Daily Archives: April 10, 2015


April 10, 2014


The Bataan Death March (Filipino: Martsa ng Kamatayan sa Bataan) was the forcible transfer from Saisaih Pt. and Mariveles to Camp O’Donnell by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000–80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war which began on April 9, 1942, after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II.

More than 20,000 perished during the march. The march went from Mariveles, Bataan, to San Fernando, Pampanga. From San Fernando, survivors were loaded to a box train and were brought to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

The 60 mi (97 km) march was characterized by occasional severe physical abuse and resulted in some fatalities inflicted upon prisoners and civilians alike by the Japanese Army.

It was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.


The Age Old Conflict Between the AFP and the PNP

April 10, 2015

The Age Old Conflict Between the AFP and the PNP

By Arturo P. Garcia

The Mamasapano Incident of January 25, 2015 opened up old wounds and revealed the old age conflict between the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

These conflicts have simmering and appears on and off as the country goes on crisis after crisis over its 116 years of existence from the American Occupation of the Philippines from 1899 to 1946 to the life of the Philippine Republic thereafter.

In actuality, the American formed the Philippine Constabulary (PC) as early as 1899 as an insular force to keep peace and order in the country and used it in its pacification campaign against revolutionary forces until 1916 especially in the island of Mindanao.

On the other hand, it was only in 1921 with the enactment of the National Defense Act (NDA) and was only years later when the NDA was implemented around 1935 that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was formed.

By then, a 120,000 strong Philippine Army was formed to be used for external defense when the war in China and in Europe was simmering. To cut the story short, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was ill prepared for the war that was coming. Its plan to build a national army of 120,000 men fell short despite it’s hiring of the best military mind-retired General Douglas MacArthur in 1935.

The ill-prepared, untrained late-formed USAFFE was forces to surrender in Bataan after less than five months of battles and a successful Japanese 5-day military campaign.

The only good thing about the defeat in Bataan was that was the only time the AFP and the PC joined together to fight a common enemy under the command of the USAFFE.

They continued to fight jointly during the 3-year war of resistance against the Japanese and during the liberation of the Philippines.

The New Republic

After the war, the Republic went back to the former set up. The Philippine Constabulary (PC) was again formed after the war and handled the internal conflict. They t got help from the newly formed units of the Philippine Army in fighting the community Huks who controlled some parts of Central and Southern from the late 1940’s to the middle of the 1950’s.

On the other hand, the Philippine Army was formed from the group called Philippine Ground Forces (PGF) and from the USIP-NL Guerilla division. It was later incorporated to the AFP with different branches of service. It has the distinction of being one of the strongest and modern military in Asia until the end of the 1960s.

The professional jealousy between the two units started then. The Constabulary acting like the National Guards common in the United States, controls the police forces that were supposed to be a civilian units under the control of the Mayor or the local executive.

On the other hand, the army were deployed in the troubled areas of the country under the threat of bandits, communist rebels or other armed groups and cannot be subdued by the PC or the police forces. But it is a common knowledge that the PC and the police became the private armies of the politicians.

On the other hand, the AFP was known to be insulated from politics because it functions under a national structure and are ready against external threats. But at eve of martial, more and more AFP units were drawn to the conflicts all over the republic with the new threats from the newly formed NPA and the Muslim rebellion in the southern Philippines.

Martial Law Years

When Marcos declared martial law in 1972, he started to rebuild the PC and called it the PC-INP for Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police (PC-INP). It envisioned a national police force, away from the concept of the National Guards unit common in South America and patterned after the United States.

The idea of turning and building the AFP as a force to counter external aggression was the propaganda line of the US-Marcos regime. But the only thing that was done was the idea of building a mechanized division, the 5th division but it was only for show. The Philippines from one of the modern armed forces in Asia in the 1960’s became a poor man’s army by the end of the 1980’s.

The army was fully mobilized from one ready division ( the 1st Army “Tabak” Division formerly based in Fort Magsaysay) into five army division by the end of the US-Marcos Dictatorship. Most of the army divisions were deployed in Mindanao.

In fact, by the middle of the 1980’s the army and the constabulary were in turmoil. The Reform the Armed Forces Movement or RAM became a movement of disgruntled officers who have grown tired of Marcos favoritism and “Ilocanization” of the PC-INP and the AFP.

Reforms and the Formation of the PNP

In 1990, in line with the 1987 Constitution, the Philippine National Police (PNP), a civilian led and a police force separate from the AFP was formed. Accordingly, a PNP Police Academy or the PNPA was activated that will trained police officers was also formed.

This was to remedy that police officers trained by the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) with a military orientation will be trained by a new PNPA to produce police officers trained for civilian duties as mandated by the constitution.

But this did solve the age old conflict between the PNP and the AFP With the Mamasapano incident on January 25, 2015 the old wounded burst asunder.

SAF sacked commander General Leo Napenas blamed AFP 6th ID Commander General Edmundo Pangilinan for not rescuing his beleaguered troops and for not firing and giving necessary artillery support.

On the other hand, 6ID Commander Pangilinan blamed the SAF for not giving details for his fire support and ultimately blamed “the peace process” for his decision not to reinforce and give support the SAF forces.

Different versions of the different agencies that conducted investigations on the Mamasapano debacle gave different reasons for the fiasco on the botched SAF mission. But both military and police forces are trying to put up a brave face of unity.

AFP Chief Gregorio Catapang declared in the latest House investigation on Mamasapano , “that there is no problem between the PNP and the AFP. We trust each other. It is only General Napenas who does not trust the AFP”.

Let the events that will unfold proved what he said.