6 Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in separate NBI operations

Maris Federez   •   June 11, 2019   •   2173

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) presented to the media on Tuesday (June 11) six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were arrested in separate operations last month.

The NBI said that the six were arrested in Taguig City, Balanga City in Bataan, and Zamboanga City on May 16 and 20.

NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said, “the six arrested were involved in various terrorist activities, ranging from ambush, kidnap for ransom, bombing in Southern Philippines, and recruitment of other members.”

He added that the arrest stemmed from the intelligence reports that they gathered and have led them to the whereabouts of Azmier Maalum in Taguig City.

The joint operations of the NBI, the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had led to the arrest of Maalum, along with Amar Assan, Musa Tahil Sampang, Jamil Ibrahim, Yong Aming, and Majuk Tahil Amil.

Maalum has several warrants of arrest for eight counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Golden Harvest plantation workers in Basilan in 2001, while Sampang was involved in several bombing incidents also in Basilan.

The NBI said the six had been recruiting members in Metro Manila. (with reports from April Cenedoza) /mbmf

PNP takes full control of training police recruits

Marje Pelayo   •   October 7, 2019

Newly promoted policemen stand in formation during a mass promotion ceremony at the police headquarters in Taguig city, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 March 2019.  EPA-EFE / FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has taken full supervision of the National Police Training Institute (NPTI) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in a formal turn over on Monday (October 7) at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba, Laguna.

The transfer of supervision was in accordance with Republic Act 11279 which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in May this year.

“The Philippine National Police shall have administrative and operational supervision and control over the Philippine National Police Academy. and the National Police Training Institute,”

RA 11279 states that the transfer of administration is “to better achieve the goals of a highly efficient and competent police force.”

It is also in line with the PNP’s program of internal cleansing among its rank of ‘sloppy’ and ‘scalawag’ policemen.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde is confident that by directly managing the police training institutions, the PNP will be able to achieve its targets of 10,000 police recruits who will be honed in lieu of the retiring police officers.

“The PNP is now solely responsible for the making of a complete police officer, from recruitment to retirement,” Albayalde said.

“Thus, we only have ourselves to blame if any PNP member will go astray because of poor training and orientation,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from April Cenedoza)

PH Navy gets new vice commander, chief of staff after Cusi departure

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has installed a new vice commander and chief of staff following the departure of Rear Admiral Allan Ferdinand Cusi to assume his new post as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Major General Dante Hidalgo is the new Navy vice commander (VCom) replacing Cusi who was transferred to the top PMA post following the resignation of Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista over the hazing death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio.

Cusi held the VCOM post in acting capacity for a month while serving as the commander of Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command (NETDC).

Hidalgo and Cusi are both members of the PMA Sinagtala Class of 1986.

Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, presided over the joint turn-over ceremony at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila on Friday.

Hidalgo was the former commander of the Naval Reserve Command.

Meanwhile, Littoral Combat Force commander, Commodore Rey Dela Cruz will now be the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), replacing Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe who is designated as the new commander of NETDC.

Bernabe and Dela Cruz are mistahs from PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

The vice commander and the chief of naval staff are two of the highest positions in the Philippine Navy organization next to the Flag officer in command.

The vice commander acts as the principal assistant of the Navy chief in decision-making process and policy formulation and implementation, while the naval staff chief administers all members of Philippine Navy staff in the accomplishment of the respective missions.

In his remarks during the ceremony, Empedrad underscored the importance of the turn-over of duties and responsibilities.

“It is but proper that we put the right person at the right job,” he said, further vouching for these senior officers whose “credibility, credentials, integrity and expertise” make them deserving to occupy their respective posts.

PH Navy acquires 7 new fast attack crafts, amphibious vehicles

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy has acquired seven new fast attack crafts and amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) as the government intensifies its counter-terrorism operations.

Among those newly-acquired are three multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) mark III, four AAV and 22 other utility vehicles.

The Philippine Navy said these units are in addition to the three missile-fitted fast attack craft that ushered the country’s naval force into the missile-age last year.

The MPACs will make up the recently activated 4th Boat Attack Division of the Philippine fleet and will soon be fitted with machine gun and missile systems.

The Philippine Navy said these highly maneuverable platform are designed for fast interdiction of surface targets, quick reaction force and naval special operations.

These are crucial for the conduct of swarming operations and projection of the “anvil” force for coastal defense.

The four AAVs, on the other hand, form part of the recently activated Assault Amphibian Company (76MC) under the Assault Armor Battalion of the Philippine Marine Corps.

“These amphibious landing vehicles allow our Marine Operating Forces to assault any shoreline from decks of Navy ships and provide them with armor protection, surface mobility for amphibious and mechanized operations, communications and maintenance capabilities,” the Philippine Navy said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the 22 multi-purpose utility vehicles consist of the initial batch of acquisition for the re-fleeting program to replace its ageing motor vehicle inventory.

The Philippine Navy said that aside from its usual operational and administrative uses, these new assets may also be employed to transfer cargo in support of combat service support operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

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