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    Duterte to open PH borders to Malaysia and Indonesia to counter terrorism

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, September 4th, 2017

    PCOO Photo/ Karl Normal Alonzo

    MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated about the upcoming meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

    This is to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between the three countries against terrorism

    “To formalize an agreement, we have to meet face to face and agree on an agenda for the talks,” said President Duterte during an interview with the press in Davao City.

    The meeting aims to strengthen the initial agreement of the three nations in having a joint task force to fight terrorism and other transnational crimes.

    The president wants to open the Philippine borders to security forces of Malaysia and Indonesia if needed.

    “Kung may hinahabol kami, tapos sabihin, malakas ‘yan, wala nang panahon, tirahin mo na lang siya. Even if it’s a Filipino, sabihin mo doon sa [inaudible], “Tirahin mo na.” or Indonesian dito (If we are running after (terrorists), then they say these are strong and we lack the time, just hit on them. Even if it’s Filipino…or Indonesian here (in the Philippines),” he said.

    President Duterte warned recently on terrorists’ next possible targets such as Davao, Zamboanga and even Manila.

    This is why the government is also strengthening the capacity of the military and police.

    It is the 105th day since conflict in Marawi City started and the chief executive said the retaking of the whole city against terrorists is at its end. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Mission accomplished: Tacloban soldiers return to Visayas from Marawi

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2017

    TACLOBAN, Philippines — The 82nd Reconnaissance Company returned to Eastern Visayas after they were deployed in Marawi City to fight against ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group.

    Families of the soldiers happily welcomed them at the Tacloban City DZR Airport.

    The 150 soldiers stayed in Marawi for almost five months.

    According to Col. Alberto Desoyo, chief of staff of 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, their troops will temporarily remain in the base of the 52nd infantry battalion in Basey, Samar.

    This is while they are waiting for the schedule of the debriefing and for their next mission. — UNTV News & Rescue

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    Alleged ISIS recruiter nabbed in Taguig City

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

    Karen Aizha Hamidon

    MANILA, Philippines – Thirty-six year old Karen Aizha Hamidon is facing 14 counts of inciting to rebellion for allegedly recruiting foreign terrorists to join the rebellion in Marawi City.

    She was arrested by agents of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Counter Terrorism Division in her house in Taguig City last October 11 by virtue of a search warrant.

    More charges will be filed against Hamidon after investigators discovered from her cellphone 296 posts in social media application, Telegram calling on local and foreign terrorists to join the rebellion of Maute-ISIS.

    “This was the message that she posted when the operatives of the Counter Terrorism Division arrested her. She said that: ‘The soldiers of Taghut are desperate to defeat the Muhajireen of the Islamic State of Marawi City…but Wallahi they won’t be successful. They won’t be able to defeat the force of Dawlah because Allah (Azza wa Jaal is on their side).

    That is why the Dawlah is once again inviting all our Ikhwaanil Muslimeen in all parts of the Philippines and around the world to support our Muhajireen of East Asia. Let us go to Marawi, in Mindanao to join the war against the conquerors of the soldiers of Tawagheet’,” Atty. Raoul Manguerra said.

    Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre said the charges against Hamidon could be elevated to rebellion.

    “Although she was not fighting with the ISIS or Maute group in Marawi, the action of the subject clearly denotes that she was in conspiracy with the rebels. So in my opinion, she should be charged not only of inciting to rebellion but of the crime of rebellion itself,” Aguirre said.

    Hamidon is allegedly the wife of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, the slain leader of Ansar Khalifa Philippines, the group that orchestrated the bombing of Davao City night market in September last year.

    She was also a wife of Muhammad Shamin Mohammed Sidek, the Singaporean national arrested for his links to ISIS.

    NBI said Hamidon first became a person of interest in the middle of 2016 when she successfully recruited Indian nationals to join radical Islamic groups in Mindanao. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Restoration of normalcy in Marawi City begins

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

    MANILA, Philippines — Of the 95 villages in Marawi City, 33 are heavily damaged by the more than four months of clashes between the government troops and the ISIS-inspired Maute terror group.

    In these areas, the structures damaged by the bombs and ammunition can no longer be used.

    While in areas considered controlled, the homes of residents remain intact.

    The local government is currently processing the return of the evacuated residents back to their homes but the displaced residents still have to undergo a process before returning home like cleaning their communities.

    “Mayroon po tayong (we will have)  clustering after the clean-up drive. We would have a phasing, a clustering , pagkatapos po ng restoration ng mga (following restoration of) facilities, government facilities and services within the controlled area including yung mga schools natin (our schools). Pababalikin natin yung mga residente natin dito sa (we can then allow residents to return to their homes in the controlled area,” said Provincial Crisis Management Committee spokesperson Zia Alonto Adiong.

    Only 44% of households and establishments in Marawi City are without electricity. These are the villages within the main battle area.

    There is also no water supply in the area.

    The local government unit of Lanao del Sur explained that once residents in the controlled area can finally return home, they will still have to undergo a screening process with the help of village officials.

    The LGU also plans to provide passes to the residents allowed to return home.

    “Remember this calamity is not brought about by typhoon or an earthquake. This is a product of an armed conflict and there are several allegedly sympathizers are still outside so of course, we want to secure our residents,” said Adiong.

    Meanwhile, residents evacuated from the main battle area will stay in temporary shelters.

    Before the year ends, they are expected to be transferred to the temporary shelters.

    “We are discussing the reparation for the civilian properties damaged. We have no official master plan for rehabilitation yet because everything now is what we call recommendation,” said the spokesperson.

    Meanwhile, authorities have recovered 144 dead bodies within the war zone.

    133 of the cadavers have already been buried including terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute while 61 individuals are still missing due to the clashes. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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