The Daily Manila Shimbun


Army commander in Marawi relieved

June 2, 2017

The commander of the Army’s 103rd Brigade that covers the security in the area of Marawi City was relieved following the entry of the terrorist group in the city last week. Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson, Philippine Army Public Affairs Officer confirmed that Brig. Gen. Nixon Fortes of 103rd Brigade was replaced by Col. Generoso Ponyo who was the deputy brigade commander of the same unit. “Brig. Gen. Fortes designated as Assistant Division Commader of Army’s 1st Infantry Division,” he said. However, Tiongson denied that the replacement of Fortes does not have any relation to the attacked in Marawi City that started last May 23. “Actually (the commander of) 1st Infantry Division is also the (commandeer of) Task Force Marawi, so he needs an assistant division commander so that everything will not be focused on him, so that other concerns of the division will be addressed,” he said. Tiongson said the replacement Fortes took effect last May 29. As of Friday, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the Maute terrorist group are  occupying some commercial buildings in the city. “The enemy continues to occupy some commercial buildings as defensible enemy lairs,” he said. “The enemy is using children and civilians as human shields (and use) madrasahs as staging areas and mosques as sniper nest,” he added. Padilla also mentioned that the number of terrorist member killed on the ongoing military operation still stand at 120 with 90 body counts, while the number of fatalities on government side also remains at 36. (Robina Asido/DMS)