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Archive for December 2006

4-day unilateral ceasefire recommended for Holidays

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 07:33pm (Mla time) 12/20/2006

A FOUR-day suspension of offensive military operations (SOMO) against communist rebels this Christmas season has been recommended by Military Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Esperon said that if the President would approve his “verbal” recommendation, the SOMO would take effect from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1, Esperon said in an interview with reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

“Suspension of offensive military operations has always been our recommendation, but as I said, from where the President is, she has
[been receiving] a lot of other inputs,” Esperon said.

“It [SOMO] has been a yearly tradition as a gesture for the yuletide season,” he added.

In 2005, Malacañang declared a four-day SOMO, from December 24 to 25 and December 31 to January 1.

Although the communist New People’s Army (NPA) did not reciprocate, it had advised troops to be merely on a “defensive” mode during the holidays.

While the SOMO is in effect, Esperon said at least one-third of military forces would be placed on standby.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002006-12-22T15:11:09+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Fri, 22 Dec 2006 15:11:09 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm12

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Marine to be tried for row with superior on Estrada VCDs

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 01:00pm (Mla time) 12/20/2006

A MARINE junior officer who was caught distributing copies of a video compact disc (VCD) of deposed president Joseph Estrada’s biopic should face court martial, investigators have recommended.

First Lieutenant Artemio Raymundo will be tried for alleged violation of Articles of War 64 (disrespect towards superior officer), 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman), and 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline), said Marine spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Caculitan, quoting the Marine Staff Judge Advocate.

Caculitan said a pre-trial investigation (PTI) report on Raymundo awaits approval from Major General Nelson Allaga, Marine commandant.

This will then be forwarded for final approval to Rear Admiral Rogelio Calunsag, Navy Flag Officer-in-Command.

“The recommendation of the SJA [staff judge advocate] is to conduct GCM [general court martial],” Caculitan told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

But Caculitan clarified that the charges stemmed from a heated argument between Raymundo and his commanding officer at the Field Artillery Battalion, Major Danilo Luna, last September 25 and not for the alleged act of distributing copies of the Estrada documentary “To Live For The Masses,” Caculitan said.

During the confrontation, Luna had reportedly ordered Raymundo to stop distributing the VCDs. When Raymundo talked back, the senior officer ordered him detained and submitted to pre-trial investigation.

Caculitan said Raymundo remained detained at the Philippine Marine
headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

In a sworn statement dated September 29, Raymundo said he chanced upon the Estrada VCDs at a Light Rail Transit (LRT) train station and that no one had ordered him to distribute them.

“I’ve finished watching, that’s why I gave them away,” Raymundo said.

When asked how he got the VCDs, Raymundo said: “Napulot ko lang sa [I just chanced upon them at the] LRT two months ago. May nagdadamputan kaya nakidampot na ako, sir [There were people who were getting them, so I got for myself, sir].”

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002006-12-22T15:06:33+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Fri, 22 Dec 2006 15:06:33 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm12

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002006-12-20T16:51:36+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Wed, 20 Dec 2006 16:51:36 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm12

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