Monday, August 12, 2019

Kalinaw News: 3-day Eastern Mindanao youth leadership summit held in Bukidnon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 13, 2019): 3-day Eastern Mindanao youth leadership summit held in Bukidnon

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – Leaders of Youth for Peace Movement (YFPM) from Regions 10,11,12 & 13 gathered at Mt Moriah, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon for a 3- day Youth Leadership Summit on August 9-11, 2019 to strengthen the YFPM network in Eastern Mindanao.

A total of 118 youth leaders from 16 provinces and 4 highly urbanized cities in Eastern Mindanao attended the summit with a theme “COMMON VISION: Strengthening the Collaboration of Eastern Mindanao’s Youth for Peace Network”.

Participants are provincial chapter officers of Youth For Peace Movement (YFPM) in Regions 10 & 13 known by its chapter name as “Propelling Our Inherited Nation Through the Youth” (POINTY) and chapter officers from Regions 11 & 12 known as “Tanan Lihok Batan-on Og Sundalo” (TALBOS). They are all former participants of the Philippine Army’s Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), a 3-day workshop aimed at protecting our youth from being lured into joining radical organizations being manipulated by the communist party and the national democratic front.

The Opening Ceremony on Aug 9, 2019 was graced by Bukidnon’s 1st District Representative Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba. On that evening, Bukidnon’s 2nd District Rep. Johnathan Keith Flores also attended and joined the youth leaders during their solidarity and cultural presentations.

On the second day, the participants listened to a series of speakers from various government agencies who talked on their agencies role in Executive Order Nr 70. Among the topics discussed were NPAs recruitment efforts in Eastern Mindanao; Youth participation on Executive Order No. 70; and the roles of YFPM in peace and development. A workhop on four thematic areas followed in the afternoon until the evening. The workshop resulted to concrete programs, projects and activities that were later endorsed to the National Youth Commission (NYC) for implementation.

At the culmination day, Lt Gen Felimon Santos of Eastern Mindanao Command, Mr Julius Guttierez-Executive Director National Youth Commission and DILG ASec Marjorie Jalosjos, as guest of honor and speaker, shared insights and delivered their inspirational messages.

ASec Jalosjos shared her begginings in politics as Barangay Chairperson and encouraged the youth to “keep their united stand and walk together to achieve their goals as young leaders”.

Another highlight of the event is the election of new set of officers for the Eastern Mindanao Youth for Peace Movement.

403rd Infantry "Peacemaker" Brigade 4 Infantry Division Philippine Army
Cpt Marcelito Quijano
CMO Officer, 403Bde, 41D, PA
Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

[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.
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Kalinaw News: Army captures NPA machine gun, foils another terrorist attack

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 13, 2019): Army captures NPA machine gun, foils another terrorist attack

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz– A machine gun believed to be owned by the CPP-NPA Terrorist was recovered by Army troops at Barangay Balogo, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on August 11, 2019.

Patrolling platoon of the 94th Infantry (Mandirigma) Battalion was conducting a security patrol on the said barangay when five fully-armed individuals wearing camouflage uniform appeared in the area.

The troops tried to pursue the enemy but the armed men noticed their presence which caused them to scamper in different direction. The troops then searched the area where they recovered 1- KG9 sub-machine gun with Serial No. 041415, 1- magazine, and 24 rounds of 9mm ball ammunition.

According to LTC Randy Pagunuran, Commanding Officer, 94IB soldiers were conducting Focused Military Operation after an intelligence report and tips from civilians about the NPA presence, and recruitment activities in the area which caused fear to the residents. These armed men are likewise believed to launch a terroristic attack in a form of tactical offensive against Balogo CAA Patrol base.

“We will be relentless in our operations; we will give them no chance of recruiting the innocent children to do the dirty work for them. Exploiting the youth’s innocence to become criminals is even tantamount to violation of RA 7610 which provides children with special protection against exploitation.” Pagunuran added.

Meanwhile, Major General Dinoh Dolina, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division cited the importance of maintaining a relationship with the community. “The effort of the communities of providing accurate information denies them of space to hide, plan and carry out terroristic plans”.

Further, Dolina urged the remaining members of the CPP-NPA Terrorist to return to the fold of the law and take advantage of the government’s livelihood program. “Give peace a chance, we will work with other stakeholders to ensure your safety and well-being and that of your family. We will make it sure that you will receive all the benefits offered by the government”

Division Public Affairs Office 3rd Infantry Division Philippine Army
Chief, 3rd Division Public Affairs Office
Camp General Martin T Delgado, Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City
Contact: / 0917-124-1983

[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.
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Kalinaw News: CPP-NPA Terrorist attack foiled, high powered firearm discovered

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 13, 2019): CPP-NPA Terrorist attack foiled, high powered firearm discovered

Tupi, South Cotabato – Troops from 27th Infantry Battalion discovered an M60, Bulldog Machine Gun and ammunition at Mount Marbao, Brgy. Kematu, Tboli, South Cotabato on August 11, 2019.

Troops responded to the reports from concerned populace. Tipping off the location of said firearms and CPP-NPA Terrorists plan to attack and burn the Banana Plantation using the discovered firearns.

It can be recalled last August 9, three NPA members surrendered in this unit bringing along with them their firearms. These surrenderers belong to the Platoon Brigol, Guerilla Front Musa, Far South Mindanao Region.

“This Battalion condemns the plan attrocities of these CPP-NPA Terrorists. Communities and business establishment should be spared from any attack. We appreciate the unending support of the community in tipping off the presence of the Communist Terrorist Group. Through these efforts we endeavor to achieve peace and development in the community.” 27IB Commander, Ltc Jones Otida said.

27th Infantry Battalion 10th Infantry Division Philippine Army
1LT Efren James C Halawig (INF) PA

[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.
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Kalinaw News: 56th Infantry Battalion initiated community outreach program at Sitio Naputkalan

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 13, 2019): 56th Infantry Battalion initiated community outreach program at Sitio Naputkalan

Talaingod, Davao Del Norte – Soldiers of 56th Infantry “Tatag” Battalion headed by LTC NORMAN E VALDEZ INF (GSC) PA, Battalion Commander revisited Sitio Naputkalan in cooperation and collaboration with the LGU, MAGRO, MSWD, PNP of Talaingod, Kiwanis International Tagum Chapter, Mindanao Peace Council (MPC) and the DepEd Talaingod District to conduct Community Outreach Program to the lumad community held at Sitio Naputkalan, Brgy Sto Niño, Talaingod, Davao del Norte today, August 10, 2019.

Tatag Troopers with the various stakeholders gladly intermingled with the lumad community headed by Sitio Tribal Leaders; Datu Bernardo Bawian and Datu Florendo Andilong together with the Sitio Chairman Mr Landilino Bawian.

On the previous visit of 56IB last june 2019, the tribal leaders expressed the community’s lack of source of potable water, concerns on formal education for their children, health problems, access road, additional registration to 4P’s and the construction of their communal latrine and Tribal Hall.

In this event, the Local Government Unit (LGU) and agencies (LGAs) distributed 50 sacks of corn seeds, water pipes, and MOL 100 food packs, 2 sacks of assorted clothes to the indigents of Sitio Naputkalan.

On the other hand, about 60 lumad youth enjoyed the fun games and happily received toys, pair of slippers and snacks initiated by CPT John Louie Dema-ala, the Civil Military Operation (CMO) Officer of 56IB together with the stakeholders representative of Kiwanis International, MPC, DSWD, Deped teachers and the PNP.

LTC Valdez with DepEd District Supervisor of Talaingod Mr Justiniano D. Cubar distributed backpacks and school supplies to 60 lumad youth in Naputkalan.

Ltc Valdez said, “Upang mas maging makabuluhan ang aming pagbabalik dito sa inyong lugar dito sa Naputkalan ay nakiusap kami na samahan kami ng Lokal na pamahalaan ng Talaingod at iba pang mga ahensiya upang mabigyang katuparan ang inyong mga kahilingan at ninanais, nang sa gayun ay unti-unti nating maisaayos ang inyong pamumuhay sa inyong nasasakupan. Alam namin na itong aming munting handog sa inyo ay hindi sapat para sa araw-araw ngunit ito naman ay magsisilbing panimula patungo sa kaunlaran at makapagbigay nang nararapat na edukasyon para sa ating mga kabataang lumad” he said.

Now, the lumad community gradually realized that there is possibility for the development of their living with the sincere help from the government and with the other stakeholders that has a common goal on helping lumad communities.

The Tatag troopers vowed to continuously look into the welfare of the residents through their Community Support Program (CSP).

56th Infantry Battalion 7th Infantry Division
CPT John Louie Dema-ala (INF)
Public Information Officer
56th Infantry (TATAG) Battalion
Cellphone No: 09673514403
E Mail Address:

[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.
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NegOr Guv urges LGUs to create anti-insurgency task force

From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 13, 2019): NegOr Guv urges LGUs to create anti-insurgency task force

The province of Negros Oriental creates the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to combat insurgency issues headed by Gov. Roel Degamo (center) as chairperson with Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias as co-chair (extreme left in white). (PIA Negros Oriental)

NEGROS ORIENTAL -- Gov. Roel Degamo has directed all local government units (LGUs) particularly those affected by insurgency to create local anti-insurgency task forces to counter communists issues.

The governor made the call shortly after the creation of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) to the seven LGUs where most of the recent killings were executed by suspected Communist New People’s Army Terrorist Groups (CNTGs).

The task force identified the cities and municipalities affected by CNTG, including the cities of Canlaon and Guihulngan and municipalities of Sta. Catalina, Zamboanguita, Siaton, Valencia, and Ayungon.

“We have to put our acts together to address this problem, thus we need the cooperation of everyone, the local officials as well as the government agencies to seriously do their share in our quest for zero insurgency in our province,” appealed Degamo.

Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, commanding officer of 303rd Brigade and one of the key members of PTF-ELCAC, lauded the province’s positive response to eradicate insurgency and asked other members to stand united against the greatest threat to security and peace faced by the province.

For his part, 302nd Commander, Brigadier General Ignacio Madriaga explained that communist insurgency is a grievance-based insurgency that affects the community being manipulated and exploited by NPAs.

“The socio-economic issues or the lack of government basic services are used by the communist insurgents to make the people angry of the government and they try to separate the people and government so that the issues will not be resolved,” Madriaga said.

The general said the military engagement is just one aspect that addresses the multi-faceted problem on socio-economic issues, which is being exploited against the government.

Madriaga said with the anti-insurgency task force, this will facilitate the convergence of efforts of all government agencies to deliver the services and programs to the affected areas to resolve and address the root causes or issues of insurgency.

Local government executives are more aware on the community issues which are being exploited by NPAs to influence locals to take up arms against the government, he said.

“If we can address the needs of the community and come up with a harmonize government efforts and resources and improve their living conditions, then the NPAs will no longer be relevant and lost the people’s trust, confidence and support,” said Madriaga.

The Provincial Task Force is headed by Degamo as Chairman who will be assisted by Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias as Co-Chair with more than 50 various government agencies as members in the different 12 clusters which will synergize efforts and collaboration in their respective areas of concerns.

This is in response to Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 mandating the government bureaucracy to take a “whole-of-nation approach” in defeating insurgency through the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) with him as the National Task Force Chairman.

The army officials also reiterated and the pushed the LGUs to create the municipal and barangay levels anti-insurgency task force to eliminate the issues and continue the development to put the road track to peace. (jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

Indonesian naval vessel ‘Bima Suci’ arrives in Manila for goodwill visit

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 12, 2019): Indonesian naval vessel ‘Bima Suci’ arrives in Manila for goodwill visit

PIER 15, South Harbor – Kapal perang Republik Indonesia (KRI, Naval Vessel of the Republic of Indonesia) “Bima Suci” (945), an Indonesian training ship, docked in Manila on Monday for a four-day goodwill visit aimed at strengthening further the relations between the two Southeast Asian countries.

Philippine, Indonesian navy officials pose for a photo-op. (Martin Sadongdong / MANILA BULLETIN)

Commander Jeffrey Magbanua, executive officer of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Civil-Military Operations, led the Philippine Navy (PN) delegates in according a warm welcome to the 192-member Indonesian Navy contingent led by Lieutenant Colonel Waluyo, commanding officer of the KRI Bima Suci.

“The presence of this Indonesian Navy vessel, led by Lt. Col Waluyo and its 103 Indonesia Naval Cadets and 89 officers and crew contingent, underscores the relationship between our government and navies,” Magbanua said.

“This trumpets the Philippine Navy’s commitment in promoting naval diplomacy and camaraderie and fostering goodwill with our Indonesian Navy counterparts,” he added.

The Philippines and Indonesia have established a long history of defense cooperation.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1949, Indonesia has been one of the closest allies of the Philippines and the Philippine Navy. Both countries have supported each other’s policies in the region such as democracy and the rule of law in the South China Sea.

In fact, a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement on border security was finalized in Kuala Lumpur in 2018 among the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia to prevent lawless elements such as pirates, smugglers, and foreign and local terrorists from using the southern backdoor as their entry and exit points to and from the three countries.

“We know that in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), we have so many issues regarding our maritime sector such as piracy, areas dispute, and fisheries,” Waluyo stated.

“The cooperation is part of Indonesia’s commitments to participate in maintaining security in Southeast Asia which focuses on capacity building in supporting the peace missions and maintaining border and maritime securities,” he said.

Waluyo, however, refused to comment on the sea dispute in the South China Sea involving the Philippines and China as he maintained that the goal of the goodwill visit was to promote naval diplomacy.

‘Bima Suci’

The KRI Bima Suci is a three-mast barque tall ship which is regarded as one of the largest tall ships in the world with a 36,200 sq. ft. of sails, and a capacity for a crew of 200.

Named after a Javanese hero who was a “symbol of force, bravery, and righteousness,” KRI Bima Suci is the Indonesian Navy’s newest and largest sail training ship which is equipped with a series of “extremely sophisticated navigation and communication tools and a reverse osmosis water supply.”

A series of confidence-building activities were prepared for the Indonesian naval cadets and crew of the Bima Suci while they are docked in Manila, including cultural and sports exchange, goodwill games, pre-coordination meeting, ship tour, reciprocal receptions, and courtesy calls.

Aside from that, Waluyo and his party were also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Philippine Navy’s Flag Officer in Command.

The Philippine Navy said that this was the second time the KRI Bima Suci visited the Philippines, with the first visit taking place on October 2018.

The KRI Bima Suci will depart on Thursday, August 15 and a designated Philippine Navy vessel will conduct a “passing exercise” (PASSEX) with the departing vessel.

Army steps up drive vs NPA’s youth recruitment

Posted to Panay News (Aug 13, 2019): Army steps up drive vs NPA’s youth recruitment

ILOILO City – To prevent young people from being recruited by the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), the Philippine Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB) has intensified campaign against such activity.

Included in its campaign is the conduct of peace symposiums and insurgency awareness in highs schools, and youth leadership trainings in municipalities.

“The rebels’ recruitment ruins the future of students who are the hope of their families and our country,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joel Benedict Batara, 61st IB commander.

Since June, the 61IB has so far conducted peace symposiums and insurgency awareness campaign in 10 high schools in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.

Video clips tackling the consequences of joining the armed conflict and the strategies of the rebels in deceiving young minds were shown to students.

“We target junior and senior high school students, especially in upland schools because they are the most vulnerable to CPP-NPA recruitment,” said Batara.

The Army also conducts three-day youth leadership summits where camaraderie among participants are developed.

“They find new friends through the summits,” said Batara, adding that the summits also awaken the sense of volunteerism among the youth.

The Army conducts two youth leadership summits every quarter.

Batara said the rebels deceive the students through discussions of societal issues allegedly not addressed or even perpetrated by the government.

Students in the upland villages are most exposed to recruitment as they seldom witness the development in cities and provinces, said Batara.

“They (rebels) exploit the students first, and then encourage them to go in villages for immersion. Eventually, they will give the students firearms,” he said.

This recruitment strategy of the rebels endanger students, lamented Batara.

“Sometimes in encounters between soldiers and rebels we can see students,” he revealed.

Batara also pushed for the institutionalization of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He said this will develop nationalism and patriotism among the youth.

“It is time we make compulsory the ROTC to protect our youth and students,” he said.

The Army commander also advised parents to always check on their children.

“Ask them of their activities and monitor their schooling. We hear that some students change attitude, go into rallies, and eventually become the target of the NPA because they are potential members. Let us protect our children,” he said.

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.

What Did the New Sulu Sea Trilateral Land Exercise Accomplish?

From The Diplomat (Aug 13, 2019): What Did the New Sulu Sea Trilateral Land Exercise Accomplish? (By Prashanth Parameswaran)

A closer look at the significance of another notable development in the minilateral security mechanism.

Last week, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines wrapped up a joint land patrol exercise. The engagement, a long-mulled step within trilateral collaboration between the three countries, represents the ongoing development of a key manifestation of minilateral security collaboration in Southeast Asia.

As I have noted before in these pages and elsewhere, one of the most important developments in minilateral collaboration in Southeast Asia in recent years has been the advancement of trilateral cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Following intensifying discussions after a spate of kidnappings of nationals by militant groups in mid-2016, collaboration took shape as the Trilateral Cooperative Agreement (TCA) in 2017 and into 2018, with maritime and air patrols and the setting up of hubs for operations in each country.

One of the aspects that had been closely watched regarding TCA’s expansion had been the addition of a ground component to complement the maritime and air elements. While conversations had continued on this front through 2018, the idea began to pick up momentum this year, with Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu announcing at the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) in Singapore in June 2019 that there would finally be the holding of a month-long joint land exercise in Tarakan in North Kalimantan.

Last week, the Sulu Sea trilateral patrols were in the headlines again with the completion of a land exercise within the framework of the Sulu Sea trilateral patrols. The joint training exercise, named the Indomalphi (shorthand for Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) Middle Land Exercise 2019, opened on July 29 and had its closing ceremony in Tarakan, North Kalimantan on August 7.

According to the account provided by Indonesia’s defense ministry (KEMHAN), the exercise saw representatives from the armies of all three sides participate, with the aim of enhancing border cooperation to counter a range of transnational crimes including terrorism as well as to contribute to general peace, security, stability, and economic progress in all three countries. Earlier remarks from the Indonesian defense ministry in June before the exercise kicked off had said that each country would deploy a company of troops and a few observers, with drills including training on areas such as shooting and close-range combat.

According to a statement on the exercise at the closing ceremony read by the inspector general of Indonesia’s defense ministry, Didit Herdiawan, representing Indonesia’s Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, the exercise had been beneficial in exchanging knowledge and skills in handling the terrorism threat, building friendship and trust between the armed forces of the three countries, and enhancing deterrence against threats. The statement also noted that the strategic value of the development of Sulu Sea trilateral cooperation had broader strategic value for the security and stability of Southeast Asia more generally.

To be sure, without much in the way of additional details offered such as personnel numbers and the specific types of interactions involved, it is difficult to evaluate the extent to which the exercise constitutes progress within the building out of Sulu Sea trilateral collaboration between the three countries. And as Ryacudu’s statement noted and consistent with some of his other recent remarks on the subject, there is still much more that needs to be done in order to develop the knowledge, skills, and communication between all three sides to a level that would translate to operational significance on the ground. Indeed, the idea of the exercise was initially to focus on familiarizing each side with their capabilities as well as the terrain for potentially more complex and involved engagements further down the line.

Nonetheless, the further development of the ground component of Sulu Sea trilateral cooperation as well as the expansion of related mechanisms more generally deserve emphasis. Given the seriousness of the challenges these countries face as well as the attention this minilateral security mechanism has received from both within Southeast Asia as well as among major powers, how things evolve on this front will be key to watch in the months and years to come.

Palace OK with seeking US help to monitor Chinese ships

From the Philippine Star (Aug 11, 2019): Palace OK with seeking US help to monitor Chinese ships 

This US Navy photo obtained Oct. 28, 2016 shows the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111), front, and USS Decatur (DDG 73) and the Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Carl Brashear (T-AO 7) as they steam in formation in the Pacific Ocean following a joint exercise with the US Air Force 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Anderson Air Force Base, Guam,on October 27, 2016. Spruance and Decatur and the guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92), along with embarked “Warbirds” and “Devilfish” detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, are deployed in support of maritime security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific as part of a US 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG) under Commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 31.   PO 2nd Class Will Gaskill/US Navy Media Content Operations/AFP

Malacañang is open to seeking help from the United States to monitor Chinese vessels in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone in the wake of concerns over the reported passage of two Chinese warships through Sibutu Strait without clearance.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted that the Philippines has a defense treaty with the US, its traditional ally.

"There's nothing wrong with that. I think we are doing something so we can have our own satellite resources. While we do not have one, that's part of a treaty. There is a treaty between America and the Philippines," Panelo said in a radio interview, referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty signed by Manila and Washington in 1951.

READ: US assures Philippines: Any armed attack in South China Sea will trigger MDT

The treaty allows the two countries to jointly develop their security capabilities to counter external armed attacks.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana raised the idea of seeking assistance from the US last week as he was expressing concern over the passage of Chinese ships through Sibutu Strait in Tawi Tawi without informing the Philippine government.

“In the WPS (West Philippine Sea), if it is far; our radar cannot see them but other agencies like US, another country who has satellite, they can monitor that,” Lorenzana said in a television interview last Friday.

READ: Another Chinese ship seen operating in Philippine waters

There were at least four instances when Chinese ships passed through the strait in the Philippines' southern tip since February, according to the defense chief. The Chinese ships reportedly turned off their automatic identification systems to avoid being detected by the Philippine authorities.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea allows "innocent passage" of ships vessels through a coastal state’s territorial sea. UNCLOS described innocent passage as "continuous and expeditious" and "not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of the coastal state.”

Lorenzana said Chinese commercial vessels need not seek permission from Philippine authorities because of the innocent passage principle. But China has to notify the Philippines if its warships intend to pass through Philippine waters, he added.

READ: DND chief Lorenzana wants China to explain presence of survey ships in Philippine EEZ

Also last week, Ryan Martinson, an assistant professor at the US Naval War College, said two Chinese survey ships were seen operating within the Philippines' EEZ. The ships have been operating in the area since August 3, Martinson said. 

Palace: There should be courtesy among friends

Panelo said the Foreign Affairs department has filed diplomatic protests over the presence of Chinese ships in Philippine waters but could not say how many of the protests have been answered by China.

"What is important is we filed (protests). It's up to them how they will deal with it," the presidential spokesperson said. Panelo said there should be courtesy among two friendly countries but admitted that it's not that simple in the case of the West Philippine Sea row.

READ: Philippines to fire off diplomatic protest over Chinese survey ships, warships

"Kung totoong magkakaibigan tayo, siguro, as a matter of courtesy between two friendly countries, eh, magbigayan tayo (If we are really friends, perhaps as a matter of courtesy between two friendly countries, there should be give and take)," Panelo said.

"If UNCLOS says a country has to seek permission or should inform another country that it plans to pass through an area it does not own, the problem is they would also claim that they own the area. So you see the point, it's really hard to talk about something that you claim but is also being claimed by a other party," he added.

Panelo stressed that the best way to solve the dispute is to talk about it as friends.

READ: Philippines not informed of Chinese warship sail-by in Tawi-Tawi

Asked if Malacañang sees sincerity in China's friendship with the Philippines, Panelo said it remains unknown whether Beijing is aware of the passage of Chinese ships through Philippine waters.

He said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua has given assurances that China would not tolerate any wrongdoing.

"That is precisely the reason why we filed a diplomatic protest, so they would be informed of what happened in that area if they are not yet aware of it," Panelo said.

READ: Palace: China's refusal to recognize arbitral ruling won't stop Duterte from raising it with Xi

Panelo said the administration is also open to Lorenzana's suggestion to build a detachment in Fuga Island, an area in northern Luzon that is reportedly being eyed by Chinese investors.

"Everything that would be beneficial to the security of the country is always okay with the president," he said.

Panelo said Duterte does not need to instruct the Defense department about the matter.

"If you are a member of the Cabinet and you know the policy of your principal, you do not need to wait for orders. You will do it at your own initiative," the president's spokesperson said.

US aircraft carrier drops anchor in Manila to send China message

Posted to Nikkei Asian Review (Aug 11, 2019): US aircraft carrier drops anchor in Manila to send China message (By Cliff Venzon, Nikkei staff writer)

Warship sailed through the tension-soaked South China Sea before port call

Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of Task Force 70, speaks to reporters on board the USS Ronald Reagan on Wednesday. (Photo by Cliff Venzon)

The USS Ronald Reagan, a hulking American aircraft carrier, made a port call in Manila Bay this week with a message for Beijing: the South China Sea must be free and open.

With a motto of "peace through strength," the Nimitz class vessel with around 70 fighter jets and a crew of about 5,000 is among the largest in the U.S. Navy fleet. Its carrier strike group includes the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville.

Before anchoring in Manila, the warship sailed through the disputed South China Sea. Tensions are escalating in the vital shipping lane over China's growing assertiveness in areas of the water claimed by the countries including the Philippines and Vietnam, making it a flash point for potential conflict.

"The beauty of this aircraft carrier is that it provides a lot of security and stability in this region," Rear Admiral Karl Thomas, Commander of Task Force 70, told reporters aboard the ship on Wednesday. "It allows us to go out there and set an environment that these disputes can be solved in a peaceful manner and that's our goal, which is to be able to allow our folks to sail and operate wherever international law allows."

But the disputes rage on. Vietnam said on Thursday that a Chinese survey ship had left its exclusive economic zone following a monthlong standoff with Vietnamese vessels. In June, a larger Chinese vessel sank a Philippine fishing boat in the Reed Bank area, which is within the Philippines' EEZ.

China claims most of the South China Sea, including areas that Manila and Hanoi say are part of their respective EEZs. Beijing has built artificial islands in recent years, with some equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles and long-range surface-to-air missiles, according to a Pentagon report in May.

Regular visits by U.S. Navy ships such as the USS Ronald Reagan help keep China's actions in check, according to Gregory Poling, director at the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, which monitors developments in the South China Sea.

"They also provide opportunities for U.S. Navy assets to operate regularly in the South China Sea, which is helpful in asserting noncompliance with China's efforts to restrict freedom of the seas there," he said.

The aircraft carrier's Manila port call comes as Beijing and Washington are locked in a contest for regional dominance on trade, technology and security fronts. Last week, the U.S. branded China as a "currency manipulator, and speaking in Australia, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper accused China of "destabilizing" the region, saying it is "weaponizing the global commons using predatory economics."

Apart from the port calls, the U.S. and its allies have routinely carried out "Freedom of Navigation Operations" in the South China Sea. Such moves regularly infuriate Beijing.

On the sidelines of the recent ASEAN Regional Forum in Bangkok, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi tacitly pointed a finger at the U.S., saying "nonregional" parties should not meddle in the South China Sea dispute.

Asked about Wang's comments, Commander Thomas said: "The U.S. is a Pacific nation just like any nation in this part of the region, we have a lot of friends, partners and allies... We have a vested interest [and] a national interest that those maritime commons are free and open."

U.S. Navy officials declined to say how long the USS Ronald Reagan would stay in Manila Bay or where it was heading next.

An E-2 Hawkeye plane lands on the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan following a patrol on Tuesday. The vessel was moored in Manila after cruising in international waters in the South China Sea. © AP

The Philippines is seeking greater reassurance from Washington that the U.S. will come to its defense in the case of an armed attack in the water under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty. While President Rodrigo Duterte is pivoting economically toward China, his government has complained about Chinese ships "swarming" Philippine controlled parts of the Spratly Islands.

Aaron Connelly, a research fellow and Southeast Asia expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, sees China's aggressive actions in the South China Sea as "an attempt to prompt Duterte and his supporters to continue questioning the merits of the Mutual Defense Treaty."

"The ultimate goal of such a Chinese strategy would be to break the alliance," Connelly said.

But Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, said on Wednesday that the aircraft carrier's "visit is a great representation of our strong friendship, partnership, and alliance with the Philippines, as well as a testament to our joint commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region."

Amid Washington's reassurances, Duterte's top security advisers have recently issued hawkish comments against China. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza last week called China's takeover of Scarbrough Shoal in 2012 "bullying" and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Espeson said the influx of Chinese into the Philippines was a security "threat."

This week, Duterte said he will bring up Manila's 2016 arbitration victory against Beijing over the South China Sea territorial dispute when he visits China later this month. Beijing has rejected the ruling.

Yet, Duterte last month said South China Sea issue required "a delicate balancing act."

Back aboard the aircraft carrier, U.S. Navy officials sought to underscore the long-standing ties between Washington and Manila. They stood in front of large American and Philippine flags and stressed that the ship has more than 250 crew members of Filipino descent.

Flanked by more than a dozen Filipino-American sailors, Thomas said: "This is a magnificent ship with what she can do, but what makes it more magnificent are the sailors that operate this ship and come together as a team... and operate in all the waters around Philippines."

Commentary: Party-list system, Yellow and Red media fool youth into joining communists

Rigoberto D. Tiglao commentary posted to the Manila Times (Aug 12, 2019): Party-list system, Yellow and Red media fool youth into joining communists (BY RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO)

IT was indeed heart-wrenching to hear mothers tearfully relating at a Senate hearing, how their teenage daughters — for chrissake! daughters — abandoned their homes and schools as they were recruited to become full-time cadres of Anakbayan which, I will mince no words, is one of the fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

To be honest, I am astonished at how the communists are still able to recruit students – by definition an educated, thinking sector – into their ranks, most likely to lose their lives for a useless cause, and be buried in unmarked graves in some jungle.

Maybe it’s self-serving, but in my time, there were so many things that would have easily convinced anyone to join the Communist Party. There was the global student movement against the “Establishment.” There was the Vietnam war which made “US imperialism” so real. Philippine elites were in deadly combat, so that two villages in the North were even ruthlessly burned to the ground because they didn’t vote for one gubernatorial candidate.

The Communist Party even succeeded in nearly pushing things to breaking point when it bombed with four grenades the Liberal Party’s miting de avance in 1971. Thousands of students marched to lay siege to Malacañang, with several killed or wounded by brutal “fascist police.” The biggest country in the world, China, was at the height of its Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which purportedly would make it the beacon for socialist revolutions worldwide. And of course, there was Che Guevara, of whom countless youths fancied themselves to be the reincarnation of.

NPA propaganda in a web-only news site. Contrary to media regulations, Bulatlat doesn’t disclose who its editors are, not even its address.

But now, and in the past decade, there have been no similar events to make up such a “revolutionary flow.” Communism as an ideology or even program of government has failed terribly, with Russia, and even China to some extent, abandoning it and relying on capitalist mechanisms for their growth. Agrarian reform has been undertaken here to such an extent that the problem has become the fall in land productivity because of the break-up of large farms.

In my era, communist ideology had an allure for young people as materials on it were banned and therefore were nearly esoteric, hidden books of power — Mao’s Little Red Book, his Selected Works, even Das Kapital. Communist demagogue Jose Ma. Sison’s blueprint for revolution Philippine Society and Revolution–which he plagiarized from Indonesian communist leader D.N. Aidit’s Indonesian Society and Indonesian Revolution–was distributed secretly only through the party.

Now, these works are freely available in the world wide web, and even Sison’s works of plagiarism are sold at National Book Store.

Quite ironically, there are things that did not exist during that era of revolutionary flow that exist now, and which explain why the communists still manage to fool some students into joining their useless, bloody cause.

First, the Corazon Aquino’ regime’s naïve idea that the party-list system would encourage the communists to pursue their goals in the framework of democracy, completely backfired. Instead, it has given their representatives in Congress a wide platform to disseminate the party’s propaganda line, which is mainly of elected governments always being a puppet of “US imperialism,” exploiting and persecuting the masses.

A press statement of the Communist Party, say, on the massacre in Sagay, Negros Oriental, would most likely be ignored by media. But a similar statement by a congressman of Bayan Muna or Gabriela–because he is a congressman–will be published. With the constant propaganda of party-list representatives in media, the communist agenda would appear to the youth to be legitimate. Why wouldn’t it be as these representatives are elected, they would wrongly think.

But not only that, the Communist Party has been able to set up a slew of NGOs–funded even by US and European bleeding-heart foundations–that pursue its propaganda tack. The most important interrelated messages of this are two: 1) that New People’s Army (NPA) casualties in battles with the military, are not really casualties, but extrajudicial killings, with the victims merely being activists of some farmers’ organizations; and 2) that these proves the government is a fascist state, suppressing the masses and therefore it is the duty of Filipinos to rebel – and help the communists. Before, the only “NGOs” the party managed to use as its propaganda venues were Church-based entities focusing on alleged human rights violations.

A student barraged with that kind of propaganda and, as young people do, seeking an identity and a meaning in life, creates an image of himself or herself as a noble fighter for the “masses.”

Second, the basic conditions for such massive propaganda effort to be successful is something that did not exist during Martial Law: total freedom of the press.

What makes it worse today is that there is a corps of media people who in their youth were part of the communist movement, and who believe that their contribution to the Revolution would be in media as editors allowing pro-communist propaganda to be published or even reported in the first place.

They are mostly in the Yellow media. Philippine Star has a regular columnist who had been (or still is) a Politburo member for decades, while the Manila Bulletin has one whose writings are straight out of a communist manifesto. The Philippine Daily Inquirer has romanticized the NPA since its founding in 1985, with its correspondents in the field being given exclusive access by NPA commanders. Check out newspaper photos of the NPA, some of which I have included in this piece, and I’m sure you will agree with me.

When a student being recruited into the communist ranks therefore reads even in mainstream media things that his recruiters have been telling him, the party’s views are “validated.’

Similarly contributing to the youth’s recruitment to the communist insurgency are what I would term the “pink” academics. “Pink” since while they still believe in or were part of the Red revolution, they didn’t have the balls to actually join it or later preferred a comfortable bourgeois life even as they tell their students to “serve the people” and join the NPA.
The reality: NPA killed in firefights with military.PHOTOS FROM AFP

A typically naïve thinking of these pink academics is that the communists, despite their false ideology, function to put pressure on the elites to pursue social reforms. They obviously aren’t bothered by the fact that such “pressure” has and will result in the wasted lives of thousands of our youth.

Third, one thing that didn’t exist in the 1970s, but which has tremendously helped the communists’ recruitment effort is the worldwide web. In my time, one could get an idea of what was happening in the communist movement, or what its current efforts involved, only though the party newspaper Ang Bayan, mimeographed in the early 1970s and tediously distributed through its organization and, when their cadres got control of them, in campus newspapers.But now there’s the worldwide web, accessible even through cellphones and in cheap internet cafes in much of the Philippines, by which a student being recruited would get to read how the NPA is winning battles, how it is serving the people, how it is resisting a fascist state through websites such as (set up 18 years ago) and the websites of the CPP, the NPA and the National Democratic Front (NDF). A youth immersing himself totally in these websites could well believe that everything that his parents, his school, even common sense say are false, and are merely the propaganda of the ruling class.

This of course is the same worldwide web that Western analysts have concluded has been the main factor that has radicalized young Muslims all over the world, including the rich nations, to join even the most extremist organizations such as the Islamic State.

There is not even a government site countering the propaganda of these outfits. As the director-general of the National Intelligence Coordinating Center has admitted: “If there is an area where we are losing against the CPP-NDF-NPA, it is in the arena of propaganda.”

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao
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Large- scale recruitment as Duterte orders creation of five more battalions of SAF

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 12, 2019): Large- scale recruitment as Duterte orders creation of five more battalions of SAF

President Duterte wants the creation of five more battalions of the Special Action Force (SAF), the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said that this was relayed to him by the President who wants the police to be more active in internal security operations in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

A battalion of SAF has more or less 400 commandos and it means another huge recruitment for the PNP, according to Albayalde.

“There is already an order from the President to add five more battalions for our SAF so this means large-scale recruitment again for the PNP,” said Albayalde.

Currently, SAF has 11 battalions deployed in various parts of the country, according to Police Lt. Jonalyn Malnat, spokesperson of SAF.

Malnat said the 11 battalions that SAF currently has do not include the recently-formed five battalions of SAF commandos currently undergoing comando training.

After his assumption of the presidency, Duterte ordered the creation of five more battalions of the PNP’s elite force.

SAF is the most-equipped and highly-trained unit of the PNP. Before a policeman is fully accepted into the unit, he has to pass a test mission which means actual battle with armed enemies of the State.

Albayalde said he expects discussion in the coming days as to where the funds for five more battalions would be sourced.

The fund includes training and equipment expenses and salary of the policemen whose entry level salary is now at P30,000.

Still no proof of Northern Luzon terror plot – PNP

From the Philippine Star (Aug 13, 2019): Still no proof of Northern Luzon terror plot – PNP

There is no concrete evidence that Islamic State (IS)-affiliated terrorists are planning to conduct attacks in cities in Northern Luzon, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.

He said this was the initial information received from their intelligence operatives who are validating the terror threat report from the military.

“Wala pa naman tayong makuhang concrete evidence na talagang confirmed po yung information na yan,” Albayalde told radio station dzMM yesterday.

An alert memo from the Armed forces of the Philippines-Northern Luzon Command (AFP-Nolcom) said Islamic militants are plotting to attack “Crusader Cities” or target areas to incite a religious war.

The alleged targets include Catholic churches in Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Manaoag, Pangasinan and Tuguegarao City in Cagayan.

Even if the information remains raw, Albayalde has directed police commanders in Northern Luzon to intensify measures to secure potential targets and prevent possible terror attacks.

He advised the public not to be afraid if they notice that there are more police officers on the streets.

Ilocos police director Brig. Gen. Joel Orduna placed the entire region on full alert status to ensure the availability of police officers in the event of emergencies.

“We have a directive to beef up security forces and establish police patrols and checkpoints in the affected areas,” he said.
NBI probe

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to submit an initial report before the end of August on the alleged terror plot of IS in Northern Luzon.

Guevarra ordered the NBI to check on the veracity of the information received by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that the IS is planning to sow terror on some Catholic churches in Northern Luzon.

“I will give the NBI as much time as needed to validate, if not neutralize, this threat. I will direct the agency to submit an initial report before the end of this month,” said Guevarra.

He said that just like illegal drugs, they treat all terrorism-related information seriously.

“Terrorism, like illegal drugs, is topmost priority for the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to its violent nature and the widespread fear and anxiety that it brings to the general public,” he added.

There have been reports that the intelligence units of the AFP-Nolcom issued an alert memo allegedly about a “Crusader City” with business centers and “Crusader Churches” in their area as targets for terror attack.

The authorities are verifying reports that jihadists are planning to bomb Catholic churches in the cities.

The military is reportedly monitoring Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Manaoag, Pangasinan and Tuguegarao City in Cagayan.

The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is a popular pilgrimage site located in Pangasinan.

Laoag and Vigan have historical landmarks, including major churches that are among favorite tourist destinations, while an 18th-century baroque church can be found in Tuguegarao.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said yesterday that the military is monitoring the IS-inspired Abu Sayyaf and their foreign cohorts that could attack through suicide bombing.

The military said the local terror group and the foreign militants might have been inspired by its success in staging the previous suicide bombing last June 28 that hit a military camp in Indanan, Sulu.

“So we have monitored that they will continue to do it,” said Sobejana.

Sobejana assured the people that the military has intensified intelligence efforts to prevent the terrorists from launching another suicide bombing.

“But we in the Armed Forces being mandated to secure everybody are stepping up also or leveling up our intelligence efforts so that barbaric act of exploding human beings in the middle of the crowd will be prevented,” Sobejana said.

He appealed to the public to remain vigilant since the Abu Sayyaf could launch suicide attacks. 

Abu Sayyaf members attack in Sulu, 3 dead

From the Manila Times (Aug 12, 2019): Abu Sayyaf members attack in Sulu, 3 dead

A soldier, a member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) and a three-year-old girl died when members of the Abu Sayyaf Group attacked in Talipao, Sulu on Monday, while Muslims were celebrating Eid’l Adha, the military said.

Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said the attack occurred at 8:45 a.m. in Barangay Kagay.

The soldier and the Cafgu member were on board a motorcycle were fired upon by Abu Sayyaf members. They died on the spot.

Two children were also hit but the younger one did not make it.

The military condemned the attack and launched pursuit operations against the attackers.

“This blatant disregard for the spirit of Islamic festivities is a clear disrespect of the Islam teachings. We appeal to the entire Tausug community not to succumb to the ASG’s desperate move of sowing fear among our people,” said Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu.

Westmincom on guard against suicide bombings

From the Philippine Star (Aug 12, 2019): Westmincom on guard against suicide bombings

The Islamic State-inspired Abu Sayyaf group and foreign militants that are with them are planning more suicide bombings after their June 28 attack in Sulu, the chief of the military's Western Mindanao Command said Monday.

“So we have monitored that they will continue to do it,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana told a local TV station here.

Sobejana assured the public, however, that the Armed Forces have ramped up intelligence operations to prevent more bombings.

"We in the armed forces, being mandated to secure everybody, are stepping up also or leveling up our intelligence efforts so that before they can launch that barbaric act of exploding human beings in the middle of the crowd will be prevented," Sobejana said.

“The level of terroristic actions being done by the local as well as the foreign terrorist group here in the country had leveled up. Before, they used to place IED (improvised explosive device) in the points of convergence where people gathered and lately there was already this human bomb or suicide bomber,” Sobejana warned.

He said the military is keeping an eye on areas that might be susceptible to attack, adding that “we know that sources of these IED attacks or IED fabrication or even the suicide bombing have been isolated to the island provinces like Sulu and also in Basilan as well as in Maguindanao.”
Maintaining peace and order also public's job

The military commander reminded the public to be more vigilant against possible attacks.

“Peace is people empowerment in addressing challenging environment by letting them know how to identify threats like the IEDS and the immediate actions that they should do whenever they observed one,” Sobejana said.

Sobejana also said security along the country's maritime border with Malaysia will be tightened through Naval Forces Western Mindanao, which is expected to deploy more patrols against piracy and kidnapping.

“So we are accelerating our operations in those areas and hopefully we can neutralize the Abu Sayyaf group by the end of this year,” Sobejana said.

He said neutralizing the Abu Sayyaf group would also mean preventing foreign militants from seeking refuge in the southern Philippines.

The military estimates there are about 300 Abu Sayyaf members hiding in the mountains of Sulu while a few are also on the run in the jungles of Basilan.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen kill 3, including toddler, in Eid’l Adha attack

From GMA News Online (Aug 12, 2019): Abu Sayyaf gunmen kill 3, including toddler, in Eid’l Adha attack

Two motorcyclists and a two-year-old were killed on Monday, the Eid’l Adha holiday, during an Abu Sayyaf Group attack outside Sulu's Talipao town.

According to the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command, Private First Class Joie Halasan of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion and Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit militiaman Aldazier Hassan were on a motorcycle, heading down the Patikul-Talipao road, when the gunmen opened fire on them.

The soldier and militiaman were killed during the attack, while two children, 2-year-old Abdukalim Sahisa and an 11-year-old were wounded.

The children were rushed to hospital where the Sahisa, unfortunately, expired at around 12:56 p.m.

The 11-year-old, a student at the Barangay Kagay Elementary School, remained in critical condition.

“We are deeply saddened by this very unfortunate incident that killed two of our valiant personnel and an innocent child,” said Joint Task Force Sulu commander Major General Corleto Vinluan Jr.

“We assure the families and friends of the victims that JTF Sulu will do its best to ensure that the perpetrators of this treacherous act will be brought to justice. This blatant disregard for the spirit of Islamic festivities is a clear disrespect of Islam's teachings," added Vinluan.

"We appeal to the entire Tausug Community not to succumb to the ASG’s desperate move of sowing fear among our people."

Likewise, Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana extended his sympathies to the bereaved families of the victims and promised that they would be provided with assistance.

Cops to go on campus tour to stop Red recruitment

From the Manila Standard (Aug 12, 2019): Cops to go on campus tour to stop Red recruitment

The Philippine National Police plans to deploy policemen inside universities and colleges in Metro Manila to stem the recruitment of students by communist New People’s Army rebels.

Metropolitan police director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the presence of policemen in campuses would deter potential NPA recruitment and thus ensure the safety and security of the students.

Eleazar bared his intention on Sunday following a Senate hearing where parents of some senior high school students testified how their children went missing after being recruited by left-leaning organizations.

Previously, the PNP planned to position policemen inside Metro Manila campuses, but university and college officials rebuffed the plan.

Eleazar said he believes that allowing police officers access to campuses would not disrupt or interfere in school activities.

During a Senate hearing, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former PNP chief Senator Ronald dela Rosa said about 513 minors allegedly recruited by the underground movement in the last 20 years have already been neutralized.

“This is alarming in the sense that these are minors who should be studying. Why are they cout on the streets? They are being brainwashed. Their brains are being poisoned by the leftists to fight the government. That’s very alarming,” he said in Filipino.

The PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group has filed a complaint against Anakbayan over the cases of a missing senior high school student, but the left-leaning group denied the allegations they were brainwashing students.

Instead, Anakbayan assailed the government, saying the revival of mandatory Reserve Officer’ Training Corps program would brainwash high school students.

In an interview with GMA News, however, former Bayan Muna party-list representative Teddy Casiño said students who joint left-leaning organizations do not automatically become NPA members.

Casiño said that while left-leaning organizations like Anakbayan recruit members, they do not do so for the NPA.

Casiño said the end goal of joining a left-leaning organization is to make members more involved and aware of national issues.

“Most of the Anakbayan members I know did not become NPA. Many of them, in fact, are part of the government now,” Casiño said.

Military vows to end insurgency in Eastern Visayas

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 12, 2019): Military vows to end insurgency in Eastern Visayas

CATBALOGAN CITY –– Government troops in Eastern Visayas are determined to end the insurgency problem in the region.

Major General Pio Diñoso III, commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division, said they would be given the “best” both in personnel and in assets after President Duterte identified Eastern Visayas as a “priority area.”

“The President said Samar (Island) is one of the priority areas, meaning we have the support. They will bring in all the best officials, armors, and air assets,” said Diñoso, who assumed the post last July 5.

“There is a marching order that before the President steps down, we can at least contain, not necessarily eliminate, the insurgency problem to a manageable level. And it’s doable,” he added.

President Duterte earlier issued Executive Order 70 which calls for a ‘whole of nation’ approach in ending the insurgency problem in the country.

Samar Island is composed of the provinces of Western Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar, where the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA) is still felt and where most of the firefights involving government troops and the rebels happen.

Diñoso wanted the return of two battalions to the region to help contain the communist rebels here.

He also expected to be given at least two choppers out of the 32 choppers to be procured by the national government.

If they have an air asset, the general said it would be easy for them to track down the rebels in the mountains.

At present, the 8th ID has two choppers under its Tactical Operations Group.

Diñoso, meanwhile, asked all local government leaders to support the Duterte administration campaign in addressing the region’s insurgency problem.

“Executive Order 70 [was] issued by the Chief Executive so supporting the order is not an option but mandatory. So the mayors have to follow the President and non-compliance will be dealt with by the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government),” he said.

CAFGU member wounded in NPA attack in Northern Samar

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 12, 2019): CAFGU member wounded in NPA attack in Northern Samar

TACLOBAN CITY –– A member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) was wounded when alleged members of the New People’s Army attacked their detachment in Las Navas town, Northern Samar on Sunday, August 11.

Reports reaching the regional police headquarters in Palo, Leyte indicated that Rolando Obiado, Sr. was hit on his foot during the 9:30 p.m. attack.

The Cafgu members managed to fight back which resulted to a five-minute firefight.

The rebels, who were positioned 150 meters away from the detachment, fled.

Residents from rebel-influenced Kidapawan villages hold anti-NPA rally

From MindaNews (Aug 12, 2019): Residents from rebel-influenced Kidapawan villages hold anti-NPA rally

KIDAPAWAN CITY— Close to a hundred residents from eight villages here marched the streets along the national highway on Monday, demanding that the communist guerillas leave them so they could live ‘peacefully’.

Based on the pamphlets distributed along the streets, the rally had the support of City Mayor Joseph Arellano Evangelista and the Army’s 72nd Infantry Battalion.

The Army in North Cotabato said elements of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) have been monitored to have established mass bases in the villages of Santo Nino, Linangkob, Ginatilan, Sikitan, Katipunan, Gayola, San Roque, and San Isidro.

The rally participants gathered near a commercial bank and started to march the streets, at around 8:30 a.m., towards the city plaza. They later moved to the city gymnasium for a short program.

When one of the participants was interviewed by Ronda FM Kidapawan News Patrol, he said elements of the 72nd IB invited them to join a “people’s march.”

A farmer from Barangay Santo Nino who requested media not to identify him said he joined the rally to shoo the NPA out of their village.

“Their (NPA’s) presence in our village give us chills. We live in fear, most of the time. Now we want them out from our place so we could sleep without fear of being subjected to harassments,” the farmer said in Cebuano.

Lt. Col. Rhodjun Rosales, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said the rally was proof the people have spoken against the rebels.

“It is high time na nangyayari ito. Kasi nga, nadeklara ang NPA na isang communist terror group sa Pilipinas (It is high time this is happening because the NPA has been declared as a terror group in the Philippines), Rosales said.

Rosales stressed the rally came as an offshoot of Executive Order 70 that President

Duterte issued on December 4, 2018, EO 70, “institutionalizing 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.”

“We are actually inviting local guerillas in our areas of responsibilities to come to a table where they could negotiate with the government for a peaceful resolution of conflict,” he explained.

Rosales named the NPA leaders he wants to meet, among them Ka Jasmine, Ka Deborah, Chuy, and other leaders of the NPA Front 51 of the NPA Front 72 Far South Mindanao Regional Command.

Reports from the Army said Ka Jasmine is the commander of NPA Front 51; that Chuy operates in the hinterlands of Magpet, Arakan, Antipas, and President Roxas, all in North Cotabato.

Rosales also named Norma Capuyan, chair of the Apo Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato, a people’s organization, along with the NPA leaders.

The 39th IB’s area of responsibility includes Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato; Columbio in Sultan Kudarat; and the whole province of Davao del Sur.

The city of Kidapawan where the anti-NPA rally was held has been classified by the 39th IB as ‘area of interest.’

DILG wants to restore law against subversion

From the Philippine Star (Aug 13, 2019): DILG wants to restore law against subversion

The anti-subversion law or RA 1700 was passed in June 1957 during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia. The law outlawed the Hukbalahap movement and the communist party for aiming to set up a totalitarian regime in the Philippines and placing the country under a foreign power.

From 500 to 1,000 youths are indocrinated annually by communist rebels, and the government should consider restoring the law making subversion a criminal offense.

This is according to Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), who also wants to amend and strengthen the law against terrorism.

Año issued the statement amid concerns raised by parents about their children who have gone missing reportedly after being recruited by left-leaning organizations. He said youth group Anakbayan is also reportedly recruiting students to join a rebellion against the government.

He told The STAR that Republic Act 9372, the Human Security Act, has not been used against terrorism because it punished even honest mistakes of law enforcers with stiff fines and imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The anti-subversion law or RA 1700 was passed in June 1957 during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia. The law outlawed the Hukbalahap movement and the communist party for aiming to set up a totalitarian regime in the Philippines and placing the country under a foreign power.

During martial law, RA 1700 was expanded through Presidential Decree 885 in 1976 and PD 1835 in 1981. The decrees made it a subversive criminal act to be affiliated with a group, attend a meeting or take part in any activity meant to overthrow the government.

In September 1992, then president Fidel Ramos repealed the law that made subversion a criminal offense, but sedition remained a crime. RA 7636 also legalized the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) amid peace talks with the rebels.

Año, however, lamented that the CPP has only been fooling the government as its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) continues to wage a rebellion.

Citing intelligence reports, Año said some 500 to 1,000 youths are being indocrinated every year by the CPP-NPA to either become their fighters or serve as militant student leaders in their respective schools.

He said reviving the anti-subversion law would complement President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70, which created the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Año noted that the United States has not repealed its Communist Control Act of 1954.

“That’s why it’s impossible for subversive organizations to thrive in the US,” he said.
‘Envoys of peace’

Meanwhile, the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) has called on the youth to honor their parents and strive to become future leaders and good citizens of the country.

“Honor your parents, be ambitious, be cautious and be the ambassadors of peace and development in your communities,” said EMC chief Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. in the light of the Senate’s investigation on the missing students.

He issued the challenge during the closing program of Youth For Peace Movement’s Youth Leaders Summit-Eastern Mindanao, in Mt. Moriah Camp, Pagatpat, Malaybalay, Bukidnon last Sunday.

Santos related his message to the concerns and stories of parents who appeared recently in the Senate seeking help for their children who disowned their families after they were recruited by some party-list groups.?Participants of the youth activity responded by handing over their proposed program of activities, an output of their workshop on how they will contribute to peace and development.

It covers four thematic programs: organizational development, community development, peace communication, and youth development.?The EMC said the three-day youth activity – a gathering of 117 youth leaders from Regions 10, 11, 12 and 13 – includes a cultural night, lectures on local governance, government’s peace and development programs and a workshop.?The closing activity was likewise graced by DILG Assistant Secretary for Mindanao affairs Marjorie Jalosjos and executive director Julius Gutierrez of the National Youth Commission.

Sen. Leila de Lima has encouraged the Filipino youth to serve as instruments for positive change in society amid the enormous challenges facing the country.

“I am calling on all the Filipino youth to let their voices be heard and to contribute in achieving our shared causes for your family and our country,” De Lima said in her message for the International Youth Day celebration on Aug. 12.

The Filipino youth, as the country’s future leaders, should be given a chance to succeed and to live in a society founded on the principle of humility, compassion and selfless public service, De Lima emphasized.

The former election lawyer also called on the Filipino youth to register for future elections to secure a chance to elect the right leaders who will advance their welfare and rights.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has slated the voter registration period from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2019 despite calls for the postponement of the 2020 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Sadly, De Lima said, today’s youth are faced with enormous challenges that could derail their development toward becoming responsible and productive citizens of the nation.

Slain soldier in Negros encounter identified

From Panay News (Aug 13, 2019): Slain soldier in Negros encounter identified

BACOLOD City – The Philippine Army soldier, who was killed in a gun battle with New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Himamaylan City,Negros Occidental has been identified.

He was Private First Class Joel Fariñas, a report from the 62nd Infantry Battalion (62IB) showed.

The two wounded were Sergeant Froilan Tosalem and Corporal Oliver Porten.

A follow-up search made by government forces yielded several ammunition, gun parts, and an electrical wire used for anti-personnel improvised explosive devices.

The 62IB also forwarded a copy of an extortion letter signed by NPA-Regional Taxation Group leader Armando Magbanua.

On August 8, 62IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Igberto Dacoscos said he sent soldiers to the area of Barangay Buenavista after receiving complaints from local residents of NPA’s presence.

As they were patrolling the area, the soldiers encountered 20 NPA insurgents, prompting a gun battle.

CPP/NDF-CPDF: CPDF condemns latest attack on human rights volunteer in Cordillera

NDF-Cordillera People's Democratic Front (CPDF) propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 8, 2019): CPDF condemns latest attack on human rights volunteer in Cordillera

AUGUST 08, 2019

Immediately after its creation, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in the Cordillera has reared its evil head and plans – to “neutralize” activists through constant harassment, filing of trumped up charges, illegal arrests and extra-judicial killings, all to silence the people’s resistance in the region. After experiencing incessant vilification and red-tagging, a human rights volunteer of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM), Brandon Lee, was targeted for liquidation by the Duterte death squad at 5:00 in the afternoon of August 7, 2019. Fortunately, he survived the attack.

Before the assassination attempt, Lee has been receiving death threats and has been accused by the AFP-PNP as an “NPA supporter” in malicious and dirty propaganda that was disseminated in different parts of the province. Though a Chinese-American, Lee has long been accepted by the Tuwali of Ifugao as he is married to a Tuwali woman and has a permanent residency status in the Philippines.

Since the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach during the Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino 2 regime, Ifugao has become a killing ground for mass leaders who stand up for people’s rights and livelihood. As in the case of William Bugatti in 2014 and Ricardo Mayumi in 2018, there can be no other culprit in this attempt on Lee’s life except for the mercenary armed forces of the US-Duterte regime. Acting on orders from their commander-in-chief, the AFP-PNP and their paramilitary forces have launched a nationwide killing spree as an essential part of Oplan Kapanatagan. Along with the peddling of lies and deceptions, these fascist attacks are meant to shock the people into submission and to silence all opposition to the status quo.

Duterte’s murderous intent against the Filipino people further shows who he really serves – the interests of his narrow clique, the bourgeois compradors and landlords and his imperialist masters who applaud him at the expense of the masses. As shown in all previous so-called counter-insurgency schemes under different reactionary regimes since Marcos, the Cordillera people, together with the majority of the oppressed and exploited masses of the country, will never be cowed. With the intensified attacks against the people, they are further driven to follow the path of the armed revolutionary movement.

The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) is untiring in its call for the Cordillera people to steadfastly unite in solidarity to persevere in the national-democratic revolution. In front of Duterte’s tyrannic regime, we should further break the chains of fear that his militarist minions want to instill upon us. We should expose and oppose the evil schemes of the AFP-PNP and the ‘whole-of-nation approach’ implemented through the RTF-ELCAC that further drives the people down the pit of intensified exploitation and oppression. We should persevere in the fight for our lives, lands and resources, and join the growing movement for the ouster of this corrupt, brutal and traitor regime.

Justice for Brandon Lee and all victims of state terrorism!

Fight the terrorism and deceptions of the RTF-ELCAC!

Oust the US-Duterte regime!

FETAD! Advance the people’s armed revolution!

CPP/NPA-Ifugao: 54th IB PA idi inggana tatta: Dakkes, Naranggas ken Bastos!

NPA-Ifugao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 11, 2019): 54th IB PA idi inggana tatta: Dakkes, Naranggas ken Bastos!

AUGUST 11, 2019

“Nakapatpateg ken saan nga ipapaidam dagiti karbengan ti umili nga ibangon ti maysa a nainkalintegan, demokratiko ken addaan kappia a gimong, agipatpatungpal kadagiti epektibo nga addang nanigurado laban iti pananglipit ken tiranya kas iti rehimen a Duterte.”

–Article 2, Maikatlo a paset – Panagrespetar kadagiti karbengan Pantao,
CARHRIHL (Kumprehensibo a Tulagan iti Panagrespeto iti Karbengan Pantao
ken Internasyunal a Makatao a Linteg)

Ngem daytoy a karbengan ket ginagara a linablabseng ti Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Manipud idi inggana tatta, itultuloy da dagiti dakkes nga aramid iti panangbaddek kadagiti karbengan ti umili ken panangburak iti kappia. Tatta, lalo pay a manaynayonan ken umatateddogen ti listaan da kadagiti kaso ti pananglabsing iti karbengan-pantao dagitoy napalabas a bulan. Dagitoy ti reklamo ti umili:
  • Dinadael dagiti soldados ti tolda ken inabutan ti kaldero a kukua ti sibilyan idiay Brgy. Nungulunan, Hungduan idi June 2019. Ti tolda ken kaldero ket napatpateg la unay nga ususar ti umili a masapul nga aywanan.
  • Idiay Brgy. Namal, Asipulo, tinakaw dagiti soldados dagiti taraken a manok ti maysa a sibilyan idi April 2019.
  • Idiay met Brgy. Gumhang, Tinoc, nalapdan nga agtrabaho ti maysa a sibilyan idi nagkampo dagiti soldados iti arubayan ti balay na. Haan isuna makapanaw gapu iti danag nga amangan nu rikisaen ti balay na wenno takawen dagiti ususar na.
  • Sinerrek ti balay ken tinakaw dagiti soldados ti kwintas ti maysa a sibilyan idiay Brgy. Ahin, Tinoc idi March 2019.

Nagtultuloy nga aramid ti AFP ti panangbastos kadagiti babbai. Nu malagip tayo ti manangidadanes a sao idi dagiti soldados a 54th IB PA a ₱200 laeng ti gatad ti maysa a balasang idiay Pihipe, Brgy. Camandag, Asipulo. Ket inggana tatta, nababa latta ti panagkita ken panagrespetar da kadagiti kababaihan:
  • Idiay Lab-ong, Brgy. Namal, Asipulo ket sinerrek ti maysa a soldado ti balay ti maysa a naasawaan a babbai ken “hinipuan” ti suso na. Nagbayad laengen ti ₱10,000 iti pamilya ti babbai tapno haan nga idarum ti panangbastos.
  • Adda met laeng kaso ti pananghipo iti maysa a balasang idiay Brgy. Danggo, Tinoc.
  • Pirmi ti buteng a narikna ti agiina idiay Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya idi pinarikosan ken tinugtog ti balay da iti tengnga ti rabii idi April 2019.

Maminmano a darasen a pinadpadas ti AFP a pasayaaten da ti imahe da. Ngem kas maysa a mabaybayadan a hukbo nga awan-biang iti ordinary nga umili, haan na latta kaya a kaluban ti pudno a kagagalad na. Nalawag iti amin: ti AFP ket dakkes, naranggas ken bastos!

Rumbeng laeng nga agurnos tayo amin! Ti kolektibo a pigsa ti panglaban tayo iti kumarkaro a ranggas ti AFP. Agtinnulong tayo nga ibutaktak ken labanan dagiti panaglabsing kadagiti karbengan-pantao ti AFP.

Sumuporta ken sumilpo iti NPA, ti pudno nga soldados ti umili ken mangitantandudo iti karbengan-tao!