AFP-WesMinCom denies reports of presence of 40 int’l terrorists in the country

admin   •   February 28, 2018   •   3812

FILE PHOTO: Abu Sayyaf members waving an ISIS flag. (Photo screengrab from YouTube video.)

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WesMinCom) has denied receiving information that dozens of foreign terrorists were able to recently enter the country.

This has been the clarification made by WesMinCom after Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa announced yesterday that they would go after foreign terrorists currently in the Philippine territory.

“Yung report kasi about foreign terrorists, na about 40 yung nakapasok was declared by the former chief of staff of sometime in June. Last year pa yan during po sa kasagsagan ng Marawi siege,” said WesMinCom spokesperson Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay.

(The report about foreign terrorists that about 40 have entered the country was declared by the former chief of staff of AFP sometime in June last year. That information was announced one year ago, at the height of the Marawi City siege.)

WesMinCom believes that some of the terrorists have been killed already in previous military operations or have been among those arrested by the PNP in Manila for having connections with the terror group Islamic State (ISIS).

Nevertheless, the AFP continues to validate the whereabouts of the remaining terrorists in the Philippines.

“And so far, sa efforts natin sa paghahanap nitong 40 terrorists na accordingly nakapasok sa bansa pero for validation din naman ito ay mayroon na tayong mga nahuli in the past few months,” said the WesMinCom official.

(And so far, our efforts in looking for these 40 terrorists that accordingly entered the country, this is also for validation. We have also arrested some in the past few months.)

WesMinCom also said that it is prepared in the event that followers of Marwan retaliates following the arrest of his wife, Juromee Dongon and his siblings.

Juromee Dungon also became the wife of former Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) top leader Kadafi Janjalani.

“Kasi itong pamilyang ito, lalong lalo na itong si Juromee Dongon ay obviously na talagang may linya may koneksyon, associated siya sa mga terorista,”  said Petinglay.

(This family especially Juromee Dongon, obviously has connections. She is associated with terrorists.) — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue

COVID-19 inoculation mandatory but soldiers can choose brand – AFP spox

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The vaccination of military personnel against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be mandatory although the soldiers can choose which brand to receive, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Thursday.

In a virtual press briefing, AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said all soldiers will be obliged to get inoculated as ordered by AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana.

The directive came even as the military has yet to ascertain where its vaccine supply will be coming from, or if they are among those who will receive the first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government.

“Ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas po is not like any ordinary organizations. Tayo po ay nasa service-orientated organization. Tayo po ang inaasahan sa napakaraming mabibigat na tungkulin kagaya nga po ng pagharap sa pandemya as early as 2020. Kaya sinabi natin na hindi opsyon ang pag-ayaw. Subalit kinikilala natin yung kanilang kagustuhan ng brand na gusto nila” he said.

Military personnel who will be choosing other brands of the vaccine will need to pay for their own jabs, Arevalo said.

Those who refuse to get vaccinated will face sanctions under military rules, he added.

“We are an organization under military regulations. So, ang pagtupad sa mga regulasyon o sa mga tinatadhana ng existing legal orders buhat sa ating mga superiors just like this one from the AFP Chief of Staff, no less, will be dealt with disciplinary actions kung hindi nila susundin,” he said.

“But we are confident na hindi na tayo darating sa punto na iyon,” he added.

The AFP said all its employees and troops assigned in the medical and healthcare units will be the first to get inoculated against COVID-19.

The donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines from China are expected to arrive in the country this weekend. RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Four Lumad parents of rescued children taken by suspected communist militants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Four parents of the rescued Lumad children were taken by suspected communist militants, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP chief PGen. Debold Sinas cited reports that the parents were supposed to meet with the police in Davao del Norte on Monday (February 22) for their trip to Cebu City However, only two parents showed up.

Reports also stated that the four Lumad parents were taken on Sunday (February 21) by suspected organizers of communist front groups who posed as police officers.

“Obviously, these four parents were lured into believing they would be meeting with their children in Cebu when they were taken by persons who disguised themselves as police officers,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief added that the said stunt was a desperate move of communist front organizations to get away from criminal liability of serious illegal detention and child exploitation.

Sinas also assured that police authorities are already exerting efforts to locate the parents.

The Ata Manobo children were among the 19 Lumad minors who were brought to Cebu City by communist front.

Reports indicate that the children were undergoing radicalization and revolutionary warfare indoctrination.

AFP confirms PSG personnel vaccinated vs COVID-19 experienced no side effects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) who received COVID-19 vaccine shots have not experienced adverse side effects.

AFP Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a statement, said the personnel volunteered to get vaccinated to make sure President Rodrigo Duterte will be safe from the COVID-19 virus.

The personnel received criticisms after they were inoculated without proper government authorization.

“We are pleased that PSG Personnel who have volunteered to be vaccinated in the pursuit of their mission to protect the President did not only perform a selfless act. They were also safe as an aftermath of the inoculation. No adverse side effects as we speak,” Arevalo said.

Last week, the Palace confirmed that the Food and Drug Administration granted the PSG a compassionate permit for the use of 10,000 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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