Monday, September 2, 2013

CPP/NPA: Condemn the Brutal Bombings and Massive Military Operations in Upland Bontoc and the Nothern Barrios of Sagada

Posted to the CPP Website (Sep 3): Condemn the Brutal Bombings and Massive Military Operations in Upland Bontoc and the Nothern Barrios of Sagada

Magno Udyaw
NPA Mountain Province Provincial Operations Command (Leonardo Pacsi Command)

In a desperate effort to cover-up the blatant failure of Oplan Bayanihan and stamp out the rising tide of the advancing people’s war to a higher level, combined contingents of the PNP Public Safety Battalion forces of Mountain Province, Benguet and Abra joined forces with combat troops of the Task Force Tadian under the 5th Infantry Division in launching massive military and bombing operations in the vicinity of the northern barrios of Sagada and upland Bontoc, both in the Mountain Province, last August 29 to 30.

 The Leonardo Pacsi Command of the NPA-Mountain Province commends its Red fightersfor bravely engaging the enemy and successfully inflicting casualties. At the same time, wecondemn the military and police elements in their indiscriminate aerial bombings and strafing causing damages on civilian properties and animals, and trauma on the populace particularly the children.

 Outmaneuvered on the ground, two helicopter gunships continuously dropped undetermined number of rocket bombs and indiscriminately strafed the vicinities of the northern barrios of Sagada, Dalican and Mainit of Bontoc for two days.

 No differentfrom the bombings in Malibcong,Abra last May, most affected were the children in the vicinity who suffered psychological effects. A lot of themwere traumatized. Moreover, farmers were prevented from attending to their crops, animals, and water systems.The damage done along the Mabileng communal irrigation system due to the recent typhoons and monsoon rains needing immediate repair works, was exacerbated as some portions were hit directly by the said indiscriminate bombings and aerial strafing. Even smaller irrigation systems servicing the rice paddies at Ambuchaaw and Demang, Aguid, Sagada; Pakanan, Mainit; Matbo and Mapagpag, Dalican, Bontoc were hit.Spring sources along Demang mountain sides tapped for domestic water needs of the northern barrios of Sagada were not spared. Civilians undertaking repair worksalong the Mabileng communal irrigation system were strafed at. Several animals gracing in the Demang mountain slopes were reportedly missing. Similarly,hunterswere denied the right to visit their wild boar traps.

 Clearly, the massive military operations,indiscriminate bombings and aerial strafing demonstrate the US-Aquino Regime’s threadbare treatment of the national minorities and their collective right on ancestral land. Malacañang has unleashed the sword of war on the Cordillera people using both the AFP and the PNP to militarize the area and perpetuatenational oppression of the indigenous people. It is at the height of insanity that while the village folks were preoccupied with rehabilitating their farm lots, communal irrigation systems and water work systems damaged by the recent typhoons and monsoon rains, the PNP- trained counter-insurgency units and combat troops of the 5th Infantry Division launchedjoint combat operations. However, it failed in its operation against the alert Red fighters who had been temporarily encamped while several units were dispersed in nearby villages assisting farmers in their relief and rehabilitation work.

 It is worthwhile to note that while villagers are victims of these bombings, not a single statement can be heard from Gov. Leonard Mayaen, indicating that he is in cohort with the military. It is during these denounciatory times when kailyansare supposed to be supported by their elected officials.Where is the braggadoccio exhibited by Mayaen in condemning the NPA on the successful tactical offensive against the RPSB counter-insurgency training last June? Why is there no ‘indignation rally’ this time against such indiscriminate and unjustified attacks on the civilian populace?

 We call on pro-people and independent bodies like the church to conduct a fact finding mission in the areas mentioned to determine the psychological effects of the bombings on the village folks especially on the children, the damages done on crops, infrastrustures and properties.

 We call on the newly elected local government officials to stand on the side of their constituents in condemning this brazen military operation, in demanding justice for individual victims and communities, and reparation to damages.

 We hold accountable allAFP and PNP officials for theviolations of the provisions of Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in the indiscriminate and irresponsible bombing and strafing of civilians, crops and properties. We call on all Red fighters and people’s militia to launch tactical offensives against the fascist troops of the reactionary government. Further inflict heavy blows on the enemy as we defend our ancestral lands, rights and resources.

 We call on all the people and revolutionary forces to end this rotten system that is perpetuating national oppression on indigenous people and wanton plunder on our rich natural resources for their unsatiable capitalist greed.

Congress questions DND plans to buy fighter jets

From Rappler (Sep 2): Congress questions DND plans to buy fighter jets

MADE IN SOUTH KOREA. T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world's few supersonic trainers. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

MADE IN SOUTH KOREA. T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world's few supersonic trainers. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Congress threatens to derail the plans of the Department of National Defense (DND) to shift its focus from fighting insurgency to defending our territory in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

"To me, priority should be addressing internal security. If we only address the exernal security relative to the West Philippine Sea, whatever we do we will not be able to acquire the capability to match the threat there," Muntinlupa Rep Rodolfo Biazon said in a hearing on Monday, September 2.

Biazon, who chairs the House committee on national defense and security, said the Philippines should focus on the arbitration case over the territorial dispute lodged before the United Nations.

Biazon argued the DND should rethink its plan to buy fighter aircrafts. He said the priority should be the acquisition of helicopters that government can use in, among others, disaster response.

"I would suggest you frontload the acquistion of helicopters against fighters. Otherwise, baka mahirapan kayo sa budget na 'yan. Who will you fight, China? Maski ano gawin natin diyan," Biazon added. (You will have difficulty getting that budget approved.... There's nothing we can do about that.)

Manila is caught in a row with Beijing over the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines has sought the assistance of treaty ally US on maritime security. The Philippines and US are also negotiating a new agreement focused on miltary-to-military cooperation on maritime security and maritime domain awareness.

The government is posed to buy 12 fighter aircraft from South Korea for P18 billion. The defense department is waiting for Malacañang's approval of the government-to-government contract so it can proceed with the acquisition.

READ: DND wants delivery of 4 fighter jets ASAP

HOT SEAT: Department of National Defense officials present the revised AFP modernization plan. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

HOT SEAT: Department of National Defense officials present the revised AFP modernization plan. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

The Armed Forces is fighting internal security threats from the CPP-NPA-NDF (CNN), Abu Sayyaf Group, rogue Moro National Liberation Front elements, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF).

AFP chief Gen Emmanuel Bautista has set a deadline to end insurgeny by 2016 to allow the armed forces to focus on external threats.

READ: Finish insurgency, AFP chief tells commanders

Biazon's proposal prompted a debate in the committee. Vice Chairman Bukidnon Rep Jose Ma Zubiri III supported Biazon's argument that internal security should be the priority. But he proposed that the DND can cut the number of fighters it plans to acquire from, say, 12 to 8.

The DND plan was defended by Magdalo Rep Francisco Ashley Acedillo, formerly with the Air Force, who challenged Biazon's arguments.

"The choice for the number of fighter craft, which is 12, was not a number plucked out of the air.... I would really like to see the Air Force acquire such figher capability," Acedillo said.

Government should acquire fighter now, Acedillo argued. "It's an urgent need that has to be funded. It cannot be at the backburner," he added.

"You cannot acquire it at a moment's notice. At the time we need it, that's when government will release funds. We can't do it like that," he said.

PH cancels plan to acquire 3rd US cutter

From Rappler (Sep 3): PH cancels plan to acquire 3rd US cutter

The Department of National Defense (DND) has cancelled its plan to acquire a third Hamilton-class cutter from the United States, defense undersecretary for finance Fernando Manalo said on Monday, September 2.
"The DND decided to forgo the acquisition of a third Hamilton and use the funds intended for that project to support additional requirements for the acquisition of two frigates by the Philippine Navy," Manalo said at a hearing of the House committee on national defense and security.
The Armed Forces acquired two Hamilton-class cutters from the US: BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz. Both warshirps, about 40 years old, were acquired for free through the US Excess Defense Articles program, but government had to spend P450 million and P600 million, respectively, for the refurbishment of the cutters.
Inspite of their age, they are the country's latest warships. The navy's flagship, BRP Rajah Humabon, is 70 years old.
The DND is conducting bidding process for the navy's new frigates.
Amid tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the DND is shifting its focus from internal security to external defense. Aside from the two new frigates, the navy is expecting new helicopters in December. The Air Force is also posed to acquire 12 fighter aircraft.
The Aquino administration has allocated an initial funding of P75 billion to boost the country's maritime security. The Philippines also sought the assistance of treaty ally US on maritime security and maritime domain awareness.

7 soldiers hurt in ComVal blast

From Rappler (Sep 3): 7 soldiers hurt in ComVal blast

At least 7 Army soldiers were injured in a landmine explosion caused by communist rebels in Pantukan, Compostela Valley on Tuesday morning, September 3, the military said.

The soldiers were on patrol in Sitio Lantaan, Barangay Napnapan when members of the New People's Army (NPA) detonated an explosive device.

Lt Gen Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said in a press statement that two combat helicopters were immediately dispatched to evacuate the wounded soldiers. They were brought to the Camp Panacan Station Hospital in Davao City.

Cruz ordered his troops to inspect the area and stay on alert for more explosions.

The military condemned the use of explosives by the NPA, saying it violates provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The NPA however said the guerrillas use command-detonated explosives, which they said are not banned by any international or local protocol on war.

Compostela Valley, which hosts various mining sites, is one of the remaining bailiwicks of the NPA.

U.S troops' rotational presence in PHL not aimed at any particular nation -- DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3): U.S troops' rotational presence in PHL not aimed at any particular nation -- DND

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said China and other countries have no reason to be concerned about the ongoing Philippine-U.S. talks regarding the increased rotational presence (IRP) of American troops and equipment in the country.

He added that the agreement only aims to upgrade the Armed Forces of the Philippines so that it can be more capable of protecting the country's territories and in responding to natural disasters.

The DND chief also pointed out that the IRP talks is not aimed at any particular nation.

Gazmin also said that there is nothing unusual with the Philippines seeking assistance of the U.S. regarding this matter as the country has a standing Mutual Defense Treaty with the Americans.

He also pointed out that it is the duty of every nation to upgrade its military capability in order to protect its territories.

Both Philippine and U.S. negotiators have earlier agreed that American troops and equipment in Philippine military facilities will be temporary and must comply with the country’s Constitution

This was disclosed by DND undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, head negotiator of the Philippine panel.

The second round round of negotiations was held at the U.S. Department of Defense in the Pentagon in Washington D.C. last week.

Both sides also agreed that joint exercises and activities under a framework agreement will require the approval of the Philippines and will be mutually beneficial to the individual and collective defense capabilities of the two countries in furtherance of Article II of the Mutual Defense Treaty.

“Both the Philippines and the U.S. panels share the understanding that the American troops will not establish a permanent military presence in our country. That was clear during the discussion,” Batino said.

“From the beginning of the talks, we communicated to our counterparts that they could not establish a permanent presence in the Philippines in accordance with our Constitution," he added

In the agreed minutes released by the panels, it said that all the access to and use of military facilities and areas by the U.S. will be at the invitation of the Philippine government.

“Where and what can be prepositioned will be subject to prior approval by the Philippine government and based on mutuality of interest. Any approval will contain specific areas and time for the temporary activity,” explained Department Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Carlos Sorreta, panel spokesperson.

During the talks, Sorreta said, the two teams of negotiators were able to establish “specific understandings” on the following:

-Facilities used for prepositioning remain the property of the Philippines

-The Philippines maintains the primary responsibility and authority in matters of security

-Any prepositioning or activities will not violate Philippine environmental laws

-Any construction will have to be removed by the U.S. once the approved activity is completed

-Stronger language on non-prepositioning of prohibited weapons

Sorreta said the Philippines and the U.S. were able to flesh out some details on humanitarian aid and disaster relief, including discussions on how training, equipment and materiel for maritime domain awareness would be used for HADR efforts.

A number of provisions in the proposed framework agreement, however, are subject to further discussion, including the substantive issue of duration, he said.

“For the Americans, they typically have agreements like these that have a duration of 20 years. Right now, the Philippine delegation is looking at a much shorter duration,” Sorreta said.

The Philippines and the U.S. began on Aug. 14 negotiations on a framework agreement on the IRP, an arrangement that will help the country achieve a minimum credible defense amid territorial threats and bolster plans to modernize the armed forces.

Based on the agreed minutes released after the negotiations, the next round of talks will be held in the second week of September in the U.S..

The Philippine panel is composed of Batino, Sorreta, Department of Justice undersecretary Francisco Baraan III and Defense Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop.;postID=3587462864463251617

BRP Ramon Alcaraz needs no repair -- PN

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3): BRP Ramon Alcaraz needs no repair -- PN
The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday clarified that dry-docking is not the same as undergoing repair.

Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, Navy spokesperson, issued this statement in wake of reports (not in the PNA) that the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) is now undergoing repair.

"It project a wrong information to the public (that the ship is unserviceable) BRP Ramon is in dry-dock for the changing of her white paint to haze gray and installation of additional armaments. It is not undergoing repair," he added.

Dry-docking refers to the procedure where the entire ship is place in a large basin which is then empty of water so that inspection and maintenance work can be done below the vessel's waterline.

This includes painting and removal of marine growth that may gained a foothold in the hull.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz went into dry-dock last Aug. 16.

Fabic declined to comment on where the frigate is citing operational security reasons.

"We can't reveal the exact location of the dry-dock for operational security reasons," Fabic stressed.

But some sources said that BRP Ramon Alcaraz is now undergoing overhaul at the dry-dock of the Keppel Batangas Shipyard.

The latter is a major shipcare center in the Philippines servicing international and local shipowners.

Keppel Batangas Shipyard specializes in the repair, conversion and building of various types of vessels as well as the fabrication of marine and industrial structures.

The PN earlier said that the ship will be put in commission by mid-October.

It added that additional weapons like the two Mark 38 Model 2 25mm "Bushmasters" autocannon and four to six light machine guns will be fitted during the dry-docking period.

The Filipino frigate is presently armed with a quick-firing 76mm Oto Melara main gun which has a range of 20 nautical miles.

MNLF calls for support for independent Mindanao

From the Sun Star-Davao (Sep 1): MNLF calls for support for independent Mindanao

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) encouraged people to take part in the discussion and support the call for an independent Mindanao as espoused by their leader Nur Misuari.

At least 2,000 MNLF members and their families rallied at the Rizal Park in Davao City on Sunday, many of them from out of town.

The MNLF members who participated in the rally were from Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, Eastern Mindanao, and Davao Oriental.

Peace rally for Independent Mindanao

DAVAO. Moro women hold flaglets in support of an independent Mindanao during Sunday’s peace rally of the Moro National Liberation Front at the Rizal Park in Davao City. (Seth delos Reyes)

Misuari's declaration covers the entire Mindanao, including Palawan and Sabah, while Davao City was announced as the Republik’s temporary capital, as a permanent one has to be determined in consultations.

"We will not redirect the statement (the call for independence of the entire Mindanao); we’re placing this issue of independence in the hands of the people in Mindanao," lawyer V. Emmanuel C. Fontanilla, legal counsel and spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Republik.

Fontanilla said the MNLF has been long ago waiting for its agreements with the National Government to be accredited only to be given a note dated March 21, 2013 that all these things are implemented and these are all superseded by the Framework Agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The MNLF chided the National Government because the "Tripoli Agreement" has not yet fully implemented and there comes the Framework Agreement with the MILF, and then, another concern for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

"Masyadong malaking insulto po yan. We've been waiting for 40 years for the agreement to be accredited only to be given such note. That is very sad. And so, we have this group declaring independence," Fontanilla said.

He said the call will be a bloodless revolution and bloodless undertaking to assert the independence from the Philippines. But if anyone will harm their brother and sisters amid this concern, he said they will no longer be sitting on the corner.

"We would just like to direct to the issue, all these things will be resolved by the people. Nobody in a political community can overcome the decision of the people. So ultimately, this declaration will be resolved by the people. I do not know what method are they going to use but definitely, the chairman has advised them not to use violence," Fontanilla said.

"Kami naman, we will be just guiding the people. We will be there to protect them. Kapag sinaktan sila, dyan na po kami papasok. If sakali pinagbabaril po yung aming mga kapatid, then we will use our arms to protect them," he added.

Suspected NPA freed on disputed ID

From Malaya (Sep 2): Suspected NPA freed on disputed ID

THE Armed Forces is wary that a ranking leader of the communist New People’s Army would go back to the underground movement after he was freed last Friday on orders of the Court of Appeals due to an identity issue.

A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the intelligence community would be monitoring the movements of Benjamin Mendoza or Rolly Panesa who was released from jail by the Bureau of Management and Penology last Friday.

“Initially he may not but eventually he would,” the official said of Mendoza, alleged secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, who was arrested by the military in October last year in Quezon City for murder and kidnapping.

Last month, the military leadership even gave a P5.6-million reward to an informant who provided information that led to the arrest of Mendoza.

The CA last week approved the habeas corpus case that Panesa filed, and ordered his release because authorities were not able to prove that he is Benjamin Mendoza as alleged by the military.

The official said the Office of the Solicitor General has asked the CA to reconsider its decision.

“What the troops will do is try to locate him, to monitor if he would go back to the mountains....Our monitoring will continue because most (NPA personalities) who were released from detention have returned (to the underground movement),” he said.

He noted the case of the so-called Morong 43 whose members were arrested in February 2010 but most of whom were released from detention when government prosecutors withdrew charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against them.

The source said most of those released continued their armed struggle. One of them, Ramon dela Cruz, ended up being killed by government troops in a clash last August 9 in Doña Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan. Two other rebels died in the fighting.

BIFF disables power grid in Maguindanao

From Malaya (Sep 3): BIFF disables power grid in Maguindanao

SUSPECTED members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters bombed a transmission tower of the National Grid Corporation in Maguindanao yesterday, triggering a blackout in the province.

Power was restored by noon yesterday, said Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, chief of the AFP public affairs office.

He said the BIFF men detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at the tower in Ladia village, Sultan Kudarat town around 3 a.m. Last August 19, BIFF men planted an IED in the same village, but not at the NGCP tower, and the bomb was retrieved and disarmed by authorities.

Zagala said that based on the assessment of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division based in Cotabato City, the explosion was meant to “destabilize the area so that it will affect the peace process.”

The BIFF is a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which is conducting peace negotiations with government.

The BIFF is associated with the Khilafa Islamiyah Mindanao which is being blamed for the July 26 bombing in Cagayan de Oro City that left nine people dead.

NPA suspect’s release costs AFP P5.6M

From Malaya (Sep 3): NPA suspect’s release costs AFP P5.6M

THE Army yesterday described as “highly irregular” the recent release of ranking New People’s Army leader Benjamin Mendoza or Rolly Panesa from his detention cell in Taguig despite an appeal filed by the Army.

The Court of Appeals ordered the release of Panesa last Friday after authorities failed to prove that he is Benjamin Mendoza, who the military said is the secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee.

Mendoza was arrested by the military last October in Quezon City based on warrant for kidnapping and murder. Last month, the AFP leadership awarded P5.6 million to an informant who provided the information that led to his arrest.

Capt. Alex Popanes, of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Service, said the Army immediately filed a notice of appeal before the 5th Division of the Court of Appeals “considering that the resolution made by the said court is contrary to law and evidence.”

“Furthermore, Mendoza’s release from detention is highly irregular considering that the case is not yet final and executory,” the Army lawyer said.

2,300 RP, US troops to join annual exercises

From the Daily Tribune (Sep 3): 2,300 RP, US troops to join annual exercises

Approximately 2,300 Filipino and American troops will be participating in this year’s staging of the annual bilateral exercises called “Phiblex14” amid the ongoing negotiations for an increased presence of United States military servicemen in the Philippines.

In a statement, the Philippine Navy said that the RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercises 2014 dubbed as “Phiblex 14,” the 30th edition of the annual exercise, will be hosted by the Philippine Marine Corps. The joint training will open on Sept. 18.

Participating on the US side are troops from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit of the US Marine Corps. On the other hand, various units of the Philippine Navy, Army and Air Force will complement the US forces.

“Approximately 2,300 US and Philippine service members will meet for three weeks of bilateral air-ground and amphibious training as well as a staff planning exercise during Phiblex 14 in the Philippines,” Lt. Vince Edward Salmingo, public affairs officer of Phiblex 14, said.

The “Phiblex 14” will be held while negotiations are ongoing between PH and US officials regarding the increase rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines which has been sharply criticized by China.

NPA issues arrest warrants for 5

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 2): NPA issues arrest warrants for 5

The Roselyn Pelle Command of the Northern Negros Guerilla Front announced that it has issued another batch of what it calls “arrest warrants” against a barangay kagawad and a civilian serving as “military informants”, two members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade and a government militiaman linked to murder cases, and engaged in counter-revolutionary activities.

Local rebel spokesman Cecil Estrella, in a statement issued to the media, identified the persons with so-called arrest warrants as Rosel Dada, a kagawad of Brgy. San Isidro, Toboso, RPA-ABB members Mumar Alingasa and a certain Ezekiel, alias Itsoy, a civilian identified as Mariel Encarguez, alias Kulafu, and an alias Bravo, a CAFGU member.

Estrella encouraged the five individuals to surrender and present themselves to the revolutionary court for their safety.

Col. Jon Aying, 303 rd Infantry Brigade commander, however, yesterday described the so-called issuance of a arrest warrants by the NPA as a “simple criminal act or lawlessness through threat and intimidation.”

Lt. Col. Efren Morados, 62 nd Infantry Battalion, had earlier reported that two barangay captains and some civilians accused of being military informants in northern Negros, are reportedly included in the hit list of the New People's Army.

Morados, who withheld their identities, said they have informed the targeted barangay officials about the death threats, and have also initiated precautionary measures to thwart the rebel liquidation activities.

He added that the two barangay officials got the ire of rebels for mobilizing their constituents, and for not allowing insurgents to enter their areas. Meanwhile, civilians tagged as military informants, were accused of being actively involved in anti-revolutionary activities.

Estrella claimed that Alingasa has a pending case of murder, in connection with the death of Jun Jun Vaflor, a peasant leader in Sitio Vergara, Brgy. Bug-ang, Toboso, while Ezekiel allegedly harassed farmers in the same barangay.

Encarguez, Bravo and Dada, on the other hand, are intelligence assets of the 62 nd Infantry Battalion , Estrella claimed.

With the issuance of arrest warrants for espionage, Estrella said Kulafu, Itsoy, Kitloy and Bravo are “legitimate targets” of the NPA counter-offensives.

Early this year, the Roselyn Pelle Command announced that it has issued arrest warrants against three civilians, including a retired Constabulary officer, accused of alleged landgrabbing, murder and frustrated murder in Calatrava and Toboso towns.

Police arrest 3 ‘RPA-ABB' men

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 2): Police arrest 3 ‘RPA-ABB' men

Three armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade were arrested yesterday for illegal possession of firearms and explosives in Brgy. Bagtic, Silay City, Negros Occidental.

Supt. Rosauro Francisco , Silay police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Mayo Rosal, 35; Gerald Lama, 29, both residents of Brgy. Guimbalaon, Silay City, and Rene Juaniza, 28, of Brgy. Dos Hermanas, Talisay City.

Francisco said the three suspects, who were on board a Rusi motorcycle were spotted by Silay police intelligence operatives at the vicinity of Hacienda Mariano in the barangay, and were arrested after a brief chase.

He said their arrest was made by Police Officers 2 Reynaldo Bernil and Ian Liboon, who were responding to a hold-up incident in Brgy. Hawaiian, Silay City.

Juaniza was disarmed of a M20 fragmentation grenade, a .45 caliber pistol was recovered from Lama, while two magazines of a .45 caliber pistol were taken from Rosal, Francisco said.

The Rusi motorcycle recovered from them is now impounded at the Silay police headquarters, while charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives are being readied for filing against them today before the City Prosecutor's Office.

NPA raids 2 firms in Surigao, North Cotabato

From MindaNews (Sep 2): NPA raids 2 firms in Surigao, North Cotabato

Suspected New People’s Army rebels figured in two attacks over the weekend in Surigao del Norte and North Cotabato.

The Police Regional Office in Caraga said six armed men believed to be rebels burned mining equipment owned by Silangan Mindanao Mining Company Inc. 8:40 a.m. last Saturday in Barangay Febra in Mainit town, Surigao del Norte.

Police said the attackers burned one VIP5000 transmitter (induced polarization survey equipment), one Honda KVA generator set, nine electric rods, four spools and a tent. Total damaged was pegged at P1,143,00.00.

The alleged rebels also took the shotguns of security guards Nilo Macula and Danilo Dag-uman of Marilag Security Agency.

Lt. Col. Vincent Iringan, commander of the 30th Infantry Battalion has not issued any statement pending an investigation. He said his troops are pursuing the attackers.

Arrestio Tinglao, corporate communications manager of Silangan Mindanao Mining told MindaNews they will release a statement soon.

Silangan is a subsidiary of Philex Mining and is expected to start operations by 2017.

In October 2011, communist rebels launched simultaneous attacks on three mining companies in Claver, Surigao del Norte. They burned over a hundred heavy equipment and some buildings and sank several boats owned by the mining firms.

At around 8 p.m. Sunday some 30 NPA rebels torched the processing plant, office and warehouse of a rubber company in Barangay Talun-talunan in Makilala, North Cotabato.

The attack led to the death of an employee of the Standard Rubber Development Corp. (Standeco) and the wounding of another when a roadside bomb went off, according to Lt. Nasrullah Sema, chief of the civil military operations of the 57th Infantry Battalion.
Sema said the rebels were onboard two Isuzu trucks when they raided Standeco.

Few hours later, a roadside bomb allegedly planted by the rebels went off and killed Hector Lalaguna and injured Francisco Andap, both employees of Standeco who were on their way to the site for an inspection.

Sema said the victims were onboard a Standeco pickup truck when the bomb went off.
Lalaguna who was seated at the back died on the spot, while the driver, Andap, was seriously injured.

Sema said the rebels might have mistaken the company truck for a military vehicle responding to the attack.

“The rebels also saw the headlights. When they saw a vehicle was approaching, they immediately blew off the landmine,” he said, adding extortion could be the motive behind the arson.

He also considered the controversies behind the decline in the prices of rubber as among the motives.

The rebels earlier issued a statement accusing some businessmen and companies as behind the alleged cartel or monopoly of the rubber industry in North Cotabato.

Sema condemned the attack saying it was the handiwork of a “group of bandit”’.
“With what the NPAs had done, they did not think of the future of the people in Makilala and the dreams of the children of Standeco workers. There is a big possibility that the rubber industry in Makilala will die with what happened,” he said.

Police and military personnel have launched pursuit operations against the attackers believed to be members of the NPA Front 72 led by a certain Felix Armodia a.k.a. Commander Jing.

Sema said the rebels fled towards Tulunan town via Barangay Santa Filomena, Makilala onboard the Isuzu trucks.

MNLF senior leaders divided over gov't's peace efforts

From the Philippine Star (Sep 2): MNLF senior leaders divided over gov't's peace efforts

The senior leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from the central committee and the group aligned with the faction of its founding chair Nur Misuari are divided over its stand on the peace overture of the government between the two groups.

This after the MNLF central committee, which previously ousted Misuari from the chairmanship, signed a resolution supporting the government in merging the two peace processes of the MNLF’s 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to achieve the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

The forum was initiated by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the regional office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to clarify to the MNLF leaders the government has upheld the 1996 final peace accord.

An MNLF faction under Habib Mujahab Hashim, who is aligned with the group of Misuari, described the efforts in drawing of support as a “divide and rule” tactic to dismember the whole MNLF organization and to seek support to the proposed  FAB with the MILF.

Hashim said while their faction does not fully support  the resolution of their other senior MNLF faction they will continue to talk with the government.

The resolution, which will be furnished to the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), President Benigno Aquino III through the OPAPP, and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman, was signed during the MNLF Senior leaders forum held Sunday in a hotel in this city.

Among the signatories were Yusop Jikiri, presiding chairman of the MNLF senior leaders forum (MNLF-SLF), Abuamri Taddik and Abebakrin Lukman, both acting secretary of the MNLF-SLF.

The resolution reiterated the MNLF senior leaders and commanders'support to the 1996 final peace agreement and the current GRP-MNLF and OIC Tripartite Implementation Review of the accord.

In the resolution, the leaders expressed full support to the continuity of the final peace accord and the completion of its implementation, but with condition for the government to clarify, define and recall the note verbal closure of the tripartite review that was conveyed by the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary to the OIC last March 21.

The note verbale has purportedly earlier prompted  Misuari to declare his own independent Bangsamoro state following a series of dialogues with thousands of his followers and leaders in Sulu.

Misuari, who said the closure of the tripartite review was tantamount to abrogating the 1996 final peace agreement, will elevate their independence cause before the United Nation (UN) and the OIC.

During the forum, the MNLF senior leaders also stipulated in their resolution recommendations to join or constitute the membership of the MNLF peace panel for the resumption of the GRP-MNLF and OIC tripartite meeting.

“And that we welcome the proposal to achieve a more comprehensive and inclusive political solution to the Bangsamoro problem through convergence of the two peace processes involving the MNLF and the MILF,” according to the resolution of the MNLF senior leaders’ forum.

Abdul Sahrin, MNLF secretary general to the MNLF central committee faction under Muslimen Semah, said over the local radio here that the faction affirmed the peace partnership between the MNLF, OPAPP and ARMM.

Sahrin said the partnership ensures the MNLF of the ongoing OPAPP and ARMM socio-economic development programs for its communities in the autonomous region and non-ARMM areas and the distribution of benefits that accrue to the final peace agreement.

Sahrin said the socio-development programs include scholarship, government’s health insurance PhilHealth registration, and the cash-for-work program, and sustainable livelihood programs.

Hataman called on the whole MNLF leadership to cast away doubts on the government efforts in bringing peace and development into troubled areas.

“All the efforts that are being implemented are based on what was stipulated in the agreement and we are striving in implementing programs to capacitate our people for an inclusive, just and lasting peace,” Hataman said.

MNLF vows continued support to peace pact

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Sep 2): MNLF vows continued support to peace pact

THE top and senior leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have expressed their continued support to the 1996 peace agreement and the tripartite review process.

Their assurance came after a resolution was approved on Sunday at the culmination of the two-day MNLF Senior Leaders Forum (SLF) in Zamboanga City.

During the two-day forum, the leaders discussed important issues and concerns affecting the ongoing peace process between the National Government and the MNLF.

The forum also tackled the Final peace Agreement (FPA) and “its tripartite review whose objective is the attainment of the FPA’s full implementation.”

The peace agreement was signed on September 2, 1996 -- exactly 17 years ago on Monday.

The MNLF senior leaders stated in the resolution: “Now therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, that we, the senior leaders and commanders of the MNLF who represent the broad masses of our people in the ground and acting on behalf of their general welfare and common good, hereby affirm our sustained support to the 1996 FPA and its tripartite review to achieve the full implementation of the agreement.”

“Resolved further, that the MNLF Senior Leaders Forum is ready to recommend among the leaders to join or constitute the membership of the MNLF peace panel for the resumption of the GRP-MNLF-Organization of Islamic Conference-Peace Committee for the Southern Philippines (OIC-PCSP) tripartite meeting as soon as possible in order to conclude the process to the satisfaction of the concerned parties.

And that we welcome the proposal to achieve a more comprehensive and inclusive political solution to the Bangsamoro problem through convergence of the two peace processes involving the MNLF and the MILF. This proposal may be addressed at the Bangsamoro Coordinating Forum as created and established by the OIC in December 2011 with the full support of the MNLF and the MILF leaderships,” the resolution added.

A copy of the resolution was furnished to President Benigno Aquino III, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp), OIC secretary-general and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) Governor Mujiv Hataman.

Meanwhile, the MNLF senior leaders have agreed to partner with Armm to jointly implement the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan projects (Pamana) in MNLF communities across Mindanao.

The Pamana projects will be implemented by the line agencies of Armm and the MNLF would be the one to identify what projects are needed in a particular MNLF community.

The National Government has allocated a budget of P1.469 billion for the implementation of Pamana projects this year.

The Pamana is the National Government’s program and framework for peace and development. It is implemented in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements.

Abdul Sahrin, a member of the MNLF Central Committee and one of the senior leaders, said they have formed committees to ensure the proper implementation of the Pamana projects.

MILF: Editorial -- Real leader produces other leaders

Editorial posted to the MILF Website (Sep 2): Real leader produces other leaders

A true leader doesn’t produce followers or puppets or “yes men”. A true leader creates more leaders. Leaders take care of concerns, and build the capabilities of others to take care of their concerns. Leaders build power for themselves and others.

Leaders make offers. Leaders speak and move with a presence, a voice, and identity to have their offers heard and accepted. Leaders build new narratives of and commitments for the future with others.

This is the reason that in closed societies and police states like monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorial regimes, and totalitarian states rarely good leaders emerge. They are either cowed or outright silenced or killed if they make counter-views or hurl criticisms.

The late MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim had shaped the MILF into this model. He never had been accused of one-man rule or dictatorship. On the contrary, he was criticized during his time as slow in decision-making, a quality that made the MILF what is today. If he made decision, he was firm and can hardly be swayed by contrary views. The incumbent MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim followed the same template. If Salamat was the main ideologue of the MILF, Murad is known for his coolness even in the harshest of situation.

Compare the approaches of the MILF and the MNLF including how they engaged the government in peace talks. The distinction is outstanding. MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari always headed their peace panel from 1976 to 1996. Salamat and Murad never led their peace panel since they became chairs of the MILF.  As a working principle, it is good that decisions are made by those who are in body and soul involved in the undertaking. The leader will only put his stamp of approval to the decision thus made. If Napoleon Bonaparte was made a good general and empire-maker, it was because most of the hard decisions during their France’s expansions were made by his generals.

In a modest way, the MILF operates similarly. It always pursues the consultative and collective leadership. No major decision has ever been made except when it is fully deliberated by its central committee, which is real and functional. There is no power struggle within the organization. Murad refused to chair the MILF after the death of Salamat on July 13, 2013. He nominated MNLF vice chair Abdulaziz Mimbantas to become the new chairman. It was the collective decision of his colleagues that only made Murad bow to the will of the majority and accepts the nomination.

For the MILF, the higher cause has to be upheld by all and at all times. This is the reason why it adopted the supportive stance when the MNLF started to talk peace with the government in 1992. It only decided to enter into another negotiation with the government when the GPH-MNLF Final Agreement of 1992 contained so many flaws that short-changed the Bangsamoro people. In the agreement, the MNLF had abandoned the right to self-determination (RSD) of the Bangsamoro people and in the totality clause, the MNLF agreed to allow pertinent Philippine laws to apply if there is a controversy in the interpretation of the agreement.

IEP: Video -- Jihad in the Land of the Philippines (Ummah News)

Posted to the Islamic Emirate of the Philippines Facebook page (Sep 2): Video -- Jihad in the Land of the Philippines (Ummah News)

Jihad in the land of the Philippines
Press Release (UMMAH News )

CPP/NPA: NPA stands up to corrupt Aquino regime as Oplan Bayanihan falters in Western Samar

Posted to the CPP Website (Aug 31): NPA stands up to corrupt Aquino regime as Oplan Bayanihan falters in Western Samar

Vicente Magbuhat
NPA Western Samar Provincial Operations Command (Arnulfo Ortiz Command)

The Arnulfo Ortiz Command (AOC) of the New People’s Army-Western Samar said today the NPA continues to hold the moral high ground and the terrain against the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan in the province. “The NPA is fighting for social justice and waging superior guerrilla warfare against a regime that is starting to unravel from corruption, puppetry and violence against the people,” said Ka Vicente Magbuhat, AOC spokesperson. “Thus the NPA remains unfazed against the military’s Oplan Bayanihan, which is furthering the interests of the rotten Aquino regime by committing state brutality against the people in the guise of “community spirit”. The Arnulfo Ortiz Command is rising to the occasion and earning victories in fighting intensive and extensive guerrilla warfare against Oplan Bayanihan.”

Ka Vicente Magbuhat noted the NPA is pursuing justice against human rights violators whom the Aquino regime coddle and reinvigorate with Oplan Bayanihan. “The Arnulfo Ortiz Command acknowledges the carrying out of the death penalty meted by the people’s court on retired Police Sr. Insp. Severino Solis last March 19 in Catbalogan City. Solis, 60, was a former police intelligence officer who participated in enforced disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings in Catbalogan as a henchman of the butcher Gen. Jovito Palparan in 2005 and onwards. He was directly involved in the enforced disappearance of 67-year-old Patricio Abalos in 2005, who was tagged as an NPA supporter and who remains missing to this day. He was also directly involved in the extra-judicial killing of Bayan Muna leader Dominador de Luna. Solis committed many other human rights violations against social activists and the people under the Arroyo regime but remained unpunished. The death sentence was carried out by the special operations group of the Arnulfo Ortiz Command.”

The AOC spokesperson also said violations of international humanitarian law have not disappeared but have merely been reinvented as “community spirit” under Oplan Bayanihan. “The troopers of the 8th Infantry Division used to camp in the midst of civilian communities in violation of international humanitarian law. But now the 8th ID soldiers are living right inside the houses of civilians for as long as three to six months in the course of their “peace and development” operations. That’s “community spirit” all right – using civilian communities as human shields in a warzone! While also pretending to deliver fictitious social services, the 8th ID soldiers harass those they accuse as NPA supporters, impose curfews, restrict the free movement of civilians, ruin livelihoods, and force the people to live in the shadow of fear. These are now happening in the hinterland villages of Matuguinao, San Jose de Buan, Paranas, Motiong, Jiabong and Villareal.”

Heeding the people’s outcry, the AOC carried various guerrilla offensives against the 8th ID human rights violators. Ka Vicente Magbuhat noted at least 26 Aquino government forces were killed and 13 wounded in the following armed engagements between the NPA and 8th ID since Nov. 2012:
  • Nov. 2012 – NPA fighters ambush operating troops of the 43rd IB, killing two and wounding one in Brgy. Bagacay, Matuguinao.
  • Nov. 28, 2012 – NPA fighters punish enemy spy Laguyo de la Cruz and confiscate an M2 rifle and a .45 pistol in Brgy. Mahayag, Matuguinao.
  • March 5, 2013 – NPA fighters harass combined elements of the 87th IB and 81st CMO Coy, killing four and wounding four more in Brgy. Canvais, Motiong.
  • March 7, 2013 – NPA fighters ambush and kill seven from the same enemy units as in March 5 between Brgy. Canvais and Brgy. Sto. Niño, Motiong.
  • March 11, 2013 – NPA fighters defend themselves and kill ten soldiers from the 87th IB in the latter’s raid on a guerrilla camp between Brgy. San Andres and Brgy. Hagbay, San Jose de Buan.
  • March 13, 2013 – A soldier is killed and another one wounded when NPA soldiers have an encounter with 87th IB troops in Brgy. Hagbay, San Jose de Buan.
  • March 19, 2013 – Human rights violator Sr. Insp. Severino Solis is meted punishment by the NPA special operations group in Catbalogan City.
  • April 22, 2013 – NPA fighters encounter and wound seven from a unit of the 87th IB in Brgy. Agbalati, Catbalogan City.
  • May 30, 2013 – NPA fighters ambush Chief Insp. Douglas Eloja, Paranas police chief, and three other policemen, who were allowed to escape unscathed as a warning over their abuses against the people, who complain of beatings and corruption by the town police.
Ka Vicente Magbuhat said the NPA will certainly intensify guerrilla offensives in Western Samar to further isolate and rock the Aquino regime to its foundations. “The NPA is cherished by the people for advancing their nationalist and democratic interests. On the other hand, the AFP is despised by the people for its mercenary character and brutal attacks on the people’s democratic rights. The NPA will surely carry out more offensives in support of the people’s struggle against the corrupt, fascist and pro-imperialist Aquino regime. Oplan Bayanihan and the Aquino regime are on their way to history’s garbage dump.”

CPP/NPA: 17th IB suffers 2 killed and 3 wounded in Dupag ambush

Posted to the CPP Website (Aug 31): 17th IB suffers 2 killed and 3 wounded in Dupag ambush

Tipon Gil-ayab
NPA Kalinga Provincial Operations Command (Lejo Cawilan Command)

At 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, an ambush was successfully staged by Red fighters from the Abraham Bannawagan Front (ABF) in Dupag, Lubuagan, Kalinga. Two (2) soldiers were killed and three (3) were wounded; and M16 rifle and ammunitions were confiscated by the NPA unit, that retreated safely after the successful ambush.

The NPA tactical offensive was launched as a punitive action against the AFP for the forced recruitment of CAFGU elements in Dupag and for instigating the Lubuagan tribe to launch tribal war against the Mabongtot tribe. Conscription is the desperate move of the US-Aquino Regime to catch up on the failed timetable of Oplan Bayanihan “to render the revolutionary movement irrelevant” by the end of 2013. And instigating tribes people to go against another tribe for petty reasons and non-tribal matters is a dirty ploy of the AFP and their minions in the local bureaucracy to sow division among the people, who are in the process of forging unity against big business ventures in the electric and mining industries, and against militarization.

The people of Kalinga should hold firmly on the positive aspects of tribal culture, especially it’s democratic character of representing the true aspirations of the constituents of indigenous leaders and its glorious tradition of struggle against aggressors, land grabbers and tyrants. The people should resist and condemn the ploy of the AFP in using indigenous socio-political institutions against the indigenous peoples themselves, as in the case of using the bodong system to instigate tribal wars as a result of fighting between the NPA and the AFP/PNP/CAFGU. NPA and AFP/PNP/CAFGU casulaties in the course of a just people’s war should not be held against tribes of combatants from both sides. The people have no recourse but to condemn and disown opportunists in the midst of their tribes such as the politicians and those involved in the MBCC (Mataguan Bodong Consultative Council)
Being true to their record, after the NPA ambush in Dupag yesterday afternoon, the AFP through the 17th IB, indiscriminately launched attacks on nearby villages. M203 grenade launchers were fired in Mabongtot, destroying houses and other properties and forcing women and children to evacuate and find refuge in nearby barrios of Tanglag at Taloctoc.

The Lejo Cawilan Command (NPA-Kalinga) condems these dastardly acts of the 17th IB and,together with the people, will seek justice and punish the violators of indigenous people’s rights, human rights and international humanitarian laws.

CPP/NPA: NPA guerrilla warfare in Leyte beleaguers 8th ID’s OpBay; 28 soldiers killed and 23 more wounded

Posted to the CPP Website (Aug 31): NPA guerrilla warfare in Leyte beleaguers 8th ID’s OpBay; 28 soldiers killed and 23 more wounded

Dodong Malaya
NPA Leyte Provincial Operations Command (Mt. Amandewin Command)

The Mt. Amandewin Command-New People’s Army in Leyte today said that its guerrilla warfare continues to beleaguer the Oplan Bayanihan of the 8th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as the latter lost 28 killed while 23 others were wounded in five armed engagements launched by the MAC-NPA-Leyte from November 2012 to March 2013. “Behind the boasting of 8th ID Maj. Gen. Gerardo Layug that the NPA is finished in Leyte, he is actually covering up their casualties while spinning lies and ingratiating with the media to keep them in the dark about the growing strength of the NPA in Leyte and the whole Philippines,” said Ka Dodong Malaya, spokesperson of the MAC-NPA.

In October 17, 2012, 12 elements of the 78th IB were killed and 15 wounded when they were ambushed by Red fighters of the MAC while onboard a truck in Sitio Calingatan, Brgy. Sto. Niño, Antipolo, Albuera, Leyte. On December 6, 2012, 12 were killed and three wounded when the MAC launched simultaneous offensives against 78th IB elements in Brgy. Antipolo, Albuera and the Alpha Coy of the 19th IB in Brgy. Rubas, Jaro, Leyte. On March 25, 2013, three were killed and two more wounded from the Charlie Coy of the 19th IB when the MAC launched a tactical offensive in Brgy. Liberty, Ormoc, Leyte. Two days after this, Red fighters had an encounter with soldiers on a hot pursuit operation, where two more were killed and two wounded. Meanwhile, one Red fighter was martyred during these armed engagements.”

Ka Dodong Malaya also said the wanton military operations by the 8th ID bring nothing but human rights violations. “Since June 2012, the soldiers have never lifted operations in the villages of Jaro, Burauen, Albuera and Baybay which are interconnected towns in Leyte. Aside from regular combat operations, there are also psywar, combat and intelligence operations by the “peace and development teams” (PDTs), the new euphemism for what used to be known as the Reengineered Special Operations Teams. They stay in the houses of civilians, compel the peasants to ask permission from them before going to their farms, and in one instance, detained four families in the village chapel. In fact, after the NPA tactical offensive inj Brgy. Rubas, Jaro, Leyte, a motorcycle-for-hire driver was summarily executed on the mere suspicion he participated in the offensive. Meanwhile, in Carigara, Leyte, 19th IB commander Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro Nacnac personally visited the houses of known members of progressive organizations to threaten them that they were NPA sympathizers and targets of the military,”

But according to Ka Dodong Malaya, the NPA continues to advance and grow strong despite wanton operations by the 8th ID and their vicious vilification of the revolutionary movement in the mass media. “The NPA is deeply rooted among the masses and cherished by the people because of its high prestige in fighting a just war for their interests. The 8th ID’s intensified military operations that only breed human rights violations further inflame the people’s desire to fight and advance the people’s war. Thus, Oplan Bayanihan surely has nowhere to go but defeat while the revolutionary movement will further strengthen and advance.”

Ka Dodong Malaya meanwhile called on all units under under the MAC-NPA to intensify and launch even more tactica offensives to answer the people’s demand for the punishment of the 8th ID over its human rights violations. “We must launch even more intensive tactical offensives not only in the framework of active defense, but to annihilate the military forces of the reactionary state and contribute to the goal of raising the level of warfare from the strategic offensive to the staretgic stalemate.”

CPP/NDF: Aquino regime’s ‘new approach’ to peace is all-out war of oppression and suppression of the people

Posted to the CPP Website (Sep 2): Aquino regime’s ‘new approach’ to peace is all-out war of oppression and suppression of the people

Ma. Laya Guerrero
Kabataang Makabayan

The Kabataang Makabayan, the revolutionary mass organization of the Filipino youth allied to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), condemns in highest terms the aerial bombardment in Sagada, Mountain province and the military encampment of a school starting on August 30.

Without any regard to the indigenous communities of Sagada and in brazen violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Philippine Airforce MG-520 attack helicopters indiscriminately bombed the areas which the military claims as an New People’s Army (NPA) camp.

The residents and indigenous communities of Sagada are also rightfully linking that the military is hell-bent on flushing out the NPA in order to eliminate opposition against the government’s plans to build industrial wind-farm and develop mining of prime copper and gold in those areas.

Subjecting entire communities to fear and indicriminate bombings and attacks committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in this case, again proves that the ‘new approach’ to peace of the Aquino government is nothing but all-out war against the revolutionary forces and also the suppression of the entire communities, unarmed and non-combatants under the brutal counter-insurgency operations Oplan Bayanihan.

We call on human rights and peace advocates, students and youth groups to stand against the blatant violations of the Aquino regime, sowing terror to communities and running amok in villages as they search for NPAs, including the use of schools in its military operations.

There had been relentles cases nationwide of military incursion in schools, film showings and red-baiting of youth and student groups using the revised “Knowing thy Enemy”, building outposts inside schools and within 50-meters vicinity and harassment of students and youth activists.

Meanwhile, Kabataang Makabayan denounces the Aquino regime’s persistent lies on the real reasons why the peace-talks of the government with the NDFP remains in limbo. The Aquino regime’s intransigence on not honoring past agreements with the NDFP like the Hague Joint Declaration which is the soul and framework of the peace-talks and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is the real cause why the peace talks collapsed.

While the regime through its OPAPP and then government’s panel chief Alex Padilla peddle the lies and propaganda that it is the NDFP which stalled the talks, the fact is the Aquino government which is blatantly violating JASIG by arresting NDFP 14 consultants to the peace-talks which the NDFP demands to be freed and subjecting others to enforced disappreance.

That Aquino himself remains mum on the need for the government to resume negotiations with the revolutionary forces, proves its indefensible narrow-mindedness and offers only militaristic solutions to the raging civil war.

It is the Aquino regime therefore , who has the primary responsibility why the next substantive agenda of the peace-talks on socio-economic reforms are forestalled, after the CARHRIHL which the regime also countlessly violates.

By declaring unilaterally that the peace-talks collapse and that the Aquino regime will not be willing to talk unless the NPA lays down arms is talking hollow ‘peace’. Perhaps the Aquino regime should be lectured on the elementary and fundamental roots why in the first place there is armed resistance of the people, and why the Filipino youth continues to embrace the revolutionary struggle as the only sure solution to the oppression of the Filipino people.

It is the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system dominated by imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism which is the root of the armed resistance of the people. The class dictatorship of the feudal lords, big compradors and bureaucrat-capitalists who are embroiled in deep-seated corruption, continues to plague our people with massive poverty, unemployment, sagging wages, landlessness of peasants and land-monopoly of the landlords, homelessness, neglect of social services such as education and health amidst massive destruction of our natural resources for profits of the few.

The compradors connive with landlords in connecting the backward agrarian economy and semi-value added industries to foreign monopoly-capitalists or imperialists to generate maximum profit. The profit-making ventures they do at the expense of the toiling people. They do not wish to implement national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform for national progress and as precondition to answer majority of people’s socio-economic woes.

Instead the ruling government which is the representive of the tyranny of these ruling classes in our country implements programs dictated by the imperialists to maintain their rule and the economic system that continue to benefit them and oppresses the people.

The US-Aquino ruling clique also continues to implement the imperialist dictated policies of liberalization, privatization, denationalization and deregulation that worsens the semi-colonial and semi-feudal set-up. Primarily the US imperialist, does not only wants to heighten its military hold on our country but also seek to drag the economy to further liberalization and seeking to change the Philippine Constitution to maximize 100% ownership of land and resources in our country and 100% ownership of capital on local companies.

The corruption-ridden Aquino regime, which also offers the people’s coffers and national resources for plunder of foreign monopoly-capitalists, big local compradors and feudal landlords has no tenable and real solutions on the economic woes and suffering of the people. The GDP growth that the government brags does not indicate progress, and it is empty in the face of real poverty being suffered by majority of the people.

The US-Aquino regime implements PPP for mega-profits of big capitalist cronies, family and allies of Aquino, the dole-outs and corrupt-ridden CCT program,carries out the policies of borrowing and perennial indebtedness, of demolition of urban poor and landgrabbing from farmers, budget cuts for education and health while amassing peoples money to go to their pockets, as exemplified by the Pork Barrel controlled by Aquino himself.

The defiance of the people against these oppression is called simply as ‘violence’ by the US-Aquino regime and justifies its brutal Oplan Bayanihan. What the US-Aquino regime tauts as the ‘new approach’ to peace is nothing but all-out war of oppression and suppression of the people.

As the Filipino youth and people demand accountability from the plunderers and from US-Aquino regime of corruption, they also seek solutions to the historic problems of land monopoly and industrial backwardness as and the immediate needed respite from high-time economic hardship.

For so long as the government do not serve the people and remains as the tyranny of landlords, big compradors and imperialist interests, the Filipino youth and people will continously to rise up for revolutionary change!

NGCP tower damage in BIFF IED attack in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2): NGCP tower damage in BIFF IED attack in Maguindanao

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it is now conducting pursuit operations against members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who bombed a transmission tower of the National Grid Cooperation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Barangay Ladia, Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao early Monday.

Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP public information office chief, said the attack transpired around 3 a.m.

He said the BIFF used improvised explosive devices in damaging the NGCP transmission tower, causing electrical power cut in Cotabato City.

"We now have troops in the area where the blast occurred and they are now conducting post-blast investigations," he said.

Zagala said that power was resumed late Monday morning.

No one was reported injured in the incident believed aimed at disrupting the ongoing peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He added that this is not the first attack on the NGCP tower in Sultan Kudarat town, stressing that the military managed to foil last Aug. 19 a bombing raid of the BIFF.

"They are peace spoilers and we will just continue to be vigilant to prevent them from conducting similar attacks," Zagala said.

2 BIFF men killed in North Cotabato clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2): 2 BIFF men killed in North Cotabato clash

Government forces and militiamen foiled another attempt by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to commit another atrocity in a remote village of Midsayap, North Cotabato Saturday, the Army said here today.

Brigadier General Ademar Tomaro, chief of the Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade based in Carmen, North Cotabato said about 15 heavily armed BIFF forces from Datu Salibo, Maguindanao crossed the Rio Grade de Mindanao and tried to enter the village of Polomoguin, Midsayap at 8 p.m.

But alert village watchmen and armed militia engaged them in an hour long firefight, forcing the rebels to flee.

Quoting civilian accounts, the militiamen reported that two BIFF fighters were killed and taken by the rebels.

As the fighting rages, elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion reinforced the militiamen until the raiding BIFF forces crossed the river separating Datu Piang and Midsayap.

The Army fired 81 mm mortars to drive away the rebels.

Composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the BIFF gained notoriety when the simultaneously attacked border towns in North Cotabato in 2008 following the botched signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

Led by foreign-trained and former field commander of the MILF Ustadz Ameril Kato, they bolted from the MILF and formed the BIFF which the military now considers as lawless and terrorist elements.

The Army blamed the BIFF in the series of atrocities in Maguindanao even during the holy month of Ramadhan.

It took responsibility in the series of roadside bombings in Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

Police clears tourism town from NPA rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2): Police clears tourism town from NPA rebels

The government forces cleared in two days this weekend Sagada, Mountain Province, a tourism town some 100 kilometers north of Baguio City, from remnants of the community insurgency movement including an apparent New People's Army (NPA) camp.

Police Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, regional director of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) said the seige of the rebel camp started last August 30 and it was only late Saturday when the Philippine National Police (PNP) and a unit of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) confirmed that the rebels were dislodged from their stronghold.

Two policemen of an elite PROCOR unit were wounded in the two-day gunbattle. They both survived and were duly assisted by the government.

It remains unclear if the enemy side suffered any casualty. Government troopers estimated they encountered in that area between 20 to 30 armed rebels.

The police force was able to penetrate the NPA camp after the air force contingent bombed the immediate environs. Investigators are still in the area examining items left by the rebels.

Because of its tourism potentials in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Sagada has been declared before as a "peace zone" in order that visitors can freely roam around the beautiful town known for its unique temperate fruits like apples and persimmon, as well as caves with underground streams.

An average of more than 20,000 local and foreign tourists go to that area which is among the leading eco-tourism sites in the Cordilleras.

A peace zone in the region is where the soldiers and rebels alike are prohibited to have belligerent actions in the area including the bearing of firearms.

This matter reached the authorities which moved the PROCOR to investigate in the area. They were in this investigation when they were fired upon in Barangay Agid, Sagada, Mountain Province.

74 BPAT volunteers in Bacolod complete training

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 2): 74 BPAT volunteers in Bacolod complete training

Seventy-four volunteers who are part of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team Batch 17 of the Bacolod City Police Office completed their training Sunday.

The training, held at the Bacolod Government Center, started last Aug. 18 and ran for three Sundays

Supt. Alexander Ermeo, BCPO deputy director for administration, represented acting city police director, Senior Supt. Edgardo Ordaniel, in greeting the newly-trained volunteers during their graduation.

Ermeo distributed the certificates of attendance of the graduates, in the presence of Insp. Ramsey Barro, deputy of Police Community Relations branch, and Senior Police Officer 1 Rey Jereos, BPAT supervisor.

Initially, 81 participants listed up for the training but only 74 completed the course.

The BPAT volunteers are trained to perform functions in law enforcement, community organization, barangay conflict resolution, environmental protection, and disaster management.

As a force multiplier of the Philippine National Police, the BPAT is headed by the barangay captain, and tanods and other barangay residents serve as members.

The Police Regional Office-6 had earlier said they are continuously strengthening and expanding the BPAT teams in Western Visayas.

Chief Supt. Manuel Felix, deputy police regional director for administration, said that barangay peacekeeping operation is largely helping in the fight against criminality and in the maintenance of peace and order.

About 90 percent of the 4,051 barangays in Region 6 have organized and operationalized BPATs.