Archive for July, 2009

July 19 2009 Load Lives Increased

July 15, 2009

The shelf life of credits of P10 to P50 will be extended from two to five days to 15 days.

More than P50 to P100, 30 days; more than P100 to P250, 60 days; and more than P250 to P300, 75 days.

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What needs to be done, no matter how unpopular

July 7, 2009

Mullen: Strike on Iran an option, but a bad one

By ANNE GEARAN, AP National Security Writer Anne Gearan, Ap National Security Writer 11 mins ago

WASHINGTON – A military strike to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons capability remains on the table but could have grave and unpredictable consequences, the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday.

“I worry a great deal about the response of a country that gets struck,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It is a really important place to not go, if we can not go there in any way, shape or form.”

Iran is perhaps one to three years away from getting the bomb, leaving a small and shrinking opening for diplomacy to avert what he said could be a dangerous nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Mullen said.

“I think the time window is closing.”

Mullen said President Barack Obama‘s diplomatic outreach to Iran holds promise, despite political upheaval and deadly protests following Iran’s disputed presidential election.

Obama told The Associated Press last week that persuading Iran to forgo nuclear weapons has been made more difficult by the Iranian government’s handling of claims that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole re-election.

Mullen pointedly said “the strike option” — is one possible outcome. He suggested that a strike, meaning missile or other attacks to blow up Iran’s known nuclear facilities, is a last resort. It would be “very destabilizing,” Mullen said.

Mullen was referring to Iran’s response should it be attacked by either the United States or Israel, although he was careful to say that Israel can speak and choose for itself. His remarks made clear that the Obama administration wants to avoid a strike by either country.

Mullen, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it is critical to find a solution “before Iran gets a nuclear capability, or that anyone … would take action to strike.”

On Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden had suggested that the new U.S. administration would not stand in the way of an Israeli strike. That is not the message U.S. officials have been trying to deliver in public and private, but spokesmen insisted Biden was not speaking out of turn.

The United States would join European nations, Russia and China in negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program, if Iran agreed to terms for beginning the talks. Obama has also said he would hold direct talks with Iran’s leadership if it would help. leaders of Group of Eight countries have yet to forge a common position on Iran’s violent crackdown on post-electoral protests, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday on the eve of the summit.

Berlusconi, who chairs the gathering of world leaders opening Wednesday, noted that some countries, such as France, were calling for tougher action against Tehran, while others, such as Russia, favored a softer stance to keep dialogue open.

Iran claims its fast-track nuclear development project is intended only for the peaceful production of electricity. Mullen, like other U.S. officials, said he is sure Iran intends to develop weapons and is working hard and fast to do so.

Pope decries evil done against Catholics of the Philippines

July 7, 2009
Pope condemns ‘heinous’ Cotabato blast
Agence France-Presse
Posted date: July 05, 2009
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI condemned Sunday the “heinous” bomb attack outside a Catholic church in the Philippines which killed five people and said resorting to violence never solved anything.”While praying to God for the victims of this heinous act, I once again condemn the recourse to violence which is never a just way to resolve existing problems,” he said during Angelus prayers at Saint Peter’s in the Vatican.

“When will people learn that life is sacred and only belongs to God? When will they understand that we are all brothers?”

Pope Benedict expressed his “strong disapproval” at the attack and lamented that “human blood continues to flow due to violence, injustice and hatred.”

Muslim rebels are suspected of being behind Sunday’s bombing at the church in Cotobato City on the southern island of Mindanao. It occurred just as the congregation was leaving early morning mass.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo directed security forces “to get to the bottom of the blast, arrest those responsible as soon as possible,” and ensure security in the city of about 200,000.


What do you expect from a barbaric, warlike religion?

Catholics, time to defend the faith of peace with war

July 7, 2009
Blast near church kills 5, wounds 35

Palace orders pursuit
Philippine Daily Inquirer INQUIRER.net
Posted date: July 05, 2009
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – (UPDATE 3) Five people were killed and at least 35 others were wounded after an explosion ripped through a roadside eatery near a church in Cotabato City on Sunday morning, authorities said.Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo had just finished reading the Sunday gospel and was about to start his homily at the Cotabato Immaculate Conception Cathedral when the explosion went off at around 8:40 a.m., officials said.

Malacañang ordered the police and the military to “exhaust all efforts to bring those responsible for this contemptible act to justice.”

“Those who seek to sow terror and chaos (and) destabilize the government and constitutional order will not go unpunished,” deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said.

The military said the explosion had the signature of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) since the explosive was made up of 60- and 80-millimeter mortar ammunition.

“Its plain terrorism by the special operations group of the MILF and we condemn this attack on innocent civilians,” Brawner told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) by phone Sunday.

But MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said an independent body should investigate the incident, as he blasted the military for “mind conditioning” the public to believe that the rebels were behind the attack.

Kabalu added that the military, too, had the capability to mount such an attack.

“Accusing and denying, denying and accusing repeatedly from both sides is bringing us nowhere. We have to have a neutral arbiter to decide which side is lying or telling the truth,” Kabalu said.

“The frequent blame on us through the media is a good mind conditioning for the public to believe,” he said.

The wounded included students, still in their school uniform, who served as sponsors of the mass, said Senior Superintendent Willie Dangane, Cotabato City police chief.

“The explosion was so loud as if the cathedral would collapse,” said Merly Sandoval, a churchgoer, said.

“People were running toward the altar after the blast … it was like a very loud thunderstorm and the sound reverberated inside the jam-packed cathedral,” another church-goer Isabel Joven, said.

“Everybody was screaming, we saw blood coming out of those lying on the ground near the entrance of the cathedral compound,” Sandoval said.

One of the fatalities was identified as Ruby Ramirez, a “lechon” (roast pig) vendor.

Witnesses said a man was seen carrying two backpacks and left one at the “lechon” store on Quezon Avenue when bystanders noticed him.

When accosted, he ran toward the Church main entrance still carrying the backpack and was arrested by elements of Task Force Tugis. He is now undergoing tactical interrogation.

“We are condemning this dastardly and cowardly act to the strongest term,” said Mayor Muslimin Sema, who also called on Muslim and Christian residents to instead stand united and help “identify those behind this cowardice and treachery.”

Eleven-year-old Prince Allen Diaz, son of journalist Patricio Diaz Sr., was pronounced dead at the hospital. The elder diaz was wounded in the explosion.

“What has happened to us that even the innocents are not spared?” said the elder Diaz, whose family was about to enter the cathedral when the blast happened.

A soldier, Sergant Recillo Collado of the Army’s 38th Infantry Battalion, was also killed along with an elderly woman and a mentally-ill man.

Most of the wounded were rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.

Doctor Abdullah Dumama, health director for Central Mindanao, identified some of the wounded as— Gwen Garica, Ferdinand Veloria, Jun Barbon, Besonin Sigad, Elmer Roble, Sony Lian, Rodrigo Omega, Albiar Purificacion, Jocelyn Abdullah, Maricel Escanel, Jeremy Dapilat, Victor Luna, Geovani Lumigquit, Freddie Millan, Beterlyn Sigas, Prescilo Coliat, and Sayre siblings Janisa, Junrel and Jeofrey.

Dumama, who helped supervise and attend to the injured at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center here, said Ramirez died from blood loss and shock to see an arm severed due to the powerful blast.

Tommy Tee, a freelance photojournalist, said he was inside the cathedral listening to Quevedo’s homily when the loud explosion interrupted the Mass, causing churchgoers to scamper toward the nearby gymnasium and cathedral parking lot.

He claimed to have seen soldiers in bloodied uniform, too.

“It’s unfortunate that I forgot to carry with me my camera,” he said, admitting that he usually leaves the apparatus at home every time he goes to hear Sunday Mass.

“It could have been a gory pictorial,” Tee said.

Warnings of alleged stepped-up bombings by the MILF rebels in Central Mindanao cropped up as early as April this year as the military continued its pursuit for MILF commanders Ameril Ombra Kato, Abdurahman Macapaar, and Aleem Pangalian, who were allegedly responsible for raids on civilian communities in the region in August 2008.

It was the third time that the said cathedral was the target of a bombing, residents said. Police ordnance experts defused an explosive devise planted nearby in 1995. In January 1999, suspected terrorists detonated a powerful explosive at the gate of radio station dxMS which is adjacent to the cathedral. At least two persons from a group of a block time radio program hosts were wounded then.

Attacks against Catholics & Christians of the Philippines

July 7, 2009
4 blasts in south leave 6 killed, 56 hurt

INQUIRER.net Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: July 07, 2009
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE 6) Four explosions rocked Mindanao within a 12-hour period starting Monday evening, leaving at least six people killed and 56 others wounded, prompting the police force in the south to go on the highest alert.The explosions came after an improvised bomb went off outside a church in Cotabato City on Sunday, leaving five people killed and at least 35 others wounded.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) placed its forces in Mindanao on full alert, the highest alert level, while the rest of the country was placed on the second-highest heightened alert, said Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, PNP spokesman.

Police will also secure public places, including churches, malls, and transport terminals, Espina said.

The deadliest of the four explosions occurred at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday near the Mount Carmel Church in Jolo town, Sulu province in the southwest, where six people were killed and 40 others were wounded, said Superintendent Jose Bayani Gucela, spokesman of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao.

Reports reaching Camp Crame in Manila identified two of the fatalities as Vicky Sia, 60, and Hamsirani Hamsi. Three policemen were among the wounded. They were identified only as identified only as Police Officers 2 Ajibon and Sabdani and SPO1 Appang.

Navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo said “many” of the wounded were in critical condition.

“We are still investigating who carried out the bombing,” he told reporters.

Initial investigation revealed that the explosive was placed inside a motorcycle, which was parked about 100 meters away from the church.

Two other similar explosives, hidden in cartons, were recovered some 100 meters from the church.

Then at around 10:30 a.m., a bomb planted inside a vehicle parked next to an Army jeep in Iligan City went off, said Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr.

Sixteen people were wounded including three soldiers, were wounded in the explosion, said Chief Superintendent Danilo Empedrad, director of Northern Mindanao region police.

Empedrad said the injured were brought to the hospital. He identified some of them as: Richard Silawan, Emilina Humamil, Captain Edito Anchita, Agustina Engito, Zenaida Manapo, Rolando Adorna, Emmy Batigas, Emmy Paclimas, Mario Titacang, Lorena Ortega, Jerry Baja, Nemia Delima, Sarah Radala, Jovelyn Manglicmot, Nida Sadernas, and Vienvenido Ramos.

Authorities are interviewing witnesses on the scene and will release an artist sketch of the suspect within Tuesday, Empedrad said.

Lieutenant Colonel Juvymax Uy, a local military commander, said it was reported that one of the wounded died, but this has yet to be verified.

In Lanao Del Norte, two explosives strapped to a tower of the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) in the upper Paiton area of Kauswagan town went off at around 11 p.m. Monday, toppling the structure and shutting down the Abaga-Aurora line, a local official said.

Several explosive devices were planted but only two went off, said Engineer Eric Vincent Cariaga, Lanao district manager of National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

He said his office used an emergency restoration system while the engineering crew has been trying to dismantle the toppled structure for a replacement.

Abu Sayyaf Muslim militants are known to operate on Jolo, where the al Qaeda-linked group has been holding hostage an Italian Red Cross worker since January.

In May, the island province’s governor Abdusakur Tan escaped a roadside bomb attack by the Abu Sayyaf that wounded five of his bodyguards.

The Abu Sayyaf has been on the run from a military offensive launched after they kidnapped Italian aid worker Eugenio Vagni in January. A Filipina and a Swiss colleague abducted with Vagni were separately freed in April.

Wherever they are, there is trouble.

Israel will strike iran’s nuke facilities?

July 5, 2009
Biden strikes tough note on Iran

US Vice-President Joe Biden has hinted the administration will not restrain Israel if it decides on military action to remove any Iranian nuclear threat.

Mr Biden told ABC television the US could not “dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do”.

Mr Biden also said President Obama’s offer of dialogue with Iran remained.

Mr Obama has given Iran until the end of the year to talk about its nuclear programme, which Iran insists is for energy purposes only.

Western countries are concerned Tehran is working to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated Israel would take matters into its own hands if Iran did not show a willingness to negotiate.

No hypotheticals

Appearing on ABC’s current affairs programme This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Mr Biden whether the Israeli position was the right approach.

The vice-president replied: “Israel can determine for itself – it’s a sovereign nation – what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else.”

He added that this was the case, “whether we agree or not” with the Israeli view.

Asked whether the US would stand in the way if the Israelis decided to launch a military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, Mr Biden said Israel, like the US, had a right to “determine what is in its interests”.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Mr Biden was not signalling any change of approach on Iran or Israel.

“The vice president refused to engage [in] hypotheticals, and he made clear that our policy has not changed,” he was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The shiites are considered heretics by the sunnis.