Friday, November 17, 2017

US provided $65M, $85M for PH maritime, counterterrorism capabilities

From Update Philippines (Nov 16): US provided $65M, $85M for PH maritime, counterterrorism capabilities

During their bilateral meeting on November 12, President Rodrigo Duterte and United States President Donald Trump have acknowledged that the United States has provided approximately $65 million to enhance the Philippines’ maritime security capabilities.

The White House also said that the United States has provided over $85 million in counterterrorism-related equipment, training, and support to the armed forces of the Philippines.

“President Duterte thanked President Trump for the delivery of more than $1 billion in United States foreign assistance to the Philippines over the past eight years,” the White House added in the statement released after Trump’s visit to the Philippines.

Morover, according to the joint statement released after the meeting of Trump and Duterte, Philippines and United States reaffirmed their commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, as reinforced by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

“The two sides discussed proposals to support the United States’ efforts to help modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, develop capacity and capability for maritime security and domain awareness, and provide rapid humanitarian assistance,” said in the joint statement.

“They also reaffirmed their commitment to continue defense cooperation, including by reinforcing respective national defense capabilities and interoperability and enhancing joint activities, disaster response, and cybersecurity,” it added.

PH maritime security gets boost with Japanese aircraft

From Update Philippines (Nov 16): PH maritime security gets boost with Japanese aircraft

The Philippine military’s capability to conduct surveillance, monitoring, and search-and-rescue missions over its vast maritime domain gets a boost after Japan donated five Beechcraft TC-90 turboprop aircraft, an official of the Department of National Defense said.

“We welcome that gesture of Japan and the addition of these five aircraft to our inventory will greatly enhance our capability to monitor and conduct search-and-rescue (operations) within our territory,” chief of the department’s public affairs office, Arsenio Andolong, said Wednesday.

This includes missions off the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, and the West Philippine Sea, Andolong said.

The agreement on the donation of the five TC-90s was signed during the bilateral talks between President Rodrigo Duterte and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit early this week.

Initially, the airplanes were leased to the Philippine Navy to bolster its capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, limited transport, and maritime domain awareness, including maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance. The lease agreement was USD7,000 yearly for the first four aircraft and USD200 annually for the fifth.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on February last year.

Two of the TC-90s were delivered to Sangley Point, Cavite last March 27, while the remaining three will be turned over in the first quarter of 2018.

The TC-90 has a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 260 knots, and is capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilot.

LOOK: Philippines receives 3 high speed boats from Japan

From Update Philippines (Nov 16): LOOK: Philippines receives 3 high speed boats from Japan

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) today, November 16 received the three of the ten high speed Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) donated by the Japanese government through Japan International Cooperation (JICA).

The donated RHIBs from Japan were showcased during the last day of the nine-day Rubber Boast Operation Training as part of the 15th Maritime Law Enforcement Exercise held at the PCG Headquarters also conducted today.

PCG photo

PCG said the RHIBs are part of the JPY 600 million Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) for the PCG from the Japanese government’s Economic and Social Development Program.

“This project is one of the four (4) other equipment granted to the PCG. Among others were a 14-person capacity 15-meter boat, two (2) 10-12 meter boat and a portable X-ray detector,” PCG added.

“The said NPGA is a result of President Duterte’s request to Ambassador Ishikawa during his courtesy call last July 2016 in the Philippines,” it added.

Army gears up to intensify military offensives vs NPA

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 15): Army gears up to intensify military offensives vs NPA

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ordered all military units to intensify the security operations in four identified problematic areas under the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) following the spate of attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA).
AFP Chief of Staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero told reporters yesterday that the order of President Rodrigo Duterte after the clearing of Marawi City is to continue to pursue the terrorist group in Central Mindanao, and the communist insurgency problem in Mindanao.

Guerrero was the guest of honor in yesterday’s change of command ceremony of the Eastern Mindanao held at Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Camp Panacan,

Guerrero said that the most problematic areas in Eastern Mindanao are Davao Region, Agusan, Bukidnon and in North Cotabato.
“Definitely, Davao Region is a priority in Eastern Mindanao,” he said.

In an earlier interview, the commanding general of the Philippine Army, Maj. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, said the Davao Region is the most challenging area in terms of insurgency operation as veterans NPA leaders and fighters operate here.
Guerrero also said with the organization of two additional battalions the 88th and 89th they will still be assessing the campaign against Maute-Isis in Marawi, and part of it would be the realignment of the battalions in the EastMincom area.

“We need additional battalions here,” he said. “Right now, the AFP is reorganizing additional 10 battalions (and) two battalions are already here.”

For now, the newly activated 88th Infantry battalion under 10th Infantry Division is deployed to Barangay New Visayas, Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, and the 89th IB is based in Maramag Bukidnon.
Based on the assessment of Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the 10th ID commander, the region still needs at least five battalions to crush the NPA.

The AFP chief also said he already discussed with the commanders of the 10th ID and 4th ID to gear up for the succeeding operations following the ambush on a mobile patrol that killed a four-month-old baby and a police officer in Talakag, Bukidnon.

The Eastern Mindanao command covers the areas of Davao Region, Caraga, and some parts of Northern and Central Mindanao.

Police, military on edge as NPA anniversary nears

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 16): Police, military on edge as NPA anniversary nears

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police remained on high alert status as communist rebels reportedly started conducting a series of attacks ahead of the anniversary of the New People’s Army.

In an interview on Wednesday at the sidelines of the change of command ceremony of Eastern Mindanao held at Naval Station Felix Apolinario held at Camp Panacan, AFP chief, Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, said at this time of the year, they are already anticipating intensification of attacks and atrocities from the NPA.

“We have already standing orders to monitor their movement and all units will be on full alert status,” Guerrero said.

In a separate interview, Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, director of Police Regional Office (PRO) XI, said they already reminded police officers to be extra vigilant.

“We all know that during the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, they conduct tactical offensives and attacks against the government forces and installations,” Gaerlan said.

“As of this time, we are still on full alert status since the Martial Law is still in effect until Dec. 31 this year,” he said.

Recently, the communist rebels staged a series of attacks Davao City and Caraga region.

On Monday, a police officer assigned to the Baguio Police Precinct of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) was shot to death by NPA members while letting them hitch on his motorcycle at Sitio Luman, Barangay New Valencia, Tugbok district.

At 1:40 p.m. on that same day, NPA rebels abducted two police officers at an outpost along the national highway in Barangay Bad-as, Placer, Surigao del Norte. They were identified as PO2 Alfredo Lauro Degamon Jr. and PO2 John Paul Mondaya Doverte, both assigned at the Placer Municipal Police Station.

The following day, a mobile patrol was ambushed resulted in the death of a four-month-old baby and a police officer in Talakag, Bukidnon.
In Agusan del Norte, communist rebels also robbed and torched two trucks.

Feature: Marawi troopers rewarded with one month break

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 17): Feature: Marawi troopers rewarded with one month break

After months of intense fighting with the Maute terror group in Marawi City, troops from the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army are yearning for rest and relaxation.

One month break

LtCol. Dennis Cana, commanding officer of the 1st Cavalry (Tagapanguna) Squadron without any hesitation, granted the request of the two (2) platoons of “Tagapanguna” troopers upon their return from Marawi.

“Immediately upon their return from Marawi, I ordered them to have a one (1) month break so that they can go back to their respective families and enjoy a peaceful time with them,” Cana said.

“Their vacation certainly will rejuvenate them and normalize their feelings, meet their children and wives,” Cana said adding that the 5-month stay in Marawi is a very stressful job.

The termination of the hostilities between the government troops and the ISIS-linked Maute terror group in Marawi was declared by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on October 23, exactly 5 months later after top leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed by government forces.
Reward of efforts

Caña said his order of the troop’s one month vacation was anchored on the directive of Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo R. Duterte.
It can be recalled that Duterte had enticed soldiers in Marawi with a trip to Hong Kong as reward for their efforts in retaking the city. The trip would go to soldiers awarded with  the Medal of Valor.
Reunited with their families

“Dako kaayo among pasalamat nga gihatagan kami ug igong panahon sa among battalion commander nga mahimamat ang among pamilya nga sulod sa lima ka bulan wala namo igkita,” Staff Sgt. Alex Cadelinia happily said.

(We are very grateful that we were given enough time by our battalion commander to meet our family whom we have not seen  for 5 months.)

Sgt. Christopher Lorenzo, senior non-commissioned officer and a vehicle commander of the unit said he considered the one month break as a gift to them by the Commander-in-Chief.

“Even if we were not included in the trip to Hong Kong, what matters most is that our strong desire to meet our parents, wives and children will be fulfilled,” Lorenzo said in the local dialect.
Tremendous morale boost

He also thanked President Duterte for his strong support to the troops during the intense fighting in Marawi adding that his visit in the main battle area  brought a tremendous morale boost to government forces.

Lorenzo said they are thankful also for the support extended by their senior officers because every time they will visit the troops in Marawi, this will motivate and inspire them to keep fighting for the country.

SoCot to set up halfway home for ex-NPA rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 16): SoCot to set up halfway home for ex-NPA rebels

The provincial government of South Cotabato has started preparatory works for the development of its planned halfway home for former and returning New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Ma. Ana Uy, acting head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, said Thursday they are presently drawing up a development plan for the facility, which is targeted to open later next year.

She said the halfway home would be patterned after the operations of an existing facility for former rebels in Mati, Davao Oriental.

A team from the local government’s technical working group recently visited the Mati halfway home to study its management and operation, she said.

Uy said they are set to meet with South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes to present their learnings and the initial development plan for the halfway home.

The Mati halfway home has been operating in the last 10 years and is manned by regular local government personnel, she said.

She said returning rebels are accommodated at the facility for six months to undergo a series of interventions like livelihood and leadership trainings before their formal integration into local communities.

“This is to ensure that the returnees will have no chance of going back to their previous groups and activities,” Uy said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) had signified to help fund the construction of the province’s halfway home, which will be situated within a property in Barangay Morales that was previously donated by the local government to the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office.

The DILG has allotted grants of P5 million to local government units, including the province, that have signified to establish a halfway home for returning rebels.

A halfway home or house refers to the temporary residence that serves as the processing center for former rebels.

The facility could also be used to cater to other individuals in crisis situations such as victims of violence against women and children, juvenile delinquents, former convicts and times of disaster.

The DILG issued last June the guidelines that detailed the systems and procedures on the establishment of the “halfway homes,” which is a component of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

The CLIP started in 2014 and aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of former NPA rebels as productive citizens; enhance capacities of LGUs and national government agencies in the implementation and sustainability of the CLIP; and compensate and remunerate all surrendered firearms, including those coming from the NPA.

Seven former rebels have so far received financial assistance of P15,000 from the provincial government this year under the CLIP and four more are undergoing processing for the same benefits.

Charges filed vs militant leader in Tarlac protest rally

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): Charges filed vs militant leader in Tarlac protest rally

Police on Thursday formally filed charges against a militant leader who allegedly threw stones at anti-riot policemen resulting in the injury of two police officers during a recent protest rally outside the RCBC compound in Barangay Balete, Tarlac City.

Charged with direct assault and serious disobedience and resistance to an agent or persons in authority was Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) chairperson Florida Sibayan, who, together with members of other militant groups, staged a rally Wednesday in commemoration of the Hacienda Luisita massacre.

While police authorities exercised maximum tolerance in preventing the militant groups, Sibayan and some 150 militant members reportedly became unruly and tried to forcibly enter the RCBC compound.

During the encounter, two police officers -- SPO1 Rolly Marzan, a member of Sta. Ignacia Municipal Police Station; and PO1 Arnold John Abella, a member of Provincial Public Safety Company PPSC; sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, another case of malicious mischief is also set to be filed against Sibayan and other militant members for destroying the RCBC's concrete fence with the use of sledge hammer and farm equipment, incurring a damage amounting to PHP1.6 million pesos.

Sibayan is presently under the custody of Tarlac Police Provincial Office.

CHR probes death of militiaman as NPA claims 'responsibility'

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): CHR probes death of militiaman as NPA claims 'responsibility'

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Negros Oriental is conducting an investigation on the murder of a militiaman in Siaton town perpetrated by suspected members of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA).

CHR provincial chief and special investigator, Dr. Jess Cañete, disclosed that the widow and two daughters of the deceased came to his office Thursday to seek help but stressed that he wants everybody to cooperate in the investigation.

"I need the cooperation of everybody to come out with a fair and objective investigation result" in relation to the death of Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) member Gelino Vailoces, 52 years old, who was killed by suspected NPA members in Barangay Mantiquil, Siaton the other day, he said.

According to the CHR provincial chief, while there is a letter from the Rachelle Mae Palang Command of the NPA claiming responsibility for Vailoces’ death, this has yet to be validated.

Cañete raised three points in his investigation, namely, whether there was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law with the deceased being an SCAA; if the perpetrators are identified so murder charges can be filed against them; and the letter acknowledgment from the NPA that needs verification.

The Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RMPC) claimed responsibility for the execution of a member of the Special Civilian Active Auxiliary (SCAA) of the 12th CAFGU (Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit) Battalion of the 79th IB based in Sitio Cuadra, Barangay Mantiquil in Siaton on Monday.

In an unsigned, undated statement, the NPA unit claimed that Vailoces was meted a death sentence for his active involvement in intelligence gathering against the NPA.

The statement also said other members of the SCAA or even civilians who are actively spying on the activities of the NPA will be meted the same penalty.

In an interview, Marialita Vailoces, wife of the slain SCAA, said that at least seven armed men abducted his husband Gelino while he was pasturing a cow and a carabao at 6 a.m. last November 13, 2017.

An initial police report said that around 30 armed men had fetched Vailoces from his house that day.

Marialita narrated to the CHR provincial chief that she was also ordered to jump from their house after which the armed men went upstairs to get her husband’s caliber .38 revolver.

The armed men also took their cellphones and the sling bag of Vailoces that contained PHP9,082 and Marialita’s sling bag that contained PHP82.

Two hours later or at about 8 a.m. on the same day, Marialita said she heard bursts of gunfire which made her believe her husband was shot and killed.

She also relayed that before the armed men left, she was ordered to "disappear" and not to come back within three years, if not, she would be killed.

Marialita said she went to Sitio Avocado in Barangay Talalak in the adjacent town of Santa Catalina.

Another member of the SCAA, Antonio Fabillar, who recovered the dead body of Vailoces, told Marialita it was his dog who led them to the body of the victim.

The responding militiamen found the purported NPA statement near the body of the victim that sustained a gunshot wound at the back of his head and another on the right knee.

Cañete said the supposed claim of the NPA can be validated if members of the so-called RMPC would make a public pronouncement through the radio that it was indeed responsible for Vailoces’ death.

The CHR investigator could not also file the necessary complaints in the absence of any identification of the armed men.

The slain SCAA member left 10 children, the youngest is three years old.

He was in the service for five years. His wife said she could not remember if he had enemies.

Police detain 12 armed men in northern Palawan

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): Police detain 12 armed men in northern Palawan

Police authorities in the northern Palawan island town of Culion have detained 12 armed men wearing military uniforms and reportedly out to set up a camp in one of the coastal communities.

Culion Mayor Virginia de Vera on Friday told local media that the armed men, believed to be residents of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, were arrested by personnel of the Municipal Police Station (MPS) on November 15 in the coastal community of Pusot Shore, Sitio Lubog in Barangay Decarabao, Culion.

She stated that it was fortunate that the armed men were stopped from their intention to supposedly set up a camp on Pusot Shore.

Her statement was corroborated by a Culion MPS spot report obtained by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) also on Friday which claimed that in the afternoon of November 14, a resident of the area informed that “a group of unidentified persons on board two Fuso boats arrived at Pusot Shore and disembarked ” with high- and low-powered firearms.

The spot report identified those arrested as Ronald Raymundo Valdez, 48; Judy Masion Melagracia, 29; Joseph CavalleroTugbo, 39; Harry Valdez Bautista, 44; Angelo Lutino Mabilin, 21; Rencel Blando Valdez, 25; Jerry Serrano Valdez, 36; Ronaldo Bitoon Edradan, 35; Wilmar del Pilar dela Cruz, 40; Reynante Mateo Garay, 38; Garry Gonzales Mateo, 39; and Raymark Ladublan Manzano, 26 – all residents of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
Seized from suspects were different calibers of guns, ammunition, chainsaw, communication devices and other paraphernalia.

Palawan Police Provincial Office (PPO) chief Senior Superintendent Gabriel Lopez said the 12 armed men were transported to Puerto Princesa for proper disposition of their cases.

“Until now, we are still investigating what their group is all about, and who are they receiving their orders from,” Lopez said.

He disclosed some of the armed men were wearing fatigue uniforms, typical of the Philippine Army.

“Right now, they’re not talking yet. They’re not giving us any information that is why our investigation is ongoing,” he added, supplying that some firearms were found to be licensed to other people.

“Even if they claim that they own the guns, if they cannot show permits to carry, then that’s still illegal possession of firearms,” he said.

Lopez said part of their investigation is to find out if the armed men are members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“We are in the process of verifying their identities if they are indeed from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. We have coordinated this also to the provincial director of the PNP there,” Lopez said.

“There are reports that there is a family they wanted to drive away from the (Pusot Shore) area. According to reports, this family has left the area and we are looking into this too,” he said.

The Culion mayor said Decarabao barangay chairman Marilyn Credo might be called in for questioning by the police after her name allegedly cropped up in the initial investigation.

De Vera assured residents not to fear as the suspects were already apprehended as she urged the people to continue monitoring and immediately report suspicious persons.

Culion is a third class municipality in Palawan consisted primarily of Culion Island as well as 41 minor surrounding islands, as part of Calamianes Group of Islands. It was a leprosarium under the American Commonwealth of the Philippines.

Mayor Sara determined to pursue peace talks with Reds

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): Mayor Sara determined to pursue peace talks with Reds

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is determined to push through with the local peace talks with the New People’s Army (NPA) after its liquidation unit killed a city police officer on Monday.

"It was unfortunate, but this drives me to continue the peace talks to avoid similar incidents in the future," the city mayor said.

Duterte-Carpio bared there is an ongoing investigation to get the identity of the killers, but did not divulge details of the findings.

On Monday, PO3 Wilfredo Garol, a member of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) assigned at the Intelligence Section of the Tugbok Police Station was shot dead by two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) hit squad in Barangay Valencia, Tugbok District, this city.

Garol conveyed his wife, a teacher in a school in Valencia, on board his motorcycle. On his way back, the two suspects flagged him and asked for a free ride. But when they reached Purok 5 at Sitio Luman, Valencia the gunmen shot Garol several times resulting to his death.

DCPO chief Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum vowed that Garol’s death will be investigated thoroughly to identify those behind the treacherous killing.

His death, Tagum stressed, will not deter the police in their commitment to an intensified fight against all forms of domestic threats posed by communist rebels or criminals.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero threw his full support to the localized peace talks although he cannot discount possible threats to the community.

“We cannot discount the fact that as your AFP, we need also to address the armed threats,” Guerrero said.

Meanwhile, newly-installed commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) recognized the localized peace talks between the city and NPA in Davao City as he welcomed the initiative of the Mayor Duterte-Carpio to resolve the insurgency problem peacefully.

Asked if his command is willing to pull out the military troops in remote areas as a confidence-building effort, Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen Benjamin Madrigal said, “This will depend on what will be the agreement between both parties.”

“We will have to consult our leaders who are actively engaged in the peace process, regarding this matter,” he said.

Madrigal said that peace dialogues should be talked within the community.

Duterte-Carpio also expressed determination to push through with the peace talks despite the rejection of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), emphasizing her duty to pursue just and lasting peace in the city as the representative of the City Government of Davao.

She believes that this initiative can help achieve peace in the city although it depends on the rebels if they really want to talk peace.

The Davao City Peace Committee is given until November 2018 to work on the peace process. If nothing significant happens, the mayor will terminate the project.

As of August, the military recorded the death of six soldiers and a police in Davao region.

The NPA liquidation squad was suspected behind the spate of killings that was reportedly activated after military launched operations against them. Killed members of the military and police were two soldiers under the 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) in Compostela Valley Province; two from the 67th IB in Davao Oriental; a member of the Scout Ranger; and a police officer in Davao del Norte.

Clearing ops, AFP priority after Maute stragglers' death

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): Clearing ops, AFP priority after Maute stragglers' death

With nothing more untoward occurring in Marawi's main battle area, military units are now focused on clearing the war-torn city of unexploded munitions and explosive materials.

This is to ensure that government agencies tasked to rehabilitate and reconstruct Marawi would not be impeded in their work, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, said Thursday.

"We are now focused on clearing the main battle area so that we can turn it over to (agencies) tasked for reconstruction and rehabilitation works," he said.

A total of 920 terrorists linked to the Maute Group were killed in the five-month battle against the ISIS-inspired group that besieged Marawi in late May.

Fighting ended on Oct. 23 with the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, one of the Maute Group founders, but 12 more “stragglers” were recently killed in clearing operations in the main battle area.

With this development, Arevalo urged the remaining terrorists, if there are any left, to just surrender peacefully as further resistance would be futile.

He warned that those who will continue to resist will be dealt with harshly like their companions who insisted on fighting it out with government troops.

Authorities foil ASG 'terror plot' ahead of ASEAN Summit

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): Authorities foil ASG 'terror plot' ahead of ASEAN Summit

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced Friday that its operatives, with the help of intelligence and security agencies, have foiled an attempt of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to conduct an "urban terror attack" in Metro Manila, days before the 31st ASEAN Summit in Pasay City.

In a press conference at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, in a report by Radyo Pilipinas, identified the suspects as Abdulgaffar Jikiri alias Abu Bakar Jikiri, 19; Sadam Jhofar, 24; and Alim Sabtalin, 19, all residents of 504 Salaam Compound, Barangay Culiat, Quezon City.

Operatives of the Quezon City Police District, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the National Bureau of Investigation-Counter Terrorism Division arrested the terrorists at 5:15 p.m. on November 10.

Seized from their possession were two .45-caliber pistols, a 9-mm. handgun, assorted ammunition, M-203 rifle grenades, and cellphones.

Dela Rosa said the three were planning to conduct "an urban terror attack", which was successfully foiled by authorities.

The suspects were charged before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office for violating Section 28 of Republic Act No. 10591 or the “Act Providing for a Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof” and for violating the 15-day gun ban set for the ASEAN Summit period.

COC talks to reduce misunderstanding: Lorenzana

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): COC talks to reduce misunderstanding: Lorenzana

With ASEAN and China agreeing to start talks on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, threats of miscalculation and misunderstanding among claimant countries will be greatly reduced, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

"I think so, kasi sila (China) mismo ang nagsasabi na gusto na nila (They themselves are saying that they want it). So I believe they are sincere. The President (Rodrigo Duterte) also believes that they are sincere and we are pursuing that, together with the other claimants, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and us. We will be going to the table and talk about things that will benefit everybody," Lorenzana said when asked whether the COC would be productive for all parties concerned.

With parties talking, a major benefit is that there would be no miscalculation and misunderstanding among the claimants, he added.

The defense chief also said that Filipino fishermen could continue fishing in the disputed waters and the Philippines could continue developing islands under its control and jurisdiction.

"(Ang) benepisyo natin dyan (Our benefit) is there will be no miscalculation, misunderstanding… Merong unlimited access ang ating mga fishermen (Our fishermen will have unlimited access), and at the same time, we are going to continue developing the islands under our control," he said.

On Monday, ASEAN leaders and China have agreed to start talks on the Code of Conduct based on the Framework approved by the Foreign Ministers in August.

“China has graciously agreed to a Code of Conduct and it binds itself to the agreement,” Duterte said following the conclusion of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits Tuesday.

He said China also pledged to adhere to the international principle of freedom of navigation and overflight in the strategic sea, where an estimated USD3 trillion worth of trade passes every year.

AFP reiterates adherence to IHL during Marawi siege

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 17): AFP reiterates adherence to IHL during Marawi siege

The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday renewed its strict adherence to the International Humanitarian Law in light of the report published by the International Amnesty Law on the Battle of Marawi.

The IA report claimed that the “Philippine armed forces detained and ill-treated fleeing civilians, and also engaged in looting.”
The report also claimed that the “extensive bombing of militant-held areas of Marawi city wiped out entire neighbourhoods and killed civilians, highlighting the need for an investigation into its compliance with international humanitarian law.”

In his reaction, AFP spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla Jr. said the Philippine armed forces strictly adhered to the observance of the IHL during the course of the five-month battle in Marawi.

He said that their primordial mission was to save lives of the civilians trapped in the siege. Padilla said the safety and security of the government forces was the least of their priority. Proof to this, he said, was the rescue of 1,780 civilians and the death of 166 soldiers and policemen.

Meanwhile, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said that the military is not inclined to believe reports from the AI until it sees the report in full.

“We are yet to see the report that contains such allegations. That notwithstanding, the AFP has been coherent, consistent, and unequivocal," he said.

“We have ensured that every member of the AFP is aware and reminded of the said commitment. Should there be infractions, we are determined to hold the violators liable," Arevalo added.

As the AFP remains strict in following the due proces of law, Padilla urged witnesses to the claims of looting and torture to file a formal complaint to the military.

Padilla encouraged complainants and witnesses to the alleged abuses by government forces to come out in the open and file the necessary complaints.

He assured the public that the AFP will not tolerate nor condone any misdeeds by their forces especially against the civilian populace they swore to protect.

Both sides in Marawi siege committed abuses – Amnesty Int'l

From Rappler (Nov 17): Both sides in Marawi siege committed abuses – Amnesty Int'l

An Amnesty International report says the civilian population in Marawi City suffered immensely from abuses of both members of the Maute Group and government forces

BATTLE AREA. Local terrorist groups in Marawi use hostages as human shield. Rappler photo

BATTLE AREA. Local terrorist groups in Marawi use hostages as human shield. Rappler photo

The Maute Group and government forces both committed violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) during the Marawi siege, according to an Amnesty International report.

Released on Friday, November 17, the report, “Battle of Marawi: Death and destruction in the Philippines”, detailed abuses against the civilian population which "has suffered immensely" in the span of the conflict which started on May 23, 2017. (READ: TIMELINE: The 'liberation' of Marawi)

“Displaced en masse when the fighting began in May, thousands of people are now returning to a city that has been utterly destroyed in places, where civilians have been slaughtered by militants, and both sides have committed abuses,” Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director said.

At least 48 witnesses and survivors interviewed by the group in September 2017 recalled that members of the Maute Group, who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State (ISIS), committed unlawful killings, pillage, hostage-taking, and mistreatment of prisoners.

For example, witnesses recount that Christians were executed by militants either by using a pistol, a rifle, or by cutting the victim’s throat. They were usually captured in checkpoints scattered across the city as they were trying to flee. (READ: Trapped in Marawi, Muslims shield Christians from terrorists)

According to Amnesty International, these incidents of extrajudicial execution and other forms of direct targeting of civilians by militants “are clear violations of the cardinal rule of distinction in IHL and amount to war crimes.” (IN PHOTOS: Death and destruction in Banggolo, heart of Marawi)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) defines war crimes as “grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in the context of armed conflict.” These include, among others, the use of child soldiers, killing and torturing civilians and prisoners of war, attacks against hospitals, and historical monuments.

“The rules of IHL aim to minimize human suffering and ensure protection of civilians who are not directly participating in hostilities,” Amnesty International said. “Intentionally directing attacks against civilians who are not directly participating in hostilities and civilian objects is prohibited under IHL and is a war crime.”

Gov’t overkill?

Harm to a civilian population during conflict is only permitted “if it is a military necessity and the expected gain of attack is proportionate to the harm caused.” (READ: Marawi in 360: Inside the war zone)

But according to Amnesty International, government forces have also violated the prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment of detainees suspected to be part of the Maute Group. They also are accused of likely committing pillage and “may also have carried out disproportionate air and ground attacks.”

“Their extensive bombing of militant-held areas of Marawi city wiped out entire neighborhoods and killed civilians, highlighting the need for an investigation into its compliance with international humanitarian law,” the group added.

Some local leaders had earlier wondered whether the physical destruction from military aerial bombings could have been avoided. In October, Lanao Del Sur Provincial Crisis Management Committee spokesman Zia Alonto Adiong said that they were “against the air strikes from the very beginning.” (READ: Overkill? Some locals question Marawi shelling)

But military officials said that they were using "appropriate and commensurate force because [the Maute fighters] have the advantage of knowing [every nook and cranny] of the city".

"We are not being irresponsible in the use of air strikes," Army Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Garcia said then. "These are deliberate. These are planned."

MASS BURIAL. Bodies are recovered from the main battle area in Marawi City where the IS-linked Maute Group held ground. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler
Civilians most affected

Past midnight of October 16, Isnilon Hapilon, one of the masterminds of the Marawi siege, was killed by government forces. His death, together with Omar Maute, supposedly signalled the end of the war that had been ongoing since May. (READ: The war in Marawi: 135 days and more)

President Rodrigo Duterte, on October 17, announced that the war-torn Marawi City had been “liberated” but combat operations continued until October 23.

On October 29, the more than 400,000 people displaced by the conflict were allowed to return to the city – or what was left of it. They also face the loss of livelihood and opportunities after the 5-month war.

The civilians “paid a high price” during the war when many were killed. Now, they go back to see widespread destruction of homes and property. (READ: Marawi in 360: The Cost of War)

The report highlighted the need for “prompt, independent, and effective” investigations into the allegations of abuses and violations of IHRL and IHL done by both sides. Those found to have committed war crimes “bear individual criminal responsibility.”

The Philippine government, Amnesty International said, must also provide fair and adequate reparation to civilian victims.

“The loss of human life and the scale of the destruction of the civilian infrastructure in Marawi City is immense and raises serious questions about whether the government’s air and ground attacks were disproportionate to the threat posed by the militants that require further investigation,” Amnesty International said.

PH military on Amnesty Int'l report: Abusive soldiers will be disciplined

From Rappler (Nov 17): PH military on Amnesty Int'l report: Abusive soldiers will be disciplined

The military remains committed to upholding international humanitarian law and protection of human rights, says AFP spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla

IN BATTLE. Philippine soldiers run through the streets of Marawi's main battle area. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

IN BATTLE. Philippine soldiers run through the streets of Marawi's main battle area. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reiterated its commitment to protecting human rights, in response to an Amnesty International report that government forces also committed abuses in Marawi.

AFP spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla said in a Malacañang news briefing on Friday, November 17, that soldiers accused of committing abuses will be investigated.

"We will investigate and discipline those found guilty of violating policies and regulations which includes IHL (international humanitarian law) and HR (human rights), he said.

Padilla said proof of this commitment is the decision of the AFP leadership to file looting charges against an army officer and 5 soldiers. He, however, could not give updates on cases or on other probes against soldiers.

He stressed that such cases are "isolated incidents" and that, in general, soldiers have "long been taught to respect and follow all the principles, especially in international humanitarian law and rules of conflict."

Both military chiefs involved in the Marawi conflict, former AFP chief Eduardo Año andhis successor, General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, had always ordered troops to respect human rights, said Padilla.

He urged citizens who witnessed abuses by soldiers to submit a formal complaint to the military to help expedite investigations.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, martial law administrator, previously said the government would apply the "full force of the law" on abusive soldiers.

Proportionality of force
The military spokesman also responded to the AI report's claim that the AFP launched "disproportionate air and ground attacks" that "wiped out entire neighborhoods and killed civilians."

Padilla asked the public to take into consideration the difficulties faced by government forces in Marawi. (READ: Marawi battle zone: Urban warfare challenges PH military)

"The proportionality by which we use force was in consideration of all the challenges that we face, which is one, the safety of civilians who may be trapped in the area, that's primordial; the rescue of the civilians who were held hostage, second; and only third is the safety of our own troops who were in the main battle area," he said.

Padilla also pointed to the military's rescue of 1,780 civilians.

Padilla was also asked if he felt allegations of the military's human rights abuses might be part of "propaganda."

He said, "Yes, we feel there is an effort to discredit the Armed Forces but the Armed Forces remains committed to properly fulfilling its tasks in Marawi."

Asked which group or groups could be behind the supposed smear campaign, Padilla said he has no basis to identify specific groups. "If it comes from fellow Filipinos who don't like what we are doing, we hope they remember the sacrifice of our soldiers," he said.

Arrested Abu Sayyaf planned ASEAN Summit attack – PNP

From Rappler (Nov 17): Arrested Abu Sayyaf planned ASEAN Summit attack – PNP

Police say one of the suspects cased malls, a park, and the PICC – the venue of the ASEAN Summit – ahead of the international event

ABU SAYYAF MEMBERS. Police present3 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group who allegedly planned to launch an attack during the ASEAN Summit. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

ABU SAYYAF MEMBERS. Police present3 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group who allegedly planned to launch an attack during the ASEAN Summit. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The 3 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group nabbed in Quezon City last week planned to launch an attack during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings held in Manila, police said on Friday, November 17.

Police revealed this as they presented Abdul Gaffar Jikiri, 19; Alim Sabtalin, 19; and Sadam Jhofar, 24, at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame on Friday, nearly a week after they were arrested in Quezon City.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said that while the 3 did not admit to plans to launch an attack during the ASEAN Summit, police gathered information that supported the suspicion.

"Ongoing pa 'yung profiling sa kanila. Pero confirmed by the intelligence community ng AFP, PNP at NBI na members sila ng Abu Sayyaf Group (Their still being profiled. But the intellligence community of of the AFP, PNP, and the NBI confirmed that the are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group)" said Dela Rosa.

The 3 were arrested in Quezon City on November 10, a few days ahead of the arrival of leaders and senior officials from ASEAN and its dialogue partners for the Manila Summit from November 12 to 14.

At the time of their arrest, the 3 were only suspected of being Abu Sayyaf members.

SELFIE. Abu Bakar Jikiri is among the Abu Sayyaf members arrested by authorities ahead of the ASEAN Summit in Manila. Photo from the Facebook page of Abu Bakar Jikiri

Police disclosed that they got information that Jikiri planned the attack, while the other two had “possible involvement.” (READ: Duterte after ASEAN Summit: 'Everybody is scared' of terrorism)

Prior to their arrest, authorities monitored Jikiri's Facebook page where they reportedly saw "hints" of a plan to launch terrorist attacks in Metro Manila.

Jikiri posted photos of high-powered firearms, improvised explosive devices with a caption which said that they were to be used against “non-believers and Muslim apostates.” (READ: Via Telegram, Western Union: How ISIS in Syria funded Marawi terrorists)

IEDS. Abu Bakar Jikiri posted a photo of improvised explosive devices on his Facebook page on October 24, 2017

He also posted photos of the places he supposedly planned to target including a mall and a park. Dela Rosa said Jikiri also "cased" the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the venue of the ASEAN Summit.

Police found photos of him and “other armed youth” in his Facebook page. The posts prompted police to launch a background investigation and found that he was indeed a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group, linked to the Maute-Islamic State (ISIS) group which led the Marawi siege.

Police Director Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office chief, said monitoring social media is part of police intelligence-gathering.

Police said Sabtalin and Jhofar were linked to Jikiri as they met with the Abu Sayyaf member and were "supporters."

The police tracked the men with the help of the National Bureau of Investigation and found them together at Salaam Compound in Barangay Culiat, Quezon City.

As the men had been arrested, the ASEAN Summit concluded on November 14, with only violent protests as the recognized security threats the police recognized.

MILF: Training Workshop on Writing News and Peace Messages in Support of the MNLF-MILF Convergence starts in Davao City

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Nov 17): Training Workshop on Writing News and Peace Messages in Support of the MNLF-MILF Convergence starts in Davao City

A Training Workshop on Writing News and Peace Messages in Support of the MNLF-MILF Convergence started yesterday here at Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel, Davao City.
The participating Bangsamoro Writers came from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF Misuari and Jikiri Factions), Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI), Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA, and representatives from Moro non-government agencies.`

The training workshop is sponsored by the Australian Aid (Aus Aid) and The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Veteran Moro Journalist Mr. Nash Maulana who writes for the Mindanao Cross, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Standard is the main resource person.

He started his presentation on how to develop a news story. He stressed the incorporation in a news story of AGE (Acquired Facts, Gathered Facts, and Established Facts) to get the attention and interest of readers.

As of this writing, the participants are engage in a workshop on how to write a developing story for presentation, and possible critiquing to be able to improve their output.

The training workshop will culminate tomorrow.

MILF: 7 Killed, undetermined No. of wounded in army-MILF encounter in Sumisip, Basilan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Nov 13): 7 Killed, undetermined No. of wounded in army-MILF encounter in Sumisip, Basilan

Isabela City, Basilan. November 10, 2017. An encounter between the 68th Philippine Army and the BIAF-MILF Forces in Barangay Upper Cabengbeng Sumisip Basilan that started on November 10 is still raging until this day despite the presence of LMT, CCCH-MILF and the Western Mindanao-based International Monitoring Team (IMT).

The first encounter on November 8 started at about 7AM near the house of Arhan Asnawie, a BIAF member that resulted to the killing of six army soldiers and Bawo A. Abujah, a BIAF-MILF member.

According to a civilian who requested that his name be withheld, members of the Philippine Army were pursuing elements of the Abu Sayaaf Group (ASG) in an area of temporary station (ATS) for MILF Forces in Sumisip town. The presence of the MILF in the area is well known to the military and is of public knowledge. During the first encounter on November 8, the Local Monitoring Team of the (LMT)-MILF kept in touched with the Philippines Army representative in Tabiawan Brigade Headquarters, Isabela City, Basilan.

With the strong intercession by the IMT and the CCCH, the BIAF members agreed to reposition, thereby ending the bloody clashes. The BIAF members were allowed to pass through the highway with their firearms with an agreement that while they are passing Military Checkpoints, army soldiers should not hold their firearms.

Meanwhile, national and local online publications reported the rescue by the military of three (3) Vietnamese kidnapped by the notorious ASG just time for the holding of APEC meeting in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Government were so glad to learn of their rescue and thanked the Philippine Government.

CPP/NDF-FSM: Mass action against DMCI land monopoly is progressing in Far South Mindanao

NDF Far South Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 15): Mass action against DMCI land monopoly is progressing in Far South Mindanao

Ka Efren Aksasato, Spokesperson
NDFP Far South Mindanao

14 November 2017

An incessant mass action against the David M. Consunji Incorporated (DMCI) land monopoly that started in August is progressing in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. Accumulated parcels of land totaling to about 195 hectares have been occupied and cultivated by nearly 140 T’boli-Manobo peasant families who have for so long struggled to repossess their ancestral lands purloined by the big landlord-comprador-warlord Consunji.

The reclaimed area is a portion of Consunji’s 10,990 hectare land holding in the South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat boundary he speciously obtained through the government’s Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) program. It is also within the 3,000 hectare coal mine of the DMC-Construction Equipment and Resources Incorporated (DMC-CERI).

The DMCI came into the area in the middle of 1980 after acquiring the logging concession Sarmiento Industries Incorporated. It subsequently continued the logging operations until the IFMA was constituted three decades ago.

In the process of its IFMA implementation, the DMCI viciously drove the T’boli-Manobos out of their lands by employing its private army and the mercenary government forces to secure its operations. Not long after, large plantations of Arabica coffee and commercial tree species were developed by its subsidiary Silvicultural Industries Incorporated (SII).

Thirty years of unrelenting struggle against Consunji’s tyranny has taught the T’boli-Manobos the importance of organizing their people and forging firm unity. Amidst DMCI and state coercion, the Lumads stand up for what is rightfully theirs – a land for their people to till.
In their initial undertaking, the Lumad peasants were able to occupy an estimated 150 hectare parcel which was apportioned to around a hundred families. The arrogated land is located within the boundaries of sitios Sinambalot, Bermuda and Celtics in Brgy. Monteverde, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat.

Their triumph has conclusively influenced other Lumad communities to pursue with the struggle. Barely three months later, thirty-four families occupied a 45-hectare area within SII’s Dawang Coffee Plantations in sitios Tawan Dagat and Spartan in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

The local Lumad and peasant organization have created various committees tasked to organize and oversee the land occupation, manage the production campaign, and supervise the education and training of the beneficiaries. An intensive education work is currently underway to equip the beneficiaries and their supporters with the necessary principles of their political struggle and the genuine agrarian reform.

 Among the plans laid out by the group is putting up a farmers’ cooperative to carry out services for the beneficiaries and other peasants in the locality.

The T’boli-Manobos are optimistic that their struggle would inspire and impel other dispossessed Lumads and peasants to firmly unite and fight ceaselessly against Consunji and the state’s intensified incursions. Besides, they have definitely proven that a decisive action is very crucial in resolving their land problem.

CPP/Information Bureau: CPP takes responsibility for civilian casualties in NPA ambush

CPP Information Bureau propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 15): CPP takes responsibility for civilian casualties in NPA ambush

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

14 November 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines extends deepest condolences to the family of the 4-month infant who died in the NPA ambush at Brgy. Tikalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon on November 9, 2017.

Initial reports from the field indicate that the Toyota Fortuner, a civilian vehicle, was tailing a police patrol car, the target of the ambush. NPA blocking forces intended for stopping civilian vehicles from entering the ambush site were reportedly unable to flag down the said vehicle, thus exposing it to the deadly volley of fire.
While waiting for the final results of the on-going investigation regarding the circumstances of this unfortunate incident, the CPP takes full responsibility for the death of the infant and the wounding of two other civilians, and will take all measures possible to account for the resulting difficulties.

Preventing injury to civilians has always been the policy of the revolutionary movement in the process of the people’s war. All responsible Party committees and NPA commanders are advised to learn lessons from this incident towards refining the conduct of tactical offensives in order to avoid civilian casualties in the future.

CPP/NCM: 4 ka managsunod nga aksyon militar nalunsad sa NPA-NCMR

NPA-North Central Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 15): 4 ka managsunod nga aksyon militar nalunsad sa NPA-NCMR

Ka Malem Mabini, Spokesperson
NPA-North Central Mindanao

15 November 2017

Human sa malamposong ambus sa Bumbaran PNP kaniadtong November 9,2017 sa may alas 5:40 sa hapon ubos sa Mt.Kitanglad sub-Regional Command (MK-SRC)diin nasakmit ang tulo ka klasi sa armas sunod-sunod usab nga nagpahigayon sa laing aksyong militar ang ubang yunit sa NPA-NCMR.

Novembre 10, 2017 sa alas 11:00 sa buntag – harassment nga gilunsad sa blocking force sa BHB ngadto sa nagresponde nga PNP gikan sa Talacag,Bukidnon ug wala matino ang kaswalidad. Didto sa km.23, Ticalaan, Talacag, Bukidnon.

Novembre 12, 2017 sa may alas 12:00 pasado sa kadlawon, gipabusikaran sa usa ka team ubos sa South Central Bukidnon sub-Regional Command (SCB-SRC) ang duha sa KM 450 military truck sa DRC/8ib PA didto sa Barangay Salawagan, Quezon, Bukidnon nga gikan nagpahigayon ug operasyon sa bukirang bahin sa Quezon, Bukidnon, nakahiagom ug kaswalidad ang AFP ug luwas nga nakadeploy ang mga operatiba sa NPA.

November 12,2017 sa may alas 11:00 pasado sa buntag,nagpahigayon ug checkpoint ang yunit ubos sa Mt.Kitanglad sub-Regional Command (MK-SRC) didto sa sityo Malagsim, barangay Rogongon,Iligan city,sa dihang miagi ang usa ka motorsingle lulan ang 3 ka sakay niini,gipahunong kini sa BHB apan mibalik kini sa agi ug mibunot sa ilang pistola ug namusil .Sa maong kahimtang mibalos ang BHB ug naigo patay si Tsgt.Edgar Andal membro sa 4th mechanize battalion Phil.Army ug Cpl.Reamart Pamplona nga samaron nga nakadagan niadtong higayona.

November 12,2017 sa may ala una pasado sa hapon nagpahigayon ug patrolya ang usa ka yunit ubos Eastern Misamis Oriental North Eastrn Bukidnon Sub-Regional Command (EMONEB-SRC) sa lagonglong,Misamis Oriental, sa taho nga adunay operasyong militar sa lugar diin nahitabo ang engkwentro tali sa AFP luwas nga naka atras sa BHB.

Kining maong aksyong Militar kabahin sa pag tubag sa panawagan sa tibook rebolusyonaryong kalihukan ug sa katawhang Pilipino pagsugat ug pagsupak sa Rehimeng US-Duterte sa gipahigayong ASEAN summit dinhi sa Pilipinas.Pinangulohan sa Imperyalistang estados Unidos ubos ni Trump gihimo kini nga okasyon aron pagpakita sa iyang politikal,militar ug ekonomikanhong gahom nga magdala sa dugang polisiya nga liberalisasyon,mag resulta sa dili patas nga kasabutan pang ekonomiya,pagkalubong sa dagkong utang ,kaylap nga kapobrehon,pagpanghilabot sa pangsulod nga seguridad sa matag nasud sa ngalan sa “gubat batok terorismo”,gamit ang kabangis aron pagsumpo sa katawhan nga gusto ug kabag-ohan sa mga pobre og atrasadong nasud sa Rehiyong Asya Pasipiko.

CPP/NPA: On the Talakag incident

CPP/NPA propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 15): On the Talakag incident

Ka Oris, Spokesperson
New People’s Army

15 November 2017
The New People’s Army (NPA) takes full responsibility and expresses remorse for the unfortunate and unnecessary death of an infant and injury to two adult civilians arising from the ambush by an NPA unit in Barangay Tigkalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon last November 11.

We hope that the aggrieved families and friends could find it in their hearts, however difficult, to accept our profound apologies. The local NPA unit is already exerting efforts to make amends including extending necessary indemnification.

There is no justification for the aggravation suffered by the civilians in the Bumbaran incident. In waging armed revolution, all units of the NPA abide by the policy of giving the highest regard to the rights of civilians and should take pains to ensure that civilians are protected from harm.

The higher NPA command has already initiated an investigation in order to identify the weaknesses and mistakes and draw lessons to avoid a repeat of such an unfortunate incident.

CPP/NPA-Camarines Sur: AFP, Muling Binigwasan ng NPA sa Camarines Sur

NPA-Camarines Sur propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 15): AFP, Muling Binigwasan ng NPA sa Camarines Sur

Michael Robredo, Spokesperson
NPA-Camarines Sur (Norben Gruta Command)

15 November 2017
Press Release

Noong Nobyembre 14, binigwasan ng isang yunit ng Norben Gruta Command (Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Kanlurang Camarines Sur) ang operasyong militar ng AFP sa Barangay Bagong Silang, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur. Dalawa ang patay sa hanay ng AFP, habang walang pinsalang natamo sa hanay ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB).

Aabot ng isang linggong tuloy-tuloy na nag-operasyon ang 9th IB sa bayan ng Ragay at Del Gallego sa unang distrito ng Camarines Sur bago mangyari ang nasabing labanan. Ang operasyong militar ng AFP ay isa lamang sa sunod-sunod na operasyon sa kanayunan na nagdadala ng takot sa mamamayan sa pagpapatupad ng “full-scale” o todo-largang gera ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Upang ipagtanggol ang interes ng mamamayan at labanan ang pasistang panunupil, naglunsad ang BHB ng aktibong depensa upang bigwasan ang AFP. Gamit ang masusing pag-aaral sa kilos ng kaaway, nagplano ang BHB para epektibong labanan ang operasyong militar. Pumwesto ang BHB sa paborableng tereyn para mahusay na makadepensa anumang oras na malapitan sila ng operasyong militar.

Alas singko ng umaga, Nobyembre 14, napag-alaman ng isang yunit ng Norben Gruta Command (NGC) na malapit na sa kanilang base ang isang platun ng AFP. Agad na naghanda ang mga Pulang mandirigma sa posibleng labanan at matyagang nag-abang para maunahan ng putok ang papalapit na kaaway. Bandang 2:45 ng hapon, naganap ang labanan na umabot ng dalawang minuto. Sa unang bugso ng putukan, agad na natumba ang 2 elemento ng AFP na nagtangkang agawin ang susing tereyn ng kalupaan. Subalit nabigo sila dahil nauna nang nakapwesto ang mga Pulang mandirigmang nakaalerto sa kanilang pagdating. Sumigaw ang isang elemento ng AFP na “Sir, hindi kaya, marami sila!” at bahag ang buntot na umatras ang mga pwersa ng AFP. Ligtas na nakamaniobra ang nasabing yunit ng NGC nang walang anumang natamong pinsala sa kanilang hanay. Dahil sa mahusay na kaalaman sa tereyn, malakas na suportang masa at kahandaang pangkombat, epektibong nagagamit ng BHB ang taktikang gerilyang “akitin sa kailaliman” ang kaaway.

Matatandaang ngayong taon lamang ay makailang ulit nang binigo ng BHB ang mga atake ng 92nd DRC (Division Reconnaissance Company) at 9th IB. Nito lamang Nobyembre 1, bandang alas-syete ng umaga, binigo rin ng isang iskwad sa ilalim ng NGC ang tangkang pagkubkob ng AFP sa Sityo Matakla, Barangay Bulawan, Sipocot, Camarines Sur. Para pagtakpan ang kabiguang masukol ang BHB, nagpalabas ang AFP ng balitang nagkaroon ng 40-minutong labanan. Ang totoo’y 5 minuto lang ang palitan ng putok. Ang walang patumanggang pagpapaputok ng AFP matapos ang engkwentro ay iniulat nilang lehitimo pang labanan.

Makakaasa ang sambayanan na patuloy na mananatiling alerto at handa ang BHB sa pagdepensa at paglunsad ng mga taktikal na opensiba sa kanayunan upang biguin ang mapanupil at pasistang pag-aatake ng AFP sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte, at upang bigyang-diin ang pangangailangan para sa pambansa at panlipunang pagpapalaya, lalo na sa gitna ng mga nagaganap na pagpapatipon ng mga imperyalista, katulad ng ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Summit at EAS (East Asia Summit), upang patatagin ang kanilang kontrol sa ekonomya, pulitika at militar sa Pilipinas at iba pang atrasadong bansa. Ubos-kayang lalabanan ng BHB ang “todo-largang gera” na sa totoo’y pagtatanggol lamang ni Duterte sa kanyang napakabulok na burukrata-kapitalistang hari-harian at pagpapalakas sa paghahari ng kanyang imperyalistang amo sa Pilipinas.

Mabuhay ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan! Mabuhay ang rebolusyong Pilipino!

CPP/NPA-Abra: Kahibangan ng Batas Militar at Diktadura Pabor sa mga Dayuhang Pandarambong!

NPA-Abra propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 16): Kahibangan ng Batas Militar at Diktadura Pabor sa mga Dayuhang Pandarambong!

Lumalapastangan sa Karapatan ng Mamamayan

Ka Diego Wadagan, Spokesperson
NPA-Abra (Agustin Begnalen Command)
16 November 2017

Desperado ang rehimeng US-Duterte sa paghahasik ng lagim at pagpapatindi ng atake sa mamamayan para sa interes ng imperyalistang US at iba pang dayuhan sa ilalim ng kanyang Internal Security Plan: “Oplan kapayapaan”, na kung saan pinatitindi nito ang mga operasyong militar at paghahasik ng terorismo sa mga lugar ng mga pambansang minorya at sa mga lugar na target tayuan ng mapandambong na proyekto alinsunod sa plano ng “Dutertenomics”

Target ng “Oplan Kapayapaan” ang ambisyon ng administrasyon na durugin ang buong pwersa ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa katapusan ng 2018. Maraming presidente na ang nagsabi nito, lahat ito ay pawang nabigo. Ito ay nagpapatunay na hindi kailanman makakayang durugin ang kilusan na nagsusulong ng tunay na kagalingan at interes ng mamamayan. Pinapakita lang ni Duterte ang pagkadesperado nya sa kanyang ambisyon, kaya minamadali nito ang pag rerecruit ng dagdag pwersa ng AFP, PNP at ,CAFGU.

Malinaw na laganap ang iskema ng batas miltar ng rehimeng US-Duterte na lumalapastangan sa karapatang pantao hindi lang sa Mindanao kundi maging dito sa Abra. Malinaw din na interes lang ng mga dayuhang kapitalista ang ipinapanguna ng gobyerno. Sa Marawi, pagkatapos nilang ideklarang tapos na ang gera laban sa “terorista”, maraming kapitalista ang nag-uunahan para sa pagtatayo ng negosyo. Ganito ang bagong mukha ng pagpapasok ng proyekto ng mga kasosyong kapitalista ng gobyerno, mula PPP project ni BS-Aquino noon na ngayon naman ay “Build Build Build” ng “Dutertenomics”.

Tulad ng napipintong pagpasok ng dayuhang kumpanya ng Pan Pacific Power Phils Corp., para sa pagtatayo ng geothermal energy project na sasaklaw sa kabuuang 49,000 ektarya na teritoryo ng 8 munisipyo (Tubo, Luba, Manabo, Boliney, Daguioman, Bucloc, Sallapadan at Licuan-Baay); sa kabilang banda naman ay planong pagtatayo muli ng Binongan dam sa Lacub, Abra, ilan lang ito sa mga “Duternomics” sa Abra kaya naman pinapatindi ang operasyong militar ng 24th IB at CAFGU recruitment para magsilbing protektor nito. Nagaganap ang matinding pang-aapi ng AFP-PNP at mga Warlord-Pulitiko sa mamamayan ng Abra sa harap ng matinding krisis ng kabuhayan ng mga magsasaka sa Abra, na tulad ng pagbaba ng kanilang ani dahil sa kakulangan ng suplay ng tubig at walang sapat na perang pantustos sa mga pangangailangan. Mas lalo pang lalaganap ang pang-aapi sa kanila dahil dinidimonisa ng militar at kapulisan ang kanilang mga katutubong samahan at mismong ang DILG-LGU ay nagsisilbing instrumento sa paglabag sa karapatang pantao.

Tulad dito sa Abra, marami na ang naitalang paglabag ng mga bumubuo ng “Provincial Peace and Order Council” na tinawag nilang “anti-insurgency-TF” at ng Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action, na pinangungunahan ng ambisyosong si Lt. Col. Dominic Tomas Baluga ng 24th IBPA, Abra PNP at Governor Joy Valera-Bernos. Nagkokoro ang mga ito sa pagpapalaganap ng kontra-mamamayang propaganda, panggigipit, pangaaresto, pananakot, pangbobomba at pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga sibilyan at personahe na tinagurian nilang “teroristang grupo”. Narito ang ilang listaahan ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao dulot ng hibang na militarismong atake:

Ilegal na pag-aresto

Taong 2016, dinukot ng mga sundalo ng 24th IB ang apat na residente ng Brgy. Duldulao, Malibcong habang ang mga ito ay nangangaso. Umabot ng apat na araw na paghahanap sa kanila ng mamamayan at napilitan ang mga sundalo na ilabas ang apat na sibilyan. Napag-alaman na ginawang guide sa operasyon ang mga sibilyan na ito at sinabihan sila ng mga opisyal ng militar na huwag sabihin ang ginawa nilang kalupitan sa kanila. Ipinatawag ng PNP Abra ang mga dirver ng motorsiklo sa Malibcong at inaakusahan ang mga ito na nagsasakay ng NPA. Pinagbantaan sila na huhulihin kung magsasakay ng NPA. Marso 2017, Ilegal naman na dinakip ng mga sundalo ang dalawang mag-aaral ng Mataragan National Agricultural School o MNAS habang naglalakad ito patungo sa pyesta sa Bangilo. Pinaratangan sila na di-umano ay nagmamanman sa mga sundalong nagooperasyon. Ang mga mag-aaral na ito ay kasapi ng Kabataan Partylist. Sila ay in-enteroga at tinakot ng mga sundalo.

Pambobomba sa mga komunidad at kabundukan sa Abra
Marso 2016, matapos na ilunsad ng NPA-Abra ang raid sa Malibcong MPS at pagtambang sa reimporsment nitong Abra PNP, walang habas na nagbagsak ng bomba ang jet fighter na nagresulta sa pagkasunog ng kabundukan at naging sanhi ng pagkatakot ng mga sibilyan. Agosto 7, nagkaroon ng enkwentro sa pagitan ng mga pulang mandirigma at sundalo ng 24th IBPA kung saan ay walang pakundangan nagpasabog ang mga sundalo ng M203 granade launcher na tumama sa loob ng komunidad sanhi ng pagkasira ng bubongan ng isang residente sa Brgy. Danac East, Boliney. Nitong Nobyembre 8, walang habas na nagbomba ng mortar ang 24th IBPA sa Brgy. Ableg, Daguioman kung saan tumama ang bala ng mortar malapit sa isang kubo ng masa dito(pakalso ng masa). Pinagbawalan ng militar na lumabas ang mga residente dito at nagdulot ng matinding takot dahil sa pagsabi ng militar na gagawing nilang Marawi ang kanilang bayan kung susuporta sila sa NPA.

Serye ng mga pangigipit sa mga sibilyan at personahe sa Abra

Matapos ang pambobomba ng AFP sa Malibcong noong Marso ay kinasela nito ang mga klase sa buong bayan at pinagbawalang lumabas patungo sa mga sakahan at kaingin ang mga sibilyan. Pinalawak at pinahigpit naman ng mga miltar ang check-point at malisyosong pinararatangan ang mga motorista at byahero na mga myembro di umano ng NPA. Hindi pinayagan ng mga militar na makapasok ang mga bigas na gagamitin ng mga tao sa pagdiriwang ng pyesta ng St. Joseph sa Bangilo dahil sa pag-aakala nilang suplay di umano ito ng NPA. Maging ang mga guro at mga magulang sa Mataragan National Agricultural School (MNAS) ay pinaparatangan ng 24th IB na nagtuturo daw ng progresibong pag-aaral, kumakanta ng internasyunal matapos ang flag ceremony, at mayroon di-umanong training ground malapit sa kanilang paaralan. Mariing pinabulaaanan ito ng mga guro at magulang sa pamamagitan ng paglabas nila ng nagkakaisang pahayag para itanggi ang paratang.

Sa Boliney, pinagbibintangan ng militar ang isang opisyal ng barangay at elders sa Brgy. Dao-angan na ito diuamano’y suporter ng NPA sa lugar. Agad na gumawa ng aksyon ang mga opisyal ng barangay upang ipagtanggol nila ang kanilang kababayan. Sa Bangued, Abra, malisyosong pinagbibintangan ng 24th IB ang isang negosyante dito na tinawag nilang Edna’s Store na di-umano ay nagbebenta ng kanyang paninda sa mga “terorista” at halos naging araw-araw ang pagbantay dito ng mga militar. Maging ang KASTAN-CPA na isang progresibong organisasyon ay walang tigil na minamanmanan ang mga istap nito at inaakusahan bilang “teroristang grupo”. Sa Brgy. Modiit, Dolores, pilit na hinalughog ang bahay ng isang pastor sa bisa ng “search warrant” upang hanapin daw ang mga armas. Walang nakuhang armas sa bahay ngunit ninakaw ng mga militar at pulis ang mga legal na dokumento ng kanilang samahan at sinabi ng mga ito na subersibo daw ito. Sa bayan ng Sallapadan, Abra ipinagbawal ng militar at ng gobernadora ang paglulunsad ng general assesmbly ng tradisyunal na organsisasyon dito at pinagbantaan ang kapitan ng baranggay na hindi ibibigay ang mga project at IRA kung bibigyan niya ng permit ang mga ito. Tuwirang binansagan ng gobernadora na asembliya di-umano ito ng NPA. Sa Lacub, kasalukuyan ang pagtatayo ng company headquarter ng 24th IB sa mismong kabahayan ng Brgy. Poblacion, Lacub kung saan ay katabi mismo ito ng 16 na pamilya. Inerereklamo ng mga residente dito ang kampo at walang nangyaring konsultasyon. Inoobliga naman ng 24th IB ang lahat ng barangay opisyal na magrekruta ng CAFGU sa kanilang barangay.

Ang kahibangan ng rehimeng US-Duterte at AFP-PNP na “uubusin” nito ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa katapusan ng 2018 ay mangangahulugan lamang ng matinding pang-aapi sa mamamayan. Lubhang mahihiwalay lamang ang rehimen sa masa. Siguradong lalabanan at bibiguin ng mamamayan ng Abra ang mapaniil na “anti-insurgency task force” ng AFP-PNP dahil ito ay lubhang lumalabag sa karapatang pantao. Ang makatarungang adhikain ng mga mamamayan para sa paglutas ng krisis sa produkyon ng pagkain sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga samahan at ang paggigiit ng karapatan sa kanilang lupaing ninuno ang magsisilbing inspirasyon upang sama-samang kumilos at lumaban sa hindi makataong batas militar na umiiral sa buong probinsya. Mas napatutunayan ngayon ng taumbayan na wasto ang armadong pakikibaka bilang malakas na armas na dudurog sa paghaharing diktadura at pakikibaka para sa sariling pagpapasya bilang mga Pambansang Minorya.


CPP/Information Bureau: CPP to Trump: The Philippines is not a piece of real estate

CPP  Information Bureau propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 16): CPP to Trump: The Philippines is not a piece of real estate

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

16 November 2017

US President Donald Trump’s view of the Philippines as “the most prime piece of real estate” not only shows his imperialist, rascist contempt of the Filipino people by stamping a real estate value on their homeland. Worse, it pulls the Philippines into the vortex of its wars in Asia.

Trump’s announcement after the Asean trip that the Philippines is “the most prime piece of real estate…an unbelievably important military location, …a perfect spot,” shows the US government’s priorities in its designs on the Philippines. Aside from the already frequent military exercises, increased military equipment and training for the AFP, Trump also announced that he will be giving $2 million to support Duterte’s criminal drug war.

US imperialism has already manifested this view of the Philippines as its forward military base since the turn of the 20th century when it waged a bloody colonial war on the Philippines to use it against China. Until the 1950’s to the 1970’s, it has consistently used the Philippines as launching pad for its wars of agression on Korea and Vietnam. But this time, the president put it so bluntly, in an official White House statement to boot, raising the level of pressure the US will exercise to control this area in its Asian positioning.

With US imperialism’s muscle-flexing on the issue of the South China Sea and the Malacca Strait, Trump finds that “it’s very important that we get along with the Philippines, and we do.” He has welcome allies in an AFP that slaughters its own people in defense of US imperialist interests, and a president singing the same war-mongering tune against the DPRK—in fact, even singing a love ditty as the master orders it to, true to its puppet character.

The CPP salutes the patriotic forces who braved the water cannons and truncheons to show their protest against Trump. The NPA units who launched different forms of military actions to underscore their protest of the Trump visit also deserve commendation. In the end, it is the Filipino people, through their revolutionary and militant struggles, that will show Trump and his ilk that the Philippines is not a piece of real estate but a democratic, sovereign nation.

DWDD: SURRENDER | 8 ASG yielded with Firearms to JTF Sulu

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Nov 14): SURRENDER  |  8 ASG yielded with Firearms to JTF Sulu

CAMP TEODULFO BAUTISTA, Jolo , Sulu (DWDD) – Due to relentless Focused Military Operations (FMO) complemented by Intelligence and Civil-Military Operations, eight more Abus surrender with high-powered firearms surrendered to forces of JTF Sulu at 7:35 a.m., on November 11, 2017.


According to BGen Cirilito Sobejana, Commander, JTF Sulu, the eight bandits who are remnants of the slain ASG leader Alhabsy Misaya surrendered to Lt. Col. Jessie R. Montoya, Commanding Officer of 2nd Special Forces Battalion at its Headquarters in Sitio Bayug, Brgy. Samak, Talipao, Sulu.

The ASG members who voluntarily submitted themselves to the military authorities are: 1) Rakib Usman Mujakkil, 35 and 2) Sadhikal Sabi Asnon, 38, both from Sitio Taluk-Taluk, Brgy. Capual; and 3) Jarrain Elil, 52 from Brgy. Sacuban all of Omar, Sulu; 4) Wahab Buklaw, 47 and 5) Anggan Ali Sahaw, 43, both from Brgy. Timudas, Pata, Sulu; 6) Bandi Ahadjula, 56 and 7) Adih Manis Juhaini, 25, both from Brgy. Tukay, Parang, Sulu; and, Alden Banon, 30, a resident of Brgy. Kabungkol, Talipao, Sulu.

The said surrenderors also brought with them a total of eight (8) high-powered firearms, as follows: two (2) M16 rifles, one (1) M14 rifle, and five (5) M1 Garand rifles as a gesture of their genuine intention to return to the folds of the law and live peacefully with the community where they came from.

Said surrenderors will undergo medical examination to check their physical condition. Thereafter, a custodial debriefing shall be conducted to know other important information that they may share which will guide us in our subsequent actions to bring genuine and lasting peace in the province of Sulu.

JTF Sulu shall continue to receive surrenderors as part of our commitment in pursuing peace initiatives in the Joint Area of Operations for the betterment of all the people whom we serve and bound to protect.

‘We are very thankful to the LGUs, other stakeholders, and all the peace-loving Tausugs who rally behind us in our campaign to end terrorism in Sulu. We really appreciate your effort of generating social pressure against the remaining ASG members. Indeed, you have greatly contributed in the over-all conduct of our military operations causing them to voluntarily surrender.” JTF Sulu /MCAG