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Isnilon Hapilon’s aide arrested in Zamboanga City

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

Courtesy : AFP WESMINCON

Courtesy : AFP WESMINCON

An Abu Sayyaf bomb expert and alleged aide of ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon was arrested in Zamboanga City last Saturday.

The suspect was identified as Hamsi Amajad Marani. According to Col. Leonel Nicolas, the commander of Joint Task Force Zamboanga, investigations are underway as to where the suspect came from and how he was able to enter Zamboanga City.

Col. Nicolas said he might have come from Marawi City. At present, checkpoints at the entry points in Zamboanga City have been tightened further to prevent a spillover of the conflict in Marawi.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) calls on the public to remain calm and immediately report to them any suspicious individuals in their areas.

“There’s no need to be alarmed. The Joint Task Force Zamboanga has a contingency plan for all these things. He was caught because we have laid out plans in case terrorists enter the city,” said Col. Nicolas. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Alleged new recruits of the Maute group, at least 100 — Col. Brawner

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The military said that the Maute terrorist group is strengthening its force by being able to recruit around 100 new members in Lanao del Sur.

This is in line with the alleged regrouping of the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., the spokesman of the Joint Task Force Ranao, revealed that the Maute group already has an estimated of around 100 new recruits in the province of Lanao del Sur.

“Wala na ung Maute-ISIS dito sa Marawi pero sa paligid… nagrerecruit sila ngayon sa paligid ng Lanao Lake. It’s just an estimate about a hundred yung na recruit nila,” said the deputy commander.

(The Maute group is no longer in Marawi, but they are still around. They are recruiting members in Lanao lake. It’s just an estimate, they have an estimated of about a hundred recruits.)

Just last week, the government troops battled in various areas which led to the arrest of several Maute group members.

“May encounter last week sa Masho. May encounter sa Pagayawan. May na capture tayong member nila sa Piagapo. We’re doing everything para maging safe ang Marawi,” said the Brawner.

(There was an encounter last week in Masho. There was an encounter Pagayawan. We have captured a member in Piagapo, we’re doing everything to make Marawi City safe.)

Residents are also advised to coordinate with authorities in case they notice anything suspicious in the area.

President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday the military will no longer allow the entry of terrorist groups in Marawi City. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

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WesMinCom: Abu Sayyaf hostages now down to nine

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

 

Based on the figures of the military, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is holding nine hostages only, particularly in the province of Sulu, from the previous 30 hostages in 2016.

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from neutralizing the rebel group, the Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom) also targets to rescue its remaining hostages.

Based on the figures of the military, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is holding nine hostages only, particularly in the province of Sulu, from the previous 30 hostages in 2016.

Four of the hostages are Filipino nationals while five were foreigners.

The AFP believes they can rescue the remaining hostages through their continuous conduct of offensive operations.

“Sa ngayon, nakikita natin na we are continuing our effort in rescuing these hostages. More on Sulu base, we cannot reveal you kung sino ang humahawak cause it’s already an operational matter,” said WesMinCom Commander LtGen. Carlito Galvez Jr.

(For now, we can see that we are continuing our effort in rescuing these hostages. More on Sulu base, we cannot reveal you who is handling it, ‘cause it’s already an operational matter.)

Meanwhile, the number of casualties on the part of the ASG has climbed to 128.

Eighty ASG members were arrested while 166 have surrendered to the military.

Seventy-two of them are from Basilan, 61 from Sulu and 33 are from Tawi-Tawi province.

The AFP said that the high number of surrenderers is a good indication that the group is near a total defeat.

The military noted that ASG’s leadership has been in chaos after the death of one of its top leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, who was declared the emir of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

The WesMinCom commander claims that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao helped them in lessening the threats from rebel groups in the region.

“Yun ang target naming na at the end of 2018 sa duration ng martial law we can have a significant dent ang target namin is 70% of the threat will be removed,” said Galvez.

(Our target at the end of 2018 in the duration of martial law, we can have a significant dent. Our target is 70% of the threat will be removed.) — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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2 suspected Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in Zamboanga City

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, January 29th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The joint forces of the regional intelligence unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Task Force Zamboanga and its maritime unit arrested two suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Mariki, in Zamboanga City last Saturday.

They were identified as Tantari Sampang alias Abu Sonny and Paisar Aktub Sampang alias Jaber.

The two were allegedly working for ASG top leader Radulan Sahiron.

“Hindi lang sila basta-basta. They are someone doon sa organization nila kasi directly under Radulan Sahiron sila kaya nga mas masaya tayo na nakuha natin sila the fastest time,” said Zamboanga City Police spokesperson, PSInsp. Shellamae Chang.

(They are not ordinary members. They are someone [important] within the organization because they are working directly under Radulan Sahiron. That’s why we’re glad to have arrested them in the fastest time.)

Tantari Sampang is facing seven counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, while Paisar Aktub Sampang is facing six counts of the same offenses in connection with his alleged involvement in the abduction of the employees of golden harvest plantation in Lantawan, Basilan, back in 2001.

According to Chang, they were able to arrest seven ASG members this month.

Meanwhile, the Zamboanga police allayed residents’ concerns over the series of arrests of alleged ASG members in the city.

They explained that they are just proving that they are doing their all in providing security to the public.

Despite this, the PNP is not discounting the possibility that the colleagues of the arrested ASG members might have been planning to sow violence in the area.

“Hindi po tayo pwede magrelaks kumbaga hindi natin pwede idisregard yung thought na baka mas madami pa sila kaya nga we rely on the information na yung binibigay ng community,” said Chang.

(We cannot just relax. We cannot disregard the thought that there are plenty of them. This is why we are relying on the information given by the community.)

Authorities will turn over Tantari to the Basilan police, while Paisar to the Pasig City police where he has a standing warrant of arrest.  — Maris Federes| UNTV News and Rescue

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