Monday, August 1, 2016

Indonesian govt pushing company to offer compensation to hostages` families

From Antara News (Aug 1): Indonesian govt pushing company to offer compensation to hostages` families

Indonesian govt pushing company to offer compensation to hostages` families

Copy of paspor document of Teodorus Kopong from East Flores Timur, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), one of hostage by armed groups in southern Philippines since last June. (ANTARA)

The Indonesian government has ordered the company owning Tugboat Charles to pay compensation to the seven hostages families as their breadwinners are being held hostage by armed groups in southern Philippines since last June.

"The company has agreed to give them compensation, such as during the Eid Holiday, for their monthly payments, education, and so on, so basically they (the company) will pay it," Foreign Affairs Ministrys Director of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, stated here on Monday.

Iqbal affirmed that the government will continue to assist the families, while the efforts to release their members were still underway, apart from ensuring that the compensation from the company could be received regularly.

"Based on our past experiences, we will intensify communication with the families," he noted.

With regard to the efforts to release the seven hostages, Iqbal said the government is still working with several parties, both in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Iqbal also confirmed that the Indonesian citizens held captive by the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the southern Philippines are in good condition.

"They are divided into two groups and are being moved around Jolo Island," he revealed.

As part of the efforts, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had met with her Philippines counterpart Perfecto Yasay Jr. on the sidelines of an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, in July to discuss ways to free several Indonesian sailors held hostage by an armed group in southern Philippines.

Minister Marsudi also affirmed that joint maritime patrols by Indonesia and the Philippines should be realized soon to secure Indonesian ships and their crew sailing through the Philippine waters.

On June 20, 2016, seven sailors of the Charles 001 tugboat and the Robby 152 barge were kidnapped by separatists in the Sulu Sea.

While attempts were being made to negotiate the release of the seven sailors, three more Indonesian crewmen of a Malaysian fishing boat were captured on July 9, 2016.

Indonesian FM calls Philippines govt to monitor hostage crisis

From Antara News (Aug 1): Indonesian FM calls Philippines govt to monitor hostage crisis

Indonesian FM calls Philippines govt to monitor hostage crisis
Minister Retno LP Marsudi. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi contacted the Philippines government on Sunday (July 31) to monitor the condition of a number of Indonesian citizens abducted by an armed group in the Philippines.

"We continue to communicate with the Philippines government to monitor and to free the Indonesian citizens held by an armed group in the Philippines," Retno Marsudi said here Monday.

The foreign ministry also continued to communicate with the families of the hostages to inform them about their condition.

According to the information obtained, the Indonesian crew members are in good condition, she noted.

"We will keep you informed of any progress related to the hostages," the minister remarked.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto urged the Indonesian people to give him time to settle the problem.

"Let me work optimally to address the case," the minister said.

Earlier, last June, Minister Marsudi had revealed that two vessels a tugboat named Charles 001 and a scow called Robby 152 were hijacked by two different armed groups in two stages, at around 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. local time.

After the hijacking, six Indonesian crew members and the two vessels were released, while seven others were abducted and held hostage by the armed groups.

The six crew members aboard tugboat Charles and scow Robby arrived in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on June 25, and according to the Indonesian Navy, they could go home to their families soon.

This is the third instance of the armed groups hijacking Indonesian vessels, with the first incident involving the kidnapping of seamen in late March, while four other Indonesian sailors were abducted by Abu Sayyaf militants in mid-April.

The hostages were released in early May, and later the Indonesian government held a trilateral meeting with Malaysia and the Philippines in Yogyakarta.

The three governments had agreed to conduct coordinated patrols in their maritime border areas to prevent future incidents of hijacking and other crimes.

Indonesia relies on 'total diplomacy' to free kidnapped sailors

From the Jakarta Post (Aug 1): Indonesia relies on 'total diplomacy' to free kidnapped sailors

Indonesia relies on 'total diplomacy' to free kidnapped sailors

Members of the Abu Sayyaf group hold onto their weapons in a jungle area in the southern Philippines.(YouTube/Exclusive)

The government says it will not pay a ransom but instead continue its diplomatic efforts to secure the release of 10 Indonesian hostages kidnapped by militant groups in the Philippines.

“We call it total diplomacy. The Foreign Ministry is even collaborating with the military and police to free the hostages,” Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, the ministry’s Indonesian citizen protection director, told journalists.

On June 23, seven of 13 crewmen aboard an Indonesian vessel were taken hostage in the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippines, while the remaining six were let go. Another three Indonesian sailors were kidnapped in an earlier incident.

Charles Honoris, a member of House of Representatives Commission I, which oversees defense and foreign affairs, said that the state principally could not pay a ransom and should not let any other party do so either.

“Paying a ransom will only trigger more abductions,” he added.

Duterte sets talks with Nur, MILF

From Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 2): Duterte sets talks with Nur, MILF

PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday said he would be spending 10 days in Mindanao to craft the framework for peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“I have to fix the Mindanao issue, I will look at the framework,” Mr. Duterte said.
But the chief executive made it clear talks with the Abu Sayyaf were out of the question.

“I will not deal with persons of extreme brutality. There is no redeeming factor or reason for me to sit down and talk with criminals,” he said.

Unlike the Moro rebel and communist groups, the Abu Sayyaf had no ideology, he said.

Mr. Duterte said he planned to hold discussions with MNLF founder Nur Misuari, who is a fugitive wanted for rebellion.

The President said he would give Misuari a safe conduct pass.

“If we would not get to talk, how can we fix these things?” he said.

Maguindanao town LGU extends aid to displaced families due to Army-MILF clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): Maguindanao town LGU extends aid to displaced families due to Army-MILF clash

The local government of Datu Saudi Ampatuan has started distributing relief goods and food packs to some 1,200 families displaced by armed hostilities involving Moro rebels and government forces.

Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan told reporters that the clash which erupted last July 27 has displaced civilians.

"Now that a cessation of hostilities has been imposed and implemented by both sides, the local government quickly started humanitarian assistance program," Dimaukom said.

A civilian was hit by stray bullet during the early morning skirmishes involving government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

A ceasefire is existing between Army and MILF in Datu Saudi Ampatuan but a misunderstanding and mis-encounter occurred when soldiers, pursuing outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) clashed with MILF instead.

The humanitarian arm of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Maguidanao relief teams have started attending to the needs of the displaced families now temporarily housed in at least 15 public schools.

2 NPA rebels yield in Agusan Del Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): 2 NPA rebels yield in Agusan Del Sur

Two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 26th Infantry Battalion here, a military official said Monday.

Capt. Jeffrey L. Batistiana, spokesperson of the Army’s 26IB, said that the rebels were presented by the town mayor to Lt. Col. Rommel S. Pagayon, commanding officer, of the 26IB on Sunday.

Batistiana said that the rebels whose names were withheld for security reason turned over one cal .30 M1 Garand rifle and one KG 9.

According to Batistiana, the NPA rebels who decided to abandon the armed struggle belonged to the Front 34 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) operating in the Municipality of Loreto, Agusan Del Sur.

He said that the military has started to process the enrollment of the surrendered NPA rebels in the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

“After their names were processed, the rebel returnees would receive immediate assistance and other benefits from the CLIP program, especially intended for livelihood,” Batistiana said.

The military is optimistic that like the other rebel returnees, the newly surrendered NPA rebels would start living normal and peaceful lives in the mainstream society, he said.

6th Infantry Division now accepts examinees for PMA

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): 6th Infantry Division now accepts examinees for PMA

The military's 6th Infantry "Kampilan" Division based in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao is now accepting applicants for Philippine Military Academy (PMA) entrance examination this month.

Capt. Joann Petinglay, spokesperson of the 6th ID, said entrance examination for aspirants from the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat and part of Lanao del Sur will be on August 21.

Petinglay said the written examination will be held at the Notre Dame University.

Those qualified to take the examination are advised to submit during registration a copy of the Philippine Statistics Authority (NSA) certified birth certificate and copy of High School Card Form 137.

Petinglay said documents may be submitted to the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the 6th Infantry Division, Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Petinglay, chief of the 6th ID Public Affairs Division, also advised interested applicants to visit for more information.

Suspected NPA rebel killed in pursuit operations in Surigao del Norte

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): Suspected NPA rebel killed in pursuit operations in Surigao del Norte

A suspected member of the New People's Army rebel group was killed while authorities are on a rescue mission of three policemen and a non-uniformed personnel who were abducted last week at a village in Surigao del Norte province.

Reports from Surigao del Norte Police reaching the regional police headquarters here said police and military were conducting joint pursuit operations in Barangays San Isidro, Binucaran and Cagtinae in San Francisco town when they encountered about 15 armed men at Binucaran around 8 a.m. Monday.

A 20-minute firefight ensued that led to the death of a certain Junard Quinto Casoy, 37. His cohorts fled to an unknown direction, the report said.
Recovered were an AK-47 rifle believed to be used by Casoy, five magazines, two improvised explosive device (IEDs) and some gallons of rice.

Police said Casoy has two pending warrants of arrest for charges of qualified theft and reckless imprudence resulting to physical injuries.

Additional troops were deployed in the area to support the search and rescue operations and to pursue the abductors.

Those kidnapped were identified as Senior Police Officer 3 Santiago Lamanilao of the Surigao City Police Office, Police Officer 3 Jayroll Bagayas, Poffice Officer 2 Caleb Sinaca, and Rodrigo Angob of the Malimono Municipal Police Station.

Police officers survive grenade attack in N.Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): Police officers survive grenade attack in N.Cotabato

A team of police officers survived a grenade attack here Monday night after two men lobbed the explosive at 7:15 p.m.

Chief Inspector Ronnie Cordero, Kabacan town police chief, said nobody was hurt in the blast.

"Our troops were taking their dinner when the grenade exploded just outside the police outpost," Cordero said.

Two men riding tandem on motorbike was seen passing by the roadside detachment located at the corner of Miracle Street and Sunset Drive when one of the suspects tossed the explosive then sped away, Cordero said.

"Luckily, no one from the PNP was hurt in the attack," Cordero said in a radio interview.

The town police chief believed the attack was a retaliation to the intensified anti-illegal drugs drive in town which led to the arrest of drug peddlers.

PAF MD-520MG attack helicopters up for maintenance

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): PAF MD-520MG attack helicopters up for maintenance

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is allocating the sum of PHP3,200,000 for the acquisition of spare parts needed for the maintenance of its McDonnell Douglas MD-520MG "Defender" attack helicopters.

Pre-bid conference is on Wednesday, 9 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

While submission and opening of bids is on Aug. 16, 9:00 a.m. at the same venue.

The PAF is known to operate between 12 to 16 models of the MD-520, according to military sources.

The PAF affair with the MD-520 started in the early 90's when 25 units of these excellent aircraft were delivered to country.

It was used with great effect against New People's Army (NPA) rebels and lawless elements like the Abu Sayyaf Group for the past few years.

The MD-520 is derived from the MG-500 light utility helicopter.

It can be armed with .50 caliber heavy machines and air-to-ground rockets.

The aircraft carries a crew of two and is capable of flying to speeds up to 160 miles per hour (257 kilometers per hour), making it ideal for close air support work.

President Duterte reminds PSG to be loyal to the constitution

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): President Duterte reminds PSG to be loyal to the constitution

President Rodrigo R. Duterte met with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and their families on Sunday evening in Malacanan and urged them to continue carrying out their Constitutional mandate.

He said, “I am happy that you secure my person but just the same, I would like to caution everybody that I do not cultivate personal loyalty. Just be loyal to the Constitution. Honor the flag.”

Just like the soldiers of the PSG, the President said he is also a government employee. "Pareho lang tayo trabahante lang ng gobyerno, Galing ako sa mahirap na pamilya at rose from the ranks din ago (We are all government workers. I came from a poor family and I also rose from the ranks),” he related, adding that he first occupied the lowest position in the prosecution service when he was working as a prosecutor in Davao.

PRRD apologized for not meeting the PSG at the start of his term due to his tight schedule as President of the country. He told the PSG's men and women, “bilib ako sa inyo (I look up to you) for your loyalty.”

The President called on them to do their jobs as mandated and not be afraid of harassment related to the performance of their duties. “Magtrabaho lang tayo lahat (let us all just work).”

Reiterating his statements in military camps that he visited in the past days, President Duterte expressed that as Commander-in-chief, he will give them his support as long as they perform their duties to the fullest.

He said he will be supporting the soldiers in terms of equipment to enable them to do their job without going so near the target and risk their lives. "You will have your armaments," he assured the uniformed services

Aside from the performance of their regular function, the soldiers were urged by the President to help the police secure the country, saying “You have to help the police because we cannot provide security in every inch of the territory, that is impossible.”

Brigadier General Rolando Bautista, PSG's new commander who assumed the post upon President Duterte’s inauguration, reminded the PSG during the event to “step in cadence with the Commander-in-Chief because we will be the one to protect him.”

Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his attendance to the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Dinner[Delivered at the PSG Grandstand, Malacañang Park]

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 1): Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his attendance to the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Dinner[Delivered at the PSG Grandstand, Malacañang Park]

Let me begin by addressing myself to you to your officers, Brigadier General Rolando Bautista, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Adviser for Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, the men and women of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), ang mga pamilya ninyo pati 'yung mga anak nandito ngayon.

Good evening and I would like to just be --- either short or long --- depende sa takbo ng...You know I am happy to be here. I apologize for not meeting you earlier because you are after all, just like me, working for the government. Kaya lang, I am happy that you secure my person but just the same I would like to caution everybody na I do not cultivate adoration or a personal loyalty. Just remain loyal to the Constitution and I'd be happy, really, just honor the flag. Pareho tayo trabahante lang sa gobyerno at ako'y galing po akong mahirap na pamilya and from the ranks din ako.

I started my career as a special council and that is the position that is lowest in the issuance of the prosecutorial body. Matagal ho ako doon and so mas maganda ang rapport ko sa military pati police because I was at one time in the past a prosecutor. Ako lang po 'yung piskal na-assign sa aming lugar, far away Mindanao, to prosecute the rebels, prosecute the military offenders and the police.

But I like to tell you a very simple story. Lahat nang nagka-kaso sa inyo and it's on record, in the performance of your duty, talagang dinismiss ko talaga. Iyon namang personal ninyo, alam ninyo 'yan, matagal na kayo sa --- that has always been the rule and until now --- if you do your duty in connection with your mandate, do it, at huwag kayong matakot because usually may mga harassment, harassment. But I really do not believe 'yung mga ano...Sometimes it is excessively done but you cannot discount that possibility in the heat of battle.

Wala man kayong...The moments that you enjoy with your family are really the moments of where you forget about the job. 'Pag labay mo --- labay --- pag-alis mo sa bahay [labay is Bisaya], iyong trabaho na tayong lahat, me also. Paabutin ako ng Panginoong Diyos na matapos ako, good, if not then that is actually destiny. Pero ibalik ko lang sa inyo na --- lalo na 'yung labas-pasok kayo sa command eh. But for you who would go out there and fight for our country, the security of our people, you will have my full support.

Kaya itong bagong alitan dito but first itong droga, you have to help us. You have to help the police because we cannot --- well, maintain order throughout the land every inch of the territory, that is impossible. Magsakay ka lang nga ng eroplano papunta dito it's 1:30 jet and that is just how vast the territory of the Philippines is; and I do not really expect that every moment in our lives na magkaroon tayo ng kapayapaan kaagad.

We have this drug problem, it was only after I became a President or I had become the President of the Republic, that nakita ninyo gaano kalawak ang problema.

I was the favorite whipping boy ng mga senador diyan and they built their careers also criticizing me. Well and good, trabaho mo 'yan I do not really...I would not be mad at you if you --- kasi noong ako noong piskal po ako ganun rin eh trabaho ko, trabaho ko, okay lang.

But noong nag-Presidente na ako at inipit ko na ang lahat, lumabas ang totoo. But remember that two years ago, the PDEA came up with a statistics that there are about three million Filipino addicts. Noong ito nang na-Presidente na ako tapos nilargahan ko, sabi ko, "We have to finish this problem because it is threatening our country," with three million addicts, my God. At ang nag-surrender today just about 180. Doon nakita ng Pilipinas na gaano kabigat ang problema natin.

Kaso they started drugs here --- it's the Chinese actually. Tapos noong alam nila na mainit na --- hindi pa nila ako --- long before I became a President, they transferred venues. So they are there our statistics and our intelligence matrix, actually nameless 'yung mga ano...China has provided the profile ngayon na lang kasi nag-open na ako sabi ko na China galing ang mga...And they are using real-time and they are listening to us now I am very sure about that, lalo na 'yung Chinese military.

But I hope they would have the good send really of 'ano ba ito?' Are you there living it that way para magulo ang bayan ko? Are you into it or tulungan ninyo kami? Kasi alam ninyo...Alam nga natin na ganito lang tayo ka-pobre sa ating technical know-how eh lalo na sila and besides nandiyan sila sa bayan nila.

Sabi ko dito 'yung mga sabi ng mga kolumnista, 'yung mga bright-bright diyan 'where's the big fish?' Well, I am sorry to say to you that the big fish is in China. If you want to get an international warrant and go there. But until now, wala talaga tayong magawa but I have to destroy the apparatus and naka-ganun na 'yan eh. At kung hindi ko ubusin dito, the supply and the demand wala talagang mangyayari.

At ako hindi ako nagpayayabang --- were it --- another nanalo, maghirapan ito, mahirapan ang Pilipinas, kung iba ang nanalo, hindi ako magyabang. Well, Davao City is like that because ganun talaga. You go out of my city, I will kill you, period. Why? Because you are destroying my country eh. You are destroying the young of this...Ang mga anak natin hindi na makalabas takot. Magsakay sa jeep, may holdaper.

Tapos 'yung iba pati...Why do you think that I won by landslide sa labas ng mga boto? It's because of insecurity, na 'yung gamit nila ng pera pinaghirapan nila sa loob malulong sa droga ang anak, that's a family dysfunction, by the way. Kaya nakakaawa eh. You know the mother is there, dito ang tatay walang asawa and even may biology magkagulo talaga ang pamilya o 'yung iba dalawang nanay pati tatay. You can just imagine the dysfunction of the family. Maawa ka sa Pilipino.

Adre, hindi ako komunista pero may dimension sa buhay ko socialism ako kasi anak lang ako ng pobre. Nakatikim ako ng --- kami --- and I can remember 1956, na-demolish 'yung bahay namin sa Davao. Well, my father thought that it was a wet land, basa eh. Tapos 'yon pala Mindanao was divided so many years ago dito lang sa Maynila. When they opened up Mindanao, 'o ito pare, may bakante ito,' I cannot blame them for after all at that time when Mindanao was being divided, the Philippines was very big. With 104 million ngayon, ang Pilipinas naging... We are the number 2 sa --- in bulk rate, tapos ang ating economic growth nandito sa baba.

Kaya ako tumakbo kasi nakita ko it was the government itself oppressing the people, bugbog ang tao talaga: permit, lisensiya, lahat na. Every time ang pobre pagdating lagyan pa ng bala, ay nako.

And it was --- puro naman kayo military --- it was Ramos who were there long, long before; and he was pleading and he showed to me. So alam na namin, pati si Ramos, noon pa. Ayaw lang niya but he was sad. Sabi niya he was father of the police tapos ganun ang nangyari [inaudible] So I really cannot, sabi niya 'I need somebody to fix government, you'. Sabi ko, 'Ayaw ko, sir, wala akong pera.' Sabi niya, 'Hindi ikaw. Tumakbo ka na.' I did not file, nagalit siya pumunta sa Davao. Sabi ko, 'Sir, wala akong pera at saka ayaw ko.' Sabi niya, 'presidente, o 'yan. I got it from my friends. You will receive money, run.' Araw-araw tinawagan niya ako napilitan talaga akong mag-substitute. Iyan talaga ang totoo. He is still alive, you ask him.

Alam mo ang problema corruption kasi sabi niya, 'parang ang panahon ko sa pagka-presidency wala akong na-i...' He was not able to introduce anything that is a life changing story for all of us. Ganun...Then kasi kung gusto ko...You know I am addressing to the [inaudible]

I am trying to save lives. Kaya ako I was...I get the ground running offered peace to everybody, to the communist, to the MI, MN. Pero 'yung mga kriminal wala akong --- wala akong ano diyan. I cannot go into itong Abu Sayyaf. Those are the enemies that have to be destroyed. Kaya talagang...Wala, you will have to just destroy them.

Pero for the sake of peace and save lives. You know, we are spending billions and I hate to, you know, sign a paper, noong mayor ako, to buy bullets just to kill a Filipino.

Ito namang komunista kaibigan kami. They are socialist but they are Communist Party of the Philippines. I am just socialist in my dimension kasi anak ako ng mahirap. I hate government and anyone oppressing the people.

Tanim-bala 'yung mahirap, 'yung hindi malakas. Eh samantala naman kaming mga mayor, mga general, mga Cabinet members, you are waive of --- maski magdala ka ng isang toneladang dyamante diyan o brilyante, balewala iyan.

That is the kind of government that really --- it's into the core of our essence as a Filipino. Sa panahon ko it will be cleaned, ganun talaga. Talagang Congress --- sinabi ko sa kanila, 'ayaw ng tao ang pork barrel.' You go into it, ewan ko ano ang mangyari. Do not [inaudible] the Gods. Kasi ako may droga and corruption. Do not...I mean, as far as I would like to, gusto ko 'yung I operate within the law. Pero itong mga durugista wala na.

Itong corruption, maski saan, lisensiya hanggang ngayon wala pa, late wala pa, bayad na 'yan ha, two years ago, three ago. Anong klaseng...Ang pobreng magpunta ng clearance, magbigay pa. Tapos 'yung ano pabalik-balik wala diyan ang chief of office.

Kaya ako...Dito sa executive department --- hindi ko kasi kontralado iyang Congress pati judiciary. Dito sa akin, kapag wala ka diyan sa opisina mo, I will --- just dismissal. Sabihin mo illegal, bahala na, basta punta ka ng korte kung gusto mo. Eh kung wala ka diyan, I am warning everybody, I will repeat the warning tomorrow na kung binayaran ka for eight hours, do not shortchange the Filipino. So kung magtrabaho ka lang diyan, karamihan, after lunch break hindi na bumabalik, manood ng sine sa mall, so ang bayad namin good for eight hours then you only report for three to four hours, that's swindling actually. You are swindling the Filipino people of their money. You are paying the certain amount of certain hour. Eh di magtrabaho kayo.

And apparently walang kuwan --- pati itong itong contractualization. Itong mga kompanya...Sabi ni Secretary Bebot Bello kanina sa ANC, he would meet the [inaudible] to inspect and see the records. Kung ganun walang mangyayari dito. We do not have the warm bodies to go there and check and, you know, it could result in corruption again. Wala ako diyan eh, wala tayo. Iyan ang kanilang papel, inspector ilagay mo lang diyan tapos bigyan. Whether or not accurate because I know how the system operates. Matagal na ako sa gobyerno, isali mo that's 40 years. Kasi 'yung pagka-prosecutor ko it's a good 10 years tapos bolahin mo ako ng ganun.

Kaya ako bukas magda...Sundin ninyo ang batas na wala na akong inspection o siraan ko kayo. Mamili kayo. Wala nang inspection, inspection if there’s a violation. I do not need to... Magsabi lang ang mga trabahante na hangang ngayong five months sila aalis, magka-letsihan na tayo, I mean, I do not care.

Sabi ko nga: in this presidency pinupusta ko, I’m putting at stake, at stake, my honor, my life, and the presidency itself. I will have to use your camps. Wala kasi... It's only the military who has a vast reservation dito sa mga lupa-lupa.

I’m just asking for ano one hectare ng lupa tutal sinarahan ko naman ng barb wire iyan. I will build itong mga rehab, kasi itong three million babalik 'yan doon sa, in the streets, mangho-holdup na naman, magpatay ng tao because they need the fix for the day. Nakita ko ngayon medyo bumaba ang krimen kasi takot lahat.

I’d like remind you again, that this is a --- hindi naman ako --- ano nga ako Commander-in-Chief. Ako nga, pati ako nakatulala na naman Commander-in-Chief? Mischievous ka. Ako I will be with you I will support you at you will have everything that you will need to destroy the enemy [applause].

Iyong si Kerry nag-usap kami, human rights, 'I have a job to do let us go to another topic' 'the money?' Oo, 32, 'Ah, I give you, 32 million dollars'. So sabi kay Delfin Lorenzana. 'Ano ang priority mo?' Kasi maganda ang performance natin doon sa Sulu at impressed ako sa nagawa natin. So buy more, bili ka pa ng marami.'

So I have said my piece, parang blow-out ko na rin ito sa pagka-general ni Rolly. Kasi General na yan siya [applause] And for the others who are here, so, ikaw na lang mag-kuwan sa kanila. But from the time, I'd like to be with you. Salamat.

PVAO launches official PMA register

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): PVAO launches official PMA register

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) has officially launched a list of former and current cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

PVAO launched "The Academy Register 2016: A Register of Former and Current Cadets of the Philippine Military Academy and Allied Services Academies" to honor the 17,000 men and women who have attended the PMA and donned its gray uniform since its establishment in 1898.

PVAO Veterans Memorial and Historical Division head Brig. Gen. Restituto Aguilar (retired) said the list contained names of the first PMA graduates in 1898 and incoming members of PMA Class of 2020 who are now in their first or plebe year.

The register also includes those sent by the Philippines to Allied Services Academies around the world.

Present during the launching ceremonies were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, PVAO administrator Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolina (retired), AFP Chaplain Brig. Gen. Tirso Dolina, Lt. Gen. Salvador Mison, Academy Register 2016 Edition adviser, PMA head Major Gen. Donato B. San Juan II, and PMA Alumni chief executive officer and chair Deputy Director Anselmo S. Avenido.

Aguilar spent over 17 years of intensive research, particularly on the personal data that were difficult to obtain and if available, were found in various and separate documents and kept in innumerable locations.

“I was still quite young when I started with a dream. Now, over 17 years later, I am glad it is no longer an empty statement but a reality," he added.

The register also contains the individual military history of all young men and women who were appointed by the Military and Civil Governors General of the American Colonial Government and the Presidents of the Commonwealth and the Republic of the Philippines to train in their nation’s Constabulary and Military Academies and in other Allied Armed Services Academies.

“This is not a mere list of individuals. It is a history book of over a century of the academy’s existence. It narrates the history of the individual, of the class, and of the academy,” Aguilar added.

The register is expected to gain worldwide circulation as copies will be furnished the US Library of Congress; the libraries of the US Military Academy, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, and US Coast Guard Academy; Virginia Military Institute; The Citadel; Australian Defense Force Academy; Royal Military Academy – Sandhurst (UK); Ecole Special Militaire de Saint-Cyr (France); Japanese National Defense Academy; Republic of Korea Armed Services Academies; Southeast Asian military academies; and the AFP, PNP and PCG training institutions and selected universities and colleges in the Philippines and abroad.

Rebel killed in Surigao Del Norte in first clash with gov't troops since lifting of ceasefire

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): Rebel killed in Surigao Del Norte in first clash with gov't troops since lifting of ceasefire

A suspected New People's Army (NPA) fighter was killed following a clash with 30th Infantry Battalion troopers and police officers in Malimono town, Surigao Del Norte Monday morning.

The incident transpired at 8:00 a.m., said AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the first recorded fighting among government forces and NPA units since the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire Saturday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the lifting of the ceasefire, declared during his State-of-the-Nation-Address last July 25, in wake of the NPA's failure to declare their own version of the ceasefire last July 30.

The clash lasted for five minutes and resulted in the death of one rebel and recovery of an AK-47 automatic rifle, two IEDs (improvised explosive device), assorted ammunition and magazines and gallons of rice and other foodstuff.

No losses were recorded among 30th Infantry Battalion troopers.

Padilla said military and police units were responding to NPA extortion complaints when the clash happened in a hill near the Malimono City Hall.

Allegedly, NPA units were supposed to meet their couriers there and pick up money and supplies raised by extorting residents of Barangays San Isidro and Binucayan.

However, this was foiled by the immediate response of government security forces and resulted in the death of one rebel.

Government forces are still conducting pursuit operations as of this time.

AFP still hopeful for peace despite resumption of fight vs Reds

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): AFP still hopeful for peace despite resumption of fight vs Reds

Despite taking a more pro-active stance against the New People's Army with the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire Saturday, the AFP is still hoping that a more lasting and just peace will come out in the Aug. 20 Oslo, Norway talks with the insurgents.

This was stressed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in briefing Monday.

"Despite our pro-active stance, the AFP remains supportive of the peace process (and) we hopeful that a long and lasting peace (will come out of the Oslo talks," he said in Filipino.

Padilla said this elusive peace is the long-time dream of the soldiery and the populace, very tired of this drawn-out conflict.

However, he also clarified that despite this desire for peace, the AFP is committed to carrying out its constitutionally mandated task of protecting the people and country's sovereignty.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared the unilateral ceasefire against the rebels during his first State-of-the-Nation Address last July 25 in line with achieving the government’s goal of final and lasting peace.

But the Chief Executive ordered the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire after the 5:00 p.m. Saturday ultimatum he gave lapsed without reciprocation from the rebels.

“Correspondingly, I am ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration,” Duterte stressed.

Prior the deadline, the President demanded a concrete explanation from the rebels regarding its July 27 attack against militia units in Kapalong, Davao Del Norte which killed one and wounded four others.

"The NPA have missed a golden opportunity to manifest their commitment to the attainment of our citizen's much sought peace throughout the land," Padilla said.

"This could have been what the Filipino nation had been waiting for -- the silencing of the guns that could have hastened development especially in the countryside. As things now stand, the AFP will abide by the ensuing orders of the Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte following this development," AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said.

"I am ordering all our forces to resume their normal mandated tasks and work to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry, enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land," he added.

AFP faithful to unilateral ceasefire despite NPA attacks

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): AFP faithful to unilateral ceasefire despite NPA attacks

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday denied claim by the New People's Army (NPA) that the military never honored the ceasefire declared by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his first State of the Nations Address (SONA).

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla on Monday said that despite unprovoked attacks by New People's Army combat units, the AFP remained faithful to unilateral ceasefire from beginning to end.

President Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire during his first SONA on July 25 but subsequently lifted it on July 30 after the NPAs failed to declare their own version.

Padilla said the military was very supportive of the ceasefire, adding that planners worked overtime to craft guidelines on how to disengage combat units in the field shortly after Duterte's announcement.

He added AFP sincerity could not be doubted as this order was immediately promulgated to various units nationwide.

And yet despite this show of goodwill and sincerity from the government, rebel forces in Kapalong, Davao Del Norte attacked a returning militia patrol, killing one and wounding four others last July 27 and in July 28, NPA forces were at in again, attacking another home-bound Army patrol in Agusan Del Sur, fortunately causing no losses to government troops.

"And yet, despite these attacks, we never did conduct pursuit operations against them as we are hoping that the (unilateral) ceasefire will work," Padilla added.

And despite these setbacks, the AFP spokesperson was hopeful that a more lasting peace would come out from the scheduled Aug. 20 talks with the NPAs in Oslo, Norway.

Padilla was also hoping that the insurgents would not make any impossible demands which could bogged down the dialogues.

President Duterte wants to talk again with CPP-NPA-NDF

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): President Duterte wants to talk again with CPP-NPA-NDF

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Monday that the road to peace is always a rocky road but still hoping his administration could talk again with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

”There is no negotiation that comes easy to us especially given the turmoil of our country. We are hoping that we could just talk, maybe we did not understand each other,” the President said during the mass oath-taking of his appointees in Malacanang.

President Duterte has lifted the unilateral ceasefire he declared with the communist rebels after the CPP-NPA-NDF did not reciprocate before the 5 p.m. ultimatum last Saturday.

”The best way is really is to talk again and find out whether it is reachable or beyond our reach,” President Duterte said.

”I hope that we can proceed with the talks the Communist Party of the Philippines and I’ll be spending about 10 days after tomorrow,” he added.

The President said he will also address the problem in Mindanao, particularly the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

President Duterte clarified that he will not talk with the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group.

”I will not deal with criminals. I will not deal with persons of extreme brutality. There is no redeeming factor or reason for me to sit down and talk with criminals. Pareho lang rin ýan sa droga. They’re out to just derail the life of a nation,” President Duterte said.

He said the Abu Sayyaf bandits have no ideology unlike the CPP-NPA-NDF and the MILF and MNLF.

The President said he give everybody a safe conduct pass once the peace talks start with the communist and the Moro rebels.

”My desire is just to see my nation at peace and for everybody in this generation before I make my exit that we will leave in peace and leave a country that is prosperous for the next generation,” he added.

President Duterte refused to react on the criticisms of communist leader Jose Maria Sison that the President was hasty to lift the ceasefire.

”Hindi ko papatulan iyan eh. I am not an ideological poltergeist. I am the President talking properly to you to have peace in this land. Bakit man ako --- hindi naman ako insecure,” the President said.

The President said his administration will pursue the peace talks with the communist rebels set on August 20 to 27 in Oslo, Norway.

”I cannot stop talking about peace. I am a President who is supposed to bring peace to his land. Whether it’s really Sison or not, whether I’d like to talk to Sison or not, it’s not important, it’s not relevant at all. The issue is, the left, not only Sison, but that includes Sison, the left, the entire leftist community or bloc dito sa atin. We cannot agree on all of these things. Merong right, left, center,” President said.

”Me, at this time, I just believe that I have to look for that peace for my land during my generation. If I fail, mahirap na, including Mindanao,” he added.

More attack helicopters to be purchased under 'Flight Plan 2028'

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 2): More attack helicopters to be purchased under 'Flight Plan 2028'

More attack helicopters will be acquired to boost the Philippine Air Force's existing aircraft fleet, a PAF official said Tuesday.

"The attack helicopter project is a continuing program up until we are able to close the capability gap. It's laid out in the PAF Flight Plan 2028 and very much in line with the President's thrust," PAF Spokesperson Col. Araus Robert Musico said in a message to the PNA.

This would boost the existing MD-520 attack units and newly-acquired AW-109s, he added. At present, PAF has between 12 to 16 MD-520s and eight AW-109 attack helicopters.

Attack helicopters, in the Philippine setting, are often deployed as aerial rocket and machine batteries to help troops in clearing and pursuit operations.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte pledged to acquire more attack helicopters to aid troops in their operations against bandit and lawless groups.

In its 14-year strategic roadmap called Flight Plan 2028, the PAF will be able to build up its capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize incursions from "Area Readiness 3 to Area Readiness 1."

"Area Readiness 3" refers to 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territory while "Area Readiness 1" means 100 percent of the country's territory which is estimated to be 40,000 square nautical miles.

AFP back on red alert after Duterte lifts ceasefire order

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 1): AFP back on red alert after Duterte lifts ceasefire order

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is now on high alert status after President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew the unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF on Saturday night.
In his Facebook page, Gen. Ricardo Visaya, AFP chief of staff, said all forces will resume their military offensives against the New People’s Army.
“The NPA have missed a golden opportunity to manifest their commitment to the attainment of our citizen’s much sought peace throughout the land,” Visaya wrote.
Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said they remain committed to protecting the communities against any threats, whether the rebel or terrorist groups.
He also denied the accusation by the NPA that it was the Armed Forces of the Philippines which first violated the ceasefire. Government militias were attacked by communist rebels last week, resulting to 1 dead and four wounded.
In a separate interview, Chief Insp. Andrea Dela Cerna, spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO-XI), also said that they will follow the new instruction from President Duterte who lifted the ceasefire. Meanwhile, they will continue to enforce the laws and maintain peace and order in the barangays.
“I am ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Phil National Police to also withdraw the operational guidelines they issued in pursuance to that ceasefire declaration,” Duterte said in a statement.
“I am ordering all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions and mandate to neutralize all threats to national security, protect the citizenry, enforce the laws and maintain peace in the land,” the President said.
Meanwhile, the 10th Infantry Division issued a statement on the NPA’s version of their attack against CAAs in Davao del Norte last July 27.
Capt. Rhyan Batchar, division public affairs officer, said they strongly take offense on the accusation that it was they who first violated the ceasefire declared by the President during his state of the nation address last week.
“On the allegation that the AFP twisted the facts by leaving out the information that the troops were on combat operations and not engaged in ‘civilian’ activities, nowhere in our press statement or Facebook post did we claim that our troops are in ‘civilian’ activities,” he said.
He said that the ambush site was about “two to three days walk” from the patrol base of the government militias in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. The Cafgus, he said, received the order to stop all offensive actions on July 26.
“We are calling on the NPA to stop resorting to propaganda and instead truthfully show their sincerity in the efforts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte bring peace to the entire nation,” he said.

There’s hope yet

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 1): There’s hope yet

CPP talks not dead despite withdrawal of truce order: Dureza

DID THE National Democratic Front respond too late on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s offer of a unilateral ceasefire?
Sec. Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on the peace process, said the response of the NDF last Saturday, an hour after President Duterte’s announcement of his withdrawal from the ceasefire offer, will be among the agenda at today’s scheduled cabinet meeting.
The NDF said through media that it was originally planning to declare a ceasefire at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
“I will make my corresponding recommendations to the President and the whole cabinet … Monday during the scheduled cabinet meeting in the afternoon,” Dureza said in a statement.
“After President Duterte ordered last night the lifting of the government’s unilateral ceasefire, the leadership of the CPP/NPA/NDF announced through the media its belated but still strategic and awaited decision to also declare its own unilateral ceasefire.”
President Duterte withdrew the offer of a unilateral ceasefire after the NDF sought for an extension and the results of its internal investigation regarding the incident last July 27.
“Indeed, this is a welcome development. It affirms the value of the President’s firm actions for peace. This is what we have been waiting for.”
Dureza said that they were hoping for an immediate response from the NDF since this was usually the case during the annual ceasefires of every year’s holiday season.
“This was precisely the reason for the President’s statement in the Sona that he was calling on and expecting the NDF to respond accordingly,” Dureza said.
Dureza said that the NDF could not immediately declare its own ceasefire “as they were waiting for the precise written orders.”
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police issued their respective policy guidance in response to the order.
“Copies thereof were sent immediately to the NDF in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Yet inspite of this, there was still no declaration from them,” Dureza said.
“By 5 o’clock in the afternoon of July 30, the final deadline the President announced lapsed and still there was no declaration from the NDF.”
“But the President still patiently waited.”
“From the above, it is very clear that the President walked the extra mile for peace. And no doubt, he will still continue to do so at any given opportunity.”
The President declared a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP/NPA/NDF during his state of the nation address.
He failed to get an answer from the NPA following the attack on government militia forces, resulting to one death and four others wounded, in Sitio Kamonuan, Barangay Kapalong in Davao del Norte at 6:45 a.m. on July 27.
The 10th Infantry Division claimed that the militia forces were in the process of going home following the order of Duterte for a ceasefire.
“I am hereby ordering the immediate lifting of the ceasefire,” Duterte said in a statement published in the government website. “I am ordering all security forces to be on high alert and continue to discharge their normal functions to neutralise all threats to national security.”
The NPA, instead, accused the military of not complying with the ceasefire order, as it insisted that the ambushed personnel were actually operating in the area.
Aris Francisco, NPA-ComVal North Davao South Agusan Subregional Command spokesperson, said paramilitary forces and the AFP have been engaging the NPA in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.
The unit reportedly moved from their detachment on July 26 towards NPA targets located some 20 kilometers away. The SCAAs, Francisco said, were the ones who were setting up the ambush.
“Had the Red fighters not taken the initiative to actively defend itself by intercepting the 72nd Infantry Battalion Alamara troops, the operating AFP troops would have carried out its own combat action and inflicted damage against the NPA unit,” Francisco said.
In a statement, however, 10th ID spokesperson Rhyan Batchar said the division “strongly take offense on the malicious and unfounded allegations of the NPA spokesperson that the AFP deceived the President on the ambush of CAAs in Davao del Norte on July 27.
“The NPA’s allegation is completely false as the ambush site is two to three days’ walk from the CAA patrol base in Sitio Patil, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte and the ambush happened at about 6:45 in the morning of July 27,” Batchar said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte gave a financial assistance to the Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) members who were reportedly attacked by communist rebels on Wednesday last week.
Duterte said that the family of CAA Panggong Komanod shall receive P250,000 while the wounded Cafgus, Pelo Macuarpil and Sammy Gebang, will get P50,000.
The President reminded both government militias and soldiers to remain calm even after this setback.
“Don’t keep hatred in your heart,” he said.
In an interview aired over ANC, NDF founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said that they are always willing to talk peace with the government. However, the formal negotiations won’t happen until this month.
“The negotiating panels of both sides should talk so whatever miscommunication will be resolved,” Sison said.
Sison also accused the AFP of not following the orders of their commander-in-chief.

Duterte 'hopeful' for continued peace talks with communists

From Rappler (Aug 1): Duterte 'hopeful' for continued peace talks with communists

The President says he is yet to decide whether or not he will reinstate the unilateral ceasefire with communists

 HOPEFUL FOR PEACE. President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants peace talks with the Left to push through. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

HOPEFUL FOR PEACE. President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants peace talks with the Left to push through. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

Two days after suspending the unilateral ceasefire with communists, President Rodrigo Duterte said he still hopes peace talks between the Philippine government and the Left would push through.

"I hope we can proceed with the talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)," said Duterte on Monday, August 1, during the oath taking of new government appointees in Malacañang Palace.

The President said it's possible his administration and the CPP simply had a misunderstanding about the New People's Army ambush on July 27 that prompted him to lift the ceasefire.

"We are hoping that we can just talk. Maybe we did not understand eah other," said Duterte.

Pushing through with the peace talks would allow him to pursue his campaign promise of bringing peace to the country.

"Best way really is to talk again and maybe find out if it's reachable or beyond our reach," said Duterte.

The government and CPP were slated to resume peace talks on August 20 in Oslo, Norway.

Asked by media if he would reinstate the unilateral ceasefire, Duterte said he has not yet made a decision.

"I will see if I will also be happy to reinstall the ceasefire," he said.
The CPP says it is ready to declare a ceasefire on August 20 if the Duterte administration issues one too.
Previously, CPP founder Joma Sison called Duterte hasty for lifting the ceasefire and seeming to rush a delicate process.
Sison said the CPP was already preparing to reciprocate the government's ceasefire declaration at 8 pm – an hour after the President announced that he was lifting the ceasefire order.
Duterte had earlier given them until 5 pm on July 30 to declare their own ceasefire.
Though the President took a different tone with the communists in saying he hopes for the August 20 peace talks to push through, he expressed his dismay with the CPP in portraying the government as the bad guy in the situation.
"Ako na nga ang nag-declare ng ceasefire, ako pa 'yung namatayan, kami pa 'yung kontrabida? I declared a truce, nagbabaan 'yung sundalo galing bukid, tapos inambush," Duterte told the media.
(I was the one who declared the ceasefire, I suffered a casualty, and the government is the bad guy? I declared a truce so the soldiers went down from the mountains, and then they were ambushed.)
The government's next steps with the peace talks will be discussed during the Cabinet meeting scheduled to happen Monday afternoon in Malacañang.
Duterte said he would ask for the advice of peace process advisers Jesus Dureza and Silvestre Bello III.
"I will think about it, sleep on it perhaps, then I will make a deision," he said.
Because of Duterte's lifting of the ceasefire, police and military are back on high alert with directives to "neutralize all threats to national security," according to Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Ricardo Visaya.

NPA fighter slain in Surigao del Norte clash with govt forces seeking seized cops

From InterAksyon (Aug 2): NPA fighter slain in Surigao del Norte clash with govt forces seeking seized cops

A suspected New People's Army guerrilla was killed Monday in a clash in Surigao del Norte province with government security forces looking to rescue three policemen and a civilian seized by the rebels last week.

Reports from the provincial police and military personnel carrying out a joint operation encountered around 15 gunmen in Binucaran, triggering a 15-minute firefight that left alleged rebel Junard Quinto Casoy, 37, dead.

An AK-47 rifle believed to be used by Casoy, five magazines, two improvised explosive device and a quantity of rice were recovered.

Police said Casoy has two pending warrants of arrest for charges of qualified theft and reckless imprudence resulting to physical injuries.

Last week, rebels captured Senior Police Officer 3 Santiago Lamanilao of Surigao City, Police Officer 3 Jayroll Bagayas, Poffice Officer 2 Caleb Sinaca, and Rodrigo Angob, a civilian employee, of the Malimono police.

The clash happened after President Rodrigo Duterte took back the unilateral ceasefire on counterinsurgency oeprations he declared during his first state of the nation address.

NPA releases another proof of life of captured police chief in Mindanao

From MindaNews (Aug 1): NPA releases another proof of life of captured police chief in Mindanao

A photo of POW Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen taken in June (top) and his latest picture grabbed from a video clip released by the New People's Army to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.


A photo of POW Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen taken in June (top) and his latest picture grabbed from a video clip released by the New People’s Army to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner

The communist rebel group New People’s Army has released Monday a second video clip of a captured police officer who appealed anew to the military to stop all rescue operations for fear of his safety. 

Rigoberto Sanchez, a rebel spokesman, released the video to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner, the second since June after capturing Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen, the municipal police chief of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental, on May 29 following a daring assault in the province. 

He said the prisoner is currently being investigated by a rebel court for his alleged involvement in the unbridled illegal drug trade in the town after a packet of methamphetamine hydrochloride or crystal meth was seized from him by NPA fighters. 

In the video, Ongachen appealed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to halt all operations to free him from captivity and urged the Duterte government to resume peace talks with the NPA. 

“Ang hiling ko lang po sa AFP ay ihinto na po ninyo ang inyong military operation at bigyang daan natin ang peace talk na matagal nang hinihiling ng mga kababayan natin. Sana po ay pagbigyan natin ang peace talk upang malaman natin at maintindihan kung bakit nakikipaglaban ang mga kapwa natin Pilipino sa ating gobyerno ngayon. Ito po ay matagal ng problema na hindi po naiitindihan ng karamihan sa atin,” the bemustached police officer, wearing a black shirt, said in Tagalog. 

It was unknown whether Ongachen was speaking under duress or not, but the frames of the clip were obviously edited several times and put together into a three-minute video. In the clip, Ongachen also said aside from him, the rebels were also holding several people who were taken prisoners for using illegal drugs. 

“Noong unang 5 araw ng aking pagkabihag, napansin ko ay may mga tao na naka-kustodiya sa kanila. Ito po pala ay mga user ng shabu na tinutulungan nilang maka-iwas at malabanan ang pagka-addict sa ipinagbabawal na gamot. Kanila po itong pinapakain at inaalagaan hanggang sa masupil na nila ang pagka-addict sa iligal na droga,” Ongachen said, adding, it was also the same reason why the rebels raided the town and arrested him. 

Ongachen said he is being treated well by his captors and added the NPA also have a huge community support, although he did not say where he is being held. 

“Ang mga NPA po ay inaalagaan ako, hindi po nila ako sinasaktan. Simula noong pagkakuha sa akin hanggang ngayon po ay hindi ako nakatikim sa kanila ni pitik sa kamay dahil po sila po ay sumusunod sa Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law.”

“Noong una po, akala ko po ay sila po ay mga kriminal, pero noong isinama nila ako doon sa lugar kung saan may komunidad, napasin ko na mahal sila ng mga masa at ipinagkakatiwala ng mga tao ang kanilang mga bahay para sa NPA. Palipat-lipat po kami sa mga bahay sa komunidad at lahat po sila ay malaki ang respeto sa NPA,” he said. 

Sentence him 

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier appealed to the rebels to immediately free Ongachen, but has given up efforts to secure the safe release of the prisoner after learning from the NPA that rebels confiscated drugs from the officer. 

Duterte, who publicly declared war on illegal drugs, said the fate of Ongachen is now up to the NPA. “You have a kangaroo court. Sentence him to 20 years of hard labor,” Duterte said. “I said I’d be harsh (on illegal drugs). I’m sorry for that guy.” 

Sanchez said the town have been identified as a gateway of illegal drug trade in the province and that government officials have ignored the existence of the nefarious activities there. He also accused the 28th Infantry Battalion of sabotaging the NPA’s planned raid on a laboratory of being run by drug syndicates in the village of Tibanban.  

He also accused politicians and other military and police officials as involved in the nefarious trade and warned that they are now target of the NPA’s war on illegal drugs.  

“It is in the class interest of feudal lords, bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists that illegal drugs should proliferate in the country. The detestable US-Aquino regime has allowed this menace to take root and spread. This is yet another crime that the outgoing reactionary regime and its Oplan Bayanihan have to be held accountable for,” he said.  

Oplan Bayanihan refers to the government’s anti-insurgency campaign which the NPA said violated the rights of innocent people and resulted in extrajudicial killings in the countryside. 

Sanchez said the release of the clip by the NPA affirmed its continuing campaign against illegal drug syndicates in the country. He said the daring raid on May 29 in Generoso town is a blow against the unholy alliance of reactionaries and armed forces that continues to peddle illegal drugs in the province. 

He said they will strike hard against drug lords and their protectors. “The only solution to this menace is to strike hard against big drug lords and their protectors who have links to international drug syndicates,” he said.  

The NPA has been fighting the democratic government for decades now in an effort to put up a communist state in the country.