PH military confirms preparations for possible enforcement of ‘martial law-like’ quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2020   •   956

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed a Philippine Air Force (PAF) document circulating online advising its personnel to prepare for the possible implementation of ‘martial law-like’ quarantine measures as earlier warned by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The memorandum dated April 17 directed unit commanders to prepare for strict implementation of a possible extensive enhanced community quarantine.

The memo further stated that the AFP will be the over all in-charge of roads and highways.

It also stated the need to request for a briefing from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the legal and safety measures in dealing and engaging with pedestrians and motorists.

The memo leaked online a day after the president threatened to impose a ‘martial law-like’ crackdown following reports of increased public violation of quarantine protocols.

In a statement on Sunday, PAF spokesperson Aristides Galang Jr. said the internal memo was merely a preparatory move for the troops as normally done by the organization.

“The PAF is just anticipating of any scenarios in case the President, as Commander in Chief of the AFP, would decide to implement his statements lately to the public as earlier stated and prepare our troops in advance as normally done by the military organization in the past,” he said.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo also defended the order, saying this was just issued for the purpose of providing advance information to guide its personnel.

Arevalo assured that there is no reason to be alarmed over the order as it is just a “normal reaction” of the AFP to prepare and deploy when it becomes necessary.

“What we should all be alarmed about instead is the fact that a lot of people are blatantly violating the law and disobeying the rules and health protocols which MUST be strictly enforced —otherwise people die,” he said in a statement.

“Law-abiding citizens and those who follow the rules should not worry. There is no reason to be alarmed,” he added.

Based on the report from the PNP, around 130,177 quarantine violators have been apprehended from March 17 to April 18. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

AFP, UN sign strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the United Nations (UN) have signed a strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict.

In a statement on Thursday (June 10), AFP Chief  Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the AFP shall ensure to maintain professionalism and discipline in conducting daily operations. He also said the AFP will aim to strengthen the protection of children in armed conflict and prevent grave child rights violations.

“We shall guarantee that all our personnel are properly educated and trained, to raise their awareness, and for a deeper sense of respect and regard to the promotion and protection of Human Rights in particular, to children’s rights, and adherence to International Humanitarian Law,” he said.

Under the “Strategic Plan to Prevent and Respond to Grave Child Rights Violations in Situations of Armed Conflict”, the AFP should fully comply with its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The Strategic Plan was signed by Sobejana along with UN resident coordinator and co-chair of UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UN-CTFMR) Gustavo Gonzales, and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov on Wednesday (June 9). AAC

AFP, PNP to file criminal charges vs NPA units in Masbate mine blast

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will file criminal charges against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) involved in the Masbate mine blast.

This was after the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) took “full responsibility for the tragedy”.

In a statement, AFP Spokesperson MGen. Edgardo Arevalo reiterated that the use of anti-personnel landmines — which is prohibited in the Philippines under the Mine Ban Treaty — is a war crime.

“We will continue to work vigorously with the PNP in the filing of criminal cases against the murderers and the violators of Republic Act 9851 for the CTG’s leadership who directed the wanton killing of hapless non-combatant civilians using land mines,” he said.

The NPA has planted an improvised explosive device in Brgy. Anas, Masbate City last Sunday (June 6) which killed football player Kieth Absalon, his cousin Nolven Absalon, and injured others.

CPP information officer Marco Valbuena, in a statement said the CPP-NPA expresses their deep remorse over the untimely and unnecessary deaths.

“The entire CPP and NPA take full responsibility for the tragedy. There is no justification for the aggravation this has caused the Absalon family,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Makabayan Bloc condemned the said incident and has called it a violation of international and humanitarian law.

“We condemn the military action by a unit of the NPA in Masbate City that caused their death and injuries to others for violating international humanitarian law. Our commitment to human rights binds us to condemn any and all acts that harm or kill unarmed civilians, non-combatants, and protected persons in situations of armed conflict,” it said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

16 barangays in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur placed under ECQ beginning June 9

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2021

The local government of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur will place 16 barangays under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beginning June 9.

Sta. Maria Mayor Brigido Camarillo Jr. issued Executive Order No. 15, placing several areas under ECQ from June 9-22 due to the increasing cases of COVID-19. All other barangays are placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

“Due to sudden significant increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases lately in 16 barangays of the municipality, there is a need to impose heightened quarantine classification and more stringent protocols, thus the said 16 barangays shall be reclassified and placed under ECQ,” he said.

The following areas are placed under ECQ: Zone 2 in Brgy. Baliw Daya; Sitio Manugak in Brgy. Butir; Zone 2 in Brgy. Cabaroan; Zones 2, 3, 6 and 7 in Brgy. Danuman West; Zone 2 in Brgy. Dunglayan; Sitio Las-ud South in Brgy. Laslasong Norte; Castro Compound in Brgy. Laslasong Sur; Sitios Daya 2 and Guimod in Brgy. Lubong; Zone 5 in Brgy. Maynganay Sur; Zone 2 in Brgy. Nagtupacan; Zones 1, 2 and 4 in Brgy. Poblacion Norte; Zones 1, 2 and 7 (Sitio Bagong Barrio) in Brgy. Poblacion Sur; Zones 1, 3 and 5 in Brgy. Silag; Sitio Karot in Brgy. Suso; Zone 4 in Brgy. Tangaoan; and Zones 2 and 4 in Brgy. Tinaan.

Camarillo said farmers, fishermen, and farm workers in ECQ areas may be allowed to go out of their residence only for farm-related activities. All other individuals, except authorized persons outside residence (APOR) and those needing medical and dental assistance and services, are barred from going out of residence. AAC

 

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