Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three of six gov't contractors seized by alleged leftist rebels in S. Philippines freed

From the Shanghai Daily (May 31): Three of six gov't contractors seized by alleged leftist rebels in S. Philippines freed

Gunmen believed leftist rebels have set free three of the six contractors of a government reforestation program kidnapped in southern Philippines on Friday, police officials said Saturday.

Those released were local personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources who were with three others who were kidnapped in Maco town, in Mindanao's Compostela Valley province, according to Jed Clamor, Southern Mindanao regional police spokesperson. "Local officials were negotiating for the release of the rest," Clamor told Xinhua, quoting local police.

The police spokesperson refused to confirm the identities of the abductors but the authorities have admitted the area is a known hotbed of the leftist New People's Army.

He said the release happened past Saturday noon, and that the authorities were still investigating the incident.

The 4, 000-strong NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is fighting a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969.

The group was said to be behind the abduction of about 40 people, mostly small-time gold miners, in another town in the resources-rich southern Philippine province.

Philippine police say 'large ransom paid for Chinese hostage’;,contradicting Najib

From MSN News (May 31): Philippine police say "large ransom" paid for Chinese hostage, contradicting Najib

The release of the two kidnapped women yesterday in a joint effort by Malaysian and Philippines authorities was only achieved after the payment of a "large ransom", Reuters reported today. The report contradicts Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement yesterday that "no ransom was paid" to secure the  release of Chinese tourist Gao...

Malaysia Insider

The release of the two kidnapped women yesterday in a joint effort by Malaysian and Philippines authorities was only achieved after the payment of a "large ransom", Reuters reported today.

The report contradicts Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement yesterday that "no ransom was paid" to secure the release of Chinese tourist Gao Huayun and Filipino hotel worker Marcy Dayawan, who were kidnapped from the Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort, in Sabah, on April 2.

Najib had tweeted yesterday, while on an official visit to China, that "I have just been briefed by @PDRMsia that the two women abducted from a resort in Sabah last Apr have been rescued by our authorities.

"No ransom paid to secure their release. Success due to cooperation of Malaysia and Philippines security forces. I thank all involved."

However, Philippine police sources told Reuters that a large ransom was paid for the women.

"It has been rare for Abu Sayyaf to release abductees without a ransom being paid,” the report added.

However it did not include any details of the supposed ransom, such as the amount paid and the source of the funds.

The Islamist terrorist group had previously demanded 500 million Philippine pesos (RM36.8 million) for Gao’s release, but did not make any ransom demand for Dayawan.

On April 2, seven gunmen entered the resort at night and abducted 29-year-old Gao from Shanghai and 40-year-old Marcy from the resort.

It was reported that Malaysian authorities believed the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist militant group based in and around the southern Philippines, was behind the abduction and that they had help on the inside.

Following Gao and Marcy's kidnapping in April, a police official in Sabah had revealed that the abduction was also likely to have involved resort staff.

"The Abu Sayyaf has been active in the area over the past 15 years and have been responsible for a string of kidnappings," the official had informed The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity.

"In many cases, the victims were released after a substantial ransom was paid. Last night's case is expected to be no different," he had said.

The incident was one of three in the past seven months involving a breach in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone established after the Lahad Datu "invasion" by Sulu forces early last year.

In November last year, Taiwanese tourist Chang An Wei was abducted from the Pom Pom island resort while her partner, Li Min Hsu was shot dead.

Chang was freed a month later after a substantial ransom was paid to the Abu Sayyaf via intermediaries.

Earlier this month, Chinese national Yang Zai Lin, 34, was abducted by Abu Sayyaf gunmen from a fish farm near Pulau Babi, Lahad Datu, and taken away in a speedboat.

Despite Malaysia's security dragnet, the kidnappers managed to escape into international waters and were believed to have headed for southern Philippines.

Yang, a Guangzhou native, had been running the fish farm for three years. The farm is owned by Hong Kong-based Wonderful Terrace Sdn Bhd.

Yang was taken away by five men dressed in army fatigues. At least three of them were said to be armed with M-16 assault rifles.

The Abu Sayyaf is an Islamic militant group which rose to prominence in the 1990s as they fought for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.

Its members have been known to be involved in bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion activities. – May 31, 2014.

Obama's new counterterrorism strategy: Go local

From the Christian Science Monitor (May 31): Obama's new counterterrorism strategy: Go local

Obama's message: Washington must respond to terrorism by training local security forces, not deploying American ground troops.

[Video report: President Obama Says U.S. Is 'Indispensable' In Speech To.. CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer has more on the President's push for a new global anti-terrorism policy.]

In a foreign policy address this week, U.S. President Barack Obama gave his clearest outline yet of his counterterrorism strategy. Al Qaeda splinter groups remain the largest threat to the United States, he said, but Washington must respond to it in a new way: by training local security forces, not deploying American ground troops.

"We have to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat - one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin, or stir up local resentments," Obama said. "We need partners to fight terrorists alongside us."

But critics say America's past efforts to train local security forces have had mixed results. Washington has a poor track record of applying the long-term resources, funding and attention needed to carry out such efforts successfully.

In Libya, training by U.S. Special Forces soldiers was suspended after a local militia stole a cache of American-provided weapons. In Mali, American-trained military officers carried out a coup. And in Afghanistan, the United States failed to mount a major training effort until nine years after the fall of the Taliban.

Finding the effective partners Obama described has proven challenging as well. For years, the United States has struggled to get Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to coordinate their support to Syria's panoply of rebel factions. And the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian school girls in April exposed the inability of American officials to get the Nigerian government to address the endemic corruption that helps fuel the al Qaeda splinter group Boko Haram.

Bruce Hoffman, an expert on terrorism and Georgetown University professor, said a cardinal failing of the American counterterrorism effort since 2001 has been its haphazard nature. Hoffman said the United States focused its effort on Afghanistan in 2001, shifted to Iraq in 2003, returned to Afghanistan in 2009. Now, Obama announced a shift from Afghanistan to Syria.

"It continues our pathology," Hoffman said. "Our attention has shifted from one trouble spot to another with disastrous results."

In his address on Wednesday, Obama unveiled a $5 billion "Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund" to train local forces in the Middle East and Africa and voiced support for increasing American training and assistance to "moderate" Syrian rebels. "A strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable," he said.

Obama said the new fund would allow the United States to expand training of security forces in Yemen fighting al Qaeda, support a multinational force trying to stabilize Somalia, and work with European allies training local forces in Libya and Mali. Citing the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi and last September's attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, he said the United States faced a different type of threat.

"Today's principal threat no longer comes from a centralized al Qaeda leadership," he said. "Instead, it comes from decentralized al Qaeda affiliates and extremists, many with agendas focused in the countries where they operate."

Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert at the New America Foundation think tank, praised Obama's address and approach. In the Philippines, he said, local commandos trained by American forces had severely weakened the Abu Sayyaf militant movement. Over the long term, training locals was far cheaper and more politically sustainable than deploying large numbers of American troops, he argued.

"It's pennies on the dollar," he said. "It's less than one percent of the defense budget."


In his speech, Obama cited the training of "hundreds of thousands" of Afghan soldiers and police officers as a success. Afghan forces secured the country's recent presidential election, he said, and set the stage for the first peaceful transfer of power in the country's history later this year.

But Graeme Smith, an Afghanistan-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, said Obama's pullout would destabilize the country. He said a planned cut in American and foreign military aid will result in a rapid reduction in the size of the Afghan security forces.

"If they quickly implement the plan to reduce Afghan security forces from roughly 370,000 to 228,000, we will have a serious problem in this country," Smith said in an email. "You can't axe the personnel roster that dramatically without destabilizing many districts."

At the same time, according to Smith, Taliban attacks are rising and the broad direction of the conflict is escalation.

Obama said a critical focus of the new training effort would be moderate rebel groups in Syria. Reversing his past opposition to large-scale American arming and training of Syrian rebels, Obama said that strengthened moderate rebel groups could serve as a counterweight to radical Islamist groups.

Analysts say the proposed effort is too small to have any serious impact.
Noah Bonsey, the Syria analyst for the International Crisis Group, said that moderates - groups he defined as "largely non-ideological or mildly Islamist" - have gained strength recently but overall remain military weak.

"We have seen in the last few months that increases in funding, weapons and training to certain non-ideological rebel groups have strengthened their relative power within the rebel spectrum," Bonsey said in an email from Turkey. "Thus far however, the levels of support provided - and apparently under consideration within the US administration - are not sufficient to meaningfully shift the balance of power between the opposition and the regime."

Bergen was more optimistic about Obama's approach. He said future presidents could increase American force levels in Afghanistan, if needed, and aiding Syria's rebels was a step forward. He argued that training local forces was the only approach that was politically acceptable to Americans and foreigners alike.

"You buy yourself influence without a large footprint," Bergen said. "It's the only sensible model on all sorts of levels."

Hoffman agreed that ground invasions were a mistake, but he said the American counterterrorism effort must be more consistent. Otherwise, Washington appears to be a fickle ally to those it is asking to fight al Qaeda splinter groups.

Duo not tortured in Jolo

From the Star Online (Jun 1): Duo not tortured in Jolo

KOTA KINABALU: Abu Sayyaf gunmen did not torture or abuse Chinese national Gao Huayun (pic right) and Filipina resort worker Marcy Dayawan @ Mimi during their 58 days of captivity in the jungles of Jolo.

However, Mimi, 40, was constantly threatened with being beheaded if Gao’s family did not pay the ransom for their freedom within 20 days of their calls.

It is learned that the women, who were handed over to an Abu Sayyaf group for a fee by a Tawi Tawi-based kidnap-for-ransom group, were constantly guarded by at least 40 gunmen after they were taken straight to Jolo.

They were not harmed and were given daily meals of rice and fish but only got a serving of vegetables once during their captivity.
After weeks of negotiations, mediators secured the release of 29-year-old Gao and Mimi on Friday at about 11.30am. They were then brought from Jolo to Sandakan at 4.30pm before being flown to Kota Kinabalu where they were debriefed.

The two left for Kuala Lumpur early yesterday; while Gao flew immediately back to Shanghai, police were looking into travel documentation for Mimi before sending her back to the Philip­pines.

Both the women, who often cried during captivity, had never thought they would be released one day and were thankful for their freedom.

It was learned that there was a third woman with them but they were unsure whether she was a hostage or part of the group.

The heavily armed Abu Sayyaf men, ranging from teenagers to men in their 40s, kept a close watch on the hostages in the forested area within a village in Jolo.

On April 2, Gao and Mimi were grabbed by seven armed men in a small pumpboat from Singamata Reef Resort in Semporna before they were transferred to a high-powered boat and taken straight to Jolo.

They were taken to a jungle area but three days later when the Philippines army helicopters were heard hovering over the area they moved deeper in­­land, where they remained until their rescue, it was learned.

While Gao was reunited with her family in China yesterday, Mimi’s fate remains unknown as her family, including her parents, have not returned to their home at Kampung Perigi in Semporna town.

Neighbours said they had not seen her family members who had been initially detained as police pursued the possibility of a link between them and the kidnappers.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said yesterday that police had released the family members after questioning.

He added, however, they were still investigating whether Mimi had any links to the kidnapping. Both state police and Bukit Aman have recorded statements from Gao and Mimi.

“If we are sure that Mimi was not in­vol­ved, she will be sent back to her family in the Philippines,” he said when contacted.

With Gao and Mimi’s release, police have been able to get a better picture of the groups involved in the kidnapping and steps are underway to secure the release of another Chinese national, Yong Zai Lin, 34, who was grabbed by crossborder gunmen from the Wonder Terrace Fish Farm in Lahad Datu on May 9. He was the manager of the fish farm owned by a Hong Kong businessman.

Sources said that although they believed the same gang kidnapped Yong and the women, it was ano­ther Abu Sayyaf group who was holding the manager.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman thanked all parties, inclu­ding Malaysian security forces and their counterparts in the Philip­pines for helping secure the release of the hostages.

“This was a complex operation that required coordinated intelligence work and cooperation at many levels. I also wish to remind our security forces to continuously be vigilant to ensure there are no more such untoward incidents,” he added.

MILF: “Isabela City not closing its door To Bangsamoro”

From the MILF Website (May 31): “Isabela City not closing its door To Bangsamoro”

Isabela City, Basilan --- This apparently was what a councilor meant when she contradicted an earlier pronouncement by City Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar that this city is not joining the Bangsamoro Government.
Speaking on May 17 at a public forum, City Councilor Nida Dans said that the opposition of the city mayor to the Bangsamoro was her personal stand and does not represent the entire constituents of Isabela City. On April 14, Mayor Santos-Akbar openly declared her resistance to the inclusion of this city to the future Bangsamoro.

“There was a petition made by Mayor Cherrylyn Santos but the Council members denied it as they have not seen yet the BBL (i.e. Bangsamoro Basic Law). It was her will alone to say no but not the constituents of Isabela City,” Councilor Dans claimed during the consultation organized by the Mindanao Civil Society Organizations Platform for Peace (MCSOPP) at BASELCO conference hall.

Basilan Provincial Administrator Tahira Ismail also aired similar concern.

“Nagugulat ako kung bakit nagkalat ang balita sa buong lalawigan na kaming mga nasa hanay ng LGUs ay ayaw daw sa BBL at boboto ng ‘NO’ sa darating na plebisito. Paano kami umaayaw hindi naman kami nakapagsabi nyan at hindi rin kmi naimbita sa mga consultasyon ng mga kababaihan at hindi namin alam ang nilalaman ng BBL,… kung nag-NO ang Isabela ay hindi ibig sabihin lahat ng mamayan ng Basilan ay umaayaw din.” (I am surprised by the news in the entire province that we in the LGUs are against the BBL and would vote NO in the coming plebiscite. How can we be against it when we didn’t say anything and we weren’t also invited to women’s consultations and we don’t know yet the contents of BBL … if Isabela says NO it does not mean all people of Basilan are also saying the same thing.)

The forum was primarily intended for local government officials. Present were Basilan Vice Governor Al Rasheed Sakalahul, Board Member Candu I. Muarip, former BM Jubaira Said, Isabela City Councilor Nida Dans, Lamitan City Councilor Noel Baul and Provincial Administrator Ismail who represented Governor Jum Akbar. Also seen were Isabela City Bishop Martin Jumoad, PARO Suwaib Ismail, Lt. Col. Mongao of the 104th Brigade (PA), representatives of municipal mayors and several officials of line agencies, CSOs, NGOs and the MILF.

Resource persons to the said event were BTC Commissioners Abdulla Camlian and Pedrito Eisma, both of whom are natives of Basilan.

Commissioner Eisma explained that the term Bangsamoro “is not an Islamic State as most of the Christians think but rather it is inclusive because there are reserve seats for the Christians, IPs and other sectors in the Bangsamoro lands.”“isabela-city-not-closing-its-door-to-bangsamoro

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Tigilan ang Kasinungalingan, Protocol sa Digmaan Sundin at Isaalang-alang Kapakanan ng Sibilyan sa Labanan!!!

NDF propaganda statement just posted to the CPP Website (May 25): Tigilan ang Kasinungalingan, Protocol sa Digmaan Sundin at Isaalang-alang Kapakanan ng Sibilyan sa Labanan!!!
Maria Roja Banua
NDFP Bicol Chapter
Nililinaw ng National Democratic Front (NDF-Bicol) ang partikular at tunay na pangyayari sa sityo Hukdong, Brgy Balocawe, Matnog, Sorsogon noong Mayo 23, 2014 ng 5:45 ng umaga.

1. Kubkob at hindi engkwentro ang tipo ng labanan kaya may sibilyang nadamay sa pangyayari . Sinasabi lamang nilang engkwentro para palabasin na pareho nasa kapasidad ang bawat panig para isagawa ang labanan. Pinalalabas din nila na lahat ng napatay ay mga kasapi ng tropa ng New People’s Arny at wala daw “colateral damage”.

2. Apat (4) ang kasamang namatay at naging martir sa nasabing labanan na sina Sonny “Ka Nick Pajarillo, Allan “Ka Randy” Bueza, Roderick “Ka Bryan” Gueta, Ken Bryan “Ka Bunso” Bigata at ang sinasabi nilang ika-5 sa napatay ay lehitimong sibilyan na may-ari ng kalapit na bahay na si Elias Garduque. Isa (1) ang nahuli na si Ka Russel sa labanan at ang ikalawang NPA na sinasabi nila ay asawa ng sibilyang napatay ay si Cynthia Garduque kasama ang kanyang anak na isang taong gulang ay sugatan na pinalipas pa ang sampung (10) oras bago lapatan ng kaukulang atensyong medikal. Nagmalasakit sana ang mga kapitbahay pero pinagbawalang lapitan ang mag-ina ng Philippine Army.

3. Gawa-gawang kwento lang ang sinasabi na “lulusubin daw ng NPA ang PNP Matnog na may dalawang (2) kilometro ang layo at natunugan lang daw ng 31st IBPA ang nasabing paghimpil ng mga kasama. Nandon ang presensya ng mga kasama upang magsagawa ng talakayan hinggil sa nangyayaring pananalasa ng Oplan Bayanihan at paano ipapaunawa ang kanilang mga karapatan ayon sa isinasaad ng mga batas sa digma. Sa nangyari, naulit na naman ang kasinungalingan ni Brig Gen Joselito Kakilala noong Nobyembre 2013 kung saan kinubkob ang mga kasama ng 31st IB na nagsasagawa ng relief, repair and rehabilitation program sa brgy Balocawe ay isang engkwentro dahil hinaharang daw ang relief goods na dala ng Philippine Army samantalang may ilang kilometro ang layo nito sa haywey patungong pier pa-Visaya.

Nahayag ang pagpapanggap ng Balikatan, CMO Operation Tuli at pagtulong sa Brigada Eskwela sa ipinapakitang asal berdugong operasyong militar ng 31st IBPA, 5th Scout Ranger Company sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng 903rd Infantry Brigade kasama pa ang Public Safety Unit ng Philippine National Police (PNP) sa aktwasyon nila sa paglulunsad ng gera simula Abril hanggang Mayo 2014.

Sadyang katangian ng Philippine Army ang di pagsunod sa batas ng digma upang tiyakin ang kaayusan ng isinasagawang digma. Katulad ng nangyayari sa Masbate na saklaw pa rin ng 903rd IBde sa ilalim ngpamumuno ni Brig Gen Joselito Kakilala at sa Camarines Sur na saklaw naman ng 42nd IBPA sa ilalim ng 902nd IBde hindi nila kilala ang sibilyan, protocol sa digma at batas kasunduan sa digmaan. Hindi rin sila marunong magbilang ng kaswalti sa digmaan, itinuturing nilang NPA pati silbilyan higit sa lahat hindi sila tinatamaan ng bala kaya di nabibilang ang kaswalti sa panig nila sa magkakasunod na labanan sa Brgy Calmayon hanggang nitong huli sa Brgy Balocawe. Hindi pa nakontento sa promosyon ng pagiging brigadier general si Joselito Kakilala nais pa nitong makuha ang 2.5 milyong reward sa pagkakapatay diumano kay Ka Cenon kaya pinipilit papirmahin sa pahayag ang kapitan na si Albor sa naganap na labanan na ikinasawi ni Rudy “Ka Uno Gracilla noong Mayo 5, 2014 sa brgy Cococabitan, Bulan.

Hindi mapapantayan ang kabayanihan ng mga dating parabadang na namatay sa labanan sa Brgy Balocawe na nagpasyang mag-armas at kamtin ang lipunang malaya na tumutugon sa interes ng mamamayan. Mamamayan hindi ang lakas pamutok at hayag na body count ng kalaban ang mapagpasya sa pagpapanalo ng digmaan. Naniniwala kami na saksi ang malawak na masa sa kanayunan sa tunay na nangyayari sa digmaan at sa puso nila patuloy na yayakapin ng taus puso ang rebolusyon sa kabila ng pagpapanggap ng kaaway na mga repormadong Philippine Army sila.

Pagbayarin sa kagyat ng pinsala ang Philippine Army sa mga apektadong sibilyan sa kanilang isinasagawang kubkob. Magkaisa at ipagtanggol ang mga karapatan ayon sa isinasaad ng batas sa digmaan. Sisikapin din ng lahat ng yunit ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan na pagbayarin ang pasistang kaaway sa lahat ng kanilang krimen sa mamamayan at rebolusyon. Ibayong itataguyod ang kapakanan ng masa at rebolusyon sa gitna ng digmaan.

CPP/NDF-Negros: Duta Pangapinan, Produksyon Pauswagon, Demoraktikong Rebolusyon sg Pumuluyo Isulong !!!

NDF propaganda statement just posted to the CPP Website (May 24): Duta Pangapinan, Produksyon Pauswagon, Demoraktikong Rebolusyon sg Pumuluyo Isulong !!!

Frank Fernandez
NDFP Negros Island Chapter
  Ang opisina sg NDF-Negros nakabaton sg isa ka report halin sa PKM-SW Negros bahin sa agresibong landgrabbing operations ni Mrs. Olivia Yanson sa mga kadutaan sg mga mangunguma kag tumandok sa bukiran sg Basay, Neg. Or. kag Hinoba-an Neg. Occ. Magluwas sa iya, madamo pa nga mga dalagkung komprador-agalon mayduta kag mga multinational corporations ang nagapinagusto sa pagpang-agaw sg mga kadutaan. Ini nga mga poderosong landgrabbers ginabuylogan sg ila mga instrumento pang-estado sg pagpaniplang kag pasismo agud uliponon ang pumuluyo sa kaumhan indi lamang sa southwest kundi sa bilog nga Isla sg Negros.

Isa ka daku nga kabutigan kag pagpaniplang ang ginahimo nila Mrs. Olivia Yanson kag mga kakunsabong National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agrarian Reform ( DAR), Department of Education (Dep-Ed), Local Government Unit (LGU), AFP-PNP, kag pila ka reaksyonaryong mga lider-simbahan sa pagpalapnag kag pagpapati sa mga mangunguma, tumandok kag settlers sa kabukiran sa Hinoba-an, Neg. Occ. kag Basay, Neg. Or., kag iban nga banwa nga ang pagsulod sg mga proyekto sg pagpanamom sg oil palm tree, rubber tree kag tubo nagasunod sa mga laye kag mga prosesong legal para sa katuyuan nga padebelopar sg mga kadutaan para sa kaayuhan kag kauswagan sg pumuluyo. Para kay Mrs. Yanson indi siya landgrabber.

Ang linya sg pagbinutig, pagtiplang kag pagpamahog amo man ang gin-aplikar ni Mrs. Yanson kag mga kakonsabong opisyal sg reaksyonaryong gobyerno kag ahensiya, militar kag pulis sg iya pag-agaw kag pagposisyon sa 200 ektaryang duta sa Malinao, Basay. Para sa dugang nga pagpalapad sg iya mga plantasyon sg produktong pang-eksport halin sa Maglinao, gusto niya isugpon ang kaiping nga kadutaan sg Brgy Damutan, Hinoba-an paagi sa pag-agaw kag pagkontrol sg 8,064 ektarya nga ginapuy-an kag ginapangabuhian sg mga tumandok-mangunguma. Ginahandum pa gid niya nga idugang sa pagsugpon ang kaiping nga kadutaan sa sakop sg Brgy Pinggot, Ilog kag tubtob sa bukiran nga porsyon sg Magballo, Kabankalan, City.

Hugot nga ginasuporta sg LGU kag mga ahensya sg reaksyonaryong gobyerno kag AFP-PNP paagi sa ila agresibong paglunsar sg mga propaganda sg kabutigan, pagpaniplang kag pagpamahog agud ipresyur ang pumuluyo nga magpasugot nga sila agawan sg ila kadutaan, pagutoman kag uliponon.

Halin sa mga bibig ni Mrs. Yanson kag mga kakunsabong opisyal sg reaksyonaryong gobyerno kag pagpamahog sg mga bayaran nga Phil. Army kag armadong goons nga RPA, ginpahayag kag ginhimo nila ang mga masunod:

Suno ni Mayor Estrao, may-ara sg madamo nga investor-negosyante nga gusto magdebelopar sa ekonomiya sg Hinoba-an;

Suno sa DENR, ang kadutaan halin sa Malinao, Basay pakadto sa bukiran sg Damutan kag sa porsyon sg Pinggot kag Magballo nabakal na sg kalolohan ni Mrs. Yanson kag may-ara siya sg bugkos sg mga titulo sg duta sa pagmatuod, gani wala na sg mahimo ang mga tumandok kag mangunguma;

Ang kadutaan lamgod na kag indi produktibo, gani indi na mapuslan para tamnan sg mga produktong pagkaon;

Ang plagluntad sg mga plantasyon sg oil palm tree, rubber tree kag tubo may-ara daku nga epekto sa pagpauswag sg kabuhi sg pumuluyo kag sg ekonomiya sa Hinoba-an bangud arkilahan ni Mrs. Yanson sg P200 kada ektarya sg duta sa sulod sg 25 ka tuig; makaangkon sila sg suhol paagi sa ila pag-obra sa pagtanom, pag-atipan kag pag-ani; makabenepisyo sila halin sa ipatindog nga libre nga eskwelahan kag klinik sg ikaayong lawas kag pagbutang sg elektrisidad;

Ang indi magpasugot sa proyekto pahalinon sa duta kag palayason sa lugar;
Buhinan sg iya mabaton nga kantidad halin sa programang Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) kon siya magpalya sa pagpatuman sg mga kasugtanan sg proyekto;

Indi magbaton sa NPA kay malain ang ila tuyo kag kon matabu-an nga magka-enkwentro ang Phil. Army kag NPA, hasta ang pamilya ila dalasaon sa paghalit; kag

Ang mga bayaran nga goons nga RPA nagpanagtag sg mga blangko nga pormas para pirmahan sg pumuluyo.

Ang mga pasalig ni Mrs. Yanson wala sg kinatuhay sa mga matam-is man nga pasalig sadto sg Insular Lumber Co. (ILCO) nga amo ang nag-ubos sa mga kahoy sa mga kalasangan sa Hinoba-an kag Sagay-Cadiz sg 1960s-1970s, nagkalbo sa mga kabukiran, kag nagguba sa mga tuburan sg mga tubig. Kag pagkatapos sg commercial logging operations, ang mga mangunguma kag tumandok nadulaan sg ila palangabuhian, nagalala ang kaimolon, kag pirme nagaatubang sg peligro sg mga pagka-inas o landslide sg mga bukid sa diin madamo na sa ila ang nagkalamatay.

Si Mrs. Yanson kabahin lamang sg panong sg mga dalagkung komprador burgesya, agalon mayduta kag burukratang kapitalista nga mga opisyal sg reaksyonaryong gobyerno nga may-ara daku nga kriminal nga salabton sa pumuluyo bangud sa pagluntad sg paglala sg pagpang-aw sg mga kadutaan sg mga mangunguma para tamnan sg mga pang-eksport nga produkto, para sa commercial logging operations, para minahon ang mga mineral sa idalom sg kabukiran kag idalom sg kadagatan kag mga margaha sa baybayon. Ila man gin-pribeytisa ang pagpang-agaw sg mga baybayon-dagat kag mga matahom nga talan-awon sa kabukiran para sa eco-turismo nga negosyo. Lubos nila ginabasura ang CARP kag bisan ang mga CLOA holders-mangunguma gin-agawan sg ila mga duta. Ang mga aplikante-mangunguma sg mga duta nga ginasakop sg CARP indi ginasapak sg DAR kay ini nga mga duta ara na sa pagkontrol sg mga AMD o investor-negosyante.

Bantog na kaayo ang balita bahin sa kapaslawan kag wala’y kasegurahan sg mga mamumugon sa uma sa Hda. Luisita nga mabawi ang sobra 6,000 ektaryang duta nga gin-agaw kag ginakontrol sg pamilya Cojuangco-Aquino.

Diri sa Negros, pila sa mga notoryos nga kaso amo ang paggamit ni Gov. Alfredo Maranon,Jr. sg poder agud agawon ang 147 ektaryang duta sg mga mangunguma sa Murcia, Neg. Occ para himoon nga pastuhan sg imported nga karnero kag baka kag para ipagamit nga plantasyon sg pinya sg Dole Phils. Nagapadayon man ang kabangis sg mga Sola sg ila landgrabbing operation sa kadutaan sg mga mangunguma sa Brgy. Camansi sa diin ginagamit sini ang mga armadong pwersa sg 47th IB, Phil Army, PNP kag armadong goons nga RPA.

Nangin biktima man ang mga mangunguma kag tumandok kag nagkalbo ang bukiran sg Himamaylan sg nagsulod ang commercial logging operations sg pamilya Gatuslao; reforestation project kag logging operations sg Mosser Foundation kag ang pagtinguha sg Rain Trust Corp. sa pagtanom sg oil palm tree kag rubber tree.

Nagligad pa nga tuig nag-umpisa ang Del Monte Products sg iya mga maniobra sa pag-agaw sg kadutaan sg mga mangunguma-CARP beneficiaries sa sakop sg La Castellana, La Carlota kag sa Brgy. Ma-ao, Bago City. Sila Mr. Nene de la Cruz kag Mayor Max Ortiz ginreklamo man sg mga mangunguma sg Salvador Benedicto bangud sg ila pagpang-agaw sg kadutaan. Ang Philex Mining, Silica Mining kag Marinduque Mining Corp may-ara sg malubha nga mga rekord sg pagpang-agaw sg mga kadutaan sg mangunguma kag pagwasak sa kinaiyahan (environment) sa bukiran sg Sipalay, City. Madamo man ang mga biktima nga mangunguma sa mga banwa sg Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Tayasan, Negros Oriental nga masupog gina-agawan sg pamilya Teves.

Nga-a mas nagalala ang pagpang-agaw sg mga kadutaan sg mga mangunguma kag tumandok sining panahon kon ikomparar sa 1960s-70s? Bangud sa pagluntad sg malawig na kag nagalala nga krisis sg pangkalibutan nga sistemang kapitalismo gin-triger sg polisiya sg neo-liberalismo nagresulta sa pagbagsak sg ekonomiya sg mga imperyalistang pungsod sa pagpanguna sg Estados Unidos kag ang impak sini sa dugang nga paglala kag pagdalom sg krisis, partikular sa malakolonyal kag malapyudal nga pungsod Pilipinas, nagtuga sg grabe nga mga pag-antus sg pumuluyo sg kakulangon, wala’y duta, wala’y obra, gutom kag kaimolon. Ang mga dumuluong kapitalista kag imperyalistang gobyernong Estados Unidos kag ang ila kakunsabong lokal nga mga dalagkung komprador burgesya, agalon mayduta kag burukratang opisyal sg reaksyonaryong rehimen Aquino 2, nagatuyo nga padakuon ang ila ganansya kag akumulasyon sg kita o kapital paagi sa pagpanubo sg sweldo sg mga mamumugon, liberalisasyon o paghalog sg mga investment, negosyo kag pinansya; praybatisasyon sg mga pagkabutang o propyedad sg estado; deregulasyon sa mga nagabaral sg mga serbisyo sosyal kag sa kinaiyahan; kag denasyunalisasyon o libre nga paggamit sg patrimonya sg pungsod Pilipinas.

Ang bangkrap, korap kag reaksyonaryong presidente Benigno Aquino III, bilang kahanay man sg sahing dalagkung komprador burgesya kag agalon mayduta, nagpatigayon sa paghimo sg mga laye, polisiya, programa kag mga proyekto para mapasilitar kag mapahapos para sa mga dumuluong kapitalista kag mga lokal nga nagahimulos nga sahi ang paghugakom sg mga dalagkung kita kag ganansya paagi sa paggamit sg mga kadutaan agud himuon nga mga plantasyon sg mga produktong pang-eksport, mga kahoy pangkomersyal, pagmina sa mga mineral sa kabukiran kag idalom kadagatan, kag paghimo sg mga baybayon-dagat, matahom nga mga isla kag talan-awon sa kabukiran bilang pribadong negosyo para sa mga turista.

Ginbuksan sg maki-imperyalista kag kontra-pumuluyo nga presidente ang dalan para sa todo-larga nga malaparan kag pinagusto nga pagpang-agaw sg mga kadutaan kag palangabuhian sg mga mangunguma, pungsodnon minoriya, tribu kag mangingisda. Iya man ginapaluntad ang polisiya sg pagwasak sa unyonismo kag pagpaluntad sg sistemang kontraktwalisasyon kadungan sg grabe ka nubo nga sweldo sg mga mamumugon. Sa subong determinado si Presidente Aquino III kag iya partido Liberal nga bag-uhon ang Konstitusyon sg Pilipinas para mabutang sa malig-on nga pundasyon ang pagkontrol sg mga dumuluong kapitalista ang ekonomiya kag pinansya sg pungsod.

Ang Public-Private Partnership Program, Greening Program sa kabukiran, Mining Act, IPRA, SIFMA, IFMA, FLUP, 12-K Education Program, Rural Electrification Program, Farm to Market Road Construction magserbi lamang sa interes sg mga dumuluong nga monopolyong katapitalista kag sg mga lokal nga inbestor. Ang gintawag nga CARP, 4P sg programa nga Conditional Cash Transfer kag programa nga Senior Citizen Cash Transfer kag iban pa, mga pahamot lamang agud ila matiplang ang pumuluyo.

Ang pagpamatuk sg pumuluyo para sa ila demokratiko kag lehitimong mga kinamatarung kag sg rebolusyonaryong pwersa paagi sa CPP-NPA-NDFP para sa demokratiko kag pungsodnon nga interes sg pumuluyo kag sg rebolusyonaryong pwersa sg Muslim Mindanao para sa kawsa sg kahilwayan sa kaugalingon (self-determination), naga-atubang sg grabe nga mabangis nga pag-atake paagi sa US-sponsored kag pasistang Oplan Bayanihan para sa todo nga mga mobilisasyon kag operasyon sg mga bayolente nga makinarya sg reaksyonaryong estado nga ginabug-os sg AFP-PNP, mga burukrasya sibil kag mga ahensiya sg gobyerno kag mga institusyon sg hustisya, mga grupo sg reaksyonaryong grupo sg civil society kag ila NGOs. Nagresulta ini sg paglala sg human rights violations sg rehimen Aquino 2, AFP kag PNP.

Wala sg iban nga banas ang mga mangunguma kag mga tumandok para madepensahan ang ila kinamatarung sa duta kag maangkon nila ang matuod nga reporma sa duta. Upod sa sahing mamumugon nga amo ang nagapamuno sg demokratikong rebolusyon sg pumuluyo paagi sa iya Partido politikal nga CPP kag upod sg iban pa nga ginahimuslan nga sahi kag sektor, dapat lamang magpursige sg armadong paghimakas para wasakon ang mahimuslanon kag mapiguson nga paghari sg imperyalismong Estados Unidos, tumandok nga pyudalismo kag burukrata kapitalismo, magpatuman sg mga rekisito agud maabot ang halintang sg estratehikong pagkapatas sg pangmalawigon nga giyera sg pumuluyo tubtob sa lubos nga kadalag-an sg Rebolusyon Pilipino kag gilayon nga pagsulong sg masunod nga halintang sg sosyalistang konstruksyon kag rebolusyon.

Kinahanglan ang mga mangunguma kag tumandok sa kaumhan madasig nga magpalapad sg ila organisasyon kag masang katapuan kag aktibong magpangita sg mga pamaagi sa pag-armas sg kaugalingon agud gamiton sa pagpamatok sa mga manug-agaw sg mga kadutaan, pagpabaskog sg NPA kag armadong paghimakas kag kadungan sini ilunsar man ang mga indi armado kag ligal nga paghimakas batuk sa mga kaaway sa sahi nga manughimulos kag manugpigos.

Mabuhay ang mga mangunguma!
Mabuhay ang Rebolusyon Agraryo!
Mabuhay ang Armadong Paghimakas!
Isulong ang Pangmalawigon nga Giyera sg Pumuluyo!

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Paghahanay ng Insidente ng Paglabag ng 9th Infantry Division Philippine Army sa Sibilyan

NDF propaganda statement just posted to the CPP Website (May 25): Paghahanay ng Insidente ng Paglabag ng 9th Infantry Division Philippine Army sa Sibilyan

Maria Roja Banua
NDFP Bicol Chapter
(Account of Incident, Abril-May 2014)

Probinsya ng Sorsogon

Abril 27, 2014, iligal na ikinulong si brgy captain Eddie Albor ng brgy Cococabitan, Bulan, Sorsogon sa Sorsogon City District Jail dahil sa bintang na kasapi ng NPA at ipinataw na gawa-gawang kaso pagkatapos ng isang engkwentro sa pagitan ng pinagkumbinang tropa ng 31st IBPA at 5th SR Coy at isang tim ng BHB sa Brgy. Cococabitan, Bulan, Sorsogon. Pilit na pinapapirma si Kap. Albor sa isang sinumpaang salaysay na nagsasaad ng kasinungalingan na isang mataas na kadre ng NPA ang kaswalti sa naturang engkwentro kapalit ng ng kanyang paglaya.

Abril 29, 2014 Pinagtatakot at binantaan ng tropang Alpha Coy, 31st IBPA ang mga residente ng Brgy. San Juan, Casiguran, Sorsogon matapos ang matagumpay na ambus ng isang yunit ng CMC-BHB doon. Nagbanta ang mga sundalo ng 31st IBPA, sa harapan mismo ng Brgy. Council dito, na uubusin nila ang mga pinaghihinalaan nilang suportador ng BHB sa buong bayan ng Casiguran. Napatay sa ambus na ito si Cpl. Edison Capital at nasamsam ng BHB ang isang .45cal pistol. Kasalukuyang nakikipag-ugnayan ang BHB sa pamilya ng nadamay na sibilyan sa naturang ambus para sa karampatang aksyon.

Mayo 5, 2014 – Pagnanakaw ng bangcang de motor na pag-aari ng pamilyang Mansujer ng baranggay Sagrada, Bulan, Sorsogon na ginamit ng 31st Infantry Batallion sa kanilang operasyon sa bahaging Matnog at Bulan.
Mayo 9, 2014 – kaso ng extra-judicial killing ng Alpha Coy, 31st IBPA na binaril at pagpatay kay Joseph Benson, isang binata na taga Brgy. Inlagadian, Casiguran dahil sa hinalang kasabay daw ito sa mga operatiba ng BHB na nag-ambus sa kanilang tropa sa Brgy. San Juan noong nakaraang Abril.

Probinsya ng Camarines Sur

>Abril 29 walang pakundangang pagbabaril sa bahay ni G. Vher Franco ng brgy Burabod, Lagonoy matapos mabigo ang mabilisang pagplanong pagkubkob sa mga kasama na nakamaniobra sa mas mahusay na tereyn upang umiwas na madamay ang mga sibilyan sa kumpol na bahay sa malapit.
>Mayo 21, 2014 – pinaputukan ng tim ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan ang isang seksyon na bahagi ng Bravo Company ng 42nd Infantry Batalion na nakabase sa brgy Cambalidio na security force ng mga kanilang tropang nagkukunwang tumutulong sa brigada eskwela pero gumagalugad sa ibang bahagi ng baranggay.

Probinsya ng Masbate

>Marso 30, 2014-pambubugbog sa pamangkin ng Mayor ng Cawayan, Masbate na si Dongdong Condor na taga brgy Del Carmen, Uson, Masbate ng Division Reconaissan Company, 9th ID dahilan lang sa de kaagadnakapag menor ng dinadalang motor sa tapat ng tsekpoynt.
>Abril 22, 2014 – pandurukot at tangkang pagpatay kay Molong Carreon, 50 taong gulang magsasaka may asawa’t anak na taga brgy Liong, San Fernando, Masbate binugbog at sinasak sa ibaba ng leeg para piliting umamin na kasapi ito ng NPA.

OIC delegation to check peace gains in South

From the Manila Bulletin (May 31): OIC delegation to check peace gains in South

A delegation of ambassadors from 18 member-states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is scheduled to visit Southern Philippines on June 4 to monitor the progress and development” in the region as “part of the Tripartite Review Process (TRP).”

The visit is in relation with the presently stalled TRP of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement (FPA) signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) about 17 years ago.

For their first visit, the OIC delegation, 18 ambassadors and one consular official, will be going to Barangay Sanga-Sanga and Barangay Pakias-Karundong, Tawi-Tawi, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said yesterday.

In July, the OIC delegation is scheduled to visit Maguindanao and North Cotabato, where peace-related projects have been implemented in conflict-affected areas.

OPAPP said they are coming “to monitor the progress and development in Mindanao as part of the Tripartite Review Process (TRP) relative to the implementation” of the FPA.

The June visit will be highlighted by site visits and project inspection in selected MNLF communities in Tawi-Tawi where the government implemented the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects.

Also part of their visit is a community interaction and dialogue with local government units (LGUs), MNLF senior leaders, religious sector, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to give the ambassadors a chance to hear out Mindanaoans.

It could be recalled that the pan-Islamic body convened the Tripartite Meeting about seven years ago in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, involving the GPH, the MNLF, and the OIC to review the FPA because of dispute in its implementation.

Noy stops Libingan eviction

From the Philippine Star (Jun 1): Noy stops Libingan eviction

No less than President Aquino ordered the Philippine Army to stop its scheduled demolition of houses located at a reserved area of the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City.

Mayor Lani Cayetano said yesterday the President personally informed her and her husband, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, on Friday night that the demolition scheduled tomorrow by the Philippine Army Task Group Bantay (PATGB) will no longer push through.

Cayetano earlier warned the Army against going through with its scheduled demolition of houses of around 2,000 families in Katipunan Village on the grounds that it would violate the Urban Development and Housing Act as well as the Constitution.

According to the community leaders, the affected residents – mostly retired soldiers and their families – were granted permission by the Army to erect houses in the 1990s.

“In behalf of the 2,000 families living at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, I thank the President for his quick response. We are lucky because the President listens to reason. Because of the President’s quick response, I hope that the tension in the area will ease and the residents’ lives will return to normal,” Cayetano said.

Meanwhile, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said Army officials are “consulting our legal advisers” and will not yet issue an official position on the matter.

In a notice of eviction dated May 22, signed by Capt. Edgar Torre, the PATGB informed the residents that they are illegally occupying Katipunan Village, which is composed of Sitio Masagana, Sitio Masigasig, Sitio Maliwanag and Sitio Matatag in Barangay Western Bicutan.

In its notice of eviction, the PATGB also said that the eviction and demolition set for tomorrow will be done in coordination with the local government.

Cayetano, however, said the PATGB neither coordinated nor consulted with the city government on the demolition.

“The meeting you called on May 21 can hardly qualify as coordination. During that meeting, you merely announced that the demolition will push through. The local agencies registered their strong objections and reminded PATGB the Urban Development and Housing Act and its implementing rules and regulations,” Cayetano said in her urgent letter to Col. Ramon Estella, PATGB commanding officer.

Cayetano’s letter was personally delivered by Taguig City officials and leaders of the affected community to the headquarters of the PATGB Friday afternoon.

China suggests US fabricated evidence for cyberattacks

Posted to InterAksyon (May 29): China suggests US fabricated evidence for cyberattacks

China suggested on Thursday that the United States had fabricated evidence to underpin accusations of cyber attacks and had incited China's neighbors to "stir up trouble" in disputed waters.

The strongly-worded comments by the defense ministry come as relations between the world's two largest economies are increasingly strained by a row over cyberespionage.

The United States last week accused five Chinese military officers of hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

Asked about proof behind the U.S. allegations, ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said it would be easy for the United States to fabricate evidence.

"In the field of Internet technology and infrastructure, the U.S. is blessed with an advantage, so fabricating some so-called 'evidence' is certainly no hardship," spokesman Geng Yansheng told a briefing, according to a statement on the ministry's website.

Geng compared U.S. evidence for Chinese cyberspying to allegations produced by Washington in 2003, that Baghdad held weapons of mass destruction, to justify the invasion of Iraq. Those allegations proved to be unfounded.

"The international community has not seen the U.S.'s so-called proof, they've only seen the massive conflict and hardship endured by the people of Iraq," he said.

Geng also said President Barack Obama's "pivot" of military assets to Asia was to blame for "stirring up new troubles" in the South China and East China seas.

"After the U.S. took up the Asia rebalancing strategy, some countries took advantage of its power to behave recklessly, continuously stirring up new troubles in territorial disputes," he said.

Territorial rows have strained several of China's key diplomatic relationships, including those with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan.

Japan said this week that Chinese aircraft had come within a few dozen meters of its warplanes in the East China Sea where both countries claim a string of uninhabited islands administered by Tokyo. Each side accused the other of dangerous behavior.

Geng said Japanese aircraft had followed Chinese air force patrols at a close distance for long periods of time on several occasions since Beijing put in place an air defense zone last year that includes the disputed islands.

Ties with Vietnam frayed this month over an oil rig China deployed to disputed waters in the South China Sea. That sparked anti-Chinese rioting in Vietnam and confrontations between vessels from the two countries.

"Where this issue is concerned, there is absolutely no room for bargaining and no allowance for provocative behavior," Geng said.

Kidnappers demand P1M for Lanao village chief, says military

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 31): Kidnappers demand P1M for Lanao village chief, says military

KOLAMBUGAN, Lanao del Norte – The kidnappers of the head of a village here are demanding payment of P1 million for his release, a military official said Saturday.

Col. Demmy Tejares , commander of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, told the Inquirer by phone that the authorities had already identified the group that snatched Rogelio Narciso, 61, on Wednesday.

He said the group was led by Wali Pelaez, a Maranaw, who has been accused of such other crimes as robbery and cattle rustling in the province.

Narciso was abducted in the village of Palao, which he heads, by at least 10 armed men identified as members of the notorious Tundra group. He was on his way home when he was abducted.

“The armed group brought Narciso to the hinterlands of Munai, also in Lanao del Norte, and have allegedly demanded P1 million,” Tejares said, without specifying who provided him the information.

Mayor Lorenzo Manegos of Kolambugan said there were people trying to obtain Narciso’s release and they included a prominent member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

But Manegos said nobody had told him about the ransom demand.

“I haven’t received any information on that matter but I can confirm that there are efforts now to secure the victim from his kidnappers,” Manegos said.

While negotiations were being held for Narciso’s freedom, the military said it was conducting operations aimed at pressuring the kidnappers into releasing the victim.

Tejares said the military was coordinating with the MILF’s ceasefire group in Lanao del Norte – headed by Abas Salung – for the operation, which involved the police and other Army units.

He said the military could not just deploy troops into Munai, where the victim was thought to have been taken, because the area was considered part of MILF territory.

Meanwhile, Manegos said he was worried about the health of Narciso and has sent him medicines through the vice mayor of Munai town.

“The old man is hypertensive,” he said.

Japan says Chinese ships sail through disputed waters

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 31): Japan says Chinese ships sail through disputed waters

Two Chinese coast guard ships sailed through disputed waters off Japan-administered islands in the East China Sea Saturday, officials said, as the United States warned Beijing over increasing territorial assertiveness.

The Japanese coast guard said the vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile band of territorial waters around one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT).

The two ships moved out of the zone about three hours later, it added.

Chinese vessels and aircraft have regularly approached the East China Sea archipelago — thought to harbor natural resources — since Tokyo nationalized some of the islands in September 2012, setting off the latest spate of incidents in a long-running territorial dispute.

Saturday’s incursion was the first of official Chinese vessels into the disputed waters since May 2 and the 12th this year.

China is also locked in territorial disputes, in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost entirely.

There have been incidences of Vietnam and China ramming each other’s vessels recently while in 2012 the Philippines lost control of rich fishing grounds after a tense standoff with China.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — claim parts of the sea, with Manila and Hanoi being the most vocal in opposing China’s claims. Taiwan is also a claimant.

At the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore Saturday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel accused China of “destabilizing actions” in the South China Sea.

He also warned that Washington would not “look the other way” if international order is threatened.

Report: Pinay abducted in Sabah threatened with beheading

From GMA News (Jun 1): Report: Pinay abducted in Sabah threatened with beheading

Marcelita Dayawan, the Filipina resort worker abducted from a floating resort in Sabah April 2, was threatened with beheading if ransom was not paid for a Chinese tourist kidnapped along with her, a Malaysian news site reported Sunday.

A report on Malaysia's The Star Online said Dayawan, 40 was "constantly threatened" if the family of Chinese tourist Gao Huayun did not pay ransom for both of them "within 20 days."

However, the two women were not harmed and had daily meals of rice and fish. They were served vegetables once.

"Both the women, who often cried during captivity, had never thought they would be released one day and were thankful for their freedom," the report said.

Dayawan and Gao spent 58 days in captivity in Jolo where they were guarded by at least 40 gunmen, the report indicated.

"The heavily armed Abu Sayyaf men, ranging from teenagers to men in their 40s, kept a close watch on the hostages in the forested area within a village in Jolo," the report said.

The report also said the two were abducted by a kidnap-for-ransom group based in Tawi-Tawi. The group then turned them over to a group with ties to the Abu Sayyaf.

Both women regained their freedom Friday and were brought to Sabah, though authorities are still checking Dayawan's travel documents.


The report said mediators secured the release of the two after "weeks" of negotiations.

They were then brought from Jolo to Sandakan and then to Kota Kinabalu where they were debriefed. Both left for Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

But while Gao flew back to Shanghai, police checked Dayawan's travel documentation before sending her back to the Philippines.

Third woman?

The Star Online report also said there was a third woman with the two captives, but authorities are not sure if she was a hostage or part of the group.

Meanwhile, Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said police had released Dayawan's family members after questioning.

But he said they were still checking if Dayawan was linked to the kidnapping.

Another captive

Sabah authorities are working for the release of another Chinese, Yong Zai Lin, 34, who armed men abducted from the Wonder Terrace Fish Farm in Lahad Datu on May 9.

The Star Online report quoted sources as saying "another" Abu Sayyaf group is holding Yong.

AFP eyes letting US troops use Ulugan, Oyster Bays under EDCA

From GMA News (May 31): AFP eyes letting US troops use Ulugan, Oyster Bays under EDCA

Pristine Ulugan and Oyster Bays in Palawan province do not only have great value not only as a haven for nature lovers, but great strategic potential for the military.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is considering allowing the United States military to use the venues for training, under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

"(K)asi nakita natin ang potential niya at kailangan magkaroon ng paraan para ito ma-develop into a naval facility," AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said in an interview with GMA News' "Saksi."

EDCA, signed earlier this year by the Philippines and the US, expands cooperation between the two countries and allows the US military to build military facilities in "agreed locations."

It is seen to help the Philippines deter incursions by countries like China to disputed parts of the South China Sea, which the Philippines refers to as the West Philippine Sea

GMA News' Ian Cruz noted Ulugan Bay is a harbor for sea vessels especially in bad weather.
[Video News Report]

The military's Naval Forces West had moved its headquarters there while the Navy has a detachment in the area, he added.

On the other hand, Oyster Bay is a potentially strategic area considered for US troops' use, as one can get to the West Philippine Sea from there via Ulugan Bay.

Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez noted such a potential setup could be a deterrent to outsiders.

"Aba e presence lang nila rito, marami nang matatakot di papasok. Tama na yan, that alone is a deterrent by itself," he said.

As for concerns that the development could disrupt the natural beauty there, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron said there should be a balance between development and nature.

"(P)wede naman magkaroon ng balanse," he said.

For their part, local fishermen said any development of the area should not affect their livelihood.

"Okay lang naman yan 'di makasagabal sa hanapbuhay ng mga mangingisda sa malapit," said one.

US, China trade barbs over maritime friction

From the Daily Tribune (Jun 1): US, China trade barbs over maritime friction

American and Chinese officials traded heated words yesterday over the South China Sea friction as US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel denounced China’s “destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea” while Chinese army’s deputy chief of staff Wang Guanzhong blasted the United States for making “threats” at a security forum in Singapore which both officials attended.

Wang described Hagel’s comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue as baseless. “Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of threats and intimidating language.

Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of encouragement, incitement for the Asia region’s instability giving rise to a disturbance,” state broadcaster China Central Television quoted Wang as telling reporters.

“Secretary Hagel, in this kind of public space with many people, openly criticized China without reason. This accusation is completely without basis,” Wang said.

Tensions recently flared in the South China Sea, claimed almost entirely by China, which has lately taken bold steps to enforce what it says are its historical rights.

Wang added the value of the Shangri-La Dialogue was to encourage exchanges, sometimes blunt, between governments and think-tanks but China should not be accused without basis, CCTV said.

China’s official Xinhua news agency on Saturday accused the United States of raising tensions in Asia, following Hagel’s speech.

“The United States has been trying to practise its approach of ensuring the safety of its allies by maintaining its military dominance,” it said.

“It even adopted the strategy of stoking fires to do this with the influence felt and visibly seen behind the tensions on the South China Sea.”

China has sought to counter Washington’s foreign policy “pivot” to Asia, but it has also angered Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines, the latter two US allies, with what those countries say are aggressive moves in separate maritime rows.

Relations between China and Vietnam have worsened after Beijing sent a deep-water oil drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea. The Philippines accused China of reclaiming land on a disputed reef within its exclusive economic zone under a United Nations convention, while Beijing and Tokyo have a long-running feud over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Last Friday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, vowed that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia and called for the rule of law to be upheld in the region.

Another commentary published by Xinhua on yesterday dismissed the speech as seeking to mask Japan’s military ambitions.

“Such rhetoric is fundamentally flawed when it came from the nationalist leader who has been trying to conjure up the militarist past of Japan in a drive to re-arm his country,” it said.

Stressing US commitments to allies and friends in Asia, Hagel called for a peaceful resolution of maritime disputes and issued a blunt message to China, which was represented by a high-level military delegation.

Hagel accused China of restricting the Philippines’ access to Scarborough Shoal, putting pressure on Manila’s long-standing presence in Second Thomas Shoal, beginning land reclamation at various locations and moving an oil rig into disputed waters with Vietnam.

Hagel said that while the United States does not take sides on rival claims, “we firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims”.

“The United States will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged,” he said.

Veteran diplomat Fu Ying, head of the foreign affairs committee in China’s rubber-stamp parliament, did not refer to Hagel by name but said countries should “not keep resorting to the 20th century mentality which is about war and conflict.”

She added that “in the 21st century, we don’t have a world state and no country can claim that they own the law, they own the management of the sea. “All countries have to work together based on mutual respect,” she said.

Four Southeast Asian states — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — claim parts of the South China Sea, which China claims in nearly its entirety, citing what it calls historic rights. Taiwan is the sixth claimant.

In the latest outbreak of tensions, Vietnam accused Chinese warships Thursday of pointing weapons at their vessels during an escalating standoff near an oil rig in contested waters. There have also been ramming incidents involving boats from both sides.

The South China Sea straddles vital shipping lanes, and some of the disputed islets and shoals are believed to sit atop vast energy deposits.
China is also in dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea, which Tokyo calls Senkaku and Beijing refers to as Diaoyu.

Last year, China declared an air defence identification zone in the East Sea, including over the outcrops, which are under Japan’s administration.

In his speech, Hagel reiterated that the United States opposes “any effort by any nation to restrict overflight or freedom of navigation, whether from military or civilian vessels, from countries big or small”.

Restating a US declaration, he said “the Senkaku Islands fall under our mutual defence treaty with Japan” and backed Tokyo’s plans to play a greater role in maintaining security in Asia.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the Singapore forum Friday by saying his country would play a more “proactive” role in Asian security, including providing coast guard vessels to the Philippines and potentially Vietnam.

Hagel also pledged support to countries that are moving towards democracy, notably Myanmar.

He urged the Thai military junta that took power in a coup on May 22 to release people they have detained, end restrictions on freedom of expression, and “move immediately” to hold elections.

Hagel said that until that happens, the Pentagon will continue to suspend and reconsider US military assistance and engagements with Thailand.

Despite tough words for China’s behaviour in disputed Asian waters, Hagel also cited efforts to forge a “new model of relations” between Beijing and Washington, including military cooperation and multinational exercises.

“The United States is reaching out to China — because we seek to expand prosperity and security for all nations of the region,” he said.

Four foreign firms eye P5.9-billion DND patrol aircraft project

From the Business World (May 30): Four foreign firms eye P5.9-billion DND patrol aircraft project

At least four firms have expressed interest in joining the auction for the Department of National Defense’s (DND) P5.9-billion acquisition of two long-range patrol aircraft.

DND Public Affairs Service Chief Arsenio R. Andolong told BusinessWorld via telephone that, as of Friday -- the day of the project’s pre-bid conference -- four foreign companies have already bought bid documents, signifying their interest.

These included Canadian firm Field Aviation Ltd. and Israeli defense contractors Elbit Systems Ltd. and Elta Systems Ltd.

European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company -- Construcciones Aeronautics SA (EADS-CASA) Airbus, which earlier expressed interest in bidding for the DND’s P4.9-billion close air support aircraft acquisition project, also bought bid documents for the patrol aircraft project.

The project also entails supplying aircraft sensors and their integration with the DND’s systems.

The first stage of bidding is still scheduled for June 13 at the DND Bids and Awards Committee Conference room, DND building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

However, DND Public Affairs Service Chief Arsenio R. Andolong said that the agency might extend the bid deadline as requested by some bidders who were having trouble registering with the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS).

“We received requests to extend because may kaunting problems sa PhilGEPS... Mainly sa pagregister online (We received requests to extend because of a few problems with PhilGEPS... Mainly in registering online),” Mr Andolong said.

PhilGEPS is the online portal of the government that contains information on all its procurement processes and the awarding of contracts.

Under Republic Act 9184, otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors are required to register with PhilGEPS before they participate in bidding activities under the Philippine government.

Robbery, intimidation raps filed vs alleged Reds in Nasugbu

From ABS-CBN (May 31): Robbery, intimidation raps filed vs alleged Reds in Nasugbu

BATANGAS - Police have formally filed cases of robbery and intimidation against three suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) and 12 others in connection with the burning of construction equipment in Nasugbu town last May 3.

Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel, Batangas police director and head of Special Investigation Task Group (SITG)-Toreja identified the suspects as Leslie Cresino alias Dasia/Jesie/Olay, Remoso Franco and Michael Cabrera.

Fidel said the three were members of the Komite Probinsya ng Batangas or KOMPROB-Batangas of the NPA operating in the province.

According to the complaint sheet, the three rebels, including their 12 other comrades, were allegedly responsible in the burning of construction equipment owned by Dionisio Toreja of the Toreja Construction Company.

Police said the three rebels were positively identified by the workers from the rouges gallery.

At around 9 p.m., the rebels allegedly stormed the construction site of Toreja in Sitio Buntog, Barangay Bulihan in Nasugbu and simultaneously burned two bulldozers, three backhoes, a grader, a road roller, a pay loader and a water tanker truck with an estimated cost of P25 million.

No one was reported hurt in the incident when the rebels herded all the workers in one location and confiscated all their cellphones.

Police and members of the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force responded to the incident, but the rebels were able to escape towards Magallanes town in Cavite.

Fidel said they will file cases of arson against the suspects after other evidences have been completed.

3 MNLF communities in North Cotabato reap ‘fruits of peace’

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (May 31): 3 MNLF communities in North Cotabato reap ‘fruits of peace’

Surrounded by wide swathes of cornfields, three interior villages in Midsayap town here are gearing for brighter economic prospects as the dividends of peace reached them through the government’s PAMANA (Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or Peaceful and Resilient Communities) program.

“Alagaan po natin ang mga proyektong ito na tanda sa patuloy na pagrespeto ng gobyerno sa 1996 Final Peace Agreement (Let us take care of these projects, which are proofs that the government continues to respect the 1996 Final Peace Agreement),” Ustadz Dadting Eman said.

Eman, chairman of the North East Kutawato State Revolutionary Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), portrayed the picture of a “fulfilled” leader as he inspects the agriculture-related projects in the area under PAMANA, which were turned over last year.
“These projects are my legacy to you,” said Eman, a known follower of MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari.

Eman noted that thousands of community members from the three barangays will benefit from the PAMANA projects.

These projects were implemented in areas with the presence of the MNLF, which signed a final peace deal with the government on September 2, 1996, but they will also benefit members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) living harmoniously alongside the former.

The projects include a solar drier in Barangay Olandang; four corn shellers, four hand tractors with trailers, a solar drier and a building with a mini-corn mill equipment in Barangay Nabalawag; and a warehouse, a solar drier, one hand tractor with trailer and a building with a mini-corn mill equipment in Barangay Kadingilan.

The projects were implemented by the provincial government of North Cotabato, headed by Gov. Emmylou Mendoza.

Mendoza's deputy governor for Muslim affairs, Edris Gandalibo, said the government is trying its best to address the needs of conflict-affected areas by providing projects that would foster peace and development.

"Without peace, it would be hard for development projects to come in, so let us continue to nurture the peace in our communities," Gandalibo said.

Peng Lakiman, Barangay Kadingilan chairperson, echoed the sentiments of Gandalibo, saying that development projects failed to reach them before because of the armed conflict that was brought not only by the Moro rebellion against the government but also by rido (clan war).

“But because there is better peace now, development projects are coming in to our area,” said Lakiman, a former commander of the MILF’s 16th Brigade under the 105th Base Command.

Lakiman thanked the provincial government and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for the projects in his village, which is about nine kilometers from the town proper.

“Our farmers here will no longer go to the town proper to have their corn milled. It’s a big factor in reducing the transportation cost that would translate to savings, hence bigger income to them,” Lakiman said.

A two-term village chairman, he vowed to lead the way in taking good care of the projects that were turned over to them for their sustainability.

Lakiman, who went back to the folds of the law in 2009 for the sake of his family, also expressed support to the peace process of the GPH and the MILF, which is now nearing completion.

“The problem in Mindanao will not be solved by the barrel of guns but only through sincere dialogue,” said Lakiman, known back then as “Kumander Samurai.”

Blast hits Philippine town

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (May 31): Blast hits Philippine town

A powerful improvised explosive went off Saturday outside the house of a village chieftain in Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat province in southern Philippines, police said.

Police said blast damaged a truck parked outside the house of Ferdinand Agduma, but no one was killed or injured in the noontime attack. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the bombing and police launched an investigation into the blast.

Agduma is the son of the current town mayor, Florante Agduma, and police are investigating whether the bombing was connected to politics or not, or if the official was the target of the attack.

Police said the bomb used in the attack was assembled from a 60mm mortar.

Eastern Mindanao Command to focus on safe release of abducted DENR inspectors in Compostela Valley

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31): Eastern Mindanao Command to focus on safe release of abducted DENR inspectors in Compostela Valley

The Eastern Mindanao Command on Saturday announced that it will focus all its efforts to ensure the safe release of the six Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) inspectors who were abducted by still unidentified armed men in Barangay New Leyte, Maco town, Compostela Valley Friday afternoon.

“Our primary concern is for the safe release of the civilians," Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III said.

Six DENR survey inspectors were abducted by still unidentified armed men in the above-mentioned area 2 p.m. Friday.

The victims were on their way to undertake validation and survey on the National Greening Program of the government in the area when snatched by the suspects.

The survey inspectors were identified as Kendrik Wong; Nico Lasaca; Chris Favila, Matthew Cua, Jonas Loredo and Tim Sabina.

Soldiers from the 1001st Infantry Brigade have joined the Philippine National Police in the pursuit operations.

While the local government unit of Maco has already directed the local officials of New Leyte to investigate the incident since there was no group that claimed responsibility in the abduction.

Malacanang welcomes release of two Abu Sayyaf hostages

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31): Malacanang welcomes release of two Abu Sayyaf hostages

The Palace welcomed the released of a Filipino resort worker and a Chinese tourist abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sabah, Malaysia, two months ago.

Filipino resort worker Marcelita Dayawan and Gao Hua Yuan, a Chinese national, were kidnapped in Sabah last April.

"Mainam na balita ‘yan at subject nga ito for verification, ikinalulugod po natin ang balitang tulad niyan sapagkat hindi po tayo tumitigil sa paglaban sa mga aksyon na ganyan na kriminalidad at nakakaapekto sa imahe ng ating bansa," President Communications Operations Office secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in an interview Saturday.

The Palace official told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan about the importance of cooperation among neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in resolving such cases.

Malaysia expressed its gratitude to the country's security forces for helping it solve the kidnapping incident.

"Ganoon nga ang ating saloobin tungkol diyan at maaari din sigurong matukoy dito ‘yung mainam na pakikipag-ugnayan ng ating bansa sa ating mga kapit-bansa tulad ng Malaysia at maging ng Indonesia sa pagreresolba ng mga ganyang usapin," he said.

These neighboring countries share coast border issues such as crimes being committed in a particular location and criminals relocating to other nations, he said, noting the necessity of close cooperation among these countries.

The two women were snatched from Singamata Adventures and Reef Resort in the town of Semporna in Sabah on April 2.

The victims were first brought by their captors to Tawi-Tawi before they escaped by boat to Sulu and reportedly handed the hostages to another Abu Sayyaf group.

Close formation flying also done to deceive enemy radars-- PAF

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31): Close formation flying also done to deceive enemy radars-- PAF

Although its purpose is to ensure mutual support among friendly aircraft, close formation flying is also done to deceive enemy radars, Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said.

"Close formation is used to deceive (enemy) radars (friendly planes will fly so close to appear as) one big aircraft if detected," he added.

By this method, two to six planes can appear as one aircraft in enemy radar scopes, thus deceiving the latter about the exact size of the formation.

Canaya earlier said that upon arrival of the 12 South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft, whose contract was signed last March 28, the aircraft will be deployed in pairs while on operational missions.

"We always fly in formation during operational missions. This is ensure mutual protection. Single aircraft (are) allowed (to fly) during training and administration flights where (no) threat is expected," he stressed.

Canaya was referring to the formation where the first aircraft is designated the "lead" and the second one as the "wingman".

Under this setup, the "wingman" is responsible for protecting his leader's tail (six o'clock position in fighter parlance) against possible threats, giving the lead plane a chance to conduct its own attack.

Canaya also said that the F/A-50 will be used for air defense missions.

"It will be used for air defense, a vital component of territorial defense which is a constitutional mandate of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines)," he added.

Air defense refers to the capability to detect and protect a country's airspace against aerial intruders.

Canaya said that this is possible as the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) made jet plane has basic fighter capabilities.

"The F/A-50 (can train) fighter pilots and has basic capabilities jet fighter capabilities," he added.

The Philippines and South Korea signed the contract for the 12 F/A-50 units last March 28.

It is worth P18. 9 billion.

Canaya said the South Korean jet aircraft can be used to redevelop the supersonic capabilities of the PAF whose last supersonic planes, the Northrop F-5 "Tiger", was retired last 2005.

The F/A-50, as per technical specifications obtained from the Department of National Defense, can carry a total of 10,500lbs of weapons including an internal 20mm internal automatic cannon, two short-ranged air-to-air AIM-9 "Sidewinder" missiles and air-to-surface AGM-65 missiles for close-air support.

A guidance kit called the JDAM (joint direct attack munition) is also installed into the F/A-50, allowing it to convert unguided or "dumb bombs" into all-weather smart munitions.

These bombs are outfitted with an inertial guidance system that is tied to a global positioning system receiver to guide the deployed munition intended to precisely hit a specific target, and to minimize collateral damage.

This is the ever PAF aircraft to employ such weapons as the Northrop F-5 "Tiger" and Vought F-8 "Crusader" which are the country's first and class supersonic fighters do not have the above-mentioned capabilities.

Both planes are only armed with 20mm cannons, air-to-air missiles and unguided bombs and rockets.

The Philippines retired its F-8 fleet sometimes in the 1990 due to maintenance costs.

KAI's F/A-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one and half times the speed of sound.

The F/A-50 will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines get enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.

The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.

The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.

The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.

There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.

An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.

Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.

The F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI.

The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5.

Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner.