Friday, November 20, 2015

3rd Hamilton-class cutter to boost PHL military modernization efforts

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 21): 3rd Hamilton-class cutter to boost PHL military modernization efforts

The third Hamilton-class cutter which US President Barack Obama has pledged to donate to the Philippine Navy (PN) will greatly aid the country in its ongoing military modernization efforts.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin during an interview Friday.

He added that the transfer of the US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell will entail minimal cost as the PN will only pay for crew training and the fuel needed to transfer the ship to the country.

With the arrival of this ship in the latter part of 2016, the PN will be operating three units of Hamilton-class cutters -- including the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16).

The White House has earlier identified the two ships Obama has pledged to donate to the PN.

These ships are the high-endurance US Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell and research vessel, R/V Melville.

"This will provide the Philippines the ability to maintain greater maritime presence and patrols throughout its EEZ. We are also in the process of transferring the research vessel R/V Melville to support naval research and law enforcement capabilities," it added.

The Philippines remains the largest recipient of maritime security assistance, and will receive a record USD79 million in bilateral assistance of the FY 2015 funds allocated for developing Southeast Asian maritime capabilities.

This assistance is largely focused on building the training and logistical base for expanding the Philippine Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Forces’ ability to conduct operations within waters off the Philippines’ coasts.

"We are assisting with naval maintenance capacity building as well as providing interdiction vessels, naval fleet upgrades, communications equipment, and aircraft procurement," the White House said.

The US also vowed to continue to support the National Coast Watch System and assist the Philippines through the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), building capacity in Philippine maritime vessel maintenance, training, law enforcement support, and intelligence assistance to expand the country’s ability to detect, track, and interdict where necessary criminal and terrorist elements involved in the smuggling of sensitive items and illicit goods.

Governor hits AFP for lumad psy war

From The Standard (Nov 21): Governor hits AFP for lumad psy war

SURIGAO del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel  on Friday  denounced the military for projecting themselves as “pro-lumad” despite their inept response to the killing of lumad leaders and the displacement of indigenous people in the province.

“It’s possible that they’re adapting this [stance] as [a form of] psychological warfare for them to divert attention but that doesn’t solve the problem we’re facing right now,” Pimentel told The Standard in an interview.

The governor’s statement followed the announcement that Maj. Gen. Rey Guerrero, commander of the 3rd  Infantry Division based in Western Visayas, would replace Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, who reaches retirement age next week.

The Panay People’s Organization, a lumad group organized by the military and led by Renato Casinao, lauded Guerrero “for consistently upholding the rights of the indigenous peoples (IPs) as an advocacy to continuously empower them” and even “adopted” him as a lumad.

Pimentel said if Guerrero truly were part of the lumad, he should side with them.
“He should see what the lumad need. At this point, it’s the Army that can solve the killings and the problems of the lumad here in our province,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel also slammed the military for presenting Manobo leader Jumar Bucales as a resource speaker before the House committee on indigenous people, where he said other lumad leaders such as Emerito Samarca, the slain executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development Inc., were “poisoning the minds” of the Manobos.

Pimentel said Bucales was actually Marcos Bocales, the leader of the militia responsible for the murders of Samarca, Dionel Campos and Juvello Sinzo.

“The Jumar Bucales presented by the military is, in fact, Marcos Bocales. He’s being used as a resource person of the Army in House inquiries and that clearly establishes the link between the Army and the Baghani forces. He’s a rebel leader but they’re claiming that he’s a rebel returnee, making him talk to press conferences and say the lumad are linked to the New People’s Army. [Bocales] is why we have internally displaced lumad here in my province,” Pimentel added.

“Why is it that Jumar Bucales is their resource person… when in fact, he’s the one who harassed the lumad here in my province? He’s the leader of the Baghani forces. I want him caught but I think it can’t be possible because the military’s protecting him,” Pimentel said.

“I’m the governor here that’s why I know the problem. They should not say these things, otherwise it seems that we’re fooling each other when we are talking,” he added. “They should be protecting the people, but they’re doing it the other way around. That’s why it’s useless talking to them.”

Pimentel said he has also sought the help of the national government for the lumad who are still encamped at the provincial sports stadium in Tandag because they fear returning to their homes.

“The help coming from the DSWD has waned already. There are still 2,500 people in the evacuation centers in Tandag with 98 families. It’s good that some have already left, but the rest were those communities really affected by the killings,” Pimentel said.

“They want to return to their homes but what’s important is for the perpetrators to get arrested. But I think that’s not possible for now as the Baghani Magahat forces are supported by the Army.”

Also on Friday, the head of the human rights group Karapatan, Cristina Palabay, slammed the military’s “divide-and-rule” tactic and its use of media psy-ops to cover up its role in atrocities perpetrated against the lumad.

Local and international human rights institution have condemned the terrorism perpetrated by the military and its militia groups and also the communist New People’s Army against the lumad tribes.

Until now, the military and police have failed to arrest those behind the  Sept. 1  execution of Samarca, Campos and Sinzo.

Suspected soldiers and militiamen from Magahat, Baghani, Alamara, and other groups continue to terrorize lumad tribes with the recent burning of a teacher’s cottage owned by Alcadev.

Palabay said the perpetrators also destroyed books, school supplies, instructional and learning materials, stocks of rice, power generator set, audio-video equipment, sewing machine, kitchen utensils and farm tools.

“The 5,000 banana and abaca seedlings in the school nursery, as well as hardwood and fruit trees were also destroyed. Since September, the 24 schoolchildren and 10 teachers of Alcadev have been staying at the Tandag City Sports Complex, where nearly 2,000 residents from Lianga and San Miguel towns of Surigao del Sur are staying,” she said.

She also took note of the military’s sweeping statement against TV personality Maine Mendoza, popularly known as Yaya Dub, singer-composer Aiza Seguerra and other artists as “misled” into supporting the calls of the lumad.

PNP backpedals, says no headless body found in Sulu

Fro The Daily Tribune (Nov 21): PNP backpedals, says no headless body found in Sulu

Clarifying its own statement issued Thursday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday retracted report that a headless body, believed to have been that of beheaded Malaysian Bernard Then, was found in Sulu province on Wednesday.

“For clarification, there was no headless body recovered in Barangay Kagay, Indanan, Sulu last Wednesday,” Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesman for the PNP, said in a statement released yesterday.

Ironically, it was Mayor who also issued the statement on Thursday saying that a headless body was found in Barangay Kagay, even stating that PNP forensics investigators have started conducting examination on the recovered body.

On Tuesday, a severed head was found in downtown Jolo – hours after reports spread that the Abu Sayyaf band of Idang Susukan and Alden Bagade beheaded Then after his family failed to pay P50 million ransom demand.

Mayor confirmed that the severed head was recovered and is now under examination for identification procedure.

“The severed human head is now in the custody of the AFP Trauma Center at Kampo Heneral Teodulo Bautista in Busbus, Jolo Sulu for preservation and safekeeping,” said Mayor.

While both the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have not confirmed that the severed head was that of Then, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was in Manila when the beheading report spread for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, already expressed sympathies to the family of Then.

Razak even called on authorities to act against those responsible in the “barbaric” act.
Then, along with fellow Malaysian Thien Nyuk Fun, was snatched by Abu Sayyaf bandits at a floating restaurant owned by Fun in Sandakan last May.

Fun was released earlier this month after her family allegedly paid P30 million in ransom.

According to Mayor, there are ongoing efforts to validate reports about a headless body buried in Indanan.

“Ongoing operations are focused in Indanan for possible recovery of a headless body that is reportedly buried in the area,” said Mayor.

“Initially SOCO took Buccal Swab of the severed head for possible DNA identification procedure,” he added.

AFP, PNP on red alert for CPP anniversary

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 20): AFP, PNP on red alert for CPP anniversary

Despite the conclusion of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Thursday, the red alert status will remain in force in various field units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northeastern Mindanao.

The red alert status remains as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) prepares for its anniversary on December 26, 2015.
It was also learned that such measures had to be imposed in order to thwart the “tactical offensives” of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.
Maj. Gen. Oscar T. Lactao, commanding general of the AFP Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) and Chief Supt. Vert T. Chavez, regional director of Police Regional Office 13 (PRO-13) ordered their respective field unit commanders to “continue without let up” security operations in their respective areas of responsibility (AOR).
All field unit commanders were also ordered to closely watch all vital government and private installations in the region, particularly on power, water and communication facilities, aiming to avert any terroristic activities posed by the lawless group.
Urban police directors spread in the six cities and five provinces in Caraga region were also ordered to conduct round-the-clock patrol in all air and sea ports, malls, markets, terminals and other public places as the long vacation for the celebration of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day is also fast approaching.
“Our main concern here is the safety of all residents in this region, including visitors and tourists,” Supt. Martin M. Gamba, regional spokesman of PRO 13 told the Manila Bulletin yesterday.
He added that additional tourist police are already deployed in all tourist destinations in the region, particularly in Siargao Island (Surigao del Norte) which is frequented by foreign nationals.
Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco T. Matugas and his wife Gov. Sol F. Matugas with mayors, other top military and police officials and hotel and resort owners conducted last Tuesday a peace and security forum at “Kapitolyo Nan Siargao” in Dapa town, Siargao Island and laid down several security plan for the safety of all tourists, both foreign and domestic, including the residents in the nine towns of the island.
The meeting also resulted in the deployment of additional police and military units including “Tourist Police” personnel in the island, for the safety of all vacationers and residents, especially in all tourism hubs in that so-called “Paradise Island” in Mindanao.

Najib on terrorists: ‘perverted ideology and cowardly, barbaric acts’

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 20): Najib on terrorists: ‘perverted ideology and cowardly, barbaric acts’

Najib Razak

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak arrives for a welcome dinner during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the capital city of Manila on November 18, 2015. AFP FILE PHOTO/POOL

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—The recent spate of horrific terrorist attacks around the world drew strong words from Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the opening of the 27th Asean Summit on Saturday (Nov 21).

READ: Malaysians outraged by beheading of citizen

At the gathering of top leaders of all 10 Asean countries, Najib, who is chairing this weekend’s meetings, blasted terrorists behind these attacks for their perverted ideology and their cowardly and barbaric acts that do not represent any race, religion or creed.

“There cannot be a person in this hall who has not been shocked and shaken by the sickening disregard for human life and the devastation visited on families and communities. Our countries are in mourning, we all share in this grief,” he said, referring to the terror attacks that had happened in France, Lebanon and Mali, as well as the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai desert last month.

READ: Malaysia ‘sickened’ by citizen’s beheading in PH

Malaysia was not untouched by such actions, he added, with the beheading of a Malaysian hostage in the Southern Philippines earlier this week.

“Malaysia stands ready to provide any help and support that we can, and be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam,” he said, adding that terrorists should be confronted with the full force of the law.

At the same time, Najib presented an alternate vision for the world that has worked for Asean and a region once called “the Balkans of the Orient,” a cultural and political fault zone which some scholars had estimated was doomed to wars of separation because of its diverse populations.

The region was indeed riven by conflict and instability half a century ago, but countries in the region chose not to go the way of antagonism or economic warfare.
“Instead, we did something remarkable: we chose another way,” he said.

“In 1967 our forefathers formed a new association that has grown to our ten nations today. And we have advanced, and risen together—the Asean way.”

As a highly diverse collection of faiths and ethnicities, Asean countries have had to work together to overcome their differences, and to choose moderation and harmony over conflict. But in transcending such differences, Asean has become a unique example of how 10 different nations can form a shared vision, he added.

The same is required to defeat the ideology being spread by ISIS extremists, he added.

“Understandably, many will want to fight the so-called Islamic State (or ISIS) out of the lands they have stolen from millions of Syrians and Iraqis. But a military solution alone will not be enough,” he said.

“It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence; and in this time of tragedy, we must not lose sight of the fact that the ideology itself must be exposed as the lie that it is, and vanquished.”

Calling moderation—or Wassatiyyah—the “heart of Islam,” Najib said it was a quality in dire need around the world today that has been the key to non-violent solutions to conflict throughout history.

“There is nothing easy or wimpish about moderation,” he said. “It is a concept deeply embedded in the Asean Way, and one which is close to our hearts here in Malaysia, where our unique mixture of faiths and ethnicities could have divided us, but instead our diversity has strengthened us.”

On the eve of the declaration of the Asean Community—a project to closer integrate the 10 members in the bloc economically and socially—Najib said that Asean has not only preserved the security of the region, but has had a direct financial impact on member countries.

The grouping has managed to keep unemployment low by attracting substantial foreign direct investment over the decades, while the Asean Free Trade Area has reduced tariffs to virtually zero on most goods since it was formed in 1992.

Further liberalisation under the Asean Economic Conmmunity is expected to raise overall Asean GDP by seven percent by 2025, he added, which will translate into economic gain of billions of dollars.

“This is Asean’s time—this is our time. Asean can and should play a major role in shaping the Asian century and work with our partners across the continents to shape a world of prosperity, peace and progress,” said Najib.

“A world in which the carnage wrought by terrorists has been replaced by tolerance, moderation and a true recognition of our common humanity.”

Aquino orders AFP, PNP to intensify operations vs Abu Sayyaf Group

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 21): Aquino orders AFP, PNP to intensify operations vs Abu Sayyaf Group

APEC Philippines

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, left, is welcomed to the opening plenary session by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. Asia-Pacific leaders called Thursday for increased international cooperation in the fight against terrorism as they held annual talks overshadowed by the Paris attacks. Pool Photo via AP

KUALA LUMPUR—Heeding the plea of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to punish the kidnappers of a Malaysian man in Mindanao, President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the military and police to intensify their operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

READ: Malaysian hostage beheaded by Abu Sayyaf – report

 This was the first time the government confirmed that it was Malaysian Bernard Then Ted Fen who was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf men.

“President Aquino has directed the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) to further intensify operations against Abu Sayyaf Group and other terror threat elements,” Presidential spokesperson Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement on Saturday.

“The Philippines extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family and stands in solidarity with Malaysia and Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in resolutely fighting terrorism,” Coloma added.

READ: Malaysia ‘sickened’ by citizen’s beheading in PH

“Shocked and sickened” by the beheading of Bernard Then Ted Fen last Tuesday, Najib last week called on Philippine authorities to take action on the “savage and barbaric act.”

Najib, in his speech at the ongoing 27th Asean summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, condemned the beheading of their national as well as the recent terror attacks in Paris and Mali.

“We are ever vigilant against a threat that is very real in our region. Local militants and groups, such as Abu Sayyaf, have sworn allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS). It was they who cruelly murdered our countryman, Bernard Then, on Tuesday,” Najib said.

Aquino is one of the delegates who attended the Asean summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. He will stay in the city until Sunday.

The PNP and the AFP refuse to conclude that it was the head of Fen that was recovered in Jolo, Sulu last Tuesday.

Abu Sayyaf men allegedly kidnapped Fen last May at a resort in Sabah state.

MILF: Carnage victims’ kin cries out for justice

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 20): Carnage victims’ kin cries out for justice

Carnage victims’ kin cries out for justice

CARMEN, N. COTABATO – One of the survivors of the recent massacre in Barangay Ugalingan, Carmen, NorthCotabato demanded that the perpetrators of the crime be arrested and ultimately brought to justice soonest.

“I call upon our authorities to conduct a thorough investigation on the massacre, arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” said Taya Agal, 63 years old, one of the four persons who survived the attack unscathed.

Agal recounted that she was already asleep when a group of armed men fired upon their house at about 7:30 p.m. on November 16, 2015 in Purok 1, Barangay Ugalingan.

Four of the victims were killed on the spot while another one died at the Cotabato Provincial Hospital (CPH) in Amas, Kidapawan City.

Killed during the attack were Sara Agal, 9 years old; Pama Agal, 10; Mustapa Agal, 12 and Ibrahim Agal, 50.

Mohamed Agal, 20, died at the CPH, where he and two others, Nasrudin Agal, 9 and Esmail Agal, 15, were brought immediately.

Jerry Agal, 43, is still recuperating in an undisclosed hospital in Davao City.

Aside from Taya, the three others who survived unscathed were her husband, Lipusen Agal, 65;Anida Agal, 45, wife of Jerry, and Mujahid Agal, 2.

When the responding authorities arrived, their attention was immediately caught by Mujahid, who was seated on the floor amidst his dead elders.

“The two-year old Mujahid was lucky to have been shielded by one of the victims so he was not harmed,” claimed one of the witnesses.

Taya said she did not know of any enemy of her family.

Several empty shells of Garand, M16 Armalite and M14 rifles were recovered in the crime scene.

MILF: BDA presents BDP Agribusiness in Mindanao Agricultural Fisheries Council Summit

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 20): BDA presents BDP Agribusiness in Mindanao Agricultural Fisheries Council Summit

Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)

Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), the agency who formulated the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), presented the BDP in the 1st AFC Mindanao Congress and 11th PAFC Mindanao Summit on November 12-15, 2015 at Phela Grande Convention Center, General Santos City.

Dubbed as "AFCs: Partners in Enhancing Competitiveness of Mindanao Agribusiness towards ASEAN Integration," the activity was organized by the Department of Agriculture.

The gathering, participated by all Department of Agriculture regional offices and Regional Agricultural Fishery Council (RAFC), aims to harmonize and strengthen agriculture products to compete to other ASEAN countries.

Engr. Windel Diangcalan, Deputy Executive Director of BDA, presented the BDP, "Hoping that this Plan (BDP) will address the injustices suffered by Bangsamoro"

He added that the BDP is the roadmap towards the holistic development of the Bangsamoro region which has been succumbed to poverty due to protracted armed conflict for decades already.

"This Plan has a peace-building lens that shall response to the conflict, this in preparation of the Bangsamoro Government," Diangcalan stressed.
He pointed out that the 63.5% of the Bangsamoro areas are driven by agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

Diangcalan said the agricultural lands in the Bangsamoro is potential for the production of high value crops such as coffee, rubber and abaca.

He stressed during the open forum, "Help us in the Bangsamoro to promote peace and development, this BDP is a roadmap for development in the Bangsamoro and a testament that the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) is sincere in developing the Bangsamoro areas."

BDA is the economic arm of the MILF which is hailed for being the only revolutionary organization in the world which has comprehensive development plan, the BDP, for its people.

The MILF is engaged in a peace process with the Philippine government. It has signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro which ushers the creation of autonomous Bangsamoro political entity.

MILF: Moro individuals, orgs enjoined to participate in 27th Muslim Blood Donation

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 20): Moro individuals, orgs enjoined to participate in 27th Muslim Blood Donation

Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)

Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA)-Central Mindanao (CenMin) invites Moro individuals and organizations to participate in the 27th Muslim Blood Donation (MBD) activity on November 22, 2015 at BDA-CenMin Regional Office, # 23 Jasmin Street, R.H 6, Cotabato City.

In a meeting with partners for the bloodletting initiative on November 15, BDA-CenMin Regional Manager Hashim Manticayan said, "We are respectfully inviting individuals and organizations to share your lives by donating blood in our 27th MBD to be held at BDA-CenMin Regional Office."

He expressed gratitude to individuals and groups for being part of their continuing engagement in saving the lives of blood recipients "through their strong and unconditional participation" with the series of MBD.

"Your participation in our voluntarily blood donation is of utmost value because every drop of your blood if done in right way is equivalent to life," Manticayan stressed.

Nazneen Biruar-Piang, R.N., MBD regional coordinator said the team has come up with better strategy on information drive.

The BDA staff and volunteers committed to carry the tasks assigned to them to draw more blood donors for the success of the activity.

MBD is under the health program of the agency. It was founded by BDA-CenMin and piloted in the central Mindanao region. (Info source: BDA)

MILF: MILF reminds political and military officers of non-participation to 2016 elections

Posted to the MILF Website (Nov 20): MILF reminds political and military officers of non-participation to 2016 elections

MILF reminds political and military officers of non-participation to 2016 elections

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leadership reminded the political and military officers of the Front to abide with the standing policy of the organization on the non-participation to the forthcoming 2016 national and local elections.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the MILF- Central Committee, issued the memorandum dated October 21 saying, “You are hereby directed to strictly comply and abide by the provisions of the MILF Standing Policy BANNING officers of the MILF both Political and Military from participating in the conduct of Philippine Elections.”

The ban specifically applies to political officers of the Front from Barangay Chairman to Central Committee specific to Platoon Commanders up to the highest ranking officer for the BIAF and Provincial Police Forces.

The MILF prohibits participation to election activities that include “running for any elected posts, joining and participating in political campaigns and rallies, use of MILF properties, including vehicles and other equipment’s for election purposes and other similar and related activities during the entire breadth of the election campaign and election period.”

The memorandum said any violation to the policy will be dealt accordingly under the MILF Judicial System.

The MILF is the largest revolutionary group of Muslims in the country which is engaged with the government in a peace negotiation.

The organization seeks to establish and autonomous region aimed to bring justice, peace and development of the Bangsamoro people in Southern Philippines. The MILF has signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014.  

International communities laud the MILF for being the only revolutionary group which has crafted a comprehensive development plan for its people, the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), and engages with the United Nations to address the issue on the recruitment of minors in its armed struggle.

For the Military Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and Provincial Police Forces (PPF) the BAN is specific to Platoon Commanders up to the highest ranking officer. Prohibited election activities include running for any elected position, joining and participating in political campaigns and rallies, use of MILF properties, including vehicles and other equipment’s for election purposes and other similar and related activities during the entire breadth of the election campaign and election period. Strict compliance and adherence to said policy is hereby enjoined to all concerned. Any violation to this POLICY/MEMORANDUM will be dealt with accordingly under the MILF JUDICIAL System.

CPP/NDF/NPA: Ayala Land at Selecta Farms, magkasabay na nireyd ng NPA-Rizal labing-apat (14): na armas, nakumpiska

NDF/NPA propaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 20): Ayala Land at Selecta Farms, magkasabay na nireyd ng NPA-Rizal labing-apat (14): na armas, nakumpiska
NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Macario “Ka. Karyo” Liwanag
Nobyembre 20, 2015

Magkasabay na nireyd ng NPA-Rizal ang Ayala Land at Selecta Farm sa Barangay Macabud, Rodriguez. Rizal kahapon, Nobyembre 19, 2015. ng ganap na ika-5:05 ng hapon hanggang ika-7:05 ng gabi. Dalawang oras na hinalughog ng isang platun ng Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NAAC-NPA-Rizal) ang opisina at detatsment ng mga armadong goons ng 2 kumpanya. Ang nasabing mga kumpanya ay kagyat na kadikit ng Syudad ng Caloocan City at Quezon City. Sa reyd na ito ay nakumpiska ng NPA-Rizal ang labing-apat (14) armas (siyam (9) na riple at 5 pistola), mga bala at iba pang kagamitang militar tulad ng Icom radio, bulletproof vest, combat shoes at military pack.

Ang nasabing kumpanya ay sangkot sa malawak na pangangamkam ng lupa sa mga magsasaka at pwersahang pinapalayas, tinatakot ang mga magsasaka sa lugar upang mapaalis sa lupang kinakamkam ng nasabing mga kumpanya. Sa pamamagitan ng pandarahas at panlilinlang ay nakamkam ng Selecta Farm ang 45 ektaryang lupain habang ang Ayala Land ay nakamkam ang 76 ektaryang lupain. Nagpapatuloy ito sa pagpapalawak ng lupain sa kapariwaraan ng mga magsasaka at mamamayan sa nasabing lugar gamit ang mga bayaran at armadong goons.

Ang mahigit na 131 ektaryang lupain ay nakontrol ng 2 kumpanya at nagawan ng iba-ibang maniobra upang hindi masaklaw ng programa sa reporma sa lupa. Sa kabila ng kahilingan ng mga magsasaka na ipamahagi sa kanila ang lupa sa ilalim ng programa para sa reporma sa lupa ay nagbingi-bingihan ang mga ahensya ng gobyerno tulad ng Department of Agrarian Reporms (DAR) at maging ang lokal na sa bayan ng Rodriguez at sa lalawigan ng Rizal. Mas masahol pa ang ginawang maniobra ng lokal na pamahalaan ng Rodriguez, Rizal ng ideklara nito na ang agrikultural na lupain ng buong Barangay Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal ay klasipikado para sa industriyal at komersyal na gamit, gayong ang barangay na ito ay nanatiling napaka-atrasado at napaka-agrikultural na lupain. Nanatili itong walang kuryente, walang malinaw na sistema ng pamamahagi ng tubig sa mamamayan at bako-bako ang mga kalsada sa kabila ng kalapitan nito sa Metro Manila. Ang pagbabago ng klasipikasyon ng lupa ay para bigyang katwiran ang pag-iwas ng mga malalaking panginoong maylupa at burgesya kumprador sa reporma sa lupa at paatilihin ang pangangamkam at control sa malalawak na lupain ng nasabing barangay kapalit ng salaping ibinibigay sa kanila.

Ang Selecta Farms (na ngayon ay Arce Dairy Products) ay pag-aari ng pamilya ni Don Mauro Arce, kasosyo ng pamilya ni Jose Concepcion sa mga negosyo nito. Ang Selecta farmas ang pangunahing pinagkukuhanan ng gatas ng kalabaw na isinusuplay sa mga empresa ng Selecta na gumagamit ng gatas ng kalabaw sa kanilang produktong pagkain. Ang Ayala Land ay pagmamay-ari ng pamilyang Ayala na kilala bilang isang multi-bilyunaryong ankan at malaking burgesya kumprador na patuloy na nangangamkam ng lupa para sa pagpapalawak ng kanilang negosyo.

Dahil walang maasahan ang mamamayan ng Barangay Macabud at mamamayan ng Montalban, Rizal sa mga ahensya ng pamahalaan ay inilapit nila sa demokratikong gobyernong bayan na pinamumunuan ng CPP-NPA-NDFP ang kanilang kahilingan na mabigyang katarungan ang kanilang kaapihan sa kamay ng pamilyang Ayala at Arce. Sa ganito ay naobligang kumilos ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan upang tugunan ang kahilingan ng mamamayan.

Ang reyd na ito ay pagbibigay katarungan sa kaapihan ng mamamayan pinagsasamantalahan ng pamilya Ayala at Arce. Ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan bilang tunay na hukbo ng bayan ay patuloy na gagampanan ang kanyang dakilang misyon na ipagtanggol ang mamamayang Pilipino sa pananalakay at pang-aapi ng mga malalaking pangnoong maylupa, burgesya kumprador at mga dayuhang mandarambong. Sa pamumuno ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, makakaasa ang mamamayan na ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan ay patuloy na paglilingkuran ang sambayanan at kakapit-bisig na buong bayan ay bibigyang katarungan ang mga kaapihan ng mamamayan hanggang sa ganap na paglaya sa pagsasamatala ng iilan.




CPP/NDF/KM: Ibayong labanan ang imperyalistang pakana sa APEC

NDF/KM ropaganda statement posted to the CPP Website (Nov 18): Ibayong labanan ang imperyalistang pakana sa APEC

NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Pahayag ng Kabataang Makabayan
Nobyembre 18, 2015

Ma. Laya Guerrero, Tagapagsalita ng Kabataang Makabayan

Mainit na pagbati at pagpupugay ang ipinapaabot ng Kabataang Makabayan (KM) sa mga kabataan at mga mamamayang kabilang sa mga organisasyong masa mula sa mga sektor ng maggagawa, magsasaka, mga maralita ng lungsod, kababaihan, Lumad at mga katutubo mula sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa, mga propesyonal, at mga progresibong organisasyon mula sa mga kalapit-rehiyon na naglunsad ng Lakbayan laban sa Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)!

Sa gitna ng mga pagbabawal at panunupil ng estado, dumadagundong ang mga protesta ng mamamayang Pilipino upang ipahayag ang pagtutol sa APEC at sa mga patakarang neoliberal na tiyak pang patitindihin sa pagpupulong na pinangungunahan ng papet ng imperyalistang US na rehimeng Aquino. Sa iba’t ibang protesta sa mga sentrong bayan sa buong bansa umaalingawngaw ang islogang “JUNK APEC!”, “PH Not for Sale!”, “Imperyalismo IBAGSAK!” at iba pa, at mga makukulay na plakard at pagpapahayag ng paglaban ng mamamayan sa neoliberal na patakarang itinutulak ng APEC.

Ang pulong sa ngayon ng Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders Meeting (APEC ELM) mula Nobyembre 18-19, 2015 ay dinaluhan ng puno-ng estado ng 21 bansang kaanib sa APEC kabilang na ng punong-lider ng mga imperyalistang bansang US, China, Japan, Russia at Canada. Sinalubong ng malakas na protesta ng mamamayan ang pulong ng APEC sa gitna ng panunupil at pagdeklara na NO-RALLY Zone ang mga kalye at mga “freedom park” malapit sa pinaglulunsaran ng APEC ELM.

Kinukondena ng KM ang labis-labis na paggastos ng rehimeng US-Aquino na umabot sa mahigit siyam na bilyong piso bilang punong-abala sa APEC ELM . Samantala, pwersahang tinanggal at itinago ang mga mahihirap nating kababayang naninirahan at maliliit na manininda sa mga kalye ng Manila. Idineklara ring NO-FLY ZONE ang mga paliparan sa Manila at walang-pasok ang mga eskuwelahan, opisina at pagawaan sa mga araw ng APEC ELM upang itago sa mga “espesyal” na bisita ng rehimeng US-Aquino ang delubyo mula sa airport, magmula sa scam ng tanim-bala hanggang sa maalamat na trapiko sa Metro Manila; ang araw-araw na di-ligtas-at- magulong sistema sa luma ngunit napakamahal na MRT at LRT, at kalunos-lunos na kalagayan ng pampublikong transportasyon.

Kasabay ng Lock-Down Policy sa kalakhang Manila ay ang pakitang-gilas ng rehimeng US-Aquino sa mga kapitalista at mga punong lider ng mga imperyalistang bansa upang itago ang mga ‘bahid’ ng labis-labis na kahirapan ng mamamayang Pilipino at mga protestang bayan na sumasalungat sa mga pagbibida ni Aquino ng diumanong mirakulong pag-unlad ng ekonomya ng Pilipinas na dulot ng neoliberal na patakaran ng imperyalistang globalisasyon tulad ng ibinabandila ng APEC.

Nararapat lamang na kondenahin ang APEC bilang instrumento ng mga imperyalistang bansa sa panguna ng US sa pagtutulak ng patakaran ng imperyalistang globalisasyon, sa pamamagitan ng pagtutulak at pagpapasunod sa mga bansang neokolonyal tulad ng Pilipinas na ipatupad ang mga neoliberal na polisiya ng liberalisasyon, pribatisasyon, deregulasyon at denasyunalisasyon.

Sa liberalisasyon inaalis ang mga sagka sa mabilis na paglabas-masok ng mga produkto, serbisyo at kapital tulad ng taripa na lalong nagpabagsak halimbawa, ng lokal na agrikultura ng bansa at naglalagay sa panganib ng lokal na kawalang-kasiguruhan sa pagkain. Dahil sa mga patakarang pribatisasayon at deregulasyon, pinalala ang kalagayan ng mamamayang Pilipino na pinagkakaitan ng gobyernong Aquino ng sapat na subsidyo para sa libreng pampublikong mga serbisyo tulad ng edukasyon, kalusugan, pabahay at transportasyon, samantalang tumutubo ng bilyon-bilyon ang mga kapitalistang nakakopo ng mga dambuhalang proyektong pinupondohan ng gobyerno sa ilalim ng Public Private Partnership.

Nasa ubod ng mga patakarang neoliberal na atakihin ang sahod ng mga manggagawa at lalo pa itong pababain upang higit na gumanansya ang malalaking burgesyang komprador at mga dayuhang kapitalista, lalo na sa gitna ng krisis na nararanasan ngayon ng pandaigdigang sistemang kapatalista. Lalong binabansot ng mga patakarang neoliberal ang dati nang ngang atrasadong industriya at agrikultura ng bansa sa ilalim ng malapyudal at malakolonyal na sistema.

Pinalala ng neoliberalismo ang mga batayang suliranin ng monopolyo sa lupa at pangangamkam ng lupa sa nakakaraming magsasaka at katutubo. Itinatali nito ang ekonomiya sa murang eksport ng mga produktong may mababang-dagdag-halaga na labis na nakasalig sa mahal na import at lalong nagpapalala sa kawalan ng hanapbuhay sa bansa, pag-asa ng gobyerno para sa labor-export-policy at agresibong pagtulak pa ng rehimeng US-Aquino na paramihin ang Pilipinong napipilitang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa dahil sa kawalan ng trabaho.

Tulad ng mga nagdaang ng mga multi-lateral na kasunduan na itinutulak ng IMF-WB, WTO, ang APEC ay instrumento upang padulasin ang mga patakaran upang higit na gumanansya ang malalaking imperyalistang bansa at pagsamantalahan ang mga atrasadong bansa tulad ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng pagpiga sa murang-lakas paggawa ng mamamayan at hilaw na materyales sa produksyon.

Palamuti lamang sa mga negosyon ng APEC ang diumano pagtalakay sa climate change at proteksyon sa natural na kapaligiran. Bilang sagad-sagaring neoliberal na papet ng US, ibinubuyangyang ng rehimeng US-Aquino ang likas na yaman ng bansa at mga lupain ng mga magsasaka at katutubo, na nagdudulot ng malawakang pangangamkam ng lupa at militarisasyon sa mga komunidad ng magsasaka, Lumad at iba pang katutubo upang bigyaan daan ng gobyerno ang mapaminsala at mapandambong na mga proyektong pagmimina ng malalaking kumpanyang dayuhan, mga transnasyunal na agro-korporasyon at diumano mga proyektong pang-kaunlaran.

Ibinabandila din na agenda sa pulong ng APEC ang diumano mga oportunidad para sa pag-unlad ng ekonomya sa lubos na pagkawing ng mga maliliit at katamtamang-laking mga negosyo sa pandaigdigang “malayang kalakalan”. Ngunit sa likod nito ay naghahabi ng mas marami pang patakaran ang APEC at iba pang multilateral na ahensya upang higit na isanib ang maliliit at katamtamang-laking negosyo upang pigaan ng mas murang lakas-paggawa, murang hilaw at bahagyang-naprosesong produkto mula sa Pilipinas at maliliit na bansa para sa paggamit at higit na kumita ang malalaking kumpanyang transnasyunal at mga imperyalistang bansa sa ilalim ng global value chain. Ang resulta nito ay mas lalong pagpapababa ng sahod ng mga manggagawa, pagpapasahol ng kontraktwalisasyon at kalagayan sa hanapbuhay, at pagkabansot pa lalo ng industriya ng Pilipinas na itatali sa kapakinabangan ng pandaigdigang pamilihan at hindi sa pag-asenso ng ating lokal na ekonomya.

Pinalala ng rehimeng US-Aquino ang atake sa karapatan sa edukasyon ng kabataang Pilipino tulad patuloy na pagtaas ng matrikula at mga bayarin sa eskuwela, papaliit na subsidyo ng estado sa edukasyon, pribatisasyon ng mga serbisyong pangmag-aaral sa mga pampublikong paaralan, at pagsahol ng kalagayan ng mga guro at manggagawa sa akademya. Pinakamamalalang ipinatupad din ang neoliberal na padron sa edukasyon sa pagpatupad ng rehimeng US-Aquino sa programang K to 12. Dapat patuloy na ipanawagan ang paghinto sa maka-dayuhang K to 12 na nagsisilbi sa idinidiktang kurikulum ng pandaigdigang pamilihan at hindi para sa tunay na pag-unlad at pangangailangan ng pag-unlad ng Pilipinas. Dapat patuloy na ipaglaban ang pagbabasura sa neoliberal na programang K to 12 na naglalayong ihulma ang edukasyon sa paglikha ng mga kabataang Pilipino na magsisilbing murang lakas-paggawa para sa paghuhuthot ng tubo ng malalaking kapitalistang dayuhan at lokal.

Tiyak na ginagamit din sa ngayon ang pulong ng APEC sa pangunguna ng punong-lider ng imperyalistang US na si Barack Obama upang isulong sa mga pormal at impormal na talakayan ang kampanya para suportahan ang maka-imperyalistang Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) na kumakailan ay sinang-ayunan na ng kongreso ng US. Ang labindalawang bansang kasama sa TPPA sa pangunguna ng US, kasama ang mga abanteng kapitalistang bansa tulad Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand at mas maliit na bansa tulad ng Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Brunei at Vietnam ay magpupulong din sa APEC sa Manila at mag-enganyo ng hindi pa kasaling mga bansa tulad ng Pilipinas sa TPPA. Walang patid pa ding itinutulak ng US at mga imperyalistang bansa ang rekisito ng pagpapalit ng Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas upang makasali sa TPPA at alisin ang natitirang sagka sa sandaaang porsyentong pagmamay-ari ng dayuhan ng lupa, negosyo at kapital sa Pilipinas na kasalukuyan pang hindi ipinahihintulot ng Konstitusyon ng bansa. Ang TPPA ay kasunduan na naglalaman ng ilan sa mga pinakamasasahol na neoliberal na patakaran katulad ng investor-state-arbitration-mechanism o pagpapahintulot sa mga kumpanyang kasuhan ang gobyerno ng mga atrasadong bansa sa pagpapatupad ng mga bansang ito ng mga batas na nagsasagka sa malayang pagnenegosyo at pagkamal ng mas malaking tubo ng mga malalaking kapitalista at multinasyunal na korporasyon. Kasama din sa TPPA ang pagbibigay-laya sa mga ispekulador at mga oligarkiya sa pinansya sa pagpapatupad ng patakaran ng todong liberalisasyon sa pinansya ng mga bansa.

Sa taklob ng paglaban diumano sa terorismo, ang teroristang atake sa Paris at usapin sa seguridad ay tiyak na gagamitin ng US sa okasyong ito, upang pagtibayin pa ang US Pivot to Asia at mas makakuha ang imperyalistang US ng dominanteng posisyon sa girian sa West Philippine Sea ng Pilipinas at Tsina, maitulak ang pagbabaseng muli at ganap na pagpapatupad ng Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement at papatinding interbensyong-militar ng US sa Pilipinas upang tiyakin ang pang-ekonomiyang interes ng US sa bansa at buong rehiyong Asya Pasipiko.

Sa gitna ng lahat ng ito, hindi tumitigil ang mamamayang lumalaban para sa tunay na alternatibong maka-mamamayang ekonomya, nagsisilbi sa pangangailangan ng bansa at tunay na umaasa sa sariling sistemang pang-ekonomya. Isinusulong ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ng mamamayan ang tunay na repormang agraryong at pambansang industriyalisasyon at para sa pagtatamasa ng mamamayan ng mga serbisyong panlipunan, demokratikong karapatan at pambansang kasarinlan.

Kaya habang itinutulak ng mga imperyalista at mga kasapakat na lokal na mga naghaharing-uri ang mga patakarang lalong nagpapahirap sa nakararaming masa, tumitibay ang aral ng kasaysayan na ang tanging lakas ay nasa sama-samang pagkilos ng mamamayan upang ilantad at labanan ang mga neoliberal na patakaran ng mga imperyalista at mga papet nitong rehimen sa bansa. Itinuturo ng kasaysayan na ang tanging daan para sa ganap na pambansang paglaya at pag-unlad ay sa pamamagitan ng pagsusulong ng demokratikong rebolusyong bayan na may sosyalistang perspektiba, at na hindi ito kailanman magaganap sa kasalukuyan at susunod na mga rehimeng pinaghaharian ng mga mapagsamantalang uri sa dikta ng imperyalismong US. Ibagsak ang papet, pahirap at pasistang rehimeng US-Aquino!

Ibagsak ang bulok na sistema ng imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata-kapitalismo!

 Mabuhay ang rebolusyonaryong pakikibaka ng sambayanang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang CPP-NPA-NDFP!

 Isulong ang pambansa demokratikong rebolusyon sa mas mataas na antas hanggang tagumpay!

 Kabatang Makabayan, maglingkod sa bayan! Sumapi sa New People’s Army!

Abu Sayyaf commander hurt in military operation

From the Philippine Star (Nov 21): Abu Sayyaf commander hurt in military operation

Abu Sayyaf commander hurt in military operation

Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was wounded during a recent military operation in Basilan, a security official said yesterday.

Navy Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, chief of staff of Joint Task Force ZambaSulTa, said the troops encountered Hapilon and his cohorts in Barangay Baiwas on Oct. 25. 

Trinidad said the bandit leader suffered bullet wounds in the leg and back, but managed to escape.

Hapilon is wanted by the US government for the kidnapping of three Americans, who were among  21 people seized from the Dos Palmas resort in  Palawan in 2001. A $5-million bounty was offered for his arrest.

One of the kidnap victims, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded. Martin Burnham was killed while his wife, Gracia, was wounded in the rescue operations.

Earlier reports said Hapilon and his cohorts have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and had hoisted the black flags of ISIS.

Trinidad said pursuit operations against Hapilon and his group are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Mhadie Umangkat Sahirin, leader of the auxiliary group of the Abu Sayyaf led by Furiji Indama, was arrested in Barangay Tugbungan in Zamboanga City yesterday.

Trinidad said Sahirin, who is believed to be on a kidnapping mission, is wanted for murder and frustrated murder of civilians and soldiers in Barangay Cabengbeng in Sumisip town.

ASEAN ministers express serious concern on seas

From the Philippine Star (Nov 21): ASEAN ministers express serious concern on seas

ASEAN ministers express serious concern on seas

KUALA LUMPUR – Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have expressed serious concern about developments in the South China Sea, where China’s construction of artificial islands has fueled tensions with other claimants.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who hosted the meeting yesterday, said the ministers renewed their call for the “expeditious establishment of an effective Code of Conduct” that will govern behavior in the disputed area.

Ten Southeast Asian heads of state and nine world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, are meeting in Malaysia to discuss disputes over the South China Sea as well as trade issues and terrorism.

Aman said yesterday ASEAN reaffirmed the importance to maintain peace, security, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

He did not mention any countries. However, China, which claims most of the South China Sea, has angered its neighbors with its recent island-building.

Taiwan and ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also have overlapping claims across the sea.

The US has recently responded with military maneuvers near the islands to show it won’t allow freedom of navigation to be compromised in seas that are crucial to political stability in Asia and global trade.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh said yesterday the region needs a legally binding agreement to ensure that a maritime dispute with China is resolved peacefully, because an existing declaration of amity has proved to be useless.

The 10 members of the ASEAN and China signed the declaration, known by its acronym DOC, in 2002, promising in good faith to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without “resorting to the threat or use of force.”

“The DOC has never been fully and effectively implemented and that’s why we need a new agreement which would be legally binding,” Minh said.

He said such an agreement should be capable of not only preventing but also managing incidents such as “the ones that have been taking place.”

He did not name China but was referring to Beijing’s recent land reclamation and the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea.

No terror group

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 20): No terror group

Task group focuses on extortion, grudge as motive in van blast

INVESTIGATORS believed the explosion that rocked a passenger van on Wednesday was connected to the killing of a driver of another van as both vehicles belonged to the same owner

This developed as the Task Force UV Express has also assured the public that there’s no terror group operating in the city.

Police spokesperson Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz,  a member of the task force, said that Jonas Guerrero, son of van owner Gregorio Guerrero, had claimed that one of their drivers was killed in Pikit, North Cotabato in connection to the extortion demand they have been receiving.

“They have around 30 units that ply the Cotabato to Davao route,” she said.

Driz said they already have the identity of the group behind the extortion.

On personal grudge, Driz said they received information that some drivers of legal terminals (which counts the SM City parking lot among them) have reported to the City Mayor’s Office about the proliferation of illegal terminals in the city.

This past Sunday, during the “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” episode, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to spearhead the operation to dismantle all illegal terminals in the city.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team found fragments of 60mm mortar at the blast scene along with the cellphone used as a detonating device.

“We have already gathered pieces of evidence recovered from the area which are now the subject of examination,” she said.

The task force is especially interested on the cellphone, hoping to recover the information regarding the suspects through the SIM pack.

On Wednesday, a bomb exploded inside a passenger van around 9:45 a.m. along Ecowest Drive in Ecoland.

The driver and his aide survived the blast, although the latter, identified as Alberto C. Besanez Jr., 27, from Poblacion Pikit, North Cotabato, was brought to the hospital after sustaining shrapnel wounds on his left arm and above his elbow.

Meanwhile, Herman Daag, the driver of the UV express van with a plate number MVW-553 owned by Gregorio Guerrero, escaped unscathed.

Daag told police investigators that three men alighted right before the blast in front of SM City Ecoland and the other two hopped off inside the shopping mall’s van terminal.

They left the terminal to eat breakfast when they heard a huge explosion while passing in front of Ecoland 4000 residences.

The last time a blast was recorded in Davao City was in Sept. 2013 when IEDs rocked the cinemas of Gaisano Mall and SM City almost simultaneously. Fortunately, nobody died from the two incidents.

Mine blast hurt soldiers, brgy. official in Bukidnon

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 20): Mine blast hurt soldiers, brgy. official in Bukidnon

TWO SOLDIERS and a barangay councilor were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded during a clash between Special Forces and the New People’s Army in Barangay White Kulaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon Wednesday.

Capt. Lorenso B. Siobal, Civil Military Operation head under the 4003rd Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers were conducting security patrol when they encountered the same NPA group that allegedly harassed residents of said barangay a few days ago.

The clash lasted for 10 minutes before the rebels withdrew towards an unknown direction.

The wounded barangay official was identified as William P. Ando of Barangay White Kulaman. He was airlifted, along with the two soldiers, by an army helicopter to Camp Panacan Station Hospital.

“The incident once again exposes that NPA disregards the Geneva Convention by continuously using IEDs against soldiers and unarmed civilians who do not support their lost cause,” Sional said.

“This security operation is part of our commitment to protect the residents in the area from NPA threats and atrocities after they have renounced their support from the said rebel group,” said Col. Jesse Alvarez, commander of 4003rd Infantry Brigade.

“Our presence in the area wll remain until we have successfully driven out the NPA and ensure that government services and projects are reach in the community,” Alvarez said.

Intelligence agency asks gov’t offices to step up security program

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 20): Intelligence agency asks gov’t offices to step up security program

The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) has reminded government offices to step up security measures in state-owned facilities.

Speaking to government officials on the sidelines of Regional Development Council’s Development Administration Committee on Friday, NICA assistant regional director Eustacio Bacabac noted that most government agencies have no “organic security guards.”

“Most government agencies don’t have security program and no security officer responsible for the security of the office. Some agencies rely on blue guards for the security needs and requirement,” Bacabac said.

Blue guards, according to NICA official, are not organic and they have limited access to offices.

“They don’t have the right mindset to secure our office since most of them don’t receive just compensation,” Bacabac added.

The meeting includes an hour-long orientation on the basic concepts on security and Executive Order 608, mandating the establishment of a national security clearance system for government personnel with access to classified matter.

NICA also warned government officials against some groups and individuals trying to access documents to be their source of intelligence and other relevant information, in order “to accomplish their unlawful objectives.”

NICA urged agencies to launch a good security program, taking into consideration the personnel, document, communication and physical securities.

Troops arrest Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 20): Troops arrest Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader

Combined military and police operatives have arrested a notorious leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in a manhunt operation in this city, a military official announced Friday.

Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, Task Force Zambasulta chief-of-staff, identified the arrested suspect as Mhadie Umangkat Sahirin alias Madie, a Basilan-based ASG leader.

Trinidad said Sahirin was arrested around 11:40 a.m. Friday when the operatives spotted him walking along the road in Barangay Tugbungan, 5.10 kilometers east of City Hall.

“His (Sahirin) capture is the result of a relentless effort by JTG-Basilan (Joint Task Group Basilan) to track him down,” Trinidad said.

He said Sahirin, who also heads ASG’s Auxiliary Threat Group (ATG), has standing warrant of arrest for murder and frustrated murder issued by a court in Basilan province.

He said Sahirin was involved in the February 14, 2013 killing of civilians and injured soldiers in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip, Basilan.

He said Sahirin was also involved in other atrocities that included ambush of soldiers along the Basilan circumferential road; burning of government-owned construction equipment; carnappings; and, others.

He said investigation is ongoing concerning the presence of Sahirin in this city.

He said Sahirin is an associate of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Furuji Indama.

Gov. Emano turns over to military Army soldier released by NPA after 4 months in captivity

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 20): Gov. Emano turns over to military Army soldier released by NPA after 4 months in captivity

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano on Friday turned over to the military an Army soldier held captive by the New People’s Army (NPA) for four months in the mountains of Misamis Oriental and released earlier today.

Looking a little haggard but good, Private First Class Jess Adonis Lupeba, 26, of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, was released in the outskirts village of Kaulayawan, 14 kilometers south of the coastal town of Sugbongcogon Friday noon.

Ka Allan Juanito, spokesperson of the NPA Northern Mindanao Central Region, said that the release of Lupeba to Emano and the third party committee led by Bishop Felixberto Calang, IFI, of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) showed the intention of the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP) to urge the government to go back to the negotiation table in order that lasting peace could be attained in the country.

The NPA rebels captured Lupeba during a firefight with government troops in the mountain village of Alagatan in Gingoog City last July 11. He was released after 132 days in captivity.

In his short message during the turnover, Lupeba said that he was not harmed during his captivity, although he admitted the lack of food in the mountain.

“As a captive, my hands are chained and I was guarded 24/7, but given the liberty to move around. My personal necessities were duly respected,” he said.

Bishop Felixberto Calang, head of the third party committee, who worked to facilitate the release of Lupeba in coordination with the provincial government’s crisis committee, said that the release of Lupeba was the easiest since the military has fully cooperated.

I thank Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, the commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Northern Mindanao, for giving us clearance to have the turnover a success,” Calang said.

Emano and Calang formally turned over Lupeba to the military at the provincial capitol about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Lt. Col. Jose Nembra, commanding officer of the Army’s 58th IB, welcomed Lupeba and promised that the soldier could join his wife while the military starts processing his return.

Lupeba was met by his teary-eyed wife Henny Lou, parents, and relatives amid a joyful reunion in the cold mountains of Sugbongcogon.

Nurul meeting with Kiram ‘offensive’

From the Borneo Post Online (Nov 21): Nurul meeting with Kiram ‘offensive’

Nurul Izzah (left) posing with Jacel Kiram in the Philippines.

KOTA KINABALU: United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) said the action by Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah to meet Jacel Kiram was offensive to the respective families of the Tanduo and Semporna incursions and to all Sabahans.

Its secretary-general Datuk Donald Mojuntin asked: “What was Nurul doing mingling with Jacel Kiram, who was the spokesperson of the father, the late Jamalul Kiram III, who wanted to wrest Sabah from Malaysia by force of arms?

“This so-called royal Sulu family has Sabahan and Malaysian blood on their hands. For us Sabahans, it seems that by this act of ‘friendship’ with the Kiram family, PKR and DAP are showing how little they think of the sovereignty of our country and how insensitive they are to those who died defending against the incursions by these people and those who died at the hands of kidnappers.

“We arrest people who talk about secession and go hard on people like Doris Jones but we have here, a family from another country, organising an uprising in Sabah and some of our lawmakers are on friendly basis with them.

“It is no wonder that there is a rising perception that the opposition will go to any length to achieve its political ambitions.

“Nurul may say that she was a guest at the event. However, she is posing for pictures with this Jacel with a placard demanding Anwar’s release. There appears to be no sign of stress or distraught on her face. She seems perfectly happy to be there.

“So genuine Sabahans cannot be blamed for thinking that Sabah’s security is of little concern to people like Nurul and Tian Chua,” he said.

Meanwhle, SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said that such a meeting was highly offensive to Sabahans because Jacel has made the “Sabah claim” her main campaign agenda.

“Not only that, Jacel was the main spokesperson for the Kiram-led armed intrusion at Lahad Datu in 2013.

“Many innocent lives were lost, Sabah villagers were displaced and our security forces suffered fatalities. Even now the adverse economic impact on the Sabah economy, especially east coast, is still being felt,” Yong told The Star Online yesterday.

The former chief minister said Jacel’s campaign (to claim Sabah) was widely known and there was no way that Nurul, who is PKR vice-president, and her colleagues were not aware of her campaign.

“Therefore, Sabahans are deeply offended, even disturbed, by Nurul’s apparent support for Jacel.”

Pictures of Nurul Izzah together with Jacel caused an uproar as many questioned why Nurul Izzah would meet with someone whose late father Jamalul Kiram III ordered 200 of his ‘Royal Sulu Army’ to invade Sabah in Feb 2013.

In one picture, Nurul Izzah was seen having dinner with Jacel and an unidentified man while in two other pictures, she posed with Jacel holding a ‘Release Anwar Immediately’ poster.

She has defended her meeting with Jacel, saying that it was arranged by the Filipino authorities.

Nurul Izzah said she had gone to the Philippines on Nov 9 with Batu MP Tian Chua, as part of the party’s delegation to meet political stakeholders in the country.

According to her, the people she met were legitimate stakeholders and civil society leaders.

They included former Batangas governor and Congressman Hermilando Mandanas, Congress members Regina Reyes and Silvestre Bello, Dean of Law Amading Valdez, former cabinet member Romy Nery, former undersecretary of justice Wencie Andanar and staff members of the vice-president of the Philippines and the mayor of Manila.

She said the list was decided by the council on Philippines affairs and the Asian Institute for Democracy, the office of the City Mayor of Manila and the office of the Vice-President of the Philippines.

Philippine military erred in report, now says cadaver of Malaysian hostage still missing

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 20): Philippine military erred in report, now says cadaver of Malaysian hostage still missing

A day after the Philippine military announced the recovery of a headless body believed that of Malaysian hostage Bernard Then, security officials on Friday said they erred in the report and now claimed that troops were still searching for his cadaver.

The 39-year old Malaysian man from Sarawak in Sabah was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Filipino town of Indanan on November 17 after his family failed to pay ransom. Bernard was executed hours after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived in Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Bernard’s bloodied head was recovered the same night abandoned in the town of Jolo.

Captain Roy Trinidad, a military spokesman, previously confirmed that troops recovered the headless cadaver from a shallow grave in Indanan’s Kagay village. “Authorities are determining if the severed head and the recovered body are that of Malaysian national Bernard Then,” he said in previous statement to journalists.

On Friday, Trinidad said “no headless cadaver was recovered last November 18 in the village of Kagay as previously reported. Kagay is the focus of the search where the cadaver was reportedly buried,” he said without further elaborating.

Bernard was kidnapped by armed rebels in May this year along with the 50-year old Thien Nyuk Fun, manager of Ocean King Restaurant in Sandakan town in Sabah, and spirited them to southern Philippines.

Thien was freed by rebels just this month in what Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed was the result of successful negotiations with her captors.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding several foreign hostages, including two Canadians, a Norwegian, an Italian and Filipinos kidnapped from different provinces in southern Philippines.

Head and body (likely Then's) found 30km apart

From the Daily Express (Nov 20): Head and body (likely Then's) found 30km apart

PHILIPPINE authorities have separately recovered a severed head and a headless body, they believe to be that of Malaysian Bernard Then Ted Fen in Sulu.
The discoveries were made some 30km apart, within 24 hours. Philippine Armed Forces Joint Forces Zambasulta spokesman Captain Vincent Trinidad said the body was found in Indanan about 4.30pm yesterday while the head was recovered earlier in Jolo about 8.30pm on Tuesday.

Indanan and Jolo are districts under the Sulu province. Trinidad said the remains recovered had been sent for analysis, including for a DNA test, for identification purposes.

 Then, 39, an electrical engineer from Sarawak, and restaurant owner Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, were kidnapped from a restaurant in Sandakan on May 14.    Thien was released on Nov 8 and escorted back to Sandakan the following day.   

"The authorities are trying to determine if he was beheaded alive or if his head was severed after he had died. We understand that there had been numerous reports, including that he had been sickly."

Trinidad was referring to unconfirmed reports that Then was killed by terror group Abu Sayyaf because he was slowing them as they were on the run, to evade strikes by the authorities.

"We have informed the general headquarters in Manila (about the recoveries) and they are in contact with the Malaysian embassy on the matter," he said.   

"The Commander of the Joint Task Force Zambasulta has condemned the perpetrators of this barbaric act against an innocent civilian," Trinidad said of the unit that covered Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces, under the West Mindanao Command of the Philippine Armed Forces.

He said Then, was reportedly beheaded by Abu Sayyaf, led by its sub-leaders, Alden Bagade and Idang Susukan, about 4pm on Tuesday. Trinidad said the head was found inside a package, with a note attached bearing "Bernard Then Ted Fen", and that the discovery was made by the Jolo Municipal Police about 8.30pm.    

He said it was left in Marina Street, Barangay Walled City, Jolo, and was handed over to the Western Mindanao Command for further action.    

Following the recovery, the authorities were led to Barangay Kagay in Indanan where they found the headless body about 4.30pm yesterday.    

Then is the first known kidnapped victim plucked from Sabah, believed to have been executed while in the custody of Abu Sayyaf.

ASG leader nabbed in Zamboanga

From ABS-CBN (Nov 20): ASG leader nabbed in Zamboanga

A suspected leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and Auxiliary Threat Group (ATG) was arrested in Zamboanga City Friday morning, the military reported.

Mhadie Umangkat Sahirin, also known as Madie, was arrested while walking along Barangay Tubungan.

According to Joint Task Group-Basilan, the arrest was a result of the group's relentless effort to track him down.

Sahirin is wanted on charges of murder and frustrated murder after being tagged in the murder of civilians and the frustrated murder of soldiers at Barangay Upper Cabengbeng in Sumisip, Basilan.

Sahirin is believed to be the leader of lawless elements in Sapah Bulak, Sumisip in Basilan, with more or less 20 followers.

He is a former member of the Abu Sayyaf Group under Furuji Indama. At present, he is affiliated with Indama and Abas Alam.

He also allegedly participated in the ambush of government forces along Basilan Circumferential Road using improvised explosive devices (IED). He is also responsible for a series of car theft, IED bombings, and burning of government construction equipment in the province.