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3 NPA terrorists killed in Mindoro encounter

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Courtesy: (2DPAO, 2ID, PA)

RIZAL, Philippines — Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist group were killed in an encounter with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the town of Mansalay in Oriental Mindoro province.

The encounter took place on Thursday afternoon (June 13) and lasted for almost two hours.

According to BGen. Marceliano Teofilo, the commander of the 203rd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Mindoro Province, they received information from concerned citizen that the NPA terrorists in the area will conduct training to their newly recruited members of which some were believed to be minors.

“This prompted us to conduct Focused Military Operation (FMO) and our troops were able to locate their whereabouts, and fire fight broke,” Teofilo said.

The military also recovered three M16 rifles; one AK-47; one cal.45 with 2 magazines; one grenade launcher tube; two improvised explosive devices (IED) and switch; three blasting caps; two cellphones; and assorted kinds of ammunitions at the encounter site.

According to the report, one soldier from the Army’s 4IB was slightly wounded in the left ear but is now in safe condition.

Lt.Col. Alexander Arbolado, Battalion Commander of the 4IB said they already dispatched additional troops and K9 units to track the whereabouts of the retreating rebels.

“We will not let them go until they are totally destroyed,” he said.

BGen. Teofilo calls on the NPA rebels to surrender or else “suffer the fate of their comrades” as the military will not stop in pursuing them.

Meanwhile, Army’s 2nd Infantry Division spokesperson Capt. Patrick Jay Retumban said “the intel community is now validating the reports that an NPA Commander was slain during the encounter”.

If it’s true, BGen. Teofilo said it would be a major blow to the NPA rebel unit in Mindoro.

“Their days are numbered and in just a matter of time the NPA here will be on the verge of collapse due to their numerous setbacks in armed encounters and snowballing of surrenderees,” he noted.

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PNP identifies 11 suspects in Negros cops slay

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has identified at least 11 suspects in the brutal killing of four police officers in Ayungon town in Negros Oriental.

“Yes, we have identified, kung hindi ako nagkakamali ang report ng RD (regional director) doon at least 11 of them,” PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde told reporters in an interview.

Albayalde said murder charges will be filed against the suspects who are believed to members of the New People’s Army (NPA). The chief of Barangay Mabato in Ayungon where the crime took place will also face charges.

“Cases will be filed against this people… whether yung sa amin ay may reward or none, we are duty-bound to go after these people dahil pinatay nila no less than our men,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier offered a P1.3 million bounty for any information and the capture of those behind the crime, adding that he prefers to see them dead.

READ: Duterte offers P1.3-M reward for killers of 4 Negros cops

Albayalde said the reward would encourage witnesses to come forward and report to authorities what really transpired.

Reports said the four police officers were allegedly killed and tortured by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last Thursday in Ayungon.

The victims were supposed to meet an informant who was believed to have set them up with the NPA for an ambush.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office 7 said the four cops were “dragged, hogtied,” and “ganged up” by about 30 to 40 men. One officer even suffered a broken rib before they were shot kneeling down, “resembling a summary execution, more than an ambush.”

The slain cops, Cpl. Relebert Beronio and Patrolmen Raffy Callo, Roel Cabellon and Marquino de Leon were intelligence personnel from the 704th Mobile Force Company Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the PNP Central Visayas.

Albayalde said they are delving deeper into the case following initial reports that the chief of Mabato village met with the victims several hours before they were killed on July 18.

The PNP chief also doubts the local chief’s claim that he knows nothing of the communist rebels’ activities in his area of jurisdiction.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said that police and military troops are now working to capture the alleged NPA members who were behind the crime. (with details from Lea Ylagan & Victor Cosare)

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Duterte offers P1.3-M reward for killers of 4 Negros cops

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte visits the wake of 4 cops who were allegedly killed and tortured by members of the communist New People’s Army last Thursday, July 18, in Ayungon, Negros Oriental. Photo Courtesy of Sen. Bong Go

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to give P1.3-million reward for those behind the brutal killing of four police officers in Negros Oriental.

Duterte initially offered P1-million bounty for the capture of the perpetrators of the crime that happened in Ayungon town on July 18. But on Monday (July 22), he raised the amount of the reward, adding that he prefers to see the killers dead.

“Mas gusto kong patay sila. Kung patay sila, magdagdag pa ako ng 300 [P300,000]. So, it’s one million three hundred [P1.3 million]. Just bring me the head of that idiot leader there,” the president told reporters after his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.

(I prefer them dead. If they are dead, I would add P300,000. So, it’s P1.3 million.)

Reports said the four police officers were allegedly killed and tortured by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) last Thursday in Ayungon.

The victims were supposed to meet an informant who was believed to have set them up with the NPA for an ambush.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office 7 said the four cops were “dragged, hogtied,” and “ganged up” by about 30 to 40 men. One officer also suffered a broken rib before they were shot kneeling down, “resembling a summary execution, more than an ambush.”

The president has expressed outrage over the incident.

“Kasi masama ang loob ko kung bakit ganoon? For all of the years… I’ve been mayor in Davao and for the many times that I went to the mountains to retrieve captured soldiers and policemen, ni wala akong nakita ni isang trauma sa. Ito dito, pinatay nila, pinaghampas-hampas nila at ginulgol ‘yung leeg. Kaya galit ako,” he said.

The slain cops, Cpl. Relebert Beronio and Patrolmen Raffy Callo, Roel Cabellon and Marquino de Leon were intelligence personnel from the 704th Mobile Force Company Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the PNP Central Visayas.

The president visited their wake last Saturday and conferred them with the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kalasag medals. This award is bestowed to government officials and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation in the campaign or advocacy of the President.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, said the PNP is now working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the capture of the alleged NPA members who were behind the crime.

The DILG also assured to extend financial assistance to the family of the slain cops. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Duterte vows to strengthen military, police to prepare for ‘dangerous times ahead’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Noel Celis/Pool

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday vowed to continue working on strengthening the country’s military and police forces to better prepare them for what he says are dangerous times ahead.

In a speech during the appreciation dinner for former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday night, Duterte said he would like to leave behind a strong Armed Forces and police when he completes his term in 2022.

Duterte said he should be prepared because of the incoming peril he senses.

“I see very dangerous times ahead. And I hope that we will be able to contain whatever there is,” he said.

“Lumalabas nga ‘yung pawis sa kamay ko just thinking about if it would go awry outside of Sulu and Basilan Islands,” he added.

The president further stated that while he has acquired the necessary military weapons to fight terrorism, he also expressed hope that Congress would make a move to further strengthen the country’s line of defense.

“We have acquired so many armaments. And there were things, kakaunti na lang, which I hope that Congress would tide us over to complete the instruments that we need in dealing, especially with terrorism,” he said.

Duterte also hopes that by the time he steps down from office, the country’s troops will be supplied with new weapons and tools to deal with terrorism because he is not sure if the next president will be able to do it.

“I hope that by the time I make my exit, nandiyan na lahat ‘yan because I am not belittling the events to come or the person coming in to be the next president. Hindi ko alam kung sino,” he said.

“And I’d rather that I leave with a strong military and police and equipped to challenge the enemies of the state, especially terrorism,” he added.

On Monday night, the president met with military officials but the Malacañang has yet to release any detail on what was discussed during the said meeting.

This follows the June 28 twin blasts in Indanan town in Sulu, which killed eight people including three soldiers, and injured 12 others.

Authorities earlier confirmed that one of two suicide bombers behind the Indanan explosions was a Filipino.

The Philippine National Police Regional Crime Lab Office 11 reported that examination on reference DNA samples taken from Vilman Alam Lasuca and Alhussin Alam Lasuca concluded there is a 99.99% percentage probability match.

Vilman and Alhussin Lasuca are claimant mother and brother of one of the suspected bombers.

 “Hence, it can be concluded that one of the alleged suicide bombers is the son of Vilman Alam Lasuca,” RCLO 11 said in a laboratory report.

The identification of the second suspected bomber, on the other hand, is still underway as authorities are still collecting DNA samples to establish match on its identity, authorities said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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