Saturday, August 23, 2014

China calls US warplane accusations 'groundless' -- report

From InterAksyon (Aug 24): China calls US warplane accusations 'groundless' -- report

Beijing dismissed Saturday the Pentagon's accusations that a Chinese fighter jet flew too close to a US military aircraft off Hainan Island, blaming "massive and frequent" surveillance for dangerous mid-air confrontations in state media.

US Rear Admiral John Kirby had said Friday the armed Chinese warplane came close to the American surveillance aircraft three times, flying underneath the American plane, at the P-8's nose and then in parallel with the wingtips, less than 30 feet (nine meters) apart.

In approaching the P-8 Poseidon, the Chinese jet at one point performed a barrel roll, apparently to display its weapons, in what Kirby called a "very dangerous" intercept.

China's defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun called the claims "totally groundless" in a statement cited by the Xinhua state news agency, lashing out at the American military for conducting surveillance operations close to Chinese waters.

Yang said the fighter jet pilot was a safe distance away and making regular checks on the surveillance aircraft during Tuesday's confrontation in international waters about 135 miles (220 kilometers) east of Hainan island.

It was the United States, and its "massive and frequent close-in surveillance of China" that endangered air and marine security, Xinhua quoted Yang as saying.

The episode this week has raised tensions and underlined the growing rivalry between the United States and China, with Beijing building up its military and asserting its territorial claims across the Pacific.

The move also threatened to jeopardize longstanding US efforts to bolster relations with China's military, at a time when officials have touted progress in forging a dialogue with Beijing's top brass.

The skies over Hainan Island were the scene of a major international incident in April 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy EP-3 spy plane.

The collision left one Chinese pilot dead and forced the American plane to make an emergency landing on Hainan. Chinese authorities initially detained the 24-member American crew for more than a week until both governments worked out a face-saving deal for their release.

Washington and Beijing have long disagreed over aviation and maritime rights in the strategic South China Sea, with the Americans insisting the area is part of international waters and airspace.

China argues it is part of the country's "exclusive economic zone."

MILF: Editorial -- ISIS and after-effects here

Editorial posted to the MILF Website (Aug 23): ISIS and after-effects here

The report that some 100 elements of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and so-called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) have travelled to the Middle East and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is very unlikely.

The MILF has no verified report about it. In our view, there is more loss than gain for the two groups in joining the ISIS.

For us, the threat is not in the two groups’ joining the ISIS. Their number is too tiny to be felt and make a difference. The ISIS is overflowing with volunteers from all over the world, including those from the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.

The threat really comes from the extremism espouses by the ISIS. Ideas are contagious and infectious. Wild ideas are attractive to those who want adventures and pre-occupied with hatred and revenge. The ISIS, we suppose, is not short of people who are like those Europeans who joined the Crusades in the 13th century to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims, who were described as “infidels” by Christendom.

The MILF condemns barbarism and savagery whether done by other groups including the ISIS or even by its own members. Neither are we justifying the advent of the ISIS. That is not for the MILF to dip our fingers into it. But it is a fact that the Arab countries suffered humiliatingly from the evil machinations of Western Countries. Iraq was invaded to get rid of a dictator, Saddam Hussein, and to seize his nuclear weapons, which were not there. Nobody cried for the ouster and death of Saddam. But the real reasons for the invasion were concealed, i.e., to seize control of the Iraqi oil and as a protection for Israel, which is the spoiled brat of the Western world. What did the Iraqis get in return? Nothing, but bloodshed, destruction, anarchism. Who are at fault? The one that created the troubles now or those who planted the seeds of enmity and violence? The answer is, both, but who is the main culprit?

Relatedly, it is to be admitted that the process to make real the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is its defining moment. The BBL has already been submitted, not just to the Office of the President (OP), but on August 20 to President Benigno Aquino III, who is expected to review it in the light of the letter and spirit of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and its four Annexes, plus the Addendum on the Bangsamoro Waters.
We don’t doubt the President will exercise his powers of review diligently, fairly, and fully conscious that the BBL should and must address a problem, the Moro Question, and put it to rest forever. This is our conviction.

In short, what we mean is that the BBL we envision is one that complies with the flexibility of the Constitution and, more importantly, one that will lead to the resolution of this question. Short of this, the road ahead is not easy to contemplate on.

It is this high hope for the passage of a good BBL and the fear for not being able to realize it for whatever reason that the ISIS’ virus is much to be feared. Surely, the current leadership of the MILF, which is matured, experienced, and reasonable --- and has done and is doing everything feasible to succeed in this peace undertaking --- will no longer be in control of everything. Frankly, it is the power, moderating line, and influence of the MILF that hinders the birth of a truly strong radical group in Mindanao. Without the MILF, it would be free-for-all in Mindanao. God forbid!

MILF: Peace movers to hold advocacy on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation

Posted to the MILF Website (Aug 23): Peace movers to hold advocacy on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation

Peace movers in the coastal town of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat held a meeting in preparation for the conduct of advocacy on transitional Justice and reconciliation.
The groups that met on August 21, 2014 at the residence of Amrillah Mamadra, current national president of Bangsamoro Initiatives and Emergency Development Assistance Program (BEIDAP) a non-government organization in the town of Palimbang.

The MILF Committee on information of Biwang Province and Dr. Parido Pigkaulan of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) joined the BEIDAP in the planning preparation for the advocacy. The peace advocacy will be held on August 30-31, 2014 at Dawah Training Center, Barangay Malisbong, Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Those that attended the meeting include members of the MILF-AHJAG and Committee on Information Director Hadji Salem Abo, National Vice President on Emergency of BIEDAP, Biwang Provincial Secretary Amrillah Mamadra, SMF Commander Tigre Jakiri, 104th Brigade Commander Zabidi Montawal, Kraan Municipal Chairman Kasanan Malinog, SWC, Biwang Province Chairperson Bai Samsiya Taja and representatives from three communication Networks; Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN), SUFRA and Civicom Balikatan.

All participants in the meeting expressed full support to the proposed advocacy program.

Atty. Pigkaulan urged the participation of all BIAF members in the area and nearby localities,  PPF, Political Committee members and survivors of Martial Law victims.

 In the duration of the program, an interview with survivors of the 1074 Malisbong Mosque massacre will also be made.

The MILF AHJAG- TEAM 4 and Committee on Information are requesting the presence of representatives from the MILF Peace Panel to give up-dates on the GPH-MILF signed agreements vis a vis the status of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

CPP/Ang Bayan: Peasant activist killed in Quezon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Aug 21): Peasant activist killed in Quezon

A peasant activist was mercilessly killed in Quezon, while two student activists were abducted in Nueva Ecija. In Iloilo, a former comrade was illegally arrested and misrepresented by the military as a leading cadre of the Ilocos-Cordillera Region (ICR).

Quezon. Suspected state agents gunned down Hildegardo “Gil” Hernandez, 48, in Barangay Sta. Catalina, Candelaria in the afternoon of August 6. Hernandez was an active member of Pagkakaisa ng mga Magsasaka at Tagapagtaguyod sa Ikalawang Distrito ng Quezon (Pamatid-Quezon). Two assailants aboard a motorcycle fired at Hernandez who sustained gunshot wounds to the head, face, neck and torso.

Hernandez, who also organized small coconut farmers in Quezon was part of a group preparing relief operations for victims of typhoon Glenda when he was killed. He is the 108th peasant victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino regime.

Nueva Ecija. Elements of the 3rd IB of the Philippine Army abducted Guiller Martin Cadano, 22, and Gerald Salonga, 24, in Barangay R.T. Padilla, Carranglan on August 9. Cadano is the regional coordinator of Kabataan Partylist-Central Luzon and Salonga is an organizer for Anakbayan-Central Luzon. They are both graduates of the University of the Philippines Diliman-Extension Program in Pampanga (UP-DEPP).

After the military forced its way into the house they were staying, they were ordered to lie face down and were blindfolded. Cadano was bound when he was pushed into a red van while Salonga was forced aboard a white pick-up truck. They were brought to a remote area where they were forced to admit to being members of the New People’s Army.

They were surfaced and transferred to police custody only after KARAPATAN-Central Luzon conducted a fact-finding mission on August 10. They are currently detained at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police Provincial Public Safety Company in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.

Iloilo City. Combined police and military forces illegally arrested Eduardo Almores Esteban, 60, in his house in Barangay Buntatala, Jaro, Iloilo City on August 5. Esteban is a former comrade who has been living with his family as a civilian for close to ten years. The AFP claimed that Esteban is the former secretary of the Regional Party Committee in ICR in order to collect the ₱5.8-million reward for the capture of a “Manuel Esteban” who is purportedly a leading cadre in ICR. Eduardo Esteban has never operated in ICR.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Military actions in Negros

Propaganda article from the English language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Aug 21): Military actions in Negros

Four enemy elements were killed in three successive military actions by the New People’s Army in Guihulngan City, Negros Orienral in June.

According to the Leonardo Panaligan Command (LPC-NPA), two soldiers under the 12th IB were killed when Red fighters opened fire on the military unit’s detachment at 8 p.m. of June 12. Residents of Barangay Sandayao had long been demanding punishment for the soldiers who are responsible for widespread abuses against civilians such as threats, beatings and indisciminate firing, which have all been a bane to the locality.

The NPA also implemented on June 23 a decision of the people’s court meting capital punishment on Aljin Mogelio. The court had found Mogelio guilty of gunning down Guihulngan town councilor Cyrus Fat on February 13, 2014. Mogelio was a former element of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary and an intellgence asset of the AFP and the police.

On June 18, the NPA likewise enforced capital punishment on Jose Baquilta, who led the killing of the Escoba couple in Sitio Punong, Barangay Trinidad in 1987. He was also a member of “Kadre,” a fanatic group that joined military troops and CAFGU elements in burning down more than 40 houses in Sitio Kalubasa, Barangay Tacpao, Guihulngan in 1988. Baquilta was also involved in the heinous massacre of a family in Barangay Trinidad. The victims were first raped before their bodies were hacked and mutilated.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: AFP suffers 14 casualties in Agusan

Propaganda article from the English language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Aug 21): AFP suffers 14 casualties in Agusan

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suffered 14 casualties in four successive military actions successfully launched by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Agusan against the 26th and 29th IB of the Philippine Army on August 5, 9 and 10.

This, the NPA accomplished amid intensified AFP operations in San Luis and Talacogon towns in Agusan del Sur and in Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Four military elements were killed and ten wounded while the Red fighters under the NPA West Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Subregional Command suffered zero casualties.

Red fighters twice harassed 26th IB troops and clashed with elements of the paramilitary Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) in Agusan del Sur. A soldier under the 26th IB was killed and four others wounded in an NPA harassment operation against the patrolling troops in Km. 18, Barangay Don Alejandrino, San Luis on August 10.

On the other hand, two elements from the same battalion were killed and two others wounded when the 26th IB sent soldiers to reinforce 15 SCAA elements who had clashed with the NPA at 6:20 a.m. on August 5 in Purok 7, Barangay Zellovia, Talacogon. The NPA unit waiting in ambush used command-detonated explosives (CDX) on the soldiers. An SCAA element was killed and another paramilitary wounded in the earlier gunbattle. The scene of the fighting was only a kilometer away from the 26th IB detachment.

The 26th IB is the protector of Provident Tree Farm Inc. and the paramilitary SCAA serves as the company’s guards. PFTI is involved in seizing peasants’ lands, is environmentally destructive and exploits its workers.

Meanwhile, a soldier from the 29th IB was killed and two others wounded when Red fighters harassed patrolling military troops in Sitio Afga, Barangay Olave, Buenavista at noon of August 9.

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

Landmine attack

From the Mindanao Newbits section of the Manila Bulletin (Aug 23): Landmine attack

Camp Bancasi, Butuan City – Members of the 52nd Engineering Brigade (EB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) escaped unscathed from a landmine attack perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at the Malandong Can-ayan area in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

Maj. Christian C. Uy, regional Army spokesman, said the engineering troops of the 52nd EB were transporting sand and gravel when residents reported the planted landmine along the side of the road.

The troops are constructing housing units in the area in line with the AFP’s “Kawal Kalinga” program. “It’s good that no one was hurt or killed when the landmine exploded,” said Uy.

Sayyaf with P600k bounty jailed in Zambo

From the Philippine Star (Aug 23): Sayyaf with P600k bounty jailed in Zambo

A captured Abu Sayyaf mid-level leader carrying a P600,000-bounty reward and who was  tagged in the Lamitan siege in Basilan, has been committed to the city jail.

Abu Sayyaf suspect Edwin Sawaldi alias Nur Hassan was captured by the joint military and police intelligence unit and anti-terror Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) early Wednesday night inside the city port area, said Col. Andrelino Colina, TFZ chief.

The suspect, who was immediately brought to the police intelligence headquarters, has two pending warrants of arrests with 12 cases of kidnapping with serious illegal detention and ransom issued by judges Leo Jay  Prinicipe of and Danilo  Bucoy, respectively of branch 1 and 2 of Regional Trial Courts in Isabela City, Basilan.

Colina said the charges against Sawaldi stemmed from his participation in the Lamitan siege during the Dos Palmas kidnapping when the Abu Sayyaf group led by the late Khadaffy Janjalani and Aldam Tilao alias Abu Sabaya encamped at St. Peter’s Church and its adjacent hospital with their  20 hostages, including three Americans on May 29, 2001.

Police investigation also tagged Sawaldi in the attack of a plantation in Barangay Tairan in Lantawan town at the height of the Dos Palmas kidnapping to delay the pursuing troops.

Senior Inspector Dahlan Samuddin, Police Regional Office 9 (PRO) information officer, said  that after the tactical interrogation Sawaldi was committed to the Zamboanga City Reformatory Center Friday.

Bangsamoro bill undergoing polishing

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 23): Bangsamoro bill undergoing polishing

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal. AP FILE PHOTO
After President Benigno Aquino III reviews the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the crucial document that will create a new Bangsamoro autonomous region will undergo last minute polishing by the Office of the President and the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) before it is submitted to Congress, said Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal.

“We expect the President will have an input, although we believe that it is a general review,” Iqbal told the Inquirer by phone.

Iqbal said the BBL draft with the President is not yet in its final form as it would have to go through some “procedural matters” such as the BTC members signing it before it is forwarded to Congress.

Nonetheless, he said that “in essence, practically everything is settled.”

The draft BBL was submitted to the President for review on Wednesday night.

For her part, government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer told the Inquirer: “Let’s give the President the time and space to review the draft and take the next steps that would facilitate the submission to Congress.”

A copy of the draft BBL consisting of 18 chapters was also sent to MILF chair Murad Ebrahim for review.

“In principle, that is how [it’s done]. The highest authorities have to look at it first. But since this is a legal issue and the BBL was crafted by the BTC, what is specific in the workflow is that President Aquino will review the BBL. But even without saying, the MILF chairman will also look at it,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal added that a meeting between President Aquino and Murad “remains an option, although nothing is definite yet.”

Meanwhile, Malaca├▒ang said it hopes to submit the proposed Bangsamoro law to Congress before the end of August.

The two peace panels had to come up with an agreed version of the bill after the MILF complained that a Malaca├▒ang review team had practically diluted the original version crafted by the BTC, which Iqbal also chairs.

In an interview with the Inquirer on Monday, Ferrer said that Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and Presidential Legal Council Alfred Caguioa met with Iqbal in Davao City as “another way of moving the discussion [on the BBL] forward.”

The government and the MILF gave themselves until this week to complete the draft BBL where comments of both parties were incorporated.

NPA rebels ransack banana plantation in Compostela Valley

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 23): NPA rebels ransack banana plantation in Compostela Valley

The NPA is the armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and has been waging an insurgency since 1969. AFP FILE PHOTO
 Communist rebels attacked a banana plantation in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, on Friday, burned down its packing house and several pieces of equipment and divested the guards of at least 10 firearms, police said Saturday.

The rebels also chopped down some 300 fruit-bearing plants at the Musahamat Farm 1 Inc. in Sitio Cadena in Barangay Tagdangua village around 10:30 p.m., according to Senior Superintendent Abraham Rojas, Compostela Valley police chief.

Rojas told the Inquirer in a telephone interview by phone that the rebels, numbering about 60, set fire to the packing house and the firm’s chemical stock room, a backhoe, five units of water pumps and three container vans.

“According to Mr. Edilberto Durante, the firm’s security chief, the [rebels] immediately herded the workers and lectured them about the supposed issue of low wages being paid by the company, and then razed the place,” Rojas said.

He said troops from the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Maneuvering Company of the Philippine National Police’s 11th Regional Public Safety Battalion have mounted a pursuit operation against the rebels.

Sierra Madre clashes hurting Agta tribesmen

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 24): Sierra Madre clashes hurting Agta tribesmen

Renewed fighting between government forces and New People’s Army rebels in Sierra Madre in northern Quezon province has taken as casualty the livelihood of members of the Agta tribe, who call the mountain range home.

Agta chieftain Ramcy Astoveza said tribesmen became afraid to go deep into the mountain to gather rattan, honeybee and other forest products out of fear for their safety after two clashes between Army soldiers and communist guerrillas last month.

“The whole tribe is getting hungry. Most of the children are getting sick,” Astoveza said in a recent phone interview.

He described the situation as “volatile.”

The tribe was unable to observe on Aug. 4 their traditional annual gathering in Tulaog, a place deep in Sierra Madre sacred to the Agta.

“Our peaceful lives are again disrupted by this bloody and senseless war,” the tribal chief said.

Singapore, Australia to boost intelligence sharing on jihadist

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 23): Singapore, Australia to boost intelligence sharing on jihadist

Australia and Singapore vowed Friday to enhance intelligence sharing in the face of growing fears about the threat posed by jihadist citizens returning home after fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Ministers from both countries warned of the rising risk posed by the returning fighters who are radicalized and have developed sophisticated skills to carry out terror attacks.

“In this context of counter-terrorism and counter radicalization… we felt that we could exchange more information because these threats if they materialize will affect all citizens of all races and all religions,” Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said at a joint press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Senior Australian government officials led by Bishop are in Singapore for bilateral meetings.

Bishop said Canberra is “also in discussions with our counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines as this is not an issue that is isolated”.

“If these foreign fighters as they are called, come back to Australia, come back to our region, then they pose a threat,” she said.

“They are hardened, experienced extremists who have undertaken in a number of instances, terrorist activities overseas,” she added.

Australia’s assistant Defense Minister Stuart Robert said the enhanced information sharing with Singapore will cover “the areas of terrorism, extremism, foreign fighters and the growth of homegrown extremism”.

The United States and Australia this month agreed to take concerns about jihadist foreign fighters in the Islamic State terror group to the United Nations.

The group has overrun parts of Syria and Iraq and have declared a Muslim caliphate in those areas.

As many as 150 Australians are said to be fighting alongside the group overseas, including at least one Sydney man and his young son who have posed for photos with a severed head.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government is hardening laws to make it more difficult for citizens to travel from Australia to fight in the Middle East, and easier to arrest them on their return.

Singapore in July said it is aware of two Singaporeans currently fighting in Syria along with their families.

Authorities in October 2012 detained a man who attempted to travel to Syria to join the jihadists, while two others have had their movements restricted after their attempts to contact the militant groups.

Neighboring Malaysia has detained 19 Islamic State-inspired militants who had allegedly plotted to bomb pubs, discos and a Malaysian brewery of beer producer Carlsberg.

In Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation, authorities estimate that 60 of its citizens have joined the fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The deputy chief of the Malaysian police counter-terrorism division, Ayob Khan Mydin, told AFP on Tuesday that the detained Malaysian suspects and their supporters had visions of establishing a hardline Islamic caliphate spanning Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.

CPP/NPA: Mahitungod sa pag-ambus kang Cecilio “Anggong” Abuhan

NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Aug 22): Mahitungod sa pag-ambus kang Cecilio “Anggong” Abuhan

Alan Juanito
NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Operations Command (Julito Tiro Command)

Giambus sa usa ka tim sa New People’s Army (NPA) ubos sa Regional Command sa North Central Mindanao Region si Cecilio “Anggong” Abohan sa alas kwatro sa hapon sa Agosto 21, 2014 sa Bagocboc, Opol, Misamis Oriental.

Publikong kasayuran na sa Opol ang paghupot og mga armas ug armadong mga hinanib ni Anggong. Ang maong mga armas gigamit niya sa pagpatunhay sa iyang daw-sama sa warlord nga paghari.

Dugay nang gimulo sa mga kabus nga lumulupyo sa Bagocboc ug sikbit nga kabaryuhan sa Opol ang gikaintapang mangtas nga armadong si Anggong Abuhan sa daghang mga kriminal, anti-katawhan ug kontra-rebolusyonaryong mga binuhatan nga naglakip sa mosunod:

Walay puangod nga pag-abusar sa kapin sa 10 sa iyang kitagibaryo kung asa 2 ang namatay kay gipatulon og tansan ug grabeng pagpangulata nga miresulta sa pagkabalda sa pipila
Pagpanunog sa kapin 20 ka mga kabalayan (tuig 2004 ug Dec 2008).
Pasimuno sa grupo sa mga kawatan sa kabaw ug ubang mga kahayupang panguma nga nagbiktima sa daghang mga mag-uuma
Aktibong paggukod sa mga gidudahang rebolusyonaryo o suporter sa NPA
Pagpasiugda sa illegal logging ug dili pagbayad sa mga gabasero sa kahoy
Pagpangolekta sa porsyento sa mga minahan
Pagpanghasi ug pagpangilog sa yuta sa mga mag-uuma ug lumad aron makasulod ug makapalapad ang plantasyon sa Palm Oil
Direktang kalambigitan sa kamatayon sa lider mag-uuma ug lumad nga si Gilbert Paborada ug Rolen Langala
Nagtapun-og na ang daghang mga reklamo ug mga kaso batok kaniya apan nagkatulog lang sa file sa kapulisan sa Opol ilabina panahon sa administrasyon ni Ex-Mayor Dexter Yasay. Sulod sa daghang katuigan, hilom nga nag-antus ang mga lumulupyo sa Bagocboc ug silingang mga baryo.

Drama lang ang pag-reyd sa CIDG sa iyang balay ug pagkumpiska kunuhay sa iyang mga armas niadtong Oktubre tuig 2013. Lahi sa ubang nadakpang naghupot sa mga armas nga gikasohan ug gipriso, yano lang nga nagpabiling gawasnon si Anggong nga nagpadayon sa iyang mga aktibidad nga daw walay tulubagon. Klaro nga dunay nag-alima kaniya nga mas labaw pa ka kriminal nga tigkunsinteng padrino.

Busa, ang demokratikong rebolusyon sa katawhan lang pinaagi sa iyang New People’s Army ang nagtapos sa iyang madaug-daugong paghari-hari nga naghatag og hustisya ngadto sa iyang mga nabiktima.

Among gipanghinaut nga niining pag-ambus kang Anggong Abuhan, walay mga sibilyan nga pasanginlan ug kasohan. Matag higayon na lang nga dunay aksyong militar nga ilunsad ang New People’s Army, abtik dayon nga molihok ang militar ug kapulisan pagpasumangil ug paggukod sa mga inosente.

Ang gidangatan ni Anggong magsilbi untang panag-ingnan sa uban pang mga lokal nga upisyal sa reaksyonaryong kagamhanan sa pag-undang na sa ilang mga kontra-rebolusyonaryo ug anti-katawhan nga binuhatan. Daku pa ang ilang kahigayunan sa pag-usab sa kaugalingon ug atimanon nila ang kinasingkasing nga pag-alagad sa katawhan.

Expert wants rules changed to enhance local defense industry

From the Business World (Aug 21): Expert wants rules changed to enhance local defense industry

CERTAIN procurement practices as accorded by law could be stunting the development of the local defense manufacturing industry, or what constitutes this industry thus far.
“That’s the meat of it.... [Our] procurement policies is hampering the growth of the local [defense manufacturing] industry,” Rodolfo B. Mendoza, Jr., a defense analyst and terrorism expert at the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, told BusinessWorld in an interview Wednesday.

These policies, Mr. Mendoza said, can be found in Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7898 -- An Act Providing for the Modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and for Other Purposes -- as well as in some bidding requirements.
Section 4 states, in part, that “no major equipment and weapon system shall be purchased if the same are not being used by the armed forces in the country of origin or used by the armed forces of at least two countries.”

Bid documents, on the other hand, requirement that “bidders should have completed, within five years from the date of submission of bids, a contract similar to the project.”
Mr. Mendoza said these provisions should be changed, as Section 4 automatically disqualifies all local players, more so in the short arms manufacturing industry. The bid requirement is also problematic, he said.

Baguhin natin. [Let’s change these.] Let experts take a look at that and then [we should] arrive at a consensus. Kasi kawawa talaga ’yung mga Filipino industry players [They are really the ones affected],” he said.

But John. T. Lee, president of the Aerospace Industries Association of the Philippines, said they understand the preference for some military products over others.

“When you buy something, like a military jet or a helicopter, and you use it on sensitive operations, you will want to use proven technology,” Mr. Lee told BusinessWorld in a phone interview.

Still, Mr. Lee said the government should come up with a road map that would guide the local defense industry in the years ahead.

“If you want to design a military aircraft, it would probably take ten or more years.... There is no funding to develop [the] military because the cost of research and development is very high. The commercial market is also much more stable compared to that,” Mr. Lee said.

Mr. Mendoza said local industry players can collectively persuade Congress to take another look at Republic Act No. 7898. But he is not confident Congress will listen to them.

Another approach would be for Filipino companies to partner with established foreign brands in manufacturing and production agreements.

“We have to redefine the business structure and come up with joint ventures [with] foreign-based manufacturers. We can do this through under-licensing.... By doing this, we will also create jobs for Filipinos,” he said.

Muslim Ulamas to push for approval of BBL

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): Muslim Ulamas to push for approval of BBL

The religious leaders of the Muslim community in Lanao Del Sur will hold a summit on Sunday to push for the approval of the Bangsa Basic Law (BBL) at the earliest.

Ahmad Lao, the spokesperson of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Lanao Del Norte, said that the Ulamas (Muslim religious leaders) will converge at the provincial capital grounds to encourage the local Muslim community to support the early approval of the BBL.

Commissioner Sheik Said, a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Committee, said that the government panel and the MILF have already ironed out some kinks in the BBL that would be submitted to Congress for approval into law.

He said that the final draft of the BBL is now being reviewed by the Office of the President pending the approval and endorsement of President Aquino for Congressional approval.

Lao said that religious leaders of the Muslim community is pushing for the early approval of the BBL in that the holding of the plebiscite that would create the Bangsamoro homeland in Mindanao could be initiated soon.

We killed Misamis Oriental councilor

From Rappler (Aug 23): NPA: We killed Misamis Oriental councilor

The NPA says it targeted Opol town Councilor Cecilio Abuhan because of his active role in the counter-insurgency campaign and alleged abuses

COMMUNIST REBELS. Public officials who have allegedly committed offenses against the revolutionary movement are the object of NPA attacks. File photo by Karlos Manlupig

COMMUNIST REBELS. Public officials who have allegedly committed offenses against the revolutionary movement are the object of NPA attacks. File photo by Karlos Manlupig
The New People's Army has claimed responsibility for the death of Opol town Councilor Cecilio Abuhan, who was ambushed on Thursday, August 21.
Ka Allan Juanito, spokesperson of the NPA's North Central Mindanao Command, said in an emailed statement to the media that the operation was conducted at around 4 pm on Thursday, in the village of Bagocboc in Misamis Oriental.

Juanito said Abuhan was killed because of his alleged abuses against communities and his active role in the counter-insurgency drive in the province.

He accused Abuhan of the murder of two people whom he did not name, involvement with cattle rustlers, and allegedly collecting money from mining and logging operations.

Juanito said the death of Abuhan should serve as further “warning” against politicians who are against the communist movement.

"The death of Anggong hopefully serves as a warning to other local officials in the reactionary government to stop their counter-revolutionary and anti-people activities. They still have the opportunity to change and to prioritize serving their constituents," Juanito said.

Last month, NPA snipers killed Impasug-ong town mayor Mario Okinlay in Bukidnon for alleged involvements in counter-insurgency activities.

The military, however, remains skeptical that the hit on Abuhan was perpetrated by the NPA.

"We are still trying to look at other possible angles. Anyone can just claim that they are NPA. We are doubting it because we have not monitored any presence or movements of the NPA in the area," said 4th Infantry Division spokesman Major Christian Uy.

Uy said it is possible that the killing was motivated by personal or political grudges.

Arrested lumad leader out on bail but rights group demands dropping of 'trumped up charges'

From InterAksyon (Aug 23): Arrested lumad leader out on bail but rights group demands dropping of 'trumped up charges'

Arrested Manobo leader Genasque Enriquez (photo courtesy of Karapatan)

A leader of the Manobo tribe arrested Friday in Surigao City was released on bail Saturday as a human rights group maintained its demand for the dropping of what it called "trumped up charges" against him.

A message from Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay shortly after noon Saturday said Genasque Enriquez, who is also vice chairman of the Katribu party-list and secretary general of the Kahugpungan sa mga Lumadnong Organisasyon-Caraga, a regional alliance of lumad, or indigenous people, "is now released after posting bail on trumped up frustrated murder cases."

Palabay said people's organizations, church groups and civil society in the Caraga region helped raise the bail for Enriquez's release.

Enriquez was arrested Friday by police and military personnel as he emerged from a press conference in Surigao City, which was also a send-off for delegates to the People’s Congress for People’s Initiative that opened in Cebu City on Saturday.

The Cebu congress is intended to formally launch a campaign to pass a law scrapping all forms of pork barrel disbursements through a people’s initiative.

Karapatan called the arrest part of alleged government efforts to dissuade efforts to scrap the pork barrel system, seen as a major source of corruption and patronage politics.

Palabay, in an earlier statement, noted that the warrant of arrest against Enriquez was dated March 25 last year, adding this was not the first time fabricated charges have been filed against the Manobo leader as part of attempts to paint him as a member of the communist underground.

She said Enriquez had also been accused of murder and frustrated murder over earlier offensives by the New People’s Army but the charges were later dropped for lack of evidence.

Like the previous case, she said, Enriquez “has not received any notice of complaints filed against him from the Surigao del Sur Prosecutor’s Office, thus depriving him of his right to respond to the complaint … They failed to inform him of the current cases which were the bases of the alias warrant that was served to him during his arrest.”

BRP Ramon Alcaraz crosses equator, crew now certified 'shellbacks'

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): BRP Ramon Alcaraz crosses equator, crew now certified 'shellbacks'

After crossing the equator Friday (Philippine time), officers and crewmen of BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) were made to undergo the "Line Crossing Ceremony", one of the most enduring and classical traditions in the high sea.

This is also known as the “Crossing the Equator Ceremony” where "pollywogs" (officers and crewmen who have yet to cross the equator) are initiated into the order of "shellbacks" (mariners who have already done one or more crossing).

The equator is an imaginary line which divides the earth into northern and southern hemisphere.

BRP Ramon Alcaraz crossed the equator while on her way to the Northern Australian Exercise area where "Kakadu 2014" will be held this Aug. 25 to Sept. 12.

Ensign John Windy Abing, Philippine Navy public affairs officer for "Kakadu 2014", said that of the 165 officers and crew members aboard the Filipino frigate, 105 were classified as "pollywogs" as per tradition.

He added he himself was a "pollywog".

"Tradition has it that all sailors crossing the equator for the first time should be prepared to appear before 'King Neptune', a Roman sea god who, according to legend, boards the ship as it crosses the equator line to test the seaworthiness of the sailors," he added.

"This preparation does not mean however that we have to shower for one hour, put on our best attire, style our hair and put on our most expensive perfume as if we’re going to appear before the King of England. On the contrary, 'shellbacks' on board subjected us to wearing bizarre attire. We were instructed to wear our uniform inside out as a way of identifying and separating the 'pollywogs' from 'shellbacks'," Abing disclosed.

"A few minutes before the ceremony, we were told in a briefing about what’s going to happen. And to make it more vivid in our imagination, photos were shown on how the ceremony is being conducted. One of the most disturbing photo shows blindfolded 'pollywogs' lining up while a man behind them is swinging a baseball bat in what looks like a hazing. Another picture shows a 'pollywog' jumping out of the ship," he revealed.

"Obviously, they wanted us to believe that the same fate is coming upon us. And to make it more convincing, Capt. Albert Mogol, our exercise director for Kakadu who happens to be a 'shellback', brought a baseball bat during the briefing as if to imply that we are going to be butchered like what we have seen in the photos," Abing added.

He added the initiation ceremonies started with "pollywog" crew members being made to run by the "shellbacks" in the hot confines of the engine room before being dragged into the ship's gun deck.

"The ceremony started with the appearance of Davy Jones, King Neptune’s Royal Scribe in an elaborate costume which made him look like a half pirate and a half retard. According to him, he summoned us to appear before King Neptune to answer the charges brought against us by the 'shellbacks'. It was then followed by the grand entrance of King Neptune played by no other than the Commanding Officer of the ship, Capt. Ernesto Baldovino together with his royal dignitaries who all looked more like psychiatric patients than royal with their elaborate costumes made from scraps," Abing recounted.

"After the reading of our offenses by the Royal Judge, King Neptune ordered the 'shellbacks' to start the punishment. The punishment consists of series of exercises and passing through stations which involved a royal haircut with free flour make-up and mayonnaise shampoo, crawling through the deck, royal bath in dirty water and a supposed jumping out of the ship. We passed through the stations blindfolded for us not to find out that the supposed hazing and jumping out of the ship was a hoax. The ceremony ended with King Neptune declaring us as 'shellbacks'. And to celebrate our feat, we had a boodle fight," he concluded.

PHL contingents in Golan Heights, Liberia to be repatriated before yearend -- DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): PHL contingents in Golan Heights, Liberia to be repatriated before yearend -- DND

To ensure that Filipino soldiers doing peacekeeping duties in conflict-affected areas will not be unnecessarily put on hazards, the Department of National Defense (DND) on Saturday announced that the military contingent at the Golan Heights and in Liberia will be repatriated before the end of the year.

"Amidst the volatile security environment in the Middle East and North African region, the Philippines prioritizes the safety and security of its troops, but remains committed to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations," DND spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Reuben Galvez said.

He added that the 331-strong Filipino contingent serving as part of the United Nations Disengagement Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights will be repatriated at the end of their tour of duty in October this year.

Galvez said it is important to note that the Philippines sustained its contingent in UNDOF amidst the withdrawal of other troop-contributing countries as the conflict in Syria intensified in 2013.

"Meanwhile, in light of the rising health risk posed by the outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa, the Filipino troops deployed to the UN Mission in Liberia will also be repatriated as soon as possible," he concluded.

DND mulls over pullout of Pinoy peacekeepers in Liberia, Golan Heights

From InterAksyon (Aug 23): DND mulls over pullout of Pinoy peacekeepers in Liberia, Golan Heights

The Department of National Defense (DND) is mulling over the possibility of pulling out Filipino troops deployed under the United Nation's flag as peacekeepers in the Golan Heights and Liberia as the respective situations there continue to turn hazardous.

DND sources said that the move is meant to ensure the safety and security of Filipino soldiers deployed in those missions.

DND said that it is considering the repatriation by October of the 331-strong Filipino-contingent deployed as part of the UN's Disengagement Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights being occupied by Israeli forces since 1967.

The Philippine has sustained its contingent in the Golan Heights in the face of the pullout of other peacekeeping troops by other contributing countries as the conflict in nearby Syria intensified last year.

The situation in the Golan Heights has become more intense in the past months following the rise of the jhadist militant group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), whose most recent significant misdeed was the beheading of American journalist James Fowley last week.

On the other hand, Filipino peacekeepers might be pulled out from Liberia due to the continued rising health risks posed by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus in the West African nation.

One Filipino seaman has been quarantined to test for the deadly virus, which he may have contracted, if at all, while he was in Liberia. 

DND said that there is a possibility that Filipino peacekeepers in Liberia will be repatriated as soon as possible

"Amidst the volatile security environment in the Middle East and North African region, the Philippines prioritizes the safety and security of its troops, but remains committed to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations," the Defense department said.