Friday, May 31, 2019

Duterte presses Xi to fast-track South China Sea rules

From Nikkei Asian Review (May 31, 2019): Duterte presses Xi to fast-track South China Sea rules

Philippine leader vents frustration over 'flashpoint' during speech in Tokyo


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to hammer out a code of conduct for the South China Sea, warning the disputed waterway is increasingly becoming a potential "flashpoint" for conflict.

Duterte went off script in a speech at Nikkei's Future of Asia conference to vent frustration over tensions in the sea. Beijing claims large portions of waters that the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam insist are rightfully theirs.

"I love China," Duterte said. "It has helped us, but it behooves upon us to ask: Is it right for a country to claim the whole ocean?"

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are in the process of crafting a maritime code, in an effort to manage the tensions and avoid an armed clash. Duterte said the code could be finished within two years, but some diplomats in the region have previously accused China of delaying the effort.

"I am sad and bewildered -- not angry -- because I cannot do anything," Duterte said. "But I just hope China would come up with a [code] soon and somebody should reach out to the U.S., because if you leave it to them to talk, nothing will happen."

The U.S., France and the U.K. have all challenged China's claims by sending ships through the South China Sea, drawing Beijing's ire. Duterte said that "the longer it takes" to agree on a code, the greater the chance the sea will become a "flashpoint for trouble."

"[They are] not testing water temperature, my God," he said. They are "really testing [who] fires the first shot."

Early in his presidency, Duterte set aside the maritime issue to foster better relations with China, but the presence of over 200 Chinese ships near Philippine-controlled areas around the Spratly Islands earlier this year was difficult to ignore.

"We are friends with China, and I would not want to impose my own last words," he said. "But if I get a chance to visit Beijing again, I will try to talk to President Xi Jinping."

At a summit with Xi in Beijing last month, Duterte raised the issue, as well as Manila's 2016 arbitration victory that invalidated China's claims to the sea. Xi only reiterated China's expansive claims and the fact that his government did not recognize the arbitration decision.

Duterte also lamented seemingly ineffective global efforts to combat climate change. He then invited investors to come to the Philippines, touting a country that is safer because of his bloody war on drugs.

The president was able to deliver only half of his prepared remarks -- wherein he called for a resolution of the U.S.-China trade war -- because he was due to attend a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Future-of-Asia-2019/Duterte-presses-Xi-to-fast-track-South-China-Sea-rules

PH Coast Guard ship’s signal jammed while on West Philippine Sea patrol

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 31, 2019): PH Coast Guard ship’s signal jammed while on West Philippine Sea patrol



Photo from Philippine Coast Guard’s Facebook page

A Philippine Coast Guard vessel’s signal appeared to have been interfered with while conducting patrol in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) last week.

“We could not communicate with our vessel by satellite phone at some point during their patrol in the Spratly Islands. The signal was jammed,” said one coast guard official knowledgeable of the operation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407), a Parola-class vessel of the Philippine Coast Guard, sailed near Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef) and Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) last week as part of its routine patrols.


Panganiban Reef is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone but China has turned it into a massive artificial island in recent years.

Ayungin Shoal is occupied by the Philippines through BRP Sierra Madre, a naval floating outpost. China’s coast guard and militia vessels come close to it from time to time.

Because of the limited range of their radios, the Philippine Coast Guard usually uses satellite phones to communicate with the mainland whenever they are far out at sea.

But the recently reported signal jamming was not the first time, according to the official.

“Whenever our ships are close to China-controlled areas or vessels, they can no longer use their satellite phones likely because of the signal jammers,” he said, without directly accusing China as responsible for the jamming.

It is also not confined to the Spratly Islands. The official said there had been similar situations that their satellite phones were jammed when Philippine Coast Guard ships were near Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a traditional fishing ground controlled by China Coast Guard since the standoff with the Philippines in 2012.

Japanese, Philippine firms to set up defence optics facility Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Weekly

From Jane's 360 (May 30, 2019): Japanese, Philippine firms to set up defence optics facility
Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Weekly

Key Points
  • The proposed manufacturing plant will focus on supplies of optics for the Philippines' military and police
  • The new agreement represents a milestone for Japanese industry investing in international defence markets

Companies from Japan and the Philippines have agreed to establish a facility in the latter country to manufacture optics equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The agreement, contained in a list of accords announced during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Japan, which ends 31 May, is believed to be the first time a Japanese company has agreed to set up a defence-related production plant in a foreign country.

[Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes]

https://www.janes.com/article/88957/japanese-philippine-firms-to-set-up-defence-optics-facility

Dutch, ASG woman die in crossfire

From the Manila Standard (Jun 1, 2019): Dutch, ASG woman die in crossfire

A Dutch birdwatcher held by Islamic State-linked militants was killed Friday during a firefight between his kidnappers and soldiers in Jolo, according to the military, which said he was shot by his captors as he tried to escape.


‘ASG’ CASUALTIES. In this military handout photo, soldiers stand beside the recovered bodies of Dutch wildlife photographer Elwold Horn—a hostage of the Abu Sayyaf Group for seven years—and others who were either killed by their captors after attempting to escape or at the height of fighting Friday in the jungles of Patikul in Sulu. Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo said Ewold Horn, who was kidnapped in 2012, was killed by one of his captors during a 90-minute gun battle in Patikul.

The account could not be immediately confirmed.

“After an hour and thirty minutes of gun battle, troops recovered the remains of Horn and that of Mingayan Sahiron, the second wife of the Abu Sayyaf top leader,” Pabayo said in a statement.

Neither the Dutch Embassy in Manila nor officials in The Hague provided any immediate comment on the military’s account.

Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said Horn was shot by one of his captors under Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron.

Horn was on an expedition to photograph rare birds in Tawi-Tawi when he was abducted by unknown gunmen and turned over to the Abu Sayyaf.

Horn was seized along with Lorenzo Vinciguerra, a Swiss national who managed to escape in 2014 during a gun battle between soldiers and his captors.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the worst terror attacks in Philippine history, including repeated kidnappings of foreigners who are usually ransomed off for huge amounts.

Philippine officials assert the group was behind the deadly January bombing of a cathedral during Sunday mass that was the worst attack to hit the nation in years.

The bombing was claimed by the Islamic State, which has worked to maintain a presence in the Philippines as its caliphate crumbled in the Middle East.

http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/296153/dutch-asg-woman-die-in-crossfire.html

CPP: Campaign Plan ‘Kapanatagan’ Pamatukan

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 30, 2019): Campaign Plan ‘Kapanatagan’ Pamatukan

Halin sang pagpungko ni Duterte bilang presidente sang Pilipinas sang Hunyo 30, 2016 asta subong nga Mayo 2019 halos WALA sang adlaw nga WALA dugo sang ordinaryo nga Pilipino nga nagaagay bangod sa mga mapintas nga kampanya “kontra-druga”, “kontra-terorismo” kag “all out war” sang berdugo nga hepeng kumander. Malapit na sa 30,000 ka suspetsado sa druga ang ginpatay kay kuno “nagbato”, ginluthang sang riding-in-tandem o gin-salvage sg mga DDS. Sa idalom naman sang gyera “kontra-insurhensya”, linibo nga mangunguma ang ginpatay kay ginpasibangdan nga NPA ukon suporter sang NPA. Ginatos ka libo man ang nangin biktima sang pwersahan nga pagbakwit, pagpamahog, himo-himo nga kaso, gintanom nga ebidensya kag iban pa nga porma sang paglapas sa tawhanon nga kinamatarong. Pangunahon nga gingamit sa sining mga kampanya ang mga pwersa sang AFP, PNP, paramilitar kag kahimbon ang pila ka mga huwes.

Sining bag-o pa lang natapos nga eleksyon sang Mayo 2019, nangin saksi ang pumuluyo paano ginmaniobra sang kampo ni Duterte para padaugon ang iya mga sumulunod kag atakehon ang mga progresibo nga partido kag kandidato o oposisyon. Gingamit sang rehimen ang iya poder kag kontrol sa Comelec, militar kag pulisya, sa mass media kag mga resorsa sang gobyerno para iseguro ang kadalag-an sang mga politiko nga ginasuportahan sini. Ang mga tinawo mismo sang AFP kag PNP nakabalo paano sila gingamit sang ila mga mataas nga opisyal para suportahan ang ginapaboran nga mga politiko kag partido, kag punggan ang mga progresibo kag oposisyon. Napamatud-an ang binutig sang ila mga opisyal nga kuno “non-partisan” ang AFP kag PNP.

Pagkatapos sang eleksyon 2019 halos natuman na ni Duterte ang mga kondisyon para sa iya diktador nga paghari, paagi sa iya total nga kontrol sa AFP kag PNP, Kongreso, hudikatura asta sa Korte Suprema kag mga LGU. Gina-ekspektar nga mangin mas makahas pa si Duterte sa pagduso sang mga kontra-pumuluyo nga mga polisiya kag programa, kag pag-atake sa mga grupo kag organisasyon nga nagabuyagyag, nagasupak kag nagabato sa iya. Sa kaumhan kag kasyudaran, ginaantisipar nga mas konsentrado kag mas brutal pa ang kampanya sang kalakasan sa idalom sang Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan ‘Kapanatagan’.

Ang Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan ‘Kapanatagan’ ginbulos sa Campaign Plan ‘Kapayapaan’ kag gin-implementar para sa 2019-2022. Pormal nga ginpirmahan ini ni Chief PNP Oscar Albayalde kag sadto AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez sang Enero 10, 2019. Nakaangkla ini sa estratehiya sang rehimen nga “pus-on ang tanan nga pamahog sa seguridad sang pungsod” nga ang pokus amo ang mga rebolusyonaryo kag progresibo nga pwersa.

Sa Joint Campaign Plan ‘Kapanatagan’ ginapatampok ang hugot nga kontrol sang AFP kag PNP mangin sa mga sibilyan nga ahensya kag yunit sang gobyerno sa nasyonal kag lokal, paagi sa ‘Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee’ nga ginapamunuan sang mga heneral sang AFP kag PNP. Sa mga rehiyon ginatukod ang Joint Task Force sang AFP-PNP nga may koordinasyon sa mga LGU kag mga sibilyan nga ahensya. Ang AFP ang nagakontrol sang pondo sa mga operasyon sang Joint Task Force. Ini man ang pangunahon nagatutok sa pagtapna sa ila ginasuspetsahan nga “communist front organizations” sa mga syudad. Ang PNP ang naga-areglo sang mga peke nga kaso, pagtanom sang mga ebidensya, extra-judicial killing (ejk) kag pagpatay sang mga “nagbato”. Pilit nga ginapasuporta ang mga LGU sa mga operasyon sang AFP kag PNP kontra sa rebolusyonaryong kahublagan. Sa amo nga areglo, ang may direkta nga kumand kag otoridad sa mga pulis amo ang AFP kag halos wala na sang otoridad ang mga LGU sa mga pulis sa ila nga sakop.

Ang gintigayon sang AFP kag PNP nga 2 ka bes nga pagmasaker sa Negros sa idalom sang Oplan SEMPO/SAURON mahimo nga ipatuman man sa iban nga bahin sang pungsod. Ginapagua sa publiko nga kuno “synchronized” kag “enhanced” nga police operations ini, pero ang matuod ginaplano kag ginakumand ini sang AFP. Mas pasingkion kag palapnagon pa sini ang “Tokhang” sang PNP, EJK sang mga death squads kag puti nga kakugmat sang AFP. Ang pangunahon nga mga target sini amo ang bilog nga mga komunidad, sektor kag hublag masa nga ginasuspetsahan nga nagasuporta o nagasimpatiya sa NPA.

Ini ang sabat sang pasista nga rehimen ni Duterte sa krisis pang-ekonomiya kag pulitika sa pungsod nga siya man ang nagpalala bangod sang sobra nga pamuhis (Train Law), padayon nga kawawad-on sg matuod nga reporma sa lupa kag desente nga trabaho, manubo nga sweldo, kontraktwalisasyon, pagtimbuok sang mga presyo, pamasahe, bulong, tubig, kuryente, ibp. Ang pumuluyo nga nagareklamo kag nagaprotesta ginabansagan nga “terorista”, “komunista”, “coup plotter”, “destabilizer” kag ginapusdakan sang mga peke nga kaso, ginatamnan sang ebidensya, arbitraryo nga ginadakop, ginatortyur, ginapatay, o gin-missing.

Sa pihak sining kampanya sang kalakasan sang AFP kag PNP, kahibalo ang rebolusyonaryo nga hublag sa Panay nga may mga matarong pa nga katapo sang pulis kag militar nga nagaka-konsensya sa indi matarong nga ginamando sa ila sang ila mga superyor. Ini nga mga mando indi ninyo dapat bulag nga tumanon. Ang inyo ginsumpaan amo ang pagserbisyo kag pagproteher sa pumuluyong Pilipino kag indi bilang goons sang presidente o inyo mga heneral.

Tumanon lang bala ninyo ang mando nga bal-an ninyo supak sa layi kag sa tawhanon nga kinamatarong? Bangod mando sang superyor, bangod ginpataasan ang inyo sweldo, kag bangod ginapasalig kamo nga indi kamo manabat sa mga krimen nga ginapahimo sa inyo? Paano iya ang salabton ninyo sa pumuluyo nga nagasweldo kag nagapakaon sa inyo? Paano ang salabton ninyo sa asawa, anak, ginikanan sang inyo mga biktima? Paano ang inyo tindog sa hustisya kag katarungan?

Madamo na ang brutal kag mapintas nga kampanya sang nagliligad nga mga rehimen pero wala ini nakatapna sang pag-ibwal sang pagbato sang pumuluyo. Ginatawag kamo sang pumuluyo nga mag-upod sa ila paghimakas batok sa inhustisya kag sobra na nga kalakasan. Ini na ang inyo panahon nga magdesisyon para magdampig sa pumuluyo.

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/2019/05/30/campaign-plan-kapanatagan-pamatukan/

MILF: Japanese Embassy turns over six-room school building in Kabuntalan town

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (May 31, 2019): Japanese Embassy turns over six-room school building in Kabuntalan town


Photo courtesy of Embassy of Japan in the Philippines

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao—Manabu Yakusawa, an official of the Japanese embassy in Manila has turned over a six-classroom building in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao on Wednesday, as part of Tokyo's support to education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said a report by Philippine News Agency on May 30, 2019.

Yasukawa, First Secretary of the economic section of Japan Embassy in Manila, was present during the turn-over program that was also attended by Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the BARMM Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education, and Kabuntalan municipal administrator Anwar Salik and other education officials.

The school building was put up and funded by the Japan government through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, the PNA report also said.



Yasukawa said the Japanese government is providing technical expertise in helping improve education in the BARMM as part of its contribution to the Philippine government’s peace process in Mindanao.

The school building built inside the Barangay Gambar Elementary School in Barangay Gambar aims to help improve the quality of education in Kabuntalan.

Iqbal lauded Japan for its continuing intervention in conflict communities in southern Philippines. (PNA)

http://www.luwaran.com/news/article/1811/japanese-embassy-turns-over-six-room-school-building-in-kabuntalan-town

NPA denies casualties

From the Visayan Daily Star (May 31, 2019): NPA denies casualties

The New People’s Army Roselyn Jean Pelle Command has issued a statement yesterday denying that they incurred casualties in the May 15 raid initiated by the 79th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Puting Tubig, Brgy. Minautok, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

While the military admitted that three Army soldiers were slightly injured in the gunbattle with about 30 NPA rebels, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier said that they received reports from the populace in the area that the NPA suffered five casualties, based on heavy bloodstains found in their defensive positions, that were later overran by Army soldiers.

Rebel spokesperson Ka Cecil Estrella even claimed in a statement she issued that seven Army soldiers died in the encounter.

As usual, fake news and lies again, Arevalo said.


He added that they are trying to hide their losses in that area with the recent encounters and surrenders.

“They want to project that their organization and masses are not losing and had to resort to cheap propaganda”, Arevalo also said.

Estrella further claimed that the Red fighters managed to escape without any casualty after about 30 minutes of firefight, with the help of the local populace.

Arevalo said they cannot hide their casualties. “In fact, we honor them as we have seen previously when I awarded our wounded in the hospitals,” he said.

The 79IB soldiers recovered from the encounter site a magazine containing eight ammunition of M1 Garand carbine rifle, three cellular phones, two cellular phone power banks, a pair of combat boots, a hammock and poncho, as well as 10 kilos of rice.

Estrella further claimed in a statement that their morale remains high to pursue the armed struggle, despite attacks launched by the 79IB against them.

“They (rebels) want to be relevant again and need to show accomplishments”, Arevalo said.




http://www.visayandailystar.com/2019/May/31/topstory8.htm

Soldiers seethe online after Erwin Tulfo calls ex-Army chief 'crazy'

From Rappler (May 31, 2019): Soldiers seethe online after Erwin Tulfo calls ex-Army chief 'crazy'

Thousands sign a Change.org petition demanding the broadcaster to apologize to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, whom Erwin Tulfo had lambasted in his radio show for declining a live interview



DSWD CHIEF. Fellow soldiers rally behind Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, a retired military general, after he becomes the target of broacaster Erwin Tulfo. Photo from the Facebook page of DSWD Region XI
MANILA, Philippines – Soldiers are up in arms – online.

They are seething over the actions of broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, who gave Social Welfare Secretary Secretary Rolando Bautista – a former Army chief – a verbal beating on his radio show.

On Facebook, alumni of the Philippine Military Academy rallied support for Bautista. On Change.org, a petition was launched to demand Tulfo’s apology. An Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson also addressed the issue on Friday afternoon, May 31.

Tulfo lambasted Bautista for declining to grant him a live interview, arguing it was his obligation as secretary of the department serving the poor to respond to his questions about government services. Tulfo said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) asked the radio program to send a formal request first.

“Sino ba itong buang na ito? Pasensiya na muna ano ha. Maski tao ka ni Pangulong Duterte, le-lecture-an muna kita (Who is this crazy person? I apologize, but even if you were appointed by President Duterte, let me lecture you),” Tulfo began his tirade.

Tulfo's rant included threats to slap Bautista if he ever saw him, and to dunk his head inside a toilet bowl.

The Change.org petition demands the “Sincere Public Apology of Mr Erwin Tulfo to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista.” An online user claiming to be a former officer of the elite Scout Rangers – the unit Bautista previously belonged – set up the petition.

It has gathered nearly 4,000 signatures as of this writing, supported by young and old alumni of the PMA.

The online petition read: “(SIC) I want Mr Erwin Tulfo to make a Public Apology to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista for insulting ang calling him "Buang" (Crazy) in his TV show Tutok Erwin Tulfo. I hope my comrades especially the Philippine Army Scout Rangers, the Men of 710th Special Operations Wings of Philippine Air Force and the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines will support me in this petition.... Let us show support to our respected Secretary Bautista.”

Among the signatories to the online petition is retired police general Allen Bantolo of PMA Class 1983.

“As a fellow Cavalier who risked his life in defense of the freedom which is indiscriminately being utilized by Mr Tulfo for systematic sensationalization, I want this incident sanctioned by any responsible body! Most importantly, a hard lesson from all practitioners of responsible journalism and ethical standard for public service must be observed,” Bantolo told Rappler.

Bautista is a member of PMA Class 1985.

Soldiers have shown unequivocal support for Bautista in their Facebook pages, posting long rants against Tulfo that were as equally colorful. They shared photos of Bautista in his combat uniform when he served as ground commander during the Marawi siege and in his red DSWD vest going around the country to deliver government services. Others even changed their profile photos.
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There are also those who changed their Facebook profile photos to show Bautista at work and used the hashtag #NoToTulfoAsPressSecretary, referring to rumored plans to designate him spokesperson of President Duterte.

Abus nabbed | Suspects deny allegation, claim to have escorted Inday, Bato in Patikul

From the Mindanao Times (May 31, 2019): Abus nabbed | Suspects deny allegation, claim to have escorted Inday, Bato in Patikul

Two alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf group were arrested by police authorities in Barangay Ilang, Bunawan District Wednesday night.

Col. Alexander Tagum, the director of Davao City Police Office (DCPO),
identified the suspects as Haider Arasani Anjawang, 31, married, of Sitio Kapok, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu, and Al Fasal Abubakar Hassan, 40, married, of Ayel Village, Barangay Santa Barbara, Zamboanga City.

Tagum said the two ASG members were arrested in connection with the police’s One Time Big Time, an anti-criminality and terrorist clearing operation.


Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales listens to Wynna Obero, the manager of GP Marketing, on their investment scheme during a surprise inspection in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. Rhoda Grace Saron

Armed with an arrest warrant, Tagum said the raiding team, composed of operatives from the Bunawan Police Station, the Intelligence Team of the Mindanao Area Police Intelligence Office (MAPIO), the Regional Intelligence Unit and the DCPO’s Intelligence Branch, conducted the operation in Purok 4, Upper Ilang around 8:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Anjawang is facing a frustrated murder case. Judge Ambrosio de Luna of Regional Trial Court-Branch 51 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan issued the warrant. Details of the case were not stated.

During the arrest, Tagum said they recovered a caliber .45, with a magazine loaded with five live ammunitions, and one fragmentation grenade from the possession of Anjawang.

The police said they also arrested Hassan for possessing a fragmentation grenade.

Tagum said they are now preparing charges against Anjawang and Hassan.

Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, the Police Regional Office XI director, confirmed that Anjawang is an active ASG member. He said they have close circuit television (CCTV) footages to link Anjawang with the ASG.

But the police director allayed fears of any terroristic attack in the city.

“You (the public) have nothing to worry because we are doing our best to protect the people,” Morales said.

He said the two suspects have no plan for any terroristic activity in the city. But they could have brought their firearms for self-defense.

Morales said the two arrived in the city, not just to escape arrest in Patikul, Sulu, but probably to hide and possibly establish a safe house here.

But the “good relationship” of the police and the Muslim communities put an end to their plan, the police general told reporters in an interview.

“They (local Muslim leaders and residents) don’t tolerate their Muslim brothers who are involved in criminal activities,” Morales said. “That is why they are coordinating with the police.”

He said the police intelligence operatives received information that there were two suspicious persons coming from Panabo, Davao del Norte, who were bound to Davao city.

Based on the investigation, the suspects stayed for two days in Panabo City, Davao del Norte before moving to the city on Wednesday night.

After establishing the identity of one of the suspects, police secured a copy of the pending warrant of arrest that led to the raid.

Morales said they are still investigating how the two suspects were able to gain entry in the city, despite the strict military checkpoint.

In an interview at the Bunawan police station, the two denied they were ASG members.

They also denied bringing firearms or grenade.

The two claimed they only sideline as security.

“In fact, we used to secure Ma’am Sara (Mayor Sara Duterte) and Sir Bato (Ronald Del Rosa) when they went to Sulu,” said Anjawang who claimed to be a construction worker.

“They (police) can verify in our place (Patikul), they can go there,” he said. He, however, admitted he has a pending frustrated murder case.

Hassan said Anjawang’s cousin asked them to go to Cagayan de Oro City to provide security.

Residents demolish Salugpungan school

Posted to the Mindanao Times (Jun 1, 2019): Residents demolish Salugpungan school

Residents of Sitio Puting Bato in Barangay Ngan, Compostela Valley yesterday joined hands in demolishing a Salugpungan school, which they accused of teaching communist ideology.

This as the provincial government turned over a newly constructed two-classroom school building, just fronting the old Salugpungan school, to the residents.


The sitio, near the boundary of Compostela and Cateel in Davao Oriental, used to be a stronghold of the New People’s Army (NPA). It is under the area of responsibility of the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion.

In an interview at the site, Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy said he was happy that the school building requested by the community is finally completed, and ready to be used to serve the children in the area.

“The community is involved in constructing,” Gov. Uy said. The local government and national government agencies joined hand with the military and police for the realization of the school.

The governor said the two-classroom building cost P1.2 million pesos was constructed in 22 days.

Uy led the blessing and turn over ceremony with Reynante Solitario, the officer-in-charge of the Schools Division Superintendent in Compostela Valley.

Renanto Soliterio, the schools division superintendent, said two teachers, both from neighboring New Bataan town in the same province, will be assigned in the area.

In an interview, teachers Michelle Mangko, 22, and Rhea Rojas, 24, said they accepted the task because they want to “teach the children.”

“As teachers, our goal is to teach those who are in need,” Mangko said. “We pray to God to put us in a place where we are needed and this is His answer.”

“The children need us here and we know that they are the future of our country,” Mangko added.

Initially, there will be 75 students in the sitio.

The school will have a multigrade: Grade 1 to Grade 3 in one classroom and Grade 4 to Grade 6 in another classroom.

Soliterio said they prioritized the elementary students because the Bango National High School is just adjacent.

However, they are targeting high-school education by next year in Sitio Puting Bato.

Gov. Uy said they will soon be constructing a teacher’s cottage to serve as the shelter for the teachers. He said they will also set up a kitchen to have a free lunch.

Currently, only military vehicles, dump trucks and motorcycles can enter the sitio due to its rough road.

AFP-CRS: AFP-PNP roll out 'Kapanatagan' 2019-2022

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): AFP-PNP roll out 'Kapanatagan' 2019-2022



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2494658657219510/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Young CPP-NPA-NDF surrenders in Zamboanga Sibugay

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): Young CPP-NPA-NDF surrenders in Zamboanga Sibugay



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2494659460552763/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: 275 lumads, CAFGU members, former rebels now privates in 4th Infantry Division

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): 275 lumads, CAFGU members, former rebels now privates in 4th Infantry Division

Image may contain: one or more people and text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2494665353885507/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: WESMINCOM honors 2 wounded soldiers

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): WESMINCOM honors 2 wounded soldiers

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AFP-CRS: Soldiers rescue 26 trapped in Bislig building

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): Soldiers rescue 26 trapped in Bislig building

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AFP-CRS: Cops shoot CPP-NPA-NDF hitman

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (May 31, 2019): Cops shoot CPP-NPA-NDF hitman

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Kalinaw News: CAFGU Member helping Brigada Eskwela, killed by NPA terrorists

From Kalinaw News (May 31, 2019): CAFGU Member helping Brigada Eskwela, killed by NPA terrorists



TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur – A member of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit was brutally killed by the terrorists communists NPAs while participating in Brigada Eskwela Program at the hinter barangay of Lydia in the Municipality of La Paz, May 30, 2019.

The CAFGU Active Auxiliary was identified as Felipe Amado, 42 years old and a Manobo resident of Barangay Lydia, who was off-duty and participating in an on-going Brigada Eskwela activity of Lydia Elementary School when he was murdered by five terrorists NPAs in a remote portion of Comota – Lydia barangay road, at about 3 in the afternoon yesterday.

According to alias Dindo, they were on-board two motorcycles going back to the barangay after getting nipa leaves for the construction of a temporary classroom, when they were flagged-down by five armed men, who they identified as NPAs based on their uniforms, along the remote area of the barangay road, three kilometers away from the barangay proper.

“Pag-menor namo sa tulay, kalit ra nitunga ang lima ka armadong NPA, gitutukan mi ug AK47, M16 ug M14, sabay singgit nga “Walay maglihok, si Iping ra ang tuyo!” Mao tong nakagadan si Iping human ilang gi-istraping. Naigo siya sa tiil, giduolan dayun, human gipabuthan pa siya ug duha ka beses sa iyang hawak ug ilok pagtiwas. Gigapos mi nakadapa. Giluba pa gyud nila si Iping sa gilid sa tiyan human gibalian ug liog. Gipanitan pa jud iyang bukton,” as Dindo recalled the massacre. (“Five armed NPAs suddenly appeared at the bridge, where they aimed their AK47, M16 and M14 at us while shouting “Don’t move, we only want Iping!” That’s why he ran away quickly where he was shot continuously. He was first hit on his foot, after which the terrorists finished him with another two rounds on his waist and armpit, while we were tied facing down. They also stabbed him on his belly and worst, they broke his neck and skinned his left arm.”)

“We strongly condemn this brutal acts of the NPAs. This treacherous act is a very clear violation of International Humanitarian Law. This only proved that these communists NPAs are truly evil-minded terrorist criminals whose intents are only to sow terror and kill helpless innocent civilians!” according to Lieutenant Colonel Romeo C Jimenea, Commanding Officer of 26th Infantry Battalion.

It can be recalled that terrorist NPAs also claimed the killings of a barangay captain and another civilian in San Luis, Agusan del Sur last March 6, 2019, stating that civilians were legitimate targets of the terrorist NPAs upon the verdict of their leaders.

His wife Lotti, expressed her anger to the NPAs, “I will never forgive them for murdering my husband. He did nothing wrong against anyone. Why did they brutally kill him, is this how they protect the poor? We have five children to feed, and I now I don’t know how to make them live.”

As of this time, the 26thIB is already conducting pursuit operation in the area against the fleeing terrorist NPAs, while the cadaver was already brought to his residence.

Colonel Allan D Hambala, 401st Brigade Commander expressed his condolence to the family of CAA Amado, “We deeply mourn for his tragic death. We will seek for justice in behalf of his family and we’ll provide all necessary assistance due for them. This should be a clear eye-opener to everyone that these terrorist NPAs are just plain criminals and murderers, so stop supporting them in any ways!”

“To KARAPATAN, we are once again calling your attention to act accordingly and investigate the series of human rights abuses committed by these terrorist NPAs in my area, this is what you’re fighting for, so act now!” Colonel Hambala concluded.


401st Infantry Brigade, 4rt Infantry Division Philippine Army
Contact: MAJ RODULFO S CORDERO JR (INF) PA
E-mail Address: s7401bde_4id@yahoo.com
Contact Nr: 0917-711-1627

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/cafgu-member-helping-brigada-eskwela-killed-by-npa-terrorists/

Kalinaw News: 6 Abu Sayyaf Group killed and 12 others wounded in clash between government forces in Jolo, Sulu

From Kalinaw News (May 31, 2019): 6 Abu Sayyaf Group killed and 12 others wounded in clash between government forces in Jolo, Sulu



Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo Sulu – Six days after the bloody attack of ASG bandits in Brgy. Igasan, Patikul, Sulu that left 2 innocent children killed and 7 others wounded, including a pregnant mother, the AFP clash anew with the ASG at 7:41AM today (May 31, 2019) in So. Bud Sub-Sub, Brgy Pansul, Patikul, Sulu. The 1 hr & 30 minutes encounter resulted to 6 ASG members killed and 12 others wounded (HUMINT) while the government forces suffered 8 wounded-in-action (2 – not serious gunshot wound and 6 – shrapnnels wound, all ambulatory).

Tipped-off by the civilians, the ASG was spotted by the blocking forces of the 32nd Infantry Battalion in the hinterlands northeast of Patikul after the series of 3 encounters since May 27, 2019. Government forces have successfully tracked down the ASG’s main body with the aid of village informants that triggered the fierce firefight. After the encounter, the troops recovered the dead body of kidnapped victim Ewold Horn about a hundred meters away from the encounter site. KV Horn was shot by his ASG guards while trying to escape taking advantage of the firefight. Recovered also from the encounter site was the lifeless body of 1 female ASG member identified as Mingayan Sahiron, the 2nd wife of ASG leader, Radulan Sahiron.

Brigadier General Divino Rey C Pabayo Jr, Commander, Joint Task Force Sulu lauded the accomplishments of the government forces in Sulu but expressed his sympathy to the families and friends of the Dutch Kidnapped Victim Ewold Horn who was a victim of ASG’s barbaric acts. “ We are angered by the ASG’s utter disregard for Human Rights that they would rather murder Mr Ewold Horn rather than be recovered by government forces. Though we tried our very best to safely rescue him from his captors, infact we suffered a number of battle casualties during the intense almost 2 hours firefight in the deep jungle of Patikul, Sulu. This un-Islamic and inhuman acts by the ASG bandits only strenthens the firm resolve of the JTF Sulu forces to continue in running after them and bring them to justice. Justice for Mr. Horn, the massacre victims of Brgy. Igasan, victims of the Jolo Cathedral bombing, and all the other victims of these ASG terror acts. We will not stop until we run them all down!” General Pabayo said.

“We also express our sincerest sympathy to the family and friends of Mingayan Sahiron who was killed during the law-enforcement operations this morning. But the law must be implemented to protect the lives of the Tausug Community against all acts of terror. It is tragic that they have taken arms against the Filipino Nation when the Filipino people understand that only through peace can development and social justice be attained” General Pabayo said.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/remaining-foreign-kidnapped-victim-in-sulu-killed-by-abu-sayyaf-group/

Kalinaw News: Joint AFP-PNP Operation nabs suspect in IP leader slay in Agusan del Norte

From Kalinaw News (May 31, 2019): Joint AFP-PNP Operation nabs suspect in IP leader slay in Agusan del Norte



Del Pilar, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte – A notorious Milisya ng Bayan (MB) and a suspect in an IP Leader slay was nabbed in a joint Law Enforcement and Security Operations (LESO) of the 29th Infantry Battalion and Jabonga Municipal Police Station yesterday evening May 28, 2019 at Sitio Madbad, Purok 9, Brgy Bangonay, Jabonga, ADN.

Junie Bitoon Pinao alias Dodong/Jomar is a member of Milisyang Bayan operating in the same town was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest (WOA) with Criminal Case # CR-19-09 (Attempted Murder) issued by 10th Judicial Region Branch 34, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte with bail bond amounting to ₱120,000.00.

Alias Dodong/Jomar is one (1) of the suspects in the killing of Datu Rodito Boklas on May 20, 2019 at Sitio Amontay, Barangay Bangonay, Jabonga, ADN.

He was also tagged in the slay of a certain Romie Dejolde Jr at Sitio Dakulang, Purok 9, Bangonay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte last June 13, 2018.

As of this time, Pinao is detained at the Jabonga Municipal Police Station awaiting inquest proceedings after the conduct of medico legal at Jabonga District Hospital.

Lt. Col Isagani O Criste, Commanding Officer 29th Infantry (Matatag) Battalion called out to the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) to stop the armed struggle and abandon the futile revolution because surely the long arms of justice will catch them, “Justice will be served. Pinao must face the consequences of his actions contrary to the supposed “for the masses” propaganda of the CNTs who only sow terror to communities, blatantly disregarding the value of human lives and a crime punishable under the revised penal code and the IHL Act”.

In his statement, Col Maurito L. Licudine, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade, lauded the efforts of the 29IB under Lt Col Criste in ensuring that CNTs wrecking havoc and murdering innocent civilians will face justice that the families sought for a long time, “I commend the joint LESO of the 29IB and PNP couterparts in capturing Pinao. Killing people is not the way to resolve our society’s problem. We must publicly condemn the atrocities of the CNTs. I urge local leaders to stand for justice and in solidarity speak aloud so that we can amplify our voices seeking for justice against these terrorists”.

“The remaining CNTs must surrender or face the consequences of being captured or killed. It is now their opportunity to avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and start anew for their families and peaceful community’s sake”, Col Licudine added.

Militia ng Bayan (MB) is a community based Militia of the CPP-NPA-NDF guarding them in the community who serves as eyes and ears, messengers and couriers of the CNTs. They can be issued firearms to harass and attack CAFGU detachments and Army camps, ambush government troops and execute key leaders and other unsupportive personalities.




402nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
MAJ RONALD C PUTOL (INF) PA
402nd Bde Civil Military Operations Officer
Contact Number: 0916-152-0966/0917-306-5872
Add us on Facebook at: RAJAH KULAMBO (Stinger)

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.]

Kalinaw News: NPA Member surrenders in Surigao del Norte

From Kalinaw News (May 31, 2019): NPA Member surrenders in Surigao del Norte


Placer, Surigao del Norte – A member of the CPP-NPA terrorist surrendered to 30th Infantry Battalion at Barangay Cambuayon, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Dante Bihiga Abocejo @Roy, 26 years old, a resident of Barangay Sto Rosario, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte voluntarily surrendered to 30IB troops conducting Community Support Program in Barangay Cambuayon.

Roy brought along with him an AR-18 Assault Rifle, three (3) long magzines loaded with seventy one (71) pieces of 5.56mm ammunitions.

On his revelation, Roy mentioned that one (1) of his comrade was killed by the armed group recently due to false allegations and suspicion making him fear for his life that he could be next, so he decided to surrender, “Gipatay nila ang akong usa ka kauban,
nahadlok ko basin ako ilang isunod mao nga misurender ko.”

Lt. Col. Allen Raymund C. Tomas, Commanding Officer of 30IB said “Roy is member of Platoon 2, Sandatahang Yunit Pangpropaganda 16C, Guerilla Front 16, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee operating in Bacuag. He was tasked to monitor government troops and was issued a rifle to “.

“We will coordinate with the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Social Welfare and Development for the surrenderee to undergo processing and avail assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program” Lt. Col. Tomas added.

Meanwhile, Col Maurito L Licudine, 402nd Brigade Commander said, “We need to act now and rescue those CNT members who are in danger and only awaiting being rescued. In our part, we intend to render NPA irrelevant to show the futility of their revolution and induce the communist insurgency to abandon the armed struggle. Once
again, we urge the remaining CNT members who were misled by deceptive and manipulative CNT leaders to surrender and stop sowing fear to communities hampering progress and development. Give peace a chance.”

It can be recalled that a former Militia ng Bayan leader who recently surrendered to the military led to the discovery of stocks of ammunition, food and other terrorist paraphernalia in Surigao City on May 25, 2019.




Division Public Affairs Office 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Regie H Go
OIC DPAO 4ID
armydiamond@ymail.com

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.]

WESTMINCOM: AFP to build up offensives against Sayyafs in Sulu

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (May 31, 2019): AFP to build up offensives against Sayyafs in Sulu



After the successful conduct of the midterm elections, the Armed Forces of the Philippines will now again focus on the campaign against terrorism and violent extremism.

In his press statement yesterday, AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said, “We are projecting the deployment of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) to Sulu to conduct focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.”

“The deployment of additional troops intends to add to the required personnel and equipment and fill up for the newly created 11th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. It is also intended to sustain the momentum and seize operational tempo to pursue the gains the AFP has attained in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf Group that has been sowing terror, death, and destruction in Sulu,” BGen Arevalo added.

The AFP plans to fully complement the 11ID with personnel and equipment by 2022.

“We are deploying a brigade size combat team to ensure that our Muslim brothers and sisters are secured and are living in a peaceful environment that will bring about development in the community,” he concluded.

Sulu is just one of the security-challenged areas where forces will be redeployed after the 98,000 military personnel, who were earlier deployed by the AFP for election duties during the 2019 midterm elections, were recalled.

The deployment also forms part of the regular rotation of units and troops.

“It will be of great help if this plan will materialize. More forces will bring about greater accomplishments,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

WESTMINCOM: Horn killed by ASG captors in Sulu

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (May 31, 2019): Horn killed by ASG captors in Sulu



Abu Sayyaf militants killed kidnap victim Ewold Horn while he was trying to escape his captors in the midst of the military offensives in Patikul, Sulu this morning, May 31.

Horn was shot by the group of top leader Radullan Sahiron amid the focused operation of soldiers from 32nd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Bud Sub-Sub, Barangay Pansul.

“Military troops established blockade and encountered Sahiron’s group, composed of 30 fighters, at 7:41am today, leading to more than an hour of gunfight that killed six bandits and wounded 12 more,” said Major General Divino Rey Pabayo, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu Commander.

“After an hour and thirty minutes of gun battle, troops recovered the remains of Horn and that of Mingayan Sahiron, the second wife of the Abu Sayyaf top leader,” he added.

Horn was held captive by Sahiron’s group in the hinterlands of Sulu. He was kidnapped in the waters off Barangay Parangan, Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi on February 1, 2012.

“Horn was shot by one of his guards when he tried to escape from the Abu Sayyaf during this morning’s gunfight,” added MGen Pabayo.

“We condemn the inhumane acts carried out by Abu Sayyaf members against their captives and the innocent in Sulu. They perpetrate violence without compunction and in blatant disregard for human life,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief.

“On our part, we vow to sustain our intensive campaign to defeat the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. We also extend our sincere commiseration with the bereaved family of Horn, who died in the hands of his captors.”

Government troops blocked possible withdrawal routes and pursued the enemies after the ferocious gun battle.

Meanwhile, two soldiers incurred gunshot wounds and six more suffered shrapnel wounds.

Dutch hostage who ‘joined’ Abu Sayyaf is killed in Sulu

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (May 31, 2019): Dutch hostage who ‘joined’ Abu Sayyaf is killed in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A Dutch hostage of the Abu Sayyaf, who was reported to have joined the pro-ISIS group after developing Stockholm syndrome after 7 years in captivity, was killed during a firefight Friday in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.



A military photo shows two cadavers believed that of Dutch hostage Ewold Horn and Mingayan Sahiron, one of the wives of Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron who were killed on May 31, 2019 during a firefight in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.

The fighting between militants and army soldiers erupted in Pansul village in Patikul town that also killed one of the wives of Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron. Eight other soldiers were also wounded in the battle, according to the military’s Western Mindanao Command.

It said Horn was reportedly shot by one of his captors while attempting to escape during the fighting. His body was recovered along with Mingayan Sahiron, who was slain in the clash that lasted over an hour.

“Horn was shot by one of his guards when he tried to escape from the Abu Sayyaf during this morning’s gunfight. After an hour and thirty minutes of gun battle, troops recovered the remains of Horn and that of Mingayan Sahiron, the second wife of the Abu Sayyaf top leader,” said Major Gen. Divino Pabayo, commander of an anti-terror task force in Sulu.

The military did not say if soldiers witnessed the killing of Horn or not.

Pabayo, who described the fighting as ferocious, said six militants were allegedly killed and a dozen more injured, but it was unclear whether the casualties suffered by the Abu Sayyaf were based on intelligence reports as troops only recovered the bodies of Horn and Sahiron’s wife.

Horn, according to Sulu police commander Pablo Labra, had developed Stockholm syndrome, a condition which causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.

“We received information that he developed Stockholm syndrome and spotted carrying a weapon,” Labra told The Times on an interview just this month.

It was not immediately known whether Horn had fought security forces side by side with the Abu Sayyaf. “We really don’t know if he had fought troops, but if he engages security forces and the lives of our troops are put in grave danger then we have no other recourse but to fight back,” Labra said.

Horn and Swiss wildlife photographer Lorenzo Vinciguerra were both captured by Abu Sayyaf militants under Hajan Sawadjaan and suspected Moro National Liberation Front members in the coastal village of Parangan in Tawi-Tawi’s Panglima Sugala town in February 2012.

Vinciguerra managed to escape from his guards and recovered by soldiers in December 2014 after he allegedly killed one of his guards – Juhurim Hussien – with a bolo. (The Zamboanga Post)

https://mindanaoexaminer.com/dutch-hostage-who-joined-abu-sayyaf-is-killed-in-sulu/

Rebel killed as troops overrun NPA lair in Eastern Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): Rebel killed as troops overrun NPA lair in Eastern Samar



SAMAR CLASH. Soldiers of the 14th Infantry Batallion, the same military unit engaged in fresh gun battle with the New People's Army (NPA) in Borongan City, Eastern Samar. The operation has killed a rebel while soldiers overrun the NPA's lair. (Photo courtesy of 14th Infantry Battalion)

A member of the communist terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) was killed when government troops overran an NPA lair in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on Thursday.

In a report, the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Brigade said at least one armed rebel died during an encounter with the military and 50 members of the terrorist group
in upland Pinanag-an village around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Soldiers of the 14th Infantry Battalion have been patrolling the heavily-forested area following reports of villagers on the establishment of an NPA lair there. The gun battle lasted for nearly two hours. No one from the government side was hurt.

After the clash, troops recovered the body of the slain rebel, firearms, improvised explosive device, magazines, rifle grenades, ammunition, backpacks, assorted medicines, blasting caps, mobile phones, bomb switch, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.


Major Gen. Raul M. Farnacio, commander of 8th Infantry Division said in a statement that the communist terrorists have been on the run since the government launched its relentless patrol operations in the far-flung communities influenced by the terrorists.

“This is proof that our counter-insurgency strategies are effective with the help of communities who reject the NPA’s ideology,” Farnacio said.

He urged rebels to surrender and avail of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program, a complete package of assistance to former rebels to help them mainstream with the community and be productive citizens.

The NPA, which has been waging a five-decade armed struggle against the government, is considered as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071152

Military foils NPA 'extortion activities' in Davao-NoCot border

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): Military foils NPA 'extortion activities' in Davao-NoCot border


Google map of Makilala town, North Cotabato

A three-hour clash erupted after government troops respond to reports of communist rebels attempting to extort from farmers in a community along the borders of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur Wednesday.

“T
he New People’s Army (NPA) is making the poor farmers their milking cow just to survive,” Lt. Colonel Rhodjun Rosales, the commanding officer of the 39th Infantry Battalion (IB) said of the firefight in an interview by reporters here Friday.

Rosales said the encounter, which erupted at dawn Wednesday, was between the Army's 39th IB and the
New People’s Army (NPA) combatants under Eusenio Cranzo alias “Commander Butsoy” in Barangay Bala, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.
Barangay Bala is an upland community near the boundary of Davao Sur and Makilala, North Cotabato.


Rosales said that because of the superior number of the NPAs, estimated to be around 100, the military had to seek air support from Tactical Operations Group (TOC-11) in Davao so the ground troops could penetrate the well-fortified rebel position in the thickly-forested Sitio Bagong Silang.

“The people alerted our troops that the rebels were massing at 2 a.m. in preparation for its massive revolutionary tax collection as soon as the sun rises,” the Army official said.

Rosales could not say if the rebels suffered casualties during the three-hour firefight until the rebels withdrew deep into the forest.

“Our troopers are still in pursuit of the rebels,” Rosales said.

Some 400 individuals fled their homes for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

The local government of Magsaysay said it has already extended emergency aid to the displaced families now stationed at the village center.

Rosales thanked the civilians for alerting the military about the presence of what he described as” terrorist-extortionists”.

The 39th IB chief vowed to use the military might against lawless elements but keep his door open for those who wish to come down and join the mainstream society.

“While the military is ready to defend the country it also opens its door for those who wish to avail of government programs for rebel returnees,” Rosales said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as an international terrorist organization by the United Stets, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071165

ASG bandits kill foreign hostage amid Sulu clash

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): ASG bandits kill foreign hostage amid Sulu clash



KILLED. Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits killed Dutch Birdwatcher Ewold Horn during a firefight Friday in Patikul, Sulu. The firefight resulted in the death of six ASG bandits, including Mingayan, the second wife of bandit leader Radullan Sahiron. (Photo courtesy of Western Mindanao Command Public Information Office)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits have killed the Dutch birdwatcher, whom they kidnapped more than seven years ago, in the midst of a firefight in the province of Sulu, a military official said Friday.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the firefight broke out around 7:41 a.m. Friday
in Sitio Bud Sub-Sub, Barangay Pansul in Patikul, Sulu.

Besana said Ewold Horn “is believed to have been shot by his guards when he tried to escape from his captors during the firefight”.


Besana said the firefight broke out when the troops chanced upon 30 ASG bandits led by Radullan Sahiron while they were on blocking position in Sitio Bud Sub-Sub, Barangay Pansul.

The firefight lasted for about one hour and 30 minutes that resulted in the death of seven people--six bandits, including the second wife of Sahiron, and Horn, the military official said.

Besana said the encounter also resulted in the wounding of 12 ASG bandits and eight soldiers belonging to the Army’s 32nd Infantry Battalion. He said the number of casualties suffered by the ASG bandits was learned through reports from the residents in the area.

Besana said the troops have recovered the remains of Horn and that of Sahiron’s wife, Mingayan, at the clash site during a clearing operation.


Besana said troops from the other units that included the 21st, 41st, 1st, and 5th Scout Ranger Battalions were ordered to block all possible escape route of the remaining bandits who fled to different directions.

Horn was one of the remaining hostages the ASG bandits are still holding captive in the province of Sulu.

Horn was kidnapped together with another birdwatcher, Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland, on February 1, 2012 in Sitio Luuk-Luuk, Barangay Parangan, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi. They were on a bird watching activity when seized by ASG bandits and were brought to Sulu. Vinciguerra had escaped from captivity.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071194

Reward up for persons behind rash of killings in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): Reward up for persons behind rash of killings in Maguindanao



SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao – The local government here has put up reward money for any information leading to the identification and eventual arrest of persons behind the series of highway shooting in the past days.

“The town government is ready to work with our authorities for the safety of everybody in Sultan Kudarat and those traveling through our highways,” a visibly irked Mayor Shameem Mastura told reporters Thursday following an ambush that claimed the lives of two persons in Barangay Rebuken.

The victims were on board a white Toyota Wigo when waylaid by still unidentified gunmen on Thursday. Police identified them as Dayaba Kari, 67, legal consultant of the local government of Pagalungan, Maguindanao and his driver, Danny Apostol, 40.

Mastura said he believes the perpetrators, who according to witnesses were on board a Toyota Innova, were not from Sultan Kudarat.

Major Julhamin Asdani, Sultan Kudarat town police chief, said the ambush could either be work-related or tied to personal grudge between the victims and the gunmen.

On May 25, two men aboard a motorbike were also ambushed by gunmen along the stretch of the highway in Barangay Rebuken.

The victims were two young men from nearby Parang, Maguindanao who were aspiring to become members of the Philippine Army.

On the same day, two civilians on board a tricycle locally called “payong-payong”, were shot dead in another area of this town.

The mayor has appealed to his constituents to help make the town safe for everyone, including commuters who are passing by Sultan Kudarat’s national highway.

Aside from offering an undisclosed amount of reward money to help fast-track the resolution of the cases, Mastura also ordered the local police to be pro-active, establish more police checkpoints, and regularly provide road security in partnership with the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion stationed in the area.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071168

$250-M invested in PH a year: US official

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): $250-M invested in PH a year: US official



FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. John C. Law, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in the Philippines, talks in a forum at Mariano Marcos State University on Thursday (May 30, 2019) about the financial assistance that the US government is annually pouring into the country. Law said there are also investments coming here from the US private sector. (Photo by Perry B. Dafun Jr., MMSU StratCom)

An official of the United States Embassy in the Philippines said on Thursday that about USD250 million worth of assistance is regularly given to the country in areas of security, military equipment, and exchange programs.

John C. Law, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in the Philippines, said aside from the security and military assistance, which are already here, “the US government is also providing the Philippines some USD60 to USD70 million a year mainly for the conduct of exchange programs".

Speaking in a forum attended by the faculty and students of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in this city, Law said that “sometimes the figure would increase depending on the need of the Philippine government”.

Last year, the US government gave USD110 million to the country for the procurement of US military equipment, the biggest financial assistance that the US government has provided to an Indo-Pacific region country.

“For development-type programs, financial assistance was mostly associated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), such as the aquatic resources research that amounts to USD100 million a year, plus those activities which are in line with disaster relief and humanitarian assistance,” Law said.

The US official said that after the infamous Marawi City siege, the USAID provided USD59 million to help the displaced families with their basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter.

“Another financial assistance that is given yearly is intended for law enforcement activities of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which are in line in fighting illegal drugs, smuggling, and strengthening the judicial sector,” Law said.

“For these activities, the US government is giving (more or less) USD250 million a year,” he added.

Law said there are also investments coming here from the US private sector that will likely benefit the natural resources sectors. One of these is the plan to put up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) port facility to bring in liquefied natural gas into the country.

LNG is the liquefied form of natural gas, which has a much smaller volume than natural gas in its gaseous form. This liquefied condition is used to facilitate the carriage of natural gas over long distances, often by sea, in specialized tanks.

“American companies were very excited about the possibility of putting up an LNG port terminals in the Philippines because a lot of them (US companies) have vast experiences building such facilities,” Law said.

LNG port terminals are purpose-built terminals designed to accommodate large LNG carrier ships designed to load, carry and unload LNG.

These LNG terminals are located adjacent to a gas liquefaction and storage plant, or to a gas re-gasification and storage plant), which are connected to gas pipelines connected to on-shore or off-shore gas fields or to storage and distribution plants.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071158

Bukidnon convoy attack to isolate Reds further: DND

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): Bukidnon convoy attack to isolate Reds further: DND



The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army's (CPP-NPA) unprovoked anti-personnel mine attack against a convoy carrying troops, local volunteers and foreign observers at Sitio Nasandigan, Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong town, Bukidnon Thursday will further alienate them from the masses.

This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when sought for comment by reporters on the incident.

Also, the anti-personnel mine attack seems to indicate that the rebels, weakened by the surrender of thousands of fighters and supporters for the past months, have gone berserk.

"The CPP/NPA cadres have gone berserk. This latest act will further alienate them from the masses," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters Thursday night.


Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo earlier denounced the attack as it was carried out by the rebels without apparent concern on the visiting foreign observers and local civilian volunteers, who were also in the convoy.

"We denounce strongly this attack on foreign observers who were in (the) country to visit various projects of Indigenous Peoples in the locality. They are non-combatant civilians," he added.

At least 11 people, including seven soldiers, were wounded in the incident.

Foreign observers from IP communities in Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia came to Sitio Mintapod, Barangay Hagpa, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon to observe the activity of IP community volunteers belonging to Higaonon Amamag Malandang Olandok Gagaw (HAMOG), a non-government organization which promotes cultural preservation in the area.

The group is also scheduled to have a forest visitation for their “PAUNLAY TA AGHIMICU” (forest visitation phase II).

HAMOG sought the assistance of the Impasug-ong IP Mandatory Representatives and the Philippine Army for security during their activity.

"That is a totally detestable act by the CPP-NPA that deserves widespread, global condemnation. It only shows that contrary to their portrayed role, they are anti-IP progress. The CPP-NPA wants our rural folks to remain poor and dejected," Arevalo added.

He said Filipinos should all unite and reject the terrorist CPP-NPA, which has proven itself to be a menace to the society and puts the country in a bad light by its deliberate use of anti-personnel mines.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071155

AW-159 choppers to boost Jose Rizal-class frigates' capabilities

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): AW-159 choppers to boost Jose Rizal-class frigates' capabilities

Aside from giving the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first dedicated anti-subsurface platforms, the two newly-acquired AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-159 "Wildcat" anti-submarine helicopters will also extend the capabilities of the two Jose Rizal-class missile frigates being constructed by South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

Navy spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Zata, quoting Offshore Combat Force head Commodore Caesar Bernard Valencia, said Friday that the two AW-159s, once fully integrated into the missile frigates, will extend the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) range of the ships, aside from providing over-the-horizon (OTH) targeting and surveillance capabilities of the ships.

"(Once the AW-159s are fully integrated into the BRP Jose Rizal frigates), the AW-159s exponentially increase the ASW range of the frigates and (provide) OTH targeting and surveillance," Zata said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Besides these capabilities, the AW-159s will also boost the ships’ electronic warfare range and expand their capability to do humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

"These systems allow (the) BRP Jose Rizal and her sister ship to perform multi-role functions, such as anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and electronic warfare simultaneously and with a higher degree of effectivity, a giant leap to the current capability of the PN," he said.

Of the two ships, the lead ship of the class, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), was launched at the Ulsan shipyard of HHI last May 23, while its sister ship, the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), had its keel laid on the same date.

The Philippines and HHI signed a PHP16-billion contract for two missile-armed frigates with another PHP2 billion set aside for its weapon systems and munitions in October 2016.

The ships will be armed with the Oto Melara 76mm Rapid Gun an Aselsan SMASH 30mm remote-controlled secondary cannon, anti-submarine torpedoes, and anti-air and ship missiles.

It is also equipped with Hanwha Systems' Naval Shield combat management system (CMS) that integrates all shipboard sensors and weapons and decides on which is ideal to deal with any incoming threat.

Each ship measures 351 ft. long and 46 ft. wide. It has a maximum speed of 25 knots and can travel up to 4,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots and can sustain operational presence for 30 days.

It is also capable of withstanding rough sea conditions up to Sea State 7, which means waves of six meters to nine meters high.

Zata also said that the advent of the Jose Rizal-class frigates, along with the Spike-ER armed multi-purpose attack craft (MPACs), ushered the PN to the missile age.

"(The) BRP Jose Rizal ushers the PN and the Armed Forces of the Philippines with a greatly improved capability to better perform its mandate. Likewise, the recently acquired Spike-ER currently installed on our MPACs ushered the Navy and the entire AFP into the missile age, a deliberate, tedious and coordinated effort in our ongoing modernization program," he added.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071163

DND ready to answer allegations in amparo, habeas data petition

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): DND ready to answer allegations in amparo, habeas data petition

The Department of National Defense (DND) is ready to answer and expressed confidence that the allegations made by militant groups through the writ of amparo and habeas data petitions they have filed will be proven false and dismissed before the courts.

"The DND is confident that the allegations by Karapatan and Gabriela in connection with the writ of amparo and habeas data will be proven false before the courts," said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a statement to reporters late Thursday.

He also said the DND and its bureaus fully adhere to the rule of law.

"We will address Karapatan and Gabriela following the legal process. There is certainly no threat to their members’ lives, liberty, and security coming from the Defense and military establishments, and we will comply with the writ of habeas data as ordered by the court," Andolong said.

This view was shared by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who emphasized that their response will be done in the proper venue and time. "I am sure the court will require us to present our side," he added.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court (SC) granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data filed by the two progressive groups, along with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.

The groups earlier claimed that their rights to life, liberty, and security were violated by the government's red-tagging allegations.

Named as respondents in this petition were President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Benjamin Madrigal and 10 others.

In its six-page order, the High Court also ordered the respondents to submit a verified return of the writ of amparo and habeas data before the Court of Appeals (CA) on or before June 13 and to comment on the petition.

The SC ruling also directed the CA to hear the petition by June 18 and resolve the case based on the merits within 10 days.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071174

PH Army deploys 1st Brigade Combat Team to Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): PH Army deploys 1st Brigade Combat Team to Sulu



The Philippine Army (PA) on Friday formally sent-off its 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) for Sulu at Pier 13, South Harbor, Manila.

The estimated 1,500 officers and enlisted personnel will be transported by the Navy's strategic sealift BRP Tarlac (LD-601), Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.

Upon arrival in Sulu, the 1BCT will be deployed under the Western Mindanao Command.

"The 1BCT’s deployment intends to help address the threat of local terrorist groups in the island, as well as to fulfill the force requirements of the newly activated 11th Infantry ‘Alakdan’ Division," Zagala said.


The 1BCT is the Army’s contingency force that is capable of addressing conventional, unconventional, and asymmetric threats.

It is composed of an intelligence unit, combat engineer company, aviation and explosive ordnance disposal platoon, and an air defense artillery battery, among others.

Since its creation in December 2018, the 1BCT has participated in various exercises, such as the recent "Salaknib" and "Balikatan" exercises with the United States Pacific Command.

"The men and women of the 1BCT will be deployed (to) Sulu to ensure peace and security, which is not only felt in the island but also of the entire country as well. They are men and women of action and we commend them for going about their mission without much fanfare, an attitude they carry even beyond their service in the military," Zagala said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071201

SC reso on writs of amparo, habeas data not protection order

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): SC reso on writs of amparo, habeas data not protection order



Militant groups who filed a writ of amparo and habeas data still have nothing to celebrate as the Supreme Court's (SC) resolution issued May 28 "is a procedure of the writs and an exercise of its prerogatives."

This, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, when sought for comment on a statement issued by militant group Karapatan claiming that the SC has already resolved to issue the writs of amparo and habeas data they have sought.

"There is nothing there for the petitioners to rejoice about because this is not at all a decision on the merits of the case," he added.


Arevalo said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay's claims of a favorable SC decision on their part and acknowledgment of the perilous environment for human rights defenders have no basis, as the resolution issued by the High Court is not a temporary protection order favoring them and their co-petitioners.

"As a matter of fact, the SC referred the petition to the Court of Appeals to give the respondents the opportunity to be heard and adduce evidence," he said.

He added that AFP Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., and all the impleaded military officers will be filing their answer in due time through the Office of the Solicitor General as the public respondents’ statutory counsel.

"And they will, in that return, be citing the bare truth refuting all the petitioners’ allegations and imputations. We will prove through evidence in the hearing that the charges are mere claims and are bereft of basis," Arevalo said.

He added that the AFP, as an institution, remains committed to the rule of law has the utmost respect to the processes in the courts-it’s inherent powers and authority.

"In the intervening period, the AFP as the constitutionally mandated protector of the people and the state will not renege in its solemn obligation. We will ensure that no threat to public safety will undermine the existence of this republic. We owe it to our people because national security is paramount," Arevalo said.

In a six-page resolution issued Tuesday, the High Court granted the petitions of Karapatan, Gabriela along with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines last Tuesday for a writ of amparo and habeas data.

The militant organizations earlier claimed that their rights to life, liberty, and security have are being violated and being violated by the government's red-tagging allegations.

Named as respondents in this petition were President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Madrigal and 10 others.

The SC also ordered the respondents to submit a verified return of the writs of amparo and habeas data before the Court of Appeals (CA) in Manila on or before June 13 and to comment on the petition.

It also directed the CA to hear the petition by June 18 and resolve the case on the merits within 10 days.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071212

Palace condemns Abu Sayyaf killing of Dutch national

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): Palace condemns Abu Sayyaf killing of Dutch national



File photo of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MalacaƱang on Friday condemned the recent killing of a Dutch national by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

"We condemn, in the strongest terms, the death of Mr. Ewold Horn, a Dutch national kidnapped and had been held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group since 2012," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said Horn was killed during an encounter between government troops and the local terrorist group, and his death was confirmed by the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom).


"We express our deep condolences to Mr. Horn's family and loved ones. We vow to pursue his killers to the ends of the earth until they are brought to justice," he said.

Col. Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, said ASG bandits killed Horn, a birdwatcher, who was kidnapped more than seven years ago, in the midst of a firefight in the province of Sulu.

Horn was one of the remaining hostages of the ASG bandits in Sulu. He was kidnapped together with another birdwatcher, Lorenzo Vinciguerra of Switzerland, in Sitio Luuk-Luuk, Barangay Parangan, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi on Feb. 1, 2012.

They were on a bird watching activity when seized by ASG bandits and were brought to Sulu.
Vinciguerra managed to escape in 2014.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071243

PRRD hopes for South China Sea Code of Conduct completion

From the Philippine News Agency (May 31, 2019): PRRD hopes for South China Sea Code of Conduct completion



President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday expressed hope that the Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea would soon be completed.

In his speech at the Nikkei International Forum on the Future of Asia in Japan, the President said he is not angry but he expressed hope that China would take the lead in formulating the COC.

"I am sad and bewildered, not angry, because I cannot do anything but I just hope that China will come up with conduct of the seas soon," he said.

Duterte said high-level talks could help in convincing China to complete the COC.

"It would do as well, maybe in a higher ministerial level, to talk about this and try to prod China to come up with it, to shorten the possibility, to make sure the law of averages is reduced to the barest minimum. If fighting can erupt, if 25 percent, maybe we can reduce it to 15," he said.

The President cited the possibility of having a third-party mediator during the talks in the crafting of the COC.

"There has to be somebody not identified with any country that China does not like because there will never be a sort of an America, China talking seriously about territories. It will just end up in a shouting match," he said.

The President questioned China's claim over the entire South China Sea.

"I love China, it has helped us a bit but it behooves upon us to ask, is it right for a country to claim the whole ocean?" he said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071242