PEACE AND SECURITY

71st Philippine Marines anniversary celebration

Bongao | 2nd Marine Brigade led the Tawi-Tawi celebration of the 71st Philippine Marines anniversary last November 23 recognizing military officials, civilian partners, and the local government units for their valuable contribution to the fulfillment of the 2MBde mission in the province.

Hji. Dhimzar M. Sali, Municipal Administrator of Languyan Municipality, and former BTA member Al-syed A. Sali, Al-hajj represented Honorable Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali who was the Guest of Honor and Speaker.

Hji. Dhimzar, a congressional aspirant, expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Marines Corps for their sincere and dedicated service rendered to the province, maintaining Tawi-Tawi a safe and peaceful locality. “Nais kong batiin kayo ng Happy 71st Marine Birthday. Maraming-maraming salamat sa serbisyong tunay at hindi matatawaran para sa amin dito sa Tawi-Tawi. On behalf of our beloved Governor, gusto namin mabigyan ng saysay at kulay ang inyong pananatili dito sa ating probinsiya bilang ganti para sa inyong tapat na serbisyo. Itinuturing na namin kayo bilang pamilya namin kahit na hindi permanente ang inyong paglagi dito. I believed na ganoon din kayo sa amin. Ituring ninyong “your home away from home” ang ating probinsya. Narito ang ating provincial government na laging sumusuporta sa inyo para sa kapakanan ng ating bayan.”

Colonel Romeo Racadio, 2MBde Commander, and his Deputy Commander Colonel Nestor Narag Jr. presented a plaque of appreciation and a memento to former MP Al-syed who received the recognition in behalf of his father Governor Sali.

Ms. Sugaida Sali-Decierdo, Executive Assistant to the Governor, was one of the eight individuals awarded by the National Headquarters through the 2MBde during the anniversary celebration dubbed as Red Shield Night. She was joined by Board Member Hasanal Jeoffrey Sali, Bongao Mayor Jimuel Que, South Ubian Mayor Hadzri Matba, Hji. Dhimzar, former MP Al-syed, and PDRRM Officer Hadjimar Matba as she received her recognition from Colonel Racadio.

PDRRMO-PAF coordination meeting

Bongao | Mr. Hadjimar Matba, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, meets with members of the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group for Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (PAF TOG-SULTAW) on Friday to coordinate for the conduct of the search and rescue auxiliary training.

Briton turned over TTPPO to Fulo

Bongao | Police Colonel Bonard Briton turned over the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office to Acting Provincial Director Police Colonel Ronaldo Fulo during the Change of Command ceremony officiated by PNP-BAR Regional Director Police Brigadier General Eden Ugale last November 05 at Camp Alejandro Suarez.

Outgoing PD Briton, before signing his relinquishment order, conveyed his gratitude to the organizations, agencies, and individuals, especially the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi headed by Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali, and local chief executives of the 11 municipalities who supported him in his almost two-year post at TTPPO. He described, “There are two expressions that summarize my feelings, I am blessed, and it’s an honor to serve.”

He requested the LGUs and all agencies to support PD Fulo as they have supported him during his tenure. Furthermore, He also requested his successor, “Ang tanging hiling ko lang sa’yo (PCol Fulo), alagaan mo ang Tawi-Tawians.”

PCol Briton, who will be re-assigned to PRO-BAR, was awarded the Medalya ng Kasanayan, and various plaques and tokens of appreciation for his meritorious and invaluable service to the people of the Province of Tawi-Tawi.

Tawi-Tawi Police Head pays exit call

Bongao | Outgoing Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Director Colonel Bonard D. Briton pays an exit call to Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali, Vice-Governor Michail Ahaja, and the rest of officials and heads of offices of the provincial government on Tuesday.

Colonel Briton thanks Governor Sali and the whole PLGU for supporting his leadership of almost two years. He expresses, “Hindi ko po makakalimutan itong Tawi-Tawi. Sa inyo pong lahat, maraming-maraming salamat po. Napakaganda ‘yong experience ‘yong pag-stay ko dito sa Tawi-Tawi ng two years. Kakaibang lugar…kakaibang lugar po itong Tawi-Tawi. Siguro ‘yong taga-Luzon hindi nila alam. Palagi sinasabi ko po mas maraming Pilipino iyong nakapunta ng Hong Kong or Singapore kaysa sa Pilipinong nakapunta ng Tawi-Tawi.” He describes himself lucky having been deployed to the province, “Kaya ‘yong mapunta ka ng Tawi-Tawi talagang napakaswerte mong tao, kasi hindi lahat ng Pilipino nararating ang Tawi-Tawi. Maraming-maraming salamat po. May Allah bless us all.”

Board Members Sukarno Asri MD, Abduljamil Ishmael PhD, Mahmud Bawasanta, Habib Ismael Masdal together with his son Melhan Masdal, Hasanal Jeoffrey Sali, and Rajil Aspirin, Provincial Administrator Mobin Gampal, Provincial Planning and Development Officer Engr. Wahab Bakil, Provincial Engineer Samil Tati appreciated Colonel Briton for his significant contribution in the peace and order in the province.

Governor Sali and Vice-Governor Ahaja presented a pisyabit, a Mang Sali signature mug, a souvenir agong, and a unique Tawi-Tawi pearl as mementos to Colonel Briton in grateful recognition for his commitment and dedication to service to the people of Tawi-Tawi.

Governor Sali wishes for Colonel Briton, “Masaya ako sa magagandang sinasabi ng iba tungkol sa iyo. Siyempre para sa akin ang pangarap ko para sa iyo hindi isang star lang kasi hindi maliwag. Gusto ko marami. Maraming star. Isasama namin sa prayer na sana mabigyan ka ng opportunity para makasilbi as Regional Director ng PNP. Hindi ka mawawala sa puso namin kasi ang pagmamahal namin sa iyo ay bilang kapatid hindi lang bilang kaibigan. Ang ginawa mo dito sa Tawi-Tawi walang katumbas na bagay, walang katumbas na salita. Ang katumbas lang ay prayer at pangarap namin para sa iyo. Sinisigurado namin na susuportahan namin ang papalit sa iyo as PD.”

Colonel Briton will relinquish his post on November 5 and will take on a post in PNP Bangsamoro Autonomous Regional office.

China donates police vehicle to Tawi-Tawi

Bongao | Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali turns over to Police Major Annidul Sali, Chief of Police of Bongao Municipal Police Station a patrol motorcycle on Wednesday. The unit with various accessories is part of several donated mobility vehicles from the government of the People’s Republic of China to the City Government of Davao.

Board Member Atty. Jet Lim proposed to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte the possibility of sharing one unit to Tawi-Tawi which was granted.

Governor Sali thanks the PRC government and Mayor Inday Sara for the provision of the additional police vehicle that helps in the visibility and service of local police.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Alvin Gumacal, new Commander of the 1st Special Operations Unit of Police Maritime Group Tawi-Tawi, made a courtesy call to Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali early Friday.

PLtCol Gumacal, on his fourth day of deployment in the province, guaranteed Governor Sali their continued commitment to the people of Tawi-Tawi and strong partnership with the Provincial Local Government Unit and the different Municipal LGUs.

He added he was impressed on the local government unit performance evident in the generally peaceful and progressive islands province after attending the third quarter joint meeting for Provincial Peace and Order Council, Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council yesterday.

Bongao | Philippine Navy and Marine base commanders in Tawi-Tawi met the officials of the Provincial Government on Tuesday to present updates and plans of their respective companies.

Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali and Vice-Governor Michail K. Ahaja endorsed to District Engineer Borris-Zanzibar Kadil the proposed establishments and improvements of various base facilities at Lamion, Bato-Bato, and Panguan as the provincial board members committed to supporting the project that will help the armed forces in continuously strengthening their services to the people of Tawi-Tawi.

SALW Pilot Launch Tawi-Tawi

Bongao | Municipal local governments units of Languyan and Sapa-Sapa turned 70 surrendered loose firearms to the Philippine National Police and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process during the launching of the Small Arms and Light Weapons program in Tawi-Tawi last August 22, Sunday.

Police Lieutenant Aldin Nurhussin, Officer-in-Charge of Languyan Municipal Police Station presented 30 firearms while Police Major Winston Botengan, Chief of Police of Sapa-Sapa presented 40 as the two municipalities set to pilot the SALW.

Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali recognized the OPAPP, the PNP, and the armed forces for their important work, especially in assisting the LGUs in sustaining peace and order, making the provinces such as Tawi-Tawi attractive to investors and tourists.

Ariel Hernandez, Chairman of the OPAPP-Joint Normalization Committee, explained the SALW is not only about firearms regulation and management but the development in the locality as evident with Tawi-Tawi having the lowest poverty rate in BARMM.

Police Colonel Bonard Briton, Provincial Director of Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office, and Colonel Romeo Racadio, Commander of 2nd Marine Brigade expressed their support and commitment to the peace programs to ensure stability and security in the province.

Present during the launch and turn-over were BM Dayang Carlsum Sangkula-Jumaide, BM Sabuddin Abdurahim, BM Sukarno Asri MD, BM Hasanal Jeoffrey Sali, BM Mahmud Bawasanta, BM Renil Samsuya, Provincial Accountant Ahmad Burahim, Provincial Administrator Mobin Gampal, Provincial Engineer Samil Tati, Spiritual Adviser Abdulkhabir Musa, representatives of LGU Languyan and Sapa-Sapa, and the 43 barangay chairpersons of the two municipalities.

Dumalo sina Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali at Board Member Sabuddin Abdurahim sa Change of Command at seremonya ng pagreretiro ni Lieutenant General Corleto S. Vinluan Jr. sa Western Mindanao Command sa Lungsod ng Zamboanga nitong Martes.

Pinangunahan ni Lieutenant General Jose C. Faustino Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines ang pagpasa ng panunungkulan sa WesMinCom kay Major General Generoso M. Ponio, Commander ng 1st Infantry Division, bilang Acting Commander.

Sa kanyang mensahe ng pagpapaalam, pinasalamatan ni Outgoing Commander Vinluan ang mga opisyales at personahe ng iba’t ibang sangay ng militar na kanyang nakasama sa 33 taon niyang serbisyo. Pinasalamatan din niya ang mga pinuno ng iba’t ibang lokal na pamahalaan kabilang na si Governor Sali na katuwang ng sandahang lakas sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan, kaunlaran at kapayapaan sa kapuluan ng Pilipinas.

Ginawaran ni Pangulong Rodrigo R. Duterte si LtGen Vinluan ng Philippine Legion of Honor sa digri ng Commander para sa kanyang hindi matawarang kontribusyon sa AFP at sa bansa.

READ | The Provincial Audit Team (PAT) of the Anti-Drugs Abuse Council (ADAC) convened to assess and audit the FY 2020 performance of the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Councils MADAC of the 11 island municipalities in the province of Tawi-Tawi. The ADAC -PAT is chaired by Mr. Cidrimar T. Maring OIC, Provincial Director, Ministry of Interior and Local Government — BARMM.

The assessment activity was attended by the following members; Tawi Tawi PNP represented by LT COL Rey Bercasio — Deputy Provincial Director, PDEA Provincial Director A1 Ailine Jo C. Artus, from the CSO represented by Rasheed A. Tikmasan of Tarbilang Inc. and the Provincial focal person Atty. Mandutong S. Jumianjang Jr.

Initial results show that majority of the MADACs in the province obtained moderate functional ratings, while at least 5 municipalities set to garner high functional ratings.

The final results of the assessment shall be reviewed by the Regional and National Audit teams respectively.

The assessment and audit of ADAC is yearly conducted in accordance with the DILG issuance and as part of the SGLG assessment in consonance with the Anti-Drug agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Zamboanga City | Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali and First Lady Jumda A. Sali donates to Philippine Coast Guard a lot in Sahasa, Sitio Tahaw, Barangay Datuk Akram in Pearl Bank in the Municipality of Languyan for the establishment of a coastal radar station in the southernmost of the Philippines.

Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr., Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard, receives the deed of donation on behalf of the Department of Transportation during the ceremonial signing of the deed in Zamboanga City.

The radar station in Pearl Bank is among the five in the Province of Tawi-Tawi that will help in strengthening PCG presence in the porous border in the southern Philippines closest to Indonesia and Malaysia. The other four stations are in the municipalities of Mapun, Turtle Islands, Sibutu, and Bongao.

The establishment of the radar stations in Tawi-Tawi is part of the first phase of the Coastal Radar Stations Project stipulated in the Philippine Maritime Strategy 2020-2021.

Brigadier General Arturo G. Rojas turns over 2nd Marine Brigade commandership to Colonel Romeo T. Racadio during the Change of Command ceremony in their headquarters in Sanga-Sanga, Bongao on Saturday.

In his relinquishment message BGen Rojas thanks his family and the families of the marines of the brigade for their love, support, and understanding. He recognizes that their families are the source of their inspiration in their various deployments to serve the Filipino nation. Sincere to his dedication to Tawi-Tawi Province and its people, BGen Rojas commits “I want to recommend to higher headquarters and encourage our lawmakers to help us not to make cuts in supporting our efforts in Tawi-Tawi but rather we should boost it. The fight is far from over. We need to hold the games we have accomplished. Tough days are yet to be fought for us to fully gain our momentum into the development phase.”

Governor Yshmael I. Sali and Vice-Governor Michail K. Ahaja present to BGen Rojas the “Perlas ng Tawi-Tawi” as a symbol of profound gratitude of the people of Tawi-Tawi for the general’s friendship and rendered service to the province.

Miss Sugaida Sali-Decierdo, an Executive Assistant to the Governor, also presented to the Philippine Marine Corps the donation from First Lady Jumda A. Sali and the Tawi-Tawi Women’s Council to aid the programs and projects of the Philippine Military Wives Association.

BGen Rojas is taking a new post as Deputy Commander of Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City.

The Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi represented by Provincial Administrator Mobin N. Gampal honored the Philippine Coast Guard during the visit of its Commandant Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr. to the province of Tawi-Tawi on June 24-25.

Admiral Ursabia, together with his officials onboard MRRV-4401 BRP Tubbataha, visited Tawi-Tawi to conduct a medical-dental mission in the municipalities of Panglima Sugala, Sibutu, and Turtles Islands.

The PCG Commandant also awarded merit medals and ribbons to 25 coast guard personnel in Sibutu for their significant role in the establishment of the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Base in the municipality.

Admiral Ursabia committed “Rest assured we will sustain our previous efforts in securing our maritime jurisdiction, especially the frontiers where we are needed the most.”

BRP Tubbataha mission to the province is part of the week-long maritime exercises on anti-terrorism and anti-piracy, and coastal monitoring and communication capabilities for search and rescue off the waters of Zamboanga Peninsula and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

BRP Tubbataha also transported 3,000 vials of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Municipality of Mapun.

LtCol Charlie S Caña takes over as Commanding Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 in Bongao Headquarters in Barangay Nalil.

Outgoing battalion commander LtCol Aladdin G Caluza, in his relinquishment message, reminds the MBLT-12 to take on their corps values of courage, competence, commitment, and character in achieving a more peaceful and threat-free Tawi-Tawi.

BGen Arturo C Rojas, Commander of 2nd Marine Brigade, presides the change of command with Governor Yshmael I Sali and several municipal mayors and provincial board members witnessing the ceremony.

31 May 2021 | Bongao—Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, awarded the officers and personnel of the 2nd Marine Brigade during his visit on Sunday in Sanga-Sanga headquarters.

Together with Western Mindanao Commander Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr and Brigadier General Arturo Rojas of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, General Sobejana conferred the awards for the successful operations last March resulting in the rescue of Indonesian kidnap victims, and the neutralization of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and two followers in the Municipality of Languyan.

General Sobejana instructed the commanders to manage responsive morale and wellness programs that will aid the members of the armed forces to be happy as this translates to productivity.

The AFP Chief of Staff reminded his men that their ultimate goal is to achieve peace by securing the people and protecting the State. He emphasized, “What is more important to us is winning the peace more than winning the war. Kasi wala talagang nananalo sa gera sa totoo lang. We may be able to kill the enemy, finish them off, but still, humanity is the losing end.”

Read | Joint Normalization Committee representatives from the Philippine Government panel consulted the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi the program on small arms and light weapons before its pilot implementation in the municipalities of Languyan and Sapa-Sapa.

George Michael D. Oribiana, a project development officer at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, presented the proposed operational framework which aims to restrict movement and manage the number of loose firearms of private individuals and groups since this is a primary cause of violence in remote areas.

The initial stage of the program is accounting for individuals with firearms in the barangays with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to promote responsible ownership of firearms in the Bangsamoro. Those who would decide to surrender their firearms may be provided with non-monetary education and livelihood assistance to eliminate dependency on firearms for survival. Surrendered firearms will be smelted to reduce the risk of diversion. While a one-stop-shop for firearms registration will be set up to assist individuals who choose not to turn in their firearms.

Governor Yshmael I. Sali sought the expansion of coverage of the categories of the firearms registration under the SALW program to encourage cooperation from a wider scope of individuals, with possession of unregistered firearms and those whose firearms registration have expired, in the province which will also facilitate provincial data and imposition of firearms regulations.

Police Colonel Bonard D. Briton, Police Provincial Director of Tawi-Tawi, asked the representatives from the JNC-OPAPP to elevate to the national government the request for a national firearms amnesty since the provincial police do not have the authority for the said grant.

Governor Sali guaranteed that the Provincial Government of Tawi-Tawi would assure the pilot implementation of the SAWL program so that the other nine municipalities will also benefit from this normalization process.

The SALW program is part of the Normalization Track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.