Military in cahoots with ASG – mayor

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But AFP insists no traitors in its ranks

DAVAO CITY: Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin accused the military of colluding with the notorious ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and said some officers partook of the ransoms paid for the freedom of some of the group’s hostages.

Amin claimed that military officials had been using some Abu Sayyaf members as their “assets,” a slang to refer to spy or informant.

He asked the government to investigate these officers who are in cahoots with the terrorists and for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to conduct a loyalty check among its ranks.


“Mga scalawags, eh dapat nga huwag na lang patago, kung meron, imbestigahan, oo na andoon na ang ransom, pero imbestigahan kung sino ba mga ito? Sino ba ang kumikita sa ransom? Hindi naman Abu Sayyaf. Iyan ang mga grupo na sabi iisa lang, ngayon dumadami na dahil may mga andiyan, ay ginagawang asset doon, sinasabing hindi nila asset, alam naman ng military yan (These are scalawags. They should be exposed, investigated. Yes, ransom was paid, but who are making money? It’s not the Abu Sayyaf. These are groups, and they are mushrooming because they are the military’s assets),” he said in a television interview.

Amin, a former judge, said the Abu Sayyaf may be getting support or information from scalawags within the military.

“These are the people who are in connivance with the scalawags in the military kaya malakas ang loob. Sabihin na ba ang totoo kung mayroon man ransom, dapat alamin kung sino ba ang gumagawa ng ransom. Sino ba ang kumikita sa ransom, dapat dito ikulong (The people asking and receiving ransom, those who made money should be jailed),” Amin said.

Amin, a former congressman, said that a colonel in the military benefited from the ransom paid for the release of Alberio Canda who was kidnapped in Sulu in 2004 and freed a month later. He said a congressional inquiry into the kidnapping showed the alleged involvement of the military officer.

“It is on the record in Congress, na in-connivance sa chief of Intelligence sa Sulu (the chief of intelligence (division) connived). Nag-conduct kami ng investigation nang kinidnap si Dr. Canda. Kumita ang isang colonel, yung may kahati siya. Nasa Congress yan kaso hindi man lang nila binibigyan ng atensyon. Dapat huwag na lang itago ba (We conducted an investigation when Dr, Canda was kidnapped. A colonel made money, he was a partner. That case is in Congress but lawmakers never gave it much attention. They should not hide that case),” he said.

No traitors
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) immediately denied the allegations, maintaining that there are no traitors in the military.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said there is no reason to doubt soldiers.
“Our Armed Forces and police have been at the forefront of the fight against all KFRGs (kidnapping-for-ransom groups) and the ASG for a long time. We have lost so many servicemen in the process. We do not doubt the dedication and commitment of our troops,” Padilla said.

He said commanders on the ground are in full control of all troops and are focused on their primary mission of getting the Abu Sayyaf rebels and saving their hostages.
“There is also an established system to ensure no spies and traitors are in our ranks. There also exists strong measures to deal with those found to have violated their oath,” he stressed.

Major Felimon Tan, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, dared Amin to prove his allegations.

“He has to prove that. Kung meron, bakit hindi niya sabihin sa amin? Yan ang mga hindi dapat nangyayari, yung mga ganyan, within the organization, it makes the organization suffer. Sundalo ka tapos ganoon ang gagawin mo, napakasakit naman noon (If there’s such a case, why doesn’t he inform us? These things should not happen, it makes the organization suffer. You’re a soldier and you do this, that is painful),” he said.

The allegations came in the wake of the beheading of Canadian Robert Hall on June 13.
Hall was one of the four persons kidnapped in Samal Island in September last year. His fellow Canadian, John Ridsel, was beheaded by the ASG on April 26 after the Philippine and Canadian government snubbed the bandits’ demand for P300 million ransom.
Padilla said such accusations can undermine the operations to catch the rebels.

“And we will hold the one who released the statement accountable if he can’t substantiate his allegations. Local government officials are at the lead of addressing peace and order in their communities with the police and the AFP as partners,” he added.

Padilla said this cooperation is the cornerstone in coming up with a permanent solution to the problem of lawlessness.

“Local officials should also come up with socioeconomic plans that can help the locals veer away from supporting these crime groups masquerading as Robin Hoods when they share the money received from kidnapping. After all, peace and order is their primary responsibility in their respective provinces,” he pointed out.

Probe
But despite the military’s denial, Malacañang on Saturday called for an investigation on the alleged connivance between certain ranking military officers with the ASG.

In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Amin’s claim should be investigated because it may undermine the campaign of the government against the bandit group.

“Medyo mabigat yata ‘yung paratang na nakapaloob diyan [This claim is a serious matter],” Coloma said in a radio interview.

“Paano naman kung basta-basta na lang natin tatanggapin ‘yan. Ang sagot agad natin imbestigasyon. Hindi naman yata makatwiran ‘no dahil nakikita naman natin na isinasagawa ng pamahaalaan ang nararapat at nag-uukol tayo ng puspusang pagsisikap sa pagtugon sa problema [We cannot just accept the allegations. Our immediate answer is to seek a probe. We do not think it is fair since we have seen the government take the necessary steps and undertake serious efforts to address the problem],” he added.

WITH CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND PNA

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16 Comments

  1. Maybe its true, that is why this ASG continues to grow, connivance with the military is possible, how come they have powerful firearms and bullets, Padilla should not eliminate the posibility that some military men are involved on this KFRG’s. Further investigations should be made, lifestyle check on all military officials assigned within that area should be conducted. If there are really involved they should be discharge and punish by firing squad or beheading just like the damage they created on the kidnap victims that were beheaded by these bandits.These ASG should not claim that they are symphatizers of ISIl’s since they are not fighting for the muslim faith, they are only bandits who only values money.

  2. Everybody knew this scheme of ASG & some on the militar/ PNP. Mayor there is nothing new here. and for AFP spokeman Mr. Tan, don’t look stupid by kept on denying the obvious.

  3. It’s possible. But on the other hand why did’nt the Mayor stop this before?. Sigurado pati ang mga government officials ay alam nila ang galaw ng mga ASG.

  4. This allegation is not new. I remember there was an incident in Basilan where the entire group of Abu Sabaya (Rest in Pieces stupid) was trapped by the soldiers and militiamen inside the hospital building. Miraculously they escaped when the commanding officer repositioned his men kuno, leaving the rear section open for the Abus to escape. There were witnesses who claimed to have seen that mysterry attache case given to that general. He was investigated for formality’s sake to appease the critics as usual. I heard that this same general was promoted after a few years. How come?

  5. Abdul Ampatuan on

    I am from Mindanao and I supported Mayor Amin in his statements. The problem with AFP is that they could not accept that there are ‘scalawags’ in their ranks. They think their organization is perfect. OMG! Mr. Padilla has made an irresponsible conclusion when he said that there were no traitors in the military. The argument is simple, if there is no collusion between the military and the militant group, then, the latter has already been destroyed completely. The fact that they still exist, would mean they have a mutual relationship, and both, benefit from each other.

    The AFP top leadership (and even the President) has poured a lot of resources to topple down the ASG group, not only, in terms of manpower and ammunition, but also, in terms of intelligence gathering. The intelligence network has received a huge amount of funding with COA turning a blindeye on this. Yet, the situation did not become better, it became worse, for the group has expanded its infamy even to the lowly civilians or folks and getting their support.

    It is time for AFP to accept the scrutiny of the public and welcome investigation.Though, this is a humbling experience, but, this is the right thing to do. This is one way of getting rid of the undesirables; saving the reputation of the organization.

  6. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) immediately denied the allegations, maintaining that there are no traitors in the military.
    —————————————

    Well that’s it then no need for a investigation.

    Only takes 1 high ranking officer to pass information and it looks like the military can not comprehend that concept, they would rather deny it as impossible.

  7. Ignacio Balbutin on

    It has been rumored for so long that that some units with the army are in cahoots with the bandits and are selling arms to the bandits. This should be investigated by the coming AFP chief. No stone should be left unturned for this case. How can the peace in Mnidanao come if there units in Westmincom who are corrupt. They should be investigated and if proven guilty be jailed for life or face the firing squad.

  8. Bonifacio Bangayan Claudio on

    Matagal ng bulong-bulungan ang pagiging “barkada sa inuman” ng military at ASG at milagroso nilang “peaceful co-existence” — ngunit binibigyang papuri ang mga MARINES dahil sa pagtugis sa mga ASG… Kung wala daw ang mga MARINES ay wala daw sanang “away” sa Mindanao… Matagal ng bali-balita ito, eh bakit ngayon lang nagdeDENY ang mga Pinuno ng Military? Resign na nimo, mga bugoy kamu. Hintayin nyo gid si Digong para sa firing squad nimo mga utud utud butud butud…

  9. Pierre Raspeguy on

    “Military in cahoots with ASG” — Sus Ginoo !!!! Matagal ng alam sa Jolo at Basilan iyan. Saan kumukuha ng supplies ng ammo, spare parts ng gamit itong mga ASG ? Pati yung negotiator sa ransom, kasama sa picture.

    • alvintsamaria68@yahoo.com on

      masakiy pakingan pero totoo yata talaga yan….ang tagal na yang problema yan….pero hindi maubos ubos ang ASG….alam ng mga inteligence ng sundalo kung saan nagtatago pero ayun nakatakas…kasi tulog yung commander inabot na kasi yung share niya sa ransom…

  10. Jusme! Hindi na bago yan. Hindi lang sa military even in the neighborhood up to the highest level of our society and government. Likas na yata yang pagiging traidor sa isa’t-isa na mga tao ng marami at iba-ibang tribo na bumubuo ng Pinas.

  11. Per military statistics, the ASG numbers 600 to 800. The military, tens of thousands. Question, with sheer numbers, ASG should be gone by now. My opinion, the mayor , governor, military officers are all in cahoots. There is a lot of money in kidnapping . In fact the numbers are in hundreds of million od pesos. Who will not be tempted. ?

    • Ignacio Balbutin on

      It has been rumored for so long that that some units with the army are in cahoots with the bandits and are selling arms to the bandits. This should be investigated by the coming AFP chief. No stone should be left unturned for this case. How can the peace in Mnidanao come if there units in Westmincom who are corrupt. They should be investigated and if proven guilty be jailed for life or face the firing squad.

  12. The AFP should not make a blanket statement immediately absolving any liability of its rank and file or officers. Observe, be aware of the nuances in your pursuit of the enemy and be honest to your superiors and to each other about what you blatantly see and what you hear. All of these can be the bases for meetings and policy changes. But if there’s really a problem regarding the locals giving protection to the ASG because they are related to some of them by virtue of consanguinity or affinity, then seek for solutions. If budget for operations is the problem among soldiers, then air your opinion to the commanding officers or to some government officials who can help. solve the problem. Why did the negotiation or waiting for operations to solve the Ridsdel and Hall’s release take so long?

  13. Ignacio Balbutin on

    imbestigahan ang allegation na ito, Its a very serious allegation and it should be investigated. How can the people in Mindanao live in peace if they know that the soldiers assigned there are corrupt. Imbestigahan din kung nagpapabili ba ang mga sundalo sa mga ASG ng armas and other rebel groups there.