Sunday, April 30, 2017

OPAPP is lying — CPA

Posted to the often pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online publication the Northern Dispatch Weekly (NORDIS) (Apr 30): OPAPP is lying — CPA

The Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) slammed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) for “lying” and “insulting the Cordillera martyrs and heroes”.

Windel Bolinget, CPA chairperson, speaks during the Cordillera Day last April 24 at Bolo, Balantoy, Balbalan, Kalinga. Photo by Candice Mangili

Windel Bolinget, CPA chairperson said that the event in Mt. Data is part of the government’s efforts to distort history and highjack the victories of the Cordillera people’s movement. He said that April 24 is sacred to the Cordillera people’s movement, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Ama Macliing Dulag. He said that it is a day to remember the martyrs and heroes and celebrate the victories of the Cordillera struggle in the defense of land, life and honor.

“It was an outright lie, for OPAPP to say that the CPA was part of their forum in their recent forum on autonomy at Mt. Data, Bauko, Mountain Province last April 24,” Bolinget said.

In a recent press release, OPAPP claimed that representatives of CPA attended their autonomy forum and agreed to “unify” with other groups, particularly the Cordillera Peoples Liberation Army “towards healing and reconciliation, as they strongly pushed for Cordillera autonomy as a step towards federalism.”

OPAPP, in the said press release claimed that “five major rebel factions and groups in Cordillera,” including the CPA, met at a forum on regional autonomy and “jointly called on all Cordillerans to unite and rally behind efforts to establish the constitutionally mandated Autonomous Region of the Cordillera.”

CPA Secretary General Abigail Anongos said the CPA would never agree to working with the CPLA, which she accused of atrocities and “persecuting” their leaders and members.

The CPLA is an armed group that broke away from the New People’s Army shortly after the 1986 People Power uprising that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

Anongos said the CPLA was responsible for the murders of CPA leaders among them were CPA vice chairman Daniel Ngayaan, CPA Abra coordinator Romy Gardo and Danny Tismo of Kalinga in 1987; Santos Gunayon on January 24, 1988, Quirino Ambasing, on September 28, 1988, Antonio Laguinday on July 29, 1989, Cornelio Longan on November 28, 1989, Martin Agnas on August 30, 1990, and the Sabangan massacre which killed three children and wounded four others on May 26, 1989.

A People’s Tribunal composed of various people’s organizations and human rights lawyers held here in Baguio City in 1988 found the CPLA guilty of various crimes and human rights violations including the murder of CPA leaders and terrorizing Cordillera communities.

Bolinget said that even the CPLA openly admitted to the abduction and murder of Ama Daniel and other CPA leaders.

“But despite the CPLA admitting to their crimes and the People’s Tribunal finding them guilty, the Corazon Aquino government instead of punishing them for their crimes coddled them and forged a bogus sipat,” Balinget said.

Bolinget said that under the administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino, the CPLA was given billions of funds for supposed development projects that has not really served its purpose.

“How can we reconcile with the CPLA when justice has not been served to our colleagues and to the communities they have terrorized? How can we work with OPAPP when it does not recognize the accountability and culpability of the CPLA to crimes they have committed against the Cordillera people?” Bolinget said.

Bolinget said that the CPA was in sitio Bolo, Barangay Balantoy, in Balbalan town of Kalinga with more than 3,000 delegates from all over the country and abroad for the staging the 33rd Cordillera Day on April 24.

The CPA has been staging Cordillera Day for 33 years now. The said activity traces its roots to the Macliing memorial that aimed to pay tribute to Macliing Dulag, a Kalinga pangat who was murdered on April 24, 1980 by government troops for leading his people’s opposition to the Marcos regime’s Chico Dam project.

Bolinget said that the CPLA and the government are even trying to deceive people by holding activities simultaneous with the Cordillera Day. He said that this 2017, the CPLA held a Bodong conference in Bugnay, Tinglayan, Kalinga on April 24 in an effort to mislead the people. He said that the government on the other hand has been commemorating the sipat between the CPLA and the Aquino administration.

“What are they celebrating when it was the government’s armed forces who killed Ama Macliing, when the Cordillera people were up against destructive government projects?” Bolinget asked.

“They must be celebrating their success in killing Ama Macliing and highjacking the Cordillera people’s victory over martial law and government destructive projects,” he added.

Bolinget reiterated that only when justice has been served and the CPLA ring leaders are arrested and jailed for their decades-long atrocities will the healing and reconciliation start.

“It is the responsibility of government to dismantle and punish the CPLA but what is government doing, it is even protecting the CPLA,” Bolinget said. #

Photos: Special Unit na nasa Camp Astana Bakud Kagay Indanan Sulu

Photos posted to the MNLF Never Die Facebook page of Makin Abduhajan (Apr 29): Special Unit na nasa Camp Astana Bakud Kagay Indanan Sulu

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Image may contain: sky, tree, outdoor and nature

Special Unit na nasa Camp Astana Bakud Kagay Indanan Sulu at iba pa ang wala jan na nasa kani kanilang Camp nasa Sulu. Ayon sa Chief of Staff ng Bangsamoro Armed Forces Lt. Gen. ABRAHAM JOEL nakahanda na ang mga ito kong ano ang ipag uutos ng Commander in-Chief BAF-MNLF Chairman NUR P. MISUARI
Allahu Akbar
April 29, 2017
Photo by....
Secretariat CC

MNLF-IIO: Photo -- Special Unit " Nakahanda kong ano ang ipag uutos ng mahal na Chairman H.E. Prof. Dr. Nur P. Misuari BMRP

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front-International Information Office Facebook page (Apr 29): Photo: Special Unit " Nakahanda kong ano ang ipag uutos ng mahal na Chairman H.E. Prof. Dr. Nur P. Misuari BMRP

 Image may contain: one or more people, sky, tree, crowd and outdoor

Camp Astana, Bakud Kagay, Indanan, Sulu
April 29, 2017
Special Unit " Nakahanda kong ano ang ipag uutos ng mahal na Chairman H.E. Prof. Dr. Nur P. Misuari BMRP

MILF: Women Leaders from Region 12, ARMMM vow to actively support the passage of new Bangsamoro bill

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Apr 29): Women Leaders from Region 12, ARMMM vow to actively support the passage of new Bangsamoro bill

Fifty key women leaders from Region 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have committed to actively support the passage of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), said a report by Philippine News Agency (PNA) on April 28.

During a two-day Women Peace Conversation held on April 27 at Seda Hotel, Davao City, women leaders representing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Indigenous People’s crafted an action plan in support to the passage of the new BBL aimed to draw support for the new law leading to its ratification.

PNA quoted Irene Santiago, government peace panel implementing chair, saying that the drafting of the new BBL by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is almost complete. It is targeted for submission to President Rodrigo Duterte before the start of Ramadan in May. Once the new BBL is ratified and a successful plebiscite is held, Santiago sees a Bangsamoro government in place by 2022.

The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), through the GRP Implementing Panel, is already conducting consultations and peace tables to build a constituency that will support the peace process, while the BTC is still crafting a draft Bangsamoro bill.

People’s support is needed in order for the new BBL to succeed and not suffer the same fate of the previous bill on questions of constitutionality, Santiago said.

Santiago said the holding of the women peace table is a manifestation that the government realizes the crucial role that women play in the peace process, particularly in the normalization process.

”The BBL is important to establish the Bangsamoro government,” Santiago said, adding that BBL "is tied to the normalization process."

Santiago said the normalization process is more complicated and needs longer work because this involves how to bring the decommissioned MILF forces to live normal lives.

She said the MNLF faction under Yusoph Jikiri and Misuari group, are also involved. The Jikiri group has three members in the BTC while OPAPP Undersecretary Nabil Tan is working with the group of MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari.

MILF: 'Fast track CAB-based BBL to put an end to Mindanao conflict': BDA Chair

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Apr 30): 'Fast track CAB-based BBL to put an end to Mindanao conflict': BDA Chair

The chairman of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) said the Government of the Philippines (GPH) must fast track the enactment of a CAB (Comprehensive Agreemen on the Bangsamoro)-based Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in able to put an end to Mindanao conflict.

“So if we want to really put an end to this Mindanao conflict, the government must fast track the immediate enactment of a CAB-based BBL and followed immediately by the shift to a federal form of government where the Bangsamoro State will become a component state of the Federal Republic of the Philippines,” Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, BDA Chairman, said in his speech during the Mindanao Trust Fund (MTF) Closing on April 18, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center, Davao City.

The GPH and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had been engaged in peace talks from 1997 to 2014 seeking for the lasting solution to the decades of armed conflict in Southern Philipppines.

The CAB is the major output of the peace process which provides the passage of the BBL by the Philippine Congress that will lay down the foundations for the establishment of the Bangsamoro autonomous political entity with more fiscal and political powers.

Dipatuan said the Bangsamoro peace process is being faced by challenges brought by violent extremist groups like the Abu Sayaaf and the ISIS-leaning Maute Group from Lanao.

The BDA head believes that the ASG is the “product of the haphazard implementation of the GRP-MNLF peace agreements in 1976 and 1996” while the Maute came into being “due to the environment created by the failure of the 16th Congress of the Philippines to enact the BBL into law.”

“MTF-RDP helped us show the world that we are not a band of violent and war-freak individuals but a group of people committed to the attainment of durable peace and sustainable development of our communities ravaged by several decades of bloody armed conflict,” he stressed.

For more than a decade, MTF-RDP and had been partners in implementing various development projects in conflict affected and conflict vulnerable communities in Mindanao and the island provinces.

BDA, the economic arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), was created une 2002 in pursuance of the Humanitarian, Rehabilitation and Development Aspects of the GPH-MILF Tripoli Agreement on Peace of June 22, 2001.

The MTF-RDP, under the World Bank administered multi-donor fund ,was launched on March 27, 2006 with the aim to assist economic and social recovery in the conflict-affected and vulnerable areas of Mindanao.

It is supported by Australian Aid for International Development(AusAID), New Zealand Aid for International Development (NZAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), United States Aid for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the European Union (EU).

Dignitaries and representatives from the donor agencies were present in the event. Edward Guerra represented the MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim.

MILF: MNLF offers to help address problem with Abu Sayaaf

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Apr 30): MNLF offers to help address problem with Abu Sayaaf

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has offered to help the Duterte administration address the problem with Abu Sayyaf bandits, said an online report by Philstar on April 29.

“We are willing to share information on the involvement of some law enforces and government officials in the illegal activities of Abu Sayaaf”, said MNLF Spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla.

“Police and military action against Abu Sayyaf bandits will not address kidnapping…unless their protectors are exposed,” Fontanilla also said.

Fontanilla added that, “Kidnapping by Abu Sayyaf bandits involves government assets who pinpoint target areas and personalities”.

Kidnapping has become a lucrative business because the victims, particularly foreigners, pay ransom for the release of their relatives. The ransom runs to millions of dollars,” Fontanilla said. “Everyone who kidnaps, shelters and negotiates for ransom gets his share.”

“Police Superintendent Maria Cristina Nobleza could be the key to identifying government officials with links to the Abu Sayyaf”, Fontanilla said.

“The arrest of Nobleza and her alleged Abu Sayyaf lover Reneer Lou Dongon confirmed rumors in Sulu and Basilan on the alleged collusion of the Abu Sayyaf with some people in government”, Philstar quoted Fontanila saying.

MILF: OPAPP Sec. Dureza, PNP Chief Bato urge police officers to coordinate with ceasefire mechanisms

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 1): OPAPP Sec. Dureza, PNP Chief Bato urge police officers to coordinate with ceasefire mechanisms

Sec. Jesus Dureza of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa have urged police officers to coordinate with the ceasefire mechanisms when they conduct law enforcement operations in conflict-affected areas in the Bangsamoro, an online report by Mindanews said on April 27.

During a Forum on GPH-MILF Peace Process in Davao City on April 26, both leaders said that coordination is a way to uphold and ensure the primacy of the peace process.

In the same forum Dureza urged top police officials from the conflict areas in the Bangsamoro and neighboring regions to always remember “the bigger goal” which is to “build peace in the land”.

“Yes we have operational targets, but hopefully we don’t run roughshod over the gains we have already achieved in the peace process,” he said.

Gen Bato on his part said, “Consult, consult, seek advice, seek advice. In case of doubt, you ask questions. Even if coordination will affect the success of the law enforcement operations (LEO) what is important is that we will not be blamed in the end.

Dureza said the forum, initiated by the PNP and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) was proposed by GPH Peace Implementitng Panel Chair Irene Santiago “to re-emphasize that as we engage the bad guys on the ground, there is a bigger higher consideration which is seeing to it that our engagement with those on the ground especially in the community level is the one given importance and priority.”

“I wanted an institutional response so that we don’t have a micro or macro Mamasapano again,” Santiago told MindaNews.

A major lesson in non-coordination was the Mamasapano Tragedy of January 25, 2015 when the PNP’s Special Action Forces (SAF) conducted a LEO in Mamasapano without coordinating with the ceasefire mechanisms or the Army in the area and left 66 persons dead, 44 of them from the SAF, 17 from the MILF and five civilians.

According to the Mindanews report, Santiago gave updates on the GPH-MILF peace process, Brig. Gen. Earl Baliao, chair of the GPH-CCCH presented an overview of the CCCH mechanism while Police Chief Supt. Pierre Bucsit, GPH-AHJAG chair, talked about the AHJAg mechanism.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Western Mindanao Chief, Brig. Gen. Ariel dela Vega Commander of the 6th Infantry Division, and Director Carlos Sol of the Combined Secretariat for GPH CCCH and AHJAG shared their experiences on the benefits of coordination.

Galvez, a member and later chief of the government peace panel’s CCCH before he became 6th Infantry Division chief and eventually the WestMinCom chief, also stressed the need for soldiers and the police to understand the historical and cultural contexts of the conflict.

CPP: Mga hamon sa Partido at sa uring manggagawang Pilipino

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (May 1):
Mga hamon sa Partido at sa uring manggagawang Pilipino

Mensahe ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas sa uring manggagawang Pilipino sa Mayo 1, 2017
Mga hamon sa Partido at sa uring manggagawang Pilipino

Communist Party of the Philippines
1 May 2017

Bilang taliba ng uring manggagawang Pilipino, nakikiisa ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) sa paggunita sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Manggagawa. Sa araw na ito, marapat magbalik-tanaw at humalaw ng mga aral sa mahigit isandaantaon ng mga pakikibakang manggagawa upang bigyang-liwanag ang daan ng mga pakikibakang
manggagawa sa mga darating na panahon.

Walang katapusan ang pagdurusa ng masang anakpawis sa ilalim ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistema sa Pilipinas at pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista.
Pasan-pasan nila ang mababang sahod, malawakang disempleyo, tagibang na mga kontrata at mapang-aping kalagayan sa pagtatrabaho. Sa kanayunan, pinagdurusahan
nila ang iba’t ibang anyo ng pyudal at malapyudal na pagsasamantala, kawalan ng lupa at pang-aagaw ng malalaking asendero, plantasyon at mga minahan.

Sumasadsad ang kabuhayan ng masang anakpawis sa harap ng mabilis na pagpaimbulog ng presyo ng pagkain, pamasahe, gamot, matrikula, serbisyong pangkalusugan,
komunikasyon at iba pang pangangailangan. Dumaranas sila ng kahirapan at gutom, kawalan ng disenteng pabahay at kuryente, kakulangan ng malinis na tubig,
laganap na mga sakit at mga epidemya.

Ang masang manggagawang Pilipino ay hinambalos ng apat na dekada ng mga patakarang neoliberal. Upang akitin ang mga dayuhang kapitalistang mamumuhunan, pinigilan ang pagtaas ng sahod ng mga manggagawa, sinupil ang kanilang karapatang mag-unyon at magwelga, pinahahaba ang oras ng paggawa lampas sa dating nakatakdang walong oras kada araw at binaklas ang iba pang mga regulasyon para pangalagaan ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng mga manggagawa.

Ginamit laban sa mga manggagawa ang Herrera Law, ang Wage Rationalization Act at iba pang mga batas at kautusan na nagbigay-daan sa rehiyunalisasyon ng pagtakda ng sahod (mula sa dating pambansang minimum na sahod), ang sistema ng kontraktwal na paggawa, ang “two-tier” na sistemang pasahod, at maraming iba pa
hakbanging anti-manggagawa.

Lahat ng anti-manggagawang mga hakbanging ito ay pabor sa layunin ng malalaking burgesyang komprador at kanilang mga kasabwat na dayong malalaking kapitalista
na humuthot at magkamal ng tubo mula sa lakas-paggawa ng mga manggagawa. Habang lumaki nang lumaki ang yaman ng mga kapitalista, dumarami naman nang dumarami
ang mga manggagawa at anakpawis na nasadlak sa kahirapan.

Ang lahat ng pangakong pagbabago at kaunlaran ng sunud-sunod na mga rehimen, mula kay Marcos hanggang sa nagdaang rehimeng Aquino, ay pawang mga salitang
pampalubag-loob lamang sa masang anakpawis. Wala pang ipinakikita ang kasalukuyang rehimeng Duterte na naiiba ito sa mga nakaraang rehimen.

Ang sumasahol nang sumasahol na kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa ilalim ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistema ay nagdidiin sa kawastuhan at pangangailangan para sa pambansa-demokratikong pagbabago sa lipunang Pilipino.

IKINALULUGOD NG PARTIDO na iulat sa masang manggagawang Pilipino ang matagumpay na pagdaraos ng Ikalawang Kongreso ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas noong huling kwarto ng 2016. Sa pamamagitan ng Ikalawang Kongreso, ibayong napatatag ang Partido bilang instrumento ng uring manggagawa para sa pamumuno sa rebolusyong Pilipino.

Sa pamamagitan ng Ikalawang Kongreso nito, higit na pinatatag ang Partido at lalong pinanday ang determinasyon at kakayahan nitong pamunuan ang masang
manggagawa at buong sambayanang Pilipino sa landas ng demokratikong rebolusyong bayan sa pamamagitan ng matagalang digmang bayan.

Umiiral ang obhetibong kundisyon para ilang ulit na palakasin ng uring manggagawang Pilipino ang kanilang organisadong hanay at paigtingin ang kanilang mga pakikibaka. Madali silang napupukaw sa pangangailangang manindigan at kumilos para isulong ang kanilang interes at ang pambansa-demokratikong layunin ng buong bayan. Handa nilang harapin ang mga sakripisyo at kahirapan sa pagsisikap na ibalik at higitan ang dating lakas at labanan ang papalalang anyo
ng pagsasamantala at pang-aapi.

Sa tanglaw at inspirasyon ng Ikalawang Kongreso, puspusan nating isulong ang rebolusyonaryong kilusang manggagawa. Hamon sa buong Partido at sa lahat ng mga
manggagawang Pilipino ang sumusunod na tungkulin:

1. Pakilusin ang milyun-milyong manggagawa sa pambansa-demokratikong rebolusyon para wakasan ang mapang-api at mapagsamantalang malakolonyal at malapyudal na
lipunan at ihanda ang kundisyon para sa sosyalistang kinabukasan. Buklurin ang uring manggagawa sa likod ng programa ng Partido para sa pambansang paglaya mula
sa imperyalismong US at para sa panlipunang paglaya sa pamamagitan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa.

2. Puspusang mag-aral ng Marxismo-Leninismo-Maoismo, ang ideolohiya ng uring manggagawa na nagtuturo ng maka-uring paninindigan, pananaw at pamamaraan.
Palaganapin ang mga sulating Marxista-Leninista tulad ng Manipestong Komunista at Sahod, Presyo at Tubo para malawakang pag-aralan ng mga manggagawa. Ilunsad
ang mga seminar at grupong talakayan para sa pag-aaral ng proletaryong ideolohiya. Isulong ang kilusang pag-aaral tungkol sa sosyalistang rebolusyon sa
okasyon ng ika-100 taon ng tagumpay ng Rebolusyong Bolshevik sa Russia ngayong Oktubre 24-Nobyembre 7 at kaakibat ng paggunita sa ika-200 taon ng kapanganakan
ni Karl Marx sa Mayo 5, 2018.

3. Malawakang rekrutin ang mga aktibistang manggagawa sa Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Kailangang madagdagan ng ilampung libong manggagawa ang kasapian ng Partido sa mga darating na taon upang gampanan ang papabigat na mga responsibilidad sa pamumuno sa demokratikong rebolusyong bayan.

4. Malawak na organisahin ang masang manggagawa, maging ang mga kontraktwal na manggagawa sa mga unyon bilang pangunahing sandata para ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga interes. Buuin ang samahan ng libu-libong mga manggagawa sa mga engklabo at mga pamayanang manggagawa. Isagawa ang mga imbestigasyon sa kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa mga engklabo at iba pang empresa, ilantad ang iba’t ibang anyo ng pagsasamantala upang pag-alabin ang diwang mapanlaban.

5. Ilunsad ang mga pakikibakang manggagawa sa daan-daang mga pabrika, empresa, mga plantasyon at minahan para sa umento sa sahod at para igiit na gawing
regular ang mga manggagawang kontraktwal. Malawakang ilunsad ang mga welga at iba’t ibang anyo ng pakikibaka ng mga manggagawa para labanan ang iba’t ibang anyo ng papatinding pagsasamantala at pang-aapi sa mga manggagawa.

6. Palakasin ang sama-samang pakikibaka ng masang manggagawa para ibasura ang Herrera Law at iba pang mga batas at kautusang anti-manggagawa. Isigaw ang
pagbabasura sa kontraktwalisasyon. Ipaglaban ang pambansang minimum na sahod at igiit ang umento sa sahod. Labanan ang patakaran ng pagluluwas ng mga
manggagawa. Itaguyod ang karapatan at kagalingan ng mga migranteng manggagawang Pilipino. Singilin ang obligasyon ng estado na tiyaking lahat ay may trabaho.

7. Pag-alabin ang patriyotismo ng masang manggagawa. Ilantad ang dominasyon ng imperyalismong US sa pulitika, militar at dayuhang patakarang panlabas. Ilantad at labanan ang mga base militar at presensya ng mga sundalong Amerikano sa Pilipinas at igiit ang pagbabasura sa mga tagibang na tratadong militar. Ilantad ang kontrol at pagkasangkapan nito sa AFP sa “counter-insurgency” upang supilin ang mga pwersang anti-imperyalista at gamitin ang mga kagamitang pandigmang angkat mula sa US.

8. Itaas ang kamulatang anti-imperyalista ng masang manggagawa. Ilantad at batikusin ang dominasyon ng imperyalismo sa ekonomya, sa pamumuhunan at kalakalan, at sa pagpigil nito ng kaunlaran at pagsulong. Ilantad at batikusin ang dominasyon at kontrol ng mga dayuhang malalaking kapitalista sa mga kasangkapan sa produksyon na gamit para kamkamin ang yaman ng bansa at huthutin ang supertubo mula sa lakas-paggawa ng mga manggagawa.

9. Mahigpit na makipagkaisa sa mga pakikibakang magsasaka. Dapat maging bahagi ng araw-araw na kamulatan ng mga unyon at samahang manggagawa ang pagsuporta sa mga pakikibaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa at laban sa iba’t ibang anyo ng pang-aapi sa masang magsasaka. Pakilusin ang libu-libong manggagawa para magtungo sa kanayunan para tumulong sa mga pakikibakang magsasaka. Dapat tuluy-tuloy na ilantad at labanan ang militarisasyon at digmang mapanupil ng AFP laban sa masang magsasaka.

10. Magrekrut ng libu-libong manggagawa para sumapi sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan, ang pinakakonsentradong anyo ng batayang alyansa ng mga uring manggagawa at magsasaka. Kailangang kailangan ng lumalaki at lumalawak na BHB ang bagong mga kumander at mandirigma mula sa uring manggagawa (at petiburgesyang lungsod) upang mamuno sa papalaking mga tungkulin sa pagsulong ng digmang bayan.

Daesh claims Manila carnival blast

From The Gulf News (Apr 30): Daesh claims Manila carnival blast

Authorities dismiss it as a fight between two groups and that the terror group is trying to use the incident to its advantage

Suspected local agents of Daesh have claimed responsibility for the Friday attack in downtown Manila that wounded 14 people. Authorities, however, dismiss the claim saying that the group is exploiting the incident for its own purposes.

The SITE Intelligence Group, citing a report by the Amaq News Agency, said Daesh has claimed responsibility for the Friday attack at a travelling carnival in Quiapo district.

“The so-called Islamic State [Daesh] has claimed the bombing in a busy Manila district on Friday night, the group’s news agency reported, contradicting police statements that it was not connected to terrorism,” SITE said.

Amaq News Agency is a suspected propaganda mouthpiece of the Middle East and North Africa-based terror group.

Initial reports issued by Philippine officials said a pipe bomb was used in the blast. Videos and photographs on the incident and the damage and injuries it caused were circulated in local sharing sites.

The explosion took place in front of the Tower Lodging House in Soler Street and Quezon Boulevard.

The incident also occurred as the Philippines capital was hosting the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc.

But Police Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the incident is not related to the Philippines’ hosting of the international event. He said initial investigations indicate it was a fight between two warring street gangs.

“The fight happened when a 14-year-old boy was mauled by three youngsters the night before. The father of the boy retaliated by throwing a pipe bomb at a group of youngsters in the area,” Albayalde said.

He added the police are already hunting down the person responsible for the blast. he said the bomb was made out of crude materials such as a galvanised iron pipe and gunpowder from readily accessible firecrackers.

Albayalde said Daesh are militants are “taking advantage of the incident to promote their cause”.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana likewise shrugged off claims that Daesh had a hand in the blast.

Several terror incidents in the Philippines had been attributed to the Daesh through the Maute group, which operates in Lanao, the Western Mindanao-based Abu Sayyaf as well as the Rajah Soliman Group, an organisation of Muslim converts.

During the Asean meeting, Manila has placed on alert some 40,000 members of the police and the armed forces to secure the summit site.

Quiapo is located at an area known to Christians as well as Muslims. It is where the Quiapo Church and the Golden Mosque is situated.

NPAs free captive Army soldier in Surigao del Norte

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 30): NPAs free captive Army soldier in Surigao del Norte

The New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Saturday afternoon finally freed an Army soldier held captive for three months in Surigao del Norte province.

Surigao del Norte | credit wikipedia | Manila Bulletin
Released was Private First Class Erwin Salan of the Army’s 30th Infantry Battallion (30th IB).

He was freed at around 3 p.m. in Purok 1, Barangay Caman-an, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte province.

Before the turn-over event, Salan underwent a medical checkup that found him in good physical condition.

Salan was received by third-party facilitator led by Bishop Rey Timbang and provincial government officials from the custodial force of guerilla-Front Committee 16 of the CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

Certain “Ka Oto” spokesperson of guerilla-Front Committee 16 said Salan’s release was in support of the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and CPP-NDF.

Salan’s immediate kin was there to welcome him back.

He was reunited with his family in a simple turnover ceremony that turned emotional for the soldier’s kin.

In his brief remark, Salan said he was thankful to local crisis management committee, local officials and religious group and all those who helped in facilitating his release.

He said the rebels treated him well and he was looking forward to reporting back to work at his mother unit, the 30th IB.

Salan was abducted by some 15 armed NPAs while conducting forest clean up drive, along with youth volunteers within the vicinity of Lumondo Falls, in Barangay Budlingin, Alegria, Surigao del Norte on January 29, 2017.

Philippines govt distributes farming tools among separatist rebels as part of peace building programme

From the International Business Times (Apr 30): Philippines govt distributes farming tools among separatist rebels as part of peace building programme

Philippine government peace negotiator, Irene Santiago, turned over sets of farming equipment to a group of separatist rebels, this month, during a simple ceremony held in Butig in the province of Lanao del Sur - one of Philippine's stronghold of separatist rebels. Santiago, during the turnover ceremony, said that we have to do everything we can to attain development in this community.

There have been few projects launched recently for the separatist rebels. This includes water system, solar dryer, warehouse, rice mill, concrete pathways, box culverts and alternative learning systems in rebel-controlled villages.

Government assistance

The project assistance was part of the peace building programmes between the Philippine government and the 15,000-member organisation of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in compliance to the Annex on Normalisation of the Comprehensive agreement on the Bansamoro. The assistance was made possible through the support of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development program.


Early last month, 126 MILF combatants also begun to surrender their firearms to the government in exchange for farm tools and farm animals as part of the peace building process between the Duterte government and the MILF.

The decommissioning of the firearms ceremony, which is also a part of 2014 peace agreement, was held in a MILF camp. However, the positives impact did not happen overnight. The negotiation started as early as 2001 when the Philippine government initiated the peace talks and invited the Malaysian government to serve as a third party facilitator, as a part of the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Veteran MILF fighter Jacob Palao, 56, was fighting Philippine soldiers three times a week, but later tearfully gave up his firearms to the government and got farm implements in return to start a productive farming life. "I thought about it but I didn't expect it to come too soon," Palao was quoted by the Philippine Star.

125 other MILF combatants also joined Palao and gave away their firearms to the Philippine government in a ceremony held at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat this month.

Earlier, hundreds of MILF fighters also turned some high-powered firearms to the government to prove the MILF's sincerity in cooperating with the Philippine government to achieve lasting security in the country.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has put the peace process with the MILF as his priority program and said that he would like to attain the lasting peace before his constitutional term ends in 2022.

Who were the MILF?

The MILF was a revolutionary organisation, which broke away from its umbrella organization, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1977 when the latter was granted a semi-autonomy government, brokered by then Libya leader Maumar Gaddafi.

Since the 1970s, the clashed with the rebels claimed more than 150,000 lives from both sides. In September 1996, the MNLF struck a peace deal with the Philippine government but the MILF continued their struggle until 2001 when the Philippine government started to initiate another peace talks.

Philippines, US troops to hold drills near Benham

From the Philippine Star (Apr 30): Philippines, US troops to hold drills near Benham

Filipino and American troops will launch a naval disaster drill off Casiguran, Aurora near Benham Rise during this year’s joint Balikatan military exercises. US Defense Department/Released

Filipino and American troops will launch a naval disaster drill off Casiguran, Aurora near Benham Rise during this year’s joint Balikatan military exercises.

Officials said the joint military exercises would now focus on humanitarian response drills.
Dubbed as Civil-Military Activities from the Sea (CMA-S), the joint naval disaster maneuver will be conducted off the coastal areas of the country’s eastern seaboard.

This year’s Balikatan will involve units of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“Our ships with the US and the PCG will navigate from Subic Bay and they will be passing by the waters off Zambales, Cagayan Valley on their way to Casiguran, Aurora for launching of the sea-based disaster response scenario,” Balikatan spokesman for the Philippines Maj. Frank Sayson said.

Sayson said the joint disaster naval exercise along the Pacific coastline from Subic is expected to start on May 7 and be completed with a week.

Culminating event for the CMA-S drills is the landing of relief items and supplies in the coastal area of Casiguran on May 15.

“I cannot tell you yet how many assets will be committed by the participants but definitely, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be fielding many for this activity,” Sayson said.

Casiguran is among the remotest towns in the eastern seaboard nearest to Benham Rise in the Pacific Ocean. The town is often in the path of the powerful storms blowing in from the Pacific.
A separate joint quake disaster response drill in an urban setting will also be undertaken by combined Filipino and American troops at the headquarters of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

Foreign and local observers were invited to the event on May 12.

Sayson said the planners of this year’s Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder) agreed that both Filipino and US forces must harness not only their fighting skills but also their disaster response capabilities.

Sayson said the joint quake disaster response drill is most important to Filipino troops as the Philippines is prone to earthquakes, being situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The AFP has committed several of its engineering units to join the quake disaster response drill.

President Duterte has ordered this year’s Balikatan to focus more on humanitarian and disaster response activities instead of the usual war games.

Balikatan is scheduled for launching on May 8 and will end on May 16.

Troops deliver ‘devastating blow’ to Sayyaf after leader’s killing

From the Daily Tribune (May 1): Troops deliver ‘devastating blow’ to Sayyaf after leader’s killing

The military yesterday branded as a “devastating blow” to the Abu Sayyaf group the killing of terrorist sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya – tagged as “ruthless” and the second high-profile commanders of the ASG neutralized in more than two weeks.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año noted Misaya’s ability to entice young Tausugs to join the ranks of Abu Sayyaf.

He also described Misaya as among the up and coming terrorist leaders in Sulu.

“It is a devastating blow to the ASG. Misaya is also like Abu Rami considered as a young bold and ruthless ASG leader in charge of kidnapping foreigners and known to be daring ASG terrorist fighter,” Año said.

“His recruitment ability also contributed in radicalizing young

Tausugs. His death will surely diminished ASG’s capability to conduct terrorism particularly kidnapping, stop the recruitment and would lead to the eventual defeat of the whole ASG organization,” he added.

Misaya was killed on Saturday during an encounter with the Marines somewhere in Indanan, Sulu.
He was the second ASG leader killed in the past three weeks.

Abu Rami, also known as Muamar Askali, was killed in Inabanga, Bohol last April 12 during a clash with government forces. Askali’s group allegedly plotted to conduct kidnapping in Bohol – a known tourist destination in Central Visayas.

Both Misaya and Askali have gained notoriety in recent years for staging in daring kidnapping of foreign hostages.

Tagged by the military as a bomb expert, Misaya was involved in many celebrated kidnapping and bombing incidents such as the October 2002 Malagutay bombing that killed American serviceman Sgt. Mark Jackson and the wounding of 23 others, including another US serviceman; the January 2009 bombing of the Salaam Bridge in Barangay Bato-Bato, Indanan, Sulu, and the March 2011 bombing of Dennis Coffee Shop at the vicinity of Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo, Sulu, which killed four civilians and wounded 11 others.

He was the subject of warrant of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention. Misaya was a native of Barangay Bunot, Indanan in Sulu where was considered among the sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf group.

According to Año, the military is continuously receiving surrender feelers from the ASG side but he stressed that government troops will proceed with its relentless efforts against the terrorists.

“We have received many surrender feelers from remaining ASG members. And we shall continue our relentless efforts until we neutralize the last ASG terrorist,” he said.

Among those supposedly sending feelers is ASG top leader Radullan Sahiron, one of the remaining senior commanders of the Abu Sayyaf. He is wanted by the United States with $1-million reward.
For his part, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP spokesman, said Misaya’s killing will bring people-loving people of Sulu closer to security development and would send a stern warning against his followers.

“The neutralization of Misaya adds a big plus on the AFP’s timeline and brings the community a step closer to peace, progress and sustainable security. His followers hopefully get the message that the long arm of the law will eventually catch up with them and hence, motivate them to turn a new leaf and seriously consider surrendering,” said Padilla.

“It also sends a clear message to the community that supporting criminals will not bring them a better life but only greater misery if they insist on providing them safe havens. The AFP, without doubt, communicated its serious intent in addressing the threat posed by this group and its dedication to serve and secure the people,” he added.

Cop shot dead in Rizal

From Malaya Business Insight (May 1): Cop shot dead in Rizal

A POLICE officer was shot dead by unidentified men riding tandem on a motorcycle in Rodriguez, Rizal on Saturday night.

Supt. Hector Grigaldo, local police chief, said PO1 Jun Lawas, 33, a resident of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Antipolo City, died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Grigaldo said Lawas was on duty as a Community and Police Committee officer in Amityville, Kasiglahan Village, Barangay San Jose when a motorcycle arrived and its driver and back rider opened fire.

Recovered at the scene were seven spent shells from still undetermined type of firearms.

DND chief slams NPA for attacks despite peace talks

From Malaya Business Insight (May 1): DND chief slams NPA for attacks despite peace talks

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday scored the New People’s Army for its attacks on companies and a ranch in Davao and Panabo cities on Saturday, saying this proves a “disconnect” between the communist rebels and their officials who are representing them in peace talks with government.

“They continue these heinous acts even while their comrades in the NDF (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and other fronts talks about peace,” Lorenzana said.

On Saturday, NPA rebels launched three successive attacks, one of them at the Lapanday Box Plant in Barangay Mandug in Davao City, and burned several equipment.

In Quirino province, the NPA raided the Maddela town police station on Saturday night, ransacked the station’s cabinet, and fled with an undetermined number of firearms.

PO2 Jerome Cardenas, who was among those who engaged the NPA group in a firefight, died upon arrival at the Maddela District Hospital.

The NPA rebels also commandeered two patrol cars which were later recovered. They also seized two policemen who were later rescued during a pursuit operation.

In the Davao attacks, the NPA first targeted the Lorenzo Farm in Barangay Pangyan, also in Davao City, and disarmed a security guard. They also attacked and burned the Macondray Plastic Plant in Barangay Tagpore in Panabo City.

Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesman of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the rebels detonated an improvised explosive device on a Simba armored personnel carrier transporting reinforcing soldiers in Barangay Mandug, wounding a fish vendor.

He said two NPA rebels were killed in the subsequent firefight between the troops and the rebels.

Batchar also said 14 people were accosted by soldiers after the firefight for possible involvement in the violence. The 14 were turned over to the local police for investigation, said Batchar.

Batchar said an improvised bomb was also recovered at the scene of the firefight.

Batchar said the rebels attacked the companies and the ranch because their extortion demands were not heeded. “They are a bunch of bandits, extortionists and terrorists,” Batchar also said.

Lorenzana condemned the attacks and questioned the sincerity of the communists in talking peace with the government.

Government and communist negotiators met in the Netherlands early this month for the fourth round of the talks, and agreed on the declaration of a joint ceasefire. The mechanism of the interim joint ceasefire agreement is expected to be finalized this month when peace talks resume.

“The attacks in Davao and other crimes done by the NPA also make the Filipino people question the sincerity of the entire communist movement to push for peace, since it seems everything is just lip service and double talk,” said Lorenzana.

“It also brings to light the disconnect and lack of communication between the NDF, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines), and its cadres on the ground. We cannot stress enough that for the peace talks to succeed, government must be talking to the real representatives of the communist   movement,” he said.

Lorenzana said there must be assurance that the government is “dealing with the actual leaders of their organizations and not just some figureheads who are devoid of any control or influence.”

Lorenzana said the attacks only show the true color of the NPA. “They just confirmed, without a doubt, their terrorist designation. They also confirmed my accusations that they are anti-progress, anti-development, and anti-people,” he said.

Asean gives Beijing a pass on sea dispute

From Malaya Business Insight (May 1): Asean gives Beijing a pass on sea dispute

SOUTHEAST Asian countries took a softer stance on South China Sea disputes during the 30th Asean Summit that ended Saturday, according to a statement issued yesterday, which went easy on China by avoiding tacit references to its building and arming of its manmade islands.

A “Chairman’s Statement” of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) was released about 12 hours after the summit ended, and dropped references to “land reclamation and militarization” included in the text issued at last year’s meeting, and in an earlier, unpublished version seen by Reuters on Saturday.

The outcome follows what two Asean diplomats on Saturday said were efforts by Chinese foreign ministry and embassy officials to pressure Asean chair the Philippines to keep Beijing’s contentious activities in the strategic waterway off Asean’s official agenda.

It also indicates four Asean members, who the diplomats said had wanted a firmer position, had agreed to the statement’s more conciliatory tone.

China is not a member of the 10-member bloc and did not attend the summit but is extremely sensitive about the content of its statements. It has often been accused of trying to influence the drafts to muzzle what it sees as dissent and challenges to its sweeping sovereignty claim.

China’s embassy in Manila could not be reached and its foreign ministry did not respond to request for comment on Saturday.

Four Asean member-states -- Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei -- are claiming parts of the South China Sea which China is claiming. A fifth claimant is Taiwan.

The statement also noted “the improving cooperation between Asean and China,” and did not include references to “tensions” or “escalation of activities” seen in earlier drafts and in last year’s text. It noted, without elaborating, some leaders’ concerns about “recent developments” in the strategic, resource-rich waterway.

A Philippine diplomat said it was an open secret that China tries to lean on Asean members to protect its interests, but that was not the reason for the unusual delay in issuing the statement.

“There are one or two member-countries which lobbied for some changes in some text in the statement, but not related to the South China Sea,” the source said.

Beijing has reacted angrily to individual members expressing their concern about its rapid reclamation of reefs in the Spratlys and its installation of missile systems on them.

Another Asean diplomat said the statement was a genuine representation of the atmosphere of the Manila meetings.

“We respected the Philippines’ views and cooperated,” the diplomat said. “It clearly reflected how the issue was discussed.”

The softened statement comes as the current Asean chairman, Philippine President Duterte, seeks to bury the hatchet with China after years of wrangling over its maritime assertiveness.

After lobbying from Duterte, China agreed to let Filipinos back to the rich fishing ground of the Scarborough Shoal following a four-year blockade.

The no-nonsense leader set the tone for the meeting on Thursday when he said it was pointless discussing China’s maritime activities, because no one dared to pressure Beijing anyway.

That Philippines in 2013 challenged Beijing by lodging a case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013. Two weeks into Duterte’s presidency last year, the Hague court ruled in favor of the Philippines, angering China. But Duterte has made it clear he would not press Beijing to comply anytime soon, and is more interested in doing business than sparring.

The final chairman’s statement issued made no mention of the arbitration case. However, it did include in a section separate to the South China Sea chapter the need to show “full respect for legal and diplomatic processes” in resolving disputes.

Underlining Beijing’s sensitivity about the arbitration award, the two diplomatic sources on Saturday said Chinese embassy officials had lobbied behind the scenes for that sentence to be dropped, and considered it a veiled reference to the ruling.

One diplomat indicated that ongoing moves between China and Asean to draft a framework for negotiating a maritime code of conduct may have been a factor in agreeing the softened statement.

All sides want to complete the framework this year, although there is some skepticism that China would agree to a set of rules that could impact its geo-strategic interests.

Six hours after the summit officially ended in Manila, no customary joint statement had been issued. Asean references to the South China Sea issue typically do not name China.

Trump invites Duterte to visit White House

From Malaya Business Insight (May 1): Trump invites Duterte to visit White House

US President Donald Trump has invited President Duterte to visit the White House “to discuss the importance of the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction.”

Malacañang and the US Office of the Press Secretary issued separate statements about a phone conversation between the two leaders on Saturday after the conclusion of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Leader’s meeting in Manila but did not say if Duterte accepted the invitation or if a date had been set for the visit.

The statements also said that Trump mentioned during the phone conversation that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to attend the ASEAN Summit and US-Asean Summit.

The two leaders also talked of the recently-concluded Asean Summit and the regional bloc’s concerns about the recent activities of North Korea and the threats that it posed.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said that Duterte, before the phone conversation, said that he intends to encourage Trump to exercise restraint over North Korea’s latest missile test.

A White House statement said Trump and Duterte also discussed that the “Philippine government is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs, a scourge that affects many countries throughout the world,” while Malacañang said the American leader had expressed his “understanding and appreciation” of the challenges faced by Duterte, especially on the matter of dangerous drugs.

The latest phone conversation between the two presidents, which was reportedly initiated by Trump, was their second. Last December, Duterte called up Trump to congratulate him for winning the US election.

Before Trump’s victory, Duterte had chided the US and the President then, Barack Obama, for being critical of his anti-drugs drive.

Attacks on properties came after Agrarian Reform Sec's threat — Lapanday

From CNN Philippines (Apr 30): Attacks on properties came after Agrarian Reform Sec's threat — Lapanday

Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) said the simultaneous attacks in its three properties yesterday came a week after Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano threatened their company last week.

In a statement, LFC said sometime last week, Sec. Mariano "threatened the company for prohibiting him from escorting farmers and their supporters from various leftist organizations."

It was learned that Mariano allegedly attempted to install farmers belonging to a breakaway group of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) on lands already registered with Hijo Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-1 (HEARBCO-1).

LFC said the breakaway group and their supporters "were coddled and abetted by the DAR leadership to openly defy the final and executory order of the court that ruled there was no agrarian dispute and DAR had no jurisdiction on the case."

"The DAR under Mariano's leadership has become a tool that causes disruption in productive farm operations that pushed persons to defy laws, inflict injury and damage to even other ARBs and ultimately, weaken the economy of the country," LFC stated.

LFC said the attackers, already claimed by the New People's Army as members of the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion, not only burned the company's properties, but also stole mobile phones, computers, and other company property.

"The burning of the plant will lead to the displacement of hundreds of employees and adversely affect those who have existing businesses with the box and plastic plant. It is they who are now jobless and shall bear the brunt of the consequences of this vicious act," the company said.

LFC said it will cooperate with the Philippine National Police in the investigation and urges law enforcement agencies to stop the perpetrators from "further endangering the safety and security of people and inflicting damage to private property."

"Lapanday hopes that perpetrators of this criminal act will all be identified, charged and brought before the criminal justice system," LFC said.

In a statement, the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Command spokesman Rigoberto Sanchez claimed that aside from the attack in Lapanday packing plant in Mandug, rebels also attacked the Macondray Plastic Plant in Brgy. Bunawan and the Lorenzo ranch in Brgy. Pangyan, Calinan all in Davao City.

Read: NPA rebels attack packing plant in Davao City

Sanchez said that the coordinated offensives "served as punitive action against the Lorenzos for their numerous crimes against agricultural workers, peasants and lumad.";postID=829054463748155201;onPublishedMenu=overviewstats;onClosedMenu=overviewstats;postNum=0;src=link

Alleged NPA members attack Madela police; 1 killed, 2 PNP rescued

From the Manila Bulletin (Apr 30): Alleged NPA members attack Madela police; 1 killed, 2 PNP rescued

Suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) attacked the Maddela Police Station in Quirino and abducted policemen.

(Credits: Google Maps | Manila Bulletin)

The attackers swooped down on the police station at around 10 p.m. on Saturday. They were on board an Elf truck and two vans and immediately fired at the police station that injured a policeman, who later died.

Police manning the station fought back, but were overwhelmed as they ran out of ammunition.

The fire fight lasted about 45 minutes and the enemy commandeered two patrol cars of the police station — one Hilux and one Mahindra – and an undetermined number of long and short firearms.

Meanwhile, PO2 Jerome Cardenas was declared dead on arrival (DOA) at the Maddela District Hospital.

Rebels ransaked the cabinet of the Police where some FAs firearms are kept.

Supt.Rommel Rumbaoa, company commander PPSC, provincial public safety company said that on hot pursuit operation, the commandeered vehicles (Hilux and Mahindra) were recovered at Brgy. Cabua-an ,and San Pedro,Maddela, Quirino. Also rescued were SPO1 Siriban and PO1 Albano, both alive and unhurt.

Quirino policeman killed in NPA attack

From the Manila Times (May 1): Quirino policeman killed in NPA attack

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Around 50 fully armed men believed to be members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) attacked on Saturday night the local police station of Maddela town in Quirino province, leaving a police officer dead.

Witnesses said around 10:30 p.m., a firefight at the Maddela police station ensued and lasted until near midnight, killing Police Officer 2 Jerome Cardenas, also court processing officer.

Chief Insp. Avelino Cuntapay of the Quirino police community relations office said Cardenas was brought to the Maddela District Hospital, where he was declared dead.

Police said the NPA members who claimed they belong to the Venerando Villacillo Command through a text message to a police intelligence managed to break into the police station and immediately disarmed the police officers on duty and shot Cardenas.

Cardenas reportedly tried to resist and attempted to fight back when he was shot.

The witnesses said the NPA members were aboard motorcycles, two vans and a truck when they arrived and immediately fired at the police station.

Police said the rebels left, carrying with them some 13 police long and short firearms, ammunition, laptops and electronic gadgets from the police station, and drove away using an Elf truck and a Hi-Lux and Mahindra cars toward Barangay Manglad.

A report reaching the police said the NPA guerrillas along their escape route torched a 10-wheeled dump truck and the controller of a crusher in a quarry.

The equipment belonged to either RBI Jr. Construction or Triple A Company, the witnesses said.

Cuntapay said two of the policemen on duty, SPO4 Antonio Siriban and PO2 Albano, were reportedly abducted but were rescued unharmed in a village while the two police vehicles were recovered separately in the villages of Cabua-an and San Pedro villages on Sunday morning.

He said the two policemen were released unharmed and rescued around 3 a.m. in Cabua-an village as the NPA members were approaching their lair at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain.

Police said a joint police and military operation is being conducted and they have set up checkpoints along exit points from Quirino to the provinces of Isabela, Aurora and Nueva Vizcaya.

Abu Sayyaf commander Al Habsi killed

From The Star Online (Apr 30): Abu Sayyaf commander Al Habsi killed

The most notorious Abu Sayyaf commander, Al Habsi Misaya, the man who has been terrorising Sabah with his kidnappings and murders, has been killed.
Al Habsi, the violent drug addict responsible for the beheading of Malaysian Bernard Then, was shot dead while riding a motorcycle with another Abu Sayyaf member, Barak Sahibul, the son of sub-commander Hatib Ummal Sahibul, in Jolo island.

Sources said they were fleeing marine operations in the Silang area of Parang on the island when they were killed at 7.45pm on Friday.

The death of Al Habsi is seen by both the Filipino and Malaysian intelligence as a major blow to the extremist group responsible for dozens of kidnappings on both sides of southern Philippines and the eastern Sabah sea borders.

Most of their key leaders have either been killed or arrested over the past few months during the intensified military operations against the group.

“We believe there is only 25% of the group’s members left.

“They should be wiped out in the follow-up mopping-up operations in the southern Philippines,” an intelligence source told The Star.

He said the main leaders were more or less neutralised with only some of their “tentacles” left.

The source said several other Abu Sayyaf leaders, including the Sawadjaan brothers – sub commander Sarip Muna and sub commander Halipa (a former Sandakan-based smuggler turned kidnapper) – were still at large.

“They can’t do much but they are becoming desperate. That is why they are still dangerous,” the source said.

The source said it was now a matter of time before these leaders were arrested or killed in the all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf ordered by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The key leaders are on the run with limited places to hide,” said the source, adding that the Philippines security forces were combing the Tawi-Tawi chain of islands along Sabah’s borders.

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has also been maintaining a tight border security to stop them fleeing into Sabah.

Al Habsi’s death comes hardly two weeks after his right-hand man and Abu Sayyaf media-savvy spokesman, Muamar Askali @ Abu Rami, was killed while leading a group to the Philippines central Visayas region where they were planning a major kidnapping plot.

Al Habsi financed and provided weapons to the cross-border kidnap groups, who took their victims to their Jolo stronghold and from where they demanded millions of pesos for the release of the hostages.

Al Habsi is believed to have demanded for more money from negotiators when he grabbed Sarawakian Then from another Abu Sayyaf commander Indang Susukan (believed killed), who was then releasing Then and Ocean King Seafood Restaurant manageress Thien Nyuk Fun in November 2015.

However, when he failed to get more money, Al Habsi ordered the beheading of Then on Nov 17, 2015.

Then and Thien were kidnapped from the Sandakan restaurant on May 14, 2015.

Al Habsi was also behind the July 12, 2014 kidnapping of policeman Zakiah Aleip and the murder of Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan during the raid at Pulau Mabul in Semporna.

He was also linked to the April 2, 2014 Singgamata Reef Resort kidnapping of Chinese student Gao Huayun and resort worker Marcy Darawan.

Al Habsi, who reportedly has sizeable properties in Zamboanga and Jolo, allegedly from his kidnap-for-ransom operations, has also been blamed for the abduction of dozens of Malaysian, Indonesian and Vietnamese sailors and fishermen on both sides of the border.

Philippines military chief General Eduardo Ano said his body was identified by military officials and captured Abu Sayyaf militants.

“We consider him the most notorious kidnapper from that bandit group and this is a big setback for the Abu Sayyaf,” said Ano, adding that Al Habsi’s men were still holding several Vietnamese sailors in Jolo jungles.

ISIS-linked terror group rises in the Philippines

From the International Business Times (Apr 30): ISIS-linked terror group rises in the Philippines

While Philippine government is smelling victory after the recent death of Abu Sayyaf Group's (ASG) notorious leader Abu Misaya, for the Philippine soldiers it is still too early to celebrate as another terror group, believed to have links with ISIS, is disturbing the new Duterte administration in the Southern Philippines.

Who are they?

Based in Central Mindanao, the Maute Brothers Group or locally known as the Islamic State in Lanao (ISIL) have surprised military troops in their first heavy firefight in Butig town, Lanao Sur Province in November last year.

The military was not expecting such advanced fighting capability from the Maute Brothers Group. The terror group used sophisticated firearms and warfare tactics that led them to capture the seat of government in the town of Butig, which was again recaptured by Philippine foot soldiers. This is not the first time that militants are facing the Maute Group. Soldiers earlier belittled the group when it ambushed a military checkpoint in 2013. However, the group evolved into serious a terror group after joining the ISIS.

President Rodrigo Duterte was quoted by ABS CBN news saying that international terrorist group ISIS is now connected with the local terror group, Maute. "Finally, the intelligence community advised me that ISIS has finally connected with the group in the Philippines called the Maute. There's a raging war now in Lanao," he said, as reported.

A black ISIS flag has been noted in areas controlled by the Maute Group. The intelligence community also reported that its leaders, Omar and Abdullah Maute, have already pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and even use the ISIS name and symbol.

Sporadic firefights between the Maute group and Philippine soldiers is now in its fifth month and have claimed the lives of a dozen of soldiers and thus the Maute group's capability should not be underestimated despite its meager number compared with other armed militant groups. The military estimated the Maute group with at least 100 heavily armed fighters.

Adding to the complexity of the situation is a number of the Maute members, who are erstwhile members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the largest Islamic revolutionary organization, who entered into a peace dialogue with the Philippine government. The Philippine military will face a huge challenge because Maute members are married to relatives of MILF members.

Moreover, the Philippine military also arrested suspected members of the Maute Group who were responsible for the September bombing of Davao City night market that killed 14 people on the spot.

Why such groups exit?

Poverty in impoverished areas in the Southern Philippines has caused ordinary civilians to raise arms against the government. Feeling excluded, militant and revolutionary organisations are keen on establishing an autonomous government. Other than the ASG, Maute and MILF organizations, the Philippine government also has to deal with other militant organizations such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedon Fighers (BIFF), Moro National Liberation front (MNLF) and the New People's Army (NPA).

National Director Rolly Pelinggon of Mindanaoans for Mindanao, a civil society, told International Business Times that the root cause of the complicated insurgencies of the Southern Philippines is inequitable share of wealth and socio-economic opportunities of the country. Pelinggon said that while Mindanao contributes to more than 40% of the food requirements of the country, Mindanao is only getting 22% from the national budget share, which has people impoverished and deprived. "More disgruntled groups will continue to emerge unless Mindanaoans will be given equal opportunities in socio-economic, education and political representation in the national government," Pelinggon added.

AFP vows relentless drive vs Abu Sayyaf

From the Manila Times (May 1): AFP vows relentless drive vs Abu Sayyaf

AS Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leaders have started to fall one by one, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año vowed more intense operations until the terrorist group is decimated.
“We shall continue our relentless efforts until we neutralize the last ASG terrorist,” the AFP chief said over the weekend.

The recent killing of Alhabsi Misaya, an ASG sub-leader, according to Año, is a blow to the bandit band and is expected to diminish its capability to sow further terror in Mindanao in southern Philippines.

The military chief said Misaya, like Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami, who was killed recently in a clash with government forces in Bohol in the country’s Visayas region, was considered a young, bold and ruthless ASG terrorist in charge of kidnapping foreigners and is known to be a daring fighter.

“His recruitment ability also contributed in radicalizing young Tausug [an indigenous group in Mindanao]. His death will surely diminish the ASG’s capability to conduct terrorism particularly kidnapping, stop the recruitment and would lead to the eventual defeat of the whole ASG organization,” Año said.

Misaya was killed in Barangay Silangkan in Parang town in Maguindanao, a known stronghold of the bandit group affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS.

A report branded the daring military operation as an “entrapment to neutralize” one of the Abu Sayyaf’s notorious executioners.

Misaya was also linked to a spate of terrorism in southern Philippines and cross-border ransom kidnappings in Sabah, Malaysia and attacks on cargo ships off Tawi-Tawi province in Mindanao.

Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., AFP spokesman, said Misaya’s killing was a big plus to the military’s timeline to stamp out the terrorist group by June 30 this year.

“It also brings the community a step closer to peace, progress and sustainable security. His followers hopefully get the message that the long arm of the law will eventually catch up with them and hence, motivate them to turn a new leaf and seriously consider surrendering,” Padilla added.

“It also sends a clear message to the community that supporting criminals will not bring them a better life but only greater misery if they insist on providing them safe havens. The AFP, without doubt, communicated its serious intent in addressing the threat posed by this group and its dedication to serve and secure the people,” he said.

The AFP disclosed that military officials have received many more surrender feelers from ASG leaders.

 Earlier, Radulan Sahiron, a senior ASG leader, was reported to have sent surrender feelers to the military and is willing to help authorities capture or convince other commanders to surrender in exchange for amnesty.

He allegedly wanted a cut in the bounties offered by the government for other Abu Sayyaf leaders.

Sahiron is wanted by the Philippines and the United States on terrorism charges.

The US has offered up to $1-million bounty for his capture.

Expert: Abu Sayyaf will regroup

From The Star Online (May 1): Expert: Abu Sayyaf will regroup

The Abu Sayyaf militant group, displaced after the death of its commander Al Habsi Misaya, is expected to regroup un­­der a different face or employ different methods, warns a security expert.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Strategic Security Research Centre head Dr Zaini Othman cautioned that it was only a matter of time before the militants regroup under a different face or change their modus operandi to carry out acts of terror, including kidnappings.
“I guess they will regroup among themselves and make tactical changes in the face of security collaboration between Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia,” Dr Zaini said, adding that Sabah’s east coast was likely to see only a “technical relief” from the cross-border threats.

“We should not get carried away with the recent successes as the behaviour of global criminal actors is very much fluid and dynamic in nature.“The same nature goes for the Abu Sayyaf and kidnap-for-ransom groups in the Sulu Sea area,” he said.

Al Habsi, who had accumulated huge wealth through cross-border kidnappings, had been the key target of security forces on both sides of the border as he was suspected to be the main person funding cross-border kidnap groups.

He was also one of Eastern Sabah Security Command’s (Esscom) most wanted Abu Sayyaf leaders. Al Habsi was a menace to several hostage negotiations when he demanded more than what was agreed on.

Intelligence officials see Al Habsi’s death in Jolo on Friday as the beginning of the final blow on the Abu Sayyaf group that has terrorised people on both sides of the Sulu Sea since the first major kidnapping of 21 people from Sipadan in April 2000.

Al Habsi, described as a hot-tempered drug addict responsible for the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then on Nov 17, 2015, was killed with another Abu Sayyaf member while fleeing on a motorcycle.

Intelligence sources said that se­veral other Abu Sayyaf leaders, including the Sawadjaan brothers, sub-commander Sarip Muna and sub-commander Halipa (a former Sandakan-based smuggler turned kidnapper), were still at large.
“It was only a matter of time that the group is eliminated,” an intelligence source told The Star on Friday.

They believe that only 25% of the group’s core members numbering between 150 and 200 men are left.
In Kluang, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters that Malaysia would further tighten border security in the eastern Sabah waters.

He said the security measures were vital to ensure the remaining militant members would not enter the country.

NDF: NDFP panel lauds Mariano, Taguiwalo, Lopez

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Apr 29): NDFP panel lauds Mariano, Taguiwalo, Lopez

NDFP Media Office
Press statement
April 29, 2017

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines Negotiating Panel views in very positive terms the presence of DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and DENR Secretary Gina Lopez in the Duterte cabinet. Their inclusion bodes well for the entire peace process as they would be in a position to help push much-needed socio-economic reforms.

Ka Paeng will play an important role in implementing a program of free land distribution for poor peasants. Ka Judy will likewise play an important role in implementing expanded social services for the people. Gina Lopez meanwhile has expressed willingness to work with the revolutionary forces in protecting the environment against destructive mining operations. They will no doubt be helpful in implementing a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) that may be agreed upon by the GRP and NDFP.

On other hand, their removal from office by reactionary interests will run counter to the people’s long-standing desire for reforms in government.

The NDFP looks forward to continue working with the three officials, in the framework of peace negotiations, to achieve meaningful reforms for the benefit of the people towards a just peace. ###

Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Panel chairperson
Contact no. 0919-860-4324

CPP/NPA: The Filipino people applaud NPA raid against Lapanday Company

New People's Army (NPA) propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Apr 30): The Filipino people applaud NPA raid against Lapanday Company

Ka Oris, Spokesperson
New People’s Army

30 April 2017
Press Release

The National Operations Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) commends the Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command for successfully meting out a punitive action against the Lapanday Foods Corporation of the Lorenzos, despotic big landlord and big bourgeois compradors responsible for widespread landgrabbing against the peasants and farmworkers in Davao, Bukidnon and elsewhere.

Several platoons of the NPA carried out simultaneous raids to incapacitate the operations of a plastic plant, a box plant and a ranch of the Lapanday company.They were able to confiscate at least 39 firearms which the Lorenzos have used against the peasants and farm workers.

The NPA action is in solidarity with the struggle of the peasant masses and farm workers whose land have been grabbed by the Lorenzos.

Just a few days ago, the Lorenzos employed 700 armed guards in collusion with the local police to block several hundred peasant farmers from claiming their
120-hectare land in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City. This act openly defied the order of the GRP’s Department of Agrarian Reform favoring the installation of the peasant farmers as beneficiaries of land distribution. On December 2016, company guards shot at protesting farmers. Over the years, Lapanday has grabbed vast tracts of agricultural lands through contract-growing schemes and so-called agribusineness venture agreements.

This anti-land reform acts and operations of the Lorenzo’s is what Defense Secretary Lorenzana defended when he denounced the NPA action against Lapanday
as “terrorism.” Lorenzana’s “terror”-tagging is a vain attempt to downplay and counter the just demands of the peasants. In doing so, he is coming to the defense of the Lorenzos and Lapanday for its landgrabbing and acts of repression against the peasants.

Indeed, Lorenzana is the defender of the big landlords and big bourgeois compradors and its outmoded system of haciendas and plantations for export which has kept the country in the era of past banana republics.

The Filipino people, especially the millions of landless peasants, applaud the NPA action against Lapanday. The NPA action against the Lapanday corporation is completely just. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA, an army of mostly poor peasants and farm workers, will carry out all necessary actions to favor their clamor for genuine land reform and social justice.