They were sent in 2013 by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as a contingent to join the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria.
Their job is to make sure that civilians in the area are protected and do not get involved in the conflict between the two countries.
On Wednesday, Syrian rebel fighters reportedly captured a crossing point in Golan Heights that was earlier controlled by Syrian forces loyal to President Basar Al-assad.
The Syrian rebels, said to be backed by the Al-Qaeda, surrounded the Philippine contingent and ordered them to lay down their arms and surrender.
The Philippine troops, though outnumbered but heavily armed and well entrenched, defied the rebels’ order and reportedly fortified their defensive positions even more.
Though UN top officials are now doing their best to resolve the standoff issue at once, our soldiers are said to be bracing for the worse…a firefight.
With ample firepower such as M4 assault rifles for everyone, M60 machine guns, K3 squad automatic weapons, .45 cal pistols, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, food and water, and having a good defensive position, the Philippine UN contingent can hold off any ground attacks and defend their position for days.
The Syrian rebels were surprised as they never expected resistance after the Fijian UN contingent earlier laid down their firearms and agreed to be taken as prisoners by the same rebel group.
The Syrian rebels should make no mistake in engaging our troops who are there simply to assist the UN in protecting innocent lives in the Golan Heights.
However, if they really want to test the bravery and skills of our boys in war, the Syrian rebels are in for a real fight of their lives. Perhaps, unaware that they are facing a well-trained, better-equipped, and battle-tested Filipino soldiers…in other words, “a lean mean fighting machine” from this side of the world.
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Batangas councilor wanted
A councilor from a small town in Batangas is reportedly wanted by a group of businessmen for carting away their investments worth nearly a hundred million pesos. The councilor is said to have managed to make the businessmen part with their pesos for the past four years.
The councilor, who hails from a town near Taal lake, is said to be in hiding again these days after running off with almost the half a million peso income of his business partner.
The story goes something like this: celebrity-investor (CI) joint ventured with Councilor “Laging Perwisyo” (LP) for a small PR and advertising company early this year. After all, LP used to work for a big TV network before joining local politics.
But when a client of CI and LP paid them for an ad worth P500,000 a few weeks ago, councilor LP vanished into thin air leaving CI enraged.
Councilor LP is said to be hooked on drugs and has several good-looking young men for lovers (but that’s for our next issue).
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Bir should get firms borrowing others’ licenses
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should start looking into construction firms who borrow the licenses of others to be able to secure fat and juicy government contracts yet pay only a small amount of tax or none at all.
Aside from violating the License Law Act, these unscrupulous contractors may be cheating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in their tax payments, says a tax lawyer friend who asked not to be identified.
He suggested that the BIR check the income statements of a certain Dungan Construction of Pampanga in 2012 since this company cornered more than P100 million worth of
irrigation projects of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) using another’s license.
Since the said company used a different license, the awarded project will not appear on its books, but will somehow be reflected in its operational expenses.
A certain Cathy Esplana should also be subjected to tax audit for cornering a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) contract in February this year worth P400 million in Mindanao by also using somebody else’s license, added my friend.
BIR chief Kim Henares and her men will surely have a field day looking into the books of these companies and the many others like it.
Happy hunting Comm. Kim.