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Maute terrorists in Marawi City, weakening in force – AFP

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines —  The Maute terrorist group is now starting to weaken.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson BGen. Restituto Padilla explained one indication of this is the military’s recent success in pushing through previous strongholds of the terrorists like the bridges in Mapandi and Bangolo.

“They were not able to protect their controlled area that’s why their strongholds are declining. If they remain strong, the government would not have pushed through their strongholds,” said Padilla.

In line with this, government troops continue to advance to the hideout of the Maute terrorist group.

However, the AFP said the terrorists are now careful and are using traps and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Maute snipers and civilian hostages also hinder the government’s offensive against the terrorists.

“The intense firefight hinders our efforts to advance, to enter the area. These hindrances also include their use of IEDs, and snipers and other such tactics,” said the AFP spokesperson.

Padilla said the rebellion in Marawi City is now on its 107th day.

Although this has been the longest battle the soldiers have faced, the military is confident that the crisis in the city is already coming to an end.

“We are trying to end this clashes at the soonest possible time because what we want is to totally liberate the city of Marawi so that its residents could go back to their normal lives,” said Padilla.

As of current, the number of fatalities on the part of the government is at 145, while 649 were killed on the part of the Maute terrorist group. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & 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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Debt-ridden soldiers to undergo financial management seminar — AFP

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will conduct a financial management training for its members to prevent them from falling into debt traps.

AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said, an official directive was issued by AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. instructing that take-home pays of soldiers should not be lower than P15,000.

Arevalo explained that P15,000 is the minimum amount that will enable a soldier to lead a decent life. He also said that debt deductions from salaries will not be allowed if the soldier’s remaining take-home pay will amount to less than P15,000 after deduction.

Aside from limiting loan amortization deductions, the AFP will also train soldiers how to handle finances so that they will not get into the habit of borrowing money and drowning in debt.

According to Arevalo, the AFP is going for the holistic approach to ensure that the salary raise given to soldiers will be put to good use and not end up as payment for endless debts.

The directive comes on the heels of a report exposing the money problems of a number of policemen who are almost left with nothing during paydays due to numerous loan deductions.

Arevalo emphasized that soldiers must learn how to manage their income to and prevent them from mindlessly borrowing money without understanding their capacity to pay.

— Lea Ylangan | 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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