Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Communist leader Tiamzon asks court for medical checkup

From the Philippine Star (Sep 25): Communist leader Tiamzon asks court for medical checkup

Alleged Communist Party of the Philippines leader Wilma Tiamzon has asked a Quezon City court to allow her to undergo medical check up at the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) for severe back pains.

Through her legal counseil Edre olalia, Tiamzon filed a four-page motion before the sala of Judge Madonna Echiverri of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 to undergo an immediate medical check-up at the NKTI.

In her motion, she said the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital, where she is now detained, has no adequate facilities and specialists to examine, evaluate and to do further tests.

Last  August 20, Tiamzon was examined by Dr. Geneve Reyes of the Health Action for Human Rights (HAHR) after she complained of recurring dizziness, fatigue and extreme back pains.

Olalia said that based on the recommendation of Reyes, his client should undergo further evaluation through thorough examination of her condition and other diagnostic procedures.

He said there is a need to determine the possible management to relieve her of the pain
"As the tests can be done all together in a well-equipped hospital, examining doctor has recommended the NKTI along East Avenue in Quezon City for temporary confinement while the pertinent diagnostic tests are conducted. NKTI is easily accessible from where accused is detained as it is just a few kilometers away from the PNP General Hospital where accused is presently detained," the motion read.

The court has given the prosecution five days to comment on the motion.

Abu Sayyaf: to the family of the two hostages, and to the Government of Germany and the Philippines

Posted to World Analysis (Sep 24): Abu Sayyaf: to the family of the two hostages, and to the Government of Germany and the Philippines

This is an official letter from a group of Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines
to the family of the two hostages, and to the Government of Germany and the Philippines:

To achieve our demands, otherwise they will slaughter one of the two hostages, God willing.

1. and the first of our demands have to pay us 250 Million pesos versus release (in addition to the requirement of the second) .
2. and the second: to stop post support from the Government of Germany to America, in the killing of our Muslim brothers in Iraq and the Levant in general, and the Mujahideen of the Islamic State in particular.has Forewarned is forearmed!
(deadline: 15 days).2878


Mujahid: Abu Rami
======================== =
Ang jamaat abu sayyaf ay opisyal na nagbibigay babala sa pamilya na mga hostage,sa gobyerno ng alemanya(Germany),sa gobyerno ng pilipinas philippines)–UNA,ibigay ang hinihingi naming 250 Milyong Piso hanggang sa Oktobre 10,2014–kung hindi, wawasakin namin (sa pamamagitan ng pagpugot)ang isa sa aming hostage.
 na dapat ihinto ng gobyerno ng Alemanya(Germany)ang pagtulong sa Amerika sa ginagawa nitong pagpatay sa mga kapatid namin
mga muslim sa Iraq at Sham(Syria,Jordan,Lebanon at Palestine) ta sa mga kapatid namin mujahideen sa Dawlah Islamiyah.
Abu Raami (jamaat abu sayyaf)Philippines

Video:100 kabataan sa Basilan, sumali sa teroristang ISIS

From ABS-CBN (Sep 24): 100 kabataan sa Basilan, sumali sa teroristang ISIS

[Video report: "100 kabataan sa Basilan, sumali sa teroristang ISIS"
Kinumpirma ng isang alkalde sa lalawigan ng Basilan na mahigit 100 kabataan na ang narerekrut ng grupong nagpapakilalang ISIS. Sanib-puwersa na raw na gumagalaw sa Basilan ang ISIS, Abu Sayyaf, at Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Exclusive nagpa-Patrol si Chiara Zambrano. TV Patrol, Setyembre 24, 2014, Miyerkules]

Video:ISIS joins forces with Abu Sayyaf, BIFF in Basilan

Video posted to ABS-CBN (Sep 25): ISIS joins forces with Abu Sayyaf, BIFF in Basilan

[Video report: "ISIS joins forces with Abu Sayyaf, BIFF in Basilan"
The terrorist group ISIS are very persistent to recruit youth members in Basilan. The mayor of the province officially confirmed it.

Masigasig na nagre-recruit ng mga kabataang sa Basilan ang teroristang ISIS. Ito ang kinumpirma ng isang mayor sa lalawigan. I-Bandila mo, Jasmin Romero. Bandila, Setyembre 24, 2014, Miyerkules

Watch the latest episode of Bandila also in iWant TV or TFC

China think tank rejects PHL ‘triple-action plan’ to calm tense South China Sea

From GMA News (Sep 25): China think tank rejects PHL ‘triple-action plan’ to calm tense South China Sea
China's think tank on issues related to the South China Sea has rejected a Philippine proposal meant to reduce tension in the area as it questioned the timing and origin of the so-called "triple-action plan."

In a briefing with Philippine media in Haikou City on Wednesday, scholars with China's National Institute for South China Seas Studies (NISCSS) said the timing of the proposal—which calls for a cessation of activities that raise tension in the South China Sea, the implementation of a code of conduct in the disputed area, and arbitration to settle disputes—could have been made much earlier.

NISCSS president Wu Shicun said the proposal was announced a week before the ASEAN meeting and was similar to a proposal made by the US, which has also raised concerns over freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

Kang Ling, a NISCSS scholar, added the maritime disputes over parts of the South China Sea began in the 1960s and 1970s. "Why issue such a plan now?" he said.

"The Philippine initiative in this case was made by the US," Wu said, adding China is not the only claimant that has occupied and built structures in the South China Sea.
"The Philippines has also announced it is thinking of rebuilding its airstrip," he said, referring to the airstrip on Pagasa Island.

The Philippines has protested Chinese reclamation work in occupied parts of the South China Sea as well as the presence of Chinese survey ships in the area.

China has a historical claim over part of the South China, including the portion that the Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea and claims as part of its exclusive economic zone under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Philippines has sought arbitration by an international tribunal under UNCLOS.

No arbitration

Wu said at the same briefing that China, which has refused to take part in the arbitration, will likely refuse to implement the international tribunal's ruling on the maritime dispute.

He stressed that the issue between the Philippines and China should be settled by the two countries directly. He said that instead of an "unilateral and compulsory" settlement by an international tribunal, the issue should be smoothed out by parties directly. "That is the internationally-recognized general practice," he said.

According to a non-binding declaration signed by ASEAN members and China in 2002, disputes between claimants should be resolved "through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned."

Deles confident MILF will turn over guns by yearend

From the Manila Times (Sep 24): Deles confident MILF will turn over guns by yearend

The presidential peace adviser, Secretary Teresita Deles, is confident that combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will turn over their firearms to the government by the end of the year.

“In fact, the decommissioning process has started under the supervision of an independent body. There will be a formal turnover of high-powered weapons of the MILF by the end of the year,” Deles said when asked by Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list about the timetable of decommissioning of MILF fighters. Alejano, a former Marine captain, expressed apprehension on the commitment of the MILF in turning over their firearms.

He noted that the decommissioning process is provided under the initial comprehensive agreement but was excluded in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“We expect 35 percent [of the weapons] to be turned over upon the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, another 30 percent upon finishing the plebiscite, and so forth until 2016,” Deles said.

Moreover, she noted, the fact that the MILF already turned itself into a political party that will compete in the 2016 polls is an explicit recognition that it cannot deploy its own armed forces.

“The MILF is well aware that a political party is not allowed to have armed forces,” Deles pointed out.

Chairman Mohagher Iqbal of the MILF agreed with Deles, saying there is no purpose for armed struggle anymore because there are no enemies left.

“What used to be our enemy is not the Philippine government, or the Philippine soldiers. Our enemy is oppression. We were able to talk with them in a negotiating table and come up with an agreement because they are not our enemies,” Iqbal said.

Military to help indigenous communities

From the Manila Times (Sep): Military to help indigenous communities

The military on Wednesday said it will help Indigenous People (IP) communities in Mindanao to stop them from supporting the New People’s Army (NPA).

Newly-installed Eastern Min-danao Command chief Maj. Gen. Aurelio Baladad noted that three in every four members of the NPA are Indigenous People. He said this is a proof of the vulnerability of the IP communities in the regions under his command to be lured into joining or supporting the communist armed movement.

This is the reason why Baladad wants to give a special attention to IP communities across the regions under his command.

PH, Japan hold naval games near disputed sea

From the Manila Times (Sep 24): PH, Japan hold naval games near disputed sea

FOR the second time, the Philippine warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) and Japanese warship JS Hatakaze (DDG-171) will engage in a passing exercise (Passex) and drills, this time off the coast of Palawan, near the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo, chief, Navy Public Affairs Office, on Wednesday, said the bilateral naval exercises would be held on September 25 before the DDG-171 would head home to Japan.

Both ships participated in the just-concluded 18-day KAKADU 2014 in Australia., the largest international maritime exercises hosted biennially by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to promote and enhance regional inter-operability and multilateral cooperation among the participating navies of 12 countries, including China.

But Domingo did not say where exactly in Palawan the Passex would be held for “security” purposes.

“So most probably it is outside of the West Philippine Sea but I’m not sure. That’s why we set off the Palawan area because we are not really sure and for security purposes,” she added.

Both the Philippines and Japan have territorial disputes with China.

Domingo said the maritime exercise has nothing to do with China, adding that it is only aimed at improving the navies’ capacity, capability and inter-operability in protecting the maritime region.

She explained that a passing exercise is composed of sea drills done between two navies to ensure synchronization of communication and cooperation among the participating navies in combined naval operations.

“Passex gives us an opportunity to not only practice what we might be called upon to do, but the chance to establish a professional relationship with our allies making us more capable forces working together at sea,” Domingo said.

Illegal possession of explosive

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 24): Illegal possession of explosive
raps vs. ‘NPA’ official junked

The Office of the City Prosecutor in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, dismissed the complaint of illegal possession of an explosive under Republic Act 9516 against an alleged front secretary of the New People’s Army for lack of probable cause.

The complaint was filed by the Tanjay City police chief, Chief Insp. George Badon, against Jose Rene Bustamante, of Catbalogan, Samar who has roots in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Bustamante, the allegedly secretary of the NPA’s South East Front of the Komiteng Rehiyon Negros, was arrested during a joint police-military checkpoint in Tanjay City on June 6.

Police report said they confiscated from him a grenade, that he claimed was not his and was “planted” by the police.

Maria Luisa Ong, investigating prosecutor of the Tanjay City Prosecutor’s Office, noted that the arresting officers failed to substantiate the allegations that the grenade purportedly recovered from Bustamante was actually his.

She said the complaint only provided the affidavits of the allegations against Bustamante’s supposed possession of the explosive, but did not make any attachments on the items taken allegedly from him.

After Bustamante’s arrest, the Tanjay police said in the complaint that they had information of the Order of Arrest against a certain John Doe Pediong and Julito Alaban for the crime of murder, issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 41 in Dumaguete City.

Bustamante, allegedly the man referred to as Pediong, was arrested at a checkpoint in Tanjay City on board a Ceres bus at around 8 p.m. on June 6.

The operatives took “Pediong’s” belt bag and a blue handbag, and later brought him to the police station for booking and documentation.

The police claimed that they found the grenade in the handbag of Bustamante. The case of illegal possession of an explosive had been dismissed but Bustamante is still in jail for a murder case filed against “Pediong” and Alaban, for the killing of Narciso Bantoto Jr. in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by suspected NPA members on January 17, 2014 in Barangay Tayak, Siaton town.

Bantoto was killed in front of his wife, Crisabel, their children and a relative.

Bustamante has denied involvement in the killing, and that he is the one referred to as “Pediong”.

KL setting up naval bases off Sabah to quell militant threat

From the Straits Times (Sep 25): KL setting up naval bases off Sabah to quell militant threat
Malaysia will establish naval bases off the eastern coast of Sabah facing the Philippines as it seeks to quell the threat of Islamic militants in the Sulu Sea.
This announcement comes as an open declaration of support for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) by a leader of Abu Sayyaf - a terror group headquartered in the southern Philippines - pushed the authorities into a state of high alert.
According to Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia will spend RM430 million (S$168 million) to upgrade a naval ship and a decommissioned oil rig into forward bases along the porous sea border which is regularly breached by illegal migrants.
"If we are not careful, we may end up like Syria and Iraq," he was reported as saying by The Star yesterday.
Both bases are expected to be ready by April next year to protect the Sabah coast, which was the target of an invasion by Islamic militants from the Philippines last year.
A police clampdown earlier this year saw 19 Malaysians suspected of having ISIS links arrested - seven are due to be charged in court next month - but support for militants continues to grow.
One militant, who wanted to be known only as Abu Talhah, told The Straits Times that he had successfully made his way to Syria, where dozens of Malaysians were serving under ISIS, with more planning to join them.
"When we are not fighting, we use Facebook as a medium to spread news of our jihad," he said, confirming recent reports that ISIS was using social media as a recruitment tool.
Meanwhile, a video of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon declaring the militant group's support for ISIS has caused alarm after it went viral on social media.
The clip, which is available on video-sharing platform YouTube, is believed to have been released to build support for ISIS in South-east Asia.
Kuala Lumpur has stepped up monitoring of pro-ISIS and radical websites in response, reports said.
Abu Sayyaf is believed to be responsible for several kidnappings in recent years, including a raid on Sabah's Pom Pom Island on Nov 15 last year - in which they kidnapped a Taiwanese and killed her husband - and at least three abductions this year.
The Philippine Navy has created a special task force to go after Abu Sayyaf following the surge in kidnappings.
For its part, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Muslim guerilla group in the Philippines, has ordered its 12,000 armed fighters to hunt Abu Sayyaf bandits and other militants linked to ISIS, the group's spokesman Mohagher Iqbal said yesterday.
"We see to it... that no outside elements are coming into territories under the MILF to create trouble," he said.
He added that the MILF is also helping the authorities to track down extremists from outside the Philippines.
These include Malaysian Zulkifli Hir, also known as Marwan, one of the world's most wanted and elusive terrorists, and his Singaporean counterpart Abdullah Ali, alias Muawiyah. .

Reds storm Bukidnon quarry

From the Philippine Star (Sep 24): Reds storm Bukidnon quarry

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines – Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas raided a quarry and torched equipment in Valencia City, Bukidnon on Saturday, the military reported yesterday.

Maj. Christian Uy, spokesperson for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said at least 30 armed rebels arrived at the site reportedly operated by the Limbo Construction Co. in Barangay Nabag-o.

Uy said the rebels, allegedly belonging to the NPA Guerilla Front 6, burned two payloaders and a dump truck before fleeing.

BIFF, Army trade fire in N. Cotabato

From the Philippine Star (Sep 24): BIFF, Army trade fire in N. Cotabato

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - Bandits simultaneously fired assault rifles and anti-tank rockets on Army detachments in Kabacan and Matalam towns Tuesday night, provoking a brief encounter that triggered panic among local folks.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) crawled near the positions of soldiers belonging to the 7th Infantry Battalion and attacked from different directions.

The soldiers engaged the BIFF gunmen in a four-hour firefight, preventing them from breaching the perimeter fences of the detachments at the border of North Cotabato’s adjoining Matalam and Kabacan towns.

Barangay leaders said the bandits scampered away after they ran out of ammunition, carrying at least four wounded companions.

The harassment of soldiers guarding strategic areas in the boundary of the two towns was preceded by the BIFF’s attack Tuesday morning of the 7th IB’s outposts in Barangays Kuyapon and Lower Paatan, both in Kabacan.

“Not a single soldier was hurt in these series of attacks. It was the civilians that again suffered from the brunt of these `anti-people activities’ of the BIFF,” Hermoso said.

Local officials said the atrocities the BIFF perpetrated scared villagers and forced them to relocate to safer areas.

Army intel officer shot dead

From the Philippine Star (Sep 25): Army intel officer shot dead

Suspected communist rebels gunned down an intelligence officer in Bukidnon on Sunday, the military reported yesterday.

Andrew Dayata, an Army intelligence operative of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, was on a motorcycle with his wife, Jocelyn, when the suspects on two motorcycles opened fire in the vicinity of Purok 1-B, Dangcalan town.

Dayata, who suffered gunshot wounds in the head, died while being transported to the Kibawe Provincial Hospital. His wife was unharmed.

Intelligence reports show that the New People’s Army (NPA) has deployed its newly trained liquidation units in Bukidnon and nearby provinces.

The NPA earlier owned up to the killing of Councilor Cecilio Abuhan of Opol, Misamis Oriental. Suspected communist rebels were also believed to be behind the ambush of Impasug-ong Mayor Mario Okinlay on July 2.

PMA welcomes 319 plebes

From the Sun Star-Baguio (Sep 24): PMA welcomes 319 plebes

FORT DEL PILAR -- The Philippine Military Academy welcomed 319 new plebes into the military fold.

Alagad ng Lahing Binigkis ng Tapang (Alab Tala) Class of 2018 is composed of 319 cadets who survived a rigorous six months training recognized in military rites last week.

There were 21,751 applicants and 1,455 successful examinees from all over the country, 345 of them, reported to the academy and were formally received through a Reception Rites on April 1.

The PMA Alab Tala Class 2018 is composed of 228 male and 91 female cadets.

The class is composed of cadets who are 21 fresh high school graduates, 67 first year college students, 75 second year college students, 47 third year college students, 14 fourth year college students, two fifth year-level college students, and 19 cadets who have finished their bachelors’ degrees.

Guest of honor was Armed Forces Chief Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. who called on the new cadets to live by the Honor Code of the Cadet Corps.

The Honor code is the academy’s highest gauge of character. The code is based on three basic offenses - lying, cheating, stealing and tolerating anyone who violates any of these.

The Philippine Military Academy stresses the no hazing policy as it opened its entrance examinations months before.

PMA information chief Major Reynaldo B Balido Jr. previously said the strict implementation of the policy banning hazing in the academy ensures safety of incoming cadets.

Balido said those to be found violating the policy will be held liable and will be discharged from the military academy.

During the PMA examinations, there are 37 examination centers all over the country to administer the PMA entrance examinations aiming to welcome aspiring young men and women to join the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and eventually be a Noble Officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Philippines Concerned About China, Leader Says

From the New York Times (Sep 23): Philippines Concerned About China, Leader Says

The president of the Philippines expressed concern on Tuesday about what he called the “hot to cold” messages from China in the protracted territorial disputes with his country — and others in the region — over areas of the South China Sea.
In an interview, the president, Benigno S. Aquino III, who was visiting to attend a United Nations summit meeting on climate change, made it clear that the territorial disputes had created a tense backdrop to the relationship between the Philippines and China and a geopolitical point of contention that also has entangled the United States, an ally of the Philippines.
China and the Philippines have been locked in a standoff over an area of the South China Sea near the Philippines coast called Scarborough Shoal for more than two years. In May, they became embroiled in another dispute over part of the Spratly Islands known as Johnson South Reef. The Philippines has filed a case against China with a United Nations tribunal, demanding arbitration of territorial disagreements.
President Benigno S. Aquino III Credit Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Increasingly assertive about these claims, China has also engaged in maritime disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam in different parts of the South China Sea, and with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.
The Chinese have sought one-on-one talks with the Philippines to resolve the dispute, but Mr. Aquino has rejected that approach — there are at least four countries with overlapping claims in the Spratlys alone, he said, so it makes no sense for two of the countries to negotiate with each other.
“We cannot agree to bilateral talks to solve the problem, because we think the problem is multilateral,” he said. “A multilateral problem has to be settled multilaterally.”
He described the relationship with China as confusing at times. While trade between the two nations continues to grow, he said, a travel advisory is in force in China discouraging visits to the Philippines. Other mixed messages recur as well. “There was a time when they were stopping our exports of bananas,” Mr. Aquino said.
“At the end of the day, it goes from hot to cold, sometimes they’re very conciliatory, sometimes they make very provocative statements,” he said.
 “We will confess we don’t understand some of the messages sometimes. We’re not sure.”
China has contended that ancient maritime maps from dynasties past support its claim on the Scarborough Shoal.
This month, the Philippines sought to rebut that claim by producing its own maps, some dating to the 12th century, showing that China had no ownership claim on islands below its southernmost region, Hainan, Philippine newspapers reported.

MILF: PDF version of House Bill No. 4994

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 11): PDF version of House Bill No. 4994

MILF: PDF version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 2014): PDF version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

MILF: “People must understand the BBL”

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 24): “People must understand the BBL”

Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) Chairman Mohagher Iqbal said on Monday (September 22)  that our people now must be made to understand how the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) would impact on their lives now that its contents are readily available to the public.
This he said during a media roundtable discussion on the BBL at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

Iqbal admitted that “people from all walks of life have been asking for copies of the draft” since April 22 of this year when the BTC submitted its original draft to the Office of the President (OP).

But prudence dictated,according to Iqbal, that they settle everything first before the draft was made available to all.  

He recalled how “marathon sessions and workshops (that) became necessary and have to be convened after the OP returned the draft to the BTC on June 23…”

On July 3, BTC passed a resolution elevating the process to the GPH-MILF Peace Negotiating Panels for clarification, discussion and resolution of issues that may have been affected by the revisions in the original draft BBL.

From July 7 to September 7, series of meetings happened in the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Davao to thresh out all contentious issues.

On September 10, President Benigno S. Aquino III officially transmitted the draft BBL to Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. in turn-over rites held at Malacanan Palace. 

Now that the draft BBL is already a legislative bill, Iqbal said that what’s timely and proper to do is, among several things, to engage the public via the media.

“Public perception and opinion are certainly influenced and shaped by the stroke of the pen, or by the airwaves, or by the pervasive social media,” Iqbal said of the potent power of media men.

Joining Iqbal at the Faber Hall of ADMU were Commissioners Akmad Sakkam and Abdula Camlian as well as MILF Peace Panel Member Datu Antonio Kinoc who took turns in answering questions that ranged from identity, security and women issues on the proposed BBL.

GPH Peace Panel Chairman Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer was also present but had to leave early for a budget hearing. She was substituted by Panel member Senen Bacani.

The Ateneo event could be the first in a series of ten roundtable discussions with media being planned to be held in 10 key cities all over the country.

Together with the BTC Communications Group, it was organised by MindaNews and supported by Conciliation Resources, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP), the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the European Union (EU) and the UK Aid.

Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ welcomed the resource persons and participants while Besim Ajeti (IOM Head of Cotabato Office) and Amina Rasul of PCID gave messages of support.

The next roundtable discussion would be held in Davao City.“people-must-understand-the-bbl

Bangsamoro law ‘antidote’ to secession – MILF

Posted to the MILF Website (Sep 24): Bangsamoro law ‘antidote’ to secession – MILF

In the hands of Congress is a formula – the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) – for achieving national unity and quelling the Moro secessionist movement, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said yesterday.
If the BBL is enacted and implemented, there would be no more reason for Muslim Filipinos to fight government for independence, the MILF said on its official internet portal,

“We firmly believe the BBL is an antidote to secession; and moreover, it gives more legitimacy to the Philippine state,” the MILF said.

The MILF said Moros had legitimate reasons and popular support for rebelling against the government and seeking secession.

But the BBL has addressed most if not all of the legitimate reasons for any revolutionary organization to fight the state, it said.

The MILF said that “after a good BBL” passes into law and then implemented with sincerity, no Moro or group “will have the cause to fight for and get the support of the people and the international community.”

The MILF and the GPH signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27.

The BBL was drafted to implement the agreement to create a new political entity called the Bangsamoro to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The MILF allayed fears the BBL would be divisive.

“Contrary to the fears of some people, the BBL is a menu for unity and solidarity of the entire state. Continue to deny the Moros their basic rights and legitimate aspirations is to provide them good ammunition to exist and fight a popular war,” it said.

Though the BBL is not a cure-all for the Bangsamoro question or problem, it addresses many issues, such as identity, Bangsamoro territory, ancestral domain, natural resources, sharing of powers and wealth, administration of justice through Shari’ah Law, local courts, and indigenous justice system of the indigenous peoples), and human rights, it said.

“What more a Moro can ask for?” the MILF said.‘antidote’-to-secession-–-milf

CPP/NPA: Apat ang patay, madamo ang pilason sa 82ndIB sa mga inaway sa Igbaras kag Tubungan, Iloilo

NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 22): Apat ang patay, madamo ang pilason sa 82ndIB sa mga inaway sa Igbaras kag Tubungan, Iloilo

Ariston Remus
NPA Southern Panay Front Operations Command (Napoleon Tumagtang Command)
Sa sulod sang duha ka adlaw, ginpatupa sang mga yunit sang NPA sa idalom sang Napoleon Tumagtang Command ang tatlo ka alagisod nga banat kontra sa naga-operasyon nga pwersa sang 82nd IB/PA.

Sang Septyembre 17, sa Sityo Butuan, Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo, ginpalukpan sang command-detonated nga eksplosibo ang nagapangsogsog nga pwersa sang 82nd IB sa harbor area sang NPA. Tatlo ang patay kag may iban pa ang nagkalasamaran.

Sang kaagahon sang Septyembre 18, ginharas man sang NPA ang ditatsment sang Bravo Coy sa Brgy. Lanag, Tubungan, Iloilo. Kag pagkahapon sang amo nga adlaw, gin-ambus sang NPA ang naga-operasyon nga pwersa militar sa Brgy. Buloc, Tubungan. Isa ang napatay kag samaron si PFC Ronald Apeladas sang 82nd IB.

Wala sang anuman nga kaswalidad sa mga yunit sang NPA sa amo nga mga inaway.

Ining taktikal nga kontra-opensiba batuk sa 82nd IB sabat sang NPA sa nagapadayon nga kampanya militar sang AFP. Halin pa man sang nagligad, ginahimo na ini sang NPA sa ginadebelopar nga kapasidad nga sa tunga sang mga operasyon militar sang AFP indi sila hilway nga magtudag sa kabukiran sa pagsabwag sang kakugmat sa pumuluyo kay ano man oras, malukpan gid sila.

Ang subong nga pagpasingki sang operasyon militar sang 3rdID pamatuod lang sang pangunahon pagsalig sa kusog-militar agud kugmaton, hawanan sang oposisyon kag reklamo sang pumuluyo ang paghari ni Aquino. Indikasyon man ini sang diktador nga tendensya ni Aquino nga gusto magpalawig sa paghari agud maghugakum sang poder kag manggad pareho sa pork barrel angay kay diktador Marcos sa isa ka martial law.

Imbes buligan ang madasig nga rehabilitasyon sa kabuhian sang pumuluyo nga gin-guba sang mga kalamidad sa Panay kag iban nga lugar, prioridad pa sang gubyerno ang pagsagud kag pagmodernisa sang iya AFP kag gamiton kontra sa pumuluyo.

Imbes buligan ang tunay nga pagpauswag sa kabuhian sang pumuluyo, padayon subong si Aquino sa pagbaligya sang Pilipinas didto sa Europa para ganansyahan sang dumuluong nga mga kapitalista kag lokal nga dalagku nga kapitalista nga “kapamilya, kaklase, kaibigan, at kabarilan” ni Aquino. Samtang nagakalalumos sa baha ang Metro Manila kag iban nga bahin sang Luzon sa bagyong Mario, didto si Aquino nagakinalipay sa Europa upod sa mga dalagku nga kapitalista.

Bangud ginapalala lang sang gubyernong Aquino ang krisis, sumalangon ni Aquino ang pagbato sang pumuluyo kag mahimo matabo sa kay PNoy, ang natabo kay diktador Marcos.

CPP/NDF: Pagbuhi sa 2 ka POW sa Bukidnon isibog, deklarasyon sa SOMO/SOPO paabuton

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 22): Pagbuhi sa 2 ka POW sa Bukidnon isibog, deklarasyon sa SOMO/SOPO paabuton
Cesar Renerio
NDFP North Central Mindanao Chapter
Human ang 10 ka adlaw nga tanyag sa National Democratic Front of the Philippines – North Central Mindanao Region alang sa luwas nga pagrelease sa duha ka prisoners of war sa New People’s Army sa Bukidnon, gikasubo namong ipahibalo sa pamilya ug kahigalaan nilang Pfc. Marnel Cinches ug Pfc. Jerrel Yorong nga masibog ngadto sa walay tinong panahon ang gikatakdang pagbuhi kanila. Isip dugang pagpakita sa among sinseridad sa kaakuhan sa gitanyag og kalinaw, paabuton namo nga madeklara ang napulo ka adlaw nga Suspension of Offensive Military and Police Operations (SOMO-SOPO) nga padayong ginalihok sa Third Party Facilitators ug mga mahigugmaon sa kalinaw nga mga upisyal sa GPH.
Aron masegurong luwas ang duha, kinahanglan og igong panahon ang custodial unit sa pagbalhin kanila ngadto sa lugar nga relatibong layo sa ginalunsad nga rescue operations sa AFP. Sa ingon, dili usab mahiktan ang ubang mga units sa New People’s Army sa pag-atubang sa mga tropa sa AFP
Subay sa una na namong gipamahayag, subli namong pangayuon nga mapailalum sa SOMO/SOPO ang 2 ka syudad ug 7 ka lungsod sa Bukidnon ug Misamis Oriental. Subli usab namong pasalamatan ang mga upisyal sa lokal nga gobyerno sa duha ka probinsya ug crisis committee sa ilang langkub sa padayong pagpaningkamot nga makatabang sa pagpangayo nga mapailalum sa SOMO/SOPO ang mga gitakdang lugar sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka probinsya. Dalayegon ang ilang kaikag nga mahimong kabahin niining kahigayunan alang sa kalinaw.

Sa hingtungdang mga pamilya, sa Third Party facilitators, mga mahigugmaon sa kalinaw nga upisyal sa GPH ug sa publiko sa kinatibuk-an, gipasalig namo ang makitawhanong pagtratar sa duha ka POW ug gigarantiyahan namo ang ilang mga katungod subay sa CARHRIHL ug sa mga internasyonal nga balaud sa gubat. Kung dunay sayo nga deklarasyon sa SOMO/SOPO, mapahigayonusab ang sayo nga pag-release kanila. Himuon lang ang pagpailalum kanila sa pormal nga imbestigasyon ug posibleng pagtaral ubos sa rebolusyonaryong sistema sa hustisya kung klarong walanay kahigayunan bisan gamay nga madeklarar sa GPH ang SOMO/SOPO.

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.

CPP/NDF: Gipanghimaraut sa NDF-FSMR ang pagpamomba sa GenSan

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 21): Gipanghimaraut sa NDF-FSMR ang pagpamomba sa GenSan

Ka Efren Aksasato
NDFP Far South Mindanao Chapter

Hugot nga gipanghimaraut sa National Democratic Front – FarSouth Mindanao Region (NDF-FSMR) ang pagpabusikad og bomba sa Rizal Freedom Park sa Gen. Santos City niadtong Setyembre 16, 2014.
Amo sab ginapadangat ang among simpatiya alang sa mga sibilyang nabiktima sa maong bangis nga panghitabo.

Ang pagpabusikad sa bomba nga gihimo sa usa ka pangpublikong lugar atul sa oras sa kagabhion nga daghang tawo ang naglingaw-lingaw usa ka tin-aw nga teroristang binuhatan nga nagtumong nga momugna og kadaot sa mga inosenteng sibilyan.

Dunay managlakahing mga posibilidad nga lagmit nagapaluyo sa naasoy nga pagpamomba. Mamahimo kining gibuhat sa mga tawo o mga ekstremistang pundok nga dunay kasuko sa estado, o kaha usa kini ka pakana sa estado mismo.

Tungod sa kadunot, kakorap ug kawalay-katarungan sa semikolonyal-semipyudal nga sistemang giharian sa mga dagkung burgesya kumprador ug agalong yutaan, nagkadaghan ug nagkalapad ang mga pagsukol gikan sa lain-laing han-ay sa katawhan sa sulod sa nasud. Samtang ang pagkalunod-patay ug pagkamasunod-sunorong papet niini sa imperyalismong US nakapalambigit sa nasud sa mga gubat pagpanulong sa US, ug naangin sab kini sa ginapasiatab sa US nga “global war on terror” batok sa mga nasud ug mga entidad nga nagtinguha’g kagawasan. Ang pagpamomba mahimo sab nga usa ka hugawng dula sa mga pwersa sa intelidyens ug mga psy-ops experts sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Ang nahitabo sa Gen. Santos City ingonman ang uban pang mga pagpamomba sa lain-laing mga lugar sa Mindanao nagapahinumdum kanato sa Oplan Greenbase sa kanhing rehimeng US-Arroyo niadtong 2003. Gihulagway sa maong oplan nga gipagula sa Department of National Defense ilalom ni Arroyo ang pagmugna og mga teroristang aksyon nga ipasangil sa kalihukang Moro. Sa susamang pamaagi, gamiton sa gubyerno ang kasuko sa katawhan ug kayagaw sa katilingban aron himoong hinungdan para iduso ang emergency powers sa pangulo o kaha ideklara ang martial law.

Ang kasakit sa bangis nga naagoman sa mga biktima dili sayon nga mapapas samtang padayon silang nahikawan sa hustisya. Angayan lamang nga paninglan ang Philippine National Police (PNP), ang AFP ug ang gubyerno sa ilang kainutil sa responsibilidad nga protektahan ang katawhan.

Pinaagi lamang sa hiniusang pagbarug ug paglihok sa katawhan aron lumpagon ang dunot, mapasagaron ug malupigong estado matagamtaman ang tinuod nga hustisya ug katarungan sa nasud ug mawagtang ang hulgang terorismo gumikan sa pagpatigbabaw sa imperyalismong US ug lokal nga mga nagharing pundok sa katingban.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Video -- Oppose emergency powers and Aquino’s push for a second or extended term

Ang Bayan propaganda video posted to the CPP Website (Sep 21): Video: Oppose emergency powers and Aquino’s push for a second or extended term

[Video report: Oppose emergency powers and Aquino’s push for a second or extended term

The Filipino people oppose Benigno Aquino III’s proposals for an extended term. They oppose, as well, plans to grant Aquino special powers to enter into contracts to increase domestic power supply, resurrecting the Ramos IPP contracts which led to power rate hikes.

In putting forward proposals for a second term, Aquino is demonstrating an exaggerated sense of self-worth and engaging in megalomaniac fantasies of infallibility and purity. He is conjuring the illusion of deep-going support and widespread clamor for his perpetuation in power. Like all dictators, he portrays term extension as self-sacrifice.

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

The reality of the socio-economic crisis, however, is extremely stark to be dressed-up otherwise. There is no way of fooling the unprecedented 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 that there is widespread demand for him to extend his current term or seek another one. 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.]

CPP: US to use joint exercises to camouflage US basing in Palawan—CPP

Anti-US military propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 23): US to use joint exercises to camouflage US basing in Palawan—CPP
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the scheduled joint naval exercises to be conductd by the US and Philippine military forces from September 29 to October 10. This annual Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) is being used by the US to deploy large number of its troops on Philippine soil. The 2014 PHIBLEX, in particular, will be used by the US to pursue its plan of strengthening its military basing in Palawan.

At least 3,500 US troops from the US base in Okinawa, Japan, are set to participate in the PHIBLEX. By descending on the Philippines, these fully armed and combat-ready troops of the US will be trampling on Philippine sovereignty with the full cooperation of its puppet regime.

The US military has long been eyeing Palawan as a forward base for its operations encompassing the Pacific, particularly to project its power and build up its armed presence along the trade routes of the South China Sea. The US military has been provided financing to the AFP to expand the naval bases of the Philippine military on Oyster and Ulugan Bays. The US’ objective is to have these serve as military bases for US naval warships, war materiĆ©l and combat troops under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The Filipino people denounce the hypocrisy behind the US’ plans of providing “humanitarian services” during the joint exercises. In exchange for minimal funding, such token services serve only to make US military intervention seem acceptable in order to disarm the people from opposing the massive presence of US troops.

The CPP calls on the Filipino people to protest the PHIBLEX and demand the immediate pullout of all US troops in the Philippines.

CPP: Mobilize to help calamity survivors

Propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Sep 23): Mobilize to help calamity survivors

Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on the Filipino people to mobilize resources for the survivors of typhoon Mario which dumped large amounts of rain, flooded homes, inundated rice fields and caused widespread damage to crops, fishponds and other sources of livelihood.
More than a million people in the Bicol, Southern Tagalog, central and northern Luzon and Metro Manila, mostly from the toiling sectors, were hit by the storm.

Since last week, CPP branches together with mass organizations in the urban poor communities, have been carrying out collective action in order to mobilize the people to enable them to ride over the calamity. As before, the urban poor communities in Metro Manila and surrounding suburbs were among those that suffered the worst floodings.

In the southern Luzon and central and northern Luzon provinces, the leading committees of the CPP have mobilized units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the mass organizations of peasants, youth and women to organize rehabilitation efforts. Thousands of people can be mobilized to reconstruct homes, repair dikes, river banks and other agriculture infrastructure damaged by the floods.

The CPP calls on the sectors least affected by the recent storm to help mobilize resources for the calamity survivors. In the guerrilla zones, units of the NPA and local mass organizations have established liaison committees in order to coordinate humanitarian assistance and facilitate the entry of medical and other aid agencies into the areas needing the most help.

The CPP joins the Filipino people in denouncing the Aquino regime for its continuing failure to address the long-standing problem of flooding in Metro Manila and elsewhere. There is mounting clamor for a clear accounting of the billions of pesos in regular and DAP funds allotted for its flood-control program.

‘Rebel leader’ nabbed

From the Visayan Daily Star (Sep 24): ‘Rebel leader’ nabbed

Another suspected leader of the New People’s Army was arrested yesterday by combined team of the police and military in Leganes, Iloilo.

The arrest of Norberto Castor, with the aliases of Marlon and Greg, who is facing charges for multiple murder with the use of explosives, and frustrated murder, brought to six the number of key NPA personalities arrested in Negros and Panay, since the start of the year.

Of the six NPA leaders apprehended by the police and Philippine Army, by virtue of arrest warrants, five were nabbed in Negros Occidental and Oriental, Maj. Rey Tiongson, Public Affairs Office chief of the 3rd Infantry Division, said.

Tiongson said Castor served as the deputy secretary of the Central Front of Komiteng Rehiyonal-Panay. No bail was recommended for him by Iloilo Regional Trial Court Judge Guilljie Delfin Lim.

He also said that Castor is among the senior CPP-NPA cadres, who carried out atrocities in central Panay island, victimizing innocent civilians and destroying properties in the area.

Angry solon holds military budget over 'HR violations'

From Rappler (Sep 24): Angry solon holds military budget over 'HR violations'

Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan details the military's alleged human rights violations in the Cordillera region, citing the death of a certain Recca Noelle Monte

HUDDLE. Defense and military officials discuss issues raised by lawmakers.

HUDDLE. Defense and military officials discuss issues raised by lawmakers.
At 5:30 am on Wednesday, September 24, Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan, who was livid over the military's alleged human rights violations in Abra in early September, successfully deferred the second reading approval of the P144-billion ($3.2-billion*) budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"Pending the compliance of the military to these two requests, I move to defer the approval of," Ilagan declared in a raised voice before the plenary, but before she could finish her motion, presiding officer Quezon City Jorge "Bolet" Banal suspended the session, and later, the deliberations on the DND and AFP budget.

No help came for the defense and military officials, who were in full force at the plenary, to support Manila Representative Zenaida Angping in defending their budget. At 5:30 am, there were only about a dozen solons left – mostly members of the leftist Makabayan bloc – and the matter couldn't be put to a vote without a quorum.

Ilagan, who followed 5 other colleagues in the leftist Makabayan bloc in grilling the defense budget since deliberations started midnight Wednesday, detailed the alleged human rights violations of the military in the Cordillera Region.

She zoomed in on the death of a Recca Noelle Monte, who died in the early September military operation in Lacub town where troops allegedly used civilians as human shields as they pursued top New People's Army (NPA) officials.

The leftist lawmakers have always taken advantage of the budget hearings – perhaps the only opportunity to demand the military to explain reports of the troops' human rights abuses.

The military, for its part, has committed to immediately end the 4-decades-old communist insurgency so it can focus on territorial defense.

"It is my position that it is the responsibilty of this House as part of its power of the purse to ensure that the budget of DND will not be used to violate human rights and international humanitarian law. It is also about time that the DND and AFP take seriously the issues of human rights raised against the military establishment and not just brush them aside with sweeping denials and public avowals about a new AFP," she said.

The armed forces considers the operation conducted September 4 to 5 as a "major tactical victory" that supposedly caused a "setback to the ranks of the NPA."

The military reported a total of 8 NPA rebels killed, including high ranking rebel commanders operating in the region. Several firearms were also reportedly recovered: M653 rifles, M14 rifle, M16 rifles, AK47, Garand and Cal .45 Pistol among others.

Members of the 41st Infantry Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division received medals for the "successful campaign." The Gold Cross Medal was awarded to Second Lietenant Joe Mari S Landicho, the head of the operating troops, and the Bronze Cross Medal to Lieutenant Colonel Rogelio Noora, Commanding Officer of 41st IB.

But an emotional Ilagan lambasted the military's celebration and presented in plenary the details of an autopsy report conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the death of Monte, one of those supposedly killed in combat in Lacub, Abra.

The military maintained it was a legitimate combat operation. But the autopsy report that Ilagan read showed that Monte died from torture and sustained no gunshot wound.

"The family of the victim is crying for justice. The family had the body autopsied by the NBI and what does the report state? She had no gunshot wounds but she was full of marks of extreme physical torture, beatings using blunt objects," Ilagan said, and then read the horrific details in the autopsy report.

This was when Ilagan began to argue in favor of holding the DND and AFP budget. She made two demands:
  • For the Philippine Army to submit the report on the military operation conducted on September 4-5
  • Bring Second Lieutenant Jose Mari Landicho, the head of the operating troops, and Lieutenant Colonel Rogelio Noora, commanding officer of the 41st IB, to the plenary hall to explain the deah of Rica Noel Monte
The DND and AFP officials are expected to return for another day of grilling on Friday, September 25.

Aquino fears China oil rig in Philippine waters – report

From Rappler (Sep 24): Aquino fears China oil rig in Philippine waters – report

President Benigno Aquino III tells the Associated Press that the Philippines 'will stick up for its territorial rights' in the disputed South China Sea

FACING CHINA. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says he is concerned about China's moves in the disputed South China Sea. In this photo, he speaks at Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA on September 22, 2014. Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA

FACING CHINA. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says he is concerned about China's moves in the disputed South China Sea. In this photo, he speaks at Harvard University's John F Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA on September 22, 2014. Photo by CJ Gunther/EPA
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III fears China might dispatch an oil rig to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as the Asian giant did in waters claimed by Vietnam, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Aquino also said the Philippines “will stick up for its territorial rights” in the disputed West Philippine Sea after China sent two hydrographic ships there, according to the AP report Wednesday, September 24.
“He said the Philippines was uncertain of their purpose, but wondered if China was planning to dispatch an oil rig that was sent earlier this year to waters claimed by Vietnam, causing a spike in tensions. He said perhaps China was just mapping terrain for its submarines,” the AP said.
Aquino told the news agency, “What is clear is that there were two ships which were performing certain measurements in this feature which is part of the Philippines EEZ.”
The EEZ, or exclusive economic zone, is an area 200 nautical miles from a coastal state's baselines or edges, within which it has the exclusive rights to explore and exploit marine resources.
China's 'sovereignty patrols'
Aquino first revealed in an interview aired August 17 that the Armed Forces of the Philippines saw two Chinese hydrographic ships in the potentially oil-rich Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) condemned China's moves, and described the ships as part of China's sovereignty patrols – vessels with the sole purpose of staking Beijing's claim in the disputed waters.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said: “We are protesting the conduct of sovereignty patrols by Chinese vessels on Recto Bank. The frequent passage of Chinese vessels in Recto Bank is not an innocent exercise of freedom of navigation, but is actually done as part of the pattern of illegitimate sovereignty patrols in the Philippine EEZ, pursuant to China's unilateral effort to change the status quo in the South China Sea.”
The sighting of the Chinese hydrographic ships came after the oil rig controversy between Vietnam and China in May. Vietnam claimed China attacked Vietnamese ships near a Chinese oil rig in the South China Sea, parts of which Vietnam claims as the East Sea. China struck back by accusing Vietnam of ramming Chinese ships at least 1,400 times.
In an interview with Rappler in June, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Truong Trieu Duong said China's moves also threaten the Philippines. (READ: Q and A: 'Brave, patriotic' Vietnam challenges China)

No change to Iraq policy after Philippines hostage threat: Germany

From Rappler (Sep 24): No change to Iraq policy after Philippines hostage threat: Germany

'Threats are not an appropriate way to influence our policy in Syria and Iraq,' says a spokeswoman from the German foreign ministry

LOYALTY TO THE ISLAMIC STATE. Senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon swears allegiance to ISIS

LOYALTY TO THE ISLAMIC STATE. Senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon swears allegiance to ISIS
Germany said Wednesday, September 24, it would not withdraw support for US action against jihadists in Iraq and Syria following a reported ultimatum from Philippine Islamist militants reportedly threatening to kill a German hostage.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the German government had "heard about the report" but stressed that "threats are not an appropriate way to influence our policy in Syria and Iraq".

"There will be no change to our Syria and Iraq policy," she added.

A terrorism monitoring group reported Tuesday that the extremists said they would kill one of two German hostages unless a 250 million pesos ($5.62 million, 4.4 million euros) ransom is paid and Berlin stops supporting the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

US-based SITE, which monitors extremists' activities worldwide, released a picture attributed to the Abu Sayyaf group showing a masked militant with a machete beside a grey-haired white man.

A younger white woman with close-cropped hair was also shown, while other masked men stood behind them, armed with assault rifles and machine guns.

The Abu Sayyaf, a small band of Islamic militants based in the southern Philippines, vowed to kill one of two hostages if the two demands were not met within 15 days, according to SITE.

The foreign ministry spokeswoman said the German government had set up a crisis task force on the case "and we will of course continue our efforts to secure a release".

The German government has ruled out joining air strikes or any ground offensive in the fight against IS jihadists.

But it announced late last month that it would send weapons to the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq to help them fend off the militants.

It has also sent around 40 soldiers to help train the Kurdish fighters in Iraq.

The move broke a taboo in Germany which, burdened with its past aggression in two world wars, generally shies away from foreign military engagements and as a rule does not export weapons into war zones.

The US has carried out air strikes in both Syria and Iraq, while France has carried out strikes over Iraq.

Philippine authorities had previously confirmed the Abu Sayyaf abducted a German man and woman in April as they were sailing in a yacht to the Philippines from Malaysia.

However, many news organizations including Agence France-Presse refrained from reporting the abductions.

Hard to judge veracity

Philippine authorities said Wednesday they were investigating the reported threats and photo, but could not comment further.

"It is hard for us to make a judgement on what is said, especially on social media and the veracity of this picture, until investigators are able to determine how authentic it is," military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters.

The Abu Sayyaf, considered a "foreign terrorist organization" by the United States, is a loose band of several hundred Islamic militants originally organized with Al-Qaeda funding in the 1990s.

It operates on remote and largely lawless southern Philippine islands that are mostly populated by the nation's minority Muslims.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the Philippines' worst terrorist attacks, including kidnappings, abductions and beheadings of foreign and local hostages.

It was also blamed for the bombing of a ferry on Manila Bay that killed more than 100 people in 2004.

The group is believed to be currently holding several other foreign and Filipino hostages, including two European birdwatchers abducted in February 2012.

In recent months the Abu Sayyaf has uploaded videos on the Internet proclaiming its allegiance to the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.

The US military has had a rotating force of a few hundred soldiers based in the southern Philippines since 2002 to train local troops in how to combat the group.