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PNP, DND supports mandatory ROTC in grade 11 and 12

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

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.

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DND: PH verifying if ship in West PH Sea collision belonged to China

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

The Philippine government has yet to determine if the fishing vessel that hit and sank a Filipino boat near Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea belonged to China, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana clarified on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Lorenzana said he based his report on the statement of involved fishermen and that he is still awaiting the results of the investigation being conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Military.

“I will not anymore add something sa sinabi ko. Hangga’t hindi namin nakakausap ‘yung mga fisherman at tsaka magkaroon tayo ng intel investigation kung sino talaga ang nakabangga dahil madilim ‘yun eh,” he said.

The defense chief earlier said that a suspected Chinese fishing boat hit and sank a Philippine boat in waters off the Reed bank on June 9.

READ: DND: Chinese vessel hit, sank PH vessel in Recto Bank

He had denounced the action of the alleged Chinese fishing vessel for leaving immediately after the collision, endangering the lives of 22 Filipino fishermen.

Lorenzana said the Chinese government has already been informed and an investigation has been launched into the incident.

Malacañang earlier called on Beijing to impose proper sanctions against the Chinese crewmen for their “uncivilized” and “outrageous” actions.

READ: PH wants China to sanction ship crew for sinking Filipino fishing boat

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin has assured that a diplomatic protest has been filed over the collision incident.

Although Malacañang earlier said that the recent incident may mar the warming relations between the Philippines and China, Lorenzana believes this will not greatly affect the two countries’ ties.

“Hindi naman siguro malaking bagay na maapektuhan. We will find out kung ano ‘yung action nila,” he said.

He also advised fishermen who frequent waters in the West Philippine Sea to employ safety mechanisms to prevent any more collision between vessels.

“Siguro, there should be some mechanism, ‘yung mayroon kang ilaw palagi para makikita, ‘yung iba naman they should be very careful in travelling at night,” Lorenzana said.

While Philippine forces are patrolling the area, the defense chief lamented the country’s insufficient number of coast guards and sea crafts to guard its borders.

“Mayroon naman tayong mga patrol dyan, kulang lang kasi tayo ng barko eh. We don’t have enough coastguards that is why we’ll acquire it all para mayroon naman tayong pang guwardya diyan sa ating mga fishermen,” he said. (Correspondent Janice Ingente contributed to this report)

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SC issues writ of amparo in favor of rights groups

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a writ of amparo and habeas data in favor of human rights groups Karapatan, Gabriela and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines against what they claimed as threats against their lives from government troops.

In a resolution dated May 24 but made public on Thursday, the SC directed President Rodrigo Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other officials from Malacañang and the military and police to comment on petition and file a verified return before the Court of Appeals (CA) by June 13.

A writ of amparo is a legal remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is threatened or violated by public officials or private individuals.

A writ of habeas data covers similar threats or violations but by persons who are engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of information or personal data of the aggrieved party.

The high court also directed the CA to hear the petition on June 18 and resolve the case in 10 days after the hearing.

Last May 6, Karapatan, Gabriela and Rural Missionaries of the Philippines filed the petition, seeking SC’s protection from alleged threats against their members’ lives after they were tagged by the government as alleged fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

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Senator Bato dela Rosa to prioritize death penalty, mandatory military service bills

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Senator, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines – Newly proclaimed senator, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he still couldn’t believe how his career progressed from being an ordinary policeman to being a lawmaker.

“Hindi pa rin. Hindi ko pa rin maisip na senador na pala ako,” the candid former chief of police said during an interview in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon on Wednesday (May 22).

Dela Rosa believes his performance in the Philippine National Police (PNP) has contributed a lot to his candidacy plus the fact, he said, that people now prefer politicians who are naturally transparent.

Now that he is officially a lawmaker, Senator “Bato” said he will prioritize crafting legislation that would seek the reinstatement of death penalty for heinous crimes — including erring policemen who plant evidence against drug suspects.

He said he will focus more on peace and order which is essential in the protection of Filipinos, especially the poor, and to the country’s economy.

He argued that no matter how good the plans of the government’s economic manager are, they will never prosper without peace and order.

“Kung may magandang peace and order tayo, mayroong investment,” he said.

(Having an excellent peace and order will yield investments.)

“Kung mayroon investment mayroon employment. Pag mayroong employment, mayroong income. Pag may income, may perang pambili ang ating mga kababyan so napaka-importante ng peace and order,” the senator-elect said.

(More investments mean more employment [opportunities]. More employment means more income. More income means more money which we could use for our people so peace and order is very important.)

In line with this, Dela Rosa is also considering pushing for the mandatory military service in lieu of the Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC).

“Like other countries na pagdating mo ng 18 years old, obligado ka na mag-serve sa military for two years. Walang pakialam ang gobyerno kung anak ka ng mayaman, o ng mahirap, kung sikat ka o artista ka, maganda din iyon,” he said.

(Like other countries that require all 18-year-olds to obligatory military service for two years. The government will not exempt whether you are a son of a wealthy family, or poor family, whether you are famous or a celebrity, that’s good.)

“Gusto ko malakas ang ating territorial defense when it comes to foreign aggression, foreign invasion so kailangang i-prepare natin ang ating kabataan na mayroon tayong enough reserves, human resource reserves,” he added.

(I want our territorial defense to be strong when it comes to foreign aggression, foreign invasion, so we need to prepare our youth so we may have enough reserves, human resource reserves.)

Dela Rosa noted, however, that the government may possibly shoulder the uniform and all the expenses of those who will enter the compulsory military service as they will render service like commissioned military personnel.

As for the ROTC, he said the parents may support since they are now paying for the expenses of their children under the existing National Service Training Program (NSTP).

Dela Rosa, the architect of the Duterte government’s war on drugs, placed fifth in the 2019 midterm senatorial elections garnering a total of 19,004,225 votes. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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