Thursday, February 28, 2019

Former rebels continue to avail of support from the government

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 27, 2019): Former rebels continue to avail of support from the government

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Another batch of former New People’s Army (NPA) members have availed of the government’s financial and livelihood support, according to the area command of the Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4thInfantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID).

Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commanding general of the 4th ID, the largest maneuvering division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao, said the former CPP-NPA rebels got the support from the government through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP.

A total of 223 ex-rebels, who surrendered to the different units under the 4th ID since January, this year, availed of the E-CLIP.

Cash assistance of P65,000 for livelihood opportunities was extended to each of the former NPA rebels, Gacal said.

Some of the former rebels are still undergoing the E-CLIP process, he said.

Recently, 31 former CPP-NPA rebels received their livelihood and immediate cash assistance during a ceremony held in Cagayan de Oro City, the 4th ID chief reported.

“Hopefully, the assistance of the government to the former rebels will pave way to change their lives for the better and become good examples for their former comrades to go back to mainstream society,” Gacal said.

The 4th ID chief has called other remaining CPP-NPA members who are still running in the mountains to come down and avail the E-CLIP and peace and development program of the government.

“As we embark on a ‘peaceful war’ by bringing in government services to resolve social ills in the remote communities, we have to continue our security patrols in the hinterlands so the remaining CPP-NPA terrorists will not have the chance to disrupt our peacekeeping campaign,” Brig. Gen. Gacal added.

PH, US military forces prepare for Exercise Salaknib 2019

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 28, 2019): PH, US military forces prepare for Exercise Salaknib 2019

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and US Army Pacific will participate in Exercise Salaknib 2019, which will be conducted in and around Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, and Nueva Ecija, Philippines from March 4 to 24, 2019.

American and Filipino soldiers pose for a group picture in front of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers. (US Emabassy in the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
The US Army 7th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Willard M. Burleson III and Philippine Army 7th Infantry Division acting commander Brig. Gen. Lenard T. Agustin presided over the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

More than 1,600 soldiers will participate in this year’s exercise, consisting of a jungle field training exercise (FTX), a bilateral Command Post Exercise (CPX), various Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), as well as Cooperative Health Engagements (CHE) and Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) projects.

Exercise Salaknib 2019 provides a venue for the exchange of tactics, techniques, and procedures for Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, demonstrating US and Philippine resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the region.

Salaknib is an annual, bilateral exercise sponsored by US Army Pacific and hosted by the Philippine Army.

Both the Philippine and US governments said the exercise will contribute to and enhance US and Philippine defense readiness and tactical interoperability while strengthening multinational relationships.

WESTMINCOM: 2 Sayyafs yield to troops in Sulu

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (Feb 28, 2019): 2 Sayyafs yield to troops in Sulu

Through the intensified operation of the government forces and the strong collaboration with the local government units, 2 Abu Sayyaf Group members individually surrendered in Sulu on Tuesday (February 26).

Jul-Amri Sali a.k.a Pujong, 27 years old, married, resident of Barangay Bulangsih, Panamao, Sulu, and a member of the ASG under Radulan Sahiron, surrendered to the troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 at its headquarters in Barangay Seit, Poblacion, Panamao, Sulu.

Sali also turned over his M1 Garand rifle.

The successful surrender was facilitated by the MBLT-3 led by Lieutenant Colonel Ramil Holgado under the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu led by Colonel Armel Tolato, the local government of Panamao, and Barangay officials of Bulangsih headed by Chairman Alnajar Abdulhan.

Sali is the son of ex-ASG member Basari Sali who just recently surrendered (February 10, 2019).

Additionally, another ASG member submitted himself to the troops of the 21st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Danag, Patikul, Sulu on the same day.

A.k.a Sibih is a resident of Barangay Lower Binuang, Talipao, Sulu and worked under the leadership of ASG sub leader Idang Susukan.

According to a.k.a Sibih, he decided to surrender because of the struggles they are experiencing due to the pressure imposed by the government forces.

“Sa tuwing may nasusugatan sa mga kasamahan namin sa mga engkwentro sa militar, pinapabayaan lang ni Idang at hindi tinutulungan,” a.k.a Sibih said.

“Pinagbabantaan at tinatakot kami ni Idang na idadamay ang pamilya namin kapag kami ay sumuko,” he added.

A.k.a Sibih also turned over one M1 Garand rifle, magazine, and ammunitions.

“We welcome the surrenderers and they will be provided with all sorts of assistance for them to be able to start anew,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“The Western Mindanao Command through all of its Joint Task Forces will sustain the conduct of intensified military and intelligence operations to eliminate the remaining threats in the region,” LtGen Dela Vega added.

EASTMINCOM: Communities tipped off CNTG arms cache in Eastern Mindanao

Posted to the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Website (Feb 28, 2019): Communities tipped off CNTG arms cache in Eastern Mindanao 

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - Two Communist-NPA Terrorist Group (CNTG) arms cache were discovered by operating troops in Eastern Mindanao the past two days.

On February 27, 2019, a patrolling platoon of 23rd Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, discovered an arms cache and a hideout in a cave at So. Bulak, Brgy. Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. The said hideout has an estimated area of 40x30 square meters that can accommodate more or less 15 CNTs.

The troops recovered two unserviceable Garand rifles (serial number 2251028 and defaced) and 90 bottles of medicine.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, operating troops of the 56th Infantry Battalion recovered four high powered firearms in a CNTG's arms cache in Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.

In a report made by BGen. Ernesto Torres Jr, Commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, the discovery of the arms cache which has two M14 Rifles, one 50 Cal. Browning Heavy Machine Gun and one 60 MM mortar, a magazine for M14 and 7.62mm ball ammunition came after troops responded to the information of the community in the area.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command acknowledged the complementing efforts of the soldiers and the community in attaining peace.

"Security of the communities can be best done if stakeholders of peace will complement each other. The effort of the communities of providing information and declaring the armed terrorist undesirable denies them of space to hide, plan and carry out evil plans," MGen Santos said.

It can be recalled that villages and communities have been declaring the CNTGs as "persona non grata" in their respective communities.

Lately, on February 25, 2019, the Ovu-Manuvu tribe in Davao City declared the NPAs "persona non grata" in their ancestral domains and villages, while the Province of Davao Oriental declared and prohibited the CPP-NPA-NDF and declared them as undesirable in a resolution passed on February 19, 2019.
Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

Name Neg. Occ. officials supporting NPA – Lacson

From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 28, 2019): Name Neg. Occ. officials supporting NPA – Lacson

Name names.

The statement was made yesterday by Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, in response to military claims that more than 30 incumbent local government officials in Negros Occidental were reported to have been supporting the New People’s Army.

If they cannot do it publicly, Lacson suggested that the Philippine Army personally inform those public officials that their names appeared as NPA supporters.

Col. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, earlier revealed that local government officials are giving financial and logistical support to the NPA, who, in return, avail of their services, as private armed goons, during, and even before elections.

The NPA supporters, whom Arevalo did not identify, include mayors, vice mayors, while majority of them are councilors.

Without mentioning names, it seems that we are all being accused of supporting (the NPA). That is not fair, Lacson said.

Following the revelations of Arevalo, the Department of Interior and Local Government also reported that 349 local and national government officials are allegedly providing support to the NPA by submitting to their extortion activities or permit-to-campaign fees in rebel-infested areas.

Arevalo said exposing those who are supporting the NPA, is not meant to judge them. “We would like to remind them not to support the CPP-NPA,” he added, stressing that the rebel group has already been categorized by the European Union (EU), as a terrorist organization.

The DILG list included 11 governors, five vice governors, 10 provincial board members, 55 mayors, 21 vice mayors, 41 councilors, 126 village captains, 50 village councilors, and eight other village officials, from 14 areas of the country, including Western Visayas.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año had earlier issued a warning to all governors, mayors and candidates about directly or indirectly giving material and political support to the communist rebels.

Section 4 of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10168 otherwise known as "The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012,” states that those found guilty shall suffer the penalty of reclusion temporal in its maximum period, to reclusion perpetua and a fine of not less than P500,000 nor more than P1-million.

Duterte again promotes PH Coast Guard officers facing graft raps

From Rappler (Feb 28, 2019): Duterte again promotes PH Coast Guard officers facing graft raps
President Duterte has promoted Commodore George Ursabia Jr and Commodore Joselito dela Cruz to the rank of Rear Admiral
TOUGH STANCE? President Rodrigo Duterte always says he has no tolerance for corruption. Malacañang photo
TOUGH STANCE? President Rodrigo Duterte always says he has no tolerance for corruption. Malacañang photo

President Rodrigo Duterte has again promoted two Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officers facing graft charges over alleged anomalous transactions and misuse of funds.

Appointment papers from Malacañang show that Duterte promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral Commodore George Ursabia Jr and Commodore Joselito dela Cruz.

Duterte signed their promotion on February 18.

Document from Malacañang

Back in March 2018, Duterte promoted two PCG officers who had been ordered suspended over the alleged misuse of P27 million in funds.

Ursabia is among the 25 PCG officers who were filed with administrative and graft charges in 2017 over alleged anomalous purchases worth P68 million.

The Office of the Ombudsman found the PCG officers guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service. The Court of Appeals, however, cleared Ursabia of administrative charges in 2018.

As for Dela Cruz, he was one of the 9 PCG officers then-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered suspended for 6 months back in April 2018, in relation to the alleged anomalous procurement of P27.06 million in office supplies.

The case is based on the findings of a Commission on Audit report that the officers obtained cash advances worth P27 million from 2013 to 2016 without complying with rules.

They then made purchases without public bidding, and documents they submitted as part of the liquidation were found to be “questionable,” with “spurious official receipts/sales invoices/cash invoices allegedly issued by suppliers.”


PCG spokesman Armand Balilo said Dela Cruz and Ursabia were reinstated to the positions they had before they were suspended. In the case of Dela Cruz, he had been allowed to return even before the end of the 6-month suspension period ordered by the Ombusman.

"The thing is, we were ordered by the court to reinstate them without loss of seniority, also their benefits. So we have to bring that back because it's unfair to them. They are still presumed innocent," he told Rappler on Thursday.

When asked, Balilo said he did not know the status of the criminal complaint against Ursabia before the Sandiganbayan.

Duterte's zero tolerance for corruption?
Duterte promoted Ursabia and Dela Cruz despite his supposed non-tolerance for government officials on which he smells even "one whiff of corruption."

"Huwag na huwag talaga akong makarinig na corruption, [not] even a whiff or whisper. I will fire you or place you somewhere," he had said back in June 2016.

(I don't want to hear of any corruption, not even a whiff or whisper. I will fire you or place you somewhere.)

Duterte has a record of reappointing officials even if investigating government agencies found them guilty of wrongdoing.

In March 2018, he promoted two PCG officers who had been ordered suspended by the Ombudsman for the same case of improper use of cash advances that got Dela Cruz suspended.

Former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon was moved to the Office of Civil Defense and then eventually appointed Bureau of Corrections chief even if the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said he was involved in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling controversy. The Ombudsman had even recommended the further investigation of Faeldon.

There's also former Customs officials Milo Maestreocampo and Vincent Maronilla who faced similar accusations from the PDEA yet were reappointed by Duterte. Maestreocampo became assistant director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines while Maronilla was appointed back into the Bureau of Customs.

Duterte meets U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

From Rappler (Feb 28, 2019): Duterte meets U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo

(3rd UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discuss counterterrorism and North Korea during their meeting

OFFICIAL HANDSHAKE. President Rodrigo Duterte meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Villamor Air Base in the evening of February 28, 2019. Malacañang Press Corps pool photo

OFFICIAL HANDSHAKE. President Rodrigo Duterte meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Villamor Air Base in the evening of February 28, 2019. Malacañang Press Corps pool photo

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo paid a courtesy call on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night, February 28.
Pompeo and Duterte met at the Kalayaan Lounge of Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at around 9 pm.
In a statement, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said Pompeo and Duterte discussed counterterrorism and North Korea during their meeting.

"They reaffirmed the longstanding US-Philippines alliance, discussing ways to improve cooperation on regional security and counterterrorism. The Secretary and President Duterte also exchanged views on ongoing efforts to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea," Palladino said.

Pompeo was accompanied by Palladino, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, and Senior Bureau Official Patrick Murphy.

Duterte had with him Foreign Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

On Friday, March 1, Pompeo is also set to meet with Locsin at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City. The DFA said the two parties will "discuss issues of mutual interest."

Pompeo came from Vietnam where he joined US President Donald Trump for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (READ: Trump 'walks' as North Korea talks end abruptly without deal)

Pompeo's visit comes as the Philippines' defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, seeks a review of the Philippines' military alliance with the United States.

Lorenzana had said he wanted to know if the Philippines should maintain, strengthen, or scrap the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington. "Do we still have a cold war today? Is it still relevant to our security?"

The Philippines, a former US colony, is also increasingly flirting with regional giant China. Duterte himself vowed to move away from Washington and closer to nontraditional allies like Beijing and Moscow.

But on the ground, engagements by the Philippines showed it is not moving away from the US despite Duterte's rhetoric. While the Philippines has China and Russia as its new buddies, the Philippines is sticking it out with its old military ally, the US.

Army introduces alternative livelihood for Ilocos residents

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Army introduces alternative livelihood for Ilocos residents

SANTA CRUZ, Ilocos Sur --The Philippine Army (PA) has introduced mushroom production as an alternative source of livelihood that will help boost the income of the residents in Ilocos Sur.

Philippine Army soldiers and Ilocos Sur residents prepare the fruiting bags for mushroom production in Barangay Buliclic, Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur. (FGL/PIA-1)

Lt. Col. Charles DZ Castillo, commander of the army’s 81st Infantry Battalion, said on Thursday that the conduct of training on mushroom production is one of the activities of his Community Support Program (CSP) team in the different villages in their areas of responsibility.

He said that his CSP team had successfully conducted a four-day training workshop on Mushroom Production at Buliclic, Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur on Feb. 11, 15, 16 and 19, 2019. The CSP team gave a comprehensive lecture on mushroom production through demonstration and film showing to at least 50 barangay residents, who participated the training.

“We will replicate this mushroom production training in the venues of our upcoming CSP in Ilocos Sur considering its relevance and availability of needed raw materials for mushroom culture in the area,” said Castillo.

He added, “Your army will always insure the safety of the people as part of our efforts in conducting CSP and deliver basic services in partnership with the government agencies and other stakeholders.

The CSP, which is a part of the AFP’s Development Support and Security Plan (DSSP) “Kapayapaan,” aims to help the barangays become self-reliant, disaster and conflict-resilient communities, and at the same time assist in implementing their development plan.

“This is an effective mean to let the residents not to be influenced by the communist terrorists, who hamper the peace and progress in far flung villages,” Castillo said.

NPA leader surrenders in Zamboanga del Norte

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 28, 2019): NPA leader surrenders in Zamboanga del Norte

CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan Zamboanga del Sur -- A Communist NPA terrorist team leader surrendered to the Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Sas, Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte on Tuesday, February 26.
“Alias IAN is frustrated and disappointed with the terrorist group leadership because of the unfulfilled promises for a monthly salary of Php7,000 and weekly support of Php4,000 for his family just to join their ranks,” said Lt. Col. Leon Onggao, newly installed 42nd Infantry Battalion commander.

“Takot na takot po ako dahil sinabihan po kami ng aming kumander na papatayin lang kami ng mga sundalo kapag mag-surrender,” (I am afraid because our commander told us that the soldiers will just kill us if we choose to surrender) alias Ian said.

Ian also yielded one caliber .45 handgun, magazines and ammunitions.

“We expect more NPA terrorists to surrender and avail of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) that would give former rebels the opportunity to start a new life and live peacefully as productive citizens of the country together with their families,” said Col. Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander.

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) Commander , commended the efforts of the troops that led to the surrender of the NPA leader.

“We call on the remaining NPA terrorists to return to the folds of the law and join us with all the stakeholders in addressing our issues peacefully,” Ancan added. (ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay/1ID Press Release)

33IB chief cites achievements as he bids farewell

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): 33IB chief cites achievements as he bids farewell

Lt. Colonel Harold Cabunoc, outgoing Army's 33rd Infantry Battalion commander, teaches members of the Indigenous Peoples community in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat how to operate a solar torch his unit had provided the tribe. (Photo courtesy of 33rd IB)

PRESIDENT QUIRINO, Sultan Kudarat -- The commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB) said he considers the surrender of some 200 communist guerillas as one of his top achievements.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc made the statement Wednesday as he handed over the reign of the 33IB to Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling.

Cabunoc, who will be reassigned to the Philippine Army headquarters in Manila, said he is confident that his successor, who is also a Scout Ranger like him, is capable of continuing the Makabayan battalion’s gains.

He, however, turned emotional when asked by reporters here about his departure.

“I am both happy and sad. Happy, because I am moving up in my military career and sad at the same time (because) the unit I have served for two years has been a family to me,” Cabunoc said.

Under his leadership, the 33IB engaged in close coordination with stakeholders, local officials, and other security units in bringing about peace in its area of responsibility.

The 33IB covers the towns of Buluan, Pandag, Mangudadatu, Gen. SK Pendatun in Maguindanao, and the towns of President Quirino, Tacurong City, Bagumbayan and Sen. Ninoy Aquino in Sultan Kudarat.

Cabunoc enumerated a list of accomplishments that he said he was proud to accomplish with the men and women of the 33IB.

“I have accomplished several missions, and the other missions I already turned over to Lt. Col. Boongaling to achieve,” he said.

Aside from the surrender of more than 200 communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, Cabunoc said he was also proud with the unit's efforts to help settle the long-standing feud of 16 warring Moro families, and the launch of the "Light a Barangay Project" for the solar light panel energizing of remote villages in Maguindanao previously frequented by Islamic State-linked armed men.

His unit was also responsible for the neutralization of several members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Cabunoc also facilitated the surrender of about 40 BIFF members.

He noted that the same BIFF surrenderers helped the Army locate other BIFF members in the vast Liguasan marshland and drove them away, allowing bird lovers to set foot in Maguindanao’s bird sanctuary.

IPs in tears

Several days before leaving the 33IB, Cabunoc went to the Upper Valley of Sultan Kudarat and personally bid goodbye to the Indigenous Peoples of Dulangan Manobo in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat.

A teary-eyed Bangil Lantino, a leader of the Manobo Dulangan indigenous cultural community (ICC) said the entire ICC feels sad that Cabunoc who helped them get rid of the NPAs in their communities was leaving them.

Jenalyn, Lantino’s wife, said they have considered soldiers assigned in their area as family members.

“We are grateful you came over and helped us,” Jenalyn said in the vernacular in between sobs.

Before his farewell visit, Cabunoc, together with Boongaling, conducted an outreach program for the Manobo Dulangan community, giving them relief goods, slippers for kids, and bundles of used clothing for mothers and children.

The soldiers also helped put up solar electric posts in poor communities.

Don’t rest on laurels

Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, who administered the turnover of command, told Cabunoc to continue his journey with the same enthusiasm while still at 33IB.

“Don’t rest on your laurels. You do not stop, you should keep on moving forward,” Sobejana told Cabunoc.

To Lt. Col. Boongaling, Sobejana said, “I urge you to emulate him (Cabunoc).”

Speaking to reporters, Boongaling noted that he is facing huge challenges ahead as he assumed leadership of the Army unit.

2 Abu Sayyaf ‘bandits’ surrender in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): 2 Abu Sayyaf ‘bandits’ surrender in Sulu

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits surrendered amid the intensified military offensives in the Sulu towns of Panamao and Patikul, officials said Thursday.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, identified the ASG surrenderers as Jum-Amri Sali alias Pujong, 27, and a certain Abu Sibih.

Sali surrendered Tuesday to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) in Barangay Seit, Panamao, while Sibih yielded to the Army's 21st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Danag, Patikul.

Besana said Sali, a follower of ASG one-armed leader Radulan Sahiron, turned over a Garand rifle. Sali is the son of former ASG member Basari Sali, who surrendered on February 10 in Sulu, he added.

Sibih, a follower of ASG sub-leader Idang Suskan, turned himself in following the sustained focused military operations in the province, Besana said.

Sibih turned over a Garand rifle with several rounds of ammunition.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, said they welcome the ASG surrenderers and vowed that “they will be provided with all sorts of assistance for them to be able to start a new life.”

Dela Vega said the Westmincom through all of its Joint Task Forces will sustain the intensified military and intelligence operations to eliminate the remaining threats in the region.

Speedboats from Japan to boost PCG drive vs. piracy, terrorism

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Speedboats from Japan to boost PCG drive vs. piracy, terrorism

The Philippine Coast Guard has received two speedboats from Japan which will be used to strengthen its campaign against piracy and terrorism. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard)

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has received two speedboats from the government of Japan which will be utilized to strengthen its campaign against piracy and terrorism.

The two 12-meter high speedboats were handed over in a ceremony graced by Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda which was held at the PCG national headquarters in Manila last Wednesday.

The boats can carry eight personnel and has maximum speed of 50 nautical miles per hour.

“The speedboats will boost the law enforcement capability of the PCG especially in the Southern Philippines where it will be utilized for anti-piracy and terrorism campaign of the government,” said PCG Commandant, Admiral Elson Hermogino, in a statement.

The speedboats are part of the anti-terrorism packages under Japan’s Grant Aid for the Social and Economic Development Program for the Philippines as requested by President Rodrigo R. Duterte from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during one of his visits in Japan.

The government of Japan has turned over last year 10 seven-meter rigid hull inflatable boats which are now being utilized by the PCG for coastal security patrol in Palawan, Visayas and southwestern Mindanao.

Navy ready to help law enforcers in 'floating cocaine' cases

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Navy ready to help law enforcers in 'floating cocaine' cases


The Philippine Navy (PN) has more than enough capabilities to help law enforcement agencies in resolving cases of cocaine bricks which were fished out of the country's waters.

"The PN has sufficient capabilities and capacities to provide needed assets to the Unified Command(s) (UCs) in carrying out support to maritime law enforcement operations," Navy spokesperson Captain Jonathan Zata said on Thursday when asked what the PN can do to assist in the case.

This is highlighted by the fact that surveillance and interdiction units are ready to cooperate with UCs -- or the military units in a particular area -- in additional taskings, he said.

"Surveillance and interdiction units under the Naval Forces collaborate with the UCs to carry out assigned and additional tasks. The Navy is firmly committed in carrying out its functions and support government agencies' efforts in protecting its maritime interests," Zata added.

Since February 10, more than 100 kilos of cocaine worth PHP871 million have been recovered so far on the shorelines or off the waters of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Island, Davao Oriental, Quezon, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur and Aurora.

SoKor to turn over Pohang-class corvette to PH Navy in June

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): SoKor to turn over Pohang-class corvette to PH Navy in June

The Pohang-class corvette, donated by the South Korean government to the country, will be formally turned over to the Philippine Navy (PN) on the third week of June.

This was bared by Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for updates on the vessel Thursday.

He said this is due to the fact dry-docking and repairs of the ship are expected to be completed by the second week of June.

"The dry-docking and other related repairs of (the) 'Pohang' corvette are set to be completed in the second week of June, and turnover is estimated to be by the third week of the same month," Andolong said in message to the Philippine News Agency

He added that the sailing crew of the ship left the Philippines for South Korea last February 11 to begin training on the ship's systems.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the South Korean-donated vessel will be named after Korean War hero and Medal of Valor awardee, Captain Conrado Yap.

Yap, a member of the 10th Battalion Combat Team, was killed in the Battle of Yultong in April 23, 1951 where he made a counter-attack to secure an exposed Filipino unit, led by Lt. Jose Artiaga, then under attack by superior number of Chinese infantry. Both officers were killed in the battle.

Yap was also honored by the PN by naming an entire class of patrol craft after him in 1993.

Pohang – class is a type of general-purpose corvette -- smallest class of vessel considered as a warship -- operated by the South Korean Navy. Around 24 were built during the late Cold War and post-Cold War period.

These ships are armed with a variety of anti-sub, anti-ship, and anti-air weapons with their accompanying sensor gear and are capable of running to speeds up to 32 knots.

PH-US 'Salaknib' exercises to focus on 5 drills

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): PH-US 'Salaknib' exercises to focus on 5 drills

Five activities will be the focus of this year's "Salaknib" exercises between American and Filipino military units, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday.

These include Jungle Field Training Exercise (FTX), Command Post Exercise (CPX), Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), Cooperative Health Engagements (CHE), and Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) projects.

Salaknib, an Ilokano word, means shield.

In a message to the Philippine News Agency, the AFP official bared that all exercises will be held at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, Nueva Ecija and Col. Ernesto Rabina Air Base, Capas, Tarlac.

The opening ceremony was held at Fort Magsaysay on Wednesday (Feb. 27), he said.

In an advisory, the United States Embassy in Manila said "Salaknib" exercises will be conducted from March 4 to 24.

Salaknib started way back in 2015 as a bilateral exercise activity facilitated by the Philippine Army (PA) and US Army first held between 3rd Infantry Battalion and its American counterparts.

It eventually evolved into an Army Training Exchange between the PA and US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) which focused on enhancing the skill competencies of both armies in the conduct of field specialization.

"For this year's 'Salaknib' exercise, the Philippine Army contingent will be the newly organized 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) while for the USARPAC will be the 520(th) Infantry Striker Battalion," Detoyato said.

Pompeo visit, chance for US to understand PH foreign policy

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Pompeo visit, chance for US to understand PH foreign policy

The first visit of State Secretary Michael Pompeo to Manila poses a good opportunity for the United States to better understand the country's independent foreign policy, a political analyst said Thursday.

"It's more of understanding each other well, a better understanding of what the Philippine independent foreign policy means for the US," Ramon Casiple told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on the sidelines of a forum on Philippine-US relations in Quezon City.

"There are still so many questions that could be clarified here (in the upcoming meeting). I think that's the outcome that we could see after unless the US has other things in its mind," he added.

Pompeo is expected to arrive in the Philippines on February 28 to meet with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and pay a courtesy call on President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the two secretaries would discuss issues of mutual interest with the possibility of tackling the proposed review of the 67-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington.

With the expanding immigration concerns in the US, Casiple said Manila should also take advantage of the visit to clarify how Filipinos in America are affected by these issues.

Moreover, the country should also seek for a categorical answer on where the US stands in the South China Sea issue, as well as on the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said.

"(On our part) we are really not in the position to offer something big," he noted as he stressed that the administration's position since 2016 has been clear, as stated in the framework of its independent foreign policy.

"Kumbaga nangyari na like our closer ties with China, ano pang sasabihin ng (US) doon? Unless sabihin ng presidente na iatras lahat 'yan at bumalik sa US, huli, meaning 'yong special relations, which I don't think will happen (That is to say we have already implemented our independent foreign policy like our closer ties with China, what can the US say against that? Unless the president pulls out and say we return to US, in terms of special relations, I don't think that will happen)," he said.

Military fetes 'Pacman' anew

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Military fetes 'Pacman' anew

The military will honor Filipino boxing icon Emmanuel Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao through making him an honorary member of the elite Scout Ranger Regiment for his latest victory over Adrien Broner during their match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last January.

He will be also conferred with a Military Achievement Medal and a Manifesto Plaque, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday.

The awarding ceremony will take place at the Lapu-Lapu Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City 2 p.m. Friday, he added.

"Honorary member of the Scout Ranger (Regiment) will be conferred to Senator Paquiao, a Manifesto Plaque will be awarded and a Military Achievement Medal. He will be accorded military honors as senator," Detoyato said in a message to reporters.

Pacquiao won in said bout via unanimous decision over Broner.

Aside from being a senator, Pacquiao is also an Army reserve colonel.

Gov't launches newspaper vs. fake news

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Gov't launches newspaper vs. fake news

The Bureau of Communications Services soft launches Balita Central, a newspaper which aims to combat disinformation and counter fake news. It also publishes stories on various government programs and projects. In the photo are (from left) PCOO Undersecretaries Marvin Gatpayat and George Apacible, LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, and BSC officer-in-charge Eileen Cruz-David. (PNA photo by Rico H. Borja)
Staying true to their commitment of transparency and good governance, the Duterte administration launched on Thursday Balita Central, a newspaper dedicated to disseminating updates and development of government projects and programs.

Through the Presidential Communications Operations Office's (PCOO) Bureau of Communication Services (BCS), Balita Central will serve as a government medium to communicate with the public its efforts to provide better lives to Filipinos as well as address current social issues in the country.

"This as we seek to make the public informed of the current and relevant events, we believe that one of the hallmarks of democracy is a literate, informed citizenry," PCOO Undersecretary George Apacible said during the launch at the LRT-2 Araneta-Cubao Station.

Apacible also urged the public to help combat the spread of #FakeNews through verifying stories before taking it as truth.

"I encourage the public to continuously support [the PCOO, and now] Balita Central as people's partner in making change happen," Apacible added.

The 12-page newspaper, which will be distributed in select LRT and MRT stations, will include PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar’s and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo's columns. It will also contain the column of BCS officer-in- charge Eileen Cruz-David.

"Ang Balita Central ang magsisilbing tulay para maugnay ang puso ng gobyerno at pulso ng mga mamayang Pilipino (Balita Central will serve as a bridge to link the heart of the government and the pulse of Filipinos," David said in an interview.

David, a psychologist by profession, said they are aiming to uplift the morale of the Filipinos by spreading the many benefits and good news to a wider range of Filipino readers that some of the mainstream media have been missing as they focus on other matters.

Balita Central's first banner story is on rice tariff --"Doble Panalo sa Rice Tariff: Presyo ng Bigas bababa, pero magsasaka protektado" (Double win on Rice Tariff: Price of rice drops, farmers protected).

The newspaper which is in Filipino also includes business stories, editorial pieces, among others.

"Let us all think, speak, live for the truth. Let us fight #FakeNews," David said.

Duterte wants gentleman’s agreement with Misuari

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 28, 2019): Duterte wants gentleman’s agreement with Misuari

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Moro National Liberation Front Founding Chairman Nur Misuari during their meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 25, 2019. (Presidential Photo)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants a gentleman’s agreement with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said on Thursday.

Medialdea made this clarification after Duterte earlier expressed interest in crafting a new deal for the MNLF but did not give further details.

“Sabi ni Nur (Nur said), he is willing to talk and he has waited this long for me to make a decisive decision when he comes back. Sabi ko (I said), ‘Time for us to craft a new deal for the MNLF of Misuari,’” Duterte said during the 2019 general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel on February 26.

Medialdea clarified that it is not a formal agreement that Duterte seeks but a gentleman’s agreement of mutual respect.

He further said Misuari did not ask for any condition during their meeting.

“Hindi nga agreement, parang it’s more of gentleman’s. Usap na lang tayo dito. Respetuhin yung kanila (It’s not an agreement, it’s more of a gentleman’s agreement. Let’s talk here. They respect each other),” Medialdea told reporters in an interview.

On Monday, Malacañang confirmed that Duterte expressed admiration for Misuari’s patience in peace negotiations during their meeting at Malacañan Palace on February 25.

"The President told the chairman that he admired his patience and he apologized for not having implemented or enforced whatever agreements that they had previously with respect, I think, to federalism or something," Presidential Spokesperson Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

This is the first time that Duterte and Misuari met since the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which establishes a new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

CPP/Ang Bayan: 6 armas, nakumpiska ng BHB-Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): 6 armas, nakumpiska ng BHB-Bukidnon

MATAGUMPAY NA SINALAKAY ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan-Bukidnon ang base ng 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFB)-Civilian Active Auxiliary sa Sityo Green Valley, Barangay Dalwangan, Malaybalay City noong Pebrero 14, alas 9:40 ng gabi. Nakumpiska ng BHB mula rito ang anim na armas na kinabibilangan ng tatlong R4 (isa ang may M203 grenade launcher), dalawang M14, isang kalibre .45 na pistola, walong ammo vest at mga bala. Kumpirmadong napatay ang apat na sundalo. Isa ang nasawi at dalawa ang sugatan sa hanay ng BHB.

Nakontrol ng mga Pulang mandirigma ang kampo na nasa tabi ng mayor na haywey sa Bukidnon sa loob lamang ng limang minuto. Ayon kay Ka Malem Mabini, tagapagsalita ng BHB-North Central Mindanao Region, nagsisilbi ang 1st SFB bilang pwersang panseguridad ng mga kumpanyang DOLE at Del Monte na sumakop sa mahigit 50,000 ektaryang lupain ng mga magsasaka at lupaing ninuno ng mga Lumad, at notoryus sa pambabarat sa kanilang mga manggagawa.

Matindi ang panunupil ng naturang yunit-militar sa daan-daang magsasakang nais bawiin ang kanilang mga lupa. Binansagan itong “massacre battalion” dahil sa brutal na mga pamamaslang nito sa prubinsya. Kabilang sa mga kaso nito ang masaker sa Bugna noong Marso 2015; sa Pangantucan noong Setyembre 2015 na pumatay ng limang sibilyan kabilang ang isang bulag na lolo at kanyang mga anak; at sa Talakag noong Marso 2016 na pumatay ng tatlong sibilyan at nagsugat sa isang buntis at dalawang iba pa.

Quezon. Pinaralisa ng isang yunit ng BHB-Quezon ang tatlong backhoe at isang buldoser na pag-aari ng isang kumpanyang gumagawa ng Kaliwa Dam sa Sityo Salok, Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, Quezon noong Pebrero 7, alas-4:40 ng hapon. Malaon nang inirereklamo ng mamamayan ng Quezon ang proyektong ito dahil sa ibubunga nitong malawakang pagkawasak ng kanilang mga pananim at kabuhayan. Bahagi ng New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWSP) ang proyektong ito na ngayon ay nasa ilalim ng programang “Build, Build, Build” ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Tinatayang P12.8 milyon ang uutangin ng gubyerno mula sa China para sa proyektong ito.

Negros Oriental. Patay ang isang sundalo ng 94th IB na nagsasagawa ng operasyong “peace and development” sa Barangay Binobohan matapos ang operasyong isnayp ng BHB-Negros sa kampo ng kaaway sa Guihulngan City noong Pebrero 17, alas 9:00 ng umaga.

Sa Bicol, binigyang-parangal ng BHB-East Camarines Sur ang limang Pulang mandirigmang namartir sa labanan noong Enero 30 sa Barangay Lupi, Tinambac, Camarines Sur. Ang mga nasawi ay sina Randy Vega (Ka Ben), Marvin Baao (Ka Jazz), Florante Empeno (Ka Dan), Johnny Flores (Ka Mateo) at Florencio Iliw-iliw (Ka Rene). “Ibinigay nila ang kanilang buhay para sa pagpapalaya ng masang Pilipino,” ayon sa lokal na kumand ng BHB.

Gayundin, binigyang-parangal ng BHB-Southern Tagalog ang kabayanihan ni John Carlo Alberto (Ka Yago), na namatay sa labanan noong Pebrero 14 sa Barangay San Buenaventura, Luisiana, Laguna.

Dating mag-aaral ng kursong Veterinary Medicine si Ka Yago sa University of the Philippines-Los Baños at naglingkod bilang Vice Chairperson ng Anakbayan-UPLB. Sumampa sa BHB si Ka Yago noong 2017, kung saan niya ipinagpatuloy ang pagbabahagi ng kaalaman sa mga magsasaka at mga kasama, partikular sa pag-aalaga sa hayop. Napaunlad niya rin ang kaalaman sa medisina at naging duktor ng bayan.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: 16 bihag-ng-digma, pinalaya na ng BHB-NEMR

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): 16 bihag-ng-digma, pinalaya na ng BHB-NEMR       

PINALAYA NG BAGONG Hukbong Bayan (BHB)-North Eastern Mindanano Region ang 16 na bihag ng digma noong Pebrero 14-19.

Sa unang bats, anim na myembro ng CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) ang pinalaya ng BHB-Agusan del Sur noong Pebrero 14 sa Barangay San Juan, Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

Sa ikalawang bats, pinalaya ng BHB noong Pebrero 18 sina PFC AJ Reginald Kiem ng 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFB) at CAA Bernabe Sahanay sa Sityo Kaunlaran, Barangay Tagbongabong, Remedios T. Romualdez sa Agusan Del Norte.

Sa ikatlong bats, pinalaya ng BHB noong Pebrero 19 sina Cpl. Eric Bulado Manangan at PFC Darlino Alipayo Cariño ng 3rd SFB, kasama ang anim pang myembro ng CAA sa Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. Kabilang ang walo sa 14 sundalo at CAA na nabihag noong Disyembre 19 matapos ang walang-putok na reyd ng BHB sa detatsment ng 3rd SFB sa Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

Nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga bihag, ayon sa duktor na tumingin sa mga pinalaya. Ang mga sundalo at CAA ay tinanggap ng mga upisyal ng lokal na gubyerno ng Agusan del Sur at mga lider-relihiyoso sa pangunguna ni Sr. Emma Teresita Cupin na gumampan bilang mga third-party facilitator. Dumalo rin ang tauhan ni Rodrigo Duterte na si Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go at si Sebastian Duterte.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa NPA sa pag-asikaso sa amin sa bundok, hindi nila kami sinaktan. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga kasama,” pahayag ni Janjan Iligan, isa sa mga pinalaya.
“Salamat at hindi talaga kami sinaktan, kahit kurot wala,” dagdag naman ni Jemuel Acebedo, isa pa sa mga pinalaya. Malaki rin ang kanyang pasasalamat na sila’y pinalaya ng BHB sa kabila ng patuloy na operasyon ng mga sundalo.

Ayon kay Ka Arina Magdiwang, kumander ng yunit-tagapangalaga, ang pagpapalaya sa mga bihag-ng-digma ay tugon sa apela ng iba’t ibang grupo at indibidwal na nagpahayag ng suporta para sa pag-aayos ng kasunduan para rito.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Ang masaklaw na interes ng US sa Sulu at karagatan nito

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Ang masaklaw na interes ng US sa Sulu at karagatan nito

Nang mangyari ang dalawang magkasunod na pambobomba sa loob at labas ng simbahang Katoliko sa Jolo, Sulu noong Enero 28, mabilis itong idineklara ni Rodrigo Duterte na mga “suicide bombing” (pambobomba gamit ang sarili) ng mga “dayuhang terorista.”

Hindi na baleng kasisimula pa lamang ng imbestigasyon at wala pang ebidensya ang kanyang mga pulis. Giit pa ni Duterte, patunay diumano ito na naglipana ang mga kampon ng ISIS sa Sulu at kinukupkop ang mga ito ng “maka-ISIS” na Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Sa gayon, kailangang lalupang paigtingin ng AFP ang mga operasyon nito sa Jolo at sa kabuuan ng prubinsya ng Sulu (Jolo, Basilan at Tawi-tawi).

Hindi nalalayo ang deklarasyon at estilo ni Duterte kaugnay ng mga “dayuhang terorista” sa Sulu ang deklarasyon niya noon na naglipana ang mga ito sa Marawi para bigyan-katwiran ang pagpataw ng batas militar at hayag na panghihimasok ng US sa bansa. Tulad ng Marawi noon, binigyan niya ng katwiran at higit na awtoridad ang AFP na manghalihaw at wasakin ang mga sibilyang komunidad, palayasin ang mga residente dito at sa kalauna’y ilaan ang kanilang lupa at rekurso sa mga burgesya-kumprador at kanilang mga dayuhang kasosyo.

Noong Disyembre 17, 2018, pormal niyang binuo ang bagong dibisyon ng AFP, ang 11th ID, na tututok pangunahin sa Sulu. Inamin naman ni Delfin Lorenzana, kalihim ng Department of National Defense, na matagal nang sangkot ang US sa mga operasyon ng AFP sa Sulu, partikular sa mga operasyon nito laban sa mga “dayuhang terorista.” Katunayan, sa pambobomba sa Jolo nitong Enero, ang mga tauhan at gamit ng US ang unang dumating sa lugar. Pinapayungan ang mga aktibidad na ito ng US sa bansa ng Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines, ang itinayo nitong “misyong kontra-terorismo” gamit ang “gera” sa Marawi noong 2016.

Nakadugtong din ang mas maigting na mga operasyong militar ng AFP at US sa lugar sa pagtatatag ng Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), isang hakbang na mariing tinututulan ng Sultanato ng Sulu. Bumoto ang Sulu laban sa Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), ang batas na magtatatag ng BARMM. Gayunpaman, dahil nakapaloob ang Sulu sa dating Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao na pumabor sa BOL sa pangkalahatan, mapapailalim pa rin sa BARMM ang prubinsya.

Sulu at ang “gera kontra- terorismo” ng US

Malaon nang ginagamit ng US ang Mindanao, partikular ang arkipelago ng Sulu, bilang palaruan ng mga tropa nito. Itinuturing ito ng US Indo-Pacific Command–kasama ang kagyat at nakadugtong na karagatan dito, ang Sulawesi Sea (dating tinatawag na Celebes Sea)–bilang “nangungunang erya ng interes para gera kontra-terorismo sa Pacific” at “pokus sa bilateral na ugnayan ng mga bansa sa Southeast Asia.” Binubuo ang Sulu-Sulawesi Sea ng isang milyong kwadrado kilometro ng karagatan at hinahangganan ng Pilipinas, Indonesia at Malaysia.

Tulad sa Marawi, ang pagtatambol ni Duterte kaugnay sa ISIS at mga dayuhang terorista sa Sulu ay nagbibigay-katwiran para sa malalim at masaklaw na interbensyong militar sa US sa bansa. Noong 2001, inilunsad ng US ang Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines (OEF-P) at binuo ang Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) para muling ibase ang mga tropa nito sa bansa. Ito ay sampung taon matapos ibasura ng Senado ng Pilipinas ang Military Bases Agreement noong 1991 na nagpasara sa mga base militar ng US sa bansa. Sa ilalim ng OEF-P, direktang idinirehe ng US ang mga operasyon ng AFP sa Mindanao, partikular sa Sulu, sa tabing ng pagtugis sa ASG na noo’y iniugnay sa grupong Al Qaeda. Ang Al Qaeda ang nagpasimuno sa pambobomba sa US noong Setyembre 11, 2001, mga atakeng nagbunsod ng ilang-dekada nang mga gerang agresyon at okupasyon ng US sa Middle East, Afghanistan at Africa.

Para bigyan ng internasyunal na halaga, iniugnay ng US ang ASG sa Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), isang grupong maka-Al Qaeda na nakabase sa Indonesia at Malaysia, at tinaguriang “trayangulo ng teror” sa Southeast Asia ang tatlong bansa. Ang ASG, ISIS at maging ang al Qaeda, ay direktang iniluwal mula sa mga lihim na aktibidad ng Central Intelligence Agency ng US sa mga bansang pinakialaman nito sa nakaraang mga dekada. Ang US mismo ang nagpondo at nagpalaki sa ISIS mula 2012 nang armasan at gamitin nito ang grupo laban sa kontra-US na rehimen sa Syria. Kapuna-puna na sa Pilipinas, muling lumalaki at nagiging aktibo ang ASG, isa sa mga halimaw na iniaanak ng lihim at korap na mga operasyon ng US at ng AFP, kapag kinakailangan ng militar ng US ng dagdag na panabing at katwiran para sa interbensyon.

Matagal nang ginagamit ng US ang Sulu Sea bilang lagusan at taguan ng mga barko at submarino nito, lingid man o hindi sa kaalaman ng nakaupong tuta nitong rehimen. Sa kalakhan ng dekada 2000, idinahilan ng US ang paggamit diumano ng ASG at JI sa Sulu-Sulawesi Sea para ilunsad ang malalaking pagsasanay-militar sa pagitan ng US at AFP sa tabing ng para diumano sa “seguridad pandagat.” Pero mula 2009 hanggang 2016, hindi gaanong naging aktibo ang ASG sa itinuturing ng US na mga “teroristang aktibidad.” Sa halip, naging tampok ang bandido at kriminal na katangian nito sa sunud-sunod nitong pagpangkidnap ng mga dayuhang turista at ordinaryong sibilyan, gayundin ng mga mangingisda sa laot ng Sulu-Sulawesi. Dahil dito, binago ng US ang pagpapalusot ng presensya nito sa Sulu mula sa simpleng “terorismo” tungo sa pagsugpo ng pamimirata at iba pang krimen na tinagurian nitong “terorismo sa karagatan.”

Seguridad pandagat, tabing sa pagpapakitang-lakas

Ang totoo, layunin ng US na pusisyunan ang kabuuan ng Sulu-Sulawesi Sea para makontrol ang isang mahalagang ruta ng mga barkong militar at tropa nito, gayundin ng komersyo, sa rehiyon ng Southeast Asia.

Importante ang rutang ito dahil sa malalalim na bahagi ng dagat na pabor sa malalaking barkong pandigma at submarino na tumutungo at lumalabas sa South China Sea. Importante rin ito dahil dito nauugnayan at napapalahok ng US sa mga “kooperasyong pandagat” ang mga hukbo ng Indonesia at Malaysia, mga bansang hindi nagpapapasok at nagpapabase ng mga tropang Amerikano.

Liban dito, lagusan ang Sulu-Sulawesi Sea ng milyun-milyong mamamayan at komersyal na mga barko. Taun-taon, umaabot sa 18 milyong katao at 100,000 barkong nagkakarga ng 55 milyong toneladang produktong nagkakahalaga ng $40 bilyon ang dumadaan sa karagatang ito. Sa partikular, dito dumadaan ang mga supertanker (malalaking barkong may kargang langis) na hindi kayang dumaan sa Malacca Strait (sa pagitan ng Malaysia at Indonesia) dahil hindi sapat ang lalim doon. Karugtong din ng Sulawesi Sea ang Makassar Strait, ang pangalawang pinakamalaking liquid natural gas field na gumagana sa mundo.

Mula 2008 hanggang 2011, inilatag ng US ang Coastal Watch System (CWS), isang sistema ng mga radar para manmanan ang anumang kilos sa karagatan ng Pilipinas. Halos sampu sa mga radar na ito ay nasa karagatan ng Sulu habang ang dagdag na sampu ay ipinwesto malapit sa mga isla ng Palawan, Mindoro at Zambales (lahat nakaharap sa South China Sea); at sa Samar at mga baybay ng mga rehiyon ng Davao na nakatutok naman sa Sulawesi Sea at Pacific Ocean. Ipinagawa ng Department of Defense at Department of Energy ng US ang naturang mga radar sa pamamagitan ng direktang pagpopondo at ayudang militar. Noong 2015, pormal na ipinasa ng Defense Threat Reduction Agency ng US, ang ahensyang dinaluyan ng pondo, ang pangangasiwa sa naturang mga radar at ng sentrong upisina nito, ang National Coast Watch Center, sa rehimeng Aquino. Noong nakaraang taon, nadagdagan ito nang tusong ipinwesto sa Boracay ang isa pang radar habang nakasara ang isla sa publiko.

Mula 2016, muling binuhay ng US ang ASG para mas agresibong itulak ang dagdag na presensya at permanenteng pagbabase ng mga tropa, barko at iba pang sasakyan at gamit-militar nito sa Sulu-Sulawesi Sea. Halos walang patid ang presensya ng mga barko nito sa Sulu Sea sa tabing ng mga “pinagsanib na patrol” kasama ang Coast Guard ng Pilipinas. Kasabay nito ang walang patid ding pagtatambol ng US, kakoro si Duterte at ng AFP, sa presensya ng mga “dayuhang terorista” para pwersahin ang Indonesia at Malaysia na ibukas ang karagatan ng Sulawesi sa matagalang presensya ng mga barko nito.

Ang lahat ng ito ay nakabalangkas sa layunin ng US na magpamalas ng lakas (power projection) laban sa China sa Southeast Asia sa tabing ng “gera kontra-terorismo.” Nakabalangkas ito sa Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) na itinulak noon pa ng rehimeng Obama. Sa ilalim ng MSI, nagtatayo ang US ng mga imprastrukturang militar nito sa karagatan ng Southeast Asia para walang sagkang matukoy, mamanmanan at pigilan ang anumang aktibidad ng China sa South China Sea. Katulad ng CWS sa Pilipinas, kunwa’y pag-aari ng mga bansa sa rehiyon ang mga imprastrukturang ito pero sa aktwal ay pangunahing pinatatakbo at pinakikinabangan ang mga ito US. Alinsunod sa plano nito, magtatayo ang US ng kaparehong sistema ng radar sa Vietnam, at magpwesto ng mas abante pang mga sistema ng radar sa Indonesia, Malaysia at Singapore. Kapalit nito, itinatambak ng US ang mga lumang gamit at sasakyang militar sa rehiyon tulad ng mga barko at eroplano.

Gayunpaman, hindi lahat ng bansa sa Southeast Asia ay kasingtuta ni Duterte. Hanggang ngayon ay tumanggi ang Indonesia at Malaysia sa pamimilit ng US na ibukas ang kani-kanilang karagatan sa matagalang presensya nito. Sa halip, itinulak ng Indonesia noong 2017 ang trilateral patrol sa Sulu-Sulawesi Sea kasama ang Pilipinas at Malaysia nang walang direktang partisipasyon mula rito.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Atakeng DDoS at iba pang pagsikil sa karapatang mamamahayag

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Atakeng DDoS at iba pang pagsikil sa karapatang mamamahayag

NITONG NAKARAANG DALAWANG buwan, sunud-sunod at sabay-sabay ang atake sa mga website ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas at alternatibong mga pahayagan sa internet. Walang ibang pagmumulan ang masaklaw at koordinadong mga atake sa pamamagitan ng DDoS o Distributed Denial of Service, kundi ang mga espesyal na yunit ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)—ang tinaguriang mga social media monitoring cell o cyber army.

Layunin nitong isara ang naturang mga website at putulin ang ugnay ng mga ito sa publiko. Direktang paraan ito para busalan ang pagpapahayag ng batikos at pagtutol ng mamamayan laban sa rehimeng US-Duterte at mga patakaran nito.

Isa sa unang nakaranas ng atakeng DDoS ang PRWC ( noong Disyembre 26, 2018, kasabay sa paggunita ng PKP sa ika-50 taong anibersaryo nito. Dahil sa atake, hindi mapasok ang website sa loob ng ilang araw. Gayundin, sa araw ding iyon unang nakaranas ng atakeng DDoS ang mga website ng alternatibong midya na Kodao, Bulatlat at PinoyWeekly matapos nilang ibalita ang mga pagdiriwang ng PKP.

Ang atakeng DDoS ay isang paraan ng pag-atake sa isang website upang di ito maabot ng publiko. Ginagawa ito sa pamamagitan ng pagdumog sa server (kompyuter na namamahala sa website) gamit ang botnet o lambat ng libu-libong kompyuter na iligal na kinontrol ng pasimuno ng pag-atake.

Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy ang mga atakeng DDoS. Dagdag sa mga listahan ng mga inaatake ang Manila Today, Altermidya, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) at Karapatan. Ang mga pahayagan at organisasyong ito ay pawang tumutuligsa sa mga ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, batas na TRAIN, Oplan Tokhang at iba pang anti-mamamayang patakaran ng rehimeng Duterte. Inatake maging ang Qurium, isang organisasyon na eksperto sa internet at kompyuter na tumutulong sa mga progresibo na labanan ang DDoS.

Sa imbestigasyon ng Quirium, ang mga atakeng DDoS ay mula sa iisang grupo, gumagamit ng iisang rekurso at magkakahalintulad ang estilo. Tanging isang organisasyong masaklaw at may malaking pondo at rekurso tulad ng cyberarmy ng AFP ang may kakayahang ilunsad ito. Tuwiran itong sinanay at tuluy-tuloy na pinopondohan ng US. Katunayan, nitong Pebrero 11 lamang, nangako ang US na magbibigay ng dagdag na P300 milyon sa AFP para sa pagkuha ng impormasyon at sarbeylans sa ngalan ng pagsugpo ng terorismo.

Tuluy-tuloy din ang panlilinlang at panloloko ng rehimen kasabay ng pambubusal nito sa internet. Noong Disyembre 2018, lumikha ang AFP ng pekeng website na kahalintulad ng website ng PRWC sa tangkang lokohin ang mga tumatangkilik dito. Una nitong inilathala ang isang pekeng liham ni Jose Ma. Sison, tagapangulong tagapagtatag ng PKP. Kasunod nito ay kinopya ng AFP ang mismong disenyo ng upisyal na website, upang maglikha ng kalituhan sa mga sumusubaybay sa balita ng rebolusyon.

May ilang panahon na ring inaatake at minomonitor ng cyber army ng AFP ang mga aktibidad ng mga aktibista. Gamit ang kanilang mga troll, nagpapakalat ang rehimen ng mga pekeng balita at insulto sa Facebook laban sa kanila.

Ilang social media account na ng PKP ang ipinasara ng AFP. Makailang ulit rin na pinagbawalang magpost at nasuspinde ang mga account nito sa social media. Dumanas ng katulad na panggigipit ang iba’t ibang kumand ng BHB at yunit ng Partido sa iba’t ibang panahon mula pa noong nakaraang taon. Noon pang 2017 iniutos ni Duterte sa reaksyunaryong militar na wasakin ang PKP kabilang na ang mga tinagurian nitong ligal na prente ng PKP at imprastruktura nito sa internet.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Lider-magsasaka, iligal na inaresto sa Palawan

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Lider-magsasaka, iligal na inaresto sa Palawan

Sunud-sunod ang pamamaslang, iligal na pag-aresto at pagkulong ng mga pulis at sundalo ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa mga sibilyan nitong nakaraang dalawang linggo.

Hinuli ng Philippine National Police noong Pebrero 7 si Norly Bernabe, tagapangulo ng Kalipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid Sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) sa Taytay, Palawan. Kasalukuyan siyang nakapiit sa Puerto Princesa, Palawan batay sa mga gawa-gawang kasong pagpatay. Aktibong nakikibaka si Bernabe para sa mga magbubukid sa Lupang Pujalte laban sa Guevent Corporation.

Pamamaslang. Sa Pangasinan, pinatay si Roberto Mejia kasapi ng Ulopan na Umbaley ed Camp Gregg Military Reservation, kaalyadong organisasyon ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas sa Barangay Sancagulis, Bayambang, Pangasinan noong Pebrero 8. Matagal nang ipinaglalaban ng mga magsasaka sa lupa ng Camp Gregg ang kanilang teritoryo laban sa mga Cojuangco-Aquino ng Central Azucarera De Tarlac. Si Mejia, mas kilala bilang Ka Bobby, ay kalahok sa isinagawang bungkalan sa kanilang lugar. Siya ang ika-182 magsasakang pinatay sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte.

Sa Camarines Sur, dinukot ng mga tropa ng 9th IB ang apat na sibilyan bandang alas 5 ng umaga noong Pebrero 9, sa Pulang Daga, Barangay Baya, Ragay. Ang mga biktima ay sina Christian Rañon, Boboy Esmero, Ricky Bendaña, at Rico Bendaña. Sinugsog ng mga upisyal ng barangay at mga residente ang pwesto ng mga sundalo upang bawiin ang apat. Hindi pinakawalan ng kumander ng yunit ang mga magsasaka, na duguan at bugbog-sarado. Nagpasaklolo ang grupo, kasama ang ilang taga-midya, sa pulis pero sa halip na tulungan sila, itinuro lamang sila sa kampo ng 9th IB sa Barangay Samay. Inamin ng isang Lt. Col. Abella, punong kumander ng 9th IB, na nasa kostudiya nila ang mga sibilyan.

Militarisasyon. Ang tiranikong estilo ng brutal na pagpatay, malawakang iligal na pag-aresto, detensyon at umiigting na operasyong militar ay mga kondisyon na nararanasan ng mamamayan sa Mindanao mula nang ideklara dito ang batas militar. Ganito rin ang kasalukuyang nararanasan sa Samar at Negros, dagdag pa ang implementasyon ng Memorandum Order No. 32 na epektibong naglagay sa mga islang ito sa ilalim ng de facto martial law.

Sa Samar, mahigit 200 sundalo mula sa 87th IB ang umookupa sa mga baryo sa bayan ng San Jose de Buan mula huling linggo ng Enero. Ayon sa Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas, ang mga residente ay pwersahang iniinteroga, kinukunan ng larawan at pilit na pinapipirma sa blangkong mga papel. Plano rin ng 87th IB na magtayo ng kampo na may layong 10 metro lamang mula sa lokal na eskwelahan. Layunin ng militar na gamitin bilang pansalag ang mga residente. Ito ay malinaw na paglabag sa International Humanitarian Law.
Ang okupasyon sa San Jose de Buan ay nangyari bago lisanin ng 63rd IB ang Barangay Bay-ang sa Bayan ng San Jorge, Samar. Ito ay matapos pwersahang lumikas ng mga residente dito dulot ng isinagawang istraping at pambobomba sa kanilang komunidad.

Matagal nang nagkakampo ang 87th IB sa Barangay Cantato sa bayan ng Paranas at naglulunsad ng operasyong kombat sa mga baryo ng Angase, Sto. Niño, Pagsanghan at Tapul. Nagdulot ito ng takot sa mga magsasaka at nagresulta ng pagliit ng produksyon sa kanilang taniman. Ayon sa ulat ng Katungod-Sinirangan Bisaya, may 545 na barangay ang apektado ng militarisasyon sa Eastern Visayas. Sa bilang na ito, 250 ang nasa ilalim ng mga operasyong “peace and development” na nagresulta na sa anim na insidente ng sapilitang pagpapalikas.

Sa Negros, walang lugar sa isla na hindi nakararanas ng terorismo ng estado. Ang dagdag na 220 sundalo sa Negros ay higit na nagpapaigting ng militarisasyon sa lugar. Wala nang ligtas na lugar sa Negros lalupa’t naglipana rin ang Duterte Death Squad (DDS). Meron nang 50 kaso ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang ang naitala sa isla sa ilalim ni Duterte.

Sa Southern Negros, naglunsad ng operasyong militar mula pa noong Pebrero 9 ang 15th IB sa hangganan ng mga barangay ng Pinggot, Ilog, at Locotan sa Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental at Barangay Villasol, Bayawan City sa Negros Oriental.

Sa parehong araw, nakatanggap din ng ulat ang Karapatan na isang dating kasapi ng Anakbayan, si Clintoy Alsong, ang binaril sa Barangay Calamba, Guihulngan City. Bagaman nakaligtas, nananatiling nasa panganib ang kanyang buhay. Naganap ang insidenteng ito tatlong araw matapos makauwi ang mga bakwit sa kanilang mga tirahan.

Samantala sa Northern Negros, magkatuwang ang 79th IB at ang PNP sa pananakot sa mga residente ng Don Salvador Benedicto gamit ang gawa-gawang kaso upang ipailalim sila sa kamay ni Don Salvador Benedicto Dela Cruz. Nito lamang Pebrero, limang sibilyan ang inaresto sa naturang bayan at pinagbibintangang mga kasapi ng BHB. Ayon din sa Northern Negros Alliance Of Human Rights Advocates tuluy-tuloy ang mga operasyong pangkombat, pagpapatawag ng 79th IB, PNP at iba pang pwersang paramilitar ng mga pulong sa mga komunidad ng mga magsasaka. Laganap ang mga pagpapatawag na ito sa Escalante, San Carlos at Sagay, gayundin sa mga bayan ng Toboso, Calatrava at Don Salvador Benedicto. Ang mga operasyong militar na ito ay nagsimula noon pang huling kuwarto ng 2018. Matapos ang brutal na masaker sa Sagay noong Oktubre 2018, marami pang mga magsasaka ang nabiktima ng iligal na pag-aresto, panghahalughog, pananakot at intimidasyon. Ang mga inaarestong sibilyan ay tinutortyur din at ipiniprisinta sa publiko bilang mga myembro ng BHB.

Sa Central Negros, patuloy namang dumaranas ang mga sibilyan ng pag-atake sa ilalim ng 94th IB, laluna nang ipatupad ang Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) o Oplan Sauron sa Negros Oriental. Nag-ulat din ang Leonardo Panaligan Command na sinunog ang bahay ni Arlene Pausal nitong Pebrero 14, isang buwan matapos ang taktikal na opensiba ng BHB sa Barangay Banwage, Guihulngan City. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan, patuloy na nagsasagawa ng operasayong militar ang 94th IB. Naglabas sila ng listahan ng mga lider-magsasaka na kanilang pinagbantaang dadakpin “buhay man o patay.”

Panggigipit. Tuluy-tuloy ding ginigipit ang mga aktibista sa iba pang bahagi ng Mindanao. Noong Pebrero 8, nakatanggap ng banta sa kanyang buhay sa pamamagitan ng mensahe sa selpon si John Timothy Romero, program coordinator ng Center for Lumad Advocacy, Networking and Services (CLANS). Noon namang Pebrero 12, isang misyonero mula sa Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Subregion ang nakatanggap din ng mga mensahe ng pananakot sa selpon.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Mag-iina, arbitraryong inaresto at ikinulong ng 1st SFB

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Mag-iina, arbitraryong inaresto at ikinulong ng 1st SFB

ARBITRARYONG INARESTO AT ikinulong ng 1st Special Forces Battalion (SFB), sa pangunguna ni Capt. Lorefel Judaya, ang mag-inang Gloria O. Jandayan at kanyang anak na si Gleceria J. Balangiao sa Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City noong Pebrero 11. Dinala ang dalawa sa kampo ng 1st SFB sa Mampayag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. Si Jandayan ay health worker sa Barangay Macabalan at myembro ng Gabriela samantalang si Balangiao naman tagapagtaguyod ng karapatang-tao sa ilalim ng Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Subregion na nakabase sa Cagayan de Oro City.

Unang pinatawag ni Judaya, upisyal paniktik ng 1st SFB, ang mag-ina sa barangay hall ng Macabalan at ipinailalim sa interogasyon. Pinaratangan si Jandayan na medik ng BHB.

Noon namang Pebrero 14, alas-11 ng umaga, iligal ding inaresto ang inang si Lorena Micabalo, kasama ang kanyang tatlong-buwang sanggol na si Zhia, sa Tagum City.

Ayon sa Karapatan-Northern Mindanao, pinuntahan ng mga sundalo ng 1st SFB sa pangunguna ng isang Major Macaranban ang bahay ni Micabalo at dinala ang mag-ina rin sa kampo ng 1st SFB sa Bukidnon. Walang ipinakitang mandamyento ang mga umaresto kay Micabalo. Sinampahan siya ng gawa-gawang mga kaso at pilit na pinaaamin na kasapi ng BHB. Tumanggi si Major Macaranban na palayain si Micabalo at ibigay sa kostudiya ng pamilya dahil kunektado diumano ang mga ito sa BHB. Nananatiling nakabimbin ang dalawang pares ng mag-ina sa kampo ng militar at pinagkakaitan ng karapatang makita ng abugado at kanilang mga kamag-anak.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Kababaihan, nanindigan para sa karapatan

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Kababaihan, nanindigan para sa karapatan

SA IKAPITONG TAON ng One Billion Rising, daan-daang kababaihan sa pangunguna ng Gabriela, ang nagtipon sa Rajah Sulayman Park, Roxas Boulevard, Maynila noong Pebrero 14 upang sumayaw bilang protesta laban sa tumitinding pasismo at tiraniya sa bansa.

Binigyang diin sa aktibidad ang lansakang pandarambong sa rekurso at yaman ng bansa alinsunod sa mga neoliberal na patakarang itinutulak ng imperyalismong US at ng panghihimasok ng China. Ibinebenta ng rehimeng Duterte ang soberanya at mga teritoryo ng bansa upang tiyaking makapanatili sa pwesto at makinabang sa bilyun-bilyong halaga ng mga kasunduan.

Kalagayan ng kababaihan Ayon sa Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), lalupang tumindi ang pandarahas at atake sa kababaihan sa ilalim ng macho-pasistang rehimen. Anang grupo, kahit mismo ang mga datos ng Philippine National Police ay nagpapakita na may naitalang 2,962 kaso ng panggagahasa sa bansa mula Enero hanggang Mayo 2018 o 20 kaso kada araw. Inihayag din ng grupo na 56 na tauhan at upisyal ng PNP ang kabilang sa mga iniulat na mga salarin. Mayorya sa mga biktima ng mga ito ay nasa edad 17 pababa na hinuhuli sa “gera kontra-droga.” Wala pang napapanagot sa mga kasong ito.

Patuloy din ang pambabastos ni Duterte at mga alipures nito sa kababaihan sa kabila ng paulit-ulit na pagbatikos ng publiko. Walang humpay ang pang-aatake ng rehimen sa kababaihang lider-masa, aktibista, taong simbahan at manggagawa sa midya. Sa 540 bilanggong pulitikal sa kasalukuyan, 45 ang kababaihan. Samantala, 33 sa 141 biktima ng pampulitikang pamamaslang ay babae.

Pinapasan ng kababaihan ang walang patlang na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin, kahirapan at kawalan ng kabuhayan. Bagsak ang kita at walang tiyak na trabaho ang mayorya sa kababaihan. Sila ang karaniwang iniempleyo sa mga pabrika ng manupaktura na nagpapatupad ng iba’t ibang iskema ng kontraktwal na paggawa.

Ang iba naman ay binabayaran sa iskemang pakyawan. Halimbawa nito sa Marikina, kung saan P7-P18 lamang ang ibinabayad sa bawat nabubuong tahing-kamay na sapatos na ibinebenta sa pamilihan nang P1,500 hanggang P2,500.

Ayon pa sa CWR, milyun-milyong kababaihan ang tiyak na maghihirap at magugutom sa pagpapatupad ng ikalawang andana ng batas na TRAIN. Sa datos mismo ng Philippine Statistics Authority, may 21.9 milyon ang naghihirap at hindi halos makabili ng kanilang batayang pangangailangan. Mga kababaihan ang higit na nakakaranas ng bigat ng pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin lalupa’t sila ang karaniwang nagbabadyet ng kita ng pamilya.

Bago ang mayor na aktibidad noong Pebrero 14, nagkasa rin ng #OneBillionRising ang iba’t ibang paaralan at organisasyon bilang paghahanda. Ilan sa nakiisa ang Lyceum of the Philippines University- Manila, Sta. Isabel College-Manila, Tanauan’s Assumption Academy sa Leyte, University of Eastern Philippines, lokal na pamahalaan ng Catarman, Northern Samar, mga Barangay ng Bagong Silang sa Caloocan, Barangay Canumay East sa Valenzuela, mga kababaihan sa Tondo at Baguio at mga taong simbahan sa ilalim ng Ecumenical Women’s Forum at National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Iluwal ang rebolusyonaryong paglaban mula sa poot ng masa sa kanayunan

Propaganda editorial from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 21, 2019): Iluwal ang rebolusyonaryong paglaban mula sa poot ng masa sa kanayunan

Ang naglalagablab na poot sa kanayunan ay lalong ginagatungan ng rehimeng Duterte. Ang sunud-sunod na mga patakarang anti-magsasaka at anti-mamamayan ay nagpapalayas sa libu-libong magsasaka, mangingisda at minoryang mamamayan mula sa kanilang mga bukid, pook pangisdaan at lupang ninuno at nagsisilbi sa interes ng malalaking burgesyang kumprador at malalaking kapitalistang dayuhan. Bingi si Duterte sa sigaw ng milyun-milyong walang-lupang magsasaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa.

Lalong pinapaspasan ni Duterte ang pang-aagaw ng lupa at pagpapalit-gamit sa lupa upang bigyang-daan ang mga proyektong pang-imprastruktura, panturismo at pang-enerhiya. Sa Central Luzon, ilampung libo ang palalayasin mula sa kanilang lupa at mga pangisdaan ng planong konstruksyon ng mga haywey, paliparan, tinaguriang ecozone at iba pang mga proyektong real estate na sumasakaw sa ilanlibong ektarya.

Ilanlibong pamilya rin ang mapalalayas sa Southern Luzon sa minamadaling konstruksyon ng mga pasilidad pangtransportasyon at lohistika para sa malalaking empresa. Ilanlibong pamilya rin ang mapalalayas sa di bababa sa sampung mayor na proyektong pang-imprastruktura sa Davao at iba pang rehiyon sa Mindanao.

Ang mga megadam na planong itayo sa Kalinga, Tarlac, Quezon at Iloilo ay magreresulta sa dislokasyon ng ilampung libong pamilya at pagbaha sa daanlibong ektaryang kalakha’y bahagi ng lupang ansestral ng mga minoryang mamamayan.

Bilang pagsunod sa diktang imperyalista, ipinatupad ni Duterte ang ganap na liberalisasyon sa importasyon ng bigas. Magreresulta ito sa pagbagsak sa kita ng mahigit dalawang milyong maliliit na magsasaka at manggagawang bukid sa mga palayan, na pinahihirapan din ng pyudal na upa at kawalan ng mekanisasyon at subsidyong estado. Ipatutupad ito sa ngalan ng pagpapababa ng presyo ng bigas, subalit magreresulta lamang sa pagpilay sa lokal na produksyon ng palay, lalong pagsalalay sa pag-aangkat at malao’y pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas. Ang pinakalayunin ng hakbanging ito ay pwersahing mabangkrap ang mga magsasaka ng palay, itigil ang produksyon sa mga palayan at sa gayo’y itulak ang kumbersyon ng mga ito.

Ang dislokasyon sa kabuhayan ng daan-daan libong maliliit na magsasaka ay papatong sa malalang kalagayan ng disempleyo sa kanayunan. Sa nagdaang dalawang taon, mahigit isang milyon nang trabaho sa agrikultura ang nawala, pangunahin dahil sa malawak na kumbersyon ng lupa at patuloy na pagdausdos ng produksyon sa agrikultura. Bumabaha ng sobrang lakas-paggawa ang kanayunan sa Pilipinas.

Pinalalala ng mga hakbangin ni Duterte ang kalagayang sosyo-ekonomiko ng milyun-milyong magsasakang walang lupa dahil sa kawalan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa. Bigo ang reaksyunaryong programa sa reporma sa lupa sa nagdaang 30 taon na tugunan ang hangarin ng masang magsasaka para sa katarungang panlipunan at libreng pamamahagi ng lupa sa mga nagbubungkal ng lupa. Nagsilbi lamang itong isang transaksyon sa bentahan ng lupa. Mahigit 90% ng mga “benepisyaryo” ay di nakakumpleto ng pagbabayad ng amortisasyon. Ang iba sa esensya’y nananatiling walang lupa dahil marami’y obligadong pumasok sa mga kasunduan o kaayusan na nagkakait sa kanila ng kontrol sa kanilang lupa.

Nananatiling konsentrado ang lupa sa kamay ng iilan. Ang malalaking asyenda ay nasa kamay pa rin ng mga Cojuangco, Roxas, Araneta at iba pang malalaking panginoong maylupa. Nasa kontrol din ng malalaking plantasyon ang daan-daang ektaryang lupang agrikultural. Patuloy na dumaranas ang mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid ng pyudal at malapyudal na anyo ng pagsasamantala kabilang ang mabigat na upa sa lupa, usura, mataas na upa sa mga kagamitan at napakababang pasahod.

Upang pahupain ang malawak na poot ng mga magsasaka dulot ng kawalan ng lupa, dislokasyon dahil sa kumbersyon ng lupa, paglaki ng disempleyo sa kanayunan at pagkawala ng kita, abala si Duterte na magpakitang-gilas at magsagawa ng mga palabas ng “distribusyon ng lupa.” Subalit ganap na huwad ang “reporma sa lupa” ni Duterte. Ang totoo, ang ipinamamahagi niya’y pawang dokumento na nag-oobliga sa mga tatanggap na regular na magbayad ng amortisasyon. Walang-saysay ang utos niyang bigyang-prayoridad ang distribusyon ng mga lupa ng gubyerno at may layon lamang pagtakpan ang kanyang katapatan sa uring mga panginoong maylupa at mga may-ari ng mga plantasyon at ang kanyang pagtangging isailalim ang kanilang lupa sa reporma sa lupa.

Layon lamang ng huwad na mga deklarasyon sa reporma sa lupa ni Duterte na lokohin ang masang magsasaka para isuko nila ang kanilang pakikibaka para sa reporma sa lupa at gayo’y ipako sila sa habambuhay na paghihirap. Nagpapanggap siyang tagapagtaguyod ng reporma sa lupa sa walang-saysay na tangkang ilayo ang masang magsasaka sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB).
Ginagamit ni Duterte ang kanyang huwad na reporma sa lupa para bigyang-matwid ang todong panunupil sa masang magsasaka. Nais niyang palabasing tama ang mga walang-habas na pag-abuso at brutalidad na isinasagawa ng kanyang mga pwersang militar, pulis at paramilitar. Dumarami ang kaso ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, walang mandamyentong pag-aresto, arbitraryong detensyon, intimidasyon at pagbabanta, pwersahang “pagpasurender” ng buu-buong komunidad at iba pang paglabag sa mga karapatang-tao.

Gayunman, bigo si Duterte na itago ang malubhang kalagayang sosyo-ekonomiko ng masang magsasaka na labis na nagdurusa sa mga hambalos ng kanyang mga neoliberal na patakarang anti-magsasaka at anti-mamamayan. Mabibigo siyang pahupain ang nag-uumapaw na galit sa malawak na kanayunan.

Ang malawak na poot ng mga magsasaka ay dapat dalhin sa malawak na pagkilos ng masa. Dapat pukawin, organisahin at pakilusin ang malaking bilang ng masang magsasaka upang maglunsad ng lahat ng anyo ng pakikibaka para labanan ang pang-aagaw sa lupa at palit-gamit sa lupa, ang liberalisasyon sa importasyon ng bigas at iba pang patakarang neoliberal, igiit ang pagbabalik ng pondong coco levy sa mga magsasaka sa niyugan, at isulong ang kanilang pakikibaka para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Dapat patatagin ang kanilang loob na labanan ang batas militar at igiit ang kanilang mga karapatan sa ilalim ng mga internasyunal na makataong batas at maging sa ilalim ng reaksyunaryong konstitusyon. Dapat ilunsad ang mga demontrasyon ng mga magsasaka upang tipunin ang kanilang lakas, isulong ang kanilang mga pakikibakang antipyudal at basagin ang paghahari ng teror ni Duterte.

Dapat ubos-kayang itransporma sa rebolusyonaryong paglaban ang galit ng masang magsasaka. Dapat patuloy na paigtingin ng BHB at lahat ng rebolusyonaryong pwersa ang digmang bayan sa pagsusulong ng armadong pakikibaka at rebolusyong agraryo, gayundin sa pagtatatag ng mga organo ng kapangyarihang pampulitika.

Sa pagsusulong ng reporma sa lupa, patuloy na natatamo ng BHB ang malalim at masaklaw na suporta ng malawak na masang magsasaka. Sa gitna ng lumalalang kalagayang sosyo-ekonomiko sa ilalim ni Duterte, lalong napupukaw ang masang magsasaka na sumuporta at sumapi sa hukbong bayan at lumahok sa rebolusyonaryong armadong pakikibaka para ibagsak ang reaksyunaryong estado ng malalaking panginoong maylupa at burgesyang kumprador.

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