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CANADIAN BEHEADED: PNoy VOWS 'FULL FORCE OF THE LAW' VS ABU SAYYAF


APRIL 26 -AQUINO President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday vowed to apply the “full force of the law” against the Abu Sayyaf militants following the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel. “The President has directed the security forces to apply the full force of the law to bring these criminals to justice,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement. Malacañang also extended its condolences to Ridsdel and the Canadian government, which had condemned the act, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling it an "an act of cold-blooded murder.” “We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the ASG bandits,” Coloma said. “There will be no let-up in the resolute efforts of the joint PNP-AFP task group in pursuing intensive and wide-ranging military and law enforcement operations to neutralize these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security,” the Palace assured. John Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive, was captured by Islamist militants along with three other people in September 2015 while on vacation on a Philippine island. The Philippine army said a severed head was found on a remote island on Monday, five hours after the expiry of a ransom deadline set by militants who had threatened to execute one of four captives. — RSJ, GMA News THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: CHR - 52 poll-related violence recorded since January
[Meanwhile, lawyer Ryan Jay Roset of LENTE has expressed opposition to the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) prohibiting detainees to participate in the local elections but only in the national level. Comelec Resolution No. 9371 allowed detainees to register and vote for the May 2013 mid-term elections and all subsequent elections thereafter, a resolution disputed by lawyer Victor Aguinaldo before the SC.]


APRIL 26 -The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has recorded 52 cases of election-related violence, including 14 killings, since the election period began in January.
Lawyer Gemma Parojinog, officer-in-charge of the Human Resources Policy Office, said Tuesday that the 52 cases as of April 25 covered killings, harassment, frustrated murder, and attempted murder. Out of the number of cases, only two complaints have so far been filed before the Prosecutor's Office in Bulacan and Batangas, Parojinog said. “Maliban sa 52 (cases) mayroon pa kaming 26 cases na hinihintay mula sa regional offices and we are waiting for their submission,” Parojinog said at the second Bantay Karaptan sa Halalan (BKH) briefing. The CHR has earlier said it has recorded 14 confirmed election-related killings since February, with 49 others still undergoing verification. Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) said the BKH allocates its personnel in different regions especially in areas with histories of human rights violations and election-related violence. “Bawat isang rehiyon ay may representanteng probinsya o rehiyon depende roon sa kalagayan ng karapatang pantao o history nila ng election-related violence,” Trajano said. READ MORE...

ALSO: All-out offensive vs Abus to continue


MAY 3-President Aquino vowed to devote all of his energy towards “crushing” the Abu Sayyaf after Canadian hostage John Ridsdel’s beheading as he also bared the bandits’ other plots, including threats to his own life. The President said smashing the terrorist group was within grasp of authorities. File photo
MANILA, Philippines - The all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf will continue and will be relentless even after the release of 10 Indonesian hostages, President Aquino said yesterday. “The Abu Sayyaf has been causing too much damage for a very long time now and they are really horrendous... this problem must be curbed,” Aquino said, noting the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel last week. The Indonesian sailors were kidnapped from a Taiwanese-owned tugboat en route to Manila from Jakarta, Indonesia on March 26. The Abu Sayyaf was allegedly paid P50-million ransom for their release. Ridsdel was taken from a resort in Samal Island in Davao along with another Canadian, a Norwegian and a Filipina. The bandits beheaded Ridsdel when the deadline for the payment of P300-million ransom lapsed. Aquino vowed to devote all of his energy towards “crushing” the Abu Sayyaf after Ridsdel’s beheading as he also bared the bandits’ other plots, including threats to his own life. The President said smashing the terrorist group was within grasp of authorities. In a media interview after a meeting with Iglesia ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo Manalo in the church’s central office in Quezon City, Aquino said his administration and the security sector would continue working towards bringing down the Abu Sayyaf. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abus threatened to slit our throats—Indonesian hostage


MAY3 --Indonesian sailors arrive for a welcoming ceremony in Jakarta on May 2, 2016, after their release from kidnap by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants ©Adek Berry (AFP)  JAKARTA — An Indonesian sailor yesterday disclosed how the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf threatened to slit his throat during a terrifying kidnap ordeal, a day after he and nine other crew members were released. The sailors were freed last Sunday in Jolo, Sulu, after more than a month in the hands of the militants, and flew back to Jakarta. The Indonesians were among about 20 foreigners abducted in a recent Abu Sayyaf kidnapping spree, and their release came just days after the bandit group beheaded a Canadian hostage. The sailors, who were taken hostage in late March from a tugboat transporting a coal barge, were reunited with their families yesterday after doctors confirmed they were in good health. Crew member Julian Philip described how they were taken hostage by eight militants disguised in police uniforms, who boarded the tug from speedboats and tied up the sailors. The barge was then abandoned, and the Indonesians were taken to an island and divided into two groups. They were moved every few days to avoid the military, which has launched an assault against the Abu Sayyaf. “We were all stressed out because they frequently threatened to slit our throats,” he told reporters after the 10 were reunited with their families at the foreign ministry.
But Philip added the militants did not harm them and he thought that in reality “they did not want any of us to die as they would not get any money.” He said he did not know whether a ransom was paid for their release. “We were just put in a car and sent on our way and told to look for the governor’s house,” he said.READ MORE...


ALSO: PNP on high alert for elections


MAY 2 -FUll Alert Status Philippine Air Force troopers arrive at the Manila Police Headquarters for their deployment in the upcoming May 9 elections. Photo By Edrich Vergara
The 150,000 strong Philippine National Police (PNP) placed its forces nationwide on its highest alert status ahead of the synchronized national and local election on May 9, 2016. At the same time, National Capital Regional Police Office chief, Director Joel Pagdilao on Monday spearheaded the deployment of police and military personnel of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) in five police districts in Metro Manila for election duties. The JTF is composed of the NCRPO, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Special Action Force who will render duty in the five police districts, while regional headquarters personnel will be on stand-by status at the regional headquarters for augmentation purposes. In Camp Crame, at least 3,000 policemen were placed on standby for possible deployment. They will be likely deployed as augmentation forces in areas or provinces that have been declared as Election Areas of Concern (EAC). The nine provinces that have been tagged by the PNP as EAC are the provinces of Abra, Nueva Ecija, Lanao del Sur, Pangasinan, Masbate, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Western Samar, Negros Oriental and Maguindanao. Also on Monday, Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said the military’s land, sea and air assets are on a standby in case the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needs them to transport election paraphernalia. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PNoy vows ‘full force of law’ vs. Abu Sayyaf


AQUINO

MANILA, MAY 2, 2016 (GMA NEWS NETWORK) April 26, 2016 11:13am By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News - President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday vowed to apply the “full force of the law” against the Abu Sayyaf militants following the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel.

“The President has directed the security forces to apply the full force of the law to bring these criminals to justice,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

Malacañang also extended its condolences to Ridsdel and the Canadian government, which had condemned the act, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling it an "an act of cold-blooded murder.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government and to the family of Mr. John Ridsdel who died in the hands of the ASG bandits,” Coloma said.

“There will be no let-up in the resolute efforts of the joint PNP-AFP task group in pursuing intensive and wide-ranging military and law enforcement operations to neutralize these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security,” the Palace assured.

John Ridsdel, 68, a former mining executive, was captured by Islamist militants along with three other people in September 2015 while on vacation on a Philippine island.

The Philippine army said a severed head was found on a remote island on Monday, five hours after the expiry of a ransom deadline set by militants who had threatened to execute one of four captives. — RSJ, GMA News


GMA NEWS NETWORK

CHR: 52 poll-related violence recorded since January Published April 26, 2016 7:23pm By JOSEPH TRISTAN ROXAS, GMA News

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has recorded 52 cases of election-related violence, including 14 killings, since the election period began in January.

Lawyer Gemma Parojinog, officer-in-charge of the Human Resources Policy Office, said Tuesday that the 52 cases as of April 25 covered killings, harassment, frustrated murder, and attempted murder.

Out of the number of cases, only two complaints have so far been filed before the Prosecutor's Office in Bulacan and Batangas, Parojinog said.

“Maliban sa 52 (cases) mayroon pa kaming 26 cases na hinihintay mula sa regional offices and we are waiting for their submission,” Parojinog said at the second Bantay Karaptan sa Halalan (BKH) briefing.

The CHR has earlier said it has recorded 14 confirmed election-related killings since February, with 49 others still undergoing verification.

Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) said the BKH allocates its personnel in different regions especially in areas with histories of human rights violations and election-related violence.

“Bawat isang rehiyon ay may representanteng probinsya o rehiyon depende roon sa kalagayan ng karapatang pantao o history nila ng election-related violence,” Trajano said.

READ MORE...

The BKH is a partnership of the CHR, PAHRA, and the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE).

'Allow detainees to vote in local polls'

Meanwhile, lawyer Ryan Jay Roset of LENTE has expressed opposition to the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) prohibiting detainees to participate in the local elections but only in the national level.

Comelec Resolution No. 9371 allowed detainees to register and vote for the May 2013 mid-term elections and all subsequent elections thereafter, a resolution disputed by lawyer Victor Aguinaldo before the SC.

"This temporary restraining order is not applicable to the May 9, 2016 elections on the national level. Detainees are, if they so choose, allowed to vote on the national level," the SC said in its resolution last April 20.

However, Roset said LENTE “believes that the Supreme Court should have exercised utmost caution in enjoining the implementation of Comelec Resolution No. 9371 on detainee voting because it enjoys the presumption of validity.”

Roset appealed to the SC to reconsider its decision and allow detainees to participate in the local elections on May 9. —KBK, NB GMA News


PHILSTAR

All-out offensive vs Abus to continue By Aimee Shaw (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 3, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino vowed to devote all of his energy towards “crushing” the Abu Sayyaf after Canadian hostage John Ridsdel’s beheading as he also bared the bandits’ other plots, including threats to his own life. The President said smashing the terrorist group was within grasp of authorities. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf will continue and will be relentless even after the release of 10 Indonesian hostages, President Aquino said yesterday.

“The Abu Sayyaf has been causing too much damage for a very long time now and they are really horrendous... this problem must be curbed,” Aquino said, noting the beheading of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel last week.

The Indonesian sailors were kidnapped from a Taiwanese-owned tugboat en route to Manila from Jakarta, Indonesia on March 26. The Abu Sayyaf was allegedly paid P50-million ransom for their release.

Ridsdel was taken from a resort in Samal Island in Davao along with another Canadian, a Norwegian and a Filipina. The bandits beheaded Ridsdel when the deadline for the payment of P300-million ransom lapsed.

Aquino vowed to devote all of his energy towards “crushing” the Abu Sayyaf after Ridsdel’s beheading as he also bared the bandits’ other plots, including threats to his own life. The President said smashing the terrorist group was within grasp of authorities.

In a media interview after a meeting with Iglesia ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo Manalo in the church’s central office in Quezon City, Aquino said his administration and the security sector would continue working towards bringing down the Abu Sayyaf.

READ MORE...

“I just want to reiterate that we in this administration talk to everyone who wants to have a dialogue with us,” Aquino said.

“Those who only understand force or violence must also be shown force and ruthlessness of the state, but I am confident that our security sector is not relenting, the military and the police, to end this Abu Sayyaf problem,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) meanwhile welcomed the release of the Indonesians.

“The Philippine government is pleased at the positive developments resulting in the safe release of 10 Indonesian nationals,” the DFA said in a statement.

“While intensified operations continue on the ground, the DFA maintains close coordination with concerned foreign governments in ensuring the safe return of all the remaining hostages,” it added.

Philippine National Police spokesman Sr. Supt. Wilben Mayor said he had not received information on whether ransom was paid.

“We adhere to the government’s no-ransom policy,” he said. – With Pia Lee-Brago


TRIBUNE

Abus threatened to slit our throats—Indonesian hostage Written by Tribune Wires Tuesday, 03 May 2016 00:00


Indonesian sailors arrive for a welcoming ceremony in Jakarta on May 2, 2016, after their release from kidnap by Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants ©Adek Berry (AFP)

JAKARTA — An Indonesian sailor yesterday disclosed how the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf threatened to slit his throat during a terrifying kidnap ordeal, a day after he and nine other crew members were released.

The sailors were freed last Sunday in Jolo, Sulu, after more than a month in the hands of the militants, and flew back to Jakarta.

The Indonesians were among about 20 foreigners abducted in a recent Abu Sayyaf kidnapping spree, and their release came just days after the bandit group beheaded a Canadian hostage. The sailors, who were taken hostage in late March from a tugboat transporting a coal barge, were reunited with their families yesterday after doctors confirmed they were in good health.

Crew member Julian Philip described how they were taken hostage by eight militants disguised in police uniforms, who boarded the tug from speedboats and tied up the sailors.

The barge was then abandoned, and the Indonesians were taken to an island and divided into two groups. They were moved every few days to avoid the military, which has launched an assault against the Abu Sayyaf.

“We were all stressed out because they frequently threatened to slit our throats,” he told reporters after the 10 were reunited with their families at the foreign ministry.

But Philip added the militants did not harm them and he thought that in reality “they did not want any of us to die as they would not get any money.”
He said he did not know whether a ransom was paid for their release.

“We were just put in a car and sent on our way and told to look for the governor’s house,” he said.

READ MORE...

The sailors turned up at the house of Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan on the remote island of Jolo that is an Abu Sayyaf stronghold.

Mum on ransom

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi yesterday dodged questions about whether a ransom had been paid. The Abu Sayyaf does not normally free hostages unless ransom demands are met.

Authorities say the group is still holding at least 11 foreign hostages — four sailors from Indonesia and four others from Malaysia, a Canadian tourist, a Norwegian resort owner and a Dutch birdwatcher.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also distanced itself from the alleged P50 million ransom.

Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of the AFP-Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the military has nothing to do with the reported ransom payment, stressing they are focused on the rescue operations.

“We are focused on the operations to rescue the kidnap victims, we don’t know anything about that,” he said.

“We stick to the government’s no-ransom policy… we have been very vocal about that,” the military official added.

Tan, however, admitted that there were Indonesians monitored in the area before the release.

“There were Indonesians monitored in the area but we did not exert effort (for that) because our main focus is the rescue operations,” he said.

Tan vowed relentless military operations against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf both in Basilan and Sulu provinces.

“We will continue to apply pressure in the operations,” Tan said.

The Philippine government, for its part, said it is pleased with the safe release of 10 Indonesian sailors as it assured foreign governments that it continues to work for the freedom of their nationals still being held by the militants.

“While intensified operations continue on the ground, the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) maintains close coordination with concerned foreign governments in ensuring the safe return of all the remaining hostages,” a Foreign Affairs statement said.
Mario J. Mallari, AFP and PNA


MANILA TIMES

PNP on high alert for elections May 2, 2016 10:13 pm by FERNAN MARASIGAN AND ANTHONY VARGAS


FUll Alert Status Philippine Air Force troopers arrive at the Manila Police Headquarters for their deployment in the upcoming May 9 elections. Photo By Edrich Vergara

The 150,000 strong Philippine National Police (PNP) placed its forces nationwide on its highest alert status ahead of the synchronized national and local election on May 9, 2016.

At the same time, National Capital Regional Police Office chief, Director Joel Pagdilao on Monday spearheaded the deployment of police and military personnel of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) in five police districts in Metro Manila for election duties.

The JTF is composed of the NCRPO, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Special Action Force who will render duty in the five police districts, while regional headquarters personnel will be on stand-by status at the regional headquarters for augmentation purposes.

In Camp Crame, at least 3,000 policemen were placed on standby for possible deployment. They will be likely deployed as augmentation forces in areas or provinces that have been declared as Election Areas of Concern (EAC).

The nine provinces that have been tagged by the PNP as EAC are the provinces of Abra, Nueva Ecija, Lanao del Sur, Pangasinan, Masbate, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Western Samar, Negros Oriental and Maguindanao.

Also on Monday, Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said the military’s land, sea and air assets are on a standby in case the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needs them to transport election paraphernalia.

READ MORE...

Detoyato said the AFP and the PNP are in constant coordination to secure the counting machines and Comelec officials.

“Down the line, the AFP and the PNP are helping out on these security aspects,” he pointed out.

“The Comelec is the lead agency. We take orders from them as long as they are election related. We are deputized and we are ready to support them,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman, said that as of Monday, they have not monitored any terror threat in Metro Manila despite the arrest recently of a member of the radical Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM).

Intelligence operatives on April 26 arrested a suspected member of the RSM that was allegedly involved in a plot to kidnap Kris Aquino and who also planned to launch bomb attacks in Metro Manila.

Joint members of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested Reynaldo Vasquez Ilao during a raid at his house in San Pedro, Laguna. Seized from the suspect was a .45-caliber pistol and a grenade.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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