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China donates heavy equipment for Marawi rehabilitation

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Onboard a cargo ship

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – On board a cargo ship, the 47 various heavy equipment donated by the Chinese governmentt arrived at the port of Iligan City, Thursday.

These equipment include 8 dump trucks, wheel loaders, mixer and hydraulic excavators, 5 sets of bulldozers, compact and road rollers.

“We will check it one by one and whatever is lacking, like hydraulic oil or engine oil, we will put it,” Equipment Mngt. Division – Region X Head Engr. Omra Panggaga said.

The operators of the said equipment will come from the provinces of Zamboanga, Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro and Surigao.

The sets of equipment are expected to help in the massive reconstruction and rehabilitation of the now war-torn Marawi City.

Officials await the turn-over of the equipment by representatives of the Chinese Government before transferring it in Marawi City. President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend the turnover.

Engr. Panggaga also said Japan is also set to donate equipment for the said rehabilitation. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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AFP considers Maguindanao and Cotabato as most threatened areas

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The military has been diligently monitoring and gathering information to prevent another armed crisis the likes of  Marawi siege.

AFP Spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla pointed out that the provinces of Maguindanao and Cotabato are the most threatened areas to date because of the presence of armed groups supporting Maute terrorists there.

“Because there remains in those areas sizeable numbers of armed men who have pledged allegiance to this — the group who are in Marawi,” said Padilla.

The official also reiterated that martial law in Mindanao is needed to end the atrocities in Mindanao.

 “Martial law in Mindanao will not end when the battle in Marawi is over because we still have until the end of the year to do everything we can to prevent this kind of rebellion from happening again,” said the AFP spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the military revealed that certain groups are now being monitored by the AFP for possibly supporting the Maute terrorists.

Padilla said once they have gathered enough evidence, they will proceed to file appropriate legal charges.

“And we’re conducting our thorough research on these people because it may be possible that they had been part or accessory to the rebellion,” said the official. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue


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DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has sent letters to four international certifiers to examine the construction of 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) bought by the Philippines from China.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez said the international third party will examine the 48 Dalian trains to determine its safety for passenger use.

The process will take three months. Once the international third party finds the coaches not compatible to the signaling system of the current trains used in the MRT, the DOTr will opt to return the coaches to China.

“If they say these are not operationally reliable, we will return it to China without spending any amount. Our option is to return these to China and have them fix it,” Chavez said.

Aside from the signaling system, there are also problems on the wheels of the new trains as these are bigger than the size of the rails of MRT.

The 48 Dalian trains are worth P3.8-billion.

The Philippines has already paid an amount of P800-million to the Chinese government.

The DOTr said the Philippine government will not ask for a refund of the amount, but instead it will ask the Chinese to repair the trains so it could still be used in the MRT.

The trains arrived in the Philippines in 2015.

However, after 2 years, the trains remain unusable for the millions of passengers of MRT.

On Wednesday, MRT operations encountered glitches six times, injuring two passengers when the train suddenly stopped.

In the Senate hearing on the proposed 2018 budget of the DOTr, Senator Grace Poe said officials involved in the purchase of the trains should be held liable in court.

The DOTr plans to return the Dalian trains to China before the end of the year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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AFP downplays attack in Pigcawayan, Cotabato

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — The military is not denying that the attack of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on a Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) outpost in Pigcawayan, Cotabato early this morning may be a diversionary tactic.

BIFF has been known to be a supporter of ISIS and attempts to unify with the Maute terrorist group.

Based on reports, members of the militant group tried to harass the military outpost near a school, but government forces were able to respond quickly.

While withdrawing, the armed group used around five civilians as human shields.

The military denied it was a spillover of the Marawi crisis and does not believe that there will be massive attacks in other parts of Mindanao

“It’s too small an effort, it was just a harassment case. It was just trying to harass a BPAT (Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team) outpost,” said AFP Spokesperson, Bgen. Restituto Padilla, Jr.

“But in the process they were surprised because we reacted quickly and BPAT outpost was prepared for their coming. Kaya sila umatras kaagad (That’s why they quickly retreated),” he added.

The military said the BIFF was opportunistic and just wanted to do a show of force.

However, AFP insists that the military is ready to respond to any threats from armed groups in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has warned of possible ISIS-instigated bombings in Mindanao.

This is despite the resolution of the Marawi crisis.

“So you have to keep watch and control the movements as yet. Just because the fighting has stopped in Marawi, it does not mean that we are already safe,” said President Rodrigo Duterte.

The president also said he is scheduled to talk to Indonesian president Joko Widodo over the phone about security issues in the country. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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