The terrorist group Abu Sayyaf is involved in illegal drug transactions to finance its operations.
This is based on the findings of numerous units in ZAMBASULTA or Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi area confronting the ASG.
Reports from AFP line units reveal that majority of the ASG members that government troops encounter are young recruits that are high on illegal drugs or shabu as evidenced by the paraphernalia recovered in the belongings of killed ASG members and in their lairs.
Drugs are being used to lure youngsters who may have been given shabu for free and later on recruited once they are addicted to it.
Reports also indicate that money generated from shabu is being used to finance the ASG daily operations.
This was also affirmed by several former hostages of the group. Those guarding the hostages are always high on drugs.
Nevertheless, the AFP continue to do their duty of monitoring the presence of ASG members in the metropolis with the help of Philippine National Police.
To date, there is no ASG members in Metro Manila.
“We have not monitored any Abu Sayyaf group members here (in Metro Manila). If they had information that will lead us to believe that indeed there are already members of the ASG in Metro Manila, we would have information sharing,” Public Affairs Ofice Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
The AFP assures the public that the security forces of the government is not slacking off but exerting all efforts in suppressing terrorism and lawless violence,” said Col. Arevalo. — Bryan de Paz | UNTV News & Rescue
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 and 12 have deployed their personnel to the areas affected by the earthquake that hit several towns and cities on Wednesday night (Oct. 17).
They were sent to render assistance to the local government units in maintaining peace and order, and ensure that traffic will run smoothly to avoid delay in the supply of relief goods.
According to PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, police are also helping in the clearing operation in the affected buildings.
Banac added that the situation in the affected areas is still under control and there is still no need to send support units from the national headquarters.
“Ang kapulisan natin ay lumabas kaagad at nagbigay ng police presence para magbigay ng order, para maassure ang public na nandyan ang ating pamahalaan. Lahat ng available manpower. Yung iba ay umalalay sa local government units para mag rescue sa mga nasaktan na biktima,” Banac said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said it is ready to deploy its personnel from the Engineering Brigade should the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) requests for it.
“Lahat naman ng ating AFP units within the area are on ready standby and with the close collaboration with the NDRRMC ready to be deployed at short notice naman, so far according to the NDRRMC ay capable pa naman yung LGU’s natin in responding to any requirements,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief, Capt. Jonathan Zata said.
Wednesday night’s tremor left 29 structures in Regions 11 and 12 with significant damage.
These malls include SM, Veranza Mall and Gaisano Mall in General Santos City, and the KCC Mall in Koronadal City.
Other structures that sustained damage were:
the Municipal Hall of Magsaysay in Davao Del Sur
the Sangguniang Bayan Building in M’Lang, Cotabato
A bill seeking to increase the monthly hazard pay of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stationed in conflict areas has been lodged in the Senate.
In filing Senate Bill No. 970, Senator Manny Pacquiao proposed to raise to P20,000 the current P540 monthly hazard pay of soldiers in conflict areas.
The proposal also seeks to increase to P10,000 each month the hazard pay of civilian doctors and nurses under the AFP Memorial Medical Center (AFPMMC) and those who provide aid and medical assistance to the military in the field.
“Personnel of AFP are the country’s frontlines in dealing with apprehensions in the borders and tensions with terrorist and extremist groups. The AFP defends our country despite the exposure to danger and possibly risking their lives,” he said.
“It’s only appropriate to compensate those who risk their lives to serve and protect our country,” he added.
The bill states that funds for the implementation of the measure shall be included in the yearly General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Pacquiao said he introduced the bill after noting that the hazard pay for uniformed personnel remained fix at P540 after the base pay increase of the military and other uniformed personnel became effective this year.
In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a resolution authorizing salary increase for soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel in the government.
Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).
The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.
Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.
“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.
However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.
Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.
“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.
Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.
They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)
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