northern mindanao

Leader of lawless group, follower nabbed in Malungon

October 26, 2019

Joint operatives arrested an alleged leader of a lawless group in Sarangani province and one of his followers, and recovered at least 14 high-powered firearms in separate raids on Friday in Malungon town. Lt. Col. Lino Capellan, public information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12, identified the suspects as Luis Lañelyn Malila alias “Kumander Lo” and Tornica Masday Malila, both residents of Sitio Datal Lutay, Barangay B’laan in Malungon. He said Luis, listed as Malungon’s number one most wanted person, is facing three counts of murder with no bail bond recommended and two counts of frustrated murder while Tornica is charged with one count of murder. Capellan said the two were nabbed during search and manhunt operations in Sitio Datal Lutay that targeted at least five suspects. Armed with five search warrants for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and two arrest warrants for murder,  the joint operating team swooped in on five houses in the area starting around 7:40 a.m. Friday, Capellan said. The team was composed of elements from the Sarangani police’s drug enforcement unit, regional mobile force battalion and the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion.   Seized from Luis’ house were a Garand rifle, an Armscor 12-gauge shotgun, three homemade 12-gauge shotgun, an Estrella Parco air gun, a clip of Garand rifle ammunition, two steel magazines of homemade 12-gauge shotgun, two rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition, five rounds of ammunition for 5.56 caliber and four rounds Garand ammunition. The search at Tornica’s house led to the recovery of a homemade 12-gauge shotgun, a round of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition and four rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition. Capellan said two of the subjects -- Nelson Malila Fiang and Ronald Masday Malila -- managed to escape during the operation. Recovered from Nelson’s house were a Springfield Garand rifle, a homemade caliber 5.56 rifle, an Estrella Parco air gun, a clip of Garand rifle ammunition and seven rounds of ammunition for Garand. He said the search at Ronald’s house yielded four homemade 12-gauge shotgun with two rounds of ammunition. Capellan said subject Dante Maligon Malila was not around and no contraband was found at his house. Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, PRO-12 director, said the suspects were part of an “armed lawless group” operating in the quad boundaries of Tampakan, South Cotabato; Columbio, Sultan Kudarat; Malungon, Sarangani; and, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. “They were responsible for atrocities within this area and behind the cases of cattle rustling and cultivation of marijuana,” he said in a statement. Corpus said the recovered firearms will be subjected to ballistic examination and cross-matching to determine if they were in other crimes. He said Luis Malila and Tornica Malila will be facing additional charges of illegal possession of firearms while the same cases will be filed against Nelson Fiang and Ronald Malila. 

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Ex-NPA couple reunites with children inside Army camp in Bukidnon

October 25, 2019

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon  — After two years of being separated from their children to join the New People’s Army (NPA), two NPA rebels turned themselves in and finally reunited with their children on Monday, Oct. 21, at the headquarters of the 8th Infantry Battalion based in this town. Through the efforts of the 8th IB army troopers in connecting to the families of the former rebel-couple, Alias Nicole and Alias Robert were able to see their two children and mother again.  Nicole and Robert surrendered to the government on Oct. 16 after realizing that they were just carried away by the lies peddled by the NPA terrorists for almost two years, telling them that the government forces are the worst enemy of their lives and they would be killed if they plan to return to the folds of the law. But they found that the NPA terrorists were lying when the government welcomed them with open arms. They were even surprised at how government soldiers arranged their family meeting. The NPA teachings were all contrary to what had happened. Marcela, 59, mother of Nicole who acted as guardian of the children for two years shared the things the children had undergone when their parents were active in the movement. “The two boys, who were 8 and 9 years old then, were always crying looking for their parents. They would not eat. They didn’t go to school. I could not handle their sadness because they were much affected by what had happened.” Nicole, feeling the warm embrace of her children, regretted to have joined the armed group, as tears welled up in her eyes. She thanked the soldiers for this “great thing“ that ever happened to their family to get reunited with their children. “Thank you very much, I didn’t expect this to happen, the army accepted us and helped us see our family. We were deceived by the indoctrination of the NPA that the soldiers are abusive while in fact, they are not.” For its part, the army’s 8th Infantry Battalion will continue to help those insurgents who want to return to the folds of the law and ready to adopt a new environment with the government.  Nicole and Robert were among those who were given a chance to be with their family. The couple and family will be assisted by the local government unit and they will be included in the government Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), a government program intended for the former rebels to assist them in a fresh start of their life. (8IB)

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Maramag goes international as it celebrates civil service month

October 25, 2019

MARAMAG, BUKIDNON -  Dressed up with their colorful around the world-themed outfits, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Maramag employees celebrated the 119th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary with uniqueness and glamour during the fellowship night held recently. The municipal employees were divided into six groups representing the countries of United States of America, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Korea, and Hawaii. Each group performed a dance that characterizes the country they represent. Atty. Jose Joel Pepito Doromal, the Municipal Mayor, lauded his employees for actively participating in different activities.  “We can see that everyone took their time and effort to participate in this event. It really gives us joy acting a part of different nationalities. This is truly a happy occasion for all of us,” Doromal said as he stressed that with the kind of work they have in the LGU, yet “everyone was able to deliver”.  Doromal proudly enumerated some of the awards received by LGU because of the hardworking men and women in the local government.  Maramag belongs to the top 10 recipient of Level 3 Adolescent-friendly health facility. They were also at the top 3 spot in tax collection efficiency region-wide. Just recently, the LGU was hailed as the regional winner in the local legislative award that makes them one of the national finalists. The municipality was declared first-placer in the Clean and Green award in southern Bukidnon.  “With these awards and accolades, we really have reasons to celebrate and I would like to commend everyone for giving it your all,” Doromal expressed as he emphasized to not rest on their laurels.  “Let us continue pushing ourselves to the limits and constantly shift our gears to know how much farther we could go,” averred by the Mayor. “The young Mayor that I am, I am not perfect but thank you for giving it your all, for giving all the support that is necessary to make this leadership succeed,” he added. Guided by the theme, “Civil Service @119, Upholding Integrity and Building a High-Trust Society”, the Civil Service Month commemoration was spearheaded by the Human Resource Management Office headed by Ms. Luzel Salpid Masucol. The month-long celebration kicked off on Sept. 2 with a joint convocation and opening program of the celebration.  Various activities were conducted such as Alay Lakad; Leadership Training for Women; Digital Literacy Refresher Course; Lecture on Prostate Enlargement and Erectile Dysfunction; Kapehan with LGU-Maramag Retirees; Anti-Smoking and Anti-Drug Symposium; Medical Wellness One-Stop Shop; Integrity, Transparency and Accountability in Public Service; Clean-up Drive; Awareness and Screening of Breast Cancer; Personality Development Course; and Effective Oral and Written Communication Skills Training. One of the highlights of the celebration is the conduct of Inter-Office Friendship Games which were divided into two categories. There were events considered as minor which were more on larong pinoy and major events like ball games. Moreover, the municipal government in partnership with Mindanao Music initiated by Muzic’s Kool conducted a Mindanao Popular (MinPop) Music Festival 2020, a songwriting competition and mini-songwriting boot camps within the region which aims to position Mindanao as pop music generator. The event was participated by songwriting enthusiasts, singers and musicians from different schools in the locality conducted on September 28. With the celebration of the Civil Service Month also comes the recognition of outstanding civil servants, best performing office and retirees. The municipal awards rites was held during the culmination program on Sept. 30 at the Municipal Hall. The Civil Service Month is commemorated pursuant to Public Law No. 5, “An Act for the Establishment and Maintenance of an Efficient and Honest Civil Service in the Philippine Islands” dated September 19, 1900. - (EIAninayon)  

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LaNorte LGUs turn-over loose firearms to military

October 25, 2019

BALOI, LANAO DEL NORTE ----- Atleast thirty loose firearms were turned-over on Friday afternon (October 25), by the six local government units (LGUs) of Lanao del Norte to the Army's 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion. Since the start of 2019, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been urging the LGUs to direct their constituents to surrender or turn-over their loose firearms to authorities. This is in compliance also to the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions. The local chief executives and representatives of Matungao, Linamon, Pantar, Munai, Poona Piagapo and Pantao Ragat led the turn-over ceremony inside the headquarters of the 4th Mech in Barangay Nangka, in Baloi town as witnessed by Col. Facundo Palafox, commander of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Brigade that has operational control of the area. Since January this year, around 150 loose firearms have been turned over by the LGUs to the AFP through the battalions in the area. Seventy five of these are high-powered firearms while 71 are low-powered. Nineteen of these were recovered in series of focused military operations against lawless elements according to Palafox. "We are sustaining the program to be successful. In the coming days, mapaigting po natin ang ating seguridad by helping ng ating kapulisan at kasundaluhan sa pag-surender po ng ating mga loose firearms para maiwasan po natin ang magkasakitan sa ating kapwa," Palafox said in his message during the ceremony. LtCol. Bernardo Taqueban, commander of 4th Mech, said implementing the law is also helping the government to make the people in the area safe and secured. "Ito ang tools kung saan nagkakaroon ng kremin. Hindi na po kailangan ang mga ito dahil ang ating lugar, unti-unti ay nakikita natin na peaceful na ang ating lugar," Taqueban said. He added that aside from helping the government, the military is also helping the public because a civilian's mere possession of firearms would expose somebody to be harmed. Munai town mayor Racma Dansal Andamama in her response said Munai LGU has been supporting the military in implementing the program because they believe that there is development if there is stable peace and order. "Kami sa Munai, alam natin na ang Munai ay kasali sa conflict area sa Lanao del Norte. Nagpapasalamat ako sa 4th Mech sa pagpapanatili sa kaayusan at kapayapaan sa Munai," Andamama said.  

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Another 500lb UXO to be detonated in Marawi

October 25, 2019

The Army Engineers’ Explosive Ordnance and Disposal (EOD) team will detonate another 500-pound unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the weekend, according to Lt. Col. Elmer Oamil, deputy commander of Joint Task Group Builder and commander of the 553rd Engineer Battalion based in Marawi City.  Oamil said the 500-pound UXO was one of the general purpose bombs dropped by Philippine Air Force fighter jets over Ground Zero during the Marawi siege in 2017. He said no other UXOs will be detonated at 10 a.m. on Saturday because the 500-pounder is already too big a bomb by itself. Oamil said two more general purpose bombs, a 110- and a 260-pounder, were also found but will be detonated at a later date. Saturday’s detonation has reportedly been announced over local radio to inform residents beforehand. Last June, a big explosion for the detonation of an UXO caused panic among Meranaws. Oamil said that 30 general purpose bombs and 5,392 surface bombs found by the EOD and the EDDMARI Trading and Construction, the contractor in charge of clearing the debris in the area, were also detonated last Oct. 16, a day before the second anniversary of the liberation of Marawi.

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Kidapawan quake victims refuse to return home

October 25, 2019

 At least 700 families in a hinterland village here still remain at the evacuation sites due to the series of aftershocks they still felt since the magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit North Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao on October 16. Barangay Ilomavis chairman Jimmy Mantawil said the residents decided to stay at the barangay’s covered court and at a safe place at Sitio Sayaban for fear they might be buried in landslides when strong aftershocks will again shake their areas. This despite the order coming from Psalmer Bernalte, of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), that the evacuees return homes after the threat level has already lowered. Mantawil, however, said residents Purok 3 and Sitio Sayaban refused to go home because of fears of landslides and falling rocks. He said, too, that the evacuees need more beddings, mosquito nets in particular, especially so that the place is an open space. “The place is too cold and there are lots of mosquitoes in the area,” said the village chair. “We already told the [CDRRMO] about our problems and we’re still waiting for the beddings,” he added. Bernalte said the delay in the distribution of beddings is caused by the bureaucracy in the government, especially in the procurement process. “We wanted to give them what they need but we’re following a process. We are just careful not to violate those laws,” he said. Bernalte said the city government is set to release an initial fund of P1.2 million for the quake victims. More funds would be released soon now that the city is placed under state of calamity, he added. When the quake hit the city, at least 1,600 families from two puroks in Barangay Ilomavis left their homes and stayed in three evacuation sites. After a week, half of them had gone back home while others chose to stay. 

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