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AFP chief open to review of Articles of War

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:29:00 06/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Alexander Yano said he is open to a “restudy” of the Articles of War to address “present situations.”

Yano was responding to proposals from Commission on Human Rights chair Leila de Lima, and House Committee on Human Rights head Representative Lorenzo Tañada, following an inspection earlier this of the jail cells of six military officers linked to an alleged coup plot in February 2006.

The inspection revealed alleged poor living conditions.

“I would welcome any legal way to restudy the Articles of War so that it can address present situations, but as long as no amendments are made, definitely, we have to adhere to the [Articles of War],” Yano told reporters.

Tañada said Marine Major General Renato Miranda, the highest ranked accused, had a point, when he told the Quezon representative that “it would be hard to keep a professional military establishment if the leaders of the military are given too much discretion and would be too influential.”

De Lima said the Articles of War should be “attuned to human rights standards and human rights conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory.”

Miranda is detained at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) compound in Camp Aguinaldo with five other officers — Colonels Ariel Querubin and Orlando de Leon and Lieutenant Colonel Achilles Segumalian of the Marines; and Lieutenant Colonel Edmundo Malabanjot and Major Jason Aquino of the Army Scout Rangers.

Twenty-eight officers are facing court martial for mutiny charges stemming form the alleged 2006 plot.

Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim is detained at police headquarters in Camp Crame along with junior officers of the Magdalo group for the occupation on November 29 last year of the Manila Peninsula Hotel. The rest of the accused officers are detained at an Army camp in Tanay town, Rizal province.

The 28 officers were at odds with Yano’s predecessor, retired general and now presidential peace adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., over the allegedly inhumane treatment they suffered in detention, and their abrupt transfers from the Intelligence Service of the AFP compound to Camp Capinpin.

Esperon repeatedly invoked Article of War 105 or the detaining power of the commander for his actions.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002008-06-27T07:50:22+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Fri, 27 Jun 2008 07:50:22 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

Posted in Uncategorized

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