A Look Back at Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a key chapter in the post-Crisis era of DC Comics through a Superman comic book.

Previously, I reviewed Adventures of Superman #498 (1993) which marked the first chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline and dramatized the impact left behind by the death of Superman. That particular comic book had strong writing and succeeded in dramatizing how Superman’s friends, associates and other characters coped with his death with the future looking uncertain to them.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Superman: The Man of Steel #20, published in 1993 by DC Comics with a story written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Jon Bogdanove. This comic book marked the third chapter of the Funeral for a Friend storyline.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with people in Metropolis struggling to move forward not only because their hero Superman died but also because of the tremendous damage left behind by Doomsday. In his headquarters, Lex Luthor is talking with the telephone surrounded by several people with Supergirl watching. The matter being discussed was the burial of Superman at Centennial Park particularly in a structure Luthor himself donated. While he has to live on with the fact that he failed to kill Superman, Luthor tells himself he can still bury him.

At the Kent farm far away from Metropolis, Jonathan and Martha Kent are agonizing not only because of the death of their beloved son but also because they realized they cannot even get near him at his funeral as it will be organized as a major event with only the important people allowed to attend…

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It seems like destiny to have the super villain Lex Luthor in the presence of a fictionalized Bill Clinton and Hillar Clinton during the funeral of Superman. By today’s standards, the Clintons made it normal for America to bow to terrorists and make deals with them. That being said, their inclusion in this comic book is just wrong.

To go straight to the point, like Adventures of Superman #498 (1993), this comic book continues to dramatize the impact of Superman’s death on Metropolis and its people in a very engaging manner. It shows that DC’s creative teams in charge of Superman comic book at the time were really organized and coordinated with each other on crafting the Funeral for a Friend storyline. What makes this comic book stand out is the funeral itself which was organized as a public event (with the burial itself done in the presence of important people – including a very evil couple from the Democrats who love abortion and terrorism) and this includes the presence of many other DC Comics superheroes like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Maxima, Shazam (AKA Captain Marvel) and others. The burial had its own share of intriguing and dramatic moments emphasizing the people’s struggle to adjust themselves knowing they don’t have Superman anymore to help them.

Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Robin help out as the huge crowd became rowdy.

More on the post-death dramatization, the creative team managed to keep Superman’s associates Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and the other Daily Planet people feeling uneasy over the Man of Steel’s death which makes their work covering the funeral professionally a challenge. Unsurprisingly, Lois Lane gets her own fine share of the spotlight agonizing over the fact that she lost her beloved Clark (Superman to the public) whom she was supposed to get married with. The emotional struggle within her intensified as she experiences difficulty of informing the elderly Kent couple about what happened. This is rich writing prepared by the creators.

Not only that, the creative team also went all-out with dramatizing the impact of Superman’s good deeds on the people. You will see several people from Metropolis’ general population talk about how Superman helped them or inspired them. There are certain lines of dialogue that are quite touching to read.

Conclusion

A pretty powerful portrayal of Lois Lane’s struggle on dealing with the new reality that she lost her beloved Superman.

Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (1993) is another solid, post-death story emphasizing the new normal that Metropolis people and Superman’s friends are having difficulty adjusting to…a world without the Man of Steel. Based on the high quality of the storytelling and character development, it is easy to tell that the Superman titles’ creative teams planned ahead and prepared themselves for telling a post-death saga which was pretty risky given the iconic status of Superman and his decades-long legacy in comics and pop culture. This comic book really made Superman’s absence feel powerful and undeniable.

Overall, Superman: The Man of Steel #20 (1993) is recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Harbinger #19 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, the creative team of Fontenot-Simpson told another story that built up Harbinger’s concept some more while introducing yet another new character – Screen – who is not part of the team led by Sting. The story symbolically showed the further growth of the tremendous power of Toyo Harada not only through his control of the Harbinger foundation but also of his connection with the new United States President of the time. 

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #19, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on the afternoon of January 25, 1993. Inside the New York facility of the Harbinger foundation, a pretty blonde, young lady named Natalie Toynbee – codename: Stunner – gets scanned by the technicians handling the technologies. A technician’s request for Natalie to urinate into a cup reveals that the lady has a huge ego and pride of herself as she reacts negatively. 

Suddenly, the wall near Natalie and the technician got damaged by force unleashed by Sting who is accompanied by Faith, Flamingo and Shatiqua. Their mission is to free Natalie from the clutches of the Harbinger foundation which is a small part of their long-term vision of freeing and recruiting more powered young adults.

After subduing the Harbinger foundation personnel, Sting begins to explain to Natalie the situation and tells her to just trust him. Sting tells her to come with them which only drew more of Natalie’s ego along with skepticism. This reaction makes Faith think Natalie is not worth saving…

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Imagine Iran invading America and causing terror like in this scene. Imagine Joe Biden and the Democrats allowing this to happen to Americans.

While the story was not crafted to follow-up closely on the events of issue #18, this comic book puts Sting and his teammates into a collision course with a new force of evil – the Iranians (note: issue #20 confirms their national identity) who have interests on specific young adults with powers and special abilities. Along the way, the Fontenot-Simpson team introduced a new sinister force in the form of a very manipulative Iranian named Kaliph.

Kaliph’s introduction here is easily the biggest feature of the story and he unsurprisingly overwhelms the debut of Natalie. Kaliph here works in service of his unidentified superiors and as he does his job, he uses his special ability of manipulating people’s minds through sight and sound to gain information, find directions, make them do his orders and gain access into places that he could never have had he been an ordinary person. By the end of the story, I was convinced that Kaliph was created to be an enduring or recurring villain for Sting and his team.

More on the primary characters of this monthly series, Sting and his teammates were portrayed to get more harbingers (powered young adults) to join them and become part of their long-term opposition against Toyo Harada and the Harbinger foundation, even though their own team lacks the resources needed to support themselves. The lack of resources was cleverly highlighted through Natalie’s reactions (related to her big ego) to what Sting’s team has for her to live with. Looking at the bigger picture going back to issue #1, Sting’s vision of defeating Harada and winning the trust of powered young adults without any solid foundation (specifically resources, connections and security) emphasize his recklessness and false sense of maturity as a team leader.

Conclusion

Kaliph and his companion arrive in America with a sinister plan.

In my view, Harbinger #19 (1993) is a solid change of direction for the monthly series complete with the introduction of a new, strong villain who originated from Iran which by today’s standards is the major force of terrorism in this world. The new villain Kaliph has a creepy aesthetic that other villains in this series lacked. More notably, the story remained consistently very engaging and pulled off some notable surprises which were indeed entertaining.

Overall, Harbinger #19 (1993) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

A Look Back at Harbinger #18 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the early 1990s and explore a part of the Valiant Comics shared universe through the Harbinger monthly series.

In my previous retro review, some twists of events happened for Sting and his teammates during the Christmas season. The story was part of the continuing build-up and expansion of the Harbinger series’ own space within Valiant Comics’ shared universe under the direction of Maurice Fontenot. As of issue #17, another new character from outside of Sting’s group got introduced for them to interact with.     

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Harbinger #18, published in 1993 by Valiant Comics with a story written by Maurice Fontenot and illustrated by Howard Simpson.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins on January 1993. Within the city of New York, Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo are being followed by a young man wearing a trench coat. They know they are being followed. They eventually found themselves just outside the same amusement joint where Shatiqua played a lot of arcade games and decide to enter.

Inside, many people recognized and greeted Shatiqua which reflects her outstanding reputation on arcade games. As Shatiqua, Faith and Kris approach a certain arcade game (that Shatiqua wants to play), they noticed the one playing it is the same little black boy (capable of disappearing) they encountered previously. Shatiqua then takes the first step to approach him and gain his attention.

The boy then disappears and reappears a short distance away from the three and right beside same trench coated man who earlier follow them. The boy then attempts to blow the place up with a hand grenade. The man in the trench coat reacts quickly revealing his power to Faith, Shatiqua and Flamingo.

Quality

Sting shows his ignorance and lack of maturity while getting checked by Dr. Hayward.

This is the latest build-up type of story Fontenot composed and like the previous issue, another new character unconnected to Sting’s team got introduced for them to interact with. The new character here is referred to as Screen and he clearly is a more interesting character than the one introduced in issue #17. Screen here is more impulsive and aggressive and he sure looks like he has what it takes to oppose Sting. I also liked the way the creative team showed the impulsiveness and lack of maturity of both Sting and Screen.

Within the script is the establishment of a new sub-plot which symbolizes the growing danger of the Harbinger foundation towards not only on Sting and teammates but also against the others that oppose Toyo Harada and his organization. In some ways, the sub-plot will make you speculate about the invisible yet sinister forces who wield tremendous power over the top government officials who are supposed to be serving their constituents within the republic.

With all of these details laid down, I can say they are all engaging to read as Fontenot’s writing continued to be really strong. For the art, I can say that Howard Simpson continued to pump out really solid visuals while successfully keeping the primary characters recognizable all the time.

Conclusion

This image is very symbolic as Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary made it normal for the United States to make deals with terrorists (notably Iran and Palestine) and betray the patriotic Americans. This makes this comic book socially relevant and what you see with the corrupt administration of Joe Biden reconnects strongly with the Clinton legacy.

Harbinger #18 (1993) is a very solid comic book to read. The build-up continues to happen and along the way, the titular characters got developed some more and this time around, the Harbinger foundation’s power continues to get stronger which convinced me to look forward to the next issue.   

Overall, Harbinger #18 (1993) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Government set to expand local vaccination sites starting with schools on August 15, 2022

With the national daily average of new COVID-19 cases now in the thousands, it is clear that the expansion of vaccination and booster operations is needed in each locality. That being said, the City Government of Muntinlupa will do exactly that by opening vaccination sites starting with local schools on August 15, 2022 and in other places subsequently, according to a Manila Bulletin report. Take note that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. already urged people to get their booster shots. He also announced that no lockdown will be done.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Muntinlupa City government is set to launch Covid-19 vaccination sites in schools on Aug. 15 to increase coverage among senior citizens and the general population.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dr. Juancho Bunyi said this is in compliance with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive to reach 90 percent coverage for primary series among senior citizens and 50 percent coverage for first booster shot among the general population until Oct. 8 this year.

Based on the recomputed targets, the CHO needs to vaccinate 1,357 senior citizens and 27,700 individuals among the general population to achieve the goal.

As of Aug. 5, a total of 533,944 individuals have been fully vaccinated, or 134.9 percent of the 70 percent target, while 172,672 and 22,458 individuals received their first and second booster shots, respectively.

Of the total, the fully vaccinated individuals were 39,824 among the A2 group (senior citizens), 436,008 for the 18 to 59 years old age group, 40,698 for the 12-17 years old, and 17,414 for the 5-11 years old.

For the first booster, 23,304 are senior citizens, 145,533 are from among the 18 to 59 years old, and 3,835 are from the 12-17 years old.

The settings-based vaccination will be implemented based on the following schedule: Week 1 – schools, Week 2 – homeowners associations, Week 3 – markets, Week 4 – terminals, Week 5 – offices, Week 6 – factories, Week 7 – plazas, and Week 8 – churches.

On Aug. 15, the CHO will launch the vaccination sites in schools. The pilot cluster sites are the Putatan Elementary School (PES), Tunasan High School Annex (TNHS), and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa. Officials from the regional health office are expected to conduct a site visit in the schools.

There will be six schools and two health centers which will serve as cluster sites for vaccination: Alabang Elementary School, Cupang Elementary School, Cupang Health Center, Sucat Elementary and High School, PES, Muntinlupa Science High School, TNHS, Itaas Elementary School, Poblacion Elementary School, and Southville Health Center.

Each cluster site will accommodate students, their parents, and teaching and non-teaching personnel of schools.

The above article ended stating that new vaccination sites will be established on August 26 at the Poblacion Bucal tricycle station, and on September 26 at the Alabang Public Market.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are you satisfied to learn about the opening of new vaccination sites in schools within the city? Are you a parent who has a child enrolled at one of the mentioned schools with vaccination sites? Have members of the anti-vaccine fanatics contacted you lately? Do you think the anti-vaccine fanatics are conspiring with terrorist or anarchist groups to worsen the COVID-19 situation all over the Philippines?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

A Look Back at Tomb Raider #1 (1999)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to 1999 which was the year when the wildly popular Tomb Raider video game franchise made its debut in comic books handled by Top Cow Productions with Image Comics as publisher.

To put things in perspective, Tomb Raider started as a video game in 1996 which astounded millions of gamers worldwide resulting in huge sales for game publisher Eidos Interactive. This, of course, led to sequels which impacted console gaming and established Lara Croft as a video gaming and pop culture icon. From 1996 to 1999, Eidos Interactive released one new Tomb Raider game on consoles selling many millions of copies. Given the tremendous video game success achieved, Tomb Raider’s expansion into the comic book industry was inevitable.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Tomb Raider #1, published in 1999 by Image Comics with a story written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Andy Park.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in Iran, a nation that remains hostile to Westerners due to their government being led by fundamentalists with vested interest in terrorism. Two vehicles arrived at a very laid back town and immediately several armed men forcibly unmask the local women searching for a certain Westerner.

One Iranian soldier approaches a lady clothed and masked in black. Upon unmasking the said lady, the Iranian soldier discovers a lady from the West…the Tomb Raider herself – Lara Croft – wearing an extravagant looking necklace. The Iranian soldier puts his gun on Lara’s face and demands she takes the necklace off.

Lara Croft answers by firing her two guns at the Iranian soldiers hitting some while also forcing other soldiers to run away. Knowing she has to get out of Iran, Lara runs away from the soldiers and gets into a jeep forcing the man to drive the vehicle and move away. As the jeep moves out of the town, a truck full of enemy soldiers chases them…

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Lara Croft relaxing as her assistant gets updates about the business dealings.

To get straight to the point, this comic book debut of Tomb Raider and its iconic Lara Croft was clearly written to build up the initial concept the creative team came up with for the series. That being said, Dan Jurgens came up with the clever move to make Lara’s literary introduction action-packed and fast-paced, and his portrayal of Iran remains highly relevant to this day. Lara’s debut is a lively portrayal of the icon’s bravery, determination and special talent on acquiring treasure or items of tremendous value.

In relation to what I stated earlier, the rest of the comic book is a detailed build-up for Lara’s next mission which shows how she deals with powerful clients and why she still accepts million-dollar tasks even though she inherited her family’s huge wealth. While there is a lot of build-up and some exposition here and there, the script by Jurgens is not a bore Jurgens captured Lara Croft’s personality well and there is a good amount of spectacle that balanced well with the wordy exposition that came with the story build-up.

On the art, Andy Park’s work here is pretty good to look at. His visual take of Lara Croft does not involve realism at all as he gave her a look that make her look familiar with how women in comic books looked like in the 1990s. Park clearly is aware of Lara’s iconic status which explains his implementation of dynamism on the action scenes and the unexpected turnout of events that involved her. Still related to the protagonist’s iconic status, it is unsurprising to see Park show off Lara as a sexy action hero dedicated on her risky work.

Conclusion

After getting threatened, Lara Croft fights back against the Iranians! This is symbolic as even until now in real life, Iran’s government is still full of fundamentalists who are causing terror in the Middle East.

As it was the debut issue of a monthly series, Tomb Raider #1 (1999) served its purpose to build up the comic book vision the creators came up with while managing to introduce Lara Croft in her illustrated literature form complete with enough pages of action and spectacle. Even though there is no grand event, this is still an entertaining comic book to read and its build-up never created a single boring moment. By the time I reached the end of this comic book, I got to familiarize myself with literary Lara Croft and more importantly, I got interested enough with this small showcase of what Jurgens and Park prepared. I got interested enough to find out what happens next.

Overall, Tomb Raider #1 (1999) is recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

SBMA and strategic partners conduct anti-terrorism drill in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

Have you been to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone lately? Recently, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and its strategic partners the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) and the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted an anti-terrorism drill at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plan within the freeport, according to a press statement by the SBMA.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the SBMA’s statement. Some parts in boldface…

As part of the national government’s thrust to thwart terrorism in the country, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), along with other government agencies jointly conducted a simulation exercise at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant.

According to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino, the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Simulation Exercise 2022 was conducted by the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) headed by the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The official added that the inter-agency simulation exercise series (IA Simex Series) included personnel from the DILG, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), ATC-PMC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices from Bataan and Zambales, Peace and Order Councils of LGUs, CBRN National Team Observers, Subic Water and Sewerage Company, Inc., and the SBMA.

Chairman Paulino further revealed, “The opening scenario during the CBRN Simex was a negotiation between the terrorist group who took over the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant with plans to contaminate the water supply of Olongapo City. The terrorist group demanded P10 million, along with the release of their comrades. A PNP negotiator then attempted to communicate with the terrorist group.

“Should negotiations fail, the PNP will cordon off the area while the SBMA Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team conducts a meeting before an insertion operation Following the insertion, SWAT personnel then neutralize the terrorist threat and rescue hostages taken by the terrorists.

“Both the SWAT and the hostages are then thoroughly checked for any chemical, biological,

radiological and nuclear contaminations before they are allowed to conduct further operations.

Debriefing immediately follows after decontamination,” he said.

The official stated that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the AFP and PNP

scout the area for any explosive devices that the terrorist group may have left behind. The SBMA Fire Department and the BFP then carry out extraction of injured victims and live suspects using hazmat suits.

“Medical teams from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) then immediately attend to the wounded victims, including the terrorists for medical attention,” Paulino said.

DILG Assistant Secretary Brig. Gen. Alexander Macario lauded the participation of various government agencies at the CBRN Simex 2022, citing that with a bit more polishing, the operation would be seamless. He added that the exercise is designed to meet the needs of the particular area in partnership with stakeholders.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about the anti-terrorism drill that was conducted jointly by the SBMA and its strategic partners? Do you believe that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is secure enough right now? Does the recent drill make you confident about investing in or taking residence in the freeport?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

For my recent Subic Bay articles, read my features about Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

Teacher arrested in Las Piñas City for extortion and issuing bomb threats to several schools

Recently in Las Piñas City, a male teacher was arrested by law enforcers as a result of an entrapment operation in relation to his extortion attempts and threatening schools with bombings, the Philippine Star reported. There were more than thirty schools located in different cities that received extortion demands via email from the suspect.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine Star news report. Some parts in boldface…

A (teacher) accused of extortion and threatening schools in Metro Manila with bombings and mass shootings while posing as a New People’s Army (NPA) rebel was apprehended in Las Piñas City, police reported yesterday. Jake Castro, 26, was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group under the supervision of CIDG director Maj. Gen. Eliseo Cruz during a sting in Barangay Zapote on Friday.

According to probers, Castro is a teacher at a private school for poor children at Doña Manuela Subdivision in Barangay Pamplona.

Col. Randy Glenn Silvio, who heads the CIDG National Capital Region field unit, said Castro e-mailed extortion demand messages to 33 schools in Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig and Quezon City.

Nine of the schools the suspect allegedly threatened are in Parañaque and seven in Quezon City.

Using the e-mail address newpeoplesarmy1969@gmail.com, Castro claims to be a member of the NPA special tactics unit, threatening the schools with bombings and terror attacks if his demands are not met.

One of these educational institutions from Barangay Bago Bantay in Quezon City filed a complaint with the CIDG after receiving e-mail from the suspect demanding P2 million.

“In case the school management failed to give in to the demand, they would bomb and blow the school into pieces and would shoot the people inside the school,” Silvio said.

Police said 26 other schools in Metro Manila received similar threats from the suspect.

A school principal convinced the suspect to agree to lower the amount to P500,000. Acting on this, the CIDG launched an entrapment operation with the help of a delivery rider after Castro agreed to receive the money at his house in Zapote village.

The suspect was placed under arrest after he received the marked money.

Police said they confiscated a .38-caliber handgun, five shotgun bullets, a cell phone, other gadgets and a motorcycle from Castro.

Castro is being held on charges of robbery, resisting arrest, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, violation of the election gun ban and Presidential Decree 1727 or the Anti-Bomb Joke Law.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this crime story? If you are a school employee, did you work for a school that received a threat from the suspect via email? Are you thankful to the CIDG for apprehending the suspect?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Israel monitoring Philippine developments as a result of the police intelligence report about Hamas plot in the country

Recently, it was reported that intelligence work by the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that the Palestinian militant group Hamas plotted to not only establish their presence in the Philippines but also recruit Filipinos and kill Jews in the country. As a result, the Israel Embassy is monitoring developments and has appreciated the efficient response of the PNP’s intelligence work.

Be aware that this is not the first time Hamas (which has been identified for terrorism by some governments around the world) tried establishing its presence in the country and in recent times the ties between Israel and the Philippines got stronger (for some reference, click here, here, here, here, here, here and here) .

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article dated February 17, 2022. Some parts in boldface…

The Israel Embassy in Manila is monitoring developments in the Philippines following an intelligence report alleging Palestinian militant group Hamas was planning to recruit subordinates to mount an attack against Israeli nationals.

We appreciate the efficient response of the Philippine police and their efforts to make sure that the Israelis are well-protected. We are closely monitoring this,” the Embassy said Thursday.

The statement came following a report that Hamas has denied the supposed plot.

Citing a source from Hamas, Gaza-based Shehab News Agency said the movement had belied the allegation, noting “commitment to its well-known and declared policy of limiting its conflict with the Israeli occupation within the occupied Palestinian territories, and not to transfer it to any Arab or foreign lands.”

On Tuesday, the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group said it uncovered a plan to recruit Filipinos who will be “utilized to kill Jews present in the country, conduct rallies at the Israeli embassy and spread (of) video propaganda against Israel.”

For further perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the other PNA article also dated February 17, 2022. Some parts in boldface…

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said some persons are being monitored in connection with the reported plan of the Middle East-based Hamas militant group to operate in the Philippines.

“Those people mentioned in the report are now under surveillance and monitoring,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday night, referring to a report that was recently submitted to him by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He, however, did not say how many individuals are being monitored for supposedly being involved in the plot.

“The PNP Intelligence Group is into this, they’re monitoring the movement of these Filipinos who are reportedly (involved),” said Año, adding that the effort has been coordinated with the Anti-Terrorism Council.

While he believes that the plot was already preempted, the DILG chief said intelligence personnel continue to monitor and gather relevant information on the matter.

“There are no indicators that they are really on the verge of implementing it (plan to establish foothold). It’s still information that is being acted upon by the intelligence community,” the DILG chief added.

On Tuesday, the PNP Intelligence Group said it has uncovered a plan to recruit Filipinos who will be “utilized to kill Jews present in the country, conduct rallies at the Israeli embassy and spread (of) video propaganda against Israel.”

The information was uncovered through information provided by a local contact of Hamas who was allegedly approached by Hamas-Foreign Liaison Section head Fares Al Shikli, who is based in Turkey, as early as 2016.

The “local contact” reportedly made several trips to Malaysia from 2016 to 2018 to discuss the possibility of launching attacks in the Philippines in exchange for financial assistance.

The above article ended stating that in 2018, police operatives arrested Iraqi national Taha Mohammed Ahmed al-Jabouri. Al-Jabouri, who was later deported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to Turkey, was described by local law enforcers as a “chemist with knowledge on explosives” and “closely affiliated” with Hamas.

For the newcomers reading this, Hamas is described as a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and nationalist organization which has a record of violence and terror. Hamas is an enemy of Israel.

As such, we must pray to God to help the State of Israel and its people to be protected more and to emerge victorious in its conflicts with Hamas. We also need to pray to the Lord for the fall of Hamas so that their agents will realize the errors of their ways, get out of the wickedness they lived with, repent to God and submit themselves to Him willfully. Pray also that the apartheid practiced by the Palestinian Authority (PA) will come to an end and that the Palestinians be freed from their government’s corruption and wickedness. Pray to the Lord that the millions of young people in North America brainwashed by socialists in colleges will stop supporting terrorists, stop those reckless “Free Palestine” activities, and realize they need to come to Jesus to be redeemed.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

I Love Israel: Philippine Army receives 15 armored mortar carriers (AMCs) from Israeli firm Elbit Systems

I am delighted over the news that the Army here in the Philippines acquired high-tech military equipment in the form of armored mortar carriers (AMC) which were made by the Israel-based company Elbit Systems, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Elbit Systems is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world, primarily in the defense and homeland security arenas. They develop and supply a broad portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial applications. The company’s systems and products are installed on new platforms, and they also perform comprehensive platform modernization programs. A range of support services are also provided.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine Army’s (PA) Armor Division got a much-needed firepower boost with the delivery of 15 M125A2 armored mortar carriers (AMCs), which are equipped with 120mm mounted mortar systems (MMS).

PA spokesperson, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, said the AMCs were delivered on December 29 and were sourced from the Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

The newly delivered 15 AMCs are for inspection within the first quarter of the year by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee before acceptance and (deployment) to the Army’s field units,” Trinidad said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday night.

The AMCs are under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and acquired under the Army’s mounted mortar acquisition project.

“The new AMCs are part of the PA’s modernization project that will capacitate the country’s land force’s credible defense posture from various threats, local and international,” he said.

The Cardom 120mm recoil mortar system mounted on the M125A2 AMC is an autonomous, computerized system that has a range of 7,000 meters and a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute operated by four crewmen.

The AMCs with MMS are used by the US Army, Israeli Defense Force, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries.

Meanwhile, PA chief, Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., welcomed the arrival of the AMCs as he waits for its formal acceptance, noting that these deliveries are in line with the Army’s thrusts on enhancing the capabilities of its ground forces.

These new armor assets will bolster the Army’s capability to deal with constantly evolving threats. With the realization of upcoming big-ticket modernization projects, the Philippine Army is on track to becoming a formidable and adaptive force capable of responding to a multitude of conventional and unconventional threats,” he said.

Armor Division commander, Maj. Gen. Efren Baluyot, said the new assets would provide close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units while quickly deploying in tactical situations.

Once those AMCs get cleared and start getting operated officially, they will surely enhance the Philippine Army’s (PA) operations especially in battles against the Leftist rebels and terrorists within the country.

We should all be thankful to God that our nation has a very essential partner and close friend in Israel which has helped Filipinos a lot in different ways such as the sharing expertise on COVID-19, cooperating on defense, having Filipinos in Israel vaccinated for COVID-19 and providing essential relief to typhoon victims. More on this particular development, it is great to see the Philippine Army acquiring military hardware from Elbit Systems which itself is highly credible not only with its business record and advanced military technologies, but also because they provided military hardware to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other nations. I should also state that Israel is home to many high-tech companies which is something that the mainstream media does not even care to cover.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/