AFP-WesMinCom denies reports of presence of 40 int’l terrorists in the country

admin   •   February 28, 2018   •   3451

FILE PHOTO: Abu Sayyaf members waving an ISIS flag. (Photo screengrab from YouTube video.)

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom) has denied receiving information that dozens of foreign terrorists were able to recently enter the country.

This has been the clarification made by WesMinCom after Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa announced yesterday that they would go after foreign terrorists currently in the Philippine territory.

“Yung report kasi about foreign terrorists, na about 40 yung nakapasok was declared by the former chief of staff of sometime in June. Last year pa yan during po sa kasagsagan ng Marawi siege,” said WesMinCom spokesperson Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay.

(The report about foreign terrorists that about 40 have entered the country was declared by the former chief of staff of AFP sometime in June last year. That information was announced one year ago, at the height of the Marawi City siege.)

WesMinCom believes that some of the terrorists have been killed already in previous military operations or have been among those arrested by the PNP in Manila for having connections with the terror group Islamic State (ISIS).

Nevertheless, the AFP continues to validate the whereabouts of the remaining terrorists in the Philippines.

“And so far, sa efforts natin sa paghahanap nitong 40 terrorists na accordingly nakapasok sa bansa pero for validation din naman ito ay mayroon na tayong mga nahuli in the past few months,” said the WesMinCom official.

(And so far, our efforts in looking for these 40 terrorists that accordingly entered the country, this is also for validation. We have also arrested some in the past few months.)

WesMinCom also said that it is prepared in the event that followers of Marwan retaliates following the arrest of his wife, Juromee Dongon and his siblings.

Juromee Dungon also became the wife of former Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) top leader Kadafi Janjalani.

“Kasi itong pamilyang ito, lalong lalo na itong si Juromee Dongon ay obviously na talagang may linya may koneksyon, associated siya sa mga terorista,”  said Petinglay.

(This family especially Juromee Dongon, obviously has connections. She is associated with terrorists.) — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

AFP to push for tougher anti-terrorism law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 11, 2019

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

On non-extension of Martial Law: We’re pleased that the Commander in Chief listened to us —AFP

Maris Federez   •   December 10, 2019

(FILE) Filipino government troop check villagers at a military checkpoint in the town of Pingcawayan, North Cotabato province, southern Philippines, 21 June 2017. EPA-EFE/CERILO EBRANO

MANILA, Philippines— The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that they are one of the security-related agencies that were consulted as to whether or not Martial Law will be extended or not.

In a statement released on Tuesday (Dec. 10), AFP spokesperson Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said they are pleased that their recommendation for the non-extension of ML was considered by the Commander-in-Chief.

“We have cited several reasons like improved security climate in Mindanao, the continues decline of the Daesh-inspired local terrorist groups, & to further promote an environment more conducive to economic activities as it did in terms of increase in trade and commerce in Mindanao,” the statement further reads.

Arevalo added that they will continue to collaborate with local chief executives and the people in the communities as they conduct current activities to sustain the gains brought about by Martial Law.

He further said that the AFP will pursue the “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.” —/mbmf

NPA rebels urged to surrender after leader’s arrest

Marje Pelayo   •   November 26, 2019

(FILE) Jaime ‘Ka Diego’ Padilla (C), spokesperson of the Melito Glor Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) raises his fist alongside his comrades during their 50th founding anniversary celebration at an undisclosed location in the mountains of Sierra Madre, Philippines, 31 March 2019 (issued 05 April 2019). EPA-EFE/ALECS ONGCAL

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reiterates its call for members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to yield to authorities and return to their respective families.

This, after the recent capture of one of the NPA’s leaders Jaime Padilla in San Juan City.

The AFP believes Padilla’s arrest hugely impacted the operations of the communist group.

Padilla served as the group’s spokesperson for its Southern Luzon unit.

AFP Spokesperson BGen. Edgard Arevalo, Padilla was arrested with the help of information received from concerned residents in the area.

He was responsible for the massive recruitment of minors and students luring them to join the militant group, most of them coming from Laguna and Batangas.

Arevalo stressed that the communist group is just taking advantage of the ongoing truce to build up its forces.

Based on AFP’s estimate, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has grown in membership to 4,000 members across the country.

“Ang aming hinala, ang aming nakikita, ang aming assessment, dahil sa mga nagdaan na mga ceasefire or peace negotiations, nakapag-recruit sila kaya nadagdagan pa ang kanilang bilang, (Based on our assessment, they are taking advantage of the ceasefire and the peace negotiations to reinforce their group),” Arevalo said.

Even so, the AFP is continuously encouraging members of the rebel group to surrender and return to the government so they could have the chance to reunite with their loved ones especially this holiday season.

 “We also would like to tell them to take advantage not only of this program of government but to take advantage of the Christmas season,” Arevalo said.

“It’s time for them to be reunited with their families — the families that they have long abandoned,” he added.

At present, the military have already neutralized a total of 8,707 NPA members from January 1 to November 20 this year.

Of this number, 8,336 rebels surrendered; 121 were killed in encounters while 250 were captured alive.

Likewise, authorities were able to seize a total of 1,537 assorted firearms and 404 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from the rebel group. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)


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