Funny that AFP and PNP don’t know the MILF has a camp in Iligan City

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EVENTS involving the government military and, units of the Philippine National Police in Mindanao show how badly managed and commanded they are.

Their intelligence capabilities are miserable. Their esprit de corps exists only within Philippine Military Academy “batches”–which in happier times were called “classes” just as in non-military colleges and universities. There is enmity among batches. And there is no solidarity between the higher-ups and the rank and file. This probably comes from corruption and favoritism.

It is known that some officers have been charged with crimes, including that of withholding and even creaming off from the wages that the grunts should receive like clockwork as in civilian offices and of selling guns, bullets and even more serious pieces of ordnance to the enemy. This word “enemy” means not only the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, the Abu Sayyaf Group and “rogue” members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front but also the private armies maintained by warlord politicians who occupy top positions in the local governments. The ordinary soldier also knows the politics played by their officers to get promoted and other shenanigans.

All these make them lose respect for people above them in rank, especially those in the very top levels of both the AFP and the PNP.


This is also why such a bitter tragedy as the Mamasapano Massacre, and the withholding of reinforcements for the Fallen 44 PNP-SAF Heroes, happened, along with dozens of other tragedies.

All of this is why one cannot help noticing that incredible things happen, like the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and concurrently the Topmost Director of Police Directors, BS Aquino, being with our country’s highest security officers, for the whole day of January 25, without discussing the fate of the slaughtered PNP-SAF Heroes until late in the day. They only talked about the Fallen 44 hours after they had been murdered and hours after their commander, then SAF Director Getulio Napeñas, had sent SOS messages in vain.

These topmost security officials under BS Aquino who were with him from morning till evening on January 25 are the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (who under Aquino is the top boss of the PNP), Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin (who under Aquino is the top civilian boss of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) and AFP Chief of Staff General Gregorio Catapang. They all knew that something very terrible was happening in Mamasapano. They all knew urgent pleas for reinforcements were being made by Napeñas. But none of them had the compassion, concern and professional need to tell BS Aquino and the others: “Hindi ba natin tutulungan yong mga bata nating kinakatay?”

This behavioral, professional and moral deficiencies in our topmost defense and security officials have been known to the soldiery and the police rank and file, even before Mamasapano. They knew about the reasons Lt. Trillanes and his cohorts launched a mutiny and attempted a coup years ago. They have seen how some, maybe many, provincial and regional commanders are corrupt and unprofessional.

The latest strange and suspicious episode in the annals of the PNP and AFP in Mindanao is the admission of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) yesterday that it does have a military camp in Iligan City, which is geographically part, but administratively independent, of Lanao del Norte. This is basically a happy area of mixed Christian, Muslim and Lumad Filipinos.

The AFP filed a formal complaint with the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) about the MILF’s military training camp in Iligan. Col. Gilbert Gapay, commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd mechanized Infantry Brigade, has endorsed the complaint and is urging the MILF to dismantle its camp, which violates the ceasefire agreement.

Gapay, funnily, said the Army became aware of the camp only because local residents have complained about it and sought the intervention of the military to suppress the presence of non-government armed elements.

The MILF’s Jaafar Gahdzali, vice chairman for political affairs of the rebel organization, justifies the presence of the camp for years now because it is “natural for a revolutionary body like MILF to have camps.”

All these years, military and PNP intelligence did not know?

We are sure they have always known. We are sure that some unacceptable, maybe even corrupt, “friendship” exists between the MILF in Iligan and the AFP and the PNP.

We question the wisdom, perspicacity and probity of all the PNP and AFP officers in the area–and also that of the Philippine side’s CCCH head Brig. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr.

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11 Comments

  1. Ito na ang aking sinasabi sa aking sarili and I am proven right right now with this article. Napaka-imposibleng hindi alam ng AFP and PNP ang kuta ng mga BIFF, ABU SAYYAF Group and even info about MILF activities and movement. Napaka-imposible o talagang wala silang ginagawa kung hindi isuot lamang ang kanilang mga uniforme at isukbit ang kanilang mga baril sa kanilang beywang sa araw-araw. Napakaimposible paniwalaan na hindi nila alam ang mga malalaking establisimiento na pinagkukutaan at pinagti-trainigan ng mga rebelde. Nalaman lamang ang mga pinaghihinalaang training grounds noong isinagawa ang all-out war laban sa BIFF.

    At bakit ginawa lamang ito after na mangyari ang Mamasapano massacre, after na ipahiya sila sa Senado at sa buong mundo samantalang kaya naman pala ng AFP na magsagawa ng all-out war laban sa mga rebeldeng ito. Kung noon pa sana ginawa ito malamang bawas na noon pa ang mga rebeldeng ito at hindi na rin umabot pa sa pagkakapatay ng mga 44 na PNP-SAF ng ating bansa. BAKIT?

  2. This article does not indicate the exact Sitio in Rogongon where the MILF is allegedly situated. If it’s in Sitio Limunsudan, how could the MILF establish a camp there when the only populated area has a military detachment (unless they already pulled out from there). The detachment was set-up in 2012 to prevent kidnapping of teachers in that Sitio. The nearest populated area is already part of Lanao del Sur which also claims jurisdiction of Limunsudan. Or maybe the MILF lately encroached into Limunsudan which, fromwhat I know when I was there, is populated by Lumads.

  3. The lack of MORAL VALUES among AFP abd PNP leads to the demise and deaths of fellow armed forces officers, insurgents and civilians. LACK OF MORALS also promotes corruptions and greed of officers from top to bottom of military hierarchy.

    Lack of morals among leaders from of AFP and PNP, including the Commander-In-Chief (the president) also means lack of empathy towards anyone they serve to protect. It also compromises security, in any facet of life in the area, that leads to tragedy.

  4. Philippines will remain a failed state until all the politicians and government officials get their act together and be more honest.

  5. Umbra Magister on

    The AFP and PNP intelligence have reports on the existence of MILF Camp for sure. However, our government actions walks like a turtle but thinks like a monkey. The military cannot dismantle that directly without the approved of the Malacanang. Likewise, the MILF is much wiser than our government because they all declare this place not a camp but a temporary place of stay were in fact it is camp. The same case were happened in Zamboanga Peninsula – The Camp Salman of Brgy Datu Tumanggong, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. While our corrupt elected and appointed government officials busy collecting money from our government box, this people (Southern Secessionist Group) widen their area of operation to become stronger and more capable force to fight our government. The concentration of peace negotiating panel is in the Mindanao only, they do not give credit to what had happen in the South. who conducts kidnapping activity, extortion, highway robbery there? People should remember “THE WISER MIND FINDS WAY TO DEFEAT THE BRIGHT PEOPLE”.

  6. Norodin Lucman on

    That alleged MILF camp in Iligan is a hoax, created by anarchists whose text messages are alarmist. Iligan City residents were alarmed by media write ups on the bogus report. The picture is a fake and the only activity in the area was a Disaster Response Capability Training conducted by Course Director Steve Librado in Rogongn to prepare the native Higaonons and Maranaos on disaster response and first aid application on disaster victims. The profile of the area on my actual visit to Rogongun by a chopper is extreme poverty because Iligan City government neglected these natives for as long as they can remember. Hundreds of natives were killed by Typhoon Sendong several years ago according to the head of a Jewish settlement in the area. You can reach this area by motorcycle in 5 hours or by foot in 10 hours. There are gold prospectors in the area as well, mostly Maranaos. Like Mamasapano, the area is adjacent to heavily armed communities in Kapai, Tagoloan II and Tagoloan (LDS) who are tied to local politics and mindful of bandits that roam the area. These armed communities are sympathetic to the BBL. These political clans have blood relatives in Cabaro and Upper Hinaplanon in Iligan City. Certainly, there is no MILF camp in the area. From what I gather, there are only 4 policemen in the municipality of Tagaloan (LDS) according Vice Mayor Jimmy Sacar.

  7. Norodin Lucman on

    That alleged MILF camp in Iligan is a hoax, created by anarchists whose text messages are alarmist. Ilugan City residents were alarmed by media write ups on the bogus report. The picture is a fake and the only activity in the area was a Disaster Response Capability Training conducted by Course Director Steve Librado in Rogongn to prepare the native Higaonons and Maranaos on disaster response and first aid application on disaster victims. The profile of the area on my actual visit to Rogongun by a chopper is extreme poverty because Iligan City government neglected these natives for as long as they can remember. Hundreds of natives were killed by Typhoon Sendong several years ago according to the head of a Jewish settlement in the area. You can reach this area by motorcycle in 5 hours or by foot in 10 hours. There are gold prospectors in the area as well, mostly Maranaos. Like Mamasapano, the area is adjacent to armed communities in Kapai and Tagoloan who are tied to local politics and mindful of bandits that roam the area. These political clans have relatives in Cabaro and Upper Hinaplanon in Iligan City. Certainly, there is no MILF camp in the area. From what I gather, there are only 4 policemen in the municipality of Tagaloan (LDS) according Vice Mayor Jimmy Sacar.

  8. Eddie de Leon on

    The CAFGUs in the Misamis Occidental side of the border and in the Iligan/Lanao side know. Also the parish priests. But the AFP commanders and PNP directors and superintendents don’t???!!!!

    • Vernie Burlaos on

      Please do confirm and research if the news article is true. I am from Iligan city and I stay in the area they said “there is an MILF camp Kuno” hindi Po yan totoo… Please huwag po tayong maniwala agad sa mga balita at mga nakasulat dahil madaling baliin ang katotohanan sa panahon ngayon. Huwag nating ikalat ang inaakala nating totoong balita dahil baka ito ay maka cause ng isa pang problema.

      Just saying.

  9. They know that the so-called triaining camp exists. But extremely corrupt officers, with calloused conscience (if there is any left) and unthinking coconut shells only see a space, a ghost. Otherwise, the window to maximize their greed for money (they sell guns, bullets and ordnance, remember?) might close.

    Haven’t you heard? The intelligence fund is also treated as a family bank? Ditto with their supply of petroleum products? And probably, they also share with the proceeds of illegal drugs, illegal gambling, illegal gamblng and other illegal acts. Where are these corrupt idiots coming from? AFP modernization? Come on. To them, the pocket is a priority.