Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Another top NPA leader in Cotabato arrested —security forces

From GMA News Online (Oct 23, 2019): Another top NPA leader in Cotabato arrested —security forces

Lawmen arrested last Tuesday a woman they believed to be a top leader of the New People's Army operating in the hinterlands of Cotabato.

Joint operatives from the Kidapawan City Police and the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion, arrested a certain Mindaley Satentes-Genotiva.
Genotiva, alias "Kumander Karla," was arrested at the Spottswood Methodist Center along the highway in Kidapawan City at past 5 p.m. Tuesday.


Genotiva was arrested on the basis of warrants for arrest issued by Judge Henelinda Molina-Diaz of the Regional Trial Court branch 61 in the city.

Based on the warrants, she is facing five counts of frustrated murder, attempted murder, and murder.

Genotiva is believed a top leader of the NPA's Front 53, whose operations include Kidapawan City, Magpet, and other hinterland towns in the Arakan Valley Development Complex in North Cotabato.

On September 29, NPA Front 53 Commander "Jazmin" or Rachel Daguman was apprehended inside the public market in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/712726/another-top-npa-leader-in-cotabato-arrested-security-forces/story/

Senior NPA rebel leader captured in Mindanao (Photo of Genotiva)

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Oct 23, 2019): Senior NPA rebel leader captured in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY – Security forces have captured a senior communist leader in Kidapawan City in southern Philippines as military operation continues against the insurgents in the restive region.

Lt. Col. Ezra Batagtey, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said Mindaley Santeses Genotiva was captured at a checkpoint on Wednesday afternoon after soldiers and policemen intercepted her van. Details of the operation were not made public, but Balagtey said Genotiva had been under surveillance prior to her arrest.



A military photo released to regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner shows New People’s Army leader Mindaley Santeses Genotiva following her capture on October 22, 2019 in Kidapawan City.

He said Genotiva, who heads the Sub-Regional Urban Committee and Regional Tax Implementing Group of the New People’s Army and Communist Party of the Philippines, are facing a string of criminal cases and included on the most wanted list of the police and military.

Genotiva operates in North Cotabato, Southern Bukidnon, and Davao City, hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte who ordered a massive operation against the insurgent group fighting for a separate communist state in the country.

A report by Col. Gabriel Viray III, commander of the 901st Infantry Brigade, who was behind the operation that led to Genotiva’s capture, said the rebel leader have at least 8 arrest warrants for murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder charges against her. “All warrants were issued and signed by Presiding Judge Henelinda J. Molina-Diaz of RTC-12, Branch 61 in Kidapawan City,” he said.

Genotiva was also being implicated to extortion activities in the provinces and violent anti-government protests in Kidapawan City in April 2016.

Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, praised the capture of the rebel leader and warned the NPA of the government’s continued operation, branding Genotiva as a “high-value target.” “Her capture will bring justice to the victims of her atrocities,” Santos said.

There was no immediate statement from the NPA on Genotiva’s capture.

https://mindanaoexaminer.com/senior-npa-rebel-leader-captured-in-mindanao-2/

PDEA: NPA ‘protects’ marijuana planters in Region 12

From MindaNews (Oct 23, 2019): PDEA: NPA ‘protects’ marijuana planters in Region 12

TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato (MindaNews / 23 Oct) – The New People’s Army (NPA) is providing protection to marijuana plantations existing in the mountains bordering four provinces in Mindanao, officials said here Wednesday.


Officials burn some of the marijuana plants discovered in the mountainous borders of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur on Wednesday (23 October 2019) in Tampakan, South Cotabato. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

Naravy Duquiatan, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 12 (PDEA-12) director, said that marijuana plantations have been flourishing in the quad-boundaries of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur provinces because the communist rebels are in cahoots with bandits in protecting the cultivators.

“That’s the intelligence information we’re getting from the ground,” she told reporters after the ceremonial burning here of part of the busted 38,500 mature marijuana plants worth P7.7 million.

Asked if the communist rebels were using money from the sale of marijuana to help sustain its operation, Duquiatan, however, could not give a categorical answer.

Efforts were in vain to get the side of the communist rebels.


The recently busted marijuana plantations sit within the Tampakan mining project, the largest known undeveloped copper and gold reserve in Southeast Asia being pursued by Sagittarius Mines, Inc.

On New Year’s Day 2008, NPA rebels, after disarming security guards, burned the base camp of SMI in Barangay Tablu, Tampakan.

Brig. Gen. Alfred Corpus, Police Regional Office-12 director, confirmed that the NPA rebels still have a presence in mountains straddling the mining tenement.


“But the communist rebels have been weakened because many of them have returned to the folds of the law,” the police official said.

Tampakan Mayor Leonard Escobillo admitted that marijuana has been a serious problem facing the locality for a long time.

“We have to take action and we are committed to end this long-time problem,” he said.

Escobillo said some people in the mountains resorted to marijuana cultivation due to lack of livelihood opportunity.

The mayor attributed the marijuana bust, the biggest single marijuana haul so far in the area, to the close collaboration between the local government, PDEA, police, military and other concerned government agencies.

According to him, there are still pockets of marijuana farms—either cultivated or naturally-grown, existing in the mountainous boundary of the four provinces.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. lauded the Tampakan local government, the PDEA, police and the military for the big marijuana haul.

“We have cut a major source of marijuana that augurs well in the government’s war on illegal drugs,” he said in a press conference here.

On October 19, two teams composed of different law enforcement agencies conducted operations in the mountains, the first one netting 27,000 mature marijuana plants and the second, 11,500.

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/10/pdea-npa-protects-marijuana-planters-in-region-12/

NPA leader nabbed in Kidapawan

From MindaNews (Oct 23, 2019): NPA leader nabbed in Kidapawan

Police and Army operatives arrested on Tuesday a suspected New People’s Army leader operating in the hinterlands of North Cotabato facing five criminal cases.

Reports from the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion
identified the suspect as Mindaley Satentes-Genotiva, also known as Kumander Karla.


The 72IB reported that Genotiva was nabbed while leaving Spottswood Methodist Center along the highway here past 5 p.m. Tuesday.

She was arrested based on the warrants of arrest issued against her by Judge Henelinda Molina-Diaz of the Regional Trial Court Branch 61 based in this city.

Based on the warrants, she is facing five counts of frustrated murder, attempted murder, and murder.

Genotiva is believed to be with the NPA Front 53 whose operations include Kidapawan, Magpet, and other hinterland towns in the Arakan Valley Development Complex in North Cotabato.

Genotiva is the second NPA under Front 53 arrested since September.

On Sept. 29, Front 53 commander Jazmin, Rachel Daguman in real life, was apprehended inside the public market in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

Authorities said they will present Genotiva to the judge for her proper disposition anytime this week.

She has been placed under the custody of the Kidapawan City PNP.

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/10/npa-leader-nabbed-in-kidapawan/

Army cites strong support for EO 70 among Surigao Sur officials

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Army cites strong support for EO 70 among Surigao Sur officials



SUPPORT TO EO 70. Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel speaks during a community dialogue in Diatagon, Lianga town on Monday (Oct. 21, 2019). The mayor reiterated the provincial government's support to the aspirations of the Duterte administration to end local communist insurgency and realize genuine peace and development in the area. (Photo courtesy of CMO, 3SFBn)

The Philippine Army in Surigao del Sur has lauded local leaders for their continued support to Executive Order No. 70, which institutionalizes the "whole-of-nation approach" in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace to end the local communist armed conflict in the province.

In particular, the Army's 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) expressed gratitude to the provincial government following the dialogue held in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga town on Monday.


The dialogue was attended by residents, local and provincial officials, and officers of the party-list Bayan Muna together with its local affiliate, the militant Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) on Monday.

In a statement on Tuesday (October 22), the civil-military operations office of 3SFBn noted that Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Eufemia Campos Cullamat and Carlos Isagani Zarate, along with MAPASU leaders, tried but failed to convince Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel to pull-out its Community Support Teams (CSTs) in the area and in neighboring villages.

Monday's peace dialogue, 3SFBn said, aims to promote "reconciliation, convergence, sustainable peace and synergy through exploratory and consultative discussions" with the community, government agencies including Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and other sectors.

“MAPASU and Bayan Muna insisted on their demand to pull-out the Community Support Teams and discrediting the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end local communist armed conflict, citing that it is not the right formula to end the conflict in the community,” said 1st Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, 3SFBn CMO officer.

Punsalan said Pimentel turned down the request outright.

The 3SFBn statement quoted the governor as saying: “With all due respect, I must tell you frankly, only President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, can order the Army personnel to move anytime and anywhere when needed. They have a mission to fulfill in line with the whole-of-nation approach to end the local communist armed conflict that is very crucial to our national security.”

The governor added that the presence of the military was not the issue, as he encouraged the residents present during the dialogue to "move forward and focus on more relevant issues" in their communities, particularly on education, health, and economy.

“Let the military do their mandate and sworn duty to serve and protect the Filipino people from the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs),” he added.

During the dialogue, Punsalan emphasized that the military only acted as an observer and did not issue any statement.

Punsalan said that as the Bayan Muna and MAPASU officers strongly opposed the government's peace and development initiatives under EO 70, "they also cited rehashed, false and malicious accusations against the military."

Mining, education
Punsalan said other issues raised by the militant groups, such as mining, education, economy and on the presence of the military that led to the alleged decrease in farm production of local farmers, were disputed by the leaders of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the area, particularly the IP Council of Lianga.

The council, he said, is the legitimate IP political structure that exists in IP communities in the area.

The IP Council reported the increased farm production in the area due to the rehabilitated farm-to-market road through the joint initiatives of the local government, the 3SFBn, the Army's 544th Engineering Brigade, and the provincial government.

Punsalan said the tribal leaders also disagreed on the issue of mining raised by the militant groups, asserting that the tribe has the right for self-determination and can prohibit or allow any group from operating inside their ancestral domain.

He said the tribal leaders also explained that contrary to the claims of leftist groups, the government has not deprived the IPs of education, as it has been encouraging the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) to comply with the requirements from the Department of Education to be able to operate legally.

However, the tribal leaders noted that the schools and the MAPASU group have continued to comply with the DepED requirements.

A week before the dialogue, the IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga town, Hawudon Jumar Bucales, had asked Bayan Muna and MAPASU to make the dialogue more reflective "to the sincere aspiration" of the IPs to end the local communist armed conflict in the area.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083933

Australian Navy’s HMAS Stuart in Cebu for goodwill visit

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Australian Navy’s HMAS Stuart in Cebu for goodwill visit



GOODWILL VISIT. Commander Luke Ryan (left), commanding officer of HMAS Stuart, an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy, stands with Seaman Darren Cruz, from Manila, as they answer media queries on board the vessel on Wednesday (Oct. 23, 2019). HMAS Stuart is in Cebu since Monday (Oct. 21) for a goodwill visit after participating with other Australian Navy and Philippine Navy vessels in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings and the Battle of Surigao Strait. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

HMAS Stuart, a long-range Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy, on Wednesday allowed the media here to tour the vessel and to meet one of the six Filipino-Australian sailors.

Commander Luke Ryan, commanding officer of HMAS Stuart, said the vessel has been in Cebu since Monday (Oct. 21) for a goodwill visit after joining three other Australian naval vessels in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landings and the Battle of Surigao Strait.


Ryan presented Seaman Darren Cruz, a native of Manila who migrated to Australia since nine years of age and boarded the vessel to achieve his “dream job.”

Cruz, 21, said he applied in the Australian Navy to continue the kind of job he had when he was at a mining firm in Australia.

When asked why he joined the Royal Navy service, Cruz said he wanted to help the country (Australia). “Kasi po alam ko na joint po kami sa Pilipinas. Alam ko na kapag nandito ako may mabuti akong magawa para sa Pilipinas at sa Australia (It’s because I know the partnership between us and the Philippines. I know that if I am here, I can do something good for the Philippines and Australia),” Cruz said.

Cruz described his Australian colleagues aboard the vessel as “friendly, helpful and cheerful.”

According to Ryan, among the seven Filipinos of the 117 crew onboard the 3,600-ton frigate is Lt. Commander Marlou Ricamora, who also hails from Manila and works as “one of the heads of department in charge of all weapons and all the radars” of HMAS Stuart.

“He (Ricamora) is from Manila. He is a graduate of a university in Manila and then immigrated to Australia. He is ashore today to visit his mother,” the commanding officer said.

Ryan said other Filipino-Australian crews are working as medic and aircraft technicians tasked to fix the rescue helicopter attached to the HMAS Stuart and placed inside the hangar at the vessel’s aft portion.

When asked about the work attitude of the crew with a Filipino descent, Ryan said they are “very good.”

“Everyone on board is treated the same. Australia is an immigrant nation with people from all around the world including about 2,500 Filipinos,” Ryan said, underscoring the their advantage in having with them “seven members of the ship’s company that can speak Tagalog (Filipino), that can tell us the good restaurants to go to, help us engage the navy with the people of Cebu.”

Stuart has been famous with its World War II Anzac-class destroyer that led nine other destroyers to many major battles in the Mediterranean and many other large battles, he said.

“So we carry the name today to honor the legacy to those Australians that have boarded before us in many ships in times of war and in times of peace,” he added.

The GE LM2500 gas turbine engine-powered frigate has the capability for air defense, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction, with combat capabilities significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program.

Fitted with an advanced package of air and surface surveillance radars, Omni-directional hull-mounted sonar and electronic support systems that interface with the state-of-the-art 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system, it can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels, and submarines.

It has an armament of Mark 45, a shipborne missile canister launching system that is capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched Mark 46 torpedoes and Mark 41 vertical launch system for Evolve Sea Sparrow Missile, apart from the eight anti-ship/land attach canister launched harpoon missiles and the Nulka active missile decoy system, off-board chaff and torpedo countermeasures system.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083991

Starvation, fatigue lead rebel to yield in Iloilo

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Starvation, fatigue lead rebel to yield in Iloilo



REBEL SURRENDERER. 'Den-Den', a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), surrendered himself and his firearm to the 61st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army on Oct. 16, 2019. Starvation and fatigue under the rebel group have prompted him to yield, said Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, 61st IB commander, on Wednesday (Oct. 23, 2019). (Photo courtesy of Army's 61st IB)

Starvation and fatigue under the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) pushed a 26-year-old rebel to surrender to the government.

“Den-Den”, who voluntarily submitted himself to the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) on Oct. 16, has cited the hardships he suffered while with the NPA rebels.


Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, commander of the 61IB, said in a statement released on Wednesday that "Den-Den" admitted during the tactical interview that he suffered “starvation, fatigue, and discrimination inside the group”.

"Alias 'Den-Den' is a living witness of CPP-NPA terrorist’s deception and false promises. His surrender affirmed our previous statement that armed struggle will bring nothing but suffering and death,” Batara said.

"Den-den" surrendered with him a 12-gauge shotgun with serial number 738987, 11 live ammunition, and one NPA flag.

1Lt. Hazel Joy Durotan, information officer of the 61st IB, said in a phone interview Wednesday that "Den-Den", from the first district of Iloilo, had served the Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay for three years.

The surrender of "Den-Den" is a call for the remaining members of the rebel to peacefully surrender to the government, Batara said.

He added the surrenderer will receive PHP15, 000 immediate assistance; PHP50,000 livelihood assistance and firearm remuneration for his surrendered firearm under the Enhanced–Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

"Den-den" will further be entitled to other benefits of the E-CLIP like the reintegration assistance, PhilHealth enrolment, medical assistance, education assistance, modified conditional cash transfer, legal assistance, and healing and reconciliation initiatives.

Since 2016, E-CLIP enrolled beneficiaries from Iloilo and Capiz provinces had reached a total of 79, Durotan said.

A total of 21 regular members of the CPP-NPA had surrendered in 2016; three in 2017; and seven in 2018 in Iloilo and Capiz.

In July this year, alias" Aguila", 51, team leader of CPP-NPA’s Special Partisan Unit (SPARU), Komiteng Rehiyon-Panay; and alias "Baby", 33, political guide and medical officer of Squad 2, Suyak Platoon, Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyon–Panay also voluntarily surrendered to the 61IB.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083998

Bukidnon teachers form 'core group' vs. NPA recruitment

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Bukidnon teachers form 'core group' vs. NPA recruitment

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon – In a bold move aimed at countering the recruitment activities of communist rebels in schools, the military facilitated the creation of a "core group" of teachers in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, on Monday.

In a press statement on Tuesday, the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion said the
"core group" dubbed "Sandigan Teachers" was created following a symposium at the Malaybalay City National Science High School, as part of the Army's regular education and information campaign.

"Sandigan Teachers", 8IB said, primarily aim to protect the students, faculty, and the school's non-teaching personnel from possible NPA recruitment.

It said members of the group have also volunteered to support students’ activities for peace promotion and counter NPA propaganda in schools.

During the symposium, Army officials and representatives from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in Region 10 discussed the methods on how the NPA recruits students inside schools, 8IB said.

John Rarogal, school principal, vowed to support peace initiatives that hone the youth to become productive individuals of the community.

"Wherever we look at, every success and failure of an individual finds its roots from the family. And we are part of that family. We must see to it that we contribute to their success and not on their failures," Rarogal said.

Lt. Colonel Ronald Illana, 8IB commander, underscored the role of the academe in preventing NPA recruitment in schools.

“We believe that through the genuine commitment of our schools, teachers, parents and students, we will be able to prevent unwanted loss of innocent lives. Our children are our future. We need to build them strong and resilient. Thus, we must not allow the NPAs to touch them and use them for their personal interests," Illana said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083953

ASG bandit surrenders, yields high-powered firearm

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): ASG bandit surrenders, yields high-powered firearm


ASG SURRENDERER. Alhashim Paradji, 41, a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrenders to military authorities in Maimbung, Sulu on Monday (Oct. 21, 2019). A follower of ASG sub-leader Jihad Susukan, Paradji also turned over a US-made Garand rifle. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom PIO) Monday, October 21, to military authorities in Maimbung, Sulu. (Photo courtesy: Westmincom PIO)

A member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has surrendered to military authorities amid the continued offensive against them in the province of Sulu, military officials announced Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Alaric Avelino delos Santos, the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion commander,
identified the ASG surrenderer as Alhashim Paradji alias Malla, 41, a resident of Barangay Lapa, Maimbung, Sulu.


Delos Santos said Paradji surrendered at his headquarters in Barangay Matatal, Maimbung at about 2 p.m. on Monday and turned over a US-made Garand rifle.

Delos Santos said Paradji, a follower of ASG sub-leader Jihad Susukan, was later presented to Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade, in Camp Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, in Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu.

“We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our partners from the police and the LGU (local government unit) for their untiring support in all our endeavors,” Patrimonio said.

He said Paradji's surrender was facilitated by troops of the 41st Infantry Battalion, Maimbung Municipal Police Station, Councilors Almudzni Amil, and Edzfar Tan.

Paradji has undergone a medical check-up and was placed under custodial debriefing.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1084002

Engineer slain, 3 others hurt in Tacurong gun attack

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Engineer slain, 3 others hurt in Tacurong gun attack



Google map of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat province

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a construction engineer and wounded three others in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat province on Tuesday night.

Lt. Col. Rey Egos, Tacurong police chief, identified the slain victim as Joel Bastareche, of Barangay Poblacion in the area.

“He was declared dead on arrival at a local hospital,” Egos said in a phone interview.

Injured were Bastareche’s companions Abang Suizo and Alvin Monahan, 35, both of Barangay Buenaflor; and Romeo Jayme, 57, a tricycle driver.

Egos said the victims were onboard a tricycle driven by Jayme and were about to leave a resto-bar on the national highway when the gunmen on a motorbike arrived and opened fire at them.

Police found empty shells for caliber .45 pistol at the scene.

Egos said police probers are yet to establish the motive behind the incident.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083965

Westmincom to secure gas, oil exploration project in Sulu town

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Westmincom to secure gas, oil exploration project in Sulu town



Google map of Lugus town, Sulu

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) is ready to provide security to the multi-billion project set to take place in an island-town in the restive Sulu province.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Westmincom chief, made the assurance after he graced Tuesday the 39th founding anniversary of Lugus town, which was highlighted by the groundbreaking ceremony of the liquefied natural gas refinery plant.


In his message, Sobejana congratulated the residents of Lugus “for the milestones they achieved under the leadership of Mayor Hadar Hajiri.”

“We are ready to deploy one battalion here in Lugus to ensure the safety of the people since peace and development has been started,” Sobejana said.

Hajiri said the municipal government has allotted some 30 hectares land in Barangay Parian Kayawan where the refinery plant will be constructed.

Last month, the Energy World International (EWI) headed by Graham Elliot earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lugus officials regarding the project. EWI has partnered with local firm Hadar and Medzar Gas and Oil Corporation for the USD2.3 billion gas and oil exploration project in Lugus, Sulu.

The project includes the construction of a refinery plant so that the natural gas and oil that can be extracted shall be refined in Lugus town.

Meanwhile, Sobejana said the military will help Lugus promote its tourist spots.

“We will make Lugus a tourist spot, from terrorism to tourism,” he added.

Sulu Vice Governor Abdusakur Tan II expressed hopes that the initiative and effort of the Lugus municipal government and the investors involved will bring about the long-awaited development of the province.

“For a long time, Sulu has seemingly being left on its own while those from other areas have been enjoying and profiting from the rich marine resources that are teeming in our waters,” Tan said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083994

Special Report: SurSur province stands firm in 'Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Insurgency'

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 22, 2019): Special Report: SurSur province stands firm in 'Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Insurgency' (By 3rd SF Battalion, Phil. Army)

The scheme continued but failed again for Bayan Muna representatives, Eufemia Campos Cullamat and Carlos Isagani Zarate with the militant group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) to compel the Surigao del Sur provincial government to withdraw the Community Support Teams assigned in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.




During the peace dialogue held on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, the provincial government cited that military presence is crucial to further establish sustainable peace and development in the area through Executive Order No. 70.

The peace dialogue was intended to promote reconciliation, convergence, sustainable peace and synergy through exploratory and consultative discussions with the community, concerned government agencies including AFP and other sectors. Yet, MAPASU and Bayan Muna insisted on their demand for the immediate pullout of all Community Support Teams and discrediting the government’s Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict citing that it is not the right formula to end the conflict in the community.

The military, as an observer, never said a word but a clear and straightforward message of the province through Gov. Alexander Pimentel summed it all.

“With all due respect, I must tell you frankly, only President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), can order the Army personnel to move anytime and anywhere when needed. They have a mission to fulfill in line with the Whole of Nation approach to end local communist armed conflict that is very crucial to our national security,” Gov. Pimentel said.

The presence of the military is not the issue, said the governor. He encouraged all attendees to move forward and focus on far more relevant issues such as education, health, and economic, among others and let the military do their mandate and sworn duty to serve and protect the Filipino people from the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs).

MAPASU and Bayan Muna discredit EO 70 and the AFP

The Bayan Muna and MAPASU members have strongly opposed the peace and development initiatives of E.O. 70 and cited rehash false and malicious accusations against the military.

The governor challenged them to tell all, “Sabihin ninyo at ituro ngayon kung sino ang sundalo na nandito sa KM 9 ang nagcommit ng violation at ipatanggal ko agad o paalisin dito,” he said.

Datu Constancio Duhac and Datu Jumar Bucales said, “Only those who are connected with the Communist NPA terrorists fear the Army. If you’re not in any way connected, there’s no reason to fear the military.”

The Lianga Indigenous People's (IP) Council members under their legitimate IP Political Structure were dismayed to Bayan Muna, ”We thought they would support ELCAC (End Local Communist Armed Conflict), but then again, they were not here for convergence, they are here to discredit the military and the EO 70 peace initiatives,” they said.

Nevertheless, despite Bayan Muna and MAPASU’s accusations, the Army personnel did not retaliate and showed respect. It is the local government and the IP Community who stood on their ground to defend the presence of the military in the conflict-affected area. (1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, CMO-3SFBn/PIA-Surigao del Sur)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029087

Ex-NPA couple reunites with children inside Army camp in Bukidnon

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Ex-NPA couple reunites with children inside Army camp in Bukidnon (By 1Lt Kenneth T. Cabbigat)

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon, Oct. 23 —After two years of being separated from their children to join the New People’s Army (NPA), two NPA rebels who turned themselves in are finally reunited with their children on Monday, Oct. 21, at the headquarters of the 8th Infantry Battalion based in this town.

Through the efforts of the 8th IB army troopers in connecting to the families of the former rebel-couple, Alias Nicole and Alias Robert were able to see their two children and mother again. 

Tearful Alias Nicole and Alias Robert finally reunites with children after turning themselves in to the government.

Nicole and Robert surrendered to the government on Oct. 16 after realizing that they were just carried away by the lies peddled by the NPA terrorists for almost two years, telling them that the government forces are the worst enemy of their lives and they would be killed if they plan to return to the folds of the law.

But they found that the NPA terrorists were lying when the government welcomed them with open arms. They were even surprised at how government soldiers arranged their family meeting. The NPA teachings were all contrary to what had happened.

Marcela, 59, mother of Nicole who acted as guardian of the children for two years shared the things the children had undergone when their parents were active in the movement. “The two boys, who were 8 and 9 years old then, were always crying looking for their parents. They would not eat. They didn’t go to school. I could not handle their sadness because they were much affected by what had happened.”

Nicole, feeling the warm embrace of her children, regretted to have joined the armed group, as tears welled up in her eyes. She thanked the soldiers for this “great thing“ that ever happened to their family to get reunited with their children. “Thank you very much, I didn’t expect this to happen, the army accepted us and helped us see our family. We were deceived by the indoctrination of the NPA that the soldiers are abusive while in fact, they are not.”

For its part, the army’s 8th Infantry Battalion will continue to help those insurgents who want to return to the folds of the law and ready to adopt a new environment with the government.

Nicole and Robert were among those who were given a chance to be with their family.

The couple and family will be assisted by the local government unit and they will be included in the government Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), a government program intended for the former rebels to assist them in a fresh start of their life. (8IB/PA)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029114

Nine NorSamar Dist 2 LGUs reject CPP-NPA

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Nine NorSamar Dist 2 LGUs reject CPP-NPA (By 20IB, 8ID, PA)

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CATARMAN, Northern Samar - Nine out of ten municipalities in the Second Congressional District of Northern Samar have passed resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA as persona non grata.

These municipalities are San Roque which was the first to make the declaration, Gamay, Catubig, Las Navas, Silvino Lubos, Laoang, Mapanas, Pambujan and Lapinig.

Moreover, seven barangays of San Roque, namely, Bantayan, Balnasan, Coroconog, Malobago, Pagsang-an, Lawaan and Ginagdanan also passed a similar declaration.

As of this writing, only the town of Palapag in the Pacific has yet to declare the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.

The declaration showed that the people of Northern Samar can no longer tolerate the intimidation, deceit, and extortion activities brought about by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

For 2019 alone, various atrocities/activities by the CPP-NPA-NDF were recorded.

• Shooting incident on Army personnel conducting community works in Brgy. Quirino, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 13, 2019;

• Ambush on two (2) Army personnel while conducting a survey with the Corps of Engineers on the proposed road project in Brgy Catoto-ogan, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 15, 2019;

• The killing of Jay Raymunde, then a 10-year old who was lobbed by an IED in Brgy. San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 17, 2019;

• Harassment on Army personnel conducting community support program in Brgy. San Francisco, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 23, 2019;

• The killing of Hon. Apolinario Lebico, Barangay Chairman of San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 25, 2019;

• Attack on Army patrol base securing Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project in Brgy. EJ Dulay, Laoang, Northern Samar on May 21, 2019;

• Harassment on Poponton Detachment, Las Navas, Northern Samar on August 9 and 11, 2019; and

• Series of anti-government demonstrations/rally utilizing women, children, elderly and PWD in the municipality of Las Navas, Northern Samar by the communist NPA front organizations like Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas-Karapatan, Northern Samar Small Farmers Association, SAGUPA, and APKLAS. They call for the pullout of the military in Las Navas but silent on the atrocities of NPA.

Meanwhile, during the series of speaking engagements, Lieutenant Colonel Juan Gullem, 20th Infantry Battalion commander shared his knowledge about the real situation on the ground.

He said, most of the armed rebels in the mountains did not even finish elementary or high school. Such that, they are the ones vulnerable for recruitment due to agitation, lies, and deception by the communist NPA terrorist cadres. Worse, these cadres are living luxuriously using the extorted money.

“Bagama’t ang CPP-NPA-NDF ay persona non grata or hindi tanggap sa bahaging ito ng Northern Samar dahil sa teroristang gawain, dapat natin intindihin na ang mga NPA ay biktima lang din. Kaya kung meron man sa kanila na gustong magbago ng landas at tahaking mamuhay ng payapa kapiling ang kanilang pamilya at mahal sa buhay, nakahanda po tayong tumulong para sila ay alalayan sa kanilang pagbabalik-loob sa ating pamahalaan,” he added. (20IB, 8ID, PA)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029119

Visayas Island ELCAC Summit tackles gains for sustainable peace, development

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Visayas Island ELCAC Summit tackles gains for sustainable peace, development

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TACLOBAN CITY -- The one-day summit among the Regional Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in the Visayas Island, tackled the gains in the quest for lasting peace and sustainable development in the Visayas and the entire nation.

Held on October 16, 2019 in Cebu City, the Visayas leg was attended by more than two hundred participants composed of the respective regional CORDS, RTF Vice Chairpersons, Heads of the RTF Technical Working Groups, RTF Secretariats, CORDS Advisers and Regional Cluster Heads from Regions VI, VII and VIII.

During the island summit, the National Task Force-ELCAC led by Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., provided updates on the NTF-ELCAC undertakings and issued guidelines.

The Regional Task Forces, on the other hand, through their Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) presented the updates, accomplishments and issues and concerns in line with the implementation of the National Plan-ELCAC, Regional Plans and their respective cluster implementation plans.

For the RTF-ELCAC 8, the accomplishments were presented by Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Eastern Visayas and the Chairperson of the regional task force.

Among the accomplishments are the creation of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict; the organization of the RTF-ELCAC 8 Technical Working Group; the creation of Task Force ELCAC in all the six provinces of the Region; and that 63% of the LGUs in the Region have created their local Task Force-ELCAC.

An Operations Center has been identified and the guidelines are being readied.

Among the highlights of accomplishments is the adoption of the Retooled Community Service Program. RCSP teams of several MTFs have been deployed in affected barangays; and the building of a Halfway house for rebel returnees in Northern Samar.

To recall, President Duterte in December of 2018, signed Executive Order No. 70 which institutionalizes the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.

The executive order also created a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the whole-of-nation approach.

It also directed the adoption of a National Peace Framework which defines and clusters interventions into 12 government lines of efforts.

Since its implementation, numerous Task Force-ELCAC have been organized in various levels, regional, provincial, city, municipal and barangay, all over the country. (PIA-8)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029117

IP women’s group to advocate rights, peace in conflict-affected areas

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23, 2019): IP women’s group to advocate rights, peace in conflict-affected areas

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SINDANGAN, Zamboanga del Norte – Women play a vital role in the society. They are the mothers that nurture the children. The light of every home.

However, they are also amongst the sectors most vulnerable in times of armed conflict. More so, for the indigenous peoples’ women who are living in far-flung communities.



Thus, the Western Mindanao Tribal Leaders Association deemed it necessary for the creation of an IP women’s group that will protect and enforce their rights in such times.

They named the group Indigenous Cultural Community Women’s Association which was formally organized in Barangay Tinaplan, Sindangan town, having a sub-group in the area.

Ms. Gemma Dadan, president of the Tinaplan ICC Women’s Association believed the organization will be a big help to empower the women in their community especially with the high poverty incidence rate in the area.

She expressed her gratitude to the government especially to President Rodrigo Duterte for issuing Executive Order No. 70 directing all government agencies and entities to create a holistic approach to bring about genuine peace in the communities.

“Dako kayo among pasalamat kang President Duterte kay pinaagi sa iyang executive order, nianhe ang nagkalain-laing mga ahensya sa gobyerno aron pagtabang kanamo,” said Gemma.

(We are very grateful to President Duterte for his executive order. Through it, government agencies have come to our area to deliver various services.)

A consultation and Serbisyo caravan was held in Barangay Tinaplan with various services available to the residents such as free medical check-up, dental services, circumcision and supplemental feeding.



It is part of the highlights of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) launching in town.

Barangay Tinaplan is one of the two barangays in Sindangan which has been categorized as less influenced by the CPP-NPA after series of community support program activities was conducted in the area.

Mayor Rosendo Labadlabad has also urged the communist terrorist group to pave way for peace in the municipality including all other armed conflict-affected areas of the region and the country as a whole. (RVC/EDT/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029137

Tagalog News: Mga dating rebelde sa Palawan, tumanggap ng tulong-pinansiyal

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Tagalog News: Mga dating rebelde sa Palawan, tumanggap ng tulong-pinansiyal



Ang mga dating rebelde sa Palawan na tumanggap ng tulong pinansiyal kahapon mula sa Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program ng DILG at Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Palawan. (Larawan mula sa WESCOM)
PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan -- Tumanggap ng tulong-pinansiyal mula sa programang Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) ng Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) at Local Social Integration Program (LSIP) ng pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Palawan ang pitong mga dating rebelde sa Palawan kahapon.

Anim sa mga ito ang tumanggap ng tig-P25,000 mula sa LSIP at isa naman ang tumanggap ng P65,000 mula sa E-CLIP.

Ayon kay Carol Naluz, Local Government Operation Officer ng DILG-Palawan, tatlong former rebels (FRs) ang nakatakda sanang tumanggap ng tulong-pinansiyal mula sa programang E-CLIP ng DILG ngunit isa lamang ang nakarating kahapon.

Samantala, 14 naman na mga FR ang nakatakda sanang tumanggap ng tulong-pinansiyal mula sa LSIP ng pamahalaang panlalawigan ngunit anim lamang ang nakarating, dagdag pa ni Naluz.

Ang mga dating rebelde sa Palawan na sumailalim na sa repormasyon ang nabibigyan ng tulong-pinansiyal ng pamalaan mula sa E-CLIP at LSIP.

Ayon kay Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Abigail Ablaña, simula noong 2013 hanggang Setyembre 26, 2019 ay mayroon nang naitatalang 120 mga rebelde ang sumuko sa Palawan at 101 sa mga ito ang tumanggap na ng tulong-pinansiyal.

Ani Ablaña, umaabot na sa kabuuhang halaga na P8,763,450 ang tulong pinansiyal sa naipamahagi sa mga FR mula sa CLIP at LSIP.

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Katuwang ng DILG at ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Palawan sa pagsasagawa ng integration program sa mga dating rebelde ang Western Command (WESCOM), PSWDO, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), Tesda, Department of Agriculture (DA), at iba pang ahensiya ng pamahalaan.

Patuloy naman ang panawagan ni Wescom Commander Vice Admiral Rene V. Medina at ng Palawan Task Force–End Local Communists Armed Conflict (ELCAC) sa mga natitira pang mga miyembro ng ‘communist terrorist groups’ sa Palawan na sumuko na at magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan upang magkaroon ang mga ito ng matiwasay na pamumuhay kasama ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. (OCJ/PIA-MIMAROPA, Palawan)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1029134

9 Basilan villages declare 16 ASG members persona non-grata

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): 9 Basilan villages declare 16 ASG members persona non-grata



Google map of Basilan province

Nine barangays in two areas of Basilan province have declared 16 suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) as persona non-grata in their villages, the military said.

Lt. Col. Ivan San Jose, commander of the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion, said Wednesday that the declaration was made through a unified resolution approved by the nine barangays belonging to Lamitan City and Tipo-Tipo town.


Declared as persona non-grata were the following: Ernie Arasal, Iba Anjabin, Tonton Anjabin, Said Lahaman, Kamat Arasal, Jerwin Sahasal, Jimmy Asmawil, Jerry Harain, Nul Akil, Abdul Akil, Madeh Akil, Nur Asao, Abaas Jangkatan, Adzuan Kajing, Boga Aya, and Botak Kerok.

San Jose said the 16 individuals are involved in atrocities committed by the ASG in different parts of Basilan province. It added that they are also involved in illegal drug activities.

“We stand united against the entry of the ASG in our villages,” part of the resolution stated, which was posted on the social media site of the 18IB.

The village officials also urged the public to immediately report to the nearest police station and military outpost should they happen to see any of the 16 identified individuals.

The names of the 16 suspect ASG members were printed in tarpaulins and posted in the nine barangays.

San Jose said the military looks forward to more villages to issue a similar declaration.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1084022

Russia capable of supplying any of PH helicopter needs

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Russia capable of supplying any of PH helicopter needs



Russia is capable of supplying any helicopters to the Philippines, including various models of its Moscow Mi-17 medium twin-turbine transport.

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev made this statement when asked if Manila really has a contract with Moscow regarding the purchase of these helicopters.

"Russians and Filipinos are working on that. So, I (would) like to remind you that Russia produces the best helicopters in the world,"
he said during the press conference with select defense and foreign journalists in Makati City Tuesday.


The Russian envoy added that Moscow is ready to deliver these helicopters once an agreement is forged or signed.

"So, we are ready and I hope we'll supply Russian helicopters to the Philippines. So, both sides are actively working on that and I'm sure we are on the right track. I believe that in the near future our Philippine partners will use Russian helicopters," he stressed.

When asked how many helicopters Russia can provide, Khovaev said both sides are still working on the matter and it is still too early to give figures yet.

"It's too early to talk about that. It's a subject of bilateral talks," he pointed out.

Khovaev, however, said exact numbers to be acquired are dependent on the Philippine side.

"It's up to you, it's up to you Filipinos. We are ready to supply as many as you want," Khovaev stressed.

The Mi-17 has a crew of two pilots and one engineer and has a length of 18.465 meters and a height of 21.25 meters. It has a maximum speed of 280 kilometers per hour and a cruise speed of 260 kilometers per hour.

Earlier, the Department of National Defense (DND) said that the Philippine Air Force has an ongoing requirement for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to acquire a helicopter with heavy-lift capability which will be used for its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions.

Initial studies indicated that the Russian-made Mi-17 seems like a good fit for the PAF's heavy-lift helicopter requirement as it is powerful enough to carry around 34 fully-equipped troops or lift a howitzer.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083956

New PCG chief eyes more patrols in WPS

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): New PCG chief eyes more patrols in WPS



NEW PCG CHIEF. The Philippine Coast Guard on Wednesday accorded arrival honors to their newly-appointed Commandant, Vice Admiral Joel Garcia at the PCG headquarters in Port Area, Manila on Oct. 23. In a command conference following the ceremony, Garcia said foremost among his agenda was the PCG's policy on patrolling the West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of PCG Capt. Armando Balilo)

Newly-appointed Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant, Vice Admiral Joel Garcia on Wednesday eyed policies on patrolling the West Philippine Sea as foremost on his agenda.

In a statement, PCG spokesperson, Capt. Armando Balilo said Garcia, during a command conference immediately following his first arrival honors as chief of the PCG, laid down his agenda for the PCG to follow.

“Pangunahin sa agenda ang polisiya patungkol sa pag papatrol sa West Philippine Sea (Foremost among his agenda is the policy regarding patrols in the West Philippine Sea),” Balilo said.

The official said Garcia vowed intensified and longer patrol hours of PCG vessels along the country’s coastlines under his command.

“Sa kanyang pamumuno, mas higit na maraming oras ang gugulin ng mga barko ng coast guard para bantayan ang ating mga coastline (Under his leadership, more hours will be spent by PCG vessels in securing our coastlines),” Balilo said.

He said in time for the incoming “Undas,” maritime safety and preparation for the rush of maritime commuters are also part of Garcia’s immediate concerns.

Balilo said the new PCG chief wants to intensify the training of PCG personnel in preparation for new maritime challenges.

“Binigyan diin ni Garcia ang patuloy na vigilance sa paglaban sa terrorismo at ang all-out support ng kanyang administrasyon sa paglaban sa droga (It was emphasized by Garcia the continued vigilance in the fight against terrorism and the all-out support of his administration in the fight against drugs),” Balilo added.

On Tuesday, Malacañang announced Garcia's appointment as Commandant of the PCG in a document signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Garcia replaced Admiral Elson Hermogino, who retired from the PCG’s top position after his 38 years in the uniformed service.

Before his appointment as chief of the PCG, Garcia was the PCG Deputy Commandant for Administration and executive director of the National Coast Watch Center.

On Oct. 10, Garcia was short-listed by Hermogino as one of his five potential replacements.

Hermogino said the candidates were the most senior officers of the PCG aside from possessing the necessary qualifications.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083976

AFP calls on public to stop spreading PMA hazing videos

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): AFP calls on public to stop spreading PMA hazing videos



AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday urged the public to stop spreading videos showing hazing among its cadets, as it maintained that the leadership of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is doing all it can to stamp out maltreatment within its premises.

"We appeal to the public to stop spreading the video. No one benefits from it. Both the Academy and the Dormitorio family have been severely battered with the stories that came out in the news. And showing videos of the said kind will only add insult to injury. Let us allow the family and the PMA to heal and the Corps of Cadets to learn from its mistake and move on," AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said, in a statement to reporters Wednesday.

While the videos confirm that maltreatment incidents happen in the PMA as proven by the death of Cadet 4th Class Darwin Dormitorio last September 18, Arevalo said that such act of violence does not represent the academy.

"The videos confirm that maltreatment happens in PMA. That has been established especially in the case of Cadet Dormitorio. Much as we mourn his death, we maintain that these cases do not represent the entire PMA training. And maltreatment is neither sanctioned nor tolerated in PMA," he said.

Arevalo added the PMA has demonstrated that it is serious in eradicating maltreatment from its ranks as proven by the series of cases filed against the individuals behind the death of Dormitorio and hospitalization of several others.

"The PMA has shown that she is serious and sincere with the drive to eradicate maltreatment. Through the help of PMA authorities, cases have been filed. The PMA Superintendent and the Commandant of Cadets have thereupon relinquished their respective positions with the Cadet Corps Commander following suit," he said.

The new PMA leadership has taken over and enforced stringent measures and implemented drastic moves to rid the academy of maltreatment, Arevalo said.

"Let’s afford them time to make good with their actions," he added.

The viral video showed two fourth class cadets who were hit in the head with a helmet, punched in the stomach and kicked by their upperclassmen.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083997

Space tech to play key role in naval, other military ops

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23, 2019): Space tech to play key role in naval, other military ops



ESSENCE OF SPACE TECHNOLOGY. Around 100 naval officers participate in the third leg of the Philippine Navy Governance Forum (PNGF) Series 2019 in Manila on Tuesday (Oct. 22, 2019). During the forum, with the topic “Space Technology and its Significance to National Security and Development", Program Leader of the National Space Development Program Dr. Rogel Mari Sese shared the history of space technology in the country, the Philippine space program and policy, and the relevance of satellite technology for security and defense. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

Space technology will play a crucial role in naval operations and other branches of the military.

“Here in the Philippine Navy, it is about time for us to consider the crucial role of space in our future naval systems in order to cope up with evolving challenges in the 21st century. Space technology is a new opportunity not only for the Navy but also for the other branches of service and the entire country itself,”
Commodore Nichols Driz said during the third leg of the Philippine Navy Governance Forum (PNGF) Series 2019 held at PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada in Roxas Boulevard, Manila on Tuesday.


Driz, who is also head of the Naval Installation Command, represented PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad in the event.

Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the topic “Space Technology and its Significance to National Security and Development" was discussed by Dr. Rogel Mari Sese, the Program Leader of the National Space Development Program.
Around 100 naval officers, including Driz and Commodore Alberto A. Cruz, The Naval Internal Auditor, were present in the briefing which had Sese sharing the history of space technology in the country, the Philippine space program and policy, and the relevance of satellite technology for security and defense.

He also expounded on six key development areas of the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy: national security and development, hazard management and climate studies, space research and development, space industry capacity building, space education and awareness, and international cooperation.

These, according to Sese, are what the newly-created Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) will work on in the long run.

Roxas said Sese's presentation was followed with an ecstatic response from the audience during the open forum. Among the things discussed is how the defense sector can fully maximize the services of PhilSA for the development of national security and defense.

The PN, through the Center for Naval Leadership and Excellence (CNLE), conducts the Philippine Navy Governance Forum (PNGF) Series to serve as a platform to strengthen the culture of excellence and professionalism in the organization through the sharing of best practices on leadership, governance, and other areas of strategic importance to the Navy.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083970

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cop killed, 3 others hurt in Isabela clash with NPA

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 22, 2019): Cop killed, 3 others hurt in Isabela clash with NPA



Google map of San Guillermo, Isabela

SAN GUILLERMO, Isabela -- A police patrolman was killed and three others were wounded in a clash between lawmen and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a mountainous area of Barangay Burgos here on Tuesday.

Col. Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police director, identified the fatality as Patrolman Henry Gayaman, who was brought to a funeral parlor for autopsy. Those wounded were Patrolman Alfred Italiano, Patrolman Stephen Olosan and Police Corporal Edison Binasoy.

They are all under the 205th Mobile Force Company (MFC) led by Police Lt. Edmund Calagui, of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Regional Office.

The police team was patrolling in the area when they encountered an undetermined number of suspected members of the NPA's Central Front of Kilusang Larangang Guerilla-Cagayan Valley (KLG-CV) and engaged them in a running gun battle around 5:28 a.m.

The Isabela police had initiated pursuit operations against the rebels, who fled and believed to have dragged away their wounded comrades.

“We deployed platoons from the 2nd Isabela Mobile Force Company aside from the 205th Mobile Force Company and the Army’s 86th Infantry Battalion,” Rodriguez told the Philippine News Agency.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1083861

OPAPP slams Satur Ocampo for opinion piece on localized peace talks

From GMA News Online (Oct 22, 2019): OPAPP slams Satur Ocampo for opinion piece on localized peace talks

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on Tuesday slammed former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo for his October 12 opinion piece in which he claimed President Rodrigo Duterte set barriers to the peace process.

The OPAPP said it was the communists and not the Duterte administration that set barriers to the peace process by continuously recruiting students and attacking the government in the midst of talks.


“We believe it is crucial for local stakeholders to be directly involved in the peace process. As what we have witnessed, it is pointless to talk to leaders of an organization who employ deception and duplicitous tactics,” OPAPP Spokesperson Wilben Mayor said in a statement.

“By and large, localized peace engagements provide a stronger platform wherein the voices of the people who are the ones most affected by armed conflict, can truly be heard and whose sentiments can be acted upon,” he added.

In his newspaper column, Ocampo lamented the “localization” of peace talks through the signing of Executive Order (EO) 70, which he said “degrades – worse, sets aside – the substantive agreements/consensus already reached through high-level negotiations.”

Signed on December 4, 2018, EO 70 created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) and institutionalized the use of a “whole-of-nation” approach to attain “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

Ocampo said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines had long rejected this framework for being “divisive rather than unifying.”

Ocampo also criticized the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Armed Forces, and Philippine National Police for “pressuring” local government units to declare members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as persona non gratae.

“Is the persona-non-grata campaign part of ‘local peace engagements or negotiations and interventions’? How can it advance the attainment of inclusive and sustainable peace?” he asked.

The OPAPP spokesperson meanwhile lauded the local governments that had declared CPP-NPA members as persona non grata.

“By doing this, people now have gathered strength, and are rising up and rejecting the communist terrorist group’s atrocities and twisted ideology. They are showing that their communities have no room for an organization that has only instilled fear, hatred, and violence among the people. Enough is enough,” he said.

Mayor underscored that Ocampo and his “comrades” were the “true and only remaining barrier to enduring peace and sustainable development.”

The NTF ELCAC has also slammed Ocampo for his column, branding him “the greatest scam of the century.”

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/712591/opapp-slams-satur-ocampo-for-opinion-piece-on-localized-peace-talks/story/

Cop slain, 3 others wounded in clash with NPA in Isabela

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 22, 2019): Cop slain, 3 others wounded in clash with NPA in Isabela

SAN GUILLERMO, Isabela –– A policeman was killed and three others were wounded when government troops clashed with suspected New People’s Army rebels here at dawn on Tuesday.
Police Col. Mariano Rodriguez, Isabela police director, identified the fatality as Patrolman Henry Gayaman of the 205th Mobile Force Company of the regional police office.

Wounded were Gayaman’s fellow policemen identified as Patrolman Alfred Italiano, Patrolman Stephen Olosan, and Corporal Edison Binasoy.

Rodriguez said rebels from the Cagayan Valley guerrilla front engaged the patrolling policemen in a running gun battle in the mountain village of Burgos here at 5:30 a.m.

Police and the Philippine Army have launched a pursuit operation against the rebels.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1180493/cop-slain-3-others-wounded-in-clash-with-npa-in-isabela