5 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed, 2 soldiers hurt in Zamboanga Sibugay clash

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2020   •   1060

MANILA, Philippines – Five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed and two soldiers were injured in an encounter between the government troops and the terrorist group in Zamboanga Sibugay on Wednesday (September 9).

Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, commander of the 44th Infantry Batallion said the clash happened during a joint military and police pursuit operations in Barangay Pres. Roxas, RT Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay around 2 a.m.

Templonuevo said the encounter was the result of their pursuit operations against armed elements of Abral Abdusalam and Sahibad group led by Furuji Indama, an ASG leader based in Basilan.

The clash follows an earlier gun battle between the military and the local terrorist group in Barangay La Paz, Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay on Sept. 6, he added.

The military said government troops were also able to recover four high-powered firearms after the 30-minute clash against the 10 Abu Sayyaf Group member.

Pursuit operation against the ASG is still on-going.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the group was supposedly planning to conduct kidnapping activities in the region based on information they received from a reliable source.

“The unit would also like to thank the locals who tipped-off the authorities of the presence of these terrorist groups which resulted to the timely response of our troops,” Nicolas said.

Meanwhile, the two wounded soldiers, whose identities are yet to be disclosed, were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital, Zamboanga City for proper medical attention.

Both soldiers are now in stable condition, the military reported.

ASG sub-leader, 3 members killed in Sulu – AFP

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) of the Armed Forces of of the Philippines (AFP) reported the death of a notorious Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader and three of his followers in a law enforcement operation in Sulu.

“Based on the report from the ground, combined elements of the military and police conducted a law enforcement operation to serve a warrant of arrest against ASG sub-group leader Injam Yadah in Barangay Alat, Jolo, Sulu around 2:00AM Sunday, June 13, 2021,” the WESMINCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said.

Sensing the presence of the operating troops, the target and three of his cohorts opened fire thereby prompting the government forces to retaliate. The exchange of fires resulted in the instantaneous death of Yadah and three others.

“We’ve long been on the hunt for Yadah. He has a reputation of being extremely violent — beheading captured innocent civilians and security forces alike. Finally, his hideous acts will now come to a full stop,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

Two of the neutralized cohorts of Yadah were identified as Al-Al Sawadjaan, the youngest brother of infamous bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, and a.k.a. Rauf/Raup while the other one is yet to be identified.

According to 35th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Wilfredo Borgonia, Yadah was involved in the kidnapping of various foreign nationals and locals including the ex-wife and daughter of former Talipao Mayor Tambrin Tulawie in 2018.

His latest reported activity was the kidnapping of Rex Triplett in Sirawai, Zamboanga Sibugay and Dr. Moreno in Jolo in 2020.

He was also involved in the abduction of the recently rescued Indonesian nationals.

Lt. Col. Borgonia further stated that Mundi’s brother Al-Al Sawadjaan was a volunteer suicide bomber and improvised explosive device maker.

Operating troops seized in the house of Yadah one M653 Carbine, one cal. 45 pistol, IED components, and 15 mobile phones. Troops also captured Yadah’s wife identified as a.k.a. Jhing and rescued their three children.

“All the forces under JTF-Sulu are doubling their efforts to apprehend Mundi Sawadjaan. His brothers are now dead and we are optimistic that he will also be neutralized. When that day comes, we can say that we have achieved total peace in the province. The local government and people here are one with us in this endeavor,” Maj. Gen. Gonzales added.

Since January 2021, a total of 121 ASG personalities have been neutralized in Sulu. Among the 121 members, 18 were killed, 86 surrendered, and 17 were apprehended.

SC eyes releasing body cam guidelines by July

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) is eyeing to release the guidelines on the use of body cameras in police operations by July.

SC Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the high tribunal will tackle the matter starting June 15.

“The proposed rule is to be taken up as soon we resume session on June 15. And our colleagues have submitted their respective inputs. Hopefully and I’m optimistic that maybe after 2 or 3 deliberations we will come up with the final version,” he said.

“Our judges know the responsibility that they have to comply with what the Constitution and the Rules of Court should provide. So, we hope that with the issuance of these rules on body-worn cameras, these issues will be addressed specifically. It’s in the works. By July perhaps, we will have the final version and we’ll approve it for implementation immediately,” he added.

The proposed body-worn cameras was recommended after reports of corruption and abuse by authorities. Based on the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), there are over 7,000 cases related to suspects getting killed during the government’s anti-drug campaign.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has previously ordered the use of body-cameras during operations in the NCR. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

PNP assures no cover-up in Calbayog City mayor slay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured there is no cover-up in the Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino slay case.

PNP Chief General Guillermo Eleazar reiterated that the PNP is not protecting the seven policemen allegedly involved in the death of Aquino in March.

The policemen have been charged with murder and frustrated murder by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“Katotohanan at hustisya rin po ang aming hangad para sa insidenteng ito dahil kasama sa mga nasawi ay mga tauhan namin. Parusahan kung sino ang dapat parusahan but in the meantime, let these cases take their course in the proper forum,” he said.

(We still seek truth and justice for this incident, our men were also killed. Let those accountable be held accountable, let these cases take their course in the proper forum.)

Eleazar said he also directed the Regional Director, Police Regional Office 8 and Director, Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG) to place implicated PNP personnel under their restrictive custody. The cops were charged based on witness testimonies, CCTV footage, and information collected from a seized cellular phone.

Whistleblower PMSgt. Jose Jay Senario said Aquino’s political rival were in cahoots with cops and plotted to link Aquino to illegal drugs. On March 8, Aquino and his companions were fatally shot on Laboyao Bridge. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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