FREED AT LAST. Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza (left) and Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brigadier General Cirilito (right) Sobejana speaks with kidnap victim Enrico Nee (center) who was released by his captors on May 21, 2018 in the municipality of Patikul, Sulu. (Photo courtesy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines)
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Just two days after the recovery of two kidnapped police officers, another victim was released to Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza on Monday, according to a statement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
After three months in captivity, Enrico Nee, a district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) based in Jolo, is reunited with his family.
Police reports said Nee was forcibly taken by armed men while waiting for his ride early morning on February 14 near his house in Barangay Kasalamatan, Jolo.
Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana said the victim was left by his captors in the town of Patikul and was found by residents at around 8 a.m. on Monday, May 21.
He added that civilians promptly reported Nee’s presence to the district engineer of DPWH District 1 who immediately dispatched vehicles to pick him up.
Secretary Dureza credits the victim’s release to the collective efforts of government security forces, the local government unit of Sulu, private volunteers, and the anti-kidnapping groups of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
“Upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte, we are doing our best to free all kidnap victims in the island province,” he said.
According to the AFP, a number of captives, including foreigners, are still being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Brigadier General Sobejana assured that relentless operations to free the victims are ongoing. — UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is calling for an inquiry into the killing of four soldiers by local policemen in Jolo, Sulu.
“Nakakabahala ang balitang ito. Ngayon pa lang na hindi pa batas ang anti-terror bill, may nangyayari nang ganito. Ano na lang ang laban ng ordinaryong tao?” Pangilinan said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Monday afternoon, June 29, four members of the Philippine Army were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.
The Army said the four soldiers were on an official mission and were tracking suspected suicide bombers when they were accosted by the local police.
The soldiers, who had been wearing plain clothes, were said to have introduced themselves to the policemen. The cops allegedly told them to go with them to a nearby police station for identity verification.
Initial police report said that as their team and Army officers approached the police station, the soldiers’ vehicle allegedly sped off, prompting a car chase.
Police said they only defended themselves when the soldiers opened fire.
The Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers based on eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the soldiers’ vehicle.
Pangilinan said the police and military have different versions of what happened, and an “independent and impartial” Senate probe will “help bring out the truth.”
“This incident is disturbing because it appears that the police are quick in pulling the trigger without careful judgment. If they can do this to their fellow uniformed men, how much more to the ordinary civilians who are unarmed and defenseless?” the senator said.
Nevertheless, Pangilinan called on military and police ground commanders to “rein in their men to preserve peace and avert escalation of tension between the armed personnel.”
“We should be going after the common enemy — terrorists, drug lords, armed groups, and in this time of the pandemic, COVID — not against each other,” Pangilinan said.
The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident.
The nine policemen involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have also been ordered relieved from their posts pending investigation.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday said that the recent joint police and military operation in Parañaque City, which led to the killing of suspected Abu Sayyaf members, highlights the need for President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, “the presence of these terrorists in the NCR highlights the need for us to enhance our measures against those who intend to bring harm to our people.”
“A law such as the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2020 will give our law enforcers greater capacity to stop these terrorists and prevent them from wreaking havoc in our communities,” he added.
Lorenzana also commended the police and the military for the “successful” law enforcement.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said the incident calls for an urgent decision of the President.
“This development all the more highlights the need for the President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Duterte to expedite the signing and immediate implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Bill,” AFP chief-of-staff General Felimon Santos, Jr. said in a statement.
He said terrorism really poses great threat to public security and places general welfare at stake.
“We should protect and defend from terrorists— without further delay than it had already been —fellow Filipinos from wanton death or destruction of their property,” he said.
Santos also said that the recent operation against the alleged members of Abu Sayyaf group only shows that a pandemic could not deter terror groups from committing lawless acts.
“The unwanted presence of terrorist ASG members in Metro Manila and their timely neutralization in Parañaque proves that terrorist groups know no pandemic or people’s suffering in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world,” he said.
“Not even COVID-19 could deter or prevent the terrorists ASG and their cohorts from planning and looking for the opportune time to strike and kill or maim innocent civilians and to destroy massively government infrastructure and private property,” he added.
The Philippine National Police earlier reported that four suspected ASG members were killed in an operation jointly conducted by police and military forces in Barangay Don Bosco, Parañaque City on past Friday midnight.
The government security forces were about to serve a search warrant issued by the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 258 when they were engaged by the suspects in a firefight.
The clash eventually resulted in the killing of the suspects, identified as Bensaudi Sali alias “Boy,” his wife Merhama Abdul Sawari alias “Mheng,” Rasin Hussin alias “Boscon,” and Jamal Kalliming alias “Pando.”
The police and military said the operation stemmed from an information they received about the presence of the group tagged as members of Daulah Islamiyah and acting as a financial conduit of Daesh-East Asia, in Parañaque City.
Authorities recovered from the encounter site various handguns, wires, suspected explosive devices, and ISIS flags.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.