AFP nipagawas og human rights handbook

ANG Armed Forces of the Philippines kon AFP nipagawas karong adlawa sa ilang human rights handbook nga magsilbing giya sa militar sa paghimo sa ilang operasyon batok sa tanang “threat groups,” apil na ang communist New People’s Army.

Ang maong handbook gisulat ni Lt. Col. Samuel Sagun sa AFP Civil Relations Service uban sa pakigtambayayong sa Commission on Human Rights, International Committee on the Red Cross, ug sa European Union-Philippine Justice Support Program.

Matud pa ni Lt. Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, ang public affairs office chief sa AFP nga ang 200-ka pahina nga human rights handbook maoy magsilbing practical guide sa mga sundalo.

Gi dugang ni Burgos nga ang maong handbook magamit dili lamang sa pagbatok sa mga rebeldeng komunista, apan alang usab sa tanang internal security operations sa militar. (PIA-Bohol)

Colonel Querubin granted provisional liberty

FORMER Marine Col. Ariel Querubin walked free from his detention cell Wednesday noon, more than four years after figuring in a failed attempt to overthrow the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David signed on Tuesday night the detained official’s provisional release papers.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said Querubin will still have to attend all the hearings in his general court martial, even as he stressed Querubin cannot leave the country.

He will be placed under the custody of Brigadier General Reynaldo Ordoñez, head of the AFP’s Defense Reform Office.

Querubin was deemed retired from the military service after he ran but lost for senator in the May 10 elections under the Nacionalista Party.

He had been detained at Camp Aguinaldo, facing trial before a military tribunal for a charge of mutiny in connection with his group’s plot to march and subsequently withdraw their support from then President Arroyo in February 2006. (PIA-Bohol)

Aquino to AFP: Uphold human rights

IN his first command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held on Monday, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the military to crush enemies of the state while adhering to international human rights regulations.

The modernization of the AFP is also on President Aquino’s priority list.

But since there is lack of funds, the President is studying proposals to lease 130 hectares of land under by the AFP.

Aquino said the modernization should go along with the payment of benefits to families of soldiers killed in the line of duty and the recruitment of new soldiers.

The commander-in-chief also gave an advice to military officers who may have been demoralized by the major revamp at the AFP.

Aquino said any complaint should be brought to the AFP’s grievance system.

The past administration was hounded by allegations its security forces were involved in human rights abuses.

The new administration wants to change that image, believing the AFP can achieve victory over its enemies by upholding human rights. (PIA-Bohol)

David assumes top AFP post

FORMER Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo David on Friday took over the top military post during the change of command at Camp Aguinaldo.

David took over the military leadership from Lt. Gen. Nestor Ochoa, who was designated acting AFP chief when General Delfin Bangit opted for early retirement last week.

Both David and Ochoa belong to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Masikap” Class of 1977. Bangit belongs to the “Makatarungan” Class of 1978.

In his speech, David reminded his soldiers to keep the military as a “disciplined institution.”

“We shall continue to be a responsible instrument of public policy, subservient to civilian authority,” he said.

David said as an instrument of national policy, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be focusing on attaining national security objectives.

He noted that national airports have the “most imminent threat” of being targeted by terrorist elements, and thus promised to focus security in them.

But apart from ensuring national security from insurgent activities, David also stressed that the AFP should be an agent of peace. (PIA-Bohol)

AFP Chief of Staff orders release of 10 Magdalo soldiers

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Delfin Bangit has ordered the release of 10 more renegade soldiers who were tagged in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, a military spokesman said.

Armed Forces spokesman Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said Bangit signed the release order Sunday, days after the detained soldiers have settled their case before the military’s general court martial.

The 10 were sentenced to 8 months in prison by a military court last April 7 after pleading guilty to offenses filed against them in relation to the November 2007 siege of the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

The charges were violation of Articles of War 63 (disrespect to the President), 96 (conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman), 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline) and 70 (escape from confinement).

The 10, along with former Scout Ranger chief now senatorial candidate Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and at-large Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, were also originally charged with violation of AW67 or mutiny, which was earlier dismissed by the court.

Abaya said Lim and Faeldon remain charged for violation of the four Articles of War before the tribunal. Lim is also facing a separate military court for his involvement in the alleged plot to overthrow the Arroyo government in February 2006.

The 10 sentenced officers are among the many Magdalo officers charged with coup d etat before the sala of Makati City judge Oscar Pimentel for the Oakwood mutiny. (PIA-Bohol)