Tuesday, February 6, 2018

DWDD: DEPENDABLE TROOPERS | LGU of Impasugong sends-off troops for Community Support Program

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): DEPENDABLE TROOPERS  |  LGU of Impasugong sends-off troops for Community Support Program

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon (DWDD) – The Local Government of Impasugonghosted a send-off ceremony this morning at Impasugong Municipal Gym to the soldiers of the 8th Infantry DEPENDABLE Battalion who will conduct the Community Support Program in the said municipality.


The CSP or the Community Support Program is a tool which the Armed Forces of the Philippines will utilize to help the local government in addressing the issues or problems of the communities to deliver vital government services.

These issues or problems arise from a simple question that when left unanswered, wrong people may present wrong solutions and further aggravate the situation that would then result in conflict.

The soldiers will not be bringing with them the solutions immediately; instead, they would gather these problems and link it with the proper agencies that can provide the right answers to these questions


The Armed Forces of the Philippines had been given the task by the constitution to protect the people and this nation. It is also implied that soldiers should advocate for peace and development. In order for peace and development to be realized, sense of security should be felt. In all our endeavors, security had always been our priority. But such a word is too broad even for the AFP. That is why we need all the help we can get from the local government and other line agencies to provide the people what they need. We are all part of the solution to our country’s problem but let’s start first in our communities. Big things come in small packages. 8IB / MCAG


DWDD: BANTAY KAPAYAAN | 8ID Activates 93IB to Defeat NPA Terrorists in Eastern Visayas

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): BANTAY KAPAYAAN  |  8ID Activates 93IB to Defeat NPA Terrorists in Eastern Visayas

CAMP GENERAL VICENTE LUKBAN, CATBALOGAN CITY – The 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Phillippine Army activated the 93rd Infantry (Bantay Kapayapaan) Battalion with Maj. Gen. Raul M. Farnacio AFP, Commander, 8ID as the keynote speaker at 8th Battalion Retraining Facilities (8BRF), Camp Eugenio Daza, Barangay Fatima, Hinabangan Samar on February 5, 2018.

The activation of this unit is purposely to prevent the spill-over of hostilities in the aftermath of Marawi crisis, destroy the Communist Terrorists the soonest possible time and assist the government agencies in addressing illegal drugs and Private Armed Groups (PAGs).


 “Bantay Kapayapaan” Battalion is headed by Lt. Col. Hilarion G. Palma is composed of brave and proficient Officers and Enlisted Personnel that will augment the Infantry units in Eastern Visayas.

In his message, Maj. Gen. Farnacio said, “I have every ounce of my confidence and high expectation of your capability as a unit to accomplish your mission. For one, most of you are seasoned officers and soldiers who have already accumulated trainings, experience and operational backgrounds of fighting our enemy in this rugged terrain of Samar and Leyte.”

“Like any other battalion, I know that you would form your own culture and identity as a unit. I challenge you therefore to go beyond the brand, and instead strive to create the prestige of a unit that is known for its performance excellence, empowerment, commitment and accomplishments,” Farnacio added. 8DPAO / MCAG


DWDD: PRE ENTRY EXAMS | PAF Officer Candidate Course Examination

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): PRE ENTRY EXAMS  |  PAF Officer Candidate Course Examination

COL JESUS VILLAMOR AIRBASE, Pasay City (DWDD) – The Philippine Air Force will be conducting its Pre-Entry Examination to aspiring applicants for PAF Officer Candidate Course (PAFOCC) Class 2019 and BMT 2019A starting March 05, 2018 to April 11, 2018 at different examination areas.

Visit https://www.paf.mil.ph/…/citiz…/officers/qualifications.html for PAFOCC qualifications, and

https://www.paf.mil.ph/…/citizenscha…/CS/qualifications.html for CS qualifications. PAF / MCAG


DWDD: NEW LIFE | 32 Former NPA Rebels Receive Financial Assistance

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): NEW LIFE  |  32 Former NPA Rebels Receive Financial Assistance

PUERTO PRINSESA , Palawan (DWDD) – The Provincial Government of Palawan, through the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Western Command (WESCOM) successfully facilitated the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP) Awarding of financial assistance to 32 former NPA rebels held on February 05, 2018 at the Provincial Capitol.

Composed of 28 males and four (4) females, the 32 former rebels from communist terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) received financial assistance from CLIP for livelihood assistance, services and support. Each CLIP beneficiary availed a total amount of Sixty Five Thousand Pesos (P 65,000.00), alienated as Php50,000 for livelihood assistance and Php15,000 for immediate assistance.

At the beginning of year 2018, the rise of NPA surrenders in Palawan shows the local government’s earnestness and partnership with WESCOM in attaining peace and order through the implementation of CLIP for their reconciliation and reintegration into the mainstream society. This is also a manifestation of the former rebels’ desire and hope for new beginnings and a better future. WESCOM / MCAG



From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): OFFICIAL VISIT  |  SFFR Commander visits WESCOM

PUERTO PRINSESA , Palawan (DWDD) – #TeamWESCOM warmly welcomes Brigadier General Ramiro Manuel A Rey, Regiment Commander, Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) Special Operations Command, Philippine Army, during his visit at Headquarters Western Command. WESCOM / MCAG


DWDD: CHANGE FOR THE BETTER | Former Rebels in Manila

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 7): CHANGE FOR THE BETTER  |  Former Rebels in Manila


CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – Two hundred seventeen of the 683 former members of the New People Army’s (NPA) presented last December 21, at Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) composed the first batch is in Manila.
The group will be accorded with a Welcome Ceremony at the Tejeros Hall of the AFP Commissioned Officers Club in Camp Gen Emilio Aguinaldo to be presided by AFP Chief of Staff Gen Rey Guerrero and to AFP officials then they will have a dinner with President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacanang.

The first batch was sent off yesterday morning from the Tactical Operation Group XI, in Sasa, Panacan, Davao City.

To encourage active participation of the former rebels in nation-building and peace-building, on the following day the former rebels will have an educational tour at the historic walled-city of Intramuros, at Malacañang, and other historic places to awaken their nationalism.

In coordination with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) they will also be brought to the mushroom production and other farms in Bulacan to help them get ideas on how to improve their lives and be self-sustaining. The trip is all-expense-paid. AES / MCAG


Promotion for 753 cops who fought in Marawi, repulsed NPA attack

From the Business Mirror (Feb 5): Promotion for 753 cops who fought in Marawi, repulsed NPA attack  

Members of the Joint Task Group-Philippine National Police (JTG-PNP), who saw action in Marawi City at the height of the terrorist-inspired rebellion last year, have been promoted to the next higher rank.

The 745 members of the group were among the 753 Police Commissioned Officers and Noncommissioned Officers promoted to the next rank on Monday, according to PNP spokesman Chief Supt. John Bulalacao.

The “special” promotion was signed by PNP chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa approved the meritorious promotions of the 745 members of JTG-PNP for their “invaluable and exemplary involvement” in the liberation of Marawi City from the hands of the Islamic State and Maute group.

Aside from the members of the JTG-PNP, also covered by the special promotion were the eight members of the Binuangan Municipal Police Station in Misamis Oriental, who repulsed a recent attack by the New People’s Army.

“Eight police officers from Binuangan MPS displayed conspicuous courage and gallantry in action and outstanding accomplishment involving risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty for successfully defending their station during the attack perpetrated by more or less two hundred members of New People’s Army on December 3, 2017,” the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management said.

Dela Rosa administered the oath of office to the newly promoted JTG-PNP personnel assigned to different offices and units.

Army chief Lt. General Rolando Joselito Bautista was the guest of honor and speaker during the event, which coincided with the PNP’s traditional Monday flag raising ceremony at Camp Crame.

DPRM chief Director Rene Aspera noted that a large part of the newly-promoted policemen were from the Special Action Force, which counted 437, while the Police Regional Office 10 counted 164.


Military's regional role in counter-terrorism

From the New Straits Times (Feb 7): Military's regional role in counter-terrorism (By Tan See Seng)


A woman showing a picture of her son, a soldier killed during the battle against militants in Marawi, on Mindanao island, inside her shanty in Navotas, Manila. The Marawi battle could alter the way terrorism in Southeast Asia would be conducted and the manner Asean countries respond to it. REUTERS PIC
There is growing consensus among terrorism analysts that the battle of Marawi in Mindanao, the Philippines (May to Oct last year), is a watershed moment in the evolution of the terrorist threat in the Asean region.

Reportedly, the militant groups driving that conflict, such as the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf, had in mind to turn Mindanao into a Wilayat (or province) of the Islamic State (IS). This is not a particularly novel goal in itself since the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) has long aspired to establish an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia.

What surprised analysts most about the conflict was the readiness of the militants to take the fight to the Philippine military by engaging in a drawn-out urban war and employing tactics — including transforming densely packed buildings in the city into improvised tunnels — that initially confounded the government troops.

Needless to say, the emergence of IS in Southeast Asia — with the attacks in Jakarta in January 2016 widely seen as the first conducted in its name — is but the latest addition to a complex story of terrorism in the Asean region.

Some analysts have cautioned against undue exaggeration of the IS threat because they see the greater, long-term threat arising from a rejuvenated JI, which has a larger network and is better funded.

Against this backdrop, what is most sobering about the Marawi episode is the prospect that it could inspire and embolden other groups, if they have the requisite men and materiel, to emulate or even outdo Marawi in scale, style and substance in other Asean cities and urban areas.

Such a likelihood would also warrant the involvement of the armed forces of the Asean countries, whose force capabilities match or exceed that of the Marawi insurgents.

Much as Marawi could alter the way terrorism in Southeast Asia would, henceforth, be conducted, the manner in which Asean countries respond to the terrorist threat could also change in a number of ways.

First, Asean countries and their defence establishments are likely to deepen their collaboration in counterterrorism, not only among themselves, but with their external partners. They will do so through conducting joint exercises, sharing information and enhancing their force capabilities within existing frameworks such as the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (or ADMM+).

In this respect, joint counter-terrorism exercises such as the one that took place in Singapore in May 2016, involving 40 special forces teams from all 18 ADMM+ countries could well increase.

Second, the Marawi conflict memorably led to separate offers of military assistance from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to their imperilled Asean neighbor.

This implies that Asean countries are likely to seek new ways to collaborate against terrorism.

But, it should be said that Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore — the “core countries” of Asean — have had a long history of security cooperation among themselves, including the Malacca Straits Sea Patrols and the “Eyes in the Sky” initiative.

More recently, Indonesia and Malaysia established the Trilateral Maritime Patrol with the Philippines in June last year to guard the Sulu-Sulawesi seas, a hub for transnational organised crime and militancy.

Going forward, the Asean defence establishments are likely to leverage on these existing forms of cooperation in their quest for new and innovative approaches in response to the growing scale and complexity of the terrorist threat in their region.

Needless to say, the prospects of a growing regional role for Asean’s militaries raises questions over how national governments are to avoid overstepping regional sensibilities and civil liberties even as they work to protect their citizens from terrorism and violence.

The likelihood of militarisation is especially poignant for countries with a complicated military past, such as Indonesia.

For instance, the Indonesian military’s establishment of its counter-terror unit, Koopssusgab, immediately re-ignited fears, unjustified or otherwise, over potential interference by the military once again in the country’s civilian affairs.

On the other hand, the possibility that Asean countries may soon find soldiers from other nations, including external powers, operating on their home soil cannot be ruled out.

How affected countries and societies in need of external assistance are able to host foreign troops and facilitate counterinsurgency operations without jeopardising their sovereignty is likely to emerge as a key concern as Asean countries and militaries cooperate to tackle the common challenge of terrorism in their neck of the woods.

[Tan See Seng is Professor of International Relations at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also deputy director and head of research of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at RSIS and a visiting scholar at the EU Centre in Singapore]


Duterte warns about ‘ugly’ situation arising from IS foothold in Mindanao

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 6): Duterte warns about ‘ugly’ situation arising from IS foothold in Mindanao

Foreign terrorists are lurking in Mindanao as the Islamic State has already established a foothold in the southern region, President Rodrigo Duterte warned Tuesday.

President Rody Duterte during BOC’s 116th founding anniversary on Tuesday. Photo by Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin

The President cautioned the public about the imminent “ugly” situation that may arise from threats posed by suspected foreign terrorists that include Syrians, Arabs, Indonesians, and Malaysians.

“The ISIS has gained a foothold in the southern part of the Philippines. It’s a mix. But it has never been a question or issue of religion. It never has been, but it’s turning to be an ugly one,” Duterte said during the 116th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Customs in Manila on Tuesday.

“Kasi nandito na [Because they are here] — the Syrians, the Arabs, the white Arabs, there are the dark Arabs, a lot of Indonesian and Malaysian terrorists there just waiting to… you give them the slightest reason. That’s the only thing. It has nothing to do with perpetuating in power,” he added.

The military recently disclosed that it has monitored 48 foreign terrorists allegedly recruiting and training members in Mindanao.

Maj. Gen. Fernando Trinidad, Armed Forces of the Philippines deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, said some suspected foreign terrorists were assisting a local group in Saranggani while others were providing aid and training to the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan, and Maute Group in Lanao del Sur.

Trinidad made the same disclosure in an effort to justify the military’s request for a year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao. The Supreme Court has upheld the Congress’ approval of the President’s request to extend martial rule in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.

The President, in the meantime, renewed his push for a federalism system or any government structure that will help bring peace and development in Mindanao.

Duterte also offered to cut short his six-year term if proponents could “perfect” the new system by 2020.

“If you can perfect the federal setup or any other kind of structure that could… to prevent a war, violence, bloodshed, I will go down. If they can do it in 2020, I will not wait for 2022. I will gladly step down,” he said.

The President earlier said he was considering a “hybrid” structure of government if the public opposes the proposed shift to federal system. Duterte said he would consider “concessions” such as the proposed adoption of China’s sovereignty over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

In pushing for federalism, the President reiterated that he wanted to avoid an outbreak of violence in Mindanao.

“The only singular and sole reason why I am hurrying up the federal setup is…I am telling you now, as President, na pag walang different structural changes diyan sa Mindanao, the Moro people will go to war,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President sought to dispel speculations that he was out to prolong his stay in power through the proposed amendments to the Constitution to introduce the federal system.

“It will be the military and the police and all of you. You will see to it that the Constitution is followed. That if I overstay even for one day, you are supposed to oust me, place me under arrest for violating the Constitution,” he said.

“There will never be a time that I will ask you, ‘You prop me up as a dictator of this country.’ I have enough of politics. I have experienced all the accolades of my life,” he added.


Abu Sayyaf surrenderees in Western Mindanao reach 172

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 6): Abu Sayyaf surrenderees in Western Mindanao reach 172

The military today said two more Abu Sayyaf terrorists surrendered and laid down their arms in Basilan over the weekend due to the sustained offensives in the ZamBaSulTa (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi) areas.

Abu Sayyaf  (Credit: BBC News | Manila Bulletin file photo)

Hasib Sarikin Mion and Hamdi Nor Bareo surrendered to troops of the 74th Infantry Battalion under Lt. Col. Jonas Templo in Barangay Macalang, Albarka, Basilan at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“Mion is an Abu Sayyaf member under Furuji Indama and Bareo is listed under the AFP list as a member of the group of Nurhassan Jamiri,” said Brig. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan.

Mion and Bareo yielded their two US M1 Garand rifles to the troops.

The duo underwent custodial debriefing in Barangay Cabangalan, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan, following their surrender.

From January 1, 2017 to February 4, 2018, a total of 172 Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to the Joint Task Forces in the ZamBaSulTa area. Of this record, 77 yielded to the troops in Basilan, 60 in Sulu, 33 in Tawi-Tawi, and two in Zamboanga City.

“We want to work for peace without the use of arms that is why we are encouraging the rest of the Abu Sayyaf members to surrender because our thrust for internal security in Mindanao is sincere,” said Lt. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Our efforts to end terrorism will not only benefit the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the government but every Mindanaoan who yearns to have a peaceful life,” he added.


Basilan attacks strike fear among contractors, exec says

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Feb 7): Basilan attacks strike fear among contractors, exec says

Security camera footage showed four suspected Abu Sayyaf members, between 14 and 24 years old, planting explosives outside the house of Basilan district engineer Solder Undug in Lamitan City on the night of Feb. 1.

No one was hurt in the blast, but Undug said it was the third explosion that hit his house.

He said these attacks and extortion attempts by bandits delayed the completion of a number of government road projects in the province.

Wary about their safety, contractors had either backed out of the projects or had proceeded slowly, he said.

Contractors in Mohammad Adjul and Ungkaya Pukan towns had withdrawn from the projects, Undug said.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command based here, said the bandits did not want road projects on the island as it would shrink areas under their control.

The 55-kilometer Transcentral Road project, which would connect Lamitan City and Sumisip town, for instance, would reach the remaining Abu Sayyaf-controlled areas by the middle of this year, Galvez said.


Military to secure Basilan infa projects, workers vs Abu Sayyaf

From the Philippine Star (Feb 7): Military to secure Basilan infa projects, workers vs Abu Sayyaf

The Abu Sayyaf has been trying to delay the construction of more roads, schools and agricultural facilities in remote Basilan barangays. John Unson, file
The military has assured personnel of the Basilan District Engineering Office of protection from bandits trying to sabotage infrastructure projects in the island province.
Last week, two Basilan DEO workers were killed in an ambush in Lamitan City last week by members of the Abu Sayyaf. Two others were seriously wounded in the attack.
The Islamic State-inspired Abu Sayyaf has been trying to delay the construction of more roads, schools and agricultural facilities in remote Basilan barangays where its members collect money from residents at gunpoint.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. of the Western Mindanao Command said Wednesday he has reiterated a standing order for military units in Basilan to secure all Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao projects from sabotage.
Basilan is a component province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
"They are angry because their camps have become within easy reach of police and military forces as a positive outcome of the implementation in Basilan of road projects by the present ARMM administration," Galvez said Wednesday.
Galvez said it was for the livelihood opportunities generated by the ARMM infrastructure projects that more than a hundred Abu Sayyaf members in Basilan decided to return to the fold of law in the past 16 months.
"Remnants of this group are trying their best to stop the construction of more roads that would traverse the remaining areas where they can freely roam. We have intensified our security efforts to prevent them from executing their bad plans," Galvez said.
Galvez said intelligence agents are also helping now protect Basilan’s district engineer, Soler Undug, whose house was bombed by Abu Sayyaf bandits last week.
“We are not taking chances. Engineer Undug and his subordinates are in the forefront of all these infrastructure development initiatives in Basilan,” Galvez said.
It was the Abu Sayyaf’s fourth attempt to kill Undug using improvised explosive devices in about three years.

Duterte to host dinner for ex-NPAs in Malacañang

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 6): Duterte to host dinner for ex-NPAs in Malacañang

Some 217 of the 683 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who had surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) are now in Manila for a scheduled dinner in Malacañang with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night.

Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesman of the AFP-EastMinCom, said the first batch of NPA rebels who returned to the fold of the law were sent off at the Tactical Operation Group 10 in Sasa, Panacan, Davao City about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Some 217 of the 683 former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who had surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) arrived in Manila Tuesday morning. They are scheduled to meet with President Duterte in Malacañang on February 7. (Photo courtesy of Maj. Ezra Balagtey / AFP Eastern Command / MANILA BULLETIN)
In a statement, Balagtey said the dinner to be held starting at 5 p.m. is meant to encourage the active participation of the former rebels in nation-building and peace efforts.

Prior to the dinner, the rebel-returnees will be welcomed at Tejeros Hall in Camp Aguinaldo at 8 a.m. tomorrow which will be presided by Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Rey Leonard Guerrero.

The former rebels will also have an educational tour of Intramuros and Malacañang in Manila, and other historic places.

In coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Balagtey said the former rebels will then be brought to the mushroom production and other farms in Bulacan to help them get ideas on how to improve their lives and be self-sustaining.

It will be an all-expense-paid trip, Balagtey said.

AFP spokesman Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo earlier said that the surrender of many NPA rebels is “unprecedented” and proves that their campaign against the communists is effective.

Arevalo said just for the month of January 2018 alone, some 326 NPA rebels have already surrendered to authorities to lead new lives in mainstream society.


Duterte to attend AFP-PNP command conference in Cebu on Feb 12

From the Sun Star-Cebu (Feb 5): Duterte to attend AFP-PNP command conference in Cebu on Feb 12

TO prepare for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 12, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 conducted coordinating conferences with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command.
Supt. Reyman Tolentin, PRO 7 spokesperson, said that the president is expected to join the joint AFP-PNP command conference.
 Tolentin said that Duterte may also spearhead the turnover of PNP mobile cars donated by Japan.
The Civil Disturbance Management personnel of the PRO 7 will also be on standby.
 “Everything is being considered in terms of security like rallies or incidents that may harm the president,” Tolentin said.
 Jaime Paglinawan-Bayan Muna Central Visayas said that they have yet to decide whether to hold a rally during Duterte’s visit. But if they do, they will raise issues like the abolition of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law and the alleged curtailment of rights of University of the Philippines students, among others. “We hope that he will hear the demands of Cebuanos,” he said. 


AFP vows to uphold human rights in wake of SC ruling

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 6): AFP vows to uphold human rights in wake of SC ruling

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured the public that it would perform its security duties in the war-torn region with respect to Human Rights and International Human Law.

AFP made the statement in response to the Supreme Court's (SC) decision upholding the constitutionality of the year-long martial law extension in Mindanao.

"We would like to assure our people further that your AFP will faithfully perform its duty to protect the people and secure the state respecting Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law," AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a message Tuesday.

In the same vein, Arevalo said the AFP expressed its gratitude to the SC “for allowing us to perform the fresh mandate given to the military by the President and by Congress”.

"The decision is a vote of confidence to the AFP and we would like to assure our countrymen that, just as we have done before, the AFP will continue to protect our people against all rebel forces," he added.

Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following heavy attacks of Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

Congress, in a special joint session in July, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President's request.

The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December last year, granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.

A total of 240 members of Congress voted to approve the resolution of both houses calling for martial law extension in Mindanao, while only 27 voted against it. There was no abstention.

A total of 14 senators voted in favor of the motion and four were against it, while 226 House members approved the motion and 23 rejected it.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, meanwhile, echoed the AFP's remarks while stressing that the SC ruling will now enable the government to "pursue with great vigor its efforts in ending the continuing rebellion in Mindanao decisively."

With this, Lorenzana assured that troops will strive harder in performing their duties to safeguard public safety in Mindanao and provide necessary assistance to Task Force Bangon Marawi in a bid to undertake the unhampered rehabilitation of the war-torn city.

"Makaaasa ang sambayanan na hindi sasayangin ng inyong mga tagapagtanggol ang tiwala at pagkakataong ito (Rest assured that our defenders will value this opportunity and trust of the public)," Lorenzana said in a statement.


Foreign researchers face stricter approval to explore PH Rise: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 6): Foreign researchers face stricter approval to explore PH Rise: Palace

Foreign researchers who want to conduct scientific research in the Benham Rise (renamed Philippine Rise) will now face stricter approval when they apply for their licenses for exploration, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a Palace briefing, said that this comes after Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Joel Montales confirmed that “all research had already been concluded in the area.”

Montales is also chair of the inter-agency technical working group responsible for the grant of licenses to conduct scientific research in the Philippine Rise.

Roque explained that following this development, President Rodrigo R. Duterte had ordered the revocation of all licenses given to foreign researchers.

Moreover, he said that foreign researchers would now have to seek approval from the inter-agency technical working group and this time also the National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

“Henceforth, all foreign companies that wish to conduct such scientific research must apply to the inter-agency and must get approval from national security adviser. All existing licenses are being revoked,” Roque said.

‘Not a ban’

Roque’s statement came after Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, in his Facebook page, said that Duterte had ordered the cessation of all foreign explorations in the Philippine Rise.

The Palace Spokesperson clarified that this did not mean that foreign researchers were banned from conducting research in the Philippine Rise.

“It’s not really a ban I guess it’s just a directive that we want Filipinos to do it as much as possible. That we’re reserving it for Filipinos,” Roque said.

“He (Duterte) just said because our sovereign rights in Philippine Rise is unquestioned, we do not need to share it with anyone as of now,” he added, noting that everything is “preliminary.”

From year 2000 to present, Roque said that five countries have applied for licenses for foreign research namely the US, China, Japan, Korea, and Germany but not all were granted.

“All these researches from 2000 to the present have concluded,” Roque said.

Roque further clarified that government still allowed access to the Philippine Rise as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) allowed freedom of navigation.

“Under UNCLOS, everyone is entitled to freedom of navigation so navigation can proceed but henceforth no scientific research will be allowed,” Roque said.

Roque, meanwhile, assured that all results of foreign scientific research would be shared to Filipinos.


16 more combat choppers joining PAF fleet

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 6): 16 more combat choppers joining PAF fleet

An additional 16 Bell 412 EPI combat utility helicopters will be joining the Philippine Air Force (PAF) inventory from 2019 to 2020.

This after Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the PHP12-billion contract with Bell Helicopter and Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) last Dec. 29, the DND public affairs office announced Tuesday.

Representing Bell in the contract signing was James Williamson and Yvonne Chin, CCC Director for Asia. Delivery of the first Bell 412EPI helicopters units are expected to commence by the first quarter of 2019 while the last ones will be handed over by the second quarter of 2020.

The acquisition of these helicopters is part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program Horizon 2 and will be used in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and other-related missions.

These aircraft are fully configured and equipped with advance features which include an electronic engine control, a glass cockpit display system and Garmin touch-screen navigation system.

Generally, these helicopters are capable of carrying 14 passengers and flying at a maximum speed of 140 knots (around 259 kilometers), cruise speed of 122 knots (226 kilometers per hour) and a range of 402 nautical miles (745 kilometers).

It is powered with an enhanced Pratt and Whitney PT6T-3D Twin Pac.


NDF-NEMR: Continuing military operations in NEMR accompanied by brutal and deceitful propaganda and activities by the AFP

NDF-Northeast Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Feb 4): Continuing military operations in NEMR accompanied by brutal and deceitful propaganda and activities by the AFP

February 3, 2018

Starting January 7 of this year, the sustained massive military operation launched by AFP forces in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, have gone on for 27 days. It covers the municipalities of Tandag, Tago, San Miguel, Marihatag, San Agustin, Cagwait and Lianga in Surigao del Sur and Bunawan, Rosario, Trento, Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur. This operation is launched by forces from the 75th IB, 36th IB, 3rd SFB, 16th SFcoy, Scout Ranger under the 401st Bde, Philippine Army (PA), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Special Action Forces (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Within this period, there were eight (8) incidents of clashes in Surigao and Agusan del Sur. According to reports and as witnessed by the masses themselves, the AFP forces suffered at the minimum, 9 casualties excluding those wounded, because of the brave resistance of the Red fighters. Because of this, the enemy indiscriminately fired canons and launched aerial bombing of mountain areas in San Agustin, Marihatag and Lianga in Surigao del Sur last January 15-18, 2018.

While combat operations continued, the AFP also committed abuses and implemented psychological operations to scare and mislead the people in the region. They released fake information to the mass media and social media in an attempt to damage the revolutionary movement and the New People’s Army (NPA).

Because of the sustained military operations, the livelihood of the Lumad in the area have been paralyzed because of terror, not just of the bombing but because of the threats of retaliation made by the fascist military, if they will be attacked by the NPA. They cannot go to their farms and hunt as they have always done during the amihan season. They were forced to evacuate and suffer hardship in the center of Km. 9 in Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur to avoid military abuses. Other communities evacuated to Sitio Luknodon, Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag and Brgy. Hanipaan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur since January 10.

In the second week of January, 29th IBPA forces strafed the home of farmer Jinky Asay and fired at and destroyed his passenger motorcycle in Brgy. Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. A few days after the incident, 75th IB PA forces shot and killed farmer Jimmy Notarte while he was leaving his farm in Brgy. Imelda, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur and was falsely accused as a member of the NPA.

In January 29, the AFP spokesperson and the paid Lumad aristocrat leaders released the fake news that the NPA brutally killed a CAFGU member and beheaded and hacked his arm in Brgy. Castillo, San Miguel. This is a big lie and nothing but black propaganda so the AFP can claim that the NPA is a terrorist organization thus rationalize its plan of arming the Lumad they conned, against the revolutionary movement. The truth however, came out, that the bandits in the area backed by the AFP/PNP were the ones responsible for the brutal crime which happened because of infighting for control of the area, especially the gold mines. NDFP-NEMR condemns the brutal killing of the CAFGU member.

On the other hand, the AFP/PNP instigated the forced surrender of former NPA members and ordinary civilians to make it appear that many active Red fighters have surrendered and prove that the New People’s Army-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NPA-NEMR) is weakening.

Aside from this, the reactionary government and the AFP deceived the Lumad by promising millions of money for the supposed livelihood development to push the economic interests of capitalists in the ancestral lands of the Lumad, at the Indigenous People’s Summit in the camp of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) of the Philippine Army in Panacan, Davao City. They were promised admittance as soldiers and police whose salaries have been increased. They were taught how to use computers within a few days for the Lumad to learn how to operate such. This is but another way of belittling the Lumad and an attempt to mislead them so they will easily hand over the riches of their ancestral lands to the mining and plantation capitalists.

Such manner of propaganda and activities are but part of the move implemented by bad people with bad intentions in our society. Because the AFP/PNP and the fascist US-Duterte regime wish to promote the interests of the imperialists and ruling classes in the region, implement the “build build build” program and strengthen their ambitious dictatorial rule at the expense of the people, it is of no wonder that they make such bad moves.

In line with this, the brutal, devious and evil intention of the AFP/PNP and US-Duterte regime must be exposed. Bravely resist and launch more sustained counter-attacks against the continuing psywar and combat operations of the enemy.

Ka Maria Malaya


MILF: KPI Conducts Peace Forum in Rajah Buayan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 4): KPI Conducts Peace Forum in Rajah Buayan

Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute (KPI) conducted a whole day peace forum with the theme: “Understanding and Supporting the Bangsamoro Peace Process, and the Bangsamoro Basic Law 2017” on February 3, 2017 in Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao.

Kagi Anok, popularly known for his pseudonym Commander Bagi-Bagi of the MNLF during his time, said “We aggressively fought against the ILAGA to protect ourselves, property, religion and communities. That fight known as kinadtimbaka sa wato (Battle of Wato) is a memorable place where many Bangsamoro were martyred.”

“Even if we are in the most remotest area of Maguindanao, we also dream that someday our aspiration for long lasting peace in Mindanao will be achieved,’’ a prominent commander added.

Khairudin Anwar, one of the organizers told the participants that “Whatever kind of conflict in this world, the best way, and means to resolve it is through negotiation.”

Abdul Aziz Talib, member of Board of Trustees of KPI, said “We will push for the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law, a legal document that could address the clamor of the Bangsamoro for right to self-determination as it will establish the Bangsamoro new Political Entity.”

Prof. Esmael A. Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute (KPI), and BLMI Training Officer explained the essence of understanding the history of the Moro Legitimate Struggle in Mindanao to end armed conflict in Mindanao.


“Addressing the Moro Historical Injustices through enacting into law the Bangsamoro Basic Law crafted by the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission is the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro Problem, thereby achieving lasting peace in Mindanao”, Abdula emphasized.

“It is the Philippine Government’s unilateral responsibility to pass the BBL to prevent further rise of violent extremism in Mindanao”, Abdula further said.

MILF Political Committee, BIAF senior, and field commanders, women sector, religious sector and MNLF Commanders attended the peace forum.


MILF: Madrasah Usamah Kulalo holds Islamic Symposium in Mamasapano

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 3): Madrasah Usamah Kulalo holds Islamic Symposium in Mamasapano

IN PHOTO- At the podium Sheikh Nhurol-Am Abdullah during the conduct of Islamic Symposium at Mamasapano, Maguindanao

During the conduct of Islamic Symposium organized by Madrasah Usama Ulalo held on February 1, at Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Prominent Islamic Scholar Nhorul-am Abdullah, also Peace Program Officer II of Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said “Islam is a religion of peace not a terrorist.

“Muslims must teach peace in the community. Lasting peace is our aspiration that can only be achieved through building inclusive governance”, he added.

“Being a believer of Islam is a level that Allah told that this is the level of victory of our aspiration”, Abdullah emphasized.

Abusama Guiamel, one of the organizers said ’’Let us help one another to do good deeds and forbid bad deeds in our community to help peace prevail in Mindanao.”

Prof. Esmael A. Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute (KPI) and BLMI Training Officer, said “The MILF is negotiating peace with the Philippine Government to solve the Bangsamoro Problem in Mindanao.”

“Addressing Moro Historical Injustices through passing the BTC-drafted BBL into enabling law is the best way to end decades of armed conflict in Mindanao”, Abdula added.

Abdula emphasized that the peace gains must be preserved, and sustained to achieve long lasting peace in Mindanao.

“The BBL is the legal document that could address the injustices committed against the Bangsamoro People once the Bangsamoro Political Entity is established”, Abdula further said.

MILF Political Committee, BIAF senior, and field commanders, women sector, KPI staff members Abdul aziz Talib, and Khairudin Anwar, religious sector and representative from Local Government of Mamasapano, Maguindanao attended the symposium.


MILF: Public support for BBL passage surges in SoCSarGen

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 5): Public support for BBL passage surges in SoCSarGen

General Santos City – February 4, 2018, Local Government Units (LGU), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Sarangani province demonstrated enormous support for the immediate passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
In a public consultation sponsored by Sarangani Congressman Ruel Pacquiao on Saturday, February 3, 2018 in General Santos City, Sarangani Governor Steve Solon including members of the League of Mayors in the province have shown their full support to the said bill.

According to chief of staff of Congressman Pacquiao, everybody is supportive to the draft bill, that is why we are consulting different sectors in the community to gather opinions, proposals, suggestions and recommendations so that people will have a strong support because they felt that they are part of the process.

“We in the CSOs attended this consultation to air our voices that we strongly support for the immediate passage of the BBL by the 17th Congress”, said Hadji Duma Mascud, SIGNBBL Chairman

Sultan Datu Tungko Saikol, representative of League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO) said that the CSOs are strongly supportive to BTC Version of BBL to achieve genuine peace in Mindanao.

Datu Saikol is also the President of Maguindanao Professionals and Employees Association (MAPEA).

According to Haris Piang Guiapal, representative of Biwang Radio Research Network, Inc. (BRRN), many CSO leaders both members, and non-member of LBO are also present to show support to the said bill.

To recall, during the public consultation in Marawi City last month, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chair of the Senate subcommittee on the BBL, said that he was aiming for the chamber’s approval of the measure that seeks to create a new autonomous region in Mindanao before Congress goes on break by the end of March.

He said “99.9 percent” of senators support the BBL.

“It’s important that the BBL is approved first because Charter change is a long process,” Zubiri said.

He warned that if lawmakers prioritize federalism, as pushed by the ruling PDP-Laban, the BBL’s passage will be sidelined, and trigger extremist violence in the region.

Zubiri agreed with the assessment of security officials, and leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) made before the committee that failure to enact the BBL would likely result in the increase in violence, and influence of the Islamic State in the country.

He and other members of the committee – Senators Risa Hontiveros, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino and Joseph Victor Ejercito – held hearings in Marawi City, and Cotabato City last month.

Meanwhile, the House Committees on Local Government, Muslim Affairs and Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity will be conducting public hearings on the proposed Bill in 11 Mindanao areas weekly starting from February 8 to March 9.

Committee members will be presenting to the public their proposed Bangsamoro law, consolidated from four bills filed in the lower house, including the draft submitted by BTC.

Accordingly, the House sub-committee on the BBL has adopted the title “Bangsamoro Autonomous Region” (BAR) instead of the BTC’s proposed “Bangsamoro.”

Hearings will be held in Cotabato City on February. 8, in Midsayap, North Cotabato on February 9, and in Davao City on February 10.

The following week, the Committee will go to Tubod, Lanao del Norte on Feb. 15, and Marawi/Iligan on February 16.

On the third week, the venue will be in Sulu on February 22, and in Basilan on February 23.

On March 1, the hearing will be in Tawi-tawi; March 2 in Zamboanga City; March 8 in Buluan, Maguindanao and March 9 in Korondal City, South Cotabato.

The Senate Committee on Local Government, which held public hearings in Cotabato City and Marawi City on Jan. 25 and 26, will conduct hearings in Jolo, Sulu morning of February 8, and Bongao, Tawi-tawi in the afternoon. The public hearing and consultation for Zamboanga City, and Zamboanga provinces will be held in the afternoon of February 9.

The Senate Committee has set February 13, and 14 for the Technical Working Group to finalize the Committee report which should be ready for the signature of members and filing of Committee report by February 20.

The Senate has scheduled February 20 to March 19 for plenary debates, and on March 20, “Senate approval on second and third reading (if certified by the President),” the scheduled posted by the BTC said.


MILF: CBCS conducts forum on peace and preventing violent extremism in Gensan.

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 6): CBCS conducts forum on peace and preventing violent extremism in Gensan.

The Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), in partnership with the Muslim Student Association of Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College (MSA-RMMC), conducted on January 29, 2018 a forum entitled “Promoting Peace and Preventing Violent Extremism in the Bangsamoro: Conversation with Students.”

Seventy one (71) students from various colleges and universities here in General Santos City participated in the forum. The participants were mostly RMMC students but representatives from other colleges were also present

Prof. Rufa C. Guiam, former professor ofe Mindanao State University - General Santos City and author several published articles and speaker in several international conferences was the resource person of the forum.

Prof. Guiam spoke on two major topics: “The roots, “drivers” (push or pull), and strategies for addressing violent extremism” and “Salient features of the BBL and on Federalism.”

She started her talk by testing the knowledge of the student participants on the concept of terrorism.

One answer from a student participant caught the attention of the speaker was that “Terrorism is a crime committed by a Muslim.”

Having noticed the students’ lack of basic knowledge about terrorism, the speaker decided to clarify and elaborate on the basic concepts of radicalization, violent extremism, and terrorism.

She said radicalization is the process by which individuals are introduced to an overtly ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from moderate, mainstream beliefs towards extreme views.

But she emphasized that radicalism should not be equated with terrorism, and that people who hold radical views do not necessarily become terrorists or violent extremist.

On the other hand, violent extremism is viewed as “encouraging, condoning, justifying, or supporting the commission of a violent act to achieve political, ideological, religious, social, or economic goals”.

According to the UN Statement on the Plan of Action against Terrorism, terrorism has four common elements as follows: a) threat or use of violence; b) political objective, i.e. the desire to change the status quo; c) intention to spread fear by committing spectacular public acts (could be heinous or just bluffing actions), and d) intention to target civilians.

The speaker emphasized that terrorists are made, not born. She said there are factors that drive individuals, either pulling or pushing them to violent extremism. She enumerated seven socio-political conditions that may drive individuals into violent extremism, as follows:

1. Denial of basic political rights and civil liberties

2. Harsh and brutal rule that entails gross violations of human rights

3. Widespread corruption and perceived immunity for well-connected elites

4. Poorly governed, weak and failing states, ungoverned areas

5. Protracted violent conflicts

6. Presence of repressive regimes widely perceived as illegitimate or bankrupt; absence of strong and legal opposition

7. Provision of previous support to VE movements by governments that once relied on those movements to serve their short term political or strategic interests.

In addressing the phenomenon of violent extremism, Prof. Guiam said the United Nations (UN) has identified the following areas where action/activities designed to address the issue of peace and violent extremism could be undertaken:

1. Dialogue and Conflict Prevention

2. Strengthening Good Governance, Human Rights and the Rule of Law

3. Engaging Communities

4. Empowering Youth

5. Gender Equality and Empowering Women

6. Education, Skills Development and Employment Facilitation

7. Strategic Communications, the Internet and Social Media

In her second talk, Prof. Guiam discussed briefly the salient features of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as well as on a comparison between Federalism and Unitary System.

CBCS expressed gratitude to Moammar Amal, MSA president, together with his fellow officers and members for assisting CBCS in the logistics preparation and in the overall conduct of the forum.


DWDD: UNITED VS NPAS | Community-Law Enforcement Agencies led arrest of High Ranking NPA in CARAGA

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): UNITED VS NPAS   |  Community-Law Enforcement Agencies led arrest of High Ranking NPA in CARAGA

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City (DWDD) – A ranking NPA Terrorist leader who handles the group’s extortion money in Mindanao was arrested during a joint 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army – PNP CARAGA Inter-agency Law Enforcement Operations in Brgy Bading, Butuan City on February 2, 2018 at about 3 o clock in the afternoon.

The arrested NPA Terrorist leader identified as Leonida Guao @Lea/Ligaya/Laya is the finance officer of the NPA Terrorists in the whole of Mindanao.

With the help of the community, the arrest was made by virtue of warrant of arrest under Criminal Case number 5809 (murder) issued by Regional Trial Court Branch-7, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

The arrested terrorist is now under the custody of PNP CIDG CARAGA for further legal processing.

Meanwhile, Lt General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr. Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the different government agencies and the community that led to the arrest.

“The arrest gave justice to the victims of their atrocities, particularly those Indigenous Peoples they brutally killed, the common people who have been victimized by their extortion and terroristic activities, and those who have lost their livelihood brought about by their arson and sabotage activities. This arrest is a result of the cooperation of the whole community and the different law enforcement agencies. It also proves that the terrorists cannot run away from the long arm of the law.” Lt Gen Madrigal Jr. said. EASTMINCOM MCAG


DWDD: CRUMBLING | 326 NPAs Surrender in January

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): CRUMBLING  |  326 NPAs Surrender in January


CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recorded a total of 326 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who surrendered to government forces in the month of January alone.

It may be recalled that the AFP announced on January 30 that a total of 310 NPAs surrendered from January 1 to 29. The additional two days from January 30 to 31 netted additional 16 NPAs surrenderees from different parts of the country.

The unprecedented number of surrenders is attributed to the call of President and AFP Commander in Chief Rodrigo Duterte on the rebels, as well as the hardship and sense of betrayal experienced by the returnees in staying with the NPA.

Noteworthy among the former rebels is Gemma Quiroga, 35, of Davao Oriental who surrendered to the 28th Infantry Battalion last 27 January. She was a squad medic of the NPAs operating in Davao Oriental and was also designated as Chairperson of ANAKPAWIS, a known leftist organization, in Mati City.

Five rebels also surrendered to the 25th Infantry Battalion in Compostela Valley on 29 January, including a 16-year-old alias RM. This is the latest case of NPA recruitment of minors which has already been documented in the past.

There were also seven surrenders from Arayat, Pampanga last 30 January and nine from Talacogon, Agusan del Sur last 28 January. Ten other members of NPA operating in Bicol also surrendered this month.

This adds up to the mass surrenders of seven NPA regular members and 35 members of Militia ng Bayan operating in Balud, Masbate last 21 January.

The AFP leadership congratulates its various units on the ground for the effective use of military pressure against the NPAs, as well as in their humane treatment of the former rebels.

The AFP hopes that the influx of surrenderees will encourage other rebels to lay down their arms, abandon violent extremism and embrace the peaceful path towards change. AFP PAO / MCAG


DWDD: PURE TERRORISM | NPA no different from ISIS after beheading CAFGU

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): PURE TERRORISM  |  NPA no different from ISIS after beheading CAFGU

MANILA (DWDD) – President and AFP Commander in Chief Rodrigo Duterte compared the Communist New People’s Army to the terrorist group Daesh – ISIS after its members reportedly beheaded a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU).

According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Manobo CAFGU Mar Acebedo Bocales was reportedly beheaded by Communist Terrorist in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur last January 29. His body also showed signs of torture.

“They beheaded Bocales who already surrendered. He went to the fields from his home to look for something to eat. So what’s the—what makes them different from the ISIS and kidnappers? That’s their kind of justice,” Duterte said in Visayan.

“When did the government and the soldiers cut off your hands and your penis?” he added. RTVM / MCAG


DWDD: NEW STORMTROOPERS | 128 Newly Enlisted Privates Take their Oath to Serve Eastern Visayas

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): NEW STORMTROOPERS  |  128 Newly Enlisted Privates Take their Oath to Serve Eastern Visayas

CAMP GENERAL VICENTE LUKBAN, CATBALOGAN CITY (DWDD) – One hundred twenty eight (128) new breed of soldiers were enlisted into the ranks of the Army’s 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division during the Closing Ceremony of Philippine Army Candidate Soldier Course Class 488-2017 held at the 8ID Jungle Base, Camp Eugenio Daza, Barangay Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar at 10 am on February 3, 2018.


The closing ceremony was graced by Atty. Bonifacio G. Uy, Regional Director, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office VIII as the Guest of Honor and Speaker who further led the ceremonial entrustment of firearms, distribution of certificates and awarding of individual achievements. The entrustment of firearms to the new enlisted privates symbolizes their responsibilities and commitment to the people and the country.


In his message, Atty. Uy said, “To our new breed of soldiers, your journey has just begun. Always uphold the virtues of the army. Serve this nation and this region to the best of your ability. Remember that your fight in the battlefield is also a fight against the social ills in our society. Take courage to do what is right and just. Remain true to your Panata na Itaguyod at ipagsanggalang ang Saligang Batas ng Pilipinas. Nasa kamay niyo po ang katuparan na makamit ang isang mapayapa, panatag at progresibong Eastern Visayas at Pilipinas.”

Major General Raul M. Farnacio, Commander, 8ID lauded the Division Training School personnel who were responsible for the training of these new soldiers, who will be later distributed to different line units of 8ID in Eastern Visayas.

The newly enlisted privates will boost the troops of 8ID that will go after the CPP-NPA Terrorists in the region and help establish an environment conducive for peace and development. 8DPAO / MCAG


DWDD: SUSTAINED OPERATIONS | NFWM recovers firearms and ammo in Sulu

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): SUSTAINED OPERATIONS  |  NFWM recovers firearms and ammo in Sulu

PATA ISLAND, Sulu (DWDD) – Operating elements of Naval Task Group-Sulu/Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu recovered multiple firearms and ammunition at Brgy Pisak Pisak, Pata Island, Sulu following the surrender of ASG personalities in the area.

NTG-Sulu/PMRF-Sulu under Col. Tolato composed of Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 led by Lt. Col. Cabanlet sent Special Operations Platoon and 61st Marine Company, Marine Special Operations Group led by 1Lt Umipig and 1Lt Hamili, respectively, to act on the reports that various crew-served weapons and ammunitions were hidden in the vicinity of the said barangay in Pata Island.

The said report came to the attention of MBLT1 during the conduct of Civil-Military Operations activities in a barangay in Pata Island, when a concerned citizen informed the troops that an ASG personality in the area would like to surrender to the government. MBLT1 troops facilitated the surrender and turnover of the said ASG member to PMRF-Sulu and proper debriefing at JTF-Sulu under BGen Cerelito Sobejana. The operation was then carried out based on the information given by the surrenderees after confirmation from intel operatives.

A few days earlier, on January 28, three ASG personalities with their respective FAs voluntarily surrendered to PMRF-Sulu. Intel operatives in the area facilitated the surrender of ASG members named Kadra Arajun Sawadjaan,Alnajar Arajun Sawadjaan and Sherul Arad Sahiyul and were brought back to PMRF-Sulu Headquarters. Accordingly, these voluntary surrenders of ASG members to the Armed Forces of the Philippines troops in the area triggered the surrender of the other ASG personalities.

These surrenders were followed by operations carried out by the Fleet-Marine troops in the area and led to the recovery of the following: one caliber 50 machine gun without barrel, 150 rds Caliber 50 ammos, one base plate of 81MM mortar, one bipod ot 81MM mortar, one tripod of Cal. 50 Machinegun, Eight 81mm mortar ammos, four ammos of 90RR, 50 rds 60MM mortars ammos.

Likewise, on February 2, 2018, Hon Burahan, the mayor of Pata boarded a Philippine Navy vessel to recover the surrendered several firearms and crew-served weapons. He turned over to PMRF Sulu 3 tubes 81mm mortar, 1 90RR, 1 barrel of .50 cal HMG, 4 M16, 3 M14, 5 garrand, 1 M79 GL and assorted ammos.

On the same date, personnel of 31MC also received the following at Brgy Pisak Pisak: three M14 rifles, three M16 rifles, one 90RR, three 81mm mortar tubes, one 50cal barrel, six M-14 magazines with 108 rds of ammos; four 20 rds mags of M16; one 20 rds plastic mag of M16, one 30rds mag of M16; 120 rds 5.56mm ammos and three magazine pouches.

Because of these efforts, the barangay captains of Pata island are now encouraging their consitutents to surrender all the other firearms existing in their area.

Rear Adm. Rene V. Medina AFP, the Commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, applauds the troops for a job well done. He encourages all the other members of the ASG to turn their backs against armed struggle, terrorism, rebellion and lawlessness and surrender to the government where they will be given a chance to a new life.

The number of ASG surrenderees, turned-over and recovered firearms are expected to rise as the government forces, with the support of the LGUs, continue to carry out both combat and non-combat operations to win and keep the peace in the Western Mindano region. NFWM / MCAG


DWDD: DISASTER RESPONSE CAPABILITY | TOC Conducts Search and Rescue Challenge 2018

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): DISASTER RESPONSE CAPABILITY  |  TOC Conducts Search and Rescue Challenge 2018


EDWIN ANDREWS AIRBASE, Zamboanga City (DWDD) – The Tactical Operations Command (TOC) conducted its first ever Search and Rescue Challenge 2018 January 23-25, 2018 at Edwin Andrews Air Base, Zamboanga City.

The said activity aimed to demonstrate and assess the disaster response capability and readiness of different EAAB Disaster Response Task (DRT) Team in preparation for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response related operations but also to the actual HADR Operations.

This activity is also one way to test and evaluate the unit’s knowledge and skills in HADR operations. This kind of endeavor is in line to the Commander, TOC’s guidance to continuously improve combat readiness and disaster response capability.



Likewise, the following were the winners of the TOC Search and Rescue (SAR) Challenge 2018:








DWDD: HERO OFFICER | 3ID Commander Visits Wake of Antique Fallen Hero

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 5): HERO OFFICER  |  3ID Commander Visits Wake of Antique Fallen Hero

SAN JOSE, Antique (DWDD) – Brigadier General Dinoh A Dolina AFP, the Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division visited the wake of 1LtJarren Jay Cabayao Relota at Comon, Barangay 3, San Jose , Antique on January 31, 2018.

Lt. Relota is the latest AFP hero to be a casualty in the Government’s campaign to once and for all put a stop to the violence propagated by the NPA terrorist groups all over the country.

Lt Relota was the Commanding Officer of Bravo Company of the 16th Infantry Battalion based in Barangay New Visayas, Santo Tomas, Davao del Norte. He was leading his troops to secure Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District after locals reported the presence of NPA terrorists thereat. On their approach, they were fired upon by the NPA terrorists. During the firefight, the terrorists detonated an improvised landmine that resulted to the wounding of two soldiers and the death of Lt Relota.

Lt. Relota, 27, is a native of San Jose, Antique. He is a proud member of the Officer Candidate Course (OCC) “MANANDATA” Class 40. He is a licensed criminologist and the only son of Mr. Joel and Mrs. Celine Relota.

BGen Dolina really wanted to promptly pay his respects to the late Lt Relota upon the arrival of the latter’s remains from Davao City to his homeplace. This is so he can immediately, personally express to the bereaved family and relatives the gratitude and pride of the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines for the heroism and the ultimate sacrifice rendered by Lt Relota in the service of our country and the Filipino People. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our gallant fallen hero. His death is worthy to be remembered and cherished eternally. He died protecting the people from the menace of the Communist Terrorists.”

BGen Dolina likewise gave cash assistance to the bereaved family. Earlier, the 3ID’s 61st Infantry Battalion rendered military honors to Lt Relota upon the arrival of his remains at Iloilo International Airport on 29 Jan 2018. 3DPAO / MCAG