Monthly Archives: February 2015

FACLA’s Personal registration of new members and renewal of membership

ANNOUNCEMENT:

What: Personal registration of new members and renewal of membership.

When: Starting January 01 2015 thru May 31, 2015

With whom: Office Manager and/or members of membership committee

Where: 1740 West Temple Street, Los Angeles CA 90026

Why: Very important!!! Non-payment of membership fees for at least
two (2) years will result in the cancellation of a member’s name from the membership roster. It is imperative for persons interested to run as a director or vote in the forthcoming Nov 2015 Facla general elections to register/renew their membership during the reglementary registration/renewal period. Failure
to do so will result in disqualification to run and/or vote.

Deadline of registration/renewal: May 31,2015

Committee On Membership
Chairperson: Bernie Ganon

January 01, 2015

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DHS SECRETARY VISITS LA, PINOYS UPSET OVER STALLED TPS

EPCC NEWS
February 14, 2015

DHS SECRETARY VISITS LA, PINOYS UPSET OVER STALLED TPS

LOS ANGELES – As the days for deferred action draws near, immigrants and their advocates filled the Los Angeles central library to see the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, one of the authors of the order that will help spare an estimated four million undocumented immigrants from deportation while gaining work and travel permits.

The secretary personally invited undocumented Angelenos to take part in the program.

“I signed it and authorized it and created that program with a pen exactly like this, and ma’am, I’d like you to fill up your application with this pen,” Johnson told one undocumented worker as he gave her one of his own felt tipped pens in a heartfelt moment.

STEPFORWARDLA

Los Angeles is expected to have one of the largest concentrations of beneficiaries. The city is urging residents to sign up, offering aid at local city offices.

“Los Angeles 2015 is like Selma 1965; it’s like Delano 1965; it’s like Massachusetts in 2004. Those moments when civil rights moved forward. (sic) That’s what’s happening here in Los Angeles — 550,000 and I call them this: Americans, who want to see their pathway towards integration in this great country,” said LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

While immigrant communities prepare for the executive orders on immigration, Filipino immigrant rights advocates have had a burning question for Secretary Johnson when it comes to aid specifically for Filipinos.

During a question and answer period with the media, community leader Art Garcia raised the question on temporary protected status or TPS for Filipino workers. TPS would grant immigration relief to Filipinos in the wake of recent natural disasters in the Philippines.

FilAms Upset over TPS Delay

“Why has the Obama government not yet approved temporary protected status for the Philippines?” Garcia asked.

“It’s something we’re considering, sir,” Johnson answered.

It’s something here we have been on record in support of,” added Mayor Garcetti.

Filipinos were not satisfied with the secretary’s response. “It’s 461 days. This was endorsed by both parties. Still we get the same answer — still under consideration. I’m not a happy camper today,” said activist Dondi Monzon of the Pilipino Workers Center.

But with or without TPS, the Filipino community and the city will push through with the president’s executive order.

Meanwhile, the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, the extended version of the DACA, will begin in May.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

SOCAL FILAM LEADERS REITERATE SUPPORT FOR GPH-MILF PEACE PROCESS

NEW FACLA NEWS
February 13, 2015

SOCAL FILAM LEADERS REITERATE SUPPORT FOR GPH-MILF PEACE PROCESS

Los Angeles- Southern California Community leaders in TALAKAYAN sa FACLA last Thursday, February 12, 2015 were united in their support for the continuing peace process between the GPH and the MILF and for the passage of the Basic Bangsa Moro Law (BBL) now stalled in the PH Congress.

SIPA Board President Dr. Leo Pandac reiterated,” the Filipino American support for the peace process. The long drawn out war in Mindanao has finally ended with the signing of the peace accord in 2012 only to be disturbed with the Mamasapano incident in January 25, 2015. But this is only a major obstacle.”

Dr Pandac said, ” That he is very confident that the more than 43 year old insurgency in Mindanao will end with the formation of the new autonomous Bangsa Moro Political Entity BPE) that will replace the ARMM as provided for the BBL after a referendum in May 2016 elections. “
Monitoring the Senate Hearings in the PH.

FilAm Leaders Support the BBL

Meanwhile Dr. Orly Cagampan of the Knights of Rizal(KOR) Historic Filipinotown expressed elation over the Senate hearings especially the investigation for the accountability on the Mamasapano incident.

He said,” the presence and the participation of Chairman Mohager Iqbal, MILF Chief Peace Negotiator has a calming effect on the tensions of some senators during the last two hearings on the Mamasapano incident.

Still Dr,Cagampan said, “He is still wary of the presence of some splinter factions of the MILF like the BIFF who are opposed to the peace negotiations. They might create trouble like the MILF during the peace talks between the MLF and the government.”

On the other hand, FilAm journalist Larry Pelayo said, “ we must be confident that with the decommissioning of the MILF and with a new political party, peace and development will come to Mindanao and the war will really end.”

Alliance leader Arturo Garcia expressed confidence that,” With the assurance of MILF Chairman Mohager Iqbal that they are not a terrorist organization to the Senate and they will cooperate to bring wanted Islamic Terrorist Basit Usman to justice.
With the cooperation of the MILF with the PH government the prospect for peace in Mindanao is bright.” Garcia ended.

For more information about TALAKAYAN please call facla at (213)484-1527 and visit our website at www.newfacla.org

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OUR LEGACY WILL BE PEACE” –MOHAGER IQBAL

ALLIANCE NEWS
February 12, 2015

OUR LEGACY WILL BE PEACE” –MOHAGER IQBAL

Manila- “There is only one way forward, and that is peace.”

MILF’s Chief Peace Negotiator Mohager Iqbal summed up the MILF position at the 3rd’ Senate Hearing on the Battle of Mamasapano last Thursday, February 12 In Manila as he appeals for the passage of the Basic Bangas Moro Law (BBL) in the Senate for the first time.

The discussions on the Basic Bangsa Moro Law which is” the heart of the peace process” as Iqbal described it, was stalled in the Congress after the tragic dearth of 44 SAF men at the “misencounter “ between the MILF and the PNP last January 25, 2015.

In the battle, Jamayaah Islamiya (JI) ‘s Marwan, a wanted international terrorist was also killed by the SAF in a daring raid. Congressional hearings was called due to the death of 44 SAF personell during the raid. This is the biggest casualty of the PNP in the recent times.

MILF, Not a Terrorist Organization.

Iqbal also made it clear that the MILF is not “a terrorist organization. This is to answer some reports reaction to some Senators particularly Bongbong Marcos, Allan Cayetano and JV Ejercito calling the MILF ‘terrorist organization s” during the Last three Senate hearings.

“ Chairman Hashim Salamat of the MILF wrote to US President Bush and Chairman Hadji Morad also wrote President Obama . Both US President answered their letters. I don’t think US President called them terrorist.” Iqbal retorted.

Iqbal also said that the “MILF will help hunt and bring Usman Bassit to justice” and return the SAF firearms and belongings. He also beg the indulgence of the Senate and the PNP to “ finsh the MILF investigation on the incident”

He also called for an “independent and impartial investigation of the Mamasapano Incident of an independent investigationg body” because he said, “for sure many will not believe the result of the MILF investigation.”

Iqbal flew in from Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia last Thursday to appear before the Senate Hearings on the Manasapano incident. He just attended the MILF-GPH signing on the agreement for decommisioning of the MILF Bangsa Moro Armed Forces in Malaysia.

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Personal registration of new members and renewal of membership.

ANNOUNCEMENT:

What: Personal registration of new members and renewal of membership.

When: Starting January 01 2015 thru May 31, 2015

With whom: Office Manager and/or members of membership committee

Where: 1740 West Temple Street, Los Angeles CA 90026

Why: Very important!!! Non-payment of membership fees for at least
two (2) years will result in the cancellation of a member’s name from the membership roster. It is imperative for persons interested to run as a director or vote in the forthcoming Nov 2015 Facla general elections to register/renew their membership during the reglementary registration/renewal period. Failure
to do so will result in disqualification to run and/or vote.

Deadline of registration/renewal:May 31,2015

Committee On Membership
Chairperson: Bernie Ganon

January 01, 2015

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Command Paralysis.

Komunidad
February 10, 2015

Command Paralysis.

By Arturo P. Garcia

For Satur Ocampo, former Manila Times journalist ,NDF Negotiator and CPP leader, PM’s Sonny Melencio as well as publisher Dante Ang, America’s hand in the Mamasapano raid is as clear as the bright sunshine.

For them, They (The Americans no matter what agency that took charge of the operations against Marwan and Basit ) planned, funded, and closely monitored the execution of “Operation Wolverine/Exodus” carried out last Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao by the PNP Special Action Force they had trained and equipped.

For the trio, “ The objective was to arrest or kill Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan” and his alleged local bomb-making associate, Abdul Basit Usman. The US government had offered a $5-million bounty for Marwan and $2 million for Usman.”

For them,US role was downplayed in media reports for almost two weeks, but the American role has been confirmed by two recent disclosures:

“ 1. A statement issued Wednesday by David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, saying the FBI had “a full partnership” with the PNP which he categorized as “one of the strongest [partnerships]in the world.” He added that the FBI would continue to work with the PNP “to identify, disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks.”

2. A detailed narration by an anonymous source, most probably a PNP official, to another daily, citing the specific places where the Americans drew up “Oplan Wolverine/Exodus” and where they trained the SAF 84th and 55th companies for the operation.
Notable among the disclosures was that the US operatives had taken measures to ensure that the surviving 34 members of the 84th SAC (Company) that raided Marwan’s hideout (they lost 8 commandos) were safely extricated from further harm, but “did not do anything” to help the 36-man 55th SAC, the blocking force that was wiped out (save for one man) in a “mis-encounter” with the MILF fighters.

“We can’t take this anymore,” the anonymous source confessed after unburdening the load off his chest. “I hope my colleagues would get the justice they deserve.”

For this writer, these data confirmed my worst fear that the ‘command paralysis’ that plagued the SAF forces that implemented the mission, the 6th Army Division that came to reinforced the SAF, the Air Force and other AFP and PNP commands came from direct intervention of the “hidden force” behind President Aquino. • “
The command paralysis is the failure to decide and give command on the ground. It comes from the fear of being responsible or for the lack of initiative to take actionAll of this happened because of the Americans’ obsession to get Marwan, many SAF men died” was his damning conclusion. He pointed out that the Americans focused only on securing the 84th SAC “because (the latter) ha(d) what they want(ed) – Marwan’s tissue sample.”

Ocampo cited the following: “The Americans used a drone in monitoring the movements of the 84th SAC. “This is why even if the 84th SAC men were located deeper in the area, only a few were killed. But the 55th SAC lost all but one of its men because no help from the Americans arrived.”

Not disclosed was how the Americans secured the safe retreat of the 34 officers and men of the 84th SAC. Why didn’t they do the same for the 55th SAC? Did they sacrifice the blocking force because intervening in the “mis-encounter” could have imperiled the lives of Americans and exposed their direct involvement in the operation?

• The AFP wasn’t informed of the operation because four previous operational plans, to which the military were privy, failed to get Marwan. Alleged reason: the operations were to have been in MILF-controlled areas and the AFP coordinated with the MILF (as required under protocols of the GPH-MILF ceasefire and peace agreements). “When the plans were implemented, Marwan escaped.”

• The Americans used a secret facility inside or beside the La Vista del Mar Resort in Zamboanga City, reportedly owned by the family of Rep. Celso Lobregat. However, Lobregat claimed he didn’t know about the facility, which allegedly accommodated a big number of 84th SAC men.”

Following are some quotations and factual information from the anonymous source who expressed fear for his life and those of “others” should he provide more details. He urged Congress to look deeper into the Mamasapano tragedy.

Even barangay chair Joel New of Upper Calarian Village, who used to work at the resort, said it was really an SAF camp, where “they do tactical operations training and swimming, including speedboat operations…”

The American trainers would also stay at La Vista, he said, ” The training program was “no joke, especially for the 55th SAC,” the anonymous source observed, “All their equipment were funded by the Americans. When they go to Maguindanao, an American, a supervisor of the La Vista facility, goes with them. All the expenses were shouldered by the Americans.”

These disclosures can further be confirmed and followed up through an independent and impartial investigating body, which has yet to be constituted.

The big question is: Does President Aquino know about these covert activities of the Americans? If he doesn’t, it’s a big problem. If he does, how has he acted on them? The issue of his accountability to the nation comes to the fore.

Thus the command responsibility ends with Aquino as he admitted it in his latest nation wide address. But it begins with his “hidden masters” who were directing the destiny of this young republic ever since 1899 to the present.

End of the story.

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SOCAL FILIPINOS SUPPORT PNOY IN MAMASAPANO FALLOUT

EPCC NEWS
February 07, 2015

SOCAL FILIPINOS SUPPORT PNOY IN MAMASAPANO FALLOUT

LOS ANGELES – Filipino American community leaders, some with Mindanao and military roots, are calling the presumed death of Zulkifli Abdhir aka Marwan a mission accomplished.

“There were so many casualties but the bottom line is that the mission is over,” said Eddie Dela Quarda. “So many troops made the ultimate sacrifice but the mission was accomplished.”

The violent encounter that left 44 PNP SAF troops dead in Maguindanao has caused some backlash against President Aquino with some calling for his impeachment and fears of a possible coup.

“I think the commander has taken responsibility of the 44,” said Art Garcia of the Fil-Am community of LA. “The buck stops there. But if you ask the president, that’s too much. I think that’s overboard asking the president to resign.”

Dr. Leo Pandac adds, “I don’t think the Filipinos would support at coup d’état. I think it’s only a few years left in his administration. We should allow him to finish his term.”

Despite the victory in the global war on terror, some people expressed fears that overseas Filipinos may become targets of Islamic militants seeking revenge.

“It’s a good thing but now the Philippines are being the target of the ISIS in Libya and other places because they are angry Osama Bin Laden of Southeast Asia was finally killed,” said Garcia.

The Filipino community plans on holding a memorial for the Fallen 44 on Feb. 25, which also falls on the anniversary of the EDSA Revolution.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @stevieangeles for more information.

HASTE MAKES WASTE

Komunidad
February 02,2015

HASTE MAKES WASTE

By Arturo P. Garcia

What really went wrong with the Battle of Mamasapano, Maguindanao for the 5th Company, 5th SAF Batallion? Why were they decimated during the 11 hours battle on January 24, 2015?

What really went wrong during the raid? From A Muslim scholar, Norodin Alonto Lucman, gives good insights into why the President did not send in reinforcements after the SAF were pinned down. Another perspective for reading and you can decide if you agree with it or not.

Aside from Lucman, let us hear the words of Police General Talino, the current SAF Commander who made the eulogy at Camp Bagong Diwa, “ when the reinforcement from the army arrived at around 1;oo pm it was too late. Then, there were radio silence on the 5th Company 5th SAF Bn. Talino said, then I realized they were all gone.”

According to Lucman, “It’s a tactical decision not to reinforce. This will create a firestorm from Lanao to Sulu. Other army and Marine battalions are tied up in other regions. Calling on other AFP assets to reinforce the commandos would leave a gaping security hole where cities, towns and villages in Central Mindanao can be attacked simultaneously by regular MILF forces.

There is no guarantee that reinforcements could reach their target location. Blocking forces will delay their movement and more soldiers will be sacrificed. Is there a guarantee that Manila will not be subject to bombings as well?.

The operation is super secret. Therefore, all aspects of assault and extraction are analyzed and studied carefully within the group. It’s a need to know basis.”

What is revealing to all military men was the analysis of the killing zone or the battlefield provided how the SAF became a sitting ducks on January 24, 2014 in Mamasapano. Maguindanao.

” Since the target is mobile, there is no way they could train as to what terrain to
expect, houses and structures to cover, sort of weaponry needed to position to block possible enemy reinforcements, estimate of enemy troop strength, etc. Since it’s a pre dawn attack, they should expect other elements to react to gunfire.

At that moment, because of time constraints, they depended on info from Cafgus for entry into the target area, not knowing that its a trap going out. The Cafgus were the first casualties.They ended up in an open field where snipers using Barret 50 cal rifles, M14s and improvised Garand sniper rifles. could pick them one by one.

Assuming they survive being hit in the field, there is a river to cross where killing zones are positioned. The guerillas are equipped with M60s. mortars and RPGs. There is simply no way out of that trap.

This explains why some of the soldiers have suffered gaping head wounds. They died instantly..In this type of operation, there is no possibility of reinforcements. Army commanders will not risk their men into a blind situation. They have to wait for daylight to make some sense into the terrain.”

Here is the analysis of the terrain, how the battle went on and how the target area became a trap and a ready made killing zone according to Norodin Alonto Lucman:

“As well trained commandos, they are supposed to hit the target and withdraw as soon as mission is accomplished. Instead, they ran into a gauntlet of firestorm from all sides In fact 30 men were surrounded and were spared, thanks to the efforts of the IMT, Joint CCCH committee and MILF ceasefire representatives.

In conclusion, Lucman said, “ it was a botched operation. In this type of surgical military operation, there is no room for human error. What would have happened if the rebels were neutralized? There are thousands of civilians living in that area.
They could have been massacred or used as shields.”

In the final conclusion it’s the command responsibility of the command who ordered the Mamasapano raid why it failed.

We can compare it to the Delta Force Raid on Iran in 1980. The mission ordered by then President Carter was to rescue the US hostages taken by Iran during the attack on the US Embassy in Teheran in late 1979.The Delta Force mission failed. All the things that will go wrong that day occurred.

The helicopters that should be used did not materialized. There was a desert storm when the Delta Force came. And a terrible accident happened when they were about to abort the mission. The helicopters collided. American lives were lost and were left behind. And everybody knew what happened. It became a big embarrassment to Carter and the worst, he lost the elections of 198o to Ronald Reagan.

We can say the Philippine authorities were in haste for another political capital- a big military victory. Thus President Aquino II was in Zamboanga, some wags said, ”because he was monitoring the operations that could score big for his political propaganda

Therefore they were in haste. Their objective was a quick victory but it turn it wasted 44 SAF lives in the altar of the President’s vanity.

During the eulogy, General Talino , the current commander of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) who replaced the sacked SAF Commander of the botched raid in Mamasapano justified the death of the 44 SAF commandoes with the success of the mission.

He asked a question that he himself answered: “Is the life of 44 SAF commandoes worth the life one terrorist. I say Yes, because more lives will be saved when we were able to neutralized the terrorist bomber.”

I agree from a standpoint of a military analyst. Well, maybe he is quoting from the Great Russian Marshall Joseph Stalin who said,” One enemy spy is worth an army division.”

He is a military man, He is mission oriented. Like the President who is also vision oriented. But let the axe fall and heaven fall where it may. They must first accept their responsibility.

That is the essence of command and command responsibility.

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Pursue the Peace Negotiations, Pass the Basic Bangsamoro Law, Now

EPCC NEWS
February 02,2015

Pursue the Peace Negotiations, Pass the Basic Bangsamoro Law, Now

Los Angeles—Filipino-American leaders unanimously stood for peace and the continuing peace process between the GPH and the MILF. We also support the resumption of the much stalled peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH

Dr. Leo Pandac of the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council (HFNC), said, “he believes we will gain more with the peace process than fomenting war and scrapping the peace agreement we have worked for the last 40 years.

Make Peace, Not War

We will gain more with peace than war. I believe that the peace process will continue and the “misencounter” between the SAF and the MILF that became a stumbling block is only temporary and not long lasting.”

Knights of Rizal leader Rudy Ferran said, “ They maybe enemies in battle but we must let both sides grieved and honor their dead and wounded as well as condole with their families and friends,

We also salute their bravery and honor their sacrifices for what ever cause the fought and died for most especially for peace and understanding in our only one motherland.”

Pass the BBL Now and End the War in Mindanao

The Filipino_American leaders in Southern California were united in criticism of the the warmongers like former Presiden Joseph Estrada, Fidel Ramos and other tmilitarist in the AFP and the PNP and the traditional politicians who now acts like as “dogs of war” who are calling for all-out war against the MILF.

TALAKAYAN Moderator Arturo Garcia said, “ We call on the Philippine Congress to continue the discussion on the Basic Bangsa Moro Law (BBL)and work on the Framework Agreement.Must give peace a change and give solution to the 40 years of war and destruction in Mindanao. Let us work together for peace and prosperity and

To contact newfacla please call us at (213)484-1527 or email us at newfacla@yahoo.com

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Sincerest Condolence For All The Families and Friends of the Victims of the Battle Of Mamapasano, Maguindanao, January 24, 2015

ALLIANCE NEWS
January 31, 2015

Sincerest Condolence For All The Families and Friends of the Victims of the Battle Of Mamapasano, Maguindanao, January 24, 2015

Los Angeles—The Alliance Philippines, based in the United States convey its sincerest condolences to the families, relatives and friends all of the victims of the bloody battle of Mamapasano, Maguindanao last January 24, 2015.

We grieved with all the family, relatives and friends and commensurate with their terrible loss most especially to the 44 SAF police commandos, the 11 MILF troopers and civilians and all those who perished in that bloody “misencounter”.

They maybe enemies in battle but we must let both sides grieved and honor their dead and wounded as well as condole with their families and friends,
We also salute their bravery and honor their sacrifices for what ever cause the fought and died for most especially for peace and understanding in our only one motherland.

Pursue the Peace Negotiations, Stop the War

The Alliance stands for peace and the continuing peace process between the GPH and the MILF. We also support the resumption of the much stalled peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH

The Alliance believes we will gain more with the peace process than fomenting war and scrapping the peace agreement we have worked for the last 40 years.

We also sincerely believe that the peace process will continue and the “misencounter” that became a stumbling block is only temporary and not long lasting.

Pass the BBL Now!

We also call on the warmongers, the militarist in the AFP and the PNP and the traditional politicians who now acts as “dogs of war” to stop their saber-rattling and anti Muslim and anti-MILF hsyteria.

We call on the Philippine Congress to continue the discussion on the Basic Bangsa Moro Law (BBL)and work on the Framework Agreement,
Let us give peace a change and give solution to the 40 years of war and destruction in Mindanao. Let us work together for peace and prosperity and

let us not make the sacrifices of the 44 SAF be not in vain.
Let’s Give Peace a Chance!

To contact the Alliance please call us at (213)241-0995 or email us at pilipinokami76@yahoo.com

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