Over 700 SAF members who joined operations in Marawi City get special promotion
by UNTV | Posted on Monday, February 5th, 2018
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PDG. Ronald Bato dela Rosa could not hold his tears when he saw a video of Special Action Force (SAF) troopers battling in Marawi City.
General Dela Rosa said that the five-month battle of the SAF members against the terrorists who attempted to conquer the city was not a piece of cake.
“Tumatayo ang balahibo ko. I can feel for them yung mga naghirap talaga doon sa frontline. Makita talaga yung mga dugo na dumanak, yung mga pagsabog left and right, mga putukan. Kahit gaano ka katapang at katibay pag ganoong sitwasyon wala kang ibang mapupuntahan kundi si Lord,” said Dela Rosa.
With this, the PNP chief did not hesitate to give special promotion to the 745 Special Action Force members who fought in Marawi City.
Even Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista salutes the gallantry of the SAF members.
“I have seen how this men and women work side by side with the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to crush and defeat the lawless elements who spread terror in the city of Marawi,” said the commanding general.
The PNP chief takes pride of the expertise of the SAF members when it comes to urban warfare, hence the successful mission of liberating Marawi City from the hands of ISIS-inspired terrorists.
General Dela Rosa also recommended the promotion of third level officers, which is under the jurisdiction of President Rodrigo Duterte himself, and not of the PNP chief’s.
“They did they share in Marawi especially that they were the commanders. They keep on inspiring their people, their men, to fight. And indeed what they did is very commendable, very laudable,” said the chief.
Meanwhile, eight other policemen were promoted after fighting against 200 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who made an attack on Binuangan Municipal Station in Misamis Oriental in December 2017. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue
The alleged ISIS member nabbed by the Philippine Nation Police: Egyptian national Fehmi Lassqued alias John Rasheed Lassqued. (Lea Ylagan / UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines — With the help of an information sent to Philippine authorities, the operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Egyptian national Fehmi Lassqued alias John Rasheed Lassqued in his apartment at Casa Blanca in Adriatico St., Malate, Manila last Saturday.
Based on intelligence report provided by the foreign counterparts of the PNP and AFP, a leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) was able to enter the Philippines from Iran last July 2016 using a fake passport.
The alleged ISIS leader is an expert in bomb-making, that is why authorities consider him a threat to the country.
The PNP and AFP seized from the suspect a firearm, ammunition, and materials used for bomb making.
“Mayroon siyang mga drawing drawing. May mapang nakuha sa kanya but it’s really unidentifiable as of this time dahil hindi pa alam yung lugar. Mapa mapa lang probably it’s a general area,” said NCRPO chief PDir. Oscar Albayalde.
(He has sketches of a map. But it’s really unidentifiable as of this time because we do not know yet the place. It’s just a map. Probably, it’s a general area.)
“Maybe I was an ISIS before, but if I have these things, of course, I will say. It’s no problem for me,” said the suspect.
Authorities also arrested the partner of Lassqued, identified as Anabelle Salipada, a resident of Upi, Maguindanao.
According to Albayalde, ISIS members went to countries experiencing turmoil to recruit new members.
“Yung mga conflicting parties pwede niyang irecruit pareho. Ganoon ang ginagawa niya, gaya sa Mindanao, may conflict diyan so madaling mag recruit doon,” said Albayalde.
(The conflicting parties can be recruited. That’s what they are doing, like in Mindanao, there is a conflict there so it’s easy to recruit.)
Philippine authorities are still determining if Lassqued had recruited new members of the ISIS terrorist group. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue
Commission on Elections (Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted in the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon that the agency now has only five billion pesos budget for the upcoming May 2018 village polls.
The amount was originally seven billion pesos but the agency already used five billion pesos for the printing of ballots.
But Jimenez assured that the said spending will not go to waste.
“Ang maganda diyan Kuya Daniel, yung karamihan doon sa ginastos namin noon magagamit pa natin ngayon. Ang bulto talaga niyan ay yung balota. So magagamit natin yan,” said Jimenez.
(What’s good about it Kuya Daniel is that most of the things we spent on can still be used today. The bulk of which were the ballots. We can still use those.)
However, the official said the amount paid as salary for their additional personnel remains irrecoverable.
Still, several lawmakers are pushing for the postponement of the barangay election in May but Comelec insists that they will continue to prepare for the polls.
In fact, Jimenez said that the agency is now 85% prepared and will start the printing of 18 million ballots mid-February.
Jimenez argued that another postponement of the election would definitely affect democracy in the country specifically the public’s rights to select the leaders of the land.
On top of the problems considered by the Comelec is vote buying.
When host, Daniel Razon, asked Jimenez why no vote buyer has ever been jailed by the commission, the latter said, “Medyo mahirap mapatunayan ang vote buying (Vote buying is difficult to prove).”
Another issue the agency wants to resolve is the implementation of election gun ban since they still have not received any written notice from the palace regarding the ban.
“Nawi-weaken yung institusyon, nawi-weaken yung process kasi hindi ka sure (It weakens the institution and the process because you’re not sure). Yun ang (That is the) lasting damage,” said Jimenez.
Even the Philippine National Police (PNP) said they are just waiting for the Comelec to issue its guidelines for the gun ban.
“Expected na magkakaroon ng gun ban (Implementation of a gun ban is expected),” said PNP PIO PCSupt. John Bulalacao. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — The groundbreaking ceremony for the rehabilitation of the most affected parts of Marawi City is in April.
On Monday, February 12, developers who are interested to participate in the rehabilitation should submit their unsolicited proposals to the government.
Task Force Bangon Marawi said around six have already expressed their interest including groups from China and Malaysia.
“Based on the informal communications relayed to us, foreign companies have signified their intention to participate in the master development of Marawi coming from China and Malaysia,” said Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Task Force Bangon Marawi Secretary-General Usec. Falconi Millar.
The technical working group of the Task Force Bangon Marawi will study the unsolicited proposals for one week and the bidding process for the rehabilitation project will undergo the Swiss challenge system.
It means, after selecting the best proposal, the government will look for another party which can challenge it and offer it for a lower price but with the same quality.
Meanwhile, the local government of Marawi City welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the extension of martial law in Mindanao for one year.
They believe this is beneficial for the city, especially on its reconstruction and rehabilitation.
“Tayo po ay naniniwala na makakatulong po especially in addressing itong sinasabi nating the possibilities of recruitment of this would be members of ISIS-inspired groups so yan po ay malaking tulong po,” said Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra.
(We believe that this will help us especially in addressing the possibilities of recruitment of this would be members of ISIS-inspired groups. So, it is a big help.) — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue
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