Friday, March 9, 2018

PHL hasn't won Marawi conflict until rehab, counter-terror measures in place —expert

From GMA News Online (Mar 9): PHL hasn't won Marawi conflict until rehab, counter-terror measures in place —expert

The government's response to the brunt of extremism inflicted by Islamic State-affiliated terror groups in Mindanao will determine who truly won the conflict in Marawi, according to a leading security analyst.

In a forum on Thursday, Steven Rood said the government needs to step up counter-terrorism and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi.

Formerly the country representative for the Asia Foundation, an international non-profit research organization, Rood

"Certainly, the events in Marawi excited and encouraged Islamic State adherence because, look, they were able to hold off the united might of the Philippine military and the Americans and their guard dogs, the Australians. This never happened in Southeast Asia before," said Rood, who has studied the situation in Marawi and authored works on Filipino politics in Mindanao touching on emerging terror threats.

He recalled the aftermath of a deadly battle between the government and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City in 2013.

"But if the situation in Marawi is the same three years from now as Zamboanga City was three years in 2016, then clearly, the Islamic State would have won," he said.

Citing the latest findings of the Asia Foundation, Rood said distrust in the government was found to be among "push factors" fueling extremism in Mindanao. "Young and idealistic" people in Mindanao's urban areas as well as its islands are seen as targets for recruitment. Problems hounding Marawi's reconstruction could possibly lead affected residents to "discontent," he added.

Among these was a "total uncertainty" with regard to land ownership. Rood cited information from the Land Management Bureau in revealing there were "overlapping" claims on 7,000 parcels of land.

"There are 11,000 buildings that were destroyed... and 3,000 of therm are called 'informal,' which presumably means that whoever owned them doesn't get to go back," Rood sad.

The foundation also pointed to a rediscovered 1953 presidential decree declaring 6000 hectares of Marawi City and neighboring towns a military reservation, which the Armed Forces has vowed not to claim.

From his own experience, Rood quoted sultans and leaders of communities and local government units as saying they were "not consulted" in the government's plans for a "modern" Marawi.

"The worst thing you can do to an angry public is keep them in the dark and that's what's happening," he said.

The ongoing rehabilitation is led by Task Force Bangon Marawi. Over 400,000 Maranaos were displaced in the siege.

Marawi City was liberated last October following the deaths of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf and Omar Maute of the Maute group.

Martial law remains up over Mindanao after President Rodrigo Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) pleaded for more time to quell remaining terrorist movements in the region.

Suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao was extended until December 31, 2018.

Muslim Rebels Retrench in Philippines After Losing 5-Month War

From the Voice of America (Mar 9): Muslim Rebels Retrench in Philippines After Losing 5-Month War

FILE - A person is seen using a mobile phone while passing a shuttered store front with "MAUTE-ISIS" graffiti, in Marawi city, southern Philippines, Oct. 20, 2017.

A group of Muslim rebels is retrenching in the Philippines for what could lead to another fight against the government after a five-month war last year.

Members of the Maute Group, an Islamic State-sympathetic, anti-government Muslim rebel front that sparked war in the southern city Marawi, have splintered into 10 smaller outposts since fighting ended in October, Philippine news website Rappler said this week. They number about 300 people.

The Philippine army is preparing in turn for more attacks. On January 30, the armed forces set up a camp in Marawi to “establish a strategic base in the city to prevent the reentry of Maute-ISIS-inspired terrorist groups,” the presidential office website says, using an alternate acronym for Islamic State.

Dedicated to ideology

The war last year killed core members the Maute family as well as its chief fighters - some 900 of the 1,127 dead - but left angry survivors, experts believe. Their reemergence shows that discontent over political control on the island of Mindanao, a historic Muslim tract in the majority Christian Philippines, festers despite decades of fighting. About 121,000 people have died from conflicts in Mindanao since the 1960s.

“The reality is that although the leaders have been decimated, there are still many sympathizers and remnants, the second and third liners, and it’s well known they’re dedicated to the ideology and they’re bound to the group,” said Eduardo Araral, associate professor in the National University of Singapore’s public policy school.

“And it’s just a matter of time, because there are many loose groups around Mindanao who could rally around the Maute-ISIS flags,” he said.

FILE - An Islamic State flag is seen pitched in an oil barrel during fighting last year between IS-affiliated Maute rebels and government forces in Marawi City, southern Philippines May 29, 2017.

Regrouping after war

When the five-year-old Maute Group joined hands with the Abu Sayyaf, a rebel force known for kidnapping and beheading foreign tourists, the armed forces started a war in May 2017. At least 200,000 people fled their homes as fighting made the lakeside university town uninhabitable. IS had picked an Abu Sayyaf leader as its emir for Southeast Asia, raising the danger level for Philippine officials.

One of two suspected Maute sympathizers arrested over the weekend in Manila allegedly led an attack against a civilian security detachment last year in Lanao Del Sur, the province surrounding Marawi, domestic news website ABS-CBN reported.

The Maute holdouts will try for now to find new leadership, perhaps giving the role to a cousin of the slain founders, said Herman Kraft, political science professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Metro Manila.

“There’s going to be some sort of struggle going on as to who’s going to take over the entire group,” Kraft said. “So everybody actually splintering might be something that’s going to go on for the next few months.”

FILE - Government soldiers are seen atop military vehicles during their assault against rebels from the Maute group, who last year took over large parts of Marawi City, southern Philippines, June 13, 2017.

Links to other rebels

With 19 other Muslim rebel groups active around Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu Sea, the revived Maute forces might pick some of them to resume their fight, analysts believe.

Rebels share the broad cause of securing Muslim autonomy in Mindanao, a farming and mining island of 21 million people, and more resources for relatively poor Muslim populations.

The New People’s Army, the armed unit of a communist insurgency, might help the Maute Group, said Enrico Cau, a Ph.D. student of international affairs and strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

“I think they’re going to find a modus vivendi with the Moros, because they are very good friends,” Cau said, using a term for Philippine Muslims, often from minority ethnic groups. “If you apply socialist laws or regulations or principles to Islam, they work pretty well.”

Troops and national police are pushing members of the New People’s Army to surrender, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday in a statement on his web site. Duterte hopes the “armed forces can quash the rebel group soon,” he said.

FILE - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (C), flanked by military and civilian officials, talks after visiting soldiers, wounded in battles with Maute rebels, at a military camp in Cagayan De Oro, southern Philippines, June 11, 2017.

Aiming at ‘soft targets’

Foreign sympathizers of IS, an international terrorist outfit that was weakened last year at its bases in Iraq and Syria, might also reenter the Philippines to help the rebels again, Cau said. Philippine officials suspected that Indonesians and Malaysians reached Marawi last year to support the Maute rebels.

"High levels of unsolved grievances maximize the opportunity of success," in the Philippines, he said.

Maute survivors may not have the strength to fight a full-scale war but would turn to terrorist acts against “soft targets” such as schools and shopping malls in larger Mindanao cities, Araral said.

The government must give concessions to Muslim groups to ease fighting long term, Cau said.

A government commission is working toward an autonomy law following a peace deal with one of the more established rebel groups, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Suspected rebel killed in Bulacan clash

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 8): Suspected rebel killed in Bulacan clash

A suspected member of the New People’s Army was killed in a Wednesday (Mr. 7) clash with policemen and soldiers in Bulacan province’s San Ildefonso town.

The fatality was identified only as “Buddy” who was allegedly part of the communist rebels’ Platoon Troop Sierra Madre, said Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan police director.

Caramat said the suspect fought from a safehouse in Barangay (village) Nabaong Garlang when a joint police and military surveillance team chanced upon him.

Caramat said the team recovered a hand grenade and a .38 caliber revolver.

Troops encounter 50 BIFF in Maguindanao

From The Manila Times (Mar 9): Troops encounter 50 BIFF in Maguindanao

Some 50 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) engaged military forces in Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Maguindanao, in a firefight on Thursday but with no casualties were reported on both sides.

Captain Arvin Encinas, spokesman for the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the gunbattle between troops from the 2nd Mechanized Battalion conducting zoning operation in the area and the BIFF under alias “Peni Sog” of the group’s Karialan faction happened at about 6 a.m.

He added that air support was provided by the military. The firefight lasted for two hours. Pursuit operation are ongoing, Encinas said.

Clash with AFP kills 6 BIFF members

From The Standard (Mar 9): Clash with AFP kills 6 BIFF members

At least six (6) members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) died in Maguindanao.

This comes following the attack by the military in the BIFF's camp in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town on Thursday night.

The BIFF led by a certain Kumander Peni fought with government troops.

Two helicopters aided the soldiers on the ground as they were conducting the operations.

Some reinforcements arrived and chased the BIFF members, which reportedly numbered to about 50.

BIFF is a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Its current leader is Ismael Abubakar.

BIFF claims it has about 5,000 fighters across Central Mindanao.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) says, the group has around 300 members.

BIFF was founded by Ameril Umbra Kato in 2008.

MNLF (Misuari)/Camp Jabal Nur: Selected Photos - Opening Ceremony MNLF 50th Anniversary/Bangsamoro Freedom Day Celebration

Posted to the MNLF (Misuari) Camp Jabal Nur Facebook page (Mar 5): Selected Photos - Opening Ceremony MNLF 50th Anniversary/Bangsamoro Freedom Day Celebration

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"MARCH 1-18-2018"

MNLF (Misuari)/Ustadz Ibrahim: Photos - Special Meeting of BAF Cmdrs, members of the General Secretariat represented by SG, and officials of Lupah State Revolutionary Committee (LSSRC) on March 8, 2018

From the Facebook page of Ustadz Murshi Ibrahim Secretary General of the Moro National Liberation Front (Misuari) (Mar 9): Photos - Special Meeting of BAF Cmdrs, members of the General Secretariat represented by SG, and officials of Lupah State Revolutionary Committee (LSSRC) on March 8, 2018

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Special Meeting of BAF Cmdrs, members of the General Secretariat represented by SG, and officials of Lupah State Revolutionary Committee (LSSRC) called upon by the BAF Chief of Staff, March 8, 2018. The agenda was about 50th years FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE MNLF.

MNLF (Misuari)-IIO: Bangsamoro Freedom Day/MNLF 50th Anniversary Banner

Posted to the Moro National Liberation Front (Misuari) International Information Office Facebook page (Mar 6): Bangsamoro Freedom Day/MNLF 50th Anniversary Banner

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MILF: Editorial - Issue of sultanate in BBL

Editorial posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Mar 8): Editorial - Issue of sultanate in BBL

The sultanate system among the Bangsamoro people is one of the most cherished institutions in their history; and if not for them, there is no such thing as Moros today. There could have been a different narrative, probably, an unusual one. Indeed, the sultanates especially the Sulu, Maguindanao, and Buayan did splendid jobs by spearheading the resistance against the Spaniards from the 15th to the 19th century.
This is the reason why the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) excessively paid tribute to their role in history and in the life of Moros, in general, by assigning at least three sections, 23, 24, and 25, in Article 1X on Basic Rights. Besides, the BBL also give one slot or representation for Traditional Leaders in the Council of Leaders and in Parliament.

In the hierarchy of traditional leaders, as put in the BBL, the context is that sultans occupy the first billing, while datus, rajahs, panglimas, etc. are also in the loop. The Bangsamoro Parliament will enact a law providing for the manner of electing this representation.

Section 23 of the original BBL, which the Senate virtually adopted, provided that to preserve the history, culture, arts, traditions, and the rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro people and their sultanates, such as but not limited to, the Sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao, Kabuntalan, Buayan, the Royal Houses of Ranao, and of the Iranun, and the non-Moro indigenous peoples of the Bangsamoro, there shall be created a Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

Currently, however, there is no possible legal way to provide in the BBL any specific grant of nobility or blunt recognition of nobility, because the 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions all prohibited such action. Any direct reference will mostly likely be shut down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. In addition, any dilution of the dignity of the sultanate, such as assigning only ceremonial function, is doing injustice to the person and the institution. It is a blunt let-down.

The other reasons are, first, there is an increasing number of sultanates and sultans. Even in Christian areas of Luzon and Visayas, new or self-anointed sultans are on the rise and are sprouting up. If left as such, we are heading towards an uncharted zone that we are not yet conscious of its consequence. And second, we are now in the 21st century where equality of peoples are the benchmark of governance. Competence is given more weight.

It is time that Moros should stop looking for prerogatives or special treatment. In long term consideration, they do not offer any help. Why can’t we not fight squarely, instead of always asking for privileges?

Truth is that if we are asking for more genuine autonomy, this is not a matter of asking for special treatment, per se. We are just asking the government to restore some of those birth rights which were deprive of us when they forcefully or cunningly annexed Mindanao and Sulu into the Philippine state.

It is also time to affirm the ultimate truth that all men are born equal. We should not consider ourselves superior to another because we all are equal according to Almighty Allah. The only distinction which Allah recognizes is the distinction in piety, and the only principle which Allah applies is the principle of goodness and spiritual excellence. In the Quran, Allah says: “O mankind, verily We have created you from a single (Pair) of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Almighty Allah is the most righteous” (Quran, 49:13).

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action….”

NDF/Sison: Duterte is truly the no. 1 terrorist in the Philippines

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Mar 8): Duterte is truly the no. 1 terrorist in the Philippines

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
March 8, 2018

Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witchhunt under the guise of anti-terrorism. An immediate look at his list of ¨terrorists¨ will show that he is running amok in slandering people as ¨terrorists¨. There are also hundreds of John Does in the list just to intimidate a limitless number of people.

The list and the false accusations are related to the scheme of Duterte to engage in the mass murder of patriots and progressives in the country, to silence all his critics and opposition to his cruel and corrupt regime and in order to realize completely his fascist dictatorship through martial rule and the railroading of a pseudo-federal constitution. Duterte is truly the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines.

According to sources, I am in the list. There is no basis for the charge of terrorism. Duterte and his minions are stupid and pretend to be ignorant that I have won legal cases for the removal of my name from the EU list of terrorists and for the dismissal of murder charges fabricated against me by the Arroyo regime and fed by this regime to the Dutch government.

The revolutionary movement is absolutely correct in taking as forewarning the Duterte brand of propaganda and slaughter methods used in Oplan Tokhang as early as December 2016 after he clearly backed out of his pledge to amnesty and release all political prisoners and the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces repeatedly violated the prolonged ceasefire from late August 2016 to early February 2017.

It is often claimed that 40,000 lives have been lost in the civil war from 1969 to the present. The overwhelming majority of these lives were lost not in the course of battles but in the course of reprisals for NPA victories in battle as well as unilateral actions of repression against communities by the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces.

In less than two years of his tyranny, Duterte has been responsible for the mass murder of 20,000 people in his war on drugs. He is hell-bent on using the AFP, PNP and the paramilitary forces to murder a far greater number of people under the pretext of anti-terrorism. This horrific scheme coincides with soaring prices of basic commodities and services, rising unemployment, lower incomes and diminution of social services in favor of higher expenditures for the military and police.

The broad united front of patriotic forces and the broad masses of the people must wage all forms of struggle to accelerate the downfall of the Duterte regime which acts as a puppet of US imperialism under Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines but which also double-deals with China for corrupt reasons related to overpriced infrastructure projects and high interest loans.

Even the US intelligence agencies now regard Duterte as a threat to democracy and human rights, despite his duplicitous and despicable efforts to keep the over-all US hegemony in the Philippines and serve additional foreign masters. As far as the Filipino nation is concerned, the Duterte regime is a murderous and greedy scourge that must be eradicated.

CPP/NDF-Central Negros: Kabutigan sang 62nd IBPA Ginakondenar sang NPA

NDF-Central Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 8): Kabutigan sang 62nd IBPA Ginakondenar sang NPA

JB Regalado, Spokesperson
NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command)

7 March 2018
Press Release

Makahuluya ang kaugalingon nga pagdayaw sang AFP sa mga kabutigan nga ginhimo sang 62nd IBPA kaangot sa illegal nga pag-aresto sa 6 tanan ka mga pamatan-on sa Mabinay, Negros Oriental. Nagabura gid ang baba ni Col. Eliezer LosaƱez sang 303rd BdePA sang tikal kag pila pa ka mga manugtaghol sang AFP ang kuno pagkadakop, pagsurender kag pagkakuha sang 6 tanan ka mga matag-as nga kalibre sang armas gikan sa 6 kuno ka mga NPA. Dugang pa sa ila ginakupal nga sadtong Marso 3, 2018 mga 2:30 sang kaagahon, may natabo kuno nga engkwentro, halos 45 minutos nga linukpanay sa tunga sang tropa sang NPA kag 62nd IBPA antis pa ang pagsurender kag pagkadakop sa 6 ka biktima diin may 2 pa ka mga NPA nga mga minor de edad (17 anyos).

Sandig sa pagpangusisa sang NPA sa lugar, saksi ang mga pumuluyo sa lugar nga wala sang may natabo nga engkwentro. Indi man matuod nga mga NPA ang 6 ka mga pamatan-on lakip na ang isa ka UP-Cebu Masscom Graduate nga babaye nga si a certain “Miles” nga ila ginpresentar sa media kag sa publiko. Kundi ang mga ini, mga pamatan-on nga nagapangusisa sa mga mangunguma sa lugar agud madalom nga hibaluon ang mga problema kag matuod nga kahimtangan sang mga pumuluyo sa nasambit nga lugar. Dalayawon ang mga lamharon nga mga pamatan-on nga may kasubong sini nga mga paminsaron kag pursigido sa pagtuon agud sa paghibalo sang matuod nga sitwasyon sang mga mangunguma kag mga pumuluyo sa kaumahan, kumparar sa mga gong-an kag tradisyunal nga mga politico kag iban pa nga ara sa burukrasya sang reaksyunaryong gobyerno nga mga bulag kag bungol sa mga reklamo kag mga pag-antus sang mga mangunguma sa kawad-on sang duta, palangabuhian kag pagkaon bunga sang korapsyon kag kulang sang serbisyo sosyal.

Ang NPA istrikto nga nagapatuman sang mga patakaran angot sa rekrutment sang tropa. Pwede lang magpatapo sa NPA ang bisan sin-o man nga may himsog nga panglawason kag may ikasarang sa pagpakig-away, istrikto sa edad nga 18 anyos pasaka, husto nga paminsaron, may maayo nga political record sa ila lugar kag kolektibo nga ginarekomendar sang teritoryo. Subong man bukas kag tampad nga magbaton kag magsunod sang mga pagsulundan, linya kag programa sang Demokratiko nga Rebolusyon sang Banwa paagi sa pangmalawigon nga inaway banwa.

Handa man magbaton sang Sentral nga katungdanan sang NPA, hugot nga mag-uyat kag magsunod sa 3 ka disiplina kag 8 ka punto kag iban pa nga mga sandigan nga prinsipyo bilang Bag-ong Hangaway sang Banwa dira sa lubos nga pag-alagad sa masa kag rebolusyon.

Gani wala gid sa bokabularyo sang NPA ang magbaton sang tropa naga-edad sang 17 anyos kag istrikto man ini nga magpa-armas lamang sa mga elemento matapos ang pulitiko-militar nga mga pagtuon kag paghanas.

Wala man sang kamatuoran nga ang 6 ka mga armas kag mga gin-alegar nga eksplosibo ara mismo nakuha sa poder sining mga pamatan-on kundi gintanom ini sang militar kag pilit nga ginpaako sa ila.

Paglapak sang tawhanon nga kinamatarung sang 6 ka mga pamatan-on bilang mga suspek ang ginhimo sang AFP ang pag-intoregar sa ila nga wala ang ila mga abogado. Malisyuso man ang akto sang AFP sa pagpresentar sining mga kabataan sa media nga wala man ang mga ini ginpahambal sang ila mga opinyon kag komento.

Mabaskog nga ginakondenar sang LPC-BHB ang illegal nga pag-aresto kag pagpasibangud nga mga katapo sang NPA sa 6 tanan ka mga pamatan-on sang 62nd IBPA sa banwa sang Mabinay, Negros Oriental. Lubos man ginakondenar sang NPA ang padayon nga serye sang pagpamatay sa mga inosenteng sibilyan sa Guihulngan ilabe na ang pagtiro-patay kay Toto De Asis sang mga ginapatihan nga mga katapo sang state security forces sadtong nagligad lang nga bulan sang Pebrero 2018.

Ginamanduan man ang mga yunit sang Bag-ong Hangaway sang Banwa idalum sa LPC nga arestohon ang mga perpetrators nga katapo sang pasista kag berdugong 62nd IBPA, PNP kag mga ahente sini. Arestuhon man ang ginahuptan nga kriminal sang AFP nga sila Leonel Librado kag Pedro Rafols. Ipa-atubang kag bistahon sa Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo kag ipatuman ang nagakaigo nga silot sa ila sandig sa pamatbat sang korte angot sa kabug-aton sang kaso nga ila nakomiter.

CPP/NDF-SM: Nagpabiling sulod sa rebolusyon ang luna sa kababayen-an

NDF-Southern Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 8): Nagpabiling sulod sa rebolusyon ang luna sa kababayen-an

Rubi del Mundo, Spokesperson
NDFP Southern Mindanao

8 March 2018

Ginasaulog sa National Democratic Front of the Philippines sa Southern Mindanao ug tanang rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa rehiyon ang Kalibutanhong Adlaw sa Kababayen-an duyog sa mga kababayen-an sa tanang hut-ong ug sektor sa tibuok nasud ug kalibutan. Hingpit natong ginapasidunggan ang tanang babayeng rebolusyonaryo kinsa nag-alagad sa interes sa katawhang Pilipino pinaagi sa pagpukaw, pag-organisa ug pagpalihok sa ubang kababayen-an sa linya sa nasudnon-demokratikong rebolusyon. Labaw kitang ginapadasig sa mga halangdong kababayen-an
nga namartir sulod sa atong pakigbisog batuk sa imperyalismo, pyudalismo ug burukrata kapitalismo.

Taas na ang giabot sa pakigbisog sa kababayen-an alang sa kalingkawasan sukad sa makasaysayanong mobilisasyon sa Petrograd niadtong 1917 asa pid-an ka libo nga mga babaye ang nagmartsa sa kadalanan, ilalom sa panawagang “Bread and Peace” batuk sa gubat ug kampanya sa pagpanumpo sa Russian Tsar. Wala pa abti og duha ka tuig sa gahum, ginabira-pabalik na ni GRP. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte ang sobra usa ka siglo nga katilingbanong paglambo sa iyang mga atrasadong
panglantaw sa kababayen-an ug sa ilang pakigbisog alang sa kalingkawasan. Gikan sa iyang macho nga mga biay-biay ug bahad hangtud sa iyang mga panggubyerno ug katilingbanong palisiya, gipamatud-an ni Duterte nga siya ang nag-unang kaaway dili lang sa kababayen-an apan sa tibuok katawhang Pilipino.

Sa kasamtangan, mibarog ang kababayen-ang Pilipino diha sa mga militanteng aksyon batuk sa despotikong rehimeng US-Duterte ug mga gyera niini nga mibiktima sa katawhang Pilipino. Sa Southern Mindanao, liboan ka kababayen-an ang nahimong mahinungdanong lumilihok alang sa armadong pakigbisog, agraryong rebolusyon ug pagtukod sa base. Mas mahinungdanon, taliwala sa mga pagpangyubit ug hulga ni Duterte, daghan pang kababayen-an ang misampa sa New People’s Army sa rehiyon. Kadaghanan kanila naglihok isip mga medikal samtang ang uban nahimong mga Pulang kumander o instruktor sa pulitika sa mga yunit sa NPA. Labaw pang makadasig ang ilang markadong pagsalmot sa pagtukod sa mga organo sa pulitikanhong gahum diin daghan kanila nahimong nangulo sa mga rebolusyonaryong konseho sa ang-ang baryo ug munisipyo. Aduna usab mga babayeng kadre sa han-ay sa tanang nangulong yunit sa Partido sa

Atubangan sa dili malilong nga pagpakaitoy sa rehimeng US-Duterte sa interes sa imperyalista ug oligarkiya, liboan pang kababayen-an ang nagasalmot sa mga kalihukang masa batuk sa pyudal nga pagpahimulos, imperyalistang minahan ug mga plantasyon sulod sa mga gerilyang base. Sa mga syudad ug lungsod, ang kababayen-an ang naglangkob sa sobra katunga sa mga pwersa kinsa militanteng nagkundena ug nagbabag sa pagdumili ni Duterte nga tapuson ang kontraktwalisasyon sa mga mamumuo, sa pagbaligya sa iyang rehimen sa atong ekonomikanhong soberanya, ang iyang kontra-kabus nga balaod nga TRAIN ug uban pang mga isyu.

Ilalom sa sistemang malakolonyal ug malapyudal nga hugtanong ginakonsolida sa rehimeng US-Duterte pinaagi sa diktadurya ug pasismo, gikinabuhi sa kababayen-ang Pilipino ang saktong luna sa ilang pakigbisog alang sa kalingkawasan. Sulod sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan, sa paggiya sa Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, nasabtan sa kababayen-an nga aron malingkawas ang ilang kaugalingon, kinahanglan nilang ilambigit ang ilang pakigbisog sa nasudnon-demokratikong

Mabuhay ang tanang naghago ug rebolusyonaryong kababayen-an!
Mabuhay ang nasudnon-demokratikong rebolusyon!

CPP/NDF-Mindanao: Oppressed and exploited women of the Philippines, unite with the Filipino people and oust the anti-woman US-Duterte regime!

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 8): Oppressed and exploited women of the Philippines, unite with the Filipino people and oust the anti-woman US-Duterte regime!

Ka Joaquin Jacinto, Spokesperson
NDFP Mindanao

8 March 2018

The NDFP-Mindanao joins the Filipino nation in celebrating the hard work, courage and determination of oppressed and exploited women in the country and the world over on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

We remember the revolutionary zeal of Russian proletarian women who on February 27 (March 8), after having been organized by the Bolsheviks, banded together to support the general strikes and armed uprising that sparked the beginning of the 1917 February revolt, which, later on, evolved into the great October revolution, which paved the way for Russia’s socialist future.

These courageous women committed themselves wholeheartedly to the revolutionary armed uprising to help win for the Russian people their emancipation from decades of oppression and exploitation by the Czar and other ruling classes in Russia as well as from the colonization of other imperialist countries.

Today, similarly, we honor the brave women of the Philippine revolution whose lives are dedicated to the advancement of the people’s war, which will win for the Filipino people their emancipation from the oppression and exploitation of the ruling classes of landlords, big comprador bourgeoisie and US imperialism.

We give praise to women Party cadres, women Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army and other women revolutionary mass leaders who have devoted their time, strength and intellect in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses of peasants and workers for the victory of the national-democratic revolution, which is the nation’s stepping stone towards its socialist future.

In all of 50 years since the re-establishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the exemplary dedication of these women revolutionary leaders have helped steer the movement along the right path during the First and Second Great Rectification Movements, and in every subsequent challenge and twist & turn the revolutionary movement has had to confront and resolve.

Women mass leaders who hail from the peasantry have braved every challenge in waging agrarian revolution, as well as those from the working class, who for their part, have helped strengthen the militant workers’ movement in the country.

Indeed, marks of the true liberation of women can be seen and experienced from inside the revolutionary movement, where women possess the freedom to fully participate in political discussions and decision-making as they are recognized, and are respected as leaders, political guides, educators, fighters, and stand as inspiration to the people. Thus, women’s struggle must be inextricably linked with the national democratic revolution.

Thus, the AFP’s claim that women in the revolutionary movement are “maltreated” is purely fake and poison news, propagated by the fascist US-Duterte regime and the AFP/PNP to cover up their own sheer anti-women character. Duterte himself has on several occasions spoke about “raping women” in his speeches either as a “joke” or a stern warning to women all over. He also finds it amusing to shoot captured women Red fighters in the genitals. He has also mentioned that he will grant free trips abroad to so-called “surrenderees” especially the “women surrendrees.”

These quips, whether uttered as a matter-of-fact or as a whimsical form of sarcasm, can only be adjudged as incorrigibly anti-women, which is to say the least of Duterte’s depraved and demented choice catchphrases. And since these are words that come out from the mouth of a head of state, these become policy statements that give license to his fascist minions – the AFP, PNP, CAFGU and other paramilitary forces – to abuse women, especially those whom they construe as “enemies of the state,” who is practically anyone whom they so fancy.

Duterte’s Oplan Kapayapaan is intrinsically anti-women, where hundreds of women, including girls, have become victims of rape and other forms of abuse, especially in their military operations in the hinterlands of Mindanao. Peasant women have become victims of extrajudicial killings.

In the US-Duterte regime’s ongoing crackdown against legitimate progressive organizations, women leaders and members have fallen victims to political killings, illegal arrests, torture, psywar tactics and have been levelled with trumped-up charges. The PNP’s brutal anti-drug campaign Oplan Tokhang or Double Barrel has been used to illegally arrest women activists along with others, who are victimized by police depravity and brutality.

In like manner, economic policies, such as the TRAIN Law, inflict more hardship to the people, especially to women, by way of increases in the prices of the most basic of commodities and whatever social services left given by the reactionary state. The reactionary state’s policy of exporting its people to other countries continues to be in place, even as overseas workers like Joanna Demafeliz are getting murdered and others continue to face unspeakable forms of suffering.

The Duterte regime seethes with hypocrisy as it offered its sympathy with the Demafeliz family but negates the implementation of national industrialization, which will provide meaningful jobs to its own people. Duterte plucked out the Filipino workers from Kuwait only to throw them to China.

Thus, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we call upon all struggling women of the country to unite and link the women’s struggle with the national democratic revolution. Unite with the Filipino people to oust the inveterately anti-woman, anti-people US-Duterte regime.

CPP/NDF-NEMR: Further strengthen the unity of women and fight the fascist AFP/PNP and US-Duterte regime

NDF-North Eastern Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 8): Further strengthen the unity of women and fight the fascist AFP/PNP and US-Duterte regime

Ka Maria Malaya, Spokesperson
NDFP Northeastern Mindanao

8 March 2018

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR) warmly join the struggling women from different classes in commemorating this momentous day. We call on all women to strengthen their unity in fighting the abuse of the fascist Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP) and the US-Duterte regime.

The tyranny of the US-Duterte regime was exposed just a few months after he came into power. He began a series of attacks against the struggling people and one of the very first victims of his tyranny were the women, especially those from among the farmers, Lumad, urban poor and workers.

One of the most vile expression of his tyranny is his being anti-women. Even before he became president, Duterte degraded women; and it worsened when he was unmasked of his pro-people charade.

Duterte’s bloody Oplan Kapayapaan traumatized many women, youth and elderly Lumad and farmers in NEMR with his bombing, shelling, strafing, political killings and other forms of harassment during military operations of the AFP. This resulted to widespread evacuations of the Lumad people and farmers. Thousands evacuated in the region in the first three months of this year, particularly in Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte.

This is similar to the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, when he, cold-bloodedly, destroyed Marawi City, victimized countless Moro women with rape and other forms of sexual abuse committed by the AFP and PNP. As of this time, not a single fascist soldier has been punished. They were even condoned by the statement of Duterte that if a member of the AFP/PNP raped three times, he will answer for the third.

In an attempt of the fascist US-Duterte regime to annihilate the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA) and revolutionary movement by the year 2018, he has been releasing statements to harass and terrorize the people. Duterte has seemingly lost his mind when he said that if a woman NPA is captured, he himself will shot her genitalia.

Such vile statements of Duterte has given members of the AFP and PNP more license to, without any second thought, violate human rights especially the abuse of women.

Thus, we can foresee more victimized women, young and old, by the cold-blooded actions of the AFP and PNP. Because of this, the unity of oppressed and exploited women must be more widespread, strong and firm, joined with the Filipino people, to expose, fight and make the executioner AFP/PNP pay dearly and oust the US-Duterte regime from power.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Women, rise against the US-Duterte regime

Ang Bayan editorial posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 9): Women, rise against the US-Duterte regime

Ang Bayan
Communist Party of the Philippines

7 March 2018

Rodrigo Duterte and his regime relentlessly trample on women’s rights. His contempt for women knows no limits. His policies result in hardships, especially for the toiling women.

From his unamusing rape jokes, disparages and threats, Duterte clearly is the ugly face of the feudal and patriarchal aspect of a social system which exploits and oppresses women.

Among the latest of Duterte’s tirades against women is his direct order for soldiers to shoot women Red fighters in their vagina to make them worthless. He also ridiculed women Red fighters for “leaving behind” their children when they go back to the armed struggle. For Duterte, women are mere sex objects and chattels for men. He cannot accept that women play greater roles in social struggles and transformation.

Duterte is inciting his troops to commit crimes and brutalities against the people, whether they are civilians or combatants. He openly endorses rape and other forms of sexual violence against women as a tool of his dirty war, Oplan Kapayapaan. He aims to scare off women and trample on their dignity.

Operating troops of the AFP already have a long list of atrocious fascist crimes. These include the rape of a 14-year old Lumad girl by at least three soldiers in Talaingod, Davao del Norte on July 2015. On July 2016, 8th IB troopers shot dead a pregnant woman in Bukidnon. Operating soldiers are known for their vulgar attitude and disrespect towards women.

In the Duterte’s regime brutal fascist war, more and more women fall victim to killings, repression, illegal arrest and detention. In Mindanao, women, especially Moro women, suffer under martial law. Up to now, hundreds of thousands of women and their children suffer in evacuation centers and are prevented from going back to their homes in Marawi. At the same time, the fascist military utilizes deception and seduction by romantic liaisons to render women passive and turn them away from the struggle.

Peasants, especially women peasants, suffer slave-like oppression and grave forms of feudal exploitation in the countryside. The Duterte regime defends large land monopolies of big landlords and plantations. His declaration for free land distribution is clearly a lie as his regime prioritizes the reclassification of land to give way to massive land conversion of agricultural lands. Duterte’s free irrigation is worthless to most farmers due to the absence of genuine land reform and because only a small fraction of farmlands is irrigated.

Women workers continue to suffer from low wages and inhuman working conditions. They are victims of contractualization. As workers, they endure high unemployment rates, low-level and precarious employment, especially during last year’s big job fall (more than 600,000 jobs lost). Despite Duterte’s stunts, he cannot hide the fact that his regime is worthless in defending migrant workers’ rights and welfare, especially women migrants, and he has failed to give them alternative jobs.

The Duterte regime’s measures and policies which continued the pro-imperialist neoliberal policies of the previous regimes have brought about extreme hardships to women. At the start of the year, the people, especially women and other heads of households, endured high prices of goods and services due to additional and new taxes brought about by the TRAIN law.

They are further victimized by the artificial rice shortage engendered by Duterte’s friend Manuel PiƱol to continue with, and control, rice importation. Hundreds of children are victimized by bureaucratic corruption and irresponsibility of successive regimes in the unfolding tragedy of the experimental Dengvaxia vaccine.

In the face of these hardships, the ruling reactionary state aims to keep women passive, meek and apolitical. They are reduced to the confines of their households—as wives, mothers, sisters or daughters – who exist solely to serve the male members of their families.

But women have long been breaking out of this mold. In the face of grave oppression, they rise in their numbers to participate in various struggles. For these women, their participation in these struggles is the first step towards liberation. In struggle, they lift their prestige and status as women. They break the dominant feudal and patriarchal view on women as second class citizens.

They actively contribute to ending the oppressive and exploitative semifeudal and semicolonial and construction of a democratic and progressive system. Hundreds of thousands of women are members of revolutionary mass organizations and other national-democratic associations and movements.

There are many women in the New People’s Army, especially coming from the ranks of the toiling masses. They decided to participate in the armed struggle and carry out various revolutionary tasks. The Filipino people look up to them. They serve as commanders, political guides, medics, supply and education officers, literacy teachers and other fields of work in different levels of the people’s army. No task or opportunity are denied to them just because they are women. Many of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ leaders are women.

The NPA has decreed that women should be treated as equals and their rights observed at all times. Etched in its basic rules—the Three Points of Discipline and Eight Points to Remember (more known as Tres-Otso)—is strict adherence to respecting women’s rights and the proper way to treat and speak to them. Women’s equal rights to men is also in the CPP’s constitution, program and other regulations, including inside marriages.

In the face of the US-Duterte regime’s oppression, violence, vulgarity and low regard, women have no choice but to rise up against its fascism. Women should persevere in the national-democratic struggle and advance in various forms of armed and unarmed struggle. The Party calls on all women workers, peasants and students to join the New People’s Army and participate in the protracted people’s war nationwide.

[Ang Bayan is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Ang Bayan is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Waray and English. It can be downloaded from the Philippine Revolution Web Central at  Ang Bayan is published fortnightly by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines.]

CPP/NPA-Mindoro: NPA attack another CAFGU detachment in Mindoro on Women’s Day

NPA-Mindoro propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 9): NPA attack another CAFGU detachment in Mindoro on Women’s Day

Ka Madaay Gasic, Spokesperson
NPA-Mindoro (Lucio De Guzman Command)

9 March 2018
Press Release

Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindoro (Lucio de Guzman Command, LDGC) wounded one soldier in their recent attack against a paramilitary detachment in Brgy. Morente, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro they identified as “enemy of poor women and children of Mangyan villages,” Mar. 8.

This offensive took place on Women’s Day as the guerilla forces charged the Civilian Auxilliary Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) as “perpetrators of anti-social acts faced usually by poor women and children in Mangyan villages targeted by military operations,” said Ka Madaay Gasic, spokesperson of NPA-Mindoro.

The NPA received complaints from local villagers accusing CAFGU elements as protectors of illegal logging and looting of minorities’ poultry and agricultural produces during military combat operations.

“The usual victims of military operations are Mangyan women and children who are left at home while their male counterparts are tending their swidden farms,” Ka Madaay claimed.

“This offensive is second of a series of punishment of the guerilla forces against the AFP-CAFGU for turning local villagers against their own communities,” he continued. “CAFGU recruitment is part of AFP’s tactics of poisoning Mangyan communities within the indigenous peoples (IP)-centric approach of the anti-people Development Support and Security Plan Kapayapaan.”

On Feb. 23, Red fighters attacked a CAFGU detachment in So. FF Cruz, Brgy. Cambunang in Bulalacao town leaving the unit’s commanding officer Domingo Berber dead.

“May these offensives also send warning to those who willfully join the CAFGU and take up arms against their own communities. There are no justifiable reason for such, and will never provide any good and instead will only aggravate the ever-worsening exploitation and oppression of the Mangyan people,” Ka Madaay ended.

Meanwhile, the guerilla forces hold an early celebration of their anniversary in a guerilla zone in Mindoro on Women’s Day to honor female Red fighters, revolutionaries and martyrs.

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: Mga Kriminal kag Masupog nga Ahente sang Militar Madinalag-on nga Ginsilotan sang NPA!

NPA-Central Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 9): Mga Kriminal kag Masupog nga Ahente sang Militar Madinalag-on nga Ginsilotan sang NPA!

JB Regalado, Spokesperson
NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command)

9 March 2018
Press Release

Lubos nga gina-admiter sang NPA ang pagpatuman sang silot-kamatayon sa mag-utod nga sanday Dominador kag Nelson Quilanan sang sityo Uyangan, Brgy. Budlasan, Canlaon City sadtong Marso 7, 2018 mga alas 8: 00 sang aga. Ginpatigayon ang pagsilot sa nasambit gihapon nga sityo matapos nga napamatud-an kag napamatbatan sang Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo sa 2 ka kaso sang pagpatay, pagpanglansi sa mga pumuluyo kag masupog nga ahente militar.

Nagadayaw man ang LPC sa mga isganan nga yunit sang NPA sa paghatag sang nagakaigo nga hustisya sa mga biktima nila Nelson kag Dominador Quilanan kag pagkumpiska sang 1 ka handset kag cellphone nga may angot sa AFP.

Si Dominador Quilanan isa ka job-order personnel sang siyudad sang Canlaon City bilang Hepe sang Barangay Green Brigade (BGB) diin madamo sang nabiktima nga kasubong niya nga mga katapo sang BGB. Masami nagadispalko sang sweldo sang mga kaangay niya nga BGB paagi sa paglansi nga kuno wala pa sang sweldo nga ang matuod iya na nakuha ang tanan nga mga sweldo sang mga ini. Halos naga-antus sa kagutom ang pamilya sang mga biktima tungod nahadlok na magreklamo sa iya.

Pebrero 15, 2015 siya man ang utok sa brutal nga pagpatay kay Rodulfo Villasan paagi sa pagbuno sang ayspek, pagbunal sang matig-a nga bagay sa ulo sang biktima kag pagtagbong sang patay nga lawas sini sa isa ka suba malapit sa puluy-an sang pamilya Villasan. Sa amo gihapon nga tuig, si Nelson Quilanan upod kay Dominador “Doming” Quilanan ang responsable nga nagpatay sa ila kaugalingon nga pakaisa nga si German Quilanan. Halos ginakahadlukan sila sang mga pumuluyo sa ila lugar rason nga madamo na sang tinion nga gin-istorya sila sang NPA lamang nga matadlong ang ila mga kasaypanan sa pumuluyo. Sa baylo nga magbag-o, sila nga mag-utod labi pa ini nga nagsupog bilang mga ahente militar agud sundan ang hulag sang NPA kag bug-os nga rebolusyonaryong hublag.

Ang LPC padayon nga nagapanugyan sa mga pumuluyo nga indi gid pagsundon ang mga kalakasan sang mag-utod nga sanday Doming kag Nelson Quilanan. Ang NPA indi gid magduha-duha sa pagsilot sa inyo, matapos ang proseso kag pagpamatbat sang Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo sandig sa kabug-aton sang kaso nga inyo nakomiter.

CPP-IB: CPP corrects Bato: NPA not involved in kidnapping

CPP Information Bureau propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Mar 8): CPP corrects Bato: NPA not involved in kidnapping

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

8 March 2018
Press Release

Although belated, the CPP would like to correct PNP chief Ronaldo dela Rosa regarding his baseless claims the New People’s Army (NPA) is involved in

Dela Rosa made the claims last February 26 when he presented to the public a certain Donato Jacob whom he claimed is involved in a kidnapping case last December. Without providing proof, dela Rosa insisted that this Jacob is a member of the NPA.

Ka Joma Sison has already promptly dismissed dela Rosa’s claims as ‘fake news’. Indeed, the NPA does not know of this Jacob.

Dela Rosa made the baseless claims of kidnapping against the NPA then, with an overacting imagination, linked this to Duterte’s PR-campaign to depict the CPP
and NPA as terrorists.

Dela Rosa, however, apparently knows for a fact that the NPA does not engage in criminal activities. On the same occasion, he appeared to be in disbelief that an NPA member is involved in kidnapping-for-ransom: “Meron silang (NPA) kidnapping, pero never may ransom” apparently referring to instances when policemen or soldiers are captured in encounters but later released.

As a revolutionary people’s army, the NPA rejects kidnapping-for-ransom and other criminal activities. This policy continues to be observed strictly.

Dela Rosa knows fully well that it is the members of the AFP and PNP who are often involved in kidnapping and other criminal syndicates. In fact, on the above mentioned occasion, he presented another kidnapping suspect who happened to be a former soldier of the AFP.

Philippine Air Force Resumes the Sanay Sibat Exercise

From Update Philippines (Mar 9): Philippine Air Force Resumes the Sanay Sibat Exercise
After a long absence, the Philippine Air Force resumes the Sanay Sibat Exercise, an Air Defense Exercise involving our FA-50PH and S-211 aircraft.

So good to see our Air Force have these kinds of exercises, We wish we can have more modern combat aircraft in the near future.


The 5th Fighter Wing participated in “Sanay Sibat” exercise – the first in the last 23 years – from February 26 to 28, 2018 at Clark Air Base, Pampanga with a series of simulated combat missions.

Sanay Sibat is a live air defense exercise that provides avenue for fighter pilots to test their skills and combat readiness in various missions.

Pilots from the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron “Bulldogs” and the 105th Fighter Training Squadrons “Blackjacks” flew a total of 61 hours in 29 sorties utilizing the FA-50PH and S-211 aircraft for the three-day exercise, which culminated with a tactical demonstration flight for the Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force, Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard R Kintanar Jr AFP, aboard the FA-50PH Fighting Eagle.

Participants of the exercise are organized into two: red defensive forces and blue offensive forces with the 580th Aircraft Control and Warning Wing and Philippine Air Defense Control Center as controlling agencies.

For this year’s iteration, the 7th TFS Fighting Eagles acted as the blue force while the 105th FTS S-211 provided assets for the notional “red country.”

A total of five scenarios were conducted for the three-day exercise involving Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, Tactical Air Intercept, and Combat Air Patrol missions.

At the end of the exercise, Lieutenant General Kintanar performed a tactical demonstration flight aboard the FA-50PH and broke the sound barrier at 40,000ft. Surface Attack and Air-to-Air Tactics were also flown to demonstrate the capabilities of the FA-50PH.

“The exercise was successful and an eye-opener…We were able to identify capability gaps that we can build on. We will continuing to conduct this exercise to enhance and strengthen our air defense competencies towards the future” said the Wing Commander, Colonel Fabian M Pedregosa PAF (GSC).

Sanay Sibat is akin to the Pacific Air Forces-sponsored Cope Thunder initiated in 1976 at Clark Air Base. The goal of Cope Thunder aimed at providing each pilots with vital missions (typically first eight to ten missions), increasing their chances of survival in combat environments. Cope Thunder was transferred to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska after the Mount Pinatubo eruption and later re-named Red-Flag Alaska. With the withdrawal of the US Forces in Clark and the transfer of Cope Thunder, the PAF organized exercise Sanay Sibat. The exercise was last held in 1995 with the F-5 Freedom Fighters and the AS-211 aircraft.

PCG resumes surveillance patrols in Scarborough

From Update Philippines (Mar 9): PCG resumes surveillance patrols in Scarborough

Apart from last week’s patrol of the Philippine Rise, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has renewed its surveillance patrols in Panatag or Scarborough Shoal the West Philippine Sea.

The PCG yesterday also deployed an aerial patrol over Kalayaan Island, particularly in the vicinity of Pagasa Island.

PCG spokesman Captain Armand Balilo said their Islander plane left Puerto Princesa City in Palawan and flew over Kalayaan Island.

“We dispatched one of our Islander planes to the West Philippine Sea in compliance with President Duterte’s instructions to make our presence felt in the territory, including Pagasa Island,” Balilo said.

“We sent our plane to the Kalayaan Group of Islands for maritime domain awareness. We were just conducting regular surveillance in the area,” he added.

Balilo said there was some apprehension in the aerial patrol in the area on the possibility that it would be challenged by Chinese forces. China has built a fortified fortress in the Kagitingan Reef, which is also called Fiery Cross Reef, located nearby Kalayaan.

“Based on the report of our pilot China did not challenge our presence… This is a sign that the Philippine relationship with China has improved,” Balilo said.

There had been instances when China, upon seeing their Islander plane, would send radio messages or fire flares.

But yesterday morning, Balilo said Chinese forces did not show any sign of protest.

The last time the PCG conducted an aerial surveillance in the area was the middle of last year.
In the coming days, the Coast Guard’s Islander plane would also be conducing a maritime domain awareness aerial patrol over Bajo de Masinloc, which China claims to be part of its nine-dash line territory.

“We would also check Bajo de Masinloc in the coming days. We might send the Islander plane,” Balilo said.

Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough and Panatag Shoal, is located 124 nautical miles west of Zambales and within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Last Saturday, a PCG Islander plane and BRP Suluan were dispatched to the Philippine Rise.

The presence of the PCG at Philippine Rise comes at a time when a Chinese research ship was reportedly spotted in the area, and that in 2004 China managed to name five features of the underwater plateau after an unauthorized research trip.

President Duterte then ordered all foreigners intending to conduct research at the Philippine Rise to first secure approval from the national security adviser.

Philippine Rise, formerly Benham Rise, has generated much interest because scientific surveys indicate the presence of minerals and natural gas in the area. Solidified methane was reportedly found during the mapping activities and there are massive oil deposits.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) also highlighted the Philippine Rise as a major food source because it has a rich and diverse ecosystem that attracts migratory commercial fish like tuna, marlin and mackerel.

Military hit for ‘change of tune’ on frigate row

From Update Philippines (Mar 9): Military hit for ‘change of tune’ on frigate row

Military hit for ‘change of tune’ on frigate row. Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano had called out the country’s military and defense officials for quickly changing their preference for the combat management system (CMS) to be installed in the two frigates that Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) was building for the Philippine Navy for P15.7 billion.

Alejano issued the statement on Wednesday night, hours after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad, the Navy’s flag officer-in-command, defended the selection of Naval Shield Integrated CMS over the widely adopted Tacticos of the Dutch firm, Thales Group.

Naval Shield is supplied by Hanwha Systems and used only by the South Korean Navy.

The opposition lawmaker noted that Lorenzana and Empedrad told the Senate in a Feb. 19 hearing that Tacticos is the best CMS in the market. The CMS is the “brains” of a warship.
‘Inferior system’

But in Wednesday’s House national defense committee hearing, Empedrad said Naval Shield met the specifications set by the technical working group, and that it was “inaccurate to state that an inferior system will be placed in the frigate.”

Alejano said: “It seemed the winds have changed. Secretary Lorenzana and Rear Admiral Empedrad are now doing an apple-to-apple comparison of Thales’ Tacticos and Hanwha’s Naval Shield as if the two are of equal competence, when in fact [they are] not.”

He said Empedrad’s premise was “erroneous” because Naval Shield is currently incompatible with Tactical Data Link 16 (TDL), a military data exchange network.

Unlike Tacticos, Naval Shield’s compatibility with TDL 16 is still “under development” and, according to Hanwha, would be available only in 2019, he added.

“If indeed this is the case, why was there still a discussion during the Senate hearing on the possibility of Hanwha not being able to comply with the TDL 16 compatibility requirement? This contradicts their claim that Hanwha’s Naval Shield is, at present, incompatible with TDL 16,” Alejano said.

Inconsistent statements

The supposed inconsistency in the statements aired in the House and Senate hearings “only further casts doubts whether what is beneficial and best for the Philippine Navy is truly being pursued by the authorities involved,” he said.

Hyundai selected Naval Shield for the frigates after the contractor was given the “sole right” to select the vessels’ systems.

Military officials argued on Wednesday that the procurement law did not allow them to name specific brands, such as Tacticos, and that the government could not directly deal with the subcontractors of the warships’ systems.

The frigate acquisition project became controversial after Lorenzana sacked former Navy chief, Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, after the latter questioned the process by which HHI, not the Navy, was given the right to choose the CMS.

In a Jan. 15 privilege speech, Alejano also assailed the grant to Hyundai of the “sole right” to select the CMS. “It would have been good if [the contract’s ‘sole right’ provision] was in the Navy’s favor. But no, it was the contractor,” he said back then.

IP leader helps 20 NPA supporters to surrender

From the Mindanao Times (Mar 8): IP leader helps 20 NPA supporters to surrender

TWENTY alleged members of the underground mass organization (UGMO) of the New People’s Army surrendered to the 71st Infantry Battalion through the efforts of a Lumad leader in Mawab, Compostela Valley on Wednesday morning.

1Lt. Jhocell Asis, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the 71st IB, told TIMES that Datu Madyaw (not his real name), a president of an Lumad organization in Davao Del Norte, accompanied the 20 individuals from Sitio Casilac, Barangay New Cortez, New Corella and Barangay Binancian, Asuncion to the army headquarters.

Asis said the surrenderees belonged to Guerilla Front 33, Southern Mindanao Regional Command led by alias Bobong, Komiteng Taga-Organisa chairman.

“This mass surrender of 20 NPA members is the product of our excellent relationship with IP community in our area of responsibility,” Lt. Col. Esteveyn Ducusin, the commander of 71st IB, said.

“As we recall, we have conducted IP leaders’ meeting last Feb. 9, 2018 to ask the support of our IP leaders as catalysts of peace to help our unit in encouraging more NPAs to surrender,” Ducusin said.

The Lumad leader said that he just want a peaceful community.

“It is this very reason why I convinced my constituents to surrender to the 71st IB,” he said.

“We are not blind to the fact that NPAs are taking us for granted. We IPs are always the target of their infiltration and recruitment,” he added.

In five months going back last year, the 71st IB already facilitated 476 surrenderees and apprehended 15 high-profile personalities. They also recovered three high-powered and 16 low-powered firearms, along with four improvised explosive devices.

3 AK-47 rifles recovered on tip by rebel returnees

From the Mindanao Times (Mar 8): 3 AK-47 rifles recovered on tip by rebel returnees

THREE HIGH-POWERED firearms were recovered by soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battalion and 67th IB in a joint operation at the vicinity of Palo 20, Barangay Rizal, Manay in Davao Oriental on Wednesday morning.

Capt. Allan Apara, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the 25th IB, told TIMES that the recovery of the three AK-47 rifles was due to the information volunteered by rebel returnees who personally buried the arms cache in a previous operation in Manay.

Lt. Col. Oscar B. Balignasay Jr, the commander of the 25th IB, said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will continue its mandate to free the communities from the influence and control of the New People’s Army.

“We will not lower our guard against any armed threat that can harm the peaceful lives of our people,” he added.

On the other hand, close to 700 individuals from the 10 barangays of Monkayo surrendered to the 25th IB on Tuesday. Balignasay said they were members of the underground supporters of the NPA. Of that total, 418 were already interviewed by combined elements of 25th IB and the Monkayo police.

On the Wednesday morning also, another 804 surrendered to the soldiers in the 10 other barangays of Monkayo. Balignasay said Barangay Casoon had the highest number of surrenderees with a total of 263.

‘Captured amazon involved in robbery’

From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 9): ‘Captured amazon involved in robbery’

A captured New People’s Army amazon was also involved in a robbery incident, and in threatening a barangay chairman and two others last month in Brgy. Panciao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, an Army spokesman disclosed.

Capt. Ruel Llanes, 303rd Infantry Brigade spokesman, yesterday said that Myles Albasin, who was among the six rebels captured by the 62nd Infantry Battalion last week during an encounter in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, was among those involved in the ransacking of the house of Panciao barangay chairman Mario Gonzales, and took a shotgun and 357 revolver from his residence.

Gonzales was presiding over the session of barangay council members in the place on Feb. 16 last month, when the armed suspects barged in, and threatened Gonzales, barangay tanod chief Andoy Balderas and former government militiaman Anoy Catubig, who were ordered to leave the barangay within 24 hours.

The incident was recorded by Albasin, in some of the documents recovered at the encounter site, together with the six high-powered firearms and explosives, Llanes said.

Gonzales is being encouraged by the Philippine Army to press charges against Albasin and her companions.

On the other hand, an organization calling itself Nagkahiusang Kusog Estudyante, that came to the rescue of Albasin, dismissed as a publicity stunt claims of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that she and her five companions was arrested in a successful military operations.

National Democratic Front spokesman Frank Fernandez maintained in a statement he issued that no encounter had taken place.

PH seeks terrorist tag for Joma Sison, 648 others

From Rappler (Mar 9): PH seeks terrorist tag for Joma Sison, 648 others

The list also includes alleged Communist Party of the Philippines chairman Benito Tiamzon, UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, ex-Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, and hundreds of John Does

FAILED PROMISE. File photo of President Rodrigo Duterte and National Democratic Front negotiators following their meeting in MalacaƱang. REY BANIQUET/PPD

FAILED PROMISE. File photo of President Rodrigo Duterte and National Democratic Front negotiators following their meeting in MalacaƱang. REY BANIQUET/PPD

The Department of Justice drew up a list of 461 names and 188 aliases that the government sought to declare as "terrorists" under the Human Security Act, according to a petition filed in a local court.

The list includes alleged leaders and members of groups behind Asia's longest running communist insurgency, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA). The CPP will mark its 50th year in December.

The long list includes exiled CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and United Nations rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who issued a statement to denounce it.

A petition filed by Senior State Prosecutor Peter Ong with a Manila regional trial court on February 21 was made public this week, an apparent implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation No. 374 declaring the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

The list is led by alleged CPP chairman Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma, a known power couple in the communist movement; and other alleged high-ranking leaders – Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis, Vicente Ladlad, Adelberto Silva.

The Tiamzons were granted temporary liberty from detention in 2016 to join peace talks with the government.

Baylosis, a National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant in the peace talks, was arrested in January for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives, which he disputed. President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier ordered the arrest of the NDF consultants following the termination of the peace talks.

Duterte terminated the peace negotiations in November 2017 but has given mixed messages on its possible resumption, most recently on March 6 when he said he would reconsider if the NPA declares a ceasefire.

The list also includes other negotiators of the NDF, Sison's wife Juliet de Lima and couple Luis Jalandoni and Connie Ledesma.

Former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo is also on top of the list.

Alleged NPA combatants all over the country were named including Jorge Madlos, the Davao-based spokesman of the NPA. They were identified by their names and the supposed NPA fronts they belong to.

Many of those on the list were identified only by aliases such as @Boy Negro, @Kelly, @Fidel. The petition also included John Does.

"It is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that this petition be granted and an order be issued declaring respondents, namely, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army also known as the Bagong Hukbong Bayan, as terrorist and outlawed organizations, associations and/or group of persons pursuant to Section 17 of R.A. No. 9372 of “The Human Security Act of 2007," read the petition.

Sison fired back at Duterte, calling him the "No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines."

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witchhunt under the guise of anti-terrorism. An immediate look at his list of 'terrorists' will show that he is running amok in slandering people as 'terrorists.' There are also hundreds of Joh Does in the list just to intimidate limitless number of people," Sison said.

Corpuz, who served as former chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues before she was named UN special rapporteur in 2014, said she will answer the baseless allegation of the government.

She was listed as an alleged member of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC).

“I will address this baseless, malicious, and irresponsible inclusion of my name even as I am consulting my lawyers on what legal courses of action to take to clear my name and even make accountable those who put my life and security at risk,” Corpuz was quoted in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.

Human rights groups slammed the DOJ petition as a "government hit list."


Cotabato PNP will not negotiate for release of captive cop

From MindaNews (Mar 9): Cotabato PNP will not negotiate for release of captive cop

Police in North Cotabato will never negotiate with a rebel group that abducted the deputy chief of one of the municipalities in the province.

Insp. Menard Cui. Photo from his Facebook page

Supt. Leo Ajero, deputy chief of operations of the Cotabato Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said it is never their policy to talk or work on the release of any of their men who would be held captive by any rebel group.

Also, the PNP will never exchange a captive police to a criminal element that they apprehended, especially so when the prisoner is a member of the rebel organization.

Reports are circulating that the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) Front 53 wanted to release Insp. Menard Cui, deputy chief of police of the municipality of President Roxas, in lieu of a certain Mylan Andas, a tribal leader who was apprehended by the police in Magpet town in 2017.

Andas, reports added, held a top post in the NPA in North Cotabato.

“No, that won’t happen. We will never exchange somebody who has long been wanted by law to our colleague who was abducted by the NPA,” said Ajero in a press conference held at Dawn’s CafĆ© here Friday.

But Ajero said they would never interfere with the recent negotiations being done by the Diocese of Kidapawan and some non-government organizations (NGOs) for Cui’s safe release from his captors.

“We do appreciate such initiatives. But again, on the side of the PNP, that can never happen,” he stressed.

Cui was abducted in Barangay Tuael, President Roxas last December 28.

Cui was having a drinking session with friends from one of the KTV bars in President Roxas town when at least five men, who identified themselves as NPA members, snatched and brought him to the mountains in North Cotabato.

Cui’s wife Florelie, who was confined for cancer, died a few days after her husband’s abduction. Her heartbroken father reportedly likewise died of heart attack soon after.

Hostage killed in crossfire in Zamboanga town

From the Mindanao Examiner (Mar 7): Hostage killed in crossfire in Zamboanga town

One of 5 loggers kidnapped by bandits in Zamboanga del Norte province in southern Philippine was killed in a crossfire after security forces clashed with the gunmen in Sirawai town, officials said Thursday.

Officials said the body of hostage was recovered by soldiers late Wednesday afternoon and had been identified as Mario Rosales. The fate of his companions remains unknown, but soldiers and policemen were pursuing the bandits who managed to escape during the firefight.

The loggers were seized on march 3 in the town’s hinterlands and the kidnappers originally demanded P10 million for the freedom of the hostages and eventually lowered this to P75,000.

Officials said the gang holding the hostages is headed by Jamilon Wahab Tukalan and Bating Lumiguis. Security forces also recovered an M1 Garand rifle and a .45-caliber pistol left behind by the gunmen who fled towards the neighboring town of Siocon.

“There is a hot pursuit now,” said Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, a regional police spokeswoman.

It was not immediately known whether the gunmen are members of a rebel in the province, a known lair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Duterte leads groundbreaking ceremony of AFP, PNP Housing Project in Tarlac

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 9): Duterte leads groundbreaking ceremony of AFP, PNP Housing Project in Tarlac

President Rodrigo R. Duterte led Wednesday the groundbreaking ceremony of Casa San Miguel in barangay San Agustin.

It has 1,000 duplex type housing units for personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. said the total project area is approximately 15.87 hectares.

“Each unit has a floor area of 60 square meters and each lot is 80 square meters,” he disclosed.

The total amount per unit is Php 950,000 with a monthly amortization of Php 5,700. The project will be completed by December 2019.

“Apart from housing units, NHA will also build community facilities such as multi-purpose covered court and school building with 15 classrooms,” Escalada added.

There are also similar housing projects for AFP and PNP personnel in Woods Towne in San Fernando City, La Union; Lantaw Homes in Tugbok, Davao City; Vista Alegre in Bacolod City; Loakan Heights in Baguio City; Christine Villas in Barangay Upper Hinaplanon, Iligan City; Ciudad de Dahican in Mati City; and Cabaluay Place in Zamboanga City.