AFP to push for tougher anti-terrorism law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 11, 2019   •   320

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday (December 10) said they will push for tougher laws against terrorism, as martial law in Mindanao will no longer be extended.

In a statement, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the AFP is pleased that President Rodrigo Duterte heeded their recommendation to no longer extend martial law in Mindanao.

He also said that they will continue to push for tougher laws to prevent counter-terrorism.

“The AFP will pursue our advocacy towards the amendment of the Human Security Act into an Anti-Terrorism Law that will not be too restrictive to security forces but has more teeth to prevent or counter terrorism,” Arevalo said.

Malacañang announced earlier on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte will not extend martial law in Mindanao upon its expiration on December 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, the AFP said they will “continue to collaborate with local chief executives, and the people in the communities in the conduct of our current activities to sustain these gains brought about by ML.”—AAC

Duterte names PH Army commanding general Gapay as next AFP chief

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has designated Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay as the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

According to a document addressed to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Duterte signed Gapay’s appointment letter on Tuesday, July 28.

Gapay is the current commanding general of the Philippine Army.

His designation will take effect on August 3.

Gapay will replace AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr. who is leaving the service as he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on August 4.

Duterte satisfied with the dismantling of oligarchy in PH sans declaration of martial law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 14, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (July 14) said he is satisfied with the dismantling of oligarchy in the country without having to declare martial law.

In his speech during his visit to Jolo, Sulu, Duterte said his campaign against the oligarchy will be more bloody as his term ends in two years.

“I am very happy. Alam mo bakit? Sabi ko, ‘Without declaring martial law, I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy of the Filipino people,'” he said.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan criticized Duterte’s statement, saying the supposed oligarchy problem was just made up to distract the public from the government’s poor response against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

“Inimbento lang ang problema na oligarchs para linlangin ang taumbayan dahil sa totoo lang wala silang maipakitang ni katiting na magandang resulta sa pagsugpo sa lalo pang kumakalat na COVID, sa gutom at sa kawalan ng trabaho ng milyon-milyon nating mga kababayan, he said in a statement.

Malacañang on the other hand clarified that Duterte was not referring to the owner of ABS-CBN Corporation but those who have questionable contracts with the government and are not paying their dues.

“He must be referring to oligarchs which he named and actually threatened to destroy but he reconsidered,” according to Roque.

Roque also said said the President has reconsidered his stance against companies including the Manila Water and Maynilad, owned by the Ayala Corporation, and MVP Group. Both companies did their part in the country’s fight against the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Palace official added that business tycoon, Lucio Tan has already paid his dues

“Unang-una Lucio Tan, nagbayad ng pagkakautang sa airport. Pangalawa, MVP at Ayala Group po dahil sa matindi nilang pagtulong sa panahon ng COVID,” said Roque. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to meet with AFP, PNP commanders following Jolo incident

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to fly to Mindanao to meet with top officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the wake of the killing of four soldiers by policemen in Jolo, Sulu last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.

Año, however, did not disclose the date and place of the president’s upcoming meeting with police and military commanders.

The Interior Secretary, who supervises the PNP, also said that Duterte may possibly talk to nine policemen involved in the shooting of soldiers.

“The president is going to the south to talk to our PNP and AFP commanders, sabi ko nga kung may time pa siya ay kakausapin niya yung mga suspek,” Año said.

Malacañang said the president was saddened by the incident between the police and military officers.

He has also ordered for the National Bureau of Investigation to expedite the release of its probe findings.

The Palace also denied that the incident is the result of the alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration as claimed by former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Hindi po natin kinukunsinte ang patayan kaya nga po masinsinang imbestigasyon ang ginagawa natin dito sa pagpatay sa 4 na sundalo sa hukbong sandatahan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Año echoed Roque’s statement as he assured that those responsible for the Jolo incident will be held accountable.

“Extrajudicial killing is not the policy of this government and the Sulu incident, we will exact justice and make sure those responsible shall be accountable, umasa kayo diyan. Ako mismo ang personal na nag-follow up ng kaso,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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