Maute recruitment continues in Lanao del Sur – TF Ranao

admin   •   March 5, 2018   •   5089

FILE PHOTO: 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.

MANILA, Philippines — Task Force Ranao Deputy commander Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. admitted that the Maute terror group continues to recruit more members.

According to Col. Brawner, those who were able to escape during the first pursuit operations in Marawi City are now leading the recruitment of new members.

He said that based on the information they received, the Maute members are offering money, firearms, and jewelry which they stole from the homes and banks they have broken into in Marawi City.

“They are still continuing to recruit dahil nga doon sa sunod-sunod na dagok, dahil yung mga taong bayan mismo nagtuturo kung saan yung mga miyembro ng Maute-ISIS. That’s why we were able to hit them,” said the deputy commander.

(They are still continuing to recruit because of the series of setbacks they experienced, as the public is providing information on their whereabouts. That’s why we were able to hit them.)

To date, the Maute group has around 150 new recruits.

With this, authorities continue to intensify their intelligence gathering aside from the regular patrols they conduct.

The military believes the arrest of the wife of Marwan, Juromee Dongon, is a huge setback to the terrorist group.

“We have stopped the connection to the international somehow you know na control natin ung connection na ‘yun dahil naniniwala tayo na ung asawa ni Marwan naging link nila in terms of logistics na papasok dito sa ating bansa,” said Brawner.

(We have stopped the connection to the international, somehow you know that we control that connection because we believe that the wife of Marwan is their link in terms of logistics that will enter our country.)

Authorities are monitoring the possible entry of the men of Marwan’s wife who know how to create bombs.  — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

Marawi rehabilitation to kick off before end of October

admin   •   October 18, 2018

Aerial view of Marawi City via UNTV Drone

MARAWI CITY, Philippines — A year since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorists on October 17, 2017, residents still cannot shake off the fear that a similar incident could descend upon them again.

“Yung takot di naman mawawala yun eh. Kasi ever since hindi nangyari sa amin itong ganito, tapos bigla na lang nangyari. Kaya sa puso namin may takot pa rin kami (The fear never goes away. We’ve never had any incidents until the battle broke out all of a sudden. That is why there is still fear in our hearts),” said Norfaidah Magdara, a businesswoman and resident of Marawi.

College student Salmiah Maca Agir echoed the same apprehensions.

“We feel secure na rin po pero may mga time pa rin po na natatakot ka kasi we never know po na may panahon na magkakaroon ng ganong pangyayari ulit (We feel secure in a way, but there are times that we still feel afraid because you don’t know when a similar incident will strike again),” she said.

Those who are still stuck in evacuation centers lament the long wait for the promised housing units.

“Even though sinasabi nla na liberated na nga pero yung idea na wala ka pa rin sa bahay mo wala ka pa rin sa sinasabi mong home (Even though they say we have been liberated, we still don’t have houses we can call home)” said Agir.

According to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), debris clearing operations in the most affected area will begin this month.

By the end of October they expect to finally hold the long-awaited ground breaking ceremony of the city’s rehabilitation which will be led by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In the next few days we will see the deployment of heavy equipment, mga gamit na gagamitin sa (and materials needed for ) debris clearing in sectors 1&2,” TFBM field office manager. Asec. Felix Castro said.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the local government is grateful for all the assistance being given to them; however, they admit feeling frustrated by the slow progress of the rehabilitation efforts.

“Ako’y naiinip but at the same time naintindihan ko ang ating gobyerno. Ako po ay nasa gobyerno at alam ko ang proseso. Even sa local po yung pag iimplement natin ng mga projects dumadaan sa proseso (I am frustrated but at the same time I understand the government’s side. I am part of the government and I’m familiar with the process. Even in the local level, implementations of project go through a process),” he said.

At present, life in Marawi City is slowly returning to normal, particularly in Barangay Basak Malutlut where the battle began in May 2017. — Weng Fernandez

PNP names 8 suspects in PDEA agents ambush

Marje Pelayo   •   October 10, 2018

 Image courtesy of PNP Regional Office ARMM


LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – Eight suspects in the ambush of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agents in Kapai, Lanao del Sur on October 5 have already been  identified by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to a PNP spot report, the suspects are as follows:

1) Oscar Capal Gandawali,

2) Palawan Salem Macalabo,

3) Lala Lolo Amboloto,

4) Jamal Lolo Amboloto,

5) Mizangcad Panonde Gandawali,

6) Aiman Guro Gandawali,

7) Jamel Borar A.K.A Memekan,

8) William Gandawali

Cases of multiple murder and double frustrated murder have been filed against the suspects.

The group is believed to have links to a certain Comayog Macapagal of Tagoloan, Lanao Del Sur, who was among the drug personalities in the narcolist of Marawi City Police.

Macapagal was killed in a shootout with personnel from the Lanao Del Sur Provincial Police Office in a buy bust operation in Marawi City last August 8, 2018.

According to reports, Macapagal’s relatives have threatened to retaliate against government troops.

Macapagal’s nephew, Oscar Capal Gandawali, organized his close relatives to execute their revenge.

Below is the relationship of the suspects to Comayog Macapagal:

William Comayog Gandawali, the incumbent barangay chairman of Inudaran, Tagoloan ll, is Macapagal’s older brother.

Oscar Gandawali is the son of William Comayug Gandawali and a nephew of Macapagal.

Aiman Gandawali is the son of Macapagal and also William’s nephew.

Siblings Lala Lolo Amboloto and Jamal Lolo Amboloto; Palawan Salem Macalabo; and Mizangkad Panonde Gandawali are all nephews of Comayog Macapagal from another sibling.

Jamel Borar a.k.a. Memekan is a relative by affinity and an identified associate of Macapagal in illegal drugs trade.

The PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now conducting an investigation and massive intelligence operations to know the whereabouts of the suspects and two other unidentified personalities believed to also be next of kin. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)


Courtesy of PNP Regional Office ARMM

Lanao ambush on PDEA agents well-planned – PDEA Chief

Marje Pelayo   •   October 10, 2018

Director General Aaron Aquino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Director General Aaron Aquino of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said he is convinced that his men fell into a well-planned ambush.

He was referring to the incident in Lanao del Sur on Friday (October 4) that led to the death of five PDEA agents.

Aquino paid a visit on Tuesday to Agent Rachelle Gentepanan who was among the two survivors.

Gentepanan told the PDEA chief that one of the gunmen looked familiar.

“Isa lang ang very glaring na sinabi niya roon.  Actually may mga pictures na kami ng mga ambushers and nung napakita sa kanya, sinabi niya sa akin na identified niya yung dalawang ambushers na nandun sa program nung time na nandun sila Tagoloan.  So it’s mean na pinagplanuhan ito,” Aquino said citing Gentepanan’s testimony.

Aside from the possible involvement of local politicians in the incident, Aquino said they are also looking into the possibility of some policemen among the plotters.

“Kung ambush lang din ang kalaban bakit hindi inambush ang mga pulis? Maliban doon sabi nila mga short fire arm. Ikaw ba sa palagay mo sa mga ganung areas, mga remote areas. Nakacamouflage ka tapos ang dala mo short fire arms?” Aquino hinted.

The PDEA Chief said that they have requested a parallel investigation with the National Bureau of Investigation on the incident. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Marisol Montaño)



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