GLOBAL BALITA: PNP probe report: Ambush, not shootout
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By Non Alquitran
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – There was no shootout.
Instead there was excessive use of force, and 13 men in a two-vehicle convoy drove into an ambush by a joint police-military contingent in Atimonan, Quezon last Jan. 6.
This is the conclusion of a fact-finding committee created by Director General Alan Purisima, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), to investigate the incident that killed an alleged jueteng lord along with three policemen, two airmen, and two intelligence agents who were disowned by the military.
The committee, led by Chief Superintendent Federico Castro of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, is also recommending administrative charges against 15 policemen at the checkpoint as well as the former head of the Quezon provincial police, which could lead to their dismissal from the service.
Among the findings of the committee, apart from excessive use of force, is that standard operating procedures for checkpoints were violated.
Doubts were raised on the actual positions of two fatalities found outside the vehicles. Inconsistencies were noted in the positions of some of the fatalities who supposedly fired guns [...]Read the full story >> PNP probe report: Ambush, not shootout
ALSO IN THE NEWS
By Ana Marie Pamintuan
The Philippine Star
If you’re in trouble, spread the blame. This looks like the intent of the group that tried to make Malacañang – specifically, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa – take the rap for the killing of 13 men in Atimonan, Quezon on Jan. 6.
I don’t think anyone, especially a lawyer, will be stupid enough to authorize lawmen to pulverize two SUVs, leaving no chance for even a mouse to survive. Especially if the supposed target is someone who, while tagged as a jueteng lord and head of a ring of hired guns, has never been indicted for illegal gambling or murder.
If there was a “coplan” or case operational plan from as early as October, as wounded police Superintendent Hansel Marantan has tearfully indicated, we can presume that the principal target, Vic Rimas Siman, had been under surveillance since that time. And if so, it weakens the initial story that the incident at the boundary of Plaridel and Atimonan towns was a chance encounter.
As of last night, a police fact-finding team had concluded that the “shootout” was an ambush. The findings of the team will be forwarded to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) [...]Read the full story >> Swift justice
The Daily Tribune
Much like the vehicle sirens that Noynoy used as a symbolism for power in his inaugural speech when he said there would be no more wang-wang mentality in the government, guns represent a symbol of abuse of power, which in some way even epitomizes oppressive use of authority.
Noynoy’s invoking his right to self-defense doesn’t even appeal to logic since as President, he has around him an army of security men who have the best weapons that money can buy and who are bound to offer their lives for him.
Even in the United States, its president does not carry guns, since he has the secret service agents, packed with guns, surrounding him as they protect him. They take a bullet for him.
There is no recollection of an American or Asian president brandishing his guns, or even have photos of him taken at the target shooting range, if at all he does any target shooting [...]Read the full story >> Wang-wang and guns
China Newspaper Says To ‘Prepare For The Worst’ After Military Confrontation With Japan In The East China Sea
By Robert Johnson
After repeatedly flying surveillance aircraft into disputed airspace with Japan, which made Tokyo scramble F-15s in response, China sent fighters of its own on Thursday into the East China Sea.
A Friday press release out of China confirms the incident began when Beijing was flying a Shaanxi Y-8 on a “routine Thursday patrol” over the “oil and gas fields in the East China Sea.”
The fact that the aircraft was a Shaanxi Y-8 is interesting in that the Y-8 isn’t necessarily any one particular aircraft.
The Diplomat calls the Y-8 a transport plane, and it can be, but the aircraft has more than 30 variants. The Y-8 performs everything from Mineral Research, to Geophysical Surveying, to Electronic Warfare to Intelligence Gathering and one variant is simply an innocuous but lethal fully loaded gunship, with two heavy cannons and three heavy machine guns.
It’s the perfect plane for a game of cat and mouse because if the Y-8 ever received fire from Japan’s F-15s, China could simply maintain it was an unarmed transport model carrying troops, or the Y8-F model that carries only livestock [...]Read the full story >> China Newspaper Says To ‘Prepare For The Worst’…
By Erick San Juan
If this happen, people will be repeating history that has caused millions of lives in the past. We are talking here of the centenary of the First World War and in the same period a hundred years ago when the brewing regional conflict has started and dragged the rest of the world into a world war and after which laid the foundations for the Second World War.
At present there are several flashpoints that can trigger a conflict in this region and like before, two superpowers are involved here that has established their ‘clout’ either economically or militarily (or both). Virtual alliances are formed and if ever a conflict will start, such alliances will surface and then another war begins.
In our past article (can be seen @ericksanjuan.blogspot.com), we cited the brewing conflict between China and Vietnam over the disputed area being claimed by Vietnam in which China (also as claimant) has started its oil exploration. And now, with Japan over the disputed islands of Senkaku (in Japanese) and Diaoyu (in Chinese).
This tension between China and Japan intensifies as the United States showed its support for Japan, an ally which in fact, as stated by some pundits believe that US is using Tokyo as strategic tool to put pressure on Beijing. Actually, like any other ally in the region, US and Japan have this Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security that they will jointly help each other in times of aggression from an outside enemy [...]Read the full story >> Asia-Pacific, the Next Battleground?
By Michael Kelley
It seems that China, or at least part of it, has thrown down the gauntlet in the South China Sea with the announcement that police in the southern island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter what China considers its territory in the disputed waters.
Before discussing the implications of the “revised regulations,” it’s helpful to know why China thinks it can commandeer the territory in the first place. In October James R. Holmes of NamViet News cited the book “How Communists Negotiate” to note that going into negotiations “Chinese communists try to rig the game in their favor” by trying to force the opposite side to agree to Beijing’s bargaining positions as a condition for convening talks.
China’s currently claims everything within the “nine-dashed line” – which takes in about 90 percent of the South China Sea – and now its law enforcement will act to defend it.
In August the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China stated: “China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and adjacent waters. This is supported by clear historical facts.”
(Note: A 2008 U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks reported that a senior Chinese government maritime law expert “admitted” he was unaware of the historical basis for the nine dashes.)
China’s stance makes diplomacy difficult since negotiation, as Holmes notes, “presupposes give-and-take between two parties. But indisputable means indisputable.” [...]Read the full story >> Why China Thinks It Can Annex The South China Sea
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR
By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star
He was born an American but his life proved that he was more Filipino than many Filipinos. Many Filipinos want to leave this country and resettle in the US, then be known as an American. Fr. Jim Reuter loved the Philippines as well as the Filipinos and opted to spend most of his life here.
He was first and foremost a Jesuit and a soldier of Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of Jesus Christ. To Fr. Jim, the Filipinos must have seemed like the least of our brethren that Christ commanded us to love. Fr. Jim was a talented communicator and he used his talent to promote his mission.
He was destined to play an important role in our contemporary history when he decided to promote the truth during the Marcos dictatorship. He was arrested and this provoked demonstrations. Marcos relented and released Fr. Jim. Fr. Jim founded Radio Veritas, the very same broadcast network that became the coverage base of the People Power Revolution. It was as if God planted Fr. Jim in the Philippines to play an important role in what is a major turning point in our history [...]Read the full story >> Fond moments with Fr. Jim
René B. Azurin
THERE IS an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, shame on us for letting foreign supplier Smartmatic and our clearly complicit Commission on Elections fool us twice. Everything is now firmly in place for the faulty Smartmatic automated election system used in our 2010 polls to be used again in our 2013 elections. Unless something is done between now and the upcoming May polls to abort the Smartmatic-Comelec conspiracy, we (as a people) would have successfully made the transition from (possibly) mere naiveté to gross national stupidity. Is there something so seriously wrong with us that we won’t listen to anything more complicated than a clichè-riddled telenovela? Why don’t we hear what computer scientists and information technology experts are saying about the problems and flaws in Smartmatic’s system?
To recap what has transpired so far in this unfolding saga: i) Comelec has exercised its option to purchase 82,000 of Smartmatic’s PCOS [precinct count optical scanner] machines for 1.8 billion; ii) Comelec has given Smartmatic a 486 million contract to be in charge of the electronic transmission of election results; iii) Comelec has awarded Smartmatic a 154-million contract to supply 15,000 units of transmission modems; and iv) even if Smartmatic did not bid for it, Comelec has declared it the winning supplier in a 45-million contract to supply the 82,200 CF [compact flash] memory cards which will contain the instructions to the PCOS machines on how to read the ballots fed into them. It certainly looks like Smartmatic and its patrons at Comelec have covered all the bases leading to full control of Philippine elections [...]
Read the full story >> Fooling us twice
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