Wednesday, February 13, 2019

NPA recruitment of minors violates UNICEF rules

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 14, 2019): NPA recruitment of minors violates UNICEF rules

Efforts of the New People's Army (NPA) to recruit minors into their ranks is a gross violation of the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF) Convention on the Rights of Children, a military official said Thursday.

"It is a gross violation of the provisions of UNICEF's Convention on the Rights of Children, which specifically states that children below the age of 18 must be accorded their basic rights to include the right from exploitation," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, said in a test message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when sought for a comment.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

"Recruiting them to become fighters is the height of (Communist Party of the Philippines) CPP-NPA hypocrisy," Detoyato added.

On Tuesday, a 15-year-old female rebel voluntarily surrendered to military units in Capiz due to the extreme hunger and hardships she experienced in the mountains.

The girl, identified only as “Regina”, is from the Central Front in Tapaz, Capiz, and has been a member of the rebel group for more than two months yet, 61st Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot Jr., said.

He added that “Regina” was recruited by her boyfriend, who is also a member of the group.

She said that at first, she was unaware of her boyfriend being a member of the NPA.

Magbalot said “Regina” served as a cook for NPA members, and that she was taught how to use a firearm but was never engaged in an encounter.

PH Army welcomes new Scout Rangers, Snipers

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 14, 2019): PH Army welcomes new Scout Rangers, Snipers

The Philippine Army (PA) formally welcomed to its ranks its newest Scout Rangers and Snipers during a short ceremony at Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan on Wednesday.

1st Scout Ranger Regiment commander, Brig. Gen. William N. Gonzales, presided over the closing ceremonies for Scout Ranger Course Class 206-2018 and Scout Sniper Course Class 25-2018.

Meanwhile, PA Chief, Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, led the pinning of Scout Ranger and Scout Sniper badges to the 129 graduates.

These can be broken down into 58 students from the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), four from the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) (SFRA), 14 from the Light Reaction Regiment, four from the AFP Special Operations Command, and 49 from various infantry divisions.

The 21 new snipers included 15 from the FSRR, one from the SFRA, and five from various Infantry Divisions. In addition to the class of SR 206-2018, the Philippine Air Force has one graduate while the PNP has 16, bringing the total number of graduates to 146.

The students from the SR 206-2018 class underwent 10 months and one day of training while those from the SS 25-2018 class went on seven months and three days.

Alberto, in his speech, called on members of the regiment to maintain the highest standard of discipline.

“Fight the way we trained and train the way we fight,” he said.

Military boosts security ops in Maguindanao after Cafgu member hurt in explosion

From Politiko Mindanao (Feb 14, 2019): Military boosts security ops in Maguindanao after Cafgu member hurt in explosion

cotabato military bomb philippines

The government troops have heightened their security operations following an explosion in Maguindanao, injuring a paramilitary member, an official said.

Joint Task Force Central Commander Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said member of the Cafgu Active Auxiliary under the 38th Infantry Battalion was slightly wounded when an anti-personnel mine placed near an old nipa house exploded in Sitio Pansol, Barangay Macasampen, Guindulungan town Tuesday, February 12.

“The explosion was meant to inflict harm on troops patrolling the area,” he said.

The official said that personnel from the 90th Infantry Battalion and the Guindulungan Municipal Police immediately responded and secured the area to preempt possible attacks.

The wounded Cafgu member was also rushed to Camp Siongco Station Hospital for medical attention.

Abu Sayyaf suspect linked to Kidapawan blast arrested

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 12, 2019): Abu Sayyaf suspect linked to Kidapawan blast arrested

A suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) held responsible for a bomb attack in Kidapawan City in 2012 that left seven people dead was arrested by joint police and military forces in Ermita, Manila, the Philippine National Police said Tuesday.

BOMBING SUSPECT –Abdurahman Dalyung is about to be presented to the media by Metro Manila Police chief Guillermo Eleazar during a briefing at Camp Crame Tuesday. (Alvin Kasiban)

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde identified the suspect as Abdurahman Mataud Daiyung alias “Biznar Salabudin” and “Abu Talha,” an alleged ASG member under the com­mand of slain leader Isnilon Hapilon.

Albayalde said Daiyung was appre­hended inside his house at M. H Del Pilar Street corner Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila, last February 10.

Daiyung was linked to the infamous Kidapawan City bus terminal bombing on October 10, 2012, which left seven persons dead and two dozen others wounded.

Daiyung was also accused in seven separate criminal cases for kidnapping and serious illegal detention in connection with his alleged participation in the kidnap­ping of 15 employees of Golden Harvest Plantation in Barangay Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan, on June 11, 2001.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Guillermo El­eazar said Daiyung was arrested when an arrested Abu Sayyaf suspect revealed his whereabouts.

Albayalde said a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Leo Jay Principe of the Isabela City Regional Trial Court Branch 1 was served against Daiyung by operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), PNP-Intelligence Group (IG), and the Philippine Navy.

“This is an offshoot of the arrest of his cohort last December before the Traslacion. Remember that we had a joint operation with the PNP-Intelligence Group that led to the arrest of that suspect, who was also one of the respondents or wanted persons in the kidnapping incident in the Golden Harvest plantation,” Eleazar said.
Eleazar was referring to Sudais Asmad alias “Sen,” “Abu Nas,” “Suhud” and “Jul,” an alleged member of ASG under the com­mand of Furuji Indama. He was arrested by joint police forces in Binondo, Manila on December 20, 2018.

Visiting terrorists

Eleazar said Daiyung worked as a welder and has been in Manila just a “few” months ago. He further revealed that Daiyung often visited other Abu Sayyaf terrorists in various parts of Manila.

He said intelligence operatives have yet to confirm the number of Abu Sayyaf terrorists staying in Manila to lie-low.

“We don’t have the figures. Probably mayroong supporters at sympathizers (there are supporters and sympathiz­ers),” the Metro Manila police chief said.

Eleazar assured that the streets of Metro Manila remain free from terrorist at­tacks as no credible information on security threats are monitored by the police.

“But we cannot discount the possibility that they are planning [an attack] that’s why our disruption activities are continuous. This is one disruption [effort] being done by the police in coordination with our AFP counterparts,” he added.

Eleazar also said there is no cause for public alarm despite the arrest of Abu Sayyaf terror suspects in Manila.

NPA’s revolutionary tax collector nabbed in Butuan City

From Politiko Mindanao (Feb 14, 2019): NPA’s revolutionary tax collector nabbed in Butuan City

An alleged “revolutionary tax collector” of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Butuan City, military said.

Identified as Emeliano Bustillo Legayna, with aliases Bukas, Sedoy, Turko and Abba, was nabbed Wednesday, February 13, at Barangay Nongnong during the implementation of a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, said Lt. Col. Francisco L. Molina Jr., commanding officer of the Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion.

Seized from the suspect were Cal.45 pistol and a hand grenade.

Molina said that Legayna was also identified as liaison, intelligence officer and commanding officer of the Militiang Bayan Butuan West, Guerrilla Front 4A, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

He thanked the concerned citizens in the area for providing the information that led to the rebel officer’s arrest.

Soldiers held captive by NPA begs to Duterte: ‘Suspend military operations’

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online publication the Davao Today (Feb 13): Soldiers held captive by NPA begs to Duterte: ‘Suspend military operations’

Cpl. Eric Manangan (Left) and Private First Class Darlino Carino Jr. (Right) appeal for help fromm President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend military operations to pave way for their release in a video released by the New People’s Army on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. (Screenshots from the NPA’s video)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Two soldiers being held captive by the New Peoples Army (NPA) appealed for help from President Rodrigo Duterte to cease military operations to pave way for their release.

Private First Class Darlino Carino Jr. and Cpl. Eric Manangan made their appeal in a video released by the communist rebels on Wednesday.

“To Mr. President Rodrigo Duterte, all I ask is to have our release expedited through a cessation of military operations,” Carino Jr. said of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion.

“This is all I ask so that I could be with my wife and child also because our wedding anniversary nears,” he said in Filipino.

Carino was one of the two soldiers and 12 militiamen who were captured last Dec. 18, 2018 when communist rebels overran a Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachment belonging to the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion in New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

High-powered firearms were also seized by the communist rebels during the raid.

Also, Carino appealed to his commanding officer Maj. Muana and priest Fr. Eddie Dumalig to help expedite their release.

“Even though we are their captives, they treat us as comrades.We eat whatever they have and eat,” said a soldier named Manangan.

“To my loved ones, especially my wife and child, who I know are worried about my situation, I am keeping faith and hope that we will see and be with each other,” Manganan added.

In a previous statement, Ka Maria Malaya, spokesperson of National Democratic Front of the Philippines- North Eastern Mindanao Region said that the planned release of the prisoners of war is “hampered” by the continuous military operations.

The NPA called upon the officials in Agusan del Sur to create conditions to ensure the safe and smooth release of the POWs.

They also challenged the AFP command to implement a Suspension Of Military Operations (SOMO) and Suspension Of Police Operations (SOPO), if “they are genuinely concerned for the welfare of the captured troops.”

Rebels use ‘love ploy’ to recruit youngsters – Army

From The Daily Guardian (Feb 14, 2019): Rebels use ‘love ploy’ to recruit youngsters – Army

AT 15 years old, Regin (real name withheld) thought that she found her forever in Noel (also not his real name).

Just like any other suitor, Noel wooed her until they went dating.

But unlike any other love story, the man did not bring Regine to his parents.

Instead, Noel brought her to the mountains and introduced her to his world: the New People’s Army (NPA).

There, she was indoctrinated on the revolutionary movement.

Regin, a Grade 7 student in Tapaz, Capiz, had to leave school and stayed in the hinterlands of Central Panay to be with Noel. She stood as the group’s cook and served them their meals. She also joined the rebels in their sorties in different villages.

While Regin did not participate in any armed encounter, she claimed she was taught how to handle a gun.

This initially happened without her parents knowledge until recently.

More than two months into the movement, Regin finally called it quits – at least with the NPA movement.

She still has to break up with her boyfriend and is believed to be in communication with some NPA members but she swore not to return to the rebel fold.

“Nahihirapan na rin s’ya. At her young age, she should not have been subjected to such hardships,” said Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot Jr., commanding officer of the 61st Infantry Battalion.

Magbalot said what happened to Regin was a form of deception that targets teenagers like her.

“It’s a scheme employed by the NPA. They don’t only use young men to entice girls to join the movement but they also employ good-looking female rebels to recruit men into the group,” he said.

On purpose, they let these men and women fall in love with them and later recruit them to join the armed struggle, he added.

In the case of Regin, her family’s relatives and friends who are either CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit) members or Philippine Army personnel facilitated her surrender this month.

Regin’s surrender is proof that NPA had been deliberately recruiting minors, who are one of the vulnerable sectors of our society, to take part in their criminal activities, Magbalot said.

“We condemned the CPP-NPA for abusing and destroying the future of a 15-year old girl. She is supposed to be studying in school instead of carrying guns and dodging bullets,” he said.

Meanwhile, Major Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said that recruiting and abusing the child is a gross violation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

It also violates Republic Act 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination.”

“The communist terrorist organization deliberately abuses not only her young and innocent mind but her future, as well. It’s a heartless and inhumane act. They are the true child abuse perpetrators who forced the children not only to carry firearms but also to take part on their bloody armed struggle,” he said.

Regin is now reunited with her family while her case is being validated.

Once validated, she would be recommended to receive benefits under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Meeting Program (E-CLIP).


Aside from the “love ploy,” blackmail is also allegedly a common scheme adopted by the rebels in recruiting new members.

“They would go to a certain community. Tapos pahahawakin nila ng baril ang mga magsasaka doon or kalalakihan, kahit na babae pa,” Magbalot said.

Unbeknownst to these residents, the rebels would take a photograph of them while holding on to a firearm.

“Tapos tatakutin ka nila na kung hindi ka sasali o makikisama sa kanila, they would send your photos to the military or police saying that you have already joined the movement,” Magbalot said.


Magbalot said there have been efforts to counter recruitment activities of the NPA.

“We go to the different barangays and do film showing. Usually, these rebels target youth, women and farmers,” he said.

The awareness drive is also through lectures.

“Dapat malaman nila na niloloko lang sila. What the rebels are saying are nothing but empty promises,” Magbalot said.

He said the Phil. Army has also been actively doing security pressures through internal security operations (ISO).

“We are making it difficult for them to roam around. Through that, it would be doubly difficult for rebels to their extortion activities. Without extortion, gutom sila kaya napipilitan ang karamihan sa kanila na mag-surrender na lang,” he said.

But Magbalot said there should be also be social pressure coming from elected officials, who will condemn the NPA’s inhumane activities.

There should also be active participation from other government agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Meanwhile, Captain Eduardo Precioso Jr., 3ID spokesperson, said they are coordinating with school authorities to allow them to conduct lectures and dialogues.

On the other hand, Dolina encouraged the youth to stay in school and prioritize their studies.

“I hope, they won’t allow this terrorist organization to exploit their minds and misuse their abilities in terrorist activities,” he said.

4 NPA rebels yield to Army in North Cotabato

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Feb 13, 2019): 4 NPA rebels yield to Army in North Cotabato

MAKILALA, NORTH COTABATO — The 39th Infantry Battalion on Wednesday announced the surrender of four New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas following an armed encounter with government forces early this week.

Lt. Col. Rhojun Rosales, 39th IB commanding officer, said the NPA rebels were captured in their hide-out in Barangay New Baguio, Makilala.

Rosales said they caught the NPA off-guard, who were suffering from fatigue and hunger around 10 p.m. Monday. The rebels yielded five high-powered firearms.

“They surrendered with five high-powered firearms loaded with magazines, rifle grenades, improvised antipersonnel mines, and terrorist documents. The surrender was the result of a focused-military operation and reliable information from concerned citizens in the area,” Rosales said.

He said, during the debriefing, the NPA rebels were shocked by the ferocity of assaulting ground troops that included the superior firepower of government air assets.

The former rebels disclosed that they ran out of ammunition as they tried to equal the firepower of the ground troops.

Rosales did not name the rebels for their security. The rebels confided that other members of their group left them to forage for food and tried to escape from pursuing government forces.

“They also revealed that they were lured to join the NPA because they were immediately given the high-powered firearms and promised monthly support for their families.

The former NPA disclosed that they were not aware of the Enhanced-Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP) for they lived in the remote sitios of Makilala, Cotabato and Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, 1002nd Brigade Commander said, they would continue asking the assistance of concerned citizens to deliver information on E-CLIP to communist guerrillas.

WESTMINCOM: Troops heighten security after Maguindanao blast

From the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM): Troops heighten security after Maguindanao blast


Government forces heightened their security operations after a blast hit Guindulungan, Maguindanao yesterday (February 12).

The anti-personnel mine, emplaced near an old nipa house, exploded in Sitio Pansol, Barangay Macasampen at 7:30am yesterday.

“The explosion was meant to inflict harm on troops patrolling the area,” said Major General Cirilito Sobejana, the Joint Task Force Central Commander.

A member of the CAFGU Active Auxiliary under the 38th Infantry Battalion incurred slight wounds.

Personnel of the 90th Infantry Battalion and the Guindulungan Municipal Police immediately responded and secured the area to preempt possible attacks.

Responding troops immediately brought the wounded CAFGU member to Camp Siongco Station Hospital for medical attention.

“We will ensure that assistance will be extended to facilitate the recovery of our wounded comrade,” said Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“As we speak, government forces continue to secure the area and establish the circumstances of the incident,” he added.

WESTMINCOM: 95 students join military’s immersion program in Cotabato City

From the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM): 95 students join military’s immersion program in Cotabato City

Ninety-five students from Carmen National, Senior High School in Carmen, Cotabato completed the four-day immersion program at 602nd Infantry Brigade on February 11.

Brigadier General Alfredo Rosario, Jr., the 602IBde Commander, imparted much wisdom to the participants.

He spoke of patriotism. As young as they are, they should learn to be passionate about the country and the Filipino people.

He spoke of idealism and stressed on the importance of being able to discern between expectation and reality.

He said life is a choice. And in life, people are expected to make decisions that will direct the course of their lives.

He reminded the youth to make a habit of praying for the choices they have to make because ultimately a single person’s great decision will have an impact on the welfare of the country.

He spoke about passion and how it takes away pain and strife that are often associated with work. And he told them to find something that will bring them true joy because passion is fuel—and it has the capacity to propel them towards the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.

Finally, he spoke as a concerned father and reminded them that there is always a right time for everything. And, while finding love is part of life’s journeys, at this moment, they are, first of all, children to their parents, and their utmost priority should be their education.

The culmination of the event was momentous for many reasons. But for the youth of Carmen National, their participation in the four-day event meant they came home with lessons about discipline, dedication, and hard work.

WESTMINCOM: ‘Stay focused, sustain momentum’- WestMinCom chief to ground commanders

From the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM): ‘Stay focused, sustain momentum’- WestMinCom chief to ground commanders

Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega urged commanders of Joint Task Forces and component units of Western Mindanao Command to “remain focused” as military troops gain grounds and advance in their campaign against terrorists in Western and Central Mindanao, during a command conference held on February 12 in Zamboanga City.

“We should remain focused on the task at hand. We should act promptly and decisively for any action that we intend to do and sustain the momentum,” said Lieutenant General Dela Vega, the WestMinCom Commander.

“Nasa momentum na tayo as far as our campaign is concerned,” he added. “It only goes to show that we are focused on our mandate, in as far as our focused military operation is concerned, and that would not have been possible if you did not heed my calling that all our focused military operations will be intelligence operations-based.”

Lieutenant General Dela Vega said the joint task forces have to enhance “information operations efforts” to maximize their accomplishments.

“The respective services headquarters and brigades, in particular, have been very generous in extending to us all the funds and the logistics support. So I would enjoin everyone to be prudent and judicious in the utilization of our resources,” added Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega.

Present, among others, were Major General Cirilito Sobejana, the JTF Central Commander; Rear Admiral Rene Medina, the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Commander; Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the JTF ZamPeLan Commander; and Colonel Fernando Reyeg, the JTF Basilan Commander.

The command conference was held in Camp Navarro, this city at around 8am on Tuesday.

EASTMINCOM: Inter-Agency nabbed NPA Extortionist

From the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM): Inter-Agency nabbed NPA Extortionist

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - An NPA extortionist, responsible for conducting extortion in North Central Mindanao was nabbed in an Inter-Agency Law Enforce Operations in the early morning of February 13, 2019, in Barangay Nongnong, Butuan City.

In a report rendered by Ltc Francisco Molina, Battalion Commander of 23rd Infantry Battalion to MGen Felimon T. Santos Jr, he attributed the successful arrest of the extortionist identified as Emeliano Bustillo Legayna with aliases @Bukas/ @Sedoy/ @Turko/ @Abba to the information and cooperation of the community.

The implementation of the arrest came after the execution of Search Warrant Number 1988-2019 Violation of R.A. 10591 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition) by the combine elements of 23rd Infantry Battalion, 402nd Brigade and the members of the Butuan City Police Office which yielded Cal.45 pistol and a hand grenade in Legayna's possession.

Aside from being an extortionist, Ltc Molina also identified Legayna as the leader of Militiang Bayan in West Butuan.

Meanwhile, citing the success of the inter-agency operations, MGen Santos in his congratulatory remarks to the unit reemphasize the collaboration and cooperation of different stakeholders in the effort of ending insurgency.

"Let us start the whole of nation approach by continuously working, collaborating and converging our effort with our counterparts in the security sector in addressing the call of our communities who are tired of the NPA's extortion and intimidation," MGen. Santos Jr. said.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command

Murder raps filed vs. NPA suspects

From the Visayan Daily Star (Feb 13, 2019): Murder raps filed vs. NPA suspects

Murder charges have been filed against six suspected New People’s Army rebels for the death of a barangay tanod last month in Brgy. Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, the military yesterday said.
1Lt. Revekka Roperos, 303rd Infantry Brigade Civil Military Operations officer, yesterday said the suspects in the killing of Carol-an barangay tanod Cornelio Morales were positively identified as NPA rebels, based on testimonies of eyewitnesses, after being shown pictures of rebels from the police rogues gallery.
Roperos added that the family of the victim will also file a complaint against the NPA murderers before the Commission on Human Rights.

The killing of Morales by six NPA members, armed with M-16 and AK- 47 assault rifles, at the barangay waiting shed, was also witnessed by his daughter and neighbors, Roperos added.

Morales succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, including the fatal one on his head.

2 NPA fighters surrender with their IEDs in Compostela Valley

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 13, 2019): 2 NPA fighters surrender with their IEDs  in Compostela Valley

A surrenderer presents himself to 1st Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Esteveyn Ducusin and Mawab Mayor Ruperto Gonzaga III. (71st Infantry Battalion)

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley (PIA) –Two self-confessed members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered with their war materials to the military, the chief of civil military operations of the 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) said Friday.

1st Lt. Jhocell Asis said “Marco,” 23, and “Janggoy,” 24, also surrendered three pieces of 15-kilo improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Lt. Col. Esteveyn Ducusin, the commanders of the 71st IB.

The former rebels were welcomed by Mawab Mayor Ruperto Gonzaga III, who facilitated their formal handover, and escorted to Ducusin in Mawab town on Thursday.

Explaining the implication of the surrender, Ducusin said “the relentless efforts of the 71st IB in our area of operation impede the operation of NPA because mass supporters switched to trust military personnel.”

He denounced the communist movement for using IEDs, which he said have killed innocent civilians.

Asis said the surrendered IEDs were buried in Barangay Andili in Mawab by a certain “Rashed/Macdel,” a former commanding officer of the NPA’s Section Committee 27, who allegedly tasked “Marco” and “Janggoy” to watch over the war materials.

At the handover, “Marco” narrated that he was a squad leader, vice political instructor and vice commanding officer under Guerilla Front 27, Sub-Regional Committee 2 of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Command.

“Marco” was recruited by a certain “Val” to join the movement’s black propaganda to project it as the champion of the oppressed and make the government look corrupt.

Before becoming a full-time NPA member, “Marco” underwent seminars for communist cadres.

He admitted that he participated in an encounter with government forces at Bantayan, New Bataan in 2018.

As to “Janggoy,” the former squad medic for fellow guerillas in Guerilla Front 27 is a daughter of “Binoy,” also a known NPA member in Mawab.

She said it was her father who convinced her to join the movement. Ironically, it was his death during an encounter with government forces that prompted her to defect to the authorities.

“Janggoy” said she became disillusioned with the communist movement when her fellow guerillas left the lifeless body of her father during an encounter with government forces at Barangay Parasonon, Maragusan town in 2016.

During the formal handover, the mother of “Janggoy” expressed resentment towards the NPA, blaming the underground movement for the death of her husband and the family dysfunction.

Asis said the former rebels will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Intergration Program for livelihood and other necessary assistance.

The NPA is the armed wing of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which has waged a Maoist rebellion since 1969 that has left thousands dead.

The Philippine government has a pending court petition to have the CPP-NPA designated as terrorists.

Tagalog News: AFP chief, bumisita sa Nolcom

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 13, 2019): Tagalog News: AFP chief, bumisita sa Nolcom

Sa kanyang pagbisita sa Headquarters ng Northern Luzon Command sa Camp Aquino, pinangunahan ni Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal ang paggawad ng pagkilala sa ilang kasundaluhan dahil sa matatagumpay na mga gampanin.(NOLCOM Public Information Office)
CAMP AQUINO, Lungsod ng Tarlac -- Binisita ni Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal ang Headquarters ng Northern Luzon Command o Nolcom sa Camp Aquino upang suriin ang kampanya nito sa pagpapatupad ng misyon ng Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Sa isang maiksing pagpupulong, ipinakita ng Nolcom ang mga hakbangin at nagawa nito sa pagsulong ng kapayapaan at pag-unlad at pagharap sa mga lokal na banta ng komunista sa Northern at Central Luzon area.

Ayon kay Madrigal, malaki ang naging gampanin at kontribusyon ng Nolcom sa pagtataguyod ng kapayapaan, pagpapaunlad at pagpapanatili ng matatag na kaayusan sa seguridad ng nasasakupan nito.

Binigyang diin din niya ang importansya pangkalahatang kontribusyon upang wakasan ang mga lokal na insurhensya at pagtugon sa iba't ibang pag-aalala ng mga mamamayan na apektado ng insurhensya sa Rehiyon 1,2,3 at Cordillera.

Pinangunahan din ni Madrigal ang paggawad ng pagkilala sa ilang kasundaluhan dahil sa matatagumpay na mga gampanin.

Hinikayat din niya ang lahat ng mga kasundaluhan na patuloy na gawin at itaguyod ang misyon ng Sandatahang Lakas.

Nagpasalamat naman si Nolcom Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat sa pagbisita ni Madrigal at nangakong patuloy na magsisikap na makamit ang misyon nito at isasagawa ang layunin na isulong ang kapayapaan at pag-unlad; pagtataguyod ng karapatan ng mamamayan; pagsupil sa lahat ng banta sa kapayapaan, pag-unlad, seguridad; at pagprotekta sa teritoryo ng bansa.

Maguindanao blast hurts militiaman

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): Maguindanao blast hurts militiaman

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – The Army said it has stepped up measures to avoid injury from anti-personnel mines (APM) planted by lawless elements in areas where government forces conduct foot patrol.

This after a militiaman was injured on Tuesday when an APM exploded near an area where militiamen and soldiers were conducting foot patrol in Sitio Pansol, Barangay Macasampen, Guindulungan, Maguindanao.
In a statement Wednesday, Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, condemned the attempt by lawless elements to inflict injuries on government forces.

Sobejana did not name the militiaman who belonged to the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), Delta Company, 38th Infantry Battalion.
The wounded CAFGU member was immediately brought to Camp Siongco Station Hospital and is now in stable condition.

Sobejana said the APM was placed near an old nipa hut just 50 meters away from the national highway.
Troopers from the 90th Infantry Battalion and Guindulungan police immediately responded and conducted procedures to clear the site.

“The explosion was meant to inflict harm to our troops just in time they were passing to conduct their regular security in the area,” Sobejana said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but Guindulungan is among the areas in Maguindanao where the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operate.

15-yr-old girl warrior surrenders to gov’t troops

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): 15-yr-old girl warrior surrenders to gov’t troops

Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot Jr (center), commanding officer of Philippine Army's 61IB, reveals on Wednesday (Feb. 13, 2019) a minor New People's Army member surrendered to government troops on Tuesday due to extreme hardships and hunger in the mountains. (Photo by Ma. Leonora Estanque)

Extreme hardships and hunger in the mountains forced a 15-year-old girl member of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) to turn herself in to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Capiz on Tuesday.

The girl identified only as “Regina” is from the Central Front in Tapaz, Capiz, and has been a member of the rebel group for more than two months, said Lt. Col. Sisenando Magbalot Jr., commanding officer of the Philippine Army's 61 Infantry Battalion (61st IB), in a media briefing on Wednesday.

He said “Regina” was recruited through her boyfriend, also a member of the group. At first, she was unaware of her boyfriend being a member of the NPA.

Magbalot said “Regina” served as a cook for their members. She was taught how to use a firearm but was never engaged in an encounter.

“Her parents where clueless at first that their daughter is already a part of the rebels but it was them who helped us to negotiate with 'Regina' to come down,” he added.

The surrenderer will still undergo validation as she is not on the list of CPP-NPA members.

“As the commander for the 61st IB, I want to have detachments on these barangays for the rebels not to come back,” he said.

The AFP emphasized the way to counter the recruitment, especially of the youth, is through awareness.

“We are trying to engage our school administrations. We will talk to them and have a dialogue together with the students for them to be aware,” said Capt. Eduardo Precioso Jr., chief of the 3rd Division Public Affairs Office.

Precioso added it is during the summer vacation that recruitment is rampant. The rebels are using immersions, camps, and on-the-job training to recruit students.

He also said that it is a duty and social responsibility to protect the students.

“We don't want our schools to be the platform of the rebels for their propaganda and recruitment. Hopefully, the schools will coordinate,” he added.

To instill awareness to the public about the rebels, the AFP will have future activities in the Community Support Programs areas. They will have free consultation, medical and dental missions and free haircut. This week they will conduct the activity in the province of Capiz.

The United States and the European Union have declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

Veteran combat pilot retires

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): Veteran combat pilot retires

After 38 years in the military, Major Gen. Restituto F. Padilla Jr. bows out on Thursday after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56, leaving behind a sterling military career as combat pilot and lately as chief strategist for plans and programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Upon graduation from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Class 1985 with honors, then 22-year-old 2nd Lt. Padilla joined the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to become a pilot.

As an aviator, Padilla honed his skills at the Philippine Flying Schools where he graduated in 1987.

In an interview, Padilla said, “I reported to the 15th Strike Wing of the PAF, but by luck of a draw I was reassigned to the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing where I learned not only to master the intricacies of flying rotary wing aircraft, but more importantly to expertly fly it over hostile areas to defend the Republic against various threats.”

He said it was during these dangerous flying missions that he and his crewmen experienced hostile enemy fire.

Armed with rockets and M60 machine guns, they retaliated, blasting away their targets.

Padilla’s bravery in combat even during bad weather won him several awards for gallantry in the performance of duty.

Like all other PAF pilots, Padilla also flew the helicopter during humanitarian missions to bring food and medicines to victims of disasters in various parts of the country.

As a pilot, Padilla amassed 2,800 flying hours on 12 different types of aircraft of the Air Force that earned him the pilot in command, element lead, flight commander, test and instructor pilot.

In addition, Padilla was also cited for “ability to train and impart flying skills to younger pilots.”

The PAF sent Padilla for further studies at the Air University in Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in the United States.

As a military officer, Padilla held various positions, including as AFP spokesperson, before he was promoted to brigadier general and major general as deputy chief of staff for plans and program that is in charge of planning and acquisition of weapons for the modernization of the Armed Forces.

“His superb intellect coupled with the ability to express ideas clearly and expertly as well inspire subordinates both military and civilian” that “these qualities that made him a much sought-after public speaker, delegate in local and international fora and secretariat in bilateral and multilateral security engagements,” the AFP said of Padilla.

The two-star general was also hailed for “providing decision support to formulation of higher policies that advanced Philippine national security.”

Army troops told to remain apolitical

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): Army troops told to remain apolitical

Philippine Army (PA) commander, Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto urged all troops to remain apolitical during the coming mid-term elections.

He made this appeal during his visit to the 5th Infantry Division headquarters at Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela on Monday.

"In his meeting with the troops, CGPA (Commanding General of the Philippine Army) stressed to remain apolitical in view of the coming 2019 mid-term election and urged everyone to strengthen their commitment in support of the conduct of an honest, orderly and peaceful political exercise," Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said in a statement forwarded late Tuesday.

"He also emphasized some guidelines such as, to sustain the conduct of adaptive and pro-active trainings to ensure readiness in complex emergencies, proper maintenance and inventory of issued firearms and ammunitions and strengthening of (the) Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit as a force multiplier," he added.

During the visit, Alberto also inspected several 5th Infantry Division developmental projects, such as the 18-hole golf course, 22-bay firing ranges, multi-purpose building and other minor projects.

The PA chief was also tendered a window tour to the proposed site of CGPA quarters at the camp.

Public warned vs. left-leaning groups seeking Congress seats

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): Public warned vs. left-leaning groups seeking Congress seats


As the 2019 mid-term election draws near, an anti-communist group on Tuesday warned the public against left-leaning parties seeking positions in Congress.

The Liga Filipina Independencia, which consists of former New People's Army (NPA) members, came forward to put up signages showing a list of alleged "sympathizers" of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military arm, NPA.

In an interview Wednesday via text message, Ka Dario Bolivar said they have to make extensive efforts to inform the majority of the the communist terrorist groups’ manipulation.

"The public needs to be aware of this plot going on among these parties. They do not deserve our votes," Bolivar added.

The signage posted along streets of Quezon City in Metro Manila call on the public not to vote Makabayan Bloc's Bayan Muna, Kabataan Party-list, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), and Anakpawis.

In a previous interview, Ka Mario, also a former NPA rebel, expressed his disapproval of the Makabayan Bloc's continued deception.

"Itong Makabayan Bloc ang nagsisilbing legal front ng CPP-NPA, sa tagal nilang panloloko sa ating bansa nakabuo na sila ng sistema para gawing mas kapani-paniwala ang kanilang gawain na sa katotohanan ay pamemera lang naman talaga (Makabayan Bloc is the legal front of the CPP-NPA. With decades of deceiving our nation, they have already come up with a system to make their lies believable when truth is, this is all about exhausting finances)," he said.

Ka Mario further revealed that the youth sector is the group's main target for recruitment since they are more susceptible to propaganda.

"Kabataan ang una nilang pinupunterya kasi nga hindi pa nila nalalaman yung kabuuan ng kwento. Ang daling sabihing may mga inaabuso doon, dyan pero hindi nila alam na gawa-gawa lang naman ito ng Makabayan Bloc upang makuha ang kanilang simpatya. Tingnan mo, kahit sinong presidenteng maupo, merong reklamo di ba? Namemera na lang sila, paulit-ulit nila yung ginagawa (The youths are their main target because they are the most vulnerable. It is so easy to say that someone is being abused but the truth is, Makabayan Bloc just makes these up so they can earn their sympathy)," Ka Mario said.

He said his group has been making the rounds of sharing to the public their realizations after getting out of the communist movement.

It can be recalled that former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and 72 others were arrested in Talaingod, Davao del Norte in November 2018 for alleged human trafficking.

Ocampo was with ACT Rep. France Castro.

Ocampo, Castro and their companions are facing charges of violation of Republic Act No. 7610 in relation to child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.

The Unites States and 15-member European Union (EU) have declared the CPP-NPA as foreign terrorist groups.

AFP to keep tight lookout on Reds' extort try during polls

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): AFP to keep tight lookout on Reds' extort try during polls

With the campaign period for the May polls now in full swing, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will keep a tight lookout on New People's Army (NPA) rebels out to extort money from candidates.

This is aside from area security the military will provide during the 90-day campaign period Col. Noel Detoyato, AFP public affairs office chief, said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

"(While) providing area security during the campaign period and securing candidates, we will (also) run after the NPAs who are roaming around because they have a tendency to go down and approach politicians who are running (to extort money), so yun din ang isang paraan para mahuli natin sila (that is one way to capture them)," he said.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States and the European Union.

Detoyato also urged candidates to immediately contact the AFP should rebels approach and try to extort money from them so that appropriate measures can be taken.

"The politicians who will be contacted should cooperate with us, basta malaman kung sino yung kinocontact and then kung kinontak na sila (so we will know whom they are contacting and whether the victims are already contacted), then we will have a lead on how to entrap them," he added.

While citing that extortion has long been practiced by the NPAs, Detoyato said they will take appropriate action against politicians who will be found paying or giving in to the rebels' demands.

"But this time if we find proof of them paying or giving in to the extortion demands, we will report them to the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) and sanctions will be meted to them," the AFP official said.

PAF allots P12-M for AW-109 attack chopper parts

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 13, 2019): PAF allots P12-M for AW-109 attack chopper parts


The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is allocating PHP12 million for the acquisition of main rotor dampers for two of its AgustaWestland AW-109 attack helicopters.

Pre-bid conference is slated to be held at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room, Villamor Air Base, Pasay City at 11 a.m. on February 18, while bid opening is scheduled at the same venue at 9:15 a.m. on March 5.

The parts are for AW-109 attack helicopters with tail numbers 821 and 822.

Prospective bidders should have an experience in a similar project within the past five years.

"The Philippine Air Force reserves the right to reject any bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA (Republic Act) 9184 and its IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations), without incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders," PAF Bids and Awards chair, Brig. Gen. Ferynl Buca said in the bid bulletin posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System website.

The first two PAF attack AW-109s were commissioned on Aug. 17, 2015 while the remaining six were formally accepted for PAF service on Dec. 5, 2015.

The Philippines signed an eight-unit attack AW-109E order with AgustaWestland in 2013 for PHP3.44 billion.