Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rebels enlisting children

From the Sun Star-Baguio (Mar 21): Rebels enlisting children
RECRUITMENT of children as rebels has been denounced by the Philippine Army.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Baluga of Army's 24th Infantry Battalion said reports of recruitment of soldiers from nearby schools in Malibcong, Abra by the New People’s Army is a violation of international laws and has been reported to the Department of Education.

Baluga said reports that children from the Mataragan National High School are being recruited to the rebel groups have reached the Army.

The army official added he is awaiting names of the students who have been taken by the NPA as new members.

"Violation ito ng international laws, they are recruiting minors," added Baluga.

Baluga said the Army will not pull out of the area despite calls from groups to leave Malibcong as he claims people are scared of the rebels and are forced to follow them.

“I am challenging the people now not to support them (NPA), they have to chose now to resist,” the army official said.

 Baluga maintained the military is not behind the bombings pinpointed to be the cause of massive forest fires in the area stressing the NPA’s deliberately burned their mountain tracks to prevent the military from keeping track of them.

Abra is still on full alert after the ambush which wounded five policemen last week when members of the New People’s Army ambushed the convoy of Abra Police Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum.

The NPA has since acknowledged the attack as well as the raid at the Malibcong Police station carting away police ammunition, uniforms and commutation equipment.

NDF not keen on stopping revolutionary taxes

From ABS-CBN (Mar 22): NDF not keen on stopping revolutionary taxes

[Video report]

The National Democratic Front is not keen on heeding President Rodrigo Duterte's call to stop collecting revolutionary taxes.

National Democratic Front peace negotiator Rey Casambre said the conditions set by the President for peace talks to resume are still subject to discussions.

"It only means that these issues become part of the agenda, especially we will be talking about forging bilateral ceasefire. There’s an agreement to do that," he said in an interview with ANC's "Early Edition."

"Most of the issues that have been raised as ‘conditions’ are really subject to discussion, subject to negotiation; therefore, part of the agenda," he added.

Casambre said revolutionary taxes are collected in the same way the government imposes taxation.

"The context, the reality is that there exists dual political power especially in the countryside. You can't expect the government to acknowledge or admit that but since you are negotiating, even without the admission, there is a tacit recognition that there is that dual authority. Otherwise there won't be any reason for negotiations," he said.

He added: "The NDF also has that authority and that need to provide services that the people in their territory...to be able to receive services."

"The fact that it has been going on for decades means it's reality. Businessmen, whether they are forced or not, they do pay those taxes because they deem it to be necessary for their commercial or business operations. In other words, there is also acceptance on the part of businessmen to pay those taxes."
Meanwhile, Casambre said the New People's Army is expected to declare a unilateral ceasefire in a matter of days.


3 dead, 8 wounded in Sultan Kudarat clash

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Mar 22): 3 dead, 8 wounded in Sultan Kudarat clash

THREE people, including a marine soldier, died while eight others were wounded in a clash with the New People’s Army (NPA) Monday, March 20, in Sultan Kudarat.
Western Mindanao Command Chief Carlito Galvez Jr. said the firefight took place around 10 a.m. Monday in the village of Hinalaan, Kalamansig town.
Galvez said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 troops were conducting focused military operations when they clashed with around 50 NPA rebels led by Tirzo Sakudal alias Commander Macmac.
 The firefight, Galvez said, lasted for 20 minutes after which the NPA rebels fled, dragging their casualties as the Marine troops delivered fire mission and reinforced the engaged troops.
A soldier died while eight others were wounded and immediately extricated by the responding team for prompt medical attention.
 The troops received intelligence report that two of Sakudal’s followers were killed in the firefight.
“It is with grief that we report to you the death of one of our soldiers during the firefight. We will make sure that his remains be accorded with the highest honor and his family be given the most assistance that the government can provide,” Galvez said.
 The identities of the slain and wounded soldiers were withheld pending notification of their next of kin.

A crippling blow

From The Star posted to The Nation (Mar 21): A crippling blow

The notorious Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group has been dealt a crippling blow with many key leaders killed in the past month. Some known gunmen involved in the beheading of hostages, including Malaysian Bernard Thien, were among those killed in the intensified offensive.

Among those that intelligence sources believe have been killed are Idang Susukan and Majan Sahidjuan, also known as Apo Mike, while many others are now on the run as the Philippine military closes in on them.

Apo Mike, Idang and his brother Atai are among 23 Filipino nationals who are on the Eastern Sabah Security Command’s (Esscom) wanted list.

The suspects’ known names and pictures were made public last November in a bid to capture the criminals believed to be behind a series of cross-border kidnappings in Sabah’s east coast. Among those on the run include Alhabsi Misaya and Muamar Askali or Abu Rami who is said to be the gunmen’s negotiator for the release of the hostages.

So far, the Philippine military has only announced the death of Buchoy Hassan, also known as Black or Bocoi, but intelligence sources believe others like Apo Mike have been killed. Confirmation of their identities is pending.

Col. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said Idang was seriously wounded in an encounter with soldiers, while his brother Jaber was killed in the incident about two weeks ago.

The Philippine military has said that Bocoi was among 30 Abu Sayyaf members killed in military operations against the gunmen believed to have beheaded the kidnap victims. Thien was beheaded in November 2015.

The latest case was when German Jurgen Kantner, 70, was beheaded in Jolo in late February after demands for a US$600,000 (2.6 million ringgit) ransom were not met.

Jolo-based anti kidnapping activist Prof Octavio Dinampo said Atai, an Abu Sayyaf sub commander, had also been killed along with his wife and Idang’s wife.

“It is becoming more difficult for the gunmen. There has been no let up in the offensive and they have to be on the move constantly,” he said in a telephone interview from Jolo.

He said the military operations had become so intense that Alhabsy, who barely escaped the dragnet in Bungao, was believed to have fled to the nearby island of Tungkil.

Other Abu Sayyaf leaders in the Malaysian wanted list are Hatib Hajan aka Sawadjaan, Salip Sosong aka Mohamad Apsa Abdulla, Saidul Idul, Halipa, Ibrahim, Sabri Madrasul aka Salip Jul, Las Pangit, Alden Bagde aka Sayning, Marajan Asiri, Raden Abuh, Bocoi, Sangbas, Berong Sairol aka Boy Master, Bensaudi Sairol aka Boy Pangit, Boy Intel, Atai Susukan and Durog Hussein.

Also in the list are the neutralised Muktadil brothers Khadafy and Salvador aka Badong.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said that the security forces were focusing on two factions of the Abu Sayyaf – the one in Jolo focusing on kidnap-for-ransom and the other in Basilan island bent on waging Islamic State (IS) violence in the Philippines.


Maguindanaon women urged to fight ‘extremism’

From MindaNews (Mar 21): Maguindanaon women urged to fight ‘extremism’

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu on Monday urged Maguindanaon women to help government rid Moro communities of “violent extremism and radicalization”.

Speaking during the celebration of Women’s Month, Mangudadatu said, “ We should not allow extreme minds to persuade among our youth or husbands. Mothers have bigger role to play to guide the family to a better path of life.”

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu leads the release of balloons during the Women’s Month celebration in Buluan, Maguindanao on March 21, 2017. Ferdinandh Cabrera

“As mothers you have the moral obligation to guide your children so they will not be influenced by extremists who are preying on the weaknesses of our fellow Maguindanaons,” he said.

The governor said he has been praying that parents, especially mothers, should use their conviction in preventing their children from being lured into extremism, which he called un-Islamic.

Military and police intelligence reports claimed that the Maute group in Lanao del Sur, the Abu Sayyaf and the Maguindanao-based Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Women leaders said they are supporting the government’s campaign against “violent extremism” and all forms of abuses against women and children.

“We women are facing the biggest challenge in our lives today to protect our sector and our children from recruitment of extremists and human trafficking,” said Shaimah Macadato from Matanog town.

The women who attended the event on March 21 and 22 received free pop smear and breast checkup, and viewed a video presentation on a successful case study of safe employment overseas.

Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development and International Organization for Migration(IOM) also attended.

Tara Dermott, IOM program leader, stressed the importance of education among the young for them not to be swayed by illegal recruiters and sweet promises from those who wish to take advantage of them.

“We often say that knowledge is power and we say this because it’s true. But beyond having knowledge it is important to share it or mingle with other groups so that people can tell the whole truth about their experience.


No presence of Maute group in Manila — AFP

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 21): No presence of Maute group in Manila — AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that as far as they are concerned, they have not monitored any presence of the Maute Group here in Metro Manila contrary to claims made by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo, made the remark on Tuesday (March 21) following the arrest of a suspected Maute Group member, Nasip Ibrahim, in Barangay Culiat, Quezon City on Monday (March 20) night.

AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo (L); AFP spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla (R)  (MANILA BULLETIN)
In a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday (March 21), Arevalo stressed that as far as the AFP intelligence community is concerned, they have not monitored the presence of the Maute Group in the metropolis.

“We don’t know what the PNP’s basis for them to say that the Maute Group already has presence here in Metro Manila,” Arevalo said.

“But we would like to ask the people to remain vigilant and always support security forces in efforts of neutralizing the enemy. Magtulungan tayo, because security is everybody’s concern,” Arevalo said.

Arevalo said they will be needing the active support and vigilance of the people so that the Maute Group and other terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Isis inspired Ansar-al Khilapa based in Lanao del Sur, will be prevented from entering Metro Manila.

“Our operations will continue in efforts of going after these terror groups,” Arevalo said. “So far we don’t have any information on that. Our appeal to the public is for all of us to remain vigilant and help each other in ensuring the security of the metropolis.”

For his part, AFP spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said the AFP is coordinating with the PNP on the details of the matter.

“Be assured that the AFP is always prepared to assist in the event of any contingency. For the AFP, it is not a question of “If” (any threats exist) but rather of “When” these threats become active. Hence, the need to be prepared at all times,” Padilla said.

Padilla said the AFP is always proactively engaged to negate terrorists efforts. He also said that the public should also go on with their normal activities and must not allow such information to derail them from their normal routine.

“As before, staying alert, vigilant & observant of your environment and cooperating with authorities by sharing information is always a deterrent that will significantly enhance the security posture of our communities,” Padilla said.


Alleged Abu Sayyaf supporters now in military custody

From ABS-CBN (Mar 22): Alleged Abu Sayyaf supporters now in military custody

A known supporter of Abu Sayyaf Group leader Furuji Indama was arrested in Basilan, while another member of the terrorist group turned himself in to military officials in Sulu on Sunday.

Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command, confirmed that the person arrested was Abdul Muhsin Nur, identified by residents of Barangay Bohe-Pahuh in Ungkaya Pukan municipality, Basilan, as a member of the Abu Sayyaf.

The military said that Nur’s arrest was a result of better cooperation among the civilians in Basilan, who reported his presence in the area.

Meanwhile, Absara Mursalin Akbara, a.k.a. Talim Amsang, another alleged member of the terrorist group, surrendered to officials of the 41st Infantry Battalion past 10 a.m. on Sunday in Barangay Mampallam, Talipao municipality, Sulu.

Akbara, 41, turned in his M16 rifle to the military before he was handed over to Sulu police for filing of appropriate charges.

Akbara is believed to be a known follower of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Jihad Susukan, who has been tagged in several kidnapping cases in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi.
According to Petinglay, Akbara surrendered amid a series of intensified military offensives.

Petinglay added that some communities in Sulu that once coddled the Abu Sayyaf have been providing the military with vital information on some terrorists' whereabouts.

"We will maintain the momentum and we will deny this evil bandits safe havens and hiding areas with the strong support of regional governor Mujiv Hataman, all the governors, mayors and barangay officials ARMM,” Petinglay said.

At least 30 alleged Abu Sayyaf members have been killed in Sulu and Basilan since the beheading of German national Jurgen Kantner last month after failed negotiations.

Government forces have been pursuing the rebels in a bid to safely rescue the remaining hostages, 25 of which are foreigners.


2 kids wounded in clash between troops, bandits

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 22): 2 kids wounded in clash between troops, bandits

Two children had been wounded in a clash between soldiers and members of the crime and terror group Abu Sayyaf in a Sulu town but armed forces officials kept mum on the second case this month of children getting caught in the crossfire.

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) declined to comment about the wounding of a 5-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl during the clash in the town of Tongkil on March 14.

Supt. Nonito Asdai, chief of the city’s police station 6, had confirmed the presence of the two children in a hospital here.

“They suffered bullet wounds so we immediately investigated this knowing that they are civilians from Sulu,” he said.

Asdai said city police earlier thought the two wounded persons brought to the hospital were members of the Abu Sayyaf “until we made our own investigation.”

“They were caught in the middle of a crossfire,” he said.

“The guardian of the two children said there was a military encounter and the bandits fled toward their direction,” Asdai said.

Military officials refused to comment, but the Joint Task Force Sulu’s (JTFS) Facebook account said an Abu Sayyaf member, a certain Basing, was killed during the March 14 clash. There was no mention of children being wounded.

Col. Cirilito Sobejana, head of JTFS, in a statement posted on Facebook, lauded the soldiers who had killed Basing.

Sobejana said JTFS is doing its best to protect civilians.

Senior Supt. Luisito Magnaye, city police chief, had described the wounded minors as “children of the Abu Sayyaf.”


Manila wants talks on Sulu Sea patrols

From The Star Online (Mar 22): Manila wants talks on Sulu Sea patrols

The Philippines wants more discussions on Sulu Sea joint patrols with its Asean defence counterparts.

Its Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice-Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, who is here for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2017), spoke of the need for such talks with Asean members, including Malaysia and Indonesia, to beef up security in the Sulu Sea.

Maritime security was one of the issues focussed on by the Philippines, which assumed the Asean chair in January, he said.

“My agenda in this Lima is to be able to talk to my Malaysian counterpart on the plans we will undertake.
“There are many things to undertake in the trilateral agreement to address some of the issues at the Sulu Sea patrols,” he told reporters in Resorts World Langkawi yesterday.

Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia have come to an agreement to patrol problematic areas and counter the militant group Abu Sayyaf.

Mercado also said that the Philippines had deployed its latest frigate to Lima 2017.

This was an opportunity to widen its knowledge on maritime technologies and strengthen unity among the Asean naval community, he added.

Army colonel is new PSG chief

From Rappler (Mar 22): Army colonel is new PSG chief

Brigadier General Rolando Bautista, the outgoing PSG chief, is deployed to Mindanao to help in the fight against terror groups

GUARDING THE PRESIDENT. President Rodrigo Duterte is assisted by Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Rolando Bautista during the launch of the PSG's vegetable garden program. File photo by Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo

GUARDING THE PRESIDENT. President Rodrigo Duterte is assisted by Presidential Security Group (PSG) Commander Rolando Bautista during the launch of the PSG's vegetable garden program. File photo by Rey Baniquet/Presidential Photo

Army Colonel Lope Dagoy has been named as the new commander of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Malacañang confirmed on Wednesday, March 22.

The Office of the Executive Secretary confirmed the appoinment of Dagoy on Wednesday.

Dagoy replaces Brigadier General Rolando Bautista who assumed leadership of the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) last week.

Prior to his new appointment, Dagoy was President Rodrigo Duterte's senior military adviser. He also was also the chief of staff of Eastern Mindanao Command chief General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, and served in the army's 10th Infantry Division.

A graduate of Philippine Military Academy "Hinirang" Class 1987, Dagoy, who also goes by his nickname, Louie, will be the second PSG commander under the Duterte administration.

He will officially take the helm of the PSG during the change of command ceremony on Thursday, March 23, to be attended by the President.

Fight vs terror
Outgoing PSG chief Bautista was assigned as 1ID chief due to his knowledge of the Basilan area, stronghold of terror and bandit groups.

The 1ID based in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, is focused on fighting terrorists in Mindanao. Before he was PSG chief, Bautista was commander of the Joint Task Group in Basilan.

His new assignment comes as the President vows to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group, operating mostly in the Sulu and Basilan areas.

The Abu Sayyaf's kidnap-for-ransom activities worsened during the first months of the Duterte administration.

There were 18 hostages when Duterte assumed office on June 30. Now there are 31, mostly foreigners.

There are 25 foreigners among the 31 hostages including the 7 Vietnamese crewmen abducted in February. A German hostage was beheaded in February.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said there are plans to transfer an entire division to Sulu to address the problem.


Why The Philippines Can't Crush Its Deadly Communist Movement--Even 50 Years Later

From Forbes (Mar 21): Why The Philippines Can't Crush Its Deadly Communist Movement--Even 50 Years Later

The Philippines is a democracy always being tested by violent anti-government rebel groups. You hear a lot about the well-armed Muslim fronts that want more autonomy in the majority Catholic country and don’t mind battling troops from Manila or slaying foreign tourists. But one of the most nagging rebel groups isn’t Muslim, it’s communist. It has 120 bases nationwide, per one estimate. It never quits fighting despite peace talks over the years following a decrease in ranks.

In a country where about a quarter of the 102 million people live in poverty with a lot more uncomfortably close to it, communism might offer the appeal of more equitable resource distribution. Meet the New People’s Army, a violent unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The communist army advocates overthrowing the government in favor of a state led by the vast working class. It gets the most support in rural areas with "high levels of poverty and social inequality," including lack of land reform, says Carl Baker, director of programs at the think tank Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu.

New People's Army guerrillas inside their camp on November 23, 2016 in Sierra Madre, Philippines. (Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

But, no offense to their fledgling relations with China, Filipinos aren’t ardent communists. The Mao Zedong-inspired rebel group has stuck to the ever-chaotic Philippine rebel scene because of its geographic reach, fragmented organization and stubbornness by both sides during peace talks with the government. Violence has killed some 30,000 people since the New People’s Army formed in 1968.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took on the guerrilla movement's umbrella group the National Democratic Front as part of a crime-fighting agenda that has endeared him to a lot of citizens since he took office in June. He had calmed the communist army in his city Davao while mayor there for 22 years.

But Duterte is known for sudden shifts in position, such as trying to elbow out military aid from the United States and then letting a lot of it stay. In February the National Democratic Front and the government ended ceasefires that had been in effect through most of Duterte’s term so far. His defense secretary declared “all-out war” instead, saying the military could take care of the rebel group with its existing forces. The New People’s Army and another communist-linked front had negotiated with past presidents without a convincing deal.

Peace negotiations failed in February because the government wouldn’t release 400 political prisoners and stop moving in on rebel-held parts of the countries, Philippine media report. The government calls the New People’s Army a “terrorist group.” It ordered the arrest of rebel leaders involved in the peace talks. The communist army acts like Abu Sayyaf, the Muslim rebel group that kidnaps and sometimes kills foreigners in the country’s southwest, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has been quoted saying.

“Back-door talks” are going on now to rekindle formal ones, notes Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Philippine advocacy group Institute for Political and Electoral Reform. The two sides are scheduled to talk formally again in April, per this report.

But the New People’s Army has found about 1,000 new recruits in recent months as well, Casiple estimates. They would join 3,200 affiliated as of 2015. The figure is down from five-digit membership in the 1980s but enough to cause problems. Abu Sayyaf has just 400 core members but consistently eludes the government while keeping local communities happy with kidnapping ransom and killing foreign tourists who can’t raise funds.

The communist group is also so fragmented that some units work autonomously, says Jay Batongbacal, associate law professor at the University of the Philippines. A peace accord with the government might not convince every fragment, he says.

The war could easily just carry on. The communist group would still extort taxes from businesses in its strongholds, including rural areas of Luzon Island outside the capital Manila. Police officers would die. Communists would die. The New People's Army sometimes targets politicians and U.S. service personnel in the Philippines as well to weaken the government, one commentary says.

“We don’t know now what’s going to happen,” says Antonio Montalvan, a newspaper columnist in the southern city Cagayan de Oro, which is on the same island where suspected members of the New People’s Army killed four police officers March 8. “There’s a possibility that the peace talks will come back or that the war will go on.”


Ramli: Offensive against Abu Sayyaf will be positive for Sabah

From The Star Online (Mar 21): Ramli: Offensive against Abu Sayyaf will be positive for Sabah

The Philippines’ military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group would lead to an improved security situation in eastern Sabah’s sea borders, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said.

“If this is true, as announced by the Philippine military, it will have an impact on Sabah. It will make it more difficult for the cross border kidnap groups,” he said.

He was asked to comment on official and unofficial reports that some key Abu Sayyaf figures were killed in the ongoing military offensive.

Among those whom intelligence sources believed have been killed are Idang Susukan and Majan Sahidjuan, also known as Apo Mike.
The Philippines had anno­unced the death of Buchoy Hassan, known as Black or Bocoi, who was based in Sitangkai in the Tawi Tawi islands close to Sabah’s eastern borders.

Bocoi, who is also wanted by Eastern Sabah Security Command, was a key drug smuggler and fuel supplier who acted as a guide for kidnap- for-ransom groups in Sabah.


Suspected ASG men detonate IED

From Tempo (Mar 21): Suspected ASG men detonate IED
Alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are suspected to detonating an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that damaged a commercial district building in Lamitan City.

Basilan City Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt Nickson Muksan said the IED exploded at about 10:05 p.m. Sunday, destroying a section of the KMC Hardware Building owned by a certain Chinchin Yumol who is said to be a resident of Lamitan City.

Nobody was hurt as a result of the explosion but residents of the city were into mild panic after learning that another IED was also planted along Pamaran Street, Barangay Matatag.
The said IED was later on discovered a few meters away from the blast site.

Lamitan City vice mayor Roderick Furigay assures trading activities in the city has remained normal as of yesterday despite the incident.

Furigay also welcomed the arrival of 35 policemen from Metro Manila to Lamitan City to help in the maintenance of peace and order in the city.

Muksan said extortion activities is now becoming rampant in Lamitan City, reason why they are augmenting the city’s police force by bringing in the additional policemen from Metro Manila.


MNLF-IO: MNLF gathers for Bangsamoro Freedom Day

From The Moro Voice Online: Suara Bangsamoro posted to the Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Office Facebook page (Mar 21): MNLF gathers for Bangsamoro Freedom Day


 SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is celebrating today (March 18) its 49th founding anniversary with a massive gathering of leaders and supporters in Sulu.

Ustadz Murshi Ibrahim, MNLF Central Committee secretary general, told The Manila Times that Founding Chairman Nurullaji Misuari has issued an official advisory to MNLF leaders, Bangsamoro Armed Forces (BAF) officers, commanders and regular members to join the celebration to be highlighted by a parade at the historic town of Jolo.

Ibrahim advised the participants to proceed to the Astana (Palace) on Mount Dragon for the final affairs of the 49th MNLF Anniversary that will commence at 3 p.m. where Misuari is expected to deliver his speech and will make an important announcement for the Bangsamoro people.

The MNLF adherents, supporters and sympathizers from all over Minsupala (Mindanao, Sulu, Palawan) are expected to actively participate in the celebration. The annual commemoration of the MNLF founding day organized by Misuari every 18th of March coincided with the infamous Jabidah Massacre on Corregidor Island where several Moro youth participating in a Special Forces commando training where massacred by their officers for conducting a mutiny.




MNLF-IO: Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day (3)

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Office Facebook page (Mar 21): Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day (3)

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MNLF-IO: Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day (2)

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Office Facebook page (Mar 21): Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day (2)

MNLF 49th Founding Anniversary
Bangsamoro Freedom Day
March 18, 2017
Allahu Akbar

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MNLF-IO: Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Office Facebook page (Mar 21): Photos: Bangsamoro Freedom Day

49th Founding Anniversary
Marcj 18, 2017

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MILF: UBJP-Buluan Chapter holds Special Meeting

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Mar 21): UBJP-Buluan Chapter holds Special Meeting 

United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP)-Buluan Chapter held special meeting last March 19, 2017 at Poblacion Buluan, Maguindanao.

In his message, Thor Guialal, UBJP-Buluan Chapter President said, "This meeting that we called for is aimed at strengthening our party to work for expansion through recruitment of qualified members in preparation for our participation in the electoral process once the new political entity Bangsamoro is in place”.

“As a party, we are committed to look after the welfare of our people and communities", Guialal also said. "Promoting and ensuring justice for the people in the Bangsamoro is one way of getting the support of other sectors to join with us in our democratic and political struggle", Guialal added.

Abdulaziz Talib, Administrative Officer of Eastern Kutawato College Incorporated, said that one effective approach to strengthen a political party is to engage in networking with other organizations that can help a party to become stronger and win during elections. Major political parties in the world have their so-called “youth wing” compose of active and diligent young men and women who follow, adhere to the principles of the party and work hard for the victory of the party during elections”, Talib added,

"Youth organizations can help in promoting peace and justice in our communities", Talib emphasized.

The UBJP is a political party organized by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with various chapters in Mindanao and duly registered with the Commission on Elections. Once the proposed Bangsamoro region is established, the MILF will participate in the regional elections with UBJP as their political party.


MILF: Maguindanao celebrates Bangsamaoro Week of Peace by holding Forum on Bangsamoro History and Struggle

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Mar 21): Maguindanao celebrates Bangsamaoro Week of Peace by holding Forum on Bangsamoro History and Struggle 

The Provincial Government of Maguindanao celebrated Bangsamoro Week of Peace by conducting a Forum on Bangsamoro History and Struggle with the theme: "Revisiting the past, continuing the Cause”, participated by student leaders from different schools, Out-of-School Youth representatives from different municipalities in Maguindanao Province last March 18, 2017 at Women Center, Buluan, Maguindanao.

The program started with invocation followed by messages of student leaders and representatives.

On behalf of Provincial Governor, Engr. Wahab Tunga, Provincial Administrator gave an inspirational message.

He emphasized the value and importance of Youth participation in the development and nation building, thus he strongly encouraged the youth participants to study well for they will be the future leaders of Bangsamoro.

Professor Esmael A. Abdula, Executive Director of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute and BLMI Steering Committee member discussed” Highlights of the Bangsamoro History in connection with the celebration of Week of Peace.

According to him, the young generation should be aware and internalize Moro History, the story of their ancestors struggle against colonialists and the Bangsamaoro contemporary struggle so that they are always reminded of the courage, gallantry and determination of their forebears in defense of Moro culture and tradition, homeland and Islam.”

It is also equally important for the new generation to understand the contemporary struggle of the Moro people so that they can prepare for the future, and for any eventuality that may happen”, Abdula stressed.

He said that the Moros who are Muslims were centuries ahead of the colonizers in the Philippines. They have their own culture and tradition and they were governed by the sultanates. There was peace in Moro communities before colonizers arrived.

Abdula also narrated the stages of Bangsamoro Struggle for Right to Self Determination and the peace negotiations that took place, as well as the peace deals signed between the government and the Moro Fronts.

Abdula considered the expansion of the Bangsamoro transition Commission (BTC) with 21 members, tasked to craft a new Bangsamoro Law as ‘ways forward”. He said that by the grace of Allah (SAW), such a development will lead to a political settlement of the Bangsamoro Question.


CPP/Ang Bayan: Mga martir sa Quezon, pinarangalan

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21): Mga martir sa Quezon, pinarangalan (Martyrs of Quezon honored)

“Nalulungkot tayo sa pagpanaw ng mga mahal na kasama. Ganoonman, ang ating kalungkutan at pamimighati ay mapapalitan at maibabaling sa ibayong rebolusyonaryong katapangan at katatagan. Nagkakamali ang pasistang AFP at ang rehimeng Duterte sa kanilang gising na pangarap na malilipol ang lumalabang mamamayan, laluna ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan.”

Ito ang pahayag ni Ka Cleo del Mundo, tagapagsalita ng BHB-Quezon (Apolonio Mendoza Command) sa pagpupugay sa apat na Pulang mandirigma na nasawi sa engkwentro noong Marso 7 sa Sityo Umagos, Brgy. Camplora, San Andres, Quezon.

Sina Felicardo Salamat (Ka Japson/Jelmon), Paul Aringo (Ka Arki/Junpio), Jomar Resureccion (Ka Roro/Dodong) at Jeramie Garcia (Ka Ash) ay nakikipagpapulong sa bahay ng mga magsasaka ukol sa problema sa lupa at pagnanakaw ng hayop nang kubkubin sila ng 2nd Jungle Fighter Company na nasa ilalim ng kumand ng 85th IB.

Sa naturang labanan, pina-putukan ng mga sundalo sa pamu-muno ni Capt. Zander Khan Usman ang mga mgasasakang kausap ng mga Pulang mandirigma. Nagpa-putok ang mga sundalo kahit kitang-kita nilang may mga bata na na-kapaligid sa bahay. Nasugatan sa pamamaril ang sibilyang si Jennifer Yuson, 22 anyos na magsasaka. Dinala siya ng militar kasama ang kapamilya at may-ari ng bahay na kinilalang si Teteng at isa pang sibilyan na si Cristopher Redota. Maging ang pinag-bentahan ng kalabaw ay idinetine ng mga sundalo.

Si Ka Japson ay mula sa pamilyang magsasaka ng Guinayangan, Quezon, na kumilos nang pultaym sa BHB mula 1985. Isa siyang beterano ng armadong rebolusyon. Kabilang siya sa maraming tagumpay ng BHB sa paggapi sa armadong pwersa ng kaaway. Ilang ulit na rin siyang nasugatan. Dalawang ulit rin siyang nadakip ng kaaway.

Si Ka Ash ay nagmula sa isang komunidad sa tabi ng riles sa Laguna. Naging tagapangulo siya ng organisasyon ng kabataan sa kanilang barangay hanggang sa maging mahusay na lider-kabataan ng Laguna. Kasama ang ilang mga kabataan ay naging bahagi siya sa pagbubuo ng isang pangkulturang samahan at nagtanghal sa maraming mga kilos-protesta, mula prubinsya, hanggang pambansang mga aktibidad. Sa pagsapi sa ARMAS (Artista at Manunulat ng Sambayanan) sa Timog Katagalugan, taos-puso niyang isinulong ang makabayan, makamasa, at siyentipikong kultura.

Gitnang bahagi ng taong 2016 nang mag-organisa siya sa mga komunidad sa Cavite at Laguna, nakipamuhay sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda dito at gayundin sa Batangas. Sa edad na 18, sumapi si Ka Ash sa BHB-Quezon. Naging bahagi siya sa pagsusulong ng laban ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kabuhayan.

Si Ka Junpio naman ay nagmula sa maralitang komunidad ng Bagong Barrio sa South Caloocan. Ibinuhos niya ang kanyang panahon sa pag-oorganisa ng kabataan para pakilusin sa iba’t ibang usapin ng sektor at ng mamamayan. Naging kasapi siya ng Partido Komunista. Isa siyang masipag na upisyal sa edukasyon sa kabataan sa komu-nidad bago siya sumapi sa BHB noong 2015.

Pinarangalan siya ng KM-Quezon bilang isang magiting na kasamang may mataas na diwang panlaban. Nangunguna siya sa gawaing propaganda at pagpa-paliwanag sa masang kinikilusan ng kanyang yunit, naging mahusay na brodkaster ng Radyo Pakikibaka, at pana-panahon ding dibuhista ng Diklap, ang upisyal na pahayagan ng PKP sa Timog Quezon-Bondoc Peninsula.

Tubong Dasmariñas, Cavite naman si Ka Dodong. Sa loob ng pitong taon mula nang siya ay mamulat at naging aktibista, lagi siyang kasama sa gawaing pangkultura at pagtugon sa mga quick reaction team sa mga lugar na mayroong demolisyon sa kalunsuran at kung saan matindi ang militarisasyon sa kanayunan. Kumilos siya sa hanay ng mga magsasaka sa Palawan bago inilipat sa Quezon.

Nabilad ang mga bangkay ng apat na Pulang mandirigma bago makuha ng mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang-tao dulot ng pagtanggi ng AFP. Hindi na halos makilala ang mga bangkay nang makuha ang mga ito.

 Binigyan ng pambayaning burol at libing ang apat na martir. Binalot ng pulang bandila ang kanilang kabaong at sa bawat paghatid sa huling hantungan ay inilunsad ang mga martsa-libing.

Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]


CPP/fAng Bayan: Mga sibilyang komunidad, binomba ng AFP

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21): Mga sibilyang komunidad, binomba ng AFP (Civilian communities bombed by the AFP)

Sunud-sunod na mga pambobomba sa mga komunidad sa kanayunan ang isinagawa ng mga tropa ng AFP. Ito ay matapos iutos ni Duterte na patagin ang mga bundok bilang tugon sa mga opensiba ng BHB.

Pinipinsala ng mga pambobombang ito ang mga kabuhayan ng mamamayan, hindi lamang sa tuwirang paninira, kundi gayundin sa dislokasyon ng mga residente mula sa kanilang mga komunidad.

Abra. Matapos ang magkasunod na matatagumpay na taktikal na opensiba ng BHB-Abra sa Malibcong, naglunsad ang Philippine Air Force (PAF) ng pambobomba gamit ang mga eroplanong FA-50 sa mga kabundukan ng Bangilo at Mataragan District noong Marso 16.

Nag-umpisa ang pambobomba nang alas-8 ng umaga hanggang alas-2 ng hapon, kung saan umabot sa kabuuang 14 na beses naghulog ng mga bomba ang mga eroplano ng PAF. Nagresulta ito sa malawakang pagkasunog ng kabundukan, mga palayan at pastuhan ng mga baka, at nagdulot ng takot sa mamamayan. Apektado ang di bababa sa 56 pamilya, kabilang na ang 200 bata.

Kasabay nito, inakusahan din ng 24th IB at PNP-Cordillera ang mga empleyado at upisyal ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Malibcong, gayundin ang mga progresibong organisasyon, na mga myembro ng BHB para gipitin sila. Nanghalughog din ang mga sundalo sa ari-arian ng mga sibilyan, at pinaigting ang checkpoint sa mga daanan.

Nitong Marso 18, iligal na inaresto ng mga sundalo sina Joshua Gumatay at Antonio Ambalneg Jr., kapwa myembro ng Kabataan Partylist. Ipinailalim sila sa interogasyon sa loob ng halos apat na oras bago ipasa sa DSWD at meyor ng Malibcong.

Maguindanao. Lumikas ang may 1000 pamilya sa Datu Salibo, Maguindanao dulot ng mga pambobomba ng AFP sa komunidad ng mga Moro mula Marso 13 hanggang Marso 16.

Ayon sa organisasyong Suara Bangsamoro, maliban sa mga bombang ihinulog ng mga eroplanong FA-50, kinanyon din ng mga MG-520 attack helicopter at 105mm howitzer ang komunidad ng Brgy. Andavit, kung saan 300 pamilya ang nagsilikas.

Pagsapit ng alas-5:30 ng umaga, pinasok na ng may 600 sundalo lulan ng mga tangke at trak ang lugar. Ayon sa 6th ID, binomba umano nila ang Brgy. Andavit upang itaboy ang mga myembro ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Dahil sa militarisasyon, napilitan na ring magbakwet ang mga residente sa mga karatig-barangay ng Tee at Gawang.

Compostela Valley. Sapilitan ding lumikas noong Marso 11 ang mahigit 75 pamilya sa Brgy. Cabuyoan, Mabini, Compostela Valley dahil sa pambobomba ng mga helikopter matapos ang labanan sa pagitan ng BHB at 46th IB.

Ayon sa mga residente, hindi bababa sa 10 bomba ang ihinulog ng mga helikopter sa kanilang mga komunidad. Gumamit din ng mga masinggan ang mga helikopter sa mga pag-atake. Dulot nito, lumikas patungo sa Cabuyoan Elementary School ang mga residente mula sa mga sityo ng Magpalusong, Post 2 at Patawon.

Inireklamo rin ng mga residente ang pagnanakaw ng mga sundalo ng kanilang mga pagkain at paninda.

Bago nito, noong Pebrero 12 ay kinanyon rin ng 60th IB ang Brgy. Bullocan sa bayan ng Laak matapos ang misengkwentro sa pagitan ng mga sundalo. Itinulak nito ang mahigit 300 pamilya na lisanin ang kanilang mga komunidad. Gayundin, noong Pebrero 22, mahigit isang oras na inatake mula sa himpapawid ang Brgy. Fatima sa Paquibato District sa Davao City na nagdulot ng matinding ligalig sa mga residente.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]


CPP/Ang Bayan: Tuluy-tuloy na atake ng AFP sa mga magsasaka

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21): Tuluy-tuloy na atake ng AFP sa mga magsasaka (Continuous attacks by the AFP on farmers)

Nagpapatuloy ang pagpatay ng mga ahente ng estado sa mga magsasakang inaakusahan nilang mga myembro ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB). Gayundin, tuluy-tuloy ang iba pang pang-aatake ng AFP sa mga magsasaka sa ilalim ng Oplan Kapayapaan.

Sorsogon. Hindi myembro ng BHB ang namatay na si Manuel Garais, 48, na binaril ng mga sundalo ng 31st IB habang sinasalakay nila ang isang yunit ng BHB sa Brgy. Tugas, Matnog noong Marso 16, alas-9 ng umaga. Taliwas ito sa ipinahayag ni Lt. Col. Randy Espino, kumander ng 31st IB. Ayon sa pamilya ng biktima, barangay tanod si Garais sa lugar at nagpapataya lamang ng loteng sa panahong iyon.

Camarines Norte. Pinatay ng mga sundalo sa ilalim ng 902nd IBde ng 9th ID ang isang sibilyan na kinilala sa apelyidong Obina noong Marso 15 sa Brgy. Itok, Capalonga. Pinalabas ng 9th ID na isa umanong myembro ng BHB si Obina at namatay sa isang engkwentro. Nakakuha pa umano ang mga sundalo ng armas at mga bala sa insidente.

Ayon kay Ka Carlito Cada, tagapagsalita ng BHB-Camarines Norte, walang naganap na engkwentro sa lugar. Ayon sa mga residente, sibilyang magsasaka si Obina na inakusahan ng mga sundalo na myembro ng BHB at pinatay. Kinilala ang pinuno ng mga sundalo na isang Sgt. Hernandez na nakabase sa kalapit na baryo ng Brgy. Mactang.

Basilan. Pinatay ng mga sundalo ng Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) ang Bayan Muna coordinator na si Hadji Billamin Hassan matapos siyang arestuhin sa Brgy. Tum-os, Tabuan Lasa, Basilan noong madaling araw ng Marso 8.

 Ayon sa Suara Bangsamoro, si Hassan, na mas kilala bilang Ka Ben, ay beteranong lider ng progresibong partido na masugid na nagtatanggol sa karapatan ng mga Moro at bumabatikos sa matagal nang sabwatan ng AFP at Abu Sayyaf sa kidnap-for-ransom.

Sa operasyong isinagawa ng PNP-CIDG at mga sundalo ng Wesmincom, tatlong sibilyan pa ang naging biktima nang paputukan ng mga sundalo at pulis ang mga residente. Namatay si Nurmayda Abbi, isang-taong gulang, samantalang isa pang batang 11-taong gulang ang malubhang nasugatan. Patay din ang isa pang sibilyang si Nuruddin Muhlis.

 Kinalaunan, ibinalita ng AFP Wesmincom na napatay nila ang isang lider ng Abu Sayyaf, kasama ang tatlo pang mga myembro nito.

Agusan del Norte. Lumikas ang may 300 residente ng Brgy. Hinim- bangan, Kitcharao dulot ng matin- ding operasyon ng 29th IB mula Marso 14. Mula sa paaralang ele- mentarya ng barangay, lumipat ang mga bakwit patungo sa gymnasium ng munisipyo kinabukasan.

 Tinangkang bumalik ng ilang residente sa kanilang komunidad noong Marso 16, ngunit napilitan silang umatras matapos kanyunin ng mga sundalo ang palibot ng Hinimbangan.

Noong Marso 18, muling bumalik sa kanilang barangay ang lahat ng nagsilikas matapos umalis ang mga sundalo lulan ng anim na 6×6 na trak. Gayunpaman, nanumbalik ang kanilang takot nang dumating ang panibagong grupo ng mga sundalo.

 Davao Oriental. Sa Maragatas, Lupon, tinortyur ng mga sundalo si Eduardo Mandabon noong Marso 3 nang madaanan niya ang mga ito mula sa pagtitinda ng saging sa Sityo Tagada.

Ayon kay Mandabon, tinawag siya at ang kanyang kasamang si Noel Naredo ng mga sundalo na noo’y nakabase sa paaralan ng Sigang. Ipinadiskarga nila ang mga sako ng bigas na dala niya at ipinagpilitang para sa BHB ang mga ito. Nang itanggi ni Mandabon, tinutukan siya ng kutsilyo sa tagiliran. Para paaminin, pinakain sa kanya ang dala niyang asin at asukal, at gayundin ng sili at kamias.

 Liban dito, pinukpok siya sa ulo, at inutusan pang pukpukin ang sarili. Dinala siya sa likod ng paaralan at kinulata ng mga sundalo. Pinagsusuntok din ang kanyang ulo, dahilan ng kanyang pagkabingi.

Napilitan si Mandabon na sabihing para sa BHB ang dala niyang bigas nang tutukan siya ng baril ng mga sundalo.

 Ayon kay Mandabon, maging ang kanyang kasamang si Naredo ay sinaktan din ng mga sundalo. Matapos nito, dinala sila sa kapitan ng barangay at pinapirma ng kasulatang hindi sila sinaktan.

Cagayan. Sa Sto. Niño, ipinailalim ng mga sundalo ng 17th IB sa intimidasyon at pananakot ang mga kamag-anak ni Marlon Battad noong Marso 8 sa Sityo Calassitan, Brgy. Abariungan. Si Battad ay myembro ng Anakpawis at Project Officer ng CARE Shelter Assistance.

Patungo sa kanilang mga kaingin ang mga biktima nang harangin sila ng mga sundalo na noo’y nakapusisyong ambus. Ininteroga sila sa kinaroroonan ni Battad at sa mga aktibidad nito bilang myembro ng Anakpawis.

Isang araw bago nito, dalawa pang kababaryo ni Battad ang ininteroga ng mga sundalo. Ayon sa Karapatan-Cagayan Valley, okupado ng mga sundalo ang komunidad mula pa Nobyembre 2016.

Batangas. Sapilitang kinonsentra ng 730th Combat Group ng Philippine Air Force, 59th IB at 202nd IBde ng Philippine Army ang 200 residente sa mga barangay ng Kaylaway at Aga sa Nasugbu, noong Marso 8.

Ayon sa mga ulat, sapilitang pinaalis mula sa kanilang mga sakahan at mga komunidad ang mga magsasaka at tinipon sa Balagbag Elementary School. Matapos umano magkaroon ng labanan sa pagitan ng BHB at mga sundalo, pinauwi na ang mga residente at inokupa naman ng mga sundalo ang paaralan. Kinundena ng mga organisasyon ng karapatang-tao at mga progresibong partido ang paghamlet ng AFP sa mga komunidad at pag-okupa sa mga sibilyang istruktura.

Mindoro. Pinasok ng mga pulis at sundalo noong Marso 8, alas-4 ng hapon ang kampuhang itinayo ng mga magsasaka sa Brgy. Mabini, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Tinakot ng mga ahente ng estado ang angkan ni Pio de Roda na matagal nang nag-papaunlad at nagsasaka ng lupain.

Marikina City. Iligal na inaresto ng PNP CIDG-NCR noong Marso 9 si Lilia Bucatcat, 70, organisador ng mga magsasaka sa prubinsya ng Samar sa matagal na panahon. Papunta si Bucatcat sa Marikina River Park upang ipasyal ang kanyang alagang aso nang siya ay arestuhin nang walang mandamyento. Ipinagkait sa kanya ang karapatang ipaalam sa kanyang pamilya ang pag-aresto, o kumuha man lamang ng ilang gamit.

Dinala si Bucatcat sa PNP CIDG-NCR sa Camp Crame at doon ipinailalim sa interogasyon. Matapos nito ay saka pa lamang ipinakita sa kanya ang warrant of arrest na naglalaman ng inimbentong kaso ng arson. Iniinda ni Bucatcat ang mga karamdaman dulot ng kanyang edad.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.


CPP/Ang Bayan: Mga misengkwentro ng mga yunit ng AFP

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21):  Mga misengkwentro ng mga yunit ng AFP (Misencounters of AFP units)

Wari ba’y nahihibang o dahil sa sobrang desperasyon, dumarami ang multong nakikita ng reaksyunaryong mga sundalo sa tuwing silay nag-ooperasyon sa kanayunan. Sunud-sunod na mga misengkwentro na ang naganap sa pagitan ng mga tropa ng AFP mula nang mag-utos ng todo-gera si Duterte.

Noong Marso 8, alas-8:30 ng gabi, sa Barangay Budlingin, Alegria, Surigao del Norte, nag-engkwentro ang mga tropang nakahimpil ng Alpha Company ng 30th IB at ang kapwa nila tropang nagpapatrulya sa palibot nito. Namatay sa barilan si Pfc. Jhon Francis Rivera at nasugatan si Pfc. Windyl Daayata.

Ganito rin ang nangyari noong Pebrero 12 sa Purok 6, Bullocan, Laak, Compostela Valley sa pagitan ng mga yunit ng 60th IB nang magpalitan sila ng putok sa loob ng mahigit isang oras. Para palabasing mga BHB ang kanilang naeng-kwentro, kinanyon nila ang lugar matapos nito (Tingnan sa pahina 6.

Noong Pebrero 5 sa Little Baguio, Malita, Davao del Sur, nagbarilan naman ang mga tropa ng 73rd IB habang tinutugis umano nila ang mga Pulang mandirigma. Isa sa kanilang tropa ang namatay. Nanganyon din sila sa palibot ng lugar ilang araw matapos ang insidente.

May mga pangyayari ring pinutukan ng mga nahintakutang sundalo ang mga nakitang anino. Sa Brgy. Cambalidio, Libmanan, Camarines Sur, ibinalita ng mga sundalo ng 22nd IB ng 9th ID na pinaputukan sila ng BHB bandang alas-10:30 ng gabi ng Pebrero 13 gayong wala namang yunit noon ng BHB sa lugar. Sa Cabatangan, Lambunao, Iloilo, iniulat naman ng mga residente na madalas magpaputok ang mga sundalo sa palibot ng kanilang detatsment para diumano hindi makalapit ang mga pwersa ng BHB. Maliban pa ito sa maraming kaso ng mga pagpatay ng sibilyan na pinalalabas na mga mandirigma ng BHB, tulad ng sa Jebaca, Maayon, Capiz noong Pebrero 24 at Capalonga, Camarines Sur noong Marso 15 na umaani ng higit na galit ng mga residente. (Tingnan sa pahina 11.)

Dahil walang katarungan at prinsipyo ang inilulunsad nilang gera, patuloy na nahihiwalay sa mamamayan ang mga sundalong nagkakampo o nag-ooperasyon sa mga baryo sa kanayunan. Hindi kataka-takang lalong bababa ang moral ng ordinaryong mga sundalo at darami pa ang magaganap na mga misengkwentro habang nagpapatuloy ang todo-gera ng rehimen.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]


CPP/Ang Bayan: Pagpapatuloy ng usapang NDFP-GRP

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21):  Pagpapatuloy ng usapang NDFP-GRP (Continuation of the NDFP-GRP peacetalks)

Pinagkaisahan ng mga kinatawan ng GRP at ng NDFP na ituloy ang negosasyong pangkapayapaan at ang nakatakdang ikaapat at ikalimang pag-uusap sa Abril at sa Hunyo.

Isinagawa ang pag-uusap sa Utrecht, The Netherlands noong Marso 10 at 11 ilang linggo matapos na karakarakang ideklara ni Duterte noong Pebrero na hindi na siya makikipag-usap at na muli niyang aarestuhin ang mga konsultant ng NDFP ilang araw pagkatapos ideklara ng Partido at BHB ang terminasyon ng tigil-putukan nito.

Muling ipinadala ni Duterte ang kanyang mga kinatawan para makipag-usap sa NDFP matapos siyang makumbinse ng tuluy-tuloy na pananawagan ng iba’t ibang sektor na ituloy ang usapang pangkapayapaan bilang paraan ng pagharap sa mga usaping nasa ugat ng gera sibil sa Pilipinas.

Nilaman ng magkatuwang na pahayag ng GRP at NDFP noong Marso 11 ang pagtitiyak ng GRP sa kaligtasan at kalayaan ng lahat ng mga konsultant ng NDFP na pawang humarap sa banta ng muling pag-aresto at pagkukulong, ang pagpapalaya sa isang konsultant na muling inaresto noong Pebrero, at sa apat pang nakakulong hanggang sa ngayon.

Ipinangako rin ng GRP na palalayain nito ang 19 na bilanggong pulitikal sa batayang makatao at na patuloy nitong ipuproseso ang pagpapalaya sa iba pa.

Pinagkaisahan rin na bubuuin ang bilateral na kasunduan sa tigil-putukan na magkakabisa oras na maplantsa ang mga alituntunin at iba pang mga usapin, habang isaalang-alang ang mga lumitaw na usapin sa nakaraang halos anim na buwang tigil-putukan. Nagkasundo ring ibabalik ang naunang deklarasyon ng magkabilang panig para sa unilateral na tigil-putukan.

Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.


CPP?Ang Bayan: 29 armas nasamsam//Matatagumpay na opensiba, nagsagutan

Propaganda article from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21):  29 armas nasamsam//Matatagumpay na opensiba, nagsagutan (29 firearms seized. victorious offensives reported)

NAGSAGUTAN NOONG nakaraang linggo ang limang matagumpay na taktikal na opensiba ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) sa magkabilang dulo ng kapuluan. Mga reyd at ambus ang inihataw ng BHB sa mga yunit ng pulis at elemento ng CAFGU sa Northern Luzon, Bikol at Southern Mindanao.

Noong Marso 18, alas 8:30 ng umaga sa Barangay Cawayan, Ragay, Camarines Sur, matagumpay na tinambangan ng isang tim ng BHB-West Camarines Sur (Norben Gruta Command o NGC) ang mga elemento ng CAFGU sa ilalim ng 22nd IB ng 9th ID. Napatay si Norbert Sabariza, habang sugatan naman sina Jerick Neo at Olan dela Torre.

Ayon sa mga residente at sa imbestigasyon ng NGC, sangkot ang nasabing mga CAFGU sa pagpapalaganap ng droga sa lugar, paglalason ng isda sa ilog, at pagnanakaw ng mga kambing, baboy, manok at pananim ng masa. Inireklamo rin ng mga residente ang pagtatayo ng detatsment nito sa Barangay Casay, Lupi, Camarines Sur na malapit lamang sa kabahayan at panghaharang ng mga lasing na CAFGU sa mga dumaraang sibilyan. Humihingi ng paumanhin ang NGC sa mag-asawang sina Rey at Besabe Barrientos na taga-Barangay Casay, na nasugatan nang tumapat ang sinasakyan nilang motorsiklo sa sasakyan ng CAFGU sa panahon ng putukan.

Samantala, walang putok na nireyd ng mga Pulang mandirigma ng BHB-Southern Mindanao Region (Mt. Apo Subregional Command) ang pinagtataguan ng armas ng isang pulis sa Brgy. Mateo, Kidapawan City noong Marso 15, bandang ala-1 ng hapon. Labinlimang armas ang nakuha mula rito.

Nasamsam mula kay Reynaldo V. Dinampo, isang iskalawag na ahente ng PNP-CIDG Region 12, ang apat na ripleng Bushmaster M4, dalawang M14, isang Ultimax light machine gun, dalawang M203 grenade launcher, isang shotgun, isang KG9 sub-machine gun, at apat na kalibre .45 pistola, na bahagi ng kanyang ibinebentang iligal na armas para sa mga matataas na upisyal ng PNP-CIDG sa rehiyon. Nakumpiska rin ang sari-saring bala at magasin at iba pang kagamitang militar. Ang mapangahas na operasyong disarma ay isinagawa malapit sa punong kampo ng 39th IB, at ilang minuto lamang mula sa himpilan ng pulis sa lunsod.

Nagpahayag si Rigoberto F. Sanchez, tagapagsalita ng BHBSouthern Mindanao, na sa proteksyon ng mersenaryong iskalawag na mga pulis, tinatrapik nina Dinampo at network nito ang mga armas sa mga pribadong goons ng mga warlord, malalaking burgesya kumprador at panginoong maylupa, at mga para-militar sa North Cotabato, Far South Mindanao, Central Mindanao at ilang bahagi ng Davao. Ipinag-diriwang ng mamamayan sa North Cotabato ang ginawa ng Pulang hukbo na operasyong pagdisarma bilang angkop at makatarungang hakbang laban sa pasistang PNP na namaril sa libong nagpuprotestang Lumad at magsasaka noong Abril 1, 2016 sa tinatawag na ngayong masaker sa Kidapawan.

Sa kabilang dulo naman ng bansa, matagumpay na nireyd ng isang yunit ng BHB-Abra (Agustin Begnalen Command Procopio Tauro Front o ABC-PTF) ang munisipal na istasyon ng pulis sa Malibcong, Abra alas-7:30 ng gabi ng Marso 12. Nasamsam dito ang 10 armas na kinabibilangan ng anim na ripleng M16, isang M203, dalawang pistolang 9mm, isang kalibre .45 pistola, dalawang rifle grenade, isang granada at daan-daang bala ng M16, M14, M203 at mga pistola. Nabihag sa labanan ang deputadong hepe ng pulis na si SPO4 Romeo Tubera at sina PO3 Richard Dauz at PO2 Leomar Tuscano pero agad na ipinasa sa mamamayan ng Poblacion Malibcong, kasama ang personal na mga kagamitan at pera bago ligtas na umatras ang mga mandirigma. Hindi nakapanlaban ang mga lasing na pulis.

Pasado alas-10 ng umaga kinabukasan, Marso 13, tinambangan ng isa pang yunit ng ABC-PTF ang komboy ng reimporsment ng Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) na pinamumunuan mismo ng hepe ng pulis sa prubinsya na si PNP-Abra Provincial Director PSSupt. Alexander Tagum. Lima ang naitalang sugatan sa nasabing ambus na kinabibilangan nina PO2 Jessie Trinidad, PO2 Marlon dela Paz, PO1 Gerome Baldos, PO1 Kennon Sanggoy at PO1 Von Harold Layao.

Bago nito, alas 7:10 ng umaga noong Marso 8, tinambangan ng isang tim ng Mt. Apo Subregional Operations Command ang isang yunit ng PPSC ng PNP na nag-operasyon sa Barangay Sibayan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. Ang yunit ng PPSC-PNP ay rumesponde nang maglunsad ng operasyong pamamarusa ang BHB kay Marlon Lomantas, isang ahenteng intelligence ng 39th IB na bantog ding nagnenegosyo sa iligal na droga sa lugar na iyon. Matapos ang 10 minutong pagpapalitan ng putok ay nasamsam ang dalawang M16 at dalawang pistolang 9mm Glock.

Ang magkakatugon na reyd at ambus laban sa mga tropang pang-operasyon ng pulis ay pagtalima sa atas ng pambansang kumand ng BHB na maglunsad ng mga taktikal na opensiba upang biguin ang todo-gera ng rehimeng Duterte. Ayon kay Ka Diego Wadagan, tagapagsalita ng Agustin Begnalen Command, ang PNP ay mahigpit na kinakasangkapan sa kampanyang kontra-insurhensya at nagsasagawa ng mga operasyong saywar, paniniktik at operasyong pangkombat laban sa mamamayan at buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Pagtugon ang aksyong ito sa hinaing ng mga residente na biktima ng mga abusadong pulis na pasimuno ng ipinagbabawal na droga, paglalasing, pagsusugal at brutalidad, at sa pagpapatupad ng Oplan-Tokhang kung saan libu-libong mahihirap na pamilya ang biktima ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang.

Si PSSupt. Alexander Tagum na tumalilis sa komboy na tinambangan ang siyang nagbigay ng direktang kumand sa pulisya na pagbabarilin ang mga nagpuprotestang magsasaka sa Kidapawan bago siya ilipat sa Abra.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]


CPP/Ang Bayan: Labanan ang todo-gera ng AFP, ang usapang pangkapayapan

Editorial from the Tagalog edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 21): Labanan ang todo-gera ng AFP,  ang usapang pangkapayapan (Oppose all out war of the AFP, support the peace talks

Kaisa ng sambayanang Pilipino, ikinalulugod ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas ang pagpapatuloy ng usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) at ng Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP). Nabuo ang gayong kaisahan sa nagdaang pag-uusap ng mga kinatawan ng dalawang panig nitong Marso 10-11 sa Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Nahihikayat ang Partido sa nabuong pagkakaisa na nagsasaad ng de-terminasyon na pagtuunan ng pansin at pabilisin ang pagbubuo ng kasunduan sa mga repormang sosyo-ekonomiko (CASER o Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms) at mga repormang pulitikal at konstitusyunal (CAPCR o Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms).

Nakahanda ang Partido at Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) na maglabas ng unilateral na deklarasyon para ibalik ang naunang tigil-putukan. Ito ay bilang pagsuporta at paghikayat sa pagbubuo ng CASER at pagpapakita ng kagandahang-loob para sa nakatakdang pag-uusap sa darating na Abril.

Dapat pakilusin ang malawak na sambayanan para itulak ang rehimeng Duterte na makipagkasundo sa NDFP sa CASER at CAPCR sa loob ng kasalukuyang taon, upang magkaroon ng pagkakataong maipatupad at mapakinabangan ng mamamayan ang mga ito sa ilalim ng rehimeng Duterte.
Ang pagpapatuloy ng usapang pangkapayapaan ay nagbibigay ng pagkakataon kay Duterte na makipagkaisa sa sambayanang Pilipino sa kanilang paghahangad para sa makabuluhang reporma.

Kasabay ng pagpapatuloy muli ng usapang pangkapayapaan, dapat patuloy na palakasin ng masang manggagawa ang pakikibaka laban sa kontraktwalisasyon at para sa umento sa sahod at singilin si Duterte sa kanyang mga pangako. Dapat paigtingin sa buong bayan ang mga pakikibakang magsasaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa, laluna para baklasin ang mga asyenda, igiit ang karapatang bungkalin at gawing produktibo ang lupa, at labanan ang pang-aagaw ng lupa ng mga panginoong maylupa, minahan at mga plantasyon.

Dapat paigtingin ng mamamayang Pilipino ang kanilang mga pakikibaka para singilin ang mga napakong pangako ni Duterte. Kaakibat nito, dapat palakasin ng lahat ng lihim at hayag na mga pambansa-demokratikong organisasyon sa kalunsuran at kanayunan.

Dapat samantalahin ng lahat ng pwersang pambansa-demokratiko ang usapang pangkapayapaan upang palakasin ang pagpapatampok ng pambansa-demokratikong linya at pagsusuri sa lipunang Pilipino at panawagan para sa rebolusyonaryong pagbabago sa pamamagitan ng matagalang digmang bayan. Ilunsad ang isang malawak na pambansa-demokratikong kampanyang edukasyon at propaganda.

Dapat bigyang-diin na ang mga saligang repormang hinihingi ng sambayanan ang siyang dapat na pagtuunan ng pansin sa usapang pangkapayapaan; at na ang kapayapaan ay hindi lamang usapin ng pagtigil ng gera kundi ang paglutas sa mga usaping dahilan ng gera.

Sa pagbabalik-bisa ng deklarasyong tigil-putukan, mulat ang Partido sa usapin ng nagpapatuloy na pagsakop ng mga armadong tropa ng AFP sa humigit-kumulang 500 baryo. Ginagamit ng AFP ang mga imprastrukturang sibilyan at inaagaw o sinasapawan ang trabaho ng mga ahensyang sibilyan (sa likod ng karatulang “paghahatid ng serbisyo”) upang ipataw ang armadong presenya ng mga tropa nito sa mga baryo.

Upang maging tunay na makabuluhan at kapakipakinabang sa bayan ang tigil-putukan, dapat ihinto ng AFP ang lahat ng operasyong paniniktik, saywar at kombat at armadong panunupil laban sa masang magsasaka at mga minoryang mamamayan.
Dapat ding ihinto ng AFP ang kriminal na panganganyon at paggamit sa mga helikopter at eroplanong pandigma para maghulog ng mga bomba at magpaulan ng bala malapit sa mga baryo na naglalagay sa mamamayan sa malaking peligro, sumasalanta sa kanilang kabuhayan at sumisira sa kapaligiran. Ilanlibong residente na ang napilitang magbakwit mula nang ideklara ni Duterte sa AFP na “patagin ang mga bundok.”

Dapat igiit ng mamamayang Pilipino sa AFP na ibalik sa baraks ng mga batalyon ang mga sundalo nito, at itigil ang kanilang pang-hahalihaw, panunupil at pambobomba. Kung hindi ito isasagawa ng AFP, mabilis na mawawalan ng saysay ang pakikipagtigil-putukan ng NDFP sa GRP.

Dapat aktibong labanan ng bayan ang militarisasyon sa mga baryo. Dapat mabilis na kumilos para magprotesta sa presensya ng mga armadong sundalo sa gitna ng mga kabahayan, sa paggamit ng mga barangay hall, paaralan, daycare center, health center at iba pang istrukturang sibilyan.

Mayaman ang karanasan sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa kung saan napalayas ang mga sundalo sa gitna ng mga baryo sa pamamagitan ng sama-sama at matapang na pagkilos ng mga magkakabaryo tulad ng komprontasyon sa mga sundalo, pagbabakwit o pagkakampo sa sentrong bayan. Dapat puspusang suportahan ng mga kalapit-baryo at ng mamamayan sa mga sentro o lunsod ang laban ng mga nasa baryo para ipagtanggol ang kanilang karapatan at kabuhayan.

Dapat tuluy-tuloy na palakasin ang BHB. Ilunsad ang malawakang rekrutment ng bagong mga Pulang mandirigma, kapwa sa kanayunan at kalunsuran. Maglunsad ng mga teoretikong pag-aaral, praktikal na pagsasanay upang patatagin ang diwa, patalasin ang isip at palakasin ang katawan. Dapat manatiling mataas ang diwang mapanlaban ng BHB at hawak ang inisyatiba laluna sa harap ng patuloy na pananalasa ng kaaway.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. Download Ang Bayan from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at www.philippinerevolution.info.  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]


CPP/NPA-Camarines Sur: Update at Correction sa Ulat ng Taktikal na Opensiba Laban sa 22nd IB noong Marso 18

New People's Army propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 20): Update at Correction sa Ulat ng Taktikal na Opensiba Laban sa 22nd IB noong Marso 18
Michael Robredo, Spokesperson
NPA-Camarines Sur (Norben Gruta Command)

20 March 2017
Press Release

Sa taktikal na opensibang isinagawa ng isang tim ng Norben Gruta Command (NGC) ng NPA West Camarines Sur, isang (1) elemento ng 22nd IB, 9th ID ang napaslang, si CAFGU-CAA Norbert Sabariza. Sugatan naman ang dalawa pang kasabay nitong CAFGU-CAA na sina Roland dela Torre at Jhenrick Neo. Tinambangan ng NGC ang tatlong elemento ng CAFGU na naka-motorsiklo, habang dumadaan ang mga ito sa highway.

Ang opensibang ito ay aksyon laban sa panghihimasok ng Philippine Army sa mga sonang gerilya at sa patuloy na pamamasista nito sa pagpapatupad ng all-out-war sa ilalim ng huwad na Oplan Kapayapaan ng rehimeng Duterte. Sa pamamagitan ng Oplang ito, target ng mga teroristang aksyon ng 9th ID ang mga inosenteng sibilyan; noong nakaraang Marso 5, sinunog ng mga ito ang isang bahay sa kalapit na bayang Sipocot upang maghasik ng takot sa mga residente. Bahagi ang CAFGU sa pagpapatupad ng mapagkunwaring Oplan na ito, sa pamamagitan ng pangongolekta ng mga datos at pagkontrol sa mga residente.

Tinutugunan din ng opensibang ito ang mga reklamo ng mga residente laban sa 22nd IB. Ayon sa mga residente at imbestigasyon ng NGC, sangkot ang mga CAFGU sa pagpapalaganap ng droga sa lugar, paglalason ng isda sa ilog, at pagnanakaw ng livestock (kambing, baboy at manok) at pananim ng masa. Inireklamo rin ng mga residente ang pagtatayo ng detatsment nito sa Barangay Casay, Lupi, Camarines Sur na malapit lang sa mga kabahayan at panghaharang ng mga lasing na CAFGU sa mga dumadaang sibilyan. Tinatakot at hinaharangan din ng mga ito ang mga residenteng nais dumalo sa rali para maghain ng mga lehitimong kahilingan.

Humingi naman ng paumanhin ang Norben Gruta Command sa mag-asawang sina Rey at Versabi Barrientos na taga-Barangay Casay. Habang isinasagawa ang operasyon laban sa mga sinabing elemento ng CAFGU, biglang nag-overtake sa sasakyan ng mga CAFGU ang mag-asawang Barrientos na nakasakay ng motorsiklo, dahilan ng pagka-daplis kay Rey sa binti at pagkaroon ng gasgas ni Versabi nang matumba ang motor. Binigyan na ng NGC ng karampatang tulong medikal at pinansyal ang dalawa.


AFP vows to sustain momentum in fight against Abu Sayyaf bandits

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 21): AFP vows to sustain momentum in fight against Abu Sayyaf bandits

A top military commander here announced on Tuesday that they will sustain the momentum of the offensive operations against the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Western Mindanao.

Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, issued the statement as two members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were neutralized in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.

“We will maintain the momentum and we will deny this ‘evil’ bandits safe havens and hiding areas with the strong support of Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, all the governors, mayors and barangay officials of ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) including the traditional and religious leaders,” Galvez added.

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to finish the Abu Sayyaf within six months, which will end on June 30, the military has killed 30 Abu Sayyaf members during offensive operations.

On Sunday, Absara Mursalin Akbara, alias Talin Amsang, surrendered to the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion in Talipao, Sulu.

The 41-year-old suspected Abu Sayyaf member also surrendered his M-16 Armalite rifle to the troops.

“Immediate medical check-up and documentation were done to Akbara before he was turned over to the Sulu PNP (Philippine National Police) for filing of appropriate charges. Akbara is a member of the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) under sub-leader Jihad Susukan, operating in the municipalities of Talipao, Maimbung and Indanan in Sulu province,” Capt Jo-ann Petinglay, Westmincom information officer, said.

During the initial investigation, Akbara revealed that he opted to surrender due to fears that he will be the next target of the military offensive.

Petinglay said Akbara told them that "he no longer feels safe as communities have been tipping-off the sanctuaries and homes of Abu Sayyaf members."

In Basilan, an alleged Abu Sayyaf member, identified as Abdul Muhsin Nur, was apprehended in Sitio Block 4, Barangay Bohe Pahuh, Ungkaya Pukan town.

Nur is a follower of Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama, the military said.

“Nur's location was reported by a concerned citizen from the same area where he was apprehended,” Petinglay said.

Galvez said the recent development is “an offshoot of the command's relentless focused military operations against the ASG inside their strongholds and comfort zones.”

The military has been combing suspected hideouts of the Abu Sayyaf in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

“Westmincom and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines ) will continue the pressure and sustain the strategic alliance with our partners in eradicating the ASG menace and terror threats in Central and Western Mindanao. For as long as the community and the local government units are with us in this fight, we will surely accomplish our mission at the soonest possible time. Together we can make things happen,” Galvez said.


Mocha Uson opts out of Army speaking engagement

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 21): Mocha Uson opts out of Army speaking engagement

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) member Mocha Uson has opted out from her Tuesday commitment to speak before the Army Senior Leaders' Conference.

She was supposed to give some points on the "Challenges of a Social Media Personality" in her scheduled 15 minute-talk at the Philippine Army (PA) headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

"The PA received a letter last night (Monday) from Ms. Mocha Uson informing us that she will not anymore attend the Army Senior Leaders' Conference today (Tuesday). We also learned that Ms. Uson posted a blog explaining to her followers the reasons why she decided not to attend the Army conference," Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said.

"The PA fully respects her decision. Her scheduled 15-minute talk will instead be used for open discussions with the two other speakers on the same topic of social media," he added.

Uson was the lead vocalist of the girl group Mocha Girls who are well known for their sexy song-and-dance number presentations.

The Army's decision to choose Uson as one of their speakers in their Army Senior Leaders Conference did not sit well with some netizens who repeatedly bashed her and the military on the social media.

"Kaya po minabuti ko na lamang na hindi na dumalo sa Senior Leaders Conference. Sumulat na po ako kay Gen. (Glorioso) Miranda, ang Commanding General ng Philippine Army, para humingi ng paumanhin. Sana po maintindihan niyo ang aking desisyon. Alang-alang po sa Philippine Army--to save our soldiers from being bashed and from divisiveness--magpaparaya na lang po muna ako," she said in her blog.


PNP foils Maute Group's terror attempt; public advised to stay alert

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 21): PNP foils Maute Group's terror attempt; public advised to stay alert

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has foiled another sinister attempt by the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)-inspired Maute Group to launch terrorist acts in the country's capital.

"I am glad that alert operatives of the NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) discovered and intercepted in time an improvised explosive device being prepared by the suspects even before it can be delivered to its possible target or used elsewhere,” PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said at a press conference in Camp Crame on Tuesday.

Dela Rosa also presented to the media suspected Maute terror group member, identified as Nasip Ibrahim, 35, a native of Marawi City.

Ibrahim was arrested in a police operation in Salam Compound, Barangay Culiat, Quezon City on Monday night.

"We are yet to uncover the circumstances surrounding this incident involving the Lanao-based Maute Group, but, this discovery leads us to believe that the Maute Group has already established presence in Metro Manila, as to what extent, that is the subject of our follow up investigation and operations," Dela Rosa said.

Seized from Ibrahim's possession include a Colt caliber .45 pistol loaded with four live ammo, a caliber .45 pistol loaded with six live ammo, one KG 9mm machine pistol with 34 live ammo, a 60mm mortar shell with detonating device and seven heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets of shabu.

The suspect was one of the Maute group members allegedly involved in the foiled bombing attempt in the vicinity of US Embassy in Manila in November last year.

"I do not want to sound alarmist or cause panic, but prudence, it has been said, is the better part of valor. I therefore, urge our people to remain calm yet alert and vigilant of the presence of threat groups in our midst," Dela Rosa said.

The suspect is facing charges for violation of PD 1866 as amended by Republic Act No. 10591, or the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act”, RA No. 9516, or the “Unlawful Possession of Explosives”, RA No. 9165, or the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”, and obstruction of justice for apparently concealing a wanted person.

Likewise, Dela Rosa assured that the PNP, in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, remains on high alert against any threat to peace and order and public safety.

In the same press conference, NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde, together with Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, confirmed that Metro Manila is now on "high security threat level" after Ibrahim's arrest.

Albayalde said the PNP is continuously focused on "target-hardening measures" since there is a possibility that members of the terrorist group have established their presence in Metro Manila.

He said one of the leaders of the Maute Group, identified as Yusof Makoto, is reportedly in Metro Manila.