Saturday, May 11, 2013

ANAD: The NPA killed a former NPA amazon in Brgy Malabog, Paquibato District, Davao City

From the anti-communist Alliance  for Nationalism and Democracy Facebook page (May 9): The NPA killed a former NPA amazon in Brgy Malabog, Paquibato District, Davao City

A source identified the victim as Carina Pal, who used to be an active member of the National Alliance for Democracy (NAD) in Davao region.

Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, Commanding Officer of Pulang Bagani Company 1, NPA-Southern Mindanao Regional Command, was alleged to have stabbed dead the victim because of her activities helping NPA members who lied low from the movement.

(Kumander Parago is shown in accompanying photo in one of his clandestine meeting with former Davao City Mayor and now Vice Mayor Rody Duterte somewhere in Paquibato District few years ago.)

Her lifeless body was found with four stab wounds in the forested area of Malabog that served as center village in Paquibato District.

The city government of Davao reportedly employed the victim and assigned her to help those NPA members who decided to return to the fold of the law.

Most of those she assisted were former members of Guerilla Front 51, NPA-SMRC that operates at the foot of Mt. Apo in Davao City, Davao del Sur and North Cotabato Provinces.

The police and the military are investigating the murder.

The victim was a resident of Brgy. Maa, Buhangin District, Davao City.

ANAD Partylist-Mindanao Headquarters is still waiting for more details on the incident.

ANAD: AFP Chief Presents Recovered Firearms from NPAs

From the anti-communist Alliance  for Nationalism and Democracy Facebook page (May 9): AFP Chief Presents Recovered Firearms from NPAs

CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, General Emmanuel T. Bautista presented today the 7 high-powered firearms, explosives, and subversive documents recovered from arrested members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Pagbilao, Quezon.

In a press conference held at the Souther Luzon Command in Camp Nakar, Lucena City, General Bautista along with high-ranking officers from the AFP presented to the media four M-16 rifles; two M-14 rifles; one M203; explosives (grenades), ammunitions, voluminous subversive documents and paraphernalia collaborating to the rebels’ activities in the communist armed movement. These firearms were recovered from three NPA members in a peaceful arrest held Sunday in Pagbilao, Quezon.

Last Sunday, May 5, the combined security forces from the 1st special forces battalion and the Pagbilao Municipal Police office led by Capt. Ferdinand Mopal conducted pursuit operations against armed men reportedly extorting from political candidates and planning to conduct ambush and checkpoint against target individuals.

The group was believed to be under Alexander P. Mendoza alias “Baylon” or “Daniel” of the New People’s Army.

Acting on the information provided by civilian informants, the government security forces met up with the rebels in a house allegedly frequented by suspicious armed individuals belonging to the group of Mendoza who have been threatening political candidates to give in to their permit to campaign and permit to win demands during this election period.

No firefight transpired during the arrest of Elmer Ramilo Brinas, Rommel Ramos Torres, and Rosalie Pundador Castillanes.

One of the arrested individuals, Elmer Ramilo Brinas has a standing warrant of arrest for multiple frustrated murder at Regional Trial Court branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon.

At present, said individuals are under the custody of PNP in Pagbilao, Quezon awaiting final resolution of the fiscal’s office on different criminal charges, violation of revised penal code and COMELEC resolution and eventual commitment to the provincial jail.

They are all in good physical and mental condition after medical examination was conducted upon them. We assure you that they will be accorded with due process of law and their human rights will be respected and observed as well.

The operation was a deliberate operation conducted by joint government security forces based on verified information given by the populace. This is a concrete example of the love and patriotism that our people have for our nation.

The AFP extends its sincere gratitude to the civilians who informed authorities about the presence of armed groups plotting for extortion and terroristic activities. With this, the Leadership calls on our people to continue reporting to government authorities the presence of these armed groups to prevent and put a stop to any NPA roadblock or illegal activities against our people. This is all in line with the AFP’s campaign in achieving lasting peace and stability through the whole-of-nation and multi-stakeholder approach of the IPSP Bayanihan.

ANAD: Joint AFP-PNP Arrest Alleged Six NPA with Fake Military Vehicles

From the anti-communist Alliance  for Nationalism and Democracy Facebook page (May 10): Joint AFP-PNP Arrest Alleged Six NPA with Fake Military Vehicles

Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) captured six alleged New People’s Army (NPA) rebels yesterday, May 10 at around 7:30 pm in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.

Joint elements of the 56th Infantry Battalion and the Bulacan Provincial Police Office (BPPO) arrested the armed rebels at a checkpoint following intelligence reports. The apprehension foiled an attempt by the rebel group to allegedly conduct election fraud while imitating military elements.

According to the report, the six NPA rebels have merged with private armed groups to execute election fraud in the province. Confiscated from them are four firearms; one SUV; and five fake military transports including four trucks and one Humvee.

Waiting for campaign fees, top Samar reb captured

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 11): Waiting for campaign fees, top Samar reb captured
The military recently arrested a ranking commander of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Samar while allegedly waiting for the turnover of the permit-to-campaign (PTC) and permit-to-win (PTW) fees collected from candidates in the province, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday.

The military identified the NPA commander as Renato Abadiano who was said to have held various positions in the communist insurgents’ Samar Provincial Party Committee.

Abadiano was arrested at a safehouse in Barangay Dolores during a joint operation of the Army’s 87th Infantry Battalion 801st Infantry Brigade and the municipal police of San Sebastian town.

“Identified as Renato Abadiano, the NPA leader was reported to be waiting for the arrival of the permit-to-campaign and permit-to-win fees and other extorted items from political candidates seeking elective positions this coming May 13 elections,” the military said.

Seized from Abadiano were a .45-caliber pistol, improvised explosive devices, blasting caps, subversive documents, personal belongings and campaign paraphernalia of NPA- supported election candidates, the military said.

The military said that local residents reported Abadiano’s presence in the area.

Residents also told security forces that Abadiano was responsible for the collection of PTCs and PTWs since the start of the campaign period.

The residents also claimed that it was Abadiano’s group that attacked a construction company in Brgy. Pabanog, Paranas town last April 25 after the owner refused to “give in to the extortion scheme of the rebels,” the military added.

Abadiano’s group supposedly shot the tires and fuel tanks of the heavy equipment owned by the company.

Abadiano reportedly has a standing warrant of arrest for murder with no bail recommended and another warrant for attempted murder with the use of an unlicensed firearm.

Capt. Amado Gutierrez, spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division, credited the locals’ cooperation with the military’s “good rapport with the people, much more so with the local candidates who are no longer willing to support the extortion scheme of the NPAs.”

Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug, the 8th ID commanding general, said the arrest of Abadiano was the third time that Army troops had “thwarted” the extortion activities of the rebels.

“This only shows that since the reports came from the civilians themselves, they are already tired of giving logistical support to the NPAs,” Layug said in a statement.

Layug said the NPAs had resorted to “sheer banditry in harassing and intimidating” Samarnons.

6 NPA guerrillas 'seeking' permits to campaign from candidates arrested in Bulacan

From GMA News (May 11): 6 NPA guerrillas 'seeking' permits to campaign from candidates arrested in Bulacan

Six suspected communist New People's Army rebels were arrested in Bulacan province Saturday morning while allegedly trying to collect money from local candidates in exchange for so-called permits to campaign.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the six yielded materials with information on permits to campaign, radio dzBB's Manny Vargas reported.

Maj. Emmanuel Garcia, AFP deputy public affairs office chief, cited sketchy initial reports indicating the six also yielded assorted firearms when they were intercepted at Doña Remedios Trinidad town.

A separate dzBB report said the vehicle the six was using when intercepted was made to resemble a military truck carrying troops.

In a separate interview on government-run dzRB, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr. said their information showed... "Yung sasakyan pinintahan parang sasakyan ng AFP.

April arrest

Last April 27, 11 members of the NPA were also arrested in Bulacan while allegedly trying to mulct money from politicians in exchange for "permits to campaign."

Saturday's arrest came two days before Filipinos are to troop to polling centers to elect 12 senators and local officials.

In Southern Luzon, on the other hand, Calabarzon regional police detained five men – one of them an incumbent barangay chairman – and seized firearms in raids in Batangas province, radio dzBB's Mao dela Cruz reported Saturday.

In Barangay Quilo-Quilo in Padre Garcia town, police seized from the house of village chairman Felix Tumambing a 9-mm pistol, and ammunition for cal-.45 and 9-mm pistols.

In Barangay Tamak, police seized a cal-.45 pistol, ammunition for a cal-.45 handgun, and six rifle grenades from the house of former village chairman Rene Maala.

Tumambing, Maala and at least three other suspects were taken into custody.

PRWC: Joint statement of the LCC and the Abraham Bannawagan Front on the NPA ambush at Bagumbayan, Tabuk, Kalinga

Posted to the PRWC Blog site (May 10): Joint statement of the LCC and the Abraham Bannawagan Front on the NPA ambush at Bagumbayan, Tabuk, Kalinga

Ka Tipon Gil-ayab, Lejo Cawilan Command, NPA-Kalinga
Ka Raya N.M. Dulag, Abraham Bannawagan Front
May 10, 2013

The LCC, which is the NPA operational command in the whole province, and the Abraham Bannawagan Front express their joyful acknowledgement to the front commanders and red fighters in launching the tactical offensive against enemy troops, riding in a lone army vehicle at Sitio Patiking, Bagumbayan, Tabuk at 9:40am, on May 9, 2013. Two (2) troopers were killed and six (6) others  were wounded; and the NPA unit seized 1 M16 rifle and other logistics. The successful ambush was due to the active support and participation of the ever deepening and expanding mass base in the people’s war.

In his smear propaganda, Col. Roger Salvador, the Commanding Officer of the 501st Infantry Brigade whose HQ is based at Calanan, Tabuk, has the courage to call the NPA as “the enemy of democracy, a contempt of democracy”.  This kind of smear propaganda by the real enemies of the Filipino people is calculated to hide the fact that for so long democracy in the entire country is not “of, from and by the people” but a bourgeois kind that is under the sole control of the big landlords and the big compradors, who have become and are themselves the big bureaucrat capitalists inside the present reactionary US-Aquino regime, which is actually dictated by US imperialism for so long, in order to maintain the Philippines as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society.

The anti-Filipino AFP smear propagandists added that the NPA staged the ambush “to disrupt the on-going preparations” for the coming election day by firing at the AFP soldiers who were sent to escort the distribution of PCOS machines to the municipalities of Kalinga and “to extort millions of pesos from candidates”.  Again this is a deliberate lie to conceal the fact that the reactionary forces of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU are harassing civilians to spread the needed terror among the masses in order for them not to vote for the progressive candidates and party lists on election day.  For the past months, platoons of AFP-PNP-CAFGU units have been going to the barangays throughout the province in order to escort the diehard anti-people candidates and their campaigners in their vote-buying activities and to ascertain that these same anti-people candidates would remain in power under the present landlord-comprador controlled political system.  But whatever smear propaganda the AFP and the present US-Aquino regime is disseminating, the fact remains that the revolutionary people’s government in Kalinga and in other provinces throughout the country has the inherent right to demand revolutionary and access taxes from powerful, rich and anti-people politicians, the landlord-comprador owners of big businesses, as well as from the multi-national firms.

In this connection, we admonish  the  LUBUAGAN  TRIBE to stop accusing the NANENG TRIBE and the masses of Barangay Bagumbayan for the ambush launched by the NPA last May 8.  That ambush was done as part of the NPA tactical offensives in the context of the PEOPLE’S WAR, NOT TRIBAL WAR.  Therefore, no tribe or member of any tribe has the right to make use of the bodong and its pagta to recriminate other tribes or members of another tribe.  All tribes must realize that the people’s enemies – the ruling classes in the country and their fascist forces in the reactionary AFP-PNP-CAFGU – are still using the divide-and-rule tactics in their counter-insurgency operations under OPlan Bayanihan in order to create disunities among the tribes and to let the tribes fight one another.  Their main purpose is, of course, to continue national oppression and the exploitation of the rich ancestral lands of all the tribes.  All tribes must,  therefore, unite to fight their common enemy!

After election, the crisis of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system will again continue as usual.  The rights of the national minorities to self-determination and to their ancestral land and its rich natural resources will continue to be trampled upon by the ruling classes under the leadership of the US-Aquino regime, the present puppet of US imperialism.  And under the public-private partnership program of the present regime, the landlord-comprador and multi-national corporations will again continue their “development” aggression projects in the form of mining, hydro-dam and geothermal plant constructions in Kalinga and in other provinces of the Cordillera.

Surely these anti-people projects will further worsen the vicious oppression and exploitation of the national minorities and tribal communities.  And there is no other genuine and right path to stop this intensifying oppression and exploitation but to pursue the national-democratic revolution through people’s war, continue the work of agrarian revolution, and expand and consolidate further the people’s revolutionary government.  The LCC and the ABF, therefore, urge the youth from the various tribes to join the NPA and all NPA units must continue to organize and consolidate the people’s militia in the barangays.  This we must do in order to launch more tactical offensives in the form of annihilative and attritive actions and for the people’s war to advance towards the strategic stalemate nation-wide.

NPA owns up ambush on SWAT men in Sorsogon

From Rappler (May 11): NPA owns up ambush on SWAT men in Sorsogon

The New People's Army (NPA) claims responsibility over the May 10 ambush on the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team patrolling for the elections in Sorsogon City. At least 3 SWAT men were injured in the incident.

“The ambush was NPA’s way of retaliating the intensified counter-insurgency operations of the military during the election period. The NPA vows more offensives,” said the rebel group in a statement.
The policemen had just finished patrolling Sitio Bato, Bacon District when they were ambushed at 4:45 pm, Friday.
The SWAT men wounded were Chief Inspector Juancho Ibis, PO2 Nelson Dioquino, PO1 Eric Elquiro, and a still unidentified officer, said police regional spokesperson Renato Bataller. Reinforcement troops were sent to the area.
Sorsogon province was identified as an election hot spot in the 2004 and 2007 elections.

Another 3 Marines injured by NPA in Gingoog

From Rappler (May 11): Another 3 Marines injured by NPA in Gingoog

Three members of the Philippine Marines were wounded in a shootout with suspected communist rebels in their stronghold of Gingoog, Misamis Oriental on Saturday, May 11, a military official said.

The soldiers -- accompanied by policemen -- encountered an undetermined number of alleged New People's Army guerrillas around 6.45 am near barangay Lawit, according to Col Leopoldo Galon Jr, chief of the AFP’s 5th Civil Relations Group.

Galon said that a firefight then ensued for about ten minutes and one of the rebels was killed, although that information could not be confirmed as of posting time.

The wounded government troops were immediately brought to the hospital in Gingoog, where only two days ago another Marine was injured in a similar encounter with guerrillas.

The security forces were patrolling the area to clear the path for Commission on Elections inspectors to deliver precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to the area ahead of Monday's mid-term elections.

A total of 3 companies have so far been deployed to strengthen security in Gingoog, after two people died and Mayor Ruthie Guingona was hurt in an NPA ambush on April 20.

National Democratic Front-Mindanao spokesman Jorge Madlos apologized for the incident but claimed that the guerilla fighters fired in self-defense after Guingona’s convoy allegedly rammed the checkpoint manned by the rebels.

NPA collections down to P2.14-M, says PNP

From Rappler (May 11): NPA collections down to P2.14-M, says PNP

As the 2013 midterm election nears, the Philippine National Police (PNP) estimates that the collections of threat group New People's Army (NPA) from permits to campaign (PTC) and permits to win (PTW) have significantly been reduced.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Information Office Deputy Chief Sr. Supt. Noel Baraceros told Rappler on Saturday, May 11, that the PNP attributes this to the early preparations made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and police.

PNP intelligence data showed that the estimated collections made by the NPA from PTC and PTWs have declined to only P2.14 million since January 13. This only represented 7.41% of the estimated 2010 collections of P28.885 million.

Baraceros said the PNP derived the estimates based on three key factors:
  • presence of threat groups like NPA
  • history of violence in an area
  • areas that have intense political rivalry
"Yun pa din, yung pagbabantay natin at yung warning ng AFP, PNP na hindi dapat magbayad," Baraceros said. "Nagsimula tayo as early as May last year (2012) tapos yung joint letter directive, yung coordination ng AFP, PNP and Comelec. From there very intensive yung ginawa nating police operations, yung tinatawag naming checkpoints tapos yung information campaign natin."

Baraceros also said the identification of the election hotspots have contributed to the decline in NPA collections in the mid-term polls. The election watch list areas are the areas that are usual hotspots for election violations.

The 15 hotspot provinces are:
  • Abra
  • Pangasinan
  • Ilocos Sur
  • La Union
  • Cagayan
  • Pampanga
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Masbate
  • Samar
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Maguindanao
  • Lanao del Sur
  • Basilan
As of Friday, May 10, the PNP said there are 880 election watch list areas that represent an average of 53.86% of the total number of towns and cities of the areas.

The PNP also said that as of Friday, there are still 41 active Private Armed Groups (PAGs), down from the initial estimate of 50 in February 2013. These active PAGs have 682 members and are in possession of 2,351 firearms.

Philippines probes shooting death of Taiwanese

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 11): Philippines probes shooting death of Taiwanese

Facing yet another flashpoint over disputes in the West Philippine Sea, the country’s top diplomat said Saturday that the Philippine maritime agencies have initiated an investigation into the “unfortunate” shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman off Batanes, maintaining that the incident occurred during lawful operations within territorial waters.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Saturday that the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are already looking into the incident Thursday, when PCG officers fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat in an apparent effort to defend themselves.

Taiwanese Hung Shih-chen, 65, was killed in the incident, raising a howl in Taiwan and strong demands for an investigation, apology and compensation.

In a statement on Saturday, Del Rosario said results of the investigation will soon be released. Notably, he referred to the shooting as an “unfortunate” incident that ensued amid legitimate anti-poaching operations of Philippine maritime agencies.

“The PCG and BFAR are now investigating the incident which resulted in the unfortunate loss of life of a Taiwanese fisherman during the routine lawful enforcement activities against poaching in Philippine waters,” said Del Rosario in a brief statement sent via text message.

“The result of the investigation will be made available in due course,” he added.

Asked whether Manila has already reached out to Taipei over the incident, Del Rosario said the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) “is in communication with the government of Taiwan.” MECO is the Philippines’ representative office in Taiwan.

The PCG had said its personnel only acted in self-defense in shooting at Taiwanese fishing vessel Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, which at the time was sailing some 80 kilometers off the Balintang Channel near Batanes.

The vessel, then carrying three Taiwanese and one Indonesian as crew, allegedly tried to ram the Philippine patrol boat.

The Taiwanese side meanwhile alleged that the ship “came under attack” and that Philippine officers opened fire without any warning.

The incident happened amid still unresolved disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), potentially resource-rich waters contested by the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia.

Now the subject of a Philippine plea before the United Nations arbitral tribunal, China was quick to criticize the incident, calling it a “barbaric” act.

China recently sent a 30-vessel fishing fleet into the West Philippine Sea, a move seen to assert its claims over almost all of the West Philippine Sea amid the Philippines’ move to halt its string of incursions into established maritime boundaries.

Taiwan threatens sanctions over Philippines shooting

From the Philippine Daily  Inquirer (May 11): Taiwan threatens sanctions over Philippines shooting

Relatives of Hung Shih-cheng, a crew member of Taiwan’s fishing boat “Guang Ta Hsin 28″ react next to his body bag (centre L) at Liuqiu harbor, southern Pingtung county early on May 11, 2013 after the Philippine coastguard fired at his fishing boat the day before in an incident that authorities in Taipei said left Hung Shih-cheng dead. The Philippines admitted on May 10 that its coastguard fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat in an incident that authorities in Taipei said left a crewman dead and triggered widespread outrage on the island. AFP Photo

President Ma Ying-jeou said Saturday Taiwan would consider sanctions against the Philippines amid widespread public outrage at Manila over the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman.

“We will definitely seek justice for our fisherman. We will not rule out the possibility of taking any kind of sanctions” against the Philippines, Ma said while inspecting a coast guard drill in central Taiwan.

“The Philippines shot an unarmed fishing boat. This is very brutal and cold-blooded,” he said, reiterating Taipei’s demand for Manila to apologize, apprehend the killer and compensate.

Some Taiwanese lawmakers urged the government to freeze the hiring of Filipino workers to protest after the Philippines admitted its coast guard had fired at a Taiwanese fishing boat.

Taiwanese authorities said 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng was killed during the incident, which also left the boat riddled with more than 50 bullet holes.

Ma’s government has come under pressure from the opposition and the media to take action, with the Philippines refusing to apologize and saying the coast guard was tackling illegal fishing.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said the incident took place in Philippine waters and the Filipino personnel had been properly carrying out their duties to stop illegal fishing.

“If somebody died, they deserve our sympathy but not an apology,” Balilo told reporters.

Hung’s son has insisted that the boat did not cross into Philippine waters.

The Taipei-based China Times called the incident a “criminal case” and demanded Manila shoulder the full responsibility.

“The Philippines’ uncivilized action apparently violated maritime convention, the Taiwan government must take strong counter moves to defend our fishermen’s rights and prevent similar tragedy,” it said in an editorial.

The Apple Daily newspaper called the shooting “an act of brigands” and said Taiwanese people “angrily demand the blood debt be paid”.

Some Taiwanese Internet users allegedly attacked and temporarily paralzed several Philippine government websites Friday night, according to Apple Daily.

The incident comes at a time of heightened tensions around the region over rival claims to the nearby West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims to parts of the sea.

SPECIAL REPORT: The ruling clans of Mindanao: same families in 50 years, 25 years

From MindaNews (May 11): SPECIAL REPORT: The ruling clans of Mindanao: same families in 50 years, 25 years

The Dimaporos of Lanao del Norte and the Plazas of Agusan del Sur are  the longest-surviving political clans in Mindanao, having ruled their areas for at least half a century, interrupted only briefly when the People Power revolt ousted the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, replaced local chief executives with OICs (officers–in-charge) and elected a new set of officials in 1988.

Although it took them six years to reclaim the gubernatorial post after their ouster in 1986, it took them only a year to be back in power: in the first post-Marcos election for the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1987,  the patriarchs — Mohammad Ali Dimaporo and Democrito O. Plaza  –  who had previously served for three decades as  governor and congressman —  were elected representative of their respective districts, along with Dimaporo’s son, Abdullah.

Ali represented the second district of Lanao del Sur,  Abdullah the second district of Lanao del Norte and Plaza the lone district of Agusan del Sur.

By 1992, the clans were back at the top. Plaza and Dimaporo’s son, Abdullah, were elected governor. Ali remained in Congress.

In the post-Marcos era, clan members have been holding on to the governor’s seat in the last 21 years (seven terms) and the congressional seat in 17 years (five terms) either by succession or by swapping posts. ( See MindaNews Tables 1 and 2 below)
Abdullah served as governor from 1992 to 1998, his wife Imelda from 1998 to 2007 and their son Mohammad Khalid since 2007. Khalid is seeking a third term
Except for the period 1992 to 2001, the Dimaporos have also been representing the 2nd congressional district since Congress reopened in 1987:  Abdullah from 1987 to 1992 and 2001 to 2010, his daughter Fatima Aliah from 2010 to 2013. This year, Abdullah is returning to the post his daughter is vacating while his wife Imelda, who was elected 1st district representative in 2010, is seeking reelection.

In Agusan del Sur, the Plaza patriarch ran for governor in 1992 and was reelected in 1995 but died the same year. Vice Governor Alex Bascug took over but in the 1998 elections, Plaza’s widow, Valentina, who was governor from 1980 to 1986,  made a comeback. She retired from politics in 2001, the same year her son Adolph Edward won the seat she vacated.

Adolph Edward was reelected in 2004 but while he was expected to run for a third term, his sister, Ma. Valentina ran instead. He returned to the gubernatorial post in 2010 and is now seeking reelection.

After the 1987-1992 stint of the Plaza patriarch in Congress, the Plazas returned to Congress in 2001 and have stayed on. Adolph Edward’s brother, Rodolfo served from 2001 to 2010. In 2010,Rodolfo, who ran for Senator but lost, was succeeded by sister. Ma. Valentina while another sister, Evelyn Plaza-Mellana represented the newly-created second district.
Adoph, Ma. Valentina and Evelyn are all running for reelection. Evelyn will be pitted against her brother Rodolfo. Another brother, Victor, is running for vice governor against Adolph’s running mate.

Another Plaza son, Democrito II, served as mayor of Butuan City in Agusan del Norte for five terms from 1992 to 2007, except for 2001 to 2004 when his wife Leonides Theresa was mayor.  Democrito II passed away on October 29, 2010.


When Corazon Aquino took over as President in February 1986, among the first things she did was to appoint OICs nationwide to replace local chief executives elected in 1980.

In Lanao del Norte, OIC Francisco Abalos was eventually elected governor in 1988.  Lanao del Sur had two OICs: Saidamen Pangarungan from 1986 to 1987 and Princess Tarhata Alonto-Lucman from 1987 to 1988. Pangarungan was elected governor in 1988.

The Dimaporo patriarch, who was ousted as Lanao del Sur governor in 1986, began his political career as representative of the undivided Lanao from 1950 to 1953, sought reelection but lost to Domocao Alonto. He won his electoral protest on May 25, 1957, with only a few months remaining of his supposed term.

When RA 2228 divided Lanao into del Norte and del Sur on July 4, 1959, Salvador Lluch was first appointed as governor. In January 1960, Dimaporo was named governor.

When he ran and won a seat representing the lone district of Lanao del Norte in 1965, Vice Governor Arsenio Quibranza, a political foe whose daughter Imelda would later marry his son, Abdullah, took over as governor. In the 1967, 1971 and 1980 elections, Quibranza was elected governor while Dimaporo served as congressman from 1966 to 1972.

When martial law was declared in 1972, the Dimaporo patriarch was appointed by then President Ferdinand Marcos as governor of Lanao del Sur and President of the Mindanao State University.

In 1980, the last local elections before People Power ousted Marcos in 1986,  Quibranza was elected governor of Lanao del Norte, Dimaporo as governor of Lanao del Sur.

In December 1989, Dimaporo resigned from his congressional post to run for governor of the soon to be inaugurated Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The House of Representatives’ website says Abdullah resigned to run for ARMM governor but it was actually the patriarch who ran but lost to Zacaria Candao of Maguindanao.

In 1992, he was reelected to Congress while his son Abdullah won the gubernatorial post of Lanao del Norte.

Dimaporo retired from politics in 1995. He died in 2004 at the age of 95.

In Agusan del Sur, the patriarch, Democrito O. Plaza, a logging magnate, was  governor of the undivided Agusan province in 1964 until its division into Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte in 1967. He represented the lone congressional district of Agusan del Sur in Congress from 1969 to 1972, in the martial law-era Batasang Pambansa from 1984 to 1986 and the post-Marcos Congress from 1987 to 1992.
He was serving his second term as governor in 1995 when he passed away. He was 74.

18, 15 years

Second to the Dimaporos and the Plazas, the Amantes of Agusan del Norte have held on to the gubernatorial post in the last 18 years, from 1995.

Governor Erlpe John Amante and sister Ma. Angelica Rosedell, are swapping posts this year. The governor, who is completing his third term by June 30, is running for representative while his sister, three-term Rep. Ma. Angelica Rosedell, is returning as governor.

Ms Amante was governor from 1995 to 2004. Her brother succeeded her from 2004 to 2013.

The siblings are certain of victory next week. Both are running unopposed.

The Amantes have also been representing the 2nd congressional district for 20 years since 1987 (except for the period 1995 to 2001).

Their father, Edelmiro Amante, who passed away on March 10, served from 1987 to 1995, interrupted by a brief stint as Executive Secretary under then President Fidel Ramos. He returned to the post from 2001 to 2004, was succeeded by Ma. Angelica Rosedell from 2004 to 2007, the patriarch again from 2007 to 2010 and the daughter again from 2010 to 2013.

The other clans serving at least 15 years as governor are the Akbars of Basilan, the Romualdos of Camiguin, the Mangudadatus of Sultan Kudarat and the Pimentels of Surigao del Sur.

Wahab Akbar served as governor of Basilan from 1998 to 2007, followed by his wife, Jum. Akbar was elected lone district representative to Congress in 2007 but was killed in an explosion in the Batasang Pambansa compound on November 13 that year.

While Akbar’s wife, Jum, ran for governor in 2007, his other wife, Cherrylyn Santos, ran for mayor of Isabela City. Both widows are seeking a third term.

Fathers, sons, brothers

In Camiguin, the patriarch Pedro Romualdo served as lone district representative from 1987 to 1998 before moving on to become governor from 1998 to 2007. His son Jurdin Jesus took over in 2007 and is now seeking a third term.

In Sultan Kudarat province, the patriarch, Datu Pax Mangudadatu served as governor from 1998 to 2007. His son Suharto, who represented the then lone district of Sultan Kudarat from 2004 to 2007, was elected governor in 2007 and is now seeking a third term.

The patriarch set up residence in Buluan, Maguindanao two years ago in preparation for his running for governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Sultan Kudarat province is not part of ARMM), The ARMM election was supposed to be held in August 2011 but was synchronized with the May 13 mid-term polls.

Datu Pax is running against OIC ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari, ARMM governor from 1996 to 2001.
Datu Pax’ nephew, Esmael Mangudadatu, is seeking reelection as governor of Maguindanao.

In Surigao del Sur, Vicente Pimentel served as governor from 1998 to 2007 and from 2007, his brother, Johnny. Another brother, Alexander, has been mayor of Tandag City since 2007. Vicente is running unopposed as mayor of Carrascal town.

The Pimentels’ mother was a former governor.

Representatives for 26 years

At the House of Representatives, five families have been representing their districts without interruption since 1987 or a total of 26 years: the Zubiris of the 3rd district of Bukidnon, the Romualdos of the lone district of Camiguin, the del Rosario-Floirendo clan of the 3rd and later 2nd district of Davao del Norte, the Bautistas of the 2nd district of Davao del Sur, and the Almarios of the 2nd district of Davao Oriental.

The same families are running for either the same posts or another post for yet another three-year hold on power, from 2013 to 2016.

In Bukidnon, the patriarch, Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr., incumbent Vice Governor, is running again for Governor, a post he held from 2001 to 2010.

Before that, he served as representative of the 3rd district from 1987 to 1998. His son Juan Miguel took over until 2007 and another son,  Jose Ma. IIII,  is now running for a third term. Juan Miguel was proclaimed Senator in 2007 but hounded by charges of having cheated to win, resigned in August 2011, his seat taken over by Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, who filed the electoral protest.

In Camiguin, Pedro Romualdo, the patriarch, had been swapping positions with his son Jurdin Jesus since 1987: Pedro as representative of the lone district from 1987 to 1998, Jurdin Jesus from 1998 to 2007 and back to Pedro from 2007 until his death last April 24.

Pedro was seeking reelection when he passed away. His grandson, Xavier Jesus, son of the incumbent governor, Jurdin Jesus, was chosen as the substitute candidate.

Another Romuldo son, Noordin Efigenio, served as  mayor of the capital town of Mambajao  from 2001 to 2007. He ran for Congress against his father in 2007 but lost, His mother, Araceli was elected mayor of Mambajao. In 2010, she was succeeded by Ma. Luisa, wife of Jurdin Jesus, the governor.

The youngest Romualdo son, Rodin, is a barangay chair and heads the provincial federation.

In Davao del Norte, the third and later the second district (when the third district was made part of the the new province of Compostela Valley), has known no other representative but the Del Rosario-Floirendo clan.

Rodolfo del Rosario, brother in law of the late kingmaker, Don Antonio Floiendo, Sr., was representative from 1987 to 1998. Before this, he was assemblyman at the Regular Batasang Pambansa in 1984-1986 (Marcos named him Environment Minister as well).
Del Rosario was elected governor from 1998 to 2004, returned in 2007 and is running unopposed for a third term.

His nephew, Antonio Floirendo, Jr. took over from 1998 to 2007 and another nephew Antonio Floirendo Lagdameo, Jr., is now running for a third term.

The second district of Davao del Sur, on the other hand, has known no other representative but the Bautistas.

Benjamin Bautista, Sr., was representative from 1987 to 1998, followed by his sons Franklin and Claude who had been trading posts – between the congressional post and the mayoralty of Malita town. Franklin is now running for a third term.

In the second district of Davao Oriental, Thelma Zosa Almario and  son Joel have been switching posts since 1987, the mother serving the congressional district from 1987 to 1998, the son from 1998 to 2007, the mother again from 2007.

Thelma is running for a third term, unopposed, while Joel, also unopposed, is assured of another term as vice governor.

In Davao City, the second congressional district has been represented by the Garcias for a total of 29 years from 1978, with a respite from 1986 to 1992.

The patriarch, Manuel Garcia, was assemblyman of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984 and the Regular Batasang Pambansa from 1984 to 1996. He returned to Congress in 1992 and served until 2001, succeeded by his son Vincent from 2001 to 2010 and daughter Mylene Garcia-Albano who is now running for a third term.

In the cities

Among Mindanao’s 33 city mayors, Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City tops as the longest-staying. Duterte, OIC vice mayor from 1986 to 1988, was elected mayor for six terms since 1988, interrupted only when the three-term rule barred him from running in 1998 and in 2010.  (See MindaNews Table 3 below)

Duterte, whose father Vicente served as governor of the undivided Davao for 12 years, was mayor from 1988 to 1998, first district representative from 1998 to 2001, mayor again from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor from 2010 to 2013 and running unopposed, is certain of a seventh term as mayor by June 30.

Within a quarter of a century since the People Power revolt, Davao City has been ruled by the Dutertes, except on term — 1998 to 2001 — when Duterte’s vice mayor, Benjamin de Guzman, was elected mayor.

When Duterte was barred from running for mayor in 2010, his daughter Sara, then his vice mayor, was elected mayor.

Sara is not running for an elective post but her brother Paolo, a councilor, will be vice mayor by June 30. Like the Duerte patriarch, Paolo is running unopposed.

In Tangub City, Philip Tan and his wife, Jennifer have been trading posts since 1995, Philip from 1992 to 2001 and Jennifer from 2001 to 2007. Philip returned as mayor in 2007 and is seeking a third term.

Since 1998, the cities of Zamboanga, Island Garden City of Samal and Dipolog have known no other mayor but the Lobregats, the Antalans and the Uys.

In Zamboanga City, Ma. Clara Lobregat completed three terms at the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1998 and moved over to the city as mayor from 1998 until her death on January 2, 2004. Her son, Celso, who took over her congressional seat, was elected mayor in 2004 and is ending his third term by June 30.

Celso and younger brother Jomar are running for the city’s congressional districts – Celso in the first and Jomar in the second.

In Samal City, brothers Rogelio and Aniano have been mayor since the city’s creation in 1998 – Rogelio from 1998 to  2007, followed by Aniano who is eyeing a third term.

In Dipolog City, Roberto Uy served as mayor from 1998 to 2007 followed by his wife, Evelyn, who is now seeking a third term.

In Dapitan, Koronadal, Ozamiz, and Tacurong, the same families have been governing these cities in the last 12 years: the Jalosjos clan in Dapitan, the Miguels in Koronadal, the Parojinogs in Ozamiz and the Montillas of Tacurong.

MindaNews Table 1: Mindanao Governors 1988-2013
MindaNews Table 2: Mindanao Representatives 1987-2013
MindaNews Table 3: Mindanao City Mayors 1988-2013

Bukidnon municipal chief shot at NPA rebel checkpoint

From the Manila Times (May 11): Bukidnon municipal chief shot at NPA rebel checkpoint

Gunmen shot and wounded a Bukidnon town mayor early Saturday, reports said.

It said the vehicle of Mayor Joelito Jacosalem Talaid, of Bukidnon’s Kadingilan town, was flagged down by gunmen at a checkpoint in the village of Kibogtok. But it was unclear why gunmen shot the politician or whether he had put up a fight.

Other reports said two the mayor’s bodyguards were reportedly killed by the gunmen, who also carted some P7 million from Talaid’s vehicle.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the shootings, but communist rebels are actively operating in the province and had previously warned politicians against campaigning in so-called guerrilla zones.

Ceasefire paves way to peace breakthrough

From the Manila Bulletin (May 10): Ceasefire paves way to peace breakthrough

Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel Chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer disclosed that the strong commitment of the GPH and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to forge a peace agreement and uphold a ceasefire has enabled both parties to achieve breakthroughs in its 16-year negotiations.

In her speech delivered before members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) that was held at a hotel in Makati City, Coronel said that the GPH-MILF ceasefire, which has long been in place, provided a good environment to talk peace, build confidence and trust, lessen incidents of violations of human rights or international humanitarian law, and allow some normalcy in the life of the people in the affected communities.

Coronel-Ferrer, at the same time, also underscored that communities on the ground have benefited from the GPH-MILF ceasefire mechanism, such as the Joint Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (JCCCH), and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG).

“These are not mere rhetorical claims. The benefits to the people and the process have been solid and manifest,” she said, stressing the ceasefire mechanism’s constructive roles like delivery of socio-economic benefits; addressing cases of alleged violations filed to the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Post (JCMPs) in Sultan Kudarat; and continuing cooperation in addressing criminality.

Coronel-Ferrer also emphasized that the progress in the GPH-MILF peace talks is largely attributed to the government and MILF’s upholding of the primacy to the peace process.

“It is a mutual decision that both are seriously upholding. Both have heavily invested in it and correspondingly are committed to the peace negotiations’ successful completion and implementation,” she said.

“The MILF is just as committed as the government to be able to complete this process. As the MILF panel also says ‘Failure is not an option.” She maintained that “at the end of the day we both are committed to find good compromises and we need to finish the annexes,” she said.

Coronel-Ferrer also  underscored how different the MILF is from CPP/NPA/NDF.
“There are important features that have served the GPH-MILF Talks well, the absence of which in the GPH-CNN table has hobbled, maybe even asphyxiated, that process,” she said.

On the peace talks with communist group, she cited the lack of ceasefire as “the CPP/NPA/NDF has not moved away from its people’s war strategy where the armed struggle is given primacy” and hence the group’s lack of commitment to primacy of the peace process.

Further, in the conduct of elections in the country, she lauded MILF’s cooperation for peaceful elections to safeguard the peace process. The GPH and the MILF recently signed “the Guidelines for Mutual Understanding for Ceasefire-Related Functions during the May 13, 2013 National and Local Elections” which will take effect from April 22 to May 20, 2013.

 “Our negotiating partner, the MILF, does not exploit the electoral exercise as a means to coerce funds or disrupt government processes. The election is not made an extension of its ‘people’s war’,” she said.

NPA releases military, police captives in ComVal

From the pro-CPP Davao Today (May 11): NPA releases military, police captives in ComVal

( file photo by Ace R. Morandante)

COMPOSTELA VALLEY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) has simultaneously released its Prisoner of wars (POWs) Senior Police Officer 2 Allan Mariquit Pansoy and 71st Infantry Battalion’s Pfc. Jesus Tomas in two separate areas in this province, Saturday afternoon.

Two days ago, the National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao has ordered their release “in response to the humanitarian appeal by the prisoners’ families, representatives from local government units, and peace advocates.”

Pansoy, armed escort of Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy, was arrested in a checkpoint mounted by the NPA Guerilla Front 2 last April 28 in Sitio Malamudaw, Maco town.  He was turned over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, local government officials and peace advocacy group Sowing the Seeds of Peace in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Tomas was accosted last April 24 in Elizalde village, also in Maco town.  He was turned over to Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who arrived via his private chopper.

The NDF said the arrest of Pansoy “reflected the NPA’s consistent compliance to the people’s defense guidelines banning armed politicians and campaigners in revolutionary territories,” while the arrest of Tomas “demonstrated the NPA’s commitment in exacting revolutionary justice against a fascist AFP unit responsible for killing and wounding of children under the pretext of “legitimate encounter” with the NPA.”

GPH-MILF body for Sajahatra Bangsamoro OKs guidelines

From the Business World (May 10): GPH-MILF body for Sajahatra Bangsamoro OKs guidelines

A joint committee of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has agreed on the implementing guidelines of the social welfare package aimed at uplifting health, education and livelihood conditions of Moro communities.
The joint committee met for the first time on Thursday, Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene D. Almendras said in a statement, as part of a commitment forged under the Framework Agreement between the government and the MILF.
“We are excited, happy that this joint panel is now in place,” Mr. Almendras said.

Under Administrative Order (AO) 37 signed on Feb. 13, the Task Force Bangsamoro Development is responsible for continuing the “Sajahatra Bangsamoro” that was launched in January in Sultan Kudarat, near the main camp of MILF.
Sajahatra, which means peace, blessing and prosperity, was a social welfare package that included scholarship programs, cash-for-work project and upgrading of health facilities in the community. The launch was attended by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III himself to show the government’s seriousness in its commitment to end the decades-long conflict in Mindanao.

The coordinating committee agreed on program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, communications, security, and confidentiality arrangements as well as provincial launches of Sajahatra that will begin in June.

The government Task Force on Bangsamoro Development is led by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), among others.

The MILF has been working with the government in identifying areas for intervention, Mr. Almendras said.

“We are here to work together to deliver much needed basic services that our brothers and sisters need,” he added. “This is only the beginning. I know there will be challenges and obstacles.”

Sajahatra was launched as part of the commitment under the Framework Agreement signed in October last year. Among others, it aims to create the Bangsamoro political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The comprehensive peace pact, however, has yet to be signed by both parties after sorting of details -- the annexes of the Framework Agreement -- took longer than expected.