ASG uses ransom money to silence people in Sulu – AFP

admin   •   June 20, 2016   •   2741

Col. Noel Detoyato speaks to reporters.

Col. Noel Detoyato speaks to reporters.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is now being criticized amid problems with the bandit group Abu Sayaff continues.

The AFP said their doing everything they can to capture the bandits and even providing assistance to the residents of Sulu.

But they sometimes find it difficult to gather information on the ground as the ASG silence some residents of Sulu by giving them portions of the kidnap-for-ransom money.

“In the process of going after them, we get information that we cannot get information on the ground is because people there receives money from the group,” AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Col. Noel Detoyato said.

Detoyato said, to resolve the problem, giving ransom to the group must stop. He further added that different sectors of the society must also provide assistance to the people of Sulu, one of the poorest provinces in the country.

“One of the solutions is to fill in the gaps in the services of the government. Those include our roles in far-flung areas. They see only us as government presence. But at the outset, there really is a need for a synchronized coordination among all sectors of society.”

But reports are now surfacing that even members of the military are involved in the kidnap-for-ransom scheme of the ASG.

The AFP belied allegations saying there are mechanisms in place to ensure that no traitors or spies exist in their ranks.

“Our soldiers are constantly rotating. We have no permanent troops there. Even the officer there is not permanent. So, how come they say that? Our troops are being rotated always for so many years now. So, their accusations are absurd,” explained Detoyato.

(DARLENE BASINGAN/UNTV NEWS)

Facebook removes fake accounts allegedly linked to PH military, police

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2020

Facebook has removed over hundreds of fake accounts for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

In a statement, the social media giant said it removed 155 accounts; 11 Pages; 9 Groups and 6 Instagram accounts. These networks reportedly originated in China. It also removed 57 Facebook accounts; 31 Pages and 20 Instagram accounts where its networks originated in the Philippines and focused on domestic audiences.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said these accounts and pages posted about local news and events including domestic politics, military activities against terrorism, pending anti-terrorism bill, criticism of communism, youth activists and opposition, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)and its military wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). 

“Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found links to Philippine military and Philippine police,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday (September 23) clarified that none of their maintained accounts were shutdown but is still looking into Facebook’s report.

“There are no accounts that the AFP maintain that were shutdown or removed by Facebook. All of them are up and running. The AFP upholds truth and accountability of network and SocMed account managers as to the contents of postings in our websites, pages, and accounts,” their statement reads. AAC

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.

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