Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Code of conduct on West PH okayed

From the Manila Standard Today (Nov 1): Code of conduct on West PH okayed

China and the 10-member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to adopt before the end of the year a Code of Conduct that will govern their actions regarding territorial dispute in the West Philippines Sea, officials said on Wednesday. The Asean said in a statement foreign affairs officials would discuss the implementation of the Code of Conduct when they meet in November during the 10th anniversary of the non-binding 2002 Declaration on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). The Declaration on the Code of Conduct was intended to reduce tension and prevent claimant from acting aggressively, a senior Philippine official said....

http://manilastandardtoday.com/2012/11/01/code-of-conduct-on-west-ph-okayed/

CPLA men turn over 17 firearms

From the Philippine Star (Nov 1): CPLA men turn over 17 firearms

Members of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) turned over 17 firearms to a representative of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) here yesterday. The firearms consisted of nine .45-caliber pistols, two machine guns, two shotguns, two .22-caliber pistols, and two backshot revolvers. They were received by Carmen Gomez of the OPAPP. The government is set to release funds for livelihood and infrastructure projects in the places where the CPLA members who yielded their guns come from.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=67&articleId=865491

DND puts on hold plan to get third warship from US

From the Philippine Star (Nov 1): DND puts on hold plan to get third warship from US

Acquisition of a third warship from the US has been put on hold to allow the government to equip two former US Coast Guard vessels now known as BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz. The Gregorio del Pilar was acquired last year, and the Ramon Alcaraz is expected to arrive by February. Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR existing vessels must be equipped with the necessary weapon systems. “The additional (cutter) was put on hold,” he said. “We can use the money to enhance the capability of the two (warships). We would like to equip our ships.” Manalo said the decision to hold the acquisition of a third warship is premised on the need to enhance the capabilities of the Del Pilar and the Alcaraz. “With our limited budget, we are after the capability, we are after not only the presence but we must have deterrent capability,” he said. The government remains open to acquiring warships from the US once financial resources are available, Manalo said....

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=865572&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Peace pact boosts Noy satisfaction ratings - poll

From the Philippine Star (Nov 1): Peace pact boosts Noy satisfaction ratings - poll

President Aquino’s satisfaction ratings have gone up even more, boosted largely by the public’s positive response to the government’s signing of a framework peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), results of a recent survey showed. The Issues and Advocacy Center (The Center) survey also showed high satisfaction scores for the country’s three other top officials. In the survey, conducted from Sept. 29 to Oct. 17, Aquino obtained a net satisfaction rating of 49 percent or up by four percentage points from the third quarter figure. “The increment was largely traced to the positive response to the framework agreement that was signed between the Philippine government and the MILF,” Ed Malay, The Center head, said. “Notwithstanding the high poverty situation and unemployment rates, the ongoing conflict with China over the Kalayaan Islands (in the West Philippine Sea), the signing of the peace agreement provided President Aquino with a relief from the effects of the other issues on his governance,” he said....

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=865570&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Alleged official nabbed

From the Visayan Daily Star (Oct 31): Alleged official nabbed

An alleged finance officer of the Komiteng Rehiyal-Negros was apprehended at about 6 last night by a combined team of police and military operatives in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of murder issued by Cadiz City Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Munez. Policemen, assisted by military personnel, nabbed Sarah Alvarez, alias Ka Olsen, finance officer of the KR-Negros headed by priest-turned rebel Frank Fernandez, Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said last night.... Various cause-oriented organizations had earlier slammed the military and police for the inclusion of the names of some of their members, along with alleged NPA leaders, in charge sheets and warrants of arrest, for “trumped up” criminal charges. Alvarez was reported to be connected to progressive groups Anak Pawis, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and as an education officer of Karapatan-Negros. Christian Tuayon, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Ronald Ian Evidente, secretary general of the Kilusang Mayo Uno- Negros, and Julia Tabat, alias Pinay/Gab, who was killed yesterday in an encounter with 47th Infantry Battalion soldiers in Brgy. East, Candoni, were also among those charged for robbery-in-band, in connection with the raid on the fishpond of Sarrosa....

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2012/October/31/topstory2.htm

War-torn town gets back on its feet

From Rappler (Oct 31): War-torn town gets back on its feet

The town of Aleosan found itself at the center of hostilities in 2008 following the failure of the peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Houses were burned and destroyed in the crossfire, and in Central Mindanao, nearly 700,000 people were left without a home. Four years later, both sides signed a Framework of Agreement that sets the stage for the setting up of a Bangsamoro region in Mindanao. When we arrived here on Monday, October 30, we saw no trace of tension in the area, save for the presence of two army trucks.  Col. Roy Galido, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines 40th Infantry Battalion, confirmed that some members of the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM), who instigated the 2008 conflict, reside in the area, but he stressed that the likelihood of conflict is minimal because the community does not want any more of it.  “The Freedom Movement will try to make a statement. Most of [the army’s] work here is on law enforcement. We’ve been building confidence for years. Most of them are also residents here,” he said. The town's community-based approach in settling conflict has been effective in preventing any major battles from happening again. Leaders in each local government unit work together and personally talk to the residents concerned to address even the smallest disagreements in the area. It's an inclusive and tolerant process, Galido said.  “They are our people, too. The start of peace is to open our lines to everybody,” he said. “Once conflict erupts, who will be the first victims? Their families. Of course, they don’t want that...."

http://www.rappler.com/nation/15155-aleosan-moving-from-the-center-of-conflict-to-a-place-of-peace

MILF: Editorial--‘Pulling the rug under’

Editorial posted to the MILF Website (Nov 1-7): ‘Pulling the rug under’

.... After the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Manila on October 15, 2012, avalanche of aid offers from donor agencies and states are coming in to help rebuild the devastated Moro areas in Mindanao. We welcomed this and we thanked them for these offers However, these deals should and must be through proper procedures and channels. The need to understand the concepts and the intended objectives of these initiatives should be discussed and agreed first. Going directly to individual member or combatant of the MILF is not a good mode; it can be misunderstood; and more seriously, it would appear as an attempt to weaken the cohesiveness of the MILF, as a partner in the negotiation and in the agreement. In the long run, this will not be good to real peace-building and the final resolution of the age-old Moro Question in Mindanao. A devastated MILF, God forbid! Will pave the way for other armed groups, including the radicals, to seize the moment, occupy the vacuum, and challenge the state. Again, the ways of hatred, blood, and destruction will return to our midst. Do we want this recur?....

http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2911:pulling-the-rug-under&catid=344:gggg

MILF: MILF Peace Panel, Australian Diplomat met

From the MILF Website (Oct 31): MILF Peace Panel, Australian Diplomat met

The Peace Negotiating Panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)had met with a top official of the Australian Embassy in Manila this morning today at the Conference Hall of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies (IBS). Present during the were Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman of the MILF Peace Panel, Atty. Datu Michael Mastura, Senior member of the MILF Peace Panel, Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, Member of the MILF Peace Panel and Executive Director of IBS, Nicholas McCaffrey, Political-Economic and Public Affairs Counsellor of the Embassy of Australia. Counsellor McCaffrey, in his statements, reiterated the commendation and commitment of support of the Australian Government to the recently signed historic Government of the Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH – MILF) Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro....

http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2909:milf-peace-panel-australian-diplomat-met&catid=31:general&Itemid=41

MILF: MILF thanks President Aquino for suspending oil bids awards in Moro areas

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 1): MILF thanks President Aquino for suspending oil bids awards in Moro areas

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has expressed gratitude to President Benigno Aquino III for deciding favorably for the suspension of oil and gas exploration bids award in oil exploration contracts in Mindanao, particularly those in Liguasan in the Cotabato Basin and Sulu seas until the wealth-sharing issue is addressed. Earlier during his first press conference last October 27 in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim urged the Aquino government to forego the awarding of these contracts, saying that the issue of wealth-sharing is still being discussed by the negotiators of both parties when they resume their talks in Kuala Lumpur this month....

http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2910:milf-thanks-president-aquino-for-suspending-oil-bids-awards-in-moro-areas&catid=31:general&Itemid=41

520th ABW Change of Command Ceremony

From the Philippine Air Force Website (Oct 30): 520th ABW Change of Command Ceremony

Philippine Air Force (PAF) Commanding General, LT GEN LAURO CATALINO G DELA CRUZ AFP was the guest of Honor and Speaker during the Change of Command Ceremony of the 520th Air Base Wing (ABW) held this morning, 30 October 2012, at the PAF Multi-Purpose Gymnasium, Col Jesus Villamor Air Base (CJVAB), Pasay City. COL JOHN OLIVIAMOR ESTABILLO PAF (GSC) - the former Deputy Commander of 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing - is the new Wing Commander of 520th ABW replacing BGEN EDGAR R FALLORINA AFP who is now the Deputy Commander of the 3rd Air Division based in Edwin Andrews Air Base, Zamboanga City....
 
 
 
 

PN and USN Hand in Hand in a Clean-Up Drive

From the Philippine Navy Website (Oct 31): PN and USN Hand in Hand in a Clean-Up Drive

Another activity was jointly participated by the Philippine Navy (PN) and the United States Navy personnel as part of the recent George Washington Carrier Strike Group’s (GWCSG) 5 day goodwill visit which ran from October 24 to 29, 2012. A clean-up drive was conducted by both navies in the Philippine Heroes’ Cemetery also known as “Libingan ng mga Bayani” located at Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City last October 26, 2012. The activity was sponsored by United States Agency International Development (USAID) which provided the necessary materials for the said clean- up activity....


navy pictures PN AND USN HAND IN HAND IN A CLEAN-UP DRIVE
















navy pictures PN AND USN HAND IN HAND IN A CLEAN-UP DRIVE
















navy pictures PN AND USN HAND IN HAND IN A CLEAN-UP DRIVE

Op/Ed: Trade-offs in the Bangsamoro pact

Op/Ed piece by Amando Doronila in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 31): Trade-offs in the Bangsamoro pact

.... The Moro wars in the Philippines have been a protracted guerrilla war stalemate that produced no decisive victory for either side. The outcome of the negotiations between the government and the MILF—the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro—was determined more by the costs of the conflict on the people of Mindanao, the economic costs to the nation, and the dislocation wrought on political stability than by the toll on the lives of combatants. From this context, we are able to make sense of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro when examining the concessions made by either side in the negotiations....The government panel was confounded by “a novel feature” of the MILF proposal for a ministerial form of government for the Bangsamoro entity under which the chief minister would be elected by the Assembly.... This departure from the existing electoral practices in electing officials from top to bottom, except during the Marcos dictatorship, is unexplored territory full of land mines that can explode in the face of Mr. Aquino’s experiment on a political settlement to buy peace with the MILF. This arrangement opened the way for possible challenges to its constitutionality before the Supreme Court, the jealous guardian of the nation’s sovereignty.....

http://opinion.inquirer.net/39800/trade-offs-in-the-bangsamoro-pact

Filipinos urged to unite, denounce violence vs armed groups

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 31): Filipinos urged to unite, denounce violence vs armed groups

In order for there to be peace in the Philippines, the entire Filipino population should be one in denouncing the violence of armed groups, a commanding general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Tuesday night. Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista, commanding general of the Army, said in an interview with editors of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that in order to obtain peace, all sectors of society must come together and express their desire for peace. “Ordinary citizens, students, businessmen, media, all of us [should] be in unison in telling [armed groups] its about time [to] end armed struggle and there are other ways of solving our problems [and] resolving conflict,” Bautista said.... “Armed struggle is a Jurassic methodology, there are more modern [and] more humane ways of resolving conflict, definitely it’s not armed struggle, we have seen that in the past,” Bautista said. “Insurgents thrive on popular support, if the popular will is to end armed struggle and all of us [denounce] it, what will be their reason for the insurgency?” he added.... “We are presenting to our people a choice between continued armed struggle and peace. We have been there for more than 40 years, what will we choose? If we chose peace rather than armed struggle then let’s get together as a people, that is the spirit of bayanihan,” Bautista said citing the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan.”

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/299276/filipinos-urged-to-unite-denounce-violence-vs-armed-groups

CPP: CPP calls for opposition to Aquino plans to open 1 million hectares of Moro land to foreign mining companies

From the CPP Website (Oct 31): CPP calls for opposition to Aquino plans to open 1 million hectares of Moro land to foreign mining companies

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on the Filipino and Moro peoples “to unite and oppose plans by the Aquino regime to open up at least a million hectares of Moro land to foreign mining companies.” The CPP said this can only result in the plunder of the Moro people’s rich oil, gas and other mineral and timber resources and the exploitation and oppression of the Moro people." The CPP said the Aquino regime is taking advantage of the “peace fanfare” over the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Manila-based reactionary Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) “in order to boost the entry of foreign monopoly-capitalists companies which have long been drooling over the rich natural resources in areas covered by the Moro people’s ancestral domain.” The CPP issued the statement in reaction to reports that the Aquino regime’s Department of Energy has opened for bidding Area 11 covering 600,000 hectares and Area 12 covering 456,000 hectares of mineral lands both in Cotabato. These are located in the basin areas covering 14,000 square kilometers, including parts of the Liguasan Marsh. “The US government has long been seeking to exploit the rich potentials of the Moro land,” said the CPP. It cited a 2006 intelligence assessment by the US embassy stating that “the Philippines may have untapped minerals worth between $840 billion to $1 trillion” in Mindanao....

http://www.philippinerevolution.net/statements/cpp-calls-for-opposition-to-aquino-plans-to-open-1-million-hectares-of-moro-land-to-foreign-mining-companies

Ex-rebel killed in clash with police, army in Ilocos Norte

From the Philippine Star (Oct 31): Ex-rebel killed in clash with police, army in Ilocos Norte
A former communist rebel was killed when he and five others reportedly clashed with policemen and army troopers in a village in Currimao town, Ilocos Norte Tuesday night. Carlo Magbulos from barangay Gulpeng, Pinili town, was killed when his group fired at authorities who were alerted of an armed group’s presence in barangay Cabuusan in the town. Currimao police said that when the authorities were approaching Magbulos’ group, and declared they were police and military officers, they were fired at by Magbulos' group. A kin of Magbulos, however, said the former rebel had since surrendered two years ago and had returned to farming. Magbulos, his family added, just came from the farm and was in the company of other farmers. One of Magbulos' companions is now under tight security in a hospital, while two others are being held for questioning while two more were able to flee, authorities said.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865396

Activists in Baguio complain of harassment

From the Philippine Star (Oct 31): Activists in Baguio complain of harassment

Activists identified with left-leaning organizations based here complained of “witch-hunting” and “trick or treating” meant to scare them. The most recent case was that of 55-year-old Milagros Ao-wat, a volunteer of the health NGO Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region(CHESTCORE), who in September received a bag containing a black shirt, a stained white blouse and some tattered pairs of sandals. It was the Ao-wat's fifth “harassment” incident, said Imelda Tabiando of the Baguio-based Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC Inc.).... She lamented that instead of recognizing the efforts of the NGOs and development workers in helping hard to reach communities, they are tagged by the military as enemies of the state.Also, farmer-leader Modesto Hangoy from Tinoc, Ifugao, said AFP’s 86th Infantry Batalion is tagging farmers and residents as NPA rebels or symphatizers. He added that at night time, supposed intelligence agents spy on his home owing to suspicions that he is coddling NPA rebels.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865414

Marines intensify operations vs. Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

From  the Philippine Star (Oct 31): Marines intensify operations vs. Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Marine troops have intensified pursuit operations against Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiyah believed to be holding seven kidnap victims in Sulu province, a senior naval officer said. Rear Admiral Armando Guzman, chief of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), which is overseeing the Marines' operation in Sulu, said naval blocking operations also continued in the coast of Sulu to prevent the militants from slipping out of the province. “This is a normal combat operation designed to constrict the movement of the Abu Sayyaf,” Guzman said. Marines encountered a group of Abu Sayyaf bandits over the weekend. Ten bandits and four Marines were killed in the six-hour encounter in the hinterlands of Patikul town. Guzman said that part of the campaign plan was the massive civil-military operations to win the hearts of the villagers and pressure the militant group from merging with the community....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865438

Race on for top AFP post

From  the Philippine Star (Oct 31): Race on for top AFP post

The race is on for the top military post that would be vacated by General Jessie Dellosa three months from now. As gathered by The STAR, at least two senior military officers are eyeing the top post in the Armed Forces of the Philippines when Dellosa retires in January. The two officials are Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmmanuel Bautista and Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz. “Uso na naman ang gapangan ngayon. It’s between two PMA classes, the PMA Class of 1981 and PMA Class of 1980,” a Camp Aguinaldo insider said. Bautista is a graduate of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981 while Dela Cruz is a member of the PMA Class of 1980. It was learned that the two senior military officials are reportedly enjoying the back of powerful group of backers, all with the direct access to the Palace. Dellosa, a member of the PMA Class of 1976, will reach the military's mandatory retirement age of 56 in the middle of January next year. Dellosa took over the AFP's top post from retired Air Force general Eduardo Oban Jr.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865449

Army: Libingan ng mga Bayani ready

From the Philippine Star (Oct 31): Army: Libingan ng mga Bayani ready

The Army is prepared for the influx of visitors in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the final resting place of soldiers and other prominent personalities. Col. Renato Verceles, chief of the Army’s Grave Services Unit, said preparations have been undertaken to ensure the convenience of the visitors of the cemetery on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. These preparations include the cleaning and repainting of concrete crosses, pruning of trees and trimming of flowers, bush cutting of grasses, aligning of crosses, repair of bathrooms, and repairing of street lights. The Army also cleaned "The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers," which was built in honor of nameless war heroes. Maj. Harold Cabunoc, spokesman of the Army, said the Operational Order Pagmamahal 2012 has been launched to assist the cemetery’s visitors. He said a public assistance and information center would be set up to help relatives and families in locating the grave of their departed loved ones. “The Philippine Army will also deploy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams and Ambu-Medic Teams for security and medical support,” Cabunoc said....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865461

NPA medical officer killed in battle: Army

From the Visayan Daily Star (Oct 31): NPA medical officer killed in battle: Army

A woman believed to be a medical officer of the New People’s Army died in an encounter with soldiers of the 47th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Set-an, Brgy. East, Candoni, Negros Occidental, yesterday. Lt. Col. Rodrigo Sosmena, 47th Infantry Battalion commander, yesterday identified the slain alleged NPA amazon as Julia Pacheco Tabat, with aliases of “Ka Pinay,” “Gab” and “Alex,” who, he said, served as the medical officer of the South West Front committee of the NPA. Sosmena said the encounter took place at about 5 a.m. yesterday, as his troops responded to reports of civilians that about 20 armed NPA rebels led by Reniel Cellon, alias Kumpol, were consolidating in the area, recruiting and training minors in medical courses, as red fighters, and in making improvised explosives devices, and on landmine operations....  Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the group of Ka Kumpol is responsible for the series of killings in the hinterlands of Candoni, Ilog, Cauayan and Sipalay City, with civilians, former government militiamen and soldiers on Peace and Development Team missions, as their victims....

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2012/October/31/topstory1.htm

 

PNoy: No contracts for oil exploration until wealth-sharing issue with MILF is addressed

From InterAksyon (Oct 31): PNoy: No contracts for oil exploration until wealth-sharing issue with MILF is addressed

The government will not award any service contracts for oil exploration in areas near the Liguasan Marsh until it forges a wealth-sharing agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), President Benigno Aquino III said on Wednesday. "Chairman Murad is correct, Wealth-sharing is one of the annexes that we have to finish," Aquino said referring to the annexes of the government's framework agreeement with the MILF that will pave the way for the creation of a Bangsamoro region in the Philippines. "From what Energy Secretary Rene Almendras explained to me, we have not yet opened the areas for bidding," the President added....

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/46923/pnoy-no-contracts-for-oil-exploration-until-wealth-sharing-issue-with-milf-is-addressed

13 soldiers to face court martial for deaths of wife, sons of anti-mining lumad leader

From InterAksyon (Oct 31): 13 soldiers to face court martial for deaths of wife, sons of anti-mining lumad leader

Thirteen soldiers will face court martial for shooting dead the wife and two sons of a tribal leader who opposed a Swiss-Australian mining project, the military said Wednesday. A military inquiry found the soldiers were negligent when they engaged in a shootout with the tribal leader because they did not try to avoid civilian casualties, said armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon Paniza. "There is a violation of the rules of engagement. You should fire only aimed shots and determine your targets before you fire," he told AFP. Paniza said a lieutenant and 12 enlisted men involved in the killings could face life in jail if found guilty....

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/46929/13-soldiers-to-face-court-martial-for-deaths-of-wife-sons-of-anti-mining-lumad-leader

Navy reservists train in Samar

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 31): Navy reservists train in Samar

Sixty navy reservists are undergoing Ready Reserve Organizational Training at the Samar State University (SSU) to ensure that they can respond to their call of duty at any given time and scenario. Colonel George Fernandez, chief of staff of the Naval Reserve Command, served as guest speaker in the opening ceremony on October 27. In his message, Fernandez said that as reservists, they must always be equipped with the right knowledge and skills in times of disaster, calamities and emergencies. “Our reserve force must serve as effective complements of our regular forces,” he told them. "You will be organized into a cohesive force, trained as a team but develop individual skills ready in times of mobilization and offer peacetime services especially in the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” he said. “We also want you to assist our regular forces in the conduct of nation-building efforts in support to the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) 'Bayanihan,’” Fernandez urged reservist-trainees....

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1221351590634

Framework Agreement advocates adopt “I am for Peace” slogan, hold assembly

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 31): Framework Agreement advocates adopt “I am for Peace” slogan, hold assembly

While details of the Framework Agreement need to be ironed out, aggressive information and education campaign of peace advocates, supporters and stakeholders are ongoing to generate public awareness and better understanding to achieve the goal of the agreement. With the slogan “I am for Peace” local officials, residents and peace advocates welcomed and joined the peace ambassadors in the conduct of a general assembly cum medical and dental mission, fun games and feeding program in the town of Aleosan, Cotabato Province last Oct 29, 2012. Peace ambassadors composed of artists Jeffrey “Epi” Quizon, Ebe Dancel, football players of the Philippine Azkals and local singing talent sensation Khomeini Bansuan immersed with civil society groups, executives and other sectors of the community in the assembly rallying for support to the Framework Agreement initiated by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)....

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1661351647965

Govt security forces arrest NPA extortion team member

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 31): Govt security forces arrest NPA extortion team member

Joint elements of the 62nd Infantry Battalion and the Philippine National Police (PNP)captured a New People's Army (NPA) rebel in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental Tuesday. The police identified the arrested rebel as Sarah Alvarez, alias Olsen, said to be a member of NPA extortion team.... Alvarez is reportedly involved in the murder of 1Lt. Archie Polenzo of 62IB in Cadiz City in 2010 and the armed robbery of a fishpond in Sagay City in 2011. "This will cripple their (NPAs) extortion activities," said Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Brigade Commander. For his part, 62IB Commander Efren Morados said, "her significance is evident with her direct links with financial and logistics bureaus of the NPA movement within Northern Negros and the island as a whole. She plays an important role in the Northern Negros Front's extortion activities."
 http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467242

Army exhorts soldiers to get more evidence vs. rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 31): Army exhorts soldiers to get more evidence vs. rebels

The Army has challenged all enlisted men to collect, first and foremost, substantial evidence strong enough to effectively bring justice to their fallen comrades slain by New People’s Army rebels. Maj. Gil Ileto, spokesman of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Western Visayas, was obviously disheartened by the court's decision to drop the murder charges against Roger Belo, an NPA rebel from Capiz accused of killing a government soldier after witnesses withdrew. Ileto issued the challenge to keep military morale high. Belo was captured by police and soldiers from the 61st Infantry Batallion on Oct 21 last year. Saddened by the unfortunate turn of events, Ileto exhorted his fellow soldiers to dig more evidence against persons running afoul of the law to make them pay for their crimes no matter who they are.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467353

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The 'King of Moro Songs' croons for peace as an OPAPP ambassador

From GMANews (Oct 31): The 'King of Moro Songs' croons for peace as an OPAPP ambassador

Around 200 children, around 5 to 9 years old, were lined up in the municipality’s covered court. Some of them are wearing school uniforms, others have more casual clothing. They’re patiently waiting to be given their share in a feeding program organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. They were being served what looked to be pinakbet. It’s a common enough dish. But, the kids from Aleosan, North Cotabato had uncommon food servers. They were OPAPP peace ambassadors: among them former Sugarfree frontman Ebe Dancel; actor Epi Quizon; and the “King of Moro Songs”, singer Dhatu Khomeini Bansuan. As peace ambassadors, they assist in activities organized by the OPAPP, helping spread the word of peace through efforts like the feeding program, parlor games and, in the case of Dancel and Bansuan, through song. King Bansuan is more popular in the southern Philippines, given that he sings and performs in the Maguindanao dialect. But king or not, his majesty was all smiles, casual and friendly with everyone as he ladled out the food. He sat down for a short 10-minute conversation. He’s not what you’d call matinee idol handsome. But he’s got charisma, a magnetic aura that reminds of a boy band’s charm. Most of his songs may sound a little alien to ears used to Filipino. And a quick perusal of him gyrating on stage as proven by YouTube videos is equally surprising....

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/280318/news/regions/the-king-of-moro-songs-croons-for-peace-as-an-opapp-ambassador

NPA amazon killed in predawn encounter in Negros

From GMANews (Oct 31): NPA amazon killed in predawn encounter in Negros

A suspected female NPA fighter, or amazon, was killed in a predawn encounter between communist and government troops in Negros Occidental province Tuesday. Candoni town police head Chief Inspector Ramil Robles said the encounter occurred at about 5:30 a.m. in Barangay Payawan in Candoni town. The amazon remained unidentified as of posting time. “Yung Army nakasalubong sa area sa may part ng Barangay Payawan, nagkasagupaan. May casualty sa kabila, isang babae,” he said in an interview on dzBB radio. Robles also cited sketchy initial reports indicating at least two more NPAs were wounded but were taken away by their colleagues. Government forces suffered no casualties. Initial investigation showed there were 15 NPAs involved in the encounter. Robles said subversive documents were recovered from the scene.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/280307/news/regions/npa-amazon-killed-in-predawn-encounter-in-negros

Female rebel nabbed in Western Visayas for murdering officer

From the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Female rebel nabbed in Western Visayas for murdering officer

A suspected female member of the communist New People's Army (NPA) who is allegedly involved in the killing of a military official was arrested this evening in Negros Occidental, a senior police officer said. Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., Police Director of Western Visayas identified the woman rebel as Sarah Alvarez, who is a regional member of the NPA group led by certain Frank Fernandez. According to Mr. Cruz, the suspect was nabbed by police and military personnel in Cadiz City. She was the subject of an arrest warrant for the murder of 1st Lieutenant Archie Polenzo of the 62nd Infantry Battalion in March 2010.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=865352&publicationSubCategoryId=200

MILF divided on firearms

From Rappler (Oct 30): MILF divided on firearms

The Aquino government’s framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front involves the “decommissioning” or disarmament of the MILF. But some members are divided over the issue. Paterno Esmaquel reports.



Guns, guns, and guns. It's a familiar scene this part of Mindanao. That is why the disarmament of Muslim rebels is one of the key points of the peace framework. But the idea of giving up their guns is dividing members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. An MILF commander admits some of their soldiers distrust the Framework Agreement with the Philippine government. They cite a botched agreement in 2008 that would have created a Bangsamoro substate.

ABDUL SHARIF, MILF company commander:  "We cannot blame them because... remember the MOA-AD... some groups have misgivings because they think the government is fooling them."
 "As a revolutionary, we love our guns more than our wives... What can you use your wife for; you cannot use her against the enemy."

http://www.rappler.com/nation/15160-milf-divided-on-firearms

Philippine Navy Joins U.S. Navy's "Project Handclasp"

From the Philippine Navy Website (Oct 28): Philippine Navy Joins U.S. Navy's "Project Handclasp"

Another community outreach activity of the US Navy dubbed as “Project Handclasp” received much needed assistance from Philippine Navy (PN) personnel. The activity was sponsored by United States Agency International Development (USAID) and was conducted at Barangay DoƱa Imelda, Quezon City last October 25, 2012. The Local Government of Quezon City and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were also among those who participated. Project Handclasp involved activities such as repainting of Kalayaan Health Center, basic hygiene session with children of Kalayaan Day Care Center, donation of hygiene products and sports equipments and basketball game with the residents of the said barangay. This community outreach activity is also a part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group’s (GWCSG) 5 day goodwill visit which ran from October 24 to 29.
navy pictures PHILIPPINE NAVY JOINS US NAVY’S “PROJECT HANDCLASP”
















navy pictures PHILIPPINE NAVY JOINS US NAVY’S “PROJECT HANDCLASP”
















navy pictures PHILIPPINE NAVY JOINS US NAVY’S “PROJECT HANDCLASP”
















http://www.navy.mil.ph/news.php?news_id=716&home=1

PH-US Navy on Joint Outreach in Marikina

From the Philippine Navy Website (Oct 28): PH-US Navy on Joint Outreach in Marikina

Philippine Navy personnel headed by Lieutenant Junior Grade Frederick Engel K Gammad and United States Navy personnel headed by Lieutenant Commander Young Song participated in a community outreach activity in Kalumpang Elementary School, Marikina City last October 25, 2012 in connection with the Goodwill Visit of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG). The activity was sponsored by the United States Embassy and United States Agency International Development (USAID). Personnel from Department of Education, Local Government of Marikina, Philippine National Police and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) also participated in the said activity. The event was comprised of the interactive classroom read along activity, basic first aid information session and donation of books, first aid kits and sports equipments....

navy pictures PH-US NAVY ON JOINT OUTREACH IN MARIKINA
















navy pictures PH-US NAVY ON JOINT OUTREACH IN MARIKINA
















navy pictures PH-US NAVY ON JOINT OUTREACH IN MARIKINA
















navy pictures PH-US NAVY ON JOINT OUTREACH IN MARIKINA
















http://www.navy.mil.ph/news.php?news_id=715&home=1

Military official: No hostages harmed in Sulu clash

From the Sun Star (Oct 30): Military official: No hostages harmed in Sulu clash

A Philippine general said marines made sure there were no foreign or Filipino hostages in the custody of a large group of Abu Sayyaf bandits before engaging the al-Qaeda-linked gunmen in a deadly battle two days ago. Marine commandant Major General Rustico Guerrero said Tuesday that four marines and at least nine Abu Sayyaf militants and allied gunmen were killed in the six-hour gunbattle on Sunday in a jungle near southern Sulu province's mountainous Patikul town. Twenty-two marines were wounded. Guerrero said government forces have been ordered never to engage the militants in the presence of hostages or civilians. Regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said the marines were deployed in Patikul to check the reported sightings of kidnap victims in the area.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2012/10/30/military-official-no-hostages-harmed-sulu-clash-250514

MILF chair seeks help from all international NGOs, communities

From MindaNews (Oct 30): MILF chair seeks help from all international NGOs, communities

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim urged all international non-government organizations (NGO) and communities to extend assistance in support to the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). “We need all the assistance of all international NGOs and communities so we let the people feel that there is happening in the ground,” he said in a press conference in Camp Darapanan, his first after the signing of the FAB in Malacanan Palace on October 15. The Bangsamoro entity with ministerial form of government will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by 2016 after a law creating it shall have been ratified. By mid-November, the MILF will go back to the negotiating table with the government panel to discuss the annexes on wealth sharing, power sharing and normalization. Murad also appealed to Turkey’s IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation to continue and intensify their interventions in the Bangsamoro communities. “The only thing we can appeal to them is to continue and intensify their involvement in the ground because we need more international players to involve in the ground as this will involve rebuilding of a nation that has been destroyed by war for decades continuously,” he said. He cited that for the Bangsamoro people what may be more important are livelihood, rehabilitation and infrastructure programs....

 http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2012/10/30/milf-chair-seeks-help-from-all-international-ngos-communities/

Peace partners readies 2012 Week of Peace

From the Zamboanga Today (Oct 30): Peace partners readies 2012 Week of Peace

Anchored on the theme recently released by the Bishops Ulama Conference (BUC) dubbed “Love of God and Love of Neighbor: A Challenge for Mindanao”, the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) through Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) and Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) adopted a new theme “Together for Sustainable Peace in Mindanao”. The Mindanao Week of Peace 2012, being a people’s celebration is spearheaded by the Multi-Sectoral partners Engagements through series of consultation and dialogues intended for the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace in Zamboanga City. Peace Partners readies the annual big celebration in Zamboanga City this forthcoming November 29-December 5, 2012. From the collaboration of partner organizations and institutions, the IRSMP, PAZ, ZABIDA and YSP spearheads this year’s celebration with meaningful engagements from various sectors of the society to include academe, religious, youth, business, government and civil society organizations, civic and peoples organizations....

http://www.zamboangatoday.ph/index.php/news/13-top-stories/12252-peace-partners-readies-2012-week-of-peace.html

New TFZ chief vows to carry on predecessors’ legacy

From the Zamboanga Today (Oct 30): New TFZ chief vows to carry on predecessors’ legacy

Newly-assumed Task Force Zamboangga Commander Col. Glenn Macasero pledged to continue the good legacy being established by the past commanders of the said military command here in Zamboanga City. Macasero took the post as the new TFZ chief last Friday(Oct.25) from his classmate Col. Buenaventura Pascual who was designated to higher command as the new commander of the 1003rd Brigade in Davao yesterday. The official said that he will also maintain the status quo on the operational plans and programs left behind by his predecessor as he is still familiarizing his new post here in Zamboanga City. Known for his gallantry and good leadership in his previously handled military commands in the Philippine Army, Col. Macasero is a hands-on commander who is inclined into innovations and adoption of military strategies which will truly nurture the progress and development of his designated military unit. Macasero appealed to the officers and men of TFZ, including the ZamboangeƱos to bear with him in his new management as he expects their cooperation in his new leadership. A graduate of PMA Class 1984 Col. Glenn Macasero has been assigned to various military units all over the country and recently left the Army’s 101st Brigade before his assumption as commander last Friday in Camp Arturo Enrile,Malagutay which is the homebase of Task Force Zamboanga.
http://www.zamboangatoday.ph/index.php/news/13-top-stories/12256-new-tfz-chief-vows-to-carry-on-predecessors-legacy.html

ANAD: Maoist CPP groups (have) no monopoly over marginalized Filipinos

Posted to the anti-communist ANAD Website (Oct 30): Maoist CPP groups has no monopoly over marginalized Filipinos

“In reality, these groups are the very least concerned over our less privileged brothers and sisters as reality tells us that they subtly and fully exploit the latter’s woes and deprivations. The number of Maoist doctrines and teachings rammed on us, during my days inside the violent Maoist terrorist organization, taught us how to manipulate and use the underprivileged and poor sectors of the Filipino community in a wholesale and viled propaganda effort against government,” said ANAD Rep. Pastor Alcover Jr as he dared leaders of Maoist sectoral front organizations, like Bayan, Karapatan, Anakbayan, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, and Kilusan Mayo Uno together with their partylists: Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Anakpawis, and Kabataan, to bare out any and all tangible programs they’ve implemented resulting in the improvement of the lives of the sectors they are supposedly concerned and claimed to represent in Congress...."

http://www.anadpartylist.org/20121030/maoist-cpp-groups-has-no-monopoly-over-marginalized-filipinos.html

Bulatlat: Rights worker in Visayas harassed by suspected military agents

Posted to the pro-CPP online "news" outlet, Bulatlat (Oct 30): Rights worker in Visayas harassed by suspected military agents

.... Human rights group Karapatan said this form of harassment on human rights workers is nothing new, especially with the implementation of the Aquino government’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan. Nevertheless it is still a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a signatory. “This is a systematic effort on the part of the AFP to destroy the credibility of human rights workers,” said Abarrientos.... Karapatan also condemned the branding and labeling of human rights workers. “This false accusation that rights organizations are fronts of insurgent groups is putting the lives of our workers in danger,” said Abarrientos. “Instead of addressing the worsening human rights situation, the government claims that what human rights organizations are saying are plain propaganda,” he said....

http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/10/30/rights-worker-in-visayas-harassed-by-suspected-military-agents/print/

NDFP: NDFP condemns unabated killings of children by Aquino Regime

Posted to the NDFP Website (Oct 25):  NDFP condemns unabated killings of children by Aquino Regime

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) strongly condemns the Benigno Aquino regime for the unabated killings of children in pursuit of its anti-national and anti-people US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization, complemented by the US-designed counter-insurgency plan, Oplan Bayanihan. This was again demonstrated in the massacre of the family of Daguil Capion on 18 October 2012 in Barangay (village) Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, which killed his pregnant wife, Juvi; two children, Jorge or Pap, 13 years old, and Jan-Jan, seven years old; and wounded another, Becky, five years old. The killings were perpetrated by soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo....

http://www.ndfp.net/joom15/index.php/media-releases-mainmenu-53/statements-mainmenu-71/1558-ndfp-condemns-unabated-killings-of-children-by-aquino-regime.html

MILF: MILF urges gov’t to postpone awarding of oil exploration bids in Moro areas

From the MILF Website (Oct 30): MILF urges gov’t to postpone awarding of oil exploration bids in Moro areas


The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has called the Government of the Philippines (GPH) anew to postpone the awarding of the oil exploration contract in Moro areas in Mindanao particularly those in the Liguasan Marsh in the Cotabato Basin and in Sulu seas. The call was formally raised by MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim during his press conference in Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last October 27. The 64-year old MILF leader said his group has urged the government not to continue with the bidding on some exploration projects in central Mindanao until the wealth-sharing issue is fixed. Asked by Luwaran about the chance of government’s positive response, Murad saiod, our appeal is very reasonable and sound. “As a principle, we are not against exploitation of our natural resources including oil and gas provided that they redound to the benefits of our people and should be done in the proper time and conditions,” he stressed....

http://www.luwaran.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2907:milf-urges-govt-to-postpone-awarding-of-oil-exploration-bids-in-moro-areas&catid=31:general&Itemid=41

Ex-Red groups tag Makabayan party-lists as CPP fronts, seek their disqualification

From GMANews (Oct 30): Ex-Red groups tag Makabayan party-lists as CPP fronts, seek their disqualification

After the battle among the progressive organizations represented by party-list Akbayan and youth organization Anakbayan, another rift is developing, this time between the militants and the groups of former Red rebels. The groups—which include People’s Advocacy for Collaboration and Empowerment (PEACE), New Guardians for Freedom and Democracy, and the First Philippine Pro-Democracy Foundation Inc.—have submitted a letter to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seeking the disqualification of the Makabayan Coalition's militant party-list groups from the elections next year. The party-list groups are Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan, and Katribu. According to PEACE president Agnes Lopez, the groups are fronts for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA) and their negotiating panel the National Democratic Front (NDF)....

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/280263/news/nation/ex-red-groups-tag-makabayan-party-lists-as-cpp-fronts-seek-their-disqualification

Army gives troops 3-day Halloween break

From the Business Mirror (Oct 30): Army gives troops 3-day Halloween break

ARMY soldiers have been given a three-day break but on shift schedule from October 30 to November 4, so that they can visit their departed loved ones during the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day commemoration. “Personnel assigned at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, were given a three-day administrative break. However, to ensure that administrative and operational functions will not be compromised, the administrative break is divided into two schedules; the first is from October 30 to November 1, and the second is from November 2 to November 4,” the Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc, said....

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/news/nation/1431-army-gives-troops-3-day-halloween-break

AFP launches youth peace movement in Davao

From the Business Mirror (Oct 30): AFP launches youth peace movement in Davao













THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has embarked on a peace program seeking to train more than 700 youth leaders who will promote the culture of peace and reinforce the positive gains from peace talks conducted with rebel groups in the country. After several months of consultations and training workshops nationwide, the AFP on Tuesday launched the National Youth Leadership Summit (NYLS) in Davao City. “This is the first time youth leaders regardless of religion and political orientation or affiliation from different parts of the country convened to take the summit to the national level. In the past, the AFP through its field units has been conducting youth leadership summits in their respective areas of responsibilities,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa said. Dellosa believes the youth who had undergone training and workshops will become the present and future peacemakers in the country.

AFP vows ‘focused operations’ vs Sahiron’s ASG

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 30): AFP vows ‘focused operations’ vs Sahiron’s ASG

The military yesterday vowed relentless “focused operation” against the Abu Sayyaf group of Radullan Sahiron which was encountered on Sunday by Marine forces in the outskirts of Sulu province, resulting in the killing of four soldiers with 10 others wounded. Col. Orlando de Leon, commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade, quoting local residents, said the nine Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed during the clash in Barangay Bakong in Patikul while 20 others were wounded. Citing reports from local residents, De Leon identified two of the slain Abu Sayyaf men as Sahiron Ajil and Ismin Sahiron. “Based on the reporting of local officials and residents, nine were killed and more or less 20 were wounded on the other side,” said De Leon. De Leon said that elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-6 (MBLT-6) will continue pursuing the Abu Sayyaf band, believed to be headed by ASG commander Radullan Sahiron and Tahil Sali, a Moro National Liberation Front commander. “Our mission is to look for them. So, we will continue with our focused operation. They are just a few of them, and they are confined in one area in Patikul not all throughout Sulu,” said De Leon....

http://www.tribune.net.ph/index.php/nation/item/6274-afp-vows-‘focused-operations’-vs-sahiron’s-asg

Landmines Condemned

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 30): Landmines Condemned 

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) has condemned the use of landmines by the New People’s Army (NPA). “Together with civil society groups, the clergy and local officials, we strongly condemn the NPA’s continuous use of landmines,” said 3ID commander, Major General Jose Mabanta Jr. after Private First Class John Durana of the 82nd Infantry Battalion (82IB) was killed during a clash with an undetermined number of NPA rebels in the mountain village of Bucari in Leon, Iloilo last October 27. The platoon led by 1st Lieutenant Camlon Ramones of 82IB’s Bravo Company was in the area for a peace and security operation when they encountered the NPA. Troops later recovered an improvised explosive device (IED), an M14 rifle magazine with five rounds of ammunition, 21 empty shells from an M14 rifle, and 32 empty shells from an M16 rifle. Meanwhile, Mabanta urged the NPA to follow the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). “For the sake of peace let us refrain from using these banned weapons,” Mabanta said even as he urged the NPA to follow the “open- mindedness” of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA- ABB) Tabara wing in Negros and Panay islands.

 http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/379324/landmines-condemned

Families of slain rebels seek CHR help over alleged abuse

From the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Families of slain rebels seek CHR help over alleged abuse

Seeking justice, families of the so-called “Tineg 8” in Abra and “San Narciso 11” in Quezon provinces have lodged complaints against the military before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC). Complaining violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Republic Act 9851, otherwise known as the “Philippine Act on Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes against Humanity”, the families of the “Tineg 8” and San Narciso 11” are pursuing those responsible for “inhumane treatment” they experienced. In October 2011, 8 members of the New People's Army died in a clash with the 41st IBPA under Lt. Jeson Capoquian in remote Tineg town, in Abra while on June 30, 2012, 11 members of the NPA were killed in a clash with the 74th IBPA in San Narciso, Quezon. According to the families of the killed NPAs,their kin in the two separate clashes bore signs of mutilation and were left unattended....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=865091

Rebel woman killed in Negros clash

From  the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Rebel woman killed in Negros clash

A suspected communist rebel was killed during an encounter with government troops early morning on Tuesday in Negros Occidental, the military said. Quoting a report from the Army's 303rd Infantry Brigade, Army spokesman Maj. Harold Cabunoc said soldiers from the 47th Infantry Battalion were patrolling the outskirts of Brgy. East, Municipality of Candoni, Negros Occidental around 5:30 a.m. when they encountered a group of New People's Army members. After the 10-minute firefight, one female NPA rebel, about 25 years old, was killed. No casualty was reported on the government side, Cabunoc added....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865060

Tripartite meeting futile - MNLF

From the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Tripartite meeting futile - MNLF

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari and an allied Moro leader are no longer keen of sitting for a tripartite meeting with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to thresh out the 1996 final peace agreement branded by the Aquino administration as a “failed experiment.” Habib Mujahab Hashim, chairman of the Islamic Command Council of the MNLF said he met with Misuari and discussed matters of “mutual concerns” regarding the framework agreement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and government, a deal which they perceived will nullify the accord they have with the government. Hashim said he and Misuari discussed the framework agreement and its repercussion on the 1996 MNLF-GPH final peace agreement forged during President Fidel Ramos' administration. The MNLF official said their position now differs from the OIC to thresh out the difficult provisions for the full implementation of the 1996 final peace accord while at the same time seeking for the unification of the MNLF and MILF aimed at enhancing the development of the Bangsamoro people in southern Philippines.... Hashim said while Misuari agrees to the resumption of the tripartite talks, "we see no point in doing it" after the Aquino administration declared the ARMM, a creation of the 1996 accord, as a failure. “To resume tripartite talks between MNLF-GPH-OIC will be an exercise in futility because GPH has already declared ARMM a failed exercise,” Hashim added....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865095


MILF starts training of Bangsamoro police

From  the Philippine Star (Oct 30): MILF starts training of Bangsamoro police

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has started training its own Bangsamoro police force in anticipation of the full implementation of the forged framework agreement. In video footage shown to The STAR in North Cotabato the other day, groups of unarmed MILF members were seen intently listening to lectures given by their leaders over their future duties and functions once the framework agreement of the Bangsamoro becomes fully operational. “We don’t see anything wrong here. They (MILF) are simply preparing for the gigantic role they would play once the peace pact is finally forged,” a security official said. Under the signed framework agreement, both parties agreed that the MILF will undertake a graduated program to decommission its forces. In return, the government, in a phased and gradual manner will transfer law enforcement from the military to the police for the Bangsamoro in line with the agreed normalization provision of the framework agreement....

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=865097

Resolve wealth sharing before awarding oil exploration contracts for Mindanao - MILF

From InterAksyon (Oct 30): Resolve wealth sharing before awarding oil exploration contracts for Mindanao - MILF

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is urging government to postpone the awarding of oil exploration contracts for Mindanao until the issue of wealth sharing with the Bangsamoro region can be resolved. MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, in an article posted Tuesday on the organization’s website, Luwaran, stressed that his call to postpone the awarding of oil exploration contracts for the Liguasan Marsh, in the Cotabato Basin, and the Sulu Sea did not meant they are against oil exploration and the exploitation of resources. “As a principle, we are not against exploitation of our natural resources including oil and gas provided that they redound to the benefits of our people and should be done in the proper time and conditions,” Murad said....

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/46831/resolve-wealth-sharing-before-awarding-oil-exploration-contracts-for-mindanao---milf

4 Marines slain in Sulu clash honored

From InterAksyon (Oct 30): 4 Marines slain in Sulu clash honored

Four Marines who died in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu on Sunday were accorded military honors on Tuesday. The remains of Sergeant Ricardo Nacario, Corporal Dexter John Baterina, Privates Allan Bercilla and Glenn Gapasin, which arrived in Manila earlier in the day, were taken to the Marine headquarters in Taguig City around 2 p.m. The four were from the troops of Marine Battalion Landing Team 6 that was sent to verify intelligence reports that kidnap victims had been seen in Barangay Bakong in Patikul town. In the clash, 13 other Marines were wounded and nine gunmen belonging to the Abu Sayyaf band led by Radullan Sahiron were slain. The wounded soldiers will be given commendations....



The four soldiers who died in a clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu lie in state at Marine headquarters in Taguig City. (photo by Abigail Kwok)

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/46835/4-marines-slain-in-sulu-clash-honored

Songs and games for peace

From Rappler (Oct 30): Songs and games for peace

PEACE SIGN. Celebrity Peace Ambassadors visit Aleosan, North Cotabato in the first of a series of immersion activities organized by the Office of the President Adviser on the Peace Process. Photo by Angela Casauay.

PEACE SIGN. Celebrity Peace Ambassadors visit Aleosan, North Cotabato in the first of a series of immersion activities organized by the Office of the President Adviser on the Peace Process. Photo by Angela Casauay.
 
ALEOSAN, North Cotabato - Celebrity ambassadors have begun their crusade to promote peace through arts and sports. Hundreds of residents from Aleosan, North Cotabato, most of whom were forced to flee their homes when trouble erupted after the failure of the peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2008, came here to see celebrity peace ambassadors in the covered courts of Barangay San Mateo, Monday, October 29. The visit comes 3 weeks after the government and the MILF signed the Framework Agreement that sets the stage for the setting up of a Bangsamoro region.... The efforts are part of a plan to spread the message of unity by developing a program for each ambassador, said OPAPP spokesperson and director of communications Polly Cunanan.... The ambassadors also took part in a feeding program, a medical mission, and the distribution of footballs to the kids....

 HELPING HANDS. Musicians Ebe Dancel and Datu Khomeni take part in a feeding program in Aleosan, North Cotabato. Photo by Angela Casauay.

HELPING HANDS. Musicians Ebe Dancel and Datu Khomeni take part in a feeding program in Aleosan, North Cotabato. Photo by Angela Casauay.
 
 FOOTBALL. Ashley O'Connor of the Malditas, and Roel Gener and Nestorio Margarse of the Azkals use sports to promote peace. Photo by Angela Casauay.
 
FOOTBALL. Ashley O'Connor of the Malditas, and Roel Gener and Nestorio Margarse of the Azkals use sports to promote peace. Photo by Angela Casauay.
 
http://www.rappler.com/nation/15091-songs-and-games-for-peace

Coast Guard to get five French patrol boats

From Rappler (Oct 30): Coast Guard to get five French patrol boats

The Philippine Coast Guard will buy five patrol boats from France for about 90 million euros ($116 million, P 4.8 billion), partly to guard disputed areas in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), the coastguard said Tuesday, October 30. Rear Admiral Luis Tuason, the chief of the poorly-equipped coastguard, said one 82-meter (271-foot) ship and four 24-meter (79-foot) patrol craft would be delivered by 2014. Tuason cited the need for such ships to patrol the rough waters of the South China Sea, which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea. "When we patrol the West Philippine Sea, we encounter huge waves, turbulent waters so it will be better if we will use bigger ships," Tuason said in a statement. Coastguard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo said the larger ship was a "heavy endurance vessel that can be deployed even in bad weather". This is the first such ship to be acquired by the coastguard, he added....

http://www.rappler.com/nation/15145-coast-guard-to-get-five-french-patrol-boats

CBA-CPLA turns over firearms to PNP

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): CBA-CPLA turns over firearms to PNP

The Cordillera Bodong Administration – Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army(CBA-CPLA) turned over firearms to the Philippine National Police- Cordillera last week as part of steps in the transformation of the CBA-CPLA from an armed group to a socio-economic group in the region. More than 30 hand guns and rifles were turned over by members of the CBA-CPLA in Benguet to the Police Regional Office last Friday morning. Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process - Peace Accord Monitoring Secretariat Director Alexander Umpar said the event is the first step of initial firearms inventory and valuation being conducted in the region. The firearms and the CBA-CPLA members will also be undergoing profiling to know who have firearms and what kind they have.... CPLA Chairman Arsenio said that the turn-over and inventory is in fulfillment of the Closure Agreement signed between the government of the Philippines and the CBA-CPLA. The CPLA and the government of the Philippines entered in an agreement last year for the transformation of the armed group into a social economic group. The turnover of firearms is seen as an indication the CPLA is transforming and integrating themselves as a people’s organization and leaving their old rebel days....

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=41351243563

Army, DENR distribute land titles

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): Army, DENR distribute land titles

The Alpha Company of the 11th Infantry (Lapu-Lapu) Battalion of the Philippine Army facilitated the “Handog Titulo Program” of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Moises Padilla town. The Lapu-Lapu troopers led by 1Lt. Von Ryan Gomez, in collaboration with the local government unit of Moises Padilla led by Vice Mayor Cepriano Remo and the representatives from the DENR distributed 25 land titles to farmer beneficiaries of Barangay Quinten Remo and Macagahay, of Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental. Through the united efforts of the government agencies, the needs, issues and concerns of the people were addressed especially those in the hinterland barangays, Remo said....

ttp://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1031351494844

AFP–PA Reserve Command initiates move to intensify academe link

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): AFP–PA Reserve Command initiates move to intensify academe link

The 7th Regional Community Defense Group–Army Reserve Command base in Cebu City is set to boost the link and coordination of the forces with the academe here. Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retirees Affairs Major General Marlou Salazar along with the 701st (Cebu) Community Defense Center, 7th Regional Community Defense Group, Army Reserve in Lahug Cebu City met with officials from colleges and universities here in the city on October 26 at DepEd , Ecotech Center, Lahug. The same meeting was also attended by Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) alumni and National Service Training Program (NSTP) coordinators.  Officer-in-charge of the Philippine Army, Lieutenant Colonel Leandro Mayop said the main purpose of the meeting is to gather update, enhance, and support ROTC program advocacy....

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1981351151264

Army’s 302 Brigade joins coastal clean-up drive

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): Army’s 302 Brigade joins coastal clean-up drive

Thirty military personnel including the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) of the Army’s 302nd Brigade participated in the Bayanihan coastal clean-up drive along the shorelines of Barangays Looc and Okiot in Bais City. The activity was undertaken by the city government of Bais, aimed in managing and protecting the marine ecosystem to ensure better utilization and sustainability of its resources for the general welfare of the residents, Army Information Officer Capt Anacito Naz said.... Meanwhile, Col. Francisco Patrimonio, commander of the Army’s 302nd Brigade said that the brigade’s participation in the coastal clean-up activities manifests concern on the importance of environmental protection and preservation that serves as foundation in shaping the future of the society....

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1111351574302

Military to explore peace possibilities in Talaingod town

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): Military to explore peace possibilities in Talaingod town

A military officer sees the Ata-Manobo populated town of Talaingod as the last frontier to push the Peace and Development Program (PDOP) in Davao del Norte. In the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting in Davao del Norte, General Lysander Suerte of the 10th Infantry Division said the number of peace and development teams (PDTs) should be considered before entering Talaingod, the farthest town in Davao del Norte that borders with the province of Bukidnon in Region 10. Suerte said his troops are still wrapping up immersion activities in some other barangays in Laak and in peripheral areas in Panabo City, Sto. Tomas and in New Corella, which borders with neighboring areas outside of Davao del Norte. The 103rd Infantry “Raptor” Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division covers the municipality of Laak, the entire province of Davao del Norte and Paquibato of Davao City. “Very soon papasok na kami sa Talaingod. (Very soon, we will be entering Talaingod),” he said, referring to PDTs deployed to carry out community work in line with PDOP, which is an Internal Peace and Security Program (IPSP) of the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division of the Philippine Army. PDTs are yet to enter Talaingod, but Suerte revealed the presence of his armed troops in the area....
http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1591351475605

Peace and dev't teams to avoid using brgy halls as temp base

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): Peace and dev't teams to avoid using brgy halls as temp base

A top military commander has ordered peace and development teams (PDT) in the countryside to avoid using government buildings as temporary base while conducting reaching out activities. Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th Infantry Division issued the policy in lieu of the attack on soldiers stationed in a barangay hall in Barangay Calabcab, Maco, Compostela Valley noon of October 21 which left seven soldiers and two civilians wounded and two rebels killed. Lt. Colonel Lyndon Paniza, spokesperson of the 10th ID said with this policy, peace and development teams must camp out of the communities to ensure the safety of the soldiers and foremost, the safety of residents in the event rebels launch harassment. He said the peace and development effort must continue so that government will not lose its momentum in reaching out and helping communities ventilate the issues affecting them at the same time come up with long solutions that will impact on their lives and the lasting peace in their community. Paniza underscored that the objective of the PDTs is no longer to search and engage armed men but to build communities. “We will continue to engage the communities since it is our mandate to serve, protect and facilitate livelihood opportunities for the residents especially in far-flung areas,” he said.

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=2381351476162

Army will not condone violations of ROE

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 30): Army will not condone violations of ROE

The Armed Forces will not condone any acts of violations by its soldiers particularly in rules-of-engagement (ROE). This as the army has recalled its soldiers involved in the deadly October 18 clash in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. The clash killed three civilians, a woman and two of her teenage sons when soldiers under the Bravo Company of the 27th Infantry Battalion raided a village in Kiblawan Town in Davao del Sur following reports of the presence of an armed group led by Daquil Capeon. The three killed were the wife and children of the armed group leader. Colonel Leopoldo Galon group commander of the 5th Civil Relations Group of the Eastern Mindanao Command said that the soldiers involved including the battalion commander Lt. Colonel Noel Alexis Bravo had been recalled to the headquarters of their mother unit the 10th Infantry Division based in Mawab Compostela Valley. Galon said that soldiers will be undergoing preliminary investigation where the findings can be a basis for court martial and will also be submitted to proper government agencies such as the courts.

http://www.pia.gov.ph/news/index.php?article=1541351499858

TFD to deploy troops during 'Undas'

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): TFD to deploy troops during 'Undas'

The Task Force Davao (TFD) will also deploy personnel to augment the forces of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and the Traffic Management Center (TMC) to secure cemeteries during the All Saints Day and All Souls Day on Nov. 1 and 2. Lt. Col. Jerry Besana, TFD executive officer, said its Task Force Agila and Anti-Crime Unit are force multipliers for “Oplan Kaluluwa” to see to it that banned materials and prohibited acts in cemeteries are properly observed. Besana told reporters attending the weekly Tri-Media Organization for Peace and Alliance in Mindanao Inc. (TROPA) Tuesday that the troop deployment will include motorcycle-riding soldiers to monitor the people entering and leaving the big cemeteries like Wireless Cemetery, San Pedro Memorial Park, Davao Memorial Park, Buhangin Memorial Park, Panacan and Tibungco public cemeteries. He said they will also conduct checkpoints in designated areas.

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467035

NPA rebel surrenders in Misamis Occidental

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): NPA rebel surrenders in Misamis Occidental

A New People’s Army (NPA) rebel surrendered to the military amid the hardship in “waging a useless war” in Misamis Occidental province, it was disclosed Tuesday. Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, identified the NPA rebel as Talas Sayas alias Ka Toring and Ka Bimbo. Caber said that Sayas surrendered on Monday to the Bayanihan Team of the Army’s 55th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Gala, Tudela, Misamis Occidental. Sayas has been operating in Misamis Occidental for the past two years until he decided to surrender, Caber said. “Ka Toring was discouraged by the hardships he had while waging the useless war against the Filipino people,” Caber said. Sayas is now under custodial debriefing. Lt. Col. Rommel Almaria, commander of the 55th Infantry Battalion, said they are expecting more NPA “rebels to lay down their arms as the year ends because they realized their struggle are useless.”

 http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467038

Davao Norte Army brigade has new commander

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): Davao Norte Army brigade has new commander

Newly-promoted Brig. Gen. Lysander Suerte is set to relinquish his post Wednesday morning as commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade under the 10th Infantry Division to Colonel Buenaventura Pascual in a turnover ceremony at the Brigade Headquarters located at Barangay Nueva Visayas, Sto. Tomas town here. Suerte, who was the brigade’s chief for almost two years, will be assigned as assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID) based in Panay, Iloilo. He was among the 23 senior military officers who were promoted last week. Among them were 10th ID commander Ariel Bernardo from Brigadier General to Major General and 1001st Brigade Commander Col. Roberto Domines Jr. to Brigadier General.... Buenaventura was formerly assigned with Task Force Zamboanga under the 1st Infantry Division. He was replaced by his classmate in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1984 Col. Glenn Macasero, who came from the 1001st IB....

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467076

'I am for Peace' campaign supports Framework Agreement

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): 'I am for Peace' campaign supports Framework Agreement

ALEOSAN, North Cotabato--Peace enthusiasts, supporters, and advocates from Central Mindanao trooped down here Monday to witness the forging of the “I am for Peace” campaign, in rallying support for the peace initiatives of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). The campaign aims to seeks support, intensify and mobilize public consciousness and participation engaging essential sectors in the promotion of peace at the advent of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, a prelude to stabilize the peace process in conflict–affected Mindanao region....

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=2&sid=&nid=2&rid=467093

Monday, October 29, 2012

2 European, Jordanian hostages being held by MNLF, Philippine military says

From the Mindanao Examiner (Oct 29): 2 European, Jordanian hostages being held by MNLF, Philippine military says

 The Philippine military on Monday implicated former Muslim rebels, whose group had signed a peace deal with Manila, to the kidnappings of two European wildlife photographers and a Jordanian television reporter and his two Filipino cameramen now being held captive in Sulu province. This after the Moro National Liberation Front accused the military of attacking its forces under Tahir Usman in Sulu’s Patikul town over the weekend, sparking a five-hour gun battle that left 17 soldiers dead and wounded. Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said Abu Sayyaf and MNLF forces attacked troops sent to investigate the reported presence of Ewold Horn, 52, from Holland; and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, who were kidnapped this year in Tawi-Tawi province; and Baker Atyani, 43, of Al Arabiya News Channel, and his crew Rolando Letrero, 22, and Ramelito Vela, 39. “As far as we are concerned, government troops clashed with the group of Abu Sayyaf and MNLF forces in Patikul and they are holding the three foreign kidnapped victims, who are the center of our operations in Sulu,” Cabangbang told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner, adding troops are still searching for the trio....

http://mindanaoexaminer.com/news.php?news_id=20121029080745