Friday, October 14, 2016

AFP: 59 bandits killed in Duterte’s first hundred days

From GMA News (Oct 14): AFP: 59 bandits killed in Duterte’s first hundred days

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday claimed “substantial gains” in its campaign against terrorism and illegal drugs during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.

In a statement , AFP said it has launched 579 massive military operations, 426 of which were focused “to neutralize” members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

“The operations led to 54 armed engagements resulting to the neutralization of 94 ASG bandits either killed, wounded, apprehended, or surrendered—56 killed, 21 surrendered, and 17 apprehended/captured,” the AFP said.

Among those killed were key ASG leaders Nelson Muktadil, Braun Muktadil, and sub-leader Mohammad Said.

“The AFP had launched a similar crackdown against terrorist groups in Central Mindanao. Forty-four  combat operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and other foreign and local terrorists particularly the Maute Group,” t he AFP added.

Fifty personalities have been neutralized from these operations, while several firearms and ammunitions have also been seized.

AFP also noted the capture of the three suspects on the Davao blast on October 4 as one of its successes.

At the same time, the recent declaration of State of National Emergency has enabled AFP to deploy “a substantial number” of military, navy and air force members to counter lawless violence in the country.

On war on drugs

The AFP said the efforts of the government to incorporate military in its campaign against illegal drugs have made it more efficient.

AFP’s support of the Oplan Tokhang, where houses of suspected drug personalities are visited, resulted to the arrest and apprehension of 191, surrender of 689, and killing of eight drug suspects.

“These inter-agency efforts enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the steps taken to implement President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to end the proliferation and use of illegal drugs in the country,” the AFP said.

“To manifest its adherence to the campaign, the AFP conducted random drug testing within its ranks.

Through Task Groups Jacob, Midas, Joshua, and Salamander, the AFP conducted random drug tests on 19,163 military and civilian personnel, allowing the identification of 44 individuals who tested positive to the use of certain illegal drugs," it added.

Several military camps have also been opened to establish rehabilitation centers, including the 10,000-capacity one currently being completed at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

On AFP modernization

In its effort to modernize its operations, the AFP said it has received its third Del Pilar Class Frigate on July 21.

Aside from this, the armed forces has also launched its second Strategic Sealift Vessel BRP Davao Del Sur.

“Five pilots and nine airmen from the Philippine Air Force also flew to the US on September 30 to inspect the newly acquired C-130T Hercules transferred to expand the AFP’s airlift capabilities,” the AFP said.

“The Philippine Army received additional 32 engineering equipment last August 30,” it continued.

With all these developments, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya said the military would not falter in their commitment to sustain its gains during the administration’s first 100 days.

“It is my vow to lead the professional AFP that is fully committed to support the Commander-in-Chief in his advocacy against terrorism, illegal drugs, criminality, and graft and corruption,” Visaya said.

“The next 100 days and beyond will be as challenging, but we will steady the course. The Commander-in-Chief has embarked on the voyage and set the waypoints towards our destination, we just have to adjust the sails accordingly. Our President and our people can count on the AFP’s unwavering support,” he added.

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