PNP, DND supports mandatory ROTC in grade 11 and 12

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2019   •   1614

ROTC student-cadets during training

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of National Defense support the implementation of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training if it passes into law.

According to PNP Spokesperson Police Colonel Bernard Banac, the mandatory ROTC will prepare the youth if they are interested in entering the PNP or the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

It will also train the youth in case there is a need for assistance during calamities.

“Kung saka-sakaling may pangangailangan na magpatawag tayo ng reserba, hindi lamang sa segurdidad kundi pati sa pag-responde sa mga disaster, calamities, and emergencies, (In case there is a need for additional forces, not just for security, but also during disasters, calamities, and emergencies)” Banac said.

Meanwhile, the Department National Defense (DND) also expressed support for the passage of the mandatory ROTC.

In a statement, the DND said the measure will boost the youth’s patriotism and sense of community.

“The reinstatement of mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12 will help instill love of country, good citizenship, respect for human rights, and adherence to the rule of law,” their statement reads.

The House of Representatives approved House Bill 8961 on the 3rd and final reading on Monday (May 20). This will require high school students to undergo ROTC.

Defense chief lauds Duterte order on foreign vessels entering PH waters

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

One of the anti-submarine vessels which docked at Pier 15 South Harbor, Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to require foreign vessels to first secure a clearance from the government before entering the Philippine waters.

“That is a very good development. At least now we have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” Lorenzana said Tuesday.

Earlier, Duterte, through spokesman Salvador Panelo, issued a directive for all foreign vessels to provide notification and get clearance from proper government authority in advance of the actual passage. He also warned foreign vessels that Manila will either get compliance in a friendly manner or enforce it in an unfriendly manner.

READ: Duterte warns foreign ships to get clearance before entering PH waters

When asked to elaborate, Panelo explained that by saying ‘unfriendly,’ it means blocking entry to any foreign vessels intruding in the Philippine territory.

He, however, clarified that the President’s order didn’t mean an automatic use of force against intruders.

“By that it means that we will ask them to move out of the place, that’s unfriendly, because before we never said anything, we just allow them, we just make protest, but this time, we will tell them, please get out of our territorial waters,” Panelo said.

Duterte’s order came after reports of Chinese warships that allegedly entered the Philippine territory, particularly in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi, without permission from the government.

Lorenzana, for his part, could not say yet the “unfriendly option” the Philippine Military could use to ward of intruders into the country’s waters. The Defense chief said he will defer the matter to the Philippine Navy. (RRD with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Another year of martial law in Mindanao? Drilon says ‘No’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said it is time for the government to lift the martial law being enforced in the Mindanao region.

“We cannot tolerate an ‘unli’ martial law. The continued placing of Mindanao under martial law would set a dangerous precedent, not to mention its economic and social implications,” Drilon said in a statement.

The whole of Mindanao region has been under military rule since the local Maute terrorist group laid siege on Marawi City in 2017.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on Tuesday said he would recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.

But for Drilon, it has been “too long” since martial law was declared in the region.

“Is martial law now the new norm in Mindanao?” he asked.

Drilon explained that under Section 18 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President is allowed to place any part of the country under martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days.

He said the framers of the Constitution understood the danger of a prolonged martial law, hence the 60-day limit and a regular review by Congress are clearly provided in the Constitution.

The same section provides that “upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”

But Drilon said there is nothing that shows actual rebellion and armed uprising in the region to justify the extension.

He noted that even Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she was considering asking that her city be exempted from the declaration of martial law.

The lawmaker called on the government’s security cluster to study the situation and “consider the dangerous mindset that the continued declaration of martial law in Mindanao may give rise to.”

“There is no perpetual martial law. There must be an end to this. As I said before, martial law is like an antibiotic, and antibiotic, when used excessively, becomes ineffective,” he said.

The Department of National Defense earlier said that evaluations and consultations are ongoing on whether to extend or lift the martial law in Mindanao.

DND mulling over lifting of martial law in Mindanao

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 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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