JTF-NCR Turnover Ceremony

Congratulations to BRIGADIER GENERAL ALAN R ARROJADO AFP as the newly installed commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) who took over the post of MAJOR GENERAL JESUS A MANANGQUIL JR AFP
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The Change of Command ceremony was graced by GENERAL REY LEONARDO B GUERRERO AFP, Chief of Staff, AFP as presiding officer at JTF-NCR Grandstand this morning.

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Commemorating the 121st Death Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Gat. Jose P. Rizal

Flag raising and Wreath Laying Ceremony headed by GEN REY LEONARDO GERRERO AFP, Chief of Staff AFP with PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE leads the commemoration of the 121st Death Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Dr Jose P Rizal with the theme: Rizal 2017 “Mabuting Kaisipan, Susi sa Kaunlaran” at the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park, Manila on 30 0700H December 2017

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HEADLINES Marawi troops get 500 sacks of rice

MANILA — Showing appreciation to troops who helped in the liberation of Marawi City from the clutches of the Maute terrorist group, the Lim Seh Leng Foundation, through SL Agritech Corporation, donated 500 sacks of rice to soldiers stationed in the war-torn city Friday.

The turnover ceremony took place at the Armed of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters Conference Room in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

SL Agritech Group chair Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong handed the rice to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief-of-staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

“The sacks of rice containing 25 kilos each are intended for soldiers assigned in Marawi City. The rice donation is in support and recognition of the services of soldiers who are fighting violent extremists and terrorists,” AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia said.

He added that the distribution will be facilitated by the AFP Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel through the Western Mindanao Command.

The donated rice is of the Jasmine variety called “Dona Maria” with market value of about P95 per kilo.

“We are grateful for the act of kindness by our citizens who continue to appreciate the sacrifices of our soldiers especially those in Marawi,” Guerrero added. 

https://www.ptvnews.ph/marawi-troops-get-500-sacks-rice/

Duterte shortens holiday truce with Reds

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday revised its declaration of a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebels over the holidays.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the ceasefire would only be in effect from 6 p.m. of Dec. 23 to 11:59 p.m. of Dec. 26, and from 6 p.m. of Dec. 30 until 11:59 p.m. of Jan. 2.

“The President asked me to announce it at our Cabinet Christmas party. But it is always the President’s prerogative to change his decision. That’s part of the executive power,” Roque said when asked what prompted the President to change his mind.

Duterte on Wednesday ordered the suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) against the communist New People’s Army (NPA), supposedly to take effect from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2.

The Christmas ceasefire has been a customary move by both sides since the launch of formal talks in the late 1980s under the first Aquino administration.

Duterte’s declaration of SOMO will be in effect despite ending peace talks and branding the NPA, Communist Party of the Philippines and National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) as “terrorists.”

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Duterte said he is hoping that the communists would reciprocate his gesture.

CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, however, branded the unilateral ceasefire gesture as a “sham” and ordered the NPA to guard against attacks by government forces.

“The President doesn’t have to explain. In fact, Joma Sison is calling it a sham. We should be thankful that the President is pushing through with the unilateral ceasefire,” Roque said.

“He could have ignored it completely ‘no, and not declared anything. But I felt that it was a right decision because finally, I personally felt it’s Christmas with the announcement,” he said.

Roque took a dig at Sison for having no Christmas spirit.

“I feel sorry for him then. That’s what happens when you are not here in the Philippines anyway,” he said.

A waste of time

The NPA in southern Mindanao also rejected the government’s ceasefire offer and even resorted to calling Duterte a madman.

In a statement, Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesman for the NPA’s Medardo Arce Command, said Duterte wasted the “confidence and goodwill of the people of Southern Mindanao” in extending martial law.

“Duterte foolishly and carelessly wasted the confidence and goodwill of the people of Southern Mindanao towards him when he bludgeoned the sycophantic Congress to extend once again the martial law in Mindanao and reinforce the current police state responsible for the mass murder not only in the island but in the whole country as well,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez called Duterte a madman, a “drug-crazed monster” and the country’s number one terrorist.

“He should rightly be referred in the annals of Philippine history as the Adolf Hitler of the South, capable of exterminating millions of Filipinos should he continue to sit in power for the next four and a half years,” he said.

The military, for its part, said it would abide by the President’s ceasefire declaration but would not lower its guard against treacherous attacks by the rebels.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is also wary that the communists would attack police stations in taking advantage of the government’s unilateral ceasefire declaration.

“That is what we are monitoring because police stations are the most vulnerable,” PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa explained that while there is a need to beef up security at police stations especially in the provinces, the measures put in place should not scare people.

“You can’t put barbed wires to make a police station look like garrison,” he said.

“You have to make the stations people-friendly because people visit there to lodge a complaint.”

Dela Rosa clarified law enforcement operations against insurgents with existing arrest warrant will continue during the ceasefire.

“If they are covered with warrants of arrest, then they will be arrested,” he said.

Former Armed Forces chief and now Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Eduardo Año said the PNP should not drop its guard and stay vigilant ahead of the 49th founding anniversary of the CPP on Dec. 26.

DILG officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy called on the PNP to remain vigilant as they perform their law enforcement functions despite the government’s declaration of a holiday ceasefire with the NPA.

Department of National Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong appealed to the rebels to use the Christmas holidays to reflect on and reconsider their position in fighting the government.

“We urge those who are waging war against our sovereign government and inflicting harm on the Filipino people to spend this period in reflection and seriously reconsider returning to the fold of law,” Andolong said.

On the other hand, around 700 rebels joined Duterte in taking their oath of allegiance in Davao City yesterday.

Officials said the former NPA rebels came from the provinces of Agusan, Bukidnon, Surigao, Davao, Cotabato and Sarangani.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/22/1770785/duterte-shortens-holiday-truce-reds

AFP @ 82

Your Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) celebrated its 82nd Founding Anniversary with the Philippine President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the guest of honor and speaker. AFP @82 has a theme “Protecting the People, Securing the State”, your Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines will continue to dedicate their efforts to the Filipino people who they have sworn to serve and protect.

On its 82nd year, it highlighted your AFP’s mandate as the protector of the people and state with honor, service and patriotism. The president awarded the medal of valor and other awards for the soldiers’ gallantry and bravery.

The celebration was held at Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand, Quezon City on Wednesday 20 December 2017.

Happy 82nd Anniversary, AFP!

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100% base pay hike of military, uniformed personnel starts on first payday of 2018

Soldiers, police, and other uniformed personnel will receive their paychecks with a 100 percent increase in base pay on the first payday of 2018, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Wednesday.

“The Senate President and House Speaker signed yesterday the joint resolution increasing the pay of military and other uniformed personnel in government,” Diokno told reporters during a forum in Manila City.

“So by January umpisa na ‘yan,” he said, noting that President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign into law the joint resolution this week.

for the ranks of PO IV up to director general and equivalent ranks to be implemented starting January 1, 2019.

The increase in base pay for soldiers, police, firefighters, and jail guards will cost P64.2 billion for 2018.

“The increase will be funded from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and from the available allotment in the respective budgets of the agencies concerned,” Diokno said.

The pay increase will effectively raise other allowances and bonuses that are computed as percentage of the base salary.

Diokno said the provisional and officers’ allowances will be discontinued as it is an interim measure pending the modification of the base pay schedule.

“The implementation of the new tax reform law will further increase the net take-home pay of the uniformed personnel with the lowering of income tax rates,” he added.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/money/economy/637160/100-base-pay-hike-of-military-uniformed-personnel-starts-on-first-payday-of-2018/story/?utm_source=GMANews&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=money

Marawi City siege’s ‘Daredevil’ gets Medal of Valor

Cpt. Rommel Sandoval. PHOTO FROM SCOUT RANGER BOOKS

For offering “the greatest sacrifice of giving his life to a fellow comrade,” an Army Scout Ranger officer is set to be posthumously conferred the prestigious Medal of Valor – the nation’s highest military honor – during the anniversary ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

The 38-year-old Cpt. Rommel Sandoval, of the 11th Scout Ranger Company, was the highest-ranking military officer killed in the five-month gun battle between government troops and Islamist fighters belonging to the Maute Group in Marawi City.

Sandoval is known to the troops for his call sign “Daredevil.”

Sandoval’s wife, Maria Ana, is anticipated to receive the award from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Cpt. Sandoval distinguished himself in combat as he displayed extraordinary courage, bravery, sterling leadership and professionalism by offering the greatest sacrifice of giving his life to a fellow comrade, thereby keeping with the finest tradition of the Filipino soldiery,” part of his citation read.

The junior officer and his friend, Private First Class Sherwin Canapi, died while trying to save one their comrades, who was wounded and trapped in one of the buildings within the battle area on September 10. Corporal Jayson Mante, the team leader they tried to save, was able to survive.

“I-cover fire niyo ako (Give me cover fire)!” was Sandoval’s command to his troops, as narrated by a post in Scout Ranger Books, a Facebook page dedicated to pay tribute to the elite Army unit.

The terrorists kept on shooting Mante even if he was already wounded and trapped. Sandoval then decided to rescue him and even checked his pulse. But the terrorists continued to aim at them as they waited outside.

Sandoval was shot on his side but he and Canapi were able to shoot back at the terrorists. The officer crawled on top of Mante to shield him from gunfire as the terrorists kept on firing at them. It was the gunshot on his cheek that turned out to be fatal.

Based on the detailed account of Mante posted on the same Facebook page, he was already hopeless that he would come out alive at that time he sustained a few gunshot wounds. He was already shot on his left arm and his side, making it hard for him to get up.

“Hinihintay ko yung time na yun na i-finishing nila ako. Pero nagawa ko pang magpaalam sa aking asawa before ako nagpaalam sa mga kasamahan ko. At sa mga sumusunod na pangyayari ang natatandaan ko na lang may humihila sa akin paatras..at maya-maya natamaan na rin yung humihila sa akin,” he said.

“Sinabihan ko siya nag mag-cover at pilitin niyang umatras sa paanan ko kasi may cover doon pero unti-unti niya akong tinabunan ng buong katawan niya….Ang buong akala ko si Cpl. Baclas yung hinihila ako, yun pala si Cpt. Sandoval pala yung pumilit na makuha ako,” Mante continued.

Sandoval, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2005, would also be acknowledged with the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Magalong) award, a recognition to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals “who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of an activity pursuant to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”

A total of 165 government security forces were killed during the Marawi City siege, the longest and bloodiest urban war in the country in recent years.

The Medal of Valor is the highest military honor that can be bestowed to military personnel for acts above and beyond call of duty. The award undergoes a thorough screening process in the AFP and the Department of National Defense (DND) until it reaches the Office of the President for approval.

So far, there have only been 40 awardees of the Medal of Valor. The last recipient before Sandoval was Private First Class Ian Paquit, who was killed during the Zamboanga City siege in 2013. Paquit covered fire for re-positioning troops.

Based on Republic Act No. 9049, a Medal of Valor awardee is entitled to a lifetime monthly gratuity of P20,000, which is separate from the salary or pension he is receiving from the government.

The monthly gratuity of an awardee was increased to P75,000 early this 2017.

Dependents of the awardee are also entitled to free medical and dental services, and free consultation in hospitals anywhere in the country. Other benefits include: precedence in employment in government agencies; priority in approval of loans, housing; discount on transportation, entertainment and admission fees; scholarships. 

Marawi City siege’s ‘Daredevil’ gets Medal of Valor

Wreath-Laying Ceremony

GENERAL REY LEONARDO B GUERRERO AFP, Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines lead the wreath laying ceremony with major services commanders at the tomb of our hero soldiers at Libingan ng mga Bayani in memory of every fallen soldiers of your AFP. This is to remember the great sacrifices of our soldiers and their contribution for our beloved county.

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