Japan-donated patrol aircraft deployed to monitor disputed shoal 

THE newly commissioned fixed-wing aircraft of the Philippine Navy has conducted its maiden Maritime Air Patrol over the disputed Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) in Masinloc, Zambales.

In a statement, the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) said the C90 plane with tail number 390 made its first flight around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, January 31, for about 800 feet above sea level. The aircraft was donated by the Japanese government last year.

Nolcom said four Filipino fishing boats, five Chinese vessels and four Chinese Coast Guard vessels were sighted during the flight.

“The deployment of C90 plane to monitor the area in the famous shoal, located in the West Philippine Sea, will be its first military mission given by Nolcom,” it said.

“Its employment boosted the capability of the Navy to conduct limited airlift, reconnaissance and surveillance within the Area of Responsibility of Nolcom. It will also complement the efforts of the Philippine Air Force to monitor and watch over the three maritime areas in Northern and Central Luzon,” it added.

The Nolcom has vowed to protect the national territory including its northern maritime areas and assert the country’s sovereign rights over the maritime domain with the use of all their available assets.

Filipino fishers were reportedly harassed by the Chinese coast guard to keep them away from the Scarborough Shoal, which is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

China has been insisting that it has exclusive rights over the said area despite a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that the Philippines has the “sovereign” right to fish and explore the Scarborough shoal. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)


Another military camp to rise in Marawi

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines  — President Duterte has confirmed plans to put up another military camp in Marawi.

The camp will be built on a 10-hectare lot in Barangay Kapantaran where the old city hall complex is located.

“I’m planning to set up a camp here, but I will pay you,” the President said during his visit to a temporary shelter for Marawi evacuees in Barangay Sagonsongan on Tuesday, referring to residents who would be displaced by the construction of the camp.

“Whatever it takes, we will pay para walang gulo (to avoid trouble),” Duterte said.

Camp Ranao, the home of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, a unit of the First Infantry Division, is the only camp in Marawi.

However, Maranao ethnic groups, such as Tindeg Rano and Moro consensus group, questioned the government’s plan to set up a second military camp in Marawi,  saying most of the lots in the military reservation had been awarded to them.

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Defense Secretary  Delfin Lorenzana said his office is reviewing the proposal of former vice president Jejomar Binay to distribute a portion of the military reservation to its occupants.


Surrender now, before it’s too late.

The answer for the call to surrender by the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the NPA’s has already gained grounds with the untiring efforts of the all stakeholders for peace in the nation.

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 January 29, 2018.

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).

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54 Maute kinasuhan ng DOJ

Sa kasong pagdukot noong 2016

MANILA, Philippines — Sinampahan na ng kaso sa korte ng Department of Justice (DOJ) ang 54 hinihinalang miyembro ng Maute kabilang na ang isang doktor dahil sa nangyaring pagdukot sa anim na manggagawa ng isang sawmill sa Lanao Del Sur noong 2016 kung saan dalawa sa mga biktima ay pinugutan pa.

Sa 20-pahinang resolusyon, pinatawan ng DOJ ng apat na ulit na reklamong kidnapping at serious illegal detention at dalawang ulit na reklamong kidnapping at serious illegal detention with murder ang mga respondent na kinabibilangan ang isang doktor na si Dr. Russel Langi Salic.

Ang kaso ay inihain sa Malabang, Lanao del Sur Regional Trial Court.

Si Salic na isang orthopedic surgeon ay suspek din sa planong paglulunsad umano ng teroristang pag-atake sa New York City sa Amerika sa pamamagitan ng pagpapadala ng pera.

Mayroong nakabinbing extradition request ang Estados Unidos para kay Salic na nakakulong sa National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention center.

Bukod kay Salic, naaresto na rin ng mga otoridad ang tatlong iba pang respondent sa nangyaring pagdukot noong 2016 sa Butig, Lanao del Sur na sina TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendell Apostol Facturan, at Musalli Musta na nakakulong naman sa Davao City Jail.


Gun slays up in Zamboanga City despite martial law

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The declaration of martial law in Mindanao after terrorists laid siege to Marawi City last year has failed to stop gun-related attacks in this city, prompting Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar to order the police to probe deeper into the motives behind each murder reported here.

“My directive is [for the police to] also look deeper into the data of every shooting incident,” Salazar told the Inquirer. “They [police] must look into the motives to [solve] the case. They must know [the] background of all victims. What were the reasons why they were shot and killed?”

Cop, girl slain

Police reported that at least 10 people, including a policeman and a teenage girl, were killed by unidentified men in the first three weeks of January.

Although the carrying of firearms among civilians is banned under martial law, armed men managed to evade government inspections and continued to prowl the city, at times attacking residents inside their homes, police said.

Senior Insp. Sheila Tubo-Chang, spokesperson for the Zamboanga City police, said among the latest victims were a couple in the village of Upper Calarian, who were shot inside their house on the night of Jan. 18.

Three days earlier, Erwin Agustin, 42, an employee of the Zamboanga City Water District, was attacked by unidentified gunmen while passing by Estrada Drive at Barangay San Roque here on his way to work.

“This is very disturbing because we, [licensed] gun holders, are [strictly observing] the policies of the government [on carrying of firearms],” said Marlon Simbajon, a local radio reporter.

Simbajon lamented that while licensed gun holders followed the government’s licensing process, some people could just keep firearms, shoot at anybody and easily get away with crime.

“There are a lot of loose firearms in Zamboanga City and we cannot feel that there is martial law here. We cannot feel that [authorities] are serious in running after unlicensed gun owners,” Simbajon said.

Chang said police could not address all issues pertaining to criminality in the city, even with martial law imposed in Mindanao.


Gun-wielding suspects, she said, had become bold.

She cited the case involving PO1 Alden Ibno Sahiron, who, along with another man, went to the house of Bernard Ybañez in Barangay Tetuan on Jan. 11 and shot the latter. Ybañez survived the attack but his companion, Lindy Abbuh, was killed.

Other victims of gun attacks this month included tricycle driver Basir Masihul, 34, who was shot dead in Barangay Recodo on Jan. 1; Sadikal Sarail Apostol, 30, an overseas worker who was attacked and killed in Barangay Sta. Catalina on Jan. 4; Angelica Arquiza, 18, a Grade 12 student who was shot dead while sleeping inside the family’s house in Barangay Bunguiao on Jan. 4; PO3 Michael Sacandal Tan, 39, who was attacked while on his way home to Barangay Zone 4 after serving a warrant on Jan. 8; and Sattar Jaman Jaji, 56, who was killed while buying medicine in Barangay Sta. Barbara on Jan. 11. —Julie Alipala

Gun slays up in Zamboanga City despite martial law

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