Press Release
November 29, 2016

Koko blasts ambush in Lanao del Sur, calls on AFP to take action

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III called on the military to bring to justice perpetrators of an ambush on an advance party of President Rodrigo Duterte in Lanao del Sur.

According to Brig. Gen. Restituto Padillia, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, seven personnel of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and two security escorts from the military were wounded in an ambush on Tuesday morning in Sitio Matalupay, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Pimentel said, "We cannot tolerate such brazen terrorist attacks against our uniformed personnel. It's time for the AFP to show them the consequences of such brutality."

Brig. Gen. Padilla said that the ambush was carried out with the use of an improvised explosive device (IED) against a convoy of PSG and military personnel.

Pimentel praised the dedication of the PSG and military personnel assigned to safeguard the President.

"I cannot help but admire the dedication of the members of the PSG and the AFP in ensuring the security of the President, even at the risk of their own lives," Pimentel said.

Pimentel said, "I know President Duterte is very hands on, but we must also be mindful of his security, as he is not just a man, but a symbol for the country."

"I suggest that the should proceed with the trip only if his security team is absolutely sure that they can protect him from all possible threats," he added.

The military is currently conducting offensives against the Maute terrorist group in the area after the latter occupied the town of Butig.

Pimentel declined to speculate on the identity of the perpetrators of the ambush or on their motives.

Pimentel said, "Their allegiance or intentions are irrelevant. They committed a crime and they must be brought to justice for it."

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