Posts filed under ‘ASEAN counter terrorism’

Mission Possible: Stolen American chopper recovered in Mindanao, Philippines

MIKEINMANILA EXCLUSIVE: UPDATE 3
13 bikes, 3 ATVs, SUVs, sports cars, guns galore and more recovered in a major raid. Second raid recovers around two dozen more bikes. NBI in Northern Mindanao identifies alleged owner of car dealerships as professional rider and car & bike dealer, report says 25 cars and 18 bikes recovered in major transpacific anti-grand theft auto raid.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO Law Enforcement handout

The story reads like a plot for Die Hard Six, for Skip Woods, the writer of Die Hard 5, GI Joe The Rise of Cobra, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.It’s often said the best stories are true to life. For the plot,  which would also fit on Fox’s ‘The Good Guys’, it starts from the simple recovery of a stolen vehicle —  a motorcycle,  a Martin Brothers original. Key figures:  a ‘major writer’  based in Texas who works in  Hollywood.

He loves his bike, a custom Martin Brothers bike. He loved long drives and would head out from wide open spaces in California to flatlands and expanse of open space of the Southwest to Texas. Reality paints a better picture than film here… he and his bike he loved – a man free to roam.

The bike and him were inseparable, then, his bike was stolen in Houston Texas.The writer, Skip Woods, like any other victim went to Police, who traced the bike theft to a gang that ships expensive American-made motorcycles like Harleys and his Martin Brothers custom to Asia via Mexico and Los Angeles.

One mans search for his unique Martin Bro’s custom ride leads to major bike gang GTA bust in Mindanao. PHOTO: Law Enforcement handout

Not content to go out and buy a new one with insurance money, he hired private investigators, Orion Support Inc., who traced the bike and upon that, the custom bike was seen in Asia in the Philippines.

Tuesday, led by local Philippine National Police Provincial Director  Buboy Mijares, Agent Wency Galindez of NBI Cagayan De Oro, along with US Law enforcement – at least one FBI agent and OSI private invetigators – the team searching for the rare bike found much more than Skip’s bike.

May 10, 2011 at 1:44 am Leave a comment

PGMA: AUS-Aid funded Bukidnon road project example of international cooperation for development

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo says “The importance of international engagement in the country’s development.” Arroyo said this while attending the startup of a new road project that is expected to benefit millions of people in central and northern Mindanao. ”This is one of the fruits of international engagement,” the President said when she led the groundbreaking of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) -funded road project here that stand to benefit some four million Filipinos.

“This road project will benefit not only the people of Impasugong or Bukidnon but also the neighboring areas,” she explained. The President, assisted by Bukidnon Governor Ma. Jose Zubiri Jr., Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Rep. Candido Pancrudo, lowered the time capsule containing the project’s plan. Governor Zubiri informed the President that the AusAID project will cover some 160 kilometers of all-weather roads.

“This is something new for Bukidnon and this was made possible through the efforts of the President and our good relations with the Australian government,” he said. Australian Charge d’Affaires Steve Scott said the Philippines is an “important partner of Australia,” adding that the funds were made available to the Philippines because of “good governance and good execution of AusAID projects.” The road project is under the Southern Philippines Provincial Road Maintenance Program (SPPRMP) that covers 10 provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao and is funded with some 100 million Australian dollars or around P3.5 billion by the Australian government through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

The program has a Provincial Road Maintenance Facility (PRMF) that provides P50 million each year to every beneficiary province for construction and repair of provincial roads over a five-year period. It has been noted that provincial roads are the key links of rural communities to the national highway and eventually to the centers of trade and commerce, political administration, and health and educational services, among others.

By improving transport, the welfare of rural folks will significantly improve.

Apart from improving the road network, the program also seeks to strengthen each province’s institutional capacity and governance system related to the provision and maintenance of provincial roads. Depending on the performance of each beneficiary province in carrying out the program, these could be eligible for another round of assistance. The beneficiary provinces of the SPPRMP are Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Surigao del Norte, in Mindanao; and Bohol and Guimaras in the Visayas.

Three more beneficiary provinces are still to be identified.

Within five years, the SPPRMP is principally expected to have rehabilitated at least 1,000 kilometers of provincial roads in the 10 provinces; improved access for over four million people to schools and health centers; and reduced transport costs.

The PRMF is said to be Australia’s single largest grant project in the Philippines to date; the bilateral agreement covering this was signed last March. Australia is the country’s second largest bilateral grant aid donor after Japan. Its aid program has grown significantly in the last three years. For the fiscal year 2008-2009, its assistance portfolio is estimated at Aus 109 million dollars.

July 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

Jakarta bombing investigation

Jakarta Sucide Bomber: “Nurhasbi” alleged alumni of Abu Bakar Bashirs Ngruki school

The link between JI spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir and the latest attack on the 17th in Jakarta of jemaah islamiyah has been established according to local media reports in Jakarta.
One of the bodies recovered from the scene of the blast has been identified as a former student of his Madrassa in central Indonesia.

NEWS REPORTS:

Jakarta Bomb Probe Turns to Malaysia as Terrorist Leader Sought

BloombergEd JohnsonManirajan Ramasamy‎‎
Jemaah Islamiyah is also blamed for the 2003 bombing at the same Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed 12 people, a 2004 blast outside the Australian
Associates grilled Straits Times

Kiwi Jakarta bombing victim remembered

Stuff.co.nzMichael Fox
The family of the New Zealander killed in last Friday’s twin bombings in Indonesia has released a statement recalling a

Issues of the day: ‘Jakarta hotel blasts’

Jakarta Post‎Post-explosion: Antiterrorist officers check the site of a powerful bomb explosion at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jakarta. Bomb explosions at two of Jakarta’s

Market ignores terrorist bombs

Jakarta Post‎3 hours ago‎
The Indonesian financial market has apparently ignored the terrorist bombing attacks that rocked the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta on

Indonesia Tracks Bombers’ Identities

Voice of America‎By VOA News Indonesian investigators are working to identify the two suicide bombers and victims killed in last week’s Jakarta hotel bombings.

Indonesian tv identifies another bomber

XinhuaMu Xuequan
JAKARTA, July 21 (Xinhua) — An Indonesian television on Tuesday evening unveiled identity of another suicide bomber at Ritz Carlton Hotel as Ibrahim,

Tape of mass murderer checking in at Marriott

The AustralianStephen Fitzpatrick
THIS is the moment death cast its shadow over the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, two days ahead of last Friday’s bomb blast. The man thought to have been the

New CCTV of Jakarta bomb attacks

BBC News‎‎
CCTV footage showing the inside of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Jakarta as two bombs explode has been aired on Indonesian television. The blasts hit two luxury

Two Of Dead In Jakarta Hotel Blasts Identified As Dutch Couple

BernamaMohd Nasir‎‎
JAKARTA, July 21 (Bernama) — Indonesian police Tuesday confirmed that two of the nine people killed in the bomb blasts at two hotels

Video footage released of Jakarta bombers

Times OnlineJenny Booth‎‎
Police in Indonesia released CCTV footage today of two suicide bombers checking into the luxury Jakarta hotels that they blew up last Friday.

Marriott bomber suspected to be Noordin devotee

Brisbane TimesTom Allard‎Getting in … security camera footage shows a guest arriving at the Marriott hotel with a bag that bypasses security. Photo: Metro TV NUR HASBI,

July 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Philippines:Twin Bombing kills child injures dozens
Mike Cohen, PNC Correspondent 05.OCT.07
12:30p.m. UPDATE One child was killed and another two dozen are injured, some in critical condition. All are the victims of ‘twin explosions’ on commercial buildings near the center of the Southern Philippine city of Kidapawan in Cotabato Province.

Two IED’s, or improvised explosive devices, were used in the attack. The first a smaller device to scatter a crowd into a street towards a second larger device in front of Sugni Super Store, a large department store in the city.

‘The shrapnel scattered at ground level indicated by a large amount of leg and feet wounds.’ Chief Insp. Leo Ajero
speaking in a radio interview told DZXL radio in Manila.
Regional police counter terrorism experts suspect bombers from the Al Qaeda Asia franchise, Jemaah Islamiah, who are known to follow a pattern of closely coordinated attacks. [more]

October 5, 2007 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

RP Critical of Burma represion

Philippine Government statement on Myanmar

September 27th, 2007 · No Comments

Philippine President Arroyo who is with other world leaders in New York attending the annual general assembly meeting has come out with what is one of the few statements by leaders in ASEAN versus the repression in Myanmar.

Most ASEAN leaders – like in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are borderline countries on human rights issues. By and large while there are problems too here in the Philippines with active insurgencies and some cases of violations.

Most if not all cases that make it the courts do go through the legal process – and – widespread crackdowns like the current one in Rangoon are rare. However, Burma’s rulers often do as the rulers of any dictatorship do and do not pay heed to their own people let alone really listen intently to other leaders in the region.

Privately Philippine officials in Manila speaking on ‘Conditions of Anonymity’ say “China is the key here – and – China can stop the violence in Burma and should. So far its diplomats have been trying, one wonders how long Beijing will cover for the Yangoon Junta which of late has caused a lot of embarrassment and problems for the leaders Beijing.”

[]..Philippine President Arroyo: We call on Myanmar to act in its own best interests to avoid its further isolation and to redeem its democracy without any further delay. We have patiently but persistently advised Myanmar within ASEAN that it must make greater and faster progress toward that goal.
Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole. The Philippines asks the Government of Myanmar to act with the utmost restraint and to take immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy. Specifically, we ask the Government of Myanmar to now allow all interested parties to take full part in the effort to national reconciliation through peaceful and inclusive dialogue.
This means the release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. In addition, we ask that the Government of Myanmar invite the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, to visit the country as soon as possible.
…[]

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday (Sept. 27, New York time) urged the government of Myanmar to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and scores of Buddhist monks who have been rounded up for staging protests against the country’s military rulers.

In a statement that she distributed personally to members of the Philippine media at the Waldorf Astoria Towers where she is billeted during her three-day official trip here, the President said freeing Suu Kyi from years of house arrest serves Myanmar’s own best interests and avoid further isolation of the country from the rest of the world’s democracies.

Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Recent events in Myanmar, therefore, are of concern to the Philippines and to the region as a whole,” the President said, and called on Yangon to act with “utmost restraint and to make immediate steps to preserve what advances have been made in its roadmap to democracy.”

She said it was important that all stakeholders engage in a common search for a peaceful resolution of the current unrest in the country and bring about national reconciliations..

“This means,” she added, the “release of all those who have been detained and who can contribute to the process of national renewal, including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.”

She also called on Rangoon’s military leaders to invite United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari to visit that country as soon as possible to look into the situation there.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was democratically elected prime minister of Myanmar in 1990 but the military refused to hand over power to her winning National League for Democracy Party. Suu Kyi has been under house address since 1989.

The President will address the UN General Assembly before noon Friday (New York time) as she winds up her official visit to the Big Apple. She is scheduled to head back to Manila Friday afternoon, (New York time).-press release

September 28, 2007 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

When a blogger goes bad: a Fishmarket rotten

Over the two decades I’ve been in this field as a journalist I, more often than not, do not react to other writers or bloggers’ opinions on subjects – but as I sometimes look over the reports to see whats there I sometimes get frustrated when I see a report so callous, so uncaring, so insensitive to others that it makes my blood boil.

The hyperlink below is to one such blogger – whose opinions below are syndicated by the ‘blogger news network’. OK,  a nice idea, but  with pitfalls of profession being that sometimes non-journalist writers often take liberties with facts they don’t or can’t even begin to write about because they just don’t know. In other words,  they are ignorant of the realities of what they are writing about and make cute opinions about topics to get away with filling space.

Nancy Reyes describes herself as a retired doctor. Well,  what kind of doctor could be so insensitive to human suffering she just blurts out a line like below:

[] …”The Korean hostages: Part of missionary life no one mentions
Blogger News Network – Here in the Philippines, the NPA specializes in Chinese businessmen. It’s a game, and the ransom is small, since China doesn’t help them, they only charge “… []

Having covered so many kidnappings I don’t even want to remember. I can’t begin to think if a real journalist or columnist wrote this the ramifications for such a line would be – one, they would be fired, two, they would lose most of the readers or advertisers they have. Lastly, they would probably get a visit from law enforcement since partly – her article ‘gives advice’ on who and who not kidnap.

Am I over reacting? NO – I’ve been to a shallow gravesides when not far from her ‘hometown’ of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, a mother clutched the rotten body of her son – filled with worms  – and cried and  screamed. Her son had been kidnapped. I was part of news team and police who had somehow gotten the information from aprehended kidnapper where the child was buried.

The child’s only crime was he was mestizo – a Filipino-Chinese. A son a mother loved; a sad fact was that he had ancestors who came from another part of Asia and because of that he was picked up in mall in Quezon City.  Then the family begged, borrowed, and sold everything to get the boy back  from hoodlums who who were too lazy to find work other than victimizing others. They took money from the family twice – who sold everything they could to get what ever was demanded – they borrowed more the second time.

But still the kidnappers – the vile and criminal men who not only killed the child tortured him – kept him in a septic tank with just enough space for him to stand his head above the filthy water  until they decided he was too sick to return so they killed him. Hardly the ‘harmless’ image Dra. Reyes seeks to portray of the men like these – who have killed hundreds and destroyed thousands of families lives. A number of these people from her own town. But perhaps she doesn’t live in Gapan,  or in Cabantaun or in the areas she so callously doesn’t seem to care about.

I as part the coverage team that dealt with Abu Sayyaf kidnappings had to talk and be the go-between for families of victims of both the Sipadan and Dos Palmas kidnappings. I talked for hours days and weeks with their families – I knew them and still keep in touch in with them – both the family members and victims themselves.

I’ve gone out with both NBI, PNP, and others search teams – I’ve been there when most of the time these men – grown men – come back weeping seeing the evils that are often done to the victims of these children, women, old men and old women who are taken by those whose only desire is making easy money. 9 times out of 10 are themselves killed – but masterminds often go away free and clear. Other times, they get away with it for a while but as in life what comes around goes around. They more often than not get what they deserve – but often too late for anyone they happen to victimize.

I don’t know why anyone who claims to be a healer can be so hurtful, why a so-called news organization like blogger news network let this get published.

But sadly the fact of the matter is, the topic is written by what in life is often the most dangerous thing – a person with little or no knowledge for the facts who couldn’t care less so long as what they write makes a few dollars for the banner ads on the sidebar.

I defend your right to you opinion with my life  as others who really do this work for living – journalism, but tell you flatly – you’re wrong. Kidnapping is never little thing and crime can never be so gently dismissed as to almost laughingly describe events of human suffering without the proper context the events are in. Please learn the facts and please do keep on writing. But for Gods sake, please do not dismiss something so heinous as this type of crime is as just a joke.

Otherwise that is what you become – a bad joke- with nobody laughing.

September 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

53 dead in renewed Jolo fighting

At east 53 combatants – 26 soldiers and 27 Abu Sayyaf gang members have been killed reports reaching manila say in clashes in the southern philippines on the island of jolo in Sulu province.

The fighting stems from an ambush if a convoy which left 9 dead – and a later clash with Abu Sayyaf blockigng force left another 10 dead and more injured in pursiot operations. Media reports say the remaining causalities on their side came from injured troops who died en route or at hospitals in Jolo.

VIDEO: GMANews.TV  click to view

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

25 soldiers, 27 Abu Sayyaf killed in Sulu clashes

No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

AFP: No MNLF rebels in Sulu clashes

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

Sulu clashes kill 25 soldiers

The latest action versus ASG members who experts say may be trying to create a diversion and devide AFP attention versus susspected ASG members involved in the beheading of Marines in near-by Basilan Proivince.

MILF agrees to reposition forces in Basilan to give way to
Minda News, Philippines – fighters will move out from their camps in Al Barka town in Basilan to allow the Marines to hunt four suspects believed to be Abu Sayyaf members who,

There at least five battalons of Philippine Army troops and Marines are seeking the men responsible for another ambush and later beheading of a military patrol there three weeks ago in Thursdays clash in Jolo.

The units coming from Camp Austurias were met by heravy resistance from ASG members who seem to have beefed up thier strength in new actions two weeks apart tht are targeting small units into ambush and attack tactics similar to those used in mainland mindanao by more veteran Moro fighters.

Over 50 killed in southern Philippines fighting Swissinfo
‘Fifty dead’ in Philippines clash BBC News
Fighting in Southern Philippines Kills at Least 20 Soldiers Voice of America
Wall Street Journal – Times of India

The goal appears to be the capture of weapons and equipment – there is also some speculation as well that the ASG and JI allies are looking for foreign civilian advisor’s – and or contractors who frequently travel with AFP units to project numerous development project sites.

There have also been reports the ASG, JI, and sympatisers are also sabotaging deep wells, damaging or burning comunity building and attemtping to destroy infrastructure in remote areas to reduce communications and transportion as well as community sympathy for the Philippine Military.

August 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

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