Mindanao Hour Press Briefing by Director Omar Alexander Romero Presidential Communications Office with Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr.
|Mindanao Hour Press Briefing by Director Omar Alexander Romero Presidential Communications Office with Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr.|
|Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan|
|Palace, 05 July 2017|
DIR. ROMERO: Good morning. Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps. We’d like to give you a few updates on Marawi.
From the Joint Task Force Marawi, as of Day 44 on the rebellion, specifically as of 6 p.m on 4th July 2017:
Civilians killed by terrorists, we are at 39;
Civilians rescued by government troops, local government units, and civil service organizations, we have an increase of five, so we are now at 1,722;
Terrorists killed, as of the latest update, we have an increase of six, we are now at 343;
Recovered high-powered firearms from the terrorists, we have 10 more, now at 420; and
Government casualties, killed-in-action, it’s the same at 85.
A few significant developments:
First would be that the government troops [next slide please]… Government troops have recovered Dansalan College, which we know is a previous enemy stronghold.
And second, the Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomes and thanks the Supreme Court for its favorable ruling on the legality of martial law.
We now move on to the status of cash donations. This is as of 2:53 p.m. of July 3, 2017.
For the fund for the Marawi AFP casualties, our latest balance is 2,911,540.98. As for the fund being raised for the IDPs, the current balance is now 717,530.71.
We encourage the media to release the contact information of the — contact persons for the cash donations for the AFP. [Can we have it?]There you go.
So should we have additional donations, please contact the persons at the numbers posted on the screen.
Okay, that’s the latest from the AFP. We will turn you over to General Resty Padilla for additional information.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Thank you very much, Director Omar. Before I proceed, I’d just like to highlight that we are now on Day 44 since the start of the events in Marawi.
And for the significant events that have been mentioned, the Chief of Staff reiterates the value of having been able to get Dansalan College the last few days by our troops and he extends his congratulations to the troops of JTF Marawi and all our other forces who have successfully been able to get this very strategic area.
Just to elaborate a little bit, Dansalan College sits on an elevated area, a hill, and has a good vantage point of the whole areas around it.
Other than that, the college has a lot of good constructed buildings, well-constructed buildings that are very defensible, gawa po ng hollow blocks at bato.
At dahil nasa hill na siya tapos may mga matataas pang building, mas maganda ang vantage view niya sa lahat ng anggulo sa may lugar na kinaroroonan niya.
Kaya ito ay naging isang maselang operasyon dahil lahat ng pagpasok dito, kitang-kita sa lugar ng Dansalan. Kanya’t itong mga nakaraang araw nung nakuha na ‘to, we cleared the buildings as well and — of any kind of explosives or any traps that may have been left by the enemy.
There were many cadavers also that were recovered there of enemies who were trying to defend it as well as a cache of arms.
The discovery also yesterday of two foreign looking — there were two foreign looking cadavers that were recovered also. Initially, they said it was the remain or this could be the remains of a foreign fighter and allegedly a Singaporean but we don’t have yet enough proof to validate this information and we are working to do that along with the police.
But this goes to show that indeed, there are foreign fighters who are in the area fighting alongside the group — the terrorist group inside.
The challenges for the troops also remain continuously in their fight to retake many of the buildings in the remaining four barangays and that is why our troops continually are engaged the whole day as they make their way inside the interior areas of these barangays.
We will continue to focus on this kind of operation as we enter into the inner areas of these barangays that are held by the enemy. Our other forces alongside the police who are helping clear other buildings will continue with their tedious task of ensuring that all the buildings that they pass through will be cleared properly of any kind of enemy presence as well as the presence of any kind of traps or explosives.
So it is with a positive note that we relay to you all this news daily despite the loss of some more men and also the reported loss of other civilians that have been subjected for validation and could not be part of the statistics but also similarly a sad news for all of us.
But be that as it may, the progress is very positive and supported further by the news that the Supreme Court has declared the legality of martial law, to which the Chief of Staff has passed on and gave a statement yesterday.
And if you will allow, I would like to read again the statement of the Chief of Staff in regard to the declaration of martial law and its legality made by the Supreme Court. So, and may I quote. So this was the Chief of Staff’s statement:
“The Armed Forces is very glad and expresses its appreciation to the Supreme Court for the favorable ruling which is supportive of martial law in Mindanao.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines takes this as a vote of confidence that we are doing what is right and what is necessary for the restoration of the rule of law, peace and order in the whole island.
We remain committed to our mandate to protect our people and the integrity and sovereignty of our country.
The mission is not yet done but we can assure our citizens that we are focused and determined to carry on the fight until peace and order in Mindanao is fully restored and the liberation of Marawi is achieved at the soonest time possible.”
So that forms part of the updates I have for you today as well as the statement of the Chief of Staff immediately following the ruling regarding the legality of martial law by the Supreme Court.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Sir, good morning. Sir, this morning may report ‘yung Western Mindanao Command that two hostages of the Abu Sayyaf sa Sulu, ito ‘yung Vietnamese, eh napugutan ng ulo. Hindi ba pagpapalakas ng pwersa ito, pagpapakita, because ‘yung Maute eh kaalyado nila ‘yung Abu Sayyaf, sir?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Benjie, tama ‘yung sabi mo na ito ay pagpapakita ng lakas pero hindi naman talaga sila ganon na kalakas. Propaganda in short ‘no.
And we are waiting for the statement of Western Mindanao Command and I think they already did. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy yet.
But they have confirmed this discovery of two cadavers, seemingly those of two kidnapped victims, nationality reportedly Vietnamese. So hangga’t hindi po natin nababasa at nakukuha ‘yung report nila, hindi ko lang po makumpirma categorically.
But just the same, the pressure that the ASG is experiencing, particularly the group of Furiji Indama in the island of Basilan from the forces that we have there, led by Colonel Juvymax Uy, is a positive indication that their forces are almost spent, kaya sila nagka ganito. Kasi wala na silang makuha na pakinabang sa mga biktima na kanilang na-abduct, ‘yung mga hostages na hawak nila.
Dahil matagal na po nilang hawak ito at walang nakukuhang maski anumang klaseng pagbabayad. Kasi nga hinihikayat natin lahat po ng mga kumpanya at mga pamilya nito na talagang makipag-ugnayan po sa ating mga pulis na kabilang sa anti-task— kidnap task force ‘no.
And tayo naman, ginagawa lang natin ang security operation na dapat gawin upang ma-degrade ‘yung kapasidad nila na gawin itong mga ginagawa nila.
And true enough, for the many months that we have not heard of any abductions in the seas around Zamboanga, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi area, this is an indication that their capacity to perform or do these criminal activities has been degraded tremendously. And we would like to keep it that.
So the objective for the Armed Forces in the area remains two-fold after we have arrested the series of abductions. Ano po itong dalawang objective na ‘yun: Ipagpatuloy lang po ‘yung ating ginagawang focused military operation para tuluy-tuloy na ma-degrade at mabawasan ‘yung bilang ng mga armadong grupo diyan sa loob ng Basilan, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi at mga karatig lugar. At pangalawa, ipagpatuloy ‘yung pakikipag-ugnayan natin sa local government at tsaka sa mga komunidad na mahikayat sila na kumampi sa gobyerno at hindi magpalinlang sa mga masasamang-loob na ito.
Kasi ang ginagawa po ng mga grupong ito, mentras na nakakakuha ng mga ransom, ibinabahagi nila ito sa komunidad, parang Robin Hood.
So the loyalty of the populace and the residents in the area is always bought because of this. And now that they have seen that this is not sustainable and this is not the right thing to do, we have been getting a lot of information regarding whereabouts of armed men.
That is why the accomplishments of Western Mindanao Command, specifically our units in Basilan, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi have been one after the other.
Accomplishments that are also indicative of the change of mindset of our residents in the area coupled with the fact that the number of increasing members of ASG surrendering is also a proof that our relationship with the community is bearing fruit.
Kasi sila mismo ang naghihikayat sa mga miyembro ng ASG na sumuko na at i-surrender ang kanilang mga armas.
So ‘yun po ‘yung aming patibay that the programs we are following here and the actions that we are following here are in the right direction.
Mr. Liwanag: Okay. Because of the signature of the Abu Sayyaf, relating it to the Marawi incident, based on your report, there are already 39 civilian killed. Sir, meron bang ano rito napugutan ng ulo because ito ‘yung nakita mismo, ‘yun po kasi ‘yung signature ng Abu Sayyaf and Maute?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yung sa mga nakuhang labi kamakailang recover sa area, previously reported na 17. Tapos SOCO rectified the report and mentioned it is 12.
Yes, there were still some of those remains that had severed heads. So it means to say they were beheaded.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much, sir.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Thank you.
Deo de Guzman (RMN): Magandang umaga po, General Padilla. Sinabi niyo po kanina na 44 days na since nagsimula ‘yung Marawi siege and itatanong ko lang po kung magkano na po in operational expenses ang nagagastos, nagagasta ng pamahalaan sa Marawi siege?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Ipagpaumanhin niyo po pero ‘yung halaga po na ating nagastos na sa operasyon na ‘to ay hindi ko po batid. At I think we have offices already working on this, but right now, we don’t have the figures.
We have been focused in the fighting, we have been focused on forwarding to the — our combat elements in the field whatever they needed, and we have not had any problems with that.
So as to the cost, let’s wait. Perhaps we will have time to do this and collate all the data that you need regarding cost at the end of this engagement — of these hostilities.
Mr. De Guzman: Yes, sir. And another question, ano po ang gagawin ng pamahalaan para mahuli ‘yung mga nasa arrest order? Dahil po sinabi ni Secretary Lorenzana during his last briefing here, I think it was 66 ‘yung mga nahuli out of 400. So malapit na pong matapos ‘yung duration ng martial law in 60 days. I think it’s on the 22nd of July. So ano po ang ginagawa ngayon ng AFP, ng pamahalaan para po kahit papaano, at least half of them ay mahuli?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: We are facing numerous fronts in the area of Mindanao. So hindi lang kasi iisa ang kalaban dito at hindi lang iisa ang operasyon.
So itong multiple fronts na ‘to, naka-disperse ang pwersa natin para matugunan lahat ‘yan. But we are doing our best to locate all these individuals that have been on — in the arrest orders.
And of the listed names, the correction I got is, of the 66, may mga napakawalan pa diyan na napatibayan na hindi naman sila talaga kaugnay sa rebellion. And most of them have already been charged in court.
There were also several arrests that were made recently. I think it’s in Zamboanga. Kaya nagpapatuloy itong paghahanap, ‘yung manhunt sa mga pangalan na nakalagay diyan sa arrest order.
Dahil matagal na ang panahon na nailabas itong arrest order na ito, madami ang — malamang na karamihan sa mga pangalan na ito ay nagtatago na. Kaya medyo nahihirapan tayong hanapin.
Mr. De Guzman: Sir, is there any possibility na they’re out of Mindanao?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: We cannot be sure, because all the piers, ports, and airports are also guarded by our forces and identities of personnel are strictly checked.
It could be. They could have taken other means, but we’re not saying all of them are out. So the manhunt is continuous. It does not involve the areas of Mindanao only, it is also all over the archipelago.
Mr. De Guzman: Sir, last question from my part. Meron po ba kayong nakikitang malaking senyales na matatapos na ‘yung giyera doon sa Marawi before the SONA of the President?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Again, hindi po kami naglalagay na ng deadline. Ang atin pong ginagawa ngayon ay naka-focus lang tayo sa objective natin sa Marawi na i-clear ang bawat lugar na kinaroroonan pa ng mga natitirang kalaban.
Bukod diyan, ‘yung mga gusali, kailangan din natin i-clear at tulungan ‘yung mga naipit na mga residente.
The combat situation or the environment is a little bit complex than other environments that we have. That is why the fight ongoing on the ground is going on very slowly.
So giving a deadline would not be fair again to the troops. But we are doing our best, as I’ve mentioned before and as well as the Chief of Staff himself and the Secretary, we are doing our best to finish this once and for all.
And with the way our progress is working — is going on, we are confident that a positive indication of the movement of our troops and the areas that we are occupying will move faster in the days to come.
Mr. De Guzman: Out of 100 percent, sir, nasa — pang-ilang porsiyento na tayo in getting Marawi back?’
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: I personally would not subscribe to percentages but in the number of barangays.
So out of the 96 barangays, based on the reports from Joint Task Force Marawi, there remains about four barangays that has presence of enemy remnants.
So when we say four barangays, it does not comprise the whole of the barangay – hindi ‘yung buong barangay – kundi ‘yung iilang portions lang dun kasi they are staying in specific buildings and other built-up structures, and are not in the entire barangay itself.
Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, good morning po. Kay General Padilla. Would you have been able to carry out the operations in Marawi without martial law?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Well, that question has been asked previously. And yes, we answered, yes, we could carry out the operation. But not in the manner that it was carried out with martial law.
The difference lies in the fact that it was more expeditious to have martial law because you would not line up in the courts to get a search warrant to search houses. You would not line up in the courts to get an arrest warrant to arrest people.
Since martial law was there, and the writ — or the privilege of the writ was suspended alongside the declaration, it expedited the process.
So right there and then, if you have suspicious persons that you may have seen as supportive of the rebellion, an arrest could be made.
But this martial law is again different from the previous martial law that many know kasi the courts have not been rendered ineffective, they still function.
So in three days time, na-doble ‘yung panahon sa normal na sitwasyon. Binigyan tayo ng tatlong araw, kailangan mai-prisinta sa court, kaya ‘yun ang ginagawa natin.
That’s why we deployed a number of lawyers from The Judge Advocate General’s office to assist alongside the deployment of other members of DOJ to assist in the process.
Mr. Morong: Once you think martial law expires on the 22nd, given what you said about how the martial law was able to help in your operations, do you think you will still need martial law after the 22nd of July?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: I would not like to cross the bridge until I get there. But we have set conditions that would specifically mention or act as the standards whether martial law should be extended or not.
So these conditions are the parameters that will be used to say whether martial law should be extended or not. And that assessment regarding whether those conditions have been met has not yet been made fully. It will be made in about a week and a half or two.
Mr. Morong: So wala pa, sir, kung ano ‘yung mga conditions na ‘yun?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Wala pa.
Mr. Morong: Do you think it will be hard for you to run after ‘yung mga nasa terror list after the 22nd, without martial law?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Well, it really depends ‘no. If the arrest order leads to the issuances of warrants of arrest for all these individuals as far as the list is concerned, then that will expedite it, with or without martial law.
As well as… But the issue of the search warrant will be another issue. Kasi maraming lugar na maaaring pinagpupugaran nila na ngayon malalaman natin after ma-lift ‘yung martial law, bago mo pasukin ‘yun, kailangan pumila ka uli sa korte para kumuha ng search warrant.
So not unless there’s a special declaration that says the writ — the suspension of the privilege of the writ will still continue. So in effect, what is happening is it’s allowing our law enforcement organizations as well as the Armed Forces to expedite the arrest of those listed members as well as suspicious characters and search the areas where they are without having to line up for a search warrant or an arrest order.
Mr. Morong: Just last on that point, you said kanina that the manhunt operation is nationwide, sir. Given the statement, do you think you need to expand martial law?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: I said the manhunt operation is nationwide because the list of the names is indicated in the orders.
So alam lahat ng mga presinto ‘yan. Alam lahat ng mga kampo ng militar. But their acts for which they are being arrested are in support of the rebellion.
So maaaring nagtatago sila sa ibang lugar kaya pwede silang arestuhin sa ibang lugar. But the criminal acts or the violations that they are being arrested for are the support to the rebellion or their participation in the rebellion in Mindanao.
Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Good morning, sir.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Hi, Ina.
Ms. Andolong: Sir, can you confirm na doon sa naging presentation ng AFP sa Supreme Court in defending the martial law declaration, isa doon sa binanggit na key tasks ng AFP is “to degrade armed capabilities of the NPA.” Does this mean that the martial law – categorically, sir, lang an answer — also targets the NPA? And if so, how does that work with the government still now willing to go back to the negotiation table?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: The “degrade the capability” is part and parcel of military operations, particularly if areas or barrios or mga kanayunan natin is under threat.
And based on the clarification issued by the Secretary himself, that was made part and parcel of the presentation because the AFP and our security forces ascertained that the NPA also issued an attack order, ‘di ba.
They issued a directive that said you should heighten or enhance the attack against the PNP and the Armed Forces. So that was just in answer to that. If there were no declarations, then that would not have been part of it.
Ms. Andolong: So as it is, the NPA is a target also of operations under martial law?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Yes, because of that directive of the NPA. It’s a tit-for-tat. So why would we not forewarn our men, like what the Secretary has mentioned, if we know that they are leaning forward to attack and destroy our forces?
Ms. Andolong: How would that affect then, sir… I understand second or third week of August, we are looking at going back to talking peace again with the CPP?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Having that does not necessarily mean that we’re stopping the peace talks. So actually, the NPA and the Armed Forces are in a talk-and-fight and fight-and-talk situation.
So but it would have been more desirable to have a silencing of the guns while the peace talks is ongoing. But the commitment to continue with the peace talks is there.
Government is sincere, it has shown it many times over, the Armed Forces has done the same. We are waiting for the — an act of sincerity on the part of the other party as well. But it does not necessarily mean na hininto na ‘yung peace talks.
So the President has made a declaration and an openness to have the formality of the peace talks resume once again. So that’s a good indication because we still have the capacity to revive what we are slowly losing if we keep on fighting.
Ms. Andolong: And, sir, doon sa same presentation na kapag raw — if you can confirm also, sir, that target din ang drug syndicates. As we know, it’s a deeply entrenched problem we faced for several years. Do you think 60 days is a realistic timeline to also combat the drug problem?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Well, it’s like this. It’s just doing economies of scale. Nandun ka rin naman, you’re conducting military operations and security operations, kung mahahagip mo na rin ‘yung masasamang loob diyan na involved sa drugs, bakit hindi mo pa gagawin?
So it’s just… ‘Yun ang logical approach kaya natin isinasama ‘yan. Kaya nakita niyo naman, pagpasok ng Marawi, ano po ang nakuha natin diyan? Bultu-bultong supply ng shabu.
At maaaring ito ay nagsusuporta sa rebellion or kung hindi man ito nagsusuporta sa rebellion, maaaring ito ay parte ng isang sindikato na involved sa illegal drugs.
Ms. Andolong: So in having… [Sorry, Ate Rocky ha] So in having that in the key tasks presented in the Supreme Court, it does not necessarily mean that you want to totally zero or eradicate the drug problem specifically? Unlike ‘yung parang magiging standard sa pag-eradicate nung terrorism?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Remember that even before the declaration of martial law, there was already a national effort to go after drug syndicates and degrade their capability.
So it only made sense that in the effort that we were doing to counter the rebellion, it went on to include the drive against drugs. So that you were doing a security operation, you would target all of this already in one swift stroke.
Ms. Andolong: And last, sir. Can you be – if you may – already give us specifics on the conditions na binabanggit ninyo kanina? ‘Yung magiging parameters to assess whether or not… ‘Yung magiging recommendation I mean for extending possibly the declaration.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: I do not want to lay those cards yet. Let’s give our operational guys the opportunity to do their homework first. Because that was very specific in some of the publications that I am not at liberty to discuss at the moment.
Maricel Halili (TV-5): Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, just a follow-up. I’d like to confirm kung meron daw na pinsan ‘yung Maute brothers na sinearch ‘yung bahay sa Cagayan de Oro? May we have details about this? I think a certain Idris?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Nakuha ko rin ‘yung impormasyon kanina at nanghingi ako ng report tungkol dito. Pero sa kasalukuyan, hindi ko pa nakukuha. So kung makuha ko ito bago matapos ito, sasagutin kita. Pero sa kasalukuyan, hindi.
But the effort to go after those involved in the rebellion is continuing. Kaya kung merong mga tao na ikinakanlong sa ibang lugar o napag-alaman na nanggaling sa isang lugar, pwedeng i-search ‘yan, without the benefit of a search warrant. At maaaring gawin ng pulis at maaaring gawin ng military.
Ms. Halili: Pero at least, sir, can you give us an idea kung ano ‘yung naging participation niya doon sa siege in Marawi, if there’s any?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Hindi ko nga rin pa nakuha ‘yung report kaya hindi ko ma-discuss pa. So hintayin natin at baka hindi pa nila nagagawa.
China Central Television: My first question is to Padilla. So you just mentioned that yesterday you took back the college in Marawi, it’s a significant progress and you just mentioned that we don’t still have any deadline for liberating the city. But I would like to know, do we have any estimate date to end the crisis?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Well, we have not set any dates. But we have been very determined and we have been very focused to do what is necessary, to do it as quickly as possible.
So that is why our forces are always leaning forward. And if you have a correspondent… You have a reporter inside, you have a member of your team inside Marawi and everyday the firefight has been very strong and very fierce.
So that is an indication that we really wanna finish this engagement as quickly as possible. And we will not stop until we get to the last building that is occupied by the enemy.
China Central Television: My second question might be give to both of you because right now, rainy season is coming and the typhoon is coming. I’d like to know about the civilians who are from Marawi now staying in the evacuation center, how our government can ensure their safety?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Okay. The consolation of the island of Mindanao is that it’s not always being hit by typhoons.
Most of the typhoons, historically are… They land in the middle of the Philippines or the Visayas area, like what happened in Tacloban and in the north.
So we’re hoping that with the onset of the typhoon season, Mindanao would not be hit. But one of things that our Task Force Bangon Marawi is doing is to expedite the relocation of all the evacuees.
Yesterday, this was supposed to be something I would mention later on as part of our significant developments.
Yesterday, the Secretary of National Defense met the full council of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. What they met on is primarily because of the need to start the early recovery of Marawi.
So in the presentation and discussions yesterday, all agencies that would be involved in the recovery of Marawi, immediately after the end of hostilities, discussed how they can expedite certain recovery measures to pave the way for a full recovery activity as soon as the gun stopped firing.
So it was considered and it was agreed to that an early recovery phase would be conducted. And the early recovery phase involves helping those evacuees who are now in temporary shelters relocated to a resettlement area that would more or less provide better conditions for their stay.
So this is going to be started. And the other presscon we conducted last Monday, we got assurance from both the provincial and the local, as well as the national government that the preparation of the ground area for the selected resettlement area for our evacuees has already started.
So the area has been selected and the ground works will be starting this week.
So who are involved? Those involved are agencies who will be tasked to prepare the ground for the building of that resettlement area — temporary resettlement area.
Initially this would be a tent city, but government is… With due respect to the practices of our Muslim brothers and sisters, would like to provide better living conditions in these resettlement areas.
So we’re working on that.
Mr. De Guzman: Sir, balikan ko lang po ‘yung sa arrest order. Sir, sinabi niyo po nationwide nakabantay ‘yung mga pulis, ang government basically, and we know that rebellion is a continuing crime. Bibigyan ko lang po ng — para po malinaw lang. Tanong ko lang po kung kailangan pa po ba warrant of arrest para maaresto ang isang kabilang doon sa arrest order kapag siya ay wala sa Mindanao? Kasi po sa Mindanao lang walang — tinanggal ‘yung ano eh—?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yung writ.
Mr. De Guzman: ‘Yung writ of habeas corpus.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Pero siya’y kabilang sa arrest order eh. ‘Yung arrest order—
Mr. De Guzman: Provided na wala siya sa Mindanao, sir?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Kaya nga, ‘yung arrest order ay hindi naman nag-a-apply sa Mindanao lang. Kapag ikaw ay nasama sa arrest order, parang arrest warrant na ‘yan.
Kaya kung maski nasaang dako ka ng Pilipinas, pwede kang arestuhin ng sinumang awtoridad.
And in fact, and this is a call to the public, should you know of any individuals who may be supportive of the rebellion and wala po sa Mindanao, ipagbigay alam niyo po sa ating kapulisan at tsaka sa kasundaluhan na malapit sa inyo kasi pwede po silang arestuhin at pwede niyo rin silang arestuhin kung kinakailangan.
Mr. De Guzman: Citizen’s arrest sir, citizen’s arrest?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Yes, because they have — because they have arrest orders.
Mr. De Guzman: Katakot ‘yon ah.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: And we’re sure that those hiding are prima… Most of them are unarmed because they escaped already.
Mr. De Guzman: Sir, another—
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: But it’s better to involve the police, just to be sure.
Mr. De Guzman: Sir, tanong ko lang din, sinalakay na daw ‘yung bahay ni Fajad Salic sa Misamis Oriental. Was this… Was this the first question kanina?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Ito po ‘yung tanong kanina ni…
Mr. De Guzman: May nakuha daw kasing explosive and maraming mga armaments.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Ni Ms. Halili.
Mr. De Guzman: Okay na. Thank you.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Bilang ano lang ano, bilang ano, kasi yes, nakumpirma na ‘to kaninang umaga, 4 a.m., sa may Barangay Macasandig, Cagayan De Oro City.
Ang residence po ay sa pag-aari ng dalawang indibidwal, mag-asawa, I mean, sa ngalang, Irene and Monalisa Romato. At si Monalisa Romato, alias Monay — so ‘yun po ‘yung kanyang alias — replaced her aunt Farhana Romato Maute, the matriarch of the Maute terrorist group clan, after she was arrested in Lanao Del Sur.
So itong si Monalisa ang siyang kumatawan bilang matriarch na nung mga Maute. Kaya po siya natukoy dito sa lugar.
At bukod dito, si Farhana, ‘yung nanay, ay kabilang sa isang financial network ng mga Maute terrorist group na siyang sumusuporta dito sa nagiging rebelyon na ‘to.
At dahil naaresto si Farhana, ang pumalit na talagang nagtutuloy nung ginagawa ni Farhana ay itong si Monalisa.
So ‘yun ‘yung kasagutan sa katanungan mo at ang impormasyon ay galing po sa ating mga kasama sa may Cagayan De Oro at tsaka sa Iligan.
Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Sir, regarding doon sa financial network na nagpopondo sa Maute, what do we know so far about that group, sir, about that network?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: The investigation is continuously ongoing but it seems that the matriarch has a very good network connected to foreigners who may be supporting the Maute clan.
The specific of which, I do not have and is still the subject of further investigation so that we can completely have the whole picture.
So eventually, once this fighting ends in Marawi and the litigation in court occurs, this will all be part and parcel of the evidence that will be presented against them.
So, I will leave it at that so that we don’t preempt whatever cases are presented.
Ms. Gutierrez: So far, sir, have we made significant developments naman doon sa investigation doon sa pinanggalingan ng weapons ng Maute group, sir?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: ‘Yung mga nakukuha po na mga o mga nakukumpiska na patuloy diyan sa may lugar ng Marawi na mga weapons, at mga 420 na ito kanina, ‘di ba sa report natin?
Kayang-kaya niya ng armasan ang isang batalyon, marami-rami po ito. May mga armas po dito na nakuha nila noong mga naunang linggo ng bakbakan at na-recover na natin ngayon.
May mga armas din po rito karamihan, na ‘yung numero, ‘yung serial number ay tinanggal. So dineface (deface) nila so hindi na natin matukoy.
So it will involve a very thorough forensic investigation if we will still find out where they came from and I don’t think we have the time for that.
But most of the arms that have been found were arms that have already been in Mindanao for quite some time na armas na ginagamit ng iba’t-ibang armadong grupo diyan.
May iilan din na dating nawawala na nakuha sa mga detachments ng pulis at militar na inatake po ‘nong araw, so ‘yun ‘yung kabuuan.
And quite a number, particularly ‘yung mga sariling sikap o home-made na mga armas ay nakuha rin natin doon.
And these are part and parcel of arms that we believe were manufactured in a certain part of Mindanao that we have yet to identify.
Mr. Morong: Sir, is there an instruction from the President to finish the Marawi operations before SONA?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: There’s no specific instruction from the President. The President respects the judgment of our ground commanders.
In fact, he has given… Ibinigay na po ng mahal na Pangulo lahat ng pruweba sa ating mga ground commanders na gawin ang nararapat upang matapos ‘yung bakbakan diyan.
At hindi niya binigyan sila ng specific timeline. Kasi ang nangyayari po pagka naghahabol tayo, baka maging mas padaos-daos tayo, mas madaming buhay na mabubuwis.
Kaya ‘yun po ‘yung ating binabanggit simula’t sapul pa po noong araw na kailangan dapat maingat kasi maselan itong operasyon na ‘to.
Mr. Morong: Sir, since you mentioned that the SND met with the NDDRMC. Just a concern from the ground, will the private individuals sir, mga—?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Yes, they were part of the meeting.
Mr. Morong: Yeah. Will they be compensated, ‘yung mga bahay na nasira nila, mga napundar nilang negosyo, will they be compensated in the rehabilitation plan of the government?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: I do not have yet the specifics, but there are discussion that have begun among the financial institutions of government and the private sector that could lead to possible condonation of certain debts.
I’m not sure about that, but those are part of the discussions and there were announcements that will be made… There will be announcements that will be made as soon as many of these measures that have been discussed is finalized.
So kasama diyan ‘yung magiging anunsyo ng Department of Finance, ng Land Bank, ng SSS, GSIS.
By the way, nga pala, kahapon nagbigay ng pahiwatig ang SSS na kung meron man pong mga miyembero ng SSS na apektado po sa Marawi at ibang karatig lugar, they may visit the SSS offices nearest to them if they can because they are entitled to a certain assistance.
I’m not sure what this is, but it’s best to check with the SSS people.
And next week, once we get more information from Bangon Marawi, we will make that part and parcel of the reports that we will be doing here in the Mindanao Hour.
Mr. Liwanag: Sir, may mga surname Maute, like for example, yesterday a security guard from Mindanao State University, Maute ‘yung apelyido niya, tapos binu-bully rin ‘yung anak niya. Pero sabi niya, they are not somehow connected with the terrorists. How would the government handle this, General?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Tama, Benjie. At nakausap ko rin ang isang Director po ng ating — ng Muslim Affairs ‘no sa National Commission on Muslim Affairs na in-explain niya rin na kailangan maintindihan po ng ating mga kababayan na hindi po lahat ng nagngangalang Maute ay parte dito sa rebelyon na ‘to.
Kaya nga po aming ipinaabot sa ating mga kasamahan na ibahagi itong impormasyon na ito sa kanilang mga kasamahan at ‘yung mga iba pa na nasa lugar nila, na mag-concentrate doon sa listahan na naibigay na kung sino ang dapat arestuhin at kung merong mga nagngangalang Maute, katulad ng ginawa nung mga ibang miyembro ng pamilyang Maute dito sa Maynila, dumulog sila sa tanggapan ng NBI upang ipaliwanag at ipakita na hindi sila parte nito.
So we cannot, at the moment, prevent a discrimination of some sort.
But if we pass on the information to let many of our citizens understand that not all the Mautes are involved in this rebellion, then malaki ang posibilidad na ma-educate natin lahat ng ating kababayan at hindi nila tatratuhin na lahat ng mga Maute ay parte nitong mga nanggugulo sa Marawi.
Mr. Liwanag: Pero ang problema niya raw, sir, ang Mindanao is under martial law. Hindi niya alam kung saan siya pupunta, he cannot go out of MSU baka patayin daw siya ng mga tao, to that effect, sir.
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Ang atin pong pwersa ay naroon upang protektahan siya kung kinakailangan.
Kaya kung nanaisin niya, pwede siyang dumulog sa pulis at tsaka sa sundalo para matulungan siya kung may kailangan siyang puntahan, kung siya’y natatakot. Nandiyan po tayo, handang tumulong.
Mr. Liwanag: Thank you.
Mr. Tubeza: Hi, good morning, sir. Follow up lang po doon sa question ni Pia about ‘yung source ‘nong mga armas ng mga terorista. Last week po kasi may nabanggit si Pangulo na meron daw pong na-recover na cartons or boxes ng ammunition na may DND markings. Tama po ba?
BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Yes matagal na ‘yan eh. ‘Yan ‘yung lumabas pa ‘nong kung hindi ako nagkakamali, third or fourth week ng labanan.
At tulad nga ng nabanggit natin, malaki ang posibilidad na ang mga balang ito ay galing doon sa nakubkob nila sa mga armory ng pulis at tsaka nung prison na kanilang sinunog.
So may mga armory ‘yan, may mga cache sila ng arms na ginagamit ng mga bantay, ng mga police outpost at maaaring ‘yun ang kanilang nakuha.
Ganon din, may iilan tayong kagamitan na nawain sa loob ng Marawi ‘nong unang linggo ng bakbakan. At sa loob ‘nong mga sasakyan na ‘yun, may mga laman po ‘yun na galing din po sa ating arsenal.
So ‘yun ay kanilang mga nakuha at kanilang gagamitin.
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