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Makabayan bloc to question martial extension before SC

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018

Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc plan to elevate to the Supreme Court the third extension of martial law in Mindanao which Congress approved on Wednesday.

The group said the government and concerned agencies failed to prove there is on-going rebellion in the region that would warrant a yearlong extension of martial law.

“We will definitely still maximize an arena where we can present our case,” said Anakpawis partylist representative, Ariel Casilao. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Makabayan bloc announces candidacy of Zarate for House Speaker

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate

The Makabayan bloc has formally announced the candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Zarate is the 6th congressman to express interest in becoming the next House Speaker in the 18th Congress.

According to outgoing ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, Congress needs a leader that will prioritize the interest of the people and not the interest of other countries.

“Kailangan ng speaker na ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng magasasaka, kababaihan, manggagawa, kabataan, lumad at iba pa. Tunay na lalabanan ang kurapsyon at titindig sa human rights, (We need a speaker who will fight for the rights of farmers, women, workers, youth, Lumad and others. He will truly fight against corruption and will stand for human rights),” he said.

READ: PDP-Laban endorses Velasco as House Speaker bet

Other lawmakers who are also vying for the position are Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzalez, and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

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DND mulling over lifting of martial law in Mindanao

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday said that evaluations and consultations with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are ongoing regarding the lifting of martial law in Mindanao as soon as possible.

DND Spokesperson Arsenio Andolong made the statement after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte expressed her desire to lift the martial law in her area of jurisdiction and other places that are relatively peaceful.

“The lifting of martial law in Mindanao is constantly being evaluated by the Defense Department and there are regular consultations with the AFP and PNP regarding this. In fact, we would like to lift martial law in Mindanao as soon as possible but this should only be done after a complete assessment and validation by the security sector and local governments before we recommend it to the President,” he said in a message sent to reporters.

Andolong said the DND takes cognizance of Mayor Duterte’s proposal to only impose martial law in areas where peace and order remain unstable.

“We value the wisdom and firsthand knowledge of our local executives of the prevailing security environment in their respective communities and we always take their observations and recommendations into consideration,” he added.

Andolong noted that in February this year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the Supreme Court that the lifting of the military rule would be recommended by July 1 if amendments to the existing Human Security Act were passed in the Legislature.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” he said.

In a joint session held last December 2018, Congress approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2019.

The military recommended another year-long extension of the martial rule in a bid to totally neutralize terror groups operating in the region.

Martial law was first declared in Mindanao on May 23, 2017 when Islamic State-linked Maute group attacked Marawi City. (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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Army encountered election-related incidents in Mindanao in past 24 hours

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019

The Philippine Army has monitored a number of election-related incidents in several areas in Mindanao in the past 24 hours.

On Sunday night (May 12), the intelligence personnel of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion led by SSG Richard V. Gacias, discovered a container suspected to be of an improvised explosive device (IED) at Sitio Panang, Brgy Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

This, while the troop was conducting covert security and liaising operations in the area.

The discovered IED was placed in a plastic container with the following components:

1.            One (1) handheld radio (baofeng)

2.            Black powder (main charge).

3.            Assorted concrete nails.

4.            One (1) improvised blasting cap

The troop conducted area security and cordoned off the IED site and temporarily controlled and held the commuters while waiting for the arrival of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

The EOD team then immediately conducted recovery operations and paneling and safety procedures in successfully recovering and disrupting the IED.

 The team then brought the IED to the old capitol in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao for proper disposition.

Meanwhile, an explosion was heard near the Cotabato City Hall, on Matalam St., Malagapas in Cotabato City at 10 in the evening. 

Fragments of CTG 40mm, were recovered in the area. 

The identities of the perpetrators are yet to be determined, but authorities believe that the motive of the blast is to disrupt the sorting of voting paraphernalia that will be used on election day.

No casualty was reported in the incident.

Thirty minutes after, a shooting incident transpired near the Datu Unsay Public Market, Brgy Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao wherein a certain Jack Ebrahim, 27 years old, was shot on his left thigh.

The perpetrator of the shooting is still unknown.

On Monday (May 13), the right-hand man of Shariff Aguak mayoral candidate Zaharra Ampatuan was shot near a fruit stand at Shariff Aguak market by an unidentified gunman at past one in the morning.

Nasrudin Upam, who was hit at his right arm, was immediately brought by a concerned citizen to IPHO-Maguindanao Provincial Hospital.

And at 7:20 in the morning, an explosion, caused by a still undetermined type of explosive, took place in the vicinity of Poblacion Dalican in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

The Army immediately responded to the explosion site to cordon the area and to possibly apprehend the perpetrators.

This unit immediately coordinated with 3rd EOD unit to send a team to investigate the explosion site and determine the type of the IED used. /mbmf

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