Friday, June 9, 2017

AFP sees liberation of Marawi on celebration of 119th Independence Day

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 10): AFP sees liberation of Marawi on celebration of 119th Independence Day

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is hopeful that Marawi City will finally be liberated on Monday, June 12, which is also the 119th Independence Day of the Republic.

 “Rest assured, our soldiers are doing their part, they’re doing their best and are continuing on with this effort on the ground to facilitate the liberation of Marawi hopefully by Monday,” Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Friday, June 9.

 According to Padilla, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año has made an announcement hoping that by Monday, Philippine flags will be freely waved in every corner of Marawi.

 “And we’re working feverishly to do that to ensure we are able to do, to a big extent, what was announced by the Chief of Staff,” he said.

 He said the AFP Chief of Staff is looking forward to more cleared areas in the next few days and is optimistic that our momentum and our phase is at the right manner.

 “His guidance to our ground commanders to put the primordial concern of having our forces execute military operations to ensure that lives are saved through expeditious military action,” he said.

 Padilla said government troops are working overtime to facilitate the liberation of Marawi “at the quickest time that we can.”

 Asked on the basis of the assessment, the AFP official said there was an offensive launched on Friday morning against enemy positions.

 “So this continues up to this moment and we are confident our troops are gaining important headway inside these areas. And as I have mentioned the other day, definitely proving that the world of the terrorists inside the city is growing smaller by the day,” he said.

 Padilla also noted that the volume of fire coming from the enemy has decreased and enemy activity in areas where so much has been monitored has dwindled, and sniper fire has been very selective.

 He said the end game is to have Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute brothers arrested “if we can arrest them.” “But if we cannot, then to neutralize them, because I guess they will always fight it to the end,” he said.

 “So the liberation of Marawi will only be when every armed element in the city is gone,” the AFP official explained.

  According to Padilla, there are still three villages being held by the Maute.

 On the reconstruction, rehabilitation and rebuilding of Marawi City, Padilla said it will not only entail military action but a large part of it will be led by civilian leaders in the area.

“And hence, what we have been saying all along, that the problems to all these armed conflicts or these threats will require a holistic solution,” he said.

 “So apart from that, the trauma that the community has gone into is one part, so we will need health workers not only from the DOH but from other organizations that can send interventions to rebuild the lives and the --- overcome the trauma, particularly on women, children, and the innocent,” he added.

 Padilla also assured that the government will help Marawi rebuild at the soonest time possible.

 “Ang amin pong ipinaaabot na abiso sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan sa Marawi eh hindi po namin iiwanan ang Marawi na basta na lang ganyan,” he said.

 “Kung may nanghimasok, nanira, nanunog at pumatay, ay hindi na po natin papayagan pong muling mangyari ito at tutulungan po naming bumangon ang Marawi sa mabilis na panahon. At kasama diyan ang garantiya na pag iniwan natin ito, mas magiging matibay ang Marawi,” he added.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the House Appropriations committee is starting to draw up the comprehensive plan.

 During the briefing, Abella also announced that as of June 8, 8 pm, there are now 1,599 civilians rescued and 146 firearms recovered. (PND)

3 NPA rebels nabbed in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): 3 NPA rebels nabbed in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Joint elements of Cotabato Police provincial Office and the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion arrested three suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) in Barangay San Isidro here Friday dawn.

Lt. Col Harold Argamosa, 39th IB commander, identified the suspects as Joy Ortiz, 19; Christian Jan Balatero, 21; and Rudy Antiola, 57.

Authorities also seized a grenade, cash and subversive documents from the trio.

According to Argamosa, they received information that there were three suspected NPA members temporarily taking shelter in a house owned by a certain Evelyn Badol.

Badol denied they were NPAs but could not explain why they were accommodated in her home in Purok 5, Barangay San Isidro.

The suspects are now temporarily detained in the PNP’s lock-up cell and set to undergo interrogation while charges are being prepared.

It was the first arrest made by the military since the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

16 soldiers wounded as troops, Maute clash in Marawi

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): 16 soldiers wounded as troops, Maute clash in Marawi

At least 16 soldiers were wounded in action (WIA) in a fresh firefight between government troops and Maute Group Friday.

The wounded Marine troopers were transported from Marawi to a medical facility in Iligan City on board military trucks late Friday afternoon.

Soldiers escorting the WIAs said security forces tried to retake the Mapandi Bridge that resulted in the wounding of their comrades.

The military could not yet confirm if there was anyone killed in action.

Early Friday morning, jet fighters launched a new round of bombing targeting the city's conflict zone, specifically in Barangay Bangolo, one of the three remaining villages with Maute presence.
Lieutenant Jo-Ar Herrera, spokesperson of the Phil. Army's 1st Infantry Division, said the Maute Group has weakened as government forces are pushing harder into the area the terrorists are holding.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy was killed by a stray sniper fire Friday morning.

Initial reports said the victim was praying with other residents inside a mosque in Barangay Datu Saber.

DILG supports DND, AFP efforts in martial law implementation in Mindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): DILG supports DND, AFP efforts in martial law implementation in Mindanao

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is supporting the effort of the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

This was disclosed by DILG officer-in-charge Undersecretary Catalino Uy in an ambush interview at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Quezon City on Friday.

"We support the DND and AFP effort. They are the administrator and implementor of martial law there in Mindanao," Uy said.

The acting DILG chief made the disclosure as the DND issued the arrest order against 186 people accused of rebellion.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao last May 23 after the terrorist Maute group led by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, together with Isnilon Hapilon, the leader the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), took siege of Marawi City.

"So the PNP (Philippine National Police) being under the DILG, we support that effort, especially when the suspects are arrested, cases should be filed against them," Uy said.

The DILG official stressed that the role of the PNP commanders on the ground is to support the operations of the AFP.

"We always encourage the joint operations of the AFP and the PNP," Uy said.

Group urges youth to counter violent extremism through nation-building efforts

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): Group urges youth to counter violent extremism through nation-building efforts

A top member of the National Youth Congress (NYC) on Friday called on the Filipino youth to help the government counter violent extremism through nation building.

During the PTV-4 forum on countering violent extremism, NYC president and national convenor Ryan Oliver appealed to the youth to stop blaming the government and instead focus on ways to support the programs of the government.

"Most of us blame the government... because our line of thinking is always anchored on what the government should do for us. We should do exactly the opposite. Hence, we should think on how we can help support the programs of the government," said Oliver.

Oliver told the youth to be advocates of positive volunteerism designed to inspire positive changes within the community as it instills Filipino values such as patriotism and respect.

"We should volunteer for a cause. We should spend our time and effort going places to help alleviate poverty and help the poor. We are able to deeply instill in the hearts and minds of our volunteers Filipino values such as the love for our countrymen, value of neighbor, humanity, respect and patriotism," Oliver said.

Furthermore, Oliver said increasing stewardship among the youth is the "right thing to do" in order to "promote a culture of harmony rather than a culture of hate, a culture of peace rather than a culture of violence, and a culture of respect rather than a culture of differences."

"Diverting the energy of the youth and the vulnerable groups to these nation-building activities will definitely block the possibility of them being recruited by extremist groups and extremist ideologies will not be propagated by them," Oliver said.

"We believe that winning the hearts and minds of our people is the most effective counter against violence and extremism," he added.

Youth most vulnerable to lure of radicalization

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): Youth most vulnerable to lure of radicalization

A Muslim student on Friday underscored the vulnerability of young people to the radicalization process as they struggle with their sense of identity and belief systems.

During the PTV-4 forum on countering violent extremism, Datu Amir Wagas, an undergraduate student at Ateneo de Manila University, said the youth are most vulnerable to extremist influence and are often recruited by extremist groups into committing acts of violence.

Wagas warned that without proper guidance and exposure to dangerous influences and people, young people are prone to violent radicalization.

Wagas explained that the radicalization process starts off with regional instability in the form of social, political, or economic problems.

He said that this instability will then cause deficiency in the forms of desperation and social anger.

"The ones who really feel this psycho-emotional imbalance -- social anger and desperation -- are the young people. It is during the formative phases of the youth wherein they are still developing their sense of identity, their belief system," Wagas said.

"They are more sensitive to environmental changes, and they are yearning for a sense of belonging. They are still creating their own views about the world, and they’re trying to figure out their place in the world," he added.

Wagas said extremists take advantage of the social anger and desperation felt by the community so that they can recruit young people to "support and power their hate-driven ideology and forward their political agenda".

Wagas pointed that the hate-driven ideology, or the Takfiri ideology, of these extremists is far from the teachings of mainstream Islam.

He stressed that mainstream Islam is the one followed by 90 percent of Muslims.

"It teaches respect for differences in opinion, respect for non-Muslims, treasures diversity, protects minorities, and has an intellectual tradition of wisdom and reason," he said.

Meanwhile, the extreme ideology -- being pushed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Maute, and other similar groups -- are violent reactions that do not tolerate difference in opinion, critical analysis and unfollowers.

These extremists, according to Wagas, deviate from the teachings of mainstream Islam and they resort to acts of criminality and brutality, therefore propagating misinterpretations of the religion.

"It is wrong to say that the Maute and similar groups represent the mainstream teachings of Muslims, because they do not," he said.

"(They) pursued a path of destruction and extremism which is against the principles of Islam and against the principles of the Bangsamoro struggle," he added.

He said the best way to counter violent extremism is to educate the youth on how to eradicate the root cause of radical and extremist ideologies. This could be done by promoting inclusive and democratic participation of the youth.

"Let’s provide them with avenue and equip them with skills so that they can enter national discourse in creating policies that will affect the economy and ultimately affect them," Wagas said.

Wagas also underscored the need to fix the social anger and the frustrations experienced by individuals by giving them proper holistic formation with the end goal of serving the community.

Wagas also pushed for the promotion of institutions and teachings of mainstream Islamic scholars in order to prevent violent radicalization.

Wagas is the representative of Salaam Ateneo, a national movement of students within the Ateneo system, advocating the principles of mainstream Islam such as inclusive social service, inter-religious dialogue, the peace process and Preventing Violent Extremism.

He is also working as an intern at the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, under the office of Commissioner Yusuf Morales.

PHL being checked by ISIS after failure to establish in Indonesia: analyst

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9): PHL being checked by ISIS after failure to establish in Indonesia: analyst

The Philippines, especially Mindanao, is being eyed by ISIS terrorists as another base for operations after their failure to establish a caliphate in Indonesia, a Singaporean analyst on security affairs has said.

The terror group's expansion began in 2014 when ISIS decided to go beyond the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria and the Middle East and set their sight on Africa, the Caucasus and Asia, Dr. Rohan Gunaratna said in a Skype interview during PTV-4's Countering Violent Extremism Forum Friday.

"The Philippines was selected because they (ISIS) could not establish a caliphate in Indonesia," Gunaratna said, adding that ISIS also found in the Philippines local terrorist groups willing to support its extremism cause.

These include Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon's group in Basilan, Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan’s band in Sulu, the Ansar Khalifa Philippines in the Soccsksargen region, the Maute Group in Lanao del Sur, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, to name a few.

With these new alliances, Gunaratna said, the ISIS saw an opportunity to create a new threat landscape in the southern Philippines.

When asked why the Maute Group, which is now locked in a battle with government forces after attacking Marawi City, decided to follow and indoctrinate its supporters with Wahhabism, the Singaporean security analyst said this is because its founders, Omar and Abdullah, both studied in the Middle East and brought home this Middle Eastern type of ideology.

Wahhabism is defined as an ultra-conservative form of Islam that justifies punishments for those who don't follow its teachings.

To counter this, Gunaratna said the Philippines should maintain its local tradition of Islam, the one that espouses tolerance and peace that has existed in the country for centuries.

US Carrier Strike Group deploys for Pacific operations

From Update Philippines (Jun 9): US Carrier Strike Group deploys for Pacific operations

United States Navy Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) departed San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment on June 5, Nimitz Strike Group Public Affairs said. The group’s lead ship is USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

“The Nimitz Strike Group is part of U.S. 3rd Fleet, which leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations,” Nimitz Strike Group Public Affairs said.

It added that the deployment is a previously planned, routine deployment and not in response to any specific incident or regional event. “This deployment is an example of the U.S. Navy’s routine presence in waters around the globe displaying our commitment to stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations,” Nimitz Strike Group Public Affairs said.

“The strike group deployed with approximately 7,500 Sailors and is focused on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts,” Nimitz Strike Group Public Affairs said.

Nimitz CSG includes Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Pinckney (DDG 91), and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59).

USS Nimitz carries different variants of F/A-18 jets, Seahawks, E-2 Hawkeyes, and C-2 Greyhound.

GLOCK supplying Philippine cops with ‘most reliable pistol on market’

From Update Philippines (Jun 9): GLOCK supplying Philippine cops with ‘most reliable pistol on market’

Weapons manufacturer GLOCK, through GLOCK Asia Pacific, will be supplying the Philippine National Police with GLOCK 17 Gen4 pistol. GLOCK is an Austrian manufacturer with main headquarters in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria.

“The Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management of the Republic of the Philippines has declared the GLOCK 17 Gen4 as the winner of its solicitations to buy new service pistols for the Philippine National Police,” Glock said in a statement released June 7.

“GLOCK won this solicitation against competition from Sig Sauer and a local manufacturer,” it added.

“The Bids and Awards Committee of the Procurement Service set a global standard for transparency and professionalism through the manner in which the testing was performed pursuant to this solicitation,” said GLOCK Asia Pacific’s Managing Director Sven De Souter.

In the endurance tests, 20 thousand rounds of ammunition had to be successfully fired through a single pistol, without any failures or stoppages, and without having to change any parts.

“The GLOCK 17 Gen4 successfully passed this testing twice, with two different pistols. In the interest of full transparency of the entire solicitation process, all tests were performed in public,” GLOCK added.

“The PNP will not only have the most reliable pistol on the market, but will also be the benefactor of extremely low pistol maintenance costs,” GLOCK said.

Maute Group branching into illegal drug business to fund terror activities

From Update Philippines (Jun 9): Maute Group branching into illegal drug business to fund terror activities

To fund their terroristic activities, the Maute Group has branched into the illegal drugs business aside from their extortion, kidnapping and other illegal rackets.

This was disclosed by Major Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, AFP Civil-Military Operations deputy chief-of-staff, during an ambush interview Friday.

And with their weapons and muscle, he said the terrorist group has managed to consolidate and gain control of all illegal drug operations in Marawi City transforming the locality into the largest narcotics producer in Mindanao.

When pressed for figures on Marawi City’s illegal drug production, Feliciano said they have no firm figures yet but stressed the numbers are “quite substantial”.

Funds obtained from this illegal business is being used to fund the group’s terror activities.

Feliciano noted this state has been reached as some local government officials have been lured in this illegal activity.

Earlier, AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said they have already compiled two lists containing the names of more than 200 Maute Group supporters.

“I cannot recall the number but I think its about more than 200 names. (There are names of incumbent local) politicians, (private citizens and Maute Group members) there,” he added.

These individuals will be arrested as soon as possible, Año said.

US bombers operate in South China Sea

From Update Philippines (Jun 10): LOOK: US bombers operate in South China Sea

United States Navy and Air Force have conducted an interoperability drill in South China Sea on June 8.

The activity included two Air Force Global Strike Command B-1B Lancers assigned to 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104).

The bombers flew a 10-hour mission from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, through the South China Sea.

“The joint training, organized under Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence program (CBP), allows the Air Force and Navy to increase interoperability by refining joint tactics, techniques and procedures while simultaneously strengthening their ability to seamlessly integrate their operations,” US Pacific Air Forces said.

US Air Force photo

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA-NCMR launches consecutive tactical offensives

Propaganda article from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): NPA-NCMR launches consecutive tactical offensives

FIVE HIGH-POWERED firearms were confiscated by the New People’s Army-North Central Mindanao Region (NPA-NCMR) from two tactical offensives launched within a week. Last May 20, an NPA unit successfully raided the 26th IB and CAFGU’s detachment in Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. The offensive was carried out at around 3:40 early in the morning. An M14 armalite and a Garand rifle were confiscated by the Red fighters. The NPA burned the enemy camp afterwards.

Last May 27, at 7:25 a.m., the NPA-Mt. Kitanglad Subregional Command ambushed a unit of the 1st Special Forces Battalion and elements of the Civilian Active Auxiliary in Sitio Intabas, Brgy. La Fortuna, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. Seized from the ambush were one M16 rifle and two Garand rifles, as well as six military packs. The enemy suffered two casualties.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Martial law and human rights violations

Propaganda article from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): Martial law and human rights violations

Along with the continuing attacks by the AFP in Marawi City, air strikes, shelling and militarization also intensified in civilian communities where the AFP believes the NPA units are present, just as killings of activists and struggling people persist.

These contradict the statement of Department of National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana that “martial law does not target the NPA.” AFP officials themselves, however, said that operations against the revolutionary forces will continue “whether or not there is martial law.”

Since May 24 to June 3, around 313 civilians were arrested, four were killed and nine communities bombed while thousands have evacuated due to militarization.
Under the AFP’s all-out war, Mindanao was already the hotbed of human rights violations. This has worsened under Duterte’s martial rule.

Mass arrests

Last May 25, Task Force Davao and the Philippine National Police, led by Davao City police chief Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, launched Oplan Bulabog in Brgy. 23-C and 76-A, where 260 civilians were arrested because they could not present identification cards. They were brought to the Davao City Police Office to undergo “verification” process. Majority of those apprehended were Moros.

On the same day, at least 30 Lumad, Moro, and Christian women who participated in the “Leadership Development and Capacity Building for Gender and Ecological Justice” by the Ecumenical Women’s Forum were accosted and held for more than an hour by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 6 at a checkpoint in Brgy. Domulon, Sultan Kudarat.

Their leaders were interrogated, asked to produce identification cards, and questioned on their permit to travel. The leaders were forbidden to take down notes during the said interrogation, while a soldier took pictures of the rest of the women.

Along with this, the local government of Davao City released a 30-point guideline which curtails the people’s political and civil rights. The PNP Regional Office 11 also threatened to arrest leaders and organizers of rallies against the government.

The AFP also threatened to exercise their “right to censure” (censor) or restrict the right to free expression during martial law in Mindanao. This also covers social media. According to AFP spokesperson BGen. Restituto Padilla, this measure is purportedly to prevent the proliferation of fake news and to ensure national security. He also warned that the AFP will arrest anyone who posts anything which will not help in the ongoing conflict in Marawi.

Meanwhile, two members of Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma nga Nakigbisog (UMANA) and residents of Brgy. Poblacion, Maragusan, Compostela Valley were accosted by the 66th IB last May 27. They were identified as Nestor Quintano, 51 and Remon Rodela, 25. The AFP accused them as members of the NPA but their families denied this. The two were taken to the 66th IB camp before they were surrendered to the Maragusan police station. Their families were not allowed to visit them while in the police station.

On May 29, 2017, combined elements of the 60th IB and paramilitary group Bagani illegally arrested peasant couple Kidjol Marcelo Antay Sr. and Noeme Antay in Brgy.
Andap, Compostela Valley. On the same day, another couple, Otik and Maricho Catalino were arrested by the same perpetrators. Both couples were active members of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak (NAMULAK). According to witnesses, the couples were brought to the 60th IB camp in Doña Andrea Asuncion, Davao del Norte.

Most recently, Cesario de Rosa, a member of Kahugpongan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Maco (KAMAO) was arrested last May 31 by elements of the 46th IB in Compostela Valley.

Days before the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, May 21, peasant beneficiaries from MARBAI condemned the continuing harassment by private guards of Lapanday Foods Corporation. An army vehicle was also seen not far from the plantation. MARBAI raised concerns that they may be evicted again from their land.

 On May 30, solons of Anakpawis Partylist condemned the demolition of Charlito Catalan’s house in Barangay Mapalacsiao, Hacienda Luisita, by a group of sugarcane workers under the Cojuangco-Aquino clan.

 Throughout the entire first week of martial law, checkpoints were put up in major cities of Mindanao and even in Tacloban City. AFP units also declared red alert status in some parts of Visayas, Luzon and cities in Metro Manila. President Duterte also warned that he may suspend the writ of habeas corpus in the Visayas.


On May 25, a series of bombings and strafing in Moro communities was launched in sitios Pedtobawan, Campo, Apulan and Centro Salat in Barangay Salat and in Sitio Libpas in Barangay Tuael, President Roxas North Cotabato, from 5:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Not less than 240 troops of the 39th and 72nd IB led the operations. The villages of Tangkulan and Anggaan in Damulog, Bukidnon were also bombed. A 105mm howitzer cannon was mounted in Barangay Kisupaan, President Roxas, North Cotabato.

According to the residents, six bombs started to be dropped at 5:30 a.m. in Brgy. Salat. The military also strafed houses from their MG520 choppers and subsequently fired six cannons towards the community. At around 3 p.m., four more bombs were dropped, and cannons were fired six more times at the communities. At 7 p.m., bombs were again dropped, which resulted in the death of Abdullah Mamansag, 34, a Maguindanaoan farmer, while Norhamin Dataya, Cocoy Dataya, Alex Dataya, Nasordin Maman and Nor Taligapin were wounded. They were arrested by the PNP President Roxas after being brought to the hospital. Taligapin is currently detained at President Roxas police station while Dataya is at the Municipal Social Welfare and Development. The two were slammed with trumped-up charges of illegal possession of explosives and direct assault. They also underwent inquest proceedings last May 28.

 On the same day, the 39th IB went on a shooting spree with their .50 calibre machine gun, attacking homes in the neighboring barangays of Tuael, Tangkulan, and Anggaan.

The AFP’s relentless bombings and strafing forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 individuals from these barangays. The military also blocked and harassed organizations extending assistance to the evacuees.

Based on Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region’s report, two days after the shelling and strafing, AFP troopers torched more than 30 houses in Brgy. Salat and barangays Tangkulan and Anggaan.
Bombings were also recorded in the towns of Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, last May 31 and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, last May 29.

More than 150 B’laan families or 1,000 individuals also evacuated to the barangay hall of Brgy. Colon Sabac, Matanao, Davao del Sur last May 30 due to military operations of the 39th IB in their community.

Killings of activists
In Matanao, Davao del Sur, five motorcycle-riding gunmen shot Daniel Lasid, 58, member of Akma Aksasatu Matanao last May 26. Witnesses identified the suspects as members of the 73rd IB.
The next day, May 27, Ana Marie Digaynon-Aumada was shot inside her home in Brgy. Lucod, Banganga, Davao Oriental. Two days before the incident, Digaynon-Aumada was called to the detachment by Lt. Col. Jake Obligado of the 67th IB, purportedly to “clear” her name. Digaynon-Aumada is a Mandaya and an active member of Alyansa sa mga Mag-uuma sa Sidlakang Davao (ALMASID).

Jessie Cabeza was also gunned down by members of the 46th IB in front of his house last May 31. Cabeza is a member of Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Mabini.

Last June 3 at 5 p.m., unidentified assailants killed Lito Casalla, 52, in Balayan, Batangas. Casalla was among the farmers demanding to reclaim their lands against the Asturias Chemical Industry owned by Ramon Ang.

Since the AFP’s declaration of all-out war against the revolutionary movement last February, about 40 farmers, indigenous people, Moros and workers have been victims of political killings. Thousands were also forced to evacuate due to the series of military bombings in their communities, while the number of victims of threats and harassment continues to increase.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: People oppose military rule

Propaganda article from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): People oppose military rule

Various people’s organizations immediately launched protests against Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao last May 23.

On May 24, activists of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) held candle-lighting activities at Plaza Miranda. Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the Kabataan Partylist (KPL) also lit candles at Mendiola. Similar activities were launched by Bayan-Bicol at Lapu-lapu, Legazpi City, and at Plaza Quezon, Naga City.

Youth organizations in Daraga, Albay staged protests the same day and human rights supporters held a protest mass at the Redemptorist Church in Legazpi City.

The group Suara Bangsamoro and other Lumad activists held a picket in front of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on May 25 to call on Duterte to stop offensive military operations and to pull out military forces in Marawi.

Bayan-Mindoro held simultaneous candle lighting activities on May 25 in Abra de Ilog, Calintaan and San Jose towns in Occidental Mindoro, and also in Roxas town and Calapan City. Concurrently, more than 500 activists of Bayan-ST held a protest action in Cabuyao, Laguna. Rallies were launched at UP-Los Baños, Bacoor Public Market in Cavite, South Luzon State University in Lucban and Antipolo City, and at the Pinaglabanan shrine in Legazpi City in Bicol.

This was followed by a Black Friday Protest on May 26, with participants from different organizations led by Bayan and Karapatan, who held a rally at Plaza Miranda. Selda, Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), National Union of People’s Lawyers, and victims of Marcos’ martial law joined the protest. Youths led by LFS, Anakbayan and KPL likewise held a rally at Mendiola. At the same time, protests were held by the Cordillera People’s Alliance in Baguio City and by Bayan chapters in regional centers such as Bacolod City, Tacloban City and Iloilo City.

Mindanao bishop Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato supported the protests by declaring “We shall condemn any abuse of martial law and as in the past will condemn it outright if it goes in the way of evil.” Progressive parties and their representatives also expressed solidarity and sympathy with the Marawi and Mindanao people.

On May 30, Mindanao activists and leaders led by Suara Bangsamoro and Kalinaw Mindanao conducted a picket at the congress grounds.

 Fifty progressive Muslims and Christians under the Pilgrims for Peace, Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) and National Council of Churches in the Philippines came together for “Break the Fast at Sundown” as symbolism for unity of religions and sympathy against the occurring violence in Marawi City during the Ramadan period.

 On June 1, the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) staged a rally in Bacolod City.
Overseas, Bayan-USA and Gabriela-USA condemned the martial law declaration. Irma Shauf-Bajar of Gabriela-USA said “With more military operations, women and children will be even more vulnerable to rape, harassment and other sexual abuse.”

The protesters held a second “Black Friday Protest” on June 2, when national-democratic organizations marched in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, workers and peasants in different parts of the country continued actions for their rights and welfare.

On May 21, 600 Coca-Cola workers set up a picket line to protest the company’s widespread termination of workers.

On the same day, 300 families from affected communities of the Dallac Tribe in Brgy. Lucog and residents along the length of Chico River held a caravan along Brgy. Dagupan, Bulinao and Makanyaw, then converged for the protest program at Banat, Bagumbayan, Tabuk City to assail the 52 megawatt hydroelectric power Karayan Dam project by the San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group (SLRB).

On May 22, more than a thousand jeepney operators, drivers and conductors under the transport group Piston assembled a protest caravan from the Elliptical Road to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board office in East Avenue, Quezon City then held a picket at the Department of Transportation office in Mandaluyong City.

They were again protesting the “jeepney phase-out” program. Protests were also launched in Sorsogon and Cebu. Transportation was paralyzed in Iloilo, Antique and Bacolod City.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: War in Marawi: Widespread destruction and huge damages on the people

Propaganda article from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): War in Marawi: Widespread destruction and huge damages on the people

The war ordered by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s against the so-called Maute Group is bringing about the tremendous destruction of Marawi City and the people’s lives and livelihood.

The AFP-PNP launched the war in Marawi following Duterte’s imposition of martial law in the whole Mindanao last May 23 because of the supposed occupation of the city by the said group. At the time of his martial law imposition, Duterte was visiting Russia where one of his objectives was to request modern weapons purportedly to fight groups connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Duterte has repeatedly linked the Maute Group to the ISIS despite previous refutations by the military and police regarding such information.

The Duterte regime poured up to 4,000 armed troops to counter the Maute Group, whose reported number varies daily (starting at 20, to 50, 100 and which recently has already become 250-500, according to the AFP). The AFP and PNP deployed their troops from the 1st ID of the Philippine Army, the Philippine Marines, Philippine Air Force and the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. Aside from armoured personnel carriers, these employ more than 30 helicopters and planes that conduct non-stop bombardment of the city.

But more than any damage against the Maute Group, the civilians, their properties and civilian infrastructure are the ones being destroyed by the bombs. The AFP reported last June 2 that up to 188 individuals, including 30 civilians, have already died. It is made to appear that 120 of those who were killed were members of the Maute Group, although there is wide skepticism that many of these were civilians.

Since the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the AFP has launched daily bombardment every two hours. The AFP has been adamant in claims that they have been successful with their “surgical strikes” and that no civilians were hit. This, in the face of widespread assertions by residents that it is the civilians, their homes and civilian structures which are being hit and destroyed by the AFP’s bombs. No less than the city government and the Marawi Crisis Committee have called for a stop to the bombings early on in the war. Likewise, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, resigned from her post because of the bombings and the martial law declaration. Bombardments were suspended only when the AFP’s bombs killed ten of their soldiers and wounded seven others.

Meanwhile, ground troops of the AFP have no regard to the civilians’ safety. Civilians are in danger of the AFP and PNP scouring the city’s streets and residential areas. Those caught in the middle of the war are accused of being members of Maute Group and are treated with cruelty. Shattered homes and civilian structures are all over—bullet-ridden, burned or razed to the ground. There is also evidence from residents and officials of the local government of the soldiers’ looting of valuables and properties of Marawi residents.

The war has affected Marawi’s whole population of more than 200,000. The city is one of the largest in terms of Moro population and is regarded as the center of Islam in Mindanao. More than 90% of the population had evacuated, while the lives of those left behind are in peril. Many of those who fled were able to take along only a few belongings. They face grave lack of food and drinking water in evacuation centers, aside from medical needs and decent habitation. The AFP has also prohibited civic organizations to distribute relief goods, and insisted that the soldiers be the ones to hand them out.

 Last June 2, up to 700 evacuees have fallen ill. Most vulnerable among the victims of the war are the elderly, the sick and an estimated 55,000 children. Also affected is the education of 20,000 students, as they have no schools to go to because of the bombardment of Marawi. According to officials of Lanao del Sur provincial government, there has never been such terrible evacuation of Marawi’s residents even during the 1970s.

Meanwhile, thousands of people seeking shelter are stuck in checkpoints set up to restrain the free movement of residents who are fleeing danger. Here, the people of Marawi are subjected to intense scrutiny because of suspicion that they are members of Maute Group. Those already in evacuation centers, and even ordinary civilians, experience discrimination for being Moros.

According to the group Suara Bangsamoro, the resolution of the people’s unrest in Mindanao is related to the issue of ancestral domain of the Moros and Lumads, and their long-running oppression. Likewise, the propagation of Islamophobia, which portrays Islam as a religion of violence, must be condemned. Instead, attention must be given to the damages on Moro people brought about by the war.

Also, the Moro people have the capability to resolve contradictions among their ranks. Negotiations between Moro leaders and the members of Maute Group will not prosper as long as the AFP and PNP continue with their military operations and bombardments.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Peace talks stalled anew

Propaganda article from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): Peace talks stalled anew

GRP PRESIDENT DUTERTE has threatened to have NDFP consultants arrested the moment they land in the Philippines. This came after the cancellation of the fifth round in the series of peace talks between the NDFP and GRP which was previously scheduled on May 27-June 2.

According to Jesus Dureza of the GRP, they did not attend the fifth round supposedly because of the CPP’s call for the NPA to intensify tactical offensives all over the Philippines in response to the Duterte regime’s imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao.

But Luis Jalandoni, senior political adviser of NDFP panel, said that the GRP withdrew because the NDFP did not agree to prioritize the ceasefire agenda.

Even during the fourth round of talks last April, the GRP was already reluctant to continue with the talks on CASER (socio-economic reforms) without first discussing the ceasefire agreement. This only pushed through when the NDFP bent over backwards to sign an agreement to agree on a ceasefire once implementing rules are agreed upon.

Dureza’s declaration shows that they are only using the NPA’s call for more tactical offensives as justification to withdraw from the talks. Aside from this, the GRP also gave other reasons such as intensified offensives by the NPA even prior to martial law, so-called questions of the public on the sincerity of the NDFP regarding the talks, the clarification made by the NDFP panel that they do not command the NPA, and the government’s preference for localized peace talks.

The CPP has long clarified the revolutionary movement’s stand for just and lasting peace, that this can be attained only by resolving the issues at the roots of the armed conflict. While carrying out war, the NDFP is open to peace talks to achieve concrete benefits for the people.

For more than 20 years, the advance of the NDFP-GRP talks have been tough, slow and tortuous. Of the four substantive agenda, only the CARHRIHL has been signed in 1998. The talks did not advance substantially because the succeeding regimes were only interested in pacification and surrender of the revolutionary forces.

Upon the resumption of the peace talks last year, the NDFP agreed to a reciprocal unilateral ceasefire, while the GRP promised to release all political detainees. The NDFP ceasefire lasted for almost six months, the longest in NPA history.

The CPP was pushed to terminate this on February after the GRP failed to fulfil its promise to release all political prisoners and because the AFP used the ceasefire to forward deploy its forces within the NPA guerrilla zones and bases. The GRP’s response to this was Defense Sec. Lorenzana’s all-out war declaration on February 7.

The present series of talks that began on August 2016 were expected to accelerate the attainment of more substantial agreements because the Duterte government exhibited more openness to the revolutionary movement and gave anti-US declarations.

After a series of informal talks, the fourth round of the series of talks were held on April 2-6. This, too, was almost blocked when Lorenzana and his AFP cohorts insisted that the NDFP first sign a “bilateral ceasefire” before going on with the talks.

JASIG suspension

Duterte had already twice issued threats to arrest NDFP consultants. The first was on February after he ordered the all-out war. The second came this May 31.

Duterte’s threat denigrates the JASIG, the agreement that protects peace talks participants from arrest throughout the duration of the peace talks until 30 days after.

However, even while peace talks are in effect, the Duterte government has ignored this several times when it arrested Ariel Arbitrario, Promencio Cortez, Ferdinand Castillo, and Rommel Salinas, and subjected other consultants to surveillance and harassment.

The government also disregards CARHRIHL by continuing to detain political prisoners, by extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, bombings, shelling and other atrocities against the people in its military operations in the countryside and cities.

Despite the GRP’s withdrawal, the NDFP shows its determination for the peace talks by offering a reciprocal unilateral ceasefire to Duterte on June 2 to enable the peace talks’ resumption. But Duterte rejected this and insisted that the NDFP immediately engage in a bilateral ceasefire.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Editorial - Firmly oppose Mindanao martial law

Propaganda editorial from the English edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7): Editorial - Firmly oppose Mindanao martial law

The entire revolutionary movement strongly condemns the imposition of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao by GRP President Duterte. This has no justification. That martial law in Mindanao was imposed because of claims of rebellion and terrorism of the so-called Maute Group in Marawi City is unacceptable.

Duterte’s declaration must be denounced because it gives the AFP and PNP unrestrained freedom to abuse their powers against the people. Duterte has even openly encouraged the soldiers to carry out abuses when he said he will answer for them.

 Even before martial law was imposed, soldiers and police have been relentlessly abusing human rights and trampling on the people’s welfare under the all-out war declaration of Duterte-Lorenzana last February against the NPA. By imposing martial law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, the military and police have become even more ruthless in using their armed power to carry out horrific repression, violence, crime and corruption.

With martial law powers, the AFP and PNP are suppressing the people’s civil-democratic rights in setting up checkpoints all over and warrantless searches and arrests. Everyone is a suspect and obliged to prove their innocence. They directly intervene in conflicts between capitalists and workers and defend the interests of the former. They claim even the power to censor anyone who goes against their reasoning.

When martial law was declared, the AFP became more ruthless in waging brutal operations against people suspected of supporting the armed revolution because of their active defense of their welfare. Successive aerial bombardment and strafing were carried out in Davao del Sur, Bukidnon, North Cotabato and Compostela Valley which are quite a distance from the said rebellion of the Mautes. Military officials themselves said “martial law or not”, they will continue to wage operations in civilian communities which they suspect to be NPA territories.

Any plan to impose martial law nationwide must be firmly resisted. The people will determinedly oppose Duterte if he will attempt to install himself a dictator, close down civilian institutions, completely deny formal civil rights and establish open state fascist and terrorist rule.

By supporting all-out war, imposing Mindanao martial law and giving the military full powers, Duterte’s claims of being a Leftist, socialist and pro-masses erode. He is in danger of being isolated from the Filipino people. In Mindanao, soldiers and police carry Duterte’s name as they occupy civilian communities, searches, arrests, taunting and repressing the workers and peasants struggling to defend their rights and welfare. In complying with the order to “flatten the hills”, the AFP sticks his name on every bomb dropped which causes widespread destruction on the people’s livelihood and environment and brings about intense fear among the people.

The AFP’s all-out war is poisoning the atmosphere in the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. This jeopardizes the talks especially with Duterte’s demand for the NPA to declare a ceasefire before proceeding with talks and agreements on substantive socio-economic and political issues.

Duterte is giving more powers to the military. He has given more weight to his threats against the courts and other government agencies. Congress has become a mere ornament when it refused to subject Duterte’s martial law declaration to scrutiny. In the name of the “war against terror” that is now being linked to the “war against drugs”, Duterte is using and brandishing military power in the entire Mindanao.

Under this, the AFP has carried out its more than half month all-out war that has resulted in widespread destruction of Marawi City and disaster on the lives and livelihood of more than 200,000 people. Despite the people’s pleas, the aerial bombardment by AFP helicopters and warplanes have been ruthless against homes, buildings, roads and other civil infrastructure. Almost every resident has left. Just as in the widespread destruction of Zamboanga City in 2013, the destruction of Marawi City is expected to open large infrastructure projects. The echoes of bombs have yet to die down, yet the big bourgeois compradors have started to drool and encircle Marawi.

What started out as an offensive by the Duterte regime against the Maute Group is now rousing anger among Moro leaders because of the relentless destruction of the lives of Marawi’s people.

Almost all (98%) of the people of Marawi are Moros. If the complete destruction of Marawi continues, the war launched to “suppress terrorism” will be regarded by the Moro people as a war against them.

 In imposing martial law and not addressing the basic question of self-determination, the Duterte regime will fail to resolve the emergence of various armed Moro groups with different aims. Historically, revolutionary, progressive and anti-imperialist groups have emerged advancing the interest of the Bangsamoro. However, there are also those who espouse a war based on religion or those who have been reduced to criminal banditry. If the Duterte regime will not rein in the AFP’s bombardment, instead of suppressing the armed bandit groups, the ruthless and brutal war of the AFP will succeed in pushing more Moro people to take up arms and engage in war.

In unity with the Filipino and Moro people, the Party stands for the immediate end of martial law imposed by Duterte in Mindanao and for the restoration of the writ of habeas corpus. The Filipino and Moro people must also unite against all forms of terrorist attacks against civilians. While condemning armed groups which target and deliberately harm civilians, they must also strongly condemn the terrorism of the relentless war of destruction of the AFP against Marawi City.

[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  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Hinggil sa Kampanya ng Kasinungalingan ng 9th IDPA Kaugnay sa Lehitimong Taktikal na Opensiba

NDF propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 1): Hinggil sa Kampanya ng Kasinungalingan ng 9th IDPA Kaugnay sa Lehitimong Taktikal na Opensiba (With regard to the Campaign of Lies by the 9th IDPA Related to Legitimate Tactical Offensives

Maria Roja Banua, Spokesperson
NDFP Bicol Region (Region V)

1 June 2017

Hindi matapus-tapos ang malisyosong pagpapalaganap ng disimpormasyon ng pasistang tropa ng 9th IDPA sa rehiyong Bikol upang bigyang matwid ang mga operasyong militar nitong sumasakay sa kaguluhan sa Mindanao.

Habang ilinulunsad ng 9th IDPA ang malawakang propaganda sa midya tungkol sa umano’y dagdag na kaguluhang dala ng BHB, walang lubay ang militarisasyon at kampanya ng panunupil at pananakot sa mamamayan sa kanayunan at kalunsuran. Walang patid nitong sinisiraan ang mga lehitimong aksyon ng BHB tulad ng taktikal na opensibang ilinunsad ng yunit ng pulang hukbo sa Brgy. Pinaglabanan, Goa, Camarines Sur nitong Mayo 29. Ipinagpipilitan ng Division Public Affairs Office ng 9th ID, sa pamumuno ni Capt. Randy Llunar, na palabasing nanggugulo lamang at sinasamantala ng BHB-Bikol ang nangyayari sa Marawi upang atakehin ang pwersa ng AFP-PNP-CAFGU sa rehiyon. Paulit-ulit ding binubuhay ang usaping mapanganib diumano sa mga sibilyan ang mga eksplosibong ginagamit ng BHB dahil maaari itong pumutok kapag natapakan o nadaganan ng anumang bagay na may sapat na bigat.

Naninindigan ang NDF-Bikol na bilang tunay na hukbo ng mamamayan, walang anumang armas ng BHB ang tatarget o maglalagay sa alanganin sa masang pinaglilingkuran nito. Ang mga command detonated explosives (CDX) ng pulang hukbo ay mapasasabog lamang sa pamamagitan ng tiyak na kumand ng itinalagang may kasanayang bomber ng yunit. Naaayon ito sa lahat ng internasyunal na batas hinggil sa karapatang tao at pakikidigma. Tiyak at lehitimo ang lahat ng target ng mga opensiba ng BHB. Hindi tulad ng berdugong militar, buong pagpapakumbaba ring nagpupuna sa sarili at nagbibigay ng makatarungang bayad-pinsala ang BHB sa mga sibilyang �di-sinasadyang madamay sa kurso ng isang taktikal na opensiba. Malaki ang kaibahan nito sa mga walang pakundangang operasyon ng AFP na hindi isinasaalang-alang ang buhay ng mga sibilyan at mismong mga elemento nito. Dalubhasa rin ang mga ito sa pagsala-salabat ng kwento para mailigtas ang sarili sa pananagutan.

Naghahasik ngayon, sa ilalim ng Martial Law, ng matinding takot ang mga aerial bombings ng AFP sa Mindanao. Bago pa man ibaba ang batas militar, marami nang naging biktima ng mga pagpapaulan ng bomba mula sa mortar at sasakyang panghihimpapawid ng militar. Taliwas sa pahayag na sigurado at “surgically precise” umano ang kanilang mga atake, sunud-sunod nang nailalantad sa publiko ang paparaming komunidad na nawawasak at mga sibilyan at elemento mismo ng militar na napapaslang ng walang humpay na pambobomba at pamamaril.

Gaya ng napakarami nang krimen ng 9th IDPA at AFP sa nakaraan, itatago mula sa publiko at pagtatakpan ng mga upisyal ng militar ang lumulobong bilang ng paglabag sa karapatang tao. Hindi kailanman maaasahan ng sambayanan ang utak-pulburang kasundaluhan na kilalanin at panagutan ang kanilang mga krimen laban sa sambayanan. Nananawagan ang NDF-Bikol sa mamamayang Bikolnon na ibayo pang maging mapanuri, mapagmatyag at aktibong tuligsain ang mga operasyong militar lalaluna sa panahong sinasangkalan ng mga berdugong militar ang nangyayari sa Mindanao upang mapalawak pa ang saklaw ng kanilang pasismo.

CPP/NPA-FSM: Red salute to Ka Vergel and Ka Jan, young Lumad martyrs

NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 1): Red salute to Ka Vergel and Ka Jan, young Lumad martyrs

Dencio Madrigal, Spokesperson
NPA-Far South Mindanao (Valentin Palamine Command)

1 June 2017

After the Duterte regime declared martial law in Mindanao, the 73rd IB-PA launched intensified offensives against the people and their revolutionary forces along the border of Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato and North Cotabato provinces.
On May 25, at 12:30 noon, an NPA sapper team attacked a group of 73rd IB patrolling troopers. In the afternoon of the same day, the AFP retaliated with artillery shelling.

On the next day, Army troops clashed with an NPA buffer squad. The fascists recovered explosives, eight backpacks and personal belongings of Red fighters but the comrades were able to prevent them from launching a bigger offensive.

On May 27, two fascist soldiers were killed when a team of Red fighters attacked a column of the 73rd IB operating troops at around 3:30 in the afternoon. An armed encounter followed between an NPA harassment team and the military at around 9 a.m. Another encounter between an NPA harassment team and soldiers followed at 9 a.m. on May 29 which resulted into the deaths of the two Red fighters and a 73rd IB trooper. The fascist troops recovered two high-powered rifles and personal belongings of the two slain comrades. Another encounter happened at 3:30 p.m. on the same day where a soldier was said to be killed.

The VPC-ROC and all revolutionary forces and masses in Far South Mindanao salute the young Lumad martyrs who fought to the end. Ka Vergel (Arginel Catan) hailed from the Bagobo clan in North Cotabato, while Ka Jan (Jovani Tewaro) is a B’laan from Davao del Sur. They joined the NPA to fight against abuses of multinational agribusinesses and large-scale mining in their ancestral land.

In imposing martial law in Mindanao, local and multinational agribusinesses’ and large-scale mining companies’ use of the militar and police forces has become more evident in suppressing the Lumad and peasant struggle for land, livelihood and environmental protection.

While human rights abuses intensify due to the imposition of martial law, more people from Mindanao will be pushed into taking up arms against the oppressive system which place them in the quagmire of misery, oppression and injustice.

CPP/NDF-Mindoro: Aerial bombing sa Marawi City, Martial Law ni Duterte—tunay na terorismo laban sa mamamayan, kundenahin!

NDF propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 2): Aerial bombing sa Marawi City, Martial Law ni Duterte—tunay na terorismo laban sa mamamayan, kundenahin! (Aerial bombing in Marawi City, Martial Law Duterte-condemn real terrorism against the people!)

Ka Maria Patricia Andal, Spokesperson
NDFP Mindoro

2 June 2017

Mariing kinukundena ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa isla ng Mindoro ang walang habas na pagbobomba ng Armed Forces of the Philippines sa Marawi City na nagdudulot ng walang katumbas na pang-aapi at kahirapan sa ating mga kapatid na Moro, at iba pang mamamayan sa Mindanao.

Nailalantad mismo ng AFP ang sarili nitong kahibangan sa pinakahuling pagkakapaslang ng 11 nilang tropa at pagkasugat ng ilang iba pa dahil sa miskalkuladong pagbagsak ng bombang nagmula sa kanilang aircraft.

Sa katunayan, hindi na mabilang ang mga sibilyang napapaslang at nasusugatan dahil sa aerial bombing at iba pang anyo ng paglapastangan ng mga sundalo sa karapatang tao mula pa noong unang araw ng Martial Law sa Mindanao. Pilit na ikinukubli ng mga opisyal na ulat ng AFP-PNP ang mga kaswalting ito. O kaya naman, ibinibintang nila ang mga ito sa bandidong grupo.

Ang aerial bombing, ang strafing, ang maraming anyo ng pang-aabusong militar sa Marawi City na dulot ng Martial Law ni GRP President Rodrigo Duterte ang tunay na terorismo laban sa mamamayan.

Kinukundena rin ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Mindoro ang paghahasik ng lagim ng bandidong grupong tinaguriang “Maute group”. Hindi natin kailanman kinukunsinti o pinahihintulutan ang paglapastangan sa mamamayan upang isulong ang kanilang pampulitika o pang-ideolohiyang adhikain.

Ngunit sa halip na mawakasan ang paghahasik ng lagim na ito ng mga bandidong grupo, prinoklama ni Duterte ang Martial Law na nagpapasidhi ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao.

Sa Mindoro, isang de facto Martial Law ang umiiral mula nang ideklara ni Duterte ang all-out war laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Ang mga inosenteng sibilyan ang silang labis na inaatake ng mga berdugong militar sa paniniwalang masusugpo umano nila ang armadong pakikibaka ng mamamayan kung maghahasik sila ng takot sa kanilang hanay.

Tampok rito ang kaliwa’t kanang paglapastangan sa karapatang tao sa serye ng mga todo-todong operasyong militar noong Pebrero hanggang Mayo: pagdukot at pagpaslang sa isang sibilyan sa Bgy. Pinagturilan, Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro noong Peb. 4-5; todo-todong operasyong kombat sa Victoria, Oriental Mindoro noong Pebrero na nagdulot ng sapilitang paglikas ng 43 pamilyang katutubong Mangyan-Tadyawan; aerial bombing sa Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro noong Marso 30 na malubhang nakaapekto sa humigit-kumulang 250 pamilya ng mga katutubong Mangyan-Hanunuo;
todo-todong operasyong militar sa Bgy. Barahan, Sta. Cruz noong Mayo 8; at ang pinakahuli ay ang pagpaslang sa isang sibilyan na si Mario Versosa sa So. FF Cruz, Bgy. Cambunang, Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro noong Mayo 21.

Dapat salubungin ng dumadagundong na protesta ang pakanang Martial Law ni Duterte. Singilin siya sa pangako niyang pagkakamit ng pangmatagalang kapayapaan. Dapat na itulak ito na humarap sa peace talks sa NDFP at kagyat nang pag-usapan ang substantibong adyenda para sa sosyo-ekonomikong reporma.

Nagiging karagdagang ang Martial Law ni Duterte sa arsenal ng dahilan ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan upang mapukaw, maorganisa at mapakilos ang mamamayan para palakasin ang armadong rebolusyon.

Sa nayon at sentrong urban ng Mindoro, dapat na masinsing ipatupad ang pakikidigma laban sa AFP-PNP upang parusahan sila sa kanilang krimen sa mamamayan. Pabukadkarin ang mga rebolusyong agraryo sa buong isla. Padagundungin ang pakikibakang masa ng mga magsasaka, manggagawang bukid, mangingisda, katutubo, sektor ng transportasyon, kababaihan, kabataan at estudyante at iba pang aping sektor sa mga sentrong pampulitika sa kabayanan. Palakihin ng ilang ulit ang ilampung libong baseng masa ng rebolusyon sa isla ng Mindoro.

Sa tumitinding terorismo ng estado, hinog ang mga kalagayan upang mag-ambag ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Mindoro sa pagtataas ng antas ng digma sa buong kapuluan.#

CPP/NPA-Panay: Panginoong maylupa dinis-armahan, 4 armas nakuha

NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 7):
Panginoong maylupa dinis-armahan, 4 armas nakuha (Landlords disarmed, 4 weapons obtained)

NPA-Eastern Panay (Nonito Aguirre, Sr. Command)

7 June 2017

Matagumpay na nadis-armahan ng mga kasapi ng NPA sa ilalim ng Nonito Aguirre Sr. Command sa isinagawa nitong operasyon sa pagdisarma laban sa panginoong maylupa na si Aurelio Longno sa Brgy. Sibariwan, Dumarao, Capiz sang Hunyo 6, 2016 bandang 5:30 ng hapon. Nakuha sa kanya ng 1 9mm at 1 .22 caliber magnum at mga bala ng 12 gauge shotgun. Habang 1.38 caliber pistol at 1 homemade shotgun ang nakuha sa bahay ng kanyang anak na si Boyet.

 Ang hakbang na ito ginawa ng NPA para patigilin ang paggamit ni Aurelio Longno ng nasambit na mga armas sa kanyang mapang-api at mapasamantalang pagkontrol sa mga magsasaka at pang-aagaw ng lupa. May natanggap ring impormasyon ang NPA na may mataas na kalibre ng armas na isinanla sa kanya ng isang notorious na kasapi ng sindikatong taga-Dumarao, Capiz din.

NDF: Pancho Lara is an alleged analyst with an agenda — NDFP

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jun 7): Pancho Lara is an alleged analyst with an agenda — NDFP  

NDFP Media Office
Press release
June 7, 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) takes strong exception to statements made by Mr. Francisco “Pancho” Lara, Jr., chair of the ceasefire committee of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), that the New People’s Army (NPA) would not be able to join the fight against the Maute group because of its geographical distance from battle-torn Marawi City.

Wilma Tiamzon, who heads the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group on End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces (RWG-EHDF), said that Lara should not deck himself out as an analyst of International Alert to pose as an alleged independent observer in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations when, in fact, he is with the GRP and chairs its ceasefire committee.

Mr. Lara capitalizes on his outdated knowledge (circa early 1990s) of the revolutionary movement to ingratiate himself with international non-government organizations and the GRP in securing his means of livelihood and disparaging the revolutionary movement as well as attempting to obtain its capitulation and pacification.

“He is grossly misinformed of the internal situation of the revolutionary movement and the current strength and disposition of the NPA. The Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization (MRLO) and the NPA, both NDFP allied organizations, have units within Marawi City and nearby areas. They can significantly help fight the Maute group in a direct way,” said Tiamzon.

Tiamzon stated that the main reason for the intensified battles between the NPA and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the declaration of all-out war by GRP Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last February against the NPA which has been aggravated by the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

With the all-out war declaration, the AFP has deployed far more troops and conducted far more military operations with the support of aerial bombardment and artillery fire against the NPA and the indigenous and Lumad communities, rather than the Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur and now in Marawi City.

“Such lopsided troop disposition is more the result of the wrong choices made, and wrong priorities chosen by the AFP, as exemplified by the relief of the commanding general in charge of the troops in Marawi City before the Maute attack on May 23.”

“The AFP’s misdirected priorities are likewise contrary to the orders of their commander-in-chief to concentrate their efforts on the war against terrorist groups that target and harm civilians solely and mainly,” Tiamzon concluded.###

NDF: The GRP and NDFP negotiating panels must meet first to solve certain problems and agree on coordination

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jun 7): The GRP and NDFP negotiating panels must meet first to solve certain problems and agree on coordination  


The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) makes it appear that it has cancelled the fifth round of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) because the latter has not withdrawn the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines to the New People’s Army to intensify tactical offensives against the AFP, PNP and armed auxiliaries of the GRP.

The GRP is culpable in the first place for waging a nationwide all-out war policy of aerial bombardments and artillery attacks against the revolutionary forces and people since last year and has aggravated this policy by proclaiming martial law all over Mindanao, far beyond Marawi and the bailiwicks of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorist groups.

To accomplish ceasefire, coordination and cooperation between the forces of the GRP and the NDFP within Marawi against the aforesaid terrorist groups, the GRP must at best unilaterally withdraw its all-out war policy and martial law declaration or at least allow its negotiating panel to meet with the NDFP negotiating panel to start discussing coordination and cooperation in Marawi and subsequently on a wider scale.

The NDFP has already instructed the Moro Resistance and Liberation Organization (MRLO) inside Marawi to assume home defense tasks against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups. It has also directed units of the New People’s Army close to Marawi to redeploy for the purpose of mopping up, holding and blocking operations.

The MRLO and the NPA can coordinate and cooperate with the AFP by keeping a safe distance, maintaining independence and initiative and avoiding problems of getting mixed up with the AFP and PNP units. The localized ceasefire, coordination and cooperation can be agreed upon if the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels meet first and discuss matters in detail.

It is not too late to have such a meeting of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels because the terrorist attack on Marawi might still be prolonged or if suppressed soon, might recur in other parts of Bangsamoro. The US, anti-Duterte sections of the AFP and PNP and local anti-Duterte parties and groups have already begun a campaign of destabilizing the Duterte regime for the purpose of overthrowing this with a coup.

According to latest reports, there is yet no protocol between the MNLF and the AFP for their coordination and cooperation against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in Marawi, contrary to the claims of President Duterte himself.###

Fidel V. Agcaoili
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
June 7, 2017

MILF: 134 Trapped Civilians In Marawi Rescued, Peace Corridor To Continue

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jun 9): 134 Trapped Civilians In Marawi Rescued, Peace Corridor To Continue

Members of the Joint Coordinating, Monitoring, and Assistance Center of the GPH-MILF Peace Corridor enter pick-up area for trapped civilians during a four-hour humanitarian pause to allow for safe passage of trapped civilians. Photo courtesy of BANGSAMORO NEWS

134 trapped civilians in Marawi City were rescued on Sunday, June 4, when a 4-hour GPH-MILF humanitarian peace corridor opened from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Mindanews said in its report on June5.

“Everyday we will change the time” for the “Peace Corridor” to allow for the safe passage of civilians, Irene Santiago, chair of the government’s Peace Implementing Panel in the peace process with the MILF, told a press conference in Marawi.

Secretary Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said they will have to assess the implementation of the corridor to ensure the rescue teams going inside the conflict zone would not be endangered.

A humanitarian ceasefire is “an opportunity for us to save lives” but can also be “an opportunity for the enemy to take advantage”, Mindanews quoting Dureza saying during the Marawi press conference.

“But the Peace Corridor is there,” Dureza said, adding, “as to whether or not it will be safe to move out people through that Peace Corridor is something that will have to be decided one at a time.”

In the same press conference, Maj. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Western Mindanao Command chief told reporters that saving the lives of civilians is their primordial concern, noting that even if they would be disadvantaged operationally during a humanitarian pause, “we still allow it,” and that having saved a total of 179 trapped civilians yesterday (134 through the corridor) boosts the morale of the troops.

He said “without hesitation,” he immediately said yes when Santiago asked for a four-hour pause.

At least 300 trained members of the joint peace and security teams of the GPH-MILF are being deployed throughout the length of the corridor and will be augmented as the need arises, Santiago said.

MILF: BTC Approves Final Draft Of BBL

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jun 9): BTC Approves Final Draft Of BBL

Ms. Irene Santiago, Chair of the GPH Peace Implementing Panel revealed that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has approved the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Tuesday, June 6.

According to a report by Philstar, Santiago said the draft would be sent to the Office of the President at the latest by June 14 so it can be submitted to Congress on June 24 or 25.

“We are hoping... the President will mention it in his State of the Nation Address and say that it is a priority bill,” Santiago said.

She said the new measure is a “better version,” considering that commission members were “very pleased” with it.

The five-member Coordinating Committee of the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) finalized the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and submitted it to the plenary.

The five standing committee of the 21-member BTC – Fiscal Autonomy, Political Autonomy, Basic Rights, Transitory, and Justice and Security signed their respective committee reports on June 2, in Davao City, according to a report by Mindanews on June 05.

Members of the coordinating committee are also chairing the five committees of the BTC – Atty. Firdausi Abbas for Security and Justice Committee, Atty. Jose Lorena tor Transitory Committee, Atty. Raisa Jajurie for Fiscal Autonomy, Atty. Hussin Amin, for Basic Rights Committee, and Mohagher Iqbal for Political Autonomy.

MNLF-IIO: Federalism as Peace Formula

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front -- International Information Office Facebook page (Jun 9): FEDERAL(ISM) AS PEACE FORMULA

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and text

Federalism will resolve the centuries struggle of the BANGSAMORO PEOPLE for the restoration of Peace and the Right to self Determination and rectify Historical injustice

DWDD: PAF Airlifters bring medical team to support gov't troops in Marawi City.

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Jun 9): PAF Airlifters bring medical team to support gov't troops in Marawi City.


With the ongoing offensive operations against the Maute terrorists, several members of our government troops have been wounded. To respond to this need, the 220th Airlift Wing “Airlifters” of the Philippine Air Force has deployed another C-130 aircraft on June 7, 2017 piloted by Major Ramil I Daet PAF that ferried medical team and ambulance to Laguindingan Airport to provide medical services to wounded troops in the conflict zone.

This sortie is only one of the many flight missions performed that day using the other C-130s and C-295 aircraft. Providing airlift reinforcements and medical teams in conflict areas is not something in mint condition for the Airlifters. What becomes a challenge is the Airlifters capability to maintain its readiness to respond quickly to the needs.

As the pilot-in-command, Major Daet said that maintaining a sterile environment inside the aircraft cabin and dealing with turbulence in-flight present other challenges too. He added that as a true-bloodied airlifter, there is nothing more fulfilling than being part of saving the lives of our troops in the battlefield.

Army troops sent to Bohol

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 9): Army troops sent to Bohol

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command is now realigning its troops in the Visayas to further strengthen its defenses against possible terroristic activities of extremists groups from Mindanao.

Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, 3rd Infantry Division commander, yesterday said that he is sending a company-size infantry unit in Bohol, to help secure the prime tourist destination island of Central Visayas.

The Army's 8th Infantry Division in Eastern Visayas will also send the infantry unit of similar size to Bohol, where an 11-man team of Abu Sayyaf bandits had almost been wiped out by units of 3ID stationed in the area, after a series of gunbattles, Aying said.

He added that an Air Force cargo plane will airlift the 3ID troops to Bohol.

At present, the 302nd Infantry Brigade and 47th Infantry Battalion, that are under the supervision of the 3ID, are deployed in Bohol.

Aying has also confirmed the attempt of the New People's Army to regain its influence of Bohol, where peace and order situation returned to normal several years ago.

The New People's Army operating in Bohol has transferred to the southern portion of Negros Oriental.

Guv creates anti-terrorism task force

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 9): Guv creates anti-terrorism task force

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has signed an executive order creating the Negros Occidental Task Force for Peace and Security, that will be known as Task Force Buglas, amid the rising threat posed by Islamic extremism.

The task force was created to fight any threat to terrorism down to thebarangay level, Marañon said.

The governor, who signed Executive Order No. 17-16 Series of 2017 on June 8, said the task force was created because there is a need to improve communications and linkages among local government agencies, civil society, people from the communities and law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security of residents.

“Islamic extremism is emerging as a major threat to peace and security in the country, especially in Mindanao, as recently experienced in Marawi City,” he pointed out in the EO.

The need to prevent violent extremism from happening in Negros Occidental, being an island accessible to travelers from Mindanao, is a priority the governor said.

“There is a need to prepare for this threat and the proper response in times of crisis to prevent extremism from inflicting excessive damage to our communities,” he said.

The EO states that the Task Force Buglas executive committee will be chaired by Marañon, with Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson as vice chairperson and Ma. LinaSanogal as executive director.

The task groups under Task Force Buglas are for anti-criminality led by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, internal security headed by the Philippine Army, and coast watch led by the PNP Maritime Group.

It also has task groups for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response headed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, Environmental Protection-Provincial Environmental Management Officer, and Communications - PIO Office of the Governor.

The EO states that Task Force Buglas will ensure proper coordination of different agencies to protect Negros Occidental from terrorism, crime and other lawless elements, coordinate to efficiently provide humanitarian assistance during times of crisis and disasters, strengthen communication linkages with communities to immediately gather information that needs swift action, and promote community awareness on their roles on law enforcement and public safety.

AFP ups grip on Visayas

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 9): AFP ups grip on Visayas

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has tightened its grip on the Visayas to prevent the possible intrusion of ISIS-inspired local terrorist groups, by implementing target hardening measures and other security related activities, as well as involving communities down to the barangay level, in the security aspect.

While the ISIS threat is clear and present, there is no cause for alarm in the three Visayas regions, Maj. Gen. Jon Aying, who is the commanding general of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division said yesterday.

Aying, who presided yesterday over the inter-agency workshop, that was participated in by different state security forces and local government officials of Negros Island Region, admitted that the terrorist group has the capacity to influence, entice or attract more members from communities in Visayas and Luzon.

The threat is just there, he said.
He, however, said that there is no cause for alarm. “It is a cause for a sense of security and not for alarm, he emphasized.

Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao, commander of the AFP Central Command, who also attended the inter-agency workshop, instructed all state security agencies to ensure that not a single terroristic activity will happen in the Visayas.

The 3ID has already established Joint Task Force Dagon in Bohol, Joint Task Force Leon Kilat in Negros Oriental, Boracay Task Group and Joint Task Force Buglas in Negros Occidental.Those for the provinces of Iloilo, Siqujor, among others, in the Visayas, are soon to follow, Aying said.

Aying said they are advocating structure mechanisms to establish convergence among local government units, civil authorities, law enforcement agencies and development sectors, from the provincial level down to the barangay, to address various concerns, such as maritime security.

The possibility of spillover to Visayas of the operations of the Maute terrorists and their allied groups in being entertained by the authorities.

The joint task forces organized in the province will cascade to the cities and municipalities, down to the barangay, purok and sitios, where individual members of the community can be part of the security team, he added.

The detection of the presence of Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol, which led to the killing of nine of their members in a series of gunbattles, with the 3ID troops and the police, was attributed to the vigilance of the local communities.

But it would be much better if the information is early, or prompt enough, so we can do more prevention rather than reacting to atrocities created by either terrorist groups, or communist insurgents, he said.

Aying also said that the campaign against the CPP-NPA will not take a back seat.

While we dedicate most of our troops to the hinterlands in order to put closure to the insurgency problem and terrorism, we are also aware of possibilities that they may deploy anywhere in the 3ID areas of operations in the Visayas, even to the possibility of deploying them to Mindanao.

The 3ID infantry units are operating in 10 provinces of Negros Island Region, Western and Central Visayas.