Philippine military - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Philippine military

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Erwin Tulfo declared persona non grata by PMA alumni

Jun 10, 2019 - 6:50 PM

The alumni association of the Philippine Military Academy 'strongly condemns the boorish behavior and derogatory remarks' of Erwin Tulfo against Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista

APOLOGY ACCEPTED. Malacañang says Filipinos should move on from Erwin Tulfo's (left) remarks against Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Generals snub red-tagging hearing at Court of Appeals

Jun 06, 2019 - 6:11 PM

The generals, including national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon and defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, are required to attend the hearing on July 11

WRIT OF AMPARO. (L-R) Human rights lawyers Rachel Pastores, Czarina Musni and Edre Olalia attend a hearing before the Court of Appeals on June 6, 2019, on the writ of amparo accusing the Philippine military of red-tagging and harassment. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Duterte Youth's Cardema to remain on PMA board of advisers

Jun 04, 2019 - 7:53 PM

PMA Spokesman Major Rey Afan says Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Cardema will keep his seat in the school's board of advisers 'per protocol'

ADVISER. Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Cardema (front, 3rd left) stands as a member of the Philippine Military Academy over a decade after he was dismissed as a cadet. Sourced photo

Malacañang on Erwin Tulfo: He apologized, let's move on

Jun 03, 2019 - 1:55 PM

Though saying it's still on Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista's side, the Palace says it accepts Erwin Tulfo's apology

Photo by Angie de Silva

Dismissed as PMA cadet, Duterte Youth's Cardema now school's adviser

May 31, 2019 - 8:46 PM

He has been named to the Philippine Military Academy board of advisers in his former capacity as National Youth Commission chairperson

ADVISER. Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Cardema (front, 3rd left) stands as a member of the Philippine Military Academy nearly a decade after he was dismissed as a cadet. Sourced photo

'He's the President': Albayalde defends Duterte PMA rape joke

May 27, 2019 - 12:44 PM

'He's the President, hindi naman natin pwedeng sabihin sa kanya kung ano ang dapat niyang sabihin at hindi,' says PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, a member of the PMA class of 1986

PARDONED. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the pardon for all outstanding punishments to Philippine Military Academy undergraduates. Screengrab from RTVM

Duterte sat out PMA diploma distribution because he was 'sleepy' – Panelo

May 27, 2019 - 10:28 AM

Malacañang says President Rodrigo Duterte delegated the task of handing out diplomas to 'reserve his energy' for the rest of the graduation rites

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signs the pardon for the punishments for the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) underclassmen during the commencement exercises of the PMA ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City on May 26, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte sits out diploma distribution of PMA Class of 2019

May 26, 2019 - 5:01 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte hands out diplomas to only two of 261 Philippine Military Academy cadets during their graduation

SEATED. President Rodrigo Duterte spent most of the diploma distribution sitting. Screengrab from RTVM

Valedictorian of PMA Class 2019 honors mother in her speech

May 26, 2019 - 4:22 PM

Dionne Mae Umalla, 21, delivers a heartfelt valedictory speech, as she recounts the sacrifices of her mother, a retired teacher in Ilocos Sur

The Members 261 cadets of the “Mabalasik” Class of 2019 of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Duterte cracks rape jokes as he pardons PMA cadets

May 26, 2019 - 2:35 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte jokes that underclassmen of the Philippine Military Academy committed rape. This is not the first time the President has joked about the serious crime.

PARDONED. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the pardon for all outstanding punishments to Philippine Military Academy undergraduates. Screengrab from RTVM

'My mother is my hero': Female cadet from Ilocos Sur tops PMA Class 2019

May 21, 2019 - 5:36 PM

Cadet First Class Dionne Mae Apolog Umalla will graduate as number one among her 262 classmates or mistahs of the Philippine Military Academy's Mabalasik Class of 2019

CLASS VALEDICTORIAN. Cadet 1CL Dionne Mae Apolog Umalla from Barangay Alilem Daya, Alilem, Ilocos Sur is present at the Philippine Military Academy's Longayban Hall in Baguio City. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Human rights lawyers seek Supreme Court protection from army ‘harassment’

Apr 15, 2019 - 3:40 PM

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers says that since the start of Duterte's presidency, a total of 55 lawyers have been attacked or threatened, 36 of whom were killed

PROTECTIVE WRITS. The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) run to the Supreme Court to ask for a Writ of Amparo and a Writ of Habeas Data citing threats from the military. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

PH, U.S. forces play up friendship amid calls for defense treaty review

Apr 12, 2019 - 4:58 PM

'Balikatan is not just a fulfilment of our obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty, but a commitment to solidify and strengthen the friendship of our nations,' says Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna

CLOSING CEREMONY. Balikatan 2019 closes with US Ambassador the Philippines Sung Kim and Philippine National Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna, and military officials from both countries. Photo by Naoki Mengua/Rappler

LOOK: World's most advanced stealth aircraft featured in Balikatan 2019

Apr 11, 2019 - 7:21 PM

The F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Force appears for the first time in the Philippines, onboard the US Navy's USS Wasp during the Balikatan 2019 amphibious exercises in Zambales

ADVANCED AIRCRAFT. F-35B Lightining II jets make their debut in the Balikatan exercises during the amphibious exercise at Naval Education Training Command in Zambales on 11 April 2019. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

Balikatan 2019: PH, U.S. forces 'take over' beach in Zambales

Apr 11, 2019 - 5:34 PM

Philippine and US forces bring out battle-ready ships and vehicles as they complete an exercise to take control of a shorefront in the Naval Education Training Center in Zambales

COMBINED EXERCISES. Philippine and US armed forces conduct amphibious exercises in San Antonio, Zambales as part of Balikatan 2019. Photo by Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler

PH, U.S. troops claim victory in Tarlac 'assault mission'

Apr 10, 2019 - 4:19 PM

The Philippine and US armed forces bring out their equipment for an explosion-filled exercise in Crow Valley, Tarlac

ASSAULT. PH and US simulate an attack during their live-fire exercise at the Colonel Ernesto Ravina Air Base in Tarlac. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

DND, AFP renew call for defense treaty review in Balikatan 2019

Apr 01, 2019 - 3:11 PM

'Remember the treaty was made in 1951, and several things have already transpired,' says Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Benjamin Madrigal Jr

CLARITY NEEDED. AFP Chief-of-Staff Benjamin Madrigal speaks at the Balikatan 2019 opening ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo on April 1. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Balikatan vs China? Drills not aimed at any country, says U.S.

Apr 01, 2019 - 1:30 PM

US Balikatan Exercise Director Chris McPhillips says the purpose of the exercises is to develop cooperation among Filipino, American, and Australian soldiers

FOR THE SOLDIERS. Brigadier General Chris McPhillips speaks to reporters in Philippine military headquarters Camp Aguinaldo. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

PH, U.S. armed forces open Balikatan 2019

Apr 01, 2019 - 10:49 AM

Balikatan 2019 marks one of the biggest in the project's history, involving 4,000 Filipino, 3,500 American, and 50 Australian soldiers

OPENING. Balikatan 2019 opens with US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Military plane catches fire at takeoff from Clark Air Base

Mar 27, 2019 - 1:35 PM

(UPDATED) All 122 passengers and crew members are safe after firefighters immediately responded to the scene

BIG PLANE. A C130 catches fire at takeoff from Clark Airbase in Pampanga. File photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

PH military acquires P1.5-B China-made equipment

Mar 27, 2019 - 12:46 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte’s military modernization program kicks off with the acquisition of engineering equipment to be deployed for the rehabilitation of Marawi City

MADE IN CHINA. Equipment bought from Chinese companies are on display in Camp Aguinaldo at the turnover ceremonies on March 27, 2019. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena

4 Army soldiers arrested in ambush of ex-Zamboanga del Sur mayor

Mar 22, 2019 - 6:11 PM

The 4 suspects in the ambush of the former mayor of Dumingag town are with the Philippine Army's 1st Infantry Tabak Division

2 foreign fighters believed to be among 20 killed in Maguindanao clashes

Mar 13, 2019 - 12:34 PM

The military is retrieving body parts to identify all of the fatalities in clashes between troops and suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

WATCH: Politicians join PMA alumni homecoming ahead of 2019 polls

Feb 16, 2019 - 10:11 PM

From former police chief Ronald dela Rosa to Senator JV Estrada, original and adopted alumni are welcomed by the Philippine Military Academy in its 2019 alumni homecoming

'RULING CLASS.' The PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986 marching led by Senatorial candidate and former top cop Ronald dela Rosa and police chief Oscar Albayalde. Photo by Jeff Digma/Rappler

Service sans the uniform: Former military, policemen seek gov't posts in 2019

Feb 16, 2019 - 7:24 PM

These former servicemen refuse to retreat from the field of public service and have chosen to go into the perilous jungle of politics

NEW SERVICE. Former policemen and soldiers try their luck at civilian public service, running for the 2019 elections.

DENR chief Cimatu fears Baguio 'may lose pine trees'

Feb 16, 2019 - 12:54 PM

'I will be making really a study for what is best for Baguio City as far as the environment is concerned,' says Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu

BAGUIO. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Chief Roy Cimatu says the pine trees in Baguio are dying. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Dela Rosa confident of PMA alumni support for Senate bid

Feb 16, 2019 - 11:29 AM

'Siguradong may boboto sa akin kaya hindi na ako mangangampanya dito,' says administration senatorial bet Ronald dela Rosa, who is attending the PMA homecoming as a member of Class 1986

NO CAMPAIGN.' Former top cop and now administration senatorial candidate Ronald dela Rosa speaks to the media on the sidelines of the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming in Baguio City on Februry 16, 2019. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

PMA to 2019 candidates: Don't use our homecoming to campaign

Feb 16, 2019 - 8:29 AM

The Philippine Military Academy will ask politicians to get rid of their campaign materials found in Fort Gregorio del Pilar

NO CAMPAIGNING, PLEASE. The Philippine Military Academy appeals to politicians and alumni alike not to use its annual homecoming on February 16, 2019, to campaign for the May polls. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

NPA frees 6 militiamen in Agusan del Sur

Feb 15, 2019 - 3:56 PM

Those released are members of the Citizen Armed Auxiliary who were taken as captives after the rebel attacked a military detachment in December

1 soldier killed, 3 others wounded in Sulu clash vs Abu Sayyaf

Feb 14, 2019 - 6:21 PM

The offensive is part of the military's intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group after the deadly Jolo Cathedral bombing

Duterte to certify military pension reform bill as urgent

Feb 07, 2019 - 2:49 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte backs the Department of National Defense's version of the bill, which includes raising the pensionable age to 60 from 56

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 34th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 6, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Bangsamoro plebiscite 'peaceful,' say military, police

Feb 06, 2019 - 7:07 PM

'Those who had to vote voted. The turnout is quite high. Intimidation [tactics] had minimal effect on the voters,' says military public affairs chief Colonel Noel Detoyato

Army soldiers on Lanao del Norte on February 6, 2019. Photo by Bobby Lagsa

Duterte meets families of soldiers killed in Abu Sayyaf encounter, Jolo bombing

Feb 06, 2019 - 10:04 AM

The meeting in Davao City is one of the private activities President Rodrigo Duterte has busied himself with after a weekend of rumors of his death

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte commiserates with the relatives of one of the victims who died during the twin bombings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu as he visited Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo on January 28, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

CAAP opens Heroes' Lounge in 24 airports for cops, soldiers

Jan 30, 2019 - 6:20 PM

The lounge has relaxing interiors, comfortable seats, TVs, and free Wi-Fi

COMFORT. The Laoag International Airport has a colorful interior with comfortable couches for uniformed personnel to use when flying. Photo from CAAP

Military to recommend ending martial law if enemy strength down to 30%

Jan 29, 2019 - 6:11 PM

But with baselines and deadlines unclear, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen says it could mean that martial law can last until the end of Duterte’s term

MARTIAL LAW. AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal tells the Supreme Court that they will be "glad to recommend the lifting of martial law" if enemies are "degraded" to only 30%. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

'Prove this is rebellion,' Caguioa says of military martial law report

Jan 29, 2019 - 4:41 PM

(UPDATED) Some incidents ‘seem to be for motives other than rebellion,’ says Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, the member-in-charge

ORAL ARGUMENTS. Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa interpellates the military's deputy chief of staff for intelligence during oral arguments on the 3rd extension of martial law on January 29, 2019. Screenshot from SC PIO

PMA now closed to tourists on weekdays

Jan 25, 2019 - 9:01 PM

The military school holding educational tours inside the academy to herd the tourists instead of letting them loiter at the academy

Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

150 soldiers recruited for 'law enforcement, intel' at Customs

Jan 24, 2019 - 8:48 PM

This heeds President Duterte's call for the military to help run the graft-ridden bureau

College editors' alliance hits military for tagging youth leaders as NPA recruiters

Jan 24, 2019 - 5:36 PM

College Editors Guild of the Philippines claims red-tagging is part of the 'persistent state crackdown against progressive groups and individuals'

Lumad to Supreme Court: End attacks, end martial law

Jan 23, 2019 - 1:12 PM

Teachers and students of alternative schools in Mindanao also ask the High Court to issue a cease and desist order against the military

Ex-general in military corruption scandal cleared in P428M tax case

Jan 16, 2019 - 8:14 PM

The Court of Tax Appeals acquits former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot of tax crimes, but says the deficiency assessment of the Bureau of Internal Revenue stands

ACQUITTED. Retired general Jacinto Ligot and wife Erlina are acquitted of 4 counts of tax violation. File photo from Newsbreak

[OPINION] Proposed review of PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty: Opening a Pandora's box

Dec 31, 2018 - 12:37 PM

A veritable Pandora’s box of nasty surprises would be opened once the Philippines pushes for renegotiations. Is that what the majority of Filipinos want?

The generals' coup in 2018: Duterte breaks up with Reds

Dec 26, 2018 - 11:45 AM

The military elbows the communists out of government, and turns the President who once called himself leftist into becoming the rebels' worst enemy

Police, military to jointly probe into gunrunners controversy

Dec 17, 2018 - 7:56 PM

The gunrunners are said to have gotten ammunition from the AFP's armory in Fort Magsaysay through a 'retired soldier'

Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Guns, bullets seized from rebel suppliers traced to military

Dec 17, 2018 - 4:10 PM

The PNP says the firearms and ammunition in the boxes are labeled 'AFP', 'GOVERNMENT PROPERTY,' and 'PHILIPPINE ARMY'

MILITARY EQUIPMENT. The confiscated bullets and guns are presented in Camp Crame on Monday, December 17. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

LIST: Duterte's top military, police appointees

Dec 15, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Here are the former military and police generals appointed by President Duterte to key posts in government

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath to newly-appointed Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista during a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on October 17, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In 2018, Duterte turns to military for (almost) everything

Dec 12, 2018 - 3:21 PM

With 2018 ending, Duterte's Cabinet is now one-third former military and police men. He has turned to ex-generals to 'fix' Boracay and soldiers to overhaul the Bureau of Customs.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte does a test fire on one of the sniper rifles donated by the Chinese government while the troops conduct a sniping capability demonstration during his visit at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija on November 22, 2017. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

[OPINION] Martial Law Part 4!

Dec 11, 2018 - 11:25 PM

It’s beginning to look a lot like this administration is incapable of solving a problem, not because the AFP lacks the ability or the will to, but because the political leaders lack the political will or incentive to solve it

Baguio police forms task force to solve imam’s killing

Dec 07, 2018 - 5:29 PM

The police say there might be at least 3 men directly involved in the killing of Bejedim Abdullah, a Muslim cleric at the Philippine Military Academy

SUSPECTS. Baguio City Police Director Eliseo Tanding on December 7, 2018, shows photos of the suspects in the killing of Philippine Military Academy imam Bejedim Abdullah. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

PMA imam gunned down in Baguio

Dec 06, 2018 - 2:29 PM

Bedejim Abdullah, an imam of Muslim cadets at the Philippine Military Academy, was instrumental in setting up the first mosque in Baguio City and helped coordinate peace events with other religious leaders

POPULAR IMAM. 'Doing my daily runs aboard Blacktrekker; my mechanical horse,' Bedejim Abdullah says in his caption to this photo he posted on his Facebook page on November 28, 2018. Photo from Bedejim Abdullah's Facebook page