Sunday, May 13, 2018

NPA suspends offensives vs gov’t forces in Caraga, Southern Mindanao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 13): NPA suspends offensives vs gov’t forces in Caraga, Southern Mindanao
The New People’s Army (NPA) on Sunday announced the suspension of tactical offensives against government forces in the Caraga region and parts of Southern Mindanao from Monday to Friday.

In a statement, Ariel Montero, the spokesperson of the New People’s Army North Eastern Mindanao Region, said the move was in “deference to the basic people’s right to vote freely during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.”

“This particular directive is in response to the popular call for free, orderly, and safe conduct of the Barangay and SK elections,” he said.

While the communist movement does not believe in elections, he said it could not ignore the fact that voters had to exercise their right of suffrage.

Montero said while offensives were suspended, NPA rebels and other communist armed units would, however, “maintain a high level of alertness against deceptive attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) within our guerrilla fronts.”

“All units must firmly place themselves under the active defense mode and be prepared to launch counter-attacks in order to defend ourselves and the welfare of the people against the destructive attacks of enemy forces,” he added.

Despite the NPA’s statement, the Eastern Mindanao Command, which has jurisdiction over Caraga and Southern Mindanao, are not taking chances.

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, the Eastmincom spokesperson, said the military alone has deployed 8,500 troops to support the Comprehensive and Integrated Security Plan being implemented by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and government security forces in various provinces.

“Further, (military) transport equipment within (Eastmincom) control, such as floating and flying assets, are on alert status and will be deployed, if necessary, upon the deputization and order of the Comelec,” Balagtey said.

He added that the Election Monitoring Action Centers (EMAC) was established as part of the security mechanism.

The military, the police, and the Comelec have declared over 250 areas in Southern Mindanao as areas of concern – mainly because of the possibility of NPA attacks.

NPA asserts wounded NPA commander protected under IHL

From the often pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online publication the Davao Today (May 14): NPA asserts wounded NPA commander protected under IHL

In this file photo taken on December 16, 2016, Ka Jinggoy, commander of the New People’s Army’s 1st Pulang Bagani Company led the New People’s Army guerillas during the 48th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Barangay Lumiad, Paquibato District, Davao City. (File photo/
The New People’s Army slammed the Armed Forces of the Philippines for serving arrest warrants against hospitalized NPA leader Zaldy Cañete saying he is a “hors de combat,” a person protected under the international humanitarian law.

Rigoberto Sanchez, spokesperson of the NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command, said that Cañete “poses no threat and is (already) incapable of fighting.”
“Currently suffering from temporary loss of memory and speech due to the sustained wounds, the rules for civilized warfare guarantee Cañete the protection and respect as a hors de combat,” Sanchez said.

He added that the GRP’s “hasty attempted arrest and detention” of Cañete is “treacherous and violates the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the Geneva Conventions and other generally accepted principles and standards of international humanitarian law which clearly protect injured persons of the Parties in armed conflict.”
The military announced Sunday that they arrested Elizalde Cañete alias Ka Jinggoy during an Inter-Agency Law Enforcement Operations on May 12 at 10 o’ clock in the morning in Don Carlos Doctors Hospital, Bukidnon.

READ: Army arrests NPA leader in Bukidnon hospital

The Army arrived at the hospital along with the municipal police and served warrants of arrest for multiple murder and arson against Cañete.

Lt. General Benjamin R. Madrigal Jr. Commander Eastern Mindanao Command said that while Canete is receiving medical treatment, “we will be backing up the Philippine National Police in providing security and in the eventual prosecution of his numerous cases.”
The NPA condemned the military’s move to “force Cañete to surrender” saying the allegations of the charges were “fictitious” and that the warrants were served even as Cañete was still in “critical condition at the hospital’s intensive care unit.”

Battle report

The NPA statement said Cañete was injured during a firefight between the 1st Pulang Bagani Company and the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army on May 10 in Barangay Kipilas, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.
Sanchez said Cañete sustained head and body injuries which resulted to temporary coma, a condition which necessitated them to remove him from the area to seek urgent medical treatment in a nearby Bukidnon hospital.
He said Cañete “underwent an eleven-hour brain surgery with the diagnosis of the bullet’s point of entry at the left lower area and point of exit at right frontal skull; splinters at the right shoulders and right knee.”

Same treatment
The NPA said the Philippine government authorities should treat Cañete in the same lenient and humane manner that the NPA treats its own prisoners of war.

“Doing the opposite would mean the insincerity, duplicity and notoriety in the National Democratic Front of the Philippines-GRP peace talks and a mockery of the human rights and international humanitarian law, “ Sanchez said.

Cañete appeared with the 1st Pulang Bagani Company on April 2016 in Barangay Salapawan, Paquibato district, Davao City when the NPA released its five prisoners of war to then City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte.

LOOK: IN PHOTOS | NPA releases 5 POWs in Paquibato

Karapatan Southern Mindanao, for its part, took exception to the fact that they and Cañete’s family were barred from seeing Cañete when they visited him at the hospital Saturday.

Jay Apiag, Karapatan spokesperson said the government should allow Cañete to avail of complete medical treatment, a right guaranteed under the previously signed agreement between the GRP and the NDFP.

2 soldiers killed, 12 wounded in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

From the Philippine Star (May 14): 2 soldiers killed, 12 wounded in clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

A clash with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu on Sunday left two soldiers dead and at least 12 others wounded, security officials said.

The clash, which happened while troops were on a search and rescue operation in Patikul for the terrorist group's kidnap victims also left 10 suspected Abu Sayyaf members dead.

Among those wounded in the fighting were 12 members of the Army's 5th Scout Ranger Battalion.

Two Abu Sayyaf under a combined group led by sub-leaders Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, Idang Susukan, Injam Yadah and Ben Tottoh were also wounded.

Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS), said the rangers under Lt. Col. Jomalesa encountered the Abu Sayyaf group at Sitio Kan Alas, Barangay Tanum in Patikul town about 6:15 a.m on Sunday.

"Sad to note our forces also incurred unfortunate casualties," Sobejana said.

Troops recovered a rifle, ammunition and components for improvised bombs after the firefight.

The remains of the slain soldiers were airlifted to Zamboanga City while the wounded were brought to the military station hospital inside the Camp Teodulfo Bautista at Barangay Bus-bus in Jolo, and at Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city.

The Abu Sayyaf group has been holding 12 hostages for ransom.

The victims include a Dutch national, a Vietnamese, three Indonesians and seven Filipinos – two of whom are female police officers.

12 dead in Philippine clash with Abu Sayyaf militants

From Xinhua (May): 12 dead in Philippine clash with Abu Sayyaf militants

Two soldiers and 10 Abu Sayyaf militants have died after an attempt to free hostages held by Islamist militant group, the Philippine army said on Monday.

The clash took place in Tanum, a remote village in Patikul town in the southern Philippines around 6:15 a.m. Sunday, said Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

"The firefight that lasted for about an hour left two soldiers dead and an estimated 10 unidentified Abu Sayyaf members killed," Sobejana said.

Sobejana said the troops had launched artillery shells at the Abu Sayyaf fighters. "Our actions are however very limited and calculated since we do not want to harm the kidnap victims," he said.

The troops are tracking down two policewomen who were abducted last month in Paitkul. The policewomen were among the several hostages who were kidnapped by the militants loyal to the extremists.

"We will continue to conduct pursuit operations in order to get the remaining Abu Sayyaf militants and rescue the kidnap victims." Major General Arnel Dela Vega, the general officer in charge of the Western Mindanao Command.

"We have strong reasons to believe that our troops inflicted heavy enemy casualty because we were the ones who initiated the action," Dela Vega.

"Only that they have numerical superiority that they were able to put up stiff resistance," he added.

Abu Sayyaf, a radical Islamist group in the Philippines, often carries out kidnappings, bombings and beheadings in western Mindanao, particularly in their lair in the island provinces of Basilan and Sulu.

10 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu clash

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 14): 10 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu clash

Patikul, Sulu (Wikipedia maps)
Twelve persons – 10 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers – were killed in a clash that ensued in the course of the military’s continued search and rescue operations for kidnap victims in Sulu.

Fifteen others were wounded in the clash that took place Sunday in Barangay Tanum in Patikul town at about 6:15 a.m., said Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, on Monday.

Sobejana said soldiers were operating in Sitio Kan Alas when they clashed with Abu Sayyaf bandits.

“Our troops encountered a number of combined elements of Abu Sayyaf. The Abu sub leaders who were involved were Hajan Sawadjaan, Idang Susukan, Injam Yadah and Ben Tattoh. The volley of fire lasted for about an hour then the enemy disengaged,” Sobejana said.

Four of the slain bandits were identified as Amah Talah, Taha Sawadjaan (younger brother of Abu sub leader Hatib Sawadjaan), an alias Red and a Long Abraham.

Sobejana said recovered from the site of the clash were a baby Armalite, rounds of ammunition, and explosive components such as canisters of ammonium nitrate, cellphones, batteries, electronic mechanism.

“The wounded are being treated in our hospital. We will sustain our efforts until the last kidnap victim is rescued and the Abu is neutralized,” Sobejana said.

BIFF commander sends surrender feelers

From the Philippine Star (May 13): BIFF commander sends surrender feelers

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who surrendered Thursday before officials of the Maguindanao provincial peace and order council.

A commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters has signified readiness to surrender, Army officials said Sunday.

Sources from the Army's 6th Infantry Division said Sunday that Gani Saligan has sent surrender feelers to Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc of the Army's 33rd Infantry Battalion.

Cabunoc and Lt. Col. Lauro Oliveros of the Army's 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion were responsible for the surrender Thursday of 11 BIFF members, among them
Commanders Sindatok Dilna and Tasli Sanoy.
The BIFF uses the flag of the Islamic State as its revolutionary banner and is feared for its enforcement of a Taliban-style justice system that Moro communities in Maguindanao detest for being primitive and barbaric.

Saligan has signified intention to surrender and wants a lawyer who can help him with his criminal cases that are pending in courts after renouncing his BIFF membership before officials of the 6th ID and Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu.
Mangudadatu is chairman of the inter-agency provincial peace and order council.

Saligan originally belonged to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but got booted out for infractions of the revolutionary polices of the group, which has already signed a peace agreement Malacañang.

Cabunoc said efforts to secure the surrender of Saligan, a senior official of the BIFF operating in the marshy border of the adjoining Mlang town in North Cotabato and S.K.Pendatun, Maguindanao, are now underway.

MILF: GPH, MILF CCCH sign guideline for Mutual Understanding for ceasefire-related functions for the May 14 elections

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 10): GPH, MILF CCCH sign guideline for Mutual Understanding for ceasefire-related functions for the May 14 elections

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) signed last Friday (May 4) a guideline for Mutual Understanding for ceasefire-related functions for the May 14 synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
GPH CCCH Chair Brigadier General Cirilo Thomas P. Donato Jr. and his MILF counterpart, Butch Malang, signed the guideline at the International Monitoring Team (IMT) M-13 Headquarter in Cotabato City.

The signing was witnessed by Major General Dato’ HJ Mohd Nazir Bin Mami, Head of Mission of the 13th Mindanao IMT.

The guideline stipulated that armed MILF elements should refrain from going near the pooling places and avoid displaying their firearms and uniforms along the routes leading to areas where electoral activities are going on.

The initiative aims to safeguard the GPH-MILF Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, the Security Aspect of GPH-MILF Agreement on Peace of June 22, 2001 as well as the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro of 2014.

“The strength of the deputized PNP / AFP election security personnel to be deployed in the MILF dominated areas shall be coordinated so as not to create unnecessary alarm and apprehension to the MILF forces and civilian communities that might jeopardize the ceasefire and peace process,” the guideline stipulated.

“This undertaking is to safeguard the GPH-MILF ceasefire and support the ongoing peace process inherent to the IMT mandate,” stated in the guideline.

The two parties agreed to implement the guidelines from May 4 to 21, 2018.

MILF: TAF-DFAT and PNP PRO-ARMM Launch Partnership for Outreach Activities on the Peace Process

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 11): TAF-DFAT and PNP PRO-ARMM Launch Partnership for Outreach Activities on the Peace Process

The Asia Foundation (TAF) funded by Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) launched the partnership for outreach activities on the peace process together with Philippine National Police - Police Regional Office Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP PRO-ARMM) held at Camp Salipada K. Pendatun, Parang, Maguindanao last May 8, 2018.

The launching was attended by PNP Personnel, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN), Moro Islamic Liberation Front - Peace Implementing Panel (MILF-PIP), International Decommissioning Body (IDB), Joint Normalization Committee (JNC), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), International Monitoring Team (IMT), Coordination Committee on Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH), Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) and some Non-Government Organization such as Mindanao Action for Peace and Development (MAPAD), Moro Women Development and Cultural Center (MWDECC), and Mindanao Organization for Social and Economic Progress (MOSEP) under the CARE for Peace Project by the TAF.

PSupt. Esmail P. Ali, Chief of Regional Police Community Relation Division, PRO-ARMM delivered the welcome address and emphasized that the PRO-ARMM will continue supporting the Peace Process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines (GPH).

The briefing on the project was given by Mrs. Noraida S. Chio, Senior Program Officer of TAF.

She mentioned that “The Asia Foundation has been partnering with the GPH, CSO, Private Sectors, and Armed Groups that have signed peace agreements with the government such as Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to support economic growth, manage conflicts, strengthen rule of law and promote better governance in the Philippines.”

She also said that “TAF is implementing a 3-year CARE for Peace Project which carefully considers mechanism and transitional institution established through the peace agreements, the channels available to work with, the differing information and advocacy needs of geographical areas and sectors.”

She also added that, “This initiative of partnering with the PNP is to support strong mechanism to avert escalation of violence and to resolve conflict”.

It was expected that the launching will raise awareness among PNP members especially about the established security mechanism, the AHJAG, and the CCCH, and to provide inputs on the BBL on the provision on the Bangsamoro police.

Ms. Geraldine Inocencio, CCCH GPH Representative, discussed about the CCCH mandates and power, followed by Mr. Anwar Alamada, AHJAG MILF Representative, on AHJAG mandates and power.

Commissioner Atty. Omar Yasser C. Sema of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) talked about the provision on Public Order and Safety and emphasized the salient points of the provision.

He emphasized that “the Bangsamoro Police shall be part of the PNP and it shall be professional”.

He further emphasized “The Bangsamoro Police will be the Regional Police same as the PRO-ARMM of the ARMM Office and it is still under the Philippine National Police”.

Atty. Sema stressed that “the Bangsamoro will not have a separate police. and there is no automatic wide scale integration of the MILF combatants to the PNP or to the AFP.”

“There is no religious test, whether a Muslim or a Christian you can be a member of the Bangsamoro Police”, he added.

PRO-ARMM Deputy Regional Director on Operation PSSUPT. Madid M. Paitao read the Statement of Commitment on behalf of Regional Director PRO-ARMM PCSUPT. Graciano J. Mijares who was not around for another equally important matter.

In his message, PC/Supt. Mijares said that the PNP under his command commits their service to support the police for a lasting peace in Mindanao.

He also said “To our brothers from GPH and MILF your patience, fortitude, and resilience in this pursuit of peace by the best intention for the entire country and to a great possibility of lasting peace and harmony here in our land. With that, we in the Philippine National Police Regional Office – ARMM are always ready to extend our support in every significant step you will take to push further the political roadmap for the Bangsamoro. Rest assured that every action you take in this journey we will be with you.”

Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, of the MILF Peace Implementing Panel and Asec. Dickson Hermoso, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the OPPAP on behalf of Secretary Jesus Dureza, delivered their respective statements of support.

Chairman Iqbal in his message of support said that “The Police force stipulated in the BBL remains under the auspices of the PNP and the National Police Commission, Nevertheless, the Police Force would also recognize the authority of the Bangsamoro Government and informed of the cultural and social nuances in their Bangsamoro communities it is mandated to serve.”

He said “I applaud both TAF and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade both long time partners with the peace process for this endeavor, any initiative that will help Mindanao achieved in Peace, Justice and Sustainable development are most welcome. The MILF PIP and the BTC are more than willing to engage a constructive dialogue and provide background information on the peace process mechanism and the BBL”.

He also mentioned that “Despite the challenges that lie ahead let us continue working together for the sake of peace in the Philippines. Rest assured of our unwavering commitment in peace.”

Maj. General Datuk Mohd Nazir Mami, Head Mission, International Monitoring Team (IMT) delivered his message expressing the gratitude to the PNP for supporting the IMT to carry out its duties in accordance to the mandates.

Country Representative of The Asia Foundation Mr. Sam Chittick in his Closing Remarks said “The important thing is that there is a commitment across all of this institution and across all of these parties and across all the world, hardworking committed people for many many decades to make that happen.

Mr. Chittick ended his message by saying “That’s the reason why we as The Asia Foundation remains committed to these process; that’s the reason why we are able to play very small part in the process, and we look forward to continuing that work with all of you.”

MILF: CBCS holds BM - CSO study session in the formulation of unified key messages for BBL passage

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 12): CBCS holds BM - CSO study session in the formulation of unified key messages for BBL passage

IN PHOTO- BTC Commissioner Raissa Jajurie presenting the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BTC) to members of civil society organizations at Sardonyx Plaza, Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY- Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) conducted a workshop on the formulation of unified key messages in support to the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held at Sardonyx Plaza, Cotabato City on May 10, 2018.
The workshop was attended by Provincial and City Area Coordinators of CBCS, leaders of the Federation of Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization (FBCSO), League of Bangsamoro Organization (LBO), United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) and other Bangsamoro organization from inside and outside of Bangsamoro core area.
The aim of the workshop is to have a unified and common messaging for all Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization supporting the passage of Bangsamoro Basic Law.

Commissioner Atty. Raissa Jajurie of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission was the key resource speaker in the said study session.

She presented the status of BBL and possible scenario, how Congress works and their timeline up to its ratification.
" The Congress have eight more days to go after they will resume this May 15 if they intend to beat the deadline set by the President on May 31, 2018. " She explained.
The participants have had mixed feelings if Congress could really beat the deadline.
It was recalled that just recently President Rodrigo Roa Duterte made an statement in Buluan, Maguindanao to witness the surrender of hundreds of loose firearms that if BBL is not passed by end of May (May 31 to be exact), he might resign.

MILF: GPH - MILF Peace implementing Panels hold special meeting

From the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (May 13): GPH - MILF Peace implementing Panels hold special meeting

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panels (PIP) held a special meeting at Linden Suites, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City on May 11, 2018.

Both Chairs of the Peace Implementing Panel Usec Nabil Tan (GPH) and Mohagher Iqbal (MILF) were present.

In the meeting both panels discussed the progress of the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and tackled the current status of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

World Bank Senior Specialist on Violence and Conflict, Marcelo Jorge Fabre made a brief presentation on Normalization process and its relevance to peace agreement.

Malaysian Facilitators led by Special Adviser Dato Kamarudin bin Mustafa were also present to observe and show their support to the ongoing peace process.

CPP/Information Bureau: Regarding reports on backchannel talks

CPP-Information Bureau propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 11): Regarding reports on backchannel talks

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

11 May 2018
Press Release

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) urges the media and the public to await official statements on the outcome of informal talks between representatives of the NDFP and the GRP. Officials of the Duterte government should be more circumspect in issuing public statements or comments so as not to preempt the outcome of the informal talks and efforts to revive formal negotiations. It was earlier agreed by both sides that unilateral statements will not be issued prior to actual agreements.

The GRP has publicly declared that it wants the NDFP to commit to a ceasefire agreement as condition for resumption of talks. On the other hand, the NDFP has underscored the clamor for justice (especially the much-delayed release of around 500 political prisoners through a declaration of general amnesty) and for socio-economic reforms (land reform and national industrialization) as the most urgent measures to address the Filipino people’s aspirations for a just and lasting peace.

We look forward to positive resolutions.

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: NPA-Nagasigahum sang Mataas pa nga Porma sang Pagsilot kay Dr. Binco

NPA-Central Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 11): NPA-Nagasigahum sang Mataas pa nga Porma sang Pagsilot kay Dr. Binco

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

11 May 2018
Press Release

Mabaskog nga gina-admiter sang LPC-NPA ang pagsunog sang salakyan ni Dr. Von Binco samtang nagadiskarga ini sang abono sa isa ka hasyenda sa Magallon, Negros Occidental sadtong Mayo 10, 2018 alas 8:30 sang aga.

Si Dr. Binco isa sa mga landlord haciendero nga nagapatuman sang mapiguson nga kontraktwalisasyon. Nangin kalakaran na sini ang pagpatuman sang pakyaw nga sistema sa pagtrabaho sa iya mga hasyenda pareho sang karga-tapas nga nagahatag lamang sang P250.00 kada tonelada sa iya mga trabahador sa kampo. Suno sa mga trabahante tuman ka budlay ang pagtapas sa mga katubuhan ni Binco. Nagadugang ini sang inoras sa pagtrabaho bangud sang grabe nga sagbot sa ginapatapas sini nga tubo. Tuman man ka barato ang P250.00 kada tonelada kag indi ini makatrespaser sa kusog kag inadlaw nga ginagahin sang mga kargador-tapasero sa tubo. Masubo pa kay wala gid sang benepisyo kag halos ang kalabanan nagabaton sang sweldo ubos sa minimum sa inadlaw nga pagtrabaho.

Madugay na ini nga reklamo sang mga obreros sa mga hasyenda ni Dr. Von Binco. Kaangot sini nga problema sang mga trabahador, nagpaninguha ang NPA sa pag-istorya kay Dr. Binco sa pagpatunga sa ila, sa tuyo nga ma-akomodar kag mabuligan nga maplastar ang ginademanda sining mga trabahante apang nagpabungol lamang ini kag igo nalang nga magpasalig. Samtang ang mga mamumugon padayon nga naga-antus sa wala kasolbaran nga problema sa iskemang kontraktwalisasyon. Dugang pa ang TRAIN Law kabangdanan sang pagtimbuok sang mga balaklon sa pihak sang wala o’ kulang sang benepisyo, kawad-on sa trabaho kag pangabuhian.

Ang silot nga naagum ni Dr. Binco sa NPA, indi pa katumbas sa iya nahimo nga mga kalapasan sa kinamatarung, pagpamigos kag pagpanghimulos sa kusog sang sahing anakbalhas. Ang manero sang pagpasalig kag wala pagrespeto sa rebolusyonaryong hublag ni Dr. Binco labi nga nagapabug-at sa iya kaso nga gina-atubang sa Rebolusyonaryong Korte sang Pumuluyo. Gani antisipahon pa sini ang mas mataas pa nga silot katumbas sa iya mga kalapasan.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: Papatinding mga atake ng NPA, sagot sa gera ni Duterte

NPA-Quezon propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 12): Papatinding mga atake ng NPA, sagot sa gera ni Duterte

Ka Cleo del Mundo, Spokesperson
NPA-Quezon (Apolonio Mendoza Command)

12 May 2018

Sa nakaraang tatong buwan naglunsad ng mga aksyong militar ang NPA sa Quezon laban sa todo-largang gera ng Rehimeng US Duterte na nagresulta sa dalawampu’t tatlong (23) kaswalti sa tropa ng sundalo at pagkakakumpiska sa sampung (10) armas ng isang panginoong maylupa. Tampok dito ang aktibong depensa ng isang yunit ng Apolonio Mendoza Command (AMC) sa Barangay Jongo ng bayan ng Lopez noong Enero 15; hindi bababa sa limang (5) sundalo ng 85th IBPA ang kumpirmadong patay sa nasabing labanan. Kinabukasan, binigwasan naman ng isa pang yunit ng AMC ang CAFGU detatsment sa Sitio Eybol, Barangay San Francisco A sa bayan pa rin ng Lopez. Samantala, pinasabugan ng isa pang yunit ng AMC ang Bravo Headquarters ng 85th IBPA sa Barangay Bagupaye, Mulanay noong Enero 19. Dalawang sundalo ang patay habang anim ang sugatan sa nasabing atake ng mga pulang mandirigma.

Makalipas ang isang linggo, dalawang operasyon ang isinagawa ng mga NPA noong Enero 26 sa bayan ng Lopez. Nauna rito ang operasyong isnayp sa Regional Public Safety Maneuver Battalion sa Barangay Bocboc at sinundan ng operasyong haras sa kampo ng CAFGU sa sityo Mataas na Bundok ng Barangay del Rosario. Pinakamatunog ang naganap na tatlong magkakasunod na aksyong militar sa buwan ng Pebrero matapos reydin noong hapon ng Pebrero 26 ang Tumbaga Ranch sa bayan ng San Francisco na pag-aari ng amerikanong si James Murray. Nasamsam ang sampung (10) armas kabilang ang anim na M-16 at iba’tiba pang kagamitang militar. Umaga ng Pebrero 27, inambus ng isa pang yunit ng NPA ang magrereimpors na tropa ng sundalo sa haywey ng General Luna. Apat ang napaulat na patay na sundalo 3 3 bukod pa sa mga sugatan. Noong Pebrero 28, muling inatake ng mga NPA ang CAFGU detatsment sa barangay del Rosario na nagdulot ng kaswalti sa mga sundalo matapos isnaypin ng pulang mandirigma.

Sa okasyon ng ika-49 na anibersaryo ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan, tatlong pag-atake ang isinagawa ng mga pulang mandirigma. Noong Marso 27 ng madaling araw, inilunsad ng AMCNPA ang dalawang koordinadong bira sa mga kampo ng CAFGU sa barangay Navitas, Catanauan at barangay Malaya, General Luna na nagresulta ng tatlong kaswalti sa hanay ng mga kaaway. Samantala, inisnayp ng isa pang yunit ng NPA ang CAFGU detatsment sa barangay Anonang, Mulanay noong Marso 29. Samantala, nagbuwis ng buhay si Ka Marco at Ka Voltaire sa isang labanan noong gabi ng Marso 31 sa Bgy. San Andres, bayan ng Lopez. Ang mga aksyong militar na inilunsad ng NPA ay tugon sa tuluytuloy na operasyong militar ng 85th IBPA sa lalawigan.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: Maglunsad ng mga aksyong militar laban sa mersenaryong AFP at lahat ng galamay ng pasismo ng rehimeng US-Duterte!

NPA-Quezon propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 12): Maglunsad ng mga aksyong militar laban sa mersenaryong AFP at lahat ng galamay ng pasismo ng rehimeng US-Duterte!

Ka Cleo del Mundo, Spokesperson
NPA-Quezon (Apolonio Mendoza Command)

12 May 2018

Noong Abril ay nag-alok ang rehimeng US-Duterte ng muling pakikipagnegosasyong pangkapayapaan ng kanyang gubyerno sa National Democratic Front of the Philippines. Totoong nagbukas ito ng panibagong bintana para sa naunsyaming peace talks luwal ng mga kapritso ni Duterte at kanyang mga heneral, pero ang rebolusyunaryong kilusan ay hindi maaaring magbaba ng kanyang kapasyahang makidigma ni isang saglit.Sa halip, sa papasahol na militaristang paghahari ng rehimeng US-Duterte, walang naiiwang pagpipilian ang New People’s Army at ang rebolusyunaryong mamamayan kundi ang higit na palakasin ang pagdedepensa sa mga naitayong pulang kapangyarihan nito sa mga demokratikong gubyernong bayan sa malawak na kanayunan ng lalawigan at buong bansa.

Sa kinakaharap na suliranin ng sambayanan kagaya ng pampulitikang kaguluhan sa pagitan ng mga naghaharing uri, at pang-ekonomyang krisis sa anyo ng dagdag na buwis, kawalan ng hanapbuhay at batayang serbisyo – ang mamamayang Pilipino ay lalong kailangang maglunsad ng mga armado at di-armadong paglaban. Kailangang buuin ang pinakamalapad na alyansa ng mamamayan na magpapabagsak sa rehimeng US-Duterte. Sa ating lalawigan, ramdam ng masang anakpawis sa kanayunan ang kambal na hambalos ng pagsirit pababa ng presyo ng kopra at ang teror na hatid ng berdugong AFP-PNP-CAFGU. Kasabay ng mga usaping ito, ngayong Mayo 14 ay idaraos ang eleksyong pambarangay na kung ilang beses iniurong-sulong ng reaksyunaryong pamahalaan dahil hindi nila matimplatimpla ang magkakaibang interes ng naghaharing uri. Subalit sa dulo, nanaig na ituloy na rin ito para tiyaking makokonsolida ng kasalukuyang rehimen ang latag ng kanyang makinarya sa ibaba para sa paparating na midterm election sa susunod na taon, habang patuloy na inilalako ang pagbabago ng konstitusyon at paglipat ng sistema ng gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas patungong pederalismo. Tulad ng iba pang naunang halalan, ang eleksyong pambarangay sa saligan ay isang reaksyunaryong eleksyon. Ganoonman, kumpara sa pambansang eleksyon, kapag wastong napakitunguhan ang paparating na halalan, malaki ang maaaring pakinabang ng masa at rebolusyonaryong kilusan para isulong ang pambansa at demokratikong interes ng sambayanang Pilipino. Para sa rehimeng US-Duterte at buong pangkatin ng naghahari sa bansa, ang eleksyong pambarangay ay instrumento nila para ipuwesto ang sariling mga tao na magsisilbing makinarya at baseng pang-eleksyon sa darating na midterm election sa 2019. Ginagawa nila ito sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng suportang pinansyal, lohistikal at pulitikal sa sarili nilang kabig sa darating na eleksyong pambarangay. Dagdag pa, imbing pakana rin ng rehimeng USDuterte na gamitin ang eleksyong pambarangay para magsilbi sa mga layuning kontra-rebolusyonaryo nito sa balangkas ng Oplan Kapayapaan. Hibang na plano nina Duterte, Lorenzana at Año na gamitin ang mga local government unit (kasama na ang Sangguniang Barangay) upang labanan ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Sa gayon, titiyakin nilang maipapanalo ang pinakamalaking bilang ng kanilang mga ahente at utusan sa Sangguniang Barangay. Gagamitin rin nilang okasyon ang eleksyong pambarangay para hati-hatiin ang baseng masa at mamamayan. Ngayon pa lamang ay tuloy-tuloy ang kanilang kampanya sa pagpapasuko sa pamamagitan ng comprehensive local integration program (CLIP). Sa ginanap na hapunan sa Malacañang noong Pebrero, labing-isang sibilyang mamamayan ng Brgy. Jonggo ng Lopez ang kasama sa mga pekeng sukong NPA mula sa Quezon. Iginigiit rin ang pagpapatupad ng National ID System (NIDS), rekrutment sa CAFGU sa mga barangay, at inoobligang magpalitrato ang taumbaryo. Ganoonman, para sa mamamayan at rebolusyonaryong kilusan, mahalagang okasyon ang eleksyong pambarangay upang mailuklok ang mga kapitan at mga kagawad ng Sangguniang Baranggay na tunay na magtataguyod at magtatanggol sa kagalingan, karapatan at pakikibaka ng mga mamamayan sa barangay. Tungkulin ng organisadong mamamayan sa mga pulang purok na wastong pakitunguhan ang paparating na eleksyong pambarangay. Kasabay dapat ng malaganap na paglalantad sa tunay na katangiang bulok at madaya ang paparating na eleksyong pambarangay ay ang masiglang paglilinaw sa katumpakan ng armadong pakikibakang inilulunsad ng CPP-NPA bilang tunay na daan sa isang demokratiko, masagana at mapayapang lipunan. Ganoondin, tungkulin ng rebolusyunaryong mamamayan na ipanalo ang pinakamaraming makabayan, progresibo at mapagkaibigang kandidato. Lantarang itakwil ang mga kandidatong kontrarebolusyunaryo, makapanginoong maylupa, ahente ng AFP at sangkot sa iligal na aktibidad gaya ng pagtutulak ng droga. Isuplong sa pinakamalapit na pulang himpilan ng NPA ang kandidatong mapapatunayang mamimili ng boto, gumagamit ng dahas at pananakot at nangangampanya na armado o kaya’y pinuprotektahan ng sundalo, pulis, paramilitar at private goons. Ang mga militaristang pakana ng rehimen ngayong elesyong pambarangay ay kailangang idiskaril ng mga yunit ng NPA, lokal na yunit gerilya at milisyang bayan sa pamamagitan ng mga taktikal na opensiba.

CPP/NPA-Quezon: Pamamahagi ni Duterte ng CLOA, Pananabotahe sa Peace Talks

NPA-Quezon propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 12): Pamamahagi ni Duterte ng CLOA, Pananabotahe sa Peace Talks

Ka Cleo del Mundo, Spokesperson
NPA-Quezon (Apolonio Mendoza Command)

12 May 2018

Noong ika-2 ng Mayo, dumayo si Duterte sa bayan ng Mulanay para sa isang palabas. Kinumpleto ni Duterte ang kanyang gimik sa pamamagitan ng pakulo na isang malaking kahon na naglalaman ng mga “titulo ng lupa” na ipapamahagi sa mga magsasaka ng San Andres, San Narciso, San Francisco at Mulanay.

Ginawa na dati ni Aquino noong 2010 ang pamamahagi ng CLOA para mangampanya, pero halos isang dekada ang dumaan ay walang nagbago sa kabuhayan at buhay ng mga magsasaka sa mahigit 800-ektaryang lupaing sinaklaw ng huwad na reporma sa lupa sa mga bayan ng Mulanay at San Narciso.

Lahat ng binitiwang pangako ni Duterte mula nang mangampanya siya noong 2016 hanggang nitong muling mabuksan ang negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas at National Democratic Front of the Philippines ay tahasan na niya ngayong tinatalikuran.

Mahalagang kasunduan sa naunsyaming peace talks ang libreng pamamahagi ng lupa na laman ng comprehensive agreement on socioeconomic reforms. Ano ngayon at namamahagi ng certi cate of land ownership award si Duterte? Gayong buking-na-buking na sa buong bansa na palpak ang pekeng reporma sa lupa ng Department of Agrarian Reform. Hindi ba’t isa na nga ito sa kinilalang dahilan ng gera sibil sa bansa – ang kawalan ng lupang masasaka ng magbubukid dahil sa kawalan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa.

Ganoondin, ang pangakong pamamahagi ng bilyong pondo ng coco levy ay wala na rin sa hinagap ni Duterte na ipatupad. May pagsasabi pa siyang emosyunal na usapin ang coco levy funds dahil mismong ang nanay niya ay benepisyaryo nito. Magbabangon sa hukay ang ina ni Duterte para sampalin sya dahil sa kabulaanan niya. Parang hinulaan ng rebolusyunaryong kilusan ang walang kakwenta-kwentang talumpati ni Duterte sa pagbisita niya sa Bondoc Peninsula. Maagang nagpahayag ang Apolonio Mendoza Command bago pa man ang pangyayari na gagamiting okasyon ni Duterte ang pagpunta sa lalawigan para alimurain ang kanyang mga kalaban at grupong tumutuligsa sa kanyang pasistang pamamahala sa bansa.

Namumutiktik sa pagmumura, kabargasan at kabastusan sa mamamayan, lalo na sa kababaihan ang umabot sa 13-pahinang talumpati ni Duterte (tingnan sa website ng Presidential Communications Office Presidential News Desk). Kagaya ng inaasahan, binigyang-katwiran na naman niya ang madugong gera kontradroga, ang kanyang pagiging babaero, tagapaglako ng galit (hate-monger) at mga kontramamamayang programa at patakaran.

Maaga niyang ipinarada ang mga minamanok niyang kandidato sa paparating ng midterm election sa 2018. Talagang pangangampanya ang pakay ni Duterte at hindi reporma sa lupa. Hindi rin niya pinaligtas ang Australianang madre na pinadedeport niya, gayong kung nalalaman lamang ni Duterte ang tulong na inihatid ng kongregasyon ni Sr. Patricia Fox sa mga bayan ng North Quezon dahil sa livelihood program na mahigit isang dekada nang tinatamasa ng mga kababaihan doon. Nagpasaring pa si Duterte na siya ay magiging “masaya na ipagpatuloy ang usapang (kapayapaan)‚” pero may mga bagay siyang hindi niya maiuurong. Inasukalang bala ang alok ni Duterte na muling buksan ang peace talks kung hindi naman niya iaatras ang mga kondisyon niyang makaisang panig. Hindi maaari ang gusto ni Duterte na limitahan ang NPA sa “tigil-putukan sa at pagkakampo sa loob ng 60-araw” para matuloy ang peace talks. Namumutiktik sa pagmumura, kabargasan at kabastusan sa Lahat ng binitiwang pangako ni Duterte mula nang mangampanya siya noong 2016 hanggang nitong muling mabuksan ang negosasyong pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas at National Democratic Front of the Philippines ay tahasan na niya ngayong tinatalikuran. Kung tutuusin, pumasok na ang CPP-NPA-NDFP sa anim na buwang cease re mula August 2016 hanggang January 2017 pero hindi naman ito naging garantiya para umabot sa pagpirma sa mahalagang kasunduan sa socio-economic reforms na siyang lulutas sa gera sibil sa bansa.

Hangga’t pabalat-bunga ang pangakong pagbabago ni Duterte kagaya ng pamimigay ng CLOA gayong libreng pamamahagi ng lupang sakahan ang kahilingan ng mga magsasaka, hindi aabante ang peace talks. Nananawagan kami sa mamamayan ng Quezon at buong bansa na hindi pa lubos na naliliwanagan sa tunay na katangian ng rehimeng US-Duterte na ito na ang tamang panahon para maging kritikal sa pasismo at namumuong diktadurya ni Duterte. Kailangang magkaisa ng sambayanan sa paglalantad, pagtatakwil at paglaban sa sa rehimeng US-Duterte. Gamitin ang lahat ng armado at diarmadong paglaban para ibagsak ang sangganong rehimen ni Duterte.

Wounded NPA leader nabbed in Bukidnon hospital —AFP

From GMA News (May 12): Wounded NPA leader nabbed in Bukidnon hospital —AFP

A suspected leader of the New People's Army (NPA) seeking treatment for wounds he allegedly sustained in an encounter was arrested by the military and the police on Saturday morning.

Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Armed Forces' Eastern Mindanao Command, identified the suspected NPA leader as Elizalde Cañete alias Jinggoy.

Balagtey said Cañete was arrested while seeking medical treatment at the Don Carlos Doctors Hospital in Don Carlos, Bukidnon at around 10 a.m.

The military said Cañete was seeking treatment for wounds he sustained durin an encounter with troops in Kitaotao town, also in Bukidnon province, last Thursday.

Balagtey said members of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade and the town's policemen served a warrant of arrest on Cañete, who is facing charges of multiple murder and arson.

He said Cañete had been previously arrested in 2010 after being wounded in an encounter in Compostela Valley, but jumped bail in 2013 and allegedly rejoined the NPA.

Balagtey said Cañete is currently the leader of Pulang Bagani Company 1 of the New People's Army's Southern Mindanao Regional Command, which covers Bukidnon, Davao del Norte and Davao City.

The PBC1 was headed by the infamous Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, who was killed in an encounter with the military in Davao City in 2015.

Three Abu Sayyaf members surrender to PMRF-Sulu

From the Manila Bulletin (May 11): Three Abu Sayyaf members surrender to PMRF-Sulu

An Abu Sayyaf sub-leader and two other terrorists surrendered to members of the Philippine Marine Corps Ready Force-Sulu in Maimbubg Sulu on Thursday.

A report coming from the Philippine Marine Corps headquarters in Fort Bonifacio identified those who surrendered as
Abu Sayyaf Sub-leader Berham Lutian alias Vietnam, Abdusalam Ajul alias Rambo and Ahmajir Ahmad alias Abu Darda, who was under the command of the late ASG Sub Leader Commander Robot.

The operating elements of PMRF-Sulu headed by Col. Arnel S. Tolato in coordination with the Sulu Philippine National Police (PNP) facilitated the surrender of the trio who were fetched at Brgy Ipil, Maimbung, Sulu and were brought to Headquarters Marine Battalion Landing Team 3.

The surrenderees also brought with them their respective rifles composed of two M16, and M79 Grenade launcher with magazines and ammunition.

The trio was brought to Camp Bautista Station Hospital for a medical checkup and subsequent turn-over to Commander, Joint Task Force Sulu.

They were also given sacks of rice and assorted groceries courtesy of Mayor Peping Halun of Kalingalan Caluang, Sulu. They will also be included in the Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (CLIP) of the Joint Task Force Sulu and the Provincial Government of Sulu.

Tolato said the Marines deployed in Sulu will continue to work hand in hand with the local government unit of Sulu in order to turn this province into safe place which could entice tourists and investors.

“4s what the Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu envisions, and as what every Tausog wants, this province will be transformed from terrorism to tourism. Security will never be a problem as long as every member of the community including the LGU and other sectors work together for its realization,” Tolato said.

Up to 15 Brgy, SK bets in Negros Oriental ‘linked’ to NPA —Army

From GMA News (May 11): Up to 15 Brgy, SK bets in Negros Oriental ‘linked’ to NPA —Army

The Philippine Army on Friday said it is monitoring 10 to 15 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election candidates in Negros Oriental who may have links to the New People’s Army (NPA), a few days before the May 14 polls.

Lieutenant Colonel Darrell Bañez, commanding officer of the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion, told GMA News Online that the figure is “very few,” and the reports involving these candidates are still subject for verification.

He added that aside from candidates, the military has also received information that there are also a number of incumbent barangay officials in the province who are sympathetic to the NPA’s cause.

Most of these candidates were reported in Guihulngan City, where 32 of its 35 barangays have been labeled by the military as NPA-affected areas, Bañez said. The city also has the most number of hot spots for this Monday’s polls with 20 barangays, also due to the strong presence of NPA rebels there.

Candidates said to be connected to the NPA have also been reported in the BATMAN-NAY (Bindoy, Ayungon, Tayasan, Manjuyod, and Mabinay) area as well as the province’s Third District.

The commander added that while the rebels are not likely to disrupt the elections on Monday, police and military visibility will be heightened in the said areas for security purposes.

However, he said that NPA rebels may possibly use the candidates allegedly linked to them to politicize the polls in favor of their cause.

“It is probable that the [NPA is] fielding their own candidates to perpetuate their control in these barangays [that are affected by them]… puwede nilang takutin ‘yung political rival ng kanilang sariling candidate,” Bañez said.

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 has also tagged Negros Oriental as a priority province in Central Visayas due to the province’s insurgency problem.

For his part, newly-installed Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NORPPO) Acting Director Senior Superintendent Raul Tacaca said their security plans are already in place, even if he assumed office just a few days before the May 14 polls.

“Nasa security plan na namin lahat. Wala namang madadagdagan o mababawasan sa plano namin dahil dati nang nakalatag ang mga iyon,” said Tacaca, fresh off his previous post as director of Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Police Office.

Tacaca was sworn in as NORPPO’s new acting director during a simple turnover ceremony at Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. in Cebu City, officiated by PRO-7 director Chief Superintendent Robert Quenery. He replaced Senior Superintendent Edwin Portento, who is taking his new post as chief of the PNP’s Bids and Awards Committee at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

On his first day as NORPPO chief, Tacaca met with police, military, and election officials in a closed-door meeting Friday to finalize their preparations for Monday’s polls.

In Negros Oriental, there are 16,632 candidates hoping to win one of the 4,456 seats up for grabs in the province’s 554 barangays, data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed.

Negros Oriental Provincial Election Supervisor Eddie Aba said he is confident that Tacaca is familiar with his new assignment.

“They (police officials) have already acquired enough experience. Any time or any place nga moadto sila, they know the battle field,” Aba said, adding that the Comelec in Negros Oriental is “all set” for Monday’s polls.

Aba, meanwhile, said his office has not yet received reports of election-related harassment in the province’s Third District, contrary to the claims made by Governor Roel Degamo during an interview with reporters on Wednesday.

DSWD DROMIC Terminal Report on the Armed Conflict in Mahaplag, Leyte as of 09 May 2018, 6PM

Posted to the Relief Web (May 12): DSWD DROMIC Terminal Report on the Armed Conflict in Mahaplag, Leyte as of 09 May 2018, 6PM

Report from Government of the Philippines
Published on 09 May 2018 — View Original

Download PDF (308.29 KB)

This is the final report on the monitored armed conflict between the Philippine Army and members of the New People’s Army in Mahaplag, Leyte that transpired on April 21, 2018.


1. Status of Affected Families / Persons

21 families or 74 persons were affected by the armed conflict in So. Cawayanan,
Barangay San Juan, Mahaplag, Leyte (see Table 1).

2. Status of Displaced Families/ Persons

A. Inside Evacuation Centers

10 families or 42 persons stayed in Brgy. Malinao Elementary School (see Table 2).

B. Outside Evacuation Centers

11 families or 32 persons are temporarily staying with families/friends (see Table 3).

3. Cost of Assistance

A total of ₱43,295.28 worth of assistance was provided to the affected families; ₱20,195.28 of which came from the Department of Social Welfare and Development while ₱23,100.00 came from the LGU of Mahaplag (see Table 4).

Soldier dead, 3 hurt in Camarines Sur clash

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 11): Soldier dead, 3 hurt in Camarines Sur clash

 Camarines Sur province (outlined in red) in the Bicol region (Image from Google Maps)

A soldier was killed and three members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) Active Auxiliaries were injured in a firefight happened after an ambush by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Libmanan town, Camarines Sur province Friday afternoon.

Col. Paul Regencia, spokesperson of Philippine Army’s 9th Infantry Division, said in an interview that a group of soldiers conducting inspection were ambushed by communist guerillas alongside the boundary of Barangays (villages) Malinao and Pag-Oring Nuevo at around 4:45 p.m.

Regencia said the soldiers were deployed to augment peace-keeping forces for the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the area.

He said around 10 NPA members waylaid the soldiers with the use of an improvised explosive device (IED).

The government troops fired back at the rebels and were engaged in a 15-minute gunfight.

Regencia stated that there are possible wounded members of the rebel group as they found traces of blood in the area.

Barangay Pag-Oring Nuevo is one of the 18 barangays in Libmanan, Camarines Sur that are being watched by authorities after it has been identified under Category 2 election hotspot in the upcoming local elections.

An area is considered a Category 2 election hotspot when there is intense rivalry among candidates, a history of election-related violence, and private armed groups and armed threats are present.

Explosion rocks front of school in North Cotabato

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 11): Explosion rocks front of school in North Cotabato

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato – An improvised explosive device went off outside a school here, which was among those designated as polling areas in Monday’s elections.

No one was harmed in the explosion.

Town police chief Supt. Gilbert Tuzon said it was still uncertain if the blast, which occurred at 8:15 a.m. outside the Datu Dimaudtang Dilangalen Elementary School in Barangay Tugal, was related to the polls.
The investigation, according to Tuzon, showed that the explosive was fashioned from an 81-millimeter mortar shell and appeared to have been remotely detonated based on the recovered broken mobile phone from where it went off.

He said witnesses had told investigators that a man, named Rasul Dubpaleg, an alleged member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), had planted the explosive. Dubpaleg remained at large.

“We are still determining if it was related to Monday’s elections since it was planted in front of the school,” Supt. Bernard Tayong, spokesperson of the North Cotabato police, said.