AFP believes father’s death has huge impact on Maute brothers
UNTV News • August 28, 2017 • 3122
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) believes that the leaders of the terrorist group, Omar and Abdullah Maute, are affected by the death of their father Cayamora Maute.
“It would have a huge impact, of course, since his children are still in Marawi City. They are affected. This means that all people might be killed, but we should always be on the right side. What we are doing is goodness for the people, for the country,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said he is saddened by the death of Cayamora Maute.
But with the Maute Partriarch’s demise, government forces are now preparing for a bigger battle in the event the Maute brothers take revenge for the death of their father.
“We have seen the progress and the advancement of our soldiers. We have already retaken the grand mosque. The area left to them is small.”
“So probably we are preparing for one big battle,” Año said.
General Año is confident that the battle will end sooner as there are only 40 terrorists left in the city.
The number of deaths on the part of the terrorists group has already reached more than 600 in the 67-day fighting.
As of current, soldiers still need to clear about 300 buildings in the now war-torn city. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – Newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lieutenant General Noel Clement vowed that the military will remain committed to ending the armed insurgency in the country as he formally assumes the post.
During the formal Change of Command at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Tuesday, Clement promised sustained focus operations against communist rebels and other groups who pose threat to communities.
“On our operational engagement, we will remain committed to ending the armed insurgency, similarly, our focused operations will be sustained and surgically conducted on those who threaten the peace in our communities,” he said.
Clement, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, also vowed that “enemies of peace will be dealt with accordingly.”
“I, therefore, call on the leftover of a lost cause, peace is not elusive. We have worked with your comrades. We have worked with our people. We engage communities who now partake of the fruits of our peaceful endeavors. Therefore, I enjoin the remaining peace spoilers to work with us,” he added.
The newly-appointed AFP chief also committed that under his leadership, the military will remain non-partisan, respectful of International Humanitarian Law at the same time assuring of the Rule of law and a staunch defender and advocate of human rights.
Clement, a multi-decorated officer, is the 52nd AFP chief of staff and sixth to be appointed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
He replaced Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. who retired after reaching the mandatory military retirement age of 56 on Sept. 28.
In his speech, Madrigal said he would retire with a “grateful heart and fulfilled soul,” and thanked the AFP personnel for their “dedication, cooperation and professionalism” that made his work easier.
Madrigal also reiterated the military’s commitment to end the local communist armed conflict.
“The AFP has been relentless and fully committed its support for the operationalization of Executive Order No. 70 or the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict,” he said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, meanwhile, called on all troops to continue fighting insurgency and fulfilling their mandate.
“I now enjoin the troops to continue the fight against the threats of terrorism and insurgency under the leadership of the new chief of staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement,” he said.
Lorenzana represented President Rodrigo Duterte during the ceremony after the chief executive skipped the event. The Palace said the President was not feeling well.
“Rather than risk himself or aggravating it, mas magandang magpahinga like a normal mortal, he’s subject to fatigue and everything,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained when asked about the president’s absence in the event. – RRD (with details from Correspondent April Cenedoza)
MARAWI CITY, Philippines — A year since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorists on October 17, 2017, residents still cannot shake off the fear that a similar incident could descend upon them again.
“Yung takot di naman mawawala yun eh. Kasi ever since hindi nangyari sa amin itong ganito, tapos bigla na lang nangyari. Kaya sa puso namin may takot pa rin kami (The fear never goes away. We’ve never had any incidents until the battle broke out all of a sudden. That is why there is still fear in our hearts),” said Norfaidah Magdara, a businesswoman and resident of Marawi.
College student Salmiah Maca Agir echoed the same apprehensions.
“We feel secure na rin po pero may mga time pa rin po na natatakot ka kasi we never know po na may panahon na magkakaroon ng ganong pangyayari ulit (We feel secure in a way, but there are times that we still feel afraid because you don’t know when a similar incident will strike again),” she said.
Those who are still stuck in evacuation centers lament the long wait for the promised housing units.
“Even though sinasabi nla na liberated na nga pero yung idea na wala ka pa rin sa bahay mo wala ka pa rin sa sinasabi mong home (Even though they say we have been liberated, we still don’t have houses we can call home)” said Agir.
According to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), debris clearing operations in the most affected area will begin this month.
By the end of October they expect to finally hold the long-awaited ground breaking ceremony of the city’s rehabilitation which will be led by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“In the next few days we will see the deployment of heavy equipment, mga gamit na gagamitin sa (and materials needed for ) debris clearing in sectors 1&2,” TFBM field office manager. Asec. Felix Castro said.
Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the local government is grateful for all the assistance being given to them; however, they admit feeling frustrated by the slow progress of the rehabilitation efforts.
“Ako’y naiinip but at the same time naintindihan ko ang ating gobyerno. Ako po ay nasa gobyerno at alam ko ang proseso. Even sa local po yung pag iimplement natin ng mga projects dumadaan sa proseso (I am frustrated but at the same time I understand the government’s side. I am part of the government and I’m familiar with the process. Even in the local level, implementations of project go through a process),” he said.
At present, life in Marawi City is slowly returning to normal, particularly in Barangay Basak Malutlut where the battle began in May 2017. — Weng Fernandez
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