CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – As the opening of Balikatan Exercises 2015 (BK15) draws nearer, Vice Admiral Alexander S Lopez, Exercise Director of Balikatan 2015, is personally visiting units of the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) which are involved in the ten-day annual events between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States which is slated to formally start on April 20 and end on April 30.
Vice Admiral Lopez visited Headquarters Philippine Army at Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila, at around 8 a.m. Tuesday (April 14) to discuss arrangements especially concerning the Philippine Army component and its personnel. He visited the Army with Brigadier General Rodolfo B Santiago, the Exercise’s Vice Director and the commandant of AFP Command and General Staff College, and paid courtesy call to Lieutenant General Hernando Iriberri, Commanding General of the Philippine Army.
CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Brigadier General Apolinario Alobba, AFP, commander of Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) welcomed Brigadier General Gary M. Brito, Deputy Commanding General-Support of 25th Infantry Division (US Army Pacific) in his courtesy call to the unit in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City today (April 14, 2015).
Brito is in the Philippines for talks on the initial phases of Exercise Balikatan 2015 (BK15) with counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) slated to begin this coming April 20.
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/.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received reports from several sources confirming the death of Ustadz Amiril Umbra Kato, the founding chairman of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
With the reported death of Kato, we are seeing the gradual demise of the BIFF considering that Kato is both a tactical commander and at the same time the spiritual leader of the group. As a spiritual leader, Kato played a crucial role in recruiting new members of the organization using his mastery of the Quran and his wisdom as an experienced leader of the rebel group.
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.