Skip to main content

AFP to MILF attackers: Surrender or be hunted

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will be asked to surrender the rebels who killed 19 soldiers in Mindanao last week or allow government troops to hunt them down.

In an interview over dwIZ radio on Monday, acting Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said, "It's either they surrender their criminal members sa amin or let the AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police) perform their mandates."

"They should allow us to enter, if they cannot police their own ranks, let us do our job, ang AFP at PNP. Hayaan na lang nila kung hindi nila madisiplina ang kanilang myembro,< he said.

Cabunoc also said the AFP will provide the MILF with a list of those reportedly involved in the attacks in Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay, all in Mindanao.

Cabunoc said the AFP intends to pursue only selective targets — those "continuously" engaged in criminal activities — not the MILF as an organization.

Cabunoc said government and MILF representatives met on Saturday and agreed that the MILF's 115th and 114th base commands would stop offensive operations.

However, Cabunoc noted the the MILF was linked again to more attacks last weekend.

"Sa ganyang situation we are authorized to run after them, to pursue them ... Ang problema, in most cases, tumatakbo sila sa ATS (areas of temporary stay) kung saan kailangan natin makiupag-coordinate sa ceasefire committee para pasukan ang area na ito," he said.

While the MILF's central committee appears to be serious in pursuing peace talks with the government, Cabunoc said some MILF members are involved in crimes like kidnapping.

"Nakita ko ang central committee nila walang hangad kundi kapayapaan. Nagkakaproblema sila on the ground, there are so many members ng MILF na hindi sumusunod, who are actually criminals already. Sila ang nangunguna sa kidnapping, extortion," Cabunoc said.

Attacks in Mindanao

On October 18, a total of 19 soldiers, including four officers, were killed in the clash with MILF members.

The MILF earlier said the killing happened after soldiers allegedly intruded into their territory.

However, on Twitter, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the "soldiers are aware of MILF Areas of Temporary Stay (ATS) as per ceasefire agreement."

The AFP insisted that the location of the clash between government and rebel troops Tuesday last week was four kilometers away from the MILF's ATS.

Cabunoc said the MILF hierarchy may have even been misinformed about the circumstances surrounding the Basilan attack.

"Ang nangyari kasi sa Basilan kung saan 19 ang namatay e hindi naman nila area yan. They are just claiming area nila yan. Kahit sabihin ng vice chairman nila area nila I believe he was misinformed ," he added.

On October 20, the last missing soldier in the clash with rebels in Basilan province was rescued after managing to swim out to sea to his freedom.

Several other attacks, believed to be perpetrated by the MILF, followed after the October 18 killings in Basilan.

On Sunday, eight more people, including four civilians, were killed in two separate attacks, bringing to 34 the number of people believed to be killed by MILF rebels.

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday rejected the idea of declaring an all-out war against the MILF.

“Are we advocating... all-out war...? Would that [improve] the situation? Matuto naman tayo. Giyera, walang nakikinabang," Aquino said on Thursday last week.

He said he does not want to judge the entire MILF organization just because of “one rotten egg."

In an interview over radio dwIZ also on Thursday last week, presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said, the government and MILF peace talks will continue despite the attacks.

"There is a mechanism to investigate what happened and find out what can be done to avoid a repeat of the incident. In the meantime, our preparations for the next round of talks will continue," Deles said.

Although there is no definite date yet for the next round of talks, Deles said the government expects the talks to resume by November.

Demoralized but ready to seek justice

Cabunoc said government troops may be feeling demoralized after the attacks but are ready to seek justice for the slain soldiers.

"You get demoralized pag namatayan kayo. But yung demoralization sa pagkamatay, with the loss of so many soldiers, yung collective, it is good for the service kasi nagtatrabaho na kami in a certain objective para mabigyan ng hustisya yung ating mga namatay na sundalo," Cabunoc said.

Cabunoc said, "Nalulungkot tayo sa nangyaring namatay but this does not hinder us from doing our job. Yung demoralization na nababanggit pag sinabing demoralized ang AFP, parang hindi ito magtatrabaho, walang gana, it's not that way." - VVP/RSJ, GMA News
-------------------------------

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.


According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.



Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…