Thursday, March 26, 2020

CPP/CPP-CC: Ceasefire Order: 00.00H of 26 March 2020 to 23.59H of 15 April 2020

Central Committee propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 24, 2020): Ceasefire Order: 00.00H of 26 March 2020 to 23.59H of 15 April 2020

CENTRAL COMMITTEE
COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES
MARCH 24, 2020



Upon the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), by way of direct response to the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hereby orders all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militias to observe a nationwide ceasefire that will take effect from 00:00H of 26 March 2020 to 23:59H of 15 April 2020.

As advised by the NDFP Chief Political Consultant and relayed by the NDFP Negotiating Panel to the NDFP National Council, the broad masses of the people themselves need to refrain from launching tactical offensives to gain more time and opportunity to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to look after the health and over-all welfare of the people in both urban and rural areas.

In fact, long before the belated quarantine declarations and repressive measures of the GRP, the NDFP and the revolutionary forces have been informing, training and mobilizing the people on how to fight the pandemic.

The purpose of this unilateral ceasefire is to ensure and facilitate necessary, unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people brought about by the exigencies of the current Covid-19 worldwide pandemic that has affected a growing number of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.

This ceasefire is also a gesture towards national unity and based on humanitarian principles in the context of the serious public emergency to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all. Consistent with these context and considerations, the NDFP demands as a matter of justice and necessity that all political prisoners be released forthwith and a general amnesty be issued.

The ceasefire may potentially contribute as well towards a positive atmosphere conducive to the eventual holding of informal talks preparatory to the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiations.

During the ceasefire period, all NPA units and people’s militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against the armed units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other paramilitary and armed groups attached to the GRP.

All units of the NPA must be vigilant and be ready to act in self-defense against any tactical offensives or any hostile actions or movements contrary to the ceasefire order launched by any enemy force against the people and revolutionary forces in the guerrilla fronts of the people’s democratic government.

Active-defense operations shall be undertaken only in the face of clear and imminent danger and actual armed attack by hostile forces.

All branches and committees of the CPP, units of the NPA and people’s militias and revolutionary mass organizations should closely monitor any hostile actions being carried out by the armed units and personnel of the GRP or of any act or omission inconsistent with the intent and purpose of this ceasefire. Such information should be reported to the concerned commands of the New People’s Army and leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

This ceasefire order shall take effect immediately and is not dependent on the issuance of the Suspension of Military Operations (SOMO) and Suspension of Police Operations (SOPO) issued or to be issued by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

https://cpp.ph/statement/ceasefire-order-00-00h-of-26-march-2020-to-23-59h-of-15-april-2020/

CPP/NPA-Bicol: RJC-NPA Bicol pledges support for CPP’s unilateral ceasefire, tightens efforts to help masses to overcome COVID-19 — NPA-Bicol

NPA-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 24, 2020): RJC-NPA Bicol pledges support for CPP’s unilateral ceasefire, tightens efforts to help masses to overcome COVID-19 — NPA-Bicol

RAYMUNDO BUENFUERZA
NPA-BICOL REGION
ROMULO JALLORES COMMAND
NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY
MARCH 25, 2020



Romulo Jallores Command (RJC-NPA Bicol) will strongly abide with the unilateral ceasefire declared by the CPP. This will begin tomorrow, March 26, and will end on April 15.

The Red army will not launch any tactical offensive during the period of the ceasefire. Nonetheless, the NPA will maintain its active defense posture in order to protect itself and the masses from any traitorous attacks of the AFP, PNP and CAFGU. The merciless military and police will surely take advantage of the people’s panic and anxiety in order to intensify its military operations in the countryside and other fascist attacks in the cities.

RJC-NPA Bikol calls on all its unit commands in the provinces to continue helping the masses in overcoming the crisis caused by COVID-19. Coordinate with the revolutionary committees in the countryside in order to assist in their initiatives and plans to face the spreading pandemic.

Magtarabangan para sa namamanwaan!
Talingkas sa Pagkaoripon!

https://cpp.ph/statement/rjc-npa-bicol-pledges-support-for-cpps-unilateral-ceasefire-tightens-efforts-to-help-masses-to-overcome-covid-19-npa-bicol/

CPP/NDF/PKM-Bicol: Masang anakpawis, pinakabulnerable sa COVID-19 — PKM-Bicol

NDF/PKM-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 24, 2020): Masang anakpawis, pinakabulnerable sa COVID-19 — PKM-Bicol

PAMBANSANG KATIPUNAN NG MAGBUBUKID
PKM-BICOL
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

MARCH 24, 2020



Naninindigan ang Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid-Bikol (PKM-Bikol) na dapat panagutin ang rehimeng US-Duterte sa kawalan ng akma at konkretong plano at aksyon upang harapin ang krisis dulot ng COVID-19. Ang krisis na nararanasan ng mamamayan ngayon ay pangkabuuhang resulta ng pagpapakatuta ni Duterte sa mga imperyalista at pagragasa ng mga neoliberal na patakaran. Ngayon, pinili ng rehimeng magpatupad ng mala-batas militar na lockdown sa tangkang pigilan ang malawakang pag-aalsa ng mamamayang galit at handang magpapanagot ng isang diktador.

Tulad ng inaasahan, ipinagpatuloy lamang ni Duterte ang mga neoliberal na patakarang ipinatupad ng mga nakaraang papet na rehimen. Walang naging hakbang ang reaksyunaryong gubyerno para palakasin ang agrikultura ng bansa. Pinili nitong sumandig sa turismo at imprastruktura upang di umano’y makahikayat ng dayuhang namumuhunan. Higit pa nitong pinahina ang agrikultura ng bansa sa pagpapatupad ng Rice Liberalization Law (RLL). Dapat na ring bantayan ng taumbayan ang posibilidad na rumagasa ang mga neoliberal na proyekto, gayong hindi na rekisito ang public bidding tuwing mayroong deklarasyon ng state of calamity.

Mahigpit na nananawagan ang PKM-Bikol sa lahat ng rebolusyonaryong organisasyong masa at komiteng rebolusyonaryo na palakasin ang diwa ng sama-samang pagkilos. Dapat magkaroon ng koordinasyon at pagpaplano kung paano matutulungan ng mga kooperatiba at grupong tulungan sa kanayunan ang mga rebolusyonaryong organisasyong masa sa kalunsuran. Palaganapin ang mga grupong tulungan sa mga baryo at idiin ang kahalagahan ng pagbubuo ng isang ekonomyang nakaasa-sa-sarili. Makipagtulungan sa mga inisyatibang maglunsand ng sanitation drive. Sa pangmatagalan, higit na palakasin ang pakikibakang anti-pyudal sa kanayunan upang ganap nang mawakasan ang iba’t ibang tipo ng pagsasamantala.

Ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte!
Mamamayang Bikolano, magtarabangan!

https://cpp.ph/statement/masang-anakpawis-pinakabulnerable-sa-covid-19-pkm-bicol/

Kalinaw News: Army troops provide quick relief operation and transportation assistance in Aurora

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 26, 2020): Army troops provide quick relief operation and transportation assistance in Aurora (By 7th Infantry Battalion)



Baler Aurora – In connection with the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to emerging COVID-19 infectious disease, troops of Bravo Company of 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion Philippine Army led by 1LT BOBBY FERRER (INF) PA under the supervision of LTC REANDREW P RUBIO INF (GSC) PA, Acting Commanding Officer together with MSWDO Dinalungan headed by Ms. Jelica Marie E Rada, RSW, and PNP personnel participated in the quick repacking of relief goods and distributions to the barangays of Dinalungan, Aurora on 25 March 2020.

The 91st IB also provided transportation assistance in hauling five hundred (500) food packs from DSWD Regional Office 3 Maimpis, Pampanga intended for the affected families in Dingalan, Aurora on same day.

Meanwhile, members of 307th Aurora Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Regional Community Defense Group under MAJ ELEANOR M PRADO (RES) PA assisted the LGU-Baler in repacking of assorted goods on 24 March 2020.

It can be recalled that the SINAGTALA troopers were dispatched to augment the DOH, PNP, and LGUs in the implementation of ECQ based on the Presidential Proclamation Number 922 “Declaring of State of Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, Presidential Proclamation Number 929 “Declaring a State of Calamity throughout the Philippines, and the Executive Orders issued by Hon Christian M Noveras, Acting Governor of Aurora.

LTC RUBIO expressed his appreciation to the members of IATF and other agencies for their untiring support extended to the people of Aurora.

“This is a typical example of “Bayanihan” concept wherein all government agencies down to Barangay level have done their part and shown its concerns for the welfare of their constituents,” Rubio said.

Likewise, COL ANDREW COSTELO INF (GSC) PA, appreciated the efforts and initiative of the troops for closely coordinating the LGUs, DOH and other front liners to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to save lives.




[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/army-troops-provide-quick-repacking-distribution-of-relief-goods-and-transportation-assistance-in-aurora/

Kalinaw News: Arrested CTG Personalities Charged with Human Trafficking

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 26, 2020): Arrested CTG Personalities Charged with Human Trafficking (By 3rd Infantry Division)



CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – Three individuals, who are believed to be members of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) CPP-NPA-NDF, were indicted for two counts of criminal case in relation to Qualified Trafficking in Persons Act by the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office.

Albert Dela Cerna, Ma. Pilar Dela Cerna, and Karina Dela Cerna
were charged with violation of Section of Section 4 in relation to Section 6 (Qualified Trafficking in Persons) of the Republic Act 9208 as Amended by RA 10364 also known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. After finding probable cause by the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office. Said individuals are also facing separate criminal cases for violations of RA 10591 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunitions) and RA 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives) with a “no bail” recommendation.

It can be recalled that Albert and Karina Mae Dela Cerna were among those individuals who were arrested by the joint elements of the PNP and AFP in Bacolod City on October 31, 2019 wherein 32 firearms, 130 rounds ammunitions, and five explosives were seized, while 13 minors were rescued.


In November 2019, rescued minors together with their parents filed trafficking complaint before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office against John Milton Lozande, Noli Rosales, Proseso Quitzon, and the three Dela Cernas. These erring individuals were also accused of taking advantage of the minors’ vulnerability by deceitfully recruiting them to join illegal activities such as taking up arms against the government, based on the revelations of the victims.

Major General Eric C Vinoya, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, reiterated the government’s desire to put an end to the recruitment scheme of the Communist Terrorist Group CPP-NPA-NDF in Western and Central Visayas through the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

“With the development of this case, we are seeing the government’s serious and united effort to quell the CPP-NPA-NDF’s recruitment activities, particularly among the minors. Very clearly, this is a violation of our laws and the Intertnational Humanitarian Law, hence, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s (RTF-ELCAC) swift action,” Vinoya emphasized.

“Let this serve as a warning to those who still continue to do recruitment activities for the CPP-NPA-NDF. The long arms of the law will eventually reach you as we endeavor to protect our countrymen especially our youth, from the destructive nature of your ill-motivated armed struggle that leads to terrorism,” he added.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/arrested-ctg-personalities-charged-with-human-trafficking/

Kalinaw News: Army assists the proper emplacement of Covid-19 Checkpoints in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 26, 2020): Army assists the proper emplacement of Covid-19 Checkpoints in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur (By 4th Infantry Division)



BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr., BrgyMaharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer, conducted ocular visit and inspection to the designated checkpoint area established by respective Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 in Surigao del Sur and Agusandel Sur Area of Operation (AO) on March 22, 2020.

The National government formulated an IATF to contain COVID-19 in the country. In line with this, the Philippine Army supports and strictly adhere the mandates set by IATF. Whereas, all municipalities and city within the AOR of 75IB, organized and adopted the IATF to prevent the spread of this infectious disease.

Hence, every agency followed strictly the rules and procedures to suppress the outspread of the virus. Disinfectants spray and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been provided by the LGUs intended for pedestrians and every vehicle passing the checkpoint. Thus, people were also instructed to keep a one (1) meter distance; hands were sanitized and body temperature checked by the designated frontliners.

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing protocol, many people are stocking their homes with all the supplies they might need to disinfect, per recommendations from the Center forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to make their home life a little more comfortable.

Lt. Col. Munda advised that “one of the best things we can do right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash our hands frequently. That means scrubbing them after we use the bathroom, ride public transportation, blow our nose, cough or sneeze, as well as before we eat. The Philippine Red Cross also recommends that you wash your hands for at least twenty (20) seconds in order to effectively clean them. While antibacterial soap is crucial, just regular hand-washing is a crucial way to stop germs from spreading.”

Lt. Col. Munda further advised the troops and frontliners manning the checkpoints to follow strictly the procedures to avoid the spread of COVID-19. “With the collaboration of every agency at this time of pandemic, definitely, we could contain the outspread of COVID-19. To the people and community, play your part to enable us to play ours effectively in ensuring the safety and well-being of the people in this part of Caraga Region.” Lt. Col. Munda stated.

The Philippine Army; PNP; LGUs of every municipality; and the Brgy. Officials have played their role in responding well during this time of crisis. Supporting the national government in assisting and implementing the different guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in every locality and the cooperation of the people in the community will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/army-assists-the-proper-emplacement-of-covid-19-checkpoints-in-sursur-and-agusan-del-sur/

Kalinaw News: Government forces rescued Dr. Moreno in Sulu

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 26, 2020): Government forces rescued Dr. Moreno in Sulu (By 1102nd Infantry Brigade)



Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City-March 25, 2020.

Combined troops of 1102nd infantry Brigade and PNP successfully rescued Dr. Daniel Moreno at the hinterlands of Indanan, Sulu at around 7:30 in the evening of March 24, 2020.

Sensing the approach of overwhelming goverment forces, the ASG forced to abandon Dr. Moreno. There after, government troops pursued the fleeing ASG that led to a five minutes encounter against the group of ASG sub-leader @ Mundi Sawadyaan in Brgy Bangalan of said municipality.

“Acting on the information relayed by a concern citizen, troops of 1102nd Brigade conducted rescue operation,” said Col Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Brigade.

Dr Moreno will undergo medical check-up and debriefing at headquarter Joint Task Force Sulu. “We will remain steadfast in accomplishing our mandate to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf Group and rescue the remaining captives,” said Major General Corleto Vinluan, Joint Task Force Sulu commander.

“The freedom of KV Moreno is attributed to the sustained search and rescue operation of the remaining KVs conducted by the government forces coupled with the support of the local populace throughout our operations,” LtGeneral Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command said.

“We aim to dismantle the Abu Sayyaf group and rescue the remaining kidnapped victims by accelerating our operational tempo while maximizing stakeholders’ engagements,” the commander added.





[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/government-forces-rescued-dr-moreno-in-sulu/

Kalinaw News: Army in Caraga Commemorates Philippine Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 25, 2020): Army in Caraga Commemorates Philippine Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary (By 4th Infantry Division)



Bancasi, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade commemorated the 123rd Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army (PA) on March 23, 2020, at Headquarters 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, Brgy Bancasi, Butuan City.

The Brigade under the leadership of Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine led the commemoration of the Philippine Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary through the conduct of a simultaneous flag-raising ceremony together with its OPCON units.

Amidst the challenges of the unseen threat of COVID-19 in the country, once again, the Philippine Army as a reliable and dependable partner of the people has been put to the test on its dynamic role to assist and support the civilian agencies in preventing the spread of the pandemic virus that plagued not only the Philippines but the whole world.

The simultaneous flag-raising was done following the protocol of social distancing which was led by Brigadier General Licudine highlighting the reading of the message of the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Lieutenant General Gilbert I Gapay AFP.

In his message, General Gapay underscores the milestones of the Philippine Army for the past 123 years of gallantry and dedication in serving our people and securing our land and as a staunch guardian of peace, a vital partner in nation-building and the single largest force provider of the Armed Forces of the Philippines standing proud at one hundred thousand strong.

In Filipino language, He said, “Habang ipinagdiriwang natin ang ating anibersaryo, ang ating kasundaluhan ay buong giting na babantayan ang kaligtasan ng sambayanang Pilipino mula sa salot na COVID-19. Kakaiba ito sa ating mga tradisyunal na kalaban sapagkat hindi ito tao ngunit labis na mapamuksa. Mananatili tayong matatag sa pagtupad ng ating sinumpaang tungkulin – ang pagsilbihan at protektahan ang mga mamamayan at ating bayan kahit buhay man ang kapalit”.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Licudine in his statement said that the Stinger Troopers under his leadership will perform its mandate and continue being catalysts of peace. “402nd Brigade will continuously serve and protect the people as we pursue our quest for professionalism among our ranks. We call on our peace-loving citizens to support your troops in its peaceful war effort through the Peace and Development Zone (PDZ) program here in Caraga spearheaded by the Task Force ELCAC in order to attain just and peaceful environment for inclusive development”.





[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/army-in-caraga-commemorates-philippine-armys-123rd-founding-anniversary/

Kalinaw News: Corona Virus fails to hamper government remuneration for former rebels

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 25, 2020): Corona Virus fails to hamper government remuneration for former rebels  (By Kalinaw News)



CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Amidst the lockdown to contain COVID-19, 13 former rebels received Php 688,000.00 worth of firearms remuneration under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP during a ceremony on Tuesday.

The formal handover was held at the Army’s 202nd Brigade headquarters in Cavinti, Laguna and was witnessed by key officials of the Provincial LGU.

Ms Maricar Palacol, the focal person of the Provincial Peace and Order Council, assured the people of Laguna that the Provincial Government’s resolve to deliver social services to their constituents will never waver even in the face of this virus which is currently the greatest threat to humanity.

In her speech, Ms Palacol conveyed Gov Ramil Hernandez’s call to the former rebels to “reach out to your former comrades and friends who are still members of the NPA to surrender, avail the grants provided by E-CLIP and join the people in our quest for just and lasting peace.”

According to Col Alex Rillera, Commander, 202nd Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Laguna Province, although his unit is directly involved in containing the spread of COVID-19, they are continuously coordinating with concerned LGUs and government agencies to ensure that former rebels will receive the grants offered to them during the course of local peace negotiations.

According to the military, the 13 former rebels surrendered after turning over their firearms to government negotiators last year. They are among the 45 FRs who left the NPA during the terrorist group’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2019.

Per the E-CLIP’s implementing guidelines, those who surrender firearms will receive remuneration, the amount of which will be double the prevailing market value of every serviceable firearm that will be determined by experts from the PNP.

Col Rillera added that “these financial assistance which they have just received are on top of the initial monetary benefits that were granted to them last September during the declaration of Laguna as a province with stable internal peace and security or SIPS.”

“The government’s ability to deliver on its promises, despite the ongoing national and global crisis, is a manifestation of the government’s sincerity to forge peace and usher progress and development”, ended Col Rillera.

Under the E-CLIP, a former rebel can receive up to Php 700,000.00 worth of benefits which include immediate and livelihood assistance and additional compensations in the form of educational, health services, employment and housing benefits among others.

Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division which covers Southern Tagalog, lauded the Provincial Task Force ELCAC’s concerted effort at all levels in pursuing President Duterte’s directive to end local communist armed conflict despite the health crisis brought about by COVID-19.

Maj Gen Burgos added that “the headways which the people are gaining in our fight against insurgency is a testament to our people’s yearning and aspirations for peace, prosperity and development which shall overcome gargantuan challenges, including the threat of this global pandemic.”

He also commended every soldier’s exemplary performance, commitment and dedication as they lead the Filipino people’s current fight in two different fronts, insurgency and Corona Virus, while assuring the nation that they will remain steadfast in their mandate to serve the people and secure Southern Tagalog.

He ended his statement by reiterating his appeal to the few remaining NPA Terrorists “to lay down your arms, spend your time in peace with your families and be part of the solution to the problems which our beloved country and people are facing particularly during these very challenging times.”

Since the implementation of E-CLIP, 466 former rebels surrendered 93 firearms to government forces deployed across Southern Tagalog.

As of this writing, CALABARZON region and MIMARO provinces have distributed a total of Php 9.79 million-worth of financial assistance to former rebels.





[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/corona-virus-fails-to-hamper-government-remuneration-for-former-rebels/

Kalinaw News: 4ID establishes quarantine checkpoints

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 25, 2020): 4ID establishes quarantine checkpoints (By 4th Infantry Division)



CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The Commander of 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Philippine Army inspected the area of operation of Task Force Oro in their established Quarantine Control Centers (QCC)/checkpoints at the boundaries of Cagayan de Oro city early this morning, March 24, 2020.

Task Force Oro in coordination with the Police Regional Office-10 has established its QCC at strategic locations identified at the boundaries of Cagayan de Oro city in response to the imminent threat posed by CoViD-19 pandemic. Said QCC served as preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus by regulating movement of the communities considered as probable hosts of the virus.

The establishment of QCC is also in line with the PRRD’s Proclamation No. 922 “Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines” and the Executive Order 049-2020 signed by the city mayor, Hon Oscar Moreno, placing Cagayan de Oro city under community quarantine.

MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of 4ID, said, “We must stop the spread of this killer virus and protect our community from this epidemic. However, said QCC should not hamper the continuous flow of food and non-food items for the community during the implementation of the community quarantine.” “We should also consider the movement of essential persons authorized in addressing this situation and ensure the unhampered delivery of our basic needs,” Gacal added.

“We are experiencing a dramatic increase and acceleration of patients positively infected with CoViD-19 nationwide. Nobody is exempted from this epidemic. It is with solidarity amongst our government agencies and the community that we will emerge victorious against this CoViD-19 pandemic. Help us do our job, stay at home and observe the established health protocols,” Gacal ended.


[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/4id-establishes-quarantine-checkpoints/

Lorenzana seeks full military, police support in enforcing gov’t plan vs coronavirus

From Rappler (Mar 26, 2020): Lorenzana seeks full military, police support in enforcing gov’t plan vs coronavirus (By JC Gotinga)

The defense chief will be on top of implementing the government's policies in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic


SECURITY SECRETARIES. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L), Interior Secretary Eduardo AƱo (C), and Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez (R), receive aid donations from China at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on March 21, 2020. MalacaƱang Photo

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana calls on the military and police as he takes the lead in implementing the government’s National Action Plan (NAP) on addressing the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 71-year-old Lorenzana sought
“the full support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in protecting the Filipino people during the ongoing public health emergency,” according to a statement released by the Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday afternoon, March 26.

“Vital to the success of this effort is the high level of inter-agency coordination that the defense and security sector should implement…in tandem with the national government agencies, local government units, non-government organizations, and civil society organizations so that a holistic approach to this challenge can be pursued,”
Lorenzana said.


On Wednesday, March 25, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) published a resolution that delegates the enforcement of the NAP to a proposed “National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19,” with the defense chief at the helm.

The IATF-EID, led by the Department of Health, will then become the policy-making body on operations, while the NTF COVID-19 will be the enforcer, to “lessen the burden” on the IATF-EID.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), already led by Lorenzana as DND chief, will identify the units that will comprise the NTF COVID-19.

To stay updated on news, advisories, and explainers, check out our special coverage page, “Novel Coronavirus Outbreak.”

The NDRRMC is normally the agency that leads the government’s response to natural disasters.

“The NAP encompasses the whole-of-government response against the threat of COVID-19, with the AFP and the PNP taking the lead in strictly implementing the enhanced community quarantine, ensuring unimpeded supply of food and non-food supplies in the communities, as well as maintaining a systematic and orderly implementation of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the DND said.

COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Situation before

Before this, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) was in charge of enforcing the government’s response to the pandemic, especially the “enhanced community quarantine” or lockdown in Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, and other parts of the country.

The police, a civilian force supervised by the DILG, were the frontline enforcers of the lockdown, with the military only as a secondary line of support.

The new set-up led by the defense chief puts the military in a more prominent position. The DILG is similarly placed second to the DND in the new plan.

Luzon is set to be on lockdown until April 12, while Metro Manila will be on lockdown until April 14.

Lockdowns in different parts of the country are meant to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. As of Thursday afternoon, the Philippines has recorded 707 confirmed cases of the disease, with 28 recoveries and 45 deaths.

https://www.rappler.com/nation/255996-lorenzana-seeks-military-police-support-enforcing-government-plan-coronavirus

NPA ceasefire to start

From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 26, 2020): NPA ceasefire to start

The New People’s Army Apolinario Gatmaitan Command will cease its tactical offensives against government forces in Negros starting today, its spokesman, Ka Juanito Magbanua, announced yesterday.

This is in compliance with the order of the Communist Party of the Philippines central committee, that ordered all commands and units of the NPA and its people’s militia to observe a nationwide ceasefire that will take effect starting 12:01 a.m. of today to 11:59 p.m. of April 15, Magbanua said.

But he stressed that they will remain vigilant and monitor any possible hostile action from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Police during the ceasefire period.


Capt. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesman, said they welcome the NPA declaration to stop their anti-people actions against those who are working hard to fight COVID-19.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered a unilateral ceasefire to allow the AFP and PNP to focus on helping government medical personnel in the fight against COVID-19.

Pancito said he hopes that the NPA will be true to their words, stressing that the Filipino people deserve a stand down on fighting.

While the 3ID is in full swing helping other frontliners in the fight against the spread of COVID 19, Pancito said “ We assure the public that we will not back down on keeping peace in the region.”, stressing that they are still ready to fight whenever necessary.

The CPP, in a statement it issued, said that the purpose of unilateral ceasefire is to ensure and facilitate necessary, unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people brought about by the exigencies of the current COVID-19 worldwide pandemic that has affected a growing number of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.

It added that ceasefire is also a gesture towards national unity and based on humanitarian principles in the context of the serious public emergency to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all Filipinos.

The CPP also clarified that the ceasefire order is not dependent on the issuance of the Suspension of Military Operations and Suspension of Police Operations issued or to be issued by the Philippine government.

http://www.visayandailystar.com/2020/March/26/topstory5.htm

Reds say mil ops continue in Caraga despite unilateral truce

From MindaNews (Mar 26, 2020): Reds say mil ops continue in Caraga despite unilateral truce declarations (By ROEL CATOTO)

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 26 March) – Government forces have continued to launch military operations against the New People’s Army across the Caraga Region despite the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire last week by President Duterte to enable government to focus its efforts on addressing the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a regional officer of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said.


NPA rebels somewhere in Caraga Region. MindaNews file photo by ARIES SANDINO M. MORDENO

“At the moment, combat operations of the 30th IB, 29th IB, 36th IB and 3rdSFB of the AFP and PNP combat troops continue in the mountains of Butuan City; Surigao del Norte; in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur; and in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Meanwhile many of their troops continue to occupy the barrios in the region to implement CSP,” Ka Maria Malaya, spokesperson of NDFP-Northeastern Mindanao Region said in a statement dated March 19 but received by MindaNews on March 24.

On Tuesday, the Communist Party of the Philippines issued its own unilateral ceasefire declaration in response to a call by the United Nations for a unified global effort in fighting the disease.

“Upon the recommendation of the Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), by way of direct response to the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hereby orders all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the people’s militias to observe a nationwide ceasefire that will take effect from 00:00H of 26 March 2020 to 23:59H of 15 April 2020,” the CPP said.

Malaya said Duterte’s ceasefire order should compel military units operating in the region to pull out.

“This includes those implementing civil-military operations (CMO) such as community support program,” she said.
She alleged that the military operations have hampered agricultural production because the soldiers “control the schedule of farmers” on suspicion that “they will meet with the NPA.”

Major Gerry Magayaga, CMO commander of the 30th Infantry Battalion, denied Malaya’s allegations in a phone interview Thursday.

He said what they’re doing instead is helping people in livelihood projects and in preventing the spread of Covid-19.


Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Villarosa, commanding officer of the 30IB, has yet to respond to MindaNews’ query sent via text message.

In a phone interview, Ka Oto, spokesperson of the NPA’s Front 16 operating in Surigao del Norte and portion of Agusan del Norte said they will desist from attacking government troops but will maintain a defensive position.

“We adhere to the call of the United Nations to stop the warring parties as we fight the Covid-19 on a global scale,” he said. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)

Kidnapped Sulu doctor released

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Mar 25, 2020): Kidnapped Sulu doctor released

A Filipino physician kidnapped by the pro-ISIS group Abu Sayyaf was freed in the southern Philippine province of Sulu after a month in captivity.

Dr Daniel Moreno was recovered by security forces in the town of Indanan late Tuesday.
Other reports said members of the Moro National Liberation Front under Yusop Jikiri helped rescue the doctor.

There was no immediate statement from the Western Mindanao Command or the Sulu police force, but photos of Moreno, accompanied by Jikiri and policemen and soldiers went viral on Facebook.

The photos showed the unshaven and frail-looking doctor wearing a pair of denim, sandals and a brown t-shirt and being assisted by Jikiri and soldiers as he walked his way to waiting security forces.

Moreno, who is in his 60s, was snatched in his clinic in the capital town of Jolo just after dusk February 4 in a daring assault carried out by at least four armed men disguised as soldiers.

It was unclear how the gunmen managed to pass through military checkpoints around the town without being detected by soldiers and even policemen. Jolo is under tight security following twin suicide bombings by an Indonesian couple at a local Catholic church in January last year that killed and wounded dozens of civilians and soldiers.

It was unknown if Moreno’s family paid ransom to the Abu Sayyaf which originally demanded P5 million for his safe release.

The militants, who were fighting for the establishment of a caliphate, resorted to kidnappings to fund the purchase of weapons and terror attacks in the restive region dominated by Christians.

The Abu Sayyaf had previously kidnapped foreigners and traders, and even members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and journalists in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region. (Zamboanga Post)

https://mindanaoexaminernewspaper.blogspot.com/2020/03/kidnapped-sulu-doctor-released.html

Commies finally declare truce

From the Mindanao Examiner (Mar 25, 2020): Commies finally declare truce

After rejecting President Rodrigo Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire and blaming him for the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease in the Philippines, communist rebels now declared a 21-day truce effective Thursday.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the truce was in response not to Duterte’s unilateral ceasefire, but as a “direct response to the call of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.”

It said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, CPP’s political wing, recommended the ceasefire from March 26 until April 15. During the truce, all New People’s Army (NPA) rebel forces and its civilian militias shall cease and desist from carrying out offensive military operations against government security forces, according to CPP.

But it also reminded NPA forces to “stay vigilant and be ready to act in self-defense against any tactical offensives or any hostile actions or movements contrary to the ceasefire order launched by any enemy force against the people and revolutionary forces in the guerrilla fronts of the people’s democratic government.”

It said rebel forces may take active-defense operations only in the face of clear and imminent danger and armed attacks by government troops and ordered the NPA and its militias to closely monitor any hostile actions being carried out by state forces.

“This ceasefire order shall take effect immediately and is not dependent on the issuance of the suspension of military operations and suspension of police operations issued or to be issued by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines,” CPP said.

It said the ceasefire is to ensure and facilitate necessary, unhampered and immediate medical, health and economic assistance, support and movement of the people brought about by the exigencies of the current Covid-19 worldwide pandemic that has affected a growing number of Filipinos.

The CPP also demanded anew the release of all jailed rebels across the country and grant amnesty to all of them. “This ceasefire is also a gesture towards national unity and based on humanitarian principles in the context of the serious public emergency to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all. Consistent with these context and considerations, the NDFP demands as a matter of justice and necessity that all political prisoners be released forthwith and a general amnesty be issued.”

“The ceasefire may potentially contribute as well towards a positive atmosphere conducive to the eventual holding of informal talks preparatory to the formal meeting to resume the peace negotiations,” it added.

Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, said the recommendation of Jose Maria Sison, CPP’s founding chairman, to issue a declaration of a ceasefire addressed to the NPA, is a positive development.

“At this crucial time, the Filipino people deserve and need a safe and peaceful environment where there is unimpeded movement of health workers, medical supplies, food and other needs and services, in view of the current state of calamity and public health emergency. We therefore welcome the cooperation of all, including those in the Left, to realize our goal of absolute peace during these times,” he said.

“As Mr. Sison proposes concord to be realized during this global health crisis, it is also our hope that their group’s armed component on the ground would show genuine sincerity in laying down their arms and not use the occasion to mobilize their forces. The Palace looks forward that they would make good and stay true to their words,” Panelo added.

Just recently, NDFP peace negotiator Fidel Agcaoili, accused Duterte of using the health crisis as a cover for militarist rule and blamed him for the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country that has infected over 300 and killed more than a dozen more.

The virus, now a global pandemic, broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, and quickly spread to over 100 countries with China recording over 81,000 infections and more than 3,200 deaths.

“Duterte and his fascist minions should stop manipulating the Covid-19 emergency in the Philippines to push their militarist and anti-people agenda and shortcut their fascist dream to govern the country martial law-style,” Agcaoili said.

He said Duterte ignored warnings not to allow Chinese tourists into the Philippines even though the virus wreak havoc in China and spread outside its borders.

“In February, while the Duterte regime had allowed the entry into the country of hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists, including those from Wuhan, and ignored the grave implication of the death of the first victim in the Philippines, the revolutionary forces have been closely monitoring developments in the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.”

“As the virus started to wreak havoc in China and began to spread outside China's borders, immediately the revolutionary movement through its National Health Bureau has been busy organizing and mobilizing revolutionary health committees from the national down to the village levels to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their areas, and check on the people's health,” he said.

Rebel forces have been fighting the democratic government for many decades now in a violent campaign to establish a communist state in the Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner)

https://mindanaoexaminernewspaper.blogspot.com/2020/03/commies-finally-declare-truce.html

Medical team, free pizza sent to troops in Covid-19 checkpoints (

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 25, 2020): Medical team, free pizza sent to troops in Covid-19 checkpoints (By Priam Nepomuceno)



FREE PIZZA. A soldier receives three boxes of pizza at a checkpoint in Valenzuela City on Tuesday (March 24, 2020). Aside from free pizzas, the Philippine Army headquarters also sent a medical team to boost the morale of soldiers manning the checkpoints in Luzon. (Photo courtesy of Army Chief Public Affairs Office) 

Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Tuesday sent a medical team and free pizza to boost the morale of soldiers manning the checkpoints set up to implement the 30-day enhanced community quarantine in Luzon following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Col. Ramon Zagala, PA spokesperson, said the medical team and pizzas were sent to troops deployed to quarantine assistance stations located at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Smart Connect Exit, Parada, Valenzuela City; McArthur Highway, Malanday, Valenzuela City; NLEX Camachile Exit, Caloocan City and Alat Bridge, Bagong Silang, Quirino Highway, Caloocan City.

About 441 troopers were deployed last March 17 to man these checkpoints.

Aside from these, Army assistant chief-of-staff for personnel, Col. Potenciano C. Gamba, also visited the troops and lauded them for their services.

Gamba assured them that the Army got their backs as they perform their duties.

"Stay healthy always and remember that your health is crucial in the fight against the unseen enemy, which is the Covid-19,” he added.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097700

PAF plane rescues stranded Russians in Dumaguete

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 25, 2020): PAF plane rescues stranded Russians in Dumaguete (By Mary Judaline Partlow)



RESCUE MISSION. Seventeen Russians and a Filipino woman, who is the wife of one of the foreigners, were flown out of Negros Oriental on Wednesday afternoon (March 25, 2020) on board a Philippine Air Force aircraft. This is the first "sweeper flight" provided by government to rescue foreigners who were stranded due to travel restrictions so they can return to their countries of origin. (Photo courtesy of CAAP-Negros Oriental)

A Philippine Air Force (PAF) plane on Thursday afternoon landed at the Sibulan-Dumaguete airport here to pick up stranded foreigners so they can return to their respective countries of origin.

Mark Diamaoden, airport manager and chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Negros Oriental, said those rescued were 17 Russians and a Filipino woman who is the wife of one of the foreign nationals.

He said this was the first “sweeper flight” to arrive here, as tourism officials from the province, cities, and municipalities in Negros Oriental are helping to facilitate the departure of the stranded foreigners.

Diamaoden said that similar “sweeper flights” have already landed in Siquijor for stranded foreign nationals although he still has to receive a report from that island-province, which is still part of his jurisdiction.

The PAF CASA-C212 was scheduled to land at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Cebu, he said.

The airport manager explained that while there are no longer commercial flights here, exemptions include flights on a humanitarian mission, sweeper flights, and medical evacuation, among others.

He confirmed that arrangements were earlier made for the evacuation of a patient under investigation (PUI) for Covid-19 for transfer to Metro Manila today.

However, he said they are still awaiting clearance from the Department of Health to do the transfer.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097820

NPA attacks IP community in DavNor town

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 25, 2020): NPA attacks IP community in DavNor town (By Che Palicte)



A view of Sitio Tapayanon, a tribal settlement in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong town, Davao del Norte. (File photo courtesy of the 10th Infantry Division)

New People’s Army (NPA) fighters attacked an Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in Kapalong town in Davao del Norte Tuesday morning, a military official said Wednesday.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, chief of the Army's 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, said no one was hurt in the 10-minute encounter that ensued after government troops responded to civilian reports that
an undetermined number of rebels attacked a Manobo settlement in Sitio Tapayanon, Barangay Gupitan.


“The enemy withdrew towards unknown directions and while clearing the encounter site, troops were deliberately fired upon by an undetermined number of terrorist but troops were able to occupy their defensive positions as close air support moves in,” Lamosao said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

1Lt. Amadeuz Celestial, civil-military operations chief of the Army's 60th Infantry Battalion, said they managed to fend off the attack by firing mortar and artillery rounds on the rebel position.

Celestial said the Army was able to anticipate the attack after receiving civilian tipoffs on the NPA's planned “tactical offensive” against the troops conducting community support programs in the area.

“Amidst the Covid-19 crisis, NPAs took advantage and attacked the IPs but 10ID will always protect the IP communities from CTGs (communist terrorist group) threat,” Lamosao added.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire from March 19 until April 15, 2020, as state forces are being utilized to man checkpoints and help enforce the guidelines of the state of public health emergency to contain the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The President ordered the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police to "cease and desist from carrying out offensive military and police operations during the ceasefire period.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) condemned the NPA attack and noted that it came just a day after the United Nations called for a global ceasefire for all countries to focus on the battle against Covid-19.

"While every sector in the country and the whole world are battling an invisible virus and its economic and social impact, the CTG is aggravating the misery of the communities by taking advantage of carrying out attacks against the vulnerable communities. This is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law," said Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., Eastmincom commander.

Faustino reminded the troops all over Eastern Mindanao to remain vigilant against the NPA's "treachery."

"We will continue to monitor their plans, actions, and movements and will not hesitate to take the necessary military actions if they have moves that will compromise and imperil the safety of our troops doing community works, the frontliners in the fight against Covid-19 and our communities," he said.

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097731

Troops rescue abducted physician in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 26, 2020): Troops rescue abducted physician in Sulu (By Ely Dumaboc)



RESCUED. Police and military forces rescue Dr. Daniel Moreno following a five-minute firefight Tuesday (March 25, 2020) in Indanan, Sulu. Moreno was immediately taken to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo for a medical check-up. (PNA file photo)

Joint police and military forces rescued on Tuesday night the physician abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu.
The Sulu Provincial Police Office said the physician, Dr. Daniel Moreno, was rescued following a firefight around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Bangalan, Indanan, Sulu.

Police said the firefight ensued as the troops chanced upon the group of ASG sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan while conducting joint operations in connection with Operations Plan (Oplan) Lockdown amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

The firefight lasted about five minutes before the ASG bandits were forced to release Moreno, giving the troops the opportunity to rescue the hostage.


Police said the troops immediately extricated Moreno using their unmarked vehicle and safely transferred him to an ambulance of 1102nd Infantry Brigade prepositioned at a checkpoint in Barangay Timbangan, Indanan.

The police said Moreno was immediately taken to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista hospital for a medical checkup.

Moreno was kidnapped by gunmen clad in military and police uniforms on the evening of February 4 from his residence in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, the capital of Sulu.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097751

3 suspected CPP-NPA members indicted for recruitment of minors

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 26, 2020): 3 suspected CPP-NPA members indicted for recruitment of minors (By Nanette Guadalquiver)



CASE FILED. Personnel of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Western Visayas assist the minors and their parents in the filing of charges against the accused of qualified trafficking in persons before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office in November last year. The De la Cerna couple and their daughter have been charged before the Regional Trial Court earlier this month. (PNA Bacolod file photo)

The City Prosecutor’s Office here has charged three suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Negros Occidental with two counts of qualified trafficking in persons before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The accused were identified as couple Albert and Ma. Pilar de la Cerna and their daughter Karina Mae,
who are charged with violation of Section 4 (k) (1) in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 9208 as amended by Republic Act 10364.


The information for the two cases, with no recommended bail, was filed by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Fernand Castro before the RTC on March 13.

In Criminal Case No. 20-51659, the de la Cernas were charged with “conspiring, confederating, and acting in concert” and “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously recruit, harbor and transported” a 17-year-old male minor in 2017.

The charge sheet showed that this happened “by way of deception, taking advantage of the latter’s vulnerability and promising benefits for exploitation purpose of using him for armed conflict against the government”.

In Criminal Case No. 20-51660, the three accused were also charged with the same violation committed in October 2019, involving four minors, including a 12-year-old girl, two 15-year-old boys, a 17-year-old boy, and also an 18-year-old male.

As provided in Section 4 (k) (1), trafficking for purposes of exploitation of children shall include all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, involuntary servitude, debt bondage and forced labor, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Albert and Karina were among those arrested during the simultaneous raids in the offices of militant groups in Bacolod last October. Both are also facing separate criminal cases for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, and illegal possession of explosives.

Days after the raid, the minors rescued in one of the raids were joined by their parents with the assistance of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Western Visayas in filing the complaints for trafficking in persons against the accused and their three companions.

Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, welcomed the development in the cases filed against the suspected CPP-NPA members as he reiterated the government’s desire to put an end to the recruitment scheme of the communist-terrorist group.

“We are seeing here the government’s serious and united efforts to quell their recruitment activities, particularly among the minors. Let this serve as a warning to those who still continue to do it,” Vinoya added.

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097947

Soldiers commended for rescue of kidnapped doctor in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 26, 2020): Soldiers commended for rescue of kidnapped doctor in Sulu (By Priam Nepomuceno)



Philippine Army commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay. (File photo)

Philippine Army commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Wednesday commended troops for their valuable role in rescuing a doctor earlier kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Sulu.

“To the troops of the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion and 1102nd (Infantry) Brigade, I give you a snappy salute for a job well done. Through your commendable intelligence efforts, teamwork, and dedication, you are able to negate the enemy’s atrocities and save innocent civilians from their violence," Gapay said in a statement.


On Tuesday, Army troops with their counterparts from the Philippine National Police successfully rescued internist, Dr. Daniel Moreno, during operations against ASG terrorists led by Mundi Sawadyaan at Barangay Bangalan, Indanan, Sulu.
The overwhelming presence of government security forces in the area forced the ASG brigands to release Moreno before escaping.

The doctor was immediately brought to a government medical facility for a check-up.

Moreno was abducted by the terrorist group from his clinic at Barangay Walled City last February 4.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097842

Marine battalion to help man Covid-19 checkpoints

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 26, 2020): Marine battalion to help man Covid-19 checkpoints (By Priam Nepomuceno)



CHECKPOINT. Marine troops man a community quarantine checkpoint in Luzon on Tuesday (March 24, 2020). The Philippine Navy (PN) has deployed the 12th Marine Battalion to man the various checkpoints in compliance with the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Navy (PN) has deployed the 12th Marine Battalion to man the various checkpoints set-up to implement the 30-day enhanced community quarantine now being implemented all over Luzon following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a statement Wednesday night, PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, said the 12th Marine Battalion was originally planned to be deployed to Sulu upon completion of retraining by the end of this month.

However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the unit was tapped to help government efforts to contain the sickness.

"The additional Marine troops augment the Navy’s Fleet-Marine deployment under the Naval Task Group-National Capital Region manning the quarantine assistance stations in Rizal, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Cavite, and Laguna," Roxas added.

The PN last week has deployed over 500 sailors and marines to help man the checkpoints.

Roxas added the deployment of PN personnel is consistent with Navy chief Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo's directive to "proactively assist the national government and other non-government organizations in their resolve to contain this pandemic."

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097841

Army gets thermal scanners, equipment from PNOC EC

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 26, 2020): Army gets thermal scanners, equipment from PNOC EC (By Priam Nepomuceno)



DONATION. Army vice commander, Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Aquino (left) receives a thermal scanner from PNOC-EC president and retired Air Force commander, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez (right) in a ceremony in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Thursday (March 26, 2020). Aside from the thermal scanners, the state oil exploration firm also donated eye protectors, face masks and gloves to Army troops who are among the front-liners in the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019. (Photo courtesy of Army Chief Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday received 49 thermal scanners donated by the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corporation (PNOC EC).

Army spokesperson, Col. Ramon Zagala, said the equipment was formally handed to the PA during a short ceremony at the Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Retired Air Force commander and now PNOC-EC president and chief executive officer, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez, said the donation is to support Army front-liners in combating threats by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

Aside from the thermal scanners, the PNOC-EC also donated eye protectors, face masks and gloves.

"We are grateful for the Army frontliners' sacrifice in serving the Filipino people amidst the threat of an unseen enemy. May this equipment protect you as you carry out your mission in helping our government fight the virus," Briguez said.

Some 441 PA personnel were deployed at various checkpoints during the 30-day enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1097884