Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Top NDF consultant arrested in Laguna

From Rappler (Oct 16): Top NDF consultant arrested in Laguna
Policemen and soldiers capture Adelberto Silva in Sta Cruz town
ARRESTED AGAIN. A photo of Adelberto Silva during an August 2016 press conference after his release from prison. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler
ARRESTED AGAIN. A photo of Adelberto Silva during an August 2016 press conference after his release from prison. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – In a joint operation, the police and military arrested National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant Adelberto Silva and 4 companions in Laguna, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana announced on Tuesday, October 16.

Silva is among the top NDF consultants working with alleged communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.
He and the Tiamzons are among the 7 NDF consultants whose bail bonds were suspended by the justice department in December 2017, after the breakdown of the peace talks between the Duterte administration and the rebels.

They all have standing arrest warrants.

Silva was earlier arrested in 2015. He was described then by the military as "the overall orchestrator of rebel movements in the entire country."

In August 2016, two months after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency, he ordered the release of at least 20 political prisoners, including Silva, to facilitate the peace negotiations with the communist guerrilas, which resumed in Oslo, Norway, that month. (READ: Who's who: Political prisoners released for Oslo peace talks)
The talks have since bogged down, with Duterte ordering the rebels' rearrest and accusing them of bad faith.

According to a spot police report, Silva was arrested on Monday in Sta Cruz in Laguna at around 1:30 pm with the following:
  • Edicel Legaspi, also known as JDF, Kobe, Trike
  • "Oyong"
  • "Batu"
  • "Wena"
The announcement of Silva's arrrest came after PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and Armed Forces chief of staff General Carlito Galvez Jr led a joint command conference to enhance their joint operations against the guerrillas.

The arrest of the 5, they said in a joint statement, is a result of their established “inter-operability” to address “security concerns.”

“The same collaborative framework shall apply to joint police and military operation to proactively respond to the policy directions of President Rodrigo R Duterte to ensure peaceful, orderly, and fair 2019 Midterm Elections next year,” the statement added.


2 Dawlah Islamiyah leaders killed

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 15): 2 Dawlah Islamiyah leaders killed

Two alleged leaders of an organized terror group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were killed by authorities when they reportedly resisted arrest in Barangay Aplaya, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur at 11:20 p.m. Sunday.

Sr. Supt. Ferlu Silvio, the officer-in-charge of the Davao del Sur Police Provincial Office (DSPPO), identified the suspects as brothers Norhan and Norton Sinapan, the Davao del Sur cell leaders of the Dawlah Islamiyah. The two suspects, said to be bomb experts, reportedly recruited members in Davao region and were involved in the Marawi siege.

In a press briefing held yesterday at DSPPO, Silvio revealed that there might be a possibility that the two targeted Davao City because it is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We successfully neutralized them in accordance with the law because we have search warrants,” he said.

The combined police and military team served two search warrants for violation of RA 10591 (illegal possession of firearms).

During the implementation, Silvio said the suspects refused arrest, forcing them to fight back.

The suspects sustained gunshot wounds in different parts of their body. They were rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Silvio said they really want the suspects to be arrested alive because “we still want to get some information from them.”

The operatives were able to recover one caliber .45 M1911 pistol, serial number 532861, loaded with a magazine with six live ammunition.

Also recovered were three fired cartridge cases of caliber .45, one fired cartridge case of caliber 9mm, two fragmentation grenades, an improvised explosive device component, two ISIS banner flags, a belt bag and a sling bag.

Silvio supervised the joint team composed of elements from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) - Davao Sur Provincial Field Unit, DSPPO’s Provincial Intelligence Branch, Hagonoy Municipal Police Station, Davao del Sur Special Weapons and Tactics, 1104th Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Davao Sur Explosive Ordnance and Regional Intelligence Unit, together with personnel from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), 39th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Group.

Silvio told reporters that when he assumed his post last September he directed his chiefs of police to intensify monitoring against lawless elements, especially in the coastal areas.

He said there is possibility that the suspects entered through the coastal areas, the reason why they are continuously monitoring the coastal areas in the province from Sta. Cruz to Malita.

Silvio also said the intelligence work of the Armed Forces of the Philippines helped them in tracking down the suspects.

Assembling bombs

Lt. Col. Rhojun Rosales, the commander of 39th Infantry Battalion, said the suspects were assembling bombs, probably for Davao, General Santos, and Digos.

Rosales said Dawlah Islamiyah is one of those who initiated the Marawi Siege.

“We are still liaising with government intelligence unit on the extent of their organizing activity or recruitment for that matter,” Rosales said.

Rosales said Norhan, an imam, conducted private indoctrination to their potential recruits.

The battalion commander said that together with the police, they will watch and act on such activity to counter extremists.

For now, the police and military have programs on anti-terrorism and are intensifying intelligence gathering and support of the community.

Over 300 security forces deployed in Dumaguete for Buglasan fest

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): Over 300 security forces deployed in Dumaguete for Buglasan fest

Joint security forces composed of more than 300 personnel are now deployed along the streets and at various venues here for the Buglasan Festival, amid a red alert status.

The combined security forces come from the Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection and the police. They are deployed in areas of engagements during the duration of the festival from Oct. 13 to 24, using drones and K-9 dogs from the PCG.

Troop deployment was held after a simple ceremony on Saturday at the Camp Francisco Fernandez in Agan-an, Sibulan, graced by Police Regional Office-7 (PRO-7) regional director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas.

The police command in Negros Oriental was placed on red alert status starting Thursday, Oct. 10, in time for the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2019 election, and will continue until the end of Buglasan on Oct. 24.

Sinas said persons or groups who want to distrupt the proceedings and activities during the Buglasan Festival will be dealt with accordingly.

“Dili na uso ang warning sa pulis, kon magbinuang, magmaoy, makasala dakpon dayon kay kapoy na ng siging warning, (it’s no longer the trend in the PNP to give out warnings; if you are found violating the law, you will be arrested. It’s tiresome to keep on giving out warnings,” he said.

Sinas said the police is ready to quell any attempt to disrupt the Buglasan festivities, though he urged the public to also take part in the maintenance of peace and order by reporting the presence of suspicious characters at the different venues.

Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) director Sr. Supt. Raul Tacaca also urged everyone not to bring backpacks, bladed weapons or pointed materials including umbrellas, and even jewelry to avoid falling victim to snatchers and pickpockets.

He said persons bringing backpacks in any venue will be asked by the task group security to open them and will be checked for any contraband items.


‘Palapa’-making tops new initiatives in Mindanao peace promotion

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): ‘Palapa’-making tops new initiatives in Mindanao peace promotion

Philip Roskamp (left), Public Affairs Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the exhibit showing the photos and products of groups that benefited from #ForMindanao, a program initiated by Naawan Helps Inc. in partnership with the American Embassy, at a resort in Opol, Misamis Oreintal, last Saturday, Oct. 13. (Photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY--The production of a local food condiment, "Palapa," is this year's highlight for a non-government organization (NGO) engaged in peace and rehabilitation effort in Mindanao.

The “Palapa sa Lumba” is a livelihood enterprise of 30 out-of-school youth and mothers of Barangay Bacolod II in Lumba-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur.

The project is just one of the 31 livelihood initiatives selected by the Naawan Helps Inc., a local NGO, in partnership with the United States Embassy in Manila, under the #ForMindanao initiative.

The "Super Lumba" group was equipped with the knowledge on backyard farming and build a business around the production of “Palapa,” a condiment popular among the Maranaos made from white scallion, ginger, and chili.

According to Jalilah Hadji Sapiin, 27, the Palapa sa Lumba project head, they were given PHP80,000 by the organizers as a grant to kickstart the project. From that amount, the group bought equipment such as grinder and grater. Another PHP20,000 was awarded to the group during the first pitching of its product.

Sapiin, a community development officer in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they envision Lanao del Sur to be known for spices production and plantation, prompting the group to go into Palapa-making.

Since the palapa is a product of the Meranaw ethnic group, she said it should be owned by the Meranaw. Promoting it is one way of getting that recognition, she added.

“At first, we were laughed at. Nobody believed that Palapa could be sold,” the young Maranao said.

Through the social media, Sapiin said their Palapa brand slowly became popular that they could not cope with the demand during the recent Ramadan and Hajj, two major Muslim events.

One of the team’s innovations, she said, was to make a variety of Palapa flavors ranging from beef to chicken to smoked fish. They even made a “dodol”-flavored palapa. Dodol, whose main ingredients are rice flour, coconut milk, and palm sugar, is a Maranao delicacy.

Sapiin said they also came up with the idea of adjusting the level of their Palapa’s spiciness so that those who don’t like a chili-laden Palapa can still enjoy it.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Counselor Philip Roskamp said the American government gave out PHP8.5 million to bankroll the locally-initiated #ForMindanao projects in response to the request of the Filipino alumni of the various United States-sponsored exchange programs.

Roskamp said the U.S. government merely provided the funding but it was the communities that conceptualized the projects.

“These were all self-generated projects, like, the US Embassy didn’t say, "you need to do X or you need to do Y." It was the best kind of project, where you have an idea and if we could provide a few means and make it happen, then it’s a pretty good partnership,” the Embassy official told reporters during the #ForMindanao summit held at a resort in Opol, Misamis Oriental over the weekend.

He admitted the amount the American government has granted to the #ForMindanao initiative wasn't even “not enough.”

“This is only PHP18.5 million and there are only 31 projects. The needs are pretty profound. That’s why the partnership doesn’t end with this particular program--it’s going to continue,” he added.

The #ForMindanao initiative has gathered groups representing mostly the women and youth sectors involved in promoting peace through various endeavors were given recognition as they continue to impact their communities in a positive way, especially in the war-torn Marawi City and some areas in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.

The initiative was launched last year as a form of assistance to mostly the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those who have been helping them since the war in Marawi erupted on May 23, 2017. The second wave took off in February and focused mostly on Marawi and its surrounding towns.

The program provided funding and technical support to locally-led projects that mobilize communities in Mindanao.


Top Southern Tagalog NPA leader, 4 others nabbed in Laguna

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): Top Southern Tagalog NPA leader, 4 others nabbed in Laguna

Site map of Santa Cruz, Laguna (source: en.wikipedia.org)

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – Combined elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Intelligence Units, Army’s 1st Infantry Battalion, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested a top leader of the New People’s Army (NPA), a National Democratic Front (NDF) consultant and their three other companions in Barangay Pagsawitan, Sta. Cruz, Laguna Monday afternoon.

According to Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo B. Burgos Jr., commander of the 202nd Infantry (UNIFIER) Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, joint government’s security forces nabbed Edicel R. Legaspi alias “Joventud Del Fierro” and his four companions around 1:30 p.m. while travelling in a Suzuki car towards nearby Pagsanjan town.

Burgos said Legaspi is the secretary of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee, the highest NPA organ in Regions 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon or Calabarzon) and 4-B (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan or Mimaropa).

“Our troops have so far identified his companions as Edilberto Silva, a released NDF (National Democratic Front) consultant and current head of their National Organizing Department (NOD); alias “Oyong”, alias “Wena” and alias “Batu,” all NOD Staffs,” Burgos said.

Lt. Col. Jonathan S. Manio, commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion, said two .45-caliber pistols, four hand grenades, one claymore type Improvised Explosive Device (IED), magazines with ammunition and subversive documents were seized from the group.

“The search of the vehicle was witnessed by the Barangay Officials of Barangay Pagsawitan,” Manio said.

The group was turned over to the custody of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) National Capital Region (NCR) that will be filing the appropriate charges against them.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the arrest has resulted in the leadership vacuum on the part of the NPA terrorists, which will speed-up the process of defeating insurgency in the Southern Tagalog region.

“The government will be unrelenting in our pursuit for peace and prosperity,” vowed Parayno.

“We have been hitting them at all fronts and keeping them on the run, thus, I urge the few remaining members of the NPAs to give up their arms and return to mainstream society because sooner or later we will catch them,” he said.

The arrested rebels will be transferred to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame where they will be detained.


Authorities hunt down suspects in militiaman’s slay

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): Authorities hunt down suspects in militiaman’s slay

Police and military authorities launched a joint manhunt against gunmen who killed a member of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on Monday.

Senior Supt. Edwin Wagan, Maguindanao police director, identified the slain militiaman as Kaula Musa Medzi, 45, of Barangay Labu-Labu Mother, Shariff Aguak, assigned at a detachment in Barangay Salman, Datu Hofer, Maguindanao.

Medzi was driving his pedicab, as another source of livelihood ,when he was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay Poblacion, Shariff Aguak at about 3 p.m.

He succumbed to gunshot wounds in the head and body.

Local police and military authorities said the perpetrators could be members of Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Wagan said the Army’s 40th and 38th Infantry Battalions are helping police in the investigation.


PH Navy contingent to sail for ASEAN-China maritime drill on Oct. 17

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): PH Navy contingent to sail for ASEAN-China maritime drill on Oct. 17

The Philippine Navy will hold a send-off ceremony on Wednesday for logistic support vessel BRP Dagupan City (LC-551) and the 300-man contingent who will be participating in the first-ever maritime exercise between the People's Republic of China and ASEAN members states on Oct. 21 to 28 in Zhanjiang.

Navy spokesperson, Commander Jonathan Zata, said the send-off event will be at 7:30 a.m. at Captain Salvo Pier, Naval Base, Cavite City.

The exercise, dubbed as ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise (ACMEX) 2018, will be hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy and China's People Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

It aims to provide military exchanges between ASEAN member states navies and their Chinese counterpart, focusing on maritime safety, search-and-rescue at sea with emphasis on the use of Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).

BRP Dagupan City has a displacement of 4,265 tons at full load, are 273 feet long, has a draft of 12 feet and has a top speed of 12 knots. It was commissioned in PN service in the 1990s.

Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong earlier said the proposal for a joint ASEAN and Chinese naval exercise was submitted during the ASEAN Defense Minister Meeting in Singapore in February.


New Army chief vows to continue reforms

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): New Army chief vows to continue reforms

Efforts to transform the Philippine Army into a first-class military will continue, newly-appointed PA chief Major Gen. Macairog S. Alberto said Monday.

Alberto made the promise during his assumption-of-command ceremonies at PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

This will be done by continuing the implementation of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) initiatives which seeks to turn PA into a world-class Army by 2028.

"Moreover, with the PA gaining its momentum in its Army Transformation Roadmap, Major General Alberto expressed that he will continue to sustain the implementation of its ATR initiatives in order to meet its vision to be a world-class Army by 2028," Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said in a statement Monday.

Alberto said he will try to transform the 98,000-strong PA into a force capable of meeting current and emerging threats.

“I will endeavor to make the Philippine Army a more agile force, one that is prepared and able to meet current and emerging threats,” he added.

The new PA chief also expressed commitment to develop Army capabilities, organize and train soldiers both in active and reserve units, and look after the moral and welfare of the troops.

Villanueva earlier said Alberto is a well-rounded officer and highly respected leader and commander having distinguished himself in the field of combat, intelligence, and civil military operations.

He added that the new PA chief is known for his dedication, a "silent worker" yet a "passionate performer".

"He always put his heart in every mission that needs to be accomplished. He is kind-hearted, cool and always gives premium on the welfare of his men," the PA spokesperson added.

Alberto, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, replaced Bautista, a member of PMA Class 1985, who formally retired Monday after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

Bautista was earlier named by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Villanueva said Alberto is a graduate of various courses both local and abroad.

"Significant is the Scout Ranger Course, Strategic Intel Course, Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program and Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) from (the) National Defense University, USA. He also hold masters in Public Management Major in Development and Security from (the) Development Academy of the Philippines," he added.

Alberto also served as commanding officer of the 2nd and 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, Task Force Davao head prior his designation as 1001st Infantry Brigade head, a unit of the 10th Infantry Division in Mindanao before appointment as head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"He is also a recipient of various awards and decors, to name a few, Military Commendation Medal, Military Merit Medal, Bronze Cross Medal, UN Service Medal/Ribbon, Silver Wing Medal, Gold Cross Medal and Distinguished Service Medal," Villanueva added.


Draft WPS exploration framework ‘looking good’ in all aspects: DFA

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): Draft WPS exploration framework ‘looking good’ in all aspects: DFA

A Philippine-crafted draft framework on the joint exploration in South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) is now shaping up ahead of the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

"I still have the whole day (on Tuesday) para tapusin (to finish it), but I can say it's looking good from legal, moral, from point of view of protecting territorial rights and economic rights, it's looking good, the agreement on joint exploration," Cayetano told reporters, three days before he exits as DFA chief.

Cayetano is expected to resign and file his certificate of candidacy as representative of Taguig City on Wednesday.

Replacing Cayetano will be Permanent Representative to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr., who will receive Wang on October 29 during the latter's official visit to Manila.

Wang's slated trip is focused on continuing talks on exploration in the contested waters which are believed to be rich in oil and gas.

Manila is keen to pursue the venture to sustain power in the country as Malampaya, which supplies 40 percent of Luzon's power, is set to close down in 2027 or 2028.

"It takes 3-7 years to put up these oil rigs, one that is full production. So the time to do it is now," Cayetano said in a separate interview.

Meanwhile, he assured that any deal will not affect Manila's rights and claims in the region.

"We're still targeting na makasama ito sa pipirmahan sa (to have this signed during the) state visit," he added, referring to the upcoming trip of President Xi Jinping to the Philippines in November.

New PA chief eyes programs to boost troop morale

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): New PA chief eyes programs to boost troop morale

Living up to his reputation of giving premium to the welfare of troops, newly-appointed Philippine Army (PA) Chief, Major Gen. Macairog S. Alberto, vowed to institute programs that would boost the morale of soldiers.

"I will also look after the morale and welfare of our troops by supporting our soldiers' family program, and improving the way we care for our wounded soldiers and surviving family members," Alberto said in his assumption speech on Monday.

He vowed to enhance the leadership development of all officers and non-commissioned officers to better prepare them for positions of higher responsibility.

"I will continue to pursue capability developments focusing on improving in the areas of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities," Alberto added.

“I will endeavor to make the Philippine Army a more agile force, one that is prepared and able to meet current and emerging threats,” he added.

He also expressed commitment to develop the Army capabilities, organize and train soldiers both in active and reserve units, and look after the morale and welfare of the troops.

Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva, PA spokesperson, earlier said Alberto is a well-rounded officer and highly respected leader and commander, having distinguished himself in the field of combat, intelligence, and civil military operations.

He added that the new PA chief is known for his dedication, a "silent worker" yet a "passionate performer."

"He always puts his heart in every mission that needs to be accomplished. He is kind-hearted, cool, and always gives premium on the welfare of his men," Villanueva added.

Alberto, a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986, replaced Bautista, a member of PMA Class of 1985, who formally retired Monday.

Bautista was earlier named by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development.


PNP, AFP ensure troops' neutrality

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): PNP, AFP ensure troops' neutrality

Top police and military officials on Tuesday assured that all efforts are being made to ensure that their forces would remain non-partisan in next year's mid-term polls.

“Uniformed personnel are barred from being partisan. That’s why on our part, we initiated a reshuffle. If you notice, many have been reshuffled, from the station up to the provincial levels," Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, told reporters after the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) meeting held in Camp Crame on Tuesday.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., meanwhile, said the military has been strict in its drive to keep troops apolitical.

“Our directive stands. They should not make any move supportive of any candidate. In the military, we have distanced ourselves from different officials, even CMO (Civil Military Operations) officials. We have activities that are prohibited during elections),” Galvez said.

In his speech at the change of command of the Philippine Army on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded uniformed personnel to refrain from engaging in partisan politics.

Albayalde, meanwhile, warned police officers of the limitations in providing security in areas where tensions increase during elections.

“We will deploy security forces to candidates, especially those in critical areas, EWAs (election watch list areas). But this is not a reason for them to carry the ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia. Remember, only election officers are allowed to do that), not even the AFP is authorized to handle that, unless (there is a) specific request, explicit request coming from Comelec officials," he said.

Galvez said partisan armed groups and gun-for-hire syndicates remain as the biggest threat to security for next year's polls.

“So we allow the provision of securities, based on the security assessment that these candidates will be targeted, especially in Mindanao and areas in Abra,” he said.

As deputized agencies of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the AFP and PNP shall take frontline initiatives to carry out aggressive operations against loose firearms and gun-for hire groups, some of which are known to double as private armed groups during elections.

“Normally, we have this thing called JPSCC, which is headed by Comelec. We had a lot of good experience wherein we had peaceful and honest elections. including the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. This was the first time that there were no declarations of failure of elections and it was one of the most peaceful. Because we were able to refine good coordination,” he added.


'Red October' aborted due to increased public awareness: AFP chief

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): 'Red October' aborted due to increased public awareness: AFP chief

The supposed "Red October" ouster plot has been dissolved due to the government's capability enhancement program, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez said on Tuesday.

"Yung isa sa batayan na nalusaw, at yung tinatawag nating (Our basis to say that it has already been dissolved is what we call the) capability enhancement program, (we saw an) indication of the ongoing awareness (of) the different people and the public. The people now, including the parents, are aware of this sinister act. And through this awareness, we were able to deter any violent mobilization,” Galvez told reporters after the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (JPSCC) meeting with officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) held in Camp Crame.

“Kung makikita natin, ang target nila since nung (If we look at it, their target since) Sept. 21 is to have a critical mass. But because of the positive response of our students and other agencies, including parents, teachers, we were able to dissuade them,” he said.

PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier assured that measures are in place to secure protest actions set on October 17.

While recognizing that rallies are part of the country's democracy, he said the PNP has the duty to ensure peace and order, both for those participating in these activities and those who are not.

Albayalde advised members of the labor sector not to be swayed by calls of left-leaning groups to join mass actions.

“Ang akala nila kapag na-paralyze yung production at nagkaroon tayo ng economic crisis, ang turo dyan sa Presidente na naman. Hindi nila alam na nawawalan tayo ng trabaho, yung ordinaryong Pilipino at saan naman kukuha ng pagkain ng ating mga pamilya (They think that if production is paralyzed and an economic crisis happens, our President would be the one to blame. They do not know that we are the ones who will lose jobs, especially the ordinary Filipinos. How will we feed our families then?)” he added.


Palace dispels Joma remark on cancellation of talks

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 16): Palace dispels Joma remark on cancellation of talks

MalacaƱang on Tuesday refuted Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison’s statement blaming the government’s security cluster for the termination of peace talks.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled the peace negotiations due to the communists’ failure to show ‘sincerity and commitment”.

Kaya napigilan iyon dahil hindi sila sumusunod sa usapan eh. Supposed to be walang barilan, walang patayan, walang ambush, eh nilabag nila iyon eh (The reason why it was cancelled was because they are not following the agreements. There should be no attack, no killing, no ambush. They violated these),” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.

“If you are in the President’s shoes, why should you talk when they are not sincere in the objective?,” he added.

In an interview with Manila Times, Sison accused members of the government security council of opposing the signing of a peace talk document and for convincing Duterte to suspend the negotiations.

Duterte had lived up to his election campaign promise to talk with the enemies of the state, including the CCP and its political arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF) and armed unit the New People’s Army (NPA).

The communists, however, failed to show sincerity to pursue genuine peace as they engaged “on acts of violence and hostilities, endangering the lives and properties of innocent people”.

This prompted Duterte to sign Proclamation No. 360 ordering the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and government negotiators to stop all peace talks with the communist group in November last year.

Duterte also cited Sison’s demand for coalition government as another reason for the termination of the peace talks.

Last April, Duterte provided Sison a ‘small window’ of 60 days to talk peace in the Philippines.

Sison, however, turned down the offer for fear of his life despite assurance from the President that he will not be arrested while in the country.

“But definitely the President, always – his mind is always open to reconciliation as he said, ‘hindi pupuweding tayong mga Pilipino ang nagpapatayan’ (Filipinos should not kill each other),” Panelo said.

The rebellion in the country started 50 years ago, making it one of the longest-running communist insurgencies in the world.