Sunday, January 31, 2021

Troops, NPA clash in MisOcc

 From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2021): Troops, NPA clash in MisOcc (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)\

Military troops hunting a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels figured in a clash that injured a militiaman in Misamis Occidental province, officials said Monday.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said
the subject of the pursuit operation are members of the Guerrilla Front Sendong of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee.

Vinluan said the troops of the 10th Infantry Battalion were conducting combat operations when they figured in a 20-minute firefight with 20 rebels in Barangay Tuno, Don Victoriano Chiongbian, Misamis Occidental on Jan. 30.

The NPA communist terrorists, who were believed to have incurred casualties, fled bringing along their wounded comrades.

“The enemy (NPA rebels) incurred an undetermined number of casualties as evident in the bloodstains in their withdrawal path,” said Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson, 10IB commander.

Tiongson said the militiaman, whose identity was withheld, is recuperating at a hospital in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

The troops recovered personal belongings, assorted foodstuff, and 60 live ammunition for AK-47 assault rifle at the clash site.

Retirement of key officials triggers another PNP revamp

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31, 2021): Retirement of key officials triggers another PNP revamp (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas (File photo)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Sunday announced a major revamp triggered by the retirement of some senior officials of the police organization.

Sinas named Brig. Gen. Luisito Magnaye as new director of PNP Health Service, replacing Brig. Gen. Nolasco Bathan who retired on Sunday.

He also appointed Maj. Gen. Dennis P. Agustin to replace PNP Director for Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amado Clifton Empiso who will retire Feb. 6, and Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro as acting Director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) replacing Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel who is set to retire on Feb. 11.

“We are infusing new blood into the command structure to fill the void created by the retirement of some senior officials and ensure continuity of command,” Sinas said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Domingo Lucas was named as the new Director for Research and Development while Brig. Gen. Florencio Ortilla was designated as the new head of the Aviation Security Group.

Sinas named Brig. Gen. Jon Arnaldo as the executive officer of the Directorate for Intelligence while Col. Tellio C Ngis-O was appointed as acting Deputy Director of the Special Action Force.

Col. John Guygoyon is now the acting executive officer of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management while Col. Angeles Geñorga Jr. as acting Dean of Academics of the PNP Academy.

Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Llanera now heads the Explosive and Ordnance Division and Canine Group while Brig. Gen. Samuel Nacion in the new deputy director of the National Police Training Institute; Col. Victor Valencia is now the acting executive officer of the Directorate for Research and Development; and Col. Robert Gallardo as acting chief of the Legislative Affairs Center of the Directorate for Plans.

Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz was named as the new director of the Southern Police District (SPD) which covers the cities of Parañaque, Pasay, Makati, Taguig, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and the municipality of Pateros.

On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Nelson Bondoc was appointed as the new district director of the Northern Police District which covers Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

Other senior officers assigned in Metro Manila are Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra as deputy regional director for Administration of the National Capital Region Police Office; Brig. Gen. Benjamin Acorda as the deputy regional director for Operations of the National Capital Region Police Office.

Brig. Gen. Emannuel Peralta, formerly assigned to the SPD and was replaced by Cruz, is now the regional director of Police Regional Office in Ilocos Region (PRO-1).

Peralta replaced Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, whose appointment as the new head of the Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM) will make him earn promotion to two-star rank.

Brig. Gen. Celso Bael was named as the number two man of the Mimaropa (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, while Col. Ronaldo Cabral also assumed the same position for PRO 10, or Northern Mindanao.

Brig. Gen. Walter Pornillos, was named as the deputy regional director for Administration in Bangsamoro Administration Region, the same position given to Col. Victor Wanchakan for the PRO 9 or Zamboanga Peninsula.

Others affected in the reshuffle are as follows:

Brig. Gen. Walfredo Gimpaya Pornillos from Directorate for Plans (DPL) to PRO Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR); Brig. Gen. Jonathan Mendoza Ureta from PNP-Explosive and Ordinance Division/K9 to Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (PHAU-DPRM); Brig. Gen. Benjamin Capati Villasis Jr. from Directorate for Investigation and Detection Management (DIDM) to PHAU-DPRM; and Col. Tellio Colte Ngis from PRO BAR to Special Action Force.

Sinas said reshuffle is effective on Feb. 1.

ASG leader killed in Tawi-Tawi encounter

From The Manila Times (Jan 31, 2021): ASG leader killed in Tawi-Tawi encounter (By Al Jacinto) 

A sub-leader of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was killed in a clash with policemen in the southern Philippine province of Tawi-Tawi, according to officials.

The officials on Friday said
Alkam Hadjail exchanged gunfire with commandos, who were trying to capture him in Maraning village in Languyan town on Thursday.

Hadjail opened fire on police forces sent there to serve a warrant of arrest.

He was involved in terrorism and ransom kidnappings in Mindanao and was eventually tracked down in his hideout by security forces.

Meanwhile, the fighting happened on the same day soldiers ordered the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to dismantle its camp in the capital town of Bongao after villagers noticed the presence of strangers in the area.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said the illegal camp, which was accessible by boat in the village of Lakit-Lakit, raised serious security concerns among civilians in the town.

“The camp, which is accessible by boat, has become a serious security concern for the people of Bongao due to the continuous construction of perimeter houses and the reported presence of people not from the province,” Vinluan added.

He said the illegal establishment of the camp is a violation of the peace accord that the MNLF signed with Manila in 1996.

“This is a clear violation of the 1996 final peace agreement between the government and the MNLF. Hence, [a] series of dialogues were conducted by the provincial government and the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi with the local MNLF (leaders) for the dismantling of the structure,” Vinluan added.

He said the local government and the military exhausted all diplomatic means to compel the group to peacefully dismantle and vacate their unauthorized encampment.

Gov. Yshmael Sali said only police and military camps are allowed in Tawi-Tawi, one of five provinces under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“We disallow the establishment of camps except those by legitimate security forces [such as] the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police here in Tawi-Tawi,” he added.

There was no immediate statement from MNLF’s Nur Misuari, chief of the former rebel group.