Tuesday, February 27, 2018

PNP, AFP doing everything to curb terror threats

From the Philippine News Agency  (Feb 27): PNP, AFP doing everything to curb terror threats

The Philippine National Police (PNP), together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and government intelligence agencies, is doing everything in their authority to prevent any terror threats from developing.

This was stressed by PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa in a Radyo Pilipinas report Tuesday.

In line with this, Dela Rosa said PNP Director for Operations Camilo Pancratius Cascolan has gone to Davao to meet with local government units there to intensify their security coordination with the police in wake of the terrorism threat.

Earlier, Dela Rosa said the PNP is more than willing to help the AFP validate the presence of 40 terrorists who allegedly managed to enter the country.

A Western Mindanao Command report claimed that they have received information stating that some 40 terrorists have managed to enter the country via the maritime route.

While stressing the PNP's willingness to help, Dela Rosa strongly doubts the report, adding that the country has significantly tightened its security measures.


Lorenzana lauds role of women in nation building

From the Philippine News Agency  (Feb 27): Lorenzana lauds role of women in nation building

With the upcoming observance of National Women's Month this March, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana hailed the role of women in the development of the country.

"Today (Monday) we mark the start of the month-long celebration of National Women’s Month 2018 that highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development," he added.

In line with this, the DND chief said it is only fitting that the nation pays tribute to women, their strength and achievements, as well as their capacity to take part in the government’s commitment of "malasakit at pagbabago" (compassion and change).

"We have countless women who continue to amaze us by doing incredible things in their respective field. our women today occupy major roles in various industry sectors. they continue to rise up and show the world that they are more than wives, mothers and daughters of the men who are doing important things, and that they are important in their own right," Lorenzana stressed.

Also, the DND chief said that he is proud to note that the Philippines is a state that recognizes the role of women in nation building and one that ensures the fundamental equality of men and women before the law, as well as the equality of opportunities provided to them.

"May we continue to pave the way for an enabling environment for women to be empowered. let us be a society that makes change work for women. in our various capacities, let us all be partners for a change that is gender-responsive and ensure that women will not be left behind in the pursuit of change," he added.


No sign yet of 40 terrorists: AFP spox

From the Philippine News Agency  (Feb 27): No sign yet of 40 terrorists: AFP spox

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has yet to detect any sign of the presence of 40 alleged terrorists who managed to infiltrate the country via the maritime route.

This was stressed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bienvinido Datuin during a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

"Wala pa tayong confirmed dito. (We have not confirmed this yet.) We are awaiting reports from ground commanders regarding this matter," he added.

In line with this, the AFP spokesperson said that all units in the Western Mindanao Command were closely monitoring the coastal waters in the area, which was of considerable size, as part of the effort to detect the terrorists.

"We are closely monitoring this dahil napakalaki ng ating coastal waters sa ating area (because the coastal waters in our area is huge) but forces in Western Mindanao Command, 1st Infantry Division, are closely guarding our coastal waters, southern borders," he added.

Also, Datuin said that they were being aided by the Philippine National Police and Coast Guard regarding the matter. This was aside from the patrol agreement with Malaysia and Indonesia, he added.

"We have established agreements bilateral joint patrols with Malaysia, Indonesia just to secure our waters so tuloy tuloy ang ating monitoring (our monitoring is ongoing) and we are not letting up (in securing our sea frontiers)," Datuin stressed.


AFP now looking into terrorists' recruitment patterns

From the Philippine News Agency  (Feb 27): AFP now looking into terrorists' recruitment patterns

To fully neutralize terror threats, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday announced that it is now studying the recruitment patterns of the extremist militants.

Brig. Gen. Bienvinido Datuin, AFP spokesperson, said this would greatly help the military in preventing and countering violent extremism from taking root in the country.

But he said that they are still to confirm reports that terror groups are now recruiting new members in an attempt to beef up their numbers from heavy losses in AFP-initiated offensives against them.

Earlier, the military official said that they were closely monitoring coastal waters and other areas under the Western Mindanao Command following reports that around 40 terrorists had managed to infiltrate the area.


Alleged NPA rebels raid Quezon hacienda

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Feb 27): Alleged NPA rebels raid Quezon hacienda

A band of suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels has swooped on a hacienda in San Francisco town in Quezon province, an Army official said on Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Ely Tono, commander of the Army’s 85th Infantry Battalion based in the Bondoc Peninsula district, said the rebels abducted two members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (Cafgu) and four security guards of the hacienda during the attack at the Tumbaga ranch in Sitio (sub-village) Tumbaga, Barangay (village) Nasalaan past 5 p.m. Monday.

“But they were eventually set freed few hours later. The six just returned to the ranch,” Tono said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
He said the communist guerillas seized six old Armalite rifles from the ranch house during the raid. Hacienda workers, however, could not provide how long the alleged rebels raided the ranch.

Quoting witnesses, Tono said the attackers, among them women, were estimated to be around 50 to 60 persons.

“Most of them were unarmed rebel militias,” he noted.

Tono said the ranch owned by the family of American James Murray is located in an isolated village of San Francisco.

The owners, the military official said, are now based in Metro-Manila and the vast ranch, mostly coconut farmlands, was being managed by caretakers.

Combined military and police forces are now conducting follow-up operations to track down the rebels, Tono said.

Bondoc Peninsula is known as one of the “agrarian hot spots” in Southern Tagalog where several landowners control big landholdings in the towns of San Francisco, San Andres, San Narciso, Mulanay, and Buenavista.

The place has been known in the past as the bastion of NPA insurgency in Southern Tagalog.

In February 2017, a band of NPA rebels burned down several heavy equipment owned by a government contractor who was building roads at the time in Barangay Casay also in San San Francisco.