Over 280 local terrorists killed in military ops from January to June 2021 – WestMinCom

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2021   •   656

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) on Thursday reported that it has attained “substantial gains” in the campaign against terrorism and lawlessness in its area of operation in the first semester of the year.

During the assessment and command conference held in Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City on July 7, the WestMinCom presented a summary report of its campaign against local terrorist groups covering the period from January to June 2021.

The command said that during this period, it has neutralized a total of 114 Abu Sayyaf Group members and seized 72 firearms.

WestMinCom also said that 104 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed, including high-value targets. A total of 77 firearms were seized from the group.

On the campaign against the communist terrorist group, the command said it has neutralized a total of 64 members and seized 69 firearms.

“Overall, through the sustained efforts of the command and the neutralization of its key leaders, the manpower and capabilities of the terrorist groups have totally degraded,” the WestMinCom said.

Meanwhile, on the campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms, the WestMincom said that a total of 305 high-powered and 101 low-powered firearms were voluntarily turned over to the different units of the command.

The Western Mindanao Command also improved its civil-military operations to incorporate the whole-of-nation approach in its campaign.

The platform of Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict is likewise maximized, particularly in delivering basic services to the target communities, it added.

“Our accomplishments have proven our fellow countrymen that we are doing our job right,” WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said in a statement.

“For this, I commend each and every soldier, sailor, airmen, and marines for your contributions in our goal to attain peace, security, and development in our areas of operation,” he added.

Military Black Hawk choppers deployed to aid missions in Western Mindanao

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2021

Two Black Hawk helicopters acquired by the Philippine military have been deployed to the Western Mindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said its major Air Force Unit, Tactical Operations Wing-Western Mindanao (TOW-WM), has received the S70i Black Hawk Utility helicopters on November 4 at the Edwin Andrews Air Base.

These units will be used to aid in various missions, including support in combat operations and quick response for humanitarian aid, it added.

“We are very grateful that the top brass considered the deployment of these air assets which will greatly contribute to the accomplishment of our missions here in Western Mindanao,” said WestMinCom Commander, Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr.

Colonel Dennis Estrella, wing commander of the TOW-WM, said that the deployment of the Blackhawk helicopters will boost the capability of the armed forces in both lethal and non-lethal operations.

“Expect that with the deployment of the Black Hawk helicopters in our unit, our operations will greatly improve as these helicopters have larger capacity and more impressive horsepower allowing a faster and longer-range transport. In addition, the said helicopters have the ability to absorb high-impact velocities enabling it to withstand strong turbulent winds,” Estrella said.

Terror leader killed in Maguindanao clash – military

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2021

A leader of terror group Daulah Islamiyah was killed in an encounter with state troops in Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP identified the terrorist as Salahuddin Hassan, who was believed to the “overall Amir” of Daulah Islamiyah.

Hassan was also said to be the one behind the series of bombings and terror attacks in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

The military said Hassan was killed early Friday morning in a joint police and military operation in Barangay Damablac in the municipality of Talayan.

Also killed in the clash was Hassan’s wife, Jehana Minbida, who was said to be the finance officer of the terror group.

The operation was launched following report from residents on the presence of suspicious armed individuals in the area.

Hassan was allegedly trying to escape when he was killed by the troops. He was seriously wounded and was left by his group along with his wife, the AFP said.

“Our operating troops were able to recover the cadaver of Hassan and Minbida together with several firearms and war material which includes a 5.56mm R4 Rifle, bandoliers, ammunition, various war paraphernalia, and subversive documents,” the military said.

AFP chief of staff General Jose Faustino Jr. commended the units involved in the operation.

“This latest accomplishment is a significant blow against the DIHG (Daulah Islamiyah-Hassan Group) and another victory in our thrust against terrorism. With their leader now dead, the terrorist group will certainly crumble,” he said.

 

PH military receives medical supplies, equipment from US

Robie de Guzman   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received various medical supplies and equipment worth P2,075,000 donated by the government of United States.

In a statement, the AFP said the donated items were handed over on October 25 in a ceremony led by chief of staff General Jose Faustino Jr. at the General Headquarters canopy area.

The donations were handed over by Mr. David Gamble, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, of the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Faustino was joined by Brigadier General Edgar Cardinoza, Commander of AFP Health Service Command (AFPHSC) and other senior military officers during the event.

“The AFP is grateful to the United States government for the donations which will surely enhance our capacity to afford our military personnel and their dependents the best health care services that we can provide,” Faustino said.

The U.S. government donated 30 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and 10 sets of Personal Protective Equipment.

The AFP said these are intended to support the COVID19 response operations of the AFPHSC and are in line with the U.S. Government’s initiative to provide assistance to the Philippines in combatting the pandemic.

“This is just another step in our long partnership as treaty allies that has been going for 70 years. The ICU beds represent 30 of the 600 that the U.S. will be donating at P1.3 billion worth of donations,” Gamble said.

“We will ensure that these equipment and supplies will be fully utilized to fulfill not only our COVID19 response efforts, but more importantly for other medical needs that our personnel require who incessantly render faithful and dedicated service to the Filipino people,” Faustino said.

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