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Friday, October 2, 2009
Media Release and Statement from Navy Public Affairs Office 01Oct 09
By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Thursday, 01 October 2009
Marines from 311th Company of MBLT 11 in Bitan-ag,Panamao, Sulu repulsed an attack by unidentified group of armed men.
In a field report by MGen Ben Dolorfino, CG, WestMinCom to VAdm Ferdinand Golez, Navy Flag Officer in Command, the incident that happened 1105AM of 01 October 2009 left 3 (body recovered) dead and scores others from the attackers wounded when the Marines ferociously engaged the enemy and fire support from government troops came.
The Navy leadership grieves the loss of an officer and the wounding of 9 other enlisted marines (names withheld). Recovered from the periphery are: A 90mm Recoiless Rifle (bazooka) with 4 live ammos and a spent shell; and two M16, AK-47, and one Garand rifle.
Fleet-Marine units in the area will remain vigilant and prepared to foil every assault in our units that defend the peace and security in that island province. There will be no let up in development endeavors in Sulu amidst the pursuit operations on-going against the perpetrators.(End).
Friday, October 2, 2009
Enemy Casualty in Latest Sulu Assault Climbs to 14; Fresh Troops to Arrive in Sulu
By: LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
Friday, 02 October 2009
Confirmed enemy fatalities in the latest assault on a tank infantry convoy in Sulu yesterday, 01 October 2009 have climbed to 14 while another battalion of marines deploys in the island province to augment security forces.
Field reports reaching this Headquarters said that security forces have recovered two more bodies bringing the total to five from three in yesterday’s attack by armed men led by Khabir Malik on MBLT-11 post in Bitan-ag, Panamao town. Three bodies recovered by MBLT-11 were identified as: Al- Bashir Malik Jadjaie, reportedly a cousin and close-in aide of Ustadz Malik; Nidzmi Arkani Tahang; and Aswads Laguindin. Two more bodies, that of Darwin Hassan and Hamid Mudar Saipudin were later identified and reported by the PNP-Panamao.
Intelligence information recovered from residents in the area have reported that nine more attackers died when Marines from 311th Marine Company ferociously repulsed the aggressors in a foiled assault. Three of them were reported to be that of a certain Apek and a certain Apud (last names unknown), and one Murphy Siraje. Six more aggressors who died in the unsuccessful attack are undergoing identification.
MBLT-11 led by Lt Col Hernani Songano linked up with the EOD Team of the 2nd Marine Brigade in Brgy Seit, Panamao to detonate IEDs and clear the area from landmines when they were ambushed in Bitan-ag. The attack lasted for more than an hour.
Aside from the attack in Bitan-ag yesterday, unidentified armed men also harrassed the 26 MC detachment in Brgy Kagay, Indanan, Sulu. No casualties were reported during the incident.
Meanwhile, the AFP beefs up its troops conducting security operations in the island province as a battalion of marines with their implements boards Philippine Navy Vessel BRP Dagupan City (LC551). MBLT7 under the command of Maj Arnel Tolato will serve both as a deterrent and as a maneuver force. MBLT-7 based in Basilan province is tasked to prevent lawless groups from perpetrating lawlessness in downtown Jolo and reinforce Marine units in case of attacks.
Humanitarian and development projects remain primordial in the agenda of the Philippine Navy. Combat operations and law enforcement action had to be resorted to however so as to protect innocent civilians from the lawless groups that prey on peace-loving Suluanos. “The faster we get rid of these threat groups, the faster we revert to humanitarian and development projects to benefit the people of Sulu,” says Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy.
Official Blog Entry by Naval PAO at Multiply site.
Government Forces Clashed Fiercely Against Lawless Groups in Basilan
Aug 17, '09 10:44 AM
BY: LT COL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
ASG’s major stronghold falls
In compliance to the order of the Commander–in-Chief President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to rid Basilan (and Sulu) of terrorists and lawless elements, security forces of the 1st Marine Brigade-led operations under the command of BGen Rustico Guerrero attacked known enemy lair at around 355AM 12Aug2009. The primary military objective is the terrorists’ nerve center-- training camp, and improvised explosive manufacturing base --located in Sitio Kurilem, Brgy. Silangkum,Tipo-tipo,Basilan Province. The Army’s Light Reaction Unit ferociously engaged around 50 lawless MILF groups-aided Abu Sayyaf terrorists believed to be under ASG leader Furuji Indama. Following the intense firefight that ensued, two air force UH-1H helicopters flew in around 5AM to evacuate wounded personnel. The attempt had to be aborted however when the aircrafts were met with heavy volleys of fire from the bandit groups. Air evacuation was successful conducted only at 820 AM and at 222 PM where casualties were flown to Zamboanga City.
At around 530 AM of the same day, Scout Rangers encountered more or less 150 heavily armed ASG & their cohorts at Hill 440 in the vicinity of Barangay Baguindan, Tipo-tipo. Fierce gun-battle raged between government forces & the bandit groups. Meanwhile, reinforcing Marines ferociously engaged more or less 70 combined ASGs & MILFs also in Baguindan, Tipo-tipo. The protracted firefights peaked at around 1130 in the morning and between 6 to 7 PM & subsided to sporadic engagements at around 830 in the evening. The field report reaching Headquarters Philippine Navy reveal that a total of 31 terrorists were killed in the clashes.
The lawless groups suffered heavy casualty –dead or wounded. Retrieval operations yesterday had to stop at nightfall. As of press time today 13 Aug 09, confirmed dead were ASG sub commanders Jony Poy, Abdullah Hud Limaya (son of Hud Limaya the commander of 2nd Brigade of MILF’s 114 Base Command), and 114 MILF Base Command Commander Ashib Salim. We are validating intelligence reports received that there were other ASG commanders who died during the skirmishes namely: Nurhasan Jamiri, Abdul Hud, and Moton Indama (purported brother of ASG commander Furuji).
From the initial tally of recovered firearms yesterday, the latest figure: four light machine guns, four M-14 rifles, five M203 grenade launchers, two rocket-propelled grenades, five M-16 rifles (two of them fitted with scopes), a “Baby Armalite” with M203 grenade launcher, five Minimi Squad Automatic Weapons, four units of Cellular phones, and a sizeable number of improvised explosive devices, bomb-making equipment and components.
“In successfully seizing the terrorist’s major stronghold in Barangay Silangkum,Tipo-tipo, Basilan and thus depriving the lawless groups of a strategic advantage, government troops suffered casualty”,MGEN Ben Mohammad D Dolorfino Commanding General, Western Mindanao Command mournfully declares . Twenty Three (23) were Killed-In-Action (including 2 junior officers) while 21 were Wounded-In-Action. The operation had been surgical and deliberate employing reasonable force to minimize collateral damage to life and property of civilians residing near the ASG stronghold.
“The Philippine Navy mourns the death toll and the injuries sustained by our operating units in Basilan”, saysVice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy. “But more than enemy body counts and recovery of their war materiel, the soldiers’ gain in taking Sitio Kurilem, Barangay Silangkum, Tipo-tipo Basilan and depriving the bandits of its staging area of its kidnapping, bomb-production, and other nefarious activities, are both tactical and strategic victories that these fallen soldiers won with their lives and limbs.”
One Marine was killed Wednesday.
Zamboanga City, Philippines - One Marine was killed Wednesday in a clash with Muslim militants on a southern Philippine province, a marine brigade commander said. Brigadier General Rustico Guerrero said the fighting erupted when government troops raided an encampment of Abu Sayyaf rebels in Tipo-Tipo town in Basilan province, 900 kilometres south of Manila.
"We have directives to finish off these rebels," Rustico said in explaining the new government offensive against the al-Qaeda-linked guerrillas in Basilan.
Guerrero said the militants also suffered casualties.
The Abu Sayyaf is the smallest but the most violent Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. It was responsible for deadly terrorist attacks and high-profile kidnapping cases in the country.
"Ang Marine Corps nag-devise ng bagong strategy para matalo ang grupo na ito ... We will pursue this line of action, hindi lang purely combat operations, but we will also try to reach out them and try to give them a decent way of living, nang sa gayon hindi na sila kailangang mang-hostage pa," Brawner said.
[Our Marine Corps has devised a new strategy to beat this group. We will combine combat operations with attempts to reach out to them to give them an opportunity to get a decent life without resorting to kidnapping.]
Orange, CA — Commodore Ramon A. Alcaraz, Philippine Navy (Ret) passed away this Thursday, 25 June 09.
When Ramon Magsaysay was appointed Secretary of Defense of the Philippines. He had Ramon Alcaraz travel to the USA to study the organization of the United States Marine Corps. Alcaraz said he was assisted by the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruit Depot. San Diego, and visited the other training facilities such as the Amphibious Warfare School on Coronado, CA, Camp Pendleton and Quantico, VA.
Upon return to the Philippines, Alcaraz took up his billet as Naval Personnel Officer (N-1).
Based on his research and material on the USMC, he allocated billets and personnel for the Marine Company of the Philippine Navy. Alcaraz assigned his former Q-boat Executive Officer, Lt. Manuel Gomez as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Company that grew into the Philippine Marine Corps of today.
MANILA (AP) — Al-Qaeda-linked militants holding an Italian Red Cross worker captive killed five Philippine marines and wounded 10 others in an ambush Saturday on a southern island. One police officer was wounded.
Also in the south, the military said fighting with a different militant group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, left 10 dead and 20 wounded on Friday.
About 40 militants from the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group attacked marines and special operations police pursuing Abu Sayyaf gunmen holding 62-year-old Eugenio Vagni outside Parang township on Jolo island, said marines spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo.
5 Marines killed, 2 APC's immobilized.
Treading Softly in the Philippines
Why a low-intensity counterinsurgency strategy seems to be working there.
by Max Boot & Richard Bennet 01/05/2009, Volume 014, Issue 16
The Weekly Standard.
Traditional "kinetic" operations in which bullets are fired and bombs dropped are still part of the Philippine strategy against their numerous guerrilla foes, but they have become less important over the years, thanks partly to the advice Philippine forces have received from the U.S. Special Forces. At the officers' club of the Philippine Marine headquarters in Manila, we sat down with Major General Juancho Sabban, a bullet-headed, brown-skinned, bull-necked Filipino who has spent much of the past 30 years battling various insurgent groups. Today he commands Task Force Comet, two marine brigades charged with pacifying Sulu island.
"For three decades we were using a strategy of force," he says. "It turned out to be a vicious cycle. We would have body count syndrome. Commanders would become popular because they were warrior-like. But I saw the more we destroyed, the more the number of the enemy increased. There were so many instances of collateral damage and innocent lives being sacrificed. Just by passing through fields with so many battalions we were already stomping on crops and that makes people resent the military. In the course of a firefight school buildings would get burned, houses would be razed to the ground, civilians caught in the crossfire. Everything was blamed on the military."
Now, General Sabban says, the Philippine armed forces and their American allies have "shifted strategy": "I have told my commanders that all military operations should be intelligence-driven and surgical. How do we do this? Through intelligence enhanced by civil-military operations. We do civil-military operations to get people onto our side. More people on your side will produce more and better intelligence, and if you have better intelligence you'll have more successful operations that are precise and surgical and that don't hurt innocent civilians. Thus we will get more support from the people and you will be denying the enemy resources and space to operate. People will drive them from their own areas. So now their space is getting smaller and smaller, until we can pinpoint them with information coming from the people themselves."
HQ 3rd Marine Brigade
ELEMENTS OF 4TH MARINE BATTALION UNDER LCOL ARIEL R CACULITAN IN SULU SEIZED FIVE (5) HIGH POWERED FIREARMS AND SEVERAL HUNDREDS OF AMMUNITION EARLY THIS MORNING ( 9:00 AM, 06 DEC 08) AT VICINITY BARANGAY MANGGIS, INDANAN, SULU.
THE RECOVERED FIREARMS INCLUDE: ONE (1) M16 ARMALITE RIFLE, ONE (1) M14 RIFLE, ONE (1) M177 ( BABY ARMALITE), ONE (1) FN FAL RIFLE (7.62 CAL), ONE (1) M1 GARAND RIFLE, THIRTEEN (13) MAGAZINES FILLED WITH AMMUNITION.
THE OPERATING ELEMENTS OF MBLT 4 LED BY MAJOR JONATHAN C GABOR FOUND THESE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION HIDDEN IN SMALL SHANTIES IN THE VILLAGE. THE OPERATION WAS BASED ON THE INFORMATION RECEIVED BY THE UNIT THAT THE GROUP OF ASG SUB LEADER ABDUL GAFUR JUMDAIL WITH MORE OR LESS NINE (9) MEMBERS USUALLY FREQUENT THE AREA AND HID THEIR FIREARMS WHENEVER MARINES ARE CONDUCTING COMBAT OPERATIONS IN THE AREA.
ACCORDING TO COL EUGENE CLEMEN, COMMANDING OFFICER 3RD MARINE BRIGADE, THE SERIES OF COMBAT OPERATIONS LAUNCHED IN THE AREA WAS A RESPONSE TO THE CLAMOR OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY THE SERIES OF KIDNAP FOR RANSOM, EXTORTION, AND CARNAPPING ACTIVITIES OF THE GROUP. WITH THE EVOLVING COOPERATION AND SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE IN THE AREA, IT IS LIKELY THAT ABDULGAFUR AND MEMBERS OF HIS GROUP WILL BE NEUTRALIZED SOON, HE SAID. CLEMEN ADDED THAT SOME OF THOSE IDENTIFIED TO BE IN CAHOOTS WITH THE GROUP ARE NOW FEELING THE PRESSURE AND ARE NOW COMING OUT TO COOPERATE AGAINST THE GROUP.
MGEN JUANCHO M SABBAN, COMMANDER JOINT TASK FORCE COMET, SAID THAT THE AFP FORCES IN SULU HAVE STEPPED UP THE CONDUCT OF INTELLIGENCE DRIVEN OPERATIONS IN ORDER TO NEUTRALIZE THE ABU SAYYAF GROUP AND ESTABLISH A SECURED ENVIRONMENT FOR MORE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN THE PROVINCE OF SULU. HE HAS OFTEN EMPHASIZED MORE THAN 80% CIVIC AND HUMANITARIAN PROJECTS AS AFP UNITS� FOCUS WHICH CAN ONLY BE HASTENED IF TERRORIST GROUPS ARE KEPT AT BAY FROM DOING THEIR NEFARIOUS ACTIVITIES. GAFUR JUMDAIL IS THE BROTHER OF ASG LEADER GUMBAHALI JUMDAIL @ DR ABU WHO ALSO RANKS HIGH IN THE WANTED LIST OF TERRORISTS IN THE COUNTRY.
MARINES SEIZED HIGH POWERED FIREARMS IN SULU
CAPT WALLIE SANAANI PN (M)
PRESS RELEASE NR : 01-12-08 // 06 DEC 08
Philippine Marines show their skills during a rifle exercise as part of a program to mark this month's anniversary of their founding inside the military headquarters in Taguig city, Metro Manila November 4, 2008.
REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco (PHILIPPINES)
"the Philippine Marines will solely take over the security operations in Sulu..."
04/15/2008 | 05:05 PM
Marine Brigadier General Juancho Sabban, Sulu military chief, said there is no need to maintain a huge number of soldiers in the province as the troops have already accomplished their earlier missions with the killings and capture of many Abu Sayyaf members.
Tens of thousands of troops were sent to Sulu in the past years to fight the Abu Sayyaf, the loosely organized group linked to Osama bin Laden�s al-Qaeda terrorist network that has been responsible to abductions of foreign nationals and bombing operations in the past.
"Sulu needs fewer troops since the threat problems have remarkably dropped and the threat level is now more manageable," Sabban said. AL JACINTO, GMANews.TV
21 March 08 Philippine Marine units engage Abu Sayaff (ASG)in Jolo, neutralizing one terrorist as reported by the 3rd Marine Brigade to Task Force Comet Commander BG. Juancho Saban PN(M)AFP.
"An Abu Sayaff member was killed Friday during the 15-minute fire fight between the terrorist ASG and the Special Operations Platoon of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 at the vicinity of Brgy Pansul, Patikul, Sulu. The said platoon encountered around 10 ASG members. The following items were recovered from the enemy side: 1 M16 rifle; 8 long and 7 short M16 magazines with 170 rounds of ammunition; 1 cellphone with charger; 1 map; and 1 wallet."
The Joint Task Force Comet commended the soldiers for jobs well done. Every terrorist neutralized and every weapon seized indicate that the country has been rid of a serious threat --making every Suluano�s existence safer.
By Marit Stinus-Remonde
The few, the proud, the Marines
Another good news is that the Philippine Marine Corps isn�t experiencing rock-bottom low morale as some quarters will have it. The Marine Corps is celebrating its 57th anniversary this week. According to the Marines official website (www.philippinemarinecorps.mil.ph) �The Philippine Marine Corps� history unfolded during the incumbency of President Elpidio Quirino. Pursuant to AFP General Order Nr. 319 dated November 2, 1950, the organization of �A� Company, 1st Marine Battalion as a unit of the Philippine Naval Patrol was authorized and thus, the Philippine Marines was formed. However, it was under the mandate of the then Secretary of National Defense Ramon Magsaysay that �A� Company was activated on November 7, 1950, at the Naval Operating Base in Cavite.�
The Marines are a colorful lot�it isn�t for nothing that they are called �the few and the proud.� Due to the involvement of some Marines in recent coup attempts, much attention has been drawn to them. Some are facing charges for breach of military discipline. There are people who project these Marines as the best and bravest in the military. However, not everybody agrees. Many have served better and more professionally in the field than those in jail, a Marine officer told me. Some of the men behind bars are being portrayed as great heroes�but others are even greater heroes. A Marine reminds his fellow Marines: �The real fight is not on those concrete pavements and highrise skyscrapers of Makati City but out here in the thick forests of Basilan, exotic jungles of Sulu, unchartered islands of Tawi-Tawi and in the marshlands of Central Mindanao � (Cite Mar 2003).
The Marines have been used by unscrupulous people, including some of their own officers, and spouses and civilian backers, as drivers, bodyguards, dishwashers, gardeners, you name it. Ironically, some of those who talk the loudest about a demoralized Marine Corps have at one time or another used whole football teams of Marines as free, personal staff.
We are good at using our power, in whatever form it comes, in ways that run counter to the interest of the common good. The idea of a common good, it would seem, is absent from our collective conscience.
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2007 10:46:58 +0000
Subject: 09 - DND chief hails Marines for upholding the Constitution
Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro paid tribute
to the Philippine Marine Corps for upholding the
Constitution and for sticking it out with the
chain of command which is headed by President
Arroyo, she being the military�s commander-in-chief.
Addressing the Marine officers and men during the
corps� 57th anniversary on Wednesday night at the
Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Teodoro
praised the Marines for its professionalism in carrying out mandated tasks.
�I have full trust in the
Philippine Marines in
particular and in our soldier in general in the
professionalism with which you discharge your
sworn duty to protect our people, to defend the
constitute and to obey the chain of command,� said Teodoro.
�Along this line, I reiterate it is once again my
intent to advocate the whole DND team concept,
DND-AFP as one mutually reinforcing each other to
accomplish our mission,� the defense chief told
the officers and men of the Marines.
�There is a need for a closer coordination and
cooperation among the bureaus and agencies of our
department and the three major services of the
Armed Forces down to the various military units
in confronting the various national security
challenges facing the country today,� he said.
Teodoro said there is a need to march in one
direction and synchronize all efforts �for
effectivity and efficiency in our work
and in our advocacy for a stable and secure nation.�
�On this aspect, I have high regard for your
cohesiveness and unity anchored on your motto,
the few, the proud, the Marines. However, we should not be island on our own.
We must embrace the concept ofjointness with the
otherservices in order to enhance our
interoperability withthe overarching aim of
achieving of our entrusted missions,� said Teodoro.
�Let us be one team in the DND and the AFP.
In closing let me assure the leadership and the
membership of the Philippine Marine Corps that
the DND will continue to support your endeavours
which will not only contribute to the
strengthening of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines but will also redound also to the
ultimate betterment of our country and our people,� he added.
PMC Armored Vehicles featured in Military Machines International Magazine cover.
Marines to send newly constructed Armored Ambulance to Basilan this September via Phil. Navy Sealift.
The Combat Service Support Brigade (CSSB) accelerated the construction of a V150 Ambulance from a derlict hull that had been no-operational. Utilizing an engine removed from a later model V-150S that was converted in the LARSU program, should provide greater mobility to evecuate casualties under fire in Basilan and Jolo. Click on image for more photos and information
March 07 issue of Atlantic Monthly covers the Philippine Marines in the hunt for Abu Sabaya. Jihadists in Paradise
A behind-the-scenes tale of intrigue, spycraft, and betrayal. By Mark Bowden *Note: article available to registered subscribers only.
To Catch a Terrorist Atlantic Unbound | February 6, 2007 Mark Bowden, author of "Jihadists in Paradise," on hunting down the story of Abu Sabaya.
Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Maj. General Nelson Allaga points to the picture of Abu Sayyaf leader Abu Pula during a press conference in Manila, 19 Feb 2007
Philippine Marine Brigadier General Juancho Sabban at his headquarters near Jolo City.(photo by Antonin Kratochvil)
"This Is the War on Terror. Wish You Were Here!" Outside Magazine, February 2007 online, on the island of Jolo. By John Falk.
More photos by Antonin Kratochvil.
Click on image above to view slide show.