PNP admits security problems in Sulu following twin blasts

Marje Pelayo   •   August 13, 2019   •   188

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

PNP appoints 6 senior officers to new posts

Robie de Guzman   •   September 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Oscar Albayalde has designated six senior police officials to new posts in another round of reorganization in the PNP leadership, police spokesperson BGen. Bernard Banac said Thursday.

In a press statement, Banac said Albayalde approved the new designations upon the recommendation of the PNP Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board.

The reorganization, triggered by the recent retirement of some PNP officers, will affect some key positions in the National Support Units and Police Regional Office, the police official said.

According to Banac, Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel Jr. is now the director of Police Regional Office 13; Brigadier General Gilberto Cruz will be the acting Director for Integrated Police Operations in Northern Luzon; and Brigadier General Alfred Corpus is the new director of Police Regional Office 12.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Omega Jireh Fidel was appointed director of the Engineering Service; Brigadier General Rey Lyndon Lawas was designated as director of the Training Service; and Colonel Ronnie Montejo was named acting director of Quezon City Police District.

Banac said the new designations take effect Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019.

AFP: Kin of Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group

The brother of an Abu Sayyaf leader was killed during an encounter with the military forces in Sulu on Tuesday (September 10).

The soldiers identified the neutralized terrorist as Nanz Sawadjaan, the younger brother of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

The 41st Infantry Battalion conducted a focused military operation in Sitio Tubig Pansol, Barangay Langhub, Patikul, Sulu.

They encountered 40 ASG members under Almujer Yadah, Ben Tattoh, and Apo Mike. The heavy firefight lasted for 20 minutes until the military was able to overrun the enemy encampment.

Two soldiers were injured during the encounter.

According to Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the troops are still conducting pursuit operations.

“Our troops remain persistent in tracking down and neutralizing the remaining terrorists in Sulu,” he said.

“The successful operations of our troops are also attributed to the local community who feeds information, directing our troops to the terrorists’ location,” he added.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Suicide bombing rocks Indanan, Sulu

UNTV News   •   September 8, 2019

A bomb exploded anew in the municipality of Indanan, Sulu on Sunday (September 8) afternoon.

An unidentified suicide bomber attacked a military detachment in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu at 5:45pm.

Troops from the 351B Battalion immediately proceeded to the area for possible reinforcement. They were promptly followed by intelligence operatives for initial investigation.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said in a statement that the attacker was a long-haired foreign looking woman based on the recovered mutilated head. However, the recovered dismembered hand resembles that of a man.

The report further adds that the bomber was wearing an abaya attire, a full-length outer garment traditionally worn by some Muslim women.

Apart from the suspect, no other casualties were reported.

The WestMinCom assured that government forces will continue peace and security efforts to prevent hostile acts that may “disrupt the peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region.”

The bombing comes on the heels of yesterday’s blast in Sultan Kudarat where an improvised explosive device went off at a public market in Isulan, injuring seven people.

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