Thursday, February 14, 2019

NPA frees 6 militiamen in Agusan Sur

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines online publication the Davao Today (Feb 14): NPA frees 6 militiamen in Agusan Sur

The NPA-Agusan del Sur signed the release papers for the six members of Army’s Civilian Active Auxiliary taken as prisoners of war for almost two months. (Mara S. Genotiva/

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Philippines — The six members of Army’s Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA) who were captured by the New People’s Army (NPA) in December last year are now reunited with their families.

In a ceremony held in Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City on Thursday afternoon, February 7, the NPAs formally released CAA Eddie J. Tindoy, Benbinido A. Lamyon, Hermilito M. Iligan, Julian B. Gabiola Jr., Sony M. Malubay, and Marson C. Iligan.

The six militiamen were taken as prisoners of war after the successful raid launched by the NPAs in a military detachment last December 19 in Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

The NPA claimed no shots were fired during the raid.

The troops were released to representatives from the local government unit (LGU) of Agusan del Sur led by Vice Governor Sammy Tortor and church leaders acting as third-party facilitators headed by Bishop Delfin Callao Jr. of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

Ka Joaquin Jacinto, spokesperson of National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao said the release was carried out as a gesture of goodwill for the reopening of the formal peace talks between the government and the NDFP.

“Sa tinuod lang wala jud nisirado bisan kanus-a man despite all the accusation against the NPA and NDFP by the AFP na dili kuno mi abli sa hisgutanang pangkalinaw (In truth, we did not close our doors despite all accusations against the NPA and NDFP by the AFP stating that we are not open to peace talks).”

Jacinto added: “But actually it is our standing policy, and up until now it still stands, that we support the resumption of the peace talks.”

Ka Joaquin also made an assurance that they will release the remaining 10 troops held as prisoners of war by the NPA in Agusan del Sur “if the prevailing condition allows.”

This means a halt on military operations in the area to ensure the safe and proper release of the captives to avoid “collateral damages.”

The NPA-Agusan del Sur signed the release papers at around 5pm.

Ka Arina Magdiwang, head of the custodial unit handling the prisoners said the release was based on humanitarian reasons and in accordance with the NPA’s policy of lenient treatment of its prisoners.

All the prisoners expressed their thanks to their custodial unit and told reporters that they were treated well by their NPA rebels.

Benbinido A. Lamyong said: “They even attended to my medical needs. Their medical staff regularly check our medical conditions morning and afternoon as we traverse the mountains.”

“They offer coffee, let us take a bath, and even wash our clothes. We also eat the food they eat,” he added.

The prisoners were received by their families, a great gift in time for Valentine’s Day they said.

Other remaining POWs believed to be in the custody of NPA were Private First Class Darlino Carino Jr. and Cpl. Eric Manangan of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion and eight militiamen.

The six CAA released is set to be turned over to the AFP’s 4th Infantry Division’s camp in Cagayan de Oro City.

8 killed in Army-NPA clash in Bukidnon on Valentine’s

From MindaNews (Feb 15): 8 killed in Army-NPA clash in Bukidnon on Valentine’s

There is no love between government soldiers and New People’s Army rebels on Valentine’s Day as eight of them were killed in a series of encounters following an attack on an Army detachment in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

The NPA in Northern Mindanao said in a communiqué that around 50 of their fighters raided the detachment of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Battalion in Sitio Green Valley, Barangay Dalwangan in Bukidnon 9 p.m. Thursday.

“The raid was successful. The fighters were able to overwhelm the defenders in just five minutes,” said Ka Emil of NPA-Northern Mindanao.

He claimed four soldiers were killed in the attack and their fighters were able to capture six firearms, including M4 rifles and ammunition.

But Col. Edgardo de Leon, commander of the Army’s 403rd Infantry Brigade, denied the NPA claim, saying it was the rebels who paid the higher price.

De Leon, citing intelligence and civilian reports, said the soldiers fought back the raiders, killing four rebels.

“Our soldiers fought back ferociously and it was the rebels who paid the price,” he said.

De Leon said only two soldiers, not four as claimed by the NPA, were killed in the attack.

He said they are currently doing an inventory to check the veracity of the NPA claim that its fighters were able to seize six firearms.

Meanwhile, in Agusan del Norte, the Army said the NPA rebels released on Valentine’s Day 6 of the 14 soldiers and CAFGUs they captured last December.

Capt. Regie Go, public information officer of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said the release took place in Barangay San Juan, Bayugan City in Agusan del Norte 6 p.m. Thursday.

Go said Army units are still pursuing the rebels who are still holding the remaining eight soldiers and CAFGU hostages.

AFP chief lauds Nolcom for ensuring peace, dev't

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 14): AFP chief lauds Nolcom for ensuring peace, dev't

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal visits the Northern Luzon Command Headquarters in Camp Servillano Aquino, Tarlac City. (Nolcom Public Information Office)

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City -- Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal commended the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) for fulfilling the mission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines of ensuring peace and development.

In a brief conference, Nolcom presented its campaign efforts and gains in advancing peace and development and confronting the local communist threats in Regions 1,2, 3 and Cordillera.
“I commend Nolcom for its significant accomplishment and contribution in promoting significant peace and development initiatives and sustaining a stable security environment in Northern Luzon,” Madrigal said.

He also stressed the importance of the 'whole of nation approach' in ending the local communist insurgency and addressing the various concern of people in all insurgency-affected areas in Central and Northern Luzon.

Madrigal also led the awarding ceremony to honor and appreciate the service of several soldiers who have astoundingly and meritoriously performed their duties.

“Let us do our duty, we share the burden of accomplishing our mission, and that every time, we must think of ways on how we can contribute in carrying out our mission. Let us help each other,” he emphasized.

For his part, Nolcom Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat expressed his gratitude to Madrigal and vowed that the whole command will continue to strive in attaining its mission and relentlessly execute its purpose of advancing peace and development; upholding people’s rights; combatting all threats to peace, development and security; and protecting the sovereign territory.

Army: NPA still a threat to security

From the Philippine Information Agency (Feb 14): Army: NPA still a threat to security

The New People’s Army (NPA) still remain as a threat to the security of the province, but the Philippine Army put counter measures in place to curb atrocities.

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade Deputy Commander, said during the Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council meetings that the military’s concentration is on central and northern Negros where there is a substantial number of the rebel group.

Twelve local National Democratic Front organizations were also named to have linked with the CPP/NPA.

Pasaporte commends the efforts of the Department of Agrarian Reform - Negros to resolve agrarian issues in the province as he enjoined all other concerned agencies to address respective issues in their areas where the CPP/NPA thrives.

Pasaporte added that the election period will also be taken advantaged by the CPP/NPA/NDF to generate resources primarily from their extortion activities.

The military also expects that during the summer break, the CPP-NPA will conduct immersions among its new recruits given that the province becomes the training ground and exposure community for the rebel group.

Pasaported noted an increase CPP/NPA/NDF publicity to facilitate their recruitment and generate support to their partylist as the CPP/NPA/NDF continue to conduct Ideological Political Organizational (IPO) works to strengthen their mass base.

Since January of this year to date, the military has recorded two violent activities perpetrated by the NPA in the province.

Based on military records, the Komiteng Rehiyon Negros of the NPA has affected 92 of the 600 barangays in the province.

Arms seized, gunsmith nabbed in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 15): Arms seized, gunsmith nabbed in Maguindanao

BULUAN, Maguindanao -- Joint police and military operatives arrested a 60-year-old gunsmith in a remote village here following a law enforcement operation early Friday.

The suspect, Abusama Abpun, allegedly assembles guns and rifles for the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), according to Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion.

Elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG – ARMM), headed by Senior Supt. James Gulmatico, served the search warrant against Abpun at 6 a.m.

The seized firearms included three M4 Carbine rifles, one M1 Carbine rifle, six homemade 9-mm. Thomgram machine pistols, a 12-gauge shotgun, a tripod for a .50-caliber heavy machinegun, and several unassembled firearms.
Gulmatico said the suspect was the source of firearms for criminal elements, including the BIFF operating in Maguindanao’s second district.

He said an informant showed police and military authorities a video of Abpun repairing a firearm of a BIFF member.

The video also showed various guns manufactured by the suspect.

Cabunoc noted that the campaign against lawlessness has been gaining ground.

"We have removed another logistics support source of the BIFF,” he said.

Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, has commended the troops on their latest accomplishment.

"I am extending my appreciation to the soldiers and policemen who successfully implemented this law enforcement action,” Sobejana said in a statement.

Cabunoc said his unit had dismantled a total of three gun factories in the past two years, mostly suppliers of locally-made firearms, including .50-caliber Barrett rifle copies, to the BIFF.

63 of 67 NoCot villages want BARMM inclusion

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 15): 63 of 67 NoCot villages want BARMM inclusion

A total of 63 barangays out of the 67 from seven towns in North Cotabato have voted to be included in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) during the second round of Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite held last February 6.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC), adjourned on Thursday the counting of the votes after it completed the canvassing of the eight Certificates of Canvass (COCs) from Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato.

“(These barangays) shall form part of the BARMM considering that they voted favorably for their inclusion in the BARMM and that the majority of the votes cast in the municipalities to which these barangays belong is in favor of their inclusion in the BARMM,” the NPBOC said.

The barangays are Dunguan and Tapodoc in Aleosan town; Kibayao, Kitulaan, Langogan, Manarapan, Nasapian, Pebpoloan, and Tupig in Carmen; Buluan, Nanga-an, Pedtad, Sanggadong, Simbuhay, Simone, Tamped in Kabacan.

Also joining the BARMM are Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kapinpilan, Kudarangan, Central Labas, Malingao, Mudseng, Nabalawag, Olandang, Sambulawan, Tugal, Tumbras in Midsayap; Lower Baguer, Balacayon, Buricain, Datu Binasing, Datu Mantil, Kadingilan, Libungan Torreta, Matilac, Lower Pangangkalan, Upper Pangangkalan, Patot and Simsiman in Pigkawayan.

Forming part of the new Region are: Bagoinged, S. Balong, S. Balongis, Barungis, Batulawan, Bualan, Buliok, Bulol, Fort Pikit, Gli-Gli, Gokotan, Kabasalan, Lagunde, Macabual, Macasendeg, Manaulanan, Nabundas, Nalapaan, Nunguan, Pamalian, Panicupan, and Rajamuda, all in Pikit town.

On the other hand, those who voted not to be included are Barangays Lower Mingading and Pagangan in Aleosan; Galician in Tulunan and Balatican in Pikit.

“Also, we proclaim that the following barangays in North Cotabato shall not form part of the BARMM considering that while they voted favorably for their inclusion, majority of the votes from the municipalities to which these barangays belong, is not in favor of their inclusion in the BARMM,” it added.

Meanwhile, the towns of Balo-i, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte also agreed to be included in the BARMM.

But, the other towns of Lanao del Norte voted against the inclusion of the six municipalities.

“The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc as the NPBOC, hereby proclaims that the municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal, all of the province of Lanao del Norte, shall not form part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” the NPBOC said.

“While the majority of votes cast in the following municipalities are in favor of the inclusion, the majority of votes cast in Lanao del Norte, however, is not in favor in the inclusion of the BARMM,” it added.

The NPBOC reconvened on February 7, a day after the holding of the second round of referendum.

The first round of the plebiscite, held on January 21, ratified the BOL that created the BARMM.

AFP forms unit to counter Reds' landmine threat

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 15): AFP forms unit to counter Reds' landmine threat


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has organized a unit tasked to neutralize deadly anti-personnel mines (APM) used by the New People's Army (NPA), its public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Friday.

"The AFP (has) acquired equipment for detection and neutralization of [emplaced] IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and landmines. We have organized a unit specializing on these skills," Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when asked about military efforts to counter the effects of such weapons.

He also disclosed that troops conduct foot patrols and information drives to civilians living in and around places where armed groups are usually lurking, to inform the residents of the threats posed by the APMs and what to do in case they detect any in their communities.

"We (also) conduct counter-IED and mines training to our personnel," he added.

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

"We also invoke the International Humanitarian Law provisions on the use of landmines and IED where there is a probability that civilians will become victims during times when (the) NPA and other armed groups use them," Detoyato said.

Rescue of NPA captives in Agusan Sur ongoing

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 15): Rescue of NPA captives in Agusan Sur ongoing

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said efforts are underway to track down and rescue two troops and 12 militiamen kidnapped by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur last December.

"Yes, there is an ongoing operation supervised by the (Cagayan-based) 4th ID (Infantry Division)," AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) late Thursday when sought for an update on the matter.

No other detail was given for security reasons.

When asked if the AFP will consider the NPA demand for a suspension of military operations to facilitate the release of the captives, Detoyato said the military does not negotiate with "kidnappers and terrorists."

Earlier, the AFP official revealed that a Board of Inquiry has been formed to investigate the NPA raid.

Aside from the capture of the two troopers and 12 militiamen, the rebels seized scores of automatic rifles, ammunition, a radio and other supplies.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: 6 kontra-atake, inilunsad sa BHB-NEMR

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 7): 6 kontra-atake, inilunsad sa BHB-NEMR

Binigo ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan (BHB) sa Northeast Mindanao ang nanghahalihaw na mga pasistang tropa ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa Agusan del Sur at Surigao del Sur sa loob ng 25 araw. Ang naturang mga operasyon ay reaksyon ng AFP sa dalawang matagumpay na mga taktikal na opensiba ng BHB noong huling kwarto ng taong 2018. Ang walang awat na operasyong militar ay sinabayan pa ng panghuhulog ng bomba at istraping ng Philippine Air Force.

Ayon kay Ka Maria Malaya, tagapagsalita ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Northeast Mindanao Region, nagsagawa ang BHB ng anim na kontra-atake sa mga sundalo ng 4th ID na nag-operasyon sa mga komunidad mula pa noong huling linggo ng Disyembre 2018 at hanggang kalagitnaan ng Enero 2019. Tatlo sa mga kontra-atakeng ito ang pinakatampok:

> Pinasabugan ng BHB noong Disyembre 23 ang nag-ooperasyong mga sundalo ng 26th IB sa Sumulon, Barangay Padiay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. Isang operasyong haras ang isinagawa noong Enero 5 laban sa 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3rd SFB) sa kabundukan ng San Juan, bayan ng Bayugan sa parehong prubinsya.

> Pinasabugan din ng mga Pulang mandirigma ang nag-ooperasyong tropa ng 36th IB sa kabundukan ng Manhulayan, Barangay Bolhoon, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur noong Enero 7.

Ipinakikita ng mga operasyong militar na ito na binabalewala ng mga upisyal ng AFP at gubyernong Duterte ang kaligtasan ng kanilang 15 tauhang kasalukuyang prisoner of war (POW) o bihag-ng-digma (dalawag sundalo ng 3rd SFB at 13 tauhan ng CAA) na nasa kustodiya ng BHB, ayon kay Ka Maria. Naantala ang kanilang pagpapalaya dahil sa naturang mga operasyon.

Ang naturang mga POW ay nabihag noong Disyembre 19 sa isang reyd ng BHB detatsment ng CAA sa Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. Sa naturang reyd, nakasamsam ang BHB ng 23 armas, kabilang ang isang M60 light machinegun.

Samantala sa Southern Mindanao Region, iniulat ni Isabel Santiago, tagapagsalita ng Mount Apo Subregional Operations Command, na isang upisyal ng Philippine National Police (PNP) at 11 iba pa ang nasugatan sa operasyong demolisyon ng BHB noong Enero 28 sa Purok 4, Sityo Kabisig, Barangay Poblacion, Magpet sa North Cotabato. Ang mga kaswalti ay pawang mga tropa ng PNP Provincial Mobile Company. Napatay sa taktikal na opensibang ito si PO3 Christopher Anadon.

Isang araw bago ito, binigo ng isang yunit ng BHB ang sumasalakay na pwersa ng 19th IB at grupong paramilitar na Bagani sa Sityo Salingsing, Barangay Amabel, Magpet. Sa kabilang banda, namatay ang Pulang mandirigma na si Ronnie Awe (Ka Dindo), 44, habang malubhang nasugatan ang kanyang anak na si Ka Wingwing.

Pinabulaanan ng nasabing dalawang labanan ang kasinungalingan ipinagkakalat ng militar na humihina na umano ang armadong rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa nasabing lugar, ani Santiago.

Samantala, sa isla ng Negros, dalawang sundalo ang napatay sa magkakahiwalay na mga opensiba ng BHB.

Dalawang sundalo ng 94th IB ang patay nang magsagawa ng operasyong isnayp ang BHB-Negros laban sa mga nakaistasyong sundalo sa kanilang kampo sa Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental noong Enero 29, alas-2 ng hapon. Ipinagbunyi ng mga residente ang nasabing opensiba laban sa 94th IB, na nagsasagawa ng operasyong “peace and development” sa naturang barangay.

Responsable ang 94th IB sa mga pamamaslang at iligal na pagdakip sa mga magsasaka noong Disyembre 27, 2018, gayundin sa iligal na panghahalughog sa mga kabahayan sa di bababa sa anim na sityo ng naturang barangay. Itinulak nito ang daan-daang residente na sapilitang lisanin ang kanilang mga bahay dahil sa takot.

Isang sundalo ng 15th IB ang napatay at isa pa ang nasugatan nang makasagupa nila ang BHB-Negros sa Sityo Pacama, Barangay Magballo, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental noong Enero 18.

Sa Quezon, pinaralisa ng BHB-Quezon ang mga kagamitan ng mapaminsalang kumpanyang Pacific Summit Construction Group, Inc. sa Sityo Pandarawan, Barangay Maragondon, Real, Quezon noong Enero 21. Kabilang sa pinaralisa ng BHB ang tatlong dumptruck, dalawang backhoe, generator set, transit mixer at loader.

Mapangwasak sa kapaligiran ang mga operasyon ng kampanyang ito. Dahil sa pagtatayo ng kumpanya ng isang hydroelectric plant, daan-daang residente ang napalayas at nawalan ng kanilang kabuhayan.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Apat na magsasaka, pinatay

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 7): Apat na magsasaka, pinatay

Apat na magsaaka ang pinatay ng rehimeng US-Duterte nitong nakaraang dalawang buwan habang tuluy-tuloy ang mga atake at panggigipit nito sa mga taong-simbahan at iba pang sektor na tumututol sa pasismo ng estado.

Sa Surigao del Sur, dalawang magsasakang Lumad ang pinatay ng mga sundalo ng 36th IB, bahagi ng papatinding mga paglabag ng rehimen sa karapatang-tao sa Northern Mindanao sa ilalim ng batas militar. (Tingnan ang detalye sa kaugnay na artikulo sa pahina 10.)

Sa Zamboanga del Sur, pinatay ng mga elemento ng PNP-Region 9 Public Safety Battalion si Sergio Atay, 35, myembro ng Magbabaul-Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. Ayon sa mga saksi, binabaybay ni Atay ang haywey sa hangganan ng Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental at Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte noong Enero 28 nang harangin siya ng mga pulis sa isang tsekpoynt, dinakip at ininteroga. Kinabukasan, natagpuan ang kanyang bangkay sa Barangay San Roque, Rizal. May limang tama ng baril sa ulo si Atay, nakagapos at may mga palatandaan ng tortyur. Matagal nang pinararatangan ng mga militar at pulis si Atay at ang kanyang asawa na mga myembro ng BHB.

Sa Camarines Sur, isang ginang, si Rowena Gavina, ang pinatay ng mga sundalo ng pinagsanib na pwersa ng 96th at 97th Military Intelligence Company, 5th Intelligence and Security Unit, at 83rd IB nang kubkubin ng mga ito ang bahay ng biktima noong Enero 30, alas-6 ng umaga sa Barangay Tierra Nevada, Tinambac. Matapos nito’y iprinisinta ang bangkay ni Gavina bilang myembro umano ng BHB.

Intimidasyon at panggigipit sa mga pari .Anim na pari ng Iglesia Filipina Independiente ang ginipit ng mga ahente ng estado sa magkasunod na araw.

Noong Enero 30, umabot sa 17 sundalo at pulis ang nagpailalim kay Rev. Fr. Marco Sulayao sa intimidasyon at panggigipit. Alas-9 ng araw na iyon, habang nasa byahe si Fr. Sulayao mula Iloilo patungong Bacolod, umupo sa malapit ang tatlong naka-unipormeng pulis. Pagdating sa Bacolod, pitong sundalo naman na naka-full battle gear ang naupo sa katabing mesa kung saan siya kumakain ng pananghalian. Matapos nito, pagbaba ng pari sa bus sa San Carlos City bandang alas-4 ng hapon, pitong nakaunipormeng pulis naman ang nagmamatyag sa kanya at kinukunan siya ng litrato.

Kinabukasan, sa Pambansang Katedral ng IFI sa Taft Avenue sa Maynila, dalawang ahente ng estado ang iniulat na naniktik kina Fr. Cristopher Ablon, Fr. Marciano Carabio, Fr. Jerome Lito at Fr. Arnold Abuel. Mula pagpasok ng mga pari sa katedral bandang alas-7 ng gabi, hanggang paglabas nila kinalaunan, ay nagmamatyag ang dalawa. Magkaangkas din sa motorsiklo ang dalawa habang sinusundan ang traysikel na sinasakyan ng mga pari.

Panggigipit sa mga aktibista. Noong Enero 23, bandang alas-4:30 ng hapon, halos kalahating oras na binuntunan ng tatlong ahente ng estado ang sasakyan ni Reylan Vergara mula sa Barangay Tagbak hanggang sa sentro ng Jaro sa Iloilo City. Si Vergara ang pambansang bise presidente ng Karapatan.

Isang linggo bago nito, pinagbantaan ng isang nagpakilalang Lt. Ronaldo ang lider magsasaka sa Panay na si Elmer Arlao. Pinatitigil ni Ronaldo si Arlao sa pag-oorganisa ng mga magsasaka, at kung hindi ay matutulad umano sa mga biktima ng Oplan Tokhang.

Nakatanggap naman ng mga pagbabanta sa text noong Enero ang mga lider estudyante na sina Khim Russel Abalos ng University Student Council; Jose Mari Callueng, pambansang tagapangulo ng College Editors Guild of the Philippines; Raoul Manuel, pangkalahatang kalihim ng National Union of Students of the Philippines at Ivy Joy Taroma, Student Regent ng University of the Philippines. Inakusahan sila ng AFP na mga “rekruter ng NPA.”

Sapilitang pagpapalayas sa mga komunidad. Buu-buong mga komunidad ang napilitang lisanin ang kanilang mga bahay at kabuhayan dulot ng walang puknat na militarisasyon at pambobomba ng AFP.

Sa Samar, 34 pamilya naman mula sa Barangay Bay-ang, San Jorge ang nanunuluyan ngayon sa municipal health clinic ng naturang bayan dahil sa takot dulot ng operasyong militar ng 63rd IB at walang habas na pag-iistraping ng mga helikopter sa kanilang mga barangay na nagsimula noong Enero 15.

Sa Sulu, mahigit 300 residente ng Barangay Latih sa Patikul ang sapilitang napalayas dahil sa tuluy-tuloy na airstrike ng militar sa kanilang komunidad.

Samantala, noong Pebrero 4, nagpatrulya ang mga elemento ng 94th IB, kasama ang CAFGU na si Renan Malig-on, sa Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City. Sapilitan nilang pinasok ang bahay ni Bebong Alpeche at isang kinilalang “Amay”.

Demolisyon sa mga maralita. Bagamat walang kautusan mula sa korte, pinagwawasak ng mga maton at pulis ang 31 kabahayan sa Riverside, Barangay Looc, Mandaue City noong Enero 30 bandang alas-9 ng gabi. Apektado ng demolisyon ang 200 residente na wala ngayong matitirhan dahil sa kawalan ng planong relokasyon ng lokal na pamahalaan.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Papatinding atake sa mamamayan ng NMR

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 7): Papatinding atake sa mamamayan ng NMR

Papatindi ang mga atake ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa mamamayan ng Mindanao, laluna sa mga magsasaka at pambansang minorya, sa ilalim ng batas militar. Partikular sa Northern Mindanao, tumaas ang bilang ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, iligal na pang-aaresto at detensyon, pananakot, panggigipit, sapilitang pagpapasurender at militarisasyon ng buu-buong komunidad.

Ang mga ito ay naglalayong patahimikin ang pakikibaka ng mamamayan para sa lupa, lupang ninuno at karapatan para sa pagpapasya sa sarili. Gayundin, layunin nitong bigyang-daan ang interes ng mga korporasyong nag-aari ng malalawak na plantasyon at mga mandarambong sa kalikasan.

Ayon sa mga ulat ng mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang-tao, mula nang ipataw ang batas militar sa Mindanao hanggang Disyembre 2018, mayroon nang hindi bababa sa limang kaso ng bigong pamamaslang, isang kaso ng pagkawala, 10 biktima ng pagtortyur, 100 kaso ng iligal na pag-aresto at detensyon, 465 pananakot, harasment at intimidasyon, 245 biktima ng walang pakundangang pamamaril, 727 pambobomba at 1,827 indibidwal ang biktima ng pwersahang paglikas.

Tumaas din nang ilang daan ang bilang ng kaso ng huwad at sapilitang pagpapasuko sa Bukidnon partikular sa bayan ng San Fernando, Quezon, Pangantucan, Sumilao at Impasug-ong. Kabilang sa mga naisadokumento ng grupo ang kaso ng pamamaslang noong Setyembre 15, 2018 kay Rex Hangadon, isang magsasakang Lumad na binaril ng mga sundalo ng 23rd IB habang nagpapahinga sa kanyang kubo sa Sityo Bulak, Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. Samantala, ang kanyang ama na kasama niya sa panahong ito ay nawawala.

Pagpasok ng 2019, litaw ang paggamit ng rehimen ng mga sibilyang institusyon at ahensya para sa mga layuning militar sa ilalim ng “whole-of-nation approach” at 12 Pillars ng NISP. Kabilang ang sumusunod sa pinakahuling mga kaso ng pamamaslang at panggigipit ang sumusunod:

Pamamaslang. Dalawang magsasakang Lumad, si Randel Gallego at Emel Tejero, ang pinatay ng mga sundalo ng 36th IB noong Enero 24 sa Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. Si Gallego at Tejero, kasama ang apat pang magsasaka, ay tumungo sa Sityo Dilinggion, Km 30 sa naturang barangay upang mag-ani ng abaka. Habang naglalakad pauwi bandang alas-2 ng hapon, nakasalubong ni Gallego, Tejero at dalawa pa nilang kasamahan sa Km 19 ang mga sundalo. Agad na pinaputukan ng militar ang grupo, at tinamaan sina Gallego at Tejero. Nakaligtas ang dalawa nilang kasama at nag-ulat sa komunidad.

Samantala, ang dalawa pang magsasakang naiwan sa abakahan ay nagdesisyong umuwi matapos marinig ang putukan. Nakasalubong nila ang mga sundalo at sila’y iligal na inaresto. Dinala sila pabalik sa abakahan, iginapos at magdamag na isinailalim sa interogasyon. Kinabukasan na sila pinalaya ng mga sundalo.

Matapos ang limang araw, ibinalita ng 401st Brigade na sina Gallego at Tejero ay mga myembro umano ng BHB na napatay nila sa labanan.

Ang mga sundalo ng 401st Brigade, kabilang ang 75th IB, 36th IB at 16th SFB, ang umaatake sa mga komunidad ng mga Manobo sa Lianga, Marihatag, San Agustin at Tago simula pa noong Disyembre 2018.

Iligal na pang-aaresto. Sunud-sunod na iligal na inaresto ng mga sundalo at pulis ang anim na aktibista sa Misamis Oriental noong Enero 28 at 30.

Noong Enero 28, dinukot ng mga sundalo ng 65th IB at PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group sina Datu Jomorito Goaynon, tagapangulo ng Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, at si Ireneo Udarbe, tagapangulo ng Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas sa Northern Mindanao.

Mula sa kanilang upisina sa Barangay Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City, bumiyahe ang dalawa bandang alas-10 ng umaga para makipagpulong sa isang myembrong organisasyon ng Kalumbay at pagkatapos ay makipagdayalogo sa mga kinatawan ng 65th IB hinggil sa mga reklamo ng panggigipit at pwersahang pagpapasuko na ginagawa ng mga sundalo. Hindi na nakarating sa pulong ang dalawa at naputol ang komunikasyon sa kanilang mga pamilya at kasamahan.

Kinabukasan, iniharap sila sa publiko bilang mga lider umano ng BHB at sinampahan ng gawa-gawang kaso batay sa mga tanim na ebidensya.

Noon namang Enero 30, bandang alas-6:30 ng gabi, nilusob ng parehong yunit ng PNP at AFP ang upisina ng Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association (MOFA) sa Barangay Looc, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. Dinakip sina Jerry Basahon, 48, tagapangulo ng MOFA; Gerald Basahon, 43, myembro ng konseho ng MOFA at mga istap na sina Marivic Coleta, 22, at Mylene Coleta, 19.

Bukod dito, kinuha rin ng mga umaresto ang dalawang paslit at isang menor-de-edad at ibinibimbin sa DSWD. Gamit ang ahensya, mistulang hostage ang mga batang pinaghihinalaang anak ng BHB. Maniobra ito ng estado upang obligahin ang magulang ng mga bata na magpakita. Pagyurak ito sa karapatan ng mga bata na mamuhay ng malaya at ligtas sa lahat ng klase ng karahasan. Ang karapatang ito dapat ay tinataguyod pangunahin ng estado.

Bago pinasok ng mga sundalo at pulis ang upisina, pinaputukan muna nila ito, at tinutukan ng baril maging ang mga bata. Nagtanim ng ebidensyang baril at mga pampasabog ang mga sundalo at pulis at inakusahan ang apat na mga myembro ng BHB.

Militarisasyon at pambobomba sa mga komunidad ng mga Lumad. Nitong Enero 21, ilang serye ng pambobomba ang isinagawa ng AFP malapit sa komunidad ng Decoy, Panukmoan, Manluy-a, at Km. 15 sa Barangay Diatagon. Dahil dito, napwersang lisanin ng 55 pamilya ang kanilang mga bahay. Noon namang Enero 22, 64 pamilya at 333 na indibidwal mula sa mga komunidad sa Manluy-a, Panukmoan at Decoy sa Lianga, Agusan del Sur ang lumikas dahil sa walang humpay na operasyong militar at pambobomba. Sila ay kasalukuyang dumaranas ng matinding truma at kagutuman dulot ng food blockade at pambobomba.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Katarungan para sa lahat ng biktima ng pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte

Propaganda article from the Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Feb 7): Katarungan para sa lahat ng biktima ng pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte

Pinanghahawakan ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa na ang pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte ang ganap na responsable sa walang-pakundangang pagpatay kay Randy Felix Malayao, konsultant pangkapayapaan ng NDFP noong Enero 30. Isang buwan lamang bago ang pagpatay kay Malayao, hayagang inendorso mismo ni Duterte ang malawakang mga pagpatay at inutusan ang kanyang mga death squad na likidahin ang mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa at mga tagasuporta ng Partido at rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Ang pagpatay kay Malayao ay simula ng mas pinasidhing terorismo ng estado at armadong pagsupil sa mga aktibistang nasa unahan ng malawak na nagkakaisang paglaban sa tiraniya ni Duterte. Si Malayao ang unang kilalang pambansang personahe na pinatay ng mga pwersang panseguridad ng estado matapos ang mahabang panahon. Ang pagpatay kay Malayao ay maaaring senyales na sa mga death squad ni Duterte na isagawa ang tahasang pagpatay sa mga lider masa at aktibista at iba pang mga pwersang oposisyon.

Sa harap ng patuloy na pagkabigong gapiin ang armadong rebolusyonaryong kilusan, ibinubulalas ng rehimeng Duterte ang pasistang galit nito laban sa mga ligal na pwersang demokratiko gamit ang mga pangkat asasinasyon at pagbabaluktot sa mga batas at prosesong ligal upang higpitan ang mga organisasyong masa at progresibong institusyon. Armadong sinusupil ng mga ahenteng panseguridad ng estado ang mga magsasaka at manggagawa, gayundin ang mga guro, estudyante, abugado, mamamahayag at iba pang sektor, laluna yaong aktibong naggigiit ng kanilang demokratikong karapatan at interes at kritikal sa tiraniya ni Duterte.

Lumilitaw na pursigido si Duterte sa deklarasyon niyang isagawa ang “estilong Suharto” ng malawakang pagpatay tulad ng ginawang pagsalbeyds sa mahigit isang milyong kasapi at sumusuporta sa Partido Komunista ng Indonesia noong 1965-66 sa utos ng noo’y Gen. Suharto na malao’y magtatatag ng 30-taon madugong diktadurang militar.

Sa ambisyong maging pasistang diktador at panatilihin ang burukrata-kapitalistang paghahari ng kanyang pamilya at pangkat, nahuhumaling ngayon si Duterte sa paglupig sa mga pwersang pambansa-demokratiko bilang isa sa susing hakbangin sa kanyang iskemang tiraniko. Dumarami ngayon ang kaso ng ekstrahudisyal na pagpatay, mga masaker, pagdukot, sarbeylans, pagtortyur, arbitraryong pag-aresto, pagsasampa ng gawa-gawang kaso, matagalang pagkukulong, pagpwersa sa mga tao na “sumurender,” iligalisasyon at pagsasara ng mga paaralang pangkomunidad at iba pang grabeng pang-aabuso.

Sa ilalim ng Oplan Kapayapaan at National Internal Security Plan ng 2018, niyuyurakan ng pasistang pagsalakay ang karapatan ng puo-puong libong mamamayan. Bukod pa rito ang ilampung libong pinatay ng mga pwersang panseguridad ng estado at sinusuportahan nitong mga death squad sa tinaguriang “drug war” ni Duterte para kontrolin ang iligal na bentahan ng droga, gayundin ang ilandaang libong mamamayang Moro na ang mga karapata’y patuloy na inaapakan sa gera ni Duterte para kontrolin ang yaman ng lupang Bangsamoro.

Habang pinaiigting ni Duterte ang kampanya ng mga pagpatay at todong panunupil, umaalingawngaw sa buong bansa ang sigaw ng malawak na masa: Katarungan para kay Malayao! Katarungan para sa mga magsasakang pinapatay sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa at minasaker sa Sagay, Lake Sebu at iba pang lugar! Katarungan para sa mga manggagawang sinusupil dahil sa paggigiit ng karapatang mag-organisa at magwelga! Katarungan para sa daan-daang mga bilanggong pulitikal! Katarungan para sa puo-puong batang basta-basta ibinibimbin sa ngalan ng “proteksyon ng estado!” Katarungan para sa mga guro at iba pang walang katwirang sinasarbeylans at sinisindak! Katarungan para sa mga mamamahayag, abugado at iba pang target ng “Red-tagging” o pagpaparatang na komunista at pagbabanta! Katarungan para sa ilanlibong walang habas na pinaslang sa gera sa droga ni Duterte! Katarungan para sa daan-daan libong biktima ng walang pakundangang pagwasak sa Marawi City! Katarungan para sa kababaihang biktima ng walang hupa at walang-kahihiyang pandurusta ni Duterte! Katarungan para sa mga relihiyosong walang-lubay na inaatake ng panatisismo at pang-uudyok sa karahasan ni Duterte! Katarungan para sa buong sambayanang Pilipino na biktima ng tiraniya at terorismo ni Duterte!

Sa pakikibaka para sa katarungan, dapat paigtingin ng sambayanang Pilipino ang kanilang mga pampulitikang pakikibaka para malawakang ilantad, tuligsain at labanan ang pasistang atake ng rehimeng Duterte. Dapat silang maging mapangahas, agresibo at laging nasa opensiba upang papanagutin ang rehimen sa bawat isang kaso ng pang-aabuso ng militar pulis sa kapangyarihan. Dapat silang magrali sa lansangan upang gamitin ang kolektibong lakas ng masa. Kasabay nito, dapat silang magpunyagi sa mga pakikibakang ligal upang igiit ang kanilang mga karapatan sa ilalim ng internasyunal na mga batas at maging sa ilalim ng reaksyunaryong konstitusyon.

Binubuklod ang sambayanang Pilipino ng sigaw para sa katarungan sa harap ng paghahari ng teror ni Duterte. Dapat itong paalingawngawin sa mga pabrika, kampus, upisina, mga simbahan, komunidad at iba pa. Pinatatatag at pinalalawak nito ang kanilang nagkakaisang prente laban sa tiraniya at pasismo ni Duterte. Pinalalakas nito ang kanilang loob para lumaban kahit sa harap ng mga pagpatay, pananakot at pagbabanta.

Kasabay nito, dapat pukawin at pakilusin ang malawak na masa upang ang kanilang diskuntentong panlipunan ay maging pakikibaka para isulong ang kanilang mga karapatang pang-ekonomya at hangarin para sa katarungang panlipunan. Dapat magpunyagi sila sa sigaw para sa umento sa sahod at sweldo, para sa trabaho, lupa para sa nagsasaka, pabahay sa mga walang tirahan at iba pa. Dapat pukawin ang bayan upang tuligsain ang rehimen para sa pagpapataw ng pabigat na mga buwis at kabiguang kontrolin ang sumisirit na presyo ng pagkain at ibang saligang pangangailangan. Dapat nilang ilantad ang tinaguriang mga “programang pangkagalingan” ng rehimen, batikusin ang lubhang kakulangan ng serbisyong panlipunan at kundenahin ang korapsyon at pandarambong ng rekurso ng estado ng iilang burukratang kapitalista at malalaking burgesyang kumprador.

Sa harap ng tumitinding walang habas na atake ng rehimeng Duterte, dapat matalinong lumaban ang mga organisasyong masa para umiwas at biguin ang kampanya ng mga pag-aresto at pagpatay at maging handang gamitin ang kinakailangang mga taktika, kabilang ang pagbubuo ng malalim at malapad na lihim na lambat, kontra-paniniktik, pagbubunyag sa social media ng mga lihim na operatiba ng estado, at iba pa. Anumang oras, ang mga target ng pagpatay ay maaaring tumungo sa kanayunan kung saan maaari silang magpakanlong sa mga rebolusyonaryong base o kaya’y sumapi sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan.

Ang brutalidad ng rehimeng US-Duterte ay dapat ilantad na nagsisilbi kapwa sa kanyang paghahangad para sa absolutong kapangyarihan at sa pagtatanggol sa interes ng malalaking panginoong maylupa at malalaking burgesyang kumprador. Matalas na nauunawaan ng bayan na ang kanilang sigaw para sa katarungan ay nakakawing sa pakikibaka para wakasan ang rehimeng US-Duterte at sa kadulu-duluha’y nakadugtong sa rebolusyonaryong pagwawakas sa naghaharing mapang-api at mapagsamantalang Sistema.

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

CPP/NPA-Bicol: Kubkob sa Tinambac, Patunay ng Kabangisan ng 9th IDPA

NPA-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 11, 2019): Kubkob sa Tinambac, Patunay ng Kabangisan ng 9th IDPA

New People's Army
Raymundo Buenafuerza
NPA-Bicol Region (Romulo Jallores Command)
February 11, 2019           
Ang kubkob sa Tinambac ay hindi tagumpay ng 9th IDPA kung hindi pagpapatunay lamang ng sukdulang pagkabulok at kawalan ng respeto sa karapatang-tao at tahasang paglabag sa protokol ng digma ng mersenaryong hukbo sa ilalim ng itinataguyod na pasistang diktadura ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Noong mga nakaraang linggo, bumaha sa balita ang kaliwa’t kanang pagpaparada ng 9th IDPA sa kanilang umano ay matatagumpay na aksyong militar laban sa BHB. Ayon sa kanila, pagpasok pa lamang ng taon ay malaking bigwas na ang ininda ng BHB sa Kabikulan mula sa kanilang pinaigting na mga operasyon. Pinakatampok sa kanilang mga tinaguriang tagumpay ang kubkob sa isang yunit ng BHB sa Brgy. Lupi, Tinambac, Camarines Sur noong Enero 30. Sa labis na pagkahumaling sa kanilang hungkag na tagumpay, kagyat pa silang nagsagawa ng isang awarding ceremony kung saan ginawaran ng parangal at gantimpala ang mga elemento ng 83rd IBPA na kasabay sa operasyon.

Ngunit, tagumpay nga bang maipagmamalaki ang pagpaslang nila sa sibilyang si Rowena Gabina at ang walang awang pagpaslang sa isang pulang mandirigmang wala nang kakayahang lumaban sa naturang insidente sa Tinambac? Marapat nga bang bigyang gantimpala ang mga mamamatay-taong militar na sa halip na tumindig para sa kapakanan ng mamamayan ay siyang nangunguna sa pang-aabuso at pagpatay sa libu-libong masa kapwa sa kanayunan at kalunsuran?

Sa desperadong pagsisikap ng 9th IDPA na durugin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Kabikulan, sumasalig na lamang sila sa mga pinakabrutal at pinakamaruruming pamamaraan. Nagpapakadalubhasa sila sa pananakot, pagsampa ng mga gawa-gawang kasong kriminal, pagdukot, tortyur at pagpatay sa mga sibilyan. Sa loob ng lampas isang dekadang pananalakay ng 9th IDPA sa rehiyon, wala itong ibang maipagmamalaking tagumpay kung hindi ang patung-patong na kaso ng abusong militar, pagwasak sa kabuhayan ng masa at pamamaslang. Sa katunayan, noong nakaraang taon lamang ay ikalawa ang Bikol sa mayroong naitalang pinakamataas na kaso ng masaker sa buong bansa.

Sa proteksyon ni Duterte, sumahol ang dati nang kawalang-pananagutan ng AFP at PNP at lalong naging masugid ang mga mersenaryo sa paghahabol ng gantimpalang perang kapalit ng bawat kasapi umano ng BHB na kanilang mapapaslang. Kung pagbabatayan ang mga internasyunal na batas ng digma, marapat na isaalang-alang ng lahat ng panig ang karapatan at buhay ng mga sibilyan at mga kombatant na wala na sa pusisyon upang lumaban. Ngunit sa halip na tumalima rito, pinatay ng militar ang sibilyang naroon sa lugar gayundin ang ilang mga kasamang inabutan nilang sugatan at maaari pa sanang lapatan ng lunas. Ang masahol pa, sa kabila ng mga fact finding mission na nagpapatunay na sibilyan si Rowena Gabina ay iginigiit pa rin ng mga duwag na mersenaryong kasapi ng BHB ang kanilang pinaslang.

Hindi nakapagtataka kung gayon ang ibayong pagsalig ng masa sa tunay na hukbong naglilingkod sa kanila – ang BHB. Nananatili ang pampulitikang superyoridad ng pwersa ng BHB at ibayong lumaki ang bilang ng kasapiang nasa mainam na pusisyon upang gapiin ang kaaway dahil patuloy nitong tinatamasa ang walang maliw na suporta ng masang inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan. Malinaw ang mga batayang nagtutulak sa masang tumangan ng armas at ipagtanggol ang kanilang sarili laban sa mersenaryong hukbong tinuturing na tagumpay ang pagpaslang sa kanila.

Ano pa mang pagpapabango sa publiko at tagumpay na ipamarali ng militar, alam ng masa ang saligang pagkakaiba ng BHB sa AFP. Lehitimo ang lahat ng target ng mga opensiba ng BHB. Tinitiyak na walang sibilyang maaaring madamay bago pa man ilunsad ang mga aksyong militar. Kahit sa panahong sinasalakay ng kaaway, kung tinatayang mayroong madadamay na sibilyan ay kagyat na nagmamaniobra ang mga kasama palayo sa komunidad kahit pa sapat ang kakayahan nitong harapin ang militar. Hindi tulad ng berdugong militar, buong pagpapakumbaba ring nagpupuna-sa-sarili at nagbibigay ng makatarungang bayad-pinsala ang BHB sa mga pagkakataong mayroong sibilyang hindi-sinasadyang madamay sa kurso ng isang taktikal na opensiba. Malaki ang kaibahan nito sa mga walang-pakundangang operasyon ng AFP na hindi isinasaalang-alang ang buhay ng mga sibilyan at mismong mga elemento nito.

Kaisa ng masang Bikolano ang BHB-Bikol sa pagkundena at pagngangalit sa tigas-mukhang pagpapangalandakan ng militar ng kanilang mga tropeyo ng digmang tigmak ng dugo ng ilang daang masang kanilang pinaslang. Kasabay din ng lahat ng mga kaanak ng mga pinaslang ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa pagdakila sa buhay ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay at sa paggigiit ng katarungan. Hindi titigil ang BHB sa rehiyon at sa buong bansa sa pagtatanggol ng karapatan ng mamamayan at sa pagsusulong ng digmang bayan na tatapos sa pang-aapi at pagsasamantala. Hanggat hindi nakakamit ng mamamayan ang isang lipunang tunay na demokratiko at nagsisilbi sa kanilang interes, walang makapipigil sa pagdaluyong ng makatwirang digmang ilinulunsad ng lahat ng uring inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan.

CPP/NPA-East Camarines Sur: Pahayag ng BHB East Camarines Sur hinggil sa kubkob sa Tinambac

NPA-East Camarines Sur propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 12, 2019): Pahayag ng BHB East Camarines Sur hinggil sa kubkob sa Tinambac

Baldomero Arcanghel
NPA-East Camarines Sur (Tomas Pilapil Command)
New People's Army
February 12, 2019

Enero 30,2019: ganap na 6:00 ng umaga nang magkasagupa ang isang yunit ng BHB ng Tomas Pilapil Command – East Cam Sur at tropa ng 83rd IBn PA sa barangay Lupi, Tinambac Camarines Sur. Sa loob ng mahigit 20 minuto labanan limang kasama at isang sibilyan ang nagbuwis ng buhay.

Isang mataas na pagpupugay ang iginagawad ng Tomas Pilapil Command – BHB East Camarines Sur kina Randy (Ka Ben) Vega, Marvin (Ka Jazz) Baao, Florante (Ka Dan) Empeňo, Johnny (Ka Mateo) Flores, at Florencio (Ka Rene) Iliw-iliw. Sila ang mga kasamang sa araw-araw na paggampan sa sinumpaang tungkulin ay hindi alintana ang pagod at hirap, at buong tatag na sinuong ang landas ng rebolusyon para maabot ang minimithing kalayaan at pangarap na kasaganaan ng uring api at mga pinagsasamantalahan. Kailanman hindi natinag ang kanilang paninindigan na itaguyod ang makauring interes ng manggawa, magsasaka, at iba pang api at pinagsasamantalahan buhay man nila ang naging kapalit. Sa gitna ng pagdadalamhati ng mga kaanak, kaibigan at mga kakilala ng mga nasawi ipinapaabot ng Tomas Pilapil Command – NPA East Cam Sur ang marubdob na pakikiramay at taas kamaong pakikiisa para sa patuloy na paglaban. Pumanaw man sila mananatili at nakaukit sa alaala ng mga kasama at masa ang kanilang ambag sa rebolusyong Pilipino. Magsisilbi itong maningning na mga tala na lagi’t laging tatanawin at magbibigay init upang pag-alabin ang rebolusyonaryong diwa at damdamin ng mga kasamang naiwan na magpapatuloy sa mga naiwan nilang gawain at tungkulin sa rebolusyon. Mapulang saludo rin ang iginagawad ng Tomas Pilapil Command sa mga upisyal at kawal ng yunit ng BHB na buong tapang at giting na lumaban sa umatakeng tropa ng 83rd IB PA.

Hindi maisasantabi ang pagkamatay ni Rowena Barobo Gabina, isang sibilyan na nasawi sa ginawang pag-atake ng tropa ng 83rd IB PA . Sa Batas at mga Alituntunin ng Kumbensyon Geneva isinasaad sa Protocol ll ang proteksyon sa mga sibilyan sa panahon ng digmaan. “Dapat pag-ibahin ang mga sibilyan at sundalo upang mapangalagan ang mga sibilyan at ang kanilang mga ari-arian. Tanging mga target na militar lamang ang maaaring maging target ng anumang operasyong militar. ” Malinaw sa nangyaring labanan na hindi isina-alang-alang at masusing pinag-aralan ng umatakeng tropa ng 83rd IB ang sitwasyon sa lugar. Pagpapakita lamang ito ng kawalan ng pagpapahalaga sa kapakanan ng mga sibilyan sa panig ng 8rd IB PA. Dagdag na naman itong paglabag at hindi pagsunod sa isinasaad sa Protocol ll ng Kumbensyong Geneva.

Nanawagan ang Tomas Pilapil Command sa mamamayan sa buong Distrito ng Partido o 4th District ng probinsya ng Camarines Sur na magkaisa, ilantad at labanan ang anumang pasistang panunupil ng mga tropa ng 83rd IB PA na may mahabang rekord ng paglabag sa karapatan ng mga sibilyan at sa kondukta ng digma.

Sa gitna ng deklarasyong “All Out War” ng rehimeng US-Duterte, mananatiling matatag at taglay ang kumpyansa ng mga yunit ng BHB sa ilalim ng Tomas Pilapil Command – East Camarines Sur na isulong ang digmang bayan tungo sa tagumpay.

Baldomero Arcanghel

PIO – Tomas Pilapil Command

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Paparaming Bilang ng Sibilyan ang Biktima ng Pasismo ng 9th IDPA sa Bisa ng MO 32 ng Rehimeng US-Duterte

NDF-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 13, 2019): Paparaming Bilang ng Sibilyan ang Biktima ng Pasismo ng 9th IDPA sa Bisa ng MO 32 ng Rehimeng US-Duterte

Maria Roja Banua
Spokesperson | NDF-Bicol
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
February 13, 2019
Mga magsasaka at hindi kasapi ng BHB ang apat na residente ng Sityo Pulang Daga, Brgy. Baya, Ragay, Camarines Sur na dinukot at iligal na dinetine ng mga elemento ng 9th IBPA noong ika-9 ng Pebrero. Sina Christian Rañon, Romel ‘Boboy’ Esmero, Ricky Bendaña at Rico Bendaña ay tinortyur sa loob ng dalawang araw. Matapos ang kahanga-hangang pagsisikap ng lokal na mga upisyal ng naturang barangay at mga taumbaryo na mabawi ang mga biktima, napilitan ang militar na ibalik ang kanilang mga dinukot. Gayunpaman, nananatiling hawak ng mga berdugo si Ricky Bendaña.
Mahigpit na kinukundena ng NDF-Bikol ang tahasang paglabag ng militar sa karapatang-tao at ang patuloy na paggigiit ni Col. Paul Regencia, tagapagsalita ng 9th IDPA, na hindi militar ang dumukot sa apat sa kabila ng mabibigat na ebidensyang nagpapatunay nito. Liban sa personal nang pinakiusapan ni Kap. Marciana Quiñones si Lt. Col. Abella, Battalion Commander ng 9th IBPA na iharap at patunayang nasa mabuting kalagayan ang apat, pinatutunayan mismo ng pahayag ng mga biktima na militar ang dumukot sa kanila dahil nakita na nila ang ilan sa mga ito sa mga sakyada sa kanilang barangay.
Lubhang nakababahala ang paghuhugas ng kamay ng militar sa naturang insidente.   Sa pahayag ni Col. Regencia, tinatanggal ng 9th IDPA ang lahat ng pananagutan sa anumang maaaring mangyari sa apat na magsasaka laluna kay Ricky Bendaña na hanggang ngayon ay nasa kanila pa ring kustodiya.  Alam ng masa ang duguan at brutal na kasaysayan ng 9th IDPA.  Ilang buwan pa lamang ang lumipas mula nang dakipin, tortyurin at ilibing nang buhay sina Roberto Naris, 30 taong gulang, Ronel Naris, 28 taong gulang at Antonio Bonagua, 19 taong gulang, ng tropa ng 9th IDPA sa Patalunan, Ragay.  Tulad nang sinasabi nila ngayon sa kaso ng apat na magsasaka sa Brgy. Baya, iisa ang naging pahayag noon ng 9th IDPA hinggil sa masaker sa Patalunan sa kabila ng malakas na ebidensya at testimonya ng mga nakasaksing nagdidiin sa militar – wala sa kanilang kustodiya ang tatlo.
Matapos ang ilang araw sumulpot ang pagdukot kay Rachel Malacca ng Brgy. Patulanan sa parehong araw ng pagdukot sa apat na magsasaka. Hindi pa natatagpuan ngayon si Malacca.
Sa bisa ng mga mapanupil na atas tulad ng MO 32 ni Duterte, kasalukuyang hinahambalos ang mamamayan ng pinasahol na pandarahas sa kamay ng berdugong militar.  Sa ilalim ng de facto na batas militar, walang kapantay na kalupitan ang dinaranas ngayon ng masa.  Wala ni kapiranggot na pagrespeto sa karapatang tao ang mersenaryong AFP.  Malaya nilang binabaluktot ang katotohanan at nakapagpapabango sa midya sa kabila ng kanilang mga krimen sa mamamayan dahil protektado sila ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno.   Malinaw na hindi kailanman maaasahan ng masa ang bulok na estadong ipagtanggol ang kanilang karapatan at protektahan sila mula sa pang-aabuso ng militar sapagkat ito mismo ang tagapagtaguyod ng gera laban sa taumbayan.  Walang ibang aasahan ang taumbayan kundi ang sariling lakas at pagkakaisa.
Pinagpupugayan ng NDF-Bikol ang lahat ng masang Bikolano, tagapagtanggol ng karapatang-tao, mga progresibong organisasyon, taong-simbahan, mga kagawad ng midya at mga makabayang upisyal ng lokal na gubyerno na kagyat na rumesponde at sumuporta sa pagbawi sa naturang mga sibilyan mula sa kamay ng mga berdugong militar. Kaisa nila ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa patuloy na pagtitiyak na mababawi si Ricky Bendaña at Rachel Malacca ligtas na makababalik sa kanilang lugar.
Dapat pagbayarin ng mamamayan ang kriminal at mamamatay-tao na 9th IDPA, AFP at ang buong rehimeng US-Duterte na nagbibigay ligalidad at proteksyon sa paghahasik ng pasismo at terorismong militar.  Nananawagan ang CPP-NPA-NDF Bikol sa mamamayang Bikolano na lumahok sa pakikibaka ng mamamayan para sa karapatan at katarungan.  Hinahamon ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ang mga lokal na upisyales ng gubyerno na manindigan para sa karapatan ng kanilang nasasakupan.  Sa tumitinding pagkubabaw ng militar sa sibilyang burukrasya, ngayon higit kailanman kinakailangan ang kanilang mapagpasyang pagtupad sa mandatong ipagtanggol ang masa sa kabila ng panunupil ng militar.
Sa panibagong krimeng ito laban sa mamamayan, nararapat at kinakailangang paigtingin ng mga yunit ng BHB ang mga taktikal na opensiba upang parusahan ang berdugong pwersa ng 9th IDPA at bigwasan ang pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte na labis na nagsasamantala at nang-aapi sa sambayanan.

CPP/NPA-Negros: Militarisasyon kag Mapintas nga SEMPO sa Guihulngan, Padayon Nagadislokar sa Pumuluyo

NPA-Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 14, 2019): Militarisasyon kag Mapintas nga SEMPO sa Guihulngan, Padayon Nagadislokar sa Pumuluyo

JB Regalado
NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command)
New People's Army
February 14, 2019

Mabaskog nga ginakondenar sang LPC-NPA ang padayon nga pagbayolar sang tawhanon nga kinamatarung sang mga inosenteng mangunguma sa Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

Karon nga adlaw Pebrero 14, 2019 alas 4:00 sang hapon, wala kaluoy nga ginsunog sang mga tropa sang 94th IBPA ang balay ni Arlene Pausal sang sityo Kanlabaw, Brgy Banwage, Guihulngan City. Matapos ang pagsunog sang nasambit nga puluy-an, gilayon man nga nagpinalupok ang nasambit nga tropa militar. Wala ang tagbalay sang natabo ang pagsunog kag pagpinalupok sang militar. Nagtuga ini sang kahadlok sa pumuluyo sa palibot kag kasikbit sini nga mga sityo.

Enero 14, 2019 , matapos nga ginsnayp sang NPA Snipers Team ang mga katapo sang 94th IBPA sakay sa reo military truck sa sini man nga lugar. Nadumduman, nag-agum ang ini nga tropa militar sang 9 tanan ka kaswalti. Nainit ang 94th IBPA sa NPA bunga sang dako nga halit sa ila hanay, ila ginpaukpan si Arlene Pausal. Ginransak sang nasambit nga pasistang tropa ang puluy-an ni Pausal dala ang pagpangawat sang iya mga pagkabutang.
Resulta, napilitan nga nagbakwit ang pamilya Pausal sa lugar.

Pebrero 2 alas 5:00 sang aga-ginransak man ang balay ni Amay Policher sa sityo Batung-buang, Brgy Trinidad, Guihulngan sang mga katapo sang 94th IBPA samtang wala man ini sang tawo ang nasambit nga puluy-an. Nadislokar man ang malinong nga pagpangabuhi kag temporaryo nga pagbiya sang pamilya Policher sa ila kaugalingon nga puluy-an bunga sang masingki nga militarisasyon sa lugar.

Ini nga paghitabo, kasugpon pa nga pagpanghalit sang militar kag kapulisan sa Guihulngan, sa ginlunsar nga Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operation/Oplan Sauron sang ginkumbinar nga pwersa sang AFP, SAF-PNP-PRO 7, mga katapo sang Civil Defense kag Barangay Peace Action Team sang Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental. Nadumduman, 6 tanan ang patay nga mga sibilyan resulta sang EJK, halos 50 ang ilegal nga ginpang-aresto, madamo sang ginpasakaan sang himu-himo nga kaso tuga sang planted nga mga armas kag pagtanum sang ilegal nga druga, pagpangransak sang mga kabalayan kag pagpangawat sang pagkabutang sang pumuluyo, paggamit sang peke nga mga search warrant kag bogus nga mga warrant of arrests batok sa mga biktima.

Padayon nga hublasan ang SEMPO, Oplan Sauron idalum sa Oplan Kapayapaan kag likod sang gyera kontra-terorismo sang US-Duterte nga rehimen.

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Bukas na Liham Para sa mga Kagawad ng Midya

NDF-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 14, 2019): Bukas na Liham Para sa mga Kagawad ng Midya

Maria Roja Banua
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
February 15, 2019

Una sa lahat, pinagpupugayan ng NDF-Bikol ang lahat ng masa at makabayang upisyal ng lokal na gubyerno na naging bahagi sa mabilis na pagbawi at pagtitiyak ng kaligtasan nina Christian Rañon, Romel “Boboy” Esmero, Ricky Bendaña at Rico Bendaña. Noong ika-9 ng Pebrero, dinukot at iligal na dinetine ng mga elemento ng 9th IBPA ang mga nasabing residente ng Sityo Pulang Daga, Brgy. Baya, Ragay, Camarines Sur. Ipinapaabot ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ang mahigpit na pagsuporta at pakikiisa sa pagkilos ng mamamayan upang mabawi ang natitirang biktima na si Ricky Bendaña at ligtas na makabalik sa kanilang lugar. Muling pinatunayan ng naturang insidente na sapat ang lakas ng mamamayan upang ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga karapatan at demokratikong interes laban sa pang-aatakeng pangunahing ilinulunsad ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno at ng kanyang mersenaryong hukbo.

Mga kasama sa midya, alam naming maging kayo ay nakararanas ng matinding panunupil at pang-aabuso. Marami sa inyo ang araw-araw nakararanas ng censorship, napipilitang lunukin ang prinsipyo upang hindi matanggal sa trabaho o kaya naman ay nakatatanggap ng banta sa buhay. Alam naming sa paninindigan ninyo para sa patas at maka-masang mga balita ay ilinalagay ninyo rin ang inyong mga sarili sa panganib. Sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte naitala ang ikalawa sa pinakamataas na bilang ng pagpaslang sa mga mamamahayag kung kaya naiintindihan naming marami sa inyo ang nangangamba para sa sariling kapakanan at para sa buhay ng inyong mga pamilya. Kamakailan lamang ay pinatay ng mga elemento ng militar si Felix Randy Malayao, isang NDFP consultant, sa Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Tulad ninyo, siya ay isa ring mamamahayag. Sa kanyang katapatan sa kanyang propesyon, unti-unti siyang namulat sa tunay na kalagayan ng bansa at kalaunan ay pinili ang pagsisilbi sa bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagsapi sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Alam naming mahirap pumiglas mula sa pambubusal laluna kung ang pinakamatataas na upisyales ng bansa at ang sandatahang lakas nito ang mismong tagapagtaguyod ng karahasan.

Ngunit mga kasama, ang pagiging mamamahayag ay isang dakilang propesyon. Mayroon kayong pambihirang pagkakataon na magsilbing boses at mata ng sambayanang inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan. Sa tulong ninyo, nailalantad ang kabulukan ng reaksyunaryong gubyerno at ibayong lumalakas ang loob ng mamamayan na manindigan para sa kanilang mga karapatan. Sa harap ng walang kasingsahol na paghahasik ng pasismo at terorismong militar ng AFP sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte, ibayo ring tumitingkad ang papel ng mga mamamahayag sa pagpapalaganap ng tunay na kalagayan sa publiko. Mula sa panahon ng La Liga Filipina hanggang sa panahon ng mosquito press nang ipinataw ni Marcos ang Batas Militar, naging bahagi ang midya ng makasaysayang tungkulin na imulat ang masa at maging bahagi ng kanilang makatwirang paglaban.

Naniniwala kami sa inyong talas at tapang na suriin ang lipunan at ang problemang bumabayo sa taumbayan. Alam naming araw-araw ninyong nasasaksihan ang kahirapan at pagdurusa ng mamamayan sa ilalim ng pamumuno ng pasista at teroristang rehimeng US-Duterte. Naiintindihan ninyo ang aral ng kasaysayan – na hindi kailanman magtatagumpay ang kamay na bakal laluna sa gitna ng papasidhing krisis ng bansa at pagsambulat ng pandaigdigang krisis. Sa ilalim ng batas militar ni Marcos, isa sa pinakamalalagim na yugto ng kasalukuyang kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, hindi nagpasupil, bagkus ibayong lumakas ang iba’t ibang porma ng paglaban ng mamamayan. Ang pasismo at terorismo ng estado mismo at ang kawalan ng paggalang nito sa mga demokratikong karapatan at interes ng masa ang siyang nagtutulak sa maraming mamamayan para ipagtanggol ang kanilang sarili at itakwil ang reaksyunaryong gubyerno.

Mga kasama sa midya, ngayon higit kailanman kayo kinakailangan ng masa. Tumampok sa balita ang pagdukot sa apat na magsasaka sa Brgy. Baya, Ragay. Bunga ng inyong kasigasigang mailabas ang balita kasabay ng kahanga-hangang pagsisikap ng masa at mga lokal na upisyal, napigilan ninyo ang plano ng militar na patayin ang apat. Kung hindi naagapan, matutulad ang apat sa nauna nang kaso ng pagmasaker at paglibing nang buhay kina Robero Naris, 30 taong gulang, Ronel Naris, 28 taong gulang at Antonio Bonagua, 19 taong gulang, ng tropa ng 9th IDPA sa Patalunan, Ragay. Kahit na alam ninyong may posibilidad na mabalingan kayo ng karahasan ng militar, buong-kapangahasan ninyo pa ring dinala at ilinabas sa publiko ang panig ng masa. Ito ang diwang marapat nating tanganan laluna sa kasalukuyang panahon.

Biyun-bilyon ang pondong ibinubuhos ng reaksyunaryong kaaway para sa kanyang todo-largang gera kung kaya napakadali para sa militar na magpalabas at magpakalat ng pekeng datos at kwentong pabor sa kanila at magkukubli sa tunay na mga pangyayari. Kapos sa ganitong rekurso ang masang lumalaban. Gayunpaman, walang-maliw at buong-tapang pa rin nilang pinagsisikapan na ilabas ang kanilang mga panawagan. Wala silang takot na ipaglaban ang kanilang interes at ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga karapatan. Mga kasama sa midya, bilang daluyan ng boses ng masa, marapat lamang na mangahas ang bawat kagawad ng midyang tulad ninyo na magsaliksik at isapubliko ang tunay na kwento ng masang target ng walang patumanggang paglabag sa karapatang tao at terorismo ng militar sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte.

Manindigan para sa tunay na malaya at mapagpalayang pamamahayag! Manindigan para sa mamamayan! Palayasin ang Militar sa Kanayunan! Labanan ang Todo-Largang Gera ng Rehimeng US-Duterte!

 Patalsikin ang Pasistang Diktador na si Duterte!

‘Slain NPA rebel in Laguna clash was UPLB student’

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Feb 14, 2019): ‘Slain NPA rebel in Laguna clash was UPLB student’
SAN PEDRO CITY, Philippines – The New People’s Army (NPA) rebel killed in Thursday’s encounter with the military was an undergraduate student of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), his colleagues said.

The fatality was identified as John Carlo Capistrano Alberto, an undergraduate student of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Alberto, who entered UPLB in 2013, was a graduate of the Pandan School for Arts and Technology in Pandan, a fourth class and remote town in Catanduanes province.

His fellow students, who knew Alberto personally but declined to be named for security reasons, said he joined the NPA last month.

Captain Patrick Jay Retumban, information officer of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, in a statement, said the encounter happened at around 9:30 a.m. in Sitio Pinamintian, Barangay San Buenaventura in Luisiana, Laguna.

He said two more female fighters were reportedly wounded.

A report from the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon) regional police, meanwhile, said the soldiers over ran an NPA camp where troops recovered two improvised explosives, detonators, magazines, ten tents, eight mobile phones and a computer tablet, which were believed to be rebels’ training materials.

Retumban said the rebels were responsible for the burning of construction equipment in Infanta, Quezon last Thursday.

In an emailed statement to the Inquirer last week, NPA’s Apolonio Mendoza Command claimed responsibility for setting on fire three backhoes and one bulldozer used in the construction of the Kaliwa Dam.

The rebels said the dam will affect the livelihood and eventually displace the indigenous communities affected by the government’s dam project.

Govt peace efforts paying off in Abra

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 13, 2019): Govt peace efforts paying off in Abra

BANGUED, Abra – The government’s initiatives to win back Tubo town from communist rebel influence has started to succeed.

Community elders, leaders, and the youth gathered over the weekend virtually “turned their backs” against the rebel movement and opened up to government’s peace and development initiatives, according to Abra Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos.

Abra Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos (Abra Ppo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Tubo, especially its hinterland and far-flung villages, had been considered a rebel stronghold since the 70s.

“(It) is the first time that communities welcomed the idea of ‘not supporting’ the NPA,” Bernos said. “It is a big improvement.”

The Philippine Army’s 24th Infantry Battalion gathered “panglakayens and mananakems” (elders and wisdom-bearers in indigenous communities) for the “Elder’s Forum” so government could lend an ear to their issues and concerns.

Since 2016, the military has convinced at least eight alleged New People’s Army (NPA) regulars and 13 NPA armed auxiliaries (Militia ng Bayan) to leave the rebel fold.

Simultaneously, 87 youth leaders from the 10 villages in Tubo came together for a two-day Youth Leadership Summit “enhancing the leadership qualities of the youth, promoting camaraderie, expanding their role in nation building, promoting awareness on deceiving issues and activities of lawless groups and organizations and enhancing their potentials as active responders to calamities”.

Army Lt. Col Jearie Boy Faminial, 24IB commander, said if not for the active involvement of Tubo Mayor Guilbert Ballangan, the coming together of the elders and the youth could not have been possible.

“Kasi dati, mas gusto nila na walang military doon,” added Bernos. “Isa lang ang gusto natin output, ang matahimik ang probinsya.”

Government forces are engaging all sectors “because they are the ones we are serving,” 7th Infantry Division commander Brig. Gen. Lenard Agustin said, while explaining that “they are the prospected targets of rebel groups so we better equip them against the deception and lies of the rebel groups.”

Army: Five politicians maintain link with rebels

From The Daily Guardian (Feb 15): Army: Five politicians maintain link with rebels

THE Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion has identified at least five politicians who maintain links with the New People’s Army (NPA).

But Lieutenant Colonel Sisenando Magbalot Jr., 61st IB commander, declined to name these elected local officials who are serving in the battalion’s areas of responsibility.

The 61st IB covers 81 municipalities in the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Guimaras.

“These are the local officials na mayroong nakapaligid sa kanila na mga nag-lie low na NPA combatants,” Magbalot said.

He said these politicians employed rebels as bodyguards and used them to connect to the NPA group.

“Freely, nakaka-akyat sila sa bundok para mangampanya,” he said.

Magbalot said the voters already know these politicians, thus they should be circumspect on their choices.

Weeks ago, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) confirmed that some politicians – incumbent and those running for elections – are employing private armed groups (PAGs) and NPA in their bid for public offices.

But Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, declined to go into details as they are still validating the reports. He did mention that one of the politicians is an incumbent congressman.

Bulalacao said they also have a list of mayors who seek help from the NPA in their campaigns.

These reports came in the heels of allegations that the NPA has gone active in its purported extortion activities in the guise of permit to campaign (PTC) fees.

The PTC fees will supposedly give candidates access to NPA strongholds.

The NPAs allegedly sent letters to candidates urging them to pay a certain amount so that they can campaign smoothly.

The fees vary depending on the areas and the elective post a candidate is seeking.

Aside from PTC fees, the rebels are also asking for permit to win (PTW) fees from candidates.

By paying the PTW fee, the NPAs allegedly ensures the victory of a candidate.

The Department of Interior and Local Government in January warned local government officials and candidates against paying PTC and PTW fees.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued Memorandum Circular 2018-11 reminding local executives that “giving any form of support to communist rebels” is a violation.

The memorandum added that local peace and order councils must recommend sanctions against violators, if any.

DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya even said that the DILG may also file other charges pursuant to the Revised Penal Code and other related laws.

Malaya urged the filing of disqualification case against all candidates who will be proven to have cooperated with the rebels relative to the provisions of the Omnibus Election Code.

Meanwhile, Atty. Roberto Salazar, COMELEC-Iloilo provincial election supervisor, said they also discourage candidates from paying PTC and PTW fees.

“We would engage the PNP and AFP to intensify their respective operations in so far as these problems are concerned,” he said.

Salazar said they would publicly encourage voters to report these demands, and, if necessary, “we would be deploying troops in their areas once these reports are validated.”

In the Philippines, activists increasingly face a “living hell”

From The Interpreter (Feb 15): In the Philippines, activists increasingly face a “living hell” (By Nick Aspinwall)

On 29 January, over 24 hours after Datu Jomorito Guaynon and Ireneo Udarbe were reported missing in downtown Cagayan de Oro, local police in northern Mindanao announced that the two activists had been arrested.

Udarbe and Guaynon are both regional leaders organising Lumads (a catch-all Visayan term for Mindanao’s indigenous peoples) against resource extraction and military encroachment on ancestral lands. However, authorities have accused the pair of leading militant groups and serving as recruiters for the New People’s Army (NPA), an armed communist group considered a terrorist organisation by the Philippine government.

This is not a first for Guaynon, a regional chair of the Lumad group Kalumbay. Guaynon told me last year he and his contemporaries were recurrent victims of “red tagging,” or the false branding of activists as communist insurgents. Although he sharply denies any personal association with the NPA, such a label can be fatal in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte has offered bounties to civilians, including Lumads, to kill suspected NPA members on sight and has urged troops to shoot female rebels “in the vagina.”

Datu Jomorito Guaynon (Photo: supplied)

The practice of “red tagging” – which has ensnared journalists, labour groups, and politicians throughout the Philippines – has been condemned by international rights groups and in a statement by UN special rapporteurs Cecilia Jimenez-Damary and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, in which they slammed the “unfounded” nature of the links between Lumads and militants. Shortly after the statement was published, Tauli-Corpuz was forced to flee the country after being included by Duterte on a list of suspected terrorists with links to communist rebels.

For Lumad activists such as Guaynon, existence has become a living hell. He and his contemporaries have long opposed private development on the fertile farmlands of northern Mindanao, much of which is claimed by Lumads as “ancestral domain” under the country’s robust yet inconsistently implemented Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. This designation grants indigenous claimants stewardship of their land, allowing them to refuse development or resource extraction despite not being considered private landowners. This right, when exercised, puts them at odds with investors who covet the land for commercial farming plantations. It also puts them at odds with police and armed forces, who have controlled Mindanao under martial law since the 2017 ISIS siege of Marawi, who are permitted under Philippine law to protect the interests of developers using force.

The fallout is deadly: Philippine rights groups say that, out of at least 63 murders of environmental defenders in 2017, 46 of those killed were based in Mindanao. Countless others, such as Guaynon, have been arrested and held in the country’s overcrowded jails, where they may be subject to inhumane forms of punishment.

Ireneo Udarbe (Photo: supplied)

In the Philippines, popular associations of leftist ideals with terrorism predate Duterte, although the current leader has cracked down on militants since initially opening negotiations with communist leaders.

Lumads, however, do not fit neatly on the modern political spectrum. Like indigenous peoples in other parts of the world, they encountered centuries of colonial persecution. In the late 1970s, they watched as Ferdinand Marcos-era Filipino migrants seized their ancestral lands for agriculture and mining. Lumads and NPA members often occupy adjacent territory, and the NPA does recruit disaffected Lumads, but the groups share little aside from common enemies. Unlike NPA leaders, the overwhelming majority of Lumads have no desire to violently overthrow the Philippine government.

In Mindanao’s Lumad communities, the Duterte administration’s initial promises of mediation with aggrieved indigenous activists now seem like ancient history.

Lumad leaders largely supported Duterte’s 2016 candidacy, hoping he would put an end to forced displacement and armed occupations of communities and schools while also halting mining development on the mineral-rich island. Since winning the presidency, however, Duterte has threatened to bomb Lumad schools and pledged to develop extractive industries, such as palm oil plantations, on indigenous lands. His push to liberalise foreign investment in sectors such as mining and farming by changing the country’s constitution has led to fears that, without protections for indigenous land claimants, further arrests and killings will be inevitable.

Kalumbay, the Lumad organization of which Guaynon is a regional chair, fears he is being denied a transfer to a provincial jail and could be forced into falsely confessing his loyalty to the NPA. But authorities have never provided evidence of Guaynon’s alleged links to communist rebels. In the past three years, police have arrested Guaynon at least twice on what he called “trumped-up” charges, which were quickly dropped, a tool he says is used by local authorities to intimidate and silence him.

When they were arrested on 28 January, Guaynon and Udarbe had been heading to meet Lumad representatives who had just attended a mediation dialogue with a local infantry battalion. Guaynon had recently accused the battalion of harassment, and local groups say a banner had been hung portraying him as a recruiter for the NPA.

In Mindanao’s Lumad communities, the Duterte administration’s initial promises of mediation with aggrieved indigenous activists now seem like ancient history. Lumads consider themselves inseparable from their ancestral lands – providers of food, water and medicine, the land possesses the spiritual roots of Lumad life. When this bond stands between investors and Mindanao’s abundant resources, however, these roots are increasingly being severed with brute force.

Government agents score hits vs. NPA

From the Manila Standard (Feb 14, 2019): Government agents score hits vs. NPA

A New People’s Army fighter tagged as one of the people who torched private construction equipment in Quezon province was killed in an encounter in Laguna while an alleged NPA extortionist was arrested by police and military personnel in Butuan City on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said the still unidentified rebel was killed in an encounter with troops of the 1st Infantry Battalion in Sitio Pinamintian, San Buenaventura village in Luisiana, Laguna, on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, an official said the efforts of the New People’s Army to recruit minors is a gross violation of the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of Children.

“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 public affairs office chief Noel Detoyato said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency when sought for a comment.

Parayno said the slain terrorist was among the 15 rebels who last week burned three backhoes and one bulldozer being used in the road widening construction at the Kaliwa Dam project by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System owned by Northern Builder Corp. in Magsaysay village in Infanta, Quezon.

Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, head of the 202nd Brigade, said the communists fled toward the boundary of Quezon and Laguna to escape the pursuing troops from the 80th Infantry Battalion and the dragnet put up by the 1st IB to intercept them.

However, the rebels were eventually intercepted by troops in Kalangay village in Lucban, Quezon, sparking a 15-minute firefight that left one rebel dead while the rest scampered in different directions, dragging their wounded comrades.
The NPA burning was condemned the officials of Infanta and General Nakar towns in Quezon.

Mayor Filipina Grace America of Infanta was quoted as saying the terror act perpetrated by the NPA was not the proper way to address the issues surrounding the project.

Mayor Eliseo Ruzon of General Nakar viewed the  act by the NPA as a hindrance to the development in his town and in Infanta, noting that the incident would lead to their constituents losing their jobs needed to support their families.

“We will show the NPAs that their anti-people activities will not pass unpunished. They have lost the trust and support of the people,” Parayno said.

In Butuan City, a communist extortionist preying on farmers in Northern Mindanao was arrested by police and military operatives in Barangay Nongnong on Wednesday morning.

Persons, groups aiding CPP-NPA warned of criminal liability

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 14, 2019): Persons, groups aiding CPP-NPA warned of criminal liability

The Army's 4th Infantry Division (ID) has reminded that any person or organization found to be providing assistance to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing -- the New People's Army (NPA) -- could face criminal liability.

Col. Edgardo de Leon, commander of the 4th ID's 403rd Infantry Brigade, issued the reminder Wednesday at a ceremony to confer the restoration of civilian status to at least 30 former NPA combatants.

At the same time, de Leon and Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano led the handover of livelihood assistance of PHP65,000 each to former rebels under the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

In his speech, de Leon said any individual or organization found to be providing any form of assistance to the CPP-NPA or their affiliated organizations would risk being sanctioned not only by Philippine laws, but also by countries that consider the communist guerillas as terrorists.

For instance, the Army official said member countries of the European Union (EU), which considers the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization, may impose sanctions against those who provide any assistance to the rebel group.

Aside from the EU, the United States also lists the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4th ID commander, reiterated the military's "peaceful war" approach in addressing the "multi-dimensional nature of communist terrorism."

"Peaceful war is not literally ‘war’ through the use of military weapons, but it is a unique form of warfare, sans violence, through the delivery of social services by government and non-government entities," Gacal said in his speech during the ceremony.

"Peaceful war shall eliminate the reasons for rebellion,” he said. “Peaceful war shall bring lasting peace for sustainable economic growth and it will be launched from grass root level communities, which our peace stakeholders in the region shall designate as Convergence Areas for Peace and Development."

Westmincom commanders told to 'stay focused' vs. terrorists

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 14, 2019): Westmincom commanders told to 'stay focused' vs. terrorists

The head of the Joint Task Forces and component units of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) have been ordered to “remain focused” as the campaign against terrorist elements in its area of operation continues.

This was the directive of Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Westmincom chief, to the unit commanders during the command conference on Tuesday in Camp Navarro, this city, according to Col. Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer.

“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,” Besana said Thursday, quoting dela Vega's directive.

Westmincom's areas of operation are in the Western and Central Mindanao regions.

“We have the momentum as far as our campaign is concerned. 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,” dela Vega added.

Besana said dela Vega told the joint task forces 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,” dela Vega was quoted to have told the unit commanders.

Those who attended the command conference included Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force (JTF) Central commander; Rear Adm. Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander; Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, JTF ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces) commander; and, Col. Fernando Reyeg, JTF Basilan commander.

Soldier die, 3 others hurt as troops, ASG clash in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 14, 2019): Soldier die, 3 others hurt as troops, ASG clash in Sulu

Troops have clashed anew with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu province on Thursday, resulting in the death of a soldier and the wounding of three others.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said the firefight broke out around 11:30 a.m. in Barangay Igasan, Patikul, Sulu, when the troops chanced upon a group of ASG bandits while on combat operation.

Dela Vega said the firefight lasted for about 20 minutes, after which the ASG bandits withdrew to different directions.

“As we speak, military troops are in pursuit of the evading militants. Ground units are also prepositioned to deliver fire support and block withdrawal routes of the militants,” dela Vega said on Thursday afternoon.

The identities of the slain and three injured soldiers were not made known, except that they belong to the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion.

Dela Vega said that the troops managed to extract the wounded soldiers from the area and transported them to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu.

He said immediate assistance will be provided to the families of the dead and wounded soldiers.

“Our tactical and intelligence operations targeting the neutralization of the militants and the penetration of the enemy’s strategic strongholds will be bolstered,” the Army official added.

“We will relentlessly pursue Abu Sayyaf fighters, weaken their will to fight, and crush groups propagating terrorism in Mindanao,” he said.

Malaysian hostages spotted in Sulu village

From the Daily Express (Feb 13, 2019): Malaysian hostages spotted in Sulu village

KOTA KINABALU: The three Malaysian and Indonesian fishermen kidnapped from the waters off Kinabatangan last December were recently seen guarded by Abu Sayyaf members and sub-leaders including one wanted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), a Philippine terrorism analyst told Daily Express.

Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, Professor Rommel Banlaoi, said the three were spotted in a village in Sulu.

“The remaining kidnap victims were seen encamped in Barangay (village) Bud Bawis, off Panamao town, Sulu,” Rommel told Daily Express, citing information from an intelligence officer in the Philippine Government.

“Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Majan Sahidjuan @ Apo Mike and Ben Wagas, [as well as Abu Sayyaf members] Abdullah Sali and Sansibal were seen with the hostages.”

Apo Mike is one of 18 Filipinos on Esscom’s most wanted list for suspected transborder crimes. Ben Wagas, another Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, and Sansibal are aliases, said Rommel.

The fishermen — Heri Ardiansyah, 19, Jari Abdullah, and Hariadin, 45 — were kidnapped from their boat near the Pegasus Reef area on Dec 6, last year.

A few days later, one of the hostages called his wife and informed her they had been kidnapped and held at an undisclosed location in the southern Philippines.

Earlier, on Sept 11, last year, two Indonesian fishermen were kidnapped from their trawler in the waters off Semporna but one escaped in December while the other was released by the Abu Sayyaf and later rescued by Philippine security forces this month in Sulu.

Indonesia’s Consul-General in Sabah, Krishna Djaelani, said Indonesian authorities believe the two citizens are constantly being moved by their captors to avoid an all-out offensive by the Philippine forces.

“We believe they are constantly on the move with their captors because the Abu Sayyaf is now being subjected to an all-out offensive by the Philippine military as a result of the recent church twin bombing in Jolo,” Krishna told Daily Express.

Daily Express has alerted Krishna about the reported sighting of their citizens but the Indonesian authorities have not been able to confirm their location.

“The information Daily Express provided us had been channelled to the Indonesian Government but we still haven’t been able to confirm they were in the said location or their current location,” said Krisha.

“So far, no ransom demand has been made yet for the two Indonesian fishermen.”

A regional spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines could not confirm the information obtained by Daily Express or the current location of the three fishermen.

Daily Express also asked about how the safety of the three hostages is being considered during the heavy ground and artillery attacks by the Philippine defence forces to flush out the Abu Sayyaf faction said to be responsible for the church bombing.

“I don’t have the information you asked for,” Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerry Besana said.

Philippine officials said the faction is led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who also is believed to be the mastermind of the church attack.

Hatib is on Esscom’s wanted list and recently described by Philippine and American officials as the overall emir of Islamic State-aligned groups in the Philippines.

The September kidnapping broke an almost two-year lull in kidnappings in eastern Sabah, which shares maritime borders with the Philippines and Indonesia in the Sulu-Celebes Seas that used to be reported as one of the most dangerous piracy hotspots in the world.

The most notable kidnapping occurred in 2000 when the Abu Sayyaf snatched 21 people including western tourists from world-renowned diving island Sipadan.