Saturday, November 30, 2019

Kalinaw News: Firearms and Ammunitions Recovered as Army Scores Anew Against NPA in Caraga

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 30, 2019): Firearms and Ammunitions Recovered as Army Scores Anew Against NPA in Caraga

Bancasi, Butuan City – Elements from the 29IB under the operational control of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade scored anew in an encounter against CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNT) yesterday, November 27, 2019, around 4:30 in the afternoon at Sitio Manhupaw, Brgy Bangonay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

A platoon from the 29IB while on combat operations tracking CNTs for several weeks has encountered more or less twenty (20) CNTs believed to be members of the Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) 16, Guerilla Front (GF) 16 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under CNT leader, alias Kadong. Firefight lasted for about thirty (30) minutes, after which the CNTs scampered in different directions leaving assorted war materiel.

Recovered from the encounter site were the following:

a) One (1) M4A1 Rifle with serial no w316546

b) One (1) M14 Rifle with serial no 1249611

c) One (1) M203 Grenade Launcher with serial no. 536688

d) Two (2) magazines for M14 Rifle

e) One (1) magazine (20 rds) for M4A1 Rifle

f) One (1) magazine (30 rds) for M4A1 Rifle

g) Twelve (12) rds 5.56mm ball ammunition

h) Eight (8) rds 7.62mm ball ammunition

i) One (1) bandolier

j) Fifteen (15) meters electrical wire

k) One (1) blasting cap

l) Personal belongings

m) Subversive documents

No one was hurt from the government side while it is undetermined from the enemy. As of this writing, troops are still on hot pursuit.

Encountered CNTs are believed to be part of the group that has been the target of the artillery fires at Brgy Bangonay, Jabonga, ADN last 210517 November 2019.

Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade, in his statement said, “I commend the 29IB troopers for the decisive engagement against the CNTs at Jabonga. We’ve been tracking them for weeks now as they transfer from one place to another to evade our troops. We shall not let them have a breathing space as they continuously refuse to heed our call to surrender, leave the life of violence and finally embrace the path of peace together with their families”.

“We call on to all remaining CNTs to lay down their arms and stop their futile armed struggle that only brought pain and suffering to our people. We will even intensify our operations against you. You can run but you can not hide for long. Avail the government’s offer for you to go back on your normal lives, the E-CLIP, and be with your families this Christmas”, BGen Licudine added.

Source: Kalinaw News

Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Contact us:

Kalinaw News: Another Army-PNP Joint Operation Recovers High-powered Firearms in Nueva Viscaya

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 30, 2019): Another Army-PNP Joint Operation Recovers High-powered Firearms in Nueva Viscaya

BONGABON, Nueva Ecija – This is in connection with the recent joint operation spearheaded by 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion at Brgy Ligaya, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija which led to the recovery of high-powered firearms and radios at the vicinity of mountainous portion of Brgy Cawayan, Alfonso Castaṅeda, Nueva Viscaya on November 29, 2019.

The conduct of Joint Intelligence Driven Focused Military Operation composed of one (1) platoon of 84IB led by 1LT SHERWIN B FORRO (INF) PA; one (1) squad of weapons company of 91IB led by 1LT BOBBY FERRER (INF) PA; and personnel from 1ST Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC), Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office (NEPPO) under the supervision of PLTC DENNIS C WENCESLAO, steered the discovery of an arms cache buried at vicinity mentioned above. Certain alias Robin and alias Alfred gave the information to the government forces of the possible location of these high-powered firearms and radios. Recovered were four (4) M16 Rifles with serial numbers L925016, and L925032, the other two had defaced serial numbers and five (5) Handheld Baofeng radios with charger and antenna that were believed to be buried by the withdrawing elements of KLG Sierra Madre during an encounter with Sinagtala Battalion last April 01, 2019.

In related recent events, more and more members of the CPP/NPA/NDF are returning to the folds of the government. This indicates that their members are now realizing the false promises of communism. Likewise, the rebels’ surrender serves as proof of the effectiveness of the Whole-of-Nation-Approach in the campaign to end local armed conflict. The terrorists are already threatened by the joint efforts of the government and other local government agencies as well as the active participation of local populace, they lost already the trust and confidence of their mass base.

With marching order from President RODRIGO R DUTERTE to immediately terminate local communist insurgency, the Armed Forces made efforts to conduct intensified coordination with all stakeholders to continuously win back to mainstream society the victims of the leftists’ ideology.

COL ANDREW D COSTELO INF (GSC) PA, Commander, 703rd Brigade said that these continuous joint operations of the Army-PNP is conducted to end communist led armed struggle, educate and encourage our people to cooperate and participate in the peace and development programs and services of the government. This is the perfect time for rebels to go back to the folds of law, start a new life and benefit from the programs the government offers.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Former NPA woman fighter yields to gov’t authorities

From the Palawan News (Nov 28, 2019): Former NPA woman fighter yields to gov’t authorities  (By Aira Genesa Magdayao)

Ka Shin, woman in green with her back to the camera, is shown here with her three older siblings that she has not seen in over a decade.

Ka Shin, self-confessed former New People’s Army (NPA) woman fighter and No. 14 on the government’s wanted list in Palawan, has presented herself to authorities to claim she is no longer active in the insurgency.

Identifying herself as “Ka Shin” she told Palawan News at the 3rd Marine Brigade (3MBDe) that she showed up to clear her name because she had already abandoned the leftist movement when she escaped in 2017 in Brooke’s Point.

She said it was her boyfriend (name withheld) who persuaded her to present herself after learning that
her picture is on the list of 41 rebel members and leaders who are being sought by the Provincial Task Force-Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC).

“Natakot po ako noong ipinakita niya (boyfriend) ang picture ko. Baka kasi bigla na lang akong hulihin, kaya nagpakita ako para mapatunayan ko din na hindi na ako NPA,” Ka Shin said.

Ka Shin, while being interviewed by Palawan News, said that she is no longer a part of the leftist movement.
“Napagod na po ako. Syempre gutom, pagod… hirap. Ilang beses akong nagpaalam, hindi nila ako pinapayagan. May nayaya akong dalawang babae na tumakas pero naabutan din kami sa may kalsada sa Brooke’s Point. May tao na nagsumbong, ‘yong mga nadaanan namin na bahay. Pero napilitan din sila na pababain na ako, mag-isa lang akong bumaba,” she said on the reason why she left the rebel movement.

She said that while in the insurgent group when she was 14, she served as a personal aide or “buddy” to Domingo Ritas (Ka Tino), taking care of his medicines and other health needs.

She said she was on probation at that time, subjected by the NPA provincial command to a period of “good behavior” under supervision before becoming a full-fledged child soldier.

“Ka-buddy ko lang po ‘yong matanda, si [Ka] Tino. Parang alalay niya lang ako, katulong. Taga-paalala ng gamot niya kasi marami po ‘yong sakit,” she said.

“Kapag malayo po ang lalakaran, halimbawa ilang bayan ang tatawirin, hindi kami sumasama mismo sa lakaran sa kanya. Umiistambay lang kami sa isang lugar, tapos kapag doon na siya sa pupuntahan, bago kami susunduin ng sasakyan na motor para makasama siya,” Ka Shin added.

Ka Shin said she was 15 when she first held a short firearm as a “trainee” in a mountain area she could no longer remember where.

She said she would carry the gun with her during “missions” for protection against their enemies, but she has not used it because she was too afraid.

“Hindi po naiputok, hindi ko nagamit kasi takot po ako talaga,” she said.

Ka Shin, according to 3MBDe commander Brig. General Charlton Sean Gaerlan, is the second to yield after the PTF-ELCAC came out with the wanted list. The first was Rico Soñer, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman of Barangay Paly, Taytay, and said to be the leader of Anakbayan.

Soñer’s category in the wanted list is now being verified by the PTF-ELCAC.

“Tulad noong isang pumunta rin dito, i-va-validate namin ‘yong facts tungkol sa kanya. Aalamin ang category niya,” Gaerlan said.

Ka Shin, 19, alleged that she was only eight-years-old when she, her mother, and two older brothers, were taken away from the rest of their family by Glendhyl Malabanan (Ka Meldy) of the Karapatan-Southern Tagalog (Karapatan-ST) in 2008.

She claimed they were separated from her two sisters, a brother, and a stepbrother from the second marriage of her mother.

The siblings hugged each other again for the first time in more than a decade.

She said Malabanan brought them to Sinangharian in San Vicente town to live under new identities, assimilating with the community to fish and plant crops to earn income.

“Eight-years-old po [noong mapunta kami dito] kasama ng nanay ko at saka ‘yong mga kapatid ko. Tatlo kami sa una na dinala dito. Anim po kami, pero tatlo kaming dinala dito. At saka may kapatid kami sa stepfather namin na isa,” Ka Shin said.

Her sister Rachelle, who reunited with her on Monday after more than a decade, said while crying that they never stopped looking for Ka Shin and their mother since they were taken away.

Rachelle claimed it was Malabanan who took her to pressure them to return to the NPA in Luzon.

“Hinila nila sila nanay, sinakay sa van, ‘yon na po ang last na nagkita kami. Hindi na kami nakapag-usap, simula noon hindi na kami nagkita. Tapos po ilang beses kaming nagmakaawa, pumunta doon sa opisina nila (Karapatan) sa main office sa Quezon City, pero sabi ng mga tao doon nag-abroad na daw po siya (Glendhyl). Nagulat ako noong sa Facebook nakita ko siya, ang sabi ko akala ko ba nasa abroad bakit nasa Palawan man ito?” she said.

Rachelle added that when she saw the video of Malabanan’s arrest, she communicated with the 3MBDe to help them find Ka Shin to reunite with her, their two brothers, and mother.

Rosel, another sister, said Karapatan was a part of their daily life because of their father who was among the leaders of the peasant organization Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid-Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK).

She said their father was abducted and killed in 2003 with a Karapatan-ST leader while conducting a fact-finding mission on the murders of peasant farmers and community workers in Mindoro.

“Sila (Karapatan) ‘yong huling kasama ng nanay namin. Simula kasi [noong mamatay ‘yong tatay namin], sila na ‘yong humahawak sa amin kasama ng organization ng tatay namin. Kasama-TK kasi ‘yong tatay namin,” Rosel said.

“Sinasama-sama po ako dati ni ate Glen, para akong naging kanang kamay niya kaya hindi niya rin ako binibitawan,” she added.

Rosel said they are overwhelmed by the fact that Ka Shin and their two brothers are still alive, but saddened by the reality that they failed to see their mother again who died of cancer in 2012.

Of all things, Rosel said that was what hurts them the most.

“‘Yon ang pinaka masakit sa aming magkakapatid, ang hindi makita ang nanay namin. Namatay siya na hindi namin nalaman na magkakapatid,” Rosel said.

Rachelle alleged that Karapatan-ST abducted their mother and siblings to make her and Rosel return to the NPA after leaving it in place of a new life.

She said that based on her experience as a former rebel, Karapatan “is really NPA”.

“‘Yang mga pinagsasabi nila puro mga front na lang naman po ‘yan. Kasi kulang na lang magsabit sila ng baril dahil talaga namang silang lahat ay mga NPA,” Rachelle said.

“Ang purpose lang naman kung bakit tinago nila ang mga ito (Ka Shin) kasi gusto nila kaming pabalikin. Gusto nila kaming pabalikin kaso ako ay nanindigan na gusto na namin ng bagong buhay. Wala naman po silang magandang kinabukasan para sa amin. Sa bundok nga lang magugutom ka, mapalaban ka, tiisin mo lang. Ang sabi ko, ‘anong future ang naghihintay sa amin dito?’ Kaya hindi rin naman ako talaga nangarap na habang buhay doon,” she said.

In reaction, Karapatan lawyer Maria Sol Taule said on Thursday it is no longer new for their organization to be accused of being a legal front of the NPA.

She also said she is not aware of the “particular” case of Ka Shin, but she admitted knowing the story about her father.

“‘Yong part na sinasabing front ‘yong Karapatan ng NPA, well, lagi naman naming naririnig ‘yan. Of course, vehemently dini-deny namin ‘yan dahil hindi naman ‘yan totoo. Pangalawa, ‘yong fact na ‘yan tungkol sa anak, siguro kailangan ko munang i-verify doon sa Karapatan sa region kasi ngayon ko lang narinig,” she said.

Taule said she will have to verify her case with the Karapatan-ST.

As for Malabanan, she said she will have to also verify the veracity of the claims.

“Titingnan ko kung anong nangyari para makapag-issue kami ng statement kung kailangan, kasi ngayon medyo complicated ‘yong facts. Hindi ako makapagsalita doon sa facts kasi kailangan ko ngang i-verify pero ‘yong accusation na front ‘yong Karapatan ay hindi naman sa amin bago ‘yon. Kung baga lagi namang narrative na naririnig namin, pero hindi totoo ‘yon, of course,” Taule said.

She claimed Karapatan has papers to prove that they are registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and has other documents to prove that they are cooperating with the government legally.

“‘Yong tungkol sa client ko, kay Glendhyl Malabanan, we will have to talk to her first kung kilala niya itong taong ito. Sa ngayon, ‘yon muna ang kaya kong ipahayag,” she said.

WESCOM: WESCOM Supports the Whole-of-Country Approach to Resolve the Communist Insurgency

Posted to the Western Command (WESCOM) Facebook Page (Nov 29, 2019): WESCOM Supports the Whole-of-Country Approach to Resolve the Communist Insurgency

Puerto Princesa City - Palawan Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) through Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) in partnership with Team WESCOM conducted Awareness Symposium held at Circon Lodge, Mendoza Park, Puerto Princesa City on 26 November 2019. The participants of the forum are the chairpersons from affected Barangays in Palawan.

The barangay chairmen of Palawan strongly denounce any deceptive recruitment to any vulnerable sectors of our society and they are all united in declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata in the Province of Palawan.

The activity aims the participants from the Province of Palawan to have a common understanding and appreciation of the current security threats in the province particularly on the problem of Communist Insurgency. Likewise, participants were informed of the current efforts of the government in confronting the insurgency problem thru the recently organized Palawan Task Force ELCAC. 

Through the PSWDO, on the other hand, barangay officials were able to provide services and assistance coming from the government especially to the rebel forces.

For the part of WESCOM, Vice Admiral Medina said that WESCOM continuously supports the Whole-of-Nation Approach to resolve decades of insurgency especially with the creation of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The military cannot resolve this alone. It is the concerted efforts of national and local government agencies, local government units, sectoral groups, and the military.

PTF ELCAC is looking forward for the similar activities to undertake in the coming days to deepen the knowledge of every citizen in the barangays regarding the activities of the leftist groups that could harm their areas.


— supporting Team AFP at Western Command General Headquarters, AFP.

WESCOM: Barangay Officials of Palawan United in Declaring CPP-NPA-NDF Personal Non Grata

Posted to the Western Command (WESCOM) Facebook Page (Nov 30, 2019): Barangay Officials of Palawan United in Declaring CPP-NPA-NDF Personal Non Grata

Image may contain: one or more people


Puerto Princesa City - Palawan Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) through Provincial Social Welfare Development Office (PSWDO) in partnership with Team WESCOM conducted Awareness Symposium held at Circon Lodge, Mendoza Park, Puerto Princesa City on 26 November 2019. The participants of the forum are the chairpersons from affected Barangays in Palawan.

The barangay chairmen of Palawan strongly denounce any deceptive recruitment to any vulnerable sectors of our society and they are all united in declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata in the Province of Palawan.

The activity aims the participants from the Province of Palawan to have a common understanding and appreciation of the current security threats in the province particularly on the problem of Communist Insurgency. Likewise, participants were informed of the current efforts of the government in confronting the insurgency problem thru the recently organized Palawan Task Force ELCAC. 

Through the PSWDO, on the other hand, barangay officials were able to provide services and assistance coming from the government especially to the rebel forces.

For the part of WESCOM, Vice Admiral Medina said that WESCOM continuously supports the Whole-of-Nation Approach to resolve decades of insurgency especially with the creation of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The military cannot resolve this alone. It is the concerted efforts of national and local government agencies, local government units, sectoral groups, and the military.

PTF ELCAC is looking forward for the similar activities to undertake in the coming days to deepen the knowledge of every citizen in the barangays regarding the activities of the leftist groups that could harm their areas.


— supporting Team AFP at Western Command General Headquarters, AFP.

Former Rebels pledge allegiance to Gov’t

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Former Rebels pledge allegiance to Gov’t (By Jocelyn Alvarez)

PAGADIAN CITY, Nov. 30 (PIA) – Eighteeen former rebels (FRs) have returned to the folds of the law as they turned-over their firearms and took oath of allegiance to the government.

The 53rd IB, Philippine Army presented the surrenderees before Usec Rene Glen O. Paje, DSWD Undersectary and Chairman of Regional Task Force-End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) during the ground breaking ceremony of the Halfway House for FRs, held recently in Guipos town, Zamboanga del Sur.

The former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels committed to support the present administration in its fight against local terrorist groups and their activities like child recruitment and training.

“Para dili na maka pangilad sa katawhan labi na sa kabatan–unan ug katibuk-an mang-uuma (to put a stop in deceiving the people specially the youth and the farmers),” said one rebel returnee.

Another former rebel also committed to help convince their comrades who are still with the movement and believes in the wrong ideology, to go back to mainstream government.

The FRs also committed to cooperate with the Phil. Army in whatever information they could get from the rebel group.

“Tabang ta sa pag aw-hag sa atong mga kauban nga nabilin pa didto nga manganaog ug dili mahadlok pag surrender kay maayo ang mga taga 53rd IB, nagsalig ta nila, wala ta pasakiti, diha nato nakita gitagaan tag E-CLIP, walay hunung ang tabang sa gobyerno (Let us help call on our comrades who are still left in the mountains to go down and not be afraid to surrender because the 53rd IB armies are good, we trust them, they did not hurt us, they helped us with E-CLIP, government help is continuously pouring in),” aka Commander Tingul, a former hardcore NPA rebel leader said.

Meantime, Usec. Paje congratulated the FRs for making the right decision to go back to government, “maligayang pagbabalik loob, pagbabalik sa tamang pamumuhay, tamang landas na payapa at talikuran ang armadong pakikibaka (welcome back to mainstream society, back to normal life, right and peaceful path, as you give up arm conflicts),” he said.

“Nangangako tayo na nasa gobyerno at yung nasa lokal na pamahalaan na gagawin ang lahat upang maipahatid, maiparating ang mga serbisyong kinakailangan (we in the government promised to do everything to bring and deliver the needed government services),” Paje added.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Governor Victor Yu promised to give incentive to the FRs if they will be able to convince their comrades to go back to government, “If maka convince mo ug kauban na mag surrender, muapil sa gobyerno, saad nako, maghatag ug bonus ninyo,” he said. (RVC/JPA/PIA-Zamboanga del Sur)

Indonesia, Malaysia remain PHL's allies to protect Philippine waters

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Indonesia, Malaysia remain PHL's allies to protect Philippine waters  (By Dominic I. Sanchez - with reports from Naval Forces Western Mindanao)

Featured Image

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Nov 30 (PIA) – The navies of Indonesia and Malaysia continue to be country’s allies in protecting the waters of Southern Philippines particularly from the threat of local and cross-border terrorism.

On November 26, warships from Indonesia and Malaysia joined Philippine Navy warship BRP Emilio Jacinto in a trilateral maritime training activity. Navy personnel from the three warships engaged in joint patrols, naval maneuvers, communication and other technical exercises. The activities lasted for three days.

Lt. Chester Ross Cabaltera, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NAVFORWEM) spokesperson said this is the 7th port visit jointly participated by the three navies.

“Terrorism is a common issue among the three countries. With this Trilateral Cooperative Agreement, all three nations have stronger coordination to combat this threat,”
Cabaltera said.

Under the agreement, warships from the foreign countries can be easily granted access to one another’s borders. This is especially helpful when pursuing terrorists across borders.

“This is where we enhance our navies’ capability to work together in protecting our common borders and ensure safe and secured sea lanes and passages,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, NAVFORWEM commander.

The participating ships include Indonesian warship Kri Sura and the Royal Malaysian Navy’s KD Baung. The ships have already left the Zamboanga port after the three-day engagement on November 28.

Cabaltera added that the three navies also had cultural exchanges during their short visit to foster camaraderie among the personnel coming from the different countries. He added that the Philippine Navy is looking forward for more secure waters in the Southern Philippines as a result of the joint exercises. (RVC/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

ROTC cadet catches student who jumped off 5th floor

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): ROTC cadet catches student who jumped off 5th floor (By Hilda Austria)

ADOPTED SON OF DAGUPAN CITY. Mart Stephen Navarro (in green) was made an adopted son of Dagupan City by the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Nov. 19, 2019. The ROTC cadet catched and saved a suicidal student who jumped from the 5th floor in their school. Navarro said he was enabled by God in doing the act and at the same time aided by the discipline he learned from ROTC training. (Photo courtesy of Atty. Joey Tamayo's Facebook account)

A 20-year-old criminology student here and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet has saved the life of his fellow student who jumped off the ledge of a five-storey building of their school.

Mart Stephen Navarro said the incident happened on a weekend while they were having training in their ROTC with fellow cadets and officers.

“We were on a break after our morning formation, when I saw, along with other students who were at the school, the student who was about to jump off from the ledge of the five-storey building while his father was negotiating with her,” he said in an interview Friday.

Navarro said he immediately called the attention of their platoon leader who promptly commanded the other ROTC cadets and officers to respond.

“The officers made a formation in order to catch the student. The events were so sudden and she jumped off on the other side away from the rescuers, but near my location so I hurried to catch her as I was the nearest to where she might fall. I caught her but the impact left me with (an) injured right leg knee cap. We were both rushed to the nearby hospital,” he said.

Navarro said he was happy to know that the student is now safe.

Navarro stayed at the hospital for two days. His knee cap is still recovering from the injury and will most likely take three months to fully heal.

He attributed the quick response to God, and the discipline he learned from ROTC.

“I advise young people like me to entrust everything to the Lord, whatever your problems are,” he said.

Navarro was awarded with four-year scholarship by his school as well as the city government of Dagupan and his hometown Calasiao, Pangasinan. He was also made an adopted son of Dagupan City through a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlungsod for his heroic act.

He was also promoted to ROTC Cadet 2nd Lt. Officer.

Meanwhile, ROTC coordinator Arnold Subang said the students enrolled in ROTC program undergo different trainings that teach them survival or first-aid or rescue; preparedness; discipline, patriotism and love for countrymen, among others.

“It is important for young people to be always prepared of possible incidents, such as what might happen in the school or even outside their schools. They need to be aware on what they should do in times of emergencies and even disasters,” he said.

Subang expressed his support to making ROTC mandatory.

Navarro and Subang’s school has about 300 students taking up ROTC.

On December 5, around 2,500 ROTC cadets from selected colleges and universities and uniformed personnel in the country will attend a summit in Quirino Grandstand, Manila to celebrate and drum up support for the reinstatement of mandatory ROTC.

The event is being organized by the Office of the President through the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and Presidential Security Group, in coordination with the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through the Office of the Reservist and Retiree Affairs (OJ9).

The activity will feature the silent drill competition from among the best in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), Philippine Army Officer Candidate School (PAOCS), Philippine Navy Officer Candidate School (PNOCS), and Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAFOCS).

The units are vying for the top prize of PHP300,000; the second placer will receive PHP200,000, and the third will get PHP100,000.

A PHP50,000 consolation prize will be given for each of the four other units.

6th Infantry Division produces 677 new soldiers

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): 6th Infantry Division produces 677 new soldiers (By Edwin Fernandez)

NEWLY-MINTED SOLDIERS. Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army's 6th Infantry Division commander, renders an inspirational talk to the new soldiers who graduated Friday (November 29), on a six-month training. They will be deployed to different parts of Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 6th Infantry Division)
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- The Army's 6th Infantry Division (6ID) has produced 677 new soldiers who completed Friday a six-month rigorous training here.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 6ID commander, said the graduates comprised of 592 males and 85 females, who belong to the 2019 Candidate Soldier Classes 575, 591, 599, 600, and 601.

The new soldiers learned Transformation Module and Orientation Phase, Basic Soldiery Skills, and Field Training Exercise during the training held at the division's training school in Barangay Semba, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

They were recruited through the different units based in Mindanao and these are: 52nd Engineering Brigade, Bukidnon; 54th Engineering Brigade, Zamboanga City; 4th Infantry Division, Cagayan de Oro City; 10th Infantry Division, Compostela Valley; 11th Infantry Division, Sulu; and 6th Infantry Division, Maguindanao.

The topnotchers of the five candidates soldiers (CS) classes are as follows: Rosalia Tarona, 93.44 percent general average, Class-575; Zaira Mae Cornel, 92.44 percent, Class-591; Gleir Presbitero, 93.42 percent, Class-599 and Class-600; Rochelle Wayno, 92.91 percent, Class-601.

CS Adrian Andog received the leadership award for male batches in Classes-599, 600 and 601 while CS Rosalia Tarona for female batches in Classes-575 and 591.

CS John Michael Cuerpo (Class-591), CS Vincent James Insidan (Class-601), CS Angelito Trapero (Class 600), CS Jirah Mea Fasoy (Class 599), and Jordan Gallano (Class 575), received the Top Gun Award as they obtaining the highest marksmanship rating.

Carreon, in his message to the graduates, said they should be proud of what they have learned during the training and should serve the Philippine Army with honor.

He also reminded them not to compromise their integrity since it will cost them their job.

The new graduates will be enlisted into the ranks of Private and will be deployed to the different units in Mindanao.

Caraga observes Week of Peace

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Caraga observes Week of Peace (By Alexander Lopez)

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – The Mindanao Week of Peace is being celebrated in Caraga Region starting Thursday, November 28, until December 4 this year.

The week-long celebration kicked-off at the St. James the Great Parish here participated by representatives from indigenous peoples (IPs), Muslims, and Christians from different provinces in the region.

This year’s celebration carries the theme,
“Towards Human Fraternity for Peace in Mindanao.”

Most Rev. Cosme Damian R. Almedilla, the bishop of the Diocese of Butuan, led the opening of the celebration. He was joined by top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the region.

Almedilla said the celebration is a process by which Christians, Moro, and IPs interact through series of activities to understand the various perspective of peace based on beliefs, customs, traditions, and actual experiences of each sector.

Activities that will run for one week will mostly involve cultural sharing of peace from the perspectives of each participating sectors. Other activities include cultural presentations, a tree planting for peace, ecumenical gathering and prayer, and distribution of reading materials on peace to students.

The weeklong celebration will also be participated by government line agencies and the local government units (LGUs) in the area.

Buenavista Mayor Norbert Pagaspas welcomed all the participants to the activity as he urged participants to promote peace in communities for a well-lived life.

“Everyone deserves peace. We are happy to see people being united and working peacefully regardless of cultural differences," Pagaspas said.

In a message read by lawyer Ramie Duropan during the occasion, Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera said that despite the different cultures, customs, beliefs, principles, and even clashing personal viewpoints, the people of Caraga must “stand in great hope to fortify the alliance of civilizations so that we can advance the most clamored status of peace in Mindanao."

Maj. Francisco Garello, Jr., the Civil-Military Operations (CMO) commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade, also shared with the participants the message of Brig. Gen. Maurito Licudine, which focused on the gains of the continuing implementation of the whole-of-nation approach of the government to end local communist armed conflicts in the region.

"Your cooperation in solving the insurgency problem in the country would create a huge impact on the fulfillment of our common goal - to achieve sustainable peace. Let's reflect on ourselves and assess how we could better contribute to peace and development," Licudine said.

Muslim and IP leaders, during the press conference on Thursday, welcomed the celebration of the week of peace, saying that the occasion will serve as a venue to share their concepts of peace.

In the same press conference, Lt. Col. Francisco Molina, commander of the 23rd Infantry Battalion, vowed the Army's support for Mindanao Week of Peace, saying their forces will also participate to the slated activities.

Molina also said while the week of peace is celebrated, the Army will continue to perform its mandated task of securing the people and communities in the Caraga.

Army condemns militiaman's death in Surigao Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Army condemns militiaman's death in Surigao Sur (By Alexander Lopez)

Google map of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

The Army condemned on Saturday the killing of a member of the Civilian Armed Auxiliary (CAA) in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

1Lt. Jonald D. Romorosa, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 36th Infantry Battalion, told Philippine News Agency that they are still determining those responsible for the killing of CAA Porferio Patis Polinar on Thursday inside his residence in Tandag City.

“We condemn the killing of CAA Polinar. He served well his community in Barangay Maitum as a CAA member,”
Romorosa said.

Polinar, 48, was assigned in Sitio Mahanon, Barangay Maitum in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, the Army official added.

Romorosa said that based on reports the military gathered, the victim was unarmed and was resting at his residence with his family when attacked by armed assailants.

A report from the Tandag City Police Station (TCPS) on Friday said their personnel responded to a reported shooting incident that took place at around 9:50 p.m. on Thursday in Barangay San Isidro, Tandag City.

Polinar was immediately rushed to the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center where he died, the report added.

Witnesses interviewed by TCPS during the investigation said the victim was inside his house when unidentified armed men arrived and shot the victim.

Police said Polinar bore five gunshot wounds in his body.

Romorosa said they are coordinating with the police regarding the investigation into the killing of Polinar.

Troops seize IEDs as hunt vs. Dawlah Islamiya continues

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Troops seize IEDs as hunt vs. Dawlah Islamiya continues (By Edwin Fernandez)

RECOVERED. Government troops have recovered Saturday (November 30) improvised bomb and bomb-making components as hunt against the Dawlah Islamiya terrorists continues in Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 6th Infantry Division)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government troops recovered on Saturday improvised bombs and bomb-making materials while tracking down fleeing Dawlah Islamiya members, who are the target of surgical military operations in Maguindanao.

The improvised bombs and bomb-making components were recovered in several areas in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao, by the elements of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Battalion and 601st Infantry Brigade troops, a military official said.

An improvised explosive device (IED) was recovered by soldiers along the road leading to the enemy lair while they were conducting clearing operations.

The IED is made of an 81-mm mortar shell as the main charge with a cellular phone attached as the triggering device.

1st Lt. Jose Peralta of 2nd Mechanized company said the placement of IEDs along the road leading to enemy encampment is aimed to damage military hardware and to delay the movement of the troops.

Earlier, the troops found five IEDs with signatures of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Dawlah Islamiyah in an encampment, where remains of three BIFF fighters, slain in air strikes, were found.

The troops, verifying information from civilians, found a bomb-making and gun factory of the terror group Friday in Barangay Tina, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

They recovered an unfinished home-made caliber 50 Barret Sniper rifle, assorted war materials such as front sight, barrel, trigger mechanisms, spring, magazine, bolt assembly and empty shells of 5.56 millimeter (mm) and 7.62-mm ammunition, and an air compressor used to manufacture of IEDs.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, lauded the civilians, "who are obviously tired of terrorists’ atrocities in their communities," for cooperating with government forces in Maguindanao.

6ID commander honors fallen soldier

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): 6ID commander honors fallen soldier

LAST RESPECTS. Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army's 6th Infantry Division commander (in glasses) on Friday, November 29, visits the wake of Sgt. Rex Sadava of the Army's 57th Infantry Battalion in San Pablo, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. Sadava was killed by an improvised bomb set off by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Daswao, Sharrif Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Army's 6th Infantry Division)

The commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) commander on Friday paid his last respects to a soldier slain while in pursuit of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorists in Maguindanao.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon visited the wake of Sgt. Rex Sadava of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion in his home in Purok Pag-asa, Barangay San Pablo here.

Sadava was part of the 57th Infantry Battalion troops conducting clearing operations in Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao, when an improvised bomb planted by the
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) went off Wednesday.

Carreon hailed Sadava as a “modern-day hero who offered his life in defense of our country.”

The ongoing pursuit operations against IS-linked BIFF and Dawla Islamiya have been intensified after three BIFF fighters were killed and several improvised bombs recovered in the Maguindanao marshland.

Carreon confirmed that Akhmad Abdulmalik, brother of BIFF leader Abu Toraife, and Ansari Esmail, Toraife’s son and follower Johari Abdulatip were slain in air and ground assaults.

“The Joint Task Force Central will not waver in its efforts to eradicate and put a stop to these groups,” Carreon said.

“We will hunt them down and will not allow them space to regroup and gain strength,” he added.

NPA rebels in Caraga, NorMin dwindling: Army official

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): NPA rebels in Caraga, NorMin dwindling: Army official

DECOMMISSIONED. Soldiers help government officials in the decommissioning of turned-in firearms during a ceremony held at the Phil. Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro, on Thursday afternoon. (PNA photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem)

The areas where communist rebels operate in the Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions are dwindling as thousands of New People’s Army (NPA) members have either surrendered or had been killed in government offensives in recent months, a military official said.

Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said close to 5,000 NPA fighters and supporters returned to the fold of the law, while several of them were killed in armed encounters with state forces from January to November of this year.

“By that number, they (NPA) lost a huge area, as their territory is becoming smaller as the surrenderees have also increased,” Gacal said during the demilitarization of turned-in firearms and awarding of PHP2.8 million Enhanced Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) assistance to former rebels held at the 4ID headquarters on Thursday here.

Gacal said the rejection of NPA by tribal leaders has also contributed to the support for the insurgents in remote communities.

“It has a huge impact since many of the indigenous peoples (IP) are NPA members. So if our IP leaders are condemning them, it only goes to show that tribal communities are dissociating themselves from the NPA,” Gacal said during the decommissioning of the turned-in firearms, weapons of various sizes and types.

“We want to prevent the proliferation of loose firearms, so these won’t be recycled or won’t be going back to the hands of the NPA and other armed groups. We don’t want these firearms to be used for illegal means,” he said.

Among the 94 firearms that were destroyed were M-14 rifles, grenade launchers, shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, .38 caliber revolver pistols, and a handful of homemade handguns.

Gacal said the destruction of the firearms is part of the commitment of the former rebels that “starting today they will walk the path of peace.”

Groups stage protest march; deface Manila walls anew

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Groups stage protest march; deface Manila walls anew

Cultural group Panday Sining, which recently drew public ire for defacing a newly painted school wall, has again placed graffitis in Manila, this time with a poster of President Rodrigo Duterte featuring swastika signs plastered near the LRT Carriedo Station during a protest rally on Saturday.

Another militant group Anakbayan,
in its twitter post on Nov. 30, confirmed that Panday Sining was responsible for the posters.

"NGAYON: Nagpaskil ang Panday Sining ng mga likha bilang paggunita sa ika-156 na kaarawan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio!," Anakbayan's twitter post read.

Panday Sining was among the several groups that staged a protest march during the 156th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, from the United States Embassy in Manila and Liwasang Bonifacio going to Mendiola.

Several rallyists, most of whom are members of the so-called militant organizations, caused heavy traffic on the roads leading to Recto Avenue in Manila.

Among the groups' demands was the end of the alleged "Chinese and US intervention" in the country.

Placards inciting rebellion among the youth were raised which read: "Sagot sa Martial Law, Digmang Bayan. Ibagsak ang pahirap, pasista, tuta na rehimeng US-Duterte" and "Kabataan sumapi sa NPA (New People's Army)".

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Report to Congress on U.S.-China Competition in the South, East China Seas

Posted to the US Naval Institute (Nov 29, 2019): Report to Congress on U.S.-China Competition in the South, East China Seas

The following is the Nov. 26, 2019 Congressional Research Service report, U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report

In an international security environment described as one of renewed great power competition, the South China Sea (SCS) has emerged as an arena of U.S.-China strategic competition. U.S.-China strategic competition in the SCS forms an element of the Trump Administration’s more confrontational overall approach toward China, and of the Administration’s efforts for promoting its construct for the Indo-Pacific region, called the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).

China’s actions in the SCS in recent years—including extensive island-building and base-construction activities at sites that it occupies in the Spratly Islands, as well as actions by its maritime forces to assert China’s claims against competing claims by regional neighbors such as the Philippines and Vietnam—have heightened concerns among U.S. observers that China is gaining effective control of the SCS, an area of strategic, political, and economic importance to the United States and its allies and partners. Actions by China’s maritime forces at the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (ECS) are another concern for U.S. observers. Chinese domination of China’s near-seas region—meaning the SCS and ECS, along with the Yellow Sea—could substantially affect U.S. strategic, political, and economic interests in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere.

Potential general U.S. goals for U.S.-China strategic competition in the SCS and ECS include but are not necessarily limited to the following: fulfilling U.S. security commitments in the Western Pacific, including treaty commitments to Japan and the Philippines; maintaining and enhancing the U.S.-led security architecture in the Western Pacific, including U.S. security relationships with treaty allies and partner states; maintaining a regional balance of power favorable to the United States and its allies and partners; defending the principle of peaceful resolution of disputes and resisting the emergence of an alternative “might-makes-right” approach to international affairs; defending the principle of freedom of the seas, also sometimes called freedom of navigation; preventing China from becoming a regional hegemon in East Asia; and pursing these goals as part of a larger U.S. strategy for competing strategically and managing relations with China.

Potential specific U.S. goals for U.S.-China strategic competition in the SCS and ECS include but are not necessarily limited to the following: dissuading China from carrying out additional base-construction activities in the SCS, moving additional military personnel, equipment, and supplies to bases at sites that it occupies in the SCS, initiating island-building or base-construction activities at Scarborough Shoal in the SCS, declaring straight baselines around land features it claims in the SCS, or declaring an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the SCS; and encouraging China to reduce or end operations by its maritime forces at the Senkaku Islands in the ECS, halt actions intended to put pressure against Philippine-occupied sites in the Spratly Islands, provide greater access by Philippine fisherman to waters surrounding Scarborough Shoal or in the Spratly Islands, adopt the U.S./Western definition regarding freedom of the seas, and accept and abide by the July 2016 tribunal award in the SCS arbitration case involving the Philippines and China.

The Trump Administration has taken various actions for competing strategically with China in the SCS and ECS. The issue for Congress is whether the Trump Administration’s strategy for competing strategically with China in the SCS and ECS is appropriate and correctly resourced, and whether Congress should approve, reject, or modify the strategy, the level of resources for implementing it, or both.
Download the document here.

China issues warning to US after warships pass disputed islands

From the Navy Times (Nov 29, 2019): China issues warning to US after warships pass disputed islands

This Nov. 30, 2016 photo shows littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords, which was built at the Austal USA shipyards and docked here on the Mobile River in Mobile, Ala. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

This is your recent look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons.

The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves.


China's foreign ministry has protested the presence of U.S. Navy ships in waters it claims and says it has warned them to keep away.

Spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that the littoral combat ship Gabrielle Giffords “illegally entered” waters surrounding the Spratly Islands on Nov. 20.

Geng said the guided-missile destroyer Wayne E. Meyer sailed past the Paracel Islands the next day.

"The Chinese Southern Theater Command tracked and monitored the whole process according to law, verified and identified the U.S. warships, and warned them to leave," Geng said.

In this July 21, 2017, photo, Chief of French Navy Adm. Christophe Prazuck arrives at Matignon for a meeting in Paris, France. (Michel Euler/AP)

France's top admiral says China's navy is no longer hiding its ambition to maintain a global presence.

Christophe Prazuck was quoted by an Indian newspaper as saying China's participation in the international anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia had become the pretext for it to expand its influence.

The Chinese navy "is not hiding anything about their global ambitions," Prazuck was quoted as saying in The Hindu.

"Very often piracy is a very good excuse for countries to go out of their waters," he said.

Despite the elimination of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, China is still sending ships to the region, including nuclear attack submarines, "though it's not the most effective tool to fight against pirates," Prazuck was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

India and France are in discussions for mounting joint patrols in the Indian Ocean.

China pushing code of conduct for South China Sea

US leaders remain skeptical about Beijing's sincerity in negotiating the rules.
By: The Associated Press


A Philippine lawmaker has raised concerns over the possibility of China shutting off power in the country due to its partial ownership of the national electric company.

China’s State Grid Corporation owns 40 percent of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros of the opposition Liberal Party said that could give China leverage in the event of a major confrontation over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded Friday by saying ties with Manila had been “brought back on track, consolidated and improved.”

Manila asks China to explain warships in PI waters

The South China Sea continues to simmer.
By: Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Press


An American academic who has testified in favor of the Philippines in its territorial disputes with China says Chinese development in the South China Sea has devastated the marine environment.

Kent Carpenter, a marine biologist from Old Dominion University in Virginia, told the ABSABS-CBN TV network that giant clam harvesting and island building were responsible for the bulk of the destruction.

"The destructive island building activities in the South China Sea not only smothered corals by covering them over with actual sand, but the sand itself is continuing to bleed out into the water ... so they don't have a chance to recover," Carpenter said.

That, he said, stands to bring about a major decline in fish catches in the area.

Carpenter said compelling environmental testimony was provided to the Hague tribunal in the form of satellite photos showing the destruction of coral reefs as China built man-made islands to reinforce its territorial claims.

The 2016 Hague ruling invalidated most of China’s claims but has been ignored by Beijing.

Solcom deploys over 1,000 military forces to secure SEA Games in Calabarzon

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 30, 2019): Solcom deploys over 1,000 military forces to secure SEA Games in Calabarzon

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Southern Luzon has deployed combined air, land and sea forces to secure the athletes and game venues of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Calabarzon region.

Lt. General Gilbert Gapay, commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) based here in Camp Nakar, said they have deployed 1,300 Army soldiers, Navy sailors, airmen with a standby of one Army Infantry Battalion and another combat group from the Philippine Air Force to secure the athletes, coaches, staff and venues for the SEA Games.

“Contingency plans for any eventualities are simulated and multi-agency coordination center is already [established] and fully operational. We will not leave anything to chance in terms of security preparation,” Gapay said in a statement released Saturday by Lt. Colonel Dennis Cana, Solcom public information officer.

Gapay has expressed confidence that the Philippines’ hosting of the biennial regional multi-sport event will be smooth and successful.

“Let us extend our full support to all our Philippine athletes and let us all work together to win as one,” he said.

Part of the 5,631 local and foreign athletes will be competing in nine games in different venues located in Laguna, Batangas and Cavite provinces.

The SEA Games will be held from November 30 to December 11.

Cops arrest suspected NPA commander

From Panay News (Nov 30, 2019): Cops arrest suspected NPA commander


A suspected ranking official of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Barangay Poblacion, Bingawan town early morning yesterday.

Forty-nine-year-old Efren Banes Vidal, who went by the aliases “Ka Pigoy” and “Ka Paderes”,
was served with warrants of arrest for two counts of rebellion and three counts of murder.

Vidal was a suspected leader of the NPA’s Madya-as Platoon (formerly known as Tugalbong Platoon) under the Chiva Waling-Waling Command, Central Front led by Francisco “Ka Tonying” Balois,
according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, spokesperson of the regional police office.

The arrest of Vidal was jointly carried out by the Iloilo Police Provincial Office’s (IPPO) Provincial Special Operation Group (PSOG), Bingawan municipal police station, Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6), and the Philippine Army’s 301st Brigade.

From Bingawan, Vidal was taken to the IPPO in Camp Sumagaysay, Santa Barbara town by PSOG for “custodial debriefing”, said Malong.

Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, regional police director, cited the IPPO for Vidal’s arrest.

He said he expected more arrest of high-ranking NPA rebels.

The PRO-6 stepped up its security measures against the rebels early this month after receiving information that the NPA was planning to stage “agaw armas” attacks on police stations, particularly those in remote areas.

Pamuspusan ordered police stations to be on full alert status and secure their premises.

Cops should be wary of people entering their stations as these could be rebels checking them out before striking, said Malong, She recalled the NPA raid of the Maasin, Iloilo police station in June 2017.

Two women rebels pretending to be civilians entered the Maasin police station to supposedly have something recorded in the police blotter. Then all of a sudden more rebels barged into the police station through the back door and handcuffed nine stunned police officers on duty.

Malong said police chiefs were directed to set up reception desks outside police stations where those with police blotter concerns would be entertained.

In Iloilo province, Police Colonel Roland Vilela, police director, ordered a 24-7 guarding of police stations and for policemen to strengthen intelligence information gathering and carry long and short firearms.

Vilela also created seven teams to inspect police stations’ readiness.

He identified “high-risk” municipalities. These were: Bingawan, Alimodian, Balasan, Calinog, Guimbal, Janiuay, Igbaras, Lambunao, Lemery, Leon, Maasin, Miag-ao, San Joaquin, San Rafael, and Tubungan.
The component city of Passi was also considered high-risk for rebel attacks.

On June 18, 2017 around 60 rebels overran the Maasin police station. The daring, broad daylight incursion was swift. Within 15 minutes beginning around 10:30 a.m., the rebels shanghaied eight M16 rifles, four Glock .9mm pistols, five handheld radios and their base, two laptops, P29,000 cash, and jewelry.

The rebels did not harm the nine police officers but handcuffed them. They also used the police station’s patrol car to flee.

“I don’t want that to happen again,” said Vilela.

Troops recover guns of NPA leaders in Isabela

From the Philippine Star (Nov 30, 2019): Troops recover guns of NPA leaders in Isabela

Members of the Army’s 9th Infantry Battalion seized several rifles allegedly belonging to communist rebels after an encounter with New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas in Benito Soliven, Isabela last Monday.
Lt. Col. Glaudiuz Calilan, commander of the 9th IB, said the troops recovered two M653 rifles reportedly owned by rebel leaders identified as Ka Levy and Ka Desa, both political officers of the NPA’s Regional Sentro de Gravidad, and an M14 rifle belonging to Bombo Agta, squad leader of the RSDG.

The rebel leaders apparently left their rifles while fleeing from pursuing troops during the encounter.

Calilan said several rebel returnees have confirmed that the recovered firearms belonged to the three rebel leaders.

Brig. Gen. Laurence Mina, commander of the 502nd Infantry Brigade, appealed to local rebels to surrender and avail themselves of government assistance. 

Landbank launches 1st lending program for ex-rebels

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 30, 2019): Landbank launches 1st lending program for ex-rebels

AID TO EX-REBELS. Task Force Balik-Loob chair Undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu, together with Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Marino Ongchuan, award financial assistance from Landbank of the Philippines to qualified former rebels during the launch of the LBP lending program in Catarman, Northern Samar on Thursday (Nov. 29, 2019). The move is part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of former rebels and their families. (Photo courtesy of DND Public Affairs Service)

The Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) awarded on Thursday financial aid to five former rebels in Catarman, Northern Samar with a loan grant to support and enhance their financial capability together with their families.

During the launch of the LBP lending program, as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), Task Force Balik Loob chairman and Defense Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu said he hopes that the loan would help the rebel returnees to put up their own business.

“Tandaan niyo, mismong si Presidente ang nagsabi, na ‘wag niyong gamitin sa pag-inom ng alak o sugal ang mga benepisyong matatanggap niyo sa ilalim ng E-CLIP (Remember , the President himself told you not to use the benefits you receive under the E-CLIP to buy liquor or to use it to gamble),” Mapagu said.

He said the five former rebels and their families are the first ones to receive the financial assistance from the Landbank.

Representing Landbank Visayas Lending Group, Eulalio Lagapa said the financial assistance provided to the former rebels is to be used in funding their livelihood projects, which will help them and their beneficiaries reintegrate into mainstream society.

One of the beneficiaries thanked the government for the assistance provided as they go back to their normal lives.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Northern Samar signed the appointments of nine former rebels who were hired as farmworkers and will receive daily compensation.

The provincial government also distributed food packs to the ex-rebels and their families.

Task Force Balik-Loob and LBP signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to facilitate the lending program as part of the E-CLIP.

Under the lending program, LBP may provide loans up to PHP100,000 to fund small and micro-enterprises (SMEs), and livelihood projects.

The LBP will also conduct loan counseling and financial literacy seminars to the former rebels before the release of their loans.

Ex-rebels, who are over the age of 21 and who have no pending cases are qualified to avail of the loan program.

Those disqualified due to age or have pending cases can designate a family member who will be listed as the borrower in their stead.

Former rebels can submit their loan applications to LBP lending units across the country, together with their proof of identification and certification from the Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee (JAPIC).

“We should all work together and converge our efforts towards ending the local communist armed conflict. Let us stand with our president towards attaining a peaceful and prosperous Philippines free from the scourge of the communist terrorist group,” Mapagu said.

The E-CLIP is the flagship program of the Duterte administration that seeks to effect social healing and national unity through a whole-of-nation approach toward the higher objective of having just and lasting peace.

It provides social equity to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front and the Militia ng Bayan by devising a different modality of providing benefits and services to the former rebels to reintegrate them into mainstream society. These benefits do not serve as an end, but rather a means to aid the rebel returnees in securing a foothold in restarting their lives.

Unlike previous government rebel reintegration programs, the E-CLIP provides a wider array of benefits based on the particular needs of former rebels and their families such as financial assistance, housing, education, skills training, healthcare, legal assistance, and among others through a convergence of various national and local government agencies.

The TFBL was organized to oversee the implementation of E-CLIP under Administrative Order No. 10 of President Duterte.

It includes DILG, Department of National Defense, Office of the President, National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace among its lead agencies, and other government agencies and instrumentalities as partner agencies that may be tapped to provide additional benefits and services to former rebels.

Silence from Philippine govt drives price for hostages snatched from Sabah down

From The Star Online (Nov 30, 2019): Silence from Philippine govt drives price for hostages snatched from Sabah down

KOTA KINABALU: Abu Sayyaf gunmen, who are holding three Indonesians snatched from Sabah’s east coast waters two months ago, are getting desperate with no response from Filipino authorities to their ransom demand, say intelligence sources.

The Philippine sources said the gunmen were threatening to harm the hostages.

This came about after a video surfaced on Facebook on Nov 16 showing the captives pleading to their employers to pay the ransom.

In the 43-second video, Samiun Maneu is seen begging their Sabah-based employers to pay the 30-million-peso (RM2.45mil) ransom.

Intelligence sources said the gunmen were now ready to release the three Indonesians for 10 million pesos (RM816,000).

The sources said yesterday that the gunmen wanted to cash in on the situation fast as they were being hunted by security forces in the Abu Sayyaf stronghold of Idanan on Jolo island in southern Philippines.

“They seem ready to drop their ransom demand. We believe they are getting nervous as nobody is talking to them.

“They are apparently making threats of beheading the hostages.

“They seem to be trying to contact known negotiators offering to lower their ransom demand, ”
an intelligence source said.

The three hostages – Maharudin Lunani, 48, and his son Muhammad Farhan, 27, plus 27-year-old crew member Samiun – were abducted by armed men from a Sandakan-registered fishing trawler off Tambisan waters in Lahad Datu on Sept 24.

Sources said the trio were under the control of Abu Sayyaf gunmen Mike Apo and Salip Anwar who had, on a few occasions, made similar demands to family members.

Both Malaysia and the Philippines have a “pay no ransom”policy.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah had recently reiterated that they were working with their counterparts in the Philippines to seek the release of the men and that they would not entertain any ransom demand.

Last week, Philippine security forces rescued British national Allan Hyrons and his Filipino wife from Abu Sayyaf gunmen after more than a month in captivity.

The couple were abducted from their resort in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur, on Oct 4.

Friday, November 29, 2019

MILF: Lugus Mayor Hajiri calls on govt to pursue Liquefied Natural Gas refinery plant in Sulu

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation  Front (MILF) Website (Nov 26, 2019): Lugus Mayor Hajiri calls on govt to pursue Liquefied Natural Gas refinery plant in Sulu

Cotabato City– Lugus, Sulu Mayor Hadar Hajiri, Hadar, President and CEO of Medzar Oil and Gas Corp. (HMOGC) called on the national government Tuesday to push through with the liquefied natural gas (LNG) refinery plant that is planned to be constructed in Sulu province for the benefit of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the country.

According to a Manila Bulletin report Thursday, Hajiri and officials from the BARMM joined the ocular inspection of Energy World Group power plant (EWIL) at Isla Grande, Barangay Polo, Pagbilao which is expected to operate in the middle of 2021.

Hajiri told the media that he is confident that President Rodrigo Duterte will push through with the project because Sulu Sea’s oil and gas reserve will provide a clean and affordable energy to Filipinos as well as the world.

“President Duterte told me that if you already have resources in BARMM, just utilize it so that I can approve it. We also have our investors in BARMM. I hope they will not prolong this so that we can already operate,” the Manila Bulletin quoted Hajiri saying.

“The approval of the project would be a “big help” in developing the city and would secure the future of the young generation,” said Lugus Municipal Information Officer Nurgafar Napii..

“So I am calling the national government and BARMM to support us in utilizing our natural gas in Sulu. Because we could not resolve our problems by only relying on the help of the government to develop the city, so at least if there is natural gas, 60 percent of that will go to the national government while 40 percent of that will go to the investors, that would be a big help,” Napii said.

“This is not owned by a single person alone, this is owned by the Bangsamoro people and the entire nation will benefit from this project. I hope the resources to be harnessed will also pave way to gain peace and harmony in Mindanao,” he added.

The EWIL, a British firm, is set to open an LNG refinery plant in Sulu after EWIL Executive Director Graham Elliott signed a memorandum of understanding with him (Hajiri) in Zamboanga City on Sept. 16.

He added that once completed, the project will be the single biggest investment in the BARMM, whose provinces and communities are perennial bottom-dwellers in the Philippines poverty index.

Hajiri foresees that with the development plan of Lugus Island Petroleum Park (LIPP) complex, several infrastructures will rise on the island.

Lugus according to him will have an export terminal, a seaport, an airport, an industrial precinct, a residential area, and a power generation plant.

On October 22 this year, a ground breaking ceremony for the P163-billion Lugus Island LNG was held in Sulu to sustain the power demand of the Philippines, Hajiri also told the media.

Hajiri told the media during the ocular inspection of the power plant at Isla Grande, Barangay Polo in Pagbilao, Quezon that it is estimated the LNG extraction process in Lugus Island will last at least 50 years, that will generate employment as well as transform it to a world-class industrial and tourist destination.

MILF: 317 new JPST members from MILF- BIAF, PNP, AFP complete training in Maguindanao

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation  Front (MILF) Website (Nov 26, 2019): 317 new JPST members from MILF- BIAF, PNP, AFP complete training in Maguindanao

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao –317 members of the Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) composed of representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Moro Islamic Liberation Front – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) completed their training at Camp Gen. Salipada K. Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao on Friday, November 22.

“I never would have thought that this event would be possible, where former foes in armed battle will become partners in spreading genuine peace,” said Mujahid Asghar Omar, an MILF-BIAF member said in an interview by OPAPP reporter who covered the ceremony.

Omar is among the 150 MILF-BIAF who completed their training in the said camp in Parang, Maguindanao.

The select members of MILF-BIAF, PNP, and AFP are trained on how to carry out their mandate of ensuring peace and security in areas mutually identified by both parties. During their training their skills were honed, and their knowledge enhanced.

“To my JPST comrades, I will never forget you, you have all been very kind towards us BIAF. We will forever consider you as our real brothers,” Omar said.

The creation of JPSTs is among the many dividends of the Bangsamoro peace process, said Joint Peace and Security (JPSC) co-chair retired Army Col. Dickson Hermoso.

Hermoso is currently the BARMM Minister of Transportation and Communication.

You are the fruit of the peace process that ended the 44 years of armed conflict in Mindanao…you are now brothers, Hermoso told the graduates.

“Many were widowed, lost their families, lost their lives because of the armed conflict. It is fortunate that our leaders such as President Duterte, Secretary Galvez, and Chief Minister Murad, found a way to end the armed conflict,” OPAPP Site quoted Hermoso Saying.

In a speech read on behalf of Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr, Hermoso said the graduation ceremony only marks the beginning of the JPST members’ journey in serving the Bangsamoro homeland.

“Let us bear in mind that this (graduation ceremony) only marks the beginning of fulfilling your valuable mission – to protect the Bangsamoro against those who will attempt to cause terror; and help the regional government in promoting sustainable peace and development in the area,” Hermoso said. (Source: OPAPP Site)

CPP/NPA-Bikol: Isang taon ng MO 32: Ibayong pagtindi ng lahatang-panig na pakikidigma ng mamamayan

NPA-Bikol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 29, 2019): Isang taon ng MO 32: Ibayong pagtindi ng lahatang-panig na pakikidigma ng mamamayan

NOVEMBER 29, 2019

Walang ibang idinulot ang isang taong pagpapatupad ng MO 32 kundi higit pang paglaganap ng karahasan at kaguluhang hatid ng AFP at PNP hindi lang sa Kabikulan at sa mga prubinsya ng Negros at Samar, kundi sa buong bansa. Sa halip, pinatunayan lang ni Duterte at ng AFP-PNP-CAFGU na sila ang tunay na kaaway ng mamamayan.

Isang taon makalipas, saksi ang mamamayan sa mga naging resulta: daan-daang mamamayang pinaslang at libu-libo pang biktima ng pang-aabusong militar at paglabag sa karapatan habang daan-daang komunidad ang nababalot sa ligalig hatid ng militarisasyon. Daan-daan ding mga upisyal at LGU, kagawad ng midya at iba pang personahe at organisasyon ang biktima ng pambabanta at kontrol-militar. Daan-daang progresibo, demokratiko at makabayang mga indibidwal at organisasyon, kabilang ang iba pang oposisyon ang tinutugis at ginagawang kriminal. Bilyun-bilyong pondo ang linustay at kinurakot para sa mga pakulong engkwentro at operasyong militar at pulis, mga sapilitang pagpapasurender at pagpapalaganap ng mga pekeng impormasyon, para lang pagmukhaing nagtatagumpay sila sa kanilang panloloko.

Matapos ang lahat ng ito, hindi ba’t lalo pang nasadlak sa abang kalagayan ang masa? Nananatili pa ring isa sa mga pinakamahihirap na rehiyon ang Kabikulan, Negros at Samar. Naging tuntungan pa nga ang MO 32 upang patindihin ni Duterte ang kahirapan, kagutuman at kawalan ng lupa. Hindi kataka-takang bumilis pa nga ang pang-aagaw ng lupa at pagpasok ng malalaking kontra-mamamayang proyekto, at pagsagasa ng mga mapaminsalang patakaran sa agrikultura at kabuhayan tulad ng Rice Tariffication Law habang ginugulo ang kanayunan ng mga sustinidong operasyong militar. Sa tingin ba ng Joint Task Force Bicolandia ay naloloko nila ang masa ng mga programang tulad ng Retooled Community Support Program, outreach program, ECLIP, Serbisyo Caravan, Barangay Team Activities at iba pang paulit-ulit, kakarampot at mala-payasong pakonswelo-de-bobo habang lantarang ipinagkakait sa masa ang tunay nilang mga demokratikong hangarin?

Ito ba ang mga pigura at kalagayang dapat ipagpasalamat at tanawing utang na loob ng mamamayan sa pagpapatupad ng MO32 gaya ng pinalalabas ng 9th IDPA at Joint Task Force Bicolandia?

Bigo ang MO 32 na buwagin ang pagkakaisa at determinasyon ng mamamayan na tuluyang ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte.Sa harap ng desperadong pasista at teroristang atake ng AFP at PNP, lumalim pa nga ang pagtitiwala ng masa sa kanilang lakas at sa BHB upang ipagtanggol sila sa mga teroristang tropa ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Ang ihinahambog ng JTFB na pag-reactivate sa 22nd IBPA bilang maneuver battalion at pagbubuo ng Division Civilian Auxilliary Unit mula sa mga masang pinilit nilang mag-CAFGU ay desperadong pagbalasa ng kanilang pwersa upang palakasin ang kanilang pwersang pang-atake. Pilit nilang pinagtatakpan ang napalaking bilang ng kaswalting natamo ng kanilang pwersa mula sa patuloy at hindi humuhupang paglulunsad ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan ng mga taktikal na opensiba sa rehiyon. Hindi pa kasama diyan ang daan-daan pang mga militar at pulis na umalis sa kanilang tungkulin dahil nasuklam sa kultura ng karahasan sa kanilang pinagsilbihang institusyon.

Gaanuman sagarin ang pagpapatupad ng MO 32 at iba pang pasistang hakbangin, hindi nito kailanman mabibigyang-tugon ang daan-taon nang hangarin ng mamamayan na makamit ang isang lipunang tunay na malaya at maunlad. Hindi maaapula ng MO 32 ang kapasyahan ng mamamayang maglunsad at ibuhos ang lahat ng kanilang suporta sa makatarungan at rebolusyonaryong armadong digma bilang tanging solusyon sa kanilang dinaranas na pang-aapi’t pagsasamantala.

CPP/NDF-KM Bikol: Bukas na Liham sa mga Magulang mula sa mga Anak ng Bayan

NDF-KM Bikol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 29, 2019): Bukas na Liham sa mga Magulang mula sa mga Anak ng Bayan

NOVEMBER 29, 2019

Sa ating mga Minamahal at Dinadakilang mga Ama at Ina,
Isang rebolusyonaryong pagbati!

Sa diwa ng ika-55 anibersaryo ng Kabataang Makabayan at paggunita sa Araw ni Gat Andres Bonifacio, pinagpupugayan naming mga anak ng bayan ang inyong hindi matatawaran at dakilang gampanin bilang mga ama at ina. Kayo ang nagsilbing ilaw, haligi, tagapagluwal at gabay sa pagsibol ng bagong henerasyong papanday at uukit ng kasaysayan.

Kapugay-pugay ang piliing maging magulang sa isang sistemang puno ng pagsasamantala at pang-aapi. Hindi lingid sa inyo ang hamon ng pagtaguyod sa isang pamilya: pirmihan kayong pinagkakaitan ng kabuhayan para tumugon sa arawang pangangailangan at inaalisan ng mga batayang karapatan para matamasa ang isang maunlad at malayang bukas para sa inyong mga anak.

Dinanas ninyo ang hirap at bigat ng krisis sa pag-asang makapag-ambag ng salinlahing magdadala ng magandang bukas. Araw-araw ninyo kaming iginapang at inalay ang lahat para mapagwagian ang bagsik ng kahirapan. Pamalagian kayong umaagapay at kumakalinga sa bawat naming pagkadapa at pagkabigo. Hindi kayo sumuko upang kami rin ay hindi sumuko, matuto sa pagkakamali, muling bumangon at magtagumpay. Sa inyo namin unang natutunan ang walang imbot na pagmamahal, sakripisyo at pag-aalay ng sarili para sa iba. Sa inyong pawis at dugo, lumaki kami bilang mga mabubuti at prinsipyadong tao. Sa diwa at inspirasyong ito, itinuro ninyo sa aming manindigan at lumaban.

Kaganapan ng inyong pagiging magulang ang makita kaming lumipad sa sariling mga pakpak, tumayo sa sariling mga paa at magkaroon ng sariling bait, kamulatan, prinsipyo at paninindigan. Sa kabila ng inyong sariling mga pangarap at inaasahan para sa amin, batid ninyong nakasalalay din sa amin ang katuparan ng pangarap ng milyun-milyong pang pamilyang naghahangad ng isang malaya at maunlad na bukas. Batid ninyo ang pangangailangan ng pagbabago, lalo’t alam ninyong kami rin ay magiging mga magulang at hindi kayo papayag na mamuhay ang inyong salinlahi sa sukdulang krisis at abang kalagayan.

Mulat kayong darating ang panahong handa na kaming tumugon sa hamon ng aming henerasyon: ang tupdin ang makasaysayang gampaning baguhin ang lipunan at mag-alay ng lakas, panahon at buhay para sa dakilang tungkuling paglingkuran ang sambayanan—sukat ang mawalay sa inyong piling. Bitbit ang inyong pag-unawa at pagtitiwala, buong-puso naming tinahak ang landas ng rebolusyonaryong pakikibaka.

Hindi katulad ng ipinipinta sa inyo ni Duterte at ng kanyang mga amo na mali, walang katuturan at krimen ang paglaban, tunay naming naisasalin ang inyong diwa at pagmamahal sa sa mga magsasakang nakakasalamuha namin sa produksyon, sa mga manggagawang magdamag naming nakakatalakay, at sa mga kapwa naming kabataang mulat at makulay na nagpapahayag ng kanilang mga saloobin at karapatan—ito ang tunay na larawan ng pakikibaka.

Bagamat may pangamba sa inyong mga puso, ngayon ay pinag-iisa na tayo ng pag-ibig na higit pa sa bigkis ng pagiging magkapamilya—ang pag-ibig sa bayang minamahal. Paghalawan ninyo ng inspirasyon ang libu-libong ama’t inang buong tatag na sumuporta sa adhikain ng kanilang mga anak hanggang sa maging mga aktibong kabahagi ng pagbabalikwas. Katuparan ng ating mga pangarap ang buong-panahon naming paglahok sa makatarungang digma ng mamamayan. Ang pagsisilbi sa malawak na hanay ng mamamayang api at pinagsasamantalahan ang aming propesyon, bokasyon, adhikain at buhay. Dito, sa piling ng daan-libo pang mga ama at inang tinuring kami bilang kanilang mga anak sa pakikibaka, tunay naming napapahalagahan ang inyong mga aral, sakripisyo at pangarap. Ang malayo’y mistulang malapit dahil taglay at ramdam namin ang inyong pagmamahal sa bawat masang nagpapatuloy, kumukupkop at nakakasabay namin sa paglaban. Hindi magmamaliw ang katotohanang kayo ang aming lakas upang ibayo pang magpakatatag at sumulong.
Tiyak kaming darating ang panahon na makakasama namin kayo sa dakilang layuning ito. Walang distansyang maglalayo, walang pader na makahahadlang, walang pangambang hindi mamahalin, walang tagumpay na hindi makakamtan.