Monday, May 27, 2019

Kalinaw News: Successful brigada eskwela, a sign of a strongly united Compostela Valley province

Posted to Kalinaw News (May 26, 2019): Successful brigada eskwela, a sign of a strongly united Compostela Valley province

New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province – Together with the Department of Education (DepEd), Local Government Units (LGUs), School Heads (SHs), PNP and BFP, the 66 th Infantry Kabalikat Battalion participated in the Culmination Ceremony of Brigada Eskwela School Year 2019 in Cabinuangan Central Elementary School,
Poblacion, New Bataan last May 25, 2019.

With the theme: Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan, the National School Maintenance Week gun-started last May 20, 2019. The Kabalikat Troopers 66th took part in these activities and were the main force for renovation and improvement of school facilities. These include wall repainting, fencing, water pipes repair, pruning, carpentry, digging of composite, ground cleaning and many more. Furthermore, youth symposiums, short seminars and story selling were also conducted with creative twists made by our talented school teachers; henceforth culminating on May 25, 2019. Various lively activities such as “A Jog for A Cause”, Zumba Dance Craze, free Medical and Dental services, free Hair Cut and Grooming services, Feeding Program and Blood Donation became the highlights of the 6 day activity.

Brigada Eskwela does not only instill school pride in the community but also provides opportunity for everyone to contribute to the future of the Filipino youth in nation-building. Volunteers shared time, effort and resources to prepare public school facilities for the opening of the school year.

“School is our second home,” LTC ROMAN S MABBORANG INF (GSC) PA stated during the Culminating Ceremony. “The conduct of Brigada Eskwela has united not just people but principles of the different sectors of the community. It removes the boundaries between groups and promotes initiative, unity, camaraderie and appreciation to education, which are also imminent factors for peace-building.” LTCOL ROMAN S MABBORANG INF (GSC) PA stated during the opening.

He added, “We are so grateful that the trust for the Kabalikat warriors to partake in this significant activity remains strong. Since it is our mission to strongly protect the peace, rest assured that our troops will continue to support peace and development in the province even after the Brigada Eskwela.”

66 Infantry Battalion 10 Infantry Division
Email address:
Cell phone number:09367026207

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.]

Kalinaw News: 48th Infantry Battalion educates the youth in Pampanga

Posted to Kalinaw News (May 27, 2019): 48th Infantry Battalion educates the youth in Pampanga

Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan – The 48th Infantry (GUARDIANS) Battalion culminated the Provincial Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) today at San Fernando, Pampanga.

The three-day Provincial YLS was participated by 110 youth leaders which were mostly members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) from 19 municipalities and two cities of Pampanga.

In partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) – Pampanga and the Provincial Government of Pampanga under the leadership of Hon. Lilia G Pineda, Provincial Governor, the 48IB facilitated the three-day Pampanga Provincial YLS which was held at The Orchid Gardens, Lazatin Blvd., Brgy San Juan, City of San Fernando.

The objectives of PYLS are to instill nationalism and patriotism and remind the youth about their roles in nation-building.

Series of lectures and discussions from different subject matter experts coming from various government agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as well as the partner government organization of 48IB in PYLS, the DILG.

Aside from the lectures, there were team building and leadership enhancement activities that were prepared to capacitate young leaders in their journey in their future endeavors.

Major General Lenard T Agustin AFP, Commander, 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division commended the efforts of the Guardians Battalion. He likewise expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Local Government Unit of Pampanga and DILG for being 48IB’s partners in the conduct of Provincial YLS.

“Our youth is one of the important sectors of society and as part of the Whole of Nation Approach, it is just and right thing to educate our future leaders about their roles in building and strengthening the nation. Such activity is also our way to prevent the youth from the deception of Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs),” said MGen Agustin.

“I would also like to challenge our youth that if they want to change our country, they should start with improving themselves by studying hard and making good of whatever opportunity offered to them rather than bring their grievances on the streets then later join the armed struggle. Many youth already lost their lives in the nonsense struggle against the government,” he added.

Relatedly, Brigadier General Rowen S Tolentino AFP, Commander of the 703rd Infantry (Agila) Brigade said, “Youth Leadership Summit is something that would enhance their leadership prowess and abilities to better serve their fellow youth and to set a standard in becoming productive individuals in the society. I assure you that as you go along, the Philippine Army is always here to guide and help you to be better leaders of tomorrow.”

“Our duty is not only to protect the youth from physical dangers that can be brought by the CTGs but also to prevent them from being deceived by the CPP NPA Terrorists (CNTs). We acknowledge the importance of the youth that is why the AFP came up with activities like YLS. There are lot of programs for the youth to mold them as future leaders and we are grateful that we are receiving support from other government organizations,” said Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio S Valdez, Acting Battalion Commander of 48IB.

Source: 48 Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division Philippine 

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace by the Philippine Army. It provides information on the activities of Army Units nationwide in the performance of their duty of Serving the People and Securing the Land. This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City]

MILF: Editorial -- Lessons from Ramadan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (May 27, 2019): Editorial -- Lessons from Ramadan

Time flies quickly and Ramadan this year is now about to end. The timely question is, “What do we learn from Ramadan?”

The Almighty Allah tells the Muslims in the Holy Qur-an, thus:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become God-conscious.” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

It is for this reason that during Ramadan, the Muslims throughout the world observe fasting by refraining from eating, drinking and sexual intimacies from immediately before dawn until sunset. Nay, it is not permissible for a fasting person to insult anyone.

The persons who are exempted from fasting are the insane and those who have not yet reached puberty. Menstruating, pregnant or breastfeeding women and travelers can defer their fasting to a later time. The elderly and chronically ill for whom fasting becomes strenuous are exempted from fasting but they are required to feed at least one poor person every day in Ramadan for which he or she has missed fasting.

As mentioned earlier, one reason for prescribing fasting in Ramadan is for a person to develop God-consciousness.

A person who is God-conscious is ever aware that the Almighty sees whatever he or she does. Therefore, he or she cannot commit injustice or anything wrong against anyone knowing that in the hereafter, he or she will suffer punishment in the hell-fire. Conversely, the person will be rewarded fairly for every good deed that he or she does.

Moreover, a fasting person learns the importance of self-control. One of the most pleasurable habits is eating and he or she stops that habit during the day just for the love of the Almighty.

Ramadan is in a sense a social equalizer. The rich and the poor suffer virtually the same pangs of hunger while fasting. So the rich can easily have empathy with and compassion for the poor.

Whether or not we learn the necessary lessons from this Ramadan will be known as we put those lessons into practice in our day-to-day undertakings even after this holy month this year shall have left us. Otherwise, we fail to experience the true essence of Ramadan.

MILF: Marawi on the road to recovery through healing, reconciliation

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (May 27, 2019): Marawi on the road to recovery through healing, reconciliation

MARAWI CITY – “We are on our way to being well. We are finally learning what peace is all about,” Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra declared as residents here commemorated the siege that occurred two years ago.

Although the full extent of the rehabilitation process has yet to be completed, Gandamra urged the people in Marawi to put more emphasis on social healing.

“Peace starts with us. Peace must be realized,” he said as the city celebrates the culmination of the Week of Peace festival.

The festival was held right at the grounds of the City Hall, where two years ago, the Mayor and several of his security men stood firm for days preventing the Maute group from burning the City Hall.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr., who was then the chief of Western Mindanao Command, shared that just like their mayor who fought against the ISIS-linked group tooth and nail, the people of Marawi have shown their best by being resilient right at the height of the conflict.

“I was tasked to deliver an inspirational message today as we culminate the Marawi Week of Peace. But the reality is, it is you, the people of Marawi, who have inspired and strengthen my resolve to work for genuine and enduring peace,” he said.

“Truly, I am very inspired to know that as we observe the Holy Month of Ramadan, you are using the occasion as an opportunity to reflect on the lessons of the Marawi experience and apply them to your daily lives,” Galvez said, adding that “This is where the healing process can truly begin.”

Galvez emphasized that Marawi stand to benefit from the establishment of the Bangsamoro region.

“The opportunity for us to heal, rebuild, and recover is within reach. With the establishment of the Bangsamoro government, the fate of this beautiful city now rests not only in the hands of the new leadership but also in your hands,” he said.

“You now have the opportunity to play a key role in charting the course of Marawi’s future,” Galvez pointed out.

Evacuees are returning back

According to Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, chair of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, few families affected by the conflict are still residing in evacuation camps.

“At the initial aftermath of the siege, there were about 57 evacuation centers with almost 6,000 families within and outside of Marawi. Now we have only two evacuation centers in Marawi with only about 312 families,” he said.

“And by July, all of these families will be accommodated in the temporary shelters. So nobody will be staying in evacuation centers,” he said.

Those families who applied for building and reconstruction permits from the city government of Marawi will be allowed to go back in the most affected area, he said.

Rosario said Marawi is gradually bouncing back.

“We are mandated to ensure that marawi will rise as a prosperous city again,” he said.

Deradicalization and transitional justice program

To achieve a holistic approach for the healing process, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is partnering with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to help rehabilitate former members of the Maute group.

Col. Romeo Brawner, the commander of 103rd Infantry Brigade, said it is also important to intervene in the deradicalization of these individuals who were duped to join the Maute group.

“We are looking at the Basilan model, wherein members of the Abu Sayyaf, who have surrendered, where given proper interventions,” he said.

Galvez said his office will be helping the military in Lanao areas to bring down the level of animosity between the victims of the conflict and surrendered perpetrators.

“What we are looking at is the implementation of transitional justice and reconciliation here,” he said.

Part of the activities is to meet with the members of the Maute group who have surrendered and their families for an Iftar.

Brawner said they will tap these former and reformed combatants to prevent others from radicalizing.

Galvez also went to the Sarimanok Evacuation Center together with OPAPP personnel to handover goods in solidarity with the internally displaced persons.

The visit is part of the yearly Duyog Ramadan that OPAPP is implementing during the month-long observance.

Meanwhile, Sec Galvez, Sec Rosario, Mayor Gandamra, and Col. Brawner held a solemn wreath laying to commemorate the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to liberate Marawi. The ceremony was held inside the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

“The gallantry of the 168 soldier who lost their lives will forever be etched in our hearts,” Galvez said. ###

CPP/NPA-Masbate: Atake at Karahasan sa mamamayang Masbatenyo nagpapatuloy sa ilalim ng 2nd IBPA, 9th IDPA at PNP Masbate

NPA-Masbate propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 23, 2019): Atake at Karahasan sa mamamayang Masbatenyo nagpapatuloy sa ilalim ng 2nd IBPA, 9th IDPA at PNP Masbate

MAY 23, 2019

Muli na namang naghasik ng takot at pangamba sa seguridad at kabuhayan ng mga tao ang grupo ng 2nd IBPA, 9th IDPA at PNP Masbate nang lusubin nito ang mga kabahayan sa isang sitio sa Brgy. Dalipe, Cawayan, Masbate nitong ika-20 ng Mayo.

Iligal na pinasok ang ilang mga kabahayan, pinaghahalughog ang mga gamit at kalaunan ay pinagdadampot ang mahigit labing isang (11) kalalakihan kahit walang mandamyento de arestong hawak ang mga sundalo at kapulisan. Dahil sa pangyayari ay malaking bilang ng mga sibilyan ngayon sa lugar ng pinangyarihan at maging sa kalapit na barangay ng Brgy. Calumpang, Cawayan ang takot na takot na baka pati sila ay mapagbalingan ng mga sundalo at pulis.

Samantala , ayon sa pinakahuling balita ang labing isang katao na iligal na inaresto na kinabibilangan nila Danilo Kaboy Landao; Arnel Bongbong Punay; Ryan Cortes; Jovanie Impas; Bobby Baybayon; Ondo Rondina; Tongtong Pianar; Titing Delos Reyes; Onyot Impas,; Ondoy Pianar at Boyboy Sayre ay nasa kamay ng mga sundalo at pulis na pansamantalang nakahimpil sa isang palaisdaan na pag-mamay ari ng isang Paner sa So. Jamorawon, Brgy. Dalipe, Cawayan. Batay sa ilang nakakita ay ilan sa mga dinampot ang sinasaktan at tinatakot na papatayin kung di ituturo ang mga lugar ng mga NPA.

May kinuha ding alagang baboy ang mga sundalo at pulis para ihawin kahit pa tumututol ang may-ari.

Nananawagan ang JRC-BHB Masbate sa mga opisyal ng bayan ng Cawayan, Masbate na tulungan niyo ang inyong mga kababayan na nasa bingit ngayon ng kapahamakan sa kamay ng pasisitang sundalo at pulis.

Digmang bayan ang magbibigay hustisya sa mga biktima ng karahasan na kinasasangkutan ng 2nd IBPA, 9th IDPA at PNP Masbate.

Mamamayan lumahok sa Digmang Bayan!
Digmang Bayan, sagot sa tumitinding atake na dulot ng pasistang estado!
Sampa na sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan!

Save the Children Philippines has raised concern on the situation of 1.8 Million children living in conflict affected areas in Mindanao

Posted to the Relief Web (May 21, 2019): Save the Children Philippines has raised concern on the situation of 1.8 Million children living in conflict affected areas in Mindanao

REPORT from Save the Children
Published on 21 May 2019
Save the Children Philippines has raised concern on the situation of 1.8 Million children living in conflict affected areas in Mindanao who face death, injury, diseases and psychosocial trauma due to lingering gun battles.

Lawyer Albert Muyot, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Save the Children Philippines said children are the most vulnerable in armed conflict as they have fragile bodies and dependent on parents and adults for care and protection.

He said reports gathered by Save the Children Philippines showed that 96.4 percent or 3.6 Million of the population of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are vulnerable to conflict. Of this number, 48.8 per cent or 1.8 Million of them are children. BARMM provinces include Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Save the Children, now celebrating 100 years has launched its global campaign " Stop the War on Children" to seek protection of some 420 Million children around the world who are living in conflict zones , a rise of 30 million more since 2016.

"Across the world, children wake up to the sound of explosion of bombs, gunshots, suffer hunger and displacement, are orphaned and are separated from friends and classmates," said Muyot.

He said armed conflict either end or disrupt childhood as children die from gunshots, injury and diseases, forced to leave homes and miss out on school.

"The impact of war on children linger beyond the end of conflict," said Muyot. He said the breakdown of essential services such as healthcare, water and sanitation aggravate the situation.

Save the Children global data showed that from 2013 to 2017, the number of deaths of children five years old and below due to armed conflict has reached 870,000, five times higher than the 175,000 adult fighters who died during the same period.

Muyot said children in Mindanao suffer grave violations of their rights. Atleast 16 children were killed in a crossfire in Mindanao last year and another 17 children injured due to similar cause.

He said since 2017, there were 157 recorded cases of grave child rights violations that include 24 attacks in schools and 36 attacks in health care facilities, recruitment of child soldiers and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The condition in evacuation centers also put children at risk of suffering physical and sexual exploitation.

In the last two years, Save the Children Philippines has provided assistance to more than 22,000 children affected by the Marawi siege. These include emergency relief and hygiene kits, learning and teaching materials and psychosocial support services.

Save the Children Philippines continues to provide help to children in Mindanao to have access to education by setting up Temporary Learning Spaces and Child Friendly Spaces. It also trains barangay health workers and set up birthing facilities to improve child and maternal health care.

"Schools and health centers should be treated as zones of peace and protection," said Muyot.

He said there is need to improve the living conditions of communities to avoid child recruitment for economic and sexual exploitation.

Muyot hopes that the situation of children in Mindanao will improve with the passage of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CSAC) or Republic Act 11188.

The law guarantees humanitarian support and protection of children in situations of armed conflict.

"Every child deserves a future, we must be relentless in pursuing peace to improve their situation, particularly those trapped in situations of armed conflict," said Muyot.


Photo credit to Save the Children Philippines

Lei Tapang, Campaigns and Media Coordinator
+63 917 873 3448| Phone No: +63 2 853 0215 |

Philippines: Aid provided to 2,000 people displaced by clashes in Basilan

Posted to the Relief Web (May 27, 2019): Philippines: Aid provided to 2,000 people displaced by clashes in Basilan

REPORT from International Committee of the Red Cross
Published on 27 May 2019 —View Original

Download PDF (117.06 KB)

Manila (ICRC) – Nearly 2,000 people in Basilan province, southern Philippines, have been coping with their displacement for over a month after armed clashes broke out between government security forces and armed groups in Sumisip municipality.

“We are deeply concerned about the effect of prolonged displacement on these families. Unable to take care of their farms, these families struggle to provide for their loved ones,” said Piotr Dregiel, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office in Zamboanga.

According to Municipal Social Welfare Department Office (MSWDO) in Sumisip, around 200 families that fled their homes in April 2019 due to the fighting have been staying in Barangay Mangal. In addition, almost 190 families displaced to Barangay Tumahubong by intermittent clashes since June 2016 have not yet returned home due to the fear of being caught in the fighting.

“Though they received initial assistance from the authorities, they need further support due to their continued displacement,” Dregiel said.

To address the needs of these 2,000 displaced people, the ICRC delivered assistance on 25 May through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). Each family received 25 kilograms of rice, 1 litre of oil, 1 litre of soy sauce, one kilogram of sugar, half kilogram of salt, 12 tins of sardine, and hygiene material including shampoo, bath and laundry soap, sanitary pad, toothbrush and toothpaste that would cater to a family of five for at least 15 days.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. It has an international mandate to promote knowledge for and compliance with international humanitarian law.

“We remind all parties to the conflict about the need to protect civilians and those who are not or no longer participating in the hostilities. They must not be targeted, and their lives and dignity are to be protected at all times,” stressed Dregiel.

Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (21-27 May 2019)

Posted to the Relief Web (May 27, 2019): Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (21-27 May 2019)

INFOGRAPHIC from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 27 May 2019

Download PDF (1.72 MB)


The second anniversary since the outbreak of fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Maute ISIL-inspired armed group in Marawi took place on 23 May. As a result of the conflict, an estimated 360,000 people were displaced from the city and surrounding municipalities. While about over sixty per cent of the IDPs have now returned home, some 66,000 people remain displaced, with many of them in temporary shelters and camps. Amongst those who are still displaced, the most urgent needs are for access to potable water, sustainable livelihoods and permanent shelter

66,000 people remain displaced


After being closed for more than one month, 17 health facilities in Nuristan province, eastern Afghanistan have reopened following negotiations between community elders and a Non-State Armed Group (NSAG). On 19 April, 22 health facilities were forced to close by a NSAG, when the group issued demands for better conditions in the facilities. As a result of the closures, approximately 117,000 people were denied access to healthcare. Five health centres still remain closed, denying 27,000 people access to basic health services.


On 24-25 May, heavy rain, strong winds and landslides damaged shelters in several camps for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar. More than 2,500 households (approximately 11,900 people) were affected, more than 800 people displaced. Assistance was provided to people who were injured or displaced by the storm and to help repair damaged shelters and facilities.
Assessments are ongoing to determine the extent of the damage caused to shelters,
WASH facilities, community structures and services in the camps.

11,900 people affected


On 24 May, Mount Agung, located in Karangasem Regency in Bali, Indonesia, erupted for the third time this month. The eruption spewed lava, rocks and volcanic ash approximately 2-3 kms from the crater, affecting nine villages.
No immediate evacuations have been undertaken, although people have been requested not to conduct any activities within a 4km radius of the volcano. The alert level for the volcano remains at Level 3.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit

Abu Sayyaf member killed, 4 others wounded in Sulu clash ABS-CBN News

From ABS-CBN (May 27, 2019): Abu Sayyaf member killed, 4 others wounded in Sulu clash

An Abu Sayyaf Group member died while four others were wounded in an encounter with government troops in Barangay Sandah in Patikul, Sulu Monday afternoon, the military said.

The firefight between the military and the group of Mundi Sawadjaan lasted five minutes, killing one of the terrorists, the military said in a statement.

More terrorists are believed to have been wounded in the encounter, while no government trooper was hurt.

Recovered after the encounter were personal belongings of the retreating Abu Sayyaf members.

The military has launched a pursuit operation against the retreating terrorists.

“Military troops escalate their deliberate and focused operations against Abu Sayyaf militants, days after the spate of offensives in Sulu," Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief, said.

Abu Sayyaf Group member killed, 4 wounded in Sulu clash

From GMA News Online (May 28, 2019): Abu Sayyaf Group member killed, 4 wounded in Sulu clash

A member of the Abu Sayyaf Group Mundi Sawadjaan was killed while four of his companions were injured in a five-minute exchange of gunfire with military forces in Patikul, Sulu on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Western Mindanao Command Public Information Office.

The incident occurred i
n Barangay Sandah in Patikul around 3:30 p.m. on Monday.

The military said there may have been more ASG members injured. On the side of the military, there are no recorded casualties.

Augmenting troops also blocked possible routes of the enemies as a pursuit operation is conducted.

Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief, said, “Military troops escalate their deliberate and focused operations against Abu Sayyaf militants, days after the spate of offensives in Sulu.”

“We are gaining a foothold as we sustain our tactical offensives on the ground. This is evinced by the number of militants slain in our successive armed engagements against the enemies in Sulu,” he added.

FALSE: Photo of Kabataan party 'supporting ROTC'

From Rappler (May 27, 2019): FALSE: Photo of Kabataan party 'supporting ROTC'

The photo is a manipulated version of Pinoyweekly's 2015 photo showing Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago and other members of the party protesting tuition hikes

Claim: A photo showed Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago and other members of her party-list group supposedly holding placards of support for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

Facebook page Inside Truth posted the photo last Wednesday, May 22, with a caption that read: "Thank you Sarah Elago for supporting ROTC! Hopefully, sa pamunuan ng KABATAAN PARTYLIST, naway tuloy-tuloy ang suporta ninyo sa ating Pamahalaan!" (Thank you Sarah Elago for supporting ROTC! Hopefully, to the leaders of Kabataan, may you continue to support our government!)

As of writing, the photo has gotten 327 reactions, 124 comments, and 131 shares. Rappler spotted the claim via Facebook Claim Check, Facebook's fact-check tool that collates potential hoaxes for fact checkers' review.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: A quick reverse image search showed that the photo is a manipulated version of Pinoyweekly's 2015 photo showing Elago and other members of Kabataan holding placards to oppose the Education Act of 1982 and tuition hikes.

In the actual photo, Elago was protesting with other members of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, which is among the founding organizations of Kabataan.

ACTUAL PHOTO. The article in Pinoyweekly, as archived, includes the photo of NUSP members opposing the Education Act of 1982.
ACTUAL PHOTO. The article in Pinoyweekly, as archived, includes the photo of NUSP members opposing the Education Act of 1982.

As archived in Wayback Machine, the original photo was taken by Darius Galang for an article in Pinoyweekly about youth activists criticizing the Commission on Higher Education's approval of the applications of private universities for tuition hikes.

Reacting to the manipulated photo, Galang and Kabataan released a statement on Facebook on Friday, May 24.

"First, I took this photo. Second, it is not the message.... These trolls and fake news makers are deplorable," Galang said.

Kabataan, aside from denouncing the false photo, also reiterated its position against mandatory ROTC.

"The current call to revive mandatory ROTC will not only multiply abuses and corruption cases [in] the secondary and tertiary levels; it will [also] breed Duterte's brand of unthinking obedience," said the group.

On May 20, the House of Representatives approved on 3rd and final readingthe controversial bill making ROTC mandatory for Grades 11 and 12.

House Bill No. 8961, if passed into law, would make ROTC mandatory for both males and females in senior high school. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill No. 2232, remains pending at the committee level.

The Facebook page Inside Truth was created in July 2015. It has around 14,000 likes as of writing. Majority of its posts express opposition against organizations supposedly connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army, calling them "terrorists." 

Suspected NPA hitman shot dead in Laguna

From GMA News Online (May 27, 2019): Suspected NPA hitman shot dead in Laguna

A suspected hitman and member of the New People's Army was shot dead in a police operation in the town of Alaminos in Laguna.

According to a report by John Consulta in GMA's 24 Oras on Monday, the Laguna Police served an arrest warrant against 35-year-old Christopher Esabia for supposed illegal possession of firearms.

Esabia, however, allegedly resisted arrest, which led to an exchange of gun fire between him and the cops.

The slain suspect was a member of the communists' Special Partisan Unit who was allegedly behind the killings of four police officers and some politicians in Batangas and Laguna in the past two years, the police said.

A .45 caliber gun and .38 caliber revolver were recovered from Esabia's possession.

Army, GMA to construct hanging bridge in Paquibato

From the Mindanao Times (May 27, 2019): Army, GMA to construct hanging bridge in Paquibato

The army’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) is set to construct a hanging bridge to connect communities in the hinterlands of Barangay Mapula, Paquibato District after a signing of agreement with the GMA Kapuso Foundation Inc. at its headquarters in Camp Panacan on Friday.

In the agreement, the GMA Foundation will be responsible in sourcing out the financial and other material requirements on the construction of the bridge that will benefit the Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in the area.

The EastMinCom will carry out the construction through its 52nd Engineer Brigade, while the 1003rd Infantry Brigade will be tasked to secure the project.

The local government is now focusing the development in Paquibato District, a far-flung IP area in the second district. Officials are targeting a tourism boom in the area, once a stronghold of communist rebels.

Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., EastMinCom commander, said they are supportive to the initiative of the city government, through the PEACE 911, in “capacitating the communities of Paquibato to be conflict resilient.”

A 50-kilometer fun-run that passed in six Paquibato barangays — Malabog, Pañalum, Mabuhay, Paradise Embac, Lumiad and Paquibato Proper – was held on Saturday to commemorate the first anniversary of PEACE 911.

The event aimed to showcase that Paquibato is now ready for its tourism boost.

The military said the recent surrender of a high-ranking communist leader operating in Paquibato is an indication that the long reign of the communist group in the area is on its downfall.

NPA supplies seized by Army on info by villagers

From the Mindanao Times (May 28, 2019): NPA supplies seized by Army on info by villagers

Several stocks of ammunition, food, and other belongings reportedly owned by the New People’s Army were discovered by the 30th Infantry Battalion on Saturday in Sitio Brazil, Barangay Mat-i, Surigao City.

The said discovery was made through the revelation of a rebel returnee.

1Lt. Ken Enciso, the Civil-Military operations (CMO) officer of the 30th IB based in Placer, Surigao del Norte, said the soldiers confiscated three anti-personnel mines, one bandoleer, four magazines for an AK-47 rifle, and one long magazine for M16 rifle.

Enciso said also discovered were 620 rounds of ammunition for AK-47 rifle, 14 rounds of ammunition for M16 rifle, 250 meters electrical wire, one NPA flag, 17 shirts with NPA markings, three pairs of rain boots, assorted personal belongings, and NPA documents .

Lt. Col. Raymund Allen Tomas, 30th IB commander, said the cache was discovered after
Mark (not his real name), 48, a former commander of the Milisya ng Bayan in the area, surrendered on May 24 and pointed to the location of the said supplies.

Accordingly, Mark, who used to be a farmer, said he realized that he was only being used by the rebels organization to raise funds for their leaders.

“I personally witnessed the criminal actions of the guerrillas to recruit minors and thrust them in the armed movement,” he said.

Tomas said Sitio Brazil has been known as an NPA sanctuary until last year after local residents found the courage and decided to break free from the rebel influence.

Since then, former CPP-NPA members and supporters began feeding information to the military about the activities of the rebels.

“Alias Mark made the right choice to abandon the armed struggle and embrace the government. We call on the remaining NPA members and supporters to abandon these terrorists who only bring misery and poverty to our country,” He added.

It can be recalled that on May 18, 2019 war materiel and food cache were also unearthed by the 30th IB through the help of a former Militia ng Bayan member in Sitio Little Baguio, Barangay Payapag, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte.

Fun run marks celebration of Peace 911 in Paquibato

From the Mindanao Times (May 28, 2019): Fun run marks celebration of Peace 911 in Paquibato

The Eastern Mindanao Command joined around 350 soldiers and other stakeholders during a fun run in Paquibato on Saturday as part of the anniversary celebration of Peace 911.

The activity was led by EastMinCom chief, Lt. General Felimon T. Santos Jr., together with the division and brigade commanders such as Maj Gen. Jose Faustino Jr, commander of 10th Infantry Division; Col. Nolasco Mempin, commander of 1003rd Infantry Brigade; and Brig Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr., former commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, the current deputy commander of EastMinCom.

Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, the EastMinCom spokesperson, said the fun run and trekking allowed participants to also see the tourists spots in Paquibato Districts, particularly in barangays Paquibato Proper, Malabog, Pañalum, Mabuhay, Paradise Embac and Lumiad.

During the celebration, Mayor Sara Duterte also awarded P1.985 million worth of livelihood project to 14 former rebels from Paquibato District, and formally announced the expansion of Peace 911 to 18 more Barangays of Davao City formerly affected by communist armed conflict.

This was followed by the commitment of stakeholders to sustain the gains of peace as they promised to help bring development in Paquibato.

Paquibato, which has been a conflict-affected area for many years, was the guerilla base of the New People’s Army in Davao City. It was declared conflict-free last year, paving the way for the implementation of the Peace 911.

It can be recalled that, Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, was killed in an encounter in the said area in 2015. In the last week of April 2019, the community tipped soldiers off regarding an arms cache in the area that yielded 22 firearms of the NPA rebels.

“The objective now is to sustain peace in Paquibato and make it durable,” Santos said. “We shall be in the forefront of supporting different conflict and cultural sensitive initiatives and other peace endeavors of the local government unit of Davao City through the Peace 911.”

Peace studies in curriculum to thwart extremism: academics

From the Mindanao Times (May 28, 2019): Peace studies in curriculum to thwart extremism: academics

The integration of peace studies in the curricula of all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) is seen to address violent extremism and promote peace in Mindanao.

Last April, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman J. Prospero De Vera III signed a memorandum order enjoining HEIs to offer peace studies starting in the first semester of academic year 2019-2020.

In response,
the Al Qalam Institute and Salaam Movement is launching the SALAAM: Spirituality of Service Peace Education Module which will be incorporated in the national training service program in universities.

The module will be introduced first in Davao Region while they are waiting for the CHED’s approval to present it to the national level.

Dr. Samuel Anonas, the author of SALAAM: Spirituality of Service Peace Education Module, said the module is guided by the principles of self-reflection, inclusive development, social tolerance, sustainability, and fair judgement.

Fatima Star Lamalan, the Salaam Movement project coordinator, said that during the series of interventions and public consultations prior to the creation of the module all over Mindanao, they found out youths are the most susceptible to brainwashing.

This makes them prime targets for recruitment not just by terrorist cells but also communist insurgents.

“That is why we focus on properly educating the youth through this Salaam education peace module that should be integrated into the NSTP,” Lamalan said on Friday.

Fr. Ernesto Estonilo, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru) peace program officer, said the government can do all the peace initiatives alone. The complexity of the problem requires the collaborative efforts of non-profits, civil-society groups, and other stakeholders to find a sustainable solution.

Army holds roadshow at PMA

From the Philippine Information Agency (May 27, 2019): Army holds roadshow at PMA

Commanding General of the Philippine Army Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto congratulates newly promoted Army reservist 2nd Lieutenant Matteo Guidicelli . He joined the Philippine Army road show in the hallowed ground of the Philippine Military Academy Borromeo Field in Baguio City.

BAGUIO CITY -- The Philippine Army (PA) last week held a capability demonstration and information caravan at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to inspire the cadets on their journey as future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The roadshow showcasing the Army’s latest technology and skills also served as a send-off activity to the PMA “Mabalasik” Class of 2019 graduating on May 26.

The Army showed their effectiveness and efficiency on explosive and hazardous materials facilitation and disposal, hostage rescue operation, medic action to casualties, and enemy neutralization, and with the military working dogs. They also displayed their skills in urban warfare missions and rescue operations.

In the same event, the PA promoted reservist, celebrity Matteo Guidicelli to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant presided by Army Chief Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto.

Guidicelli joined the Army as a reservist in April with a rank of Private. He will undergo training in the elite Scout Ranger Camp Pecson in Bulacan this month.

“I got associated and interested with the Armed Forces of the Philippines on how they help in the community and society so I enlisted in the Army Reserve Command to do my part as a Filipino citizen,” Guidicelli said.

Joining the Army Reserve Command is a way of contributing to the country that is why I support the call of our President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to restore the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, he added.

The reserve force is a voluntary service to the country especially in times of emergencies and calamities.

Gun parts, Makabayan posters found in NPA stash in Sarangani

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Gun parts, Makabayan posters found in NPA stash in Sarangani

Government troops recovered firearms parts, campaign materials of militant party-list groups, and several other supplies reportedly stashed by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in a remote village in Malapatan town, Sarangani province.

1Lt. Gerry Mabborang, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion, said in a report on Monday that the supplies and campaign materials were found buried at a portion of Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Upper Suyan in Malapatan last Friday.

Mabborang said the recovery was based on information from a former member of the NPA's Front 71, identified as alias "Ka Jong-jong", who voluntarily surrendered last May 4.

Mabborang said the returnee reported that their unit buried various medical paraphernalia, parts of firearms, assorted ammunition and campaign posters of party-list groups under the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.

"Our troops found the same items at the exact spot reported by the returnee," the military official said.

Among those found were stethoscopes, first-aid kits, medical supplies, ammunition for high- and low-powered firearms, rifle grenade as well as assorted parts of handguns and rifles.

The campaign materials comprised of posters of party-list groups Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Anakpawis.

"It is a clear manifestation that these partylist groups are affiliated with the NPA," Mabborang said.

The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as a terrorist organization.

Mabborang added that their unit is currently considering the filing of charges against the Makabayan partylist groups.

Westmincom honors 2 wounded soldiers

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Westmincom honors 2 wounded soldiers

ACT OF GALLANTRY. Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, leads the awarding of medal Monday to two soldiers for gallantry in action in the internal security operations. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom Public Information Office)

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has awarded medals to two wounded soldiers for gallantry in action during internal security operations.

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Westmincom chief, on Monday led the awarding of medals to the two soldiers, who are confined at the Camp Navarro General Hospital in this city.

The awardees of Wounded Personnel Medal (WPM) were Private First Class (PFC) June Anthony Antipuesto of the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion and PFC Niel Bendicto of the 13th Special Forces Company under the 6th Special Forces Battalion.

Col. Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, said Antipuesto was recognized for his gallantry in action during a firefight against some 30 New People’s Army rebels on May 11, this year, in Barangay Diampak, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Besana said the 44th Infantry Battalion troops were conducting focused military operations when they clashed against the NPA rebels.

Besana said Benedicto was awarded WPM for the bravery that he exhibited during a firefight against 30 Abu Sayyaf Group bandits led by Mundi Sawadjaan on Thursday, May 25, in Barangay Igasan, Patikul, Sulu.

The two wounded soldiers also received financial assistance during the awarding ceremony.

“The award is our way of acknowledging their dedication and selfless service to the people and the state,” dela Vega said.

“May this award motivate them to be more steadfast in fulfilling their mandate,” he added.

Abu Sayyaf kill 2 children in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Abu Sayyaf kill 2 children in Sulu

A military physician at Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital attends to one of the three children who were wounded when the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits attack on Saturday, May 25, a community in Barangay Igasan, Patikul, Sulu. (Photo courtesy of Westmincom Public Information Office)

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has strongly condemned the barbaric acts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits after they attacked innocent civilians in the province of Sulu.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, made the condemnation Monday after the ASG bandits attacked a community that resulted to the death of two innocent children.

The incident occurred late Saturday in Barangay Igasan, Patikul, Sulu.

“We strongly condemn the barbaric act of the Abu Sayyaf. There is no place for such barbarism in our region,” Dela Vega said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families of the innocent children,” Dela Vega added.

Col. Gerry Besana, Westmincom information officer, identified the slain children as Saiful Abdun, one and Jahid Usab, 12.

Besana said that six ASG bandits were killed while 15 others wounded as firefight ensued when troops of the Army’s 6th Special Forces Battalion, who were conducting Community Support Program (CSP) activities, immediately responded and “ferociously fought back to prevent the ASG from causing more destruction.”

Besana said the 15 wounded consisted of five soldiers, three civilians, and seven ASG bandits based on the report of the residents.

Besana said the troops rescued three injured children, who were caught in the crossfire, adding the military also assisted the residents to temporarily vacate the area “so as not to be caught in the middle of crossfires.”

He said the wounded soldiers and civilians are currently recuperating at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

Air Force OV-10s grounded following crash

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Air Force OV-10s grounded following crash

GROUNDED. All OV-10 strike aircraft of the Philippine Air Force have been grounded following the crash of one of the bombers while about to land at the Sangley Airport in Cavite on May 24, 2019. The two pilots safely ejected and were recovered by local fishermen in the area 2.5 kilometers from the shoreline of Rosario town. (Contributed photo)

All of the North American Rockwell OV-10 strike aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have been grounded following the crash of one of the bombers while about to land at the Sangley Point Airport in Cavite last May 24.

"(Grounding of the remaining OV-10 aircraft is) part of our safety procedure, the aircraft will be grounded," said PAF spokesperson Major Aristides Galang on Monday.

Around five to six OV-10s are still being operated by the PAF.

If needed, the South Korean-made FA-50PH fighter aircraft and McDonnell Douglas MG-520 "Defender" attack helicopters can be deployed for missions.

"Depending on the type of missions, we can use the MG-520s or FA-50s if necessary," Galang said.

There is no order yet as to when the grounding order for the OV-10s would be lifted.

Last May 24, PAF OV-10 with tail number 402 and belonging to the 15th Strike Wing, crashed while turning crosswind for landing on runway 25 of Sangley Point Airport during the scheduled proficiency flight.

The two pilots safely ejected and were recovered by local fishermen in the area 2.5 kilometers from the shoreline of Rosario, Cavite.

The personnel were immediately picked-up by a civilian fishing boat and brought to Major Danilo Atienza Air Base Hospital.

"The investigation team was already activated to conduct a thorough investigation of the mishap," Galang said.

Palace defends PRRD sitting out PMA grads’ diploma distribution

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Palace defends PRRD sitting out PMA grads’ diploma distribution

TOP CADET. President Rodrigo R. Duterte awards the Camella House and Lot Certificate of Ownership to Philippine Military Academy (PMA) ‘Mabalasik’ Class of 2019 valedictorian, CDT 1CL Dionne Umalla, during the commencement exercises at Fort General Gregorio Del Pilar in Baguio City on May 26, 2019. Umalla, from Alilem, Ilocos Sur, is the fifth female to graduate as valedictorian at the country's premier military institution. (King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

Malacañang defended on Monday President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s decision to let Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana distribute most of the diplomas to Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets during their graduation rites on Sunday.

By practice, the President, who is also commander-in-chief of the military, is delegated the task of distributing diplomas. However, this is the first time Duterte mostly watched from his seat since he assumed office in 2016.

Duterte, who only handed out a diploma to class valedictorian Cadet 1st Class Dionne Mae Umalla, took a seat and let Lorenzana hand out the rest of the diplomas. He stood up again to hand out a diploma to 1st Class Danmark Solomon, goat or lowest-ranked member.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained that Duterte only had two hours of sleep prior to the commencement exercises, which were supposed to start at 9 a.m. but was delayed due to the President’s late arrival.

“PRRD lacked (sleep) the day before the event, working on papers, reading reports from various departments, and signing papers,” Panelo said in a statement to media.

“He is a night person. He usually sleeps at 6 a.m., he had to wake up at 8:30 a.m. for the PMA graduation rites so he had only two hours sleep,” he added.

Panelo said that the 9 a.m. graduation rites was still part of Duterte’s “sleeping time”, which is why he “struggled to be awake.”

He pointed out that Duterte asked Lorenzana to hand out most of the diplomas because he wanted to “reserve” his energy for the graduation rites’ other ceremonial acts.

“The protocol in distributing diplomas is either he does it himself or he tasks the Secretary of National Defense to do it. He opted to let SND did the handing of certificates. He reserved his energy for the other ceremonial acts he had to perform for the graduation rites,” Panelo said.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured the public that despite Duterte’s tardiness and sleepiness during the graduation rites, he was in good health and ready to travel to Japan on Tuesday (May 28) to attend the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia on May 30 to 31.

“To the people who wish him to be seriously ill, they will be disappointed. To those who are concerned about his well-being, they should be assured that apart from what he already told the public of what ails him (which is not life-threatening) the President is in good health, robust enough to be travelling to Japan for an official visit upon the invitation of Prime Minister Abe,” Panelo said.

Panelo also defended Duterte’s jokes about offenses made by PMA cadets which included rape, robbery while he was pardoning the outstanding punishments for PMA underclassmen, saying that it is already part of the President’s personality.

“By the time he delivered his speech he was already in his usual, alert, impassioned and assertive self. He made some mischievous remarks to make people laugh. People have been used to his jokes hence his audience always receive them with hearty laughter,” Panelo said.

Duterte is known to crack jokes and use profanities in his speeches.

Trillanes snubs Makati court hearing on rebellion

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): Trillanes snubs Makati court hearing on rebellion

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was a no-show on Monday at the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC Branch 150) for the first hearing of the rebellion charges filed against him for his alleged part in the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

Judge Elmo Alameda presided over the case which resumed after the Court of Appeals (CA) last March turned down the lawmaker's plea to stop his indictment for rebellion.

In a resolution dated March 18, the CA's Ninth Division, through Associate Justice Apolinario D. Bruselas Jr., denied the application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by Trillanes’ counsel.

Associate Justices Myra V. Garcia Fernandez and Geraldine Fiel Macarang concurred with the decision.

The Makati court originally set Trillanes' hearing on March 20 but reset it to May 27 after Trillanes' counsel, Reynaldo Robles, cited that he has a previous commitment to appear in another trial.

In September last year, Alameda issued a warrant of arrest against Trillanes for rebellion over his involvement in the 2007 Oakwood mutiny.

The reinstatement of charges came after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 572 which declared the former Navy Lt. Senior Grade’s amnesty as void ab initio (from the beginning).

AFP aids DepEd in Brigada Eskwela, school opening

From the Philippine News Agency (May 27, 2019): AFP aids DepEd in Brigada Eskwela, school opening

Military units will assist the Department of Education (DepEd) and other stakeholders in the cleaning and repair of schools in preparation for the June 3 public school opening.

This was the response of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato, when asked what assistance the military can provide for the ongoing "Brigada Eskwela" initiatives which started on May 16.

"'Brigada Eskwela' is traditionally being participated in by all AFP units especially those in the field. We have a government interagency effort on that and field commanders are tasked to coordinate closely with DepEd and other cognizant agencies who are involved in this annual activity," said Detoyato in a text message to the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

"Brigada Eskwela" is done weeks before the scheduled public school opening to ensure that these facilities are ecologically conscious, resilient, clean, safe and conducive to learning.

Meanwhile, Detoyato said they will also help the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units in securing the public schools this coming June 3.

"The security aspect during opening of classes where millions of students troop back to the schools are also part of the security plans being coordinated with the LGUs, DepEd and PNP and is usually being tackled during peace and order council meetings and conferences," he added.

Also, the AFP public affairs office chief said securing and helping with the "Brigada Eskwela" is already part and parcel of the planning efforts of AFP field units.

"At the most, our field units augment the LGUs and PNP in the conduct of security during the first few crucial days of the opening of classes," Detoyato added.