Wednesday, June 26, 2019

PH Air Force Chief notes importance of checks and balances in governance

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 26, 2019): PH Air Force Chief notes importance of checks and balances in governance

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) stressed on Tuesday night the importance of checks and balances in its governance to enhance the country’s territorial security and improve the overall national development.

Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez (PCOO/ Facebook)

Lieutenant General Rozzano Briguez, PAF commanding general, highlighted the role of media in governance and oversight of the security sector during the PAF Media Night 2019 held at PAF Aerospace Museum in Pasay City.

According to Briguez, the roles of the military and media “are not as far as it seems” since both “are working for the security of the society only from different platforms and perspectives.”

“As we in the military provide physical security by protecting our territorial integrity and playing an active role in internal security operations, the media protect it by being watchdogs who protect the society by creating transparency, improving good governance and creating participatory social responsibility among the citizens,” he noted.

Furthermore, Briguez said that the media’s role as watchdogs is an “element of national objective” which, if disrupted due to weak interactions, “is capable of negating the required atmosphere for national survival and development.”

Meanwhile, Briguez revealed that an array of air assets that are scheduled to arrive as early as the second quarter next year until 2021 will boost the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force.

This includes, among others, at least 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland and six A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts which are expected to arrive in batches until 2021.

He begged off to divulge further details as he said more information will be revealed next month when the PAF celebrates its 72nd anniversary.

“Right now, the general public knows that we are more than capable of performing a wide range of missions that concern territorial defense stability, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, the performance of internal defense and security engagement and peace support operations,” he said.

The decision to acquire the said air assets was made after President Duterte scrapped a deal to buy helicopters from Canada last year.

This, after the Canadian government, expressed concern that the helicopters could be used for counter-insurgency operations, a comment that apparently irked the President.

Matteo Guidicelli completes Scout Ranger orientation course with special awards

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 27, 2019): Matteo Guidicelli completes Scout Ranger orientation course with special awards

Photo from Philippine Army

BULACAN, Philippines — Actor-athlete Matteo Guidicelli has completed his month-long Leadership Development and Scout Ranger Orientation Course on Thursday.

Closing ceremonies were held at the Scout Ranger headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.

The actor received a military commendation medal for his participation in clean-up drives in schools and inspiring young leaders to value sacrifices of Filipino soldiers. He also received a special award for topping the 97-member class with a grade of 95.2 percent.

Most of his classmates are from Philippine Military Academy Class of 2021.

“Everybody is aware that this course is special in a way because this is the first time in the First Scout Ranger Regiment and the Philippine Army that a reservist and a famous actor, a celebrity, volunteered to join this Scout Ranger orientation in the person of Second Lieutenant Matteo Guidicelli,” said First Scout Ranger Regiment commander Brig. Gen. William Gonzales in his remarks.

Photo from Philippine Army

“It was not an easy journey for Matteo to be here. Sabi ko nga, hindi lang spur of the moment yung kanyang desisyon na mag-training… We are really happy and proud because he chose the First Scout Ranger Regiment as the foundation of his military service,” he added.

Guidicelli admitted that that there were times that he almost gave up during the training course.

“Mahirap yung first four days, yung psychological effect sakin dahil galing ako sa civilian na buhay. Isang araw lang ang transition ko. Pumasok ako sa military akala ko kaya ko but the first four days to one week, sa totoo lang araw-araw naiiyak ako gusto ko ng umuwi,” he said.

“I questioned myself, self-pity came about… But the objective always came back to my mind,” he said.

While he has always he looked up to soldiers, he said his respect has gone up after spending more time with them.

“Now I immersed, I lived, I trained with them, my respect has gone up,” he said.

Guidicelli’s family and girlfriend singer-actress Sarah Geronimo were present during the closing ceremonies.

He joined the Philippine Army as a reservist last April and started his month-long training with the Scout Ranger last May 27.

“It’s such a great feat not only for himself but also for us because it showcases that even if you are a civilian, in your own way, when you give your time and effort, you are able to contribute,” Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said.

No recommendation yet for lifting of martial law in Mindanao — DND spox

From GMA News Online (Jun 27, 2019): No recommendation yet for lifting of martial law in Mindanao — DND spox

There is no official recommendation yet for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao as assessments are ongoing, the spokesperson for the Department of National Defense said Thursday.

"The lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao or some parts of it is being thoroughly evaluated by the security sector and consultations with local governments and security forces on ground are also being undertaken in order to assess the situation in our communities," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong told GMA News Online in a message.

"This is absolutely necessary before any recommendation to lift Martial Law in Mindanao can be presented to the President," he added.

Further, Andolong said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana would have already recommended the lifting of martial law if the 17th Congress passed the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act.

"As we all know, it did not happen so the Secretary did not issue his recommendation," he said.

He underscored that Lorenzana " does not wish to keep Martial Law a day longer than it is necessary" but conditions that would ensure peace, order, stability and good governance are prerequisites for recommending the lifting of martial law in the southern part of the Philippines.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte reportedly proposed the exemption of the area under her jurisdiction from the Mindanao-wide martial law.

President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, said that Mindanao is still a "dangerous place."

The President declared martial law in Mindanao in May 2017 after the ISIS-inspired Maute group besieged the Islamic City of Marawi in Lanao del Sur.

It has since been extended by the Congress thrice with the latest extension having effect until December 31, 2019.

Despite the implementation of martial law, lawless elements still managed to pull off a fatal bombing attack at a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu which claimed at least 20 lives; and a grenade attack at a mosque in Zamboanga where two died in January.

ACLED Regional Overview – Asia (26 June 2019)

Posted to the Relief Web (Jun 26): ACLED Regional Overview – Asia (26 June 2019)

REPORT from Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset
Published on 26 Jun 2019 —View Original

Download PDF (448.66 KB)

The key trends in the South and Southeast Asian region last week included fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces in Afghanistan; ongoing fighting between state forces and domestic rebel groups in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines; as well as demonstrations over water supply issues, land rights, and environmental concerns across the region.

In Afghanistan last week, fighting took place across the country but was once again focused in the southeast as both Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters attempted to gain a foothold in contested territory. Afghan military and NATO air and artillery assaults reportedly led to high Taliban fatalities in the provinces of Zabul and Faryab, although no territory was exchanged. Elsewhere, however, Taliban reported that they captured tens of villages following heavy clashes in two districts of Wardak, as well as more minor gains in Shuhada district of Badakhshan. Both provinces are strategic to the Taliban, with Wardak neighboring Kabul, and Badakhshan bordering both Pakistan and Tajikistan.

In the northeast, meanwhile, there were once again reports of Taliban and Islamic State (IS) fighters clashing in Kunar province. Earlier this year, thousands of civilians were displaced by fighting between the two groups over territory in the mountainous Chapa Dara district (VOA News, 4 April 2019). Last week, hundreds more were displaced by fighting in both Chapa Dara and Dara-I-Pech districts. With IS taking losses in Iraq and Syria as of late, the group’s Afghan chapter appears to be quietly expanding outside of its stronghold of Nangarhar and into defensive mountain regions like Chapa Dara (Al Jazeera, 10 June 019).

Domestic rebel and separatist groups were also active in other South and Southeast Asian countries. In Pakistan, domestic militant groups continue to be active in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan province. Suspected separatists in Thailand and the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Philippines continued to engage in violence in their respective countries.

In India, security forces continued to conduct cordon and search operations (CASO) in several districts of Jammu & Kashmir while Maoist rebels continued to clash with security forces in central India. Maoist rebels also stepped up their attacks against civilians, reportedly executing three civilians, including a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader, who had contested the recent assembly elections. Maoist rebels have previously targeted government officials and candidates running for office.

In Myanmar, fighting between the Myanmar military and Arakan Army (AA) was particularly deadly around Minbya township in Rakhine state last week. As fighting continues, internet service in northern Rakhine and southern Chin states was shut down, causing many to question whether this is a prelude to increased human rights violations in the area (Reuters, 24 June 2019). Also, notably, last week, the Myanmar military and Palaung State Liberation Front/Ta’ang National Liberation Army (PSLF/TNLA) clashed twice in Kutkai township in Shan state; the clashes come as the unilateral ceasefire declared by the military covering Kachin and Shan states is set to end this month. As well, for the first time this year, the military’s Border Guard Force clashed with a splinter DKBA group in Kayin state.

Activists came under attack in the region last week in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Pakistan. This is of note in Vietnam: a country where such events rarely make international headlines. In the Philippines, specifically, there has been a growing trend of “red-tagging” in the country; reports note that Philippine authorities have been “red-tagging” legitimate organizations, branding them as “communist fronts,” resulting in their members being targeted (Amnesty International, 24 June 2019). This is reflective of the branding of opposition members as “drug suspects” by Philippine authorities, which has also resulted in the targeting and deaths of those individuals (Al Jazeera, 25 June 2019).

Elections remained a theme in India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. In India, while political violence subsided in most parts of the countries following the general elections, clashes and targeted attacks resulting from political rivalries continued to be reported from West Bengal and Tripura. Last week, upazila parishad (sub-district council) elections were held in 16 upazilas in Bangladesh. Even though elections have previously led to widespread violence in the country, only sporadic incidents of election violence were reported during this latest round of elections. While demonstrations against the results of the recent general election in Indonesia have decreased, last week a rally was held near the constitutional court in Central Jakarta in support of Prabowo Subianto’s challenge of the presidential election result. A ruling on the dispute is expected on 27 June with security forces on standby in the event that demonstrations by those dissatisfied with the results should occur as they did with the deadly riots in May (The Jakarta Post, 24 June 2019).

In other developments, land and labour issues led to demonstrations in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia last week, a trend often seen across the Asia region. Demonstrations were also reported over water supply issues. Such demonstrations tend to be seen each year in South Asia, especially as summer draws near and temperatures increase. Water supply and management issues led to a rising number of demonstrations, as well as to several incidents of communal violence in rural and urban areas, in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in Thailand, as the country prepared to host the ASEAN Summit, protesters in Bangkok demonstrated against other countries sending their waste to Southeast Asia, a growing issue in the region (The New York Times, 7 June 2019).

In other news, in Sri Lanka, the President extended the country’s state of emergency status by another month, following the Easter Day bombings on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people (India Today, 23 June 2019). The emergency law allows the detention and interrogation of suspects without court orders, providing Sri Lankan police and military with sweeping powers which have led to a number of arrests across the country.

MILF: BARMM Ministry of Education develops Education Plan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Jun 26, 2019): BARMM Ministry of Education develops Education Plan

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) held a Technical Workshop on Bangsamoro Education Reform, and Development Plan for 2020-2035 for six consecutive days from June 22-27, 2019 at Pagana Kutawato, Cotabato City.

“Today we begin tracing the steps that will lead us to the reforms we aspire for the education in the Bangsamoro. This is the time when we convert ideas and concepts to actual steps,” said Minister Mohagher Iqbal of MBHTE.

Iqbal said planning is synonymous to preparation. “In my many years in Negotiations- there is but one rule- and that is to “prepare…prepare…prepare”. Planning, as in preparations, will make us succeed, In shaa Allah,” said Iqbal.

“Education is one of the top priorities, in fact the top priority, of the BARMM government. We can tell you with resolve that while we are coming from almost five decades of fighting for our rights as Bangsamoro, the right to education of our children has always been at the forefront of our aspirations,” he said.

Iqbal stressed that this right is inscribed in the Bangsamoro Organic Law including all rights of children relevant for them to survive, develop, be protected and meaningfully participate in all affairs and decisions affecting them.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law mandates the Bangsamoro Government to establish, maintain, and support a complete and integrated system of quality education, which shall be a sub-system of the national education system.

“The education system that we will deliver in the Bangsamoro is and will be consistent to the national standards. But we will also move towards instituting a complete and integrated system that will develop among our learners’ moral standards, competencies and skills that are consistent with our context, culture and aspirations,” Iqbal said.

Iqbal told the participants that on the part of the Bangsamoro Government, they will do their best to make sure that the law is translated into policies, and programs that will have direct benefit for all, especially the children, in the Bangsamoro.

The workshop was attended by members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority education committee, staff from the Ministry of Basic Education, Higher Education, and Technical Education, Madaris/Tarbiyah, BARMM-Ministry of Science and Technology, staff from TAF and Pathways.

The program was made possible through the support of UNICEF Philippines, UNESCO, and the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), from the People of Japan and documented by the Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN).

CPP/NPA-Masbate: Pahayag at bukas na liham sa mga opisyal ng bayan sa prubinsya ng Masbate

NPA Masbate propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 26, 2019): Pahayag at bukas na liham sa mga opisyal ng bayan sa prubinsya ng Masbate

JUNE 26, 2019

Nitong nakalipas na linggo ay may nakaabot sa aming impormasyon na ilang mga matataas na opisyal ng 2nd IBPA at PNP Masbate PPO ang mag-iikot sa dalawampu’t isang (21) mga bayan at lungsod ng Probinsya ng Masbate upang makipagdayalogo sa mga opisyal ng bayan, partikular sa mga bagong halal. Mayor na pag-uusapan ay ang hikayatin ang mga itong magpasa ng isang resolusyon na magdedeklara sa CPP/NPA/NDF na “persona non grata”.

Ang nasabing hakbang ng 2nd IBPA at PNP ay alinsunod sa Whole of Nation Strategy na nakapaloob sa bagong operation plan ng DND-AFP at DILG-PNP na Oplan Kapanatagan. Binuo ng rehimeng US-Duterte ang National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) sa hangarin nitong tapusin ang limang dekadang armadong tunggalian na kinakatawan ng CPP/NPA/NDF laban sa malalaking burgesya kumprador, panginoong may-lupa at burukrata kapitalismo at ang armado nitong AFP at PNP.

Itatayo din sa antas rehiyon ang Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) na pangungunahan ng iba’t-ibang kumand ng AFP at PNP hanggang antas probinsya na siyang magtutulak sa mga Local Chief Executives (LCE) at Konseho nito na magpasa ng Provincial at Municipal Resolutions na ideklarang persona non grata ang CPP/NPA/NDF.

Ang pagtutulak sa mga Local Chief Executives gayundin sa Konseho nito ay para lumikha ng isang malaking ilusyon at palilitawing humahamig ito ng suporta sa mamamayan.

Nais naming ipaalam sa lahat ng mga lokal na opisyal sa lalawigan ng Masbate na pag-aralan niyong mabuti ang anumang ipapagawa sa inyo ng mga sundalo at pulis. Suriin niyong mabuti kung ito ba ay makabubuti o ikasisira niyo sa mga indibidwal at pamilyang naging bktima ng militarisasyon. Nito lamang nakalipas na buwan maramihang pamilya ang nagbakwet sa bayan ng Cawayan dahil sa panggugulo ng mga sundalo at pulis sa siyam na barangay ng Cawayan.
Habang nitong kasalukuyang buwan ng Hunyo, sa bayan naman ng San Fernando sa isla ng Ticao ay nakapagtala ng tatlong (3) biktima ng ekstrahudisyal na pagpatay sa mga baryo ng Liong at Buenavista . Ilan lamang ito sa mga insidente ng paglabag sa karapatan tao ng mga mamamayan sa dalawang bayan.

Ang mga ganitong pangyayari ay hindi pwedeng pasubalian ng mga sundalo at pulis na gawa-gawa lamang dahil sa dumarami ang mga kapamilya ng mga biktima na sumisigaw ng hustisya.

Alalahanin niyo na ang mamamatay taong pangulong si Rodrigo Duterte ay may dalawang taon na lang sa kanyang kapangyarihan at ito ay pansamantala lamang at sa kabilang banda ang rebolusyon ay magpapatuloy hanggat naririyan ang pagsasamantala ng iilan sa nakararaming Pilipino. Naniniwala kami na marami pang mga opisyal ng bayan sa buong lalawigan na may busilak na puso at may matinong pag-iisip na hindi papayag na gamitin sila ng mga sundalo at militar sa imbi nitong linlangin at ipahamak kayo.

Sa halip ay tularan niyo ang ginawa ng mga lokal na opisyal ng Lungsod ng Iloilo na hindi nagpatinag sa presyur ng isang mataas na opisyal ng PNP IloIlo City. Ang dapat suportahan ng mga lokal na opisyal ay ang panawagan ng mga biktima ng militarisasyon na mapaalis ang mga militar at pulis sa kanilang mga baryo.

Lunurin man ng sanlaksang Oplan, mananatili at mananatiling nakatayo ang CPP/NPA/NDF sa digmaan ng pulitika at militar upang rumpagon ang dub-ok at inutil na reaksyonaryong estado.

Labanan ang E.O. 70 at M.O. 32 ng AFP at PNP!
Biguin ang Oplan Kapanatagan ng rehimeng US-Duterte!
Mamamayang Masbatenyo at Pilipino, lumahok sa Digmang Bayan!
Sumapi sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan!

CPP: Denounce PNP for cover-up of fascist mass killings

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 26, 2019): Denounce PNP for cover-up of fascist mass killings

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Philippine National Police (PNP) for trying to cover-up and downplay the extent of fascist mass killings perpetrated by both the police and Duterte’s death squads in the course of Duterte’s so-called “drug war.”

The CPP denounces the PNP for its rejection of calls of international human rights stalwarts to investigate the rampant cases of killings claiming that police operations are “generally aboveboard” and that the number of deaths is high because suspects “fight back.”

Since assuming power in 2016, Duterte has unleashed unmitigated fascist violence against the people in his drug war especially against the poor people in the urban slums. By repeatedly insisting that those addicted to the use of illegal drugs do not deserve to live, Duterte has instigated the police and police-directed death squads to carry out mass killings.

Duterte’s fascist pogrom has been going on for close to three years now. At least 35,000 people have been murdered by Duterte’s fascist running dogs. This number include 6,600 reported killed in police operations botched to give liquidation operations the cover of “legitimate operations.” Police have also reported the extraordinarily high number of 29,000 of “deaths under investigation” since July 2016, which are widely believed to have been carried out by Duterte’s death squads, many of which are also directed by police units or by Malacañang itself.

Duterte’s drug war is nothing but a war of drug syndicates. It is narcopolitics at its worse, where Duterte, the drug overlord, is in collaboration and competition with foreign drug cartels who wish to control the drug trade in the country and the use of the Philippines as an international transshipment hub.

Duterte’s drug war has melded with his campaign against the progressive and patriotic forces in the guise of “counterinsurgency” or “ending the local communist armed conflict.” Duterte wants to apply the same fascist methods of mass killings but is prevented only by widespread and organized resistance.

Hundreds of peasants and other oppressed people have been murdered by military and police forces, paramilitaries and other state-run armed groups, even as tens of thousands have been forced out of their communities by incessant military operations. Several hundred people have been illegally arrested, detained, tortured, red-tagged, intimidated and threated. Thousands have been rounded up and coerced by the military to pose as “rebel surrenderees.”

The CPP calls on all victims of Duterte’s fascist regime to rise up and demand justice and demonstrate to the entire country and the international community the grave state of human rights in the Philippines resulting from Duterte’s fascist instigation and widespread abuse of power by military and police forces.

The Party urges all mothers, kin and friends of all the murdered, imprisoned and unjustly persecuted by the regime to get organized and fight back.

AFP-CRS: A Resolution declaring CPP-NPA-NDF Persona Non Grata in the Municipality of Dumaran, Palawan

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Jun 27, 2019): A Resolution declaring CPP-NPA-NDF Persona Non Grata in the Municipality of Dumaran, Palawan

No photo description available.

Kalinaw News: Kamag-anak ng NPA lider na napatay sa Mindoro, galit sa KARAPATAN

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 27, 2019): Kamag-anak ng NPA lider na napatay sa Mindoro, galit sa KARAPATAN

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal- Lumuluhang nagpahayag ng sama ng loob laban sa KARAPATAN Southern Tagalog ang kapatid ng NPA lider na namatay sa pakikipagsagupa sa mga miltar at pulisya sa Panaytayan, Oriental Mindoro noong Hunyo 13, 2019.

Ayon kay Gng Lornabeth M Galos, kapatid ng napatay na NPA lider na kinilalang si Bonifacio Magramo @Eboy, matagal na nilang gustong makita ang kanilang kapatid simula nang ito ay sumali sa NPA. “Sana man lang ay nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na makita ang bangkay ng aking kapatid at maihatid ito sa huling hantungan,” lumuluhang pahayag ni Gng Galos. Ayon pa sa ginang, nahuli lamang sila dahil sa kadahilanang hindi agad naipabot sa kanila na ang kanyang kapatid ay namatay na. Bukod dito, hindi umano nakarating ang isang anak ni Magramo sapagkat tinawagan umano ito ng mga kasamahang NPA ni Magramo sa Palawan at binantaan na wag nang puntahan ang bangkay ng ama.

Si Magramo na taga- Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro ay kinikilalang mataas na opisyal ng NPA bilang Kalihim ng Sub-Regional Military Area, 4E sa Palawan. Matatandaan na sa nakaraang mga araw, ang Karapatan ay pumunta sa Istasyon ng Pulisya sa Mansalay, Oriental upang akuin ang nasabing bangkay. Iginiit ng Karapatan at ng kasama nila na nagpakilala na si Jessica Baes Alcos ay anak ng bangkay ni Magramo na kinilala nila na si Victor Alcos, isa ring NPA sa Batangas na sinasabing napatay naman sa pakikipag-sagupa sa mga militar noong nakarang taon.

Bagamat naibigay na ng pulisya ang bangkay ni Magramo sa nagpakilalang anak diumano na kasama ng KARAPATAN sa kadahilanang nahuli ng pagdating si Gng Galos, ay maaari pa rin umano habulin ng mga Magramo ang nasabing bangkay lalo na kapag lumabas ang DNA testing na isinasagawa ngayon ng PNP SOCO.

Tumagal ng ilang araw ang imbestigasyon sa mga bangkay at sa mga nagpakilalang kamag-anak nito dahil sa panggugulo ng KARAPATAN Southern Tagalog. Dahil sa pangingialam at mali-maling mga paratang ng mga ito sa awtoridad ay humantong ito sa pagsasagawa ng peace rally ang mga mamamayan ng Mansalay at Roxas City sa Oriental Mindoro para tapatan at kondenahin ang ginagawang pagra-rally at panggugulo ng mga miyembro ng KARAPATAN sa bayan ng Mansalay at Roxas City. “Ang sentro ng kanilang usapin ay guluhin ang proseso at madaliin ang pagkuha sa bangkay upang pagtakpan nila na ang isang napatay ay NPA kumander,” aniya ng isa sa mga nagsagawa ng anti-Karapatan protest rally. Naging kapansin-pansin din na matapos makuha ng KARAPATAN ang 3 bangkay ng NPA ay sumigaw diumano ang mga ito ng, “Mabuhay ang Bagong Hukbong Bayan!” na ang ibig sa inglis ay New Peoples Army o NPA.

Ayon naman kay Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Arbolado, Battalion Commander ng 4th Infantry Battalion, ninanais lang ng mga kasundaluhan na masunod ang legal na proseso ng pagkuha ng mga bangkay upang mabigay sa tamang kapamilya at mabigyan ng maayos na libing. Ang paglitaw na kapatid ni Magramo ay isang patunay sa “dirty tricks” ng Karapatan upang ipagtanggol ang mga NPA. “Hindi rin natin maiaalis ang posibilidad na ginamit lang KARAPATAN ang pamilya Alcos upang papaniwalain sila na ang nasabing bangkay ay si Victor Alcos,” pahayag pa ni LTC Arbolado.

Sa kabilang banda, nananawagan naman si Brigadier General Marceliano Teofilo, 203rd Brigade Commander, sa lahat ng mamamayan ng Mindoro na lumaban upang panatilihin ang katahimikan sa probinsya. “Huwag tayong magpapadala sa mga matatamis na pananalita ng mga makakaliwang grupo tulad ng KARAPATAN sapagkat lahat ng ito ay magdudulot lamang ng kaguluhan kagaya nang ginawa nila sa mga nakaraang araw sa bayan ng Mansalay,” aniya pa ni BGen Teofilo.

Sinabi naman ni BGen Elias H Escarcha, ang pinakamataas na pinunong heneral ng 2nd Infantry Division na patuloy na magiging aktibo ang kasundaluhan ng 2ID sa pagbabantay sa kaayusan at katahimikan ng rehiyon. “Gagawin namin ang lahat upang mapigilan ang anumang banta ng terorismo o pananakot na dulot ng NPA o sinumang makakaliwang grupo”.

Sa kasalukuyan nagpapatuloy pa rin ang pinagsanib na operasyon ng militar at pulisya upang tugisin ang mga natitirang NPA na kasama ng napaslang na lider sa Mindoro.

Division Public Affairs Office 2nd Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Patrick Jay Retumban
Chief, DPAO, 2ID, PA
Camp General Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal

[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: 75th Infantry Battalion Manobo tribe’s partnership in promoting Peace and Developement

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 27, 2019): 75th Infantry Battalion Manobo tribe’s partnership in promoting Peace and Developement

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur- Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr, Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) –The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion recognizes Indigenous People, their traditions and practices which are essential in sustaining the development in the area of operation of the unit. Tribal leaders and their communities have an invaluable role in maintaining the development in the area.

LTC Jaime R Datuin presented a plaque of appreciation to Datu Nemesio Domogoy Barrios, a tribal leader of Manobo Tribe in Sitio Sote, Bislig City, SDS last June 22, 2019, in recognition of his invaluable support and cooperation with the unit’s efforts to end the communist terrorists’ threat in the area.

These people also face threats, violent attacks and even death by protecting their communities from CPP-NPA-NDF and took considerations the effect of these to their future descendants and chose to help the government in building peace and development throughout the area.

Datu Domogoy said, “Nagpasalamat ako sa kasundaluhan sa pag appreciate sa among pagpaningkamut nga mahimong malinawon ang among lugar. Kami nga mga lumad pakamatyan gyud namu ang yutang kabilin sa among mga katigulangan ug hangtod sa among kamatayun, among ipadayon ang suporta para mapalig-on ang kalinaw ug kalamboan sa among lokalidad”, Datu Domogoy said.

Lt Col Datuin, the Battalion Commander said that “I am very thankful for the support extended by Datu Domogoy and his people. Our partnership is moving towards their aspirations to have peace in their community. Surely this will be a catalyst for development and the Manobo people will benefit from this.

We will also give same recognition to the other IP communities and stakeholders in the area. This is our humble way of expressing our heartfelt gratitude as we continue to enhance collaboration and strengthen convergence efforts to finally end local communist armed conflict” Datuin ended.

On the other hand, Col Allan D Hambala, the Commander of 401st Infantry Brigade extended his grateful appreciation to these IP leaders for their continued collaboration with the Philippine Army in its effort to prevent the terrorists from exploiting the different tribal groups in the brigade’s area of jurisdiction.

75th Infantry Battalion 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Edwin Leo Francisco
CMO Officer, 75IB, 4ID, PA
Bislig City, Surgao del Sur

[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: 6 NPA members fall in southern Negros

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 27, 2019): 6 NPA members fall in southern Negros

BACOLOD CITY — Joint police and military personnel arrested six members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in separate operations at Barangay Buenavista in Himamaylan City in Southern Negros Occidental on Wednesday.

A report from the Philippine Army identified one of them as Rodrigo Medez “Salvo”, secretary of local party branch of Central Negros Front (CNF), Komiteng Rehiyong-Negros (KR-N), and member of Yunit Militia.

The five others included Jimmy Teves, Jodito Montecino, JP Romano, Eliseo Andres, and Roger “Jack” Sabanal, who are from the local party branch and Yunit Militia members.

Lt. Col. Egberto Dacoscos, commanding officer of 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB), said in a statement all were arrested “in accordance with existing laws” through a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Rodney Magbanua of Regional Trial Court Branch 61 in Kabankalan City.

Each of them faces two counts of murder and six counts of frustrated murder for the deaths of two soldiers and injury of six others during the clash between government troops and communist rebels at Sitio Bunsad, Barangay Tan-awan in neighboring Kabankalan City in May last year.

“Their arrest is a big blow to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front in central Negros,” he added.

Personnel of the 2nd Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office Mobile Force Company and the Army’s 62IB served the warrant in the respective homes of the suspects in Sitios Bito, Balatugan and in Dawhan.

Teves, Montecino, and Romano were arrested just before 8 a.m. while Medez and Andres were apprehended at 11:45 a.m. Sabandal was nabbed at 3 p.m.They were endorsed to the Himamaylan City Police Station, the Army report said.

“No one is above the law and no one can escape justice. Sooner or later the NPA will answer for their crimes, either they will get killed in encounters or get arrested,” Dacoscos added.

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

Philippine News Agency
Sec. Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar
Presidential Communications Office (PCO)
Visayas Avenue Quezon City, Philippines

[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: Army conducts rescue operation during Bislig fire

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 27, 2019): Army conducts rescue operation during Bislig fire

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur- Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr, Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – After a phone call from a concerned citizen, the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of the Philippine Army’s 75th Infantry (Marauder) Battalion instantly responded to the recent fire incident which transpired at the Market Site District of Brgy Mangagoy, Bislig City last June 23, 2019.

Accordingly, the fire started at around 11 o’clock in the morning at a locally made comfort room (CR) of Miss Leizle Joy Alngog and which was noticed by the residents as the fire escalated to the nearby houses made of light materials.

The fire has been brought under control by 2:30PM due to the joint rescue efforts of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) from Barobo, Hinatuan, Bislig, Lingig all of Surigao del Sur and volunteers from 911 Bislig as well as the 75IB QR Force.

Quiapo family who’s house was saved from the fire said, “Naluwas akong pamilya, mga gamit ug balay maong dako akong pasalamat sa labawng makagagahum ug sa atong kasundaluhan tungod paspas ug sayo sila miabot dinhi. Dako ilang tabang kuyog ang among mga silingan aron nga maluwas among panimalay sa dakong kalayo.” (My family, things and house was saved from the fire and I thanked God almighty and our Soldiers for their immediate assistance and help. They saved my family together with our neighbors from that big fire.)

According to Bureau of Fire Protection of Bislig City, the estimated total cost of damage amounts to more or less 58,035,000.00 with two (2) casualty and (6) injuredreported and immediately treated of a first aid by the QRF team.

Lt Col Jaime R Datuin, the Commanding Officer of 75IB said, “Your Philippine Army is not just a mere protector of the state. We are also prepared and ready to respond to provide assistance during calamity and incidents like what happened at the market site of Mangagoy.”

“Every one of us must always be vigilant in order to avoid such dreadful incidents as well as not to hamper the development of our community,” LTC Datuin added.

75th Infantry Battalion 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Edwin Leo Francisco
CMO Officer, 75IB, 4ID, PA
Bislig City, Surgao del Sur

[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: Two Armed Communist NPA Terrorist Surrender in Iligan City

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 27, 2019): Two Armed Communist NPA Terrorist Surrender in Iligan City

CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Two Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) members surrendered to the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion and 5th Infantry Battalion in Brgy Rogongon, Iligan City 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 24, 2019.

“Our initial custodial debriefing found out that due to our relentless combat operation, most of them are starving and only eat one meal a day”, said Lt. Col. Jasper Edward Obar, 51st Infantry Battalion Commander.

“Lisod ang kinabuhi sa bukid. Mas lisod kaysa adtong pa sa panahon kaniadtong dili pa kami myembro sa NPA. Walay direksyon among pakigbisug”, ingon ni alias Braga.
(“Our life in mountainous part is hard. Much harder when we were not yet members of the NPA group. There is no direction in what we are fighting for,” said alias Braga).

The two CNT yielded two M1 Garrand rifles and ammunitions.
As of this year, a total of 29 Communist NPA Terrorists surrendered to 51IB.

“The influx of CNT surrenders in Iligan City is a testament of their desire to unite and live peacefully with their families. We expect that more CNTs will return to the folds of the law in the coming days as our troops on the ground received a lot of surrender feelers,” says Brig. Gen. Ezra James Enriquez, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade Commander.

“Likewise, we urge the NPA leadership in our area of operation to engage us thru localized peace talks to address their issues and problems peacefully”, Enriquez added.

Meanwhile, Major General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops that led to the surrender of the two CNTs.

“We encourage other CNT members to surrender with their firearms, return to the folds of the law and benefit the Enhanced Local Integration Program of the government”, said Ancan.

“Based on Executive Order Nr 70, creating a Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN is doing its best to contribute to the mission of the created task force,” added Ancan.

“Convergence and synchronization of plans, programs and projects among the government agencies is vital and key to end the long decades of insurgency that only brought misery to our country”, Ancan concluded.

Division Public Affairs Office 1st Infantry Division Philippine Army
Chief, Division Public Affairs Office, 1st Infantry Division
Mobile Number: 09177938341

[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.]

Bodies of slain rebels claimed

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 26, 2019): Bodies of slain rebels claimed

One of the two New People’s Army rebels killed during their attack of a remote military outpost in Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental, last week was a squad leader of the NPA South East Front, local Army spokesman Capt. Cenon Pancito said yesterday.

Pancito identified him as Antonio Cardinas, alias Marlo, a resident of the place.

He added that the cadaver of Cardinas was claimed by his wife, Joy, while that of the other slain rebel, identified as Warlito Sotabento, a member of the NPA squad unit, was claimed by his parents, Apolinario and Devinia.

Both cadavers were claimed two days after the NPA attack on the military outpost on June 21 in Sitio Kaha, Brgy. Talalac, Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.

Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said in a statement that he regrets the killing of the two rebels, that were due to deceptions and false promises of the NPA and its allied organizations.

Dolina reiterated his call for the remaining NPA members to abandon the armed struggle, as they will gain nothing out of it.

“This incident is just one of the many where the same thing happened. They do not care about you when you’re already dead,” he said, noting also that families of slain rebels did not get any assistance from their group and allied organizations, who had used them.

Another suspected NPA member also died on June 22 in another encounter between 94th Infantry Battalion and 20 communist rebels in Manjuyod, Negros Oriental.

Mistaken identity?

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 26, 2019): Mistaken identity?

A case of mistaken identity?

The question arose after the Kabankalan City Prosecutor’s Office ordered the release yesterday of Baltazar Saldo, who is alleged by the authorities to be Virgilio Paragan, alias Ka Hassan.

The release of Saldo to the custody of his family yesterday, after his presentation to the Kabankalan Prosecutor’s Office, was confirmed by Lt. Col. Joem Malong, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 6, and Capt. Cenon Pancito, Public Affairs Office chief of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Saldo, who was positively identified by a witness as Paragan, who used to be the commander of the Komiteng Rehiyonal-Negros Roger Mahinay Command, was arrested Sunday by police intelligence operatives and Army soldiers in Brgy. Santo Angel, Dumalag, Capiz.

Pancito said the witness is the son of a former comrade of Paragan, who also used to visit their house in southern Negros.

But the family of Saldo reportedly insisted that he is not Paragan.

Paragan has four pending arrest warrants for murder and attempted murder charges, issued by Kabankalan Regional Trial Court Judge Henry Arles, Guihulngan RTC Judges Mario Trinidad and Rosendo Bandal.

Malong admitted that the name in the arrest warrants is different from that of the arrested person.

But then, because we have a witness, we do not have any choice but to hold that person, she added.

This is a normal occurrence in police operations. If this is true, further validation of the statement of the witness who attended the press briefing (on Monday) should be done, Malong said, stressing that further legal processes should also be under taken.

She added that the release of the suspect by the prosecutor l is in order if he feels he still needs more evidence to jail the arrested person.

“I do not want also to incarcerate innocent individuals,” Malong emphasized.

Paragan has a bounty of P1,050,000 for his arrest, the military said.

Bomb squad confirms NPA landmine laying

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 26, 2019): Bomb squad confirms NPA landmine laying

The timely information from residents about the mine-laying activities of New People’s Army rebels in Brgy. Bantulinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, relayed to the military and police saved a lot of lives, Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.

This was after the bomb squad of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, assisted by the 94th Infantry Battalion, while conducting panelling and confirmation on
reported mine laying activities of suspected NPA rebels in Sitio Labana, Brgy. Bantulinao, Manjuyod, discovered seven holes along the road with electrical wirings in them, although no explosive was found.

The continued inspection of the Sitio Kambugtong road in the barangay by the NOCPPO Explosive Ordnance Division and K-9 unit led by PChief Master Sergeant Bobong Temprosa, also led to the discovery of an electrical wiring with main explosive filler, attached to two rifle grenades.

The encounter on Saturday night between government forces and about 20 NPA rebels in the area, several hours after participants of the medical mission initiated by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) left the place, yielded five improvised land mines, among other war materials.

Madriaga said he suspects that those improvised landmines seized by Army and police personnel, may have been manufactured to be used against them, or on civilians who may happen to pass the area.

Before the arrival of the OPAV teams composed of doctors and nurses, accompanied by military and police personnel, Madriaga said they already received information from residents of the area, who got warnings from the rebels not to attend the medical mission, as they will be using landmines.

Landmines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are indiscriminate weapons, Madriaga said, adding that the information of civilians relayed to them pre-empted their use.

The encounter also on Saturday in Manjuyod also led to the killing of a suspected NPA member identified by Madriaga as Agripino Palomar, 24, a resident of the barangay.

Two months ago, Army soldiers also recovered three improvised anti-personnel mines, after an encounter with NPA rebels in Brgy. Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, while pursuing suspects in the killing of town Councilor Jolomar Hilario.

Photo: Captured NPA IED accessories

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 26, 2019): Photo: Captured NPA IED accessories in Negros Oriental


Improvised landmines with accessories seized by Army soldiers and policemen during an encounter with NPA rebels and two rifle grenades discovered buried and hidden along the road in Brgy. Bantulinao, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental.

Duterte tells Bangsamoro gov't to 'hurry up'

From Rappler (Jun 26, 2019): Duterte tells Bangsamoro gov't to 'hurry up'

President Rodrigo Duterte also mentions a 'communication breakdown' between Bangsamoro officials and the national government

MINDANAO PROMISE. President Rodrigo Duterte during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City on March 29, 2019. Malacañang file photo

MINDANAO PROMISE. President Rodrigo Duterte during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City on March 29, 2019. Malacañang file photo

President Rodrigo Duterte appeared unsatisfied with the pace of the new Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), telling them to "hurry up" in a speech on Tuesday, June 25.

"Ang bayan natin medyo malayo pa (Our country is still far away). We still have to perfect the BOL. I am now the one government that is hurrying them up," said Duterte in a speech in front of newly-elected local officials in Malacañang

He spoke of the need to develop resources in the new Bangsamoro autonomous region, mentioning specifically Liguasan Marsh, said to hold $1 billion worth of natural gas deposits.

Duterte cited a "communication" problem delaying the work of the BTA.

"Ako na ang nagsasabi ‘bilisan ninyo, ayusin ninyo.’ (I am the one saying, hurry up.) The problem is there seems to be a breakdown in the efficient communication between the central government at ang (BTA)," he said.

"And I seldom see them in the official – well, ceremonies, functions and all. I could not even gather them in one room to sit down and discuss what needs to be done," he further complained.

The Mindanaoan president stressed the need for haste given his promises to the region.

"This is really the opportunity for us now to connect to them and be true to our word, the majority of Christians, to give you what is yours," said Duterte.

The last time Duterte joined BTA members in an official gathering was during an Eid'l Fitr celebration in Davao City.

The BTA is also yet to form the Intergovernmental Relations Body, a body created by the Bangsamoro Organic Law that initiates consultations between the BARMM government and central government.

The BTA, led by former rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has its work cut out for it given much pressure to fulfill the BOL's promises of improved delivery of social services, peace and order, and economic development for Muslim Mindanao.

The passage and ratification of the BOL, and formation of the BTA are among the major accomplishments of the Duterte administration.

Makabayan bloc fields Zarate in speakership race

From Rappler (Jun 26, 2019): Makabayan bloc fields Zarate in speakership race
'Panahon na para sa isang Speaker na tunay na makabayan,' says the Makabayan bloc

NEXT SPEAKER? Bayan Muna Representative-elect Carlos Zarate is gunning to becomethe next House Speaker. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

NEXT SPEAKER? Bayan Muna Representative-elect Carlos Zarate is gunning to becomethe next House Speaker. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler
A new candidate has joined the heated race for the next House Speaker: Bayan Muna Representative-elect Carlos Zarate of the progressive Makabayan bloc.

The 6-member coalition of progressive lawmakers in the upcoming 18th Congress released a statement endorsing Zarate for Speaker on Wednesday, June 26.

“Ang pagtakbo ni Representative Zarate, na may mahaba at mabuting track record sa pagsisilbi, ay ating pagtaguyod ng interes at kagalingan ng mamamayang ating pinagsisilbihan. Ito ang ating pagtindig laban sa patronage politics, korapsyon, at atake sa mamamayan,” said the Makabayan bloc (The candidacy of Representative Zarate, who has a long and excellent track record in public service, is part of our bid to uphold the interest and welfare of the people whom we serve. We are taking a stand against patronage politics, corruption, and attacks against citizens.)

“Panahon na para sa isang Speaker na tunay na makabayan (It’s time we have a Speaker who is truly for the nation),” they added.

A human rights lawyer, Zarate has long been a vocal opposition figure in the House. He is set to serve his third term as Bayan Muna representative in the 18th Congress.

Zarate’s bid for the speakership is backed by the following:

Bayan Muna representive-elect Ferdinand Gaite,
Bayan Muna representative-elect Eufemia Cullamat,
Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representative France Castro
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Arlene Brosas
Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago

The Makabayan lawmakers said they expect the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to spend the last 3 years of his term strongly pushing for his “anti-citizen” policies, like federalism, tax increases, term extensions for public officials, the revival of the death penalty, and lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility, among others. 

(WATCH: Newsbreak Chats: The highs and lows of the Duterte presidency)

“Kailangan natin ng Speaker na titindig sa harap ng atake sa ating soberenya at panghihimasok ng US at Tsina, lalaban sa korapsyon, magsusulong ng kagalingan at demokratikong karapatan ng mamamayan,” said the Makabayan lawmakers. (We need a Speaker who will stand up against attacks to our sovereignty and invasion by the United States and China, someone who will fight corruption and push for excellence and the democratic rights of the people.)

It will be an uphill battle to the speakership for Zarate, however. He will face 3 contenders who are all allies of Duterte, whose policies Makabayan has been criticizing.

The other top speakership bets are Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, Leyte 1st District Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, and Taguig City-Pateros Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano.

Zambales town opposes planned AFP Subic Naval Reservation

From Rappler (Jun 26, 2019): Zambales town opposes planned AFP Subic Naval Reservation

The proposed 300-million-square-meter development will leave only 30% of San Antonio's land area, and will disrupt the town's tourism industry

OPPOSITION. Mayor Estela Deloso Antipolo says the development will leave San Antonio as one of the smallest towns in the Philippines. Photo from San Antonio FB

OPPOSITION. Mayor Estela Deloso Antipolo says the development will leave San Antonio as one of the smallest towns in the Philippines. Photo from San Antonio FB

ZAMBALES, Philippines – Residents of San Antonio here declared their opposition to the plan of the Department of National Defense (DND) to transform almost 300 million square meters of land in the municipality into a naval facility.

Mayor Estela Deloso Antipolo leads residents and other local officials, including village chiefs, in opposing the
DND's plan to convert 289,051,550 square meters of land in Redondo Peninsula into the proposed Subic Naval Reservation.

"We strongly object and have conveyed our disapproval of the plan of the Department of National Defense. The proposed Subic Naval Reservation will encompass the entire Redondo Peninsula, leaving only 30% of our present land area. This will make San Antonio the smallest town in Zambales and one of the smallest towns in the Philippines," Antipolo said.

The mayor said the development would disrupt their local tourism industry since they "stand to lose the Camara and Capones islands and the 5 coves for which San Antonio is famous for, which will all be under the direct supervision, control, and use of the Philippine Navy."

DIVISION. The proposed military reservation will take 70% of San Antonio's current land area. Photos from San Antonio FB

Redondo Peninsula is divided between the municipalities of San Antonio in the west and Subic in the east. The west coast of the peninsula is indented by several coves and bays, namely Silanguin Bay, Nagsasa Cove, Talisain Bay, Agnaem Bay, and Anawangin Cove.

These areas are the prime tourism sites of the province.

Islands such as the Capones Island, Tabones Island, Silanguin Island, and Los Frailes Islands are also found near the Redondo Peninsula.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier sent a letter informing President Rodrigo Duterte of the department's plan of converting the said parcel of land located in Redondo Peninsula, which can be acquired through a presidential proclamation declaring the land into a naval facility.

"I wish to inform the President that ownership of the aforesaid location is an immediate solution to a long-term challenge of fulfilling strategic basing that addresses the improved deployment of forces, accommodating current, and future naval assets and enhancing logistics and maintenance system," according to the DND correspondence dated April 16.

"This location places the AFP in a better position to defend the countrys interest in the West Philippine Sea that is emphasized by the need to stage, launch, and sustain naval operating forces in one of the most critical deployment areas," Lorenzana said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) then asked the local government of San Antonio to comment on the DND's proposal.

"Sinagot na po natin ang sulat na ito ng DENR. Magkaisa po tayo na tutulan ang proposal na ito. Nakababahala na ang ating natural resources at ang ating tourism industry ay maapektuhan ng proposal na ito," Antipolo said. (We have replied to the DENR's letter. Let's unite in rejecting this proposal. The effect of this proposal on our natural resources and our tourism industry.)

Over 200 ex-Abu Sayyaf members in Basilan receive food aid

From Politiko Mindanao (Jun 26, 2019): Over 200 ex-Abu Sayyaf members in Basilan receive food aid

Over 200 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members who surrendered to the government have received aid from a non-government organization in Isabela City, Basilan, military said.

Balay Mindanaw, a peace and development foundation primarily engaged in promoting equity-based development and sustainable peace, initiated the project that aims to prevent and transform violent extremism in Basilan.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said Balay Mindanaw launched the project Monday, June 24, at 4th Special Forces Battalion, Cabunbata, Isabela City where food packs were distributed to the 214 ASG surrenderors.

Among those who attended the event were Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr, Bangsamoro government interim chief minister Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman Salliman, and Westmincom deputy commander for operations Brig. Gen. Generoso Pinio.

NPA leader, wife, 3 others surrender in Surigao Norte

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 26, 2019): NPA leader, wife, 3 others surrender in Surigao Norte

A new People’s Army commander, together with his wife and two others, surrendered to the 30th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Norte on Sunday afternoon.

1Lt. Ken Enciso, the Civil-Military Operations officer of 30th IB, i
dentified their leader as alias Noname, 37, the commanding officer of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 16B1 (SYP16B1), Guerilla Front 16 (GF16) North Easthern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) operating in Surigao City, San Francisco, Taganaan, and Sison, all of Surigao del Norte.

He also brought with him his wife, alias Rose, 21, political instructor of SYP 16B1; alias Archie, 35, political instructor of SYPB2; and alias Michael, 27, assistant team leader, Squad Dos, SYP16B1.

They also surrendered two M14 rifles, one M4-CiS rifle, one AR15 M16A1 rifle, four M14 magazines, two M16 short magazines, two anti-personnel mines, (111) 5.56mm ammunition, and (64) 7.62mm ammo.

According to the military, the NPA commanding officer is in charge of the tactical offensive and terroristic attacks on civilian properties, while a political instructor is tasked with organizing the communities so the rebels will have mass support. The political instructor is also responsible for recruiting new members.

According to Noname, their organization is falling apart after losing the support of the masses. He also said that he’s already tired of hiding and being away from his family.

He also called on the communities to stop supporting the rebels. “They are just playing all of us for fools,” he said.

Lt. Col. Allen Raymund C. Tomas, commanding officer the 30th IB, said, “This is a big blow to GF16. Losing alias Noname, the CO of SYP16B, would be a demoralizing factor among their ranks.”

In his statement, Col Maurito L. Licudine, commander of the 402nd Infantry Brigade in Caraga, said, “The surrender of a high-ranking commander with other middle-rank leaders is a clear indication that the NPAs in the said area are already disintegrating.”

30 former NPA rebels enrol in masonry, carpentry courses

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 26, 2019): 30 former NPA rebels enrol in masonry, carpentry courses

Thirty former rebels and 10 Cafgu Active Auxiliary (CAA) of the 8th Infantry Battalion enrolled in carpentry and masonry courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Impasugong, Bukidnon.

Tesda-Bukidnon officially opened two in-house training courses for skills enhancement in the 8th IB headquarters in Impasug-ong on June 24. The courses will last 33 days and 25 days for carpentry and masonry, respectively.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the 8th IB, commander said, “This program aims to enhance the acquired skills of the enrolled participants for their livelihood. ”

A former rebel, alias Alay, said “I am more than happy and very thankful to be enrolled in this program which could enhance my carpentry skills that I can use for my daily living.”

Kotie R. Bax, Tesda-Bukidnon provincial director, emphasized the importance of elevating their skills so they can support themselves and their family with a sustainable income.

“This is an avenue of new beginnings for our brothers who came back to the government for good,” Bax said. “These courses will help them build their dreams together with their families. Piece by piece, they will be given help to start anew.”

“As these courses are mainstream today and they have already acquired the abilities, we aim to enhance them with new techniques and use their skills well,” she added.

Lt. Col. Ronald Illana, the commander of the 8th Infantry Battalion, backs the opportunity-generating program.

“We wanted you to have a life where ideologies that consumed you as good citizens of this country won’t, again, dominate your minds,” he said. “We wanted you to be deradicalized through livelihood programs to help you start again.”

“Now, as you have eradicated your pasts, may this opportunity set new doors and be reminded that the government never ever turned its back on you,” he added.

Army to file charges vs. NPA for recruiting minor

From the Mindanao Times (Jun 26, 2019): Army to file charges vs. NPA for recruiting minor

Authorities are set to file charges against the New People’s Army (NPA) for recruiting a minor as one of its combatants.

On Sunday, a 14-year-old NPA surrendered to the soldiers of 56th Infantry Battalion in Talaingod, Davao del Norte Sunday afternoon.

The 56th IB is presently coordinating with the police in
Talaingod for the filing of charges against the NPA leaders responsible for recruiting Ka Grace, a resident of Barangay Dagohoy in Talaingod.

“The NPAs are still recruiting minors to become child soldiers despite the universally accepted moral obligation under the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) that children must be protected,” Col Nolasco Mempin, the commander of the 1003rd Brigade, said. “The NPAs continue to deliberately put children in the way of armed conflict, thus, further depriving them of many of their rights.”

Capt. Erick Wynmer Calulot, the Civil-Military Operations Officer of the Philippine Army’s 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said Ka Grace served as a medic for the Andoy Platoon of the NPA’s Sub-Regional Guerilla Unit, Sub-Regional Committee 5, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC).

Calulot said Ka Grace surrendered to Lt. Col. Norman Valdez, commanding officer of the 56IB in Barangay Sto Niño, Talaingod after “seeing the sincerity of the Community Support Program Team (CSP) in bridging for the resolution of social and developmental issues in their community.”

During the interview conducted by the soldiers, Ka Grace revealed that she was recruited last October. She joined after being promised by the NPA that her family will be out of poverty.

Ka Grace, Calulot said, also revealed that there are other minors still with the underground movement.

Currently, the surrenderer was already turned over to the Talaingod municipality’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) where she will undergo psychological and other necessary evaluation.

Farmers disown NPA in Agusan Norte

Posted to the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 26, 2019): Farmers disown NPA in Agusan Norte

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte -- More than 200 members of Union ng Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte (UMAN), a New Peoples Army (NPA) allied organization, disowned the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA) terrorist group and took their pledge of loyalty and allegiance to the government during a peace consultation dialogue on June 22, 2019 at the covered court of Brgy. Tungao, Butuan City.

The peace consultation dialogue was conducted thru a convergence effort of the Barangay Council of Barangays Tungao and San Mateo and the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion to address the issues and concerns of the residents and the UMAN members. These include security of land tenure, livelihood and employment, youth recruitment and peace and order.

Moreover, after the open forum, the officers and members of UMAN, as well as the residents of the barangay, took their oath to dismantle UMAN as an organization, to stop supporting the CPP-NPA and will not succumb to any group who will organize them except the government.

UMAN is a farmers’ organization being used by the CPP-NPA to recruit farmers by promising them that the latter will receive the land that they are tilling. A monthly due is being collected by the group from the members.

According to Rheda (true name withheld for security reason), a member of UMAN, they joined the UMAN hoping that the organization would help them with their problems regarding the security of land tenure, livelihood and employment, and help them with their basic social needs. That, if they will join UMAN, the lands they are tilling will be given to them. They are also paying monthly dues to UMAN.

Another member, Elvira (true name withheld for security reason) said, "Karon nakabalo na mi kung unsay tinuod sa UMAN, muondang na mi pag-apil sa ilaha ug bungkagon nanamo sila karon. Muderetso nalang mi sa ahensya sa gobyerno kung aduna mi mga problema (Now that we are aware of the intention of UMAN, we will stop joining them and dismantle their group. Instead, we go straight to the government whenever we have issues)."

Moreover, the chairman of Barangay Tungao, Melchor Salboro expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the soldiers of the Philippine Army under 23rd Infantry Battalion (23IB) for protecting and saving the barangay from the threats of CPP-NPA. “Atong ampingan ang atong barangay para walay musolod na dautang grupo na. Dili na ta magpailad sa mga teroristang CPP-NPA (We have to take care of our community so that there will be no more unscrupulous group who will enter. We will not support the CPP-NPA anymore, Salboro added)."

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Francisco Molina Jr., Commanding Officer, 23IB, is optimistic with the efforts of Barangay Officials of Barangays Tungao and San Mateo, the former officers and members of UMAN, and other residents of the two barangays that they will dismantle UMAN in their areas and will not anymore give-in to the CPP-NPA terrorist group. “Let us work together in restoring peace in your area. We must not allow any group to sow havoc in our community. Towards this end, development will surely come in,” Molina added. (1Lt Roel T Maglalang, CMO Officer, 23IB 4ID, PA/PIA Agusan del Norte)

PRRD visits Stormtroopers, confers Wounded Personnel Medal

Posted to the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 26, 2019): PRRD visits Stormtroopers, confers Wounded Personnel Medal

CATBALOGAN CITY -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) visited the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Camp Lukban, Catbalogan City on June 19, 2019.

He visited the soldiers from the 46th Infantry Battalion, 20th Infantry Battalion, and 63rd Infantry (INNOVATOR) Battalion recuperating from different encounters at the Heroes Ward at Camp Lukban Station Hospital and awarded them Wounded Personnel Medal.

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte condoles with the grieving wife of a fallen soldier ambushed in Calbiga, Samar. (8th D pic)

On the other hand, the President posthumously promoted five fallen soldiers who bravely paid the ultimate sacrifice during an ambush by communist terrorists last April.

PRRD likewise turned over 2,701 Glock pistols and 200 .45 caliber pistols to the Stormtroopers in fulfillment of his promise to give Filipino soldiers handguns.

In his message, the President said, “I salute our brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during an ambush by the communist terrorists last April. Their sacrifice for our country will never be forgotten and their needs, including those of their families will be taken care of.”

In April, six soldiers were killed and six others were wounded in a firefight between the army and communist rebels in Barangay Beri, some 13 kilometers away Calbiga’s town proper. (NBQ/GMT/PIA 8 Samar)

Creating env't conducive to peace & dev't is responsibility of all

Posted to the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 26, 2019): Creating env't conducive to peace & dev't is responsibility of all

LAGAWE, Ifugao - - The future of the next generations depends on the people, hence it is everyone’s responsibility to make an environment conducive to peace and development.

Brig. General Romeo Doyaoen, Commander of the 503rd Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, stressed this as he enjoined Ïmmipugo” (Ifugaos) to support the government for a peaceful and progressive community during 121st Independence Day celebration at the public plaza here.

“Huwag po nating awayin ang gobyerno bagkus ay tulungan po natin ito,” Doyaoen stressed. “Let’s us make our communities conflict- resilient and our province insurgency- free. Let’s make a difference,” he added.

He also encouraged the people to embrace Executive Order (EO) No. 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte that institutionalizes the ”Whole-Of-Nation” approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace, creating a national task force to end local communist armed conflict and directing the adoption of a national peace framework.

“One of the salient points of this EO is to address the root causes of insurgency in our country. Peace and security is everybody’s concern; purely military solution is not enough to address the said problem,” he said.

Doyaoen also explained some of the salient points of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government for former rebels.

E-CLIP is locally-driven, managed and implemented. It veers away from the past practice of pre-packaged interventions designed at the national level. It responds to the circumstances, needs and concerns of former rebels through provision of assistance and seeks to consider their basic rights and situations as men and women.

Another feature of the program is the establishment of halfway houses/receiving facilities where the former rebels are to be welcomed and housed for security measures during the facilitation of their surrender.

“Let us join hands in propagating and campaigning the benefits of E-CLIP of our government to help them (rebels) return to the folds of the law and to the mainstream society,” he said. (JDP/MBL- PIA CAR, Ifugao)

Task force for localized peace talks in S. Cotabato pushed

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 26, 2019): Task force for localized peace talks in S. Cotabato pushed

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in South Cotabato is pushing for the creation of a special task force that will spearhead sustained peace and development initiatives in a bid to end the communist insurgency in the province.

Lawyer Michelle Viejo, acting provincial director of DILG-South Cotabato, said Tuesday the move is in line with the national government's "whole-of-nation" approach and based on President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Executive Order 70 that created the "National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict."

Viejo said they have already crafted an action plan to institutionalize the implementation of the "whole-of-nation" approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace.

She said the action plan consists of a local version of the strategies that seek to curb the rebels' atrocities, while recognizing that insurgencies and other armed conflict are not only military and security concerns.

“The government believes that each province has its own reasons for communist armed conflict. We have to create a task force that will focus on the localized peace process,” Viejo said during the provincial peace and order council meeting in Koronadal City.

The local task force will be composed of concerned government agencies, local government units, and civil society groups, she said.

Viejo said they will present the plan next month to new South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. for proper action.

The "whole-of-nation" approach mandates all concerned agencies of government to work in a holistic and integrated manner to deliver much-needed services to underdeveloped, conflict-affected communities.

The approach seeks to "utilize localized peace engagements, wherein local government units (LGU) and other community members situated in conflict-affected areas will take the lead in providing solutions to best resolve the nation’s insurgency problem."

In connection with the initiative, Lt. Col. Jones Otida, commanding officer of the Army's 27th Infantry Battalion, urged LGUs to prioritize the conduct of more outreach activities to areas that are prone to armed conflict.

In South Cotabato, Otida said the areas with problems on communist armed conflict are situated in the municipalities of Lake Sebu, Banga, Tampakan, and Tboli.

However, he said the entire province remains generally peaceful and the activities of the New People's Army have been affected by the declining support from residents.

Arrested ‘NPA leader’ freed due to 'mistaken identity'

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 26, 2019): Arrested ‘NPA leader’ freed due to 'mistaken identity'

WRONG GUY. A masked witness points at arrested Baltazar Saldo (extreme right) as 'Virgilio Paragan', a former rebel leader facing two attempted murder charges and two murder charges. Saldo was released Monday evening (June 24, 2019) due to confusion on his real identity. (PNA Photo by Gail Momblan)

The Western Visayas police released on Monday night an alleged Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) leader due to confusion on his identity.

The release of
Baltasar Saldo, 54, of Sto. Angel, Dumalag, Capiz came a few hours after he was presented to the media by the Police Regional Office in Western Visayas (PRO 6) on Monday morning.

Saldo was arrested on Sunday afternoon in Capiz.

During the media presentation, a masked witness identified Saldo as Virgilio Paragan alias “Hassan”, a former commanding officer of the Roger Mahinay Command, Komiteng Rehiyong-Negros.

Paragan is facing two attempted murder and two murder charges filed in various regional trial courts in Negros Island.

“I was convinced to present him because there is this witness who is pointing at the suspect who is the one whose name is indicated in the warrants of arrest (for two attempted murder and two murder charges),” Brig. Gen. John Bulalacao, PRO 6 regional director, said in an interview with the media on Tuesday afternoon.

Bulalacao said the witness is the son of a former rebel under the command of Paragan.

However, after the media presentation, the arrested alleged NPA head was released after he appeared before the Kabankalan City Prosecutor’s Office as the fiscal was unsatisfied with the statement of the police witness.

Police reports show a relative of Paragan was at the prosecutor's office when the suspect was presented and said Saldo and Paragan is not one and the same person.

Bulalacao said Saldo was released as the witness still needs to take more legal actions against the suspect "to convince the fiscal to commit the suspect to jail". The witness is not among the complainants against Paragan.

Despite the confusion, Bulalacao said the situation is a “normal occurrence” in police operations.

“There is a witness and the police should act on it. Much more, the person has long been wanted and the police are eager to arrest him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Capt. Cenon Pancito, Philippine Army’s 3rd infantry Division spokesperson, said on Wednesday the Army will still continue to go after the real Virgilio Paragan.

“We are intensifying our investigation by looking into the chronology of events of how the witness came forward, just to validate,” Pancito said in a phone interview.

He said the Army is on “stand by” for the witness to file necessary documents before Kabankalan City Prosecutors Office.

“The police coordinated with the witness to file the necessary complaint before the Kabankalan City Prosecutors Office so that his accounts will be recorded or documented,” he said.

He clarified that Paragan is still at-large while Saldo will still be investigated.

“We will try to get more witnesses and investigate whether Saldo and Paragan is one and the same person, or it was indeed a mistaken identity,” he said.

Paragan was recommended by Police Regional 7 to be included on the "Directorate for Intelligence List of Wanted Persons".

He was also elevated and listed under the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of the National Defense (DILG-DND) Joint Order on CNN (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front)/Terrorist Wanted Person with PHP1,050,000 cash bounty.

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

Condemn NPA atrocities, police tells incoming Iloilo execs

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 26, 2019): Condemn NPA atrocities, police tells incoming Iloilo execs

PERSONA NON GRATA. Police Col. Martin Defensor Jr, director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), says on Wednesday (June 26, 2019) he will be asking incoming city and provincial officials of Iloilo to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) 'persona non-grata'. The incumbent Sangguniang Panlungsod denied the similar request of the ICPO in May this year. (PNA file photo)

ILOILO CITY -- Top police officials in Iloilo will be asking the incoming city and provincial executives to close their doors to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and to condemn the terror group's atrocities.

Col. Martin Defensor Jr., director of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), said he will be talking to incoming Iloilo City officials to declare the communist-terrorist group “persona non-grata”.

“I will talk to them first before requesting again for the declaration of the 'persona non grata'. The last time that we requested right after the election, the stand of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) was not to support our request,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

He was informed that the SP claimed the CPP-NPA has not committed atrocities in the city. Likewise, they are not privy to the identities of the NPAs, thus there is no way they can be prevented from entering Iloilo City.

“What we want is to manifest that our desire that the armed struggle should be stopped and they should already join in the mainstream and if they wanted to participate in the democratic process it has to be through peaceful means,” he said.

However, Defensor said that there are a lot of local government units (LGUs), which have already declared the communist-terrorist group "persona non-grata".

“It’s about time that we will show that we are together to declare them as 'persona non-grata' to show them that their almost 50 years of armed struggle is not welcome. It’s time that we resort to peaceful means. If they are concerned about our country, it’s time that they should cooperate with our government,” he said.

Col. Marlon Tayaba, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), said he will be requesting the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) when they convene next week to pass a resolution to denounce the atrocities of the CPP-NPA.

“From the PPOC, we will also request LGUs. Most probably the Sanggunian to also issue the same statement,” he said.

He is not inclined to request for the declaration of "persona non-grata" because it is too high-sounding for the common people to understand.

Tayaba believes the declaration denouncing their atrocities is necessary for local government units, particularly local chief executives, to manifest their opposition to the NPA.

The presence of NPA rebels is still visible in the province’s high-risk areas, particularly Miagao, San Joaquin, Alimodian, Tubungan, Lemery and San Rafael, among others.

While no criminal activity involving NPA was recorded in the city in the past 30 to 40 years, yet cases of harassments and threats had been reported in the province.

In 2017, the communist terrorist group attacked the Maasin Municipal Police Station and took 12 firearms.

In 2018, three personnel of the IPPO 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company were wounded when the rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine in a village of Leon town.

Last January, a trooper of the Philippine Army was wounded when ambushed by the NPA in a far-flung village of Lambunao. Two months ago, the rebels also attacked a highway police assistance desk (HIPAD) and took a rifle and service firearm of the police on duty.

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