General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr., the Chief-of-Staff Armed Forces of the Philippines, has directed the commander of the 6th Infantry Division, Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, to facilitate the safe graduation ceremonies in the affected areas in Maguindanao.
The Department of Education (DepEd) has proposed at least fifteen (15) areas where sixty-five (65) schools would be clustered for the joint graduation ceremonies.
Last Thursday (March 19), Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu of Maguindanao convened the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting in Awang, Maguindanao to conduct initial coordination regarding the proposed graduation ceremonies in selected areas. The AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) will help in identifying safe areas where these graduation events would be held in close coordination with the local government unit.
Today (March 23), the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) of the different LGUs in the affected areas held consultation meetings in their own areas to discuss thoroughly different issues regarding the proposed graduation ceremony.
Tomorrow (March 24), the provincial government of Maguindanao is planning to convene the PPOC in Buluan town to receive feedbacks from the local chief executives of the affected municipalities.
Law enforcement operations would be continuously conducted in areas that are believed to be the new hideouts of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).These areas are in the marshlands and also in the mountainous area away from the proposed sites for the graduation ceremony.
The AFP and PNP will secure the sites where the graduation ceremonies will be held.
DepEd ARMM has proposed that the graduation ceremony will be held starting from 25 to 27 March 2015.
We will also work closely with the local government and the PNP in identifying areas where residents can safely return.
The AFP will continuously deploy forces in the former BIFF enclaves to deny the terrorists like Basit Usman and Amin Baco entry of their former safe havens.
The AFP will also facilitate the implementation of the P67 million worth of different projects which were approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III. The inauguration ceremony for the bridge project in Mamasapano town will be on March 25, 2015 (Wednesday).
General Catapang will deploy the Army engineers to help implement various infrastructure projects to support the rehabilitation and recovery of the conflict-affected areas.
CAMP EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – In honor of our Filipino veterans who fought valiantly for the country, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) will be staging “Musikagitingan 2015: Alay sa Bayaning Beterano” this afternoon at the AFP Theater for free.
The cultural variety show will be held at the AFP Theater inside Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City at 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature Philippines' premier ventriloquist Ony Carcamo, 2013 Talentadong Pinoy Grand Winner Spyro Marco, St. Dominic Savio College Cultural Dance Troupe, 2010 Grand Champion Performer and Vocalist of the World Marielle Corpuz and Next 2 Innocence, 2010 Philippine Representative of World Supremacy Battlegrounds International Competition in Australia and 2010 Champion Groove Philippines National Competition.
The event is a prelude to this year’s celebrations of Araw ng Kagitingan 2015 and Philippine Veterans Week on April 5 to 11. The celebrations aim to present our veterans as among the country’s national treasures, revive Kagitingan or the culture of heroism and strengthen our collective sense of national pride.
Admission to the Musikagitingan is free and open to the public.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s 103rd Base Command in Iligan City was recommended dismantled due to a complaint lodged before the Iligan City council by Datu Lantung Ko Limunsudan, or Higaonon chieftain, Deodato S. Abugan Sr.
They alleged that MILF fighters under Abdul Sango Amoran of the 305th Guerilla Unit recruited 85 Higaonon tribesmen and Maranaws from Bukidnon and brought to the camp from May 16 to 31 last year.
Colonel Gilbert Gapay, commanding officer of Army's 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, facilitated the recommendation of the complaint to Government of the Philippines Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (GPH CCCH).
The protest submitted by Colonel Gapay to GPH CCCH will be acted upon through the conduct of Joint Site Verification Mission which will be composed by the Joint GPH-MILF CCCH and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), IMT, and The Provincial Local Monitoring Team, Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Post and representatives from local government units, Elders and non-government organization Non-violent Peace Force.
Inter-agency meditation and protocols will be sought to resolve issues peacefully.
The 601st Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army, has collected some of the mission essential equipment owned by the Special Action Force-Philippine National Police (SAF-PNP) which were lost during the encounter with the MILF/BIFF in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
Through the efforts of said unit and its commander, Colonel Melquiades Feliciano, the equipment were collected one-by-one from the people who got these from the SAF 44 who paid the ultimate sacrifice during that fateful day.
We recognize the valuable help of civilian non-government organizations, civilian residents, religious leaders who worked together in returning these lost equipment.
The recovered equipment were turned over by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to PNP late afternoon yesterday (March 17).
The list of equipment include five (5) units of night vision goggles, three (3) laser target pointers, two (2) night fighting devices, two units night vision monocular, three (3) units hand-held Harris radios, one (1) NEBO PROTEC laser designator, two (2) gas masks, one (1) kevlar helmet, one (1) set vest, one (1) pair combat boots, one (1) lower uniform pants and two (2) gun protective cases.
We acknowledge the contributions of all stakeholders and peace partners who are supporting the on-going peace process in Mindanao.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines confirms the death of a BIFF member during an encounter with Marines in Barangay Pusao, Sharif Saidona Mustapha, Maguindanao yesterday.
At around 6:15 p.m. yesterday (March 16), the dead BIFF member was turned over to the Maguindanao police. He was later identified as a certain Karie Uga Dia, 18 years old. Not long after, he was claimed by his parents Kagi Dia and Kalimadak Uda Dia.
Meanwhile, at around 10:30 a.m., also yesterday, combined elements of the Intelligence Security Group of the Philippine Army, the CIDG, Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Explosives, Ordnance and Demolition Team of the Philippine Army conducted search operations in the house which was occupied by Mohammad Ali Tambako in Doña Soledad Subdivision, Barangay Labangan, General Santos City.
The government forces found bomb-making materials including detonating cords, assorted wires, blasting caps, Christmas light bulbs, simcards and improvised circuit boxes.
It is believed that Tambako and his men were planning to carry out bombings in the said area.
AFP Chief-of-staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Jr. has commended the troops of AFP and PNP for the successful operations against the BIFF.