Maute-linked doctor charged for abduction, beheading in Lanao

A doctor being linked to the Maute terrorist group and accused of supporting a foiled terror plot in New York is now facing criminal cases for the abduction and beheading of sawmill workers in 2016.

Dr. Russel Langi Salic and 53 others have been charged before the Regional Trial Court Branch 11 of Malabang, Lanao del Sur.

Salic and the other suspected members of the Maute group are facing four counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and two counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with murder.

The case stemmed from the abduction of sawmill workers Gabriel Permitis, Alfredo Cano-os, Adonis Mendez, Julito Janubas, Jaymart Capangpangan and Salvador Janubas on April 4, 2016, in Butig, Lanao del Sur. Six days later, Capangpangan and Janubas were beheaded.

The four other were released after their employer Hadja Anisah Gunda who personally worked for their release.

Gunda and the four survivors executed an affidavit identifying their abductors, including Salic, whom they claimed was in a room cleaning firearms.

They said Salic even ordered Maute gunmen to give them coffee and to guard them thoroughly so that they could not escape.

Salic, in his counter-affidavit, denied the allegation saying he had never set foot in Butig.

He said that on the date of the abduction, he was working as a resident physician at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan De Oro City. On April 5, 2016 he said he want to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, to attend the 26th Philippine Orthopedic Association (POA) Mid-Year Convention. He said he returned to NMMC on April 10 as proof of his Daily Time Record.

But the complainants maintained that they saw Salic at the Maute lair. They said they had no reason or ill motive to implicate Salic in their abduction since they did not know him personally.

“After a careful review and evaluation of the evidence submitted by the parties, the undersigned finds probable cause to charge respondents,” the DOJ resolution stated.

“Criminal liability exists notwithstanding non-participation in every detail in the execution of the crime… Where conspiracy has been established, it is unnecessary to pinpoint who among the accused inflicted the fatal blow… The inaction of a respondent where he could have prevented the crime only reveal his complicity thereto,” the resolution stated.

The DOJ resolution is signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, recommended for approval by OIC-Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Amor L. Robles and approved by acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan.

The US government is also seeking Salic’s extradition on allegation that he helped fund a plot that included attacks on Manhattan’s Times Square and the city’s subway.

The allegation against Salic was based on the testimony of Canadian El Bahnasawy who was arrested in New Jersey in May 2016 and pleaded guilty to terrorism charges. He described Salic as “Abu Khalid” a trusted supporter of ISIS or the Islamic State.

Salic allegedly transferred the equivalent of $423 to fund bomb-making materials for the attack.

Maute-linked doctor charged for abduction, beheading in Lanao

7 Sayyaf men surrender

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Seven Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendered in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the past two days, the military said.

Udat Mohammad Salan, 24, and Mustafa Salihin Ahajabi, 19, surrendered yesterday and turned over their rifles to Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo, 101st Brigade commander.

Kadra and Alnajar, both surnamed Sawadjaan, and Sherul Sahiyul turned over an M16 rifle, a grenade launcher and a caliber .45 pistol to the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu in Barangay Bunot, Indanan, Sulu on Sunday, Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana of the Joint Task Force Sulu said.

Jun Hassan and Titing Alihassan, who were on the arrest order of the Department of National Defense, surrendered to personnel of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi and turned over a Garand and M16 rifles and ammunition.

Alihassan was tagged in kidnappings in the high seas and the hijacking of Vietnamese vessel MV Giang Hai on Feb. 17, 2017. He is also the most wanted person on the watchlist of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Hassan is reportedly the brother of a certain Butchoy, an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader neutralized in a military operation in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi in March 2017.

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“Butchoy is one of the financiers of the kidnapping of Taiwanese Evelyn Chang at Pompom island resort in Sabah in November 2013,” Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon Jr., task force commander, said.

The military said 164 Abu Sayyaf bandits have surrendered in the areas within the jurisdiction of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) since last year.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief, said 72 of the surrenderees came from Basilan, 57 from Sulu, 33 from Tawi-Tawi and two from this city.

NPA officers surrender in Compostela Valley

By Mike U. Crismundo

Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – A supply officer, three squad leaders and a medical officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the Army’s 25th Infantry (Fireball) Battallion (25th IB) during their weeklong peace and development activities in their areas of responsibility (AOR) in the provincial boarder of Agusan del Sur and Compostela Valley (ComVal), said 25th IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer Capt. Alan Bapara, on Monday.

Sixteen members of NPA Solid Mass Organization (SMO) also yielded without firearms to the operating troops of the 25th IB during the peace and development activities that started on January 20, Bapara said in a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin.

He said the five NPA officers who yielded to their unit belonged to the Pulang Bagani Command 8-SRC 1, SDG Section 3-SRC 4 guerilla-Front Committee 15 of the CPP-NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

The identities of the 3 squad leaders and supply officer from Sta. Emelia, Veruela, Agusan del Sur and medical officer from Purok 7, Barangay Salvacion, Monkayo, Comval province, were temporarily withheld for security reason, the 25th IB CMO officer said.

Their surrender was facilitated by the local leaders, particularly the local government units (LGUs), and barangay and purok leaders.

“Their voluntary surrender was due to the experienced hardships, homesick, fear of death and most of all the realization of the futility of their cause in the organization,” also said 25th IB Commander Lt. Col. Oscar B. Balignasay Jr., in the same press statement sent to the Manila Bulletin.

“They also felt the pressure of our relentless combat operations, conducted by all field units of the Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID) and social pressure from the contagious Community Support Program (CSP) and Peace and Development Program (PDP),” claimed the 25th IB commander, as he acknowledged the untiring support of the local populace, civil society organizations, local government units/agencies and other stakeholders in their Area of Responsibility (AOR).

“The answer for the call to surrender by the President (Rodrigo Roa Dutere) for the NPAs has already gained grounds with the untiring efforts of the all stakeholders for peace in the nation,” Balignasay said.

He added that the 10th ID encouraged all people in the area to spread the words of surrender for peace to the NPA brothers and sisters, their families and love ones.

“Our forces will continue to pursue peace and development efforts in the area of responsibility (AOR) through Focus Military Operations (FMO), Community Support Program (CSP), information gathering efforts and collaboration with all stakeholders in 10th ID AOR.

NPA officers surrender in Compostela Valley

Maguindanao clash kills BIFF, bomb seized

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed in a five-minute gunfight with the Army troops of the Joint Task Force Central in Maguindanao.

Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) on Monday said troops of the 61st Division Reconnaissance Company under 2Lt. Roy John Atoga encountered five BIFF members while conducting combat operations at Sitio Minanga, Barangay Bakat, in the town of Radjah Buayan, Maguindanao.

Petinglay said the firefight resulted in the death of BIFF member Gabriel Amado, 49, of Barangay Bakat.

Maj. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, JTF Central commander, said troops also recovered an improvised explosive device (IED), 20 rounds of live ammunition for a shotgun and personal belongings of the BIFF bandits.

No casualty was reported on the side of government troops.

Meanwhile, five more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), including those listed at the top of Department of National Defense (DND) Arrest Order No.3 in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi surrendered to soldiers on Sunday.

ASG members Kadra Arajun Sawadjaan, AlnajarArajun Sawadjaan and Sherul Arad Sahiyul, carrying high-powered firearms, yielded to the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu of the Joint Task Force Sulu following the surrender of other ASG late last year.

Soldiers picked up the former bandits at Barangay Bunot, Indanan, Sulu after earlier arrangements had been made to ensure their safety and security.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said the ASG members also surrendered an M16 rifle, an M79 Grenade Launcher, and a cal .45 pistol.

Those who surrendered were recruited by slain ASG sub-group leader Alhabsy Misaya and previously seen in recovered video marching and in formation with other Abu Sayyaf members in Indanan, Sulu in August 2015.

ASG members Titing Alihassan and Jun Hassan of Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi also surrendered to the marines bringing along an M16 rifle an M1 Garand rifle and a short magazine for M16 rifle with 22 ammunitions for caliber 5.56mm.

“Titing Alihassan is number one in our wanted list of Abu Sayyaf members and included in the DND Arrest Order No. 3,” said Brig. Gen. Custudio Parcon Jr., commander of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Alihassan was involved in the sea-jacking of Vietnamese flag vessel (M/V Giang Hai) in February 2017, according to Parcon.

Maguindanao clash kills BIFF, bomb seized

700 cops, soldiers tapped to secure Abra sports meet following blast

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET—About 700 police officers and soldiers have been deployed to secure 7,000 school athletes and coaches who will participate in a Cordillera sports event in Abra province from Feb. 4 to 9.

Many parents have expressed concern about this year’s Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association meet, following the grenade blast at La Paz town in Abra on Jan. 25.

Two policemen were killed and 26 people, including Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos and his wife, La Paz Mayor Menchie Bernos, were wounded in the explosion that had remained unsolved.

On Monday, Abra Gov. Joy Bernos assured participants and their parents that they would be safe during the meet, the largest sporting event in the region.

She met officials at the Cordillera office of the Department of Education (DepEd) here to discuss the final arrangements for the event.

Delegates from Baguio City and six Cordillera provinces will be billeted in Bangued, the capital town of Abra, as well as in nearby towns, including La Paz.

The meet will officially open on Feb. 4 with an afternoon program that will be attended by Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police. A highlight of the program will be a fireworks display.

Based on a report presented during the DepEd meeting, covert security teams will also be deployed “for monitoring of threat groups, left-leaning organizations and for information gathering.”

A security task force believed armed groups based in Abra and nearby provinces could cause a disturbance and bring “embarrassment to the host province,” officials were told. —KARLSTON LAPNITEN

700 cops, soldiers tapped to secure Abra sports meet following blast

Change of Command of 7th Civil Relations Group, Civil Relations Service Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The 7th Civil Relations Group, Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomes the new Group Commander, LTC LEOPOLDO E ACERDEN IV (PAF) during the Change of Command Ceremony held at Headquarters CRSAFP on January 26, 2018. Outgoing 7th CRG Commander, COLONEL JOSE VICTOR L VARGAS JR (GSC) PAF will be the Group Commander to 4th Civil Relations Group, CRSAFP in Zamboanga City. The said ceremony was presided by BGEN BIENVENIDO R DATUIN JR AFP, Commander CRSAFP.

LTC ACERDEN IV PAF was the Group Commander of 1st CRG, CRSAFP and now assumed by MAJ ERIC BULOSAN (INF) PA while COL VARGAS will assume the post left by no less than LTC EMMANUEL R GARCIA (INF) PA who is now the Public Affairs Office Chief.

This joint change of command ceremony is an effort made by COMCRS, BGEN BIENVENIDO R DATUIN JR AFP for more strengthened and felt Civil Relations Group by the Unified Commands and civilian populace as well.


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188 NPA terrorists sumuko sa loob lamang ng 3 linggo

Ayon kay Lt. Col. Emma­nuel Garcia, Chief ng AFP Public Affairs Office, ito’y ka­ugnay ng determinadong opensiba ng tropa ng pamahalaan upang tuldukan ang pamamayagpag ng NPA terrorists sa bansa.

Kabilang sa mga nagsisuko, ayon sa opisyal ay ang 52 NPA nitong Enero 21 ng taong ito mula sa mga lalawigan ng Masbate at Sultan Kudarat.

Samantalang nasa pitong NPA at 35 pang mga miyembro ng Militia ng bayan ang sumurender rin sa mga elemento ng Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion sa Masbate City na nagsuko rin ng nasa 13 sari-saring mga armas.Image may contain: 2 people, text


Ang mabilis na pagtaas nang bilang ng mga nagbalik-loob at sumusukong rebelde ng New People’s Army ay naglalarawan lamang ng demoralisasyong nararanasan sa kanilang hanay dulot ng korapsyong lumalaganap sa loob ng kilusan.

“The AFP is expecting more NPAs to yield since there is demoralization in the NPA’s ranks as some leaders have already returned to the folds of law brought by internal corruption,”

-LtCol. Emmanuel Garcia
Chief, Public Affairs Office AFP

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