Sunday, November 3, 2013

Landmark pact offers 40M people hope

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 2): Landmark pact offers 40M people hope

At least 40 million people depend on the sea in areas bounded by three countries—the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia—that have entered into an agreement to protect and jointly manage the rich marine resources that these areas hold. ORLANDO MALIWANAG

On the map, the Sulu and Celebes Seas look like semi-enclosed twin basins separated only by a chain of islands called the Sulu archipelago.

Experts from the Sulu-Celebes Sea Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SCS-SFMP), however, noted that the marine life in these two water basins is not separate: The Pacific Ocean flows into Sulu Sea in Northern Mindanao and between the Sangihe-Talaud archipelago in North Sulawesi.

“Surface waters from one basin overflow to the other every two weeks,” SCS-SFMP said.

Bounded by the Philippines’ southwest coast, Malaysia’s Sabah island on north Borneo and Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, the Sulu and Celebes seas form the Sulu Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME), a large marine ecosystem now considered one of the world’s 200 most critical, which over 40 million people depend on for food and livelihood.

Food security

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, a three-country commitment to protect and manage this common marine area was signed with the hope of ensuring food security for over 40 million people, said Romeo Trono, regional project manager of the SCS-SFMP of the United Nations Office for Special Services.

The landmark agreement, which environment and fisheries officials from the three countries signed, called for the implementation of a strategic action plan to deal with the impact of declining resources in the Sulu-Celebes Sea.

Trono said the strategic action program focused on the management and conservation of small pelagic fishes such as sardines, long-jawed mackerel, big-eye and round scads, and frigate mackerel, a major source of food for most people in the area.

“They are the most abundant, and their stocks are shared by the three countries,” Trono said.

“By focusing our conservation plan on small pelagic fisheries, we ensure that the welfare of economically marginalized communities is being taken care of,” Trono said.

“Small pelagic fishes like sardines, scads and mackerel do not only provide sources of income to fishers but are also the more affordable protein source for lower-income populations in the region,” Trono said.

Sustainable fishing

He said the commitment to protect the Sulu-Celebes Sea, signed in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, would hopefully make fisheries production in the region more sustainable.
Located at the top of the Coral Triangle, the region serves as a habitat for a number of species of corals, fishes, mollusks, mangroves, sea grass and algae that are among the highest in the world.

Trono said the coral reef ecosystem of the Sulu-Celebes Sea supports diverse fishing methods that provide an annual potential yield of 675,380 metric tons.

“This high diversity of marine life results in healthy ecosystems that provide food and the capacity to cope with natural and manmade calamities and their impacts,” he said.

But recent studies showed that over-exploitation of fish and increased extraction of fishery resources have resulted in declining fish size and catch in the region.

“The total marine fisheries production in the Sulu-Celebes Sea countries in the last decade represents a tenfold increase from the 1950s,” he said.

“Marine capture production within the Sulu-Celebes Sea increased steadily in the last 60 years, threatening to deplete existing resources,” he explained.

MILF: Golden Crescent Consortium seeks deeper analysis on Zamboanga siege

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 2): Golden Crescent Consortium seeks deeper analysis on Zamboanga siege

The Golden Crescent Consortium of Peace Builders and Affiliates (GCCPBA), a convening group of Muslim Professionals from the Academe, civil society organizations, media, local government, business and youth convened its Special Assembly last October 26, 2013 at the College of Home Economics, Western Mindanao State University, a Zamboanga local daily reported on October 29.
The GCCPBA facilitated a discussion and reflection on the Zamboanga siege. Resource Speaker Fr. Albert “Paring Bert” Alejo, SJ, member of the Crisis Management Committee shared his analysis on the internal security concern that all ZamboangueƱos faced.

Prof. Ali T. Yacub, AL-Haj, President of the Consortium facilitated the discussion on the Analysis of the Crisis. Members shared personal experiences and reflection on the twenty-three day siege.

Habib Kiram Kamaludin seeks clarification of “why result to military solution and not on negotiation?” The Crisis may be assessed in various aspects- economically, politically, socially, culturally. The members seek an understanding on what transpired during the stages of the conflict.

Paring Bert shared his reflection on a need for not just a shallow understanding on the crisis but challenges everyone for a deeper analysis on the stages of the siege. The concern of involving everyone to be in consultations, dialogues and post war assessments had been a priority of the CMC. It is now on our part to synergize our efforts to help not just the victims but rebuild the city.

The next intervention of the organization is to facilitate a deeper analysis from among the Muslims leaders on the said crisis. The group seeks to involve religious leaders in line with the forthcoming Mindanao Week of Peace Celebration.

Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Haj challenges University professors to be cautious in framing up with Reflection Papers to students about Muslim War. Since the group serves as a research group, he clarified that there exist no “Muslim War”. The siege is not religious in nature; it is political and socio-cultural.

The consortium’s resolution is to generate more and deeper analysis and recommends to the Crisis Management Committee to tap other experts from various sectors to be involved in the analysis especially from the Academe, Business, Youth, Civil Society Organizations. Trauma Healing and Psychological and Trauma Healing processes are next interventions of the group.

“As we seek for peace and solidarity, let prayers be part of every processes of healing the wounds of division, “ Prof. Yacub further said.

MILF: BDA-PLEDGE conducts validation of Value Added Chain products

From the MILF Website (Nov 2): BDA-PLEDGE conducts validation of Value Added Chain products

Three (3) staff of the Bangsamoro Development Agency - Programme for Local Economic Development through Enhanced Governance and Grassroots Empowerment (PLEDGE) conducted validation of products that could have Value Added Chain (VAC) in conflict affected and conflict vulnerable communities in Mindanao.
The BDA-PLEDGE staff were Rahima A. Hassan, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Fairodz Pangunotan, Planning Officer and Marketing Specialist Macmodin Ali.

They facilitated the VAC validation in regions Central Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Davao, Ranaw, Zamboanga Peninsula and Zamboanga-Basilan. The activity was conducted in four communities per region.

The result of the validation will be the basis on selecting two communities per region that will pilot the PLEDGE Project implementation.

Farmers from Southern Mindanao Region complained the exorbitant interest imposed by traders where they borrow capital for corn production.

They said they have already acquired adequate training in producing crops and vegetables, however, they need capital and access to post-harvest facilities with lesser charges.

Corn, rice, coconut, cassava, banana and vegetables are among the major crops produced from the communities.

Under the PLEDGE Program, the community members will be trained how to improve their products like producing coco-sugar from coconut trees, banana chips from banana and animal feeds from corn and cassava.

”When you have improved product quality, you can sell it at higher price,” Hassan explained to the participants. She added PLEDGE will also help in the marketing of their products.

Farmers from Barangay Datal Bob in T’boli town of South Cotabato Province bragged their organic upland rice variety which is aromatic and more delicious than those sold in the local market.

PLEDGE aims to contribute to confidence and peace building efforts through local economic development and sustainable livelihood creation in conflict affected areas in Mindanao.
The program will help in the creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities centering on the development of community-based enterprises with higher level market linkages and enhanced support networks and services
It will enhance community ownership of interventions through participatory and consultative approach.

PLEDGE is a new component of Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Programme with the International Labor Organization (ILO) as its trust fund recipient.

It will also adopt the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach like in the MTFRDP projects being implemented by the BDA.

CPP: Condemn US spy facilities in the Philippines—CPP

From the CPP Website (Nov 3): Condemn US spy facilities in the Philippines—CPP

Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the US government for setting up telecom facilities in the Philippines to intercept internet traffic and telephone calls as part of its network of international intelligence network. The CPP condemns the Aquino regime for sitting idly by and allowing the US security and defense agencies to use the Philippines as a listening post and wantonly engage in spy operations in outright violation of Philippine sovereignty.

“The CPP joins the Filipino people in expressing outrage at the espionage operations being conducted by the US government, in connivance with its allied governments, which violate Philippine sovereignty. The Filipino people cannot allow foreign imperialist powers to make use of the Philippines as a base for its interventionism against other independent countries,” added the CPP.

It is highly likely that the listening facilities are also being used by the US to spy on Philippine government officials in the same way that the US was revealed to have monitored the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of states. With such information in the hands of its spy agencies, US officials can effectively press the right buttons to push for policies and laws which will serve US economic, military and political interests, pointed out the CPP.

Information published a few days ago by the Australian news agency ABC reveal that the US had setup surveillance facilities in its various embassies and consulate offices including those in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Yangon, Manila, Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing. The information was based on a secret map and other documents which are among the stockpile of information offloaded by Edward Snowden from the National Security Agency servers where he worked there as a contractual employee in the IT department.

The documents, first published a week ago by German newspaper Der Spiegel, details the Stateroom program, a US-led intelligence gathering scheme which involves the interception of radio, telecommunications and internet traffic using equipment in US, British, Australian and Canadian diplomatic offices.

The CPP pointed out that “the rapid expansion of the US embassy facilities in Manila is likely related to the increased surveillance and other espionage operations being undertaken by the US defense and security agencies in the Philippines and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“It is national treachery that Aquino and his officials, as well as other puppet politicians have refused to rise in protest against the US spy program which involves the use of the Philippines for US intelligence gathering,” said the CPP.

“It is a great shame that the Aquino regime has kept quiet amidst the international uproar against the US spy program,” said the CPP. The CPP pointed out that Malaysia, Indonesia and China have already summoned US, Australian and other international missions involved in the spy network to hold them responsible for their actions which violate the sovereignty of those countries. The US spy program has been roundly condemned by Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.

MNLF: Filipino-Moro War in Mindanao: Pathway to Freedom and Independence

Editorial posted to the MNLF Website (Nov 3): Filipino-Moro War in Mindanao: Pathway to Freedom and Independence


"O believers, fight in the path of Allah without fear of death and bear in mind that Allah hears and knows everything." (2:22)

In keeping with this Qur'anic injunction, the indigenous Muslims with the support of the Animist Lumad natives and the conscious Christians of Mindanao have to continue waging the freedom struggle against the oppressive Filipino colonizers of Luzon.

Patronized by the American colonizers, the Catholic Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed the colonization and occupation of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) to the First National Assembly opening session on June 16, 1936. The immoral political course of action was brazenly conducted with the enactment by the National Assembly of the draconian law Legislative Act No. 4197 of February 12, 1935 otherwise known as the Quirino-Recto Colonization Act.

Consequently, the illegal land-grabbing scheme was formalized by the arbitrary annexation of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan into the U.S. government-created "Philippine Republic" on July 4, 1946.

Thus, the present-day Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao is but only the continuation of the Bangsamoro people's Jihad Fi-Sabilillah (struggle in the way of Allah) against the Spanish, American and Japanese invaders in a span of more than four centuries now.

Clearly this is ordained by the Qur'anic verse: "Fight against them until there is no disorder and Allah's supremacy is established. If they desist, let there be no hostility except against the oppressors." (2:193)

Against the present oppressive Filipino marauders, the Bangsamoro freedom struggle launched in the closing 1960s by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Chairman Prof. Nur Misuri, Vice-Chairman Datu Abul Khayr Alonto and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Al-Ustaj Salamat Hashim has already lasted forty five years today.

The 4-decade Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao as malevolently designed by the Philippine Commonwealth regime and triggered by Catholic President Ferdinand E. Marcos and eventually pursued by most of his presidential successors, except the Christian President Fidel V. Ramos, is apparently anchored in perpetuating Philippine colonialism in Mindanao. The Mindanao genocidal war has resulted  in the killings of more than 200,000 precious human lives and countless material losses, involving family homes, houses of worship and commercial business centers, etc., for both the victimized and colonized Muslim and Lumad natives and the Filipino colonialist oppressors. Yet, until today, notwithstanding the series of humanitarian disaster consequences, the merciless massacring of helpless of Muslim and Lumad civilians by the colonial Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) occupation soldiers and deliberate burning of sacred houses, mosques and madrasah (learning centers) as well as desecration of houses of worship by AFP officers and foot-soldiers, the Philippine colonial government have not seen the light to finally end the devastating Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao. But only to continue with the classical colonial strategy of deceiving the Bangsamoro people and humanity, and dividing the ranks and files of the MNLF and its break-away movement - the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) - under then martyred Chairman Al-Ustaj Salamat Hashim and now Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim.

On this diabolical end, it is worthwhile noting that the Manila government have only mastered the art of diplomatic deception by using "peace process" to prolong the hidden agenda in preserving the colonial slavery of the Muslims and Lumad natives of the Filipino-occupied Mindanao territory. The Filipino colonizers of Luzon can never accept the harsh truth that the Bangsamoro people can never accept being called or identified as a "Filipino" or "Pinoy." In history, the "Filipinos," original children of the Spanish soldiers and Christianized-Indios, wholeheartedly embraced being subjects or servants of King Philip II of Spain or simply colonial slaves of Spain.

On the other hand, motivated highly in regaining freedom, independence and national self-determination, the MNLF Mujahidin and Mujahidat could not just be easily hooked line and sinker to the other colonial strategy of "accommodation and cooptation" employed by the Filipino colonialist politicians. The Philippine colonial government might have been misled to believe that steadfast and committed MNLF freedom fighters are quite similar to the other Mindanao regular political subservient collaborators whose love and passion for earthly wealth and power easily endear them to the Filipino politicians in Malacanang.

Particularly, this is never the case or stature of the peace-and-freedom-loving revolutionary MNLF leadership under Chairman Nur Misuari. Indeed, they always have to vow down to the sacrosanct call for peace in following the command of Allah Almighty, Who has prescribed the following precepts:

"If the enemy is inclined towards peace. do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all, knows all"; (8:61)

And, "Therefore, do not be faint hearted crying for peace, for you will surely gain the upper hand. Allah is in your side and will never let your deeds be wasted." (47:35)

Thus, in 1976, the MNLF had to abandon the demand for total freedom and complete independence to accept autonomy for the sake of Mindanao peace. Although the MNLF are ever conscious of the teaching of the Palestinian global intellectual icon, Prof. Dr. Edward Said, who emphasized: "Autonomy is worthless without sovereignty."


The beginning of the search for Mindanao peace to presumably end the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao started while at the height of the fiercest battles between the colonial AFP occupation troops and MNLF freedom fighters almost everywhere in Mindanao in the early 1970s. The Philippine Marcos government invited the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to mediate in the worsening Mindanao war. This was immediately after the February 7-8, 1974 AFP-MNLF battle in the town center of Jolo, wherein the MNLF Mujahidin "decimated the Marcos forces," according to the Free Press writer, Ninotchka Rosca. The bloody incident also resulted in the burning of the commercial center of the town of Jolo by the aerial, sea and land bombardment of the AFP soldiers, killing also more than 20,000 Muslim, Christian and Chinese civilian residents.

The Marcos government invitation for peaceful mediation by the OIC was coursed through the auspices of the Indonesian government that invited the MNLF Chairman to Menado to meet presumably the Filipino president. But the Filipino leader did not show up for the pre-arranged meeting.

Nonetheless, the first phase of the "peace process" was established with the direct involvement of the OIC that led to the peace talks in Libya and the forging of the December 23, 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement.

However, the dictatorial Marcos hegemony used only the peace dialogue and peace agreement to pursue its colonial interest of divide-rule-destroy methodology. It only used the virtue of the "peace process" to deceive both the Filipino and Bangsamoro masses, including the whole of peace-loving humanity. Using merely the "historical"  Tripoli Peace Agreement in justifying its insincerity and treachery, the Marcos dispensation proceeded to unilaterally establish two so-called autonomous governments in Mindanao Region 9 and 12. Clearly, this was contrary to the letter and spirit of the Tripoli agreement that explicitly calls for the establishment of one autonomous government for 13 provinces and 9 cities.

Expectedly, the deceptive political stratagem led to the dismal collapse of the ceasefire agreement and continued peace talks between the Philippine government and MNLF. This in turn resulted in the killing of the Sulu-based Tabak Division Commander, Major General Teodulfo Bautista, and 35 national ranking AFP officers and soldiers in Patikul, Sulu by the MNLF followers of the legendary Bangsamoro mass leader, Amah Usman Salih.


With Mindanao peace initially betrayed by the Philippine Marcos government, the MNLF freedom fighters were again challenged by the Qur'anic injunctions:

"Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors;" (2:190)

And, "Fighting has been made obligatory for you, much to your dislike. It is quite possible that something which you do not like is good for you and something which you love is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know." (2:216)

Thus, compelled again to resume the freedom struggle to liberate the Bangsamoro people, homeland and uphold the inviolability and dignity of Islam religion, the MNLF Mujahidin were prompted again to face in mortal combat the AFP troops in the battlefields of Filipino-occupied Mindanao.

Although facing burdensome odds because the Marcos government had used all foul means and tremendous resources to divide the Bangsamoro people and to splinter the MNLF leadership, the hard core MNLF cadre officers and gaosbaogbog members and mass supporters continued the freedom struggle guided by the Qur'anic exhortations:

"O Prophet! Rouse the believers to prepare for combat. If there are twenty steadfast among you, they shall vanquish two hundred: If there are one hundred, they shall oversome one thousand of the unbelievers, for they are a people who lack understanding;" (8:65)

And, "If you should die or get killed in the cause of Allah, His forgiveness and mercy will be far batter than all the riches you could gather. (3:157)


Ten years after the betrayal of Mindanao peace by the Catholic Philippine Marcos government that enabled the MNLF to drumbeat and to pursue earnestly the original objective of liberation struggle against Filipino colonialism, the newly-installed Cory Aquino government wanted to revive the "peace process." Paying gratitude to the MNLF for the help extended in safeguarding the the ballots in some parts of Mindanao during the 1986 Snap Election, Catholic President Corazon C. Aquino decided even to personally meet and dialogue with the MNLF chairman in Jolo to give impetuous momentum to the scheduled peace talks between the government and MNLF in Saudi Arabia under the aegis of the OIC.

Nevertheless, after holding the peace talks and signing the Jeddah Accord on April 17, 1987, calling for the substantial implementation of the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement, the Aquino administration reneged on its commitment. Instead, the GRP Peace Panel headed by former Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez enticed the MNLF leadership with a "10-province plus 3-province" implementation formula. But this was categorically turned down by the MNLF.

Thus, following the colonial strategic duplicity of the Marcos regime, the Aquino government unilaterally established, contriving with a controlled Philippine Congress, the 4-province Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The superficial ARMM formula was in silver platter offered to the MNLF, but it was rejected by both the  MNLF and OIC as a political solution to the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao.


"The believers are warned: 'Allah hates those people who say one thing and do another. He loves those who fight for the sake of truth like a solid wall against the enemies of Allah." (61:2)

Consciously guided by the aforementioned Qur'anic wisdom after being betrayed by the Philippine Aquino government for the second time, the MNLF reverted back to its original obligation of militant freedom struggle in regaining the independence and national self-determination of the Bangsamoro people from Philippine colonial rule.

The sudden eruption of the AFP-MNLF war in Labatan, Zamboanga del Sur, in 1987 signaled the total collapse of the "peace process" under the Aquino government, escalating to other areas in Mindanao.

Betrayal of trust and insincerity to correctly implement the peace agreement obligated again the MNLF to declare a full scale Jihad Fi-Sabilillah against the Manila government to redeem freedom and independence for the Bangsamoro people of Filipino-colonized Mindanao.


The MNLF freedom fighters pursued actively the liberation war against the Philippine Aquino government for about five years guided by Allah's commandment:

"Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors. (2:190)

However, the unexpected twist of event and the renewal of the call for peace to be given another chance by the Christian Ramos government in 1992 led the MNLF to slow down its full maximum war-footing preparation.

Certainly, the MNLF-guided Jihad Fi-Sabilillah against the oppressive Philippine government has to abide with the infinite wisdom of Allah:

"O believers! Fight them until there is no more mischief and the Deen of Allah (way of life prescribed by Allah) is established completely; but if they so stop from mischief, then truly, Allah is observant of all their actions." (8:39)

Thus, abandoning for the third time the sacrosanct freedom struggle being waged for centuries by the Moro forebears against the Spanish, American and Japanese oppressors in defense of the preservation of their own, homeland and sanctity of Islam religion, the MNLF Mujahidin again  accepted to conduct peace dialogue with the Ramos government based on complete autonomy concept stipulated by the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement.


After the first exploratory talks in Tripoli in 1992 and the succeeding preliminary and final peace negotiations in Jakarta, Manila and Mindanao, the Philippine government and MNLF peace panels with the active participation of the OIC general secretariat successfully forged the "final peace agreement" (FPA) historically-known September 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements. The international agreement was initially signed in Jakarta with the presence of Indonesia President Soeharto and OIC Secretary General Dr. Hamid Al-Ghabid, who together with OIC Deputy Secretary General Dr. Mohammad Mohsin even visited Jolo and General Santos to prove the positive commitment of OIC to the "peace process." The peace agreement was finally signed in Malacanang Palace, Manila, on September 2, 1996 with the presence of President Fidel V. Ramos, OIC Secretary General Dr. Hamid Al-Ghabid and all OIC general secretariat officialdom together with all Muslim ambassadors of the global Islamic ummah.

The political mechanism of the gradual implementation of the 1996 peace agreement by the Ramos government involved the creation by presidential decree of the 13-province and 9-city Southern Philippines Council For Peace And Development (SPCPD) as "zone of peace and development" (ZOPAD) to be administered by the MNLF and Bangsamoro learned sector. Because SPCPD was conceptualized without a political clout and financial budget but only a sort of monitoring body to oversee the proposed development by the Manila government in ZOPAD, the ARMM was included in the package deal for political empowerment per se to be administered by the MNLF.

Thus, MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari was tasked by the Ramos government to serve simultaneously as ARMM governor and SPCPD chairman pending the the complete implementation of the 1996 peace agreement.

The successful forging of the 1996 peace agreement and the dawn of temporal climate of peace in war-torn Mindanao was duly given distinct recognition by the United Nations (UN). The global body cited the historic role of both President Fidel V. Ramos and MNLF Chair Nur Misuari to achieve peace for the Filipino and Bangsamoro people. They were awarded the UNESCO Felix Houphout-Boigny Peace Prize in a special ceremony held in Dakar, Senegal on June 17, 1998.

However, the correct and full implementation of the September 2, 1996 GRP-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreements was overtaken by political events due to leadership change. Catholic President Joseph E. Estrada succeeded the Christian President Fidel V. Ramos, but did nothing concrete to implement the 1996 peace agreement except to worsen the unresolved Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao by conducting an "all-out war" against the MILF. The Estrada government boasted of the AFP major offensive in capturing the MILF  stronghold territory Camp Abubakar As-Sidique in Cotabato that also created another condemnable humanitarian disaster situation.

The full implementation of the 1996 peace agreement was fully forgotten and sidelined by the short-lived Estrada watch up to the Arroyo government. Worse, Catholic President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo totally ignored the comprehensive implementation of the 1996 peace agreement, but instead designed further to divide the Bangsamoro people and to undermine the MNLF leadership by creating a Malacanang version of 15-member Moro National Liberation Front-Executive Council (MNLF-EC15) group to discredit MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari as ARMM governor and SPCPD chairman. The Arroyo government shrewdly used some disgruntled power-hungry elements managed by former Cotabato City Vice-Mayor Muslimin Sema.   

Moreover, the Arroyo government decided to open up peace negotiations with the MILF under the sponsorship of Malaysia to use again the "peace process" as a vehicle to deceive the Bangsamoro people and humanity, and to continue perpetuating Filipino colonialism in war-ravaged Mindanao.

Thus, when the MNLF leadership discerned the treacherous political maneuver of the Arroyo government that proceeded to unilaterally establish the new version 5-province ARMM in conspiracy again with Philippine Congress in order not to implement correctly the 1996 peace agreement, the MNLF chairman decided to abandon altogether ARMM. The MNLF leadership called for a general consultative assembly of all MNLF political, military and religious leaders as well as all sectors of the Bangsamoro society in Zamboanga City sometime August, 2000. This was to determine the alternative action to be undertaken by the MNLF that peace again for the third time was betrayed by the Philippine Arroyo government. The consensus of the MNLF-called Bangsamoro people's assembly opted again for reversion to the original objective of struggling by any means possible in achieving independence and national self-determination for the repeatedly betrayed oppressed Bangsamoro people. The general meeting also revived the establishment of the 1974 MNLF-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik. Chairman Nur Misuari was unanimously elected President and MNLF Peace Panel Spokesman Reverend Absalom Cerveza as Prime Minister of the MNLF-invisioned revolutionary government.

The MNLF leadership tasked Elly Velez Pamatong to elevate the petition for freedom, independence and national self-determination of the Bangsamoro people to the United Nations (UN) Decolonization Committee in New York. The formal petition was filed by the designated MNLF legal counsel on December 10, 2000.


With the repeated betrayal of Mindanao peace by the Arroyo government and the formal declaration again by the MNLF of regaining freedom for the colonized Muslim and Lumad natives as well as conscious Christians and independence for the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan, this resulted again to the resumption of shooting war between the AFP soldiers and MNLF forces.

While the MNLF Chairman was in Jolo preparing for his departure to the OIC general headquarters in Jeddah, the AFP occupation soldiers provoked and attacked MNLF camps in the liberated areas in Jolo island. The provocation and treacherous incursion forced the regular MNLF fighters and mass supporters to stage a a counter offensive inflicting heavy casualties on the Filipino military invaders in Jolo.

Thus, backdrop by the resurgence of the blood-letting AFP-MNLF hostilities in Sulu, the MNLF Chairman left for the Middle East availing as usual the so-called backdoor exit journey through Sabah. But, surprisingly, he and seven escorts were apprehended by the Mahathir government on a flimsy ground of "illegal entry." He was later turned over to the Manila government to face a concocted rebellion charge and incarcerated under "house arrest" for almost five years.

However, with the rebellion charge proven falsified and through the political and diplomatic pressure exerted by the OIC to continue the "peace process" by even forming  a Tri-Partite Ministerial meeting in Jeddah to review and hasten the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement, the MNLF Chairman was released after posting a bail. The OIC even sent a fact-finding group to Mindanao to investigate the actual progress of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement. The OIC mission headed by Ambassador Sayed Kassim Al-Masri and accompanied by GRP and MNLF delegations travelled extensively to Jolo, Zamboanga, Lanao, Cotabato and Davao in ascertaining the truth.

Nevertheless, the Arroyo government kept on delaying the first scheduled Jeddah meeting of the Tri-Partite Ministerial Committee Review. Thus, when it finally conducted its diplomatic task involving series of meetings in different venues little progress was accomplished due again to change of Philippine leadership.

Consequently, Catholic President Benigno S. Aquino III was overwhelmingly elected as the new chief executive to add fuel to enflame the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao.


The Aquino government could have been misled by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) to believe that the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro people Jihad Fi-Sabilillah was already a by-gone thing of the relic past and the MNLF Mujahidin and Mujahidat were already a "spent force." After all, present OPAPP Secretary Ding Deles has had served both the Arroyo and Aquino government.

Practically emulating the presidential style of her mother, who creditably created ARMM as "cheating capital of Philippine elections", President Noynoy Aquino personally met and dialogued with MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo to jumpstart the peace talks between the government and MILF that later produced the framework agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB).

President Aquino looked at the ARMM as a "failed experiment" and a by-product of the September 2, 1996 MNLF-OIC-GRP Jakarta Peace Agreements and just easily decided to throw it to the dustbin of history by contemplating to finish off the GRP-OIC-MNLF Tri-Partite Review Committee meetings. But later on denied the whole plan when the MNLF publicly proclaimed to revert back to its original goal of demanding freedom and independence for the Bangsamoro people since the Philippine version of the "peace process" became a two-bladed weapon in presumably achieving peace with the MILF and declaring war with the MNLF.

With the negative posture shown by the Aquino government to discontinue the "peace process" with the MNLF and OIC, but instead chose to mysteriously collaborate  with Malaysia to finally end the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao with FAB to gradually replace ARMM, this gave the MNLF leverage and opportunity to proclaim Mindanao independence. Furthermore, this also permitted the MNLF in declaring the proposed establishment of the United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR) as Davao City the central capital. This was simultaneously proclaimed with the revolutionary government Bangsamoro Constitution Preamble in Zamboanga City on August, 2013.

Through series of peace rallies in Jolo, Basilan, General Santos and Davao City, the MNLF members and mass supporters publicly and peacefully proclaimed Mindanao independence and declared freedom and liberty for the Bangsamoro people to invite massive support, but they were banned in Zamboanga City by the local government to express their fundamental human rights to a peaceful assembly. Instead, some of the MNLF members were harassed, arrested and jailed by the government authorities, compelling the city-based members to arm themselves and appealed for reinforcements from the neighboring islands.

Thus, the total disrespect by the Aquino government to the 1996 peace agreement and the suppression of the basic fundamental rights of the MNLF members and mass supporters to express peacefully their sentiments and aspirations in peaceful assembly led to the September 20-day Filipino-Moro war in Zamboanga City. The fierce AFP-MNLF war has caused chaotic devastation, great number of human deaths, mass suffering and humanitarian disaster catastrophic proportions.

Only the strongly-felt intervention of United Nations (UN), Organization of Islamic Cooperation, European Union (EU) and Indonesia contributed in ending the AFP-MNLF war inside Zamboanga City. Otherwise, there was no moral ground for the MNLF freedom fighters under Ustaj Khabir Malik to withdraw from the war zone. But, surely, there is no stopping now for the MNLF to pursue the liberation struggle against the Philippine colonial government for freedom and independence. The aftermath of the Filipino-Moro war in Zamboanga City saw the burning by the AFP  soldiers of the reported 10,160 houses, mosques, madrasah (learning centers) and causing billion-peso losses for commercial businesses. 

The Aquino government have only viewed the human death casualties and material losses as a colateral damage to put an end to the MNLF-launched freedom struggle by filing a case of rebellion against the MNLF chairman, Ustaj Khabir Malik and other MNLF leaders as though this America-introduced colonial threat can immediately stop the century-old Bangsamoro struggle against their oppressors.

The Aquino government through their captive media have only blamed and accused the MNLF freedom fighters of a war crime against a colonial version of a Philippine society, but never the colonial Philippine military occupation soldiers of committing a war crime against the colonized Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao. In the first place, the AFP-MNLF war in Zamboanga City could not have happened  if the Filipino colonizers of Luzon had developed  a clear conscience that colonization and occupation of Mindanao is a crime against humanity. Indeed, the Filipino-Moro war today could not have taken place to destroy and continue destroying the precious lives of the Mindanao-based Muslim and Lumad natives whose only fault and crime is to passionately love peace, freedom and independence deprived them today by the Filipino colonizers.


Thus, continuing now the historical Bangsamoro freedom struggle waged by the Muslim martyrs in the past against the Spanish, American and Japanese colonialist oppressors, the MNLF Mujahidin today have all the moral and legitimate obligation and responsibility to pursue their Jihad Fi-Sabilillah against the oppressive Catholic Aquino government . This includes the future Filipino colonizers whose political and economic greed to continue the colonization and occupation of Mindanao shall still blind their moral senses and choose to remain always oppressors, and worse, unbelievers. This is based on the Qur'anic verse:

"And what reason do you have not to fight in the cause of Allah, to rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women and children who are crying: 'Our Rabb! Deliver us from this town whose people are oppressors; send us a protector by Your grace and send us a helper from Your presence;" (4:75)

Coincidence or  Karmic Justice? After the mass burning of family homes, worshippers' houses and institutes of learning (madrasah) by the Philippine military soldiers during the September, 2013 AFP-MNLF war in Zamboanga City, the cries of the distressed young and old Muslims for help were repeatedly raised and directed upon President Benigno S. Aquino. They cried only for the restoration of their burned mosques, not so much for their homes.

Sad to note, the desperate cry of complaint of any Muslim in Zamboanga City was never given any attentive hear simply because it's only a Muslim crying for the burning of a mosque, a madrasah or a house.

However, days after the burning and desecrating by mostly AFP Visayan soldiers of 13 sacred masjid, learning centers and houses in the five Muslim communities in Zamboanga City, mother nature struck in Bohol and Cebu, destroying ten historical churches, bridges, roads and several houses.

In contrast to the man-made disaster affecting the Muslims in Zamboanga City, Catholic President Benigno S. Aquino III never utter a word rebuilding the Muslim's houses of worship, but not in Bohol and Cebu. He personally visited the affected Visayan areas and pledged to help his fellow Catholic Filipinos rebuild their lives and houses of worship.

Truth to tell, this has always been the case  of the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives in Mindanao related to Filipino leadership from Luzon. Simply said, the Bangsamoro people can never hope to prosper and to gain dignity and humanity under Philippine colonial government.

The Bangsamoro Grand Mufti, Al-Ustaj Abdulbaki Abubakar, has always taught the MNLF Mujahidin and Mujahidat on the divine knowledge that the forces of nature, like lightning, storm, among others, are soldiers of Allah. Muslims can always avail of their intervention through the leave of God Almighty by fervent prayers.

On this firm belief, the Bangsamoro freedom fighters now must not doubt the divine help they can generate by struggling for peace, justice and freedom denied them by the Philippine colonial government for decades. The gruesome injustice committed by the Filipino colonizers against the Bangsamoro people for years now must strengthen the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro Jihad Fi-Sabilillah to continue the historical struggle and the Bangsamoro Mujahidin to be guided by Allah's words:     

"O believers! When you encounter the unbelievers in a battle, never turn your backs, and whoever turns his back to them on such an occasion - unless it be a strategy of war, or to to join towards a detachment - shall incur the wrath of  Allah and his abode shall be hell, and how awful shall be that dwelling." (8:15-16)


From  the 37 years of peace talks and signing of three peace agreements with the Manila government or Imperial Manila, the moral lesson learned by the MNLF and Bangsamoro people is that "peace process" is only used by the Filipino colonialist politicians to advance their strategic interest of continuing and preserving the colonization and occupation of Mindanao. It is very clear that the Philippine government have only used "peace process" and will continue to use it as a justification to strengthen and to pursue military solution to solve the Filipino-Moro in Mindanao. This may be backed up by the wishful thought that the divided Bangsamoro freedom fighters and exploited Bangsamoro people of Filipino-colonized Mindanao will finally succumb to any colonial peace dividends and financial dole-outs dictated and spared by the Philippine government colonialist officials.

On the side of the MNLF and BIFM Mujahidin, they are now fully aware that their demand for freedom and independence, then and now, rests not on deceptive "peace process." But, they have to prove to themselves, history and posterity that the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro freedom struggle characterized by the historical Spanish-Moro war, American-Moro war, Japanese-Moro war, and presently, Filipino-Moro war, is the only logical, practical and moral pathway to redeem liberty and national patrimony of the oppressed Bangsamoro people.

Therefore, the Bangsamoro freedom fighters today should learn from history and from the Moro martyrs of all past generations that any Jihad Fi-Sabilillah against the Spanish, American, Japanese and Filipino oppressors and unbelievers must be guided by Allah's following commandments:

"O believers! Do not make intimate friendships with any but your own people. The unbelievers will not miss any opportunity to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your destruction: their malice has become evident from what  they say; and what they conceal in their hearts is far worse. We have made our revelations plain to you, if you want to comprehend;" (3:118)

"Never think of those who are slain for the cause of Allah as dead. Nay, they are alive, and well provided for by their Rabb; (3:169)

And, "Muhammad! As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. Soon, He will guide them, improve their condition and admit them to the paradise which He had made known to them." (47:4-6)


Hence, the time has come for the Bangsamoro freedom fighters  and the oppressed Muslim and Highlander natives as well as conscious Christians of Mindanao to close rank and unite against the Philippine colonial government. The revolutionary memory in modern history of freedom-loving Bangsamoro martyrs, like Bangsamoro Liberation Organization (BMLO) Chairman Paramount Sultan Harun Al-Rashid Lucman and MILF Chairman Al-Ustaj Salamat Hashim as well as the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM) Chairman Reuben Canoy, and the wisdom of the present Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) Chairman Al-Ustaj Umbra Amiril Kato and MNLF Chairman Prof Nur Misuari to persevere and to continue the MNLF-launched Jihad Fi-Sabilillah since the beginning of 1960s must serve the crystal light to regain glorious freedom and victorious independence. IN SHAA ALLAH.

On the final note, the Bangsamoro Mujahidin and Mujahidat of the MNLF, MILF and BIFM must always be disciplined and guided by the clear commandments of Almighty Allah Who decreed:

"O believers! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not but as true Muslims. All together hold fast to the rope of Allah (Faith of Islam) and be not divided among yourselves;" (3:102-103)

And finally, "Be not like those, who became divided into sects and who started to argue against each other after clear revelations had come to them. Those responsible for division and arguments will be sternly punished." (3:105)

MNLF seeks independent probe of Zamboanga siege

From the Manila Times (Nov 3): MNLF seeks independent probe of Zamboanga siege

Leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) urged MalacaƱang to create an independent fact-finding panel that will conduct a thorough probe of the siege in Zamboanga City to determine how it started and who are the persons behind it.

The call was made during the regional consultative meeting held last week in Marawi City. The assembly, the second to be held in preparation for the tripartite review process set this month, brought together delegates from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Soccsksargen, Davao City, Compostela Valley, Palawan, and Jolo. Also present were MNLF legal council head Randolf Parcasio and vice chairman Jimmy Labawan.

Those who attended the meeting said that MNLF chairman Nur Misuari, who is suspected by the government of having ordered the siege, “must be given due process before being charged with rebellion.”

“That is why the MNLF central committee is strongly urging the administration of Aquino to create an independent fact finding body to investigate the Zamboanga siege in order to erase doubts and come out with the truth on who is really behind the 20-days war in Zamboanga, ”said Johnny Siao, the head of the MNLF National Border Command Group based in Regions 11 and 12.

The MNLF leaders said that the probe panel should be composed of representatives of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, MNLF, Department of Justice, police, military and non-government organizations.

Labawan stressed the need for an independent investigation because of reports that the government released P1 billion to “stage” a war in Zamboanga.

Abdulrahman Imaw, Zamboanga State Revolutionary Committee chairman, said that he received information from a nun in Davao City that some top police and military officials and a number of politicians “dramatized” the siege. Ustadz Pendi Colano also disclosed that a certain Daniel Javier allegedly egged MNLF combatants to prepare for war against the government.

“We believe that the government is directly accusing Misuari without even conducting a comprehensive investigation to prove if he masterminded the Zamboanga stand off. In this particular case, we seek the creation of the independent fact finding body so the truth will come out,” Labawan said.

Parcasio claimed that government officials wanted to neutralize Misuari and stop the tripartite review.

“Even though Misuari has been neutralized by the government, the MNLF central committee still wants the government to pursue and fulfill the long standing phase I provisions and start the implementation of phase II provisions of the signed final 1996 peace agreement,” he said.

Imaw denied the claim of Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabel Climaco that the MNLF group that assembled in the city wanted to raise the Bangsamoro flag. He said that the MNLF members only wanted to display their small flags while holding a peace assembly.

But because of Climaco’s claim, policemen harassed the MNLF members and they were forced to defend themselves.

As the situation became more serious, MNLF reinforcements under Ustaj Khabier Malik arrived and it was at this point that a fighting war broke out.

“Doon na nag-umpisa ang bakbakan ng magkabilang panig (and thus the war between the group of Malik and the government forces started)”, Imaw said.

Parcasio said they believed that the present administration of President Aquino is sincere enough to prove its worth in attaining long lasting peace “as we want to pursue the tripartite review process this coming MNLF-GPH tripartite review on the second week of November this year”, he added.

He said that they will again discuss the Zamboanga siege in their next assembly to be held from Nov. 6 to7.

Parcasio said that they will continue to discuss with the government the 42 “defective provisions” of Republic Act 9054 or the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. He said that the MNLF leadership will submit its final proposal and recommendations on these provisions, particularly on territorial claims and wealth sharing.

Labawan said that they decided to pursue discussions with the government so that both panels would finally determine what provisions of the final peace agreement signed in 1996 have been implemented and which ones were ignored.

Dev’t initiatives

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 3): Dev’t initiatives

The military claimed that the atrocities perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao are hampering peace and development initiatives in the region.

Capt. Willliam Rodriguez, spokesman of 1002nd Army Brigade, said the continued attacks perpetrated by NPA rebels against government troops using landmines hindered the implementation of peace and development programs.

He cited the recent NPA atrocities in North Cotabato where nine soldiers have been killed after they were ambushed by NPA rebels with the use of command-detonated landmines.

He also accused the NPA rebels of resorting to robbery whey they carted the payroll for some 700 militiamen amounting to P2 million before they fled.

Since 2010, at least 130 people, including civilians and government troops, have been killed in NPA-led atrocities using landmines in the Southeast Mindanao region, Rodriguez said.

Soldier, ex-militiaman killed by leftist rebels in Mindanao

From the Philippine Star (Nov 3): Soldier, ex-militiaman killed by leftist rebels in Mindanao

A soldier and a former pro-government militiaman were killed by suspected leftist rebels in Bukidnon over the weekend on separate occasions, authorities said today.

The army personnel died in a brief clash between soldiers and a handful of New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon yesterday afternoon, according to Christian Uy, a regional army spokesperson.

Uy said the soldiers were conducting pursuit operations against dozens of NPA gunmen who had stormed and burned a piggery farm in nearby Libona early last week when yesterday's clash erupted.

In Caraga, two armed men killed Jessie Mapa, a former member of the Citizen Armed Auxiliary paramilitary as he was walking on a village road in Butuan City around 11 a.m., said Martin Gamba, regional police spokesperson.

"Allegedly one of the suspects shouted 'the one we killed was an asset of (the Philippine Army's) 30th IB (Infantry Battalion),'" Gamba said.

The armed men who identified themselves as NPA members knocked on the house of the village chief in Dugsangon, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte late yesterday evening and confiscated his government-issued 0.9mm pistol, police said.

MNLF corroborates footage of Zambo civilian shooting

From the Daily Tribune (Nov 4): MNLF corroborates footage of Zambo civilian shooting

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction of Nur Misuari has corroborated the veracity of the video footage, now available on social networking sites, showing the alleged shooting by government troops of civilian hostages at the height of the Zamboanga City conflict in September.

Lawyer Emmanuel Fontanilla, a spokesman for the MNLF Misuari faction, yesterday said the military indeed committed abuses during the 20-day armed confrontation in Zamboanga City.

According to him, the MNLF also got hold of a copy of the video which was carried by cable news outfit Al Jazeera recently and raised issues against the conduct of military operations against the MNLF supporters of Misuari.

Except that the subject persons in the video were described as hostages, Fontanilla corroborated the truthfulness of the video as presented by Al Jazeera.

“We also have a copy of that video, we got it from independent civilians and that was true except that those individuals were not hostages but mere civilians,” Fontanilla told The Tribune.

He cited the ceasefire called by the MNLF during the standoff but was turned down by the government and proceeded with military action was actually meant for a safe passage of the civilians caught in the middle of the conflict.

“Those were civilians allowed by the MNLF to leave the area. Remember at the early stages of the standoff, the MNLF asked for a ceasefire, through the intervention of religious leaders and imam? That was the reason — to free the innocent civilians,” Fontanilla stressed.

The MNLF official cited statements from a Commission on Human Rights (CHR) official stating the military’s supposed violation of human rights during the Zamboanga City siege.

He specifically mentioned the looting committed by soldiers in Barangay Sta. Catalina at the height of the conflict.

“The military really conducted house-to-house clearing operation, that means looting,” Fontanilla noted.

Five Army soldiers are currently undergoing investigation in connection with the alleged looting.

Fontanilla also accused the soldiers of involvement in setting up ablaze several residential structures in the conflict area.

“They were the ones responsible in burning down houses of innocent civilians,” he claimed.

Al Jazeera said the footage raised fresh questions on the conduct of military operations in the standoff with the MNLF.

The video initially showed a crowd waving white flags who were described as hostages of the MNLF before shots were heard in the background that resulted in the individuals scampering for safety while some dove for cover.

The video then showed a commotion supposedly individuals looking for any safe ground while continuous firing was heard in the background. Eventually, the video showed several of the supposed hostages prone on the ground, with some appearing to have been shot.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has already denied shooting at the hostages and pointed to the MNLF Misuari faction as responsible in the shooting of the hostages.

Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief, even criticized the Tribune for what he described as wrong headline “Al Jazeera video shows military shoot hostages.”

“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,” he stressed.

According to Zagala, 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 faction, while the AFP troops were positioned 200 to 300 meters away,” Zagala said.

At the same time, he stressed the military is ready to face any investigation on the matter.

The siege resulted in the killing of more than 200 Misuari supporters, more than 20 government security forces and 12 civilians. More than 10,000 residential structures were also burned down.

Meanwhile, Misuari has ordered the expulsion of two of his leaders in Davao for reportedly collaborating with the government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), in exchange for livelihood and cash.

“The MNLF has officially expelled the group of Jimmy Labawan and Attorney Parcasio (vice chairman and legal counsel of MNLF-Davao) from MNLF roster for collaborating with the OPAPP, betrayal of the cause and usurpation of leadership as per instruction of Chairman Misuari,” Fontanilla told the Tribune.

According to Fontanilla, the expulsion of Labawan and Parcasio was based on a written instruction from Misuari, who is now wanted for the 20-siege laid by his followers on Zamboanga City from Sept. 9 to Sept. 29.

Fontanilla, at the same time, accused the OPAPP, under Secretary Teresita Deles, of utilizing the centuries-old divide and rule tactic in dealing with the MNLF.

“(They were offered) cash, livelihood from the OPAPP. This is common secret to MNLF members, the policy of divide and rule of OPAPP to negotiate with beholden and controlled group,” he noted.

Fontanilla said the OPAPP and Labawan’s supposed “collaboration” came amid the conflict in Zamboanga City where Misuari supporters, led by Ustadz Habier Malik, attempted to raise the MNLF flag at the city hall but were prevented.

He stressed the supposed collaboration between Labawan’s group and the OPAPP only helps the MNLF group of Misuari to identify “traitors.”

“We are happy because it unwittingly cleanse the MNLF of traitors,” Fontanilla said.

Military reports 2 NPA rebels slain in Albay clashes

From the Business Mirror (Nov 3): Military reports 2 NPA rebels slain in Albay clashes

THE military reported on Sunday that two members of the communist New People’s Army were killed in separate encounters in Albay on Saturday, wherein several firearms and explosives were also recovered.
Four soldiers were also wounded during the exchanges of gunfire, which took place in three villages in the city of Legaspi and in the towns of Daraga and Albay.
Col. Andrew Costelo, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion based in Albay, identified the dead rebels as Alexander Lorelia, resident of Purok 4, Kagbacong, Legaspi City, and Domingo Abinon Penida, 47, of Sitio San Jose, Maslog, Legaspi City.
Costelo said the rebels were identified through the identification cards that were taken from their possession.
He said the soldiers also recovered a M-16 rifle, a M-14 rifle, two improvised antipersonnel mines and 100 meters of electrical wire.
According to Costelo, seven members of the 9th Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) led by an enlisted personnel, encountered a dozen rebels mid-afternoon on Saturday at Barangay Sinagaran, Jovellar.
During the firefight, which lasted for 10 minutes, the two rebels were killed.
Costelo said the team of soldiers served as blocking force against the same group of rebels who earlier figured in an encounter with another team of soldiers at dawn of the same day at another village. He added that in that dawn gunfire exchange at Barangay Talahib, Daraga, Albay, four soldiers were wounded by shrapnel from an exploding landmine.
The soldiers, however, recovered a .45 caliber pistol, three backpacks, bandoleers with ammunition, communication equipment and voluminous documents.
Thirty minutes later, another team from the DRC headed by a junior officer encountered at least 10  rebels headed by Antonio Abadiza at Sitio Binicitahan, Barangay Mariawa, Legaspi City.

Government partners with Americans to spur reading in Mindanao

From the Business Mirror (Nov 3): Government partners with Americans to spur reading in Mindanao

The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with Petron Corp. and the charity agency of the United States to spur reading in schools in three subregions of Mindanao.

This was revealed in a memorandum sent by the DepEd National Office and which arrived here just recently.
In the document, Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro said the government entered into a deal after he signed the partnership agreement early this school year with Petron President Eric Recto and Marcial Salvatierra of the United States Agency for International Development  He said the USAid will give $1.3 million (P56.420 million at $1=P43.40) for the project while Petron, a publicly listed firm, pledged to provide P21 million.
The DepEd official said his department will supply the policy guidance and direction “to ensure the proper enforcement of the project.”
Luistro said in the memorandum received at the DepEd Region 9 office the program is designed to improve the reading skills of over 45,000 public elementary school children in conflict-affected rural communities in the three Southern Philippines areas.
The Catholic priest identified the three regions as Western Mindanao or Zamboanga Peninsula, Central Mindanao  and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The program initially provides identified beneficiary schools with teacher training, as well as books and appropriate instructional materials for marginalized grade-school children, Luistro said.

Two senior military commanders to assume new posts

From the Business Mirror (Nov 3): Two senior military commanders to assume new posts

Two senior military commanders are set to take on their new positions this week in the latest round of designations in the Armed Forces of the Philippines  as a result of the impending retirement of another senior commander.
Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, an Air Force officer, is scheduled to assume his new post as commander of the Armed Forces Western Command, replacing Maj. Gen. Rustico Guerrero.
Deveraturda, currently the commander of the Armed Forces Central Command, will reportedly assume his new position on November 8, vice Guerrero, who will take on his new assignment as commander of the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command.
Guerrero, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1981, will assume his new position on November 9, replacing Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, who will be retiring this month.
Ardo is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1980.
Armed Forces Spokesman Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan refused to confirm the impending new designations.
“We are awaiting for the issuance of the order prior to the announcement,” he said.
However, sources said the change and turnover of commands have been scheduled on November 8 for Guerrero and Deveraturda, and for Ardo and Guerrero on November 9.
“Actually, the change of commands have been scheduled,” said one of the sources.
The source, however, said the military leadership is still deliberating on who would replace Deveraturda as commander of the Central Command.
However, the strongest candidate is reportedly Brig. Gen. John Bonafos, the current commander of the Special Forces Command.
Bonafos is a member of PMA Class of 1982.

Philippine government websites hacked

From the Mindanao Examiner blog site (Nov 3): Philippine government websites hacked

Screen shot of hacked website of the Office of the Ombudsman of the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

A cyber activist group called Anonymous Philippines hacked into several dozen government website on Sunday and posted a message urging citizens to join a march in protest to widespread corruption in government.

Anonymous Philippines also posted its animated logo on all hacked websites, including the Ombudsman of the Philippines. It was not the first time it hacked into government websites and left them crippled in the past in protest to various issues affecting the Filipinos.

Filipino government officials have not issued any statement about the targeted hacking and the planned march dubbed in front of the House of Representatives in the morning of November 5 to “remind the country it has forgotten that fairness, justice and freedom are more than just words.”

The event is dubbed “million mask march” and is expected to draw Filipinos, disgruntled with government corruption and scandals involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund of legislators and the Disbursement Acceleration Program of President Benigno Aquino, to join the rally.

This is what the Anonymous Philippines posted on hacked government websites.

“Greetings citizens of the Philippines. We are Anonymous.

We apologize for this inconvenience, but this is the only easiest way we could convey our message to you, our dear brothers and sisters who are tired of this cruelty and this false democracy, tired of this government and the politicians who only think about themselves.

The government, in many ways, has failed its Filipino citizens.

We have been deprived of things which they have promised to give; what our late heroes have promised us to give. Let us remind the government that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words. They are perspectives.

A march is happening, a revolution. A way to speak, a way to be heard. On the fifth day of November, 2013, we will try to be a part of the history.

But of course there are those who do not want us to speak, and those who have doubts. You can sleep, sit, go on with your everyday routine just like a herd of sheep and watch as the government laugh at you.

But if you see what we see, if you feel as we feel, and if you would seek as we seek...then we ask you to stand beside us, this fifth of November outside the gates of Batasang Pambansa and let us march our way to freedom - a freedom from the shackles of the Government.

You have been called; and by watching, you have been chosen.

To the "incorrupt(ible)" officials of the government, we are challenging you!  Join us!

The Corrupt - Fear us.
The Honest - Support us.
The Heroic - Join us.

We are Anonymous.
We are ONE.
The government, you are NONE.

We are legion.
On the 5th of November, Government - Hear and understand us, or EXPECT US!”

And Anonymous image by Plette (

And the invitation of Anonymous Philippines to join the "Million Mask March".