Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sison to be jailed if he returns, DND declares

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 8): Sison to be jailed if he returns, DND declares

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison will go to jail if ever he decides to return to the country.

National Democratic Front Adviser Jose Maria. (Rocky Nazareno | Manila Bulletin)

Lorenzana made the remark following the latest tirade issued by Sison against him and other officials including President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly destabilizing their own government and ruining efforts to revive the peace talks.

Lorenzana said there is no need to reply point by point to the latest statement by the communist leader because there is nothing new to his statement.

“They are all rehash of old cliches that have outlived their usefulness. He has been mouthing those lines in different iterations since the 70s,” Lorenzana said.

“My words to him? “Come back home Mr. Sison and find out for yourself what your country and countrymen have become. Your country has progressed a lot despite your destabilization efforts for the past 49 years. The people have wizened up to the bankruptcy of your so-called revolution,” he said.

Lorenzana said Sison’s army is surrendering in record numbers and are taking advantage of the beneficence of the government, the government he so detest that he want to bring it down violently.

However, Lorenzana expressed belief that Sison doesn’t want to return to the country as he will be made to account for his sins, like the Plaza Miranda bombing, the mass liquidation of NPA cadres on suspicion of being deep penetration agents.

“Whatever you do Mr. Sison you are doomed to irrelevance. You remain in the Netherlands and you will be forgotten because the President has decided with finality that the talks would be held in our country. You come back and you will end up in jail,” Lorenzana said.

“Sad that a once brilliant revolutionary would end up this way. President Duterte was right when he said, if Sison is really brilliant he would be the president not me,” he said.

10 NPA members yield to Army in Cotabato

From MindaNews (Jul 8): 10 NPA members yield to Army in Cotabato

At least 10 suspected members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) have surrendered to the 19thInfantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in North Cotabato since March, Lt. Col. Elrick Paraso, 19thIB commander, said.

According to Paraso, the former NPA guerrillas realized that living in the hinterlands and fighting government will only make their lives miserable.

“I know a lot of the NPA rebels wanted to surrender but were only prevented by their leaders. But to the NPAs: Don’t follow what your leaders say. Think about your family. Think about your future,” he said.

Paraso has since intensified his campaign to persuade and encourage the NPA to return to the mainstream and live a new life.

He explained the government is willing to support any rebel who would decide to leave the guerilla organization through the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integrated Program (E-CLIP).

In an interview over Radyo Bida in Kidapawan City, Paraso gave their mobile hotline 09356121207 so people could connect with the Army in North Cotabato.

“Any information leading to the surrender of the NPA will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” he said.

Paraso made the announcement after a successful patrol operation against the NPA in Barangay Don Panaca, Magpet where three suspected rebels were killed.

“It only started when our supporters texted us using our mobile hotline. We verified the text. After we confirmed it to be true, we launched the operation. We became successful because of the strong community support,” he explained.

The military said Barangay Don Panaca is among the areas in Magpet the NPAs use as base.

For Mayor Sara, Peace 911 instead of localized peace talks

From MindaNews (Jul 8): For Mayor Sara, Peace 911 instead of localized peace talks

Mayor Sara Duterte will focus on extending development programs in insurgency-affected areas of the city than pursue localized peace talks with the communist guerillas as she proposed last year.

“We have already tried it and we have learned that it would be better if we deliver development initiatives and projects directly to the communities where they are most needed,” the City Information Office quoted the mayor as saying.

She said it would be counterproductive to the programs currently undertaken by the Task Force Peace 911 or Peace 911 that was created in May to replace the Davao City Peace Committee that she formed last year to talk with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels operating in the hinterlands in the city. The mayor promised livelihood and employment to the rebels then.

“The ship has already sailed and it would be counterproductive to stop right in the middle of our efforts to bring solutions to the social problems experienced by people in communities affected by the insurgency problem,” Duterte said.

Mayor Sara Duterte at the launching of Task Force 911 or Peace 911 at the Paquibato Elementary School in Davao City on May 10, 2018. Photo courtesy of the City Information Office of Davao Ciity.

She said her decision is final because pursuing the localized peace talks would squander the efforts and projects of the task force in areas affected by the communist insurgency. Peace 911 is “the implementing arm for all programs under the peace-building efforts of the city government.”

The Task Force Peace 911 or Peace 911was created through Executive Order No. 12 on May 10.

The mayor said the city government will focus on delivering development initiatives in communities, most especially in Paquibato District which for years has been NPA-influenced. Today the hinterland district is the task force’s area of convergence for projects.

The localized peace talks did not happen in December 2017 as initially targeted following its rejection by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the collapse of the supposed 5th round of talks between government (GRP) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) a month earlier.

But the mayor encouraged other local governments to negotiate with NPA rebels operating in their respective areas.

The GRP cancelled the November 25 to 27, 2017 peace talks, with Proclamation 360 of President Rodrigo R. Duterte “for lack of sincerity,” following an NPA ambush on November 9, 2017 that killed a four-month old Walysha Manchorao, and similar incidents.

The President subsequently signed Proclamation 374, designating the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA as terrorist organizations.

The scheduled 5th round of talks was cancelled for the third time last month after President Rodrigo R. Duterte told his government panel to postpone it in order to consult the public and allow himself at least three months review the previously signed agreements such as the 1992 Joint Hague Agreement Declaration, 1995 Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees, and 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

13 Sayyafs yield in Sulu; military offers ISIS group peace pipe

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jul 8): 13 Sayyafs yield in Sulu; military offers ISIS group peace pipe

The Philippine military on Sunday urged anew Abu Sayyaf militants – whose group is tied to the Islamic State – to surrender peacefully and return to the fold of the law, after 13 fighters yielded in the southern province of Sulu.

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said the militants surrendered late Saturday to the 2nd Special Force Battalion under Lt. Col. Jessie Montoya, in Samak village in Talipao town.

Citing a report from Joint Task Force Sulu, Besana said the militants also surrendered their weapons. “The surenderees brought along with them assorted high and low-powered firearms and promised to bring more after their initial processing at the headquarters of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion,” Besana said.

He also quoted task force commander Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo as saying: “This is a clear manifestation that we are achieving our goal of clearing Sulu province from the menace of the Abu Sayyaf through peaceful means by giving them a better option and to re-embrace the true essence of Islam.”

Western Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega praised the surrender of the Abu Sayyaf fighters and assures them of government aid as part of the so-called “Oplan: Balik-loob,” which encourages militants to abandon their violent campaign and return to the fold of the law and live peacefully with their family.

“We welcome the surenderees and we ensure that they will be covered by the support packages offered under the government’s Oplan Balik-loob. We urge the other Abu Sayyaf members to do the same because there is nothing more fulfilling than to accomplish our mission without any bloodshed,” Dela Vega said.

The military did not say who negotiated the surrender of the militants, of if they were involved in the spate of ransom kidnappings and terrorism in the restive region. The Abu Sayyaf is still holding nearly a dozen, mostly foreign sailors, they kidnapped at sea of the volatile region.

The Abu Sayyaf, whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, has been on a deadly campaign for over 2 decades now. It is one of several militant groups fighting for a separate homeland in Mindanao, which was previously under the Muslim rule.

Malaysian court sentences 2 captured Sayyafs

From the Mindanao Examiner (Jul 8): Malaysian court sentences 2 captured Sayyafs

A Malaysian court has sentenced two Filipinos, who are members of the Abu Sayyaf group, following their capture in Kuala Lumpur.

In an exclusive report, Malaysian newspaper, the Star, said that Hajar Abdul Mubin, 26; and his brother-in-law, Abdul Syamir Dabilin, 25, were both sentenced July 3 by Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Sofian Abd Razak.

Mubin has been sentenced to six years in jail and Dabilin, 3 years. Mubin, alias Abu Asrie, is a member of the Abu Sayyaf group based in Basilan province in southern Philippines, and nephew of militant leader Furuji Indama, who surrendered this year to the military just this year.

They were captured in Cheras, a township southeast of the Malaysian capital, but villagers said they were not even aware the two men were members of the ISIS-tied Abu Sayyaf group. It was unknown how the duo managed to escape military operations in Basilan and ended up hiding in Kuala Lumpur since 2015.

Mubin and Dabilin were captured along with 6 others hours before the closing ceremony of the 29th SEA Games in August 30 last year, according to the report, adding, after the arrests, many members of the Yakan community in the area moved out.

It was not immediately known if the Philippines is aware of the duo’s capture or not.

60-day peace window with Joma still open: Duterte

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8): 60-day peace window with Joma still open: Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said the 60-day timeframe for peace talks between him and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding Chairperson Jose Maria Sison remains open but the possible resumption of peace negotiations is still uncertain.

“I don’t know for the next step,” Duterte said, emphasizing the agreed agreements to resume talks including a no coalition government. "But I do not disarm them.”

The President said he stands firm on no power-sharing or a coalition government with the communists, saying it is not within his authority to concede some powers of government.

Duterte said he has been reviewing the entire peace agreements including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), a key agreement between the government and the NDF which guarantees the legal immunity of rebel peace negotiators.

“When you sum it up, it boils down to power-sharing or coalition government, which I cannot give to them because it is not within the power of the presidency to concede anything as important as authority,” he said during the inauguration of the Malayan Colleges Mindanaon here.

Since he wanted the talks to be in the country, the President had asked Sison to return home, guaranteeing his safe travel and stay in the country.

If nothing happens on the resumption of the peace talks, Duterte said “rebellion of the communist party will go on.”

Earlier, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza said any resumption of talks remains subject to the demands of Duterte.

He said aside from stopping the NPA’s collection of revolutionary taxes, Duterte wanted no coalition government with the communist rebels.

Dureza added that localized peace arrangements may be pursued by local government units with insurgents in their respective areas of responsibility.

According to Dureza, this “way forward” in the stalled peace talks was decided upon, following the consolidation of various positions expressed during the command conference convened by Duterte last week.

Top NPA leader falls in Davao Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8): Top NPA leader falls in Davao Sur

A top leader of the New People's Army was arrested in a joint operation of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police units in Purok 2-A, Sinayawan, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur on Saturday afternoon.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 11, reported that Reynaldo Cole Saavedra alias Antoy, 22, commanding officer of the NPA’s Guerilla Front 71-Far South Mindanao Region, resident of Pitu, Malalag, Davao del Sur, was nabbed when authorities served the warrant for his arrest.

Driz said the arrest warrant for rebellion was issued by the Regional Trial Court 11th Judicial Region, Branch 61, Digos City on Nov. 28, 2017, and was signed by Presiding Judge Carfelita Cardientes Flores.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division, said GF 71 operates in the areas of General Santos City, South Cotabato.

The communist group’s unit was responsible for extortion, harassment, ambush and recruitment activities in the area.

Driz said the operating teams came from the Regional Intelligence division led by Supt. Leslie Ann Bejarin, Regional Intelligence Unit led by Chief Insp Gregorio Cuevas Jr., 1104th Regional Force Mobile battalion led by SPO3 James Rafniel Rago, Intelligence police non-commissioned officer led by Chief Insp. Kristoper Sabsal, Intelligence operatives of 73rd Infantry battalion and elements of Hagonoy municipal police station led by Senior Insp. Eli Asor.

Saavedra is now in the custody of 73rd Infantry Battalion.

PH RIMPAC contingent hosts 4th of July celebration

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 8): PH RIMPAC contingent hosts 4th of July celebration

The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to this year's "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) naval exercise played host to the Filipino community in Hawaii for their annual 4th of July celebrations.

In a statement over the weekend, PN spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata said the hosting took place at the helideck of strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) against the backdrop of the Hawaiian sunset.

The ship's commanding officer, Capt. Richard David, welcomed the estimated 400 guests in a remark followed by the introduction of the main coordinator for the event.

While US Navy retired Chief Warrant Officer Alfonso Bituin and PN Naval Task Force 86 commander, Capt. Ernesto Baldovino, also addressed the guests and underscored the historical significance of this RIMPAC mission.

Zata said the program continued with a cultural presentation of Filipino music and dance performed by Naval Officer Basic Course (NOBC) students aboard BRP Davao Del Sur.

One of the guests in the occasion was US Pacific Command liaison officer Col. Joseph Archog.

This was followed by a dinner which consisted of some Filipino and American dishes while PN Seabees band provided musical entertainment throughout the evening.

"At 9 p.m. the much anticipated 4th of July fireworks started and lasted for about 15 minutes. The biggest fireworks display today in Hawaii happened here inside the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and the event guests aboard LD-602 were treated to a spectacular firework display from the helideck of a PN ship," Zata said.

He added the PN’s participation in naval exercise with such magnitude gave opportunity to Filipino sailors and marines to exchange best practices with and learn from the best navies in the world aside from showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage with other participants and touch base with the large Filipino community in Hawaii.

NDF/Sison:Manifestations of Duterte as no. 1 protector of illegal drug trade

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Website (Jul 6): Manifestations of Duterte as no. 1 protector of illegal drug trade

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
July 6, 2018

In the open forum of the Press Conference with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) yesterday, July 5, 2018, I mentioned the following manifestations of how Duterte no less is the No.1 protector of the illegal drug trade in the Philippines:
  1. Duterte promised to wipe out the illegal drug trade in the first three to six months of his presidential term. He failed to do so after more than 2 years. Ínstead, the drug problem has worsened and become more rampant in Davao and nationwide.
  2. It turns out that Cebu-based Peter Lim (rated as one of the three biggest drug lords in the country) is his compadre and close associate.
  3. Duterte publicly promised to kill Lim if he returned to the Philippines although he was in Cebu all the time.
  4. Duterte´s Secretary of Justice Aguirre summarily absolved Peter Lim and Peter Co from being involved in the drug trade. But Duterte never complained about their getting off the hook under the office of the president.
  5. Duterte´s son Paolo and son-in-law Atty. Carpio have been implicated in the smuggling of 6.4 billion pesos worth of shabu and an earlier shipment of 24.6 billion worth of shabu. But these close presidential relatives have been cleared together with their Chinese accomplices. Only a poor warehouse guard has been indicted for the huge smuggling case.
It is Duterte and his close relatives who must explain why the drug problem has become worse, why Peter Lim and Peter Co have gone scotfree despite Duterte´s braggart statement that he would kill Peter Lim and despite the fact that no one has been arrested and indicted for the smuggling of shabu worth 6.4 billion pesos, except for the token arrest and detention of a poor bodeguero.

The manifestations I mention above have been supported by evidence presented to investigators and to the public. But the powerful tyrant Duterte has been able to squelch investigations by the Senate and by prosecutors. The press has been able to ventilate the pertinent testimonies of Taguba and others and customs records and show pictures of the huge shipment of shabu and the customs officials and Chinese complicit in smuggling and warehousing it.

NDF/Sison: Thanks to DND Secretary Lorenzana for revealing falsity of Duterte’s safety assurances

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Website (Jul 6): Thanks to DND Secretary Lorenzana for revealing falsity of Duterte’s safety assurances

Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
July 6, 2018

I thank defense secretary Lorenzana for publicly revealing that Duterte´s assurances of safety and immunity to me should I visit the Philippines are false and malicious and are meant to result in my arrest and detention. Lorenzana´s revelation will certainly be put on record and taken into account by the NDFP National Council.

Despite warnings by comrades and lawyers that I should be careful about trusting Duterte and his military cohorts, I have pledged in good faith to return to the Philippines after the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) is signed by the principals in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations and the legal and security guarantees for me and other NDFP consultants are satisfactory to the NDFP.

In his statement, Lorenzana reveals that if I return to the Philippines everything will be used against me, including charges that I have previously defeated in court and outright false claims against me.

The manifested position of Lorenzana tends to confirm the veracity of reliable information that were I to return to the Philippines during the tyrannical rule of Duterte, I would be subject to harm worse than detention and persecution.

In fact, Duterte has publicly threatened to kill me far more times than he has assured me of safety and immunity in the course of the peace negotiations. He has a criminal mind. He thinks that his kill threats would be taken as a joke and would clear him as the honest joker after the worst harm is done to me by his agents.

CPP/Ang Bayan: Pi­na­ig­ting na ope­ra­syong mi­li­tar sa mga bar­yo

Propaganda article from the Tgalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jul 7): Pi­na­ig­ting na ope­ra­syong mi­li­tar sa mga bar­yo

Pi­na­ig­ting na ope­ra­syong mi­li­tar sa mga bar­yo PINANGALANANG mga “peace and deve­lop­ment team” (PDT) ang lak­sa-lak­sang pwer­sang mi­li­tar na ipi­na­kat ng Armed Forces of the Phi­lip­pi­nes (AFP) sa mga bar­yo sa iba’t ibang pa­nig ng ban­sa. Sinimulan ito sa ilalim ng Oplan Bayanihan at ipinagpatuloy sa ng Oplan Ka­pa­ya­pa­an ng re­hi­meng US-Du­ter­te. Tar­get nitong gapiin ang Ba­gong Huk­bong Ba­yan (BHB) ba­go ma­ta­pos ng taong 2018.

Bun­sod ni­to, ha­los isan­da­ang ba­tal­yon ng tro­pang pang­kom­bat ang ibi­nu­hos ng AFP sa buong ban­sa. Na­sa Min­da­nao ang 75% ni­to, kung saan 50% ang na­ka­dep­loy la­ban sa BHB. Ayon mis­mo sa AFP, halos kalahati din ng kanilang P195.4-bilyong badyet para sa 2018 ang laan pa­ra pon­do­han ang mga ope­ra­syon ng PDT.

 Sa ila­lim ng PDT, nag­da­ra­os ng mga pa­ki­tang-ta­ong ope­ra­syong si­bi­ko (me­di­kal, sports, com­mu­nity service) sa mga bar­yo upang ta­bi­ngan ang mga ope­ra­syong saywar, pa­nik­tik, pang­kom­bat, pag­pa­tay na ala-Tokhang, “o­pen­si­bang li­gal” o pag­ta­tam­bak ng mga ga­wa-ga­wang ka­song kri­mi­nal la­ban sa pi­nag­su­sus­pet­sa­hang mga li­der at ak­ti­bis­tang ma­sa, pagkontrol sa populasyon at mga rekurso, pag­wa­sak at pag-a­ta­ke sa mga or­ga­ni­sa­syong ma­sa, at iba’t ibang pa­sis­tang pa­ni­ni­il at pang-aa­bu­so.

Sa pa­ma­ma­gi­tan ng mga ope­ra­syon ng PDT, lan­sa­kang pi­nag­ka­kai­tan ang mga taumbaryo ng ka­ni­lang mga de­mok­ra­ti­kong ka­ra­pa­tan at ka­la­ya­ang sibil. Laganap ang arbitraryong pang-aaresto, pang-iipit, sapilitang pagpapatrabaho, pagpapagiya sa mga operasyong militar, pag-papasali sa mga paramilitar at CAFGU at pagrerekrut sa mga lambat paniktik.

 Marami sa mga magsasaka ang pinagbabawalang pumunta sa kanilang mga sakahan at bumili ng pagkain at pa­ngangailangang lagpas sa idinikta ng mga sundalo. Laganap din ang mga kaso ng paniniil sa purong suspetsa o kapritso ng mga sundalong madalas nakahimpil sa mga pampublikong lugar at istruktura.

La­lo pang su­mid­hi ang ga­ni­tong mga ata­ke ng PDT sa ila­lim ng batas militar na ipi­na­tu­tu­pad sa Min­da­nao, kung saan nag-aas­tang des­po­ti­kong mga ha­ri ang mga sundalo sa er­yang ka­ni­lang ki­nu­kub­kob. Laganap din ito sa mga pinaghihinalaang “lugar ng BHB” sa Luzon at Visayas.

 Na­ra­ra­pat iu­lat, ilan­tad, la­ba­nan at wa­ka­san ang ga­ni­tong mga pa­sis­tang ma­ni­ob­ra ng es­ta­do ng la­hat ng re­bo­lu­syo­nar­yong pwer­sa at nag­ka­kai­sang de­mok­ra­ti­kong sek­tor ng li­pu­nan.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Mga magsasaka, minasaker ng 96th IB

Propaganda article from the Tgalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jul 7): Mga magsasaka, minasaker ng 96th IB

Tatlong magsasaka SA Ragay, Camarines Sur ang dinukot at pinatay noong Mayo 13 ng 96th IB na pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col. Leo Bongosia. Kabilang ang 96th IB sa sampung bagong-buong batalyon ng AFP.

 Sina Antonio Bonagua, 19, Ronel Nariz, 25, at Roberto Ramos, 30, ay mga magkokopra sa Barangay Patalunan sa nasabing bayan. Nawala sila noong Mayo 13, matapos makasagupa ng mga sundalo ang BHB malapit sa lugar, at inakala ng pamilya na dinala sa kampo ng 96th IB.

 Matapos ang ilang linggong paghahanap ng mga kapamilya at kapitbahay, natagpuan nito lamang Hunyo 22 ang mga hukay na pinaglibingan sa tatlo.

 Inilibing ang mga biktima sa maliliit at mabababaw na hukay. Dalawa sa mga bangkay ay may mga palatandaan ng matinding pagpapahirap, samantalang ang isa ay pinaniniwalaang inilibing nang buhay.

 [Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: 34 aktibista, inaresto

Propaganda article from the Tgalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jul 7): 34 aktibista, inaresto

Sa loob ng dalawang linggo, 34 na mga aktibista at progresibo ang iligal na inaresto at apat na magsasaka ang pinatay sa pinatinding atake ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa demokratikong kilusan. Umiigting ang “crackdown” ng rehimen sa buong bansa kasabay ng pagdami ng bilang ng mga magsasakang pinapaslang. Nagpapatuloy din ang malawakang pambobomba, panggigipit at pananakot sa mga komunidad ng mga Lumad, Moro at iba pang mamamayan.

Maramihang pag-aresto. Labintatlong aktibista at taong-simbahan ang inaresto, noong Hulyo 4, alas-8 ng gabi, sa Mother Francisca and Spiritual Center, Radasa St., Ladao, General Santos City. Sa isang konsultasyon ng mga boluntir at katuwang ng Iglesia Filipina Independiente Visayas-Mindanao Regional Office for Development (IFI-VIMROD) hinggil sa isyu ng mga magsasaka at Lumad, biglang pumasok at nanggulo ang pwersa ng Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Philippine National Police at Joint Task Force GenSan at iligal na inaresto ang 13.

Kinilala ang mga inaresto na sina Jomorito Goaynon ng Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization; Roger Plana, Kalumbay secretary general at boluntir ng VIMROD; Aldeem Yañez ng IFI; Ireneo Udarbe ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas; Vennel Chenfoo ng Kabataan Partylist; Kristine Cabardo ng League of Filipino Students; Teresita Naul ng Karapatan; at ilan pang empleyado ng IFI. Ikinulong sila sa Camp Fermin, General Santos City at sinampahan ng kasong obstruction of justice.

Labing-isa sa mga inaresto ang nakapagpyansa, ngunit hawak pa rin ng PNP sina Emilio Gabales at Bella Catubay. Ayon sa Barug Katungod Mindanao, depektibo ang ipinakitang mandamyento sa pag-aresto sa dalawa. Maliban sa hindi pirmado ng huwes, ibang mga pangalan ang nakasaad sa dokumento.

Sa parehong araw, inaresto ang anim na kababaihang magsasaka na kasapi ng Onyon sa Yanong Obrerong Nagkahiusa (OGYON) ng mga elemento ng 8th IB sa Barangay New Eden, Pangantucan, Bukidnon. Inakusahan silang tagasuporta ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan. Noong Hunyo, inaresto rin ng parehong yunit sina Wenerito Bahian, Gerry Bagiou, Edilberto Yurong at Ricky Omandam, mga residente ng Barangay Concepcion at Barangay New Eden. Sila ay iligal na nakadetine sa detatsment ng AFP sa Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Noong Hunyo 20, iligal na inaresto ng mga elemento ng 36th IB ang anim na guro ng Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) sa Hayon, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Pinahinto ng mga sundalo ang pulong ng Parent-Teacher-Community Association (PTCA) at sapilitang dinala ang mga guro sa barangay hall ng Libas Sud at ipinailalim sa interogasyon.

Sa Barangay Tawan-tawan, Baguio District, Davao City, apat na magsasaka naman ang iligal na inaresto ng 3rd IB at inakusahang kasapi ng BHB. Ikinulong sila nang limang araw at hindi pinayagang kumontak kahit kanino. Sa kalapit na lugar, sa Barangay Magsaysay, Marilog District, anim naman ang sapilitang pinasuko ng militar bilang myembro ng BHB.

Sa Masbate, iligal na dinakip ng 2nd IB ang magsasakang si Reneboy Mahinay ng Barangay San Carlos, Milagros noong Hulyo 1 at pilit na pinagigiya sa kanilang operasyon. Binugbog siya ng mga sundalo nang siya’y tumanggi.
Sa Lapu-lapu City, inaresto nang walang mandamyento ang myembro ng Anakbayan na si Nicolas Minguito sa tabing ng “Oplan Tokhang.”

Pamamaslang. Sa Mobo, Masbate, pinatay ng mga sundalo ng 2nd IB ang magsasakang si Rolly Arcenal sa Barangay Barag noong Hulyo 1 nang datnan ng mga sundalo sa kanyang ulingan. Matapos ang krimen, pinalabas ng AFP sa midya na myembro ng BHB si Arcenal na kanilang napatay sa labanan.

Sa San Carlos, Negros Occidental, binaril at napatay ang tagapangulo ng Hacienda Medina Farmworkers Association – National Federation of Sugar Workers na si Julius Broce Barellano noong Hunyo 27. Bandang alas 8:30 ng umaga nang siya ay barilin sa tapat ng kanyang bahay.

Noong Hunyo 17, natagpuan namang patay si Jolito Lopez Calaque, isang lider magsasaka, sa bayan ng Carigara, Leyte. Ito ay matapos siyang mawala noong Hunyo 16. Hinihinalang mga elemento ng militar ang dumukot at pumatay kay Calaque.

Sa Compostela Valley, patay ang magsasakang si Arnel Penaso, nang barilin ng di-kilalang mga indibidwal noong Hunyo 21 bandang alas-6 ng gabi sa kanyang sariling bahay sa Purok 2, Barangay Poblacion, Compostela. Si Penaso, 48, ay aktibong kasapi ng San Antonio Maparat Farmers Association. Isa si Penaso sa mga nangunguna sa pakikibaka ng mga nakaligtas sa bagyong Pablo para magkaroon ng mga pampublikong pabahay. Ayon sa kanyang kamag-anak, ipinatawag si Penaso ng 25th IB noong nakaraang Mayo.

Militarisasyon. Lalo pang lumawak ang pambobomba ng AFP para palayasin ang mga residente sa mga komunidad ng Moro sa paligid ng Liguasan Marsh. Sa tabing ng “kontra-terorismo,” tuluy-tuloy na kinanyon ng 33rd IB sa pangunguna ni Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc ang Datu Paglas, Maguindanao noong Hulyo 3. Ginamit na sangkalan ni Cabunoc ang naganap na sagupaan sa pagitan ng mga tropa nito at mga hinihinalang kasapi ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Dahil dito, napilitan ang mga residente ng Marobak at iba pang apektadong lugar na magbakwit sa Datu Paglas Central School at sa gym ng munisipyo. Dagdag sila sa mahigit 23,400 indibidwal na una nang nagbakwit sa 11 baryo sa limang munisipalidad ng Sultan Kudarat noong Hunyo dahil sa pambobomba ng AFP.

Kasabay nito, nagpapatuloy pa rin ang atake sa mga paaralang Lumad. Binuwag ng mga gwardya ang hanay ng nagpuprotestang mga mag-aaral at guro ng Center for Learning Advocacy Networking and Services Inc.
Socsksargen at MISFI Academy sa harap ng Department of Education (DepEd) Region 12. Nagprotesta sila sa DepEd para ipanawagan ang pagwawakas sa militarisasyon at pang-aatake sa kanilang mga paaralan.

Atake sa mga magsasaka. Walang pakundangang binuldoser ang mga bagong punlang palay ng mga Aeta at magsasaka sa Barangay Aranguren, Capas, Tarlac para bigyang daan ang proyektong Manila Clark Railway na bahagi ng Clark Green City. Kasabay nito, pinagpuputol ang mga puno na pinagkukunan nila ng kabuhayan. Matagal nang nakararanas ng panggigipit ang mga Aeta at magsasakang tumututol sa Clark Green City.

Sa Lupang Ramos, Dasmariñas City sa Cavite, binugbog ng mga tauhan ng Pangilinan-Tolentino-Herrera si Romeo Aleda, kasapi ng Katipunan ng Lehitimong Magsasaka ng Lupang Ramos (KASAMA-LR). Ang grupo ay mga tauhan ng Ayala. Kumapal din ang presensya ng Public Safety Battalion ng PNP na nakakampo sa lugar. Masugid na nilalabanan ng KASAMA-LR ang pangangamkam sa lupang kanilang binubungkal.

Panggigipit. Ginipit ng Bravo Company ng 92nd IB ang mga kasapi ng Protect Sierra Madre Peace and Humanitarian Mission noong Hunyo 30 sa Singawan, Umiray Village, Dingalan, Aurora. Isinagawa ang misyon para magbigay ng mga pagkain sa mga napalayas na Dumagat. Halos 600 Dumagat ng Sierra Madre sa mga prubinsya ng Aurora, Quezon at Rizal ang apektado ng malawakang operasyong militar sa lugar.

Samantala, ginipit ng Bureau of Immigration ang tatlong dayuhang relihiyosong misyonero matapos lumahok sa International Fact Finding Solidarity Mission sa Mindanao na nilahukan din ni Sr. Patricia Fox. Dineport sina Chandiwana Tawanda ng Zimbabwe at Adam Thomas Shaw ng United States, at kinumpiska naman ang pasaporte ni Miracle Osman ng Malawi.

Sa NCR, isang text ang natanggap ng isang estudyanteng kasapi ng Anakbayan-University of Sto. Tomas noong Hunyo 26. Nagpakilala ang nag-text na mula sa National Bureau of Investigation at sinabing tinitiktikan ang selpon ng estudyante.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Ambus ng BHB sa Masbate, matagumpay

Propaganda article from the Tgalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jul 7): Ambus ng BHB sa Masbate, matagumpay

TINAMBANGAN NG Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB)-Masbate noong Hulyo 1, alas-9:30 ng gabi sa hangganan ng mga barangay ng Tagbon, Jamorawon at Cagay sa Milagros, Masbate ang tropa ng 2nd IB at Military Intelligence Company. Pitong sundalo ang napatay sa command-detonated explosive ng BHB.

Lulan ang mga sundalo ng isang siksbay nang mangyari ang ambus. Dinala sa ospital ng Masbate City ang sugatan habang ang mga malulubha ay isinugod sa Legazpi City.

Samantala, sa Northern Samar, apat ang napatay sa 43rd IB matapos silang tambangan ng BHB noong Hunyo 26, alas-9 ng umaga, sa Barangay Roxas, Lope De Vega.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Ubos-kayang labanan ang pasistang diktadurang pakana ni Duterte

Propaganda article from the Tgalog language edition of the CPP online publication Ang Bayan (Jul 7): Ubos-kayang labanan ang pasistang diktadurang pakana ni Duterte

Paspasan ang paghahanda ni Duterte para itatag ang kanyang pasistang diktadura. Nagmamadali siyang patahimikin ang lahat ng pwersang balakid sa kanyang tampalasang pakana. Nais niyang palitan kaagad ang konstitusyon at itulak ang iskemang pederalismo bago mag-eleksyon para lubos na isentralisa ang kapangyarihan at gamitin ang tabing ng “transisyon” para palawigin ang burukrata-kapitalistang paghahari ng mga Duterte at kanilang mga alipures.

Sagad-sagad ang paggamit niya ngayon sa mga pinakulo niyang “gera kontra-droga,” “gera kontra-krimen,” “kontra-tambay,” “kontra-korapsyon,” “kontra-oligarkiya,” “kontra-terorismo” at “kapayapaan” para bigyang matwid ang pagwawasiwas niya sa militar at pulis, pati na sa mga mersenaryong death squad, para palaganapin ang takot at sindak sa mamamayang Pilipino.

Ginagamit niya ang gawa-gawang “narcolist” na mistulang kautusang pagpatay para birahin o ambahan ang kanyang mga kalaban sa pulitika, katunggaling burukrata-kapitalista at mga karibal na sindikato, kabilang ang mga upisyal ng pulis at militar, mga husgado, mga upisyal sa barangay, mga alkalde at iba pang lokal na upisyal. Nais niyang ang lahat ay pumila nang nakayuko sa kanya at sumunod sa kanyang kumpas.

Kasabay ng planong isagasa ang pederalismo simula sa katapusan ng buwan, pinaiigting ni Duterte ngayon ang pagsupil sa mga sektor na tumututol dito. Pinakamasidhi ito sa Mindanao. Paulit-ulit ang mga upisyal ng militar sa pagpapakalat ng kathang-isip na plano ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas na patalsikin si Duterte sa Oktubre. Hindi malayong nakataon bago nito ang plano niyang ipataw ang batas militar o planong pangkalahatang pagsupil.

Kaugnay nito, tuluyang tinapos at ipininid ni Duterte ang pinto sa pakikipag-usapang pangkapayapaan sa National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Ito ay upang bigyang daan ang paggamit sa Human Security Act (HSA o ang tinaguriang batas “kontra-terorismo”) laban sa iba’t ibang mga demokratikong pwersa. Gagamitin ni Duterte ang nakasampang kasong “terorismo” laban sa PKP at BHB para higpitan ang sinumang aakusahan niyang “terorista” o “tumutulong sa mga terorista.”

Milyun-milyong pisong salapi ng bayan ang gamit ngayon ni Duterte sa pagpupropaganda sa social media at sa masmidya para lumikha ng ilusyon ng malawak na suporta. Target ng opensibang propaganda na siraan at palabasing “terorista” si Kasamang Jose Ma. Sison, ang PKP at BHB.

Ang pambansa-demokratikong mga pwersang hayag at ang mga armadong rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang pinakamalaking hadlang sa ambisyong diktadura ni Duterte. Batid ni Duterte na hindi sila basta masisindak, mapaaatras o mapatatahimik. Malaking ligal at armadong opensibang pagsupil ang iniuumang ni Duterte laban sa kanila.

Binantaan ni Duterte ang simbahang Katoliko na inakusahan niyang kaalyansa ng PKP. Bago nito, pinalakpakan niya ang magkasunod na pagpatay sa mga paring inakusahan niya ng imoralidad sa layuning sindakin at paluhurin ang simbahang Katoliko. Pinatalsik naman niya sa bansa ang ilang dayuhang misyonerong relihiyoso na aktibong nagtatanggol sa karapatang-tao at kapakanan ng mga api at pinagsasamantalahan.
Sa ipinakitang kahibangan ni Duterte at pagkalasing sa kapangyarihan, hindi siya papipigil sa ambisyon niyang maging diktador, hanggang hindi siya napatatalsik sa Malacañang. Sa harap ng minamadali niyang iskema para lubos na solohin ang kapangyarihan, dapat mabilis at buong-lakas na kumilos at lumaban ang buong bayan. Labanan at biguin ang pakanang maging diktador ni Duterte.

Sambayanang Pilipino, magkaisa at manindigan para wakasan ang tiraniya ni Duterte! Makibaka sa harap ng krisis at paglubha ng kahirapang bunga ng ipinataw na napakalaking buwis, pagsirit ng presyo at pagbagsak ng halaga ng sahod. Punitin ang ilusyon ng kaunlaran. Matatag, matapang at mapangahas na ipagtanggol ang mga karapatan, labanan ang pasistang paghahari at isulong ang demokratikong mga pakikibaka.

Ang masang manggagawa ang pinakamatatag at malawak na muog ng paglaban kay Duterte sa kalunsuran. Sila ang pinakanagngangalit sa mga buladas na pangako ni Duterte. Kumilos, labanan at panagutin si Duterte sa malalaking krimen niya sa masang manggagawa! Suportahan ang kanilang mga pakikibaka para sa regular na trabaho at umento sa sahod. Isanib sa lakas ng mga manggagawa ang hanay ng iba’t ibang demokratikong sektor sa kalunsuran, laluna ng mga kabataan-estudyante, upang likhain ang makapangyarihang pwersang yayanig kay Duterte.

Ang masidhing kahirapan at panunupil sa kanayunan ay nag-uudyok sa malawak na paglaban ng masang magsasaka at mga minoryang mamamayan. Nagbubuklod sila sa buong bansa sa komun na pakikibaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa, pagtatanggol sa lupang ninuno at paglaban sa pasistang panunupil ng AFP. Nakikipagkapitbisig sila sa iba’t ibang mga sektor sa kalunsuran para sama-samang magmartsa laban sa rehimeng US-Duterte.

Sa ilalim ng Oplan Kapayapaan, layunin ni Duterte na kalahatiin o lubos na gapiin ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa loob ng 2018. Lubos itong mabibigo. Labis na binabatak, pinapagod at inuubos ng militar ang kanilang pwersa at rekurso para kubkubin at sakupin ang libu-libong baryo na nasasaklaw ng pagkilos ng BHB at naaabot ng rebolusyonaryong impluwensya at awtoridad. Ang inilulunsad na kampanya ng panunupil sa mga baryo ay nagpapalalim ng galit ng masang magsasaka at naghihiwalay sa kanila.

Sa pangunguna ng mga namumunong komite ng Partido at kumand sa operasyon ng BHB, magagamit ng mga yunit ng BHB ang mga taktikang gerilya ng konsentrasyon, pagkalat at mabilis na paglilipat-lipat para panatilihing bulag at bingi ang kaaway, sumusuntok sa hangin at nagsasayang ng lakas. Dapat birahin ang pinakakinamumuhiang mga yunit ng AFP na may malalaking pasistang krimen laban sa bayan.

Sa kabila ng pagpapakitang-lakas ni Duterte, lubos na mahina ang kanyang paghahari. Ang paggamit niya ng lantarang karahasan para manindak ay tanda ng malaking kahinaan ng kanyang rehimen. Malalim ang krisis ng naghaharing sistema. Bitak-bitak ang hanay ng mga naghaharing uri. May kani-kanyang ambisyon at katapatan ang mga upisyal ng AFP at PNP.

Bagaman sunud-sunuran siya sa imperyalismong US, maaari siyang isuka nito anumang oras laluna kung manganib ang kanilang interes sa harap ng pag-aaklas ng buong bayan.

Nananaginip nang gising si Duterte at ang kanyang mga alipures sa pag-aambisyon niyang maging diktador. Nakakadalawang taon pa lamang siya subalit labis na siyang kinamumuhian ng mga Pilipino. Lalabanan ng buong lakas ang kanyang pakana. Sa harap ng matinding krisis sa pulitika ng naghaharing sistema sa ilalim ni Duterte, sa malao’t madali, babagsak si Duterte at magwawakas ang kanyang tiraniya at paghaharing pasista.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

MILF: RANAW CSOs, residents, Marawi IDP's conduct prayer rally in support to BBL

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 6): RANAW CSOs, residents, Marawi IDP's conduct prayer rally in support to BBL


The Bangsamoro Civil Society Organization of Ranaw Region, the Moro Consensus Group, Lanao and Marawi residents including IDPs held a prayer rally in support to the passage of BTC-crafted Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) held at Jamait'ul Muslim Mindanao (JMM), Matampay, Marawi City on July 4, 2018.

An estimated 20,000 residents of Marawi and Lanao areas participated in the prayer rally that included traditional leaders, religious leaders, academe, students, professional group and leaders of different sectors.

During the rally, resource speakers from different representation spoke the same message urging the Bicameral Conference Committee members to restore the deleted or amended provisions of BBL that form part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

They argued that the CAB is a political agreement that ought to be respected and honored by implementing all its provisions.

Datu Agakhan Ben Ladin Shariff, Chairman of Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development, Marawi City, appealed to Congress and Senate to restore the essential provisions of BBL that were either deleted/ amended during the 3rd and final reading of the bill on BBL.

“The Ranao Confederation for Peace strongly believed that Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) remains the most viable option for the cessation of conflict in Mindanao as it addresses the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro”.

For his part, Datu Musa Sultan, President, Ranao Cenfederation for Peace appealed to the twenty-eight (28) members of the Bicameral Conference Committee to restore the BBL to its original form and let the concerned constituents decide its fate through a plebiscite upon which we can meaningfully exercise our democratic right to make our choice whether or not to be included under the proposed Bangsamoro political autonomy.

We are also hopeful that the roadmap for political transition for Bangsamoro autonomy, as stipulated in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), will be implemented during Duterte’s Administration, said Datu Sultan.

Part of the activity is the gathering of signature campaign in support to BBL and drafting of manifesto appealing to the members of the Bicameral Conference Committee to reconsider the deleted or amended provisions which are part of the CAB.

In their manifesto, they argued that " BBL is aimed at enhancing the power of the present autonomous government not only to meet its noble objectives to improve the lives of the people, end violence and foster national unity and reconciliation but to vest the new autonomous government with substantive powers capable not only to correct historical injustices but also to effect radical changes in the Bangsamoro. "

They also highlighted five (5) items that could apply to their peculiar interest as Meranaw, as follows: To make sure the final version of BBL is CAB-Compliant to avoid the creation of breakaway groups that would capitalize on non - implementation of CAB;

To restore the BBL original version on INLAND WATERS, such that it must be within the exclusive power of the Bangsamoro;

To restore the original provisions of HB 6475 on the power of the Bangsamoro Government to regulate power generation, transmission and distribution operating exclusively in the Bangsamoro and not connected to the national transmission grid;

To restore the original provision of HB 6475 on the share of Bangsamoro Government in the national taxes collected in the Bangsamoro and its retention of the 25% share of national government within the period of 10 years;

To restore the original version of HB 6475 on the periodic plebiscite; And in the event that it is impossible to restore the original provision of HB 6475 on the core territory of Bangsamoro to adopt the version of the Senate on the provision of core territory particularly on the six (6) Municipalities of Lanao del Norte so that it would no longer require the consent of the whole Province.

MILF: Basilan CSO’s hold multi-sectoral council’s assembly for restoration of deleted or amended BBL provisions

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 7): Basilan CSO’s hold multi-sectoral council’s assembly for restoration of deleted or amended BBL provisions

Members of Basilan Civil Society Organizations held today a " Multi-Sectoral Council's Assembly" for the restoration of deleted or amended versions of Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) Crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) at Basilan State College Gym.

The Basilan Ulama Supreme Council (BUSC), one of the conveners represented by Ahmad Al-Amin said that the restoration of said BBL version is extremely important as the Moro people would be given a meaningful autonomy that would make peace in Mindanao and the Philippines, not merely a dream, but a reality.

" It is frustrating that some provisions which were already part of R.A.9054 was taken back in the Senate version," he added.

In another manifesto read by Karancho President Mr. Muhammad Abdullah, he expressed strong support for the enactment of the BTC-BBL. He appealed to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and members of the Bicameral Conference Committee to reconsider the BTC-BBL version because it is the only way to correct historical injustices,and ensure lasting peace in the Bangsamoro homeland".

Karancho is involve in networking with some government agencies in almost all parts of the country.

" We, the people of Basilan along other ethnic groups unanimously support the BTC-BBL version as it carries the hope and aspiration of the Bangsamoro people for lasting peace, progress, and self-governance in our homeland".

Mr. Candu Muarip, a City Councilor and former MNLF Commander in his message said, that, “As a piece of advice to the young generation, be vigilant and involve actively especially during the plebiscite as it is a realization of our struggle for more than 40 years. You must carry on with our legitimate struggle until a real autonomy is attained. (Note: This writer would like to apologize to Comm. Hatimil Hassan as he was not able to catch-up with his message)

MILF: Sulu conducts Peace summit for the restoration of deleted / amended BTC - BBL provisions

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 7): Sulu conducts Peace summit for the restoration of deleted / amended BTC - BBL provisions

IN PHOTO- Guests and Organizers of the Sulu Peace Summit pose for a souvenir photo

The Asia Foundation (TAF) organized SULU PEACE SUMMIT dubbed as “Appeal for the Restoration of Deleted / Amended BTC - BBL Provisions” held at Poblacion Punay, Panglima Estino, Sulu on July 4, 2018.

It was aimed to update the people of Sulu on the progress of peace process and initiate a joint effort for the restoration of the deleted or amended provisions of BTC-Crafted BBL in the upcoming Bicameral Conference Committee deliberations scheduled from July 9 - 13.

The peace summit was attended by thousands of participants from all sectors of the province including religious leaders, men in uniform, traditional leaders, academe, students, professionals, CSO's, MILF and MNLF organic members, LGU's and residents of Panglima Estino.

Among the invited guest were UBJP Provincial Executive Hadji Zesar Alil ; MILF Deputy Commander of Western Command Front Basarun Kamlon ; MILF 117th Base Commander Musakkar Adi ; MNLF ( Jikiri group) Provincial Chairman Hadji Hassan Jalandoni ; Former Mayor of Panglima Estino Hadji Munib Estino ; Mayor of Panglima Estino Hon. Bensar Estino ; MILF Peace Implementing Panel Atty. Lanang Ali Jr.; MILF Peace Implementing Panel Secretariat Matt ibn Mahmour ; CSO - PAZAMBATASUL Group Head Salip Aloy Jainal ; CCCH Representative Bro. Omar and representatives from OPAPP and TAF.

Former Mayor Hadji Munib Estino in his message said, " Hindi dapat " Kusog Tausug " ang batayan ng ating ipinaglalaban kundi ang ating reliheyong Islam ang siyang mangibabaw at hindi ang ating tribo." (It should not be " Strong Tausog " that worth fighting for but in the name of Islam. We are not fighting for the supremacy of our tribe).

(Participants to the Sulu Peace Summit)

UBJP Provincial Executive Hadji Zesar Alil in his statement during the activity elaborated, " Ang BBL ay hindi lamang para sa MILF at MNLF. Ito ay para sa mga lahat ng Bangsamoro, Lumads at Kristiano. Ang BBL ay makakatulong na maihahon tayo sa kahirapan tungo sa masaganang pamumuhay. "(BBL is not only for MILF and MNLF. It is for the Bangsamoro people including Lumads and Christians. BBL could uplift our living conditions.)

MNLF Provincial Chairman Jalandoni in his message called out the attention of the participants by encouraging them to support the passage of BTC crafted BBL.

" This is now the time to show our solidarity in our quest for sustainable peace and development by supporting the BTC - BBL regardless of our political affiliation." he added.

MILF: Sen. Zubiri downplays amendments made on BBL would weaken an approved law

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 8): Sen. Zubiri downplays amendments made on BBL would weaken an approved law

Cotabato City- Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chair of the Joint Senate Committee on Bangsamoro Bassic Law (BBL) downplays fears of various sectors that amendments to the approved version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law would water down the powers originally proposed for the new juridical entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

"Itong amendments naman, sabihin ko, ay lalong nagpatibay ng BBL. Kaya hindi po ako naniniwala sa nagsasabi na may nagsasabi na taga-ARMM na this is ARMM-minus daw, hindi ARMM-plus," Zubiri said on radio as quoted by GMA Newsline.

Zubiri made the statement days before the start of the bicameral conference committee consultations on the BBL.

"Hindi po totoo 'yan kasi ang aming pananaw ay mas maganda pa po sa original na ARMM law. Nevertheless, titignan po namin ang mga complaints nila at mga hinihiling nila ... may listahan naman po kami," he added.

Zubiri said restoring some provisions as requested by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission is "doable." "Pero 'yung iba hindi yata namin maibigay." He was referring to the Bangsamoro police and military that are solely under the national government.

In the interview, Zubiri said, "For example, 'yung sa police. Iisa lang naman ang hiningi niya (President Rodrigo Duterte) sa House and Senate nu'ng nagmeeting po kami sa Malacañang na pagdating sa police at armed forces, dapat sa ilalim po ito ng Philippine National Police at sa Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

"Para sa gano'n hindi naman po magkakaroon ng armed groups, diba 'yung mga private armies, kasi 'yun ang naging problema noong araw," he added.

Nevertheless, Zubiri said they have identified "contentious" provisions that were all set for initial discussions on the bicameral committee report on Monday morning with the House panel to be led by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas.

"Hopefully maayos naman po natin at maging acceptable sa lahat ang aming pag uusapan naman po ang BBL na maipapasa namin next week," he said.

Zubiri’s statement came at a time where various sectors in Mindanao, especially civil Society Organizations (CSOs) launched mass rallies in major cities like Cotabato City, Marawi City, including the provinces of Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Baloi, Lanao Del Norte urging the Bicameral Conference Committee members to restore the deleted, or amended provisions made on the BTC-Crafted BBL by the Senate and House of Representatives on May 30, 2018.

Furthermore, men on the ground throughout the core territory are enthusiastic on the outcome of the bicam conference, all hoping that the government will ultimately put an end to violence, animosity, conflict, and would be replaced by peace, harmony and progress in the Moro Homeland.

The said mass gatherings were attended by tens of thousands of people from all walks of life in Mindanao.

The BBL is a legal instrument that will implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed by the Government of the Philippines, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Manila on August 27, 2014.

MILF: JWGRLP conducts forum on BBL and religious freedom

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 8): JWGRLP conducts forum on BBL and religious freedom

IN PHOTO- Former Supreme Court Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr, and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution delivering his message during the forum.

The Joint Working Group of Religious Leaders for Peace (JWGRLP) conducted a forum on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and Religious Freedom held at Ramon Magsaysay Center, Roxas Blvd., Manila on July 7, 2018.

The said forum aimed to update members on the ongoing peace process between the GPH and the MILF particularly the status of BBL in congress.

The activity was presided by co - convenors PCEC Dr. Aldrin M. Penamora and Shiek Abdulhadie B. Gumander.

Other convenors were represented by CBCP Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, NCCP Rev. Al Senturias, LDS Elder Randy Gringshaw, Uniharmony Prof. Pablito Baydado, Jr. and other member-religious organizations.

Resource speakers were Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. and Atty. Christian S. Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.

Chief Justice Davide in his message said, " Whatever happens to Mindanao, all of us are affected. No one will be spared from war that will cost billions of pesos and a thousand lives. "

" What happened in Marawi is an example on how our leaders now a days handle the problem and who should be blamed in this dilemma. "

" Our national leaders should be sensitive to the plight of our Moro brothers, their aspirations should be respected by giving them a BBL that is acceptable to them. "

" It is a constitutional mandate and duty to pass BBL in correcting historical injustices. Bangsamoro government is not a privilege but a matter of right and BBL is an instrument of peace."

He concluded by saying, " I am against federalism but I subscribe that Bangsamoro Government by implementing the BBL can be a model for federalism. "

IN PHOTO- Atty. Christian S. Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution during his presentation in the forum.
On the part of Atty. Monsod, he articulated on the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

He said, " Bangsamoro is a constitutional mandate, imperative of correcting the injustices of the past."

" BBL is extraordinarily special law and more importantly an embodiment of peace agreement of prolonged negotiations. "

" Bangsamoro is unprecedented as an unfulfilled promise and model of equitable autonomy. "

He argued that, " The CAB has a history of over 20 years of peace negotiations and meant to implement the constitution, not to amend it. It is not an alternative to independence or secession, it's the alternative to war. The BBL as legislative embodiment of CAB should be accorded presumption of regularity and three departments of government should be allowed its role in the process. "

" Thus, after the congress has exercised its legislative powers, there are still provisions on which sufficient consensus cannot be reached, those provisions should be left to the Supreme Court in the exercise of its judicial review. In the delicate system of checks and balances and separation of powers, it is the Supreme Court that is the final arbiter on the interpretation of the constitution. But it can only delete, it cannot legislate. "

" In that process, various stakeholders must transcend the roles of proponents and opponents, and engage in a collective exercise of dialogue and consensus - building. As framers put it, the fulfillment of the constitutional mandate must be a shared vision of a nation. Democracy is about dialogue and compromise." He added.

He contends that, " The Bangsamoro can be a model for social justice and human development that we have so far failed to do for the whole country. "

" Distrust and fear are the roots of the opposition to or dilution of BBL." He lamented.

The forum concluded by signing of statement by the convenors and members of the Joint Working Group of Religious Leaders for Peace (JWGRLP) supporting the passage of BBL that is consistent with the FAB and the CAB that will be submitted to the members of Bicameral Conference Committee on BBL.

MILF: Zamboanga City Moro Community Leaders, CSO’s hold Peace Advocacy

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jul 8): Zamboanga City Moro Community Leaders, CSO’s hold Peace Advocacy

TULUNGATUNG, ZAMBOANGA CITY - Moro Community leaders here have joined together with Civil Society Organizations in peace- building through conduct of advocacy, forum and information drive campaign to sustain the gains of peace process.

On July 5, a peace advocacy was conducted at Asta Moro Madrasa, Barangay Tulungatung, Zamboanga City.

A Moro community leader Imam Akub Asta spearheaded the activity together Moro Peace Advocates and Moro line agencies that aimed to raise public awareness through participation in Peace-Building endeavor to understand the Bangsamoro legitimate struggle and the knowing more the trending issue on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)

The activity was attended by peace advocates, women, youth, and Moro Religious leaders from different Barangays of Zamboanga City.

In his welcome message, Imam Akub Asta, host of the activity expressed his gratitude to the participants and the resource speakers for their responsiveness by attending the peace advocacy despite their work and busy schedule.

Islamic orientation on the significant of unity through love and respect was delivered by Ustadz Benjabar Daris, Head of Asta Moro Madrasa. He said that every Muslim Ummah should show their love and concern to fellow Muslim as source of unity and strength as said in the Noble Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Resource speaker Hadji Atiola Jamsuri, a Peace Advocate and one of the senior officers in the early Bangsamoro armed-struggle expressed his alarm on the deleted provisions of BTC Draft BBL that supposedly granting the Bangsamoro a real autonomy based on signed peace agreements as the answer to Bangsamoro aspiration. However, he is still hopeful that those deleted provisions can be restored during the Bicameral Conference Committee meeting.

For his part, Brother Phix Samsaraji, Officer from United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) delved on, “The Youth contribution in Bangsamoro struggle and Peace process.”

He said that the youth represents a larger portion of the society. The Bangsamoro youth should use their time productively through active participation in peace-building for the realization of the Bangsamoro aspiration. He also talked on the fate of BBL which is still in its critical stage after the House of Senate and the House of Representatives deleted and amended essential provisions of the BBL crafted by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).

Brother Phix also submitted a position paper of UNYPAD appealing to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to fulfill his promise to Bangsamoro to correct the Bangsamoro Historical Injustices and implement the signed peace agreements.

The Youth Organization also appealed to the Bicameral Conference Committee (BCC) to restore the deleted, and amended BBL provisions drafted by BTC in conformity with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)

From the women sector, Hadja Rashyieda Majid, Officer from Mindanao Women Advocacy for Good Governance (MWAGG) also made the same appeal to the Bicameral Conference Committee.

“We have learned many lessons from the pass and we are fed up of false promises and deceptions. We have to unite and pray that the deleted provisions of BBL can be restored,” she said.

The organizer acknowledged the presence of a special guests from Nissa Ul- Haqq of Central Mindanao who observed the activity and delivered their respective messages related to Bangsamoro Struggle and the BBL.

Mam Connie talked on Bangsamoro History by stressing the importance of knowing one’s history, identity and the painful sacrifices and series of massacres of innocent Bangsamoro, while Miss Janin presented the salient provisions of BBL provisions. She corrected the misconception on Sulu Sea and the Bangsamoro Water in the BBL provision

Miss Shalom, Executive Officer of Nissa Ul-Haqq talked on deleted provisions of BTC-Draft BBL. She said that 85 % provisions of BTC draft BBL were deleted by Congress. Such is not acceptable to the Bangsamoro people since only 15 % remained in the original BBL.

Ustadz Taha Daranda, a Peace Advocate Focal person and member of Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) talked on the comparison between the BTC Draft BBL and the one passed by congress in 3rd and final reading on May 30

He encouraged the Bangsamoro to do their obligations and stand in defending their rights through peaceful and lawful means in articulating their lawful grievances.

In his closing message, Mr. Morsalin Jorsalin, a Moro community leader expressed his profoundest gratitude to the resource speakers for their time spent, and knowledge shared, to the organizers and the participants who are always supportive to the Bangsamoro quest for right to self-determination.

The activity was organized and facilitated by Tirso S. Tahir from Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and Brother Phix from UNYPAD.

Brother Tims acted as master of ceremonies with participation of Information Director Mr. Arasid (Dan) Daranda as documenter.