Philippine army withdraws martial law recommendation for Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 31, 2020   •   604

The Philippine Army has withdrawn its recommendation to re-impose martial law in Sulu province after the twin blast incident in Jolo which killed 15 and injured 74 individuals.

Army Chief LtGen. Cirilito Sobejana said they respect the decision of the national leadership as well as the sentiment of the general public.

“I drop my recommendation for martial law declaration over Sulu despite the turmoil as there might be other better options,” he said in a statement.

“I always give due respect to the wisdom of our national leadership and the sentiment of the general public but I felt it appropriate to share with you that the military had displayed utmost professionalism and maturity during our martial law implementation in Sulu when I was the JTF (Joint Task Force) Sulu Commander in 2017,” he added.

Local officials have earlier expressed their opposition to the re-imposition of martial law in Sulu. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Over P20-M worth of illegal drugs seized in Sulu buy-bust ops

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Some P20.4 million worth of suspected shabu were confiscated in a buy-bust operation conducted in Jolo town of Sulu province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

Citing a report from the Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR), PNP officer-in-charge PLt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the illegal drugs were seized in an operation conducted on Sunday at Barangay Walled City.

Police said the buy-bust operation was jointly launched by intel operatives from Jolo MPS, Indanan MPS, 11th and 35th Mobile Intelligence Battalion, in cooperation with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the Bangsamoro region.

Operatives also arrested a drug suspect, identified as Ejek Ali Abduhalim, 44, during the operation.

“Seized from the suspect were one paper bag with more or less three kilograms of suspected shabu with a street value of P20.4 million and two mobile phones,” Eleazar said.

The suspect is now facing criminal charges violating Sections 5 and 11 of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“The PNP is working double-time to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in every region across the country, as we continue to intensify our anti-illegal drugs operations,”  Eleazar said.

AFP traces Abu Sayyaf hideout in Sulu, 4 members surrender

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has traced one of the hideouts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said their 2nd Special Forces Battalion found one of ASG’s hideouts on Sunday (February 7) in Barangay Danag, Patikul while conducting combat operation.

Meanwhile, four more ASG members surrendered and turned over firearms to the 6th Special Forces Battalion in Sulu on Sunday. They are apart from the 17 ASG members that surrendered in January.

In 2020, almost 100 terrorist members surrendered to the authorities.

The AFP continues to conduct hot pursuit operations against around 70 ASG members operating under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron in Sulu. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

Parts of Zamboanga City, Jolo town flooded due to heavy rains

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains due to a low pressure area (LPA) spotted in the vicinity of Western Mindanao have resulted in flooding in parts of Zamboanga City and Jolo town proper in Sulu.

Floodwater due to rains that poured overnight since Sunday until before dawn on Monday affected many residents in Barangays Talisayan, Patalon, and Ayala.

Local authorities said the floodwaters reached knee-deep in some areas in the city and affected around 200 families. High-value crops and rice fields in the said areas were also affected.

The City’s Emergency Response Teams have been deployed to monitor the situation, and to evacuate, when necessary, residents in coastal barangays amid the weather disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported it has assisted in the evacuation of residents in Jolo, Sulu affected by the flooding in Barangays Asturias, Tulay, Hadju Butu, Chinese Pier, Serrantes, Takut-Takut, and Alat.

Photos posted by the PCG on its Facebook page show knee-deep floods and residents wading on water holding onto ropes held by rescuers.

No casualties were reported.

The state weather agency on Monday said the LPA was estimated at 90 kilometers southeast of Zamboanga City, embedded along the intertropical convergence zone.

The weather bureau warned that the combined effects of the weather disturbance will bring moderate to heavy rains in some parts of Mindanao and may cause flashfloods and landslides in areas prone to these hazards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

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