Western Mindanao Command - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Western Mindanao Command

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4 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu clash

Dec 08, 2019 - 1:44 PM

A government soldier was also killed in the encounter with members of the ISIS-affiliated faction of the terror group blamed for suicide attacks earlier this year

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

Abu Sayyaf terrorist killed in Sulu clash was planning suicide attack – military

Sep 12, 2019 - 10:39 PM

The military says Nanz Sawadjaan, nephew of ISIS' leader in the Philippines, would have become a suicide bomber if he had not been killed in a raid on Tuesday, September 10

FOCUSED OPERATIONS. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has launched a series of operations targeting the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Nephew of pro-ISIS Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Sulu – military

Sep 12, 2019 - 7:22 PM

(UPDATED) Nanz Sawadjaan, nephew of Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, is killed in a firefight with government troops. His death is a 'great loss' to the Abu Sayyaf Group, says the military.

TERRORIST CAMP. Philippine Army troops overran a lair of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu, after a firefight on Tuesday, September 10. Photo courtesy of AFP Western Mindanao Command

Female ‘suicide bomber’ in Sulu blast was from Abu Sayyaf – military

Sep 09, 2019 - 6:47 PM

The chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command says terror groups in Mindanao could be weakening, while an analyst says they are evolving and could launch devastating attacks in the future

LESSONS LEARNED. Philippine Army soldiers survived a terror attack in Indanan, Sulu on Sunday, September 8, because of tactics drawn from past deadly bombings. 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

Suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber arrested in Zamboanga Sibugay

Jul 24, 2019 - 5:00 PM

A joint team of the 44th IB of the Philippine Army and the PNP capture Isnaji Hasim

ARRESTED. Suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber Isnaji Hasim. Photo courtesy of WestMinCom

8 killed, 22 wounded in attack on military camp in Sulu

Jun 28, 2019 - 4:26 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The explosion happens on the first day of the assumption of the new chief of the Western Mindanao Command

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

5 gov’t troops killed in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Feb 02, 2019 - 3:09 PM

(UPDATED) Troops engage in an 'intense firefight' with Abu Sayyaf members under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, believed to be involved in the Jolo cathedral bombing

LOOK: Indonesian, Malaysian navy ships visit Zamboanga City

Nov 27, 2018 - 7:50 PM

Naval vessels of Indonesia and Malaysia pay a port visit as part of the INDOMALPHI cooperation

Indonesian and Malaysian Navy Ships arrive in Zamboanga City. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

Were 7 killed in Sulu encounter Abu Sayyaf or not?

Sep 15, 2018 - 10:00 PM

(UPDATED) Soldiers say it was an encounter, while a Moro rights group says it was a summary execution

FULL TEXT: AFP chief Carlito Galvez Jr's speech at turnover rites

Apr 19, 2018 - 8:51 AM

'While we give primacy to peace, we will never hesitate to use our might when innocent civilians are threatened and attacked,' says Armed Forces chief of staff General Carlito Galvez Jr

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hands over the command saber from outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Rey Guerrero to newly-installed AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. during the AFP Change of Command Ceremony at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on April 18, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Another Abu Sayyaf leader surrenders in Basilan – WestMinCom

Mar 29, 2018 - 2:00 PM

(UPDATED) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the series of surrenders by Abu Sayyaf leaders signals the 'eventual collapse' of the terror group

Notorious sub leader in Basilan Nurhasan surrendered to government forces today at Barangay Sirongon , Mohammad Adjul along with his 13 followers. They are now at the custody of the Western Mindanao Command. Photo by Richard Falcatan

Mistahs of PMA '85 battle for AFP chief post

Mar 22, 2018 - 9:09 AM

The Board of Generals will meet after the Holy Week to finalize a shortlist for President Rodrigo Duterte, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confers the Order of Lapu-Lapu Kamagi Medal on Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Commander Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez during the 121st Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army (PA) at the PA Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on March 20, 2018. Malacañang Photo

WestMinCom hosts joint patrols with Malaysia, Australia

Mar 13, 2018 - 8:55 PM

'This month’s air patrol is the second hosting of the TAP (trilateral air patrol) by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the sixth overall joint patrol' among the Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia, Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. says

HMAS LAUNCESTON. Members of the crew of Her Majesty's Australian Ship Launceston in front of their ship. Photo by Richard Falcatan

Ship crew use hot water to foil pirate attack off Basilan

Feb 17, 2018 - 9:50 PM

The Western Mindanao Command says it received distress calls from the Presidential Management Staff and other government agencies seeking assistance for a cargo vessel that was under pirate attack in Basilan waters

SEAJACKING ATTEMPT. The MV Kudos survives a seajacking attempt on February 16, 2018. Photo courtesy of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom)

1,300 terrorists neutralized in Mindanao in 2017, says Wesmincom

Dec 12, 2017 - 3:29 PM

The Western Mindanao Command reports its 2017 performance as President Rodrigo Duterte asks Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao by a year

PERFORMANCE REPORT. Officers of the Western Mindanao Command hold an assessment meeting on December 11, 2017. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

Hostages, IEDs slow down push to end war in Marawi

Oct 01, 2017 - 9:14 AM

(UPDATED) Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez says they will not rush the troops to avoid unnecessary deaths of hostages and soldiers

Military files rebellion complaint vs suspected Abu Sayyaf member

Sep 12, 2017 - 1:28 PM

24 year old Millham Saham is also facing a complaint for illegal possession of explosives

The Department of Justice on Padre Faura, Manila

Gov’t troops 'neutralize' 2 Abu Sayyaf members in Mindanao

Jul 15, 2017 - 8:51 PM

Ibno Moro is in Tawi Tawi s list of most wanted while Abdulmubin Kudalat Salamuddin is a bomb expert says the military

'NEUTRALIZED.' Ibno Moro, who has a standing warrant for murder, is neutralized on July 15. Photo courtesy of Western Mindanao Command

2 kidnapped boat crewmen recovered in Sulu

Jul 08, 2017 - 11:27 PM

The two are among the 4 men kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf in December 2016 in the Celebes Sea

Patikul, Sulu

Isnilon Hapilon may have fled Marawi City – army

Jun 24, 2017 - 1:58 PM

2nd UPDATE These people are suicidal Our assessment is that they will really fight to the end says Brigadier General Restituto Padilla

Screenshot of a video showing Isnilon Hapilon pledging allegiance to the Islamic State

Hapilon's close aide arrested in Zamboanga City

Jun 17, 2017 - 8:03 PM

Hamsi Amajad Marani of the Abu Sayyaf Group is a bomber trained by an Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyah bomb expert says the military

ARRESTED. Abu Sayyaf Group member Hamsi Amajad Marani is arrested in Zamboanga City by military and the police on June 17, 2017. Photo from Western Mindanao Command PIO

Wounded Vietnamese hostage rescued in Basilan

Jun 17, 2017 - 2:48 PM

The Abu Sayyaf kidnappers are holding a total of 26 hostages including several foreigners in Sulu and Basilan

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, June 9, 2017

Jun 09, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Hello Here are the stories you shouldn t miss this Friday

Terrorists in Marawi holding 'more or less 100' hostages – military

Jun 08, 2017 - 8:03 PM

Marawi priest Father Teresito Soganub is still alive according to ground commander Major General Rolando Bautista

MAUTE CONTROL. Father Teresito Soganub issues an appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte, apparently under the control of the terrorist Maute Group. Facebook screengrab

Army general denies 1,200 ISIS fighters in PH

Jun 05, 2017 - 7:44 PM

Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez says the hundreds of fighters are in Syria not here

Martial Law 2.0 in Mindanao: Beta version of Duterte's authoritarian project

May 28, 2017 - 12:50 AM

Duterte is using a sledgehammer to take on a job that is properly accomplished with precision tools It is the convenient but indiscriminate weapon of an authoritarian leader

78 'hostages' rescued in Marawi hospital – military

May 24, 2017 - 11:52 PM

The military declares facilities previously occupied by local terror groups – including the Amai Pakpak Medical Center – cleared of Maute presence

TERROR ATTACKS. Marawi City attacked by suspected ISIS inspired militants belonging to the Maute group on May 23, 2017. Photo by Chico Dimaro Usman

11 Maute members nabbed in Lanao del Sur

May 15, 2017 - 8:14 PM

8 high powered firearms are seized during the raid in Barangay Romagondong Marogong Lanao del Sur

4 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Basilan clashes

May 07, 2017 - 7:10 PM

The clashes happened in two barangays in Sumisip Basilan on Saturday May 6

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

ASG leader behind foreigners' kidnap killed in Bohol

Apr 12, 2017 - 11:15 AM

Muamar Askali better known as Abu Rami and said to be behind the kidnapping of foreign hostages also served as the Abu Sayyaf spokesman

ABU SAYYAF IN BOHOL. Government forces foil attack in Central Visayas

Kidnapped boat captain, engineer rescued in Basilan

Mar 25, 2017 - 6:47 PM

UPDATED The rescue comes two days after the Abu Sayyaf kidnaps boat captain Aurelio Agacac and Chief Engineer Laurencio Tiro from the MV Super Shuttle Roro 9

2 Malaysian Abu Sayyaf hostages rescued in Sulu

Mar 23, 2017 - 1:53 PM

UPDATED The rescued hostages are among the 5 Malaysian crewmen of Tugboat Serudung 3 who were kidnapped in July 2016 off the coast of Lahad Datu in Sabah

RELEASED.

8-year-old Abu Sayyaf hostage freed

Feb 28, 2017 - 7:24 AM

UPDATED Rexon Romoc – freed after his family allegedly paid a P3 million ransom to the Abu Sayyaf – is presented to President Rodrigo Duterte

PALACE GUEST. Freed Abu Sayyaf hostage Ricson Romon, 8, is brought to Malacañang to meet President Rodrigo Duterte on February 28, 2017. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

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

2 children killed, 3 injured in Basilan explosion

Jan 29, 2017 - 9:50 PM

The military blames the Abu Sayyaf for the explosion saying the terror group meant to sow fear in the area

Battle-seasoned general new chief of key Mindanao command

Jan 17, 2017 - 1:13 PM

UPDATED Major General Carlito Galvez Jr is appointed the new chief of the Western Mindanao Command as the military sets an ambitious timeline to crush local threat groups Abu Sayyaf and Maute Group by June 2017

4 fishing boat crew kidnapped off Sulu – military

Dec 21, 2016 - 9:51 AM

Members of the military s Joint Task Force Sulu and the Naval Task Group Sulu have been deployed to conduct search and rescue operations

Army officer, soldier shot dead in Zambo ambush

Nov 21, 2016 - 12:37 PM

Gunmen attack a military vehicle in Danas Zamboanga del Sur

Soldier fatally shoots officer in Jolo

Sep 23, 2016 - 9:35 PM

The incident happens in the house of the victim Major Nurhusin Hadjaruddin commander of the 52nd Engineer Brigade in Sulu

3 barangays evacuated amid heavy fighting in Basilan

Jul 06, 2016 - 11:45 PM

The affected areas are Tipo Tipo proper Silangkum and Baguindan

4 Malaysian kidnap victims released by Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Jun 08, 2016 - 3:33 PM

The victims who were kidnapped more than two months ago are now in Sandakan

Evacuees in Maguindanao, N. Cotabato almost 100,000

Mar 20, 2015 - 5:45 PM

Clashes between government forces and Muslim rebels also affect more than 130 000 persons in Maguindanao and North Cotabato

DISPLACED FILIPINOS. People displaced by fighting sleep at an evacuation center in the southern Philippines. File photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera

8,600 in evacuation centers due to clashes in North Cotabato

Feb 27, 2015 - 3:17 PM

The social welfare department has provided food packs worth P265 370 to thousands of families in 8 evacuation centers

AFP captures Abu Sayyaf bomb factory in Basilan

Nov 11, 2014 - 9:19 PM

Up to 500 families have been evacuated and communication networks were also deactivated in 3 municipalities due to the military offensive

School principal abducted in Basilan

Mar 31, 2014 - 6:34 PM

This is the 4th kidnapping in Mindanao since 2013 involving public school teachers

HOSTAGED. 60-year-old Benitta Enriquez Latonio was abducted by men believed to be members of Abu Sayyaf. Photo by Richard Falcatan

Bansil sisters: Free but tired, traumatized

Feb 21, 2014 - 12:27 PM

The sisters face the media hours after their release in Sulu but stay quiet

FREED. The Bansil sisters need time to recuperate after their 8-month ordeal under the hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group. Photo by Rappler/Richard Falcatan