Contrary to previous reports, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) chief MGen. Corleto Vinluan said Mundi Sawadjaan is still in Patikul, Sulu.
Sawadjaan, who is believed to be behind the Jolo twin blasts, is allegedly in Central Mindanao as reported by the Zamboanga Police. However, Vinluan said the military encountered Sawadjaan and his group a few days ago in Patikul.
“Nandoon siya sa ano talaga sa Sulu. As of this report, nasa Patikul pa rin siya. Iyon ang hinahabol ng tropa, na-encounter nila parang two days ago yata na-encounter (He is still in Sulu. As of this report, he is still in Patikul. Our troops were hunting him down which led to an encounter two days ago),” Vinluan said.
Vinluan said Sawadjaan and his group are just diverting the focus of security officials and lessen military pressure amid the manhunt operations being conducted against them.
Meanwhile, the Zamboanga police implemented checkpoints as precautionary measures amid terrorist threats in the area while the military continues its manhunt operation for Sawadjaan. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has conferred medals on soldiers who were injured on Monday’s twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu.
AFP Westmincom chief Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr. led the conferment of medals Tuesday afternoon when he visited the soldiers being treated at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Hospital and Camp Navarro General Hospital.
Among the medal recipients were Sergeant Jose Alonzo, Corporals Philip Anthony Aleta and Aldrin Paj-Dio, PFC Novin Guzman, PFC Jayson Paguirigan, Private Stephen Rey Oliveros, Private Alphasier Tapsi and Private Alviner Hamsaji.
More than 20 soldiers sustained injuries during the successive explosions that killed 14 people and wounded 75 others.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Western Mindanao Command, I would like to extend my deep sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims who succumbed to the mindless acts of terrorism,” Vinluan said.
“Let us continue to pray for the eternal repose of the souls of those who were killed and for the speedy recovery of those who are recuperating in hospitals,” he added.
The town of Jolo is no longer under lockdown following the blasts but tight security measures remain in place, the military said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)
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