Monday, September 11, 2017

RPA commander killed, SAF commando injured

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 11): RPA commander killed, SAF commando injured

A district commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade died in an ambush in Kabankalan City, while a Special Action Force commando of the Philippine National Police was injured in an encounter with suspected New People's Army rebels in Candoni, Negros Occidental, on Saturday.

JovanieBanista, District 6 commander of the RPA-ABB, was on his way home from Barangay Bantayan. toBrgy. Locotan in Kabankalan City, on board a motorcycle, when he was ambushed by about 12 suspected NPA rebels, Supt. Rhea Santos, city police chief, said yesterday.

Banista, 50, also known as Ka Amor and Ka Elmer among his colleagues, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot, Santos, who is the Kabankalan City police chief, said.

Empty shells of AK 47 and M-16 assault rifles were recovered at the ambush site, Santos said.

The ambush on Banista was the second that suspected NPA rebels have conducted. On Aug. 31, 2014 Banista survived the ambush staged by his former comrades inPurokCubay, Brgy. Locotan, also in Kabankalan City, police records showed.

Two months ago, RPA-ABB leader Charlie BoliBoli was also waylaid and shot dead in Brgy. Bago, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental,by nine NPA rebels, who later claimed responsibility for his death.

The RPA-ABB, with about 700 members in Negros, Panay and some areas of Mindanao, entered into peace talks with the government in year 2000. The closure agreement has yet to be signed by the government, however.

The ambush of Banista also took place as Police Inspector Jose Buscato was injured in an encounter with 30 NPA rebels on the same day in SitioTigmaya, Brgy. Gatuslao, Candoni, Negros Occidental.

Buscato, a Special Action Force commando of the PNP, is now in a stable condition, Capt. RuelLlanes, 303rd Infantry Brigade spokesman, said.

Lllanes said the firefight lasted for about 30 minutes, and the rebels scampered in separate directions, leaving behind fresh bloodstains along their withdrawal routes.

Two M-16 rifles were recovered at the encounter site by the pursuing SAF troopers, who are now being assisted by the Philippine Army in the conduct of pursuit operations against the fleeing communist rebels.

Llanes said the encounter took place as government troopers responded to reports on the presence of armed rebels.

Members of the rescue unit ofthe Sipalay City government fetched the injured SAF commando fromSitioCambugi-ot, Brgy. Manlocahoc, Sipalay City, which is near the highway.

Before the encounter, there were reports that the Candoni Police Station will be attacked by the NPA.

Llanes said there is a possibility that the 30 rebels encountered by SAF commandos may also have been the ones planning an attack at the Candoni Police Station, reported last month.

This prompted the Philippine Army and National Police to launch combat operations all over Negros Island, also following the ambush-slay of six policemen and a civilian in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on July 21.

Hurricane Irma-Power Down for Hours-Back Up Now-Still Standing

Shortly after I said we still had power following the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, the power went out. We just got power back about an hour ago. It's still raining and the wind is gusting but we are doing well and praying for those who have not been as fortunate.

Retired Analyst

MARAWI CRISIS | Some rebels send surrender feelers as govt troops advance

Posted to InterAksyon (Sep 11): MARAWI CRISIS | Some rebels send surrender feelers as govt troops advance

Marawi structures smoldering

Marawi structures smolder after more than three months of armed conflict. REUTERS photograph.

ISLAMIC CITY OF MARAWI – Some Islamic State-linked militants have sent “feelers” they are prepared to surrender after three and a half months of fighting, the military disclosed on Monday.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has used loudspeakers urging militants to give themselves up, telling the estimated 50 to 60 fighters left in the city their lives would be spared if they disarm, change out of their black clothes and walk to a designated location.

“We hope to see surrenders within the next days,” local command spokesman Colonel Romeo Brawner told a news conference.

“There are feelers. Definitely, there are feelers,” he added, declining to elaborate.

The surrender offer came after a renewed, if short-lived, effort by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to start back-channel talks with militants, with a former Marawi mayor Omar Solitario Ali to have acted as an intermediary.

Duterte on Saturday ruled out the possibility of allowing rebels to flee in exchange for the release of dozens of hostages.

Two troops were killed at the weekend, taking to 147 the number of security forces killed in the Marawi conflict. Some 655 militants and 45 civilians have been killed, according to the army.

Troops were engaged in running battles with the militant alliance, led by Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute of the Maute group, and Isnilon Hapilon, a factional head of the Abu Sayyaf group, and Islamic State’s so-called “emir” in Southeast Asia.

More than 20 structures were captured, many laden with booby traps. Some were commercial high-rise buildings that have been used as sniper positions to thwart government forces.

Troops penetrate Maute defensive position in Marawi

From Rappler (Sep 11): Troops penetrate Maute defensive position in Marawi

Troops recover 23 structures, including a 5-storey building, that make up part of the enemy's ‘strong defensive position’

The military said it penetrated a "major defensive position" of the Maute Group in Marawi City after a “most difficult operation” on Sunday, September 10.

Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the Task Group Ranao, said the troops recovered 23 heavily guarded structures including a 5-storey building believed to be part of the enemy's final “defensive position.”

"It was a big accomplishment for our troops. One building has about 5 to 7 floors, so they have to clear all of these floors before they can say that this building is cleared," Brawner said.

Brawner said it appeared it was the beginning of the defensive line where the local terrorist groups linked with Islamic State (ISIS) put its firepower to "prevent any assaulting force from easily overcoming that terrain feature."

"We believe there will be more we will have to go through, but this was a major defensive position. We’re not saying it’s final, but it was one of the most difficult defensive lines that we have encountered during the entire Marawi siege," said Brawner.

Snipers were all over the area and they were armed with rocket-propelled grenades.

An officer is killed

Two soldiers were killed in the operation, including an officer who was shot as he was trying to rescue one of his men.

This brings the death toll among government forces to 147.

The fighting is expected to continue to intensify as troops push to end the conflict that has dragged for more than 3 months now.

Brawner said he couldn't reveal which buildings in the battle area were recovered, but these included one building that has “about 5 to 7 floors.”

“These are very significant buildings because these are part of the defensive line that the Maute terrorist group has established. They really prepared for this because they laid down a lot of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and our government troops were able to surpass these defensive line and now we are pushing them further backwards,” Brawner said in a press briefing in Marawi held before Duterte’s visit on Monday.

They are not ordinary buildings, said Brawner. "These are tall, commercial building so our government forces have to clear all of the floors in order for them to declare that this building is recovered."

Hostages were not spotted

The hostages were not spotted in the area of operation on Sunday. The military believes they are hidden in other structures.
“We received some reports that the hostages are being used for all types of errands, including assistance in creating the IEDs, but we are not saying that they themselves are experts in making the IEDs,” said Brawner.

The military said the battle zone has been narrowed down to about 20 hectares, about the size of a small subdivision. Soldiers are aiming to finish the war within September. (READ: Marawi battle zone: Urban warfare challenges PH military)

“Our commanders told us we may be able finish armed conflict within 2 to 3 weeks so our fighters on the ground are trying their best to meet this. It’s not a deadline but some sort of estimate by our commanders. Our troops on the ground are really working very hard to accomplish their mission of controlling the area, getting hold of the hostages, and neutralizing the remaining members of the Maute terrorist groups,” said Brawner.

The clashes in Marawi City, which began on May 23, prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao. Congress approved the extension of Duterte's proclamation until December 31.

Army captain among killed in Marawi clashes

From Rappler (Sep 11): Army captain among killed in Marawi clashes

President Rodrigo Duterte pays his last respects to the fallen soldier on Monday, September 11

A captain of the Army Scout Rangers was killed as he led his men in a major operation in Marawi City on Sunday, September 10.

Captain Rommel Sandoval, commander of the 11th Scout Ranger Company, was shot as he was trying to rescue one of his men while they were conducting an operation to clear a multiple-storey building in the battle area.

President Rodrigo Duterte paid his last respects to the fallen soldier on Monday, September 11, at the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro before the remains of Sandoval and another soldier killed on Sunday were transported to Manila.

Duterte later proceeded to Marawi City for his 4th visit here since the clashes with local terrorists erupted on May 23. (READ: Terror in Mindanao: The Mautes of Marawi)

Sandoval, a junior officer, led his men in the assault as the military pushed to liberate Marawi City. (READ: Troops penetrate Maute defensive position in Marawi)

The structure that the military asked the media not to identify served as one of the remaining strongholds of the local terrorists linked to international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).

Sandoval led one of the companies of the Army elite unit that has been among the primary forces deployed to the war.

He celebrated his birthday inside the battle zone last month.

Sandoval belonged to the Philippine Military Academy Class of 2005.


Duterte makes 4th visit to Marawi

From Rappler (Sep 11): Duterte makes 4th visit to Marawi

(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte is back in Marawi City, as the military marks another significant development in the battle area

MARAWI BATTLE AREA. President Rodrigo Duterte visits Marawi City for the 4th time since the war erupted on May 23. All photos from Malacañang

MARAWI BATTLE AREA. President Rodrigo Duterte visits Marawi City for the 4th time since the war erupted on May 23. All photos from Malacañang

(UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte was back inside the Marawi City battle area on Monday, September 11, following "a big accomplishment" for the military.

"The President went to the Grand Islamic Mosque which used to be the command and control of the Maute Terrorist Group and where some hostages were hidden," according to a Malacañang statement.

"He proceeded to the Mapandi Bridge and to the main battel area where he gladly allowed photo opportunities with the troops to give them morale support," the statement added.

The military pounded remaining enemy lairs while the President visited the cleared areas.

He later had a command conference with the Joint Task Force Marawi.

It's Duterte's 4th visit to the city since the war with local terror groups linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) erupted on May 23. The clashes have dragged on for more than 3 months.

Duterte distributed goods, watches, and cigarettes to soldiers. He also promised a trip to Hong Kong tour to all women assigned to Marawi after the crisis.

In a statement, Malacañang said Duterte "thanked China for the riffles they have donated for the soldiers."

Visits mark significant developments in battle zone

Duterte's visits always marked a significant development in the battle area.

Monday's visit comes after the military launched a major operation that successfully penetrated an area believed to be the beginning of the final defensive line of the terrorists.

They recovered 23 structures, including a 5-storey building that troops had to clear floor by floor.

The President's return also comes about a week after the military declared it has taken control of Bayabao Bridge, more popularly known as Banggolo Bridge, which separates the battle area from the so-called safe zone. It's the second of 3 critical bridges the military now controls.

Before going to Marawi City on Monday, Duterte was at the Laguindingan Airport to pay his respects to two soldiers killed in clashes on Sunday, before their bodies were flown to Manila.

One of them was an officer shot by an enemy sniper as he was trying to rescue one of his men.

The military is working to end the war within the month.

Duterte's first 3 visits respectively marked successful operations to control the Baloi Bridge, the multi-storey Safrullah Hospital, and the Islamic Center or the Grand Mosque.

Photo: President Duterte's Guardian Brotherhood

From the Mindanao Times (Sep 11): Photo: President Duterte's Guardian Brotherhood Tattoo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte shows his tattoo on his upper right arm — a rose and the tattoo of the Guardians Brotherhood – in Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro on Saturday as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano watch. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Commentary:KISSA AND DAWAT: Muslims in the Philippines, the latest figures from the 2015 Census

Posted to MindaNews (Sep 8): KISSA AND DAWAT: Muslims in the Philippines, the latest figures from the 2015 Census

I bumped into Abubakar Asaad at the NAIA Terminal 3 several weeks ago. He is a respected Sama professor who spent sometime in the University of the Philippines before joining the newly-organized Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)[1] as a provincial director.

As I was doing on-call consultancy for the Department of Education (DepEd) on Muslim Education Program (MEP), I mentioned to him a need for Muslim statistics – where are the Muslims in the Philippines. One prevailing misconception is that Muslims are in Mindanao only. How happy I was when Prof Asaad told me that the 2015 Census of Population (2015 PopCen) is available to the public.

In the latest PSA press release[2], the Philippine population had surpassed the 100 million-mark and annually we increase by “17 persons per year for every 1,000 persons.” More than half (56.9 percent) of the country’s population are in Luzon, followed by Mindanao (23.9 percent) and the Visayas (19.2 percent). Sex-wise, “of the total population, 50.6 percent was male while 49.4 percent was female. This resulted in a sex ratio of 102 males for every 100 females. The same sex ratio was reported in 2010.”

Against this brief national backdrop where are the Muslims?

We start in Mindanao. In the PSA-ARMM Fact Sheet July 26, 2017, “Mindanao had a total population of more than 24 million as of August 1, 2015.” Of this number, 5,646,010 are Muslims. Meaning, for every ten Mindanawons, two are Muslims.

While the bulk of the 5.6 million-plus Muslims are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 3,445,248; this is followed by Region XII (Central Mindanao) with 1,032,824, and Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 603,289, Region X (Northern Mindanao) with 378,019 and Region X (Davao Region) with 167,879. Mindanao-wide, Caraga has the smallest Muslim population with only 12,355 inhabitants.

After Mindanao, there are more Muslims in Luzon than in the Visayas.

“Less than 1 percent of the total population of Luzon were Muslims”[3]. The Muslim in Luzon[4] are concentrated in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 154,840 inhabitants, followed by Region IV-A (Calabarzon) with 67,983 Muslims; Region III (Central Luzon)with 39,202; Region I (Ilocos) with 10,801; Region II (Cagayan Valley) with 6,525; and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 4,679 Muslim. Officially based on the 2015 Census, Muslims can now be found in all Luzon provinces except Batanes.

“Only 0.15 percent of the total population of Visayas were Muslims.”[5] The largest Muslim concentration is in Region VII (Central Visayas) with 12,167 inhabitants, followed by Region VIII (Eastern Visayas) with 5,681 Muslims, the Negros Island Region with 5,276 Muslims and Region VI (Western Visayas) has the least number of Muslims with 5,138. All the provinces and major cities have Muslim inhabitants.

What are the implications of this data?

It belies the stereotype that Muslims are only in Mindanao. Muslims are now thriving and integrated across the Philippine archipelago. There is a moral obligation for those living outside of the traditional Muslim area to be model of their Muslim identify and heritage. This way, the daily interaction with non-Muslims help to gradually remove the stereotypes against each other.

In view of the DepEd’s Muslim Education Program (MEP), we can now compare the current enrollees with the census and able to determine gaps. We can now have targetted expansion and new programming.

Also, this data will inform government decision as to the addditional establishment and organization of Shari’ah courts as mandated by Presidential Decree 1083 or the “Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines”[6].

These are just sample utility of census data. I do hope that there is a growing realization of its importance to human and community development among Muslims.

Census is a much a political as it is a development tool. I hope fellow Muslims will sway to the latter. There are those who complain that government and non-government interventions are not sharp enough to address Muslim needs. Maybe as a community we were and are not proactive in participating in the census. Census builds the foundation of our development and political influence.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Noor Saada is a Tausug of mixed ancestry – born in Jolo, Sulu, grew up in Tawi-tawi, studied in Zamboanga and worked in Davao, Makati and Cotabato. He is a development worker and peace advocate, former Assistant Regional Secretary of the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, currently working as an independent consultant and is a member of an insider-mediation group that aims to promote intra-Moro dialogue).
[1] Official PSA website:

[2] “Philippine Population Surpassed the 100 Million Mark (Results from the 2015 Census of Population)” –

[3] PSA-ARMM Fact Sheet August 8, 2017

[4] ibid



NOLCOM unveils ‘Bayanihan Mural’

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 10): NOLCOM unveils ‘Bayanihan Mural’

Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) recently unveiled its “Bayanihan Mural” inside its headquarters in Camp Servillano Aquino.

In a statement, NOLCOM said the mural depicts many remarkable events in history.

Stressing the “bayanihan” approach, the mural serves as a perpetual messenger to the generation that follow.

“Throughout our journey as people, if there's anything that is commonly right and collectively achieved, it was under the spirit of bayanihan," NOLCOM stressed.

Artists who worked on the mural include Wiljun Magsino, Amadeo Cristobal, Mark Garcia, and Wil Joseph Magsino.

Tagalog news: Bayanihan Mural, ipinakita ng NOLCOM sa publiko

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 10): Tagalog news: Bayanihan Mural, ipinakita ng NOLCOM sa publiko

Pormal nang ipinakita ng Armed Forces of the Philippines Northern Luzon Command o NOLCOM sa publiko ang Bayanihan Mural na nasa loob ng Camp Servillano Aquino.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ng NOLCOM na ipinapakita nito ang maraming makabuluhang pangyayari sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas.

Binigyang-diin din ng NOLCOM ang halaga ng Bayanihan kung saan magsisilbi itong walang katapusang paalala at mensahe para sa mga susunod na henerasyon.

Ang mga pintor ng nasabing mural ay sina Wiljun Magsino, Amadeo Cristobal, Mark Garcia, at Wil Joseph Magsino.

PA: anti-insurgency campaign needs community support

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 11): PA: anti-insurgency campaign needs community support

The Philippine Army (PA) said that community involvement is vital in the fight against insurgency and terrorism.

In a press conference held recently, Captain Eduard Precioso Jr., public information officer of the 301st Infantry Brigade (3rd Infantry Division) based in Dingle, Iloilo, appealed for the public’s cooperation to address the continuing threat of terrorism and insurgency amid ongoing recruitment activities of the New People's Army (NPA) in Western Visayas.

"Hindi naman natin kailangang makipaglaban sa government to resolve our issues. Why not give peaceful resolution a chance doon sa problema ng insurgency," he said.

He said the NPA recruitment process involves the emphasis of negative issues about the government particularly the supposed failure to reduce poverty.

"Yung mga information na problema natin sa government, ipaabot natin sa tamang ahensya para masolusyunan ng ating mga ahensya," he said.

He added that they are further strengthening their communication lines with the community to help resolve the insurgency problem.

Police help sustain the gains of the peace process

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 11): Police help sustain the gains of the peace process

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The chief of the regional police office here on Tuesday (September 5) said the improved partnership between security forces and the Moro fronts in Zamboanga Peninsula has helped thwart "potential crisis” from armed groups.

Chief Superintendent Billy Beltran, director for Police Regional Office 9 (PRO), said crime rate in Zamboanga Peninsula region has significantly went down in recent years following strong collaborations with the leaderships of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

“There were almost zero major incidents such as bombings that occurred in Zamboanga Peninsula,” he said during a Peace Forum, which was attended by the top brass of the police regional office.

“We were able to avert potential crisis situations because our close coordinations with the Moro fronts… We felt the need to seal the gains, that's why we invited them (MNLF and MILF) and show our appreciation,” he said.

Beltran said it is very important for the police to fully understand and appreciate the overall peace process.

“It is very important for the policemen to understand the peace process and its protocols. We always put premium to sustain the gains of the peace process,” Beltran said.

“We are very careful not to bring distrust among the parties,” he said.

According to him, the police has set up several mechanisms to regularly coordinate with the Moro fronts.

"That process is already embedded in our organization. We have people in charge to directly communicate and collaborate with the Moro fronts,” he said.

“We needed to get in touch with them every now and then. We want them to know that we are thankful and share our milestones with them,” Beltran said.

During the forum, Peter Cheng, program manager of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for Western Mindanao, provided updates to the top police officers of the six-point Peace and Development Agenda.

Cheng said the office has conducted several peace tables across the country to initiate peace conversations.

“OPAPP is engaging different sectors. More than 10 peace table have been conducted,” he said.

In parallel, OPAPP is also implementing more than 200 projects across Zamboanga Peninsula and island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi under the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn or PAMANA.

PAMANA aims to extend development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach, conflict-affected communities to ensure that they are not left behind.

For his part, Lt. Col. Abdurasad Sirajan, action officer of GPH-AHJAG for Western Mindanao, briefed top police officers in Zamboanga Peninsula on the development of the southern peace process.

He said there's a need for the security forces to put premium to the peace process to address the growing threat of radicalism in Mindanao.

"We need to protect the primacy of the peace process amid threats from terrorist groups,” he said.

The Peace Forum is an annual event initiated by the Police to deepen their collaboration with the Moro fronts and update on the developments of the peace process. (OPAPP)

Coast Guard all set for numbering of sea-operating vessels

From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 11): Coast Guard all set for numbering of sea-operating vessels

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon embark on a nationwide numbering of motorized and manual boats plying the seas or coastal waters around the country.

Officially called Safety, Security and Environmental Numbering (SSEN) System for all Philippine vessels/watercrafts, the move called on owners of fishing boats big and small, as well as passenger bancas, to visit the nearest Coast Guard Station or Sub-Unit and have their water conveyances numbered good for a three-year period.

But for now while the information phase of the project is still ongoing, Coast Guard personnel were the ones making the rounds in coastal municipalities and barangays, conducting meetings with fisher folks or boat owners, said SNI Bocanillo Lumacad of this city’s Coast Guard station.

They had done so in some coastal barangays in this city and have schedules for visits in the days and weeks ahead, Bocanillo said at the dydm Kapihan sa PIA live Friday with his colleague, SNI Mark Clem Agustin.

He added that the service and materials, like paint, to be used for the markings are all free of charge.

The primary aim of the SSEN is to establish a database for sea-faring transports to quickly check on the origin just by looking at the big and bold signage by the side of the craft.

The clear and visible numbers will also serve as a tool for civilians to report to the Coast Guard the presence of such boats in their localities, especially so if such boats bore no numbering, Lumacad said.

Regarding the potential confusion for the public and the owners as two other government agencies, MARINA and BFAR, would also impose their policy on registering boats, Lumacad said this will be considered to avoid undue duplication.

Hurricane Irma-Still Standing-Still Have Power

Hurricane Irma has passed us by. We are still standing. Still have lots of wind and rain. Power is on for now.

Retired Analyst

2 soldiers killed in latest push in Marawi battle area

From Rappler (Sep 11): 2 soldiers killed in latest push in Marawi battle area

This brings the death toll in Marawi City to at least 147

URBAN WARFARE. File photo of Army Scout Rangers conducting clearing operation in Marawi City. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

URBAN WARFARE. File photo of Army Scout Rangers conducting clearing operation in Marawi City. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Two soldiers were killed on Sunday, September 10, in close-quarter battles with local terrorist groups in Marawi City, according to Joint Task Force spokesperson Colonel Romeo Brawner.

They were shot while conducting a major operation in the heart of the battle area to clear remaining strongholds of the local terrorist groups. It was Day 111 of the war. (READ: Marawi battle zone: Urban warfare challenges PH military)

Four others were also wounded in the push to liberate Marawi from terrorist groups linked with international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS).

Their deaths bring the death toll in Marawi City to at least 147. Over 600 terrorists have been killed. (READ: Scuba diving terrorists? Troops guard Marawi lake)

The war in Marawi City erupted on May 23 when fighters from the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group joined forces in an attempt to seize the city. Leaders of both groups pledged allegiance to ISIS.

The battle area has been narrowed to 20 hectares but the military expects intense clashes as they close in on the terrorists and their hostages.

U.S. increases surveillance support to PH military

From Rappler (Sep 11): U.S. increases surveillance support to PH military

'The United States deployed the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Mindanao,' the US embassy says in a statement

The United States has increased surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as clashes rage on in Marawi City.

"The United States deployed the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Mindanao for additional surveillance in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterterrorism efforts," the US embassy said in a statement on Monday, September 11.
The Gray Eagle UAS a drone that has a longer flight duration, meaning it can patrol a larger area.

The US embassy said it has provided the Philippine military with assistance totalling at least P15 billion in the past 3 years alone "to establish better command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for the AFP."

These include a Raven tactical UAS and two Cessna-208B surveillance aircraft, among other munitions and weapons.

"The strong, long-standing military relationship with the Philippines enables the US to respond quickly to the AFP’s needs and to support the AFP’s modernization goals," the US embassy said.

The Philippines and the US are treaty allies. The US has been assisting the Philippine military in its counter-terrorism efforts. They also conduct regular war games.

DWDD: SOVEREIGNTY PATROL | 3rd Naval Patrol Cruise by NFNL

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Sep 9): SOVEREIGNTY PATROL  |  3rd Naval Patrol Cruise by NFNL

LA UNION to BABUYAN ISLAND (DWDD) – The Naval Forces Northern Luzon conducted the third series of Naval Patrol Cruise covering sea waters off La Union to Babuyan Island Group from August 31 to September 3, 2017.

Said cruise was a sovereignty and maritime patrol aimed in preventing intrusions and illegal maritime activities in the sea waters of Northern Luzon.

The mission was undertaken by BRP Miguel Malvar (PS19) skippered by Cmdr. Welmer C. Base PN under the operational control of Naval Task Force 11 led by Cmdr. Archibald Dino C. Delfin PN (GSC).

Part of the patrol cruise is the civil military activities from the sea composed of medical, dental, feeding, gift giving, information drive, and other similar activities for the benefit of the local populace of Camiguin Island in Calayan.

Previous patrol cruise missions were undertaken by BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) and BRP Sulatan Kudarat (PS22) last March and April, respectively. NPAO / MCAG

DWDD: COURTESY CALL | Australian Navy Chief visit the Philippine Navy

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Sep 9): COURTESY CALL  |  Australian Navy Chief visit the Philippine Navy


NAVAL STATION JOSE ANDRADA, Roxas Blvd, Manila (DWDD) – Vice Adm. Timothy Barret, the Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy rendered courtesy call to the Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy, Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph S. Mercado on September 7, 2017, at the Headquarters Philippine Navy (HPN), Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

Prior to Vice Adm. Barret visit to HPN, he has also visited earlier the Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP) General Headquarters and also rendered courtesy call to the AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Eduardo Año. NPAO / MCAG

DWDD: JOIN THE NAVY | PN Recruitment to conduct AFPSAT

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Sep 9): JOIN THE NAVY  |  PN Recruitment to conduct AFPSAT

MANILA (DWDD) – To all naval officer wanna be, it is high time to find your destiny to be one of the trainees in this year’s convening of Naval Officer Candidate Course.

The PN Recruitment will conduct AFPSAT examination to all applicants at Recruitment Testing and Holding Office, Bonifacio Naval Station, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am to 12pm.

Just bring your Birth Certificate, TOR, Diploma, 2 2×2 picture, and one valid ID.

The Philippine Navy is in need of 30 officers for both White Caps/ Naval Officers, and 30 Marine Corps Officers. Hurry up!


DWDD: SITE RECON / COORDINATION | 542nd Engineering Construction Battallion supports PAMANA Project

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Sep 9): SITE RECON / COORDINATION  | 542nd Engineering Construction Battallion supports PAMANA Project

NEGROS ORIENTAL (DWDD) Site recon and sticking of the core shelter of the Department of Interior and Local Government – Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) project for the RR of RPA-ABP-TPG together with the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental and Ms April Casalem of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Coordination to the OPAPP for the incoming project of the DILG-PAMANA for the RR.