Press Briefing

Mindanao Hour Briefing by Ms. China Jocson, Assistant to the Presidential Spokesperson with Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Jr., Spokesperson of Armed Forces of the Philippines

Event Mindanao Hour Briefing
Location Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace

OPENING STATEMENTS:

JOCSON: Good morning, Rocky. Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps. I’m here to read the statements.

First is from the Office of the Civil Defense:

Task Force Bangon Marawi continuously provides interventions to aid the Internally Displaced Persons in Marawi City and other affected localities.

This week, the Department of Trade and Industry led by Usec. Zeny Maglaya handed over five sewing machines and 20 starter kits to the Provincial Technology and Livelihood Development Center to be delivered to the IDP-sewers in Sta. Elena, Iligan City for garments production.

Four sewing machines and 40 starter kits were also given to the Al-Abrar Jamah Guidance and Development Foundation Inc. intended for the IDPs in Villa Angela, Brgy. Balulang, Cagayan de Oro.

The beneficiaries of these kits are those who graduated from the Garments Training cum Production program of the DTI.

The Task Force shall convene for its fourth all-agency meeting today at the National Emergency Operations Center in Iligan City.

The meeting will focus on the updates of each sub-committee as well as discuss the issues and concerns on the rehabilitation and recovery efforts for the IDPs in Marawi City and other affected localities.

Next is the Marawi update. Today, October 6 is the day 137th. The data as of October 5, 2017:

Enemies killed, 753, no change;

Civilians killed, 47;

Civilians rescued, 1,750;

Firearms recovered, 805, no change;

Unexploded ordnance recovered, 46;

Improvised explosive device, IED recovered, 14

Killed-in-action, 155;

Buildings cleared, 6. October 4 was 14

Cash donation as of 2:50 p.m. October 5, 2017, here is the status of cash donations:

For the Marawi AFP casualty, we have P102,072,332.78

And for the Marawi internally displaced persons or the IDPs, we have P136,595.

Now, a statement from Presidential Spokesperson Abella on rogue policemen seeking church sanctuary:

We welcome the efforts of the Church to help these rogue cops to mend their ways.

However, we hope the Church exercises due diligence as there are drug protectors, kidnappers, kotong and ninja cops who want to destroy the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs; furthermore we urge a certain objectivity to avoid being used by said aberrations.

I will now turn you over to spokesperson General Padilla, sir.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Thank you very much, China.

On our part from the Armed Forces, I would just like to provide you an update… the update that was provided a while ago.

There was a latest information passed on to us that the remaining areas that continue to be the problematic area where the main battle areas or the meeting engagements that we have with the enemy continues to be at about seven to eight hectares in the area of Marawi.

And this area is where most of the encounters with the enemy is occurring and recently as reported, there were about 155 already killed on our part.

And I’d like to add one more that. Early this morning, we had an incident when we were operating in an area and incurred another casualty through a sniper fire.

And it’s a sad development because we were expecting that as we engaged more in these remaining areas and have better control of the peripheral areas in and out of this area, we’d be able to minimize that.

But unfortunately, we still face a very tenacious enemy who is determined to defend their area.

As you have all heard, there were 17 hostages that were recently rescued, nine men and eight women.

And there were conflicting reports that came out that said that there were also some surrenderees from inside. I’d like to correct that. This might have been a mix-up between the hostages that were rescued and they may have been alluding to the nine men.

So the fact there is all of them were hostages who came out of the battle area, nine men and eight women.

And based on the debriefing that was conducted of all these individuals, we gathered based on their information passed on to us that there remains still about 40 hostages in the area, along with about 40 to 50 armed members of the terrorist group.

So this is something that is a good revelation on the part of the hostages that came out and were rescued. And this becomes a very important factor in the final planning stages that we are… in the final planning for the final push we’re doing for the remaining areas held by the terrorists.

So we wish to convey to the public, nais po naming iparating sa lahat na ‘yun po ang rason kaya maingat nating isinasagawa ang mga operasyon natin dito sa lugar ng Marawi dahil sa aming paninidigan at kagustuhan na makuha pa ang mga naiiwang mga hostages na nasa kamay ng kalaban.

Kung hindi po natin pinag-iingatan ito, hindi po sana naging posible na makuha diyan si Father Chito Soganub, ang isang kasamahan niya sa simbahan, at ‘yung mga 17 iba pang na-rescue nitong nakaraang mga araw.

So ngayon po na nakuha na natin mismo sa mga nanggaling sa loob na may nanantili pang 40 na kinakailangan pang makuha, lubos po naming pinag-iingatan na magawa natin ito sa pinakamadaling panahon ng hindi nagbubuwis unnecessarily ng iba pang buhay ng ating sundalo at ganun din ng mga hostages na nandiyan pa sa loob.

So this will be the subject of our operations in the next few days and this is the reason also why we have not given out.

Ito po ang nagiging rason kaya hindi kami nagbabanggit ng takdang araw, takdang petsa o panahon kung kailan magtatapos ang ating bakbakan diyan sa loob ng Marawi. Pero sinisikap po nating gawin ‘yan sa pinakamadaling panahon.

Karagdagan dito, we have also been working closely with all agencies of government who have been tasked to set the stage for the recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of Marawi and our main focus this time is to complete the development and preparation of all the temporary living areas and quarters that have been started in the safe areas of Marawi.

And this includes individual houses made of different materials that can be used as temporary shelters for our evacuees.

Ang ginawa po dito ng ating Joint Task Force Marawi at saka ng NHA sa ilalim ni Usec. Del Rosario ay patuloy na nakikipag-konsultasyon po sa lokal na pamahalaan.

At batay po sa nakuha nating datos kamakailan, madami na pong nagsi-signify na mag-avail nitong mga temporary shelters na ito. And we still need to build more based on this increasing number of evacuees who have signified to avail of that.

So we pass on our thanks to the local government for that very cooperative effort and we will work closely with them along with all the engineers that we have detailed under Joint Task Force Ranao.

On another matter, the aspect of the implementation of martial law is still being carried out by all our units in the entirety of Mindanao, particularly in the Western Mindanao Command area, where we continue to watch closely developments in the areas of the 6th Infantry Division.

Ito po ‘yung lugar ng Maguindanao, Cotabato area, at Lanao, parts ng Lanao na kung saan patuloy nating namo-monitor ang galaw ng mga grupo na nagpahiwatig ng kanilang pagsama dito sa grupong nasa Marawi. At ito po ay mga elemento ng BIFF.

So patuloy po nating babantayan ‘yan at imo-monitor nang sa ganun, lubos nating ma-control ang galaw ng mga masamang elemento na ‘to.

Ganun din po sa lugar ng Basilan, Jolo, and Tawi-Tawi areas, which continue to harbor elements of the ASG.

And significantly, in the past few days, there were also incidents of attempted abductions and a few — I think one incident of successful abduction of locals which we would like to prevent.

Ganun din po, patuloy nating mino-monitor sa pamamagitan ng mga ginagawa nating checkpoints sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Mindanao ang patuloy na paggalaw ng mga armadong elemento.

Kasama po dito, nais ko rin pong ipabatid sa lahat ang matagumpay na ginawang pagkumpiska sa mga illegal firearms na nasa isang lugar diyan sa may lugar ng Lanao na pinasok po ng ating mga tropa.

At sa kooperasyon ng ating local government diyan, nakumbinse nila itong mga pamilya at indibidwal na naghahawak ng mga hindi po lisensyadong mga baril na i-surrender ito.

Kaya that was about two days ago, we got about more than a hundred firearms and this is a telling and significant development. Because sa martial law po, kinakailangan natin mapatupad na makuha lahat ng mga illegal and loose firearms na hawak ng mga pribadong citizens natin at ng iba pang mga armed groups.

The more firearms we confiscate, the lesser firearms that are loose around that may be used for illegal activities.

Sa Eastern Mindanao Command area naman po, ‘yung pagpapatupad po ng martial law diyan ay nakatuon ang pansin sa mga armadong grupo na patuloy na nangingikil at nanununog ng mga kagamitang ginagamit sa imprastruktura. And we will not let up.

May I also make mention here that there are some groups that are saying they would be filing cases against the Armed Forces or the Philippine Army because of the offensives that were conducted in Marawi.

Again, these groups that we have been watching closely have exhibited indications that since the very beginning of the Marawi crisis, they may have been partial to the terrorists or the rebels in the areas.

And we’re conducting our thorough research on these people because it may be possible that they had been part or accessory to the rebellion.

And if we do find out and find good evidence stating and proving this, we will initiate the necessary legal actions to make them answerable for their crimes.

Again, the State has the right to defend itself and the offensives carried out in Marawi were in pursuit of that because we would like to bring back the rule of law and law and order in the area.

‘Yun lang po ang aking maipapaabot sa martial law sa Mindanao at sa ating opensiba diyan sa may Marawi.

At bago po ako magbukas ng… magbigay ng daan sa katanungan niyo, pinapaabot lang po ng buong liderato ng Armed Forces, ganun din po ang buong hanay ng ating Hukbong Sandatahan ang pasasalamat sa ating mahal na Pangulo sa mga anunsyo niya kahapon tungkol po sa pagtaas ng sahod ng ating mga sundalo.

Ito po’y isang bagay na talaga pong pinalakpakan at pinakahihintay ng iba nating mga kasundaluhan dahil malaki po ang tulong na maibibigay nito.

‘Yun lang po. At kung ito’y ili-link natin sa mga usapang destabilisasyon, ‘yung usapan na ‘yan na naririnig natin, hindi ho manggagaling sa hanay ng Armed Forces ‘yan.

Because we know that the Commander-in-Chief — We have a Commander-in-Chief who has malasakit for every soldier and is doing his end of the bargain of taking every… taking care of every uniformed men who are doing their job.

So this is all from our end and with this, I’d like to give back the floor to you for any questions you may have.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Tuesday Niu (DZBB): Sir, kahapon po, doon sa anniversary ng Phil — ah, Change of Command Ceremony sa Philippine Army, nasabi po ni Philippine Army Chief Major General Bautista na hindi na daw aabot ng ASEAN sa November ‘yung gulo diyan sa Marawi. So, by now ay October 6. So ito bang October na ‘to sir, na umaasa tayo na maki-clear na nang husto ‘yung Marawi at mapapasok na nung mga gumagawa ng mga post-assessment para masimulan na po ‘yung rehabilitation?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Tuesday, maraming salamat sa katanungan mo. Ang rehabilitasyon po ay nagsisimula na.

Actually, hindi na natin kailangan sabihin na kailan ito magsisimula dahil nagbabakbakan pa sa loob ng Marawi, nagsimula na ito sa pamamagitan ng consultation at ground preparation nung mga temporary areas na titirahan ng ating mga kababayan sa loob ng Marawi.

Ngayon, ‘yung anunsyo po ni General Bautista, ang bagong hepe ng Philippine Army, ay totoo. Ine-expect namin na hindi na po ito tatagal at aabot pa doon sa pagdaraos ng ating hosting ng ASEAN.

And hindi lang po kami talaga nagbibigay ng eksaktong petsa o ng eksaktong araw kung kailan po natin masasabing ganap nang — na tapos na ang bakbakan diyan sa Marawi.

Dahil kung matapos man namin ito at makuha lahat ng armadong grupo at sa awa ng Diyos, makuha lahat ng ating mga sinasabing naiiwan pang hostages diyan, patuloy pa rin po nating iki-clear.

Kasi may natitira pa pong humigit-kumulang dalawang daang buildings at facilities na hindi pa po natin lubos na napapasok at naki-clear ng mga unexploded ordnance at saka IED.

‘Yun po ‘yung magiging challenge na maiiwan pagka nagtigil-putukan na po tayo.

Ms. Niu: Ibig sabihin, sir, pwede na siyang i-declare hopefully by this month na okay na siya sa Marawi, pero hindi agad ipu-pull out ‘yung ating mga military forces doon because of the continuing mopping up operations?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: When you say “mopping up” po, ibig sabihin may kalaban pa sa loob. So, clearing po ang ating gagawin para ganap nating maitu-turn over sa lokal na pamahalaan at saka sa pulis ‘yung lugar ng commercial business district na sigurado tayong walang sino man na pagpasok ay masasaktan dahil sa mga IED at iba pang mga patibong na maaaring maiwan.

So, the declaration for the end of hostilities will come as soon as the last terrorist element or rebel in the area who is offering resistance has been dealt with.

Until such time na nagawa natin ‘yun, hindi pa po tayo magkakaroon ng deklarasyon. Pero tulad nga po ng nabanggit niyo, na nasabi ni General Bautista, ine-expect namin na hindi na ‘yun ganun katagal mangyayari.

Ms. Niu: Last na lang, sir, on my part. Nabanggit din niya po na hindi niya nakikita sa ngayon na ili-lift ‘yung martial law dahil kailangan pa raw po ‘yun sa rehabilitation part ng Marawi. So do we expect na ma-extend pa po ‘yung martial law? Kasi ang — ang effectivity nito, if I am correct sir, ay December 31 of this year.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Tuesday, maaaring ang ibig niya sa — ang alam ko na ibig niyang sabihin doon ay hindi ito mag — ang martial law sa Mindanao ay hindi magtatapos sa pagtatapos ng bakbakan sa Marawi.

Kasi meron pa tayong hanggang katapusan ng taon upang ganap na magawa ang ating kinakailangang gawin para ganap na masabi na itong mga pagtatangkang rebelyon na ito ay hindi na mangyayari muli.

After the last fire or the last shot has been fired in Marawi, we expect to clear other areas as well, which means to say that there are other threats in the island that we need to address.

Because any threat coming from any part of Mindanao comprises or still affects the security of the whole island.

Ms. Niu: Okay. Thank you, sir.

Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Sir, can you be more specific about the actions that may be taken against the groups that you mentioned earlier who may — are considering filing cases daw po against AFP, I mean, if you prove that they do have something to do with the siege?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes. The reason I mentioned that is because of statements that have been recently said, and threats to file cases against the Armed Forces.

And I’d just like to inform — we would just like to inform the public that these groups have been, from the very beginning, observed as being partial to the side of the rebels.

And this is indicative of deeper and much more thorough information that we are now looking for that may, in all probability, link these groups to the destabilization occurring in the area.

Ms. Andolong: I mean, will they be arrested right away once you gather enough evidence?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: When sufficient evidence has been gathered, and there will be no doubt left that they have been part of it, of course, there will be warrants of arrest issued and there will be arrest.

Ms. Andolong: Okay. Sir, doon sa monitored threats in other parts of Mindanao, have you — have… has the AFP already identified specific cities or areas that terrorists may be looking at to possibly again try to take over, like what they did in Marawi? Because General Bautista yesterday talked about that also.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: We have not identified any specific major city that may be targeted. But this early, so far, the most threatened areas are in the areas of Maguindanao and Cotabato. Because there remains in those areas sizable numbers of armed men who have pledged allegiance to this — the group who are in Marawi.

Ms. Andolong: Are you confident, sir na wala pong effort ngayon to build up on arms, because in Marawi, hindi po ba ‘yun ‘yung medyo naging problema? They were able to stock up on weapons that it — it would seem na hindi napigilan nung AFP.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Ina, ano, ‘yung sa tanong na ‘yan, may — may mga lessons learned na po tayo. Madami na tayong natutunan dito sa nangyari sa Marawi.

Kaya sa ating pagmo-monitor, kasama na ho at kabahagi ‘yung ating pagkalap ng impormasyon sa mga lugar na maaaring nag-iimbak ng kagamitan, ng baril, ng armas. Kaya kasama na at kabahagi na ‘yan doon sa ating ginagawang pagmamasid ngayon.

So, in order to prevent any incident similar to the Marawi incident, the critical information that we are closely looking for and continuously seeking are those related to the question you mentioned.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Hi, sir. Good morning po. Ang Iligan City Police po ay nagbanggit na may natatanggap po silang information na may mga sympathizers po ng Maute na nagre-recruit sa Iligan. Nakatanggap din po kayo ng ganitong information? And how do we deal with this kind of information po?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Sa panig namin sa headquarters, wala pa sa — hindi pa nakakarating sa amin ‘yan. Pero, noon pa man, meron nang mga lumabas na mga impormasyon na nagsasabi na patuloy pa rin ‘yung kanilang recruitment.

Kaya nga po itong pagkakaroon ng martial law ay nagiging mainam dahil nagagawa natin na kunin ‘yung mga tao o arestuhin ang mga tao na maaaring pinaghihinalaan nating may ginagawang hindi kanais-nais, and then detaining them and questioning them.

So, this has happened in several instances. But if we don’t find grounds to continue detaining them, and could not file any case against them for lack of evidence, they are released. But the monitoring goes on.

Rose Novenario (Hataw): Good morning, sir. Sir, balikan ko lang po ‘yung groups na posibleng involved doon sa destabilization doon sa area. Sir, are they human rights groups?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: I cannot be specific at this time, because the ongoing investigate — the investigation is still ongoing and the collection of information pertaining to these groups is also ongoing. So, mas mabuti po na hindi muna ibanggit.

Ms. Novenario: ‘Yun pong martial law sa Mindanao, sabi po kasi dati ni Presidente nitong past few days, ang — after daw po ng Marawi crisis, pagtutuunan ng pansin ‘yung NPA. So ‘yung — ‘yun po bang grupong binabanggit niyo na involved doon sa destab sa Marawi ay posibleng may kaugnayan din po rito sa mga rebeldeng NPA po?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Kung sakaling lalabas na ganun at may kaugnayan sila, magiging tama ka. Pero, tulad ng nabanggit ko, hindi pa kasi ganap na natatapos itong pagsasaliksik namin sa nagiging ugnayan nitong mga nabang — nasabi nating possible groups na tumutulong diyan.

So, I’ll leave it at that at the moment and it’s hard to elaborate because it may undermine what we are doing.

Ms. Novenario: Okay, thank you.

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes, Leila.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, according to the President, the Reds and the Yellows are conspiring against him. Have you seen any indication of these kinds of movements?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: The President has access to more information than we do. Because most of our agencies submit to the President information. And we submit to him as well what only comes from our part.

So we do continue to monitor the security landscape, and that includes other areas not only in Mindanao but the entirety of the archipelago.

So, so far, kung ang ibig sabihin ng ating mahal na Pangulo ay ‘yung pagpa-plano, meron po kaming nakikita na iba. At hindi lang naman po ‘yung oposisyon ang ano dito. Kaya ang binabantayan po talaga ng Armed Forces ay ‘yung mga armadong grupo.

‘Yung sa side ng politics, may iba pong nagmo-monitor. At sa amin pong side, hindi po namin nakukuha ito kadalasan.

Ms. Salaverria: So, sir, ‘yung nabanggit niyo pong pagpa-plano, who were you referring to, just the Reds or…

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes. Most of them are Reds and the armed elements in Mindanao.

Ms. Salaverria: As to the involvement of the Yellows, wala pa po?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: There may be but I am not privy to this information yet.

Ms. Salaverria: Okay. Thank you.

Joseph Morong (GMA): Sir, how can you say maybe na involved ‘yung Yellows?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Because the groups that are against government are not only individuals. Kasi kaya nga groups, madami ‘yan. And it may not be farfetched that one or two of them may be also assisting other groups that are against government.

So, this kind of a connection may be part of those that are being reported as what Leila has said.

Mr. Morong: Sir, you said may pagpa-plano ang Reds and other armed elements in Mindanao, ‘no?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Ang NPA po ay patuloy naming mino-monitor. Kasi kadalasan, ang kanila pong ginagawa na activities sa kanayunan, at lalo na diyan sa Mindanao, ay laging naka-link sa kanilang extortion activities.

So… at itong extortion activities, kung hindi natin nababantayan at hindi mako-control, ang nagiging end product nito ay panununog ng kagamitan, primarily the burning of construction equipment and farm implements that actually affect the livelihood of marginal members of the com — marginal farmers or marginal members of agricultural group.

So, if that happens, the most affected are the poor, which we do not want to happen. That’s why we take pains to work closely with big companies who are in agriculture; we take pains to work with construction companies to secure them if they have any threats.

Pagka nakakasunog po ng mga traktora o mga bagay na ginagamit sa construction ng mga daan, nababa — napapabagal ‘yung pag-access natin sa mga interior areas dahil sa mga roads na ito ay farm-to-market roads karamihan.

So ‘pag naantala ‘yun, ‘yung naapektuhan na mga tao diyan, ‘yung pinaka-nangangailangan. So hindi natin gusto mangyari ‘yan. We want that all these projects will be finished, so that those who need it most will benefit from it.

Mr. Morong: Yeah, those actions, they’ve been doing that for the last 60 years, sir, but with the end goal of ousting the President. Would you say that that is the goal that namo-monitor niyo na action na sinasabi niyo na may pagpa-plano — the objective is to oust the President?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: The objective of the NPA is actually to take hold of the whole Philippines.

Mr. Morong: Yes.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: And government, if that’s what you mean. So that is why, always, they are coming from a very hard bargaining position. So it may be related to that.

Mr. Morong: Sir, kanina you mentioned na hindi manggagaling sa AFP ‘yung any destabilization plot ‘no? Does that mean, sir, that you will not join any groups that will want to destabilize the government?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes. The Armed Forces, as you have seen in these past few years and recent months, has exhibited its very constitutionally-based activities or actions.

Mapagkakatiwalaan niyo po ang inyong Armed Forces na gagawin natin ang nararapat lamang. At ito ‘yung nakalagay na mandato na dapat naming gampanan sa ating Constitution.

Mr. Morong: Okay, sir. Thank you po.

Llanesca Panti (Manila Times): Morning po. Any… anybody could answer. Clari — may I be clarified lang po because of the statement on the church leaders providing assistance or refuge to rogue cops. Is the Palace considering this move of the church or is the military considering this move as a destabilization plot because Solicitor… Solicitor General Calida said I think yesterday that the church is also involved in possible destabilization plots?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Well, as far as government is concerned regarding this pronouncement or the statement that was read a while ago.

We take it that we would like to forewarn the church to just be discerning, which means to say that it could be possible that not all those who seek the help of the church, saying they are seeking help because they want to mend their ways may not be who they say they are.

O baka ginagamit lang ang church para makatakas sila nang husto at makabalik sa mga dati nilang ginagawa.

So essentially, I think the statement is what it means. So we just want to inform the church that we do welcome the efforts of the church as part of the community to assist, but be discerning in the process, so that we may be able to get the real individuals who really are sincerely on the way to mending their ways and not those who are merely using that as escape route.

Ms. Panti: Sir, as it is, is the church discerning en — you don’t think the church is being discerning enough at this point?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Well, of course, the church will be very careful about it. They have their own principles to follow. But as you have also seen, hindi naman lahat po ng pari o men-in-robe ay nakakasunod sa kanilang mga vows religiously.

Take the case na nangyari sa Marikina na meron — Tao rin po sila na merong pagkakataon na ‘pag na-tempt ay nagkakamali. So that is the aspect, I think, that we want to avoid.

Ms. Novenario: Hi, good morning uli, sir. Sir, ano po ‘yung assessment ng AFP doon sa ‘citizens national guard’ na binuo po at parang suportado po nila Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre at PAO Chief Persida Acosta? At meron — In-e-encourage po ba ng AFP ang publiko na magbuo ng similar groups to thwart any destabilization efforts against the government?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Siyempre, ang Armed Forces po maliwanag, against kami sa creation ng private armed groups kasi ‘yan… diyan nagsisimula ang kaguluhan na ngayon ay maaaring sabihin nila na ganito ang kanilang pakay pero later on ay mawawalay sila sa kanilang sinasabing gagawin.

Ang Armed Forces po maliwanag diyan at kung merong naggugusto mag-create ng mga grupo, there is always a legal way to do it.

And we encourage those who are interested to help government to do it the right way, the legal way.

Ms. Novenario: So wala pong accreditation ‘yung AFP sa mga ganitong uri ng grupo?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: So far wala po at I don’t have the full background of the group you mentioned.

Wala po sa akin ngayon ‘yung impormasyon na ‘yan. Pero ang atin pong maliwanag na posisyon sa mga bagay na ito is idaan sa tamang proseso.

And if there are groups wanting to assist government, it can be done in many ways, not through the armed way, kasi doon nagkakaroon ng problema.

Pagka ang isang grupo ay nagnanais tumulong, pwede naman kayong mag-organisa eh. Karapatan po ng bawat indibidwal at mamamayan na mag-organisa upang makatulong sa bayan, makatulong sa ating organisasyon at very much welcome ‘yan.

How? They may start forming their groups. Mag-grupo-grupo sila at ‘yung kanilang network ng grupo na ‘yan ay maaaring nagbibigay ng maayos na impormasyon, nagtuturo na may kaguluhan dito o may mga taong masasamang loob na nandito sa lugar na ‘yan, na nagiging kabahagi na ng ating sinasabi dati na ‘yung shared responsibility sa security. Pero information-based lang, hindi sa armadong paraan.

Kung gusto niyong mag-armas, hindi na po tama kasi nakasaad po sa ating Constitution na isa lang po dapat ang armadong grupo sa buong bansa. Ito lang ‘yung sundalo at kapulisan.

Ms. Novenario: Thank you.

Ms. Panti: Follow-up lang po doon sa ‘citizens national guard.’ Kasi, sir, this group named enemies of the state. Ang cinite (cite) nila, ISIS-inspired terrorism, CPP-NPA, drug cartels, seditious political opposition, yellowtards, foreign intelligence agencies generating international support for bridging change.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yes.

Ms. Panti: I mean it — Are they… Is this group competent to identify enemies of the state or the military is the only one… the military institution is the only one competent to identify which are the enemies of the state po?

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Again, katulad ng sinabi ko kanina, hindi ko hawak lahat ng datos sa grupo na ‘to.

So hindi ko pa nababasa ‘yan at hindi ko pa rin nakukuha ‘yung talagang background at pinagsimulan ng grupong ‘to.

Pero ang nabanggit mo na kami lang ba ang competent na magsabi kung sino ang kalaban ng gobyerno, kalaban ng bansa, hindi po.

In the protection of our national interest, there are many agencies that are involved in doing that. And the Armed Forces is only part of that apparatus.

So what are other organizations that are in-charge of doing that? Our Department of Foreign Affairs is out there deployed in many different areas.

Also, to do just that, to protect the national interest and they do this by going through their diplomatic routines, engaging our host nations and maintaining a good relationship with them.

At the same time, keeping watch and observing if there are trends that will be inimical to our national interest.

So hindi lang po sundalo ‘yun. May iba-ibang ahensiya po na nagsasagawa nung ganong klaseng responsibilidad.

Ms. Panti: Thank you, sir.

MAJ. GEN. PADILLA: Yeah, thank you.

— END —

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