ASG ‘kidnap-for-ransom’ a cottage industry — AFP

admin   •   March 2, 2017   •   4006

FILE PHOTO: AFP Spokesperson BGen. Restituto Padilla Jr.

FILE PHOTO: AFP Spokesperson BGen. Restituto Padilla Jr.

PHILIPPINES — Despite the relentless military operations to capture the bandit groups in the southern portion of the country, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) admits that it is still very difficult for them to repress the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)because of the culture in the communities where these groups are hiding.

“Mahirap talagang hanapin kasi kasabwat na nila yung bawat barrio na may isang bahay dyan na hindi mo alam sa silong nila may isang nakatago; so it’s not easy (They are difficult find because they are in cahoots with every barrio. A house may be hiding a bandit in the basement and we just don’t know it; so it’s not easy.) ,” said AFP spokesperson, BGen. Restituto Padilla, Jr.

“It has been a culture, parang cottage industry na sinusuportahan; magkakamaganak ‘yan eh (It has been a culture, like a cottage industry that everyone supports; they’re all related.),” he added.

Recently, the group beheaded German national Jurgen Kantner.

As of today, there are still 25 foreigners and six Filipinos still held captive by ASG.

Based on information gathered by the AFP, these hostages include 12 Vietnamese nationals, 7 Indonesians, 5 Malaysians, 1 Dutch national and 6 Filipinos.

AFP explains that it is not under their jurisdiction to control a certain community, unless the President declares martial law in a specific area or put it under the state of emergency.

In line with this, the AFP has launched the Integrated Area Development Plan that aims to strengthen and develop the ties of the military with the local government units in some portions of the Mindanao region.

“He is trying to have the whole government agencies team up to address the systemic problems or systemic needs of the place,” said Padilla.

“Hindi po malulutas ng batas, ng military solutions lamang ang mga problema dito sa lugar na ito. Malalim na ang ugat ng pinagmumulan ng problemang ito. Sa lalim nito ang tingin na ng ibang tao sa kidnap for ransom ay isang cottage industry o kabuhayan (The problems facing this area are not easily solved by the law of military solutions. The problem has deeply rooted itself that people already look at kidnap for ransom as a cottage industry or a livelihood). ”

Meanwhile, the AFP has created a task force to search for the remains of the German national beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf Group. — Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue

11 fallen heroes in Sulu encounter return home ⁠—AFP

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2020

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has brought the remains of 11 soldiers who were killed in the recent Sulu encounter to their respective hometowns.

In a statement, the AFP said eight of the soldiers are from Luzon, one from Visayas, and two from Mindanao.

The fallen soldiers were given honors by Philippine defense leaders at Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay, City on Saturday (April 18).

“In honor of their sacrifice for the nation, we assure the bereaved families that we will take care of them and extend to them the necessary assistance that their families will need.” according to AFP Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay.

READ: 11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in Sulu encounter

Eleven soldiers of the AFP were killed while 14 others were wounded during an encounter with suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Sulu on Friday (April 17).

11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in Sulu encounter

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 18, 2020

Eleven soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were killed while 14 others were wounded during an encounter with suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Sulu on Friday (April 17).

The AFP reported that the military encountered around 40 ASG terrorists believed to be led by ASG leaders Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan.

The number of ASG casualties is yet to determined but bloodstains were seen on their side of the battle after they scampered towards the northeast direction.

The said encounter lasted for an hour in Brgy. Danag, Patikul, Sulu.

The AFP said they lost six R4 rifles, a K3 SAW machine gun, an R4 rifle with a grenade launcher, and a hand-held radio in the encounter.

The military said flags in all military camps around the country will be flown at half-mast for the 11 Army heroes who died during the encounter.

AFP Chief General Felimon Santos, Jr. expressed his condolences to the family of the fallen heroes. He also ensured that all necessary assistance will be extended to their loved ones.

Meanwhile, Commander of the Army 11th Infantry Division based in Sulu MGEN Corleto Vinluan said pursuit operations in the area are ongoing. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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.

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