1 dead, 3 hurt in NPA attack on Del Monte compound
MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon — A security guard was killed while three others, including a civilian, were wounded when armed men believed to be New People’s Army rebels stormed the compound of a multinational firm here at around 6:10 p.m. Tuesday. Capt. Christian Uy of the military’s 4th Infantry Division confirmed the NPA attack on the Del Monte Phiilippines Compound, also known as Camp Philips. Dr. Taruc Larson, resident physician at the Camp Philips Memorial Hospital, identified the slain security guard as Nerry Alfredo.
Wounded were security guards Jofol Sumawan and Franklin Millanes, and civilian Mario Ayuban. Lolo Ocena, an employee of Del Monte Philippines, said around 30 men arrived in two elf trucks and proceeded to the trucking compound where they poured gasoline on at least three units that were parked inside. The trucks were immediately set on fire.
Ocena, who was driving from work in a motorcycle with two other co-workers, said that he was blocked by some members of the group, as he was passing by the trucking compound. “The armed men did not identify who they were but they instructed us to park on the side. They said that we should not worry because they would not harm us,” he said. Reports reaching the 8th Infantry Battalion revealed that armed men also fired their guns in Atugan Bridge in Malaybalay City at the time the raid on the Del Monte Compound was being conducted.
Suspected NPA leader arrested in Batangas — police
A suspected New People’s Army leader with a P2.3-million bounty was arrested by government security forces in Batangas on Monday, a police report said.
The suspect was identified by Bicol regional police spokesman Supt. Renato Bataller as Ramon Ariente, a married 53-year-old, who also goes by the aliases Ka Ramon Arente/Susing/Fausto/Butch. Ariente was born in Camarines Sur. An operation by agents from the Bicol Regional Intelligence Unit and regional police, as well as by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Region V, led to Ariente’s nabbing, which was based on a warrant of arrest for murder. According to Bataller, Ariente is the region’s most wanted person.
The reward for his arrest was based on a joint memorandum circular in 2012 by the Department of National Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Ariente was described as being the current political officer of Komite Seksyon sa Iskwad (KSSI) I, Kilusang Sangay sa Platun (KSPN) 86, Front Committee (FC) 71. He was also said to be an executive committee member of the Camarines Norte Provincial Party Committee and the Romulo Jallores Command. Bataller said Ariente is now under the custody of the Bicol RIU.
Gas, power outages lead to unique protest in Swat
The female residents of Saidu Sharif Swat staged a unique protest demonstration against long load shedding and suspension of Gas and power supplies to their localities. The protestors marched on the main Saidu Sharif-Mingora road from Shagai to Allah Chowk, holding placards with a message written on it that said, “Stop load shedding and restore gas supply”. And as they marched past, they chanted slogans,
“Now the females will do, which they meant, what the males have failed to do”. It was a unique procession of its kind to have ever taken out by this closed cultured society or witnessed by an area like Swat, which has not yet been fully recuperated from the wounds of militancy and Talibanization. It was really a strange event to witness in an area like Swat against the tricky problems that have simmered discontent in the people of this area as compared to other parts of the country.
The purpose of the procession was to awaken the male counterparts of the deep slumber in which they have gone into after crying their heart out before the Government and WAPDA authorities against the massive blackouts that has almost paralyzed the social life. Now, that the gas problem has cropped up so these women folk have desired to awaken the males towards it and against the prolonging load shedding.
From such procession in this area like Swat, it is clear that the power crisis has reached a decisive moment and the people are left with no option other than to come out to roads against the problems as they already have no electricity available to them for hours without any time, schedule or season. And now the gas problem has started to hurt them, which is not being supplied to them even for domestic use despite heavy bills they have to pay for this basic facility.
Unrest at Limpopo mines
“Clashes erupted between mineworkers from NUM and AMCU and security guards at the Amandelbult and Swartklip mines,” said Limpopo police’s Colonel Ronel Otto. A security vehicle had been set alight and furniture thrown out of one of NUM’s mine offices. Two people were slightly injured in the altercations and taken to hospital for treatment
“The situation is quiet and back to normal. Police members are monitoring the scene and members of our Public Order Policing unit is also heading to the mines,” said Otto. Two people were slightly injured in the altercations and taken to hospital for treatment No arrests have been made and investigations continue.
Several injured in clash in central Sofia during anti-government protests
Several people were injured in a night clash at Eagles Bridge in central Sofia after police charged protesters who included people who had thrown stones, smoke bombs, fireworks, bottles and other objects at them. At several points in the centre of the Bulgarian capital, police were out in force on February 19 2013 because of the coincidence of the latest series of anti-government protests and national commemorations of the anniversary of the hanging of 19th century liberation struggle hero Vassil Levski.
Focus points of protest marches included Parliament, the Vassil Levski monument and Eagle Bridge. The protests began last week against electricity distribution companies and high electricity bills but in recent days took on an overt anti-government character, with demands for the resignation of the government. Some of the earlier protests saw minor scuffles and participants in some places alleged that incidents of vandalism and provocation of police were the work of agents provocateur. Less than two hours after the main protest in Sofia began, emotions ran high at Eagle Bridge. Just before 8pm, riot police baton-charged groups of young men and a number of people were injured.
While there was no official statement about arrests, police were seen hustling people into police vans. Pirogov emergency hospital in Sofia said that a young woman had been admitted with head injuries and was being examined in the hospital’s neurosurgery section. Later, the hospital said that it had treated eight people for injuries after the Eagles Bridge clash, and said that none of the injuries were serious. Separate media reports said that the injured included a young man with a broken leg. The situation 30 minutes later at Eagles Bridge was calm but the blocking of the intersection by a large group of protesters continued for some time before a few hundred protesters moved on through the centre of the city towards NDK.
Along the way, some within the group damaged a police car and there were incidents of stone-throwing, reporters said. In the course of the protests in Sofia, the tyres of a bTV car were slashed, media reports said. Earlier, police barred protesters from reaching the Vassil Levski Monument while VIPs including President Rossen Plevneliev were present for a formal ceremony. Sections of roads close to the monument were barred by vehicles placed there by police while four armoured cars equipped with water cannons were on standby to protect the top state officials.
Police also kept apart the main group of protesters from a phalanx of Ataka supporters who came to the monument to hear Volen Siderov, leader of the ultra-nationalist Ataka minority party, speak. At the stage that protesters were at Parliament, Bulgarian media reports said that some within the group had tried to provoke police by throwing firecrackers and other objects, but several in the crowd shouted, “the police are with us”. Earlier on February 19, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov announced that the government was asking the state energy regulator to cut electricity tariffs by eight per cent from March and that the regulator was being requested to withdraw the distribution licence of CEZ.
Asked about opposition calls for him and his government to step down to make way for early elections, Borissov flatly refused, saying that he would fight “to the end”. The announcement by Borissov, who was absent from the VIP lineup at the Levski Monument, appeared to have little or no effect on the turnout at protests in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and several other Bulgarian cities and towns on the evening that followed his statement. In Varna, a group who broke away from the main group of protesters threw stones at the windows of power distribution company Energo Pro. This is the fourth successive night that windows at the company’s building have broken by stonethrowers. On February 19, the company fitted wooden boards to some of its windows to protect them.
Sudan police beat protesting health workers
Khartoum: Sudanese riot police on Tuesday beat health workers who protested the relocation of the country’s largest children’s hospital, witnesses said.
About 300 medical staff gathered outside the downtown facility objecting to the planned move to South Khartoum, the witnesses said. Authorities are seeking to decentralise health facilities. “We will cancel your decision,” said one banner carried by the demonstrators. “The health of our children cannot be ignored,” said another. After about 30 minutes riot police moved in with batons to beat the protesters until they dispersed, the witnesses said.
Turkey crackdown on radical group after US embassy attack
ANKARA: Turkish police launched a massive nationwide crackdown Tuesday against a radical Marxist group which claimed a suicide bomb attack against the US embassy this month, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Police issued arrest warrants for 167 people in 28 cities as part of the operation against the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), which is classified as a terrorist organisation by the United States, Anatolia said. A Turkish guard at the US embassy in Ankara was killed in the February 1 attack and three other people including a journalist were wounded.
Makerere students appear in court over strike
Twenty Makerere University students arrested during a strike are yet to be arraigned in court law today (Tuesday). “These are mature men and women with a sound mind; they must pay for their sins. We don’t want to go beyond 48 hours which are elapsing tomorrow. As soon as the file is sanctioned, we shall take them to court,” Samuel Omara the officer in charge of operations, Kampala Metropolitan North, said. Omara said that they had earlier arrested ten during the day, but in the night more nine students were arrested.
He identified some of the suspects held at Wandegeya Police Cells as Javira Kugenyi, Jacob Eyeru, Peter Lowestain, Paul Kiggundu, Peter Sensalo, Lionel Muhwezi, Clinton Kanyali, Gloria Katushabe, Emmanuel Nyiro, Samuel Kanamuwanje, and Gordon Lule. Omara said some of the suspects were arrested past midnight with machetes at Professor Dungu’s premises with intent to behead him. Police on Monday spent the day in running battles with students after they resumed their strike, protesting a policy which requires private students to pay at least 60% of their tuition fees in the first six weeks of the semester. The 60% tuition policy was passed by the university council, the university’s supreme decision making body in 2005.
Myanmar workers protest against lack of healthcare at factory in Jordan
Myanmar workers at a garment factory in Jordan have been protesting since last Wednesday over what they say are unhealthy and exploitative working conditions, but government officials here said yesterday they had not yet heard about the protest. “The information has not reached us yet,” said Thet Naing Oo, an assistant director at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security. He said the ministry usually worked through Myanmar embassies to assist workers overseas if it was informed of any workers involved in a dispute.
Myanmar does not, however, have an embassy in Jordan. The protest at CNJ garment factory followed an outbreak of diarrhea believed to be the result of food poisoning, online reports said. The more than 40 workers who got sick were forced to continue working, online reports said. Myanmar workers began protesting to demand access to healthcare, but their employer rejected this, reports said.
It is unclear how the Myanmar workers arrived in Jordan. Thet Naing Oo said that the ministry had not permitted any domestic employment agencies to send workers to the country. Union activity in Jordan is tightly controlled, according to the International Trade Union Confederation. Its latest international survey of workers’ rights found that union activists in Jordan face discrimination and, in the case of migrants, deportation.