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

admin   •   March 2, 2017   •   4072

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

PH security forces foil bomb plot in Jolo, Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

A bomb plot in the capital town of Jolo in Sulu province believed to have been orchestrated by local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was foiled by the Philippine security forces, the military said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said, this is after the elements of the Philippine Coast Guard-Explosive and Ordnance Division (PCG) discovered a baggage that contained an improvised explosive device allegedly planted at the local port on Saturday.

The military added that a PCG patrol team found the abandoned baggage between the office of the Harbor Master and the Maritime Police Office at Jolo port.

A K9 unit deployed to the area confirmed that the baggage contained a bomb.

Operating troops of the 35th Infantry Battalion immediately cordoned off the area while the bomb squad carefully disarmed the explosive which was assembled using two electric blasting caps, a rifle grenade, a spark plug and concrete nails.

“I commend our troops and our partners for the accomplishment. You saved the lives of the innocent people and foiled this terroristic activity of our heartless enemies,” said Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. also commended the troops.

“This success is a result of the intensified conduct of intelligence operations and the strengthened collaboration with the police and other security agencies, thus preempting the terrorists from executing their terror plan. I commend the troops of the JTF Sulu for a job well done,” he said.

The military said tight security measures remain in place as government troops continue to pursue ASG leader Mundi Sawadjaan who was said to the brains of the twin bomb attacks in Barangay Walled City in Jolo barely a month ago that killed 14 people and injured others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

5 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed, 2 soldiers hurt in Zamboanga Sibugay clash

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed and two soldiers were injured in an encounter between the government troops and the terrorist group in Zamboanga Sibugay on Wednesday (September 9).

Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, commander of the 44th Infantry Batallion said the clash happened during a joint military and police pursuit operations in Barangay Pres. Roxas, RT Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay around 2 a.m.

Templonuevo said the encounter was the result of their pursuit operations against armed elements of Abral Abdusalam and Sahibad group led by Furuji Indama, an ASG leader based in Basilan.

The clash follows an earlier gun battle between the military and the local terrorist group in Barangay La Paz, Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay on Sept. 6, he added.

The military said government troops were also able to recover four high-powered firearms after the 30-minute clash against the 10 Abu Sayyaf Group member.

Pursuit operation against the ASG is still on-going.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade, said the group was supposedly planning to conduct kidnapping activities in the region based on information they received from a reliable source.

“The unit would also like to thank the locals who tipped-off the authorities of the presence of these terrorist groups which resulted to the timely response of our troops,” Nicolas said.

Meanwhile, the two wounded soldiers, whose identities are yet to be disclosed, were airlifted to Camp Navarro General Hospital, Zamboanga City for proper medical attention.

Both soldiers are now in stable condition, the military reported.

9 cops, 3 officials face administrative charges over Sulu shooting incident

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 7, 2020

Nine police officers are facing administrative charges for their involvement in the shooting of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu on June 29.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief PGen. Camilo Cascolan confirmed on Monday (September 7) that the PNP-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) has filed administrative charges against the nine cops and their three immediate superiors.

“Summons were served last week to the nine respondents who are presently under restrictive custody by the headquarters support service in Camp Crame,” he said.

Aside from the administrative charges, the nine cops will also face criminal charges for murder and planting of evidence filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Cascolan also said the three immediate superiors will face administrative charges “for gross neglect of duty under the doctrine of command responsibility.”

The Philippine Army previously reported that the four soldiers are members of their intelligence unit who are on the hunt for two suicide bombers. They also said the two suicide bombers are those responsible for the twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu on August 24 which killed 15 and injured 74. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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