Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bangsamoro task: 715,228 illiterates

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 21): Bangsamoro task: 715,228 illiterates
The process of building a Bangsamoro region has started in Congress, but literacy advocates on Friday said one of the government’s crucial problems in the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to a new region is an illiterate work force.

Investments are expected to flood Mindanao when peace is achieved, but entrepreneurs may end up getting workers from other provinces or regions because many adults in the ARMM still cannot read, write or count, said Amina Rasul Bernardo, managing trustee of Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc., during this year’s national literacy conference at Teachers’ Camp.

Citing a recent study by the foundation, Bernardo said 38 percent of ARMM’s voting population (or 715,288 of 1.88 million voters in 2010) are illiterate.

“If you are a businessman building a hotel, who will you hire? Will it be the illiterate natives or the literate workers from outside ARMM? Once Tagalogs, Ilonggos, Ilocanos and Cebuanos land jobs and benefit from a peace agreement that should be enjoyed by the local communities, would that improve our conflict situation or will it create another issue of conflict?” said Bernardo, who represented her mother, former Sen. Santanina Rasul, in the conference.

Bernardo said literacy champions have included education in priorities being drawn up for a Bangsamoro master plan. She said the Bangsamoro development plan has targeted 600,000 adults in ARMM for literacy training.

Bernardo said Mindanao educators are hopeful they would be able to teach functional literacy to these adults before the transition process begins.

“The business sector tells us peace is key to economic growth. But key to peace is business investments and development, which is why ARMM’s productivity is low and its poverty [incidence] is high. There is no peace, few investments, few businesses. It is a vicious cycle,” she said.

“But it is a chicken and egg situation,” Bernardo said.

“How can you have inclusive growth in the most conflict-plagued area of the Philippines if one third of your adult [population is] illiterate and cannot avail of the dividends of peace [such as] opportunities for employment [and] opportunities for increased income that will become available when the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law brings a surge of investors in the region?” she said.

Bernardo said government educators and nongovernment organizations could improve the literacy rate in ARMM provinces in three years.

Bernardo’s mother, former Senator Rasul, a teacher, had pioneered phono-syllabic teaching in the Philippines in the 1960s. This is an adult literacy teaching method which helps students recognize the alphabet by introducing the sound each letter makes when these are formed into words.

Bernardo said 63,751 adults in ARMM have graduated from literacy classes given by Magbassa Kita (which is Tausug for “Let us read”).

The foundation had also used the phono-syllabic process to introduce concepts like peace and autonomy to communities, she said.

Adults willing to sit for months in village assemblies to learn how to read, write and count, responded well when teachers used concepts like “peace” or “kapayapaan” in lessons.

“We introduced concepts like ‘human rights,’ and even ‘autonomy,’ although that was a hard concept to absorb,” Bernardo said.

She said many Filipinos assume that separatists characterize the peace and order crisis in Mindanao, when it is criminality and clan wars that define violence there.

Many of the graduates were women, Bernardo said, which comprise the highest volume of illiterates in Mindanao.

Many of these women are mothers who may impart lessons about peace and human rights to their children, she said.

The foundation’s graduates have also formed bonds, enabling the government to organize them into economic cooperatives or organizations, she said.

Bernardo said a survey of their former pupils has established that many pursued reading or counting lessons so they could vote properly, handle their financial transactions and avoid being duped, and to be able to send text messages instead of make expensive calls using their mobile telephones.

She said some ARMM beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program complained of being shortchanged because they could not operate an automated teller machine (ATM).

4,000 troops join PH-US war games

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 20): 4,000 troops join PH-US war games


About 4,000 troops from the United States Navy and the Philippine Navy will take part in a bilateral air-ground and amphibious training in Palawan province by the end of the month.

Called the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex 15), the event will open at 10 a.m. on Sept. 29 at the Naval Forces West headquarters in Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City.

More than 3,000 US personnel will join 1,000 Filipino troops from the Philippine Navy and Marines in the 12-day training exercise, according to a statement from the Naval Public Affairs Office.

The bilateral exercise is set from Sept. 29 to Oct. 10 and is aimed at improving the interoperability, readiness and response to natural disasters or other regional contingencies of the participating troops.

1st Lt. Jerber Antonio Belonio, the head of the Philippine Marines public affairs office, said the training will include a command post exercise; field training exercises with small arms and artillery live-fire training; amphibious operations; ship-to-shore movement; combined arms training; and civil-military operations.

Earlier, Lt. Cmdr. Marideth Domingo, chief of the Philippine Navy public affairs office, said the exercises will be conducted in various locations in Luzon such as Palawan, the Naval Education Training Command in San Antonio, Zambales province, Subic Bay and the Philippine Marines Base in Ternate, Cavite province.

DND to acquire 169 metric tons of raw metallic materials

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): DND to acquire 169 metric tons of raw metallic materials

The Department of National Defense (DND) has announced that it is acquiring 169 metric tons of raw metallic materials for the Government Arsenal, a facility for the manufacture of munitions for Philippine military forces.

The project has a budget of Php58,961,000 which will be sourced from the Government Arsenal Trust Fund.

DND said interested bidders must have completed a similar project within the last five years.

The successful bidder is required to deliver the materials within 90 calendar days upon the opening of the letter of credit, the DND stated.

Pre-bid conference is scheduled for Sept. 25, with bid opening on Oct. 9. Both will be held at the DND Conference Room Basement, Right Wing, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Pinoy peacekeepers back home

From the Manila Times (Sep 20): Pinoy peacekeepers back home

AN initial batch of 250 Filipino soldiers deployed as peace-keepers in the troubled Golan Heights arrived in the country on Friday evening at Villamor Air Force Base in Pasay City, two weeks ahead of their original homecoming schedule.

The second batch of composed of 85 Filipino peacekeepers are due to arrive today, a few weeks after the soldiers engaged Syrian rebels who want to take over their posts, in a fierce standoff and subsequent firefight.

The Filipino troops’ decision to defy the order of United Nations Disengagement Ob-server Force (UNDOF) Com-mander Lieutenant General Iqbal Sing Singha, to surrender their weapons and raise a white flag generated controversy in the UN circles.

They were however hailed as heroes back home, as AFP Chief Lieutenant General Gregorio P. Catapang hailed their caper as the “greatest escape”.

It was gathered that Catapang was also planning for a motorcade for the soldiers who stood their ground for more than 72 hours.

Three Syrian rebels were reportedly killed by Filipino peacekeepers during the standoff and subsequent firefight.

2 high-powered firearms recovered in encounter

From the Sun Star-Davao: 2 high-powered firearms recovered in encounter

TROOPS recovered two high-powered firearms after their encounter with the New People's Army (NPA) members in Barangay Hinapuyan in Carmen town, Surigao del Sur on Friday morning.

Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division public information officer Major Christian Uy said the troops from the 36th Infantry Battalion recovered an AK-47 rifle and an M16 rifle at Sitio Togopon in Hinapuyan after their clash with the rebels around 9:15 a.m.

Uy said two still unidentified rebels died during the encounter, adding that the troops also recovered personal belongings, live ammunitions and subversive documents with high intelligence value from the fatalities.
"They are members of the Guerrilla Front 30 of North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee operating in the mountainous areas of Carmen, Madrid and Cantilan, and all neighboring municipalities in Surigao del Sur," Uy said.

He added that rebels were monitored extorting money from the civilians in the area that prompted Lt. Colonel Anastacio Suaybaguio, commander of the 36th Infantry Battalion, to send troops to conduct security patrol.

But Uy said upon reaching Sitio Togopon, five fully-armed rebels indiscriminately fired upon their troops unaware of the inhabitants nearby.
The firefight lasted for about 10 minutes before the rebels withdrew towards southwest direction, he added.

"Some of the residents there saw the NPA rebels carrying their wounded comrades. Colonel Gregory M. Cayetano, commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade, then ordered the 36th Infantry Battalion to conduct a pursuit operation against the fleeing NPA rebels," Uy said.

Cayetano, on the other hand, said this is a manifestation that the rebels are already losing their grip from the people in the areas because they are already fed up of their extortion activities that only holds back development.

"Rest assured that we are fully committed to help eradicate insurgency in our area of responsibility," Cayetano said.

MILF: Timuay Justice and Governance Supports GPH-MILF Peace Agreement

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 20): Timuay Justice and Governance Supports GPH-MILF Peace Agreement

In a statement released by the Timuay Justice and Governance (TJG) –Indigenous Political Structure of Teduray and Lambangian non-Moros of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City, signed by its Deputy Supreme Tribal Chief Santos M. Unsad, and forwarded by Atty. Benedicto Bacani to BTC Chair Mohagher Iqbal on September 17, 2014, says:
We, the non-Moro Indigenous Peoples in the Bangsamoro core territory fully support a peaceful settlement of the historical conflict in Mindanao, particularly in Central Mindanao and in the Provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). As a manifestation of our full support to the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), we voluntarily involved ourselves in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) thru the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). We proposed provisions to be entrenched in the BBL for the recognition of our collective rights as distinct peoples.

Now that the final draft of the proposed BBL has been unveiled and submitted to Congress, we welcome this development that finally peace will reign in the conflict-devastated region for more than four (4) decades. We were also the victims and collaterally damaged by series of armed conflicts between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro rebels because our ancestral territories were unwilling hosts of wars since 1970 to middle of 2012.

Our collective rights as Indigenous Peoples have been recognized by the United Nations thru the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Philippine Government thru the 1987 Philippine Constitution being pursued by Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA). IPRA is consistent with International standards because among the bases of its enactment are International Treaties and Conventions, notably the UNDRIP and the International Labour Organization Convention No. 169 (ILO Convention No. 169). IPRA recognizes the four (4) bundles of IPs’ rights, namely: a) Right to Ancestral Domains and Lands; b) Right to Self-Governance and Empowerment; c) Social Justice and Human Rights; and d) Cultural Integrity. Any attempt to derogate and dilute any of the IPs’ four bundles of rights is a violation of their human rights, because IPs’ rights is human rights.

We therefore viewed the IP rights in the BBL as an addition to our existing rights under IPRA which are now executory, while that of the additional rights in the basic law are still to be legislated by the Bangsamoro Parliament. While we believed that this is a positive development, it is also a big challenge among non-Moro IPs in the BBL affected areas and it is also a challenge to Congress to ensure that there will be no conflict of laws.

Finally, if this is what the MILF meant when they said that the non-Moro IPs will get more than IPRA in the BBL, so be it. We will be together going to Congress to lobby for the fast tracking of the passage of the BBL so that we can start building peace in the war torn areas not only of the Bangsamoro but also to the non-Moro IP areas.

Meuyag and Mabuhay!

The statement was issued by the non-Moro IP group at the culmination of an activity held at the Tanghalang Michael Clark, Notre Dame University, Cotabato City sponsored by the Institute of Autonomy and Governance (IAG) and other notable groups. The IAG is currently undertaking series of engagements with various sectors relative to the BBL.

MILF: KuMuNet hosts Community Radio Peace Forum on BBL

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 19): KuMuNet hosts Community Radio Peace Forum on BBL

The Kutawato Multimedia Network (KuMuNet) hosted Community Radio Peace Forum held at Em Manor, Cotabato City on Wednesday, September 17 and broadcast live over DXMS Radio Station.
The forum aims to discuss the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) submitted by the Office of the President to both Houses of Congress on September 10. The House of Representatives immediately filed House Bill No. 4994 and the Senate, Senate Bill No. 2408.

The panel of discussants were Mr. Abdullah Cusain, Head of BTC Communication Group, BTC Commissioner Froilyn Mendoza and Lawyer Al Julkifli, member of GPH Peace Panel Legal Team. 

“The questions now after the endorsing the BBL to Congress, what’s next?”, Atty. Al Julkifli asked the participants. “On the part of the government, what’s next essentially… is a direct involvement in the deliberations,” he added. He also encouraged the public to get involved in the process as owners of peace.

In her presentations, Commissioner Mendoza highlighted the provisions that has concerned on the rights of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).

The inputs on the draft BBL was delivered by Mr. Cusain. He presented the structures of the BBL, and enumerated its articles and various sections.

Some participants asked the discussants about Bangsamoro policies on mining; IP’s customary practices and traditions; policies of the new political entity with regards to permanent employees of ARMM, and related concerns.

Capt. Azahar Adam, Chief of Staff, IMT M-9 and LTC Haroun Al-Rashid, INF PA, Acting CMO Office of the 6ID, PA also delivered their respective message of support to the KuMuNet program and registered their commitments to the GPH-MILF peace process.

The forum dubbed as “Baliktaktakan hingil sa draft BBL or “Discussions about the Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.” It was participated in by various groups from security sector, academe, students, CSOs, local and international NGOs, CCDP-B staff, religious and women groups, and community leaders.

Two Hundred (200) participants attended the program from Cotabato City and its neighbouring municipalities.

Mr. Wolfgang Dörner and Ms. Karen Watermann of the ForumZFD have extended their message of thanks to the participants, members of the KuMuNet, peace partners like GIZ who had helped for the success of the program.

KuMuNet is a network of CSOs in Central Mindanao composed of BCJP, CBCS, KFI, UnYPhil, UNYPAD, MAPAD, MWDECC, MPPM, RRUC, I-Watch, IP-Dev, LDCI, DXUP FM, and Forum ZFD as secretariat.

KuMuNet is advocating for peace by providing updates on the progress of GPH-MILF peace process through radio program and community peace forums.

MNLF: Relevance of September 2013 AFP-MNLF war to demonizing Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips by Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco in September 2014

Propaganda editorial posted to the MNLF Website (Sep 16): Relevance of September 2013 AFP-MNLF war to demonizing Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips by Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco in September 2014

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable,” said U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
This was precisely the cause of the 9-20 September 2013 AFP-MNLF war in Zamboanga City. The violent confrontation resulted because Mayor Maria Isabel ‘Beng’ Climaco banned the holding of peace rally by MNLF members and mass supporters.
In Twitter, it was repeatedly tweeted, “Why does the Zamboanga City Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco hate the Muslims? She caused the 9/13 AFP-MNLF war, now she’s demonizing Dr. Bilal Philips and Islam!”
Truth to tell, the Zamboanga City lady Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco has done it again. In September 2013, she suddenly outlawed the holding of peace rally of members and supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City. This was a clear suppression of the fundamental human rights of people in a democratic system to a peaceful assembly. Worse, some of the MNLF members and supporters from all over the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) were harassed, arrested and tortured by the police authorities. Thus, the unwarranted incident called for the peaceful MNLF freedom fighters in Zamboanga City in arming themselves, inviting also reinforcements from neighboring islands.
Prior to the actual AFP-MNLF battle, the MNLF members and supporters were to stage a peace rally in Zamboanga City as it was done just a few days past in Jolo, Basilan, Datu Piyang and Davao City without any violent incident. The preceding peace rallies were peacefully conducted because the local government did nothing to suppress the legitimate fundamental rights of the discontented sector to a peaceful assembly.
In August 2013, the MNLF Central Committee under Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari had just peacefully re-proclaimed the expansive United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik (UFSBR) after Philippine colonialism under President Benigno S. Aquino III totally ignored the GRP-OIC-MNLF
Jakarta Peace Agreements of September 2, 1996. The MNLF highlighted drumbeating the independence declaration of the Bangsamoro Republik with peace rallies in the urban centers. The peaceful assembly of MNLF members and supporters was successfully conducted without any untoward incident except in Zamboanga City wherein it was totally suppressed. And the suppression led to the bloodiest war ever recorded in the area between the Philippine military occupation soldiers and the MNLF freedom fighters.
The almost 20-day September 2013 AFP-MNLF war resulted in the burning of “10,160 houses and mosques” in the six villages of Zamboanga City and dislocation of close to 200,000 homeless refugees. Similar to the February 1974 Jolo AFP-MNLF war that led to the burning of almost the entire town center by land, sea and air bombardments of AFP war machine, the razing to the ground of the six Muslim villages in Zamboanga City was also perpetrated by AFP soldiers.

In the aftermath of the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war, the AFP soldiers led by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin celebrated the burning and withdrawal of the MNLF freedom fighters with the raising of the Philippine flag on top of the building of a dilapidated mosque. Consciously or unconsciously, they were just too happy and relieved in full military gear shouting victory cheers and singing the national anthem of Philippine colonialism on top of the house of worship sacred forever to the Islamic Ummah.

In the final analysis, the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war sent an ominous signal to the global community that Mindanao peace was again betrayed by the Filipino colonizers and their local puppets in Mindanao. This has only made “peaceful revolution impossible” and “violent revolution inevitable” for the freedom struggle launched by the MNLF from the beginning in 1968. The Bangsamore people’s liberation struggle has to be continued by any means possible.
It was a sad day for the global Muslims and surely an affront for democracy-conscious Canada when a true believer, Yusuf Ledesma, a “father, husband, brother, Muslim, economist and activist” informed the whole of humanity in Twitter on September 12, 2014 with the following tweets:
“Top Muslim government official confirmed that Mayor Beng Climaco cancelled Dr. Bilal Philips peace talk and asked he be secured by DOJ.”
“The talk was meant to be a lecture to end misconceptions about Islam and organized by professionals in Zamboanga including lawyers, etc.”
In response to the sad tweets of Brother Yusuf Ledesma (may his kind multiply), repeatedly tweeted in Twitter, informing the domestic and foreign media network as well as leading global personalities with the corresponding tweet:
“Why does Zamboanga City Catholic Mayor Beng Climaco hate Muslims? She caused 9/13 AFP-MNLF war, now she’s demonizing Dr. Bilal Philips and Islam!”
Who is Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips? What is his pivotal role in spreading Islam as a religion of peace and harmony?  
The 68-year old Dennis Bradley Philips was born in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in Toronto, Canada, where he reverted to Islam in 1972, adopting the name Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips. He has devoted his whole life to conveying Islamic knowledge in order to “change the Muslim Nation through Islamic Education” as he always posited. He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Islamic Discipline in Islamic University of Madina in 1979; Master of Arts in Aqueedah (Islamic Theology) in King Saud University, Riyadh, 1985; and PhD in Islamic Theology from University of Wales in 1994.
He taught for ten years Islamic Studies in an Islamic High School in Riyadh. He spent ten years lecturing in Arabic and Islamic studies in the American University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He founded the first Islamic Information Center in Dubai in 1994; headed the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Preston University in Ajman, UAE; founded and headed the English medium Islamic Studies Department of Knowledge International University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and, founded and headed the College of Da’wah and Islamic Culture (English section) at Omdurman Islamic University in Sudan. He was also the founder and head of Preston in Chennai, India, and likewise founded and headed the Islamic Studies Academy in Doha, Qatar.
He founded the Islamic Online University (IOU) in 2013 and currently has over 180,000 students registered from 219 countries in the world, making IOU the number one university in the world with respect to the diversity of its student body. He is presently Imam and Khatib at Abu Hurairah Center where he teaches five free university-level classes weekly and counsel Muslim families two days per week.
Backdrop by these outstanding accomplishments to propagate Islam as a religion of peace throughout the world, the question arises: Why is Philippine colonialism under President Benigno Aquino III and a Catholic puppet political marketer demonizing an Islamic preacher and Islam? Why is Philippine colonialism now prohibiting internationally-known Islamic preacher to lecture Islam in Mindanao?
Surely, Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips could not refuse visiting his co-religionists in Zamboanga City and elsewhere in Mindanao because he was invited by the Muslim communities of the Filipino-occupied territory. Yet he was banned to deliver a peace lecture in Zamboanga City by the Catholic mayor, who cunningly appealed to DOJ Secretary Laila de Lima to issue a black list order, on the pretext that the peaceful Islamic preacher was “dangerous” and “suspected terrorist”.
On this sad development, the relevant situation of suppressing a peace rally in September 2013 and the banning of a “peace Lecture” in September 2014 in Zamboanga City by Mayo Beng Climaco is just worth
commenting. It cannot just be justified by state government excuses and terroristic propaganda.
It is certainly worth knowing the truth behind the banning of Dr. BilaI Philips to deliver a peace talk in Zamboanga City this September 2014 after only one year of the September  2013 AFP-MNLF war. The peace lecture was organized by the Muslim resident professionals of the city and they also invited the lady mayor to attend the public meeting. But the Muslim organizers were just dismayed and disappointed when the scheduled peace talk was forbidden by Mayor Beng Climaco in conspiracy with Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Laila de Lima based on unfounded and make-believe excuses.
What could be the motivation of Mayor Beng Climaco in prohibiting an international Islamic preacher to deliver a peace lecture in Zamboanga City?
Could the real reason be premised on the harsh truth that the Catholic lady mayor is only afraid that Imam Dr. Bilal Philips could see the chronic situation of the thousand-strong Muslim refugees in Zamboanga City? The mass suffering and misery of aged, women and children Muslim families dislocated until now due to her judgmental folly of suppressing the September 2013 peace rally of MNLF supporters that led to the AFP-MNLF war.
According to the International Red Cross Center (IRCR), “40,000 people are still displaced, a year after the end of fighting between MNLF and government troops in Zamboanga City.” The IRCR group also reported that there is still no “determined action” to rehabilitate the refugees because according to reliable sources the dislocated residents have been prohibited to rebuild their houses in the burned areas.
In Facebook, the appalling situation of the Muslim refugees suffering the September 2013 AFP-MNLF war aftermath has been described by a conscious observer, San Arsid al-Tandick, who commented:
“…Aftermath laid untold devastation with damage to properties estimated at billions of pesos, hundreds of lives and thousands of families displaced. Thousands of Muslim families are still suffering in evacuation camps. After 3.5 billion pesos in government funds and hundreds of million more in foreign assistance for resettlement and recovery programs is declared to have already been exhausted, our brothers and sisters, continue to suffer and die in those concentration-like camps with no end near in sight.”
Recalling further the tragic September 9-20, 2013 AFP-MNLF war, he continued commenting:
“…If this day must be given importance, this day shall be the day to remember our brothers and sisters who are the real victims of the senseless war between the MNLF and government troops that happened last year…It is a memory of a war that brings to awareness the hypocrisy and insincerity of this government in solving the Mindanao problem. Make this day rather, a day to remember the continuous sufferings of our Muslim brothers and sisters out of government’s neglect despite billions in funds spent.”
Simply put, how can therefore Mayor Beng Climaco hide the truth that to this day there are still Muslims living in dirty tents in the city boulevard and grandstand center? Worse still, Muslim children are dying due to negligence and other deprivations caused by the 9/13 AFP-MNLF war due to her miscalculation?
Unable to give his peace talk in Zamboanga City, Imam Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was brought to Davao City by the Muslim professionals who kindly invited him. He delivered a public lecture in Sunny Point Hotel auditorium on the issue “Raising Righteous Children.” The public lecture was attended by both Muslims and non-Muslims. But after the lecture he was arrested for immediate deportation on the ridiculous charge of “alleged links to a terrorist group outside” as parroted by PRO 11 Regional Director Chief Superintendent Wendy G. Rosario. Consequently, the arrest and deportation order invited more than 2,000 Muslim professionals and various sectors to stage a protest rally in Marawi City. They strongly demanded the release and deportation of the Islamic preacher, stating the obvious that “Bilal’s arrest was a clear manifestation of how ignorant Philippine authorities were.”
Nonetheless, with the blind intervention of the DOJ justifying the arrest and deportation of Dr. Bilal Philips, the Canadian Islamic preacher was deported from the Philippines. After being deported from the Philippine, he described his phenomenal ordeal in his personal website, expressing politely the sorry state of the role of Philippine colonialism in his deportation. He also cited that “sensational journalism” has played a major role in demonizing him. He particularly said that “such irresponsible sensational journalism has been identified by the UK government’s Runymede Report as a major source of Islamophobia.”
He finally expressed: “It is very sad that lecturer and speakers like myself who call to Islamic moderation and oppose extremism, terrorism, indiscriminate violence and revolt, are blocked from conveying this peaceful message to Muslim minority communities.”
Indeed the sad experience of Imam Dr. Bilal Philips encountering up close face to face the tyranny and hypocrisy of Philippine colonialism could indeed be a moral lesson to all Muslims that the hidden agenda of the Filipino colonizers is still that bindingly strong. And that the Christianization program of Philippine colonialism over the Indigenous peoples of Mindanao is never lost.
Is this the reason why Philippine colonialism is at all cost pushing hard the perpetual occupation of the Bangsamoro homeland and continuing the war of genocide and terrorism of the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao?
Does this not speak then of the conspicuous reason in the first place why the Muslim and Animist Lumad natives of Mindanao were colonized in order to continue the proselytization of the unscrupulous Spanish invaders to Christianize them? The genocide war against the Mindanao natives has to continue pending the complete Christianization of the Indigenous peoples on the dirty hands of the Filipino colonizers of Luzon being the once proud colonial slaves of Spain.
On this sinister end, the alarming words of Joseph F. Fallon in 1987 cannot be surely forgotten when he said:
“…The Philippine legislature sought to resolve the Moro problem once and for all. To this end, Republic Act No.1888 established the Commission on National Integration with the stated purpose…”to render real, complete and permanent the integration of said minorities into the body politic…” This goal presupposed that all subordinate peoples, especially the Moros and Igorots, shall eventually be forced to become Christian…”
Thus, he finally said:
“…After so many decades of abuses and betrayal, for the Moros and Igorots to trust Manila and to remain with the Philippines would not only be naïve, it would be suicidal.”

CPP: Filipino people laud UP students for confronting Abad

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 20): Filipino people laud UP students for confronting Abad

Communist Party of the Philippines
The broad masses of the Filipino people express their gratitude to the UP students for confronting and exposing Florencio “Butch” Abad, Aquino’s budget secretary and principal architect of the Disbursement Acceleration Program and other pork barrel schemes.

The confrontation last September 18 at the UP School of Economics (UPSE) in Diliman occurred as Abad, cordoned by his burly bodyguards, jostled their way past a group of students in order to dodge the critical questions on the DAP being hurled against him. He had just spoken at a forum where he defended the DAP and justified the failure of the Aquino regime to allocate sufficient resources for UP, other state universities and public services.

In a vain attempt to gain public sympathy, Abad and Malacañang described the students as “rowdy hooligans.” Abad even had the gall to call on UP authorities to “do something” and insinuated that failure to do so would result in further budget cuts to the state university. They issued veiled threats against democratic mass actions which they disparaged as “mob rule”. They were later joined by a number of UPSE professors who waved the flag of “decency and courtesy” yet are pathetically silent on the matter of corruption and pork barrel and the key role played by Abad in concocting the DAP.

Indeed, Abad was provided a forum at the UPSE sponsored by groups that find more congruence than discord with the ruling regime. They shrouded Abad with the mantle of “academic freedom” to provide him all the leeway to justify the regime’s corruption and policy of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization with nary a critical voice.

In confronting Abad, the UP students were able to express the Filipino people’s disgust against Abad and the corruption and coverups of the Aquino regime. Considering the gravity of their transgressions, Abad and his ilk deserve much more than a castigation.

The crimes of the Aquino regime involve the use of hundreds of billions of pesos of pork barrel and bribe money to advance the self-serving political interests of the ruling Aquino clique. The Filipino people demand full accountability from Abad, Aquino and all his officials involved in the DAP and other pork barrel schemes. They long to see Aquino and all big bureaucrat capitalists behind bars.

CPP/MAKIBAKA: The revolutionary proletariat in the Philippines: Building a just and democratic society

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 20): The revolutionary proletariat in the Philippines: Building a just and democratic society

Coni Ledesma
International Spokesperson
Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan
Contribution to the Fourth New World Summit. Brussels, Belgium
Good afternoon, dear friends and comrades.

It is a great honor for me to participate in the fourth New World Summit – Brussels, and for me to speak under the section of Progressive State.

I would like to thank and congratulate Jonas Staal, Robert Kluijver, Younes Bouadi, Reneé in der Maur, Paul Kuipers, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this fourth New World Summit a success.

Today I will speak about the progressive state developing in the Philippines today.

We have been waging our national democratic struggle for more than four and a half decades. Our struggle started in the 1960s when a group of Marxist- Leninists-Maoists led by Professor Jose Maria Sison identified the character of Philippine society as semi-colonial and semi-feudal, and put forward the general line of the national democratic revolution against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

In 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines was reestablished. A Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution was promulgated. In March 1969, the New People’s Army was established to defend the people against injustice and tyrany, and to fight for the realization of the People’s Democratic Government.

Since then a parallel state of the people is being built. It’s presence is now in 71 out of 81 provinces in the country.

While the reactionary state still exists, the people’s democratic government is steadily growing in the countryside. Local organs of democratic political power are being established. The barrio (village) organizing committees and barrio revolutionary commitees in these areas have special committes for organization, economy, defense, justice, health, education, and so on.

Supporting the people’s government are basic organizations of workers, farm workers, peasants, women, youth, children, and cultural activists. Each type of mass organization performs general functions as well as special functions specifically suitable to its members.

The people under organs of political power and mass organizations constitute the mass base of the revolutionary government. This mass base runs into millions, mostly in the countryside.

Let me concretize some aspects of the democratic Philippines that has been developing during the past four and a half decades.

Revolutionary land reform

Land reform is the main content of the national democratic revolution. The maximum goal of our land reform program is the free distribution of land to the peasants.

In our present stage of struggle, we are implementing the minimum land reform program, which is the reduction of land rent, abolition of usury, and the setting up of mutual aid and labor exchange systems among the peasantry. Wages of farm workers and the prices of agricultural products at the farm gate have also been improved.

In areas where the local organs of the people’s revolutionary government are strong, land has been distributed to or taken over and tilled by peasants or peasant associations, especially in cases where the landlord is absent or afraid to return to the land. In several provinces, several hundred hectares of land are already in the hands of the revolutionary peasants.

Revolutionary Justice

An important aspect of building a progressive state is defining and ensuring a good justice system.

The revolutionary movement has developed a justice system which is being implemented in areas of its responsibility.

To give a concrete example of this, I will quote the experience of a woman member of the New People’s Army. She writes:

“The Party is very clear about the equal rights of citizens as stated in its documents regarding the establishment of a Democratic People’s Government. A related document on the setting up of revolutionary People’s Courts also guarantees the protection of women, especially against rape.

I have had opportunities to participate and lead in the conduct of Revolutionary People’s Courts for cases of rape.

One case involved a perpetrator who was a member of the village-based people’s militia, which assists the NPA in the revolutionary defense of the people against fascist attacks and incursion. His sister-in-law came to us, asking for justice, claiming that he had raped her. At first, it was difficult to believe he was guilty, for he was soft-spoken and mild-mannered. He was also of good standing in the militia. The man’s wife also defended her husband from the charges.

The Party organization in the area organized a jury composed of respected residents of the barrio, and a representative of the local Party branch. I sat as a member of the jury, representing the local NPA platoon.

The case became a thorn that severely divided the masses in the barrio. It became a bitter fight between the victim’s relatives, on one hand, and others who doubted the victim’s claim.

In the course of the trial, however, several other women also came forward, claiming to have been either raped or sexually harassed by the same man.
In the end, the evidence proved too strong. The man’s guilt was beyond reasonable doubt.”


Education, especially in far-flung barrios in the countryside, has never been a primary concern of the Philippine reactionary government. There are no schools here. Where there are schools, they lack classrooms, textbooks, desks and other facilities. This is especially true in areas of indigenous communities. The lack of basic education exacerbates the conditions of povery, landlessness and displacement. Children, if they are able to go to school, often have to stop studying because they need to help their parents in the agricultural work.

The revolutionary movement has assumed the responsibility to provide education in areas under their control or influence. Literacy and numeracy classes are given to adults, followed by mass courses on their socioeconomic, political, and cultural conditions, based on our concrete social investigation of their own situation in the locality. Classes are held once or twice a week.

Primary schools have also been set up in some provinces.

A few secondary schools have been opened. These schools operate on the principle that community development must start from securing the economy and livelihood of the people. Since most peasant and indigenous communities are dependent on agriculture, students are taught scientific ways in farming and animal husbandry. The students are trained for community service. They are also trained to be community organizers.

As part of their training, before classes start, the students work their agricultural fields. So theirs is an integrated program of production and education.

When students reach a certain level, they also become instructors themselves, passing on their knowledge to younger students. This develops their sense of responsibility.

The biggest problem faced by these schools is the ongoing militarization in the countryside. The military often occupy their classrooms or harrass the residents of an area, disrupting their schooling. This can sometimes go on for months. But as soon as the military leaves, classes resume.

Health care

The Philippine government is also negligent in providing health care for people who cannot afford to pay for their medical needs.

The revolutionary movement has taken on this responsibility in their areas. Doctors and other health personnel conduct missions regularly in these areas. The residents in the barrios are trained in hygiene, primary health care, and preventive medicine, as well as in the use of Western medicine, accupuncture and herbal cures. Simple medical procedures are taught, including performing appendectomies, helping in childbirth, simple dental procedures, etc.

Natural Disasters: Relief and rehabilitation work

From its beginning, the revolutionary forces have always been the first responders in relief and rehabilitation work in all kinds of natural calamities and disasters such as floods, earthquakes, typhoons, landslides, and mudflows in their areas. Volunteers led by youth and student activists in the cities respond quickly to undertake disaster relief work in affected areas, especially in the countryside, and gain awareness of the dire and impoverished conditions of the people there, as well as of the need for revolutionary change.

Global warming has also generated unprecedentedly stronger typhoons, and have brought widespread death, destruction and loss of crops.

Among the three strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines in the past years have been Ondoy (international name: Ketsana), Pablo (Bopha) and Yolanda (Haiyan). Revolutionary forces in the area where these typhoons hit were the first ones to do relief work. Through the experiences in relief and rehabilitation in these areas, the work has been systematized and efficiently carried out.

Relief and rehabilitation is comprehensive. That is, when the teams go to the disaster area, they do relief work, psychosocial work, and organizing. These are the three components of relief work.

Relief work:

Relief workers go to the remotest areas where other relief teams do not go.
They bring with them five kilos of rice for each family, sardines and dried fish, soap, water and clothing.

Medical missions are also organized. Volunteer doctors, nurses, health personnel bring medicines. When needed, minor surgeries are also performed.


After the first needs of food, clothing and shelter are taken care of, the psychosocial part of the relief work takes place. For a session, about 30-50 persons composed of children, parents, grandparents, are gathered. They tell their stories, speak of their experiences, express their sorrow for the loss of loved ones. This is a whole day activity. For many of them, it is a great relief just to share their stories and to listen to the stories of others who underwent the same trauma.


The third part of the relief work is the organizing component. Discussing the causes of natural disasters, and the root causes of their problems helps empower the people. Instead of pitying themselves, they organize themselves to demand their rights.

The relief team is transitory. The people must help themselves. In Mindanao, after Typhoon Pablo, when the reactionary government’s Department of Social Work and Development did not distribute the relief goods due them, the people raided the storage places and took over the distribution of the relief goods. They were organized and empowered!

Rehabilitation :

The next phase is the rehabilitation work. Donations for iron sheets, nails, electric saws (to cut the fallen trees into lumber for rebuilding their houses), hammers, and other building equipment are brought in. Then the people begin rebuilding their homes.

Seedlings are also given to the people. In Mindanao, after Typhoon Pablo, the people were taught sustainable agriculture techniques, to help them in their food security. They are taught integrated farming: planting rice, vegetables, and raising pigs. They are also taught to produce and use organic fertilizers. At a later stage, a carabao (as work animal) dispersal program is initiated.

The Woman Question

From the very beginning of the revolutionary movement, the importance of women participating in the revolution has been emphasized. The revolution cannot achieve victory without unleashing the revolutionary potential of women.

Women from the oppressed classes, like men, suffer the exploitation and oppression of living in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. In addition, women suffer from gender oppression and patriacrchy. That is why Makibaka, the revolutionary women’s organization that I am a member of, undertakes projects which include awareness raising among women and men, providing support services for women, improving their productivity, promoting equal responsibility in child-rearing, advocating democracy in family relations, safeguarding reproductive rights, and advancing the rights and welfare of children.

It was Makibaka which advocated, when the 12-Point Program of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines was being written, that women should have a number to bring out the specific oppression and exploitation of women, and the importance of the participation of women in the struggle, and the continuing tasks of women even after nation-wide victory. This is number 11 in the 12-Point Program.

The right to divorce is one of the rights that women have gained in the course of revolutionary struggle. The Philippines is one of two countries in the world where divorce is not allowed. But it is allowed within the revolutionary movement.

Women’s right over their bodies is also guaranteed.

In the mid-1970s, the Communist Party came out with a document on the Guidelines and Rules on Marriage inside the Party. In 1998, this document was improved.

Among the provisions in the improved document is removing the period of six months to one year before a divorce can be effective.

The 1998 document also recognizes the right of individual Party members to their sexual preference. The basic principles and rules governing marriage inside the Party also apply to same-sex marriage.

This was as early as 1998! The Netherlands recognized same sex marriage in 2001, and was the first country in the world to do so. The progressive state in the Philippines was way ahead of the Netherlands!


Ours has been a long and hard protracted struggle. We have lost comrades – women and men – who were daring, full of initiative, fearless. Through the years, a parallel state has developed next to the oppressive and exploitative one. This state is democratic and free.

What once was just a dream, is becoming more and more of a reality. The years of hard struggle are bearing fruit. We see it all over the country.
There is life. There is growth. The new Philippines has been born and is growing.

CPP: Oppose emergency powers and Aquino’s push for a second or extended term

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 19): Oppose emergency powers and Aquino’s push for a second or extended term
Communist Party of the Philippines 
  The Filipino people oppose Benigno Aquino’s proposals for an extended or second term. They oppose, as well, the plan to grant Aquino special powers to enter into contracts to increase domestic power supply in a redux of the Ramos IPP contracts that lead to increases in power rates.

In putting forward proposals for a second term, Aquino is engaging in megalomaniac fantasies of infallibility and purity. He is conjuring the illusion of deep-going support and widespread clamor for his perpetuation. Like all dictators, he portrays himself as self-sacrificing in planning to prolong his stay in power.

He endlessly weaves a fantasy of economic growth and of his regime’s incorruptibility. It is apparent that he is a firm believer in the fascist maxim that a lie repeated often enough will be accepted as the truth.

The reality of the socio-economic crisis, however, is extremely stark to be dressed-up otherwise. There is no way of fooling the unprecendeted number of jobless people and migrant workers that the domestic economy presents them with opportunities for employment and upliftment. Nor can the toiling masses of workers and peasants be made to think that the economy is improving when daily they suffer from spiralling prices of food, medicine and medical care, transportation and other basic costs of living.

No one is being fooled by Aquino when he claims there is widespread demand for him to extend or seek another term. For months now, Aquino’s yellow army of specialists in public opinion manipulation has been trying to generate “public clamor” for “one more term” but could only afford to come up with a poorly “liked” facebook page and scantily attended public activities.

There is an objective self-serving basis for Aquino’s desire to perpetuate himself in power. He is utterly terrified of the possibility of ending up behind bars like his predecessor Gloria Arroyo, especially amid intensifying demands for his accountability in the anomalous and graft-ridden Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Beneath the false veneer of “good governance,” the Aquino regime has, in fact, brought the old bureaucrat capitalist system to new heights. The biggest beneficiaries of Aquino’s “economic growth” are a handful of close big business supporters including the Ayalas, the Pangilinan group, the Cojuangcos, the Consunjis, as well as the economic empires of Henry Sy and Lucio Tan. Aquino has openly usurped powers in order to redirect public funds to such projects and programs which have invariably served the interests of big business and aggrandized his political supporters.

Aquino counts among his political supporters the biggest DAP-fed senators, congressmen and local government officials. These are the people who are ever-willing to support Aquino’s presidential dictatorship as long as their pockets are lined up with funds whether from the DAP, the PDAF, the Bottom-Up Budgeting System aka the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process.

Last week, the ruling Aquino clique rallied these political supporters in a gathering at the Malacañang Palace described as a “show of force.” Indeed, this displayed the force of Aquino’s patronage politics, where hundreds of politicians lined up in a show of political fealty to the ruling pork barrel regime. It was Aquino’s celebration of the rout of the triple impeachment complaint filed against him in Congress. In return, they expect Aquino to continue filling their pockets with funds.

Aquino’s vicious cycle of patronage politics is about to spiral up in the run-up to the 2016 elections. The Aquino regime is building up its political kitty in order to ensure its perpetuation in power. The 2015 budget is honeycombed with pork barrel and corruption—the Special Purpose Funds, the conspicuous increase in the irrigation and agriculture funds, large funds allocated to “various projects” of local governments, the further bloating of the dole-out CCT program from P63 billion to P78-100 billion and so on—in a bid to accumulate funds for the upcoming political battles.

Billions, as well, will be allocated to the “extension” of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which has long served as a milking cow for the big bureaucrats.

Aquino is further seeking a redefinition of budget laws in order to continue and expand the practice of reallocating “savings” to whatever program he wants to fund.

He is also seeking “emergency powers” in order to allocate and spend billions of pesos from the Malampaya funds and elsewhere without oversight and accountability. Over the past four years, the Aquino regime has deliberately allowed the deterioration of the power industry by refusing to rehabilitate and improve the hydropower plants in Mindanao and other state-owned power plants in Luzon and elsewhere. The projected shortage of electricity by next year has been artificially created by the Aquino regime to serve as blackmail in his bid for special powers. In seeking to enter contracts to purchase electricity at the last minute, the Filipino people are bound to again be shortchanged. In these special presidential purchases of power (without the benefit of public bidding), large amount of funds are bound to end up in Aquino’s political kitty.

Behind the pompous speeches, declarations of seeking another term, display of strength and breast-beating, Aquino is leading a factionalized party and coalition that is set to implode as the 2016 election approaches. Aquino hopes to tame the intra-coalition antagonisms by putting himsef in the middle and portraying himself as a viable option for term extension or reelection.

Aquino, however, is succeeding only in further driving a wedge in the factional conflict within the ruling coalition. The non-dominant Binay group is not about to entertain the scenario of backing down in 2016 with hopes that they become the dominant faction. It appears that only the Roxas-led Liberal Party is willing to ride along with the scenario of an extended term for Aquino, although even a number of its stalwarts have already expressed disagreement with a “political cha-cha”. Whatever the option, neither camp is willing to trust the other that a post-Aquino scenario will have them in the favor of the other camp.

The crisis of the ruling political clique continues to worsen amid the reality of deteriorating socio-economic conditions and mounting demands for Aquino’s ouster. The Aquino regime is increasingly isolated from the people.

The broad masses of working people, the youth, small professionals and ordinary income earners are fed up with the lies and illusions being dished out by the Aquino regime. They continue to push forward with their democratic mass struggles to oppose the antipeople and pro-imperialist policies of the Aquino regime.

They must intensify their mass struggles to oppose budgetary cuts against education, health services, public transport and other public services. They must protest the increasingly tighter control of big business on public infrastructure and services. They must expose Aquino’s big PPP projects that milk the people and generate profits for Aquino’s big business partners.
The objective conditions favor the growth of the working class movement. Increasingly large mass struggles must be carried out in order to advance the struggle for wage increases and to demand an end to labor contractualization and job insecurity.

The peasant masses must tirelessly pursue the struggle for genuine land reform and reject the renewed extension of the CARP. Amid widespread landgrabbing by big landlords and foreign big agribusiness, the peasant mass movement must wage broad campaigns for land reform that will mobilize the rural masses in large numbers.

More and more sectors have become vocal and are standing up against the corruption, puppetry, mendacity, brutality and dictatorial thrust of the ruling Aquino regime. They demand the ouster of Aquino and his accountability for his myriad transgressions against the people. They seek Aquino’s removal before the 2016 elections which have been stacked up against any political opposition and are most likely to serve the perpetuation of the ruling Aquino clique.

Conditions favor building a broad anti-Aquino united front among the basic masses, the progressive and patriotic classes. This should be built on the basis of the demand to hold Aquino accountable for the usurpation of powers and the realignment of public funds to favor primarily his big business supporters and his political supporters. They must continue to expose every possible detail of the DAP and the continuing use of public funds for political patronage in order to reveal the corruption of the Aquino regime.

There is a widespread campaign to collect several million signatures to enact a law prohibiting the pork barrel funds. Such a campaign helps expose Aquino and his pork barrel regime. It holds him accountable for the DAP and other forms of pork barrel. Aquino’s use of pork barrel funds fuels the people’s demands for his ouster from Malacañang.

The reactionary opposition is wont to wait for the 2016 elections. It is not about to invest in a mass-based anti-Aquino movement and will exert efforts to dampen mass protests that weaken reactionary political institutions. However, Aquino’s political maneuvers towards 2016, especially his attempt to have his term extended or renewed, are bound to drive a section of the ruling coalition and opposition closer to the mass-based Aquino ouster movement.

The Filipino people demand the ouster of Aquino and the Aquino clique from power. They can succeed by waging determined mass struggles in order to isolate and weaken the ruling regime and force it out of power. The reactionaries, on the other hand, seek to draw the Filipino people into the election circus. Worsening socio-economic conditions, however, can push the people to carry out sustained mass demonstrations of large numbers that can drive Aquino from power.

The large mass demonstrations last July 28 during Aquino’s state of the nation address and last August 25 in the launching of the signature campaign against pork barrel indicate the potential of launching more massive mass actions in and outside Metro Manila. Massive education and propaganda campaigns must be carried out in college and high school campuses, urban poor communities, offices, markets and churches and other places in order to raise the people’s awareness of the issues and raise their determination to wage mass struggles to oust the Aquino regime.

In order to support the people’s campaign to oust Aquino from power, the CPP leadership has instructed all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) to launch more frequent and bigger tactical offensives against the reactionary armed forces. Such tactical offensives will help weaken the ruling Aquino regime, inspire the people and allow them more space to wage democratic mass struggles.

CPP/NDF: Open Letter to the Media

NDF propaganda statement/letter posted to the CPP Website (Sep 19): Open Letter to the Media

Fr. Santiago Salas (Ka Sanny)
NDFP Eastern Visayas Chapter

This is in response to the opinion column of Mr. Alvin Arpon headlined “Give Maj. Gen. Palparan his basic right to defend himself” and posted on the Sept. 3 internet edition of Leyte Samar Daily Express. We in the National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas do not agree with Mr. Arpon’s militarist views. We also think that such militarism has a certain level of influence among the regional media and is therefore harmful to the people’s interests.

Mr. Arpon argues the military establishment should provide for the safety of the former army commanding general in the region, who is accused of gross human rights violations here and elsewhere. Indeed, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has succeeded in obtaining custody over Palparan. A former military officer on trial for human rights violations cannot even be kept hold of by the Aquino government’s criminal justice system. Such a sense of entitlement by the military. Impunity is really alive and well, rearing one ugly head from Palparan to others today who maintain his legacy of human rights violations.

Palparan may have ordered people killed, Mr. Arpon continues, but most of them “were rebels and therefore enemies of the state.” In reality, these were not combatants but civilians, activists who were involved in peaceful struggle. They had no chance to defend themselves from extrajudicial killings in lieu of a fair trial, such as people expect for Palparan. To name a few, these included human rights lawyers Felidito Dacut and Norman Bocar, church leader Rev. Edison Lapuz, labor organizer Sammy Bandilla, and government employee Pax Diaz.

The killings continue because the climate of impunity persists. The latest extrajudicial killing of an activist happened only last Sept. 1, the victim being Nelson Mercader, a town councilor of Las Navas, Northern Samar who resisted militarization. Suspected military elements gunned down even Yolanda survivors demanding justice for their plight, such Jefferson Custodio last Aug. 21 in Carigara, Leyte, and Rodolfo Basada last June 29 in Pinabacado, Samar.

We hope the militarism expressed by Mr. Arpon will not pervade in the media. We know media killings also continue in the climate of impunity. We in NDF-EV challenge the media to be critical of the social realities around them, most of them struggling to make a decent living like the rest of the people. Otherwise, it will be a sad state of affairs if those in the media will be like slaves who think their chains are extensions of themselves, and whose rattles are regarded as “freedom of expression.”

CPP/NPA: Tubag sa bakak nga manifesto

NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 18): Tubag sa bakak nga manifesto (Response to false manifesto)

Aris Francisco
NPA Comval-North Davao-South Agusan Sub-region Sub-regional Command
Ang manifesto dili lehitimo o wala nagsubay sa usa ka lehitimo o demokratikong proseso kung diin ang tinuod nga tingog o mithi sa mga gipagulang mipirma niini mao ang katawhang Lumad ug mag-uuma nga apektado sa militarisasyon. Ang maong manifesto usa ka maniobra sa AFP sa pakigkonsabohay sa LGU sa Kapalong ug sa NCIP, ug gigamit niini ang paramilitary nga Alamara ug AMADO.

Nagpatawag ang AMADO, ang organisasyon nga ilalom ni Osmundo Bungolan og miting niadtong Setyembre 1 ug 2 sa mga sitio lider ug boardmembers niini. Matod pa sa mga mitambong, wala gitin-aw unsa ang agenda sa miting, mao nga nagdahum sila nga kabahin sa mga projects nila ang hisgutan. Sa aktwal nga tigum, natingala na lang ang uban nga nanambong kay gisingit man diay ang agenda sa Alamara, ang pagtukod ug pagrekluta og mga Alamara ug ang kunuhay pagkamugna ug pagtamla sa usa ka manifesto sa mga Lumad sa Gupitan.

Matud pa sa mga nanambong sa maong miting, mura ra sila og naminaw og radyo kay dili man sila katingog, wala man gani’y open forum, taman ra sila sa paguyon-uyon sa mga gihisgutan. Gani sa pagtukod ug pagrekluta og Alamara, gipaagi ra og pagdeklara nga tanan naa didto nga sitio nga mitambong sa miting puro na Alamara. Wala kabalibad ang uban, samtang wala misugot ang uban.

Taman sa wala mibalibad, gikonsidera na nilang Alamara. Sagad niini mga pipila ka indibidwal nga naa sa sitio Patil, Kapogi ug Paiton. Apan sagad niini pamilya ni Laris Mansaloon. Matud pa, ang manifesto daan nang naandam ug naprint nga computerized, igo lang gibasa ug gisumada nga para daw sa pagpabarog kuno sa kultura sa Lumad. Ug sa mismong pagpirma niini, halos tanan nga naa didto gipapirma. Dili angay basulon ang mga tribal leader nga nagpirma tungod sa kahadlok ug kahasi sa Alamara nga initan sila, gawas pa nga gipunduhan ang mga komunidad sama sa Tagasan, Taongatok ug Kapatagan.

Ang giingong FPIC o free prior and informed consent sa manifesto, langkob sa CADC o CADT ilalom sa NCIP, ang ahensya nga napamatud-an na sa kasaysayan nga wala nagadala ug nagaalagad sa interes sa mga Lumad. Dili na ta magpailad ani nga gambalay.

Bisan pa man, adunay pipila ka mga punto sa sulod sa manifesto nga kinahanglan tubagon dili tungod sa pagkalehitimo sa manifesto, apan tungod oportunidad kini arun mapasabot ang publiko sa mga programa ug palisiya sa demokratikong rebolusyon sa katawhan.

Kabahin sa komunal, dili ilimod sa NPA nga ginatudluan niini ang mga Lumad ug mga mag-uuma sa kooperasyon sa pagpanguma.Dili lang karon kundili kaniadto pa. Ug kini dili lang sa Kapalong, kung dili halos tanang baryo nga langkob na sa mga nagbarog nga mga binhi sa demokratikong gobyerno sa katawhan. Nagpamatuod lang ang mga bakak sa kaaway nga gibutang sa manifesto nga wala gyud sila magtuki sa kahimtang sa mga Lumad sa kabukiran.

Alang sa kasayuran sa publiko, tungod sa pursigidong pagpatuman sa NPA sa programa sa rebolusyonaryong reporma sa yuta sama sa kooperasyon sa pagpanguma sa dagway lusong ug komunal, ug kooperatiba, inanay nga gigakos sa masa, naabagan ang ilang pagbarug sa mga giagian niining mga kalamidad sama sa Bagyong Pablo.

Ug tungod sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan ug paningkamot sa mga masang Lumad ug mag-uuma sa pagpanguma, misaka ang produktibidad sa mga Lumad sa ilang mga pananum. Mitaas ang ilang kahimtang sa panginabuhian nga dili na magsalig sa illegal logging ug induno. Kini nga kahimtang layo ra sa gipasiatab sa AFP ug Alamara nga gipugos ang mga masa sa pagtanum nga mulapas na sa ilang kapasidad.

Ang manifesto, si Laris Mansaloon ug ang Alamara dili mga lehitimong representante sa tingog sa tribong Manobo. Bisan gani ang AMADO, kakunsabo sa NCIP nga tigpamaligya og yuta sa mga Lumad. Labaw pa nga dunay kahasi ang kahimtang sa paghanyag ug pagpirma sa manifesto sa mga lider Lumad nga mismong si Larris Mansaloon, lider sa Alamara ug Cafgu, ang anaa sa ilang atubanganan.

Angay lang nga supakon, ibasura, ug babagan ang manifesto. Dili angay magpailad ang katawhan sa mga bakak nga gipasiatab sa kaaway.

CPP/NDF: NDF hits proxy war, suppression campaign in Kapalong

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 18): NDF hits proxy war, suppression campaign in Kapalong

Rubi Del Mundo
NDFP Southern Mindanao Chapter
The National Democratic Front Southern Mindanao assails the relentless and sustained suppression campaign and proxy war by the 10th Infantry Division-Eastern Mindanao Command AFP against the Lumad communities in the tri-boundaries of Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur provinces.

By far, the AFP has poured in the largest number of Army battalions in Southern Mindanao and other areas in Mindanao with the objective of decisively crushing the revolutionary movement. But their intensified campaign has merely gained them further notoriety in the hearts of the masses.

The AFP has directed its sharpest fangs in Brgy. Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte by deploying more troops from the 68th Infantry Battalion and the 46th IB to reinforce the existing 60th IB troops in the area. It has instigated hamletting, occupation of villages and control of movement of Lumads and peasants. They unleashed a reign of terror forcing peasants to cease from going to their farms, thus, affecting their only source of livelihood. In the pretext of helping a road construction, the soldiers have also used civilians as shields whenever they use military vehicles in entering the communities.

Worse, the AFP has revived the Alamara recruitment among Lumad opportunist leaders and dealers to instigate a pangayao against the revolutionary forces, in a desperate attempt to destroy the red army and overturn the positive gains of the revolutionary forces in Kapalong.

In cahoots with the local GPH led by Mayor Edgardo Timbol, the 10th ID-EastMinCom is using the proxy war to direct goons led by Larris Mansaloon and to force their Lumad lackeys to be at the frontlines and annihilate their own tribe. Mansaloon and his ilk have uttered the worn-out script of waging pangayao using the lies, intrigue and deceit fed by their military masters.

Mansaloon led the declaration of a manifesto early this month to spread the distorted notion of a fake Lumad autonomy backed by the fascist AFP, NCIP and the local GPH. Leaders who were invited to the September 1-2 meeting were forced to sign the manifesto without the benefit of a genuine consultation. Out of fear and clearly under duress, several leaders signed the manifesto. Participants who came from sitio Patil, Kapogi and Paiton were members of Mansaloon clan; they readily agreed to become Alamara paramilitary forces. Other leaders, already traumatized from military abuses and hamletting in their communities in Tagasan, Taongatok and Kapatagan, Gupitan, were also forced to sign the fake manifesto.

The lies and intrigues contained in the manifesto clearly showed a poor understanding of the agrarian revolution being waged by the revolutionary movement in Kapalong. The masses have put up communal farms, greatly improving their sources of livelihood after suffering from government neglect in the wake of Supertyphoon Pablo that destroyed their farms and forests since December 2012.

Peasants and Lumads have set up corn and rice farms, engaged in mutual aid groups and formed simple cooperatives. In less than a year since rebuilding their farms, the masses have enjoyed higher and more productive yields. They have become aggressive in farming instead of relying on short-term and temporary sources of income like small-scale logging. Their situation is a far-cry from the falsehood spread by the AFP and the Alamara that the masses were forced to develop farms to provide food for the NPA.

While the AFP and the Alamara try to obliterate these gains, the Kapalong local GPH has falsely announced that “peace” and “normalcy” have been restored in Gupitan. Local GPH officials led by Mayor Timbol have merely sent rations and dole-outs of relief packs to residents without truly seeing the suffering of the masses from the intensified RSOT operations, psychological warfare, harassments and threat of Alamara abuses.

Local GPH officials should heed the call of the Lumads to defend them from the abuses of Alamara and to stop the proxy war being waged by the AFP. Mayor Timbol should see to the welfare of his constituents and respect the right of Lumads to struggle and protect their ancestral domain.

Lumads and peasants in Kapalong and elsewhere in the region should not be deterred in this fight to protect their lands. As the Red fighters continue to wage and intensify tactical offensives against the enemy, the revolutionary forces are ever prepared to struggle against enemy suppression and raise the level of people’s war.