Abu Sayyaf kills Indonesian hostage in Sulu, AFP says
Robie de Guzman • October 1, 2020 • 142
MANILA, Philippines – An Indonesian national believed to have been held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was found dead in Sulu, the military said Thursday.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said members of the Army’s 45th Infantry Battalion found the body of the Indonesian on Sept. 30 at Barangay Maligay in Patikul, Sulu during a pursuit operation.
The military said soldiers were tracking the ASG members after a clash when they stumbled upon the body. It was found at least 300 meters from the encounter site.
Reports gathered from the ground said the Indonesian was killed after he allegedly attempted to escape during the gunfight.
The AFP said the victim is one of the five Indonesian nationals held captive by the local terrorist group since January 2020.
The body has been brought to Zamboanga City for DNA testing and identification process. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)
Eleven members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Sulu on Saturday (October 17).
The 1101st Infantry Brigade of the AFP identified the surrenderers in their aliases as: Alji, Gaspar, Amz, Ardin, Bebs, Madz, Uyong, Bahad, Navin, Allon, and Asir.
According to Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Lt. Colonel Alaric delos Santos, the holistic approach of the Joint Task Force in Sulu paved the way for the former ASG members’ surrender.
The 11 members also surrendered five M16 rifle and one M1 grenade launcher. After surrendering, they will undergo rehabilitation program for them to be able to receive the benefits from the government under the Localized Social Integration Program.
Last October, over 100 ex-ASG members in Sulu were given P15,000 cash assistance. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)
MANILA, Philippines – Social media giant Facebook has offered to “reconstruct” an account it recently took down due to alleged links to the military and coordinated inauthentic behavior.
In a statement on Tuesday, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Gilbert Gapay said Facebook made the offer to reconstruct the “Hands Off Our Children” page but admitted that it cannot restore the original page.
The “Hands Off Our Children” page is a group composed of parents whose children were recruited into the New People’s Army (NPA).
The page was among the more than 100 pages that Facebook removed in October as it stepped up its campaign against fake accounts and pages that are spreading false information.
Facebook earlier said these accounts were traced to have links with China, the Philippine National Police and the military.
Gapay has expressed dismay over Facebook’s action and called it “unfair.”
“They are unfair to us in taking down those sites because there are many other sites that are really espousing hate, violence, terrorism that should have been taken down in the first place, not these good sites which [we] are advocating on Facebook,” he said.
Gapay said the official Facebook pages of the AFP and all its units remain active for updates on military efforts and activities.
He also stressed that the Philippine military does not engage in sharing fake news and disinformation on social media.
The AFP already met with Facebook representatives to thresh out issues on their social media pages. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is filing a deportation case against suspected suicide bomber Resky Fantasya Rullie who was apprehended by authorities on Saturday.
The BI, however, said Rullie will have to face the criminal charges lodged against her before being deported.
Rullie alias Cici, an Indonesian national, was arrested in a joint operation launched by the Philippine Army’s 11th Infantry Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 9, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 9 and the immigration bureau.
Also apprehended were Inda Nhur and Fatima Sandra Jimlani Jama, both wives of ranking Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members.
Rullie is reportedly the wife of ASG sub-leader Andi Basco, who was killed in a clash with government troops in Sulu.
Her parents were said to be responsible for the January 2019 twin bombings at the Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu.
According to BI Intelligence Mindanao Task Group (MITG) head Melody Gonzales, Rullie was the subject of months of surveillance and was found to have allegedly been planning to conduct a suicide bombing attempt in Sulu before the arrest.
Gonzales said the trio were found in possession of a suicide vest, bombs, and other components used in making an improvised explosive device.
“They have been brought to the police station for documentation and filing of charges. A deportation case has been recommended to be filed against Rullie for terrorism, being an illegal entrant, and for undesirability, apart from the criminal charges that she face,” she said.
Gonzales said Rullie is considered a high value target in their drive against foreigners engaged in terroristic activities in the South.
Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente lauded his personnel and other law enforcers for the successful operation against a foreign terrorist.
“We will not stop until we have rid our country of these demons who abuse our hospitality and hurt our people,” he said.
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