4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019   •   556

Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).

The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.

“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.

However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.

Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.

“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.

Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.

They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

11 fallen heroes in Sulu encounter return home ⁠—AFP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has brought the remains of 11 soldiers who were killed in the recent Sulu encounter to their respective hometowns.

In a statement, the AFP said eight of the soldiers are from Luzon, one from Visayas, and two from Mindanao.

The fallen soldiers were given honors by Philippine defense leaders at Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay, City on Saturday (April 18).

“In honor of their sacrifice for the nation, we assure the bereaved families that we will take care of them and extend to them the necessary assistance that their families will need.” according to AFP Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay.

READ: 11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in Sulu encounter

Eleven soldiers of the AFP were killed while 14 others were wounded during an encounter with suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Sulu on Friday (April 17).

PNP mourns over AFP’s loss in Sulu encounter

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed grief over the loss of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in an encounter between the military and elements of the Abu Sayyaf Group on Friday (April 17).

“The Officers, men and women of the Philippine National Police, under the command of PGen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, join the Filipino nation in mourning over the loss of 11 of our brothers in arms in the Armed Forces of the Philippines who offered the ultimate sacrifice in an encounter with terrorists in Sulu yesterday,” says a statement it released on Saturday through its spokesperson, PBGen. Bernard M Banac.

The country’s police force believes that the soldiers “did not die in vain -the cause they are fighting for is the lifelong commitment of all men and women in uniform who derive inspiration from the heroism of our fallen brothers to bring on the fight against the enemies of the state,” Banac said.

The official added that the PNP is extending every possible support and assistance that it can give to comfort the families of the fallen soldiers and to provide care for the wounded.

“Even as the entire government is preoccupied with response operations to address the health crisis, state security forces will continue to perform the duty to keep the country safe from terrorism and lawlessness,” Banac concluded. mbmf

Palace slams ASG attack on government troops in Sulu

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines The Office of the President on Saturday slammed the Abu Sayyaf Group after around 40 of its members attacked the government troops in Patikul, Sulu on Friday (April 17) resulting in the death of 11 soldiers and wounding 14 others.

In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration condemns “in the strongest possible terms the latest incident in Patikul, Sulu, where members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) believed to be under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan attacked government troops resulting in a firefight, which left 11 soldiers killed and 14 wounded.”

Roque noted that what happened was already the second encounter that the government troops had with the same terrorist group; the first one, on April 16,  in which three soldiers were wounded.

“The Office of the President expresses its sincerest condolences to the bereaved families left behind by our brave soldiers who fought hard and paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our community. We honor and pray for the fallen,” Roque’s statement reads.

He further noted that the enemies of the State do not choose any date and occasion and just seem to strike even at this time that the country is battling a great pandemic.

Roque, however, reiterate that this must serve as a warning to all, stressing that, “our authorities remain ready and prepared to crush the enemies of the government and quell any armed attack amid the existing state of calamity and public health emergency.” mbmf

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