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    Captured ASG bomb maker expected to face charges today

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

    Courtesy: AFP WESMINCOM

    Courtesy: AFP WESMINCOM

    ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Zamboanga Police office is currently in custody of Hamsi Amjad Marani, an Abu Sayyaf member and alleged bomb maker of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon.

    Police said, Marani may formal charges today for violating R.A. 9516 after police confiscated components used in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    Marani was arrested on Saturday during a joint military and police operation at Sitio Niyog-Niyog, Barangay Muti in Zamboanga City.

    Meanwhile, the suspect has vehemently denied being a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and claims not to know Hapilon. He also insists he does not know how to create an explosive and that he rarely goes to Sulu.

    Security has been tightened at the detention cell of Marani who is considered a high risk detainee.

    Joint Task Zamboanga asserted that there is sufficient ground for the arrest of Marani.

    Authorities assured enhance security at all entry points of Zamboanga Peninsula to prevent possible spillover of terrorist groups like Maute. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Declaration of liberation in Marawi, premature – peace & security expert

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017


    MANILA, Philippines — Although the battle is not yet over, President Rodrigo Duterte decided to declare on Tuesday the liberation of Marawi City from the influence of terrorists.

    This was after government troops killed terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.

    “I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation. Huwag na natin itong ulitin kailanman (Let us not have a repeat of this ever),” said President Duterte.

    But for peace and security expert Prof. Rommel Banloi, it is still early to say that Marawi City is already terror-free.

    “The liberation of Marawi was declared considering the fact that the clearing operations in areas of Marawi City are ongoing, fights are still happening. In fact, as we speak now, the battle is continuing,” said the expert.

    One proof he said are the many residents who still cannot go back to their homes. Their situation has not changed, as well.

    It is also possible that President Duterte, in haste, declared the liberation of Marawi City after the military failed to miss the deadline several times.

    “The government may have been forced to declare liberation, though its premature because that kind of situation has been anticipated for a long time,” said the professor.

    Malacañang respects the statement of Banlaoi.

    However, the palace said that the declaration of the President is a strategic message.

    The government also believes the recovery of the city can now proceed.

    “As it has been reported and announced, this was a strategic message and technically the leadership has been neutralized and whatever forces that are left are non-significant. And it has been referred to should be a matter of police enforcement, so from the perspective of the government. Everything is aligned and on the road to recovery,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.  — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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    20 more terrorists killed in latest encounter in Marawi City

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017


    MANILA, Philippines —Twenty more members of the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group have been killed by the government forces since Wednesday night until early  Thursday morning.

    In a statement, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said that 13 were Wednesday night and seven more were slain on Thursday morning in the continuing military pursuit against the terrorists.

    The government also confirmed the intelligence report that among those killed was Dr. Mammud Ahmad, the financier who purportedly took over the leadership of the group following the death of Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.

    This is based on a statement by one of the rescued hostages, saying that as soon as he was found dead, Mammud was buried Wednesday night.

    The military is now searching for Mammud’s remains and the burial site.

    Año added that seven more hostages have been freed, including a mother and her daughter who got injured but is now out of danger.

    Meanwhile, six soldiers were wounded but are now in better condition.

    With this data, the military believes that the number of hostages remaining with the terrorists has now gone down to 20.

    Gen. Ano stressed that the military is still in high morale, so is their desire to end the crisis in Marawi City.

    In total, the number of fatalities from the terrorists’ side is now at 850, and 163 from the government forces. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue



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    Eastern Mindanao on heightened alert following Hapilon, Maute slay

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

    IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_101817_Law enforcement agencies

    MANILA, Philippines – Law enforcement agencies in Eastern Mindanao are now focused on the possible effects of the death of the 2 top terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.

    “Immediately the directive to heighten their alert and secure especially yung (the) convergence areas dito sa nasasakupan ng (under the) Eastern Mindanao command for possible reprisal ng (of) the sympathetic [groups] to the Maute and Isnilon Hapilon,” EastMinCom Spokesperson Maj. Ezra Balagtey said.

    This prompted the Eastern Mindanao command or the EastMinCom to retain the heightened alert status in these agencies.

    The authorities are particularly focused on public places, checkpoints, airports and seaports in the region to prevent the spillover of the terrorist group.

    “Ang ating (Our) Eastern Mindanao command is having pro-active measures that are the conduct of information advocacy awareness,”  Balagtey said.

    Activities in the coastal areas are also under strict and close monitoring.

    “Yung PBLs or yung mga speed boats natin (The PBLS or speedboats), patrol boat light from Phil. Navy Seals are always conducting coastal maritime patrol within Talicod Island and Samal Island. And of course, yung patrol craft and ships natin is nakadeploy sila (our patrol craft and ships are) conducting also maritime patrol,” NFEM PAO Chief Lt. James Reyes said.

    The authorities are also appealing for the cooperation of the public and to immediately report suspicious elements in their community.

    “Public safety is everybody’s responsibility that’s why we are calling the public’s attention to help us pagdating sa (when it comes to) information gathering. Anything that you can share with us,” PRO 11 Spokesperson PCI Andrea dela Cerna said. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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