Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bandit group leader killed in encounter with Philippine Marines

From GMA News (Nov 6): Bandit group leader killed in encounter with Philippine Marines

A leader of a bandit group was killed in an encounter with Philippine Marines Wednesday morning in Sultan Kudarat province, the Philippine Navy said.
State-run Philippines News Agency reported that Philippine Navy spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo identified the slain leader as Ibrahim Dayao a.k.a. "King Cobra."
Arevalo said the Navy's Marine Special Operations Platoon encountered Dayao and a group of heavily armed men in Palimbang town at 6:23 a.m. He said the Marines were conducting "peace and development operations" at the time.
Arevalo said Dayao's group has been linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front units operating in Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat.
Recovered from the scene were an M-14 rifle and ammunition; an AK-47; a rifle grenade; two-way radios; camouflage ammunition bearing equipment; military camouflage uniforms; and a military-issued backpack.

Abu Sayyaf gives P15K monthly to teen recruits, says ex-mayor

From ABS-CBN (Nov 5): Abu Sayyaf gives P15K monthly to teen recruits, says ex-mayor

BASILAN - A former mayor of a Basilan town said the number of Abu Sayyaf Group members in the province has been increasing in the past few months, as the terrorist group's recruitment of new members intensified.

Joel Maturan, fomer mayor of Ungkaya Pukan, said many of the Abu Sayyaf's new recruits in some municipalities are teenagers, most of whom are out of school, while some are separated from their parents.

The Abu Sayyaf, headed by Isnilon Hapilon and Radzmir Jannatul, offered money to the families of their newly recruited members, aside from a P15,000 monthly allowance, he said.

The terrorist group has allegedly been receiving financial support from an Islamist group in the Middle East.

Maturan also said he received unverified reports that 2 foreign terrorists have been helping the Abu Sayyaf in training new members.

The foreign nationals are allegedly a Malaysian and Indonesian.

Rear Admiral Reynaldo Yoma, commander of Joint Task Force Zambasulta, confirmed the recruitment campaign of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan.

He said the terrorist group could be using money to lure teenagers in the province.

However, Yoma declined to comment about the alleged financial support that the Abu Sayyaf has been receiving from overseas.

He said they are still verifying these reports.

Meantime, the military operation against the Abu Sayyaf continues, with the Marine Batallion Landing Team 11 arriving in Basilan Wednesday.

The Marines are reinforcing Philippine Army forces deployed in the province.

Yoma said the Marines will secure the construction of the long-overdue Basilan Circumferential Road.

Malaysia wants to get hostages freed without paying ransom

From the Star Online (Nov 6): Malaysia wants to get hostages freed without paying ransom

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia wants to secure the release of two Malaysians being held by Abu Sayyaf militants without compromising its no-ransom policy.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said mediators were still in negotiations and the police have discussed the various issues with the state and federal governments.

“We have also written to our counterparts in the Philippines asking for their help to secure the freedom of the captives,” he said.

He was commenting on the negotiations to secure the release of fish farm owner Chan Sai Chuin, 32, and Konst Zakiah Aleip, 26, of the marine police.
They were kidnapped in Semporna by Filipino gunmen on June 16 and July 12.

The Abu Sayyaf gunmen want RM3mil to release Chan and have threatened to behead him if his wife, Chin Pek Nyen, 42, does not pay up by Nov 30. They are also demanding a RM3mil ransom for Zakiah.

Chin has only managed to raise RM100,000 so far and went to Parliament House on Tuesday to appeal to the Prime Minister to assist in securing Chan’s release.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said at the Parliament lobby yesterday that discussions were still under way with several groups in Sabah and Philippine authorities over the two captives.

The Philippine military, acting on orders of President Benigno Aquino, conducted air and ground strikes since Saturday against the Abu Sayyaf and hope to rescue the captives.

A Filipino social activist working to end the kidnappings, Prof Octavio Dinampo, told The Star on Tuesday that Zakiah and Chan were being held in the Indanan municipality, along with two European hostages, under the control of Abu Sayyaf commander Radulan Sahiron.

Dinampo, who is with Mindanao State University and a former hostage, said Zakiah and Chan were now held together and no longer separately after the military operations started.

But some Philippine sources said that Zakiah was still being held by Abu Sayyaf commander Al Habsi while Chan was with Radulan’s group.

Philippines, US begin joint exercise in Muslim south

From the World Bulletin (Nov 5): Philippines, US begin joint exercise in Muslim south

Philippines, US begin joint exercise in Muslim south

Three-week exercise comes in wake of weekend clash with Abu Sayyaf that left six government troops dead

Filipino and United States security forces began a joint exercise Wednesday in the Philippines’ Muslim south after a weekend clash left six government troops dead.

Col. Eliglen Villaflor, Philippine Special Forces commander, told The Anadolu Agency that the three-week exercise will focus on retraining Filipino troops on "counter-terrorism" under the U.S. government’s long-term security program.

Villaflor expressed confidence his men would be able to use what they learned from the exercise in operations against an al-Qaeda-linked militant group in the southern island province of Basilan -- a known Abu Sayyaf stronghold.

The six soldiers -- including a junior army officer -- were part of a government force securing a Saudi-assisted road project when they clashed with around 20 heavily armed members Sunday.

The men - including a 2nd lieutenant - were killed during the ensuing 45-minute gun battle. The attack came the day after the Armed Forces of the Philippines launched morning air strikes against the group in the nearby island of Sulu, which triggered intense clashes that continued throughout the afternoon and left an undetermined number of casualties.

An opening ceremony for the joint "RP-US Balance Piston 15-1” program was held Wednesday at a military camp in the provincial capital of Isabela City after U.S. troops’ arrival from Okinawa, Japan.

Training will include basic marksmanship, small unit tactics, combat lifesaving techniques and medical capability – or "medcap," said Villaflor.

Similar exercises were held in Basilan in 2002 and 2005, when dozens of U.S. soldiers - including Special Forces members - provided advice and training to local troops in hunting down Abu Sayyaf militants. U.S. navy engineers had also participated, helping build roads and bridges.

AFP chief on Abu ransom payments: Cash is fake

From the Philippine Star (Nov 6): AFP chief on Abu ransom payments: Cash is fake

AFP chief on Abu ransom payments: Cash is fake

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang yesterday disputed claims of the Abu Sayyaf regarding ransom money paid to the bandit group, saying this was likely counterfeit.

“I have ordered an investigation into this matter because the Abu Sayyaf could just be trying to create confusion to mislead the general public to believe that ransom was indeed paid,” Catapang said.

Abu Sayyaf spokesman Muamar Askali released a video clip on Facebook showing what they claimed to be the P250-million ransom paid to them in exchange for the freedom of German couple Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen last Oct. 17.

The video showed the Abu Sayyaf piling bundles of P1,000 bills in five stacks, neatly wrapped with transparent plastic, each stack estimated to be P1 million. The money was placed on top of a large black plastic bag.

“From what we saw on the video is not true. It might be the Abu Sayyaf is showing off the supposed ransom money that are a bunch of bogus bills,” Catapang said.

Catapang, currently in Brunei on an official trip, also stressed the need for a “whole of nation approach” in addressing the Abu Sayyaf menace in the areas of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta).

“There should be social pressure to ask the people of Western Mindanao to put a stop to the kidnapping and change the image of Western Mindanao from a kidnapping area into an area of peace and prosperity,” he said.

For the AFP, Catapang said the Army, the Air Force and the Navy, as well as the Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police (PNP), are now jointly pursuing a combined Abu Sayyaf force of an estimated 400 gunmen in the Zambasulta area.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, also doubted Askali’s claims of ransom money.

If it were true, Cabanoc admitted this would be a big concern for the military.
“We are also concerned with this, if ever ransom was really paid. They could use that in acquiring firearms,” he said.

Cabunoc, however, stressed the possibility the mound of cash shown by Askali could be fake, or someone outside of the military could have devised ways to deceive the kidnappers by delivering counterfeit bills to secure the release of the German hostages.

MILF: MILF PolCom, BDA ask prominent personalities in Basilan to support BBL

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 6): MILF PolCom, BDA ask prominent personalities in Basilan to support BBL

The officers of the MILF Yakan City Committee (YCC) in partnership with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)- ZamBas region recently conducted courtesy calls with the different prominent personalities in Basilan and cities of Isabela and Lamitan as part of efforts to seek their full support for the draft Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) submitted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.
The group first met with Basilan Governor Jum Akbar and the Mayors League of the Province that paved the way for the LGU and ILF POLCOM and BIAF dialogue at the Basilan Provincial Capitol purposely to muster full support for the BBL.

Separate courtesy calls were also undertaken with BASELCO General Manager Filomeno E. Bate and Former Governor Louie W. Alano.

Both GM Bate and former governor Alano assured support for the BBL, stressing that peace and development will be realized with the passage of the BBL by the Congress that are consistent with the aspirations of the people.

Former Basilan Gov Alano also pledged support to the ratification of the BBL and ultimately the formation of the Bangsamoro governance. “As one of the Christian leaders in the province you can even count me as one who may represent our ranks to join the group in the advocacy campaign throughout the province the former chief executive promised,” he said.

MILF: UN, JICA execs laud MILF for development plan

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 6): UN, JICA execs laud MILF for development plan

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) now holds the distinction of being the only revolutionary group in the world that has crafted a development plan, two senior international aid group officials said on Sunday.
Luiza Carvalho, United Nations (UN) country coordinator, said the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), which the MILF’s Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) has turned over to the group’s central committee, was a road map to human and sustainable development for people affected by decades of conflicts in Mindanao.

“The drafters of the plan, led by the BDA, and all the participants should be lauded for their knowledge of sustainable human development, principles and practices, as well as for effective peace building,” Carvalho said in a speech during the formal turnover ceremonies here.

Noriaki Niwa, country director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), also credited the MILF for being the “only rebel organization” to formulate a development plan for the people it strives to serve.

“The completion of the BDP is a testament to your determination of lasting peace and prosperity for the people of Mindanao and the Bangsamoro,” Niwa said.
But Carvalho said development and peace “only work if they are together.”

“Peace agreements cannot lead to lasting peace if their implementation does not lead to equality and increase in basic services, participation and economic opportunity for all population,” she said.

Carvalho said peace and sustainable development would happen only within the context of constructed consistent reconciliation.

“For many residents of the Bangsamoro, the new Bangsamoro will have an immediate meaning only through a system of governance that is able to deliver basic services in an equitable, transparent and accountable manner,” she said.

Carvalho also said the future Bangsamoro entity would need to develop a very strong short-term plan for revenues and to invest in economic opportunity for the people for it to succeed.

Murad Ebrahim, MILF chair, acknowledged that there was indeed a daunting task ahead.

But Ebrahim said that with the BDP, the MILF was hopeful that the dreams of the Bangsamoro would be fulfilled.

He said he understood that one thing the MILF should do, through the BDA, was to conduct a massive information campaign to make the people realize that having a development plan would not bring them prosperity overnight.

Ebrahim said that unless the people see tangible programs in the next few years after the advent of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the body that would take charge of the future region until elections would be held, discontent could take place.

This was why, he said, the BDA, with its partner agencies such as the national government, had crafted a development plan with four stages, including economy and livelihood.

“Our farmers should be able to bring their produce to the markets without difficulties through the construction of farm-to-market roads and livelihood programs should also be designed for our people,” he said.

BDA executive director Mohamad Yacob told the Inquirer that under the BDP, the other initial focus includes education, agriculture and economy.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said President Aquino had assured the MILF of strong financial support to cover the needs of the implementation of the BDP.
“The President is deeply committed to this peace process and we have firm instruction from him to ensure that there is adequate and ample financing for the BDP,” said Abad, who also attended the formal turnover of the BDP.

He said the government would be solidly supporting the peace process.

“We did not go very far just to leave you here looking for ways to ensure the implementation of this plan. We are with you here and will be with you all the way,” Abad said.

He also agreed with Ebrahim’s view that the people need to feel progress to ensure a continuing support to the peace agreement.

“I think it is also important for us to be able to deliver all of these services and programs with greater transparency because what is most critical is to keep the trust and approval of the people every step of the way,” he said. Allan Nawal and Jeoffrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao

MILF: Central Committee thanks BDA for crafting the Bangsamoro Development Plan

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 5): MILF Central Committee thanks BDA for crafting the Bangsamoro Development Plan

The Central Committee of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) thanked the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) for completing its task in formulating the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), which was described as a comprehensive roadmap for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development of the Bangsamoro communities.
In a press statement issued by MILF Chairman Al haj Murad Ebrahim during the BDP Turnover and Launch Ceremony at Camp Darapanan on November 2, he said, “The MILF Central Committee (MILF CC) expresses its gratitude to the Bangsamoro Development Agency, who was tasked to formulate the Plan on March 22, 2013.”

He added,” Their commitment to the promotion and realization of a just, honorable and lasting peace and prosperous Bangsamoro is demonstrated in this Plan.”

The symbolic transfer by BDA of the completed BDP to MILF was witnessed by members of the MILF Central Committee, MILF line agencies, BDA Board of Directors and staff, International Donors, development partners, GPH line agency secretaries and under-secretaries, academe, business groups and Bangsamoro people.
“Against arduous odds, the men and women of the BDA crafted a plan that reflects the needs and aspirations of the Bangsamoro communities. With hard lessons learned from the past, we understand that enduring peace and stability can only prevail once the underlying roots of conflict are finally addressed,” the MILF head added.

In the plan formulation, the BDA collaborated with members of the Bangsamoro communities, including Muslim, Christian and Indigenous Peoples and enjoined various sectors comprised of women and the youth; national and regional line agencies, Civil  Society Organizations (CSOs), and other development partners in the conduct of the Community Visioning Exercises (CVEs) and needs assessment to ensure inclusiveness of the process.

BDA delved in crafting plans for seven program areas namely economy and livelihood, infrastructure, social services, environment and natural resources, culture and identity, governance, and security and normalization.

Base on the needs, projects shall be implemented in the envisioned Bangsamoro core territory and its adjacent areas.

“These projects were designed to restore confidence and ensure the smooth and inclusive transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Bangsamoro government from 2015 to mid-2016, while laying the foundations for a just, peaceful and prosperous Bangsamoro from mid-2016 to 2022,” the Front leader elaborated.

In his turn-over speech, BDA Chairman Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan thanked the World Bank-managed Mindanao Trust Fund and its donor partners – European Union, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish International Development Agency and United States Agency - for International Development for the financial support and deploying local and international consultants for assisting the BDA Core Planning Team.

BDA is the economic arm of the MILF which was created to lead and manage relief rehabilitation and development projects in conflict affected areas in Mindanao. It is supported by international donors in implementing its various programs.

NPA attack plans desperate moves’

From the Visayan Daily Star (Nov 6): NPA attack plans desperate moves’

The atrocious plans and activities of the New People’s Army in southern Negros are desperate moves to preserve its waning organization and continuing defeat, Maj. Rey Tiongson, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said yesterday.

Military records show that suspected NPA burned heavy equipment of a construction firm in Cauayan town last month.
The Armando Sumayang Command said, in a statement it issued, said that the assumption of Lt. Col. Pompeyo Jason Almagro as the new commander of the 47th Infantry Battalion in southern Negros will be met with tactical offensives.
Despite the continued military operations to protect the Philex mining, Andrea Guerrero, spokesperson of the Armando Sumayang Command, said the people of the 6th district are up in arms against the destructive operations of the mining firm.
Guerrero claimed that the predecessor of Almagro, Lt. Col. Ariel Reyes, was reportedly relieved for his failure to dismantle the South West Front, despite the implementation of the IPSP (Internal Peace and Security Plan) Bayanihan, and the surrender of alleged NPA members, among other others.
Tiongson, however, said that the Philippine Army continues to be effective in implementing the IPSP Bayanihan in southern Negros, especially in addressing the social and economic issues in the hinterland villages.
The 3ID earlier praised the leadership of Reyes for maintaining its records of zero human rights violations, and for successfully “winning the peace” campaign in southern Negros.
Tiongson said the Philippine Army remains committed to ensure the safety and security of the people, and will protect them from any atrocity.

US admiral cites 4 reasons for Asia-Pacific sea pivot

From the Philippine Star (Nov 6): US admiral cites 4 reasons for Asia-Pacific sea pivot

United States Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert delivers remarks during the Centennial Commemorative Gala for the Centennial of Naval Aviation at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2011. US Navy Shannon E. Renfroe/Released

The top American naval official on Wednesday reaffirmed the United States' commitment to a maritime strategy shift to the Asia-Pacific region.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, said that the US' strategy to position the Navy and the Marine Corps in the region where the Philippines belongs, speaks of the military's principle of presence—to be "where it matters, when it matters."

He explained that the move seeks to address power projection, sea control, maritime security and matters of access.

"Despite current events, the long-range interests of [the United States] are in the Asia-Pacific," Greenert said in a presentation to Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution.

RELATED: 60% of US navy, air force deployed in Asia Pacific by 2020

The US maritime rebalance comes as the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam stand opposite to China's belligerent claims over much of the South and East China Seas.

Greenert, however, noted that the reasons for rebalance run counter to criticisms that the US is attempting to contain China and should be giving more attention to the Middle East conflict.

"With this rising navy in China, we have … opportunity," he said. "The challenge is to get rid of unneeded, unfounded and unprofessional cases in the interactions we are inevitably going to have at sea."

He also cited statistics to support the ongoing maritime pivot:
  • Fifty percent of the world’s shipping tonnage passes through the straits of Southeast Asia;
  • One-third of global oil and half the world’s natural gas traffic move through the South China Sea;
  • Five of America’s top-15 trading partners are located in the Asia-Pacific region; and
  • Five US treaty allies—Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and Thailand—are located in the region.
"The alliances are strong and we will honor our treaties," he said. "The engagement is increasing bilaterally and multilaterally and it's really part of the rebalance."

The admiral also echoed the Pentagon's earlier statements that despite the fiscal and security challenges to the rebalance, it continues apace.

Marines neutralize Commander Cobra in Sultan Kudarat

From the Daily Tribune (Nov 5): Marines neutralize Commander Cobra in Sultan Kudarat

Marine forces neutralized a notorious leader of an armed group, with links to the New People’s Army (NPA), during a clash in Sultan Kudarat province yesterday morning.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, spokesman of the Philippine Navy, said that elements of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7 (MBLT-7) encountered the band of one Ibrahim Dayao, alias Commander Cobra, in Palimbang town.

Arevalo said that troops from the Marine Special Operations Platoon of MBLT-7, led by Lt. Mark Cabaring, were on peace and development operation along Purok Nanganga, Sitio Lagaton in Baragay Baluan when they clashed with the armed group at around 6:23 a.m.

Initial result showed that Dayao was killed during the clash, said Arevalo.
Dayao’s body was recovered from the encounter site, along with an M14 rifle with three loaded magazines, an AK47, a rifle grenade, an Icom radio, a Kenwood radio, four camouflage ammunition-bearing equipment, a pair of military camouflage and a military-issued back-pack.

“This is a heavy blow to the armed lawless group linked to the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front),” said Arevalo.

“Commander Cobra and his followers are notorious lawless armed group conducting criminal activities in the hinterlands of Palimbang,” he added.

Arevalo said that the Marines will continue to pursue lawless elements in central Mindanao.

“The Marines will be relentless in its pursuit to go after criminal lawless groups operating in that area of central Mindanao to alleviate the flight of the people who have long been victims of extortion, terrorism, and other criminal activities,” said Arevalo.

CPP/NDF: Nobyembre 5, Adlaw sa Pagkomemorar sa Pagkabaganihan nila Papa Isio sa Pagsulong sg Pungsodnon Demokratikong Rebolusyon

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 4):

Frank Fernandez
NDFP Negros Island Chapter
Ginahangyo sg NDF-Negros ang pumuluyo sa pag-upod sg komemorasyon sg Nobyembre 5 bilang isa ka istorikal nga adlaw sg kasaysayan sg rebolusyonaryong paghimakas sg pumuluyo sa Negros Occidental. Ini nga nasambit nga petsa nangin madinalag-on ang mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa sg ila ginlunsar ang pinal nga opensiba militar batuk sa mahuyang nga naligwin kag napabilin nga mga mananakop nga armadong pwersa militar kag mga kolonyalistang opisyal sg gobyerno kag mga prayleng Katsila nga nagkota sa Bacolod. Ini nga rebolusyonaryong kadalag-an nangin kabahin kag kontribusyon sg mga rebolusyonaryong Negrosanon sa naangkon nga kadalag-an nga burges demokratikong rebolusyon sg 1896 sa kabilugan nga pungsod Islas de las Filipinas, nga ginpangunahan sg Katipunan batuk sa sobra 300 ka tuig nga mapiguson kag mahimuslanon nga paghari kolonyalismo kag pyudalismong Espanyol.Apang may ara angay tadlungon sa mga ginligwat nga version bahin sa rebolusyonaryong kasaysayan paagi sa pagsapol sa istoryang-engkanto o “myths” kag sg historical facts nga ginpalapnag sg mga nagaharing dalagkung komprador buregsya kag agalon mayduta kag ila mga ahenteng intelektwal. Gusto sg mga nagahimulos nga sahi nga patalangon ang mga subong kag palaabuton nga henerasyon sg pumuluyo para magpabilin nga mga ulipon sa idalum sg makasahi nga paghari sg dalagkung komprador burgesya kag agalon mayduta sa isa ka mahimuslanon kag mapiguson nga sistema sosyal. Angot sini, ila ginapadaku sa sobra nga proporsyon ang indibidwalnga papel nila Senyor Juan Araneta kag Senyor Aniceto Lacson sa kasaysayan sg armadong rebolusyon samtang ila ginpahigad o ginkalipatan ang mga matuod nga rebolusyonaryong baganihan nga amo ang pumuluyong Negrosanon nga ginpangunahan sg mga Pulahanes Movement sa idalum sg pagpamuno ni Papa Isio batuk sa kolonyal kag pyudal nga pagharing Espanyol.

Isa ka burges demokratiko nga armadong rebolusyon ang panawagan kag ginlunsar sg Katipunan sg 1896 nga una ginpamunuan ni Gat. Andres Bonifacio para ibagsak ang kolonyal kag pyudal nga paghari sg Espanya. Naabot na sa grabe nga paghuyang ang mapiguson nga estado sg kaaway dulot sg grabeng krisis sa pyudal nga ekonomiya kag sa atubang sg mga legal kag iligal, armado kag di-armadong paghimakas pangpulitika sg pumuluyo paagi sa mga paghimakas masa sg mga mamumugon kag mangunguma kag iban pa nga sektor. Mga sobra 200 nga armadong pag-alsa sg mga pesante sa lain-lain nga bahin sg Pilipinas. Ang ginlunsar nga mga Kahublagan Propaganda sang mga ilustrado nila Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Juan Luna kag iban pa para sa pagdemanda sg reporma paagi sa malinong nga pamaagi. Ini nga makasahi nga paghimakas sg pumuluyo labi na ang mamumugon kag mangunguma naghawan sg dalan para sa magdebelopar nga makaabot sa pagtukod sg isa ka pungsodnon nga sakop sg armadong rebolusyonaryong kahublagan sa pagpanguna sg Katipunan para sa marahas nga pag-agaw sg poder pangpulitika kag tukuron ang independente nga burges demokratikong republika.

Sila Senyor Juan Araneta kg Aniceto Lacson kag iban pa, mga ilustrado sa Negros mga anak sg mga lokal nga AMD nga pamilya kag kolaboreytor sa mga kolonyalistang opisyal Espanyol. Sang ila pag-eskwela sa Espanya, na-ekspos kag naimpluwensya sila tulad nila Dr.Jose Rizal kag iban pa nga prominenteng ilustrado, sa progresibong liberal nga ideya sg sahing liberal- burges nga nag-espouse sg adbokasiya kag paghimakas batuk sa pyudal nga monarkiya kag otokrasiya nga paghari sa Europa kag nagtuyo sa pagtukod sg burges demokratikong republika sa balayon sg kapitalistang sistema sosyal.

Diri sa Negros, ang una nga nagsabat sa panawagan sg Katipunan para sa armadong rebolusyon amo sila Papa Isio sa Western nga bahin sg Isla kag Jose de la Vina sa Eastern nga bahin. Ang ila ginpamunuan nga armadong kahublagan amo ang opisyal nga ginkilala sg Katipunan sg lideratong Aguinaldo.

Ang Pulahanes nga kahublagan ginkondenar sg mga kolonyalistang opisyal kag mga prayleng Katsila kag mapintas nga ginhunting si Papa Isio kag mga kaupdanan. Ginbansagan sila bilang tulisanes, anti-development, anti-kalinong, anti-relihiyon. Apang bangud sa pagdala sg kawsa para sa interes sg pumuluyo paagi sa pagpalayas sg mga kolonyalistang dumuluong para mangin hilway ang pungsod, pagbawi sg mga duta kag ibalik ang pagpanag-iya sg mga mangunguma, naangkon sg mainiton nga suporta halin sa malapad nga masa kag pila ka seksyon halin sa hanay sg mga ilustrado, mga Pilipino nga pari kag sg pipila ka lokal nga mga AMD. Nagresulta ini sa pagdaku, paglapad kag pagbaskog sg hublag Pulahanes sa sakop halin sa mga kaumhan sa La Castellana, porsyon sg Kanlaon, porsyon sg Guihulngan, lahos sa Magallon,Isabela pakadto sa Southwest lab-ot sa mga kaumhan sg Sta. Catalina kag Siaton sg Negros Oriental. Madinalag-on nga ginlunsar nila ang mga taktikal nga opnesiba batuk sa mga detatsment kag headkwarters sg Guardia Sibil kag mga armadong goons sg mga agalon mayduta. Ila man ginsunog ang mga asyenda sg mga kolonyalistang opisyal kag prayle kag sg mga lokal masupog nga mga reaksyonaryong mga agalon mayduta, lakip na ang pagkumpiska sg ila movable properties.
Sang 1896, nagtinga na sa pagkaluya ang kolonyal nga sentro sg estado Espanyol nga nakabase sa Manila kag naghulat na lamang ini sg pinal nga opensiba militar sg mga Katipunero sa Luzon. Apang ang mga kolonyalistang opisyal sekretong nakinegosyar sa mga opisyal sg gobyernong Estados Unidos para sa ila pagsurender kag ibaligya ang Pilipinas sa bili nga $20 milyon.

Wala sg kamatuoran nga ang mga opisyal kag soldadong Katsila nahadlok kag nagsurender bangud sg pagkatiplang kuno sg ginhimo ni Senyor Juan Araneta nga pagdisplay sg mga himu-himo nga mga kanyon nga napintahan itom sg nilukot nga mga amakan. Ang kamatuoran may ara na sg order sa tanan nga mga Spanish officials sa mga military garrisons sa mga probinsya para sa pagwithdraw kag pagsurender. Sila Senyor Araneta kag Senyor Lacson nagsakay lamang sa katapusan nga buylo sg rebolusyonaryong kahublagan paagi sa pagtipon kag pag-armas sg ila mga farmworkers sa ila mga asyenda para sa pag-exploit sa sitwasyon sg mga manugsurender nga Katsila kag magclaim sg ila pagka-baganihan.

Indi lubos nakumpleto ang kadalag-an sg Katipunan batuk sa mga Kolonyalistang Espanyol. Gilayon naglusob ang imperyalistang Estados Unidos gamit ang daku nga superyoridad sg armadong kusog, para isupresar ang mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa kag tiplangon ang pumuluyo paagi sa islogang “demokrasya” agud agawon kag pundaron sa Pilipinas ang kolonyal kag malapyudal nga paghari sg imperyalismong Estados Unidos.

Sobra 1 ka milyon nga Pilipino ang ginmasaker kag ginpatay sg US troops sa natabo nga Filipino-American War tubtob 1916. Ang mga lokal nga lider tulad nila Araneta, Lacson sg Negros indi magkilala sg gobyernong Malolos ni Aguinaldo. Sang nag-abot ang mga tropang Amerikano sa Iloilo, Panay madasig nga gin-isa sg mga ilustradong lider ang banderang Estados Unidos kag naghulat sila sa Banago para sa pagwelcome sa pag-abot sg foreign aggressors.

Pero si Papa Isio kag Pulahanes Movement kag si Jose de la VIna nagpadayon sa paglunsar sg armadong paghimakas batuk sa mga kolonyalistang tropang Amerikano. Sa ulihi, natiplang siya sa padihot sg mga opisyal sg occupation troops kag lokal nga collaborators sang nag-uyon siya sa paghiwat sg isa ka localized peacetalks sa Isabela para siya dakpon kag bilangguon bisan wala sg due process tubtob siya namatay nga baganihan para sa mga mata sg pumuluyo.

Si Papa Isio simbolo sg wala’y kamatayon nga paghimakas sg pumuluyong Pilipino batuk sa mga mapanghimulos kag mapiguson nga dumuluong nga kolonyalista.
Katulad sg patraidor sg kolonyalistang Amerikano kag pagkolaborar sg mga nagaharingsahi sg komprador burgesya – agalon mayduta sa daan nga pungsodnon demokratikong kahublagan sg pumuluyo, ang US – Aquino nga Rehimen 2 wala’y huya nga nagasikway kag nagabasura sa pungsodnon nga soberanya paagi sa todo-laraga nga pagpatuman sg neo-liberal nga eskema kag programa sg imperyalistang Estados Unidos, EDCA, VFA kag iban pa nga kasugtanan para sa pagpaseguro sa hedyemonikong interes sg Estados Unidos sa Asya- Pasipiko.

Wala pa nakumpleto ang daan nga demokratikong rebolusyon sg 1896. Wala sg kamatuoran nga independente kag demokratiko na ang pungsod sg nagbiya ang mga kolonyalistang opisyal sa US sg 1946. Ang kamatuoran nagapabilin ang Pilipinas bilang mala- kolonyal kag malapyudal nga sistema sa diin kontrolado sg imperyalistang Estados Unidos ang ekonomiya kag pulitika sa pungsod paagi sa iya mga lokal nga alyadong dalagkung komprador burgesya -agalon mayduta kag mga politikong papet nga nagabulos-bulos sa pag-uyat sg reaksyonaryong gobyerno.
Ang bag-o demokratikong rebolusyon nga ginapamunuan sg sahing proletaryado paagi sa Partido Komunista sg Pilipinas, isa ka pagsugpon sg 1896 nga rebolusyon agud sa pagkumpleto sg kadalag-an sini batuk sa imperyalistang US kag pyudalismo kag isunod dayon ang pagsulong sg sosyalistang konstruksyon.

Tadlungon naton ang kasaysayan, itib-ong ang pagkabaganihan ni Papa Isio kag mga Pulahanes! Ipadayon ang ila ginsugdan nga rebolusyonaryong paghimakas!

 Ihaboy sa basura sg kasaysayan ang mga traidor sa pumuluyo! Pahalinon sa pwesto si Presidente Aquino!

 Makig-upod sa rebolusyon kag isulong ang aramadong paghimakas sg CPP-NPA-NDF!

CPP/NDF:Timbangang mga taktikal na opensiba inilunsad laban sa operasyong PDT at Oplan Musang ng AFP

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 4): Timbangang mga taktikal na opensiba inilunsad laban sa operasyong PDT at Oplan Musang ng AFP

Maria Roja Banua
NDFP Bicol Chapter
Inambus ng mga Pulang mandirigma ng Santos Binamera Command ang dalawang sundalo ng 2nd IBPA sa Brgy. Anislag, Daraga, Albay at sinabayan pa ito ng operasyong haras sa mismong Tactical Command Post ng 2nd IB sa Brgy. Maopi, Daraga. Samantala sa Isla ng Burias, Claueria Masbate naman, inilunsad ng Jose Rapsing Command ang taktikal na opensiba sa security patrol ng magkasabay na tropa ng AFP at PNP.

Napatay sina Pfc. Dario Manawis at Pfc. Jerome Sambrona at nasamsam ang dalawang .45 kalibre sa ambus habang sa Masbate nasugatan ang isang PO3 Johnson Ozaeta ng 5th Regional Public Safety Batallion ng PNP.

Sagot ito sa todo-todong operasyong militar sa dalawang probinsiyang nabanggit. Sa hangad na “zero insurgency” sa Albay sa taong 2016 halos tadtad ng detatsment at kampo ang lugar, tuloy-tuloy ang mga operasyong kombat at sabay na nilulunsaran ng operasyong PDT. Samantala, saklaw naman ng Oplan Musang ng 903rd Bde PA ang Masbate na ikinasa nila mula pa Abril 2014 hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Sa gitna ng mga kalamidad, sunod-sunod ang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Pamamaslang at pananakot ang ginagawa ng 2nd IB sa Albay. Nagtala ito ng di-bababa sa pitong (7) kaso ng human rights violations sa loob lamang ng buwan ng Hulyo at Agosto taong kasalukuyan at isang kaso ng pagpatay kay Edgardo Lopez ng Brgy. Bigao, Daraga, Albay noong Hulyo. Taliwas ito sa kanilang sinasabi na inaasikaso umano nila ang mga nasa evacuation centers mula noong bagyong Glenda noong Hulyo hanggang sa kasalukuyang kalamidad ng nagbabantang pagputok ng Bulkang Mayon. Ang mga krimen ng tropang kaaway sa mamamayan ay higit na perwisyo at traydor sa interes ng mamamayan kesa sa mga natural na kalamidad.

Katawa-tawa ang kasinungalingan ng tropang kaaway sa alegasyon nila na nambubulabog lamang ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa bawat matagumpay na taktikal na opensiba nito at nakakasagka sa mga ebakwasyon ng mamamayan kaugnay ng mga kalamidad. Mataas ang pagpapahalaga sa protocol of war para sa sibilyan.

Pinagpaplanuhan ito ng masinop at di nangingiming ikansela sa kabila ng malaking porsyento ng tagumpay kung mangangnganib na sibilyan. Sa abot ng makakaya nagsasagawa ng relip at iba pang serbisyo ang BHB hiwalay pa sa mga Humanitarian work ng mga minobilisang kaibigan.

Sabah negotiating with Abu Sayyaf kidnappers for ‘win-win’ outcome

From the Malay Mail Online (Nov 5): Sabah negotiating with Abu Sayyaf kidnappers for ‘win-win’ outcome

Despite the government’s stand not to pay ransom to kidnappers, Malaysian authorities are negotiating with the captors of two Malaysians being held hostage on Jolo island in Southern Philippines with the hopes of a “win-win situation”.

State police commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said that the police, state and federal government were trying to find the best way to resolve the situation.

 “We are still negotiating. Our stand is not to pay ransom, but on humanitarian grounds…we try to negotiate for a win-win situation,” said Jalaluddin when speaking to reporters after attending the monthly police gathering at the State police headquarters here today.

The two Malaysians ― Marine Kons Zakiah Aliep, 26, and Sabah fishbreeder Chan Sai Chuin, 32 ― were kidnapped separately by different factions of the Abu Sayyaf but were reported by The Star to be held together now after a recent attack by Philippine military.

Kidnappers have been calling the two men’s wives daily with threats to behead the hostages if the ransom demands of RM3 million each is not met by the November deadline.

 “The issue is now at the federal government level, and they are talking to the state to try and resolve it. We have also written a letter to the Philippine police, asking for their assistance in resolving this,” he said.

Jalaluddin added that there have been some 140 calls between Zakiah and his kidnappers to his wife ― Sharifah Erna Berson while Chan’s wife Chin Pek Nyen said she receives up to 17 calls daily demanding the ransom.

Zakiah was abducted while on duty at the Mabul Water Bungalows Resort on Mabul island on July 12 while his colleague Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32 was shot dead.

Chan was taken from his fish farm at Kampung Sapang in Kunak on June 16. Chin, 26 had made a public plea last Friday asking for help in securing the release of her husband.

The distraught Chin said despite meeting with some politicians, no one has come to her aid or told her about the latest development in the negotiation process or if they were planning to pay ransom.

She said the last time she spoke to her husband was before Hari Raya and since then has only spoken to her husband’s abductors and given her till November before they “send his head back”.

 Chin has since met up with representatives from the Federal Government including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

Cop’s killers hunted

From Tempo (Nov 5): Cop’s killers hunted

Police authorities are hot on the trail of gunmen who shot and killed a police officer in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, last Sunday.

Sultan Kudarat police director Rex dela Rosa said SPO4 Ruben Sabado, assigned to Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office, was driving his Honda XR 200 motorcycle when waylaid by two armed men on a motorcycle in Barangay Laguinding, Esperanza, around 7 p.m. on November 2.

The suspects carted away the victim’s motorcycle and .45-caliber pistol after they shot him.

The victim succumbed to three bullet wounds in the abdomen.

Dela Rosa said the suspects are believed to be carnap ring members preying on motorcycles even to the extent of killing their drivers.

He said police operatives raided on Tuesday a suspected hideout of the suspects in Barangay Laguinding and recovered several dismantled stolen motorcycles. The suspects managed to escape during the raid.

Intelligence reports disclosed that suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were out on a mission to seize motorcycles they would used for the group’s mobilization.

Bid opening, submission for DND’s P4.9-billion CAS project moved back to December 15

From Business Mirror (Nov 4): Bid opening, submission for DND’s P4.9-billion CAS project moved back to December 15

The Department of National Defense (DND) has announced that it has rescheduled the November 5 submission and opening of bids for its P4.9-billion close-air support (CAS) aircraft project to December 15.

Six ground attack planes are expected to be acquired under this program.

The new aircraft will complement the Philippine Air Force’s existing Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” fleet, of which six to eight units are still operational.

Bid opening and submission will be held at 10 a.m. at the DND Bids and Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement Right Wing, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“Based on the present schedule of both the Special Bids and Awards Committee [SBAC]-1 and the Philippine Air Force Technical Working Group, the new schedule of bid submission and opening is the most convenient date to conduct the said procurement activity,” SBAC-1 Chairman DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said.

CAS refers to the capability to provide air support to infantry and naval units in contact with the enemy forces.

Funding for this weapon system will be sourced from the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

Manalo earlier said the contract includes integrated logistic support system.

Winning bidders must be able to deliver the aircraft within 540 calendar days from contract effectivity.

Participants in the DND’s CAS project must have completed a similar program within the last 10 years.

Manalo said the CAS aircraft must be used by the countries offering and manufacturing them.

Jusmag facility illegal’ – anti-US bases expert

From Bulatlat (Nov 6): ‘Jusmag facility illegal’ – anti-US bases expert

Anti-US bases expert Dr. Rolando Simbulan said the presence of a US “sub-military camp” inside a Philippine military camp is not only “an insult,” but a violation of the Philippine Constitution.

An anti-US bases expert said that the facility where US Marine Pvt. 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is being held is not legal under the Philippine Constitution, nor under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Pemberton, who is the main suspect in the brutal slay of Filipina transgender Jennifer Laude on Oct. 11 in Olongapo City, Zambales, is being held under US custody inside a container van-turned-facility of the Joint US Military Advisory Group (Jusmag) inside the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) [2] in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

University of the Philippines professor Dr. Roland Simbulan said this violates Article 18, section 25 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which states that “foreign military bases, troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate.”

In an interview with, Simbulan said US and Philippine authorities are trying to “legalize” the presence of such facilities in Philippine soil through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), which gives US “unhampered access” to “agreed locations.”
The VFA, which has been upheld as a treaty by the Supreme Court, provides only for “visiting” military and civilian personnel, and not for facilities.

The "Justice for Jennifer Laude, Junk VFA Network" lit candles in Quezon City on Oct 17.  (Photo by A.E. dela Cruz)
The “Justice for Jennifer Laude, Junk VFA Network” lit
candles in Quezon City on Oct 17. (Photo by A.E. dela Cruz)

For such facilities to be allowed in Philippine territory, the Senate must first ratify Edca as a treaty.

“It’s an insult,” Simbulan said referring to Pemberton’s supposed detention at the Jusmag facility. The AFP initially referred to the facility as that of the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB).

The MDB was created under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, while the SEB was created through the 2006 exchange of notes between Phil. Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney. The MDB-SEB coordinates and liaisons activities for military cooperation between the Philippines and the US.

Simbulan said the 1947 RP-US Military Assistance Agreement, which is still in effect, created the Jusmag, which allows the presence of US military advisers.

“They (US advisers) are not supposed to have their own facility inside the military camp or anywhere. Organizationally, they are a part of the US embassy, they report to the ambassador. But they’re not supposed to be setting up camps or military facilities anywhere outside the US embassy,” Simbulan said.

No government official has questioned the establishment of the Jusmag facility in Camp Aguinaldo, which was made known to public only because of Pemberton’s transfer. Guarded by four Filipino military police outside its fence, the area has been declared off limits to media and the public.

The anti-imperialist group International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS-Phils) had called it a “de facto US military base” within Philippine territory.

A long-time anti-nuclear weapons and anti-US bases activist, Simbulan is author of several books documenting US military intervention through its bases. He is also among other nationalists who have asked the Supreme Court to declare Edca as unconstitutional. He warned that Edca has many “objectionable provisions,” among which are that “disputes,” including crimes such as the Jennifer Laude case, will not be covered by Philippine or even international jurisdiction.

US “sub-camps”

Simbulan said the constitutional provision has not stopped the US from setting up similar facilities, or “sub-military camps,” inside Philippine military camps in Mindanao.

These include the headquarters of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines inside Camp Gen. Basilio Navarro in Zamboanga City, in Mindanao, which houses 500 to 600 US troops “all year-round,” Simbulan said.

As early as 2002, Simbulan said a Jusmag facility has been at the said camp. He was able to visit it as part of the International Peace Mission, and saw for himself the US Special Forces technical, logistic and communications personnel at the camp.

The UP professor shared that in a plane trip to Zamboanga City, he sat beside an American woman from Hawaii, who, along with her child, was visiting her husband, a US serviceman assigned in Camp Navarro. Simbulan said the woman told him that her husband had been in the camp for already a year.

Simbulan said some legislators have questioned the US facilities inside Camp Navarro some 10 years ago, but the legislators were not even allowed inside the restricted area.
Even Filipino soldiers are not allowed inside, and are there only to keep guard.

Simbulan said the US government gets to cut down its expenses because it is the Filipino soldiers who keep security, instead of the usual US Marines.

“In a way, it (the facility) is less visible, it’s not exposed, because our military camps are not that accessible to civilians, specially big camps such as Camp Aguinaldo or Fort Bonifacio,” Simbulan said.

More US troops coming

“This time, they can deploy more,” Simbulan said, that with Edca, that there will be even more US troops, and more sub-military camps, in AFP camps scattered all over the country.

Simbulan said the US is eyeing to reduce its forces in Okinawa island in Japan because of the growing public uproar on their presence. There are 30,000 US troops in Japan and Simbulan said they are planning to reduce it down to 4,000.

The US military also prefers the Philippines as venue for military exercises because of the presence of local insurgency and armed bandits, said Simbulan. While they can only have simulated war games in Japan, here in the country, it’s an “on-the-job training” because they can practice their surveillance technology, intelligence and even new weapons against actual enemies, he said.

Although both the VFA and Edca does not allow US troops in combat operations, many incidents involving US servicemen had been documented, including the shooting of Buyong-Buyong Isnijal by US soldier Reggie Lane in Tuburan, Basilan in 2002 [4].

Bound to happen

The more troops there are in a single country, the more crimes against the population will be committed, the UP professor said.

“These trends of violations committed by their forces are bound to happen, when they leave the camp and mingle and interact with the population. Here in the Philippines as well, there is more possibility that that crimes such as these will happen,” Simbulan said.

Simbulan noted that the Japanese government, which also has a military agreement with the US, was able to assert its sovereignty when American soldiers commit crimes against the locals. In recent years, several US servicemen have been convicted of rape and imprisoned by Japanese authorities. Simbulan said Japanese courts “from day one,” have taken custody of the accused, tried them, and sentenced them to prison.

“We should all the more assert custody to actually put him under our jurisdiction,” Simbulan said. “There’s no point in claiming that we have jurisdiction, if we have no custody.

They’re not even making sure that he appears in the preliminary investigation hearing being conducted by the fiscal.”

Simbulan said it’s natural for a government to be protective of its citizen, whether in another country, but specially in your own. If a Filipino commits a crime in another country, its government, as an act of its sovereignty, will apply the laws of the land.

“But here, the government does not even exercise the act of a sovereign nation to have jurisdiction and custody of those who violate our laws,” he said.

“Many of our leaders don’t seem to know our national interest,” Simbulan lamented, adding that that some government officials have become “spokespersons” of US interests.

AW-159 Wildcat now for second stage scrutiny

From Ang Malaya (Nov 5): AW-159 Wildcat now for second stage scrutiny

AgustaWestland is the lone firm eligible for Department of National Defense anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter acquisition project.

During the first stage of bidding held October 28 only two firms participated, they were Augusta Westland and PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

PT Dirgantara Indonesia failed to present a document proving it has participated in a similar project. The Indonesian firm is given until Friday to file a Motion for Reconsideration.

Israel Aerospace Industries and the partnership of Bell Helicopter Asia (PTE) Ltd. and Serpenair Group Inc. who joined the pre-bidding conference last October 7 did not join the first stage bidding.

Department of National Defense Bids and Awards Committee will now proceed to second stage which is the checking of financial aspect of the bid in contrast to technical specification set by the committee.

AgustaWestland, a British-Italian helicopter design and manufacturing company, is offering their AW-159 “Wildcat”. AgustaWestland is the manufacturer of Philippine Navy and Air Force’s armed AW-109 to be delivered before the year ends.

Laude murder: DNA testing for Pemberton okayed

From Rappler (Nov 5): Laude murder: DNA testing for Pemberton okayed

Prosecutors direct the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory to carry out the gathering of samples for forensic analysis and DNA testing

The Olongapo City Prosecutor's Office has allowed the gathering of fingerprints and buccal swabs from the US Marine accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude last October.

In an order dated October 29, the prosecution panel approved the omnibus motion filed by private complainant Marilou Laude, the victim's sister, asking the panel to direct US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton to present himself for fingerprinting and taking of buccal swabs.
The panel also ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory in Camp Crame to carry out the gathering of samples for forensic analysis and DNA testing on Thursday, November 6.
In its order, prosecutors denied the opposition filed by Pemberton last October 27, in which he said the prosecutor's office does not have the authority to grant Laude's motion.
The panel also has no authority to compel him to appear in preliminary investigations into the murder complaint filed against him, Pemberton added.
The Olongapo City Prosecutor's Office is conducting preliminary investigations to determine if there is prima facie evidence to charge the US soldier in court for the killing of Laude last October 11.
Witnesses said Laude was last seen checking in to Celzone Lodge with Pemberton before she was found dead in the bathroom hours later.
Forensic evidence
In his motion, Pemberton argued that he is not compelled to subject himself to DNA testing because he is neither under custodial investigation nor an accused in a court proceeding.
But prosecutors rejected the argument, saying Pemberton's contentions are "bereft of merit."
The panel said the rule on DNA evidence did not specify that it applies only during a custodial investigation or court proceeding. Rather, the rule applies to all criminal actions and special proceedings where DNA evidence may be utilized.
The panel also disagreed with the respondent's argument that subjecting himself to DNA testing violates his right against self-incrimination.
Citing People vs Yatar, GR No 150224, May 19, 2004, the panel pointed out that "the right against self-incrimination is simply against the legal process of extracting from the lips of the accused an admission of guilt."
"DNA forms part of the object evidence. Verily, there is no testimonial compulsion involved in the lifting of respondent Pemberton's fingerprints and taking a cotton swab of skin cells from inside his cheeks for DNA testing," the panel said.
Rejecting Pemberton's argument of violation of privacy, the panel said the purpose of taking a DNA sample is "just to compare the same with known reference samples previously taken at the crime scene."
Ocular inspection
Lawyer Romel Bagares, one of the Laude family's legal counsels, welcomed the prosecutor's order.
He said the United States government has sent a note verbale to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expressing no opposition to the forensic examination.
"For the first time, the US government agreed. We believe that this is due to public pressure. It's an anomaly that it's nearly a month [since the incident] but there has been no fingerprinting yet," he said.
Two public prosecutors and 7 members of the PNP crime laboratory will be present at the examination on November 6, Bagares added.
Earlier, prosecutors conducted an ocular inspection in Ambyanz Disco Bar and Celzone Lodge – the two sites where the victim was last seen alive.
Head prosecutor Emilie Fe delos Santos refused to say how the inspection will affect the preliminary investigation on the case, but she said prosecutors were able to clarify the details provided by the witnesses.
Following the inspection at Celzone Lodge, delos Santos said prosecutors were able to ascertain if it was possible to hear noises from outside the room where Laude was found dead.
She also said the prosecution may also call on other people who were checked in at the lodge on the night of Laude's death to "help shed light" on the incident.
Delos Santos said it will take up to 3 weeks before the prosecution panel can come up with a resolution on whether to file the case in court.
"We will take all the [testimonies of] witnesses, documentary evidence, and forensics altogether," she added.

Annual Philippine pledging session to discuss Bangsamoro development plan

From InterAksyon (Nov 5): Annual Philippine pledging session to discuss Bangsamoro development plan

The government will seek the foreign donor community’s help in priming the economy of the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous area when they meet this week in Davao City for the annual pledging session.

In a statement, the Philippines’ Investor Relations Office said the draft Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) will be discussed during the Philippines Development Forum, a yearly dialogue between the government and the country’s foreign donors.

An offshoot of the Bangsamoro peace deal, the plan provides a short- and medium-term vision, strategy and recommendations for the socioeconomic development of the Bangsamoro areas during the transition years of 2015 to mid-2016, as well as after the Bangsamoro government is put in place, or from mid-2016 through 2022.

The BDP outlines projects and programs under seven thematic areas, namely, livelihood, infrastructure, education, social services, environment, culture and identity, as well as security  and normalization.

However, only some of the projects and programs will be funded by the national government, thus its resort to foreign donors for additional official development assistance (ODA). ODA refers to financial grants or loans that carry concessional terms, such as longer maturities and below-market interest rates.

“As we strive to achieve the goal of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), which is inclusive growth, we realize that a significant proportion of our people, the Bangsamoros, were being left behind. These gaps resulted from decades of conflict. With the proper development strategy and with sustained peace, we can significantly improve the quality of life of the Bangsamoro people,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Owing to decades of conflict, the Bangsamoro areas have lagged behind most regions of the Philippines in terms of social and economic progress.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) last year stood at 3.6 percent, or half the national average of 7.2 percent. Poverty incidence stood at 55.8 percent in ARMM compared with the national average of 25.2 percent.

“With enough support to the BDP—both financial and non-financial—we can help Bangsamoro areas develop a competitive business climate that generates investments and jobs,” said Mohammad Yacob, executive director of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA).

This year's pledging session will be held starting today at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City. President Benigno Aquino III will keynote the event, which will gather top government officials, representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as of the business community and academe.

AFP chief insists no P250-M ransom was paid for Germans' freedom

From InterAksyon (Nov 5): AFP chief insists no P250-M ransom was paid for Germans' freedom

Read their lips: there was no P250-million payoff for the release of a vacationing German couple as claimed by an Abu Sayyaf spokesman, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said Wednesday.

"I will have that investigated. But I beleive that their (Abu Sayyaf) intention of showing the bundles of money is to confuse the public there was indeed a payoff which is not true. Who knows the money they were showing off is fake," said Catapang, who is in Brunei on official business.

He was asked to react to the ASG's insistence - through spokesman Abu Rami, who posted photos of the supposed ransom on Facebook - that they had received the P250 million they demanded in order to stay the beheading of their captives.

In the photo, the bundles of money appeared to be in P1,000 bills.

The captives - physician Estefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and his 55-year-old partner Henrike Dielen - were released October 17. Soon after, Rami boasted they received money they had demanded "walang labis, walang kulang," hinting that they got all of the P250 million, which is considered way too excessive, even assuming the authorities or the victims' relatives were willing to breach the no-ransom policy.

Catapang then denied the payoff and promised to investigate the matter.

The bandits had threatened to behead Okonek first at around 3 p.m. on October 17 if the ransom is not delivered.

Days before the ultimatum, Catapang travelled to Sulu and after he arrived at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City he announced to the media the creation of "Special Crisis Committee" of the military to closely monitored the situation in Sulu not only the case of the German couple but also other captives.

Before the 3 p.m. deadline, the ASG announced a three-hour extension and before midnight the news broke that the Germans were already in military and police custody.

Reports subsequently claimed the German Embassy sent a representative to Sulu on a private plane supposedly bringing duffle bags of money.

ASG's Rami then later confirmed that they indeed received P250 million.

The AFP's Public Affairs chief, Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, slammed Rami's claim as "propaganda" even as he reiterated Catapang's promise to investigate the matter. He attributed the Germans' release to unrelentless pressure by military operations.

4 killed, 6 hurt as military truck plunges into ravine in Cavite

From InterAksyon (Nov 5): 4 killed, 6 hurt as military truck plunges into ravine in Cavite

Three members of the Philippine Marines and a civilian employee were killed and six other soldiers were seriously injured when the military truck they were riding plunged into a deep ravine Wednesday morning in Kantuba Hill in Ternate, Cavite.

Marine Corps commandant Maj. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo said the soldiers were based at the Marine Base Gregorio Lim in town.

They were on their way back to barracks from marketing chores at about 9:30 a.m. when the tragedy happened.

"We mourn for the death of our soldiers and one of our employees," Tanalgo said.

The names of the fatalities were withheld pending notification of their families.

Abducted Chinese businessman freed in Zamboanga Sibugay

From MindaNews (Nov 5): Abducted Chinese businessman freed in Zamboanga Sibugay

Basilan-based kidnappers suspected to be members of the Abu Sayyaf released early Wednesday a Chinese businessman they snatched over a month ago in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Released was Li Pei Zhei, a native of Fujian, a province in the southeast coast of mainland China.

Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) information officer, said Li was released by his abductors around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the town of Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Muyuela said Li was turned over to PO1 Jimnazur Laja of Alicia town.

A group of gunmen reportedly snatched Li last September 11 in Barangay Poblacion, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. He was then brought to Basilan and spent time there until his abductors brought him to Alicia aboard a motorized banca last Tuesday, Muyuela said.

They reportedly departed Basilan around 5 p.m. Tuesday and arrived in Alicia at 11 p.m.

Muyuela did not mention whether or not ransom was paid in exchange for Li’s release.

Abu Sayyaf shows video of German ransom

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 5): Abu Sayyaf shows video of German ransom

A man reads the Philippine Star article on the ransoms received by the Abu Sayyaf for the release of two German hostages Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Henrike Diesen, 55 – on October 17. The Abu Sayyaf has posted a video clip on Facebook showing militants stacking a huge pile of the ransoms in the hinterlands of the southern Philippines. The Facebook account of where it was posted had been taken down and deactivated.

The Abu Sayyaf has posted a video clip on Facebook showing militants stacking up ransoms it got in exchange for the safe release of two German hostages in southern Philippines.

The post had been taken down and the Facebook account deactivated after the video went viral in social media. The clip showed militants, some of them barefooted, surrounding the ransoms - all P1000 bill - wrapped in transparent plastic sheet and stacked in bundles of five, and is estimated to be worth P160 million.

Abu Sayyaf spokesman, Aboo Rami, told Radio Mindanao Network in Zamboanga City, that they freed the two German yachters - Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Henrike Diesen, 55 – on October 17 after receiving the ransom. The Abu Sayyaf demanded P250 million ransoms from Germany in exchange for the freedom of the hostages.

The Philippine military has strongly insisted that no ransom was paid for the release of two German nationals and even dared anybody to come up with evidence that ransom had been paid to Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu province.

The duo was heading to Sabah in Malaysia on a private yacht from a holiday in Palawan province when militants who were returning to the southern Philippines from a failed kidnapping in Sabah spotted the Germans and seized them on April 25.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, a military spokesman, insisted the foreigners were freed by their kidnappers due to pressure exerted by security forces – a line which the military have used many times in previous release of foreign hostages by the Abu Sayyaf.

“Just wondering if anyone here personally saw the P250 Million cold cash in the hands of Abu Sayyaf? Let's not believe the word of Abu Rami as if he is Jesus Christ. Di na natin mababawi ang ating pinagsasabi kung mali tayo. Unless, may magsabi dito saksi sya mismo nag abot si Mr You ng pera kay Mr Abu, walang nakakasiguro,” he said in a reaction to Facebook commentaries by “netizens” on the reported payment of ransoms to the Abu Sayyaf.

Sources in Sulu said a private jet delivered 12 trolley bags containing ransoms in Jolo and that several bags full of money had been left in the plane.

Cabunoc branded the Abu Sayyaf statement as “propaganda” and even cited allegations in the past against the military that it delivered ransom to the militant group to buy the freedom of hostages in Basilan province in 2001. He said the military does not negotiate with terrorists.

“Well, I’m used to shooting terrorists. We don't negotiate with those bastards when I was in the frontline. Soldiers like me have died fighting these bandits. Masakit din sa kalooban namin kung gawan ng kwentong ganyan. Kasuhan nyo kung sino may kasalanan. Kahit naman siguro kayo, kung nahuhusgahan sa social media ay di rin matutuwa kung pagtatawanan. Patas lang po. Tinatawanan din tayo ng mga Abu Sayyaf at ng mga kurakot at tiwali na dahilan di maubos ubos ang mga iyan,” said Cabunoc, who was previously assigned in Basilan where he fought the Abu Sayyaf.

It was unknown what role the military played in the ransom negotiations, but shortly after the release of the Germans hostages, Maj. Gen. Domingo Tutaan, a spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said: “The AFP has no information on that (ransom payments) but suffice to say that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other security forces do not and will not negotiate with terrorists and kidnappers.”

The military also kept the Sulu crisis committee and provincial leaders in the dark and was not even informed about the release of the hostages. The Germans were recovered by policemen near a checkpoint, but were immediately taken away by soldiers and brought to a military camp in Jolo town.

The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) which formed a special ad-hoc crisis committee headed by Governor Toto Tan was not even informed by the military of the release of the hostages and learned about it on the news.

The Philippine military now said the money maybe fake and the statement coincided with the November 5 release of an 18-year old South Korean national who was kidnapped on September 11 in Kabasalan town in Zamboanga Sibugay province, about 130 kilometers east of Zamboanga City.

The Western Mindanao Command said Li Pei Zhei was freed by his kidnappers in Alicia town and recovered by the police. It was not immediately known if ransom was paid for his safe release, but the military said the foreigner was held captive in Basilan province.

It was unknown if the Abu Sayyaf was behind the kidnapping, but the group has threatened to kill Malaysian fish breeder Chan Sai Chuin, 32, if the ransom of 3 million ringgits (P41 million) is not paid this month. He was kidnapped along with a Filipino worker on June 16 this year from a fish farm in the town of Kunak in Tawau District.

The Abu Sayyaf is also holding captive a Malaysian policeman Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, who was seized on June 12 also this year following a clash in Sabah that killed another policeman. The militants are demanding 5 million ringgits (P68.3 million).

Aside from the Malaysians, the militants are still holding a 64-year old Japanese treasure hunter Katayama Mamaito, who was kidnapped from Pangutaran Island in July 2010; and two European wildlife photographers Ewold Horn, 52, from Holland; and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, who were taken captive in the coastal village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town in the southern Tawi-Tawi province in 2012.

The Abu Sayyaf group now has hundreds of members in the southern Philippines, particularly in the Muslim autonomous region. The military failed to stop the growing influence and violent campaigns of the militant group because it did not sustain the combat operations needed to wipe out the Abu Sayyaf in the restive region. The US military is assisting the local military in anti-terrorism operation against the Abu Sayyaf, which previously attacked and killed American soldiers in Sulu.