Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Maute brothers’ teen cousin surrenders in Lanao del Sur

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 14): Maute brothers’ teen cousin surrenders in Lanao del Sur
maute teen marawi fighter islamic state

Photo from Philippine Army

ILIGAN CITY — A 15-year-old cousin of the founders of the Maute terrorist group surrendered to the Joint Task Force Ranao in Butig, Lanao del Sur, the military has reported.

Major Clint Antipala, of the First Infantry Division, identified the Maute fighter as “AJ,” who turned himself in to the Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion (IB).

AJ was reportedly only 12 years old when recruited in Butig by his cousins Omar and Abdullah. The Maute brothers led the attack and take over of sections of Marawi City last year and triggered five months of fighting with government soldiers.

“He was trained with 12 other members and one of them already surrendered to the 49th IB on October 29,” Antipala said in a statement to the media.

In August, the military reported the surrender of an alias Asnar, 14, also an alleged fighter of the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group.

The military said Asnar was recruited by Abdullah Maute in 2014, when the boy was only 10 years old.

“Nine years old was the youngest recruit (of the Maute Group) and most of these recruits were involved in armed engagement with government forces in the month of February and November of 2016,” said Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, 49th IB commander.

Major General Roseller Murillo, First Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the troops that worked on the surrender of the young fighter.

“We are glad to hear that AJ decided to surrender and this is the best chance for him to return to mainstream society,” Murillo said.

The Fate of the People’s War - An interview with José Mariá Sison

From the Jacobin (Jul 28): The Fate of the People’s War - An interview with José Mariá Sison (Interview by Denis Rogatyuk)

Communist Party of the Philippines founder José Mariá Sison on the legacy of armed struggle, peace negotiations with Duterte, and what a left economic program should be.

NPA guerrillas in Sierra Madre, Philippines on November 23, 2016. Jess Aznar / Getty Images

This year marked the forty-ninth anniversary of the beginning of the armed rebellion by the New People’s Army (NPA) of the Philippines, alongside its political affiliates of National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The armed rebellion, initially concentrated on the island of Samar during the 1970s, grew to encompass practically of the Philippines, with the provinces of Mindanao, Isabella, and Tarlac having been the most prominent throughout the time of the rebellion. Most of the modern-day estimates place their strength at anywhere between ten thousand and four thousand fully armed fighters, with additional tens of thousands of Communist Party members and other supporters.

After surviving through six administrations of the Government of the Republic of Philippines (GRP), including the period of dictatorship and martial law of Ferdinand Marcos throughout the 1970s and 80s, the communist rebellion is now faced with a new challenge in the guise of the incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. Despite early promises of negotiating a lasting peace agreement and granting release to hundreds of NDF political prisoners, Duterte’s stance has flip-flopped between conciliation and hyper-aggressive tactics of confrontation, including designating the NPA and CPP as “terrorist organisations.” The latest round of peace talks were once again cancelled, with Duterte spuriously claiming a need to consult the public further.

At the same time, the regime is finding itself in an increasingly difficult position, economically, politically, and internationally. The introduction of the TRAIN law, a package of regressive taxation that significantly increases the prices of goods, particularly fuel, has sparked major protests throughout the country.

The implementation of martial law on the island of Mindanao has had devastating consequences in the form of increased repression against political activists, trade unionists, and opposition supporters as well as the ordinary population. At least forty-nine extrajudicial killings took place between May 2017 and May 2018. These figures do not include the mounting death toll from Duterte’s “war on drugs,” which has resulted in an estimated twelve thousand to twenty thousand killings. The continuing diplomatic conflict with China over the rights to the natural resources in the West Philippine Sea is also showing no signs of de-escalation.

The legacy of the NPA’s armed rebellion is profoundly uncertain in this context. To understand where it and the Philippines stand now, we speak to José Mariá Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the chief political consultant to the National Democratic Front. Sison has been one of the major political figures throughout the entire period of the communist rebellion. His writings, analysis, opinions and poetry have been well-documented and publicized throughout the Philippine revolutionary movement. A political prisoner during the time of the Marcos dictatorship, he was granted amnesty in 1986 by the government of Corazón Aquino, and has been living in exile in the Netherlands ever since.

He shares his thoughts about the state of the peace talks, the economic program of the NDF and the current state of the Philippine government.


Recently, a year after peace talks were broken off by the Duterte government, we’re seeing efforts by the NDF to revive them. Are you hopeful about the future of these talks?

We have been trying our best. We have gone through four rounds and the talks would collapse after the fourth, just when we were going to hold the fifth. We have also had seven rounds of back-channel informal consultations and these consultations appear to be promising.

Of course, the National Democratic Front expects a significant concession from the other side in exchange for the ceasefire — amnesty and the release of the political prisoners. There are now more than four hundred that need to be released, and then of course, there should be more as part of the deal of the interim peace agreement.

The most significant sections of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) need to be agreed upon, namely the agrarian reform and rural development; and nationalization, industrialization, and economic development.

I wanted to talk in more detail about that last point, as it seems to be the most difficult to negotiate. From what I understand, CASER is the means of transforming the Philippine economy from its current neoliberal structure that’s dominated by foreign imperialist and multinational interests, to a socialist one — but through an intermediary step of industrialization and agricultural reform.

By pushing national industrialization, economic development, agrarian reform, and rural development, we are pressing the government to get off the old track of servility to foreign monopoly capitalism. It is a real test for the other side.

There are actually four points of the substantive agenda in the peace negotiations.

We have already finished one — the comprehensive agreement on respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. But this only serves to guarantee that human rights and international humanitarian law would guide the two sides. It would also ensure a good atmosphere for the ongoing peace negotiations as well as the intended just peace.

Next, we would move onto negotiations on political and constitutional reforms, where we would be tackling questions on how to carry out CASER and how to carry out the constitutional and political reforms. One of the key demands of the other side has been to give up revolutionary taxation. We say, before we talk about the functions of the people’s democratic government, let us first talk about the socioeconomic goals and how to carry them out.

The other side has also been considering the implementation of a “federal system.” We have already advanced the view that we can go along with federalism, provided that certain caveats are dealt with.

Federalism is a tricky question. It could be Duterte’s ticket to fascist dictatorship, and could possibly include dynasties, warlords, traditional bureaucratic capitalists, the landlords and the big compradores, the old bloodsuckers in the ruling system. Thus, a change in the form of government does not guarantee a change in the social and economic system.

It is also an expensive kind of arrangement. The Philippines is a country that is heavily in debt and would need to spend more on a more elaborate bureaucracy. If Duterte is fixed on certain ideas that are not democratic, you cannot expect the NDF to go along with him on the question of federalism.

I think there are good examples of unitary governments, and there are templates for that. The important thing is we have an experience of Marcos opting for a parliamentary form of government and doing away with the presidential form of government.

It was a trick to cover his real intention of implementing a fascist dictatorship, and using the period of transition to impose and eliminate the opposition and the revolutionary movement by applying martial law. Duterte has a choice of making the NPA the scapegoat of martial law but the NDF have been smart enough to strongly criticize Duterte, especially after his first six months in government.

Duterte IS quite different from previous presidents in that he initially wished to become the first “leftist” and first “socialist” president . . .

In one of the articles in late 2015, you mentioned that he could become like the Pinoy version of Hugo Chavez.

In the months before his election and a few months later, words of encouragement were thrown in his direction. He first exposed himself as not knowing how to [keep] promises, when he told us of his commitment to release all the political prisoners through amnesty, which he himself suggested, on May 16, 2016.

He previously had a long period of cooperation with the revolutionary movement in the Southern Mindanao region. But I think even the revolutionary forces in Mindanao, despite the previous association, describe him as a bureaucrat capitalist who gained his wealth through bureaucrat capitalist operations and is quite capable of saying anything: left, middle, or right, whichever serves him at the given moment.

And, of course, Duterte himself explained that when he was mayor of Davao city, he was more flexible. Now that he is president of the Philippines, he is in defence of the entire state, and therefore he must be ready to bully or kill its enemies.

He talks his way into gaining the support of the military and the police. He is a power player, ensuring their support.

So on one side, he has been trying to play the various political forces within his cabinet against each other, while in the international arena he has displayed a lot of contradictions and inconsistent behavior. He says he wants to move away from the US sphere of influence and towards powers like Russia and China. At the same time, he occasionally threatens conflict with China over the issue of resources in the South China sea, while heaping praise on Donald Trump. Do you think these machinations are mark of a skilled political opportunist, or is he simply insane?

When he first spoke about the multipolar world and how he could play off one power against the other, it seemed like he would be able to play the game to strengthen the position of the Philippines. But that’s not the case. Instead of being able to play off the contradictory forces in the world, he victimizes Philippine sovereignty.

He has made sure that the security treaties, agreements, and arrangements with the United States continue and in his cabinet he considers pro-US elements — particularly those within the security cluster, such as Eduardo Año — as most important. These are tested pro-US elements.

The problem for the Philippines under Duterte is that the overall US dominance in economy, politics, security, and culture remains overwhelming. Now let’s analyze the way he plays his China card.

Arroyo was the first president to let China go into a joint exploration of exclusive economic zones under the West Philippine Sea, hence how they found the trillions of dollars’ worth of oil and natural gas. The Chinese became more aggressive in claiming what is not theirs as theirs. Even after the International Tribunal decided that the ECNECS under the West Philippine sea belongs to the Philippines in accordance to the UN convention of the law of the sea.

Now Duterte wants the Chinese to participate in co-ownership and engage in exploration and development. That is his way of making the Chinese happy, without understanding the arithmetic of this deal. He begs for a few billion dollars’ worth of loans, with interest rates much higher than the ones offered by the Japanese companies. The Chinese corporations also require Chinese labor and armed security. The Philippines ends up losing on all possible angles.

In other words, Duterte brings the Philippines further into a hole in indebtedness. He is like a child dealing with toys and supposed threats to the state, such as the case when he was negotiating for the delivery of new weapons from Russia.

How vulnerable is the Duterte government to other charges such as human rights violations resulting from the War on Drugs?

There are several issues currently facing the regime.

Resolving peace negotiations would be an attempt by him to try to turn things around. On all the major issues, his popularity has been eroding.

Chronologically, he thought he could project the image of a strongman and kill anyone who would oppose, because he commits the military to whatever he orders through, by turning them into criminals and undermining the rule of law.

There is reward for killing drug suspects and then you call on people to surrender themselves, and many surrendered themselves in the hope they would be cleared and eventually rehabilitated. But this is providing moral conviction for the police to ready a list of people to kill, and to fulfill their kill quotas.

There were too many cases of innocents being killed, including very young people who had nothing to do with drugs, and even children. What is unfortunate for Duterte, is as early as 2017, there was already a group of military officers, particularly among the Philippine Military Academy graduates, who opposed Duterte.

Even though we come from the left, we still recognize that there are some sane elements within the reactionary structures of the state.

The biggest problem with Duterte’s war on drugs is that it almost exclusively targets the “demand” side of the drug trade – the poor communities on the street level and in the urban slums. One of the three drug lords is Peter Lim. Duterte has stated before that he would kill him if he comes back from aboard, even though Lim has always been in the Cebu province, effectively a compadre of Duterte.

Duterte’s son-in-law is also involved in drug smuggling; he’s known as the drug lord of Davao city, just as Peter Lim is the drug lord based in Cebu city. There is something sinister about this war on drugs – it is meant to popularize and legitimize mass killing. There was a high potential for using that against the Left.

The Communist Party is alert to that. There is always talk that they would use the “Indonesian solution”, although it is not an option. The CPP has not been exposed in elections in the same way as PKI, effectively meaning that in order to kill a single communist, the army would have to kill one hundred innocents in the process. It has always been the problem for the US puppet governments in the Philippines and has prevented them from carrying out similar massacres.

The third mistake of Duterte was the scuttling of the fifth round of peace negotiations during the May-June period of 2017. His threat to destroy the NDF in Mindanao has not been fulfilled, despite the usage of martial law. The TRAIN law was designed to cover the extraordinary expenses for the military, police and intelligence operations.

It’s the neoliberal way of thinking, similar to Arroyo, who believed he survived the possibility of being overthrown by applying higher taxes and introducing the VAT. Duterte’s neoliberal advisers believed that by raising regressive taxes, they would be able to cover government expenses, reduce the deficit, and assure foreign creditors they would be paid back. The corresponding effect on the inflation has hit the ordinary people in the stomach.

Duterte is susceptible not only to a coup but outright elimination by elements of his own regime. The usual method of overthrowing the president, as shown in the case of Marcos and Estrada, is a combination of mass actions by a broad range of democratic forces and the withdrawal of the military support.

I wanted to discuss the military situation at the moment. Could you tell us about the current size of the NPA and whether or not the label of “terrorists” and the implementation of martial law in Marawi diminished the NPA’s fighting power in any way?

The military keep saying that most of the strength of the NPA is in Mindanao, but the comrades in Mindanao have been tested by actions and strategic military operational plans since the time of Arroyo.

The revolutionary forces took care of themselves when they could not get that much indirect support by intensified offensives. They learned how they could counter-encircle those who thought they could strategically encircle the NPA in Eastern Mindanao.

Also, with the weapons they captured, the revolutionary forces created more guerrilla fronts outside of Eastern Mindanao, so now you have an all-Mindanao problem for the reactionaries.

It’s an old tradition in the revolutionary movement that there is always a region which shines during a certain period. It shines in terms of being effective during offensives. Where it began, the people’s war shone, even though the numbers were smaller.

Marcos organized the task force “Lawin,” with five thousand [military] against two hundred [NPA]. The leadership retained forces in Tarlac, and then shifted the forces to Isabella. In Tarlac, the revolutionary movement could train expansion cadres only by the tens, during the period of 1969–1971. In Isabella, the starting capital in armed struggle, with twenty rifles plus another twenty as donations from anti-Marcos allies, they were able to expand the mass base to 150,000 square kilometers from 1970–72 because the place was fertile with agrarian unrest. Isabella shone for a while.

After that, Southern Luzon had their own shining moments. But the most conspicuous development was Samar in 1976, with the NPA repeatedly taking over the police stations and construction companies in a few years’ time. Then came the time for Mindanao.

When a certain region becomes strong, it provides the tested cadres and commanders for when the weaker region needs more experienced cadres and commanders.

In the life and struggle of the revolutionary struggle, there is a combination of doing mass work, at the same time as giving your attention to the people’s war. Otherwise, you run the danger of [being] the roaming rebel band or doing police work against criminal elements and a few local tyrants. The people’s war means transferring the strength of the enemy onto your side by ambushing them. That’s the essence of fighting.

Mindanao has been able to share some of that strength to Luzon and Visayas and so you can expect more vitality from all kinds of revolutionary forces in those two provinces.

Let’s talk about other peace negotiations around the world, such as the recent one signed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Some of the consequences of the peace treaty have been quite alarming for the FARC and social activists in the country. How do you think you can ensure that protections and guarantees for NPA comrades are part of any future peace agreement?

It is hard to compare the well-constructed and laid out process in Colombia with the one in the Philippines.

If you just look at the four items in the substantive agenda of the agreement [with Duterte], no harm has been done to the revolutionary movement. They even guaranteed that the victims of the Marcos dictatorship would be compensated.

I can say more about an established fact than about fears around the fate of the NPA after negotiations. In negotiating, according to revolutionary principles, you know when to negotiate, when to delay and when to exit. The moment your revolutionary principles and the rising interest of the people are not served any more, you can exit.

The revolutionary movement can be captured within the frame of the UN — dismantled, demobilized, and reintegrated. Even when “good” agreements with regards to social and economic matters [appear] to empower people, they are not implemented, but you conclude the peace agreement by signing the agreement to dismantle and decommission the people’s army.

In the case of the FARC in Colombia, I believe they did not learn from the 1980s when they were massacred, and we can see the assassinations and massacres occurring again. And I do not know why they had to agree to admitting to committing crimes and making amendments. There is an admission in engaging in criminal acts by waging armed struggle. They were overeager to proclaim unilateral ceasefire while they were still negotiating.

I believe that in the end game, the FARC ended up on the losing side.

Former Abu Sayyaf fighters undergo vocational training

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 12): Former Abu Sayyaf fighters undergo vocational training

Dozens of former combatants of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and some victims of ASG-staged atrocities in Basilan have undergone vocational skills training designed to integrate and turn them into productive components of the society, according to officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Experts of the ARMM’s Program Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trained 52 former ASG fighters, alongside selected residents of ASG-affected areas on bread and pastry-making, welding, carpentry, and dressmaking last November 7 to 8 in Basilan, Regional Information Director Amir Mawallil said in a statement.

The ex-rebels took their oath of allegiance to peaceful life on November 7, preceding the training on each vocational work of their choice, Mawallil said.

John Louie Balagot, ARMM Regional Cabinet Secretary and PAVE program manager, said the training phase formed part of the regional government’s pioneer program allocated with P20-million fund to provide various interventions to former ASG members in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawiu-Tawi.

Balagot, citing official records, said 272 ASG have returned to the folds of law since the introduction of PAVE late last year by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

Hataman, in an earlier interview with the Manila Bulletin, said his office had coordinated with higher authorities for the application of PAVE concepts for other violent ideology-inspired militants in ARMM, notably the combatants from the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.

Civilian and military authorities in Maguindanao have received in separate ceremonies close to 70 BIFF fighters who opted to live peaceful life. Most of the ceremonies were attended by Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Army’s Sixth Infantry Division, it was learned.

AFP chief Galvez starts making ‘farewell rounds’

From GMA News (Nov 14): AFP chief Galvez starts making ‘farewell rounds’

Armed Forces chief General Carlito Galvez Jr. has already started making his farewell rounds in Mindanao this week.

In a text message to reporters, military spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said Galvez visited the headquarters of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Western Mindanao Command, and the 104th Brigade in Isabela City, Basilan Province on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Partly, those visits marked his farewell to the officers, men, women, and civilian employees in Mindanao where he spent the most of his nearly four decades of colorful military career," Arevalo said.

Updates on the security situation and Martial Law implementation were the core of the consultations that Galvez conducted with the military commanders and local executives, he added.

Galvez's speeches during the said visits were filled with gratitude for the full support that the Armed Forces has shown while he is at the helm of the military organization.

"He exhorted the troops to extend the same loyalty, dedication, and support to whomsoever will be named as his successor," Arevalo added.

The AFP chief also commended the military operations that led to the continued neutralization of the New People's Army, whose "eventual demise" they have projected to be by 2019.

Galvez was installed to the top military post in April, replacing then-AFP chief General Rey Leonardo Guerrero who was recently appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Bureau of Customs chief.

Galvez is a member of the Philippine Military Academy "Sandiwa" Class of 1985, and was a former commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

He played a key role in liberating Marawi City from the terrorist influence of the ISIS-inspired Maute group in 2017, for which he was conferred with the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Kamagi Medal).

Galvez ends his military tour of duty on December 12.

NPA finished in 2019, says General Galvez

From MindaNews (Nov 14): NPA finished in 2019, says General Galvez

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez signs the guestbook during his visit at the Eastern Mindanao Command headquarters in Davao City on Tuesday. Galvez is set to retire next month. Mindanews Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 14 Nov.) – Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez said the military will eliminate the New People’s Army, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, by next year.

“We are confident by 2019 we will be finishing the CPP-NPA,” Galvez told reporters during his visit at the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) in Panacan here Tuesday.

But Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Ariel Casilao said the military sounded like a broken record for always claiming that it could end the NPA.

“They failed so many times because their approach of addressing the insurgency problem will not solve the very roots of the armed conflict, economic inequality, social injustice etc.,” he said.

He expressed concern it will only result to more human rights abuses.

“The AFP, in its desperate attempt to eradicate the CNN will result to more human rights violations, especially that AFP and other state security forces wrongfully define the enemies of the state which include legitimate organizations that are critical to government,” he added.

He said CNN (CPP-NPA-National Democratic Front of the Philippines) will continue to exist if the roots of the armed conflict are not addressed properly.

Galvez said the government forces are grateful for the support of local government units.

“We are happy that the support of the LGUs, of the people is very overwhelming and we have also good commanders. We have the best commanders here in Eastmincom. And I am very happy that the performance of our unit has been very significant,” he said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte revealed last November 10 that communist leaders Fidel V. Agcaoili and Luis Jalandoni have reached out to him to resume the stalled peace talks between the government and the NDFP.

Duterte said he immediately called for a cluster meeting including the military but added he will announce his decision after his trips to Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

Agcaoili said he, Jalandoni and NDFP peace panel member Coni Ledesma are set to return to the Philippines this month “in connection with our work as members of the NDFP component in the Joint Monitoring Committee under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.”

He said they have been invited to meet with Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Bjorn Jahnsen.

“In this regard, we welcome the opportunity to meet with the President unless he does not want to or his military is against it,” he said.

Abu Sayyaf bandits free 10-year-old boy in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 14): Abu Sayyaf bandits free 10-year-old boy in Sulu

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) released the 10-year-old boy they seized almost three months ago in the province of Sulu, police said Wednesday.

The Sulu Provincial Police Office identified the freed victim as the son of Zaide Ahmad Pasil, chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Sulu.

Police said the boy was freed around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday in the town of Patikul, Sulu and was received by his father and uncle.

His release came following successful negotiations headed by a certain Faizal, the neighbor of the Pasil family, police said.

The victim was seized by motorcycle-riding gunmen on Aug. 16 near a snack house in Barangay San Raymundo, Jolo, Sulu.

Earlier, Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said the boy was with his 13-year-old sister, aboard a family car on the way to school when seized by six gunmen on three motorcycles.

The gunmen, who turned out to be ASG bandits, left unharmed Pasil’s sister and the driver. They then sped towards the direction of Barangay Latih, Patikul municipality, police said.

Police said the victim underwent a medical examination after his release.

DILG holds 2-day violent extremism seminar in Zamboanga

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 14): DILG holds 2-day violent extremism seminar in Zamboanga

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is conducting a two-day seminar on the prevention of violent extremism for barangay officials in this city.

The participants of the seminar on Wednesday and Thursday are the chairpersons of 14 barangays--13 from this city and one from Zamboanga Sibugay--identified as among those vulnerable to violent extremism in this region.

DILG Regional Director Paisal Abutazil said the barangays vulnerable to violent extremism were earlier identified by the police and military authorities.

“This is not only the role of PNP (Philippine National Police), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), and national and local officials. Everyone must be involved because we already experienced Zamboanga and Marawi siege, there must be lessons learned,” Abutazil said.

Abutazil said the participants of the two-day seminar also included police and military officials.

Seminar topics included the following: strengthening Filipino values; cultural sensitivity in the Filipino setting; violent extremism leading to terrorism; vulnerable sectors to radicalization and violent extremism; and community anti-terrorism awareness.    

One of the participants, Belman Malandi, the Sta. Catalina barangay chairperson, said they continue to monitor activities in their village that may potentially lead to radicalization and extremism.   

Malandi said the barangay officials and village watchmen cannot do it alone as they need the support of the residents.

Village councilor, 2 others hurt in Cotabato ambush

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 15): Village councilor, 2 others hurt in Cotabato ambush

COTABATO CITY – A village councilman and two others were wounded when armed men ambushed them along Gonzalo Javier Street, Barangay Rosary Heights 7 here Wednesday evening.

Senior Supt. Rolly Octavio, city police director, identified the victims as Barangay Rosary Heights 7 council member Tokan Mamalangkas; motorcycle driver Abubakar Ayunan Ali, 31; and Julba Amil Guiamal, 71, a female vendor.

Mamalangkas was back-riding the motorcycle driven by Ali along Gonzalo Javier St. around 6:45 p.m. when fired upon by gunmen positioned on one side of the road,  Octavio said.

“The village official sustained gunshot wounds in the mouth, chest and right leg while the motorbike driver was hit in his right leg,” Octavio said. Guiamal, who was passing by the area, was hit by a stray bullet on her left foot.

The three victims were rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.

Relatives of Mamalangkas, who requested anonymity, said they believed he was the target of the ambush.

The incident came two days after another councilman in the same village was killed by armed men on the same spot.

On Monday, gunmen shot and killed Barangay Rosary Heights 7 councilman Jainudin Dimao while on his way home around 5:30 p.m.

Dimao was driving his motorbike when fired upon by gunmen, who separately fled aboard a motorbike and a black car.  He died on the spot.

Probers believe that the successive attacks on the village councilmen could be work-related as both were active in the anti-illegal drugs campaign in their village.

Octavio said police foot and mobile patrols will be intensified in the area to prevent similar incidents from happening.

AFP yet to receive any martial law-related complaints

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 15): AFP yet to receive any martial law-related complaints

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it has yet to receive any documented human rights violations or complaints amid the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo made this remark in an interview with reporters Wednesday, noting that martial law in Mindanao is being implemented with respect for human rights.

"Martial law (is being) implemented (with respect) for human rights, we enforce it with adherence to existing laws (and) so far wala tayong nakukuhang dokumentadong mga reklamo sa ginagawa nating pag-iimplement ng martial law (we are still to receive any documented complaints regarding our implementation of martial law)," Arevalo said.

Earlier, the AFP spokesperson said the military is inclined to recommend the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

"Well, yun nga ang sinasabi natin, successful yung ating conduct ng security (operations). (As we said, our conduct of security operations are successful) but we have to sustain those gains and even yung (the) local governments, marami sa kanila ang nagpahayag ng kagustuhan, sa pamamagitan ng mga statements na in-issue nila (many of them expressed desire through their statements which they issued), some have issued resolutions wanting to continue the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, so kinakalap natin lahat itong mga inputs na ito para ating pag-aralan upang sa ganun makakuha tayo ng conclusive additions dun sa mga (we are collecting all these inputs which we will study so we can obtain conclusive additions to the) reasons if we are to extend martial law ," he added.

"But more likely, the AFP will recommend its extension base dun sa mga initial na nabanggit ko (from what I have initially mentioned)," said Arevalo, who declined to give a specific timeframe on its extension.

Malacañang earlier said it would depend on the recommendation of the AFP on whether martial law will be extended after the end of the year.

Martial law in Mindanao was declared on May 23, 2017 following attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.

The House of Representatives, in a special joint session in July last year, granted the extension of martial law until Dec. 31, 2017 at the President's request.

The Senate and House of Representatives, convening in a joint session early December, subsequently granted President Rodrigo Duterte's request for the extension of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period of one year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018.

DWDD: 45 Former Rebels to undergo the E-CLIP Reintegration Program.

Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV (Nov 12): 45 Former Rebels to undergo the E-CLIP Reintegration Program.

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Camp Burgos, Oroquieta City. 45 Former Rebels will undergo a month long Reintegration Program to f...acilitate their deradicalization, mainstream them as productive citizens, bridge other programs and basic services of the government and provide livelihood opportunities. Said training will be conducted at H10IB, Brgy Burgos Oroquieta City.

"Karon ang maayongpanahon para makabaton mo ug mas maayong kahimtang sa kinabuhi --nga luwas sa peligro -- ug makaandam mo para sa inyong kaugmaon ug sainyong mga pamilya" said Gov Herminia Ramiro.

"Gone are the days na puro gyera lang ang alam ng ating mga sundali. Maswerte tayo dahil meron ng ganiton programa ang gobyerno na handang tumulong upang makabalik kayo at magsimula uli." Said Col Gaerlan, Cmdr 102nd Infantry Brigade.

"Iparating ninyo sa mga dati ninyong kasma na nanatili pa rin sa mga kabundukan at kanayunan na walang magandang kinabukasan sa madugong digmaan. Panahon na para magbalik-loob at makapiling muli ang kanilang mga pamilya."- Said Major General Roseller G Murillo Commander 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division.

DWDD: Soldiers Seize CPP-NPA Terrorists’ Lair, Discovers Food Cache

Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV (Nov 14): Soldiers Seize CPP-NPA Terrorists’ Lair, Discovers Food Cache

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon — Troops of the 65th Infantry STALWART Battalion (651B)
seized 78 sacks of rice from a Communist Party of the Philippines — New People’s Army
terrorists’ (CNTs) lair in Lanao del Sur-Bukidnon boundary near Sitio Narvasa, Brgy....
Pinilayan, Tagoloan lI, Lanao del Sur around 2:00 pm, Monday, November 12, 2018.

65IB troops under operational control to the 403rd Infantry Brigade (403Bde) of the Army's 4th Infantry Division (41D) continued its Focused Military Operations in the area. it can be recalled that last Sunday, November 11, 2018, a 20-minute firefight ensued

between troops of the 65IB and more or less 70 members of the CNTs of Guerilla Front
Committee 68 (GFC68), which resulted to the death of a high-ranking terrorist leader and
the seizure of one AK-47 rifle with 6 magazines & ammunitions, one M16 rifle, 27 sacks
of rice, medical supplies, and subversive documents.

The voluminous amount of rice seized are believed to be collected by the said terrorist
group out of intimidation and extortion from the poor farmers in the nearby communities,
as local residents have repeatedly reported such intimidation and extortion to the nearest
Army detachment.

“We condemn the CPP-NPA Terrorists for such a treacherous act of collecting and
keeping voluminous amount of rice while the poor families in that area suffer from hunger.
We will continue to our Focused Military Operations until the communities are free from
NPA terrorists’ oppression.” said Lieutenant Colonel Richard Rabaca, Commanding
Officer of the 65IB.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the 403Bde, encouraged the
local populace to continue supporting the government in its effort to free the communities
from CPP-NPA Tenorists threat.

“We take our strength from the people whom we serve. We appreciate the local residents
in the area for cooperating with the authorities, which in tum, enabled us to locate this
seize the huge amount of rice that they have forcibly
son and forced recruitment of the CPP-NPA Terrorists" said Vinoya.

Credits: 403rd Infantry Bde, 4ID, PA

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NDF/PKM-Negros: Statement of condemnation on the assassination of Atty. Benjamin Ramos

PKM-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Nov 14): Statement of condemnation on the assassination of Atty. Benjamin Ramos  

The Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid is an Allied Organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Executive Committee
PKM – Negros Island

9 November 2018

Photo by DZRH Boy Gonzales

Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid – Negros Island condemns in the strongest terms possible the assassination of Atty. Benjamin Ramos on the night of November 6.

PKM – Negros Island condole with the wife and family of Atty. Benjamin Ramos and all Negros genuine land reform advocates and the revolutionary masses acquainted with him. Yet the significant achievements he modestly contributed through three decades of service to the Negros peasantry and people are enduring reasons for commemoration and inspiration in the continuing struggle against landlord oppression in Negros Island.

Atty. Benjamin Ramos is a sincere reformist who displayed a deep understanding and high respect for the farm workers and peasants’ pursuit of the revolutionary path of land reform. He has truly participated in the mainstream struggle for genuine land reform in Negros not only through a lifetime of law practice for the cause on improving agrarian law, but on a much wider scale in pursuing and defending advocacies that sought to alleviate the economic, political and social conditions of farm workers and peasants.

The Panaghidaet sa Kauswagan Development Group (PDG) of which he was executive director till the time of his assassination, has decades of exemplary record of support in organizing, training, providing legal aid, facilitating socio-economic projects and promotion of sustainable agriculture. But through all the orthodoxies of NGO work, Atty. Ben was an affirmation of genuine activists of the intelligentsia who indeed serve the peasants and the people with heart and soul.

 The value of his lifetime deserve attention and emulation to all middle forces who adhere to need of dismantling the feudal and semifeudal exploitation of the Filipino peasants.

We indeed deeply grieve for the demise of Atty. Ben. Yet clearly underneath our grieving is a long seething rage for social justice and national liberation. The perpetrators of Atty. Benjamin Ramos’ killing might as well be reminded of a time-enduring aphorism – to kill a revolutionary never kills the very revolution he embraces. In multifold, activists will spring from the very cause Atty. Ben Ramos has sacrificed his life for.

PKM extends a red salute to Atty. BR.

Felicidad Mercado
Spokesperson, PKM -Negros Island

NDF/Kilab: Lumad school flees from Alamara, resumes class in Dulyan, Talaingod

Kilab Multimedia propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Nov 14): Lumad school flees from Alamara, resumes class in Dulyan, Talaingod  

Photo by Kilab Multimedia
The struggle continues for the Salugpongan School in Sitio Nasilaban, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod this week.

The community, teachers and students evacuated again this time to Sitio Dulyan on Monday, November 11, after the paramilitary Alamara issued an ultimatum that they will destroy the school.

Some 35 students from grades 7 to 10 and three teachers walked for an hour to the Salugpongan campus in Dulyan to resume their class.

On Tuesday, the Alamara staged a rally in Dulyan, forcing some residents to join in their demand for the closure of Salugpongan schools.

Our recent video (below) documented how the soldiers are manipulating tribal chieftains of Talaingod and recruiting the Alamara to act out their objectives of dismantling the school. Leaders of Salugpongan and parents object to the military’s scheme of dividing the Lumad, as they said the school is legitimate and caters to their need.

CPP/NPA-Southern Panay: Patrol base sang Philippine Army, ginreyd sang NPA

NPA-Southern Panay propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 13): Patrol base sang Philippine Army, ginreyd sang NPA

Ariston Remus
NPA-Southern Panay (Napoleon Tumagtang Command)
New People's Army
November 13, 2018

Ginakumpirmar kag gina-ako sang Napoleon Tumagtang Command, NPA- Southern Panay ang pagreyd sang Tactical Patrol Base sang komposit nga pwersa sang 61st IB kag 33rd Division Reconaissance Company, Phil. Army sa Brgy. Igcabugao, Igbaras, Iloilo adlaw subong nga Lunes petsa 12 sang Nobyembre, 2018. Naglawig sang isa ka oras kag tunga ang pagtinguha nga ma-over-run ang nasambit nga patrol base. Sandig sa inisyal nga report sang Yunit Kumand sa Operasyon sang NPA, apat (4) ang casualty sa bahin sang Phil. Army.

Indi matuod nga ang nakasakay sa Hi-lux amo ang target nga i-ambush sang NPA. Hungod nga ginalubid sang militar ang estorya para takpan ang kahuy-anan nga nasarangan sang NPA nga salakayon ang ila patrol base. Halos tunga sa adlaw nga wala nakatingog ang mga tagpamababa sang militar para mapreparahan ang story line. Daku nga kahuy-anan sa ila bahin kon akuon nga naglab-ot sang inoras ang inaway bangud ang pag-ako pagkilala sang lebel kag ikasarang sang NPA sa pagpakig-away. Hungod nga gin-block-out ang balita kag ulihi na nagtingog sang nahuman na ang linubid nga kabutigan.

Puno sang kakahas kag determinasyon nga nagpursigir ang mga Pulang kumander kag Pulang hangaway sa pagsalakay sang nasambit nga patrol base para untaton ang ila pagpangapin sa hakugan nga kompanya sang Century Peak. Tinuig na nga ginhimo nga ayam-ayam sang ini nga kompanya ang Phil. Army para protektahan ang pang-ekonomyang interes. Ginkasangkapan sila sa pagmilitarisa sang lugar agud punggan ang pagreklamo sang mga pumuluyo sa natuga nga halit, dislokasyon sang pangabuhian kag katalagman sa kapalibutan. Ini nga buhat sang Phil. Army kag CAFGU athag nga pagkontra sa interes kag kawsa sang sahing pigos kag ginahimuslan kabaylo sang pasaburno nga kwarta kag benipisyo sang kapitalista.

Tuig 2014 pa lang nabaton na namon ang mga reklamo bahin sa mga nagbagtik nga talamnan bangud naagawan sang sorsa sang patubig. May nagpahayag sang kahangawa sa posible gulpe nga pagbulwak sang tubig nga napunong sang duta nga gintambak sa suba sang panahon nga gina-obra pa lang ang opisina sang kompanya. May nagpahayag sang ila reklamo sa atrasado kag baratu nga swelduhanay kag indi paborable nga kondisyon sa pagtrabaho. Madamu man ang nagduda nga sa likod sang mini-hydro, may lipot nga lihok sa pagmina ang kompanya.

Para sa kaathagan, nagtanyag ang Rebolusyonaryong Gubyerno sang Pumuluyo paagi sa NPA, sang isa ka mainabyanon nga pag-estoryahanay sa tagdumalahan sang Century Peak sa tuyo nga mahambalan ang katuyuan sang proyekto kag benipisyo nga mahatag sini sa pumuluyo. Gintuyo man nga mahambalan ang mga reklamo kag ginakahangaw-an sang masa sa mahimo bungahon sang ila proyekto. Imbes makigsugilanon, paagi sa ila mabaskog nga impluwensya sa militar ginpalubong ang isa ka unit sang ISAF sa detatsment sang army sa Brgy. Passi, Igbaras. Umpisa sang 2015, ginsagod na gid kag tuso nga ginpwesto sini ang isa kumpanya sang 82nd IB PA sa palibot sang project site kag mismo sa sulod sang iya opisina para depensahan ang iya interes. Ginbulos-bulos sa pagbantay ang 61st IB, PA kag Division Reconnaisance Company (DRC) sang gindeploy ang 82nd IB sa Marawi sang 2017.

Ginasigahum nga ining taktikal opensiba makadul-ong sang mensahe sa tanan nga army kag CAFGU nga nagapagamit sa dalagku nga mga kapitalista. Magdampig sa kapareho nga pigos kag ginahimuslan. Ang pag-entra sa AFP kag CAFGU pagtraidor sa kaangay nga imol kabaylo sang kwarta kag pasaburno.

Sa pihak nga bahin, bugalon kag ginahatag namon ang mataas nga pagsaludo kay Kaupod Casamiro Ka Boy Talaman sang Brgy. Buloc, Tubungan sa pagbuhis sang kabuhi para sa makasahi nga paghimakas sang mga anak-balhas!

CPP/NDF-Bikol: Paghuli ng GRP sa mga NDF consultant malinaw na kawalan ng katapatan sa usapang pangkapayapaan

NDF-Bikol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 13): Paghuli ng GRP sa mga NDF consultant malinaw na kawalan ng katapatan sa usapang pangkapayapaan

Maria Roja Banua
Spokesperson, NDF-Bicol
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
November 13, 2018

Mariing kinukundena ng NDF-Bikol ang iligal na pag-aresto sa dalawang NDF consultant na sina Vicente Ladlad at Adelberto Silva, kasama ang anim pang sibilyan, ngayong huling kwarto ng taon. Ito rin ang panahong taning ng Pangulo ng GRP ng pag-aaral niya ng mga dokumento ng inabot na usapang pangkapayapaan at pagpapatawag niya diumano ng mga konsultasyon sa mga “stakeholders”. Sa parehong insidente, tinaniman ng mga elemento ng PNP at CIDG ang mga nangungunang myembro ng NDF Panel ng mga armas at eksplosibo upang bigyang-matwid ang pagkahulisa kanila sa kasong kriminal na hindi maaaring pyansahan o non-bailable offense.

Sina Silva at Ladlad ay matagal na nagsilbi bilang mga lider-organisador na buong panahong nagmumulat at nagpapakilos ng mga kabataang estudyante, manggagawa, magsasaka at iba pang batayang sektor sa lipunan gayundin ang iba pang panggitnang uri. Nang ipinataw ni Marcos ang pasistang lagim ng Batas Militar, kagyat na sumapi ang dalawa sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan at buong lugod na nakibaka para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya ng sambayanang Pilipino. Sa kabila ng banta sa kanilang buhay at walang humpay na panunugis ng militar at maseselang karamdaman, patuloy nilang pinili ang ubos-kayang paglilingkod sa sambayanan bilang kinatawan ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa usapang pangkapayapaan.
Ang serye ng paninira, panunugis at iligal na pag-aresto sa mga NDF consultants at kanilang mga istap ay tahasang paglabag sa Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) na pinirmahan kapwa ng NDFP at GRP noong 1995. Malinaw na nakasaad sa ikalawang probisyon ng Joint Agreement Implementing the Provisions of the JASIG between the GRP and NDFP Negotiating Panels na,

“In all matters pertaining to the safety and immunity of negotiators, consultants, staffers, security and other persons participating in the peace process and whose rights are protected by the JASIG, the provisions of the latter document shall always prevail. Any issuance, interpretation or application done separately or unilaterally by either party which affects the rights, safety and immunity of persons participating in the peace process and which is in conflict with or in violation of the provisions of the JASIG shall be null and void and of no force and effect.”

Ibig sabihin, sa bisa ng JASIG, ipinagbabawal ang paggawa ng anumang hakbang na magpapahamak o magbabanta sa seguridad ng mga kinatawan at ng kanilang mga istap kabilang na ang iligal na panunugis, harassment, tortyur at pag-aresto.
Sa kainutilang tupdin ang sarili nitong pinirmahang kasunduan, muling pinatutunayan ng reaksyunaryo at anti-mamamayang mga rehimen ng GRP, kabilang ang rehimeng US-Duterte ang kawalan ng sensiridad sa usapang pangkapayapaan. Wala itong pagpapahalaga at pagkilala sa interes ng sambayanan kaya napakadali para rito na gumawa ng mga hakbang upang masabotahe ang negosasyon na kung matapat sanang mapag-uusapan ng dalawang panig, ay maaaring magbunga ng mga makabuluhang sosyo-ekonomikong repormang ipinapanawagan ng mamamayan.

Dapat kilalanin ng GRP na ang pagtalima sa JASIG at iba pang mga kasunduang napirmahan ng dalawang panig tulad ng The Hague Joint Declaration at Breukelen Joint Agreement ay obligasyong kaakibat ng usapang pangkapayapaan. Patuloy ang pagkakandarapa ng gubyernong takasan ang kanyang mga pananagutan na tumalima sa mga naturang kasunduan habang ibinubunton ang sisi sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan kung bakit hindi umuusad ang usapang pangkapayapaan.

Ang totoo, ang tanging motibo ng GRP sa pagpasok sa usapang pangkapayapaan ay ang itulak sa pasipikasyon at kapitulasyon ang CPP-NPA-NDFP. Nang mabigo itong makamit ang layunin, mabilis na nagsara ng pinto ang rehimeng US-Duterte sa negosasyon sa kabila ng mga nauna nang pag-abante sa burador ng Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER). Noong Disyembre 2017, ipinag-utos ni Duterte ang pagpapatupad ng Proclamation 360 na tuluyang tumatapos sa usapang pangkapayapaan at Proclamation 374 na bumabansag sa CPP-NPA-NDFP bilang isang teroristang grupo. Nasundan pa ito ng Proscription Petition kung saan higit 600 pangalan ng mga kilalang NDF consultant, lider ng mga progresibong organisasyon, taong-simbahan, propesyunal at tagapagtaguyod ng karapatang tao ang pinaratangang may kaugnayan sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Makailang ulit ding ipinahayag ni Duterte na wala siyang interes na humarap sa usapang pangkapayapaan at ‘dapat patayin ang mga komunista’. Buong kahambugan din niyang iwinawasiwas ang pagtutulak ng todo-gera laban sa mga rebolusyonaryo. Ang mas masahol pa, pinagbabantaan at target ng panggegera ng rehimeng US-Duterte maging ang mga sibilyan at grupong progresibo o pampulitikang oposisyong tumutuligsa sa kanyang tiranikong paghahari.

Hinihikayat at ginagatungan ng ganitong mga sanggano at butangerong pahayag ang ibayo pang pasismo at paglabag sa karapatang tao ng militar at kapulisan. Ibayong nagiging bulnerable ang mga sibilyan sa arbitraryo at walang pakundangang karahasan ng mga awtoridad. Malinaw na walang aasahan ang mamamayang Pilipino sa rehimeng US-Duterte. Lango ito sa pagnanais na patindihin ang pangingibabaw ng militarismo at higit pang pasiklabin ang kontra-mamamayang gera sa pamamagitan ng Oplan Kapayapaan. Tulad ng mga nangabigong Oplan ng mga nakaraang rehimen, idinisenyo ito ng US bilang estratehiyang kontra-insurhensya na naglalayong supilin ang makatwirang paglaban ng mamamayan at pagtaguyod ng mga pasistang rehimen habang nananalasa ang neoliberalismo.

Nananawagan ang NDF-Bikol at ang rebolusyaryong kilusan sa lahat ng mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang tao at tagapagtaguyod ng kapayapaan na tuligsain at labanan ang malulubhang paglabag ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Kung patuloy na aatakihin at sasalaulain ng rehimeng US-Duterte ang mga nauna nang kasunduang pinirmahan nito sa mga nagdaang usapan, walang kahahantungan ang iba pang mga substantibong adyenda ng usapan tulad ng sosyo-ekonomikong reporma, pulitikal at konstitusyunal na reporma, pagwawakas ng armadong sigalot at disposisyon ng pwersa. Habang patuloy ang patraydor na pagtugis at pag-aresto ng pasistang rehimen sa mga kagawad ng NDFP-Panel at patuloy ang karahasan sa mamamayan, hindi makakamit ng Pilipinas ang tunay at pangmatagalang kapayapaan.

Nakahanda ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan at ang mamamayan sa higit pang pagtindi ng pasismo at terorismo ng inutil na gubyerno sa ilalim ng“de facto” o deklaradong Martial Law man sa buong bansa . Ibayong iigting ang mga kilusang masa at dadagundong ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan upang ipagtanggol ang sambayanan laban sa pasistang atake at brutalidad ng rehimeng US-Duterte.

CPP: Gikalipay apan ulahi na ang paghukom nga sad-an si Imelda Marcos

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 14): Gikalipay apan ulahi na ang paghukom nga sad-an si Imelda Marcos

Duyog ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) sa katawhang Pilipino sa pagdayeg sa Sandiganbayan sa paghukom nga sad-an si Imelda Marcos sa pito ka kasong graft nga gihimo sulod sa 20 ka tuig nga paghari sa pagpangawkaw ug pagpangdaugdaug uban sa iyang bana, ang kanhing diktador nga si Ferdinand Marcos.

Angayan siyang hinanaling arestuhon ug bilangguon.
Niini nga desisyon, dugang napalig-on ang dugay nang makasaysayanong paghukom sa katawhang Pilipino batok sa diktaduryang Marcos. Kaniadto pa lang, gihukman na sa korte sa US ang mga Marcos nga sad-an sa pagpanglapas sa tawhanong katungod sa usa ka class suit sa dul-an 10,000 ka biktima sa ilang diktaduryal nga paghari.

Nakatabang ang maong desisyon sa pagpakgang sa walay-kaulaw nga paningkamot sa mga Marcos aron tuison ang kasaysayan. Hugot nga ginapangulipas ni Imelda, sa mga eredero ni Marcos ug sa ilang mga alipures ang mga krimen ug korapsyon nga gihimo ubos sa balaod militar. Nagmugna sila og hingpit nga nahilahing hulagway aron tabunan ang lalum nga sosyo-ekonomikanhong krisis ug grabeng pagpahimulos nga giantus sa katawhang Pilipino.

Sa iyang paningkamot nga maluklok ang iyang kaugalingon isip diktador, gipasundayag ni Duterte si Marcos isip bayani ug walay-kaulaw niyang gidayeg ang diktaduryang Marcos.

Bisan gikalipay, ulahi na kaayo ang desisyon sa Sandiganbayan. Sa pangidarong 89 anyos, pipila ka tuig na lang ang nahabilin sa pagserbisyo ni Imelda sa iyang 42 ngadto sa 77 ka tuig nga sentensya. Nalikayan niya ang hustisya sulod sa sobra 30 ka tuig. Kana, kung mapriso man galing siya. Siguradong mogamit si Imelda ug mga maniobrang ligal aron pahimuslan ang nag-aginod nga dagan sa sistema sa hustisya sa Pilipinas aron hingpit siyang makaipsot sa hustisya. Adunay kaylap nga kabalaka nga sa katapusan, panalipdan ra gihapon siya sa usa ka presidential pardon gikan kang Duterte.

Samtang gisaulog sa katawhang Pilipino ang paghukom nga sad-an si Imelda, grabe ang ilang pagkadiskuntento sa labing pagkalangan sa hustisya. Dismayado kaayo sila sa kapakyasan sa nagharing sistema nga mahukmanong pahamtangan og makatarunganong silot ang labing ngil-ad nga mga madaugdaugon ug mapahimuslanon.

Niining milabayng mga tuig, pakyas ang nagsunod-sunod nga reaksyunaryong rehimen sa pagtubag sa pangayo sa katawhang Pilipino alang sa paspas nga hustisya. Gitugutan lang sa matag rehimen ang mga Marcos nga anam-anam makahibalik. Wala ni usa kanila nga mipatuman og mahukmanong lakang panghustisya sa kahadlok nga makapukaw kini og mga demanda nga ipahamtang ang susamang mga lakang batok kanila alang sa susamang mga krimen nga gihimo nila mismo samtang anaa sa gahum.

Niadtong 1986, gitabangan sa imperyalistang US ang ilang masaligang papet nga si Marcos aron makaikyas ngadto sa Hawaii atubangan sa pag-alsa sa katawhan. Sa pagmentina og impluwensya sa mga magkaribal nga paksyon sa nagharing hut-ong, ginadasig sa US ang pagbahin-bahin og gahum ug pribilehiyo tali niini nga mga paksyon aron masiguro ang istabilidad sa pulitikanhong sistema ubos sa hegemonyang US.

Busa, halos wala natandog ang higanteng imperyo sa kinawat nga bahandi sa mga Marcos. Migamit sila og binilyong dolyar aron subling ipabarug ang ilang pulitikanhong makinarya nga nakabase sa mga burukrata-kapitalistang kamaunungon. Nakahibalik na karon sa gahum si Imelda ug ang ubang mga Marcos. Gitagamtam nila karon ang walay-babag nga pulitikanhong impluwensya ubos sa rehimeng Duterte.

Gikundena sa katawhang Pilipino ang sistema kung asa ginapatuman sa magkasunod nga mga reaksyunaryong rehimen ang nagkagrabeng mga porma sa pagpangawkaw, korapsyon, abusong militar, ug uban pang krimen, apan nagpabilin silang wala gisilutan, ug mas ngil-ad pa, padayon silang naghupot sa gahum ug nagpadaku sa ilang bahandi ug uban pang pribilehiyo gikan sa ilang mga taas nga burukratikong poder.

Samtang nagkagrabe ug naglimita sa ilang makawkaw nga bahandi ang krisis sa nagharing sistema, nagasulod ang mga burukrata-kapitalista sa kriminal nga mga porma sa paghakop og bahandi sama sa pagpayuhot ug negosyo sa droga nga nagresulta sa mas grabeng pagpangdaugdaug ug pagkadunot sa sosyo-ekonomikanhong mga kundisyon.

Aron makab-ot ang tinuod nga hustisya, walay laing kapaingnan ang katawhang Pilipino kundili ang mopatuman sa rebolusyonaryong lakang ug lumpagon ang nagharing sistema ug makihut-ong nga paghari sa dagkung burgesya-komprador, dagkung agalong yutaan ug burukrata-kapitalista. Pinaagi lang sa paghupot sa rebolusyonaryong gahum – sa demokratikong gahum sa katawhan – nga mapailalum nila ang labing dagkung kriminal ug pasistang magdaugdaugon ug mapahimuslanon sa makatarunganong silot sa labing mahukmanon nga pamaagi.

CPP: Without apology for brutal colonialism and neocolonialism, return of Balangiga Bells from US equals deceit and hypocrisy

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Nov 14): Without apology for brutal colonialism and neocolonialism, return of Balangiga Bells from US equals deceit and hypocrisy

The US government announcement of its intention to return the Balangiga Bells around December all amounts to deceit and hypocrisy since it is not to be accompanied with an official US apology for its brutal colonization of the Philippines and crimes committed during the Filipino-American war.

The bells were taken as war booty by US military forces from the town church of Balangiga, Eastern Samar in September 28, 1901. This was after setting Samar into a “howling wilderness” where American soldiers went on a frenzy of murder killing every male above 10 in retaliation for the uprising of the people of Balangiga against American colonial abuses.

The return of the Balangiga Bells has long been demanded by the Filipino people as part of their quest for justice over the grave crimes committed by the US colonial forces during the Filipino-American war. Several hundred thousand Filipinos were killed in a brutal act of aggression and occupation against the newly-found nation and war to suppress the Filipino people’s revolutionary resistance.

It is grieviously hypocritical for the US to return the Balangiga Bells without a modicum of apology. To return the bells as supposed “symbols of peace” aim only to placate the Filipino people. It will serve as a false gesture of “friendship and alliance” to obscure the fact that the Philippines remains an American semicolony and continues to suffer from US economic domination and policy-dictates, political interference and military interventionism.

The US imperialists perpetuate their hegemony in the country through its Philippine client-state. The strongest pillar of US power in the Philippines is the Armed Forces of the Philippines which it established, continues to train, indoctrinate, arm and direct to suppress the patriotic forces which challenge US imperialist domination in the country.

The Duterte regime, behind all its anti-US pretensions, is actually cooperative with US strategy to project military power in the Pacific region, while allowing China to strengthen its military presence in South China Sea, to the detriment of Philippine sovereignty. Twice over, Duterte is a traitor to the Filipino people.

In exchange for measly sums of military aid, Duterte has allowed to US to fortify its military foothold in the Philippines by setting up military bases and facilities inside AFP camps and expand its military presence through increased number of military exercises. Duterte has reaffirmed commitment to all unequal military treaties such as the MDT, VFA and the EDCA. It has followed the US baton in declaring the CPP and NPA as “terrorists” to serve the pretext for US involvment in counter-guerrilla operations under the US’ Operation Pacific Eagle – Philippines (OPE-P).

NPA killed in Iloilo

From Malaysia Business Insight (Nov 14): NPA killed in Iloilo

A MEMBER of the New People’s Army was killed in a clash with government forces in Igbaras town in Iloilo Monday, the military said yesterday.

The firefight also foiled an NPA plan to burn facilities of the Century Peak Energy Corp. in the town, said Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot Jr., commander of the Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion.

Magbalot said his battalion conducted combat operations after receiving information about the planned attack on the firm which he said has refused to give in to the NPA’s extortion demands.

The 30-minute clash occurred at around 11:20 a.m. between troops and about 10 NPA members in Sitio Butuan in Barangay Igcabugao.

During clearing operation, soldiers recovered the body, a backpack, improvised bomb, a bandolier, and three gallons of gasoline.

Magbalot said six members of the NPA’s Militia ng Bayan group and three other civilians were held after they were found in the encounter site.

“We did not recover any firearm or ammunition from them so eventually they were released last night,” he said.

AFP on EastMinCom More than 100 percent performance

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 14): AFP on EastMinCom More than 100 percent performance

The Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) rated “more than 100 percent” the performance of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) and its different units in terms of their anti-insurgency campaign.

“I can rate… it’s more than 100 percent,”AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez said. “Even the President is very happy (with the performance).”

In an interview with reporters yesterday, Galvez said the accomplishment of the EastMinCom against the insurgents is “very significant.”

“We have good commanders,” Galvez said. “We have best commanders here in EastMinCom.”
Galvez was at the Naval Felix Apolinario Station in Panacan yesterday for his farewell visit and command conference.

The AFP chief cited that seven guerilla fronts were already dismantled in Davao region, and the remaining four rebel fronts were already downgraded.

Based on EastMinCom record, a total of 7,144 members of the New People’s Army were neutralized (killed, captured, apprehended and surrendered), and 732 firearms were confiscated.

Madrigal contender as next AFP chief

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 14): Madrigal contender as next AFP chief

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr., chief of Davao-based Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), is one of the contenders to become the next chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Madrigal is the former brigade commander of the 7001st Infantry Brigade and former commander of the 4th Infantry Division based in Cagayan de Oro City.

Prior to his assumption as chief of EastMinCom, he is the former commander of the South Luzon Command (SolCom).

AFP Chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez is set to retire by Dec. 12 as he reaches the mandatory military retirement age of 56.

Galvez, who held a farewell visit and command conference at the Naval Felix Apolinario Station in Panacan yesterday, said the next AFP chief is the choice of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It is still the prerogative of the President and (Madrigal) is one of the contenders,” Galvez told reporters in an interview.

Galvez, the 50th AFP chief of staff, and Madrigal both belong to Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Sandiwa” Class of 1985.

Photo: Outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Galvez visits Eastern Command

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 14): Photo: Outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Galvez visits Eastern Command

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor

With less than a month in his post, outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. greets commanders from various military units in Davao during his visit at Eastern Mindanao Command in Camp Panacan on Tuesday as part of his farewell visit. Galvez, the 50th AFP chief of staff, is turning 56 by Dec. 12.

Photo: Eastern Mindanao Command Conference

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 14): Photo: Eastern Mindanao Command Conference

 Image may contain: 5 people

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. holds a command conference during his visit at the Eastern Mindanao Command in Camp Panacan on Tuesday.

U.S. Navy aircraft crashes in Philippine Sea, crew rescued

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 11): U.S. Navy aircraft crashes in Philippine Sea, crew rescued

THE UNITED STATES Pacific Fleet announced Monday that a Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 F/A-18 jet fighter had crashed into the Philippine Sea and that its crew ejected and rescued by USS Ronald Reagan.

It said the aircraft experienced a mechanical issue that resulted in the crew ejecting while conducting routine operations in the Philippine Sea.

In this file photo, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 conduct flight operations aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in July. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Kenneth Abbate)

"The crew was immediately and safely recovered by USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) search and rescue aircraft and brought back to the ship for evaluation by medical personnel. Based on an initial assessment, both pilots are in good condition," it said without further identifying the pilot and his wingman.

CVW 5 is embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan and is currently underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. "The crash is under investigation," it said.

US hikes aid to Mindanao; extends accord with MinDA

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 13): US hikes aid to Mindanao; extends accord with MinDA

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has increased its contribution to the development of Mindanao by at least USD11.45 million as it extended its bilateral agreement with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) until September 2019.

As of 2018, the total contribution of the USAID to its Mindanao Peace and Development (MPAD) Assistance Agreement with MinDA reached USD144.87 million.

On Tuesday, MinDA Secretary Abul Khayr Alonto accepted the additional aid during the ceremonial signing with USAID Acting Mission Director for Philippine Patrick Wesner.

Alonto said the contribution made for fiscal year 2018 will be allocated to social services and other developmental programs to meet challenges on water and energy in Mindanao.

But given the recent Marawi siege in 2017, Alonto noted that a large part of the increase will be focused on the Marawi rehabilitation.

"(The specific concentration of this year's MPAD) is the reconstruction of Marawi, and the economic rehabilitation of the conflicted areas beyond Marawi," he told reporters in an interview.

Wesner, meanwhile, said the US is committed to assist Filipinos affected in the war, particularly the displaced families in ground zero.

"This new assistance will offer opportunities for displaced families to improve their economic conditions after the Marawi siege. (It) will strengthen community cohesion among the displaced populations," he said.

For the 12 years, Wesner noted that US has provided provinces and nearly 800 barangays in Mindanao infrastructure projects such as construction of water sanitation systems, warehouses, market centers, boat landings, bridges, and even the upgrade of airport runways.

"These are transformational infrastructure projects in Mindanao, and they were completed in close partnership with Philippine government in all levels," he stressed.

Aside from infrastructure projects, MinDA and USAID have also partnered in conducting the Water-Energy-Nexus Study, which seeks to identify Mindanao provinces that are most vulnerable to climate change, including its effect to the region's water reserves and agriculture industry.

MinDA Undersecretary Janet Lopoz said in case of a water shortage, the largest impact can be seen in the urban areas of Mindanao, largely in the south-central part-- one of the Philippines' food basket areas.

With the study, she said the Philippines will be able to establish a baseline quantity for surface water supply specifically for the eight river basins in Mindanao and simulate impact of climate change on surface water supply.

Lopoz is optimistic that through this research, "policies that efficiently match natural resources to supply availability" may be explored.

Wesner echoed similar sentiments, saying the US is hopeful "the insights gained from the study will fuel a robust and evidence-based strategy led by MinDA in partnership with other government agencies that advances resilience and economic growth in the region."