• Army keeps eye on reservists

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    THE Philippine Army is keeping an eye on its reservists following the involvement of two of its members in violent incidents, an official said.

    Col. Benjamin Hao, Army spokesman, said Col. Nicolas Pasion, who is in charge of the Army reservists, ordered a conduct and discipline review to determine if reservists are living up with the military tradition and discipline.

    The order came after Sgt. Rodrigo Balza was seen pointing a gun at his nephew in Tondo, Manila.

    Brig Gen. Joshua Santiago, commander of the National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG), Army Reserve Command, said Balza, a member of the 1304th Community Defense Center who is assigned at Del Pan, Tondo, has been stripped of his authority to wear a military uniform.

    Balza surrendered to his superiors and was turned over to the police investigating the case.
    The incident happened two weeks after Vhon Tanto, an inactive Army reservist, shot dead cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde in a road altercation in Quiapo, Manila.

    He was arrested four days later in Barangay Bangat in Milagros town by members of the Army’s 9th Infantry Battalion

    “Because of Tanto and this Balza, such incidents may happen again. So we have to check on our officers in the reserve command to find out the discipline of our reservists,” said Hao.

    “We just want to maintain the military discipline and discuss with them, remind them that everything they do, although they are civilians and even though they are not wearing uniforms, they still carry the name of the military,” the Army official explained.

    “You know, in times of war when they (reservists) are mobilized, they are already platoon sergeants,” he added.

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