Posts filed under ‘news’

Philippines: Terror alert issued in wake of Bombing in central Mindanao

US State Department issues ‘warden notice’ or a terror plot warning for central mindanao in the Philippines.

This alert comes on the heels of a a earlier bomb blast last night in Coatabato City in central mindanao an area of known al qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah activity.

The threat also comes as increased combat action is taking place between elements of the Philippine military and rogue elements of the Moro National Liberation Front rebels in southern Mindanao’s Sulu Province.

Philippines: 2 dead in IED blast – victims suspected bombers

Reports from Cotabato City in the southern Philippines indicates two would be bombers were killed police say when the IED they were transporting detonated prematurely on the motorcycle they were riding.

WARDEN NOTICE

Need for Caution in Central Mindanao

April 19, 2007

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE EMBASSY WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD. THANK YOU.

———————————————————————–

The Embassy has information that a terrorist group may be planning to carry out bombing attacks in central Mindanao over the next several days. Although the information does not specify a particular location, U.S. citizens should carefully consider plans to visit central Mindanao.

U.S. citizens living and working in central Mindanao are urged to reassess their personal security and to keep a low profile, and should avoid public gathering places, including high-profile events, such as the “Palarong Pambansa” Games, which will take place in Koronadal City from April 22 – 28, 2007.

For additional information, Americans should refer to the Travel Warning for the Philippines, issued June 16, 2006, as well as the Consular Information Sheet for the Philippines dated June 19, 2006.

American citizens with questions or concerns may telephone the Embassy at (63)(2) 528-6300. In case of an emergency outside business hours, American citizens may reach the Embassy duty officer through the Embassy operator at (63)(2) 528-6300. The U.S. Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines. The Consular American Citizen Services (ACS) section’s fax number is (63)(2) 522-3242 and the ACS web page is at http://philippines.usembassy.gov/wwwh3004.html.

April 19, 2007 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Reports: Robbery – Killing ‘seen’ in Julia Campbell death

Police in the Philippines have a ‘witness’ in protective custody in the regional command base of the PNP in Ifugao. The witness is believed to have knowledge of suspects or suspect inwho may be able to say exactly how Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell died. Police manhunt launched for suspect in Campbell slay

local blogger – from the ‘Bondocs’ speaks about the risks faced by othrs in the area including a famous antropologist in the 1990’s who succumbed to a bad fall…

Video Updates on Julia Campbell

PGMA extends RP’s full cooperation in Campbell’s death probe
 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is extending the Philippine government’s “full cooperation” in the United States ongoing investigation on the circumstances that led to the death of US Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell.

Press Secretary and concurrent Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said in a statement this morning the President “is saddened” by the death of the Peace Corps worker.

“The President is saddened by the death of Campbell and the government is extending its full cooperation to the US authorities in investigating the circumstances that led to it,” Bunye said.

“It is unfortunate that a committed and selfless person, who has, based on the work she has done in Sorsogon, obviously grown to love our country, met a tragic end here,” he added.

Campbell’s body was found Wednesday buried in a shallow grave at a dry creek in Barangay Batad, Ifugao, by one of the 40 locals who volunteered to locate Campbell after she was last seen on April 8 in a hilly area of Barangay Batad.

Campbell, who was from Fairfax, Virginia, was among the 137 US Peace Corps volunteers in the Philippines. She was a journalist for the New York Times and other various newspapers for 15 years when she decided to leave her job after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center bombing.

She served in ecological and educational projects in Southern Luzon since March 2005. Her latest assignment was in Sorsogon in the Bicol region, particularly in projects for the typhoon Reming’s victims.

So far, more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served the country since 1961, making the Philippines one of the oldest Peace Corps program beneficiaries in the world.

April 19, 2007 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Philippines: 2 dead in IED blast – victims suspected bombers

Reports from Cotabato City in the southern Philippines indicates two would be bombers were killed police say when the IED they were transporting detonated prematurely on the motorcycle they were riding.

Investigators describe the blast as powerful enough to have shattered windows over a wide area and that there is little left of the two men or the motorcycle they were riding.

Cotabato City has long been known as a center of operations for groups like Jemaah Islamiah, the Abu Sayyaf, and others it is also where in the past authorities say these groups have tested new devices.

  Two bombers killed in Philippines
The Age, Australia - Two men on a motorcycle have been killed in the southern Philippine city of Cotabato when the bomb they were believed to be carrying went off, police say.
Bomb blast kills 2 in southern Philippines
all 20 news articles »

April 18, 2007 at 9:40 pm 2 comments

Body of missing Peace Corps Volunteer found in shallow grave in Ifugao

Philippine National Police, NBI, and amed forces forensic teams are investigating – while none have given formal any statements as of this time as to the cause of death specualtion remains high she may have slipped and fallen while walking on the dry trails which are prone to giving way along the edges in some of the unmarked areas high above the senic rice terraces – Julia Cambells body was discovered per reports at around 3am by a Philippine Army search team. all 399 news articles »

April 18, 2007 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Sulu: renewed fighting threatens peace efforts

Renewed fighting in the southern Philippines has raised tension anew in many parts of Mindanao’s Sulu province where the Military has renewed efforts to crush group’s attempting to derail the peace process and also provide aid and shelter to members of Jemaah Islamiah and the abu sayyaf.

Caught in the crossfire are rebels believed to be causing problems in some areas.

press release;

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza has described as “unfortunate” the recent renewed skirmishes in Sulu between the military and some elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by renegade Ustadz Habier Malik.

Dureza said the military action was not directed at the MNLF as a whole but only against the group of Malik, who was responsible for a series of attacks on Panamao town where there were several civilian casualties and private properties destroyed.

The peace adviser said he is confident most MNLF elements in other parts of Mindanao, who now live peaceful and productive lives, will not condone the violent acts of Malik.

He disclosed that a few days prior to the attack by Malik, some channels were opened hoping to convince Malik not to pursue his announced plans of launching an attack. Even the military forces in Sulu were asked to take only defensive action at that time, he stressed.

Dureza urged Malik and his group to stop the violence. At the same time, he called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to exercise “due restraint” and be mindful of the adverse effects on the civilians whenever military operations take place.

He likewise called on the local goverments and the national agencies to immediately respond to the plight of the evacuees and the affected families.

The government signed a final peace agreement with the MNLF in 1996 and has since worked with various organizations, including the donor community to improve the lives of the former combatants in areas affected by conflicts.

April 16, 2007 at 3:59 am Leave a comment

Ifugao, Philippines: Search on for missing US Peace Corps Volunteer – Reward Offered

The search for a missing peace corps volunteer is ongoing in Northern Luzon – reports say the woman – Julia Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, Va., was last seen on April 8 in the town of Banaue in Ifugao province,- who has been missing for more than five days as of this writing failed to meet scheduled appointments – news agency reports say…

“Embassy security officials and Peace Corps security and local authorities are in that region right now looking for her or finding people who may know where she is,” Embassy spokesman Matt  said. Regional police commander Chief Superintendent Raul Gonzales said at least four teams from the provincial police office have been mobilized for the search, after the U.S. Embassy told them Campbell was missing. He said the directive to conduct the search came from the national police headquarters in Manila.

There has been little information on the major philippine news websites  which seem content to cover things more profitable and politcal at this time of year.

The area is reported to be ‘rebel active’ but in truth is best known as the hassish and marijuana capitol of the Philippines – drug syndicates and locals have long used the remote areas to produce what the US DEA and Philippine PDEA calls a major production area for narcotics  A US embassy press release and information on this insident is below:

Information and Assistance Sought Regarding Missing US Peace Corps Volunteer – Reward Offered

Information and Assistance Sought Regarding Missing US Peace Corps Volunteer - Reward Offered

The United States Embassy in the Philippines is seeking information on the welfare and whereabouts of Ms. Julia Campbell, a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer missing since April 8, 2007. Full story

 

April 16, 2007 at 2:36 am Leave a comment

Easter fire leaves thousands homeless in Manila suburb

In the pre-dawn hours of Holy Saturday a  fire whipped out thousands of homes in the Capitol suburb of Mandaluyong City, an area that is within a few miles of the manila financial districts of Ortigas and Makati. Reports say only two injuries were reported. Most urban dwellings like  this sprawling shantytown  often are victim to fires caused mostly by faulty or defective wiring. A number of homes typically are hooked up together to homes with electric meters often by simple extension cords.

Investigators are also looking into other possibilities as to the cause of the fire- oftentimes – arson can never really be ruled out in these fires which are seen also as a way owners of large tracts of land with squatter communities in the past have used to attempt to regain ownership and control over disputed areas such as this one. Another possible angle looked into  -although unlikely – is the  specter of  terrorist arson – not unheard of  but, in this case it is unlikely.

Also – heard on radio this Easter morning was another point of discussion – one radio host said – with the loss of so many homes and an entire district so close to election time – political gerrymandering is also being looked into – as 6,000 families could mean as many as 18,000 votes – in tight races a large movement of so many voters out of a district could change the balance of a tight election contest.    news articles »

6000 homeless after five in Philippines
United Press International - MANDALUYONG CITY, April 7 (UPI) — An early morning fire that spread through several blocks of a city in the Philippines left more than 6000 people homeless
1200 families lose homes in fire in Manila slum Peninsula On-line

April 8, 2007 at 9:26 am 2 comments

Philippine spratly island town sinking ‘global warming’

The current debate and stand-off in the south China sea over a gruop of islets called the spratly chain of islands may be all for nothing if global warming keeps its path. the small islands may soon be whiped off the map – by rising tides cuased by gloabl warming.

[] “… disclosed by geologist Dr. Jose Antonio Socrates who is continuously monitoring the conditions of the Pag-Asa Island, one of the islands in the KIG, also known as the Spratlys. …”[]  http://www.bayanihan.org/

Ironic considering the Philippine government is considering building up the runway and facilities and infrastructure on the largestof the islands. Pag-Asa – incorporated under the munincipality of Kalayaan – or freedom land – the runway has a long history originally built on the remnants of  Japanese – then later US  military emergency airstrips built and abandoned during world war two.  The advantage pagasa has is fresh water.

But if Doc Soc – as he’s known on palawan is correct – then the Philippine government and other claimants to disputed territory rich in both marine and petroleum resources might want to look at options to build up rather than out in the small area.

the Philippines sees the area as a possible growth area for tourism – coral reefs are still largely intact although chinese fishing companies from Hainan are still using Cyainiad and explosives to boost fish catches. destroying rees in the same maner they destroyed much of the coastal areas they have near hainan and the Parcel islands. Philippine blast fishermen also abound as do blast fishermen from Indonesia and other areas.

So building up resources and infrastructure might be the only way to save the area and with cooperation rather than confrontation a key word in each claimants efforts the islands stand to see much feasable growth as a shared area for the six countries that claim the islands.

March 31, 2007 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Philippines and Singapore top global biz survey for growth

At the Corporate level the Philippines and Singapore have topped a recent survey of growth among the corporate firms increasing in size in 2006. The report carried by many news organizations was a business story I found on the pages of Brunei Times – a very conservative paper based in the Sultanate on Borneo.

[] “…AN international survey shows that the Philippines is among the top 10 countries with the highest proportion of booming businesses.

From the 23rd spot last year, the Philippines catapulted to 8th place this year, indicating the country’s growing share of super-growth companies, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report.

The report surveyed 7,200 privately held businesses representing 81 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and determined which of the respondents are super-growth companies. The survey covered 32 countries, including powerhouses the United States, Germany and Japan, as well as emerging Asian markets like China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. …” [[ THE MANILA TIMES

The figures show the Philippines tied at over 27 per cent corporate growth and among the worlds top in the speed of the rising corporate sector jobs. One can see this on a daily basis in any of Metro Manila’s business districts – the majority of the growth is fueled by investment and renewed spending by people in the rapidly growing BPO or Business Process Outsourcing firms existing in the country.

NBN Teledyaryo on YOUTUBE

While conservative estimate put the figure at around 200,000 new jobs created in the sector in the last year – real figures and part employment levels show the figure to be skyrocketing to a level of above 300,000 jobs in the sector mostly seen for ‘call center work’ but missed out are other higher value services like accou8nting, book-keeping, inventory, sales, and technical functions like website and graphic design. One major advantage continued to be held is the growth level in ‘overnights’ where services are rendered between 6pm and 8am eastern time of the USA where Manila is a perfect 12 hour time shift for overnight work – while London is also another point – with a 8 hour toss in time.

Meaning firms in this 24/7 world of business – are able to be ‘up and alive’ at quitting time – savings on overtime alone – make for huge returns and higher efficiency figures on US shores – it also shows in the same survey – that US firms top the list with 4 of t 10 getting high levels of growth. Partly fueled by Outsourcing which has allowed companies to expand domestic services in other areas.

March 30, 2007 at 8:22 am 1 comment

U.S. Judge throws out 1998 internet porn law

Porn laws enforced over the years by US law enforcement and thier global counterparts have been given a bad blow with a ruling of a Judge thatmay open the floodgates for those who seek to abuse chilren online.

[] “… The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Thursday welcomed a decision by a federal judge to overturn a 1998 law that made it a crime for Web sites to offer sexually explicit material that could be accessed by minors. …”[]  ACLU statement

In Asia and Europe the laws are  and the judges powers only cover the US shores – so – those who think they can still run thier cyberporn businesses protexted by this ruling overseas will still face stern prosecution.

However the ruling did have point that covered the ability of website owners to be able to verify the age of user.  Something even school districts has problems with accross the USA.

Internet Porn Law Ruled Unconstitutional
New York Law Journal -Congress suffered yet another setback Thursday in its ongoing efforts to shield children from sexually explicit content on the Internet when a federal judge struck down the Child Online Protection Act, a 1998 federal law that makes it a crime for
Judge overturns Internet child protection law Computerworld
US judge blocks 1998 online porn law BusinessWeek

March 25, 2007 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

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