Syndicated News from Phillipines
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 15:50:37 GMT
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:01:07 GMT
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:53:44 GMT
Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:20:55 GMT
Tue, 03 Dec 2013 09:05:19 GMT
Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:16:29 GMT
Local Red Cross workers head to PhilippinesBoston.comA Malden man who responds to disasters for the Red Cross arrived in Manila Sunday night, hoping to help provide relief in the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan, the Red Cross of Massachusetts said. Luis Matnog, a Philippines native, ...and more »
Tue, 19 Nov 2013 00:07:11 GMT
Wed, 04 Dec 2013 00:04:25 GMT
Fire department takes on Rivier Academy for PhillipinesPrince Albert Daily HeraldMembers of the Prince Albert Fire Department will take on the Rivier Academy senior girls volleyball team in a effort to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Adam Dziadyk, a firefighter and member of the department's charity ...
Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:26:19 GMT
Henley crew helps in Phillipines typhoon aftermathHenley StandardHenley crew helps in Phillipines typhoon aftermath. Published 02/12/13. Tweet. A SEARCH and rescue team from Henley which flew to the Philippines last week treated more than 100 people. Members of the Emergency Response Team, which is based at ...
Sun, 17 Nov 2013 23:29:09 GMT
Death toll continues to rise in PhillipinesWGNtv.comA distraught mother who lost her young sons in the tidal surge of Super Typhoon Haiyan feels her life is over. ?I guess I'm just thinking to jump from that building,? Gelenbelle Vergara tells CNN's Karl Penhaul on Sunday. ?This is what would be my life ...and more »
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Results 1 - 10 of Headlines for Phillipines
Sunday, May 4th, 2003
: RCN Administrator
By: Hon. Jack Buechner -- One of the many headaches that George W. Bush inherited from his predecessor was the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. In the waning years of the Clinton administration, protesters demanded that the U.S. Navy abandon bombing and naval gun fire exercises that had taken place on the largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years.
It became a leftist cause. Liberal icons bumped into one another to fly to Puerto Rico, boat over to the island, trespass (but never on a day that there was an exercise scheduled) and get arrested for the benefit of the New York Times or Newsweek. They included the Reverend Al Sharpton, Mrs. Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Edward Olomos, Michael Moore and Ramsey Clark, just to name a few.
Hillary Clinton, then running for the U.S. Senate in New York, chastised the U.S. Navy for not bowing to the "will of the citizens of Puerto Rico", until her husband, a week before the election, issued an executive order to phase out the facility by 2003, despite recommendations to the contrary by his own Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Naval Operations.
In 2002, the bombing exercises were transferred to an Air Force bombing range in central Florida, not far from the Jacksonville and Pensacola Naval Air Stations. In January, many of the protesters were back in Puerto Rico, celebrating the final bombing exercise on Vieques and waved Puerto Rican flags and placards that read "U.S. Navy, get out of Puerto Rico."
On February 21, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that the U.S. Navy will close the Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station in Puerto Rico in 2004, eliminating 1200 civilian jobs as well as 700 military positions. This naval facility is estimated to put nearly $300 million annually into the local economy.
The next day a stunned Governor Sila Calderon, held a news conference in San Juan, protesting the base closure as a serious blow to Commonwealth’s fragile economy. The governor stated that "The people of Puerto Rico don’t now or never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or the Roosevelt Roads naval base. My government is interested in both staying in Puerto Rico."
When asked, Admiral Robert J. Natter, Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic Command, said, "Without Vieques, I see no further need for the facility at Roosevelt Roads. None."
So, Yanqui go home? Fine. But we’ll take our dollars with us. Hasta la vista . . . baby! ___________ On February 21, the Secretary of Defense also announced that starting this year, the U.S. European Command would begin moving most if not all of its active combat and support units from bases in Germany to others being established in Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey to "better position them for rapid deployment to likely hot spots in those parts of the world".
Immediately the business and government leaders in the German states of Hesse, Rhineland and Wurttemburg, protested the loss of nearly $6 billion in revenue each year from the bases and manpower to be displaced. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry speculated that the move may be "what the Americans call ’payback’ for the actions of this government in opposing military action in Iraq." Whatever.
Hon. Jack Buechner
President & CEO
Wednesday, August 21st, 2002
: RCN Administrator
The two severed heads were found by the Philippines military on the remote southern island of Jolo.
The army chief on Jolo, Brigadier General Romeo Tolentino, said that a note was attached to one of the heads, saying: "Those who do not believe in Allah will suffer the same fate."
The rebels, believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf
group, are still holding four women taken hostage at the same time, including the wife of one of the murdered men.
The army has now launched a ground and air offensive on suspected Abu Sayyaf positions around the town of Patikul, near where the group were taken captive.
According to the authorities, the Abu Sayyaf seized eight people as they were travelling in a jeep near Patikul on Tuesday.
Two of the men, who were Muslim, were soon freed, but the six Christians were held.
Officials originally said that the two men and four women were selling cosmetics door to door for the Avon company.
However, later reports suggest that this may have been a cover to allow the Christians to engage in missionary work in a predominantly Muslim area.
The group came mainly from the city of Zamboanga, on the main southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
The kidnapping was the first on the island since US troops began working with the Philippine military to hunt down the Abu Sayyaf group.
The Abu Sayyaf group is best known for kidnapping for ransom, though the US and Philippines governments have linked it to the al-Qaeda network.
The US sent more than 1,000 troops to the southern Philippines to train local security forces for their campaign against the Abu Sayyaf, which last year took dozens of people hostage, including three Americans.
The US troops left the country last month.
The latest kidnapping took place on the island of Jolo, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south-west of Basilan.
The victims were travelling in a remote region when suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen stopped their vehicle.
They were made to get out and led away into a forest, the military said.
The Abu Sayyaf rebels on Jolo are reported to belong to a different faction than those operating on Basilan island, and are believed to have suffered less from recently military offensives.
Wednesday, July 31st, 2002
: RCN Administrator
The US military claimed victory yesterday as it ended a six-month assistance mission against rebels in the southern Philippines. But it failed to dispel fears that its success was only partial.
Adml Thomas Fargo, chief of the US Pacific Command, said Abu Sayyaf, a guerrilla group believed to have links to al-Qa’eda, was "in disarray and on the run, unable to find the money or the time to eat, rest and resupply".
Gen Roy Cimatu, the Philippine armed forces chief of staff, added: "The Abu Sayyaf group’s backbone has been broken."
In the first expansion of Washington’s war on terror beyond Afghanistan, more than 1,000 personnel provided training, equipment, intelligence and advice to help the Philippine military defeat the Muslim extremist group, which was responsible for a year-long series of kidnappings.
The Americans operated under tight restrictions that only allowed them to shoot in self defence. Military engineers built roads and bridges and renovated an airfield. The Philippine military says its front-line troops are now better prepared to fight terrorism.
But hopes for an unblemished victory against Abu Sayyaf vanished in a bloody rescue attempt in June by Philippine soldiers that left two of the rebels’ last three hostages dead, including Martin Burnham, an American missionary.
Another shadow over the campaign was a helicopter crash that killed 10 American soldiers. This was the single largest loss of American lives in the six months.
Despite claims of success against a group numbering 1,000 at most, a separate series of training exercises throughout the Philippines is scheduled to start in October and last eight months.
The campaign, fought in steamy forests and remote villages, underlined the difficulties of combating an enemy that knows its patch and can rely on local support.
Philippine commentators say most senior commanders of Abu Sayyaf remain free.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
Military engineers from the U.S. Naval Construction Task Group -- commonly referred to as Seabees -- have begun reconstructing the Sumisip Highway, a road connecting six towns and the capital city of the southern Philippine island of Basilan. The construction is part of the joint U.S.-Philippine counterterrorism training exercise in the south known as Balikatan 02-1. More than 1,000 U.S. troops are participating in the exercise directed against the militant Muslim group Abu Sayyaf, which is linked to al Qaeda and blamed for several kidnappings and bombings in the Philippines.
U.S. participation in Balikatan has been dubbed the opening of the second front in the war against terrorism. Yet the Abu Sayyaf represents only a limited threat to the United States. The real reason for the exercises is may be evidenced by the U.S. infrastructure development in Basilan, where factions of the rebel group maintain their base of operations.
Although the U.S. government is characterizing the development work as an effort to reduce poverty in the region and thus eliminate one of the root causes of terrorism, Washington may be literally paving the way for a forward logistics and operations base to conduct regional counterterrorism strikes.
The U.S. presence in the Philippines, which began when American troops were deployed in January to provide assistance and training to Filipino forces, has stirred controversy in the country. Politicians debated the constitutionality of the deployment and especially whether U.S. soldiers would engage in combat operations. It was only after being carefully constrained in size and scope that the Balikatan exercise cleared the legal and political hurdles in Manila.
U.S. participation was initially limited to 660 personnel, of which just 160 -- organized into 12-man Special Forces teams -- would be with Philippine troops in the field on Basilan. The remaining support and training staff would be relegated to operating around the southern city of Zamboanga on nearby Mindanao and to a support base on Mactan Island near Cebu.
Through extensions and modifications to the initial terms, the total U.S. deployment now exceeds 1,000, comprising 160 Special Forces and 340 Seabees and Marine guards on Basilan, 440 support and training staff near Zamboanga and as many as 300 aviation, logistics and intelligence personnel on Mactan. The U.S. forces are joined by nearly 4,000 Philippine troops who are engaged in tracking down and destroying the Abu Sayyaf and freeing three hostages -- including two Americans -- the group still holds.
The initial U.S. participation was likely triggered by the numerous reports of links between the Abu Sayyaf and al Qaeda. Several key Abu Sayyaf members allegedly trained in Afghanistan and participated in planning sessions to assassinate the Pope and crash hijacked airliners into the ocean. Abu Sayyaf also demanded the release of convicted World Trade Center bomber Ramsi Youseff in return for the release of several hostages.
Yet the links between Abu Sayyaf and al Qaeda operatives have faded over the past few years, particularly as the former began straying from being an ideological separatist cell to a collection of semi-autonomous kidnap-for-ransom gangs. Destroying the Abu Sayyaf then will accomplish little in Washington’s fight against international terrorism and al Qaeda, particularly because Abu Sayyaf operates almost exclusively inside the Philippines and is nearly isolated to Basilan. But the continued, and even expanded, U.S. presence on Basilan demonstrates a second layer to Washington’s operations in the Philippines.
Basilan is far from Manila, and if it weren’t for the Abu Sayyaf, it would be an island of little note. Yet its location is strategic if the United States wants to establish a forward logistics and operations base in Southeast Asia. Despite the political bickering in Manila, the Philippines is a focal point for U.S. operations in the region due to Washington’s close relationship with the government and the country’s proximity to Malaysia and, more importantly, Indonesia.
Indonesia, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, would be a very attractive location for al Qaeda to regroup, due to the massive Muslim population, limited central control and the underlying sympathies of some influential political and military figures. These same features also make U.S. cooperation and anti-terrorism operations in Indonesia extremely difficult. That is why it is important for the United States to set up an operations facility outside Indonesia but close enough for action.
U.S. military planners have looked at the city of General Santos in southern Mindanao as an ideal location for facilities, with both sea and land access. After the Philippine government decided not to renew the U.S. lease on the Subic Naval Base in 1991, Washington’s chances of re-establishing a new facility in the Philippines were seen as extremely slim. Then came the global war against terrorism. The presence of Abu Sayyaf provided the perfect reason to return with minimal political backlash, and that directed Washington to Basilan as an alternative to General Santos.
In many respects, Basilan has several benefits over General Santos, most notably its small size. An opposing force would find it difficult to mass for an attack on the facilities, so the defending U.S. and Philippine troop numbers could be smaller. Furthermore, General Santos has a very busy port, offering cover to potential terrorists or other aggressors. And Basilan’s built-in insurgency provides a convenient political cover for the establishment of a more permanent U.S. presence on the island.
Although the political debate in Manila has yet to be quieted, the United States is well on its way to creating a conducive environment in Basilan for a forward operations base. The Seabees are repairing the main road around the island, upgrading other roads and improving two airstrips and pier facilities -- all changes that will make the island much more useful for U.S. troops to operate from. U.S. forces involved in the separate but simultaneous Balikatan 02-2 exercises on the main northern island of Luzon are training in jungle warfare and survival techniques, useful for other places in Southeast Asia.
The Abu Sayyaf problem offers a rhetorical cover for U.S. activity in the Philippines, avoiding or at least postponing the politically volatile issue of a more permanent U.S. base in its former colony. Ultimately, U.S. operations in the southern Philippines are directed less at defeating the Abu Sayyaf and more at establishing a forward operation base in Southeast Asia -- with an eye on Indonesia as a likely first target.
Monday, July 8th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
A Philippine man police say provided the explosives for a plan to attack U.S., British, Australian and Israeli targets in Singapore has been arrested, the army said Tuesday.
Officials said Hussain Ramos, 35, was helping members of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic extremist group that authorities say is linked to Al Qaeda. He was arrested Monday in Marawi, in the southern Philippines, an army statement said.
Officials say Jemaah Islamiyah allegedly planned to attack U.S. military personnel and naval vessels as well as the British High Commission, the Israeli Embassy and the Australian High Commission in Singapore.
The statement said Ramos was implicated by Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, an Indonesian who told police he helped plan a series of almost simultaneous bombings that killed 22 people in Manila in 2000. He has been in custody since January.
Al-Ghozi pleaded guilty in April to explosives possession after leading Philippine police earlier this year to a ton of TNT that officials say was to be used for terrorist attacks in Singapore. The army statement said the explosives had been provided by Ramos, also known as Ali Ramos and Abu Ali.
During interrogation, Ramos "admitted his participation in the procurement of boxes of explosives sometime during the recent Ramadan (Nov. 15 -Dec. 17) to be transported to Singapore," the statement said.
Al-Ghozi, sentenced to 10 to 12 years on the explosives charge, is believed to be a leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah.
He also pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining two Philippine passports after the Manila bombings. He has not been charged for those attacks, but officials said he could face multiple counts of murder.
Al-Ghozi, 31, provided information that led to more than a ton of TNT buried in a backyard in General Santos, about 625 miles southeast of Manila, police said. Also found were 300 detonators, six 436-yard rolls of detonating cord and 17 M-16 assault rifles.
Sunday, July 7th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
The U.S. military will conduct new exercises against Abu Sayyaf insurgents in the southern Philippines after they complete operations on Basilan island, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Monday.
About 1,000 U.S. military personnel are winding up a six-month counterterrorism exercise that helped local troops wage several bloody assaults against the Muslim extremists on Basilan.
The exercise has been dubbed Balikatan — ``shoulder to shoulder’’ — by the local military and ``Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines’’ by the Americans as an extension of Washington’s war on terrorism.
In a speech marking the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Philippine air force, Arroyo indicated the new exercises would take place on Sulu, a violence-wracked island near Basilan that is also inhabited by the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, as well as Muslim separatist rebels.
``The coming Balikatans will have a Sulu component,’’ Arroyo said. She did not elaborate.
Arroyo said the U.S. exercises should eventually shift back to their regular venues in military camps in the northern Philippine island of Luzon, Arroyo said.
Future training would heavily focus on night flying and equipment maintenance to bolster local troops’ capability to fight and survive combat, Arroyo said.
Military chief of staff Gen. Roy Cimatu said Friday that local defense, military and diplomatic officials would hold talks with their U.S. counterparts to finalize plans for the new exercises, likely to be held in October.
Cimatu said there were plans to hold the training in Luzon, at an air base in central Mactan island and in Zamboanga.
Brig. Gen. Donald Wurster, who heads U.S troops in the current exercise, said the local military ``is still studying the security implications of holding the Balikatan in Sulu.’’
``It will be nice to know what we are going to expect in Sulu,’’ Wurster told reporters at a Zamboanga military camp, where he attended graduation rites for 25 Filipino officers who completed a four-week counterterrorism course.
Security for the American military personnel has been a top U.S. concern. U.S. officials delayed a decision in the current exercise to bring American troops closer to the front lines because of concerns they could be exposed to more danger. The Americans can fire only in self-defense.