5 rebels yield to AFP-PNP forces in Quezon Province, Laguna, Rizal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021   •   386

MANILA, Philippines — Five rebels have surrendered to the forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Polillo, Quezon Province.

Based on reports,  alias Gio and alias Patrick who were members of the New People’s Army (NPA), surrendered to the government forces on March 25 in Barangay Salipsip, Polilio, Quezon. They also turned in their firearms and ammunitions.

Another member of the NPA, identified as alias JM, also yielded in Sta Maria, Laguna on the same day. Meanwhile, alias Dexter and alias Joan, also remnants of NPA group in the boundaries of Rizal and Laguna, voluntarily surrendered to the AFP-PNP.

Alias JM, in an interview, said that the hardships they endured as rebels and the complete disregard for their welfare pushed them to abandon the armed struggle.

Acting Commander of 2nd Infantry Division B.Gen. Rommel Tello welcomed the rebels’ move and assured the group that the government will provide assistance to them and their families.

“Your wise decision to abandon armed struggle marks a new beginning for you and your loved ones. With your help, we shall build a better and safer country for our families and fellowmen while we ensure that you are secured from any terrorist acts of retaliation,” he said addressing the former rebels.

The 2ID already made necessary steps for the surrenderers including debriefing and medical check up with health professionals prior their subsequent enrollment to government’s program wherein they can receive up to Php700,000 in grants and benefits to help them and their families start their lives anew.

2 Abu Sayyaf Group leaders, 6 members arrested in Sabah

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two alleged sub-leaders and six members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were nabbed in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna, Beaufort, Sabah, a military official said Monday.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) chief Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr. said the joint operation that occurred around 3 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, was jointly conducted by troops from the AFP and the Malaysia’s Eastern Sabah Southern Command (ESSCOM).

The military identified the arrested persons as Sansibar Bensio, and Mabar Binda, both sub-leaders of the Eastern Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group;

Muayyar Binda, a certain Sansis, and a certain Firdaus, who are all under Mabar Binda; Lugah Sanchez and Bonijar Samsula, both members under the late ASG sub-leader Juhurim Hussein (Patikul-based); and Alim Sukarno, a member under Sansibar Bensio.

According to Joint Task Force Sulu commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Bensio and Binda are both sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-Ransom Group based on the eastern/second district of Sulu.

“They are involved in the series of armed confrontations with the military including the encounter on July 2011 at Sitio Tubig Magtuh, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu wherein the late 2nd Lt. Michael Baladad of the Philippine Marines was beheaded,” Gonzales said.

The military said the two were also involved in the encounters at Bay Sunog, Bud Bawis Complex in February 2018 that resulted in the deaths of five ASG members;  Sitio Jatih, Bud Bawis Complex in December 2019 that resulted in the rescue of two Indonesian nationals and the death of the late ASG sub-leader Hairulla Abduraja; and the encounter at Bay Takas, Bud Bawis Complex in November 2020 that resulted in the deaths of ASG member Bensio Barahama and sub-leader Hatib Munap Binda.

“Bensio was also involved in the kidnapping of foreign nationals identified as Lorenzo Vinciguerra (Swiss National), Ewold Horn (Dutch National), Samiun Bin Maneu (Indonesian National), Maharudin Bin Lunani (Indonesian National), and Muhammad Farhan (Indonesian National),” the AFP-WestMinCom said.

The group also victimized several Filipinos, including Ronnie Sandagon, Jerel Pepito, Eddie Reubal, Marcial España, Arvin Sabaduquia, Rufino Bustillo, Joseph Bani, Hajan Terong, Joshua Bani, and Michelle Tolentino Panes.

Binda, on the other hand, was also involved in the kidnapping of the Indonesian nationals mentioned above.

According to 4th Marine Brigade Commander Col. Hernanie Songano, the now-apprehended group of ASG bandits fled to Sabah where they established an ASG cell after they were forced out of the province of Sulu due to focused military operations and civil-military cooperation.

“The intensified intelligence operations and the support of the community coupled with the constant coordination between the AFP and the ESSCOM contributed to the successful neutralization of the ASG sub-leaders and their cohorts. The arrest of these terrorists is a big blow to the ASG” Vinluan said.

“My congratulations to the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu and the ESSCOM for the aggressive measures taken to ensure that these terrorists will not be able to conduct horrendous activities anymore particularly off waters of Sabah” he added.

New PNP Chief assures no shaming, exercise for health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — New Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured that health protocol violators will not be shamed or be forced to exercise.

Eleazar clarified that individuals who are not wearing face masks or are not wearing face masks properly will be accosted but will be sent home after proper documentation and process. Violators will be taken to the nearest police station and will be investigated before receiving proper sanctions.

Walang makukulong dahil sa hindi pagsusuot lamang ng mask. Walang masasaktan. Walang mag- eexercise. Walang ipahihiya (No one will be imprisoned just because of not wearing masks. No one will be hurt. There will be no exercise. There will be no shaming),” he said.

If violators will be fined, Eleazar said, they will be given a ticket. If they will do community service, it will be scheduled. Violators will not be charged unless necessary.

Eleazar said the PNP will coordinate with the local government to make sure the city has holding facilities so as not to crowd police stations.

Ang bilin ko sa inyo, ang bilin ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año bago kayo mag-arestuhan tingnan nyo muna kung may paglalagyan kayo sa inyong opisina. Dahil ang ayaw naman natin kapag inaresto niyo iyan ay kumpol kumpol pa doon. So coordinate with your local government unit at barangay (My directive, as well as the directive of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is, before any arrest, make sure there is a place in your office where you can put them. We don’t want them to cramp in one area once arrested. So, coordinate with your local government unit and the barangay), he said. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

AFP chief Sobejana calls for vigilance in Maguindanao after BIFF threat in Datu Paglas

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana called on local officials and residents in Maguindanao to remain vigilant despite the thwarted attack of the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

“I enjoin the populace of and local leaders in Maguindanao to remain vigilant as we continue our watch until peace is stabilized,” Sobejana said in a statement.

On Saturday, around 20 BIFF members led by Mohiden Animbang a.k.a. Karialan occupied the Datu Paglas public market.

But state security forces drove them away before they could attack civilian residents.

No civilian or military casualties were reported.

Elements from the Joint Task Central and the 601st Infantry Brigade dealt with the group, which has been the subject of intense military operations for the past days, the AFP said.

Karialan and his group were said to be the ones behind the reported explosions in Datu Saudi Ampatuan in March 2021 and caused the death of two civilians and wounding of two others.

“The extremist groups were forced to withdraw in the same morning after security forces were able to isolate the area. The national highway was again open for public commuters at around 10:30 in the morning of the same day after the clearing of the area was confirmed by security forces,” JTF Central spokesperson Lt. Col. John Baldomar said.

The military recovered four improvised explosive devices left by the BIFF members.

Sobjana said the situation has already normalized but assured that security forces “will not rest until the threat is neutralized.”

“Let us continue to engage local government authorities, stakeholders, and civilians to ensure that peace and security in Datu Paglas and its neighboring towns are preserved,” Sobejana said.

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