CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – With the beginning of the 31st Balikatan Exercises, the call for entries in the annual Balikatan Photo Contest was launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) this week.
All interested individuals must first register online at http://dwdd.com.ph/2015/balikatan-2015-photo-contest-registration/.
CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Military personnel from different units have voluntarily contributed an amount that will be donated to the families of the 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos who died in an encounter with Moro rebels in Maguindanao last January 2015.
Taken from the monthly Subsistence Allowance, the AFP has collected the total amount of P3,565,410.00 that will be equally distributed to the families of the slain policemen.
The donation represents the P30.00 personal contribution from the soldiers’ meal allowance.
“We have recognized the financial needs of the family members who were left by by our gallant policemen. This is a simple gesture of appreciation from their partners from the armed forces,” said Catapang.
General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., the Chief of Staff of AFP, turned over the donation to Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge General Leonardo Espina 8 a.m. Tuesday (April 14) at the Office of the Chief, PNP, Camp Rafael Crame in Quezon City.
Voluntary donations from different sectors of the society have poured in for the legal dependents of the SAF44 and also for the AFP casualties in Maguindanao.
The AFP also incurred casualties in the subsequent clashes during the implementation of “all-out offensive” against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and terrorists like Basit Usman and Amin Bako in Maguindanao last February 25 to March 30.
Last March 19, around P1 million pesos was raised in a charity event concert dubbed “Songs for Heroes” which was given to families of the six (6) soldiers who were slain in the encounters. Part of the proceeds also went to more than thirty-three (33) other soldiers who were wounded there.
CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – A ranking New People’s Army (NPA) leader was arrested by combined elements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in a checkpoint in Davao City late last night (April 7).
Vincent Estrada a.k.a. Dennis Montecillo/Bords/Brod/Oban, Head of Regional Instructor’s Bureau of Regional Operational Command (ROC), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMC) of the NPA, was arrested by combined operatives of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 11 of the PNP at a Task Force Davao checkpoint in Barangay Sirawan, Toril, Davao City at around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Estrada was arrested while on-board an Isuzu Bighorn with plate number BDV864 with a certain Zacarias Delos Santos Mancia, Jr.
He was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest with CC#7610 for the crime of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention filed before Regional Trial Court Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province.
Recovered from their possession were one (1) calibre .45 pistol, two (2) fragmentation grenades, one (1) computer laptop, five (5) cellphones, subversive documents and personal belongings.
Both personalities are now under the custody of CIDG 11.
General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., the Chief-of-Staff Armed Forces of the Philippines, has commended the commanders of both the Army and PNP Davao for the arrest of the notorious NPA leader.
CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City –Eight (8) people were confirmed dead including two (2) Army soldiers in a clash between the Joint Task Group Sulu (JTGS)and the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu at around 10:30 a.m. today (April 9).
According to Colonel Alan Arojado, the Commander of JTGS, the troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion, led by Lieutenant Colonel Gregorio Nieveras, conducted a foot patrol near the vicinity of Bud Bagsak when they spotted more or less two hundred fifty (250) Abu Sayyaf members in the vicinity of the Sitio Nangka, Barangay Gata, Patikul, Sulu.
Immediately, the troops engaged the Abu Sayyaf in a fierce firefight, killing six (6) enemies and wounding ten (10) others.
Meanwhile, the troops suffered two (2) soldiers dead while fifteen (15) others were wounded including two (2) Army officers.
The wounded soldiers were promptly treated by combat medics and they were declared out of danger by attending physicians in a military hospital in Jolo town.
Arojado promptly deployed additional forces to reinforce the heavily engaged troops while at the same time delivered artillery fires.
“Our forward observer was able to effectively direct artillery fires towards the enemy positions causing more casualties on the enemy side,” he said.
Currently the Abu Sayyaf Group is still holding six (6) kidnap victims including European bird-watcher Ewold Horn.
It can be recalled that the AFP Chief Of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr. ordered the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) to relentlessly pursue the bandits deep inside their lairs both in Basilan and Sulu.
There are corrupt and corrupted men even outside the government, rebel returnee Loradel Esquilon came to know. This knowledge and her experiences caused her to formally shed her position in the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sorsogon September of 2013.
Esquilon, now 30, formerly known as Ka Sisa/Ka Megan, confided that she was the logistics and finance staff (S4) of Komiteng Probinsyal (KOMPROB) in Sorsogon.
She used to oversee the flow of the system of collection of revolutionary taxes in the province where she and her subordinates would gather money every month from businessmen, construction companies and government officials. She joined the rebel unit in 2005 after a relative succeeded in convincing her of the ideals that the group was fighting for.
She said she left a promising career as a caregiver in Metro Manila in order to join the NPAs. She was only 20.