Tag Archive: 19 soldiers dead


3 Special Forces colonels sacked

Three Army Special Forces colonels were removed from their posts following the clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters that left 19 soldiers dead earlier this week.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz ordered the relief of Col. Alexander Macario as head of Special Operations Task Force Basilan.

Macario was removed from his post “after further inquiry showed lapses on his part,” Ortiz said in a text message to reporters late Friday.

Macario will be replaced by Col. Ramon Yogyog effective the same day, Ortiz said.

Colonel Antonio Parlade, meanwhile, was removed as Army spokesman after appearing in television interviews saying that troops were “demoralized” by the clash and that “in his opinion,” the ceasefire with the MILF should be suspended.

“Yes it’s confirmed, I just did my job, said what I think was right,” Parlade said in a text message to reporters, confirming his relief.

“I’m happy knowing our soldiers’ voice and sentiments were heard. We are not politicians. We are soldiers, professional soldiers. We are ready to take the bullet are whatever cost,” he added.

A military source, who requested anonymity, said it was President Benigno Aquino himself who ordered Parlade’s removal as Army spokesman.

“He (Parlade) is supposed to be a spokesman, he sould go back to school… if you are a spokesman, you should not be saying those things,” the source said, quoting the President.

Parlade had served as commander of the 1st Special Forces Battalion, which operates in rebel infested areas in the Southern Tagalog region, before taking over the Army Chief of Public Affairs office in Fort Bonifacio.

Major Harold Cabunoc was ordered by Ortiz to serve as acting Army spokesman.

On Wednesday, Ortiz relieved Lt. Col. Leo Peña as commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, the Army unit that was involved in Tuesday’s deadly clash in Al Barkah.

Lieutenant Col. Jose Laplap, the deputy SOTF Basilan commander, was appointed as acting head of the 4SFBn. (John Roson)

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Task Force Basilan commander sacked

See also: 3 Special Forces colonels sacked

Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz has relieved Col. Alexander Macario as head of Special Operations Task Force Basilan, following the clash with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that left 19 soldiers dead.

Macario was removed from his post “after further inquiry showed lapses on his part,” Ortiz said in a text message to reporters late Friday.

Macario will be replaced by Col. Ramon Yogyog effective the same day, Ortiz said.

On Wednesday, Ortiz also relieved Lt. Col. Leo Peña as commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, the Army unit that was involved in Tuesday’s deadly clash in Al Barkah.

Lieutenant Col. Jose Laplap, the deputy SOTF Basilan commander, was appointed as acting head of the 4SFBn. (John Roson)

See also: 3 Special Forces colonels sacked

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President Benigno Aquino III expressed dissatisfaction over the Armed Forces’ performance and even ordered the military to reorganize following the attacks that left 26 soldiers and policemen dead in Mindanao.

“He (Aquino) expressed dissatisfaction of the series of events that happened starting with Taganito… with the performance of the Armed Forces,” AFP deputy chief of staff for operations Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said in a briefing Friday afternoon.

Aquino earlier presided over a command conference with military officers in Camp Aguinaldo and left 4:30 p.m. without facing the media.

Military officers briefed Aquino on recent incidents, including attacks by the New People’s Army on three mining firms in Surigao del Norte, the clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters in Basilan that left 19 soldiers dead, and ambuscades by the MILF that left seven dead among security forces in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The officials did not recommend a suspension of the ceasefire in order to pursue MILF forces in Basilan, Mabanta said.

“It has not been discussed… There is no hot pursuit operation conducted against the MILF at this point in time because of the existing ceasefire mechanism,” he said.

“Wala tayong planong ganun, first and foremost… peace is still on top of our minds, eventually we want to attain peace and we have to wait,” he added.

Mabanta, however, said that was not the same for MILF forces that staged two ambuscades in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“We are conducting full offensive military operation against them at this point in time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President gave “specific guidance” to review the military’s organizational set up in “critical areas” like Jolo and Basilan.

“Ang tinitingnan natin are things that have to be undertaken, look at changes in the organization web, the need to reorganize… we need to upgrade our capabilities,” Mabanta said.

Asked how the military took the President’s dissatisfaction, Mabanta said, “We took it in good stride and we will have to step up our operation and improve.”

Mabanta, a former military spokesman, denied that there was “demoralization” among officers, but admitted he is saddened by the death of soldiers. (John Roson)

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