Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recapture of Dansalan College a major blow to Maute terrorists

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 6): Recapture of Dansalan College a major blow to Maute terrorists

The recapture of Dansalan College from the hands of the Maute Group terrorists early this week means that lawless elements are now losing their grip on Marawi City.

This is because the school, which was captured by the terrorists early in the May 23 attack, is located in an elevated area and overlooks the surrounding areas making it ideal for sniper nests.

"Dansalan College is a strategic area (as) it sits on an elevated area and has a good vantage point and it has a lot of (well built and tall) buildings that are defensible (thus making its recapture a neccesity in the ongoing campaign)," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla during Wednesday's "Mindanao Hour" briefing.

He added that troops tasked for its recapture make careful preparations for its recapture as its strategic location made it very difficult for attacking troops to sneak in unseen.

However, efforts of government troops proved successful as they were able capture the facility and recover a .50 caliber machine gun and 14 other high-powered weapons aside from seeing the remains three fallen Maute Group terrorists.

Efforts are ongoing to clear the various buildings of possible improvised explosive devices and mines laid by the beaten enemy.

"Initially, they said it was (the) remains or that could be the remains of the foreign fighters and allegedly a Singaporean but we don’t have yet enough proof to validate the information and we’re working to do that along with the police," Padilla stressed.

As of Wednesday, the number of terrorists killed is placed at 343 along with 85 government troops and 44 civilians executed.

Number of captured firearms is placed at 420 and rescued civilians at 1,722.

Blast rocks Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): Blast rocks Maguindanao

A powerful improvised explosive device (IED) meant for military and police on patrol went off Tuesday morning.

Nobody was hurt in the roadside blast but it scared the villagers,” Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, director of the Maguindanao police, said of the bomb that exploded at around 8 a.m., a few minutes after a police and Army convoy passed by Barangay Kauran here.

Tello believed the IED was meant for military and police vehicles that regularly patrol portions of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos Highway since Martial Law was declared on May 23.

Police blamed the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for the roadside bombing.

Police and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division are closely watching the activities of the BIFF following reports that about 60 jihadists, both foreign and local, were sighted in the remote communities of Maguindanao.

Troops overrun Maute, ASG base in Marawi

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Troops overrun Maute, ASG base in Marawi

The Joint Task Force Marawi on Wednesday announced that it successfully overran and took control of another strong point of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups (ASGs) in the “main battle area” in Marawi City.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander, said overran on Tuesday was the Dansalan College, which is one of the strongholds of the joint Maute group and ASG.

Bautista described the school as host to some high rise structures that serve as machine gun nest and snipers' vantage position of terror groups.

The Dansalan College is one of the establishments the Maute and ASG members have occupied and partially burned in the early part of the crisis.

The school is where the Maute brothers--Abdulla and Omar--had their earlier education.

The troops recovered caliber .50 heavy machinegun and 14 other high-powered firearms as they wrest control of the Dansalan College.

“Soldiers are gradually taking over terrorist-held structures as enemy strong points fall one by one to government forces,” the Joint Task Force Marawi said in a statement.

Bautista said the recovery of the high-powered firearms brought to 410 the total number of firearms recovered by operating troops in the clearing operations within the main battle area.

He said the troops also recovered a cadaver of a foreign looking individual and is believed that it is one of the reported fighters from Singapore.

A total of 11 suspected foreign fighters have been reportedly killed so far since the start of the fighting on May 23.

“It will just be a matter of time that our soldiers will fully liberate Marawi from terrorists and criminal gangs who brought mayhem to the city. We owe this to our Maranao brothers and sisters. Our soldiers fully know what is at stake and we will strive together to neutralize these criminals in order to bring peace and normalcy in Marawi,” Bautista said.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,717 trapped civilians have so far been rescued by government forces together with civilian counterparts.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, emphasized that the clearing operations put utmost consideration on the safety of trapped civilians.

It is believed that there are about 300 to 500 civilians still trapped in the conflict area.

3 suspected Mautes arrested in Oro

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): 3 suspected Mautes arrested in Oro

Police arrested three people believed to have ties to the dreaded Maute terrorist group following a raid on a house here Wednesday, July 5.

Philippine National Police (PNP) 10 spokesperson Supt. Lemuel Gonda identified the arrested suspects as Gazim Mantawazi Abdullah, Monaliza Solaiman Romato, and Tahera Romato Taher.

They were arrested inside the house rented by Irene Romato-Idris in Barangay Macasandig at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Irene Romato-Idris was not in the house when agents belonging to the Martial Law Special Action Group (MSLAG) raided it, though she was identified as a distant relative of Ominta “Farhana” Romato-Maute.

Farhana, who was arrested last month, is mother to Maute group leaders Omarkhayam and Abdullah and was identified by authorities as her sons’ financiers.

Wednesday's arrest was made by virtue of a search warrant issued by Judge Dennis Alcantar, the executive judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 18 here. Macasandig village councilors Mario Bolanio and Eric Waban acted as witnesses during the raid.

Seized from the raided house were the following items: four pieces M203 grenade (40 millimeter high explosive), a blasting cap, a 9-volt battery with battery holder, a piece of C4 explosive, eight pieces detonating cords, 19 pieces 100-watt incandescent bulbs, a jungle knife, and plastic bag and plastic bottle containing suspected ammonium nitrate.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police, said it was possible the seized items were used in making improvised explosive device.

Insp. Hortillosa said Idris has assumed the position of Farhana as the group’s financier when the latter was arrested as she was trying to escape in Lanao del Sur last month.

Hortillosa said Idris and the three suspects are also allegedly involved in the operations of the Maute group, and that this was confirmed through the confession of Maute members who were arrested in Cagayan de Oro and Iloilo recently.

Mohammad Noaim Maute, alias Abu Jadid and Alfaiz Mamintal was nabbed in a house he rented in Barangay Macasandig, this city, on June 15. He is believed to be a bomb expert.

Three other suspected members of the terrorist group were apprehended in Iloilo on June 18.

Hortillosa said the newly arrested suspects will be charged with rebellion and illegal possession of explosives. They are presently detained at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headquarters.

Based on the testimonies of several witnesses, Hortillosa said Monaliza and Tahera are involved in the intelligence gathering and acted as liaison officers for the group.

With the help of the Abu Sayyaf Group, Maute members are fighting the government troops in Marawi City for more than a month now.

Maute has pledged allegiance to the Middle East-based terrorist organization Islamic State or Daesh. The local terrorist group is planning to control Mindanao and make it a province of the Islamic State.

MLSAG is composed of police officers from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 10 team, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and 4th Infantry Division Military Intelligence Battalion.

Abu Sayyaf beheads 2 Vietnamese sailors

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Abu Sayyaf beheads 2 Vietnamese sailors

Residents in Sumisip, Basilan province were horrified when they discovered early Wednesday the decapitated remains of two of the remaining five abducted Vietnamese sailors.

“The bodies were found at around 5:40 a.m. by a resident in the area,” said Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan.

He said the cadavers were “left by unknown perpetrators” in the village of Tumahubong, Sumisip town.

Uy identified the remains as those of Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai, both crew members of the Vietnamese bulk carrier, M/V Royal 16.

The two slain sailors were among the six crewmen the Abu Sayyaf bandits seized when they hijacked the bulk carrier on November 11, 2016 in the seawater of Sibago Island, Basilan province.

Of the six crewmen, three remain in captivity as one of their companion, Hoang Vo, 28, managed to escape last month at the height of a military air strike.

Among the three still in captivity is Pham Minh Turn, the master of M/V Royal 16.

“The cadavers will be made to undergo forensic exams as coordination with the Vietnamese embassy,” Uy said.

It is believed that the members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were behind the beheading of the two Vietnamese sailors. The group is known to behead captives for years.

But Uy said they are still “getting information on the details of the incident (beheading).”

“We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of another kidnap victims in Basilan province. For months now, many sectors in the society, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) exhausted all efforts to rescue these kidnap victims who are still in the hands of the ASG,” Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said.

“Westmincom commiserates with the bereaved family and friends of the slain victims. In no way does the Abu Sayyaf Group represent our Muslim brothers who are true followers of the Islam,” Galvez said.

6 BIFF men captured

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): 6 BIFF men captured

Elements of the 33rd Infantry “Makabayan” Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, on Wednesday arrested six Moro militants whose group has pledged allegiance to the ISIS, following a brief firefight in Barangay Mangadeg here, the Army said.

Cabunoc, commander of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, said his group proceeded to Barangay Mangadeg, aided by local and community officials in the hideout of heavily armed members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

As they approached the village at past 5 a.m., they were fired upon by the gunmen. A brief firefight ensued until the gunmen waved a white cloth, signaling surrender.

No casualties were reported on both sides.

Cabunoc said the suspects peacefully yielded after sensing their hideout was surrounded by government forces backed by armored personnel carriers.

During interrogation, the six gunmen, identified as Bastun Baguil, Mulawan Lagala, Agila Yusoph, Muslimin Lumenda, Macalam Salabah, and Delamex Lumnah were turned over to the Datu Paglas local police.

They admitted to Cabunoc that they belonged to the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and that they have pledged allegiance to the ISIS flag.

Cabunoc said the armed men were part of a bigger BIFF group that operates in the marshland of Maguindanao and believed to be behind the series of attacks in the towns in North Cotabato near the wetlands.

Seeized from them were two .50-caliber Barret sniper rifles, an M-60 machine gun, a B-40 anti-tank rocket launcher, an M14 rifle and an M16 rifle.

Cabunoc said the operation against the BIFF was coordinated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) through the ceasefire panel.

Australia starts ISR assistance for Marawi tiff

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): Australia starts ISR assistance for Marawi tiff

Australian intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assistance to Filipino forces engaged in clearing Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City has formally started last June 30.

This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana at the sidelights of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) meeting at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

"(ISR flights of the Australian AP-3Cs 'Orion') started last Friday and it will be here for two weeks," he said in Filipino.

Earlier, the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) pledged the use of two AP-3Cs to help the Philippines in its ongoing anti-terror operations in Marawi City.

Lorenzana said the two planes will be relieving each other as they conduct ISR missions in support of Philippine troops.

The DND chief said the AP-3Cs, along with their Australian crew, will be also carrying Filipino pilots and technicians, who will be tasked to relay the information and images they obtained via overflights, to Philippine ground units in Zamboanga who will then forward it to troops engaged in Marawi City.

Lorenzana also said the Australian aircraft can operate for stretches of 24 hours, ensuring constant coverage of Marawi City.

Fighting with the Maute Group terrorists started shortly after attempts by the military to apprehend Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a staunch ally of the lawless elements, last May 23.

As of this posting, the number of Maute Group terrorists neutralized is placed at 337 with 82 government troops killed and 44 civilians executed.

“With these AP-3Cs from the ADF, our troops can benefit from enhanced airborne surveillance of the area any time of the day thereby improving operations on the ground," the DND chief earlier said.

The Philippines and Australia have an extensive Defense Cooperation Program that provides the mechanisms for military support, intelligence sharing, and people to people exchanges.

“In the fight against global terror, we need to act as a community of nations. Any help and support we can get from our friends and allies will always be welcome,” Lorenzana said.

Attacks in other cities by terror group unlikely — DND chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): Attacks in other cities by terror group unlikely — DND chief

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said it is very unlikely that lawless elements, allied to the Maute Group terrorists now being neutralized in Marawi City, can conduct a similar attack in another city in the region.

He made this statement during the sidelights of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

Lorenzana said he seriously doubted this claim as the Maute Group was able to conduct its attacks in Marawi City due to the presence of their numerous relatives and supporters.

"They (Maute Group) have a lot of relatives there and the culture (in the area) is to help your family. Now if you are looking (to conduct attacks) at Cotabato City, Iligan or even in Jolo, and Basilan, they will have a hard time because these areas are not their bailiwick," he added in Filipino.

Fighting with the Maute Group terrorists started shortly after attempts by the military to apprehend Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a staunch ally of the lawless elements, last May 23.

As of this posting, the number of Maute Group terrorists neutralized is placed at 337 with 82 government troops killed and 44 civilians executed.

DND chief confirms acquisition of rockets, other munition from US

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): DND chief confirms acquisition of rockets, other munition from US

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that a Philippine Air Force C-130 "Hercules" cargo plane flew to the US to acquire rockets and munitions needed to replenish its stockpile.

"Those munitions are intended for (the use of attack) aircraft," he confirmed during the sidelights of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting which was held at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

Lorenzana said these weapons were carried to the country by the above-mentioned cargo plane last July 1.

The PAF C-130 left the country for its replenishment mission late June.

The weapons were acquired from Tucson, Arizona.

The DND chief clarified that the munitions have been acquired even before the Marawi City crisis and is intended to augment the country's munition stockpile which is now being used heavily in the ongoing efforts to neutralize remaining Maute Group remnants.

Philippine aircraft currently engaged in the Marawi City include the venerable Rockwell OV-10 "Bronco" attack aircraft, the brand-new FA-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft, SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 light attack plane and the AgustaWestland AW-109 and MG-520 attack helicopters.

AFP lauds SC ruling on Martial Law in Mindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 4): AFP lauds SC ruling on Martial Law in Mindanao

The entire military is thankful for the Supreme Court (SC)'s decision which ruled in favor of President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration to place the entire Mindanao region under Martial Law in wake of the Marawi City crisis.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is very glad and expresses its appreciation to the SC for the favorable ruling which is supportive of Martial Law in Mindanao. The AFP takes this as a vote of confidence that we are doing what is right and what is necessary for the restoration of the rule of law, peace and order in the whole island," said AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año on Tuesday.

Voting 11-3-1, the SC upheld the President's decision, which was supposedly based on the need to quell a rebellion in Marawi City.

Martial Law in Mindanao was declared by Duterte, nighttime of May 23, the very day the Maute Group attacked Marawi City.

"We remain committed to our mandate to protect our people and the integrity and sovereignty of our country," he said.

And while admitting that the mission is not yet over, the AFP chief assured the public that the entire military is focused and determined to carry on the fight till peace and order in Mindanao is fully restored and the liberation of Marawi from terrorists is achieved at the soonest time possible.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, for his part, said he is happy with the SC decision regarding Martial Law in Mindanao.

With this ruling, he said they can take the necessary steps to do their job.

"Personally, I'm happy that the Supreme Court find... it has legal basis so that we can continue our job properly until the end of martial law which is up to July 23, 2017," Lorenzana said.

Army troops hurt in Marawi, Mindanao battles get 'Wounded Personnel Medal'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): 35 Army troops hurt in Marawi, Mindanao battles get 'Wounded Personnel Medal'

The Philippine Army (PA) has given "Wounded Personnel Medal" (WPM) to 35 troops who were wounded-in-action in various encounters in Marawi City and Mindanao.

In a statement Wednesday, PA spokesperson Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson said the WPMs were personally handed by Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda during short ceremonies at the Army General Hospital in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Monday.

“The Wounded Personnel Medal is not just given to you because you have survived a fierce battle. The award also reminds all of us of the high price that soldiers have to pay in order for our countrymen to continue living in peace and enjoying their freedom," the PA chief was quoted as saying.

Thirty two of the troops were wounded in the ongoing anti-terrorist operations Marawi City and the remaining were hurt battling lawless elements in Mindanao, he added.

"The Army leadership is proud to congratulate the recipients of the award. This manifests the bravery, professionalism and heroism of the soldiers who continue to be a source of national pride," Tiongson added.

He added the PA also extended its gratitude to all its personnel in Marawi City and all over the country who continue to risk their lives to achieve just and lasting peace and stability for the country.

Fighting in Marawi City started when government security forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and ISIS "Emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.

DND chief wants emergency procurement for Marawi rehab

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): DND chief wants emergency procurement for Marawi rehab

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is hoping that pertinent government agencies will allow them to conduct emergency procurement for the planned rehabilitation of Maute Group-ravaged Marawi City.

He made this statement during the sidelights of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting which was held at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.

"Well, we are hoping that they will allow us to do emergency procurement as if we follow (the) normal procurement process, it will be very time-consuming," Lorenzana pointed out in Filipino.

The DND chief stressed that he wants rehabilitation work to proceed immediately once the conflict in the city ends.

"Once the fighting stops, I would like to start tte rehabilitation immediately and then, all the bulldozers, and other equipment we need, the (building materials), the cement, steel bars, galvanized sheets (must be readily available) along with the laborers," he added.

Earlier, Lorenzana said exact damages sustained by Marawi City in the ongoing fighting with Maute Group remnants will be known next week.

"(Exact magnitude of the destruction) and how much money (needed for the rehabilitation) will be determine once post-conflict assessment next week," he added.

Lorenzana said that agencies involved in this phase include the Department of Energy, various engineering brigades of the military, and Local Water Utilities Administration

And only once these organizations have completed their report can only a complete picture and cost of the devastation will be known, the DND chief added.

But Lorenzana said that damage seems to be confined in Marawi City's Banggolo Commercial District where the remaining Maute Group terrorists have holed up.

"The peripheries (of Marawi City) seemed to lightly damage (compared to Banggolo which is subject to bombing and other heavy attacks)," he disclosed.

Fighting with the Maute Group terrorists started shortly after attempts by the military to apprehend Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a staunch ally of the lawless elements, last May 23.

US transfers 12 Ford F-550 trucks to AFP - NAVSOG

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): US transfers 12 Ford F-550 trucks to AFP - NAVSOG

The United States has transferred 12 Ford F-550 trucks to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) during a ceremony at Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite.

Present at the ceremony last June 29, 2017 were representatives from the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group, as well as Capt. Alfonspin P. Tumanda Jr. and Cmdr. Jim P. Razo, the Commander and Deputy Commander of Philippine NAVSOG, respectively.

These trucks will help ease the mobility of the NAVSOG units spread throughout the Philippines including units located in Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga, and Davao, a US Embassy in Manila statement said.

They will also aid in the transport and deployment to critical areas of rigid-hulled inflatable boats that were previously delivered by the U.S. to the AFP, it added.

The statement further said through a variety of assistance packages over the past three years, the U.S. has provided the Philippines with over USD200 million of grant assistance to assist our partner forces in building the required capabilities for success. (US Embassy-PR)

PACANGEL 17 delivers humanitarian assistance, training in PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): PACANGEL 17 delivers humanitarian assistance, training in PH

Over the course of 10 days, more than 100 active duty U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Nevada Air National Guard, and five other Pacific nations delivered humanitarian assistance and performed subject matter expert exchanges with their partners in the Philippines during Pacific Angel 2017(PACANGEL).

A statement from the US Embassy in Manila said PACANGEL team members from the Philippines, U.S., Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia worked in conjunction with local non-governmental organizations to conduct subject matter expert exchanges, complete electrical, plumbing and infrastructure repair projects, and provide dental, optometric, pediatric and general health care to the people of Northern Cebu Province.

“It has been an honor being here in the Philippines and working with the community and our multi-lateral partners,” said Lt. Col. Edward Khim, PACANGEL Philippines mission commander. “Not only were we able to provide structural repairs at seven different sites, but our doctors saw a record-breaking number of patients. At the end of the day though, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about building partnerships and learning from each other.”

PACANGEL doctors and technicians were able to see more than 6,000 patients throughout the five days of health services outreach.

While PACANGEL events in the Philippines are now complete, Pacific Angel 2017 will continue in three other locations; Tam Ky, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam; Northern and Western Divisions, Fiji; and Gorkha, Nepal. (US Embassy-PR)

Military vows intensified manhunt against Maute rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Military vows intensified manhunt against Maute rebels

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday assured that its members are striving to hunt down individuals involved in the ongoing rebellion in Marawi City.

“We are doing our best to locate all these individuals in the arrest orders,” AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañan.

Padilla said most of the arrested individuals have already been charged in court. He also noted that several arrests have been made recently.

“So the manhunt is continuous. It does not involve the areas of Mindanao only, it is also all over the archipelago,” he said.

The AFP official said all the piers, ports, and airports are guarded by security forces and identities of personnel are strictly checked.

At the same time, Padilla called on the public to inform government authorities on information about individuals who may be supportive of the rebellion.

Padilla said the progress of military’s operations in the Marawi City remain “very positive.”

He, however, noted that challenges for the government troops includes their fight to retake many of the buildings in the remaining four barangays.

“And that is why our troops continually are engaged the whole day as they make their way inside the interior areas of these barangays,” he said.

Early recovery phase

Padilla said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who heads the Task Force Bangon Marawi, met on Tuesday the full council of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and discussed the need to start the early recovery of Marawi City.

“It was considered and it was agreed to that an early recovery phase would be conducted. And the early recovery phase involves helping those evacuees who are now in temporary shelters relocated to a resettlement area that would more or less provide better conditions for their stay,” the AFP Spokesperson said.

He said the national, provincial and the local government gave assurance that the preparation of the ground area for the selected resettlement area for our evacuees has already started.

According to Padilla, the area has been selected and the ground works will be starting this week.

During the same briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Director Omar Alexander Romero said the government troops have recovered Dansalan College, a former stronghold of the Maute group.

As of July 3, PHP2,911,540.98 has been donated for government casualties while PHP717,530.71 for internally displaced persons.

There have also been 1,722 civilians rescued while 39 civilians and 85 government troops have been killed by terrorists.

Government forces have killed 343 terrorists and recovered 420 high-powered firearms.

8 more senior police officers promoted to one-star rank

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): 8 more senior police officers promoted to one-star rank

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the promotion of eight more senior police officers to star rank.

This was bared by PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos in a statement Wednesday.

"The Chief Executive approved the new promotions on June 28, 2017 upon the endorsement of PNP Chief, Director General Ronald M. Dela Rosa and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) based on the recommendation of the PNP Senior Officers’ Placement and Promotion Board (SOPPB)," he added.

Dela Rosa formally administered the oath of office to the newly-promoted chief superintendents (equivalent to brigadier general) during simple induction ceremonies in PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City Wednesday,

These newly-promoted officers are:

- Chief Supt.Joseph C. Adnol of Police Regional Office 10

- Chief Supt. Alfredo C. Valdez of Directorate for Operations

- Chief Supt. Ramon L. Rafael of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)

- Chief Supt. Israel Ephraim T. Dickson of Police Regional Office 4A

- Chief Supt. Gerardo M. Rosales of Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development (DHRDD)

- Chief Supt. Graciano J. Mijares of PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG)

- Chief Supt. Froilan F. Quidilla of Police Regional Office 4B (MIMAROPA)

- Chief Supt. Edgardo G. Pamittan of Directorate for Integrated Police Operations – Northern Luzon (DIPO-NL).

Beheading of Vietnamese sailors a propaganda ploy — AFP

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Beheading of Vietnamese sailors a propaganda ploy — AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said the beheading of two Vietnamese hostages by the Abu Sayyaf is a propaganda ploy by the terrorist group to project strength amid heightened military operations that "tremendously degraded their capacity."

“This (beheading) is a show of force although they are not that strong anymore. In short, it is propaganda,” said AFP Spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. at the Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang.

Earlier, the military confirmed that the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) had beheaded two Vietnamese nationals that they have held hostage for almost eight months.

The Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) identified the victims as Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai, two of six crew members of a ship kidnapped by the ASG in waters off Basilan in November last year.

The military said that residents found their bodies in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip town at around 5:40 a.m. Wednesday.

Padilla said the ASG killed the hostages because the bandit group could not cash in on them due to the government’s no-ransom policy.

“But just the same, the pressure that the ASG is experiencing, particularly the group of Furiji Indama in the island of Basilan from the forces that we have there is a positive indication that their forces are almost spent,” he said.

“The many months that we have not heard of any abductions in the seas around Zamboanga, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi area is an indication that their capacity to perform or do these criminal activities has been degraded tremendously. And we would like to keep it that way,” Padilla said.

After arresting the series of abductions, the military official said the objective of the AFP in the area are now two-fold.

“One is to continue the focused military operations to continuously degrade and reduce the number of armed groups in Basilan, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi and nearby areas. The other is to continue improving relations with the community to remove local support for the ASG,” Padilla said.

He said the second objective is important since the ASG distribute part of the ransom they receive to the local community ala Robin Hood.

“So the loyalty of the populace and the residents in the area is always bought because of this. And now that they have seen that this is not sustainable and this is not the right thing to do, we have been getting a lot of information regarding whereabouts of armed men,” he said.

“The change of mindset of our residents in the area coupled with the fact that the number of increasing members of ASG surrendering is proof that our relationship with the community is bearing fruit,” Padilla said.

According to the Wesmincom, 97 Abu Sayyaf members were killed in military operations in Western Mindanao, where the group is largely based, since the start of the year.

In the same period, 67 others were arrested while 98 have surrendered.

SC decision boosts morale of soldiers, police — Andanar

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): SC decision boosts morale of soldiers, police — Andanar

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Wednesday said the Supreme Court (SC) ruling upholding the constitutionality of the martial law declaration in Mindanao has boosted the morale of soldiers and police fighting the IS-inspired terrorist Maute group in Marawi City.

“The (SC) decision on martial law really gives a morale boost to our soldiers and policemen because finally, all three co-equal branches of government -- executive, legislative and judiciary -- have approved the declaration,” he said during an interview at the sidelines of the media launch of the Presidential Museum and Library Online Exhibition in Malacañang.

“President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and it was approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Judiciary. So it has already gone full circle. It was completely validated,” Andanar said.

Duterte, through Proclamation 216, placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on the night of May 23 following an attack by the Maute terror group in Marawi City.

The following day, the Palace formally transmitted to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez the declaration placing Mindanao under martial law.

On May 25, the President’s written report citing the basis for declaring martial law in Mindanao was received by Senate President Koko Pimentel.

Shortly after, majority of members of both chambers of Congress approved the declaration.

Last Monday, the declaration was affirmed by the Supreme Court with 11 magistrates voting in favor of martial law, three voting that martial law should be limited only to Marawi City and one justice saying martial law has no factual basis.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has welcomed and lauded the SC ruling.

"The AFP is very glad and expresses its appreciation to the SC for the favorable ruling which is supportive of Martial Law in Mindanao. The AFP takes this as a vote of confidence that we are doing what is right and what is necessary for the restoration of the rule of law, peace and order in the whole island," AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said Tuesday.

Dela Rosa doubts SAF men involved in NBP drug trade

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): Dela Rosa doubts SAF men involved in NBP drug trade

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa still trusts the Special Action Force (SAF) commandos despite their alleged involvement in the hard drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa.

He made this statement Wednesday even as Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitalliano Aquirre II said he will order an investigation on the the SAF members who may have been involved in the resurgence of hard drugs trade inside the penitentiary.

But despite his belief at the trustworthiness of his police officers, Dela Rosa said the PNP's Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management and Directorate for Intelligence is now looking into the accusations leveled against the SAF men.

He added that he will mete appropriate sanctions against the SAF personnel should investigations find out of their alleged involvement.

An estimated 300 SAF personnel were deployed at the NBP last year, replacing the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) security officers assigned there.

The SAF personnel were supposed to have a tour-of-duty of only three to six months and will be replaced by members of the Philippine Marine Corps but this did not take place as the latter unit is still involved in the ongoing fight against Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

AFP foils Maute Group attack in CDO with arrest of 2 terror sympathizers

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 5): AFP foils Maute Group attack in CDO with arrest of 2 terror sympathizers

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced it has foiled a possible bombing attack by Maute Group terrorists in Cagayan De Oro City with the arrest of two perpetrators and recovery of several explosive-making materials Wednesday.

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said that among those arrested was Monaliza Solaiman Romato, also known as "Monay", niece and reportedly the replacement of Maute matriarch and finance head Ominta "Farhana" Romato Maute who was arrested last month.

Romato was arrested with Tahera Taher during the 4:30 a.m. operations in a house along Aluba, Barangay Macasandig.

Seized from the house were four M-203 rifle grenades, a blasting cap, 9-volt battery, a piece of C4 explosive, detonating cords, 19 piece of 100-watt incandescent bulbs, a jungle knife, and suspected ammonium nitrate.

Padilla said the successful arrest of the two and recovery of explosive items prevented a Maute Group inspired bombing attack in Cagayan De Oro and other nearby areas.

Romato's arrest came almost a month after Mohammad Noaim Maute alias "Abu Jadid," an alleged bomber of the Maute group, was apprehended in Cagayan De Oro last June 15.

No explosives were found in the suspect's location and investigations later learned that Maute Group members often store their explosives in locations where their womenfolks are staying.

DWDD: Multi Sectoral Advisory Group Assess EMC Martial Law Implementation

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Jul 3): Multi Sectoral Advisory Group Assess EMC Martial Law Implementation


NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The Multi Sectoral Advisory Group for Martial Law Implementation in Eastern Mindanao met on June 30, 2017 at the Headquarters Eastern Mindanao Command Conference Room, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan Davao City to assess the ongoing implementation of Martial Law.

 Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) reported to the members of the adhoc oversight body that the EMC has been able to effectively address the possible spillover of the Marawi Crisis in its AOR . This was largely attributed to the tightened security measures that are being implemented.

 As of June 30, 2017, 17,494 checkpoint operations have been conducted resulting to the apprehension of 31 violators, and confiscation of 15 firearms. Curfews were also implemented in 129 cities and municipalities in coordination with the LGUs. In addition, 1,742 security/vicinity patrols were likewise conducted to secure vital installations, critical infrastructures and places of convergence such as churches, malls and mosques. These were complemented by 54 maritime patrols in the coastal areas in the AOR. The Command also intensified intelligence coverage of threat groups and enhanced Intel fusion among agencies.

 Likewise, Martial Law Special Action Groups were activated to effect arrest of persons included in the arrest order issued by the Martial Law Administrator. As of June 30, 2017, 16 terrorists and supporters were already arrested in Davao City, Cagayan De Oro City and General Santos City.

 On the humanitarian aspect, 17,224 IDPS were accommodated in various cities and municipalities in Eastern Mindanao. Further, the command also facilitated the transport and delivery of relief assistance to various evacuation centers in Iligan City and other parts of Lanao Del Sur.

 To sustain the prevailing peace and order situation in Eastern Mindanao, the Command reported the following innovations:

 Strengthening of maritime security and enhancement of the two border crossing stations in Eastern Mindanao; one in Cape San Agustin, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental and the other, in Balut Island, Sarangani, Davao Occidental. This is being done in coordination with other agencies such as BI, PCG, BOC, PNP, LGUs and other concerned entities.

 Organization of counter terrorist Task Forces in major cities similar to Task Force Davao in Davao City and Joint Task Force Gensan in General Santos City. Recently, the Command activated Task Force Oro in Cagayan De Oro and Task Force Tagum in Tagum City.

 Initiated various fora to counter violent extremism in coordination with the academe, and other Civil Society Organizations.

 Information and situation briefing with different organizations such as business, youth, etc.

During the MSAG discussion, the body unanimously recognized the adherence by the troops to the rule of law and the courtesy shown by soldiers manning checkpoints.

“While there were very minor comments about some of the troops conducting checkpoint which can be attributed to environmental factor, we found the implementation generally lawfull”, Mr Antonio Dela Cruz from Davao Chamber of Commerce stated.

 It was further suggested that the guidelines crafted by the Commands Legal Team with inputs from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Ateneo De Davao Law School should be shared with the Philippine National Police.

 Looking beyond Martial Law, the group discussed on how to prevent another Crisis similar to that of Marawi from happening in the future. The body came up with a recommendation for the Eastmincom to include in their peace advocacy, both internal and external audience, awareness on violent extremism. Members of the MSAG who have vast knowledge, studies, research and experience on the matter are willing to share their expertise in crafting a module.

DWDD: Maute logistics supporters arrested

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Jul 5): Maute logistics supporters arrested


NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Martial Law Special Action Group (MLSAG) of 4ID apprehended three suspected members of Maute Group in Brgy. Macasandig, Cagayan De Oro City in a search, arrest and seizure operation 4:30 AM of July 5, 2017.

Armed with Search Warrant issued by Hon. Dennis Z. Alcantar, Executive Judge, Branch 18 of Cagayan De Oro City, the group, accompanied by two Barangay Kagawad searched the house rented by a certain Irene Romato Idris at Residencia Apartment, Aluba, Brgy. Macasandig, Cagayan De Oro City that led to the apprehension of:

1. Gazim Mantawazi Abdullah

2. Monaliza Solaiman Romato

3. Tahera Romato Taher

Upon apprehending the suspects, the searching group also seized the following ammunition, explosives and IED components:

1. 4 pcs of M203 grenade (40mm HE)

2. 1 pcs blasting cap

3. 9 volts battery w/ battery holder

4. One pc c4 explosive

5. 8 pcs detonating cord

6. 19 pcs 100watts incandescent bulb

7. 1 pc jungle knife

8. Suspected ammonium nitrate placed inside a plastic bag

9. Suspected ammonium nitrate (color red) placed inside a plastic bottle

The three suspects and the seized items were immediately brought to CIDG 10 for proper filling of case and proper disposition.

According to reports, Monaliza Romato @Monay replaced her aunt Farhana Romato Maute, the Matriarch of the Maute Clan with mother of Maute Terrorist Group leaders Omar and Abdullah after her arrest in Lanao del Sur area. She is providing financial and logistical support to the Maute Terrorist group and her house in Cagayan De Oro served as a sanctuary and transit point for Maute terrorist members.

Alias Monay is also the mother of a certain @Colingling who serves as Intel/Liaison of the Maute Terrorist Group in CDO. She also provided sanctuary to Farida Romato, Al Majid Romato and Al Jadid Romato, members of the Maute Terrorist Group, during their stay in the City prior to their arrest in Iloilo Port last June 18, 2017.

Her link with Maute was likewise traced to Mohammad Noaim Maute @Abu Jadid/Majid, a trained Maute terrorist bomber tasked to conduct bombing in Cagayan de Oro City during the previous RAMADAN when she supported her stay in the City.

This effort is part of the continuous tracking and monitoring being implemented by EMC’s units against the personalities listed in the Arrest Order, to prevent terroristic activities to be carried out in Eastern Mindanao.

The arrest prevented the Maute of staging diversionary attacks in Northern Mindanao and will adversely affect the logistics support network of the group.

MILF: GPH, MILF Sign Protocol Of Cooperation And Coordination In Addressing Illegal Drugs Problem In The ARMM

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jul 2): GPH, MILF Sign Protocol Of Cooperation And Coordination In Addressing Illegal Drugs Problem In The ARMM

Atty. Abdul Dataya (L), chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel’s counterpart in the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (MILF-AHJAG), Isidro Lapeña, Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Catalino Cuy (r), Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government, sign the “Protocol of Cooperation on Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations and Related Activities in MILF Areas/Communities” on Friday, 30 June 2017 in Hotel Elena, Davao City. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

A report posted online by the Manila Bulletin on July 01 said that ”The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a protocol on Friday, June 30 at Hotel Elena, Davao City that sets the “cooperation and coordination mechanisms” between government and MILF forces in addressing the drug problem in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and some parts outside this region.
The said “Protocol of Cooperation on Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations and Related Activities in MILF Areas/Communities” was signed by Isidro Lapeña, Director General of Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and DILG Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy on the part of the GPH, and Atty. Abdul Dataya, Chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panel’s counterpart in the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (MILF-AHJAG).

MILF CCCH Chair Butch Malang was also present during the historic signing.

Cuy described the signing of the protocol between the two parties as a manifestation of a yearlong series of meetings how both parties can work together in clearing the Bangsamoro communities of drugs, said the Manila Bulletin report.

He said the GPH and MILF acknowledged the enormity of the drug problem in the country and that the areas controlled by the MILF “are not exempted.”

He said the protocol would provide procedures and integrate efforts of both parties during anti-illegal drug operations.

The document consisting 15-pages says that the MILF recognized the ill effects of illegal drugs and the rampant trading of shabu in the Bangsamoro and declared “the use, sale and proliferation of shabu as ‘haram’ and prohibited in Islam.”

Among others, the protocol applies to anti-illegal drug operations and other related anti-illegal drug efforts that would be conducted jointly by the government and MILF forces, the Manila Bulletin also said in its report.

It also aims to integrate efforts, provide procedures and clearly “define the roles of GPH and MILF in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations and related activities in MILF areas through ceasefire agreement with the end goal of filing drug cases against arrested drug personalities.”

It also provides that the government agencies that would conduct anti-illegal drug operations in MILF areas “shall inform not less than 24 hours prior to the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations, the GPH-AHJAG (government-Ad Hoc Joint Action Group).“

The Joint AHJAG “shall then inform the GPH-MILF CCCH (Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities in order to avoid misencounter between the GPH and MILF forces.”

The protocol also provides the general guidelines, operational procedures, and implementation of search warrant.

Chief Supt. Pierre R. Bucsit, Chairman-GPH AHJAG, said he believes the coordination between the police and the MILF would become “smooth sailing” with the signing of the protocol.

“The coordination will be smooth sailing when it comes to law enforcement operations. Today is another milestone between government and MILF,” he said.

MILF: “Pres. Duterte To Send BBL Draft To Congress”: Sec. Dureza

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jul 2): “Pres. Duterte To Send BBL Draft To Congress”: Sec. Dureza

President Duterte may no longer review and instead directly send to Congress the proposed law that would create a new Bangsamoro entity, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza told ANC in an interview on Thursday, June 29.
Dureza said the President told the Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC) to postpone the submission of the draft measure to the Office of the President on Wednesday, saying he would wait for Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Rappler quoting Dureza saying during the interview.

“What he wants to do is once he receives it, he will turn it over to Congress immediately,” Dureza said.

The submission of the draft BBL was postponed several times and the last schedule set by Malacañang is on July 12.

MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said that his group is hoping for the smooth sailing of draft BBL in Congress.

MILF: “New Draft BM Law Should Not Require Charter Change”: MILF

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jul 3): “New Draft BM Law Should Not Require Charter Change”: MILF

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim on the sidelines of the signing ceremony for the Executive Order reconstituting the Bangsamoro Transition Commission in Malacañan on November 7. Photo by Malacañang Press.

MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) insists on its position that the new draft law carving a new territory for the Bangsamoro in Mindanao will not require changes in the constitution, ABS-CBN report said on June 30.

The new draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) contains no "recommendation for constitutional change," having been studied by lawyers already, said Chairman Al Haj Murad.

Chairman Al Haj Murad told ABS-CBN that, "We see no need for constitutional change," and reiterated his group's stand when the old BBL was first submitted to the 16th Congress.

Al Haj Murad said provisions that might be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court could be accommodated if the country shifts to a federal system, which would require charter change.

But he insisted the government should first create the new Bangsamoro territory, which could serve as a "template for federalism", the ABS-CBN report said.

"It would difficult if federalism is established first because there would be another round of negotiation with the federal setup," he said.

Al Haj Murad said Duterte's efforts to fully implement the agreement helped some MILF members resist the lure of violent extremism.

MILF: MILF Supports ‘fatwa’ Against Intrusion Of Violent Extremism In Bangsamoro Homeland

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jul 4): MILF Supports ‘fatwa’ Against Intrusion Of Violent Extremism In Bangsamoro Homeland

Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao – Responding to the Shariah ruling or “fatwa” promulgated by the Bangsamoro Mufti, Sheik Abehuraira Abdulrahman Udasan, against the entry and spread of violent radicalism or extremism in any part of the Bangsamoro Homeland, the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fully endorse and support such edict without fear and reservation.
In a press release issued on July 01, 2017, MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said that, “The purpose of the fatwa must be pursued vigorously to ensure that this violent extremism or radicalism shall not take root in any part of our communities, because it has no basis whatsoever in any of the teachings of Islam. They are creating intrigues and are sowing terror. They are also thriving on the sufferings and hardships of people.”

The MILF called on the officials and members of both its political and military organs, as well as the people in general to close ranks and cooperate with one another in order to deny entry or sanctuary to this brand of people.

The said fatwa also states that there is an urgent need to fight violent extremism or radicalism, in compliance with the injunction of the Qur’an and the Prophetic Tradition (Al-Hadith).

Allah says: “And do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) land” (Al-Baqarah: 60); and in another verse: “And seek no (occasion for) mischief on the land: For Allah loves not who do mischief.”(Al-Qasas) 77)

The Holy Prophet of Islam says: “Fight anyone who comes to you and your affairs to renounce allegiance or to sow discord among you” (Narrated by Imam Muslim)

However, the fatwa did not identify any particular group operating in Mindanao, as falling within this category, as described both in the Qur’an and the Hadith.

However, it is noteworthy to note that this fatwa comes at the time when the Marawi crisis entered its 39th day and still it has no sight when the war ends.

MILF: MNLF-Jikiri Group Activates TF To Help Government Vs Abu Sayyaf In Sulu

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jul 5): MNLF-Jikiri Group Activates TF To Help Government Vs Abu Sayyaf In Sulu

An online article by Philstar posted on July 3 says that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF-Jikiri) activated Saturday its Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Terrorism Task Force in Sulu on Saturday to help the military against the Abu Sayyaf and its affiliates.
Yusup Jikiri, the newly-installed Chairman of the MNLF Council of 15, and former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema led the launching of the task force inside a school in Barangay Pasil in Indanan town and committed to field a battalion of fighters against the Abu Sayyaf, said the article.

It will be composed of about 500-800 combatants, many of whom are battle-tested in the past.

“The members of the task force are former combatants who have retired but are ready to serve with the MNLF and the cause of peace”, said Chairman Jikiri, a former mayor of Jolo town.

Jikiri said the task force is an initiative of the MNLF Central Committee and has been discussed with and approved by the Duterte administration.

He said they also discussed the activation of the task force with Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. (Western Mindanao Command), Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana (Joint Task Force Sulu), National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and Presidential Adviser Jesus Dureza.

“There is nothing to hide regarding the tasks and function of the MNLF Task Force. We created it because we want to help the government, the military, the local government units and our people, the residents of the community, in the common drive against kidnapping and terrorism,” Jikiri told MNLF fighters and military and local government officials.

“The bandits and the terrorists are abusing the lives and livelihoods of our people and besmirching the good name of Islam and the Muslims by their misguidance, banditry and terroristic activities,” Philstar quoted Jikiri saying.

“The MNLF wants to rid its communities of criminal elements and rejects the bandits and terrorist groups using their areas as hideouts”, Jikiri added.

“We don’t want them to seek whatever assistance from the residents of the MNLF areas in furtherance of their evil objectives,” Jikiri said.

“We are commanded by Allah not to remain with folded arms and do nothing against those bandits and terrorists who abuse our people and communities by committing crimes right in our backyard,” he also said.

The military said the creation of the MNLF task force can help the government against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. The terror group, which has been the target of sustained government offensives, has reportedly split up to evade authorities.

Brig. Gen. Sobejana said they have received information that the Abu Sayyaf have been slipping out of the Mt. Sinumaan Complex, the center of military operations in Patikul.

“And this anti-kidnapping task force can fill up that vacuum in coordination with us,” Sobejana said.

However, Sobejana said the MNLF task force cannot operate without coordination with the military.

CPP/NPA: Video - Peoples' War Bulletin: NPA raided Maasin PNP station

NPA Video posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Jun 27): Peoples' War Bulletin: NPA raided Maasin PNP station  

A unit of the New People's Army-Southern Panay (Napoleon Tumagtang Command) successfully overran the municipal police station of Maasin, Iloilo, at 10:30 am last June 18.
Long live the People’s Army!

#BuhayNPA #TacticalOffensives

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Misengkwentro sa pagitan ng BHB sa Caramoan, Walang Katotohanan

NDF-Bicol Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 4): Misengkwentro sa pagitan ng BHB sa Caramoan, Walang Katotohanan

Maria Roja Banua, Spokesperson
NDFP Bicol Region (Region V)

4 July 2017

Mariing kinukundena ng NDF-Bikol ang walang patumanggang pagpapakalat ng 9th IDPA at mga kasabwat nito sa kapulisan ng mga pekeng balita upang pagtakpan ang kabiguan nilang pahinain ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Kabikulan. Pinatutunayan ng sunud-sunod nilang kasinungalingan na wala silang ni katiting na respeto at pagkilala sa kakayahang magsuri ng midya at madla.

Pekeng Balita ng Misencounter sa Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Hinugot sa hangin ang napabalitang engkwentro sa pagitan ng dalawang tropa ng NPA-Bikol sa pagitan ng Brgy. Hanopol at Brgy. San Roque, Caramoan noong Hulyo 1, 7:30 ng gabi. Walang naganap na labanan at walang presensya ng mga kasama sa naturang lugar sa panahong nabanggit. Gagamitin lamang ng kasundaluhan ang pekeng balitang ito upang manggulo sa mga komunidad ng Caramoan at libreng makapanggalugad sa kanayunan nito.

Pekeng Balita Hinggil sa mga Command Detonated Explosives (CDX) ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan

Ipinagyayabang ngayon ng 9th IDPA ang gagawin nilang disposal sa tatlong CDX na nasamsam umano nila sa nakaraang labanan sa Ligao, Albay noong Hunyo 12. Walang kapaguran ang kanilang mga upisyales at tagapagsalita sa pagpapaulit-ulit na delikado ang naturang mga CDX dahil sensitibo umano ito sa iba’t ibang trigger at kung gayon ay maaaring aksidenteng mapaputok at makapinsala sa mga sibilyan. Ngunit narito ngayon ang dibisyon at ipinamamalita ang gagawin nilang disposal at detonation sa nabanggit na mga CDX.

Hindi tumutugma sa nauna nilang mga pahayag na bigla na lamang sasabog ang mga CDX sa pinakamaliit at pinakamahinang mga trigger ang sinasabi nila ngayong kinakailangan pang isailalim sa proseso ng disposal ang hawak nilang mga pampasabog. Lumipas na ang halos isang buwan ngunit wala ni isa sa sinasabing hawak nilang mga CDX ang aksidenteng sumabog. Walang ibang pinapatunayan ang kanilang palabas na disposal kundi ang mataas na kalidad at abanteng teknolohiyang nakalakip sa bawat likhang CDX ng pulang hukbo.

Kahiya-hiyang matapos pagbuhusan ng panahon ng kasundaluhan ang pagpapalaki ng isyu ng CDX at paninira rito ay matatalisod lamang sila sa sarili nilang mga salita. Tunay ngang habang lalong nagiging pasikut-sikot ang kasinungalingan ay lalo rin itong nagiging mahirap pangatawanan.

Nananawagan ang NDF-Bikol sa 9th IDPA na tigilan na ang malisyosong pagpapakalat ng mga pekeng balita para lamang may mailabas na datos. Nananaginip nang gising ang kasundaluhan kung inaakala nilang mayroon silang mapaniniwala sa kanilang mga kasinungalingan. Mataas ang respeto ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa angking talino ng mamamayan. May kakayahan ang masa at ang midya na suriin ang bawat panig at matalinong bumuo ng opinyon batay sa obhetibong kalagayan.

Hanggat walang lubay ang pagsulpot ng mga pekeng balita pinasisimunuan pa mismo ng hukbong sandatahan ng Pilipinas, nariyan ang hamon sa lahat na maging mapanuri. Gayundin, ngayon higit kailanman kinakailangang tupdin ng mga alagad ng midya ang mandatong maghatid ng patas at balansyadong pagbabalita sa taumbayan. Kaisa ng mamamayan ang buong kilusan sa pagtupad sa tungkuling ito. Makakaasa ang lahat na mananatiling tapat ang CPP-NPA-NDFP sa paglilingkod sa sambayanan.

CPP/NPA-ST: Isang Taong Panunungkulan ni GRP President Rodrigo Duterte

NPA-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 2): Isang Taong Panunungkulan ni GRP President Rodrigo Duterte

Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla, Spokesperson
NPA-Southern Tagalog (Melito Glor Command)

3 July 2017

Maraming mga pangakong nabigong tupdin si GRP President Rodrigo Duterte sa isang taon niyang panunungkulan. Bigo ang pangakong kapayapaan ni Duterte sa mamamayang Pilipino lalo’t nakaamba ngayon ang tuluyang pagkakansela ng usapang pangkapayapaan. Habang bigo ring maipatupad ang mga proyekto at repormang pang-ekonomiya para sa sambayanan. Sa loob ng isang taong panunungkulan, hindi man lamang kinanti kahit kaunti ng rehimeng Duterte ang paghahari ng Imperyalismong US, Pyudalismo at Burukratang Kapitalismo na nagpapanatili sa pagiging malapyudal at malakolonyal ng lipunang Pilipino. Kabaliktaran sa pagiging “kaliwa at soyalistang” presidente, lumalakas ngayon ang kanang tunguhin ng rehimeng Duterte.

Nabahura ang usapang pangkapayapaan dahil sa banta ni Duterte na ipahuhuli ang mga NDFP Consultant, taliwas sa ipinangako nitong palalayain ang higit sa 400 detinidong pulitikal. Ang pagpapalaya sa mga natitira pang detinidong pulitikal ay pagpapakita sana ng kanyang kaseryosohang kamtin ang kapayapaan sa bansa. At ngayon, sa nagaganap sa usapan, nais lamang ng GRP na humantong ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa kapitulasyon kaysa bigyang-diin ang Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms at Comprehensive Agremeent on Political and Constitutional Reforms na siyang magbabalangkas ng mga komprehensibong repormang sosyo-ekonomiko, pampulitika at konstitusyonal para sa kapakinabangan ng mamamayan.

Lumalakas ang maka-kanan na pagkabig ni Duterte bunsod ng pangingibabaw ng mga sagadsaring tuta ng imperyalista at militarista tulad nina Lorenzana, Esperon, Año, at mga tagapamandila ng patakarang neoliberal sa ekonomiya na sina Dominguez, Pernia, at Diokno. Bunsod nito, tiyak maisasantabi ang kapakanan ng malawak na sambayanan.

Bigo rin si Duterte na tupdin ang kanyang mga anti-US na retorika kung saan nananatili pa rin ang kontrol at presensya ng US sa bansa. Ang totoo, hawak ngayon ng Imperyalismong US sa leeg si Duterte sa pamamagitan ng mga numerong unong utusang aso ng US na sina Lorenzana, Esperon at Año. Sa maniobra at kutsabahan ng mga ito, naitulak ng US si Duterte na ipatupad ang Martial Law sa Mindanao matapos palabasin ang Maute Group bilang bahagi ng ISIS, isang teroristang grupong itinayo, sinusuportahan at pinopondohan ng walang iba kundi ng imperyalismong US mismo. Pananagutan ni Duterte ang pagsuko sa pambansang soberanya ng pahintulutan nitong manghimasok ang armadong pwersa ng US sa pagwasak sa Marawi.

Patuloy lamang na mahihiwalay si Duterte bunga ng mga inilunsad nitong gera sa tuwing nanganganib maagaw ang kanyang kapangyarihan. Daang libong karaniwang mamamayang Pilipino ang biktima ng oplan tokhang, oplan double barrel reloaded, oplan kapayapaan at all-out war laluna sa kanayunan, at nitong huli, ng deklarasyon ng batas militar sa Mindanao. Dinanas ng mamamayang Pilipino, laluna ng mamamayang Moro, sa kamay ng berdugong AFP at PNP, sa tulong ng armadong pwersa ng US ang samu’t saring paglabag sa karapatang tao at karahasan habang malawak ang dislokasyon at pagkawasak ng mga kabuhayan at ari-arian dulot ng pasismo ng rehimeng Duterte. Dapat nang itigil ni Duterte ang kahibangang ito at ituon ang pansin sa pagtupad ng kanyang mga pangako.

Sa Timog Katagalugan, lantarang ipinahayag ng tagapagsalita ng AFP na si Restituto Padilla ang pagtataas sa red alert status ng AFP at PNP laban sa NPA. Patunay na target din ng Martial Law ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan at ang banta ng pagpapatupad nito sa buong bansa.

Sa gitna ng nagpapatuloy na labanan, bukas ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa pagpapatuloy ng usapang pangkapayapaan sa rehimeng Duterte. Ngunit hangga’t nagpapatuloy ang gera at ang Martial Law laban sa mamamayan, patuloy itong lalabanan ng CPP-NPA-NDF at ng malawak na sambayanang Pilipino sa pamamagitan ng pagpapaigiting ng digmang bayan sa buong bansa.

Labanan ang paglakas ng kanang tunguhin ng rehimeng Duterte! Paigtingin ang digmang bayan laban sa pasistang atake ng estado!