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Archive for August 15th, 2008

Yano: No need to investigate Marine soldier’s death

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:24:00 08/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines — There is “no need” to investigate the death of a Marine soldier in an encounter with Moro rebels earlier this week, since his comrades did the “best” they could to save him, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

“There is no need [to investigate]. He died a hero’s death and we would like to recognize the heroism of Corporal Abeto. The circumstances have been well known and we have done our best, and I hope we could have done better,” General Alexander Yano said.

Corporal Angelo Abeto died after he was fatally wounded on the head by shrapnel from a mortar explosion as government troops fought with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Tipo-Tipo town last Monday.

Abeto lied wounded for four hours before a helicopter, contracted by the United States, airlifted him to Zamboanga City. The Philippine military’s Vietnam War era UH-1H helicopters failed to respond because
of the bad weather.

“The AFP modernization is an ongoing concern. It has not stopped. It is a rolling plan and it will continue,” Yano said.

Yano said he found “nothing wrong” with the airing of footage of Abeto as he was dying.

“As I’ve said, we have to emphasize the heroism of the corporal,” the military chief said.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002008-08-15T09:42:17+00:00+00:0008b+00:00Fri, 15 Aug 2008 09:42:17 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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Mindanao independence ‘not appropriate’–US envoy

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:09:00 08/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Independence for Mindanao, in the pursuit for peace is “not appropriate,” United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said, as she stressed that a settlement in the strife-torn region should be done “within the territorial integrity” of the country.

At the same time, Kenney debunked “idle speculation” that the US had military interests in mind by supporting peace efforts in the southern Philippines.

“We are strong supporters of lasting peace as a way to development… We do not believe, on the part of the United States, that independence for Mindanao is appropriate,” she said in a speech at the Club Filipino in San Juan.

“We believe a lasting peace in Mindanao should be done within the territorial integrity of the Philippines,” she added.

Senator Joker Arroyo had questioned Kenney’s presence at the aborted signing of a key agreement between government peace negotiators and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILf) earlier this month.

Government critics said the agreement, which would expand the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) into the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE), was tantamount to granting independence to the MILF.

Without naming Senator Arroyo, Kenney said there were reports that “American interest in Mindanao is related to military bases.”

“I have a very honest answer, no… We do not have plans to have military bases in the Philippines, not in Mindanao, not anywhere,” she said.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002008-08-15T08:08:16+00:00+00:0008b+00:00Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:08:16 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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Country ‘not at war’ in Mindanao — Yano

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:34:00 08/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The country is “not at war” in Mindanao, Armed Forces Chief Alexander Yano said Friday, but admitted that the security situation in the region was “volatile and fluid.”

Earlier this week, military operations dislodged some 500 Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels from 15 villages in North Cotabato.

“We are not at war in Mindanao,” Yano said in a speech during the alumni homecoming of the National Defense College of the Philippines.

Yano said that the events in North Cotabato were “far” from the definition of war, which is two states fighting each other. He described the fighting as a “preventable confrontation,” caused by the MILF occupation of the villages.

“While we are not at war, the security situation in Mindanao is volatile and fluid,” Yano said.

On Thursday, alleged MILF rebels fired at an Army patrol base in Pigkawayan, North Cotabato, one of the towns reportedly cleared from the MILF.

They were no casualties in the five-minute shooting, said Major Armand Rico, Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman.

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Written by joelguinto

Fri+00:002008-08-15T08:07:30+00:00+00:0008b+00:00Fri, 15 Aug 2008 08:07:30 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am08

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