Sunday, June 9, 2019

Navy stops transfer of funds to PITC

From GMA News (Jun 9, 2019): Navy stops transfer of funds to PITC

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Sunday said it has stopped the transfer of funds to the Philippine International Trading Corportion (PITC), which the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged as an ineffective outsourcing agreement.

"Upon assumption of the FOIC (Flag Officer in Command), PN on December 2017, he took cognisance of such huge fund balance and gave directive to facilitate the implementation of affected projects," the Navy said in an emailed statement.

"Moreover, the FOIC, PN gave specific instruction not to transfer any funds to PITC during his term," it added.

The statement came after the COA deemed as "ineffective" the Navy's outsourcing of supply and services to the PITC, with non-implementation or delayed procedures resulting in accumulated fund transfers totaling P2.267 billion.


According to COA, the agreement deprived the Navy of the immediate use of the planned projects, which may have hindered the attainment of its mission.

With this, state auditors recommended that the Navy demand from the PITC the immediate delivery of all requisitioned goods and equipment, else request the refund of unspent balances and remit the amount to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

In response, the Navy said its Bids and Awards Committee 1 (PN BAC 1) was activated to cater to the programs, activities, and projects (PAPs), while the PN BAC 2 was tasked to ensure the immediate implementation for calendar year 2019.

"For CY 2018 and CY2019 PN budgets, not a single centavo was transferred to PITC," it said.

"As of this date, there is a significant decrease of the remaining fund balance for PN unimplemented projects at PITC in the amount of P639M. This remaining fund balance must be utilized before the end of the year," it elaborated.

Looking ahead, the Navy said it has already taken note of the findings of the COA, specifically through the Office of the Naval Internal Auditor.

"[T]he PN intends a worthwhile, advantageous, and strategic use of public funds entrusted to the organisation as it perform its mandates to protect and secure the country and its people," it said.

"It has always been the thrust of the Command leadership to have zero tolerance top graft and corruption and have a transparent procurement system with checks and balances that will not delay the entire process," said the Navy.

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/697128/navy-stops-transfer-of-funds-to-pitc/story/

Hunger drives 2 young NPAs to surrender

From Panay News (Jun 10, 2019): Hunger drives 2 young NPAs to surrender

ILOILO – Two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) voluntarily surrendered to the police with the help of Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr.

Twenty-year-old Ka Princess, who also went by the nom de guerre Ka Nemia, and 21-year-old boyfriend Ka MJ Coda,
was safely picked up by a team from the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) led by director Police Colonel Marlon Tayaba in Barangay Pali, Mandurriao, Iloilo City at around 9:45 a.m. on June 5.

Through emissaries, the rebels asked Defensor to facilitate their surrender. The governor contacted Tayaba and gave instructions.


The rebels, who said their group operated in the central municipalities of the province, would be availing themselves of the national government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“They told us they were going hungry in the mountains and they wanted to have a normal life,” said Police Major Jonathan Pinuela of the IPPO.

Ka MJ said it was her girlfriend who first joined the underground movement one year and three months ago. After three months he decided to join, too, so he could be with her.

A “good news” was how Lieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara of the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion described the surrender of the two rebels.

“We encourage rebels to surrender and avail themselves of livelihood programs of the government,” said Batara.

Ka MJ Coda was a team leader of Squad 1 of the NPA’s Komite Rehiyong Panay (KR-Panay) while Ka Princess served as medical officer of Squad 2, Front 13, KR-Panay.

They were among the rebels who went to different villages in the province to conduct extortion activities, “not only with big businessmen but also with small-scale businessmen,” said Batara.

https://www.panaynews.net/hunger-drives-2-young-npas-to-surrender/

Bulatlat: Karapatan to Duterte: ‘Allow UN independent probe on rights violations in PH’

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Jun 8, 2019: Karapatan to Duterte: ‘Allow UN independent probe on rights violations in PH’


(Photo by Carlo Manalansan / Bulatlat.com)

“If the Duterte government has nothing to hide, it should be open and receptive to these forms of investigations, instead of being the foremost impediment to justice and accountability.”

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL

MANILA – Human rights group Karapatan dared the government to allow the United Nations to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines. This after 11 UN human rights experts expressed their deep concern on the state of human rights in the Philippines and asked the UN Human Rights Council to form an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines.


Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay. (BULATLAT FILE PHOTO)

“If the Duterte government has nothing to hide, it should be open and receptive to these forms of investigations, instead of being the foremost impediment to justice and accountability,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in a statement welcoming the UN expert’s call for investigating rights violations in the Philippines.

President Duterte has not welcomed any international body to look into the reported rights violations in the country. Just recently, the Duterte government withdrew from the Rome Statute after families of the victims in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs submitted their cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Read: Why kin of drug war victims charged Duterte for mass murder before ICC

“The government’s favorite line of defense when confronted with investigations is to bring up the concept of sovereignty on issues that involve accountability. This call is grounded on real reports that can be validated and ascertained, but were instead disregarded by the Philippine government,” Palabay reiterated.

In response, the Palace called the UN experts statement as “intellectually challenged” and “outrageous interference on the Philippines sovereignty.”

“We anticipate the desperate response from the government and its mouthpieces,” Palabay said.

“Duterte and his henchmen are not the victims, but are deliberate and conscious actors in the string of violations perpetrated against individuals and communities,” she added.

Meanwhile, Palabay said they support the call for the UN HRC to conduct an independent investigation in the country. She said such call of the UN experts is an apt and urgent response to the human rights crisis faced by the Filipinos today.

‘Human rights emergency’

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) also welcomed the UN experts statement saying that in three years of impunity under President Duterte, the “Philippines is now in a state of human rights emergency.”

“The grave abuses of human rights committed with impunity by Duterte’s military and police, as well as by state-attached paramilitary forces and death squads, must indeed be investigated, exposed and condemned. Duterte’s grave crimes and the Filipino people’s clamor for justice must be made known across the world,” the CPP said in a statement.

The CPP said that aside from the countless extrajudicial killings, the Duterte government has perpetrated hundreds of cases of political imprisonment, filing of trumped-up charges and legal harassment, threats, armed raids of entire communities, hamletting and occupation of rural villages, population control, food and economic blockade, and so.”


(Photo by Raymund Villanueva/Bulatlat)

“Any investigation must subject to critical inquiry both Duterte’s drug war, as well as his counterinsurgency directive ‘to end local communist armed conflict’ and its various components including Mindanao martial law, Memorandum Order 30, Oplan Kapayapaan, Oplan Sauron and Oplan Kapanatagan,” the CPP said in a statement.

It added that the grave state of rights abuses in the country is a “direct result of Duterte’s official and public order for state forces to disregard human rights in carrying out his security directives.”

The statement released by the UN experts on June 7 expressed concern over the current state of human rights situation in the Philippines. It cited the killings of alleged drug users and peddlers under the government’s campaign against illegal drugs as well as the killings of human rights defenders in the Philippines.

The statement was signed by the UN Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, the Chair of the Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, UNSR on the Right to Food, UNSR on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, UNSR on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, UNSR on the Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, UNSR on the Right to Health, UNSR on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, UNSR on Violence Against Women, its Causes and Consequences, and the UNSR on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

https://www.bulatlat.com/2019/06/08/karapatan-to-duterte-allow-un-independent-probe-on-rights-violations-in-ph/

Senate cites contributions of the late Abul Khayr Alonto to peace, development in Mindanao

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 8, 2019): Senate cites contributions of the late Abul Khayr Alonto to peace, development in Mindanao

COTABATO CITY – The Philippine Senate has paid tribute to the late Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chief Abul Khayr Alonto, citing in a resolution his contributions to government peace and economic development strides in the south.



Late Mindanao Development Authority Chair Abul Khayr Alonto (left) (TOTO LOZANO / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In Resolution No. 143, the Senate recognized Alonto as among the “outstanding Filipinos (known for) valuable services to the Filipino people and laudable contributions to the nation, particularly on matter relating the efforts towards the resolution of strife, festering peace, and uplifting the conditions of vulnerable Filipinos.”

The resolution was adopted on May 22, but Senate President Vicente Sotto III presented the hard copy in symbolic rite at the plenary hall to Alonto’s surviving wife, Noorulhayat, and family members on June 5, two days before relatives would mark in Marawi City and Lanao region the 40th day of the honoree’s demise.

Alonto died of lingering ailment at a hospital in Metro Manila past 10 p.m. last May 9.

READ MORE: MinDA chair Alonto passes away at 73

“Mindanao lost one of its greatest leaders when Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto joined our Lord. He was 73 at the time of his passing. With great skill, capacity and leadership experience, he left the people of Mindanao with a legacy of excellent leadership for the younger leaders of his community to emulate,” the Senate resolution states.

The two-page Senate resolution cited Alonto’s various contributions in personal and official capacities for peace and community development ranging from his stint in MinDA down to his pre-Marcos Martial Law era contributions.

Upon his appointment by President Duterte as MinDA chairman on September 9, 2016, Alonto immediately embarked on various socio-economic development initiatives for southern Philippines, including a concept for the revival of the Mindanao-Malaysia barter trade, and a regional railway system, among others.

The resolution acknowledged Alonto’s efforts in forming the Lam Alif, a Muslim youth group, many members of which became core leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and in his decision to resign as elected Marawi City vice mayor to protest and fight “abuses committed during the Martial law regime.

It also mentioned Alonto’s eventual role as pioneer interim head of the regional autonomous government in Central Mindanao, where he also served as first legislative speaker and helped conceived the foundations of the succeeding Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). ARMM was replaced this year by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao (BARMM).

The Senate likewise honored Alonto’s advocacy for a shift to federal form of government backed by his studies on federalism in Malaysia, the United States, Germany and Switzerland. It also cited Alonto’s services as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Nigeria and 21 other African countries in 1991.

Alonto’s elevation to the chairmanship of the MNLF on decision of surviving front pioneer leaders in 2014 and his support to the legislation of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, later renamed as Bangsamoro Organic Law, were likewise cited by the Senate resolution.

DND has yet to confirm presence or withdrawal of Chinese vessels near Pagasa Island

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 9, 2019): DND has yet to confirm presence or withdrawal of Chinese vessels near Pagasa Island

The Department of National Defense (DND) has yet to confirm whether or not Chinese fishing vessels have indeed started withdrawing from the waters off Pagasa Island as claimed by the Philippine envoy to China.



A Filipino soldier patrols at the shore of Pagasa island (Thitu Island)
(REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool/File Photo/File Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)


DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said that they could not even confirm if, indeed, there were 100 Chinese fishing vessels and Chinese militia, which surrounded the Pagasa Island, in the first place.

Pagasa Island is one of the disputed islands and rock formations in the West Philippine Sea which is being occupied by the Philippines.

“We could not verify one if there were really 100 fishing vessels around Pagasa and two if indeed withdrawal took place,” said Andolong.

Philippine Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo earlier reported that China has started to withdraw Chinese fishing vessels from the disputed waters as ‘a gesture to win the trust and confidence of the Philippine government.’

President Duterte was earlier quoted as telling Chinese President Xi Jinping that there was no need to surround Pagasa Island with Chinese ships since he would not allow the presence of the United States in the area.

Duterte, it was recalled, has started establishing a close association with China since he assumed the presidency in 2016.

He has been very vocal of his love and friendship with China.

Andolong said that they were not even sure of the accuracy of the report of the presence of 100 Chinese fishing vessels, saying he has yet to receive a report from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

But if the withdrawal report was, indeed, true, Andolong said that it was a welcome development due to the risk of miscalculations in the area which could eventually spark a conflict.

“Well then at least it shows that the diplomatic track is working because that is what the President has been emphasizing when he talked with no less than President Xi Jinping,” said Andolong.

“That is good news because as I mentioned before in a previous interview it is better that we engage in talking rather than shooting,” he added.

AFP moves troops as security situation in Basilan improves

From the Philippine Star (Jun 9, 2019): AFP moves troops as security situation in Basilan improves

BASILAN, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines is reducing the number of its troops in Basilan, saying the situation there has normalized and the threat from the Abu Sayyaf Group has been addressed.

Brig. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan and the 104th Infantry Brigade, said the AFP leadership and the Western Mindanao Command has seen that the security situation in Basilan has improved.

"Actually, they could have taken other units from other places but they have seen the improved situation in Basilan and noticed that we can handle it so we have to give off one infantry battalion so that the whole of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) can focus in Sulu," said Reyeg.


The military has redeployed the 74th Infantry Battalion from Sumisip town to Zamboanga City, replacing the 11th IB which was sent back to the 3rd Infantry Division in the Visayas.

Reyeg said the joint task force has realigned and adjusted its forces to meet the province's security needs even with the 74th IB's departure. He assured the communities here that the remaining troops can secure the province, where the Abu Sayyaf group was formed in 1990.

The military confirmed that there are still a few Abu Sayyaf in hiding and on the run in the mountains of Sampinit.

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/06/09/1925023/afp-moves-troops-security-situation-basilan-improves

[OPINION] To Professor Blanco on Leloy Claudio

Posted to Rappler (Jun 9, 2019): [OPINION] To Professor Blanco on Leloy Claudio

Dr Claudio has spoken out openly against the dishonest recruitment practices of communist front organizations on college campuses, a deeply troubling issue that deserves scrutiny


This is in response to academic Jody Blanco's June 6, 2019 piece: [OPINION] An academic's response to Walden Bello's defense of Leloy Claudio

Dear Professor Blanco,

As a member of UC Berkeley’s Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, I read with interest the petition that you signed urging my colleagues and I to reject Dr Lisandro Claudio’s application for a faculty post. According to the petition, you oppose Dr Claudio’s candidacy because he is “on record as naming or outing individuals including students at his previous campus Ateneo de Manila University, on the basis of their leftwing perspectives or affiliations in a political climate in the Philippines that makes such conduct highly dangerous for those singled out in this way.”

In your recent open letter to Walden Bello, published in Rappler (6/1/19), you repeat this charge, writing: “I signed the petition on the content of the argument and the supporting evidence that Professor Claudio’s identification of students and student groups as extremists exposed them to added surveillance and possibly danger, given the current breakdown in the administration and enforcement of laws and individual rights and freedoms in the Philippines under the current government. ”

To further emphasize the dangers of the behavior that you attribute to Dr Claudio, you describe the extrajudicial killing of a 12-year-old boy last January in Caloocan City who was targeted by the police after being accused of drug dealing.

Your arguments fail to convince me for several reasons. On the one hand, your reference to the unrelated Caloocan killing strikes me as a misleading cheap shot. Given Dr Claudio’s early, consistent, and principled opposition to Duterte’s murderous law enforcement policies (unlike the Philippine Communist Party which allied with Duterte around the 2016 election), the insinuation that his behavior somehow facilitates the President’s war on drugs smacks of duplicity and bad faith. Moreover, the dynamics of the current war on drugs share little in common with Dr Claudio’s alleged “red-baiting,” an issue that you tendentiously mischaracterize in your petition and your personal letter.

In both texts, you state that Dr Claudio outed individual students for their leftist sympathies. And yet neither you nor the evidentiary record to which you refer mentions a single concrete example. Instead, the record shows clearly that, despite your repeated allegation to the contrary, Dr Claudio has never named an individual student. Rather, he has spoken out openly on several occasions against the dishonest recruitment practices of communist front organizations on college campuses, a deeply troubling issue that deserves scrutiny.

While its prevalence is difficult to measure given its clandestine nature, the stealth recruitment of young people in schools by front groups is a well-known phenomenon. Even at the University of California, an ocean away, solid evidence exists of similarly deceitful efforts being used to target Phil and Phil-Am students. As a faculty member, I’ve heard extensive and persuasive testimony on this precise topic.


Your petition and open letter fail to convince as well because they refuse to consider Dr laudio’s openly stated motives for opposing the activities of local communist front groups. To justify his opposition to recruitment efforts on campus, Dr Claudio points to the inglorious and authoritarian record of the Philippine Communist Party under the leadership of its Chairman Jose Maria Sison and to his duty as a teacher to look after the interests of his students.

“I would not be able to live with myself if I heard of students dying as a result of being involved in a struggle that I think is not worthwhile anyway,” he is quoted as saying. “I would be proud of a student who died for a worthwhile cause, but for a student to die for a sexist like Jose Maria Sison, I’d be very disappointed.” (The Guidon, 5/6/2017).


Despite his low estimation of the local Communist movement, however, Dr Claudio takes pains to reject state persecution of party cadres or fellow-traveling members of front groups. “I do not believe in counterinsurgency methods that violate human rights,” he wrote in the 2017 article “Responsible Anti-Communism” (Rappler, 12/11/2017).

While maintaining that “Communist front organizations” ought to “be tagged as CPP fronts, the better to inform voters who elect them to the legislature,” he also insists that they “should not be the target of military operations.”

The tendentious misconstrual of Dr Claudio’s forthright and even-handed opposition to familiar communist recruitment strategies on campus as “red-baiting” is little more than a bullying tactic used by the party and its allies to disparage critics of these strategies. It dismays me that you seem to feel that this shameless, baseless, and utterly transparent smear ought to disqualify Dr Claudio from an academic position for which he is superbly qualified.

I am happy to entertain any additional thoughts on this matter that you care to present. – Rappler.com

[Peter Zinoman is chair of the History Department and Professor of History and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.]

CPP/NDF-Rizal: Mapanira sa kalikasang mga kumpanya ng ATN Holdings Inc., dapat nang ipasara!

NDF-Rizal propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 8, 2019): Mapanira sa kalikasang mga kumpanya ng ATN Holdings Inc., dapat nang ipasara!

ARMAN GUERRERO
SPOKESPERSON
NDF-RIZAL
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES
JUNE 08, 2019

Dapat na tuluyang ipasara at papanagutin ang ATN Solar Energy Group Inc na may proyekto sa Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal dahilan sa kanilang malawakang pagsira sa kalikasan Rodriguez, Rizal at pangangamkam ng lupa sa mga magsasaka. Ayon mismo sa Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ay lumabag ito sa 21 batas sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan. Subalit sa halip na ipatigil ng DENR ay pinagmulta lamang ito ng 1,025,200.00. Sa kabila ng mga kaso nito na sumisira sa kalikasan at malawakang nangangamkam ng lupa ay nagmistulang tinapik lang ito at pinagmulta ng barya at hinayaang magpatuloy sa kanilang operasyon sa kapariwaraan ng mamamayan at tuloy-tuloy na pagkasira sa kalikasan. Ang ginawang ito ng DENR ay malinaw na pagpapakita na hindi sila seryosong pangalagaan ang kalikasan at para sa kanila ay sapat na ang suhol ng ATN para mapayagan ito na magpatuloy ng kanilang operasyon sa pagsira sa kalikasan.

Matagal nang inirereklamo ng mamamayan ng Rodriguez, Rizal ang ATN. Mula pa noong 2015 nilalabanan na ang mamamayan ng Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal ang ATN dahil sa pangangamkam ng kanilang lupang sakahan, pagsira ng kanilang pananim, malawakang pagsira sa kabundukan at kalikasan, paglapastangan sa libingan ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay na sinusudsod ng ATN at pananakot at pandarahas sa mga magsasaka at mamamayan na nasabing barangay. Kasabwat nila sa pandarahas ang mga yunit ng AFP kabilang na ang 80th IB-PA at 59th IB-PA na naglagay pa ng kanilang kampo sa loob ng inaangking lupa ng ATN para maipagtanggol ang interes ng ATN at hindi ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan. Ang mersenaryong AFP ay nagseserbisyo sa ATN para dahasin ang mga magsasaka at mamamayan kapalit ng suhol sa kanilang mga opisyal at pagsagot sa gastusin ng mga sundalong nakakampo sa loob ng bakuran ng ATN. Walang kahihiyang sunud-sunuran ang mga ito sa kagustuhan ng mga kapitalistang Intsik na may-ari ng ATN kapalit ng suhol na natatanggap nila.

Dahilan sa malaganap na pagtutol ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan ng Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal ay naobliga ang sangay ng DENR sa lalawigan ng Rizal at sa Rehiyong Timog Katagalugan na imbestigahan ang proyekto ng ATN. Sa kanilang imbestigasyon ay natuklasan nila totoo ang sinasabi ng mamamayan at malinaw na patuloy na lumalabag ang ATN sa 21 batas kaugnay sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan. Subalit katawa-tawa ang desisyon nito sa ginawang mga paglabag ng ATN. Ayon sa inilabas na balita ng ABS-CBN News, ang DENR ay nagpataw ng multang mahigit isang milyon lamang kaugnay ng kanilang paglabag sa batas at hinayaan pa rin na magpatuloy ang operasyon ng ATN na nangangahulugan na tuloy ang pagsira nito sa kalikasan at patuloy na mag-aambag ang ATN sa pagbaha sa mga bayan ng Rodriguez, San Mateo ng Rizal at kalapit na syudad ng Marikina, Pasig at Quezon City.

Ang hakbanging ito ng DENR ay malinaw na nagpapakita na hindi interesado ang Rehimeng Duterte na protektahan ang kalikasan at papanagutin ang mga sumisira nito. Malinaw na pinoprotektahan nila ang mga tagawasak ng kabundukan at mga tagasira sa kalikasan tulad ng ATN Solar Energy Group Inc sa kapariwaraan ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan.

Walang ibang dapat asahan ang mamamayan para ipagtanggol ang kalikasan. Tanging sa mahigpit na pagkakaisa at militanteng paglaban ng mamamayan maipapatigil at maipapasara ang mga kumpanyang sumisira sa kalikasan tulad ng ATN. Ang pagkilos ng mamamayan ng Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal kaisa ang mga nagmamalasakit at tagapangalaga ng kalikasan kabilang na ang mga rebolusyonaryong organisasyon sa ilalim ng NDFP-Rizal ang magtitiyak na mga katulad ng ATN ay mapanagot sa kanilang mga krimen kaugnay sa pagsira sa kalikasan at pangangamkam ng lupa ng mga magsasaka. Nararapat at makatarungan na ipaglaban ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan laban sa mga mapanira at mapangwasak ng mga kumpanya. Ang pakikibaka para sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan at paglaban sa pangangamkam ng lupa ay integral na bahagi ng Demokratikong Rebolusyon ng Bayan (DRB) at tanging sa tagumpay lamang ng DRB matatamasa ng mamamayan ang tunay na pangangalaga sa kalikasan at mapapangalagaan at masusuportahan ang interes ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa.

ATN SOLAR PROJECT AT ATN QUARRY, GANAP NA IPASARA!

ATN HOLDINGS COMPANY, PAPANAGUTIN SA PAGWASAK SA KALIKASAN AT PANGANGAMKAM NG LUPA!

MGA PROYEKTONG KONTRA-MAMAMAYAN AT KONTRA-KALIKASAN, TUTULAN AT LABANAN!

ISULONG ANG DEMOKRATIKONG REBOLUSYON NG BAYAN!

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/statement/mapanira-sa-kalikasang-mga-kumpanya-ng-atn-holdings-inc-dapat-nang-ipasara/

CPP: CPP welcomes call for UNHRC investigation of killings and rights abuses under Duterte

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 8, 2019): CPP welcomes call for UNHRC investigation of killings and rights abuses under Duterte



The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomes the call of esteemed international human rights stalwarts to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to conduct an investigation into widespread killings and human rights abuses perpetrated by state security forces under the Duterte regime.

After close to three years of impunity under Duterte, the Philippines is now in a state of human rights emergency. Besides countless extrajudicial killings, Duterte’s military and police forces and security agencies have perpetrated hundreds of cases of political imprisonment, filing of trumped-up charges and legal harassment, threats, armed raids of entire communities, hamletting and occupation of rural villages, population control, food and economic blockade, and so.

Any investigation must subject to critical inquiry both Duterte’s drug war, as well as his counterinsurgency directive “to end local communist armed conflict” and its various components including Mindanao martial law, Memorandum Order 30, Oplan Kapayapaan, Oplan Sauron and Oplan Kapanatagan.

The grave state of rights abuses in the country is a direct result of Duterte’s official and public order for state forces to disregard human rights in carrying out his security directives.

Duterte has repeatedly directed his security forces to kill and carry out attacks against suspected drug users, human rights advocates, peasants and minority peoples, unarmed social activists, lawyers, service-oriented religious groups, as well as media practitioners.

The grave abuses of human rights committed with impunity by Duterte’s military and police, as well as by state-attached paramilitary forces and death squads, must indeed be investigated, exposed and condemned. Duterte’s grave crimes and the Filipino people’s clamor for justice must be made known across the world.

https://www.philippinerevolution.info/2019/06/08/cpp-welcomes-call-for-unhrc-investigation-of-killings-and-rights-abuses-under-duterte/

NOLCOM: Japan-Philippines share insights on national security operations

Posted to the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) Facebook Page (Jun 8, 2919): Japan-Philippines share insights on national security operations

PRESS RELEASE

Authenticated by: MAJ ERICSON C BULOSAN (INF) PA
Chief, Public Information Office, NOLCOM, AFP

Date: June 08, 2019

JAPAN-PHILIPPINES SHARES INSIGHTS ON NATIONAL SECURITY OPERATIONS

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Students from the Joint Staff College of the Japan Self-Defense Force headed by Captain Katsuya Yamamoto visited Northern Luzon Command last Thursday (June 06, 2019) as part of their course enhancement program.

Commander NOLCOM, LtGen Emmanuel B Salamat personally welcomed Capt. Yamamoto and his party, and briefly shared his insights of Japan's beauty and its rich cultural heritage of which he was able to observe from his visit in Japan.

The visit of the Japanese delegates aims to help the students from Joint Staff College of the Japan Self-Defense Force have a better understanding of Northern Luzon Command’s mission, various policies, and initiatives in addressing current and emerging threats to National Security.

Academic exchanges on regional security issues, challenges and initiatives of both countries' and the bilateral or multilateral training exercises that both are engaged in took place to learn best practices and enhance interoperability between them.

Captain Katsuya Yamamoto, their head delegate expressed that Japan is increasing their cooperation exercises/training with other Armed Forces which can be seen from their previous involvement in combined military exercises like Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), and Balikatan Exercises.

The event that transpired is a manifestation of the good relationship between Japan and the Philippines. NOLCOM aims to further strengthen the goodwill between said countries and work together towards a common goal of increasing interoperability in warding off Security challenges of common interest between both countries.




SOLCOM: Ride to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC)

Posted to the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) Facebook Page (Jun 8, 2019): Ride to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC)

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, crowd and text


Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, text


Kalinaw News: Tribal leaders under CADT-116 declares CPP-NPA as Persona Non Grata

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 9, 2019): Tribal leaders under CADT-116 declares CPP-NPA as Persona Non Grata



Tago, Surigao del Sur – Officials and Tribal leaders of San Miguel town, Surigao del Sur under Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) 116, has declared the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and other left leaning organization as “Persona non Grata.”

The declaration of persona non grata is thru resolution No. 6, series of 2019 that the Tribal leader of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur under Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title No. R13- SNM-0609- 116 declaring the members of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front(CPP-NPA-NDF) and the other left leaning organizations as Persona Non-Grata in the Indigenous Peoples Communities (ICCs) of CADT-116.

The IP/ICCs within the CADT 116 lived a peaceful and harmonious life prior the infiltration of the CPP/NPA wherein majority of the lumad residents were threatened, attacked, and deceived to support and join their organization against the government.

Due to the trauma and history of threat and intimidation to the ICC resulted to the tribal council of CADT 116 to pass a resolution declaring CNT’s as Persona non Grata wherein the CPP-NPA is classified as terrorist group in accordance with the provisions of R.A. 9372 or
the Human Security Act of 2007 which lay down acts that are defined as terrorism.

The resolution said, the peaceful-loving IP/ICC’s of CADT 116 in this municipality of san Miguel uphold its support and allegiance to the government and renounces its affiliation by some of its members to the CPP/NPA in order to live a normal life.

LTC Xerxes A Trinidad INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of 36IB, expresses his support to the Tribal Leaders of CADT-116. “This initiative of the Tribal Leaders is a manifestation 36 VALOR that they’re already awakened of the treacherous plans and motives of the CNT. By this declaration, the withdrawal of support of the massess to the CNT’s not only demoralized and weaken the organization but gives them no hold to the community with their plans of treacheries and deception.

“Your Philippine Army, particularly the 36IB assures the people of this province that the government will be working in convergence to foster development and economic growth in the area. I also urge all Tribal Leaders to emulate the same act of courage and patriotism .Let
us work shoulder to shoulder to bring peace and development in Surigao Del Sur .We owe these to our next generations.” Lt Col Trinidad added.

CADT-116 has a total land area of 66,256.461hectares with more or less 18,000 population of Manobo Tribe and covers Brgy Bitaugan, Bagyang, Calatngan, Carromata, Umalag, Sagbayan, Siagao, Tina, Magroyong, Castillo, Bolhoon, San roque and Libas-sud all of San
Miguel, Surigao del sur.




36th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division PA
1LT Jonald D Romorosa
CMO Officer, 36th Infantry Battalion
Sitio Upper Mambago, Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur
valor_36@yahoo.com
0917-1466-326/09491243886

[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: 3rd Infantry Division honors the top cop of Western Visayas

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 9, 2019): 3rd Infantry Division honors the top cop of Western Visayas



CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – The Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division under the leadership of MGen Dinoh A Dolina rendered a Testimonial Review and Retirement Ceremony in honor of Police Brigadier General John C Bulalacao, Regional Director, Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) who is set to retire on June 27, 2019.

The ceremony was held at 3ID Parade Ground in Jamindan, Capiz on June 07, 2019.

Testimonial Parade and Reviews is a time-honored military custom and tradition. A Review is an inspection of troops by a higher officer or honored guest as a way of showing the troops strength, state of discipline and preparedness.

P/BGen Bulalacao was given honor as the 3ID’s show of gratitude for his untiring support to the Army Division during his stint as Regional Director of PRO-6 specifically in peace and security efforts in Western Visayas.

Bulalacao is known for his compelling war against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality which delivered significant results in the anti-illegal drugs campaign in the whole region. He is also recognized for strengthening the monitoring of police officials and personnel; hence he was able to maintain the excellent law enforcement and public
service of PRO-6.

Bulalacao who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Maringal Class of 1988, is a former spokesman of the PNP. He also served as Chief of the Regional Directorial Staff of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

In his message, I only have a few days left in the service and I can say that I am finishing strong. Bulalacao said.

You too can do it if you keep these reminders: Protect your service reputation; maintain discipline; be dedicated to your duties and believe in the power of prayers, Bulalacao stressed.

For and in behalf of the Command and the Philippine Army, MGen Dolina expressed his gratitude for the remarkable partnership made by P/BGen Bulalacao with the 3ID. He thanked Bulalacao for maintaining the strong collaboration of the PNP and Army in serving and safeguarding the people of Western Visayas.




Division Public Affairs Office 3rd Infantry Division Philippine Army
CPT EDUARDO A PRECIOSO JR (INF) PA
Chief, 3rd Division Public Affairs Office
Camp General Martin T Delgado, Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City
Contact: dpao.3idpa@gmail.com / 0917-857-9157

[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: Military Engineers and TESDA jointly adopts training while building scheme

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 9, 2019): Military Engineers and TESDA jointly adopts training while building scheme


NSFA, Panacan, Davao City- “Training while building” scheme was formally adopted by the Eastern Mindanao Command through the 52nd Engineer Brigade of the Philippine Army and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) XI after a Memorandum of Understanding in the implementation of the “SKILLS TRANSFER PROGRAM” in Region XI was signed at Maguintalunan Elementary School, Sto, Tomas, Davao del Norte on June 5, 2019.

The MOU requires TESDA Regional Training Center to capacitate and certify personnel of the 534th Engineering Battalion under Ltc. Frederick Ancheta to be an official trainer of TESDA particularly in the on-site conduct of skills training in Indigenous Peoples and other far-flung communities in Region XI.

In the same manner, projects being and to be undertaken by the Army Engineers in these areas will piggyback the skills program of TESDA catering the unskilled members of the community who will be working in the project. The project will serve as a laboratory and on the job training site of the program while the military engineers will serve as instructors.

The scheme will also provide the parties the venue of exchanging skills and engineering operations concept in implementing developmental projects in conflict-affected and far-flung areas.

Jive with the signing of the MOU is the enrollment of 18 soldiers from 534th Engineering Battalion who will undergo in theTESDA’s Trainer’s Methodology Training.

The signing was made between Col. Rommel R. Hinlo, Commander of the 52nd Engineer Brigade, Philippine Army and Eng. Lorenzo G. Macapili the Regional Director of TESDA Regional Office XI.

Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command welcome the partnership as another template of involving the community in community development and peacebuilding effort.

“This is another template of convergence of peacebuilding where everybody is a winner particularly the community. With this scheme we will enhance the skills of the community while earning; allow them to participate and develop the sense of ownership to the project being implemented for them” Lt Gen. Santos said.

Source: Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM)

[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.]

PNP on Valle’s arrest: ‘mistaken identity’

From MindaNews (Jun 9, 2019): PNP on Valle’s arrest: ‘mistaken identity’

DAVAO CITY -- ‘Nia ko (I am here at) CIDG Pagadian Lumbia. Pls help.”

This was the message sent by Fidelina Margarita “Gingging” Avellanosa-Valle to a chat group at 6:36 p.m. Sunday, eight hours after she was arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.


She sent no reply when asked for details.

But Colonel Bernard Banac, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) sent MindaNews a statement at 8:17 p.m. that Valle was “now for release” as according to the witness, she “has major resemblance but is not the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant.”


The Philippine National Police spokesperson in a statement Sunday night said the arrest of Fidelina Margarita Avellanosa Valle, a development worker and freelance writer, and columnist of Davao Today, was a case of mistaken identity. Photo from her FB page

Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of the Assumption in Davao City told MindaNews at 8:45 p.m. that Valle has been ordered released on the grounds of ‘mistaken identity,’ and that she will be fetched by Fr. Rico Sayson, President of the Columban College in Pagadian City, Sister Marites of the Religious of the Good Shepherd, and a lawyer.

Valle, a development worker and freelance writer, and a columnist of Davao Today phoned Sister Mila at 10:07 a.m. on Sunday that she was being arrested 

(READ: Where is Margarita “Gingging” Valle and why was she nabbed at the Laguindingan airport?)

The nun told MindaNews Valle was forcibly arrested, that when Valle called, she heard a commotion in the background, and heard Valle asking the arresting officer why she was being arrested. Valle was told to go with them to the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Before their telephone conversation was cut, Sister Mila heard Valle say “gibira na ko, gibira na ko” (they’re pulling me, they’re pulling me).

Valle was at the airport for the flight back to Davao City after conducting a training workshop in Pagadian City where she was brought after her arrest.

“Sige’g hilak”

The next time Sister Mila heard from Valle was eight hours later. At 6:27 p.m. Sister Mila phoned MindaNews that she had just received a phone call from Valle but could not understand what she was trying to say because “sigeg hilak, sigeg hilak” (she kept crying).

Sister Mila said the captain whose name she failed to ask, took the phone from the crying Valle and told the nun to be in Pagadian tomorrow because they could not get anything from Valle who apparently had been crying since her arrest.

In the past 8 p.m. phone conversation between Valle and Sister Mila, the nun told MindaNews that Valle’s blood pressure had shot up and she had refused to eat. She said she had to tell Valle to eat so she could drink medicine.

Banac confirmed Valle’s arrest through a report from the field that he forwarded to Manila reporters, on “Oplan Pagtugis and Oplan Salikop.”

Valle, named in the report as suspect “Elsa Renton@ Tina Maglaya / Fidelina Margarita Valle y Avellanosa” was arrested allegedly on the basis of a December 29, 2011 warrant of arrest for alleged “multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property” issued in Misamis Occidental by Judge Bernadette Paredes-Encinarea “with no bail recommended” and arson issued by Judge ANiceto Galon Jr. in Pagadian City judge on September 4, 2006 with bail recommended at 24,000 pesos.

MindaNews sent Banac a text message at 7:20 p.m. asking for details of these charges – when they happened and where and what Valle’s alleged role was because the report mentioned no details. It also asked who Elsa Renton is and if Valle’s arrest were a case of mistaken identity.

“Major resemblance but is not the actual suspect”

At 8:17 p.m. Banac sent a message saying Valle is “now for release.”

“After the coordination was made at AVSEC (Aviation Security) 10, Laguindingan Airport and Laguindingan MPS (municipal police station), Valle was “brought to CIDG 9 office (in Pagadian City) for verification and identification.”

Laguindingan Airport to Pagadian is about 200 kilometers away.

“However, upon arrival of the witness who physically identified the subject, witness further averred that the suspect has major resemblance but is not the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant.”

The report did not say if the witness was for the murder or arson case.

“Furthermore, upon the revelation of the witness, suspect identified as Fidelina Margarita Valle y Avellanosa was subjected for release after the conduct of medical examination and proper documentation,” Banac said.


https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/06/pnp-on-valles-arrest-mistaken-identity/

Davao columnist went missing after arrest by cops

From the often pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online publication the Davao Today (Jun 9, 2019): Davao columnist went missing after arrest by cops

A Davao City-based columnist was reported missing after she was arrested in Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental province on Sunday morning, June 9.

Margarita Valle, 61, was about to board a plane bound to Davao City when she was arrested by authorities and was told that she will be brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

In a Facebook post, Valle’s son, Rius said that his mother was in Cagayan De Oro to attend a training workshop. She was still able to make a call to a nun asking for help when the arrest happened.

Families and friends of Valle had lost all communications with her since the arrest and still do not know of her whereabouts until now.

Valle currently writes at Davao Today as a columnist under a pen name Fides Avellanosa. She previously contributed as columnist of Sunstar Davao.

Local media were later able to get a copy of a spot report coming from the CIDG-9 that said Valle was a subject of a joint operation under Oplan Pagtugis. The CIDG-9 identified Valle as a certain Elsa Renton alias Tina Maglaya.

The police report further stated that Valle has a standing warrant of arrest for Multiple Murder, Quadruple Frustrated Murder, and Damage to Government Property issued by a local court in Calamba, Misamis Occidental dated December 29, 2011 with no bail recommended. The report added that she was also facing arrest for Arson with a warrant issued by a court in Pagadian City dated September 4, 2006 with a bail bond of Php24,000.

The authorities also accused Valle of being an affiliate of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) under the DND-DILG (Department of National Defense – Department of Interior and Local Government) Joint Order Number 14-2012.

Rius, in a phone interview, condemned the arrest of his mother as he urged authorities to surface Valle.

Aside from being a writer, Rius said that her mother was also a development worker, serving as an advocate for Lumad education.

“I believe this is a form of state repression,” Valle said. “It’s like what they did to Amy Pond. They would accuse my mother of being someone else when it is clearly not her. They did it to silence human rights defenders,” Rius emphasized.

Rius added that they would check with the records of the mentioned courts if the charges are true and to verify if the name of Valle was only placed in previously issued warrants against other individuals.

The family of Valle is currently consulting with their lawyers in the possibility of filing a habeas corpus if they still would not find her location.

Valle’s family and members of the press in the country expressed concern over her disappearance. As of press time, authorities have yet to surface Valle to her family.

http://davaotoday.com/main/human-rights/davao-columnist-went-missing-after-arrest-by-cops/

Where is Margarita “Gingging” Valle and why was she nabbed at the Laguindingan airport?

From MindaNews (Jun 9, 2019): Where is Margarita “Gingging” Valle and why was she nabbed at the Laguindingan airport?

Fidelina Margarita “Gingging Avellanosa – Valle,” a development worker and freelance writer was arrested Sunday morning at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, her arrest she reported by phone to a nun before she was forcibly taken away by the arresting team.

Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of the Assumption (MA) told MindaNews Sunday that she received a frantic call from the 61-year old Valle at around 10:07 a.m., informing her that she was being arrested and that she would be brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG_.


Fidelina Margarita “Gingging” Valle, 61, of Davao City was arrested Sunday morning at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at around 10 a.m.. As of 4:30 p.m., the family has yet to hear from Valle. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 10 confirmed the arrest but said it was the CIDG-9 that arrested Valle. Photo from Valle’s FB page

Valle, married with four children and two grandchildren, was at the Laguindingan Airport awaiting her flight back to Davao City where she resides, when she was arrested. Before that she was in Pagadian City for a training-workshop.

The nun said she could hear a commotion in the background and heard Valle ask the arresting officer why she was being arrested but was told to just go with them to the CIDG office.

“She was forcibly arrested. Forceful gyud,” recalled Sister Mila. But she also said Valle kept asserting her rights, questioning the arresting team on the basis for her arrest.

Before their phone connection was cut, Sister Mila heard Valle say “gibira na ko, gibira na ko” (they’re pulling me, they’re pulling me). The nun said she tried to call Valle several times after that but could no longer contact her.

Valle, a 1982 graduate of BA Communication Arts at the Ateneo de Davao University, was a reporter of the Media Mindanao News Service from the 1980s until it ceased operations in1996. She was a correspondent of Mr & Ms Special Edition until the People Power ousted the Marcoses in 1986. She also served as Administrative Officer of MindaNews on its first year in 2001.

Valle was a columnist of SunStar Davao until early 2018. She now writes a column, Kanak Gamay na Kyatigaman (My Little Understanding) for the online paper, Davao Today, as Fides Avellanosa.
She went into development work and teaching, did consultancy work and served as volunteer in projects on Indigenous Peoples and is presently doing research work for the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
while completing a book with Sister Mila on the MA’s 30-year history.

She finished her MA in Humanities, Major in Women Studies at the St. Scholastica’s College Manila and Assumption College of Davao in 2010.

Arrest confirmed but…

Valle’s son, Rius, told MindaNews that as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, they have not heard from their mom.

Family members are worried about Valle’s health condition as the 61-year old is hypertensive, asthmatic, has allergic rhinitis and amoebiasis.

In Cagayan de Oro, Maj. Napoleon Carpio of CIDG-10 (Northern Mindanao) confirmed the arrest of Valle to CDO-based reporters but said it was CIDG-9 that conducted the arrest.

Lawyer Beverly Musni, who is looking into Valle’s arrest, said she was also informed that Valle is not in the custody of CIDG 10.

MindaNews is still checking with CIDG-9 (Western Mindanao / Zamboanga region) based in Zamboanga City.

Various fields

Valle worked on various issues – human rights, women, Indigenous Peoples, disaster risk reduction, peace, ecology, children, among others.

She was Project Coordinator, Enhancing Capacities in Disaster Risk Reduction Management for More Resilient Peoples and Communities, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI); was Communication and Advocacy Officer of SUCCEED Solidarity for Global Peace, Ecology, and Inclusive Economic Development (SUCCCED Global); authored a case study on the ECOWEB non-government organization as commissioned by SUCCEED, Inc. on the Inclusive Economic Development in Muslim Mindanao in 2014; wrote the NorthEastern Mindanao Regional Assessment for the Act for Peace from August 2010; co-edited the Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment of some municipalities in the Province of Agusan del Norte for the International Labor Organization (ILO); acted as part-time Human Resource Development Officer for Pilipinhon Development Cooperative; documented Philippine Equity Foundation’s (PEF)Community trainings on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); developed and maintained the PEF’s blog on Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) while also acting as communication specialist for the program.

Valle co-edited the coffeetable book of Act for Peace in Mindanao published in 2009; contributed to the WomenWise column of the Mindanao Times Daily in Davao City; wrote for the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN); wrote the Mindanao Report on Children’s Rights Implementation for the United Nations Child’s Rights Committee (UNCRC) in August 2008; was media consultant for various international non-government such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other local private organizations doing research, documentation, monitoring of projects and evaluation for over 20 years; did advocacy work for development among grassroots organizations and human rights groups; wrote and published a book entitled The Vision and the Visionaries which detailed the historical developments of the Davao Medical School Foundations and its beginning; monitored and evaluated development projects of non-government organizations including the Media Communications Program of the United Nations Multi-donor Program3 (UNMDP3) all over Mindanao in 2003; and assisted in skills training on basic communication, documentation, research and publications management among different groups including students, professionals and development workers.

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/06/where-is-margarita/

UN experts' call for probe on PH biased, made in bad faith: DFA

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9, 2019): UN experts' call for probe on PH biased, made in bad faith: DFA

The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), on Saturday night slammed some United Nations rapporteurs as biased over their fresh calls for an independent probe on the human rights situation in Manila.

"We reject this call as it is being made in bad faith by parties who want to undermine domestic processes and spread disinformation, on the basis of one-sided reports coming from questionable sources," the DFA said in a statement through Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez.

The agency said this action indicates the refusal of these parties to engage "in true dialogue".

"By ignoring the accountability and other information provided by the Philippines in good faith, these parties show their bias and political agenda and assail the credibility and objectivity of the human rights mechanisms as constructive platforms of dialogue between the United Nations and the member states," it pointed out.

On Friday, 11 independent experts, including UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard, accused the Philippine government of "sustained attack on people and institutions defending human rights."

Citing this, they called on the UN Human Rights Council to establish an independent investigation on this alleged violation.

In its statement, the DFA belied these claims saying the Philippines is "a democratic nation with strong institutions and the government has an unshakeable determination to promote and protect the human rights of every Filipino."

On Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the UN Special Rapporteur’s call for an independence probe as an interference on Philippine sovereignty.

"The 11 UN Special Rapporteurs' act of peddling a biased and absolutely false recital of facts, adulterated with malicious imputations against the constituted authorities, smacks of unpardonable intrusions on our sovereignty," Panelo said in a statement.

"Let the enemies of the state and their supporters from foreign soil be forewarned that no amount of destructive narratives against this government will envelope it with the appearance of pretended truth to hoodwink the Filipino people in embracing it," he added.

Panelo said the information presented by the UN Special Rapporteurs come from the detractors of the Duterte administration.

He added the reasons cited by the UN Special Rapporteurs for the investigation "have been discredited and repudiated by the very nation they pretend to care about."

The Palace spokesperson said positive surveys and election results show negative propaganda against the Duterte administration is not working.

He defended the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, saying it “is pursuant to the primary duty of the state to preserve and protect the people”.

“Law enforcement authorities operate on strict protocols. Any deviation from it is met with the unyielding strong arm of the law with no transgressors immune from it,” said Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071854

Duterte now open to possible arms deal with US

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9, 2019): Duterte now open to possible arms deal with US


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and US President Donald Trump share a light moment prior to the bilateral meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. (Robinson NiƱal Jr./Presidential Photo)
President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines is now open to buy firearms from the United States anew after it stopped its purchase of arms in 2016.

“Well, America has been helpful. In the purchase of arms, we have a bad experience but they have a new policy now. We’re going to reconsider,” Duterte said in in an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City on Friday (June 7).

In 2016, the US State Department halted the sale of firearms to the Philippines over concerns on human rights violations in relation to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

Duterte emphasized that when the Philippines stopped purchasing arms from the US, it started looking for cheaper and better arms.

“We'll buy if we think we need that kind of particular… But I'd like to say to the Americans and to the officials -- in Washington, when you deprived us of the arms, we started going around scouting for cheaper and better arms. And there were contracts already, memorandum of intent -- intent to buy something like that. So we will not impair that obligations,” he said.

He said he could not abandon deals signed by the Philippines with Russia and China, the two countries that provided assistance to the Philippines especially when the Marawi siege took place in May 2017.

“When we needed, in the hour of our need, we needed the arms, Russia and China gave it to us practically free,” Duterte said.

“You know I'm a Filipino. You have to have a sense of gratitude. At least honor the contract. Nothing else,” he added.

The President also expressed readiness to cooperate with the US on its new policies to permanently stop immigration services in Manila but has no intention of ever going to war against China.

He also said that he had much respect for US President Donald Trump.

“Do not ever think that the suspension of the processing for citizenship and special visas and all of these, there's a deeper meaning to that,” Duterte said.

“But we are ready to cooperate. This I have to say, I will not go to war with anybody against China because that will be the end of the world,” he added.

Duterte, who described China as “good” and America “helpful”, also doubted that the two countries would go to war amid the ongoing trade dispute.

“America and China, alam nila (they know that) a war is the most useless thing in their arsenal. Tapos talaga ang mundo nito (It will really be the end of the world),” Duterte said.

“When they say that, if you blow it all, it is 100 times bigger than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You think we will survive? See you in heaven,” he added.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071862

DND backs PRRD stance on possible purchase of US-made weapons

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9, 2019): DND backs PRRD stance on possible purchase of US-made weapons


Department of National Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong

The Department of National Defense (DND) on Sunday said it welcomes President Rodrigo R. Duterte's statement that he would reconsider acquiring weapons from the United States.

"We welcome the President's pronouncements,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in an interview with reporters Sunday.

“We would like to thank him for making modernization of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) one of his priorities and of course having said that, all of our procurement will have to undergo the process as stated in the law, Republic Act 10349 and we will continue (to) purchase (when) equipment we can get them, provided we need them," he added.

He said Duterte’s plan will also widen the DND's options in where to source its weapons and equipment needed for the ongoing AFP Modernization Program.

"(It) will of course widen our options, (with the President again considering US-made weapons), and we will now be able to make our choices even better," Andolong said.

Republic Act 10349 or an act amending RA 7898 which established the revised AFP Modernization Program and For Other Purposes, was signed in December 11, 2012, extending the AFP Modernization Program by another 15 years and provided it with PHP75 billion worth of funding for the first five years.

The Revised AFP Modernization Program is divided into three horizons. The first was implemented from 2013 to 2017, the second is from 2018 to 2022, while the third is from 2023 to 2028.

"(This) pronouncement will give us more momentum now to complete the transaction and of course the other items, I think the President of the US stated that he's now open to offering their unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles to the countries in Southeast Asia and I think he mentioned us (Philippines) as one of the countries (they are making the offer)," he added.

In 2016, the US State Department halted the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippine National Police over concerns on human rights violations in relation to the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Well, America has been helpful. In the purchase of arms, we have a bad experience but they have a new policy now. We’re going to reconsider,” Duterte said.

The Commander-in-Chief emphasized that when the Philippines stopped purchasing arms from the US, it started looking for cheaper and better weapons.

“We'll buy if we think we need that kind of particular… But I'd like to say to the Americans and to the officials -- in Washington, when you deprived us of the arms, we started going around scouting for cheaper and better arms. And there were contracts already, memorandum of intent -- intent to buy something like that. So we will not impair that obligations,” he said.

The President added he could not abandon deals signed by the Philippines with Russia and China, the two countries that provided assistance to the Philippines especially when the Marawi Siege took place in May 2017.

“When we needed, in the hour of our need, we needed the arms, Russia and China gave it to us practically free,” the President said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071866

8 uniformed men bands top bill free Independence Day concert

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9, 2019): 8 uniformed men bands top bill free Independence Day concert

At least eight bands composed of men and women in uniform will be the stars of the show at an upcoming concert slated on the eve of Independence Day.

Musikalayaan 2019, which will be held on June 11, 2019, 6 p.m. at Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium, will showcase the talents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other defense agencies.

“The participating bands will express their patriotism, love for country and jubilation in the commemoration of Philippine Independence through songs and musical performance,” a statement read.

Moreover, it will also serve as an avenue for defense agencies to enjoin the public to be proud of its nation blessed with history of valor and gallantry.

This concert, which will go by the theme of “Kalayaan 2019: Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan”, will be completely free from admission fees.

Participating bands are the 2ID Jungle Fighter Band, Philippine Navy Seabees Band, CRSAFP Band, Philippine Air Force Band, Manila Police District Band, Philippine Coast Guard Band, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Band, and the Bureau of Fire Protection Band.

Aside from a free concert, railway systems will also be offering free rides to passengers in celebration of the country's 121st declaration of Independence.

The Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and Metro rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will offer free rides on Independence Day from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071871

People-to-people exchange beneficial to US-PH ties

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 9, 2019): People-to-people exchange beneficial to US-PH ties

Keeping the United States-Philippines' ties strong, particularly on the people-to-people aspect, proves to be beneficial as manifested in the works of Filipino professionals who had participated in some US exchange programs, US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said.

"Filipino alumni of the IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) and other professional exchanges have gone to do remarkable things in the Philippines across the spectrum of public service, business, civil society, and education," Kim said in a speech at a reception in Manila.

"In every part of the country, we are deeply proud of our friendship with our alumni and very much appreciate the opportunity to work with them to advance our shared interest in a more prosperous, more stable and secure Philippines," he added.

IVLP is the State Department's flagship exchange program wherein participants are selected by the Embassy and can come from government and non-government sectors.

On Saturday night, alumni of the IVLP, Community Solutions Program, and the Study of the US (SUSI) gathered for an annual reception in Manila.

During the event, the US Embassy, in partnership with the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF), also awarded Karen Davila of ABS-CBN and Dr. Marylendra Penetrante of the Children and Youth Wellness Technical and Advocacy Center (CYMTAC) for their outstanding work on the field of journalism and public service, respectively.

Kim said the awardees were chosen based on their works that made "an impact for the broader good not just for individual gain."

From her daily routine doing community work, Penetrante said the award serves as an affirmation that she is "doing the right thing."

"It’s very rare in my daily life to be recognized and I believe this is very special," she told reporters.

The same goes for Davila, saying her US Embassy-NCAF recognition was different from other awards she received in the past.

"It's about the existing work you are doing, you can't apply for it. I think that's one big difference so it comes at a period in your life wherein you're not vying for it, and I think mentally, emotionally, it makes the biggest difference of all," she said in an interview.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1071874