07 June 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the arrest of the Maute patriarch at the Davao checkpoint
The arrest of Cayamora Maute, the father of the Maute brothers Omar and Abdullah, at a military checkpoint is a welcome development to break the cycle of lawlessness in some areas in Mindanao.

The apprehension of the Maute patriarch is a significant step to prevent and suppress future terrorist acts, and we thank Task Force Davao for its quick response.
Let us therefore continue our vigilance and never lose sight of our common objective of bringing peace and development in the entire country.

AFP asks netizens to help fight propaganda sowing religious hatred
The military on Wednesday, June 7, appealed to the users of social media to refrain from sharing videos that could fan religious hatred as government forces continue to battle extremists in Marawi City.

“May I also appeal to our social media users and our netizens. There are videos circulating around regarding certain — the armed elements destroying a church,” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said during the Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang.

“We have requested that this be pulled out because it may fan hatred, it may fan hate and it is intended by these militants to induce other Christian elements to fight against these armed elements or to sow hatred among Christians and Muslims,” he added.

Padilla asked the public not to be swayed by the plan of the terror groups to inflame religious hatred that could eventually result to sectarian division.

“This is not a religious war, this is a terror attack on the city of Marawi and we must be clear about it,” Padilla said.

With regard to the more than P52 million recovered in Marawi City, Padilla said an investigation is underway to determine the owner of the money through the help of the banking sector and government regulators.

The military official also responded to pleas from the people in Marawi to halt the ongoing air strikes, noting that aerial bombardment is necessary to counter the stiff resistance of armed groups still occupying a segment of the city.

“We feel the pain, we feel the hurt of every member or every citizen or every resident of Marawi,” Padilla said.

“But let us remember that we did not start this from happening. It was the armed group, the Maute Daesh ISIS, it’s armed group that entered your city to wreak havoc on it,” he said.

Padilla however assured that the AFP is working on liberating Marawi from terrorists.

“The Armed Forces is determined to continue on with its current operations so that we can take care of the armed elements that continue to remain in the city and hopefully liberate Marawi at the soonest time possible,” Padilla said.

Also during the same press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the total number of civilians rescued as of 6 p.m. Tuesday was 1,545. The military also neutralized 134 enemies and recovered 115 firearms.

A total of P45,316,760 worth of augmentation assistance, food and non-food items have been provided by the DSWD to its Response Centers and Field Offices responding to the conflict, Abella said.

There are 46,096 families or 227,808 persons affected by the armed conflict in Marawi.

In the same briefing, Adviser for Agripreneurship from the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Ana Margarita Hontiveros – Malvar said the private sector has stepped in to help the government in the ongoing relief operations, with the country’s top companies and organizations uniting to extend assistance.

The private sector-led effort is called Kapatid for Marawi, and it is one of the largest aggrupation of private sector organizations involved in augmenting government efforts to reach out to displaced families from Marawi City.###PND

President Duterte reminds troops not to waver in commitment vs terror
TACURONG CITY, SULTAN KUDARAT — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, June 7, called on the men and women of the Armed Forces to never waver in their commitment to protect the Republic from all threats such as terrorism.

In his visit to the 1st Mechanized Infantry (Maaasahan) Brigade, Mechanized Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Camp Leono, Barangay Kalandagan, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, President Duterte reminded the soldiers of their sworn duty to protect the Filipino people and the Republic.

He also said operations in Marawi City will be wrapping up in the next few days.

“As we retake the beautiful city of Marawi from the clutches of the enemy, I call upon our troops to remain steadfast in performing their sworn duty to protect our people,” Duterte said.

“I ask you to never waver in your commitment to defend the Republic from all threats especially of terrorism, criminality, and insurgency,” he added.

The President also commended the Armed Forces for their contributions to fight terror and bring back peace to Marawi City.

“The experience of the 1st Mechanized Brigade in facing various threats, groups in Mindanao and Sultan Kudarat will greatly contribute to our efforts of completely crush the rebels hiding throughout the city,” he said.

“As our forces valiantly pursue the mission of quelling rebellion in Marawi City, let me assure our soldiers that the Filipino people is completely behind you in this fight to restore order and maintain peace in Mindanao,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Duterte reiterated his promise to raise P50 billion to take care of the education of the soldiers’ children.

He said he will set up an independent foundation for the other benefits of the soldiers.

“I promise you, I will set up a foundation independently of the other benefits na nakuha niyo,” he said, highlighting that it will only be allocated for the children’s education.

President Duterte pointed out that the P30 billion worth of educational assistance will be raised in the next few years while the other P20 billion education fund has already been established.

“That P50 billion we can take care of the education of all your children,” President Duterte said.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said that he is a President for peace and that he is “not a wartime President.”

“I would have wanted really peace for my country,” President Duterte said.

“I’m willing to talk to Nur Misuari of the MNLF, Murad, ang NPA, just give me the document na signed by the Norway – Norwegian Government also because they offered the good offices for us to talk to them, so ibigay mo ‘yung dokumento at mag-usap tayo,” he added. ### PND