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Rappler's latest stories on afp

ARTICLE FINDER

PH Army gives up 2 meals to build homes for Mindanao quake victims

Nov 16, 2019 - 8:00 AM

Each soldier gives P100 – their allowance for two meals – to buy land and materials for 100 temporary houses

TEMPORARY HOME. Members of the Philippine Army give up two meal allowances to shore up funds to buy a lot and build 'Kobe-type' shelters for earthquake victims in Mindanao. Photo from the Philippine Army

Military seeks dialogue after lawmakers slammed crackdown on progressive groups

Nov 15, 2019 - 6:35 PM

The military deny that they are cracking down on progressive groups, whom they call 'communist terrorists' and whose offices they have raided in recent weeks

WHAT CRACKDOWN? Military Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo invites supporters of progressive groups to discuss what he says are the threats they pose to democracy. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

DND to reconsider AFP deal with China-backed telco after Senate review

Nov 13, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says they will 'think thrice, even 4 times,' after senators raised serious security concerns over Dito Telecommunity's plan to build cell sites within military properties

SECURITY RISKS. Senator Francis Pangilinan (right) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) tackled the security risks from the military's cell sites deal with a China-backed telco during a plenary hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense on November 13, 2019. Photo from the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan

6 soldiers killed, 20 wounded in Eastern Samar clash with communist rebels

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:23 PM

Improvised bomb blasts meet Philippine Army soldiers acting on a tip that NPA rebels were harassing communities in the outskirts of Borongan City

Lorenzana not inclined to recommend Mindanao martial law extension

Nov 11, 2019 - 1:29 PM

The defense chief says he is waiting for the military and police to give their input, and President Duterte will still have the final say on the matter

DEFENSE CHIEF Delfin Lorenzana doesn't feel the need to put Mindanao under martial law for another year. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Conclusion: Experts warn of spying risk in AFP deal with China-backed telco

Nov 11, 2019 - 12:35 AM

The military's co-location deals with Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, and Dito Telecommunity are prone to spying, experts say, but Dito's link to the Chinese government means the third telco poses a greater threat

Experts warn of spying risk in AFP deal with China-backed telco

Nov 10, 2019 - 9:10 PM

Part 1: Rappler obtains copies of the military’s co-location agreements with Dito Telecommunity, Globe Telecom, and Smart Communications. Security analysts say the arrangements leave military communications open to intercepts.

Military denies 'harassment' in arresting alleged communist rebels

Nov 07, 2019 - 10:17 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines says the search warrants issued by a Quezon City trial court judge prove there was probable cause against the suspects

NO HARASSMENT. Military spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo says the police and military personnel who recently arrested alleged communist rebels bore search warrants from a court judge. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Red-tagged Oxfam, NCCP slam military for 'malicious, careless' attack

Nov 06, 2019 - 10:57 AM

The Farmers Development Center also says their inclusion in the red list was meant to 'silence our advocacy' for farmers rights

MILITARY LIST. The military tells lawmakers on November 5, 2019 that 18 groups are allegedly front organizations for the Communist Party of the Philippines. Photo sourced by Rappler

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

Military chief Clement gets 4th star

Oct 30, 2019 - 2:40 PM

General Noel Clement leads the AFP as it tackles security threats from terrorists, communist rebels, Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea, as well as hazing in the Philippine Military Academy – until he retires in January 2020

4TH STAR. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Noel Clement is promoted to the rank of general and receives his 4th star from his wife Geraldine (left) and Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna (right) on October 30, 2019. Photo from the AFP

Military launches airstrikes on alleged NPA lair in Northern Samar

Oct 29, 2019 - 12:01 AM

The Philippine Air Force drops 500-pound bombs on an encampment of alleged communist guerrillas

AIR STRIKES. The Philippine Air Force's FA-50 fighter jets dropped 500-pound bombs in 'surgical airstrikes' against alleged members of the New People's Army on Saturday, October 26, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Photo from the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army

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

Death of ISIS leader Baghdadi ‘just a momentary setback’ – Lorenzana

Oct 28, 2019 - 1:40 PM

The killing of ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US Special Forces may be a 'severe blow' to the terror group but ISIS-linked terrorists in the Philippines will continue to be a threat, the defense chief and the military say

SECURITY OFFICIALS. This file photo shows Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Clement at the Senate on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Military chief disagrees with call to halt PMA cadet recruitment

Oct 25, 2019 - 10:21 PM

This, after a lawmaker called for a yearlong ban on freshman enrollments at the country's premier military school, following reports of 27 alleged hazing cases including some recorded on video

EFFORTS ENOUGH? Military chief Lieutenant General Noel Clement declined a lawmaker's call to halt cadet recruitment at the Philippine Military Academy, where more cases of alleged hazing were recently discovered. File photo by DARREN LANGIT

Lorenzana: ‘Nothing wrong’ with deal between China-backed telco and military

Oct 18, 2019 - 7:40 AM

The defense chief says he 'most probably will sign' the agreement between the military and Dito Telecommunity, but holds off while the Senate reviews its security implications

DEFENSE SECRETARY Delfin Lorenzana at a Senate hearing on the proposed 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense and its attached agencies. September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Army foils Abu Sayyaf bomb plot in Basilan

Oct 16, 2019 - 3:28 PM

Army troops recover 6 improvised explosive devices after a clash with more than a dozen Abu Sayyaf bandits

IEDS. While scouring the encounter site, troops found these improvised explosive devices. Photo from Westmincom

7 PMA cadets tagged in Dormitorio’s death to be court martialed

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:17 PM

Court martial proceedings will run parallel to criminal cases filed against the cadets accused of hazing, torturing, and murdering the 20-year-old plebe

COMMANDANT. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner speaks to reporters at the Philippine Military Academy. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler

Philippines, U.S., Japan hold military drills near West PH Sea

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:54 AM

Japan joins the yearly exercise for the first time as regional allies build 'interoperability' in responding to security threats and natural disasters

TOPSHOTS  A Philippine naval personnel stands on guard during the arrival of missile destroyer USS Chung Hoon (DDG-93) before the US-Philippine joint naval military exercise entitled 'Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training' (CARAT) near the disputed Spratly islands, in Puerto Princesa on the western Philippine island of Palawan on June 28, 2011. The Philippines and the US will launch naval exercises as the long-time allies seek to deepen defence ties amid tensions with China over a maritime dispute. The 11-day event will see two US missile destroyers patrol Philippine waters close to the resource-rich and strategically vital South China Sea that is at the heart of the regional territorial row. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

Marine commandant resigns amid rumored feud with Navy chief

Oct 14, 2019 - 11:04 PM

Major General Alvin Parreño relinquishes his post 5 months before retiring and after a rift with Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, who had disagreed with a proposal to separate the Marines from the Navy

"WE'RE OKAY." Outgoing Marine Commandant Major General Alvin Parreño (center, in black) and Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (3rd from right) share a light moment after the change-of-command ceremony at Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown in Taguig City on Monday, October 14, 2019. Photo by JC Gotinga/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

Chinese vessels in Philippine waters: Who’s keeping score?

Oct 02, 2019 - 11:48 PM

As Chinese vessels of all sorts come and go through Philippine waters, exactly who among security officials is keeping count, and who's telling whom what to do?

BRP SIERRA MADRE. This aerial photo taken from a military aircraft shows the Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) with Philippine soldiers onboard to secure the perimeter in the Spratly Islands, on May 11, 2015. File photo by Ritchie Tongo/AFP

'Have heart and soul,' new PMA chief tells cadets

Oct 01, 2019 - 9:10 PM

Rear Admiral Allan Cusi formally takes his post two weeks after the gruesome death of a cadet exposed the horrors of hazing within the Philippines' premier military school

HEART AND SOUL. Rear Admiral Allan Cusi addresses cadets as he takes over as superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City on October 1, 2019. Photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

Senate to check AFP-Dito deal before Lorenzana decides on it

Sep 30, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Opposition lawmakers want a chance to back out of a deal that might give the Chinese government '130 listening posts' all over the Philippines

DONE DEAL? Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Lt. Gen. Noel Clement face questions on a deal with China-backed Dito Telecommunity at the Senate on September 30, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lorenzana wants Australia exempted from Duterte's foreign loan ban

Sep 30, 2019 - 4:02 PM

The defense department plans to enter a loan agreement with the Australian government to procure 6 offshore patrol vessels to be built in Cebu

LOAN FOR SHIPS. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana wants Australia exempted from a loan ban to make way for a financing agreement for new Navy ships. Photo of Lorenzana at the Senate on September 30, 2019 by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Brawner bares tools in PMA war vs hazing: Mental healthcare, honor code

Sep 28, 2019 - 12:10 PM

Brigadier General Romeo Brawner, the new PMA Commandant of Cadets, bares his battle plan for his so-called war against hazing

COMMANDANT. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner speaks to reporters at the Philippine Military Academy. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler

AFP appoints new PMA superintendent, commandant of cadets

Sep 26, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr 'declares war on hazing,' as the military grapples with the fatal hazing of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio

WAR ON HAZING. Brigadier General Romeo Brawner Jr has been appointed PMA Commandant of Cadets to replace Brigadier General Bartolome Bacarro who resigned. Brawner says he is "declaring war on hazing." File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

3rd PMA cadet hospitalized for suspected hazing – AFP

Sep 25, 2019 - 10:23 AM

Three cadets from the country's premier military school are recuperating from injuries sustained from suspected hazing

PREMIER MILITARY ACADEMY. The facade of the Philippine Military Academy building in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. Photo by Pediapediahan/Wikimedia Commons

Duterte skips ceremony as Clement assumes AFP top post

Sep 24, 2019 - 9:48 PM

It would have been Duterte's sixth change-of-command rites as Commander-in-Chief. His pick for AFP chief, Noel Clement, vows to pursue his order to end the communist insurgency.

NO SHOW. President Rodrigo Duterte skips the change-of-command ceremony for incoming AFP chief Lieutenant General Noel Clement. Vice President Leni Robredo and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana are in attendance. Photo by Charlie Villegas/Office of the Vice President

AFP can still back out of deal with Dito telco 'if necessary' – Lorenzana

Sep 24, 2019 - 11:37 AM

The defense chief says he will look into the extent of China Telecom’s technological role in Dito Telecommunity after initially insisting it was a mere investor in the consortium

NOT YET FINAL. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he may reject the Armed Forces of the Philippines' "co-location" deal with Dito Telecommunity "if necessary." Photo of the ceremonial signing of the deal at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

WATCH: PH Navy debuts new amphibious vehicles, attack vessels

Sep 24, 2019 - 8:59 AM

The Navy's brand new amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) and multipurpose attack craft (MPAC) boosts its capability to defend the Philippines' maritime domain

ASSAULT VEHICLES. The Philippine Navy showcases its brand new amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) in a military exercise in Subic Bay, Olongapo City, on September 21, 2019. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

Habeas corpus filed at SC for release of youth activist held by army

Sep 23, 2019 - 3:45 PM

The military wants Alexandrea Pacalda to register herself as a communist rebel returnee

HABEAS CORPUS. A petition for habeas corpus is filed with the Supreme Court on September 23, 2019, to demand the release of youth activist Alexandrea Pacalda who is in the custody of the military. Photo from Karapatan

AFP to 'let wheels of justice turn' in death of PMA cadet

Sep 22, 2019 - 2:26 PM

AFP chief General Benjamin Madrigal says all those involved in the death of PMA Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio 'will be made accountable'

PMA CADET. The Philippine Military Academy and police are probing the death of 20-year-old Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio. Photo from the Facebook page of Dormitorio

Military drill showcases PH’s first amphibious assault vehicles

Sep 21, 2019 - 7:18 PM

The capability to launch an attack from the sea straight into land is basic and essential for militaries of coastal states, and the Philippines is now catching up with the acquisition of brand new amphibious assault vehicles

AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) debuted 4 of its 8 brand new amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) during its DAGIT-PA joint drills in Subic Bay, Olongapo City, on September 21. Photo by Rox Cezar, AFP Public Affairs Office

Central Visayas commander Noel Clement is new armed forces chief

Sep 20, 2019 - 7:38 AM

(3rd UPDATE) President Duterte picks the general who led an intense counter-insurgency campaign in Negros and nearby provinces in the last 10 months. He will retire in 4 months.

NEW MILITARY CHIEF. Lieutenant General Noel Clement has been appointed Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Photo: Clement inspects the ranks of the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division on July 20, 2017. Photo from the Philippine Army 10th Infantry Division

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

AFP to probe Murad’s claim that military is ‘main source’ of Mindanao loose firearms

Sep 18, 2019 - 5:07 PM

The interim chief minister of the new Bangsamoro autonomous region earlier said that many loose firearms in Mindanao bear the markings of the Department of National Defense

LOOSE FIREARMS. Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim, BARMM interim Chief Minister and MILF Chairman, said the military is the 'main source' of illegal firearms in Mindanao. In this photo, Presidential Peace Process Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr inspects guns submitted by the MILF for decommissioning in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat on September 7, 2019. Photo by Rappler

AFP chief downplays Dito Telecommunity's Chinese connection

Sep 17, 2019 - 11:58 PM

'You are dealing with a Chinese company, not the Chinese government,' General Benjamin Madrigal Jr says of the Chinese government-owned China Telecom

NO WORRIES? Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr downplays Chinese espionage worries over the military's co-location deal with Dito Telecommunity. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Lorenzana unaware of AFP-Mislatel deal, vows probe – Panelo

Sep 16, 2019 - 12:48 PM

The Philippine government can still pull out of the deal if officials identify security risks in the arrangement, says Malacañang

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on the sidelines of the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Command Conference at the Malacañan Palace on June 18, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

'Absurd': Why build China-backed telco towers in military camps?

Sep 13, 2019 - 8:45 AM

A senator and a security expert say the deal exposes the Philippine military to Chinese spying at a time when other countries are shunning Chinese technology companies

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

PH Navy to get submarines, might lease HQ

Aug 29, 2019 - 12:11 AM

Racing to keep up with other countries' naval capabilities, the Philippines plans to acquire new warships and submarines, but it might lease its naval headquarters to help fund the asset-buying spree

NAVY CHIEF. Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad speaks to reporters at Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila on August 28, 2019. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

LIST: These celebrities are also reservists in the AFP

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:00 PM

The AFP reserve force is now star-studded

RESERVISTS. Matteo Guidicelli, Dingdong Dantes, and Vilma Santos are among the celebrities who are part of the AFP reserves. Rappler file photos

Chinese Coast Guard ship spotted near Ayungin Shoal

Aug 20, 2019 - 8:48 PM

The military also reports that Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels were sighted around Panata Island in the West Philippine Sea

BRP SIERRA MADRE. This aerial photo taken from a military aircraft shows the Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) with Philippine soldiers onboard to secure the perimeter in the Spratly Islands, on May 11, 2015. File photo by Ritchie Tongo/AFP

Police, AFP presence in campuses needed to prevent U.S.-like school shootings – Galvez

Aug 20, 2019 - 6:45 PM

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr points to the 'international' spread of school shootings, saying this is enough to reconsider the 1989 deal banning police and military from UP campuses

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomes newly-appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr., as a new member of his cabinet prior to the 33rd Cabinet Meeting held at the Malacañan Palace on January 7, 2019. ROLANDO MAILO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Youth activist to military: Don’t use me to railroad your agenda

Aug 14, 2019 - 5:20 PM

Alicia Lucena denies she was kidnapped by Anakbayan and slams the military for using her 'family issues' to revive the Anti-Subversion Law

NOT KIDNAPPED. Anakbayan youth member Alicia Lucena faces the media together with members of the progressive Makabayan bloc. Photo from Makabayan bloc

Duterte to 'fill up' Negros Island with military troops

Aug 06, 2019 - 6:26 PM

'I will never declare martial law, except in Mindanao because it is really needed there, because of rebellion,' says President Rodrigo Duterte, as he ruled out a martial law declaration in Negros Island

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 40th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on August 5, 2019. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO