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Cebu News

Summit soldiers not restricted to barracks

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Despite the incident involving the three Marine personnel, soldiers who are deployed in Cebu as part of the security force for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit are not prohibited from going into bars and other nightspots.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command spokesman Jefferson Omandam said military personnel who are in peacekeeping mission in Cebu are not restricted to barracks. He said the soldiers also need rest and recreation provided they would not bring their firearms upon entering bars.

Omandam said Monday night's incident involving S/Sgt. Calixto Montiel Jr., Sgt. Jesus Dimacaga and Cpl. Rudy Mercullo, who were accused of causing trouble inside a bar in Lapu-Lapu City, was just isolated. According to him, only three of about 300 Marine troopers who are currently deployed in Cebu got into trouble.

Montiel allegedly kicked the swing door of Rising Angel Bar in barangay Pajo during an argument with an employee of the bar. He and his two companions reportedly left the bar without paying their bills but later on went back to pay, during which a heated argument erupted between them and a bar employee over the change of their payment.

While the problem has been settled, Omandam said the three are not yet off the hook. Omandam said the three members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7, which arrived at the Naval Forces Central headquarters last Saturday, would face administrative charges.

Omandam said under Article 105 of the Articles of War, they are liable for their conduct. "Tan-awon nato ang Code of Conduct ug ang Code of Ethics aron atong i-apply."

The military official said the commander of the three Marine personnel would take charge of the investigation. He, however, said the incident might have been caused by miscommunication.

Omandam explained that since they are not Cebuanos, the three soldiers have different cultures that may have caused the miscommunication between them and the bar attendant.

'It's just unfortunate nga nahitabo to," Omandam added.

Marine soldiers who are now deployed in Cebu form part of the 4,500 military personnel who will provide security to the summit. Omandam said aside from mainland Cebu, some of the troops will also be deployed on Olango Island, Bohol and Negros.

Omandam said the troops' deployment in nearby provinces is aimed at blocking any terrorist group planning to disrupt the summit. - Fred P. Languido/LPM

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CENTRAL COMMAND

ARTICLES OF WAR

ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS SUMMIT

BOHOL AND NEGROS

CALIXTO MONTIEL JR.

CEBU

CODE OF CONDUCT

CODE OF ETHICS

FRED P

JEFFERSON OMANDAM

OMANDAM

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