armed forces of the Philippines - updates

Rappler's latest stories on armed forces of the Philippines


LOOK: Military receives quarantine facility, medical equipment

Apr 04, 2020 - 8:30 AM

The military are among the front liners battling the pandemic, and the AFP Medical Corps will be deployed to national quarantine centers to tend to PUMs, PUIs, and confirmed patients with mild symptoms

WOOD AND PLASTIC. This emergency quarantine facility, made from wood and plastic with 17 beds, is set up at Naval Station Jose Francisco in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on April 1, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Navy chief tests negative for virus; Army, Air Force chiefs in quarantine

Apr 01, 2020 - 1:20 PM

They all came in contact with military chief General Felimon Santos Jr, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 27

NAVY CHIEF. Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

Lorenzana on self-quarantine after contact with virus-positive military chief

Mar 27, 2020 - 1:17 PM

(UPDATED) The defense chief came in close contact twice with military chief General Felimon Santos Jr, who has tested positive for the coronavirus

DELFIN LORENZANA. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the Senate hearing on the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States on February 6, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Military chief Santos tests positive for coronavirus

Mar 27, 2020 - 12:14 PM

(UPDATED) AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr calls on all who had close contact with him since March 13 to go on self-quarantine, and those who met him from March 9 to 12, to take precautions and seek medical advice

MILITARY CHIEF. AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr faces the Senate media on February 12, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lorenzana seeks full military, police support in enforcing gov’t plan vs coronavirus

Mar 26, 2020 - 6:28 PM

The defense chief will be on top of implementing the government's policies in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic

SECURITY SECRETARIES. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año (C), and Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez (R), receive aid donations from China at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on March 21, 2020. Malacañang Photo

Kidnapped doctor rescued from Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Mar 25, 2020 - 3:15 PM

Army troops rescue Daniel Moreno, who was abducted in Jolo, Sulu, on February 4

JUNGLE TROOPS. Military soldiers in Basilan. Rappler file photo

Senior military officer tests positive for virus; AFP chief on home quarantine

Mar 24, 2020 - 8:33 PM

Military chief General Felimon Santos Jr says he came into contact with the patient, but they practiced physical distancing at the event

MILITARY. Soldiers of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Sur in 2015. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

PH Army marks 123rd anniversary on frontlines vs coronavirus

Mar 23, 2020 - 9:00 PM

The Philippine Army receives two ambulances from private groups as it supports frontliners during the coronavirus lockdown

PROTECTIVE GEAR. Soldiers of the Philippine Army's CBRN unit wearing their personal protective equipment. Photo from the Philippine Army

Military proposes island quarantine for Filipinos stranded in vessels from Sabah

Mar 20, 2020 - 6:32 PM

More than 100 passengers remain on two vessels after they were turned away by some Mindanao ports for fear of the novel coronavirus

UNINHABITED. Sibakil Island in Lantawan, Basilan. Photo from AFP Westmincom

Military deploys trucks for stranded workers amid coronavirus lockdown

Mar 18, 2020 - 12:32 AM

The military plans to make this a regular service during the Luzon-wide 'enhanced community quarantine'

MILITARY TRUCKS. Hundreds of soldiers from the Philippine Marine Corps and the Philippine Army arrive at Villamor airbase in Pasay City, after fighting in Marawi City, on October 21, 2017. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

[OPINION] Ceasefire in the time of coronavirus

Mar 17, 2020 - 6:00 PM

'US imperialism, Chinese imperialism, the Duterte administration, and the CPP-NPA-NDFP can become tactical allies, even if strange bedfellows, against the coronavirus'

WATCH: Military demonstrates vehicle inspections for Metro Manila lockdown

Mar 14, 2020 - 9:03 PM

The procedure includes protocols for apprehending people who might forcibly enter or exit the metropolis

Screencap from AFP JTF-NCR

Alleged NPA leader, 2 others killed in arrest raid

Mar 13, 2020 - 9:35 PM

The military says the loss of Julius Soriano Giron will 'rattle' the communist rebels' 'dwindling forces'

Military has no say on lockdown rules, will only help police enforce them – Lorenzana

Mar 13, 2020 - 4:19 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has no police powers, says the defense chief

THE MILITARY. Soldiers from the Philippine Marine Corps and the Philippine Army at Villamor airbase in Pasay City on October 21, 2017. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

CA confirms army reservist Colonel Sara Duterte

Mar 11, 2020 - 4:56 PM

The Commission on Appointments also confirms 21 senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines led by Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo

CONFIRMED. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and senior AFP officials post for a photo at the Senate session hall. Photo by Aika Rey/Rappler

U.S. admiral on VFA repeal: A little disappointing but relationship not lost

Mar 07, 2020 - 9:08 AM

US Pacific Fleet Commander John Aquilino is leading a port call of the aircraft carrier strike group Theodore Roosevelt in Vietnam, which uncharacteristically skipped the Philippines in its Indo-Pacific voyage

AIRCRAFT CARRIER. The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Manila Bay on April 11, 2018. File photo by Rappler

4 soldiers killed in Maguindanao clashes with pro-ISIS militants

Mar 06, 2020 - 11:15 PM

Government troops recover the bodies of 5 militants, and are verifying reports of 9 other casualties from the terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah Torayfie Group

‘Hard sell?’ Military boasts rosy poll results as it faces criticism over new anti-terror bill

Mar 05, 2020 - 7:58 AM

An SWS poll shows high public satisfaction with the AFP, just as Congress decides on a law that gives the military broader powers in pursuing terror suspects

THE MARINES. Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Marine Corps. File photo by Darren Langit

Survey shows big majority of Filipinos satisfied with military

Mar 04, 2020 - 8:25 PM

Majority of Filipinos also trust in the AFP's capability to defeat security threats, but less so when it comes to West Philippine Sea intruders, says an SWS survey

ARMED FORCES. Hundreds of soldiers from the Philippine Marine Corps and the Philippine Army arrive at Villamor airbase in Pasay City after battling terrorists in Marawi City on October 21, 2017. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Military denies soldiers helped syndicates smuggle cash into PH

Mar 04, 2020 - 1:30 PM

It could have been retired servicemen now working for private security companies whom the Bureau of Customs spotted escorting syndicates' couriers at the airport, says AFP spokesperson Edgard Arevalo

AREVALO. Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

3 pro-ISIS militants killed in Maguindanao clashes – military

Mar 04, 2020 - 12:11 AM

Separatist terror groups pose a challenge to the newly established regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which marks its first anniversary this month

VIOLENCE LINGERS. Firearms and ammunition recovered from fleeing members of an ISIS-linked group in Maguindanao. Photo from the AFP Western Mindanao Command

[ANALYSIS] Recalibrate the Philippine Navy’s compass before it even sets sail

Mar 03, 2020 - 4:53 PM

'The Philippine Navy remains to have underlying institutional issues that continually challenge and disrupt the various programs of whoever is at the helm'

At least 4 killed in clashes with suspected NPA members in Bohol, Negros

Mar 02, 2020 - 7:03 PM

At least 3 suspected NPA members and 1 soldier are killed in separate clashes in Bohol and Negros Oriental from February 28 to February 29

BOHOL CLASHES. Members of the 47th Infantry Battalion in Bohol conduct operations in Bilar town. Photof courtesy of 47-IB

Over 100 Chinese vessels seen near Pag-asa Island in West PH Sea – AFP

Mar 02, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Although appearing to be fishing boats, these vessels could be part of a paramilitary force of the Chinese government

PAG-ASA ISLAND. Internationally known as Thitu Island, Pag-asa is the Philippines' largest and only civilian-inhabited island in the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea. File photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Can PH defend itself without U.S. help? We can, we will, we should – AFP

Feb 27, 2020 - 9:34 PM

The die is cast, says the military

TREATY ALLIES. Filipino and American soldiers during the annual Balikatan joint military exercises. Rappler file photo

Duterte to offer 'millions' as prize in next military drill contest

Feb 25, 2020 - 11:44 PM

The President reiterates an order for daily military drills in public, which he says will give people a sense of security and pride

MILITARY DRILLS. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes the participants of the 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on December 20, 2019. Malacañang photo

'Full-blooded Scout Ranger' Jesus Durante is new PSG commander

Feb 24, 2020 - 7:00 PM

The Davao City-born Army colonel is the erstwhile chief of the Presidential Security Group's Presidential Escorts Battalion, and has master's degrees in defense analysis and development security

CLOSE-IN SECURITY. President Rodrigo Duterte leads the inspection of the troops during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command Ceremony at the PSG Compound in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 30, 2018. Malacanññang Photo

2 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Sulu clash with military

Feb 24, 2020 - 10:09 AM

Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Taullah Abdurasa, also known as Amah Ollah, and a certain Baby Ollah are killed in the clash

ARMY SOLDIERS. Philippine Army troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion at their headquarters in Placer, Surigao del Norte on August 2, 2016. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

'Fortunately,' there won’t be pushback from military over VFA – Trillanes

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:10 PM

The former Navy sailor who led two mutinies says the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a professional institution, and will weather the President’s order to repeal the pact with its biggest military ally

FIREBRAND. Former Navy officer and senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Russia denies envoy’s meeting with PH military chief related to VFA repeal

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:07 PM

Ties between the Philippines and Russia are independent of any third party, says Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev

COURTESY CALL. Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev meets with AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr at Camp Aguinaldo on February 17, 2020. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Tolentino 'advises' AFP to ask for U.S. equipment when VFA ends

Feb 12, 2020 - 5:41 PM

'Baka naman makahingi tayo ng p'wede nating gamitin,' says Senator Francis Tolentino as 'advice' to new AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr

New AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr: PH can 'move on without VFA'

Feb 12, 2020 - 3:19 PM

(UPDATED) New military chief Felimon Santos Jr says the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement will not be a loss to the Philippines

VFA. Newly confirmed AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos says the Philippines can live without the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United State. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Military members disagree with VFA termination – senior officers

Feb 11, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Scrapping the key military pact with the US is disadvantageous to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, say two senior military officers who spoke on condition of anonymity

END OF AN ERA? A Filipino marine and his American counterpart watch a US Osprey fly by during a joint military exercise in Ternate, Cavite, in October 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

What will happen to PH military if the VFA is terminated?

Feb 11, 2020 - 4:04 PM

Can joint military exercises with American troops continue without the Visiting Forces Agreement? At the very least, mounting them would become a lot more difficult.

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine and US military troops during a ceremony to open their yearly Balikatan joint exercises. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

Doctor abducted in Jolo, Sulu – military

Feb 05, 2020 - 12:19 AM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command says pursuit operations are underway to rescue the victim

New Navy chief wants 'modern systems, mindsets' as new assets replace ailing ships

Feb 03, 2020 - 10:49 PM

Modernizing sailors' and marines' mindsets may be a bigger challenge than acquiring new ships and weapons, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo says as he assumes command of the Philippine Navy

MODERN NAVY. Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command, called for a thorough modernization of the service during the change-of-command ceremony in Manila on February 3, 2020. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

Philippine Navy mints first female commodore

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:06 PM

Commodore Luzviminda Camacho is also the first woman to command a Navy ship, and the first female commander of Philippine peacekeepers deployed with the United Nations

LADY COMMODORE. Luzviminda Camacho makes history as the first female commodore of the Philippine Navy. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Negros killings: Senate panels recommend probe of cops, army, vigilante group

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:30 AM

‘No one was spared — men, women, and children suffered at the hands of lawless armed men,’ says the report

STOP THE KILLINGS. A human chain and candlelight protest is staged by rights groups in Quezon City to condemn the violence in Negros province. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

New Eastern Mindanao military commander vows strong push vs communist rebels

Jan 26, 2020 - 2:21 PM

'We will break them hard,' Major General Jose Faustino says of his plans in battling communist rebels in the region

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Major General Jose Faustino (left) and Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr (center) on January 25, 2020. Photo from OPAPP

Antonio Parlade Jr is new Southern Luzon military commander

Jan 17, 2020 - 5:33 PM

The Army general is a known anti-communist hardliner

NEW SOLCOM COMMANDER. Major General Antonio Parlade Jr is the new commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command. He is known for his hardline stance against communist rebels. Photo from Parlade's Twitter page

Military deploys trucks, disaster teams to assist Southern Tagalog residents

Jan 12, 2020 - 11:32 PM

All military units in Luzon are on red alert as residents brace for the possible 'hazardous eruption' of Taal Volcano in Batangas

RED ALERT. Situation in Talisay, Batangas where residents take shelter in the municipal hall late Sunday, January 12, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

'Domestic spat' behind Camp Aguinaldo grenade blast – AFP

Jan 12, 2020 - 3:03 PM

The soldier's wife and their 11-year-old son sustain shrapnel wounds from the blast

GRENADE BLAST. A grenade blast reportedly due to a domestic altercation happens inside the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Rappler file photo

No more bodyguards from military: DND issues implementing rules of Duterte order

Jan 10, 2020 - 6:05 PM

Members of the Armed Forces can no longer be assigned to the security detail of civilian officials, except the President, the Vice President, and their immediate families

WITH THE MILITARY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with military officers and other government officials. File photo from Albert Alacain/Presidential Photo

LOOK: 'A Soldier's Heart' cast pays courtesy call to Army chief

Jan 10, 2020 - 3:10 PM

Gerald Anderson, Sue Ramirez, Elmo Magalona, Nash Aguas, and Yves Flores visit Fort Bonifacio

COURTESY CALL. The cast of 'A Soldier's Heart' visit Fort Bonifacio to meet army officials, including Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay. Photo from the Philippine Army

Military to send ships, planes to evacuate Filipinos from Iraq 'ASAP'

Jan 08, 2020 - 3:40 PM

Army and Marine troops will be deployed to secure and assist Filipinos to be repatriated from Iraq, says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Senator Bong Go and military and police officers during the closing ceremony of the National Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Summit and the 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on December 20, 2019. Malacañang photo

Military to resume offensives vs NPA as holiday ceasefire lapses

Jan 07, 2020 - 7:11 PM

The military, the defense chief, and the national security adviser all caution against reviving peace talks with communist rebels, saying it’s a ruse to buy guerrillas time to regroup

OFFENSIVES RESUME. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it would resume operations against the communist New People's Army after a holiday ceasefire lapses on January 8, 2020. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Military ‘intensifies’ intel on terror groups amid Iran-U.S. crisis

Jan 06, 2020 - 2:30 PM

The military says it is looking out for the security of US and Iranian citizens in the Philippines

MONITORING. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it has intensified intelligence gathering on groups that might launch sympathy attacks in the wake of the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

AFP ‘ready to deploy anytime’ to evacuate Filipinos in Middle East

Jan 06, 2020 - 12:55 PM

In case violence escalates in the region, the Philippine military says it will deploy aircraft and vessels to take Filipinos out of Iran and Iraq

EMERGENCY MEETING. President Rodrigo Duterte summoned security officials on Sunday, January 5, to discuss the security situation in the Middle East. Photo from Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo

Duterte to AFP: Be ready to evacuate Filipinos if Middle East tensions rise

Jan 05, 2020 - 8:50 PM

There are 1,600 and 6,000 Filipinos in Iran and Iraq, respectively

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte convenes with officials from the security sector at the Malacañan Palace on January 5, 2020. During the meeting, the President discussed security matters regarding the country's contingency measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos based in the Middle East amid the potential tension between the United States and Iran. He also ordered concerned agencies to prepare for any eventualities and possible impact on the country. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

No mention of West Philippine Sea in new military chief’s speech

Jan 04, 2020 - 10:17 PM

Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr praises President Duterte’s ‘localized peace talks’ with communist guerrilla fronts, and vows to focus military efforts on stamping out the rebellion

NEW AFP CHIEF. Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr was installed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on January 4, 2020. Screengrab from RTVM