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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Radyo Mindanao May 31, 2017

You are listening to Mindanao Examiner Radio - also broadcast daily from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on RPN-dxXX 1008 kHz covering Western Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and Central Mindanao.

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3 Sayyafs killed in Sulu; three more captured in Zamboanga City

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Government troops on Wednesday killed 3 Abu Sayyaf militants and captured 3 more in separate operations in Sulu province and Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, officials said.

Army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, said soldiers clashed with militants in the village of Sukuban in Sulu’s Omar town and killed 3 of them. Troops also recovered 8 high-powered firearms left by fleeing Abu Sayyaf members.

There were no military casualties, she said.

Police, backed by soldiers, also captured 3 militants in Zamboanga, one of them – Kimhar Asusi -  at the pier shortly after he disembarked from a boat that came from Sulu and the two others - Al Hamed Manalas Abdurahman, 37, and Murasidol Abdurahman, 32, - in the village of Maasin.

Security forces also seized ammunition and a grenade from the duo. (Mindanao Examiner)

After MNLF, rival rebel group now offers to help troops rescue ISIS hostages in Marawi

Philippine Navy photos released to the Mindanao Examiner regional newspaper show soldiers and equipment sent to support troops fighting local ISIS group in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province. 

DAVAO CITY – Philippine Muslim rebels have offered to help the government rescue hundreds of civilians, including a Catholic priest, being held by local ISIS fighters in the war-torn city of Marawi in Lanao del Sur province.

Ghazali Jaafar, vice chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, made the offer during a recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City. Jaafar was with Murad Ebrahim, the MILF chieftain, and other senior rebel leaders when the met with Duterte at a military base to discuss the crisis in Marawi where militants are holding at least 240 hostages.

“We have offered our help to our beloved president to help facilitate the coming out of civilians from their residences and the good president granted our request,” Jaafar said.

MILF members, who were joined by armed civilians, had clashed with ISIS fighters in Marawi after militants tried to blow up a bridge connecting several villages there. It was unknown whether the MILF offer to help in the crisis would affect similar offer by the rival group Moro National Liberation Front, whose chieftain, Nur Misuari, said he is ready to deploy thousands of fighters to help security forces battle the ISIS militants.

Security forces have already rescued over 500 civilians trapped in Marawi since the clashes erupted on May 23 when heavily-armed members of the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf militants attacked the city which caught soldiers and policemen by surprise. The military claimed dozens of militants had been killed, but many soldiers and civilians also perished in the violence with jihadists executing Christian villagers and Muslims alike who they accused as “munafiq” or traitors to their faith.

On Wednesday, Duterte approved the setting up of so-called “peace corridor” which will be implemented by the government and MILF to “hasten the rescue and humanitarian operations for civilians still trapped in the conflict zone in Marawi.”

The MILF vowed to cooperate with government in securing the areas where these peace corridors will be established and utilize existing peace mechanisms, particularly the Joint Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities. The peace corridor is a secure space where humanitarian groups may evacuate wounded and trapped civilians and retrieve dead bodies for burial.

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao also sent off two vessels to Marawi on Tuesday to support troops fighting the militants. Both ships -  Landing Craft 288 (BRP Waray) and 298 (BRP Ivatan) – were carrying Fleet-Marine Team composed of combat service support elements and K9 units, including relief goods for civilians affected by the conflict.

These troops and equipment are being sent to augment the military in the continuous fighting between the government forces and Maute group in Marawi City. The AFP is positive that these additional personnel and logistical support will strengthen the military stronghold in the area and will eventually crush these lawless elements,” said Rear Admiral Rene Medina. (Mindanao Examiner)

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Radyo Mindanao May 30, 2017

You are listening to Mindanao Examiner Radio - also broadcast daily from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on RPN-dxXX 1008 kHz covering Western Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and Central Mindanao.

For radio advertisements and sponsorship, please call 062-9925480 or 082-2960658 or text 0995-5202358 and 0947-4823453. For more details, please visit

Catholic priest held by ISIS fighters appeals to Duterte, wants troops out of Marawi

  A screenshot from a video posted on social media shows Catholic priest Chito Suganob appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to pull out security forces in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province. Suganob said he and 240 others, including mostly Christian civilians and children, are being held by local ISIS fighters. (Mindanao Examiner)

MARAWI CITY – A Catholic priest, who was among 240 civilians being held by local ISIS fighters in southern Philippines, has appealed on President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately withdraw thousands of soldiers from Lanao del Sur province where security forces continue Tuesday its assault on dozens of jihadists still holed out in the war-torn Marawi City.
Father Chito Suganob made the appeal in a video that surfaced on Facebook and the 5-minute clip went viral on social media. In the video, Suganob, the Vicar General of the Marawi prelature, said militants seized him, along with other church workers, including children and adults, mostly Christians, when members of the Maute group attacked the city on May 23.
Behind the ruins of buildings destroyed in fierce clashes and the sound of sporadic gunfire, Suganob made an emotional appeal to Duterte to save all of them, saying, the militants are ready to die for their religion. He asked Duterte to stop military assaults, both in air and on the ground, and for security forces to quickly leave Marawi and Lanao del Sur, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
Below is the transcript of Suganob’s appeal:
“Mr. President, I was taken as a prisoner of war together with one MSU female professor – the Mindanao State University – two lady church workers, two male teachers of Dansalan College Foundation Incorporated and five female teachers of Dansalan College Foundation Incorporated, along with us are about 200 carpenters, household helpers, children and youth and ordinary Christian settlers and other Subanon tribes with us as captives and as prisoners of war.
Mr. President, we are in the midst of this war, we are asking your help to please give what your enemies are asking for – this simply am not asking for anything just to withdraw your forces away from Lanao del Sur and Marawi City and to stop the air strikes, your air attacks and to stop the canons.
Mr. President, from out heart, please consider us. You know it is hard Mr. President from time to time we hear bursts of gunfire from the ground of your enemies, heavy firearms from your side, it’s hard. And Mr. President, we do not ask for anything, we just ask that you leave this place peacefully, do not give so much attack, the city in my background is ruined like this and Mr. President if you are in our place, you will really consider us because you’ll hear the outburst of gunfire and everything, bombs and canons. We are victims and Mr. President, if you have a good heart for us considering, Mr. President, about 240 prisoners of war are asking your good heart, please consider us, we want to live another day, we want live another month, we want to live few years, and in your heart, we know you can make something, they do not ask anything Mr. President after all this is their place give them the land and Mr. President, you are attacking from your heart, do not use violence because your enemies they are ready to die for their religion, they are ready to die and their laws will be followed in this place.
Mr. President you are from Mindanao, you know the conflict in Mindanao, you know the problems and I hope Mr. President you understand them. I am also saying these things Mr. President because you know the history; they have the right to live here, they have the right to their own laws be respected and Mr. President, you cannot use force because they have their commitments, they will die for this, they are ready to die for this, Mr. President we ask you please consider us, we are in the midst of war, we are victims, do not be happy Mr. President that we are the collateral damage of war, we are already victims of heavy gunfire for seven days.
Mr. President, if you want me to kneel before you just to have your heart in favor of our families, who are crying out there in different places, for our relatives and for those other 240, Mr. President we will do that. So Mr. President, I am asking you consideration.”
There was no immediate statement from the military on Suganob’s appeal, but there were no signs troops were pulling out from the city as clashes continue without letup. 
The army claimed at least 65 militants had been killed since the fighting began and that 42 bodies were allegedly recovered by soldiers, although journalists covering the war have not confirmed this report.
But over a dozen civilians, mostly Christians, had been killed by militants as ground troops, backed by army tanks and air force planes, were searching for jihadists hiding in buildings and houses. More than 500 civilians had been rescued by troops since the start of the battle, but 20 soldiers also perished in the fighting with many more wounded in the clashes. (Moh Saaduddin and Rhoderick BeƱez)
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Monday, May 29, 2017

ARMM steps up humanitarian interventions in Marawi crisis

ILIGAN CITY - The incursion of the local terror group Maute and elements of the Abu Sayyaf into Marawi City has inflicted immense sufferings to residents in the city that are bound to persist long after the end of the siege.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has recorded nearly 85,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are either staying in designated evacuation centers or in their relative’s houses in nearby towns in Lanao del Sur or Iligan City. Its crisis management center has also confirmed at least 3,717 stranded individuals and 59 missing persons in the city.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman immediately activated and convened the region’s Crisis Management Committee to plan and evaluate the region’s response upon confirmation of the crisis. He called for the establishment of a crisis management center at the region’s seat in Cotabato City with emergency hotlines to facilitate assistance to affected residents.
Meanwhile, Regional Vice-Governor and concurrent secretary of the region’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed to Marawi City to lead the ARMM’s emergency response on the ground.
The ARMM government through its Humanitarian and Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) has already provided help to 13,522 internally displaced families and will be dispatching more relief operations to identified evacuation centers.
The Islamic City of Marawi
Marawi is one of the only two cities in the ARMM. It is situated in the province of Lanao del Sur and has a population of more than 200,000 based on the 2015 census, a vast majority of whom are Muslims.
It is home to the main campus of the Mindanao State University (MSU), a premier state university that attracts thousands of students all over Mindanao and the rest of the country.
The terror and displacement have made the observance of Ramadan unusually sombre and taxing for the city’s vastly Muslim population.
Halfway Home
It was a typical afternoon of May 23 at the MSU Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU IIT) campus in Iligan City when Dr. Marie Joy Banawa, dean of the school’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), heard news of the unfolding crisis in Marawi City. She was alarmed upon seeing a post of MSU students in distress in her social media feed.
Dean Joy said she didn’t know then where to get the resources or how to mobilize support, but she was determined that her campus must help. With the support of MSU IIT’s chancellor, her fellow faculty and student volunteers, Dean Joy established a halfway center at the CASS building for MSU students caught in the fighting.
She said through the donations and student volunteers, they were able to provide food, shelter, minimal financial assistance and psychosocial aid to the affected students. Dean Joy said they have already catered to approximately 800 students.
Among those they’ve assisted are the Altorino siblings Francis, Janelli and Joseph who hail from Butuan City. The eldest, Francis, 24, a first year law student in MSU Marawi City said they were initially reluctant to evacuate.
“Medyo sanay na po kami kung barilan lang ang naririnig. Di lang namin inexpect na ganito kalala. (We were used to hearing gunfights. We didn’t expect that it would get this worse),” Francis said.
He said they were alarmed about reports that the terrorist group only targets Christians like them, but they worry more for the people trapped in their homes amidst the gunfight and airstrikes. The siblings are confident that the crisis will not erode the bond among people of different faiths in Marawi City.
Student Volunteer
MSU IIT’s halfway center has also attracted volunteer students like 19-year old Esnaira Tambie, a junior high student from Marawi City who herself is an evacuee. She and her family now stay at a relative’s house in Iligan City after making an arduous 12-hour travel to escape the fighting.
Esnairah said she feels heartbroken for what’s happened to her city and for the families who might have to spend the entire month of Ramadan away from home.
Despite her personal ordeal, Esnairah keenly volunteered to assist in the halfway center for the distress students.
ARMM is ready
Marawi City has never faced a crisis of this extent which threatens to break not just its thriving infrastructures but also the spirit of its people.
The ARMM government, on the other hand, is expecting a drawn-out crisis and is preparing for a comprehensive humanitarian intervention.
Governor Hataman assured residents that the regional government is ready to respond to their needs and is working closely with other government agencies and private institutions to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians. (Bureau of Public Information)
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