees comprising the officers and leaders of RPSB and Provincial Public Safety Companies (PPSC) in Region 1 were oriented on the endgame required to finally resolve the communist banditry in the country.
The participants were given instructions and skills-training on engaging stakeholders and undertaking counterpropaganda operations against the communists terrorists’ enslaving control and deception.
What’s new in this training is the emphasis on competence.
“Competencies are observable abilities, skills, knowledge, motivations or traits defined in terms of behaviors needed for successful job performance. The three elements of ISO readiness are deemed essential to assure the effectiveness of public safety forces as counter-insurgency agents.
“First is performance through service delivery and tactical skills.  The police must be able to perform the basic services of law enforcement and crime prevention. Tactical skills consists of basic combat, troop leading procedures, intelligence, investigation, and self-protection that includes the ability to escape when captured or detained by the enemy.
“Second, partnering or people skills are essentially expertise in community organizing, which consists of social investigation, communication and counter-propaganda and criticism and self-criticism.
“Third, personal effectiveness or accountability, which is all about self-management/regulation, police ethics and living up to the PNP core values- pulis na maka Diyos (regardless of religion, he believes in a Higher Being or a God), makabayan (patriotic), makatao (humane) at makakalikasan (pro-environment).
Finally, what’s innovative in this capacity building even is the cross-training. The AFP and PNP officers shared best practices and lessons learned in the field.  It was a no holds-barred cross-fertilization with an objective of learning from past mistakes and embarking on more creative and resourceful means of rescuing the people from the deception of the enemy.
In his closing address, Police Chief Superintendent Roman A. Felix, Regional Director PRO 1 challenged to the police officers, “countering communists terrorism is not just the job of the AFP.  Whether lead or support, the police has a critical role in the fight.  For the NPA bandits have accumulated a long list of criminal offense, murder, extortion, arson, Violence Against Women and Children, among others.”
“Remember, the police do not live in co-existence with criminals. The way to win over insurgency is through competent law enforcement.  This is the best communications message to convince the people that that the PNP is here to provide protection against terrorist organizations like the NPA.”

Felix further challenged the officers that as leaders of the PNP intensified counter-terrorism campaign, the endgame is really up to them.  He emphasized that the loss of life and limbs are not necessary. For the PNP, the way we can win against insurgency is by winning hearts and minds of the people, and that is through the effective community engagement of one competent and disciplined policeman, one day at a time. “Do your job and do it well. Win the people and win the war,” he concluded.

Decal-for-sale, curfew trigger protests inside Fort Magsaysay

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Palayan City – Motorists passing inside the military reservation here are being required to secure decals for a fee, triggering massive protests from local officials and citizens who already have to deal with a curfew imposed by the leadership of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division.

Each decal costs P510 and issued to vehicles passing through Barangay Militar inside the military camp where strict security procedures such as a curfew also prevail.

Protesting motorists have sought the help of Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas who earlier criticized the sudden imposition of a curfew in barangays Doña Josefa and Langka covered by the reservation, which she said, restricted the movement and civil liberties of residents, particularly during nighttime.

          She accused 7th ID officials of failing to consult the civilian leadership before setting up checkpoints in the two barangays which has caused alarm and inconvenienced the residents.

          Former councilor Analyn Boncawil, a resident of Militar, said even retired soldiers are required to have their decal or they will be barred entry inside the camp.

          A retired Army sergeant said sometimes, temporary stubs are issued the motorists in place of the decals. “When we return the next day to get our decals, we are no longer issued one,” he complained.

During a three-hour dialogue Wednesday, Cuevas confronted Camp Commander Lt. Col. Edgar Batenga who was accompanied by Capt. Mark Ruelos, division spokesperson.

Batenga earned the ire of Cuevas and the other city officials after he ordered closed Gate 5 manned by the Alorma detachment at the camp and implemented a curfew from 9 pm to 4:30 am.

Doña Josefa barangay chairman Aurelio Lapagao said the policy has affected even Pinatubo victims and indigenous  peoples (IPs)living in the place.

Batenga said they imposed the security measure to prevent the indiscriminate intrusion of informal settlers inside the camp.

“We are just following orders from higher authorities and what is provided by law,” he said.

He said the reservation used to cover a vast expanse of land covering 76,000  hectares but its land area has shrunk to only 44,000 hectares due mainly to the entry of informal settlers.

Lawyer Paul Cuñano, city legal officer, said the affected barangays have been established by law and are supposed to have access to national roads but have been restricted with boundaries.

It was not the first time that this military camp, considered the biggest in the country and one of the biggest in Southeast, was linked to repression and violation of human rights. It was here when President Aquino’s father, late former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and fellow senator Jose Diokno were placed under solitary confinement to stifle dissent during the Martial Law years.
This camp also figured prominently in a series of coup attempts against the administration of President Aquino’s late mother, then President Corazon Aquino in 1989 staged by then-colonel and now Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. (Manny Galvez)

Pangilinan on Poe-Kiko in 2016 : ‘it’s just a joke’

CABANATUAN CITY – A Poe-Kiko tandem in the 2016 elections?

          It may sound catchy, funny and interesting but it’s nothing but a joke, according to Presidential Adviser on Food Security and Modernization (PAFSAM), Secretary Francis Pangilinan.

“Joke lang ‘yon (It’s a joke at best),” Pangilinan, nicknamed Kiko, told reporters at the sidelines of the Christmas party of the National Irrigation Administration at its central office along Edsa attended by the agency’s regional directors, project managers and employees Thursday afternoon.

He was responding to a question on whether he could be the running mate of Sen. Grace Poe, who is being mentioned as one of the prospective candidates for president in the 2016 synchronized elections.

Political analysts, the media and even ordinary citizens have been having a grand time talking about a Poe-Kiko tandem not only because it is catchy but also because of sexist tone. 

They say it sounds more like a play on words referring to a woman’s private part but in a humorous tone.

“Imagine during the campaign, you will hear people chanting “Puke ko, puke ko (my private part, my private part). It will surely get everybody’s attention,” one of them commented with a laugh.    

Poe, daughter of the late movie actor and ex-presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. , has emerged second to Vice President Jejomar Binay in a survey of possible presidential bets with a rating of 18%. She has denied any plans to seek higher office.

Poe’s name has been floated after Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a senior member of the Liberal Party, revealed Thursday that an outsider like the lady senator could be considered as the party’s standard-bearer in the 2016 presidential race.

One of the elder Poe’s early supporters, Washington Sycip, founder of the accounting firm SGV & Co., has been egging the younger Poe to run for the presidency.

Pangilinan said he has not yet made up his mind on whether he would make a political comeback. “Everything is still up in the air at this point,” he said. (Manny Galvez)


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