Wednesday, June 19, 2019

DSWD readies food packs for remote areas

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 20, 2019): DSWD readies food packs for remote areas

MOA SIGNING. Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Director Janet Armas and Philippine Army 503rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Henry Doyaoen sign a Memorandum of Agreement for the faster delivery of relief and food packs before and during calamities. In the Cordillera region, there are warehouses in Apayao, La Trinidad in Benguet, and Kalinga, that are set up at the Army headquarters through a memorandum of agreement. (File photo courtesy of DSWD-CAR Facebook)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) has started to preposition relief goods, especially for areas that could be isolated during the rainy season.

“We want to establish per province first because we cannot afford if it would be per municipality but we are prioritizing the clusters where road closures are common during a typhoon. These are mostly in the upland areas,” said DSWD-CAR regional director Janet Armas during the “Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan” (KALAHI) Serye” regional local government forum here on Wednesday.

Armas said the prepositioning of goods is vital, considering the mountainous terrain of the region.

The Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) assist in the transportation of relief goods and provide areas for storage.

Armas said warehouses have to be established since downloading of relief funds to local government units are prohibited.

The agency has partnered with the different government and military facilities to be used as relief goods warehouses in the different provinces.

In the Cordillera region, there are warehouses in Apayao, La Trinidad in Benguet, and Kalinga, that are set up at the Army headquarters through a memorandum of agreement.

“We recognize that the Philippine Army plays a major role in reducing and managing disaster risks in our communities. We are very much elated that through this partnership, we will be able to occupy and temporarily use a portion of their existing warehouse for prepositioning our relief goods,” Armas said.

“For the past years, the region experienced destructive typhoons, floods, and landslides. Kalinga province has been recorded to have one of the highest numbers of affected families. With its distance from the Field Office, the warehouse in Kalinga will definitely help us in providing the necessary relief assistance to the province and other nearby areas,” she added.

Armas said the region has been allotted 30,000 family food packs and a contingency fund of PHP3 million.

Stop rebellion, help develop Samar, PRRD tells NPA

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 20, 2019): Stop rebellion, help develop Samar, PRRD tells NPA

PRRD IN SAMAR. President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his speech during his visit to Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City, Samar on June 19, 2019. Duterte urged communist rebels to “choose a better fight in life”, assuring that the government will provide them with livelihood assistance as long as they laid down their arms. (Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte criticized the communist terrorist group New People’s Army (NPA) for spoiling development efforts in Samar Island in their decades of "senseless" armed struggle.

In his speech at the Philippine Army 8th Infantry Division headquarters in Catbalogan City, Samar Wednesday night, Duterte said the vast natural resources in Samar is a key to development, but presence of NPAs is a major setback.

“Ngayon, itong -- ewan ko itong Samar. Itong mga NPA, I’m sure dadating ‘yan sa kanila. You know, it’s a beautiful island or beautiful group of islands. Marami dito ang isda (fish is abundant here) and we can always --- given the industry of the Filipino 'pag may pera (if there's money), we can always develop this place into something that would make the Filipino happy,” Duterte said before the commanders, junior officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the 8th Infantry Division at Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City, Samar.

“Ewan ko itong mga NPA na ‘to (I don't know with these NPA rebels). They have been fighting for 53 years sa gobyerno, estudyante pa ako(against government, I was still a student),” Duterte said.

Duterte urged the rebels to lay down their arms since they will never win a war against the government. He even urged them to “learn new skills” and contribute to the country’s food production.

“I encourage the remaining rebels to repudiate your outdated ideology, abandon your [extremist] activities and return to the folds of the law,” he said.

He added that he doesn’t understand the kind of brains NPA rebels have.

“You don't need to be a high school graduate. Ang tingin sa inyo na mali talaga (The perception is that you are wrong). I mean choose a better fight in life. Iyang makapabuti sa anak mo, kapwa tao mo, sa gobyerno mo (What’s better for your children, for your countrymen and your government),” he said.

He said he is willing to come back to Samar and tell the communist rebels to stop their foolishness and become productive citizens.

“Just drop your weapon, stop fighting and we will talk. And I can give you right away one-third of what you are asking. One-third, one-third, one third is one,” he said. “Maski one-third ibigay ko na sa iyo (I'll give you one third). Maski ‘yung pera na kakonti konti para sa ating bayan, paghati-hatian natin ‘yan para gumana naman ang lahat ng buhay ng Pilipino (Whatever money this country have, let's divide it so that Filipino lives would progress). Pero (but) if you remain to fight, well, problema ninyo ‘yan (that's your problem).”

He lauded soldiers of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division for its anti-insurgency efforts that led to the arrest and surrender of more than 1,500 members of the communist terrorists in Eastern Visayas.

He also acknowledged the efforts of the army unit in supporting the more than 450 joint anti-illegal drug operations of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police, which resulted in the seizure of a considerable amount of illegal drugs and the arrest of several drug personalities.

Also present in the event were key officials of Philippine National Police in the region and in Samar province.

Prior to his speech, the President led the ceremonial distribution of 2,700 Glock pistols to the division representatives.

Accompanying the President were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence Go.

Duterte urges NPA to 'choose a better fight in life'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 20, 2019): Duterte urges NPA to 'choose a better fight in life'

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday night urged communist rebels to “choose a better fight in life”, assuring that the government will provide them with livelihood assistance as long as they laid down their arms.

He told members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) that the moment they surrendered, he was willing to provide them with jobs, land, accommodation.

“Choose a better fight in life. Iyang makapabuti sa anak mo, kapwa tao mo, sa gobyerno mo (What’s better for your children, for your countrymen and your government),” Duterte said during his visit to the 8th infantry division of the Philippine Army in Catbalogan, Samar on Wednesday.

He encouraged remaining rebels to “repudiate outdated ideology, abandon their extremist activities, and return to the folds of the law” since they are already being outnumbered by soldiers.

“I will never run out of soldiers because you are outnumbered. I think one is to 1,000. Iilan lang kayo (How many are you)? And you choose to fight,” Duterte said.

Duterte admitted that he felt pity for them, but they refused to sit down for talks.

“Ako naaawa rin ako sa inyo (I also pity you). But if you choose the way of life, bahala kayo. Pero ako hindi ako magsabi na --- basta ako sabi ko ako peace lang (it’s up to you. But I’m saying all I want is peace),” Duterte said.

“Kung kaya ninyo makipag-usap, wala akong problema (If you can talk, I don’t have a problem). Just drop your weapon, stop fighting and we will talk,” he added.

Duterte earlier terminated peace talks with communist rebels but later issued Executive Order 70 which institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in attaining peace and created a National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Sooner than later

Duterte, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the government could end communist insurgency in Eastern Visayas "sooner rather than later."

“With such valiant troops in the service of flag and country, I am confident that we can end the communist-terrorist scourge here in Region 8 sooner rather than later,” Duterte said.

Duterte hailed the troops or their anti-insurgency efforts over the past 18 months which have resulted in the capture and surrender of more than 1,500 CPP-NPA personalities and the recovery of several of dozens of firearms. 

PRRD VISITS SAMAR. President Rodrigo R. Duterte chats with the personnel of the 8th Infantry Division during his visit to Camp General Vicente Lukban in Catbalogan City, Samar on June 19, 2019. In his visit, Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kampilan on soldiers wounded in recent clashes with the communist New People's Army. (Presidential Photo)

He particularly lauded their efforts in combating CPP-NPA terrorists last April and for supporting the more than 450 joint anti-illegal drug operations of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) which resulted in the seizure of a considerable amount of illegal drugs and the arrest of several drug personalities.

The President, meanwhile, assured the 8th infantry division troops that government will always consider their needs, including those of their families.

“I assure you that you have the government’s full support as you fulfill your duty [of] securing our nation and protecting our people,” Duterte said.

“This administration will work hard to meet all of your needs and that of your families, and all that I ask is that you perform your responsibilities to the best of your abilities,” he added.

DND to acquire 2 landing docks for PH Navy

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 20, 2019): DND to acquire 2 landing docks for PH Navy

The Department of National Defense (DND), through the Revised Armed Forces Modernization Program, is allocating the sum of PHP5.56 billion for the acquisition of two brand-new landing docks for the Philippine Navy (PN).

The contract includes four landing craft utility and four units of rigid hull inflatable boats with integrated logistic supports. Winning bidders must be able to deliver the military vessels within 1,095 days.

A landing dock is an amphibious warfare ship with a well deck for transport and landing craft and amphibious vehicles.

In the PN, this function is carried out by the two Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels which were acquired from Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL PERSERO in 2016 and 2017.

The invitation to bid bulletin, posted at the DND website, also said that the landing docks must have a minimum gross capacity of 7,000 tons.

Also, the PN requires tie-up with local companies or shipyards so that a minimum of one landing dock can be constructed in the Philippines.

The bid opening is slated for July 4, 10 a.m. at the DND Bids and Awards Committee Conference Room, Basement, DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

"The HOPE (Head Of Procuring Entity) reserves the right to reject any bids and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract in accordance with Section 41 of 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act) and its IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders. Further, the HOPE reserves the right, if funds and allotments for said program/project/activity/have been withheld or reduced through no fault of its own," DND Bids and Awards Committee 1 chair Assistant Secretary Manuel Felino V. Ramos said in the same bid bulletin.

MILF: Various groups talk on Health Care Systems across Asia-Pacific

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jun 20, 2019): Various groups talk on Health Care Systems across Asia-Pacific

Some representatives of health ministries, medical associations, academia, military and aid organizations from nine countries have committed to work on ensuring that health care is safe from disruption and violence in the Asia-Pacific region, affirming there is an urgent need to strengthen the preparedness of health-care systems.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the first regional meeting was held in Makati City from June 13 to 15, gathered 65 participants who reaffirmed their collective responsibility in a declaration to enhance the protection of health-care services from various forms of violence. While the process needs to be led by States, there are many opportunities for other stakeholders to contribute to the effort.

“Every day, medical personnel, nurses and health responders are confronted with situations of violence and other actions that disrupt provision of health care to those who need it the most,” said Maciej Polkowski, head of the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) initiative at ICRC.

“This can range from deliberate attacks in cases of conflict, to violent verbal abuse from a patient. These regional meetings concentrate on the ground realities in Asia-Pacific and are aimed at moving towards improved protection of health care in a very concrete, defined and hopefully, inspiring manner.”

The HCiD initiative was launched globally in 2011 by the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to improve the protection of health care. It is a multifaceted initiative that encompasses partnerships, advocacy and an operational approach. The recent Asia-Pacific meeting was organized by the ICRC in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross. It brought together participants from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

ICRC disclosed that in the meeting, the participants discussed and shared concrete experiences in the task of making health-care services accessible, safe and free from violence. By adopting the “Manila Declaration on the Protection of Health Care.

The participants have agreed that Weapon bearers must strengthen their respect for safe and secure delivery of health care through practical measures such as training manuals and standard operating procedures; Authorities must undertake appropriate measures to train and educate civil servants, health-care workers and the public on domestic laws protecting health care; and There is a need to strengthen the resilience and preparedness of health-care systems to face attacks, with focus on the physical security of facilities, training of staff to prevent and manage violence and to strengthen coordination mechanisms.

For the meeting’s host country – the Philippines – protection of health care is highly relevant in the southern island of Mindanao due to decades of internal armed conflicts that presented various challenges for health professionals.

“We have to be concerned with the safety and protection of health-care workers deployed in areas affected by conflict as these are the places we also cater to,” said Dr Rolanisah Dipatuan-Dimaporo, chief of staff in the ministry of health of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“But we also realized during the meeting that health staff in contexts other than conflict are exposed to different risks,” Diapatuan-Dimaporo said further,

Moving forward, participants of the Asia-Pacific meeting agreed that by supporting the declaration, they commit to consolidate the good intentions and ideas into action by discussing and incorporating HCiD initiatives in their respective agencies’ strategic planning.

MILF: Gov’t consolidates efforts for Bangsamoro normalization

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jun 20, 2019): Gov’t consolidates efforts for Bangsamoro normalization

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.

Member agencies of the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN) have begun to consolidate their efforts to fast-track the implementation of the normalization track under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), which involves the decommissioning of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) combatants, weapons, and the transformations of the camps.

“Our aim here is to integrate and harmonize the government’s commitment for the full implementation of the normalization track,” said Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez during the first ICCMN meeting in Malacañan Palace on Monday (June 17).

For this year, the MILF is set to decommission at least 12,000 combatants. In 2015, the MILF decommissioned 145 combatants and a number of crew-served weapons.

It is expected that 35% of the combatants will be decommissioned next year, and the remaining will be in 2021 to 2022 before the signing of the Exit Agreement as stipulated in the CAB.

At least six camps of the MILF will also be transformed. These are Camp Bilal, Camp Bushra, Camp Rajamuda, Camp Abubakar, Camp Bad’r, and Camp Omar.

The CAB, which was signed by the government and the MILF in 2014, has two tracks: the Political track includes the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) and establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM); the Normalization track, on the other hand, primarily involves the decommissioning of combatants and the transformation of six MILF camps into peaceful and resilient communities.

President Rodrigo Duterte on April signed Executive Order (EO) 79 Implementing the Annex on Normalization Under the CAB, which brings together at least 17 government agencies to work on the normalization track.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who co-chaired the meeting with Galvez, emphasized the need for the concerned government agencies to work collectively in ensuring that the programs under the normalization track will be carried out within the desired timeframe.

“The government has to make good on its commitment,” he said, adding that the work in the normalization track is in consistent with the President's pledge to implement all the signed peace agreements with the Moro fronts.

“Our first meeting today is the first step towards more accomplishments,” he emphasized.

Composition and functions of ICCMN

Under EO 79, members of the of the ICCMN include the departments of Defense, Interior, Justice, Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Education, Finance, Health, Labor, Budget, Trade, Information and Communications, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Economic Development Authority, National Security Council, National Commission on Indigenous People, and the Commission on Higher Education.

Other relevant agencies may be called upon to provide support to ICCMN as part of the contingent efforts of the government to implements the components of the normalization.

The ICCMN’s main powers and function include coordination and mobilization of government agencies in the implementation of the normalization program, policy advising and support to the different modalities and mechanisms of normalization.

It will also supervise and monitor all socio-economic interventions under the normalization program and create a working group for vulnerable sectors in the Bangsamoro that will recommend a set of interventions.

Aside from the normalization program, one of the tasks of the ICCMN is to generate resources and funding, as well as provide the administrative provisions of the EO 79.

The ICCMN is subdivided into four clusters based on the four major components of the normalization track: the security aspect, socio-economic development program, confidence-building measures, and transitional justice and reconciliation.

It was resolved during the meeting that the clusters will be co-chaired by representatives of the offices of the Cabinet Secretary and the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process being the lead agencies for these efforts. (PR)

CPP: Condemn Duterte’s murderous spree

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): Condemn Duterte’s murderous spree

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is outraged over the six successive murders in the Bicol region over the past days since June 9. Among those killed are farmers, social activists and human rights workers. The Party holds the Duterte regime, its military and police forces and death squads responsible for these murders.

Coinciding with the killing spree in Bicol, military agents also shot dead a peasant leader in San Fernando, Bukidnon last June 16.

In Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, military troops under the 4th IB torched huts in Mangyan communities last June 13.

Military and police forces and death squads continue to carry out these murders and other abuses with impunity under Duterte’s National Task Force. He has exhorted his fascist troops to disregard human rights and carry out his orders.

Duterte has imposed martial law in Mindanao since 2017. He has also placed Bicol, Negros and Samar under de facto military rule through Memorandum Circular 32.

The CPP urges the families and friends of all victims of military and police abuses across the country to unite and hold the regime accountable and demand justice. They can link up with advocates and defenders of human rights and draw the support of the international community.

Those who are under threat of murder by the regime’s death squads can seek refuge in the revolutionary base areas of the New People’s Army.

CPP/CPP-Southern Tagalog: A Retort to General Parlade’s Lies

CPP-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): A Retort to General Parlade’s Lies

JUNE 18, 2019

Like his drug-dependent boss Duterte, General Parlade smacks of an intoxicated and hallucinating addict whenever he opens his mouth and spews lies against the revolutionary movement. He is desperately resorting to the worst kind of disinformation, fake news and lies to cover-up the desperation of a regime about to crumble and thrown into oblivion.
Let us enumerate some of General Parlade’s vicious lies:

Parlade claims that the AFP is winning the counter-revolutionary war as shown by so-called mass surrenders of NPA fighters. By playing the numbers game, Parlade is flooding the media with lies of fake surrenderees posing as NPA fighters. If his statistics is to be believed, there would be no more NPA left fighting the guerrilla war as his statistics far surpass the number of NPA regulars in every guerrilla front he misrepresent as surrendering in droves.

Parlade claims that mass support for the CPP-NPA is waning as shown by the decrease in votes of progressive partylists. He has unmasked his own ignorance by equating the electoral votes of progressive partylists to the mass support of the CPP-NPA. The mass support of the revolutionary movement is not quantified by the volatile electoral votes but by millions upon millions of organized members of revolutionary mass organizations and the organs of Red political power in the countryside who tirelessly struggle for a democratic and free Philippines against the yoke and exploitative rule of the big bourgeois-comprador and landlord class as well as the bureaucrat-capitalists in Duterte’s government.

Parlade misrepresents the so-called decline of votes for progressive partylists as a rejection by the people of the progressive ideals and nationalist aspirations they espouse. Parlade even intentionally neglects that the 2019 mid-term election is full of irregularities and fraud, massive cheating and election result manipulation, wanton use of government resources and institutions to favor Duterte’s candidates, intimidations of opposition groups through red-tagging, fake Duterte narcolist and made-up “Oust Duterte Matrix”, unbriddled electioneering by the AFP and PNP—all but clear testaments how the AFP and the Duterte regime sabotage and hijack the popular will of the Filipino people. If the people truly rejects progressive partylists, how come they were able to win electoral seats despite the overwhelming odds placed upon them by the reactionary state and the mercenary AFP and PNP?

Parlade’s stupidy is further revealed by his claim that the cause against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism is a “jurassic” ideology. He only unmasked himself as a skunk tool and defender of the exploitative and oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal system reigning in the Philippine society. He defends US military intervention, exploitation and plunder of Philippine resources and trampling of the country’s sovereignty and misrepresents these as nationalism. He profits from military contracts and gain favors from being a loyal lap dog of Duterte. He is the Philippine personification of Hitler’s fascist propagandist Goebbels. What a buffoon Parlade, truly, is—a scumbag of the most lowly life form!

Lies and deceit cannot win over the truth. The revolutionary movement under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines continues to gain the trust and support of the Filipino people comprising the toiling masses of workers, peasants, the urban and rural poor as well as the youth, women, the urban petty bourgeoisie and middle bourgeoisie because the Party espouse the real democratic interests and national aspirations of the Filipino people for national democracy. No amount of twisting facts can deny the people of the truth that they suffer endlessly from the exploitation and suppression under the ruling system as well as under the tyrannical and fascist US-Duterte regime.

CPP/Sison: The Revolutionary Movement of the Filipino people is indestructible due to oppression and exploitation

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): The Revolutionary Movement of the Filipino people is indestructible due to oppression and exploitation

JUNE 18, 2019

Duterte and his political agents and armed minions keep on boasting that they can destroy the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people. However, they keep on moving their deadline because every previous deadline proved to be false.

The revolutionary movement of the Filipino people is indestructible because of its just cause of national liberation and democracy against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

As long these three evil forces oppress and exploit the people, the ground will remain fertile for such revolutionary forces as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDFP) to thrive.

No party or group of traditional politicians servile to US imperialism and representative of the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords are capable of taking initiative away from the revolutionary forces that uphold and carry out the people’s democratic revolution.

The revolutionary movement is indestructible because of the objective semicolonial and semifeudal conditions that have given rise to it and because every major revolutionary force knows how to preserve itself and increase its strength through struggle.

The CPP ceaselessly engages in ideological, political and organizational building. It has thus become a formidable force nationwide and it is deeply rooted among the toiling masses due to its correct revolutionary theory and practice and its general program of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.

The NPA is under the correct leadership of the CPP and is effectively carrying out the strategic line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. It integrates revolutionary armed struggle with agrarian reform and mass base building, which includes the building of revolutionary mass organizations and local organs of political power.

The local organs of political power constitute the People’s Democratic Government. It is led by the CPP and the NDFP ensures the unity of the people in their millions through the mass organizations and alliances. It is the revolutionary government of workers and peasants which is fighting to get rid of the counterrevolutionary government of the big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists subservient to US imperialism and other imperialist powers.

Whenever the Duterte regime unleashes any kind of offensive of whatever kind or scale, the revolutionary forces retain their revolutionary integrity, increase their strength through struggle, respond to threats promptly and effectively and launch counteroffensives to isolate and destroy the people’s enemy part by part.

Duterte is incompetent to talk about the destiny of the Filipino people and their revolutionary movement. Even if he is incoherent most of the time, he is sometimes coherent, such as when he admits that he is overwhelmed by Philippine problems and wishes to hang himself. He himself is currently the most most notorious personification of bureaucratic corruption in the Philippines.

Duterte and his political and military agents think that they can discredit and destroy the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people by pursuing the anti-communist line. But neither socialism nor communism is in the agenda. The Filipino people and the revolutionary movement are focused on carrying out the people’s democratic revolution as the prelude to the socialist revolution.###

CPP/NPA-Masbate: Dalawang sibilyan, panibagong biktima ng Tokhang style-EJK ng 2nd IBPA sa isla ng Ticao

NPA-Masbate propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): Dalawang sibilyan, panibagong biktima ng Tokhang style-EJK ng 2nd IBPA sa isla ng Ticao

JUNE 18, 2019

Mariing kinokondena ng JRC-BHB Masbate ang nagpapatuloy na Tokhang style-EJK sa bayan ng San Fernando, Masbate na ikinamatay ng dalawang sibilyan na kagagawan ng mga berdugo at mersenaryo ng 2nd IBPA sa ilalim ng Peace and Development Team (PDT) na nakapakat ngayon sa mga baryo ng Talisay, Altavista, Buenavista, Canelas, Del Rosario at Progreso.

Noong Hunyo 9, 2019, bandang alas 8 ng gabi pinatay ng grupo ni Sgt. Chalas ang Brgy. Tanod ng Brgy. Liong na si Arnie Espenilla sa kanilang bahay. Habang kinahapunan naman ng sumunod na petsa ng Hunyo 10, 2019, mag aalas singko ng hapon ng barilin naman ng grupo pa rin ni Sgt. Chalas si Sando Alcovindaz ng Brgy. Buenavista, san Fernando. Ang dalawang biktima ay pinaghihinalaang mga kasapi di umano ng NPA sa lugar kung kaya pinatay ito nina Sgt. Chalas. Walang katotohanan ang ibinibintang ng grupo ni Sgt. Chalas dahil lehitimong sibilyan ang dalawa.

Alinsunod sa pinakabagong Internal Security Operation Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan, ipinapatupad na sa Masbate ang Oplan Kapanatagan sa layuning wakasan ang insurhensiya sa lalawigan bago matapos ang termino ng diktador at teranikong pangulong si Rodrigo Duterte. Pangunahing target ng operasyong tokhang style-EJK ang mga organisasyong pinaghihinalaang sumusuporta raw sa NPA. Ligal na binuo ang mga “death squad“ upang inyutralisa o sampahan ng mga gawa-gawang kaso ang mga pinaghihinalaan.

Sa ganitong banda, kailangang magkaisa ang mamamayang Masbatenyo na ilantad at labanan ang Oplan Kapanatagan ng pinagsanib na AFP at PNP. Nananawagan ang JRC-BHB Masbate na huwag magbulag-bulagan at magbingi-bingihan sa mga aktwal na pangyayari at kalagayan na patuloy na niyuyurakan ang karapatang pantao ng mga Masbatenyo.

Sa mga lingkod bayan naman na nangangako tuwing eleksyon na tutulong sa mga Masbatenyo ay ito na ang oras para patunayan niyo na kaisa kayo ng aping mamamayan na makamit ang hustisya at ipaglaban sila kontra pang-aabuso ng mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan.

Panawagan din sa lahat ng mga mamamahayag na huwag niyong hayaang gamitin ang inyong hanay sa anumang pagbubulid ng kasinungalingan ng AFP at PNP. Pagsumikapan niyong alamin ang puno’t dulo ng mga balitang ibinibigay sa inyo ng mga tagapagsalita ng AFP at PNP nang sa ganun ay hindi kayo magamit na kasangkapan sa paghahatid ng mga pekeng balita na siyang kabisadong gawin ng mga kasundaluhan at kapulisan. Hinikayat namin kayong mga nasa ikaapat na estado na magsuri at mag-aral sa tunay na sitwasyon na kinakaharap ng mamamayang Masbatenyo sa ilalim ng mala-kolonyal at mala-pyual na kaayusang panlipunan.

Digmang bayan ang sagot sa karahasang ginagawa ng AFP at PNP!
Mamamayan, isulong ang Digmang Bayan hanggang sa tagumpay!
Kamtin ang Hustisya sa mga biktima ng karahasan ng rehimeng US-Duterte!

CPP/NPA-Masbate: Lansakang paglabag sa karapatang pantao ang pagpapatupad ng M.O. 32 at E.O. 70 ng AFP at PNP sa Kabikolan partikular sa probinsya ng Masbate at Sorsogon

NPA-Masbate propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): Lansakang paglabag sa karapatang pantao ang pagpapatupad ng M.O. 32 at E.O. 70 ng AFP at PNP sa Kabikolan partikular sa probinsya ng Masbate at Sorsogon

JUNE 18, 2019

Mataas na pagkondina ang ipinapahayag ng Jose Rapsing Command, JRC- BHB Masbate sa sunod-sunod na ekstra-hudisyal na pamamaslang dito sa lalawigan, ganun din sa probinsya ng Sorsogon.

Sa loob lamang ng linggong ito ay apat na katao ang magkakasunod na pinatay sa paraang tokhang style na kagagawan ng mga death squad ng 9th IDPA sa dalawang probinsya.

Ang ganitong klase ng pamamaslang ay bunsod sa ipinalabas ng diktador, berdugo at teranikong rehimeng US-Duterte na M.O. 32 at E.O. 70 na naglalagay sa rehiyong Bikol sa ilalim ng de facto martial law sa layuning puksain di umano ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan na naglalagablab sa anim na probinsya ng bikol. Alinsunod dito ay inilabas at ipinatutupad ngayon ng AFP at PNP ang bagong Internal Security Operation Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan Oplan Kapanatagan na kinapapalooban ng mga binuong “death squad” ng militar at pulis na siyang tutugis sa mga pinaghihinalaang sumusuporta sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Sa magkasunod na araw noong ika 9 at 10, Hunyo 2019 ay naging biktima ng mga death squad sina Arnie Espinilla at Sando Alcovindaz sa bayan ng San Fernando, Masbate. Ang mga biktima ay lehitimong residente at magsasaka sa Brgy. Liong at Brgy. Buenavista na parehong pinatay ng grupo ni Sgt. Chalas na lider ng PDT na sumasaklaw sa baryo ng Buenavista.

Nito namang nakalipas na Byernes sa lungsod ng Sorsogon ay binaril at napatay din sina Ryan Hubilla at Nelly Bagasala na kabababa palang sa tricycle. Ang dalawa ay aktibong kasapi ng KARAPATAN –Sorsogon, progresibong organisasyon na nagtataguyod at nagtatanggol sa karapatang-tao.

Ang mga biktima ng ekstra-hudisyal na pamamaslang ay patraydor na pinatay ng mga bayarang sundalo at pulis na masugid na tagapagpatupad ng anti mamamayang M.O. 70 at E.O. 32 na siyang bumuo sa Internal Security Operation Joint AFP-PNP Campaign Plan Oplan Kapanatagan.

Unti-unti pinapatay ng gobyernong Duterte ang mga Bikolano sa ngalan ng kanyang marahas at mapanupil na mga polisiya sa layuning puksain ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa kabikolan sa ilalim ng Oplan Kapanatagan.

Kung gaano katapang si Duterte sa pandadahas sa kanyang mamamayan ay bahag naman ang buntot nito na ipagtanggol ang soberanya at integridad ng bansa sa panghihimasok at paglapastangan sa yaman ng bansa ng gobyernong Tsina.

Ang rehimeng US-Duterte ay kinamumuhian ng mamamayan dahil sa sunod-sunod na krimen at brutal na pamamamaslang sa mga Pilipino. Nagiging bihasa si Duterte sa pagpapalaganap ng karahasan na siya nitong ikinatutuwa tuwing may napapatay ang kanyang berdugo at mersenaryong AFP at PNP.

Nananawagan ang JRC-BHB Masbate sa mamamayang Bikolano at Masbatenyo na huwag kayong matakot na ilantad ang mga krimen na kinasasangkutan ng mga kasundaluhan, kapulisan at masasamang elemento na kinakanlong ng kriminal na si Rodrigo Duterte.

Para naman sa mga yunit ng Bagong Hukbong Bayan sa dalawang probinsya na pag ibayuhin ang lahat ng paraan na mapagbayad ang mga sangkot sa ekstra – hudisyal na pamamaslang sa lahat ng mga yunit ng AFP at PNP.

Hustisya para sa lahat na mga biktima ng ekstra- hudisyal na pamamaslang!
Inutang na dugo ng AFP at PNP, pagbayarin!
Bagong Hukbong Bayan, soldados san pobre!
Isulong ang Digmang Bayan!

CPP: Two key points on the June 9 Recto Bank incident

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 18, 2019): Two key points on the June 9 Recto Bank incident

Communist Party of the Philippines
June 18, 2019

1.Duterte has displayed utter spinelessness before China. He has completely failed to act in line with Philippine sovereign interests in the face of widespread clamor to demand China’s culpability over the reported June 9 incident at Recto Bank.

Duterte merely parroted the statement issued earlier by the Chinese embassy which tried to explain away the incident as a “simple maritime accident.”

Duterte glosses over not only the fact that a Chinese trawler identified as Yuemaobinyu 42212 rammed and abandoned a sinking fishing boat and its 22 Filipino crew; but also the more prejudicial fact that a Chinese vessel was fishing in Philippine territorial waters.

The incident is evidence of the increasing arrogance of China in transgressing and plundering Philippine maritime territory. Such impunity is a consequence of the Duterte regime’s slavishness and complete failure to uphold Philippine sovereign rights and laws.

Duterte is spineless because he is in China’s pockets. Duterte fears losing the millions of dollars of bribe money and other favors he and his cohorts are receiving from the state monopoly capitalists of China in exchange for the onerous and odious loans.

2. At the same time, Duterte is muted and tame amid US noise and threats of military intervention. Yesterday, the US embassy declared that the incident may “trigger” the provision of the Mutual Defense Treaty, raising threats of armed confrontation or war with China using the Philippines as its launching pad.

The US is condemnable for taking advantage of the Recto Bank incident to aggressively push its geopolitical aim of establishing its military presence in the Philippines and South China Sea.

The US is acting like an imperial overlord when it announced a few days ago its plans of deploying the USS Stratton, a US Coast Guard cutter, purportedly to help the Philippines and other countries who cannot defend their own exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

In its drive to assert its hegemony amid China’s rising power, the US is increasingly fortifying its foothold in the Philippines. Over the past years, the US military has built several facilities to preposition its personnel and war materiél across the country.

The US has maintained military permanent presence along the western coasts of the Philippines (from Zambales, Palawan, Zamboanga and Sulu) with the aim of projecting its power along the South China Sea trade routes.

Eight nabbed in probe of kidnapped fishermen, says CID chief

Posted to the Malay Mail (Jun19, 2019): Eight nabbed in probe of kidnapped fishermen, says CID chief
Eight men have been arrested to help in investigation into the kidnapping of 10 Bajau Laut fishermen (sea gypsies) in Felda waters in Lahad Datu, Sabah yesterday, said CID director Datuk Huzir Mohamed.

He said six of those arrested are foreigners, aged between 17 and 60, who were spared by the armed kidnappers yesterday.

“The two locals arrested are the boat owner and the boat operator,”
he told Bernama when contacted today.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador said the boats should not have been in the country’s territorial waters at night time.

“They (fishermen) should know that the area is under curfew and is out of bounds.

“No entry unless they inform the authorities on the details of their activities,” he told Bernama when met at the armed forces Aidilfitri celebration at Wisma Perwira ATM here today.

In the 2am incident yesterday, the 10 fishermen were reportedly kidnapped by an Abu Sayyaf-linked armed group from two boats in Lahad Datu waters while on their way to Semporna.

They are believed to have been taken to Pulau Sitangkai in southern Philippines, about 15 minutes’ journey from Tambisan waters in Lahad Datu.

The victims, aged between 17 and 60, did not have personal identification documents and only possessed the lepa-lepa document issued to nomadic fishermen.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah told Bernama that the owner and handlers of the two boats were also under investigation for harbouring the fishermen as they were foreigners without valid identity documents. — Bernama

New Fishermen Kidnapping Heightens Security Fears in Borneo

From The Diplomat (Jun 20, 2019): New Fishermen Kidnapping Heightens Security Fears in Borneo

After a short lull, a raid on fishing boats sparked renewed concerns about kidnap-for-ransom groups in waters off the island.

Filipino kidnap-for-ransom gangs raided two fishing boats and abducted 10 crew members earlier this week in waters off Borneo island, a Malaysian official and a maritime watchdog said.

The kidnapping, which came after a 6-month lull of such activities, renewed concerns about security threats in Malaysia’s Sabah state, which is a short boat ride from the southern Philippine bases of Muslim militants and kidnapping gangs.

The Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau said the fishing boats, carrying more than a dozen crew members, were approached by two vessels near the Philippines border. It said the pirates boarded the fishing boats, confiscated documents and kidnapped 10 crew members before sailing toward Sitangkai Island in the Philippines.

It urged vessels plying the area to be watchful.

The fishermen’s nationalities weren’t confirmed. Sabah police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

A Malaysian official helping to monitor terrorism incidents said Abu Sayyaf militants are the prime suspects. The official, who declined to be named as he isn’t authorized to speak to the media, said authorities expect them to make their ransom demand soon like in the past.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted by the U.S. and Philippine governments as a terrorist organization for deadly bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings. The group has been weakened by battle losses and surrenders but remains a national security threat.

The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have bolstered security along their massive sea border in the last few years, helping to ease piracy and kidnappings primarily by the Abu Sayyaf. But Malaysian media earlier this year cited intelligence reports that Abu Sayyaf gunmen were plying sea borders at Sabah to hunt for new hostages to fund their campaign.

Tuesday’s incident followed the kidnapping of a Malaysian and two Indonesian fishermen by Abu Sayyaf gunmen off Sabah state last December.

Last week, Malaysia’s new police chief Abdul Hamid Bador acknowledged that the Abu Sayyaf remained a big threat to Sabah due to the state’s close proximity to the Philippines. Authorities have imposed curfew in some parts of Sabah and planned to further bolster security.

The U.S. State Department had in April also warned of the threat of kidnappings-for-ransom from both terrorist and criminal groups in the eastern area of Sabah under a new risk indicator. It said in its travel advisory that these groups may attack with little to no warning, targeting coastal resorts, island resorts and boats ferrying tourists to resort islands.

[Reported by Eileen Ng of The Associated Press.]

Philippines spokesman talks invoking US defense treaty as Duterte downplays sinking of fishing boat

From the Stars & Stripes (Jun 18, 2019): Philippines spokesman talks invoking US defense treaty as Duterte downplays sinking of fishing boat

The Philippines may invoke its mutual defense treaty with the United States if it finds the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat this month was the result of an armed attack by the Chinese, a spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said at press briefing Monday.

Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Philippines will invoke the treaty “if it is the right thing to do with that agreement,” according to a translated transcript of the briefing.

The treaty calls for the U.S. to support the Philippines if it’s attacked by another country, he said.

The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest last week after Filipino fishermen said a Chinese fishing vessel intentionally rammed their boat, the FB Gimver, anchored in Reed Bank on June 9 and left the 22 crewmembers for dead. A Vietnamese boat rescued the sailors, and the Philippine navy later brought them home.

Also Monday, Duterte himself downplayed the significance of the incident, referring to it as “just a collision of ships,” according to a translated transcript of his speech at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Cavite, Philippines.

Duterte told his audience “not to believe stupid politicians” who want to activate the navy in response to unproven accusations.

“You do not send gray ships there. It’s just a collision — do not make it worse,” he said, according to the transcript.

Reed Bank, about 93 miles from the Philippine island of Palawan, is in the South China Sea and within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, according to a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague.

Beijing disputes the allegations, saying the Chinese boat “was suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats,” and crashed accidentally into the Philippine vessel while trying to evacuate, the Chinese embassy in Manila said in a Saturday statement.

“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,” the statement said.

In a Friday interview with Philippine broadcaster One News, U.S. Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said it would be “a very serious situation” if the Filipino fishermen’s accusations are verified.

Kim also told One News that “any armed attack on Filipino vessels, Filipino aircraft will trigger our obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty,” and that the treaty covers attacks on Philippine forces and public vessels.

Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. at a meeting Monday of parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea said that “while no sanction is available in international law,” the alleged abandonment of the Philippine boat “should be a cause of some concern.”

“The incident, to put it diplomatically, highlights the moral and possibly legal — though one wouldn’t wager on it — imperative of coming to the rescue of persons in distress at sea,” Locsin said, according to a transcript of the meeting.

Both the Philippines and China have launched investigations into the collision, presidential spokesman Panelo said Monday, according the transcript.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang at a Monday press briefing said China is working with the Philippines to investigate the matter but stressed “this is only an accidental collision between fishing boats.”

“It is irresponsible and counter-constructive to link this incident with China-Philippines friendship or even make political interpretations out of it,” Lu said. “We are ready to enhance communication with the Philippine side on the investigation, increase understanding, dispel mistrust and find out what actually happened.”

NDFP: Cruelty of attacks on rights workers most felt in Bicol

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 17 2019): NDFP: Cruelty of attacks on rights workers most felt in Bicol

The communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Monday (June 17) condemned what it said was escalation of attacks on Bicolano human rights defenders and activists following the killing of Neptali Morada, former Bayan Muna regional head and Bayan campaigner.

Maria Roja Banua, spokesperson for NDFP in Bicol, said the killing of Morada was a message from the Duterte administration meant for “those with the bravery to fight for the rights of citizens.”

“Bicolanos are now facing the harshest lash of this murderous and fascist government,” Banua said in a statement.

It said Morada’s killing was the latest in a spate of murders targeting human rights workers in Bicol region.

Among the cases was the June 10 murder of a farmer in Masbate province, 67-year-old Heraldo Baldeo Alcovendas, by unidentified men.

On Thursday (June 13) a New People’s Army leader in Sorsogon, NPA vice chair Edwin “Ka Dupax” Dematera, was killed by arresting officers who claimed self defense in the town of Magallanes, also in Sorsogon province.

On Saturday (June 14) two staffers of human rights group Karapatan, Nelly Bagasala and Ryan Hubilla, were gunned down in Sorsogon City.

“It is clear that the police, military and fascist government they are serving will not stop until those opposing them are silenced,” said the NDF statement.

Bulatlat: Kin, friends form Kapatid to press for release of political prisoners

From the pro- Communist Party of the Philippines/National Democratic Front (CPP/NDF) online propaganda publication Bulatlat (Jun 15, 2019): Kin, friends form Kapatid to press for release of political prisoners

Fides Lim, national board member of Kapatid, says: “Because we love, we know how to fight.”

“Political prisoners are a symbol of unpeace and injustice. They must be freed.”


MANILA – Families and friends of political prisoners gathered and re-launched Kapatid, today, June 15 at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Fides Lim, wife of National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant Vicente Ladlad, said Kapatid aims to work for the release of all political prisoners, fight for their welfare and gather the broadest support for political prisoners.

Kapatid was originally formed in 1978 as a response to the crackdown of political activists during Martial Law. Today, the organization is revived with more than 500 political prisoners under the Duterte administration.

“We smile in front of you but our hearts are in anguish,” Lim said.

Her husband was arrested along with elderly couple Alberto and Virginia Villamor on Nov. 7, 2018 in barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives and are now detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Speaking for other relatives of political prisoners, Lim said, “Because we love, we know how to fight.”

· Jun 14, 2019

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Former Senator Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada, in his speech, said, “Political prisoners are a symbol of unpeace and injustice. They must be freed.”

Humanitarian grounds

Kapatid is calling on the government to release immediately those who are sick and those who have been in prison for so long on humanitarian grounds.

Lim cited Ge-Ann Perez, who suffers from leprosy, and Juanito Itaas, the longest detained political prisoner who has been falsely convicted of common crimes.

She said that under the Duterte administration, four political prisoners have already died.
Kapatid also said that there are a number of activist couples who have been arrested and detained. The group is calling for the release of one of each couple to be able to attend to the needs of their families.

One such couple is Oliver and Rowena Rosales. Their daughter, Kala, 26 and Kai, 15, have been left to fend for themselves.

Carryover from Martial Law

Tañada noted that the policy of criminalizing political dissent is a carryover from the Marcos dictatorship.

Political prisoners are charged with common crimes in an attempt to hide the political nature of their cases, according to Edre Olalia, chairperson of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL). Such practice, Olalia said, violates the Hernandez political doctrine, which prohibits the criminalization of political dissent.

CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Gascon also lamented that even after the fall of dictatorship, the phenomenon of political prisoners has continued.

“This is not appropriate for any society that claims to be free and democratic,” Gascon said in Filipino.

Meanwhile, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, who also handles cases of political prisoners, pointed out that the arrest and detention of political dissenters forms part of the “waves of repression under the Duterte administration.”

Diokno said, “The law itself is being used as an instrument of repression.”

Broadest alliance needed

Diokno said that the situation calls for the broadest possible unity.

“Now is the time to unite and take a stand together,” he said.

For her part, Carol Araullo, chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), welcomed the re-launch of Kapatid. She said that relatives, friends and allies should be tapped to support the campaign for the release of political prisoners.

Lim said Kapatid is preparing for many activities in the coming months.

“There is nothing more powerful than those who are unafraid…We are not afraid because we know we are on the right side,” she said.

Westmincom: Malaysian group likely behind abduction off Sabah

From the Philippine Star (Jun 19, 2019): Westmincom: Malaysian group likely behind abduction off Sabah

A Malaysia-based lawless group may be behind the abduction on Tuesday of 10 fishermen off Lahad Datu in Sabah, the military's Western Mindanao Command said.

Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman and civil military chief of the Westmincom, said troops in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, areas near the maritime border with Malaysia, have been alerted to the possible presence of the fishermen and their abductors.

Besana said troops have intensified their monitoring and are prepared to intercept the gunmen and conduct rescue operations if needed.

"Kidnapping has been occurring in that area of Malaysia and we are looking at a certain Mameh, a Malaysian lawless group as perpetrators," Besana said.

The unidentified gunmen, who used speedboats, intercepted fishing boat Kru Felda Sahabat 9 off Lahad Datu around 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday. The gunment took 10 of the 16 members of the boat's crew.

Those left behind said the gunmen were in military uniforms and were speaking Malay. The kidnappers reportedly escaped in the direction of Sitangkai in Tawi-Tawi.

No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction off Sabah, the latest since January, when three fishermen—a Malaysian and two Indonesians were taken and brought to Sulu, where the Abu Sayyaf held them captive.

Besana said Malaysian authorities do not have the abductors' identities yet but are looking at possible ties with the Abu Sayyaf.

The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have been conducting patrols along the porous sea borders of the three countries.

Sabah police suspects Abu Sayyaf took fishermen for ransom, but yet to get notice

From the Malay Mail (Jun 19. 2019): Sabah police suspects Abu Sayyaf took fishermen for ransom, but yet to get notice
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah believes the abductors are likely linked to the Abu Sayyaf militants based in the south Philippines. — Bernama pic

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah believes the abductors are likely linked to the Abu Sayyaf militants based in the south Philippines. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, June 19 ― The authorities are treating the armed abduction of 10 Bajau Laut fishermen off Lahad Datu on the Sabah east coast as a kidnap-for-ransom despite not receiving any notice from the gunmen.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah believes the abductors are likely linked to the Abu Sayyaf militants based in the south Philippines who have stepped up incursions into Malaysian waters looking for hostages.

“We have yet to receive any calls from the suspects so we are not sure the exact motive of this abduction though we highly suspect it is for ransom,” he said today.
He said that fishermen are usually not targets of kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) groups, unlike the tourists and businessmen whom the Abu Sayyaf have taken from Sabah previously as hostages.

But he said the abductors can still demand ransom from the fishermen’s employers or from the victims’ kin.

“There are a few groups of KFR and for now, those active are targeting fishermen and boat owners,” he said.

The families of the 10 fishermen have been informed of the abduction which took place at about 2am yesterday.

The 10 men were part of a crew of 16 on two fishing boats owned by Sabahans heading towards the town of Semporna during curfew hours when their vessels were hijacked by the unknown gunmen who were then said to have fled towards Sitangkai island on the Philippines side of the border.

'Notorious' leader with NPA ties killed in Bukidnon

Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Jun 18, 2019): 'Notorious' leader with NPA ties killed in Bukidnon

A MAN tagged by police as a leader of a "notorious" criminal group and who authorities believed to have ties with the New People's Army (NPA) was killed in a police operation in San Vicente, Baungon, Bukidnon, on June 17.

Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao Director Rafael Santiago Jr.
confirmed the death of Dencio Lundahan, the leader of Lundahan criminal group operating in northern part of Bukidnon, particularly in Baungon and other nearby areas.

Members of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion encountered undetermined number of armed men while conducting law enforcement operation in the area.

The exchange of fire lasted for about five minutes. No casualty was reported on the government side.

Lundahan was said to be number six most wanted person in the region, said police.

Authorities said the slain suspect was believed to have links with the NPA, which has been engaging in extortion, robbery, gun-for-hire, and other criminal activities.

"He has several warrants of arrest for serious crimes like multiple murder and the likes. He has been the subject of police manhunt operation because of his high-profile criminal background," Santiago said.

"Lately, he has been monitored to be engaged in extortion victimizing plantation operators in Bukidnon. With his passing, Bukidnon will be safer," he added.

The region's top cop said Lundahan is included in the PNP PSR, a report containing a list of most wanted personalities and their criminal activities subject to immediate police operation.

Santiago also said Lundahan leads a criminal group notorious for armed robbery, murder, gun for hire and other crimes whose criminal records fill court dockets since early 2000.

"A bounty for his arrest has doubled in recent years for the more than a dozen crimes he has committed ranging from multiple murder to robbery. We have eliminated one notorious criminal with the death of Dencio Lundahan," Santiago said.

"His group has even been monitored to be collaborating with the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA) terrorists and have recently engaged in extortion," he added.

Santiago said appropriate awards will be given to the police personnel for the highly commendable accomplishment.

Suspected Pakistani terrorist nabbed in Zamboanga City

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 19, 2019): Suspected Pakistani terrorist nabbed in Zamboanga City

MANILA, Philippines — A Pakistani man who is suspected to be a member of the Dawlah Islamiya terrorist group was arrested on Tuesday in Zamboanga City.

The Dawlah Islamiya allegedly has links to the terrorist Islamic State and the Maute group.

Waqar Ahmad, 36, was arrested by joint operatives of the Mindanao Intelligence Task Group (MITG) of the Bureau of Immigration and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Wednesday said the arrest of Ahmad was the result of “intensive surveillance” conducted by over several days by members of the PNP Intelligence Group in the region.

Citing international intelligence reports, Morente said Ahmad was set to meet a leader of the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan to plan a series of suicide bombings with targets in the province of Zamboanga.

“He (Ahmad) will be deported as his presence here is inimical to national security. He also violated our immigration laws by working here without applying for an employment visa,” the Morente said in a statement.

According to the records of the BI, Ahmad arrived in the country last April 19 and worked as a storekeeper and collector in his uncle’s appliance center in Zamboanga City even without the proper work documents.

With the arrest, Morente said Ahmad will be included in the BI blacklist and will be banned from re-entering the country.

MNLF: Chairman Prof Nur Misuari and Delegation in Attendance to the 14th OIC Islamic Summit

From Suara Bangsamoro-Moro National Liberation Front Website (Jun 18, 2019): Chairman Prof Nur Misuari and Delegation in Attendance to the 14th OIC Islamic Summit


After attending the scheduled May-June Makkah 14th OIC Islamic Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the 57-member state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari and delegation have returned to the Philippines and Bangsamoro homeland to report to the Bangsamoro people and MNLF freedom fighters the progress of the MNLF active participation as 'Permanent Observer' in the pan-Islamic global body.

THE MNLF CHAIRMAN is also expected to brief Philippine President Rodrigo D Duterte on the initiative of the MNLF leadership in the 14th OIC Islamic Summit to support the PRRD government in its political program to adopt federalism as the key factor to solve peacefully the decades-long Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao that both ARMM and BARMM could not hope to resolve. The MNLF leadership decided to welcome the new development proposed by the Mindanao based-PRRD government to hold a new rounds of GRP-OIC-MNLF Peace Talks on the adoption of federalism to replace the dysfunctional unitary centralized political system to guarantee achieving 'just and lasting' Mindanao peace.

Duterte lauds Army’s 3rd ID for arrest of top Negros rebel

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 19, 2019): Duterte lauds Army’s 3rd ID for arrest of top Negros rebel

President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division for the arrest of Negros Island top rebel leader Frank Fernandez, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino yesterday said.

Dino, who visited the 3ID headquarters at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz, yesterday expressed the president’s gratitude to the troops for their continued service to the country.

Fernandez, secretary of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros, and his wife, Cleofe Lagtapon,
were arrested by Army intelligence operatives in Laguna on March 24.

Dino, who led the inauguration of newly-constructed Army barracks at Camp Macario Peralta, also sought the support of 3ID to harmonize peace and security efforts in Visayas.

He emphasized the significance of implementing Executive Order 70 (EO 70) that focuses on institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace and security, as well as the role of the Armed Forces in ending insurgency.

The Whole-of-Nation approach addresses the root causes of armed conflicts, including insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, by prioritizing and integrating the delivery of basic services, facilitating societal inclusivity, and ensuring the participation of the community in the pursuit of the country’s peace agenda.*

Palace optimistic MILF fighters’ decommissioning completed by 2022

From Politiko Mindanao (Jun 19, 2019): Palace optimistic MILF fighters’ decommissioning completed by 2022

Malacañang has expressed optimism that the government could complete the decommissioning of the thousands Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants by 2022.

“We have targeted the decommissioning of 30% of combatants by 2019, 35% by next year, and the remainder by 2022. All the different government agencies involved in these efforts believe we can meet these timelines,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Nograles on Monday, June 17, co-chaired the first meeting of the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization (ICCMN) together with Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr..

He said the 12,000 combatants and their families, who would be decommissioned this year, would receive assistance in the form of housing, livelihood assistance, skills development training, scholarships, employment opportunities, PhilHealth coverage, conditional cash transfers, and documentation such as birth certificates and postal IDs.

According to Nograles, the government is now in phase two of the decommissioning of the 30,000 to 40,000 MILF forces, with phase three to be completed by next year and the remaining MILF forces to be decommissioned before the signing of the Exit Agreement in 2022.

“The President has directed all of us to focus on and step up normalization programs because he knows the success of these efforts are the key to establishing lasting peace in Mindanao,” the former Davao City lawmaker said.

Under Executive Order 79 s. 2019, the ICCMN’s functions are to: (1) coordinate and mobilize government agencies in the implementation of the Normalization Program; (2) provide policy advice, support, and assistance to the different modalities and mechanisms of normalization; (3) supervise and monitor all socio-economic interventions under the Normalization Program; (4) create a Working Group on Vulnerable Sectors which shall recommend a set of interventions; and (5) submit periodic reports to the President.

200 complete Army’s ALPS

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 20, 2019): 200 complete Army’s ALPS

More than 200 students have been enrolled in the Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS) after it was formally launched by the 60th Infantry Battalion in Asuncion, Davao del Norte on Saturday, June 15.

1Lt. Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations officer of 60th IB, said the program targets former rebels and their families, Cafgu Active Auxiliaries and their dependents, and interested out-of-school indigenous peoples from Asuncion, Kapalong, and San Isidro of Davao del Norte, and Laak of Davao de Oro.

In his remarks, Maj. Jo Anthony Lee Lalas, 60IB executive officer, emphasized the importance of education not only in countering the communist insurgency but in ensuring the continuous socio-economic development of conflict areas.

Meanwhile, Nelson Bansag Jr., the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System coordinator, challenged the new learners to take advantage of the opportunity given to them.

As the 60th IB prepares to utilize the ALPS program to sustain their community-building efforts to end communist insurgency in Asuncion, Kapalong, San Isidro, and Laak. The local municipal governments also committed to support the Army’s initiative.

In addition to the regular ALPS curriculum, the program will be embedded with practical activities such as educational tours, cultural exchange sessions, and skill-enhancement training.

Cops, soldiers, journalists get bomb threat training

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 20, 2019): Cops, soldiers, journalists get bomb threat training

The commanders and personnel of 12 police stations, members of Task Force Davao, and journalists attended the three-day seminar on bomb awareness and threat management starting Wednesday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.

In an interview at the sidelines of the activity, Brig. Gen. Marcelo Morales, the director of the Police Regional Office XI, said it’s part of the initiative of the Davao City Police Office and the local government to enhance the security of Davao city.

“As you can see, we did not stop in Improving our security by giving continuous lectures and seminars in our station commanders, members of Task Force Davao and stakeholders and security officers of different establishments,” Morales said.

Also, city police director, Col. Alexander Tagum, said participants will also learn a course on basic intelligence and counter-intelligence.

He said the seminar will equip participants with more knowledge, educating, and capability-building to enhance security measures of the city.

Among the speakers of the seminar was Maj. Allen Alcido, the chief of the Philippine Bomb Data Center, and his assistant, Technical Staff Sgt. Joweh Quiñal.

The participants were taught on the definition, classification of service grenades, types of bombs and hand grenades and their components, EOD tips and warnings, and immediate actions.

They also discussed the four steps to IED scene management:

1. Confirm the IED
2.Evacuate the IED area (at least 300 meters away)
3.Cordon and control
4. Call EOD experts

Meanwhile, Tagum revealed that he proposed to Mayor Sara Duterte to train new bomb experts considering that majority of the EOD personnel of the city are near the retirement age.

“So its about time that we recruit younger police officers and non-commissioned officers to undergo EOD training to become the frontliners against terrorism,” he said.

The DCPO-EOD only has eight personnel and half of them are about to retire soon.

He said that they are requesting for a P2 million budget for the training.

“There is a need that a personnel has high IQ, and capability to learn,” he added.

US diplomat to American firms: Invest in Mindanao

From MindaNews (Jun 19, 2019): US diplomat to American firms: Invest in Mindanao

DAVAO CITY – United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim urged American companies to pour investments in Mindanao to help the island bolster its growth.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

During a press conference at the Seda Abreeza Hotel in Davao City on Tuesday, Kim assured the Philippine government of the US government’s support in the development of Mindanao, most especially the newly established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Mindanao enjoys continued strong interest from American investors who are not “necessarily deterred by our travel advisory,” according to Kim.

“Sure they may look at the security situation as a factor in considering whether and where to make investments but I encourage our companies to continue to look at Mindanao as a possible destination,” he said.

On BARMM development, the ambassador vowed the US Government will look for ways to support the region “in any way we can.”

“We have already done some interactions with the Bangsamoro people who are involved in the effort, and we’re hopeful that it will bring long-term stability and benefits to the region,” he said.

Kim also mentioned the presence of a chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. (AMCHAM) in Mindanao. On its website, AMCHAM exists “to serve the interests of Philippine and American businesses through the participation of members in promoting their long-term objectives, while contributing to the civic and economic development of the Philippines.”

The chamber also “regularly consults with Philippine government officials, agencies and bureaus, as well as business, community and civic leaders. For this purpose, it maintains standing Committees, each dealing with relevant issues affecting Philippine business and industries.”

Kim added the US government had a long history of both the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and investment activities in Mindanao. He noted American-owned business process outsourcing companies established in Davao City have also contributed in revenue generation of the government and job creation to young Filipinos.

“I don’t have any announcement with regards to travel advisory. But I should mention for any government our top responsibility is to protect our citizens. It’s the same thing for our colleagues in the Philippine government. So, according to the security situation, we will issue a travel advisory and we will continue to look at the situation and see if any updating is necessary,” he said of the travel advisories issued by the US Embassy in Manila.

Last April 9, the US Embassy in Manila warned its people against travel to Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. It likewise advised its people to reconsider travel to other areas of Mindanao for the same reason.

On trade with the Philippines, Kim said the country “enjoys a slight surplus on trade with us.”

“It’s a mutually beneficial economic partnership and has been for many decades,” he said, adding that some US companies – like Coca Cola, Protector and Gamble, GE – have a hundred-year history in the Philippines and continue to do well,” he said.

AFP-CRS: Congratulations! General Benjamin R Madrigal Jr,

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 17, 2019): Congratulations! General Benjamin R Madrigal Jr, 

Congratulations! General Benjamin R Madrigal Jr,

AFP-CRS: Philippine Army condemns CPP-NPA attack in Bukidnon

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 17, 2019): Philippine Army condemns CPP-NPA attack in Bukidnon

Philippine Army condemns CPP-NPA attack in Bukidnon

“The police station is there as a public service facility. The policemen on duty were providing assistance to the people and maintaining peace and order. They are not involved in counter-insurgency operations, thus are protected by International Humanitarian Law. The Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front must discipline the NPA by directing them to respect Humanitarian Law… Karapatan, which pretends to be the watchdog of IHL, must investigate the growing number of IHL violations perpetrated by NPA terrorists in Bukidnon.”

BGEN Edgardo Y De Leon AFP
Commander, 403rd Infantry Brigade, 4ID, PA

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AFP-CRS: More troops deployed in Negros island for peace and security operations against CPP-NPA

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 17, 2019): More troops deployed in Negros island for peace and security operations against CPP-NPA

More troops deployed in Negros island for peace and security operations against CPP-NPA

More soldiers have been deployed in Negros in compliance with President Duterte’s directive to end communist insurgency to accelerate development on the island.

The military is refocusing its security as well as peace and development campaign in Negros. Government troopers would pursue localized peace talks aside from combat operations and clearing of CPP-NPA infested barangays.”

BGen Ignacio B Madriaga AFP
Commander, 302nd Infantry Brigade, 3ID, PA

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AFP-CRS: Teenage CPP-NPA Member Surrenders in Isabela

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 18, 2019): Teenage CPP-NPA Member Surrenders in Isabela

Teenage CPP-NPA Member Surrenders in Isabela

A 19 year old CPP-NPA member, identified as Junio Sagucio alias Ka Jay-Jay, surrendered to officers at Barangay Macalauat, Angadanan, Isabela last Friday, June 14.

“We are investigating the statement of Sagucio that a very influential politician and some prominent businessmen in Quirino province are providing the local CPP-NPA movement with financial and logistical support. He is now under police custody and undergoing custodial debriefing. He will be given the opportunity to avail of the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which provides a package of benefits to CPP-NPA former members who have decided to return to the mainstream of the society after years of enduring the hard life in their jungle hideouts.”

PBGen Jose Mario M Espino
Director, Civil Security Group

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AFP-CRS: United States,Philippines to launch program to stop DAESH recruitment

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 18, 2019): United States,Philippines to launch program to stop DAESH recruitment

United States,Philippines to launch program to stop DAESH recruitment

Philippines and American officials were finalizing the Joint Philippine-American program aimed to stop recruitment efforts by Daesh-linked terrorist in southern Philippines.

“The program is being finalized and should be launched in the next couple of weeks. The study, conducted by Washington from December 2017 to May 2018, involved 1,213 Muslim respondents in the four southern Philippine provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Lanao del Sur. There was not a one-size-fits-all program for dealing with extremist groups. So, what we do in one country has to be then tailored to another.”

US Asst. Sec. Denise Natali
State Department's Bureau of Conflict & Stabilization Operations

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