Category: News & Updates

KUTA MAJOR CESAR L SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  nce – The troops of 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion and Communist Terrorists clashed again today, 4:00 p.m. at Sitio Baka, Brgy Gasa, Lakewood, Zamboanga del sur.

The troops were on pursuit operation due to the recent encounter that transpired on Friday where one communist terrorist was killed.

The troops recovered one M-60 Machine Gun, one M-16 assault rifle, IEDs and subversive documents in a one hour and five minutes firefight.

Pursuit operation is conducted against the escaping rebels.

Once again, Brig. General Roseller G. Murillo AFP, Commander 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division, lauded the accomplishment of the troops.

“Continue the focused military operations against the NPA to stop them from their extortion activities to the populace and to bring back peace and stability in the area.” He added.XXX


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KUTA MAJOR CESAR L SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The troops of 53rd Infantry (Matapat) Battalion clashed with the Communist Terrorists at Vicinity Mount Ganaan, Brgy Gasa, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on December 8, 2017 at 11:10 in the morning

The encounter happened when the troops patrolled in the said barangay due to an information tipped by a concerned resident that the NPAs were extorting money and foodstuff from the locals.

The two-hours firefight resulted into one (1) terrorist killed and numerous wounded due to bloodstains in their withdrawal route. While three (3) were wounded from government side.

The troops recovered: three (3) high powered firearms (1-M16, 1-M14, M203 grenade launcher), four (4) rifle grenades; two (2) Motorola radio, assorted magazines, medical and dental kits; one (1) NPA flag and subversive documents.

“The government troops under 102nd Brigade will continue its collaboration and dialogues with the local government units in order to maintain peace and order situation within the area of operation”, said Brigadier General Jacinto R Bareng AFP, Brigade Commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade, 1ID, PA.

Meanwhile, Brig. General Roseller G. Murillo AFP lauded the accomplishment of the troops.

“Continue the focused military operations against the NPA to stop them from their extortion activities to the populace and to bring back peace and stability in the area.” Said BGen Murillo.XXX

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KUTA SANG-AN, LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur– Two (2) NPA rebels surrendered  to Headquarters 53rd Infantry Battalion, Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga Del Sur on December 6, 2017, 8:00 a.m.

The rebels bring along with them their firearms and ammunitions to  Lt Col. Virgilio C Hamos JR the Battalion Commander of 53IB.

The two high-powered firearms were the following: one M14 and one AK47 rifle.

Based on the interview conducted, the two rebels relented due to physical hardships, dissatisfaction on their organization’s policy and realized the futility of fighting with the government forces.

They are currently under the custody of 53rd IB for proper documentation and disposition prior turn-over to the concerned government agencies for the facilitation of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), a program for the former rebels which include social welfare, livelihood, and health.

According to Brig. General Roseller G. Murrillo, 1st Infantry Division Commander, “This is a manifestation that the NPA organization is losing their ground.”

“Rest assured that the benefits will be facilitated by the CLIP committe for them to start and live a normal life they desire.” He added

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army reaffirms its commitment to respect, protect and promote human rights as it joined the nation in commemorating the National Human Rights Consciousness Week and the 69th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the theme: “STAND UP FOR SOMEONE’S RIGHTS TODAY”  on Monday, December 4, 2017.

The National Human Rights Consciousness Week is celebrated pursuant to Republic Act 9201 of 2003 that declares December 04-10 as National Human Rights Consciousness Week to bring awareness to the people of their basic needs and fundamental human rights.

During the flag raising ceremony, Colonel Benjamin G Batara Jr GSC (INF) PA, Chief of Staff, led the officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Command in reading the “Panunumpa sa Karapatang Pantao”.

Brig.General Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, PA read the remarks of General Rey Leonardo B Guerrero AFP, Chief of Staff AFP in commemoration  of the 2017 National Human Rights Consciousness Week emphasizing that, being a soldier and government employees, it is our duty to protect and promote human rights of every Filipino people no matter what their religion, tribe, gender or status in the community.

“That is why your Armed Forces of the Philippines is continuously reminding the importance of implementing and promoting Human Rights. We ensure that all our operations are made without breaking any law that within its scope ”, he added.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army officially opened the Candidate Soldier Course Classes 506, 507, 518, 519, and 520-2017 today, December 4, 2017 at the Division Grandstand.

The 754 Candidate Soldier qualified applicants where 70 females included  will undergo sixteen (16) weeks of training at the 1st Division Training School (1DTS) and 6th Division Training School respectively.

CSC Class 506-2017 will be trained by Major Rodolfo L Lamban Jr (INF) PA, with eleven (11) training models; CSC Class 507-2017 will be trained by Captain Frances S Belarmino (INF) PA with eleven (11) training models; CSC Class 518-2017 with three (3) training models; CSC Class 519-2017 will be trained by Captain June Mark P Matugas (INF) PA with fifteen (15) training models and CSC Class 520-2017 will be trained by First Lieutenant Leve Jolly S Bulawan (INF) PA with fifteen (15) training models.

In his message as the keynote speaker, Brigadier General Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, said, “I hope that all of the 754-strong candidate soldiers will be able to finish their training course.  The objective of this training is for you to have the strength and discipline befitting a soldier, and transform you into fighters that can defend the country” he added.

He ended on the reminder that as future soldiers, from thereon, they must always bear in mind that everything they do is for God, the Filipino people, and our country.


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Loksadatu, Marawi City – Another successful effort done by the people and the security forces in Marawi City when one foreign national was arrested due to the suspicion that he is a straggler and member of the ISIS around 06:30am this morning at Brgy. Moriatao Luksadato, Marawi City.  The foreign individual was determine to be an Indonesian national who tried to escape and hide from the security forces in an attempt to get away from the main battle area based on the investigation.  The said foreign national was turned over by the Barangay Peace Action Team (BPAT) of the said to the PNP and AFP for further investigation.

The suspected Indonesian terrorist namely Mohammad Ilyham Shayaputra was seen walking in Brgy Loksadato seemingly weak and whose clothes were wet. When the people asked him where he came from, he introduced himself as a military intelligence operative. That was when the people informed their BPAT’s in the barangay, who immediately arrested the suspicious looking individual and later surrendered the arrested person to the authority.

In Zia Alonto’s statement on the arrest of the said Foreign ISIS fighter says “The arrest of Indonesian National involved in the siege of Marawi in the morning of Nov. 1 by the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) of Brgy. Loksadatu validates the LGUs position that civilian participation is essential in our collective effort to secure our communities from terrorist elements. Crucial in our security effort to fully restore normalcy in the controlled area is to maintain vigilance by our residents. We must develop and strengthen the civilian security plan as proposed by the Provincial Peace and Order Council of Lanao del Sur to inspire further people’s initiative in order to complement our state forces’ on-going clearing operation down to the barangay level.”

The Barangay Peace Action Team (BPAT) were trained and organized by the Joint Task Group RANAO, now Joint Task Force RANAO, to facilitate the security of each barangay in the controlled areas in Marawi city. This efforts were started during the crisis to help the security forces (PNP and AFP) in conducting security operations and the fast facilitation of needed services for the crisis. They underwent security training which was facilitated by the instructors from JTG RANAO under the JTF MARAWI.

Before the campaign against ISIS-Inspired Maute group, many videos and propaganda  came out in the social media inviting and recruiting ISIS members to go to Southeast Asia specifically to the Philippines to join the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate in the country. The existence of foreigners who joined the said campaign was proven when the Piagapo Clash happened last April this year where foreigners were believed to have died.

With this effort the people of Marawi are now vigilant and prepared to defend their community against terror groups like the Maute-Hapilon group, as they slowly recover from the crisis that they experienced.

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Mindanao Peace Advocate and popular actor Robin Padilla recently launched “Tindig Marawi”, his personal advocacy to help rebuild the war-torn city and provide support for its people in terms of shelter and livelihood opportunities.

Explaining why the Marawi Siege that lasted for five months has impacted him in a big way, Padilla said: “Ang Mindanao at kapayapaan ay dalawang bagay na malapit sa aking puso.”

Unknown to many, Padilla has already started helping the people of Marawi since the war started last May by reaching out to friends, relatives, and private companies to gather relief goods for those displaced by the war. Padilla also recently donated Php5 million for the psycho-social intervention of the kids of Marawi and personally distributed Php5 million worth of relief goods to affected families.

Despite these efforts, Padilla admits that the people of Marawi need so much more help.
Padilla created the “Tindig, Marawi” movement to create heightened awareness on the critical needs of the people of Marawi despite the recent government’s declaration on the end of the Marawi siege.

In a press conference at the Ilustrado Restaurant in Manila, Padilla said that the worst thing that could happen is for the public to forget that the people of Marawi still needs everyone’s help, especially at this time of rebuilding.

“Ang Tindig Marawi po ay isang kilusan, hindi poi to pansariling pagkilos ko lamang. Inaanyayahan ko po ang lahat na tumulong para sa pagbangon at pagtindig na muli ng Marawi. Natapos man po ang digmaan, napakalaki pa rin po ng kanilangang pangangailangan. Bahay, hanapbuhay, pagkain, ospital, paaralan—napakarami pong nawasak sa Marawi at malawakang pagtulong po ang kailangan para makatindig silang muli,” Padilla said.

Padilla said that he hopes to use “Tindig, Marawi” as a springboard to generate more support from private individuals, corporations and organizations to support and help in the rebuilding of Marawi.

At the launching, Bhavna Suresh, managing director and Chief Executive Officer of the global property portal Lamudi, signed a memorandum of understanding to officially partner with the Tindig Marawi program, particularly in the establishment of a portal that will help serve as a fund-raising platform for the rebuilding of shelters in Marawi.

Lito Villanueva, managing director of the financial technology company FINTQ, is also collaborating with Tindig Marawi through the “Pabuhay” component where they commit to assist the Marawi victims regain their livelihood and facilitate organic farming and micro business training through their program, KasamaKa. They will also kickstart the Tindig Marawi Livelihood Fund, hoping to raise a minimum of P10 million which will be used to provide seed money to the people of Marawi so they could start and rebuild their businesses.

Also present during the press conference was Interfaith peace advocate Dr. Potre Diampuan who shared with the media the three things that the Maranaos need at this time – Shelter, Subsistence and Sustainability.

“Umaasa ako na sana’y itong proyekto nating Tindig Marawi ay maka-antig sa puso ng ating mga kababayan na tumulong sa mga kapatid nating naapektuhan sa katatapos lang na labanan sa Marawi,” Padilla said.

Some of Padilla’s colleagues in the industry, such as actor Piolo Pascual and director Joyce Bernal, have already donated to the Tindig Marawi fund and Padilla hopes that more people will follow suit.

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared Marawi City liberated from the hands of the terrorists, during a simple flag raising ceremony held on October 17, 2017 inside the main battle area in culmination of almost five month-long government’s campaign against terrorists.

The occasion highlighted the commitment, heroism and sacrifice of troops especially those fallen comrades in the quest to end terrorism that affected Marawi City.

The President also promised to care the wounded soldiers and said, no one will be left behind.

“I declare Marawi City liberated from terrorists influence and marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” the President said.

The simple yet meaningful ceremony reverberated the achievement of Armed Forces of the Philippines which is also the victory of the people especially the Maranaos.

“This declaration gives hope and joy for the displaced Marawi residents,” said Lt. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army.

“The deaths of Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute serve as a reminder that terrorists have no place in the Philippines. They perished in battle and those who want to follow their footsteps would suffer the same fate,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.

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The deaths of key leaders behind the deadly siege in Marawi City is making an impact on the Catholic community.

Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were killed in gunbattle with the government troops past midnight on Monday.

Omar and his brother Abdullah aligned themselves with Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and supposed emir of Islamic State group in Southeast Asia.

Bishop Edwin dela Peña is hoping that the death of the terrorist leaders will finally bring an end to the hostilities in the city that erupted since last May.

“Crumbling leadership signals the beginning of the end. I’m beginning to feel relieved,” Dela Peña said.

Archbishop Martin Jumoad of Ozamiz said the death of the key terror is “victory for peace and order in our society”.

“This serves as a lesson that evil must be conquered so that goodness may reign. May those who plan evil realize that there are so many good people who will oppose them,” he said.

For his part, Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ Committee on Public Affairs, said extremism will not end in the death of the two leaders alone.

The priest said a “holistic approach” and not just military offensive is needed in battling terrorism.

“Education, employment, poverty eradication and infrastructure development should only be some of the measures that this government should undertake if only to dismantle or at least weaken the influence of terrorist cells,” he said.

More than 1,000 lives have been lost in the nearly five-month war, including 163 soldiers, 822 militants and 47 civilians. CBCPNews

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The following is the media statement of Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo M. Año in the afternoon of October 16, 2017.

This day marks the triumph of good over evil. The day when the labor and sacrifices of your security forces — Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Policemen, and Coast Guard personnel — finally paid off.

Today, with the unwavering support of the government and its people, we have nipped the budding terrorism, stamped out the leaders of the Daesh-inspired terrorist group, and made an unequivocal statement — we will not allow terrorism to reign in Marawi City or elsewhere in the country!

I am confirming that the taunted “emir” of ISIS in the Philippines and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and the last of the dreaded Maute Brothers Omarkhayam are both dead.

Hapilon and Omar were both neutralized at a dawn raid today while each was dashing for refuge from one building to the other as your AFP’s elite units storm what remains of the former terrorists’ strongholds.

The lifeless bodies of these terrorist leaders were recovered, physically, independently, and positively identified by various individuals including former Maute-ISIS hostages and surrenderers.

With the precise and timely execution of our final plan to crush the terrorist group, the relentless offensives have trimmed down enemy position to the last one of two hectares remaining prior the death of the Hapilon and Omar. The well-orchestrated attacks further demoralized the terrorists who were seen scampering in disarray.

Your troops braved the dangers posed by IEDs and “booby traps” lain in their avenues of advance in search for hostages to rescue.

Their selfless and valiant act led to the rescue from the terrorists of a 2-month old baby among the 20 hostages rescued over the weekend.

As at 16 October 2017, after 147 days of intense fighting, around 824 terrorists were killed; 837 firearms recovered; and 1771 hostages were rescued to include the said 20 hostages.

One hundred Sixty Two (162) of your government security forces were Killed-In-Action and a thousand others more were maimed or Wounded-in-Action in the bid to successfully liberate Marawi.

It will be a matter of days before it can finally be declared that Marawi has been liberated from the clutches of terrorists. From thereon, clearing operations can proceed to pave the way for the reconstruction and rebuilding in Marawi.

I am certain that the neutralization of Hapilon and Omar is the last straw that has broken the camel’s back.

The Marawi Crisis will be over–sooner than later. The resistance of–or what is left of it— the terrorists will crumble.

It’s a dead end. There is nowhere else to go for them.

Needless to say, the remaining terrorist should as well free their hostages and have their dignity intact by letting the non-combatants go.

I have high praises for the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and even policemen and Coast Guard personnel whose unrelenting and unwavering patience, courage, and determination brought the campaign this far, at this stage of mission accomplishment.

I earnestly request all of us to continue to work—together– in this yet challenging phase of our rise as a people which is the reconstruction and rebuilding, not only of our houses and edifices but also our lives.

Magandang Hapon po. Wassalam!

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