Friday, July 19, 2013

Rebels smuggling high-powered weapons in ships transporting ore

From Gulf News (Jul 20): Rebels smuggling high-powered weapons in ships transporting ore

The communist insurgent New Peoples Army (NPA) have received large quantities of AK-47 type assault rifles

Ships used in transporting mineral ore are being used to smuggle into the country weapons used by communist rebels a report said.

According to a report published by the Philippines-based Security Matters Magazine, the communist insurgent New Peoples Army (NPA) have received large quantities of AK-47 type assault rifles from abroad.

“Reports indicate that NPA fighters in Northern and Southern Mindanao are now armed with AK-47 rifles,” the publication said in its latest issue.

Originally manufactured in Russia and former Soviet bloc countries, variants of the weapons were produced in Asia by China, Vietnam and Cambodia. In comparison, Philippine armed forces standard issue long firearms are largely US made or manufactured locally under licence from foreign principals.

According to the Security Matters report, the AK-47s, or its copies, have clandestinely been offloaded by foreign ships loading ore from the mines in southern Philippines’ Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Some of the firearms have ended up in the hands of rebels in Davao Region and Bukidnon province.

For years, the NPA had made do with sourcing its firearms locally.

Concerns about the large numbers of smuggled AK-47s entering the country resulted from military reports said a number of these type of weapons have been seized from rebels following recent encounters in Mindanao.

Previously, the rebels have been able to obtain weapons by raiding government armouries or through the local weapons black market.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III said that an investigation is being carried out as to how these weapons ended up in the hands of the NPAs.

Some of the AK-47s are reportedly “new” and have defaced serial numbers leaving authorities with very little clues as to its country of origin.

Although there are a number of AK-47s in the country, particularly in Mindanao, most of them are in the hands of combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Most of these rebel weapons, which date back to the 1970s during the Moro conflict, are already unserviceable.

According to the military, the communist rebels are limiting the use of the AK-47 due to lack of ammunition. Unlike its American or Western-manufactured counterparts, the AK-47 round is difficult to come by in the Philippines.

Some of the more modern versions of the AK-47s have also ended up in the hands of certain government officials. The bodyguard of Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas was caught possessing one following a traffic incident in 2011.

Llamas, who was out of the country when the incident took place in October 7, 2011, reasoned that the weapon was licenced and that he needed it for protection.

3 military generals given new posts

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): 3 military generals given new posts

Three military generals have been given new posts in the latest round of leadership change in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Brig. Gen. Rodelio Santos, the former commander of the Maguindanao-based 603rd Infantry Brigade, has been named the Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

As the military’s operations chief, Santos will oversee the implementation of the internal peace and security plan.

“Given the experience of Brig. Gen. Santos in his duty in the field, we are very confident that he can deliver what is expected of him in bringing his new office to greater heights,” Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal said in a statement.

Santos succeeded Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, who has assumed as the new chief of the Capiz-based 3rd Infantry Division. Baladad succeeded Brig. Gen. Jonas Sumagaysay who led the unit in an acing capacity following the retirement of Jose Mabanta.

The 3rd Infantry Division’s area of responsibility covers Panay and Negros, where the New People’s Army (NPA) has a strong presence.

Baladad was among the military officers who were accused of torture and robbery by the so-called Morong 43, a group of suspected communist rebels who claimed to be rural health workers.

Baladad has belied the accusations and has expressed readiness to face the charges against him.

In an earlier interview, Baladad vowed to continue the military’s peace and development efforts in Panay and Negros.

“If there is no security, there is not much development. Our approach will be to bring our troops in the area so it can be peaceful and for now, our concentration is Negros Oriental,” he said.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Hernando Iriberri, the former senior military adviser of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, yesterday assumed as chief of the 7th Infantry Division in Nueva Ecija.

Iriberri succeeded Maj. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, who is now the chief of the Northern Luzon Command.

Prior to his designation as 7th division chief, Iriberri was commander of the 503rd Infantry Brigade based in Abra.

Joint Operatives Capture 2 Suspected NPAs, Heavy Firearms

From the Citizens' Anti-Crime and Terrorism Information and Operation Network (Jul 16): Joint Operatives Capture 2 Suspected NPAs, Heavy Firearms
1Lt Cherryl P Tindog PN (M)
Chief, Public Affairs Office
Hqs, Western Command, AFP
Camp General Artemio Ricarte, Puerto Princesa City -- Acting on reports from the civilian community, the Western Command conducted joint operations at sea on early morning of Sunday (July 14) to intercept armed regular NPA members. They were pursued up to Sitio Naonao, Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan. The armed men scampered and escaped from the pursuing Navy commandos.

This joint operation is conducted to serve the warrant of arrest of a certain CNN Leader Dionisio Almontr alyas Inol/Maeng and resulted to 2 suspected NPA members apprehended and investigated by the Provincial Police elements. Operating fleet-marine troops recovered a large arms cache: 8 of which are shotguns, 1 cal 50 Heavy Machine Guns, 2 Ingram (9mm), 1 9mm M-16 type rifle, 1 cal .45 and 1 cal .50 improvised sniper rifle. Also recovered were ammunitions of different calibers, rigged IEDs in 2 container drums,combat boots and the boat left by the fleeing armed men.

Recovered firearms and apprehended personalities were ferried aboard Navy vessel PS 74 that arrived in Puerto Princesa City this morning. They have been turned over to the Provincial Police Office for proper disposition after a medical check-up to the 2 apprehended personalities was completed.

Most significant in this joint operation is the recovery of 6 shotguns that were positively identified to be the same shotguns that the armed NPA regulars took when they raided Salvamar Pearl Farm in April this year. On the otherhand, the recovered IEDs give credence to our earlier reports of threats of sabotage by the NPA to several establishments which they are extorting.

The success of this operation is attributed to the very good information that the civilian community has been giving the authorities, which only shows that the people of Palawan are cooperating to put an end to the activities of communist terrorists in the province. (PAO, WESCOM, AFP)See More
— with Jun Alcoversecondacct.

AFP Thwarts NPA Extortion in Albay; 2 Rebels Killed, Firearms Recovered in Encounter

From the Citizens' Anti-Crime and Terrorism Information and Operation Network (Jul 16):  AFP Thwarts NPA Extortion in Albay; 2 Rebels Killed, Firearms Recovered in Encounter


CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Responding to reports from concerned civilians, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops launched security operations against New People’s Army (NPA) rebels conducting extortion activities in Albay, Bicol, today.

... About 6:45 this morning, Army troopers of Bravo Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion led by 1Lt. Roger Vilano clashed with more or less six NPAs in Brgy. Badbad, Oas, Albay. Lt. Col. Andrew D. Costelo, Battalion Commander said "our troops were on security patrol when we received a report from a concerned citizen that NPA members were sighted on the area conducting extortion activities.”

“The troops immediately proceeded to verify the report and secure the civilians when the NPAs open fired at them,” Costelo added.

Firefight lasted for five minutes which resulted to the death of two NPA members known only as alias Dennis, team leader of the rebels and alias Peter. The encounter also resulted to the recovery of two M16 rifles, bandoleers, and personal belongings. The enemy withdrew heading towards Brgy. Mayag and Matara, both of Oas, Albay.

A company from the 2IB proceeded in the area to closely supervise the incident. No casualty from the AFP troops was reported while civilians were successfully kept safe and unharmed.

The Philippine National Police – Scene of the Crime Operatives already coordinated with the Army’s 2IB for the conduct of investigation and documentation.

"We want to settle this in a peaceful manner however, the Army is mandated to safeguard the peace and protect the people from internal threat groups. We are reaching out to them to abandon the armed struggle and return to the mainstream of society and live a normal life like many of their comrades did. The AFP is sincere and the government will accept and help them," said Col Raul Farnacio, 901st Brigade Commander. (PR, PAO-AFP)

— with Jun Alcoversecondacct.

Photo: Exercise "Pagsasama" 2013 Kicks Off

From the Daily  Zamboanga Times (Jul 19): Photo: Exercise "Pagsasama" 2013 Kicks Off


Gunman opens fire on soldiers in Zamboanga

From ABS-CBN (Jul 19): Gunman opens fire on soldiers in Zamboanga

An unidentified man opened fire on soldiers in Barangay Campo Islam, Zamboanga City early morning on Friday.

The strafing occurred at around 2:30 a.m.

Government troops took cover and did not return fire since civilians were in the area.
The gunman was able to escape towards lower Calarian.

Recovered from the crime scene were 11 empty shells from a 9-millimeter firearm.

Who are the poor in Philippines?

From ABS-CBN (Jul 19): Who are the poor in Philippines

These are infographics on the latest poverty situation in the Philippines sourced from the first semester 2012 poverty statistics of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) and merged 2009 Family Income and Expenditure Survey and Labor Force Survey (FIES-LFS). --- Communications and Public Relations Committee, National Anti-Poverty Commission

Sabah court sets September trial dates for 30 Kiram followers

From GMA News (Jul 20): Sabah court sets September trial dates for 30 Kiram followers

A Sabah court on Monday set September 17 to 27 as the trial dates for at least 30 followers and sympathizers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III for clashes with Malaysian forces in Lahad Datu earlier this year.

The high court in Kota Kinabalu is handling the case against 27 Filipinos and three Malaysians who had been charged with terrorism and waging war against the King, Malaysia's Bernama news agency reported.

The Filipinos were charged with waging war against the King, an offense punishable by death upon conviction; and terrorism, which is punishable by life imprisonment.

On the other hand, one of the three Malaysians is a woman who faces charges of harboring terrorists. She may face life imprisonment if convicted.

The two Malaysian men were charged with being members of a terrorist group and with treason against the King.

Justice P. Ravinthran said the court would sit at the General Operations Force Center in Kinarut, in anticipation of the large number of people to be tried.

He also said the time frame for the trial was sufficient, noting the prosecution would present at least 50 witnesses.

The Bernama report also said Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail told the court the Filipinos wrote to the office of the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak, asking them to revoke the appointment of their lawyers by the Kota Kinabalu High Court.

He said they had requested that their counsel be appointed by the Philippine government.

However, Ravinthran said he would decide on the matter after reading the letter.

MILF: Business Forum on GPH-MILF Peace Process held in Gensan

From the MILF Website (Jul 19): Business Forum on GPH-MILF Peace Process held in Gensan


The Mindanao Business Council (MBC) hosted the “Business for Peace: A Business Forum on the GPH-MILF Peace Process” in Green Leaf Hotel in General Santos City on March 15, 2013.
The activity was attended by businessmen and business support organizations from Socsargen Area.

The audience were oriented on the progress of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Dr. Francisco Lara, Country Director of International Alert, narrated the highlights of the GPH-MILF peace process.

He discussed the prospects of the peace negotiations and how the business sector can participate.

Lara suggested that Mindanao businessmen should also deploy its forces to engage in the consultations of Bangsamoro Transition Commission so that insights of the business sector will be considered in support to the crafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

He said that the recent signing on the annexes on wealth-sharing is a good development of the peace process. “The government have leaned back in quest for peace,” he pointed out.

Raul Miguel, Member of the Board of Directors of General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GSCCII) expressed his support to the peace process. He considers the annexes of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro more important.

Rolando Torres, Executive Director of MBC, noted the positive response and the willingness of the business sector to participate in the peace process.

“Insights from the businessmen are important in guiding the Mindanao business sector’s collective and cohesive perspective on the peace process,” Raymond Salangsang, GSCCII President said.

Engr. Fatima B. Suib, Chairperson of Muslim Business Forum, said the activity provided an avenue to listen and discuss the legitimate concerns and recommendations for strategic peace advocacies and intervention where the private sector can be of help.

The audience also learned the progress of the Business Mapping: Sustaining the Engagement of the Mindanao Business Sector in the Peace Process, a project with the technical guidance of International Alert and supported by Australian Aid for International Development (AusAid) and The Asia Foundation.

MILF: Sajahatra Bangsamoro holds seminar workshop for recipient private madaris

From the MILF Website (Jul 20): Sajahatra Bangsamoro holds seminar workshop for recipient private madaris

A one-day seminar workshop and orientation for school heads and finance officers of recipient private madaris under Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program was held at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) Training Hall at Crossing Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last July 4, 2013.
The activity was facilitated by the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) comprised of two main implementing bodies such as MILF Task Force Sajahatra and GPH Task Force Bangsamoro Development. The two implementing bodies are tasked to undertake programs and activities under the Term of Reference (TOR for Sajahatra  Bangsamoro.

Coming up with a feasibility study on Madrasah Investment Plan was one of the workshop activities undertaken by the participants who were able to draw up a budget proposal out of the apportioned funds intended for Madaris Program.

Seventy (70) Madaris Schools’ heads from Bangsamoro communities in Mindanao participated in the seminar. Officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) joined the JCC in facilitating the activity and provided technical expertise in the conduct of the seminar.

MILF Peace Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal gave a brief message and thanked the facilitators and the DepEd Officials for the successful conduct of the seminar workshop/orientation program.

Under the Sajahatra Program launched in February 2013 at the BLMI ground by President Benigno C. Aquino III, the national government shall provide funds and technical assistance to the implementing bodies to realize the objectives of the program, Chairman Iqbal, also chair of the BLMI’s Oversight Committee said.

He also related how the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program came into being. During the launching of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro, the President was accompanied by his key cabinet members, chair and members of the GPH Peace Panel, ARMM officials, representatives from international non - government organizations (INGO’’s), the AFP Chief of Staff, PNP Director General, foreign diplomats and others.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee headed by Chairman A Haj Murad Ebrahim welcomed the president and his delegation. Chairman Iqbal and members of the MILF panel were also present. Both leaders expressed their commitments and optimisms at achieving lasting peace and development in Mindanao and to finally end the four decades of armed conflict in the region through the negotiation table.

Sajahatra Bangsamoro is a Socio – Economic Program with three main components such as health,  education and livelihood. It is a confidence peace building initiative of the national government to initially address the social and economic imbalance in the region.

Administrative Order No. 37, Series of 2013 signed by President Aquino and the Term of Reference (TOR) for Sajahatra Bangsamoro signed last April 11, 2013 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia provided the policies, implementing rules and guidelines for the Sajahatra Bangsamoro.

Gov’t disowns anti-China rallies to be held worldwide

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 19): Gov’t disowns anti-China rallies to be held worldwide
The government said it has nothing to do with the planned one-day global action on July 24 by Filipinos around the world to protest against Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), but will not try to stop it either.

“Filipinos have all the right to express and voice out in a peaceful manner their positions and sentiments on the issue of the West Philippine Sea,” said Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the Department Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson.

‘In private capacity’

At a news conference, Hernandez stressed that the government “did not sanction” the Global Day of Protest to be staged worldwide by the West Philippine Sea Coalition, saying these were being led by “individuals and groups in their private capacity.”

“These are not sanctioned by the government, but being in a democracy, people have a right to voice out their position on different issues,” Hernandez said.

Asked whether the protests could inflame the already tense relations between Manila and Beijing, Hernandez said the DFA hoped it would not as people just want to express their positions on the issue.

Hernandez also said the global protest action will not affect the Philippines’ arbitration case against China before the United Nations.

“The arbitrary tribunal will proceed with the case based upon its rules and merits of this case, so other activities I believe will not affect our case and how they will deal with this,” he said.

Asked to comment on the scathing statements made by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying who blamed Manila for the deterioration of Chinese-Philippines relations, Hernandez said China can end the dispute by respecting the rule of law.

He said the core issue, as defined by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario in the recent meetings in Brunei of the Association Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), was China’s “excessive claim violative of international law of indisputable sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea through its 9-dash claim.”

Meanwhile, the DFA on Thursday sent birthday greetings to ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela who turned 95 years old Thursday in a hospital in Pretoria.

“We join with the rest of the world in wishing former President Nelson Mandela a happy birthday today,” Hernandez said at the same news briefing.

PH, neighbors favor U.S. over China – study

From Rappler (Jul 19): PH, neighbors favor U.S. over China – study

The Philippines overwhelmingly favors United States over China, with a majority of Filipinos seeing their long-time western ally in a positive light than their giant neighbor to the northwest, a study released Thursday, July 18, reported.

The survey showed 85% of Filipinos surveyed have a favorable view of the US. It is the highest rating among 38 nations included in Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project survey for spring 2013

The sentiment is shared, in varying degrees, by Asian neighbors, a number of which have territorial disputes with China. In all regions surveyed, except the Middle East, the United States is regarded more favorably than China.

Filipinos also view the US as a partner more than an enemy, with 81% of respondents answering in the affirmative. Three percent said the US is an enemy, while 13% said the US is neither.

Filipinos also "overwhelmingly think the US considers their interests," the survey said.

The Pew study also showed the following:
  • US President Barack Obama and his policies remain popular in the Philippines (84% and 76% approval, respectively)
  • 77% of Filipinos said Obama's re-election led to a more favorable opinion of the US. 13% said it made their view of the US less favorable, and 4% said it did not change their view of the US.
  • 3 in 4 Filipinos express a favorable view of Americans – a figure highly correlated with the overall view on the US.
  • A majority of Filipinos disapprove drone strikes (52% disapprove vs 44% approve).

View of China affected by disputes

On the other hand, only 48% of Filipinos surveyed said they have a favorable view of China, a 37-percentage-point difference compared to the favorability rating of the US.

The Philippines is one of only 4 countries included in the survey to have a significant minority view of China as an "enemy." Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said China is an enemy; 35% said it is neither; and 22% said it is a partner.

Filipinos surveyed also said the territorial disputes with China is a "very big/big problem," with 90% of respondents saying so. It is the highest figure among the countries included in the survey with ongoing disputes with the country.

"This is particularly the case in the Philippines, where 58% of Filipinos say such friction with China is a very big problem," Pew said. China's growing military might is also an issue for a strong majority of Filipinos (68%).

Despite this, young Filipinos have a favorable view toward China, the survey suggested. Among 18-29-year-old Filipinos, 54% have a favorable view of China; among 30-49-year-olds, 50%. For people aged 50 and above, the favorability rating is at 38%.

A majority of Filipinos also believe China considers the Philippines' interests: 58% saying the country's giant neighbor considers Filipinos' interests "a great deal/fair amount," with 39% saying the opposite.

The Pew also showed the following results:
  • 90% of Filipinos think the US has a great deal/fair amount of influence in the Philippines, compared to 69% saying China has the same influence on the country.
  • The US is seen to have a better influence on the Philippines in general (78% for US, 35% for China), and particularly on the economy (87% for US, 53% for China).
  • Only 13% of Filipinos said it is important to have strong ties with both countries; 77% believe ties with the US are more important, while only 6% said ties with China are more important.
  • On personal freedoms, the US gets high marks from Filipinos (91%, the highest among all countries surveyed), while the view on China is divided (51% said China respects its people's freedoms, 44% saying it doesn't).
US more positive image

Overall, the United States' image remains more positive globally compared to China's. A median of 63% have a positive view of the US, while China's rating is at 50%.

The US is also likely seen as a "partner" for many countries compared to China, and is seen as "willing than China to consider other countries’ interests," Pew said in its report.

"Still, both of these world powers are widely viewed as acting unilaterally in international affairs," the research group said.

The US's strong suits are in respecting individual liberty and President Barack Obama's continued popularity overseas. However, the US' use of drone strikes cast the country in an unfavorable light.

The country's image is also suffering in Muslim-majority countries, particularly in the Middle East.

China's strongest supporters come from some of its neighbors, and from Africa and Latin America, in particular Malaysia (81%), Pakistan (81%), Kenya (78%), Senegal (77%), and Nigeria (76%).

China the superpower?

Despite more people, including Filipinos, still identifying the US as the world's top economy, the survey said there is an increasing number of people who are now seeing China's emerging economic power.

"Regardless of which country is seen as the economic powerhouse today, many publics believe China will eventually replace the US as the world’s leading superpower, if it has not already done so," the study said.

The positive view of China in Latin America and Africa has been bolstered in part by the economic giant's increased investment in the area.

China's soft power efforts are also one of its strong suits, with many Latin Americans and Africans embracing Chinese technology, culture, and ideas compared to people in other parts of the world.

Only 6 countries – including the Philippines – had a majority of respondents saying the US will never be replaced by China at the top rung of the world's economy.

In the Philippines, only 22% of those surveyed said China is or will become the world's leading superpower; 74% said the US will still be the lone superpower, the highest among the 6 countries.

37,653 respondents in 39 countries

The Pew study was done in 39 countries, divided into 6 regions. The Philippines was included in the Asia/Pacific region.

In the Philippines, the survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of adults 18 years old and above. The sample was determined through a multi-stage cluster sample based on geographic region and urban areas, with a size of 804 respondents.
It was conducted from March 10 to April 3, 2013, and interviews were conducted using Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Ilocano, and Bicolano.

The margin of error was placed at +/-4.5 percentage points, Pew said.

The entire study had a total of 37,653 respondents from 39 countries, and was conducted from March 2 to May 1, 2013 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Pew said the results are based on national samples.

Infographic from Pew Research Center

Uncle Sam hat image from Shutterstock

Mao cap image from Shutterstock

Male hand Image from Shutterstock

Crew of BRP Ramon Alcaraz savor Filipino food while on high seas

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 20): Crew of BRP Ramon Alcaraz savor Filipino food while on high seas

If you think the officers and crew of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), the country's second Hamilton-class cutter in service, are being stinted on food while on its voyage back to the Philippines, think again.

One of the officers tasked to document the Filipino frigate's return trip, Lt. (junior grade) Errol N. Dela Cruz, revealed they had "sinampalukang kambing" and "kalderata" for lunch on July 19.

The ship at that time was 285 nautical miles south of Oahu Islands, Hawaii at that time.

"Do you care for some 'sinampalukang kambing' and 'kaldereta' in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Yes, that is our lunch. Crave," Dela Cruz wrote on the BRP Ramon Alcaraz's blog.

Aside from having good food, the Navy officer also said that ship's crew saw numerous dolphins and were never really bored as the BRP Ramon Alcaraz has its own gym and karaoke machine for amusement.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz left Hawaii on July 17 for its Guam port call. Hawaii to Guam is around 3,828 miles or around 6,160 kilometers.

The Filipino frigate arrived at Hawaii last July 13 and was given a warm welcome by the Filipino community there.

During its stay in Hawaii, the crew headed by Capt. Ernesto Baldovino toured the USS Arizona Memorial.

Also, five enlisted personnel of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz took their oaths of re-enlistment.

These included EN2 Regidor Labrador, EN3 Tomas Ciruelos Jr., EN3 Ernesto Cabahug, S2YN Erica Celemin and EN3 Marlon Martonito.

The Philippine frigate departed Charleston, South Carolina last June 10 passing through San Diego and Florida.

DND to acquire 2 40-footer rescue boats

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): DND to acquire 2 40-footer rescue boats

The Department of National Defense (DND) is in the market for two 40-footer rescue boats.

The P20 million project is worth P20 million and will be sourced from the DND Quick Response Fund.

The DND said winning bidders are required to deliver the rescue boats within 180 calendar days within the opening of the letter of credit.

A pre-bid conference will be held on July 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the NDRRMC Conference Room, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City for parties who have purchased the bidding documents.

6 NPAs, 1 militiaman killed, one hurt as rebels attack detachment in Agusan Del Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): 6 NPAs, 1 militiaman killed, one hurt as rebels attack detachment in Agusan Del Sur

Six rebels and one militiaman were reported killed while one was wounded after 40 New People's Army (NPA) fighters attacked a detachment in Barangay Banag-Banag, Sibagat town, Agusan Del Sur Friday morning.

Lt. Col. Leo Bongosia, 4th Infantry Division spokesperson, said the rebel assault on the detachment took place around 5 a.m.

According to Bongosia, 48 militiamen stationed at the detachment managed to stand their ground and repel the successive NPA attacks, killing six of the rebels.

During the series of attacks, militiaman Elan Vincolado was killed while his companion Edwin M. Cempron was wounded.

At one point, two MG-520 attack helicopters were able to fly and provide support fire to the militiamen, causing an undetermined number of casualties among the rebel force.

The 4th Infantry Division spokesperson also said that the government forces in Barangay Banag-Banag were not surprised by the rebel assault as they have been receiving information about NPA movements from intelligence and civilian sources.

Bongosia said that the attack aims to eliminate the militia detachment in the area so that the NPAs can conduct their extortion activities unmolested.

Pursuit operations are still ongoing.

Former NAVRESCOM-6 chief off to Haiti for peacekeeping mission

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): Former NAVRESCOM-6 chief off to Haiti for peacekeeping mission

The former commander of the Naval Reserve Command (NAVRESCOM) of the Philippine Navy in Western Visayas has been assigned as member of the international peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Lt. Commander Venus Gualdaquever left her post as commander of the NAVRESCOM-6 after a two-year stint in the region.

Gualdaquever was succeeded by Lt. Commander Ricardo Salva, who hails from Negros Oriental, during Thursday morning’s turn-over of command ceremony here.

She thanked the Ilonggos for the support they have extended to the programs of NAVRESCOM-6.

The former NAVRESCOM-6 commander said she hopes to return to Western Visayas after her year-long service as a member of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti.

Army’s 3rd ID to receive new military hardware

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): Army’s 3rd ID to receive new military hardware

The Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division based in Jamindan, Capiz will boost its arsenal with the arrival of new military hardware from the national headquarters soon.

This was announced by Lt. Gen. Noel Abrigo Coballes, commanding general of the Philippine Army, during his recent visit in Panay to witness the turn-over of command ceremony between Brig. Gen. Jonas Sumagaysay and Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, who is now the commander of the 3rd ID.

Coballes said the military hardware procured by the national government from foreign suppliers is part of the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

These include KM-450 military trucks, mortar equipment, 37,000 units of M4 rifle that will replace the aging M16 rifles of the soldiers, 40,000 protection vests, 114 units of M113 war tanks, and 20 more additional updated war tanks.

Coballes said that once these military procurement arrive before December this year, some of these will be brought to the 3rd ID in Panay and other units of the Philippine Army operating throughout Western Visayas.

The 3rd ID is the mother of all Army units operating in Panay and Negros islands, and the island-province of Siquijor.

Former NPA members pledge allegiance to government

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): Former NPA members pledge allegiance to government

Former members of the rebel New People’s Army (NPA) on Thursday pledged their allegiance to the Philippine government during a ceremony held in the mountain barangay of Mantiquil in Siaton, Negros Oriental.

The activity was spearheaded by the Philippine Army’s 302nd Brigade and the 79th Infantry Battalion and attended by Governor Roel Degamo and Siaton Mayor Albert Ator.

During the ceremony, the rebel returnees burned a flag of the NPA as they reiterated their desire to return to the folds of the law, a media release from the Philippine Army said.

About 18 members of the Lubos Asosasyung Masa (LAM) in the sub-village of Quara in Mantiquil, headed by their chairwoman Rosalie Nama and residents in the area, were also present during the said oath-taking activity.

A medical mission, the first to be held in Mantiquil, immediately followed with basic medical and dental services offered.

The former rebels and residents claimed the NPA “deceived” them with anti-government propaganda.

Gov. Degamo was also quoted as saying that the war against insurgency cannot be won by bullets alone but by addressing its root cause, which is poverty.

The governor gave the assurance his administration will be constructing more roads and providing water and other social services to the people especially in the hinterland areas.

68 NPA members, sympathizers in Eastern Visayas return to the fold of law

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): 68 NPA members, sympathizers in Eastern Visayas return to the fold of law

The intensified anti-insurgency campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the various units of the 8th Infantry Division (8ID) was able to gather 68 rebels to return to the fold of law this first semester of 2013.

Capt. Amado Guttierez, spokesperson of the 8ID said that the surrenderors were a mixture of members of the New People’s Army (NPA), organized group and unit militia-armed civilian sympathizers.

The biggest group surrender so far for this year was that of 38 NPA barangay organizing party members and 15 militia unit members at the 20th Infantry Battalion in Northern Samar last month.

Earlier, an NPA couple, Lemuel and Nida Moreno, both holding high positions in the rebel movement, also gave up their armed struggle to return to the mainstream society.

Under the AFP Guns for Peace program, rebels who surrender in exchange for their firearms are entitled to livelihood assistance and cash incentives that they can use as they try to rebuild their lives.

This incentive does not include those that are provided by the local government unit (LGU) and concerned government agencies that are part of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

The Philippine Army (PA) is looking forward to declare provinces of Samar and Northern Samar as insurgency-free and manageable conflict-ready for development in 2016 following the prior handover of the responsibility on internal peace and security in Leyte, Eastern Samar, Biliran, and Southern Leyte to their respective local government units (LGUs).

The declaration of an LGU as insurgency-free and manageable conflict-ready for development is a signal that it is now ready to accommodate would-be investors that would spur economic activity in the area.

Army chief in Neg Occ slams NPA for issuing ‘warrant of arrest’

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): Army chief in Neg Occ slams NPA for issuing ‘warrant of arrest’

The chief of the Philippine Army in Negros Occidental assailed the New People’s Army for issuing a so-called warrant of arrest against local officials here who were linked to the murder of Kabankalan City Regional Trial Court judge Henry Arles.

Col. Jon Aying, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade, said the rebel group has no legal authority and morality to judge people because they are composed of lawless individuals.

“This is just a manifestation of the kind of government they aim to put up. Where are these lawless people leading to?” Aying said in a press statement Friday.

The NPA’s Apolinario Gatmaitan Command had earlier announced that it issued warrants of arrest to former Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez, his son Ilog Vice Mayor John Paul Alvarez, Cauayan Vice Mayor Jerry Tabujara, and other persons allegedly involved in the Arles murder case.

They claimed that they have an investigation report that they have submitted to the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the NPA.

The Alvarezes, Tabujara along with seven other respondents faced a murder complaint for the assassination of Arles before the Department of Justice last year.

The DOJ later cleared the former vice governor and his son, and Tabujara for “insufficiency of evidence.” However, the same resolution recommended the filing of murder charges against seven other respondents, including Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade leader Rustom Puro and members Marvin Salve, Gerald Tabujara, Alejandro Capunong, Jessie Daguia and Eddie Fortunado as well as Ilog municipal employee Emmanuel Medes.

Judge Arles was gunned down on his way home to Ilog on April 24 last year.

Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, director of the Negros Occidental Police Office, had earlier said the NPA has no authority to issue warrants of arrest because there is only one government.

Lirazan had also said that any arrest made by the NPA will be a violation of Philippine law and charges will be filed against them.

Moreover, Aying said the NPA is merely “pretending to be guardians of the people.”

“Imagine these lawless individuals with several warrants of arrests for multiple crimes issuing warrant of arrest to civilians presumed innocent by law?” the Army official added.

Last January 27, NPA rebels staged an ambush at Barangay Puso, La Castellana that claimed the lives of nine persons and wounded 12 others.

Deles says GPH ready to resume talks anytime but NDF putting impossible demands

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 19): Deles says GPH ready to resume talks anytime but NDF putting impossible demands

While negotiations with Muslim rebels are making steady progress, peace talks with communist rebels have been stalled because they are imposing impossible preconditions, including the abrogation of international treaties, according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quinto-Deles.

Deles made the statement during a dinner she hosted for the media at the Podium Kanto restaurant in Ortigas Center, Pasig City Thursday evening.

Another demand of the NDF is for the government to stop the implementation of the economic devleopment program called PAMANA, the acronym for PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn which has been successfully implemented in conflict-affected in the country to uplift the lives of the people.

The PAMANA program aims to improve governance, reduce poverty and empower communities to address issues on conflict and peace through activities that promote social cohesion.

Deles also lamented the increased violence perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) lately in some parts of the country where the victims were mostly civilians.

On the other hand, Deles said that peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is moving forward with the resolution of the wealth sharing arrangement during the 38th exploratory talks held in Kuala Lumpur last week.

When asked when peace negotiations with the NDF would resume, Deles said the government peace panel is ready but the NDF has been imposing demands, adding “the ball is up there” as she assured that the “government is fully engaged in the peace process.”

Negotiations between the government and NDF have been off-and-on the past 27 years without any progress because of the NDF’s imposing preconditions.

During the past three years, the peace panels of the GPH and NDF had met only six times.

One of the conditions raised by the NDF is for the government to abrogate international treaties, Deles said.

Another condition made by NDF for the talks to resume is for the government to release the so-called political prisoners captured by government forces during combat operations.

It may be recalled that the government released some of the political prisoners but at least two of them have gone back to the under movement.

On the other hand, the government has not raised any precondition for the talks to resume.

The GPH peace panel negotiating with the NDF has always been ready to resume talks under a new approach which will offer a better chance of attaining peace in the country.

The New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippine/NDF has intensified its armed attacks in Mindanao lately.

This prompted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to also intensify its counter action against the NPA.

In a related development, Deles said that Alexander Padilla is still the head of the government peace panel negotiating with the NDF as there is no replacement yet.

“No talks are going on but the table is there, we didn't close the table. We go back to the table if we know it will get us some place,” she said.

When asked of any indication for the talks to resume, Deles said there is none at the moment but “there is some chance if we are able to have some signs that we can go back to the table where there is clear agenda, time frame, and that going to the table will mean better conditions on the ground, meaning to say reduction of violence” referring to the continued armed attacks by NPA rebels in the countryside where the victims included non-combatants.

Filipino war refugees detained and tortured, file charges vs. security forces

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jul 20): Filipino war refugees detained and tortured, file charges vs. security forces


Photos released by the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center to the Mindanao Examiner show refugees file charges against soldiers and policemen who detained and tortured them in the southern Philippines.

A group of war refugees falsely accused as Moro rebels, and tortured and detained by security forces have filed charges their captors in the southern Philippines.

The Mindanao Human Rights Action Center (MinHRAC) said 8 Moro villagers filed counter-charges against soldiers and policemen who arrested them in July 5 in the village of Kulasi in General Salipada Pendatun town in Maguindanao province.

The 8 men, including three teenagers, were arrested while on their way home to get much needed food supplies for their families at the evacuation camps.

The human rights center said the men – now called the Bagumbayan 8 after the name of their community - have submitted their sworn statements which were supported by affidavits from 16 witnesses who are neighbors and also displaced by the fighting between troops and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

“Besides vehemently denying the allegations of their captors, the Bagumbayan 8 accused their captors of physically coercing confession and planting of evidence to support the false charges against them,” the MinHRAC said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

The refugees told the soldiers that they were just taking advantage of the lull in fighting to go back to their homes to get desperately needed food for their families. And also showed the soldiers a copy of an official government list of refugees from the municipal social welfare office that included their names, but the military instead detained them after accusing them of being rebels.

“However, instead of getting protection from the AFP and PNP after they had made clear they are civilians with a white flag and by raising their shirts to reveal they were not carrying any weapon, they were arrested, tied and blindfolded while being detained. They were made to spend the night at an abandoned elementary school where they were beaten up to coerce them into confessing they are terrorists,” according to the statement.

One of those detained recounted a disturbing attempt to manufacture evidence against them. The refugee, who sustained a rope burn injury on his arm, attested that when he and his companions were brought by the soldiers to a nearby school, several men clad in civilian and camouflage uniform, took him to a place wreaked heavily of burnt gunpowder. 

There, this detainee, who was blindfolded, felt someone grabbed his hands, pried his fingers open, rubbed his hands and said: “Ito na, ito na ang daliri na ginamit sa paghawak ng baril.” (These are the fingers that held the gun).
Later on, after the military interrogations, he found out that both his hands and fingernails bore traces of a black substance which he believed to have been caused by the man who touched his hands and planted gunpowder.

The arrest of the refugees triggered protests among locals and called on authorities to free the innocent civilians.

NPA rebels assault military post in Southern Philippines

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jul 19): NPA rebels assault military post in Southern Philippines

Communist rebels assaulted a military post in the southern Philippine province of Agusan del Sur and killing a pro-government militia, officials said.

The New People’s Army, which is fighting for a separate state, attacked the post in the town of Sibagat and sparking a fierce firefight in the village of Banag-banag.

There was no immediate statement from the NPA about the raid, but the military insisted that up to 6 rebels may have been killed in the clash, citing intelligence reports.

Officials said troops were sent to pursue the rebels numbering about 40.

HERNANDEZ VS HUA | DFA spokesman rebuts counterpart on PH strategy in sea row

From InterAksyon (Jul 19): HERNANDEZ VS HUA | DFA spokesman rebuts counterpart on PH strategy in sea row

Excuse me, look who’s talking. Spokespersons of the foreign ministry offices of China and the Philippines are accusing each other of distorting facts about the two Asian neighbors’ maritime dispute.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez, in a press briefing Thursday, brushed aside an earlier statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chungying accusing the Philippines of twisting the facts about China in order to portray the Philippines as a victim in the dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

Hua had affirmed Beijing’s position to keep its proposal for bilateral negotiations on the table, notwithstanding Manila’s recent statement that it is by now “impossible” to have one-on-one negotiations and consultations with China given the latter’s “rigid position” on the dispute. The DFA’s Hernandez had said earlier this week it’s not true that Manila was snubbing bilateral negotiations as a matter of whim. In fact, he said, Manila had patiently engaged Beijing in bilateral talks over the past 17 years; and at least 50 talks were held between parties since the April 2012 Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal standoff alone.

Hernandez said Thursday that China “has no choice” but to show to the international community “its respect for the rule of law including the mechanism of arbitration,” as the process under the United Nations arbitral court had begun, with the five multinational judges meeting in Hamburg last July 11, and drafting rules to govern the case. The court gave Beijing and Manila until first week of August to comment on the draft rules.

China “has no choice,” said Hernandez, if it wants be accepted as a responsible nation. “It must show to the international community its respect for the rule of law including the mechanism of arbitration which is being pursued by the Philippines to clearly define respective maritime entitlements in the SCS.”

Beijing dissatisfied with Manila's refusal to negotiate

During a press conference in China, Hua again commented Hernandez’s remarks that it is way past bilateral consulations and negotiations. “We regret that the Philippines stated that it has become impossible to continue bilateral discussions with China, and are dissatisfied with its refusal to diplomatic negotiations and closure of the door to dialogue,” Hua said.

She added: “We are firmly opposed to the Philippines’ indifference to China’s lawful rights and interests and legitimate concerns as well as its willful act of pushing for international arbitration.”

She asserted that China sticks to the “longstanding position of safeguarding national territorial sovereignty, which is totally legitimate. Meanwhile, bearing in mind the relations between China and the Philippines as well as regional peace and stability, China stays committed to solving disputes concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation through bilateral negotiations in accordance with relevant regulations of international law and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).”

This position, she insisted, “remains unchanged”.

Hua expressed regret that the “Philippines has changed its attitude and approach in handling the issue”.

Hernandez: global community backs arbitration

Hernandez, however, asserted that the international community supported Manila’s move to elevate the case before the UN tribunal, following the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“We have the support of international communication. As far as our approach to the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea issue, the international community is behind us in our possession to a rule based approach in settling disputes in the West Philippine Sea including our initiative for arbitration,” said Hernandez. China, he added, can end the West Philippine Sea dispute by “defining what the core issue is”.

Bilateral negotiations have always failed because China insists, said the DFA official, on claiming indisputable sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea through its nine-dash-line claim. In filing the case before the arbitral tribunal, the Philippines said such is an “excessive claim that is in gross violation of the international law”.

Hernandez said, “That is the core issue as stressed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the ASEAN [Association of the South East Asian Nations] meeting in Brunei,” he added.

Detained NDFP Consultant Ramon Patriarca goes on hunger strike

Posted to the CPP Website (Jul 18): Detained NDFP Consultant Ramon Patriarca goes on hunger strike

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines today expressed firm support for the 12-day hunger strike of NDFP Consultant Ramon Patriarca. Detained at Camp Lapu-lapu in Cebu City, Patriarca started his hunger strike on 11 July to end on 22 July when President Aquino will give his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a statement released to the media, Patriarca condemned President Aquino for failing to respect binding peace agreements forged by the government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) with the NDFP. He criticized Aquino for not respecting the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and instead abducting, torturing and detaining NDFP personnel involved with the peace negotiations.

Patriarca also criticized the GPH president for refusing to release political prisoners in accordance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). He slammed the Aquino administration for causing the number of political prisoners to increase beyond 400.

In his statement on his hunger strike, Patriarca underlined the “miserable failure” of Aquino to advance the peace talks with the NDFP.

Top officials of the Aquino government have publicly declared the termination of the peace talks, seemingly not aware of provisions in the JASIG stipulating that a written notice of termination must be given first to the other Party.

Patriarca explained that despite repeated demands by various peace advocates for the resumption of peace talks, the Aquino regime has embarked on escalated militarization in accordance with the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program. Oplan Bayanihan is a militarist scheme based on the triad strategy of combat, intelligence and civil-military operations.

Luis G. Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, extended solidarity with Patriarca’s hunger strike. “His courageous militant action underlines the increasing opposition of the Filipino people against the Aquno regime, in the face of repeated oil price hikes, ever increasing prices of basic commodities, costs of water, electricity, transportation, and other services.”


Roselle Valerio
Information Officer
NDFP International Information Office
email: |
tel: +31 30 2310431

CPP/NDF/NPA:Honor our martyrs in Bicol and denounce the fascist massacre

Posted to the CPP Website (Jul 19): Honor our martyrs in Bicol and denounce the fascist massacre

Fr. Santiago Salas (Ka Sanny)
NDFP Eastern Visayas Chapter

The revolutionary forces and masses in Eastern Visayas salute the fallen comrades who were martyred last July 4 in Juban, Sorsogon: Ka Greg Bañares (Frankie Joe Soriano), Ka Miloy (Pehing Hipa), Ka Nel (Christine Puche), Ka Gary (Ted Palacio), Ka Rey (David Llunar), Ka Nene (Romero Añonuevo), Ka Jay (William Villanueva, Jr.), and Ka Kevin (Ailyn Calma). Ka Greg Bañares was the spokesperson of NDFP-Bicol while his comrades were also highly regarded and well-loved by the people as cadres of the revolutionary movement.

We praise them to the highest and for all time for serving the people to the very end as revolutionary fighters. The heroism of their final sacrifice highlight the meaning of their lives dedicated to the struggle for the just cause of national and social liberation. That is why even though we grieve for them, we also exclaim: What fine sons and daughters of the people!

The eight martyrs of Juban sprung from different social background but came together to dedicate themselves to the people as well as their sense of patriotic duty. Nowhere else except in the revolutionary movement can we find the peasants, professionals, youth and women united in taking up arms and fighting for the lofty aims of national freedom and democracy. They uplift us and the path they have blazed in meaningful fashion beckon to many others .

On the other hand, we condemn the massacre committed by the fascist troops of the US-Aquino regime as a crime against the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Ka Greg, Ka Nel and Ka Gary were no longer armed when they were captured and shot multiple times; all the eight martyrs in Juban were also shot in the head even when they were already incapacitated.

After refusing to continue the peace talks with the NDFP to discuss socio-economic refoms and get to the roots of the civil war, the US-Aquino regime reveals itself as a wolf in sheep’s clothing by unleashing the total war of Oplan Bayanihan against the people. Noynoy Aquino is now hell-bent on letting his fascist forces continue and commit even more human rights violations against the people who are struggling for land, jobs, national sovereignty, national patrimony and other basic changes.

The US -Aquino regime’s belligerent refusal to resume peace negotiations with the NDFP does not mean the casting away of the binding agreement of the CARHRIHL. The New People’s Army is guided not only by the CARHRIHL and the laws of war recognized by civilized countries, but even more so by revolutionary principles about taking the side of the people and fighting fiercely but rendering lenient treatment to enemy troops who are captured or no longer able to fight.

As the Juban massacre shows, the revolutionary principles we hold firmly differentiate us from the enemy. We will surely become stronger in the revolutionary struggle, and the exploiters and oppressors of the people will surely weaken and fall from their heights. The eight martyrs of Juban live on as we continue the just cause of the people’s war.#

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Rebidding for 21 refurbished choppers set

From the Business Mirror (Jul 17): Rebidding for 21 refurbished choppers set

ANOTHER bidding for the 21 refurbished helicopters UH-1H “Huey” helicopters worth P1.2 billion will be conducted as the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Department of National Defense (DND) reportedly disqualified a bidder for alleged “document inconsistencies” during a post qualification conference recently.

The acquisition of the 21 helicopters is among the big-ticket items on the list of the Defense department.
The DND-BAC reportedly dropped the winning bidder, Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (Rasi), during the post-qualification conference after it found out “inconsistencies” in its bidding documents. A source, however, declined to give details about the alleged inconsistencies of the documents to protect his identity.
“The bidding [process] is back to zero,” the source said.
Six suppliers bought bid documents for the 21 helicopters but only the US-based Rasi and Star Defense System-Radom Israel joined the bidding.
Rasi’s web site indicate that the company is a privately held and operated corporation based in North California. It specializes in suppling Bell Helicopters models 204, 205, 212, 412 and UH-1B, C, D, F, H, L, M and N.
“We offer shop and field support for both engines and helicopters, maintain stock [overhauled] dynamics for all helicopters listed above, and specialize in the T53 series engines as well as the Pratt & Whitney PT-6 Twin Pac” the website said.

International peace, rights conference starts

From the Business Mirror (Jul 18): International peace, rights conference starts

MORE than 250 peace advocates and human-rights defenders from 25 countries gather on Friday as the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) opens at 9 a.m. at the Great Eastern Hotel in Quezon City.
The foreign delegates are also attending the People’s State of the Nation Address on Monday to cap the three-day conference and the weeklong International Solidarity Mission in the different communities where there are documented human-rights abuses.
Former Party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño of Bayan Muna, ICHRPP spokesman, also lashed out at the decision of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to deny the protesters a permit to rally, calling it “throwback Monday” and reminded the Aquino administration that the fight against “Marcos dictatorship was won by defying such repressive tactics.”
The continuing use of repressive tactics by the Aquino administration, through Oplan Bayanihan, has caused alarm among peace advocates and human-rights defenders in the international community, Casiño said.
Oplan Bayanihan’s implementation already resulted in 142 victims of extrajudicial killings and 164 victims of frustrated extrajudicial killings. The ICHRPP is set to tackle the human-rights record of the Aquino administration and strengthen national and international human-rights solidarity campaigns in the Philippines,” he added.
Casiño will welcome the foreign and local delegates to kick off the three-day conference.
Among the keynote speakers are Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, a United Nations accredited organization; Edith Burgos, mother of desaparecido Jonas Burgos and Jose Maria Sison, chairman of the International League of People’s Struggle .