4 NPA rebels surrender in Sultan Kudarat

FOUR New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have surrendered to the military, authorities reported on Sunday, October 8. The Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) identified them as Beboy Flang Mek, Arjohn Dang Blagan, Osing Samandal Kuyan, and Robert Panday Balabagan, all members of the Myphone Platoon, Guerrilla Front (GF) 73. They also turned over two M-16 Armalite and Ak-47 rifles when they surrendered last Friday, October 5, to the troops in the village of Titulok, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. The GF 73 led by a certain Ka Mommy, Ka Decay or Ka Wada operates mainly in the joint area of operations of the Eastern Mindanao Command, particularly in the towns of Banga, Surallah, Norala, Tantangan, T’boli, Sto. Nino, and Lake Sebu, all in South Cotabato, and in Maitum, Kiamba, Maasim, all in Sarangani province.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/zamboanga/local-news/2017/10/08/4-npa-rebels-surrender-sultan-kudarat-568404

#SupporOurTroops

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Duterte: No more talks with communist group

PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday said he no longer wants to talk peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

He said the communist group may have to wait for another president for peace negotiations.

“At this stage, I am not ready to talk to them (CPP-NPA-NDFP) because it is not good for the country… the way that it is now, ayaw ko (I don’t like) and maybe it would take some time to, maybe another president, to do it,” Duterte said at the Army’s change of command ceremony in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/duterte-no-more-talks-communist-group?qt-quicktabs_latest=1

#SupportOurTroops
#YourAFPCares

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17 Maute group hostages rescued in Marawi —Lorenzana

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said 17 civilians held captive by the Maute group in Marawi City have been rescued by government troops.

Lorenzana said the rescued hostages include nine males and eight females, with ages ranging from 18 to 75.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/628236/17-maute-group-hostages-rescued-in-marawi-lorenzana/story/

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Rody visits Marawi for 6th time

By Alexis Romero

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday visited Marawi City for the sixth time to witness the unveiling of shelters for the residents displaced by the clashes between government forces and terrorists.

The construction of shelters was part of the “Bahay Pag-asa” project initiated by the Tarlac Heritage Foundation, one of the private groups helping the government rebuild the battle-ravaged city.

Recipients of the shelter would be part of a “green community,” which has solar panels to enable occupants to use appliances and equipment like electric fans, radios and mobile phones.

“We have to finish it otherwise the next generation would inherit this (problem),” Duterte said.

After the event, Duterte visited the troops fighting the Maute terrorists and distributed goods like sunglasses and watches.

More than 900 people have died since the Marawi siege started when the Maute group attacked the city last May 23.

Malacañang also welcomed the holding of a mass at Saint Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday, the first since the crisis erupted.

The cathedral is one of the areas occupied by the Maute terrorists.

“Saint Mary’s Cathedral had been damaged during the siege of the city; and the terrorist group posted propaganda video of their desecration of the cathedral’s religious images,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

#SupportOurTroops

http://www.philstar.com:8080/headlines/2017/10/03/1745067/rody-visits-marawi-6th-time

The 4th National Youth Leadership Summit

Your Armed Forces of the Philippines through 7th Civil Relations Group, Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other peace partner agencies will conduct the 4th National Youth Leadership Summit (NYLS) on October 23-28, 2017 at Bahay Bakasyunan Resort and Conference Center, Tanay Rizal. This year’s NYLS theme is “Youth Leaders, Working towards Greater Change”. Through this summit, we can further solidify the youth’s support and commitment to nation building and development of our country.

This annual summit is a gathering of youth leaders where your AFP and other agencies can interact with the youth to know what has happened all throughout the year. Aside from the lectures, workshops and team-building activities given to them, it is always a venue to extract good ideas and leadership strategies. This year’s vision is to further develop management capabilities and organizational sustainment of these empowered youth leaders of our nation who are one of the key players and benefactors of development and nation building.

The YLS is conducted through various levels, from national down to, regional, provincial, municipal, and even the barangay level. Today, the conduct of YLS marks its 14th year, through the help of your AFP, the YLS family continues to grow every year. The AFP wants every youth to be a part of the YLS family/graduates for it teaches not only leadership, but it also teaches peace, positivity, and how to be a good and effective citizen. So, to all youth for peace and development, See you soon!

Maute Group now less than 50, resistance has become ‘weaker’ —AFP

THE number of ISIS-inspired Maute Group members fighting in Marawi City has dwindled to less than 50, a military official said on Sunday.

Joint Task Force Ranao deputy commander Col. Romero Brawner said the terrorist group’s resistance has also become weaker even as the government failed to meet its Sept. 30 target announced by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for ending the Marawi siege.

“Not yet. Not today,” Brawner said.

A mass was held on Sunday at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral for the first time since the Maute group attacked the city four months ago.

“Today [Sunday] is also the feast of St. Therese, one of the patron saints of the military. So we arealso seeking divine blessing so we can end this conflict as soon as possible,” Brawner said.

A total of 749 members of the Maute group have been killed by government troops since the start of the conflict, while 155 security forces were slain in action.

Last week, Lorenzana assured Maute members planning to surrender that they will not be killed if they decide to yield themselves.

“We will not kill people who are surrendering. Our soldiers are not murderers,” Lorenzana said.

He said Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan, chairman of the House Committee on Muslim Affairs, told him during the Marawi briefing that there were Maute members who have sent surrender feelers.

http://manilastandard.net/news/national/248323/maute-group-now-less-than-50-resistance-has-become-weaker-afp.html

Troops hear Mass as Marawi fighting wanes

BY 

The war in Marawi City has waned, a military commander said on Sunday, allowing government troops to hear Mass for the first time since the battle with the IS-linked Maute group erupted more than four months ago.

No new casualties were reported on this day, although the military continued to operate in the capital of Lanao del Sur, carefully clearing the area of improvised explosive devices (IED) left behind by fleeing Maute members.

“Our operations continue but so far, there is no change to our casualty figures,” Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Group Ranao, said in an interview on Sunday. Asked if the war would end Sunday, Sept. 30, as had been expected. “No, it will not end by [Sunday],” he replied.

Brawner said, however, resistance from the enemy was “waning,” compared with its strength in the early days of the fighting that first erupted on May 23 when Islamist extremists sought to establish an independent state.

WORSHIP RESUMES Holy Mass is offered for the first time at the badly damaged St. Mary’s Cathedral inside the war-torn city of Marawi since fighting broke out on May 23. About 300 government troops battling Maute terrorists assisted in the Eucharist. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

That “act of rebellion” had prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao, which Congress extended until December.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana acknowledged the fierceness of the war could not simply end by virtue of a deadline, saying it might drag on further.

“Marawi City’s complete liberation from pro-ISIS Maute terrorists is not going to happen on September 30,” he said.

“The fierce war for Marawi that has raged for over four months may still drag on for 10 to 15 days,” Lorenzana said in an interview on radio dzBB on Saturday.

This is not the first time that the government has set deadlines to the ongoing clashes in Marawi City.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) commander, said the war would be over in August while Lorenzana said it would end in September.

Based on the latest figures released by the military, the war has claimed the lives of 749 Maute members, 155 soldiers and 47 civilians. Recovered were 714 firearms.

About 300 government troops and officers attended the Mass held at the St. Mary’s Cathedral inside the war-torn city.

Among the ranking officials present were Maj. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, commander of Tak Force Trident; Maj. Gen. Rolando Bautista, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division; and Brig. Gen. Melquiades Ordiales Jr., commander of Joint Task Group Tiger.

Brawner said the Mass was held since it was also the feast day of St. Therese, the patron saint of the military.

“So, the Mass was held since we are asking for blessings so that this war would be over soon and that our troops would be safe,” he said.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian visited the troops in Marawi on Sunday and pledged to help in releasing the budget for its rehabilitation

Gatchalian is chairman of the Senate committee on economic development in charge with the rehabilitation of Marawi City.

“He (Gatchalian) visited the IDPs (internally displaced persons) and came here to find out how he can help further with the rehabilitation,” Brawner said.

He said that aside from Marawi, there were also IDPs at Kagiaran, Lanao del Norte.

Galvez met Gatchalian, who joined soldiers in a boodlefight at the WestMinCom.

Troops hear Mass as Marawi fighting wanes

Lorenzana: Marawi siege will be over by Sunday

The Marawi City siege will be over by Sunday.

Thus, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who announced yesterday that the Islamic State-inspired terrorists are just holed up within one block in the main battle area.
At the same time, Lorenzana cited another breakthrough in the ongoing military offensives against the terrorists – the capture of the White Mosque.
“I think this will be over by Sunday,” declared Lorenzana, despite the heavy resistance put up until yesterday by terrorists at the White Mosque.
Lorenzana, however, maintained that clearing operations will continue until the entire area is declared free from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by the terrorists.
According to Lorenzana, there are still about 100 terrorists putting up resistance within the one-block battlefield.
The Defense chief also noted the surrender feelers being fanned by the terrorists through Lanao del Sur Rep. Mauyag Papandayan.
“Now, there was this offer to surrender by these Mautes. I was told by Congressman Papandayan…that they want to surrender,” Lorenzana said.
He assured the safety of those who will choose to surrender.
“Just go out with your hands up in the air…anytime they can surrender, they can get out and they will not be killed,” Lorenzana said.
“We will not kill people who are surrendering, your soldiers are not murderers…we will take them and the court will handle their case,” he added.
As of Wednesday, the military claimed to have killed more than 700 terrorists and recovered almost the same number of high-powered firearms.
On the other hand, a total of 151 government troops were killed in action while 47 civilians also perished.
The Marawi City siege erupted last May 23 when government troops attempted to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, the designated emir or leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS in Southeast Asia.
Up to last week, the military said that Hapilon remained in the main battle area leading one of the two remaining groups of terrorists in fighting government troops. The other terrorist leader is Omar Maute of the Maute Group.
Several hostages are still being held by the terrorists.

http://www.tribune.net.ph/nation/lorenzana-marawi-siege-will-be-over-by-sunday

Defense chief sees Marawi crisis end, preps for rehab

by Maricel Cruz

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator in Mindanao, has said the military is eyeing to end the Marawi crisis by end of September.

Lorenzana  said Wednesday they would conduct the “post conflict needs assessment” of the situation in the entire Mindanao beginning October and it would take them “a couple of weeks.”

“After that,  we will get a good idea how much we need to rehabilitate Marawi, how long, and how much money we need to rehabilitate,” Lorenzana told reporters at the sidelines of the DND briefing on the Marawi conflict with lawmakers.

Meanwhile, reports from Maguindanao said four local officials were injured after they were hit by two succeeding explosion at the outskirts of Datu Sinsuat town Wednesday morning.

The injured officials were identified as barangay chairman Datu Pendatun Sinsuat, kagawad Sinaribom Lalalog, Army Staff Sergeant Eddie Cane and PO2 Bobby Gulalani Pendililang.

The twin blasts occurred within a 20-minute interval at Upper Semba junction in Barangay Semba in Datu Sinsuat town, said Capt. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Awang, Maguindanao.

Encinas said the first explosion took place at about 7:30 a.m. but left no injuries. The second blast occurred at around 7:50 a.m. injuring the four officials.

Elsewhere in Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has offered security to Christian groups who will extend assistance for internally displaced persons in the Marawi conflict, according to Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña.

The bishop said MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim assured them of help in the Church’s rehabilitation program that focuses on healing and peace building efforts.

Dela Peña, together with Cotabato Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, talked with Murad in Rome for a meeting convened by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a global movement of lay people known for its work with the poor and refugees.

The dialogue was attended by other Muslim and Christian leaders as well as representatives of civil society from Mindanao.

“Murad gave us assurance that they will provide us security,” Dela Peña said.

Lorenzana said they would get inputs from the people of Marawi and Lanao if martial law was still needed while rebuilding and rehabilitating the conflict-stricken areas.

“Now, if they say our area can do without martial law, we will also consider that. But, the final determination whether to continue martial law or not rests with the President,” Lorenzana said.

He said the defense department would do the necessary recommendation in October on whether martial law in Mindanao would be lifted soon or extended.

Under the “Duyog Marawi” program, the group will focus its operations on at least 13 coastal communities within the vicinity of Marawi.

These communities include Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Malabang, Balabagan, Picong, Marantao, Balindong, Bacolod-Calawi, Madamba, Ganassi, Calanogas, Marogong, Kapatagan, and Tugaya.

These areas were not devastated by the conflict but were “greatly affected” because they lost the center of their livelihood and their basic services when Marawi was put on lockdown.

They also played hosts to thousands of home-based internally displaced persons or IDPs.

“The MILF is patrolling in these areas. If you have Al Haj Murad with us then we can be assured of security,” Dela Peña said.

The MILF has been waging a decades-long rebellion to establish an independent or autonomous homeland in Mindanao for the nation’s Muslim minority.

The Duyog Marawi program will also help the communities of the Mindanao State University and the Balo-i Cathedral.

“We will do what we do best – community engagements and opportunities for healing and reconciliation,” the bishop said.

Dela Peña also asked Christian communities to continue caring for the Maranaos by sending support whether through the government, the Church, or other aid organizations.

“This is a critical moment in the history of Muslim and Christian relations in Marawi—this will either bring us closer or will widen the gap,” the bishop added.

“The peace in Marawi will not only benefit the Maranaos, it will benefit all of us—the whole of humanity. Let us show to the world that violent extremist ideas will not flourish in our lands,” he added.

http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/248018/defense-chief-sees-marawi-crisis-end-preps-for-rehab.html