AFP to assess tactics, procedures after Jolo incident
Robie de Guzman • July 1, 2020 • 1343
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said it will review its existing protocols to see if these are in need of improvements following the unfortunate incident involving a group of policemen and soldiers in Jolo, Sulu.
In a statement, AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said the AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr. and Philippine National Police chief Police General Archie Gamboa have agreed to revisit each Technique, Tactics, and Procedure (TTPs) to “determine if these are current and are followed religiously to prevent the incident from happening again.”
On Monday, June 29, four soldiers were killed after they were accosted by local police officers.
The Philippine Army earlier said the four men, who were wearing civilian clothes, were on an official mission when they were spotted by police officers on patrol.
When questioned by cops, the four men allegedly introduced themselves as members of the AFP. They were then asked to proceed to the Jolo Municipal Police Station for verification.
However, initial police report said the soldiers attempted to escape prompting police to give chase. When the men got off their vehicle, they allegedly pointed their firearms at the police, which prompted the cops to fire at them, resulting in their death.
But Philippine Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay criticized the spot report of the police, calling it “fabricated,” and “full of inconsistencies.” He also tagged the incident as a “rubout” and “murder” after noting that the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers.
According to Arevalo, Gapay’s comments on the incident were based from “a learned evaluation of information” that were presented to him.
“His point of view is supported by spot reports and eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the SUV boarded by the four intelligence personnel,” he said.
While there is an initial result of the autopsy, Arevalo said the AFP will not reveal it yet to avoid preempting its announcement.
The slain soldiers were given military arrival honors when their remains were brought at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Tuesday afternoon.
“We share the grief of LTGen Gapay and his call for an impartial and thorough investigation and his quest for justice as he minced no words in calling for accountability and liability for those involved in the incident,” he added.
Arevalo also shared that as a way forward and apart from the yearning for justice, AFP chief Santos has tasked members of the staff and subordinate commanders to ensure that these soldiers who died in line of duty will be given the assistance, benefits, and entitlements due them.
The military also hopes for a swift yet thorough investigation of the incident, with the express cooperation of the PNP and the AFP.
“While we are in search for truth and justice, we are also mindful not to allow the enemies of the state to take advantage of the incident to create a divide between the AFP and the PNP,” Arevalo said.
MANILA, Philippines—Seven more members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) surrendered to the Joint Task Force Central in Sultan Kudarat on Sunday (October 17).
Commander of Western Mindanao Command Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr. said the CTG personalities were identified as Oyet, Maymay, Ben, Noel, Nacan, Osing, and Adog.
They belonged to the Platoon Myphone, East Daguma Front, Sub-regional Command-Daguma, Far South Mindanao Region. The said individuals also handed over their firearms, including two cal. 30 M1 Garand rifles, one cal. 30 M2 Carbine rifle, one 12-gauge Shotgun, and one M79 grenade launcher.
“The military is always willing to welcome former rebels/violent extremists who wish to lay down their arms, go back to the mainstream society, and live a peaceful life with their family,” Rosario said.
During the debriefing, alias Oyet expressed his condemnation of the communist group which he described as a ‘godless’ group.
“Dako ang pagmahay namo ngano ning apil mi sa teroristang NPA, mayo na lang naa ang 7IB nga wala ngaduha-duha sa pagdawat namo (We regret our decision of joining the NPA terrorists. It’s a good thing that the 7IB is here to accept us without second thoughts),” alias Oyet said.
It can be recalled that on October 13, eight members of the same group surrendered to the 7IB in the municipality of Bagumbayan. AAC
Police and military operatives seized a huge cache of bomb-making materials in Cavite on Thursday, October 14.
Two individuals were arrested in a joint the operation carried out by the Philippine National Police (PNP) units led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Cavite Police Provincial Office in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other PNP support units.
The suspects were identified as Charlito Tenorio, 52 years old, and Jay-ar Suson, 34 years old.
According to PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar , Tenorio was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Brgy. Bacao 2, General Trias City, Cavite at 12:30 PM; while Suson, the alleged mastermind, was arrested at 5:30 in the afternoon in Tayabas, Quezon.
Confiscated from the suspects were 750 kilograms of ammonium nitrate contained in thirty 25-kilogram sacks, and 1,000 pieces of improvised blasting caps, all loaded in a commuter van. The confiscated explosive components worth P200,000 were being negotiated for sale by the suspects.
PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar instructed local authorities in Cavite to identify all persons involved in their operations as well as their clients. He said that this type of explosive materials are “commonly used for industrial purposes, but can also be used as components for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
“With this successful operation, we may have prevented the possibility of these materials being used for criminal activities,” Eleazar said.
The seized explosives reportedly have a blast radius of 1.5 kilometers. AAC
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received four ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from the United States Military, the US Embassy said on Thursday.
The UAS units worth P20 million were turned over to PAF at the Clark Air Bases in Pampanga on October 13.
The drones were personally received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PAF commander Lieutenant General Allen Paredes.
Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim (CDA) Heather Variava joined Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) in delivering the drones to the PAD.
The donated drones are expected to provide the Philippines additional capabilities in unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), and strengthen counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
It will also increase the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) domain awareness and border security capabilities.
“We remain committed to our promises on helping modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and we hope this will further strengthen our combined capabilities in working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Variava said.
The embassy said the United States provides the AFP with grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support its modernization goals and urgent maritime security, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief requirements.
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the embassy.
Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than P50.6 billion ($1.06 billion) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with our Filipino allies, it added.
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