AFP confident of strong security in Mindanao after martial law lapses

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2019   •   262

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday expressed confidence that strong security is in place in Mindanao as the martial law in the region lapses on New Year’s eve.

“As martial law expires at 11:59 tonight, we are confident of an improved security climate in Mindanao that will work for the benefit of fellow Filipinos,” Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, AFP Spokesperson, said in a statement.

“Specifically, where ML [martial law] was an issue, it is expected to boost economic activities due to added investors’ confidence,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he has decided not to extend the martial law in Mindanao following the assessment and recommendation of his security and defense officials on the situation in the region.

Mindanao has been under martial law since May 2017 after the Maute Terror group attacked Marawi City.

The martial law was initially set for 60 days, but it was extended until the end of 2017, then until the end of 2018 and until December 31 of 2019.

Arevalo said that “while the Daesh-inspired local terrorist groups continue to decline, we urge local chief executives (LCEs) and their constituents to press on and build from the gains of ML to maintain the strong security posture now in place.”

He also appealed to local government officials to “continue their robust partnership with government security agencies.”

In the event that isolated incidents of violence and lawlessness erupt in Mindanao after martial law has ended, Arevalo said Proclamation No. 55 is still in effect in the region.

“Under such declaration, President Duterte has placed the entire Mindanao under a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence,” he said.

He also assured that the military will deploy its forces to curb any form of lawless violence “to prevent them from spreading and escalating not only in Mindanao but elsewhere in the Philippines.”

“[Our] fellow Filipinos can expect that the AFP will continue to push for the amendment of the Human Security Act especially with Senate President Vicente Sotto III assuring the passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Law,” he added.

AFP: We can move on without VFA with US

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 12, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed their support for the termination of the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.

“It’s not actually naman kawalan (a loss) because as of now, as you can see, we have already some equipment — new planes, we have ships,” said new AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr.

“We could move on without VFA,” he added.

However, the AFP Chief admitted that the termination might affect the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The EDCA is designed to promote the strengthening of AFP for external defense, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR), and Maritime Security.

Santos also said the fight against terrorism might also be affected since the termination of the VFA includes intelligence sharing between the Philippines and the US.

Despite this, the AFP Chief is confident that the Armed Forces will be able to defend the country.

“We will defend it hanggang kamatayan (to the death),” Santos said.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

LPA affecting Visayas, parts of Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   February 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA is monitoring a low-pressure area (LPA) near the southern island of Mindanao.

As of 4:00 a.m. Thursday (February 6), the weather system was located at 705 k.m. east of Davao City.

The trough of the LPA is currently bringing cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in areas of Visayas, CARAGA, Northern Mindanao and the entire Davao Region.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon (Amihan) is seen affecting Luzon particularly Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol Region, Aurora, and Quezon where cloudy skies with light rains can be observed.

Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to Amihan.

Similar conditions will also be experienced in other areas of Mindanao due to localized thunderstorms.

Rains may cause mudflow in areas affected by Taal’s volcanic activity

Marje Pelayo   •   January 13, 2020

A boy’s muddy feet is seen during an evacuation after a volcano eruption in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, 13 January 2020. Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate as authorities in the Philippines raised the alert due to the increased activity of the Taal volcano, located in an island near Manila. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level from 1 to 3 and then 4 – on a scale of 5, after an increase in the activity of the crater resulted in an eruption spewing steam and ash up to one-kilometer high. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA is monitoring a Low Pressure Area (LPA) in the eastern part of Mindanao.

Based on PAGASA’s 4:00 AM update Monday (January 13), the LPA was spotted at 735 km East Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Meanwhile, parts of Northern Luzon are currently experiencing the effects of the tail end of a cold front which brings cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms in areas in Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region,and Aurora.

Possible flash floods or landslides due to scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains

Also, cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms will prevail over Caraga and Eastern Visayas as a result of the impact of the trough of the LPA.

This condition may cause possible flash floods or landslides due to scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains.

Meanwhile, volcanic activity is currently affecting the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, and Laguna.

Hence, cloudy skies with isolated rains and thunderstorms may possibly reduced visibility and cause mudflow during ash fall and light to moderate rains.

Residents in the affected areas are advised to take extra caution and heed warnings from authorities.

In Ilocos Region, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains caused by the northeast monsoon will prevail.

This may cause intermittent strong winds especially in coastal and mountainous areas.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will also experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.

Residents are urged to monitor for possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms especially in areas susceptible to these hazards.


The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

(+632) 8920.8336 (Fax) (General inquiries)

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+632) 8396-8688


(+632) 8 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164


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.