Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Troops tasked to secure barangay clash with NPAs in Eastern Samar

From the Samar News (Oct 25): Troops tasked to secure barangay clash with NPAs in Eastern Samar

October 25, 2013

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, SamarTroops tasked to secure the conduct of upcoming barangay election clash with NPA rebels at around 4:25 pm on October 18, 2013 at Brgy Balagon, Can-avid, Eastern Samar.

In his report, LtColonel Manolito F Montiel, Commanding Officer of 14th Infantry (Avenger) Battalion, said that his troops chanced upon a group of NPA insurgents who were campaigning for a political candidate for the upcoming Barangay election.

After a brief firefight, the insurgents managed to escape. No casualty was reported on both sides.

Meanwhile, troops under 63rd Infantry Battalion while conducting clearing operation to ensure peaceful and orderly barangay election, discovered NPA camp at Brgy. Hibunawan, Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar at around 4:40 pm the same day.

The NPA camp is composed of fifteen (15) makeshift huts, one (1) makeshift hall and two (2) advanced guard posts which can accommodate 15 to 30 NPAs. Said camp is believed to have been abandoned for five days.

BGen Jet B. Velarmino AFP, Commander of 8th Infantry Division lauded his troops for their untiring efforts to insulate the communities of peace loving people from NPA threat and violence.

Addressing his troops, he said: “Your commitment and dedication to service to ensure that the people in Eastern Visayas are secured and protected from NPA threat and violence is very commendable. Let us continue safeguarding the people in this region, especially those living in countryside so that they can freely vote for the candidates of their choice and not out of fear, intimidation and pressure from the rebels.”

Westmincom chief to be feted

From the Philippine Star (Oct 30): Westmincom chief to be feted

Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, commander, Western Miindanao Command

The personnel of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division will conduct Wednesday afternoon an “honor parade” for their former commander, Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, in recognition of his activities complementing MalacaƱang's peace efforts with local Moro sectors.

Ardo, incumbent chief of the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, had served as 6th ID’s commanding general from late 2010 to 2012.

Major Gen. Romeo Gapuz, commander of 6th ID, will lead the honor ceremony for Ardo, according to the division’s spokesman, Col. Dickson Hermoso.

No encounter has taken place between forces of the 6th ID and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Central Mindanao in the past two years, a feat which local folks attribute to the division and the MILF’s strict compliance with the 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities.

The 6th ID, which was originally under the Eastern Mindanao Command, was placed under the Westmincom’s tactical and administrative control about a year ago for a better implementation of the ceasefire pact, which is also being imposed in certain areas in the Zamboanga peninsula, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The three island provinces are inside the territories covered by the Westmincom. Maguindanao and the second district of Lanao del Sur, the main bastions of the MILF in Central Mindanao, are now also under Westmincom.

Ardo, while 6th ID commander, was active in various peace-building projects that  hastened the recovery in flashpoint areas in Central Mindanao, where the MILF has about 50 enclaves, including its main stronghold, Camp Darapanan, in Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of Maguindanao.

Ardo, while 6th ID’s commander, even reached out to members of Central Mindanao’s secular Darul Iftah, also known as Islamic House of Opinions, by visiting them at their houses during the 2012 Ramadhan fasting season, as part of the 6th ID’s confidence-building measures with Muslim religious communities.

Activist councilor, Duterte ally seizes control over ‘Nograles barangay’

From the pro-CPP Davao Today (Oct 30): Activist councilor, Duterte ally seizes control over ‘Nograles barangay’

Angela Librado-Trinidad (left) gets support from former Mayor Sara Duterte (right) in her candidacy for barangay chair of Matina Crossing or 74-A. ( photo by Medel V. Hernani)

Angela Librado-Trinidad (left) gets support from former Mayor Sara Duterte (right) in her candidacy for barangay chair of Matina Crossing or 74-A. ( photo by Medel V. Hernani)

Davao City – Erstwhile stronghold of the Nograles camp, Barangay 74-A Matina Crossing, which is one of the largest barangays in the city, has declared after Monday’s elections a new barangay captain closely identified with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

From being a college editor-in-chief, Sangguniang Kabataan chair, to city councilor, close Duterte ally Angela Librado-Trinidad now holds a new title — barangay captain.

On Monday’s barangay election the activist-feminist lawyer beat three other contenders for the leadership of Barangay Matina Crossing 74-A, in her first foray into barangay politics since holding the SK leadership two decades ago.

Librado got 5,371 votes beating her closest opponent, outgoing barangay councilor Samson Villasis who garnered 3,985 votes.  Another councilor Ike Yuzon got 2,735 votes while Jonathan Santes, brother of incumbent barangay captain Joel Santes got 1,396 votes.

Santes had been identified as a staunch supporter of Duterte nemesis former House Speaker Prospero ‘Boy’ Nograles and current first district Rep. Karlo Nograles.
The proclamation was made Monday night at Matina Central Elementary School.
Librado thanked supporters as she said she would usher in a new brand of political leadership in her barangay.

She said her campaign was met with criticisms on her partisan politics and experience.
“I never saw my experience as a city councilor for nine years as an advantage. In fact it became an issue against me,” Librado said.

“It was rumored that the non-support of some influential groups to my bid was based mainly on my affiliation with Bayan Muna (partylist),” she added.

But her victory, she said, showed “that the people believe in the principles Bayan Muna is espousing.”

Librado served as city councilor from 2001 to 2010 under the local political party Hugpong of the Duterte and with support from Bayan Muna Partylist.

As councilor, Librado authored city ordinances including the establishment of the city’s gender and development office, women’s reproductive health clinic, overseas Filipino workers (OFW) center, and an ordinance on children’s welfare.

She supported Bayan Muna’s legislation among which called for increase benefits for workers and government employees, protection of women and human rights victims, and the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Act, Electricity and Power Industry Reform Act, and Mining Act, among others.

As barangay captain, she would now focus, aside from these advocacies, on “getting the worth of people’s money and people’s trust by delivering services to her constituents.”

Librado said one of her priority agenda is to review the barangay’s programs and budget that, she said, was “heavily is skewed.”

“Out of the P15 million budget (of the barangay), P10 million is allocated for executive -legislative services and operational expenses. Only P3-million goes to development projects,” she said.

Librado’s foray into politics started in her college days as editor-in-chief of Atenews, Ateneo de Davao University’s campus paper in 1991. She was also officer of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, which joined the nationwide campaign for the abrogation of the US military bases.

Her father was labor leader and Martial Law detainee Erasto ‘Nonoy’ Librado, who briefly served as city councilor in 1992, and her mother Marlene Librado, who finished her husband’s term and secured two additional terms.

Troops, NPA clash while on poll duty

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 31): Troops, NPA clash while on poll duty

Government security forces rendering election duty on Tuesday encountered communist New People’s Army (NPA) attempting to influence the conduct of the barangay polls in northern Samar province.

Brig. Gen. Jet Velarmino, commander of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division (ID), said that elements of the elite 1st Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting security operations along Barangay Caputoan in Las Navas town where they chanced upon an NPA band.

A 10-minute firefight erupted immediately between the Army troops and the 20-man rebel band.

Velarmino said that no casualty was reported on the government side.

On the other hand, undetermined number of communist rebels was believed to have been killed or wounded during the clash as reported by local residents and the engaged troops.

Reports said the NPA band was in the area to influence the result of the barangay election.

Velarmino commended the troops for thwarting the communist attempt as he attributed the successful operation to the coordination of the local residents to the military.

 We must protect the people’s right of suffrage and their freedom to vote for the candidate of their choice,” said Velarmino.

Not an Al Jazeera video; MNLF shot hostages — AFP

From the Daily Tribune (Oct 31): Not an Al Jazeera video; MNLF shot hostages — AFP

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels were the ones firing at hostages and not the military as claimed by a narrative of cable news outfit Al Jazeera on a video of an incident during the Zamboanga City siege that happened last Sept. 13, so goes the claim of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) yesterday.

The AFP claimed fighters of the MNLF faction of Nur Misuari fired at the hostages in the video that was made available in social networking sites following the 20-day siege of Zamboanga City.

Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief, stressed the military did not fire at the hostages, whom the government security forces were tasked to rescue by no less then President Aquino.

“The video speaks for itself. We did not fire at the hostages...we were tasked to rescue the hostages, no way will we fire at them,” said Zagala.

In the video, however, the hostages were waving white flags and facing the direction of the column of state forces before scampering away from the direction where the shots were made, clearly  in front of them.

Zagala, however, said the video, believed to have been taken from a cellular phone last Sept. 13 or the fourth day of the siege laid by Misuari followers in Zamboanga City, clearly showed that the firing came near the hostages.

“The hostages were in the middle of Lustre Street, in front of KGK Building which was occupied by the MNLF Misuari factions, while the AFP troops were positioned 200 to 300 meters away,” said Zagala.

“Based on the video, there were audible automatic gun fires which mean they were close,” added Zagala.  

Zagala also criticized The Tribune headline “Al Jazeera video shows military shoot hostages” that came out Wednesday.

“Your title is wrong. The video did not come from Al Jazeera, it is available online,” said Zagala.

The video grab that appeared on the front page of the newspaper, however, clearly had the emblem of Al Jazeera on it.

The military official said that the MNLF Misuari faction actually provoked the military forces to fire at them while they (Misuari followers) were hiding at the middle of the hostages.

“They were firing at us to provoke us but we did not fire...we countered with selective fires against their sniper positions,” said Zagala.

At the same time, Zagala said the military is ready to face any investigation regarding the matter.

“We’re open to that (investigation). The video says clearly that the MNLF Misuari faction fired at the hostages,” stressed Zagala.

Last Sept. 9,  more than 300 members of the MNLF Misuari faction occupied at least six barangays in Zamboanga City and held around 200 civilians as hostages. The government declared the siege over last Sept. 29 after 195 hostages were accounted for.

More than 200 MNLF fighters, 25 government security forces and 12 civilians were killed during the 20-day siege. About 10,000 residential structures were burned down.
President Aquino when asked by an Al Jazeera reporter about the footage during a recent Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) event questioned the authenticity of the video, even hinting that it was an MNLF propaganda material.

Jamela Alindogan, an Al Jazeera reporter, however, related in a story that when he visited one of the alleged hostages in the video Juan Santander Morte, she was told that the video was not fabricated.

Morte himself was hit by a shrapnel on the head and back but he said he doesn’t blame anyone, not even the Philippine military because “everybody is a collateral damage of war.”

Earlier, the Zamboanga siege was described as an intelligence blunder by former Constabulary chief retired Maj. Gen. Ramon Montano and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“The whole government intelligence community should commit hara-kiri...they should all commit suicide for this blunder,” Montano told The Tribune.

According to Montano, government authorities underestimated the capability of the MNLF faction of Chairman Nur Misuari, resulting to the Zamboanga City siege.

“Their attitude was to belittle Misuari which is very wrong...and there is no excuse to that,” said Montano.

UNA secretary general Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco also questioned the capability of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to abate acts of terrorism in spite of its hefty intelligence fund.

“The MNLF movements in Zamboanga are a massive failure of intelligence. What happened to the intel budget of the DILG and the Philippine National Police (PNP)? Somebody’s sleeping on the job,” Tiangco said.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Ambush in Capiz

From the English edition of Ang Bayan (Oct 21): Ambush in Capiz

Three soldiers from the 61st IB Alpha Coy were killed and several others were wounded in an ambush by the New People’s Army under the Jose Percival Estocada Jr. Command (JPEC) in Barangay Nayawan, Tapaz, Capiz on October 7.

Fascist troops under the 301st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army were then conducting operations in the mountainous barangays of Tacayan and Nayawan when they were ambushed by the Red fighters at around 6:45 a.m. It took more than six hours before three Huey helicopters arrived to collect the military casualties, said JPEC spokesperson Ka Jury Guerrero.

[Ang Bayan is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and standpoint on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly. It is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Military suffers 19 casualties in ST

From the English edition of Ang Bayan (Oct 21): Military suffers 19 casualties in ST

Ten soldiers were killed and nine others were wounded in various military actions launched by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Tagalog from July to September. An abusive company was likewise meted punishment in Occidental Mindoro. The reports were culled from Kalatas, the revolutionary mass paper in the region.

In Quezon. Red fighters under the Apolonio Mendoza Command (NPA-Quezon) thwarted an attempt by fascist troops of the 74th IB to encircle them in Sitio Matalahan, Barangay San Vicente Kanluran, Catanauan on September 16. Seven soldiers were reported killed while all members of the NPA were able to retreat unscathed.

The Red fighters were exercising when the 74th IB attacked at exactly 6:55 a.m. When the soldiers opened fire, the Red fighters were immediately able to maneuver. Each team was able to fight and seize the initiative in the battle.

In Mindoro. The Lucio de Guzman Command (NPA-Mindoro) punished on September 7 the Jomarias International Corporation (JIC), a construction company owned by former congressman and San Jose, Occidental Mindoro town mayor Jose Villarosa.

Residents of the area have been complaining about the company’s operations which have been polluting the Caguray River and destroying the people’s source of livelihood. The punitive operation was undertaken at the Paclolo-Purnaga area in Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro. The Red fighters burned two dumptrucks and a payloader and destroyed two mixers.

On August 26, the Lucio de Guzman Command likewise thwarted an attack by the 4th IB in Sitio Tinawagan, Barangay Panaytayan, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. A mercenary soldier was killed and two others wounded, while not a single Red fighter was killed or injured.

Meanwhile, another soldier was wounded in a sniping and harassment operation launched by an NPA team against the 4th IB in Sitio Gaang, Barangay Panaytayan.

In Palawan. Two elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 were wounded in a tactical offensive launched by the Bienvenido Valleber Command (NPA-Palawan) on August 26 in Sitio Ebangley, Barangay Abongan, Taytay.

The Red fighters were able to make a safe retreat.

In Rizal. The NPA continues to mete blows on the fascist troops of the AFP in Rizal province. A three-man team under the Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NPA-Rizal) launched a harassment operation on August 14 against a detachment manned by a composite force of the 16th and 59th IBs.

Before the harassment operation, an NPA unit spurned an attack by the 16th IB on July 28 in Barangay Tinucan, Tanay. A soldier was killed and another trooper was wounded in the 30-minute firefight which began at 6:30 a.m. Not a single Red fighter was killed or wounded in the gunbattle.

By 8 a.m. that day, the NPA unit which had retreated and regrouped returned to the scene of the fighting and harassed the 16th IB, wounding three other soldiers.
Meanwhile, the NPA-Rizal launched a sparrow operation against a sergeant from the 48th IB on July 20.

[Ang Bayan is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and standpoint on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly. It is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Victorious tactical offensives launched in NCMR

From the English edition of Ang Bayan (Oct 21): Victorious tactical offensives launched in NCMR

Red fighters under the North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR) launched five tactical offensives in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental from September 30 to October 6. The military suffered 33 killed and at least six wounded, while the Red guerrillas did not suffer any casualties.

In Bukidnon. Thirteen soldiers of the Philippine Army 8th IB were killed and several others wounded in an ambush by a unit under the NPA South Central Bukidnon Subregional Command (SCBSC) in Sitio Tubod, Barangay Cawayan, Quezon on October 6.

The Red fighters rained bullets and lobbed grenades on the lead team composed of the Lumad bandit group New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR) led by Nonong Salusad. After this, they used command-detonated explosives (CDX) on the main body of soldiers from the 8th IB.

The NPA ambushed the 53 newly trained soldiers while the latter were on the way back to their camp in Quezon town from Sitio Kitanggol, Barangay Dao, San Fernando. The soldiers reinforced the NIPAR bandits after Red fighters raided their lair at Sitio Kitanggol on September 16.

In Misamis Oriental. Two soldiers were killed when a team from the NPA Eastern Misamis Oriental-Northeastern Bukidnon Subregional Command harassed the 58th IB blocking force in Sitio Kapatagan, Barangay Umagos, Lagonglong, at around 8 a.m. on October 3. By noon, the Red fighters had killed three more soldiers in the same area.
Meanwhile, two military helicopters were forced to make an emergency landing at the Balingasag Central Elementary School at 2:50 p.m. after an NPA unit fired at them as they neared the scene of the fighting.

Earlier, ten troops from a company-size column of the 58th IB were killed and five others were wounded when Red fighters detonated a CDX on the soldiers who were on patrol in Sitio Camansi, Banglay, Lagonglong at around 2 p.m. on September 30.

Nearby, another soldier from the 58th IB was wounded in a sniping operation by an NPA team. Five more soldiers were killed by the NPA the day after while they were in the act of robbing an unoccupied house in Sitio Camansi at around 1 p.m.

[Ang Bayan is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and standpoint on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly. It is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

PART OF CAMPAIGN TO WIN PEACE: Army trains Bicol youth

From the Bicol Mail (Oct 24): PART OF CAMPAIGN TO WIN PEACE: Army trains Bicol youth

YOUTH POWER. Still full of energy, these youth leaders aboard six aircon buses of the Army and Navy arrive at Camp Elias Angeles Wednesday morning after a two-day tour to important places in Metro Manila as part of the five-day leadership training under the Youth Leadership Summit program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. JUAN ESCANDOR JR.

NAGA CITY — Using organizing and consciousness-raising strategies to win the youth to peace, a program of the civil-military operations (CMO) is training youth leaders “for nation building” and federating them from the municipal, provincial, regional to national levels.

Brig. Gen. Felix Castro, assistant commander of the 9th Infantry Division (ID) based in Pili town in Camarines Sur, said the training program Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) has been going on for five years now and so far a national event is targeted next month.

Castro said 200 participants from the six Bicol provinces who joined the first regional YLS held on Oct 18-22 in an upland resort here were endorsed by local government officials from the six provinces of Bicol.

He said Albay Gov. Jose Maria Salceda was among the resource speakers of the two-day event that aimed at developing leaders from among the citizens 15-30 years of age in the communities.

Castro said the AFP provides the project funding of YLS including transportation, food, and accommodation of the 200 participants from Albay, the two Camarines provinces, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon.

Lt. Col. Pastrana, head of the CMO of the Army’s 9th ID, said the YLS is part of the Army’s strategy to win the youth to embrace peaceful way of change before other groups could “poison” them.

Pastrana said the training provides the youth the positive view of dealing with societal and governmental concerns and gives better alternative of change than armed struggle.
He believes that with the available resources they could sustain the youth organizing.

Training module includes three days lecture-discussion on topics  that dwell on the youth of today as future leaders, insights on leadership and management of local government unit, peace process and peace building, and action planning.

The three-day lecture-discussion with team building activities was capped by the organization of Youth for Peace Movement (YPM) at provincial and regional levels.

Don Velasco Pesonela, who hails from Sorsogon and the regional president of YPM, said he found the training useful because it has developed his skills, attitude, and team-building strategies.

Pensonela revealed they were taught how to be a law-abiding citizen and he thinks it is the right way that every citizen must tread.

He said that a big responsibility have been placed on his shoulders because he was elected leader whose duties he must perform for one year.

Pensonela echoed what Pastrana said that the intention is not counterinsurgency but winning the peace in the communities and nation as part of the “internal security.”

Asked on his view regarding the Left movement, he said that the Left-leaning groups must help the government more than criticizing and pursuing the armed struggle.

He said he learned these things in the training that the citizens must help each other resolve the problem and stop joining activities that will destroy the peace and security of the communities and pursue peaceful means of resolving the problem.

Michael Angelo Gallego, 20, a student of the Bicol University, said the YSL is a way to win the hearts and minds of the people, where the AFP reaches out to the youth sector in Philippines.

Gallego shared he is a journalism student and “had been into lot of situations” and gave YLS a try.

He said it was his second time to join the YLS and the most important he learned is “the civilian support to the military” which he said also included the “psychological affairs.”

Gallego said he had been an editor-in-chief of the Bicol Universitarian and exposed to the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and the League of Filipino Students (LFS).

He said he is practicing non-partisanship being a journalism student and attended seminars sponsored by CEGP and LFS.

NPA guerrillas turn fury against pigs in Bukidnon farm

From InterAksyon (Oct 30): NPA guerrillas turn fury against pigs in Bukidnon farm

Communist insurgents who have been battling government forces for decades turned their fury on hundreds of pigs at a farm in the southern Philippines, a military spokesman said.

About 50 New People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked the pig farm in the town of Libona in Bukidnon province on the southern island of Mindanao, said local military spokesman Captain Christian Uy.

They set fire to the feed storehouse then attacked the area where about 560 pigs were kept, Uy said.

"They burned some pigs and hacked others to death. About 50 pigs were killed while the rest were injured and are now being treated by veterinarians," he told Agence France-Presse.

The spokesman said the attack may have been prompted by the farm's failure to meet rebel extortion demands.

The insurgents often demand money from rural businesses like farms and plantations, said Uy.

"They saw that the assets of the company are the live pigs so that is what they tried to destroy," he said.

The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been fighting sporadically in the Philippines since 1969.

At least 30,000 people have been killed according to the government.

While the NPA ranks have declined to about 4,000 fighters from a peak of 26,000 in the 1980s, the rebels are still capable of mounting deadly attacks.

President Benigno Aquino III had been aiming to end the rebellion before his six-year term expires in 2016, but the government said in April that peace talks had collapsed.

China, Malaysia to hold first ever joint military drill next year

From InterAksyon (Oct 30): China, Malaysia to hold first ever joint military drill next year

China and Malaysia will hold their first-ever joint military exercises next year, the Southeast Asian nation's defense minister said Wednesday, despite their rival claims to the tense South China Sea.

The announcement by Hishammuddin Hussein, who is in Beijing to meet Chinese military leaders, follows a visit to Kuala Lumpur earlier this month by China's President Xi Jinping, in which the two countries pledged closer ties.

"Malaysia and China are expected to launch our first joint exercise in 2014 after the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation was signed in 2005," Hishammuddin said in a statement sent to AFP.

The statement gave no details on the planned drills such as their location, scale, or which military branches would be involved.

A Malaysian defense ministry official confirmed they would be the first-ever drills between the two countries' armed forces.

Hishammuddin, who met his counterpart General Chang Wanquan in China, also said he invited Chang to visit the Malaysian naval base of Mawilla 2 in the South China Sea on the island of Borneo.

The visit would be aimed at launching a "direct-contact" relationship with China's fleet in the South China Sea.

The resource-rich waterway has become a potential military flashpoint in recent years as Beijing has pressed its claim to nearly all of it.

Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have various claims -- some overlapping -- to the sea, a vital thoroughfare for world trade and shipping traffic.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam are members, has sought to present a united front against China.

It was not immediately clear how Malaysia's warming defense ties with China would be received in other ASEAN capitals.

While the Philippines and Vietnam have been involved in tense confrontations with China over the issue, Malaysia has sought to keep a lower profile in the dispute.

In recent years, China has become Malaysia's top export market and a vital trade buffer against the world economic volatility, and their commerce and overall relationship has strengthened.

Xi's visits to Indonesia and Malaysia and his attendance at a regional summit in Bali took on added significance after President Barack Obama cancelled his own plans to visit due to the recent US government shutdown.

The episode symbolically highlighted the two giants' rivalry for influence in the Asia-Pacific and raised questions over Washington's promise to refocus its attention on the region.

China agreed this year to discuss with ASEAN an eventual binding set of rules to prevent accidental conflict at sea, but analysts say Beijing will never give up its territorial claims and they predict maritime tensions will continue to simmer.

Security forces hold Malaysian linked to rebel attacks

From the Manila Times (Oct 30): Security forces hold Malaysian linked to rebel attacks

Authorities on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of a Malaysian in a raid on a house frequented by former rebel chieftain Nur Misuari, whose forces attacked this city in September.

Police said the Malaysian, Koh Wui Chick, who is using the aliases Samson Jose Konde and Atchong, was brought to Manila where he is currently being investigated.

“The Malaysian is now in the custody of the Philippine National Police in Manila and he is currently being investigated in connection to the MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front] attacks in Zamboanga,” Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, told The Manila Times.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd earlier ordered an investigation in the MNLF attacks in Zamboanga and who financed the rebels to carry out the raid. There were media reports that some Filipino politicians may have financed the violence to discredit the Aquino government and that several Malaysians had met with rebel leaders prior to the attacks.

Early this year, another Malaysian, who allegedly helped in negotiating with Abu Sayyaf rebels for the release of 21 mostly European holidaymakers kidnapped in Sabah in 2001, was spotted in Zamboanga City and Manila at the height of the standoff between armed followers of the Sultanate of Sulu who intruded in Sabah’s Lahad Datu town.

It was unknown whether Koh had a direct participation in the simultaneous raid by rebels on September 9, but it sparked deadly street battles that lasted for three weeks. The fighting left over 400 people dead and wounded and resulted in a humanitarian crisis.

Malaysia has confirmed the arrest of one of its nationals and said the 55-year-old man is from Kota Kinabalu in the eastern state of Sabah.

“The arrest of the Malaysian man followed the action taken by the Philippine security forces against individuals suspected of being involved in the armed attacks launched by MNLF fighters in Zamboanga City on September 9,” Director General, Datuk Mohammad Mantek, of the Eastern Sabah Security Command, told the official Malaysian news agency Bernama.

Mohammad did not give details about the arrested Malaysian, saying Filipino authorities are still investigating the man. It was not immediately known whether the foreigner had funded the rebel attacks in Zamboanga City.

The attacks prompted Malaysian authorities to tighten security in Sabah to prevent the intrusion of rebels.

“So far, no security threats to Sabah have been detected but we are intensifying security measures along eastern Sabah’s border waters nevertheless,” Mohammad said, adding Malaysian security forces are ready to collaborate with the Philippines if there is a need. “We have no problem in extending cooperation due to our good relations with the Philippine government.”

Rebel couple surrenders

From the Sun Star-Tacloban (Oct 30): Rebel couple surrenders

CATARMAN, Northern Samar – A couple, who admitted to be active members of the New People’s Army (NPA), has surrendered to government troops in Northern Samar on Sunday, October 27.

Ruel Sirse, alias “Bulay,” 35, and Melly Esponilla alias “Mica,” 45, surrendered to soldiers of the 34th Infantry Battalion based in Palapag town.

“The government troops were conducting peace and development activities in Barangay Rizal, Gamay, Northern Samar when they were approached by the surrenderees,” said Captain Amado Gutierrez, of the Philippine Army 8th Division.

Sirse was reportedly a squad member, while his partner Esponilla was in the medics team of the NPA. The couple surrendered to the Army one .45 Caliber pistol with three magazines and 20 live bullets.

“They admitted that they are live-in partners and they decided to surrender because they wish to raise a family away from harm and violence,” Gutierrez said.

Under the guns for peace program of the government, the former rebels will receive P25,000 for the firearm they surrendered. Each of them is entitled to receive P50,000 livelihood assistance and P15,000 immediate assistance from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Peace Process (Opapp) under its comprehensive local social integration program (Clip).

The surrenderees can also avail of additional benefits from the Provincial Government of Northern Samar under its local social integration program (LSIP).

The couple was temporarily placed under custody of the Philippine Army, while the documents are being processed for their livelihood assistance and other incentives.

CPP/NPA: The NPA-Kalinga Revolutionary Critique to the MBCC’s “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”

Posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) blog site (Oct 18): The NPA-Kalinga Revolutionary Critique to the MBCC’s “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”

Ka Tipon Gil-ayab
Lejo Cawilan Command, NPA - Kalinga
October 18, 2013

During its “Matagoan Congress II”, held at Man-uugudan Hall, Pastoral Center, Bulanao, Tabuk City last October 16, 2013, the Matagoan Bodong Consultative Council (MBCC) has finally exposed its true color as a reformist and reactionary instrument of the anti-people US-Aquino Regime 2 (US-AR 2) and its fascist armed forces, the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.  In its “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”, the MBCC has made clear to the masses in Tabuk and throughout the whole province that it has been serving and continues to act as the tool of the Oplan Bayanihan, the counter-insurgency program of the US-AR 2 which is based on the US COIN (counter-insurgency) Guide 2009.  This US COIN Guide 2009 is an international program of the imperialist government of the United States of America in her wars of intervention and aggression against countries, such as the Philippines, Afghanistan, India, Kurdistan, Colombia, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and the like, that are strongly opposed to the economic, political and socio-cultural control and global domination by US imperialism.

One of the objectives of the MBCC in its “Strategic Plan 2014-2016” is to uphold human rights and “reduce human rights violations”.  But the MBCC has never denounced the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA forces that have committed various human rights violations (HRVs) here in Kalinga in the past and up to the present. Since 2001 OPlan Bantay Laya of the past US-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Regime to the present Oplan Bayanihan of the US-AR 2, which are, of course, the same banana, the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA troops have killed a total of 34 unarmed and innocent civilians here in Kalinga alone; and justice has been denied to all of them, as follows:

1. Three (3) from the municipality of Balbalan, namely, Bayan Muna Leader Peter Dangiwan, Jeff “Openg” Daoayan and Robert “Ambalnog” Sabado;

2. Five (5) from Pinukpuk, specifically, Victor Balais, Noli Siwal, Richard Agustin and two others from Pakawit;

3. Twelve (12) from Tabuk, explicitly, Women Leader Mercy Gonzalo, her husband Salvador Gonzalo and their son-in-law Charlie Kadater, Alex Noval, Jimmy Dalire and his 3-year old  daughter, Calanan Barangay Captain Gabriel Lumbican and his father,  Elmer  Gallema,  Bayan Muna Leader Rafael “Markus” Bangit, Bayan Muna Coordinator Mrs. Alice O. Claver, and another civilian from Nambaran;

4. Twelve (12) people who were massacred in Rizal, namely, Lakay Ulliba, Pedro Ulliba, Felimon Ulliba, Delfin Madayag, Johnny Gaspar Cayabo, Bangi Bakkay, Agyao Sabawil, Abok Tayaan, Say-at Addawi, Alib Baklas, Juan Attang, and Conrado Ordonia; and

5. Two (2) from the municipality of Lubuagan, i.e., Rey Lugao and Barangay Kagawad Rocky “Ongki” Abol, particularly from the barangays of Mabongtot and Upper Uma, respectively.

To sum it all, there have been 19 incidents of human rights violations, committed by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA of the reactionary state here in Kalinga since 2001.  These 19 incidents include 11 cases of murder, 5 attempted murder cases, 2 massacres and 1 attempted massacre.  As a result of these, there have been 51 civilian victims, 34 of whom were killed as listed above, 11 wounded and 6 highly traumatized.  And the MBCC has forever been silent about all these as it uses the “bodong”, “peace and order”, “human rights” to deodorize the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and to legitimize the triad operations [combat operations, intelligence operations and civil-military operations (CMO) or PDT (peace-and-development team) operations] being done throughout the province under the OPlan Bayanihan program of the present intransigent US-AR 2.

Under the “Part 2: Strategic Peace Framework” of the MBCC’s “Matagoan Peace and Order Strategic Plan 2014-2016”, there are nine (9) “Strategic Broad Programs”, mentioned therein.  Four (4) of these ostensible “Strategic Broad Programs” are as follows:

1. “Bodong Enhancement Program”;

2. “Anti-Insurgency Program”;

3. “Conflict/Dispute Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration Program”; and

4. “Peace Education Program”.

Even without going into the specifics of the so-called “Strategic Broad Programs”, one could already discern that all these are framed within the context of the “Peace and Development Team” (PDT) operations under OPlan Bayanihan of the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, all under the command of the US-AR 2.  The MBCC exploits and manipulates the “bodong” and the “mediation, conciliation and arbitration” which are tribal processes among binodngans in order to hide its full support to OPlan Bayanihan and its conceited “service” to the Kalinga tribes in the various tribal kulligong and barangays of the provincial capital.

The bigoted and opportunist leaders in the MBCC don’t seem to know and pretend to be ignorant about the Codified Pagta (Law of the Bodong), published by Nats Dalanao in his website at  This is the result of the work of the Codification Committee, composed of Kalinga Lawyers and Professional Leaders such as Judge Victor A. Dalanao, Judge Josephine B. Gayagay et. al, who presented their effort during the Fourth Kalinga Bodong Congress in September 1998.  The annotation of this Codified Pagta started after the 1998 Fourth Kalinga Bodong Congress (KBC) and was finished in December 31, 1999. According to Nats Dalanao, “new provisions were inserted on the Pagta… based on actual decisions of elders in various conflict resolutions, and also on new developments to keep the Pagta attuned and responsive to new situations”.

In reality, the MBCC does not uphold the aforementioned Codified Pagta as it uses the “bodong” to enhance the OPlan Bayanihan of the people’s enemy.  It does not recognize the bugis/piglis, the territory of the bodong, defined in Article I of the Codified Pagta as the “ancestral lands, private properties, forests, pasturelands, agricultural lands, residential lands, hunting grounds, burial grounds, bodies of water, mineral deposits including the airspace and the subterranean resources” of each tribe.  This is so because the MBCC and its opportunist leaders are in cahoots with the 501st Infantry Brigade, the 17th IB and the 77th Cadre Battalion which are serving as the “Investment Defense Force” for the safe entry of foreign capitalist large-scale mines, hydropower dams and geothermal energy projects that virtually land grab the ancestral lands, deny and destroy the national minorities’ livelihood and resources.  This is also the very reason why the MBCC does not at all oppose the entrance and operations of the twenty (20) foreign mining companies in the province, such as the Asia Pacific Basin Mining Corp., Philippine Mining Development Corp., Facets Minerals Inc., Vegas Exploration & Mining Corp., Phil. Mining Development Co., Malibato Mining Co. Inc., Wolfland Resources Inc., Makilala Mining Corp., Bum Kwang, Carrascal, Indo Phil, Matex, Drill Corp, Chevron Geothermal Philippines, Aragon Energy and Power Corp., Guidance Management Corp., Mount Franz Mining Corp. (owned by Lepanto), Patrick Resources Corp (Lepanto), Newcrest Exploration Phil. Inc., and the Cordillera Exploration Inc.  About twenty-nine (29) Kalinga tribes will be affected directly by these foreign capitalist enterprises. These destructive foreign capitalist firms will surely result to more negative  environmental  impacts to both the up-stream and down-stream barangays of the whole province.  Presently, nine (9) of the above-listed foreign capitalist companies are now in Pasil, and their operations will certainly damage the agricultural production in Tabuk.  In short and sad to say, the adamant and unreceptive MBCC and its opportunist leaders are directly helping the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and foreign capitalists in heightening national oppression and exploitation against the national minorities here in Kalinga.

Because of its anti-insugency program, the Cultural Community Negotiators (CCN or mansakosak/arbiters) of the KBC in the past, some opportunist Kalinga politicians as well as the present opportunist leaders of the MBCC have been and are continually manipulating the bodong system against the forces of the NPA and against families and tribes from where the NPA forces originate in Kalinga.  Among the notorious bodong manipulators are Manuel Bacacao, Johnny “Abe” Dickpus, Roy Dickpus, Palangya Dongga-as, Fernando Kamakam, Aldrin Bagni, John B. Dongui-is, Bartolome Banglagan, Segundo Palangdao and some others.  They have forcibly and unjustly claimed more than P300,000.00 from the Daoangan tribe for the death of a regular Philippine Army, named Asteras from the Lubuagan tribe, who was suspected as having been killed by an NPA Red fighter from the Daoangan tribe in 1998.  For the death of Cpl. Wilfredo Bacacao, one of the two AFP killed in the ambush of the NPA at Patiking, Barangay Bagumbayan, Tabuk last May 9, 2013 wherein 5 others were wounded on the side of the fascist AFP forces and 1 M16 rifle and other logistics were seized by the NPA unit, again said dishonorable bodong manipulators were out to seek indemnities from families and six tribes from where the NPAs, suspected of having been involved in the said ambush, originate.  These tribes and families were forced to swear (sapata) and sign to clear their names and their tribes of such involvement.

We, in the LCC which is the provincial command of the NPA in Kalinga, strongly condemn such unjust acts of the notorious bodong manipulators.  It is not right to blame the tribes and families from where the NPA forces come and neither is it just to demand any indemnification from them for any casualties in the battles between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.  Such unjust decisions of the KBC and the MBCC – in the past of letting families and tribes, from where forces of the NPA come, recompense any  payment – should immediately be put to an end.  It is enshrined in the international policies and rules of war that it is not right to target the civilian populace and it is the responsibility of any army, either revolutionary or reactionary, to safeguard all civilians and protect their human rights.  Such international rules of war have been and are violated by the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA because of its inherent nature of being fascist and anti-people.

Likewise, we condemn the smear propaganda of 501st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Roger D. Salvador who spread out to the broadcast and print media the outright lie that an NPA unit kidnapped and recruited a child whom the NPA allegedly forced to join in launching the victorious tactical offensive at Patiking, Bagumbayan, last May 9.  We violently deny such an unfounded accusation and tall tale.  We are strongly united with the whole CPP-NPA-NDF in the whole country to implement the revolutionary policy of recruiting only 18 years old and above aspirants to the NPA.

We also denounce staunchly the MBCC meeting – held at the Quirino Hall inside the City Hall of Tabuk last May 21, 2013 – wherein the mother of a youngster, Mrs. Lilia Mamawag Omang, was couched by military and police agents to proclaim that her “16 year-old son was abducted by the NPA at 12 midnight last May 11, 2013”.  That meeting of the MBCC was actively participated by five (5) Philippine Army officers, namely, 501st IBde Commander Col. Roger D. Salvador, 17th IB Commander Lt. Col. Alvin Flores, Capt. Joel a. Dungle, Lt. Col. Antonio C. Astilla  and 1Lt. Sandrader O. Macaiba.  We, nonetheless, deny any participation of the teenager son of Mrs. Omang in the May 9, 2013 NPA ambush at Patiking, Bagumbayan, Tabuk.  He was not abducted and neither was he recruited by the NPA. We, however, state that in the morning of May 10, 2013 after the said ambush, the youngster found the physical base of the NPA nearby.  But because news spread around that he was accused by the AFP-PNP as an NPA Red fighter, he feared to go home and was insistent to join the NPA.  Nevertheless, he was convinced by the Abraham Bannawagan Front (ABF) to go home in the afternoon of May 14, 2013. That night  inside their house at Sitio Banagan, Brgy. Bagumbayan, the youngster clarified in front of his parents and his siblings that he was not with the NPA in the May 9, 2013 ambush at Patiking and that he was not kidnapped by the NPA.  He admonished his family not to pay any indemnity for the death of Cpl. Wilfredo Bacacao.  After their talks, he slept with his family for the rest of the night.  But at around 3:30 AM of May 15, 2013, the teenager sneaked out from their house without being noticed. At 5:30 AM of May 15, 2013, the smiling teenager arrived  at  the physical base of the NPA unit of the ABF. For detailed explanations on what really happened, we encourage  the public  to read  the LCC statement, issued on May 28, 2013, entitled, “Rejoinder to the AFP-PNP smear propaganda on the NPA ‘kidnapping’ and ‘recruitment of a child warrior’”.  On the other hand, we admit that since May 25 this year this teenager son of Mrs. Lilia M. Omang is inside the guerilla zone of the ABF for his protection, security and safety.  It has been made clear, however, to the teenager not to be admitted yet to any fighting unit of the NPA because of his being under age; and it has been explained further to him that he can only be considered a fulltime NPA Red fighter when he would turn 18 years old this coming November 27, 2013.

We admonish the MBCC to realize  that  its  acts are unjust and, if continued, would lead to a higher stage of disorder and disunity among the tribes, and that such acts are essential parts of the whole counter-insurgency program of OPlan Bayanihan which utilizes both fascism and deception to stop the masses to fight for their rights, interests and aspirations.  This is, of course, a concrete manifestation of the national oppression and the violation of the indigenous socio-political systems of the national minorities, like the bodong and the pagta.

It is a fact that the global crisis of capitalism worsens and heightens daily the economic and political crisis in the Philippines as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country under the dictate of US imperialism. This would result to the intensification of oppression and exploitation which drives more of the Filipino masses everyday to take up arms and join the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) through the people’s war.  This means that more and more tactical offensives will be launched by the NPA nation-wide;  and more and more casualties would be expected on the side of the reactionary forces of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA as the people’s war intensifies.

The KBC as well as the MBCC must  admit  the fact that  the  people’s war will go on and the NPA will not be defeated because this is a just war for the national-democratic interests of the whole Filipino people.  And the KBC and the MBCC should acknowledge that the war between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA is not a tribal war but a class war between the revolutionary Filipino masses and the oppressive and exploitative classes of big landlords, comprador bourgeoisie and bureaucrat capitalists and their US imperialist masters.  It must, therefore, be recognized and upheld that the war between the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be covered by the bodong and the pagta among the Kalinga and Cordillera tribes.  Historically, this new provision was decided by the militant Kalinga-Bontoc-Peace Pact Holders Association (KBPPHA) and the Cordillera Bodong Association (CBA, not the Cordillera Bodong Administration or CBAd of the anti-national minority CPLA) to include this as an essential part of the pagta that united the tribes of Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra in their vigorous anti-Chico dam and anti-CRC (Cellophil Resources Corp) struggles in the 1980s.  The actual practice of this new Pagta provision finally brought to full stop the two destructive foreign capitalist projects during the US-Marcos Dictatorship. Based on this significant historical experience of the KBPPHA and the CBA and in order to “keep the Pagta attuned and responsive to new situations” to fully serve the tribal, inter-tribal and people’s interests and aspirations of both binodngans and non-binodngans residing in the province, three (3) new provisions should, therefore, be inserted into the KBC Codified Pagta.  FIRST, the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA or individual members of these two armed organizations should be excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of these two conflicting armed organizations come.  SECOND, any act of any member of the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be blamed on the family and tribe where that member originates, and any casualty from any of the two contending armed forces must not be indemnified by the families and the tribes from where the attacking armed troops  originate.  THIRD, the basis of these new provisions should be the principle of neutrality, which should always be upheld by the bodong and the pagta in the practice of the bodong system.  This means that the KBC and the MBCC should be impartial to the two contending armed forces, and their concerns should be focused on the situation and needs of the tribes and on the resolution of the problems (e.g. and specially, tribal/clan wars) afflicting the tribes/clans.

Why is it that the NPA or its individual members should not be covered by the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the NPA come?  Because the individual who comes from any of the tribe did not join the NPA to represent his/her tribe; neither did he/she register his/her tribe when she/he joined the NPA.  When a politically qualified person is accepted as a full member of the NPA, she/he has to follow the organizational laws, rules and policies of the NPA as a national-democratic revolutionary armed organization of the entire Filipino people under the absolute leadership of the CPP.  These rules and policies of the NPA have to be followed strictly so that the NPA would fully  serve the entire Filipino masses and fight for their democratic interests and aspirations.  These NPA policies and rules include concrete and scientific investigation of cases as well as appropriate disciplinary actions to any NPA member who violates such revolutionary policies and rules.

In other words, the revolutionary policies and rules of the NPA are not situated on the bodong and the pagta of the tribes.  But while NPA or its individual members are excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the NPA originate,  the NPA has been and is assisting vigorously in the amicable settlement of tribal and clan wars, fully respects the bodong and the pagta of every tribe and actively helps in developing bilateral and multi-lateral bodong and pagta for the common good of all tribes  and  for safeguarding and perpetuating the basic rights of all tribes and national minorities.  It is important  that the NPA and its members should be excluded from the bodong and the pagta so that the NPA in the Cordillera has all the freedom to fight for the economic, political and cultural interests of the tribes and all national minorities  to be free from national oppression and exploitation, and continue their struggle for self-determination.

On the other hand, why is it that  the  AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA  and their individual members should not be covered by and should also be excluded from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes from where members of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA come?  Also because any individual from any of the tribe who works inside the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA has no right to represent his/her tribe in this rotten, fascist and anti-Filipino armed organization of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA.

But more so, why?  Because the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA is the fascist armed instrument of US imperialism and the ruling classes of the big landlords and the big comprador bourgeoisie  who themselves are the bureaucrat capitalists who control the entire reactionary government and all state institutions.  Once persons from the tribes enter the reactionary AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, they automatically serve the economic, political and cultural interes of the oppressive and exploitative classes and their US imperialist masters.

We,  in the LCC,  also  think  that  the  aforementioned  2nd  provision to be inserted into the KBC Codified Pagta is just and a reasonable one.  This simply means that any act of any member of the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA should not be blamed on the family and tribe from where that member originates, and any casualty from any of the two contending armed forces in the armed class struggle must not be indemnified by the families and the tribes where attacking armed troops come from.

On the side of the NPA, we want all to know that whenever a member of the NPA violates any of the rights of the masses and the tribes, the NPA itself immediately investigates, decides and resolves the case, and executes appropriate disciplinary actions on the NPA offender, depending on the nature and gravity of the case and on the aggravating and mitigating circumstances behind the violation.  As soon as the NPA knows that one of its members has violated the right of one of the masses, the NPA immediately goes to the family and tribe of the victim in order to resolve the case. This is one of the many ways to prove that the NPA is the true army of the people that fights for the rights of the exploited and oppressed classes, most especially the workers and peasants.  For grave cases, though, an essential part of any significant resolution is the indemnification which the NPA gives to the family of the victim.

For the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA, whatever violation of the people’s human rights (such as killing, bombing, strafing, PDT operations in and amidst the houses and inside any barrio, other armed and un-armed activities  that disrupt and disturb the life of the people) should be blamed immediately on the fascist AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA and on the reactionary US-AR 2.  But the families, clans and tribes, from where offenders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA emanate, should not be blamed; and neither should they pay any indemnification.  Appropriate punishment for such violations and satisfactory indemnification for the victims  should  be imposed  only  to  the  offenders  and the commanders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA as part of “command responsibility”.

Two (2) concluding statements for the MBCC  (please get references from

1. If the MBCC and its leaders are true and sincere in upholding human rights and in “reducing human rights violations” in Tabuk and the whole province,  then we ask them to respect, stand for and help implement the basic human rights and the interests of the Filipino masses, including all national minorities, as embodied in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) have signed in 1998.  One concrete form to show its sincerity is for the MBCC to demand justice for the 34 unarmed and innocent civilians, who were killed by the AFP-PNP, as listed above.

2. The “Peace Education Program” of the MBCC becomes relevant only when it addresses the interests and issues of the toiling masses of workers and peasants who compose the majority of the Kalinga population.  As national oppression and exploitation worsens and continues each day, peace continues to be dim among the majority of our people.  One concrete form for the MBCC to make its “Peace Education Program” relevant is to study the Peace Talk between the NDFP and the GRP, specially the “August 27, 2005 NDFP 10-Point Proposal for a Concise Agreement to End Civil War and Achieve Just Peace Immediately”.  The GRP under the leadership of the reactionary US-AR 2 has rejected this proposal, has not put into implementation the CARHRIHL, and has ended the Peace Talk because it requires the revolutionary forces of the NDFP to surrender to the GRP and its reactionary Constitution in exchange for empty promises or to engage in a ceasefire agreement in order to obscure and freeze the people’s demands for major reforms.  The MBCC could encourage other sectors at the provincial capital to study the CARHRIHL and the NDFP 10-Point Proposal, and they could unite together to tell other sectoral and multi-sectoral organizations in the Cordillera and in Region I to write the Aquino government to go back to the Peace Negotiation table with the NDFP.

  • 1. Stop and end tribal war and clan wars!
  • 2. Fight national oppression! Struggle for self-determination!
  • 3. Tribes in Kalinga and throughout the Cordillera, unite!  Develop and heighten the bodong to a progressive level to resolve amicably the common problems of the tribes!
  • 4. Exclude the NPA and the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA from the bodong and the pagta of the tribes!
  • 5. Punish the members and commanders of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU-CPLA who have violated the people’s human rights as well as the rights of the tribes and national minorities to their ancestral land and resources!
  • 6. Drive away the foreign capitalist companies and the corporations of the ruling classes.  Safeguard, manage and utilize the ancestral lands and their rich natural resources for the common good!

CPP/NDF/NPA: Ambush against 38th IB troopers in North Cotabato is legitimate; red fighters confiscate 7 high powered rifles

Posted to the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) blog site (Oct 23): Ambush against 38th IB troopers in North Cotabato is legitimate; red fighters confiscate 7 high powered rifles

Ka Efren
NDFP-FarSouth Mindanao Region
23 October 2013

Warm salute to the Red fighters of the Mt. Alip Command-Front 72 of the New People’s Army for the victorious attacks carried out against the units of the fascist 6th ID-AFP in October 21!

The Red fighters confiscated four M14 and three M16 rifles in an ambush staged against a squad of 38th IB troopers in Sitio Mangui, Brgy. Bituan, Tulunan, North Cotabato.  The soldiers on board a military service vehicle were put out of action at once when a command detonated land mine mounted by the NPA fighters in the ambush site hit them.  The action left eight troopers dead and a lone wounded survivor.  The Red fighters also confiscated the soldiers’ backpacks containing various belongings and AFP logistics.

The 38th IB troop routed in the action is undisputedly a legitimate target being active combatant elements of the said territorial infantry.

Nearly an hour later, a separate team of NPA fighters harassed the reinforcing troops of the 57th IB as they pass through the vicinity of Itochu-Dole’s banana plantation in Brgy. Luna Norte, Makilala, North Cotabato.  The troop came from the battalion headquarters in Makilala town onboard a 6x6 military truck.  A soldier was killed and four others were wounded in the harassment ambush that also employs a command detonated bomb.

These related actions are a whopping blow to the AFP who insistently set up CAA detachments under the 38th IB close to civilian communities.  As a consequence of the presence of military detachments, the residents are vulnerable to violations and harassments by the military and CAFGU elements.  The 38th IB and 57th IB are mercenaries bribed to protect the interests of plundering big businesses of the local ruling classes, the bureaucrats and multinational companies operating in the area.

The NPA have efficaciously resolved the people’s persistent request to punish the 38th IB for their vicious doings.  It has long been known to people that the 38th IB is a key handler of bandits and criminals they recruited as CAFGU elements or intelligence assets.

The NPA has once again proven the cleverness and audacity of guerilla warfare with the triumph of the back-to-back actions at a place and time the fascists least expect the attacks.

The AFP is blandly concealing its military defeat by declaring that the NPA is purportedly undertaking armed operations within the declared peace zones.  Unquestionably, the Red cadres and commanders are certain that the safety of the civilians and the legitimacy of conducting a battle are essentially mulled over in setting up the offensive.  The site in Sitio Mangui where the ambush incident took place is more than a kilometer from the borders of the Bituan peace zone.

Contrary to their charge against the NPA, it was the AFP forces who recurrently conduct combat operations and military activities within the peace zones since these were created more than a score ago.  The long list of AFP violations that took place in these locales is an affirmation of their defilement of the provisions in the creation of peace zones.

Consequently since 2010, the AFP have conducted their so-called peace and development operations, a fundamental component of the counterrevolution and anti-people Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Noynoy Aquino regime, in the barangays comprising the peace zones.  The rapid expansion of palm oil, rubber and banana plantations and the incoming operation of the British multinational Alphaville Mining Corporation are the reasons behind the 6th ID mandated PDOP in the area.

In her statements, North Cotabato governor Emmylou “Lala” Talino-Mendoza reechoed the AFP’s contentions and denounces that the incident is “only creating turmoil and will drive away the investors”.  What the GPH governor was implying is that she is preserving her “serbisyong totoo” but for the interests of the local ruling classes, the bureaucrat capitalists that she represents, and the big foreign plunderers.

Her accusatorial line that military actions such as those carried out by the NPA to punish rightful targets “thwarts the delivery of social services to the people” is a baseless reproach.  Lest she forget, genuine services for the people must be unconditional and attainable especially at the time when the people needed it most.  The governor must learn her responsibilities as a civilian authority from the people, and for the people in that manner, and not reduce herself to mere clanging cymbals of the AFP.


Navy relief ship arrives in Tagbilaran, Bohol

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): Navy relief ship arrives in Tagbilaran, Bohol

The BRP Dagupan City (LC-551), a logistic ship of the Philippine Navy (PN) carrying around 361 tons of relief goods, has arrived in Tagbilaran City in quake-battered Bohol province on Wednesday morning.

PN spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said the ship arrived off Tagbilaran Pier around 7:55 a.m.

The relief items were collected from different government and non-government organizations.

Aside from the relief goods, the BRP Dagupan City also transported personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine National Red Cross.

The PN also sent 16 personnel from Naval Construction Brigade or Seabees which will be participating in the construction of seven makeshift hospitals for seven towns of Bohol that were greatly affected by the earthquake.

Fabic said the PN personnel will also be participating in the repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged infrastructures in several areas.

MILF: BDA holds coaching sessions for facilitators on Leadership Training for People’s Organizations

From the MILF Website (Oct 30): BDA holds coaching sessions for facilitators on Leadership Training for People’s Organizations

Two Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) - Central Management Office (CMO) staff has been holding series of coaching for the facilitators on Leadership Training for the People’s Organizations (POs) from its six Regional Management Offices (RMOs).

The “Leadership Training for the POs” is a comprehensive training package that is geared to capacitate community volunteers from the target conflict affected barangays with adequate knowledge to run their respective organizations and enhance their leadership potentials.

Engr. Tohami Ibrahim,  CMO Institutional Development Officer, and Tarhata Mastura, CMO Training Officer, handled the coaching of training for the pool of facilitators from RMOs which include the Regional Institutional Development Officers (RIDOs), Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officers (RMEOs), Community Organizer Supervisors (COS), and Community Organizers (COs).

The coaching has been ongoing from middle till the end of October 2013 covering Davao, Southern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga City-Basilan and Ranaw Regions.  Two days is spent per RMO.

Topics included Basic Leadership Concepts, Time Management, Facilitating Meeting, Conflict Management, Networking, and Convening.

The activity is also part of the social preparation for the POs who will handle the implementation of sub-projects under the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP).

The sub-projects were identified by the community members after a series of consultation and validation.
Every target community will implement three sub-projects that will help provide basic needs like potable water and will support their livelihood activities.

The POs have been receiving series of capacity-building trainings from RMO and CMO staff since the third quarter last year up to present.

MTF-RDP is under the World Bank which administers this multi-donor fund. It was launched on March 27, 2006 with the aim to assist economic and social recovery in the conflict-affected and vulnerable areas of Mindanao.

The program is supported by Australian Aid for International Development (AusAID), New Zealand Aid for International Development (NZAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the European Union (EU). It had been successfully implemented for three (3) consecutive Program Partnership Agreements (PPAs).’s-organizations

MILF: Electoral system for Bangsamoro should address pervasive clan politics

From the MILF Website (Oct 30): Electoral system for Bangsamoro should address pervasive clan politics

Describing the present electoral system as “very divisive” to the point that “families are splitting up,” Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Panel and of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), the body tasked by the government and MILF to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, said the new electoral system mulled for the future Bangsamoro must address these concerns, said the report by MindaNews on October 29. “We will decide that in the BTC,” Iqbal told MindaNews in a text message.
The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed on October 25, 2012 provides for the creation of Bangsamoro, a new political entity and that the Bangsamoro Government shall have a ministerial form that would “entrench an electoral system suitable to a ministerial form of government.”

“The electoral system shall allow democratic participation, ensure accountability of public officers primarily to their constituents and encourage formation of genuinely principled political parties. The electoral system shall be contained in the Bangsamoro Basic Law to be implemented through legislation enacted by the Bangsamoro Government and correlated with national laws,” the FAB said.

Before the new electoral system is entrenched, however, the first hurdle is still the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Basic Law which will be held under the current electoral system immediately after its passage before end of 2014.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, Aquino called on Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law before yearend 2014.

According to the FAB, upon promulgation and ratification of the Basic Law, the ARMM is “deemed abolished” and all devolved authorities are vested in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) during the interim period.
The FAB adds that the ministerial form and Cabinet system of government shall commence once the BTA is in place. The BTA “may reorganize the bureaucracy into institutions of governance appropriate thereto.”

MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim told MindaNews days after the May 2013 elections that they considered that election as  “a testing ground” for the MILF because “officially, we did not participate in the elections. We were just gauging.

But part of the “testing,” Murad said, was that the MILF last year encouraged its members to register during the general re-registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It also urged the registered voters among its members to vote for candidates supportive of the peace process.

“We did not endorse a candidate so we gave members free will on who they want, who can help in the peace process. Not everyone in the MILF voted because there are those who are not registered voters,” Murad said, adding that they encouraged members to “register in preparation for the plebiscite.”

Murad also said the MILF was going to create a political party starting this year.

“We are more inclined to form a political party because we want to maintain the status of the MILF as an Islamic organization. We are more inclined to form a political party that will be the arm of the MILF for the political process,” Murad said in May.

The political party Murad said they would set up “starting this year” apparently has not been set up. Iqbal said the MILF did not participate in the October 28 barangay elections which is supposed to be crucial for the MILF in preparation for the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Basic Law because the election is “very divisive” and “families splitting up.”

Clan politics is pervasive in the predominantly Moro areas.

Details on the manner of elections will be crafted by the 15-member GPH-MILF Bangsamoro Transition Commision as soon as the Annex on Power-Sharing is approved and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is signed.

Two Annexes to the FAB are still to be signed to complete the Comprehensive Peace Agreement: the Annex on Power-Sharing and the Annex on Normalization, said the report by MindaNews.

Rebel amputee surrenders to 67th Infantry Battalion

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): Rebel amputee surrenders to 67th Infantry Battalion
A New People's Army (NPA) leader with an amputated leg voluntarily surrendered to the troops of the 67th Infantry Battalion who were conducting routine security patrol in Baganga, Davao Oriental.

The rebel was identified as Josan A. Aquino, 29, a member of Rico Front 15, who surrendered in Barangay Salingcamot, Baganga town on Monday afternoon.

The rebel revealed that he was seriously wounded when his leg was hit during an encounter with government troops in November 2011.

His leg was cut-off by another NPA leader during the encounter, before he was sent to a hospital.

“I regret joining the NPA. I could no longer live normally just like before," Aquino said.

Aquino will receive livelihood package from the government to start a new life with his family.

Eastern Mindanao Command commander Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III congratulated Aquino for surrendering and commended barangay officials who assisted in his safe return to the community.

Bangsamoro Basic Law needs to be passed to assure long lasting peace in Mindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): Bangsamoro Basic Law needs to be passed to assure long lasting peace in Mindanao

The government should pass the earliest possible time the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will serve as the backbone of the peace negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to avoid jeopardizing other peace keeping efforts, Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon on Wednesday said.

Biazon, chairman of the House committee on National Defense and Security urged the Transition Commission (TransCom) to expedite the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to show sincerity that the Aquino administration wanted to push long lasting peace in Mindanao.

“Kailangang maisumite kaagad sa Kongreso at dapat maging batas within at least 2014. Kung pwede at least, bago matapos ang taon o di kaya first quarter ng susunod na taon, para maisabatas namin," Biazon said in a telephone interview.

According to Biazon, if the law will be passed on 2015 or in the 1st quarter of 2016, President Aquino will have no more time to supervise the transition period.

“Hindi natin alam kung ano ang pag-iisip ng susunod na presidente. Baka masayang itong effort ni President Aquino at ibasura lang ng papalit sa kanya," Biazon pointed out.

Biazon he is now drafting a resolution for the creation of an adhoc committee to discuss the issues hounding the Bangsamoro law after the TransCom headed by MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal submits the proposed law.

The Muntinlupa City lawmaker said the committee will be composed of chairmen of various appropriate panels, including the defense, House committees on local government, justice, and revision of law.

"Kasi sa panukalang batas, apat ang babantayan dyan na topic o agenda. Una, ano ang magiging hugis ng ipapanukalang government structure ng ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). Pangalawa, ayon ba sa Constitution? Pangatlo, hatian ng kapangyarihan sa national and ARMM government at pang-apat, hatian ng natural resources. May isa pa, ano ang uri ng national security organization na itatayo sa ilalim ng ARMM," he explained.

Last February, President Aquino named the 15-man TransCom through Executive Order 120. The members of TransCom from the MILF includes Iqbal, Robert Alonto, Abdulla Camlian, Ibrahim Ali, Raissa Jajurie, Melanio U. Ulama, Hussein Munoz and Said Shiek.

The seven-man government contingent groups are Akmad Sakkam, Johaira Wahab, Talib Benito, Asani Tammang, Pedrito Eisma, Froilyn Mendoza and Fatmawati Salapuddin.

‘Gun for Peace’ nets 35 NPA rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 30): ‘Gun for Peace’ nets 35 NPA rebels
CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Thirty-five communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, including a minor, surrendered to the military here to avail themselves of the government’s “Gun for Peace and Social Integration Program.”

Capt. Christian Uy, spokesperson of the army’s Public Affairs Division here, said that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz, Commander, of the army’s Eastern Mindanao Command, will formally accept the surrender in a ceremony at the army’s headquarters here Thursday afternoon.

Cruz would be accompanied by representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) and top brass of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The 35 surrenderers were regular members of the NPA rebels operating in the hinterlands of Caraga and Region 10, composed of 17 individuals from Agusandel Sur, six from Bukidnon, six from Surigao del Sur, three from Surigao del Norte, two from Agusan del Norte, and one from the province of Misamis Oriental.

The surrenderers brought along with them 31 assorted high powered firearms to include: AK 47’s, M14, M16A1, Garand rifles, cal. 30 carbines and a Squad automatic weapon (SAW) and 8 low powered firearms to include SMG’s cal.45 pistols and a caliber 38 revolver.

The highest ranking rebel surrenderer was Eleuterio Casal a.k.a.“Nolan,” 58, and former Guerilla Front-34 Secretary/Adviser, Field Guerilla Unit, Field Command 34, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

He said that he was tired and wanted to join the mainstream society and start a new life. He also said that life while in the NPA was very hard.

Like Casal, Roland Barrios, 25 years old surrendered because of hardships while in the rebel group.

He said he did not gain anything beneficial from the NPA but hardships and difficulties without proper remuneration contrary to what had been promised to them.

He also said that he was deprived of the luxury to visit his family in times of need.

Of the surrenderers, 9 of them claimed that they were recruited to the rebel movement when they were still minors.

Bernabe Domino said that he was eight years old when he was recruited.

Now, 21 years old, Domino said that the NPA has stolen his youth and losing the opportunity of going to school, too.

Gino Mansinogdanan was 15 years old when he was recruited. He is still a minor at age 17.

Other surrenderers were Julie Licardo, 16 when recruited; Junrey Canudas, 17 when recruited; Jimmy Ayog, 15 when recruited; Reynante Casal, 13 when recruited; Rolando Fuentes, 16 when recruited; Digo Anti-an,13 when recruited; and Fernando Balili Jr., 15 when recruited.

All of them are now adults and stayed in the NPA ranging from two to 24 years.

Uy said that the arming and recruitment of minors violated the Geneva Convention on the protection of minors and children.

However, the NPA rebels have been desperate that the only way to increase their waning forces was to recruit minors in violation of children’s human rights.

Like Barrios and other members of the NPA rebels, they have decided to return to the fold of the law in order to live and lead peaceful lives, Uy said.

He said that the surrenderers also want to avail of the government’s “Gun for Peace Program” and the “Social Integration Program of the OPAPP.

Uy said that the amount of money under the GPP program varies from P2,000 – P10,000 for homemade firearms to P388,500 for a heavy machine gun.