Tuesday, February 20, 2018

China Has Built Intelligence Hub in Disputed Area of South China Sea, According to Think Tank

From Malaya Business Insight (Feb 20): China Has Built Intelligence Hub in Disputed Area of South China Sea, According to Think Tank

An aerial shot of a reef in the disputed Spratly islands on April 21, 2017. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chinese regime has completed construction of an intelligence and communications hub in the disputed Spratly Islands located in the South China Sea, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a U.S.-based think tank.

The organization published a report on Feb. 16 analyzing aerial photographs published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and CSIS’ own satellite imagery. It concluded that a large communications or sensor array—bigger than all other bases China has built in the area—had been completed on Fiery Cross Reef, “suggesting that Fiery Cross might be serving as a signals intelligence/communications hub for Chinese forces in the area,” according to the report.

In recent years, China has constructed several reefs and artificial islands in the archipelago known as the Spratly Islands, despite other Asian countries, such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Malaysia, also staking territorial claims. Fiery Cross is the smallest of three main islands the Chinese regime has commissioned.

The CSIS report confirmed that China’s artificial islands serve as air and naval bases. Fiery Cross has a 3,000-meter runway; hangar space for more than 20 combat aircraft; a field of upright poles that CSIS suspects serve as a high frequency radar array; and defense fortifications fashioned with large guns.

A research boat (L) and Filipino fishing boat (back R) anchored near Thitu Island in the South China Sea on April 21, 2017. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)

Subi Reef, which the report noted is a major concern for the Philippines—given its proximity to the country’s administered Thitu Islands—is fortified similarly, along with a shipping crane, underground storage tunnels (“likely for ammunition and other material,” according to the report), and structures with retractable roofs, which CSIS believes are shelters for mobile missile launchers.

The uninhabited Spratly Islands have become of interest to the Chinese regime due to their strategic location along shipping routes and potential proximity to natural resources.


2 NPAs killed in Agusan

From Malaya Business Insight (Feb 20): 2 NPAs killed in Agusan

TWO New People’s Army members were killed while five others, including a bomb expert, were arrested in military operations in Agusan del Sur and Isabela provinces on Sunday.

The two rebels died in a clash with the 401st Brigade in Barangay Brooks in Bunawan town, Agusan del Sur, said 1Lt. Tere Ingente, public affairs officer of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

Ingente said soldiers were conducting pursuit operations when they encountered about 10 NPA men at around 1 p.m. Sunday, leading to a 25-minute firefight.

During clearing operations, soldiers recovered two bodies and three AK 47 rifles. The bodies were turned over to barangay officials for identification and disposition.

Ingente said the encountered rebels belong to the NPA’s Platoon 2 of Guerilla Front 14, the same group the soldiers fought with on February 14 to 16. The skirmishes left one rebel dead.

In Isabela, five NPA rebels were arrested during a raid of their hideout in San Cabesera 17-21 at around 11 p.m., said Capt. Jefferson Somera, spokesman of the 5th Infantry Division based in Isabela.

The five arrested rebels were led by one “Sagun,” head of the training department of the NPA’s Regional Operations Command and assistant head of the demolition/explosive team of the same NPA command.

The four others were Mario Turqueza alias Dumo, Ariel Peñaflor, Bernard Peñaflor, and Maximiñano Domingo.

Somera said the operation was conducted by a joint team of soldiers and policemen by virtue of a warrant issued by Ilagan City judge Isaac de Alban, against Sagun for the crime of murder.

Recovered from the possession of the five suspects were one 9 mm pistol and personal belongings.


More troops sent to Sulu in drive vs Abu Sayyaf

From Malaya Business Insight (Feb 20): More troops sent to Sulu in drive vs Abu Sayyaf

ELITE government troops have been sent to Sulu to help in the intensified campaign against the Abu Sayyaf which is notorious for kidnap-for-ransom activities and for beheading its kidnap victims.

The 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, which came from Marawi City, arrived in Sulu on Tuesday last week while the 10th Scout Ranger Company, which came from Zamboanga del Sur, arrived Saturday, said Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

The new deployment brings to about 10 battalions, or about 5,000 men, now operating in Sulu.

“This is meant to further intensify our campaign (against the Abu Sayyaf),” said Sobejana of the group which has about 300 members in Sulu. The group is holding 10 foreign and Filipino kidnap victims in the province.

Overall, the Abu Sayyaf has about 400 members in Sulu, Basilan, and other areas.

Asked when the military can defeat the Abu Sayyaf, Sobejana said, “Actually it’s hard to give a timeline. What’s important is we are doing our best effort to end the group.”

Sobejana said the military is intensifying the operations in collaboration with local government officials.

“We are trying to harmonize our military operations, development and governance to finally end the security challenge, security problem,” he said.

Last month, AFP Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez said the military is aiming to defeat the Abu Sayyaf before the end of the year. 


241 former NPA guerrillas to dine with President Duterte

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 20): 241 former NPA guerrillas to dine with President Duterte

THE SECOND batch of former rebels who will dine with the President in Malacañang was sent off yesterday to Manila via two Philippine Air Force C-130 aircraft at the Davao City International Airport.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command, said the group is composed of 241 individuals, mostly from Compostela Province and Davao Del Norte. Thirty-eight of them are females while the rest are males.

They are part of the 683 former New People’s Army rebels from different parts of Eastern Mindanao who were presented to President Duterte on Dec. 21, 2017 in Camp Panacan, Davao City.

Balagtey said the activity aims to give the former rebels a better perspective in life, particularly in peace-building and nationalism. “It is part of the government’s continuing activity of reintegrating the former rebels in the mainstream society,” Balagtey said.

Part of their tour will be a historical and heritage trip to Luneta Park and Intramuros while a welcome ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at Camp Aguinaldo to be hosted by AFP Chief of Staff Leonardo Guerrero.

Prior to their dinner with the President, they will also get a chance to interact with other former NPA members who now work as advocates of peace and development. The tour will conclude on Feb. 22 and they will return to Davao City via a C-130 aircraft.

The schedule of the third batch of FRs will be determined later by the Appointments Office of the President.

It can be recalled that the first batch composed of 215 former rebels were toured in Manila and had a dinner with the President last February 6-8, 2018. On Feb. 16, 50 of them were enrolled in the Technical-Vocational Education Training to learn skills.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr., commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, reiterated the willingness of the government to help the surrenderees.

“We are committed and more than willing to accommodate NPAs who want to return to the folds of the law and take part in building a nation of peace for progress and development,” Madrigal said.


2 NPA members yield

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 20): 2 NPA members yield

TWO MEMBERS of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered to the troops of the 73rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel, Sarangani Province on Saturday afternoon.

Capt. McGary Dida, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 1002nd Infantry Brigade, told TIMES that the returnees belonged to the Guerrilla Front 71.

Dida identified them as alias Dodong, 19, resident of Barangay Pag-asa, Alabel; and alias Mario, 40, resident of Barangay Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani. They brought along their M16 and AK47 rifles.

Dodong said that he surrendered because he could no longer stomach what they were ordered to do, “especially when were told to harass our fellow Lumads in the community.”

Meanwhile, Mario said that he’s already old and “tired of hiding in the jungle because of the intensive military operation.”

The former rebels will be presented to the LGU of Sarangani for immediate assistance. They will also be enrolled in the Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

It can be recalled that last Feb. 15, three NPAs who also belonged to the Guerrilla Front 71 surrendered, along with their two M16 rifles and one AK47 rifle, to the troops of the 73rd IB in Barangay Pag-asa.

“We continue to intensify our security operations, community support programs, information gatherings and collaboration with our stakeholders to thwart the atrocities planned by the NPA,” Lt. Col. Marion Angcao, 73rd IB commander, said.

Col. Roberto Ancan, 1002nd Infantry Brigade, commander said that they expect more rebels to surrender as they continue with their livelihood and development programs, with the coordination of the local government units.

“The brigade will continue to intensify its security operation to protect and secure the people in its area of responsibility,” Ancan added.


34 IEDs found in Surigao

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 19): 34 IEDs found in Surigao

THE 16TH Special Forces Company found an arms cache at the vicinity of Sitio Tingtingon, Barangay Bitaugan, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur last Friday.

Capt. Al Anthony Pueblas, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 402nd Infantry Brigade, which has operational control of the unit, said they counted 34 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 635 assorted ammunition of 5.56 mm, which can be used for the M16 rifle and the AK47.

“The discovery of 34 IEDs again proves the (NPA’s) insincerity to the sole agreement between the GRP and NDF, CARHRIHL specifically on the prohibition on the use of land mine,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the commander of the 402nd IB, said the troops acted on the tip from civilians in the area.

“We urge the people to continue protecting their communities by giving information to our troops about the presence of deadly weapons, IEDs and ammunition buried in their farms and areas of abode,” Gacal said.

The items are now in the custody of 16th Special Forces Company.


Another Marawi possible, MILF chief warns

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): Another Marawi possible, MILF chief warns

'This ISIS group continues to penetrate us because they are being displaced in the Middle East and they want to have another place,' Murad Ebrahim says. 'The chances of having another Marawi cannot be overruled.'

ANOTHER MARAWI? Murad Ebrahim, chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), gestures as he speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Manila on February 20, 2018. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

ANOTHER MARAWI? Murad Ebrahim, chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), gestures as he speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Manila on February 20, 2018. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

The chief of the Philippines' main Muslim rebel group warned on Tuesday, February 20, that jihadists loyal to the Islamic State group (ISIS), flush with looted guns and cash, could seize another Filipino city after Marawi last year.

Murad Ebrahim has billed his Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which has made peace with the government, as a rival to ISIS for the hearts and minds of angry young Muslims in the impoverished south of the mainly Catholic nation.

Murad said the MILF was battling pro-ISIS groups for influence in schools as the jihadists worked to infiltrate madrasas (Islamic religious schools) and secular universities.

At the same time ISIS gunmen were making their way into the southern Philippines from Malaysia and Indonesia, he added, but gave no estimates.
(READ: End martial law? Lorenzana warns vs another Marawi)

A 5-month siege flattened the city of Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao, the Philippines' main Islamic centre, and claimed more than 1,100 lives.

Murad told reporters conditions on the ground were still ripe for another Marawi-style siege.

"This ISIS group continues to penetrate us because they are being displaced in the Middle East and they want to have another place," Murad said, using an another name for IS.
"The chances of having another Marawi cannot be overruled."

The Marawi attackers found and looted stockpiles of munitions, cash and jewellery from homes – some owned by MILF members – before the city was retaken by US-backed Filipino troops in October, he said.

"When they (MILF members) fled from Marawi they (could) not bring their vaults. That is where the ISIS was also able to get so much money and now they're using it for recruitment," he added.

"It's very sad. In our country some people say buying weapons and ammunition is just like buying fish in the market."

The combination of weak central government authority, the presence of rebel groups and long-running blood feuds means Mindanao is awash with weapons, he added.

Manila signed a peace deal with the 10,000-member MILF in 2014 after decades of Muslim rebellion in Mindanao for independence or self-rule that had claimed more than 100,000 lives.

Murad urged President Rodrigo Duterte's government to speed up the passage of a Muslim self-rule law to flesh out the peace accord, warning pro-ISIS militants were recruiting for a new attack.

"If the (self-rule law) will not be passed now I think it will develop a situation where these extremist groups can recruit more adherents, because it will prove their theory that there is no hope in the peace process," he said.

"Since they have the capability also to supply money and then they also have the ability to make explosives, bombs, they can just use these young recruits to work out their plan."


Bronze Cross Medal awarded to Fleet-Marine team in Zamboanga

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): Bronze Cross Medal awarded to Fleet-Marine team in Zamboanga

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief, pins Bronze Cross Medals to the gallant sailors in an awarding ceremony on Monday. Assisting him is Read Adm. Rene Medina, Navforwem commander. (Photo courtesy: Westmincom
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) awarded on Monday the Bronze Cross Medal to the gallant sailors who foiled a hijack attempt of a cargo vessel by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)-linked pirates off Basilan province.

The awardees were the personnel assigned with the three patrol crafts--PC381, PC386 and BA485--and Naval Special Operations Unit-6 (NAVSOU6) of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem).

Lt. Commander Ferraren and Lieutenant Jeffrey Mendoza, skippers of PC386 and BA485, respectively, received the awards on behalf of the gallant sailors.

The others who received the award were GM1 Heremias Quijada, Petty Office-in-Charge (POIC) Gunnery, PC386) and S1UO Jay Ancheta of the NAVSOU6.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief, and Read Adm. Rene Medina, Navforwem commander, led the awarding ceremony, which was held during Monday’s flag raising ceremony at Camp Basilio Navarro.

Camp Navarro houses the Westmincom headquarters in this city.

“I am happy for the ability displayed by Rear Adm. Medina as the leader of the Anti-kidnapping Joint Task Force. The quick and immediate response only proves the readiness and effectiveness of our Fleet-Marine Team,” Galvez said.

He said the award accorded to the gallant sailors “merits their selfless devotion to duty at all times to protect our waters against any threat and terror acts.”

“I hope these soldiers will serve as an example to all who are ready to serve anytime and as the need arises,” he said.

The timely response of the sailors coupled with evasive maneuver have prevented the ASG-linked pirates to hijack a cargo vessel, M/V Kudos 1, in the evening of February 18 near Sibago Island, Mohammad Ajul, Basilan.

The M/V Kudos 1 was on its maiden voyage from Davao to Manila when around 12 pirates aboard on three motorboats pursued and tried to board the ship.

The ship, which was loaded with tons of steel bars, is manned by a 27-man crew, including the skipper.

The pirates, who are equipped with hooks and ropes, tried but failed to climb on the ship as the crewmen splashed them with hot water mixed with oil.


PMA cadets get hands-on training from Army’s 7ID

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): PMA cadets get hands-on training from Army’s 7ID

FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – Members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 2018 - Army group began their on-the-job training under the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division (7ID) based here Monday.

The group, composed of 145 PMA Army cadets, will be deployed to the different operational, tactical and support units of 7ID that would provide them with first-hand information on how infantry brigades and battalions conduct their operations and the community support program, and how they run operational, administrative and support activities.

The training of the PMA cadets will last until March 4.

They were welcomed by the officers and members of the 7ID in a simple ceremony held at the Kaugnay Officers Clubhouse here at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Major Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr., commander of 7ID and a member of PMA “Sinagtala” Class 1986, is in full support of the activity and has given his orders to provide the cadets with the best possible training that the command could give.

“From among these cadets will perhaps one day emerge a leader not only for the Philippine Army, but possibly for the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well,” Santos said.


Troops allow return of displaced lumads in SoCot

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): Troops allow return of displaced lumads in SoCot

An Army official finally cleared some 22 tribal families from a remote village in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato to return to their homes, nearly three months after being displaced due to fighting between government troops and suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

Lt. Col. James Otida, commanding officer of the Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion (IB), said Tuesday it is now safe for the evacuees from Sitio Datal Bonlangon in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu to return to their village and resume normal lives.

He said they have cleared the area of potential security threats, especially the presence of NPA rebels.

Residents of sitio Bonlangon, who were all members of the Taboli-Manobo tribe, were forced to evacuate to nearby Sitio Tulali on Dec. 3 last year following a clash between suspected NPA rebels and troops from the Army’s 33rd and 27IB.

Two Army troopers and nine suspected NPA members, including tribal leader Victor Danyan, were killed in the reported encounter.

“Rest assured that we will continue to secure the area against any possible threats,” Otida said.

He specifically cited concerns earlier raised by residents of another clash between government troops and NPA rebels.

The evacuees also noted the possible “continued harassments” by private security personnel of a nearby Consunji-owned coffee plantation.

Sitio leaders of Bonlangon and nearby Tuburan,and Tawan Dagat decried the constant threats they receive from the armed group that patrols 21-hectare plantation that they claim as part of their ancestral domain.

The South Cotabato Provincial Police Office had encouraged the sitio leaders to file complaints against the said group and assured them of police assistance in the process.

The Army official assured they will not tolerate any form of harassment against the tribal residents.

But he stressed that they cannot intervene in the land claims and can only assist the concerned parties, local government and the local police in securing the area.

Otida said the private security group had actually assisted them in the “neutralization and dismantling” of NPA presence in the village.

Owing to this, Milagros Rivera, head of the Provincial Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said they have started the preparations for the return of the evacuees.

She said they are planning to transport the residents back to their community on March 1 and 2.

In coordination with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, she said the local government would provide the affected residents with the necessary assistance.

These include access to potable water and inclusion into the provincial government’s livelihood programs.

Lorca said the Lake Sebu Municipal Disaster and Social Welfare Office would conduct an awareness drive to give evacuees proper “understanding of the present state of their homes and assure their safety.”


CMS to be acquired for frigates compliant to Navy specs

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 19): CMS to be acquired for frigates compliant to Navy specs

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday assured the public that the Combat Management System (CMS), being acquired for the two frigates contracted by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), is compliant to all the specifications set by the Navy.

"No, we are not settling for a less capable system, compliant system (Hanwha CMS), yan ang (that is the) term sa (in) procurement," Lorenzana noted.

Lorenzana made this statement shortly after Monday's Senate hearing where the Navy's Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) was tackled and the reasons why HHI opted to pick Hanwha over Thales Tacticos, the manufacturer preferred by former PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado.

While acknowledging that Thales Tacticos is a good CMS brand, the DND chief said the Hanwha CMS being selected to fit the Navy's first two missile-firing capable frigates is equally capable.

"We are not buying a lesser product. We are buying an equally capable product to be put into our ship(s)," he added.

Lorenzana emphasized that Mercado's relief last December was brought about by the latter's refusal to comply with two of his memorandums on the CMS and pronouncements that he will have the project cancelled if Thales Tacticos was not selected to supply the above-mentioned equipment.

"(The reason for his relief as FOIC was) dahil dalawang beses na memo ko hindi n’ya sinusunod tapos, sa mga conference niya (sinasabi) na pag hindi (na)tuloy ang (Thales) Tacticos, ika-cancel niya ang FAP (The reason for his relief as FOIC was he disobeyed my memos twice and he says in his conferences that he will have the FAP cancelled if Thales Tacticos will not be selected)," the DND chief pointed out.

Also, Lorenzana said that it was Mercado who had the specification "Tactical Data Link 16" or the ability to transmit and receive data from various platforms in a bid to justify the preference for the Thales Tacticos CMS.

"Hindi ko alam may motivation siningit nila nung tapos na technical specifications nung Link 16, baka (para) ma-disqualify ang Hanhwa (I didn't know there was this motivation that they have inserted when the technical specifications of Link 16 were done. Maybe, it's for Hanhwa's disqualification)," he added.

The DND chief added that this specification was not present in the original specifications. He said he has no objections to acquiring the Thales Tacticos CMS provided that adequate funds are allotted for it.

The FAP has a contract of PHP18 billion including the weapon systems and munitions. Earlier, the DND chief said that using the Thales Tacticos CMS will shoot the price of the frigates by USD7 million per ship or USD14 million for the two vessels.


Capture of ISIS 'commander' shows AFP, PNP cooperation

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): Capture of ISIS 'commander' shows AFP, PNP cooperation

The recent arrest of the Egyptian national tagged as a commander of the international terror group ISIS demonstrates the resolve of the military and police to defeat and neutralize terrorists in the country.

"This inspiring result of the joint AFP-PNP operation is a testimony not only of the resolve of the government to monitor, deter, and defeat terrorists and their infrastructure. It is also proof of what a robust intelligence sharing and collaboration can do to keep our nation and its people safe," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said late Monday.

In the same vein, Arevalo reiterated his call to the public to be more vigilant and cooperate actively in the campaign against terrorists and their allies.

“The AFP and the Philippine National Police continue to sound the call for the sustained vigilance, cooperation, and active involvement with your security forces to strengthen our defense posture against terrorists and criminal elements,” he added. AFP and PNP units arrested Egyptian Fehmi Lassqued and his Filipina live-in partner Anabel Salipada during operations in Ermita, Manila on Friday.

They were brought to the Department of Justice for inquest proceedings as they were charged with illegal possession of explosive devices and firearms filed by Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit (RPIOU) of the National Capital Region Police Office.

The charge sheet signed by Supt. Carlito Narag Jr., RPIOU chief, sought the indictment of the suspects for violations of Republic Act 10591 and RA 9516, laws on illegal possession of firearms and explosives, respectively.

It cited as evidence the explosive devices seized from the couple during their arrest, including four pipes, two batteries, three capacitors, two integrated circuits, three battery clips and 11 resistors and also the .45-caliber pistol and ammunitions recovered from them.

Lassqued has been staying in the Philippines since July 2016 and has been traveling in and out of the country using a fake Tunisian passport when he is actually an Egyptian national.


US-PH Society supports return of Balangiga bells

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): US-PH Society supports return of Balangiga bells

The United States-Philippines Society (USPS) said it supports the return of Balangiga bells to the Philippines.

In a press conference Tuesday, USPS president John Maisto said that part of the group’s resolution on Monday’s Board Meeting is to support the return of Balangiga bells to the country.

“The Society has passed a resolution yesterday (Monday) that we are in support of the return of Balangiga bells to their rightful owners, which is the parish of Balangiga [in] Samar,” said Maisto.

“We are working on that, and we hope to see a very strong working group of the Society,” he added.

In his visit to Cebu City last week, President Rodrigo Duterte insisted that the US should return the church bells to the country.

Meanwhile, the President will be meeting the USPS executives Tuesday, where the organization will highlight the strong relationship between the Philippines and the US.

The society is a private sector initiative organized to broaden and expand interaction and understanding through basic research and/or applied research in the areas of security, trade, investments, tourism, the environment, history, education and culture between the United States and the Philippines which would benefit the American public and the people of the Philippines.


Frigate deal in accord with PH laws to push through: DND chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): Frigate deal in accord with PH laws to push through: DND chief

The Navy’s Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) is aboveboard and will be strictly completed in accordance to the country's procurement laws.

This was emphasized by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in Monday's Senate hearing on the frigate project.

"The DND is ensuring that the procurement process for the frigates are done and completed strictly in accordance with our laws, namely, Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, and 10349 (the Revised AFP Modernization Program)," he added.

The FAP was dragged into controversy following reports over alleged preference for a particular brand of combat management system (CMS) which will be fitted to the two frigates.

"Unfazed by all of the accusations, allegations, and malicious stories, we have come here today, at the gracious invitation of this august body, to shed light on the two aforementioned subjects of this inquiry and to present the facts," Lorenzana said.

The DND is standing by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)'s decision to use the Hanwha CMS for the two ships while former Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado is batting for the Thales Tacticos system.

"For the first time in our nation’s history, we have a chance to own a modern state-of-the-art military hardware such as the two frigates which we are acquiring for the Philippine Navy for the first time ever. This is the biggest single procurement so far in the history of the Armed Forces of the Philippines," he added.

But, the DND chief stressed that there appears to be a concerted effort by some to cast doubt on the acquisition project, the entire procurement system, and the people behind it, even calling for cancellation of the FAP contract.

"The issues thrown against the frigate acquisition project is hurting the very institution that is tasked to defend our country from internal and external threats," he added.

Lorenzana also tagged Mercado as the person behind the deliberate attempt to delay or stop the FAP.

"That Vice Admiral Mercado was insistent in his desire to enforce his will on the builder of the frigates, Hyundai, to install a specific brand of combat management system or CMS in the two frigates, which is clearly prohibited under our procurement law," the DND chief added.

Also, Lorenzana pointed out the former PN chief, on many occasions, challenged and usurped his authority such as directing the owner’s team in South Korea; exerted his influence on the project management team and intervened in the processes and outcome of the project; and threatened to have the contract canceled if his preferred CMS was not installed;

"That the loss of trust and confidence of the Secretary of National Defense resulting from his actions leading to insubordination was the reason for his relief as flag-officer-in-command," the DND chief added.

Also, Lorenzana earlier said it was Mercado who had the specification "Tactical Data Link 16" or the ability to transmit and receive data from various platforms in a bid to justify the preference for the Thales Tacticos CMS.

"Hindi ko alam may motivation siningit nila nung tapos na technical specifications nung Link 16, baka (para) ma-disqualify ang Hanhwa (I didn't know there was this motivation that they have inserted when the technical specifications of Link 16 were done. Maybe, it's for Hanhwa's disqualification)," he added.

The DND chief added that this specification was not present in the original specifications. Also, Lorenzana said he has no objections to acquiring the Thales Tacticos CMS provided that adequate funds are allotted for it.

The FAP has a contract of PHP18 billion including the weapon systems and munitions.

Earlier, the DND chief said that using the Thales Tacticos CMS will shoot the price of the frigates by USD7 million per ship or USD14 million for the two vessels.


BI asks PNP to examine passport of Egyptian ISIS member

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 20): BI asks PNP to examine passport of Egyptian ISIS member

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct an examination on the passport of Egyptian national Fehmi Lassoued, an alleged member of terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who was nabbed by authorities last week.

“In light of the recent information, the BI has coordinated with and requested the PNP for a cursory examination of the document to determine if it is fake or a genuine passport but fraudulently acquired,” BI Spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang said.

“Likewise we have sent request to the honorary consulate of Tunisia here to determine if the passport is genuinely issued,” the BI official added.

Mangrobang added that the Egyptian national was allowed entry in the country since he was not included in the Interpol watchlist.

“He does not have a derogatory record in the Bureau's database. We have no record as well that he was denied entry in two countries po,” she said.

“Fehmi Lassoued underwent immigration inspection and was admitted into the country upon presentation of his passport and determination of the absence of any BI derogatory record or Interpol notice. On the authenticity of the passport, the BI primary inspectors' initial determination is that the passport is genuine,” Mangrobang added.

On Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa reported the arrest of the suspected ISIS member and his Filipina partner, Anabel Moncera Salipada from Upi in Maguindanao in Manila.

They were arrested in a rented place in Room 409, Casa Blanca Apartment along M. Adriatico, Malate, Manila.

Dela Rosa said Lassoued entered the country with a fake Tunisian passport in July 2016.


CPP/NPA-Rizal: Pagbati ng MGC sa opensibang militar NPA Rizal

New People's Army-Rizal propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 18): Pagbati ng MGC sa opensibang militar NPA Rizal

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

18 February 2018
Press Release

Malugod na binabati ng Melito Glor Command New People’s Army – Southern Tagalog ang Narciso Antazo Aramil Command – NPA Rizal sa kanilang matagumpay na pamamarusa sa yunit ng Philippine National Police – Special Action Force na naglulunsad ng operasyon sa larangang gerilya at pumipinsala sa mamamayan. Inambus ng mga Pulang mandirigma ang dalawang sasakyan – isang hummer-type jeep na may 4 na SAF commandos at isang back-to-back jeep na may 12 elemento ng SAF commandos sa Sityo San Joseph, Brgy. San Jose, Antipolo City. Pauwi ang mga mersenaryo mula sa kanilang operasyong militar sa kanilang headquarters sa naturang lugar. Tumagal ang labanan mula 6:40 hanggang 7:25 ng umaga.

Anim na elemento ng SAF commandos ang nasugatan at dalawa ang nasawi samantalang walang kaswalti sa hanay ng magigiting na Pulang mandirigma.

Ang opensibang militar na inilunsad ng NPA Rizal ay bilang tugon sa walang tigil na paglulunsad ng mga operasyong militar ng reaksyunaryong pwersang panseguridad sa mga erya na saklaw ng NPA at paghahasik ng lagim sa hanay ng mamamayan.

Patuloy ang pagsasanay ng lahat ng elemento ng NPA sa rehiyon sa iba’t ibang teknika at taktika sa pakikihamok sa berdugong Armed Forces of the Philippines-PNP upang sagkaan ang kanilang kapalalauan at kahambugan sa harap ng lumalabang inaaping mamamayan. Sisikaping kamtin ng NPA ang isang kaaway na kaswalti sa hanay ng AFP-PNP sa paglulunsad ng mga opensibang pamamarusa sa mga nag-ooperasyong tropa ng reaksyunaryong hukbo. Gamit ang iba’t ibang kasanayang militar tulad ng commando operations, sniping operations, sapper operation, sabotage operations at partisan, hihina at wawasak ang moral ng mga mersenaryong hukbo ng estado sa harap ng tuluy-tuloy na paglaban ng inaapi at pinagsasamantalahang mamamayan.

Nananawagan ang Melito Glor Command sa lahat ng yunit ng NPA sa rehiyong Timog Katagalugan na higit pang pasiglahin at padagundungin ang mga opensibang aksyon laban sa lahat ng yunit ng reaksyunaryng hukbo at pulis sa mga sona at larangang gerilya. Hindi dapat hayaang malayang maglabas-masok ang alinmang yunit ng AFP at PNP sa mga barangay na saklaw ng demokratikong gubyernong bayan nang hindi pinagbabayad nang mahal sa kanilang mga krimen at atrosidad sa mamamayan ng rehiyon.


CPP/NPA-ST: P25,000 bounty sa bawat Pulang mandirigma, desperadong hakbang ni Duterte

New People's Army-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 18): P25,000 bounty sa bawat Pulang mandirigma, desperadong hakbang ni Duterte

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

18 February 2018

Nangangarap nang gising si Duterte kung inaakala niyang ipagkakanulo ng sambayanang Pilipino ang buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan kapalit ang P25,000 pabuya sa bawat mapapatay na miyembro ng New People’s Army (NPA) o sinumang simpatisador, pinaghihinalaang taga-suporta o kasapi ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Kahit milyun-milyong piso pa ang ialok ni Duterte, hindi ipagpapalit ng sambayanang Pilipino ang pera sa bawat Pulang mandirigma dahil malinaw sa mamamayan kung sino ang tunay nilang tagapagtanggol at hukbo ng bayan. Ang NPA ay malapit sa masa at taos-pusong naglilingkod para sa kanilang interes. Batid ng mamamayan na katuwang nila ang NPA sa bawat laban sa estado at kaagapay sa bawat tagumpay ng kanilang pakikibaka.

Ang NPA ay nananatiling nagtatamasa ng papalawak at papalalim na suporta ng masang anakpawis. Patuloy itong lumalaki at lumalakas sa buong bansa, patunay na walang pagkasaid ang suportang tinatamasa nito sa sambayanang Pilipino.

Sa kabilang banda, nanganganib ang buhay ng mamamayan lalo ang mga aktibong nakikibakang grupo, organisasyon, indibidwal at mga etnikong grupo tulad ng Moro at Lumad sa ipinahayag ni Duterte. Lalong nitong binibigyan ng awtoridad ang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) at iba pang grupong paramilitar na pumaslang sa ngalan ng pera. Gagatungan lamang ng pahayag ni Duterte ang mga ganid, mersenaryo at militaristang AFP, PNP at paramilitar.

Kung gayon, dapat humanda ang mamamayang Pilipino sa papatinding atrosidad ng berdugong AFP-PNP. Kailangang patuloy silang lumaban at magkaisa sa bawat atake ng mga pwersang panseguridad ng pasista at tiranong estado. Higit sa lahat, marapat nang patalsikin at ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte at itayo ang demokratikong gobyernong bayan na tunay na maglilingkod sa interes ng mamamayan.

CPP/NPA-Rizal: 6 na elemento ng PNP-SAF sa Antipolo City, sugatan sa pananambang ng NPA-Rizal!

New People's Army-Rizal propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 18): 6 na elemento ng PNP-SAF sa Antipolo City, sugatan sa pananambang ng NPA-Rizal!

Macario “Ka Karyo” Sakay, Spokesperson
NPA-Rizal (Narciso Antazo Aramil Command)

18 February 2018

Matagumpay na nailunsad Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa ilalim ng Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NAAC–NPA- Rizal) ang kontra-atake laban sa nag-ooperasyong tropa ng SAF-PNP sa Sitio San Joseph, San Jose, Antipolo City, Rizal. Ganap na alas 6:40 kaninang umaga, Pebrero 18, nang tambangan ng isang platun ng NPA-Rizal ang 2 sasakyang naka-convoy na may lulan na 28 miyembro at opisyal ng pulisya na nagresulta sa malubhang pagkakasugat ng 6 at pagkasawi ng dalawang elemento ng SAF-PNP habang walang anumang kaswalti sa mga miyembro ng NPA-Rizal.

Ang naambus na mga pulis ay bahagi ng pinagsamang pwersa ng SAF-PNP at 2nd ID-PA na mahigit nang 2 linggong naglulunsad ng kontra-insurhensyang operasyon na sa mga bulubunduking baryo ng Antipolo City, mga bayan ng Baras, Rodriguez at Tanay, Rizal para isagawa ang pangarap ng pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte na durugin ang NPA at buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa ilalim ng ipinatutupad nitong kontra-insurhensyang dinisenyo ng Estados Unidos na OPLAN KAPAYAPAAN at upang pigilan at takutin ang mga mamamayang lumalaban sa mga kontra-mamamayan at kontra-katutubong proyekto ng gobyernong Duterte na WAWA-VIOLAGO DAM sa Antipo City at Rodriguez, LAIBAN DAM sa Tanay, ATN-SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT sa Rodriguez, WIND POWER PROJECT sa Pililia, Rizal na magreresulta sa malawakang pangangamkam ng lupa at pagpapalayas sa mga magsasaka at katutubong Dumagat. at Remontado. Ang mga operasyong pulis-militar na ito ay pumipinsala sa buhay at ari-arian ng mga katutubong Dumagat at Remontado, mga setler at mga magsasaka sa lalawigan ng Rizal.

Ang taktikal na opensibang ito ay inilunsad bilang pagdepensa sa sarili ng BHB at ng mamamayan na walang habas na inaatake ng mga pasistang tropa ng PNP-AFP at itinutulak ng Rehimeng US-Duterte na walang nararapat gawin kundi ang magiting na lumaban. Tugon din ito ng BHB sa deklarasyon ng Rehimeng US-Duterte sa Martial Law sa Mindanao, sa walang habas na paninira at pananalakay ng pasistang rehimeng US Duterte sa kababaihan, sa mamamayan at sa Rebolusyonaryong Kilusan. Hindi hahahayan ng BHB na basta na lamang barilin ng AFP-PNP ang ari ng mga kasamang babae ng BHB ng walang laban. Bago nila mabaril ang sinumang kasama babae ay tiyak na makakatikim ang AFP-PNP na magiting na paglaban ng amasona at babaeng NPA.

Bahagi rin ang taktikal na opensibang ito sa mga tugon ng CPP-NPA para biguin ang atake ng pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan at ambag na rin ito sa malawak na kilusan ng mamamayan para patalsikin ang rehimeng US-Duterte. Habang nagpapakasasa ang Rehimeng US-Duterte at kanyang mga alipores sa pandarambong sa kaban ng bayan at sa pagpataw ng iba’t ibang pahirap sa mamamayan tulad ng dagdag na buwis dulot ng TRAIN, jeepney phase-out, paglaganap ng kontraktwalisasyon, pagkatuta sa imperyalistang US at China kasabay ng planong pagkonsolida nito sa kamay na bakal na pamumuno sa pamamagitan ng pagbabago ng konstinusyon ng Pilipinas (Cha-Cha) sa tabing ng panawagang pederalismo ay lalong dumarami ang mga mamamayan na namumulat at naghahangad na patalsikin na ang rehimeng US-Duterte. Ang BHB ay gagampanan din ang papel nito na maglunsad ng malaganap na mga taktikal na opensiba para ipagtanggol ang sarili at interes ng mamamayan.

Ikinagagalak ng mga mamamayan ng Lalawigan ng Rizal ang taktikal na opensibang ito. Para sa kanila ay nabigyan din sila ng katarungan sa matagal ng dinaranas na pandarahas ng mga militar at pulisya na pumipinsala sa kanilang buhay at ari-arian. Matagumpay na nailunsad ito sa mainit at malawak na suporta ng mamamayan na hindi kailanman kinakagat ang alok na pabuya ni Duterte na P25,000.00 piso kada mapapatay na NPA. Alam ng mamamayan hindi kailanman mapapatay ang isang mandirigma ng NPA na determinado at tunay na naglilingkod sa sambayanan na handang ialay ang buhay para sa interes ng sambayanan. Isang katotohanan na mas marami ang mga mamamayan na naghaharap ng reklamo sa NPA laban sa mga pwerng militar at pulisya na nang-aabuso sa mamamayan at maramihang pumapatay sa mga mahihirap na pinaghihinalaan adik at tagatulak ng droga habang pinprotektahan ang mga mayayamang druglord at adik tulad ng promotor sa pagpasok ng shabu na nakalabas sa Bureau of Customs (BOC) na nagkakahalaga ng 6.4 Bilyong piso na kinasangkutan ng anak ni Duterte na si Paolo “Pulong” Duterte at manugang nito na si Atty. Manases Carpio na asawa ni Mayor Sara Duterte ng Davao City.

Alam ng mamamayan kung sino ang tunay na hukbo ng mamamayan na kanilang maasahan. Alam nilang gaano man kahaba ang listahan ng ginagawang pang-aapi at pandaras ng AFP-PNP at mga lansakang taga-abuso sa karapatang pantao ay aabutin sila ng mahabang kamay ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa pangungunan ng CPP-NPA. Ang NPA ang tanging armadong hukbo sa Pilipinas na dadamay at magtatanggol sa interes ng mamamayang Pilipino laban sa pananalakay at pang-aapi ng pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte.


CPP/NPA-ST: AFP, numero unong rapist at lumalabag sa karapatang-tao ng mamamayan

New People's Army-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 18): AFP, numero unong rapist at lumalabag sa karapatang-tao ng mamamayan

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

18 February 2018

Mariing kinukundina ng Melito Glor Command – New People’s Army Southern Tagalog ang mga bastos at walang modo na pahayag ng isang Tenyente Bobis ng 85th Infantry Battalion sa mga komunidad sa Quezon kung saan ipinagmamayabang niyang “yayariin” si Comrade Kathryn kapag nakita ito sa gubat.

Malinaw ang pambubuyo ni Duterte sa kanyang mersenaryong tropang Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) at mga grupong paramilitar na lumabag sa bawat ilulunsad na operasyong militar at pulis. Higit na pinapatunayan ng gobyernong Duterte at AFP-PNP na sila ang numero unong rapist, lumalabag sa karapatan ng mamamayan sa kanayunan at lumalabag sa pandaigdigang makataong batas na sinang-ayunan ng reaksyunaryong Government of the Republic of the Philippines sa United Nations.

Kung gayon, lantad na lantad na sa mamamayan ang pagiging terorista ng estado at AFP-PNP laban sa mamamayang Pilipino hindi lamang sa mga kababaihang mandirigma ng NPA. Mahaba ang listahan ng panghahalay at kasong kriminal ng AFP at PNP sa mamamayan at sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan tulad ng panggagahasa at pang-aagaw ng mga asawa sa komunidad at ang panghahalay sa mga bangkay, hors de combat at nahuhuling babaeng Pulang mandirigma tulad ng paghubad sa bangkay ng mga babaeng NPA ng Nasugbu 14 noong Nobyembre 2017.

Dapat ipaglaban at ipagtanggol ng mamamayan ang kanilang mga lehitimo at demokratikong karapatan laban sa pandarahas ng reaksyunaryong estado. Sama-sama nating ibagsak ang isang pasista at teroristang rehimen upang itayo ang isang gobyerno na tunay na magtatanggol sa interes ng mamamayan, gumagalang sa karapatan ng kababaihan at ipinagkakaloob ang mga sosyo-ekonomikong kahilingan ng mamamayan.


CPP/NPA-SM: Duterte’s war against Lumad intensifies in Southern Mindanao, NPA launches counter-attacks

New People's Army-Southern Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 19): Duterte’s war against Lumad intensifies in Southern Mindanao, NPA launches counter-attacks

Rigoberto F. Sanchez, Spokesperson
NPA-Southern Mindanao

19 February 2018
Press Release

Amid his mercenary offer of “silver” and dubious development, wooing and dining so-called surrendered persons and vulgar slurs against women revolutionaries, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has intensified his all-out war against indigenous peoples as the Eastern Mindanao Command-AFP deployed its foot soldiers and excess war materiel from Marawi City siege in Southern Mindanao.

The dictator has made good his promise to attempt to obliterate dissent, not by winning against the NPA but by foisting superior combat force in remote indigenous people’s villages in the region. Placed under martial rule are the IP populated barangays of Talaingod, Davao del Norte; Paquibato, Marilog, Baguio and Toril districts in Davao City; Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela and Maragusan towns of Compostela Valley; Magpet and Arakan in North Cotabato; and Boston, Cateel, Tarragona and Caraga towns of Davao Oriental.

Since January, seventeen (17) Army battalions commanded over 300 military detachments and 14 battalion and 4 brigade headquarters all over the region. All Army units bear their standard procedure: recruitment of CAFGU paramilitary forces and agitating Lumad to wage pangayaw; forcing civilians to “surrender”; threats of extra-judicial killings, forced evacuations, warning and harassment of Lumad leaders; threats of bombing, food blockade, intimidation of motorcycle drivers and vilification of communities as NPA supporters.

Affected in this combat-psywar campaign are the Manobo villages and sub-villages in Talaingod such as Tibi-tibi, Cabadiangan, Paiton, Mibolo, Palma Gil, Sto. Niño, Pantaron, Minopal, Nasilaban, Mirato, Nabunturan, Saso, Km. 18, Opaw, Igang, JBL, Dulyan, Km. 14, Km. 25, Km. 31 and Tibukag. In Paquibato, Davao City: the Matigsalog Lumad barangays of Colosas, Malabog, Salapawan, Mapula, Tapak and other barangays of Lumiad, Paquibato proper, Paradise Embak, and Pandaitan; in Marilog District: IP barangays of Salumay, Marilog, Gumitan, Tambobong, Malamba and the mixed populations of Magsaysay, Suwawan, Salaysay and Tamugan; in Toril District, barangays Tungkalan and Barakayo; in Baguio District, in Tamayong and Carmen.

In Davao Oriental, the Mandaya villages in Cateel: Taytayan, Malibago, Maglahos, Aliwagwag and Mainit; Brgy. Tubaon in Tarragona and of the Dibabawons in Brgy. Simolao in Boston; and in Compostela Valley, in Compostela barangays of Panansalan and Ngan, and of the Mansakas of Brgy. Langgawisan and Lahi in Maragusan where at least 1,000 residents were forced by the military to evacuate following an NPA sighting on February 5.

In the IP communities of Caraga town, the Army’s 67th IB and the paramilitary MANADU forces threatened to bomb and massacre 100 Mandaya families in Sitio Catagbakan and Sitio Panlalaisan, Brgy. Pichon, thus forcing them to leave their homes and farms and stay at the village center starting last February 12.

In North Cotabato, the newly-deployed 15th IB in Arakan town has been terrorizing the Manobo communities of Brgy. Tumanding, Malibatuan, Maria Caridad and Cabalantian, issuing ultimatums for leaders of Lumad organizations to “surrender.” The 39th IB meanwhile has not let-up its combat-psywar operations in the Bagobo communities in Brgy. Tiko, Brgy. Mahongcog and Temporan in Magpet town.

Under pretext of civilian cover, Special Operations Group Bagani Long Range Platoon Leader Ramon Ali was elected as the National Indigenous People’s Council for Peace and Development (NIPCPD) chairperson during the recent February summit to complement the military’s all out war with deception and justification.

The so-called NIPCPD is a rehashed national version of the Mindanao IP Council for Peace and Development chaired by Joel Unad, a notorious tribal dealer responsible for the landgrabbing of ancestral domain in Marilog, Baguio and Toril districts in Davao City.
Amid the all-out war against indigenous people and the revolutionary movement, the NPA responded by abiding by guerilla warfare tactics of concentration, launching attritive and annihilative actions against the enemy and dispersal to evade concentrated attacks.

As the military struck terror in 20 communities in Talaingod, the NPA Guerilla Front 56 launched a demolition operation, killing 5 members of the 3rd IB in Sitio Balaas, Brgy. Gumitan, Marilog district in Davao City on February 9 at 7:46 am. On February 4 at 7am, Red fighters belonging to the NPA Guerilla Front 55 detonated explosives against a PNP patrol car, killing 2 police personnel in Sitio Opaw, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod. On that same day, operatives of the NPA Sub-Regional Command imposed capital punishment against notorious CAFGU leader and Alamara recruiter Banadjao Mampaundag and his son Jhonard, also a member of the CAFGU.

On January 25, in response to militarization of 9 barangays in Paquibato district, the 1st Pulang Bagani Battalion triggered command detonated explosives against the 16th IB in Brgy. Mapula, Paquibato district, killing 1st Lt. Jarren Jay Relota, commanding officer of the unit’s Bravo Company, and wounding two others. Earlier, Red forces harassed a platoon of the16th IB in Brgy. Lumiad, wounding 2 fascist troops.
With his war against the Lumad, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is clearly exposed as a desperate coward capable only of victimizing the lowly and unarmed, while masquerading as a loud and foul-mouthed dictator.

CPP/MAKIBAKA: Rodrigo Duterte is a misogynistic tyrrant on his way to his downfall

Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (MAKIBAKA)-Southern Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 19): Rodrigo Duterte is a misogynistic tyrrant on his way to his downfall

Ka Teresa, Spokesperson
Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan – Southern Mindanao

19 February 2018
Press Release

MAKIBAKA, the underground revolutionary organization of women, in Southern Mindanao condemns in the highest terms Rodrigo Duterte’s marching order for AFP soldiers to shoot women members of the NPA in the vagina since taking up arms renders their reproductive organs “useless.” In playing on the AFP’s fascist tradition of rape and male chauvinism, Duterte ignorantly assumes that he can rally his troops to commit the most heinous war crimes with impunity in his anti-people Oplan Kapayapaan.

We commend all women, organizations, civil libertarians, even women members of the AFP, who have taken offense at Duterte’s primitive and misogynistic views on human rights, especially of women, which stand on the wrong side of history and make a mockery of centuries of hard-won struggle by women not only in the country but around the world.

Malacañang can no longer sweep Duterte’s comments under the rug like it did in the past. Duterte’s recent order is yet another attack against all women, much like his promise to his fascist soldiers for the latter’s choice of bedding starlets as prize or immunity lest they rape women in their anti-terror rampage. It can never be downplayed “in context” like his detestable joke of wanting to be the first to rape an Australian religious missionary. His downright sexist treatment of women media practitioners will no longer be lumped up with his general distaste for the Philippine media who struggle to exercise freedom of speech against his tyrannical rule.

Duterte is a misogynistic tyrrant not only in words but in deed. Every single day, his newly-minted TRAIN Law beats down mothers of the working class who carry the burden of making ends meet in the face of rising prices of commodities and dwindling value of already barely livable wages. In farms, corporate plantations and haciendas nationwide, women alongside men work like slaves because Duterte favors foreign investments over the institution of genuine land reform. In factories and semi-processing plants in urban centers, women alongside men continue to be victimized by corporate greed with Duterte’s adamant neoliberal policies on job contractualization.

Like any dictator, Duterte detests women and wants them to kowtow to the patriarchal authorities of the semi-fuedal and semi-colonial society that condemn women as docile, unthinking secondary citizens. He wants women to never question, raise doubt or protest the inequalities that he himself is perpetrating against the masses of peasants, workers and Lumad. He demands subservience, and where there is none, he either unravels his dirty mouth to ridicule women or raises his iron-clad fist to stifle dissent, be it against the legal democratic movement or the underground movement. But in truth, Duterte is deathly afraid of women, especially strong-willed women who see him for the mysogynistic tyrrant that he is. He is most afraid of women who choose the hard road of arm struggle against the exploitative reactionary government which he now desperately endeavors to keep together with fascism and dictatorship. He knows that when the masses rise up to topple him, more than half of those will be mothers, daughters and women of all sectors.

We likewise challenge presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, as a woman and a human being, to make a stand against her father’s egregious anti-women tirades. For the sake of the sector she belongs to and human rights in general, she must denounce this retrograde order that objectifies women and uses our reproductive organ as an instrument of subordination and derision.

MAKIBAKA calls on all women to wage all forms of resistance in the national democratic struggle to bring down the US-Duterte regime, the number one enemy of all Filipino women today. We call on more women to join the ranks of men and march with the New People’s Army which imbibes the long and heroic tradition of revolutionary women who fight against the roots of our patriarchal bondage—imperialism, feudalism and bureaucract capitalism.

NDFD/Sison: On the Persistent Refusal of Duterte to Engage in Peace Negotiations with the NDFP

Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Feb 17): On the Persistent Refusal of Duterte to Engage in Peace Negotiations with the NDFP

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Related news: Talks with Reds still off despite Norwegian envoy’s visit

If Duterte is hell bent on the armed suppression of the CPP and NPA in order to justify martial law and fascist dictatorship, there is nothing the NDFP can do but to pursue the people´s democratic revolution through protracted people´s war which is now accelerated by the escalation of oppression and exploitation under the US-Duterte regime.

It takes two sides in the current civil war in the Philippines to agree to negotiate with each other and arrive at comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms to lay the basis of a just and lasting peace. The GRP and NDFP negotiating panels were making significant progress in the peace negotiations. But it was Duterte himself who kept on sabotaging the peace negotiations.

He deliberately reneged on his promise to amnesty and release all political prisoners. He kept on terminating the peace negotiations (three times!) by raising to the press complaints which he should have submitted through his panel to the Joint Monitoring Committee in the same manner that the NDFP had submitted to this body bigger and more serious complaints against the continuance of AFP, PNP and CAFGU offensives during periods of ceasefire. The NDFP complaints involved AFP bombing of communities and mass murder of children, women and elderly people.

In the third instance of termination, Duterte issued Proclamation 360 on November 23 and then Proclamation 374 on December 5, 2017 to llbel the CPP and NPA, their supposed supporters and financiers as ¨terrorist¨. All the way, Duterte has been the one making the obstacles and obstructing the peace negotiations. He has been obsessed with scapegoating the CPP and NPA in order to have the convenient and false excuse for martial law and fascist dictatorship through a pseudo-federal constitution railroaded by his constituent assembly of pork barrel plunderers.

Duterte has already gained the notoriety of a power-crazed tyrant, an inciter and inducer of mass murder under Oplan Tokhang ang Oplan Kapayapaan. But for the sake of the Filipino people who clamor for a just peace, the NDFP is always willing to negotiate peace with the GRP whether it is still run by Duterte or no more. There are sane and reasonable sections of the GRP that may prevail over the mad drive of Duterte to terminate the peace negotiations and wallow in fascist dictatorship and bureaucratic corruption.


MILF: “Failure to pass BBL has big impact in the quest for peace in Mindanao”- BIAF men

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 16): “Failure to pass BBL has big impact in the quest for peace in Mindanao”- BIAF men


The frustrations among members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) on the ill-fated passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) by the 16th Congress has caused some doubts on the sincerity of the national government in finding a comprehensive and long lasting solution to the Moro Problem.
This time, many stakeholders are still uncertain on the enactment of an enabling law for the creation of a new political entity called Bangsamoro Region.

The Senate for its part are about to terminate the public hearings and consultations saying they have conducted enough, but there is a slow pace of deliberations in the House of representatives (Hor).

To get the pulse of some stakeholders, we traveled to some parts of Maguindanao trying to ascertain what they feel, and perceive on the current state of BBL is congress.

While in Barira, we have talked to Datu Riga, a veteran of Camp Abubakar War who was then 20 years old when they tried to defend the village of Sapad in Matanog, Maguindanaon from members of the Philippine Armed Forces trying to open a gateway towards Abubakar.

Asked what he can say about the new BBL, Datu Riga told us, “We are carefully watching the development in congress, and if ever congress fails us again this time, then we are ready to go back to the battlefield, and fight the enemy,” he said.

I’m now 37 years old and still capable of fighting for the Moro cause. He admitted that for now he engaged in farming to support his family, but reports to duty when called by his superiors.

He also admitted that at present, the AFP is no longer a threat to the Moro people, but radical elements who are trying to spread a wrong interpretations of the Noble Qur’an.

“If every there is Bangsamoro Region, then we can concentrate on these misguided elements until they stopped recruiting and brain washing Moro youths to join with them,” he said.

In Dulawan, Datu Piang, Maguindanao, we had a chance encounter with Bapa Bedo in a coffee shop. He hails from Reina Rejente, former MNLF Camp but is now occupied by MILF Forces.

Asked to comment on the new BBL, Bapa Bedo told us, “We cannot accept another frustration this time. Congress failure to pass the BBL will have big impact in the quest for peace in Mindanao.” Over a cup of coffee, he laments that the Moro have suffered enough, and it is time for them live in peace.

In Datu Odin Sinsuat, a progressing town in Maguindanao adjacent to Cotabato City, we have talked to Comdr. Bobby, a camp commander in the hinterlands of Sinsuat town.

“We believe President Rodrigo Duterte is sincere in addressing the Mindanao conflict, but he must exert extra efforts in influencing congress to pass an acceptable BBL.”

“For me, and my men, we will not accept a heavily-diluted BBL. They have to pass the new BTC version,” he added.

For now, many stakeholders are leaving the fate of the BBL to President Duterte, and congress, as its passage is unilateral on their part.

Whatever the fate of the BBL, only the Almighty knows. The Bangsamoro are not losing their enthusiasms for the smooth passage of BBL.


MILF: Educating people for peace and order is part of struggle -- Paguimanan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 18): Educating people for peace and order is part of struggle -- Paguimanan

PANDAG, MAGUINDANAO (February 17, 2018) - “Educating people for peace and order is part of struggle,” Abs Paguimanan, 109th Base Command Deputy Commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) said,

During the Bangsamoro Symposium organized by the MILF Damakling Political Committee, Paguimanan emphasized the need to maintain peace that starts within oneself.

“Enjoining what is good, and forbidding what is wrong is one way of promoting peace and order in our community”, he further said.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) agreed to help the government secure, promote and maintain peace, and order in the communities prone to various forms of social problems.

Prof. Esmael Abdula, Executive Director of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute (KPI), explained the stages of Bangsamoro Struggle for right to self-determination.

“The MILF is now in the stage of political struggle as the practical means of seeking lasting peace in Mindanao. The MILF sustains its gains from the Peace Process with the Government of the Philippines”, Abdula said.

Lasting peace is our aspiration to build peaceful communities”, he added.

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is the legal document that addresses the Bangsamoro right to self-determination, for it will establish the Bangsamoro Political Entity”, Abdula further said.

The BBL will provide for the basic structure of Bangsamoro government set forth in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the Government and the MILF in 2014.

The symposium was attended by the local political leaders, BIAF senior, and field commanders, women sector, religious sector, and MNLF commanders, and members of political committee led by Mokaledin Kido.


MILF: BIAF 109th Base Command holds Bangsamoro Symposium

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 19): BIAF 109th Base Command holds Bangsamoro Symposium

MANGUDADATU, MAGUINDANAO- Abas Bukol, Base Commander of 109th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) told members of his command, and participants to the symposium in Mangudatu town on February 19 that MILF is strictly obliging all its line agencies, and BIAF members to ‘enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong’ in the Bangsamoro communities.
“The BIAF is tasked to promote peace, and order in the communities”, Bukol said.

Bukol added: “Enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong can be a channel in seeking lasting peace in Mindanao.”

“Let us work together towards inclusive peace in Mindanao”, emphasized Bukol.

Guest speaker Professor Esmael Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute and BLMI Training Officer, said “MILF Political Struggle is a Bangsamoro people’s struggle towards establishing Bangsamoro political entity.”

“Addressing the Moro Historical Injustices is the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro Problem”, Abdula emphasized.

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is a political document that will resolve decades of Mindanao conflict. It is the government unilateral responsibility to enact the Bangsamoro Law that is compliant to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsaamoro (CAB),” Abdula added.

The symposium was attended by members of the BIAF National Guard Front, MILF Damakling Provincial Committee, local political leaders, religious sector, and women sector.


DWDD: COUNTER TERRORISM | AFP-PNP Captures Suspected Terrorist, cohort

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): COUNTER TERRORISM  |  AFP-PNP Captures Suspected Terrorist, cohort


CAMP RAFAEL CRAME, Quezon City (DWDD) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted a successful joint counter-terrorism operation that led to the capture of suspected foreign terrorist.

PNP Chief PDG Ronald Dela Rosa and Civil Relations Service, AFP Chief BGen Bienvenido Datuin presented to members of the media Fehmi Lassqued alias John Rasheed Lassoned, a native of Syria, and his Filipina companion, Anabel Moncera Salipada, 32, of Upi, Maguindanao.

The same AFP-PNP joint operations framework help defeat the 5-month IS-inspired conflict in Marawi City last year.


The suspects were arrested at Room 409 of Casa Blanca Apartment along M, Adriatico, Malate, Manila during a search conducted by operatives of the Regional Police Intelligence Operations Unit (RPIOU) of NCRPO and the AFP Joint Special Operations Group on orders of Hon. Benjamin T. Pozon, Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 139 of Makati City. Lassqued and Salipada were promptly placed under arrest upon the discovery of assorted firearms, ammunition and components for Improvised Explosive Device (IED) such as electronic circuits, resistors, capacitors, batteries, and pipe fittings. Lassqued, who carried a Tunisienne passport is believed to be a member of an international terrorist organization.

A thorough investigation is now underway to determine the extent of their involvement with international and domestic threat groups.

The arrest of Lassqued and Salipada may have effectively thwarted whatever hostile activities they were up to, but we will not lower our guard rather we will continue to mount proactive operations against terrorism. AES / ALS


DWDD: STATEMENT | BGen Datuin on the capture of a foreign terrorist and his cohort

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): STATEMENT  |  BGen Datuin on the capture of a foreign terrorist and his cohort

“Magandang Umaga sa lahat. Napakaganda nitong success ng Joint operations in the AFP and PNP. Makikita natin ang collaboration and cooperation within the two sectors. Two, for the important forces and the security sectors and i just hope na tuloy tuloy na ito and of course we need the active involvement from the citizenry from the populace kasi we need the active defense to detect any threat of terrorism that we have. So pagtulong tulungan natin ito.” AES / LQG


DWDD: NEW SPEARHEAD WARRIORS | 3ID Graduates 481 Soldiers

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): NEW SPEARHEAD WARRIORS  |  3ID Graduates 481 Soldiers

JAMINDAN, Capiz (DWDD) – February13 was a big day for the 481 graduates of the Candidate Soldier (CS) Course of the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army.


On the said date, the 3ID conferred certificates of graduation to the 193 members of CS Class 505-2017, 146 from Class 492-2017; and 142 from Class 491-2017 in a ceremony held at the 3ID Grandstand in Bgy. Jaena Norte here.

According to Brig. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3ID commander, 193 of these new graduates will be deployed to the engineering units in Western Visayas and Central Visayas; while the rest will replace retiring soldiers in the different battalions of 3ID.

Prior to graduation, the graduates have already been assigned to their respective units, he added.

Dolina said this forms part of the recruitment effort of the 3ID, as per the government’s response to the pronouncement of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison that they will kill soldiers every day.


To keep the soldiers safe, there are procedures that soldiers are being asked to follow and there are precautionary measures regarding Sison’s threat, according to Dolina.

“Kapag nagsasabi ang CPP-NPA ng isang bagay, gagawin nila. There are many instances in the past na namamalengke lang ang sundalo, pinapatay nila. Ang masaklap pa roon, kasama pa ang pamilya,” Dolina said.

Recruitment is on-going. Another 500 soldiers are needed to fill a new battalion in 3ID and to replace soldiers who retired, Dolina said.

Besides soldiers recruitment, the government also expanded its Comprehensive Local Integration Program encouraging rebels to surrender.

“We want to avoid shedding blood. We will embrace them if they want to return to the fold of law,” he said. 3DPAO / MCAG



From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): NEW JUNGLE FIGHTERS  |  2ID enlist IP’s 

CAMP GEN MATEO CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal (DWDD) – Members of the Indigenous People (IP) of Cordillera were enlisted and took oath as new soldiers of the Philippine Army during a joint Closing Ceremony and Recognition day held at 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division, Philippine Army, Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal on February 16, 2018.


The 322 new Privates from Candidate Soldier Classes 486 and 487- 2017 who have successfully completed the five (5) month rigid training were composed of 42 IP who belongs to the tribal groups of Isneg, Binongan, Kalinga and Kankanaey.

Graduating from basic military training is no small thing, as new soldiers were properly nurtured with the basic knowledge and skills of soldiery in order to develop their character worthy to become members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Major General Rhoderick M Parayno AFP, Commander, 2ID, stressed to the new soldiers that their enlistment in the Army is now the start of their true service to the government. “You must serve with diligence and great courage to defend our country against the enemy of the state”, he added.


MGen Parayno also thanked the parents, relatives and friends of the new soldiers for the support and congratulated the Division Training School personnel who were responsible for the training of these new raise of soldiers.

The activity culminated with a symbolic entrustment of firearms to the new privates with Hon. Jose B Delos Santos, Vice- Mayor, Jalajala, Rizal together with other LGUs. This ceremonial entrustment of firearms will instill nationalism and service-oriented attitude among soldiers who willfully accepted the magnitude of the responsibility, duty and authority vested upon them in protecting the country and the Filipino people.

The 2ID deems it necessary to involve the local government officials in this ceremonial entrustment since the new soldiers will soon become partner in promoting peace and development in the locality. 2DPAO / MCAG 


DWDD: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT | TOG-10 conducts Peace and Drug Symposium

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT  |  TOG-10 conducts Peace and Drug Symposium


CAGAYAN DE ORO (DWDD) – The Tactical Operations Group 10, Philippine Air Force in Northern Mindanao region, led by its Group Commander, LTC Thurman B Fanugao PAF (GSC), in cooperation with 58th and 65th Infantry Battalions of Philippine Army, Bantay Bayan, PNP and DILG, successfully conducted a Peace and Drug Symposium at Brgy. Tumpagon, Cagayan de Oro City on February 17, 2018.

A total of 284 residents were made aware of the government’s war on drugs under RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002. Their issues and concerns regarding insurgencies were raised and answered.

The said activity gained a deep sense of security and appreciation from the residents of Brgy. Tumpagon. TOG 10 / MCAG


DWDD: DEPLOYED | Littoral Combat Force Send Off crafts to Naval Forces West

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Feb 19): DEPLOYED  |  Littoral Combat Force Send Off crafts to Naval Forces West


SANGLEY POINT, Cavite (DWDD) – The Philippine Navy through the Littoral Combat Force of the Philippine Fleet conducted a Send-off Ceremony to BRP Nestor Reinoso (PC380) and the 3rd Boat Attack Division composed of two of its pristine Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) MKIII for the deployment to Naval Forces West in Palawan on February 15, 2018 at Captain Moya Boat Landing, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City. PHL FLEET / MCAG