Friday, August 24, 2018

3 cops wounded in clash with rebels in Iloilo town

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): 3 cops wounded in clash with rebels in Iloilo town

Three officers of the 1st Iloilo Police Provincial Mobile Force Company (IPPMFC) were wounded in a clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the village of Carolina, Leon, Iloilo on Friday.

In an interview, Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba, Iloilo police director, identified the wounded as Chief Insp. Abner Jordan, platoon leader of the mobile force; Police Officer (PO) 2 Rosenie Libuna; and PO1 Mark Ringo Fernando.

He said the policemen sustained minor injuries and were not even hospitalized.

Tayaba said the IPPMFC group was conducting a major operation in the area at 6:50 a.m. when they encountered about 20 rebels. He said the firefight lasted 20 minutes.

Tayaba said the rebels even used a landmine as a “desperate measure” to hold off the policemen so they could flee.

Two rebels were also wounded based on information they received from civilians in the area, he said. “They were carrying these two (wounded) while escaping,” he said.

Recovered from the encounter site were a .45-caliber pistol with seven live ammunition, 36 empty M16 rifle shells, 12 empty M14 rifle shells, electric wires, pin light, and batteries.

Tayaba said the mobile force conducted a major operation as there have been sightings of rebels in the area in the past days, causing fear among residents, especially children.

Meanwhile, the Police Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas) condemned the encounter in Leon town.

In a statement, PRO-6 Director Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said the use of landmine by the NPA is a gross violation of Republic Act No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and otherCrimes Against Humanity, as well as the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use of landmines, whether improvised or not.

“We emphasized that the government is firm in upholding law and order throughout the country,” he said. “All those who sow chaos and bloodshed and other terrorist acts will have to face the consequences of their actions.”

Despite the encounter, Bulalacao assured that they will never relent in their drive to make criminals accountable for their crimes.

He enjoined the public to be more vigilant and report all crimes committed by the rebels.

Meanwhile, he urged the terrorists to “cease in their evil acts, to reform and return to the folds of law, embrace the harmony of a peaceful family life, and do their share in nation building.”

The encounter here took place more than a week after the San Jose, Antique clash where seven rebels were killed by government troops.

Terror group member killed in anti-drug operation in SoCo

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): Terror group member killed in anti-drug operation in SoCo

An alleged member of a local terror group was killed in a police anti-drug operation in the South Cotabato town of Polomolok at past midnight Wednesday.

Polomolok municipal police station chief, Chief Insp. Alex Joe Orcajada, identified the slain suspect as Mudz Nilong, alias “Muds Solaiman", 25, a resident of Barangay Koronadal Proper.

Nilong, who was also tagged in the murder of a police officer last year, was gunned down by joint operatives after resisting arrest during a buy-bust operation at about 12:50 a.m. in Purok 6 of Barangay Lumakil, Polomolok town, South Cotabato.

Orcajada said the suspect sold a sachet of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” worth PHP500 to a police officer who posed as a buyer.

After the transaction was completed, he said the suspect noticed the presence of other police operatives and immediately drew his handgun.

“He fired first at the operating team so they were forced to fight back and fatally hit him in the process,” he said.

Recovered from the suspect were six plastic sachets containing suspected shabu, a Caliber .38 pistol and the PHP500 marked money, he said.

The police official said Nilong was considered a high-value target and was included on the town’s drug watch list. Prior to the entrapment, he said they subjected the suspect to a series of intelligence and surveillance operations.

Citing intelligence reports, Orcajada said Nilong was a long-time member of the terror group Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines (AKP), which is based in Sarangani province.

The AKP is a known ally of the Maute Group and had pledged support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS.

Orcajada said Nilong was also tagged as a suspect in the killing of Police Officer 2 Charlie Liva along the national highway in Tupi, South Cotabato on Oct. 26, 2017.

Liva, who was assigned at the Surallah municipal police station, was gunned down at the boundary of barangays Polonuling and Palkan while en route to this city aboard his motorcycle.

The slain police officer was then on his way to the Police Regional Office 12 (Soccsksargen) headquarters in Barangay Tambler to submit the required documents for his promotion.

4th ID dismantles 79 ‘CCSR’ firearms

From the Manila Standard (Aug 23): 4th ID dismantles 79 ‘CCSR’ firearms

The 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army on Wednesday dismantled 79 non-standard firearms that were captured, confiscated, surrendered and recovered from their operations in Northern Mindanao.

The 4th ID has a total of 593 CCSR weapons, and the 79 weapons were “demilitarized” firearms that included short firearms, various rifles and machine guns that were cut up to pieces and burned, so the parts cannot be assembled as functioning firearms.

Colonel Filemon Radam Jr, commanding officer of the 1st Logistics Support Brigade of the Army Support Command, said the demilitarization of the firearms “takes a long process before the actual demilitarization.”

Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, 4ID Commander, said these weapons are non-standard weapons and does not include standard military weapons. They are demilitarized at the Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters.

“What we demilitarized today, have they not been captured, confiscated, surrendered and recovered, could have been in the hands of forces that disrupts the order and undermine our peace,” Villanueva said.

Duterte declines U.S. offer to sell F-16 jets to the Philippines

From CNN Philippines (Aug 23): Duterte declines U.S. offer to sell F-16 jets to the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte is saying no thanks to the United States' offer to sell F-16 jets to the Philippines.

Speaking at the 12th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City Thursday, the President said three U.S. Cabinet members wrote him a letter to make the offer.

He was referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"We hope to partner in other significant defense procurement of our mutual benefit including through the Lockheed Martin F-16 multi roll fighter platform and your attack helicopter platform among other U.S. systems," said the letter which the President read.

President Duterte declined the proposed deal, saying the military does not need F-16 jets because the Philippines is not at war with any country.

"We do not need any F-16s. It would be utterly useless to buy it, but I need attack helicopters and small planes for the counter-insurgency," he said.

However, the President said he wanted to meet with the three American officials to talk about the proposed deal and the ties between the U.S. and the Philippines.

He recalled how American lawmakers earlier opposed plans for the U.S. to sell assault rifles to the Philippines over human rights concerns in his drug war.

"I want to meet three of them. Mamili sila ng… hindi ako pupunta nang Amerika. There will never be a time na pupunta akong Amerika," Duterte said.

[Translation:I want to meet the three of them. They can choose... I will not go to America. There will never be a time that I will go to America.]

Duterte added, "How sure na makuha ko yung binili ko? Kung bilhin ko yung isang dosenang F-16, madeliver kaya nila? Ni hindi nga nila madeliver yung M16."

[Translation:What the assurance that I will get what I bought. If I buy a dozen F16s, will they be able to deliver? They can't even deliver the M16s.]

The President also had a condition before the meeting could proceed — the return of the Balangiga Bells.

During his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte called on the U.S. to return the bells, which American soldiers claimed as spoils of war after they retaliated against Filipino villagers and guerrillas who attacked a U.S. garrison in Balangiga, Eastern Samar in 1901.

"Can the passage of time cure an injustice… just because it was 100 years ago, so it is erased? Kung hindi nila isauli iyang Balangiga Bells, wala tayong pag-usapan," he said.

[Translation: Can the passage of time cure an injustice... just because it was 100 years ago, so it is erased? If the Balangiga Bella are not returned, there is nothing to talk about.]

President Duterte has recently been verbally attacking the U.S. for discouraging the Philippines from buying Russian submarines.

He criticized the U.S. for selling six refurbished choppers to the Philippines, three of which already crashed, killing some Filipino pilots.

He dared the U.S. to "prove to me first that you are in utter good faith."

"Mahirap 'yang sabihin mo na [That's hard when you say] 'we are friends.' We are friends but remember you made us a colony years ago. 'Wag mo sabihin na [Don't say]… it was not a friendship agreed upon, mutually satisfying. It was a friendship imposed on us," he said.

DWDD: DONNING OF RANKS | 15IB Officers and EP promoted

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): DONNING OF RANKS  |  15IB Officers and EP promoted

CAUAYAN, Negros Occidental (DWDD) – Lieutenant Colonel Patricio S Tomales INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer and CPT Jover S Ondoy (INF) PA, Battalion Operation Officer ,pin the ranks to the newly promoted Officers and Enlisted Personnel of this unit who were meritoriously promoted for their acts of heroism and bravery in the five (5) months liberation of Marawi City from the influence of violent extremism and terrorism at Headquarters 15th Infantry “Molave Warrior” Battalion at Barangay Tiling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental. 15IBMolaveWarrior / MCAG

DWDD: MASS SUPPORT | Aguisan Fisherfolks Association Pledge to Uphold Peace in Himamaylan City

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): MASS SUPPORT  |  Aguisan Fisherfolks Association Pledge to Uphold Peace in Himamaylan City


HIMAMAYLAN CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL- Major Udgie C Villan (INF) PA, Acting Commanding Officer of 3rd Civil-Military Operations Battalion (3CMOBn), 3rd Infantry Spearhead) Division, Philippine Army together with 1LT Juvellycem V Baguin (INF) PA, Commanding Officer of 33rd CMO Company led the signing of Peace Covenant by the members of Aguisan Fisherfolks Association (AFA), Aguisan Small Fisherfolks Association (ASFA) at Brgy. Aguisan on August 21, 2018.

Prior to the signing of Peace Covenant, a coastal clean-up effort was conducted by the participating group composed of said two associations, Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard.

Other than AFA and ASFA members, enjoined to pledge and sign the Peace Covenant were Brgy. Officials and residents of Brgy. Aguisan.

PO1 Hospicio Tolerance, Philippine Coast Guard, PO2 Rhundy Narillo, PCR, PNCO, Himamaylan City Police, Pastor Cesar Vicente Calo-oy of Seventh Day Adventist and Hon. Benjie Tan, Committee on Peace and Order also participated and signed for the Peace Covenant.

The members of AFA, ASFA and residents of said barangay pledged to ensure that they and their associations will collectively support peace and progress, respect the constitution, laws of the Philippines, uplift the rights of every person, and vowed to stop and fight against any violence or threats that may provoke on their barangay. #3CMOBn / 3DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: DESTROYED | 4ID decommission NPA firearms

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): DESTROYED  |  4ID decommission NPA firearms

CAMP EDILBERTO EVANGELISTA, Patag, Cagayan De Oro (DWDD) – Major General Ronnie Villanueva, Commanding General, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division checks on an M60 machinegun captured from the communist rebels.

The gun along with 75 assorted firearms, were cut to pieces to render them unusable during a ceremony in Camp Edilberto Evangelista at Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro on August 22, 2018. 4DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT | Com, JTF visits Al-haj Murad Ibramin in Camp Darapanan

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT  |  Com, JTF visits Al-haj Murad Ibramin in Camp Darapanan


CAMP GEN GONZALO SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao (DWDD) – Joint Task Force Commander Brigadier General Cirilito E. Sobejana visited the hallowed ground of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) at Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on August 19, 2018.

Brigadier General Sobejana together with his Brigade and Battalion Commanders, General, Personal, Special and

Technical staffs had the opportunity to touch the historical place of Camp Darapanan as a sign of commitment in pursuing peace and development.


The visit and confidence building of the Joint Task Force Central and the Central Committee of MILF set as a historical event, as it was the first time that the 6ID visited the Camp Darapan in full force.

“When you are in Camp Darapan, feel free, you are safe, and secured and feel like at home” said MILF Chairman Al-haj Murad Ibrahim.

“We are embracing you in this camp with a sincere and a clean heart with a common goal” Chairman Ibrahim added.

“The visits is an opportunity for us to listen with your future programs and activities in as par as the approval of the Bansamoro Organic Law”, Brigadier General Sobejana said.


“We have similar objective, which is peace and progress for our people”

“In war, we cannot get enough, but in talking, we can get more than we expect”, and “we are here in full support and cooperation with all your noble intention and undertakings”, Brigadier General Sobejana added. 6DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: RELENTLESS OPERATIONS | 7 bandits killed during surgical operation in Maguindanao

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): RELENTLESS OPERATIONS  |  7 bandits killed during surgical operation in Maguindanao

CAMP GEN GONZALO SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao (DWDD) – At least 7 bandits of the DAESH Inspired Toraife Group (Daesh Inspired-TG) were killed and undetermined number of wounded in a continued military operation of the Joint Task Force Central (JTF Central) at Sitio Kabasalan, Brgy Darampua, Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindanao that started on August 20, 2018.

The operation was launched after confirming a report from civilian residents with the help of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the exact location of the Daesh Inspired-TG under Salahuddin Hassan @ Orak.

The ground troops were supported with Mortar and artillery fires. Precise airstrikes further cause heavy toll on the terror group.

The Command is validating the reports on the ground, that among the fatalities were @Abdullah, alleged sub-commander, @Rasul, @Bayan,@Hamdan, @Abubakar, @Tima and @Hairiya.

“Your soldiers have been vigilantly guarding the entire Central Mindanao in order to prevent the DAESH Inspired TG from manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and launch IED attacks in populated places,” 6ID and JTF Central Commander Brigadier General Cirilito E. Sobejana said.

“The outpouring support from all stakeholders have been overwhelming. Likewise, we are happy that the level of security awareness and vigilance of the civilian populace are becoming high” Brigadier General Sobejana added. 6DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: CORNERED | NPA Leader and political instructor surrenders to Compostela Valley Governor

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): CORNERED  |  NPA Leader and political instructor surrenders to Compostela Valley Governor

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley Province (DWDD) – As troops of the 66th Infantry “Kabalikat” Battalion were closing in at Purok 8, Barangay Gabi, Compostela Municipality, Compostela Valley Province (CVP), a group of terrorist dissidents scampered to escape, leaving their commander and political instructor who has been a resident of the place.

Fernando D Lobiano @ Jay/Jaya is the political instructor and designated officer the newly organized Expidition Platoon of Section Committee 15 of the Sub Regional Committee 1, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee.

He was visiting his family when troops were able to monitor their presence with the help of the former mass organization members.

Sensing that he was about to be caught, @ Jaya surrendered to the troops and asked that he be brought to the Governor of Compostela Valley Province, Tyron Uy. His request was granted, the Governor accepted his surrender and turned over @Jaya to LTC Palmer M Parungao, of the Army’s 66th Infantry “Kabalikat” Battalion .

@Jaya had been with the NPA Terrorist Organization since 1995, at the age of 42, he finally surrendered, he helped reveal the location of the abducted soldier of SECOM 15, Cpl Parreno who was able to escape earlier yesterday.

Being one of the longest serving member of the former Guerilla Front 15 now a SECOM, he was tasked to command an outfit that has to create diversion while the main group exerts efforts to recover their lost mass bases.

LTC Parungao said, “The influx of surrenders of NPA rebels will continue, those who do not surrender will have a bad end.

@Jaya’s surrender has brought great demoralization in their ranks, we expect that more of the members of the expedition platoon will come back to the better part of the society”.

“The culmination of NPA spread of havoc and banditry in the country is at hand. Surrender is the best option for our brothers and sisters who have been victims of the foolishness of the CPP NPA NDF. We have to finish the business as soon as possible to continuously and strongly protect the peace” said MGen Noel S Clement, Commander of the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division. 10 DPAO / MCAG

DWDD: RELENTLESS OPERATIONS | NPA Bomb Expert, sniper, surrender to 10ID

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): RELENTLESS OPERATIONS  |  NPA Bomb Expert, sniper, surrender to 10ID

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley Province (DWDD) – @ Randy is a bomb expert who have been instrumental in the training and deployment of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in the area of 66th Infantry Battalion. @Richard is a trained designated sniper of then Guerilla Front 25 responsible for using available sniper rifles during several encounters with the troops as well as training other members in sniping.

The two regular NPA members surrendered to the 66IB, 10ID for fear of being killed due to the relentless combat operations conducted by the Battalion. They certainly knew that the troops and their former comrades who earlier surrendered and became members of the CAFGU will soon catch up with them and lead to their neutralization if they do not surrender. 66IB opened its doors in the name of peace.

The duo revealed that they buried two motorcycles which they have been using in laying IEDs together with their former leader, @cyclone. Same motorbikes were used when they bombed Colapugon Detachment in Barangay Maparat earlier this year. Troops were able to capture the two motorcycles; one motorstar and one Kawasaki Baja. Buried with the Kawasaki motorbike was a bag with 6 blasting caps and wires for IEDs.

 Very soon, Section Committee 25 of the SRC1 of Southern Mindanao Regional Committee will meet its end. The remaining members are now realizing their mistakes in believing those who recruited them, the disillusion and the fraud.

LTC Palmer M Parungao, of the Army’s 66th Infantry “Kabalikat Battalion calls on the other remaining members to finally yield. 66IBKabalikat / MCAG

DWDD: ENCOUNTER | 27IB engages CPP-NPA Terrorist in Sarangani Province

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): ENCOUNTER  |  27IB engages CPP-NPA Terrorist in Sarangani Province

CAMP HERMENEGILDO A AGAAB JR, Malandag, Malungon, Sarangani Province (DWDD) – Troops of 27th Infantry “Action” Battalion encountered with CPP-NPA Terrorist in Maasim, Sarangani Province on August 19, 2018.

At about two o’clock in the afternoon, government forces had engaged more than 30 members of communist terrorist operating in the areas of Maasim, Sarangani Province in a series of encounters at Sitio Hitman-El, Brgy. Lumasal of said municipality. The military operation resulted to the recovery of one one (1) M16 rifle, three (3) rifle grenades, personal belongings, subversive documents and other war materials.

The successful encounter was made possible through the help of the communities the are. “ We were able to track down the enemy because of the informations given by the local populace regarding presence of NPA terrorist in their area.

They have already learned the deceptive activities and they don’t want the PNAs to stay anymore in their area.” Lieutenant Colonel Jones Brisal P Otida said.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto T Ancan, Commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, has directed 27IB to intensify the conduct of operations in the area. “Put more pressure to the enemy and maximize the use of our assets to make them demoralize. Let us sustain our efforts in collaboration with different stakeholder to make them unacceptable and no where to go in our area of responsibility.

Maj General Noel S Clement, Commander of 10ID, furthermore, lauded the operating troops for their commendable performance. He further encouraged the populace to continue supporting and take part if possible in our campaign against the CPP-NPA terrorist in order to establish peaceful and conflict resilient communities in Southern Mindanao. 27IBAction / MCAG

DWDD: FRUSTRATED | NPA surrender to 50IB in Kalinga

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 23): FRUSTRATED  |  NPA surrender to 50IB in Kalinga


PINUKPOK, Kalinga (DWDD) – A member of the Communist Terrorist group New People’s Army surrendered to authorities, with firearm, in Barangay Camalog, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

According to reports from the 50th Infantry “Defender” Battalion, the CNT identified as Daniel B Guiwan voluntarily surrendered with one (1) M16 Rifle bearing serial number 004066 and one (1) magazine loaded with eleven (11) ammos.

The surrender was the result of relentless Community Service Program operations, Wang-Wang operations and various activities in the 50IB area of operation.

Guiwan has already undergone custodial debriefing at the Headquarters of 50IB. 50IBDefender / MCAG

DWDD: COPING WITH CHALLENGES | Sen Legarda’s Book on AFP Resilience

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 24): COPING WITH CHALLENGES  |  Sen Legarda’s Book on AFP Resilience

MANILA HOTEL, Manila (DWDD) – Senator Loren Legarda launched her book titled “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience, Fostering Resilient Communities” during the Conference on Resilience in the Age of Global Insecurity at the Manila Hotel last August 16, 2018. The book was Legarda’s Commandant’s Paper for her Command and General Staff Course (CGSC). It received the Academic Excellence for Research award.

In launching her book, “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience, Fostering Resilient Communities”, Senator Loren Legarda, an AFP reservist with the rank of colonel, said that the material codifies the relevance of military resilience building of the AFP as an institution, inclusion of climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in the AFP’s practice and governance framework, and fostering resilient communities in response to risks caused by climate change to the community and the environment.

“Building resilience not only means responding to threats brought by climate change and natural hazards, but also involves reforms to strengthen the adaptability of institutional structures and systems. Thus, the AFP’s resilience as an institution is just as important as building resilience in communities,” said Legarda.

Legarda, together with the book’s editor, Undersecretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (leftmost), presented copies of the book to Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cardozo Luna (4th from left), National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) President Rear Admiral Roberto Estioko (rightmost), and Brig. General Benjamin Espiritu (2nd from left) of the NDCP Alumni Association. SENATE / MCAG

DWDD: VOLUNTARY SURRENDER | Another NPA member gives-up in Kalinga

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 24): VOLUNTARY SURRENDER  |  Another NPA member gives-up in Kalinga

CAMP GEN SERVILLANO AQUINO, Tarlac City – Another member of the Communist New People’s Army Terrorist Group (CNTG) yields to Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) Army unit in Barangay. Camalog, Pinukpuk, Kalinga last August 22, 2018.

Said person (whose name was not disclosed for security reasons) voluntarily surrendered with his issued firearm, an M16 Rifle with magazine loaded with ammunitions, at the Headquarters of 50th Infantry “Defender” Battalion (50IB) under the 502nd Brigade, Joint Task Force (JTF) “TALA”.

The subject, who is a member of the Abraham Bannawagan Command (ABC) under KLG Baggas operating in Lubuagan, Kalinga, was assisted by his relatives, together with the Community Support Program (CSP) Team of 50IB, during his surrender.

For the past days, several regular members of the NPA, Milisyang Bayan (MB) and supporters in NOLCOM area have surrendered to authorities for being disgruntled with the underground movement, the hardships they have experienced in their armed struggle and the seriousness of the government in offering a peaceful solution to the root causes of insurgency.

NOLCOM will continue to support all government efforts to achieve peace and development in its jurisdictional area. Likewise, NOLCOM will sustain its engagements with all the stakeholders to further support its peace initiatives to entice more NPAs to return to the folds of the law and contribute to nation building. NOLCOM / 50IBDefender MCAG

DWDD: ENCOUNTER | Troops engages Local Terror Group in Sulu

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 24): ENCOUNTER  |  Troops engages Local Terror Group in Sulu

PATIKUL, Sulu (DWDD) – Government Forces angaged members of a Local Teror Group yesterday, August 23, 2018, at Barangay Langhub in Patikul, Sulu.


According to the progress report reaching the AFP Western Mindnao Command (WESTMINCOM), twenty-two (22) soldiers were Wounded-in-Action (WIA) in the on-going firefight.

Seven of the wounded soldiers are confined at Camp Navarro General Hospital while the other fifteen (15) is confined at Kuta Heneral Teodolfo Bautista Station Hospital.

The enemy has incurred one killed and an undetermined number of wounded..

Currently, the 21st Infantry “Invincible” Battalion has established blocking position in Barangay Bungkaong; the 2nd Special Forces Battalion (2SFBN) established blocking/ambush position at the vicinity of Pigih Dajo,, while the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion (5SRB) established an ambush position in Bgy Pantao in Talipao, Sulu. WESTMINCOM / MCAG

DWDD: TOTAL SUPPORT | Cooperation key to 302IBde success in Central Visayas

From DWDD AFP Civil Relations Service Radio Website (Aug 24): TOTAL SUPPORT  |  Cooperation key to 302IBde success in Central Visayas

CAMP GEN EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – Bohol is considered as a Model for Addressing Concerns and a Model in Detectiveness Agency Cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Local Government Unit and the community.

Colonel Aji Madriaga
Com, 302IBde Achiever

This was how Colonel Aji Madriaga, Commander, 302nd Infantry Brigade, describe the over-all cooperation of the province and the other areas under the command (Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor) in dealing with any threat to their security

It can be recalled that when some members of the DAESH-inspired Abu Sayyaf Group infiltrated the province, authorities were able to immediately gather information of the incident and pinpoint their whereabouts due to the heightened involvement of the community and their unparallel cooperation with authorities.

And this is the attitude that Col Madriaga would like to maintain because the stable peace within these provinces has greatly improved the economic growth of the region.


Col Madriga added that the key to their success is when the people of Bohol, Cebu and Siquijor decided that individually and collectively each has a role in addressing the root cause of insurgency. On the part of the authorities, they treat seriously every report reaching them and it has the involvement of the Intellige4nce Community.

The challenge now for the 302IBde is how to sustain their gains after their area was declared “Insurgency-Free.” They are continuously engaging in Civil-Military Operations (CMO) to combat any attempt by the enemy to recover lost ground by exploiting issues like poverty.

“Tuloy tuloy yan. Pero lilinawin ko lang hindi naman ibig sabihin na dineclare na insurgency free itong mga provinces na ito ay wala ng kalaban. Iba yung insurgency free tsaka iba yung insurgent free. Yung kalaban naman eversince sa atin pa rin sila magrekober. Tha’ts the nature of the insurgency movement. So kami naman yung ang inaadress namin. Tuloy tuloy yung cooperation. Yung intensity,“ said Col Madriaga.


With the temporary closure of Boracay, other nearby provinces has enjoyed the influx of tourist, both local and foreign.

Col Madriaga assures that they have maintained the heightened security posture they have been implementing to ensure the safety of the public. They have finished securing participants and an estimated 2,500 athletes during the Iron man competition in Cebu. The success of the event was attributed to the cooperation, dedication and vigilance of the LGUs, AFP, PNP, organizers and the people of Cebu.


The 302IBe is always ready to assist local Law Enforcement in going after crime groups and individuals if this will be requested by the PNP. The AFP and PNP has engaged in multiple Joint Operations, like anti-drug operations, arrest of criminal personalities, eradication of marijuana plantation or raid on drug laboratories, etc. AES / MCAG

Sara meets 8 NPA members who surrendered to military

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 22): Sara meets 8 NPA members who surrendered to military

Eight members of the Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 1 of the New People’s Army (NPA) who surrendered to the 16th Infantry Battalion were presented to Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio at the army headquarters in Barangay Dalisay, Panabo City on Monday.

The mayor promised that they will be provided with livelihood and financial assistance to help get back to their lives.

The youngest of the rebel returnees was just 18 years old while the oldest was 23.

In a press briefing yesterday, Duterte credited the collective effort of the barangay local government, the military, and the private sector through her flagship program, the Peace 911, to introduce development in the far-flung communities and help drive away the communist guerrillas.

Maj. Gen. Noel Clement, the commander of 10th Infantry Division, said the eight surrenderers are members of PBC 1, who was under the leadership of Ka Jinggoy before he was arrested.

“They have helped us in our operation already and hopefully, they can also encourage their comrades to come down and avail of the government program,” he added.

He said the rebel surrenderers will be used as an example of the government’s sincerity to help the former rebels by providing them with services and support so they can leave peaceful lives as civilians.

Brig. Gen. Ernesto Torres, the commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said 172 former rebels have already surrendered to the 16th Infantry Battalion, 3rd IB and 89th IB. Of the total number, 87 were regular members of the NPA.

For the same period, the three battalions recovered 94 firearms and 56 improvised explosive devices. They were also able to clear 48 barangays from the rebel influence.

“We have all done this because of the help of the surrenderees since most of the neutralized surrender are not neutralized during encounter but during surrender,” Torres said.

The mayor said the surrenderers were already referred to the battalions operating in the area so they can be processed to determine eligibility to join the Enhance Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) or the assistance program coming from city government of Davao.

“For now, the process is good, usually if there are barangay captains who will tell me they are bringing surrenderers, I direct them to the battalion,” she said.

The E-Clip will provide them P 50,000 in livelihood assistance and P15,000 immediate assistance. They can also get access to a housing component with a total assistance of as much as P450,000.

Sara praises outgoing 16th IB commander for Paquibato peace

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 22): Sara praises outgoing 16th IB commander for Paquibato peace

Mayor Sara Duterte commended the outgoing commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion for his contributions in making Paquibato District ready for development.

The mayor was the guest of honor and speaker at the army battalion’s headquarters in Barangay Dalisay, Panabo City, Davao del Norte around 3 p.m. on Monday.

 Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, the former assistant chief of staff for civil-military operations (CMO) of the 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Capinpin, Tanay Rizal, replaced Lt. Col Darren Comia as the commander of 16th Infantry (Maglilingkod) Battalion.

 Comia was designated as the assistant chief of staff for civil-military-operations (CMO) of the 2nd ID.

 Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division, presided on the turnover of command ceremony.

 In his speech, Lt. Col. Darren Comia, the outgoing commander, thanked the local government and other officials for their support since he assumed leadership in May 2016.

“Honestly, last week I had already a separation anxiety as I will be leaving but I will be turning over the command to my successor,” Comia said.

 Paquibato District has always had problems with insurgency. The far-flung communities are isolated from the government services because of the threat posed by the rebels.

 During her speech, Mayor Duterte commended Comia for his efforts.

“Don’t feel separation anxiety, sir, because there is still one position in Davao city that is worthy of your passion and dedication and that is being the Task Force Davao commander,” the mayor said.

 Duterte credited the 16th IB for the “relative peace” enjoyed by the communities in Paquibato. She also said that more and more residents in the area have become more receptive to the efforts of the government to improve their lives.

 She also hopes that Pasco will build on the success of his predecessor to continue to preserve the peace and security of Davao City and Davao del Norte.

Rebels point soldiers toward hidden motorbikes, IED parts

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 23): Rebels point soldiers toward hidden motorbikes, IED parts

A Communist bomb expert and a sniper who earlier surrendered to the 10th Infantry Division led soldiers to a spot where they hid improvised explosive device (IED) components and two motorcycles in New Bataan, Compostela Valley last weekend.

Lt. Col. Palmer Parungao, the commander of the 10th ID, said the surrender of alias Randy was a huge setback since he was also tasked to train recruits and deploy IEDs in the province.

 Meanwhile, alias Richard was the designated sniper of the Guerrilla Front 25. He said the two regular NPA members surrendered for fear of being killed due to the relentless combat operations conducted by the 66th Infantry Battalion.

“They certainly knew that the troops and their former comrades who earlier surrendered and became members of the Cafgu will soon catch up with them and lead to their neutralization if they do not surrender,” he added.

 The duo revealed to soldiers that the two motorbikes were used to lay down IEDs throughout the province under the supervision of their leader, alias Cyclone.

 They said it was the same motorbikes that they used when they bombed Colapugon detachment in Barangay Maparat earlier this year.

 Troops were able to capture the two motorcycles; one Motorstar and one Kawasaki Baja. They also recovered six blasting caps and wires for the bombs.

“The remaining members are now realizing their mistakes in believing those who recruited them,” he further said, as he called on the remaining communist guerrillas to surrender.

Rifle, ammo found at clash site in Maasim

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 23): Rifle, ammo found at clash site in Maasim

The clashes between the troops of 27th Infantry battalion and communist guerrillas in Maasim, Sarangani Province yielded a rifle and ammunition on Sunday.

Capt. Jershome Butt, the acting spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said around 2 p.m., government forces engaged more than 30 members of communist rebels operating in the areas of Maasim in a series of encounters in Sitio Hitman-El, Barangay Lumasal of said municipality.

 They recovered one M16 rifle, three rifle grenades, personal belongings, and subversive documents.

 Lt. Col. Brisal Otida, the commander of 27th Infantry Battalion, said his troops acted on the tip of the residents in the community. “We were able to track down the enemy because of the information given by the local populace regarding the presence of the NPA terrorists in their area,” Otida said.

 Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Roberto T. Ancan, commander of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, has directed the 27th IB to intensify the military offensives in the area.

“Put more pressure on the enemy and maximize the use of our assets to make them demoralized,” Ancan said.

 Maj. Gen. Noel S. Clement, commander of the 10th ID, commended the troops on the achievement.

 He further encouraged the residents to continue supporting the government in its efforts to drive away the NPA in their communities.

Paquibato keeps up with development through Peace 911

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 24): Paquibato keeps up with development through Peace 911

Conflict-infected Paquibato district is notably coping up with the city’s development through close collaboration of the city government and the military forces with Peace 911.

The Peace 911 program was an initiative of Mayor Sara Duterte to bring development in the hinterlands of the city affected by insurgents.

Under the Peace 911 program, the 13 barangays of Paquibato District and a barangay in Calinan District are given projects that support economic and socio-cultural development.

Prior to the implementation of Peace 911 program, development in the area stalled due to its far proximity from the city and the heavy presence of insurgents. With the current program, basic services from different government agencies are now accessible to the identified barangays.

Services include health, education, infrastructure, and agriculture, among others.

Currently, through the Peace 911, telecommunications is also boosted. Globe Telecommunications Inc. has already identified sites for the construction of relay towers. Smart Communications is also expected to establish its own relay towers.

“We didn’t lack in reminding them that we (Philippine Army) are the bridge of the services from the government,” said Lt. Col. Rey Pasco, commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 16th Infantry Battalion during the I-speak forum held yesterday at the City Hall.

 Before Peace 911, the military forces assigned in the area were feared by the locals due to reported abuse of power.

“With the effort of Peace 911, we have regained the trust of the public,” said Col. Luciano Caiman, the commanding officer of the 89th IB, during the same forum.

“It’s good that we have this kind of Philippine Army on the ground who can deliver services without generating fear among the public,” said Peace 911 Focal Person Atty. Elisa Lapiña in the same forum.

Since December 2017, the Peace 911 effort has led to the surrender of 22 rebels, most of them young adults.

Lapiña said the construction of the Colosas Bridge, which has been pending for three years, is set for turnover this September.

Foreign and local investors also expressed interest to put up projects, particularly agricultural, in the area.

Lapiña however called the investors, contractors, and those who are interested in building projects in the area “to observe the area first for a shared agreement” with the community.

Population of Red fighters in Davao Oriental down – army

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 24): Population of Red fighters in Davao Oriental down – army

The strong community support and cooperation of the local government executives and the military resulted in the declining number of communist rebels in Davao Oriental.

Speaking on Wednesday’s AFP- PNP press briefing held at the Royal Mandaya hotel, Lt. Col. Miguel Ramon, the commander of 28th Infantry Battalion under 701st Infantry Brigade, said, “It is very important that our community would stand against insurgency and NPA.”

He said the government is always ready to provide security but the communities also have to do their part to achieve peace in the hinterlands. However, the local government units should also make their presence felt, especially in isolated areas.

“It (peace) can only happen if the local government units and agencies are there to provide the services so that there would be no other groups that would attempt to replace the existing government,” he added.

Lastly, the military must sustain its efforts to go after the communist guerrillas, with the help of the village watchmen.

“All of these form a network that helps to rally against the armed threat, including the community support programs (CSP), wherein we have been conducting information campaigns in sitios and services that we have been facilitating to reach out to the far-flung communities,” he said.

For now, the battalion commander said the insurgency in Davao del Oriental is manageable but they can’t just dismiss the threat of the communist rebels, especially in the hinterlands of the second district.

 He said that in July, they noticed declining incidents of atrocities and reports of armed groups. “But we’re still on high alert and intensifying efforts to clear the remaining areas of Davao Oriental,” he said.

“So far we have been continuously conducting community support operations, focused military operations, and other efforts to totally attain peace in the areas of Davao Oriental,” he added.

The 28th IB is operating in the second district of Davao Oriental. The Section Committee 18 and Pulang Bagani Command (PBC) 6 of the New People’s Army (NPA) are also operating in the said area.

Meanwhile, the SeCom 15 and PBC 8 are operating in the first district under the 67th Infantry Battalion, led by Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado.

But Ramon said the two commands have merged, which speaks volumes about how the population of the Red fighters has diminished in recent years. For instance, he said the average force of a section committee is around 15 fighters while a PBC has around 20 to 25 fighters.

Dozens of soldiers wounded in Sayyaf fighting in Sulu

From the Mindanao Examiner (Aug 23): Dozens of soldiers wounded in Sayyaf fighting in Sulu

SULU – Dozens of soldiers were wounded in fierce clashes Thursday with Abu Sayyaf fighters, whose group is tied to the Islamic State, in the southern Philippine province of Sulu.

The battle erupted in Patikul town, a known stronghold of the militant group fighting for the establishment of a caliphate in the restive region. More than three dozen soldiers were reported injured in the fighting.

The military claimed one militant was killed, but troops did not find the body. The fighting occurred two days after members of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion led by Major John Reysanti Aling and the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Jomalesa clashed with militants in Patikul’s Tugas and Latih villages.

The latest clash broke out a day after the military’s Western Mindanao Command said 2 Abu Sayyaf militants had been captured by the military in neighboring province of Basilan.

The duo had been identified as Vilyamin and Dahocoh Garamun. Two rifles were also seized by soldiers from the militants during an operation in the village of Camamburingan in Ungkaya Pukan town.

Ozamiz links with brgys to help counter insurgency

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 24): Ozamiz links with brgys to help counter insurgency

OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental -- In the continuing effort to promote peace and order and in countering the insurgency, stakeholders on peace and development have agreed to strengthen coordination with the barangays.

The resolve came as Acting City Mayor, Irene E. Luansing presided over the Third Quarter Full Peace and Order Council Meeting held at Naomis Botanical Garden on August 2.
Acting City Mayor Irene Luansing urges barangays to be vigilant and cautious at all times. She further encourages the barangay captains to immediately report to the authorities if there are possible emergency concerns in their area of responsibility. (PIA/Misamis Occidental)

During the meeting of the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) consisting of the local chief executives of the City, top officials of the military and police, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), among other key stakeholders, the members have decided to beef up their partnership with the barangays especially in the campaign against insurgency.

The meeting focused on challenging the different sectors to cooperate so that basic services would be delivered effectively.
Every sector is encouraged to actively participate in order that collective effort will bear progress and development in the city.

Aside from law enforcement and security matters, also among the concerns raised during the meeting was the possible emergency or crisis situation in Lanao del Norte.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Manegement Officer Rico Guangco exploered possible scenarios in Lanao del Norte after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Guangco also said that if in case people from Lanao will evacuate, there will be joint efforts with the authority and barangay officials in Ozamiz.

Ozamiz City Councilor Lawyer Nestor Montemor suggested a resolution for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to provide security if crisis can happen.

Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Severo and Acting City Mayor Irene Luansing meanwhile agreed and prepared for the possible scenario.

Members of the council also discussed the organization of the Ozamiz City Public Safety Volunteers.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are tasked to address crisis situations resulting from peace and order problems such as terrorism and criminality.

The creation of such a council was meant to foster full coordination among law enforcement agencies, government agencies and the private sector in addressing crimes and maintaining public safety, peace and order.

Also, among the duties of the Ozamiz Peace and Order Coucil is to create plans and programs that will promote peace and order in the city as well as the monitor and assess the same.

Police ‘strike force’ to secure Benguet vs insurgents

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): Police ‘strike force’ to secure Benguet vs insurgents

STRIKE FORCE. The Alpha Company of the Cordillera Regional Mobile Force in formation. The cops' group serves as the locals' 'strike force,' ready to respond to emergencies and secure the place from possible attacks. (File Photo Redgie Melvic Cawis/PIA-CAR)
BAGUIO CITY -- Even if there is no imminent danger from insurgents, the Benguet police force has beefed up its security plan for the region in case of sudden attack, particularly from communist rebels.

The Benguet Provincial Mobile Force has deployed two more platoons spread in various towns of the province to prepare for possible internal threats and aid locals cops in anti-crime operations.

“The mobile force is ready to respond anytime and anywhere,” Police Supt. Edward Aquintey, chief of the mobile force, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

Serving as first responders, the Benguet Provincial Mobile Force is the province's "strike force," composed of cops trained to take action against sudden attacks.

He said the two platoons were deployed to the towns of Atok, Mankayan, Kabayan, Bokod, and Itogon, areas that are distant from the headquarters of the Benguet Provincial Mobile Force in Abatan, Buguias town.

“It will take time for our troops to respond in cases of threats,” Aquintey explained, saying it would take time for the headquarters to respond in case of sudden attack in these areas.

Benguet is a “white area” in terms of internal threats and has no known camps of insurgents belonging to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA).

“But it is best to have a pro-active presence of the mobile force company, just in case,” the police colonel said.

Aquintey describes the CPP-NPA as "very mobile," increasing the possibility of their presence in the province.

He related the past incident in Tuba in 2017, where members of the left community in the area exchange fire with the police.

“We cannot be complacent, even if we are considered as a white area,” Aquintey said, saying the presence of the mobile force is a pre-emptive measure.

He added the mobile force also maintains an “advanced-forward” deployment in areas, where there are major installations like the hydroelectric power plants in Binga, Itogon and Ambuklao in Bokod, Benguet.

"We are maintaining one platoon in Itogon, Benguet to address the internal security issues in the south, while we have our headquarters in Buguias, Benguet to secure the northern part," he said.
"The mobile force has operational jurisdiction over the province. I would like to reiterate, with the platoons being deployed, it can be easier for us to respond to beleaguered areas."

Aquintey assured that the mobile force has the personnel and equipment to ensure security in its protected areas.

The group also undergoes training on disaster risk reduction management, equipping the members with skills needed to respond to emergencies due to calamities and disasters.

Aquintey, who also heads the Police Community Relations branch of the Baguio City Police Office, said the Benguet strike force is also linking with the community or talking to the people, not only to aid intelligence and regular police operations but also to develop rapport with the community.

"We should develop our rapport, partnership with the community, especially in far flung areas," he said. "With that relationship, the community will trust the police and the government. War is not always won with the use of firearms.”

Duterte junks US offer of support for AFP modernization

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): Duterte junks US offer of support for AFP modernization

President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on the United States' offer of new military equipment in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) modernization program.

The President made this statement in response to a letter signed by three US officials--Secretary Wilbur Ross of the Department of Commerce, Secretary Michael Pompeo of the US State Department and US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis--who all want to meet President Duterte to discuss the country's military’s modernization program.

President Duterte said he is not interested in acquiring M16 rifles from the US. Duterte said he was also more interested in acquiring propeller planes for the anti-insurgency campaign.

In the first place, Duterte said he was unsure the US Congress would approve the arms deal to the Philippines.

“How sure are you that I will get what I ordered? If I bought a dozen M16 rifles, will they deliver them?” Duterte asked, directing the questions to the three senior US officials.

The letter, which came following Duterte’s pronouncement to secure military equipment from Russia, was read by the President before soldiers, local officials and guests during the 12th anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command at Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao camp in Panacan here on Thursday evening.

Still, Duterte said he was thinking of meeting the three US top officials as long as the venue is within the country.

The letter highlighted the country’s partnership with the US built on shared history and values. “This special relationship will only grow stronger by increasing our dialogue especially on security cooperation and trade,” the letter said.

He said Pompeo, Mattis, and Ross noted that Manila’s purchase of US military equipment would exemplify the US-Philippines continuing commitment to the breadth and the strength of the two countries' alliance.

Duterte, however, said the Philippines and the US are friends because “you make us a colony many years ago. It’s a friendship imposed on us.”

He said the US will need to do more to prove its sincerity, as he recalled the suspension of an arms deal with the Philippines following a US senator’s criticism of the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The President has been distancing from the US, recalling how former US President Barrack Obama supposedly looked down on him and the Philippines over unfounded human rights violations as well as criticisms over the administration's anti-illegal drugs campaign.

He also recalled the procurement of six US refurbished choppers used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), three of which already crashed and killed all the soldiers on board.

Duterte also demanded the return of the Balangiga Bells, which were taken by the US as a war trophy.

“Memory still haunts everybody here because it was taken with a blood of war,” he said.

Duterte to send ex-NPA rebels to China to prove Sison wrong

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): Duterte to send ex-NPA rebels to China to prove Sison wrong

President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he will send former New People’s Army (NPA) rebels to mainland China and Hong Kong to see the kind of communist government there, compared to the one being envisioned by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman, Jose Maria Sison.

“Ang problema ang kinabuhi dili ingon ana. Dili ana ka sayon. Life has to evolve. Progress and development dili gyud nimo na madala sa rebolusyon. Kung mag sige lang ug rebolusyon, sige lang ug patay, wala gyuy mahitabo sa atong nasod (But life is not like that. It’s not easy. Life has to evolve. Progress and development cannot be solved through a revolution. If you continue to rebel and kill, nothing will happen to a country),” Duterte told former rebels during a speech marking the 12th anniversary of the Army's Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) at the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao headquarters here.

The President told the former NPA rebels to observe the transformation of China and how its reformist leaders, such as Deng Xiaoping, began to propel the communist country's economy.

Once they are in mainland China or Hong Kong, Duterte said the former NPA cadres who have surrendered to the different units of the Eastmincom this year must compare the disparity between the Philippines and China by just looking at the latter's economic progress.

The ex-rebels, he said, can then go back to the mountains to tell their former comrades about China's economic progress.

The President urged those who remained in the communist group to "abandon" Sison and to "stop killing" to achieve their revolutionary objective of toppling the government.

Duterte maintained that the NPA "cannot win the war against the government."

“Di man pud ninyo matumba ng gobyerno. Di gani mo makagunit og usa ka barangay (You cannot even topple the government. You cannot even control one barangay),” he said.

Duterte also expressed disappointment that the friendly relations he had with the NPA in Davao City failed to contribute to the peace prospects between both sides, adding that Sison’s brand of communism was to blame.

"Ang kadaot ang utok ni Sison, gusto pa kab-uton ang komunista nga sistema. Dili na man na pwede (The problem is Sison really wants to achieve the communist system. That can no longer happen),” he argued.

Duterte said even Sison has realized how hopeless the communist struggle has become that the CPP-NPA leader has resorted to lying about his health condition. By contrast, the President said Sison is sick as the latter is suffering from colon cancer that has already metastasized to his pancreas.

Still, Duterte remains optimistic with the peace negotiations with the communists, saying he is hopeful "something will be achieved in the future."

“I want peace. Maybe the next generation will no longer face war,” he said.

N. Cotabato village exec survives grenade attack

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): N. Cotabato village exec survives grenade attack

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato --A village official escaped unhurt when unidentified gunmen fired a grenade towards his home in Barangay Kapinpilan here Thursday night.

Supt. Bernard Tayong, North Cotabato police spokesperson, said Kapinpilan village chairperson Toto Kunakon escaped unhurt when the grenade projectile landed inside his residential compound at 6 p.m.

Citing report from Midsayap municipal police office, Tayong said a student of the Dilangalen National High School was slightly injured in the incident. The police official was unable to disclose the identity of the student, who is a minor.

“The grenade projectile was fired from nowhere and Kunakon has no idea who did it,” Tayong said. During the investigation, he said Kunakon believed politics was behind the grenade attack.

Shortly after the village election last May, one of the elected village councilman in the area was murdered.

Police have yet to establish leads as to the identities of those behind the grenade attack on Kunakon’s house.

4 cops hurt in Masbate ambush

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): 4 cops hurt in Masbate ambush

AMBUSHED. Policemen inspect the vehicle used by four of their colleagues who were injured in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) members in Barangay Biyong, Masbate City on Friday, August 24, 2018. (Photo by PNP-PIO 5)

At least four policemen were injured in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) members in Barangay Biyong, Masbate City Friday morning, a police spokesperson said.

"The policemen were to attend a symposium on anti-drug abuse council in Barangay Malinta in Masbate City," said Chief Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol.

Those wounded were identified as Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Ariel Espiel, and Police Officers 2 Leo Michael Azares, Melman Rapsing and Rosalito Apoya II, all members of the Masbate City police force. They were rushed to the Masbate Doctors Hospital for treatment.

Calubaquib said the police officers were on board their vehicle and were heading to Barangay Malinta around 7:30 in the morning when an improvised explosive device set up by the rebels exploded along the road, injuring the lawmen in different parts of their body.

"A brief gunfire was heard after the policemen returned fire," she added.

Members of Masbate City Police and Police Provincial Office immediately proceeded to the ambush site but the insurgents had already fled to the mountainous area of the said village before they arrived.

Police operatives are now conducting a pursuit operation against the rebels.

Philippine Marines eyes 400 recruits in Western Visayas

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): Philippine Marines eyes 400 recruits in Western Visayas

RECRUITMENT. Captain Jieve Ajijul, officer-in-charge of the Philippine Marines Corps' mobile recruitment team, on Thursday (August 23, 2018) said they are eyeing 400 recruits in Western Visayas. (Photo by Cindy Ferrer)

The Philippine Marines Corps (PMC) of the Philippine Navy is currently conducting a mobile recruitment in this city, eyeing 400 recruits to join their force.

Captain Jieve Ajijul, officer-in-charge of the PMC’s mobile recruitment team, on Thursday called all those interested to grab the opportunity especially that their recruitment process was shortened to two months instead of six months up to one year.

“All examinations, medical (examinations) and oath-taking will be done here in Iloilo,” he said.

Ajijul said the screening and registration already started last August 21 and will run until September 4 while the examination is scheduled on September 5.

The recruitment process is being conducted at the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University in Molo district.

Ajijul said this is part of their regular recruitment program to achieve the authorized troops’ strength of the PMC.

“Probably, we will get 70 percent of our target here in Iloilo,” he said.

Ajijul said the recruitment is open to natural born Filipino, from 18 up to 25 years old and six months, not a day older during application.

As of August 23, PMC has already gathered around 70 applicants.

“They will undergo six months training and we will know where they will be deployed,” he said.

Ajijul recalled that it was in 2004 or 14 years ago since the last recruitment was conducted here. Three hundred marines were recruited during that time.

The work of the Philippine Marines are combat and amphibious operations.

DND: No trouble seen in WPS

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): DND: No trouble seen in WPS

The Department of National Defense (DND) is not anticipating any war or trouble in the West Philippine Sea, its spokesperson said Thursday.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, however, said the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines remain committed to defending the country's sovereignty.

"We do not foresee any war with China at the moment, particulary in the West Philippine Sea, however the DND and AFP will always defend our sovereignty at all cost," Andolong said.

"We are ready to carry out mandate, however, we will do so with whatever resources we have on hand, if that would be enough well and good, if it's not we will leave it to chance but as I said we do not foresee any trouble," he added.

Despite this challenge, Andolong said that the military will continue its patrols in the West Philippine Sea.

"Basta tayo tuloy tuloy (continuous) ang patrol, regardless if we are challenged or not, because that is the mandate of the AFP," he added.

In a speech during a gathering of Visayas mayors in Cebu City Tuesday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier said trouble could erupt should China attempt to unilaterally exploit resources in the West Philippine Sea.

Russia, S. Korea among top candidates for PH submarine project

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): Russia, S. Korea among top candidates for PH submarine project

Russia and South Korea are among the top candidates to supply diesel-electric submarines to the Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said late Wednesday.

Lorenzana said he met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu last August 21 at the Army Forum and Exhibition.

The following day, Lorenzana also met with Deputy Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin at the Ministry of Defense building and talked for 20 minutes.

He left for Moscow last Aug. 16 and will return to the country on Friday (August 24).

"Napag-usapan namin ang (We spoke about) military-to-military relations, palitan ng mga sundalo sa (exchange of soldiers for) military training, port visits of (Philippine) Navy ships to Vladivostok, participation in military exercises," he said in a text message to reporters.

And while discussions took place, the Russian defense officials are aware that the Philippines is still looking for submarines suppliers.

"There are discussions. But they know that we are shopping and has yet to decide where to buy," Lorenzana added. On this matter, Russia and South Korea remains among the top candidates.

"(South) Korea is a candidate too. But the Russian-made (Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine) is better and more expensive," the defense chief said.

South Korea is offering Chang Bogo class diesel-electric submarine, a variant of the German type 209 submersible craft, which has a displacement of 1,200 to 1,400 gross tons, length of 56 to 61 meters, and range of 11,000 nautical miles. It can be armed with a variety of torpedoes.

When asked which of the two is the more preferred supplier, Lorenzana said the country is still looking for a more affordable platform.

Earlier, he said Russia is willing to provide advanced versions of its Kilo-class submarines to the Philippines through "soft loans" but clarified that the country is still looking for other sources.

Kilo-class submarines have a surface displacement of 2,350 tons, and a length of 73.8 meters, and is capable of speeds up 17 to 20 knots and can be armed with a variety of torpedoes, missiles and naval mines. It has a cruising range of 6,000 to 7,500 nautical miles.

Palace concerned over possible entry of nuclear power in WPS

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): Palace concerned over possible entry of nuclear power in WPS

Malacañang on Thursday expressed concern over Pentagon’s report that China may bring nuclear power in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

"We're concerned about the entry of any and all nuclear weapons into the Philippine territory because our Constitution provides that we are a nuclear-free zone,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked for comment during a Palace press briefing.

Roque said even an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) treaty declared that the whole ASEAN should be a nuclear-free zone.

He said the nuclear-free policy should be observed by all countries.

“We are concerned about the possibility that any foreign power, be it America, Russia, China may bring nuclear warheads into our territory and into ASEAN which is declared as nuclear-free zone,” he said.

Roque, however, said it is not for the Philippines to verify the “US observation”.

“That is a US observation. We are not in a position to verify that. As you correctly said, it is even in the nature of speculation. It is a possibility, according to the American sources. So we leave it at that,” he said.

China has denied the US report which it called “total disregard of facts, makes presumptuous and irresponsible comments on China’s national defense development”.

“China stays committed to a peaceful development path and follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press statement on August 18.

“It is always a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and defender of international order,” he added.

The Chinese official said their national defense development aims to safeguard its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, “which is the lawful rights for a sovereign state to exercise”.

PRRD remains firm on position in WPS: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 23): PRRD remains firm on position in WPS: Palace

President Rodrigo Duterte has never changed his position to settle the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute through diplomatic means without giving up an inch of the Philippine territory, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement in response to Duterte’s previous remark that trouble could erupt if China would attempt to unilaterally exploit resources, particularly oil, in the WPS.

“He has never changed his tune. He has been consistent,” Roque told a Palace press briefing.

“Nothing. Because what we’re discussing is joint exploration, and he warned against unilateral exploration,” he replied when asked if the remark would affect the joint exploration talks between the Philippines and China.

Roque, an international law expert, said the Philippines will continue to pursue cooperation on areas where the two countries can agree upon while maintaining the status quo “on areas that we cannot agree upon.”

“It’s just that there’s no point, there’s no point openly picking up a fight with China because that’s counterproductive,” he said, adding that the resolution of the actual territorial dispute in the WPS “will not happen soon.”

Philippine-Chinese relations have improved a lot after Duterte decided to temporarily shelve an international arbitration court’s decision nullifying China’s nine-dash line map that covers nearly the whole of WPS or South China Sea.

Duterte made the decision to give way to friendly and peaceful dialogues aimed at resolving both contentious and non-contentious issues.
He, however, told Xi that he would raise again the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling before his term expires in 2022.

Interoperability a factor in acquiring major naval systems: Navy chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 24): Interoperability a factor in acquiring major naval systems: Navy chief

Philippine Navy Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad (PNA file photo

When acquiring major naval systems like submarines, interoperability is always a key factor, Philippine Navy (PN) Flag-Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said.

"Interoperability is a very important factor (in the) acquisition (or) upgrade. 'Pag bumili tayo (When we buy equipment, we must ensure that) we come up with (the necessary) technical specifications (that will) make sure that the interoperability with our (ships) will be taken into consideration," Empedrad said Wednesday.

In the case of the submarines that the government plans to acquire, the Navy chief said the installation of equipment that would allow it to coordinate and communicate with other Navy assets would be a priority.

"We can include (that in) our specifications. 'Yung communication (equipment that will be installed) will be coming from a proponent (supplier) that we already have in our inventory," Empedrad said.

Having this capability would ensure that there is no "miscalculation" among the submarines and other PN ships, he pointed out.

He reiterated that it is high time for the Philippines to have submarines in its fleet to beef up its capability to defend the country's vast maritime territories.

Earlier, Empedrad said government-to-government procurement is the best way to acquire submarines for the Navy.

He said Russians are proposing a "soft-loan" for their Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines. Despite the offer, however, Empedrad said nothing is final.

Aside from Russia, Germany and South Korea have also expressed interest to participate in the Navy's submarine acquisition program, he added.