Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Army, PNP on alert vs possible BIFF attacks in N. Cotabato town

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): Army, PNP on alert vs possible BIFF attacks in N. Cotabato town

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato -- Police and military personnel as well as police force multiplier have been placed on heightened alert here after reports have circulated that outlawed Moro bandits were poised to attack this town, a police official said Thursday.

Superintendent Gilbert Tuzon, Midsayap police chief, said the town's PNP personnel are backed by elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion in securing the periphery of the most progressive municipality in North Cotabato’s first district.

Tuzon said police and soldiers, backed by Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) are already deployed in the villages near the boundary of North Cotabato and Maguindanao where the lawless group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) is based.

"We have experienced harassment in the past and lives and properties were lost. We are on triple red alert because of the report," Tuzon told reporters.

"We have received very reliable information and we are not taking chances," he said in a separate radio interview.

Midsayap has about seven villages situated in the borders with Datu Piang and Kabuntalan towns, both in Maguindanao.

"These areas are vulnerable to harassment like in the past, this time we are ready," Tuzon said, asking Midsayapenios to cooperate and help the police secure the town.

"Cooperate with law enforcers, be alert, report any suspicious persons or suspicious activities of persons not known to you in your community," the police chief said.

Midsayap was repeatedly attacked by armed groups, holding as hostages several persons in the past and subjected the town center in bombings.

With the history of previous attacks by armed groups from adjacent villages in Maguindanao, the police had learned its lesson that anytime lawless groups could strike.

With the holiday season around the corner, Midsayap’s economic activities have increased it being the center of commerce and trade in PALMA area. PALMA stands for the adjoining towns of Pigcawayan, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap and Aleosan, all belonging to the province’s first district.

According to Tuzon, police regularly conduct patrol around the town center with foot patrol accompanying mobile cars roaming around.

When asked whether a curfew needs to be imposed, Tuzon said it was no longer necessary at this time because there are enough police and military personnel securing the first class municipality.

"We can prevent the lawless group from terrorizing us if we all work together, cooperate with law enforcers and maintain communication networks," Tuzon said.

The report about impending attacks was circulated through text messages. Tuzon said it could be the work of pranksters but added that with or without the report the Midsayap PNP had increased its security preparations because of the yuletide season.

Midsayap Mayor Romeo Arania also directed all village officials to implement localized security measures to thwart any destabilization attempt.

Marines help normalize Sultan Kudarat villages after MILF infighting

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): Marines help normalize Sultan Kudarat villages after MILF infighting

Members of the Philippine Marines have been deployed Wednesday in the coastal villages of Datu Blah Sinsuat town in Maguindanao to serve as peacekeepers between warring members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The MILF, which entered into a peace deal with Manila in 2014, said it also sent emissaries to separate warring leaders of its base commands.

Involved in the shooting conflict were leaders of MILF locked in a long standing “rido” (family feud) over territorial claims in the villages of Meta and Senepak, coastal barangays of Datu Blah Sinsuat, according to town Mayor Marshal Sinsuat.

The area is now safe, displaced families have started to return home,” Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, commander of the 1st Marine Brigade based in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, a town next to Datu Blah Sinsuat.

”We have deployed forces there in coordinating with the government and MILF ceasefire mechanism,” he said.

He said soldiers respect the MILF because of the peace agreement and the MILF also reciprocated the military stance. “So normalcy is returning to the two barangays,” Salamat said, adding “we came there to bring peaceful settlement, not to engage the MILF.”

Sinsuat said the municipal social welfare office has been attending to the needs of about 120 families displaced by armed conflict.

Some families refused to return home while others braved the situation assured that the Marines will protect them in their communities.

Without naming the leader of two MILF factions, Sinsuat said both sides have agreed to a peaceful settlement of misunderstanding last month and ensured the safety of civilians.

“We already settled this problem in a peaceful dialogue last November, but sadly they are at it again,” Sinsuat said.

“It was a long standing ‘rido’ involving leaders of two warring MILF groups,” he said.

He said his office has sought the intervention of the government and MILF ceasefire panels “so the civilians can return to their respective communities.”

He also appealed to warring MILF leaders, who happened to be related by blood, to disengage and allow peaceful solution of their misunderstanding.

“We asked both of you to disengage and settle your differences diplomatically,” Sinsuat told warring MILF fighters through Radio Station DXMS-AM.

“Have pity on the civilians who have been evicted from their communities where their livelihood is located,” he said.

Armed men firing rifle grenades toward Sultan Kudarat's protected area - PNP

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): Armed men firing rifle grenades toward Sultan Kudarat's protected area - PNP

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat – Unidentified armed men have been firing rifle grenades toward a protected area beside Maguindanao’s Lake Buluan, police said Wednesday.

Former Gov. Pax Mangudadatu also told reporters the armed men have been firing explosives toward a forested area declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as protected area.

“Almost nightly, we hear explosions across Lake Buluan, we do not know the reasons,” he told reporters. “We can only assume they want to drive away local residents near the area.”

”Once the residents nearby are gone, these armed men might occupy the protected area,” Mangudadatu said.

Supt. Danny Reyes, Sultan Kudarat police provincial director, said investigation has been on-going in coordination with the Maguindanao PNP.

Reyes said the harassment has been happening before and after the Nov. 27 encounter between suspected members of Ansar al-Kalifa Philippines, a lawless group operating in the hinterlands of Sultan Kudarat. In that clash, eight armed men were killed by Philippine Marines in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

He said the latest harassment was recorded Tuesday night and Wednesday dawn.

Reyes and Mangudadatu said the target of harassment was the lake waterfront Royal Hall in Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat where community gatherings take place.

Reyes said a team of police from the provincial public safety battalion has been deployed in the Sultan Kudarat side of the Lake which borders with Maguindanao.

US spy plane in Singapore aims to limit Chinese maneuvers in high seas

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 10): US spy plane in Singapore aims to limit Chinese maneuvers in high seas

The US sending a spy plane to Singapore is a calculated attempt to warn China that it does not have unrestricted privileges to operate in international waters, former CIA officer Larry Johnson told Sputnik on Wednesday.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Singaporean Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen agreed on the deployment of a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to Singapore this month, the Pentagon said in a press release on Monday.

"It is a calculated risk to remind China that it does not have an unlimited right to do what it wants in what the United States and its allies regard as international waters," Johnson told Sputnik.

The US deployment of the spy plane, Johnson explained, is not intended to heighten tensions with China but does represent "old school power projection" which runs the risk of harming the relationship between Washington and Beijing.

The United States should not be surprised if China sees a US spy plane stationed in a nearby country as threatening, Johnson noted.

"If the roles were reversed and the United States was in the position of China we most certainly would interpret such action by the Chinese as a provocation and would push back," Johnson added.

In October, the naval destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of the disputed Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea, claimed by several regional powers, including China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the incident was illegal and a violation of China's sovereignty.

The United States has repeatedly warned it does not recognize Chinese claims of sovereignty over the Spratly Islands. President Barack Obama has on several occasions called on China to halt its constriction activities in the region.

At the moment, the US military already conducts surveillance missions from Japanese and Philippine airfields, while continuing military patrols in the disputed waters.

Marshall Center publishes lessons learned from counterterrorism workshop

From DVIDS (Dec 9): Marshall Center publishes lessons learned from counterterrorism workshop

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - The Marshall Center’s workshop titled “Perspectives on Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters” was held four days after the deadly terrorist attacks occurred in Paris.

More than 75 counterterrorism alumni from 44 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America attended the workshop. Twelve gave presentations on their national perspectives and experiences in countering foreign terrorist fighters.

A selection of these talks have been uploaded to the Marshall Center’s YouTube page.

Lectures are: U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith Dayton’s Welcome Remarks at

Dr. Sam Mullins’ lecture on “The Foreign Terrorist Fighter Phenomenon” at

Philippine army Col. Antonio Sugarol’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Asia at

Paul Power’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Asia at

Bangladesh Brig. Gen. Md Shafeenul Isalm’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Asia at

Marcus Brixskiold’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Europe at

Vasko Shutarov’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Europe at

Kamelia Dimitrova’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Europe at

Albanian Maj. Esmerald Salillari’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Europe at

Panamanian Maj. Yovani Edgar Chavez Rodriguez’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in the Americas at

Ugandan Col. Tingira Omero Irumba’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in Africa at;

Jordanian Armed Forces Col. Raed Ghassan KH Almbaidin’s lecture on foreign terrorist fighters in the Middle East at

“This is a threat that more than 100 nations around the world face. It’s a threat just recently shown in Paris by the attack carried out there by fighters who had gone to Iraq and Syria and then returned to France,” said director, Program in Terrorism and Security Studies James Howcroft. “We bought together these alumni, who are practitioners in the counterterrorism field, to talk about what their nations are doing about this threat, to exchange best practices, lessons learned both good and bad, and how to deal with this threat and how to mitigate it.”

The report can be found online at

Military intensifies security

From the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 10): Military intensifies security

The Army's 303 rd  Infantry Brigade has intensified its security operations in the hinterlands of southern Negros, after the recent encounter in Candoni and the series of liquidation activities of the New People's Army.

At the same time, security defenses of military detachments were also strengthened, Col. Francisco Delfin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said.

Their security operations against the NPA remnants will continue, until a possible yuletide truce, Delfin said.

A suspected NPA recruit was arrested Sunday by Army soldiers after an encounter in Brgy. Gatuslao, Candoni, Negros Occidental.

Maj. Rey Tiongson, chief of the 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, however, said the 18-year-rebel recruit was released and turned over by the police to barangay officials of Camindangan, after undergoing medical examination.

Personal belongings and subversive documents were recovered at the encounter site. No casualty was reported on both sides.

The Armando Sumayang Command had claimed responsibility for the deaths of two government militiamen and two former rebels in Cauayan and Ilog.

Suspects in the killing of CAFGU member Romualdo Dollente, ex-CAFGU members Rene Villar and Jimboy Nalagon have already been identified by the Cauayan police, based on testimonies of witnesses. However, they withheld their identities, pending the filing of charges against them.

Delfin said “These inhumane acts of the NPA must be condemned to the fullest extent.    The NPA's attack on non-combatants is clearly a violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, of which the CPP/NPA/NDFP is a signatory.”

While the CPP-NPA took responsibility for the killings, Delfin said they should bring those culprits from within their ranks to the courts of law.

He added that the NPA resort to this kind of violence such as killing of innocent civilians just to preserve their unit, due to their continuing defeats in Negros Island Region.

Delfin added that the Army's implementation of the AFP Internal Peace and Security Plan "Bayanihan" has been effective in the effort to win the peace in the Negros Island Region.

5 PH terror groups pledge support to IS

From The Standard (Dec 10): 5 PH terror groups pledge support to IS

AT least five Philippine-based terrorist groups has been categorized as sleeper cells and among the 40 international groups believed to have pledged support to the Islamic State, the London-based Mail Online said in a dispatch Tuesday.

“From militia lurking in the jungles of the Philippines to sleeper cells training in the deserts of Libya, a vast array of groups are now claiming to be operating alongside the jihadis’ notorious black and white banner,” the Mail Online said.

The five groups that pledged support to ISIS were the Ansar Khilaf Philippines, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ma’rakat Al Ansar, Ansar Khilafa and the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The BIFF, a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, first pledged support to ISIS in August 2014 and was followed by the ASG and other newly formed rebel factions.

The extent of the groups links to ISIS varies—some only offer support or symbolic association, others are thought to have sent fighters to the Middle East, while others operate as sleeper cells, the Mail Online said.

The Mail Online included the five Philippine groups in an infographic entitled “Rapid rise of the death cult: Graphic shows the terrifying spread of ISIS across the globe in just two years as terror groups across South East Asia and Africa queue up to swear allegiance.”

“The full scale of Islamic State’s influence can today be laid bare as it’s revealed dozens of terror groups worldwide have pledged their allegiance to the barbaric extremists,” the Mail Online said.

“It is clear the groups have little in common except their desire to establish their own kingdoms governed by a traditional interpretation of Sharia law. But they are united by one other common principle—they will do anything to realize their goals,” it added.

Thus ISIS has used child soldiers, suicide bombers, gang-land style warfare, kidnapping and extortion, the report said.

“Frighteningly, the vast majority of them have pledged their allegiance to ISIS either this year or in 2014, suggesting the group is enjoying a rapid growth of influence,” Mail Online said.

To date, the administration and the military have played down the ISIS threat on Philippine soil.

Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the inclusion of the Philippine groups in the Mail Online list was probably the result of the videos they posted online, which he dismissed as propaganda.

Singapore Warns of Islamic State Terror Nexus in Southeast Asia

From The Diplomat (Dec 10): Singapore Warns of Islamic State Terror Nexus in Southeast Asia

Defense minister warns of linking up and formalization of ties between terror groups.

Singapore’s defense minister warned Wednesday that the Islamic State poses a “clear and present danger” to Southeast Asia, with trained foreign fighters returning from Syria and Iraq potentially linking up and formalizing ties with local groups to execute attacks.

“We see the threat of Islamic extremism as a clear and present danger in our region,” Ng Eng Hen said at an event organized by the Center for New American Security, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

Framing the Islamic State as just the latest manifestation of a terror threat that has consumed the region since the September 11 attacks and the rise of Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups like Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Ng said the risk was that foreign fighters from the Islamic State returning from Syria and Iraq could link up with local groups in Southeast Asia.

He noted that Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader of JI now behind bars in Indonesia, and the Abu Sayyaf, a Philippine rebel group, had already pledged allegiance to the Islamic State back in 2014.
Furthermore, Ng said, previously jailed JI militants could once again join forces with the Islamic State following their release.

“The danger is the link up and formalization [of ties] between these groups,” he said.

As it is, within the region Ng said Malaysia had already reported over 100 foreign fighters – including some from its armed forces – with Indonesia reporting more than 500 and Singapore “a handful” of people as well.

“They have sympathizers, they have foreign fighters who are trained, who have motivation, the means and who have a common vision,” he warned.

Ng’s comments are just the latest in a series of comments from top officials in the region that suggest growing alarm about the Islamic State threat. At the Shangri-La Dialogue in May in Singapore, the city-state’s premier Lee Hsien Loong pointed to the same troubling trends of local radical groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and attacks being plotted in the region. As I reported then, Lee had also raised the alarming prospect of the group establishing a base in Southeast Asia (See: “Singapore Warns of Islamic State Base in Southeast Asia”).

To counter the threat, Ng said that Southeast Asian governments ought to prioritize intelligence sharing. But he also highlighted the importance of deradicalization – an approach that has been central to Singapore’s own counterterrorism efforts.

As I reported previously, the city-state has been sharing its success in deradicalization with other states, including the key role of the Muslim community and religious organizations in such efforts.
The prime example is the Religious Rehabilitation Group, a non-governmental body of religious scholars that helps counter extremist ideologies through counseling, publications and speeches. In April, Singapore even held a symposium focused on this particular aspect of counterterrorism (See: “Singapore Kicks Off New Counterterrorism Symposium”).

In his comments, Ng stressed the importance of involving the community in such efforts so they felt invested in the fight against extremism.

Ng delivered his remarks as part of a trip to the United States. On Monday, Ng signed an enhanced defense cooperation agreement with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (See: “US, Singapore Ink New Defense Pact“). That agreement also noted that Singapore had granted Washington permission to fly P-8 Poseidon aircraft out of the city-state from December 7 to December 14 (See: “US, Singapore Agree Spy Plane Deployment Amid South China Sea Tensions“). The Diplomat understands that further regular deployments are to be expected.

2 killed, 6 hurt Sibugay police raid

From Tempo (Dec 10): 2 killed, 6 hurt Sibugay police raid

Police killed two suspected members of a local criminal syndicate in a raid on their lair in Talusan town of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the clash also resulted in the wounding of six others, including a policeman and two minors who were caught in the crossfire.
He identified the slain suspects as Edris Mohammad and Basilisa Llanos who were the subject of the search warrant issued by a local court over intelligence reports of the existence of a cache of firearms.
Another suspect identified as Noel Llanos was collared during the operation.
“This is part of the One-Time, Big-Time operations which we have been implementing against criminal syndicates across the country,” said Mayor.
The officials said the slain and arrested suspects are members of a local criminal gang involved in various criminal activities in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The province, police intelligence reports, is home to various criminal gangs that include robbery and extortion syndicates, gun-running gangs and even groups that are connected with the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Seized during the operation were an AK-47 and M4 assault rifles, and a .45 pistol.

During the operation which occurred in Barangay Poblacion at dawn on Tuesday, Mayor said a policeman identified as PO2 Noriel Laureta was wounded.

The civilians wounded during the clash, according to Mayor, were taken to the nearby hospital for treatment.

Laureta, on the other hand, was taken to a hospital in Zamboanga City.

Police have intensified the operation against armed groups as part of the initial preparations for election security next year.

MILF admits: Muslim youth ‘fascinated’ with ISIS

From the Daily Tribune (Dec 10): MILF admits: Muslim youth ‘fascinated’ with ISIS

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) admitted that there are indeed Muslim youths in Mindanao “fascinated” with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria adventure but downplayed the presence of ISIS in southern Philippines.

“As far as the MILF is concerned, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has no foothold (yet) in any part of Mindanao,” the MILF said in an editorial posted over its Web site.

“What probably is here now are a number of youths who seem fascinated by adventure, radicalized by lack of real and genuine world justice, and embittered by mass shedding of Muslim blood in the Middle East, courtesy of the ISIS and those countries who sent warplanes on bombing missions,” the MILF added.

The MILF warned that if not addressed, the “fascinated youths” may increase that would lead to bigger problem in the future.
“But if these youths grow in number or the alleged threat wrongly handled, like heavy handedness that resulted in collateral damages to civilians, they would eventually be able to take root, organize or even connect to whoever wants to use or help them,” the MILF said.

“There are reports of individuals recruiting youths and promising them money and paradise if they join — and die — during their struggle. But we have not validated it. It still remains a wild talk,” it added.

The MILF cited the recent operation staged by the Marines in Palembang, Sultan Kudarat that led to the killing of eight Muslim, mostly teenagers and students.

The MILF said it is one with other Muslim world in condemning the terrorist activities of the ISIS which has controlled some parts of Syria and admitted responsibility to strings of terror attacks in Paris and Mali.

“There is no justification for terrorism, whatsoever. But it is a fact that even a hardened criminal justifies his crime. He never accepts guilt for, say, murdering a neighbor. The ISIS is a case in point,” the MILF said.

“Despite their intense call for the return of caliphate, they are not only disowned but also condemned by Muslims around the world, including those learned (ulamas),” it added.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), for its part, stressed that there is no monitored terror threat in the country during the holiday season.

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez said that monitoring threats of terrorism is always “top of the agenda” in the intelligence community.

“There has been no actual credible threat directed against the communities for the Christmas Season,” said Marquez.

“Our units are on heightened alert not for any terrorist threat but for the influx of people in malls, markets,” he added.

MILF: Editorial -- ISIS in Mindanao, real or imaginary?

Editorial posted to the MILF Website (Dec 8): Editorial -- ISIS in Mindanao, real or imaginary?

As far as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is concerned, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has no foothold (yet) in any part of Mindanao. What probably is here now are a number of youths who seem fascinated by adventure, radicalized by lack of real and genuine world justice, and embittered by mass shedding of Muslim blood in the Middle East, courtesy of the ISIS and those countries who sent warplanes on bombing missions. But if these youths grow in number or the alleged threat wrongly handled, like heavy handedness that resulted in collateral damages to civilians, they would eventually be able to take root, organize or even connect to whoever wants to use or help them.

There are reports of individuals recruiting youths and promising them money and paradise if they join -- and die – during their struggle.  But we have not validated it. It still remains a wild talk. But what is validated is the incident in Palembang, Sultan Kudarat on November 26 where eight Moros mostly teenagers were slain during an assault made by government security forces. Investigation showed that some of the dead were students from various schools in Mindanao including Cotabato City. It also indicated that the clash site is located near the area where the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) used to operate, but that precise moment the commander of the group, a son of a former rebel (not MILF) leader, was not present. Many linked that commander to the military.

There is no justification for terrorism, whatsoever. But it is a fact that even a hardened criminal justifies his crime. He never accepts guilt for, say, murdering a neighbor.  The ISIS is a case in point. Despite their intense call for the return of caliphate, they are not only disowned but also condemned by Muslims around the world, including those learned (ulemas). Even Al-Qaeda, which once nurtured them, publicly reprimanded them for their savagery, including killings of Sunni Muslims. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was arrested by US forces in 2005, detained at Camp Mucca in Iraq, and released by the US in 2009, is described as a monster, a heretic, and a betrayer of religion. The MILF also joins this call for condemnation!

Today, there is a state of war in the Middle East. There is in fact a civil war: Muslims killing Muslims, Arabs killing Arabs, Sunnis killing Sunnis, Shias killing Shias, ISIS killing Christians, Kurds killing Arabs, etc. There is a cycle of bloody madness in the region.

Who is benefitting from these chaos and destructions?

The answer: Only Israel is benefitting from this perpetual fratricidal fighting. In fact, Israel is reportedly helping or arming some of the armed groups in the region, particularly those from the Druze community.

At present, no single Muslim state in the region is powerful to pose threat to Israel. Iran’s nuclear facilities are severely restrained. On the other hand, Turkey’s territory especially in the borders are hit by internal insurgency aided actively by outsiders. Other Muslim states are in a more fragile or unpredictable situations, especially the conservatives.

Sison: Poster --Book Launching: "Crisis Generates Resistance"

From the Jose Maria Sison Website (Dec 5): POSTER: CRISIS GENERATES RESISTANCE


Sison: Message to all present in the launch of the book, "Crisis Generates Resistance"


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
December 4, 2015

As author of the book, Crisis Generates Resistance, I wish to thank the International Network for Philippine Studies for publishing the book, the Philippine Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and the Kilusang Mayo Uno for organizing this book launch, and the book reviewers, the cultural performers, the distinguished guests and all the compatriots and friends for participating in this book launch.

Crisis Generates Resistance is the first book of a new series of volumes under the general title Peoples’ Struggles against Oppression and Exploitation, covering the period from 2009 to 2015. These volumes consist mostly of significant articles, statements, messages and interviews that I issued as Chairperson of the International League for Peoples´ Struggle (ILPS), Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Manila government and Founding Chairman of Kabataang Makabayan.

The current volume covers the period from January 2009 to June 2010, when the Arroyo regime was on the last leg of its tenure until the Aquino regime replaced it. The book reflects the persistence of the rotten semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system as well as the perseverance of the Filipino people in their struggle for national and social liberation. It also presents the struggle of the people of the world against the recurrent and worsening economic, financial, political, social and environmental crises of global capitalism and the aggravation of state terrorism and the wars of aggression.

The bankruptcy of neoliberal economic policy is totally exposed. Following the US mortgage meltdown of 2007-2008, a global depression unfolded in the years of 2009 and 2010. The governments of major capitalist powers failed to revive production and employment, despite bank bailouts in trillions of US dollars and the endless stream of summits of government leaders.

Since then, a global crisis and depression of scale and intensity comparable to the Great Depression that began in 1929 and led to World War II has continued to this day. It is worthwhile to read my paper at the Forum on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis at De Balie in Amsterdam on January 30, 2009, which traces the development of the general crisis of capitalism since the inception of the neoliberal economic policy in 1979-80.

The US and other capitalist powers used to interpret the full restoration of capitalism in China and Russia as the final death blow to the socialist cause. It boasted that mankind could not go beyond the limits of capitalism and bourgeois democracy. But in fact the increase of capitalist powers has helped to intensify plunder, state terrorism, inter-imperialist contradictions and wars of aggression.

The people of the world are suffering more oppression and exploitation and are thus driven to wage various forms of struggle against their oppressors and exploiters. On a global scale, the anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles of the people are resurgent, with the proletarian revolutionaries striving to show the way to the goal of socialism.

As regards the Philippines, I seek to articulate the Filipino people’s suffering under foreign and feudal domination and their struggle and aspirations for national liberation and democracy. I adhere steadfastly to the people´s demand for a new democratic revolution against the ruling system of the comprador big bourgeoisie, landlord class and bureaucrat capitalists who know no bounds for their servility to foreign monopoly capitalism, exploitativeness, corruption and brutal violations of human rights. These have relentlessly pushed the Filipino people to wage the revolutionary war for national and social liberation.

As part of the program of activities in this book launch, I have been asked to answer questions about major developments and issues in the Philippines and abroad. I am ready and willing to do so. I hope that the Q and A can serve to further connect the book to the present. Thank you.
Prop. Jose Maria Sison, May-akda
Tagapangulo ng International League of People’s Struggle
Disyembre 4, 2015

Bilang may-akda ng Crisis Generates Resistance, nagpapasalamat ako sa International Network for Philippine Studies sa paglalathala ng aklat, sa balangay sa Pilipinas ng International League of People’s Struggle at sa Kilusang Mayo Uno sa pag-oorganisa ng lunsad-aklat na ito, sa lahat ng tagasuri ng aklat, sa mga tagapagtanghal sa kultura, sa mga kilalang panauhin, at sa lahat ng kababayan at kaibigan sa paglahok sa lunsad-aklat na ito.

Ang Crisis Generates Resistance ay ang unang aklat sa bagong serye ng mga akda na may pangkalahatang titulong Peoples’ Struggles against Oppresssion and Exploitation, na sumasaklaw sa panahon mula 2009 hanggang 2015. Laman ng mga akdang ito ang mga pinakamakabuluhang artikulo, pahayag, mensahe at panayam na ginawa ko bilang Tagapangulo ng International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), Tagapangulong Tagapagtatag ng Communist Party of the Philippines, Chief Political Consultant ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines sa usapang pangkapayapaan sa gobyerno sa Maynila, at Tagapangulong Tagapagtatag ng Kabataang Makabayan.

Saklaw ng akdang ito ang panahon mula Enero 2009 hanggang Hunyo 2010, sa huling bahagi ng panunungkulan ng rehimeng Arroyo bago ito napalitan ng rehimeng Aquino. Sinasalamin ng aklat ang pagpapatuloy ng bulok na malakolonyal at malapyudal na naghaharing sistema gayundin ang pagpupunyagi ng sambayanang Pilipino sa kanilang pakikibaka para sa pambansa at panlipunang kalayaan. Ipinapakita rin nito ang pakikibaka ng mga mamamayan ng daigdig laban sa tuluy-tuloy at lumalalang mga krisis pang-ekonomiya, pampinansya, panlipunan at pangkalikasan ng pandaigdigang kapitalismo at ang pagsahol ng terorismo ng estado at mga gerang agresyon.

Lubos nang nalalantad ang pagkabangkarote ng neoliberal na patakarang pang-ekonomiya. Kasunod ng mortgage meltdown sa US noong 2007-2008, naganap ang depresyong pandaigdig sa mga taong 2009 at 2010. Nabigo ang mga gobyerno ng mga mayor na kapitalistang kapangyarihan na pasiglahing muli ang produksyon at empleyo, sa kabila ng pagsaklolo o bailout sa mga bangko na nagkahalaga ng trilyun-trilyong dolyares at ng walang katapusang mga summit ng mga lider ng gobyerno.

Simula noon hanggang ngayon, nagpapatuloy ang isang pandaigdigang krisis at depresyon na sa saklaw at tindi ay maikukumpara sa Great Depression na nagsimula noong 1929 at humantong sa World War II. Mainam basahin ang aking papel sa Forum on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis sa De Balie sa Amsterdam noong Enero 30, 2009, na umuugat sa tinahak ng pangkalahatang krisis ng kapitalismo simula noong isinilang ang neoliberal na patakarang pang-ekonomiya noong 1979-1980.

Sinikap ng US at iba pang kapitalistang kapangyarihan na palabasing ang panunumbalik ng kapitalismo sa China at Rusya ay mga pamatay na dagok sa pakikibakang sosyalista. Ipinagyabang nilang hindi na makakaalpas ang sangkatauhan sa mga hangganan ng kapitalismo at demokrasyang burgis. Pero ang totoo, ang pagdami ng mga kapitalistang kapangyarihan ay nakapag-ambag sa pag-igting ng pandarambong, terorismo ng estado, mga inter-imperyalistang kontradiksyon at mga gerang agresyon.

Ang mga mamamayan ng daigdig ay nagdurusa sa mas matinding pang-aapi at pagsasamantala at sa gayon ay naitutulak na maglunsad ng iba’t ibang porma ng pakikibaka laban sa mga mapang-api at mapagsamantala. Sa pandaigdigang antas, sumusulong ang mga anti-imperyalista at demokratikong pakikibakang masa ng mga mamamayan, habang sinisikap ng mga proletaryong rebolusyonaryo na ipakita ang landas tungo sa sosyalismo.

Kaugnay naman ng Pilipinas, sinisikap kong ilahad ang pagdurusa ng sambayanang Pilipino sa ilalim ng dominasyong dayuhan at pyudal at ang kanilang pakikibaka at mga mithiin para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya. Mahigpit akong tumatalima sa demanda ng sambayanan para sa bagong demokratikong rebolusyon laban sa naghaharing sistema ng malalaking burgesya-komprador, uring panginoong maylupa, at mga burukrata-kapitalista na walang hangganan ang pangangayupapa sa dayuhang monopolyo kapitalismo, pagiging mapagsamantala, katiwalian, at mga brutal na paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao. Tuluy-tuloy nilang itinutulak ang sambayanang Pilipino na isulong ang rebolusyonaryong digma para sa pambansa at panlipunang paglaya.

Bilang bahagi ng programa ng mga aktibidad para sa lunsad-aklat na ito, hiniling sa akin na sumagot sa mga tanong tungkol sa mga mayor na pangyayari at isyu sa Pilipinas at sa labas ng bansa, bagay na handa ako at gustung-gusto kong gawin. Umaasa akong maiuugnay ng bahaging Tanong at Sagot ang aklat sa kasalukuyan. Salamat.

PNP identifies 6 election watch-list areas

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 8): PNP identifies 6 election watch-list areas

PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ricardo Marquez and heads of the PNP directorial staff discuss challenges in preparing for the election security in 2016. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/

PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ricardo Marquez and heads of the PNP directorial staff discuss challenges in preparing for the election security in 2016. JULLIANE LOVE DE JESUS/

The Philippine National Police identified on Tuesday the top six election-watchlist areas (EWAs) in the country that the police are monitoring ahead of the general elections next year.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said Pangasinan, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Western Samar, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur make up the initial list of EWAs the PNP has determined months before the national elections in May 2014.

But Marquez said in a media forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap), the provinces on the list could still change as the PNP, led by the Directorate for Intelligence, continues to monitor the areas prone to election-related crimes.

“The Directorate for Intelligence have collaborated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to come up with the initial list. But this is still a work in progress as the (current) situation may not be the same situation as tomorrow,” he said.


When is an area called an “election hotspot”?

Marquez, joined by the heads of the PNP directorial staff, gave the parameters in identifying EWAs.  First, an area should have a history of intense partisan political rivalry.

Second, if there have been incidents in the past that are politically-motivated and election-related.

Marquez discussed the difference between the two. He said politically-motivated incidents are those committed before the campaign period starts while election-related crimes happen during the election period.

Third is the presence of threat groups such as Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private army groups of influential politicians.

The fourth and last parameter is the proliferation of firearms in a certain town, municipality or city.


In classifying areas as election hotspots, Marquez said the PNP is guided by three categories.

A certain area is under Category 1 if the incidents there are purely political while towns and cities where there are threat groups fall under Category 2.

 The last category is the combination of the Category 1 and 2. An area is considered a hotspot if it falls under Category 3.

Marquez said there are 133 areas in Category 1, 54 areas under Category 2 and 99 areas in the last category, which is 17.5 percent of the total number of cities and municipalities nationwide.

AFP to plant 1M trees at NCR in 1 year vs climate change

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 8): AFP to plant 1M trees at NCR in 1 year vs climate change

National Youth Commissioner and actor Dingdong Dantes is assisted in making his own seedling at the soft launch of the "Race to 1,000,000 Seedlings" during the Climate Change Summit in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo on December 7./ AFP PAO

National Youth Commissioner and actor Dingdong Dantes (in white polo shirt) is assisted in making his own seedling at the soft launch of the “Race to 1,000,000 Seedlings” during the Climate Change Summit in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo on December 7.AFP PAO

In an effort to combat climate change, the Armed Forces of the Philippines targets to plant one million trees at the National Capital Region in a span of one year.

Dubbed the “Race to 1 million seedlings,” the AFP said it aims to encourage people to participate in the creation of one million seedlings that would be planted in available spots around the National Capital Region (NCR), said AFP’s Civil Relations Service (CRS) commander Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala.

On Monday, the AFP’s CRS held a soft launch of the “Race to 1 million seedlings” at Camp Aguinaldo with National Youth Commissioner and popular actor-model Dingdong Dantes as guest. The project will be formally launched in January 2016.

“We would like to make the participants remember every time they pot a seed or plant a seedling that everyone should pitch in what they can in helping preserve our environment,” said CRS commander Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala.

The military has previously said that climate change is the new biggest threat to the country.

NCR was picked as the target area “since it is the region which experiences most pollution in the Philippines owing to its large volume of vehicles which emits huge amounts of pollutants every day.”

“This project also aims for participants to make it a habit to always save the seeds of fruits they eat. We look forward to a future when every resident living in NCR would always plant seeds of fruits they eat and reusing plastic bags as polybags,” Kakilala said.

For the first six months, participants will create seedlings from fruit seeds. Those who will take part in the project will use social media in spreading the word and encouraging participants through videos and photos, Kakilala said.

After six months, when the million seedlings are created or gathered at Camp Aguinaldo, the participants will plant the seedlings in vacant lots or areas specified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, he added.

The project, which is also participated by government agencies and private organizations, will then shift to monitoring of the planted seedlings.

Valdez takes over as head of Philippine Marines (Bio data)

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 9): Valdez takes over as head of Philippine Marines
Maj. Gen. Remigio Valdez took over as head of the Philippine Marines last week in another reshuffle of key military officials.

Valdez was sworn in as Marine commandant, replacing Maj. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo who was earlier named as vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The turnover ceremony was held last Thursday at the Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Tanalgo was appointed to the post after the retirement of Lt. Gen. John Bonafos last October.
Tanalgo’s assumption completed a joint posting of the major services at the top three posts of the military, since Gen. Hernando Iriberri, the AFP chief, is from the Philippine Army, while the chief directorial staff, Maj. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, is from the Philippine Air Force.

The new Marine commandant will be the 28th to lead the Philippine Marine Corps.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, Valdez, 55, hailed from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, and held various positions in the Marines and the Philippine Navy.

Before assuming the post of Marine commandant, Valdez was the naval inspector general of the Philippine Navy. He also served as deputy commandant of the Philippine Marines and as the military’s internal auditor.

Valdez also completed the Assault Pioneer Course at the Infantry School, New South Wales in Australia and the Australian and Military Familiarization Course at the Defense International Training Center.

For his distinguished service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Stars, Bronze Cross Medals, Military Merit Medals, Military Commendation Medals, Combat Kagitingan Badge, Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Medals.

MILF gunmen attack Philippine village, 6 killed

From the Mindanao Examiner (Dec 8): MILF gunmen attack Philippine village, 6 killed

Residents of Lanao del Sur’s Wao town reject the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law in Southern Philippines. (Mindanao Examiner Photo – Mark Navales)

Moro Islamic Liberation Front members attacked civilians on Tuesday in southern Philippines in what police said was an offshoot of a long standing land conflict and officials said at least 6 people were killed in the clash that eventually broke out.

Officials said three villagers and three of the attackers were killed in the fighting in Tulunan town and it was not immediately known if there were other civilians or gunmen wounded in the clash.

There was no immediate statement from the former rebel group which signed a peace deal with Manila in 2014, but the latest attack is likely to add to the insistence of the MILF for an expanded autonomy in at least five Muslim provinces.

The MILF is pursuing a wider rule over the Muslim region, but lawmakers rejected the demand and said the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will govern the areas is flawed and unconstitutional.

The BBL is still pending in Congress with many lawmakers making sure that it would not pass legislation unless some of its controversial items are removed.

But the MILF, which still maintains its huge armaments and recruited far more members during the long peace talks, said it will not revisit the BBL and insisted on the original draft it submitted to President Benigno Aquino.

No to BBL

However, many politicians and residents in the proposed Bangsamoro areas also rejected the BBL and wanted out of the deal, citing various reasons and the failure of the Aquino government and peace negotiators from both sides to include recommendations submitted by the provinces in the autonomous region.

The BBL was drafted by the 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission appointed by the MILF and the Aquino government.

Last year, villagers in the town of Wao in Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces under the Muslim region, vowed to reject the BBL, saying they do not want to be included in the new Bangsamoro territory.

Villagers said shortly after the peace deal was signed, several Muslim groups have emerged and started claiming farmlands owned by Christians as theirs and invoking their ancestral rights in Lanao del Sur.


Now, many residents have started arming themselves for protection fearing that once the new Bangsamoro autonomous government is installed, Muslims will take away their lands which they inherited from their clan. Majority of the town’s 40,000 inhabitants is Christians.

Some villagers said several groups of Maranao, one of several Muslim tribes in Mindanao, have started putting up markers and began claiming farmlands as their ancestral domain. The markers had been destroyed by landowners.

In Sultan Kudarat province, villagers in the town of President Quirino were also facing the same dilemma, but many also have purchased illegal weapons to protect their families and lands from unjustified takeover by Muslims who warned them that they should leave the town immediately once the Bangsamoro autonomous region is installed because they would take over their farms.

Exclude Us

Leaders of Zamboanga City and Isabela City in Basilan, also a province under the Muslim autonomous region, also vowed to fight for their inclusion in the new Bangsamoro homeland, although many of the residents there are Muslims and supportive of the peace deal.

The creation of new Bangsamoro region would have to be decided on a referendum in the autonomous region and in areas where there are large Muslim communities. The new Bangsamoro region will replace the current Muslim autonomous region that has suffered from decades of poverty, corruption, and conflict.

The mineral-rich region of Mindanao, once under the powerful rule of the sultans, is now home to minority Muslims – about 4 million from the region’s 18 million mostly Christian inhabitants.

The Philippine Statistics Authority describes Mindanao as an underdeveloped region with problems on peace and order to racism. “From Spanish era up to the present, it remains underdeveloped compared to Luzon. Problem on peace and order due to political conflict and racism issue had been seen as the main factors of the sluggish development of the island in view of the fact that beliefs and cultural diversities between native inhabitants and migrants exist within it,” it said.

The MILF – a breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front which signed a peace deal with Manila in September 1996 – had fought fiercely for decades for self-determination and had been accused of terrorism in the past and coddled Malaysian and Indonesian jihadists.

South China Sea Controversy Update: Chinese Military Looks To Quadruple Airstrips On Disputed Spratly Islands

From the International Business Times (Dec 7): South China Sea Controversy Update: Chinese Military Looks To Quadruple Airstrips On Disputed Spratly Islands

spratly islands

An aerial photo taken in May though a glass window of a Philippine military plane shows the alleged on-going land reclamation by China on mischief reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines. Reuters 

Chinese authorities have continued construction of several military-grade airstrips in the disputed South China Sea region despite warnings from international leaders, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The ongoing construction on the group of territories referred to as the Spratly Islands could quadruple the number of airstrips available to the Chinese military in the region as the nation continues to assert its sovereignty.

The construction of the airstrips as well as other military bases could have “significant impact on the local balance of power,” Euan Graham, director of the international security program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, told the AP. “In periods of tension, the intimidation value of air patrols from the islands would be considerable,” he said.

The Spratly Islands are a small group of mostly uninhabited islands in the South China Sea. Several countries in the region, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and China, have made claims to sections of the islands. China has by far made the largest complaints while covertly building artificial islands to bolster its land claim.

China’s actions in the South China Sea, including construction on the islands as well as military exercises nearby, have angered several international powers, including the United States. The U.S. has denounced Chinese activity in the region, continuing to treat the area as international waters and sailing U.S. Navy ships through regions that the Chinese have claimed are sovereign.

Allies of the U.S. in Asia Pacific have rallied together, including Japan. The Asian nation has long been a close diplomatic and economic ally of both China and the U.S., and Japanese defense authorities expressed solidarity with the U.S. policy in the South China Sea in November.

“The international community will not allow the unilateral changing of the status quo by force, and our country believes the same," said Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, as reported by the AP, adding, "The U.S. believes the same, too, and we agreed on this point."

Tagalog news: 'Balik-loob' para sa mga rebelde palalakasin sa Ilokos – RPOC

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 10): Tagalog news: 'Balik-loob' para sa mga rebelde palalakasin sa Ilokos – RPOC

Palalakasin ang kampanya ng pamahalaan para magbalik-loob ang mga rebelde na nasa mga kabundukan sa Ilokos para mamuhay ng normal sa lipunan, ayon kay Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez, pangulo ng Regional Peace and Order Council.

Dumalo si Fernandez sa naganap na kumperensya ng konseho na dinaluhan ng mga hepe ng polisya, ahensya ng gobyerno at lokal na opisyal para para masolusyonan ang mga problema sa kriminalidad.

“Palalawakin ang mga programa, serbisyo at proyekto ng gobyerno sa mga liblib na pook at sa mga kabundukan para maipadama  na hindi sila pinababayaan ng pamahalaan,” idiniin ng chairman ng RPOC na binubuo ng mga namamahala sa mga Local Government Units (LGU’s) at departamento o ahensya pati mga law enforcement agencies.

Sinabi niya na ang kawalan o kakulangan ng ipinararating na serbisyo ng pamahalaan sa mga naninirahan sa mga kabundukan ang isa sa mga naging dahilan sa paglala ng insurhensya sa bansa.

Binigyang pugay din ni Fernandez ang sinimulang adhikain ng provincial government ng Ilocos Sur na pinangungunahan ni Gob. Ryan Singson para sa pagbibigay ng livelihood projects at puhunan sa mga kapatid na rebelde na nanumbalik sa lipunan.

Hinikayat nya ang lahat ng LGUs na maging kabalikat sa kaunlaran at kapayapaan bagama’t pinuri niya rin ang ipinapatupad na “Bayanihan” program ng Army sa mga liblib na pook pati na rin ang kampanya para sa pagbabalik ng mga insurgents sa lipunan.

Sa nasabing pulong, idiniin din ni Singson na dapat igalang ang karapatang pantao o “human rights” at magsilbing instrumento ang kapayapaan para makamtan ang kaunlaran bagama’t hiniling niya ang “inner transformation” sa mga nasa pamahalaan.

“Itaguyod ang adbokasya ng kapayapaan at ipreserba at paigtingin ang kultura ng kapayapaan at kaayusan ng bansa,” giit ni Singson.

Samantala, patuloy din ang ipinapatupad na “Kapitolyo”  Outreach Program ng pamahalaang probinsyal sa pakikipagtulongan ng iba’t-ibang departamento o sangay ng gobyerno para maiparating ang mga serbisyo at programa sa mga naninirahan sa mga kabundukan para mapagbuklod ang relasyon ng gobyerno at taong bayan.

Army's 9ID Governance Pathway gaining more grounds

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8): Army's 9ID Governance Pathway gaining more grounds

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES Pili, Camarines Sur- Three Infantry Brigades of the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Bicol region recently garnered the Army Governance Pathway (AGP) Plaque of Recognition for compliant-status awarded during the Army Governance Forum 03-2015 held at Ricarte Hall of Philippine Army Officers Club House last December 4.

Col. Claudio L. Yucot, Col. Amador T. Tabuga Jr. and Col. Cesar M. Idio, Commanders of 901st Infantry Brigade, 902nd Infantry Brigade and 903rd Infantry Brigade respectively, received the plaques as recognition for their advancement to 2nd Stage of the four-way Army Governance Pathway.

The Army Governance Pathway (AGP) were conferred to units for garnering the highest points in the implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) which aims to transform the Army into a more capable, responsive, reliable, and professional organization committed to its mandate.

The 9th Infantry Division so far is the only Philippine Army Division where all of its three Brigades were conferred the AGP compliant-status.

BGen Ferdinand F. Quidilla, 9ID Commander, lauded the 9ID Brigade Commanders for their achievement and commitment in the Army Transformation Roadmap.

9ID will continue to pursue in achieving the Institutionalized-status in accordance with the Philippine Army’s journey towards transformation.

Mr. Guillermo Luz, Private Sector Co-Chair of the National Competitiveness Council was Guest of Honor and Speaker for the event.

The Army Governance Forum 03-2015 that carried a theme “Excellence in Governance” showcased the activities to communicate the Army strategy to internal stakeholders and provided updates on the Army’s recent success as an Island of Good Governance (IGG) inductee.

WWII Filipino fighter pilot Villamor remembered

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 9): WWII Filipino fighter pilot Villamor remembered

Filipino fighter pilots, flying obsolete, slow and underarmed Boeing P-26 "Peashooters" pursuit planes, were the first Allied pilots to score against the vaunted Japanese pilots during the first days of World War II in Southeast Asia.

These pilots, headed by then Capt. Jesus Villamor of the 6th Pursuit Squadron, Philippine Army Air Corps (forerunner of the Philippine Air Force), demonstrated that man-for-man, despite inferior equipment, Filipino fighter pilots are among the best in the world.

Villamor's gallant stand against the technologically and numerical superior Japanese air force will be celebrating its 74th year anniversary on Dec. 10.

During that day, Villamor, together with Lt. Geronimo Aclan, Lt. Godofredo Juliano, Lt. Jose Gozar, Lt. Manuel Conde, and Lt. Antonio Mondigo, were scrambled from their base in Batangas Field, Batangas to intercept a huge Japanese aircraft formation flying over Zablan Field, Quezon City.

Despite being outnumbered and flying planes not to the standards of the Japanese Zeroes, Villamor and his flight managed to down three Japanese planes that day, with the former gunning down a Zero, with no loss to themselves.

This is no mean feat as the P-26 being flown by Villamor and his men only have a top speed of 234 miles per hour and armed only with two .30 caliber machine guns compared to the Japanese Zeroes which has a maximum speed of 350 miles per hour and armed with two 7.7 machines gun and two 20mm cannon.

Villamor's second air kill of the war came in Dec. 12, 1941, this time his dogfight took place directly over Batangas Field.

Around 54 Japanese planes composed of 54 bombers and 18 fighters were nearing their base at bombing altitude when Villamor and Lt. Cesar Basa were scrambled.

Using the best speed of their aircraft, the two Filipino fighter pilots were able to reach the height being flown by the enemy aircraft and were able to engage them.

Villamor fired his .30 caliber machine guns in short bursts.

To his astonishment, a Nell attack bomber started to smoke, then descended, then broke up.

Seconds later, the escorting Zeroes were on them from out of the sun.

Villamor and Basa did all they could to out-fly the enemy fighter planes to no avail.

This encounter ended up with Basa being shot down by the Japanese Zeroes.

Although Basa was able to bail out, the victorious Japanese fighter pilots machine-gunned him, killing the Filipino instantly.

For his actions, Villamor was twice cited by the United States Army for bravery, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for actions on Dec. 10, 1941 and an Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a second award of the DSC for actions on Dec. 12, 1941 making him the only Filipino to receive the DSC twice.

After his squadron was destroyed, Villamor continued his war against the Japanese as an intelligence officer.

On Dec. 27, 1942, Villamor was part of a team inserted by the submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211) into the Philippines.

Establishing a chain of direct communication from the Philippines with General Douglas MacArthur in Australia, he coordinated the activities of various guerrilla movements in Luzon, Mindanao and the Visayas.

Villamor acted as the "clearing house" for information, which helped the United States Armed Forces in the Far East to map out a strategy which will eventually liberate the Philippines.

For his bravery as a pilot and ingenuity as an intelligence officer, then Pres. Ramon Magsaysay awarded Villamor the Medal of Valor, the highest Philippine military bravery decoration, on Jan. 21, 1954.

The Philippine Air Force's principal facility in Metro Manila, which was first known as Nichols Field then later Nichols Air Base, was renamed Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in his honor.

NorthCot LGU capacitates BPAT members

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9): NorthCot LGU capacitates BPAT members

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato --- The provincial government here is bracing up its Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPAT) in 17 towns and the lone city of Kidapawan to enhance their performance as front liners in maintaining peace and security in villages.

This is done through a series of the Anti-Criminality Training Refresher Course to thousands of BPAT members in the province.

The move which is also aimed at boosting the  morale to the BPAT members  is part of the institutionalized programs for peace and order in the province.

“As front liners in keeping peace, the BPAT members must have sufficient understanding of their duties as well as their responsibilities. Thus, the endeavor to retrain and give them additional skills will make them more effective as peacekeepers,” said Governor Emmylou Mendoza.

The governor added that with the help of government agencies and stakeholders, she aims to come up with various strategies and concepts to curb criminality and maintain peace and order in the barangays.

Partnering with the provincial government in this activity is the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Provincial Office which gives technical support to the training.

Abdullah Ali, DILG Provincial Director stated that the training for BPAT members will basically strengthen the volunteers and will make them more helpful as force multipliers of the police.

The training, Ali also said will help transform the BPATs into an effective neighborhood security and counterpart in solving problems like criminalities, bombings and disasters.

Aside from the DILG and the LGUs, the Philippine Army is another partner in this endeavor. The PA trains the BPATs particularly in bomb threats to make the force multipliers aware of what to do and how to report such threats to reduce or totally avoid injury and damage to property.

The refresher course started on November 16 in Magpet, November 17 in Antipas, November 19 in Kabacan, November 20 in Matalam, November 23 in Carmen, November 24 in Pres. Roxas, November 25 in Tulunan, November 26 in M’lang, November 27 in Pikit, December 1 in Midsayap, December 3 in Aleosan, December 4 in Kidapawan City, December 7 in Makilala, December 8 in Banisilan and today in Pigcawayan.

Meanwhile, the same course will be conducted in Arakan tomorrow, in Alamada on December 14 and in Libungan on December 15.

PAMANA project set to release P63M in 2016

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8): PAMANA project set to release P63M in 2016

Conflict-affected communities in Northern Mindanao is set to receive P63.5 million in 2016 through the PAyapa at MAsaganang PAmayaNAn (PAMANA)  convergence program.

Dr. Ulyssess P. Ortega, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO 10) PAMANA focal person reported that as of December this year, some 157 projects were identified, 23 of which have been completed, 94 are on-going and 40 are yet to commence.

Ortega said these consist mostly of livelihood projects, construction of farm-to-market roads, mini-rice mills and small-scale irrigation projects mostly in placed in  Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon.

He however clarified that the agency has no hand in the process of identifying what projects to take, and it is the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), together with the government security sector, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army (PA) who identifies what development interventions to take to improve the quality of life in the communities identified.

He stressed that strengthening the economic activity of these communities, impacts on the government’s peace building efforts.

100 CAAs undergo sustenance training in Guipos town

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8): 100 CAAs undergo sustenance training in Guipos town

At least 100 members of CAFGU Auxiliary (CAA) completed the CAA sustenance training conducted by the 5th battalion, 1st Infantry (Tabak) division, Philippine Army at Camp Major David Sabido, Guipos in this town starting Nov. 20 to Dec. 4.

In his message during the graduation ceremony, Colonel Lionel M. Nicolas, commanding officer of the 5IB, said the role of paramilitary forces in the counterinsurgency operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) is very important, as they serve as an essential component of the Armed Forces of Philippines’ (AFP) counter insurgency methodology.

Nicolas acknowledged the primary task of CAA in protecting the communities and the people from coercive and abusive acts of the communist insurgents. “You are an effective counterinsurgency force because of your proper training you acquired from us,” he announced.

Nicolas said that in the past insurgency had been a big problem in the area. Because of the CAAs’ continued service, the presence of the insurgents gradually decreased.

Nicolas also said the rigorous training is vital for the CAA members who were not only taught the theories but their applications as well. “They were sent to the field to apply the theories they’ve learned in the classroom,” Nicolas explained.

Nicolas expressed hope that the knowledge they acquired during the training would be effectively used in the performance of their duties and responsibilities as an active partner of the AFP in the maintenance of peace and order, and in providing security to the people.

Meanwhile, 53rd Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Alvin Luzon was impressed with the conduct of the training inside the 5th IB headquarters.

“The training was conducted very well,” Luzon said adding “their skills were enhanced from the said training.”

Luzon also thanked the CAA members for assisting the MATAPAT troopers in their field operations for four days, a part of the AFP’s operational requirement.

Ferrer asks Filipinos to engage lawmakers on BBL immediate passage

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9): Ferrer asks Filipinos to engage lawmakers on BBL immediate passage

The government’s chief peace negotiator asked Filipinos to support the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by exhausting all means to make lawmakers attend Congress’ plenary sessions, so that deliberations could finish before Congress takes its Christmas recess.

“We hope that you will help us contact all legislators and tell them to go to the plenary floor and finish the interpellations on this proposed legislation. Use whatever means you have such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email blasts, texts, or phone calls to urge your representatives,” Ferrer addressed a crowd composed of local media, students, and professors in a roundtable discussion on the BBL in Iloilo City.

‎Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal emphasized that "the BBL is not an ordinary piece of legislation. This is based on the FAB and CAB (Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro which are peace accords) signed by the government and the MILF."

According to Ferrer, the BBL is expected to bring structural reforms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to rectify the flaws in the current autonomous region and to bring an end to the decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao.

The government chief peace negotiator underscored the important role that every Filipino can do, for the progress of the Mindanao peace process, especially in curbing the misinformation campaign against the BBL by anti-Muslim groups.

“As of now, we are still in the period of interpellations (on the BBL) in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Then there will be the period of amendments,” Ferrer said. “Part of this delay is caused by the prejudices (against Muslims) and false information on the proposed law. We need you to help us correct the misinformation on the BBL.”

Despite the odds, Ferrer said she remained positive that both chambers of Congress will be able to finish the plenary interpellations and pass the BBL before it goes on Christmas recess. This is in accordance with the commitment of the congressional leadership and key congressional blocs, in supporting the efforts by the Executive Branch for putting in place solutions to Moro issues, including weaknesses that hinder true autonomy in the existing ARMM.

“We hope the BBL will be passed and this will not be a missed opportunity. We don’t want our country to become the land of missed opportunities,” Ferrer pointed out. “We are not giving up yet to this fight for peace in Mindanao as we are almost there in ending the armed conflict between the government and the MILF.”

Iqbal noted that there is still hope on the part of the MILF to get the BBL passed. "We continue to put our trust on the President."

"Ayon nga kay dating MILF Chairman Salamat Hashim, the most civilized and peaceful way of settling the conflict in Mindanao is through peace," Iqbal said.

The BBL is the legal iteration of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed in March 27, 2014 to end the decades-long armed conflict in Mindanao.

The said event was convened by Mindanews and the ‎Philippine Information Agency with support of The Asia Foundation and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas. (OPAPP)