Thursday, July 10, 2014

NPA ambush erupts in Davao City outskirts

From the pro-CPP Davao Today (Jul 10): NPA ambush erupts in Davao City outskirts

The Philippine Army claims there were no fatalities in its encounter with the New People’s Army in Baracatan, this city, on July 8, while the police later said two government troops were confirmed dead.

Meanwhile, the NPA claimed six troopers were killed and six others were wounded in the ambush.  In a statement, Isabel Fermiza, spokesperson of the Mt. Apo Subregional Command of the NPA, said they also confiscated two high-powered rifles and various military paraphernalia after they “lured company-sized soldiers of the 84th Infantry Battalion-10th Infantry Division to the guerrilla hideout. “
Fermiza said that the NPA’s offensives “disproved hallucinations of AFP’s 10th Infantry Division commanding-general Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo” that the NPA forces are “thinning out, losing ground, and limited to merely seven towns in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley provinces.”
She said the ambush also “refuted the AFP claim” that Toril and the nearby town of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur is “NPA free” because of the AFP’s Peace and Development Outreach Program (PDOP) and that the “claims of accomplishment are merely to justify the huge and heavily purloined AFP budget and the funds funneled from mining and capitalists that finance the ongoing massive military operations in Southern Mindanao.”
Fermiza said that the “AFP has failed to wipe out any single guerrilla front in the region and to prevent the NPA from forming more fighting and fully-armed platoons.”
Capt. Ernest Carolina, deputy public affairs officer of the Army’s 10th ID, recounted their version of the events of July 8 when the Special Action Forces of the police first spotted the rebels.
“It was 7:30am when the PNP-SAF reported seeing an NPA’s encampment which can accommodate 20 people; they are 3 kilometers away. An encounter was already reported 1:30 pm but it was already a joint operation with the 84th IB,” said Carolina in a phone interview.
Carolina said that they already have information that the NPA “is approaching Davao City from Mt. Talomo which is already in the border of North Cotabato (province).”
Carolina belied Fermiza’s claim of a surprise attack and said that “84th IB troops marched 2 days for the joint operation because a sizable amount of the population are supporting the peace measures of the AFP.”
He added that state troops reported that the NPAs “were also dragging in comrades.”
Carolina said that only five police officers were wounded and are now being treated in the Southern Philippines Medical Center while only one was wounded with the 84th IB who is now being treated in the Army’s Eastern Mindanao Command hospital in Panacan, Davao City.
Carolina did not identify the wounded state troops as he said their families were not yet informed.
Police Inspector Jed Clamor,  Chief of Regional Public Information of the Philippine National Police XI,  said over a television interview that two of the SAF members were killed in the ambush.
Meanwhile, Fermiza said that the “AFP’s dismal record contains increasing head count not of NPA members but of civilian victims of extra-judicial killings, torture and intimidation.”
Fermiza said that the NPA’s “successful tactical offensive in Toril” was “not only due to its mastery in guerilla warfare, but also due to the wide and warm support of the masses who are not fooled by the AFP’s PDOP.”
“The AFP and the regime cannot stop the tactical offensives launched here and in other territories nationwide, nor can it impede the mounting pressure to oust Benigno Aquino, III from his throne. Its massive infusion of battle-weary troops and fascist soldiers in the region makes it even more isolated from the masses and can only lead to abject futility,” said Fermiza.
Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza of the Eastmincom, in an interview last April said two battalions of soldiers from Luzon and one battalion from the Visayas were redeployed to the Davao Region.
Human rights group Karapatan however said that a total of 25 battalions of the Army are currently deployed in the region and warned  this would result to an “increase in human rights violations.”

NPA rebels seize 4 cops in police station attack

From Rappler (Jul 11): NPA rebels seize 4 cops in police station attack

The attack in Alegria, Surigao del Norte, kills 2 rebels and wounds 2 cops

CONTINUING ATTACKS. NPA rebels in Mindanao carry AK-47s. File photo by Edwin Espejo

CONTINUING ATTACKS. NPA rebels in Mindanao carry AK-47s. File photo by Edwin Espejo

About 60 New People's Army (NPA) rebels attacked the municipal police station of Alegria, Surigao del Norte, on Thursday afternoon, July 10, seizing 4 cops and wounding two, the military said.

Two rebels were killed while two cops were wounded, according to Major Christian Uy, spokesman of the military's 4th Infantry Division, who said guerrillas aboard a truck raided the station at 3 pm Thursday. (Editor's note: We earlier reported that the cops were killed. We regret the error.)

Surigao del Norte police spokesperson Police Inspector Elsa Montenegro confirmed that the NPA also seized and brought with them 4 cops when they retreated.

Montenegro identified the cops captured by the rebels as PO3 Vic Calubag Concon and PO1 Rey O'niel Morales from the Alegria Municipal Police Station and PO1 Joen B. Zabala and PO1 Edito F. Roquiño from the Provincial Public Safety Company.

Meanwhile, the cops wounded in the firefight were identified as PO2 Romero Beniga Dagsa and PO2 Reuben Casimiro Salino.

The rebels carted away an M14 rifle, 4 M16 rifles and a shotgun. But in their retreat, they also left behind one AK47.

"Firefight lasted for about 30 mins and the NPA overran the municipal police station," Uy said.

The rebels then retreated to the villages of Siringan and Bliss in the town of Kitcharao in Agusan del Norte, using logs to block portions of the road. By 9 pm Thursday, the logs had been removed.

Military troops who provided reinforcement managed to intercept the fleeing rebels in Barangay Puntod in Alegria, causing a 10-minute firefight. No casualties were reported in the clash.

Southeast Asian Fighters In New ‘Caliphate’: Implications For Indonesia’s Militant Islamist Movement – Analysis

Posted to the Eurasia Review (Jul 10): Southeast Asian Fighters In New ‘Caliphate’: Implications For Indonesia’s Militant Islamist Movement – Analysis

ISIS in Iraq

Islamic State militants

The growing number of Indonesian fighters involved in Syria’s civil war has security implications for their country when they return. Will the fighters there now have an impact on local dynamics and revitalise the militant Islamist movement?

The recent suicide bomb attack in Syria by a Malaysian militant has highlighted the presence of Southeast Asian fighters in Syria’s civil war. Another 15 Malaysians have also been reportedly killed in clashes while Indonesian militants have also featured among the dead in Syria and Iraq. Many of them were said to have fought for the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) which has metamorphosed into the Islamic State, declared to be a transnational “caliphate” by its leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

The continued traction of Syria

Among the Indonesians killed are alumni of different Jemaah Islamiyah-linked schools in Indonesia. Security analysts believe the number of Indonesian fighters in Syria is greater than the government estimate of 56.

Part of the continued traction of Syria for Indonesia’s militant Islamists is the narrative that the land is to be the epicentre of the Last Caliphate and where the Final Battle, or Armageddon, against Dajjal the Anti-Christ will ensue. Based on jihadist interpretation of selected hadith, it is argued that the current conflict against Assad may not be the Final Battle, but it certainly is a divinely sanctioned mechanism to get rid of infidels from the holy land and attract pious Muslims from everywhere to migrate there.

Subscribing to the narrative, Indonesian jihadists who have travelled, or have intentions to travel to Syria to fight could well regard their trip as a one-way ticket, either staying or dying there to be a part of the Final Victory. The government anticipates that if some do return, they will come home with new skills and capabilities and renewed ideological commitment to conduct armed jihad. Indonesia is legitimately concerned about Syria veterans, noting that some of the most egregious terrorist attacks in the country in the past decade were masterminded by Islamist militants who had once fought in Afghanistan or Mindanao. However, a more immediate concern is arguably the swelling numbers of local supporters of Syrian jihadist groups, especially ISIS.

Implications of the new “caliphate”

Locally, ISIS’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” has had two results: firstly, it has injected new breath into the notion of qital tamkin, i.e., armed warfare that is aimed at gaining territorial control as opposed to merely attacking the enemy (qital nikayah). Secondly, it has contributed to the growth of Indonesian ISIS supporters, both offline and online, beyond those who populate the militant Islamist circles.

On the first point, ISIS takeover of parts of Syria and Iraq could further reinforce the viability of ISIS-styled qital tamkin in Indonesia. Small-scale qital nikayah has been the favoured tactic hitherto largely because it is easier to conduct, but proponents of the approach – which included the Bali bombers and Noordin Top – have been much criticised for being too destructive and not yielding much political or territorial gains.

Consequently, those championing qital tamkin, including influential jihadi ideologue Aman Abdurrahman, have been using ISIS’s victory to demonstrate how Indonesian jihadists need to focus on establishing a secure base wherein sharia laws could be implemented and governing capability developed.

Growth of ISIS supporters in Indonesia

The leader of Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) Abu Bakar Ba’asyir has also recently endorsed ISIS precisely because it has established territorial control and a semblance of a governing authority. These serve to reenergise attempts to create jihadi safe havens in the country, a strategy that, while contested, underlay various violent campaigns over the years. In the most recent recollection was the attempt to set up a militant base in Aceh in late 2009, but which was disrupted; another, led by Santoso’s Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT), is still being actively fought in Poso today.

With regard to the second point, ISIS supporters in Indonesia have noticeably grown, and they include existing jihadist groups and their supporters as well as non-violent radicals. MIT and JAT are among those that have sworn allegiance or endorsed ISIS. New groups, too, have been formed in direct support of ISIS such as Anshorullah, whose members have publicly declared their intention to fight in Syria, and Anshar Al-Daulah, whose members are more inclined to promote ISIS through community-based events such as charity work. ISIS sympathisers also come from pro-sharia advocacy groups and religious vigilantes known for their anti-vice activism.

The number of ISIS cheerleaders online is also rising. New pro-ISIS websites, Facebook groups and Twitter accounts continue to emerge with thousands of followers. To be sure, although many ISIS online cheerleaders share the romanticism of an Islamic caliphate, not all of them necessarily support the group’s methods of violence. However, given that terrorists like Abu Roban had reportedly recruited new operatives by identifying cheerleaders of armed jihad supporters on Facebook, ISIS online cheerleaders could become targets for recruitment too.

What’s next?

In sum, developments in Syria and Iraq could determine new directions for the militant Islamist movement in Indonesia. The newly declared “caliphate” has attracted local supporters and revived the idea of qital tamkin. These developments can have implications for the rest of the region whether in terms of spill-over effects of domestic politics or the clandestine movements of violent elements across porous Southeast Asian borders.

There is need to closely monitor the development of ISIS supporters to discern credible security threats from the brash cheerleaders. Without necessarily being alarmist, particularly considering how the majority of the global Muslim community consider ISIS neither relevant nor legitimate to demand allegiance, countering the legitimacy of the new “caliphate” as well as any attempt to emulate it in the Indonesian context remains important.

[Navhat Nuraniyah is Associate Research Fellow and Sulastri Osman is Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

RSIS Commentaries are intended to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy relevant background and analysis of contemporary developments. The views of the author/s are their own and do not represent the official position of the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU, which produces the Commentaries.]

A New ‘Caliphate’ In Middle East: Is There An Abu Sayyaf-ISIS Link? – Analysis

Posted to the Eurasia Review (Jul 10): A New ‘Caliphate’ In Middle East: Is There An Abu Sayyaf-ISIS Link? – Analysis (by Joseph Franco)

Flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant

Islamic State flag

A video of a purported member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) pledging support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) surfaced recently. With an apparent spike in ASG-related activities, this is interpreted as evidence of convergence between the groups. However, the localised factors that motivate ASG factions should not be ignored.

An audio recording of a purported Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member pledging support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) was uploaded to YouTube on 24 June 2014. The pledge was made in Arabic and played over jihadist-inspired graphics. The objective of the clip remains unclear.

The month of June also saw major incidents involving the ASG. A top ASG leader, Khair Mundos, who had a US$500,000 bounty on his head, was captured by the police in Manila. Further arrests followed of ASG operatives associated with Mundos involved in plots to kidnap local businessmen in Zamboanga City, a Christian enclave in Mindanao.

Thrusting the ASG further into the limelight was a fierce skirmish that resulted in several deaths, including of a junior officer.

The non-ideological heritage of the ASG

Some pundits claim that recent events indicated new links between the ASG and ISIS. Particularly after ISIS declared itself the new “caliphate”, henceforth the Islamic State (IS); security stakeholders in Southeast Asia (SEA) especially in countries where militant Islamist groups operate were expectedly concerned. This stems from the popular narrative of how terrorist organisations in the Philippines maintain alliances with groups outside SEA.

While Al Qaeda elements provided seed funding in the early years of the ASG, radicalization based on ideology does not factor heavily for the new ASG recruit. The demise of ASG founder Abdurajak Janjalani in 1998, arguably the only ideologue in its history, stunted the group’s ideological development. No other ASG faction leader has produced something to complement or rival Janjalani’s one written tract, the Jumaah Abu Sayyaf. The few dozen pages of the Jumaah pale in comparison to the voluminous body of literature produced by other extremist Islamist groups such as Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah.

In the milieu of Mindanao, recruits join the ranks of ASG factions for more practical motivations – to earn ransom money. The ASG, specifically its Sulu-based faction, gained international notoriety when it kidnapped 21 Western tourists in Sipadan Island in 2000. During the protracted captivity of the victims, the average individual, even entire clans, swelled the ranks of the ASG, expecting to benefit from the potential windfall. Once the estimated US$20 million ransom was paid out, another cycle of financially motivated but transitory involvement in the ASG occurred.

For such opportunistic individuals, joining the ASG is a way to monetise their possession of illicit firearms. Mindanao is a region beset with small arms proliferation, where firearm possession is part of a wider gun culture.

Decades of conflict allowed the flourishing of an arms black market from captured or diverted government stockpiles. In Sulu alone, international NGOs peg the number of illicit firearms at 100,000. Mindanao’s illicit arms surplus had in fact been a major source for Islamist and Christian militias operating in Indonesia’s Sulawesi and Ambon. The relationship between small arms smugglers on both sides of Philippine-Indonesia border had been largely transactional, across sectarian lines.

The recent ASG kidnappings in Eastern Malaysia between late 2013 and early 2014, viewed with this more practical perspective, reveals the group’s weakness as an ideological movement. ASG had not even attempted to posture the kidnappings as political acts; their profit-making preoccupation overshadowing their ideological moorings.

An Offline ASG in an Online world

The local roots of ASG’s continuity go hand-in-hand with its lack of online presence, further disputing assertions of its link to extra-regional groups like ISIS. To date, the ASG has remained an offline organisation. A 2014 Australian study of “neojihadism” in the Philippines followed the activities of three Facebook pages, claiming them as evidence of the online presence of Islamist groups in the Philippines. However, the study itself admits that the pages are mostly passive repositories of links to other jihadist websites.

A simple digital ethnography reveals that the audience of all the pages combined amounted to only 15,000 Facebook “likes” – including fake and duplicate accounts – originating from only a single urban centre in Mindanao. The number is dismal considering the Philippines’ stature as the “Social Media Capital of the World” with nearly a third of its 100 million-strong population active on Facebook. Moreover, the pages were arguably run by “jihobbyists” — an Internet subculture of young men interested in Islamist content but having neither capabilities nor intent to engage in violence.

The tepid presence of Philippine-based militants is in stark contrast to the more active online jihadists found in the Western context where notorious online “disseminators” propagate global jihadist ideology despite not being officially part of groups like ISIS such as Australian Musa Cerantonio.

Curiously, Cerantonio is currently reported to be seeking refuge in “the mountains of Sulu”. The claim remains unconfirmed. Even if it were true, the appeal of the likes of Cerantonio owes much to their take on armed jihad as an individualistic duty, which does not align with the more communitarian social structures of Mindanao. Neither would theological arguments gain traction in communities involved with the ASG because of the primacy of financial motivations.

The importance of context

The ASG remains a localised movement. Its subscription to the jihadist narrative is passive and superficial. It has yet to make its mark in the online world and would unlikely do so in the near future. Thus, state responses should always be aware of and be cautious of quickly ascribing ideological motivations to what essentially are socio-economic issues. The Philippines’s social and economic milieu creates distinct dynamics that may be wholly different even from close neighbours like Indonesia or Malaysia.

[Joseph Franco is an Associate Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

RSIS Commentaries are intended to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy relevant background and analysis of contemporary developments. The views of the author/s are their own and do not represent the official position of the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), NTU, which produces the Commentaries.]

Dryad: Asian Piracy on the Rise

From MarineLink (Jul 10): Dryad: Asian Piracy on the Rise

File Dryad Maritime Q2 Infographic Analysis (Credit Dryad Maritime)

Dryad Maritime gives warning of increasing SE Asia piracy. The warning results from the release of their Q2 figures, containing data that shows the area experiences the highest number of maritime crime incidents in 2014 in comparison with other traditional piracy hot spots.

The warning comes in the wake of the most recent hijack of a tanker, (MT Moresby 9), off the Anambas Islands on July 4. Pirates boarded the vessel, taking the crew hostage before stealing part of the 2,200-metric-ton cargo of Marine Gas Oil (MGO). The vessel location is still unknown.

This year alone has 12 reported cases in which vessels were boarded underway in addition to 19 reports of robberies, attempted robberies or suspicious approaches in the anchorages east of the Singapore Strait. The MT Ai Maru is the fifth hijacked product tanker as of April 2014.

According to public policy think-tank, Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability (NISS), the rise of piracy in SE Asia is attributed to various causes which include: over-fishing, poor maritime regulation, organized crime syndicates, widespread poverty and politically motivated groups. In addition, the NISS says the rise in SE Asian trade waters furthers the incentive for pirates. From 2010 to 2011, overall trade in ASEAN increased by 16.8%. In particular, ASEAN exports of mineral fuels and oils and distilled products were worth $228 billion in 2011.

The increased threat occurs while Dryad Maritime begins to open new offices in the Asia Pacific region, providing better access of their expanding products and services to regional companies.

Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer, Dryad Maritime stated, “Our team of analysts have assessed that at least one gang is operating to the east of Singapore, hijacking small product tankers and stealing fuel cargoes. These criminals have knowledge in the workings of ships’ equipment and procedures for carrying out STS transfers. Without more proactive efforts by local maritime forces to counter this crime, we predict further incidents of this type in the region”.

In addition, Dryad Maritime warns seafarers transiting the southern Philippines and adjacent coasts to maintain vigilance following the attack on the yacht, MY Catherine, during Q2.

Mike Edey, Head of Operations, Dryad Maritime, said, “Abu Sayyaf continues to operate with impunity. Although the majority of their activity centers on coastal terrorist attacks, the kidnap of a German couple from MY Catherine serves as a reminder of the need for caution. Whilst there is no evidence that Abu Sayyaf will start to target larger, commercial vessels in the region, as a politically motivated group the possibility to develop such a capability remains”.

Dryad’s warning, which comes as the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), is reported to have initiated routing measures for commercial vessels to help improve maritime security in the region.

The Horn of Africa section of Dryad’s offers better quarterly figures, where the company welcomes the release of the remaining 11 crew members from MV Albedo and praises those involved in the release of the seafarers and support of their families.  After almost four years in captivity and having seen other crew members released in 2012, the remaining crew endured extended misery that included the sinking of their ship, as well as the death and disappearance of other crew members.

Ian Millen, Chief Operating Officer of Dryad Maritime said, “The release of Albedo’s remaining crew has been great news, but it highlights the good, the bad and the tragic in the story of Somali piracy.  Good in that we have seen charities such as the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) work tirelessly with others to support the seafarers and their families; bad in that the owner of the vessel reportedly abandoned the crew resulting in a longer than necessary captivity and tragic in that approximately 40 seafarers remain in captivity. Seafarers who get precious little attention from the wider media or general public. We must not forget them."

Navy intensifies southern border patrol amid abductions

From the Philippine Star (Jul 10): Navy intensifies southern border patrol amid abductions

The Philippine Navy has tightened its noose near the border following the string of kidnappings staged by the Abu Sayyaf group in the coast of Sabah, Malaysia.

Commodore Reynaldo Yoma, chief of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), said additional patrol boats have been deployed to beef up the current security around the territorial waters between the Philippines and Malaysia to block the Abu Sayyaf bandits.

“Our vessels are on the lookout,” Yoma said referring to the Abu Sayyaf's recent breaches of the southern border to enter the neighboring Sabah.

Since November last year, the Abu Sayyaf Group has abducted four people, including a Chinese businessman, two Taiwanese tourists and a Filipina.

The Taiwanese victims and the Filipina have been separetely released by the bandits. They are still holding captive Yang Zai Lin, manager of the Wonderful Terrace Fish Farm.

“Our people are on alert watching the border,” Yoma reiterated.

MILF: JICA’s Quick Impact Projects set for site validation

From the MILF Website (Jul 10): JICA’s Quick Impact Projects set for site validation

The Quick Impact Projects (QIP) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to be implemented in Bangsmaoro communities in partnership with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) are set for site validation starting this month.
This was learned during the QIP Team Building Workshop participated by top officials of JICA Cotabato City Office, BTC, Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (CCCH – MILF) in Cotabato City recently.

The BTC Socio-Economic Team together with BDA and MILF CCCH join hands for the site validation process primarily based on needs assessments and consultations with the local government officials, community assembly, MILF military and political hierarchies.

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and JICA President Akihiro Tanaka agreed on the quick impact projects in their meeting following the signing of the GPH - MILF Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) last March 27, 2014 in Malacanang Palace.

QIP intends to make Bangsamoro communities realize the immediate peace dividends of the GPH – MILF CAB through transparent, participatory and inclusive project implementation process.

Shu Nishimaru of JICA said 20 QIPs will be implemented in the provinces of Maguindanao, Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sulu, Tawi – Tawi, Basilan, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, and Zamboanga Sibugay.

The projects cover the construction of community halls, renovation of school buildings / classrooms, warehouses, solar driers, and livelihood facilities, he said.

After the site validation process, the QIP Task Force composed of JICA, BTC and BDA will finalize the project site list to include communities the Moro, indigenous peoples and settlers.’s-quick-impact-projects-set-for-site-validation

MILF: People’s Organization in Southern Mindanao Region gears up for 2nd Cycle of Sub-project implementation for MTF-RDP

From the MILF Website (Jul 10): People’s Organization in Southern Mindanao Region gears up for 2nd Cycle of Sub-project implementation for MTF-RDP

In preparation for the Cycle 2 Implementation for the Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development (MTF-RDP), People’s Organization (PO) in Southern Mindanao Region of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) underwent PO Readiness Assessment on June 23-25, 2014 in four Barangays of Sarangani Province namely Barangay Mindupok and Maguling in Maitum municipality, Barangay Lumasal in Maasim and Barangay Tuyan in Malapatan.
The undertaking, facilitated by the BDA SouthMin Staff and Project Technical Team, was conducted to gauge the readiness of the respective POs to handle the implementation of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program (MTFRDP) Cycle 2 Sub-Projects.

Among the factors delved during the assessment were the PO’s possession of juridical identity, functionality of various suggested committees, and their enforcement of policies, systems and procedures.

Documentations of PO meetings and activities were checked as well as their attendance to the required trainings under the Community Driven Development mechanism. Each organization was given ratings.

This activity was conducted following the implementation of Cycle 1 sub-projects under the MTFRDP.

Cycle 1 sub-projects were identified base on the priority needs of the communities. The POs underwent Thematic Mapping and workshops on Community Investment Plan and Community Action Plan where they discussed how they can help resolve their problems and what assistance they should propose to MTFRDP.

Except for the PO Lumasal which requested provision of Fishing Vessels and Fishing Implements, the rest of the POs were given post-harvest facilities for their livelihood activities.

The four organizations are now preparing for the Cycle 2 sub-project proposals. The PO of Tuyan proposes water system, Mini-Gymnasium for Lumasal, Solar Drier with Warehouse for Maguling and Trading Center for Mindupok.

Part of the initiatives to strengthen the POs, the BDA regional staff continuously assists the beneficiary organizations in terms of capability-building trainings, coaching and linking them to local partners.

There are nine (9) barangays in three (3) municipalities under the Southern Mindanao Region which are beneficiaries of the MTF-RDP. The project is supported by the Mindanao Trust Fund administered by the World Bank aimed at providing assistance to social and economic recovery of conflict affected areas in Mindanao.’s-organization-in-southern-mindanao-region-gears-up-for-2nd-cycle-of-sub-project-implementation-for-mtf-rdp

MILF: Indigenous Peoples community in Sarangani Province receives postharvest facilities from MTF-RDP

From the MILF Website (Jul 10): Indigenous Peoples community in Sarangani Province receives postharvest facilities from MTF-RDP

A community of Indigenous Peoples in Sarangani Province recently received postharvest facilities from Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program (MFTF-RDP), a program administered by the World Bank aimed at providing assistance to social and economic recovery of conflict affected areas in Mindanao.
The three (3) units Mobile Corn Sheller with Hauler were turned over to the People’s Organization (PO) of Barangay Amsipit on June 9, 2014 at Sitio Kyumad, Brgy. Amsipit in Maasim, Sarangani Province.

Barangay Amsipit is a corn production hub of Maasim dominated by Blaan tribe. The barangay also produces vegetables, coconut and pineapple.

Amsipit PO President Carmen Nisperos thanked the Program for the livelihood assistance and vowed to take care of the project. “We will make it sure that all our committees will be functional,” she said in Visayan dialect in her acceptance speech.

Barangay Kagawad Roberto Flores recalled the sacrifices of the Barangay Community Volunteers underwent in preparing the sub-project proposal.

“It’s a big help for us considering that most of us here are farmers,” he pointed out.

He also disclosed the knowledge they acquired during the trainings and workshop provided by BDA in accordance with the Community Driven Development (CDD) process.

The municipality of Maasim also sends officials in the turn-over ceremony led by Uttoh Vice Mayor Salem Cutan. He expressed deep gratitude to BDA and MTF for the projects brought in his town.

He urged the PO and community members to handle the sub-project well. “Other development partners shall come to help Barangay Amsipit once you will demonstrate success in sub-project implementation,” the vice-mayor hinted.

BDA-SouthMin Regional Manager Mohalikin D. Piang said BDA implements projects in conflict affected areas of Mindanao not only to Muslims but also to Christians and Lumads as well.

”Like this barangay, most of the constituents here are Blaan,” he added. Piang further urged the PO to give their best to sustain the sub-project.

Also conducted during the ceremony was a sub-project establishment orientation where RMO staff gave inputs on operations and maintenance of the sub-project and on financial management.

MILF: BDA SouthMin conducts MTF-RDP Sub-projects Implementation and Benefit Monitoring

From the MILF Website (Jul 11): BDA SouthMin conducts MTF-RDP Sub-projects Implementation and Benefit Monitoring

Aimed at monitoring the People’s Organization (PO) management of sub-projects and its benefit to the community, Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)-Southern Mindanao (SouthMin) Regional Management Office recently conducted Sub-Project Implementation and Benefits Monitoring on June 10-11, 2014 in four (4) project sites Sarangani Province.
Facilitated by the BDA-SouthMin Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, the activity was conducted in Barangays Mindupok and Maguling in Maitum municipality, Barangay Lumasal in Maasim and Barangay Tuyan in Malapatan.

Organizational Assessment was also part of the undertaking to check the POs leadership, financial management competence, and management of the facility.

Except for Barangay Lumasal which received two deep sea fishing vessels and fishing implements, the other three Barangays were provided with post harvest facilities like mobile corn shellers, rice thresher and haulers.

The officers and members of the POs expressed their gratitude to BDA and Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) for the MTF-RDP sub-projects which gave realization of their aspiration to have livelihood projects in their communities.

Living in peaceful coexistence with each other, the constituents of the four beneficiary barangays are comprised of Christians, Indigenous Peoples and Bangsamoro (outside the Bangsamoro Core Territories).

The benefits monitoring will continue to five other barangays in Sarangani few months after the MTFRDP Cycle 1 sub-projects will be turned-over soon.

Complying with the tedious Community Driven Development (CDD) process, the PO officers and members now reap the fruit of their sacrifices. They underwent series of capability building workshops and trainings which were facilitated by BDA regional staff.

There are nine (9) barangays in three (3) municipalities under the Southern Mindanao Region which are beneficiaries of the MTF-RDP under the 4th Partnership Agreement (PPA4) that commenced on April 2012 and will end on April 2015. The project is supported by the Mindanao Trust Fund administered by the World Bank aimed at providing assistance to social and economic recovery of conflict affected areas in Mindanao.

MILF: Chairman Murad meets Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces

From the MILF Website (Jul 11): Chairman Murad meets Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces

Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the High Delegation of His Excellency Pehin Pekerma Jaya Maj Gen Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Tawih Bin Abdullah, Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), met yesterday at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
With Chairman Murad were MILF Second Vice Chairman Aleem Pangilian Sulaiman and Senior Officials of the MILF Central Committee and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and its General Staff.

Joining the Commander of the RBAF were Commissioner Dato Seri Pahlawan CP Awang Bharin Bin Md Noor of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Assistant Police Commissioner Mohamed Don Harith, Senior Superintendent Sharazuddin Masri, Col Arifin Bin Dato Paduka Haji Ahmad, Lt Col Zainal Pengiran Haji Hafiz Bin Pengiran Haji KamaludinT, Lt Col Khairil Bin Haji Esmail, Head of Brunei Contingent with the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

The parties meeting reiterated their commitment and cooperation to realize the success of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the MILF and Government of the Philippines (GPH) last March 27, 2014 at Malacanang Palace.

In his statement, Al Haj Murad said the coming to Camp Darapanan, particularly during the Holy Month of Ramadhan, of RBAF Commander Gen Dato Tawih Bin Adbullah is a clear manifestation of strong commitment and support of His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the GPH – MILF Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

“In behalf of the MILF and the Bangsamoro people, kindly convey to His Majesty’s Government our heartfelt gratitude and appeal for a more comprehensive participation and support from the Government of Brunei to the GPH – MILF Peace Process,” Murad stressed.

Brunei has been invited by both the government and MILF to be part of the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) for the Normalization Process of the GPH – MILF CAB. Also invited by the two parties were the Governments of Norway and Turkey.

Since the start of the deployment of the International Monitoring Team in Mindanao in 2004 to monitor foremost the implementation of the ceasefire agreement between the government and MILF Brunei has been a member-state sending the second biggest contingent on the ground.

For his part, MGen Dato Tawih reiterated the strong commitment of Brunei for the success of the comprehensive peace pact signed by the government and MILF.

“We congratulate the government and MILF for CAB which we truly believe is going to be a just and lasting solution to the conflict, and will certainly bring unity and prosperity for the entire country,” Gen Tawih said.

“Brunei is honored for the invitation to join the IDB and the Brunei Armed Forces are optimistic about this invitation,” he added.

Gen Tawih’s predecessor Major General Dato Paduka Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin also met Chairman Murad at Camp Darapanan in 2012.

Dato Aminudin was the First Head of Brunei Contingent with the IMT. After his retirement, His Excellency Dato Aminudin has been appointed as the Ambassador of the Royal Government of Brunei to the United Kingdom.

CPP/NPA: The People and the NPA continue to foil attacks of the 50th IB, 5th ID recon coys of the AFP and PNP troops in BAMPIS

NPA propaganda statement just posted to the CPP Website (Jun 30): The People and the NPA continue to foil attacks of the 50th IB, 5th ID recon coys of the AFP and PNP troops in BAMPIS
NPA Benguet-Abra-Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur Front Operations Command (Antonio Licawen Command)
The Antonio Licawen Command (ALC) of the New Peoples Army (NPA) with the people valiantly carried out five Tactical Offensives (TOs) in the quadri-boundary of Benguet-Abra-Mountain Province-Ilocos Sur (BAMPIS) guerrilla front from April to June this year to heroically fight and frustrate the massive onslaught by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) and as a response to the rising human rights violations incurred by the AFP and the PNP against the people in the area.

The continuing military attack by the AFP and the PNP and the positioning of military platoon Peace and Development Teams (PDTs) in BAMPIS communities which started January this year aim to deceive and terrorize the masses of peasants. This is part of the US-BSAquino regime’s counter-insurgency Operation Plan Bayanihan which is desperately attempting to achieve its target to render the NPA as an inconsequential force and to significantly weaken the entire revolutionary movement before the end of BSAquino’s term.

The people are arbitrarily accused as NPA supporters or even as NPA members, threatened and harassed, their movements restricted and economic activities controlled. They can no longer go freely to the mountains and forests to attend to their swidden farms, visit their pastured animals, go hunting, gather food and other needs. In sitio Taleb of barangay Baclingayan, Tubo, operating troops forcibly opened and entered several houses. AFP troopers raped two teen-agers in Dilong, Tubo, Abra last May. These human rights violations have only instilled anger among the peasants. A few “civic action” activities by the PDTs cannot cover this up.
As early as last year, the CPP-NPA has already declared that like its predecessors under previous regimes, Oplan Bayanihan has failed and that the entire revolutionary movement has grown much stronger during the first three years of the US-Aquino regime. With this utter failure, the AFP-PNP started this 2014 the second phase of Oplan Bayanihan to try to meet the same target within the next five years. The CPP-NPA and the masses had assured that this hopeless ambition of the enemy will be doomed.


The most recent tactical offensive took place at around 10:30 AM of June 28 where a unit of the ALC ambushed operating troops of the 50th IB at Mount Layaban in Tubo, Abra. Five enemy troops were killed while at least two were wounded. This is the latest addition to earlier victorious attacks against the said battalion. Last May 1 and 2, joint forces of the ALC and the Alfredo Cesar Command (ACC) of the NPA in Ilocos Sur successively ambushed 50th IB forces in Cervantes and Quirino, Ilocos Sur. Five army men were killed when their vehicle was ambushed in Remedios, Cervantes last May 1. A command detonated explosive was used to supplement the firepower of the ambushing unit. Meanwhile, 23 army troopers were killed (not four as earlier reported) when they were waylaid between Dilong, Tubo, Abra and Malideg, Quirino, Ilocos Sur on May 2. In this ambush, the KM450 vehicle used by the reinforcing army troops who came rushing from Dilong, fell off the road into a deep ravine. This is so far the biggest casualty incurred by the 50th IB in one single battle. The fact that the twin ambushes were executed near the 50th IB battalion headquarters further emphasized the weight of the 50th IB’s loss. Lt. Col. Richard Sibayan, the 50th IB Commanding Officer, sounded ridiculous in his desperate attempt to cover up this big military defeat by repeatedly telling media that there was only one army trooper killed and a few wounded in the second ambush.

Earlier, on April 5, a unit of the ALC harassed operating troops of the 52nd Division Recon Coy (DRC) near Baclingayan, Tubo, Abra, resulting in the death of one army trooper and wounding of one more. On April 11, the Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge Mining Company in Patiacan, Quirino was punished through the burning of its drilling machine again by joint forces of the ALC and the ACC.


The 5th Infantry Division listed the BAMPIS front as one of its priority guerrilla fronts targeted to be dismantled within the second phase of Oplan Bayanihan starting 2014. This means nothing but the continuous militarization of the area that would result in more human rights violations and would further wreak havoc upon the lives and properties of peasants and other people.

It will be recalled that the BAMPIS front has been continually militarized since 2005 to 2012 by troops of the 50th IB, 41st IB, the three DRCs of the 5th ID, the Special Action Force (SAF) and the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) of the PNP. Twice in the past, in 2009 under the Oplan Bantay Laya of the US-Arroyo regime and in 2011 under the Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino regime, the 5th ID has declared the BAMPIS front as a priority front to be “ neutralized ” or even “ pulverized ” . But twice, the AFP miserably failed. And again, for the third time, the 5th ID has declared the BAMPIS as a priority front.

To ensure the 5th ID’s target, the 50th IB repositioned its battalion headquarters on Cayos ridge between Quirino and Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, right within the BAMPIS front. It ’ s Charlie Coy headquarters has already been located in Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet for years. A coordinated massive military operation in BAMPIS and west Mountain Province immediately ensued on the last week of February that lasted until the first half of April. Four battalions were used in the said military campaign that involved the 50th IB, 54th IB, 52nd DRC, the RPSB and Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) of the PNP. This is a continuation of a similarly coordinated military attack last October to November 2013 covering the same area and using the same AFP and PNP forces. In BAMPIS, the operation covered the towns of Tubo, Abra; Besao, Mountain Province; and Quirino, Ilocos Sur.

After the Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge Mining Company in Patiacan, Quirino was punished last April 11, the 50th IB and 52nd DRC immediately launched a massive pursuit operation in Quirino and Tubo starting April 12. And after the successful twin ambushes last May 1 and 2 in Cervantes and Quirino, the pursuit operation expanded to include Mankayan, Benguet. At present, military operations continue in the towns of Tubo and Quirino with the RPSB and a unit of the 50th IB in Quirino while other forces of the 50th IB and the 52nd DRC are in Tubo.

Simultaneous with these combat operations are the positioning of platoons in different communities within the guerilla front. Starting March 7, one platoon each of the 50th IB were positioned in three barangays of Tubo (Dilong, Tubtuba and Alangtin) and two communities of Besao (Dandanac and Tamboan). Except for Dandanac and Tamboan, these PDTs have maintained until the present while two additional platoons were positioned in Lamag, Quirino and Baclingayan, Tubo. These platoons, tagged by the AFP with the misnomer “Peace and Development Teams” (PDT), only tormented and caused more burden to the already cumbersome situation of the impoverished peasants of the said communities.


The growing revolutionary movement in the said guerrilla front is worrisome to the imperialists and the local ruling class because of their vast economic interest in the area. The AFP and PNP troops on BAMPIS are there to protect such interests. To start with, the country’s largest and longest operating mining company, the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMCo), is located in Mankayan, Benguet. Lepanto intends to expand its mining operations which will affect a larger part of Mankayan and nearby towns of Buguias, Benguet and Tadian, Mt. Province. The planned expansion has been successfully thwarted by the people despite numerous attempts of the LCMCo and its partners including the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to get the peoples Free Prior and and Informed Consent through threats and deceptions.

Large unexploited reserves of gold, copper and other minerals are also found within the area and have long been targeted by large imperialist and local capitalist owned mining companies that include LCMCo; Royalco Mining Company who has a mining interest in Bakun, Benguet; Solfotara Mining Company and its subsidiary Canex (Canadian Exploration) which has mining interests in Tubo and adjacent towns of Abra; the Northern Horizon Mining Company and the giant Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge Mining Company who have mining interests in Quirino; and Freeport McMoran-Phelps Dodge ’ s subsidiary Makilala Mining Company and another giant mining firm, Cordillera Exploration Inc (CEXI) who both have mining interests in Besao, Quirino, Tubo and other nearby towns. All these mining firms have been consistently opposed by the people of Mankayan and Bakun in Benguet; Quirino and Cervantes in Ilocos Sur; Tadian in MP; Tubo, Luba and Manabo in Abra; and in other towns elsewhere in Benguet, MP, Abra and Kalinga.

Several hydro energy projects have also been planned to be set up in the towns of Tadian, Besao, Tubo, Luba and Cervantes. These energy projects are set to serve mainly the power requirements of large scale mining operations and big businesses, not common consumers as we are made to believe. Through these projects, big companies are to extract super profits at the expense of the host communities and cause innumerable environmental destruction. The planned mining and energy projects remain a real threat that will cause further destruction and plunder of the ancestral lands, resources and communities of the people of BAMPIS in the hands of rapacious, exploitative and oppressive imperialists and local capitalists.

Amidst the fierce attack of the bloodthirsty reactionary state forces and the persistent threat of further devastation of the people’s ancestral lands, the masses of peasants have no other recourse but to fight the enemy, and the NPA being the people’s army is there to defend and protect the interest of the people. Thus, the CPP-NPA calls on the people to remain vigilant and militant, expose and fight against all forms of violence and human rights violations perpetuated by the AFP and PNP, and continue resisting the imperialist plunder of ancestral lands and resources. Only through fighting the enemy can we gain strength and further advance the national democratic interests of the national minorities of the Cordillera and the entire people until final victory is achieved.

CPP/NPA: People of Sagada successfully eject twice PPSC troops of the PNP

NPA propaganda statement just posted to the CPP Website (Jun 30): People of Sagada successfully eject twice PPSC troops of the PNP
Magno Udyaw
NPA Mountain Province Provincial Operations Command (Leonardo Pacsi Command)
The people of Sagada successfully ejected again troops of the Provincial Public Safety Battalion (PPSC) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) after the PPSC attacked a wide area of Sagada this June. This follows the earlier banishment of the operating troops of the 50th IB of the Philippine Army and the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) and the PPSC of the PNP from the northern barrios of Sagada last April.

The said military operations are proofs once more that the AFP and the PNP will never and has never acknowledged and respected the “peace zone” the LGU of Sagada has been pushing for. It is worth underscoring that a Sagada native (Col. Julio Lizardo, the Provincial Assistant Chief for Operations of PNP-Mountain Province) even personally spearheaded the latest combat operation of the PNP in the area. The proposed “peace zone” of Sagada has not been recognized by successive regimes ever since it was conceptualized under the first US-Aquino regime in 1988. All the more was it not recognized when the Oplan Bayanihan of the AFP took-off under the present US-BSAquino regime where the fascist troops and the regime are desperate to go after and weaken the NPA and the entire revolutionary movement before the end of the BS Aquino term.

The latest PPSC military operations started June 19. After combing the mountains and forest at the boundary of Sagada, Besao and Tadian, the troops settled at Sitio Bitin of barangay Ambasing and at Sakang above barangay Demang. The two said barangays are adjacent to the center of Sagada. The places where the troops went are destinations frequented by tourists going to Sagada. They also went around the vegetable production areas of Ampacao and Lake Danum. This operation brought nothing but fear and great distress to tourists and people of Sagada especially among the gardeners in Ampacao and Lake Danum.

But rising above the situation, the people of Sagada showed once more their great determination to stop any plunder by the fascist troops of their area. The Demang as well as the Ambasing community immediately convened and then confronted the operating troops in their area to tell them to leave the boundaries of their barangay. What the people of Demang and Ambasing did was correct and should be emulated because they asserted their right not to allow the operating troops to detach in and ransack their communities. The people of Sagada have plenty of bitter memories of militarization by AFP and PNP troops, like misery alone come from them because of their gross disregard of the people’s culture, economic activities and human rights.

Related to these military operations are the continuing arrogant efforts of imperialists and the local ruling class to push for destructive mining and energy projects in the Cordillera. This, especially under the policies of the BS Aquino regime to sell the patrimony of the country to foreign capitalist by signing the new Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and by pushing for Charter Change or change in the provisions of the Philippine Constitution to allow imperialists and foreign capitalists free pass in acquiring and exploiting the natural resources of the country as well as giving further control to them the big industries and businesses of the nation. Together with these are the worsening fascist attacks of reactionary troops of the state of national minorities or indigenous peoples, farmers and other people who are defending their ancestral lands, agricultural lands and communities.

In the face of continuing aggression by imperialists and the local ruling class, it is but right that the people of Sagada and other parts of Mountain Province remain vigilant and militant in order to contest any attempts of the ruling class to usurp and exploit the natural resources owned and protected by the people, as well as to expose and fight the deceptions and fascist attacks of the AFP and the PNP.

CPP/NDF-KM: Ipagpatuloy ang pakikibaka ng Katipunan! Isulong ang Demokratikong Rebolusyong Bayan!

NDF/KM propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Jul 7): Ipagpatuloy ang pakikibaka ng Katipunan! Isulong ang Demokratikong Rebolusyong Bayan!
Rizalina Bonifacio (Ka Iza)
KM Laguna Chapter (Kabataang Makabayan - Laguna)
SA ika-122 taong anibersaryo ng Kataastaasang Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) o Katipunan, gunitain natin ang kagitingan ng mga rebolusyonaryong Pilipino laban sa dayuhang pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala.

Noong Hulyo 7, 1892, pinangunahan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio, na noo’y 29 taong gulang, ang pagtatatag sa lihim na samahang Katipunan na namuno sa armadong rebolusyon para ibagsak ang mahigit tatlong daang taong kolonyal at pyudal na paghaharing Espanyol sa buong kapuluan, at makamit ang kasarinlan ng bayan.

Ngunit ang mga tagumpay ng rebolusyon ay brutal na sinupil at binigo ng Imperyalismong United States (US). Daan libong mamamayan ang makahayop na pinaslang ng tropang militar ng bagong mananakop. Itinayo ng US ang gobyerno ng papet na republika at iginapos ang lipunan sa malakolonyal at malapyudal na kaayusan.

Huwad na kalayaan, tumitinding kahirapan

Inaapi, hirap at walang kinabukasan ang mga kabataan at mamamayan sa ilalim ng korap at pasistang si Noynoy Aquino III na muling ipinamukha ang pagkatuta sa Imperyalismong US nang pirmahan niya ang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) na yumuyurak sa soberanya at nagbabalik ng base militar ng US sa bansa.

Patuloy na ipinapako sa mababang sahod ang manggagawa, pinagkakaitan ng lupa ang magsasaka, dinedemolis ang tirahan ng maralita, at pinapalayas sa lupang ninuno ang mga katutubo.

Dagdag na pahirap ang walang tigil na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, kuryente, bilihin, serbisyo at buwis na pumapabor sa interes ng dambuhalang panginoong maylupa, malalaking dayuhan at lokal na kapitalista. Malawakan ang tanggalan sa trabaho sa ilalim ng sistemang kontraktwalisasyon habang marahas na inaatake ang karapatang mag-unyon.

Dulot ng komersyalisasyon at lumiliit na badyet sa neokolonyal na edukasyon, milyun-milyong kabataan ang hindi nakakapag-aral sa elementarya, hayskul at kolehiyo. Maging ang kabataang propesyunal at estudyante ay namumroblema sa sobrang laki ng matrikula sa mga eskuwelahang kontrolado ng mga ganid na kapitalistang edukador. Dahil kakarampot o walang oportunidad sa disenteng kabuhayan, marami ang napipilitang kumapit sa patalim at magdusa sa ibang bansa.

Ang pagsasamantala’t pambubusabos ay pinalulubha ng mga kontra-mamamayang programa gaya ng maanomalyang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), pork barrel scam, public-private partnership, at kriminal na kapabayaan sa mga biktima ng bagyong Yolanda. Samantala, bigo ang Oplan Bayanihan sa pakanang durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Isulong ang bagong tipong rebolusyon

Itinuturo ng ating kasaysayan sa panahon ng Rebolusyong 1896, Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano (1899-1902), pakikibaka laban sa kolonyal na paghahari ng Imperyalismong US (1903-1941), pakikibaka laban sa pananakop ng Imperyalismong Hapones (1942-1945), at pakikibaka laban sa papet na republika (1946-kasalukuyan) na hindi maaasahan ang reaksyunaryong estado na palayain ang Pilipinas sa tanikala ng kahirapan, pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala. Tanging sa pamamagitan ng Demokratikong Rebolusyong Bayan maibabagsak ang tatlong salot na humaharang sa ating ganap na kalayaan, demokrasya’t kaunlaran—ang Imperyalismong US, Pyudalismo at Burukrata-Kapitalismo.

Ang kasalukuyang rebolusyon ay nasa pamumuno ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) na ginagabayan ng Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo. Itinatag ng partido ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) upang ituloy ang armadong pakikibakang lumalakas at umaani ng suporta ng mamamayan. Tulad ng mga Katipunero, nakikibaka ang PKP-BHB para ibalik sa masang magsasaka ang lupang kinamkam ng iilang despotikong hasyendero. Tulad ng mga Katipunero, makatarungan ang digmang mapagpalaya ng PKP-BHB kaya hindi matalo-talo ng bulok at mersenaryong militar ng rehimeng Aquino.

Nananawagan ang Kabataang Makabayan sa hanay ng kabataan na pag-aralan ang lipunan at rebolusyon, magtungo sa kanayunan at sumapi sa BHB.

Humango tayo ng inspirasyon kay Gat Emilio Jacinto na sumapi sa Katipunan sa edad na 19, at nagsilbing tagapayo ng samahan at editor ng pahayagang Kalayaan. Siya’y naging punong kumander ng mga rebolusyonaryong puwersa sa lalawigan ng Laguna bago namatay na bayani sa edad na 23.

Kung mayroong Kartilya si Jacinto na malaki ang naitulong upang magkaisa sa paninindigan ang mga Katipunero at makahikayat pa ng maraming miyembro, mayroong Tatlong Pangunahing Alituntunin sa Disiplina at Walong Puntong Dapat Tandaan (Tres-Otso) si Kasamang Mao na mahigpit na sinusunod ng mga pulang kumander at mandirigma upang ang BHB ay mulat sa disiplina’t lubos na naglilingkod sa sambayanan.

Ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Aquino!

 Mabuhay ang rebolusyong Pilipino!

AFP chief Bautista makes last visit to Zambo City

From Solar News (Jul 10): AFP chief Bautista makes last visit to Zambo City

AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista at the launch of DXPR-FM.

AFP Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista at the launch of DXPR-FM

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista arrived at the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) headquarters in Zamboanga City for the last time on Thursday (July 10) to visit troops before his retirement on July 18.
Bautista was given arrival honors at around 9 a.m. Accompanied by WesMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero and division commanders.
The highest-ranking officer in the AFP addressed the troops and cited the vital role they play in maintaining peace and order in the south.
Before this, Bautista also formally launched a radio station of WesMinCom – DXPR-FM.
It is envisioned to provide information regarding WesMinCom's peacekeeping efforts and other activiites in Zamboanga and nearby provinces.
Bautista, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class '81, will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 20. He took over the reins of the AFP in January 2013.
Among those considered to replace him are AFP Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang and Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri.

US Scales Back Counter-terrorism Help in S. Philippines

From the Voice of America (Jul 10): US Scales Back Counter-terrorism Help in S. Philippines

FILE - U.S. troops are seen on patrol during joint U.S.-Philippines military exercises in Tarlac province, north of Manila.

FILE - U.S. troops are seen on patrol during joint U.S.-Philippines military exercises in Tarlac province, north of Manila.

The United States military is scaling back its counter-terrorism assistance program in the southern Philippines after more than a decade of regular rotations. The move comes despite persisting security threats in the region.

U.S. government officials say their work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been “successful at drastically reducing the capabilities of domestic and trans-national terrorist groups.”

Casey Staheli, the U.S. spokesman for the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), says the groups have devolved into criminal elements.

“The time has come to re-evaluate our position here and how best we can continue to support the Philippine security forces.  So, with that in mind, military planners from both the United States and the Philippines are looking at ways to adjust our presence as far as the JSOTF-P goes,” says Staheli.

He says the focus is now shifting from helping with on-the-ground tactical efforts to strategy and planning.  According to Staheli, there are 320 U.S. troops with the task force.  A smaller contingent of high-ranking officials will be involved in the strategic work.

A year after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the U.S. started rotating troops to the southern island Mindanao, whose smaller island provinces are home to a terrorist group with links to al-Qaida.

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was once notorious for large-scale bombings.  But in the past 12 years its ranks dwindled to a few hundred as military operations intensified with U.S. troop support.  Also, its funding source dried up when terror financing was blocked worldwide.  The ASG dropped its ideological motives and became known for kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings.

Regional, domestic threats persist

Matt Williams, the Philippine country director for the business risk consultant group Pacific Strategies and Assessments, says as the United States scales back its counter-terrorism program here, there is still a terror threat in neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia.

“Does the Philippine military and intelligence services have the capacity right now to continue to contain these groups from spreading into the Philippines, or will a lot of the successes of the last 10 years be lost?” – asks Williams.

Carl Baker with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies says the government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group have made important progress in working on a newly-signed peace pact to form an autonomous area in the south. But he says domestic threats still remain.

“There are still a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up.  And in any situation like the long-standing conflict that’s been going on in the southern Philippines, you have these splinter groups, these spoiler groups that can still cause disruption,” says Baker.

Protracted tensions

For nearly 40 years Muslims in Mindanao fought government forces in an insurgency that left more than 120,000 people dead.  After 16 years of off-and-on negotiations, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front forged a peace deal with the government.  But several other Muslim factions oppose the agreement.

Last September, Philippines forces fought a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front for weeks after it held 200 people hostage in the city of Zamboanga.  The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters continue bombing operations against the military.  And a tiny group calling for an Islamic caliphate is believed to have forged an alliance among the Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah and other Philippine militant groups.

Rodolfo Mendoza, a terrorism expert at the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, says these smaller groups are banding together.

“The peace process is still a closed door to them.  They are considered terrorists and so they have to maximize their plan of terrorist operations.  And now they are doing that,” says Mendoza.

Mendoza says bomb-making and other militia training continues among those groups.

But with the success in Zamboanga behind it, the Philippine Armed Forces, which has one of the smallest military budgets in Asia, says it has the experience to handle such threats.

Upbeat outlook

Armed Forces Spokesman General Domingo Tutaan says the change in the U.S. counter-terrorism program will not affect Philippine military operations in the south.

“They (JSOTF-P counterparts) have been undertaking also training of trainers so that transfer of knowledge and expertise is still going to be ongoing,” says Tutaan.

Baker says the transition also follows the Philippines’ own shift to focus more on protecting its territory and dealing with outside threats.  Its military modernization program is heavily geared toward bolstering external defense.

U.S. military spokesman Casey Staheli says the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Philippines will “cease to exist” in the first half of 2015.

Chinese fish farmer freed after Malaysia kidnapping

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 10): Chinese fish farmer freed after Malaysia kidnapping

KUALA LUMPUR — A Chinese fish farm manager who was kidnapped in May has been released amid a spate of abductions in Malaysia by gunmen based in the southern Philippines, police said Thursday.

Yang Zai Lin, believed to have been held by militants from the Abu Sayyaf group, has been freed and will return to China, federal police chief Khalid Abu Bakar was quoted by The Star as saying.

Khalid confirmed the report when contacted by AFP, but declined to comment further.

The 34-year-old was seized near Lahad Datu in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island on May 6, despite stepped-up security along the coast.

The area, which is just a short boat ride away from the southern Philippines, is world-renowned for its pristine dive sites but has seen a string of violent kidnappings.

This week Malaysia revamped a special security zone set up along the coast, putting police in charge of cracking down on the worsening crime.

The security zone was set up last year after Islamic guerillas from the southern Philippines staged a bloody assault in the area.

But Malaysian security forces have failed to prevent the attacks.

Two men — a Malaysian and a Filipino — were abducted last month, while a female Chinese tourist and a Filipina resort worker were seized from a diving resort in April.

Both women have been released.

Abu Sayyaf, which is believed to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda, has been blamed for a spate of terror attacks and kidnappings, mostly in the Philippines.

The group was also blamed for the abduction of 21 people — several of them foreign tourists — from a Sabah diving resort in 2000.

The hostages were released after being ransomed.

The kidnapping of the two Chinese nationals also raised red flags in China.
Relations between the two countries have been tested over the search for flight MH370, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people aboard, mostly Chinese.

Chinese families have accused Malaysia of mishandling the tragedy. An extensive search in the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have crashed has so far been futile.

China recruiting counter terrorists expert — state media

Posted to the Manila Standard Today (Jul 10): China recruiting counter terrorists expert — state media

China is recruiting foreign experts in counterterrorism to assist the training of anti-terror personnel, state-run media reported Thursday, following a spate of deadly attacks which authorities blame on Islamist-inspired separatists.

The People’s Public Security University of China will offer visiting professorships to top specialists in the field from countries including the United States, Israel, Pakistan and Australia, the government-run China Daily said.

“The US and Israel have accumulated rich practical experience in fighting terrorism,” Mei Jianming, director of the university’s Research Centre for Counterterrorism, told the paper.

“The US is advanced in overall strategic research, and Israel is very proficient at tactical action in fighting terrorism.”

China has vowed a year-long crackdown on terrorism -- and last month executed 13 people -- following several high-profile attacks blamed on militants from the far-western region of Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

Since late last year the attacks have spread outside the region and targeted ordinary citizens rather than government or security personnel.

They have included a fiery vehicle crash at Tiananmen Square, Beijing’s symbolic heart, in October and a knife assault at a railway station in southern Yunnan province in March that killed 29 people.

Rights groups accuse Beijing of cultural and religious repression that fuels unrest in Xinjiang. The government, however, argues it has boosted economic development in the area and that it upholds minority rights in a country with 56 recognised ethnic groups.

The People’s Public Security University of China plans to put 80 counterterrorism specialists, who will be taught to use submachine guns, sniper rifles and other weapons, through a rigorous four-year programme to combat the rising threat, Mei said, according to the report.

“The lessons and training will focus on intelligence gathering, investigating special cases, network information technology, technical and tactical anti-terror action and related international judicial cooperation,” Mei said.

The university’s president Cheng Lin added: “We urgently need to cultivate counterterrorism specialists to improve our preventive and terror-fighting capabilities.”

Photo: Rebel leader

From the Manila Standard Today (Jul 11): Photo: Rebel leader

Imboy Casangyao, accompanied by his young son, led 52 other guerrillas when they surrendered to government forces in Malaybalay, Bukidnon on July 9, 2014. The former rebels belonged to the Umayam tribe in one of the remotest areas of the province. LANCE BACONGUIS

2 NPAs killed, 2 cops hurt in Surigao Del Norte clash

From GMA News (Jul 10): 2 NPAs killed, 2 cops hurt in Surigao Del Norte clash

Two suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) were killed while two policemen were wounded in a firefight in Surigao del Norte, an Army news release said Thursday.

According to 1Lt. Joe Patrick Martinez, at least 60 members of the NPA onboard a truck assaulted the municipal police station in Alegria around 3 p.m.

The firefight lasted for 30 minutes until the NPA members overran the post and withdrew towards Barangays Siringan and Bliss in the municipality of Kitcharao.

Members of the army reinforced the police force and are still scouring the area.

2 soldiers killed in suspected NPA ambush in Compostela Valley

From GMA News (Jul 10): 2 soldiers killed in suspected NPA ambush in Compostela Valley

Two soldiers were killed in an ambush by suspected New People's Army rebels in Barangay Anitapan in Compostela Valley before dawn Thursday, a regional military spokesman said.
In an interview, Capt. Ernest Carolina, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division based in Compostela Valley, identified the victims as Privates Jerwin Teodoro and Reyned Pasadao, both detailed with the Army's 71st Infantry Battalion.
He said the soldiers were on their way back to their patrol base after attending a barangay festivity in Mabini town when they were attacked at around 3 a.m.
The victims were wearing civilian clothes and were not carrying firearms when the ambush occurred, he added.
"They attended a party as part of the celebration of the barangay foundation anniversary," Carolina said.
“They were shot on the way back to the Anitapan patrol based from the (barangay) gym. They were still at the vicinity of the gym, which is near the patrol base, when they were shot,” he said, adding the suspects used cal. 45 pistols.
Carolina said they believe the NPA rebels were behind the attack. "We are not yet 100 percent sure but judging from experience, they (rebels) may be involved. That is our primary suspicion," he added.
Peace talks with the communist rebels remain at a standstill. 
In March, President Benigno Aquino III was quoted as saying the resumption of negotiations depends on the willingness of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front to cooperate with the government.
Aside from the Tiamzons, another suspected communist leader — Andrea Rosal, daughter of the late rebel spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was arrested on March 27.
The military said Rosal, who allegedly uses the aliases “Naiya” and “Liam,” was arrested by virtue of warrants of arrest issued in Mauban, Quezon, for cases of kidnapping and murder. The military said Rosal was also implicated in an attempted homicide case filed in Luisiana-Cavinti court in Laguna. 

Friendly fire killed 6 soldiers in Sulu –military report

From GMA News (Jul 10): Friendly fire killed 6 soldiers in Sulu –military report

The six soldiers who were killed during an encounter with the Abu Sayyaf last June 19 in Patikul, Sulu, didn't die from enemy fire but from a howitzer fired by their fellow soldiers, a military report said.

"This is unfortunate and this is not intentional," said Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), on Thursday.

Zagala said an investigation commissioned by AFP Western Mindanao Command established that an artillery round, fired from a military 105 mm howitzer, killed and wounded members of the Joint Special Operations Group (JSOG).

"[The report] showed that JSOG forces were killed because of friendly fire," Zagala said, adding this could be due to "certain elements in combat such as the stress that those in conflict are undergoing."

"The board of inquiry is there to find out where the mistakes were [and to] find out how to prevent such occurrence again in the future," he said.

The report has already been submitted to the AFP chief Emmanuel Bautista.

At around 6:20 a.m. last June 19, troops from the 2nd Marine Brigade were on combat operation when they clashed with the notorious bandit group in Barangay Buhanginan. The clash left 1Lt. Roger Flores dead and 11 other Marine soldiers wounded.

Ten minutes later, the military reported that a mortar round, purportedly coming from the Abu Sayyaf, landed at the detachment of the JSOG in Barangay Kabuntakas. The incident left six JSOG personnel dead and 13 others wounded.

However, an investigation by the inquiry board showed that the JSOG detachment was hit by an 105 mm howitzer round that was fired from the 2nd Marine Brigade headquarters in Jolo town.

The accident was reportedly blamed on wrong coordinates given by the Marine soldiers when they requested for artillery support, but Zagala could not confirm this.

“I cannot say if it was wrong because I didn’t see the actual report,” he said.

"One thing is for sure is that if there there needs to be an accountability from someone, we will mete that," he added.