Sunday, April 21, 2019

AFP-CRS: Army inks pact with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for reservist training

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (Apr 20, 2019): Army inks pact with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for reservist training

DND, AFP, inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) on the conduct of reserve corps training for the agency's personnel, in line with the ongoing efforts to beef up the country's reserve force.

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CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA50: People’s war, until victory

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Apr 7, 2019): NPA50: People’s war, until victory

The Central Committee extended its most militant greetings to all Red commanders and fighters on the 50th founding anniversary of the New People’s Army.

In its statement, the CPP acknowledged the victories of the NPA in the past five decades of waging armed struggle. The Central Committee paid tribute to all the heroes and martyrs who offered their lives for the revolutionary cause. It also aknowledged the contribution of veteran Red fighters who served and continue to support the armed struggle.

Simultaneously, various regional NPA units and underground mass organizations also issued statements in honor of the celebration and to put forward the call to further advance the people’s war.

Ka Ariel Montero of NPA-Northeastern Mindanao Region, in his statement, highlighted the victories achieved by the NPA in the region in the past year. It launched more than 200 armed actions wherein 27 high-powered firearms were seized.

Meanwhile, the NPA-North Central Mindanao Region was able to conduct 120 armed actions wherein 124 and 93 AFP elements were killed and wounded, respectively. Ka Norcen Mangubat of the Regional Party Committee in NCMR said that the people’s armed struggle will never be defeated and will continue to overcome any focused sustained operation of the AFP.

The Regional Party Committee in Negros slammed AFP’s bragging of the arrest of Fr. Frank Fernandez and Cleofe Lagtapon. Negrosanons and the Filipino people hate the AFP all the more for this, it said.

It also pledged to uphold justice for the victims of the regime’s fascists attacks in the island, including the massacre victims in Sagay and those victimized by its Oplan Sauron/SEMPO.

The Regional Party Committee in Panay reported that the AFP suffered no less than 50 casualties last year. Red fighters in the region were challenged to overcome their weaknesses to further advance the people’s war.

The NPA-Eastern Visayas condemned the reactionary regime for perpetrating relentless attacks and brutal killings in the region. No less than 15 victims of political killings and thousands of forced evacuation due to militarization were recorded in Samar and Leyte.

The Regional Party Committee in Southern Tagalog callled on the people to struggle to overthrow the US-Duterte regime ans defy its fascist and tyrannical scheme.

Ka Cleo del Mundo offered a Red salute to all NPA commanders and fighters for launching armed actions that shook the Southern Luzon Command of the AFP and the local ruling class in 2018. The Red fighters were able to confiscate high-powered firearms, destroy armaments of the 85th IB and deal blows against the enemy last year.

The Regional Party Committee in Cagayan Valley stated that the people’s army continues to enjoy the support of the masses as its struggles are founded on the national and democratic aspirations of the people.

It further stated that the NPA is already operating in around 500 barrios in 60 towns in 6 provinces across Cagayan Valley. In the past two years, the Red fighters were able to conduct 52 tactical offensives wherein high-powered rifles, pistols and other armaments were seized. Its mass base is also continuously expanding.

According to Ka Filiw of Cordillera People’s Democractic Front, the revolutionary movement plays a significant role in advancing the national minorities’ right to self-determination and the overall democratic cause.

The people will forever treasure the NPA for mounting campaigns anti-social activities in their communities, for helping resolve inter-tribal conflicts peacefully, and for punishing plunderous and destructive mining companies operating in the region.

In solidarity with the celebration of the golden anniversary, the NDF-Metro Manila held a lightning rally last March 25. The Kabataang Makabayan in Ilocos and Panay and the Liga ng Agham para sa Bayan also mounted series of discussions, slogan-painting and postering in the whole month of March.

Meanwhile, the Christians for National Liberation-Northern Luzon, Kabataang Makabayan-Sou­th­ern Tagalog and the Communist Party of the French State also issued solidarity statements to the NPA. A celebration was also held at the office of the NDFP in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on March 31.

[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: NPA ambushes PNP in Mt. Province

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Apr 7, 2019): NPA ambushes PNP in Mt. Province

The New People’s Army (NPA)-Mt. Province ambushed operating troopers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who attempted to sabotage the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the NPA on March 29.

The Red fighters fired upon the operatives at around 9 a.m. in Mt. Gonggong-o in the town of Bau­ko. An operative was slain while another was wounded. On March 31, the NPA unit also fired at operating PNP and AFP troopers tailing a unit which launched an offensive in Mt. Ma­ki­la­ki­lat, Ta­di­an.

In a related news, the NPA-Panay mounted six harassment operations. These include the harassment against a CAFGU Active Auxi­li­ary detachment in Barangay Oso­rio I, San Re­me­gio, Antique on Mar­ch 15 and 19; against CAFGU forces on March 19; against a CAA detachment in Barangay Igcococ, Si­ba­lom and Barangay Tu­bu­dan, San Re­me­gio in the same province on Mar­ch 24; and against PNP operatives in Barangay Bo­loc, Tu­bu­ngan, Iloi­lo on March 30.

In Eastern Samar, the PNP station in Barangay Pob­lacion, Mo­ti­ong, Sa­mar was harassed by the NPA on March 11. A detachment of 87th IB in Barangay Can-a­pon­te, San Jo­se de Buan was also attacked. A police operative was killed while two others were wounded.

Three armed actions were also launched by the NPA-Northern Negros. These include a harassment against the 12th IB-CAFGU in Sitio Pu­lu­pang­yan, Barangay Bug-ang, To­bo­so on March 19 and against an AFP unit operating in Sit­io Fuen­tes, Ma­bi­ni, Esca­lan­te City on March 21.

The NPA also disarmed elements of the RPA/SCAA in Sit­io Ma­ya­na, Barangay Ba­go, Don Salva­dor Be­ne­dicto on March 21. Five pistols and ammunition were seized during the attack.

The NPA-North Central Mindanao also launched seven armed actions from March 2 to April 5. Among these is the harassment against the 58th IB in the towns of Salay, Claveria and Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental wherein five soldiers were slain while another was wounded. The NPA also harassed operating troopers of the 23rd IB in Buena­vista, Agusan del Norte and of 8th IB in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon wherein one soldier was killed.

On March 15, seven 8th IB troopers were wounded during a demolition operation launched by the NPA in New Tubigon, Barangay Busdi, Malaybalay City. On the same day, the NPA ambushed another unit of the 8th IB in Sitio Magawa, Barangay Bulonay, Impagsug-ong wherein one soldier was killed.

The NPA twice paralyzed the operations of Davao Agriventure Corporation in Bukidnon on March 10 and April 15. A shotgun and ammunition were confiscated from the company.

[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: Unleash wide-scale land reform and smash Duterte’s brutal war in the countryside

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines Website (Apr 7, 2019): Unleash wide-scale land reform and smash Duterte’s brutal war in the countryside

In the face of the intensified brutality of Duterte’s total war in the countryside, the peasant masses with their revolutionary forces must unleash a widespread land reform movement as an important backbone of the people’s all-out resistance against the rampaging fascist regime.

Employing absolute powers, Duterte has imposed a reign of terror across the country. Over the past months, he has set loose hordes of military and police troops to lay siege on entire communities, ransack homes and commit abominable terrorist atrocities. They target villages where peasants are actively fighting for their rights. The attacks have been extra vicious in Negros and Samar provinces, as well as in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

More than 20 rural village leaders have been hunted down and murdered in cold blood since December. Residents are arbitrarily accused of being members or supporters of the New People’s Army, rounded up and falsely presented as “surrenderees.” Men are conscripted to join paramilitaries and forced to render labor to set up military detachments.

The ruthlessness with which Duterte conducts his war aims to weaken the people’s will to resist and make them surrender to his tyranny. His attacks are bound to become more depraved as he is set to rig the upcoming the elections and accelerate preparations to establish a naked fascist dictatorial rule.

We must smash Duterte’s brutal war and frustrate his aim of crushing the people’s resistance to his tyrannical regime and scheme to establish a fascist dictatorship. He and his accomplices must be made accountable and punished for their innumerable crimes against the people. We must expose the lies and illusions being peddled by Duterte and his military and police officers and expose all their barbarities.

To defeat Duterte’s total war against the people, it is crucial that the people in the countryside rise up in large numbers and wage both economic and political struggles. Their antifeudal, as well as anti-imperialist economic struggles are inextricably linked with, are at the base of, and provide the impetus to their antifascist political struggles to defend their democratic rights. We must pay attention to the economic difficulties of the peasant masses and address their well-being in order to stir their revolutionary fervor to resist Duterte’s brutal war.

It is important to arouse and mobilize the peasant masses in large numbers to carry out widespread mass campaigns to reduce rent and interest, raise wages, ensure fair prices of farm produce and increase production through basic forms of cooperation. These are the key components of the Party’s minimum program for land reform. The maximum program for land distribution can be carried out in revolutionary base areas where it can be administered and defended.

These land reform campaigns demonstrate in plain terms the difference between the fascist regime and the revolutionary movement, between those forces which oppress and burden the peasant masses and those who seek raise their standards of living and an end to their oppression.

These mass campaigns thoroughly expose the fakery of Duterte’s “land reform” and his policy of widespread land-use conversion and landgrabbing in favor of big landlords and big mining and plantation companies. These also expose the band-aid and deceptive nature of the reactionary regime’s welfare measures such as the conditional-cash transfer program (4Ps), the PaMaNa and the Kalahi-CIDSS which offer cosmetic projects that merely conceal the grave social and economic diseases afflicting the people.

These campaigns must be carried out alongside other campaigns to demand a stop to the liberalization of agricultural imports that bears down on rural production and income, to clamor for state subsidy and debt relief amid drought conditions, to demand a return of the coco levy fund, to resist the entry of megadams, airports and other destructive infrastructure projects, to resist land reclamation in coastal areas, to oppose plantations and mining operations, to demand respect for ancestral lands and other campaigns to uphold the rights and welfare of the peasant masses and minority peoples.

Over the next few months, we must carry out these campaigns more fervently. Party cadres at various levels of leadership must be assigned to ensure that tasks in waging mass struggles are carried out. We must better our past efforts and aim to bring peasant struggles to levels higher than before.

To carry out these mass campaigns, we must help the peasant masses organize themselves into revolutionary peasant associations or strengthen existing ones. These must be built at the village, intervillage, municipal and district levels to raise the capability of the peasant masses to organize and coordinate their actions and gather the greatest possible collective strength. To help raise production, peasant associations can build mutual-aid teams or work collectives as well as other forms of production cooperation. Funds can be collected, raised or alloted to help boost production.

We must see to it that these campaigns are successfully carried out. This should be measured in palpable terms, where the peasant masses enjoy the benefits of higher income, greater supply of food and better living conditions attained through collective struggle. There must be accompanying campaigns for literacy and numeracy, public health, cultural advancement and other campaigns to address peasants’ urgent concerns.

In waging these campaigns, the peasant masses are galvanized to resist the fascist campaign of suppression being mounted by the reactionary armed forces in connivance with local despots and warlords. They are stirred to defend their rights to assert their demand for land reform and better economic conditions. They become more militant in defending their democratic rights and further encouraged to wholeheartedly take part in the armed struggle and provide it with boundless support.

A powerful peasant antifascist movement must arise across the country, as part of the broad united front against Duterte’s tyranny. It must vigorously defend democratic rights and resist Duterte’s all-out war of suppression in the countryside. There must be concerted effort and coordination, between the peasants in one village and another, in one province and another, within a region and across the country. Without these, Duterte will continue to have the temerity to commit one fascist act after another. Every village being attacked by the fascists must be defended by all. Every fascist atrocity must be exposed and condemned by all. Every fascist act and its perpetrators must be made to answer for their crimes.

In waging antifeudal and antifascist struggles, the peasant masses are harnessing power from their organized strength. Peasant associations, together with other rural mass organizations of youth, women, children and cultural activists serve as foundations for building barrio revolutionary committees which are basic units of the people’s democratic government. These serve to wage agrarian revolution as well as to take part in armed struggle. From among the peasant associations arise self-defense units which help enforce policies and ordinances enacted by the local revolutionary committees. Units of the people’s militias are built as local units of the NPA to carry out mass guerrilla warfare to wage widespread armed resistance against the rampaging fascist troops of the enemy.

While helping the peasant masses wage mass struggles, the NPA must boldly intensify guerrilla warfare and deliver bigger and more frequent blows against the enemy. It must target the worst of the fascist murderers to punish them for their crimes and puncture their overweening arrogance. The NPA must continually seize tactical initiative. It must apply the tactics of dispersal, shifting and counter-encirclement and concentration to frustrate enemy offensives. It must carry-out well-planned tactical offensives to wipe out isolated and vulnerable units of the enemy and take away their weapons.

By waging widespread peasant mass struggles and advancing the armed revolution, the people and their revolutionary forces will surely surmount and defeat Duterte’s brutal war and his scheme for a fascist dictatorship.

[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.]

3 ‘rebels’ killed in NegOcc clash

From the Panay News (Apr 21, 2019): 3 ‘rebels’ killed in NegOcc clash

Members of 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army seized these high-powered firearms from alleged New People’s Army members in Barangay Marcelo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental. 79TH INFANTRY BATTALION/ PHILIPPINE ARMY

Three alleged New People’s Army (NPA) fighters were killed in a clash against 79th Infantry Battalion troopers (79IB) of the Philippine Army in Barangay Marcelo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

Lieutenant Colonel Emelito Thaddeus Logan, battalion commander of 79IB, deployed his troops in the area after receiving reports of NPA’s extortion activities.

According to Logan, the gun battle against the 12 NPA rebels lasted for about 30 minutes at 5:30 p.m. on April 17.

The government troops recovered high-powered firearms including an AK 47 rifle, an M16 rifle, seven AK47 magazines with live bullets, five M16 magazines with live bullets, four M14 magazines with live bullets, three rifle grenades, two handheld radios, backpacks, and subversive documents after the terrorist withdrew.

“The residents gave us reliable information on the exact location of the terrorist organization which resulted to a successful neutralization of their members,” Logan said.

Gov’t army in Eastern Visayas OK with local peace talks

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Apr 21, 2019): Gov’t army in Eastern Visayas OK with local peace talks

TACLOBAN CITY — The military in Eastern Visayas is in favor of localized peace talks with members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front-New People’s Army (CPP-NDF-NPA).

Captain Reynaldo Aragones, spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar, said it would be better to meet and talk with local armed rebels than with their national leaders since the former were more familiar with local issues and concerns.

“It’s because they will be the ones who will directly benefit (from the peace talks) and not those from above who are just enjoying their lives compared to the locals who eat nothing but copra,” Aragones said, referring to the armed rebels operating in the mountains.

Although the military in Eastern Visayas has claimed that the strength of the New People’s Army in the region has weakened over the years, the rebels continued to attack government forces and installations.

Last March 28, NPA rebels attacked the police station in Victoria town, Northern Samar. But police were able to detect their presence and were able to fire at the rebels before they could storm the police station.

Three rebels were killed during the foiled attack while three others were captured. Two policemen were wounded.

On April 15, rebels staged an ambush in Las Navas town, also in Northern Samar, and killed two soldiers while escorting an Army engineering group which was inspecting a government road project.

Two days later, rebels hurled an improvised explosive device at a group of soldiers in the hinterland village of San Miguel, also in Las Navas, but it hit a nine-year-old boy instead.

President Duterte earlier issued another call on Jose Maria Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman, to return to the country and hold a new round of peace talks in the hope of ending the 50-year insurgency problem of the Philippines.

Aragones said that based on their assessment, the rebel movement in Eastern Visayas was declining, an indication that the active rebels operating in the region, in particular, were already “tired of fighting against the government.”

“They are already weak. (Those attacks) were staged just to show that they are still strong. They don’t have the support of the majority of the people. They have been waging their armed struggle against the government for the past 50 years now and they are not winning the battle,” he said.

He said it would be better for the rebels to return to the fold of the law and start living normal lives.

“Protecting them is also part of our sworn duties to protect and serve our people. They are also our countrymen,” Aragones said.

PNP offers security for former Reds

From Tempo (Apr 21, 2019): PNP offers security for former Reds

The Philippine National Police wants to secure communist rebels who surrender to the government following reports that some of those who availed themselves of the localized peace talks are being hunted down by their former comrades.

PNP chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the initial arrangement is for close coordination with local military and police units in providing security for the former communist rebels and their families.

“It depends on the threat level. There are some cases wherein those who surrendered are being allowed to stay in military camps because of the threats,” said Albayalde.

In October last year, former communist rebel Raymart Dagohoy was peppered with bullets by a group of communist rebels in the sugarcane plantation in Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental where he started working after his surrender.

Last April 12, Mangyan tribal leader Jose Barrera was abducted and then executed allegedly by his former comrades in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Barrera used to be a team leader of the communist rebels operating in Mindoro provinces. He surrendered to the military in August last year under the government’s E-CLIP (Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program).

Albayalde admitted that running after their former comrades who surrendered to the government is part of the New People’s Army’s way of threatening their companions who want to surrender.

“It’s a way of sending a message to their comrades who want to surrender. It’s a way of threatening those who want to surrender,” said Albayalde.

Albayalde said that the government is now doing everything to ensure not only the safety of those who surrender but also their livelihood programs.

The Duterte administration has shifted to localized peace talks after the negotiations with the communist rebels via the National Democratic Front had bogged down anew.

The NPA has been waging five decades of armed struggle against the government.

‘Unmasking’ of Makabayan bloc to continue, says Parlade

From Tempo (Apr 21, 2019): ‘Unmasking’ of Makabayan bloc to continue, says Parlade

Defense officials will continue to expose to the public the alleged links between the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Thus said Major Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict amid the electioneering charges filed by the Left-leaning bloc against the military.

Parlade dared the seven congressmen representing the five Makabayan party-list groups to publicly denounce the CPP-NPA and deny their links to it so as to educate the people about their real objectives in joining the elections.

Parlade stressed that it is the right of voters to know the true identity and connections of the Makabayan bloc in order for them to vote intelligently on their party-list choice in the midterm polls on May 13.

The Makabayan bloc is composed of congressmen representing Bayan Muna, Gabriela, ACT Teachers, Anakpawis, and Kabataan party-list groups. Bayan Muna and Gabriela have two House seats each, while the rest have one each.

Makabayan lawmakers on Wednesday filed an electioneering complaint against military officers for allegedly openly campaigning against them and for labeling their respective organizations as communist fronts.

Calling the party-list alliance as “Kamatayan Bloc,” Parlade decried the filing of charges as a glaring attempt to stop the military from unmasking to the public the links of the organization to the CPP-NPA.

According to the military officer, the CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

“The Kamatayan Bloc simply wants to silence our officials from exposing them some more. They are running for public office and the voting public has the right to know who and what kind of people they are voting for,” Parlade said.

Sister of boy slain by Reds: 'I will never forgive NPAs’

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Sister of boy slain by Reds: 'I will never forgive NPAs’

GRIEVING. Girlie Jane Raymunde weeps after seeing the dead body of his 10-year-old brother killed when the New People's Army detonated a landmine in San Miguel village, Las Navas, Northern Samar on April 17. She labelled the NPA's latest atrocity as heartless, cruel, and inhuman. (Video grab from Philippine Army 20th Infantry Batallion)

For Girlie Jane Raymunde, the latest atrocity of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Las Navas, Northern Samar resulting in the untimely death of her 10-year-old brother is unforgivable.

In her social media post on April 19, 22-year-old Girlie Jane, an agriculture student of University of Eastern Philippines, said she almost lost her breath when she saw the dead body of her brother Armando, whose dream was to become a soldier.

“What the NPA did is heartless, cruel, and inhuman. I was shocked and speechless to see the fatal wounds of my young brother from head to toe after the landmine attack. It’s even hard to accept condolences. He’s too young to die!” Girlie Jane said.

The rebels detonated a landmine near a temporary patrol base of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion (IB) Charlie Company in San Miguel village at around noon of April 17 with the intention to kill soldiers but instead killed the boy.

San Miguel village, which is about 15 kilometers away from the town center, can be reached through a bumpy and muddy road on motorcycles.

The boy’s father, Allan, a 46-year-old farmer, said the NPA should spare civilians in their war against the government.

“My son is the only one in the area where rebels detonated the landmine. There are no soldiers standing nearby,” he said.

The Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion based in Las Navas town posted a video interview of the victim’s family on Friday, two days after the incident.

Armando’s mother, Glina, 45, denounced the NPA and asked them to return to the folds of law and stop their senseless armed struggle.

“My son’s death is a proof that insurgency is nothing but killing innocent people, including young ones,” Glina said.

The landmine attack happened two days after two soldiers were killed by rebels while inspecting an ongoing road project in San Antonio and Catotogan villages, also in Las Navas, a fourth-class town in Northern Samar province.

The military also condemned the NPA for using landmines in their attacks, which shows disrespect for basic human rights. The rebels also disregarded the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.

The NPA, which has been engaged in a five-decade armed struggle, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Probe underway to determine cause of Davao police office blast

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Probe underway to determine cause of Davao police office blast

The cause of the explosion that ripped through the stockroom of the Explosive Ordnance Unit at the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on Saturday remains unknown though explosives which were kept as court evidence have been moved to a safer place.

DCPO Director, Col. Alexander Tagum on Sunday said the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, as he urged everyone not to speculate on the cause of the incident.

“We can’t speculate on what was exploded because presently, a post-blast investigation was conducted by the EOD Team led by Major Garcia of Police Regional Office 11 that supervises the accounting and readership operation inside the stock room of DCPO’s EOD unit,” Tagum said.

Tagum said those explosives were kept in custody of the DCPO EOD unit as court evidence. Among the explosives were grenades seized from the Maute family, that was arrested at the Sirawan checkpoint in 2017 following the Marawi siege.

“In spite of its proper storage (in accordance to EOD Storage Standard), it accidentally exploded -- for a still unknown reason,” he said.

He also denied that the stockroom contains mixed materials for explosives.

“It’s not true, the unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) that are vintage bomb recovered (from construction activities) were placed in another area while the materials for court evidence were in another area of the stock room,” he said.

“Under the EOD protocol on the proper disposal of recovered evidence cannot be just disposed right away. In fact, that is the common problem of the courts wherein the recovered grenades are considered active explosive,” he added.

Tagum admitted that one of their problems is the proper storage of court evidence like a grenade.

“But they are in the secured area and for the information of everyone we are looking even before, for proper disposal, unfortunately, our request is still pending,” he said.

“But for now, we can’t say what are those court evidence that has been affected,” he added.

BIFF leader, companion killed in ‘Black Saturday’ firefight

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): BIFF leader, companion killed in ‘Black Saturday’ firefight

Google map screenshot of Midsayap, Cotabato

MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato — A mid-level leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and his companion were killed in a firefight with joint police and military operatives at the boundary of this province and of Maguindanao last Saturday.

Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco, Police Regional Office-12 (PRO-12) director, identified the slain BIFF leader as Mando Mamalumpong and his companion as Norhamin Sabdulla.
Rasco said the two were killed in a 30-minute firefight in a law enforcement operation to serve a warrant of arrest around 5:10 a.m. on Black Saturday in Sitio Macantal, Barangay Olandag, this town.

Rasco said the firefight ensued as the two BIFF rebels resisted and traded shots with policemen backed by troops from the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion who were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Mamalumpong.

He said Mamalumpong has standing warrants of arrest for murder and frustrated murder issued by the court.

He said the troops have recovered an M-16 Armalite rifle and an M-14 rifle with ammunition from the two slain BIFF rebels.

He said Mamalumpong is operating in this town and in the nearby town of Datu Piang in Maguindanao.

Rasco assured the public that the police and military will continue enforcing the law even during and after the observance of the Holy Week.

He lauded the policemen and soldiers involved in the successful Black Saturday operation.

Kin claims remains of 3 slain NPA rebels in NegOcc

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Kin claims remains of 3 slain NPA rebels in NegOcc

Troops recover high-powered firearms with live ammunition and other items, including rifle grenades and subversive documents, after their encounter with CPP-NPA guerrillas in Calatrava, Negros Occidental last Wednesday which left three rebels dead. (Photo courtesy of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

The remains of three Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) fighters killed in an encounter with government troops in Calatrava, Negros Occidental on April 17 have already been claimed by their families.

This was confirmed by the Philippine Army’s 303rd Infantry Brigade on Saturday night after releasing the names of the communist fatalities.

They were identified as Peter “Mark” Dayanan of Escalante City; Mae Roman Dayanan of Cadiz City; and Sulpicio Hernan Jr. of Don Salvador Benedicto town, all in northern Negros.

The three were among the 12 rebels who figured in a 30-minute gun battle with troopers of the 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) in Sitio Banwa Minatay, Barangay Marcelo at around 5:30 p.m..

The following day, the 79th IB based in Sagay City released a photo of the cadavers which the troops turned over to the Calatrava municipal police and the local government.

Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, commander of the 79IB, encouraged the remaining members of the CPP-NPA in northern Negros to abandon the rebel movement and avail of the government program that will enable them to start a new a life.

The Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) entitles a former rebel to receive immediate assistance of PHP15,000; livelihood assistance, PHP50,000; firearms remuneration, PHP12,000 to PHP500,000; half-way house assistance; PhilHealth enrolment and medical assistance; education assistance; housing assistance; legal assistance; and healing and reconciliation initiatives.

The CPP-NPA, which recently marked 50 years of armed struggle, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

“The encounter is a clear manifestation that communities are tired of the extortions of the NPA and no longer want to be deceived,” Logan said in an earlier statement.

He said he deployed a platoon to the Calatrava village after residents complained of the NPA’s extortion activities.

After the encounter, the troops recovered an AK47 rifle, an M16 rifle, seven AK47 magazines, five M16 magazines, and four M14 magazines with live ammunition.

They also seized three rifle grenades, two handheld radios, 12 backpacks, personal items, and subversive documents.

Abu Sayyaf killed in counter-terrorist ops in Tawi-Tawi

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Abu Sayyaf killed in counter-terrorist ops in Tawi-Tawi

A member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) covered by martial law order for rebellion was killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the province of Tawi-Tawi, police reported.

The Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office identified the slain ASG bandit as Sabri Teka Opong, who carries the aliases of Sika, Sabri and Umpung, and is listed as number 683 of the Martial Law Instruction number one.

The police said Opong was killed during the conduct of counter-terrorist operation around 3:15 p.m. on Good Friday in Barangay Luuk Buntal, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi.

Opong was killed when he traded shots with the joint policemen and military operatives who launched the counter-terrorist operation.

According to police reports, Opong was involved in the kidnapping of two Indonesian fishermen on Nov. 19, 2016 in the waters of Konak District, Malaysia.

Police said recovered from the possession of Opong were .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, 10 grams of suspected shabu and assorted illegal drug paraphernalia.

Police said the remains of Opong was turned over to the officials of Barangay Belatan, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi.

Eastmincom facilitates E-CLIP enrolment of 13 NPA surrenderers

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Eastmincom facilitates E-CLIP enrolment of 13 NPA surrenderers

Some 13 members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who were received by the different Philippine Army units last week are undergoing assessment and interview for their enrolment to the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Lt. Col Ezra Balagtey, Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) spokesperson, said the units in charge are now conducting interview and debriefing of the surrenderers in preparation for their enrolment to E-CLIP and other government assistance.

Balagtey said the 13 NPA members, on separate occasions, returned to the folds of the law to the different units of Eastmincom.

On Good Friday, Balagtey said, the joint efforts of 39IB and Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office facilitated the surrender of three NPA members in Barangay Colonsabak, Matanao, Davao Del Sur. They also surrendered M16, M14 and Garand rifles.

The three were identified only as alias Dante, Jek, and Garry belonged to the group monitored in the quad boundary of Davao del Sur, North and South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

They were part of the group that was encountered by the 39IB in Colonsabak.

On April 19, 18-year-old alias Rosman, a resident of Lianga, Surigao del Sur also surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion. He brought with him a cal. 5.56mm M16 Rifle.

Balagtey said six more regular NPA members, 14 Militia ng Bayan and 30 other members of the underground mass organizations from Sitio Kahayag, Barangay Banag-banag and Sitio Bantolinao, Barangay Padiay of Sibagat Municipality, Agusan Del Sur surrendered to the 3rd Special Forces Battalion on April 18.

They also brought with them one M653 rifle, one .22-caliber rifle, six 12-gauge homemade shotguns, two .38-caliber pistols, and one fragmentation grenade.

On April 17, alias Joy, 18, a resident of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur and an active medic of NPA’s Northeastern Mindanao group surrendered and brought with her one cal. 30 M1 Carbine rifle, one shotgun, and medical supplies.

Based on her interview, Balagtey said Joy decided to surrender after hearing the arrest of her boyfriend, Robert Tejero Calipay alias Satur/Arpak, who was arrested by troops of the 75th Infantry Battalion on April 14.

Balagtey said alias Joy was only 16 years old when she was recruited by the communist organization.

Another member, 22-year-old alias Jeffry and his wife alias Maymay who were members of the NPA in North Central Mindanao, surrendered on April 17 to Lt. Col. Ronald M. Illana, commander of the 8IB in Barangay Poblacion, Impasugong, Bukidnon.

Eastmincom commander, Lt. Gen Felimon T. Santos Jr., lauded the efforts of the communities and the units for the surrender of the NPA members who were only deceived to join the organization.

“Let us continue to be ambassadors of peace by letting those who were lost understand the effort of the government to bring peace and change in the lives of every Filipino and facilitate the resolution of push and pull issues of people joining the armed group," Santos said.

Electioneering raps aimed to silence gov't officials: Parlade

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): Electioneering raps aimed to silence gov't officials: Parlade

AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr.

Electioneering charges filed by partly-list groups against ranking defense and military officials are meant to silence these officials from exposing alleged links of these organizations to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

This was bared by Major Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in a message to reporters Saturday.

"The Kamatayan Bloc simply wants to silence our officials from exposing them some more. They are running for public office and the voting public have the right to know who and what kind of people they are voting for," he said referring to militant Makabayan groups in Congress.

Parlade was reacting to complaints filed by party-list groups before the Commission on Elections alleging that the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines are engaging in partisan political activities by urging the public not to vote for their candidates.

"In the case of the party-list, the voting public have the right to know what kind of people these PLs are trying to represent, if they are really people. But if it is the devil that they are trying to represent, the whole nation must know and understand how it came to be that way," the NTF ELCAC official explained.

Parlade also scored the CPP for hiding under its democratic fronts and deceiving the public.

"Their duplicity or their revolutionary dual tactics has allowed them to participate in the electoral process, representing themselves as sheeps. But look at how they devour our children? Let them comment on the children killed by NPAs during attacks and they are quiet. Let them comment on young students recruited by the NPA and killed in encounter and their mouth is sealed. Ask them to join the congressional inquiry about the Salugpungan schools that have been radicalizing our IPs (Indigenous Peoples) and they skirt around it, " he said.

Parlade added that these groups seem to be very afraid of the truth as proven by fresh efforts to silence defense and military officials.

"What are they so afraid of that they want us to be silenced anyway? The truth. That's the only thing that scares them. That's the reason they cannot face us on TV and see for themselves what evidence we have about their 50 years of involvement in these bloody conflicts," he added.

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

"They cry of harassment and attacks by government forces. When? Where? How come they are still on the streets? When do we let the people know about their true nature? When do we let their European donors know about this fraud? Yes, at the end of the day it’s all about the money they're getting from foreign NGOs (non-government organizations). It's summer and money will soon dry up for them," Parlade said.

PH unlikely to develop nuclear weapons

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): PH unlikely to develop nuclear weapons

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines is not keen on developing nuclear weapons.

And there are a number of reasons on why the country cannot do so, he added.

"Develop our own nuclear weapons to enforce the tribunal ruling? Very unlikely for several reasons. First, we are not technically and technologically capable. Second, we are a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (also known as the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters Saturday.

The DND chief made this comment in the wake of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's pronouncements that if the country wants to enforce its victory over China in an international tribunal, then it should develop nuclear weapons.

"We appreciate Sen. Enrile’s patriotic duty to suggest how to protect what is legally ours but developing a nuclear weapon is not the way to proceed," he added.

The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons also known as NPT was signed on July 1, 1968 and became effective on March 5, 1970.

The treaty seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

Aside from this, the NPT seeks to promote cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

"Third, our Constitution states that we denounce war as an instrument of national policy. Nuclear weapon is not a defensive weapon but an offensive one," the DND chief added.

In 2016, the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) nullified China’s 9-dash line map which covers nearly the whole of West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

BARMM police urged to help in transformation of Moro combatants

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 21, 2019): BARMM police urged to help in transformation of Moro combatants

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. urges the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police officials to help in transformation of Moro combatants (Photo courtesy of OPAPP)

PARANG, MAGUINDANAO — Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. urged top police officials of the newly-established Bangsamoro autonomous region to help create a more conducive environment for the smooth implementation of the normalization track of the Bangsamoro peace agreement.

This track, Galvez said, will primarily focus on the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants, and assist them and their families as they make the transition to becoming peaceful and productive members of society.

“With the successful ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and the smooth transition of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), there is a need to understand the critical role of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the effective implementation of the normalization program in the Bangsamoro,” Galvez said.

He also explained the content of the proposed Executive Order (EO) on the Normalization Process to police officers in Maguindanao at the BARMM Police Regional Office on April 16, 2019.

The Normalization Process is one of the annexes of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

The CAB has two tracks: the Political Track, which pushed for the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), and the Normalization Track, which covers the decommissioning of MILF fighters and their weapons, as well as the transformation of several camps into progressive and resilient communities.

The EO on normalization is a comprehensive plan of the national government that is designed to aid former combatants as they undergo the delicate transition process.

In particular, the EO includes socio-economic interventions to be carried out specifically in conflict-affected areas, as well as guidelines for the implementation of a transitional justice system that aims to promote healing and reconciliation among the people.

The national government and the MILF are now drafting the implementing rules and regulations of the said EO.

Galvez said it is very important for the police, in particular, and the security sector, in general, to fully understand the intricacies of the Bangsamoro peace process.

He warned that a single miscalculation on their part could have a major impact on the region’s peace and security situation.

For this initiative to succeed, the chief peace adviser emphasized the importance of fostering stronger relationships with the MILF, especially with the ex-fighters.

“We should start to communicate and establish confidence–building measures, and good relationships with them,” Galvez said, adding that this process is very important in the successful mainstreaming of former combatants.

Galvez stressed that the Bangsamoro police will play a critical role in maintaining the peace and order in the region, especially in communities that will undergo the decommissioning process.

Under the EO, the PNP will be part of several transitional bodies. These include the Joint Peace and Security Teams, which will need at least 1,600 police personnel.

The teams will be tasked, among others, to clear unexploded ordnance and landmines.

Galvez said the police will also be part of the soon-to-be reactivated National Task Force for the Disbandment of the Private Armed Groups.

The BARMM regional police office, which is currently undergoing a transition, will soon cover the city of Cotabato, and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato that voted for their inclusion in the BARMM.

The conference attended by Galvez is among a series of strategic information campaigns intended for members of the security sector based in the Bangsamoro area.

Galvez was welcomed by BARMM police regional director, Brig. Gen. Graciano J. Mijares.

Also present in the activity were Assistant Secretary David Diciano, chief-of-staff of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU); OPAPRU Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso; and, OPAPRU Director Wendell Orbeso, head of the Joint Normalization Committee Secretariat.