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From Herbie's post from November 15, 2013

From the ITB, "The Department of National Defense/Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND/AFP), through the General Appropriations Act and the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund 2000, intends to apply the sum of ONE HUNDRED FOURTY EIGHT MILLION, NINE HUNDRED NINETY NINE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT PESOS, AND TWENTY TWO CENTAVOS (PHP 148,999,378.22) being the Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) to payments under the contract for the Constructions of the two (2) PAF SAR Basing and Hangarage Projects including Other Requirements...

The project involves the construction of one (1) unit each of SAR Basing and Hangarage at Sanga-Sanga Tawi-Tawi and Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Other Requirements. The plan is to upgrade the capability requirements of the PAF and improve the  operational effectiveness by constructing hangars and facilities as support systems to sustain the Search and Rescue Operations of the PAF and support the maritime security and protection of the Malampaya Natural Gas-to-Power Project, Reed bank, and the future Sulu Oil Rig."

PAF SAR Basing and Hangarage Project

It seems the Search and Rescue Seaplane Acquisition Project seems to be "partner" project of this explaining the AESA radar requirement and float capability to give maritime domain awareness and rescue capability at the same time.

Military History / Other Cannon Class ships in the PN
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:24:18 PM »
All in all, there were five Cannon class ships that were turned over to the Philippine Navy. Of the five only the following were actually given names and made operational:

Datu Kalantiaw (RPS 76)
Datu Sikatuna (PF-5)
Rajah Humabon (PF-11)

Two other Cannons were acquired, but were simply used as a source of spares.

USS Muir (DE-770)


1 June 1943: Keel laid by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Tampa, Fla.
4 June 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Witten H. McConnochie, sister of the late Lieutenant (jg.) Muir
30 August 1944: Commissioned, Lcdr Theodore A. O’Gorman, USNR, in command
September 1947: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.
2 February 1956: Transferred (MAP) to South Korea at the Boston Naval Shipyard, renamed ROKS Kyong Ki (F-71) (stricken 28 December 1977, to Philippines for cannibalization)
15 November 1974: Stricken from the NVR


Kenneth Hart Muir, born 25 July 1916 in Brooklyn, N.Y., enlisted in the Naval Reserve 23 September 1940 to serve as apprentice seaman until he was appointed midshipman 14 February 1941.  He died in action as officer in charge of the U.S. Armed Guard on board liberty ship SS NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, sunk in the Caribbean 7 November 1942 by U-508. 

Although severely wounded, he “ordered the three men near him to leap clear... and then rushed back to help more... to escape.  He was still urging his gunners over the side when the ship went down.”  For his outstanding courage and unselfish devotion to his men, Lieutenant (j.g.) Muir was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Cross.

===== ~~~ =====

USS Sutton (DE-771)


23 August 1943: Keel laid by the Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Tampa, Fla.
6 August 1944: Launched and christened, sponsored by Mrs. Shelton B. Sutton, Sr.
22 December 1944: Commissioned, Lt. T. W. Nazro in command
19 March 1948: Decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Fla.
2 February 1956: Transferred (Grant Aid) to South Korea, renamed ROKS Kang Won (F-72) (stricken 28 December 1977, to Philippines for cannibalization)
15 November 1974: Stricken from the NVR


Photo c/o 40niner

During the transfer in Boston in 1956 to Rep of Korea navy. Photo from ROKorea MND Flickr account

An article posted by LTC Bautista's son, ajrakoni, on October 7, 2012

My mother described the Story of my father’s death as such based on her conversations with those involved in the rescue attempt: 

It was Friday, January 11, 1974. The battle for Jolo, one of the fiercest counter-insurgency engagements the AFP has fought in modern history was under way. Two days earlier rebel Forces had launched a major offensive on simultaneous targets in Jolo, Basilan and Maimbung.  Over a thousand Muslim secessionists had just taken over the whole town of Parang and were about to overwhelm the PC detachment there. 

The Philippine Air Force scrambled two F86 fighter-bombers from Zamboanga Air Base, 150 Kilometers away.  Led by Lt Col Antonio "Tony" Bautista to break the backbone of the offensive. Because the dense foliage obscured the enemy positions, Tony proceeded with low level attack runs.  Unknown at that time, the rebels were armed with high powered riffles supplied by a foreign country capable of doing real damage to aircraft. 

With each pass, Tony braved his plane through a hail storm of several hundred rifles trained at him. Warning lights were coming on and buzzing like bees all over the board.  With each pass his F86 fighter jet was taking more and more damage.  Ignoring the clear and present danger, Tony Bautista pressed his attacks again and again. Only after two bombing and five low level strafing passes had depleted all his ammunition did he finally break off and veer his badly crippled plane away to land.

Lt Roger Crudo recalls the incident.   He was the wingman on this mission.  During the attacks his plane had suffered damage as well. 

As they were flying back to the base, LtCol Bautista’s voice crackled over the radio, “Crudo.  Yung wingtip mo, umaapoy. You have to land soon"   

Crudo looks over at Tony’s plane and radioed back.  “Sir, mas grabe po kayo.  You’re billowing smoke and you’re fuselage is on fire.”

Tony Bautista then realized the gravity of his situation and flew his plane towards Jolo Airfield. He radios in.  “How long is the Jolo runway?”

Lt Roland Baltazar was with Lt Joya who was at the controls of a C47 Gunship flying towards Jolo.  Only days earlier, prior to flying to Jolo and Sanga Sanga, Lt Col Bautista gave him some money and asked him to buy him a red blanket with black trim at the Jolo market.  A gift for his wife.

 “5000 (feet), sir.”  Lt Baltazar responds to Bautista’s query about the Jolo runway,

LtCol Bautista radios in that his landing gear was malfunctioning and he would have to ditch his plane and bail out.  Lt Crudo flew his F86 sabre alongside LtCol Bautista’s stricken plane in order to spot where Tony would finally eject and land.    Tony flew his plane as close to the airfield as possible.  His plan was to parachute down onto the runway.  But he could not bail too close because Jolo was populated and he did not want to risk innocent lives crashing his plane into the town.

Tony ejected at barely over a thousand feet.  His plane soon after breaks up and explodes in mid-air finally crashing a kilometer from the airport.  Soon after, Lt Crudo reported “open chute”.  The base cheered and the other pilots listening in were already thinking of japes and jabs that they would heap on their commander when he got back to base.  Today was the last day of Lt Col Antonio Bautista as a fighter pilot.  Today they were to say goodbye to him as their squadron commander, because he was promoted to a desk job in Nichols Air Base.  They cheered because tonight there would be one last story to tell.

But soon their cheers turned to dismay when Lt Crudo reported that the strong winds were blowing the chute carrying Tony Bautista away past the southern perimeter of the airports defenses towards the enemy controlled territory.  Cursing profusely, Lt Crudo had no choice but to land his bird.  He was low on fuel, his ammunition was depleted and his plane was on fire as well.  So he had to fly his wounded bird back to Zamboanga.

Col Louie Diano was already in the air on a chopper.  He and another chopper flown by Lt Benjamin Defensor, took off as soon as the distress call came.  From the air he spotted Tony. He had already removed his chute harness and had a .45 calibre drawn.  He was moving away from the coconut trees and heading towards the open nipa fields where the chopper could pick him up.    Col Diano also spotted the rebels rushing towards Tony.  The rebel forces were wearing military gear carrying government issued firearms.  Diano later relates that Tony might not have recognized the full extent of his danger because he might be confused by the uniforms.  Were they friend or foe?  In the aftermath it was learned that groups of government army troops who were rebel returnees had turned coat and join the offensive against the government.

Bautista was already in the clearing and he was an open target.  He was trying to camouflage his profile behind the waist deep nipa leaves.  But he knew he was a sitting duck.  He heard the roar of chopper blades.  He fired a flare.  Suddenly gunfire erupts from all around him targeting the helicopters.  Tony realized that the rebels were closing in on his position.  The choppers were circling and firing back but the intense gunfire was preventing them from landing.  Tony fires a second flare. 

As Col Diano approached, his chopper was met with heavy enemy gunfire and he was forced to move away.  He sees the second flare.  “Putang ina!”  He curses again and again.  They could not land as hundreds of rebels trained a withering barrage of bullets at them.   The rescue helicopters land near the eastern end of the runway and asked the army troopers there to penetrate the area since LtCol Bautista was still alive, but no army trooper would brave the enemy fire!  Moments later Diano heard more gunfire but his chopper was not targeted.  “Putang ina!” he cursed profusely as he knew the gunfire was directed towards Tony Bautista.  The rebels had found him. 

In desperation, two Helicopter gunners grabbed the guns from the helicopter mounts and rushed into the maws of battle! It was the Air Force men, not army troopers, who rushed to the aid of their fallen comrade.   

It was Sgt Nonito Calizo who had first reached Tony Bautista.  As Calizo described it, He was practically crawling all the way.  Calizo recalled that he was covering his front and back. His progress hampered because he had to keep looking backwards as well for fear that the army troopers who were rebel returnees, supposed allies, might turn on him from behind.    When he reached the spot he saw Tony Bautista’s lifeless body face down on the ground, his left hand extended and his fingers were clawed into the ground, clenched in the final agonizing spasms of death.

The rebels had stripped him of whatever valuables they could easily get.  His watch was gone from his wrist. His helmet was not around, neither was his service pistol.  His Rayban aviator glasses were on the ground beside the body.  Sgt Calizo scooped it up. Later on, narrates that he gave the glasses to one of the pilots to give back to Tony's family but regrets not remembering the name.  Given the circumstances of the moment, it was understandable.  Another Airman Benedicto Lojo helped him secure the body and then they proceeded to half-drag half-carry the body of Bautista all the way to the helicopter.

The absolute gloom was palpable and felt by everyone when they heard the news of my dad’s Death.

Here is how I remember it.   Friday, January 11, 1974.

Officers Row, Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga.  Home of the 5th Fighter Wing and the 9th Tactical Fighter squadron, of which my Dad was the Squadron Commander.  I was five years old at that time. My brother Alan, eight years old, was at school in San Fernando and my youngest brother, three year old Arthur, was in the arms of Yaya Maggie.  That same day, I was playing outside the house and I recall seeing the Wing Commander Col Ernesto Bueno and his wife, a priest, a doctor and a nurse, (my mom told me who they were later) drive up to the house. My mom was not home at that time. So they waited outside, but not long.

A few minutes later my mom arrived from the butcher. She had just bought meat for my dad’s favorite dish, Sinigang.  She was going to cook it for my dad, who was expected to arrive the following day.

My mom met Col Bueno by the door.

“Jane” was all Col Bueno said.

My mom was silent and raised a hand, to stop Col Bueno from saying anything more. She knew. Walking towards the house, she saw from a distance the retinue and she knew.

“Just tell me one thing.” Fighting back her tears, Jane asked Col Bueno. “Did they recover his body whole?”  The rebels were notorious for collecting body parts for trophies.

“Yes” Bueno replied.

Jane walks into the house and numbly sits on the couch. All around the house were rows and rows of boxes, bags and maletas. For the past few days, my Mom was busy packing up all our things. It was our last week in Basa Air Base. We were in the midst of packing up because my dad had just been promoted and we were transferring off to Nichols Air Base. Today was to mark my dad's last mission as a fighter pilot because his new assignment was a desk job. We were actually in the midst of preparing a despedida party.

From the front yard, I look on as the group go inside the house. I go back to playing in the sand.  Lt Edilberto Yap, our next door neighbour, goes into the house.   Moments later he gets into our family car and drives off, to pick up my brother Alan from his school in San Fernando.

As Tito Bert Yap drives away, I notice a throng of people start to gather around my house. Puzzled I looked as many of them were crying and sobbing uncontrollably. They were mostly the wives of the officers. I knew them because I play with their kids and regularly visited their houses.

Seconds later I hear an inconsolable wail coming from the house. It was my Mom!

I rushed inside the house and ran towards my mom. She was sobbing when she saw me and hugged me close.

Uncomprehending, I started to cry, too,  because she was crying.

“Don’t cry na, Mommy” I said, ”Daddy will be home soon.”

Gently she holds both my arms and holds me at arm’s length. She looks at me.   Her red rimmed gaze is forever seared into my memory “Anton. Your Daddy is dead.” That’s all she said. Moments later, yaya Maggie picks me up and carries me away.


Pushed against the wall, the government deployed the most lethal weapons it could muster; jet fighter-bombers, T-28 attack planes, AC-47 gunships, helicopters and the Philippine Navy’s gunships.  After the smoke had cleared, the human cost was heart wrenching as thousands of civilians were caught in the crossfire and lost their homes.  Hundreds of men from both government and rebel forces were confirmed dead.  Finally on February 10th, a month after the offensive began the military finally declared total control of the region.  Mopping operations by the 14th Army Battalion under LtCol Salvador Mison were going on in earnest backed by the full might of the Philippine Air Force which asserted total air dominance. 

Lt Col Antonio M BAUTISTA was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star for his act of conspicuous courage and gallantry in the face of an armed enemy.  On December 1974, the airman's village, Nayong Bautista, in Basa Air Base was established in his honor.  Additionally, the Airbase in Puerto Princesa, Palawan is named after him. It is now home to the 570th composite Wing of the PAF.

SSgt Nonito Calizo and Airman Benedicto Lojo were both awarded the Gold Cross for their courage and gallantry at charging through enemy territory to recover the Body of Lt Col Bautista.

Col Luis Diano became The Wing commander of Mactan Air Force Base.

Lt Benjamin Defensor had a great career in the military and rose to become the Commanding General of the PAF.

Lt Roger Crudo went on to have a successful career in the PAF.  Later he flew the F-8 crusader Jets as part of the Frontline Philippine Defense Response team.  Some of the Fighter Jets were based in Antonio Bautista Air Base.  Exactly forty years to the day, on January 11, 2014, Roger Crudo answered the final summons to take up his Wingman position beside his former commander.

LtCol Salvador Mison had a successful military career ending his career as a General.  After retirement he entered public service.  He now serves as Customs Commissioner.

Col Ernesto Bueno became General and under his tenure Basa Air Base grew to the heights of its glory.  Later he became Mayor of Baguio City.  An Airforce Museum dedicated to General Bueno can be found in Basa Air Base today.

Special thanks to my Mom Alice Jane for sharing the stories.  And to Colonel Eduardo Diano, PAF, for the historical perspective.

Photo of Limbas Commander LtCol Antonio Bautista.  (9th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Wing, Philippine air Force)

Military History / PA Shermans in WWII
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:13:39 PM »
Sabra found these photos and shared them on the forum on December 11, 2014

General Discussion / Frigate Acquisition Project: Towed Sonar Array
« on: September 28, 2016, 03:42:30 PM »
Administrator's note: See also Frigate Acquisition Project thread index for this, and other, sub-systems


The SBB for the PN Frigate program that Herbie had the following entry on page 6:

Fitted For But Not With (FFBNW) . . . for a sonar array

While the FFBNW approach for VLS made ballast control interesting . . .

. . . it would arguably be even more so with a towed sonar array with all the weight associated with the winch system and cables associated with it.

For reference, here is an excerpt from Horge's research about what it would take to add a similar system to the PF-15

Quote from: horge on June 26, 2011, 10:50:12 PM
I can't find EXACT dimensions for an OK-410 and its peripherals, and ultimately:
there are many other towed-array sonar systems besides AN/SQR-19 TACTAS, with their
own handling-winch dimensions. Size means cable length and effectiveness of the TAS.

Here are some photos that give an idea of the sizes of just the TAS handling-winch:
(wala pa ang other components represented in the image I posted earlier)

Indal Tech's array handling winch. Note the man for scale.

An Appleton Marine array handling winch. Note the ladder for scale.

The massive handling winch for the DUBV 43C towed-array sonar on the
French ASW frégate La Lamotte-Picquet Note the crewman for scale,
and realize the rest of the system (just for handling the cable) is forward
and/or belowdecks of the big winch.


One of the larger torpedo-detection TAS systems (ULTRA TRAPR) has a
smaller handling winch, typical for such systems, since they have much
shorter tow cables. Note crewman at top right of image, for scale


The following highlights the weight of all this gear

Quote from: horge on July 02, 2011, 09:03:49 PM
To be clear, we're not supposed to consider systems that are unavailable
in aceeptable ASW configuration, lol... but WTF:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

The QH-50 would have to be developed further to haul a heavier payload.
In our case, an ASW-UAV would (IMHO) have to possess dipping sonar, a
secure datalink w/ PF-15, and an anti-sub weapon. That would be its
effective payload:

AQS-18 transducer, cable, winch, etc. -- 265kg
MD-2202 datalink and peripherals -------  11kg
Mk. 46 torpedo ------------------------ 231kg
Cobalt 90 FLIR turret and peripherals -----  2kg
RDR-1700b radar ------------------------  50kg

That's over half a ton of gear.
QH-50 at best could only haul a bit more than 390kg (pair of Mk.44).
Picador supposedly can carry 180kg. Eagle Eye & Fire Scout, 90+kg.


See for yourself folks. Start at time index 42:02

Duterte wasn't talking about military alliances when he was referring to China and Russia.


Contrast that with headlines like this

Philippines' Duterte wants to 'open alliances' with Russia, China
21 Hours Ago
15 Hours Ago | 00:35

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and "open alliances" with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States.

Duterte said the Philippines was at the "point of no return" in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers that have been sparring with Washington on the international political stage.

Last week, he last declared he would visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expecting him in Moscow.

< Edited >

Filipino Potential / ADB raises Philippine growth forecast
« on: September 28, 2016, 01:09:17 PM »
ADB raises Philippine growth forecast

Posted at Sep 27 2016 04:31 PM

Filipino workers are reflected as they clean the glass wall of skyscraper Hyatt Hotel in Pasay city, Metro Manila, Philippines August 31, 2016. Erik De Castro, Reuters

MANILA - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday upgraded its growth forecasts for the Philippines, citing strong domestic demand.

Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year, higher than the previous forecast of 6 percent. Next year's growth forecast was raised to 6.2 percent, the Manila-based bank said in a statement.

< Edited >

LOOK: Duterte meets Tiamzons, NDF leaders in Malacañang

Posted at Sep 27 2016 07:39 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte met with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and other heads of the National Democratic Front in Malacañang for a "meet and greet" Monday evening.

At least 25 representatives from both the government and NDF peace panels attended the meeting held at the state dining room in the Palace.

"Basically they were saying thank you for releasing the consultants," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

He said the NDF was "very enthusiastic about the current progress of the peace talks" and said that the Left hoped "there would be no cancellation of the talks."

War on Drugs / Military-grade signal jammers installed at Bilibid
« on: September 28, 2016, 01:03:12 PM »
Military-grade signal jammers installed at Bilibid
Published September 28, 2016 8:26am

Two new military-grade signal jammers were installed on Tuesday at the New Bilibid Prison, a report on Unang Balita on Wednesday said.

The high output power signal jammers were placed inside Building 14 where convicted drug lords and high-profile inmates are detained, GMA News' Jun Veneracion reported.

The use of the jammers is aimed at disrupting communication signals inside Building 14 to prevent drug lords from operating and conducting drug trade transactions using the cellphone and Internet.

"We are hoping na kung 'di man totally ma-eradicate 'yung transactions using the cellphone, at least ma-minimize at ma-prevent," Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo said.

Each jammer can disrupt signals up to 20 meters away. With this, not only Building 14 will be affected; even the nearby residential area will also lose cellphone signals.
- See more at:

Videos & Images / V-22 @ Philippines
« on: September 28, 2016, 12:48:43 PM »
Flying over Tacloban after Yolanda


. . .

1989 - Carlos Andres Perez (AD) elected president against the background of economic depression, which necessitates an austerity programme and an IMF loan. Social and political upheaval includes riots, in which between 300 and 2,000 people are killed, martial law and a general strike.

1992 - Some 120 people are killed in two attempted coups, the first led by future president Colonel Hugo Chavez, and the second carried out by his supporters. Chavez is jailed for two years before being pardoned.

. . .
1996 - Perez imprisoned after being found guilty of embezzlement and corruption.

1998 - Hugo Chavez elected president.

1999 - Severe floods and mudslides hit the north, killing tens of thousands of people.

2000 - Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel discloses plot to kill Chavez. Chavez wins another six years in office and a mandate to pursue political reforms.

Chavez becomes the first foreign head of state to visit Iraq since the 1991 Gulf war, in defiance of strong opposition from the US.

Reform controversy

2001 November - President Chavez appears on TV to hail 49 reform laws which his government has introduced, including land and oil industry reforms, under powers which did not require them to be approved by the National Assembly.

2002 February - National currency, the bolivar, plummets 25% against the US dollar after the government scraps exchange rate controls.

2002 25 February - Chavez appoints new board of directors to state oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela in move opposed by executives.

2002 9 April - Trade unions and the Fedecamaras business association declare general strike to support Petroleos de Venezuela dissidents.

Chavez ouster

2002 11 April - Some 150,000 people rally in support of strike and oil protest. National Guard and pro-Chavez gunmen clash with protesters - more than 10 are killed and 110 injured. Military high command rebels and demands that Chavez resign.
2002 April 12 - Armed forces head announces Chavez has resigned, a claim later denied by Chavez. Chavez is taken into military custody. Military names Pedro Carmona, one of the strike organisers, as head of transitional government.

2002 April 14 - Chavez returns to office after the collapse of the interim government.

2002 December - Opposition strike cripples the oil industry. Organisers demand that Chavez resign. The nine-week stoppage leads to fuel shortages.

Referendum petitions

2003 May - Government, opposition sign deal brokered by Organisation of American States (OAS) which sets out framework for referendum on Hugo Chavez's rule.
2003 August-September - Opposition delivers petition with more than three million signatures demanding referendum on Chavez's rule. Electoral body rejects petition saying it fails to meet technical requirements.

2003 December - Second petition demanding referendum on rule of Hugo Chavez is delivered. Opposition says it contains 3.4 million signatures.

2004 March - Several people are killed and many are injured in clashes between opponents and supporters of President Chavez.

2004 August - President Chavez wins referendum in which Venezuelans are asked whether he should serve out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his term.

Land reform

2005 January - President Chavez signs decree on land reform which aims to eliminate Venezuela's large estates. President says land redistribution will bring justice to rural poor; ranchers say move is an attack on private property.

Bitter dispute with Colombia over the capture of a Colombian rebel Farc leader on Venezuelan soil. The presidents of both nations resolve the affair at talks in Caracas in February.

. . .

2006 July - President Chavez signs a $3bn (£1.6bn) arms deal with Russia, including an agreement to buy fighter jets and helicopters.

2006 December - Hugo Chavez wins a third term in presidential elections with 63% of the vote.

Nationalisation drive

2007 January - President Chavez announces that key energy and telecommunications companies will be nationalised.

National Assembly grants President Chavez sweeping powers to rule by decree for the next eighteen months.

2007 March - President Chavez says 16 large farms have been seized for redistribution under a land reform plan.

2007 May - Government takes control of oil projects in the Orinoco Delta as part of the nationalisation drive.

. . .

2007 December - Mr Chavez suffers his first defeat at the ballot box, when voters in a referendum narrowly reject proposals to extend his powers and accelerate his socialist revolution.

Diplomatic crisis

. . .

2008 August - President Chavez announces plans to nationalise one of the country's largest private banks, the Spanish-owned Bank of Venezuela.

Mexican cement giant Cemex seeks World Bank arbitration over Venezuelan nationalisation of local subsidiary, which the company deems illegal.

Government lifts some price controls on staple foods in an attempt to avert shortages.

Ties with Russia

2008 September - Government approves nationalisation of household fuel distributors and petrol stations.

Venezuela and Russia sign oil and gas cooperation accord. Russian warplanes visit Venezuela, with Russian warships heading there for November joint exercises - first return of Russian navy to Americas since Cold War.

Venezuela expels US ambassador in solidarity with similar Bolivian move. US reciprocates.

. . .

2009 February - Voters in a referendum approve plans to abolish limits on the number of terms in office for elected officials; this would allow President Chavez to stand again when his current term expires in 2012.

Tensions with Colombia

2009 July - Relations with Colombia begin to deteriorate again after plans are announced to allow US troops to use Colombian military bases as part of a drive to curb drug-trafficking.

2009 August - Tensions between the two neighbours increase still further after Bogota accuses Venezuela of supplying arms to Farc rebels, and Mr Chavez accuses Colombia of allowing its troops to stray over their common border.

2009 November - The diplomatic row escalates after the Colombian government and the US sign their long-trailed deal on the use of Colombia's military bases. President Chavez orders 15,000 troops to the Colombian border, citing increased violence by Colombian paramilitary groups.

2010 January - President Chavez devalues the bolivar, by 17% against the US dollar for "priority" imports and by 50% for items considered non-essential, to boost revenue from oil exports.

Six TV channels taken off air for breaking rules on transmitting government material.

2010 March - Economy shrank by 5.8 % in last three months of 2009, according to the central bank.

2010 July - Venezuela cuts diplomatic ties with Colombia after being accused of harbouring Farc rebels.

2010 August - Colombia and Venezuela restore diplomatic ties.

2010 September - Parliamentary elections. Opposition makes significant gains. The socialist party of Mr Chavez still controls congress, but with a reduced majority.

. . .

2010 December - Parliament grants Mr Chavez special powers to deal with the aftermath of devastating floods, which critics say will turn the country into a near-dictatorship.

2011 June - Mr Chavez begins a year-long course of cancer treatment in Cuba, which includes several extended stays there and a reduced workload.

2011 October - Venezuelan opposition TV channel Globovision is fined $2.1m for coverage of a prison riot in June, which the media regulator says had "justified crime and fuelled public anxiety". Globovision accuses the government of trying to shut it down.

2011 November - Government introduces price controls on many basic goods in an attempt to curb the 27% annual inflation rate, one of the highest in the world. Initial price controls on a few basic goods were imposed in 2003.

. . .

2012 April - Government extends price controls on more basic goods in the battle against inflation. President Chavez threatens to expropriate companies that do not comply with the price controls.

2012 June - Hugo Chavez registers to run for a third term in October's presidential election, saying his doctors deem him fit to serve after he completed his course of cancer treatment in Cuba in May. He will face former state governor Henrique Capriles, who is leading a coalition of about 30 opposition parties.

. . .

Duterte: Misuari has lost control over young Moros

(UPDATED) The President says he thinks Nur Misuari won't commit to peace talks now. Young Moros are now 'hungry for a fight to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia.'
Raymon Dullana
Published 2:35 PM, September 17, 2016
Updated 2:57 PM, September 17, 2016

STAR TROOPERS. President Rodrigo Duterte addresses star troopers in Isabela on September 17. RTVM screengrab

ISABELA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, September 17, said Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari has lost control over young Moros in Mindanao.

In a speech during his visit at the headquarters of the 5th Infantry Division in Gamu town in Isabela, Duterte said the "ambivalent" Misuari could not yet commit to peace talks.

Duterte had earlier said that he was planning to talk to Misuari as part of efforts to forge peace among warring groups in the country. They were supposed to meet in Malaysia in 2017, Duterte said last August. (READ: Duterte targets meeting with Misuari in 2017)

"Ang tingin ko si (I think) Nur will not commit now. He's consolidating forces...but he has lost control of the young men of the Moro generation," Duterte said.

< Edited >

Duterte rejects MNLF proposal to include Abu Sayyaf in peace talks
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Ruth Abbey Gita

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has turned down the proposal of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari to include the Abu Sayyaf group in the ongoing peace talks and grant it an amnesty.

In a speech delivered before the Philippine Marines in Taguig City on Tuesday evening, Duterte said he had been waiting to have a dialogue with Misuari but the latter allegedly asked him to also pursue peace negotiation with the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

"I've been waiting for Nur Misuari but he seems to be equivocal because his new proposal is to include the Abu Sayyaf. And if time comes that we will be okay, he wants [me] to grant them general amnesty," the President said.

"If that's the case, it's better not to talk. I will not [talk to Abu Sayyaf]. For the life of me, I will not," he added.

General Discussion / Are we learning the right lessons from Columbia?
« on: September 27, 2016, 03:34:57 PM »
Columbia is rethinking it's drug war . . .


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And while Colombia has broken up large cartels and seen an increase in drug-related arrests it has not affected the business, said Juan Carlos Garzón, an expert on drugs policy with the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington. The country is also facing rising drug consumption rates.

In academic circles the failure of drug policies has long been a given, said John Collins, who leads the London School of Economics expert group on drug policy. “The policy prescriptions did not match the realities on the ground,” he said.

But it wasn’t until 2012 that Colombia, together with Guatemala and Mexico, first proposed holding the special session at the UN this year, saying a rethink of global drugs policy was “urgent”. Mexico has been racked by violence related to powerful drugs cartels and Guatemala is a major transit country for drugs headed to the United States.

“They have tried everything imaginable and they are getting nowhere,” said Collins. “They have credibility [to lead the proposals for new approaches] because they are the states directly affected by the policies.”

In Colombia, which has faced a half-century of conflict with leftist rebel groups, “the drug policies were also a fight by the state for territorial control”, said Garzón. The areas most heavily carpeted with coca consistently overlapped with regions of the country under rebel control.

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But when Dir Bato visited Columbia, this was his take away

Bato: PNP lacks Colombia’s air assets in war on drugs
By: Maila Ager
01:03 PM September 27th, 2016

Colombia is using 60 Black Hawk helicopters and over a hundred aircraft to fight illegal drugs while the Philippine National Police (PNP) has zero air assets, PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

“I just came from Colombia at yung kanilang dedicated air assets sa war on drugs lang nila, your honor, meron silang 60 na Black Hawk helicopters at saka more than 100 fixed-wing aircrafts (and their dedicated air assets in war on drugs, your honor, include 60 Black Hawk helicopters and and over a hundred fixed-wing aircraft),” Dela Rosa said during the hearing of the Senate committee on finance on the proposed 2017 budget of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and its attached agencies.

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Are we missing the right lessons?

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