Cirilito Sobejana - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Cirilito Sobejana

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Families displaced by Maguindanao clashes cry for help

Dec 10, 2019 - 11:06 PM

Traumatized by the sound of bombs and guns, at least 2,000 families caught in the battle between terrorists and the military are staying in makeshift booths in open spaces, a Moro community leader tells Rappler

DRIVEN OUT. Skirmishes between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters including the pro-ISIS Abu Torayfie Group in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, over the past week have driven some 800 families to flee their homes and stay in makeshift booths. Photo sourced by Rappler

Kidnapped couple Allan and Wilma Hyrons rescued from Abu Sayyaf

Nov 25, 2019 - 10:46 AM

(UPDATED) Three days of clashes between the military and the bandit group leads to the rescue of the couple, who were kidnapped in Zamboanga del Sur on October 4

RESCUED. Kidnapped couple Allan and Wilma Hyrons photographed after their rescue from their captors, the Abu Sayyaf Group, in Sulu. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army 11th Infantry Division

1 Filipino, 2 Egyptian ‘suicide bombers’ killed in army clash in Sulu – AFP

Nov 05, 2019 - 9:59 PM

Philippine Army troops intercepted the 3 suspects, believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf Group, at a checkpoint in Indanan town on Tuesday afternoon

SUICIDE VESTS. These vests with 'explosives and triggering devices' were recovered from 3 suspected suicide bombers who were killed in a clash with Philippine Army troops in Indanan, Sulu, on November 5, 2019. Photo from AFP Joint Task Force Sulu

Q&A: Is General Sobejana the one to end the Abu Sayyaf?

Nov 02, 2019 - 10:00 AM

In this wide-ranging interview, Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana talks to Rappler about foreign fighters in Mindanao, suicide bombers in Sulu, and the prospects for peace

FOCUS ON BANGSAMORO. Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana promises to focus on the Bangsamoro region in the remaining two years of his military career. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Revenge attacks by pro-ISIS groups ‘very likely’ after Baghdadi killing – analyst

Oct 28, 2019 - 7:31 PM

The death of ISIS' top leader in the Middle East may shift extremists' attention closer to home as they try to avenge his death and assert their influence, says leading terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna

TERRORIST KILLED. An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, addressing worshippers at a mosque in the ISIS-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Al-Furqan Media/Handout/AFP

Military supports 'selective martial law' in Mindanao

Oct 15, 2019 - 10:50 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines says it supports Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte's 'recommendation' that the city be exempted from martial law

MILITARY SPOKESMAN Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Military scouring Zamboanga peninsula for kidnapped couple

Oct 07, 2019 - 4:12 PM

The gunmen who abducted Allan and Wilma Hyrons from their resort in Zamboanga del Sur have yet to be identified, but the military is looking at the Abu Sayyaf Group because of its history of kidnappings

SEARCH IS ON. The military has created a special task force to search for and rescue Allan and Wilma Hyrons, who were abducted from their resort in Zamboanga del Sur on October 4, 2019. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Military taps sardine fishing crews as 'reserve force' in Sulu Sea

Sep 19, 2019 - 2:15 PM

Crews of two major canned sardine companies have been armed and trained as 'special CAFGU' to guard the waters off the Zamboanga Peninsula, says the military

RESERVE FORCE. The military has enlisted the fishing crews of some big sardine companies as a paramilitary force to help guard against security threats in the Sulu Sea. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Pro-ISIS BIFF faction behind Isulan bomb attack – military

Sep 09, 2019 - 7:49 PM

The blast that wounded 8 people on September 7 was the group's way of gaining attention following setbacks from battles with government forces, says Western Mindanao's military commander

FOCUSED ATTACKS. The Armed Forces of the Philippines says it has driven out the Dawlah Islamiyah Torayfie Group from its strongholds in the Liguasan Marsh. File photo of soldiers in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao Province. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

CA confirms Cirilito Sobejana as AFP Westmincom chief

Sep 04, 2019 - 4:58 PM

Marawi-based 103rd Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr also gets the nod of the powerful Commission on Appointments

CONFIRMED. Lt Gen Cirilito Sobejana has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

5 more Chinese warships spotted in Philippine waters in July, August

Aug 14, 2019 - 7:28 PM

The military says this is in addition to the passage of 4 Chinese vessels earlier this year, all without permission from the Philippine government

NO PERMISSION. The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP-Westmincom) reported 5 Chinese warships passed Philippine waters in July and August 2019. Photo from AFP-Westmincom

AFP reports 7 'foreign terrorists' in Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao

Jul 23, 2019 - 4:18 PM

The commander of the Armed Forces in Western Mindanao says the 7 suspects are grooming suicide bombers among local extremist groups

AT LARGE. This image from the main battle area of the 2017 siege of Marawi City is a grim reminder of the lingering terrorist presence in the Philippines. Rappler photo

AFP: 'High possibility' Sulu blasts were suicide attacks

Jul 02, 2019 - 4:54 PM

(UPDATED) Investigators have also yet to determine whether any of the attackers were Filipino

STILL HESITANT. AFP Spokeperson BGEN. Edgar Arevalo at a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Thursday, November 29, 2018, on issues of Mandatory ROTC and Martial Law extension. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Suicide bombing? Attack on Sulu military camp similar to Jolo Cathedral blast

Jun 29, 2019 - 3:24 PM

The military identifies Abu Sayyaf Group leader Hatib Sawadjaan as the mastermind of the attacks. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

BLAST SITE. Twin bombings hit a military camp in Indanan, Sulu, on June 28, 2019. Sourced photo

Battle-scarred Philippine general leads military command fighting terrorists

Jun 28, 2019 - 4:11 PM

Major General Cirilito Sobejana assumes command of the military's Western Mindanao Command on Friday, June 28

MEDAL OF VALOR. Major General Cirilito Sobejana assumes command of the Western Mindanao Command on June 28, 2019. File photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Military destroys lair of ISIS-inspired terrorists in Maguindanao

Feb 03, 2019 - 11:11 AM

The military says it is 'very determined' to defeat terrorist groups in Mindanao

6,000 Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces keep watch of plebiscite in Cotabato

Jan 21, 2019 - 10:18 PM

AFP 6th Infantry Division commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana says the presence of MILF soldiers was not a threat to the Bangsamoro vote

MILF SOLDIERS. Troops from the MILF's armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, are briefed at Camp Darapanan on January 20, 2019, the day before the Bangsamoro plebiscite. Photo by Jeff Digma/Rappler

Frightened residents flee military air strikes vs BIFF

Jun 10, 2018 - 11:37 AM

(UPDATED) The military is conducting operations against a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State

LOOK: Duterte meets rescued cops

May 19, 2018 - 6:56 PM

Chief Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza fetches the two policewomen in Jolo and accompanies them to Davao City to meet the President

NOW FREED. President Rodrigo Duterte meets the two  policewomen who were in kidnapped in Sulu. All photos by Richard Madelo and Ace Moradante/Presidential Photo

2 Scout Rangers killed in Sulu rescue mission

May 14, 2018 - 11:06 AM

10 Abu Sayyaf bandits are believed to have been killed as the military steps up its offensive after the group kidnapped two female cops

KIDNAPPED. Police Officer 2 Benierose Alvares and Police Officer 1 Dinah Gumahad are kidnapped in Sulu. Sourced photo

Living heroes: 5 Filipino soldiers who won the Medal of Valor

Dec 21, 2017 - 4:46 PM

Here are awe-inspiring stories of how 5 officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines risked their lives in the battlefield to save their missions from failure and their men from certain death

Abducted Jolo councilor freed

Nov 02, 2017 - 4:21 PM

Councilor Ezeddin Tan is the nephew of former Sulu vice governor Abdusakur Tan

ABDUCTED. Jolo Councilor Ezeddin Tan is abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf-Ajang Ajang members. Sourced photo

Vietnamese hostage killed in Philippine clash

Jul 13, 2017 - 8:46 PM

He the Vietnamese was hit by a bullet Two things may have happened: he was hit during the encounter or he may have tried to take advantage of the situation to escape and then his abductors shot him Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana says

Abu Sayyaf beheads soldier in Sulu

Apr 23, 2017 - 7:10 PM

UPDATED Kapareho nilang Tausug pero ginawa pa rin nila yung karumaldumal na pagpugot says Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana

Soldier in Sulu abducted by Abu Sayyaf – military

Apr 21, 2017 - 12:06 AM

Staff Sergeant Anni Siraji is abducted by about 7 people at 9:30 am while on the road heading to Igasan Patikul Sulu

Abu Sayyaf beheads Filipino hostage on Holy Thursday

Apr 16, 2017 - 4:40 PM

UPDATED The military says the victim Noel Besconde was reportedly very sick and apparently delay[ed] the movement of the local terrorist group

Rescue of Abu Sayyaf hostages continues amid beheading reports

Feb 26, 2017 - 10:30 PM

Chief presidential peace adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza receives a report that the local terrorist group has beheaded its German hostage but he says this is still unverified information

ABDUCTED. German nationals Juergen Kantner and his wife Sabine Merz (R) pose for a photograph on May 5, 2009 in Berbera. File photo by Mustafa Abdi/AFP