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Facebook users supporting terrorism will be arrested for “cyber sedition” — DICT

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reported that there are Facebook (FB) users who are already subject to arrest by authorities because of Cyber Sedition.

“We are involved, confidential, may huhulihin na (there will be arrests for) cyber sedition. We are not going to name the persons, we were able to track about more than one last night,” DICT Sec. Rodolfo Salalima said.

It can be recalled that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has requested Facebook to take down more than 60 FB accounts of jihadists and their supporters.

Meanwhile, Malacañang also revealed that the government and the military actually had information of the planned siege by the terrorist group, led by Isnilon Hapilon, prior to the attack in Marawi City.

This information was used by the government for the military to take action immediately and in order to prevent the terrorists’ much bigger plan to capture the entire city.

“The early action of the military and the government has actually pre-empted their plans to be able to capture the city so we need to accredit that.  So, yes, there were intel but it was something that had to be vetted and authorized properly,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

He added, had the military acted otherwise, the situation in Marawi could have been worse.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has also spent his private time on Tuesday without engaging in any public activity.

Malacañang ensures the President is in good health.

“He is actually in excellent health except for the fact that his schedule has been brutal.  I think we need to allow him a few rest, he was actually on top of the situation, however he also need rest,” Abella said. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

 

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Makabayan Bloc seeks probe on alleged Chinese influence in Marawi rehab works

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Opposition congressmen want to probe ongoing rehabilitation works in Marawi City.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Makabayan bloc filed a resolution seeking for an investigation into an alleged report that some Chinese corporations are getting the favor of the government to manage the rehabilitation works in the war-torn city.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate accused the administration of taking advantage of the martial law to serve the interest of said Chinese firms.

“Bilyon-bilyon ang gugugulin ng gobyerno pero sa ngayon kahit nga residente ng Marawi ay at a lost (kung) ano ba talaga ang tunay na plano sa Marawi,”Zarate said

(The government will spend billions but until now the residents are at a loss as to what really is the government’s plan for Marawi.)

Civic groups, meanwhile, expressed concern over the proposed construction of a military base in “ground zero” or in the main battle area in Marawi.

“Pag nilagyan kame ng malaking military garisson sa loob ng main affected areas baka sa mga susunod na panahon atakihin nanaman nila uli ang Marawi,” said Drieza Liningding, Head of a civil society group in Marawi City.

(If they construct a military garrison inside the main affected area, time might come that they (terrorists) would attack Marawi again.)

Meanwhile, the group also calls on the House Committee on Human Rights to probe on reports of abuse of human rights of the residents in the war-torn city. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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15 BIFF members killed in Maguindanao clash

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

(Photo courtesy of AFP Joint Task Force central)

 

The conflict continues between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.

The military operation against BIFF leader, Abu Toraipe, started at dawn on Monday, June 11 at Agusan Marsh in the municipality of Pikit .

“Trabaho ng military to secure the civilian and this threat. Ang Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat diyan sa Central Mindanao,” said WestMinCom spokesperson LTC Gerry Besana.

(It is the military’s job to secure the civilian and this threat. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are the number one threat in Central Mindanao.)

The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said 15 BIFF members were killed in the attack, eight were injured from airstrikes and two were captured including bomb expert, Anwar Ali.

There were no reported casualties on the military’s side.

Aside from this, the WestMinCom spokesperson said that the AFP also bombed the improvised explosive device (IED) factory of the Daesh-inspired group.

The clearing operation recovered several firearms and a few explosives.

Besana added that the destruction of the IED factory is a huge accomplishment by the military.

“It is a very significant accomplishment for the joint task force central under the Western Mindanao Command na talagang napakarami ng IEDs na tinamaan. Talagang napakalakas ng sabog doon,” said Besana.

(It is a very significant accomplishment for the Joint Task Force Central under the Western Mindanao Command because of the high number of casualties caused IED explosions.  The blasts were really powerful.)

The camp of BIFF on the other hand denied any casualties from their ranks.

“Mga sibilyan ang tinamaan ng airstrike at ang pagkawala ng mga 105 mm Howitzer.  Sobra 30 na ang tinamaan nandoon na ang patay. Wala naman kaming pagawaan ng bomba,” said BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama.

(Civilians were hit by the airstrike, and the firing of 105mm Howitzer. More than 30 were killed. Also, we do not have a bomb factory.)

Meanwhile, the AFP assured they are doing their best to avoid collateral damage and it will not affect the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  — Dante Amento| UNTV News & Rescue

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Gov’t unveils proposed rehab masterplan for Marawi City’s ‘ground zero’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – Eight months since Marawi City was liberated from terrorist influence, the government’s inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi unveiled its proposed masterplan in the rehabilitation of “ground zero” or the worst-affected areas in the city.

The plan, which includes proposed infrastructures, facilities, and buildings, is estimated to cost around P16 billion, according to TF Bangon Marawi and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair Eduardo Del Rosario.

Del Rosario said they will present the proposed rehabilitation masterplan to President Rodrigo Duterte in their next Cabinet meeting on Monday, June 11.

“We just like to take this opportunity to show it to the public that we are following the instruction of the President that Marawi City will rise again as a prosperous city,” Del Rosario said.

A staunch Duterte critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has been railing against the administration over its plans for reconstruction, relief, and rehabilitation in the war-torn city. Trillanes even insisted on a Senate investigation into the matter.

The government targets to complete the rehabilitation works in Marawi City before the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022.

“It will be completed not later than the last quarter of 2021 so more or less 3 years,” assured Del Rosario.

Meanwhile, TF Bangon Marawi maintained that the majority of Marawi residents support their proposed rehab plan. The agency targets to finalize on Monday its negotiation with Bagong Marawi Consortium in order for the Swiss challenge on the rehab plan to begin.

Also, the government has set its latest target date, preferably in July this year, for the ground-breaking ceremony to usher the rehabilitation works in ground zero of Marawi City. — Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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