There are existing mechanisms to protect students against abuses in the implementation of the mandatory basic Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Program, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday.

AFP assures no abuses in new ROTC program

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By Prince Golez

There are existing mechanisms to protect students against abuses in the implementation of the mandatory basic Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday.

Colonel Royland Orquia, deputy chief of staff for reservist and retiree affairs, told reporters that all needed changes have been made to ensure the ROTC Program will not expose cadets to corruption and physical abuse.

“Ang mukha po ngayon ng bagong ROTC is very different from previous, dahil sa ngayon nagkaroon na po tayo ng mga trainings doon sa mga prospect commandants, doon sa mga maghahawak ng mga ROTC units and as early as last year, we have already conducted different forums and seminars, trainings for our ROTC commandants,” said Orquia.

“This will be in anticipation sa pilot implementation na 100 schools. So, meron na po tayong mga mechanism. Actually before there was already a mechanism sa mga abuses,” he added.

Orquia reminded the concerned agencies to strictly implement the mechanisms so the mistakes committed then will not happen again.

“Pinaalalahan po namin and we already give directives to the respective RESCOMs at saka mga hawak ng mga ROTC to be really strict in implementation so that hindi na natin ma-experience iyong mga na-experience natin noong una,” he said.

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For buses’ benefit: 300K liters of fuel smuggled weekly from Bataan to NCR

By Nancy Carvajal

At least 300,000 liters of fuel is smuggled weekly from a shipyard in Mariveles, Bataan to garages of various bus companies in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, persons involved in transporting the product told the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

NBI Special Unit Action agent Melvin Escurel said individuals they have talked to claimed to be clueless about the smuggling of fuel.

“A witness said they just received instructions from ‘Jerome’ and ‘Eric’ to proceed to the Seafront Shipyard and wait for the barge that would fill up their tanker,’’ Escurel said.

Using a long hose, diesel is loaded into the tankers inside the shipyard from a barge anchored about 500 meters away from the dock.

The tankers are filled with fuel at least three times a week. They travel to the shipyard from a garage in Pasay City.

Escurel said four to five tankers deliver the fuel to the garages of various bus lines. One tanker, meanwhile, heads to Fairview, Quezon City to fill up a supposedly abandoned tanker.

Based on witnesses’ testimonies, Escurel said the fuel smuggling scheme involving the Bataan shipyard appears to be well organized.

Saan dinala? Mujiv Hataman seeks probe on 7 Muslims nabbed by police in Cavite

By Billy Begas

Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Wednesday said the seven Muslims who were arrested by the police in Bacoor, Cavite are still missing.

In his privilege speech, Hataman appealed to the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the National Capital Region Police Office to extend some kindness to the family and tell them where they are detained.

“This happened more than a week ago, Mr. Speaker. Walang nangyaring pasabi sa mga kaanak. Hanggang ngayon, walang makapagsabi kung nasaan sila. Hinanap namin sila sa Bacoor Police, hindi nila alam kung nasaan. Hinanap namin sa Camp Crame at Camp Bagong Diwa wala din daw doon,” said Hataman.

The House leader narrated that on February 17, the police went to a construction site in Bacoor, Cavite. Eleven individuals inside were asked who among them are Muslims while lying face down. Seven of them are Muslims.

“Walang makasagot sa maraming tanong na tumatakbo sa isip ng kanilang mga pamilya: Nasaan na sila? Bakit sila inaresto? Bakit hanggang ngayon walang makapagbigay na malinaw na detalye at paliwanag ang mga umaresto sa kanila? Buhay pa ba sila?” the solon said.

He said the arrest of seven Muslims happened after the new Anti-Terrorism law was enacted. “Kaya kailangan natin itong tutukan—to ensure that the safeguards under this law, and indeed under the Constitution are being followed.”

Hataman said that on February 16, men who identified themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation took a Muslim couple—Muslimen Saban Mantawi and Bai Monerah Saban while standing in front of their placement agency in Malate, Manila.

Two others– Solaiman Baonto Muhammad left his house to pray and never returned on February 19 and Abdulmuin Tula who were abducted by armed men on January 19, added to the long list of missing Muslims according to Hataman.

Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan joined Hataman in calling for an investigation by the House of Representatives.

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