Military, police uncover NPA arms cache in Masbate

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021   •   445

MANILA, Philippines — Government troops have seized a bulk of war materiel in Masbate province as they continue to hunt down New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists.

On Monday (September 20), government authorities received information from residents in Aroroy about the suspicious materials left behind by the communist rebels in their area.

Responding to the tip-off, elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) immediately verified the report.

The troops were able to capture the following:
– one M16 rifle;
– two magazines;
– assorted ammunition;
– one plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate which is the primary component in making anti-personnel mines;
– a dynamite;
– one roll of detonating cord.

There were also some personal belongings along with the said arms haul.

Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, hailed the vigilance of the Masbateños for the discovery of the war materiel. The public cooperation just proves that the NPA can no longer hide even their firearms.

Meanwhile, Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said the capture of these firearms is a manifestation of the continuously deteriorating capabilities of the terrorist group especially in the province of Masbate.

“Iniiwan na lang nila ang mga armas nila kasi wala ng magbibitbit dahil kulang na ang kanilang mga miyembro gawa ng sunod-sunod na mass surrender sa Masbate. Muli naming pinapaalalahanan ang naiiwan pang mga miyembro ng komunistang terorista upang sila ay sumuko at magbagong buhay,” Almase said.

Police BGen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), commended the public’s support which makes the campaign of the government to make Masbate armed conflict-free attainable.

“Hindi po namin makakamit ang sunod-sunod na tagumpay na ito kung wala ang suporta ninyong mga Bicolano,” PBGen. Estomo concluded.

Alleged Daulah Islamiyah leader behind recent Cotabato bus blast killed in gov’t ops

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2022

An alleged leader of Daulah Islamiyah (DI) terrorist group, who was said to be behind the recent bombing of a passenger bus in North Cotabato, was killed in a manhunt operation over the weekend, the military said.

In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) said the suspect, identified as Norodin Hassan, alias Andot, was known as the emir for military affairs of the Daulah Islamiya.

He was neutralized during an operation conducted by the military and police in Barangay Tonganon, Carmen, North Cotabato on January 15, 2022. Three of his cohorts were also killed during the operation.

 The AFP said Hassan was the planner and perpetrator of the explosion inside a Mindanao Star Bus bombing in Aleosan on January 11, 2022. A five-year-old child was killed and six others were wounded during the incident.

Colonel Jovencio Gonzales, Commander of 602nd Infantry Brigade identified two other slain individuals as Abdonillah Hassan alias Don, and Abdonhack Hassan alias Abdon. The third one has yet to be identified.

The military said firearms and war materials were seized from the suspects, including a 7.62mm M14 Rifle, a caliber 30 M1 Garand Rifle, several rounds of ammunition and magazines of different calibers, analog cellphones, solar panels, ICOM radios, and other subversive documents with high intelligence value.

Since the last quarter of 2021, the AFP said the Joint Task Central neutralized several high-ranking Daulah Islamiyah personalities including Salahuddin Hassan, Emir of Daulah Islamiya – Philippines; alias Adsam, sub-leader of DI; and Asim Karinda alias Abu Azim, newly appointed emir of DI.

P1.1 million worth of shabu seized in Taguig City

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Around P1.1 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated in a series of operations in Taguig City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the PNP said police operatives conducted four successive operations, led by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Tuesday, January 11.

Initial report revealed that a tricycle driver identified as Halil Abo, 26, was arrested after two heat-sealed plastic sachets of shabu worth P173,400.00 were found in his possession.

An hour after, elements of the NCR Drug Enforcement Unit conducted a separate buy-bust operation leading to the confiscation of P515,440 worth of illegal drug and the arrests of drug suspects, Wynlove Buco, 38, and Eusebio Bahia Jr.,43.

Taguig City police also arrested 44-year old Raffy Lumenda, who was found with illegal drugs with a street value of P345,440.00.

Two individuals, identified as Alvin Co, 36, and Jessie Christopher Cruz, 38, were also nabbed for illegal drugs along MLQ St., Purok 5, Brgy. Lower Bicutan, Taguig City in another anti-illegal drugs operation conducted on the same day. Confiscated items were packs of suspected shabu worth P76,160.00.

PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos lauded police officers involved in the operation.

“Successive operations in a day—this is a feat. I thank the dedication of the police units involved. This huge amount of illegal drugs must be reflective of the network of narcotic operations that may be behind these cases,” he said.

“The next step is to identify the big fish,” he added.

PNP to monitor public safety as more schools resume limited in-person classes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it will implement a deployment plan within the vicinity of various campuses as more schools are set to resume limited face-to-face classes amid the rising cases of COVID-19.

The PNP issued the statement following the announcement of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) that it will push through with the Phase 2 of the limited in-person classes in higher education institutions (HEI) in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

CHED earlier said the Department of Health has allowed the in-person classes to commence on January 30 for HEIs located in areas under Alert Level 3, while universities and colleges under Alert Level 2 can begin anytime.

“We defer to the wisdom of CHED in allowing the limited resumption of face-to-face classes. Our primary duty is to make sure the minimum public health standards are strictly observed amid another spike of COVID-19 cases especially in areas under Alert Level 3,” PNP Chief General Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.

He said schools planning to resume limited physical classes should be prepared to welcome back the students, teachers and other non-teaching staff safely.

“These HEIs that are willing to reopen must assume the responsibility of complying with the health and safety protocols,” Carlos said.

Aside from the schools, the PNP said establishments surrounding educational institutions are also expected to begin receiving more customers or clients.

“Thus, they are reminded of the importance of implementing the minimum public health standards like temperature scanning before entry, observance of physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and non-acceptance of unvaccinated individuals if backed by a valid mandate,” it added.

The PNP also urged security officers from the private sector to work closely with the police to better control the gathering of people and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

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