AFP: No definite timeline for mission vs Abu Sayyaf

admin   •   September 2, 2016   •   3529

AFP No definite timeline for mission vs Abu Sayyaf

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has no definite timeline for its all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). It does not want to rush its military operations against the ASG to ensure positive results.

Though the military has grown stronger with the latest augmentation to Basilan and Sulu, the AFP is taking it slowly but surely to ensure that their operations would bring positive results.

AFP Western Mindanao command (WestMinCom) spokesperson, Maj. Felimon Tan, Jr. said, “Kapag masyado tayong nagdedepende sa timeline, kapag malayo ang tingin natin pa, baka hindi tayo mag-react ng mabilis kapag malapit na. Baka naman masyado tayong mag-react na mapeligro naman yung ating mga sundalo.”

01 AFP No definite timeline for mission vs Abu Sayyaf

(If we depend too much on timelines, and we are looking too far ahead, we may not be able to react as quickly when the time is near. Or we might react aggressively thereby putting the soldiers’ lives at risk)

For now the AFP is confident that the ASG is now moving within a limited territory. Successive encounters prove this as it implies that the bandits have very few places to run to.

“Basta ang sa amin dito may impormasyon. Pag-aaralan natin ng mabuti at magka-conduct tayo ng focus military operations.”

(We have information. We are studying it carefully then we’ll conduct military operations.)

During his visit at the wake of the fallen soldiers the other day, President Rodrigo Duterte said that as much as possible he doesn’t want the troops to suffer the same setback, particularly the beheading of several soldiers by ASG.

(Dante Amento/UNTV News and Rescue)

DOH says surge in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao due to ‘multitude of factors’

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The rise in COVID-19 cases in the Visayas and Mindanao areas could be attributed to a “multitude of factors,” the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have noted some factors that have contributed to the spike in infections in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, including the complacency in enforcing and observing health protocols.

The DOH also observed the clustering of infections in workplaces and prisons in the said areas.

“Lagi po nating sinasabi na pag may tumataas po na kaso sa bawat lugar, we need to look at a multitude of factors because we know that there are these different factors which causes the transmission of the virus,” Vergeire said.

“Meron tayong pang-indibidwal at pang-komunidad na pagpapatupad po natin ng minimum health protocols at ‘pag tiningnan natin there are reports already coming to us from our different regional epidemiological and surveillance units na talagang mukhang nagkaroon ng complacency sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols,” she added.

Vergeire said the presence of coronavirus variants in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao may also have contributed to the surge.

“Totoo po na meron na tayong na-detect na variants sa iba’t ibang lugar dito sa Visayas and Mindanao and these can also be drivers of the infection but let us not just rely or let us not just say that it’s just because of the variants, there are a multitude of factors,” she said.

“Kailangan po kapag tayo ay tumitingin sa response natin, it’s a continuum. So we will need to address, not just the variants, but also the other forms of response that we are having,” she added.

Data from the DOH showed that active COVID-19 cases in the Visayas stood at 13,313, and 14,426 in Mindanao as of June 20.

The DOH reiterated its call to the public to continue adhering to health protocols mandated by the government to help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

Visayas, Mindanao not neglected in COVID-19 vaccine deployment, Palace says

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The national government on Tuesday denied claims that it neglected the Visayas and Mindanao regions in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no truth in the accusations of neglect because the government has been distributing vaccine shots to areas experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“Hindi po totoo yan na ginipit natin ang ibang parte ng Pilipinas,” Roque said during a press briefing.

House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez earlier said the national government is taking its time in distributing the bulk of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Metro Manila despite their repeated request for additional supply.

But Roque said only 38 percent of the vaccine supply was allocated to Metro Manila and nearby areas and that the remaining supply is delivered to the rest of the Philippines “pursuant to equitable distribution as mandated by the President.”

“Hindi po totoo yan… Inuna lang natin yung una na pinakamataas ang numero pero ngayong tumataas po sa iba, nagpapadala rin tayo ng karagdagang bakuna sa mga lugar na yan,” he said.

The Palace official also said that available data shows that compliance with minimum health protocols went down in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao that are currently facing surges in COVID-19 infections.

“Ang pagkalat po ng sakit, hindi po yan dahil sa kawalan ng bakuna. ‘yan po ay dahil bumaba ang compliance with minimum health requirements,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed 21 areas under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine from June 16 to 30.

Metro Manila and Bulacan will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) level with “some restrictions” while the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” until the end of this month.

Other areas under GCQ from June 16 to June 30, 2021 are Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, and Benguet in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao del Norte in Region 11; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato in Region 12; and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in BARMM.

ASG sub-leader, 3 members killed in Sulu – AFP

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) of the Armed Forces of of the Philippines (AFP) reported the death of a notorious Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader and three of his followers in a law enforcement operation in Sulu.

“Based on the report from the ground, combined elements of the military and police conducted a law enforcement operation to serve a warrant of arrest against ASG sub-group leader Injam Yadah in Barangay Alat, Jolo, Sulu around 2:00AM Sunday, June 13, 2021,” the WESMINCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said.

Sensing the presence of the operating troops, the target and three of his cohorts opened fire thereby prompting the government forces to retaliate. The exchange of fires resulted in the instantaneous death of Yadah and three others.

“We’ve long been on the hunt for Yadah. He has a reputation of being extremely violent — beheading captured innocent civilians and security forces alike. Finally, his hideous acts will now come to a full stop,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

Two of the neutralized cohorts of Yadah were identified as Al-Al Sawadjaan, the youngest brother of infamous bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, and a.k.a. Rauf/Raup while the other one is yet to be identified.

According to 35th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Wilfredo Borgonia, Yadah was involved in the kidnapping of various foreign nationals and locals including the ex-wife and daughter of former Talipao Mayor Tambrin Tulawie in 2018.

His latest reported activity was the kidnapping of Rex Triplett in Sirawai, Zamboanga Sibugay and Dr. Moreno in Jolo in 2020.

He was also involved in the abduction of the recently rescued Indonesian nationals.

Lt. Col. Borgonia further stated that Mundi’s brother Al-Al Sawadjaan was a volunteer suicide bomber and improvised explosive device maker.

Operating troops seized in the house of Yadah one M653 Carbine, one cal. 45 pistol, IED components, and 15 mobile phones. Troops also captured Yadah’s wife identified as a.k.a. Jhing and rescued their three children.

“All the forces under JTF-Sulu are doubling their efforts to apprehend Mundi Sawadjaan. His brothers are now dead and we are optimistic that he will also be neutralized. When that day comes, we can say that we have achieved total peace in the province. The local government and people here are one with us in this endeavor,” Maj. Gen. Gonzales added.

Since January 2021, a total of 121 ASG personalities have been neutralized in Sulu. Among the 121 members, 18 were killed, 86 surrendered, and 17 were apprehended.

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