Saturday, January 27, 2007

PNP 16th Anniversary Celebration:

Globalization of terror threat, technology pose new challenges for law enforcement

Camp Alagar, Cagayan de Oro City (Mike Banos / Jan 27) - The globalization of the threat of terrorism and advanced technologies are posing new challenges that Philippine law enforcers should be in a position to adequately meet, contain and eliminate.

"The lines of distinction between domestic and international obligations have blurred," said Pacifico T. Pupos, Jr., presidential assistant for Northern Mindanao, who was the guest of honor and speaker during the PNP PRO-10 celebration of the 16th year anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP) held at the region 10 police headquarters in Camp Alagar, this city last Thursday, January 25, 2007.

Pupos cited what he termed as the "globalization of the terror threat" with events taking place in one part of the world also having far reaching ramifications in others.

"We can no longer contain crime to a locality, that was yesterday," Pupos said. "Today's world requires us to act locally, but think globally."

The highest executive official in the region described how "the advent of worldwide terrorism has challenged domestic and international law enforcement like nothing we have encountered before."

On top of this, Pupos also cited how advances in technology has changed the way we access, receive, interpret and use information.

"While it's true technology has provided policemen with new opportunities and new investigative techniques, unfortunately it has also helped criminals find ways to break and evade the law," he said.

In order to remain a potent and effective counter to the threats posed by the globalization of the terror threat and the threats to security posed by advances in technology, Pupos said "police must make significant modifications and work cohesively with other agencies of the government to effectively counteract these forces."

However, despite the new threats posed by these trends to the country's security, Pupos said the country has managed to move the economy forward without sacrificing the democracy of its citizens because of the valiant efforts of its law enforcers, especially the men and women of the PNP who have made the situation possible.

"With increasing investor confidence, our net portfolio investment is up 108% for the period January to September, 2006," Pupos said. "The country's credit rating has improved as have the prices of real estate and stocks. And we have more evident reasons for the booming economy of our country like double-digit growth in exports, remittances, tourism, the increasing number of call centers and the like."

"That's why we have many investors who place their money in our country because they have faith in our economy, in the administration and the people behind it," he added.

He cited how the country's economic growth is reaching levels it last reached in the 1950s and 60s when the Philippines was No. 2 in Asia after Japan.

"At the close of year 2006, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) estimates that poverty incidence, or the percentage of families living below the poverty threshold level is about 23% today, down from 27.5% in the year 2000," Pupos said. "In terms of warm bodies, that drop means some 5.5 million Filipinos rose out of poverty in the six years under the present administration."

He also cited the reduction of the budget deficit as its biggest achievement so far.

"From a deficit of P210.74 billion in 2002, it's down to P110-B last year and P63-B in 2007," Pupos said. "It is projected that by the end of 2008, the country will have zero deficit or a balanced budget."

He cited the PNP's key role in making the present situation happen by maintaining law and order needed to attract investors and bring more employment and business opportunities to the country.

"The strength of the economic situation, maintenance of the peso vis a vis the dollar despite political and energy crisis, is due to the successful campaign against terrorism and is reflective of the good performance of the PNP," he said. "The members of the PNP can dwell on the fact that they have contributed to making the Philippines "the forthcoming success story of Asia."

In ceremonies presided over by PNP PRO-10 Regional Director Chief Supt. Teodorico Capuyan and assisted by Pupos, the following awardees were recognized with Regional Director's Streamers: Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (Best Police Provincial Office), Iligan City Police Office (Best City Police Office), 1003rd Provincial Mobile Group, Bukidnon Provincial Police Office (Best Provincial Mobile Group).

Also cited with Plaques of Excellence were Malaybalay City Police Station, Bukidnon Police Provincial Office (Best City Police Station), Claveria Municipal Police Station , Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (Best Municipal Police Station), Police Station No. 5, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Best Women's and Children Protection Desk, Urban), Bacolod Municipal Police Station, Lanao del Norte Police Provincial Office (Best Women's and Children Protection Desk, Rural), Regional Communication and Electronics Office 10 (Best National Administrative Support Unit), Regional Crime Laboratory Office 10 (Best National Operational Support Unit), NUP Cecille B. dela Rosa (Outstanding Non-Uniformed Personnel).

The following received Plaques of Recognition: Hon. Jose Maria R. Zubiri, Jr., Hon. Oscar S. Moreno, Hon. Vicente Y. Emano, Msgr. Elmer Abacahin, SSJV; Mr. Eduardo Antonio R. Montalvan; Oroquieta City Council of Community Elders; Iligan City Bankers Association; Multicare Pharmaceuticals and United Valiant Group Security Services, Incorporated.

Not the least, the following were recognized with Certificates of Appreciation: Haggai Institute, Iligan City Chapter; Gideons International (Iligan City Chapter); and the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) Iligan City Chapter.


Army expects NPA chief to give up

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – New People’s Army spokesman for Mindanao Jorge Madlos, alias Ka Oris, who was last reported to have been trapped by elements of the 36th and 58th Infantry Battalions in his base in Barangay Santa Juana, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur, is believed ready to surrender because of his failing health.

Madlos’ group also suffered a big setback last Wednesday when the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion led by Lt. Col. Joel Madarang assaulted and captured two caves in Sitio Greenfields of Barangay Santa Juana which were the NPA’s biggest bomb-making and ammunition depot in Mindanao.
Maj. Samuel Sagun, 4th ID public affairs chief, said an earlier firefight with Madlos’ group last Jan. 18, also in Greenfields, led to the recovery of an RPG launcher, a B40 anti-tank weapon, a motorcycle, and subversive documents.
A report by 4th ID commanding general Jose Barbieto said troops of the 401st IB aided by helicopter gunships and assault choppers are still pressing the fight against the NPAs in Tagbina.

The Gallery Today

Friday, January 26, 2007

Army captures NPA's biggest bomb and ammo factory in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Mike Baños) – The Army's 4th Infantry Division (4thID), based here claims it has captured what could be the New Peoples Army's (NPA) biggest bomb-making and ammunition factory in Mindanao, military officials said yesterday.

Recovered from one of the caves - 13mm drill machine

4ID's public affairs chief Major Samuel C. Sagun, " said elements of the 36th Infantry Battalion and the 4th Division Reconnaissance Company captured two caves in Sitio Greenfields, Barangay Sta Juana, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur believed to be the NPA's biggest bomb-making and ammunition factory and depot in Mindanao after a brief firefight Wednesday morning, 24 January 2007.

Greenfields is believed to be the NPA's regional base in Caraga Region where regional training and CPP anniversaries are being held.

It also appears to be the home base of NPA Mindanao spokesman Jorge Madlos alias Ka Oris, who was last reported to have been trapped in by elements of the 36th and 58th Infantry Battalions of the 401st Infantry Brigade in Bgy. Sta. Juana, Tagbina, Zamboanga del Sur and expected to surrender shortly because of his failing health.

In his report to 4ID commanding general Gen. Jose Barbieto, Lieutenant Colonel Joel Madarang, 36th IB commander, said his troops recovered from one cave several bomb-making and ammunition reloading equipment including 42 plastic containers of Superdyne dynamite explosives that could produce about 250 pieces of eight-kilogram landmines, 18 Claymore mines, an M14 rifle, an M16 rifle, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, two mortar base plates, a B40 anti-tank weapon base plate, one set rifle ammunition reloading machine, one 13mm electric drill press machine, 76 rounds of M60 7.62mm machinegun ammunition, detonating wires and two pieces expanders. Madarang said they are still digging around the vicinity of the caves for another 100 plastic containers of Superdyne dynamite explosives believed buried within the vicinity.

Earlier, Sagun said troops also recovered an RPG launcher, a B40 anti-tank weapon, a motorcycle, and subversive documents believed to belong to Mr. Madlos a brief firefight last January 18 southeast of Greenfields.

According to a report filed with army headquarters by Barbieto, combat operations against the NPA are still being pressed in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur by the 401st Infantry Brigade under Colonel Jose Vizcarra, one of three organic units of the 4th ID with close-in air support from two UH-1H helicopter gunships and two MG520 assault helicopters from the Tactical Operations Group 10, Philippine Air Force under Lieutenant Colonel Raul del Rosario based in Cagayan de Oro's Lumbia Airport.

"The capture of the bomb-making factory will definitely degrade the NPA's bomb-making capability in Mindanao," said Barbieto.

" The discovery of the huge explosive depot/factory has also evidently proved that the Communist Party of the Philippines/New Peoples Army should remain to be tagged as an International Terrorist Group," Barbieto said.

Military officials are now coordinating with DSWD and local government units for the rehabilitation of Sitio Greenfields, Barangay Sta Juana and other nearby barangays.


Lieutenant Colonel Joel Madarang, CO of 36th Infantry Battalion inspecting the recovered items.
Some of the claymore mines and superdyne explosives contained in plastic containers after the capture
. Mortar bipod recovered.


Abu leader caught with pants down


ABU Solaiman, No. 2 man of the Abu Sayyaf who was killed early this month, was caught by security forces literally with his pants down.

First Lt. Almerante Mirajes and S/Sgt. Raul Suacillo yesterday related their clash with the group of Solaiman, who had a $5 million bounty on his head and had planned high-profile bombings and kidnappings.

Mijares said the clash in Mt. Dajo, Talipao town in Sulu on Jan. 16 started at 9:20 a.m.
Mijares said as they were preparing to assault the Abu Sayyaf lair, a man approached their position.

"He responded to a personal necessity. He relieved himself," he said.
Mijares said the man, with two aides about 15 meters away, got as close as four to six meters to his men’s position.

He said the man checked out the area but did not detect their presence because it was foggy and the area was thickly forested. He then went on to relieve himself.

"When he was already through, he was surprised that an M14 was already pointed at him," Mijares said.

Suacillo, the soldier who poked the rifle on Solaiman, said he asked the man to surrender.
"Instead of surrendering, he ran and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar,’" said Suacillo.
Suacillo said he then opened fire.

"Sergeant Suacillo tried to ask him not make a noise, to apprehend him so our location would not be compromised but he resisted and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar.’ So there was no choice. He (Suacillo) shot him," said Mijares.


The man was hit in the back.

Mijares said Solaiman’s shouting of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) was meant to warn his men.

Mijares said he then ordered the rest of his men to unleash heavy fire at the camp. Mijares said Solaiman’s two aides escaped with their companions after three hours of fighting.

He said they were repeatedly shouting "Allahu Akbar."
"The last shout was followed by a burst of fire. They withdrew, there was no longer resistance," said Mijares.

Mijares said they took pictures of Solaiman with digital camera before burying him.

He said they turned over the cameras to "competent authorities" who identified the fatality as Solaiman.

They retrieved Solaiman’s body the following morning.

Solaiman reportedly planned a number of high-profile atrocities, including the kidnapping of three American and 17 Filipino tourists from the posh Dos Palmas resort in May 2001, and the February 2004 bombing of a passenger ship of Manila Bay, killing 200 people.


Brig. Gen. Arturo Ortiz, Special Forces Regiment commander, said Mijares’ group braved a "longer and harder route" in the mountains to pierce the perimeter security of the main Abu Sayyaf group.

Solaiman, along with Indonesian terrorist Dulmatin, were allegedly protected by a group led by Albader Parad.

Ortiz said they received information that Dulmatin was wounded in the operation but this was still being verified.

Mijares said Dulmatin occupied a VIP bunker which had two beddings, a comfort room, and a sofa. He said there were flowers on the pathway leading to the VIP bunker, indicating that the terrorists had been staying in the area for two to three months.

Ortiz said while they were able to account for only one body, "we suspect that many of them perished."

About a thousand of the total 7,500 troops involved in the Sulu operations are from the Special Forces Regiment.

"We really intend to finish this group. The objective of Oplan Ultimatum is to neutralize up to the last Abu Sayyaf there in Sulu… because we really recognize the threat of this group…we are hoping that we could finish this as soon as possible," Ortiz said.

A number of Abu Sayyaf leaders and members have been neutralized by government forces during the Sulu offensive. They included Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani who was killed by Marines in a Sept. 4 clash in Patikul town.


Brighter financial prospects seen: City Dad

ILIGAN City (Nora Soriño) - Financial prospects for the city is brighter, Councelor Alfredo Busico told media early this week, in an interview.

Busico who chairs the powerful Committee on finance of the Sangguniang Panglungsod here said, their collection efforts of the city had paid off.

Industrial firms here had answered their call and they are beginning to pay, he said.
Holcim Cement company here has paid over P1 million on property taxes for the 4th quarter of 2006.

This is Iligan's share in the taxes already, since parts of its plant facilities are also located in Lugait, the fisrt town in Misamis Oriental from the city.

RCP also has written the government that it will pay, not in lump sum, but staggered amounts.
He said, we are going to listen and study their proposal of payment and if they see that it is reasonable, why not?

That is better than nothing at all and going to all the trouble, he said.
The National Steel Corporation however, was able to secure a temporary restraining order on the payment of taxes.

Platinum Group of Metals Corporation also has manifested its intention to lease the plant's premises of the MCCI or Maria Christina Chemicals Industries, Inc.

MCCI incidentally, which is located some 10 kilometers away from the city is the first and only carbide producer in the country.

Currently, it is in operation for only 4 months during the year, so for the rest of the year for 8 months, it is not in operation.

Busico said, the Platinum Group is interested in leasing its facilities for processing the nickel to be mined from Nonoc, Surigao City as soon as this will be reopened.

Busico also revealed that the Internal Revenue Allotment has also been increased by P50 million from P523 million to P573 million.

As soon as his will be received, a supplemental budget will be approved, he added.

So, with these we can surely leave something behind for the next administration to go on.

Busico, who is still be running as councilor under mayor Laurence Cruz's ticket also said, he is in favor of a "free zone" as far as the candidates for congressman of the first district of Iligan City/Lanao Norte is concerned, thereby hinting that he is not entirely for a Badelles candidate.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Suicide found pregnant

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Ben Villota)— A guest relations officer of a KTV Bar in Iligan City who jumped to her death late afternoon Saturday from the Ditucalan bridge at the National Power Corp. was found to be two months pregnant, police said yesterday.

Iligan City police director Senior Supt. Virgilio Ranes said the victim, Fely Truenffa, 27, of Zamboanga Sibugay, reportedly came to Iligan and worked as a bar girl after a misunderstanding with her husband.

The one in her womb was reportedly the product of a liaison with one of the bar customers.

Sketchy city police reports said, Bantay Bayan station in Iligan City received report of a missing person early morning of January 19, 2007.

Police investigations disclosed that the woman was missing since Friday and that she was last seen in the Ditucalan bridge at NPC in the vicinity of Agus 6.

The woman was married with one child whom she left behind.

The bloated body was fished out in the waters below the bridge by NPC security officers Tolen Ilocadero and Rolando Gimena after which it was taken to the Capin Funeral Homes at Linamon, Lanao Norte.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Oro fire kills engaged couple

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (BEN BALCE/Jan 22)– A fire of still unknown origin trapped and killed two sweethearts in Barangay Carmen yesterday. They had planned to get married this year.

The fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m. and razed to the ground a two-storey house in Acacia St. Zone 7, Carmen, owned by Felicidad Talampas.

The engaged couple – Gilbert Verzuela, 27, of Bicol; and Emma Sagario, 28, of Purok C-28, Hinaplanon, Iligan City – were trapped inside one of the rooms. They were boarders.

Senior Ins. Francis Villaflor said the victims may have died of suffocation.

Various sources said Verzuela and Sagario had taken the September 2006 bar exams and had opted to wait for the results here. There were reports that they were classmates.

City fire station chief Oscar Abecia said the victims were burned beyond recognition.

Abecia said it took investigators some time to identify the victims because they suffered 3rd degree burns all over.

Fellow boarders said they heard cries of help but they could not do anything because the fire quickly spread. They said the victims could not go out of any of the windows because there were grills.

Sagario’s mother Linda said Emma, her only daughter, and Verzuela had planned to get married and were just waiting for the results of the bar exams.

Officials placed the damages at P250,000. Investigators theorized that the fire was caused by faulty wirings but some witnesses said some boarders were observed to be cooking even during wee hours and possibility that the fire might started.