|07 August 2016|
|President Duterte sends “ultimatum” on landmines to CPP-NDF panel; honors soldiers killed in Compostela Valley|
|President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued early Sunday morning an ultimatum against communist rebels’ use of landmines and demanded inclusion of the battlefield issue in the peace talks or else the negotiations are off.
“Either you stop it or we stop talking,” the President said in a news conference held at the wake of four Philippine Army infantry troops killed in two separate encounters in Compostela Valley on Friday against alleged members of the New People’s Army.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command said in a news release Saturday that a landmine explosion killed three of the soldiers. Eastmincom condemned “in the highest form the deliberate use of landmine by the NPAs which is in violation of the International Humanitarian Law.”
Addressing the negotiators of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), President Duterte said, “I would insist you include the landmines or else no talks at all, then we fight for another 45 years…. I am now invoking the Geneva Conventions. It is part of the international law, not only of the Philippines but around the world.”
The President was at the soldiers’ wake Saturday evening to the early hours of Sunday at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.
Killed in action were Cpl Gilmar C. Mapa, Cpl Jimmy M. Bayta, Pfc Rolen Roy C. Sarmiento, and Cpl Ruel G. Mangaoang, less than a week after Duterte lifted on July 30 the government’s unilateral ceasefire vis-à-vis the communist rebels.
The President declared the truce during his first State of the Nation Address last July 25. It will be recalled that President Duterte lamented the heavy and “tragic” cost of armed rebellion.
“All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living. We express our willingness and readiness to go to the negotiating table, and yet we load our guns, fix our sights, pull the trigger. It is both ironic and tragic— and it is endless,” he said in the SONA.
“While we extol the bravery and heroism of our soldiers, kayo, the rebels, do the same for your members and fighters. What I see instead are the widows and the orphans and I feel their pain and grieve, and no amount of cash assistance or the number of medals can compensate the loss of a human life. Sorrow cuts across every stratum of society. It cuts deeply and the pain lasts forever,” the President added iin his first SONA.
Casualties of Compostela encounters
Cpl Mapa, Cpl Bayta, and Pfc Sarmiento were the ones who died Friday morning (August 5, 2016) in a landmine explosion during an encounter against suspected NPA combatants in Barangay Rizal, Monkayo, Compostela Valley.
Eastmincom said the three died “when pursuing troops of 25IB had a 45-minute skirmish against around 60 NPAs who were utilizing IED. Of the 12 casualties evacuated to Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Station Hospital, three soldiers were declared dead-on-arrival by the attending physicians while the nine others were confined for further medical intervention.”
At least ten soldiers were wounded in the Monkayo encounter and are recuperating at the Camp Panacan Station Hospital of the Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City. The ten identified wounded are:
Cpl Mangaoang died in the afternoon of that same day in a separate encounter against about 30 alleged NPA rebels in Brgy. Parasanon of the town of Maragusan, also in Compostela Valley.
Recent visits to hospitals
He told staff and soldiers being treated at the AFP Medical Center their hospital facility will soon have a new building and the latest in medical equipment worth half a billion pesos and “will be released soon.”
Duterte said last Tuesday the military hospital will have a hyperbaric chamber for soldiers needing treatment for diving-related conditions and magnetic resonance imaging equipment
He said he himself will make sure there is no corruption in the acquisition of the new equipment and construction of the new building at the AFP Medical Center, also known as the V. Luna Hospital.
“It’s half a billion pesos, ang pera na iyan gagamitin talaga sa tamang paraan, wala iyang rigging-rigging of bids, kasi lahat ng bibilhin ngayon sa gobyerno tinitingnan ko,” Duterte said.
The president assured the military that all the equipment will be state of the art, including those needed for combat.
“Binigay ninyo ang buhay ninyo sa bayan ninyo, the least that we can do — the bayan — the country through me, will give you what you want. State of the art, pati iyong equipment sa giyera, hindi ako basta-basta magbili diyan sa open market,” he said.
President Duterte added the AFP will create an office that will improve how pension benefits are given to dependents of military personnel.
|President Duterte gives mayors, judges, police allegedly involved in illegal drugs 24 hours to surrender|
|President Duterte gives mayors, judges, police allegedly involved in illegal drugs 24 hours to surrender
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made public early Sunday morning in Davao City the names of judges, congressmen, mayors, vice mayors, former local executives, police officers, soldiers, and other public servants allegedly involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs in various parts of the country.
The President said the illegal drugs menace is “a vicious cycle” that has reached “crisis proportions” and has spread like a “pandemic” nationwide.
“It might be true, it might not be true…They should have due process, presumption of innocence,” the President said. He stressed that the list is the result of validation and revalidation by the military and police units he tasked to work on the illegal drugs problem.
Duterte also said he personally knows some of the personalities on the list, but duty compelled him to disclose their names.
“Once you hear your name mentioned here, you are now relieved of your present assignment. Report to the PNP within 24 hours or I will order the entire armed forces and the police to hunt for you,” he ordered.
• Judge Mupas of Dasmarinas, Cavite
The President ordered those he identified to report to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa within 24 hours.
“Twenty-four hours. Lahat, military, police lahat nakadikit diyan sa itong mga ito, I give you 24 hours to report your mother unit or i will whack you. I will dismiss you from the service,” the President said.
Duterte said administrative charges will be filed against the erring government personnel.
“Kayo ‘yung enforcer and you allowed yourself to be used…You destroy the country…In the olden times, it’s treason. That’s a crime against the country, of the Republic of the Philippines…Say goodbye to your promotion. Maghintay kayo six years. Say goodbye, ‘di na kayo ma-promote…We will file, ‘wag na ‘yung criminal, beyond reasonable doubt. Administratively, you’re dead,” he said.
The mayors on the list were stripped of their supervision authority over their local police.
“The most shabu-lized, is there such a word? The most shabu-lized…Wala akong personal sa kanila ha, Iloilo,” Duterte said.
President Duterte ordered the judges he named to report to the Supreme Court. He said the list of prosecutors involved in illegal drugs will be on the next batch of names he will disclose soon.
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