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AFP calls for community involvement in the fight against terrorism

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Authorities believe the responsibility of ensuring the security of each community in the country not only rests on the government as the threat of terrorism remains.

This has been the statement of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson MGen. Restituto Padilla following the end of the clashes in Marawi City.

Padilla said the government and the public should continue to cooperate with each other.

“We need the public as well. It’s not just the cops or soldiers or anyone in uniform who should monitor the surroundings,” said the AFP spokesperson.

Padilla added that with the public’s cooperation, the government can stop or prevent any attempts by terrorists or rebels to invade in any part of the country.

“When you see someone new who is acting suspiciously, or individuals who left things in a particular place, who seems to cause violence we can prevent them and prevent a massive chaos from happening,” said Padilla.

The military official also explains attempts to sow violence would never happen if the public can report to authorities everyone they see acting suspiciously.

“Cutting and pre-empting an attempted disturbance in any area is a joint responsibility of every citizen in our country,” said the official.

It can be recalled President Rodrigo Duterte had expressed dismay over some Maranaos for not immediately informing the military about the armed men who entered Marawi City.

The president also warned of holding liable officials of the local government unit who would be proven to be involved in the Marawi siege and neglected their duties in protecting the city against terrorism. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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AFP: No sightings of anti-ship ballistic missile test in West PH Sea

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

A Filipino soldier patrols at the shore of Pagasa island (Thitu Island) in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/RITCHIE B. TONGO/POOL

MANILA, Philippines – The Western Command (WESCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said there is no monitored sighting of an anti-ship ballistic test in the West Philippine Sea, following reports of a missile launch by China in the area.

“Based on the report of our operating units, particularly the Joint Task Force West, there is no monitored sighting of anti-ship ballistic missile test conducted in our joint area of operations,” the AFP said in a statement dated July 3.

The military assured it is regularly conducting maritime patrol missions in the Philippine-held island detachments, especially in the West Philippine Sea.

“WESCOM is continuously monitoring our area of responsibility especially in the West Philippine Sea and conducts regular maritime and sovereignty patrol missions incessantly to sustain our presence in the 9 PH-held island detachments,” the AFP said.   

The military issued the statement after Pentagon reported about China’s “disturbing” missile launch near the Spratly (Kalayaan) islands that is contrary to Beijing’s pledge in 2015 not to militarize the man-made outposts in the disputed waterway.

The Philippine Department of National Defense earlier said an inquiry into the said reports will be conducted.

“We will decide later what to do if proven correct,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message sent to reporters.  

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Military says Duterte ‘coup’ comment just random remark

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 72nd Philippine Air Force Anniversary at the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on July 2, 2019. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for the military and police not to stage a coup d’etat during his term was just a random remark, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday (July 3).

“That was a random remark on the part of the President and Commander-in-Chief, in so far as the AFP is concerned,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said in a message sent to reporters.

In a speech at the 72nd Founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force in Pasay City, Duterte said that staging a coup is not necessary as he is willing to step down from office is asked to.

He added that Soldiers and policemen who no longer find him deserving to lead the country could simply call and talk to him over a cup of coffee.

“Do not do it please during my term. I told you before all you have to do kung ayaw ninyo ako, do not bring your weapons and mechanized armors there. Just call me and we’ll have coffee and I am ready to say, “It’s yours for the taking,” Duterte said on Tuesday.

According to Arevalo, there is nothing new in the chief executive’s comment on coup d’etat as he already mentioned it when he first met with the AFP and the Philippine National Police upon assumption of office.

“As early as the first joint AFP-PNP Command Conference that he presided upon his assumption of office and in several other instances after that, he has conveyed that same message to the security forces,” Arevalo said.

“He says, in essence, forget about mounting a military take-over that would lead to violence, death, and destruction. If anyone among the military (or the police) thinks he or she can better run the country, just tell him (the president) and he will step down,” he added.

Arevalo further said the AFP, led by its chief, General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., is an institution comprised of professional and matured servicemen and women who are patriots and loyal to the constitution and the duly constituted authorities.

“We have learned our lessons from the past and we shall live by it,” he said.

Arevalo also added that the reforms implemented in the AFP, including its modernization the increase in pay, allowances, and benefits like housing, have helped them best perform the mandate.

“We were given more than what we can ask for from a president and commander-in-chief who has shown genuine care and concern to his soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines,” he said.

Arevalo also assured that the military will always remain loyal to the Flag, the Constitution and the Filipino people.

“we have, time and again assured him, as we reassure him today, that we in the AFP shall constantly and will remain loyal to the flag, to the constitution, and to the Filipino people whom we swore to protect with our lives,” he said. (with details from Lea Ylagan and Rosalie Coz)

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DILG warns candidates paying campaign fees to rebels

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will file charges against candidates proven to be paying campaign fees to communist rebels.

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya these candidates will be liable if they have enough evidence to prove that these candidates are paying extortion money to communist rebels.

“They will be held liable even after the elections if we are able to gather evidence that they are aiding, financing, supporting or conniving with these communist terrorist groups and their allies who are out to trample our democracy and oust our duly constituted authorities,” he said during a press briefing on Thursday (May 2).

DILG said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were able to collect over P100 million from various extortion activities nationwide from 2016-2018.

Election candidates will pay a certain amount of money to communist rebels in order allow them to campaign in their area.

Meanwhile, Malaya said there is already a decline in the number of local candidates paying extortion money to communist rebels for this election compared in 2016.

However, for those candidates who continue to pay rebels for a campaign permit, they will be in violation of Republic Act no. 10168 or the Financing of Terrorism, Disloyalty and Co-conspirator in Crime of Rebellion.

According to Malaya they received reports about negotiations with the rebel groups in parts of Cordillera, Quezon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and Eastern Mindanao. (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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