Philippine Air Force considered a game changer in Marawi war

UNTV News   •   November 7, 2017   •   7898

 

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

 

VP Robredo commemorates 3rd Marawi Siege anniversary

Maris Federez   •   May 23, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Community leaders survey damaged houses and buildings inside war-torn Marawi, Philippines January 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tom Allard

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday issued a statement commemorating the harrowing events of the Marawi Siege.

“Today, we mark the third anniversary of the Marawi Siege. To this day, the city lies in ruins, and its people’s lives are frozen in time. Many of its residents remain in temporary shelter communities,” Robredo said.

The vice president recalled how the city of Marawi has been suffering “even as we all face the challenges brought about by COVID-19.”

She recounts how events bring people to connect as one.

“The ongoing crisis should have by now made us realize: The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all. Magkakarugtong ang diwa at pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ang hamon sa isa ay hamon sa lahat; ang pagpapabaya sa isa ay pagpapabaya sa lahat; ang ginhawa at pag-angat ng mga nasa laylayan ay pag-angat ng lahat. Healing requires the entire nation to bring its resources to bear,” Robredo articulated.

“Let us also remember that temporary shelter communities pose an even more profound challenge given the virality of COVID-19. Any outbreak in these tightly-packed communities will increase the risk for all of us, and affect a public health system that is already under tremendous strain,” she added.

The vice president also touched on the forthcoming celebration of the Muslim holiday, Eid’l Fitr.

“A few days from now, we will celebrate Eid’l Fitr, a Muslim holiday whose message of compassion and inclusiveness should resonate with every Filipino regardless of creed. Three years of inaction and neglect in Marawi is a thousand days too long,” she said.

She also appealed on concerned authorities to fast track their actions to extend help to the people of Marawi.

“We call on all concerned agencies to accelerate their actions while exercising full transparency. Marawi is not merely a tragedy to be remembered; it is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved,” the vice president concluded. — /mbmf

PH Air Force, Navy to bring home COVID-19 laboratory equipment,PPEs from overseas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 22, 2020

The Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy are set to deliver much needed medical supplies for the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a post of the Department of Health, the Philippine Air Force’s C130 plane just landed at Shenzhen, China to pick up the BGI COVID-19 laboratory equipment.

The said equipment can do an estimate of 45,000 COVID-19 tests and is worth US$2.5 million.

“The Philippine Government, thru the grant assistance from the Asian Development Bank, secured these equipment to strengthen the testing capacity of the country,” the DOH said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD602) are en route to India from Oman to pick-up personal protective equipment (PPEs).

The PPEs are donated by a foreign private company in coordination with the Office of the Civil Defense.

“NTF 82 left Oman ensuring that no members exhibit COVID-19 symptoms as precautionary measures were earlier beefed up to keep the vessels virus-free. They are expected to reach Manila third week of May,” according to the Philippine Navy. AAC

PH military confirms preparations for possible enforcement of ‘martial law-like’ quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   April 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed a Philippine Air Force (PAF) document circulating online advising its personnel to prepare for the possible implementation of ‘martial law-like’ quarantine measures as earlier warned by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The memorandum dated April 17 directed unit commanders to prepare for strict implementation of a possible extensive enhanced community quarantine.

The memo further stated that the AFP will be the over all in-charge of roads and highways.

It also stated the need to request for a briefing from the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the legal and safety measures in dealing and engaging with pedestrians and motorists.

The memo leaked online a day after the president threatened to impose a ‘martial law-like’ crackdown following reports of increased public violation of quarantine protocols.

In a statement on Sunday, PAF spokesperson Aristides Galang Jr. said the internal memo was merely a preparatory move for the troops as normally done by the organization.

“The PAF is just anticipating of any scenarios in case the President, as Commander in Chief of the AFP, would decide to implement his statements lately to the public as earlier stated and prepare our troops in advance as normally done by the military organization in the past,” he said.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo also defended the order, saying this was just issued for the purpose of providing advance information to guide its personnel.

Arevalo assured that there is no reason to be alarmed over the order as it is just a “normal reaction” of the AFP to prepare and deploy when it becomes necessary.

“What we should all be alarmed about instead is the fact that a lot of people are blatantly violating the law and disobeying the rules and health protocols which MUST be strictly enforced —otherwise people die,” he said in a statement.

“Law-abiding citizens and those who follow the rules should not worry. There is no reason to be alarmed,” he added.

Based on the report from the PNP, around 130,177 quarantine violators have been apprehended from March 17 to April 18. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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