Friday, May 5, 2017

TeamTabak conducts medical, dental civic action programs in Pagadian City

From 1st Infantry Division (Tabak) Website (May 5): #TeamTabak conducts medical, dental civic action programs in Pagadian City

As part of its 81st Founding Anniversary celebration, the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army in partnership with stakeholders conducted medical, dental civic action programs in Dau, Pagadian City on May 3, 2017.

The medical and dental mission, with 161 beneficiaries (Dental – 45; Operation Tuli – 44), was conducted with the consolidated efforts of various stakeholders including the Rotary Club of Pagadian City, Local Government of Pagadian City, Volunteer Doctors and Nurses of Pagadian City, 53rd IB, 1CMOBn, Tabak Division Press Corps (TPDC-ATR Champion) and Kuta Major Cesar L Sang-an Hospital.

“This activity is a result of strong partnership with community. The Philippine Army continues to provide humanitarian services in our area of responsibility. We are encouraging everyone to actively support all endeavors of the Philippine Army in our pursuit for peace and development in Zampelan area,” said BGEN ROLANDO JOSELITO D BAUTISTA AFP, Commander, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army.

Audit uncovers P15 million expired medicines in AFP office

From Malaya Business Insight (May 5): Audit uncovers P15 million expired medicines in AFP office

EXPIRED and contaminated medicines and hospital supplies worth P15.12 million were found by government auditors during an inventory conducted for the 2016 audit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Commissary and Exchange Services (AFPCES).

The audit report released yesterday said inadequate procurement planning, weak monitoring mechanisms, and poor storage systems and facilities caused wastage of limited government resources which is a violation under Section 2 of the State Audit Code requiring prudence and efficiency in all levels of government operations.

Inspections by the audit team at the AFPCES outlets showed the bulk of the expired medicines were found at the AFP Medical Center Drugstore amounting to P11.8 million.

Others were likewise found at the Bonifacio Naval Station drugstore (P1.244 million), Fort Bonifacio Drugstore (P839,435), Villamor Air Base Drugtore (P710,375), and Main Drugstore (P524,410).

“It was established that this happened as a result of the continuous purchase of the above items despite the fact that these are slow-moving. Most of the quantity of expired medicines and medical supplies are nearly equal to the total quantity purchased from recent years,” auditors said.

Analysis of stock procurement and outflow revealed questionable repeat purchases even when the items are not being used or sold.

The most glaring was the order for 590 boxes of Pneumosolv vials, an injection for bacterial and lower respiratory tract infections, in 2012 and another 410 in 2013 of which only 155 were sold as of December 31, 2016 leaving 845 boxes valued at P3.32 million.

Similar circumstances were noted for the procurement of pain reliever Tramadin and ulcer medication Omepron.

Auditors were told that the AFP Medical Center submits its list of medical requirements to the AFPCES Headquarters and it is the latter that acts as the procuring entity. However, neither the AFP-MC nor the AFPCES was able to identify who prepared the lists citing “high turnover of personnel” in both agencies.

As of December 2012, the AFP-MC has stopped placing its orders through AFPCES.

Auditors also noted poor conditions in the stockrooms of the AFPCES, exposing supplies to rainwater leaks and heat from inadequate ventilation.

Alleged NPA medic arrested

From the Mindanao Times (May 6): Alleged NPA medic arrested

A MEDIC of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested after troops of 25th Infantry Battalion and Compostela Valley Provincial Police Office raided the meeting place of the SPARU unit in Barangay Mainit, Nabunturan on Thursday around 9:30 p.m.

The suspect was identified as Divina Canoy, who belonged to Section Committee 27, Southern Mindanao Regional Command in Mainit.
They were able also to recover two M16 rifles; one M4 rifle; one Carbine rifle; Claymore mines (IED); estimated 30 kilos of 10mm cut round bars (IED shrapnel); electrical wires and subversive documents.

“We received information so we immediately reacted. The information proved to be correct, which resulted to the arrest,” Lt. Col Ismael P. Mandanas, commander of 25th Infantry Battalion, told TIMES yesterday.

Canoy is now in the custody of Nabunturan Municipal Police Station.

DND SEC. NPA attacks on Lapanday to have impact on peace talks

From the Mindanao Times (May 6): DND SEC. NPA attacks on Lapanday to have impact on peace talks

DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday said that the recent attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA) may have a negative impact on the peace negotiations with the communist rebel group.

Lorenzana told reporters yesterday at the sidelines of Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting held in SMX convention center that the government condemns the series of attacks of the NPA in the city.

“Instead of doing some confidence-building (measures) because we are currently talking peace, they are committing atrocities,” he said. “They just want to extort.”
Lorenzana said that personally, he no longer is interested in pursuing a peace negotation with the CPP-NPA-NDF. However, he quickly added that being loyal soldiers of the Duterte administration, they have to implement the policy of the President.

“Our peace panel is continuing the talks,” he said.

On the part of the Department of National Defense, Lorenzana said they already submitted the requirements for the joint ceasefire agreement. Some of the demands include for the NPA to stop extortion, abduction, harassment and burning incidents.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview, Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said they already filed a formal complaint against the New People’s Army in connection to the simultaneous attacks in Davao City last week.

He said they have coursed their complaint thru the government’s peace panel so that it could be included in the next round of talks between the government and the National Democratic Front.

“What they did is actually contrary to what they are saying,” the officer said. “Supposedly, we should have confidence-building measures … This is what we called pure banditry, pure extortion.”

“With the series of NPA atrocities, the prevalent situation now is ‘talk and fight,’” he said. “Such scenario does not imperil the peace negotiations however as this usually happens in many peace talks.”
But Año said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines should also show goodwill and initiative by reining in its communist guerillas on the ground.

Additional troop’s deployment

The military already deployed additional troops to the region. “Through the cooperation with the local government and businessmen we will activate additional SCAAs (militias) and later on, we will return the troops that we sent to Sulu here (in Region XI),” he added.

Lorenzana and Año led other top officials in the joint Regional Peace and Order Council and Regional Development Council XI held at the SMX Convention Center yesterday. The event was also attended by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

In a chance interview outside the venue, the mayor said the presence of Lorenzana and AFP chief just showed the gravity of the Lapanday attack, and its security impacts to the region.

Mayor Carpio said she expects an improved security plan for the region after yesterday’s meeting.

Rebels raid security agency office in Valencia City; seize firearms

From MindaNews (May 6): Rebels raid security agency office  in Valencia City; seize firearms

Suspected communist rebels raided the Valencia City office of a security agency owned by a supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and carted away several firearms Friday night, police said.

Supt. Lemuel Gonda, spokesperson of the Northern Mindanao Police Regional Office, said at least 15 NPA rebels dressed in police uniforms ransacked the office of the Davao Security & Investigation Agency, Inc. (DASIA) in Purok 17, Hindangon, Valencity city at around 6 p.m. Friday.

DASIA was founded in 1972 by Duterte’s high school classmate and friend, the late Col. Emilio Escandor. The agency has since expanded operations nationwide.

Gonda said the rebels met no resistance when they told the security guards that they were policemen and were conducting a search based on a court order.

While the rebels were ransacking the office, Gonda said several rebels also conducted a checkpoint outside, flagging down all passing vehicles.

A policeman identified as Police Officer 1 Emilio Traya of the Maramag town police station was among those flagged down. His service pistol, a Glock 9mm pistol, taken by the rebels.

Gonda said the rebels released Traya unharmed later.

He said the rebels carted away from the DASIA office two AK47 rifles, one M16 rifle, two shotguns and three caliber 38 revolvers.

The rebels fled using the security agency’s vehicles — a Toyota Hilux, two armored vans and two motorcycles.

Gonda said responding policemen found the two armored vans abandoned along the highway in Valencia City.

In FBI uniforms

In Davao City, communist rebels who mounted attacks on April 29 also wore uniforms of a government agency to gain entry in one of three locations of the Lorenzo-owned Lapanday Foods that it attacked.

The NPA’s Merardo Arce Command in a statement issued on April 30 by spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez, said “Red fighters wearing NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) uniforms attacked the box and plastic manufacturing plants of Lapanday Foods Corp. in Brgy. Mandug.”

The NPA said two of their comrades were killed in the attack on the firm’s cattle ranch and banana plantation in Barangay Pangyan in Calinan.

In the attack on the box and plastic plants of Lapanday in Barangay Mandug, a security guard was injured while a fish vendor who was passing when an improvised explosive device went off, was injured, fell into a coma and died in the hospital on May 4.

Many factors being considered in UH-1D chopper crash: PAF

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6): Many factors being considered in UH-1D chopper crash: PAF

Investigators are looking into mechanical failure, bird strike and other factors in the UH-1D helicopter crash in Tanay, Rizal last Thursday that killed three Air Force personnel and wounded another.

"I cannot give you any detail but (the crash) will pass through a very thorough investigation. We still have to consider lots of things, like the environment and what other features the crash site has -- if it has obstacles, bird strike and (whether) mechanical factors are also involved," Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Col. Antonio Francisco has said.

Following the crash, the Air Force grounded the other five UH-1Ds in service for inspection, based on standard procedures.

The UH-1D with tail number number 8469, piloted by Capt. Christian Paul Titan and co-piloted by 1st Lt. Ceazar Rimas, was executing landing procedures when it crash-landed and went up in flames, killing Titan; helicopter gunner, Airman 1st Class Joseph de Leon; and Air Force crew chief, Sgt. Byron Tolosa.

Rimas survived the crash and is on stable but guarded condition at the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Medical Center (AFP-MC) in V. Luna, Quezon City.

Balikatan builds school cum evacuation center in E. Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6): Balikatan builds school cum evacuation center in E. Samar

Residents of Surok village in this town are looking forward of having a new school building which will also serve as evacuation center.

The United States Armed Forces Engineers and members of the Philippine Army through its Humanitarian Assistance Program of military exercise Balikatan 33-2017 is now constructing a two-classroom school building here.

Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales said on Saturday the building was also designed as evacuation center during emergencies.

“We have so many reasons to be thankful to the US Armed Forces here and the Philippine Army. The school project in Surok is more than just providing better learning environment for our students here but rather ensuring the safety of the children and the community itself in times of disasters,” Gonzales said.

Surok village chief Gloria Ecleo talked about the value of education and what it means for their children’s future.

“Education of our children here is the only thing we have,” she said. “And today was different because we knew that somebody thought we were that important.”

“We are so grateful for this project this will be of great help to us here in our village and this will really improve the lives of our children and also those from nearby villages,” Ecleo said.

Surok village has a population of 1, 487 persons with 368 households.

Meanwhile, 1st Lt. Martin Meehan, commanding officer of the US Marines Engineering, Alfa Company said that constructing schools was part of the PHL-US Balikatan 33-2017 Humanitarian Mission greater commitment to help restore the village structure destroyed by typhoon "Yolanda" in 2013.

Meehan lauded the US Marines and the Philippine Army who joined the said endeavour, saying they would learn from each other, improve inter-operability among militaries so that they both learn of what to do and work when future disaster strikes.

Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Philippines (S/2017/294)

Posted to the Relief Web (May 2): Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Philippines (S/2017/294)

Report from UN Security Council
Published on 05 Apr 2017 — View Original

Download PDF (321.27 KB)


The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions, is the fourth on children and armed conflict in the Philippines submitted by the Secretary-General. It contains information on the six grave violations against children and, more broadly, on the situation of children affected by armed conflict during the period from 1 December 2012 to 31 December 2016.

The report highlights trends and patterns of grave violations committed against children by all parties to the conflict and illustrates that conflict continues to negatively affect children, in particular in indigenous communities. The report also sets out progress made in addressing the protection of children affected by conflict, including through the establishment of government mechanisms and the implementation of an action plan with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Lastly, the report contains a series of recommendations to end and prevent grave violations against children in the Philippines and to improve their protection.

I. Introduction

1. The present report, prepared pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the fourth report on the Philippines submitted to the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. It covers the period from 1 December 2012 to 31 December 2016 and describes trends and patterns of grave violations against children that have occurred since my previous report (S/2013/419). Where possible, the report identifies the parties responsible for grave violations against children and highlights areas for advocacy and response to enhance the protection of children. The report also describes progress made in ending and preventing grave violations against children. Finally, the report provides a list of recommendations to all parties and actors concerned to improve the protection of children in conflict-affected areas and end and prevent grave violations.

2. Since insecurity and access restrictions to remote areas complicated monitoring and reporting activities, the figures detailed in the report do not reflect the full scope of violations against children. Nonetheless, available data illustrate that children continue to be negatively affected by the conflict, in particular in indigenous communities.

3. In the annexes to my most recent annual report on children and armed conflict, dated 20 April 2016 (A/70/836-S/2016/360), the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the New People’s Army are listed in the annexes for the recruitment and use of children.

II. Overview of political and security developments

A. Political developments

4. The administration of President Benigno Aquino III continued to pursue negotiations with a number of armed groups in an effort to address long-running conflicts on Mindanao island. After a seven-year impasse, formal talks between the Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a coalition of left-leaning groups that includes the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army, resumed in 2011. However, no formal peace agreement was reached and those discussions remained at an impasse on the eve of the presidential election in May 2016.

5. Previously, in October 2012, the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which culminated in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro in March 2014, which officially concluded 17 years of peace negotiations. The Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would have established the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, was submitted to Congress by President Aquino on 10 September 2014. However, following the so-called Mamasapano incident, a clash between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and government forces in January 2015 in Maguindanao Province, Congress was unable to agree on the passage of the law before going into recess in February 2016. Despite that setback, both the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front declared their continued commitment to pursue a peace agenda.

6. Presidential elections were held in the Philippines in May 2016 and President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. The new administration has since set out its peace and development framework aimed at ending the long-standing conflicts with the communist insurgency and Moro secessionist groups.

7. In June 2016, President Duterte met with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front to discuss the next steps in the peace process. The two Moro groups agreed to collectively undertake an intra-Moro dialogue with the objective of arriving at an inclusive solution for the Bangsamoro. On 7 November, the President signed an executive order creating a new Bangsamoro Transition Commission, tasked with drafting a new version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. The President also initiated exploratory talks with representatives of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Oslo in preparation for the planned resumption of the peace negotiations. Following an agreement to resume formal peace negotiations in July, the two parties met for two rounds of formal talks in August and October, but at the time of writing no permanent ceasefire had been reached.
From GMA News (May 6): Suspected NPA guerrillas storm Bukidnon security agency office

Suspected New People's Army guerrillas raided an office of a security and investigation agency in Bukidnon province in Mindanao and made off with high-powered fire arms and other materiel.

Citing information from the Army brigade commander, GMA News reported Saturday morning that some 30 armed men wearing police uniforms stormed the Davao Security and Investigation Agency (DASIA) branch office in Juanila Village in Poblacion, Valencia City, Bukidnon at about 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The attackers carted away two AK-47 rifles, 1 M16 rifle, 3 shotguns and three cal-.38 hand guns.

An initial police investigation showed that about 15 armed men in regular police uniform entered the DASIA office, brandishing a fake search warrant.

They seized TSG Joseph Paredes of 4MIB, 4ID of the Philippine Army and disarmed PO1 Traya of the Maramag Municipal Police Station, seizing his 9mm Gloc service firearm. Later, the soldier was released unharmed.

Another group of attackers, in police camouflage uniform, manned a roadblock outside the DASIA premises and flagged passing vehicles.

After the raid, the group of about 30 armed men in all fled using two DASIA armored vans, a black Toyota Hilux pickup truck, and two motorcycles (a Yamaha DT and a Honda XR). motorcycles.

Duterte promises more benefits for soldiers killed in line of duty

From the Philippine Star (May 6): Duterte promises more benefits for soldiers killed in line of duty

 In this April 6, 2017 file photo shows President Rodrigo Duterte rendering a salute to one of the 28 wounded soldiers he awarded with medals at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo town, Sulu. Pareño, File photo
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday promised police personnel in five southern provinces support to beef up performance and free schooling for dependents if killed in action.
Duterte was at Camp SK Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao Friday afternoon for a security briefing by Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, director of the Regional Police Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM).

Duterte also had a brief traditional “talk to the men” dialogue with personnel of the ARMM police at the parade ground of Camp SK Pendatun. The camp is the regional command center in the autonomous region of the Philippine National Police.

Friday’s official engagement of the president with officers and rank-and-file personnel of PRO-ARMM was his first since his election in May 2016.

He told them widows or parents of unmarried policemen or policewomen killed in line with duty shall automatically receive benefits from the government.
He said their dependents are also assured of full education scholarships to ensure they are to have a good future.

“Your children are assured of education and your spouses will receive insurance benefits immediately. That’s automatic,” Duterte told personnel of PRO-ARMM.

He acknowledged the peculiar working situation of the personnel of PRO-ARMM owing to the presence in the region of armed drug lords and troublesome extremist blocs such as the Maute terror group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

The president drew a loud applause from ARMM's police personnel when he promised them enough logistical support to boost their law-enforcement operations in the region.

He asked them to just wait patiently for the logistics and benefits earmarked for every member of the regional police command.

The ARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Duterte’s dialogue with PRO-ARMM personnel was preceded by his awarding of merit medals to senior police officers involved in successful anti-narcotics operation in recent months.

He and Sindac also facilitated the release of certificates of course completion to teams of policemen who have just completed a motorcycle patrol course jointly handled by PRO-ARMM officials and their counterparts in the Regional Highway Patrol Group.

Duterte said he want members of PRO-ARMM fully equipped when they go out to address threats from terrorists in the region.

He said he has a plan to put up an endowment fund for families of police personnel killed while enforcing law and order anywhere in the autonomous region.

“By the time I leave the presidency I would have invested so many billions for the trust fund for law enforcement personnel,” Duterte said.

Sindac said he is grateful to the president for visiting Camp SK Pendatun to commit support to PRO-ARMM.

“The father of the land is so humble and inspiring. That is why we respect and love him,” Sindac told The STAR in a text message Saturday morning.

Probe set on Navy boat's damage of Sta. Cruz Island reefs

From ABS-CBN (May 6): Probe set on Navy boat's damage of Sta. Cruz Island reefs

Courtesy: Dr. Michael Macrohon/Zamboanga City government

Naval forces in Western Mindanao are set to investigate the damage that a Navy boat wrought on coral reefs near Sta. Cruz Island, after it anchored in the protected area.
Investigators have collected the statements of Navy officers in charge of BRP Tausug to explain what happened, said Lieutenant Junior Grade Maycee Angga, spokesperson of the naval forces in Western Mindanao.

They are also waiting for the statement of officials in charge of Sta. Cruz Island.

Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar earlier expressed outrage over the damage sustained by marine resources in the popular tourist destination, which is known for its pink sand.

According to Climaco, the Protected Area Management Unit found that at least 10 by 10 feet of marine resources near Sta. Cruz Island were damaged.

The action of the Navy officials was a violation of Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, said Climaco, as Sta. Cruz Island is a protected area.

The Navy boat supposedly anchored near the island last weekend, carrying beach goers.

Rear Admiral Rene Medina, the commander of the Naval forces in Western Mindanao, expressed regrets over the incident, and promised that erring Navy officials would be held liable.

Probe results will be released next week.

Government launches info campaign on cyber-security awareness

From the Business Mirror (May 6): Government launches info campaign on cyber-security awareness

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) would be conducting cybersecurity caravans across the country to spread awareness among stakeholders.

The DICT recognizes that both the private and public sectors are facing cyberthreats today, DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said in a forum on Tuesday.

“We are raising awareness not only in the private sector but also public sector,” he added.

The DICT cybersecurity caravan has reached Zamboanga City on April 26, according to DICT Assistant Secretary Allan Cabanlong. “With that we can create awareness, educate and empower our citizens,” Cabanlong said adding that providing cyber awareness is the main program of the DICT.

According to Salalima, the agency is looking outside the private sector in the campaign as companies are the most secured organizations in the country.

“The private sector is already advanced in cybersecurity measures,” he said. “Even before, they have been strengthening their cybersecurity.”

In a recent interview, Philippine Institute of Cyber Security Professionals (PICSPro) President Angel Redoble said the country’s ICT infrastructure should be strengthened through proactive and inclusive measures as the number of threats grows.

Speaking to members of the local media during the Unveiling of the National Cybersecurity Plan 2022 in Manila on Tuesday, Salalima said that the DICT plan in securing the country’s information and communications technology infrastructures would remain a “secret.”

Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 4 | May 2017

Posted to Relief Web (May 4): Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 4 | May 2017

Report from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 04 May 2017

Download PDF (710.33 KB)


• Displacement in the Mindanao island provinces of Sulu and Basilan continue.
Local authorities and humanitarian actors tackle challenges of repeated displacement due to conflict and seek permanent solutions.

• The Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Mr. Ola Almgren highlighted the importance of coordinating humanitarian and development assistance during his visit to Mindanao.

• Frequent earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks jolt the Philippines in April, temporarily displacing communities in the northern and southern regions.


Lanao del Sur Earthquake
# of displaced persons 5,027

# of damaged or destroyed houses 836

(Source: DSWD as of 20 April)

Batangas Earthquake
# of displaced persons 3,578

(Source: DSWD as of 19 April)

Zamboanga Crisis
# of IDPs in transitional sites 7,552

(Source: Zamboanga City Social Welfare and Development Office as of 17 April)

Seeking sustainable peace in Basilan and Sulu

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), located in the Southern part of the Philippines is composed of the five provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi. The ARMM region remains the poorest in the country with the highest poverty incidence of 53.4% recorded in 2015 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Family Income and Expenditure Survey. Protracted conflict over the years has become a major obstacle to sustainable peace and development, leaving families struggling to meet basic necessities and continue their livelihood.

The presence of non-state armed groups reportedly involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities of foreign and local nationals remain a big challenge to the community and Government. In April 2016, the Philippine military stepped up its law enforcement operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Al-Barka and Tipo-Tipo municipalities of Basilan. The encounter resulted in the displacement of more than 3,400 people. In Sulu, encounters in the municipalities of Talipao and Maimbung displaced 1,666 people as well as affecting the municipalities of Patikul and Indanan which has seen heavy fighting. Following the proclamation of the President to eradicate the group, sustained military operations are affecting the local population. However, by December of 2016, most of the displaced have returned to their homes. From January 2016 to February 2017, over 68,400 people were displaced in Sulu and Basilan due to conflict.

Renewed conflict and displacement in 2017

In 2017, renewed military operations against the ASG continues. On 27 February, more than 1,500 families from the seven barangays in Al-Barka municipality were displaced. Residents from the barangays of Macalang, Danapah, Linuan, Guinanta, Magcawa and Cailih fled for fear of being caught in the cross fire. Early in March, another firefight was reported in Barangay Cambug, Al-Barka,resulting in the displacement of 8,970 people; and about 600 families were again displaced because of encounter in Sitio Lingasug, Barangay Mangalut, Al-Barka.

According to the Protection Cluster's Mindanao Displacement Dashboard, in Sulu, 1,485 people were displaced from the municipality of Indanan. On 6 March about 4,320 people were displaced from Indanan, Patikul, Parang. Protection monitors on the ground indicated that mortar shelling carried out by the Philippine army triggered fear among civilians, causing them to flee.

The number of agencies that are able to reach some of the population are limited due to access and security issues. Multiple and protracted conflict in Sulu and Basilan are taking a heavy toll on the local population. Assistance from humanitarian actors has been limited for fear of being kidnapped. However, the ARMM Regional Government through its Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART), the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of Civil Defense at the provincial and municipal levels continue to provide food and relief items. Due to the continuous conflict in the region, the assistance is often not enough to provide the overall well-being of the affected population. Family food packs of five kilos of rice, sardines, instant noodles and coffee are distributed during the onset of the displacement. Families are often left searching for food and other needs during prolonged displacement. As a mitigation measure, families take the risk of returning immediately to their homes as soon as the guns fall silent.

Recovery of livelihood is a major challenge for the return population says the director of Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People, a local NGO. Transportation of relief items is also difficult in the island provinces. Until longer-term interventions can be put forward and implemented in the ARMM, communities from the Mindanao island provinces will continue to suffer frequent displacement, disruption of their daily life and high levels of poverty.

Ejercito wants to reopen 2013 chopper deal probe after Tanay crash

From ABS-CBN (May 6): Ejercito wants to reopen 2013 chopper deal probe after Tanay crash

Photo shows a burning UH-1D helicopter after it crashed at Sitio Hilltop in Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal on Thursday afternoon. Three members of the Philippine Air Force were killed, while one was injured while participating in an Air-to-Ground and disaster rescue operations (AGOS) training, according to 1LT. Xy-on Meneses of the 2nd Infantry Battalion. Courtesy of the Philippine Army 2nd Infantry Division

Helicopter second to crash from refurbished fleet acquired in questionable deal

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito has vowed to investigate the helicopter crash that killed three airmen in Tanay, Rizal Thursday afternoon as he bared that the ill-fated chopper was from a second-hand fleet acquired in a shady deal earlier investigated by the Senate.

The lawmaker said he would seek to reopen the Senate inquiry into the Department of Defense's (DND) allegedly anomalous P1.2-billion acquisition of 21 refurbished combat helicopters in 2013, which purportedly had defective units.

The investigation, initiated in 2015 after a whistleblower came out with graft allegations, had fizzled, Ejercito told ABS-CBN News.

"I am saddened and frustrated by the recent news of an AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) UH-1D chopper that crashed in Tanay, which resulted in the death of its pilot and two crew members," said Ejercito.

"I will again file a resolution to re-open the investigation for this anomalous chopper deal to make sure that our military will not be forced to use unsafe ancient aircraft," he said.

He said the chopper was the second to crash from a fleet of second-hand helicopters that the Philippines bought under an allegedly graft-ridden deal.

The first crashed in November 2015, just months after the Senate blue ribbon committee initiated an inquiry into the deal.

"Unsurprisingly, the chopper that recently crashed was part of the anomalous deal that we investigated! These 50-year old choppers that the DND purchased are older than our retiring military personnel!," Ejercito said.

It was the senator who also initiated the 2015 investigation, where Rhodora Alvarez, an agent for Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI) and Eagle Copters, the American-Canadian joint venture that landed the deal, accused top defense officials of receiving kickbacks.

Then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin canceled the contract when the anomaly was bared and amid delivery delays. The department, however, still received at least seven of 21 choppers.

He denied the whistleblower's allegations.

In March last year, Alvarez filed before the Office of the Ombudsman complaints of plunder, graft, malversation of public funds, violation of the procurement law, and violation of the revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program against Gazmin and 38 others.

"Deaths resulting from accidents which can actually be prevented by the level of technological advancement is unforgivable. The culprit is no one else but those who benefit from shadowy deals. Corruption kills," he said.
From ABS-CBN (May 2): Photo: Philippine Navy BRV Davao del Sur

Philippine Navy BRV Davao del Sur

Philippine Navy personnel stand in formation on board the Indonesian-made naval warship for the Philippine Navy BRV Davao del Sur (LD-602) during a turnover ceremony at a shipyard in Surabaya on Tuesday.  The warship, which was built by PT. PAL Indonesia, is the second vessel ordered by the Philippine Department of National Defense at a cost of 90 million USD.

PH Navy warship to participate in international maritime show

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 6): PH Navy warship to participate in international maritime show


The BRP Gregorio del Pilar (fILE Photo by FRANCES MANGOSING /

The Philippine Navy’s warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF-15) will participate in the International Maritime Defense Exhibition (IMDEX 2017) in Singapore later in May.

In a news advisory, the Navy said that a send off ceremony for the 235 members of the contingent would be held on Saturday (May 6) at Pier 13 at the South Harbor in Manila.

The IMDEX 2017 will be held on May 16 to 18 in Changi.
According to Capt, Donn Anthony Miraflor, commander of Naval Task Group 80.5, the IMDEX is the “premier dedicated maritime defense show” serving the Asia Pacific Region. It will be the 11th in the series.

The event is also serves a trade fair and conference for military leaders from the maritime sector.

Death of ComVal farmer condemned

From The Standard (May 6): Death of ComVal farmer condemned

Farmers, indigenous and Moro peoples trooped to Camp Aguinaldo on Friday to condemn the killing of another lumad peasant-activist in Compostela Valley.

The groups also protested against the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Oplan Kapayapaan that is in full-swing, and “attacking farmers in peasant communities nationwide.”

Federico “Pande” Plaza of Maragusan, Compostela Valley was shot and killed by assailants believed to be military elements last May 3, the protesters said.

Tanggol Magsasaka, a watchdog monitoring human rights violations against rural sectors, said Plaza is the 35th victim of political killing in Mindanao, bringing the documented number of victims of politically-motivated extra judicial killings under the Duterte administration to 51.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas repeated the call of peasants and fisher folks to pull out troops from Mindanao, particularly the 71st (Kaibigan) and 46th Infantry Battalions under the 10th Division (Agila) of the Philippine Army.

“These military units are specifically targeting farmers and indigenous people struggling against land grabbing, destructive mining and militarization. These military elements have virtually made Compostela Valley their killing fields,” said peasant leader Pedro Arnado of KMP-Southern Mindanao Region.

Air Force grounds UH-1D choppers

From the Manila Times (May 5): Air Force grounds UH-1D choppers

Story image for "new people's army" from GMA News

THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) has ordered the inspection of all UH-1D helicopters following the crash of one of the Huey combat utility choppers that killed three soldiers and injured another in Tanay, Rizal Thursday afternoon.

Pending an investigation on what caused the crash, all UH-1D helicopters were ordered grounded and inspected, said Col. Antonio Francisco Jr., Air Force spokesman.

On Friday, Air Force officials gave departure honors to three of their men who died when the UH-1D with tail number 8649 crash in Sitio Hilltop, Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal.

The fatalities were identified as Capt. Christian Paul Litan, 30, of Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas, the chopper’s pilot in command; Staff Sgt. Byron Tolosa, 38, of Barangay Villamor, Pasay City, crew chief; and Airman 1st Class Joseph de Leon, 30, of Lingayen, Pangasinan, gunner.

The aircraft’s co-pilot, 1st Lt. Ceazar Rimas, 27, of General Trias City, Cavite was injured.

“The PAF will have no further comments until such investigation is concluded,” Francisco said.

The UH-1D chopper was conducting air-to-ground and disaster rescue operation training when the incident happened at about 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The practical exercises that involved at least 60 soldiers and 12 personnel of the Philippine National Police in Southern Tagalog had ended when one of the choppers crashed, said Lt. Xy-zon Meneses, spokesman of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division.

This was the second UH-1D helicopter that crashed since a whistleblower exposed an allegedly anomalous helicopter deal entered into by the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

In November 2015, a UH-1D chopper went down as it was evacuating wounded soldiers in Malapatan town in Sarangani province.

It was on a mission to airlift a dead soldier and five other wounded personnel of the Philippine Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion that earlier clashed with New People’s Army rebels.

The aircraft was among the 21 combat utility helicopters in a controversial P1.2-billion modernization project, which The Manila Times exposed early last year as allegedly anomalous.

The Times source, Rhodora Alvarez, claimed the helicopters were defective.

Of the 21 helicopters, the Defense department accepted eight despite the alleged defects of the units and failure of the supplier to comply with specifications stated in the terms of reference of the project.

DWDD: NEXT GENERATION | Youth for Peace Congress – Davao

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 2): NEXT GENERATION | Youth for Peace Congress – Davao


DAVAO CITY (DWDD) – “Leaders are not born, they are made. A person becomes a leader not because he is told to be one, but because he chooses to be one and develop himself to become one”.

This was the message given by Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo during the Youth for Peace Congress in Felis Resort, Davao City after he was invited by the Youth Organizer to be the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the activity on April 28, 2017.

The activity was attended to by 100 youth leaders from Regions X, XI, XII and XIII

“Congratulations! Way to go Youth for Peace. Let us build Peace”. EASTMINCOM / MCAG / AES

DWDD: SAVING LIVES | Tactical Combat Casualty Care class

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 2): SAVING LIVES | Tactical Combat Casualty Care class

CAMP GENERAL CEFERINO S. CARREON, Calinog, Iloilo (DWDD) – Philippine and United States of America service members participate in a Boodle Fight after a Tactical Combat Casualty Care class at Camp General Ceferino S. Carreon in Calinog, Iloilo, April 27, 2017.

A Boodle Fight is a Filipino military tradition to symbolize brotherhood and camaraderie. Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations. 61IB / MCAG / U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Nelson Duenas

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Iwinagayway ng mga miyembro ng Philippine Marines at Philippine coast Guard ang watawat ng Pilipinas sa unang pagkakataon sa Panguan Island, Tawi-Tawi.

Sinabi ni Brigadier General Custodio Parcon ng Joint Task Force – Tawi-Tawi na boundary ng Malaysia at Pilipinas na siya ring ginagamit ng mga Abu Sayyaf Group upang magtago.

Sa naturang lugar rin isinasagawa ng bandidong grupo ang kanilang mga mararahas na aktibidad.

Ang pagwawagayway ng bandila ng Pilipinas ay isang manipestasyon na pagmamay-ari ito ng Pilipinas at hindi ng mga bandido.

Matatandaang noong maitalaga ang 2nd Marine Brigade ay nawalan na ng ‘comfort zone’ ang ASG at hindi na rinn namamataan ang mga pirata sa lugar. (EPJA)

DWDD: PUBLIC SERVICE | 61IB Free Circumcision at Taft Tapaz, Capiz

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 3): PUBLIC SERVICE | 61IB Free Circumcision at Taft Tapaz, Capiz

61st Hunter Battalion Logo

TAPAZ, Capiz (DWDD) – The 61st Infantry “Hunter” Battalion will be offering “Free Circumcision” or “Libreng Tuli” for all male kids this coming Saturday, May 6, 2017.

All those interested are advised to proceed to the Headquarters of the 61st Infantry “Hunter” Battalion at Barangay Lagdungan, San Francisco, Taft Tapaz, Capiz. 61IB / MCAG / AES

DWDD: RECOGNIZED | 61st IB Officers and Personnel Receive Awards

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 3): RECOGNIZED | 61st IB Officers and Personnel Receive Awards


CAMP GEN MACARIO B PERALTA JR, Jamindan, Capiz (DWDD) – Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the 61st Infantry “Hunter” Battalion received various recognition during the 43rd Anniversary of the Philippine Army 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division.

Recipients were Capt Gilbert L Facunla – Best Junior Officer, Tsg Ian M Edral – Best First Seargent, Sgt Leonardo A ANdea Jr. – Best Platoon Seargent, Sgt Marlon D Daned – Best Squad Leader and Dr. Ma. Sheila V Aranas – Stakeholder Awardee.

Col Leonardo I Pena (MNSA) received the Meritorious Achievement Medal while the unit received the Compliant Status in regards the Army Transformation RoadMap.

The leadership of the 61IB attributed their success to people who continue to support and believe in the unit in their selfless endeavor to serve the community. 61IB / AES

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DWDD: LITERACY | Higaonons train in use of computers

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 3): LITERACY | Higaonons train in use of computers

Balingasag, Misamis Oriental Map

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City (DWDD) – Members of the Higaonon Tribe participated in a computer literacy program of the 58th Infantry Battalion in Misamis Oriental.

According to 1Lt Janelle A Diaz, Civil-Military Operations officer of the 58IB, forty-six Higanaonons finished 31-days of computer training under the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

The training was aimed at providing computer literacy for Indigenous People in rural and far-flung areas of Balingasa. 58IB / AES

DWDD: DEVELOPMENT | PH Gov’t to Improve Facilities in Pagasa

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 3): DEVELOPMENT | PH Gov’t to Improve Facilities in Pagasa

del pagasa

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – A total of P1.6-B has been allocated by the government for the construction and repair of facilities within Pagasa Island.

According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Pagasa Island will be improved with the building of a fishport, better shelter for soldiers, improved runway, and a marine research and tourist center.

This came about after the President and Armed Forces of the Philippines Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the military to improve and further strengthen our islands in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

The move to push through with the project was despite the recent protest by China on the plan and the recent visit made by Sec Lorenzana and top AFP officials, led by Gen Eduardo Ano, in Pagasa.

President Duterte also argued that it is the “duty” of our country to develop and secure its own territory which we have occupied since 1970’s. AES

DWDD: Twenty-three more Abus surrender to Joint Task Forces as WestMinCom intensifies operations

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 4): Twenty-three more Abus surrender to Joint Task Forces as WestMinCom intensifies operations


Headquarters Western Mindanao Command, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- The all-out offensives launched by the Joint Task Forces of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) compelled twenty-three (23) more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to lay down their arms and yield to the military in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu within just a span of one (1) week.
 As the ground troops continue to pound down and constrict the movements of the terrorist group in Basilan, nineteen Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to the Joint Task Force Basilan under the leadership of Colonel Juvymax Uy today.
Abu Sayyaf sub leaders Nur Hassan Lahaman a.k.a Hassan, and Sub leader Mudz-Ar Angkun a.k.a Mapad Ladjaman with thirteen other followers surrendered to the troops of the 64th Infantry Battalion in Brgy Tumahubong, Sumisip, Basilan Province.
The surrender was made possible through the joint efforts of JTF Basilan, the Basilan Provincial Police Office and the Sumisip LGU headed by Mayor Gulam Hataman.
In a simple turn-over ceremony, the fifteen Abu Sayyaf members also yielded nine (9) high powered firearms that include one (1) cal .50 sniper rifle, one (1) M16 rifle, one (1) M79 40mm grenade launcher, five (5) garand rifles and one (1) Cal .30 springfield rifle.
The group of Mapad operates in the areas of Sumisip while the group of Hassan operates in Tuburan municipality of the said Province.
During the ceremony, Mayor Hataman expressed his gratitude to the continuing support he have received from the Government forces saying,”it is my goal to make Sumisip a peaceful place to live in and this surrender is an indicator that my dream and the dream of the people in Sumisip will soon be achieved.”
Meanwhile, four (4) Abu Sayyaf and Kidnap for Ransom Group members, identified as Patta Salapuddin, a.k.a. Patta, 53 years old, Asbi Salapuddin, a.k.a. Asbi, 32 years old, Sayyadi Salapuddin, a.k.a Saya, 31 years old, and Arci Salapuddin, a.k.a Arc, 20 years old, all residents of Barangay Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, also yielded to the troops of the Joint Task Force Basilan earlier today.
Also surrendered by the Salapuddin group were two M16 rifles and an M79. The Salapuddin brothers are linked to the Abu Sayyaf and KFRG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
They were involved in the recent seajacking of M/V Super Shuttle T/B 1 on March 23, 2017.
All nineteen (19) Abu Sayyaf who surrendered in Basilan are now undergoing processing and debriefing by the Basilan Provincial Police Office.
Just seven days ago, four Abu Sayyaf members also surrendered to the Joint Task Force Sulu under the leadership of Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana in Sulu Province.
Abu Sayyaf bandits Husain Nasirin, 22 years old and a resident of Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, and Hasir Asara, 24 years old and a resident of Barangay Danag, Patikul, yielded to the troops of the 501st Brigade under Brigadier General Jose C. Faustino, Jr. in Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan at 2pm last April 27, 2017.
Nasirin and Asara, both of whom are identified as followers of sub-leader Hairulla Asbang, are known to be operating in Patikul and Maimbung, both in Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf members also turned over one (1) M16 rifle and one (1) Garand rifle to the government forces. Nasirin and Asara were turned-over to the Patikul police station for the filing of appropriate charges. On the same day, two Abu Sayyaf members linked to the Kidnap for Ransom Group (KFRG), who were identified as sub-leader Udon Hussiem, a.k.a Udon Hasim, 40 years old, and Haidal Kimar, 25 years old, both of whom are residents of Barangay Jinggan, Panglima Estino, also surrendered to the ground troops.
Hussiem and Kimar also surrendered an M16 and an M14 rifle to the soldiers. Since last week, negotiations are ongoing for the surrender of Udon’s entire group, which is also engaged in kidnap for ransom activities. “The Abu Sayyaf members from Sulu are among the most notorious and among the most difficult to go after; however, this recent accomplishment only proves that the landscape in the area is indeed changing,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“We expect to be counting and receiving more Abus who will surrender in the upcoming days, as even top leaders of the group are already sending feelers for their possible surrender.
 As the highest military commander in this side of the country, I am elated with this development, and I commend our soldiers and those who are helping them to achieve these,” added Lieutenant General Galvez.
Since January this year, a total of forty (40) Abu Sayyaf members (five in Sulu, twenty-four in Basilan, and eleven in Tawi-Tawi) already surrendered to the government forces, with most of them also turning over their firearms and ammunition.
On April 21, two Abu Sayyaf members and kidnap for ransom facilitators, identified as Yusop Mohammad, a.k.a Salip Susung, and Dugasan Mohammad, a.k.a Ugas, both residents of Barangay Dungon, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi, were neutralized in an operation launched by the ground troops.
 Their neutralization was a result of information voluntarily given and provided by most of those who surrender.
“We will continue to pound on the remaining Abu Sayyaf members until we get the last of them. With the solid support and backing we are getting from the Local Government Units, the traditional and religious leaders, from the MILF and the MNLF, we are positive that we will all be successful in this fight against terrorism,” adds LtGen Galvez, Jr.

DWDD: Jungle Fighters launch tree planting activity, plant more than 2,000 trees

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 4): Jungle Fighters launch tree planting activity, plant more than 2,000 trees


The 2nd Division just launched its tree planting activities inside Camp Capinpin with different kinds of trees to help in the government’s greening program.

More than 2,000 fruit bearing and non-fruit bearing trees were planted by the Jungle Fighters today, May 4, 2017, at 5:30 in the morning. Various civic groups like the Rotary Clubs were also tapped to increase awareness on the need to protect and rehabilitate the environment.

Meanwhile, MGen Rhoderick Parayno, the Commander of 2nd Division stressed the importance of the said undertaking.

“As much as we protect our people and our sovereignty, we also have to protect our environment for the benefit of everyone and of the coming generations,” said MGen Parayno.

DWDD: PAF release names of soldiers died in helicopter crash

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 5): PAF release names of soldiers died in helicopter crash

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) released the names of soldiers who died in the helicopter crash in Sitio Hilltop, Barangay Sampaloc in Tanay, Rizal, yesterday, May 4.

The soldiers were identified as Captain Christian Paul T Litan, Pilot-in-command, 30 years old from Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas; Staff Sergeant Byron T. Tolosa, Crew Chief, 38 years old, from Barangay Villamor, Pasay City; and Airman First Class Joseph C . De Leon, gunner, 30 years old, from Lingayen, Pangasinan.

Meanwhile, first lieutenant Ceazar M. Rinas PAF the command pilot, 27 years old, from General Trias City, Cavite got injured and now in stable condition.

PAF Commanding General, LTGen. Edgar R Fallorina AFP ordered further investigation and assessment on the said incident.

DWDD: NPA Tortures and Kills Motorcycle Driver in Bukidnon

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (May 5): NPA Tortures and Kills Motorcycle Driver in Bukidnon

bukidnon pam

New Peoples Army (NPA) tortured and killed an innocent civilian last Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in San Fernando, Bukidnon to spread fear throughout the community and the province.

Communist Terrorists tortured and killed a motorcycle (habal-habal) driver last Wednesday at Sitio Salumayag Halapitan. The victim was a certain Aldrich Luther Agbayani, 19 years of age.

According to the police reports, the victim was found hogtied lying at the grassy portion of the said place.

The AFP condemns such acts of violence perpetrated by the NPA against the civilian populace. This cowardly act is fueled by terrorism to hasten their extortion and not ideology anymore for they have grown weak and they are now desperate. Killing one would send a message to everyone, forcing the whole community to give in to their demands. (8IB, 4ID, LT BUGARIN)

MILF: Civil Society Organizations Call For Swift Creation Of NTJRCB

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 5): Civil Society Organizations Call For Swift Creation Of NTJRCB

The conveners of the National Civil Society Platform for Transitional Justice (NCSPT) issued a statement of appeal and support for the immediate creation of National Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission on the Bangsamoro (NTJRCB).

In their statement, they strongly support the immediate creation of NTJRCB as recommended by the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

Furthermore, they said that they strongly believe that under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who has vowed to address the historical injustice against the Bangsamoro and Mindanao, the golden opportunity of creating a more harmonious, peaceful, and inclusive Philippines have finally come.

The creation of NTJRCB is one of the recommendations of the TJRC cited in their report. The TJRC was created as part of the Normalization Annex of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

It was mandated to undertake a study and make recommendations with a view to promoting healing and reconciliation of the different communities that have been affected by the conflict in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

In the TJRC report, it proposed appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, to correct historical injustices, to address human rights violations and marginalization through land dispossession.

It was stated in the statement that the NTJRCB is a national mechanism that shall oversee and support the operations of its four sub-commissions, ensure the implementation or adoption of the “Transitional Justice” and “Dealing with the Past” (TJ-DwP) strategies, and promote healing and reconciliation.

“We believe that this national mechanism will develop specific initiatives to address the root causes of violence and conflict in the Bangsamoro. Consequently, it will promote accountability and rule of law, prevent impunity, and guarantee that past atrocities will not recur in the future,” NCSPT conveners said in the statement.

The NCSPT conveners believed that the proposed NTJRB will pave the way for transforming harmonious relationships among the diverse peoples in Mindanao and the rest of the country who has gone through decades of enmity and animosities toward each other.

The NCSPT is compose of different CSOs coming from the different provinces and cities of Mindanao such as Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Cotabato City, Gen. Santos City, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City and Davao City. It was formed during the TJDwP Deepening Workshop Activity facilitated by Independent Working Group on Transitional Justice-Dealing with the Past (IWG TJ-DwP) on April 23-24, 2017 held at Lispher Inn, Matina, Davao City.

NDF: Lapanday attack an act of social justice — NDFP

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (May 4): Lapanday attack an act of social justice — NDFP

NDFP Media Office
Press statement
May 4, 2017

The people deserve justice against the oppressive and exploitative practices of the local ruling classes. This was the reaction of NDFP panel chair Fidel Agcaoili to a statement by GRP panel chair Secretary Silvestre Bello III that he would confront the NDFP concerning last Saturday’s attack on Lapanday Food Corp. (LFC) in Davao City.

Agcaoili said that a statement issued on April 30 by Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command has adequately explained the reasons for the punitive action against the cruel and anti-poor landlord-comprador Lorenzo clan, owner of LFC.

Agcaoili further said that the revolutionary movement stands for peace based on justice. “It abhors the extrajudicial killings of more than 51 peasants and Lumad leaders (as of 5 May 2017) under the Duterte administration, 25 of whom were killed in the Southern Mindanao Region; the continuing attacks on communities by the military, police and paramilitary forces of the regime, including the aerial and artillery bombardments of villages that have resulted in the destruction of crops and properties; as well as the harassment, surveillance and illegal arrest and detention of civilians and activists.”

“Cornered and pushed to the wall, the people have no other recourse but to resist and seek redress for their just grievances against the violence of the repressive instruments of the state that operate with impunity against the people,” Agcaoili added. “And the New People’s Army, as the army of the oppressed and exploited, metes punishment on those who harm the masses.”

In the case of Lapanday, Sanchez said that the coordinated tactical offensives at dawn on April 29 were punitive actions to hold the Lorenzo-owned companies accountable for their numerous crimes against their lowly-paid workers and against peasants and Lumad who were dispossessed of their lands.

Among the facilities attacked by the NPA was a heavily-guarded cattle ranch and banana plantation in Barangay Pangyan, Calinan district. Sanchez said the Pangyan ranch coddles criminal elements and counter-revolutionary fanatics who are employed by the despotic Lorenzo clan to protect its anti-people business interests.

Sanchez disclosed that this was the very same ranch where retired M/Sgt. Jose Manero, chief of security for Lapanday, was arrested by NPA leader Ka Parago on May 11, 2008. As a prisoner of war of the NPA, Manero divulged the company’s numerous violations of human rights, including the killing of several banana plantation workers, in its bid to ensure huge profits and the expansion of its operations.

Another facility in Mandug, Davao City attacked by the NPA last Saturday amassed its wealth from the outright exploitation and landgrabbing of many areas around the region through sheer intimidation and displacement of poor peasants and Lumad, said Sanchez. He added that Lapanday also engaged in wanton environmental plunder as communities around its plantations complain of poisoning through the company’s unrestrained use of aerial sprays and other harmful chemicals.

More recently, LFC figured in the news after its company guards blocked agrarian reform beneficiaries from claiming their land in a Lorenzo-owned plantation in Madaum, Tagum City despite an installation order by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the presence of police escorts. Last December, company guards also shot and wounded seven of the beneficiaries who tried to occupy the land. LFC has stubbornly defied orders from both the courts and the DAR to allow farm workers to occupy land that had already been awarded to them under the agrarian reform laws of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

Agcaoili further quoted Sanchez, saying the Lapanday raid served as “just retribution” and “an act of social justice against a feudal lord and capitalist that continues to be protected by state instrumentalities, the AFP-PNP and the various Philippine governments since the 1980s.”

In a related development, Agcaoili said that the NDFP-Southern Mindanao has apologized to the family of a civilian injured during the attacks, and would provide them compensation. The NDFP-SMR explained that the civilian was positioned afar but was nonetheless injured by the shock waves and splinter from a land mine targeting reinforcing troops of Task Force Davao in Barangay Tigatto after the NPA assaulted the LFC box and plastic plants in nearby Barangay Mandug.###

Fidel Agcaoili
NDFP Panel Chairperson
Contact No. Contact no. 0919-860-4324

CPP: Celebrate Karl Marx’s 200th birth anniversary on May 5, 2018

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (May 5):
Celebrate Karl Marx’s 200th birth anniversary on May 5, 2018

Communist Party of the Philippines

5 May 2017

Workers of the whole world commemorate today the 199th birthday of Karl Marx, great teacher and communist leader. Today, the Communist Party of the Philippines calls on all Filipino workers to start a year-long commemoration and celebration of Marx’s 200th birthday on May 5, 2018.

The whole revolutionary movement must salute Karl Marx’ and Marxism’s great role in history and in the continuing world struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat and the entire humanity.

Use this celebration as an opportunity to study Marxism and use this to examine the country’s and the world’s present conditions and crises. Reproduce baooks, articles and other readings by Marx, likewise those of other great communist teachers who developed Marxism.

Regularly hold seminars, classes and discussions to study Marxism. Apply Marxism creatively to investigate, research and analyze the present national and world situation, sum up experiences and lay down the tasks of the working class in advancing socialist revolution across different parts of the world.
This celebration is of great relevance to the working class. This is an opportunity to raise the torch of Marxism in order to bring to light and extricate the roots one of the world capitalist system’s worst and longest crisis and the continuing decay of semicolonial and semifeudal countries such as the Philippines.

Marx is the most important teacher of the working class. He created the Marxist theory that shook the foundations of the capitalist world and initiated a new epoch in revolutionary history. He gave birth to materialist dialectics and used this to study history and follow the development of social systems and the history of class struggle. He studied the foundation of the capitalist system and provided a scientific basis to the proletariat’s aspiration for freedom from capitalist exploitation.

In his time, Marx participated in arousing, organizing and advancing the workers movement in different countries in Europe. While in Belgium, he helped found the Communist League in 1847. Because of his revolutionary activities, Marx became one of the most hated by the bourgeoisie. Governments–Germany, Belgium at France–deported him from their territories. On the other hand, he was beloved and revered by millions of revolutionary fellow workers–from the mines of Siberia to California, in all parts of Europe and America.

Marx declared in 1845: “philosophers have hitherto tried to interpret the world. The point, however, is to change it.” Despite persecution by different states, Marx founded the International Workingmen’s Association (the First Internationale) in 1864 that made way for an unprecedented growth in breadth and strength in all countries of the world and the creation of socialist labor parties in individual national states.

The Communist Manifesto which he co-wrote with Frederick Engels in 1848 became the guide of communist movements all over the world. The Manifesto outlined the world– historic role of the proletariat as creators of the new communist society. It was here that he first declared the now-famous call: “Workers of all countries, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!”