Military encounters with ASG in Sulu leave 15 dead, 24 injured
Marje Pelayo • November 19, 2018 • 4394
SULU, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) admits that terrorism remains a threat.
This is the reason why the military is not stopping at finding ways to solve the problem especially in Sulu, which until now remains a stronghold of the bandits the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“Noong last briefing namin sa Maynila ang talagang inaano ko doon na Sulu talaga ang medyo ang isa sa malaking problema natin. We are gaining headway in Tawi-Tawi also in Basilan but still as I’m saying dahil nga ang Sulu ay isa sa mga far flung island natin. Iyon ang isa sa mga challenges natin na sinabi naming sa WestMinCom (na) we have to solve,” said AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr.
On Sunday, Galvez visited the soldiers who are members of the Joint Task Force in Camp General Navarro Hospital in Zamboanga City who were injured in two separate encounters on Friday and Saturday.
They were accorded with the Wounded Soldier’s Medal and cash assistance.
Based on the military’s latest count of casualties, there were 5 soldiers killed in action and 24 wounded in action in the encounters.
Meanwhile, ten people were killed on the part of the rebels.
“Ibig sabihin malapitan. Kapag malapitan ang firefight so ang laki talaga ng probability ng casualty. Nakita naman natin lumaban ang ating mga sundalo,” said Galvez.
The AFP assures that their intensified operations will continue in order to rescue the remaining six hostages of the ASG.
Four of them are Filipinos and two foreigners including a Dutch and Vietnamese national. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) created a Board of Inquiry that will revise their respective operational procedures following the fatal shooting in Jolo, Sulu.
According to PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa, one of their main focus will be the cooperation and expansion of their interoperability including the various tactical approaches depending on the security situation in the shooting area.
“To determine operational lapses and how we can improve our operational procedures both the AFP and the PNP,“ the PNP Chief.
Meanwhile, all nine cops involved in the incident were supposed to go to Camp Crame but the trip was deferred.
One of them contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and is now undergoing quarantine in isolation but still has to take the swab test for confirmation.
But Gamboa assured that they will be sent to the headquarters anytime this week by Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) Director PBGen. Manuel Abu.
“Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na: ‘You will go to Crame para ma-diffuse iyong tension and then expect kung ano ang sasabihin ng NBI, hindi ako makikialam.’ So kung meron liable sa inyo, so be it,” Gamboa said.
[I told them: ‘You will go to Crame to diffuse the tension and expect that whatever the NBI says, I will not intervene.’ If anyone is liable, then so be it.]
“So for the meantime, you will be under the custody ng Philippine National Police” he added.
Gamboa said the President emphatically ordered the PNP to make sure those responsible in the incident will be penalized while the Chief Executive toned down when it came with the Philippine Army.
“Alam nya na may mga sintimiyento lalo na [He knows that there are sentiments especially] on the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Gamboa said.
“Sabi pa nga nya, kayo kung ano ang gusto nyong gawin ay pwede nyong gawin but you still have to ponder whether it will do good to the public o to the community [He even said, you just do whatever you want but you still have to ponder whether it will do good to the public or to the community],” he concluded. —MNP (with inputs from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Backdoor entry through the Philippines southern border has made the country susceptible to threats from foreign terrorists.
Thus, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been working with its neighboring countries Indonesia and Malaysia to further strengthen its border security.
In 2017, the three countries entered into an agreement coined as ‘INDOMALPHI’ or Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines Trilateral Cooperative Agreement which commits the three nations to securing common borders.
“If ever there are reports from let’s say Indonesia or Malaysia that they going here, they have to share that information (to prevent entry of terrorists),” explained AFP Chief of Staff General Noel Clement.
“The same is true also if we have reports that we have fighters that are coming here and going to their respective countries,” he added.
The AFP admits, however, that the lack of floating assets of its naval arm – the Philippine Navy – gives foreign terrorists the chance to penetrate the country’s territories like the suicide bombers in the Sulu attack.
Worse, these terrorists teach their local counterparts how to create explosives and execute their plans, according to Clement.
“Ang kanilang intention bakit sila nandito is para makapag-conduct ng kanilang mga terroristic activities particular ang pagbobomba (Their intentions for entering our territory include conducting terrorist activities particularly bombings),” the official said.
“Hindi natin dapat payagan ito because kapag naisagawa nila yung kanilang mga hangarin na ito ay maraming mape-perwisyo at madadamay, (We won’t allow that because if they succeed in their plans, many people will suffer),” he added.
The ‘INDOMALPHI” is conducting joint maritime exercises aimed at strengthening capabilities against sea-jacking, piracy, smuggling and other illegal activities at sea.
Meanwhile, the AFP also tapped the support of the fishing industry in ZAMBASULTA area to augment as force multipliers in guarding and protecting the waters within the Philippine territorial jurisdiction. – MNP (with details from Dante Amento)
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) presented to the media on Tuesday (June 11) six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were arrested in separate operations last month.
The NBI said that the six were arrested in Taguig City, Balanga City in Bataan, and Zamboanga City on May 16 and 20.
NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said, “the six arrested were involved in various terrorist activities, ranging from ambush, kidnap for ransom, bombing in Southern Philippines, and recruitment of other members.”
He added that the arrest stemmed from the intelligence reports that they gathered and have led them to the whereabouts of Azmier Maalum in Taguig City.
The joint operations of the NBI, the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) had led to the arrest of Maalum, along with Amar Assan, Musa Tahil Sampang, Jamil Ibrahim, Yong Aming, and Majuk Tahil Amil.
Maalum has several warrants of arrest for eight counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention of Golden Harvest plantation workers in Basilan in 2001, while Sampang was involved in several bombing incidents also in Basilan.
The NBI said the six had been recruiting members in Metro Manila. (with reports from April Cenedoza) /mbmf
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