Category: News & Updates

Joint Task Force Marawi, Camp Ranao, Marawi City, June 20, 2017 – Ang mga sundalo mula sa Joint Task Force Marawi ay nagsasagawa ng repacking of goods mula sa iba’t-ibang hanay ng pribado at publikong sector bilang tulong sa mga evacuees mula sa Marawi City.

Sa loob ng dalawampu’t-pitong araw ng kaguluhan sa Marawi, libo libong mga sibilyan na naapektuhan ang lumikas sa mga evacuation centers. Dahil dito, marami ang nagbibigay-tulong katulad ng pagkain, damit, gamot at tubig para sa mga apektado ng mga kaguluhan.

Ang mga tulong ay nagmula hindi lamang sa Mindanao kundi sa iba bahagi ng Pilipinas sa Luzon at Visayas. “Hindi na mabilang ang mga nagpapadala at nagpapahiwatig na nais nilang maging bahagi sa pagbibigay-tulong para sa ating mga sundalo at iba pang sibilyan na naapektuhan ng labanan,” sabi ni Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, commander ng Joint Task Force Marawi.

“Sa ngalan ng inyong Armed Forces at kapulisan, kami ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong sa mga naging biktima ng pangyayaring ito. Ang mga pagnanais ng ating mga kababayan sa buong bansa ay nagpapakita ng pagkakaisa ng sambayanan na iwaksi ang mga kaguluhang dulot ng mga terorista,” sabi ni Brig. Gen. Bautista.

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Camp Ranao, Marawi City, June 19, 2017 – A total of 11 packs of high grade Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (shabu) weighing 11 kilograms were recovered by government troops in the conflict area of Marawi City on June 18, 6:00pm, in the continuing combat clearing operations.

The estimated street value of the recovered high grade shabu is between P110M to P250M.

The Alpha Company led by 1Lt. Emerson Tapang of the Philippine Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion recovered the illegal drugs along with four high powered firearms after figuring out in a firefight.

Soldiers spotted men in black emerging from a cluster of houses that prompted troops to maneuver. The terrorists put up a fight but fled while carrying items taken from one of the houses.

Numerous sachets of shabu were also recently recovered by troops in the fighting positions of Maute/ASG terrorist group since the first and second week of their attack in Marawi.

Troops in the frontline say they are facing drug crazed individuals who are evidently high on illegal drugs.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, commander of Western Mindanao Command said “the recent recovery is the largest illegal drug haul so far”.

“This strengtens our findings that these terrorists are using illegal drugs which according to Muslim religious leaders is “Haram,” a term used for being forbidden in Islamic law. These Maute and ASG terrorists are not Muslims. They have violated every tenets of the teachings in the Holy Quran,” Lt. Gen. Galvez said.

Aside from using and peddling illegal drugs, Maute and ASG terrorists are also using Mosques as sniper positions, logistics hub and safe havens for the command and control of their core group.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, Commander of 1st Infantry Division slammed the terrorists for their continued use of Mosques as battle positions and the use of drugs.

“We condemn the acts of the Maute/ASG in using Mosques as battle positions as we deplore their use of illegal drugs that is equally evil as both are Un-Islamic,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

The illegal drugs were turned over to Joint Task Group Haribon and will be further turned over to appropriate government agency for proper disposition.

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Father’s Day Message

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista
Commander, Joint Task Force Marawi

Every third Sunday of June marks a day when we recognize one of the most important persons in our life. We are reminded to honor our fathers, who have tremendously contributed to what we have become today.

This day also marks our fatherhood and the bonding we have with our children and family, who are the very reason why we strive to live. We serve because we love our country. We live because we love our family.

Let me borrow the words of Walter Schirra: “You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”

As your Division Commander, I symbolically raise you as my children and lead you in fulfilling our mandate as public servants and land protectors. There is no greater hurt that may be inflicted to a father’s heart than seeing his children die and perish in the battlefield.

My heart goes with our fellow-soldiers who gave their ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace here Marawi City. My heart goes with their loved ones, who are grieving, who are now just left with memories of our heroes.

Fathers are like soldiers who are protectors of their children. Fathers are not only providers for their families. They are also most importantly teachers, influencers and protectors.

As we do our best to protect our families, we also exert our best efforts in fulfilling our duties to protect our land. On Father’s Day, we cannot be there with our children because of our call of duty. We cannot be with our children today because we are serving the people and we are protecting the land.

Let us appreciate our fathers and let us appreciate ourselves as fathers to our children. As fathers and soldiers, let us all continue to be caring, strong, compassionate, and honest.

Let us be the best gift our children and our families ever had. And in maintaining peace, let us also be the best gift our nation will have.

Mabuhay ang mga Ama ng Tahanan! Mabuhay ang mga Sundalo!

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Camp Ranao, Marawo City, June 10, 2017 – The matriarch of the notorious Maute brothers, Onita Romato Maute a.k.a. Farhana, was apprehended at a safe house in Barangay Kormatan, Masiu, Lanao Del Sur at around 8:00pm on Friday, June 9.

Cayamora Maute, the patriarch of the Maute brothers, was recently arrested in a checkpoint in Davao City.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Philippine Armys 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division spokesman said: “The apprehension of Farhana and Cayamora Maute is a big blow to the enemy. Farhana is allegedly the heart of Maute’s organization. She facilitates the administration, logistics operations, finance, psychological support, and international network of the enemy.”

The Philippine national Police under Joint Task Force Marawi arrested Farhana and 15 others (4 male, 10 female, and 1 toddler) in a raid. Two of the apprehended males are wounded.

Identified with Farhana were brothers Mohammad Ali a.k.a. Onyok and Aliya, nephews of Cayamora Maute including Maute sisters Hiba, Hapsa and Hamida Maute and daugthers of Farhana. Other arrested individuals are yet to be unidentified. The toddler will be turned over to the Social Welfare Department for custody and proper care.

Firearms were recovered in the safehouse of Farhana including an M14 rifle, 4 rifle grenades, and 2 improvised RPG ammunition.

Several high profile personalities who are reportedly financiers and planners are subject of arrest warrants.

Former Marawi mayor Fahad “Pre” Salic, who is being implicated in the rebellion, was also arrested in Malabang town, Lanao del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi said: “Your government troops will not stop in pursuing those who are involved in the rebellion in Marawi City that resulted to destruction of properties and distress to our fellow Filipinos.”

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In the midst of ongoing clashes between government forces and Maute terrorist group in Marawi City, a virtual war in Social Media networks is being waged by propaganda accounts belonging to the jihadists and their supporters.

Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division spokesman said the social media unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has uncovered 63 Facebook accounts linked to the Islamist militants who attacked and seized parts of Marawi City on May 23, 2017.

“These 63 jihadist accounts, using fake personalities to hide their real identification, are spreading malicious information and misinformation that affect the information landscape and the mindset of Filipinos,” Herrera said.

These accounts that are being used for online propaganda and spreading radical ideologies have been using Facebook to spread lies and gather support from Social Media network users, according to Herrera.

“The Armed Forces has already undertaken the necessary measures to request Facebook.com to take down these fake accounts,” Herrera said.

“When asked about the military’s request, Facebook told AFP it would remove accounts that promoted terrorism. We want to provide a service where people feel safe. That’s why we have community standards that explain what you can and cannot do on our service,” a Facebook statement said published on Inquirer.net.

“Our community standards do not allow groups or people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism. Fake accounts are also prohibited,” Facebook statement said.

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Mga Sundalo sa Marawi, Inuuna ang Kaligtasan ng Sibilyan
(June 8, 2017)

Pagkalipas ng dalawang linggo, patuloy pa ring tinutugis ng mga tropa ng pamahalaan ang mga natitirang pwersa ng mga terorista sa lungsod ng Marawi.

Sa gitna ng mga bakbakan, karamihan sa mahigit na 200-libong residente sa lungsod na naipit sa kaguluhan ay nakalikas na. Ngunit marami pa ring sibilyang nanatili na dapat na mailigtas.

Ayon sa opisyal na tala ng Pamahalaan, halos isang libo’t kalahating sibilyan ang nailigtas ng mga sundalo nang magsimula ang kaguluhan sa Marawi noong May 23.

Sa pagtupad ng kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin, sinusuong ng mga sundalo ang anumang panganib upang makapalingkod sa mga mamamayan. Sa pagsasagawa ng mga military operations, inuuna ng mga sundalo ang kaligtasan ng mga sibiliyan ayon kay LtCol. Jo-ar Herrera, tagapagsalita ng 1st Infantry Division ng Philippine Army.

Sinabi ni Herrera na nag-iingat ang mga sundalo upang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng mga sibilyan sa gitna ng mga kaguluhan.

Patuloy ang clearing operations ng mga sundalo sa lungsod ng Marawi.

Sinabi ni Herrera na maliit na bahagi na lamang ng Marawi ang kinakailangang magasagawa ng military operation.

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Camp Ranao, Marawi City, June 6, 2017 – Troops confronting the Daesh-inspired Maute/Abu Sayaff Group in house-to-house battle recovered voluminous cash amounting to P52,200,000 at a house in Barangay Saduc Proper, Marawi City at around 11:30AM on Monday, June 5.

After neutralizing a sniper position in the area that fired at an adjacent side of the Scout Rangers, a Philippine Marine platoon led by 1Lt. Frederick Savellano of 37th Marine Corps, Marine Battalion Landing Team 7 was conducting clearing operations recovered the cash along with stale cheques worth P23,776,386.71 and an M16 firearm.

Marine forces, which are currently conducting house-to-house clearing against the terrorists, recovered the amount under constant fire, a team extricated the area and brought the cash and cheques to the headquarters of Task Force Marawi.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Task Force Marawi said the recovered money will be for safekeeping of proper authorities until appropriate investigation is conducted and proper identification of owner is established.

“This act is a manifestation for keeping the highest standard of discipline, valor and commitment in safeguarding Marawi and defending the community from terror elements,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

Brig. Gen. Bautista commended the troops for their act of honesty as he pointed out the destruction done by the terrorists.

“We are proud of our soldiers in the field. Their commendable actions in caring for our people bespeak of the best practices in the AFP,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

“We condemn the propaganda of Maute/ASG and their sympathizers in peddling twisted data and disinformation to advocate violence and evil acts. We also condemn the Maute/ASG and their sympathizers for looting houses, burning school buildings and houses and destroying various properties in Marawi particularly desecrating houses of worship such as mosques and church,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

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A 39-second video uploaded by PTV Broadcasting on Facebook today, June 3, 2017, about a soldier sharing his tablet to children in Marawi City went viral.

The video caption says: “Despite the serious situation in Marawi, a soldier still provides joy by allowing children to watch cartoons on his tablet.”

Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division Captain Clint P. Antipala was unmindful of the video, which was taken by PTV reporter Allan Francisco at around 10:30AM at the Provincial Capitol of Marawi City.

As of this posting the video already generated more than 74,000 views and about 600 shares.

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Campo Ranao, Marawi City, June 3, 2017 – A total of 182 individuals trapped in the ongoing crisis in Marawi were rescued early morning today by soldiers and combined workers from the Provincial capitol and Non-Government Oranizations in two separate areas in the city while a civilian who is about to be rescued was shot dead by enemy snipers while he was approaching government troops.

One of the trapped civilians speaking in the vernacular said: “We cant get out, we are afraid of the terrorists who might see and kill us. They killed civilians, even their fellow Maranao who cannot recite the prayer or even the Shahada, with even one wrong word. Do they expect someone to recite the prayer while they poked guns at you?”

“That terrorist sniper has no heart. We just want to live. He killed a helpless civilian,” the rescued Marawi City resident said in tears.

With total disregard of women, children and elderly, a number of unarmed civilians were killed by the terrorist group in their rampage in Marawi City.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Commander of Western Mindanao Command said: “It is the commitment of our troops to exert every effort to rescue all those trapped in Marawi as we clear the city street by street, building by building, room by room and inch by inch in order to neutralize all armed threats so that peace will reign in Marawi again”.

“We hope for the early resolution of this conflict the soonest time possible so that our people in Marawi can go back to their homes and live a normal life again,” Lt. Gen. Galvez said.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Task Force Marawi condemned the Maute-Daesh inspired group for killing the trapped civilian while in the process of being rescued.

“This shows the blatant disregard of this group for the life of innocent people, the people of Marawi. They attacked the City and put the lives of everyone in Marawi in grave danger including women, children and the elderly. It is the people of Marawi who suffered because of their evil un-Islamic deeds,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

“We call on our people to stand and unite against terrorism. The fight against terrorism is not the sole duty of the security sector but the responsibility of everyone,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

The AFP tallied 120 terrorists killed, 42 bodies were recovered so far and the rest were confirmed by eyewitnesses while nine recently surrendered. Recovered firearms stand at 98 high firearms of various calibers recovered by troops.

Government forces suffered 38 killed in action and numerous wounded in action in the continuing efforts to free the city from terror elements.

Photo: Sgt. Ryan B. Escobar (Inf) PA, 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army

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