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AFP to craft new urban warfare guidelines based on Marawi clash

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The military admitted to being new to urban warfare. This is because soldiers are used to fighting in mountains or rural areas.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conceded that this is the reason why government troops are having difficulty in defeating the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City.

This prompted the AFP to create new guidelines for urban warfare based on the military’s operations in Marawi.

“He also directed all the men, commanders and soldiers on the ground to gather the documents that could serves as the basis of the creating or drafting of a new doctrine pursuant to what we have learned in the operations sa Marawi,” AFP-Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo noted that soldiers had a different experience in its operation in the city, like battling terrorists who hide in concrete buildings.

“Yes urban warfare, we can see the different dimension of the operation in urban terrain. In the past we have the opportunity, but not to this extent, not this massive as these operations,” Arevalo added.

Aside from this, the AFP said soldiers were caught off guard when the enemy used its hostages as human shields.

In the latest estimate on the Marawi rebellion, 45 civilians were killed. Soldiers and police were able to kill 528 terrorists, while on 122 on the part of the government died in the still ongoing battle. – Lea Ylagan | UNTV News and Rescue

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Makabayan Bloc seeks probe on alleged Chinese influence in Marawi rehab works

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Opposition congressmen want to probe ongoing rehabilitation works in Marawi City.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Makabayan bloc filed a resolution seeking for an investigation into an alleged report that some Chinese corporations are getting the favor of the government to manage the rehabilitation works in the war-torn city.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate accused the administration of taking advantage of the martial law to serve the interest of said Chinese firms.

“Bilyon-bilyon ang gugugulin ng gobyerno pero sa ngayon kahit nga residente ng Marawi ay at a lost (kung) ano ba talaga ang tunay na plano sa Marawi,”Zarate said

(The government will spend billions but until now the residents are at a loss as to what really is the government’s plan for Marawi.)

Civic groups, meanwhile, expressed concern over the proposed construction of a military base in “ground zero” or in the main battle area in Marawi.

“Pag nilagyan kame ng malaking military garisson sa loob ng main affected areas baka sa mga susunod na panahon atakihin nanaman nila uli ang Marawi,” said Drieza Liningding, Head of a civil society group in Marawi City.

(If they construct a military garrison inside the main affected area, time might come that they (terrorists) would attack Marawi again.)

Meanwhile, the group also calls on the House Committee on Human Rights to probe on reports of abuse of human rights of the residents in the war-torn city. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Debt-ridden soldiers to undergo financial management seminar — AFP

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will conduct a financial management training for its members to prevent them from falling into debt traps.

AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said, an official directive was issued by AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. instructing that take-home pays of soldiers should not be lower than P15,000.

Arevalo explained that P15,000 is the minimum amount that will enable a soldier to lead a decent life. He also said that debt deductions from salaries will not be allowed if the soldier’s remaining take-home pay will amount to less than P15,000 after deduction.

Aside from limiting loan amortization deductions, the AFP will also train soldiers how to handle finances so that they will not get into the habit of borrowing money and drowning in debt.

According to Arevalo, the AFP is going for the holistic approach to ensure that the salary raise given to soldiers will be put to good use and not end up as payment for endless debts.

The directive comes on the heels of a report exposing the money problems of a number of policemen who are almost left with nothing during paydays due to numerous loan deductions.

Arevalo emphasized that soldiers must learn how to manage their income to and prevent them from mindlessly borrowing money without understanding their capacity to pay.

— Lea Ylangan | UNTV News & Rescue

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15 BIFF members killed in Maguindanao clash

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

(Photo courtesy of AFP Joint Task Force central)

 

The conflict continues between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.

The military operation against BIFF leader, Abu Toraipe, started at dawn on Monday, June 11 at Agusan Marsh in the municipality of Pikit .

“Trabaho ng military to secure the civilian and this threat. Ang Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat diyan sa Central Mindanao,” said WestMinCom spokesperson LTC Gerry Besana.

(It is the military’s job to secure the civilian and this threat. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat in Central Mindanao.)

The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said 15 BIFF members were killed in the attack, eight were injured from airstrikes and two were captured including bomb expert, Anwar Ali.

There were no reported casualties on the military’s side.

Aside from this, the WestMinCom spokesperson said that the AFP also bombed the improvised explosive device (IED) factory of the Daesh-inspired group.

The clearing operation recovered several firearms and a few explosives.

Besana added that the destruction of the IED factory is a huge accomplishment by the military.

“It is a very significant accomplishment for the joint task force central under the Western Mindanao Command na talagang napakarami ng IEDs na tinamaan. Talagang napakalakas ng sabog doon,” said Besana.

(It is a very significant accomplishment for the Joint Task Force Central under the Western Mindanao Command because of the high number of casualties caused IED explosions.  The blasts were really powerful.)

The camp of BIFF on the other hand denied any casualties from their ranks.

“Mga sibilyan ang tinamaan ng airstrike at ang pagkawala ng mga 105 mm Howitzer.  Sobra 30 na ang tinamaan nandoon na ang patay. Wala naman kaming pagawaan ng bomba,” said BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama.

(Civilians were hit by the airstrike, and the firing of 105mm Howitzer. More than 30 were killed. Also, we do not have a bomb factory.)

Meanwhile, the AFP assured they are doing their best to avoid collateral damage and it will not affect the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  — Dante Amento| UNTV News & Rescue

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