Wednesday, November 7, 2012

MILF: MILF congratulates Obama on re-election

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 8): MILF congratulates Obama on re-election

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) congratulated United States President Barack Obama for securing another term as the top executive of the world's biggest economy and only world superpower. Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim sent this message of felicitation and delight for Obama’s victory in the recent US presidential elections.

“The MILF warmly welcomes the successful holding of the recent elections in the United States and the decisive victory of President Obama over Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger. The Bangsamoro and the United States share a common vision for better Mindanao where just peace, progress, and development are in the pipeline after the signing of the celebrated Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The MILF is particularly grateful for the expression of support to the Agreement from the Obama administration through US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and for the attendance of US Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, to the historic signing in Malacañang Palace last October 15.”....

62nd Marine Birthday Testimonial Parade and Review

From the Phlippine Navy Website (Nov 7): 62nd Marine Birthday Testimonial Parade and Review

In connection with their 62nd Birthday Celebration (November 07, 2012), the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) rendered a Testimonial Parade and Review yesterday (November 6, 2012) at BNS Grandstand, Bonifacio Naval Station (BNS), Fort Bonifacio, Tagiug City in honor of the Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Alexander P Pama. The activity was attended by different unit commanders, foreign attaches, officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Philippine Navy. The testimonial parade is a reaffirmation of PMC’s ties with the Philippine Navy, the mother unit of the Corps. “The exuberance and joy felt by every marine, is so profound that it is deemed essential to honor and give due respect to the institution that provides and allow the Philippine Marine Corps to flourish”, Major General Rustico O Guerrero, the Commandant of PMC said....





Comelec bars 16 more party-list groups

From the Business Mirror (Nov 7): Comelec bars 16 more party-list groups

SIXTEEN more party-list groups have been barred by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from participating in next year’s elections for their failure to meet the requirements of the party-list system....Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes identified the disqualified party-list groups as the Philippine Coconut Producers Federation Inc., Alliance of Advocates in Mining Advancement for National Progress, Bayani Party-list group, Abang-Lingkod, Ang Agrikultura Natin Isulong, Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance Inc., Alliance for Mindanao Elders, Greenforce, Firm 24-K Association Inc., Action League of Indigenous Masses, Alma sa Pagkahikahos at Ignoransiya, Kaunlaran ng Agrikultura, Asensadong Probinsya, Angat ng Bayan, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy and Smart-Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency.... Out of the 16 disqualified party-list groups, only Anad has an incumbent representative—Rep. Pastor Alcover Jr....

Congress hearing will reveal more Palparans--Solon

From the leftist and often pro-CPP Davao Today (Nov 7): Congress hearing will reveal more Palparans--Solon

The Committee of Human Rights of the House of Representatives’ onsite hearing tomorrow (November 8) will prove that there are many more Palparans, said Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares. “This will refute the statement of General (Emmanuel) Bautista of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that Palparan is the last of his kind. In fact, many Palparans exists and they have not been prosecuted,” said Colmenares....  The House Committee will be conducting an onsite hearing acting on numerous resolutions covering many cases of human rights violations specifically in Mindanao....

Bayan Muna filed House Resolution (HR) Number 67 investigating the killing of Gregan Cardeño, who was working for American troops as an interpreter; HR 1835 calling for a probe of the assassination of Italian missionary Father Fausto ‘Pops’ Tentorio; and another resolution against general vilification.

Anakpawis filed HR 1480 calling for the investigation of a shooting incident of farmers camping in the Central Mindanao University campus; HR 2304 directing an investigation of the extrajudicial killing of Jimmy Libuyon, a farmer in Bukidnon from the lumad (indigenous) Manobo tribe; and HR 1780 directing the House committee to investigate the alleged militarization of workplaces such as banana plantations.

Kabataan Party-list filed a house resolution to investigate the alleged threats and intimidation of the school administrators of the Assumption College of Davao in relation to a streamer they hung along their fence which called for justice for Fr. Pops and condemning Operation Plan Bayanihan.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers also filed a resolution to investigate the harassment of small scale miners in Zamboanga del Sur.

Gabriela Women’s party-list filed a resolution on the investigation of the brutal killing of Rudy and Rodi Rick Dejos, farmers from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Colmenares said 30 to 31 witnesses will testify in relation to the house resolutions. However, many human rights violations have not yet been included in the agenda....

Armed Forces warns of fake Internet messages sent in its name

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 7): Armed Forces warns of fake Internet messages sent in its name

The Armed Forces of the Philippines warned the public Wednesday about an e-mail account purporting to be the military’s that sends messages supposedly from Camp Aguinaldo’s Public Affairs Office. The AFP Public Affairs Office identified the fake e-mail address as The military information office’s real e-mail address is “It has come to our attention that a certain email account ‘’ suspected to be mimicking the correspondence procedures of our office has been sending unverified and suspicious information to our contacts,” a statement from the PAO AFP said. The bogus e-mail was discovered last Monday, when the AFP PAO was alerted by a contact from the Department of National Defense who reported receiving “a suspicious email from,” the statement said. The fake e-mail claimed to be “classified” correspondence that “should not be transmitted.” It attached a file that supposedly contained “the copy of PNOY’s remarks on ASEM.” A check by the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that the attachment was an empty document. President Benigno Aquino III was in Laos Nov. 5 and 6 for the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting. “In view of the recent happening, the Public Affairs Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is sending this message to all of our contacts from the local and foreign media, private individuals, non-government organizations, and other partner agencies in order to warn them of the matter,” the statement said. The PAO AFP also asked that anyone who has received e-mail from report it to its office by sending an e-mail to The military office also urged the public to be “very cautious when opening e-mails coming from anonymous and suspicious senders.”

3 hurt in grenade blast in Sultan Kudarat

From the Sun Star (Nov 7): 3 hurt in grenade blast in Sultan Kudarat

Police said three persons were injured in a grenade explosion at a public market stall in Experenza, Sultan Kudarat, on Wednesday afternoon. Regional police director Alex Paul Monteagudo said the victims were identified as Razul Delna, Rudy Subang and one alias Iala, who were brought to a hospital. Monteagudo said the fragmentation grenade exploded moments after two unidentified suspects tossed it at Delna's buy and sell stall at the market. The suspects fled after the incident. Monteagudo said checkpoints have been established for the possible apprehension of the suspects.

Dabawenyos protest Rep. Alcover’s visit

From MindaNews (Nov 7): Dabawenyos protest Rep. Alcover’s visit

The mayor, a councilor and militant leaders here are protesting the upcoming visit here of ANAD (Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy) partylist Rep. Pastor “Jun” Alcover after he was declared “persona non grata” by the city council in 2010. Alcover is scheduled to join a congressional inquiry on human rights to be held here on November 8-9 (see separate story), according to Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, who will also be attending the hearing. “Dili siya dapat makatunob og yuta sa Davao (He is not supposed to step on Davao’s soil)”, she said. She noted that the city council did the right move to declare Alcover, together with Jovito Palparan, persona non grata. The two partylist representatives were quoted in a local newspaper back in 2009 as having said that Davao had become a breeding ground of the New People’s Army, leading to more violence in the city. Asked for a comment, Mayor Sara Duterte was quick to joke with her reply: “Magprepare mi og banda and red carpet (We will prepare a band and red carpet).” “Joke lang to ganina (The statement earlier was a joke). Unfortunately, we don’t have legal basis to prevent him from doing his job. It is enough that he knows he is undesirable and not welcome in the city,” she said. Duterte added: “And the best way to make him feel like an idiot is to ignore him.”...  Also on Tuesday, militant groups staged a protest rally here to remind the city not to welcome Alcover come November 8-9. “We will stage a protest action outside the venue of the congressional inquiry if he will attend,” Sheena Duazo, of Bayan-Southern Mindanao, said. She pointed out that Alcover has no credibility to discuss human rights as “he himself is a violator of human rights.” Duazo cited that Alcover is guilty of red tagging or the act of subjectively branding someone as communist or member of the New People’s Army (NPA), noting that most victims of extrajudicial killings were also victims of red branding....

31 witnesses to attend HR congressional hearing in Davao

From MindaNews (Nov 7): 31 witnesses to attend HR congressional hearing in Davao

The House committee on human rights will have 31 witnesses during its two-day hearing to be held in this city on November 8-9, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares said at a press briefing here Wednesday. Attending the hearing, he said, will be witnesses of extrajudicial killings and victims of other human rights violations (HRV) in Mindanao since the 15th Congress in 2010 until June this year based on House resolutions filed by several representatives. Colmenares cited a total of 114 extrajudicial killings nationwide, 26 of which are in Mindanao, since President Benigno Simeon Aquino III sat in office. Representatives from various military commands all over Mindanao, the Commission on Human Rights and Philippine National Police will also be present, he added. However, the military and police will not be allowed to attend the hearing on the first day for the protection of, and to prevent intimidation, of victims and witnesses, Colmenares stressed. He noted that House committee chair Rene Relampagos will be attending, including Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela Women’s Party and Karlo Nograles (both from this city), Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Partylist, Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Partylist and Erin Tanada, among others. Colmenares mentioned that ANAD (Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy) Partylist Pastor Jun Alcover may attend the hearing but only on the second day, citing that the latter has been declared “persona non grata” by the city council a few years ago for declaring Davao as an unsafe city....

BAYAN: On Obama’s victory in the US presidential elections

Statement posted to the pro-CPP Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-New Patriotic Alliance) Website (Nov 7): On Obama’s victory in the US presidential elections

Reference: Renato M. Reyes, Jr, BAYAN secretary general

US President Barack Obama has been given four more years in office after winning the elections against Republican Mitt Romney. As the rallies end and the confetti falls, there’s still the stark reality that there will be no significant changes in US foreign policy for Obama’s second term. There will be no significant changes in the unequal PH-US relations that has plagued the Philippines for decades. Obama’s victory means the continuation of current US policies which include more of the same destructive neo-liberal economics and more of the same drive for US military hegemony.

We likewise expect the Philippine President Benigno Aquino to continue the PH government’s policy of subservience to US dictates, under the illusion that the US is assisting the Philippines. Aquino will remain loyal to US dictates and uphold US interests in this region.

The so-called special relations between the Philippines and the United States will become more lopsided than ever. The US is preparing to increase its military presence in Asia in a bid to strengthen its influence in the region. It will be taking advantage of the so-called “special ties” with the Philippines so that the US can have access to our ports, put more US troops on PH soil and transform the entire archipelago into a virtual US military outpost in Southeast Asia.

Unequal agreements such as the Vesting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty will continue to be in force. The US will continue its blatant violation of the Philippine Constitution with its permanently deployed US troops in Mindanao, as well as its plans to establish military hubs in its former bases in Subic and Clark. The US is poised to further violate our Constitution with plans to put up a land-based radar that is part of an Asia-wide defense umbrella. And the US will continue to use the “China threat” as a pretext for increasing its troops presence in the entire Asian region....

Makabayan coalition to name guest bets

From the Business World (Nov 7): Makabayan coalition to name guest bets

THE MAKABAYAN Coalition is set to announce today five guest candidates for next year’s senatorial elections. The coalition, composed of party-list groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, Kabataan and ACT Teachers, have previously named Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro A. Casiño as its sole Senate bet. Mr. Casiño said in a chance interview yesterday on the guest candidates: "They are fellow candidates whom we have worked with for a long time on several issues such as human rights, good governance and development of micro-small enterprises." He added that the guest candidates are three women and two men. Makabayan lawmakers are Bayan Muna Rep. Neri J. Colmenares, Gabriela Reps. Emmi A. De Jesus and Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Kabataan Rep. Raymond V. Palatino and ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio.

Soldiers are not just men of war but men of peace–Añonuevo

From the Business Mirror (Nov 7): Soldiers are not just men of war but men of peace–Añonuevo

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—“We are the first to be affected during war.” With these words, newly installed commanding general of the Army’s 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division (4th ID) Maj. Gen. Nestor Amador Añonuevo summarized his command’s thrust: Win the peace at all cost with the help and in cooperation with all sectors of society and all stakeholders. Añonuevo assumed command of the 4th ID from its officer-in-charge, Brig. Gen. Romeo Gapuz, who took the reins from Maj. Gen. Felix Felix last Sept. 4.  “We, soldiers, are the number one sector who wanted peace because we bear the brunt of the fighting. Meron din kaming pamilya,” he told the BusinessMirror after receiving his mandate from Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, commanding general of the Philippine Army during the turn-over ceremony at the 4th ID headquarters in Camp Edilberto Evangelista Tuesday morning. Añonuevo said he is happy to be back at the 4th ID as its commander because “the 4th ID is the home of effective innovations for peace and development.” The 4th ID, in partnership with the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) of Misamis Oriental, Church, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), is at the forefront of peacebuilding approaches for the Security Sector. This partnership is simply called “whole nation approach” in the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan, the guiding principle of the AFP in winning the peace. IPSP Bayanihan emphasizes the involvement of all stakeholders to attain its objectives of winning the peace....

4th ID has new chief

From the Business Mirror (Nov 7): 4th ID has new chief

The 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division based here has a new commander who believes that what is good for the country is good for the army. Maj. Gen. Nestor A Añonuevo officially took over as division commander after two months when it was announced he was to replace now retired Maj. Gen. Victor Felix. Añonuevo is not new in the area since he was once assigned here at 4ID as senior officer as one of the division’s staff, Executive Officer of 401st Brigade, Commanding Officer of 26th Infantry Battalion, and Deputy Brigade Commander of 402nd Brigade. He took over the command from then acting division commander Brig. Gen. Romeo L Gapuz, who now acts as the assistant division commander. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista was the guest of honor during the turnover of command.Prior to Añonuevo’s assumption as 4ID Commander, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3....

Fact-finding mission probes mining in Negros Occidental

From the Business Mirror (Nov 7): Fact-finding mission probes mining in Negros Occidental

A 15-MEMBER fact-finding mission kicked off on Wednesday to look into the impacts of mining to people and the environment in Negros Occidental. Organized by the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC), an Asia-wide network of peasant organizations and its local partners, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Negros and the Action Solidarite Tiers Monde (ASTM), the mission visited Sipalay and Hinoba-an towns in the province, where mining operations are reportedly starting to adversely affect the people. Mining claims in the province cover almost 380,000 hectares, affecting agricultural and coastal areas. Among the biggest mining companies in Negros are the Philex Mining Corp., Maricalum Mining Corp., MariColet Mines, Philmet Corp., Vulcan Mining Corp., Asturias Chemical Industries, and the Massart Mining and Development Corp. “Contrary to the Aquino administration’s claims that mining will improve the lives of the local residents, our experience in Negros Occidental proves otherwise,” said Greg Ratin, secretary general of KMP-Negros. Seven foreign delegates from India, Indonesia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined the two teams of the fact-finding mission. Those from other Asian countries also confront land conflicts brought about by large-scale mining operations by multinational corporations. Other delegates from national organizations include scientists, members of the academe, peasant leaders and human-rights activists....

Rebel Camps

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 5): Rebel Camps

NARVACAN, Ilocos Sur — Operating troops from the Army’s 5th Infantry Division discovered two encampments of New People’s Army (NPA) during a series of security operations in the depressed areas of Isabela province during the celebration of Halloween, it was reported Monday. Col. Miguel T. Puyao, spokesman of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division, told Monday that the NPA encampments were discovered in Barangay Disulap, San Mariano, Isabela province and in Barangay Villa-Robles, Palanan, Isabela. “Our troops from the army’s 51st Division Reconnaissance Company discovered a newly abandoned NPA camp with structure at Barangay Disulap, San Mariano, Isabela province last Nov. 2, 2012 in which more or less 30 newly constructed makeshift huts (kubo-kubo) with an estimated land area of 100m x 200m with kitchen, potable water source and satellite/cell phone signal were found.

NPA loosens stranglehold on Samar

From the Manila Times (Nov 8): NPA loosens stranglehold on Samar

Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug, commander of Eighth Infantry Division (ID), disclosed on Wednesday that the rebels abandoned their camps in the municipalities of Matuguinao and Lope de Vega, both in Samar. The abandoned NPA camps in Matuguinao, Samar symbolizes that the NPA is suffering a so-called social pressure not only by the pursuing military troops but primarily the lack of support from its former mass base in the area,” Layug said. Both camps were found abandoned on November 5 by the Army’s Bayanihan teams from the 63rd and 20th Infantry Battalions, respectively. Samar, along with Negros provinces of Davao, Caraga and Bicol regions, is among the NPA-infested areas in the country. The abandoned NPA camps have makeshift bunkers, advance posts, kitchen halls and comfort rooms that can accommodate 30 to 40 red warriors. Capt. Gene Orense, spokesman of Eighth ID, also disclosed that on November 2, the Bayanihan teams of the 63rd IB likewise seized an enemy encampment after a 30-minute firefight in Brgy. Inubod in Matuguinao. For the 3rd quarter of this year alone, Orense said that the Eighth ID has recovered a total of 30 NPA camps in Samar Island. But the Army’s achievement, Orense pointed out, was not without setback as four soldiers were killed and two others were injured in an encounter with NPAs on October 21 in Brgy. Ramon in the municipality of Gandara. Despite several setbacks in the hands of the NPAs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines maintained that its new anti-insurgency strategy, the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan, is winning the hearts and minds of the people.  In fact, it said that 24 provinces have already been declared as “insurgency-free.” They are Ifugao, Aklan, Apayao, Kalinga, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Biliran, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, South Cotabato, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Cavite, Marinduque, Romblon, Guimaras, Siquijor, and northern and southern Leyte.

New commander assumes 6th ID post in Central Mindanao

From the Philippine Star (Nov7): New commander assumes 6th ID post in Central Mindanao

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao - Major Gen. Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo assumed Wednesday as the new commander of Army’s 6th Infantry Division, promising to continue the unit’s peace programs that resulted in a “zero” encounter between the Army and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Central Mindanao in the past 15 months. Ordoyo, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1980, said he would emulate the examples of the 6th ID’s immediate former commanders, now Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara and Major Gen. Rey Ardo.... Ardo’s turnover of the 6th ID to Ordoyo was officiated by the commanding general of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, and witnessed by local officials led by the acting governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Mujiv Hataman, and North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza....

Major Gen. Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo, newly-installed commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, tells jousnalists about his envisioned peace-building goals to complement President Aquino's Southern Mindanao peace process. - John Unson

Army eyes reconciliation of warring clans in Maguindanao town

From the Philippine Star (Nov 7): Army eyes reconciliation of warring clans in Maguindanao town

The Army will attempt to broker the reconciliation of two supposedly related clans in Maguindanao’s Montawal town that fought again Tuesday night, causing the dislocation of more than a thousand villagers. Lt. Col. Benjie Hao, commanding officer of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion, said they will involve local religious leaders in trying to settle the dispute between the family of Montawal’s municipal mayor, Otto Montawal and their relatives led by a Moro commander. Local officials said the animosity between the two groups escalated anew last October when they figured in an encounter in a secluded barangay in Montawal. The two groups clashed again last week. A two-year-old child was killed in the crossfire. The two groups have been fighting each other since 2007, after the local elections in the same year. Hao said more soldiers have been fielded in the affected barangays to prevent a repeat of the clash. Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, in an emailed statement, said he has directed the provincial police office to help reconcile the two factions. Mangudadatu said he has also ordered members of the inter-agency provincial peace and order council to help convince the two groups to agree to a peace dialogue to diffuse tension in the area. The two groups have been accusing each other of provoking the recent hostilities by intruding into each other’s territory, attacking villages and setting houses on fire.

Army troops clash with NPA in Sorsogon

From InterAksyon (Nov 7): Army troops clash with NPA in Sorsogon

Army troops clashed with 20 New People's Army guerrillas in Sorsogon early Wednesday, police said. Superintendent Renato Bataller, Bicol police spokesman, said a company of the 31st Infantry Battalion on a “strike operation” encountered the rebels in Sitio Marinas, Barangay Boton, Casiguran at 5 a.m. The rebels retreated after 20 minutes. No government casualties were reported. Bataller said policemen in nearby areas were ordered to be on the alert.

Son of Cordillera rebel spokesman missing after arrest

From InterAksyon (Nov 7): Son of Cordillera rebel spokesman missing after arrest

A human rights group said the son of a rebel spokesman in the Cordillera region has gone missing after his arrest November 5 by men who introduced themselves as police officers. A statement from Karapatan said Grayson Naogsan was having coffee with an unidentified companion at SM Baguio late in the afternoon of November 5 when men in civilian clothes approached, saying they were policemen. The men allegedly drew pistols and aimed it at the two as they showed a warrant of arrest with Naogsan’s name on it. Naogsan is the son of Cordillera Peoples Democratic Front spokesman Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan. The men then handcuffed Naogsan and took him out of the mall through the backstairs after telling his companion he would be taken to Camp Crame....  Jude Baggo, secretary general of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, said in the same statement that before Naogsan went missing, two men who identified themselves as CIDG personnel went to his neighborhood asking about him and hinting of a P500,000 reward for information. Baggo worried about the violation of Naogsan’s human rights the longer he is held incommunicado.

NPA denies summary execution of 4 Davao City soldiers

From InterAksyon (Nov 7): NPA denies summary execution of 4 Davao City soldiers

The New People's Army (NPA)'s Merardo Arce Command denied claims made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that the four soldiers killed last Sunday in Davao City were unarmed and summarily executed. In a statement, Leoncio Parago, commander of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company of the NPA's Merardo Arce Command, said their fighters "fought it out' against the soldiers at an NPA checkpoint in Purok 5, Barko-barko, Barangay Mapula, Paquibato district. Parago also claimed that an NPA rebel was wounded in the incident. Three .45-caliber pistols were also reportedly confiscated from the soldiers. "Last Sunday's battle can hardly be described as massacre or an abduction, for it was a fitting retribution against a notorious Army unit feared and hated by the peasant masses in Paquibato," Parago said in a statement....

Davao City dad condemns Paquibato ambush

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 7): Davao City dad condemns Paquibato ambush

A city councilor strongly condemned the ambush allegedly perpetrated by communist rebels which killed four soldiers in Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District last Sunday afternoon. Speaking at the privilege hour during the regular session of the city council, Councilor Karlo Bello, chair of the committee of human rights expressed his condolences to the bereaved families of the soldiers and condemned the incident. He said the soldiers were servants of the Filipino people bound by the constitution as its protector. Bello said every killed Filipino soldier is worth the uproar and condemnation when their lives are taken as they serve for the love of country and people. Bello stressed the condemnation despite questions why the soldiers were unarmed during the incident when there were several preceding violent incidents ranging from encounters, grenade throwing incident, and complaints of human rights violations that happened in Paquibato District. He said the soldiers braved dangerous places under dangerous circumstances to fulfill their duty to the country. “These men will be honored accordingly,” Bello said....

Army to sustain peace efforts despite soldiers death

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 7): Army to sustain peace efforts despite soldiers death

A top military officer declared that the soldiers will not be distracted in implementing the peace and development outreach program (PDOP) in the countryside despite losing four companions in an ambush in Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District Sunday afternoon. Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th Infantry Division today said that four days after the ambush, his troops remain dynamic in its effort for the PDOP in the far-flung communities. He maintained that only through the PDOP in the remaining conflict-affected areas, the regional development plan of Region 11 will be realized. “We will remain to be steadfast in working with the local government units and other peace and development stakeholders. They are with us,” Bernardo said.... Bernardo also explained that the soldiers who were killed in the ambush were actually involved in office work. “They went out to hear mass and to do marketing. It is sad that the rebels took advantage of their situation,” he said. Bernardo said that under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, unarmed and off-duty soldiers must not be harmed. He lamented that the soldiers were killed even though some of them could have been spared since they were already wounded. “The International Humanitarian Law clearly states to take care of the wounded. They could have not been summarily executed,” Bernardo said....

Army ‘Bayanihan’ troops persist in pursuing rebels

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 7): Army ‘Bayanihan’ troops persist in pursuing rebels

The army Bayanihan troops continue to pursue rebels particularly in Matuguinao, Samar where lairs of rebel camps are hidden; on November 5 in Barangay Del Rosario, Matuguinao, Samar, they seized an abandoned enemy camp. According to Captain Gene Orense of the 8th Infantry Division, there were makeshift bunkers and kitchen which can accommodate 45 people in the camp. “The abandoned NPA camp in Matuguianao, Samar symbolizes that the NPA is suffering a so-called social pressure not only by the pursuing military troops but primarily the lack of support from its former mass base in the area, ” Major General Gerardo T Layug AFP, Commander, 8th Infantry Division said. Also,in the afternoon of the same day, the Bayanihan teams of the 63rd Infantry Battalion under 1LT Retumban clashed with an undetermined number of NPAs at Barangay Rizal, Matuguinao. The firefight lasted for 10 minutes which resulted to the wounding of Pfc Elwin Bert E Paller.... The Bayanihan activities is just one of the the main thrusts of the Army in assisting local communities to identify and address the local issues which hampers peace and development in the communities in Samar.

Highland soldiers conduct 'bayanihan' activities in Ifugao

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 7): Highland soldiers conduct 'bayanihan' activities in Ifugao

The military based in the province dubbed as “highland soldiers” reported the conduct of series of "bayanihan" activities in some schools in coordination with the host communities. Lieutenant Colonel Emilio Pajarillo, commanding officer of the 86th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division (ID) said that activities like “brigada eskwela” and community services were conducted in the schools and barangays of Aguinaldo, Asipulo, Kiangan, and Tinoc. “We are conducting continuous brigada eskwela activities in these schools and other schools in the province that need help from our troops,” Pajarillo stated. He also explained that they had recommended three schools from the municipalities of Aguinaldo, Kiangan and Tinoc to the Northern Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN for assistance that would help the said learning institutions. Pajarillo also disclosed that their troops are also conducting peace and development activities in the different communities in coordination to barangay and municipal officials.

Armed skirmishes displace 500 families in Maguindanao town

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 7): Armed skirmishes displace 500 families in Maguindanao town

At least 500 families from villages in Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao province evacuated to safer areas after two warring groups exchanged fires at around 11 p.m., Tuesday, an evacuee said. Abdula Pandita, 38, farmer from Barangay Dungguan, Datu Montawal, said they were roused from their sleep when they heard loud gunshots coming from different directions. The fighting came a week after the same warring groups exchanged fires, which killed two persons, including a two-year old girl identified as Rohaina Hassan of Barangay Dungguan, according to Pandita.... Pandita said the fighting was a result of a rido or clan war between the family of Datu Montawal municipal mayor Datu Uttoh Montawal and his relatives who had been at odds since 2007. Pandita said Mayor Montawal has organized his own private army to fight another group of armed lawless group whose members include legitimate fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Such armed group, according to Pandita, staged the attack against Montawal’s private army last October 31, which led to the displacement of hundreds of families from barangays Poblacion, Dungguan, Talapas, and Tunggul, all in Datu Montawal town. The same group, he stressed, was responsible for the attack last Tuesday night. “Some members of this armed group are relatives of those killed by the private Army of Montawal. This is their rido. We, as civilians, became collateral damage to their own wars,” said Pandita in an interview over Catholic-ran DXND in Kidapawan City.... Lt. Col. Benjamin Hao, commander of the 7th Infantry Battalion, said he immediately dispatched some of his men, on board military trucks, to war-torn villages to pacify the fighting....

25 MILFs injured in Zambo vehicular accident

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 7): 25 MILFs injured in Zambo vehicular accident

At least 25 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were hurt in a road accident in an east coast barangay in this city, a police official disclosed Wednesday. Police Station 2 commander Chief Insp. Ricardo Garcia said the accident occurred around 7 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Lubigan, 40 kms east of this city. Garcia said the victims were on board the one of the two contracted public utility jeepneys (PUJs) on the way home in this city coming from Pagadian City where they attended a convention on the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement. Investigation showed that the PUJ turned turtle and fell into a roadside ditch after its driver, Wahid Alih, 34, fell sleepy due to the long distance of travel and lost control of the steering wheel, Garcia said. He said Alih, who was among those injured, managed to jump before the vehicle fell into the ditch. The victims were rushed to the Cristino Paragas Memorial Hospital in Barangay Quiniput, 44 kms east of this city and at the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) located downtown, he said. The victims suffered bruises and bumps, he said.

Soldier dies, 7 others hurt as two military trucks collide in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 7): Soldier dies, 7 others hurt as two military trucks collide in Maguindanao

A soldier died while seven others, including a civilian, were hurt as two Army trucks collided head on Wednesday in Barangay Penguianman, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. Police Insp. Lendsy Sinsuat, Datu Odin Sinsuat town police chief, said a military truck of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade (MIB) tried to overtake another vehicle along a curve in Penguianman village around 9 a.m. when it rammed the vehicle of the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion (IB) that was negotiating the opposite lane of the highway. The incident instantaneously killed Corporal Frenan Jay Palos of the Army's 2nd MIB.... Accordingly, the soldiers were being deployed along the Cotabato-Maguindanao highway for the turnover of command at the 6ID camp when the accident occurred....

New 6th ID commander vows to push for peace and dev't

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 7): New 6th ID commander vows to push for peace and dev't

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division has a new commanding officer to push its vision and mission of supporting the national government’s peace initiatives in southern Philippines. Maj. Gen. Ceasar Ronnie Ordoyo assumed Wednesday as the new commander of Army’s 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division based here, replacing Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo who moved as the new commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom). Speaking after assuming the command at 9 a.m., Ordoyo vowed to continue the unit’s peace programs that resulted in a “zero” encounter between the military and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Central Mindanao in more than a year. Ordoyo, of PMA Class 1980, said he would emulate the accomplishments of his former superiors, Ardo and Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara.... To prove the military’s sincerity in supporting the peace process, Ordoyo said he is inviting MILF leaders to Camp Siongco, the 6th ID base, for a cup of coffee or breakfast and engage in various sports activities to develop friendship and camaraderie. “We are towing the line of President Aquino – that is the primacy of the peace process,” Ordoyo told 6th ID officers and men.... Ordoyo is the son of retired Gen. Rodrigo Ordoyo who once served for more than two decades as Army area commander, especially the 1/3rd brigade, the forerunner of the 6th ID....

Two out of four officers in Al-Barka massacre raps cleared due to lack evidence - GCM member

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 7): Two out of four officers in Al-Barka massacre raps cleared due to lack evidence - GCM member

A member of the General Court Martial (GCM) on Wednesday said that two out of the four military officers being tried in connection with the October 2011 Al-Barka, Basilan massacre, where 19 Special Forces troopers were killed following an encounter with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters, have been cleared due to lack of evidence. GCM member Col. Jose Feliciano Loy said that the cleared officers were Col. Alexander Macario, former head of the Special Operations Task Force - Basilan, and Lt. Col. Orlando Edralin, the former commander of the Special Forces training school. Loy said the verdict was issued last Oct. 30. The GCM ruling was based on the motion to find not guilty filed by the accused officers. Loy said Macario and Edralin would return to full-duty status. Meanwhile, the GCM only partially granted the motion filed by another accused officer, Col. Amikandra Undog, the former commander of the Special Forces Regiment. Loy said Undog still had to face trial for one count of violation of Article of War 97 after his motion was denied, adding that the trial would proceed. While Lt. Col. Leonardo Peña, the former commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, has yet to file a motion as the GCM has yet to rule on the prosecution's formal offer of evidence....

CPP/NPA: 1st PBC-NPA punishes 69th IB-AFP, 4 enemy forces killed, 3 firearms confiscated

Statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 6): 1st PBC-NPA punishes 69th IB-AFP, 4 enemy forces killed, 3 firearms confiscated

Leoncio Pitao (Kumander Parago)
NPA Southern Mindanao (1st Pulang Bagani Company)

Four fascist Army combatants belonging to the 69th Infantry Battalion fought it out against members of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company-New People’s Army at an NPA checkpoint in Purok 5, Barko-barko, Barangay Mapula, Paquibato on Sunday, November 4, 2012. The four armed AFP regulars were killed, one of them died several meters away from the scene, while an NPA member was wounded in the ensuing troops engagement which the AFP ridiculously painted as a brutal murder of its “unarmed, off-duty soldiers.”

The 1st PBC-NPA confiscated three .45 caliber pistols: a 7.45 limited (Serial Number 974502), Colt 45 (SN: 184419) and Norimco .45 (SN: 4234). This as the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command spun the blatant lie that Sunday’s battle contravened international humanitarian laws. CMO Battalion chief Maj. Jake Obligado, 10th ID spokesperson Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza and Manila-based Phil. Army spokesperson Major Harold Cabunoc were mouthing off violations like torture, extrajudicial killing and hostage-taking like they were reciting a well-rehearsed script. Last Sunday’s battle can hardly be described as massacre or an abduction, for it was a fitting retribution against a notorious Army unit feared and hated by the peasant masses in Paquibato.

The fatalities were armed combatants of the 69th IB Special Operations Team, not defenseless functionaries or civilians falsely depicted by the AFP. They belong to the Army unit responsible for the summary execution of Mires Esdang, a hemp farmer in Barangay Malabog, Paquibato last October 18, and other grave abuses ranging from psychological warfare against peasants, intimidation of families of NPA combatants and forcing them to surrender, coercing civilians to use as guides, and other forms of harassment in the course of its intelligence, triad, strike operations and civil-military operations in Paquibato district.

The four fatalities were not innocent peace advocates or service providers, but were psywar agents and active elements of the AFP implementing the US-Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan. They were armed regulars operating in hinterland villages and were, therefore, legitimate military targets of the NPA. They acted under the baton of the 10th ID-EastMinCom-AFP that rules Paquibato district in virtual garrison, occupying civilian places like village halls, gymnasiums and houses, under the innocuous cover of the erroneously named Peace and Development Program (PDOP) of Oplan Bayanihan....

(SGD.) Ka Parago
1st Pulang Bagani Company
Merardo Arce Command
Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command
New People’s Army