ASG uses ransom money to silence people in Sulu – AFP

admin   •   June 20, 2016   •   2917

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)

4 more fatalities in Sulu C-130 crash identified – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it has identified four more bodies of military personnel who perished in the C-130 crash in Sulu.

The AFP identified them as Sergeant Jelson Sadjail, Corporal Alhamin Salahuddin, Private First Class Alzid Hawrani, and Private First Class Nazer Albaracin.

The identified bodies were all from the Philippine Army, it added.

In total, the AFP said 33 cadavers have now been identified while 17 are still undergoing the “tedious” process of identification as most of the fatalities were burned beyond recognition.

“The AFP through the Western Mindanao Command has reached out to the loved ones of the identified personnel while their remains are being prepared for transport and proper burial,” the military said.

The C-130 plane crashed in Patikul, Sulu last July 4. It was carrying 96 passengers when the incident occurred.

More than 50 people died, including 3 civilians on the ground, and 46 were injured in the fiery crash.

Duterte names ex-Army chief Faustino as next AFP chief of staff

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has picked Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino as the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of thee Philippines (AFP), a document shared to the media showed.

Duterte signed Faustino’s appointment paper on July 29 but a copy of which was only made public on Friday.

Faustino’s term will take effect on July 31 when outgoing AFP chief General Cirilito Sobejana retires from military service.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomed Faustino’s designation to the post.

The AFP said Faustino is the current commander of the Joint Task Force Mindanao.

He was also the former Acting Commanding General of the Philippine Army and Commander of the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command.

“His wealth of experience and passion for service as a Commander and staff officer, gives him the mettle to lead the AFP in accomplishing its mission especially as we turn up a notch our operations in achieving lasting peace and development in the country,” the AFP said.

4 alleged BIFF members surrender in Maguindanao — WestMinCom

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

Four alleged members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to authorities in Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said Wednesday.

In a statement, WestMinCom chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said the relentless focused military operations in central Mindanao have led to the starvation of some terrorists and prompted them to surrender.

Vinluan said the four members of the BIFF-Bungos Faction submitted themselves to the troops of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion (1Mech Bn) at about 11 a.m. on July 27.

“They handed over their firearm including one US cal. 50HB machine gun, one R4A3 Carbine with M203 grenade launcher, one cal. 30 Carbine, and one 7.62mm sniper rifle,” said 1Mech Bn Commander Lt. Col. Cresencio Sanchez, Jr.

Subject personalities were subsequently presented to Col. Pedro Balisi, Jr., Commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1Mech Bde), and Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan at the unit headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

The four are currently undergoing custodial debriefing at the 1Mech Bde headquarters, the WestMinCom said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Central urged the remaining BIFF members to yield and avail of the government’s reintegration programs.

“Now is the best time for you to surrender,” Uy said.

Since January 2021, the AFP said that the JTF Central neutralized a total of 145 BIFF personalities; 69 of which were killed, 74 surrendered, and two were apprehended.

“The offensives of the Joint Task Force Central will continue despite the mounting number of BIFF members who are now deciding to return to the folds of the law,” Vinluan said.

“Rest assured that all our operations adhere to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws,” he added.

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