Skip to main content

NCotabato execs urged to raise bounty vs jail attackers

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Local sectors today urged North Cotabato Gov. Lala Taliño Mendoza and the city mayor to raise a bounty for the gunmen behind Sunday night’s bloody attempt to rescue detained Moro guerilla Datucan Samad from the city jail.

Mendoza, head of the Inter-Agency Provincial Peace and Order Council, already asked North Cotabato’s provincial police office to immediately relieve city police director, Superintendent Chino Mamburam, for his failure to impose measures that could have effectively pre-empted the attack.

Three people were killed, one of them a responding Red Cross volunteer named Benny Balmediano, and 16 others were injured in Sunday night’s attempt by followers of Samad, armed with assault rifles and shoulder-fire B-40 anti-tank rockets, to spring him from the city jail.

Prior warnings

Samad, who is facing cases of multiple murders, highway robberies with homicides, cattle rustlings, extortion, and large-scale propagation of Marijuana plants, is also known as “Commander Lastikman” among his followers.

“We have learned that prior to the incident, the city police repeatedly received feedback from patriotic sources and concerned citizens warning of a plan to rescue this Lastikman and yet there was no decisive action taken to prevent it from happening,” Mendoza told reporters.

The Army already deployed dozens of non-uniformed operatives in strategic spots and surrounding towns to help the North Cotabato provincial police locate the whereabouts of the gunmen.

Major Gen, Rey Ardo, commander of Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said intelligence operatives from the 57th Infantry Battalion and the 602nd Brigade have also been tasked to help the Kidapawan City police determine the identities of the gunmen to hasten the filing of criminal charges against them.

The suspects have scampered to different directions after failing to breach the gates of the detention facility.

Most of the attackers were seen fleeing towards Barangay Nuwangan, carrying companions who were wounded when personnel of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and policemen engaged them in running firefights.

Ardo said their efforts to help the police is in close coordination with the office of Major Gen. Ariel Bernardo, chairman of the government’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, which deals with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, through his MILF counterpart, Said Sheik.

The spokesman of the MILF, Von Al-Haq, denied any involvement of their fighters in the Kidapawan City jail attack.
Al-Haq said Samad is not in the roster of MILF members either.

Well planned

Samad has been implicated in the murder of some 30 people in Pikit and surrounding towns.

He and his men have also been tagged in dozens of highway robberies, which happened in the past five years along the isolated stretches of the Cotabato-Davao Highway traversing the adjoining Pikit, Aleosan, Pagalungan and Montawal towns at the boundary of North Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces.

Chief Inspector Elmer Guevarra of the North Cotabato provincial Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) told reporters the attack was well coordinated and carefully planned.

The attackers even created diversions using improvised explosive devices fashioned from live 81 MM mortar projectiles with remote controlled blasting mechanisms.

Gueverra said the gunmen tried to surprise the guards of the city jail by blasting shoulder-fire rocket-propelled grenades on its front ground, but guards on duty engaged them in a firefight to prevent them from closing in.

The gunmen fled after sensing they could get inside the city jail, but opened fire at buildings and a videoke pub around the city jail and set off bombs as they escaped.

Some of the gunmen wore black Army Ranger combat uniforms and shiny boots.
The Philippine Star
February 21, 2012 12:38 PM


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…