Saturday, November 24, 2018

CPP/NPA-NEMR: Forced Surrender of Civilians, A Deceitful and Idiotic Move of the AFP

NPA-Northeastern Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 22): Forced Surrender of Civilians, A Deceitful and Idiotic Move of the AFP

Ariel Montero
NPA-Northeastern Mindanao
New People's Army
November 22, 2018

Similar to what have been done under previous regimes, amidst the failure of its Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to effect the surrender of Red fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), this administration has resorted to a deceitful and idiotic move of forcing large numbers of civilians to surrender. Driven by the military officers’ desire to reach the quota for the number of surrenderees in order to get promoted and ensure sources of corruption, ordinary civilians and members of legitimate peasant and Lumad organizations are also being forced to surrender.

Last November 10, the 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigades (Bde), Philippine Army (PA) paraded the purported 96 rebel returnees to show off the awarding of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) in Surigao del Sur. Majority of these alleged surrenderees however, were civilians and former members of the NPA who have long left the movement. Even the 219 displayed as having surrendered in Surigao del Sur, were also mostly civilians. It is true that there were eight (8) who surrendered to the enemy, bringing with them firearms, in the region this year. But most of them were victims of deceit and pressure from the enemy over their families.

Battalion officers in the region are showing off and competing against each other on the number of their surrenderees like Lt. Col. Jaime Datuin of the 75th IB and Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad of the 36th IB, for them to be promoted and become full colonels and generals. The same goes with BGen. Andres Centiño of the 401st Brigade and BGen. Franco Gacal of the 402nd Brigade who both want to be promoted as division commanders. These are the reasons why even hunting rifles used by farmers and the Lumad become the basis for civilians to be considered as members of the Milisyang Bayan (MB). Farmers suspected of being NPA sympathizers, and were threatened with criminal charges, who wanted to clear their names are counted as surenderees. The relatives and parents of Red fighters summoned by the military are also regarded as surrenderees.

They (military), including the PNP, fight over who can effect the surrender of NPA “commanders” to gain merits for their evaluation for promotion and as sources of corruption. Thus, even former members or known leaders of NPA units are being forced to surrender. These officials and their intelligence agents connive to obtain the bounties for the capture of these former NPA members. They pocket large amounts of money from these, aside from the funds they take from the ECLIP and the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Peace Process (OPAPP). They are deceiving their government, President Duterte and themselves.

On the other hand, ECLIP, showcased by the US-Duterte regime but no different from the programs for “rebel returnees” of the previous administrations, will only result in corruption and promotion of military officers. The program is nothing but mere show meant to deceive and cash in on. Like politicians during elections, upon the realization of their ambitions, the promises disappear and they become more rich while the people remain poor.

ECLIP is deceitful and demeaning. The government claims to ensure that former rebels receive employment, free housing, free hospitalization, educational assistance for their children, cash assistance and avail of the 4Ps, avail of loans to start businesses and other incentives. ECLIP is comparable to a sweet talking swindler uttering nothing but lies. The US-Duterte regime is unable to solve the joblessness of close to 10 million; homelessness of millions, the inability of millions of the youth to attain college education; contractualization and low wages of millions of workers; high prices of goods; inability of millions of those sick to afford hospitalization; landlessness, high land rent and interest rates of loans of millions of farmers; and many more. Does this mean that they are also using the name of the NPA to profit?

The forced surrender of civilians and ECLIP are part of (Duterte’s) propaganda and psychological operation and implemented while launching massive military operations meant to annihilate the NPA. The US-Duterte regime has no plans of sincerely solving the root causes of the continuing five-decade civil war in the Philippines. If these are not seriously addressed, the surrender program will only continue to be sources of corruption of military officers under whichever regime. This is but another burden taken from the people’s taxes.

Recall that every Philippine regime from Marcos to Noynoy Aquino, all boasted but failed to annihilate the NPA under their administration. The same is happening to the US-Duterte regime which bragged but failed to annihilate the NPA within the year. The NPA and the revolutionary forces under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), successfully overcame the brutal attacks of the AFP and PNP despite the support of the imperialist US, for 50 years. The armed strength of the NPA has endured and the revolutionary movement will continue to advance in the region and the entire country.

The NPA is fully committed to wholeheartedly serve the people and advance their national and democratic interests for genuine land reform and national industrialization against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The true revolutionaries and Red fighters of the New People’s Army will never surrender and kneel to any fascist, puppet and reactionary regime.

Long live the New People’s Army!!

Celebrate with pride the 50th anniversary of the CPP!

Duterte to Joma Sison: Present ‘final draft’ of peace deal

From GMA News (Nov 22): Duterte to Joma Sison: Present ‘final draft’ of peace deal

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday called on communist leader Jose Maria Sison to present to him a "final draft" amid stalled peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels.

"I’ll talk to Sison. Give me the final draft and if I like it, I’ll pass it on to the military and the police. Sabihin ko, 'O, is this all right with you?'" Duterte said in a speech during the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza, Cavite.

"'Kasi kung hindi naman tanggapin tanggapin ng military, police, i-coup d’etat ka naman. Anak ng jueteng."

Duterte also said National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief peace negotiator Fidel Agcaoili and Luis Jalandoni, senior adviser to the negotiating panel, should talk to Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Bello is the government's chief peace negotiator.

"This Agcaoili and Jalandoni would come here and talk to me. I said, 'Why should I talk to you? You talk to Dureza and Bello,'" Duterte said.

Agcaoili, Jalandoni and NDFP negotiating panel member Coni Ledesma, however, decided on Monday not to push through with their trip to Manila for informal talks with the government due to security concerns.

Jalandoni cited the statement of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año last week that the NDFP officials would be arrested once they set foot in the country because there allegedly are arrest warrants against them.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, said that the NDFP officials would not be arrested upon their return to the country.

Chances for a negotiated end to the communist insurgency slumped in June after Duterte pushed the resumption of peace talks to a later date, saying he needed more time and more consultations on the matter.

Enraged by the move, Sison, the exiled founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, said it would be better to work for Duterte's ouster and prepare for peace talks with the next administration.

Despite setbacks, Malacañang said the government remains open to peace negotiations with the CPP's political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, subject to certain conditions set by Duterte.

The President wanted the talks in the Philippines and for communist insurgents to stop collecting revolutionary taxes.

He also wanted hostilities against government forces stopped, with New People's Army fighters "encamped," and no demand for a coalition government.

Former NPAs get livelihood support

From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 23): Former NPAs get livelihood support

The 15 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, who recently surrendered to the Army’s 25th Infantry (Fireball) Battalion (25th IB), received livelihood support through the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip), Second Lt. Kimberly Jean W. Lappao, Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 25th IB on Friday said.

In a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin on Friday, the 25th IB CMO officer said the former NPA rebels received their livelihood and starter kits during the awarding ceremony held at the “Fireball” Battallion’s Multi-purpose Hall at Camp Kalaw in Barangay Poblacion, Monkayo town, Compostela Valley (ComVal) on Tuesday.

The former rebels (FRs) received groceries and farm animals such as goats and pigs with feeds grower and vitamins as their starter kit, Lappao said.

The turnover of the government livelihood support was spearheaded by the 25th IB commander Lt. Col. Oscar B. Balignasay, Jr. and was also attended Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Provincial Director Lucky Siegfred M. Balleque, and Faustino E Diabordo, Livelihood Seeding Program coordinator.

Government troops recover NPA materiel after Bukidnon clash

From GMA News (Nov 24): Government troops recover NPA materiel after Bukidnon clash                                
MARAMAG, Bukidnon—Troops from the 88th Infantry Battalion recovered war materials after a clash with New People's Army guerrillas in a town in Bukidnon last Thursday.

Lieutenant Colonel Dante Bermillo, 88IB commanding officer, said the encounter erupted at 6:40 a.m. and lasted for 45 minutes on November 22, in far-flung Barangay Santa Felomina of Quezon town in Bukidnon.

Photo courtesy: 88th IB

Recovered after the encounter were different armaments and operational supplies such as an anti-personnel mine, a 50-meter detonating cord, an improvised Grenade launcher, two rifle grenades, two solar panels, two Cignus batteries, some medical paraphernalia, backpacks, and a sack of rice.
No casualty was reported among government troops.

Bermillo called on the communist insurgents to go back to the fold of law, especially during the Yuletide season to reunite with their families.

“Christmas is approaching and encourage them to be with their family. Their families are waiting for them and this season is the best to be with them,” he said.

4 NPA rebels yield in Ifugao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 23): 4 NPA rebels yield in Ifugao

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Gamu, Isabela – Four New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered to the military following an encounter in Barangay Namal, Asipulo, Ifugao on Wednesday.

Major Jefferson Somera, spokesperson of the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Divison, on Friday said that at around 7 a.m. on November 21, the 54th Infantry Battalion captured the NPA rebels’ camp in the area.

“No casualties on the government side while still undetermined on the enemy side,” he said.

Somera said that four NPA rebels later surrendered to the same unit.

The operations resulted in the recovery of various high-powered firearms, ammunition, explosives, communications gadgets, documents, food supplies, and a generator set.

Lieutenant Colonel Narciso B. Nabulneg Jr, 54th Infantry Battalion said concerned residents relayed to authorities the presence of the NPA rebels in the area.

“The operation was launched through the information given by civilians in the area, wherein the NPA were busy extorting goods and foodstuffs from the masses in preparation for their grand activity next month. Such activities anger the masses who hardly meet their everyday needs,” Nabulneg said.

Brigadier General Leopoldo Imbang Jr., of the 503rd Brigade, commended the troops for successfully carrying out the mission.

Military, MILF prepare to secure Bangsamoro vote vs violence

From Rappler (Nov 24): Military, MILF prepare to secure Bangsamoro vote vs violence

Military officials and Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders discuss security preparations for the January 2019 plebiscite during the historic Camp Aguinaldo visit of MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim

END OF WAR. Philippine military chief General Carlito Galvez Jr and MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces chief Sammy Al Mansour at a news briefing in Camp Aguinaldo on November 19, 2018. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

END OF WAR. Philippine military chief General Carlito Galvez Jr and MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces chief Sammy Al Mansour at a news briefing in Camp Aguinaldo on November 19, 2018. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said the plebiscite on the creation of a new Bangsamoro region on January 21, 2019, will not be marred by the usual violence seen in regular elections in Mindanao.
“While we see that there’s a possibility of some violence during the plebiscite, for me, the plebiscite is not like regular elections,” MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said.

The military and the MILF discussed security preparations for the plebiscite during Murad’s historic Camp Aguinaldo visit on November 21, two months before the crucial plebiscite.

“Napag-usapan namin (We talked about it). We foresee [possible concerns in] some areas, but these are very manageable,” Galvez said in a joint press conference with Murad.

Galvez, a staunch supporter of the peace process with the MILF, is retiring from his post in December. But he is seeking to serve as consultant of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and continue the advocacy.

Murad said the MILF is also confident of its continued cooperation with other military generals it has been working with on the ground.

“We have established a very strong cooperation under the joint ceasefire committee. We are trying our best that even during the time of the plebiscite, there will be no violence that will happen,” said Murad.

Eyes on BIFF Commander Toraifie

Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Arnel dela Vega said there are also members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao who have reached out to indicate possible support for the new region.
Sammy Al Mansour, chief of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), said BIFF members who are “not hardliners” are observing the outcome of the plebiscite and expressed openness to supporting the peace process.

Al Mansour said it’s the BIFF faction led by Esmail Sheikh Abdulmalik – who goes by the nickname "Commander Toraifie – that they need to watch. (READ: Duterte names obscure terrorist to justify extended martial law)
“Kung titingnan, ito ang pinaka-strict. Iyan ang babantayan (If you look at it, it’s the most radical faction. That's what has to be watched closely),” said Al Mansour.

The BIFF is a breakaway group of MILF that continues to seek independence rather than autonomy. It has leaders like Toraifie who have pledged allegiance to the international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS) and coddle foreign fighters.

Congress passed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in fulfillment of government’s commitment in the peace talks with MILF, the dominant Muslim rebel group.

The January 21 plebiscite will decide which areas agree to join the new region that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The campaign period for the plebiscite will run from December 7 to January 19.

#TheLeaderIWant: Neri Colmenares on what a leftist can bring to the Senate

From Rappler (Nov 24): #TheLeaderIWant: Neri Colmenares on what a leftist can bring to the Senate

How will he convince Filipino voters that a leftist deserves a seat in the Senate?

Bookmark this page to watch the interview on Saturday, November 24, 3 pm.

MANILA, Philippines – Leftist leader Neri Colmenares is taking another shot at a seat in the Senate, after fruitless attempts of the Left in the last 3 senatorial elections.
Colmenares, Bayan Muna's former representative at the House of Representatives, is running under Makabayan for the 2019 mid-term elections.

Colmenares' platforms are consistent with the cries of the progressives: remove excise taxes in the tax reform package, and ban all forms of contractualization.

These are programs that directly relate to the masses, yet Colmenares has found it difficult to enter the Magic 12 rankings in pre-election surveys.

How does he plan to raise his profile, and how will he convince the Filipino voters that a leftist deserves a seat in the Senate?

Rappler talks to Colmenares for the #TheLeaderIWant series on Saturday, November 24, starting 3 pm.

15 FRs get aid

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 22): 15 FRs get aid

Fifteen former rebels receive the starter kit from the Department of Trade and Industry- Compostela Valley at the headquarters of the 25th Infantry Battalion in Monkayo, Compostela Valley on Tuesday.
2Lt. Kimberly Jean Lappao, the civil-military operations officer of the 25th IB, said it only shows the sincerity of the government to help the former rebels through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip).
The starter kit was distributed through the partnership between the DTI and Compostela Valley provincial government. The turnover ceremony was done at the multipurpose hall of the headquarters of the 25th IB in Camp Kalaw, Poblacion, Monkayo.
They received groceries, goats, and pigs with feeds and vitamins as their starter kit. The ceremony was graced by Lt. Col. Oscar Balignasay, the 25th IB commander.
The former rebels also underwent livelihood training to ensure the assistance doesn't go to waste.
The program aims to capacitate the 70 former rebels from all over Compostela Valley who were recipients of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program to support themselves and their respective families.
The former rebels were also asked their choice of livelihood. Most of them wanted to open a sari-sari store while the rest chose to raise hogs, goats, and poultry.
“As I always been saying, the government’s outpouring of support to you in order to start anew is useless if you yourselves lack the willingness to thrive, we are just an instrument toward your success in your chosen businesses,” the battalion commander also said in his message.

Peace caravan benefits 400 IPs in Surigao town

From the Mindanao Times (Nov 22): Peace caravan benefits 400 IPs in Surigao town

More than 400 Lumads benefited from the peace caravan in Surigao del Sur around 8 a.m. on Monday conducted by the 36th Infantry Battalion together with the local government unit of San Miguel, and other agencies.

Capt. Francisco Garello Jr., the civil-military operations officer of 36th IB, said the Lumads were ferried to the multi-purpose hall of the barangay.

Garello said the Lumads availed the services and have received food packs from the government, such as medical and dental services with free medicines, porridge feeding, distribution of food packs, and vegetable and falcata seedlings, free haircut and parlor games.

The activity was attended by the different agencies of the LGU headed by San Miguel Mayor Alvaro S. Elizalde; 36th IB led by Capt, Francisco P. Garello Jr.; Datu Rico Maca, IP mandatory representative; and the Department of Education led by Linda Mendero, district supervisor of San Miguel, SDS.

Datu Maca condemned the New People's Army for continuing to endanger the IP communities with their presence.

The peace caravan in Barangay Bitaugan was the second time this year in San Miguel, considered as conflict-affected area. The first was in Sitio Nalindog, Barangay Bolhoon last Oct. 26, 2018.

“We can only attain peace if we will help each other," Elizalde said.

In his statement, Lt. Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, commanding officer of the 36th IB, said they classify Bitaugan as an influenced area of the NPA.

"Hence, the Peace Caravan was a response to inspire unity to address peace and security concerns in the said barangay,” he said.

Bitaugan is a Lumad community that can only be accessed by four-hour trek from the poblacion.

Militants question proposed ordinance banning barricades

From MindaNews (Nov 24): Militants question proposed ordinance banning barricades

The proposed ordinance that seeks to ban barricades along roads will curtail the freedom of the people to freedom of expression, Karapatan-Southern Mindanao spokesperson Jay Apiag said on Thursday.

“This ordinance proposed by Councilor Mabel Sunga Acosta that bans road blocks during rallies and protest actions clearly violates the Constitutional right of the people to free expression. The Constitution clearly states that no law should be passed curtailing the freedom of the Filipino people,” he said.

The proposed ordinance, passed on second reading on November 20, will be approved on third and final reading on November 27.

But Vice Mayor Bernard Alag, who presides over the City Council, said in an interview at the sidelines of the opening day of the 10-day Big Bad Wolf book sale at The Tent in Azuela Cove on Thursday that progressive groups can challenge the proposed legislation in court.

Davao City Vice Mayor Bernard Alag says the proposed ordinance does not curtail rights but prohibits the setting up of barricades that block the free flow of traffic. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

He said the proposed ordinance will not curtail their constitutional right because what it prohibits is the setting up of barricades that block the free flow of traffic.

“We prohibited the blocking of streets. They can do their rally anywhere for as long as they do not block the streets. Practically that’s the spirit of the ordinance. If you want to question this, they can go to the court and question the ordinance there,” he said.

Apiag said they were not consulted nor informed on the filing of the ordinance, which prohibits “any act that impedes or obstructs the free flow of traffic along public streets and highways such as unauthorized road closures, setting up of barricades, stalling of vehicles, concerted group activities, or other similar acts.”

“We have always been open to dialogue and meetings with local officials regarding our mobilizations and protests, which was recognized even during the time of (President) Rodrigo Duterte when he was mayor,” he said.

“People’s protests should be seen as a democratic exercise of our rights and grievances, and dialogue and consultation are most welcome as it is also venue to come out with actions to address our concerns,” he added.

Apiag maintained that their protest actions are not unruly and provocative claiming that they’ve been able to hold rallies and marches “while observing the right of way of vehicles.”

“It is only in some instance like the barricade held by Sumifru union members in the TF Davao checkpoint in Lasang that caused inconvenience,” he said.

He added the City Council should probe the incident last month claiming that the main cause of inconvenience was the order from the City Hall of Davao that barred Sumifru union workers from Comspostela Valley province from entering the city to hold a dialogue with representatives of the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment.

3 killed in Zamboanga clash

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 23): 3 killed in Zamboanga clash

Government soldiers clashed Friday with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga and killing one gunman, officials said.

Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 11 rushed to the island-village of Limaong after civilians secretly reported to the military the presence of armed men.

“Troops of the MBLT-11 responded to the reports received from residents of the area about the presence of unidentified number of armed individuals with unfamiliar faces.”

“Sensing the presence of government troops, the group fired their weapons triggering an exchange of fires that lasted ten minutes that killed one Abu Sayyaf identified as Abu Nibras,” Besana said.

But other reports said a woman and child were also killed in the crossfire. Besana said nothing about the civilian casualties.

Troops also recovered the body of the slain militant who was a follower of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Andullah Indanan whose group is based in Basilan province, about 28 nautical miles from Zamboanga. Soldiers were combing the island for other militants who escaped the fighting.

There was no immediate statement from the village leader on the killing of 2 civilians. It was unknown whether the militants were planning to launch terror attacks in Zamboanga.

Navy confirms 6 casualties in Sayyaf clash in Zamboanga

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 24): Navy confirms 6 casualties in Sayyaf clash in Zamboanga

While the Western Mindanao Command did not report the killing of a woman and a child following a clash between soldiers and Abu Sayyaf militants here, the Philippine Navy on Saturday confirmed the casualties and said three more minors were also injured in the fighting in Limaong village.

Rear Admiral Rene Medina, commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said members of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 11 under Joint Task Force Zamboanga clashed Friday with militants and killed a notorious Abu Sayyaf fighter, Abu Nibras, whose group operates in nearby Basilan province, about 28 nautical miles from Zamboanga.

Abu Nibras

A Philippine Navy photo shows the recovered weapon and ammunition from slain Abu Sayyaf militant, Abu Nibras, (see photo released by Western Mindanao Command) following a clash in Zamboanga City.

He said villagers reported the presence of the militants and soldiers were immediately sent to area and caught up with the armed group and fighting erupted, adding, the woman and child who were caught in the crossfire were believed to be Abu Nibras’ family

“The conduct of military operations was due to the reported sightings of unidentified armed individuals in the area. A firefight which lasted for 10 minutes, immediately ensued when Abu Nibras detected the presence of the Marines.”

“An adult female and a minor was found dead in the encounter site, while three other minors, who sustained wounds were immediately given first aid and transferred to a medical facility for emergency treatment. The adult female and minors are believed to be the wife and children of the neutralized Abu,” Medina said.

He said soldiers and policemen recovered Nibra’s M16 automatic rifle and 9 magazines loaded with ammunition, including components and chemicals used in the manufacture of improvised explosives.

Medina said the slain militant was included in the government’s “terror list” and it was not immediately known whether the Abu Sayyaf is planning to launch attacks or bombings in Zamboanga.

Medina praised soldiers for their “rapid response and vigilance in the performance of their duty to ensure the safety and security of Zamboanga City and Western Mindanao region as a whole.”

No cause for alarm amid killing of terrorist, blast in Region 8

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 24): No cause for alarm amid killing of terrorist, blast in Region 8

Policemen check a detonating cord recovered from a house in Laoang, Northern Samar where a bomb exploded, killing 2 people and wounding 2 others on Thursday (November 22, 2018). (Photo courtesy of Laoang local government)

TACLOBAN CITY -- Residents in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) has nothing to worry about after a suspected terrorist was shot dead and a bomb exploded, killing two people in Laoang, Northern Samar.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the two incidents this week do not mean terrorists have already penetrated the region.

Policemen and other law enforcement agencies in the region have been conducting intelligence gathering and monitoring to prevent spill-over of terrorist activities in Eastern Visayas.

“We are doing our best to monitor everything, especially in the southern part of the region to ensure that all threat groups will not able to enter Eastern Visayas,” Carlos said in a press briefing on Friday.

The ports in southern part of the region including Ormoc City has a link to Mindanao and Cebu, which can be used as possible entry points of terrorist groups.

“We monitor these areas to ensure that all threat groups would not spread chaos in the region. If there is violation of law then we take precautionary measures so that we will not be caught off guard of their presence,” Carlos added.

The PNP official emphasized the importance of citizens sharing vital information to the police to prevent the spread of criminal acts and terrorist activities.

“If they see suspicious people in their area, they should immediately report it to the police station so that we can monitor these people,” Carlos said.

On Nov. 22, joint forces from the Philippine Army 802nd Brigade and PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group killed in Ormoc City Joseph Anulga, alias Dawud, whom the military believed to be linked to the DawlahIslamiya.

He got killed for fighting back during a gun buy bust operation. Anulga was involved in gun-running activities and active in convincing residents of Ormoc to convert into Islam and join the ISIS-linked group, according to authorities.

The military also linked Anulga to Yusof Macuto, the main suspect in the foiled bombing at the US Embassy in Nov. 2016 and the Hilongos, Leyte bombing in December of the same year.

Authorities recovered a caliber .45 pistol and improvised explosive device after the incident.

Meanwhile, two people died and two others were injured when a bomb exploded in Bubulosan village, Laoang, Northern Samar on Thursday.

The fatalities were identified as Ome Inocentes and Gaga Solana, both from San Antonio, Northern Samar. Those injured are Junjun Donato and Nilo Cuanico.

Initial reports from PNP Laoang said the explosion happened in a house rented by a certain Dario Ayes. The occupants rented the house for more than four months and used it to make improvised explosive device.

Policemen recovered hundreds of improvised blasting caps, one sack of detonating cord, and time fuse. Carlos said the explosives are possibly for illegal fishing activities and not for terrorist attack.