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A black woman was arrested after a traffic stop in Texas. Days later, she died in a jail. At about 7 a.m. Monday, Sandra Bland got her breakfast in the Waller County Jail in Texas. The 28-year-old woman was being held there after a routine traffic stop the previous Friday led to a charge of assault on a public servant. About two hours later, Bland was dead. The official cause: Suicide by hanging. Now, many of her friends and relatives, along with a growing group of social-justice activists, are questioning how authorities say Bland died — and the circumstances surrounding the arrest that put her behind bars three days earlier.

“The Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life,” one friend told the ABC affiliate in Chicago. At a news conference in Chicago, Bland’s sister told reporters on Thursday that she couldn’t believe Bland would take her own life. “Based on the Sandy that I knew, that’s unfathomable to me,” Sharon Cooper said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “She was a very, very accomplished young lady,” the Rev. Infographic: Philippines' arms imports since 2001. Philippine military dismisses coup talk. MANILA - The Philippine military insisted Monday it remained loyal to President Benigno Aquino, responding to coup rumours that have swirled since a bungled security operation left 44 police commandos dead.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has faced public outrage over the January 25 assault against Islamic militant Zulkifli bin Hir on the southern island of Mindanao Aquino is facing the biggest crisis of his nearly five years in office over last month's assault in which the special forces killed a top Islamic militant but also unexpectedly came under heavy fire from Muslim rebels. "If there are officials who are trying to persuade us into joining coup attempts, we will not follow them. They are not part of our chain of command," military public affairs chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc told reporters.

"We have no valid reasons to remove our loyalty from the president of the republic. " She then withstood six coup attempts during the first half of her six years in office. PH Navy to receive 2 landing crafts from Australia. Philippines to Pull Out of Golan Heights, Liberia. Philippine Ex-General in Kidnapping Case Captured. MANILA, Philippines — Philippine security forces on Tuesday captured a fugitive former army general wanted in the kidnapping of two students, fulfilling a promise by President Benigno Aquino III to bring high-profile criminal suspects to justice, official said. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said military intelligence and National Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Jovito Palparan in a hideout in a district of Manila.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the arrest of Palparan shows that the Aquino government is determined to "end the culture of impunity" characterized by rampant human rights violations under Aquino's predecessor, Gloria Arroyo. Palparan, 63, has been on the run since December 2011 after a court issued a warrant for his arrest in the kidnapping and disappearance of two female left-wing activists in Bulacan province north of Manila in 2006. The two remain missing. She said an arraignment date will be set by a court in Bulacan's provincial capital of Malolos. Coast Guard needs 30 more ships. ByPhilip C. TubezaPhilippine Daily Inquirer Photo from Coast Guard Public Affairs Office MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Coast Guard needs at least 30 more ships and patrol craft to help secure the country’s maritime boundaries, a PCG official said Saturday.

Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena, PCG fleet commander, said the Coast Guard needed additional vessels since its existing 15 ships were not enough to patrol the seas covered by the 54 PCG stations or outposts across the country. “We really need more ships and patrol craft. Isonera said the Coast Guard actually needed 60 ships but could settle with half that number due to the high cost of acquiring new vessels. At present, the PCG’s main work horses are the four 56-meter Tenix (San Juan class) search-and-rescue vessels which were acquired in the early 2000′s. The four are considered the PCG’s most modern vessels as they are equipped with decompression chambers and helipads.

Follow Us Recent Stories: Factual errors? Philippines mulls over trilateral exercises. The Philippines is exploring the possibility of holding military exercises involving the Philippines, the United States and Australia, a defense official said here Monday. Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said it's possible to hold the trilateral exercises as the Senate ratified in July the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement, which paves the way for the conduct of exercises between Australian and Filipino forces.

"It's currently being studied how that can be done,"Galvez said. But the spokesman could not immediately say the status of the study and said the involvement of the Australian troops in their exercises should seek the approval of the United States. Galvez said the troops of the three countries stand to learn from each other during such trilateral exercises, including in response to the threat of terrorism, piracy and calamities, among others. By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by all terms and conditions (See the Comment section).

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Peace in Mindanao ? Three die in Philippine military helicopter crash. Purposeful remembrance. The Wikipedia entry on Proclamation No. 1081 issued by the late president Ferdinand Marcos 39 years ago does not quite capture the terror that held sway over the Philippines throughout the martial law and Marcos era. Martial law was declared “under the pretext of a staged assassination of Marcos’ former defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile (now Senate President) and an ensuing communist insurgency,” says the online encyclopedia. It says Marcos—ruled by military power—altered the Constitution, made himself president and prime minister, manipulated elections and the political arena and had his political party, the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, control the Batasang Pambansa so he could stay in power and plunder.

May we add: Marcos shackled the Philippine press. Filipinos with a sense of history cannot simply say, “The rest is history.” When Marcos was toppled more than 25 years ago during the Edsa People Power Revolution of 1986, Filipinos said, “Never again,” to tyranny. Philippines to boost naval firepower. Manila: The Philippines is expected to boost its sea presence and firepower with an escort vessel in July. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesman Brig Gen Jose Mabanta confirmed earlier reports that the Philippine Navy was expected to receive a Hamilton Class vessel to patrol the country's western water frontier, notably the South China Sea.

At 115 metres in length, the Hamilton Class vessel, will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest and most modern combat vessels in the Philippine fleet. In comparison, the current Navy flagship, the BRP Rajah Humabon which was commissioned in 1980, is 93 metres long. The yet to be commissioned ship will be equipped with a cannon as well as close in anti-aircraft weapons and will have a helicopter flight deck.

The ocean-going capability of the ship will be of great value if the country needs to repatriate large numbers of Filipinos from other countries. Navy studying if PH needs to buy submarine. By: Chichi Conde, August 23, 2011 1:41 PM President Aquino, accompanied by Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama (right), tours the BRP Gregorio del Pilar on Tuesday. MALACANANG PHOTO InterAksyon.comThe online news portal of TV5 MANILA, Philippines -- President Benigno Aquino III said the Philippine Navy is now conducting a study on whether or not it would be practical for the country to acquire its first submarine.

“That is being studied by our Navy – whether or not it is practical and whether or not it meets our needs,” Aquino said in an interview after touring the Navy’s latest and fastest surface combat-ready vessel, BRP Gregorio del Pilar. Aquino noted that in 1998, a regional neighbor bought submarines from the Eastern bloc only to find out the vessels were not fit for tropical weather. Submarines are equipped with sensors and radars that can monitor movement on the surface, and even identify nearby ships using propeller signatures. AFP lists Marcos in Hall of Heroes. MANILA, Philippines? The nation? S modern-day heroes are not limited to boxing idol Manny Pacquiao and overseas foreign workers, the military would like to remind Filipinos.

The Armed Forces called attention to its heroes by inaugurating a museum gallery to immortalize the deeds of about three dozen soldiers who represent the ideals of ? Personal bravery at the risk of their life above and beyond the call of duty.? An entire wall of the AFP Museum in Camp Aguinaldo is devoted to the photos and the heroic deeds of the 39 awardees of the Medal for Valor, the highest award to be bestowed by the military, called the ?

Wall of Heroes: The Medal for [sic] Valor Awardees.? Dubious medal Of the 39 Medal of Valor awards (the first was given out in 1917), 12 were given posthumously to soldiers recognized for their supreme sacrifice in combat against overwhelming odds. In a message he issued for the exhibit opening, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. ? ? ? ? Two awardees, Army Col. Real-life hero ? Poll: Almost half of Pinoys think AFP is ‘most corrupt’ govt agency - Nation. (Updated 1:08 p.m.) Almost half of Filipinos think that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the “most corrupt" government agency at present due to various anomalies linked to some of its past officials, a survey by pollster Pulse Asia revealed Monday. About one in every two Filipinos (48.9 percent) perceived the AFP as the government institution where corruption is most prevalent, followed by the Philippine National Police, which a fourth of the survey’s 1,200 respondents labeled as most corrupt.

The number of respondents who think the military is the most corrupt government agency rose from only 8.1 percent in February 2009 to 48.9 percent in March this year—an increase of more than 40 percentage points, according to Pulse Asia. GMA News Online contacted AFP spokesperson Brig. The poll was conducted in Metro Manila, parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao through face-to-face interviews. ‘High’ awareness on AFP corruption DSWD perceived as ‘least corrupt’ Report-torture-and other cruel inhumane or degrading acts suffered by Morong 43. Testicles crushed. Electrocution. Sleep deprivation. These acts of torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading punishment suffered by the 43 health workers who were illegally arrested by the Armed Forces of the Philippines last February 6 and remain under illegal detention at Camp Capinpin are totally deplorable.

This is a living nightmare for freedom-loving Filipinos. More and more people who get to know the gravity of the Morong 43 case are speaking out. What the Morong 43 experienced should never happen to anyone, whether or not you’re a doctor or a suspected communist. Here is a medical report on the Morong 43′s experience and please spread it to everyone you know. Medical findings on the Morong 43 case. Manila Standard Today -- ‘Torture video’ puts military in a spot -- 2011/march/21.

Military to conduct probe involving soldiers in torture video | The Philippine Star >> News >> Headlines. MANILA, Philippines - Dinungisan ng Pharex ang mataas na respeto sa NLEX Road Warriors matapos iuwi ang 79-74 panalo sa PBA D-League Foundation Cup kahapon sa The Arena sa San Juan . Hindi nawala ang tiwala ng Bidang Generix nang nakaabante sa 60-59 ang Road Warriors sa pagtatapos ng ikatlong yugto nang gamitan nila ng matibay na depensa ang kalaban kasabay ng pag-iinit uli ng opensa sa pangunguna ni Jeff Morial. Isang jumper ang ginawa ni Morial na nagbigay ng kalamangan sa koponan bago inilayo pa niaa Edwin Asoro at Leomer Losentes ang Bidang Generix sa isang tip-in at dalawang free throws para sa 77-72 bentahe. “Maganda ang rebounding namin at kapag ganito ang naipapakita naming, kadalasan ay nananalo kami,” wika ni Pharex coach Carlo Gian Tan.

May 16 puntos, 9 rebounds at 2 assists si Morial para ibigay sa Pharex ang ikalawang sunod na panalo at ipatikim naman sa Road Warriors ang unang ka­biguan sa dalawang laro sa Group A. Bangit to Aquino: AFP failed to end rebellion -, Ph. FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY? Outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Delfin Bangit is leaving a transition report for incoming President Benigno Aquino III that admits the military? S failure to meet the deadline for wiping out communist insurgency in the country. President Macapagal-Arroyo had imposed a June 2010 deadline, which coincides with the end of her term, for the end of the 40-year guerilla war. But AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. ? AFP proud of accomplishment He also said military operations had cut the strength of the NPA from 25,000 to 5,000 fighters.

The AFP, under Bangit? Bangit? Aquino had not spoken to Bangit directly or through an emissary before the AFP chief of staff announced his retirement, effective on Tuesday, a year earlier than officially scheduled, Burgos said. Top AFP officials accompanied Bangit to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) here on Saturday where the outgoing chief was given a testimonial parade. Bangit, a member of PMA ?

Brig. ? ? ? Bangit retires today; David next AFP chief? | The Philippine Sta.

Former Mindef of the Philippines commits suicide

Philippine military funds scandal probe.