Military hunts new Islamic State emir in Southeast Asia

admin   •   November 6, 2017   •   5242

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa confirmed that the Islamic State (ISIS) has a new emir in Southeast Asia.

Dela Rosa noted that the information came from the arrested Indonesian fighter, Mohammad Ilham Syahputra.

“According to him, Amin Baco is not just one of the remaining stragglers there, but he replaced former emir, Isnilon Hapilon as the emir of Southeast Asia. He assumed the post of Isnilon as the emir of Southeast Asia ISIS,” said the PNP chief.

However, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the public has nothing to worry about even though the military has not yet captured the alleged new ISIS emir, identified as Amin Baco.

Lorenzana explained that the new ISIS emir is not as strong as Isnilon Hapilon, saying it’s the first time Amin’s name has surfaced.

“Obviously, his name had not come up before. Maybe he is not as high profile as Isnilon. Maybe he is just middle level. But maybe, there are no other leaders higher than him.  He may be also taking orders,” said the defense secretary.

He added that Amin does not have the capability like Hapilon to amass a huge number of troops.

“We are not belittling him. But he can no longer mass that number of troops like that of Isnilon to bring to Marawi like 2,000 fighters who are fully equipped, fully armed supply with the ammunition,” said Lorenzana.

Lorenzana noted that the military is sweeping every corner of Marawi City and nearby provinces to capture Baco.

Arrested Indonesian terrorist Muhammad Ilham Syahputra identified Baco as the new ISIS emir in Southeast Asia.

It can be recalled military troops captured Syahputra recently in Marawi City. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

Lorenzana dares Pacquiao to prove claims of corruption in Navy frigate deal

Marje Pelayo   •   July 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana challenges Senator Manny Pacquiao to prove his allegations of corruption in the Defense Department’s acquisition of the $300-million worth of Philippine Navy frigates.

In a statement released on Thursday (July 1), Lorenza denied the allegation saying “the frigate deal has been thoroughly investigated by the Senate in 2017 and they found nothing anomalous.”

“In fact, you were in one of the hearings,” Lorenzana reminded the senator.

Lorenzana asked Pacquiao to provide details of the allegations if he seemed to be so sure of it.

Nevertheless, the Defense chief insisted that the concerned military assets were properly acquired.

“Those frigates were delivered last year ahead of schedule and they passed the Navy’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee,” he stressed.

The acquisition of the two brand new frigates was part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program.

In a sudden twist in Philippine politics, Pacquiao started a word war with his former ally President Rodrigo Duterte, naming some agencies under the latter’s administration as being involved in a number of corrupt activities including the Department of Health (DOH).

Duterte not bothered by military coup rumors — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is not bothered by recent reports that some military officials are withdrawing their support for the administration over his supposed silence on the West Philippine Sea issue, Malacañang said Monday.

In an online briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed rumors on the supposed looming military uprising as “kwentong kutsero” (hearsay).

“Hindi po nababahala ang presidente, alam po ng presidente, tapat siya sa Saligang Batas, at alam po niya na nirerespeto rin ng ating mga kasundaluhan ang ating Saligang Batas,” Roque said.

He also reiterated Duterte’s earlier remark that soldiers can always remove him if the military thinks he is useless.

“Kung gugustuhin ng military, kahit sino pwedeng ipatanggal ng militar,” he said.

“Kampante po siya na walang dahilan para naman umakto ng ganyan ang ating mga kasundalohan,” he added.

Roque issued the statement a day after the Department of National Defense (DND) denied reports that some retired and active military officials are planning to withdraw their support for Duterte over his stance against China and its incursions in the West Philippine Sea.

The Palace official also believes that there is no need for a loyalty check among the military generals and that they can always choose a new leader with the upcoming election year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Withdrawal of support for Duterte, fake news — DND

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense has denounced what it called “the irresponsible propaganda” that has been making rounds on social media which alleged that a group of retired and active military officers is withdrawing their support for President Rodrigo Duterte.

“This is fake news! I am not, and will never be, a part of any such group — neither are the officials at the Department of National Defense, many of whom are also retired military officers,” DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement issued on Sunday (April 18).

Lorenzana stressed that “such disinformation is an act of reckless agitation emanating from detractors, who have a limited and myopic appreciation of issues.”

The Defense chief urged what he called “destabilizers” to stop issuing such malicious propaganda amid the uncertainties brought by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“We call on these destabilizers to cease from propagating malicious statements especially at a time when our people should all be coming together in the face of the challenges that we are all currently facing. You are not helping our country and people at all,” Lorenzana’s statement concluded. —/mbmf

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