Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New AFP chief wants military combat doctrine revisited

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 1): New AFP chief wants military combat doctrine revisited

Lt. Gen Rey Leonardo Guerrero, new Armed Forces chief of staff, has expressed intention to modify the military combat doctrine, especially for ground forces involved in counter-terrorism stride, citing soldiers’ brutal experience in the five-month long fight against Daesh-inspired militants in this city.

“There will be changes (in combat styles). In fact we have already initiated steps to revisit our war fighting doctrines and the lessons learned as a result of the Marawi incident,” Guerrero said in his first visit at the Zamboanga City-based Western Mindanao Command lately.

AFP Chief Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo Guerrero

Army officials defined military doctrine as the theoretical foundation by which forces guide their combat actions, with certain degree of flexibility applicable to different circumstances and locations.

Some soldiers, who received heroes’ welcome in military headquarters on Monday after ridding this city of militants from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in five months of fighting, had admitted difficulty against well-trained sniper-enemies holed out in different buildings here.

Published reports said the government suffered at least 165 fatalities in the protracted firefight, while the enemies lost over 900 comrades. Non-military quarters here, however, believed the more than 900 fatalities could have included civilians slain in sporadic bombings.

In his initial official pronouncements, Gen. Guerrero underscored the need for an upgrade in the military war fighting doctrines, even as he asserted that terror threat still exists in the country.

“Before the Marawi (war), we had already monitored that they are moving around the country…“It is highly possible that they have been able to go around to other areas as well,” Guerrero said, referring to local radicals supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) violent ideologies.

Civilian quarters here corroborated Guerrero’s belief, complaining that local jihadist ideologues Humam Abdulnajjid, alias Alim Owaida, and Ustaz Jamil Yahya have remained at large.

Abdulnajjid was said to be the handler of slain brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, while Yahya is an extreme religious preacher who broke the silent existence in Lanao del Sur of the Maute group’s Ghuraba or Dawlah Islamiya when he led a group of young radicals in this city to declare allegiance to the ISIS leadership in 2014.

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division leadership, meanwhile, expressed readiness in the AFP’s planned shift in anti-terror operations from the Lanao region to Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces.

Maj. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, head of the Maguindanao-based Army Division, said the military and police forces have been closely collaborating with civilian authorities in mapping out measures meant to ensure that the magnitude of destruction in the Marawi war would not happen in other provinces.


Sky Views: The beginning of IS in Asia?

From Sky News (Oct 31): Sky Views: The beginning of IS in Asia? (/By Katie Stallard)

Before their embrace of radical Islam, the leaders of the Marawi siege ran local militant groups in the southern Philippines.

Isnilon Hapilon, Islamic State's "emir" for south-east Asia, was better known here as the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which specialised in kidnapping foreigners for ransom.

The Maute brothers, Abdullah and Omar, headed an eponymous private militia targeting businesses for extortion before rebranding themselves as IS Ranao, and joining forces with Hapilon.

Hapilon's faction pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014, with the Maute following in early 2015, beginning a series of clashes with the authorities, before fighting together under the black flag of IS in Marawi.

During the conflict, Islamic State made enthusiastic use of their footage in propaganda videos, claiming a new front in south-east Asia, and calling for fighters who could not make it to the Middle East to travel to the Philippines instead, although they stopped short of declaring a formal vilayat, or province, in Marawi.

Image: The economic capital of the province has now been reduced to rubble

It would be naive to assume their ambitions in the region ended with the deaths of Hapilon and the Maute brothers.

This siege did not come out of nowhere.

The island of Mindanao has a long history of armed conflict, and a tradition of enmity towards the central government.

While the larger separatist groups have joined a peace process, and fought alongside government forces in Marawi, progress has been slow, and poor governance and grinding poverty prevail, alongside a plentiful supply of weapons.

The conditions that made this fertile recruiting ground for militants before the latest crisis all remain in place.

Add to this that the economic capital of the province has now been reduced to rubble, along with tens of thousands of homes and livelihoods.

There might be anger towards IS for starting the conflict, but that could quickly become refocused on the government's handling of it, as displaced families return to the city to find they have nothing left.

Senior military officers here understand this. The same Special Forces soldier who escorted our team into the main battle area, took us through a Powerpoint presentation on the work he is already doing in local evacuation centres.

"The rehabilitation starts before the battle ends," Lieutenant Villarosa said, as he showed us a project he had led to turn mortar boxes into planters for crops at a nearby camp, transforming tools of war into tools for peace.

The project is already yielding its first seedlings, and helping to return a degree of purpose and self-esteem to camp residents, as well as augmenting their basic rations.

"Basic needs will always come first," Lt Villarosa explained, and where those needs are not being met, people will be vulnerable to exploitation by militant groups.

As Islamic State loses ground in Iraq and Syria, it is likely to redouble its efforts to exploit local causes and grievances, and areas of poor governance. Katie Stallard

He has seen this firsthand around his base in Basilan, formerly Isnilon Hapilon's stronghold, where he is involved with the "From Fighters to Farmers" programme.

"If the government doesn't act on food security, soldiers will die," he said.

"We have a mantra: where there is hunger, there is anger."

But the other group that understands this all too well is Islamic State and, as it loses ground in Iraq and Syria, it is likely to redouble its efforts to exploit local causes and grievances, and areas of poor governance.

This is not just an issue for the Philippines, but across the wider region.

The urgent priority now in Marawi is to rebuild not just homes, but trust in the government - the success of which will determine whether this was an isolated incident, or the beginning of the rise of IS in Asia.


MILF official denounces police raid in Sultan Kudarat

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 30): MILF official denounces police raid in Sultan Kudarat

The head of the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the Moro Islamic Liberation front (MILF) expressed opposition to a police raid conducted in Sultan Kudarat last October 12, saying the operation attacked an MILF community.

Flag of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia) | Manila Bulletin

An article posted at the luwaran.com, the website of the MILF’s Information Committee on Sunday, reported that Butch Malang, chair of the CCCH-MILF has issued a memo last October 26, protesting the raid led by Sultan Kudarat Police Director Sr. Supt. Raul S. Supiter in houses in Barangay Maguid, Palimbang town.

The memo was addressed to Brig. Gen. Earl D. Baliao, chair of the CCCH of the Philippine government (GPH).

During the raid, police seized high-powered firearms which Malang said were owned by the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces’s (BIAF) inner Guard Base Command of its National Guard Front.

Malang said the raid “constituted serious violations of specific provisions of the Implementing Operational Guidelines of the GPH and MILF Agreement on the General Cessation of Hostilities (AGCH) signed in 1997.”

Malang requested the Joint CCCH and the International Monitoring Team to conduct a joint probe on the raid and called on the PNP to return the firearms. He said police seized an M-14 rifle, an M-203 rifle and an M-16 rifle, all owned by the BIAF.


12 former NPA members receive cash assistance

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 31): 12 former NPA members receive cash assistance

The military today said 12 former New People’s Army (NPA) members who surrendered to the government received cash assistance and firearms remuneration during a simple ceremony held yesterday at Camp Osito D. Bahian, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Malaybalay, Bukidnon Map (C) Wikipedia

Captain Norman M. Tagros, the Civilian Military Officer of the 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, said the program dubbed “Pagbalik sa Sabakan” provides financial assistance to returning communist rebels.

Of the 12 former NPA members, five were regular members who received P65,000 and firearms remuneration each, while the eight others were members of the NPA’s Militia ng Bayan who each received remunerations for the firearms they surrendered.

The government’s Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) offers livelihood assistance amounting to P50,000 and immediate cash assistance of P15,000 to NPA members who would surrender including a remuneration for each firearm brought. Moreover, it offers a reintegration package that includes livelihood and capacity development trainings.

The CLIP committee of Bukidnon headed by Brigadier General Eric C. Vinoya, commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade and co-chair of the committee, together with Richard D. Macas, provincial IP mandatory representative, and the representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, facilitated the giving of the CLIP assistance.

In his message during the event, Vinoya emphasized the government’s genuine program for the NPA members who would opt to surrender through the CLIP.

He also urged other NPA members who still remain misguided by the CPP-NPA-NDF to go back to the folds of the law.

“I am deeply pleased and thankful that today, our brothers who are former NPA members received their assistance from the government through the CLIP of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process or OPAPP,” Vinoya said.

“With this, I urge all those NPA members who still remain victims of the futility of the armed struggle and misguided by the ill propaganda of the NPA leaders to go down, surrender and live your lives peacefully.”

“We are here to assist you. Now is the right time and you should take this opportunity because our government, through our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is offering you a comprehensive surrender program where you can have the benefits of cash and livelihood assistance, capacity development, housing, and employment,” he added.


Troops kill Maute straggler in Marawi

From the Philippine Star (Nov 1): Troops kill Maute straggler in Marawi

Government forces yesterday killed a pro-Islamic State (IS) gunman in Marawi, a military official said, eight days after the hostilities were declared over.

Soldiers have focused on securing the city against surviving militant fighters since ending five months of operations against IS-inspired militants who seized control of parts of the country’s main Islamic city in May, in a bid to win a foothold in the region.

The conflict displaced about 350,000 residents and killed more than 1,100 people, mostly militants, stirring concern that Marawi is becoming an IS hub in Southeast Asia.

Yesterday, the military engaged in a gunfight with one of the suspected remaining gunmen in the main battle area, after foiling his bid to escape, army spokesman Col. Romeo Brawner said.

“We still have to put in troops, because there’s a possibility of stragglers,” Brawner told a news conference in Marawi. “In the main battle area, there are many possible hiding spots.”

Indonesians, Malaysians and Middle Easterners were among the fighters who flocked to Marawi to support the IS’s emirate in Southeast Asia.

The main battle area in downtown Marawi remains off limits, pending the removal of booby traps and unexploded ordnance.

Lt. Col. Emmanuel Garcia, commander of the 4th Civil Relations Group of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the fight occurred at around 6 a.m. in an area adjacent to the city hall compound, which has already been cleared of terrorists.

Although the bulk of soldiers and policemen deployed in Marawi were pulled out after five months of urban fighting, a number of Army battalions have been retained to address possible security concerns posed by either terrorist stragglers or their sympathizers.

Other security officials described the threat as “already insignificant” as authorities were able to restore at least 50 percent of the city’s power supply yesterday.

Normal operations at the Marawi city hall also resumed Monday, a week after the government declared the city as liberated from the clutches of terrorists.

Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. said the neutralization of key terrorist figures created a vacuum of leadership in the IS operating in Southeast Asia.

The deaths of Abu Sayyaf leader and IS emir Isnilon Hapilon, the Maute brothers as well as their foreign counterparts have also affected the communication with other IS factions in foreign countries, he added.

Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute, one of the architects in the Marawi siege, were killed by a composite of army cavalry and scout ranger units last Oct. 16. The other key elements – Malaysian university lecturer and IS financier and recruiter Mahmud Ahmad and Amin Baco – were also killed in the late stage of the operations, the general pointed out.

“I believed they have no contact now here in the Philippines,” Galvez said, adding that relentless operations are ongoing to neutralize elusive Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, who is known for kidnappings.

He recalled that other rising Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf leaders liked Muamar Askali alias Abu Rami and Alhabsy Misaya were killed in separate military operations in Bohol and Sulu in April.


Thousands of Marawi residents have started returning home, only for some to find dwellings ransacked. Brawner said an Army official and five personnel were detained in barracks after being charged with looting.

Although he described it as “old hat,” he said they received a lot of complaints about looting “even before the start of the siege.”

“That’s why when we deployed our troops, they were warned not to loot because we know that this will be a problem. In fact, we were able to apprehend some soldiers and they are now facing charges,” Brawner, also the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao, said in a statement yesterday.

He confirmed that one Army team was apprehended.

“I don’t know their exact number, but we are not denying it because they are now facing charges,” the officer said.

Reports said a lieutenant colonel and five enlisted personnel were among those slapped with administrative charges before the military court.

Brawner clarified that the alleged looting incident happened shortly after the fighting started and when the IS-inspired militants had ravaged most of the city’s houses and establishments.

“When the Army entered Marawi, they arrived when most of the houses have already been forcibly opened by the terrorists apparently in search for cash, jewelry and guns. These accounts were validated by the rescued hostages,” Brawner said.

He added that although the AFP leadership reminded the troops to refrain from taking anything from abandoned houses, some soldiers were apparently lured into “salvaging” something from the looted residences.

The officer also clarified some photos showing military trucks loaded with satellite dishes that have been circulating on social media.

“This is routine in all major operations because these are military properties,” Brawner said, pointing out that each Army company in Marawi was issued a satellite dish, along with other electronic gear, as part of supplies and logistics.

Even in combat, he added, soldiers are issued laptops and printers because they used these gadgets to make the required reports.

The motorcycles shown driven by soldiers in Marawi are also military property and were used for intelligence gathering and intelligence-driven operations, he said.

“Soldiers have also personal belongings. But just the same all military units who are being pulled from Marawi are subjected to an inspection,” Brawner said.

Westmincom’s Garcia said looting concerns were being addressed by the military’s built-in disciplinary action.

However, he stressed that while the fighting continued, civilians were also looting the houses and that at least 22 “professional looters,” some of them coming from as far as Iligan City, were arrested.

“After the first incident, we haven’t any report of any soldier engaging in looting activities. What I know is that we have apprehended 22 professional looters in June, August and July,” he added.

New AFP assets

On top of sophisticated surveillance planes provided by the US and Australia governments, newly acquired air and naval assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) played critical roles in the city’s liberation, said Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado.

Within the five-month campaign, the military used FA50 lead-in supersonic fighter jets and a fleet of brand-new, rocket-firing helicopters to hit terrorist positions hard.

Mercado also noted the steady flow of Marawi-bound troops, including elite forces with armored fighting vehicles (AFV) and logistics from various locations ferried by the Navy’s newly acquired landing dock ships BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao del Sur.

Complementing these efforts, he added, are the P3 Orion surveillance and intelligence aircraft provided by the US and Australia.

“We were able to expeditiously complete our missions transporting much-needed equipment (to the main battle area) from combat vehicles, artillery, munitions and ground troops as a result of our modernization program,” the Navy chief said following the recent disembarkation of Navy and Marine forces from BRP Tarlac after their five-month deployment in Marawi.

He added that the two landing dock ships also transported relief goods for affected and displaced residents who were then staying in various evacuation centers in Iligan City and nearby towns.

Unlike before when troops needed to wait for days, transporting troops from Luzon and the Visayas was quicker using the Philippine Air Force’s five C-130 heavy lift and three C-290 medium lift transport aircraft.

The C-290 aircraft are brand new planes while the C-130s, despite being procured secondhand, continue to live up to their role as the country’s main cargo and troop transport aircraft, the way most militaries use them around the globe.

Soldiers have focused on securing the city against surviving militant fighters since ending five months of operations against IS-inspired militants who seized control of parts of the country’s main Islamic city in May, in a bid to win a foothold in the region. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

Cafgu in banana plantations

From the Sun Star-Davao (Oct 29): Cafgu in banana plantations

THE Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) is set to facilitate its members who will employ the special Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) 2 in banana plantations in Mindanao.
According to PBGEA security committee chair Ralph dela Cruz, the communication development committee of their association, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), is to deploy a special Cafgu 2 for the banana plantations of some of their members.
Dela Cruz said Cafgu 1 is intended for those paid through the government funds while Cafgu 2 are those employed by private sectors.
In this case, the PBGEA. Currently, the security committee of PBGEA and the point person of AFP are continuously working on the details.
Dela Cruz added they plan on coming up with a proposal on which plantations will deploy the armed forces which would be for final approval of AFP.
The decision of deploying Cafgu 2 in banana plantations in Mindanao was followed by the attacks of lawless groups including the small packing house of Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC), a PBGEA member, April of this year.
Citing the reports of AFP Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), just last October 2, Sumifru Corporation’s banana plantation in T’boli, South Cotabato was attacked.
“Various company facilities were torched and at least four service arms were confiscated by the NPA in a raid in Sumifru Corporation’s banana plantation in Sitio Lakag, Brgy. New Dumangas, T’boli, South Cotabato.
The attack took place at around 10:30 in the evening in October 2, 2017,” read the Eastmincom report.
Less than a week after that, equipment and facilities of the Davao Ventures Corporation (DAVCO), a multinational company in Brgy. Merangeran, Quezon, Bukidnon was burned down by the Red Fighters of South Central Bukidnon – Subregional Command (SCB-SRC) of NPA.
In October 25, a container van hauling fruits for Dole-Stanfilco was burned by a group of NPA at Brgy. Banahao, Liangga, Surigao del Sur.
“If these kinds of attacks happen and it’s proven that it’s a terrorist attack, it will not be covered by insurance. The insurance will not pay,” said PBGEA executive director Stephen Antig in a separate interview.

Envoy: USAID programs in Phl not conditional

From the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Envoy: USAID programs in Phl not conditional 

“We have a long history of providing very significant foreign assistance to the Philippines,” US Ambassador Sung Kim said at a forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Thursday. AP/File

Programs of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Philippines are neither conditional nor are they affected by concerns over human rights issues.
“We have a long history of providing very significant foreign assistance to the Philippines,” US Ambassador Sung Kim said at a forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Thursday.
However, Kim said the weapons provided to the Philippine National Police (PNP) by the US hinge on Washington’s concerns over human rights.
“What has been affected by our concerns over human rights issues is that we have been much more cautious about providing lethal weapons to the Philippine National Police, elements that are directly involved in the anti-drugs campaign,” he said.

But the ambassador said the US has continued to provide assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in terms of training, equipment and sharing intelligence.
President Duterte had ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to take the lead in the administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Duterte also directed the PNP, AFP, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Corp. and all other agencies to refrain from spearheading drug operations to avoid conflict.

In January, the USAID said it did not have the resources for funding drug rehabilitation in the Philippines but remained open to discussion for support to the President’s priority program.

Senior deputy assistant administrator for Asia Gloria Steele said the agency understands that rehabilitation is a priority of Duterte’s war on drugs.

“They just said that’s an area they want to talk to us about but we don’t have resources,” Steele said.

MILF: November 3-4 Bangsamoro Assembly postponed

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Oct 30): November 3-4 Bangsamoro Assembly postponed

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) announced on Sunday (October 29) that Bangsamoro Assembly scheduled on November 3 to 4 has been postponed.
BTC Chairman Ghazali Jaafar said in a statement "We regret to inform though that due to reasons beyond our control, the said Bangsamoro Assembly has to be postponed."

Jaafar said they look forward to conduct the assembly which aims to gather half a million Bangsamoro people on the third week of November.

The gathering aims to draw support for the immediate passage of the enhanced Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which is hoped to be prioritized by the Philippine Congress.

If passed into law, the BBL will usher the establishment of Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The BBL is the legal instrument that will implement the peace deal signed by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Jaafar gave assurance that they will immediately disseminate the information once the new dates are confirmed.

The BTC chair also thanked the stakeholders for their assistance to make the conduct of the Bangsamoro Assembly successful. He added that the preparatory works of the Standing Committees will continue.

He further thanked the Bangsamoro people for the patience and understanding and asked them to remain supportive until the assembly is convened.

The BTC and the MILF collaborate in the preparation of the Bangsamoro Assembly.


MILF: BTC Chair Jaafar issued official letter for the postponement of Bangsamoro Assembly

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Oct 30): BTC Chair Jaafar issued official letter for the postponement of Bangsamoro Assembly

The chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Ghazali Jaafar has announced yesterday, October 29 the official pronouncement on the postponement of the Bangsamoro Assembly supposedly scheduled on November 3-4 to be held at Old Capitol, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Jaafar said that the postponement is due to reason that beyond their control. However, the working committee will continue their assignments in preparation for the Bangsamoro Assembly said Jaafar.

Jaafar disclosed that they are eyeing including the authorities that the conduct of the Bangsamoro Assembly will be on the third week of November this year.

Once they had final set the schedule for the assembly, they will immediately announce it to the public.

The BTC had appreciated much the efforts of all the countless number of people who will participate on the said affair and their concrete support, assistance in various forms that has been extended already to the Bangsamoro Assembly.

Jaafar has also urge the masses to continue their support until the Bangsamoro Assembly is convened.

The BTC has mandated to conduct the Bangsamoro Assembly in pursuant to Executive Order No.08, the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The assembly is expected to register at least 1Million attendees coming from various stakeholders including Bangsamoro, non-Moros settlers, Indigenous People, government workers, NGOs, CSOs, Sultanates, LGUs, foreign dignitaries and all peace-loving citizen.


DWDD: WEAKENED | MBLT4 seizes NPA war materials in Bataraza, Palawan

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Website (Oct 30): WEAKENED  |  MBLT4 seizes NPA war materials in Bataraza, Palawan

WEAKENED  |  MBLT4 seizes NPA war materials in Bataraza, Palawan

BATARAZA, Palawan (DWDD) – Through the information and sincere cooperation provided by local community, the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 conducted a joint focused military operation in Sitio Tibag, Bgy Bono-bono, Bataraza, Palawan which led to the discovery of New Peoples Army (NPA) assorted war materials.

The recovered items included 1 unit shotgun with 12 pcs ammunition, 1 pc MK2 grenade, 1 unit homemade .22mm pistol, cal. 45 and 9mm ammunition, 1 pc M14 magazine; IED components, 1 generator set, GPS, other war materials and subversive documents in the evening of Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

The unit vowed to totally dismantle the NPA’s military capabilty by end of this year to create better condition for economic development in southern Palawan. PMC/MCAG


DWDD: DONNING OF RANKS | PA dons Star ranks to 8 newly promoted Generals

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Website (Oct 30): DONNING OF RANKS  |  PA dons Star ranks to 8 newly promoted Generals

FORT BONIFACIO, Metro Manila – Eight newly promoted generals donned their new star ranks here on Friday, October 21 and on Wednesday, October 25.

Promoted to Brigadier Generals were Eric C. Vinoya, Commander of 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; Bernie S. Langub, Commander of the Army Reserve Command; Tyne T. Bañas, Assistant Division Commander of 4th Infantry Division; Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; Bartolome Vicente O. Bacarro, Commander of 502nd Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division; Pio Q. Diñoso III, Commander of 301st Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; Divino Rey C Pabayo Jr, Commander of 101st Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division; and, Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos, Commander of 202nd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Lieutenant General Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, the Commanding General, Philippine Army, led the ceremony and witnessed by the HPA-based officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees.

“Your new rank testifies to the trust and confidence of the command in your ability to manage greater responsibilities befitting the stars on your shoulder,” said Bautista. OACPA/MCAG


DWDD: NFC@40 | CMOU-Central – Best Operational Control Unit 2017

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Website (Oct 30): NFC@40  |  CMOU-Central – Best Operational Control Unit 2017

LAPU LAPU CITY, Cebu (DWDD) – Civil Military Operations Unit-Central has made history as it was hailed as the BEST OPERATIONAL CONTROL UNIT of the NAVAL FORCES CENTRAL. The award was given during the Naval Forces Central’s 40th Anniversary, last October 20, 2017.

With this feat, we acknowledge the Naval Forces Central for recognizing our efforts and grateful for the trust given by bestowing this award.

This award we also share to our active partner-stakeholders who we had the chance in collaborating in conducting various peace initiatives, socio-economic programs, civic works, engineering projects, and other development-related activities for our fellowmen.

“To our mother unit, the Civil Military Operations Group- Philippine Navy, we thank you for the guidance and support for this Unit, this success is also your success, and to the CMOU-Central’s Sailors and Marines which is headed by Lt Randy P Garbo PN (“Team Budong”), this award we achieved is a blessing we’d always be thankful for. Thank you for everyone’s effort in upbringing this Unit and the harmonious cooperation between each other, it is a vital factor for the success. Thank you for the relentless dedication in doing your tasks. Take pride in having this accomplishment, for YOU are part of it. 

And above all else, to our Almighty Father for everything. All these we owe to You. Thank You for having us as your instruments so that others may feel Your presence.
Bravo Zulu, Team Budong! Hooyah!”



DWDD: HEROES WELCOME | Fleet Marine Troops Back Home

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Website (Oct 30): HEROES WELCOME  |  Fleet Marine Troops Back Home

DWDD: KAPUSO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS | GMA, Willie Revillame Donate P3M for Soldiers

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Oct 30): KAPUSO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS  |  GMA, Willie Revillame Donate P3M for Soldiers


Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año receives P3 Million in cheque from GMA Network and Mr. Willie Revillame during his studio guesting, with 800 other AFP personnel, to Wowowin.

Mr.Revillame also made a special birthday greeting for the Chief of Staff who had his mandatory retirement on October 26, 2017.

Of the donation, P1 Million from Willie Revillame will be given to the wounded soldiers in Marawi, while P2 Million from GMA Network will be deposited to the AFP Marawi Casualty Landbank account.


Armed Forces of the Philippines wounded soldiers from the AFP Health Service Command, officers, and enlisted personnel from the General Headquarters, and Major Services participated as studio audience and contestants on the afternoon variety show, Wowowin which airs October 26-27, 2017.

Mr. Willie Revillame, host-producer of the show, honors around 800 soldiers with songs entitled “Awit sa Marawi” by Esang de Torres, “Puso Para sa Bayan” written by Vehnee Saturno, and other songs dedicated for the protectors of our country, he gave the soldiers cash prizes, jackets, mobile phones, and three house and lot packages for the grand winners courtesy of the Villar Family, represented by Sen. Cynthia Villar. Photo by SN1 Viluan/PAOAFP/MCAG


DWDD: PILLAR OF HOPE | AFP recognized for Heroism and Dedication

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Oct 30): PILLAR OF HOPE   |  AFP recognized for Heroism and Dedication 

PICC, Manila (DWDD) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines, through representatives 1Lt Yvonne Altamera (FA) PA, 1Lt Mark Joseph Tonido PN(M), Sgt Renier Gaqui (SC) PA, Cpl Ayutullah Hamid (Inf) PA, and Sgt Jimlie Villanueva PN(M), receives the Pillar of Hope Award from the ETON International School during their United Nations Day celebration at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Sunday, October 29, 2017.

The award is given to all the soldiers who fought in the Marawi siege, their heroism and dedication serve as an inspiration to the student body.

“This award is for the soldiers who stood and fought for the freedom of Marawi City.

“Maraming salamat po at naway patuloy po nating suportahan ang AFP sa pagkamit po ng isang mapayapa at maunlad na Pilipinas.,” Lt. Altamera said. Photo/s by AFP/MCAG


DWDD: PEACE AND SECURITY | New CSAFP: Finish Off Remaining Threats

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Oct 30): PEACE AND SECURITY | New CSAFP: Finish Off Remaining Threats

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – The newly installed Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo Guerrero echoed orders from the Commander in Chief and President Rodrigo Duterte to end all threats to peace and security.

AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said that the top military officer has the experience and the current operational tempo of the AFP to undertake that task.

“Lt. Gen. Guerrero welcomes his new responsibilities with strong momentum from his leadership of the Eastern Mindanao Command, a similarly tall order given the area’s susceptibility from terror threats and insurgency,” Col Arevalo said.

As Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, LtGen Guerrero’s primary task is to dismantle NPA’s guerilla fronts that are concentrated in the Davao Region, Caraga Region, and Northern Mindanao.

He was also tasked to prevent the spread of violence and terrorism in his area of responsibility, especially during the Marawi City siege by the Maute-IS.

“The priorities in the area of peace and security are clear: finish the remaining terrorist groups, neutralize the communist insurgency threat, and support law enforcement against lawless armed groups,” Lt. Gen. Guerrero said in his assumption speech during the Change of Command Ceremony on Thursday, 26 October 2017.

The turnover was just less than a week from the termination of combat operations in Marawi City and takes off strong with gains against the Abu Sayyaf Group, characterized by numerous surrenders.

Lt. Gen. Guerrero also said that the AFP must continue with its reform programs, improve capability, and revisit war-fighting doctrines in light of new “battlefield environments.”

“We will aggressively implement our modernization program and fast-track the procurement of advance weapons systems that provide cost-effective and precise target engagement, long-range and high-endurance unmanned systems, and modern air and naval platforms,” Lt. Gen. Guerrero said.

Moreover, the AFP chief seeks to refine internal processes including improvements on services and transparency and accountability of transactions.

“My gratitude knows no bounds, and I think that the best way to show our President and our countrymen is to serve our country with selfless dedication and to lead the AFP with purpose,” Lt. Gen. Guerrero added. PAO AFP/MCAG


DWDD: HOME SAFE | Western Mindanao Troops back Home

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Oct 30): HOME SAFE  |  Western Mindanao Troops back Home

BAGONG CALARIAN, Zamboanga City (DWDD) – “We are now home and safe”, The Civil Military

Operations Unit-Western Mindanao, Field Artillery Battalion, Motor Pool Transport Battalion, Service Support Battalion, Combat Service Support Brigade, Marine Special Operations Group, Philippine Marine Corps and Special Boat Unit-Western Mindanao was welcome by the Commander Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Rear Admiral Rene V Medina and his Staff at BGen Asuncion Beaching Area, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Bagong Calarian, Zamboanga City via LC-289 on October 30, 2017.

A ceremony was tendered to the returning troops from Marawi City and awarding of Bronze Cross Medal and Ribbon to this unit for a gallant service, and also a warm handshake from the Commander, family and friends.

“God Bless Us All”. CMOU-WM/MCAG