Sunday, November 23, 2014

MILF: CR – BLMI holds advocacy on BBL and Annex on Normalization

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 24): CR – BLMI holds advocacy on BBL and Annex on Normalization

The Conciliation Resources (CR) in partnership with the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) conducted an advocacy on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and Normalization on November 16 to 17, 2014 right inside Camp Bad’r of the 104th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Force (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at Talayan, Maguindanao.
Over One Hundred members of the 104th Base Command including Base Commander Castro Emran, his four sub-commander and staff participated in the program.

The advocacy was aimed at providing the participants updates on the BBL and the Annex on Normalization, the former was already submitted to the two Chambers of Congress and the later, still being discussed by the GPH-MILF Peace Panels with their respective technical working groups.

Once the BBL is enacted into law and ratified by the people in a plebiscite, it shall become the regional law for the upcoming Bangsamoro Region and seen as a solution to the four decades of the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination.

“The BIAF members are on the frontline and it is imperative that they must be asked about their opinions and should be well-informed”, said Mahmod S. Ahmad, Executive Director of the BLMI, a non-government organization (NGO) created by the GPH-MILF peace process.

When asked what are the advantage and the benefits of the BBL for members of the BIAF, Commander Odin Mamasainged, Administrator of the 104th Base Command said, “That the BBL and the mechanism on Normalization are our primary concerns because it involves our decommissioning and the turning over of our firearms to an independent body”. 

Decommissioning will demobilize us and halts the strengthening of our Military Tactical Capabilities, which to our minds should not happen at all cost unless the mechanism and procedural aspects are agreed upon by both parties”, Comdr. Mamasainged further said.

The BLMI and party including the resource speakers came from the MILF Central Committee on Information. Upon their arrival at the camp, they asked for few time to rest due to exhaustion as they travelled over an ascending and descending rocky and slippery road on board a “habal-habal” (motorcycle). Nevertheless, at 10:00 A.M the program started.

BLMI Executive Director Ahmad delivered his topics and gave emphasis on the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon him) relative to system of governance and leadership citing several Hadith and verses in the Holy Qur’an.
It was followed by Nas Pulindao, Kutawato Information Officer who discussed about BBL and Normalization.

The topics presented and discussed by the speakers were synthesized by Abdulwahab Guialal, BLMI Coordinator with the Conciliation Resources. He also facilitated the open forum.

Mr. Guialal said that, “This is the first program ever held inside one of the BIAF Camps in Mindanao and was very successful”. He further said that with its success, we look forward to conduct more activities in other big camps of the MILF-BIAF.–-blmi-holds-advocacy-on-bbl-and-annex-on-normalization

PMA cadets visit Tarlac

From the Sun Star-Pampanga (Nov 23): PMA cadets visit Tarlac

PAMPANGA. PMA cadets assist school children during a feeding program in Barangay Santa Ines East, Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac. (Homer Teodoro)

Some 91 cadets belonging to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduating class 2015 stayed in Tarlac Province for three days.

Their visit is part of the IPSP Bayanihan or the Armed Forces of the Philippines Internal Peace and Security Plan. It is an "immersion mission" wherein cadets will mingle with the community.

The PMA curriculum requires cadets to associate with the common people they will serve.

"They have been in the Academy learning other matters as military man and now we bring them down again to the people as ordinary folks," an officer of the PMA who asked not to be named said.

He said they have been doing this in the Academy since 2007.

He admitted that immersion is also being executed by communists to win the hearts of the barrio folks.

The cadets wowed the Tarlaqueños as they performed a silent drill in the City Plazuela.
They went house to house greeting locals and spending a little time for "chit-chat."

They also assisted the local government unit in providing free anti-rabies vaccine in the community.

They assisted the senior citizens in their household chores and fed children who went to the feeding program.

The cadets have shown the community that they are simple folks too. They drank "buko juice," ate "halo-halo" and "chitchiria" from barangay vendors. They also told the residents stories about their life in the academy.

The people were a little curious, asking why two bus-loads of soldiers were in their area. The cadets were wearing Army uniforms with bold name plates displayed in their uniforms that say CCAFP or Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

They did not conceal their identities because according to one of their officers "they have nothing to hide from the people who pay for their education in the Academy."

Some 172 cadets will graduate next summer with the starting rank of second lieutenant. There are 16 women cadets in this batch and 92 of them have opted to join the Army, 45 are joining the Navy and 25 will go to the Air Force.

The 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Jesus Rico Atencio, escorted the cadets in their immersion.

He said the IPSP Bayanihan has been going on for a time, in cooperation with government agencies.

WESTMINCOM: Defense Press Corps first set of officers

From the Zamboanga Today (Nov 23): WESTMINCOM: Defense Press Corps first set of officers

On November 15, 2014, the Command Public Information Office (CPIO), led by Captain Maria Rowena A. Muyuela, conducted the election of the first set of officers of WESTMINCOM Defense Press Corps (WMC-DPC) held at Media Center, Headquarters WESTMINCOM.Camp Navarro inCalarian, Zamboanga City -
During election proper at CPIO, Headquarters WESTMINCOM at around 9 a.m.

The event was attended by Team WESTMINCOM headed by Colonel Rodrigo T. Gregorio, Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Civil Military Operations, U7.

Considered as the pioneer officers of WESTMINCOM Defense Press Corps, following are the newly installed officers:

President - Ms. Julie S. Alipala (Philippine Daily Inquirer); Vice-President for Print - Mr. Roel Pareño (Philippine Star); Vice-President for Broadcast - Ms. Liezel Lacastesantos (ABS-CBN TV Patrol Chavacano); Secretary - Ms. Raiza Dapilin (ABS-CBN TV Patrol Chavacano); Treasurer -Ms Marilyn Delos Santos (Bombo Radyo-Zamboanga); Auditor - Mr. Ely Dumaboc (eMEDia Production); Chairman of the Board – Mr. Hader Glang (Zamboanga Today);  Board Members- Mr. Jayvee Francisco (GMA 7) and Mr. Albert Luna (GBPI TV-11).

Also present during the said activity were Colonel Rodrigo T. Gregorio, the Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Civil Military Operations, U7; Major Jaran D. Abdula, Public Affairs Officer of the Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ); 2nd Lieutenant Donald S. Soriano, Public Affairs Officer of the 3rd Air Division, Philippine Air Force; and Mr. Dave Malcampo, Philippine Information Agency-9 (PIA9), ZBST Info Center Manager, as one of the keynote speakers.

Air Force pilots return with AW109 attack skills

From Ang Malaya (Nov 24): Air Force pilots return with AW109 attack skills

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, Philippine Air Force commanding officer, announced that the six pilots for the brand-new AgustaWestland AW-109 attack helicopters who went for a training last July are set to return to the Philippines on December.

“They will be arriving home this December,” Lt. Gen. Delgado said.

The pilots’ training which is part of the acquisition package is being conducted at Costa Di Samarate, Italy.

First batch, two out of eight ordered armed AW109 Power, is scheduled to be delivered by January 2015. The AW-109 attack helicopter contact worth Php3.44 billion was signed by PAF and AgustaWestland last November 2013.

These attack helicopter will carryout missions like armed reconnaissance, homeland security and close support.

According to AgustaWestland, “the Philippine Air Force’s AW109 Power configuration will feature a dedicated mission package and equipment including a combination of weapon systems. These aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support.”

“We are committed to deliver the improved mission capabilities and high quality services the customer (PAF) deserves,” AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer Daniele Romiti said.

Two killed, 400 families displaced in North Cotabato rido

From GMA News (Nov 22): Two killed, 400 families displaced in North Cotabato rido

Two men were killed Friday morning during a gun battle between two feuding factions (rido) in Pikit town, North Cotabato, Pikit police officer-in-charge Senior Inspector Sindato Karim said.

Karim added that the fire fight between the groups of Langayen village chair Norhan Hamid and that of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 105 Base Command's “Commander Kuyo”, caused 400 families from Barangay Kolambog and Tapodok to flee their homes.

The fatalities, who belonged to Hamid’s group, were identified as Nasrudin Tayuan and Pua Mangadta.

Meanwhile, most the evacuees have been temporarily housed in schools and barangay halls in nearby villages. Some of the other evacuees stayed with relatives.

The Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) has been to the evacuation sites and had distributed food packs.

Karim said members of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) 12 were also planning to visit evacuees to make sure that their rights were being protected and respected.

“We do not have exact date yet but the CHR [is] coordinating [with] our office for possible visit in the evacuation sites the soonest possible time,” Karim said in a text message.

3 civilians hurt in alleged NPA attack on Army parol base in Masbate

From GMA News (Nov 23): 3 civilians hurt in alleged NPA attack on Army parol base in Masbate

Three civilians were wounded as alleged New People's Army guerrillas attacked a temporary patrol base of the Army's 93rd Division Reconnaissance Company in Masbate province on Saturday.

Brigade spokesman 1Lt Clint  P. Antipala said the incident happened in Sitio Guiwanon, Barangay Danao, San Jacinto town on Ticao Island at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

All three wouded civilians have yet to be identified, and that one of them was in serious condition, Antipala said.

Also he said said soldiers discovered the casualties after the insurgents fired indiscriminately in the direction of the patrol base.

Soldiers rushed the three wounded civilians to a nearby hospital.

"These are desperate moves of the NPA guerrillas because they cannot extort revolutionary taxes from the civilians on the island province due to the presence of troops there," a certain Col. Idio claimed.

"They want the troops to leave the island so that they can also continue on with their Agrarian Revolutionary Programs and continue harvesting the agricultural products of the big parcels of land that they confiscated from the legitimate owners whom they forced to leave the area, otherwise face execution from the guerrillas," he added.

Abu leader slain; AFP goes after remnants

From the Manila Standard Today (Nov 24): Abu leader slain; AFP goes after remnants

THE government on Sunday said there would be no let-up in military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group as the Armed Forces scored a victory with the killing over the weekend of an ASG leader who carried a P5.3 million bounty.

“Our government will continue with our law enforcement operations in coordination with our local leaders,” Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma said.

“We ask for the cooperation of our citizens to end once and for all this bandit group that has been committing crimes in their communities.”

Col. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, identified the Abu Sayyaf leader as Sihata Latip.

Latip, whose real name is Sihata Muallom Asmad but also goes by the alias Ka Tatang, was killed in a shootout in Parang, Sulu.

“This is only shows the determination of government to end the criminal activities committed by bandit groups such as the Abu Sayyaf,” Coloma added.

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino III said the government has short-term and long-term targets in dealing with the ASG.

“For the long term, we have to recover the communities that have been supporting the Abu Sayyaf. We also need to initiate massive development in Sulu, in Basilan. If there is investment, if there is development, the Abu Sayyaf will have no more reason to recruit new members,” the President added.

Aquino said the military has sufficient forces to deal with the ASG, which he said has around 200 members and another 200 sympathizers.

“We have several battalions, not just one or two or three, but several battalions composed of some of our most elite forces and the regular line infantry battalions who are going to all of these mountain lairs and very heavily wooded jungle and dense areas to precisely deprive them of safe havens,” the President said.

Arrojado said Latip resisted arrest and engaged security forces in a firefight late Saturday afternoon in Barangay Duyan Kaha, Parang, Sulu.

One soldier died and another was wounded in the exchange.

“Latip was involved in the abduction of foreigners and in a series of violent attacks against government forces,” Arrojado said.

Police public information officer Chief Inspector Elizabeth Jasmin said Latip carried a P5.3 million bounty and was involved in the kidnapping this year of a Taiwanese and a German couple, who were released in exchange for multi-million-peso ransoms.

Recently, 10 bandits and five soldiers were killed in a five-hour encounter with dozens of wounded in Talipao town.

The ASG was organized in the early 2000 with a peak of more than 1,000 members and became a notorious kidnap-for-ransom gang in southern Mindanao.

Over the years, the military claimed they had reduced their number, but recent encounters in Baslan and Sulu the military cast doubts on these claims.

3 civilians hurt in NPA rebels’ attack in Masbate town

From the Manila Times (Nov 23): 3 civilians hurt in NPA rebels’ attack in Masbate town

Troopers from the 903rd Infantry Brigade are now conducting pursuit operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) band who fired indiscriminately at the temporary patrol base of the 93rd Division Reconnaissance Company and wounded three civilians at Sitio Guiwanon, Barangay Danao, San Jacinto, Masbate Sunday morning.

1st Lt. Clint Antipala, 903rd Infantry Brigade spokesperson, said the victims, one of whom is now in critical condition, were rescued by the troops shortly after the attack.

The rebels indiscriminately fired on the camp at 8:40 a.m. and immediately made their getaway when troops returned fire.

Antipala said security forces immediately gave first aid to the still unnamed victims and transported them to the nearest hospital in mainland Masbate for treatment.

Cops nab female NPA leader inside lodging house in Masbate

From the Manila Times (Nov 23): Cops nab female NPA leader inside lodging house in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY: A high official of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bicol assigned as leader of the Special Partisan Unit (Sparu), a liquidation squad of the rebel group, was arrested by members of the San Jacinto Municipal Police Station inside her rented room at the Aldrich Lodging House along Altarejos St. in front of the SJMPS, Barangay District 3, San Jacinto, Masbate, Saturday afternoon.

Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona, Bicol regional police director, identified the female Sparu commander as Yvhonie Victor, alias Kumander Pinang, 32 and single, whose operation is based at Burias island and a resident of Barangay Amotag, Aroroy, Masbate.

Deona on Sunday said the suspect was apprehended at about 4:00 p.m. after authorities became suspicious of her actuation when they accompanied her to the Rural Health Unit of San Jacinto after complaining of stomach trouble while inside the lodging house.

Earlier, the the woman rebel introduced herself as a member of the Philippine National Police, driving the lodging house owner to suspicion and she told the police assigned in the area about her concern.

The police immediately proceeded to the lodging house where Victor claimed she had a stomach trouble so they brought her to the RHU where they found her lying about her actual condition.

They decided to return to the lodging house where they found the suspect’s camouflage uniform and other belongings of the suspect.

On their investigation, the police found out that Victor is a Sparu commander.

They immediately brought the suspect to the police station for further interrogation on her purpose and why she pretended to be a police officer.

Catanduanes declared ‘NPA-free’

From the Manila Times (Nov 23): Catanduanes declared ‘NPA-free’

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over the weekend said it has completely routed the New People’s Army (NPA) in Catanduanes and would soon turn over the responsibility of maintaining peace and security in the province to the local government.

Maj. Angelo Guzman, chief of the Public Information Office of the Southern Luzon Command on Sunday said that as of the second quarter of this year, the rebel organization in the province has been reduced to 27 members with only 14 firearms from a high of 200 fully armed fighters.

China building airstrip on contested island amid freeze calls

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 23): China building airstrip on contested island amid freeze calls

China is building an island on a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands large enough to accommodate what could be its first offshore airstrip in the South China Sea, a leading defense publication said on Friday.

The satellite images showing the construction has stoked concern that China may be converting disputed territory in the mineral-rich archipelago into military installations, adding tension in the region with territories being claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei.

IHS Jane’s said images it had obtained showed the Chinese-built island on the Fiery Cross Reef to be at least 3,000 meters (1.9 miles) long and 200-300 meters (660-980 ft) wide, “large enough to construct a runway and apron.”

The building work flies in the face of US calls for a freeze in provocative activity in the South China Sea, one of Asia’s biggest security issues. Concern is growing about an escalation in disputes even as claimants work to establish a code of conduct to resolve territorial issues.

Dredgers were also creating a harbor to the east of the reef “that would appear to be large enough to receive tankers and major surface combatants,” it said.

Asked about the report at a defense forum in Beijing on Saturday, Jin Zhirui, a colonel with the Chinese air force command, declined to confirm it but said China needed to build facilities in the South China Sea for strategic reasons.

“We need to go out, to make our contribution to regional and global peace,” Jin said. “We need support like this, including radar and intelligence.”

The land reclamation project was China’s fourth in the Spratly Islands in the last 12 to 18 months and by far the largest, IHS Jane’s said.

It said Fiery Cross Reef was home to a Chinese garrison and had a pier, air-defense guns, anti-frogmen defenses, communications equipment, and a greenhouse.

Beijing has rejected Washington’s call for all parties to halt activity in the disputed waters to ease tension, saying it can build whatever its wants in the South China Sea.

Hong Kong media have reported that China plans to build an air base on Fiery Cross Reef. In August, the deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments said he was unaware of any such plans.

West PH Sea row, major reason for deterioration in US-China ties

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 24): West PH Sea row, major reason for deterioration in US-China ties

China’s territorial dispute with the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) was a major reason the security relations between two of the world’s most powerful nations “deteriorated” in 2014, a United States commission said in its annual report to the US Congress released over the weekend.

In the report, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) cited numerous instances when China’s actions in the South China Sea “introduced greater instability to the region and violated China’s 2002 agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which stipulates that all claimants should exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.”

“China moved aggressively in asserting its claims in the South China Sea in 2014, using unilateral and destabilizing actions to advance its territorial ambitions,” the USCC report said. “In March, it began attempts to block access to a Philippine military outpost in the South China Sea, Second Thomas Shoal.”

Also throughout the year, China continued work on various land reclamation projects in areas in the South China Sea also claimed by the Philippines, including building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef and potentially Johnson South Reef in the Spratly Islands.

Aside from escalating territorial row in the South China Sea, several reported confrontations between military aircraft and ships of China and the United States in the disputed region and increased military spending of the Chinese government heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing in 2014.

“On each of these occasions, Chinese military personnel engaged in unsafe, unprofessional, and aggressive behavior that could have resulted in the loss of life or a major political crisis,” the USCC report to Congress said.

These potential China-US military confrontations risked escalating into a “major political crisis,” it added.

The report included 48 recommendations for congressional action.

These included a call for Congress to fund the US Navy’s shipbuilding and operational efforts to increase its presence in the Asia Pacific to at least 67 ships and rebalance homeports to 60 percent in the region by 2020 in order for the US to have the capacity to “maintain readiness and presence in the Asia Pacific, offset China’s growing military capabilities, and surge naval assets in the event of a contingency.”

The report also urged Congress to “appoint an outside panel of experts to do a net assessment of the Sino-American military balance and make recommendations to Congress regarding the adequacy of the current US military plans and budgets to meet the security requirements of the United States in the Pacific.

In addition, the USCC recommended that US Congress “ensure the adequacy of open source collection, production, and dissemination capabilities vis-à-vis security issues involving China.”

The USCC report was issued as the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives passed a resolution late Thursday reaffirming the need for a peaceful and collaborative solution to maritime and jurisdictional disputes in South China Sea as provided by universally recognized principles of international law.

House Resolution 714, introduced by US Rep. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, affirms the strong support of the US government for freedom of navigation and other internationally lawful uses of sea and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region. It condemns coercive actions or the use of force to impede these freedoms in international maritime domains and airspace.

According to Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce, House Resolution 714 “rightfully calls for a peaceful resolution of the on-going territorial disputes in the South China Sea.”

“It’s a crucial commercial hub with shipping lines, energy resources, fishing territory. This is a good plan to get it back to a peaceful resolution,” Royce said.

The resolution stated that the maritime domains of the Asia-Pacific region, which include both sea and airspace, are critical to the region’s prosperity, stability, and security, including global commerce.

In 2002, ASEAN and China committed to develop an effective Code of Conduct. It would commit all parties to territorial disputes to reaffirm their respect for freedom of navigation as provided by the universally recognized principles of international law, and to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force.

The House resolution cited numerous instances when China’s aggressive actions in South China Sea threatened regional stability. It cited a February, 2011, incident in which a People’s Liberation Army and Navy (PLAN) frigate opened fire at three fishing boats from the Philippines.

Also, without prior consultations with the United States, or other Asia-Pacific nations, China declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea in November, 2013, with regulations violating the 1994 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Congressman Faleomavaega said although the US government is not a claimant in the maritime disputes in either South China Sea or East China Sea, it has “an interest in a peaceful diplomatic resolution of disputes claimed in accordance with international law regarding the freedom of navigation and overflight, and a free float for commerce, free coercion, intimidation, or the use of force.”

3 killed, 14 wounded in IED explosion in North Cotabato

From InterAksyon (Nov 23): 3 killed, 14 wounded in IED explosion in North Cotabato

File photo of an improvised explosive device (IED) used in an earlier incident in Maguindanao province. A similar device set off in Malang town, North Cotabato Sunday evening (Nov. 23) killed three people and wounded 14 others. INTERAKSYON.COM FILE

Three civilians were killed while 14 others were wounded after an IED (improvised explosive device) exploded at Malang town, North Cotabato, Sunday night.

The blast took place at 7: 35 p.m. at the vicinity of Marcelo H. Del Pilar, corner Rivas Street, Poblacion A, Malang town.

Initial reports provided by Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay said that two persons died on the spot and these were identified as Lourence John Camiring and Jade Villarin.

Rex Javier, the third fatality, succumbed to his wounds while undergoing treatment at the Kidapawan Hospital.

As of this posting, 14 people were reported wounded and being treated at various medical centers in the area.

Investigation is still ongoing to determine the identity and motive of the suspects behind the blast.

CPP/NDF: Usa ka platun ang kaswalti sa AFP sa mga panagsangka sa mga tropa sa NPA sulod sa katorse ka adlaw

NDF propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 23): Usa ka platun ang kaswalti sa AFP sa mga panagsangka sa mga tropa sa NPA sulod sa katorse ka adlaw (A platoon of AFP casualties on the battlefield with the NPA over a fourteen day period)

Cesar Renerio
NDFP North Central Mindanao Chapter
Gihimong pasangil sa 4th ID ang pag-rescue sa duha ka Prisoners of War nga silang Pfc. Marnel Cinches ug Pfc. Jerrel Yorong sa 8th IB nga nagpabiling anaa sa kamot sa mga NPA sukad niadtong Agosto 22 sa ilang gilunsad nga lapad, kaylap ug dungan-dungan nga operasyon militar batok sa mga natarang gerilya sa North Central Mindanao Region sugod sa ikaduhang semana sa Nobyembre.

Samtang nagpaabot sa paynal nga panagsabot sa NDF-NCMR ug sa Local Crisis Management Committee ni Gov. Zubiri sa petsa ug lugar sa proseso sa pag-release sa duha, onse ka mga panagsangka tali sa mga naga-operasyong tropa sa AFP ug sa mga yunit sa NPA sa ubos sa Eastern Misamis Oriental-North Eastern Bukidnon Sub-regional Command ang misilaub sa Minalwang, Claveria, Misamis Oriental gikan sa Nobyembre 15 hangtud sa Nobyembre 19. Gawas sa kapakyas sa pagluwas sa duha ka sundalo, nadugangan pa ang mga kaswalti sa AFP ug nadislokar ang mga lumulupyo nga miresulta sa pagpamakwet sa 67 ka pamilya nga gilangkuban sa 251 ka mga indibidwal sa mga sityo nga sakop sa Minalwang. Niadtong Nobyembre 17, gi-harass usab sa laing yunit sa NPA ang mga tropa sa AFP sa Alipuaton, Salay ug pagka- Nobyembre 20, laing harassment ang gihimo sa NPA sa mga tropa sa AFP sa Bantaawan, Gingoog City. Anaa niini nga sub-rehiyon naga-operasyon karon ang mga tropa sa 12th ug 10th Scout Rangers Company sa 4th Scout Rangers Battalion, 58th IB, 8th IB ug DRC.

Sa samang higayon, gisugat sa mga operasyong harassment sa mga yunit sa NPA ilalum sa Mt. Kitanglad Sub-Regional Command ang mga naga-operasyong tropa sa 8th IB, 23rd IB ug 1st Special Forces Battalion. Unom ka harassment ang gilunsad sa lain-laing yunit sa NPA sa gikan sa Nobyembre 12 ngadto sa Nobyembre 20 sa mga baryo nga sakop sa Libona, Malaybalay City, ug Valencia City sa probinsya sa Bukidnon. Nanganyon napulo ka higayon ang mga pasistang tropa nga miresulta sa pagpamakwet sa mga Lumad nga anaa nanimuyo sa lasangon nga bahin sa Libona.

Sa Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur Sub-Regional Command , tulo ka harassment operation ang gilunsad batok sa mga nag-operasyong tropa sa 26th IB, 36th , 28th IB, 29th niadtong Nobyembre 9, sa Mahayahay sa San Luis; Nobyembre 21 sa Marbon, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur ug pagka Nobyembre 22 sa Mahagsay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. Nagapadayon ang operasyong saywar sa dagway sa Community Organizing for Peace and Development sa 13 ka mga komunidad ug baryo sa La Paz ug San Luis sa Agusan del Sur.

Niini tanang 22 ka mga panagsangka gikan Nobyembre 9 hangtud sa Nobyembre 22, mokabat na usa ka platun ang kaswalti sa AFP samtang usa ang natalang kaswalti sa NPA.

Ang rehimeng US-BS Aquino nagdamgo lang gihapon sa pagtuo nga pinaagi sa bangis nga kontra-rebolusyonaryong Oplan Bayanihan mapahuyang nila ang nasudnon-demokratikong rebolusyon sa dili pa mahuman ang iyang termino. Ang kainutil sa pagsandig sa militar nga gahum aron sumpuon ang rebolusyonaryong pakigbisog sa katawhan, napamatud-an na sa kasaysayan sa Pilipinas panahon sa pagharing militar sa diktadurang US-Marcos.

Pinasikad sa natigom nga kusog, napabarug nga mga lokal nga organo sa pulitikanhong gahum ug lapad nga pagsalmot ug suporta sa dinaugdaug ug pinahimuslan nga katawhan, determinado ang tibuok rebolusyonaryong pwersa dinhi sa rehiyon nga suklan ug pakyason ang Oplan Bayanihan.

Abu Sayyaf commander in Germans’ kidnappings killed in clash

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Nov 23): Abu Sayyaf commander in Germans’ kidnappings killed in clash

Government troops killed a notorious Abu Sayyaf leader, tagged as among those who kidnapped two German yachters, while evading capture in Sulu in the southern Philippines.

Military spokeswoman Captain Maria Rowena Muyuela said Sihata Latip engaged security forces trying to arrest him in the village of Duyan Kaha in Parang town late Saturday afternoon. She said one soldier was killed and another wounded in the fighting.

“Latip was killed when he resisted arrest and engaged security forces in a firefight. One soldier was killed while another is wounded during the brief clash with the Abu Sayyaf leader,” Muyuela, who quoted a military report, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

She said a report by Colonel Alan Arojado, commander of an anti-terror task force in Sulu, tagged Latip as involved in the kidnappings of foreigners and attacks against security forces.

“Latip was involved in the kidnappings of foreigners and in the series of violent attacks against government forces. The military and police are continuously pursuing notorious leaders of the Abu Sayyaf who are now on the run in Sulu,” Muyuela said.

Philippine military chief General Gregorio Catapang commended troops for killing Latip who was implicated by authorities in the April 25 kidnappings of Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Henrike Diesen, 55. Both hostages were freed by the Abu Sayyaf on October 17 in exchange for P250 million ransoms. The duo was heading to Sabah in Malaysia on a private yacht from a holiday in Palawan province when militants - who were returning to Sulu from a failed kidnapping in Sabah - spotted the Germans and seized them on April 25.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding 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).

They are also threatening to behead another kidnapped Malaysian fish breeder Chan Sai Chuin, 32, if ransom is not paid by his family this November. The rebels are demanding 3 million ringgits (P41 million) for the safe release of the fish breeder, who was kidnapped along with a Filipino worker on June 16 this year from a fish farm in the town of Kunak in Tawau District in Sabah.

Aside from the Malaysians, the militants are still holding hostage 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. And several Filipinos kidnapped in other provinces and brought to Sulu.

The military said the Abu Sayyaf rebels are hiding in civilian communities and have moved their hostages from one hideout to another making it extremely difficult for security forces to track them down. But a firefight earlier this month killed and wounded over 50 soldiers and rebels in Sulu’s hinterlands.

2 injured in grenade attack in Zamboanga City

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Nov 23): 2 injured in grenade attack in Zamboanga City

A grenade attack has injured two people in the southern Filipino port city of Zamboanga, police said Sunday.

Police said one of two men on motorcycle tossed the fragmentation group near the house of Eugene Jumawan, the village chieftain of Buenavista late Saturday.

It said the explosion injured Queenie Jumawan Levita, 19, and Addim Alaja Attain, 16.

“Investigation disclosed that prior to the incident, the village chairman together with some of his councilors and neighbors were sitting and having conversation at the waiting shed just outside the his residence when a motorcycle driven by unidentified persons passed by and lobbed the hand grenade and exploded,” said Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, a regional police spokesman.

The motive of the attack is still unknown, but Samuddin said police are investigating this incident.

Bomb squad disrupts suspected explosive near military base in Zamboanga City

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Nov 23): Bomb squad disrupts suspected explosive near military base in Zamboanga City

Army and police bomb experts disrupted a backpack on suspicion it contained an explosive near a military base in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines, officials said Sunday.

Officials said the bag was discovered by a store owner Alejandra Lumawan in the village of Malagutay and immediately informed authorities about it.

Soldiers and policemen cordoned off the area while bomb experts used projected water disruptor to destroy whatever explosives in the bag.

Disruptors utilize a water projectile shaped charge (an omni-directional format more commonly referred to as a “bottler”) to destroy improvised explosives by severing any detonation cord inside the device, rendering it futile.

Although there was no homemade bomb, the bag contained five 40 millimeter grenades, three fragmentation grenades and a handheld radio transceiver, including ammunition and a pair of short pants, according to Insp. Dahlan Samuddin, a regional police spokesman.

It was unknown whether the bag was owned by a soldier or terrorist, but police are now investigating this to determine its owner.

“A deeper investigation is being conducted by the police in order to determine the identity of the bag owner,” Samuddin said.

The discovery of the bag occurred two weeks following two Abu Sayyaf bomb explosions at a massage parlor and karaoke bar that injured a member of the police bomb squad PO2 Franklin Manuel Ined, Sr.

Ined was inspecting a suspicious container left inside the Deluxe Massage and Karaoke Bar at Tomas Claudio Street in downtown when it went off. A second bomb exploded in the bar.

In October, army and police bomb experts also disrupted an improvised explosive abandoned at the Plaza Pershing also in downtown Zamboanga. The explosive was hidden in a thermos that contained nails and ammonium nitrate, a banned chemical fertilizer widely used by rebels in the manufacture of homemade bombs.

The Abu Sayyaf, blamed by authorities to the spate of bombings and killings in the southern Philippines, has recently pledged allegiance to the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

25 casualties in new bombing in Philippines

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Nov 23): 25 casualties in new bombing in Philippines

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters during a clandestine interview by the Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper and other journalists in southern Philippines. (Photo by Mark Navales)

At least 25 people were killed and injured in a bomb attack late Sunday in North Cotabato’s  M’lang town in the southern Philippine province, officials said.

Capt. Jo Ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the 6th Infantry Division, said the blast killed 2 people and left at least 23 more injured near a shopping store in downtown area, but it was unclear whether the attack was the handiwork of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or other rebel group in the restive region.

The number of casualties is expected to increase as more people were being rushed to the hospital for shrapnel wounds. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police were investigating the motive of the bombing.

Petinglay released the names of the fatalities as John Lawrence Camiring and Jade Villarin. And some of the injured have been identified as Rex Javier, Roel Cordero, Ian Cris Quintanita, Lovelyn Catinoy, Aljamen Aguirre, Erica Mae Jacinto, Jason Cadungon, Jomar Basas, Kenneth Garcia, Ruth Ignacio, Marjan Billones, Apolinario Egoy, Mike Caba and Amar Patad.

Just recently, an improvised explosive device also went off in Cotabato City and wounding two people - Leslie Encina, 18, and Kristel Mae Uy, 20.  The  6th Infantry Division said a 60mm mortar exploded along Sinsuat Avenue.

It said an unidentified man hurled the improvised explosive. Soldiers on a passing military truck witnessed the incident.

No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police and military have previously blamed the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters for the spate of bombings and ambuscades in the troubled Muslim autonomous region.

A lone BIFF member also killed three soldiers with the army's 9th Intelligence Service Unit on November 18 in the town of Datu Piang in Maguindanao. The rebel killed an army major and two privates who were travelling in a car. The soldiers also lost their weapons and a laptop to the attacker. 

It was the second attack in recent weeks in Maguindanao when some 500 rebels also assaulted the detachment of the 45th Infantry Battalion in the village of Sapakan in Rajah Buayan town. The attack sparked a six-hour firefight that wounded Corporal Charlie Dilangsoy, and another village in North Cotabato's Midsayap town.