Monday, May 13, 2019

PHL, Indonesian navies wrap up coordinated border patrol activities

From GMA News (May 12, 2019): PHL, Indonesian navies wrap up coordinated border patrol activities

The first leg of the Border Coordinated Patrol of the Philippine and Indonesian navies has ended, with the aim of securing the common border between the two countries and stop maritime and sea crimes including smuggling and piracy.

The patrol ships of both countries were expected to have reached their final point in the territorial waters of Indonesia along the Celebes Sea on Saturday.

The Philippines and Indonesia have increased their coordinated border patrol activities this year to suppress smuggling and human trafficking in the high seas in both countries.



Naval ships of the Philippine Navy and the Indonesian Navy conduct patrol and sea maneuvers during their Coordinated Patrol on May 4, 2019. PIO EastMinCom

The Border Coordinated Patrol was formally opened on May 2 at the Pinnacle Hotel, Davao City, and the send-off ceremony was held last May 4, which signaled the start of the first leg of the activities.

The second and third leg of the activities in the middle of the year will focus more on maritime and security patrol activities, while the fourth leg will be a combination of exercises and border patrol activities, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said in a statement.

The Philippines and Indonesia signed the Border Patrol and Border Crossing Agreements in 1975 aimed at improving maritime security cooperation.

"This coordinated naval operations which we are conducting annually, strengthens the bilateral cooperation of the two countries in securing the border and, as we increase the frequency of our coordinated plus our unilateral and independent patrol, we will be able to deter, and curb sea crimes; and prevent terrorists from using the border as transit point" said Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr., commander of AFP's Eastern Mindanao Command.

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/694069/phl-indonesian-navies-wrap-up-coordinated-border-patrol-activities/story/

FALSE: Comelec disqualifies 5 progressive party-list groups before election day

From Rappler (May 13, 2019): FALSE: Comelec disqualifies 5 progressive party-list groups before election day

Rappler sought the comment of Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez about this matter. Jimenez said the claim is "fake news"

Screenshot of a Facebook post claiming 5 progressive party-lists supposedly qualified before election day.


Screenshot of a Facebook post claiming 5 progressive party-lists supposedly qualified before election day.

CLAIM: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) supposedly disqualified 5 progressive party-lists under the Makabayan bloc days before election day on Monday, May 13.

Those allegedly disqualified were Kabataan party-list, Gabriela party-list, Bayan Muna party-list, Anakpawis party-list, and Act-Teachers party-list.

Different versions of the claim have been spreading online.
On May 11, Facebook pages Dahil Kay Juan at Para Kay Juan and Manilakbayad posted a version of the graphic with a “breaking news” label. It contained logos of each party-list group. It was shared over 1,000 times with 700 reactions, and 100 comments, as of writing.

Facebook page Diego Pagbabago posted another version of the graphic with a text that reads:

“Disqualified! Yan ang hatol ng COMELEC sa limang party-lists na tatakbo sana ngayong halalan 2019. Ang kadahilanan ng COMELEC sa pag suspinde sa limang partylist ay dahil sa aktibo nitong pakikilahok upang pabagsakin ang gobyerno. Ang pagdisqualify ay nag-ugat sa isang petisyon na inihain ni Angel Aguilar sa COMELEC upang kanselahin ang rehistro ng anim na Partylist.”

(Disqualified! That is the final decision of Comelec for 5 party-lists running in the 2019 elections. The reason why Comelec suspended these 5 party-lists is due to their active participation in trying to take down the government. The disqualification was caused by the petition filed by Angel Aguilar to Comelec to cancel the registration of 6 party-lists.)

It also said that despite being disqualified, the party-lists' names will still appear on the ballot since they were suspended after the ballots were already printed. Voting for them is supposedly useless since they were already “disqualified.”

This particular version of the claim has already been taken down but was shared almost 50 times since its posting.

The claim was sent to Rappler’s e-mail for checking. Others were spotted through Crowdtangle.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The Comelec has made no official announcement on the disqualification of these party-lists nor any of their nominees for the elections. The party-list groups have also denied being disqualified.

A petition for the cancellation of the registration of these party-lists was indeed filed by one Angela Aguilar on April 26. However, the Comelec has yet to release a decision on the petition. On May 13, Rappler sought the comment of Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez about this matter. Jimenez said the claim was "fake news."

“Lumang style na 'yon (That's old style)," Jimenez added, referring to the practice of spreading black propaganda about “disqualified” candidates.

Aguilar's petition claimed that these party-list groups and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares are linked with the CPP-NPA. Aguilar claims to be a former member of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He also claims to be a member of the Kilusan at Alyansa ng mga Dating Rebelde (KADRE) and ACT member.

The party-list groups mentioned in the posts posted official statements on their respective Facebook pages on May 12 denying that they have been disqualified.
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ACT Teachers Party-list called the claim “black propaganda."


Bayan Muna Party-list urged the public not to believe the claim.

Kabataan Party-list denounced the message as a “desperate attack of the Duterte regime.”


Gabriela Party-list called on their followers to fight the lies and fight for the truth.



The claim did not only circulate on social media, but also via text messages.

Anakpawis Party-list posted a screenshot of a text message containing that same claim.

This claim was also fact-checked and rated as FALSE by University of the Philippines Journalism Department and VERA Files, both partners in the Tsek.ph collaborative fact-checking initiative which includes Rappler and other newsrooms and academic partners.

This is not the only claim that Rappler fact-checked concerning the supposed disqualification or withdrawal cases of candidates this 2019 elections. On the eve of the elections, Rappler also fact checked an article posted on a dubious website claiming that a candidate for district representative in Antique has withdrawn his candidacy. (READ: FALSE: Exequiel Javier 'withdraws' congressional bid in Antique)

Abu Sayyaf escapee nabbed

From the Sun Star-Zamaboanga (May 12, 2019): Abu Sayyaf escapee nabbed

POLICE operatives arrested an Abu Sayyaf member, who escaped along with 30 others nine years ago, in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, a top police official announced on Sunday, May 12.

Brigadier General Emmanuel Luis Licup, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Zamboanga Peninsula director, identified the arrested Abu Sayyaf bandit as Abubakar Yakub alias Jhan Que Lahi. 

Licup said Yakub was arrested around 4 a.m. in a law enforcement operation at Sitio Looc Sural in the village of Looc Labuan, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Licup said Yakub was previously arrested for the crime of eight-count kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

He said Yakub is one of the 31 detainees who escaped during the December 13, 2009 jailbreak at the Basilan provincial jail in the village of Sumagdang, Isabela City.

Bulatlat: State security forces resort to death threats, red tagging against Makabayan party-list groups, supporters

From the pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online propaganda publication Bulatlat (May 13, 2019): State security forces resort to death threats, red tagging against Makabayan party-list groups, supporters

Death threat against Makabayan supporter Manuel Ferrer. (Photo courtesy of Kontra Daya)

Members and supporters of senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Makabayan partylist groups received death threats, harassed and labeled as communists and supporters of New People’s Army (NPA). The Makabayan bloc has been critical of the Duterte administration.

Election watchdog Kontra Daya received reports of death threats, harassment and red tagging of Makabayan party list groups and their supporters from all over the country.

Makabayan bloc is composed of partylist groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, Kabataan Partylist, ACT Teachers Partylist and Anakpawis.

In Caloocan City, Makabayan volunteer Manuel Ferrer received death threats and was tagged as a supporter of the New People’s Amy (NPA).

In Baybay, Leyte, voters were told that the vote receipts can reveal those who voted for the progressive partylist groups. Supporters were threatened they could be tailed to their homes and become targets of the Synchronized Enhanced Management Police Operations (SEMPO), which was responsible for the death of 14 people in Negros last month.

In Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan Valley provinces, Makabayan coordinators received death threats from four cellphone numbers: 0975-9366202, 0945-2934843, 0933-1836156 and 0997-5497428, according to a report by Northern Dispatch.

Agnes Mesina, regional coordinator and national council member of Makabayan, said their leaders and members received messages threatening them not to vote or something bad would happen to them and their family.

Rowena Hidalgo, Makabayan coordinator in Quirino, received this message from 09350682166, “Sika met Rowena ti ammum mailasat mu dagita aramid mu nga maka-NPA? Agbaliw kan habang nasapa pay ta litagen daka man inya man nga banda dita quirino.” (You Rowena, are you thinking that you can survive your pro-NPA activities? You should change while you have time because we can kill you anywhere in Quirino.)

The municipal coordinator of Neri Colemenares and Anakpawis party-list in Lallo, Cagayan received a letter warning him of his support for the group along with a live bullet.

Three days before the elections, Ted Lazaro, deputy campaign officer of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Quezon City and Makabayan coordinator, received in his home a funeral flower arrangement. On the same evening, May 10, plastic containing blood was thrown at his house in barangay Sta Lucia, District 5, Quezon City.

At the Bambang East Elementary School in Nueva Vizcaya, suspected intelligence officers were reportedly taking photos of precincts as voters cast their votes.

Red-tagging, disinformation

Elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were seen distributing copies of their newsletter, tagging Makabayan party-list groups as communist fronts at Geronimo Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila.

Similar incidents of distribution of materials red-tagging progressive partylists were documented in Siquijor, Palawan and Cebu, according to Kontra Daya.

Leaflets urging voters not to vote for Makabayan party-list groups were also distributed in Tamauini and the cities of Ilagan and Santiago in Isabela, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and the towns of Solano and Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, according to a report by Northern Dispatch.

In Baguio City, police station 5 shared a false information on its Facebook account about the supposed disqualification of Makabayan party-lists. Baguio Pulisya Singko posted an image masquerading as a news that said the Commission on Elections disqualified Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Act Teachers and Kabataan party-lists for the 2019 elections for allegedly destabilizing the government, Northern Dispatch reported.


Image uploaded by Philippine National Police Station 5 based in Baguio City (Photo courtesy of Northern Dispatch)
Also in Baguio City, people’s organization Tontongan Ti Umili reported that non-commissioned military police are spotted roving the vicinity of Fort Del Pilar Elementary School before noon. The group said that although the school is inside the Philippine Military Academy, police and military forces are expected to be 50 meters away from the polling center.



Campaign paraphernalia of senator-wannabe Bong Go was seen being used by a voter at Camp 7 Elementary School, 11:56 AM. We would like to remind voters that any campaign paraphernalia is not allowed within the polling centers.

View image on Twitter
Non-commissioned military police are spotted roving the vicinity of Fort Del Pilar Elementary School earlier at 11:19 AM. Although the school is inside the Philippine Military Academy, police and military forces are expected to be 50 meters away from the polling center. pic.twitter.com/HUVojDfVwY

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

See Tongtongan ti Umili's other Tweets

Anakpawis Regional Coordinator Isabelo Adviento said that elements of the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army openly campaigned against Neri Colmenares and party-list members of Makabayan.

Poll watchers of senatorial aspirant Neri Colmenares and Anakpawis Partylist were barred from entering the precinct in Brgy. Centro Norte, Sto. Nino, Cagayan Valley.

Soldier wounded in clash against NPA rebels

From Sun Star=Zamboanga (May 12, 2019): Soldier wounded in clash against NPA rebels

A SOLDIER was wounded in a firefight against the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in the province of Zamboanga Sibuay, military official disclosed Sunday, May 12.

Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion commander, disclosed the firefight broke out around 3:45 p.m., Saturday, May 11, in the village of New Tampilisan, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Templonuevo said the firefight broke out when some 30 NPA rebels open fire while the troops were responding and verifying the presence of the rebels threatening and harassing the residents in New Tampilisan.

Templonuevo said the firefight lasted for around two hours after which the NPA rebels escaped to different directions.

He did not identify the wounded soldier except to say he belongs to the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion.

He said the troops backed by Provincial Mobile Force Company policemen have recovered at the clash site three AK-47 and one Carbine rifles with ammunition, personal belongings and subversive documents with high intelligence value that were abandoned by the NPA rebels.

Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said they will continue to pursue the NPA rebels despite the conduct of elections.

The 44th Infantry Battalion troopers with reinforcement have launched pursuit operation against the fleeing NPA rebels.

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1805281/Zamboanga/Local-News/Soldier-wounded-in-clash-against-NPA-rebels

Army, NPA encounter in Bukidnon

From Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (May 12, 2019): Army, NPA encounter in Bukidnon

GOVERNMENT soldiers have engaged to the communist rebels in a five-minute gun battle in an uninhabited place in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, Thursday, May 9.

Troops under the army's 8th Infantry Battalion (8IB) were figured in a renewed clash while conducting combat patrol due to reported sightings of the New People’s Army (NPA) fighters in Barangay Guilang-Guilang, Manolo Fortich town. 


The military said civilians were threatened and forced by the NPA to vote for the candidates and even party-lists that support their “terrorism.”

Members of the 8IB fought around 40 communist insurgents led by a certain Lino Namatidong who are believed to be members of Sub-Regional Command 1 under North Central Mindanao Regional Command.


The troops recovered five kilogram-anti-personnel mine after the five-minute firefight.

No casualties were reported on the government side.

“I am thankful to the community who reported the presence of the NPA that led to the quick response of your Philippine Army. You have the right to choose your right candidate for this incoming election and the NPA terrorists have no right to dictate on you,” 8IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Illana said.

"I am encouraging again the public no to hesitate in reporting any presence of NPA in our community,” he added.

403rd Brigade commander Colonel Edgardo De Leon said the NPA has continued to disregard the International Humanitarian Law.

“CNTs (Communist NPA Terrorists) are always violating the Ottawa Treaty by using Anti-Personnel mines. If it was not recovered by our Army warriors, it may victimize the civilian populace who are unaware of the mines,” De Leon said.

"They continued to disregard the IHL they signed thru the NDFP and it's a clear manifestation of their evolution into a terrorist organization because their only goal is to terrorize the community to submit their will to the NPA. We will not allow that to happen,” he added.

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (7 - 13 May 2019)

Posted to the Relief Web (May 13, 2019): Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (7 - 13 May 2019)


INFOGRAPHIC from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 May 2019


Download PDF (1.71 MB)


PHILIPPINES

Over 51,400 people remain displaced following law enforcement operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against non-state armed groups in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Sulu in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In Maguindanao, 46,360 people are still displaced from seven municipalities. In Sulu, 4,170 people remain displaced in the municipalities of Tongkil and Patikul. In Lanao del Sur, 945 people remain displaced from the municipalities of Tubaran and Pagayawan.

51,000 people displaced

PAKISTAN

Seasonal flooding and storms continue to affect Pakistan, with some 192 people killed since the beginning of 2019. The National Disaster Consortium has responded to flooding in Balochistan Province and has provided non-food relief items for 4,400 affected families. Current regional forecasts indicate continued drought in southern Pakistan and a likelihood of above normal rainfall in northern Pakistan.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

On 7 May, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck 33 km north-west of Bulolo, Morobe Province, at a depth of 127 km. While initial estimates were that the intensity of the earthquake was strong and was felt as far away as northern Australia, it did not cause significant damage. In the city of Lae, the national power company reported that the earthquake had damaged power houses in Ramu and Balune, causing temporary power outages.

INDONESIA

The Mt. Sinabung volcano in Karo Regency, North Sumatra, erupted on 7 May with an ash column that reached around 2,000 metres in height. Ash fall affected the nearby districts of Empat, Namanteran, Kabanjahe and Berastadi. The authorities have placed the volcano under alert level IV and have warned people within 15 km to remain alert to the eruption. No damages or casualties have been reported.

In 2016, seven people died in one of Sinabung's eruptions, while a 2014 eruption left 16 people dead.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.

NDF/Sison: Duterte has shut all doors and windows to peace – Joma

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 12. 2019): Duterte has shut all doors and windows to peace – Joma

Reply to Duterte and Panelo on the Claim of “Small Window” for Peace Negotiations
By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

May 12, 2019

It is not true that the Duterte regime keeps any “small window” to peace negotiations with the NDFP, contrary to what Panelo claims. Duterte has completely shut the door and all windows to peace negotiations with the NDFP. He has terminated and killed the peace negotiations since November 23, 2017 with Proclamation 360 and has driven so many nails into the coffin of the peace negotiations.
Related news: Duterte has ‘small window’ for peace talk with communist rebels — Panelo

It is also not true that Duterte has terminated the peace negotiations because of the tactical offensives of the NPA. Even under conditions of temporary ceasefire, the AFP and PNP did not cease strategic and tactical offensives, occupied rural communities suspected as mass base of the NPA and committed gross and systematic human rights violations.

The real reason why Duterte has killed the peace negotiations is that he has failed to obtain the surrender of the CPP and NPA and the people, refuses to negotiate social, economic and political reforms for the benefit of the people and wants to continue the armed conflict as an excuse for his tyrannical rule and scheme to establish a full-blown fascist dictatorship through charter change to bogus federalism.

It is Duterte and his armed minions who have killed the peace negotiations and refuse to resume them. They wish to preserve the oppressive and exploitative ruling system dominated by foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucratic corruption. They are deluded by the notion that they can destroy the revolutionary movement of the people through military means of bombing and mass murder and psywar tricks like fake localized peace talks, fake surrenders and fake development through small palliative projects.

The revolutionary forces and the people do not hope that Duterte will reopen the peace negotiations within the framework of the The Hague Joint Declaration. My estimate is that they will fight the Duterte regime to its bitter end. They do not expect the regime to engage in serious negotiations on social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the armed conflict.

https://www.ndfp.org/duterte-has-shut-all-doors-and-windows-to-peace-joma/

NDF/Sison: Duterte should change course from the direction of hell and mend his ways – Joma

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 12. 2019): Duterte should change course from the direction of hell and mend his ways – Joma

Response to Duterte’s Invitation to Hell
By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

May 12, 2013

This is in response to Duterte’s statement that he would be happy to go hand-in-hand with me to the mouth of hell.

I absolutely have no intention to accompany Duterte in his trip to hell, whether this be a medieval religious presumption or a figure of speech for historical infamy.

Based on his own policies and acts, I have already described his regime as a scourge to the people. As matters stand, Duterte is destined for historical damnation for being treasonous, tyrannical, murderous, corrupt and swindling.

On my part, I will remain steadfast and militant in being loyal to the just cause of the Filipino people in fighting for their national sovereignty, democratic rights, social justice, real economic development (through land reform and national industrialization), a patriotic and progressive culture, independent foreign policy and international solidarity with the peoples of the world.

I invite Duterte to change course from the direction of hell, mend his ways and resume serious and sincere peace negotiations with the NDFP through duly-authorized negotiating panels within the framework of The Hague Joint Declaration. Then we can work together to respond to the demands of the Filipino people for social, economic and political reforms..

I am not blinking but I am winking at my former student to indicate to him that he can avoid getting hell from the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces by acceding to the reforms needed for a just peace. ###

UBJP: Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, chief minister of the Bangsamoro Government, has cast his vote for the 2019 midterm elections

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-affiliated United Bangsamoro Justice Party Facebook page (May 12, 2019): Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, chief minister of the Bangsamoro Government, has cast his vote for the 2019 midterm elections

Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, chief minister of the Bangsamoro Government, has cast his vote for the 2019 midterm election at Simuay Elementary School, Sultan Kudarat.

It is the first time that the chief minister voted for national elections.

Ebrahim arrived at the polling precinct at 2:23 p.m. and took around 10 minutes to fill up his ballot.

His ballot was counted on the first try.

When asked on how to address incidents of election-related violence, a long-time problem in the region, he said he will push for his administration's main program -- moral governance.

AFP-CRS: 17 Lugar sa Camarines Sur, areas of immediate concern dahil sa CPP-NPA-NDF

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): 17 Lugar sa Camarines Sur, areas of immediate concern dahil sa CPP-NPA-NDF

Nasa 17 lugar sa Camarines Sur ang inilagay sa Areas of Immediate Concern ng 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army ngayong halalan. Mas tututukan ng pamunuan ng 9ID ang mga lugar na kinokonsiderang mapanganib dahil sa presensiya at panggugulo ng mga komunistang teroristang CPP-NPA-NDF.

Image may contain: text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460615277290515/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Former Rebels Get Livelihood Trainings in Abra

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): Former Rebels Get Livelihood Trainings in Abra

The conduct of livelihood training was part of the implementation of the
Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program. It is a complete package
program for former rebels and active supporters, who want to go back to
the mainstream society and start a peaceful and productive life.



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460622630623113/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: 3 Daesh-inspired terrorist group supporters arrested

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): 3 Daesh-inspired terrorist group supporters arrested

Three supporters of Dawlah Islamiya, a Daesh-inspired terror group, were arrested in separate operations in ParaƱaque and Rizal on Friday, May 10.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460625367289506/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Anti-CPP-NPA-NDF drive gains support from Northern Samar communities

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): Anti-CPP-NPA-NDF drive gains support from Northern Samar communities

Youth in Northern Samar communities taking down propaganda materials posted by the CPP-NPA-NDF is a proof that the young generation rejects the rotten ideology of the communist terrorists group.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460638530621523/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Lider ng CPP-NPA napatay sa engkwentro sa Isabela

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): Lider ng CPP-NPA napatay sa engkwentro sa Isabela

Isang lider ng kumunistang teroristang NPA na kinilalang si Eric Espinosa alyas ka Brando ang napatay sa isang engkwentro sa Jones, Isabela.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460645583954151/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Philippine Army, UK soldiers hold Stress Management Training for soldiers

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 12, 2019): Philippine Army, UK soldiers hold Stress Management Training for soldiers



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2460682100617166/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Communist websites identified NUPL as a "Red" organization

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 13, 2019): Communist websites identified NUPL as a "Red" organization



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2457810937570949/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: 11 CPP-NPA-NDF sympathizers, sumuko!

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 13, 2019): 11 CPP-NPA-NDF sympathizers, sumuko!



https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2462523233766386/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: More than a thousand motorcycle riders call to end local communist armed conflict

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 13, 2019): More than a thousand motorcycle riders call to end local communist armed conflict

Image may contain: one or more people, motorcycle, text and outdoor

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2462528813765828/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Philippine Navy research vessel arrives from mission

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 13, 2019): Philippine Navy research vessel arrives from mission

Image may contain: 1 person, text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2462527893765920/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

AFP-CRS: Philippines-Indonesian navies strengthen synchronized border patrol against smugging, piracy

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook page (May 13, 2019): Philippines-Indonesian navies strengthen synchronized border patrol against smugging, piracy

Image may contain: 2 people, text

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/photos/a.182240175128048/2462524340432942/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CivilRelationsServiceAFP/?fref=photo

WESTMINCOM: NLE 2019 monitoring center activated

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (May 13, 2019): NLE 2019 monitoring center activated



A monitoring center for the National and Local Elections 2019 was formally activated at the Operations Building of the Western Mindanao Command early this morning, May 13.



The activation was spearheaded by WestMinCom chief Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega and Police Major General Daniel G. Macatlang Jr., the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations.

Composed of combined AFP and PNP troops, the monitoring team is tasked to provide hourly updates on the ongoing election process and on election-related incidents that may arise.

WESTMINCOM: 2019 elections generally peaceful in Western and Central Mindanao

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (May 13, 2019): WestMinCom: 2019 elections generally peaceful in Western and Central Mindanao



The 2019 National and Local Elections turned out to be generally peaceful, said WestMinCom Chief Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega.



To ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct of the midterm elections, combined elements of the AFP and PNP conducted random checkpoints, road security, mobile and foot patrol, and provided security assistance to COMELEC personnel and election paraphernalia.

There were few election-related incidents reported but are considered isolated cases.

“I commend all Joint Task Forces for fulfilling their mandates of maintaining the peace and orderliness of the 2019 national and local elections,” said Lieutenant General Dela Vega.

“I would like to ascribe the success of the election process to other line agencies such as the PNP and COMELEC,” added LtGen Dela Vega.

Red-tagging, a vicious move to discredit Makabayan party-lists

Posted to the often pro-Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) online publication the Davao Today (May 13, 2019): Red-tagging, a vicious move to discredit Makabayan party-lists



Malicious tarpaulins campaigning against progressive Makabayan party lists were reported to be seen near polling centers in the cities of Tagum, Cotabato and Davao. (Photo courtest of Bayan Muna-Southern Mindanao Region)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Progressive Makabayan Coalition on Monday cried foul over red-tagging posters sighted near polling centers in some cities in Southern Mindanao.

Abdul Sissay, Bayan Muna party-list Southern Mindanao Region coordinator said their members from the ground reported sightings of posters campaigning for zero votes against Makabayan party lists and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares in the cities of Davao, Tagum, and Cotabato.

“The massive red-tagging on election day is a vicious move to discredit and demonize the aforementioned organizations. The administration is desperate to ensure its hold over Congress and other government institutions, and to enforce its dictatorial policies,” Sissay said.

The group sent a photo to Davao Today of the poster seen outside a polling center in Tagum City which tagged the group as “legal front of the CPP-NPA-NDF” (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines).

Written on top of the poster is “Zero Vote” with photos of former Bayan Muna representative and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, Kabataan rep. Sarah Elago, ACT Teachers rep. Antonio Tinio, Gabriela Women’s Party rep. Emmi De Jesus, and former Anakpawis rep. Rafael Mariano.

A huge tarpaulin was also found along the highway in Tagum City that says, “Alyado sa Teroristang NPA” and “Ayaw iboto” bearing the logos of Makabayan party lists.

The same tarpaulin was also sighted in Cotabato City and along Maa highway in Davao City.

Sissay said several more cases of red-tagging and harassment of poll-watchers were also documented in various parts of the country.

Watchdog Kontra Daya documented some police distributing “Pulis Serbis Balita” tabloids with the identification as “The Official Newsletter of the Philippine National Police” near polling center at Geronimo Elementary School in Sampaloc Manila on Monday morning.

The tabloid’s headline: “Kabataan, Nanguna sa Pagkondena sa Legal Fronts at Political Parties na Sumusuporta sa CPP/NPA” acontained articles campaigning against the Makabayan party lists.

Earlier, reports circulated that Makabayan party-lists had been disqualified in the party-list race that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already refuted.

Senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares has called on the Comelec to look into these reports.

“Sana sa Comelec, umaksyon na po kayo. Hindi po dapat patuloy ang ganitong harassment kahit sa araw ng eleksyon (Comelec should act on this. These kinds of harassment must not be tolerated on the Election Day),” he said.

http://davaotoday.com/main/politics/red-tagging-a-vicious-move-to-discredit-makabayan-party-lists/

Lanao Sur polls peaceful – military

From MindaNews (May 13, 2019): Lanao Sur polls peaceful – military



Police personnel try to control the crowd of voters at a polling place in Sagonsongan, Marawi where evacuees from the 2017 Marawi Siege temporarily reside. 24 barangays have their precincts here. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

MARAWI CITY – The military here said Monday’s elections in Lanao del Sur were generally peaceful, adding that martial law may be the main reason behind it.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade overseeing the province, said that as of 3 p.m. on election day, they gathered reports of only two shooting incidents, but one was related to a rido, or clan war.

“We can attribute this to martial law. We can implement the gun ban better, especially among the candidates and their bodyguards,” he said.

Brawner said that residents are also aware that in recent polls – like in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, and also during the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro organic law – violators were apprehended immediately and turned over to the police.


Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. at the 103rd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Kampo Ranaw, Marawi City, 13 May 2019. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

He said one was killed in the municipality of Lumbatan before noon when armed men fired and killed Lailanei Batara as the latter was driving his motorcycle along the highway. “It was not election related. Apparently there’s a long-standing feud,” Brawner told reporters.

He said another was wounded in a strafing incident in Tubaran town also in the morning, but the victim is now stable.

Brawner admitted though that there were fistfights in some precincts, like in Amai Pakpak Elementary School in downtown Marawi, but these were stopped right away before these could escalate.

Salic Ibrahim, convenor of Citizens Care Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms, said “naa gihapon sinumbagay, naa gihapon pinusilay (there were still fistfights, there were still gunfights), but not the usual.”

In a visit to polling precincts, MindaNews also learned from residents in the municipality of Marantao that a fistfight among supporters from opposing camps occurred just outside the precinct at the Dana’ingud Bacong Elementary School. But soldiers reportedly intervened right away to break the fight.


A policewoman assists voters find their precincts in Bacolod Kalawi, Lanao del Sur, 13 May 2019. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

Brawner’s deputy, Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, while monitoring balloting at the temporary shelter site for evacuees in Barangay Sagonsongan in Marawi Monday morning, radioed his men to send more troops to help control the unruly crowd.

Cuerpo also reminded election board members to keep candidates’ watchers away from the voters writing on their ballots.

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/05/lanao-sur-polls-peaceful-military/

Bomber in Lanao Sur fails, IED explodes inside van

From MindaNews (May 13, 2019): Bomber in Lanao Sur fails, IED explodes inside van



Two blast suspects are made to lay on the ground while police EOD personnel check the van with sniffing dogs. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

MARANTAO, Lanao del Sur – The military here said an attempt to throw an improvised explosive device near soldiers guarding polling precincts in an elementary school here failed when the bomber hit the windshield instead, the IED bouncing back inside and exploded, injuring the bomber.

The explosion took place around 5 p.m. along the highway outside Daana-Ingud Bacong Elementary School, according to Lt. Col. Jason Jumawan, commanding officer of the Army’s 82nd Infantry Battalion.

He said they found “two or three” more IEDs inside the van, which an Army explosive ordnance division detonated by 6:15 p.m., causing panic among the hundreds of curious onlookers awaiting for more details of the incident.

“Our initial investigation shows that they intended to conduct intimidation or bombing here in the area,” Jumawan said.

The military arrested three suspects – the driver of the white Toyota van, the injured bomber, and yet another suspect that residents said just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A fourth suspect ran away, Jumawan said.

Jumawan said the injured was rushed to the Amai Pakpak Hospital in Marawi City for treatment.

He said the suspects’ van was right behind 14 soldiers when the explosion happened. The soldiers then approached the van and found the injured bomber and more IEDs.


Police EOD personnel arrive in Marantao, Lanao del Sur to detonate IEDs reportedly found inside a van near the town’s polling center on Monday, May 13, 2019. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

When MindaNews arrived at the scene by 5:45 p.m., a police K-9 unit was bringing in dogs towards the white Toyota van (plate number A3 L057) while two handcuffed suspects were instructed to lie down on the paved highway. The dogs likewise sniffed vehicles parked nearby.

Marantao resident Migs Mama said he was inside the school’s fence about 15 meters away from the van when he heard a thud similar to the sound of a vehicle door being closed. “Then I saw smoke coming out of the van when the soldiers opened it,” he added.

Incumbent Vice Mayor Alahudin Maruhom told MindaNews he was monitoring the balloting in the precincts when he heard the commotion, “but I heard no explosion.”

One of the suspects arrested was his cousin Al-Musab Abanto, whom the vice mayor said was only taking video of the van when soldiers accosted him.

Abanto’s mother Johanifa said her son had nothing to do with the suspects. She said Al-Musab was in the area because when the explosion happened, he was in the headquarters of the reelectionist vice mayor. The headquarters was just across the street from the school.

Johanifa said his son works in Manila selling various items and came home only to help in his cousin’s campaign.

https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2019/05/bomber-in-lanao-sur-fails-ied-explodes-inside-van/

Twin blasts rock Cotabato City

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Twin blasts rock Cotabato City


BLAST SITE. Police inspect the blast site at Barangay Rosary Heights 10 in Cotabato City on Sunday night (May 12, 2019). No one was reported hurt in the blast that occurred hours before the conduct of the mid-term polls. (Contributed photo)
Two successive blasts rocked a grassy area just outside the back fence of the city hall here on Sunday night. No one was hurt in the incident.

The 10:15 p.m. blast at the proposed site of the Children’s Park in Purok Omar, Barangay Rosary Heights 10, occurred a few hours before the conduct of the May 13 midterm polls.

“Police investigators and members of the bomb ordnance disposal team are yet to determine the cause of the explosion,” said Lieutenant Teofisto Ferrer, Jr. of the city police office.

Initial investigation revealed that 40-mm grenades fired from M-79 grenade launchers could have caused the blasts.

Earlier, the Commission on Elections declared the entire island of Mindanao as an election hotspot.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069608

Blast rocks Maguindanao town hall ahead of election day

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Blast rocks Maguindanao town hall ahead of election day



Google map of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao – A powerful blast from a grenade hit the town hall here around 1 a.m. Monday several hours before the distribution of election materials for the midterm polls. Nobody was hurt in the blast that was captured by closed-circuit TV cameras.

Lt. Colonel Sabri Lakibul, Datu Odin Sinsuat town police chief, said a grenade caused the explosion. Lakibul said CCTV captured two men on a motorbike tossing what looked like a hand grenade and sped away.

“The motive was simply to sow fear,” Lakibul said. Distribution of election materials continued as scheduled at 2 a.m. with the deployment of additional police and soldiers.

The blast in Datu Odin came about three hours after two rifle grenades fired from a distance exploded some 20 meters away at the back fence of the Cotabato City hall, about 40 kilometers away from here.

There were no reported victims in the Datu Odin Sinsuat town and Cotabato City blasts.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069609

Second blast rocks Maguindanao town

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Second blast rocks Maguindanao town



Google map of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao
A second blast rocked the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao at 7:10 a.m. Monday, some six hours after the first blast shook the town hall in the area.

“Nobody was hurt in the two blasts,” said Lt. Col. Sabri Lakibul, police chief of Datu Odin Sinsuat, adding that elections around town continued uninterrupted despite the two incidents.

He said the twin blasts simply intends to sow fear among voters due to intense political rivalries among several political families in the area. The sites of the first and second blast were only 20 meters apart at the secluded back portion of the town hall at the Poblacion area.

The first blast occurred around 1 a.m., just an hour before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) started distributing election materials to teachers assigned at different voting precincts in the locality.

“Additional security personnel and K9 dogs are now deployed in the area to protect the people,” Lakibul said.

Among Maguindanao’s 36 municipalities, the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat registered the highest number of voters at 55, 106 according to the 2016 Comelec poll data.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069612

Troops nab 5 for vote-buying; seize P1-M in Zambo, Lanao

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Troops nab 5 for vote-buying; seize P1-M in Zambo, Lanao


VOTE-BUYING: Government troops recovered on Saturday, May 11, a paper bag containing PHP1 million that was abandoned by political supporters engaged in vote buying in Barangay Dipawak, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur. (Photo courtesy of Army's 1st Infantry Division Public Afrairs Office)

Troops from the Army’s 1st Infantry Division arrested five political supporters suspected of vote-buying and seized more than PHP1 million cash in two separate areas, military officials said.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said Monday the political supporters allegedly involved in vote-buying activity were arrested early Sunday by military and police operatives in Barangay Bualan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

Ancan said the arrest was made in coordination with the Tubod election officer, following the reported presence of the suspects engaged in vote-buying in Barangay Bualan in that town.

Ancan did not release the identities of the suspects, who were caught in possession of PHP123,868 cash, sample ballots, and other campaign paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, government troops recovered a paper bag containing PHP1 million on Saturday in Barangay Dapiwak, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur.

Lt. Col. Rufino de Leon, the Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion commander, said the paper bag containing money was recovered after the troops received information from concerned citizens regarding the presence of “goons” conducting vote-buying activity and harassing residents in Barangay Dipawak.

De Leon said the troops were conducting security patrol when they received the report about harassment and vote-buying activity.

“Our troops found the money believed to be left by the goons of an unidentified politician at the back of an abandoned house in the said barangay,” De Leon said.

The recovered money was turned over to the election officials of Dumingag and Tubod, respectively, while the arrested persons were turned over to the Tubod Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

“We in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) together with the PNP (Philippine National Police) are in full support of the Comelec (Commission on Elections) to have secure and fair elections. We will not allow anybody, regardless of what political party they belong, to threaten or intimidate our people in this electoral process,” said Ancan, who is also the Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces).

He challenge all the candidates, civil society organizations, religious groups and the citizenry to be more vigilant in preventing violence and “not be swayed by the use of guns, goons and gold.”

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069610

Davao Region 'generally peaceful' amid reports of vote-buying

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Davao Region 'generally peaceful' amid reports of vote-buying


SECURITY UPDATES. (L-R) Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director, Colonel Alexander Tagum, and Brig. General Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office director, hold a press conferecnce at Daniel Aguinaldo National High School to brief the members of the media on the security situation in Davao Region. (PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor)
Davao Region remains generally peaceful on the first hours of election day despite reports of vote-buying and liquor ban violations, officials said.

Brig. General Marcelo Morales, Police Regional Office-11 (PRO-11) director, said Davao Region--especially Davao City--has still the highest security level compared to other areas in Mindanao.

“We have the highest security level and the deployed troops is almost double. We also established checkpoints,” said Morales in a press conference Monday here.

“We have not received any presence of armed groups but we are ready – we have our mobile forces deployed. The police stations are also ready to defend against attacks,” he added.

Morales, however, reported incidents of vote-buying in several areas in the region on the eve of the elections.

A report of the PRO-11 said there were three reported incidents of vote buying in Asuncion, Talaingod, Dujali, in Davao del Norte; one in Monkayo, Compostela Valley; two in San Isidro town in Davao Oriental; and one in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

Since the eve of election, Morales said 67 persons were accosted for liquor ban violations in 17 operations.

Colonel Alexander Tagum, Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director, has the highest security alert level "because Davao City is a significant target by terrorists. But we do not have A1 information on the presence of armed men".

Tagum noted that DCPO did not change the alert status of the city despite its 52 areas of concern.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) also declared its area as generally peaceful. Eastmincom covers the area of Davao Region, Caraga Region, parts of SOCCSKSARGEN, North Cotabato and Bukidnon.

Based on the information relayed to the Joint AFP-PNP Eastern Mindanao Area Election Monitoring Centers, Eastmincom spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Ezra Balagtey said technical glitches hounded some machines and temporarily delayed voting in some areas.

Balagtey, however, said the incident did not affect the security neither did it create a commotion or public disorder at the polling places.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069660

Situation in Lanao Sur remains ‘normal’ despite hot spot tag

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13, 2019): Situation in Lanao Sur remains ‘normal’ despite hot spot tag

MALABANG, Lanao del Sur -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) considers the situation in this province “normal” even as it deployed close to 2,000 officers to keep peace and order and assist the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in today's (May 13) elections.

Col. Madzgani Mukaram, Lanao del Sur provincial police director, said Sunday evening that his office has not yet received any incidence of election-related violence since the election period started.

What the provincial police has focused on, Mukaram said, is the deployment of law enforcers to towns where many teachers have either been disqualified or had refused to serve in the elections.

Mukaram said more than a hundred police officers were designated as members of the board of election inspections (BEIs) in the municipalities of Masiu, Lumbaca-Unayan, Sultan Dumalondong, Madalum, Binidayan, Bacolod-Kalawi, Marogong, Malabang, and Lumba-Bayabao.

More officers from the PNP regional headquarters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao based in Marawi City are also on stand-by to act as BEIs in Butig and Pagayawan in case teachers in those towns will back out at the last minute.

In this town, around 200 police officers were briefed by the Comelec Sunday afternoon, giving them a refresher course on how to handle the vote counting machines and other election-related functions.

Acting municipal election officer for Malabang Joyce Moran said they had to remove the names of some teachers as BEIs because of their non-permanent status at the Department of Education.

Many have also declined to serve due to fear they will be affected by intense political rivalry.

In a separate interview, provincial election assistant Norani Indar Macalaba said that most of those who were disqualified are relatives of some political candidates.

Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Brigade commander, Lt. Col. Clairemont Pinpin, said he has deployed 600 soldiers to help secure the elections, especially keeping an eye on Malabang, Balabagan, and Marogong towns, which have been reported to have a history of violence due to intense political rivalry.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1069636