Duterte: Liberation of Marawi marks beginning of rehab

Following the day after the top terrorist leaders of Marawi siege, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed in a military assault, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte(PRRD), declared the liberation of Marawi from the control of terrorists.

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“I hereby declare Marawi city liberated from the terrorist influence… that marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” said Duterte.

The president also commended the valor of the troops as they braved the dangers posed by gun fires and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in fighting against the terrorists and in rescuing hostages.

Symbolizing the achievement of victory against the terrorists, the President led the raising of the Philippine flag held at the Jamiatul Philippine Al-Islamia campus, located at the main battle area.

Ending of Crisis

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año  said in a press conference on Monday that “the Marawi crisis will be over–sooner than later. The resistance of–or what is left of it— the terrorists will crumble.”

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Meanwhile, Col Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao,  said that the death of terrorist leaders led to the declaration of Marawi’s liberation as they are the “center of gravity, they are the ones who are binding Maute-ISIS together.”

“It [the declaration] is a strategic message to tell the world na tapos na itong problema sa Maute-ISIS [that the problem with Maute-ISIS is over], na they cannot be victorious anymore. Patapos na po [This is about to end.],” said Brawner.

Beginning of Rehabilitation       

Brawner also asked the residents of the Marawi City to be patient as clearing operations of the area are being conducted.

“We will rescue remaining hostages and make sure na wala ng stragglers na naiiwan at mga IEDs [that there will be no longer stragglers and IEDs in the area].. tuloy na pa tayo [we are ready for]  sa next phase which is the rehabilitation,” Brawner said.

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Brawner also shared that the cleanup drive ‘Brigada Marawi’ has began last week.

The  Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will also check and remove remained IEDs.

Meanwhile, Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) teams composed of various national and local government agencies had begun their assessment on the damages in 24 barangays in Marawi City.

The results of the data analysis, consolidation, and report development of the assessment is to be completed before October ends.(LEAntonio-PIA ILIGAN/LDN)

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AFP chief says safety of hostages being prioritized

Following the death of Marawi siege top leaders, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Eduardo M. Año, emphasized during the press conference held in Camp Ranao last October 16 that the safety of hostages was being prioritized in their operations.

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Año said that rescuing the hostages was the main goal of the troops that day.

 

He also said the group of Hapilon and Maute together with hostages was seen dashing from one building to another at around 1:30 a.m. with the intention to escape from the main battle area with the hostages.

 

“In our rescue operations, we are very careful. We do not fire on anybody carrying arms; we make sure na hindi hostage [that they are not hostages],” said Año.

 

Prioritizing the protection of the hostages, 20 were rescued including a two-month-old baby.

 

“It is worth the effort that we save a life. One additional life that we save is good enough and worth the effort,” he added.

 

Boosting the morale         

 

Año said that the death of the top leaders boosted the morale of the soldiers.

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“It will even inspire the armed forces, policemen and other law enforcement agencies to go after the remaining enemies and finish them all,” said Año.

 

“Nawala lahat ng pagod. Kahit walang tulog, walang pahinga, hindi makakain on time, lahat yun nawala,” he added.

 

[All of the exhaustion was gone. Even if they were not able to sleep, to rest, to eat on time; all of it was gone.]

 

Año also said that full support is the biggest recognition that soldiers can receive.

 

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, “The biggest reward is that they did their job properly and being happy that it is over.”

 

Countering Backlash and Extremist Ideology

 

With the death of the two top leaders of Marawi siege, Año said that the military is ready for the possible retaliatory attacks from other terrorists.

 

“We have forces employed all around. Huwag mag alala [do not worry], but of course we need the supporting cooperation of the community na makapagreport ng [to report] suspicious persons immediately and we will take action,” said Año.

 

While there are plans to go after Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters when the Marawi conflict ends, Año said “We will make sure that there will be forces left behind in Marawi.”

 

“Kailangan pa rin ng pwersa dito, kasi tutulong sila sa reconstruction and rehabilitation ng Marawi,” he added.

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[Armed forces are still needed here, as they will be part of the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts for Marawi.]

 

Meanwhile, Secretary Lorenzana said that the government started initiatives to counter extremist ideology.

 

“We have talked with the ulamas (Muslim scholars) and imams (officiating priest of a mosque). I asked them to [monitor] madrasahs (Islamic schools); what they are teaching to the kids, and who are the teachers,” said Lorenzana.(LEAntonio-PIA ILIGAN/LDN)

SP OKs MOA with DA for livestock program

Department of Agriculture (DA) and the city government of Cagayan de Oro forged another partnership for livestock program.

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To increase the competitiveness and income of livestock farmers, Cagayan de Oro City legislators headed by Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin V. Uy during its regular session Wednesday presided over by Councilor Zaldy approved an ordinance authorizing Mayor Oscar Moreno to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA) covering its Livestock Program.

 

The DA is implementing the program to enhance agricultural productivity and production as a strategy of realizing the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (AFMP) and is willing to provide one unit Hammer Mill under the Animal Feeds Technology Project.

 

The MOA provides that the regional field office of DA in northern Mindanao shall  procure the brand new equipment, turn over the unit to the city and conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the progress of the project

 

For its part, the city government shall use the equipment for the Animal Feeds Technology Development with DA-RFO-10 and provide a garage to properly secure the unit, among others.

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The ordinance was endorsed by the committees on agriculture and fisheries and on laws and rules chaired by Councilors Annie Y. Daba and Ian Mark Nacaya, respectively. (SP)

‘Market of shabu is poor communities,’ says Duterte

In refuting media reports that only poor drug suspects were hunted down in drug operation, President Rodrigo Duterte said the market of shabu is the poor communities.

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Speaking during the launch of the Cebu Pacific’s seventh domestic hub at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, Pres. Duterte said “Bakit mga mahirap…Bakit marami ang patay, hindi ‘yung mga mayaman?…sinasabi ko na sa inyo, ang market ng shabu are ‘yung mahihirap na community.”

 

(Why the poor? Why are not the rich among those killed? I’m telling you. The market of shabu is the poor community.)

 

Duterte also said that the rich do shabu in yachts or go to the airport, they do cocaine or heroine. But heroine and cocaine are derivatives of a product called the poppy. It’s not damaging to the brain.

 

He said, “Marijuana, tapos ‘yung extract niya, ‘yun ang maging cocaine, then refine it to heroin. Hindi masyadong nakakasira ng utak. Huwag mo lang haluan, dried ganun, marijuana.”

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(Marijuana, then the extracts, that makes cocaine, then refined it to heroine. It does not damaging to the brain. Just don’t mixed it, like dried, marijuana.)

 

The president further said, “Kaya kayo ang tinamaan. A, B, C, D, E — D, E ang pinakamatindi. Doon ang labanan ng pulis.”

 

(That is why you are the most affected. Among the economic classes, D and E are the most prevalent. That’s where the police operation happen.)

 

Duterte also revealed the country has lost an estimated 128 police and 200 soldiers in connection to drugs.

 

In Mindanao in particular, the president said the police can’t penetrate the laboratory. When they enter the premise, they would be facing M-60 machine gun, bazooka. They have to call in soldiers, that is why there are many killed soldiers.

 

He, likewise, said that drugs are always an organized crime. These drugs has to be cooked. Then there has to be lieutenants or trusted men who will distribute it to you, to the peddlers or they call it “basura.” Without basura selling it, shabu cannot prosper. It will remain in the bodega or in the place where they are hidden, but it could not be prosperous trade. So all this, they work in tandem.

 

However, Duterte assured he will still abide by his sworn duty to protect the people and preserve this country, the Republic. Also, he will go against all criminals without fear or favor and enforce it equally.

 

Meanwhile, Pres.Duterte urged the press to carefully listen to his message saying “If the ship is listing and overwhelmed by forces of the enemies of the state–terrorism, rebellion and so many fronts, I will not hesitate to declare Martial Law.” (EOR/PIA10)

4ID activates new battalion to secure Southern Bukidnon

Philippine Army activated its 88th Infantry (Maringal) Battalion and placed it under the operational control of 4th Infantry Division to address the threat situation in the Southern part of Bukidnon.
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In a simple ceremony on October 19 held at the 88IB headquarters in South Poblacion, Maramag town, Bukidnon, MGen Ronald C Villanueva, 4ID commander underlined the specific tasks and mission of the said battalion that are aligned to the current campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which is the Development Support and Security Plan “Kapayapaan.”
 
He also emphasized during the program about the ultimate objective of the New People’s Army (NPA) terror group.
 
“When we talk about terrorism, we don’t only mean Maute or ISIS, we also talk about the New People’s Army that have longed made the lives of our people in Bukidnon miserable. Not only that they burn trucks and plantations but also extort hard-earned money from poor farmers and worst, recruit children to fight against the government,” said Mgen Villanueva.
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He further said, “I would like yo emphasize this with the presence of our local leaders in today’s ceremony that the real intent of the NPA is not to topple down the armed forces but to take the governance from you. This is the reason why we remain strong, resilient, and have improved our security stance in order to not just eliminate but to fully address this insurgency situation that have longed been affecting our Country’s development.”
 
Villanueva said to the soldiers of the battalion that he expect them to bear the professionalism as the they execute their tasks.
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Build bridges from among the people, earn their respect and gain friends. There is no room for any Human Rights violations. We have already gained an immeasurable people’s support especially during our efforts in Marawi. Don’t let one mistake destroy what we have sacrificed for our Country. We support the intent of our Commander-in-Chief to protect the state and the people. Again I remind all of you to perform only your duty as a disciplined soldier, MGen Villanueva concluded.
 
The activation and deployment of 88IB that is composed of 450 soldiers is part of the president’s plan to hasten the resolution of all internal conflicts in the Country. This will help pave way for the smooth implementation of all Government programs and services that would benefit every Filipinos in all parts of the Archipelago. (4ID)

Promoting ASEAN—the LGU way

Cognizant of the local government units’ role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Mayor Marie Guingona of Gingoog City took the challenge of discussing with community leaders the aspects of ASEAN integration that local government units (LGUs) must do.

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Speaking in front of more than 200 youth leaders, farmers, fisher folks, barangay leaders, urban poor, senior citizens, media, and delegates from various groups during the recent ASEAN 2017 Multi-sectoral Forum in Gingoog City, she emphasized that people should help the government in promoting LGUs vital roles as part of ASEAN community.

Taking ASEAN challenges

Mayor Guingona argued that LGUs must play an active role—especially barangays—in attracting investors, developing the capacities and competitiveness of local economy, and promoting the ASEAN identity among their constituents.

“We need to fine-tune our policies in order to align these to ASEAN community-building process rules,” she said.

She stressed, however, that despite these efforts, ASEAN integration is a concept that not all local governments are aware of.

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“Thus, we need to help the government promote ASEAN’s precepts by responsibly sharing relevant information—whether as a source or as a recipient—especially in media platforms available in the locality,” Mayor Guingona said.

She affirmed that there is a need to increase people’s awareness, especially the local leaders, through information dissemination, hand in hand with capacity building measures and policy reforms.

The mayor also aims to discuss and exchange ideas on information issues and set directions in order to deepen people’s understanding, especially those in marginal communities where access to social media is limited. (RLRBalistoy/PIA10, Bukidnon)

Duterte lauds CEB in promoting comfort for Filipino commuters

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte commended Cebu Pacific management for promoting comfort for Filipino commuters during the launching of Laguindingan Airport as the seventh domestic hub in the country.

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The president said that despite the current situation in Marawi City, CEB has seen the promise of what Mindanao can become in the coming years.

 

“It is my hope that its officials and employees will become our partners in effecting meaningful and lasting changes in society,” Duterte said.

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He also expressed optimism this launch become a testament that the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit is resilient and bold.

 

“…Cebu Pacific has — leading the pack of entrepreneurial boldness. So salamat sa Cebu Pacific at ang bilis ninyong lumago. Ang bilis ninyong lumaki, the network, and you’re flying all over the world. It’s not an easy task to do that. Your tour requires brainwork and everything. And to make it safe, which is really a very heavier responsibility. So mga taga-Cebu Pacific, they deserve also a salute just like the soldiers.”

 

Pres. Duterte also enjoined entrepreneurs to make the Philippines a progressive community filled with opportunities for the next generation. Together, let us realize our vision of a safer and more comfortable life for all.

 

For his part Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei says the launching of Laguindingan Airport as a Cebu Pacific Domestic Hub is the company’s commitment to nation building and to make air travel more accessible all Filipinos.

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He further said that with the launching of Laguindingan Airport as domestic hub, tourists can now explore Northern Mindanao’s diverse attractions.

 

CEB has strengthened its domestic route network and air connections to and from Mindanao with the designation of the Laguindingan Airport as its 7th hub in the country. IT also launched two new routes that link Northern Mindanao to Caticlan (Boracay) and Dumaguete City.

 

Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental serves as the gateway to Northern Mindanao, catering Cagayan de Oro City and neighboring areas, including cities of Iligan and Marawi and, Bukidnon province.

 

The airport complex has a 7,200 square meter passenger terminal and a 2,100 meter runway, capable of four takeoffs and landings per hour. Since it opened in 2013, the airport has become the sixth busiest in the country, serving over 1.7 million passengers annually. (EOR/PIA10)