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Radyo Mindanao April 17, 2019

Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper (April 15-21, 2019)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Duterte tells foreigners to stay out of Zamboanga, warns of possible terror attacks

ZAMBOANGA CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte has warned foreigners to stay out of Zamboanga following a credible intelligence report that ISIS and Abu Sayyaf militants are targeting the southern Philippine city.

Addressing the participants to the 7th Union Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Pasay City, Duterte was quoted by ABS-CBN as saying: “There’s a certain place which I would not recommend to anybody to go there, not just as yet, is Zamboanga. Some Europeans go there for the bird watching and they are captured and eventually they are decapitated even after the payment of ransom.”

“It is the ISIS actually. It used to be the Abu Sayyaf. Now it’s an Abu Sayyaf territory. They do nothing but to kill and destroy,” he added.

But Duterte may have been confused Zamboanga City to Tawi-Tawi province when he said that some Europeans birdwatchers were kidnapped and eventually decapitated by militants.

There had been no kidnappings of foreign birdwatchers in Zamboanga City but in February 2012, Abu Sayyaf militants under Hajan Sawadjaan and suspected Moro National Liberation Front members kidnapped two European wildlife photographers Lorenzo Vinciguerra, from Switzerland; and Ewold Horn, 54, from Holland, in the coastal village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-Tawi.

Vinciguerra had escaped from his guards and recovered by soldiers in December 2014 after he allegedly killed one of his guards - Juhurim Hussien - with a bolo. The fate of Horn is still unknown.

Suicide Bombers

Philippine authorities blamed the Abu Sayyaf and ISIS in the twin suicide bombings of a Catholic cathedral in Jolo town in Sulu province early this year. The attacks, carried out by an Indonesian couple, had killed and injured dozens of people, mostly soldiers guarding the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on January 27.

The attacks on the church occurred 2 years after hundreds of Abu Sayyaf and pro-ISIS militants and civilian supporters took over Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. The city was recovered by troops after 5 months of house-to-house and close-quarter battle that killed and wounded hundreds of soldiers, militants and innocent civilians trapped in Marawi.

In July 2018, a Moroccan ISIS suicide bomber, Abu Katheer al Maghribi, also detonated a van filled with explosives in Lamitan City in Basilan province, about 35 nautical miles south of Zamboanga.
Philippine authorities said 11 people were killed in the explosion at a security checkpoint after government militias stopped the suspicious vehicle in Bulanting village, about 2 kilometers away from downtown Lamitan.

The powerful explosion obliterated the vehicle and left a huge crater and among those killed were a woman and a child; and the militia commander whose unit is under the supervision of the army. Five soldiers and several civilians were also wounded in the explosion. The bomber came from a nearby town and heading to downtown Lamitan when his vehicle was stopped at the checkpoint.

Duterte’s warning came after ISIS suicide bombers struck churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed over 300 people on Easter Sunday.
Tight Security

Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar said security is tight in the city and assured locals that police and military forces are in heightened alert. “We heightened the security in the city of Zamboanga and we continue to maintain a heightened level of alert as a pre-emptive measure following the Sri Lanka bombings,” she said.

Police said it is maintaining a high level of alert in Zamboanga, especially in places of worships, according to its spokesperson, Captain Shellamae Chang.

“Even before the Sri Lanka incidents, security forces have always secured places of worship in the city, deploying personnel in mosques on Friday, and for churches every Sunday. It is not just Christians and Muslims watching themselves, we watch over each other,” Chang said, citing the contribution of Christian and Muslim volunteer groups that help watch over each other in their respective places of worship.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario said the local government and security forces conduct a series of meetings to thresh out details of a security group charged with securing churches and mosques following directives from Salazar.

Dubbed as pastoral security group, Apolinario said it is composed of members of security forces and leaders of different religious organizations to assure and assist in the protection of the worshipers. (The Zamboanga Post)

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Troops kill 4 Sayyafs in ferocious battle in Basilan

BASILAN – Army troops have killed four Abu Sayyaf militants in fierce ferocious fighting Wednesday in the restive Muslim province of Basilan in southern Philippines, officials said.

Officials said the fighting was so fierce that military aircrafts were sent to Basilan to provide support to ground troops battling militants under Furuji Indama in the remote village of Bohe Pahu in the town of Ungkaya Pukan.

The town is also a known stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which signed an interim peace deal with Manila in 2014.

Officials said the fighting involved soldiers from the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, 64th Infantry Battalion, 18th Infantry Battalion and 12th Division Reconnaissance Company under the Joint Task Force Basilan, and the Philippine Air Force.

The target of military operations was Indama, a notorious militant commander blamed for the spate of ransom kidnappings and attacks on military and civilian targets.

Brigadier General Fernando Reyeg, the task force commander, said they “launched focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf group under sub-leader Furuji Indama at Sitio Gipitan in Barangay Bohe Pahu in the wee hours of the morning.”

“A heavy firefight ensued after which the enemies scampered to different direction. Close air support was immediately deployed to go after the fleeing bandits. Our troops are currently on the ground to pin down the Abu Sayyafs who are on the run and are evading military forces,” he said.

There was no report of military casualties. Troops also recovered the bodies of the slain militants, including one M16 automatic rifle, one M14 sniper rifle and an R4 assault rifle.

It was not immediately known if MILF forces had provided sanctuary to the militants or if rebels helped the military in the operation against the Abu Sayyaf. MILF and military forces had previously clashed many times in the town prior to the interim peace deal. (The Zamboanga Post)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Marines take down Sayyaf sub-commander

SULU – Marines killed an Abu Sayyaf sub-commander in a clash Tuesday on the southern Philippine island of Pata off Sulu province, the military said.

It said Hapidz Abdurahman, alias Jihad, clashed with soldiers who were trying to capture him alive. The slain militant leader had a string of criminal cases filed against him, including murder.

This was also confirmed by Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, chief of the Western Mindanao Command. “The Abu Sayyaf suffered another setback with the death of another sub-commander. I commend our ground forces for exhibiting the same conviction and diligence,” he said.

Abdurahman was also buried by soldiers on the island. There was no report of military casualty in the fighting that lasted only 10 minutes. Dela Vega did not say if Abdurahman was alone on the island.
Soldiers also seized a boat and a rifle from the area, according to Dela Vega, who said the military operation against the pro-ISIS group is still continuing in the restive South.

“We are building up our focused and intelligence operations to pursue, pressure, and defeat Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu. While we are gaining a foothold with our persistent offensives, the military will continuously exert all efforts to reach out and work with the Suluanons to pave the way for peace and development in the province,” he said.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding several local and foreign hostages in Sulu. (The Zamboanga Post)

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Sulu, Zamboanga condemn Sri Lanka bombings

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Sulu Governor Toto Tan on Monday joined a worldwide condemnation of the series of deadly suicide attacks on churches and hotel in Sri Lanka over the weekend.

At least 290 people were killed in the coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday in various areas in the largely Buddhist island country in South Asia.

Tan, whose province in southern Philippines was also targeted by ISIS suicide bombers in January that killed over a dozen people, branded the Sri Lanka attacks as “terroristic carnage” and called for sobriety.

“Let sobriety prevail in these troubled and trying times. Let not emotions fuel the embers of religious divide,” he said.

“We join the rest of humanity in condemning in the strongest of terms the Easter Sunday terroristic carnage in Sri Lanka. We do feel the anger and the sufferings of such dastardly acts as we are still reeling from the January 27, 2019 blasts in Jolo Cathedral when the lives of 20 peaceful churchgoing fellow Tausug were sacrificed while attending Sunday Mass,” he added.

Tan said he and the people of Sulu “join the global call to reveal the perpetrators of these condemnable acts and let justice prevail.”

The governor's father, Sakur Tan, a well-respected political leader and philanthropist, also condemned the bombings and said: “There are no words extreme enough to condemn these latest acts of terrorism. We dread to entertain thoughts that the incidences aforementioned, are meant to drive a wedge between peoples of diverse faiths. We condole with the bereaved families and the people and government of Sri Lanka. Let us stand united against any form of violence and acts of terror,” he said.

ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the deadly twin cathedral blasts in Jolo town and was carried out by a pair of suspected Indonesian couple.

ISIS, in a statement released by its Amaq News Agency, said the first bomber detonated an explosive belt, while the second attacker blew himself up outside the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral over the weekend and killing and wounding dozens of people, including soldiers deployed in the area.

In Zamboanga City, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar also condemned the suicide attacks in Sri Lanka and ordered policemen and soldiers to tighten their security in places of worships here. “We condemned the Sri Lanka bombings and our sympathy goes out to the families of those who perished in the carnage,” she told The Zamboanga Post by phone. (The Zamboanga Post)

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OPINION: Desperate black propaganda by Jun Ledesma

THE ROAD TO perdition for the gasping Liberal Party is as slippery as the fate of its senatorial candidates in the coming mid-term elections this May 13. It’s political banner “Otso Deretso” had disintegrated. By itself the party is like a powder keg out to implode. It is a mixture of leftists and rightists that offer no viable alternative but to restore the inept and corrupt regime of the two chapters of Aquino government. Just about the only credentials that the Aquino regimes are famous for is their loyalty and subservience to the United States of America. The incumbent Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte on the other hand is a departure from his predecessor in that he restored the dignity of the Filipinos and defined what sovereignty is for the Philippines. He might have a dirty mouth but he has a heart of a true patriot.

Of late, the concerted efforts of the anti-Duterte forces has taken a desperate move aimed at demonizing the first family on the heels of the recent poll surveys showing at least 10 of Hugpong Ng Pagbabago and PDP-Laban slate making it to the magic 12. This colossal setback of the LP or “Dilawan” faction becomes even more humiliating when both Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station registered unprecedented Trust and Approval Ratings for President Duterte. These eloquently translate to the people’s trust for Duterte-led senatorial ticket.

The attempt of Human Rights Watch and some US Congressmen to demonize and assail President Duterte is not gaining any mileage. They have exhausted whatever they can exploit from the issues of violent campaign against illegal drug syndicates, extra-judicial killings, repression of freedom of the press and the detention of Sen. Leila De Lima. Failing to generate public approval on these overused issues their wrecking crew have perceptively revved up their propaganda machinery to conjure other issues to stave off the free fall of the opposition candidates. But none of these makes a negative impact on the preference for the administration senatorial bets. By their vote of confidence, the huge majority of Filipinos is practically giving Duterte a blanket authority to pursue without let-up his campaign against drug syndicates and corruption.

The black propaganda leveled against Duterte by the unholy alliance of the Liberal Party, the CPP-NPA-NDF, the hypocritical religious terrorists and the foreign-financed media organizations have become more vicious as the May 13 polls come close.. The signatures of destabilizing forces have become obviously apparent. The the US-based National Endowment for Democracy has generously funded, directly and indirectly, local media organizations. NED is no different from Omidyar Network which funded the ouster move of a Ukraine President who was sympathetic to Russia. Omidyar is the same outfit that “invested” a huge sum of money to Maria Ressa’s Rappler. It coughed up support funds for Vera Files which in turn allocates funds for a the Philippine Council for Investigative Journalism. If that is not enough there are traitors based in the US of A that had long denounced not only their Filipino citizenship but the Philippines as well.

The ghost character “Bikoy” is among the invention of the group to tarnish the image of President Duterte and his family. It maligned even Veronica, the very young daughter of the President who is barely in her teens, in their outrageous plot to denigrate the family of the President. PCIJ threw away their much ballyhooed virtue of being investigative by reporting that Duterte has accumulated so much wealth in his incumbency as President. Like Rappler’s EJK numbers , PCIJ subscribed to the statistics culled from the perjured witnesses of Senators De Lima and Antonio Trillanes. They also believed hook line and sinker and propagated the fairy tale surrounding the mythical Davao Death Squads. Three decades had elapsed since De Lima, as chairperson of the Human Right Commission, conducted a probe on alleged extra-judicial killings in Davao City and up to the time she became Justice Secretary and now Senator, she has yet produced a single piece of evidence of the more than 2,000 victims which her witnesses claimed they personally buried in an abandoned quarry in Davao.

And now they came up with a rehashed story of the so-called “wealth” of President Duterte and his children. The parents of the President are known in Davao. His father, a lawyer, was the first elected governor of undivided Davao province. They have modest businesses and properties yet lived a frugal lifestyle. Governor Duterte to date is best remembered for his unblemished record as a politician. They were not rich if you reckon with the present crop of politicians but were neither poor. When the venerable governor died, his wife Soledad, continued with the family’s discipline keeping the good name and virtues that the late Governor “Ite” had imparted. Then Mayor Duterte and wife Elizabeth raised and nurtured their children in the same mold of discipline and frugal lifestyle.

When Nanay Soleng passed away, she left the modest fortune that she and Governor Ite had saved to all her children. By this time the marriage of Duterte to Elizabeth was annulled. The Mayor took a new partner later, Honeylet Avancena, a registered nurse who worked as supervisor for a long time in US hospital. A woman with a knack for business, Honeylet invested her savings on fast food chains. She never meddles in Duterte’s politics and shies away from the public. The few times she appears in public was when Veronica, nicknamed “Kitty” was born to the couple.

PCIJ made an issue of President Duterte’s “wealth” and the rest of the critical media feasted on it as if it is the only remaining carcass they can find in the desert. It is to their misfortune that the President lives a legendary frugal lifestyle. True that when he started off with his political career, he declared a P10-million worth of assets and liabilities. If 30 years later this increased to P28-million only a person pregnant with plot to malign another can conjure a fast math and tell the world that the increment is ill-gotten. For an institution that relies mainly on dole outs from funding agencies, this indeed can be an unexplainable mystery. And Duterte is correct that these paid propagandists are nothing but that. PCIJ, RAPPLER and Vera Files should have consulted even a student in investment and asset management for an explanation why P10 today can grow beyond P28 in 20 years. This can easily be achieved even without taking into consideration the salaries, wages and other incomes which Duterte’s family derived from legitimate business. But attack dogs can never comprehend this. (Jun Ledesma)

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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Radioman stabbed dead in Butuan City

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – An unidentified assailant stabbed dead a radio man in a daring broad daylight attack Saturday in Butuan City in southern Philippines, media watchdog National Union of Journalists in the Philippines said.

It said Francis Patindol, of dxJM, was with some companions when the assailant attacked him and stabbed him in the chest outside the Alba Copy Center on Narra Road in the village of New Society. The assailant escaped after the 10 a.m. attack.

Patindol was rushed to the M.J. Santos Hospital, according to NUJP. It said the motive of the killing is still unknown although the police launched an investigation into the murder.

It was not immediately known whether the killing of Patindo was connected to his job or not, according to NUJP.

But Undersecretary Joel Egco, of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, said Patindol’s killing was not work-related. He said the attacker, who was believed drunk when he stabbed Patindol, is now being hunted by the police.

“On the stabbing to death of Francisco Patindol in Butuan City, drunken suspect (has been) identified and is now the subject of a (police) manhunt. We have complete invest(igation) reports and photos. (The photos are) Graphic, so I will not post the pix (pictures). (It is) Not work-related. We are on it. Keep safe. Be safe.,” Egco posted on his Facebook account.

NUJP said 12 journalists had so far died in attacks under the current government of President Duterte. (Mindanao Examiner)

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16 Catholic devotees injured in Zamboanga road mishap

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Over a dozen people were injured after a speeding passenger jeep overturned on a downhill road in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.

The jeep was carrying devotees who were returning home from Mount Abong-Abong where a Catholic shrine and a huge cross were erected on top decades ago and visited by Christian devotees on Holy Week. An initial report said the driver lost control of the jeep and overturned.

A speeding passenger jeep overturns Friday, April 19, 2019 while travelling on a downhil slope at Mount Abong-Abong in Zamboanga City. (Photos courtesy of Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.)

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar has ordered emergency teams to the area and brought the injured to hospitals. She said 16 passengers were hurt in the accident.

She also ordered the police to investigate the driver and interview passengers to determine whether the Friday night accident was caused by reckless driving or mechanical failure.

Salazar said more than 112,000 devotees had flocked to Mount Abong-Abong for their Lenten rituals. She said 6 people were also rushed to hospital for fatigue and various health reasons, but nothing was serious.

“The Holy Week was successful and we want to thank the police and military and all those who stayed in Mount Abong-Abong to ensure security and order so devotees may pray solemnly to God,” Salazar said.

On Saturday, Salazar deployed many teams to clean up the trash, mostly plastic bottles and food wraps, left behind by devotees and visitors. (The Zamboanga Post)

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