Friday, February 23, 2018

All lies

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 22): All lies

Army debunks ComVal kidnapping yarn

THE MILITARY yesterday rejected allegations they abducted and held 24 youth and children delegates of a cultural training in Montevista, Compostela Valley.

“All lies, contrary to what really transpired,” said Lt. Col. Balignasay, the newly designated commander of 25th Infantry Battalion, told TIMES.

Balignasay said the participants were just invited and were brought to the 25th IB headquarters for questioning after they received information from a rebel surrenderer about the activity last Saturday.

Capt. Alan Apara, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 25th IB, said they only “rescued the 24 children and youth from being caught in a possible crossfire with the terrorist since this unit has an ongoing combat operation in the area.”

Apara said the abduction of the training participants, including instructor Eugene Laurente and his companion Roshelle Mae Selorio, was purely false information.

He said all children were immediately sent home on that same day after the verification.

On the case of Eugene and Roshelle, Apara said both voluntarily went with the troopers to the town police station and were later brought to Camp Kalaw for further verification and interview.

After conducting verification, including medical check-up and certification from the town social welfare and development office, the two were also released and sent home at around 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

The military sources said that on Feb. 16, a day prior to the incident, the 25th IB launched a Focus Military Operation (FMO) in three barangays of Montevista — New Dalaguete, Mayaon and Camatangan — in response to the reported presence of armed groups believed to be members of the Guerilla Front 33 and Pulang Bagani Command 4 who were consolidated in the area.

On the same day, Apara said they received information regarding the activity at the elementary school in New Dalaguete that was attended by several youth and children.

“The unit immediately sent out patrols to verify the information so as to rescue and bring the youth to safety in case of armed confrontation between the terrorists and the government forces happened,” he said.

During the rescue, the unit found something “interesting” with Eugene and Roshelle and their teachings.

“It was relatively incidental that the unit found something subversive in their belongings, especially (on their) cell phones,” the report said.

Through the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, the unit exercised its official and legal functions by inviting the instructors for interview to further verify the issues found.


On Monday, Representatives Antonio Tinio and Francisca Castro, both of the militant ACT Teachers, blasted the military for the “abduction” of the 24 youth and children.

“We demand the immediate release of the 24 delegates of Youth Action Anti-Drugs Workshop and their teachers,” Tinio said in a statement. “The 25th IB should be held accountable for the abduction of the minors and their teachers.”

“We condemn the Duterte administration for these harassments in the communities happen by the military especially in Mindanao,” Castro said.

“Instead of helping and supporting these volunteer teachers continue teaching in the far-flung communities in Mindanao, the government has been arresting them on trumped-up charges, harassing the schools, and highly militarizing their communities,” Tinio added. “With the extended declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, human rights violations such as these against activists, defenders of the ancestral lands of the Lumad communities against mining have heightened with impunity.”

According to the Save Our Schools Network, there have been 44 Lumad schools that have been continuously harassed by the military.

“We also call for an end to the false charges and harassment against our Lumad educators. We also call for the lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao,” Castro said.

ARMY: NPA threat forces 155 families to flee Lunaza town barangay

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 22): ARMY: NPA threat forces 155 families to flee Lunaza town barangay

ALMOST 800 individuals remained in the evacuation center after leaving their houses at 12:20 p.m. on Feb. 21 due to the alleged threats of the New People’s Army in Sitio Ibuan, Barangay Mampi, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.

Capt. Francisco Garello Jr., the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 36th Infantry Battalion, said a total of 155 families with 768 individuals sought refuge in a nearby barangay at the gymnasium of Barangay Agsam of the same town.

Reportedly, the evacuation was prompted by the NPA attack on forces of the 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion in Purok 2, Sitio Ibuan.

Garello said that the communist guerrillas “wantonly fired shots toward the center of the community where there are many civilians.”

Even before the encounter between the NPA and the soldiers, Allan G. Juagpao, Mampi barangay chairman, said that his constituents were already threatened by the NPAs. He also claimed that nine families were told to leave because their sons applied as soldiers.

“They threatened our residents because we really didn’t want to support their plans,” he said of the NPA.

The local government of Lanuza is now assisting the evacuees. The regional disaster command and social services office were sent to distribute food relief packs and hygiene kits.

Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, the commander of 36th IB, said that the attack on the community is “a desperate attempt” to force the residents into supporting thee NPA.

“Your army, particularly the 36IB, will not rest until these CPP-NPA terrorists stop harassing the people,” he added

“Threatening the Lumads is a desperate move of the NPAs,” Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, the commander of 402nd brigade, said. “In coordination with the local government of Lanuza, the Philippine Army will facilitate the safe return of the Lumads to their community.”

NPA rebel, 2 minors surrender

From the Mindanao Times (Feb 22): NPA rebel, 2 minors surrender

A TEAM supply officer and two underage members of the New People’s Army (NPA)s surrendered to the the 67th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Sangab, Barangay Pichon, Caraga in Davao Oriental on Sunday afternoon.

Capt. Ronnel Legarde, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 67th IB, identified the two minors to TIMES only as alias Mimi, 15, and alias Lenlen, 17.

Legarde said both were members of Abe Primera of Pulang Bagani Company (PBC) 8, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SRMC) and resident of Sitio Nagas, Barangay Tumoaong, Tarragona, Davao Oriental.

The supply officer was identified as alias Darwin, a resident of Sitio Bantawon, Barangay Pichon, Caraga.

Based on the interview with the soldiers of 67th IB, Darwin was recruited by alias Jampong/Red in Sitio Bangol, Barangay Tubaon, Tarragona, while the two girls were recruited by Darwin in Sitio Calinawan, Barangay Taocanga, Manay.

“The three surrendered because of hunger, hardship, and fear for their lives and for their families,” Legarde said.

“They realized that they were wasting their lives in fighting for no reason at all,” he added.

According to Legarde, during the pulong-pulong in Sitio Sangab, Barangay Pichon on Feb. 15, 2018, the three heard the program of the government.

In his statement, Lt. Col. Thaddeus Jacob Obligado, commander of 67th IB, said, “I encourage the community to take part for their responsibility in the sustainability of peace and security in their ancestral domain.”

Scout Rangers sent to Sulu

From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 23): Scout Rangers sent to Sulu

The 5th Scout Ranger Battalion headed by a Negrense, Lt. Col. Marlo Jomalesa, is now in Sulu province, to help neutralize and defeat the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

Jomalesa said yesterday that they arrived in Sulu Feb. 5 after almost two months rest and a series of trainings in Zamboanga City, following several months of battle with the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group in Marawi.

The 5SRB was immediately deployed in Marawi City, after its activation in June last year, with Jomalesa, of Silay City, Negros Occidental, as the first battalion commander.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, AFP Western Mindanao Command chief, said in a statement he issued that he anticipates that the 5SRB “ will do well in defeating the threats in Sulu as you did a great job in leading the fight to liberate Marawi City from the claws of the terrorists”.

The 5SRB is under the supervision of Joint Task Force Sulu headed by Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, a Medal of Valor awardee, who used to be assigned in northern Negros.

Jomalesa was among the recipients of Order of Lapu Lapu, that was conferred on him by President Rodrigo Duterte during the 68th Scout Ranger founding anniversary at Camp Tecson in Bulacan.

Five members of the 5SRB, including a junior officer, were also awarded Gold Cross Medals for gallantry during the series of firefight against the Maute Group last year in Marawi City.

The awardees were First Lt. Jay-arr Quiapo, Sgt. Gerry Gaspar Padayogdog, Sgt. Antonio Bas, Corporal Lisan Aspacio and Corporal Rodrigo Novilla.

Military recovers alleged Sayyaf weapons in Sulu

From the Mindanao Examiner (Feb 22): Military recovers alleged Sayyaf weapons in Sulu

Government troops have recovered eight automatic rifles allegedly owned by the notorious Abu Sayyaf group tied to the Islamic State militants in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.

Soldiers swooped down on a village called Pitogo in Kalingalan Caluang town, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, and seized the weapons on Thursday. A suspected militant also escaped, but left behind the weapons – four M14 and four M16 rifles.

Security forces were sent to the area after receiving intelligence information on the presence of the militant and weapons at Sitio Kadkad.

Governor Totoh Tan has repeatedly urged and publicly appealed to residents to help authorities in curbing the proliferation of illegal weapons and share information to police and military about lawless elements in the area.

The Abu Sayyaf is still holding over a dozen hostages, mostly seamen kidnapped over the years off Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sabah in Malaysia and are hiding them in the forest of Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

Duterte offers P50K for every NPA squad leader killed

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): Duterte offers P50K for every NPA squad leader killed

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has offered a PHP50,000 reward to anyone who can eliminate a New People’s Army (NPA) squad leader or any official of the terrorist group.

In a speech during his visit for the “Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani” (Salute to the Heroes” at the Camp General Adriano Hernandez here on Thursday, Duterte announced that he will give PHP25,000 for every member of the NPA killed. There will also be corresponding amount for medics and “tax collector”.

The Chief Executive made the “counter-offer” in response to the threat of Jose Ma. Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA can kill one soldier or police daily.

Sison made the threat early this month to pressure the Philippine government to resume the peace talks with the terrorist group.

“I am addressing myself again to all of you NPAs. You will never even capture a barangay. Stop your dreams, surrender, I will pay you,” he said in his speech at the camp’s gymnasium.

Instead of fighting the government, he urged them to surrender and enroll at the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority as currently there is a shortage of workers.

He said that there is a lot of buildings where construction is “temporarily interrupted” due to lack of workers.

Duterte was in Iloilo on Thursday to visit the wake of Joanna Daniela Demafelis, an Ilonggo migrant worker found dead in a freezer in Kuwait, a year after she was reported missing.

After visiting Demafelis' wake in her hometown in Sara in Iloilo province, the President proceeded to Camp Hernandez where he met with members of the Philippine Army for the launching of the Tienda Para sa mga Bayani and conferment of the “Order of Lapu-Lapu” to soldiers wounded-in-action.

Duterte confers ‘Order of Lapu-Lapu' to 12 wounded soldiers

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): Duterte confers ‘Order of Lapu-Lapu' to 12 wounded soldiers

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conferred the “Order of Lapu-Lapu” to 12 wounded-in-action (WIA) soldiers during the “Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani” (Salute to the Heroes) and talk to the troops during his visit at the Camp General Adriano Hernandez in Dingle, Iloilo on Thursday.

The order, which was conceived by President Duterte in 2017, is given to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals “who were seriously wounded or injured or suffered great loss of property as a direct result of their participation in an activity pursuant to the advocacy of the government,” according to the citations given to eight personnel of the 61st Infantry Battalion and four personnel of the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

The awardees from the 61st IB were Sgt. Genefir Gaston, 39, from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental; Sgt. Neil Lagat, 38, from Lambunao, Sgt. Von Carlo Torres, 30, from Barotac Nuevo; and Pfc Joebert Porras, 26, Calinog, all of Iloilo province; Pfc. Donald Lisbo, 28, Dumarao and Cpl. Remulondo Villa, 36, Mambusao, both from Capiz province; Pfc Ariel EA, 24, Sultan Kudarat and Cpl. Ronald Peligro from Bohol.

Peligro was not able to make it to the awarding because he is still at the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City for his eye treatment.

The 61st IB soldiers were injured in separate ambush incidents staged by New People’s Army rebels in Tapaz, Capiz and Janiuay, Iloilo in 2017.

Meantime, those from the 15th IB included Sgt. Raffy Banaglorioso, 36, from Himamaylan, Negros Occidental; S/Sgt. Fredie Raquel, 43, from Cotabato; Cpl Irus Colipapa, 31, Iligan City; and Sgt. Loreto Detoyato from Dumangas, Iloilo.

The troopers were wounded during the Marawi siege last year.

The President gave the soldiers medals and cellular phones.

Five of the awardees each received an egg layer machine (ELM) from the Aboitiz group.

Each kit contains 48 heads of ready-to-lay pullets, galvanized steel cages, feeders, nipple drinkers, water containers and one month feed consumption.

ELM is a backyard farming starter kit that allows the continuous production of eggs in for 16 months. In a day, a kit can produce up to 46 eggs.

Sgt. Detoyato, one of the selected recipients, said he was happy seeing the President in person for the first time.

He also expressed his gratitude as they have received the benefits due them as promised by Duterte.
Detoyato is still undergoing treatment after he was wounded by a sniper shot in Marawi.

Pfc Lisbon was wounded in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army in February 2017 in Tapaz, Capiz.

He hoped that President Duterte will continue to extend support to the military.

SOLCOM condemns Reds’ attacks on police

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): SOLCOM condemns Reds’ attacks on police

The Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) has condemned the attacks of Communist rebels against personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Antipolo City and Baras, Rizal province in separate incidents this week.

“The PNP is one of our partners in attaining peace. We will pursue these terrorists at all costs to ensure that there is justice for the wounded personnel of the PNP and that the safety of the civilian populace will not be jeopardized,” SOLCOM commander, Lt. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, said in a statement released Friday.

On Feb. 18, CPP-NPA terrorists (CNTs) ambushed members of the police Special Action Force in Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City, where an improvised explosive device (IED) was recovered.

On Feb. 21, another group of the Police Mobile Force Company of the Rizal Provincial Police command also encountered IEDs that blew up on both sides of the Marcos Highway in Barangay Pinugay in Baras, Rizal. Five police officers sustained minor wounds in both attacks and they are recovering.

The SOLCOM also stressed that the Philippines is a signatory to the Geneva Convention and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, where Protocol II prohibits and restricts the use of mines, booby traps and other devices.

It also emphasized the provisions in Chapter 3, Section 4.25.iv of Republic Act No. 9851 or the "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity".

This section stipulates that employing means of warfare are prohibited under international law, such as “weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare which are of the nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in violation of the international law of armed conflict”, and thus landmines and improvised explosive devices are banned.

More SAF troops to help in war vs NPA, terror

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): More SAF troops to help in war vs NPA, terror

Additional battalions for the Philippine National Police's (PNP) elite Special Action Force (SAF) will be tapped to enhance the fighting capability of the police force in its campaign against the New People's Army (NPA) and terrorists.

PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa made this remark when pressed on how he intends to utilize the additional five SAF battalions approved by the National Police Commission.

"SAF's mandate is more on counter-terrorism and internal security operations. Our problems right now is terrorism and the NPA and they will focus on that," he said in Filipino.

Dela Rosa said these additional SAF battalions, whose strength are placed at 500 officers and enlisted personnel, are aside from the five units which President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier ordered created.

Amid intel report, PH-US alliance remain: US embassy

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): Amid intel report, PH-US alliance remain: US embassy

Amid a United States Intelligence report that tagged President Rodrigo R. Duterte as among the threats to democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia, the US Embassy in Manila clarified that the report merely provided overview and assessment of conditions in all regions, and added the two countries remain "friends, partners, and allies".

"The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is an annual report that provides an analytical assessment of conditions in each of the world's various regions," the embassy’s press attaché, Molly Koscina, said in a statement.

"The report noted that the Philippines is likely to continue its campaign against illicit drugs, corruption, and crime, while taking note of internal discussions on charter change and the extension of martial law in Mindanao through 2018," she explained.

She pointed out that the United States and the Philippines are "longstanding friends, partners, and allies".

"We have a range of shared interests and continue to work with the Government of the Philippines and look forward to expanding our relationship across numerous fields, from defense cooperation to development aid, over the coming year," she said.

As the United States is committed to the rule of law and respect for human rights, Koscina said the US also reiterates calls on other governments to do the same.

The report, dated Feb. 13, claimed democracy and human rights in many Southeast Asian countries "will remain fragile" in 2018 over autocratic tendencies in some regimes.

In the Philippines, it assessed that the chief executive will continue the campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and crime.

It also drew particular attention to Duterte's recent pronouncements that he could declare a nationwide martial law, and declare a revolutionary government, which was earlier recalled by the chief executive himself.

"In the Philippines, President Duterte will continue to wage his signature campaign against drugs, corruption, and crime. Duterte has suggested he could suspend the Constitution, declare a 'revolutionary government', and impose nationwide martial law," the US Intelligence Community said in the report.

"His declaration of martial law in Mindanao, responding to the ISIS-inspired siege of Marawi City, has been extended through the end of 2018," it added.

On Thursday, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file a diplomatic protest against the US, saying this reflects meddling in the country's domestic affairs.

The DFA has not yet given a statement.

AFP troops ready for urban warfare: Brawner

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): AFP troops ready for urban warfare: Brawner

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is prepared for the possibility that militants loyal to the Islamic State might launch another attack, months after the Marawi siege.

This was the assurance made by Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. in response to a statement made by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief Murad Ebrahim that “chances of having another Marawi cannot be overruled.”

“Of course from our experience in the Marawi siege, we are preparing for another urban warfare. In eventuality that similar to Marawi happens, we should be ready,” Brawner said during the regular Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) press briefing in Malacanang Friday.
Brawner said the AFP has been reorganizing, reequipping and retraining its units in preparation for another possible urban warfare in Mindanao.

“From the side of AFP, we are ready for another Marawi siege whether it will happen in Marawi or elsewhere,” he assured.

As of now, Brawner said Marawi and Lanao del Sur are relatively safe and secured but outside the areas particularly around Lanao lake, three encounters occurred since January.

Brawner believes that the ISIS-inspired Maute group is still recruiting members.

He, however, clarified that the ISIS-inspired terrorists “still have no capabilities to launch similar attack they did in Marawi".

Brawner, meanwhile, said crime rate within Marawi and Lanao del Sur was almost zero, owing it to the martial rule that President Rodrigo Duterte declared in Mindanao brought by the five-month Marawi City conflict in 2017.

“Martial law is very effective. For one, we have not monitored individuals carrying firearms. Since martial law implementation, there are no cases of murder, homicide or other killings within Marawi and Lanao del Sur,” he said.

Due to martial law, Brawner said law enforcers were able to control and prevent the entry of people who are not from Marawi or suspected members of the terrorist groups.

Brawner has appealed for support from the MILF to help military troops in their campaign against violent extremism, terrorism and radicalism.
“We are banking on MILF to help us on this (advocacy),” he said.

US ambassador explains intel report to Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): US ambassador explains intel report to Palace

The United States Embassy in Manila on Friday disclosed that Ambassador Sung Kim has met with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to discuss and explain the recently released Worldwide Threat Assessment Report published by the Director of National Intelligence.

The said document drew attention after President Rodrigo R. Duterte was tagged in the report as among the “regional threats" to democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia.

The embassy said Kim on Thursday (Feb. 22) explained the nature of the report as an annual assessment on conditions in each of the world’s various regions based on widely available information.

"Their discussion focused on the references to the Philippines in the report, including clarifying that the information about the Philippines had been previously reported by media sources,"
the embassy said in a statement.

According to Molly Koscina, press attache of the embassy, the meeting was requested by Medialdea.

For its part, the embassy underscored the US government's commitment to continue cooperation with the government of the Philippines.

Additionally, it bared "shared interests and possibilities for expanding" partnership was even discussed.

"The meeting ended with both Executive Secretary Medialdea and Ambassador Kim reaffirming the strength of the broad and deep bilateral relationship," it ended.

PNP files rap vs. son-in-law of NDFP consultant

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 23): PNP files rap vs. son-in-law of NDFP consultant

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed charges before the Department of Justice against Marklen Maojo Maga, son-in-law of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis, who was arrested during operations in Rizal Thursday.

Maga, organizer of militant group Kilusang Mayo Uno, was brought to the DOJ before Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Clarisa V. Kuong for inquest proceedings in connection with the complaint for illegal possession of firearms lodged against him on Friday.

Assisted by a public attorney, the 38-year-old militant leader opted not to answer the complaint of the CIDG for violation of Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Law On Firearms and Ammunition.

The investigating prosecutor then submitted the case for resolution.

Maga, who was nabbed at Barangay Ampid in San Mateo, Rizal, is allegedly a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army's National Organizing Division.

Maga's apprehension was based on an arrest warrant issued by Judge Cesar P. Bordalba of the 10th Judicial Region in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Sur for the crime of murder.

Seized from his possession were a .45-caliber pistol, a magazine containing seven rounds of ammunition, and a wallet containing assorted ID cards.

All the items were contained in an orange backpack, reports added.

DWDD: DIMINISHING GROUP | NPAs continue to surrender in Davao

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio (Feb 23): DIMINISHING GROUP  |  NPAs continue to surrender in Davao

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – The strength of the communist terrorist New People’s Army (NPA) in the Davao region continue to crumble with the surrender of at least 238 fighters recently.

According to Col. Erwin Bernard Neri, Commander, 1001st Infantry Brigade, who escorted the surrenderees in their tour of Metro Manila and their dinner with President Rodrigo Duterte, 60 of them are regular fighters while 152 are members of the Militia ng Bayan. They also surrendered 104 assorted firearms.

The surrenderees form part of the NPAs operating in Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is now focusing its anti-insurgency operations in Mindanao, concentrating on Northern Mindanao, Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

The surrenderees are now enjoying livelihood and financial assistance under the Comprehensive Local Integration Program and other financial assistance offered by the government. AES / MCAG

DWDD: GUILTY | Top NPA leader in Quezon sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio (Feb 23): GUILTY  |  Top NPA leader in Quezon sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua


Camp General Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal (DWDD) – A high ranking leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist group who was apprehended by the joint elements of 85th Infantry ”Sandiwa” Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division and the Quezon Provincial Police last February 5, 2012 was sentenced to Reclusion Perpetua.

MiguelaPiñero y Ocampo alias “Ka Migs” was sentenced to jail by the virtue of order signed by Judge Mariam G Biem of Quezon Regional Trial Court Branch l53.

Piñero was found guilty for violation of Republic Act 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives) and was sentence for Reclusion Perpetua or 20 years and one day to 30 years imprisonment. Further, she was also found guilty for violation of Republic Act 8294 (Illegal Possession of Firearms) and gets a penalty of imprisonment for six (6) years and one day to 12 years prison mayor.

According to Lt Col Ely Tono, Commanding Officer of 85th IB, Piñero alias “KaMigs” was apprehended in Barangay Calantipayan, Lopez, Quezon by virtue of Warrant of Arrest served for two (2) counts of murder, rebellion, multiple frustrated murder, and robbery in band. Recovered from her possession, one (1) calibre .45 pistol, one (1) hand grenade and assorted explosive materials as components for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s).


Piñero is now detained at Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) at Mandaluyong City.

She is the top leader of the NPA terrorist group operating in Southern Quezon and in Bondoc Peninsula who were responsible for the extortions, ambuscades of government troops and disrupting the government implemented projects in the area.

Meanwhile, Major General Rhoderick M Parayno, Commander, 2ID said that the decision of the court gave justice to the victims of CPP-NPA-Terrorist atrocities, particularly those members of the Indigenous People who were brutally killed. The common people who have been victimized by their continuous extortion and terroristic activities, and those who have lost their livelihood brought about by their atrocious underground activities.“It also proves that the terrorists cannot run away from the long arm of the law,” he added. 2DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: INTENSIFIED CAMPAIGN | MBLT 3 Troops discover arms cache

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio (Feb 23): INTENSIFIED CAMPAIGN  |  MBLT 3 Troops discover arms cache

CAMP BAUTISTA, Jolo (DWDD) — Acting on a report from a concerned citizen, Marine Battalion Landing Team – 3 (MBLT3) of Joint Task Force Sulu recovered eight (8) high powered firearms at Sitio Kadkad, Barangay. Pitogo, Calingalan Kaluang, Sulu Thursday, February 22..


An ASG member identified as Apo Eting who is guarding the four M16 rifles and four M14 rifles hastily fled the area through a motorized banca upon sensing troops presence

Brig. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, JTF Sulu commander commends the accomplishment of MBLT-3 under Lt. Col. Ramil Densing and extends his heartfelt gratitude to the LGU and populace of Calingalan Kaluang for their support cooperation.

The leadership of JTF Sulu believes that with the support of LGUs and peace-loving Tausugs as manifested in the recent successful operations, more loose firearms will be recovered and more ASG members will be neutralized. JTF Sulu / MCAG

DWDD: CAPTURED | Authorities arrest NPA officer in San Mateo, Rizal

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio (Feb 23): CAPTURED  |  Authorities arrest NPA officer in San Mateo, Rizal

SAN MATEO, Rizal (DWDD) – Joint personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Manila, National Capital Region (CIDG Manila-NCR), PNP-Intelligence Group, and Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) served the warrant of arrest for murder issued by Hon. Cesar P. Bordalba, 10th Judicial Region, Cabadbaran City, Agusan Del Sur against Marlen Maojo Maga y Bartolome, legal age, married, of Barangay Ampid, San Mateo, Rizal at the Basketball court, Greenland Subdivision, Barangay. Ampid, San Mateo, Rizal.

Moreover, during further search one(1) cal 45 PARA 1911, 1 pc magazine loaded with 7 live ammunitions, and 1 wallet with several IDs’ were recovered from his possession inside his orange backpack.

The arrest was a result of the information provided by the witness of the said case to this office regarding the whereabouts of the subject, thus, an operation was conducted. He was positively identified by the witness during the arrest

Accordingly, the said arrested person is a member of the EXECOM, National Youth and Student Bureau (NYSB), National Organizing Division (NOD) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Further, the subject is now under the custody of CIDG NCR for documentation prior to the return of his warrant to court of origin and the inquest proceedings before the prosecutors’ office. MCAG

CPP/NPA-Sierra Madre: Three police officers injured in another ambush by NPA-Rizal

NPA-Sierra Madre propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 22): Three police officers injured in another ambush by NPA-Rizal

Armando “Ka Mando” Jacinto, Spokesperson
NPA-Sierra Madre (Rosario Lodronio Rosal Command)

22 February 2018
Press Release

The Rosario Lodronio Rosal Command (RLRC-NPA-Mt. Sierra Madre-Southern Tagalog Sub-Regional Command) congratulates again the red fighters and commanders of Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NAAC-NPA-Rizal) in their another successful counter-attack against police and military forces conducting counter-insurgency operations in the mountain villages of Antipolo City, Baras, Tanay, San Mateo and Rodriguez, Rizal.

A squad-size of NPA-Rizal red fighters successfully ambushed police officers from Rizal Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC) aboard a police mobile car in Barangay Pinugay, Baras, Rizal at noontime yesterday, February 21, 2018. Three (3) Police officers including the Rizal PMFC head, Supt. Melchor Agusin, Police Officers 2 Manuel Fang-asan and Jimmy Talupa were wounded in the ambush while the NPA forces suffered no casualties.

The said police officers were going to the 80th IB-PA Headquarters in Pinugay, Baras, Rizal for the case conference to evaluate the ongoing joint operation of Philippine Army (PA)- Philippine National Police (PNP) against the people and the revolutionary forces in the rural villages in Rizal province. This joint police-military operation in the guise of conducting counter-insurgency operations against the CPP-NPA is directed against the farmers, settlers and Dumagat Tribesmen who are protesting against the landgrabbing and dislocation that they are suffering from the proponents of anti-people project such as WAWA-VIOLAGO DAM in Antipolo City and Rodriguez, LAIBAN DAM in Tanay, and ATN-SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT in Rodriguez, Rizal. The police and military forces are being used by the Duterte government favored capitalists like Danding Cojuangco, Violago Clan and Chinese Capitalist to silence the people’s opposition to these projects

This counter-offensive once more proves that the NPA forces are capable enough to counter any attack of the fascist AFP-PNP forces. With the support of the people, the NPA can defeat any campaign of suppression by the government troops because the AFP-PNP are just paper tigers who are superior in arms and numbers and are paid to serve the land grabbers, the big landlords, capitalist bureaucrats and their imperialist masters but cannot defeat the people’s army who genuinely serve the interest of the poor farmers, workers, the toiling masses and the Filipino people. The Filipino people support the NPA because they knew that without their people’s army, the people have nothing. Only with the support of the NPA that the people will get justice they deserved from those who abuses and oppresses them. The Filipino people together with the peoples’ army can resist and oust the fascist US-Duterte Regime and his cohorts and replace it with a new social system that genuinely serves the interest of the Filipino people.

While the NPA forces continue to defend themselves against AFP-PNP attacks we reiterate our call and support the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the CPP-NPA-NDFP. But, if the Duterte Government does not order his AFP-PNP troops to stand down and will continue his campaign of armed suppression against the CPP-NPA in order to justify Martial Law and fascist dictatorship, there is nothing that the NPA can do but to pursue the people’s democratic revolution though protracted people’s war. Then, more counter attacks and tactical offensives of the NPA will continue until such time that a new government is established by the people.

Long Live the New People’s Army!
Long Live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long Live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines!
Long Live the Filipino People!

MILF: IMT head of mission conducts peace advocacy at Maasim, Sarangani

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 20): IMT head of mission conducts peace advocacy at Maasim, Sarangani

IN PHOTO-Maj Gen Datuk Masrani Paiman urged the audience to support the BBL by maintaining peace in the area

MAASIM, SARANGANI –Maj Gen Datuk Masrani Paiman, Head of Mission of the International Monitoring Team – M12 (IMT M-12) conducted peace advocacy in Maasim, Sarangani on February 16, 2018. The peace advocacy is part of the efforts from IMT M-12 to support the peace process between Government of the Philippines - Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF).
MILF Southern Front Commander, Haji Jordan Ismail, and several Commanders of MILF Base Command, and around 400 persons from surrounding area came, and listened to the message delivered by Datuk Masrani.

BBL has failed once because of Mamasapano Incident in 2015. Therefore, HOM of IMT M-12 emphasized the importance of guarding the peace during the BBL process. “Do not do any act that could lead to the failure of BBL” urged Datuk Masrani. “Leave the process to the Congressmen… Bangsamoro shall remain united. Do not fight for your own interest”, Datuk Masrani advised the participants.

He also urged the MILF to fight all lawless elements, and support the Government to solve the problem in Mindanao.

After the peace advocacy, HOM of IMT M-12 carried out exit call to the MILF components including AHJAG. During the exit call, Datuk Masrani thanked the MILF for the support during his tour of duty. He conveyed his final remarks for all Base Commander to lead their subordinates responsibly, and do not let them fight for unnecessary cause.

IN PHOTO- Participants attentively listening to the message being delivered by Maj Gen Datuk Masrani Paiman

MILF: MILF Chair Al Haj Murad: Prospects for Peace in the Country Especially Bangsamoro Appears Bright

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 22): MILF Chair Al Haj Murad: Prospects for Peace in the Country Especially Bangsamoro Appears Bright

In his speech delivered in the annual event of the Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines (FOCAP) on the forum, “Prospects for Peace in the Country” held at Pan Pacific Hotel, Manila on February 20, 2018, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said, “The prospect of peace in the country, especially in the Bangsamoro appears bright.”
But, like most seasoned revolutionaries, we welcome the same with guarded optimism given our experience in the past on efforts to implement signed peace agreements in this country, he added.

Al Haj Murad also said that, the President has moved quickly to push for the immediate enactment of the BBL. We have done our part. We have signed a peace agreement; we have steadfast in adhering to the ceasefire agreement; we showed our commitment by undertaking a symbolic decommissioning of 75 weapons that included crew served weapons and 145 of our combatants have been decommissioned; we have just been delisted by the UN from the List of organizations that allegedly employed child soldiers through our relentless pursuit of the UN- MILF Joint Action Plan on Child Soldiers.

To put into proper perspective, Chairman Al Haj Murad outlined the road map outlined in the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

He enumerated the important milestones in the road map to peace such as the signing of the CAB; the Creation of a BTC to draft the BBL; Enactment of the BBL by Congress; Ratification of the law in a Plebiscite in the area of coverage; Appointment of BTA during the transition; and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Government through a regular election.

He also mentioned that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed in 2014 was greeted with great euphoria, and the promise of a legislation that will implement fully the content of the peace agreement. We all know what happened in the previous Congress.

He told the participants that the CAB thru the BBL is the product of 17 long years of negotiation, and we feel that its pursuit through the legislative track is a must. However, we do not see the pursuit of charter change in the country as contrary to the implementation of the peace agreement.

(Hereunder is the complete texts and form of Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim Speech)

We view it as complementary. What needs stressing is the need to sequence the two with the enactment of the BBL preceding the shift to Federalism. This is also in compliance with the CAB as the Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities provides for the possibility of amending the Constitution, if needed, so as to comply with the peace agreement.

Also, as a matter of practical consideration, the legislative track is a simpler process and does not require much time as compared to a charter change that both requires longer period and involves a far more complex process. Besides, we may have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons on the broader concept of decentralization and inter-governmental relations in the implementation of the BBL if we proceed with it and apply these lessons in the shift to federalism. On our part, we are of course conscious of the fact that constitutional change, even if it occurs after the enactment of the BBL, would still radically impact the BBL as the change in the Constitution would necessarily change also all national laws, including the BBL, so as to comply with the new charter. It is therefore, important that the shift to federalism also respect and takes into account our peace agreement with the government. What would be ideal is to allow in this charter change the entrenchment of the peace agreement in the constitution as well as the perfection of some of the expression of the right to self-determination of our people which were earlier not accommodated in the existing national legal framework.

Under the current administration, what has radically changed is the appreciation that the implementation of the peace agreement may proceed thru the passage of the Basic Law even if there are reservations for some provisions as requiring a constitutional amendment. What is constitutional or not however, in the final analysis is a matter left to the final determination of the Supreme Court. We are elated by the pronouncements of the living framers of the 1987 Constitution who have repeatedly maintained the view that the present form of the BBL is constitutional. Our hope is that this time around we will be able pass the Basic Law more expeditiously. This will then focus all our energy into nation building rather than dissipating the same in our internal war.

In the history of our struggle, there has been challenges faced as a result of repeated failures to implement peace agreements. Recall that in 1976, the failure to implement the Tripoli Agreement resulted in the split of the MNLF and the rise of the MILF. The failure to implement the 1996 FPA resulted in the birth of the ASG. In our case, the failure to sign the 2008 MOA AD resulted in the birth of BIFF. Our failure to pass the BBL in 2014 birthed the now infamous Maute Group that ultimately led into the siege of Marawi.

Since 2008. Our organization, the MILF has been under tremendous strain from the challenge of keeping the faith of its ranks in a peace process that appears to have no end in sight. From the failure to sign the MOA AD, the campaign against the leadership of the MILF has been pursued persistently by many extremist in the rebel movement. The common argument that has been used against us by extremist is, “why should we continue to pursue a peace process when government has never implemented a peace agreement that it signed with the Moro”.More often than not, these extremists would cite the failure to implement the 1976 Tripoli Agreement, the controversy over the implementation of the 1996 FPA and governments failure to sign the MOAD in 2008 and of course the failure to pass the BBL in 2015. These legitimate concerns and the failure to address the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people has been exploited by the extremists to recruit young and frustrated men in the homeland. While it is clear to us that the ISIS do not care about our national liberation agenda as they are in pursuit of a globalist jihad everywhere, the frustration and resentment of our young over the apparent failure to implement signed peace agreements is blinding them from discerning the real motives of these extremists.

The fight against violent extremism in the homeland is real. And as the battlefields in the middle east are cleared, and the bases of the ISIS are constricted, we will increasingly find them in our midst as they seek new strategic grounds where government does not hold absolute control over and where legitimate resistance movements exist whose legitimate agenda maybe exploited. Last year alone, in our effort to control a faction of the BIFF that has sworn allegiance to ISIS, we lost a total of 24 men in our drive to defend our communities in the Liguasan marsh. We know we cannot decisively win the war against extremism if we cannot win the peace in the halls of Congress. The peace agreement must be implemented and the BBL must be passed so that we can then show a concrete and demonstrable result of the peace process that we have engaged in in the last 18 years of our struggle.

We stand at a crossroad. We can all be part of a historic moment in our country by rewriting our history as a people. While the accident of colonialism divided us, we can as a people resolve to correct the past by addressing the historical injustice committed against the Bangsamoro people, and of weaving together a shared future for our next generation.

Together, we can start to build a better future where all of us can live in peace while remaining proud of our heritage, and respectful of each other’s identity.

MILF: Salendab: BIAF must strengthen its adherence to MILF Mandate

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 23): Salendab: BIAF must strengthen its adherence to MILF Mandate

DATU PAGLAS, MAGUINDANAO- “The 109th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BIAF-MILF) must strengthen it adherence to the MILF mandate in preserving the gains from the peace process between the Philippine Government, and the MILF”, said Totin Salendab, Deputy on Guerilla Operation of 109th Base Command during the Bangsamoro Symposium held here on February 21.
The109th Base Command is calling all its the ranks and file to maintain respect, discipline and unity among them, Salendab added.

Guest speaker Abdulfatah Delna, Chairman of Hay’atul Ulama-Branch 6, emphasized: “We need to strengthen the MILF’s 4 major programs that are anchored on ‘enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.”

“The duty of a Muslim is to promote peace, unity and development in the community”, Delna said.

Sheikh Hesam Nando, member of Bangsamoro Transition Commission, said “Unity of all Moro people is a key factor in the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).”

Professor Esmael Abdula, President of Kalilintad Peacebuilding Institute, and BLMI Steering Committee member, and Training Officer underscored that addressing the Moro Historical Injustices is the ultimate solution to the Bangsamoro Problem towards establishing Bangsamoro Political Entity.

“The MILF is now in the stage of a political struggle as a practical means to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao. The MILF has sustained its gains from the peace process with the Government of the Philippines”, Abdula said.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is a legal document that will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine Government, and the MILF in Manila in 2014.

The symposium was attended by the Bangsamoro Communication Network (BCN) members, BIAF National Guard Front, MILF Damakling Provincial Committee, local political leaders, religious, and women sector.

MILF: JPSC CO-chairs validate JPST proposed locations

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Feb 23): JPSC CO-chairs validate JPST proposed locations

When Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte was elected President on May 2016, a lot of people has been puzzled as to how the Mindanao peace process will continue, and prosper for the realization of the peace agreements.

On February 20 to 21, 2018, the Joint Peace & Security Committee (JPSC) conducted initial site validations of the proposed locations for the Joint Peace & Security Team (JPST) as agreed between the GPH, and MILF Peace Implementing Panels.

There were two (2) groups formed relative to the conduct of site validation. The Team 1 visited areas of Libutan, Mamasapano, and Datu Saudi Ampatuan in Maguindanao; and Barko-Barko, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat Province.

Meanwhile, Team 2 visited the areas of Ganasi, North Upi; Gadungan, Talitay; and Bagoinged, Pikit. Team

Team 1 and Team 2 jointly visited Camp Abubakar in Barira.

JPST is composed of contingents from the AFP, PNP, and the BIAF that will work for the maintenance of peace, and order, and the stability of the areas mutually identified by the GPH and the MILF. It was scheduled to be in place on the agreed locations by early July this year. This will be composed of 30 personnel, 15 will be allocated for BIAF-MILF, 8 for PNP, and 7 from AFP. There will be a total of 6,000 JPST Personnel to be deployed for the transition period of the Bangsamoro Government, In shaa Allah.

No less than the two Co-Chairs of JPSC, PCSupt. Gerardo Rosales of PNP, and Mr. Von Al Haq of the MILF visited the area. With them were Ms. Jenifer Marie Tiu of OPAPP, Dir. Carlos Sol Jr. of the combined secretariat of GPH AHJAG-CCCH, Mr. Toks Ebrahim, and Dir. Jennie Claire Mordeno from the JNC, Mr. Kashmir Mohammad of JPST, and representatives from MILF-CCCH.

The JPSC, JPST, and the JNC are part of the transitional components of Normalization Process under the Annex on Normalization of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) that aims to ensure human security in the Bangsamoro, and a process whereby communities can achieve their desired quality life such as sustainable livelihood, and political participation in a peaceful deliberative society.