Thursday, January 10, 2019

Army’s 6ID deploys 277 new soldiers66

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): Army’s 6ID deploys 277 new soldiers

NEW SOLDIERS. Brigadier General Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division deputy commander, addresses the 277 latest batch of soldiers who would be deployed in the division’s area of responsibility in Central Mindanao, (Photo by 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao -- The Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) on Wednesday deployed 277 newly-trained soldiers in the division’s area of jurisdiction.

The send-off ceremonies of 277 newly graduated privates, 29 of whom were females, was witnessed by Brig. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th ID deputy commander, at the division grandstand.

They were deployed to Army battalions under the 601st, 602nd, and 603rd Infantry Brigades in the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and part of Lanao del Sur.

Being the keynote speaker, Uy urged the new soldiers to value their service, as much as they value their lives and their families in helping maintain peace and order.

“Be good soldiers and live the ideals of the Philippine Army. Serve the people, protect our country and be loyal to the Philippine flag,” Uy advised the soldiers.

He also told them to become more professional and capable soldiers in their field of duty.

Cotabato mall bombing suspects charged

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): Cotabato mall bombing suspects charged

Police have filed charges against two suspects, in connection with the Dec. 31, 2018 blast at the facade of South Seas mall here that killed two and injured dozens of others.

In a statement, Chief Supt. Eliseo Tam Rasco, director of Police Regional Office –12 (Soccsksargen), said that cases for two counts of murder and 34 counts of frustrated murder docketed have been filed against suspects Salipudin Lauban Pasandalan (arrested), of Barangay Upper Capiton, and a certain Saed Nur Kasim (at large) of Barangay Dalican, both of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

The Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “South Seas” has filed charges against the suspects before the Office of Prosecutor Anwar Masacal of the Cotabato City Prosecution Office here shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said the suspects planted two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one of which, exploded at the facade of the South Seas mall around 2 p.m., while the other bomb was found and disarmed by military bomb disposal experts near the second-floor baggage counter of the mall.

Rasco said the latest bombing incident posed a challenge to the peace and order situation in Region 12 but countermeasures have been immediately implemented to address the problem and prevent its recurrence.

“We conducted meeting with other law enforcement agencies, local executives, and stakeholders to prevent or once and for all stop this incident from happening again in the future,” he said.

The police official also asked communities to be extra vigilant and report to them any suspicious activity that poses a threat to security.

“We need everybody to report to our law enforcers any suspicious looking person and any bags or backpacks or anything left unattended,” he said.

Gov’t forces shoot bomb courier dead, seize IED

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): Gov’t forces shoot bomb courier dead, seize IED

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government forces shot dead late Wednesday a man who was transporting an improvised bomb for Cotabato City, authorities said.

Joint police and soldiers manning a checkpoint shot the man on board a motorbike that was supposed to undergo inspection along a diversion road in Barangay Tamontaka 2, Cotabato City, around 10 p.m.

Major Arvin John Encinas, speaking for the 6th Infantry Division, identified the suspected bomber as Talib Datukali Dingo based on a PhilHealth identification document (ID) recovered from his wallet.

The law enforcers asked Dingo to pull over for inspection but the latter refused and pulled out a pistol from his waist, forcing soldiers to fire and injure him.

He was rushed by police to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center but died while undergoing treatment. Seized from Dingo were a PhilHealth ID, a .45-caliber pistol, a mobile phone, two automated teller machine cards, and PHP5,700 cash.

“His black Honda motorbike without a license plate was laden with an improvised bomb,” Encinas said. The IED, which was placed at the utility box of the motorbike, was later deactivated by Army bomb disposal experts.

Also, on Wednesday, Army foiled another bombing attempt for Cotabato City or other nearby municipalities following a brief clash with suspected terrorists carrying improvised bombs in the marshland of Maguindanao.

Encinas said soldiers of the 40th Infantry Battalion recovered three 81-mm mortar explosives attached to a timing device following a brief encounter with suspected members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) Abu Toraife faction in Sitio Landing Fish, Barangay Darampua, Sultan sa Barongis, Maguindanao at 9:30 a.m.

After the clash, soldiers found the IED in a motorized boat abandoned by the terrorists. Encinas said the IED was to be brought to Cotabato City or Midsayap, North Cotabato via the Rio Grande de Mindanao river channel.

New Centcom chief now 3-star general

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): New Centcom chief now 3-star general

DONNING OF RANK. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal dons the rank of Lieutenant General to Central Command chief Noel Clement at the AFP General Headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Jan. 10, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Central Command/PIO)

CEBU CITY — Officers and soldiers of the Central Command (Centcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were jubilant as they welcomed the promotion of their commander to the next higher rank on Thursday.

Maj. Abel Potutan, acting head of Centcom’s Civil Military Operations Office, told the Philippine News Agency that Centcom commander Noel Clement is now a Lieutenant General.

This, after AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal donned on Thursday the rank of three-star general to Clement at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Clement took the helm of Centcom last November 22 in a turn-over ceremony at the Centcom Bondad Hall in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Lahug this city, replacing Lt. Gen. Paul Talay Atal.

Atal is now the current AFP Inspector General based in the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Prior to his Centcom assignment, Clement was the chief of the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division which has jurisdiction over Davao Region, where he was cited for his significant accomplishments, including “degrading of the New People’s Army's (NPA) capability and support structure".

The newly-promoted general attributed the success of his leadership to the excellent working relationship among the soldiers, local officials, other stakeholders, and the community in his unit’s area of responsibility.

“All can be attributed to the excellent working relationship between 10ID units, local government units, stakeholders and people in the area of responsibility,” he said.

The Army division claimed it managed to reduce the number of NPA guerilla fronts from 11 to four under Clement's leadership.

Nothing new with Joma claims vs. military

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): Nothing new with Joma claims vs. military

There is nothing new about Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison's claims that the government and the military cannot neutralize the New People's Army (NPA).

"(A) natural reaction of a consultant and spokesman of the NPA. He does not want to become irrelevant," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said when asked Thursday by the Philippine News Agency for a comment on the CPP founder's allegations.

Earlier, Sison said the government's reset of the deadline to neutralize the NPA by another three years will fail as communist fighters will intensify tactical offensives and mass work.

The NPA, the CPP's armed wing,is listed as terror organization by the United States and the European Union.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the ongoing localized peace talks are unlike what Sison desires, for negotiations to take place abroad, and are proving to be successful.

"Ang gusto kasi ni Joma the same pa rin (What Joma wants is the same) -- we go abroad, we go to Norway, with the intercession of a third country, mag-usap-usap dun (we will talk there). Well, sinabi naman ni President nung last year na wag na dun, umuwi ka na lang dito (Last year, the President said he doesn't want the talks held there. Come to the Philippines), we can talk here. So, we support yung peace talks dito (the peace talks here)," Lorenzana said.

The defense chief also noted that the rebels are just taking advantage of the peace talks to push through with their sinister activities.

"If you want peace, then let us talk peace. Ang nakikita kasi natin, itong si Sison dahil nakikita niya na successful tayo sa localized peace talks, gusto na naman nilang magpatuloy yun para dun pumunta sa abroad, mag-ceasefire dito para makabawi naman yung tropa nila sa lupa (What we see here is that Sison thinks that because our localized peace talks are successful, they want to push for it so we can go abroad again. Then, there will be another ceasefire so their forces on the ground can regroup)," Lorenzana said.

"That has always been their tactic before, gusto nila ang (they want) peace talks. Kaya't binigyan lang sila ni Presidente ng konting pagkakataon (That’s why the President gave them a slim chance). The door is still open, meron pang (there is still a) slight opening, lumulundag agad siya ng tuwa dahil peace talks na naman (they are jumping again in joy because of the peace talks)," he added.

No 'disreputable areas' for troops a long-standing order

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): No 'disreputable areas' for troops a long-standing order

The military has a long-standing order for personnel against going to disreputable areas, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday.

"Yes. Since a long time ago. When I entered the Army in 1990, May standing rule na off-limits na talaga ang sundalo sa (There is a standing rule that soldiers cannot enter) houses of ill refute and casinos and other gambling areas," he said when asked if the AFP has an order prohibiting active-duty personnel from drinking in public.

In compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue the necessary administrative circular to ensure that cops conduct themselves professionally in public, banning them from drinking in bars, nightclubs, and in public places.

“Si Presidente na mismo ang nagsabi na bawal na uminom ang mga police sa mga bar, pub at mga kalsada. Kasuhan ninyo agad ang sinumang lalabag dito (The President himself said it is prohibited for the police to drink inside bars, pubs, and on the street. Charge violators immediately),” Año said in a news release Wednesday.

The DILG chief said he expects the senior officials of the PNP, from Director General Oscar Albayalde down to all chiefs of police in all cities and towns, to lead by example so that their men will follow.

He said President Duterte is right when he said people lose their respect and trust in policemen and the entire PNP as an organization when they see drunken policemen in public.

AFP to ensure peaceful, orderly conduct of 2019 polls

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): AFP to ensure peaceful, orderly conduct of 2019 polls


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will do everything in its authority to ensure the successful and peaceful conduct of all election-related activities this year.

This was stressed by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato Thursday when asked what role the military will play in the coming elections.

"(The) AFP is deputized by the Comelec (Commission on Elections) so we will dedicate our efforts for the successful conduct of the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) plebiscite and the incoming mid-term elections," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

The BOL plebiscite is slated for Jan. 21 and Feb. 6 while the mid-term election is on May 13.

"Our combat operations and other security operations will always be in support to the honest, orderly and peaceful conduct of Comelec-sanctioned activities," Detoyato pointed out.

Meanwhile, he also defended the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s action for conducting "profiling" against a group of teachers.

"Teachers of public schools are government employees. And it is idiotic if a government employee is undermining the government that hired them and the government will not do anything, even though it has already been brought up to (its) attention," Detoyato noted.

He added that the government should not just sit down and let these groups carry out their unscrupulous acts.

"It is idiotic if the government will just let this happen and not take any action to protect its citizens from idiots masquerading as championing for the government employees while secretly supporting a group who is attempting to bring down the government that employs its member teachers," he added.

AFP chief now a 4-star general

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): AFP chief now a 4-star general

 (Photo courtesy: AFP Public Affairs Office)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. was promoted to the rank of 4-star general in a donning ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Thursday morning.

Madrigal's fourth star was donned by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said in statement.

Madrigal was installed as AFP chief in December last year, replacing now Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

Also promoted to the next higher rank of Lieutenant General and Major General, respectively, were Major Gen. Noel Clement, Central Command's acting commander, and Brig. Gen. Pablo Lorenzo, AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence.

Prior to his present assignment, Clement commanded the 501st and 602nd Infantry Brigades and the 10th Infantry Division serving under the Eastern Mindanao Command, which was then commanded by Madrigal.

He was also designated as AFP deputy chief-of-staff for operations.

Clement replaced Lt. Gen. Paul Atal who was designated as AFP Inspector General in November last year. Meanwhile, Lorenzo was Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of National Defense before his appointment as intelligence chief.

"Their solid record of service speaks of their capability, capacity, and commitment to be promoted," Madrigal said of Clement and Lorenzo.

"They are committed and capable officers, professionals who display the highest standard of leadership, competence, and character," the AFP chief added.

PCOO not engaged in red-baiting

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): PCOO not engaged in red-baiting

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is not engaged in "red-baiting" or "red-tagging", contrary to the claim of media group National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Malacañang said Thursday.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo denied the accusations made by NUJP against the PCOO-attached office, the Philippine News Agency (PNA), on the alleged government hand in identifying their group and its members as a legal front of communist groups.

"Siguro -- baka lang paranoid sila (Maybe they are just paranoid). Wala (Nothing), there is no such thing. PCOO will not do that," Panelo said.

The NUJP cried foul over an article published by PNA over a group of former communist members who denied that their claims against NUJP being linked with the left is part of an orchestrated plan to silence communists.

The article, titled "Red link tag on NUJP not 'orchestrated': ex-rebels" and published online on Jan. 8, cited the said group, Kilusan at Alyansa ng mga Dating Rebelde (KADRE), which narrated that the “hardcore elements” in the NUJP made sure to block the release of their stories and their “freedom to expose the truth.”

The NUJP claimed that KADRE is a "purported" organization meant to vilify their group and the free press.

In an earlier interview, Maguindanao Governor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu, whose wife and 57 other people including journalists were killed in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, said that press freedom was bolstered under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Under the Duterte administration, the PCOO has been engaged in activities, which advance the protection and safety of media workers in the country, primarily with the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.

Last December, the Philippines was removed from the list of the top five most dangerous countries for journalists in 2018, according to the annual report of media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

In October, the Philippines was named by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) as one of the countries with an 'improved status' in its 2018 Global Impunity Index.

The PCOO is the primary communication arm of the Office of the President and the Philippine government and is tasked to deal with concerns of members of the press.

Duterte to NPA rebels: 'Surrender and get houses, jobs'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): Duterte to NPA rebels: 'Surrender and get houses, jobs'

President Rodrigo R. Duterte vowed to provide members of the communist armed group, New People's Army (NPA) housing and livelihood if they surrender and return to the government's fold.

"Sumurender kayo. Bigyan ko kayo ng lupa, i-land reform ko muna ‘to at itatayuan ko kayo ng bahay. At for the meantime na pinag-aralan ninyo paano maghanap-buhay, papapasukin ko dito ang TESDA [Technical Education and Skills Development Authority], ‘yung livelihood, electricians, tapos ang DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] kung ano pang matulong nila. (Just surrender. I'll provide you with land, I'll start with land reform then housing. And for the meantime that you are finding a way to earn a living, I'll let TESDA enter with livelihood programs, then DSWD for the ways they can help)," Duterte said in a speech at the launching of the Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay in Masbate on Wednesday.

The President said the government has enough money to fund the livelihood and housing programs for the rebel surrenderers, as he urged them to yield at the earliest time possible.

"Anong gusto ninyo? (What do you want?) Another 52 years of fighting? Manalo kayo? (You think you will win?) Not in a million years. Alam ko kung bakit, marami akong napuntahan nag-surrender. Ang mga anak hindi nakapag-aral. Iniwan sa lolo at lola. Pag-surrender, nandiyan malaki na. (I know why because I met a lot of surrenderers. Their children were unable to attend school. They left their children to the grandparents and now that their kids have all grown up by the time they surrendered)," he said.

Duterte said his administration has been very keen on making rebels surrender than engaging them in bloody battles.

"Kaya nakikita kayo sa (You can be seen in) drone, helicopter. Gusto nila na titirahin kayo diyan sa taas (Others would like to attack you). Ako lang ang tiga-pigil. Sabi ko, huwag na. (I just stop them. I said it's unnecessary) Pasalubungin mo na lang ng sundalo, baka makumbinsi mo pang mag-surrender (It's better if rebels face soldiers, they might even be convinced to surrender)," Duterte said.

Duterte warned the communist rebels of the effects of their resistance.

"Ngayon, isa, dalawa, tatlo, apat, mag-surrender sa inyo. Ituturo kayo niyan balang araw. (Now, if one, two, three, or four of your comrades surrender, they will identify you)," he said.

Duterte said the NPA and its political wing Communist Party of the Philippines' (CPP) call for land reform is already being addressed under his administration.

"Ako almost every week umiikot ako sa Pilipinas natin nagdi-distribute ako ng certificate of ownership kasi ang land reform, sinabi ko talaga kay [Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John) Castriciones, “unahin mo ‘yan” lalo na sa mga lugar na merong mainit talaga ang issue ng landlord pati tenant (I distribute certificate of ownerships around the country almost every week, I even ordered Agrarian Reform Secretary Castriciones to prioritize it especially in areas where land disputes between landlord and tenants are intense)," he said.

The President earlier said he does not like media publicity when distributing certificates of ownerships.

He also said he is leaving a "small window" for the resumption of peace negotiations with the communist rebels.

The CPP-NPA, in earlier reports, has been allegedly involved in cases of extortion, mass murder, and violation of indigenous people's rights.

The US State Department and the European Union have both tagged the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.

PRRD signs law hiking war veterans’ monthly pension

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): PRRD signs law hiking war veterans’ monthly pension

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law increasing the monthly old-age pension of Filipino war veterans who fought during World War II, Korean, and Vietnam wars.

Duterte signed R.A. 11164 on Dec. 20, 2018 but a copy of the document was only released to media on Thursday (Jan. 10).

The law increases the old-age pension of war veterans from PHP5,000 to PHP20,000 per month.

According to law, the pension hike is only eligible to living senior veterans and non-transferable to any of their family members and/or dependents.

The amount for funding of the law will be provided by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

Meanwhile, continued implementation of the law will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

“In order to augment the amount needed to fund the increase in the old-age pension as provided that the PVAO shall prioritize the distribution of the benefits granted under this Act from whatever available appropriation that will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act,” the law reads.

The law will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two national newspapers of general circulation.

It was passed by the Senate of the Philippines as Senate Bill No. 1766 on Oct. 8, 2018 and adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to the House Bill No. 7525 on Oct. 10, 2018.

PRRD eyes arming mayors vs. NPA attacks

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 10, 2019): PRRD eyes arming mayors vs. NPA attacks

President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he plans to allow the purchase of individual firearms so that mayors could protect themselves and their constituents from possible attacks by communist rebels.

In a speech in Masbate City on Wednesday night, Duterte said he is considering allowing local chief executives to purchase firearms to combat the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Ako sinasabi ko lang sa NPA, ayaw kong armasan ang mga tao. Pero ‘pag sige ganun ang ano (I want to tell the NPA, I don’t want to arm people. But okay, if they’re like that), I will allow the purchase of individual firearms,” Duterte said.

“Pati ‘yung mga mayor bigyan ko ‘yan ng armas talaga. Wala akong magawa eh (Even mayors, I will give them arms. I don’t have a choice),” he added.

Duterte said he would be forced to allow the arming of mayors since they “would feel naked” without firearms.

The President repeatedly vowed to provide communist rebels with housing and livelihood if they lay down their arms and return to the government fold.

The US State Department and the European Union have both tagged the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as a terrorist organization.

Earlier, Malacañang described the 50-year insurgency as a “failed rebellion” as members of the NPA are ageing and declining in numbers.

DWDD: Congratulations to the newly-promoted star-ranked and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines!

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 9, 2019): Congratulations to the newly-promoted star-ranked and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines! 
Congratulations to the newly-promoted star-ranked and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines! (Signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on 8 Jan 2019)

Gen Benjie Rasgo Madrigal Jr., from Lt Gen
(Effective December 15, 2018)…

LtGen Noel S Clement, from MGen
(Effective December 15, 2018)

MGen Jose "Boy" C Faustino, from BGen
(Effective December 15, 2018)

MGen Byron H Calimag
(Effective December 15, 2018)

MGen Jesus B Sarsagat
(Effective December 15, 2018)

MGen Pablo M Lorenzo
(Effective December 24, 2018)

BGen Alfredo A Soriano, from Colonel
(Effective December 15, 2018)

BGen Virgilio B Bartolome
(Effective December 15, 2018)

BGen Peter Angelo L Ramos
(Effective December 15, 2018)

BGen Alfredo V Rosario
(Effective December 15, 2018)

BGen Gilbert F Saret
(Effective December 15, 2018)

BGen Jose M Benitez
(Effective December 16, 2018)

BGen Cheston D Valencerina
(Effective December 21, 2018)

BGen Eugenio V Hernandez
(Effective December 23, 2018)

BGen Robert C Dauz
(Effective December 24, 2018)

BGen Arthur M Cordura
(Effective December 26, 2018)

BGen Marlo M Guloy
(Effective January 9, 2019)

BGen Nestor C Herico
(Effective January 11, 2019)
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DWDD: HEIGHTENED ALERT | 6ID foils Dawlah Islamiyah Torayfie Group bombing plot

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 10, 2019): HEIGHTENED ALERT | 6ID foils Dawlah Islamiyah Torayfie Group bombing plot

CAMP GONZALO SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao (DWDD) - An “Anti-Personnel Mines” was recovered by the troops of 40th Infantry Battalion in a five minutes encountered in Sitio Landing Fish, Brgy Darampua, Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindanao at around 9:30 in the morning on January 9, 2019.

 While acting on a report from a concerned civilian regarding the transport of “Anti-Personnel Mines” towards Cotabato City or Midsayap, North Cotabato encountered two members of Dawlah Islamiyah Torayfie Group (DITG) under Salahudin Hassan that resulted to the recovery of one explosive composed of three unexploded ordnance of 81MM with triggering device.

No casualties were reported on the government, while undetermined number on the enemy side.

The civilian tipster said, that the group of Salahudin Hassan are planning to transport the “Anti-Personnel Mines” from the marshy area of Sultan Sa Barongis to conduct terror attack in urbanized area.

 The elements of 32nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal of the Army with K9 team immediately arrived in the area and safely disrupted the explosive.

"After the bombing in Cotabato City, I instructed the men of our Joint Task Force Central to be on heightened alert to prevent more bombing attacks in Central Mindanao," said JTF Commander Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana.

 The Commander also commended the troops for their fast action and successfully intercepted the DITG planned bombing attacks in Central Mindanao. 6DPAO / MCAG

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DWDD: NEW WARRIORS | 6ID Sends Off new soldiers

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 10, 2019): NEW WARRIORS | 6ID Sends Off new soldiers

CAMP GONZALO SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao (DWDD) - The 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division conducts Send-Off Ceremony of the 277 (29 females) newly graduated privates to be assigned in 6ID Area of Responsibility (AOR) held on January 09, 2018 at 6ID Grandstand, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

 Brigadier General Juvymax R Uy AFP, Assistant Division Commander, 6ID as the keynote speaker, expounded and urged the new privates to value their service, as they value their lives and their families. He also emphasized and expects from them to become more professional and capable soldiers. 6DPAO / MCAG

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DWDD: GOODWILL VISIT | Send Off set for visiting Russian Warships

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 10, 2019): GOODWILL VISIT | Send Off set for visiting Russian Warships

SOUTH HARBOR, Manila (DWDD) – The Russian Navy Large Anti-Submarine Ship ADMIRAL PANTELEEV, Guided Missile Cruiser ADMIRAL VARYAG and Large Sea Tanker BORIS BOTUMA is set to leave tomorrow after a five-day goodwill visit to the Philippines.

The Russian Navy contingent is led by its head of mission, Rear Admiral Edward E Mikhailov together with the Commanding Officers of ADMIRAL PANTELEEV, Captain Dmitriy A Tihomirov; ADMIRAL VARYAG, Captain Alexsei U Ulyanenko; and BORIS BOTUMA, Sergev Bondar.
This is the first visit of the Russian Navy this year and seventh time since 2012. However, it is the second time for ADMIRAL VARYAG and BORIS BOTUMA as they already visited the country last May 29, 2018 while a first time visit for ADMIRAL PANTELEEV.

Like their previous visits, there was a wreath laying ceremony at Rizal monument after their arrival and paid a courtesy call to the Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad AFP. Series of confidence building activities were also held with their PN counterparts such as reciprocal reception, goodwill games followed by a boodle fight and shipboard tour that was also open for civilians. A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap off their visit.

The visit aimed to strengthen the relationship between the two navies. It will further enhance and sustain the promotion of peace, stability, and maritime cooperation of the two countries through naval diplomacy and camaraderie. NPAO / MCAG

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DWDD: NEW LIFE | Two NPAs surrender to 71IB in Mawab

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 10, 2019): NEW LIFE | Two NPAs surrender to 71IB in Mawab

MAWAB, Compostela Valley (DWDD) – Two members of the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNTs) surrendered to 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion at Brgy. Nueva Visayas, Mawab, CVP on January 7, 2019, 1:00pm....
A Caliber 357 with four (4) live ammunitions was turned in to Lieutenant Colonel Esteveyn E Ducusin, Commander of 71st Infantry “Kaibigan“Battalion by A.K.A George, 30 and A.K.A Dodong, 23 both single and residents of Barangay Golden Valley, Mabini, Compostela Valley. They were Milisyang Bayan (MB) under WGF 2, Sub-Regional Committee 2 (SRC 2), Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC).

A.K.A George revealed that he was recruited by A.K.A CRIS, A.K.A. Tatay and A.K.A Pani at Purok 18, Primary Suag, Brgy. Golden Valley, Mabini, Compostela Valley Province. He said that he underwent one day livelihood program at Brgy. Golden Valley and his instructors whose names are mentioned above. He added that he participated in the rally at Panacan, Davao City with the theme “Pababain ang mga Sundalo sa Bundok” last year that was organized by a.k.a Renante.

“It was a good thing that you surrendered, New Year, new life”, Ducusin said to the former rebels. He also advised them never to return to these nonsense ideologies that once they believed.

“This is a wake-up call for those who still continue on supporting the pointless ideologies of the rebels. It has been 50 years of crimes and extortion towards the innocent people of the country. We should not let it continue and it should stop now”, Ducusin added.
The 71st IB is steadfast to its mandate to serve and protect the people. We will protect the innocent but will not tolerate the culprit. 7IB CMO / MCAG

DWDD: Press Release: NPA affiliate arrested in Nueva Ecija

Posted to Katropa DWDD-CRS Virtual RTV Facebook Page (Jan 10, 2019): Press Release: NPA affiliate arrested in Nueva Ecija

Date: January 10, 2019
Authenticated by: MAJ ERICSON C BULOSAN (INF) PA...
Acting Chief, Public Information Office, NOLCOM, AFP

Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – Northern Luzon Command’s 703rd Infantry Brigade from the 7th Infantry Division (7ID) together with the Nueva Ecija Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine National Police (PNP) apprehended “Ka Puti” in Brgy. Paco Roman Rizal, Nueva Ecija on January 09, 2019, Wednesday at around 6 in the morning. The subject was reported as contact person/courier of members of Kilusang Sierra Madre.

A Search Warrant was issued last January 08, 2019 by Hon Ana Marie Joson-Viterbo, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija against said personality for violation of RA 10591, an act providing for a comprehensive law on firearms and ammunition and providing penalties for violations thereof.

The following are the recovered items from the Search Operations: One (1) Caliber 45 pistol, one (1) magazine assembly for Caliber 45, one (1) stainless magazine assembly for Caliber 45, one (1) magazine assembly for M16 rifle, all of which were loaded with live ammunition.

The subject is currently detained at Nueva Ecija detention facility and violation of RA 10591 is being prepared against the subject person.

NOLCOM will heighten collaborative efforts with the PNP in combatting threats to the peace, security, and development in NOLCOM’s area of responsibility.

MILF: Comelec approves inclusion of 6 More North Cotabato Villages in Bangsamoro Plebiscite

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 10, 2019): Comelec approves inclusion of 6 More North Cotabato Villages in Bangsamoro Plebiscite

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) approved six more resolutions of barangays in North Cotabato asking that they be allowed to participate in the forthcoming plebiscite for the ratification of the Republic Act No. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) come February 6.

In the Omnibus Resolution promulgated by the Comelec on January 4, 2019, the approved petitions were that of Barangays Fort Pikit and Pamalian in the municipality of Pikit; Barangays Simone, Buluan and Tamped in the municipality of Kabacan, and Barangay Tumbras in the municipality of Midsayap.

The Comelec said that the Commission (En Banc) found that these petitioner-local government units have complied with all of the requirements under the law and the rules and have sufficiently established that the territory of each of them is contiguous to that of the local government units enumerated in Section 2 (a), (b), (c) and (e) of the Article III of the BOL.

Meanwhile, for lack of merit, the Comelec denied the petitions of Barangay Cabpangi in the municipality of Pigcawayan; Barangays Dalingaoen, Bulod and Inug-ug in the municipality of Pikit; Barangay Lanoon in Carmen, and Barangay Rangeban in the municipality of Midasayap.

The municipalities of Pigcawayan, Pikit, Carmen and Midsayap are all in North Cotabato.

Also denied by the Comelec for lack of merit were the petitions of Barangays Landang Gua and Busay in Zamboanga City.

The territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, aside from the areas already listed in the BOL, includes “any other contiguous area there is a resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of registered voters in the local government unit asking for its inclusion at least two months prior to the conduct of the ratification of this Organic Law shall form part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region if the majority of the votes cast in the political units directly affected shall be in favor of the inclusion of the petitioning local government unit in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

On December 20 last year, the Comelec promulgated Omnibus Resolution approving petitions of 20 villages in North Cotabato.

The 20 petitioning villages in North Cotabato approved earlier by Comelec to join the forth coming plebiscite are Libungan Torreta, Pangankalan, Datu Mantil, and Simsiman, all in Pigcawayan town; Rajahmuda, Barungis, Gli-Gli, Nalapaan, Panicupan, Bualan, Nabundas, Nunguan, Manaulanan, and Bulol, all in Pikit; Pebpoluan, Kibayao, Kitulaan, Tupig, and Langogan, all in Carmen; and Pagangan in Aleosan.

The number of petitioning barangays in North Cotabato approved by the Comelec has now reached 26 out of the 44 petitions filed with the Comelec in Manila last October 30 and November 5 by North Cotabato Board Member Mohamad Kelie Antao.

Antao filed the petitions for and in behalf of the barangay captains of the petitioning barangays. He was assisted by some Moro lawyers led by Atty. Raisa Jajurie, a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) that drafted the erstwhile Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that became what is now known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL is set this coming February 6 for the municipalities in the province of Lanao del Norte (except Iligan City) and the six municipalities in North Cotabato as well as other local government units whose petitions for inclusion will be approved by the Comelec.

For the provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the cities of Cotabato and Isabela, the plebiscite will be held come January 21.

MILF: No TRO from SC vs. BOL Plebiscite

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 9, 2019): No TRO from SC vs. BOL Plebiscite

Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez/ Photo courtesy by THE MANILA TIMES

The scheduled plebiscite for the ratification of Republic Act No. 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will likely push through as the Supreme Court (SC) has not issued a restraining order against it.

“The plebiscite will proceed. As of now no TRO (temporary restraining order) has been issued so far (by the SC on the case),” SC spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez told reporters in a press briefing Tuesday after the court’s en banc deliberation.

Marquez also said the two cases filed by Sulu province and the Philippine Constitutional Association (Philconsa) challenging BOL have been consolidated. The parties named have been given 10 days to file their comment on the case, he added.

An Islamic group on Monday asked the High Court to turn down the two petitions challenging the validity of law.

In its 52-page motion, the Philippine Association of Islamic Accountants (PAIA), Inc., represented by its president Amanoding Esmail, and lawyers Nasser Marohomsalic and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Manuelito Luna, urged the SC to dismiss the suits filed by Sulu as represented by Governor Abdusakur Tan II.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has set the plebiscite for the ratification of the BOL on January 21.

“Petitioner Sakur Tan II owns no personal or material interest that will be prejudiced by the implementation of the law, for which reason he is bereft of legal standing to come to court and question the constitutionality of the law,” the intervenors said.

They also defended the creation of the law, explaining that “the BOL is a social justice legislation designed to empower the Bangsamoro that they may exercise or live their way of life according to their best lights, free from unwarranted encroachment by the majority population of the country, it fleshes out the constitutional police of the State and the political structure of autonomy sought for the creation in Muslim Mindanao.”

They argued that contrary to the law’s critics, the BOL does not violate the constitutional prohibition against the establishment of a state-sanctioned religion.

“Christians in the region are exempt from the jurisdiction of the Shari’ah courts or the operation of Shari’ah law unless they voluntarily submit thereto. So are the non-Moro or non-Muslim indigenous peoples who are bound to their traditional or tribal justice system,” they said.

Last week, in its 118-page comment, the government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), asked the SC to turn down the petition seeking to strike down the law.

Apart from the Sulu provincial government, the Philippine Constitutional Association filed a similar petition against the BOL last month. The SC has consolidated both petitions.

The OSG argued that the BOL complied with the requirement for the governmental setup for an autonomous region under the Constitution.

“Section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution requires only that the basic structure of government of the autonomous regions consist of an executive department and a legislative assembly, both of which are present in the proposed Bangsamoro government. The 1987 Constitution does not require Congress to adopt a structure akin to a presidential form of government for the autonomous regions, and this, has the discretion of adopting a parliamentary form of government instead,” the OSG pleading said.

Solicitor General Jose Calida also discounted the petitioner’s claim that the law erased the identity of indigenous cultural minorities in Sulu by automatically including it in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region without their knowledge and consent and also against their will and in violation of their rights.

“Under the plenary power of Congress to determine the territory of the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, the inclusion of the current constituent units of the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) does not violate the identity and the rights of the non-Moro indigenous peoples. Further, the Bangsamoro Organic Law clearly provided for the protection and preferential rights of the non-Moro indigenous peoples of Mindanao,” he said.

Calida also argued that the SC should not hand down a restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction because the allegations raised by petitioner were speculative.

The BOL expands the ARMM, which is composed of Sulu, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan (except Isabela City); six towns of Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays of Cotabato, and the chartered cities of Isabela and Cotabato, subject to the approval of voters.

MILF: Bangsamoro Martial Arts Associations declare Yes to BOL

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 9, 2019): Bangsamoro Martial Arts Associations declare Yes to BOL

In photo-Von Al Haq, Civil and Military Spokesman of the MILF (in sunglasses holding a microphone) delivers his message during the General Assembly of Bangsaamoro Martial Arts Association at Camp Darapanan, on January 6

There were 48 Bangsamoro Martial Arts Associations that declared yes to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in a General Assembly held at Camp Darapanan, Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on January 6, 2019.

The declaration was made many times but they were unanimous just like from the first declaration.

Guest of honor and speaker was Von Al Haq, the Civil and Military Spokesman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He is the Civil and Military Spokesman of the MILF. The associations are led by their respective presidents or their senior officials. They are offered equal treatment in the affair but the Razaq Amal Haraka Association (RAHA) appears with prominence as the guest of honor and speaker hailed it as his former mentor in self-defense.

Another reason, it is notable is because its founder, the late Razak Bandira has an unparalleled background with most decorated achievements in martial arts. He graduated number one in the famous Shaolin Temple (Martial Arts School) at Japan. This was after having undergone schooling in Malaysia and in many parts of our country in silat, kuntaw, karate, judo, etc.

He was the South East Asian champion in martial arts during his senior years in Japan school of martial arts.

Al Haq praised the unity of the different associations in coming for a convergence. He said, the different associations should come up with a unified school of martial arts with common lessons, techniques and others which must be called Bangsamoro martial Arts.

Ustadz Abdulkadir Abdullah, a renown religious leader speaks also during the occasion. He said jokingly, he is now a Master. He said, martial art is not new to Islam. Since the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), one member of his companions already possessed expertise in martial arts.

Every association was given few minutes to say brief statements on their group. Every part of the program has intervening exhibition.

In the middle of the first two parts of the program were some exhibitions showing a master having “extensive ability in tumbling”, both going forward and backward. The next exhibition in the interval of parts two and three was “to rescue a member of a group” amid furious rumble between adversary groups.

Between part three and four were exhibitions showing “one-minute technique, two minutes-technique, and three minutes-technique”.

Between parts four and five were some exhibitions on “technique in disarming knife attacker”. Between parts five and six were exhibitions showing “technique in fighting with short bat on both fighters”.

Then “with short bat on one fighter and empty hands on the other fighter”. Then “disarming a horizontal knife attacker”. Then disarming a slanting knife attacker”. These were done at some twenty times. They were performed by the RAHA group.

The last exhibitions were also “techniques in disarming bat armed attacker”. They were performed at about five times. The performers in the exhibitions were all having position as masters or teachers in their respective clubs.

MILF: Thousands attend Isabela City BOL Campaign Rally

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 8, 2019): Thousands attend Isabela City BOL Campaign Rally

In photo-MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim delivering his message to a huge crowd during the campaign on BOL in Isabel City

ISABELA CITY- Thousands of people gathered to join and support the campaign on Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) today, January 7. It was led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.

Al Haj Murad in his message said, "Nandito ako hindi para mangampanya kundi para umapela na bigyan natin ng chance ang mga taong nagsakripisyo, na lahat tayo ay madama ang bunga ng ating struggle".

"Sigurado kami na sa area ng ARMM ay panalo ang YES, gusto natin na mapasok ang lahat ng community ng Bangsamoro dahil gusto natin na ang lahat ay mag benefit sa BOL". he added.

Other prominent personalities who graced the event were Chairman of MILF Peace Implementing Panel Mohagher Iqbal, OPAPP-Asec. Dickson Hermoso, ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, Governor Jim S. Hataman Salliman, Vice Governor Yusop T. Alano, Chairman of Basilan Supreme Council Dr. Aboulkhair S. Tarason, Chapter President of League of Municipalities Hanie A. Bud, Mayors, Barangay Captains, and MILF-BIAF Commanders.

Iqbal in his message cited the provisions of BOL that migrant settlers can exercise their rights on freedom of religion; practice their customs and beliefs, organize a political party, and with reserved seat in the Bangsamoro Parliament.

“Christian can also file a case against the Muslims before the Sharia’h Court if he/’she chooses to, and the land title that they owned legally shall be recognized and respected, “he added.

"Nandito na tayo sa ikalawang yugto ng peace process at yan ay ang BOL, hindi ito kaya ng Presidente mag-isa kaya ating kumbinsihin ang bawat isa na bomuto ng YES sa darating na plebisito sa January 21", OPAPP ASEC Dickson Hermoso stressed during his message of support.

"Kung naramdaman ninyo ang ARMM sa loob ng pitong taon, sigurado ako na mas mararamdaman ninyo ang BARMM", Gov. Hataman said.

MILF: Thousands join BOL campaign rally in Jolo

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 7, 2019): Thousands join BOL campaign rally in Jolo

JOLO, Sulu – Tens of thousands of people converged here on Saturday to show their support for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the runup to the plebiscite which will be held in little more than two weeks.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said he was surprised by turnout of the people gathered inside the grounds at the Notre Dame College.

“I did not expect this crowd today,” he said. “I am very pleased to see everybody here.”

He said the BOL is not just the work of the MILF but encompasses all the signed peace agreements, particularly with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“The BOL is not a victory of the MILF but it is the victory of the entire Bangsamoro people. This is the fruit of our sacrifices. It is the result of our collective efforts,” he said.

“Inshallah, we will win in Sulu,” Murad said.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. attested to Murad’s statement, saying as a military man who saw more than 40 armed engagements in Sulu as Battalion Commander at the height of the “all-out war” campaign in 2000, he experienced the pain of seeing the “tears of a dying man.”

“I don’t want to hear such cries anymore because it is very deafening and painful,” he said.

Galvez said the only way to cut the so-called “generational chain of violence” is to effectively run the future Bangsamoro government.

“The BOL is an antidote against terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

Addressing the crowd, Galvez said the Tausug should “own” the BOL because a number of Tausugs were involved in crafting it.

Four members of the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), which crafted the BOL, are from Sulu: Jose Lorena, former Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin, Raissa Jajurie, and Gafur Kanain.

Galvez said Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil Tan, who has been working in the peace process since the Ramos administration, also hails from Sulu.

“The BOL reflects the aspiration of the Tausugs for genuine autonomy over their ancestral lands,” he said.

At the same time, Galvez said the BOL addresses not just the clamor of the Moro people but also interest of the Indigenous Peoples and Christian settlers.

“In other words, this is an all-inclusive law. This is a product of almost 50 years of struggle and peace negotiations,” he added.

“I am a Christian and I support the BOL,” Galvez announced, generating applause from the people.

The peace adviser encouraged the people to actively take part in the plebiscite.

“This is a very rare and historic opportunity for us to chart our own destiny. And we should take this opportunity because we have a President — President Rodrigo Duterte — who understands our aspirations for peace in Mindanao,” he said.

Early this week, the President again made a pitch for the ratification of the BOL, saying he is confident the landmark law “would pass the people’s will.”

“Let’s accompany the President for us to achieve genuine peace and real change here in Sulu and the entire Mindanao,” Galvez said.

“Let’s vote what’s in our hearts. If you’re going to ask me, my heart says Yes to BOL,” he added.

The plebiscite is scheduled on January 21 for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the cities of Isabela and Cotabato.

Another plebiscite is scheduled on February 6 for the expanded areas, including six towns in Lanao del Norte and villages in North Cotabato.

The ratification of the BOL will repeal the current organic act that establishes the ARMM.

The law is part of the implementation process of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the MILF.

Adzfar Usman, who represented MNLF chair Yusoph Jikiri in the rally, said the entire membership of MNLF is “all-out in supporting for the ratification of the BOL.”

Both Murad and Galvez said the BOL serves as a template for federal governance the President is pushing.

“This will become a perfect template for federalism,” Galvez said.

“If there will be federal governance, there is a big chance the BARMM will be strengthened,” Murad said.

Mohagher Iqbal, the chair of the MILF Implementing Peace Panel, said the Bangsamoro people “invested blood and sweat to this struggle until we achieved this law. That’s why we need to ratify the BOL.”

For his part, Usec Tan enumerates the historical evolution of the different peace agreements spanning several administrations.

He said President Duterte in his inaugural speech emphasized that he will honor all signed peace agreements in step with the constitutional and legal reforms.

“The BOL, which is a political commitment of the government, has a parallel track which is the normalization process,” Usec Tan explained.

He said the normalization track seeks to transform the MILF from an armed revolutionary group into a peaceful and progressive organization.

“The vital component of the normalization, which is to decommission the MILF forces and their weapons, should be pursued to its logical conclusion until the phase four,” he said.

Usec Tan said the phase four also coincides with the regular elections of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in 2022.

“This will also entail the redeployment of the military in the area and the dismantling of private armed groups in region,” he said.

“The BOL will spell peace, security, and development,” Tan said.

Among those who attended the BOL rally are former Sulu Governor Benjamin Loong, former Congresswoman Maryam Arbison, former and incumbent mayors of Sulu, Notre Dame of Jolo College President Fr. Romeo Saniel and members of the BTC.

The rally, which was organized by the stakeholders themselves, is the first among the series of pro-BOL rallies slated in the island provinces of Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-tawi.

MILF: ACCI Conducts Yes to BOL Campaign in Parang town

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 7, 2019): ACCI Conducts Yes to BOL Campaign in Parang town

In photo- Invited Speakers Atty. Lanang Ali, Jr. with Mr. Nash Pulindao during campaign for BOL at Polloc, Parang, Maguindanao on January 5.

Parang, Maguindanao- The Action Consolidated Cooperation, Inc. (ACCI) in collaboration with the Bangsamoro Engineers Group (BEG) and Barangay Local Government Unit of Polloc conducted a Yes to BOL Campaign on January 5, 2019 at Freeport, Barangay Polloc, Parang, Maguindanao.

The program was supported by the 7th Brigade of Inner Guard National Guard of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (IGNG-BIAF) of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under the command of Brigade Commander H. Basher Ampat.

Barangay Chairman Abubakar U. Abdul of Barangay Polloc, Parang, Maguindanao delivered the opening remarks and made a commitment of “zero vote for NO” in his barangay during the plebiscite on January 21st. Barangay Polloc has more than five thousand registered voters.

Atty. Lanang Ali, Jr., Legal Consultant of BTC Commissioner Mohagher Iqbal delved on the salient provision of BOL particularly the provisions on Fiscal, Political Autonomy and the Sharia’h Justice System.

He also emphasized the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission that will address the legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro.

The open forum followed with some questions raised by some participants. They focused mainly on the issue of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program or 4P’s. He said that the 4P’s is a government program where the Bangsamoro Government could possibly improve or expand.

Mr. Nas Pulindao, MILF Information Officer touched on the contents of the signed agreements between the Government of the Philippines and the MILF.

He also mentioned the three forms of struggles that the Moro people had undergone, such as the Armed struggle, political struggle where the MILF negotiated with the GPH to resolve the Bangsamoro Question, and the democratic struggle where the Moro Front will participate in a political exercise after the term of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) ends.

Pulindao also mentioned the source of the BOLS namely, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB)and its annexes, and the Comprehensive Agreements on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Republic Act No.9054 or the 1996 Final Peace Accord (FPA) between the GPH and the MNLF.

The ACCI expressed its gratitude to the two speakers who clearly explained the important provisions of BOL.

ACCI is headed by Engineer Mohammad Abubakar, President, and Mohaimen Phari, Vice President. Other officers and staff of ACCI were also in attendance.

MILF: Multi-Sectoral Assembly held in Maguindanao town

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 6, 2019): Multi-Sectoral Assembly held in Maguindanao town

In photo- BIAF-MILF Chief of Staff Sammy Al Mansoor during the Multi-Sectoral Assembly for BOL at Gambar, Mother Kabuntalan, Maguindanao on December 30.

Kabuntalan, Maguindanao - Quoting the words of the Late Ameerul Mujahideen, Sheikh Salamat Salamat, “I have plant the seed of Jihad fiy Sabilillah in the minds and hearts of young generations,” so then, I encourage everyone let us walk together for the next level of this struggle, in shaa Allah,” Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Chair of the MILF said in his message during the Multi-Sectoral Assembly for Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) held at the village of Gambar, this town on December 30.

The huge crowd was estimated at more than 50,000 individuals.

Newly appointed Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), and former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr graced the occasion.

Sec. Galvez said, “Pinapangako kong pupuntahan ko lahat ng Base Command, hindi ko po kayo pababayaan. We will make sure that the Bangsamoro Organic Law (B.O.L.) ratification will be successful. And we will face all those challenges along the way.”

In his opening statement, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces Chief of Staff of the MILFAbdulraof Macacua popularly known as Sammy Al Mansor reminisced some memorable and significant events happened in his birthplace during the height of the revolution spearheaded by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). One of them is that Gambar became a rendezvous of MNLF commanders where they held decision-makings in furtherance of the Moro struggle.

He added that the assembly is for the purpose of unifying the people for the ratification of the Organic Law and letting them feel its inclusivity and benefits.

“The mere presence of Secretary Galvez, Jr is a clear manifestation that the government is sincere at ending the Mindanao problem that took the lives of more than a hundred thousand people, and about half a million sought refuge in neighboring Sabah, Malaysia, “Al Mansoor further said.

“We are here to talk about the organic law that is the fruit of our struggle, and to unify our stand by voting YES during plebiscite on January 21st,” Al Mansoor said.

MILF: Editorial - Bombing in Cotabato City

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 8, 2019): Editorial - Bombing in Cotabato City

It is too early to say who was or were responsible for the deadly blast that occurred in Cotabato City last December 31 that killed four persons and wounded more than ten others. It is bad to speculate.

However, sooner or later, the perpetrators would hopefully be identified because CCTV cameras (not in South Seas Mall) had captured the explosion including the suspected perpetrators.

Moreover, human activity is determined by motive. Only insane person does not have motive in doing thing, because he or she is controlled by the sub-conscious mind. It is similar to when one is dreaming; it is the same sub-conscious mind which is in control.

Certainly, in this case, those behind the dastardly act were not insane people. The blast was deliberately planned and executed – and perfectly timed when people in frenzy to buy food items, gifts, clothing for the year the next day.

Who therefore has the motive to undertake that evil act? Or to be more precise, who will gain from the chaos that ensued? Does it have connection with the forthcoming plebiscite on January 21? Of course, we do not know and we do not want to speculate. Let us leave the matter to investigators to determine who the perpetrators are and their motive.

Of course, the immediate suspects would be the violent extremist groups, because their forte and happiness is to commit mass murders and bloody mess where innocent civilians are the victims. They feel gratified if people suffer and are sent to their graves or hospitals.

Would there be other possible suspects?

The answer is yes, because in the past, similar incidents have been resorted to viciously by the spoilers in order to derail the Bangsamoro peace process. The BOL is a culmination point in the long search for peace in Mindanao. Thus, they have more reasons now to frustrate the BOL in the forthcoming plebiscite. In fact, they have more to lose rather than to gain if BOL is pursued or ratified. It is a last-ditch tactic to arrest the impending victory of the BOL on January 21 plebiscite.

We are calling for all and sundry to forge ahead with the same resolve as before so that we may finally achieve peace through the ratification of the BOL. All peace-loving citizens in the city of Cotabato to stand united in securing our community and ensuring that peace will finally reign in our homeland. This is not the time to be divided. This Is the time to stand united.

MILF: Editorial - The tipping point

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Website (Jan 1, 2019): Editorial - The tipping point

From January 1 to plebiscite day on January 21, barely 20 days left, the people's response leading to the massive ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has reached the tipping point. The yes votes prevailing over the no votes is almost an assured certainty, GOD willing! The areas that register this trend are the provinces of Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Lanao del Sur, including the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

Only Isabela City, Sulu, and Cotabato City remain slightly problematic. Some politicians here continue to fight tooth and nail to make the no votes prevail. Their reasons are personal, tribal, or mundane or earthly. They are making a political issue out of the BOL, which is apolitical, by linking the plebiscite with the May 2019 local elections.

However, the case of the 39 barangays in North Cotabato and the six municipalities in Lanao Del Norte are dis-similarly situated. Interestingly, the Christian local government executives in North Cotabato where these barangays are situated have an open mind on the future status of these villages. Dialogues are currently going on to level-off to find the ways forward for the common good. Ironically, the politicians in Lanao Del Norte are not opposed to the BOL, but they do not want the six municipalities in their province to join the Bangsamoro Government. They are reportedly even campaigning for it. What a funny oddity!

This unprecedented support to the BOL is not similar to what we commonly referred to as the bandwagon effect, which is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In the case of the BOL, the people of all sectors are convinced of the need to vote yes and ratify the BOL because it is for peace, justice, progress and development, and unity. It is very inclusive. Everybody and all sectors will benefit from it.

Moreover, so much has been spent to secure this law: almost 50 years of bloody struggle, 42 years of hard, harsh, and protracted negotiations, 160,000 lives have been lost (civilians, MNLF, MILF, and government soldiers), billions of properties lost or destroyed, eight Philippine presidents from Ferdinand Marcos to Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and almost 20 government chief peace negotiators.

Enough is enough! The unnecessary blood-shedding must stop now. We cannot go back to war again. Nobody wants it, the MILF included. Only those who have not tasted real war probably wants it, as well as those whose obsession is to hold on to power at all cost.

For the MILF, the only condition that makes it fight is if we are subjected again to massive oppression and persecution. In that event, it is our moral responsibility to resist and fight.

NDF/Sison: On Duterte’s statement of being open to peace negotiations

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jan 5, 2019): On Duterte’s statement of being open to peace negotiations

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
January 5, 2019

Enemies need peace negotiations before they can become friends or partners for the sake of the Filipino people who desire social, economic and political reforms as basis for a just and lasting peace.

Thus, I welcome the statement of Duterte that he is still open to peace negotiations even as there is still an exchange of hostile words in the mass media and exchange of bullets in the battlefield.

It is the consistent policy of the NDFP to be open to peace negotiations with the Duterte regime despite the determination of the NDFP to seek the ouster of this regime.

It is for the benefit of the people that the peace negotiations resume and stop the Duterte regime from proclaiming martial law nationwide, from calling off or rigging the May 2019 elections and from pursuing the scheme to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people via charter change for a bogus kind of federalism.

The NDFP presumes that, when peace negotiations resume, the way is open to the forging of agreements on social, economic and political reforms that are desired and needed by the people.###

NDF/Sison: Duterte regime is engaged in anticommunist witch-hunt against teachers, lawyers. Journalist and others

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jan 8, 2019): Duterte regime is engaged in anticommunist witch-hunt against teachers, lawyers. Journalist and others

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
January 8, 2019

The Duterte regime and its military and police minions have utterly failed to destroy the New People’s Army before the end of 2018 as they boastfully threatened in October 2017. They have not destroyed a single NPA guerrilla front. And they know that they cannot destroy the NPA before Duterte himself is out of power.

But Duterte and his armed minions have the antidemocratic and evil notion that they can complement their all-out war or make up for their failure to destroy the NPA by unleashing an anticommunist witch-hunt against teachers, lawyers, journalists, youth, women, social activists, human rights advocates, religious and other people whom they consider as open prey for state terrorism. They will find it more messy and scandalous to blacklist and murder members of the intelligentsia than the poor slum dwellers, peasants and indigenous people.

They are unleashing the anticommunist witch-hunt in connection with their threat to carry out the “Indonesian solution” by massacring communist suspects. They calculate maliciously that they can actually murder a number of urban-based critics and opponents of the Duterte regime in order to frighten the entire lot of the intelligentsia and other people in the cities to stop them from exposing and opposing the crimes of the regime and ills of the ruling system.

It is in the context of the anticommunist witch-hunt that PNP’s Albayalde tries to use my name for his vile purposes. I say categorically that Albayalde is a big liar. He is capitalizing on a distorted spy report on a 30-year old video of a speech of mine in Brussels in which I actually differentiated the legal democratic forces and the forces of the armed revolution.

I have never identified or enumerated any legal organization as a “front” or facade of the CPP. The language is entirely that of the un-intelligent or stupid witch-hunting police dog Albayalde. I have always referred with respect and accuracy to legal organizations adhering to the line of national independence and democracy as legal democratic formations independent of the CPP.

I never castigate a mere running dog alone. I hold his master Duterte most responsible for the current anti-communist witch hunt against teachers, lawyers, journalists, social activists, human rights advocates, religious and other people. He is a malicious rascal who has nothing to offer to the people but mass murder and mass intimidation in addition to his brazen acts of puppetry and treason, corruption and plunder, machismo and misogyny, foul language and mendacity.###

NDF/Sison: Reset of deadline for scheme to destroy the NPA will surely fail as people’s war will intensify

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Website (Jan 9, 2019): Reset of deadline for scheme to destroy the NPA will surely fail as people’s war will intensify  

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

January 9, 2019

The Duterte regime has reset by three years the deadline for its scheme to destroy the New People’s Army. The scheme will surely fail from day to day, week to week, month to month and from year to year as the NPA will intensify tactical offensives and mass work. The same military and police of the same exploiting classes cannot accomplish in 3 years what they failed to accomplish in 50 years.

In the next three years, Duterte himself will have difficulty surviving politically. These are lameduck years for him, during which infighting among his followers will be debilitating and challenges will rise from within the ruling system as well as from the revolutionary forces.

Duterte used up his first three years to discredit himself by engaging in treasonous and tyrannical acts, mass murder and mass intimidation, inordinate corruption, economic mismanagement and causing runaway inflation and sell out of sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea to China.

Were Duterte regime willing to engage sincerely and seriously in peace negotiations with the NDFP to address the roots of the armed conflict and make agreements on social, economic and political reforms, a just peace could be attained in less time than three years and at far less cost in contrast to the enemy’s futile military campaigns that are costly in terms of blood and public money.

The problem with the Duterte regime is that it thinks peace negotiations are merely for the surrender and pacification of the revolutionary forces and that the sincerity of the NDFP is merely the willingness to surrender to the unjust ruling system of big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats like Duterte.

The demand that the peace negotiations be held in the Philippinines is calculated by the Duterte regime to put the NDFP negotiating panelists, consultants and resource persons under the regime’s surveillance, control, duress and manipulation, reducing the peace negotiations to the status of the fake localized peace talks.###

CPP/CPP-IB: Denounce police surveillance against teachers and other democratic sectors

CPP-Information Bureau propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 8, 2019): Denounce police surveillance against teachers and other democratic sectors

Communist Party of the Philippines
Information Bureau
January 08, 2019

                     The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in strongly denouncing the stepped-up surveillance by Duterte’s police forces against members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) as well as other democratic mass organizations.

The surveillance was exposed after leaders of ACT revealed that officials of the Department of Education in Metro Manila and other provinces were being asked to inform the police of the roster of ACT’s membership. Its members reported being tracked down by police operatives to their homes.

The police surveillance on ACT clearly aims to harass and intimidate the organization which has staunchly advanced the welfare and interests of teachers and the people’s democratic cause. It also aims to bully the teachers to make them submit to the scheme of the Duterte regime to manipulate the upcoming mid-term elections which employ public school teachers.

The surveillance against the teachers is an affront against their democratic rights. Duterte has mobilized state forces to subject his critics and opposition forces to so-called intelligence operations. Instead of addressing the demand of public school teachers for salary increases, Duterte is using public money to harass and intimidate them.

It forms part of the massive surveillance against students, journalists, lawyers and other various democratic sectors and their organizations and alliances, as well as progressive party list groups, to set them up for arrests or extrajudicial killings. Duterte has earlier ramped up his Red-tagging of these organizations using the old Marcos tactic of labeling them as “communist fronts” in a futile attempt to justify vicious all-out suppression. He has openly threatened to murder their members whom he called as “potential members” of the NPA.

Duterte desperately aims to preserve his power by cracking down against the legal democratic forces which are at the forefront of the anti-fascist united front of all groups opposing Duterte’s tyranny and de facto martial law rule.

Duterte’s fascist suppression will, however, succeed only in arousing ever wider opposition and fiercer resistance to his rule. Contrary to his aim, more and more are being enjoined to close ranks with a broad united front to call for an end to Duterte’s state-sponsored killings and terrorism, corruption, and servility to foreign powers.

He is also succeeding only in closing legal avenues of dissent and unwittingly encouraging more people to support and join the New People’s Army (NPA) to wage armed struggle.

CPP: Duterte’s new 3-year deadline to end the NPA

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jan 8, 2019): Duterte’s new 3-year deadline to end the NPA 


1. As the CPP predicted in a previous statement, the Duterte regime and its armed forces once again moved its impossible deadline of ending the armed struggle being waged by the New People’s Army. In October 2017, it declared it will end the NPA before the end of 2018. On September last year, the deadline was moved to the end of the second quarter this year. In order to avoid making themselves look foolish annually with their pipedream, they have again moved their deadline, this time to 2022.

2. Defense Secretary Lorenzana’s claims of 11,000 surrenders are a farce. Of this number, more than 99% are actually civilians forced by the AFP without evidence to present themselves as “rebels” and to “surrender” under pain of constant harassment and threats of being summarily executed by fascist troops.

There are numerous cases across the country where so-called surrenderees have, in fact, approached local NPA units to inform of the military abuses they are being subjected to. Many of them are being forcibly conscripted as paramilitaries and armed to go against their fellow oppressed. They are made to render free labor to the AFP in building detachments and the like.

3. Duterte brags of “localized peace talks” and the so-called E-CLIP (Enhanced Cooperation Local Integration Program), which are nothing but a big corruption racket where billions of pesos line up the pockets of military officers. These programs are being carried out to cover up the failure of the reactionary regime to address the basic demand of the peasant masses for land reform.

As military officers fatten their wallets, they order their troops to go on one combat operation after another. Foot soldiers of the AFP are growing war weary as they are used as cannon fodder in the AFP’s focused military offensives. There is rising disenchantment among them as their superiors wallow in corruption. The AFP is being overstretched in its futile effort to suppress the NPA’s nationwide growth.

4. In contrast to declarations of ending the NPA, it is Duterte who is more likely to be unable to end his term as his regime oversees a worsening economic crisis and make people suffer from deteriorating social conditions and rising cost of living. Duterte is rousing the people to wage ever fierce resistance against his tyranny and terrorism.

5. Even with the additional three years, Duterte and the AFP will surely be frustrated in their aim of crushing the NPA. There is a rising tempo of tactical offensives since the last quarter of 2018. Last December, NPA units across the country mounted annihilative offensives where it seized at least 59 high powered weapons from the AFP’s armories.

The NPA is ever capable, determined and confident of attaining unprecedented strength in the coming years.