Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guard against IS militants

From the Daily Express (Sep 22): Guard against IS militants

KOTA KINABALU: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said secession proponents should think carefully before carrying out their political agenda so as not to jeopardise the security of Sabah and its people.

He said those fanning the secession sentiments "for their own political agenda" should look at the security threats detected recently, particularly from the Mindanao-based Muslim militants, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Abu Sayyaf which had pledged allegiance to the struggle of Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

Describing the secession group as "those having no other works to do except politics", Hishammuddin said they need to look at Sabah's security from another perspective since "one wrong move could very well mean the end and whatever they are fighting for, including power, will be gone."

He said the existence of Muslim militants supporting the formation of IS in the Middle East is set to change the landscape of the threats and security scope in the East Coast of Sabah.

"This threat is bigger than the current smuggling and kidnapping cases in the East Coast of Sabah," he said when opening the Penampang Umno annual delegates' conference at Beverly Hotel in Karamunsing, here, Sunday.

Speaking to reporters later, Hishammuddin said the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Nur Misuari, Abu Sayyaf and Sulu Sultanate army, which was fighting to create an Islamic government in southern Philippines and claiming Sabah, was found to be using the IS model.

"In fact, based on the intelligence reports, it is believed that the Abu Sayyaf group has trained certain individuals to be sent to Syria and fight with IS," he said.

According to Hishammuddin, up to April this year, 19 Malaysians have been arrested for suspected involvement in IS (including two in Sandakan).

They were believed to have been recruited by four militant cells, namely Khaed Al Waled, Al Jemaah Brigade, Daulah Islamiyah and Arakan Daulah Islamiyah Arakan, before being sent to Syria.

The authorities were also hot on the heels of five more militants believed to be hiding in southern Philippines, said Hishammuddin.

"This is not to create fear among the people of Sabah but this (is based) on the open statement and it is not impossible. The MNLF before this have expressed their intention to create an Islamic Caliphate covering the Southern Philippines, Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia," he said.

Towards this end, a split in a country due to the political polemic sentiment to take Sabah out of Malaysia based on racial and religious issues can be easily exploited by certain groups, he said.

"I want to take the opportunity today to remind Umno leaders and the people of Sabah that there are limitations in the way in our politicking in trying to win seats and power," he said.

Even the Nigerian militant, Boko Haram, had also announced its plan to form an Islamic State of Nigeria, he said, adding that these developments should serve as a reminder to the people of Sabah.

To a question, he said based on intelligence reports so far, the threat to the country as a result of BIFF's support to IS has not reached the level like in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Both the UK and Australia had heightened their security to the highest level due to the IS threat.

"Australia has been put on the highest ever security level alert in the country's history and it is not mere coincidence. Therefore, the people of Sabah need to look further.

What message they can get from the action of the Australian government," he said.

Hishammuddin said he had discussed with the Prime Minister on ways to get more funding to be channelled for Sabah's security in the Budget 2015 to be tabled on Oct 10.

"This is among the issues that the people of Sabah and Sarawak have been asking, that the security must not be compromised at all cost, and this is what we are going to give them," he said.

5,000 Philippine, US troops to hold exercises in Palawan

From the Manila Bulletin (Sep 22): 5,000 Philippine, US troops to hold exercises in Palawan

Close to 5,000 troops from the Philippines and the United States will soon conduct another round of large-scale military exercises that will enhance their ability to respond jointly to regional issues, humanitarian disasters and maritime-security needs within the Asia-Pacific region.

Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX 15) will be staged in Palawan and other parts of Luzon beginning Sept. 29 to Oct. 10.

Approximately 3,500 American troops based in Okinawa, Japan, and the US will be involved in this 31st staging of PHIBLEX .

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), on the other hand, is sending about 1,200 Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Force (PAF) personnel to join their US counterparts from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3rd MEB) and Commander, Task Force 76 (CTF 76) in this annual event.

As part of PHIBLEX 15, there will be a command post exercise to practice communications throughout the battle space, field training exercises that include small arms and artillery live-fire training, amphibious operations, ship-to-shore movement, combined arms training, civil-military operations, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.

Capt. Craig Thomas, Military Public Affairs Liaison at the US Embassy, noted that one of the new training events for this year’s PHIBLEX is the command post exercise, “which focuses on command and control of all the different units involved in the mission.”

This should help increase the AFP’s capability to conduct planning and effective execution of bilateral maritime security and territorial defense operations.

The field training exercises, on the other hand, should provide the Philippine and US Marine units multiple opportunities to continue to improve their skills while sharing best practices and enhancing an already high level of cohesion.

Lt. Cdr. Marineth Domingo, Philippine Navy public affairs office (PAO) director, earlier said that actual training on amphibious operations will be conducted in Palawan.

Non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO) is slated at the Subic and Clark areas, while mechanized assault operation will be held in Zambales.

Additionally, Philippine and US forces will conduct a series of humanitarian and civic assistance projects to benefit the civilian communities near areas where the exercises will take place.

These benefits include free medical and dental treatment to local citizens while completing engineering and construction projects that will provide additional classrooms and other facilities to the community.

“Bilateral Philippine-US military training opportunities such as PHIBLEX 15 fortify our strong foundation of interoperability and enrich the relationship we have across a range of military operations – from disaster relief, to complex expeditionary maneuvers,” read a statement from the US embassy.

MILF: Bangsamoro autonomy a ‘way to federalism

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 21): Bangsamoro autonomy a ‘way to federalism

A successful Bangsamoro autonomy through the implementation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) could pave the way for a change to a federal form of government.
This was the statement made by Secretary Teresita "Ging" Deles of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Oppap) when asked of her reaction on the growing clamor for federalism

Deles said though that it would be impossible for the issue on federalism and the by Mindanao leaders.

(The) issue on Bangsamoro autonomy to go hand in hand as the shift to a federal form of government needs a charter change while the Bangsamoro autonomy only needed an enactment of law.

Deles said though that if the Bangsamoro autonomy becomes successful, then Mindanao leaders could cite it as a reason to go federal.

Deles was with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in an event they both attended in Davao City Thursday night. Duterte told Deles that they would support the BBL and the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Duterte, in turn, reportedly asked Deles if the National Government would also seriously consider the shift to federalism.

Last week, six Mindanao leaders dubbed as the Council of Leaders expressed their desire to have a federal system of government. The group said that with BBL in Congress, it is also time for the government to discuss the possibility of federalism.

The Council of Leaders is composed of Mayor Duterte, former Zamboanga congressman Romeo Jalosjos, Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, former Cagayan de Oro City mayor Vicente Emano, former DOTC secretary Pantaleon Alvarez, and Rueben Canoy of the Radio Mindanao Network.

Mayor Duterte said they see the implementation of a federal system of government as the only solution to the Mindanao insurgency problem.

Duterte said they are going to Cebu next month to discuss with other local leaders their plan to push for federalism to raise the awareness of the people.

He assured the Aquino administration though that their desire is for a peaceful process and not to sever ties with the Imperial Manila or dismember the country.‘way-to-federalism

MILF: BDA conducts planning workshop

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 21): BDA conducts planning workshop

The Bangsamoro Development Agency held one day development planning workshop on Sept. 16, 2014 held at Madrasa Bangkerohan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
The activity was attended by official of Polcom, BIAf, SWC LGU’s and religious sector from two provinces Moro Province and Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

The program started with reading of a verse of the Quar’an by Ustadz Samy, the welcome address was delivered by Hadji Umbul, Vice Chairman of Sibugay Province Political Committee. The opening massage was made by Mohamadon Taub, Zamboanga Peninsula BDA Regional Manager.

Manager Taub said that a BDA team is going around Mindanao to conduct community validations and determine priority projects needed by the people especially in areas affected by the armed conflict. 

He also added that infrastructure projects and socio-economic livelihood programs are inclusive that both Muslims and non-Muslims can be recipients. The BDA is a development planning agency created under the GPH-MILF Peace Accord.

During the workshops Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay expressed support to BDA programs as well as the upcoming birth of the Bangsamoro Government and hoping for its realization soonest possible time.

The activity ended with a closing remarks by Ipil Municipal Polcom Chairman Salip Uttuh  Cammah.

CPP/Ang Bayan: “Lumad manifesto,” pakana ng AFP

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Sep 21): “Lumad manifesto,” pakana ng AFP ["Lumad (indigenous people) manifesto," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) scheme]

Pilit na pinapirma ng AFP, mga paramilitar na Alamara at lokal na gubyerno ng Kapalong, Davao del Norte ang mga lider-Lumad sa mga komunidad sa hangganan ng Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley at Agusan del Sur ng isang bogus na manifesto na nagdedeklara ng “awtonomya ng mamamayang Lumad” laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Noong Setyembre 1-2, inimbitahan sa isang pulong ang mga lider-Lumad sa lugar, subalit hindi sinabi sa kanila kung ano ang pag-uusapan. Nagulat na lamang sila nang biglang maglabas ng isang “computer print-out” na pahayag si Larris Mansaloon, pinuno ng Alamara, na kumukundena sa mga sakahang komunal ng mga Lumad, dahil pilit daw pinagtatanim dito ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) ang mga minorya para may pagkain ang mga Pulang mandirigma. Binaluktot ng manipesto ang katotohanan na malaki ang naitulong ng mga komunal na sakahan para maibangon ang produksyon at kabuhayan ng mga Lumad matapos sila masalanta sa bagyong Pablo noong 2012 at maging biktima ng sukdulang kapabayaan ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno.

Nanawagan ang manipesto ng “awtonomya” laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Awtomatikong idineklara na lahat ng mga dumalo sa pulong at pumirma sa manipesto ay mga myembro na ng Alamara. Kabilang sa mga pinapirma ay mga biktima ng militarisasyon na hindi na nakatanggi dahil sa takot na mapag-initan ng Alamara.

Samantala, dahil sa matagalan nang teroristang presensya ng 60th, 68th at 46th IB sa lugar ay malaon na ring hindi naaasikaso ng mga Lumad ang kanilang mga sakahan.

Pilit ngayong pinapawi ng AFP ang pagsusulong ng produksyon sa mga komunidad ng Lumad. Masahol pa, sa pamamagitan ng Alamara ay ginagamit ng AFP ang masang Lumad para wasakin ang kanilang pagkakaisa at labanan ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Nanawagan ang National Democratic Front sa Southern Mindanao Region sa masang Lumad at magsasaka na ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga pinaghirapang tagumpay at ang kanilang mga lupang ninuno laban sa pananalasa ng militar at mga kakutsabang Alamara at lokal na reaksyunaryong gubyerno. Paiigtingin din ng BHB ang mga taktikal na opensiba laban sa kaaway upang madala sa mas mataas na antas ang digmang bayan.

[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 sa Abra, pinalalayas

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Sep 21): AFP sa Abra, pinalalayas [Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Abra, cast out]

Dumarami ang mga sektor na nananawagan para sa pagpapalayas sa mga pwersa ng 41st IB sa bayan ng Lacub, Abra. Ang brutal na mga operasyon ng 41st IB sa pagpapatupad nito ng Oplan Bayanihan ay nagdudulot ng matinding paghihirap sa mga sibilyan. Tampok sa mga krimen ng 41st IB ang pagpatay sa mga sibilyang sina Engr. Fidela Salvador at Noel Viste.
Si Salvador ay upisyal ng Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services (CorDisRDS) na nakabase sa Baguio City. Bilang konsultant, sinusubaybayan ni Salvador ang mga proyekto ng Philippine Tropical Cyclone Emergency Response Project (PTCERP) ng Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services sa Lacub. Napatay si Salvador ng mga nag-ooperasyong sundalo noong Setyembre 5. Sa isang pahayag ng AFP noong Setyembre 11, pinalalabas nito na si Salvador ay kasapi ng BHB at mayroon pa umanong sukbit na baril.

Si Viste naman, na taga-Poblacion, Lacub, ay kabilang sa 24 na sibilyan na pinwersang isama ng 41st IB upang gamiting “human shield” sa kanilang operasyon noong Setyembre 5. Malao’y pinakawalan ng mga sundalo ang mga sibilyan maliban kina Viste at Nicasio Asbucan. Kinabukasan, natagpuang patay si Viste. Inilitaw naman at isinurender ng mga sundalo si Asbucan sa hepe ng pulis ng Lacub noong Setyembre 7. Ayon kay Asbucan, inutusan siya ng mga sundalo na tukuyin ang pangalan ni Jay-ar Balaoag, kapitan ng barangay Lanag, Lacub, bilang kasapi ng BHB at sabihing siya ang bumaril kay Viste.

Kaliwa’t kanan ang mga paglabag sa karapatang-tao at pang-aabuso ng mga pasistang sundalo sa mamamayan sa lugar. Ang walang habas na mga operasyong militar ay sumisira sa kabuhayan ng mga naninirahan dito.
Noong Setyembre 5, ang mga sundalong nakapwesto sa Sityo Bantugo, Poblacion, Lacub ay nagpaputok sa direksyon ng Talampac Proper, Pacoc. Dahil dito, anim na pamilya sa Sityo Pacoc ang umalis sa kanilang bahay at nakitulog sa ibang bahay. Napwersa ang ilang magsasaka na matulog sa kanilang bukid.

Ang maliliit na minero sa lugar ay tumigil sa paghahanapbuhay mula noong Setyembre 4. Para sa kanilang seguridad, nagpasya ang mga residente ng Barangay Talampak, Poblacion at Guinguinabang na magpataw ng sariling curfew mula alas-9 ng gabi hanggang alas-6 ng umaga.

Dahil sa mga operasyon ng 41st IB, napwersang magsuspinde ng klase noong Setyembre 5 at 8 ang Bantugo Elementary School and High School at ang Our Lady of Guadalupe High School. Kalapit lamang ng mga paaralan ang itinayong kampo ng militar sa Bantugo.

Nananawagan ang mga organisasyong nagtatanggol sa karapatang-tao na kagyat na alisin ang mga pwersa ng 41st IB upang maibalik ang kapayapaan sa lugar at ang regular na buhay ng mga sibilyan.

[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: SOMO, hiniling sa Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Sep 21): SOMO, hiniling sa Bukidnon [Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO), requested in Bukidnon]

Nanawagan ang ilang mga upisyal ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno at taong-simbahan sa rehimeng Aquino at sa AFP na ipag-utos ang suspensyon ng mga opensibong operasyong militar (SOMO) sa prubinsya ng Bukidnon upang bigyang-daan ang pagpapalaya sa mga bihag ng digma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB).

Ayon kay Sen. Teofisto Guingona Jr., tagapangulo ng komite ng Senado sa kapayapaan at kaayusan, sumulat na siya kay Aquino at sa kalihim sa depensa na si Voltaire Gazmin upang ilatag ang gayong kahilingan.

Ang dalawang bihag ng digma ng BHB ay sina Pfc. Marnel Tagalugon Cinches at Pfc. Jerrel Hapay Yorong, kapwa mga pwersa ng 8th IB. Nadakip sila ng BHB noong Agosto 22.

Ayon kay Ka Alan Juanito, hindi na nila isasailalim sa normal na imbestigasyon at proseso ng rebolusyonaryong hustisya ang dalawang bihag bilang pagpapakita ng kagandahang-loob sa layuning itulak ang pagsisimulang muli ng negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng NDFP at ng GPH (Gubyerno ng Pilipinas).

Nanawagan si Juanito na ipatupad ang SOMO sa San Fernando, Cabanglasan, Malaybalay City, Impasug-ong, Manolo Fortich at Malitbog sa Bukidnon; at sa Claveria, Balingasag at Gingoog City sa Misamis Oriental. Kaagad na tutumbasan ng BHB ang magiging SOMO ng AFP at titiyakin ang pagpapalaya sa mga bihag.

[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: 9 aksyong militar, inilunsad sa NCMR

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Sep 21): 9 aksyong militar, inilunsad sa NCMR [9 military actions launched in the North Central Mindanao Region (MCMR)]

Walong armas ang nasamsam, isang sundalo ang napatay at hindi bababa sa pito ang nasugatan sa serye ng mga aksyong militar na inilunsad ng mga Pulang mandirigma ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) sa North Central Mindanao Region noong Agosto 21-30. Walang kaswalti sa panig ng BHB sa mga labanang ito.

Kabilang sa mga nasamsam na sandata ang tatlong ripleng kal .22, isang kal .45 na pistola at apat na shotgun.

Dalawang sundalo ng 52nd Engineering Brigade ang nasugatan nang pasabugan ng command-detonated explosive o CDX ng isang yunit ng BHB ang sinasakyan nilang dump truck sa Barangay Can-ayan, Malaybalay City noong Agosto 22.

Isang araw bago ito, isang sundalo ang napatay nang paputukan ng isang tim ng BHB ang detatsment ng 8th IB sa Barangay St. Peter, Malaybalay City.

Noong Agosto 26, hindi bababa sa dalawa ang nasugatan sa mga elemento ng Special Forces ng Philippine Army matapos salakayin ng mga Pulang gerilya ang packing plant ng Del Monte Pineapple Plantation sa Barangay Sil-ipon, Libona, Bukidnon. Ang nasabing yunit-militar ang nagsisilbing protektor ng Del Monte.

Kinabukasan, hinaras ng isang yunit ng BHB ang nagpapatrulyang platun ng paramilitar na Alimaong sa Mamatu, Barangay, Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. Nagtamo ng di mabatid na bilang ng kaswalti ang mga paramilitar.

Noong Agosto 28, dinisarmahan ng BHB si Mr. Benhur, isang illegal logger sa Sityo Bugta, Barangay Ginabsan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Nakumpiska mula sa kanya ang dalawang kal .22 na ripleng may teleskopyo, isang kal. 45 na pistola, mga bala ng M16 at dalawang uniporme ng militar.

Kinabukasan, nagtamo ng di pa malamang bilang ng kaswalti ang militar nang atakehin ng isang tim ng BHB ang detatsment ng Philippine Army-Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) sa Barangay Comota, La Paz, Agusan del Sur.

Noong Agosto 30, dalawang operasyong disarma ang inilunsad ng mga Pulang mandirigma sa Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Sa unang operasyong disarma, nasamsam ang tatlong shotgun mula sa mga gwardya ng mangangamkam ng lupa na pamilyang Villarosa, may-ari ng Pineapple Country Home Subdivision sa Barangay San Miguel. Sa pangalawang disarma, isang ripleng kal .22, isang shotgun at tatlong kahon ng iba’t ibang klaseng bala ang nakumpiska mula kay (ret.) Colonel Quaiwit dahil sa paggamit niya ng armas sa pananakot sa mga residente.

[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/NDF: Ang paghandum sa balaud militar nagkahulogan sa pagsubli sa atong baruganan sa pakigbisog alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 21): Ang paghandum sa balaud militar nagkahulogan sa pagsubli sa atong baruganan sa pakigbisog alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya
Jorge Madlos (Ka Oris)
NDFP Mindanao Chapter
Ang pagdumdum sa ika-42 nga kasumaran sa pagdeklara ni Marcos sa Balaud Militar usa ka tukmang higayon aron subling palig-onon ang atong baruganan sa pakigbisog alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya tungod kay human sa upat ka dekada padayong nahiagom ug naglunang ang katawhang Pilipino sa kawad-on, pandaugdaug ug pagpahimulos.

Atong handumon ug pasidunggan usab ang tanang mga martir, apil kadtong mga biktima nga mipanaw na ug uban nga buhi nga nahimong saksi sa dulom kaayo nga yugto sa kasaysayan sa atong nasud.

Sa ulahing bahin sa Dekada 60 ug sayong bahin sa Dekada 70 paspas nga mikaylap ug mikusog ang rebolusyonaryong kalihokan alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya sa tibuok nasud batok sa nagapadayong pagpahimulos ug pandaugdaug sa katawhan sa imperyalista ug lokal nga nagharing hut-ong. Kadungan usab niini ang pag-alsa sa katawhang Moro sa Mindanao.

Aron puohon ang pag-alsa sa katawhan samtang naa pa kini sa sayong yugto, gideklara ang bangis nga Balaud Militar nga misangpot sa kaylap nga kalapasan sa tawhanong katungod sama sa “pagpangsalbeyds”, tortyur, rape, dinaghang papangdakop, pagdetinir ug uban pang dagway sa terorismo sa estado.

Wala nay nakapugong sa mas grabeng pagpahimulos sa mga dagkung agalong yutaan, dagkung burgesyang kumprador ug imperyalista sa mga mag-uuma ug mamumuo, ug pagpangawkaw sa atong kinaiyanhong bahandi ug pagkagun-ob sa atong kinaiyahan.

Apan, dakung pakyas ang Balaud Militar sa pagpuo sa pag-alsa sa katawhan, gani sulod sa 14 ka tuig nga nagtunhay ang Diktaduryang Marcos mikusog ang pagsukol sa katawhan hangtud nga misangpot kini sa pagpalagpot kang Diktador Marcos pinaagi sa pag-alsa sa katawhan sa EDSA.

Ang misunod nga mga reaksyonaryong rehimen gikan kang Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo ug hangtod karon kang Benigno Aquino III, walay dakung kalainan ug sa esensya pareho lang gihapon kini nga papet ug reaksyonaryo sama sa rehimen ni Marcos. Padayong nga naglunsad kini sa mga kontra-rebolusyonaryong pagpanumpo aron pugngan ang padayong pag-abante sa rebolusyon sa katawhan ug panalipdan ang interes sa mga nagharing hut-ong ug sa ilang amo nga imperyalistang US.

Kamatuoran niini, ang kasamtangang rehimeng US-Aquino III nagahimo og mga balaud o dekreto nga nagpabor sa mga dagkung agalong yutaan, dagkung burgesyang kumprador ug imperyalista sama pananglit sa EO 79 nga pabor sa mga multinasyonal nga mga kumpanya sa mina, ang pagimposar sa ekstensyon sa mini nga reporma sa yuta nga, partikular sa Mindanao, nagapabor sa mga dagkung agalong yutaan ug multinasyonal nga mga plantasyon nga grabeng nakadaut sa kinaiyahan, midislokar sa mga mag-uuma ug Lumad ug mipahimulos sa kahago sa mga mamumuo.

Kung sa panahon ni Diktador Marcos nabulahan ang pamilyang Marcos ug mga suod niini, sa kasamtangang rehimeng US-Aquino III, pinaagi sa “daang matuwid” ug DAP, nabulahan usab ang pamilyang Cojuangco-Aquino ug mga kabarilan, kaklase ug mga membro sa kabinete niini ilabi na ang Budget komisyoner nga si Butch Abad.

Sa iyang pagka-itoy, patraydor nga nakigkunsabo kini sa imperyalistang US pinaagi sa kasabutang EDCA nga nagtugot sa pagbase sa mga langyawng tropa, ug pagsulod sa nukleyar nga barko ug eroplanong iggugubat, bisan kung hugot kining gidili sa 1987 Konstitusyong burgis.

Pinaagi sa dili deklaradong balaud militar gipakusog niini ang bangis nga pagpangataki sa katawhan ug sa rebolusyonaryong kalihokan. Ang ISO (internal Security Operation) Oplan Bayanihan (OPB) nga gilunsad niini nagtumong nga puohon sulod sa iyang unom ka tuig nga termino ang rebolusyonaryong kalihokan. Apan kapin na lang usa ka tuig ang termino ni Aquino, mas mikusog na hinoon ang rebolusyonaryong kalihokan, ilabi na sa Mindanao. Gani, midugang ang AFP og 7 ka batalyon sa NPA erya sa Mindanao gikan sa Luzon ug Visayas ug gikan sa Moro erya ning unang bahin sa tuig, ug mokabat na sa kapin 45% ang pwersa sa AFP sa Mindanao.

Gipasobsob niini ang sustinidong bangis nga pagpangataki nga miani sa daghang ug kaylap nga kalapasan sa tawhanong katungod. Nahimong kaylap ang pagmilitarisa sa mga komunidad sa kabukiran, apil mga komunidad ug eskwelahan sa kasyudaran. Komon na nga ginahimo sa mga berdugong militar ang pagpatay sa mga ordinaryong mag-uuma, aktibista ug masang lider, apil pagtortyur, rape, pagdaut sa kabtangan sa katawhan, pagpanganyon ug aerial bombing , pag-okupar sa mga komunidad sa bukid o syudad, apil mga eskwelahan sa kabukiran; paglunsad sa mga saywar nga operasyon sama sa RSOT, COPD, PDT; ug, dislokasyon. Busa napugos pagbakwit ang mga komunidad sa mag-uuma ug Lumad, pagmapitol sa mga mamumuo; pagpangkaso sa mga inosenteng mag-uuma, mga lider ug aktibista sa mga organisasyong ligal aron bungkagon ang dayag nga kalihokang masa; pagtukod ug pag-armas sa mga private army ug daghan pang uban.

Kining tanan nagpakita nga way batakang kalainan, gani mas grabe pa ang kasamtangang rehimen kung itandi sa rehimen ni diktador Marcos. Pagdeklara sa balaud militar, mikabat lang sa upat ka dibisyon ang AFP, karon mikabat na kini sa 10 ka dibisyon ug mas grabeng militarisado ang Mindanao karon kung itandi sa panahon sa balaud militar ni Marcos. Dugang pa niini, mas daghan pang taga-mass media ang gipatay karon kun itandi sa panahon ni Diktador Marcos.

Busa, kung gipalagpot man sa pag-alsa sa EDSA si diktador Marcos angayan lang gyud nga palagputon usab si Benigno Aquino III karon NA, aron dili na dugang maglaygay ang pag-antus sa katawhang Pilipino.

Sa paghandum nato sa kasumaran sa Balaud Militar 42 na katuig ang milabay, sa makausa pa atong isinggit ang pagpangita og hustisya sa tanang mga biktima, dili lang diha sa bayad sa indeminipikasyon kun dili labaw sa tanan pinaagi sa pagbungkag sa kasamtangang reaksyonaryong rehimen aron mahatagan sa katumanan ang gimithi ug gipangandoy nga katilingbanong hustisya sa mga biktima sa Balaud Militar.

Busa, himoon natong makahuloganon kini nga adlaw, Setyembre 21, pinaagi sa pagsubli sa atong baruganan sa pagpadayon sa atong pakigbisog alang sa nasudnong kalingkawasan ug demokrasya.

NPA in Leyte losses high-powered firearms to 8ID troops

From Samar News (Sep 14): NPA in Leyte losses high-powered firearms to 8ID troops


CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan CityArmy troops operating in Leyte Province encountered NPA members in a remote area of Barangay Parag-um, Carigara, Leyte early in the morning of September 14, 2014.

Based on the initial report by Lt Col Nedy C Espulgar, Commanding Officer, 19th Infantry Battalion based at Brgy Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte, his troops received information from a concerned citizen regarding the presence of NPA members in the aforesaid barangay who were conducting extortion activities to the local residents.

Immediately, Lt Col Espulgar dispatched a squad from Charlie Company to confirm the veracity of the report. However, while approaching said barangay, the government troops were fired upon by undetermined number of NPA members prompting the troops to fire back. A thirty minute firefight ensued after which the rebels immediately withdrew towards different directions.

The encounter resulted to the recovery from the NPA of two M16 armalite rifles, one M16 rifle with grenade launcher, ammunition and personal belongings. There was no reported casualty on the side of the government troops while undetermined on the enemy side.

Maj. Gen. Jet B. Velarmino, Commander of the 8th Infantry Division lauded the officers and men of 19IB for the successful encounter against the NPAs operating in Carigara, Leyte. The 8ID chief further extended his appreciation to the peace-loving residents of Brgy. Parag-um for reporting the NPA presence in their community.

“I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the continued support of the communities in our quest for a lasting peace here in the Municipality of Carigara, Leyte. Small as it maybe, your timely information significantly led to the success of our effort in addressing the NPA threat in this part of the region. Rest assured that your Army here in Eastern Visayas will remain and will always be by your side as we pursue genuine peace, nation-building and development in this region”, says MGen. Velarmino.

Reds torch construction equipment

From the Philippine Star (Sep 21): Reds torch construction equipment

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga, Philippines – Three suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas burned two construction equipment in Bongabon town, Nueva Ecija last Wednesday.

The equipment were owned by Israel Reguyal, proprietor of the ICR Contractor, said Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, director of the Nueva Ecija police.

Nieves said the attack occurred at a  quarry site in Barangay Ariendo at around 3:50 p.m.

He said the suspects ordered the operators of the equipment to get down before pouring gasoline on the vehicles and set them on fire.

Nieves said it was not the first time for the construction firm to experience such an attack.

He said the owner might have refused to heed NPA demand to pay revolutionary taxes.

Rebel tagged in ambush on police trainees falls

From the Philippine Star (Sep 22): Rebel tagged in ambush on police trainees falls

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union, Philippines – A suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA), tagged in an ambush on police trainees in Mountain Province last year, was arrested in Cervantes town, Ilocos Sur on Saturday.

Marvarose Longang-a, 26, was arrested at his safehouse in Barangay Comillas by police and military operatives, said La Union police director Senior Superintendent Ramon Rafael.

Longang-a’s arrest was based on a warrant issued by Ilocos Sur Judge Modesto Quismoro for rebellion. No bail was recommended.

“The suspect is one of the respondents in a rebellion case filed against those responsible in the attack on police trainees in Tadian town last year,” Rafael said.

Ninety-five police trainees, including 70 women and their four trainers, were jogging in Barangay Kabunagan when a group of suspected NPA rebels ambushed them on June 28 last year. One was killed and nine others were wounded in the attack.

Police said the suspect is a member of the NPA Ilocos-Cordillera regional committee, who participated in the ambush of government troops in Bessang Pass, Cervantes town in 2004.

Longang-a is a graduating criminology student of the Mountain Province Polytechnic State College in Tadian town.

Authorities believe the NPA may be planning to infiltrate the Philippine National Police through Longang-a.

Superintendent Edgar Alan Okubo, acting chief of the Police Regional Office 1 intelligence division, told The STAR that Longang-a uses a different name.

Hopes dim for return of Philippine troops to Golan

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 21): Hopes dim for return of Philippine troops to Golan

In this handout photo taken on October 2013 and released by Philippine Armed Forces public affairs office (AFP-PAO) on August 29, 2014 shows officers and men of the 7th Philippine peacekeeping force bound for the Golan Heights posing for photos during their send-off ceremony at the army heradquarters in Manila.  Heavily armed Philippine peacekeepers defied Syrian rebels on August 29 in a Golan Heights standoff hours after the gunmen disarmed and took hostage 43 Fijian soldiers there, Filipino authorities said. AP
In this handout photo taken on October 2013 and released by Philippine Armed Forces public affairs office (AFP-PAO) on August 29, 2014 shows officers and men of the 7th Philippine peacekeeping force bound for the Golan Heights posing for photos during their send-off ceremony at the army heradquarters in Manila. Heavily armed Philippine peacekeepers defied Syrian rebels on August 29 in a Golan Heights standoff hours after the gunmen disarmed and took hostage 43 Fijian soldiers there, Filipino authorities said. AP
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he’s been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that UN peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future.

A group of 244 Philippine peacekeepers flew back to Manila on Friday after being recalled, while 84 more were due home Sunday, ending a five-year presence in the increasingly volatile Golan.

There have been no signs suggesting the Philippines will resume its mission in the Golan. Filipino forces continue to help a UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Aquino said his government was informed in a letter from the UN assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Edmond Mulet, that “there is no expectation” that UN peacekeepers could be deployed back to the Syrian side of the Golan “in the short or midterm.”

Aquino’s comments, made Friday during a just concluded trip to Germany, were released to the media on Sunday.

The UN peacekeeping force, known as UNDOF, has patrolled a buffer zone between Syria and Israel since 1974, a year after the Arab-Israeli war. For nearly four decades, UN monitors helped enforce a stable truce between the two countries.

The Syrian war, however, has spilled over to the Golan buffer zone and led to the abduction of peacekeepers by al-Qaida-linked anti-Syrian government militants and other attacks that prompted several countries to withdraw their soldiers.

As the peacekeeping mission frayed, the UN Security Council on Friday reaffirmed its unconditional support for maintaining the peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights. It called the mission vital “to peace and security in the Middle East.”

When he returns from his European and US trip next week, Aquino will pay a tribute and bestow awards to the Filipino peacekeepers, military officials said Sunday.

Many of the Filipino peacekeepers recently battled Syrian rebels. The militants surrounded two UN encampments on the Syrian side of the Golan buffer zone, but the Filipinos defied a rebel demand for them to lay down their arms and surrender.

The outnumbered Filipinos fought back and then managed to escape from the camps, ending a dangerous standoff. The militants succeeded to abduct 45 Fijian peacekeepers, but later freed them.

Kidnap gang leader falls in Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): Kidnap gang leader falls in Cotabato

Three days after a failed attempt to rob a pawnshop in Koronadal City, a man long wanted for a series of kidnapping cases in Central Mindanao was arrested by a joint Cotabato and Koronadal City police and army team here before dawn Sunday.

Senior supt. Rolen Balquin, Cotabato City Police director, said Khadafy Guiamelon, a kidnap gang leader implicated in some 30 abductions in Central Mindanao and in Thursday’s bloody daytime pawnshop heist in Koronadal City, was arrested at 1 a.m. along Pansacala St. in a residential district in west Cotabato City.

Police records showed Guiamelon, also known as Commander Pilandok, ranks third in the list of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of most wanted kidnappers in Southern Philippines.

Confidential informants confirmed Guiamelon has also been occasionally residing in a slum area behind the MC Square, a small trading complex along Sinsuat Ave. here.

Balquin said the suspect is now undergoing questioning on his reported involvement in the Sept. 18 deadly attempt to rob the Agencia Brillantes, a pawnshop along OsmeƱa St. in Koronadal City.

Two security guards were killed while two responding watchmen from nearby establishments were shot and wounded as they tried to prevent the robbers’ escape. Two minors were wounded in the crossfire.

Authorities said Guiamelon and his followers are remnants of Central Mindanao’s once feared kidnapping syndicate led by Abogado Gado, also known as Commander Mubarak.

Mubarak was killed in the summer of 1993 by pursing policemen and Marines in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, while Ali Mayangkang, who is from Kabuntalan town in Maguindanao, was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen near the Cotabato City supermarket area in 1999.

Balquin said local policemen and police agents from Koronadal City, operatives of the AKG and the Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Commission, and combatants of the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion together arrested Guiamelon based on two separate warrants for his arrest.

One of the warrants was issued by Judge George Jabido while the other came from the sala of Judge Bansawan Ebrahim of the Regional Trial Court Branches 15 and 14, both in Cotabato City, respectively.

Balquin said Guiamelon’s arrest was a result of extensive cooperation among civilian tipsters, the police and the intelligence units here of the Army’s elite Special Forces.

Trooper wounded in Iloilo clash feted

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): Trooper wounded in Iloilo clash feted

The Capiz-based 3rd Infantry Division honored Saturday the 82nd Infantry Battalion trooper wounded during a clash with New People's Army (NPA) fighters in Sitio Cadinglian, Barangay Buloc, Tubungan town, Iloilo last Sept. 19.

Awarded with the Wounded Personnel Medal was Pfc. Ronald Apiladas.

The latter is now recuperating at the Western Visayas Medical Center.

Col. Erick Uchida, Panay Island military commander, said Apiladas was decorated to show the government's recognition of his valiant and patriotic service.

“It is fitting to recognize the gallantry of our soldier who risked his life in combat in defense of our democracy. Our soldiers who are wounded in action deserve to be given the best medical care,” he added.

Uchida said that Apilada’s acts of heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

Entire Visayas insurgency-free by 2016 – Centcom chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): Entire Visayas insurgency-free by 2016 – Centcom chief

Major General Nicanor Vibar, commander of the Central Command (Centcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said he aims to declare the entire Visayas as insurgency-free by 2016.

The Centcom has jurisdiction over the three regions in the Visayas, namely, Regions 6, 7 and 8.

Vibar said that when he assumed as the new Centcom commander, 11 out of 16 provinces in the Visayas have already been cleared.

He said only five provinces are left for him to clear by 2016.

They are Northern Samar, Samar, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

He said their campaign in these areas is becoming better and in fact Samar is set to be cleared in the coming months.

Vibar said Lieutenant General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Armed Forces chief of staff, challenged him to declare the entire Visayas insurgency-free even earlier than 2016.

He said the New People’s Army will not be allowed in the areas declared insurgency-free.

He said some of the rebels will try to re-establish their presence but he said that this will not be allowed.

Vibar said the presence of the AFP in the Visayas would mean the NPA would have a hard time re-establishing its presence.

Vibar said the NPA’s top leaders have already been captured.

Army soldier wounded in clash with rebels in Iloilo town

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): Army soldier wounded in clash with rebels in Iloilo town

An army soldier was wounded in an encounter Friday with an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the hinterlands of Tubungan, Iloilo.

In a belated report, Major Rey Tiongson, spokesman of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, Philippine Army based in Camp Macario Peralta, Jamindan, Capiz, said the firefight between soldiers of the 82nd Inrantry (Bayanihan) Battalion (82IB) and NPA rebels believed to be members of the Southern Front, Komiteng Rehiyonal-Panay happened in Sitio Cadinglian, Brgy. Bulok, Tubungan in Southern Iloilo past 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

Tiongson said the firefight resulted to the wounding of Pfc Ronald Apeladas who is now in stable condition at the Western Visayas Medical Center here where he was brought for immediate medical treatment from gunshot wounds on his left thigh and part of his body.

The gun battle which lasted for almost an hour later saw the enemy scampered to different directions, avoiding further head-on clash with the government forces.

The 3ID spokesman, citing a military report from the field, said the enemy also suffered several casualties after soldiers saw them carrying their wounded comrades as they withdrew towards the forested area in that mountain barangay.

For his part, Lt. Col. Aldwin Almase, commander of 82IB based in Camp Monteclaro, Miag-ao, Iloilo immediately dispatched augmentation force to the scene of the encounter and conducted hot pursuit operation against the fleeing rebels.

The pursuing government forces scouring the scene of encounter recovered food stuff and kitchen utensils as well as personal belongings left behind by the fleeing rebel insurgents.

Almase said his men has conducted an internal security patrol operations in remote Brgy. Bulok based on intelligence information given by hinterland residents on the presence of armed insurgents in the area when they encountered the heavily armed bands.

He said the Army’s bayanihan activities in far-flung localities is gaining ground leading to a harmonious bond between the military and hinterland folk who were already fed-up with the marauding armed rebels out to disturb the peace-loving community in the mountain barangays in Tubungan and adjoining Igbaras town.

The Bayanihan battalion also asked the collaborative efforts of local government units (LGUs) and barangays concerned in its effort to win back the hearts of the people in the countryside as well as to help convince misguided individuals to return to the fold of law and join the meanstream of society towards a peaceful living and economic prosperity.

Prior to the encounter in Brgy. Bulok, a staccato of gun fires were heard some 500 meters away from the army based in Brgy. Lanag Norte, a hinterland barangay located in the boundary of the neighboring Leon, Iloilo.

The Tubungan encounter happened barely two days after the 82IB soldiers also clashed with the rebel insurgents early Wednesday afternoon in the hinterlands of Brgy. Igcabugao in the adjoining Igbaras town.

2nd batch of 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights returning to Manila Sunday night --AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): 2nd batch of 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights returning to Manila Sunday night --AFP

The second batch of 84 members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights is due to arrive home Sunday night, according to Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief.

"The second serial composed of 84 members of the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights will arrive at 11 p.m. at the NAIA Terminal via commercial Korean air flight. CSAFP (Chief-of-Staff, AFP) Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang will welcome them upon their arrival," Zagala said in a message to the Philippines News Agency.

The first batch of 244 peacekeepers arrived Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal in Pasay City.

The 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights figured in a stand-off and a firefight with Al-Qaeda-affiliated Syrian rebels after the latter attempted to take the Filipino-occupied Positions 68 and 69 in the Syrian side of Golan Heights.

The Filipinos exhibited their bravery and commitment when they stood their ground even after the rebels succeeded in taking over the positions held by Fijian peacekeepers, taking 45 Fiji nationals as hostages.

A firefight erupted when the rebels advanced and fired upon the peacekeepers at Position 68, while the peacekeepers in Position 69 successfully repositioned to a more secure location with the help of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force's (UNDOF) quick reaction force.

The remaining peacekeepers, running low on ammunition, eventually repositioned on foot to their headquarters in Camp Faouar on Aug. 30, finally ending the stand-off.

Due to the escalating violence in the Syrian side of Golan Heights, all peacekeepers were repositioned in the Israeli-side of the mission area.

Because of this repositioning, UNDOF deemed it practical that the Philippine contingent be repatriated earlier than scheduled.

Zagala said these personnel, with their families, will be given heroes' welcome as they exhibited courage, bravery and commitment, while in the face of overwhelming threat.

"The AFP’s leadership commends the peacekeepers for showing resolve and determination in fulfilling our country’s commitment to their mission of preserving the integrity of the line of separation between Syria and Israel," he added.

Golan Heights peacekeepers to be given heroes' welcome

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): Golan Heights peacekeepers to be given heroes' welcome

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala on Sunday announced that a heroes' welcome will be given to the 328 officers and enlisted personnel of the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights.

He added that President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the ceremonies for the Filipino personnel who served a tour of duty at the Golan Heights.

"The President will lead the ceremony," Zagala said.

He refused to give other details on the matter as it is now the purview of Office of the President.

Zagala said the welcoming ceremony is tentatively scheduled on Sept. 26.

Two hundred forty-four Filipino peacekeepers, who served a tour of duty at the Golan Heights, arrived Friday while another 84 are scheduled to arrive 11 p.m. this Sunday.

All Navy peacekeeping contingent to be deployed in Haiti

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): All Navy peacekeeping contingent to be deployed in Haiti
With Filipino soldiers playing a key role in the United Nations peacekeeping efforts, the Philippines will be deploying an all Navy contingent, numbering 157, to Haiti which is still recovering from the aftermath of massive earthquake which struck and crippled the country in 2010.

Navy public affairs office chief Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo said that the send-off for the 18th Armed Forces of the Philippines Contingent to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force to Haiti will take place at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City around 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22.

She added that AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker.

Domingo stated that the all Navy contingent will be tasked to provide perimeter security to the Force Headquarters of the UN Mission to Haiti, provide administrative and logistics clerical services to the Force Headquarters, operate their military vehicles.

Aside from these, the Filipino peacekeepers will also provide VIP security to specified personalities by the Force Headquarters.

OPAPP: CPLA pact may stretch to 2016

From the Sun Star-Baguio (Sep 21): OPAPP: CPLA pact may stretch to 2016

OFFICE of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) is batting to finish the peace agreement with the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army (CPLA) by 2016.

Opapp Assistant secretary for programs for the Bangsamoro Howard Cafugauan attributed the seeming snail pace of the CPLA agreement on an "internal problem."

Cafugauan, who was in the city to speak in the peace agreements by the Opapp before 2014 National Literacy Conference and Awards at the Baguio Teachers Camp, acknowledged the internal problems besetting the CPLA here but declined to elaborate.

Today, CPLA chairman Arsenio Humiding is still hoping for an intervention from President Benigno Aquino III as well as a dialogue with the Opapp to clear issues on the implementation of the agreement which is moving slower than expected.

Cafugauan said the MOA with the CPLA is hoped to be completed before the term of Aquino ends in 2016.

In 2011, the President signed with the CPLA an agreement for peace and issued Executive Order 49, enjoining government agencies to ensure the smooth implementation of the closure agreement between the CPLA and the Philippine government.

There are four main components of the agreement between the government is comprised of; CPLA integration to the Armed forces of the Philippines; Community Development projects, Livelihood and a Legacy documentation, there is also a 5 year plan to help the CPLA become an economic force.

Cafugauan said the integration of the CPLA to the AFP has been achieved as well as other components to the MOA, some of which are in process.

An earlier CPLA meeting assessed the implementation of the MOA and revealed there is but 50 percent of projects completed.

Under the agreement, the projects should have been fully implemented 8 months after the signing. It has been almost three years.

Factions continue to plague the CPLA with another group recently being sworn “into office.”

‘Lumad’ caught in crossfire

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 21): ‘Lumad’ caught in crossfire

MEMBERS of Ata-Manobo tribe wait for food packs being distributed by the local government of Kapalong town in Davao del Norte province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MEMBERS of Ata-Manobo tribe wait for food packs being distributed by the local government of Kapalong town in Davao del Norte province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

With just bolos and antiquated rifles in their arsenal, 30-year-old Rolly Sahay and dozens of Ata-Manobo men in the forests of Gupitan were bold enough to openly express anger against the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

The belligerence could be seen as a call to arms against a much powerful guerrilla army, but Sahay said he and other members of Alamara were ready to fight.

“In fact, we’ve been fighting a war in the mountains against the intruders for a long time already,” the father of four said.

Long regarded by human rights groups as a tribal militia being used by the military in tribal communities against communist guerrillas, Alamara has been tagged by the NPA as a bandit group responsible for atrocities and abuses against perceived rebel sympathizers, “lumad” and non-lumad alike.

Tribal vigilantes

Tribal leaders supporting Alamara have accused the NPA of using progressive groups to sow discord in communities like in Gupitan, Kapalong’s biggest village that shares borders with Bukidnon province and which also has a sizable tribal population.

Isidro Indao, spokesperson of lumad organization Pasaka, accused the military of manipulating the indigenous population into creating vigilante groups, like Alamara, in its counterinsurgency operations and funding, arming and giving orders to the tribesmen.

Pasaka, the lumad confederation, said Alamara was formed in 2002 by Col. Felipe Berroya in Davao City who headed an Army brigade operating in the hinterlands of Davao City and Davao del Norte province under the military’s counterinsurgency campaign, Oplan Alsa-Lumad, to “shield lumad villages against the NPA.”

Karapatan Southern Mindanao has documented a total of 87 cases of human rights abuses against lumad communities in the Davao region in 2002.

Lumad leaders said they were caught in the fighting between government troops and the NPA, and abuses committed by the rebels were forcing them to fight alongside soldiers.

Datu Benito Mantayona, indigenous peoples (IP) representative in the Gupitan village council, said the NPA was forcing many tribesmen to join its ranks.

“And what would they give in return? Only death and suffering to the families of our brothers,” Mantayona said.

Violence looms

“Our brothers who were deceived by the NPA only die for nothing. I had five relatives who joined the group and we found out that they had become [members of the] NPA only when we dug their bodies from shallow graves deep in the forest,” Mantayona said.

Rights group Karapatan and other tribal organizations have expressed concern over the alleged arming of lumad in Gupitan as violence loomed over communities affected by the fighting, which has been going on there since July.

Residents have fled 10 sub-villages in Gupitan for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

Mayor Edgardo Timbol denied allegations by rights groups that he was the main backer of Alamara and that human rights abuses were being committed by the tribal militia against the tribal population.

Aris Francisco, spokesperson of the NPA ComVal-North Davao South Agusan subregional command, in a statement warned Timbol against helping Alamara, saying this was “intensifying the suffering and misery of lumad and peasants.”

“As a warlord, Mayor Timbol used the notorious tribal leader Laris Mansaloon and Alamara as his own private army that is responsible for protecting his various economic and political interests…. Mansaloon and the Alamara bandits are the armed component of Mayor Timbol’s electoral machinery and illegal logging business,” Francisco said.

HORSES are familiar modes of transportation in Gupitan, a village in Kapalong, Davao del Norte province, that has become a battleground of government soldiers and communist guerrillas. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

HORSES are familiar modes of transportation in Gupitan, a village in Kapalong, Davao del Norte province, that has become a battleground of government soldiers and communist guerrillas. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

No beggars

The mayor just laughed off the NPA’s claim.

“I don’t have the capacity to tap the lumad for a so-called private army. I don’t need a private army,” Timbol said in a recent press conference in Kapalong.

He said there was no truth to reports of “hamletting” and government troops preventing people from leaving and entering Gupitan village. He said the residents of Gupitan simply didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire.

Kapalong’s biggest village has a registered population of 13,000.

Gaspar Balinggao, municipal disaster action officer, said the local government had sent doctors, nurses, social workers and other government workers to Gupitan.

“We brought government services to the village so the people would no longer have to leave for other areas and beg for help,” Timbol said. “We don’t want our constituents to be herded to Davao City and become beggars there.”

Arturo Davao, IP representative to the town council, said he was worried for his people.

“Their corn and upland rice are ready for harvest, but they’re too afraid to go out to the fields,” he said.

He added that an elementary school in Kapatagan had been closed.

He accused the NPA of terrorizing tribal chiefs, saying many of the village leaders had fled, too.


Timbol said the tribal chiefs in Gupitan had signed a manifesto addressed to “outsiders” to stay away from the village or face “tribal retribution.”

The mayor said it was not a declaration of tribal war, though, but just a warning to anyone who would dare disrespect the tribe’s culture.

He reiterated that the tribal militia Alamara was not his private army but “is already part of their culture, existing even before settlers like us had set foot in Kapalong.”

“I don’t need [Alamara] to be my private army. We have our military that can provide security,” the mayor said.

Timbol also belied claims he was using the militia to protect large mining companies and logging firms in Gupitan because a local ordinance had declared the 60,000-hectare village a critical watershed area.

Mansaloon, leader of the 100-strong Alamara, said outsiders, like the NPA, had forced the tribe to shut its doors to “langyaw” (foreigners).

He said groups like the NPA and left-leaning nongovernment organizations wanted to drive a wedge between the lumad, dividing and conquering them.


“We’re upset. This has to stop,” said Mansaloon, wearing his tribe’s clothes with a bolo tied to his waist.

Sahay, the militiaman, said NPA abuses forced tribesmen to arm themselves.

He said he joined Alamara after the NPA forced his 70-year-old mother to carry a sack of rice to a guerrilla camp.

“We’re just trying to defend our lands, our culture,” Sahay said.

Balinggao said the local government had set aside P1.3 million after declaring Gupitan to be in a state of imminent danger last month to make way for the transport of food to residents.

Balinggao said 4,865 food packs had been distributed and the aid would continue “until the situation there normalizes.”

Photo: AFP medical team attends to Mayon evacuees in Albay

From GMA News (Sep 21): Photo: AFP medical team attends to Mayon evacuees in Albay

A medical team from the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Southern Luzon Command conducts medical check-ups of hundreds of evacuees on Sunday, September 21 at Camalig North Central School in Camalig, Albay. According to Capt. Donne Framil, most have been complaining of cough, fever and flu. Residents living in the danger zone around restive Mayon Volcano were evacuated to shelters last week after authorities raised the volcano's alert level to 3 (eruption possible).

CA exonerates police officer in suspected ASG member's torture case

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 21): CA exonerates police officer in suspected ASG member's torture case

The Court of Appeals (CA) has exonerated a police officer who was charged and dismissed along with several others in connection with the alleged unlawful arrest and torture of a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in 2006.

In a 12-page ruling written by Associate Justice Hakim Abdulwahid, the CA’s Fifth Division absolved Police Sr. Insp. Dante Yang from criminal liability and is deemed entitled to retirement benefits after his appeal was granted.

“The Decision dated January 20, 2012 and the Order dated May 16, 2012 of the Office of the Ombudsman are reversed and set aside,” the decision dated July 24, 2014 said.

Concurring in the ruling were Associate Justices Romeo Barza and Ramon Cruz.

The case arose from the administrative complaint filed by Allan Almoite against Yang, Supt. Roger James Brillantes, PO3 Noel Fabia, PO3 Peter Paul Pablico, PO2 Reynaldo Yap, all members of the District Intelligence and Investigation Division (DIID) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Almoite filed the complaint in relation to his alleged illegal arrest and detention pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) against various individuals and John Does, including a certain “Ali” in the case against ASG head Galib Andang alias Commander Robot.

These criminal cases were filed for 21 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom in connection with the April 2000 Sipadan, Malaysia kidnapping incident involving ASG members.

Almoite alleged that Yang’s group suddenly barged into his house on March 10, 2006, searching for a certain “Alih” or “Ali Ambing.”

He accused the police of destroying his personal effects and taking his money worth Php60,000.

Almoite claimed that he was tortured and was forced to admit the crime.

The Ombudsman rendered its ruling on Jan. 20, 2012 finding all the police officers guilty of grave misconduct and meted them the penalty of dismissal from the service with cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the government service.

Yang went to the CA when his appeal was dismissed by the Ombudsman, alleging that the Ombudsman gravely abused its discretion when it slapped them with dismissal from the service.

In its ruling, the CA found that Almoite failed to prove that Yang violated an established and definite rule of action or was guilty of unlawful behavior or gross negligence.

“Moreover, [Almoite] was not able to establish any of the aggravating elements of corruption, willful intent to violate a law or to disregard established rules on the part of the petitioner [Yang],” it said.

The CA said Yang was sufficiently able to explain how the arresting team eventually connected the “Ali Ambing” suspected of being a bomb-maker for the ASG and another alleged terrorist group to Almoite.

“It is clear, therefore, that respondent Almoite’s arrest was not attended by arbitrariness, malice or bad faith on the part of petitioner and the other operatives in his team, despite the fact that the former was not specifically and accurately identified in the warrant of arrest,” it added.

With respect to the alleged torture that Almoite suffered in the hands of the operations team, the CA found that the complainant did not specifically or positively identify Yang as among those who actually tortured him.

“[M]ere allegations of irregularity, such as torture, is insufficient to rebut the presumption that the police officers regularly performed their duties,” it said.