Press Briefing

Bangon Marawi Press Briefing by Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag Presidential Communications Operations Office with Col. Edgard Arevalo Spokesperson, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco Officer-in-Charge, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Assistant Secretary Avelino Tolentino III Housing and Urban Development Coordinating council (HUDCC)

Event Bangon Marawi Press Brefing
Location Malacañan Press Briefing Room, New Executive Building, Malacañan Palace

OPENING STATEMENTS: 

ASEC. BANAAG: Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, magandang umaga.

Our Ranao brothers and sisters continue to return to Marawi City and the national and local government continue to support them in getting their lives back to normal.

In this like, we would like to show everyone a video of Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, a reminder that we all have to band together in making this recovery efforts fruitful for our fellow Filipinos.

ASEC. BANAAG: Also, we are pleased to report that as of Monday this week, another 4,159 displaced families from the eight barangays under cluster 3 were able to return to the city.

That notches the total returnees up to 18,478 families or 92,390 individuals based on the records of the Marawi LGU.

On the Brigada Eskwela sa Marawi, as previously announced in last week’s briefing, DepEd launched Brigade Eskwela sa Marawi in 15 schools in the city with Education Secretary Leonor Briones herself gracing the main kickoff at Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School.

The Department’s division and regional offices in Luzon and Visayas will mobilize the resources required by the school while the Mindanao offices will provide the manpower needed for implementation.

The activity centered around volunteerism and will facilitate minor repairs on schools and cleaning of surroundings and areas.

We Filipinos have always placed education at a high regard and for many of the parents affected by the war, it would have been heartbreaking to see their children’s lives be at risk at the age when they should have been finishing their studies.

Fortunately, there were people like Noraida Arobinto and Alonto Arobinto, a couple who took students in for three days in their boarding house during the war.

Their story brings a message of hope that everyone can contribute to the recovery of Marawi and more importantly, to enduring peace.

This is also a call to action for the Maranaos to continue helping each other rise from their predicament.

Let us all watch this video. 

ASEC. BANAAG: At this point, I would like to give the floor to Undersecretary Emmanuel Leyco. He is the officer-in-charge of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Assistant Secretary Ave Tolentino III of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council or the HUDCC, and the AFP Public Affairs chief, Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo for their statements. 

USEC. LEYCO: Good morning, we are here today to give you updates on our recent initiatives and major developments of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

In particular, we’d like to inform you of DSWD initiatives in Marawi.

Last week, we opened our Marawi operations center that will be located in Barangay Tampilong in Marawi City.

This shall serve as the nerve center for our operations in Marawi to make sure that the initiatives of the Department will match the requirements of the internally displaced persons in the area.

We also want to make sure that the rehabilitation and recovery is put in place, whereas our counterpart in the security and physical infrastructure, the HUDCC, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

The DSWD will focus on the recovery and re-establishment of human infrastructure in the communities where the IDPs operate.

In particular, we’d like to make sure that the people of Marawi are able to recover not just their confidence in themselves but also their confidence in their communities.

Our operations center will be headed by our regional director of field office 12, assisted by our regional director of field office 10, and our undersecretary for Mindanao affairs will be providing the oversight of our operations.

We also want to inform you that DSWD has prepared a portfolio of programs in the city, particularly the 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino.

We have suspended the conditionalities that will allow them to receive funds even if they are not attending school or not going to health clinics, or not even attending the family development sessions.

We have some 12,000 households who are members of our Pantawid and therefore, we’d like to make sure that the funds are delivered to them.

We also have a sustainable livelihood program and we have made modifications in such a way that SLP programs even in evacuation centers will already qualify for our programs.

We have social pension program, we have supplementary feeding, and we have assistance to individuals in crisis program in the city.

We’d like to assure the people of Marawi that DSWD, along with other government agencies, will stand ready to address their needs.

In particular, DSWD, like I said earlier, will focus on the bringing back, recovery and re-establishing the human infrastructure that was very much affected during the conflict in Marawi City. Thank you.  

ASEC. TOLENTINO: Good morning, MPC. First of all, we’d like to thank you for your continued support in helping us communicate our efforts in Marawi City ‘no.

We will start off with our efforts on peace, on the topic of peace.

The OPAPP, in partnership with [inaudible] will conduct a solidarity activity for the Marawi IDPs in selected evacuation centers and home-based communities.

This will be a two-day activity in Iligan City that will be held from 16 to 17 of December 2017.

This activity aims to promote the spirit of Christmas as season of hope, love, peace and unity for Christians and Muslims alike.

It will involve various activities for IDPs, such as attendance to the misa de gallo, salo-salo, peace education, fun games, caroling and gift giving.

With regards to the DPWH, as of the moment, the DPWH road clearing operations are ongoing on five connecting roads and highways for a total of 37 kilometers.

Also, the TFBM chairperson had a dialogue with the business sector in Marawi.

We believe that it’s very crucial for us to partner with our Maranao brothers and sisters who are known to be very resilient ‘no.

And so we feel that in helping them build back their lives, we will be partnering with them.

So we had the first business consultative forum, it was held last — last week and it was made possible by the Office of the City Mayor and the Bangsamoro Federal Business Council or BFBCI.

We would like to note that this is not the first dialogue. We’ve had several dialogues. It is a continuing dialogue and we feel that the continuous dialogue with our brothers and sisters from Maranao will help us build Marawi faster and better.

We move on, still on the topic of livelihood. We’d like to share our efforts of the DTI and we have — we would like to encourage everyone to visit DTI Bangon Marawi product store, which is located in Makati. It will be open until the 29th of December, wherein the products made by the IDPs from different evacuation centers and those who are home-based here in Metro Manila are made available.

So join us in celebrating the creativity of our Maranao brothers and sisters while doing your holiday shopping with a cause. The store is open from 9 am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays.

It features Maranao products such as brasswares, wooden furniture, wearables, Maranao woven products, jewelry, fashion accessories and Maranao native delicacies.

As of December 12, their total sales has hit 311, 685 so we hope that we can communicate this to our kababayans and really make the Bangon Marawi product store very successful.

For our hotlines, the IDPs may also direct their queries and points for clarifications to the Marawi LGUs grievance desk and TFBM field office.

Shown are their hotlines ‘no.

Grievance helpdesk hotline of LGU Marawi 0906-5527985; and

TFBM field office hotline: 0929-1449242 or 0995-3563965.

If there will be questions later on, we will gladly proceed then. Thank you.

COL. AREVALO: Magandang umaga sa ating lahat. Una, bago ang lahat, gusto ko po sanang batiin kayo ng isang Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon.

Well, on that note, ang inyo pong AFP katuwang ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng ating pamahalaan ay hindi hihinto ngayong Pasko sa kanyang — kanilang patuloy na pagtulong upang maibangon nating sama-sama ang Marawi.

Sa ngayon po ang AFP, pangunahin sa kanyang intervention activities ay ang pag-clear pa rin ng ating mga barangays, the most affected barangays, from improvised explosive devices at saka unexploded ordnance.

apakahalaga po na maalis muna natin ang mga ito upang siguruhin natin na sa pagbabalik ng ating mga kababayan, hindi na sila mabibiktima ng mga unexploded ordnance at saka IEDs na ito.

Kasama po sa ginagawa ng inyong AFP ang tinatawag nating Post-Conflict Needs Assessment na patuloy po nating ginagawa katuwang ang ibang ahensya ng ating pamahalaan upang alamin higit ano pa man ang kakailanganin pa ng ating mga kababayan upang mapabilis ang ating pagbangon sa Marawi.

Ang hindi po mas marahil natin gasinong napapansin ay ang operations ng AFP to prevent the terrorist group from further increasing their number dahil patuloy pa rin po silang nagrerecruit ng mga myembro diyan sa paligid ng Marawi.

May mga activities po tayo na isinasagawa upang siguruhin na hindi na sila makapangangalap ng additional members pa at hindi na sila muling makagagawa ng pag-gambala ng kagaya ng ginawa nila sa Marawi sa iba pang bahagi ng ating bansa.

Nagpapatuloy po ang ating pakikipagtulungan at pakikipag-alyansa sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng ating pamahalaan upang magkatulong-tulong tayo sa ating mga kailangan pang gawin upang ibangon ang Marawi.

But of course, the contribution of the AFP specifically is on the matters of availability of equipment — heavy equipment. Our combat engineers to assist in the construction and rehabilitation ng Marawi.

And of course, ‘yun pong mga kagamitan or equipment and vessels and aircraft na mayroon po ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas na maitulong — maitutulong upang ipag-transport ang mga construction equipment na ito.

And not to mention the security posture, the assurance na gusto nating ibigay at ipagkaloob sa lahat ng gustong makibahagi, sa lahat ng kasalukuyang bumabahagi sa pagbangon sa Marawi upang malaya nilang magampanan ang kanilang kailangang gawin sa pagbabangon ng Marawi.

Sa ngayon po, ayon po sa impormasyon na mayroon tayo from our ground units ay mayroon pong, subject to the confirmation of course of other agencies of government, na mayroon pong tinatayang mahigit limang daan na temporary shelters by month’s end kung saan tumutulong po ang AFP ng pagko-construct.

And then mayroon na rin pong napabalita, of course ‘yung the construction ng Bahay Pag-asa kung saan bahagi pa rin po ang AFP.

So if there will be any other projects related to this, your Armed Forces is going to help and intensely participate in ensuring that all these projects geared towards the reconstruction, rehabilitation, and assistance to our brothers in Marawi will be fulfilled very soon.

‘Yun na muna po at kung mayroon po kayong question later.

Thank you very much.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: 

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Hi, sir. Good morning. Say Sir Arevalo po. Sir, could you tell us more about the recruitment activities. Is it being made by remnants of the Maute group or iba pa pong grupo ito?

COL. AREVALO: Thank you. Ang recruitment na namo-monitor natin ay buhat sa mga remnants ng Maute-ISIS group.

Ms. Gutierrez: How — Particularly sir, paano po nila isinasagawa itong recruitment activity and in what areas, sir? Is it still inside Marawi City or within ‘yung — or doon po sa mga municipalities near Marawi City?

COL. AREVALO: May namo-monitor tayo sa municipalities around Marawi — the immediate vicinity of Marawi. Dito natin nakikita ‘yung nagi-i-intensify pa rin sila in the sense na hindi sila humihinto sa kanilang ginagawang recruitment at patuloy na pagkumbinsi na sumali sa kanilang hanay.

And of course may mga offer pa rin sila ng financial remunerations kagaya nito. And of course ang social media ay patuloy pa rin nilang ginagamit sa kanilang recruitment activities.

Ms. Gutierrez: Sir, I was just — I’m just wondering sir, paano sila nakakagawa ng recruitment activities considering na malakas ang military presence doon po sa Marawi and in other municipalities near Marawi, sir?

COL. AREVALO: Ang monitoring natin nito ay base doon sa mga nire-report din sa atin ng mga citizen in this locality. So, definitely hindi naman openly nila ginagawa ang kanilang pagre-recruit.

But what we can say for now is may namo-monitor tayong ganitong reports kaya pagpapatuloy ang ating operations upang siguruhin na they will not succeed.

Ms. Gutierrez: Thank you, sir.

Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, how long have you been monitoring the recruitment process or recruitment activity?

COL. AREVALO: Since noong matapos ‘yung Marawi, since Marawi was liberated.

Mr. Morong: And since then we have just been monitoring and not arresting anybody?

COL. AREVALO: So far mga — may mga monitored tayo. I cannot just divulge to you whether there are arrests being made about these recruitment activities.

But what we can say for now, mayroon pa ring recruitment activities na nangyayari. And this is what we are seeking to prevent.

Mr. Morong: But no arrests have been made yet?

COL. AREVALO: I cannot divulge to you yet kung anong arrest, kung mayroon, pa ring… Wala akong hawak na data right now regarding the arrest. But I can find it out.

Mr. Morong: Because under martial law that would be easier, right? No more arrest warrants? Ongoing rebellion?

COL. AREVALO: Yes. Provided of course na mayroon din tayong malinaw na basehan before we can extract or execute any arrests.

Mr. Morong: Sir, remnants meaning we did not completely wipe out the forces?

COL. AREVALO: Remember that the later part ‘no or before the liberation of Marawi, mayroon pa rin sa kanila na nakapuslit lalo na sa mga areas — lalo na mga area na hindi pa natin nadi-discover.

‘Yung mga area kung saan sila pwedeng nakapasok at nakalabas.

Mr. Morong: Sir, in the letter of the President. You’re saying?

COL. AREVALO: Come again?

Mr. Morong: In the letter of the President, there were at least four terrorist groups ‘no excluding, plus NPA in justification from martial law. What’s new there is the Turaife group. We’ve been trying to get the background of what, who are this Turaife group. Would you have the information now?

COL. AREVALO: Sa ngayon ang impormasyon lang na mayroon ako, mayroon silang around… sa record natin, ang grupo ni Turaife around 22 ‘yung ating identified or kumbaga, number na mayroon tayo sa grupo ni Turaife.

Mr. Morong: Any complete name of this Turaife person?

COL. AREVALO: Alias “Abu Turaife” ang mayroon ako ngayon.

Ms. Morong: Ah alias lang sir?

COL. AREVALO: Yes.

Mr. Morong: And who said that he is a successor to Isnilon?

COL. AREVALO: Well, that is an assessment that he could be the successor of Isnilon Hapilon.

Mr. Morong: Assessment by the military forces based on?

COL. AREVALO: Based from the information that we also gathered from the ground.

Mr. Morong: Alright. So the basis is not fictional, it is existing?

COL. AREVALO: It is of real basis. Buhat sa ating mga operating units in the field.

Mr. Morong: Thank you, sir.

Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Sir, how — Sorry. How successful have their recruitment efforts been and ano po ang profile so far ng prospect recruits nila? Are they still targeting the youth?

COL. AREVALO: Well, panguhanin diyan ‘yung mga kamag-anak kasi ‘yun ang mas madali nilang ma-recruit. Of course ang mga bata, ang mga kabataan ang kanilang mas nanaising ma-recruit because these are the sectors of our society that are, could be considered vulnerable.

Sila ‘yung mga grupo na napakadaling, ika nga bilugin ang mga ulo, bigyan ng mga pangako at sila ang mas madaling, ika nga yayain na sumama sa kanilang grupo.

Ms. Andolong: And sir, you mentioned that they are offering money. Have you also monitored if local officials continue to possibly fund these terrorists because previously, the President said that local officials were funding them?

COL. AREVALO: Wala akong data right now.

Ms. Andolong: And last, sir. Doon lang Ate Rocky sa 4Ps suspension, how long sir will the suspension of the requirements be for the conditions?

USEC. LEYCO: Thank you. Initially we have suspended it until March of 2018. And we can possibly extend it longer, as long as it is needed.

But for now, we’d like to make sure that the help, the assistance are… is delivered to the 4Ps beneficiaries.

Ms. Andolong: Thank you, sir.

Shiela Frias (IBC): Sir, sir Arevalo, yes. Follow-up lang po doon sa recruitment. Do you have an estimate kung ilan na po ba ‘yung na-recruit nitong mga terrorist group?

COL. AREVALO: Wala po akong hawak na record as of this time.

Ms. Frias: Pero at least nag-double ba ‘yung number nila after the recruitment, after nung Marawi na sinabi ninyo?

COL. AREVALO: I cannot tell you if they doubled. But what I can tell you is they are continuing with their recruitment activities.

And that what is what we intensely are working on to prevent them from continuing to recruit these vulnerable sectors of our society.

Ms. Frias: How many are they? ‘Yung mga terrorists po sa Mindanao na mino-monitor niyo, how many are they now? Ilan po ‘yung…

COL. AREVALO: Mahirap tayong magbigay ng exact na numero ngayon about that but we can say, we can tell you that we can still monitor a number of them na nagre-recruit diyan sa area natin sa Mindanao.

Hannah Jane Sancho (SMNI): Good morning, sir. Sir Arevalo, question lang po doon sa arrest order. Maglalabas po ba tayo ng panibagong arrest order ngayong mage-extend ng one year ‘yung martial law po?

COL. AREVALO: I’m sorry I will not be able to answer that kasi hindi po nanggagaling sa AFP ang arrest order.

Ms. Sancho: Ah okay. Any update po doon sa arrest order na nailabas na, na may nadadagdag po ba doon sa na-aresto po?

COL. AREVALO: Hindi ko rin po hawak ‘yung information tungkol diyan. I’m sorry.

Ms. Sancho: Is it possible sir na mapasama sa, kung maglalabas man ng panibagong arrest order, ang mga NPA?

COL. AREVALO: Hindi rin po tayo ang nagde-determine ng pag-i-issue ng arrest order. So we’d like to defer the answer to the Department of National Defense.

Ms. Sancho: Okay, thank you sir.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): For Sir Arevalo. Sir, can you tell us how the rebels are using social media to recruit new members? And what are we doing to shut down these channels?

COL. AREVALO: Well, ang mayroon ay mga recruitment videos. May — I’m sure you have also came across this.

At ‘yung mga recruitment video na ‘yan, part of what we can do is we could communicate through Facebook if it’s in Facebook, that we could request for the barring of that post.

Because if it’s in the nature of a recruitment of a terrorist group then that could be a valid ground.

Ms. Salaverria: Mayroon na po ba tayong na-request na ipatanggal sa social media?

COL. AREVALO: Ngayon? Wala akong mabanggit sa iyo na mayroon na kaagad.

Ms. Salaverria: For Secretary Leyco. Sir, are we open to accepting more 4P beneficiaries from Marawi? Kasi ‘yung mga hindi po members noon maaring nawalan na rin ng livelihood.

USEC. LEYCO: Of course.

Ms. Salaverria: So may mechanism pa rin po to accept new members?

USEC. LEYCO: Yes. Well, in particular, we’d like to push for the livelihood programs to benefit them. And 4Ps probably if they qualify, they should be evaluated and then brought into the program as well.

Ms. Salaverria: Thank you.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Good morning po, sir Leyco. Pwede po kaming makakuha ng estimate kung gaano na po ang naitulong ng DSWD sa mga IDPs, kung magkano po?

USEC. LEYCO: I asked my staff to give you exact data on that. But I can tell you right now that in terms of the projected support coming from DSWD, we have something close to over 800 million that has been disbursed.

And there is still in the process of disbursing close to P3 billion to support the affected victims in Marawi area.

Ms. Coz: ‘Yung budget po na ito, ano po particularly ‘yung pinakamalaking pinaglalaanan?

USEC. LEYCO: Ang malaking pinaglalaanan dito ay ang pagkain at mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng ating mga mamamayan doon sa lugar na iyon.

Ang isa pong malaking bahagi ng tulong na binibigay ng DSWD ay ‘yung mga nasa evacuation centers.

Mayroon pong mga food items, non-food items, mga pangangailangang na kailangan tustusan agad ng DSWD sa lalong madaling panahon.

Ms. Coz: Thank you, sir. Kay Sir Arevalo po. Sir, ano po ‘yung particular actions ng AFP to counter the recruitment ng Maute remnants?

COL. AREVALO: May mga efforts tayo ‘no. Halimbawa, mayroon tayong countering violent extremism na mga dialogues with the youths.

Mayroon din tayong mga youth leaders’ summit at just recently, na-conclude natin ‘yung educational tour of youth — Muslim youths sa Kuala Lumpur sa Malaysia.

Ang objective ng lahat ng ito ay bigyan ng pagkakataon ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga kabataan na ma-realize nila kung ano ang — what is extremism, how is recruitment being done by these extremists.

And at the same time, lalong-lalo na itong visit nila sa Kuala Lumpur sa Malaysia, ang objective nito ay dalahin ang ating kabataan buhat sa mga komunidad na Muslim sa ating bansa, particular this time sa Central Mindanao, na may mga bansa na kung saan bagaman iba-iba ang relihiyon, iba-iba ang paniniwala, iba-iba ang estado sa buhay, subalit sila ay malayang nakikipamuhay sa bawat isa, malayang nagagawa ang kanilang mga gawain at they can prosper together as a nation.

So ang ating iniisip, pagbalik nila sa kani-kanilang komunidad, ito ang kanilang ikukwento at maibabahagi sa kanilang kapwa kabataang lider.

At ito ang isa nating nakikitang kaparaanan upang mas higit nating mapalaganap ang tunay na pagkakaisa, pagtutulungan at tinatawag nating fruitful and mutual co-existence.

Ms. Coz: How about sir sa idea na instead of them na maging bahagi ng terrorist group, may effort din ba to recruit them na maging bahagi ng government security forces?

COL. AREVALO: Hindi direktang activity ‘yun na pwede nating sabihin na ‘yun ang primary reason but it could be one of the reasons or the motivations na pwede silang sumama sa Armed Forces of the Philippines sapagkat alam naman natin, the AFP is a volunteer organization.

What we would like to do is for them to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines because they would like to serve our country.

And they would like to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines because they have a — consider it as a calling. At hindi na rin siguro natin kailangang bigyang diin pa subalit ang patuloy ng pag ganda ng imahe ng Armed Forces of the Philippines sa mata ng ating mga mamamayan at ating mga kabataan.

Not to mention ‘yung patuloy na paglaki ng sweldo ng ating mga sundalo ay siguradong malaking bagay na makapag-kukumbinsi sa kanila altogether to join the Armed Forces of the Philippines and forget the possibility of joining the cause of the violent extremists or the rebels, as you were saying. Thank you.

Llanesca Panti (Manila Times): Good morning, sir.

COL. AREVALO: Good morning po.

Ms. Panti: Sir, follow up lang po about — there are sectors accusing the military of committing abuses during the implementation of martial law and fearing of same incidents with the continuation of the martial law for the next year. I would just like to get an update on your — in case you are investigating your ranks about it. I would just like to get an update, has there been any findings of abuses and what is the military doing to address this?

COL. AREVALO: Sa ngayon po, binabanggit natin patuloy pa rin po tayo naghihintay ng mga pormal na reklamo.

Ang meron pong naririnig natin ngayon are allegations at sabi nga po natin, in the spirit of due process we are going — we are waiting for those formal complaints.

At, well, again in the spirit of due process, kailangan din po nating imbestigahan at marinig ‘yung panig kung sino man po itong nirereklamong sundalo.

Matibay po at consistent tayo sa ating paninindigan that the AFP as a mature and professional organization will not allow this violations of human rights na mangyari or gawin ng ating mga tauhan.

Mahigpit po ang tagubilin ng ating pamunuan ng AFP, ni General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, ang ating AFP Chief-of-Staff, na sa pagtupad namin ng aming mga tungkulin, lalong-lalo na sa ating pagpapatupad ng martial law, dapat po ay kikilalanin natin ang karapatang pantao at ang international humanitarian law at ‘yung po ang kasalukuyan at patuloy nating ginagawa.

Meron po tayong human rights office at offices sa buong unit ng AFP hanggang sa forward units natin na magbibigay po ng isang conducive environment para sa ating mga kababayan na kung meron po silang reklamo ay pwede po nilang ihatid at ihain dito.

At masisiguro po natin sa ating mga kababayan, na gagawin po natin ang karampatang hakbang kagaya ng pag-iimbestiga at kung merong mapatutunayang nagkasala ay atin pong lalapatan ng karampatang parusa.

Ms. Panti: Follow up lang, sir. Para… Is the military considering investigating their ranks without necessarily waiting for a complaint? Like a proactive approach?

COL. AREVALO: Opo.

Ms. Panti: So have you done that?

COL. AREVALO: Opo. 

Ms. Panti: Do we need a complaint? Kasi, syempre these people have been devastated by the Marawi siege, so they may — parang they — I suppose they don’t have the physical energy to go to court battles or even administrative complaints. So would you consider being proactive and initiating investigation without complaints?

COL. AREVALO: Definitely po. We are doing that motu proprio. Kaya lang po ang tanong niyo po kasi sa akin kanina, kung ano ang ginagawa namin doon sa mga reklamo.

So I’m reacting to the complaints that we needed the formal complaint as basis in the spirit of due process.

But that doesn’t mean though na ang AFP po ay uupo na lamang at hihintayin kung merong reklamo.

Even among our ranks, ang atin pong mga sundalo, kasama na po doon ‘yung binanggit ko kanina na lahat po tayo are educated and informed about human rights and international humanitarian law, that we must be advocates in this particular regard.

So kung meron po tayong kasamahan na nakakita na anyone of us committed these violations, those could already be initial information made — that could be made basis of an investigation and prosecution sa ating mga kasamahan. Thank you. Salamat.

Alvin Baltazar (Radyo Pilipinas): Colonel Arevalo, magandang umaga po.

COL. AREVALO: Good morning, Alvin.

Mr. Baltazar: Sir, nabanggit niyo kanina na ‘yung sa recruitment na may money involved. Sir, may na-monitor po ba kayo na may finding galing sa labas ng bansa?

COL. AREVALO:  Wala akong pwedeng mabanggit, specifically ‘no, na galing sa ibang bansa. But what I can tell you is, merong silang ino-offer na cash.

But ‘yun nga, it’s about recruitment, hindi ito ‘yung tipo na baka ipinangako pero hindi naman nila kayang tuparin.

Mr. Baltazar: Sir, magkano ‘yung money involved, sir?

COL. AREVALO: It varies eh, wala tayong specific amount and kagaya nga ng sinabi ko kanina, these are offers ano.

Mr. Baltazar: Kay Atty. Tolentino, sir. Sir, mami-meet po ba ‘yung target na before December 25 makaka-transfer na po ‘yung mga IDPs sa transitional shelter bago mag-Pasko?

ASEC. TOLENTINO: Based doon sa ating report ng NHA, dated 12 December ‘no. We have 673 transitional shelters doon sa ating Barangay Sagonsongan in various stages of completion — 309 of these units are substantially completed.

Ang target po natin medyo nausog, December 27, 2017 po ang atin pong target na mag-deliver nung first 500 transitional shelters.

Ngayon, naiintindihan po namin na mas malaki po ‘yung demand  ‘no, kaysa doon sa unang batch na ating maibibigay. Ito pong ating Barangay Sagonsongan, 1,100 ang mabibigay nito pero ‘yung first batch, 500 lamang.

So nagkaroon po ng kasunduan doon po sa ating TWG on beneficiary selection doon po sa Iligan.

Nagkaroon pong kasunduan na ang magiging eligible po para dito sa first batch ay ‘yung IDP residents of Marawi City from the most affected areas who are willing to return and at the same time, willing to stay in the transitional shelters.

‘Yun po ang ating uunahin. At doon po sa prioritization natin, mag-a-allocate po tayo out of the initial 500, seventy percent po sana, uunahin natin doon sa mga families who are found in evacuation centers.

The idea is, as we continue to build transitional shelters, mawawala po ‘yung congestion natin diyan sa ating evacuation centers. So ‘yun po ang ating idea.

And gusto ko lang din po ibalita na ito pong ating pagtatayo ho ng pabahay doon sa transitional shelter, hindi lang po namin tinutukan ‘yung pagtatayo ng istruktura.

Atin pong nilagyan po ito ng maayos na kalsada, atin pong nilagyan ito ng septic tank bawat isang bahay, nilagyan din po natin ng toilet and bath — toilet and bath, at saka may sink.

Dahil po nilagyan ho natin ito ng deep well, ‘yung lugar na ito at nilagyan ho natin ito ng water reservoir.

So patuloy po ang drilling dun, meanwhile ‘yun pong tangke ay ready na at ‘yun po ay kinakabit sa tubo para po magkakaron tayo Level 3 connection, meaning, when you open your faucet in your house, may lalabas pong tubig.

So ‘yun po ang ating plano and hopefully we’re able to turn over nga ito by December 27, 2017.

Ms. Gutierrez: Kay Sir Arevalo. Sir, base po doon sa recommendation at nag — na binigay niyo sa Presidente, ano po ‘yung kapasidad ng Turaife group at ‘yung isa pang binabanggit na DIWM to carry out attacks in Mindanao, sir?

COL. AREVALO: Sa ngayon, pardon me, but I think it’s already moot and academic for us to discuss but ang pwede nating sabihin dito ay ‘yung — ‘yung terrorist activity nila, ‘yung recruitment activity na rin nila.

Marami na tayong reported just like last, last week nagkaroon sila ng attack on a police department, police station and ‘yung ating mga sundalo ay nag-reinforce kung saan pitong Marines ‘yung wounded dito.

Of course, ‘yung — ‘yung threat pa rin na patuloy nilang pino-post sa ating mga communities.

Ms. Gutierrez: Aside from ‘yung mga attacks, sir, ano po ‘yung parang in terms of numbers nila, ‘yung mga arms na meron po sila and also, siguro — ‘yung overall capability nila, sir, is it such a bigger threat na kailangan na mag-declare ng martial law in Mindanao, kasi you mentioned, ‘yung Turaife has only 22 members na identified, sir?

COL. AREVALO: Hindi natin kasi pwedeng banggitin ‘yung — as basis solely ng martial law ‘yung kay Abu Turaife. It’s a combination of a lot of reasons and justifications.

‘Yun po ang sinasabi ko kanina, na it’s moot and academic for me to discuss although, sapagkat prinisinta naman po ‘yun sa Kongreso at ‘yung naman po ay kinalala ng ating Kongreso.

Now, if you’re going to talk and ask me about kay Abu Turaife, sinasabi po natin, bagaman ganun ang kanyang numero, hindi po kasi natin sila pwedeng i-underestimate dahil ganun lamang ang kanilang number.

But maybe the 22 is what we could mention with certainty or report with certainty ‘yung kanilang number, pero ‘yung kanilang ability to recruit, ‘yung kanilang mobility, ‘yung arms na meron sila, at ‘yung capability pa nila na mag-conduct ng terrorist activity.

Hindi naman po kailangang maging marami para magpasabog ka ng isang — isang vital installation or vital institution, o mga lugar kung saan maraming tao, hindi naman po natin kailangang maging napakarami.

But then, the point we’re saying is, they are capable, among other reasons na na-i-cite for the extension of martial law.

Kasama po sila sa itinuturing nating malaking banta sapagkat ang grupo po ni Abu Turaife ay may leaning towards extremism.

Ms. Gutierrez: What about the DIWM, sir?

COL. AREVALO: What do you mean, what about the DI?

Ms. Gutierrez: Itong, sir, ‘yung Da’awatul Islamiyah…

COL. AREVALO: ‘Yan din po. It’s a terrorist-extremist group din na kapareho rin ng grupo ng Daesh-inspired group and like the Maute-ISIS group.

Ms. Gutierrez: Okay. Thank you, sir.

Mr. Morong: I think, sir, the question earlier was the ability to carry out the threats. The only time it becomes smooth is that if they can no longer carry out the threat. Did you say — did you mean that it’s smooth because Congress believed it anyway as a basis?

COL. AREVALO: No, ang ibig ko pong sabihin ay na-state naman — na-enumerate na po natin ‘yung mga reasons.

Ngayon ang binabanggit — ang tinatanong po sa akin, if it’s specifically — kay Abu Turaife, ‘yun po ‘yung sinasagot natin na kung — na are they not able to — are they not capable of posing a threat kung 22 lamang sila.

So ‘yun po ‘yung sinasagot natin kanina na hindi naman po porket 22 lamang sila or ‘yun ang ating sinasabi number ngayon ay ‘yun lang talaga sila or they are not capable of growing or recruiting.

Mr. Morong: Okay.

Ms. Coz: Kay Asec. Banaag po. Regarding po sa TRAIN. May mga grupo po kasi na kumokontra na sinasabi po nila na ‘yung TRAIN po ay merong hindi magandang epekto sa publiko, particularly na sa pagsusulong po ng health ng mga mahihirap na Pilipino dahil naka-concentrate lang po ‘yun pong makukuha sa TRAIN sa transport infrastructure projects but not on health services?

ASEC. BANAAG: Salamat, Rose. But I’d rather leave that to Spokesperson Roque to answer.

Ms. Coz: Thank you po.

COL. AREVALO: Well, meron po akong dalawang — isang announcement na gustong banggitin.

I’d like to take advantage of this venue para banggitin sa inyo that your Armed Forces of the Philippines will be celebrating its 82nd anniversary, ‘yan po ay sa December 21.

Subalit ang atin pong celebration or ‘yun pong occasion for this will be December 20. Kung saan mismong ang ating Commander-in-Chief and President Rodrigo Duterte, siya po ang ating magiging panauhing pandangal.

This year’s theme po is: “Protecting the people, securing the state.”

So magkaro — before this, nagkaroon po tayo ng napakaraming mga pre-anniversary activities at ‘di ko na po ito iisa-isahin.

Ang isa pong importanteng gusto naming banggitin sa inyo ay meron po tayong mga awardees na ating pararangalan sa mismong araw.

Lima — siyam po dito ay sundalo, tatlo ay civilians. Sa hapon po natin ito gagawin.

Sa umaga naman po, meron po tayong Kapayapaan Awards, kung saan bibigyang pagkilala naman po natin at award ‘yung mga different individuals, institutions and organizations that have helped the Armed Forces of the Philippines accomplish its mission for the year.

At ang isa pa po na bago sa ating magiging pagdiriwang ay ang pag-i-inaugurate po natin nitong tinatawag na Red Rose Pin.

Ito po ay isang — isang badge na gagamitin po or ipakikilala sa araw na ‘yun kung saan ito po ay isusuot ng lahat ng mga kaanak ng mga namatay na sundalo.

At ganun din po ‘yung mga sibilyan na gustong ipakita ang kanilang pagkilala sa ginawang kabayanihan ng ating mga sundalo.

Iiwan ko po ito, nandidito po ang — nandito po ang mga ilang — ang kanyang illustration at nandito po ‘yung symbolisms ng bawat part na meron siya.

So meron — ang una pong — ang mga unang pins po na ilalabas natin ay ipamimigay natin sa December 20 sa hapon.

So ine-expect po natin na ‘yung ating mga bisita na kaanak ng mga tatanggap ng parangal na namatay sa mga labanan ay sila ang unang-unang magsusuot nito.

At hindi lang ‘yan para sa December 20 kundi every time na meron po tayong pagtitipon, sapagkat ang naisin po ng pin na ito ay sa tuwi-tuwina ay ipaalala sa ating mga kababayan at sa mga kaanak ng namatay na mga bayaning ito ang naging sakripisyo at pagaalay ng buhay ng ating mga kawal para sa bayan.

Salamat po.

USEC. LEYCO: Thank you. I’d like to update you, give you some information on the preparations being made by DSWD for the storm “Urduja.”

But before I do that, I just want to update you that the SLP Waiver of Conditionality is to extend up to the end of 2018 has been approved.

So conditionalities for pantawid families have already been waived for the rest of 2018.

Now, going to the tropical storm “Urduja.”

We have already activated the disaster response cluster. It’s expected to make a landfall over Eastern Samar. And the estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy, with the 400-kilometer diameter of the tropical storm.

Now, in terms of the preparations being made by DSWD.

We have already a stockpile of about 368,000 family food packs, amounting to P123 million, and available food and non-food items amounting to P393 million.

We also have a standby fund in the amount 245 million at the central office and our field offices.

I think, for now, that’s all we can share with you. We’ll continue to monitor the movement of the storm and we will respond accordingly.

Thank you very much.

ASEC. BANAAG: Maraming salamat po sa ating mga guests and from us here in Metro Manila, to all our IDPs and our fellow Filipinos affected by conflict, kasama po ninyo ang gobyerno na ‘to sa inyong pagbangon.

Maligayang Pasko po.

—END—

source: PCOO-PND (Presidential News Desk)

Resource