Category: News & Updates

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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(Updated on May 30, 2017)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ focus continues on safely clearing Marawi of terrorist elements holed up within pockets of the city. The priority of ongoing military action is likewise directed at helping residents who are trapped in the city’s interiors and the recovery of civilians in the hands of the terrorists.

The integration of Joint Operations capabilities and Philippine National Police support significantly degraded the local terrorist group’s (LTG) fighting potentials and its network of supporters and armed members is reduced. The government troops disrupted the LTG’s plan to establish terror cells in Central Mindanao particularly on the grand plan to burn down and bastardize the entire city of Marawi.

Focused military operations are judiciously undertaken to prevent collateral damage at specific targets of resistance to hasten the clearing of Marawi City of terrorist elements.

As of this update, a total of 89 terrorists were killed (42 body counts and 47 confirmed snipers killed). Government forces suffered 24 killed-in-action (AFP-21, PNP-3) and 81 wounded-in-action (AFP-63, PNP-18).

The government troops have rescued and assisted 960 trapped civilian residents since the start of the operations.

Troops on the ground have recovered 91 assorted high-powered firearms, shabu paraphernalia, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and various war materials.

The ongoing operations manifest difficulty among the operating troops due to highly urbanized area with topographically complexity where man-made construction is a dominant feature.

To destroy the remaining LTGs, surgical airstrikes is recommended to continue due to the current battleground where the enemy made their stronghold is complex and dynamic interaction and relationships between its components of terrain, and the population and supporting infrastructure,

“Our forces are working together to hasten the restoration of the rule of law and Marawi’s return to normalcy. We ensure the primacy of Human Rights, Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Law in all conduct of our operations,” said Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division.

“We count on everyone to unite as one nation and do their patriotic duty for the stability in the Marawi City,” BGen. Bautista said.

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Updated: May 25, 2016 at 9:50pm

Elements of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan under Brigadier General Rolly Bautista engaged in an armed confrontation with members of the local terrorist group in Marawi City earlier today.

At 9:00am today while clearing two bridges heading toward Bangulo area, operating government troops encountered an estimated 30 heavily armed terrorists.

Thirteen more terrorists were killed after a two-hour armed confrontation with the same troops. Three high-powered firearms were also recovered from the encounter site.

Soldiers continued to conduct assault and deliver artillery fire support to the enemy location, while aerial assets were also deployed to reinforce the troops.

“As of this report, 31 terrorists were already neutralized and 6 high-powered firearms were recovered by the troops,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

“Our troops are doing deliberate operations in areas we believe are still occupied or infested with the terrorist’s presence. I specifically ordered our soldiers to locate and destroy these terrorists as soon as possible,” Brig. Gen. Bautista added.

In another area of the city, soldiers also on clearing operations were able to rescue 16 civilians in Barangay Kilala, Marawi City. The rescued civilians were trapped and afraid to go out from where they were hiding. Soldiers escorted them to a safer area after they were rescued.

“The skirmishes and rescue operations today unfortunately resulted to the death of 6 soldiers and wounding of 7 others,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Our soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in order to ensure that the City be cleared of the terror threat,” Lt. Gen. Galvez said.

“Again we are calling on the people in the community to join us in fighting terrorism by providing us with information that can help our operations in defeating them. We will exert all means possible to crush the remaining Maute members so that the people of Marawi City can go back to their homes the soonest,” Lt. Gen. Galvez said.

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Updated: May 24, 2016 at 8:00pm

As the troops of Joint Task Force Zampelan headed by Brigadier General Rolly Bautista continue to zero-in on Maute members in Marawi City since yesterday afternoon, Government forces were able to take hold of the different areas that were reportedly held by some Maute members since last night.

At three in the afternoon today, the Amai Pakpak Hospital where Maute members accordingly occupied and held captive some seventy-eight civilians (8 patients, 49 construction workers, and 21 hospital staff) was already declared cleared of Maute presence.

Yesterday afternoon, members of Maute allegedly came to the hospital and shot dead one policeman and a security guard before they entered the hospital premises.

According to sources, the militants were bringing along with them two wounded members and sought medical care from the hospital staff upon their arrival. On the process, they also held captive all 78 civilians in the hospital.

In other areas, the Dansalan College in which one of the school buildings was burned last night, was also declared cleared of the Maute threat as of this afternoon after soldiers were able to rescue forty-two teachers of said school who were trapped.

Unfortunately, while in the course of these rescue operations, five soldiers were killed and 31 were wounded while making sure that civilians be brought to safety.

Also, one policeman who was driving a police vehicle was killed yesterday afternoon by the militants.

As of six pm tonight, there were thirteen Maute members who were killed (two cadavers recovered) and an M16 rifle was recovered by the government forces.

Soldiers were also able to recover a number of Improvised Explosive Devices’ components from a safehouse that was previously occupied by the terrorist group.

Earlier this morning, hundreds of residents from Marawi were seen fleeing from the City towards Iligan City, with combined AFP and PNP personnel facilitating their safe and speedy passage.

Likewise, safety procedures like check points/inspections were conducted along routes to ensure that no terrorist elements can mix up with Internally Displaced Persons.

As of this report, soldiers and policemen are still in the area acting on information provided by concerned residents.

“Terrorism problem is something we all have to battle together as one humanity which is strongly against it,” says Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Many people in Marawi and in other areas are denying the presence of a looming terrorism threat in their communities. Sadly, we even received reports that there were even politicians supporting the group in some way.”

“These threat is something that needs to be eliminated and completely destroyed because if left to thrive, it will soon poison our communities and take our freedom and our precious lives away from us.”

“We are therefore calling on all citizens not only those in Marawi but also in other areas of Mindanao to join us in the fight. We have to make noise and disallow these terrorist to destroy our communities. Let us all make a strong stance against this menace before it gets us,” adds Lieutenant General Galvez.

“We would like to pay tribute to our soldiers who perished and made the ultimate sacrifice while delivering their duty to the nation. I am saddened by this loss, but their story will forever be etched in the pages of history. They will be known as heroes who defended Marawi from the claws of terrorism.”

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In the wake of an incident in Marawi City where the presence of a local terrorist group was reported, BGen.Rolly Bautista, Commander of Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division announced that the military and the local government unit in Marawi City are on the top of the situation.

“We have efficiently implemented necessary measures to secure vital installations in Marawi City and prevented the local terrorist group to sow violence in the area. We ensure the continuous protection of the people of Marawi City against lawless elements,” BGen. Bautista said.

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