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Monday, November 13, 2017

NPA seizes 2 cops in Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Suspected communist rebels are believed to be holding 2 policemen who were seized by gunmen in a daring broad daylight assault in the southern Philippines, police said Tuesday.
Police said armed members of the New People’s Army arrived in two vans and abducted PO2 John Paul Doberte and his partner PO2 Alfredo Degamon Jr. while guarding their post in Placer town in Surigao del Norte province on Monday afternoon.
The vans, believed to have been stolen by the rebels, were abandoned and recovered by pursing policemen on a village called Mabini, also in Placer. The fate of the policemen remains unknown.
The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, did not issue any statement on the abduction of Doberte and Degamon. The rebels had previously abducted policeman and soldiers and branded them as prisoners of war as part of their propaganda to show that they are still a force to reckon with.
Rebel leaders have repeatedly warned that they will strike hard against government forces after President Rodrigo Duterte scrapped peace talks with the communist group due to the NPA’s continued attacks in the country.
Just recently, rebels also killed a policeman in Duterte’s hometown of Davao after attacking him in the village of New Valencia in Tugbok district. The victim was travelling on a motorcycle when attacked by the NPA. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Philippines hands over recovered Vietnamese sailors to ministry officials



Philippine military photos show Vietnamese sailors Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc and Nguten Quang Huy while being presented by Rear Admiral Rene Medina, of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, to Nguyen Duc Bien, of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who flew to Zamboanga to receive the crew members of MV Giang Hai 5 who were recovered by Filipino soldiers on November 10, 2017 on the island of Languyan in Tawi-Tawi province. (Mindanao Examiner)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine military on Sunday handed over to Vietnam three of its kidnapped citizens recovered by troops on the remote southern province of Tawi-Tawi.
It also turned over the remains of another kidnapped Vietnamese sailor Nguyin Huu Trong who allegedly died in captivity due to a lingering illness. The trio - Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc and Nguten Quang Huy - were presented by Rear Admiral Rene Medina, the regional navy commander, to Nguyen Duc Bien, of the Consular Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who flew to Zamboanga to receive the sailors.
The three men were crew members of the cargo ship MV Giang Hai 5 kidnapped along with over a dozen others in February while sailing off Sulu Archipelago. They are expected to be presented to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc who is in Manila for the ASEAN summit. 
Journalists were not invited to the handover of the sailors at the Western Mindanao Command and security officials also did not provide details of the so-called special operations launched by the military on Friday on Languyan Island that resulted in the recovery of the Vietnamese.
But Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said marines and navy forces were involved in the operations. “Through the operations conducted by our marines and navy, we successfully recovered the Vietnamese hostages off Tawi-Tawi waters, and we mean to intensify our offensives to pressure the bandits to yield,” he said in a statement released the same day the hostages had been freed.
It was unknown whether the sailors had been freed in exchange for ransom or not. No one among the officials gave details of the “special operations”, but there had been no report either of clashes between security and Abu Sayyaf forces on the island. There was no report of any arrest made by soldiers.
Two of the crewmen were also killed by the Abu Sayyaf while attempting to escape during the hijacking while the rest had been recovered by soldiers. The recovery of the sailors coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Vietnam for the APEC summit. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding 7 foreigners and 9 Filipinos. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

ARMM mayors delighted with good governance awards

COTABATO CITY - Local government executives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are delighted with good governance awards they received from the national government.
This came after they were informed that the ARMM leadership’s drive to promote good governance among its local government units (LGUs) has yielded significant results this year, with 19 municipalities and one city in the region conferred with the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG). In 2015, not one LGU in the ARMM passed the Seal’s criteria. Last year, only six of the region’s over a hundred LGUs were given recognition.
“This is the result of our hard work and commitment in order to provide better services to our constituents,” said Mayor Hanie Bud of Maluso in Basilan, which received its first good governance award this year. 
This achievement is the latest in a series of breakthroughs the regional government has achieved in recent years under the Hataman administration. These include passing the national Good Governance Conditions at the regional level in 2015 for the first time in the ARMM’s history.
“Actually, this is also a challenge for us in Maluso, we still need to work hard for us to sustain the award in the following years,” Mayor Bud added, noting that the key in receiving this award is transparency. “Dapat transparent ang LGU sa kanilang mga constituents, at ibigay ang nararapat para sa kanila.”
The municipality of Parang in Maguindanao has been consistent in receiving awards. It has received good governance recognition from in 2011 to 2014. “The people of Parang deserve this award, this is for them,” Mayor Ibrahim Ibay said. “At first, it was really challenging, but because we want the best in our municipality, we want to be recognized, we strive hard to earn this recognition.”
He reiterated that his municipality is strictly implementing the Department of the Interior and Local Government's (DILG’s) core areas. “We will put up a sanitary landfill, dun mapupunta ang incentive award namin this year,” he added. All LGUs conferred with SGLG this year will also receive a cash reward.
This is a good year for the province of Basilan, the first time that two of its municipalities, Maluso and Sumisip received recognition. In addition, the province’s Lamitan City also received an SGLG. In the past, these places were only mentioned in national media reports as locations of violent incidents.
The SGLG awardees in the region this year are: Lamitan City, Maluso and Sumisip in Basilan province; Calanogas, Kapatagan and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur; Barira, Buldon, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Rajah Buayan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura and Upi in Maguindanao; and Jolo and Talipao in Sulu.
Piloted as the Seal of Good Housekeeping in 2010, the award continues to raise the bar of accountability and transparency for local government executives. It is used by the DILG in assessing LGUs’ performance, especially in four core areas, namely financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, and peace and order. Conferment of the SGLG is guided by the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991, the General Appropriations Act of 2017, and Administrative Order No. 267 of 1992. (Bureau of Public Information)
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Friday, November 10, 2017

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Philippine troops recover 4 Vietnamese sailors from Abu Sayyaf

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Troops have recovered the body of a Vietnamese sailor and rescued three others from the Abu Sayyaf in a “special operations” launched Friday in the restive Muslim autonomous region in southern Philippines, officials announced tonight. 
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, said one of the sailors, Nguyin Huu Trong, died while in captivity; and trio - Buy Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc and Nguten Quang Huy - were taken to a military hospital in Zamboanga City where doctors are examining them. 
They were recovered around 7.45 a.m. on an island called Kang Tipayan in the remote town of Languyan in Tawi-Tawi province. 
“Huu Trong was found dead when he was recovered by troops of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao and the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi. Due to a lingering illness, Huu Trong succumbed to death during his captivity,” Petinglay said without further elaborating on the details of the military operations that led to the safe release of the hostages. 
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, chief of the naval forces in the region, who played a key role in the recovery of the foreigners, said: “The Vietnamese hostages were transported by navy personnel to Zamboanga City for proper disposition and medical treatment.” 
Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said marines and navy forces were involved in the operations. “Through the operations conducted by our marines and navy, we successfully recovered the Vietnamese hostages off Tawi-Tawi waters, and we mean to intensify our offensives to pressure the bandits to yield,” he said. 
It was unknown whether the hostages had been freed for ransom or not. No one among the officials gave details of the “special operations” that led to the release of the Vietnamese seamen. Local and regional government officials also did not release any statement on the recovery of the hostages.
The sailors were among 17 crew members of the cargo ship MV Giang Hai 5 hijacked by the Abu Sayyaf on February 25 while sailing off of Pangutaran Island. Two of the crewmen were also killed by the Abu Sayyaf while attempting to escape while the rest had been recovered by soldiers. 
The recovery of the sailors coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Vietnam for the APEC summit. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding 7 foreigners and 9 Filipinos. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Rebels kill baby, cop in Philippine ambush

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – New People’s Army rebels killed a policeman and an infant and wounded 5 others in an ambush in the southern Philippine province of Bukidnon, the army said on Friday. 
It said communist rebels opened fire on policemen and also attacked a car tailing the patrol in the village of Tikalaan in Talakag town. The ambush, which occurred late Thursday afternoon, killed the two victims instantly. 
Three other policemen and two women on board the private car were wounded in the attack, according to Captain Norman Tagros, of the 403rd Infantry Brigade. He said the four-month old baby, Walysha Machorao, was shot in the head. Two women who were among 5 other civilians were heading home to Lanao del Sur’s Wao town from Cagayan de Oro City when rebels ambushed them. 
Tagros said at least 30 gunmen were involved in the ambush. They escaped after the attack, but left behind an improvised explosive that was carefully disarmed by soldiers. The area was littered with bullet casings fired from AK-47 assault rifles. 
He said the policemen were also heading back to their headquarters in Bumbaran town when the ambush occurred. “These acts committed by the NPA bandits are clear violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law as this agreement prohibits attacks against civilians and non-combatants and bans the use of landmine,” Tagros said. 
Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, the brigade commander, strongly condemned the ambush and branded the attack as barbaric. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act committed by the perpetrators of this incident which resulted to the tragic death of a four-month old baby girl and one of our police personnel,” Vinoya said. 
“These perpetrators can be compared to savages, infant killers, and murderers of innocent civilians, who thrive on abusing the weak by using coercion and intimidation, without giving any regard to human life and established laws. They do not belong in this civilized society. They will be punished,” he added. 
There was no immediate statement from the NPA which has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a separate communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)
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Special Forces capture 2 Sayyafs in South








Philippine Navy photos sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner show two Australian navy ships arrive Nov. 10, 2017 in Zamboanga City inn southern Philippines to take part in a joint exercise with the Philippines off Sulu province in the restive Muslim autonomous region.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Special Forces operators captured 2 Abu Sayyaf fighters following a clash before dawn Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu, a security spokesperson said.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay said members of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion engaged a band of militants in the village called Lagasan Higad in Patikul town. The fighting, which began shortly before 2 a.m., lasted for about an hour that resulted in the capture of Nadsfar Abdulla and Delson Kansiong.
The duo, she said, were followers of Abu Sayyaf commander Idang Susukan, but it was unclear whether the notorious leader was with the gunmen. Both Abdulla and Kansiong are currently being interrogated by the army in an effort to extract information about the Abu Sayyaf which is still holding about 2 dozen Filipino and foreign hostages in Sulu and nearby Basilan which are part of the troubled Muslim autonomous region.
“Abdulla and Kansiong are currently in the custody of the 2SFBn for initial debriefing while coordination is being made with the police for proper legal procedures,” Petinglay said.
There was no report of military casualties and that operations against the Abu Sayyaf were continuing in the area, according to Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.
“As we speak, operating troops continue to scour the area to pin down the beleaguered bandits and prevent them from extricating the area,” Sobejana said.
At least 50 Abu Sayyaf had been captured so far since early this year in military operations in Sulu.
Aussie ships arrive
The intense fighting coincided with the arrival of two Australian navy ships - HMAS Larrakia and Maitland - in Zamboanga City, about 79 nautical miles from Sulu. Rear Admiral Rene Medina led local military commanders in welcoming the Australian sailors who were accompanied by Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely and Defense Attaché, Capt. Bradley Ian White.
The arrival of the ships was in support to the anti-terrorism and piracy campaign of the Filipino government. The Combined Philippine Navy-Royal Australian Navy Maritime Security Engagement will run until December 1 in the region. The exercise involves four Philippine Navy ships - BRP Dioscoro Papa, General Mariano Alvarez, Davao Del Sur and Emilio Liwanag – all under Naval Task Force 61.
“Aside from enhancing the maritime cooperation with other regional navies, the training activity with Royal Australian Navy to secure the vast maritime domain of the Sulu Sea proves that the Philippine Navy particularly the Naval Forces Western Mindanao do not work alone in protecting and maintaining the peace and order, and stability in its area of responsibility. This upholds to a strong relationship of the Philippine and Australian navies when it comes to maritime patrol and security,” Medina said.
Australia has supported Manila’s anti-terrorism efforts and played a key role in defeating local ISIS and Abu Sayyaf militants in Marawi City in the Muslim region. The war, which lasted 5 months, left over a thousand people dead and displaced more than 200,000 civilians following the siege of the city in May this year. (Mindanao Examiner)
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