PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

BIGGEST & WIDEST GRASSROOT CAMPAIGN: 'NOY OUT NOW' ('NOW' GROUP) TO LEAD IF THEY SUCCEED


PHOTO INQUIRER FILE: Various groups formed Noynoy Out Now (NOW!), a nat'l movement calling for Pres. Aquino's resignation. | @iamrimajgee  They will lead if they succeed. A day before the 40th day of mourning for the victims of the Mamasapano tragedy, another movement pressing for President Aquino’s ouster was launched. If the group succeeds in toppling the Aquino administration, a People’s Council, to be composed of representatives of different organizations that took part in the movement, would lead the country, said former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casińo. “Noynoy Out Now (NOW!)” is so far the “biggest and widest” gathering of organizations that want Aquino out of power, Casińo said. NOW! consists of organizations from different sectors that earlier launched a similar movement, such as the teachers’ group Save Our Nation Aquino Resign (Sonar) and Women for Aquino’s Resignation (WARN), and new ones. Casińo said NOW!would strengthen the grassroots campaign. READ MORE...

ALSO: The civilian casualties of the AFP’s ‘All-Out War’


PHOTO: Alon Maytula looks at the crater and his wrecked home pounded by mortar shells. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)  “The AFP is clearly unable to distinguish civilians from combatants. This incompetence and lack of fire discipline has resulted to civilian casualties.”  FROM DATU SAUDI, MAGUINDANAO –“In the past 11 days, the AFP’s ‘all-out offensive’ against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao has incurred damages not only against the insurgents, but greatly among the civilian population as well.” This was the conclusion of the advance team of the fact-finding mission launched by the Kawagib Moro Human Rights Alliance and Suara Bangsamoro. READ MORE...

ALSO: Various sectors form Noynoy Out Now! Movement
[“Don’t be wary of what will come after ousting him. Be wary of what will happen if he stays in power.” Aquino as living symbol that something is wrong]


“Don’t be wary of what will come after ousting him. Be wary of what will happen if he stays in power.” By MARYA SALAMAT Bulatlat.com MANILA – From bloodbath to bloodbath, pork barrel, coverup, criminal negligence, government violation of the Constitution, human rights, and even of its own signed peace agreements, Aquino’s leadership is now viewed as a danger and scourge to Filipinos. On Thursday (March 5) a diverse composition of organizations and personalities launched the Noynoy Out Now (NOW!) national movement, vowing to lead a series of nationally coordinated protest actions starting March 8, Women’s Day. They are demanding Pres. Aquino’s immediate resignation. To replace his leadership, NOW! proposes an “extra-Constitutional way,” which, they said, is correct legally, morally and politically.

ALSO: Muslim Rebels sign up to vote in 2016


Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Hundreds of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas turned up yesterday at their camp here to register as voters in preparation for the 2016 elections in an envisioned Bangsa-moro region. Maguindanao provincial election supervisor Udtog Tago facilitated the activity held at the Bangsamoro Leaders Management Institute in Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town. Assisting Tago were Diocesan priest Fr. Dave Procalla, regional chairman for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and representatives of the joint government-MILF ceasefire committee and the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT). Also present were Commission on Elections’ Al Parreńo and ARMM’s regional election director Ray Sumalipao. READ MORE...

ALSO: MILF report blames govt for Mamasapano clash


Iqbal: The Malaysian government, and not that of the Philippines, will get first dibs on the results of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) probe on the January 25 Mamasapano bloodbath. This was bared yesterday by MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who said the existing protocol calls for them to first pass through Malaysia which is the third party facilitator in the peace talks between the secessionist group and the Philippine government (GPH). ZAMBOANGA CITY: The result of the investigation by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the Mamasapano tragedy will conclude that the government was at fault over the clash that resulted in the death of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF). “This [executive summary] contains the substance of the MILF probe and I want to reiterate that what happened in Mamasapano on that fateful January 25 was a violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Philippine government because there was no prior coordination with the MILF as far as the SAF [Special Action Force] operation was concerned,” said Mohagher Iqbal, a senior MILF leader and the group’s chief peace negotiator. The Philippines is also unlikely to get the full report of the investigation by the MILF on the deadly clash between rebel and police forces on January 25 in Maguindanao province in the restive southern Muslim region of Mindanao. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘SAF killers will be charged in court’ -Coloma


MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal File photo MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) cannot commit to surrender the killers of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who had taken part in an operation to arrest top terrorists. MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the surrender of the MILF combatants is a “multi-layer, multi-dimensional and very complex issue” that has a “political dimension” and not covered by legal processes. (Inquirer)
Malacańang on Sunday gave assurances that those responsible for the killing of 44 police commandos in the infamous Mamasapano massacre will be charged in court, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) having wrapped up its fact-finding investigation of the incident. In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government will pursue justice for the fallen policemen “with or without the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”  The Palace official said the government will ferret out the truth behind the encounter and that the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process will be on top of this process. EEAD FULL REPORT...

ALSO MILF to DOJ: Summary is all you’ll get


NQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO 
COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Saturday was adamant it could provide the Department of Justice (DOJ) with only an executive summary of the results of its investigation into the Mamasapano incident.
In a statement, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal stood pat on the group’s stance, after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had said she wanted to get hold of the full MILF report rather than just a summary. “As of now, how I wish, I would prefer the very report itself because it contains all the details [of the incident],” De Lima had told reporters on Friday. But Iqbal said that for the MILF, the full report was “for internal use” only. READ MORE...

ALSO: March for justice is on; Ph Nat'l Police Academy Alumni pushed through 'Justice for SAF 44' march regardless...


......''The march will start at Dasmarińas City in Cavite with a 44-kilometer walk from Salitran in Dasmarińas to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The second phase will be the walk from Camp Crame to the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City while similar marches will be also held across the country with the slogan “Walk with the Widows, Run for our Heroes.”   The assembly point for the first phase will be at Central Mall Dasmarińas on Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Salitran at 2 a.m. on March 8. Runners from Cavite will be joined by others at 10-km intervals along the route. The families of the commandos will lead the march from Camp Crame to Quezon City Memorial Circle. Alumni and other participants from the uniformed services will assemble in front of Camp Crame Grandstand, while civilians will assemble at Camp Crame Gate I along Edsa by 5 a.m. The final march to QMC will begin at 6 a.m. upon the arrival of the joggers from Cavite, while the Mass at QMC will be held at 10 a.m. READ REPORT FROM THE BEGINNING...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

'Noy Out Now’ group ready to lead if they succeed

MANILA, MARCH 9, 2015 (INQUIRER) Rima Granali @inquirerdotnet –They will lead if they succeed. A day before the 40th day of mourning for the victims of the Mamasapano tragedy, another movement pressing for President Aquino’s ouster was launched.

If the group succeeds in toppling the Aquino administration, a People’s Council, to be composed of representatives of different organizations that took part in the movement, would lead the country, said former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casińo.

“Noynoy Out Now (NOW!)” is so far the “biggest and widest” gathering of organizations that want Aquino out of power, Casińo said.

NOW! consists of organizations from different sectors that earlier launched a similar movement, such as the teachers’ group Save Our Nation Aquino Resign (Sonar) and Women for Aquino’s Resignation (WARN), and new ones.

Casińo said NOW!would strengthen the grassroots campaign.

Also part of the movement are Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Bishop Art Asi of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Bishop Lito Cruz of Iglesia Filipino Independiente and various people’s organizations under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

No names yet

Mobilizing forces would be sent to communities, schools and churches to gather “warm bodies” to join NOW! in the call for Aquino’s resignation, Casińo added.

“These groups have the muscle,” he said in a press conference in Quezon City.

Once the President is ousted, the group envisions a People’s Council that would serve as a transition government for one to two years.

“Not another high-profile politician who is rich and powerful” would replace Aquino, Casińo said.

The members of the council would be chosen from the different sectors that joined the movement through a “democratic process,” the former lawmaker said.

No names yet, Casińo stressed.

Truth commission

The People’s Council would create a truth commission to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the Mamasapano fiasco.

At least 58 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos, Moro rebels and civilians died on Jan. 25 in an operation to take down two terrorists in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Casińo said NOW! was expecting a “cover-up” in the Philippine National Police board of inquiry (BOI) findings, which are expected to be released Friday or Monday.

Only the sacked SAF head, Director Getulio Napeńas, and former Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima would be implicated in the BOI report, Casińo said.

“Aquino will be absolved,” which is why the group is pushing for the creation of the truth commission, he added.

The council would “pave the way for a clean and credible elections that would prevent electoral cheating and fraud, reduce patronage politics and prohibit political dynasties,” NOW! said in its manifesto.

It would also introduce key economic policies, review “lop-sided agreements,” such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and pursue peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of the People’s Lawyers, said the creation of the people’s commission was “legitimate and legal.”

“There is nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of for acting for a change in government and exercising power as a people in taking back power from those who have abused, misused or not used it,” Olalia said.


BULATLAT ONLINE March 8, 2015

The civilian casualties of the AFP’s ‘All-Out War’ By SUARA BANGSAMORO Photos by KILAB MULTIMEDIA


Alon Maytula looks at the crater and his wrecked home pounded by mortar shells. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

“The AFP is clearly unable to distinguish civilians from combatants. This incompetence and lack of fire discipline has resulted to civilian casualties.”

DATU SAUDI, MAGUINDANAO –“In the past 11 days, the AFP’s ‘all-out offensive’ against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao has incurred damages not only against the insurgents, but greatly among the civilian population as well.”

This was the conclusion of the advance team of the fact-finding mission launched by the Kawagib Moro Human Rights Alliance and Suara Bangsamoro.

Abdul Rahman Malabana, spokesperson of Kawagib, says that their mission intended to document the human rights violations against the civilian population committed by the AFP under the implementation of the all-out war it launched in Central Mindanao.

“We have only documented a few cases so far, but these already give a clear picture of how great the damage was caused by the AFP’s works,” Malabana said.

Boyong Unggla was grazed by a stray bullet in the head (Photo by Kilab Multimedia) Boyong Unggla was grazed by a stray bullet in the head (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)


Boyong Unggla was grazed by a stray bullet in the head (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

Civilians under attack

Boyong Unggla, 36, a resident of Madia village, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, was grazed in the forehead by a bullet coming from state forces, barely missing the spot that could have meant his death.

In a sworn affidavit dated March 7, Unggla narrates how he was almost killed by the AFP troops positioned near his home:

“Firefight started around 2 PM last March 6, and lasted till night. I was sitting in the balcony, and the area where the government troops and BIFF were fighting was more than a kilometer away from where I sat.”

“I could still hear the battle raging till 8 PM, and that was when bullets coming from a nearby group of soldiers pierced my home. One of them found its way to my head, almost killing me,” Unggla said.

The victim was surprised, however, that the direction from where the shots came were totally askew to the location of the actual engagement between state troops and the insurgents.

“The bullets came from my right side, but the BIFF and the soldiers who were caught in the fight were directly in front of me,” said Unggla.

Unggla received basic medical aid from his neighbors who immediately helped him out.

Another civilian, Alon Maytula, 60, and resident of Elian village, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, recounts how his home and property was damaged:

“It was afternoon when a firefight erupted at the boundary of Elian and Madia villages. The area of encounter was kilometers away from my house, but I feared the mortar shellings, so I evacuated, even though the battling sides were very far from our area.”

After the battle ceased, Maytula returned home. To his dismay, multiple craters now surrounded his home, the nearby coconut trees were felled by the mortar rounds fired by AFP troops.

Alon Maytula looks at the crater and his wrecked home pounded by mortar shells. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia) Alon Maytula looks at the crater and his wrecked home pounded by mortar shells. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

Maytula was able to recover metal shrapnel rounds in his home.

Shrapnel rounds are small bits of metal that fly in different directions upon explosion of munitions, causing damage to objects nearby, and severe injury and even death to persons who happen to be close to the explosion.

“These caused additional damage to my house, as clearly shown by the bullet holes all over the place,” Maytula lamented.

Maytula demanded indemnification for his destroyed property, claiming of damages amounting up to P100,000 ($2,257).

A mother and son wounded

But the most dramatic example of civilian casualty was Farhenan Panigas, mother of Ali Panigas.

Ali Panigas was the four-month old infant who was hit by an M16 bullet in the leg in an indiscriminate firing last year at their home, close to the base of the 22nd Mechanized Brigade of the Philippine Army.

Farhenan was hit by a stray bullet in the leg in the firefight between the AFP and BIFF.

Farhenan’s wound now makes her being an evacuee even harder, as she limps to move around one place to another, while the all-out war rages on.

Evacuees have been shifting camps from time to time, as the combat operations launched by the AFP come close to the centers where they take shelter.


Farhenan Panigas with son and husband (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

Call to end war

In a press statement, Jerome Succor Aba, spokesperson of Suara Bangsamoro, calls for the immediate stop to the military operations, saying that the true targets of the state’s campaign are the poor civilians themselves.

Aba also condemned the careless nature of the military operations, saying that it placed civilian lives at risk.

“The AFP is clearly unable to distinguish civilians from combatants. This incompetence and lack of fire discipline has resulted to civilian casualties…the ineptitude and trigger happy nature of the military has once again endangered the lives of combatants greater than those of the state’s purported enemies,” he said.

Aba said: “The “all-out offensive” the AFP claims is a poor play of words to hide the reality that it has waged an all-out war intended to drive away the Moro people, as they are the greatest opposition to the entry of foreign corporations whose interests is to exploit the oil-rich Liguasan Marsh. The AFP will continue to bomb and shoot civilians out of their homes, in its blind obedience to the puppet US-Aquino regime.”

He further adds that the cases they have documented are only the tip of the iceberg of many human rights violations. He encouraged the victims to speak up and allow their demands to be heard, especially the ones calling for indemnification and pull-out of military troops. Reposted by (http://bulatlat.com)


BULATLAT ONLINE March 6, 2015

Various sectors form Noynoy Out Now! Movement 0 0 New 0 By MARYA SALAMAT Bulatlat.com

“Don’t be wary of what will come after ousting him. Be wary of what will happen if he stays in power.”

MANILA – From bloodbath to bloodbath, pork barrel, coverup, criminal negligence, government violation of the Constitution, human rights, and even of its own signed peace agreements, Aquino’s leadership is now viewed as a danger and scourge to Filipinos. On Thursday (March 5) a diverse composition of organizations and personalities launched the Noynoy Out Now (NOW!) national movement, vowing to lead a series of nationally coordinated protest actions starting March 8, Women’s Day. They are demanding Pres. Aquino’s immediate resignation.

To replace his leadership, NOW! proposes an “extra-Constitutional way,” which, they said, is correct legally, morally and politically.

Rather than the usual transfer of the reins to the vice-president, they propose to initiate “real democratic change.” They want Aquino to resign ASAP and give way instead to a “people’s council for national unity, reforms and peace.” They presented it as two intertwined solutions to problems of injustice and poverty today, to veiled threats including legal doubts on people power, and to naysayers who want to force Filipinos to bear with Aquino until next year.

Against the Malacańang’s statements noting people’s hesitation at joining Oust Noynoy now movements, Mico Pagalangan of Youh Act Now said, “If we do nothing now, that is a statement in itself.”

He urged the youth and the Filipino people not to be swayed into staying silent over Aquino’s fatal flaws as leader just because Aquino has only 15 months left in his term.

“Don’t be wary of what will come after ousting him. Be wary of what will happen if he stays in power,” said Pagalangan.

In the new movement’s manifesto titled “Aquino resign! Establish the People’s Council for National Unity, Reform and Peace,” NOW! Leaders said an interim “people’s council” could ensure truth and accountability in the Mamasapano probe and put in place key electoral reforms and anti-corruption measures prior to the holding of elections for a permanent government.

In a press conference in Quezon City, they asked the public to join this national movement to effect change, the end-goal of which they differentiate from the “change” after the first two people power uprisings. Teddy Casińo explained that post Edsa “change” had benefited mostly the installed political factions of the same elite who just maintained the same political system skewed to elite interests, at the expense of ordinary working people. The latest of these leaders to capitalize and benefit from people’s aspirations for change is President Aquino, but he has bitterly disappointed his supposed boss, as the justifications for ousting him listed by the Noynoy Out Now! leaders said this Thursday.

“We cannot afford another Mamasapano blunder, another PDAF-DAP scheme, another MRT mishap, another disastrous response to natural calamities, a Zamboanga siege or Luneta hostage crisis. We cannot sit by while poverty and joblessness worsens despite glowing growth rates, criminality engulfs our communities, and our public assets and national patrimony are being sold down the river,” said the manifesto of the Noynoy Out Now! movement.

The list of why President Aquino has to vacate Malacańang is getting longer the more he stays in power, said the leaders and personalities in Noynoy Out Now (NOW!) who came from groups of Church people, professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers, retired militarymen, whistleblowers, students and professors, seasoned activists and progressive partylist lawmakers, women and sectoral leaders such as from farmers and fisherfolk, urban poor, workers, drivers and small operators.

They are people-power-tested (or battle-tested) and mobilizable, as Teddy Casińo, former Bayan Muna Representative and now a spokesman for Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, one of the members of NOW!, put it during the press conference. He describes the groups pushing for Noynoy Out Now! as groups who do not just call out for change but who are also ready and proven at bringing warm bodies for this struggle for justice.

Aquino as living symbol that something is wrong

Catholic Archbishop Oscar Cruz enumerated many indicators of problems pointing to Aquino’s failed leadership. He cited for example the increased incidences of prostitution, gambling and casinos, taxation, confusing prices of gas and oil, continuing malfunction of railways, and, particularly in the Napoles debacle where Aquino himself escorted Janet Lim-Napoles to the arresting police officers, all these particularly the Napoles debacle are the “very living symbol that something is wrong.”

Aquino’s presidency showcases “a proven pattern of his being habitually remorseless, recidivist, and violator of the law,” said lawyer Edre Olalia, president of NUPL.

“Our president has lost the moral authority to lead this country,” Bishop Art Asi of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines declared at Thursday’s press conference.

“Having Aquino as president is a big disaster for Filipinos,” said National Artist Bien Lumbera who also slammed Aquino for having shown utter disregard and disrespect of Philippine culture.

“No matter how patient Filipinos are, they cannot bear anymore with a presidency like Aquino’s who turned every day into a disaster for women and children,” Joms Salvador, leader of Gabriela, largest association of women in the country, said at Thrusday’s press launch of NOW!

Salvador decried how, under Aquino, more women became victims of violence, and that the country’s social services fell down to its most rotten status.

“We don’t want to add to statistics of victims of disaster, violence and negligence,” Salvador said, hence the participation of Gabriela in Noynoy Out Now!

Bucking Aquino coverup

Since the start of 2015 and left and right price hikes, the Aquino administration has consistently belittled criticisms and protests against the hikes – saying they make up only a few groups. In Oust Noynoy campaign, their tact sounded the same. But, contrary to claims that only a few Filipinos want Aquino to resign, psychiatrist Roonie Lesaca of RX Resign said more people nowadays are in fact recognizing already President Aquino’s bungling leadership.

Lawyer Jose Malvar of Citizen Crime Watch also disputed the idea that only a few people are trying to unseat Aquino. He cited the overkill deployment of police to block the Edsa anniversary protesters from entering the people power shrine.

Martin Dińo of VACC said at the launch of Noynoy Out Now! that today, the issue appears to be more about who has a thicker face (pakapalan ng mukha). He described what is happening in various investigations of Mamasapano as just “brasuhan” (one-upmanship), and not about accountability.

For Dr. Jojo Carabeo of Health Alliance for Democracy, the Aquino presidency is like a malignant tumor that has to be taken out for the country to start to get healthy and well.

“There is no other action but make him go down,” the doctor said. The health groups condemn the Aquino presidency for privatizing health services and instituting budget cuts, all of which result directly to people’s suffering.

From the start, the working people in this country has derived no comfort or relief from poverty from this administration, said Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairman of Kilusang Mayo Uno.

“The workers demanded emergency relief but Aquino took no action; instead he brought the wages down,” said Labog. He added that every day Aquino hangs on to his post in Malacańang, he continues to prolong the people’s suffering from high prices, all-out war, and low wages.

“The country’s professionals are easily moved to signing petitions asking Aquino to resign,” Malou Turalde of POWER Quezon City, a group of professionals, said at the NOW! Press launch. “Our professionals are frustrated, discontented and angry at the incompetence, ineptitude and subservience of Aquino presidency,” Turalde said. The group she represents are part of Noynoy Out Now! Movement.

Batting for a New People Power

The Noynoy Out Now! movement’s manifesto recognizes and appeals to the public that a new type of people power will have to be required to do away with the Aquino presidency and replace it with a temporary council for genuine good governance.

“The people’s efforts to force the removal of the Aquino regime and replace it with a transitory People’s Council will necessarily be through the route of people power, or more precisely, the Power of the People,” NOW! manifesto reads. The movement calls on the armed forces, police and local authorities to respect and support “the people’s exercise of their sovereign will,” a power which, they said, is clearly enshrined in the Philippine Constitution.

Why replace Aquino now? The Noynoy Out Now! movement warns that to wait for 2016 elections is to let Aquino get away with his crimes and coverup – because with him still in Malacańang, NOW! leaders said, the message is that leaders like Aquino can trample on our law, and continue to use the government machinery in 2016 elections where “political dynasties, money and a flawed automated electoral system will decide the Filipino’s fate” as a people, again. (http://bulatlat.com)


PHILSTAR

Muslim Rebels sign up to vote in 2016 By John Unson (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 8, 2015 - 12:00am


Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Hundreds of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas turned up yesterday at their camp here to register as voters in preparation for the 2016 elections in an envisioned Bangsa-moro region.

Maguindanao provincial election supervisor Udtog Tago facilitated the activity held at the Bangsamoro Leaders Management Institute in Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town.

Assisting Tago were Diocesan priest Fr. Dave Procalla, regional chairman for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and representatives of the joint government-MILF ceasefire committee and the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Also present were Commission on Elections’ Al Parreńo and ARMM’s regional election director Ray Sumalipao.

PPCRV national chairperson Henrietta de Villa also showed up to observe the registration process.

“The beauty of this activity is this shows that they recognize the government process that they need to register so that they could vote. They accept the government process. On the part of the PPCRV, we strived to get here to show that we also recognize that we are all Filipino brothers and sisters and there is equal dignity,” said De Villa.

“This is a signal that we are one not only in promoting the election voters, but we are also one in pushing for peace,” she added.

The one-day registration started at around 10 a.m. and lasted until late afternoon.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the voter’s registration “symbolizes the commitment of parties to democratic ideals.”

“As they say, from bullets to ballots,” he added.

Polls officials were initially targeting 2,000 MILF members to take part in the registration, but since they started late yesterday only about 250 were processed. She also admitted that the Jan. 25 incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao might have affected the turnout.

More MILF members are expected to register in the coming days, however. Police and military units accompanied the Comelec and PPRCV personnel.

One of the registrants was Von Al-Haq, spokesman of the MILF’s military arm, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces.

Al-Haq said he and his companions were looking forward to exercising their right of suffrage – hopefully in the first Bangsamoro elections in 2016.

The enabling measure for the creation of new Bangsamoro political entity, the Bangsamoro Basic Law, is still pending in Congress.

Lawmakers have suspended deliberations on the measure in the aftermath of the Jan. 25 Mamasapano incident.

Al-Haq said they are confident the deliberations on the proposed law would resume very soon.

The special registration for MILF members was in accordance with Comelec Resolution 14-0890, in support of the rebel group’s commitment to change from a revolutionary organization to a political party with socio-economic agenda.

The MILF signed a Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro with the government in March last year.

In a statement, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said getting MILF members to register for the elections is a big boost to the Mindanao peace process.

“Politics and governance are now the best means of fighting for reforms, peace and development. Use of guns in seeking redress is barbaric,” Hataman said. With Evelyn Macairan, Sheila Crisostomo ..


MANILA TIMES

MILF report blames govt for Mamasapano clash March 8, 2015 11:30 pm by AL JACINTO SENIOR CORRESPONDENT AND MOH SAADUDDIN CORRESPONDENT


Iqbal: The Malaysian government, and not that of the Philippines, will get first dibs on the results of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) probe on the January 25 Mamasapano bloodbath. This was bared yesterday by MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, who said the existing protocol calls for them to first pass through Malaysia which is the third party facilitator in the peace talks between the secessionist group and the Philippine government (GPH).

ZAMBOANGA CITY: The result of the investigation by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the Mamasapano tragedy will conclude that the government was at fault over the clash that resulted in the death of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF).

“This [executive summary] contains the substance of the MILF probe and I want to reiterate that what happened in Mamasapano on that fateful January 25 was a violation of the ceasefire agreement by the Philippine government because there was no prior coordination with the MILF as far as the SAF [Special Action Force] operation was concerned,” said Mohagher Iqbal, a senior MILF leader and the group’s chief peace negotiator.

The Philippines is also unlikely to get the full report of the investigation by the MILF on the deadly clash between rebel and police forces on January 25 in Maguindanao province in the restive southern Muslim region of Mindanao.

The MILF launched its own probe into the January 25 clashes after lawmakers accused the separatist group of breaking the truce it signed with the Aquino government when its forces killed members of the elite Special Action Force in the remote village of Tukanalipao in Mamasapano town.

The commandos had killed Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir in a top secret operation deep inside the MILF territory, but were ambushed by rebels that sparked daylong clashes that even President Benigno Aquino 3rd – who authorized the anti-terror mission – failed to stop. The fierce clashes also killed 18 MILF and 5 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Iqbal said they have completed the report and would submit an executive summary to the Malaysia-led International (Ceasefire) Monitoring Team. The IMT is also composed of representatives from Japan, Indonesia and Brunei, and supported by the United States and European Union.

The IMT will also forward the summary to Kuala Lumpur being the facilitator of the peace talks between the MILF and the Philippines, and also to the Aquino government through its government peace negotiator Miriam Ferrer, according to Iqbal.

He said the full report of the MILF on the Mamasapano clash will not be made public. “Internal ang full report ng MILF sa Mamasapano clash at ang tanging maibibigay namin ang executive summary. Sariling imbestigasyon ng MILF ito at hindi namin maaaring ilabas ito sa publiko [The MILF report on the Mamasapano clash is for internal use, and what we can provide is the executive summary. This is the probe of the MILF and we have no intention to make it public],” Iqbal told The Manila Times, adding they would release the summary report soon.

Many groups are demanding President Aquino’s resignation over his failure to prevent the fighting. He called the daylong clashes between commandos and rebels a “misencounter” between friendly forces.

The MILF signed a peace accord last year, but the peace process is yet to be completed with passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) now pending in Congress following the carnage. Lawmakers shelved the BBL until investigations into the deadly clashes between SAF and MILF are completed. The BBL is important in crafting a new Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.


MANILA TIMES

‘SAF killers will be charged in court’ -Coloma March 8, 2015 11:29 pm by JOEL M. SY EGCO SENIOR REPORTER AND FERNAN MARASIGAN REPORTER


MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal File photo MANILA, Philippines - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) cannot commit to surrender the killers of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos who had taken part in an operation to arrest top terrorists. MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the surrender of the MILF combatants is a “multi-layer, multi-dimensional and very complex issue” that has a “political dimension” and not covered by legal processes.

Malacańang on Sunday gave assurances that those responsible for the killing of 44 police commandos in the infamous Mamasapano massacre will be charged in court, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) having wrapped up its fact-finding investigation of the incident.

In an interview over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government will pursue justice for the fallen policemen “with or without the help of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”

“Sa kasalukuyan ang ating pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng DOJ ay nagsasagawa na ng case build-up at isusulong po ang hustisya sa pamamagitan ng mga hukuman ng Pilipinas batay sa findings ng DOJ at ng Government of the Philippines. Ang katarungan po ay itataguyod nang puspusan at hanggang makumpleto po ang prosesong ito kung nagbigay man o hindi man nagbigay ng input ang MILF [Currently, the government through the DOJ is doing a case build-up to attain justice for the Fallen 44 through the courts, based on government findings. We won’t stop until the quest for justice is completed, with or without any input from the MILF],” he said.

Coloma was reacting to a statement of the MILF that it will only release an executive summary of its internal probe of the bloody encounter in Mamasapano.

The Palace official said the government will ferret out the truth behind the encounter and that the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process will be on top of this process.

Quoting Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles, Coloma added that the submission of the MILF report to Malaysia goes with the understanding that the MILF will submit the report to the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Deles, in an earlier statement, explained that this is “simply a matter of protocol, that the respective ceasefire committees submit all reports to the IMT, which then passes it on to the other party.”

“It appears that the MILF wants to show respect for and strengthen the ceasefire institution by using the ceasefire mechanisms and protocols in this regard. This is in accordance with the ceasefire agreement and the operational guidelines, which have been signed by the parties,” she said.

Meanwhile, government forces on Saturday killed four more members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) tagged as among those who slaughtered the Fallen 44 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25.

This brought to 18 the number of BIFF bandits killed in a series of clashes with the military since Friday.

Lt. Col. Willy Manalang, commander of the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) 8, said the group his men encountered in Pusao Village, Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao, on Saturday was led by Filipino bomb-maker Abdul Basit Usman, a target of anti-terrorist operations that led to the death of the 44 police commandos.

According to Manalang, he sent a small-sized patrol composed of the 63rd Force Recon Company and the Special Operations Platoon 8 to track down Usman’s group.

“My troops surprised the enemy and engaged them in a firefight,” he said.

The Marines seized a 60mm mortar and an M14 rifle from the bandits. Two of the dead BIFF, one of whom was wearing a SAF uniform, were left behind by their comrades.

“I believe that this bandit is one of those who butchered the members of the 55th SAC [Special Action Company] in Tukanalipao village on January 25. Despite their crimes, we will turn them over to the community leaders to be given a decent Islamic burial,” Manalang added.


INQUIRER

MILF to DOJ: Summary is all you’ll get Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:58 AM | Sunday, March 8th, 2015


INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY, Philippines—The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Saturday was adamant it could provide the Department of Justice (DOJ) with only an executive summary of the results of its investigation into the Mamasapano incident.

In a statement, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal stood pat on the group’s stance, after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had said she wanted to get hold of the full MILF report rather than just a summary.

“As of now, how I wish, I would prefer the very report itself because it contains all the details [of the incident],” De Lima had told reporters on Friday.

But Iqbal said that for the MILF, the full report was “for internal use” only.

“It’s the decision of the central committee that only the summary report will be given to all. The substance and quality of the summary is good,”¯ he said.

Iqbal said that aside from the DOJ, the government peace panel and the Malaysian government would be given the same summary report.

“I hope they will understand us,”¯ he said of the MILF’s decision not to release the full report.

The MILF formed an investigating team to look into the Mamasapano clash, which resulted in the deaths of 18 MILF guerrillas, 44 police commandos and five civilians.

The MILF investigation followed an uproar over the incident, particularly after videos of the encounter were uploaded on the Internet.

De Lima said the MILF report would be useful as the DOJ was looking into all sides of the incident.

Last week, a DOJ team tried to visit the clash site but had to turn back due to the presence of hostile forces nearby. Jeoffrey Maitem and Judy Quiros, Inquirer Mindanao


MANILA STANDARD

March for justice is on; Ph Nat'l Police Academy Alumni pushed through 'Justice for SAF 44' march regardless... By Francisco Tuyay, Sara D. Fabunan | Mar. 08, 2015 at 12:01am

ALUMNI of the Philippine National Police Academy will push through with its planned “March for Justice for SAF 44” although the Quezon City Hall revoked the permit it had earlier issued purportedly because of warnings from Malacańang.

But Palace officials denied it had attempted to discourage the PNPA Alumni Association from pushing through with the “unity march” purportedly because some leftist groups were planning to join the march which was announced to be open to the public.

Day of protests. Militant workers put the finishing touches on two effigies - one representing an eagle that symbolizes the US, and the other, President Benigno Aquino III . Both will be used for separate protests demanding his resignation. MANNY PALMERO

“We have nothing to do with that,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview over state-owned dzRNb Radyo ng Bayan.

“Remember that in any rally or demonstration, at least under the Aquino administration, we have never intervened, or we have never stepped in to ask that it does not push through, because we recognize that these rallies are part of the democratic space that we share,” Valte added.

Valte made the remark after Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma warned in Malacańang on Thursday that “opportunist” groups may take advantage of the unity march to reiterate calls for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III.

“While we are one in remembering the heroism of the 44 commandos of the Special Action Force who perished in Mamasapano, it is also important that we remain vigilant against groups who want to take advantage of our grief to push their own agenda,” Coloma said.

“According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, these opportunist groups calling for People Power and military support to force the resignation of the President to pave the way for a junta government are already committing illegal acts in violation of the Constitution,” Coloma said.

OUSTER PRESSED.

On the eve of International Women’s Day, militant worker put the finishing touches on the giant effigy of President Benigno Aquino III riding a drone perched on a US warship, to be used for a massive protest demanding his resignation. MANNY PALMERO

The remarks of Coloma were repeated by former QC police chief Elmo San Diego, now head of QC’s public order department, who said the permit that was issued a few days before was revoked because “left-leaning groups that may interact and mix themselves with the legitimate rallyists.’’

San Diego failed to explain what was illegal in such a case, but said “the application permit indicated a sympathy walk but if some will call for the ouster of the President the purpose will be altered and there will now be political color.”

But former police general Tomas Rentoy, president of the PNPA Alumni Association, said they will push through with their unity walk.

“We still have no permit, but the sympathy march will go on,” Rentoy said in a text message.

Rentoy declined to comment on the supposed call of a certain Senior Supt Jerome Baxinela, who claims to the chapter president of the PNPAAA in Camp Crame, urged all chapter members not to join the march.

“The intent of the PNPAAAI National is noble but the present situation does not warrant participation thereof. Let us uphold public interest over and above all other interest,” said Baxinela in a text message shared to the media by PNP spokesman Chief Supt Generoso Cerbo.

Rentoy reiterated the association’s earlier statement that the unity march is an “apolitical” activity and will focus on the demand for justice for the police commandos who were killed in a covert mission to capture international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir last January 25.

The march will start at Dasmarińas City in Cavite with a 44-kilometer walk from Salitran in Dasmarińas to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The second phase will be the walk from Camp Crame to the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City while similar marches will be also held across the country with the slogan “Walk with the Widows, Run for our Heroes.”

The assembly point for the first phase will be at Central Mall Dasmarińas on Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Salitran at 2 a.m. on March 8. Runners from Cavite will be joined by others at 10-km intervals along the route.

The families of the commandos will lead the march from Camp Crame to Quezon City Memorial Circle.

Alumni and other participants from the uniformed services will assemble in front of Camp Crame Grandstand, while civilians will assemble at Camp Crame Gate I along Edsa by 5 a.m.

The final march to QMC will begin at 6 a.m. upon the arrival of the joggers from Cavite, while the Mass at QMC will be held at 10 a.m.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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