Author: AC of S for CMO OG7

CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, Labangan, Zambonga del Sur – Nineteen (19) armed elements were apprehended in the joint law enforcement operations of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Division and Pagadian City Police Office with the supervision of Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City COMELEC in Brgy Danlugan, Pagadian City at 2:10 pm Monday May 6, 2019.

Prior to apprehension, the government troops received reports from the residents of said barangay about the presence of armed elements riding in two pick-up vehicles.

The government troops immediately responded in the area and were able to flag down the 2 vehicles and immediately apprehended the personalities on board possessing firearms in plain view.

Recovered from the scene were 5 M16 rifles, 7 Cal .45 pistol, 2 Cal .357 revolver, 1 9mm pistol, 1 Cal .38 revolver, 1 Cal .22 revolver, several assorted ammunitions and 17 bonnets.

“Our joint law enforcement operations together with the PNP will be relentless as the conduct of 2019 Midterm elections is fast approaching. With the continued cooperation of our people in reporting the presence of armed elements and threat groups in their communities, we can respond at once and prevent these lawless armed elements from disrupting the peaceful and orderly conduct of our elections”, said Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Pagadian City.

The arrest came few hours after the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) conducted a send-off ceremony to its troops for election duties.

For his part, Atty Jossil Macute, the Provincial Election Supervisor of Zamboanga del Sur said, “This apprehension of armed elements should serve as a warning that the AFP in cooperation with the PNP, is serious in ensuring the safety of our electorates in the upcoming elections.”

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and the JTF ZAMPELAN lauded the efforts of the 53IB and Pagadian City PNP for the quick response which led to the successful conduct of joint law enforcement operations.

“The apprehension of these armed elements will certainly help improve the security situation in our area of responsibility and for our people to be more safe and secure especially in the upcoming Midterm National and Local Elections 2019,” said Ancan.

“Rest assured that we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our mandate to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of elections,” Ancan added.

The apprehended personalities and recovered firearms were brought to Pagadian City Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) is all set for the upcoming Midterm National and Local Elections 2019 in its area of responsibility.

A send-off ceremony to its troops composed of one (1) Provisional Battalion was conducted on Monday, May 6, 2019 led by the JTF ZAMPELAN commander, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan.

In his message, BGen Ancan emphasized that the JTF ZAMPELAN is committed in its mandate to support the police and the COMELEC in the implementation of election laws. He further reiterated his instructions to the troops to remain apolitical and non-partisan at all times.

A week ago, BGen Ancan has been visiting the line units under the JTF ZAMPELAN to ensure that the security preparations for the National and Local Elections 2019 are emplaced, and to make ready all available military assets to include the personnel for deployment during elections.

Ancan stressed that despite the deployment of troops for election duties, the operations against communist terrorist group and other threat groups in the JTF ZAMPELAN area of responsibility will continue. “We will not put our guards down, yet, we will intensify our efforts to prevent armed threats and lawless elements from conducting atrocities in order to ensure the safety and security of the voters and for them to freely exercise their right to suffrage and to protect the sanctity of their votes and the integrity of the elections,” added Ancan.

Among the attendees of the ceremony were Atty. Geraldine Samsom, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Assistant Regional Director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Atty. Jossi Macute, the Provincial Election Officer of Zamboanga del Sur, personnel from the PNP, the media and officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the JTF ZAMPELAN.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army started its major activities in line with the celebration of its 83rd founding anniversary here Sunday May 5, 2019 with the enduring theme of “Serving the people. Securing the land.”

An interfaith service was conducted early in the morning at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine inside Camp Sang-an was attended by all the Tabak troopers coming from the different religious groups led by the commander, 1ID, Brigadier General Roberto T Ancan.

The activity was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony held at the Heroes Memorial in order to pay homage to the fallen Tabak heroes, commemorate their sacrifices and rekindle their heroic exploits in preserving the peace and security in the division’s area of responsibility.

Ancan also urged the living soldiers of the Army’s premier infantry division, to live up to the ideals of those who have gone ahead, and keep up the standard of the true Tabak warriors and the finest tradition of Filipino soldiery.

The 1ID will conduct series of activities in line with its 83rd founding anniversary in the month of June in order to focus in the upcoming midterm National and Local Elections on May 13, 2019.

The anniversary activities include the following: Division-wide Infantry Rifle and Disaster Response Operations Challenge on June 3 to 7; 1ID Commander’s Cup on June 13 to 16; a weeklong Market Fare to start on June 17 with 1ID stakeholders and 1ID units as merchandisers of the mini bazaar; Tabak Sports Fest and many others. The highlight of the 1ID’s 83rd founding anniversary will be the Anniversary Parade and Review on June 19 to showcase the Tabak troopers and capabilities and awarding ceremony for 1ID awardees.

The 1st Infantry Division was established as the 1st Regular Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army also known as Tabak Division on May 5, 1936 at Camp Murphy (now Camp Aguinaldo) in Quezon City, Rizal (now Metro Manila). After it was deployed in various areas of the country, the Tabak Division opened its present headquarters on December 4, 1989 stationed at Camp Major Cesar L. Sang-an in Brgy. Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The 1st Infantry Division inducted the newly elected Tabak Defense Press Corps (TDPC) officers held here Sunday, 7:00 p.m.

Ten TDPC officers, during their oath, vowed to abide by the guidelines governing the TDPC and such issuances by the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, Philippine Army and the Code of Ethics of the Philippine Journalism.

Ms. Ellen Ajijul, the TDPC President, acknowledged the importance of military and media partnership in promoting peace and development and hoped for the continued sharing of common desire in disseminating the programs of the government. 

“Being members of the 4th state, we will speak for truth and maintain the essence of professionalism in our journalistic practice,” said Ajijul.

“Rest assured that all media pledging membership with TDPC would keep on supporting the military and the government’s peace advocacies,” Ajijul added.

Earlier, fun shoot and rappelling were conducted at the Tabak Integrated firing Range and Division Training school, respectively as part of the fellowship activity.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, was delighted with the deepened and strengthened relationship between the media and the command.

“This is a significant milestone in our ongoing collaboration with the TDPC as entity and partner of the 1st Infantry Division in information dissemination,” said Ancan.

“I encourage everyone to live with your professional code of ethics and continue exercising responsible journalism by delivering right and factual information to the public and avoid misleading and incredible news,” Ancan added.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Fifty (50) Army soldiers of the 103rd Infantry “Haribon” Brigade exercised their right to vote during the Local Absentee Voting (LAV)  at Kampo Ranao in Marawi City Friday, April 29, 2019.

Absentee voting pursuant to R.A. 7166 and E.O. No. 157, is a system of voting by any person (a registered voter) who, by reason of public functions and duties, is not in his/her place of registration on election day may vote in the city/municipality where he/she is assigned.

Government officials and employees; members of the AFP; and PNP are entitled to avail the absentee voting.

“Now that they have voted, our troops will now focus on their mission of making the mid-term elections in Lanao Del Sur free, honest, credible, orderly and peaceful,” said Col. Romeo Brawner, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander.

Only the positions for Senator and Party-list shall be voted for under the absentee voting system.

Meanwhile, the Army’s 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division under the leadership of Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, vowed to make sure that the Army will be apolitical and non-partisan during the midterm national and local elections.

Ancan stressed that “We are carrying a big responsibility in this electoral process and that is our commitment, to ensure that our troops strictly observe the conduct of secure and fair elections and to remain apolitical and non-partisan at all times.”

“Aside from the implementation of election laws, the only political exercise that we are allowed to do during this coming election is to vote. Your Army is a professional organization that strictly adheres to the codes of conduct. Thus, we are fully committed and well prepared to address any armed threats and fully support the campaign for truthful, peaceful and free elections,” Ancan added.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Candidates from the Province of Lanao del Sur, various stakeholders, the COMELEC, DILG, PNP and the AFP signed a pact for a free, honest, credible, orderly and peaceful 2019 national election last Friday, April 26, 2019, at Grandstand, Kampo Ranao, Marawi City.

A total of 128 candidates vying for provincial, city and municipal participated in the Peace Covenant organized by the AFP’s 103rd Infantry Brigade in Lanao del Sur.

Provincial COMELEC Officer Attorney Allan C Kadon welcomes the gesture in what he hopes will be a repeat of the highly peaceful Special Baranggay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections in the 96 Baranggays of Marawi City (BSKE) last year.

Dubbed as the “most peaceful election yet,” the Marawi Special BSKE concluded with no fatalities.

“The AFP is geared for a free, honest, credible, orderly and peaceful 2019 National Elections. I have committed my term to achieving a successful national election during my assumption as the brigade commander of 103rd Infantry Birgade” notes Col Romeo S Brawner Jr, Commander of the military unit covering the Province of Lanao del Sur.

While security forces have expressed optimism in the outcome of the elections, the military warns spoilers undermining the security of the election.

“We will take into restrictive custody any individual who will be caught buying votes or engaging in violence. This is to ensure integrity and security in our polling areas” Col Brawner adds.

Last year, security forces took into restrictive custody several personalities caught in the act of vote buying and engaging in fistfights at polling areas. All were released as soon as the elections came to a close.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the efforts of the candidates, COMELEC, DILG, PNP and the AFP troops.

“This momentous activity will embody the aspirations of our Meranao brothers and sisters towards a peaceful and prosperous Lanao del Sur.” Ancan added.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – A brother of an ISIS fighter who died during Marawi Siege, voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 55th Infantry Battalion in Madalum, Lanao del Sur, 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 17,2019.

“Alias PACONG, also a Dawlah Islamiya supporter, was saddened by the death of his brother who was deceived and recruited by the Maute Brothers in Butig”, said Lt. Col. Ian Noel Ignes, 55th Infantry Battalion commander. 

Pacong also yielded one M653 rifle, magazines and ammunitions.

Custodial debriefing is still on-going as of this posting.

At 11:00 a.m. the same day, three high-powered firearms were also surrendered to the 49th Infantry Battalion thru the efforts of Mayor Nasser Pangandaman and other barangay officials of Masiu, Lanao del Sur.

“The honorable Mayor formally turned-over two RPG launchers, one Colt M203 and ammunitions”, said Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, 49th Infantry Battalion Commander.

The firearms were brought to 49IB headquarters for proper safekeeping/disposition.

“With the confirmed death of Abu Dar, we expect more Dawlah Islamiya members and supporters to surrender”, said Col. Romeo Brawner, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander. 

“For them no to suffer the same fate with their comrades, we encourage them to surrender, or cooperate with the local government units if they are afraid or intimidated with our forces”, Brawner added.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops and the local government for the successful surrender of Dawlah Islamiya supporter and hand over of the loose firearms. 

“Your 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, in collaboration with the LGUs and other stakeholders, remains steadfast in its commitment to attain just and lasting peace in our area of operation thru our campaign against DI-Lanao group and loose firearms,” said Ancan.

“Likewise, we thank them for their continued trust and support to our troops in contributing peace and development in the whole province of Lanao del Sur,” Ancan added.

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The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army confirms that Maute leader Owaydah Marohombsar alias Abu Dar is one of the four terrorists killed in an encounter with troops of the 49th Infantry Battalion last Mar. 14, 2019 in Tubaran, Lanao Del Sur.

Authorities requested U.S. counterparts to subject the then-unidentified body to DNA testing when informants initially identified it as that of Abu Dar, believed to be the only terrorist leader who escaped when government forces took back Marawi in 2017.

He is regarded as the successor of Isnilon Hapilon, the emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia who was also killed in Marawi along with the Maute brothers.

Also seized from the encounter site were an M16 rifle, an M653 rifle, a cal .45 pistol, two grenades, several magazines and ammunition, and cellphones. On the other hand, four soldiers were killed and two were wounded in the clash.

Abu Dar is said to be responsible for bombing the Limketkai Commercial Area in Cagayan de Oro in 2013 where several doctors were killed. He was also responsible for killing several soldiers, policemen, and Christians in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.

“We thank our US counterparts and the citizens of Lanao Del Sur for helping us neutralize the last remaining leader of the Maute-ISIS Group in the person of Abu Dar. We will not rest until we neutralize all the other remnants of this terrorist group”, said Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., Commander of the 103rd Infantry “Haribon” Brigade.

“With his neutralization, we are hoping that this would also finally put an end to the Maute-ISIS in Lanao,” he added.

“The neutralization of Abu Dar is a significant accomplishment of the government and the people of Lanao del Sur who worked together to rid their beloved province of terrorists. Meanwhile, we will continue our operations so that the sacrifices of our fallen comrades in pursuit of peace will not go to waste”, said Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Commander of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The peace-loving people of Misamis Occidental has declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New  People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) as persona non grata through a resolution passed by the Provincial Peace and Order Council effective April 4, 2019.

During its 1st Quarter Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting, the province which is composed of the three cities, fourteen municipalities and four hundred ninety barangays, passed Resolution No. 1 Series of 2019 which states that;

“The people of the Misamis Occidental must make a stand against the presence of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) in their respective localities in order to show its sincerity and support on the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to end the insurgency in our country.”

“The people of Misamis Occidental are already fed-up with the 50 years of lies and atrocities of these bandits against our people for their criminal acts and violations of the International Humanitarian Law.”

“The local chief executives (LCEs) in Misamis Occidental have stressed that their constituents want to live in a peaceful, prosperous and happy community that is insulated from the brutal war that the communist terrorists have waged for decades.”

According to Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry (IGSOON) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the said province, “This bold move is a great help in our effort to protect the communities from the atrocities of the communist terrorist group.

“With the declaration, the CTG will have a small chance of recruiting our people especially the farmers, the youth, women and the indigenous people to join this terrorist movement. Likewise, we are expecting an enhanced cooperation between and among the people in giving information on the whereabouts of these terrorist group”, Gaerlan added.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the local government unit of Misamis Occidental on the declaration of the CTG as Persona Non Grata.

“This audacious action by the local government unit of Misamis Occidental headed by Governor Herminia Ramiro, will ease and hasten our campaign against the terrorist group,” Ancan added.

“With the help of the local communities, local chief executives and other stakeholders, we can end the insurgency, attain a just and lasting peace and continue on with the progress and development of the province”, Ancan concluded.

 

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan Zamboanga del Sur – One Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) Lanao group supporter surrendered with firearm to the 49th Infantry Battalion in Brgy Cadayunan, Lumbayanague, Lanao del Sur, Monday 10:00 in the morning, April  8, 2019.

“During Butig encounter in 2016, the surrendered supporter provided food stuff and transportations for the DI-Lanao group”, said Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, 49 Infantry Battalion commander.

According to Col. Romeo Brawner, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander “DI-Lanao group suffered numerous casualties during their clashes with the government forces in the municipalities of Butig and Piagapo, Lanao del Sur in year 2016 and 2017 respectively prior to Marawi siege.”

The DI supporter also yielded one caliber .30 US carbine rifle, magazines and ammunitions.

Meanwhile in the municipality of Tamparan, one caliber 45, magazines and ammunitions were handed over by Mayor Sittie Amina Disumimba to the 49IB troopers.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops and the local government units of Tamparan and Lumbayanague for the convergence of efforts which led to the successful surrender of Dawlah Islamiya supporter and hand over of the loose firearms.

“Your 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, in collaboration with the LGUs and other stakeholders, remains steadfast in its commitment to attain just and lasting peace in our area of operation thru our campaign against DI-Lanao group and loose firearms,” said Ancan.

“We will continuously work together with stakeholders in order to encourage more DI members, supporters and loose firearms to surrender,” he added.

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