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Makabayan congressmen: “We are not terrorists!”

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — “We are not terrorists,” said ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

This was the cry of Makabayan congressmen now that they are being tagged as terrorists under the Palace’s Proclamation No. 374.

It has been obvious that members of the Makabayan bloc in Congress are leading the series of protests against the government.

But the group said they are not insinuating terrorism in doing so.

“Hindi terorismo na ipaglaban ang human rights, ang right to due process ng bawat mga Pilipino lalo na ng maralita. Hindi terorismo ang ipaglaban ang karapatan sa lupa ng mga magsasaka,” said Tinio.

(It’s not terrorism but human rights that we are fighting for; the right to due process of all Filipinos especially the poor. It’s not terrorism to fight for the right of farmers to property.)

The group fears that the proclamation is being used to silence all progressive groups and activists.

“Ang mangyayari dito maraming mga trumped-up charges, pero ang layunin ay para mapatahimik, masupil at mapakulong pa mga ang mga aktibista at mga organisasyong makakaliwa,” said Tinio

(There will be more trumped-up charges to hush, suppress and put in jail all activists and leftist organizations.)

But according to the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, it is clear that Proclamation No.374 declares the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as an identified terrorist organization under Republic Act 10168, contrary to the claim of the Makabayan bloc. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Several lawmakers consider elevating the issue of martial law extension to the Supreme Court

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017

The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives’ Makabayan Bloc has expressed grave concern over the decision of Congress to extend for another year the military rule in Mindanao.

With this, the opposition group wants to bring the matter to the Supreme Court (SC).

“We will question this in courts. We will question and we will resist this on streets,” Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said.

“Like the mentored resource person, this is a psychological war against the public. This is not a matter of public safety. They want to impose a state of fear. To fear the public so they won’t fight. But this is a huge mistake,” Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate

This is also what the Senate’s minority bloc plans to do.

“Bring the issue to the Supreme Court, raise the factual basis for the extension of martial law because there is no actual uprising, nor armed conflict that will justify the extension, the imposition of martial law,” Senate minority leader Senator Franklin Drilon said.

However, some senators believe the public has nothing to worry about in the decision of Congress to approve the request of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Especially since, the Senators said, there have been no reported human rights violations in Mindanao during the existing military rule.

“In a way it’s a blessing in disguise because the consciousness, the awareness of the people that there is a martial law allows us to focus our attention on the security forces. It might even be a deterrent against possible abuses,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.

“Where have been the abuses? Where have been the confirmed abuses? We asked for a briefing from the CHR (Commission on Human Rights), there have been no confirmed abuses,” Senate President Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said.

According to Pimentel, the Congress will not allow the Executive Department to abuse the rights lawmakers and senators gave them.

“If there is no justification then you can expect, Congress or the Senate to oppose the imposition of martial law,” Pimentel said.

National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon also allayed fears over the alleged possibility of declaring military rule in the entire country.

“Because here in Visayas and Luzon, many of people here can commit insurgency. They can do small deployments,” Esperon said.

Esperon also emphasized that the decision of Congress i a huge help to them in achieving long lasting peace in the region of Mindanao. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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AFP targets to finish this week the draft of recommendation on martial law declaration in Mindanao

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vows to take in consideration first and foremost the peace and order situation in the southern part of the country in its recommendation on whether or not to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

AFP Public Affairs Office chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said on the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the military targets to submit its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte within the week.

The military rule in Mindanao is set to end on the 31st of December. The Congress should also deliberate on the matter before it goes into a session break on December 15.

“Kinakailangan po natin na patuloy na siguruhin na ang terrorismo ay hindi magkakaroon ng puwang at yung, ika nga, yung buko ng terorista o terorismo sa Marawi ay kagyat nating naputol. Subalit marami pa rin po silang sympathizers, marami pa silang supporters, at may mga remnants pa rin po tong mga grupong ito na sinasabi po natin na nagpapatuloy sa kanilang pagrerecruit,”  said Arevalo.

(We need to continuously ensure that terrorism will have no place in our society. We may have nipped terrorism in the bud in Marawi but they still have many sympathizers and supporters. Remnants of the group continue to recruit.)

The AFP plans to recruit 10 more battalions of soldiers alongside its purchase of new firearms and military vehicles.

The military will continue conducting clearing operations in Marawi City before starting the rehabilitation in the areas badly damaged by the clashes.

The AFP also called for public cooperation to suppress the groups allegedly fighting the government and seeking to wreak havoc in communities.

The military spokesperson said the public should report the matter directly to them and not by posting it on social media.

“Meron po ba silang pagtitipon at pagpupulong sa gabi na mukhang may lamayan pero wala namang namatay? Abay delikado po yan. Kailangan po na maging mapagmatiyag po tayo at maging aktibo tayo. Ireport po natin ang mga nakikita po nating ito,” said Arevalo.

(Do they have gatherings at night as if there’s a wake but no one has died? That’s  highly suspicious.  We should be observant and proactive. We need to report such activities.)  — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue



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AFP strictly monitors return of Filipino terrorists allegedly training in Iraq

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is strictly monitoring the information disclosed on Tuesday by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana about the arrival in the country of Filipino terrorists who underwent training in Iraq.

“We do not know if they will be coming back here or they have been killed all of them in the Middle East. It was already sent to intelligence. We are watching for this people when they come back. We have the lists of names. Malaysians, 30, same number of Indonesians and about three Filipinos,” said Lorenzana.

According to the AFP, neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are helping the Philippines in conducting intensified border patrols.

In fact, the military noted that the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia began their joint maritime patrols last June with the aim of suppressing terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes.

The three countries also agreed to share intelligence information with each other to improve their fight against acts of terror.

“This collaborative effort aims to prevent the further incursion of foreign terrorist in our country,” said Philippine Army Chief of Staff BGen. Gilbert Gapay.

The AFP said it has not yet monitored new terror threats in the country.

Despite this, the military noted that the government is doing all it can to fight terrorism.

“This can be attributed to the enhanced and strengthened border security operations being undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP, coastguard, and other concerned government agency,” said the official. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue



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