TAGBILARAN CITY, April 21 (PIA)–In response to the regional task group managing the security for the meetings of the Association of South East Asian Nations 2017 (ASEAN 2017) in Bohol, marine task groups in Bohol are implementing a 500 meter no sail zone in front of the Alona stretch of beach.
The policy is in effect until the end of the ASEAN 2017 meetings in Panglao.
Seaman (SN1) Ralph Barajan, deputy chief of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Detachment in Panglao bared this as Bohol Task Group Commander PCSupt Noli Taliño earlier issued the “no sail, no flight” policy over Alona Beach.
This is to add up to the implemented security measures to protect the international and local delegates to the ASEAN trade meetings held at the Hennan Resort and some top level meetings at the Amorita Resort on the southeast end of the 1.5 kilometer stretch of beach.
“We are implementing a 500 meter from the coastline demarcation line for sail boats from the Amorita to Kalipayan Beach on the south west end, SN Barajan revealed.
The PCG elements are not the only ones making sure that navigation by any craft in the area is restricted.
Also there to help secure the sea area fronting the famed Alona stretch are the floating assets of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.
The Philippine Air Force is also tasked to insure that the airspace over Alona is cleared, PNP regional sources reported.
This too as the local government of Panglao implements the ordinance finally designating a one-stop area for tourist boats ferrying guests to dolphin and whale watching as well as island hopping tours.
Panglao mayor Leonila Montero said they have designated a unified pick up and drop off for tourists in a bid to streamline policies in implementing marine safety and safety of beach fronts.
The municipal docking facility at the back of the church in Panglao has been picked as a station wile local officials are reportedly eyeing to put up more in areas where resorts congregate, if only to allow faster tracking of boats and PCG safety inspections before embarking on marine tours, PCG said.
Earlier, PCG Bohol District Commander Lieutenant Junior Grade Jimmy Berbo, who has a long record of experience in maritime safety, has also suggested a streamlined docking policy just as the Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines has campaigned for registration of all boats used for public conveyance.
This also helps assure tourists that the boat they contracted to serve is registered, insured and tracked by the maritime authorities for protection and safety assurances.
Tour guides said the policy of a designated station could help control the operation of illegal fly by night colorum bancas.
Panglao, along with the PCG Panglao detachment has finally implemented Philippine Coast Guard Memorandum Circular 03-14 dated April 2014, as the government asserts safety of beaches in front of resorts, and in Bohol especially at its prime 1.5 kilometer fine white sand beach showcase of the Alona stretch.
A turn-off for tourists owing to the uncontrolled boat parking and dropping of anchors massively ruining its snorkel areas, Alona has also been widely criticized for allowing access to boats with propellers dangerously within the swimming and snorkel areas, practically accidents waiting to happen.
The boat parking is also blocking the sea view and the gorgeous sunsets.
Recently however, authorities have started to see the logic in keeping Alona and its prime beaches cleared of these hazards.
As this developed, Boholanos have praised the Panglao local officials and the PCG and openly hoped that the safety policy is sustained even beyond the ASEAN. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 19 (PIA)–To ring the message across that he abhors criminalities, President Rodrigo Duterte issues the order to just anyone: get them, dead or alive.
And by everyone, his order did not just mean for the government operatives, he also addressed to civilians willing to finally end the terror and hunt down the remnants of the group of armed Abu Sayyaf bandits contained in the fields of Inabanga.
Coming to Bohol not on his official, but on his personal schedule, President Duterte who just came in from a state visit in the middle east immediately flew to Bohol to be briefed on the Inabanga incident that left 3 military, one police and 4 deaths from the notorious kidnap for ransom group.
Two of those who died were a couple identified as relatives of the local guide of the bandits are still under investigation, explained Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of Staff, General Eduardo Año.
Government troops sweeping the war zone also recovered bomb making tools and electronic parts that can be used to manufacture bombs.
The Abus Sayyaf incursion to Bohol, over 600 kilometers from their strongholds in Basilan, happened in time for the international gathering of leaders of the countries in southeast Asia in Panglao.
“I am here just to warn everybody, my order is to demolish them,” Duterte spoke to Bohol and national media after an hour and 45 minutes of briefings of the Inabanga incident and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Trade meetings set from April 18-21, at the Hennan Resort in Panglao.
“To civilians interested to fight and kill, my order [to them] is dead or alive,” the President was again fearless of the repercussions of his hard and unwavering stance against criminality.
He also announced he is raising the one million pesos bounty for every member of the Abu Sayyaf stragglers hiding in the vicinities of Napo, in Inabanga, Bohol.
Earlier, the provincial government posted a P100,000 bounty per head for anyone who could share information leading to the capture any one of the 7 bandits.
Now led by a local recruit Joselito Melloria, the bandits could not go far as three of them were wounded, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines Intelligence officer Lt. Col Adolfo Espuelas Jr,.
Espuelas, who head the Intelligence Service of the AFP said Melloria nurses a wound in the left back shoulder and left foot, another young fighter with a wound in the right leg and yet another fighter with wound in the right butt.
The strugglers have only 3 M16 rifles, one fitted with an M203 grenade launcher, one M14, a depleted ammunition supply, an analog cell phone with spare batteries, no food, no local support, have been sleepless and are on the run without any more capacity to fight, Espuelas added.
In rounding up the citizens as well as the government troops to account for the fleeing bandits, the apparently tired president who earlier came to the security briefing on the Inabanga incident and the Bohol said, he wants them dead, not alive to skip from the trouble of feeding criminals.
The President also clarified that the order also applies to drug personalities and terrorists. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 18 (PIA)–The main bulk of the delegates of the trade meetings of the ministers of trade of the 10 country-bloc making their meetings in Bohol arrives Wednesday, April 19, through Tagbilaran City Airport and the sea Port of Tagbilaran.
Taking separate flights or sea trips, the heads of delegates form the nucleus of the 10th ASEAN and Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) Trade Negotiating Committee and Related Meetings at the Hennan Resort in Panglao.
The Department of Trade and Industry sponsors the AHKFTA starting April 19 to 21.
The meetings in Bohol push through despite a foiled incursion of an armed group believed to be of the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf, according to military intelligence reports.
During the day of the encounter between government troops and the armed bandits, Governor Edgar Chatto clarified that the incident is contained in a few barangays of Inabanga.
As the military operatives proceeded to clear the encounter sites, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that Bohol ASEAN meetings would push through.
Taking the cue from the Armed Forces of the Philippines officials, Governor Edgar Chatto also assured that Bohol would be a safe place, its tourism hardly dented by the Inabanga incident.
At least some delegates at the Tagbilaran City Airport, including Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary for Peace and Order Catalino Cuy, have arrived April 18, according to Capitol’s Special Events Unit head Liza Flores Tuesday.
Confirming their attendance to the meetings are Director Julia Tijaja of the ASEAN Secretariat, International Trade Cooperation Ministry of Trade of the Trade Negotiations Committee Director General Iman Pambagyo, and DTI Assistant Secretary Anna Maria Rosario Diaz Rubeniol.
Arriving at around 9:40 tomorrow are the delegations of Singapore led by ASEAN Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Sulaimah Mahmood and Indonesia Ministry of Trade Director Donna Gultom.
Also confirming their attendance to the meetings and events in Bohol are Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade First secretary Yusdiman Saman, Cambodia’s Deputy Director General of International Trade Tan Yuvaroath.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce Director General Dr. Laohua Cheutching, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Deputy Secretary General Isham Ishak and Myanmar’s Director of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development Tin Aye Han.
Thailand’s Department of Trade and Negotiations Director of ASEAN Affairs Bureau Chotima Iemsawasdikul, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade Director Coung Ba Tran would be leading their delegates composed of trade and industry consultants, legislative teams and support staff.
While the ASEAN trade meetings hosted by the DTI in Bohol may tackle relevant regional trade policies, the National Organizing Council has closed the events for media coverage, reiterates ASEAN NOC consultant retired General Josephus Angan, during the final coordination meetings with Bohol local organizing council held at the Philippine Ports Authority Multi Purpose Hall Monday.
The arrival and the departure events however are open to media coverage but only for photos and no media interviews are allowed, according to the NOC.
Arrival and departure events however are subject to regular security measures in place at the airport and the ports, and coverage protocols include smart casual attire for Bohol media, NOC said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
TAGBILARAN CITY, April 18 (PIA)–The remnants of the armed bandits the joint police and military operatives encountered in Inabanga are demoralized, on the run without any support system, and it may not be long before the government troops get to them.
Thus hinted Lieutenant Colonel Adolfo Espuelas Jr, speaking for the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) during a press briefing with the military and the police on the Inabanga incident.
Last April 11, government troops acted upon information from the community in Napo and attempted to confirm the presence of at least 12 armed men, who came up river on three small but fast boats.
The bandits welcomed the troops with sniping fire, that a trading of gunfire ensued which lasted for over 24 hours.
The government used air assets, dropped 10 bombs and helicopter fire to flash out the snipers in well entrenched spots.
When the smoke of gunfight settled, the government lost three soldiers and a special weapons expert while the military declared five body counts from the enemies, including the alleged leader of the group Abu Rami.
Military authorities also recovered one Colt M4 Rifle with long magazine and 28 ammunitions, one M16 A1, one AR Cal 223, one M16 A1 Rifle with short magazine and twenty live ammo, one calibre 45, one M203 ammo, two short housing magazine assembly.
Also recovered were one galva tester (electronic current tester), one Icom radio, one flashlight, two remote control radio, two surgical forceps, five Kuran (Muslim bibles), one electric soldering gun, 27 glue sticks, one electric cutter, one pair of scissors, one small screw driver, led component, 22 silicon control rectifiers (for electronic power control), four 12 volt relays, eight slide switches, 86 led lights, 46 resistors, three cellphone batteries, one nine volts battery, ten Christmas light bulbs and three pump boats.
The discovery bolstered the intelligence reports that the group were to do bombing operations.
Two of those who died were a couple who owned the house where the armed bandits.
Military sources later said some 7 armed men may have escaped the onslaught but are still contained in the nearby barangays.
A day later, during mopping up operations, military troops dug up another corpse which later was pegged as the bandit’s bomb expert.
While frightened Boholanos shared hundreds of information on social media about the incident, Governor Edgar Chatto called for vigilance and pleaded to pass any information to authorities so they can handle the analysis.
Even if you have good intentions but do not have the basis for sharing information, do not make conclusions and do not pass it on. You are not helping, Chatto was quoted by his media group the Effective Development Communications (EDCOM).
But as the days went on with the military troops tracking the stragglers, Col Espuelas said the enemies are in no fighting mood and their priority is escaping.
“The firefight has expended most of their ammunition and they have lost the capacity to inflict any more damage,” he said.
On or about 1:00 PM of April 12, residents have confirmed the presence of 7 armed bandits begging for food in the vicinity of the encounter area, and days later, witnesses reportedly saw the same armed men, emaciated, three of them wounded, including their local contact Joselito Meloria, who nursed a wound in the back of the shoulder.
They have no food, they are in a hostile territory unlike in Sulu or Basilan when they have supporters, and Boholanos are reporting their whereabouts, Col Espuelas commented.
“It might not be long, as government troops continue to scour the area,” he added.
Bohol authorities have confirmed that a concerned citizen has put up a bounty of P100,000 for each of the bandits, the reward money to be given to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest and neutralization of any of the stragglers. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)