PH Air Force receives last batch of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021   •   316

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Air Force has completed its fleet of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

In a statement, the AFP said the third and final batch of choppers have been delivered and turned over to the Philippine Air Force.

The formal acceptance and turnover of five additional helicopters was held at the Clark Air Base on Friday, December 3.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Andres Centino led the ceremony, which was also witnessed by other military and government officials.

The AFP said the five helicopters were part of the total 16 units ordered by the military.

The first batch of six was delivered in November 2020 while the other five received in October this year, it added.

The S-70i Black Hawk helicopters are being used in transporting COVID-19 vaccine supplies to far-flung and hard to reach areas in the country.

These units are also being used to support various military missions, including quick response for humanitarian aid.

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.

Former AFP chief Abadia passes away

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Lisandro Abadia has passed away, the military said Monday.

In a statement, the AFP extended its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Abadia.

“General Abadia served as the CSAFP in the early ‘90s and has paved the way for the professionalization of the military and the return of meritocracy in its promotion system,” the AFP said.

“He also led the AFP Campaign Plan ‘Lambat Bitag’ that significantly decreased the strength of the communist terrorist group,” it added.

Abadia led the AFP from April 1991 to April 1994.

He was a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1962.

The AFP said appropriate military honors will be provided in recognition of the former Chief of Staff’s legacy and sacrifices as a soldier and head of the military.

“Again, we send our deep condolences and sympathies to his family,” it said.

AFP chief Centino tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Andres Centino has contracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the military said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP said Centino tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

The military did not disclose whether Centino is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

“General Centino is now in an approved isolation facility within Camp Aguinaldo where he will continue to perform his job, albeit in quarantine,” the AFP said.

“He remains in full command of the AFP, supervising all units in carrying out their assigned tasks through all allowed and available means,” it added.

The military said Centino is viewing this situation as an opportunity to remind its personnel to “constantly practice safety measures and follow health protocols to prevent the spread of this disease.”

“The AFP continues to advocate the preservation of our force so that we can effectively perform our mandate to protect the people and secure the state,” it added.

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