chief MajGen Jet Velarmino presiding over the 1st Semester
Internal Peace and Security Operation Assessment participants at
the 8ID Headquarters conference room on June 22, 2015.
8ID Conducts 1st
Semester Internal Peace and Security Operations (IPSO) Assessment
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 22, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division
conducted the 1st Semester IPSO Assessment for calendar year 2015 at
Headquarters 8ID, Barangay Maulong, Catbalogan City, Samar on June 22,
The highlight of the 1st
Semester IPSO assessment were the presentations made by Brigadier
General Herminigildo C. Aquino, 803rd Brigade Commander; Col. Leoncio
A. Cirunay Jr., 801st Brigade Commander; Col. Dinoh A. Dolina, 802nd
Brigade Commander of their units’ accomplishments in line with 8ID’s
four line of efforts in areas of Focused Military Operation,
Stakeholder Engagement, Bayanihan Team Activity, and Legal Operation.
In addition, the Police
Regional Office 8 presented to the command the current status of the
Criminal Investigation Course (CIC) being undertaken by PNP and Army
personnel. The CIC is the latest collaboration between the PNP and the
Army in Eastern Visayas to enhance inter-operability in conducting
joint operations. Earlier, joint Police and Army Sniper Training and
Radio Operation Seminar were undertaken to strengthen the bond between
the personnel of the Army and PNP.
The IPSO Assessment was
attended by Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, Commander 8ID; Col. Demy T.
Tejares, Assistant Division Commander; Col. Leoncio A. Cirunay Jr.,
801st Brigade Commander; Col. Dinoh A. Dolina, 802nd Brigade
Commander; Brigadier General Herminigildo C. Aquino, 803rd Brigade
Commander; PSSupt Isaias Tonog, Chief of Regional Investigation
Management Division; PSSupt Brigido B. Unay, Chief of Regional
Intelligence Division, PRO8; PSSupt Elizar Egloso, Chief of Police
Regional Community Relations Division; and the 8ID Division Staff and
Commenting on the Command’s
operational successes as well as lapses, Velarmino said that we must
review the time tested combat special operating procedures (SOPs) and
the tactics techniques and procedures (TTPs) down to the squad level,
so that when employed, soldiers will always be on advantage over
adversaries. He also stressed the importance of the conduct of combat
rehearsals and drills to ensure success of combat operations.
In addition, he reiterated
the importance of sustaining the operational tempo and aggressiveness
in meeting the set target goals and timelines in declaring the
remaining provinces in our AOR as Insurgency-Free areas.
Further, he said that
whatever challenges ahead, the Command must continue to march towards
winning the peace until all the stakeholders have joined our cause to
achieve peace, progress and prosperity in the region.
8ID and PNP capture
high ranking NPA leader, recovers IED
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 22, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – Troops under 801st Infantry Brigade and
personnel from PNP Sta. Rita, Samar Municipal Police Station captured
a high ranking NPA leader operating in Samar at Barangay Magsaysay,
Sta. Rita, Samar at around 11:58 P.M. of June 21, 2015.
Based on a report from
Colonel Leoncio A. Cirunay, Commander 801st Brigade, a concerned
civilian reported about a suspicious person roaming around their
community. Acting on the information, Cirunay immediately ordered an
entrapment operation which resulted to the apprehension of a certain
Erwin C. Lagucay alias Eman who was found out to be the NPA Commanding
Officer of Sentro de Gravidad “Botchoy” and Head, Organizing
Department of Jorge Bolito Command during the time of his arrest. The
rebel yielded a cellular phone, one hand grenade, one blasting cap,
two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and bladed weapons.
The subject during an
interview admitted that he was involved in the 2010 raid at Cancaiyas
detachment and the ambush of PNP personnel at Barangay Binanalan, Sta.
Rita, Samar in 2005. Lagucay is now under the custody of PNP Sta. Rita
for proper disposition and filling of appropriate charges.
The discovery of IEDs in
Lagucay’s is significant as it is a proof of the continuous violation
of Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and
International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), an agreement between the
government and the National Democratic Front which represented the New
People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines where use of
landmines is prohibited. It was an upfront of their disregard to human
life as well as of international humanitarian law.
Col. Cirunay lauded the
success of the entrapment operation conducted with the PNP and bowed
to continue their effort in going after the NPAs in his unit’s area of
operation. He said that with the arrest of the NPA leader and the
seizure of IEDs, the people in Samar will be spared from becoming
possible casualties of the seized IED. He also acknowledged the
civilian who tipped the information and call on the people to report
NPA activities in their communities so that the rebel group’s inhumane
acts can be prevented.
Chiz: MILF should
come clean on weapons-making facility
By Office of Senator Chiz
June 22, 2015
PASAY CITY – Senator Chiz
Escudero is calling on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to
come clean on its reported weapons manufacturing facility that
produces high-powered firearms and explosives.
Escudero said it would have
been a more credible confidence-building measure had the MILF
surrendered its weapons machinery instead of just a small portion of
its firearms collection during the so-called “ceremonial
decommissioning” of MILF weapons and combatants last week.
“The MILF should have first
surrendered their machinery that makes guns, bullets and bombs. It’s
useless to surrender guns when they can easily make new ones,”
He also said that it was
only fair to ask the MILF to explain how its forces were able to amass
firearms and ammunition, as well as their sources and suppliers, in
order to prove that they were really sincere in pursuing peace.
“As our partners in peace
supposedly, can they also tell us where and how they brought in their
arms and ammunition, and who and where did they buy these from and how
did they bring these in,” Escudero said.
Escudero also vowed to press
for the inclusion of the decommissioning process in the proposed
Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) after MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal
said the decommissioning will continue only if the BBL is passed.
“If indeed, as Iqbal says,
they won’t continue with the decommissioning without the BBL passage,
then I would insist on the inclusion of the decommissioning process in
the BBL,” Escudero stressed.
Escudero earlier said the
MILF’s precondition only underscored the need for the Senate to
scrutinize the BBL and include a timetable that will detail the entire
He said the details of the
decommissioning process must be explicitly provided in the BBL to
ensure that the MILF will no longer have the capability to perpetrate
acts of violence after surrendering its forces and put all its
firearms beyond use.
Last week, the MILF handed
over 75 firearms and 145 combatants in a symbolic turnover witnessed
by no less than President Benigno Aquino III.
by a teacher, a Pasil, Cebu City child ponders over the answer
during a number identification game in the Math Olympics.
Math Olympics for Pasil kids
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
June 20, 2015
CEBU CITY – The
Arcanys Early Learning Foundation and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
Inc. (RAFI)-Dolores Aboitiz Children's Fund conducted a Math Olympics
for beneficiaries of their "District Transformation Through Parent
Coaching" project last May 13 and 15, benefiting children and parents
of Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.
Under the program, Arcanys
teachers went house-to-house to teach children Math skills,
specifically rote counting, number recognition, object identification,
numerical magnitude, missing number and simple addition.
The teachers also made the
parents participate by letting them help teaching their children. The
parents were made to interact with their children while the teacher
observed their behaviours. This way, the parents realized that they,
too, have the responsibility in teaching their children instead of
just making their kids go off to school and leaving the responsibility
to the teachers.
RAFI-DACF Grants Officer Jan
Montilla said that through the project, the parents likewise learned
to monitor their children's progress in school.
"This project aims to teach
young children with early mathematical skills that are proven by
research to contribute to cognitive development and personal success
in life. It also aims to teach and develop parents' ability to teach
their children and gain positive parents skill,” she said.
Montilla said the project
was also an opportunity for parents to gain something, as Arcanys and
RAFI held Parenting Education Session for them to learn how to teach
their children correctly.
After months of being taught
by Arcany’s teachers, the pupils and their parents showed what they
learned through a Math Olympics at the Pasil Gym, where they also
participated in the fun games and activities.
On MILF decommissioning:
The Bangsamoro has
shown sincerity, Congress can follow suit, says peace group
June 19, 2015
MANILA – “If the turnover of
firearms and transition from rebel to civilian life are positive
indicators of sincerity to peace, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
have accomplished a big and crucial step forward. Now it’s time for
Congress, specially the Senate to follow suit by passing a ‘just’
Bangsamoro Basic Law,” said Gus Miclat, a convener of the
All-Out-Peace (AOP) movement, a nationwide network of peace advocates
in reaction to the MILF decommissioning ceremony held recently in
Maguindanao where the rebel group turned over 75 high-powered weapons
and de-mobilized 145 of its combatants.
The first phase of the
decommissioning program is part of the Annex on Normalization of the
Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which indicates that
the MILF’s firearms will be put beyond use and combatants will be
assisted to return to civilian lives. The normalization process also
includes socio-development programs, confidence-building measures,
such as the transformation of camps to ordinary communities and
amnesty, and the creation of a reconciliation committee.
Miclat added, “it’s a very
laudable action on the part of the MILF and it must be reciprocated to
strengthen the trust and confidence between the peace actors. Passing
a just BBL that reflects the Bangsamoro’s aspiration for peace and
self-rule is not only a duty but an obligation that must be fulfilled
by the government. Congress must do it for the sake of the entire
The group also reiterated
its concern to a watered-down version of the BBL, saying that a
diluted BBL will not genuinely serve the interest of the whole nation
for peace and social justice in the Bangsamoro. Miclat continued, “the
decommissioning was based on the CAB and we are witness to how the
MILF followed this stipulation in the peace agreement. Congress should
therefore enact a CAB-based BBL where the fundamental rights, welfare
and freedoms of the Bangsamoro are ensured.”
Contemplate on BBL during Ramadan
As Islamic communities
nationwide started the holy month of Ramadan, the AOP likewise urged
lawmakers deliberating on the BBL to extend solidarity to the
Bangsamoro by contemplating on the merits of passing the said law this
month of July.
“For the sake of peace,
renewal and hope of the Bangsamoro for a just and peaceful society, we
respectfully appeal to our lawmakers to reflect on their positions on
the BBL in this sacred period. The urgent task for them is to
legislate peace and social justice for the Bangsamoro and to conclude
the 17 years of peace negotiations by passing the BBL,” Miclat
encounter NPA anew in Northern Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 18, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – Army troops operating in Northern Samar Province
encountered NPA members in a remote area of Barangay El-empon, Las Navas, Northern Samar early in the morning of June 15, 2015.
According to Lt. Col. Miguel E. Ceballos, Commanding Officer of the
20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, his troops led by 1Lt. Robbi Irvin
Cruz received information from the residents on the activity of the
NPAs of the said barangay and immediately conducted Focused Military
Operation in the outskirts of Barangay El-empon when they saw a group
of NPA rebels who were also in the area. Firefight ensued forcing the
enemy to withdraw from their position leaving behind one (1) hand
grenade at the encounter site.
There were three casualties on the government forces who were slightly
wounded caused by the shrapnel’s inflicted by the grenade launcher
while one NPA member was killed whose cadaver was brought to the
barangay officials for proper disposition and identification.
Names of the wounded troops are being withheld pending notification of
the next of kin. They will be evacuated to Camp Lukban Station
Hospital for their recovery.
It can be recalled that the same encounter happened last week at Brgy
McKinley, Catarman, Northern Samar wherein the NPA also suffered one
Major General Jet B. Velarmino, 8ID Commander, expressed his
appreciation to the operating troops of the 20IB for doing their role
as vanguards of the people in Northern Samar. Further, he reiterated
the government’s call for the rebels to return to the folds of the law
and live a peaceful and productive life thru Comprehensive Local
Integration Program (CLIP).
8ID condemns NPA
violation of CARHRIHL in Samar
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 16, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The Army’s 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division joins the
local government officials, the clergy, the civil society
organizations and the peace advocates in strongly condemning the
violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights
and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) committed by the New
People’s Army (NPA) here on June 13, 2015 at 3:30 A.M. when members of
the NPA indiscriminately harassed the Bureau of Jail Management and
Penology (BJMP) at Barangay Lagundi, Catbalogan City, Samar.
The Lagundi Jail was
destroyed by the NPA through the use of Improvised Explosive Device (IED)
that destroyed the wall of the facility that prompted a firefight
which caused the instantaneous death of inmate Roy Yangzon while
inflicted injury to three BJMP personnel.
It can be recalled that the
NPA also ambushed an unarmed troops on board a motorcycle who went on
marketing their food supplies from Catbalogan City while on their way
to San Jose de Buan last month. It also killed a two year-old baby
Dishley Arandia thru strafing last April in Matuguinao, Samar that
prompted the LGU and the family to condemn the barbaric act of the NPA
and that justice should be served for the loss of innocent lives.
These activities are gross
violation of CARHRIHL by the CPP-NPA which the communist group is a
signatory while their leadership just tolerate such act.
CARHRIHL states that parties
involved in the agreement should affirm and apply the principles of
international humanitarian law in order to protect the civilian
population and individual civilians, as well as persons deprived of
their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict and also
guarantees the right against economic and food blockades and
indiscriminate bombings, shelling, strafing, gunfire and the use of
Under the Principle of
Distinction which is the basis of international humanitarian law which
applies in all armed conflicts, the principle obliges “Parties to a
conflict” (i.e. the warring parties, whether states or non-state armed
groups) to target only military objectives and not the civilian
population or individual civilians or civilian objectives. Failing to
make this distinction in military operations represents an
indiscriminate attack and is a war crime.
Meanwhile, it was gathered
that said atrocity is a punitive action for a depleted support from
the people of Samar Province who wants just and lasting peace thru a
concerted efforts between the 8ID and other stakeholders from
different sectors of the society wherein on June 12, 2015 the three
islands municipality of Samar namely; Almagro, Sto Niño, Tagapul-an
was declared “Insurgency-Free” municipalities thru the support of the
Local Chief executives and the Provincial Government of Samar.
The CPP-NPA has been
desperate in attempting to counter the government’s efforts in
bringing peace and development to the people through continuous
disregard of the law to boast their effort in reviving those areas
where they lost support from the masses.
Major General Jet B.
Velarmino, Commander 8ID stressed by calling the Samar people of peace
to help in convincing those who are deceived by the CPP-NPA to follow
the path of peace and condemn those who advocate violence and use arms
Further, the Army here in
Eastern Visayas will continue to protect the citizenry especially the
hapless civilians who have been victims by these lawless activities of
Bde commander Col Leoncio A. Cirunay and Mayor Vicente Limpiado
of Tagapul-an, Samar during the reading of Joint Declaration and
Signing of MOU as Insurgency Free Municipality at the Tagapul-an
covered court together with Samar Board Member Allan Diomangay
representing Gov. Sharee Ann Tan.
Samar’s 3 island
towns declared insurgency-free
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 15, 2015
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan
City – The three island municipalities of Samar were declared
“Insurgency-Free” on June 12, 2015, during the Commemoration of 117th
Philippine Independence Day at Municipal Covered Court Tagapul-an,
The joint declaration of
Almagro, Sto Niño and Tagapul-an as insurgency free municipalities was
formalized with the signing of a covenant between the AFP represented
by Colonel Leoncio A. Cirunay and the Local Chief Executives namely;
Hon. Kathleen S. Prudenciano, Municipal Mayor of Almagro; Hon. Lelia
A. Coñejos, Mayor of Sto. Niño and Hon. Vicente F. Lumpiado Jr., Mayor
of Tagapul-an and was witnessed by Hon. Allan B. Diomangay, Provincial
board member as a representative of Governor Sharee Ann Tan.
The signing of declaration
was based on the AFP-PNP Joint Letter Directive 3 which categorized
the three island towns as “CLEARED” area that it qualifies to be
declared as Insurgency-Free municipalities as stipulated on the five
imperatives for declaring municipalities.
Further, the joint
declaration of the three island municipalities will increase the
influx of tourism in their locality. The populace of the said
municipalities are enjoying peaceful environment away from extortion
activities of the NPA.
Col Leoncio A. Cirunay,
801st Brigade Commander, said, “The joint declaration of the three
island municipalities may attract investors especially that these
islands are tourist destinations and that many investors will
establish their businesses in a secured area which will greatly
improve the town’s economic and financial status.”
8ID conducts static
display during the 117th Philippine Independence Day
By DPAO, 8ID PA
June 13, 2015
CAMP VICENTE LUKBAN,
Catbalogan City – The 8th Infantry (Stormtrooper) Division,
Philippine Army launched the 117th Philippine Independence Day
Celebration at Robinson’s Mall, Tacloban City, Leyte on June 12, 2015.
The said event was
highlighted with a photo display featuring the command's
accomplishment thru focused military operations, Bayanihan Team
Activity (BTA), legal operations and stakeholder's engagement along
with the static display of the Army squad organization, emergency
response team, armor and field artillery assets display and a free
concert conducted by the 8ID Combo.
The celebration was anchored
on the theme, "Tagumpay sa Pagbabagong Nasimulan, Abot-kamay na ng
Bayan" which gives emphasis on the importance of reminiscing our
forefathers sacrifices so that our country will be free from tyranny.
Gracing the event was the presence of Colonel Dinoh Dolina, 802nd
Brigade Commander; Colonel Divino Rey C Pabayo JR., Chief of Staff
8ID, Lt. Col. Erwin A. Alea, Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil
Military Operation and the media.
Col. Dolina in his message
stressed that, we should cherish the freedom that our heroes entrusted
to us, it is our responsibility to take good care of our country's
future as we are going to entrust it also for the new generations to
launched to help reduce jail congestion
June 9, 2015
MANILA – As part of
ongoing efforts to reduce jail congestion, an electronic system for
computing inmates’ good conduct time allowance will be rolled out by
the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in six pilot jails.
To support these efforts,
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today donated
seven computers to the BJMP for the deployment of the Electronic Time
Allowance Calculator (e-TAC) system.
“This software system will
help the BJMP improve the accuracy and speed of computing good conduct
credits. This credit system encourages good behaviour behind bars,
giving inmates the possibility of release before serving their full
sentence,” said Vincent Ballon, the ICRC delegate in charge of the
programme with the BJMP. “Its effective implementation will help
decrease congestion in BJMP jails by enabling jail staff to better
monitor inmate data,” he added.
The ICRC takes a holistic
and multidisciplinary approach to its work on behalf of people
deprived of their freedom. It works in various aspects of detention,
such as the detainees’ access to water and health care, living
conditions and judicial guarantees, and then works with the
authorities to bring about tangible improvements in the detention
system and detainees’ conditions and treatment.
Republic Act No. 10592 of
2014, an amendment to the Revised Penal Code, extended the good
conduct time allowance – “credit for good behavior” – to all inmates,
including those under trial. Currently, over 86,000 people are
detained in 459 BJMP jails, which have an actual capacity of about
20,000. The reduction of overcrowding is one of the priorities
outlined by the BJMP in its 2014-16 roadmap.
The e-TAC will first be
tested in Manila City Jail’s male and female dorms, Quezon City Jail
and Las Piñas City Jail (Metro Manila), and in Sta. Maria Municipal
Jail and San Jose del Monte Municipal Jail (Bulacan) before being
implemented in other BJMP jails.
The ICRC, a neutral,
impartial and independent humanitarian organization, has been visiting
detainees in the Philippines for over 60 years. Since 2007, it has
been supporting the detaining authorities, including the BJMP, in
reducing jail overcrowding by addressing its causes, and in
alleviating the consequences on detainees.