Philippine Air Force considered a game changer in Marawi war

UNTV News   •   November 7, 2017   •   7552

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force has played a vital role in the Marawi siege.

The military unit is considered a game changer as it contributed a lot in killing terrorists through air strikes, among others.

“Without them, I believe we cannot really win Marawi City. It’s really a game changer. We saw that the Philippine Air Force played a very vital role in terms of turning tide and stealing the fear and the will to fight ng Maute ISIS ay na-destroy,” Western Mindanao Command Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

“Kung wala ang game changers ng Philippine Air Force, this siege may take longer, probably another 6 months because it would just be pure ground fighting (Without the game changers of the Philippine Air Force, this siege would have taken longer, probably another 6 months because it would just be pure ground fighting),” AFP Former Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said.

One of the pilots of UH-1H helicopters of the Philippine Airforce refused to face the camera because of security concerns.

He played a significant role in transporting wounded soldiers in the fight in Marawi City.

“Pagka naisakay sa chopper, nasa amin na ang buhay ng isang wounded. So ikaw bilang piloto, nandoon na ‘yung drive mo, hindi lang piloto, lahat ng air crew na nandoon sa chopper, kasama na ang medical team, paano niyo maisalba ang buhay noon na madagdagan pa buhay niya (When the wounded boards the chopper, his life is now in our hands. So as the pilot, the same goes for all the crew and medical team present, your drive should be there — save the wounded and extend his life),” said the UH-1H pilot.

The job of a forward air controller is another sensitive post. He is the direct contact of the pilot regarding the location of their enemies.

“As a controller on the ground, it is more dangerous because, before the delivery of the bomb, we are stationed at the minimum safe distance from the ammunition,” said, a forward controller who declined to be named.

A soldier who asked to be called “Blaster” also performed a crucial task in the fight as an explosive ordinance disposal personnel.

“Ginamit nila kami to reach the wall para sila maka-penetrate sa area. Kasi nagkaroon ng labanan na building to building ang pagitan. Ganoon ka-delikado(They used us to reach the wall to penetrate the area because a fight erupted that was building to building in distance. It was that dangerous),” Blaster said.

“Before papasok ang assault team ng army, kailangan ma-clear muna namin ang dadaanan nila(Before the army’s assault team enters, we should first clear their way),” he added.

The three soldiers were among the over 1,000 Philippine Air Force personnel who fought in Marawi.

Two hundred of the airmen who arrived earlier were given a Heroes’ Welcome in Villamor Air Base Pasay City.

The soldiers were given medals in recognition of their gallantry.

Not single personnel from the Air Force died in the five-month battle.

Meanwhile, the soldiers’ families are so thankful to finally reunite with them.

“Normal sa isang asawa mo sundalo, pangalawa lang kami. Kumbaga, iyon ang first priority niya (It’s normal for a wife of a soldier to take second place in his priorities.  His duty is his first priority),” said Blaster’s wife.

“Nakakalungkot lang ang mga nawalan ng sundalo din, iyong mga namatay (It’s sad that some soldiers have been killed).  Kaya sabi ko, salamat, hindi kasali ang asawa ko (That’s why I thought, ‘Thank God, my husband is not one of them’),” she added. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Paredes named as new PH Air Force chief

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2020

Major General Allen Paredes

MANILA, Philippines – Major General Allen Paredes has been designated as the new commanding general of the Philippine Air Force.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Paredes’ appointment paper on Wednesday. He will replace retiring Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez.

In his letter to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Duterte said Paredes will take over the post effective Friday, January 17, the date of Briguez’s retirement.

Prior to his designation as chief of the Philippine Air Force, Paredes served as the wing commander of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing from February 2016 to July 2018.

He was the commander of PAF’s Air Logistics Command, and served as Air Staff chief from July 2018 to February 2019.

Paredes is a member of Philippine Military Academy’s Maringal Class of 1988.

Philippine Air Force to receive 2 AH-1S cobra choppers from Jordan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 29, 2019

(FILE) A Pakistani Army AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter flies over Kund mountain near Kotkai village in South Waziristan, 29 October 2009. EPA/NICOLAS ASFOURI

The Philippine Airforce (PAF) is set to add two high-end combat Bell AH-1S “Cobra” helicopters which are donated by the Jordanian government.

In a statement on Thursday (November 28), the PAF said the two-blade, single-engine attack helicopters already arrived in Clark Airbase, Pampanga on November 26.

The said attack helicopters, the PAF said, will be used primarily for close air support in internal security and counter-terrorism operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“These new assets, which are equipped with guns and rockets, will immensely help our troops on the ground and enhance the overall capability of the Philippine Air Force,” according to Department of National Defense (DND) Spokesperson Director Arsenio R. Andolong.

He also expressed optimism on the stronger defense cooperation between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Jordan.—AAC

Another year of martial law in Mindanao? Drilon says ‘No’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said it is time for the government to lift the martial law being enforced in the Mindanao region.

“We cannot tolerate an ‘unli’ martial law. The continued placing of Mindanao under martial law would set a dangerous precedent, not to mention its economic and social implications,” Drilon said in a statement.

The whole of Mindanao region has been under military rule since the local Maute terrorist group laid siege on Marawi City in 2017.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. on Tuesday said he would recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.

But for Drilon, it has been “too long” since martial law was declared in the region.

“Is martial law now the new norm in Mindanao?” he asked.

Drilon explained that under Section 18 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President is allowed to place any part of the country under martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days.

He said the framers of the Constitution understood the danger of a prolonged martial law, hence the 60-day limit and a regular review by Congress are clearly provided in the Constitution.

The same section provides that “upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”

But Drilon said there is nothing that shows actual rebellion and armed uprising in the region to justify the extension.

He noted that even Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said she was considering asking that her city be exempted from the declaration of martial law.

The lawmaker called on the government’s security cluster to study the situation and “consider the dangerous mindset that the continued declaration of martial law in Mindanao may give rise to.”

“There is no perpetual martial law. There must be an end to this. As I said before, martial law is like an antibiotic, and antibiotic, when used excessively, becomes ineffective,” he said.

The Department of National Defense earlier said that evaluations and consultations are ongoing on whether to extend or lift the martial law in Mindanao.

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