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Archive for June 30th, 2008

Military rescue operations for Basilan workers suspended

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Negotiations underway–official

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:39:00 06/30/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Rescue operations for four employees of an electric cooperative that were kidnapped by alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits in the southern island province of Basilan have been suspended to give way to negotiations, a military official said.

Vice Governor Al-Rashid Sakalahul is leading the negotiations against the abductors, Marine Corps Commandant Major General Ben Dolorfino told reporters on Monday.

Quoting Senior Superintendent Salik Macapantar, Basilan provincial police director, Dolorfino said: “They have suspended the conduct of Police and Marine rescue operations pending the negotiation being conducted by the vice governor and the authorities of the Basilan Electric Co.”

Dolorfino could not say whether the kidnappers, led by Abu Sayyaf leaders Nur Hasan Jamiri and Furuji Indama, have made any demands.

“In a situation like that, the primary consideration always is the safety of the victims, so we are giving way to the crisis management team,” Dolorfino said.

On June 26, the Abu Sayyaf allegedly abducted five employees of the
Basilan Electric Cooperative (Baselco) in Tuburan town, while they were inspecting transmission lines. One of the abductees was freed later in the day, reportedly because he was a member of the Yakan tribe, like the abductors.

The Tuburan incident was the second kidnapping incident involving the Abu Sayyaf this month. On June 8, the bandits abducted an ABS-CBN television news crew and their guide in Sulu province and were freed several days later, amid reports that ransom was paid.

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Written by joelguinto

Mon+00:002008-06-30T09:26:21+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Mon, 30 Jun 2008 09:26:21 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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Military chief warns Marines against ‘treacherous act’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:40:00 06/30/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Military adventurism is a “treacherous act” and it is the duty of soldiers to uphold duly-elected authorities, Armed Forces Chief Alexander Yano told the Marine Corps Monday.

In his first visit to the Marine Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio as military chief on Monday, Yano told officers and soldiers that turning against government was like embracing someone, before stabbing him in the back.

“We have taken an oath, and what is that oath, to defend the Constitution, to adhere to the chain of command and the duly constituted authority, all the way to the commander-in-chief, whoever he is,” Yano said.

“Duly constituted, this means [the person] was elected, was proclaimed, regardless,” Yano said before breaking into a pause, then added, “Because there are processes, legal and democratic that proclaim, indeed it is not for us to proclaim.”

Yano was apparently referring to allegations of election fraud that almost brought down President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s government.

The vote-rigging controversy is the main reason why nine Marine officers and 19 others from the Scout Rangers are facing a court martial for mutiny over an alleged coup plot in February 2006.

“That should be very clear to all of us that military adventurism should not have any place in a professional military organization,” the military chief said.

“The analogy there is, you were given arms, you were given the wherewithal and weapons by that institution you are supposed to defend, then what you embrace, then stab the one who feeds you, the one who pays you, in the back. That is a very treacherous act,” he added.

After his talk, Yano and Marines Chief Major General Ben Dolorfino joined officers and men in a “boodle fight.” Two long tables were laid out on the side of the auditorium Rice, roasted fish, chicken adobo (meat stew), and pancit (noodles) on banana leaves were placed on it.

Earlier Monday, Yano also visited the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila, where he was received by the Navy Flag Officer-in-Command, Vice Admiral Rogelio Calunsag.

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Mon+00:002008-06-30T08:54:37+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Mon, 30 Jun 2008 08:54:37 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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