Armed Forces of the Philippines - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Armed Forces of the Philippines


AFP renames key positions, military chief gets additional designation

Jul 13, 2020 - 9:30 PM

With these changes, the defense department wants 'to instill the culture of jointness within the AFP and strictly implement the ‘force provider-force employer’ concept between the major services and the unified commands'

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Special Force. Photo by DARREN LANGIT

[OPINION] Shutting the revolving door: Let the chiefs serve their tenure

Jul 12, 2020 - 1:00 PM

'Appointing the service chiefs with a fixed three-year term is direly needed to ensure that their programs and policies could be implemented, as well as recalibrated should the need arise...'

PH Navy christens first-ever brand new frigate, BRP Jose Rizal

Jul 11, 2020 - 12:03 AM

Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo hails the new warship as 'the great milestone and accomplishment of the defense sector in decades'

TOP WARSHIP. The Philippine Navy's brand new frigate BRP Jose Rizal. Photo from the Philippine Navy

Reservists Sara Duterte, Robin Padilla join PH Army advisory board

Jul 08, 2020 - 10:58 PM

The board also includes other government officials such as Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong, as well as actor and Army reservist Matteo Guidicelli

ARMY RESERVISTS. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and actor Robin Padilla

Slain Jolo soldier’s kin hopes ‘justice will prevail’ as AFP, PNP launch own inquiry

Jul 08, 2020 - 8:02 PM

The military and police will check for 'what went wrong' when cops gunned down 4 soldiers on an intelligence mission in Jolo

GRIEVING. A woman weeps at the casket of one of the 4 soldiers shot dead by police in Jolo, Sulu on June 29, 2020. Photo from the Philippine Army

Suspects in slay of soldier, 3 others surrender in Basilan

Jul 07, 2020 - 9:49 AM

The suspects – all barangay peacekeepers – surrender to the 4th Special Forces Battalion through the assistance of a village chief

SUSPECT. A suspect in the killing of a soldier, CAFGU members, and a civilian surrender with several others to the military on July 6, 2020. Photo courtesy of 4th Special Forces

'Country before anger': Duterte tries to calm down soldiers after Jolo shooting

Jul 03, 2020 - 9:52 PM

Promising justice for the slain officers, President Rodrigo Duterte tells soldiers not to lose sight of the 'real enemy' – communists and terrorists

Kalinga town 'welcomes home' hero who was among soldiers slain in Sulu

Jul 03, 2020 - 8:55 PM

Major Marvin Indammog, the commanding officer of the Army soldiers killed by policemen in Jolo, Sulu, is honored as a 'full-blooded Igorot warrior'

Hundreds of relatives and neighbors of Major Marvin Indammog welcomed their slain hero before noon this Friday. Photo courtesy of Tabuk PIO

WATCH: The killing of 4 soldiers in Sulu – what happened before and after

Jul 02, 2020 - 9:11 PM

EXCLUSIVE: CCTV clips obtained by Rappler show Army soldiers taking over the crime scene after their intelligence agents died – while policemen stood by

TAKEOVER. The military conquers the Jolo shooting crime scene that left 4 of their colleagues dead at the hands of police. Rappler screenshot

Army admits lapses: Soldiers rushed to Sulu crime scene to check on their dead

Jul 02, 2020 - 5:47 PM

The Army says the soldiers wanted to check if the victims were still alive and to secure intelligence equipment

BLOOD IN JOLO. Men – soldiers, not police – figure in the crime scene where cops gunned down 4 soldiers in Jolo, Sulu, on June 29, 2020. Screenshot of CCTV footage from Ricardo Visaya's Facebook

Robredo visits wakes of soldiers slain in Sulu: 'They had such promising futures'

Jul 01, 2020 - 11:45 PM

'All of them are young men who died in the service of the country. It was heartbreaking to hear their stories from their respective families,' says Vice President Leni Robredo

PAYING HER RESPECTS. VP Leni Robredo (2nd from left) visits the wake of  one of the soldiers killed by cops in Sulu on July 1, 2020. Photo from Robredo's Facebook page

Jolo police chief sacked as probe over cops who killed soldiers begins

Jul 01, 2020 - 7:25 PM

The relief further paves the way for an impartial investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation

SHOOTING. The crime scene in Jolo, Sulu, after police shot dead 4 Army soldiers on June 29, 2020. Photo from the Philippine Army

Former AFP chief posts footage of Sulu crime scene, slams PNP 'violations'

Jul 01, 2020 - 7:19 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Now head of the National Irrigation Administration, retired general Ricardo Visaya tells Camp Crame to 'stop covering up [for] their abusive men'

MISHANDLED? Police loitering in the crime scene where 4 cops gunned down 4 soldiers in Jolo, Sulu, on June 29, 2020. Screenshot of CCTV footage from Ricardo Visaya's Facebook

AFP backs Army chief’s 'murder, rubout' claim on soldiers' deaths

Jul 01, 2020 - 3:20 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines says Army chief Gilbert Gapay has basis for his claim on what happened in Sulu, but defers to the probe of the National Bureau of Investigation

RUBOUT? The crime scene in Jolo, Sulu, after police shot dead 4 Army soldiers on June 29, 2020. Photo from the Philippine Army

‘Extremely saddened’ Duterte wants to talk to 9 cops in Jolo ‘misencounter’

Jul 01, 2020 - 12:54 PM

'Lungkot na lungkot siya. Ang ginamit nga niyang salita ay siya ay ‘nanlambot, extremely sad,’ says Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

RODRIGO DUTERTE. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on June 30, 2020. Malacañang photo

‘It was murder’: Army bares details of Jolo police ‘rubout’ of 4 soldiers

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:33 PM

The soldiers’ unarmed commander raised his hands while his deputy was working on his laptop when police shot them dead in broad daylight, says the Army

SLAIN SOLDIERS. (L-R) Sergeant Eric Velasco, Major Marvin Indammog, Captain Irwin Managuelod, and Corporal Abdal Asula, Philippine Army soldiers shot dead by police in Jolo, Sulu, by police on June 29, 2020. Photos from the Philippine Army

Army enraged; police shot 4 intel soldiers in Sulu without gunfight

Jun 30, 2020 - 2:51 PM

The Philippine Army says there was 'no provocation' on the part of the soldiers to 'warrant such carnage'

SLAIN SOLDIERS. Four soldiers were gunned down by police in Jolo, Sulu, on June 29, 2020. Photo from the Philippine Army

PNP, AFP agree to let NBI lead Sulu probe

Jun 29, 2020 - 11:42 PM

Police and military officials seek 'impartiality' in the investigation into the encounter between police and soldiers that led to the death of 4 military intelligence officers

TOP BRASS. Military chief General Felimon Santos Jr (left) and police chief General Archie Gamboa in a Camp Aguinaldo press briefing in January 2020. Photo from PNA

Año orders detention of Sulu cops who gunned down 4 soldiers

Jun 29, 2020 - 8:16 PM

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año joins the Armed Forces in urging the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident

FORMER MILITARY CHIEF. DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano during the Rappler Talk interview at the PNP National Headquarters in Quezon City. File photo by Gerard Carreon/Rappler

Policemen gun down 4 AFP soldiers in Sulu

Jun 29, 2020 - 7:01 PM

(3rd UPDATE) The dead all belonged to Army intelligence. The Armed Forces of the Philippines calls on the National Bureau of Investigation to step in to conduct an impartial investigation.

[ANALYSIS] COVID-19 and civil-military relations in the PH: Getting the balance right

Jun 29, 2020 - 3:34 PM

'While it is reasonable to say that the role of the AFP in the government’s COVID-19 response has been substantial, there are two risks that could affect civil-military relations during this pandemic period'

28 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed for first half of 2020 – AFP

Jun 27, 2020 - 8:33 PM

29 Abu Sayyaf militants have surrendered during the same period

SURRENDEREES. An imam and two members of the Abu Sayyaf Group surrender to the Armed Forces of the Philippines on June 17, 2020. Photo from the AFP Western Mindanao Command Facebook page

Military vows more offensives as Duterte insists NPA top terror threat in PH

Jun 23, 2020 - 4:40 PM

'We will strike while the iron is hot,' says the Armed Forces of the Philippines after Duterte steps up his rhetoric against communist rebels

SOLDIERS. Soldiers at a checkpoint wearing protective gear against the coronavirus. Photo courtesy of Jose Rizal Memorial State University

Soldier killed, 9 others wounded in 'fierce firefight' with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Jun 22, 2020 - 11:44 PM

Bloodstains on the terror group's escape path indicate an 'undetermined number' of casualties among its members, says the military in Western Mindanao

LOOK: Stranded travelers at the PH Army Gym

Jun 20, 2020 - 7:53 AM

The Philippine Army says it has sheltered more than 400 stranded travelers since June 13

STRANDED. Travelers unable to catch rides to their provinces take shelter at the Philippine Army Gym at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on June 19, 2020. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

PH Army opens mental health center for soldiers

Jun 19, 2020 - 10:04 PM

Nearly two months since the killing of war-traumatized soldier Winston Ragos, the Philippine Army sets up a mental health and resilience program for its troops

GRIEVING. Merlyn Ragos (C), mother of the late Corporal Winston Ragos, joins the Philippine Army in launching its mental health center for soldiers in Taguig City. Photo from the Philippine Army

2 soldiers killed, 2 wounded in ambush in Occidental Mindoro

Jun 18, 2020 - 1:35 PM

Unidentified attackers waylay military personnel on an SUV and run away with cash meant for CAFGUs' subsistence allowances, says the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command

PH Navy's brand new frigate docks in Subic after 2-week quarantine

Jun 15, 2020 - 11:59 PM

A christening and commissioning ceremony for the BRP Jose Rizal originally set for June 19 is postponed 'due to unavoidable circumstances,' says the Navy

NEW FRIGATE. The Philippine Navy's brand new frigate BRP Jose Rizal is officially welcomed in Subic after a 2-week quarantine period. Photo from the Philippine Navy

More plans to upgrade Pag-asa Island as Lorenzana unveils beaching ramp

Jun 09, 2020 - 4:16 PM

The ramp allows for the delivery of large equipment and supplies in the West Philippine Sea. A new sheltered harbor will also be inaugurated on Friday, June 12.

MILESTONE. The new beaching ramp at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defense

PH Army: Computer programmer recruitment 'not for malicious purposes'

Jun 08, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Some netizens wonder whether the Philippine Army's recruitment of information technology practitioners may have had something to do with the proliferation of fake accounts on Facebook

SOLDIERS. Philippine Army soldiers during their anniversary rites at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, in March 2020. File photo from the Philippine Army

4 soldiers killed in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Jun 06, 2020 - 11:43 AM

(UPDATED) Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Arvin John Encinas says 2 Abu Sayyaf members were killed during the encounter

Military ‘pleased’ with Congress passage of anti-terror bill

Jun 04, 2020 - 4:51 PM

The bill does not seem to add any new power to the armed forces, says military spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo

EDGARD AREVALO. Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo during a media briefing in August 2019. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

LOOK: New harbor on Pag-asa Island

May 30, 2020 - 9:25 PM

The harbor, along with other new structures on the island, will make both civilian and military visits easier – a small but significant step forward in establishing Filipino presence in the West Philippine Sea

SAFE HARBOR. An aerial view of the construction of a sheltered port at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Municipal Engineering Office of the Kalayaan Island Group

Air Force pilot Erickson Gloria is new military commander guarding West PH Sea

May 30, 2020 - 4:18 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines announces changes in key positions as Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria takes over the Western Command based in Palawan

NEW WESCOM CHIEF. Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria is appointed commander of the AFP Western Command. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

LOOK: PH Navy's 1st missile-ready warship arrives in Subic

May 23, 2020 - 10:40 PM

BRP Jose Rizal is the most powerful and lethal of the Navy's warships

BRP JOSE RIZAL. PH Navy's newest missile capable frigate arrives in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy

Military to help give out cash subsidy in remote, critical areas

May 20, 2020 - 4:45 PM

The government will no longer entrust the cash aid's second installment to local governments, following reports of anomalies in the distribution

MILITARY AND POLICE. Combined troops from the military and police in a briefing prior to enforcing a total lockdown of Sampaloc, Manila, in April 2020. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler now has GPS tracking for some public transport in Pasig

May 18, 2020 - 11:40 PM is working with the Pasig City government to allow users to track buses and shuttles plying specific routes as they make their way through the city

4 NPA leaders, 11 fighters killed in Northern Mindanao

May 17, 2020 - 6:07 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines says 186 communist rebels have been killed since January 2020

PH Navy's brand new frigate to arrive May 23

May 15, 2020 - 8:18 PM

The BRP Jose Rizal will be the most powerful, first ever missile-capable warship in the Philippine Fleet

MODERN FRIGATE. The 'multi-mission capable' BRP Jose Rizal will be the Philippine Navy's most powerful warship when it arrives in April or May 2020. Photo from the Philippine Navy

Military and police kill 17 NPA rebels in weeklong attacks

May 13, 2020 - 5:46 PM

As the country battles a pandemic, 19 guerrillas surrender, and two are arrested in military and police operations against the New People’s Army from May 4 to 11

SOLDIERS. Philippine Army troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion at their headquarters in Placer, Surigao del Norte on August 2, 2016. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Military told to behave properly on social media

May 07, 2020 - 5:03 PM

Although a number of military members posted their opinions about ABS-CBN going off the air, the AFP says the directive was prompted by social media posts and comments ‘from the past’

MILITARY TROOPS. Special Forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

LOOK: PH Navy ships in India to pick up face masks, repatriate Filipino tourists

May 07, 2020 - 12:27 PM

The naval vessels will bring home some 200,000 face masks donated by a Filipino businessman

NAVY VESSELS. The BRP Davao del Sur (R) and the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (L) docked in Conchin, India. Photo from the Philippine Navy

Soldiers to help run 'mega swabbing center' in Taguig

May 06, 2020 - 8:00 PM

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will provide non-medical support to the national government's COVID-19 testing center at Enderun Colleges in Bonifacio Global City

SWAB CENTER. Cabinet officials inspect the government's "mega swabbing center" at Enderun Colleges in Taguig City on May 6, 2020. Photo from the Department of National Defense

Decapitated boatman found on Tawi-Tawi beach

May 02, 2020 - 2:42 PM

Authorities suspect the dead man was Ruihan Yu, who tried to row across the Pacific Ocean by himself, and was last spotted in distress on November 27, 2019, near the Marshall Islands

BEACHED VESSEL. This ocean rowboat was found on the beach on Kinapusan Island in Tawi-Tawi on April 24, 2020, near a dead body suspected to be the adventurer Ruihan Yu, who had been missing since the end of November 2019. Photo from AFP Western Mindanao Command

CPP-NPA ends ceasefire, resumes offensives vs government forces

May 01, 2020 - 11:25 AM

(UPDATED) The truce failed to stop clashes between government troops and communist rebels, both sides admit

COMMUNIST REBELS. Armed members of the New Peoples Army-Melito Glor Command gather in a clearing in the lower Sierra Madre mountains in Quezon Province, on December 26, 2018. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Who's afraid of martial law?

May 01, 2020 - 7:15 AM

We should expect President Duterte to keep on seeing red throughout this pandemic and we should stay vigilant in making sure he’s not going to arm-twist us into accepting that the coronavirus is armed

LOOK: Army reservist gives pedestrian a face mask in Mandaluyong City

Apr 29, 2020 - 12:42 PM

A man is spotted walking the streets without a face mask, so a Philippine Army reservist gives him a warning – and a face mask. That's how to do it, netizens say.

PROBLEM SOLVED. A Philippine Army reservist gives a Mandaluyong City pedestrian a face mask. Photo from the Mandaluyong CDRRMO

'Offensive,' Lorenzana says about China's laser gun aimed at PH Navy ship

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:58 PM

'Why does the Chinese Navy need to aim their target acquisition radars at our airplanes or ships?' asks Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

PHILIPPINE WARSHIP. The BRP Conrado Yap pulling into the Port of Manila in August 2019. File photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

Lorenzana, AFP defend military chief's 'out of place' letter to Chinese envoy

Apr 28, 2020 - 2:11 PM

Although the military chief's letter to the Chinese envoy may have been 'out of place,' Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he sees nothing wrong with it

THE CHIEFS. Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana (2nd L) and military chief General Felimon Santos Jr (R) pose with President Rodrigo Duterte and the new and outgoing Air Force chiefs during the change of command ceremony at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on January 16, 2020. Malacañang photo

AFP chief asked Chinese envoy help to buy COVID-19 'medicine,' then recalls letter

Apr 27, 2020 - 11:35 PM

A leaked letter shows AFP chief General Felimon Santos Jr requesting Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian’s help in obtaining Carrimycin tablets, which he said he used when he was sick with COVID-19

MILITARY CHIEF. Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr sent the Chinese ambassador a letter asking helo to obtain off-label drugs to treat COVID-19.