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Maute group’s capabilities “significantly degraded” — AFP

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, June 17th, 2017

FILE PHOTO: AFP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) does not deny the possibility that some Maute-ISIS terrorist group members were able to escape Marawi City and have gone to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro.

According to reports, some Maute members may have blended in with the evacuees during the first weeks of the clashes.

However, the military is confident that these individuals can no longer launch attacks or sow great havoc in other places.

“Safe to say, I can tell you, they don’t have the capacity to do what they have done in Marawi anymore,” AFP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said in a press briefing.

“Their capabilities have significantly degraded and they have specifically targeted Marawi to sow terror,” he added.

Meanwhile, the military has launched proactive security measures and has been coordinating with local government units.

The military also calls on the public to remain alert and vigilant against suspicious-looking persons and things to prevent enemies from carrying out their evil plans.

Meanwhile, the military also reminds those who are planning to distribute assistance and relief efforts to the residents of Marawi city to coordinate with the local government units before going to the conflict area.

This is after reports that the military allegedly prevented some left-leaning lawmakers from conducting their humanitarian assistance in Marawi City.

“We don’t want anyone getting hit by any of these stray bullets if they go to Marawi itself. So in the interest of safety, we have been working closely with local government and its social welfare arm and health arm to provide the services needed by the evacuees, without necessarily having other people from the outside expose to danger,” explained Padilla. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

 

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NPA ‘sorry’ for attack in Surigao del Norte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2018

MANILA, Philippines —  “Sorry sa pagkakamali ng tropa (Sorry the troop’s mistake).”

This was the statement released by Rino “Ka Oto” Colaste, spokesperson of Guerilla Front 16 of the New People’s Army for the attack last week in Barangay Lahi, Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte that killed one and injured two others.

The incident last Wednesday, April 18, killed Jepti Acido, a pastor of Jehovah’s Witnesses while two of his companions were wounded.

“Ka Oto” said they are conducting their own investigation on the incident to find out why their men attacked civilians instead of the military in the area.

The Guerrilla Front 16 vowed to shoulder the needs of the victims’ families but the Armed Forces of the Philippines said no amount of money can pay the loss and damages the group has caused.

“Hindi mababayaran ng pera. Hindi mababayaran ng kahit anong bagay ang buhay ng isang tao. Iyon ang ikinalulungkot namin,” said Capt. Al Anthony Pueblas, Spokesperson of 402nd Infantry Brigade, PA.

(Money cannot redeem what happened. Nothing can equal the value of a human life. It’s what saddens us.)

Meanwhile, Gigaquit Mayor Elvira Egay condemned the attack.

“The attack on non-combatants was uncalled for and a clear violation of human rights,” said Mayor Egay in a statement.

The AFP is now preparing for the charges to be filed against the rebels.

“Meron na tayong coordination sa kapulisan. At the same time para serve po natin sa family noong victim ang justice na hinihingi nila, of course, iyon ding pagpasa ng kaso doon sa mga NPA na may gawa nito,” Capt. Pueblas said.

(We are coordinating with the police. At the same time we are filing charges against the NPA rebels behind the incident so that the victim’s family can have the justice they’ve been clamoring for.) — Raymond Octobre | UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

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1 dead, 2 injured in suspected NPA attack in Surigao Del Norte

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

A Jehovah’s Witnesses pastor was killed and two others were injured when suspected members of the New People’s Army attacked Barangay Lahi in the town of Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte on Wednesday.

The religious minister was identified as Jepti Asido, 32, while the wounded were identified as Virgil Ortiz and Abner Malaque, residents of Barangay Villafranca.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines condemned the attack.

“Sana mag-sorry sila doon sa family. Akalain mo ng dahil doon sa balak nilang i-harass ang barangay at iniisip nilang makaka-score sila sa army, pinagbabaril nila iyong tatlo. That is (not) accident. That is plain murder,” said BGen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the Commander of the 402nd Infantry Bridage of the Philippine Army.

(I hope they apologize to the family. Because of their plan to harass the village in order to score against the army, they gunned down the three victims. That is [not] an accident. That is plain murder.)

According to Gacal, Jepti’s group was supposed to hold a meeting in Barangay Lahi when they were ambushed by the rebels.

Gacal said they suspect that the ambush was intended for the military troops in the area. He added that such cowardly act implies that the rebel group is not taking the government’s offer of peace seriously.

“Dapat hindi nila ginagalaw ang mga sibilyan. Hindi nila sinusunog o sinisira ang mga private properties. Iyan ang kasunduan so in this instance, nag-violate na naman sila,” Gacal added.

(They should not touch the civilians. They shouldn’t be burning or breaking private properties. That was the agreement, so in this instance, they violated again.)

Prior to Wednesday’s ambush, some rebel militants also stormed Police Station 5 in Butuan City last week. — Raymond Octobre | UNTV News & Rescue

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Recto pushes for live-streaming of Boracay and Marawi rehab

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Senator Ralph Recto

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto called on the government to live stream the Boracay environmental clean-up drive and the Marawi rehabilitation efforts.

He said the proposal is to promote transparency in these two big-budget government projects ensuring that the budget, time and the specifications are followed.

Under the Project DIME, or Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation, drones, satellites and other technologies will monitor the development of these projects. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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