P-Noy says sorry

SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda - The Philippine Star

After four days of silence on the slaughter of 18 Philippine Army (PA) soldiers in a 10-hour bloody military engagement with Abu Sayyaf rebels in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, President Simeon Benigno Aquino flew to Zamboanga City to express his sympathy to the relatives of the slain soldiers, as well as visited dozens of soldiers wounded, with a financial package, and promised to pursue justice for the victims.

Rosalinda Dominguez, aunt of Private First Class Doreen Aspurias, said the families asked the President why it took so long for reinforcements to rescue the troops of the 44th Infantry Battalion, who were dispatched to rescue kidnapped foreigners. According to the President, the rescue troops could not immediately enter the battle site because of the intense fighting.                However, Dominguez accepted President Aquino’s sincere apology.

President Aquino arrived at 10 a.m., 12 hours after an improvised explosive went off in Lamitan City in Basilan, and proceeded to the wake of Cpl. Rodelio B. Bangcairin, one of the casualties in the Tipo-Tipo engagement, in his home in Barangay Ayala. He then visited the wounded soldiers, 38 soldiers at the Camp General Navarro Hospital and 6 soldiers at the Edwin Andres Air Base Hospital. Some wounded soldiers were recuperating in other private hospitals and some were flown to V.Luna Hospital in Quezon City.

The President handed checks to the wounded soldiers from the Armed Forces.

Major Gen. Gerardo Barrientos, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, said the families of the dead soldiers will get P250,000 from the Office of the President; P180,000 from the Armed Forces; P50,000 from the Mutual Benefit Association Inc. (MBAI); P100,000 from insurance; and P80,000 as burial assistance. Also, the government will give scholarship grant to the dependents of the fallen soldiers.

Meanwhile, another four government troopers were wounded during an ongoing military operation against Abu Sayyaf at Amoloy, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, according to Maj. Filemon Tan, regional military spokesperson. The number of wounded is now at 57, since April 9.

Duterte rises to No. 1

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has garnered the first place, among the five presidential candidates, getting 30 percent in the latest Pulse Asia Survey, beating erstwhile frontrunner Grace Poe, who slid down to 25 percent.

Vice President Binay was in 3rd place, with 20 percent, while Mar Roxas was 4th, with 19 percent. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was last, with 2 percent.

Pulse Asia research director Ana Maria Tabunda said the coming elections is still a tight-four way race.

Tabunda said the survey results have been fluid, since the start of the election season. She also noted that the other candidates have trained their guns on Duterte in recent days and may affect his numbers. “A lot of things can happen,” she said.

Run after Duterte

Vice President Jejomar Binay threatened to run after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and punish him and his Davao Death Squad (DDS), for extra-judicial killings in Davao, which included children and journalists.

Binay said he would form an independent commission to investigate the summary executions and human rights violations, being blamed are Duterte and the DDS.

“It’s time for DDS, along with Duterte, to answer to God and country,” Binay added.

Meanwhile, President Aquino led a show of force at Club Filipino in Greenhills, where he and Liberal Party candidate Mar Roxas expressed confidence the LP tandem would win the May 9 elections.

“We will win because we are not corrupt. We will win because we don’t act like dictators. We will win because we are Filipino,” Roxas declared.

“We will win because others want to be the boss, we treat the Filipino people as our bosses,” he added.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., LP campaign manager, said the gathering was a morale booster for everybody that we are still together and a reaffirmation of support for President Aquino’s chosen candidates.

Meanwhile, Mayor Duterte accepted Vice President Binay’s challenge for a medical checkup. He denied he was undergoing dialysis. Binay is 73 while Duterte is 71.

Pacquiao back home

Rep. Manny Pacquiao arrived back home early Thursday morning and went on a motorcade through Makati, Manila and Quezon City.

Pockets of people on the motorcade route waved to Pacquaio, but they were less enthusiastic or excited as the people who had lined his route in previous returns.

Vice President Binay said Pacquiao will now join the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) campaign. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Pacquiao ranked 5-7, among the top 12 frontliners.

He was welcomed home by Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2016.


The Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, for their record-breaking 73 victories. Stephen Curry scored 46 points and set a record 402 three-pointers at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Meanwhile, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant performed a Hollywood ending to his 20-year career by scoring 60 points to power the Los Angeles Lakers to a 106-101, come from behind victory over the Utah Jazz.

Grace Poe wants Duterte as her anti-crime czar.








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