Friday, November 2, 2012

Jockeying for top military post starts

From the Philippine Star (Nov 3): Jockeying for top military post starts

With still three months before the retirement of Armed Forces chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa, jockeying for his position has already started and candidates from at least three batches of the Philippine Military Academy are already being considered. A senior Army officer, who is not among the candidates, claimed “all of them are from the Philippine Army.” The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the candidates as Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara, a member of the PMA “Matapat” Class of 1979; Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes of PMA “Mapitagan” Class of 1980; and Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista of PMA “Dimalupig” Class of 1981....  The process of promotion in the military, including the position of chief of staff, starts with the deliberation of a Board of Generals, composed of the chief of staff, vice chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and the commanders of the Army, Navy, Air Force. The resultant shortlist of candidates will then be submitted to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who, in turn, will submit it to the President. “But remember, the selection at level of the Commander-in-Chief is a unique one, he may or may not pick from the shortlist. He can appoint anyone, not necessarily in the submitted shortlist because he has that prerogative. In other words, the position of the CoS is a political choice,” the official said....

MILF: MILF organizes groups to explain the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

From the MILF Website (Nov 3): MILF organizes groups to explain the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

Maximizing its vast number of workers, despite the lack of sufficient logistical support, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has organized six groups to undertake massive information drive to explain the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Members of the MILF number several hundreds of thousands throughout Mindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Palawan. Sheikh Mohammad Muntassir, head of the Da’wah Department of the MILF, told Luwaran that the six groupings are given their respective assignments as follows: Sulu-Tawi-Tawi-Basilan, the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Lanao area, the Davao area, Maguindanao-Cotabato area, and South Cotabato area. He disclosed that members of the MILF Central Committee were assigned and distributed to the six groupings and will be the lead discussants.... Meanwhile, some 600 MILF political and military leaders including some MNLF foreign-trained commanders attended the one-day seminar in Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last October 31. Most of the senior leaders of the MILF led by Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim attended the forum....

AFP hits NPA killing of Davao fish vendor

From the Philippine Star (Nov 2): AFP hits NPA killing of Davao fish vendor
The military has criticized human rights watchdogs for being “blinded” to alleged violations committed by the New People’s Army (NPA). This came after a man was shot dead as he sold fish in Davao City by four men who authorities identified as NPA members. Rannel Parilla, 34, was gunned down in front of his wife Edgiely as they were vending fish in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato district last Wednesday afternoon. Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division in Davao City, said the NPA members showed their true nature as “cold blooded criminals.”

Binay urges MILF to help eliminate Abu Sayyaf

From the Philippine Star(Nov 3): Binay urges MILF to help eliminate Abu Sayyaf

Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to help the government in ridding Mindanao of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf as he mourned the death of four Marines killed in a clash with the rebels in Patikul, Sulu last Sunday. Binay, a reserve colonel of the Philippine Marines, attended the military honors for the fallen soldiers at the Marine headquarters in Taguig City. The Vice President assured the families of the slain soldiers – Sergeant Ricardo Nacario, Corporal Dexter John Baterina, Privates Allan Bercill and Glenn Gapasin – that the Alay sa Kawal Foundation, which he chairs, will extend assistance to them. “As for the Abu Sayyaf, the government is determined to end their activities and I hope the government can count on the MILF to assist us in this regard,” he said. The Abu Sayyaf is notorious for kidnapping for ransom and executing members of the military by beheading.

MNLF/Misuari: MNLF Delegation to OIC in Djibouti

Posted to the Facebook page of Nur Misuari (Nov 1): MNLF Delegation to OIC in Djibouti

Upon the official invitation of the OIC, We will, inshaAllah, be sending a 20-Man delegation including former leaders of the MILF who have re-join the MNLF command forces

Aquino, MILF chairman invited to Islamic forum

From  the New Straits Times (Nov 2): Aquino, MILF chairman invited to Islamic forum

JOHOR BARU: Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim have been invited to the eighth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) here next month. The organiser said their presence would help spur socio-economic development and encourage Malaysian businesses to look at the southern Phillipine region for investment opportunities. WIEF Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam said invitations had been extended to Aquino and Al-Haj Murad to attend the forum here from Dec 4 to 6. Other heads of government, who have confirmed their attendance, are Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jaber Al Thani. Other guests include Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Islamic Development Bank president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali. Musa said the forum, which was initiated in 2003 as a business-centric complement to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Kuala Lumpur, had now grown into a non-political and non-religious platform focusing on the role of women and youth leaders.....

Philippine Army Newsclippings (Nov 1-2)

Posted to Faces, Places & Voices (Ranger Cabunzky) Blog (Nov 1-2): Philippine Army Newsclippings

November 1:

November 2:

Philippine Army Newsclippings (Oct 28-31)

Posted to Faces, Places & Voices (Ranger Cabunzky) Blog (Oct 28-31): Philippine Army Newsclippings

October 28:

October 29:

October 30:

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Military hits NPA use of grenades in civilian community

From the Mindanao Gold Star Daily (Nov 2): Military hits NPA use of grenades in civilian community

GOVERNMENT troops did not suffer as much casualties contrary to what the New People’s Army (NPA) has claimed during a recent encounter in a rural village in San Fernando town, Bukidnon, the spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division said on Wednesday. This, even as Lt. Col. Eugene Julio Osias IV, 4ID spokesperson, denounced the guerrillas for allegedly using grenades during an attack in a predomnantly civilian community. “We condemn the treacherous attack. The NPAs lobbed grenades without considering the civilians. It was much like the grenade incident at Paquibato District in Davao last month. Luckily, no civilian was hurt,” Osias said. Ariel “Inda” Magbanwag, spokesperson of the NPA’s Ernesto “Boyboy” Roa Command, claimed they have seriously wounded 1st Lt. Jonald Fallar, commanding officer of the Bravo Company of 4ID’s 8th Infantry Battalion along with two regular enlisted soldiers and six members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) when their combatants attacked in Barangay Bunacao, San Fernando town, Bukidnon, in the evening of Oct. 24. “Actually, not a single shrapnel hit Lt. Fallar. Only one soldier and three Cafgus were slightly wounded. The use of fragmentation grenades in civilian communities are dangerous because this is not a focus target directed weapon. To whom it may concerned ang matatamaan niyan,” Osias said. Osias said the military has banned the use of grenades in civilian populated areas. These mercenary troops are the ones responsible in hamleting the residents from June to July 12,” reads part of Magbanwag’s statement. Magbanwag said that when soldiers erected a makeshift camp near the community, the soldiers used the civilians as “human shields.” This, he added, is in direct violation of the International Protocols of War. However, Osias said the unit that the NPAs “harassed” last week was “not combat-maneuver troops but an information and awareness campaign team.” “The unit was doing their regular barangay visitation and coordination in line with the Army’s peace-building efforts in the area. They were there upon the invitation of the village chair. Our troops do not have encampments in the area, makeshift or otherwise,” said Osias.

Wanted ex-Philippine Army general appeals criminal case

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 2): Wanted ex-Philippine Army general appeals criminal case
One of the Philippines’ most wanted fugitive, retired army commander Jovito Palparan, has asked the asked the Court of Appeals to stop the Bulacan Regional Trial Court from proceeding with his trial in connection with his alleged involvement in the disappearance of two University of the Philippines students in 2006, a state media said. It said Palparan, a former army major general, and his co-accused retired army sergeant Rizal Hilario, asked the CA through their legal counsels, to issue a temporary restraining order against the Bulacan RTC.... The government has put up a P2 million rewards for the capture of Palparan. Others who were implicated in the case – Sergeant Edgardo Osorio and Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado - have surrendered already surrendered.

MILF: MILF to IMT’s Ochiai: ‘Job well done’

From the MILF Website (Nov 2): MILF to IMT’s Ochiai: ‘Job well done’

The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front commended Naoyuki Ochiai for the “job well done” as the Head Coordinator for the Socio-Economic Component of the Malaysia-led International Monitoring Team (IMT). Ghazali Jaafar, MILF First Vice Chairman, during the Exit Call at his Office at Crossing Simuay in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last October 30 told Ochiai, “the MILF and the Bangsamoro people commend and thank you for the job well done.” “The MILF and the Bangsamoro people are indeed very grateful for the strong support of the Government Japan for the GPH – MILF Peace Process,” Vice Chairman said....

MILF: Iran welcomes GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 2): Iran welcomes GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomed the breakthrough in the 16-year peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that culminated in the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Manila last October 15. The Iranian government spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes peace talks of the Philippine Muslim community with the government. Mehmanparast said the two sides’ efforts to reach agreement on peace accord after lengthy talks are of high importance. He hoped that continued constructive and effective talks would speedily lead to a final agreement aiming to meet demands and wishes of the two sides for peace, stability and economic development of Mindanao....

MNLF: Photos--17th MNLF Grand Peace Summit, Crocodile Park, Davao City (October 21)

Just posted to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Website: Photos: 17th MNLF Grand Peace Summit, Crocodile Park, Davao City (October 21)

(CLICK ON THE GROUP TO SEE THE PHOTOS),%20Gatherings,%20Summits,%20Etc/17th%20MNLF%20Grand%20Summit%20Davao%20City%20Oct%2021,%202012/17th%20Grand%20Summit%20Oct%2021,%202012.htm

CPP: Video--Mga Bata sa Rebolusyon (Children in the Revolution)

Posted to the CPP Website (Nov 2): Video: Mga Bata sa Rebolusyon (Children in the Revolution)

Sine Proletaryo, the video outfit of the CPP Information Bureau, presents “Mga Bata sa Rebolusyon” (Children in the Revolution), 10-minute video of four short documentary films highlighting the lives of children inside a guerilla zone. “Mga Bata sa Rebolusyon” was produced with the cooperation of Isnayp, the multimedia group of the revolutionary movement in Bicol. It can be viewed in:

An English version will be available soon.

Samar peace on Army’s cross hair

From the Manila Standard Today (Nov 2): Samar peace on Army’s cross hair

Despite another clash with the New People’s Army in Matuguinao, Samar last Oct. 30 killing one soldier, the government has remained steadfast in its mission to bring peace in the Eastern Visayas region. Major Gen. Gerardo Layug, 8ID commander based in Catbalogan, Samar, said the rule of law and stability cannot be compromised. “The sacrifices and heroism of my men will further strengthen us in pursuing lasting peace in the area” he said, noting that the armed forces “Bayanihan” operation would continue to expand community development projects.... The army has set 2013 as deadline to end insurgency in Samar, long blamed as the primary reason for stunted economic growth. The island province received assistance recently from the Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission led by US forces through PAMANA or Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities. Last September, 21 NPA members based in Samar and Leyte returned to the fold and were given free livelihood skills training and financial assistance.

Army urges public not to prejudge 13 troops over deaths of 3 civilians in Davao

From the Daily Tribune (Nov 3): Army urges public not to prejudge 13 troops over deaths of 3 civilians in Davao

The Army leadership yesterday called on the public not to prejudge the 13 soldiers now facing court martial proceedings for the killing of a tribal leader’s wife and two sons in Daval del Sur last Oct. 18.
Maj. Harold. Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said the court martial proceedings could also provide the beleaguered Army men the venue to properly defend themselves. “The court martial proceeding is beneficial for the soldiers because they will be given the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. They will be given counsels who will defend them during the trial,” he added. “We call on the public not to prejudge our soldiers because they also have the constitutional right to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise by the court through due process of law,” he added....

Army, Air Force Chiefs Lead Race for the TOP AFP Post

From the Daily Tribune (Nov 3): Army, Air Force Chiefs Lead Race for the TOP AFP Post

Almost three months before the retirement of incumbent Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa, the race for his probable successor has started with two senior generals as front-runners. This early, military sources said that Army chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981, and Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino de la Cruz, of PMA Class of 1980, are considered as the top contenders. “While both are qualified officers, they also have the right connections,” one of the sources said. According to the source, a retired Air Force general, who is closely identified with President Aquino, could make the difference for De la Cruz. “That retired officer was influential to the appointment of General Oban,” said the source, apparently referring to former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban, an Air Force officer. “Without discrediting the credentials of General Oban, of course, but as we know appointment to the AFP top post does not only require very good professional record but more on the right connections,” the source said. De la Cruz has another advantage being a member of the PMA “Mapitagan” Class of 1980 which has the presidential sisters — Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, Viel Aquino-Dee and actress Kris Aquino — as honorary members. On the other hand, another source said Bautista also has his own connections. Aside from being the commanding general of the 80,000-strong Army, the second source said Bautista could also bank on the success of the ongoing AFP’s internal peace and security plan “Bayanihan,” which he spearheaded during his time as AFP deputy chief of staff for operations. “He is credited for ‘Bayanihan’ and, of course, he also has his own network,” the second source said, without elaborating. Dellosa, of PMA Class of 1979, is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 this coming January. He was the third AFP chief appointed by Aquino, after Ricardo David and Oban.

Navy seizes P15-M contraband fuel, cigarettes

From the Manila Times (Nov 2): Navy seizes P15-M contraband fuel, cigarettes

SOME P15-million worth of smuggled fuel and cigarettes were seized by operatives of the Philippine Navy off the cost of Tulian Islan in Sulu province. Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said on Thursday that the contraband goods were loaded aboard ML Wish Me Luck Princess, which tried to avoid Navy operatives stationed near the Chinese Pier in Jolo, Sulu. “This prompted the Navy patrol gunboat together with operative of Navy Task Force 61 to intercept, board and search the said ship,” Tonsay said.... It was also discovered that the vessel had no Coast Guard clearance and was sailing without a master patron.... Initial inquiry also showed that the contraband were owned by at least 10 persons represented by a certain Johons Askali of Brgy. Bunut in Indana, Sulu. The ship’s last port of call was in Sitangkay, Tawi Tawi province and was headed for Tanjung Pier in Indanan, Sulu. But authorities were still trying to determine its previous port of calls overseas....

Militant groups unhappy with court-martial of soldiers in B’laan killings

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 2): Militant groups unhappy with court-martial of soldiers in B’laan killings

Militant groups said Friday the court-martial proceedings the military has announced against 13 soldiers involved in the Oct. 18 killing of the wife and two children of a B’laan anti-mining activist in Davao del Sur was not enough. Ryan Lariba of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chapter in the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani (Socksargen) area said in a statement that an independent investigation of the killings would settle the issue against the military.... But Lariba said the result of the military inquiry effectively absolved higher-ranking military officers, who had direct supervision of the unit involved in the killings. “There has to be an independent body that should conduct an investigation, and it should not include the AFP,” he said. The environment group Panalipdan said the investigation should not stop at the erring soldiers but should also include the “higher ups” under the virtue of command responsibility. “The investigation must include the commander of the 27th IB, Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo and 10th ID commander Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo,” Panalipdan said in a separate statement. Aside from demanding an independent probe, Lariba said soldiers and militiamen should also be pulled out of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur and Tampakan, South Cotabato “to prevent more abuses against the anti-mining communities” there.

Alleged kidnap gang leader, policemen wounded in grenade blast in Agusan

From the Philippine Star (Nov 2): Alleged kidnap gang leader, policemen wounded in grenade blast in Agusan

Four people, including three policemen, were wounded in a grenade explosion in Agusan del Sur early today, police said. The blast in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur at 2:30 a.m. also wounded Ondo Perez, an alleged leader of a kidnapping and robbery gang in the Caraga region, according to Glen dela Torre, provincial police chief. Dela Torre said the explosion occurred hours after policemen swooped down on a hideout of the gang. The gang is believed to be behind a series of highway robberies plaguing the region recently.... Perez, a former leftist rebel-turned government militiaman gained notoriety in 2009 when he and a dozen of his armed followers seized a school in a far-flung village in nearby Prosperidad town, kidnapping at least 70 teachers and pupils for several days. He was subsequently arrested for the kidnapping.

Gunmen terrorize Maguindanao farming village

From the Philippine Star (Nov 2): Gunmen terrorize Maguindanao farming village

Unidentified gunmen set on fire two houses and fired assault rifles at a farming village in Maguindanao’s Montawal town Wednesday night, wounding a two-year-old child and sending dozens of villagers running for their lives.... The attack was the second in two weeks. Armed men earlier surrounded a farming enclave in the same barangay and scared residents by firing their assault rifles.... Ameril said that some of the community leaders in the barangay that the gunmen are locked in clan wars with equally armed Moro families in the area and in the nearby Liguasan marsh, a 220,000-hectare delta at the tri-boundaries of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.... Ameril said one of the protagonists in the recurring armed conflicts in the affected barangay is a relative of Montawal’s incumbent mayor, who is locked in a long-time dispute with a commander of an armed guerilla faction.

US ship's Pinoy crew: Working with fighter planes not easy but 'fun'

From GMANews (Nov 1): US ship's Pinoy crew: Working with fighter planes not easy but 'fun'

Holding one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, the Filipino crew of the nuclear-powered USS George Washington said working for an aircraft carrier was very challenging but also "fun." In an interview with GMA News Online last week, 24-year-old California-born Marvin Balbuena, said it was exciting to be part of the crew that helps launch the United States top fighter planes. "We hook up the bird (fighter plane) and launch them,” said Balbuena, who works on the flight deck of the Nimitz carrier that is as tall as a 24-storey building. The USS George Washington docked in Manila on October 24 for a five-day goodwill visit. Balbuena is one of some 900 Filipinos working in the USS George Washington, comprising about 20 percent of the ship's total crew....

Can MILF troops drop their guns?

From Rappler (Nov 2): Can MILF troops drop their guns?

It sounds promising, as explained by the leader of the Philippines' biggest Muslim rebel group in a rare press conference. In a gated portion of the main camp of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), its chair Murad Ebrahim said a final peace deal with the Philippine government would make guns unnecessary for the group's 12,000 fighters. Why hold on to firearms, he said, if the deal will produce justice and a booming economy? The road to a final political settlement, which is envisioned by 2016, has begun with the signing of an initial Framework Agreement in October. But on the dirt road leading out of Camp Darapanan, MILF troops admitted they find the decommissioning of firearms unthinkable. While it is one of the landmark provisions of the initial agreement on the Bangsamoro region, it is also among the most contentious. MILF troops have embraced their firearms, after all, as more valuable than their wives following decades of armed rebellion....

Rebel returnee chooses to surrender in La Union

From the Philippine Information Agency (nov 1): Rebel returnee chooses to surrender in La Union

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, Carlatan, San Fernando City, La Union:  Trusting in the government’s serious efforts in advancing the peace process and guaranteeing national security, another rebel surrendered on October 25, 2012 to the La Union Police Provincial Office (LUPPO) in Camp Diego Silang, here. LUPPO Police Community Relations Chief Police Chief Inspector Marlon Paiste said rebel returnee Moises Bumusao, alias “Ka Wawi”, 25, and a resident of Barangay Basao, Tinglayan, Kalinga surrendered to LUPPO under the leadership of Provincial Director PSSupt Ramon O. Purugganan, PSupt Robert B. Mesa, Chief, Provincial Intelligence Branch (LUPPO-PIB) and also with the presence of Barangay Captain Rodolfo M. Bacani of barangay Carlatan, this city. This significant gain is a result of sustained intelligence efforts and painstaking negotiations made by the Provincial Intelligence Branch of La Union PPO, Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL), Regional Intelligence Unit -14, 51st Military Intelligence Company of the Philippine Army and Regional Intelligence Unit 1 under the supervision of PSupt Mesa, Paiste said. According to LUPPO-PIB, Bumusao is a member of “Kilusang Larangan ng Guerilla Marco” and listed Nr 27 under 3rd Quarter 2011 Periodic Status Report on Threat Groups (PSRTG). His surrender to the government is characterized by frustration in their organization’s leadership and empty promises of cadres.  Just recently, Gangang Allin, another member of Kilusang Larangang Guerilla Marco operating in Cordillera also surrendered to LUPPO. Having yielded two rebel returnees in a span of four (4) months is a big accomplishment for the men and women of this provincial police office.

Gunmen torch 2 houses, strafe others in Maguindanao town

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 2): Gunmen torch 2 houses, strafe others in Maguindanao town

An armed conflict involving warring families in Datu Montawal, Maugindanao erupted Thursday with two houses torched by the protagonists and a series of gun-bursts sent civilians fleeing. Col. Benjie Hao, chief of the 7th Infantry Battalion commander, no one was hurt in the incident but the strafing forced civilians in Barangay Poblacion to vacate their homes when gunmen arrived at past 7 p.m. Witnesses said the civilians were resting following dinner when suddenly two houses were engulfed by fire. Following the conflagration, a series of gun burts ensued forcing many residents, including children and women, to flee to safer grounds. Hao said a long standing family feud involving two Muslim clans have triggered on and off skirmishes in Poblacion Montawal. Mayor Utto Montawal has requested the deployment of military personnel in the town center to prevent the armed confrontation between protagonists from happening again.

Ex-ranking NPA commander killed by suspected rebels on All Saints’ Day

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 2): Ex-ranking NPA commander killed by suspected rebels on All Saints’ Day

The victim, identified as Elmo Taburada, a resident of the sub-village of Avocado in Talalac, a hinterland barangay in Sta. Catalina town, succumbed to three gunshot wounds and died instantly, according to Col. Marion Sison, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in Siaton, Negros Oriental. Taburada was the former vice commander of the Sentro de Gravidad Platoon of the NPA’s Komiteng Rehiyon Sentral Bisayas-Southeastern Front operating in southern Negros Oriental, said Col. Sison. Taburada had voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Army during the first quarter of this year, bringing with him an M-16 Armalite rifle and since then had led a normal life after being reunited with his family in Avocado, Sison added.... A note left behind by the perpetrators at the crime scene indicated that the NPA had killed Taburada for at least three reasons, said Col. Sison. The note said Taburada was accused of helping the Philippine Army in its anti-insurgency campaign, turning over a firearm to authorities during his surrender, and encouraging other members of the rebel movement to surrender, Sison added.... The Army commander said that immediately after Taburada is buried within the next 24 hours, the 79th IB will lead an indignation rally in Avocado and dialogue with residents there to continue supporting the government’s campaign to crush the insurgency.

Barangay chairman killed in Lanao del Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 2): Barangay chairman killed in Lanao del Sur

A barangay chairman was shot and killed by three gunmen in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur, a military official disclosed Friday. Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Ceasar Marlon Yadao said the incident took place Wednesday in Barangay Lumbac, Bayang municipality, Lanao del Sur. Yadao identified the fatality as Subuh Abdulharim, the barangay chairman of Bago-Ingud of the same municipality. Yadao identified the suspects as Datu Otog Bolawan, Alemodin Madid, Nasser Sultan and Satar Madid. The suspects surrendered on Wednesday night after the military and police launched joint pursuit operations, Yadao said. Confiscated from the suspects’ possessions were three M-16 Armalite rifles and an M-14 rifle with several rounds of ammunition, he said. The suspects were turned over to the custody of the police for the filing of appropriate charges, he said.

Top USAID official to visit PHL to launch development projects

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 2): Top USAID official to visit PHL to launch development projects

The U.S. Embassy in Manila said Eric Postel, assistant administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment, will be in Manila from Nov. 5 to 8. He will meet with high-level Philippine government officials, business chambers, and other stakeholders to discuss the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative launched in November 2011 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario. PFG provides a new framework for deepening and strengthening bilateral engagement to promote broad-based and inclusive economic growth. The program is intended to mobilize the resources of both countries to speed up economic growth in the Philippines....Postel will be accompanied by Paula Reed Lynch, managing director of the Policy Analysis Office for the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources at the U.S. Department of State.

Suspected NPA rebels gun down ex-commander

From the Philippine Star (Nov 2: Suspected NPA rebels gun down ex-commander
New People's Army (NPA) rebels allegedly shot dead a former ranking official of the communist movement in Negros Oriental on All Saints' Day. Colonel Marion Sison, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion, said that former NPA vice commander Elmo Taburada, succumbed to three gunshot wounds. Taburada, from NPA's Sentro de Gravidad Platoon of the Komiteng Rehiyon Sentral Bisayas-Southeastern Front in Negros Oriental, surrendered to the Army early in 2012 and subsequently lived a "normal life" with his family based in Avocado. Army officials condemned the attack by the rebels, calling it a "desperate move" by the insurgents who continue to threaten its former members and to inspire fear among residents, Sison said. The incident, however, is an indication that the government is succeeding in its anti-insurgency campaign, the officials said. Sison said that the NPA rebels, who left a note at the crime scene, killed Taburada for turning over his firearm upon surrender, encouraging others to surrender and helping the Army in hunting down other members of the rebel group.

Communist rebels’ abandoned camp found in Iloilo

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 2): Communist rebels’ abandoned camp found in Iloilo

The military found an abandoned camp of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Iloilo Thursday, an Army spokesman said. “The camp has several foxholes, kitchens, and three makeshift classrooms and a water supply,” Major Enrico Ileto, 3rd Infantry Division (ID), said in a statement Friday. The camp was built by the communist rebels in a remote area and it could have been used as a training facility, Ileto said. “The camp was situated behind mountainous terrain, thick vegetation and trees and can be reached through hours of walk from the nearest barangay roads of Bucari, Danao and Cagay of Leon Municipality,” he said. Ileto said that the camp was discovered with the help of the local residents who tipped off about the presence of the rebel camp. He said a previous encounter with the rebels made government troops suspicious because of the high level of resistance the insurgents were putting up. “A squad of soldiers conducting follow-on combat operations discovered 9:20 a.m. Thursday [the camp] believed to have been abandoned recently by top regional NPA personalities of Panay island after the said encounter,” Ileto said....

Youth: Military’s new army for peace

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 2): Youth: Military’s new army for peace

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has fielded a new army in its quest for peace: the youth. Instead of guns, tanks, and bullets, these youth from ethnic groups all over the country will be armed with their the appreciation of different cultures, the love for nature, and their rich ethnic heritage in the war against war itself.  The AFP organized the first ever National Youth Leadership Summit (NYLS) last October 28-30, where more than 600 participants of different ethnic backgrounds from all over the country participated in cultural exchange, environmental conservation, and community development activities. General Jessie Dellosa, AFP Chief of Staff, said that the NYLS was “our invitation for all Filipinos to take an active part in winning the peace for our country and [for] succeeding generations.” “We believe that everyone—the military, the civil society, academe, and even the youth—share a common responsibility for this effort. We are all in this Bayanihan, including the youth,” Dellosa said.... The NYLS that was held in Davao City convened the members of the regional “Youth for Peace Movement” and organized it into the National Youth Alliance for Peace (NYAP) with Leslie Bangoy elected as the national president....