Saturday, May 11, 2019

Marawi heroes undergo training

From the Philippine Star (May 11, 2019): Marawi heroes undergo training

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the conduct of the Trauma Risk Management Training (TRiM) was in line with the Memorandum of Agreement with the United Kingdom on joint training and exchange of trainees and instructors and information.

Selected Army officers and enlisted men – mostly veterans of the liberation of Marawi – have undergone a 15-day training in dealing with trauma, in cooperation with Britain’s Royal Marines.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the conduct of the Trauma Risk Management Training (TRiM) was in line with the Memorandum of Agreement with the United Kingdom on joint training and exchange of trainees and instructors and information. He did not say how many Filipino soldiers joined the training program.

“This cooperation between the Philippines and the United Kingdom aims to empower our soldiers to help fellow soldiers in need. This will benefit those who face personal challenges after a conflict so they would be able to return to their normal lives,” Zagala said.

“The Philippine Army extended an invitation to the British Attaché to the Philippines, Col. Mike Page, to train Army troops on operational stress management after the Marawi siege experience,” Zagala said.

The training, he added, aims to enable Army troops to apply peer-delivered combat stress assessment to help in the early identification of soldiers at risk of combat trauma.

The trainees came from the Army Light Reaction Regiment (LRR), First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), Special Forces Regiment (SFR Airbone), 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, the 6th Infantry Division and the 11th Infantry Division.

Except for the 11th Infantry Division, the units comprised the armed forces deployed in Marawi two years ago to flush out Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorists out to establish a caliphate.

The 11th Infantry Division – assigned in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – is tasked mainly to go after Abu Sayyaf bandits.

TRiM is a psychological support tool for Operation Stress management of the British Royal Marines. Aside from traumatic battle experience, other causes of psychological disorder among soldiers are frequent deployment, death of comrade, threat of injury and unpleasant assignments, among others.

FACT CHECK: No, this is not a real photo of a banner urging PH youth to join communist rebellion

Posted to ABS-CBN (May 11, 2019): FACT CHECK: No, this is not a real photo of a banner urging PH youth to join communist rebellion

A photo has been shared hundreds of times in a Facebook post that claims it shows a banner from a human rights group urging Filipino youth to join a communist rebel group.

The claim is false; the image has been doctored from an original photo in which the banner displayed an anti-fascist message.

The photo was shared in a Facebook post on April 22. 2019.

Below is a screenshot of the post:

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post

The post translates to English as: “The KARAPATAN group says they have no link to the communist terrorists. so please explain what this is…don't try us”

In the photo; the text on the banner translates to English as: “Youths should go to the mountains and join the NPA”

"KARAPATAN" refers to an alliance of human rights groups. Here is its website. The alliance has previously been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, including in this press release.

“NPA” refers to the New People’s Army, which is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The group marked in March the 50th year of its deadly insurgency, according to this AFP report.

The claim in the misleading Facebook post is false; the image has been doctored from an original photo in which the banner displayed an anti-fascist message.

A reverse image search on Google found the image was used in this May 26, 2017 reporton, which describes itself here as an alternative online news site in the Philippines.

The Bulatlat report stated that protests were held against the declaration of martial law in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

Below is a screenshot of the report:

Screenshot of website

In the report's lead photo, the text on the banner states: “STOP FASCIST ATTACKS AGAINST THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!”

The photo in the report is credited to Carlo Manalansan, who told AFP the image published by Bulatlat was genuine.

“The photo of Bulatlat is the correct one. I’m also a photographer-volunteer of Bulatlat so they always use my photos,” he told AFP via Facebook messenger on April 29.

“This was taken at the No to Martial Law mob in May 2017”.

The Bulatlat report was published almost two years before the doctored photo was posted on Facebook.

Manalansan also sent AFP a link to the photo, which was posted on his own Facebook account.

Below is a screengrab of the genuine image (bottom right) on Manalansan’s Facebook page:

‘Kumander Bravo’ assures protection for voters

From the Manila Bulletin (May 9, 2019): ‘Kumander Bravo’ assures protection for voters

Abdullah “Kumander Bravo” Macapaar, the feisty head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) North Western Mindanao Command, reportedly issued last Monday an advisory assuring protection for voters, who may face intimidation after receiving kandori (bribe money) and voting for candidates other than the vote-buying politicians.


“Some of you (Lanao voters) may have already received the kandori (bribe money). Don’t’ let this impede your right to vote for candidates of you hearts’ choice. If bribe-givers return after elections to intimidate you for voting other candidates, please let us know. We will fight for you,” Macapaar, now an appointed minister of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), said in advisory written in Maranao dialect.

This developed as Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong Jr. denied claims that his camp has resorted to vote-buying in his gubernatorial bid, as well as the candidacy of his relatives and political allies in Marawi City and across the province.

Adiong was reacting to claims in social and traditional media that his camp has resorted to bribing voters in his fading bid for a fourth gubernatorial stint.

He was elected governor in 2007, 2010 and 2013. In 2016, he ran for vice governor and won alongside his mother, now incumbent Gov. Bedjoria Soyara Alonto-Adiong. He is now running for governor in tandem with his son, vice gubernatorial aspirant Mujam under the Lakas/Christian-Muslim Democrats.

He deemed the allegation “serious,” but dared complainants to lodge complaint in proper legal forum, “not via social media or trial by publicity.”

Adiong particularly reacted to a report that quoted retired police and military officials and former National Labor Relations (NLRC) commissioner Salic Dumarpa as urging the President and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to sanction Adiong’s alleged vote-buying and place the province under Comelec control.

In such report, Dumarpa said he had secured 675 affidavits from voters in nine towns of Lanao del Sur, attesting to the Adiong camp’s alleged distribution of cash, along with the shortlist of candidates to be voted upon.

Dumarpa alleged that the pooled bribe money was earmarked at P500 per vote for Adiong’s gubernatorial bid; P500 for his son Mujam’s vice gubernatorial run; P1,000 for his brother’s (Ansaruddin) reelection as first district congressman; P3,000 for Marawi reelection-seeking mayor Majul Gandamra; and P1,000 for Anoar Rumoros’ city vice mayoral candidacy.

In exposing the alleged anomaly, members of the so-called Lanao Sur Military and Police Retirees Reform Movement and Dumarpa proposed for the declaration of Lanao del Sur under Comelec control or failure of election that would warrant appointment of OICs in the province’s elective positions.

Philippine, US, Japanese and Indian Navies Sail Across South China Sea

From BenarNews (May 9, 2019): Philippine, US, Japanese and Indian Navies Sail Across South China Sea

A US Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle maneuvers near the USS Wasp during the amphibious landing exercises as part Balikatan Exercise 2019, April 11, 2019.

A US Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle maneuvers near the USS Wasp during the amphibious landing exercises as part Balikatan Exercise 2019, April 11, 2019.  AP

The Philippine Navy joined top defense ally the United States and regional powers Japan and India in sailing across disputed areas in the South China Sea after recent drills in South Korea, officials said Thursday.

The show of force came as the Philippines remained locked in a territorial dispute with China, which has sent fishing ships into maritime territory within Manila’s exclusive economic zone.

The six military ships from the four countries sailed from Busan, South Korea, following the first phase of the ASEAN-Plus Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus) Maritime Security Field Training Exercise 2019, according to the Philippine Navy. They crossed over to Singapore, where the second phase of the drills are to be completed.

Navy spokesman Capt. Jonathan Zata said the decision to conduct maritime exercises occurred during discussions among commanders at the Busan training.

“This combined transit exercise aimed to deepen the partnership and foster mutual understanding between participant countries. As with other naval exercises, this activity is expected to validate the decades of friendship, partnership and cooperative engagement that has been long established and observed between the Philippines, US, Japan and India,” Zata said.

The United States, which has vowed to sail through the region to show freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, was excited to take part in the event, said Cmdr. Andrew Klug of the USS William P. Lawrence.

“Professional engagements with our allies, partners and friends in the region allow us the opportunity to build upon existing, strong relationships, as well as to learn from each other,” Klug said.

The trip came after China and the Philippines appeared to diplomatically settle differences in the region. Manila had warned Beijing about the presence of its ships in Philippine-claimed territory around Pag-asa Island.

China claims most of the mineral-rich South China Sea, including areas that reach the shores of its smaller neighbors. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have overlapping claims to the maritime region.

Multilateral cooperation

During the weeklong transit, the ships “conducted a series of training exercises and social interactions.” Transiting through the disputed region was a conduct of “freedom of safe navigation in support of rules-based international system,” the Philippine Navy said.

Capt. Roy Vincent Trinidad, who is leading the Philippine Navy delegation, said the sail validated multilateral cooperation among the four nations.

“The group sail showed the active participation of the Philippine Navy as it strengthens its relationships with allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. This gives us another opportunity to learn from like-minded navies,” Trinidad said.

Last month, about 4,000 Filipino, 50 Australian and 3,500 American troops participated in Balikatan Exercise 2019, an annual joint military exercise. The amphibious warship USS Wasp, which has sailed through the South China Sea, was deployed for the exercise.

MNLF member, uncle nabbed over P1-M shabu in QC

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (May 10, 2019): MNLF member, uncle nabbed over P1-M shabu in QC

Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and other police officials present the suspects arrested for possession of P1-million worth of shabu. The arrested suspects are MNLF member Bismar Sabtula Nadduha (left) and Jinsir Abduhaddi Jhol (right). Photo from QCPD PIO

MANILA, Philippines — A member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and his uncle were arrested as more than P1-million worth of shabu (crystal meth) had been seized from them during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City on Friday night.

Quezon City Police District director Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel identified the suspects as Bismar Sabtula Nadduha, 25, and his uncle Jinsir Abduhaddi Jhol, 40, of Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City.

Esquivel said the arrest stemmed from a previous anti-drug operation in Barangay Old Balara on Wednesday where suspects Nemia Castilla and Marites dela Cruz bared that Nadduha and Jhol were their source of illegal drugs.

After validating the information, police launched a buy-bust operation along Sta. Catalina, Barangay Holy Spirit wherein a police officer posed as a buyer and bought P50,000 worth of shabu from the suspects.

The suspects were then arrested while police seized 150 grams of shabu with a street value of P1,020,000.

The suspects revealed to police that their source of illegal drugs is from a Southeast Asian country.

Police also found that Jhol was arrested in 2003 by elements of the QCPD Talipapa police station for illegal drugs. He was sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Jhol and Nadduha will be charged for violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

DOJ concludes preliminary investigation on 4 suspect Abu Sayyaf terrorists

From the Manila Bulletin (May 11, 2019): DOJ concludes preliminary investigation on 4 suspect Abu Sayyaf terrorists

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has concluded its preliminary investigation over four arrested suspected members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).“The preliminary investigation is over. The case has been submitted for resolution,” said Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olive Torrevillas.

Torrevillas conducted the preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by the Major Crimes Investigation Unit of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation Group (PNP-CIDG) against married couple Khadela Tawasil Jainal and Abdurrafie Jalas Danial, and female suspects Fatma Musa Narimin, and Almaida Salvin.

Police alleged that the suspects were followers of ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, and were being utilized by the ASG for their financial transactions, procurement, and transportation of firearms and explosives, and the facilitation of recruitment and travel of foreign fighters to the Philippines.

The four were arrested last April 16 in Barangay Talabaan, Zamboanga City where they were found in possession of two fragmentation grenades; a nine-volt battery with a switch; an eco bag containing white granules suspected to be ammonium nitrate; a timer with wire; several wires with alligator clip; concrete nails; two non-electric blasting caps with a safety cover; and, identification cards.

Following their arrest, they were brought to the DOJ last April 17 where they were subjected to inquest proceedings for illegal possession of explosives in violation of Republic Act 9516.

During the proceedings, the suspects decided to undergo preliminary investigation and signed a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code that penalizes delay in the delivery of a detained person to the proper judicial authorities.

Sabah sea curfew extended yet another two weeks

From the Star Online (May 10, 2019): Sabah sea curfew extended yet another two weeks

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk-to-dawn sea curfew which ends today (May 10) will be extended for another two weeks until May 26 (Sunday), says Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah.

He said the extension of the 6pm-to-6am curfew was needed due to continuous threats from cross-border criminals, including from kidnap-for-ransom groups.

Omar said the curfew covered areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

"There is a need to continue the curfew in these waters to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands," he said in a statement Friday (May 10).

“We also want to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and are staying near the Eastern Sabah Security Zone,” he said.

He added that the curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area, as well as establish a sense of security with nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team.

"I have also given the authority to all district police chiefs to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishery activities in the areas affected by the curfew," Omar said.

The curfew was first implemented on July 19, 2014 following a spate of kidnappings which saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fed and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists.

Filipino soldiers undergo trauma management training under British experts

From the Manila Bulletin (May 10, 2019): Filipino soldiers undergo trauma management training under British experts

Officers and enlisted personnel from the Philippine Army’s Light Reaction Regiment, First Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, 6th Infantry Division, and the 11th Infantry Division, participated in a Trauma Risk Management Training (TRiM) to help train Army personnel on operational stress management.

Philippine Army (PA) Spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon P. Zagala, said the TRiM, which began on April 24, concluded at the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, on Thursday, May 9.


He said a total of 16 officers and 18 enlisted personnel participated in the two-week long training.

Zagala said the TRiM was made possible through the assistance of the British Royal Marines as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the government of the United Kingdom of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland which provides joint training, exchange of trainees and instructors, and information on training related matters.

He said the activity is a series of training for the members of the PA launched in September last year. It covered three phases namely: Policy Formulation Phase, Pilot Training Phase and Trainer’s Training Phase.

Zagala said the request for the training stemmed from the Marawi siege and other previous conflicts that happened in the country.

“This cooperation between the Philippines and the United Kingdom aims to empower our soldiers to help fellow soldiers in need,” Zagala said in a press statement.

“This (cooperation) will benefit those who face personal challenges after a conflict so they may be able to return to their normal lives,” he added.

Zagala said the PA earlier extended an invitation to Col. Mike Page, the British Attaché to the Philippines, to train Army personnel on operational stress management after experiencing the five-month Marawi siege in 2017.

The Marawi siege, it was recalled, was a five-month-long armed conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, that started on May 23, 2017, between military and police forces against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups.

Marawi City was later recaptured by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on October 23, 2017. More than 1,000 government troops, militants and civilians were killed as a result of the conflict.

He said acting as instructors and subject matter experts, British marine and navy service members trained selected officers and enlisted personnel of the PA in order to assist them in the conduct of the TRiM.

The British Royal Marines explained that the TRiM was a psychological support tool of the Operational Stress Management that deals with potential stressors the military face in the line of their duty.

Included in the stressors are the high-intensity operations, unpleasant role such as body handling, involvement in previous trauma, threat of injury or death to self, high-frequency deployments, constant bombardment and death of colleague.

“The Philippine Army aims to capacitate its troops to apply peer-delivered combat stress assessment in helping the early identification of soldiers at risk of combat trauma thus designating them with appropriate professional help as soon as possible,” Zagala said.

Zagala said in the previously concluded Phase III of TRiMP, a debriefing was conducted by the British Royal Marines where they tackled the challenges the trainees faced as they applied what they learned in Phase II of the training program.

Phase III of the training, according to Zagala, also discussed the areas of improvement the TRiMP teams need to face so they can deliver the best trauma risk management to soldiers.

3 Filipinos with Suspected IS Links Nabbed in Manila

From BenarNews (May 10, 2019): 3 Filipinos with Suspected IS Links Nabbed in Manila

This collage of mugshots released by police shows suspected militants Cairoden Abolkhair (left), Tagoranao Dimaro Sarip Jr (center), and Norodin Manalinding after they were arrested in Manila, May 10, 2019.

This collage of mugshots released by police shows suspected militants Cairoden Abolkhair (left), Tagoranao Dimaro Sarip Jr (center), and Norodin Manalinding after they were arrested in Manila, May 10, 2019. [Handout/Philippine National Police]

Police arrested three suspected Filipino militants from a group associated with Islamic State during separate raids in the Manila area Friday, authorities said.

The suspects were members of Dawlah Islamiyah Ranao, a militant organization from the south with links to Muslim extremists who occupied the southern city of Marawi two years ago, said Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay, head of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Philippine capital.

“They are still under investigation but based on our initial information, they are support personnel for the ISIS based here,” said Ibay, using another acronym for the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Assorted firearms and rebel paraphernalia, including a black Islamic State flag were seized during operations in the Manila suburbs of Parañaque city and Rizal, police said. But it was not clear if the suspects were planning an attack in the capital, just days ahead of nationwide midterm polls scheduled for Monday.

The suspects were identified as Cairoden Abolkhair, Tagoranao Dimaro Sarip Jr, and Norodin Manalinding.

“Their arrest shall give justice to the victims of their atrocities, ensure public safety and security and send a message to other members at-large that this government does not tolerate impunity,” Ibay said.

The Philippine military had reported that about two dozen pro-Islamic State groups were actively recruiting members in the southern Philippines, despite the October 2017 killing of Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon, when his group was defeated at the end of a five-month battle with government forces in Marawi. He also led IS militants in the Philippines.

And there have been warnings that IS was planning attacks in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, following a twin bombing that killed 23 people at a church in the southern town of Jolo in January.

Bulatlat: Health groups slam Facebook for ‘condoning red-tagging’

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online propaganda publication Bulatlat (May 10, 2019): Health groups slam Facebook for ‘condoning red-tagging’

Photo courtesy of Health Alliance of Democracy.

“By deliberately using those photos with the status ‘Communist NPA CPP NDFP supporters’, the lives and security of those persons are placed in danger.”

(UPDATED: May 11, 2019, 7:40 p.m.) MANILA — Health workers, professionals and advocates held a protest action in front of Facebook Philippines office in BGC, Taguig City on Thursday, May 9 for the latter’s inaction on their complaints against certain pages that peddle lies.

In particular, the groups cited Nurses for Change Movement and Stop Communists in the Health Sector* Facebook pages which tagged health organizations as supporters of the New People’s Army, Communist Party of the Philippines and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDF).

In a statement, Dr. Joseph Carabeo, secretary general of Health Alliance for Democracy, raised hell over the use of pictures of their colleagues without their knowledge and consent. “By deliberately using those photos with the status ‘Communist NPA CPP NDFP supporters’, the lives and security of those persons are placed in danger,” said Carabeo.

Carabeo said they have done the necessary measures like reporting the said Facebook pages but there have been no action so far. The Facebook pages remain active because apparently, according to Facebook, the reported pages and posts “do not go against its ‘community standards.'”

Carabeo said they also went to the Facebook Philippines office on March 20 to formally request for an appointment with its representatives but to no avail. They were met by the security guards who explained that no staff or officer can meet them at that moment. The security guards explained that the request for appointment will be responded to by Facebook’s Singapore office. The guards also refused to receive their letter saying that they only receive documents from courts. Carabeo’s group has not received any response from Facebook up to now.

“Our colleagues felt as though Facebook is only interested in raking-in money from its users worldwide but refuse to take action when users report a page that they find offensive or propagates harassment, disinformation, and threat to life and safety,” said Carabeo.

The groups called on Facebook to “seriously take action on posts and pages that perpetuate red-tagging, disinformation and impunity.”

“We are appalled at how Facebook is used by the people behind this page whose motives are obviously malicious, to brazenly attack persons and organizations simply for exercising their right to free expression on issues that are legitimate or valid,” Carabeo said.

Carabeo said that they will exercise all legal remedies to expose the people behind the said Facebook pages.

Meanwhile upon checking of the said Facebook pages, the Stop Communists in the Health Sector Facebook page is no longer searchable in the said social media platform while the Nurses for Change Movement and its contents are still accessible.

A few weeks ago, Facebook pages advocating human rights were flagged for allegedly “going against Page Policy, which includes restrictions around sharing distributing or promoting content inauthentically.” The said pages that were flagged are Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Stop Killing Farmers, and Free The Artist.

NPA rebels storm Iloilo village

From the Philippine Star (May 11, 2019): NPA rebels storm Iloilo village

Screengrab from CCTV footage shows NPA rebels roaming in Barangay San Jose, Miag-ao, Iloilo on Wednesday.

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels reportedly stormed a hinterland barangay in Miag-ao, Iloilo on Wednesday.

Closed-circuit television camera footage showed the rebels carrying high-powered firearms in Barangay San Jose at around 9:45 a.m.

Lt. Col. Joem Malong, Western Visayas police spokesperson, said they also received reports that the rebels gathered near a cemetery.

“It’s a bait for us to respond and... they will position... to ambush our troops,” Malong said.

Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, 61st Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said the armed men could be members of the NPA’s Panay-Southern Front Committee.

In Bukidnon, Col. Nolasco Mempin, 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander, said Benido Lambonay, head of the political wing of the NPA’s Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, and his men Eyan Mandanoay, 20, and Ely Manlangoy surrendered on Wednesday.

Mempin said the surrenderees turned over two Garand rifles, two carbines and an M14.

In Cagayan, soldiers of the 17th IB overran an NPA camp in Barangay Lipatan, Sto. Nino on Thursday.

An M14 rifle, an M16, personal belongings and campaign materials of militant party-list groups were recovered at the scene.

Meanwhile, the military clarified that only one soldier, not three as earlier reported, was killed in clashes with NPA guerrillas in Barangay San Sebastian, Jones, Isabela on Wednesday. 

AT WAR: Military Exercise in the Philippines That Contends With Both ISIS and China

From the New York Times Magazine (May 10, 2019): AT WAR: Military Exercise in the Philippines That Contends With Both ISIS and China (By Thomas Gibbons-Neff)

[At War is a newsletter about the experiences and costs of war.]

This is what happened during a recent military exercise in which American soldiers trained Philippine troops to fight both a major foreign power and a band of insurgents.

Image: Philippine special forces during a military exercise on Lubang Island. Credit Jes Aznar for The New York Times

For years after World War II ended, four Japanese soldiers held out on Lubang, a speck of an island in the Pacific, refusing to believe that the fighting was over. Second Lt. Hiroo Onoda, the last soldier to surrender, walked out of the jungle in 1974 after his commanding officer went there and formally relieved him of duty.

I recently visited Lubang, where the new enemies on the island 93 miles southwest of Manila were the pressing heat, sporadic 3G cellphone service and a group of American soldiers based out of Washington State. The Americans were the “bad guys,” or opposing force, for the final training operation of the 12-day-long Balikatan, an annual military exercise between American and Filipino troops.

The choreographed event, which ended April 11, had all the fixings of an American joint-training exercise. Blank ammunition and Meals, Ready to Eat, all in the name of strengthening a decades-old alliance fractured when the Philippine government kicked American troops out of the country in the early 1990s and again in 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end training operations like Balikatan.

Far from Lubang, northwest of the two beachside pseudo-resorts that Army Green Berets rented for their temporary barracks and a long way beyond the coral reefs that ring the island, lies China. Beijing’s aggressive expansion into the South China Sea and the subsequent fortification of a string of islands near the Philippine coast was the specter lingering undiscussed over the training exercise — a threat that both Washington and Manila are trying to counter.

Image: During the exercise, the Philippine troops were dealing with a foreign-power takeover and fighting extremist militants. Credit Jes Aznar for The New York Times

“If they were to have any small islands taken over by a foreign military, this is definitely a dress rehearsal that can be used in the future,” said Maj. Christopher Bolz, the Green Beret officer in charge of the American contingent, to a Singaporean news outlet. He pointed to a satellite image and explained where the helicopters would land on Lubang, while his soldiers went over the inner workings of a mortar tube with their Filipino counterparts.

But the next day, when American Green Berets from the First Special Forces Group, Australian Special Operations troops and Philippine commandos assaulted Lubang from the air and sea, the enemies on the ground were assembled like a band of insurgents, not a foreign army. The American troops from the 20th Infantry Regiment had taken hostages — local volunteers — at an airfield and a beachside village.

The exercise, planned last year at the request of the year-old Philippine Special Operations Command, seemed to aim for a one-size-fits-all approach to their military training. The Philippine troops were contending with a foreign-power takeover, all while fighting extremist militants, which signaled a recognition of the multiple adversaries that threaten the country: the encroaching Chinese military to the west and the resurging Islamic State in the country’s south.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Pondanera, the Filipino officer helping to coordinate the exercise, said that he hoped the training would help fix some of the issues that plagued his elite forces during the siege of Marawi in 2017, like Manila’s overreliance on the smaller, better-trained special operations units in lieu of regular foot soldiers force and a difficulty radioing in accurate airstrikes. The battle went on for months after Islamic State fighters took over much of the city, holding out against government forces and airstrikes before they were eventually routed.

Image: The Americans were the opposing force for the final training operation of the 12-day-long military exercise.Credit Jes Aznar for The New York Times

But there were no training airstrikes during the attack on Lubang — just the rotor wash of helicopters and the sound of gear-laden Americans and Filipino troops navigating language barriers. During the beach assault, the American soldiers had some difficulty maneuvering around the jagged reef in their inflatable boats. On the airfield, the staccato of imitation gunfire brought some villagers to record the spectacle on their cellphones.

“Does any of you have a radio?” One Green Beret asked, shouting over the crack of paintball simulation rounds and blank ammo, to a pair of Filipino soldiers. They did not.

BCDA remits P15-B to national government in 3 years

From the Sun Star-Pampanga (May 10, 2019): BCDA remits P15-B to national government in 3 years

THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has remitted P15.455 billion to the national government in just three years under the Duterte administration.

The figure is much higher than the total P14.464 billion declared during the six-year Aquino administration.

BCDA recently remitted to the National Treasury the amount of P5.401 billion representing asset disposition proceeds, dividends and guarantee fees.

The state-owned agency previously declared P6.004 billion in 2018, and P4.050 billion in 2017.

“BCDA’s positive performance in the past three years can be attributed to the efficient governance promoted by President Duterte. Because of this, BCDA has already remitted P1 billion more than what was declared during the six years of the previous administration,” said Dizon.

Republic Act No. 7656 or the “Dividend Law” requires government-owned and -controlled corporations, including BCDA, to declare and remit at least 50 percent of their annual net earnings.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), BCDA’s biggest stakeholder, got the lion’s share of P12.5 billion in the past three years.

Out of the total P15.455 billion, P12.5 billion was contributed to the modernization program of the AFP, BCDA’s biggest stakeholder.

“This amount reflects the commitment and support of BCDA and the Duterte administration to upgrade the capabilities of the AFP,” said Dizon.

Since its creation in 1992, BCDA has remitted a total of P62.229 billion to the National Treasury.

‘Di kampi sa NPA! Defense Press Corps denies AFP official’s claim of bias

From Politiko (May 10, 2019): ‘Di kampi sa NPA! Defense Press Corps denies AFP official’s claim of bias

The Defense Press Corps (DPC), the group of journalists covering the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has slammed a military official for accusing them of bias.

Earlier this week, MGen. Antonio Parlade shared an open letter to the editor calling out media outfits for allegedly failing to report the statements made by AFP Spokesperson BGen. Edgard Arevalo about the writ of amparo and habeas data filed by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) before the Supreme Court.

The DPC said Arevalo’s statement was not reported because it was “a rehash oof a written statement” that the military spokesperson issued earlier and was shared by the media.

The group cried foul over Parlade’s allegation that defense reporters are biased and that there is “some collusion” between the media and leftist organizations just because Arevalo’s rehashed statement was not reported.

“The DPC is an organization beholden to no one, not to the AFP, the Department of National Defense, the NUPL, the left and other state and non-state actors. It abides by the principle of fair and responsible journalism,” it said.

In his open letter, Parlade said the Communist Party of the Philippines is exploiting the “sad state of our press” to its advantage.

“This has allowed them to prosecute their National Democratic Revolution through their revolutionary dual tactics, or simply, duplicity. So now we have a biased media who doesn’t want to expose the truth about these front organizations of the CPP,” he said.

The DPC, however, said it was “very unfortunate” that Parlade was “shooting the messenger by falsely and randomly accusing DPC members of transgression” on its core values.

“To be accused of bias, merely by not carrying a stale statement, sends a chilling message to media practitioners to parrot the military line or else, be discredited,” the group said.

CPP/NPA-Negros Island: NPA offensive against RPA-ABB response to the long time demand of the people for justice

NPA-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 8, 2019): NPA offensive against RPA-ABB response to the long time demand of the people for justice

MAY 08, 2019

The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command applauds the Red fighters of New People’s Army (NPA) under the Armando Sumayang Jr. Command for their victorious offensive against members of the mercenary bandit terrorist armed group RPA-ABB around 1:30 this morning at Sitio Mambinay, Barangay Locotan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

The Revolutionary Proletarian Army – Alex Bongcayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) is a break away armed group from the NPA in 1994 after they rejected and refused the rectification movement launched by the revolutionary movement against errors and deviations from the ideological, political and organizational line. At present they continue their anti-people activities.

The bandit RPA-ABB became diehard counter-revolutionaries after they surrendered in 2000. They bragged about the fake and bogus peace talks of the US-Estrada regime and became an instrument to justify localized peace talks offered by the reactionary government to the revolutionary movement until now. They are currently used as a paramilitary extension of the reactionary government to go after and destroy the genuine revolutionary movement, pretending and introducing themselves as revolutionaries but in truth they are mercenaries, bandits and goons of the hacienderos and politicians in Negros Island and nearby islands like Panay and other places in Luzon.

This armed group has a long list of crimes against the people and the revolutionary movement, the following are some of the highlight cases they are facing in the people’s revolutionary court:

1. The bloody massacre of nine farm workers in Brgy. Bulanon, Sagay City last October 20, 2018 together with members of the SCAA under the command of the Marañon family;

2. As goons of the De la Cruz family, warlord clan in Don Salvador Benedicto, they shot and killed peasant leader Alexander Ceballos in Purok Tangke, Brgy. Pandanon Silos, Murcia last 2016 and Councilor Eden Bacordo of DSB with his two companions last 2017;

3. They are responsible for the murder of Judge Henry Arles in 2012;

4. They shot and killed Manuel Batolina, Edwin Bargamento and Sanito Bargamento, organizers of farm workers of Manapla;

5. They abducted the Pelayo cousins at Hacienda Dalayapan, Brgy. Caduhaan, Cadiz City in 2005 and the two are still missing;

6. They also abducted three farmers in Brgy. Canlusong, E.B. Magalona who are still missing;

7. They arrested 13 farmers in Hacienda Bedrio, Brgy. Caduhaan, Cadiz City;

8. They burned houses and shot farmers of Hacienda Valdevia, Brgy. Lopez Jaena, Sagay City;

9. Crimes of RPA leader Rene Eoropa a.k.a. Mako such as land grabbing from poor peasants, extortion activities, hired goons of politicians in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, hold-up of fish vendors and murder of a vendor of native delicacies in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental;

10. During 1996-1997
> Capture and torture to death of Poren Petellar of Sitio Montilo, Brgy. Pinggot, Ilog
> Murder of Mado Salmoren of Sitio Montilo, Brgy. Pinggot, Ilog
> Capture, murder and incineration of eight civilians from Sitio Daan Baryo, Brgy. Damutan, Hinoba-an
> Murder of Bonifacio Galagate with his brother Drigo Galagate and wounding his son who was a minor

11. Grabbing the lands of farmers by forcing them to plant commercial trees in areas of Brgy. Pinggot, Ilog and Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City by virtue of the National Greening Program; and

12. Corrupting the funds of the housing project of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) at Sitio Mambinay, Brgy. Locotan, Kabankalan City and cheating the worker’s salary.

This NPA offensive is a response to the long time demand of the people for the punishment of the RPA-ABB because of their bandit activities that sow terror, kill farmers, steal and extort; for being guns-for-hire and for taking part in the reactionary government’s “counter-insurgency” program aimed at destroying the revolutionary movement.

The AGC calls on members of the RPA-ABB to resign and renounce your bandit organization, connect with or surrender to the nearest NPA unit in your area and clear your status in the people’s revolutionary court. The NPA will not think twice in implementing punishment if you continue your grievous acts against the people.

Long live the oppressed masses!

CPP/CPP-Southern Tagalog: Duterte: umuusbong na Hitler sa Pilipinas

CPP-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 9, 2019): Duterte: umuusbong na Hitler sa Pilipinas

MAY 09, 2019

Ang tinatalunton ng paghahari ni Duterte sa Pilipinas ay nagpapaalala sa atin kung papaano umakyat si Hitler sa kapangyarihan sa Germany at itinatag ang isang totalitaryan at awtokratikong ideolohiya ng Nazi Germany. Tulad ni Hitler, inilalatag ni Duterte ang pagtatayo ng isang pasistang diktadura sa bansa tulad ng ginawa ni Marcos. Tunghayan natin ang pagkakahalintulad ni Hitler at Duterte:
Sinangkalan ni Hitler ang pagkatalo ng Germany sa World War I bilang kagagawan ng pataksil na pagsaksak-sa-likod sa bansang Germany ng mga Hudyo, komunista at mga pulitikong Aleman. Ginamit ni Hitler ang pagkatalong ito upang paypayan ang diskuntento at tuntungan ang popular na sintimyento ng mamamayang Aleman para itaguyod ang ultra-nasyonalismo at isisi ang kinasadlakang krisis ng Germany sa mga Hudyo, komunista at mga oposisyon para itulak ang paglipol sa lahing Hudyo, pagtugis sa mga komunista at iba pang anti-Nazi na oposisyon.

Samantala, tinuntungan naman ni Duterte ang kampanyang anti-droga at ipininta ang sarili bilang “sosyalista”, makamahirap, makabayan, anti-US at para sa kapayapaan upang akitin ang boto ng mamamayan at manalo sa eleksyon ng 2016. Subalit mabilis nyang tinalikuran at hinubad ang balatkayong ito at walang pakundangang inilunsad ang madugong gera kontra iligal na droga, binalasubas ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa NDFP at pinakawalan ang malupit na total war laban sa mamamayan at gerang henosidyo sa Bangsamoro tulad ng ginawa nyang pagpulbos sa Marawi City, ang sentro ng pananampalatayang Islam sa Mindanao. Nakatanim sa bawat yunit ng pulisya at ahensya sa paniktik ang Duterte Death Squad na nagsasagawa ng mga ekstra-hudisyal na pagpatay sa mga lider at kasapi ng ligal na demokratikong kilusan.

Itinalaga ni Hitler si Joseph Goebbels bilang Ministro ng Propaganda upang malalim na itanim ang isang pasistang ideolohiya, magpalaganap ng paulit-ulit na kasinungalingan upang paypayan ang pagkamuhi sa mga Hudyo, mga komunista’t sosyal-demokrata at simbahang Katoliko. Itinaguyod ni Goebbels ang pilosopiya na ang “pag-uulit-ulit ng isang kasinungalingan, sa dulo ay paniniwalaan ng mamamayan na isang katotohanan”. Kinontrol ni Goebbels ang lahat ng daluyan ng impormasyon, masmidya at sining sa Germany para itaguyod ang pasismo. Ang rehimeng Nazi ang responsable sa henosidyo ng di kukulangin sa 5.5 milyong Hudyo at milyun-milyon pang biktima. Ang pasistang ideolohiyang ito ang nagpakawala sa panatikong pag-atake sa mga Hudyo, simbahang Katoliko, oposisyon at sa pagsiklab ng World War II na kumitil sa 60 milyon kabilang ang 50-55 milyong sibilyan.

Itinalaga naman ni Duterte si Salvador Panelo bilang presidential spokesperson at Martin Andanar bilang kalihim ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) upang magpalaganap ng isang tipo ng panatisismo at kulto ni Duterte. Samantala, masugid na asong tagasakmal ni Duterte si Mocha Uson na naghahasik ng mga kasinungalingan at pekeng balita laban sa mga personahe at kalaban ni Duterte sa pulitika. Tulad ni Hitler, garapal na inudyukan ni Duterte ang pulisya at militar na tugisin at patayin ang mga komunista, mga pari’t obispo, mga tulak at adik, tagapagtanggol ng karapatang-tao at kasapi ng mga progresibong organisasyon. Itinayo ng mga propagandista ni Duterte ang hukbo ng mgacyber trolls para magpalaganap ng pekeng balita, disimpormasyon at paninira sa mga kritiko ng rehimen.

Ngayon naman, paulit-ulit na naglalabas ang Malakanyang sa pamamagitan ni Salvador ‘Goebbels’ Panelo ng mga nilubid na kasinungalingan ng diumanong isang Oust Duterte Matrix na nagsasangkot sa mga personalidad at kritiko sa masmidya, burges na oposisyon, at mga progresibo’t makabayan. Itinaon ito ni Duterte at Panelo ilang araw bago ang eleksyon sa Mayo 13 upang siraan at idiskaril ang kampanyang elektoral ng mga progresibo’t oposisyon at pagtakpan o iligaw ang pansin ng bayan sa malakas na ebidensya na nagsasangkot sa pamilyang Duterte sa sindikato ng iligal na droga.

Itinatag ni Goebbels ang Hitler Youth organization upang gawing makinarya sa propaganda para manipulahin ang isip ng mga kabataan at bata para sa adyenda ng Nazi Party. Itinatag ito noong 1926 para sa layuning sanayin ang mga batang lalaki para maging kasapi ng Storm Detachment, tumulong sa armadong pwersa ng Germany at ihanda sila para magserbisyo sa SS—isang paramilitar na organisasyon sa ilalim ni Hitler.

Sa ilalim ni Duterte, itinatag ang Duterte Youth Movement na pinamumunuan ngayon ni Ronald Cardema upang maging kontra-agos sa progresibong kilusan ng mga kabataan at mamamayan, magpalaganap ng kulto ni Duterte at bulag na panatisismo sa hanay ng kabataan at mamamayan, maging makinarya sa itim na propaganda at demonisasyon sa mga kritiko at lahat ng disgustado na sa korap, taksil at teroristang paghahari ng rehimen.

Nang buo-buong mahawakan ni Hitler ang mga sangay ng lehislatibo at ehekutibo ng gubyerno, sinimulan nyang supilin ang natitirang oposisyon. Ipinagbawal ang Social Democratic Party at kinumpiska ang mga ari-arian. Giniba ng mga stormtrooper ang mga upisina ng mga unyon sa buong bansa at noong 1933, pinuwersang lusawin ang lahat ng unyon at ikinulong ang mga lider sa mga concentration camps. Sa sumunod na mga taon, napilitang lansagin ng ibang mga partidong pulitikal ang sarili. Sa ganito, itinatag ni Hitler ang isang diktadura sa Germany.

Sinusundan ngayon ni Duterte ang yapak ni Hitler sa Germany. Sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang maniubra, nakontrol ni Duterte ang Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso at naging mayorya ang kanyang mga kaalyado sa Senado. Inilagay ni Duterte ang buong Mindanao sa walang-taning na Martial Law sa suporta ng Kongreso at Senado at pagkatig ng Korte Suprema. Gamit ang iba’t ibang anyo ng panunuhol at pagbusog sa matataas na upisyal ng militar at pulisya, nakuha ni Duterte ang bulag na pagsunod ng buong pwersang panseguridad ng bansa para ipailalim ang Pilipinas sa isang de factoMartial Law.

Pinapakana ni Duterte ang pagbabago ng Konstitusyong 1987 tungong pederalismo upang itatag ang kontrol ng mga dinastiyang pultikal sa mga pederal na rehiyon at ang sariling pangkatin bilang punong diktador sa sentral na gubyerno. Ang pagpapakulo ng mga inimbentong sabwatan para pabagsakin daw ang kanyang gubyerno ay paglalatag ng mga kundisyon para sa isang pambansang crackdown matapos ang eleksyon at pagtatayo ng isang lantad na paghaharing pasista sa Pilipinas.

Gayon na lamang ang takot ni Duterte sa pagsiklab ng galit ng mamamayan kaya’t kabi-kabila ang pagmamanupaktura ng kanyang mga propagandista at ahensya sa paniktik ng kathang-isip na sabwatan para pabagsakin ang kanyang rehimen. Isang bangungot sa naghaharing pangkatin ang nagbabadyang pagputok ng malawakang protesta sa di na matiis na kahirapan, panunupil, terorismo at pang-aapi ng rehimen sa mamamayan.

Dapat na patuloy na itaas ng mamamayan ang pagmamatyag upang biguin ang pasistang pakana ni Duterte na maghari nang walang taning ang kanyang angkan sa Pilipinas, itatag ang pasistang diktadura sa bansa at pakawalan ang walang kasing-lupit na pagsupil sa karapatan at mga demokratikong aktibidad ng mamamayan. Tinatawagan namin ang lahat ng makabayan at nagmamalasakit sa kapakanan at hinaharap ng bansang Pilipinas na magkaisa at ubos-kayang labanan ang pasismo at terorismo ng rehimeng US-Duterte. Sa malao’t madali, sasapitin ni Duterte at ng lahat ng kanyang kampon ng kasamaan at kasinungalingan ang parehong kapalaran ng mga ibinagsak na pasista at teroristang rehimen sa kasaysayan ng daigdig. ###

CPP/NDF-EV: NDF-EV gin-aghat an katawhan nga suktan hi Gov. Sharee Ann Tan ha pagpasibaya ha mga biktima han katgutom ngan militarisasyon ha Samar

NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 10, 2019): NDF-EV gin-aghat an katawhan nga suktan hi Gov. Sharee Ann Tan ha pagpasibaya ha mga biktima han katgutom ngan militarisasyon ha Samar

MAY 10, 2019

Gin-aghat yana han National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas an katawhan nga suktan hi Gov. Sharee Ann Tan ha landaw nga pagpasibaya ha mga biktima han militarisasyon ha Samar ngan gamiton an elektoral nga nataran agud magin lansaran han pakigbisog kontra ha dinastiya Tan nga pira na katuig nga nagpapahimulos ha karikuhan han Samar samtang mahuyo naman ha panalapas ha tawhanon nga katungod ngan diri nagtatagad ha hiluagan nga kagutom nga naglalasurbo yana ha Samar.

Ginsusukna han NDF-EV an kawaray kasingkasing ni Gov. Tan ha kadiri pagpadara han ayuda ha mga parag-uma ha Samar nga ginlalasurbo han kalamidad han kathuraw. “An pira kabulan nga kathuraw nagpatay han paninanum han mga parag-uma. Ura-ura kahimubo an presyo han kopras nga naabot la ha P7.00 kada kilo an kasagaran nga presyo, alkansi ura-ura kun igtatanding ha gastos ha pagkopras. Ura-ura kamahal an presyo han bugas samtang barato ura-ura an presyo han humay. Samtang, diri pa nasosolusyunan han prubinsyal nga gubyerno an padayon nga peste ha abaka. Namamangpangan an hiluagan nga kagutom tungod han kalamidad nga kathuraw.

“Makusog an hangyo han mga parag-uma nga magpadangat hin tambulig an gubyerno, kundi nagpapabilin nga buta-bungol hi Gov. Tan. Lugod, nahura ha kabaryuhan an PANGAKO, usa nga sistema han “cash assistance” nga iginhahatag ha mga lunod-patay nga tagsuporta han mga Tan nga nakantidad hin P500 kada bulan, kabalyo han botos ha ira pamilya. Tungod han kagutom, napipiritan an mga parag-uma nga igdeklara an kalugaringon nga nasuporta ha dinastiya para han saad nga duha kakilo nga bugas ngan kwarta, kabalyo han pagpalista han ngaran ngan saad nga bobotosan an ngatanan nga membro han pamilya han dinastiya nga Tan nga kandidato yana nga eleksyon. Napila pa hira bisan ura-ura kahilaba, gatus-gatos o sobra pa an kadamo han tawo, danay naabot pa gab-i an paghinulat han desperado nga mga kablas. An bugas pa gud tikang ha prubinsyal nga gubyerno, diri personal nga bulig han mga Tan. Ura-ura nga pakatamay ini ha kablas nga kamutangan han mga parag-uma ha Samar, nga ha butnga han kagutom ngan kalamidad han kathuraw, ginsisingabot han dinastiya nga Tan pa agud seguruhon an botos yana nga eleksyon.

Dugang pa ni Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas, nagpapabilin nga mahuyo ngan pasibo hi Gov. Tan atubangan han grabe nga pangabuso han 8th Infantry Division labina ha mga bungto han San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Calbiga ngan Pinabacdao, Samar. “Kabalyo han pagseguro nga makokontrol han dinastiya nga Tan an botos yana nga eleksyon, waray bisan ano man nga pagkundenar nga ginhimo an gubernador ha luyo han ebakwasyon han yukut-yukot nga parag-uma ha Samar hadin Enero ngan Marso. Waray liwat pagkabantad hi Gov. Tan ha luyo han brutal nga pagpataya kan Kap. Wilmar Calutan ha Brgy. Beri, Calbiga Samar. Ginkukunsinti ni Gov. Tan an padayon nga imposisyon han balaud militar ha bug-os nga Samar, nga makikita ha iya kainutil nga suktan an 8th Infantry Division ngan pagiknon an armado nga kasundaluhan hini nga nagkakampo ha sakob han komunidad han sibilyan, nananarhug ngan landaw nga nanginginlabot ha eleksyon.”

Nanawagan hi Fr. Santiago Salas nga magin maisugon ngan atuhan an kalamidad han dinastiya nga Tan nga padayon nga nagpapakuri ha mga Samarnon. “Diri malalauman an usa nga nagdedeklara nga magtataglawas ha konggreso ha mga Samarnon nga buta-bungol ha araba han katawhan. An praktis han dinastiya nga Tan ha naglabay nga katuigan ngan ha haros duha kadekada nira nga pangatungdanan putos han kurapasyon, pagpasibaya ngan pagpahimulos ha karikuhan han Samar gamit an ira poder ha prubinsya. Ha sugad, kinahanglan bantaron ngan papagbatunon labina gud hi Gov. Sharee Ann Tan nga nangungulo ha Regional Peace and Order Council, kundi inutil ha pagsolbar han grabe nga kasamukan yana ha kabaryuhan durot han militarisasyon.”

CPP/NDF-EV: NDF-EV in solidarity with protest evacuations, calls on people of Eastern Visayas to unite and fight fascist Duterte regime with all forms of struggle

NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 10, 2019): NDF-EV in solidarity with protest evacuations, calls on people of Eastern Visayas to unite and fight fascist Duterte regime with all forms of struggle

MAY 10, 2019

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas (NDF-EV) today expressed solidarity with the protest evacuations over the killings of two barangay captains in Samar. Residents of Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar evacuated this May 9 over the killing of village chief Apolinario Lebico. Earlier last April 26, residents of Barangary Beri, Calbiga, Western Samar also evacuated to protest the murder of the barangay captain, Wilmar Calutan, and to demand the pull-out of the military from their village.

NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago “Ka Sanny” Salas pointed out that Duterte is not interested in pursuing elections, peace talks nor any other form of democracy in the country. “He is only concerned in maintaining his tyrannical rule using any means such as his terror campaign so any threat against his power will surely be paved out of the way,” he said.

The NDF-EV spokesperson also slammed Duterte for escalating his terror campaign in the region and pinning the blame on the New People’s Army (NPA). “Duterte is using alleged ‘NPA attacks’ to declare various barrios as election hot spots and justify militarization in Eastern Visayas. Since the declaration of Memorandum Order No. 32 last November, the GRP has concentrated 11 battalions in the region, redeploying some from Mindanao.”

Amidst the regime’s terror attacks, National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas supports the people of San Miguel, Las Navas in their continued fight for their human rights. It noted that with the recent killing of their barangay captain, Apolinario “Pening” Lebico who is a known supporter of anti-fascist movement in their barrio, the people’s response is an evacuation action to register their dissent, banish military forces from their town, file a case against the 20th IB as the mastermind behind the killing of Lebico and finally expose the rotten system of the fascist Duterte regime.

Last April 26 as well in Beri, Calbiga, 375 people also actuated an evacuation action in response to the killing of their barangay captain, Wilmar Calutan. “The people are fighting for their democratic rights that are being violated. We warn Duterte that any administration is nothing without the masses. That’s why the fascist Duterte regime should never disregard the combined forces of the people,” Fr. Salas said with pride.

In solidarity with the people’s movement using all forms of resistance against the regime, the New People’s Army is also proceeding with the urgent task of advancing the armed struggle. More and more military actions are being set off by the combined forces of the NPA, militia units and special operations group. Last April 16, one element of the 20th IB was killed and one injured when the NPA fired shots in Brgy. Quirino, Las Navas. Meanwhile, there was another injured Army element in Brgy. San Francisco, Las Navas when they attacked the military camp. The people’s army also had a sparrow attack in Catotoogan, Las Navas wherein two military forces were killed and two .45 caliber pistol where confiscated.

More than 10 military actions were actuated by the NPA against the elements of 20th IB since 2017 with accumulated casualties equivalent to a platoon. All these military actions will only be possible with the support of the masses. “These successful tactical offensives are proof that the masses are already using all means possible to oust a tyrant. If Duterte proceeds with his regionwide as well as nationwide terror campaign, the masses and the NPA will be further united and ready to fight,” Fr. Salas said.

Fr. Salas enjoins every freedom-loving Filipino in the region to join forces and form the anti-fascist movement and the broad united front to oust the tyrant Duterte. “All peasants, workers, media, lawyers, church people and human rights and peace advocates will never be silenced and will do various means to resist the US-Duterte regime. Meanwhile, platoons and companies of the New People’s Army will certainly multiply, carry out more and more military actions, and further advance to full-scale guerrilla warfare,” he ended. #


NPA-Mountain Province propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 11, 2019): IYABANTE TI DEMOKRATIKO A REBOLUSYON TI UMILI INGGANAS BALLIGI!

Pahayag ng Leonardo Pacsi Command (New People’s Army-Mountain Province) para sa Eleksyon 2019

Sa darating na Lunes, ika-13 ng Mayo 2019, ay maghahalal ang milyun-milyon nating mga kabaayan ng labindalawang senador, at mga opisyal ng gobyerno sa antas lalawigan, lungsod, at munisipalidad. Halos lahat ng mga kandidato ay nangangako ng mga programang tutugon sa mga pangunahing daing ng mamamayan: kahirapan, kagutuman, kawalan ng maayos na hanapbuhay, mataas na presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin, at iba pa. Ang mga lokal na kandidato dito sa Kordilyera ay nangangakong isusulong ang rehiyunal na awtonomiya at karapatan sa sariling pagpapasya ng Kaigorotan.

Partikular dito sa Mountain Province, ang mga tumatakbong pulitiko ay nangangakong tutugunan ang mga pinsala ng mga nagdaang sakuna tulad ng bagyong Ompong, bagyong Rosita, at ng katatapos lang na El Nino, o di kaya naman nangangakong tutulungan ang mga maliliit na minero at ragadero na kasalukuyang kumakaharap sa government crackdown. Madami nang elelsyon ang nagdaan sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ngunit hanggang sa kasalukuyan, ang kalakhan ng mamamayan ay lugmok pa rin sa matinding kahirapan. Palaki nang palaki ang agwat sa pagitan ng mahirap at mayaman. Kahit ang pangakong “Change is coming” ng kasalukuyang rehimen noong nakaraang Eleksyon 2016 ay hindi dumating. Ang mga binatong pangako ay napako at nabigo.

Bagamat ang pagkakaroon ng mapayapa at malinis na eleksyon ay isang demokratikong karapatan ng mamamayan na dapat isulong at igiit, hinding hindi ito magaganap sa kasalukuyang sistemang malapyudal at malakolonyal na pinaghaharian ng mga imperyalistang dayuhan, malalaking panginoong maylupa at burgesya kumprador. Ang katangian ng eleksyon sa Pilipinas sa kasalukuyan ay reaksyunaryo. Ito ay labanan lamang ng mga naghaharing iilan na siyang magpapasya kung anong paksyon ang mamamayani at makakapagdambong sa kabang yaman ng bansa sa susunod na tatlo hanggang anim na taon. Bilyun-bilyong piso ang ginagastos ng mha kandidato sa pangangampanya, na maaaring bawiin sa korupsyon ng pampublikong pondo kung sakaling manalo.

Ang mga armadong puwersa ng gobyerno tulad ng AFP, PNP, at CAFGU ay nagsisilbing private security at private army ng mga pulitiko. Kabi-kabila ang batuhan ng putik ng mga nagbabangayang paksyon, at laganap ang karahasan at pandaraya. Ang mga progresibo at makabayang lider at kandidato ay nakakaranas ng matinding harassment, pagbabanta sa kanilang buhay, at pinagbibintangang mga taga-suporta ng CPP-NPA. Walang puwang para sa ordinaryong mamamayan, lalo na sa batayang masa ng manggagawa at magsasaka.

Habang patindi nang patindi ang krisis pang-ekonomiya at pampulitika sa bansa, sisiguruhin ng rehimeng US-Duterte na makakaupo sa puwesto ang kanyang mga manok mula sa Senado hanggang sa mga lokal na gobyerna, lalupa’t kontrolado niya ang Commission on Elections. Hindi ito papayag na manalo ang kanyang mga kritiko at karibal nang sa gayon ay siguradong maitatayo sa mabilis at lantad na paraan ang kanyang pasistang diktadura, mamonopolisa ang kapangyarihang pampulitika, makapaghuthot sa kaban ng bayan, at maibenta ang ating likas na yaman sa mga dayuhan.

Sa gitna ng matinding pasistang atake ng rehimeng US-Duterte, hinihikayat ang lahat ng mga makabayan at maka-demokratikong mamamayan na palakasin ang nagkakaisang hanay, at igiit at ipaglaban ang ating mga demokraikong karapatan. Makipagkaisa sa mga kandidatong handa at bukas na suportahan ang mga pambansa demokratikong programa tulad ng tunay na reporma sa lupa, pambansang industriyalisasyon, at pagsusulong ng pambansang soberanya.

Dapat ilantad, ihiwalay, at itakwil ang mga kandidatong anti-mamamayan, anti-demokratiko, at tuta ni Duterte na magpapalakas lamang sa kanyang tiraniya. Dapat ring itakwil ng Kaigorotan ang mga nagpapanggap na kakampi ng ating laban para sa tunay na awtonomiya, ngunit sa totoo’y binebenta ang lupang ninuno at likas na yaman ng Kordilyera sa malalaking korporasyon at kapitalista. Higit sa lahat, dapat lumahok ang mamamayan sa armadong pakikibaka na siyang tanging paraan upang maitayo ang isang rebolusyonaryong gobyernong bayan na magsusulong at mangangalaga sa demokratikong interes ng mamamayan. Ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan ang tanging landas tungo sa pagbabagong panlipunan.




Leonardo Pacsi Command (New People’s Army-Mountain Province)

NDF/Sison: In anticipation of the May 13 elections

Interview with Jose Maria Sison posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 10, 2019): In anticipation of the May 13 elections 

Interview with Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
By Delfin T. Mallari, Jr.
May 10, 2019

1. What is the role of the revolutionary forces in the coming elections?

JMS: It is a given fact that the revolutionary forces (CPP, NPA and NDFP) are prohibited from participating in the elections staged by the ruling system. But they can clarify and disseminate to the people why it is wrong to vote for the parties and candidates that support the tyrannical, treasonous, mass murdering, plundering and swindling crimes of the Duterte regime.

They can also allow and encourage their revolutionary mass base to vote for parties and candidates that stand for national sovereignty, democracy, social justice, economic development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, job tenure and fair wages, expanded social services, patriotic and progressive culture and independent foreign policy.

2. Do you still stick to your prediction that opposition bets could still pull a surprise? But for sure the Duterte administration would not allow that.

JMS: I reiterate my prediction that the opposition bets in the Senate race will surely win because of their outstanding patriotic and progressive character and their record of serving the people, and because the people condemn and reject the crimes of the Duterte regime as well as the criminal record of corruption of many of the Duterte candidates and even butchery in the case of two candidates. The broad masses of the people, the patriotic and progressive forces and the Catholic and other Christian churches are supporting the opposition candidates.

But unfortunately, Duterte has the overwhelming power and malicious character to rig the elections. He has control of the Comelec and its computer machines, the military and police. He wants to gain at least two-thirds control of the Senate in order to railroad charter change to a bogus kind of of federalism, establish a full-blown fascist dictatorship, plunder the country and prevent his arrest, prosecution and trial for the grave crimes that he has committed.

Even before election day, Duterte has been rigging the elections by placing the whole of Mindanao under martial law and so-called trouble spots in Luzon and the Visayas under de facto martial law. He and his military and police running dogs have used red-tagging, so-called matrices and death threats to intimidate the critics, the opposition parties and candidates and the people at large.

3. Have you a last minute election message?

JMS: I urge the electorate to vote against the candidates of the Duterte regime, especially in the senatorial race, and prevent Duterte from realizing his scheme of fascist dictatorship, unbridled corruption and sell-out of the sovereign rights and national patrimony of the Filipino people. The people must make conspicuous the overwhelming victory of the opposition senatorial candidates and expose effectively all the dirty tricks of Duterte in rigging the elections.

The voters must vote for candidates opposed to the Duterte regime to exercise and demonstrate their sovereign will and to strengthen their moral and political conviction and will to oust Duterte from power by direct democratic action should he rig the elections, as expected. Remember that Marcos rigged the elections of 1986 but his fake electoral victory roused the Filipino people to overthrow him.

MILF: GPH, MILF CCCH sign MMU on ceasefire-related functions for May 13 Elections

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (May 10. 2019): GPH, MILF CCCH sign MMU on ceasefire-related functions for May 13 Elections

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao– Representatives of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to the Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) signed on May 8 a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding on “ceasefire-related functions” for the upcoming May 13, 2019 national and local elections.

According to the report by OPAPP Media Bureau, the GPH and MILF were represented by their respective chairmen, Armed Forces of the Philippines Brigadier General Cirilo Thomas P. Donato Jr. and Butch P. Malang.

The memorandum was signed in the presence of Cotabato City Acting Election Officer Atty. Mark Chrystal Sorilla and International Monitoring Team (IMT) Mission 14 Head of Mission MGen Dato’ Ya’cob Bin Haji Samiran.

Also present during the signing were GPH CCCH Head Secretariat Col Joel Q Mamon; Chairman of GPH Ad Hoc Joint Action Group Police Brigadier General Madid M Paito; MILF Ad Hoc Joint Action Group OIC-Chairman Anwar Alamada; and 6th Infantry Division Assistant Division Commander Brigadier General Juvymax Uy, the report said.

Under the signed memorandum, guidelines were to be observed by the GPH and MILF CCCH, with concurrence of the IMT, as the body carries out heightened special ceasefire-related functions to safeguard the GPH-MILF ceasefire agreement and the Bangsamoro peace process during the election period.

It also identified specific coordinating and monitoring functions and responsibilities of the concerned parties. It covers conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, particularly in identified volatile and election hotspot within the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and other adjacent areas.

The Memorandum will be implemented from May 7 to 19, 2019, which is considered the most critical period of the election.

Election Officer Sorilla in his message during the MMU signing noted the significance and timeliness of the memorandum signing, saying this move is expected to boost confidence in the conduct of a peaceful and credible election in the region.

“With the active involvement of various groups, we can now rest secure and are hopeful that the forthcoming elections will not only be peaceful but also credible wherein the true will of the people will be expressed,” he said.

“Their decision to whom they shall entrust the future of BARMM will be respected as this will be reflective of the political, cultural, and democratic ethos of the Bangsamoro People,” Sorilla added.

“Let us be conscious and conscientious of our constitutional duties to protect the sanctity of the ballots and safeguard the supreme will of the people. We will succeed together because we are working together,” Sorilla said as quoted by the OPAPP report.

Kalinaw News: Armed Forces of the Philippines Joins Ride Ride Ride to National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Biker’s Rally

Posted to the Kalinaw News (May 11, 2019): Armed Forces of the Philippines Joins Ride Ride Ride to National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Biker’s Rally

CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the members of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in the Motorcycle and Bike Rider’s Rally, “Ride Ride Ride to ELCAC” on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

Around 1,000 motorcycle and bike riders from 14 different groups, spearheaded by Bantay Bayan founder Dr Ben Caralde, assembled at Quezon City Memorial Circle and passed through Quirino Grandstand this morning.”We support the NTF-ELCAC in this activity because this spreads awareness about the task force’s advocacy to end local communist armed conflict, which is also one of our main missions in the AFP,” General Benjamin Madrigal Jr, AFP Chief of Staff said.

Aside from Bantay Bayan founder Dr Caralde, PNP-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) Director Police Brigadier General Roberto Fajardo; Quezon City Police District (QCPD) chief Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel; Deputy Chief for Civil Military Operations AFP Major General Antonio Parlade Jr were also present in the activity.

The Joint Task Force NCR provided security to ensure the safety of the riders who participated in the rally.

“We will continue to strengthen our interagency efforts to eradicate communist terrorism in our country, and hopefully we can achieve the peace we are all working hard for.” Gen Madrigal said.

Public Affairs Office, Armed Forces of the Philippines
Public Affairs Office AFP
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Quezon City
911-6001 Local 6000 & 6700

Kalinaw News: Enlightened NPA supporters submit to government forces

Posted to the Kalinaw News (May 11, 2019): Enlightened NPA supporters submit to government forces

Camp General Mateo Capinpin, TANAY – Eleven (11) CPP-NPA supporters and sympathizers voluntarily submitted themselves to the members of Philippine Army and Philippine National Police who were conducting Community Support Operations in Bongabong, yesterday.

The surrenderees, all members of the Indigenous People (Mangyan Tribe) from Barangay Lisap, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro, are members of Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) and Milisyang Bayan (MB). These organizations served as eyes and ears of the NPA in the
community to monitor the presence of military and police in the area.

One of the surrenderees alias Aguy said, “Pagod na kaming maniwala sa mga kasinungalingan ng mga NPA. Ginagamit lang nila kami sa pansirili nilang layunin, ‘di nila tinutupad ang mga pangako nila sa amin”.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Arbolado, Commanding Officer of 4 th Infantry Battalion who facilitated the surrenders, appealed to the CNTs to stop exploiting the innocent mind of our brother IPs. “Spare them from violence and let them live peacefully. Stop exploiting them. Stop
manipulating them to join your sagging ranks”, Lt. Col. Arbolado added.

On the other hand, Colonel Marceliano Teofilo lauded the eleven surenderees for their right decision. He encouraged them to avail the government Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), and live peacefully with their families. He also conveyed a
message to the CPP-NPA to return to the folds of the law.

The CPP-NPAs in Mindoro is losing their indicated by their series of tactical setbacks. Little by little, their supporters are turning back from them and embracing the E-CLIP program of the government.

Meanwhile, Police Brigadier General Thomas Apolinario Jr, MIMAROPA Regional Director, commended the Army and Police in Oriental Mindoro for the successful information operation in the area. “Let us continue providing right information to our brother IPs so that they will not be recruited by these NPAs. Let us help them to be productive citizens and enjoy their lives safely and free of fear”, PBGEN Apolinario concluded.

Said surenderees are still undergoing debriefing and documentation for their enrolment in the E-CLIP to aid their transition back to the folds of the government.

AFP-CRS: Philippine Navy's 2 New AW159 Wildcat Choppers can detect, sink submarines

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Philippine Navy's 2 New AW159 Wildcat Choppers can detect, sink submarines

AFP-CRS: Government asks Supreme Court to junk NUPL protection order

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Government asks Supreme Court to junk NUPL protection order

AFP-CRS: 34 unlicensed guns, explosives surrendered in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): 34 unlicensed guns, explosives surrendered in Sultan Kudarat

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AFP-CRS: Peace body condemns CPP-NPA-NDF for attack of civilian in Northern Mindanao

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Peace body condemns CPP-NPA-NDF for attack of civilian in Northern Mindanao

AFP-CRS: Galvez condemns CPP-NPA-NDF attack on settlement community

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Galvez condemns CPP-NPA-NDF attack on settlement community

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AFP-CRS: Marine troops spearhead H.O.P.E. caravan in Sultan Kudarat

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Marine troops spearhead H.O.P.E. caravan in Sultan Kudarat

No photo description available.

AFP-CRS: CPP-NPA-NDF officially declared persona non grata in Cotabato

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): CPP-NPA-NDF officially declared persona non grata in Cotabato

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AFP-CRS: Philippines US plan bigger joint Army exercises in 2020

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 11, 2019): Philippines US plan bigger joint Army exercises in 2020

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NOLCOM: Government of Cagayan helps 38 former CPP-NPA terrorists through E-Clip

Posted to the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) Facebook page (May 9. 2019): Government of Cagayan helps 38 former CPP-NPA terrorists through E-Clip

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1CRG-NOLCOM: 44 former rebels availed of government-sponsored E-Clip

Posted to the 1st Civil Relations Group (CRG)-Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) Facebook page (May 9. 2019): 44 former rebels availed of government-sponsored E-Clip

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SOLCOM: More rebels leaving the terrorist group

Posted to the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) Facebook page (May 10. 2019): More rebels leaving the terrorist group 

Eleven members of the communists terrorist group returned to the folds of law at Bongabong Oriental Mindoro today May 09 2019.

They were mostly composed of Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad/ Milisyang Bayan (SPL/MBs) of Sitio Buswak Codename “Talisay”, Brgy Lisap, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro under RSPL (Regular na Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad) Codename “PINSOY 1” .

The group is currently undergoing debriefing at CCoy TCP, Sitio Haguines, Brgy Wasig, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro.

The 4IB is coordinating with the LGU of Bongabong and PSWDO for the processing of assistance under E-CLIP.

Most of the rebels have undergone Batayang Kursong Pang Partido (BKP), ARAK and Batayang Kursong Pang Militar while still on their early stages.

More are expected to return to the mainstream society as a result of the whole of nation approach which seeks to address the issues and concerns that caused them to join the communist terrorists group.

The RTF ELCAC is a convergence of government units, agencies and NGO that seeks address the issues that are most common for each department. It was noticed that areas where education, health, water, electricity and other services is lacking, is also the same area where these communists terrorists thrive and or able to recruit members. By addressing such concerns, with the help of LGU and some NGOs, people in such areas became less susceptible to the deceptions and lies of the communists terrorists. Likewise, economic growth are expected in the area where the government services are converged.

The help of the local community by condemning the atrocities of the communists terrorists, some even created resolutions declaring the terrorists persona non grata really made a big difference that resulted to more and more members returning to the mainstream society.