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Mario J. Mallari

2 more Abus slain in fresh encounter in Sulu — military

Saturday, 17 March 2018 00:00 Published in Nation


Sustained military combat operations against Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron resulted in the killing of two terrorists during fresh clash on the outskirts of Sulu on Thursday, authorities said yesterday.

Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said that elements of the 5th Special Forces Company engaged undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf bandits along Barangay Latih in Patikul town Thursday afternoon.
Petinglay said that the encounter came following last Tuesday’s clash between members of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion and Abu Sayyaf group under Sahiron also in Patikul town.
She said that elements of the 5th SFC were deployed in Barangay Latih to serve as blocking forces following the Tuesday encounter.
According to Petinglay, the latest clash lasted for almost an hour firefight that started at 12 noon. It resulted to the death of two Abu Sayyaf members and the recovery of one R4A3 rifle; one M203 Grenade launcher; two cellular phones; and a back pack with personal belongings.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the military’s Joint Task Force Sulu, said that reinforcements were immediately sent to the area.
“We immediately sent two Special Forces teams and CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) members as reinforcements of our troops at the area of encounter,” Sobejana said.
“Our supporting units also provided artillery rounds toward the target upon the request of the troops who have eye-ball on the enemy’s location,” he added.
Assault helicopters were dispatched to provide aerial support to the ground troops.
Soldiers scoured the area after the Abus ran toward different directions.
“They found a dead body lying in the area of encounter, who was later identified by the brgy officials in the community as a certain Roger Samlahon, a notorious Urban Terrorist Group member who was involved in snatching of kidnap victims in Jolo Proper,” said Sobejana.
The recovered items, including the body of the slain enemy were brought to the headquarters of the JTF Sulu for proper disposition.
“We will still give him a decent burial, we are just waiting for the officials of the barangay to claim the bodies,” Sobejana vowed.
“We also learned that another Abu died from the firefight, but we are still on the process of knowing where he was buried,” he added.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Westmincom commander, vowed full support to the troops currently running after Sahiron’s group as he expressed belief there were kidnap victims being dragged by the encountered terrorists.
“We will give our soldiers the best of our assets as they continue to sustain the operations in pursuing the Abu Sayyaf Group who are still on the run as of this time while dragging along their kidnap victims,” Galvez said.
“It is our priority to rescue the kidnap victims thus our soldiers are very careful in their movements and bombardments,” he added.


14 Vietnamese poachers nabbed off Occ. Mindoro

Friday, 16 March 2018 00:00 Published in Nation


Fourteen Vietnamese were arrested by combined government authorities for poaching along the waters of Occidental Mindoro on Wednesday, police said yesterday.

Report from Police Regional Office-4B (Mimaropa) showed that the Vietnamese were arrested by joint elements of the Paluan Municipal Police Station, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Region 4B and the Army’s 76th Infantry Battalion.
Supt. Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson of PRO-4B, said that the 14 Vietnamese were aboard two fishing vessels when apprehended at around 1 a.m. along the waters of Paluan town.
According to Tolentino, the arrest was a result of the seaborne patrol operation launched by the government authorities.
Toelntino said that the Vietnamese were caught in the act of poaching in territorial waters of Paluan.
“Names of 14 arrested persons were still to determine because of their language,” said Tolentino.
“Arrested persons were brought to Mamburao MPS for proper disposition of BFAR 4B, while the fishing boats were brought to Tayamaan Port, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro,” she added.
The foreign poachers would be charged with violation of Republic Act 10654.



The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday hailed two recent decisions handed down by Quezon City courts convicting eight illegal drug traffickers—the first drug convictions under the administration of President Duterte.

Chief Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the PNP-Drug Enforcement Group (DEG), said the court decisions inspire police anti-drug operatives to work harder to address the drug menace.
Ferro particularly cited the recent decision of Judge Marilou Runes-Taman, presiding judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 98 of Quezon City, for the conviction of four drug suspects.
Taman meted life imprisonment to Eduardo Dario, Rea Mae Libiran, John Rey Bungcasan and Gemmarose Codera who were arrested by agents of the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Quezon City with 45 kilograms of shabu in 2016.
Ferro added this is the first drug conviction under the administration of President Duterte in a pace of 14 months of trial with cooperation of the Department of Justice.
Judge Lun Ebora-Cacha, of Quezon City RTC Branch 82, also handed down similar sentence to Wilfredo Uy (Chinese), Chen Ta Yun (Taiwanese), Yang Shu (Chinese) and Lu Pang Ming (Chinese) who were arrested in 2007 for manufacturing shabu in a clandestine laboratory in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
“This triumph of justice against illegal drugs will inspire us more to bring the war to the doorsteps of the drug syndicates,” Ferro said.
“The speedy trial being implemented serves as a deterrent to the tactics by those accused of prolonging the trial, in the hope police officers will lose interest, court fund extinguishes or otherwise get reassigned or worse bribed, so there will be a failure to prosecute,” Ferro added.
President Duterte launched the government’s all-out war against illegal drugs upon his assumption in 2016 as he appointed PNP chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa as the country’s top cop and to go all-out against the menace.
De la Rosa subsequently activated Project Double Barrel and Oplan “Tokhang” which resulted in more than 1.3 drug personalities surrendering, more than 100,000 arrested and more than 4,000 suspects killed in action.



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