Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Victims of NPA atrocities given decent burial in Butuan

From the Philippine Star (Oct 24): Victims of NPA atrocities given decent burial in Butuan

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – The Region 13 police led by Chief Superintendent Carmelo Valmoria gave a decent burial on Monday morning to the skeletal remains of 10 supposed victims of New People’s Army (NPA) atrocities in the Caraga region. The mass burial was held at the Chinese Cemetery in Barangay Bancasi here, attended by Office of the Peace Adviser of the Peace Process director Enrico de la Torre. Of the 10 victims, only two were identified as Sonny Boy Plaza, 15, and Olong Mantoligco, 38.


DFA, MILF can't attend OIC meet, says MNLF

From the Philippine Star (Oct 24): DFA, MILF can't attend OIC meet, says MNLF

A lawyer of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) claimed yesterday that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have no legal personality to attend the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Djibouti next month. “The OIC meeting is exclusive only to member countries and the Philippines is already represented by MNLF chairman Nur Misuari,” the lawyer, who refused to be identified, said. He said the statement of the DFA that it will confront the issues raised by Misuari during the meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Djibouti has no basis and is only a lot of “hot air” because all issues affecting the Muslims in the Philippines must be coursed through the MNLF, which has permanent observer status in the Islamic assembly. “If they (DFA and MILF) do not receive any invitation they cannot even enter the meeting site,” the lawyer said.... Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said the signing of the framework agreement would be presented to the OIC meeting in Djibouti despite the pronouncements of Misuari that he would consult OIC leaders in Djibouti and complain that he was not consulted in the negotiations that forged the new Bangsamoro agreement.


Pace of peace process to pick up

From the Philippine Star (Oct 24): Noy: Pace of peace process to pick up

President Aquino sees “a slow start” for the peace process in Mindanao but expects the pace to accelerate as people start reaping the dividends of peace. In an interview with Radio New Zealand in this city last Monday, the President also indicated that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could deal with its splinter group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), whose violent attacks could derail the peace process.... Asked when peace would come, Aquino replied, “It will be a slow start in a sense, but then it will have an accelerated pace once the people really get to see the dividends of peace.” He said MILF chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim told the government that the group’s leadership must show the members “that this is worthwhile for them in the end.” Along this line, he said the government has asked the MILF for a list of its priority development programs so that its fighters can be turned into “productive” farmers, fisherfolk and micro-entrepreneurs....


Manobo executed in NPA raid in Surigao Sur

From MindaNews (Oct 23): Manobo executed in NPA raid in Surigao Sur

A Manobo tribesman was killed by some 80 suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who abducted him and two other men during a raid on a Lumad village in Carmen town in Surigao del Sur today. Police said the rebels killed Emie Ilagan, a suspect in the kidnapping of former Carrascal mayor Victor Tan in May this year. Emie Ilagan was seized together with Ponso Ilagan and Richkel Ilagan by rebels who raided Barangay Hinapoyan, Carmen and reportedly took several firearms from the houses, according to Carmen police chief Inspector Dominador Plaza in a phone interview. Plaza said another group of rebels went to Sitio Gacub, which is three kilometers away from Hinapoyan proper. He said Ponso and Richkel Ilagan are from Sitio Gacub.... According to several residents, the NPA left after three hours but warned they would come back for a more thorough house to house search for hidden weapons.1Lt Al Anthony Pueblas, company commander of the 36th Infantry Battalion based in Carmen said the rebels belong to the NPA’s Front 30.


Police eye cooperation with MILF in Mindanao

From the Philippine Star (Oct 23): Police eye cooperation with MILF in Mindanao

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking forward to launching more aggressive operations against lawless elements in Mindanao after the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had committed to support PNP against local criminals, a senior police officer said today. PNP Chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said the police appreciate the commitment, which was made by the former rebel group MILF under the framework agreement with the Government of the Philippines (GPH), believing it's a magnanimous gesture of support to efforts by the PNP to crackdown on "lawless elements" in Mindanao. "With this commitment by the MILF, the PNP can look forward to more aggressive police operations against lawless elements similar to the recent operations launched in Sultan Kudarat and Basilan that led to the capture of two sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group, " he said. Bartolome said the PNP considers the Abu Sayyaf Group, Jemaah Islamiyah, and the so-called breakaway groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) as lawless elements because of their continued violation of the law....


BIFF bandits leave plundered NCotabato village

From the Philippine Star (Oct 23): BIFF bandits leave plundered NCotabato village
Policemen and soldiers on Tuesday afternoon successfully pushed back marauding members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from a remote farming district in North Cotabato’s Kabacan town that they plundered after villagers refused to shell out “protection money” and provide them food. Five wounded BIFF bandits were seen being carried away by their comrades as they left Barangay Paatan in Kabacan after members of the local police force and combatants of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion came close and started pounding their positions with shoulder-fire 40 MM grenades and 60 MM mortars. Text messages have been circulating since noontime Tuesday that three BIFF bandits were killed in the ensuing firefight, but neither the police nor the military have an actual body count of enemy fatalities....


Philippine Army News Clippings (Oct 19-22)

Posted to the Faces, Places & Voices (Ranger Cabunzky) Blog (Oct 19-22): Philippine Army News Clippings

October 19: http://www.scribd.com/doc/110501825/19-Oct-2012-Newsclippings#page=1

October 20: http://www.scribd.com/doc/110653952/20-Oct-12-News-Clippings#page=1

October 21: http://www.scribd.com/doc/110654062/21-Oct-12-1#page=1

October 22: http://www.scribd.com/doc/110721970/22-Oct-2012#page=1


250 families flee as rouge Moro rebels attack Cotabato village

From the Sun Star (Oct 23): 250 families flee as rouge Moro rebels attack Cotabato village

About 250 families were evacuated from their homes in a North Cotabato village as an encounter transpired between authorities and armed men believed to be members of a breakaway Moro rebel group. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Monday's encounter between authorities of Barangay Lower Pataan and 20 heavily armed men forced the affected families to seek shelter in a public elementary school in Kabacan town. The armed men are suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who are lead by a certain Commander Pax....


TFZ sustains red alert status in Zambo City

From the Zamboanga Today (Oct 23): TFZ sustains red alert status in Zambo City

Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) has sustained its implemented red alert status in the entire Zamboanga City as part of their preventive security measures with regards to the prevailing peace and order condition of the city. Col. Buenaventura Pascual said that even though there are no reported serious threats in the city’s peace and order, it is not time for the authorities to be reluctant of our security status. Pascual said that though measures are already in place, there are still security procedures that they have augmented in order to ensure the security of our city....


CPP/NDF: Xstrata-SMI employs the 27th IB-AFP in waging ethnocide

Posted to the CPP Website (Oct 20): Xstrata-SMI employs the 27th IB-AFP in waging ethnocide

Ka Efren
NDF-Far South Mindanao

The NDF-FSMR resiliently denounces, in its utmost expression, the 27th IB’s execution of a B’laan family in Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. This recent massacre of Lumads by the 27th IB involving women and children is yet another discernible terrorist exploit of the AFP shrouded by the so-called “peace and development operations” framework of Pnoy’s Oplan Bayanihan.... The liquidation of anti-mining activists such as the case of Boy Billanes in 2009, the massacre of civilians especially the Lumads, and the merciless butchery of women and minors is terribly rampant. This is the mercenary 27th IB’s way of exerting Xstrata-SMI’s defence and domination. Xsrata-SMI, defying the heightening mining opposition of the masses, is 27th IB’s backer and conspirator, obviously benefitting from the extermination of their oppositionists.


CPP/NPA: Xstrata SMI and the AFP’s 27th IB are accountable and must be punished for the Kiblawan Massacre

Posted to the CPP Website (Oct 21): Xstrata SMI and the AFP’s 27th IB are accountable and must be punished for the Kiblawan Massacre

Dencio Madrigal
NPA Far South Mindanao (Valentin Palamine Command)

The Blaan Lumads and the entire people of Far South Mindanao, are crying out for justice in the cold-blooded massacre of the family of known anti-mining activist and lumad leader Daguil Cafeon....The 27th IB has the gall to claim that the massacre was a “legitimate encounter” against a “notorious bandit”— when the obvious victims are unarmed and helpless women and children. A witness who was present at the scene of the crime related that after the first volley, Jovy shouted: Hunong na kay may tama na ko. Basin madamay ang mga bata. But the soldiers entered the hut and shot them at close range. Seven year old Vicky was also wounded but was able to run away to safety.... The Aquino government’s 27th IB, Task Force Kitaco, paramilitary groups and intelligence operatives in collusion with this destructive mining company, for the past years have seen to it that people who dare to raise their voices in protest are hounded, harassed, continually attacked and killed. Women and innocent children are not spared — all to ensure the continuing operation of a foreign company that will bring nothing but destruction and misery to the people, siphon our natural resources and deprive the coming generations of their patrimony....


CPP: Massacre of B'laan family perpetrated by Aquino regime under Oplan Bayanihan--CPP

From the CPP Website (Oct 23): Massacre of B'laan family perpetrated by Aquino regime under Oplan Bayanihan--CPP

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the Aquino regime in the strongest possible terms for the heinous massacre of pregnant mother Jovy Malid-Capion and her two sons, age 13 and 8, by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). On the morning of October 18, fascist soldiers of the 27th IB indiscriminately strafed the Capion household in Barangay Kiblawis, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur and justified its execrable act by claiming that Capion’s husband Daguil, was an “armed bandit.” The couple’s five-year old daughter was wounded in the attack.
The CPP expresses its deepest sympathies to the Capion family as well as to the B’laan tribe to which they belong. The massacre of the Capion family was carried out by the Aquino regime’s armed men at the behest of the Xstrata-SMI mining company. Over the past decade, a number of B’laan tribespeople have been victims of extrajudicial killings and other abuses of human rights by state agents. The B’laan have been actively opposing the entry of the Xstrata-SMI gold and copper mining operations in Sitio Bong Mal, Kiblawis which have displaced the lumad communities from their ancestral lands and caused grave destruction to the environment and the people’s livelihood. The B’laan have been waging armed resistance against Xstrata-SMI through their Red Pangayaw armed militias, to which Daguil Capion belongs....


MILF: MILF brings IMT to Ligawasan Marsh

From the MILF Website (Oct 23): MILF brings IMT to Ligawasan Marsh

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) facilitated the day-long trip of the Malaysia-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) to the reportedly oil-rich Ligawasan Marsh yesterday. His Excellency MGen Datuk Abdul Rahim Bin Yusuff, Head of Mission of IMT, led the trip which was particularly arranged for the outgoing Japanese official, Naoyuki Ochiai, who is heading the IMT Socio-Economic Component. BGen Dato’ Zulkaple Bin Moh’d Noor, IMT Deputy Head of Mission, and other IMT officials from the Governments of Brunei and European Union, Atty Zainudin Malang, Executive Director of the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center (MinHRAC), and a Japanese researcher from Hiroshima University also participated. The MILF Central Committee through Mohagher Iqbal, Chairman of the MILF Peace Negotiating Panel, and Sammy Al Mansur, Chief of Staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), gave the go signal for the trip to the Ligawasan Marsh....


Bangsamoro to replicate Navarre gov’t system

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 23): Bangsamoro to replicate Navarre gov’t system

Government chief peace negotiator and presumably the chief Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) negotiator, along with their staff, are leaving for Spain today and will land in Navarra after Madrid, to study and replicate the legal and government system on which the Bangsamoro legal framework is to be patterned. Navarra, or Navarre, is located in the northeast side of the peninsula of Iberia in Spain. Navarra, an autonomous region, is surrounded by Aragon in the east, by the Basque Country in the west and by the nearby country of France in the north.  Presidential Peace adviser Teresita Deles in a statement e-mailed to Palace reporters, said the members of the government peace panel and other government officials will visit Navarra, Spain as a means of preparing for the drafting of the annexes and other details of the framework agreement with the MILF. The delegation leaves for Madrid today and from there will travel to Navarra on Oct. 24. Deles claimed the Navarra trip is crucial in the effort of both the government peace negotiators and the designated panelists of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to finish annexes on power-sharing, wealth-sharing and normalization before the end of the year even as Deles spoke of the resumption of the talks in Kuala Lumpur next month....


Marine officer gets reward for defying GMA order not to testify

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 23): Marine officer gets reward for defying GMA order not to testify

The Marine officer, who defied a presidential order and testified before the Senate about the alleged cheating in the 2004 presidential elections, was among the 23 senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) promoted by the Commander in Chief Aquino. Col. Alexander Balutan, incumbent commander of the 1st Marine Brigade, formally received his first star and the rank of brigadier general effective Sept. 26....Also promoted was Central Command chief now Navy Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano, making him a strong contender to succeed incumbent Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama who is retiring in December. Alano’s promotion took effect Oct. 5. Other promotees were Maj. Gen. Virgilio Domingo, currently the commandant of the Command and General Staff Course; Rear Admiral Zyril Carlos, chief of the AFP-bids and awards committee; Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, chief of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division; Maj. Gen. Essel Soriano, Army vice commander; Maj. Gen. Samuel Narbuada, Army-inspector general; Maj. Gen. Nicanor Dolojan, Light Armor Division commander. Those who were given their first stars effective Oct. 5 were Colonels Rolando Aquino, commander of the 14th Maintenance Wing; Eusaquito Manalo, chief of 570th Composite Tactical Wing; Virgilio Espineli, assistant division commander of the 8th ID; Rolando Picar, chief of the AFP Finance Center; Gamaliel Cruz, chief of the Army bids and awards committee; Yerson Depayso, assistant division Commander of the 10th ID; Cesar Dionisio Sedillo, commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade and Roberto Domines Jr., commander of 101st Brigade. Also promoted as brigadier generals were John S Bonafos, Camp Commander of the General Headquarters; Eduardo Año, assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence; Lysander Suerte, commander of 1003rd Brigade; Silvino Alcabasa, commander of the 51st Engineering Brigade; Carlos Solomon, commander of 53rd Engineering Brigade, and Daniel Lucero, chief of the 103rd Brigade and former AFP spokesman.


AFP officer retires to accolades

From Malaya (Oct 23): AFP officer retires to accolades

A CONSUMMATE military officer, AFP vice chief Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, has retired from the service, more than two years after he was kicked upstairs by President Aquino. Lt. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal, AFP deputy chief, has assumed Mapagu’s post in concurrent acting capacity until Aquino designates a new No. 2 man for the AFP. Mapagu reached the mandatory retirement age of 56 yesterday but left the service Friday last week, ahead of his retirement date, so he could celebrate his birthday with his family.... Dellosa described Mapagu as “a true gentleman who saw excellence in the face of challenges that confronted the AFP the past several years.” “His professionalism and focus in contributing to the implementation of reforms were instrumental in ensuring that the military organization he holds dearly continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the Filipino people,” said Dellosa.


Palace to Misuari: Peace pact has Arab backing

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 23): Palace to Misuari: Peace pact has Arab backing

Malacañang on Monday dismissed Moro leader Nur Misuari’s threat to enlist the support of Middle East leaders in his rejection of the framework agreement signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), saying the peace plan had the full backing of Arab Islamic leaders. “I think the presence of the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was a signal of support from the Arab leaders. I think that in and of itself, that shows the keen interest of the OIC in having peace in Muslim Mindanao. We find that as a symbolic and a significant support from the OIC,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said. Lacierda said that Misuari, head of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), was free to voice his opposition to the framework agreement despite “overwhelming support” for what he said was the first step to reaching a final agreement not only from local and international leaders but also from Moro rebels themselves....


USS Tortuga sailors visit children in need in Subic Bay

Posted to the USPACOM Website (Oct 22): USS Tortuga sailors visit children in need in Subic Bay

Sailors from amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga visited children at the Helping Hands Healing Hearts Children’s Recovery Unit (CRU) in Subic Bay during a community service volunteer opportunity, Oct. 19. During the visit, sailors and Marines spent several hours touring the facility, playing outdoor games and enjoyed snacks with the 17 children from the CRU and their caregivers. “This is an absolutely great experience for sailors and Marines to have,” said 1st Lt. Josh Willemsen, logistics officer for the Combat Logistics Battalion 31. “Many of these wonderful kids were special needs or had physical disabilities, but just being with them and playing for a few hours was so rewarding that I wish we could do it in more ports....” Tortuga is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and recently participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

USS Tortuga sailors visit children in need in Subic Bay
Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Alex Hart (left) draws a cartoon on Jamaica Foo, 10 year-old recovery patient, during a community relations event between sailors from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and the Helping Hands Healing Hearts facility. Tortuga is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and recently participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). PHIBLEX is an annual bilateral exercise held in conjunction with the AFP and is designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional and personal relationships between U.S. and Philippine forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chelsea Mandello/Released)

Gov't execs to face Nur at OIC meet

From the Philippine Star (Oct 23): Gov't execs to face Nur at OIC meet

An official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disclosed yesterday that the Philippines would present the framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Djibouti next month. DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said the signing of the framework agreement ending decades of secessionist insurgency in Mindanao is expected to be a highlight of the OIC meeting amid pronouncements made by disgruntled founding chairman Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Misuari plans to meet with OIC leaders in Djibouti to express his grievances that he was not consulted in the forging of the new Bangsamoro agreement signed last Oct. 15 in Manila. The Philippines, which has a pending application to be granted observer status in the OIC, has been attending the group’s meetings since 1996. DFA officials said they are waiting for another invitation from the OIC to the Djibouti meeting so that the government could be given the opportunity to reply to Misuari’s statements during the meetings. “The signing of the framework agreement will be reported to the plenary and we believe this will be highlighted in the (CFM) meeting next month,” Seguis told The STAR....


5-day mission planning training on

From the Visayan Daily Star (Oct 23): 5-day mission planning training on

Army field commanders and staff officers in Negros and Panay islands are now being trained for mission planning and stakeholder engagement at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, after implementing several Internal Peace and Security plans in actual situations. Major Enrico Gil Ileto, spokesman of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said the five-day training on Military Decision Making Process and Stakeholder Engagement for the nation's Internal Peace and Security "Bayanihan", that started yesterday, aims to develop an estimate of the situation and plans for every military operation. Ileto said the MMDP will also help the commander and his staffs to examine a situation and reach logical decisions and produce integration, coordination, and synchronization for an operation. The 45 participants are commanders and staff officers of the 301st, 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigades, 11th, 12th 47th, 61st, 62nd, 79th, 82nd Infantry Battalions, 3rd Military Intelligence and 3rd Civil Military Operations Battalions, all stationed in Negros and Panay....


DSWD cites Kalahi-CIDDS milestones

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23): DSWD cites Kalahi-CIDDS milestones

Government's poverty reduction program dubbed Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDDS) is right on its target of concretizing its objective of empowering the community and reducing poverty in the country, particularly in the countrysides.... Under its two (2) project modalities, the regular Kalahi-CIDDS and Makamasang Tugon (MT), the program has implemented various pro-poor projects in selected municipalities in the region. In Camarines Sur, 483 barangays from 18 municipalities benefited from the prioritized sub projects which include access projects, water system, health and educational facilities, environmental protection projects and putting up of socio economic facilities. These projects were implemented in the coastal towns of Balatan, Minalabac, Pasacao, Del Gallego, Siruma, Garchitorena. Presentacion and Sangay, all in Camarines Sur. Other recipients include the towns of Baao, Bato, Bula, Bombon, Cabusao, Caramoan, Gainza, Libmanan, Ocampo and Ragay.... The Kalahi-CIDDS Project is also being implemented in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon.


BIFF rebels abandon occupied area in Kabacan town

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23): BIFF rebels abandon occupied area in Kabacan town

Intense pursuit operations have forced some 20 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels to withdraw from a village in Kabacan town in North Cotabato that they earlier occupied, a police official said. Supt. Leo Ajero, chief of the Kabacan PNP, said they started pursuing the armed lawless group led by a certain Commander Fox, around 8 a.m., on Monday. The operations ended around 2 p.m., also on that day, he said. Soldiers from the 7th Infantry Battalion of the Army, on board six military trucks, helped the police in pursuing the rebels up to the boundary of Barangays Cuyapon and Lower Paatan in Kabacan town, Ajero said.... Commander Fox, together with 20 of his men, attacked the residential area inhabited mostly by Cebuano and Ilonggo settlers, around 6 a.m., Monday. Fox claims his clan owns the lands, already titled lots, according to Ajero.... The attack launched by Commander Fox, according to Ajero, was not, in any way, connected to the signing of framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). “This is purely land conflict or land grabbing issue,” stressed Ajero.


Govt forces clear village occupied by BIFF in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23): Govt forces clear village occupied by BIFF in North Cotabato

Police and soldiers cleared here Monday afternoon a remote village previously occupied by renegade Moro rebels in what authorities believed was triggered by family feud. Four members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) were killed in the clash after the rebels stormed the village of lower Paatan, strafed house with automatic rifles and demanded protection money from residents, according to Col. Benjie Hao, 7th Infantry Division commander. Hao said the attackers also demanded food provision from frightened residents who quickly alerted the police and the military. When policemen led by Kabacan police director Supt. Leo Ajero and soldiers under Col. Hao arrived, the rebels put up a brief firefight but eventually left hurriedly when the 7th IB armored personnel carriers arrived. Ajero said the attackers, led by a certain Commander Pax, escaped towards Barangay Cuyapon, a village near the marshland and across the village of Libutan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.... According to Ajero, the bandits wanted to drive away Muslim and Christian civilians in an area they claim the land area. To prevent BIFF Commander Pax and his men from returning to the village, Supt. Ajero organized a village defender team to patrol the surroundings at night time.


6th Infantry Division to be under Westmincom

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23): 6th Infantry Division to be under Westmincom

The military’s Western Mindanao Command is taking into consideration the transfer of jurisdiction of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division, currently under the Davao City-based Eastern Mindanao Command. Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo, newly installed Westmincom chief, said the move, if it materializes, would be favorable to the government as this would easily complement the peace process of the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Ardo was reacting to calls by some sectors that military units in Maguindanao and coastal areas of Sultan Kudarat be placed under the Wesmincom to synchronize the enforcement of ceasefire agreement in areas to be covered by the Bangsamoro territory. Westmincom, based in Calarian, Zamboanga City, has jurisdiction over Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and all parts of the ARMM.... Maguindanao is the main base of the MILF and is under the jurisdiction of the 6th ID which is under the operational control of Davao City-based Eastmincom. Peace activists and political leaders believe putting 6th ID under the Westmincom would be viable in law enforcement and maintenance of law and order. “It would be easier for us to implement the AFP’s `peace and development projects’ in the ARMM. It will also make easy for us the monitoring of the GPH-MILF ceasefire if the whole autonomous region is placed under Westmincom,” Ardo said....


Judicial processes work for arrested NPA member - Army

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23): Judicial processes work for arrested NPA member - Army

The Armed Forces of the Philippines continues to follow legal proceedings and respects judicial processes with the recent release of a New People's Army (NPA) member, said Maj. Enrico Gil Ileto of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division based in Camp Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz. Ileto said the freed rebel detainee, Roger O. Belo, 31, alias Rex, single and a resident of Brgy. Daan Sur, Tapaz, Capiz, was arrested by joint elements of the Tapaz PNP and 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) at Tapaz town proper around 6 p.m. on Sunday by virtue of an arrest warrant for the crime of murder. Belo, however, was later released by the PNP around 9 a.m. Monday with cases already withdrawn by pertinent courts due to withdrawal of witnesses. For his part, Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade commander Col. Arnold Quiapo said, "we have done our job of bringing Belo to the court of law. In a democratic society abiding by the rule of law is a must, his liberty is upon the courts already". For his part, 61IB commander Lt. Col. Christopher Sab-it, said the Army will continue to help the Philippine National Police in implementing arrest warrants issued by courts, adding that, "we fully trust and honor the findings and resolution of judicial bodies handling the case and we will continue to work as mandated by law."


Ex-rebels joining politics good for the country -- Malacanang

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 23): Ex-rebels joining politics good for the country -- Malacanang

 Former rebels entering politics is good for the country’s democracy, the Palace said Monday as it welcomed the participation of some leftist personalities in the 2013 election.... Lacierda was commenting on reports saying Randall Echanis, a former political detainee during the Marcos, Cory Aquino and Arroyo governments, is running for a post representing the Anakpawis party-list. Echanis, 63, is the deputy secretary general of the national peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. He is a peasant organizer and advocate for more than 40 years. Echanis was previously arrested but freed under the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee. The military said it has information saying Echanis is a ranking New People’s Army leader but the leftist group claims he is a consultant to the National Democratic Front.


Soldier killed in Surigao Norte clash

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 23): Soldier killed in Surigao Norte clash

A government trooper was killed following a clash with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Gigaquit town, Surigao del Norte Monday afternoon. Capt. Steve Mangabat, Spokesperson of the Army’s 30th Infantry ‘Python’ Battalion said the fatality was identified as Sgt. Jessie D. Kuaya. Mangabat said troops from the 36th Infantry Batallion led by Sgt Labadisos and from the 29th Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt Plete while conducting Community Organizing for Peace and Development operation were harassed by more or less 10 NPAs believed to be members of Guerilla Front 16, Northeastern Mindanao Regional Command around 3:10pm, Monday, Oct. 22 at the vicinity of Brgy Lahi in Gigaquit. An exchange of gunfire ensued which lasted for about 15 minutes after which the enemy withdrew towards Southeast direction. “The said harassment is a manifestation that the said group is anti-peace and development in the area,” said Lt. Col. Vincent Iringan, Commanding Officer of 30IB. (FEA/CMO-30IB/PIA-Surigao del Norte)