[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 July Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Jul 18 17:10:45 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 18 July Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Retired officers sign impeachment complaint (news.inq7.net)

TWELVE retired officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have signed the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as they called on young soldiers to keep an open mind on what is happening in the country.

"We, the AFP retirees, are in solidarity with the Fiipino nation in filing this impeachment complaint against President Gloria Arroyo to hold her accountable for her actions, which (are) violative of her constitutional duties," retired Major General Ponciano Millena, former commandant of the Philippine Marines and Western Command, said Tuesday in his prepared statement.

Millena, who showed up at the House of Representatives with former Major General Marciano Ilagan, who used to command the Tactical Air Operations Command of the Philippine Air Force, said more retired officers are expected to sign the complaint in the coming days.

Millena said the principle of accountability should be applied not only to the lowest government employee but also to the highest official of the land.

"We can no longer stand aside and merely watch her squander government funds and resources to perpetrate herself in power at the expense of the overtaxed Filipino people," Millena said.

Marine officer denies participation in February coup (news.inq7.net)

MARINE Colonel Ariel Querubin has denied participating in a foiled coup attempt last February.

Querubin's statement is contained in an affidavit he submitted to lawyer Reynaldo Esmeralda of the National Bureau of Investigation Tuesday.

Querubin and Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim of the Scout Rangers were relieved for allegedly recruiting junior officers and enlisted personnel in a campaign to withdraw support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Querubin admitted that he knew Iñigo Zobel because the businessman was the godfather of his daughter.

Zobel, along with two other businessmen, has been tagged as one of the alleged financiers of the February coup. He was invited by the NBI to shed light on the accusation.

But Querubin said he did not think that Zobel could participate in such a plan.

Querubin also clarified that he neither sympathized nor participated in any anti-Arroyo group. Querubin said he only sympathized with his commander who was relieved, referring to then Marine Commandant Renato Miranda.

Bishop admits coddling San Juan, others (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 

Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias on Tuesday said he provided shelter to Army 1st Lt. Lawrence San Juan and other mutinous soldiers after their escape from detention in January.

Tobias said he hid San Juan and other soldiers for "three days and three nights" at several safehouses upon prodding by the Kilusang Makabayang Ekonomista, ANC correspondent Ricky Carandang said. The KME membership includes Catholic bishops.

The prelate said San Juan and his group were housed in Fairview, Quezon City. He did not elaborate.

San Juan is one of the leaders of the failed Oakwood mutiny in July 2003. His group, the Makabayang Kawal Pilipino, has been linked to an alleged failed power grab in February. 

Tobias said he hid the mutineers because San Juan's group was being made to choose between seeking refuge with a group of politicians and the communist underground movement.

Israel grants safe passage to Filipinos from Lebanon (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

The Israeli government has guaranteed safe passage to Filipinos fleeing Lebanon, ANC reported Tuesday. Antonio Modena, Philippine ambassador to Tel Aviv, said the Israeli army will not block Filipinos who want to enter their territory. 

Modena said he sees no reason to evacuate Filipinos in Israel since they are safe there. He added that Israeli residences have bomb shelters that ensure the safety of Filipinos in the event of Hezbollah rocket attacks.

Philippine authorities had initially identified two possible routes for Filipinos fleeing Lebanon. One is by sea, from Beirut to Cyprus; and the other by land, from Beirut toward Syria. At least 30,000 Filipinos are living and working in Lebanon.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Alert Level 3 has been raised by the Philippine embassy in Beirut. Evacuation efforts are underway.

Esperon mulls moving office-based soldiers to battlefields (news.inq7.net)

INCOMING Military Chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said he was considering redeploying office-based soldiers to the battlefields to boost the government's counter-insurgency campaign.

"We simply have to reexamine our maneuver forces, the size of ourmaneuver forces. Many are still in their headquarters, we need to putthem were they are needed. We have to focus on the frontlines," said Esperon, who will assume the top military post on Friday.

Esperon said an Army battalion undergoing retraining would be deployed to the Visayas Islands in the central Philippines "in three months time" to fight the New People's Army (NPA).

In late June, 1,500 troops or three battalions who battled Muslim rebels in Mindanao were redeployed to Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Sorsogon province in the Bicol region, which are known NPA territories.

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