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Soldiers mistakenly kill 6 cops in Samar encounter

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Bodies of cops accidentally killed by members of Philippine Army 87IB Charlie Coy in a chance-encounter in Villareal, Samar (June 25) Photo courtesy of Lope Erasca Cebreros III. Courtesy: Lope erasca cebreros III.

 

SAMAR Island, Philippines – Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 87IB Charlie Coy mistakenly killed six police officers as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area of Villarreal, Samar on Monday night (June 25).

Nine other cops were injured in the encounter, said Major-General Raul Farnacio, who called the incident “unfortunate.”

Farnacio, in a statement, said the AFP is coordinating with Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a joint AFP-PNP investigation on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“As we sincerely condole with the families of our brothers in the PNP, we assure the bereaved families that appropriate actions will be taken if there be any lapses committed in either sides. This is to ensure that the incident will not happen again,” the military officer added. – Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

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Armed groups urged to give way for relief operations in Samar

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

 

 

Department of Social Welfare and Development’s relief operations in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar

SAMAR, Philippines — The Office of the Civil Defense Region 8 calls on armed groups in typhoon-hit areas in Samar to give way for humanitarian activities and for relief goods to reach the affected residents.

According to the data from the OCD-8, a total of 16 municipalities in Northern Samar; four in Samar and four in Eastern Samar were hugely affected.

“Isa iyon sa challenges natin. May mga instances noong una nga noong nag-distribute tayo. Sa ating mga kaibigan na andun sa Lope de Vega nakikiusap po kami na sana tulungan nyo po para sa relief operation ng DSWD makapasok po sila para sa ating mga kababayan po doon,” appealed information officer, Rayden Cabrigas of OCD-Region 8.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) already delivered 4,800 food packs to two hard-hit areas.

Meanwhile, the agency decided not to disclose the next date of delivery and the target destination in consideration for the safety of the relief workers.

Meanwhile, Major General Raul Farnacio of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army command encourages the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Samar to go down and coordinate with the military in case they wanted to help in the humanitarian efforts in the affected areas.

“Hopefully may humanitarian consideration pa itong mga armadong NPA kasi nga naman more on disaster response tayo wag naman sanang maging abala itong grupo nato at maraming nasalanta tayong mga kababayan sa northern samar if ever kung gusto nilang bumaba at tumulong gusto nilang tumulong sa masa ay sumama silang magdistribute ng relief goods,” Farnacio said.

The military has mobilized two battalions for the government’s humanitarian efforts while another is placed on standby to serve as augmentation force when necessary. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Archyl Egano)

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AFP condemns mall blast in Cotabato City; eyes terrorists links

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

CCTV footage of bombing at South Seas Mall in Magallanes Street, Cotabato City

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is looking at terrorist involvement in the bombing incident in a mall in Cotabato City on Monday (December 31).

In a statement, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said though they consider the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and its breakaway group Daulah Islamiyah as “the ones with the wicked desire to sow terror and inflict harm to innocent civilians,” the military does not discount “the possibility of other interest groups aligned with the same evil intentions to be involved.”

Two individuals were confirmed dead while 34 others were injured in a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) found at the baggage counter of South Seas Mall in Magallanes Street, Cotabato City.

Investigation is underway. – Marje Pelayo

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REPASO 2018: Dengvaxia scare, communist terrorism and the Martial Law

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

The trauma of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine has caused the government the public’s trust to its other vaccination programs.

Measles cases in the country soared by more than 300% last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This was because of the public’s fear of having the same fate as the alleged Dengvaxia vaccinees whose death remain uncertain to this day, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

“There is a significant drop in the confidence of our people in the immunization program of the DOH from 92% to measly 33%. Ang laki ng bagsak talaga,” Duque said.

It was a “lesson learned the hard way”, the DOH said, referring to the impact of the Dengvaxia controversy.

That’s why the agency wants to change how the public views of the agency.

 

A hearing on the controversial dengue vaccine

“Kung mag-i-introduce ka ng new health program, mag-i-introduce ka ng bagong bakuna,  bagong intervenyion kailangan talaga pag- aralan mo. Kailangan kompleto talaga ang iyong ebidensya. Kailangan alam mo ang magiging resulta. You have to communicate it properly doon sa mga recipients, kailangan naitindinhan din ng recipients kung ano iyong tinatanggap nila,” explained Health Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

But aside from the health concerns, the government also faced challenges in security this year.

President Rodrigo Duterte once again requested Congress to extend the declaration of Martial Law in the province of Mindanao for another year or until December 31, 2019.

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_110117_Marawi City

FILE PHOTO: Marawi City ruins (UNTV News)

According to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the extension is needed as terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF), Daulah Islamiya and other terrorist groups sowing fear in the region.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that Mindanao is still in the midst of rebellion,” Medialdea said.

Several lawmakers opposed the proposal but later on, martial law was extended for the third time in Mindanao since it was declared on May 2017 when the Maute terror group conquered Marawi City.

The communist New People’s Army (NPA) also remains a challenge to the Philippine government.

 

FILE PHOTO: New People’s Army in formation

The military revealed an alleged ‘Red October’ plot, an oust-Duterte movement allegedly formed by the communist rebels backed by opposition groups.The two groups denied the allegations but according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), they have recovered documents in some encounters with NPA proving that they were plotting a destabilization against the government.

Meanwhile, the government did not declare a ceasefire this year even after the communist group announced their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire.

According to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) they did not recommend to reciprocate the communists’ ceasefire declaration because leftists were not sincere of their intention and they would just use the ceasefire to strengthen their arms.

Meanwhile, a resolution was submitted to Congress calling the President to revive the peace negotiations with the Reds.

But the President remained cold towards the proposed resumption of peace talks.

Instead, he said he preferred to create a hit squad to match the NPA’s sparrow unit.

“So mag-create ako ng sparrow (unit), Duterte death squad against the sparrow,” the President said.

In December, the President issued Executive Order 70 which created a National Task Force tasked to eliminate the rebel group.

This, despite the continuous surrender of NPA members in different parts of the country through the efforts of military on localized peace talks. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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