Displaced residents still not allowed to return to Marawi City – AFP

admin   •   August 4, 2017   •   4741

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said residents are still not allowed to return to Marawi City although the tension there has already subsided.

AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by members of the terrorist Maute group are still scattered in the city.

Because of this, Padilla said residents are not yet allowed to return to their hometown.

“The constant request of the residents to come back to their homes in order to start rebuilding their lives is something that we are all raring to give but we cannot as of the moment because of these challenges,” he said.

Padilla also appealed to the residents to give the military more time to finish its clearing operations.

“When we advise you that you can go back and fix everything, we assure you that that advice is based on the fact that we have finally completed the clearing operations in the entire Marawi City,” he said.

The AFP did not set a deadline for its troops to finish the operation against the terrorists, but they are strictly following the order of the president to consider first and foremost the safety of the hostages and as much as possible, prevent the further loss of lives. — Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue

AFP sends soldier-athletes to 2019 SEA Games

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expecting its soldier-athletes to perform well in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which is set to be held in the country from November 30 to December 11.

Around 127 soldiers on active duty will join the Filipino contingent competing in this year’s SEA Games.

Overall, the AFP is sending over 400 soldier-athletes, coaches, and emergency preparedness and response teams and security personnel from the military’s Regular and Reserve Forces.

A send-off ceremony, led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Noel Clement, was held for the AFP contingent on Monday, Nov. 11.

“We have all been tirelessly working for this momentous event. We are able to lay down the joint operational guidelines for our troops who will be deployed. Similarly, our soldiers have relentlessly trained for their various events. These are clear indications of our strong will and desire for a safe and successful conduct of the Games,” Clement was quoted as saying in a statement.

“On behalf of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, I offer my heartfelt support to our athlete-soldiers and coaches joining the 30th SEA Games. Show the world your discipline and dedication and may you have God’s favor” he added.

The 30th SEA Games will open on November 30 in Bulacan.

Around 12,000 athletes and their coaches, 1,000 international media members, 15,000 volunteers, and spectators, among others are expected to participate and watch the games.

It is said to be the biggest SEA Games yet as it features 56 sports and 530 events in 44 venues. Although these events will be conducted in various parts of Luzon, a bulk of these tournaments will be held in Metro Manila.

The closing ceremony of the games will be in the New Clark City in Tarlac on December 11.

AFP to heighten security in Mindanao following death of 3 suicide bombers

Maris Federez   •   November 6, 2019

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) is set to intensify the security in Mindanao following the slaying of three suicide bombers in Indanan, Sulu on Tuesday (November 5).

AFP-WESMINCOM chief LtGen. Cirilo Sobejana said part of the security adjustment that they will implement is the stricter chokepoint and checkpoint operations, as well as the conduct of foot patrol in the different areas in Mindanao.

“I directed all commanders and under Western Mindanao Command to take extra miles to monitor the hostile plans of this threat group,” Sobejana said.

He added that they will not set aside the possibility that several members of the terrorist groups in the country are planning to wreak havoc after ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdhadi was killed in a US Forces-led operation in northwest Syria.

The PNP, meanwhile, allayed the public’s fear brought about by the series of suicide bombings in the country.

PNP spokesperson PBGen Bernard Banac said the PNP and the AFP are in control of the situation in Mindanao and that there is nothing to be worried about.

“Sa ngayon ay mataas na ang ating level ng security sa bahagi ng Western Mindanao at yung nangyari kahapon at patunay na mahigpit ang ipinatutupad na seguridad doon,” said Banac.

The authorities said the death of the three suicide bombers had helped prevent the bomb threat in Metro Jolo. (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

PH military vows to continue anti-terror efforts after death of ISIS leader Baghdadi

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

An undated file image taken from a video released by the militant group calling itself Islamic State (IS), purportedly showing the caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, giving a speech in an unknown location (reissued 27 October 2019). According to media reports on 26 October 2019 citing US officials, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US Special Forces raid in Idlib province, Syria. EPA-EFE/ISLAMIC STATE VIDEO

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday said government troops would remain alert and will continue its efforts to counter terrorists who threaten the country following the reported death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In a statement, AFP spokesman Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said, the death of Baghdadi dealt a severe blow on terrorist organizations across the globe.

“We expect that his death will impact negatively on the leadership of terrorists in various parts of the world,” Arevalo said.

“The AFP will continue with our vigorous efforts to prevent or counter terrorist extremists who continue to threaten our country,” he added. “Our troops in the frontlines remain on high alert to thwart possible attempts to ride on this development.”

The military issued the statement after United States President Donald Trump announced that Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during a raid launched by US troops on Saturday. Baghdadi led the jihadist group in controlling and declaring a caliphate in large areas of Syria and Iraq at one point.

Arevalo also vowed to continue blocking the Daesh-inspired groups from recruiting new members and exploiting the situation in the countryside, calling their attempt towards resurgence as “futile.”

“We will build from our triumph in Marawi in frustrating ISIS move to establish a caliphate in our country,” he said.

The military also urged the public anew to stay alert and be actively involved in reporting to authorities any suspicious persons or activities in their localities.

“Vigilance will surely help security forces in our campaign to deny the ISIS foothold in our country,” Arevalo said.

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