PNP admits security problems in Sulu following twin blasts

Marje Pelayo   •   August 13, 2019   •   327

The scene outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu after twin explosions ripped through it on January 27, 2019. | Courtesy of WestMinCom

SULU, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar Albayalde admits there are security concerns in Sulu after the recent twin blasts in Patikul, Sulu.

Albayalde said that though the military and police are on high alert in the area, they still need the cooperation of the members of the community to combat terrorism.

“Talagang may problema tayo dyan sa lugar na yan and talagang merong nakakasingit sa mga ganyang insidente especially so kung talagang determined yung enemies of the state kung tawagin natin kaya talagang we have to be vigilant (We really have problems in that area and there really are such incidents. So if the enemies of the state are really determined, we have to be vigilant),” Albayalde said.

“We have to be alert always. Very important po ang participation ng community dito. Napaka importante ng impormasyon na ibibigay ng community dito para maubos at matigil na ang insidente na ito sa ating bayan (The information that we get from the community is very important to eliminate and curb [terrorism] in our country),” he added.

One soldier was wounded in the twin explosion that took place in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday (August 13). – with details from Lea Ylagan

Doctor kidnapped by armed men in Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2020

A doctor has been kidnapped by armed men from his clinic in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday (February 5).

Authorities are still investigating which group abducted Dr. Daniel Moreno who is a public servant treating local residents in Jolo, Sulu.

Based on the investigation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, four men in camouflage entered Moreno’s clinic in Barangay Walled City past 7:00 p.m. The men forced the doctor to board a red Tamaraw FX.

“Nakasuot ito ng military at PNP uniforms kung kaya’t siguro mas napadali iyong kanilang execution. Tayo po ay naniniwala na matagal na nilang sinu-surveillance at minamatyagan itong doctor na ito, (They were wearing military and PNP uniforms so the execution was easier for them. We believe they have long been monitoring this doctor),” according to Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Major Arvin John Encinas.

Authorities are currently determining the motive of the kidnapping and if the Abu Sayyaf Group is involved in the said incident.—AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

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No PNP Chief yet? Duterte threatens to take over

Marje Pelayo   •   November 29, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and former National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (R) during the 117th Philippine National Police (PNP) police service anniversary in Quezon city, Philippines, 08 August 2018. EPA-EFE/STR

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has not decided yet as to who will assume the position vacated by former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, retired General Oscar Albayalde.

The President said he is carefully assessing the credentials of potential candidates to head the country’s main law enforcement arm.

Without an honest, corruption-free man to assume the job, the Chief Executive hinted on taking over the PNP.

“Ang akin, (for me) if they have even a single case of corruption, wala na, (it’s a no), you’re out,” the President warned.

“I would rather not appoint anybody for that matter. Ako na ang hahawak noon (I will take over). I will be the one directing the guidance and direction,” he added.

The President previously said he wants to be conscientious in choosing the next chief of the national police following controversies that tainted the credibility of Albayalde in relation to his alleged involvement with the so-called ninja cops or drug recycling issue that compelled him to resign.

President Duterte acknowledged, meanwhile, that there are a lot of things within the PNP that needs improvement and overhaul.

“But verily itong pulis maraming problema, pati generals nila kasali sa droga (Verily I say these policemen are the problems themselves, even their generals are involved in drugs),” the Chief Executive noted.

“Iyan ang ayaw ko diyan, pati generals. Hindi lumabas iyan hanggang hindi ako naging president (That’s what I hate, that even the generals [are involved]. Not until I became president that this was exposed),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

6 alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu encounter – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in two separate clashes with the military in Sulu over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said.

On Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2:40 p.m., government troops first encountered ASG members in Sitio Itum in Barangay Kabbuntakas in Patikul, Sulu.

One ASG fighter identified as “Jailade” was killed while four others were wounded in the firefight which lasted for 45 minutes.

Five soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion, who were slightly wounded in the gunfight were brought to the Camp Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo for medical treatment.

The second encounter between the ASG and military occurred on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Sitio Huton Mahablo, Barangay Silangkan in Indanan, Sulu.

The 30-minute battle resulted in the death of five bandits, including Sibih Pisih, an alleged sub-group leader of the ASG under its top leader Radullan Sahiron.

“Sibih Pisih is one of the original subgroup leaders of the ASG before the group was split into Sahiron and Sawadjaan Group,” the AFP Westmincom said in a statement.

Sibih Pisih was said to be behind the kidnapping incidents in the boundaries of Tawi-tawi and Sabah, and has a pending warrant of arrest for the killing of 22 civilians in Talipao, Sulu in 2014.

Soldiers recovered from the bandits an M653 Rifle, a Barret Sniper Rifle, and a Cal.45 Pistol.

Two Special Forces members were slightly wounded during the armed encounter and are now being treated at the military hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

The AFP said it is now working on identifying three of the slain ASG bandits.

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