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We start today’s piece with a throwback - “Our edition today (that was yesterday), no matter how SS tried to shorten, did not truly end up as planned, brief. There are (were) just so many interesting bits and pieces on hand to share with you, that’s (was) why. And truth is, there are (were) several still on the hole, but to continue just might tire you so.

Observation. Though not really that brief as intended, but it did carry a lot more bits and pieces. Same goes today, but hopefully briefer so as not to tire you so.

X x x x X

It’s good our authorities are noticed not leaving any stone unturned in their move to prevent the entry of terrorists into the city.

Look, just the sight of an unidentified group of suspicious looking persons motivated army men to pick them for scrutiny. All seven were onboard a fishing boat and intercepted by personnel of the Alpha Company of the 11th Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Zamboanga along the coastal area of Barangay Mariki, this city, Wednesday night.

A team 1st Lieutenant Romeo Gumiran led, in manning a Mariki outpost spotted them onboard a fishing boat at around 8:30 p.m.

The suspicious persons were then conducted to Police Station 11 for identification and investigation.

The fishing boat of the fishermen was discovered anchored for two days already along the Mariki shoreline before they were held for questioning by the soldiers.

The fishermen will undergo verification proceedings to be released to their respective barangay officials for proper documentation if found clean,

X x x x X

Government admits it was unable to meet its self-imposed deadline of 2nd June to flush out Maute extremists in Marawi City troops faced some difficulties, with rebels using civilians as human shields.

Armed Forces spokesman Restituto Padilla reasoned, the troops have calibrated their movement to avoid endangering the lives of civilians trapped in the conflict.

Padilla said the troops would abide by the rules of engagement when faced with such “complexity of war,” citing their commitment to ensure the safety and protection of women and children.

X x x x X

Malacañang and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have altogether ruled out terrorism in the early morning attack by a lone gunman at the Resorts World Manila (RWM).

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said, “Initial findings of police investigation of the Resorts World incident... 2nd of June 2017, show that there are no indications of terrorist activity,”  and that they do not find any direct link to terrorist activities in Marawi.

Abella said the gunman fired warning shots but there was no indication that he wanted to harm or shoot anyone.

PNP chief Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa had a similar assessment of the incident.

X x x x X

Captains of industry, corporations and business groups distanced themselves from the White House on Thursday, as many expressed frustration with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

The reactions from across the business world - including oil producers, the tech sector and finance - stood apart from Trump’s portrayal of the decision as a needed corrective to rules that could stymie commerce.

Tesla founder Elon Musk confirmed he would quit White House advisory councils on business in protest.

Disney chief Robert Iger followed suit, saying he was resigning from the panels “as a matter of principle.” Other tech and industrial sector representatives expressed frustration with the White House’s decision and pledged to continue working to combat global warming.

X x x x X

Pres. Duterte thumbed down the offer of communist rebels to “cooperate and coordinate” with the Duterte administration in its fight against terrorism should the government return to the negotiating table, laying in he process a demand for them to first rescind its orders to the New People’s Army to intensify attacks on government troops.

After last-minute backchannel talks between negotiators of the government and the National Democratic Front in The Netherlands, the NDF said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the NPA may be bound by a ceasefire agreement in specific areas to “counteract the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf.”

“In this connection, all panelists, legal and political consultants and other personnel in the peace negotiations must be allowed to return to the Philippines and subsequently attend the fifth round of formal talks,” Fidel Agcaoili, chairman of the rebel panel, said in a statement.

Agcaoili also suggested a ceasefire agreement “in specific areas of cooperation and coordination … pending the issuance of ceasefire declarations that are unilateral but simultaneous and reciprocal.”

He said both sides “must stand together to oppose and fight terrorism, terrorist groups and acts of terrorism.”

“We must condemn and must be resolved and determined to counteract the Maute group and Abu Sayaff which are wreaking havoc in Marawi City,” he said.

“By terrorism we mean actions that intimidate, terrorize and harm civilians solely or mainly in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law,” he added.

Ows..? They should first start then among the ranks of their armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), who attack private firms, killing workers and burning vehicles. Those acts are just same in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. Stop the yaketyyak. Walk the talk.

The fifth round of formal talks originally scheduled to end June 2, Friday was aborted May 28 as a result of a rebel call to increase attacks on government troops as a way of opposing martial law, which Duterte declared in Mindanao to combat the Maute group terrorists.

Duterte, however, said that he would not allow Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza and government chief negotiator and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to proceed with the fifth round of talks unless the Communist Party of the Philippines signs a unilateral ceasefire document. He must have “bilateral,” dunno. Ah, whatever, it just the same means truce

They may have offered to fight alongside government, against terrorism, Duterte said,but added, “I will not allow any talks on my behalf, (by either) Dureza or Bello. I will not allow them or authorize to go back to the negotiating table without them (the communists) signing a document (saying they) would stop fighting,” he added.

Duterte also said he was not keen about the latest communist proposal.

Duterte earlier threatened to arrest and jail NDF consultants who might return to the Philippines after the aborted talks.

X x x x X

Airstrikes against Maute terrorists in Marawi City would not stop despite a botched bombing run that accidentally killed  10 and not 11 soldiers as reported earlier. The total casualties, however,  were indeed 11, but one was felled by he enemy after the accidental bombing.

“We continue to apply commensurate military power on these existing threats and pockets of resistance, and we’ll continue to do so, including the use of airstrikes,” Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Restituto Padilla said.

Following the incident, however, all Marchetti S-260 jets would be temporarily grounded, he said.

“There are other air assets available to the ground commander that he can employ to support our troops,” Padilla said.

The aircraft and crew involved in the ill-fated airstrike have been pulled out of Marawi and brought back to their headquarters for debriefing and counseling.

“You know, the worst scenario that can be likened to the worst nightmare for every pilot... is to have an incident like this,” Padilla said.

“So we need to assist and help our personnel overcome this. At the same time, our Army is also helping the bereaved families go through this very trying time.”

Padilla said there would be no let-up in the attack, despite a threat from the terrorists that would kill civilian hostages.

Padilla said the terrorists must surrender or face the consequences.

“We hope the armed bandits will come to their senses, surrender or face the dire consequences of military action and that means sure death,” he said.

Accordingly, the enemy continues to occupy commercial buildings as their defensible enemy lairs, which are subjects of military action being conducted in the past few days until now.  (By Jimmy Cabato) ###




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