Monday, December 4, 2017

Rebels free abducted cop in North Cotabato

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): Rebels free abducted cop in North Cotabato

After almost four months in captivity, a police intelligence officer abducted by communist rebels in North Cotabato was freed Monday by his captors to local facilitators that included nuns and priests.

Police Officer 1 Bristol Catalan, intelligence officer of Makilala town police office, was released by the New People’s Army (NPA) Mt. Apo Sub-Regional Command in Southern Mindanao in Barangay Bagumbayan, Magpet, North Cotabato at about 12 noon.

Catalan was snatched by NPA rebels last August 16 in Barangay Katipunan, Kidapawan City. He was driving a motorbike to send his children to school when the rebels blocked his path and abducted him.

Chief Inspector Aldrin Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Police Regional Office-12, said Catalan was emotional when he met with his wife Jessa.

Lt. Col. Harold Argamosa of the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion said the release of Catalan was made possible through the intercession of preachers and nuns led by Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.

Argamosa said local officials also helped negotiate the release of Catalan.
Gonzalez said the North Cotabato provincial police office will provide Catalan psycho-social intervention needed to hasten his recovery from his captivity by the NPA. Catalan is yet to issue statement detailing his captivity as officials said he was given ample time to be with his family.

Navy rescues vessel in distress off Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): Navy rescues vessel in distress off Basilan

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) has rescued a wooden-hulled vessel in distress with 67 people on board off Basilan province, a top military official announced Monday.

Rear Adm. Rene Medina, NFWM commander, said M/L Fatima Devie skippered by Cesar Abdul was rescued at around 10:20 p.m. Friday near Baluk-Baluk Island, Hadji Muhatamad town.

M/L Fatima Devie was manned by seven crew members aside from Abdul, and was loaded with 59 people at the time of the incident.

Medina said investigation showed the vessel was sailing to Zamboanga City coming from Taganak, Turtle Island municipality, Tawi-Tawi “when the rudder broke that resulted to a major steering casualty” at around 7:20 p.m. Friday.

The mechanical defect caused the vessel to drift at sea, Medina added.

The NFWM through the Naval Task Force 61 deployed BRP-Iwak (LC-289) to provide assistance to the vessel in distress.

Medina said BRP-Iwak, which is skippered by Cmdr. Homer Gonzalez, rescued M/L Fatimah Devie at around 10:20 p.m. Friday and towed the vessel to safety.

He said they arrived at around 1:38 a.m. Saturday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan, this city.

He said the successful rescue operations of the Navy vessels proves the readiness and responsiveness of the Naval Force in the Western Mindanao.

He added the Philippine Navy stands ready to render assistance and support to vessels in distressed while conducting its missions and maritime patrols in the Western Mindanao region.

NPA owns attack on Misamis Oriental police station

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): NPA owns attack on Misamis Oriental police station

The New People’s Army (NPA) has owned up the attack on a police station in Binuangan town, Misamis Oriental on Sunday, Dec. 3.

In a text message sent to the media on Sunday, the NPA said the unit responsible for the attack was the East Misamis Oriental Northeastern Bukidnon (Emoneb) Subregional Command.

“This (attack) should serve as a reminder to the police, military and the Duterte regime that the NPA does not fear of his (Duterte) threat of all-out war and martial law whose victims are the hapless civilians,” a part of the text message said.

It added the NPA suffered no casualty on its side.

Police report said about a hundred NPA fighters stormed the town’s police station at around 3:15 a.m. Sunday. Four police officers were wounded in the firefight that lasted for about three hours.

The attack was allegedly led by Manuelito Satur, alias “Ka Musong,” a certain Jakem, Oscar Romania, a certain “Amboy” and “Makong Mansigyaw.”

Authorities condemed the foiled attack, saying it reeks of desperation.

“The NPA terrorists failed on their attack on the police station and failed to get their (police) firearms, and retreated to the hinterlands, because our [Phil. National Police] personnel fought hard and defended their police station despite the NPA strength,” said Supt. Lemuel Gonda, PNP-10 spokesperson.

In a separate statement, the Phil. Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) said the attack was a failure and an insult to the leaders of the Maoist insurgents.

“This another failed terror attack is a big slap to the NPA leadership. More than the resiliency of the PNP who stood their ground during the attack are the timely report and outpouring support from the civilians about the NPA’s plan,” Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, the 4ID commander, said.

Villanueva said, “we condemn the terrorists courses of action when they used the civilian properties, such as vehicles along the highway and the nearby houses as their shield. This is a clear and undeniable proof that they really do not care about the safety of the masses. All they wanted to do is to sow fear to advance their terroristic activities that are aimed to make people suffer.”

ARMM settles clan dispute in Lanao Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 5): ARMM settles clan dispute in Lanao Sur

The Regional Reconciliation and Unification Commission in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RRUC-ARMM) on Monday settled a long-standing feud involving Moro clans in Lanao del Sur whose hostilities had stemmed from partisan politics.

Romeo Sema, RRUC-ARMM chair, said the conflict started when Bayabao Tomas was shot dead allegedly by Armi Enterino after the May 16 local elections. Since then, the Bayabao and Enterino clans have been at odds with each other as battles repeatedly erupted anytime clan members meet.

Clan members from both sides had sought the help of RRUC in their desire to end the “rido” (family feud).

Sema said the warring families actually belonged to one big family who had different political affiliations and convictions. He said their coming over to be under the supervision of RRUC was an indication they wanted to settle their bloody differences through peaceful means.

“They are all related by blood and by affinity so there’s no reason they will not mend ways, forget and forgive and move on,” Sema said in vernacular.

Elders of warring families swore before the Holy Qur’an and signed the peace agreement they both vowed to uphold and respect in the name of peace.

The involved families were from the coastal towns of Malabang and Balabagan.

BIFF leader killed in North Cotabato ambush

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 5): BIFF leader killed in North Cotabato ambush

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a student of slain Malaysian terror bomb expert Zulkifli bin Hir here over the weekend.

Killed was Tato Puaya, 35, who was linked to bombing incidents here and nearby towns. Puaya’s wife, identified as Cherida, 32, was injured in the ambush that took place late Friday afternoon, according to Senor Inspector Junrel Amotan, Mdsayap town deputy police chief.

The couple was on board a pedicab, locally known as “payong-payong,” heading for home at Sitio Macantar, Barangay Ulandang when attacked by unidentified gunmen onboard a black pick-up vehicle.

Amotan said the attackers waited for the victims to pass by and opened fire as they approached the crime scene.

The victims were brought to a hospital in the adjacent town of Datu Piang in Maguindanao but Puaya was declared dead upon arrival.

Police probers recovered 38 pieces of empty shells for M16 rifle at the crime scene.

A follow-up investigation conducted by the military showed that Puaya was a sub-commander of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) under Commander Ustadz Karialan and linked to bombing attacks in Midsayap and nearby areas this year.

Army intelligence sources said Puaya was one of the students and closed-in bodyguard of Zulkifli bin Hir who was killed in police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015.

Marawi cops arrest suspect in murder of couple, daughter

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 5): Marawi cops arrest suspect in murder of couple, daughter

Police in Marawi City have arrested one of the suspects in the killing and burning of a couple and a daughter in Lanao del Sur.

Supt. Ibra Moxsir, Marawi City police chief, in his report Monday to the PNP Regional Office - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM) based here, said that follow up operations are underway after the suspect, whom he did not identify, named his accomplices to the crime.

Moxsir said the arrested suspect was one of three armed men who barged into the house and shot to death Khalid Ditingki, his wife Santalla and their daughter Norhidaya at past 10 p.m. Friday.

Khalid is a village councilman of lakeside village of Matampay in Marantao. The village borders Marantao town and Marawi City.

While land dispute could be the possible motive, Moxsir said there were indications the suspects were supporters of local Maute terror group.

The charred remains of the victims were immediately buried by relatives in keeping with the Islamic tradition of burying the dead within 24 hours.

Citing police reports from Lanao del Sur, Senior Inspector Jemar Delos Santos, spokesperson for PRO-ARMM, said that the victims were asleep when the suspects barged inside the house, opened fire on the couple and daughter before setting afire the family’s remains.

Neighbors rescued the seven other children of Khalid and turned them over to the city social welfare and development office in Marawi.

FVR urges AFP, PNP to tighten security amid NPA attacks

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): FVR urges AFP, PNP to tighten security amid NPA attacks

Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Saturday urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to be “alert and watchful” in the government’s war on terror following the spate of attacks mounted by the New People’s Army (NPA) on government forces in the past few weeks in various parts of the country.

“Our troops must always be alert of any attack, especially ambuscade by the NPA in any part of the country, including Metro Manila,” Ramos said in an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency in Camp Aguinaldo.

Ramos stressed that the military and police must be ready to protect President Rodrigo Duterte as commander-in-chief.

Ramos also expressed concern for the security situation in the country, after the peace talks between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) bogged down.

The NPA’s recent atrocities, including the killing of a policeman who was shot 73 times and the NPA ambush in Sitio Camansi, Barangay Bolo, Maasin town in Iloilo, dismayed Duterte.

Peace talks between the government and the communist rebels have been on-and-off for more than a decade now with no peace accord reached.

Ramos said government forces must be on guard to thwart rebel attacks, especially with the onset of the Christmas season.

Last week, Duterte told security troops to shoot armed rebels even as an executive order is being prepared to proclaim them as terrorists.

The President has signed Proclamation No. 360 terminating peace negotiations with the NPA.

He told troops of the Philippine Army that he would not allow the military to be at a disadvantage in the war against the NPA, the CPP’s armed wing, which has been waging a protracted Maoist-type of revolutionary warfare for nearly five decades.

AFP expects more NPA attacks on 'soft targets'

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): AFP expects more NPA attacks on 'soft targets'

Following their tactical defeat in Nasugbu, Batangas last week, the remaining New People's Army (NPA) bandits are expected to intensify their attacks against "soft targets".

This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo late Sunday when asked on the sudden increase of rebel attacks in police outposts and civilians nationwide in Bicol, Cagayan, and Misamis Oriental.

"Those were meant to make up for the tactical defeats they have experienced in view of the intensified focused military operations. Chief of which is the successful operations in Nasugbu, Batangas that led to the neutralization of 14 members of the communist terrorists and seizure of 12 high-powered firearms," he said.

Aside from the deaths of rebels in Batangas, one was also wounded and captured by the military.

"We may add that just for the month of November, 119 New Peoples Army were neutralized: 21 died, 29 were arrested, 69 surrendered. A total of 62 high powered and low powered firearms were seized," Arevalo pointed out.

As government forces intensified their campaign against the NPA, the military official urged the rebels to consider the only options left available to them.

"Take advantage of the opportunity for them to surface and be reunited with their family; join mainstream society; and be productive members of the community by availing of the Comprehensive Local Integration Program. Or suffer the same fate of their cohorts who died refusing to see the better alternative offered by government," Arevalo said.

For the sake of their families and loved ones, the AFP public affairs office chief hopes that the communist rebels choose to surrender and return to the fold of the law.

PAF in need of Huey choppers’ spare parts

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): PAF in need of Huey choppers’ spare parts

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is allocating the sum of PHP31,024,000 for the acquisition of spare parts needed for the maintenance and repair of the power-plant systems of its UH-IH/D helicopters.

Submission and opening of bids is slated on December 7, 9 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

The PAF is using its UH-IH/D helicopters for transport, supply and medical evacuation missions.

"All particulars relative to Eligibility Statement and Screening, Bid Security, Performance Security, Pre-Bidding Conference/s, Evaluation of Bids, Post-Qualification and Award of Contract shall be governed by the pertinent provisions of RA 9184 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)," the bid bulletin which was posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System stated.

50 Muslim youth leaders attend 4-day educational tour in Malaysia

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): 50 Muslim youth leaders attend 4-day educational tour in Malaysia

Some 50 youngsters from Mindanao participated in the 2nd Muslim Youth Leaders' Educational Tour held in Malaysia, the military reported Sunday.

The activity took place from November 20 to 24, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

The participants were accompanied by 10 representatives from the Sulu local government and the Department of Education, as well as 10 AFP support personnel.

“These Muslim youths with ages 14 to 25 years old are mostly from Maguindanao Province, they arrived in Malaysia by a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane and were welcomed by the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur,” he added.

Participants in the four-day educational tour had a series of interactions with their Malaysian counterparts who had various cultural and religious backgrounds.

“We hope that through this activity, these youth leaders and those that accompany them will become advocates of peace and good governance when they return to their communities," Arevalo pointed out.

The delegates also visited different Malaysian Government offices such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Department of Islamic Development, organizations such as the Global Movement of Moderates, and schools like the International Islamic University of Malaysia.

Now on its second year, the tour is a project of the AFP Civil-Military Operations in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia.

NOLCOM troops drive off Reds in Ilocos Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 5): NOLCOM troops drive off Reds in Ilocos Sur

Troops from the Tarlac-based Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) has successfully beaten off a rebel group during a patrol in Salcedo town, Ilocos Sur Monday morning.

Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, NOLCOM spokesperson, said soldiers from the 71st Division Reconnaissance Company and the 81st Infantry Battalion were conducting patrol operations when they chanced upon 15 armed rebels belonging to the New People's Army's (NPA) Platun Sis (Sandino) around 8:30 a.m. Monday.

In the ensuing 30-minute firefight, the NPA band sustained an undetermined number of casualties, forcing them to retreat.

Nato said no losses were incurred by government forces in the fighting.

"NOLCOM will continue to keep the enemy on the run and outbalanced by conducting aggressive, relentless and focused military operations (FMO) in identified NPA lairs in the areas of North and Central Luzon. NOLCOM will uphold its commitment of rendering selfless service to the nation and protect the people’s rights," he added.

Authorities move to stop JI resurgence

From the Philippine Star (Dec 3): Authorities move to stop JI resurgence

Under Administrative Order 9, the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council will heads the task force and has operational control, supervision and overall responsibility for Marawi reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

In the wake of Islamic State (IS) movements by radical Islamists, authorities here and abroad are coordinating closely to prevent the resurgence of the Southeast Asia terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and deter it from conducting violent extremist activities in the region, including the Philippines.

Highly-placed sources told The STAR that JI – responsible for the 2000 Rizal Day bombings in Manila and the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia – may have gone underground but its cells seem to be active despite various crackdowns in the past years.

A group, involved in countering efforts to radicalize Islam and violent extremism, did not rule out that JI is still operating in Indonesia and the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao.

“Jemaah Islamiyah could still be there,” the source said.

The recent arrest in Indonesia of a 25-year-old “third generation” JI operative, said to be a relative of an arrested JI leader now detained in Singapore, has triggered close coordination, said sources who refused to give further details on the operations.
Task Force Bangon Marawi head Eduardo del Rosario and Lanao del Sur Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, in a press briefing at Malacañang last Friday, claimed that extremist groups continue to recruit followers in Mindanao even after government forces neutralized the IS-linked terrorists who attacked Marawi City last May 23.

The campaign to drive the terrorists out of the Islamic city took five months of intense fighting that left over 1,000 people dead and thousands homeless.

President Duterte has been echoing his serious concerns about IS during his speeches, especially in military camps.

The serious threats brought by the group in Marawi prompted Duterte to declare martial law in all of Mindanao last May 23. It would last until Dec. 31 as approved by Congress.

Sources revealed that proper coordination among security and intelligence agencies within the region has been made to ensure that JI and its allied members will not be able to conduct recruitment and special operations.

The move is part of government efforts to bolster cooperation against groups that aim to sow terror in the region amid the threat of IS to establish a caliphate in the region.

Apart from the October 2005 suicide bombings in Bali that killed 20 people and injured 129 others, JI is also deemed responsible for the 2004 suicide car bombing at the Australian embassy in Jakarta; the 2003 car bombing at the JW Marriot Hotel in Jakarta; the wave of church bombings in Indonesia in 2000; series of bombings in Manila that killed 20 people in December 2000; and a 1995 plot to bomb 11 US commercial airliners in Asia.

In the past 10 to 15 years, top JI leaders and about 300 operatives, including its founder Abu Bakar Bashir, were arrested. The arrest in Thailand of JI operations leader Nurjaman Riduan Ismuddin, also known as Hambali, struck a big blow to the terror cell’s organizational set-up.

In the Philippines, local authorities neutralized JI operative and bombmaker Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi after he escaped from Camp Crame in 2003. The Philippines along with Singapore and Malaysia have all pursued JI as they reportedly have engaged in intensified sharing of intelligence information with the US.

Apart from local threat groups like the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu Sayyaf Group, the country’s security forces are working closely with their Asian counterparts for the monitoring of regional and global groups allied with the IS.

At the height of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila last month, Duterte brought the issue of the need to address violent extremism and terrorism – a major concern among leaders of the 10-member regional bloc.

Clear and present danger

In a press briefing during the 8th ASEAN Visiting Journalists Program last week, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan revealed that the issue of terrorism and extremist terrorism will be top on the agenda of the ASEAN next year.

“We are facing a clear and present danger from terrorism. There is no doubt about that. I mentioned already the examples, the Philippines, the danger, even of parts of Rakhine State becoming a sanctuary for terrorism,” Balakrishnan told 15 visiting journalists who attended the conference last week.

After the Philippines’ chairmanship, Singapore will be leading the ASEAN summit and related meetings next year.

“We are facing a clear and present danger. Even if you look at Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, we have had extremists, we have had to arrest people,” the Singaporean official added.

Balakrishnan revealed that the bloc’s economic development would be derailed if the member-states will not put primary importance on addressing extremist terrorism.

“Otherwise, Southeast Asia will be vulnerable to extremists and radicals who are using race, language, religion and the lack of economic opportunities as an exercise to recruit radicals,” Balakrishnan said.

He cited for example the Marawi crisis in Mindanao that showed how radicals are dead set on sowing violence in any country.

“(In) Southeast Asia – we already have problems in Marawi, we’ve seen it, and I’m glad that the Philippines has been able to resolve it. You know as well as I do this is not the end,” Balakrishnan added.

He noted that the problem in Southern Philippines has been going on for about 700 years since the Spanish got there.

“Surely, we don’t want centuries of trouble in Western Myanmar, because otherwise, as ISIS loses its territories and its influence in the Middle East, it’s no secret they are looking at Southeast Asia,” he said.

Suspected cross-border kidnapper shot dead in Lahad Datu

From The Star Online (Dec 4): Suspected cross-border kidnapper shot dead in Lahad Datu

File pic of a Malaysian Maritime vessel patrolling the coast line of Lahad Datu near Tanjung Labian. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

File pic of a Malaysian Maritime vessel patrolling the coast line of Lahad Datu near Tanjung Labian. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star
A suspected cross-border kidnapper was shot dead by security forces in the east coast of Sabah early Monday morning.

The gunman, who is believed to be part of a new cross-border kidnap group, was killed in the waters off Lahad Datu at about 3am.
There are no further details on the incident at this time.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din is scheduled to give a press conference in Lahad Datu at 2pm, a media advisory from the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) said.

A number of known kidnap for ransom groups have been eliminated following intensive operations against Abu Sayyaf since late last year.

However, there have been intelligence reports since late October stating that certain groups in the southern Philippines were planning to launch kidnap raids in Sabah waters.

There have been no reports of kidnappings in Sabah waters so far this year.

Battle Of Marawi: Philippines Special Operations Command Video

From Funker530 (Nov 29): Battle Of Marawi: Philippines Special Operations Command Video
Now that the five-month-long battle for the city of Marawi is over, the Philippines Special Operations Command has released an awesome wrap-up video giving an analysis of the fight while displaying incredible visual footage of the longest urban battle in the Philippines modern history.

The video gives a little background on how the Islamic State was able to grab a foothold in the island nation. The Philippines has had its share of problems with Muslim insurgencies since the 1970’s, but only recently had those insurgents been the focal point of well-funded, international jihadist groups.

Malaysia and Indonesia, also infested with radical Islamists, had rebel groups that pledged loyalty to the Islamic State, and through them, were able to funnel weapons, equipment, and foreign fighters into Malawi, the island Marawi sits upon.

ISIS coordinated with two local Islamist militant groups “Maute” and “Abu Sayf,” and from there, launched an assault to capture the city of Marawi. Armed Forces of the Philippines’ intelligence operatives had caught early wind of this brewing rebellion and sent a small unit raid in to capture terrorist leaders for questioning. They had no idea that they were walking into a well-armed, well-entrenched hive of several hundred Muslim fighters.

The government raid triggered the Islamic State assault to capture the city. The Maute group burned down buildings, destroyed churches, and took Christians hostage. Lines of communication were destroyed and the roads leading in and out of the city were blocked and guarded by snipers.

Over the course of the past several decades, Filipino troops received constant advanced training from US Green Berets. Unlike the US “allies” in the other parts of the world, Filipino troops can actually be taught, and make excellent soldiers. Their leadership, planning, and execution of tactics is on par with the best militaries in the world.

For months, the Armed Forces of the Philippines bravely fought street-to-street, house-to-house, and room-to-room in intense close quarters battles. They improvised RPG armor out of wood on their vehicles and called in airstrikes when necessary and eventually dislodged the Islamists from their prepared fighting positions, killing nearly 1,000 insurgents, at a cost of 165 of their own killed.

Gov’t forces seize 37 IEDs in Surigao ops

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 3): Gov’t forces seize 37 IEDs in Surigao ops

Government forces seized 37 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other bomb-making materials as they widened their security operations in their identified targeted far-flung areas in Surigao del Sur province, it was reported yesterday.

Army battallions under the operational control of the 401stInfantry (Unity) Brigade had stepped up their security operations after they seized bomb-making materials and IEDs over the weekend in the far-flung and hinterland mountainous areas in the municipalities of Lianga and San Agustin, in Surigao del Sur province.

The security operations is also an off-shoot to an hour gunbattle between operating troops of the 75th Infantry Battallion (75th IB) and an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists where a bomb-maker and his comrade-in-arm were killed in upper Buhisan, San Agusan town last Tuesday, according to 401st Brigade spokesperson and Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer Capt. Rodulfo Cordero, Jr., on Sunday.

He said the NPAs the troops encountered belonged to a Communist group that was planning to conduct ambushes and lay landmines meant for operating soldiers.

But this was foiled in that encounter in Buhisan.

Full security operations in the hinterland areas of Lianga and San Agustin towns, and neighboring areas in the province were also in anticipation of the upcoming anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 26.

Cordero claimed that NPAs usually stage terroristic activities ahead of the CPP celebration, and, as such, field units have been directed to conduct security operations in their respective areas of responsibility (AORs) to avert any attacks.

“The objective of this operation is to secure the villages and safety of the residents from any terroristic activities by the communist insurgents,” the 401”t Brigade spokesperson further claimed.

He added that 401st Brigade commander Col. Andres Centino has directed all field unit commanders to hunt “without let up” the NPA terrorists and give priority the safety and security of villagers in their respective AORs.

23 cops defend station vs 200 NPAs in Misamis Or

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 4): 23 cops defend station vs 200 NPAs in Misamis Or

A police captain and 22 of his men displayed gallantry as they withstood the rain of bullets and grenades and even drove away more than 200 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who tried to lay siege and burn the Binuangan Municipal Police Station (MPS) in Misamis Oriental early yesterday morning.

Senior Inspector Dante Hallazgo, local chief of police, was wounded along with three of his men — Senior Police Officer 1 Ramonito Zambas, PO3 Alberto Bernadas, and PO1 Joshua Satur — when they were hit by shrapnel from an M203 grenade fired by the attacking NPA force.

The fifth casualty, a certain SPO4 Cabil, was also wounded during the attack.

Chief Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, director of the Northern Mindanao Regional Police Office, said the communist rebels were actually combined forces of NPA units operating in the eastern part of Mindanao, particularly that of Manuelito Satur, alias “Ka Musong;” Oscar Romania, alias “Amboy;” and alias “Makong Mansigyaw.”

“The firefight lasted about three hours wherein PNP personnel fought hard and defended their police station despite the NPA strength,” said Pacleb.

“They failed on their attack on the police station and failed to get the firearms and retreated in the hinterlands,” he added.

Sr. Insp. Corinne Mae Estigoy, spokesperson of the Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (PPO), said the attack was carried out at 3 a.m. yesterday by more than 200 communist rebels.

“They established three blocking forces in three areas near the police station,” said Estigoy.

The rebels are believed to have targeted the guns and other equipment of the Binuangan MPS as they have allegedly done in the past.

But the 23 policemen who were on duty immediately organized themselves to defend the police station. The firefight lasted for almost three hours, said Estigoy.

“We also found several containers of gasoline in the area. So there was a plan to set the police station on fire, but they were not able to do that because our police forces stood their ground,” said Estigoy.

The failed attack of Binuangan MPS was the first major offensive attack by the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) since President Duterte terminated peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF last month.

During the attack, the NPA terrorists put up a road block on the national highway that resulted in traffic mess that kept private and government vehicles and buses going to Butuan City and Cagayan de Oro City to be stuck on the road for three hours.

The national highway only re-opened at 6 a.m. when the NPA rebels had retreated. No civilian was reported hurt during the incident.

Estigoy said they believe the rebels also suffered casualties as revealed by bloodstains on their escape route.

She said the rebels used trucks in arriving and in fleeing the police station.

“The leadership will be giving commendation to our personnel in the area. But it has to be studied yet as to what type of awards would be given to them,” said Estigoy.

On the other hand, she said they are now readying the criminal charges that would be filed against the leaders and attackers of the police station.

Senior Supt. Rolando E. Destura, Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (PPO) director, is currently leading his field troops to verify whether or not there were NPA casualties.

At the same time Destura extended a congratulatory message to the members of Binuangan MPS for “gallantly” in defending their station.

Likewise, the military commended the MPS for its resiliency in fighting off the NPA attack.

Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, the chief of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office and concurrent spokesman, said the foiled attack is a big slap in the face of the CPP-NPA-NDF leadership.

“More than the resiliency of the PNP (Philippine National Police) who stood their ground during the attack are the timely report and outpouring support from the civilians about the NPA’s plan,” Martinez said.

“However, we condemn the terrorists courses of action when they used the civilian properties such as vehicles along the highway and the nearby houses as their shield. This is a clear and undeniable proof that they really do not care about the safety of the masses. All they wanted to do is to sow fear to advance their terroristic activities that are aimed to make people suffer,” he added.

Supt. Lemuel Gonda, Police Regional Office 10 (PRO10) spokesman, also commended the MPs. “The NPA terrorists failed on their attack on the police station (Binuangan MPS) and failed to get their (policemen) firearms, and retreated to the hinterlands, because our PNP personnel fought hard and defended their police station despite the NPA strength,” Gonda said.

6 killed in clash between gov't troops, leftist rebels in S. Philippines

From Xinhua (Dec 4): 6 killed in clash between gov't troops, leftist rebels in S. Philippines

Six people were killed in a clash between government troops and leftist rebels in southern Philippines on Sunday, the military said on Monday.

The latest fighting which erupted in the upland town of Lake Sebu in Mindanao's South Cotabato province happened hours after insurgents stormed a police station in Misamis Oriental province, also in Mindanao that wounded six policemen.

Two soldiers and four New People's Army guerrillas died in the hour-long fighting in the village of Ned, according to Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command.

The incident was the latest violent confrontation between Philippine security forces and the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a halt of talks between the two sides.

The NPA has been staging a leftist insurgency in 60 Philippine provinces since 1969, which resulted in over 40, 000 deaths.

DWDD: ATROCITIES | NPA murders Baggao Municipal Councilor

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 3): ATROCITIES  |  NPA murders Baggao Municipal Councilor

CAMP GEN SERVILLANO AQUINO, Tarlac City (DWDD) – A municipal councilor in Baggao, Cagayan was brutally murdered by the terrorist group New People’s Army at 7:00 in the morning of December 2, 2017.


About thirty (30) fully armed NPA criminals under the Henry Abraham Command, NPA unit operating in Eastern Cagayan, clad in military uniform, murdered Honorable Angelo Luis, 56 year old, married and a Municipal Councilor of Baggao, Cagayan. The killers also robbed four (4) firearms owned by the victim at his residence in Zone 1, Brgy Awallan, Baggao, Cagayan.

According to victim’s neighbor, about 17 NPA terrorists were seen at the victim’s house, four (4) CTs were also deployed in front of his house while six (6) others were at Zone 5 of said barangay conducting checkpoint. The source further disclosed that the NPA criminals suddenly arrived in the area and waited for the victim who was still in his farm at Brgy Lasilat. Upon the victim’s arrival, four (4) armed NPAs forcibly entered his house, fired at him several times causing his instantaneous death.

After the killing, the NPA criminal group immediately headed towards Sitio Kagurongan of Brgy Awallan. The terrorists also scattered leaflets along their route of withdrawal having a propaganda line of “GUBAT TI UMILI SUNGBAT TI MARTIAL LAW NI DUTERTE” and “KABATAAN SUMAMPA SA NPA” HENRY ABRAHAM COMMAND, NPA EAST CAGAYAN. Ironically, the NPA insists to justify their criminal act by serving “capital punishment” for committing grave offenses against the people through extra judicial killing.

NOLCOM condemns this treacherous act of killing of Honorable Angelo Luis in his very own home as this is only reflects the real intention of the NPA criminal group of sowing terror and instilling fear to the society to attain their inhumane and unlawful agenda. This further manifests the NPA Terrorist’s total disregard for human rights. NOLCOM PIO/MCAG

DWDD: GOLD TRAILBLAZER | 2ID awarded the Army Governance Pathway Institutionalized

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 3): GOLD TRAILBLAZER  |  2ID awarded the Army Governance Pathway Institutionalized Status

RICARTE HALL, Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig (DWDD) – Another feather was added to the hat of 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division under the sterling leadership of MGen Rhoderick M Parayno as it was awarded the Army Governance Pathway Institutionalized Status with Gold Trailblazer on November 29 at Ricarte Hall, Philippine Army Officers’ Clubhouse, Fort Bonifacio Metro Manila during the Army Governance Forum.

The award was received by no less than Commander 2ID MGen Parayno with 2ID Chief GSMO, Col Jose Augusto V Villareal. This is for demonstrating commitment to pursue genuine transformation and reform as manifested by its exemplary progress in governance and strategy management and for successfully complying with the elements under the Army Governance Pathway.

Also awarded with Army Governance Pathway Proficient Status with Gold Trailblazer were 201st Brigade under Col Elias H Escarcha and 202nd Brigade under BGen Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr.

“There is no rocket science formula in achieving the institutionalized status.” remarked MGen Parayno in his message.

“What we did was just to let our jungle fighters know and appreciate their roles in our transformation roadmap.” MGen Parayno added.

Congratulations to all JUNGLE FIGHTERS. 2DPAO/MCAG

DWDD: NEW LEADERSHIP | Change of Command and Chief of Office Ceremony at 2ID

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 3): NEW LEADERSHIP  |  Change of Command and Chief of Office Ceremony at 2ID

CAMP GEN MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay. Rizal (DWDD) – Col Marceliano V Teofilo, Chief of Staff 2ID, presided over the Joint Change of Command and Chief of Office Ceremony of the 2nd Service Support Battalion and the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4 at Headquarters 2nd Service Support Battalion, on November 22, 2017.

After completing two (2) years of duty as Commanding Officer of 2SSBn, Ltc Liza B Batistil relinquished her command to Ltc Joel D Aquino. Ltc Batistil replaced Ltc Aquino as the new Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4. Both of them were awarded with Command Plaques and Military Merit Medals by Col Teofilo for the invaluable services rendered during their stints as Commanding Officer of 2SSBn and Chief of OG4.

In their message, both Ltc Aquino and Ltc Batistil thanked the Officers and men of their respective office and unit. They assured everyone that the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4 and 2nd Service Support Battalion are in good hands and all improvements made will be continued. Col Teofilo, meanwhile, encouraged them to support each other in order to improve the quality of combat service support of the Jungle Fighter Division. 2DPAO/MCAG 

DWDD: CHILD ABUSE | NPA continue recruiting youth as cadres

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 2): CHILD ABUSE  |  NPA continue recruiting youth as cadres

MANILA (DWDD) – Filipinos continue to be alarmed by the continuous recruitment by the terrorist group New People’s Army and their community fronts of youths, in particular student, to join their crumbling force.

Another young life was lost recently when one of the NPA recruit, a University of the Philippines student, was killed an encounter with government troops in Nasugbu, Batangas after they were intercepted while on their way to conduct terrorist activities.

The presence of the terrorist was tipped off by concerned citizens in the area and was later confirmed by intercepting troops who were fired upon by the group while onboard a jeepney and a closed van heading toward Tagaytay City.

The NPAs and their community fronts have been actively recruiting young men and women to join their ranks, initially using them to join mass actions and violent rallies, and later sending them to their mountain/jungle lairs to train as fighters of the Bagong Hukbong Bayan, in the guise of “community immersions”.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has called on the community to help the government stop this recruitment by the NPAs and spare the youth, the future of our land, to be victims of abuse by the Communist Party of the Philippines in their desire to impose their crooked ways. AES/MCAG

DWDD: COMMUNITY IMMERSION | 33IB conducts Community Immersion in Bagumbayan

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 2): COMMUNITY IMMERSION  |  33IB conducts Community Immersion in Bagumbayan

BAGUMBAYAN (DWDD) – Lt Col Harold M Cabunoc, accompanied by Major Ronnie Rendaje (Battalion Executive Officer) and Cpt Rogelio Agustin Jr (CO Charlie Coy), trekked the mountainous terrain of Bagumbayan town to visit the Makabayan Peace Advocacy Team led by 2Lt Anthony Berdon.

Lt Col Cabunoc personally engaged the key leaders in the area including Village chairman Hon. Frias.

The people have warmly accepted the immersion activities of the Army in the community.

The Makabayan Battalion wins the support of the people against any armed threats by helping them in solving community problems. MCAG / Photo by Pfc Salbidin Maulana

DWDD: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT | 33IB hosted Multi-Sector Advisory Council Meet

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 2): COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT  |  33IB hosted Multi-Sector Advisory Council Meet

SULTAN KUDARAT (DWDD) – Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, Commander, 33rd Infantry Makabayan” Battalion hosted the meeting of the civil servants, police, and military officials.

The agenda was to operationalize the advisory council that was proposed by Lt Col Cabunoc purposely to counter the narratives of the ISIS-inspired groups like the BIFF.

The meeting was attended by Paglat Mayor Abdulkarim Langkuno, ABC President Fauzia Mangelen and Sr Inspector Julhani. The Makabayan Battalion keeps the peace in various communities by supporting peace-building initiatives of the local government. MCAG / Photo by Sgt Christian Santos

DWDD: COMMUNITY VIGILANCE | Palawenos supports WESCOM drive against NPAs

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 2): COMMUNITY VIGILANCE | Palawenos supports WESCOM drive against NPAs

PUERTO PRINSESA, Palawan (DWDD) – The threat from the communist/terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) has continued to dwindle with the support of government efforts by the community.

Community vigilance and cooperation has already resulted in the surrender of NPA members, the recovery of war materials and the dismantling of their plans to conduct terrorist activities in Palawan.

“Dahil sa patuloy na pakikiisa ng Palaweño upang masugpo ang karahasan at kaguluhan sa Palawan, di na mabilang na kagamitang pandigma ang narekober sa kamay ng mga terorista. Hindi mapagkakaila na ang pagtutulungan ang siyang tunay na susi sa kapayapaan.

Saludo po ang Western Command sa inyong tapang at pagmamahal sa bayan, mahal naming mga Palaweño!” – AES/WESCOM

DWDD: COMMUNITY OUTREACH | NOLCOM conducts All-in-One Bayanihan

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Dec 2): COMMUNITY OUTREACH  |  NOLCOM conducts All-in-One Bayanihan

BASCO, Batanes (DWDD) – The AFP Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) conducted an Outreach Program “All-in-One Bayanihan” in Basco, Batanes on November 24, 2017.

This is in parallel with its commitment and advocacy in providing selfless service for or fellowmen.

The activity provided beneficiaries with gifts, a Medical mission, Dental Mission and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Training. NOLCOM PIO / MCAG