7 foreign terrorists training future suicide bombers in Mindanao, AFP to boost security

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2019   •   542

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will boost security in Mindanao after seven foreign tourists are reportedly training future suicide bombers.

AFP’s Western Mindanao Command will implement security adjustments to spoil their plans.

Chief of Western Mindanao Command Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, said on Tuesday (July 23) that they are still validating the nationalities of the said foreign terrorists.

“We still have a lot of criteria in validating for them to be considered as foreign terrorists. It’s more on an effort by our intelligence unit,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AFP is monitoring 42 other foreign terrorists regarding their association with ISIS.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP targets zero casualties in the upcoming 2019 SEA Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 21, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) targets zero casualties in the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games from November 30 to December 11.

Over 17,000 security personnel from various government agencies will be deployed during the event.

During the send-off ceremony in Camp Bagong Diwa on Thursday (November 21), PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a press briefing that they have not monitored any threat for the SEA Games.

“Imminent [threat]? None. But the evaluation continues. We do not stop evaluating,” he said.

The task force created for the SEA Games includes the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of the Civil Defense, local government units (LGUs), and other government agencies.

Meanwhile, SEA Games Task Group Commander PBGen. Lyndon Lawas said they are coordinating with the Department Education (DepEd) for the suspension of classes in Metro Manila.

The deployment will begin on November 25 following the implementation of ‘full alert’ status in Metro Manila.

“We would like to minimize the effect of the travel of the delegates to and from the different destinations, from the billet area to the game sites,” he said.

There will be 530 events from 56 sports in the SEA Games where over 9,000 athletes will compete for the gold.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

AFP sends soldier-athletes to 2019 SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expecting its soldier-athletes to perform well in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which is set to be held in the country from November 30 to December 11.

Around 127 soldiers on active duty will join the Filipino contingent competing in this year’s SEA Games.

Overall, the AFP is sending over 400 soldier-athletes, coaches, and emergency preparedness and response teams and security personnel from the military’s Regular and Reserve Forces.

A send-off ceremony, led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Noel Clement, was held for the AFP contingent on Monday, Nov. 11.

“We have all been tirelessly working for this momentous event. We are able to lay down the joint operational guidelines for our troops who will be deployed. Similarly, our soldiers have relentlessly trained for their various events. These are clear indications of our strong will and desire for a safe and successful conduct of the Games,” Clement was quoted as saying in a statement.

“On behalf of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, I offer my heartfelt support to our athlete-soldiers and coaches joining the 30th SEA Games. Show the world your discipline and dedication and may you have God’s favor” he added.

The 30th SEA Games will open on November 30 in Bulacan.

Around 12,000 athletes and their coaches, 1,000 international media members, 15,000 volunteers, and spectators, among others are expected to participate and watch the games.

It is said to be the biggest SEA Games yet as it features 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues. Although these events will be conducted in various parts of Luzon, a bulk of these tournaments will be held in Metro Manila.

The closing ceremony of the games will be in the New Clark City in Tarlac on December 11.

AFP to heighten security in Mindanao following death of 3 suicide bombers

Maris Federez   •   November 6, 2019

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) is set to intensify the security in Mindanao following the slaying of three suicide bombers in Indanan, Sulu on Tuesday (November 5).

AFP-WESMINCOM chief LtGen. Cirilo Sobejana said part of the security adjustment that they will implement is the stricter chokepoint and checkpoint operations, as well as the conduct of foot patrol in the different areas in Mindanao.

“I directed all commanders and under Western Mindanao Command to take extra miles to monitor the hostile plans of this threat group,” Sobejana said.

He added that they will not set aside the possibility that several members of the terrorist groups in the country are planning to wreak havoc after ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdhadi was killed in a US Forces-led operation in northwest Syria.

The PNP, meanwhile, allayed the public’s fear brought about by the series of suicide bombings in the country.

PNP spokesperson PBGen Bernard Banac said the PNP and the AFP are in control of the situation in Mindanao and that there is nothing to be worried about.

“Sa ngayon ay mataas na ang ating level ng security sa bahagi ng Western Mindanao at yung nangyari kahapon at patunay na mahigpit ang ipinatutupad na seguridad doon,” said Banac.

The authorities said the death of the three suicide bombers had helped prevent the bomb threat in Metro Jolo. (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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