Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Kalinaw News: Two wounded in bomb explosion in Maguindanao

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 22, 2019): Two wounded in bomb explosion in Maguindanao

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Two soldiers belonged to 57th Infantry Battalion were wounded in an explosion in Brgy. Bakat, Rajah Buayan Maguindanao yesterday afternoon.

The troops were conducting security operation at around 1:00 p.m. when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded hitting PFC Narciso B. Monreal on his legs and stomach and Sgt. Archie L. Dema-ala on his arms.

The wounded soldiers were immediately brought at a hospital in Midsayap, North Cotabato for immediate medical treatment. They were declared out of danger and were brought to Camp Siongco Station Hospital here for their recuperation.

Meanwhile, another IED exploded in Brgy Brar, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao at around 7:25 p.m. No one was reported hurt during the blast.

Troops of 90 th Infantry Battalion responded in the area of explosion and coordinated the incident to 3 rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) of the Army.

When the 3 rd EOD team arrived in the area for post-blast investigation, another unexploded IED was found at 10:25 p.m. near the area of explosion. The IED was successfully disrupted without causing any harm to the residents near the area.

“The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are responsible for the series of bombing in Maguindanao as a result of our intensive military operation against the terror and lawless groups that are trying to disrupt the peace and security in Maguindanao,” 6th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdadao Carreon said.

Another suspected (IED) was discovered Crossing Sigbul, Brgy. Sadsalan in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat yesterday morning after two men riding a motorcycle left a sack at a roadside when they evaded a military and police checkpoint.

The government troops noticed that the riders turned back 150 meters away from the checkpoint area and throw the sack at a roadside.
Troops of 2 nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion and PNP-Lambayong immediately cordoned and checked the area left with sack. It was found out that it contained an 81mm mortar after evaluation from the PNP Explosive and Ordnance Disposal team.

“The mortar is believed to be used in making improvised explosive devices by the terror group Mindanao,” said Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon.

“I commend our government troops for their fast action to pre-empt possible bombing attempt in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat and I am urging our civilian counterparts to report immediately any suspicious things or persons to the authority,” Maj. Gen. Carreon

Division Public Affairs Office 6th Infantry Division Philippine Army
Maj Arvin G Encinas
Chief, Public Affairs Office, 6ID, PA
Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao

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Kalinaw News: Officers from former KMU affiliated union take oath to new organization

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 22, 2019): Officers from former KMU affiliated union take oath to new organization

Mawab, Compostela Valley – The Officers of HKJ-3 Workers Union of Musahamat Farm Incorporated take their formal oath at Magnaga Waters Beach Resort, BrgyMagnagaPantukan, Compostela Valley Province on August 20, 2019.

HKJ-3 Workers Union was the former Musahamat Workers Labor Union whom affiliated to Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). They were used for selfish gains and being indoctrinated to go against the management of the company resulting to different mass demonstrations.

However, members having known the depth of KMU’s purpose, officers seek help and divulged truth to the 71st Infantry (Kaibigan) Battalion. Consequently, it resulted to disaffiliation of the group to the left-leaning organization and organized new union and registered it as HKJ 3 Workers Union.

The Officers formally take their oath which signifies starting anew as HKJ-3 Workers Union and setting a pace with tenacity of purpose. The oath taking was facilitated by MsAerine Marie R Reyes, Regional Director of National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) Davao.

Moreover, during the oath taking ceremony, the union gave certificate of appreciation to Lieutenant Colonel Esteveyn E Ducusin, Battalion Commander of 71st IB for his steadfast support and guidance to HKJ 3 Workers Union.

“This is indeed an accomplishment not just of the unit and AFP but also of the Local Government Unit and government agencies that helped the union changed their affiliation”, Ducusin said “We will assure that we will continue to implement relevant activities for further development of the union,” Ducusin added.

71st Infantry Battalion 7th Infantry Division Philippine Army
1LT Jhocell D. Asis

[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: Jungle Fighters go to war against dengue

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 22, 2019): Jungle Fighters go to war against dengue

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A total of 166 soldiers of the 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division, Philippine Army took part in the blood donation campaign intended to beef-up blood reserve for dengue victims across the country early this week.

A total of 74,700 cubic centimeters of blood were collected from soldiers assigned in Southern Tagalog who responded to the call of the Commanding General of the Philippine Army’s call for “volunteerism to help victims of dengue.”

The activity was conducted simultaneously by different 2ID units in partnership with Philippine Blood Bank, Red Cross, Rural Health Units, Department of Health and other partner-agencies sharing the same advocacy of ending the dengue epidemic that the country is now facing.

Brigadier General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of 2ID, said that “this noble undertaking is a testament of the soldier’s heroism and commitment to serve the people and save lives, be it in the battlefield or in the field of public health.”

He added that “the collaboration and synergy of efforts between and among the different partner-agencies is a living proof that the Filipinos’ Bayanihan Spirit is really very much alive in our midst.”

“Your soldiers are one with the DOH in their anti-dengue campaign. We are encouraging our soldiers to adopt the 4 o’clock habit that is to go out, search and destroy mosquito breeding sites”, ended BGen Burgos.

The blood donation campaign in all 2ID units will continue in order to increase the country’s blood reserve not only to support the requirements of dengue victims but also those of other medical cases.

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

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Kalinaw News: Armed former TRIFPSS teacher surrenders in Surigao del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 21, 2019): Armed former TRIFPSS teacher surrenders in Surigao del Sur

TAGO, Surigao del Sur, Aug 20 – a former teacher of the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion bringing along with him one (1) carbine and magazine with ammunition yesterday, August 19, 2019, at H36IB, Brgy Dayoan, Tago, this province.

The said armed TRIFPSS teacher is identified as Alias Val, 25 yrs old, single, Manobo and a resident of So. Baroboan, Brgy Carromata, San Miguel, SDS. He is a former Milisyang Bayan (MB) of, SYP-I, SRC 2130 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

Accordingly, Val was recruited as TRIFPSS teacher from May 20, 2012, to Jan 25 2017. He was being promised by his recruiters that his families will be financially supported while he is teaching and serving the armed struggle. .

Due to the non-operationalization of the TRIFPSS schools at So Baroboan because of the campaign of the 36IB and the IP leaders in partnership with the DepEd in putting up DepEd accredited schools or School of Living Tradition (SLT), @ Val decided to continue to serve the armed struggle as Milisyang Bayan from February 2017 to March 2019.

He surrendered because he wants to live in peace and harmony without fear to the security forces. He also wants to help the government in the pursuit of achieving a genuine peace and preserving the cultural integrity of every IP community.

“I want to take part and help the government to combat insurgency especially to my fellow IPs because I saw that the government is serious in helping the marginalized sector of the society especially the IP communities,” Alias Val said.

In his statement, Ltc Xerxes Trinidad, Commanding Officer, 36IB said, that the surrender is a clear manifestation that the NPA is using TRIPFSS schools as their breeding ground for their future cadres and fighters.

“Alias Val is a proof that there is a link and support system between the TRIFPSS schools and the NPA Communist Terrorist Group,” Ltc Trinidad said.

He further added that the radicalization process is being thought at TRIPFSS schools through poisoning the innocent minds and instilling hatred to the government.

TRIFPSS schools are at the center of CPP-NPA bases for exploitation of the IPs who are being radicalized at a very young age by CPP-NPA supporters who pose as concerned teachers. The indoctrination is meant to prepare the IP youth to become NPA cadre in the future.

Alias Val is still undergoing custodial debriefing and interview. He will be process and validated for enrollment to avail the ECLIP of the government (1lt Jonald Romorosa, CMO, 36IB)

36th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division PA
1LT Jonald D Romorosa
CMO Officer, 36th Infantry Battalion
Sitio Upper Mambago, Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur

Kalinaw News: Surigao del Sur establishes Provincial Task Force ELCAC; embolden others to follow suit – Army

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 21, 2019): Surigao del Sur establishes Provincial Task Force ELCAC; embolden others to follow suit – Army

BACANSI, Butuan City – The province of Surigao del Sur created the Provincial Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Caraga during the Joint 3rd Quarter Provincial Development Council (PDC) and Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) Meeting held last August 13, 2019 at Villa Maria Luisa Hotel, Brgy San Agustin, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

The creation of the Provincial Task Force ELCAC of the Province of Surigao del Sur which is the first among the provinces in Caraga Region is a trailblazing feat for the province to implement Executive Order No. 70 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte which aims to prioritize and harmonize the delivery of basic services and social development in the conflict affected areas and vulnerable communities, facilitates social inclusivity and ensure participation of all sectors.

The Provincial TF-ELCAC was unanimously approved and adopted by the members of the two (2) provincial councils spearheaded by Hon Alexander Pimentel, the Provincial Governor of Surigao del Sur and the Chairman of the PDC and PPOC as a significant boost to combat insurgency using the Whole of Nation Approach (WNA).

Meanwhile, the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, Philippine Army lauded the Province of Surigao del Sur being the first province that created the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and is looking forward that other provinces in Caraga region will follow suit in order to accelerate the operationalization of EO70.

“We laud the passage and adoption of the PTF ELCAC in the Province of Surigao del Sur as an enabling mechanism to operationalize the EO70. For the past years, the province of Surigao del Sur has become a conflict prone area with the presence of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) wreaking havoc and forces their way in to the communities radicalizing hapless residents towards their lost cause and rotten ideology. With the creation of TF-ELCAC in the province, we fervently hope that Surigaonons unite and together address the root causes of the insurgency that plagued the province and derailed its progress for the longest time”, Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade said.

“We encourage the Chief Executives of the other provinces in Caraga to do the same as we also assure our full commitment to the PTF-ELCAC in its resolve towards the government’s anti – insurgency efforts. We hope that with this convergence, we will now be able to synchronize our efforts to end all forms of armed conflicts and attain a just and lasting peace in the region”, Col Licudine added.

The Joint Provincial Development Council-Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting was attended by other key officials, members and guests of the aforementioned councils which includes the following: the DILG Provincial Director and the Head Secretariat of PPOC, Director Pedrito Alacaba; Provincial Director of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, Engr Merlinda O Baure; 401st Brigade Commander, Col Allan D Hambala; 402nd Brigade Commander, Col Maurito L Licudine; Municipal/City Mayors of the province.

It can be recalled that the Task Force ELCAC at the national level has adopted a mechanism designating Cabinet Secretaries as Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS). In Caraga region, Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles was appointed and designated by President Duterte as the CORDS of the regional task force to assist in articulating the region’s concerns; to assist in seeking efficient and orderly resolution of problems; to harmonize peace and security and development efforts; and to ensure that all projects, programs and activities are well implemented.

The PDC-RPOC Secretariat is yet to release the duly signed and approved resolution of the Provincial Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict.

402nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
402nd Bde Civil Military Operations Officer
Contact Number:0915-054-3439/0948-641-6783
Add us on Facebook at: RAJAH KULAMBO (Stinger)

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Kalinaw News: Army seizes NPA arms aache in Agusan Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 21, 2019): Army seizes NPA arms aache in Agusan Sur

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur – Operating troops of 3rd Special Forces (Arrowhead) Battalion (3SFBn) recovered three high-powered firearms after a former Milisya ng Bayan (MB) member revealed a NPA arms cache in the hinterland of Sitio Hugmakan, Barangay San Juan in this city, this morning, August 21.

Three Caliber 30 Garand rifles were retrieved by the 3SFBn during a security operation in the area after a former MB member of Guerilla Front 21A revealed the location of their arms cache.

According to @Sion, the recovered firearms were buried on February 2019, two days after the terrorist NPAs released their 14 hostages – the two Army Enlisted Personnel and 12 CAFGU Active Auxiliaries (CAAs). With only few members remaining, Roderick Bensing Maco aka @Zion, NPA leader, ordered him to hide the said firearms. “Gipatago na lang ni Kumander kay wala naman sila kauban nga maggunit aning armas kay gamay naman nabilin, halos tanan nagsurender na man. Gagmay na pud mga bala ato mao tong gipalubong na lang niya para safety,” he said.
@Sion decided to withdraw his support to the NPA terrorists and finally surrendered to 3SFBn on August 13, 2019 after experiencing the continuous exploitation and abuses committed by NPA terrorists to his fellow Manobo tribe members in their sitio. “Di naman mi kaadto sa among uma kay sige na man ming suguon pagpalit ug pag-alsa sa ilang gamit kung magkita mi. Mahadlok pud mi sa among kaugalingon kay basin initan mi sa sundalo ug madamay mi sa engkwentro,” he explained.

Lieutenant Colonel Joey Baybayan, Commanding Officer of the 3SFBn underscored that the number of NPAs in Bayugan City has significantly decreased due to series of surrender and casualties they have incurred during the previous encounters with the government troops. “With few remaining members, these terrorist NPAs are constantly moving to evade our operating troops that is why they chose to hide their firearms so that they could easily blend with the community when cornered,” he said.

According to Colonel Allan Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander, “With the active implementation of Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government, it is not too late for the remaining NPA members to surrender. This is the best time to avail such opportunity for safety and holistic mainstreaming back to their communities.”

“With the implementation of EO 70, I am calling my fellow Agusanons to join us in ending the local communist armed conflict in Caraga. It is all our responsibility,” Col Hambala added.

Source: 3rd Special Forces Battalion Philippine Army

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Kalinaw News: Ex-NPA supporters under Abaca livelihood training

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 21, 2019): Ex-NPA supporters under Abaca livelihood training

BAYUGAN CITY, Agusan del Sur – The 8th Special Forces Company (8SFC), 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) in coordination with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PHILFIDA) CARAGA and the Liga Ng Mga Barangay of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur held a 2-day abaca livelihood training to 37 former NPA supporters and now members of Peace Prosperidad Farmers’ Association (PPFA) at the social hall of barangay Libertad, Prosperidad, ADS from August 19 to 20, 2019.

The occasion was attended by Hon. Alejandro Dumaguit, ABC President, Hon. Nena M. Tampepe, Punong Barangay of Libertad, Major Adrian Q. Muana, Commanding Officer of 8SFC, and Mr. Justiniano M. Orina, Jr., Head of Technical Assistance Unit of PHILFIDA Caraga Region.

It can be recalled that from December 15, 2017 to January 18, 2018, a total of more or less 60 NPAs and Mass Supporters surrendered to the 3SFBn in Prosperidad as a positive result of the Community Support Program (CSP) in the said municipality. A total of 37 farmers out of more or less 60 ex-NPA and mass supporters availed the program while others were reintegrated in mainstream society and presently living their lives in peaceful and normal situation as stated in the provisions of Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) offered by the government.

Meanwhile, E-CLIP is a program that provides skills training, basic services, benefits and support to the Former Rebels while PHILFIDA provides Technical Assistance and Advisory Services Information, Education and Communication Support Services for Farmer’s Groups and Agriculture Technicians of the Local Government Units (LGUs) Training Services. (1LTPUNSALAN/3SFB)

Source: 3rd Special Forces Battalion Philippine Army

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Calatrava LGU declares NPA persona non grata

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 21, 2019): Calatrava LGU declares NPA persona non grata

Calatrava town has joined the list of local government units in the 1st district of Negros Occidental that declared the New People’s Army as “persona non grata”.

The declaration contained in a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of Calatrava, was also concurred in by Mayor Marilyn Era, Lt. Col. Emelito Thaddeus Logan, 79th Infantry Battalion commander, said yesterday.

This brought to three LGUs in the 1st district of Negros Occidental - Toboso, Escalante City and Calatrava - that declared the NPA as persona non grata, while the city officials of San Carlos City, in an approved resolution, also declared that communist rebels as “unwelcome” to their locality.

Logan said yesterday that the ceremonial declaration was made Monday during the flag raising ceremony by municipal officials held in front of the town hall, that also coincided with the second day of the Human Dimension and Peace Building seminar, initiated by the 79IB.

The Calatrava Sangguniang Bayan resolution states that they adhere to the principles of peace and order as an indispensable element in the development and progress of the municipality and thus, condemn any unlawful activities of the CPP-NPA as the threatens the economic, social and political stability of the place and its people.

The declaration of the NPA as persona non grata by some LGUs in the 1st district of Negros Occidental, was belittled by the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command in northern Negros, claiming that it has no effect at all on the people.

Ka Cecil Estrellla, in a statement, dismissed it as a publicity act, that will not solve the hunger being experienced by the people due to worsening crisis of unemployment.

Estrella added that the approved resolution is a desperate act of the Armed Forces to conceal their illusion that no one supports the revolutionary movement.

A day before the ceremonial declaration, Logansaid that 148 former NPA mass supporters from the barangays of Cambayobo, Hinab-ongan, Lalong, Macasilao, Marcelo, Menchaca, Minapasuk, Pantao and Winaswasan of Calatrava, severed their links with the rebel movement and pledged loyalty to government, after attending a peace building seminar at the town evacuation center.

They were joined by 179 residents of Toboso town, Logan said.

He added that the participants also marched in the town poblacion, displaying placards and streamers denouncing NPA atrocities and recruitment activities,

It was highlighted by the burning of a CPP-NPA flag.

Era also thanked the 79IB for their peacekeeping efforts in her town.

Logan also hailed the courage of local officials and their communities in denouncing the atrocities, deceptions and recruitment perpetrated by the CPP-NPA.

“Our Community Support Program operations will continue in order to sustain development and address other insurgency affected areas and influenced local folk,” Logan also said.

He also stressed that the courage and bravery shown by the people of Calatrava will encourage other LGUs and their constituents in Northern Negros to do the same and continue to support the peace initiatives of the government.

Self-confessed NPA surrenders in Surigao

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 21, 2019): Self-confessed NPA surrenders in Surigao

A member of Manobo tribe who joined the New People Army (NPA) surrendered to the 36th Infantry Battalion at its headquarters in barangay Dayo-an, Tago, Surigao del Sur at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

1lt Jonald Romorosa, the Civil-Military Operations officer of the 36th IB,
identified him as alias Jobert, 20, single, and a resident of Barangay Agsam, Lanuza, SdS.

Jobert was reportedly a member of Team Baking, Squad 1, Guerrilla Front 30 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee. He brought along one AR-18 (Elisco) bearing SN 035073, one magazine with eight bullets, and two anti-personnel landmines.

According to Jobert, he joined the rebel group due to adventurism. He was also deceived by the false promises about helping uplift the lives of the poor as one of the soldiers of the masses.

“Life there was so difficult. Every day we roam the mountains looking and seeking for an answer to our cause. I voluntarily surrendered because I was afraid that maybe one day, my life will be in danger and a possibility that someday I cannot see my family anymore,” he said

He said his last contact with the NPA was in May of this year.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, commanding officer of the 36th IB, said the NPAs hold on Surigao del Sur is on the verge of a collapse. “They are continuously losing their regular members and fighters. In this light, we call on to the remaining CTGs members to abandon their armed struggle and join the government,” he said.

Army to continue to monitor schools on NPA recruitment

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 21, 2019): Army to continue to monitor schools on NPA recruitment

The Philippine Army will help secure the schools and protect students from New People’s Army recruitment.

“The AFP and police will help in securing schools but the school management has really the responsibility especially teachers but for us we just provide them protection and give proper information regarding recruitments,” Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto, the commanding general of the Philippine Army, said in an interview last Friday during the 13th founding anniversary of the 10th ID in Barangay Tuboran Mawab, Compostela Valley.

He clarified that the soldiers don’t enter schools unless there’s an invitation from the administrators to conduct a lecture or awareness campaign. The officers said students don’t end up as guerrilla fighters right away. A good number of them don’t even take up arms.

“We are doing our best that we could stop it and the youth should be staying with their families, ” he added.

The Army chief said the NPA has weakened in recent years as they recorded more or less 4,000 former rebels who surrendered to different military units.

Earlier, Capt Jerry Lamosao, the 10th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office chief, said that they are always monitoring NPA activies in schools. He said the indoctrination of students has been confirmed by former rebels who surrendered to the government.

“We remind the parents because their (kids) are targets in schools, especialy by those members who are really trained to recruit,” he said. “We are hoping that they don’t have the chance to come near or become friends with your children.”

Based on the record of 10th ID, there were 226 regular NPA members surrendered, 130 Milisyang Bayan, 35 Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL), 465 Underground Mass Organization (UGMO), 10 Left leaning organisation members who surrendered this year.

Lamosao slammed the NPA for continuing to recruit minors as combatants. According to him, about 30% of those who surrendered to the different units were underage when they joined the rebel group.

Army targets rebel-free status for DC by yearend

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 22, 2019): Army targets rebel-free status for DC by yearend

Davao City is targeted to be declared as insurgency-free by the end of the year.

“Actually, we have fast-tracked the ongoing community support program so that we can hit the target of Mayor Sara Duterte that by the year ends, Davao city is 100 percent insurgent-free,” Col. Nolasco Mempin, the 1003rd Infantry brigade commander, said in an interview yesterday at the Tactical Operations Wing- Eastern Mindanao headquarters.

There are 16 conflict-affected barangays in Davao City that are being assessed. These remote communities rae all located in the third congressional district.

“Actually there are eight barangays under the 3rd Infantry battalion that are ready for validation if they can already declared cleared,” he added.

Out of 182 barangays in the city, more or less 30 barangays are being monitored because of the influence of the New People’s Army. The army is implementing the community support program in these communities to bring the government closer to the people.

The Pulang Bagani Command 2 and Pulang Bagani Command 3 are operating in these barangays. Although, the military claimed that both units were already severely weakened, they need to ensure that the politico-military structure of the NPA in the areas is dismantled.

“For example, the barangay officials are already functioning without fear of intimidation by the NPA group,” he said. “Or the primary issues being exploited by the group were already address by the local government unit.”

Presently, he said they were 80% of their goals.

For district two, the Paquibato district, where the Pulang Bagani Command 1 used to operated, was already declared as conflict-free.

“It is considered as fragile peace because people there are traumatized already,” he said. “So the question is how long can we sustain the peace in the area so that the development conducted by the Peace 911 will work.”

The 1003rd IB recorded no violent incident or skirmishes in the 16 barangays from January up to the present. However, they received reports of the presence of armed groups in some of these areas.

TFD commander: We’ll perfect San Pedro Square first

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 21, 2019): TFD commander: We’ll perfect San Pedro Square first

Security officers are open for the possibility to include other parts of the city as maximum security zones but they suggest to concentrate first at the San Pedro Square being the first spot in the city to be declared such.

“We have to perfect (first) the implementation on San Pedro Square before we can identify another place to be recommended as a maximum security zone,” Task Force Davao (TFD) commander Col. Consolito Yecla told reporters at the sideline of the city council’s committee hearing of the proposed ordinance expanding the maximum security zones in the city last Monday.

After the City Council approved the recommendation of the committee on peace and public safety to declare the San Pedro Square as a maximum security zone in time for the Kadayawan festival, councilors are proposing to expand the highly-secured places in the city after the pilot testing conducted during the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan last Saturday.

The Maximum Security Zone covers prohibition of backpacks, jackets, non-transparent water containers, non-transparent garbage bins, shrubs, and plants, drones, and vehicles.

There is a suggestion to declare Roxas Street, particularly the Roxas Night Market, as a maximum security zone because of the influx of visitors every night. At least 15 persons died and 70 others were injured when two bombs exploded at the Roxas Night Market on Sept. 2, 2016.

But since then, TFD operatives along with the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) have been guarding the night market as they also prohibit the bringing of backpacks and other dangerous items.

Yecla said the implementation of a maximum security zone is very specific per area.

“During big events, we will absolutely implement the no-backpack policy and the no-jacket policy,” said Yecla.

Yecla said they will focus on the San Pedro Square being already declared as a Maximum Security Zone.

The San Pedro Square houses important government offices and parks frequented by the public, such as City Hall, City Council, San Pedro Cathedral, Rizal Park, Osmena Park, Quezon Park, and Centennial Park.

The San Pedro Square is also the venue for the major events in the city where street competitions culminate. These include Araw ng Davao’s Parada Davaoeño, Kadayawan’s Indak-Indak (street dance) and Pamulak sa Kadayawan (floral float parade), and Pasko Fiesta’s Lamdag Parada (lighted float) and Drum and Bugle competition.

Various commemorations, such as Rizal Days and Independence Day, are held at the Rizal Park.

Yecla said they are proposing to implement a no-parking scheme in time for the Pamulak sa Kadayawan, a major Kadayawan street event set next Saturday.

Based on the proposed parking scheme, marked designated parking spaces at the San Pedro Square will be allotted only to department heads and employees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Hall.

Yecla also proposed that during off-office hours, the streets surrounding Quezon Park, Rizal Park, and the Centennial Park will be declared as no parking areas.

The maximum security zone at San Pedro Square covers the streets of A. Pichon (formerly Magallanes), particularly from Jaltan, up to Bonifacio Monument Rotunda; C.M. Recto, particularly from Bonifacio Monument Rotunda up to corner Rizal Extension; Rizal Extension to corner C. Bangoy (Ponciano Street corner Crooked Road); C. Bangoy to corner San Pedro Street; San Pedro Street to corner City Hall Drive, and City Hall Drive to corner A. Pichon Street.

Militiaman killed in Army-NPA skirmish

From the Mindanao Times (Aug 22, 2019): Militiaman killed in Army-NPA skirmish

A government militiaman was killed in a clash with the New People’s Army in Laak, Compostela Valley on Tuesday.

1Lt Amadeuz VJ Celestial, the Civil-Military Operations officer of 60th Infantry Battalion said, identified him as Cherwyn Paragoya who joined the troops when the
clashed with an estimated 25 rebels believed to be under Guerrilla Front 33 in Barangay Ceboleda, Laak.

The firefight lasted for more than an hour with the Philippine Air Force (Tactical Operations Group XI) providing close air support.

A CAA for almost 10 years, Paragoya was tasked to help maintain the peace and order situation in his community.

Lt. Col. Gilbert Ombos, 60th IB commander, mourned the death of Paragoya.

“Hearing the stories of his peers, he was no doubt instrumental in keeping the peace in his community. It’s heartbreaking that we should lose valuable life for something as futile and worthless as this insurgency,” he said.

Mayor Antonio Libuangan of Laak and Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy of Compostela Valley Province both committed to help Paragoya’s family.

Meanwhile, the 60th IB, together with the local disaster risk reduction and management offices of both Laak and the ComVal, is currently assisting the residents affected by the armed conflict.

Cong. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga also sent foodstuff and other items to augment the local governments’ efforts, especially for those displaced by the skirmishes.

“As we can see, the principal victim of the insurgency is the civilian populace, families are displaced, classes suspended, business establishments and some government offices cease operations. This is why we continue to call on all members of society to actively take part in ending the CPP-NPA’s terrorism,” Ombos said.

Philippine Trust in China Has Hit 1-Year Low over Maritime Incidents

Posted to the Voice of America Website (Aug 21, 2019): Philippine Trust in China Has Hit 1-Year Low over Maritime Incidents

Protesters display a balloon with an anti-China message during a rally near the Philippine Congress to protest the 4th State of the Nation (SONA) address by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, July 22, 2019.

Sino-Philippine ties are showing signs of cooling since the two countries made friends in 2016, according to a recent survey on how much Filipinos trust their powerful Asian neighbor.

Social Weather Stations, the Metro Manila research institution behind that survey, released new numbers last month saying people’s trust had fallen to a one-year low. It found that 51% felt “little trust” and 27% placed “much trust” in China.

The institution’s surveys, seen as bellwethers of popular opinion, reflect a growing resentment of Beijing’s pressure on the Philippines over contested claims in the South China Sea and perceptions that Chinese nationals have too much sway over the economy, Philippine citizens told Voice of America this week.

Protesters march under the rain towards the Philippine Congress to protest the 4th State of the Nation (SONA) address by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, July 22, 2019 in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines.

Politics, business

Hundreds of Chinese vessels have passed near Philippine-held islets in the sea’s contested Spratly archipelago this year as late as April. In early June, a Chinese fishing boat hit and sank a Filipino boat near the disputed sea’s Recto Bank, raising questions about a possible ramming incident.

“A sinking of a Filipino vessel, any incident like those gets magnified 100 times, which is probably not good for the relationship with China, because it erodes whatever little trust there remains,” said Eduardo Araral, associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school.

Since Sino-Philippine ties began warming in late 2016, China has offered at least $4.7 billion for infrastructure projects in the Southeast Asian country, socioeconomic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia said in February in Manila.

Now some Filipinos believe Chinese nationals are taking over local businesses by marrying Philippine nationals, said Rhona Canoy, president of an international school in the southern Philippines, who is part of a politically influential family in the country. Foreigners legally cannot own businesses outright.

Chinese or Chinese-Filipino citizens run most Philippine-based businesses today, due to historical trade and investment trends, the consultancy China Philippines United Enterprises says.

"The Chinese being here goes beyond just the maritime border and area dispute," Canoy said. "A lot of that which is more directly impacting our people is the fact that they are the ones who are opening businesses."

Fear, hope and bewilderment

People interviewed randomly this week on two parts of Luzon, the Philippines’ largest island, often hesitated to discuss China.

Some professed no knowledge of the issues. Others said they worried about China eroding Philippine claims to the South China Sea, including 10 islets their government controls in the Spratly archipelago. One was working in China as an English teacher – dependent on Chinese students for her income. 

FILE - An aerial view of Southwest Cay, also known as Pugad Island, controlled by Vietnam and part of the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea, April 21, 2017.

For Santy Mallorca, a 50-year-old motor-trike driver, China represents a threat to his government’s maritime claims. “Because so many people get money from fishing – accidents, you know,” he said.

About 2 million Filipinos depend on fishing for a living. “Maybe China conquers the Philippines,” a roadside breakfast stall vendor said.

Winston Sayson, a 41-year-old who was waiting Tuesday for a flight in the capital Manila, said China showed no obvious signs of deposing the Philippines from the disputed sea – or of helping it economically. He said he wasn’t worried.

Only 27% of Social Weather Stations respondents said most of what the Chinese government wants in the Philippines is “good for the Filipinos.”

Questions for the Philippine president

Filipinos may worry little about China because they trust Duterte to handle foreign relations, Araral said. The president had earned a 68% net satisfaction rating in the second quarter this year, Social Weather Stations survey found. Duterte plans to bring up the maritime dispute with China at a meeting before month’s end with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Opposition politicians who tried to make China an issue in the May midterm congressional elections this year couldn’t beat candidates backed by Duterte.

People’s views about China “depend on who’s handling the relationship,” Araral said. Whoever succeeds Duterte in 2022 may chart Sino-Philippine relations based more on “sentiments on the ground,” he added.

Government vows ‘unfriendly’ response to ship intrusions

From the Philippine Star (Aug 21, 2019): Government vows ‘unfriendly’ response to ship intrusions

The anti-submarine Pohang-class corvette BRP Conrado Yap (PS- 39), the Philippine Na- vy’s newest and most powerful ship, docks at Pier 13 in Manila during welcoming ceremonies yesterday.
KJ Rosales

President Duterte warned yesterday that the Philippines will respond accordingly against foreign vessels passing through the country’s territorial waters without permission.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President is giving due notice to all foreign vessels to seek clearance from proper Philippine authorities if they intend to pass by.

“To avoid misunderstanding in the future, the President is putting on notice that beginning today, all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage,” Panelo said.

“Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner,” he added.

When asked to clarify “unfriendly manner,” Panelo replied: “If it will have to take that, we will do it.”

Pressed if the Philippine government is looking at military action as an option, Panelo indicated it would be done if the situation calls for it. It will be up to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to assess the situation, he said.

“Not necessarily by military force, we will just stop them. We’re saying that we will enforce it in an unfriendly manner, by that it means that we will ask them to move, to move out of the place. That’s unfriendly,” Panelo said.

“Because before we never said anything, we just allowed them and just make protests. But this time we will tell them please get out of our territory,” he said.

Panelo said the President has been giving leeway to foreign vessels involved in incursions to the Philippine waters, especially to those considered as “friends.”

Panelo has repeatedly said that Chinese incursions had become an irritant over the Philippines’ friendship with China.

He also described such violation of Philippine sovereignty as an “unfriendly act from a country,” with which Duterte cultivated open bilateral relations since he assumed office in 2016.

“But even between friends, there is a time to tell our friends not to do things not deemed to be an act of friendship,” Panelo said.

Malacañang issued the warning as Duterte is set to visit China for the fifth time this month to discuss the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea row and the proposed joint exploration in the disputed waters with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Panelo said the Philippines would invoke the mutual defense treaty with the United States only if there is armed aggression against it by a foreign country—among the provisions stipulated before either country can invoke the MDT.

In an earlier interview, Duterte, who has been criticized for supposedly being too soft on China, said he would bring up the 2016 arbitral ruling during his meeting with Xi.

The ruling by a Hague-based court voided China’s expansive maritime claim in the South China Sea and upheld the Philippines’ rights over its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

While China has insisted that it won’t recognize the landmark ruling, officials said Duterte would remain firm in his stand on the dispute. ?Duterte and Xi are also expected to talk about a proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte has said he was open to a 60-40 sharing scheme in favor of the Philippines. ?The President has also vowed to press China on the long-delayed code of conduct for claimants in the South China Sea row.

“I said that’s why I’m going there. They are delaying it and it’s causing so many incidents and one day it will – one mistake, a miscalculation there and it will be hard to undo,” Duterte said in a chance interview this month.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002 to maintain peace and stability in disputed areas. The parties have yet to approve a binding code of conduct.

Unfriendly manner

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has tasked the Philippine Navy (PN) to enforce Malacañang’s “friendly or unfriendly” method of driving away foreign intruders.

Lorenzana, however, admitted he is trying to figure out how far the military can go in being “unfriendly.”

“Am still trying to figure out what unfriendly manner we can but it’s a very good development because we now have some authority to enforce our laws within our territorial waters,” he said.

Since maritime intrusion is the main concern of the Navy, Lorenzana said he is leaving this issue to it to enforce the presidential order.

Duterte’s order comes after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Monday that they are filing another diplomatic protest over the repeated passage of Chinese warships through Philippine waters.

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over the intrusion of the vessels and Locsin vowed the government will not hesitate to file more if warranted.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, earlier said two Chinese warships were spotted in Sibutu Strait in July while three were monitored in August.

Lorenzana noted the uptick in naval activity of Chinese warships in Philippine waters. He claimed Chinese warships had passed through Sibutu Strait several times. Sibutu is a deep channel separating Borneo and the Sulu archipelago.

Lawmakers, for their part, may look into the reported intrusion of Chinese warships and survey vessels in the past weeks.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the committee on foreign relations; and Sen. Christopher Go in separate interviews expressed concern over reports of increasing Chinese naval activity in Philippine waters.

Pimentel said he has set a briefing with Locsin and other officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“We will have also specifics, like what date, what time, what vessel, as well as the, how the DFA understand the international law involving the passage through territorial waters, international straits (of such vessels),” Pimentel said.

Go said the Senate may conduct an investigation on the matter, saying “what is ours is ours.”

Solon calls for immediate stop in military operations in Maguindanao

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 21, 2019): Solon calls for immediate stop in military operations in Maguindanao

Maguindanao Rep. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu has issued a strong appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a temporary ceasefire in the military operations in his province that has caused the displacement of thousands of his constituents.

Maguindanao Representative Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu (photo courtesy of Maranao scribe Moh Saaduddin / File Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a letter sent to Malacanang, Mangudadatu also urged Duterte to seek the intercession of “high ranking officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)” to help convince militants belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) to lay down their arms.

He said the MILF officials can be instrumental in calling on BIFF guerrillas to “abandon the kind of Islamic ideology they are preaching.”

“We are appealing to you Mr. President to put a halt for the meantime and request the high ranking officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to convince the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to lay down their arms or to abandon the kind of Islamic ideology they are preaching,” wrote Mangudadatu.

He added: “In this way, it will prevent further damage to crops, livestocks and loss of innocent lives.”

In his letter the former Magjindanao governor hinted that BIFF terrorists have been weakened.

“We write to you Mr. President because of the situation in our province. The continued pursuit and assault of our government forces against Islamic terrorist group have displaced thousands of Maguindanaoans, estroye dmillions worht of crops and livestocks and not to mention lost of lives of innocement who are caught in thed crossfire,” Mangudadatu, former governor of the province, appealed.

Fierce fighting between the millitary and BIFF terrorists started early this year that has resulted in numerous deaths on the government, civilian population and the BIFF.

Among those killed were foreign-looking men who fought alongside BIFF fighters, indicating that the local terrorist organization was getting international support, possibly the ISIS known for the viciousness of its members.

Clashes have been reported in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town last March that have apparently spread to other areas as the ranks of BIFF terrorists have apparently deteriorated.

Key officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have vowed to pursue the armed campaign against Islamic terrorists, saying that they will not stop until the enemy has been neutralized.

Mangudadatu stressed that his main concern is the welfare of the civilian population caught in the crossfire of the on-going battles.

Maguindanao is part of the Mindanao island that has remained under martial law for over two years now.

Students march vs Red-tagging

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 21, 2019): Students march vs Red-tagging

WALKOUT AT TWO STATE UNIVERSITIES Students and teachers stage rallies on the campuses of the University of the Philippines and Polytechnic University of the Philippines—(clockwise, from left) UP Diliman in Quezon City, UP Baguio, UP Miag-ao in Iloilo province, and PUP in Santa Mesa, Manila—to protest proposals to deploy soldiers and policemen to state universities. LEO M. SABANGANII

“Accusations that they are students by day and rebels by night are not only laughable [but] also ridiculous displays of Red-tagging,” a University of the Philippines (UP) student leader said as protests shook UP campuses nationwide on Tuesday.

With placards, banners and chants, thousands of students and teachers staged a UP system-wide “Day of Walkout and Action” to defend the university from militarization and threats to academic freedom.
In solidarity, students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, another state-run academic institution, also staged a walkout on their main campus in Santa Mesa, Manila.

“Martial law sa pamantasan, tutulan, labanan (Resist and fight martial law in the university)” was one of the loudest chants, as UP collectively responded to the proposed deployment of policemen and soldiers to state universities.

Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, has asked the PNP to review its memorandum of agreement with some universities that prohibits the presence of uniformed personnel on campuses.

Dela Rosa said universities should also “police their ranks” against professors who could be “radicalizing” their students.

Antisubversion law

His proposal dovetails with the call of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to restore the antisubversion law that declared the Communist Party of the Philippines and membership in it illegal.

Año has claimed that every year, 500 to 1,000 youths are indoctrinated by the communist movement into either joining its armed wing or serving as leaders of militant groups in schools.

Nico Ponce, chair of the UP Baguio student council, denounced the Duterte administration’s attempts to link nongovernmental organizations and militant groups to the communists.

“We are activists, not terrorists,” the students chanted as they linked arms outside the campus gates at a noontime rally in Baguio City.


“We cannot allow this government to accuse us of being rebels when our struggles are no different from what our parents endure, what our farmers and workers suffer,” said Eman Gananciasa, an economics student.

The protesters also opposed a policy requiring college students to take mandatory drug tests, raising placards that decried “Oplan Tokhang,” the administration’s antidrug campaign, in schools.

Academic freedom

In UP Diliman, Gerry Lanuza, a sociology professor, said the students and teachers were fighting for academic freedom.

“Academic freedom is not owned by teachers or students. It is freedom granted by the university so we can study without barriers or limitations to our capacity to find the truth, such as fascism,” Lanuza said.

The UP teachers hit back at Dela Rosa for accusing them of “brainwashing” students and “recruiting” them to the communist movement.

The “UP Day of Walkout and Action” was declared through a memorandum released on Aug. 14 by Isaac Punzalan, UP student regent, who likened campus militarization to “martial law in universities.”

“Our academic freedom is at high risk of being taken away from us,” Punzalan said.

Hundreds of UP Los Baños (UPLB) students started the walkout around 4 p.m. in front of the Humanities building and proceeded to several other buildings to encourage other students to join them. They proceeded to Carabao Park near the UPLB gate and held a short program.


Some of their placards read “No to martial law in schools” and “Defend academic freedom.”

Visayas campuses

On Aug. 8, policemen who introduced themselves as members of the Bay municipal police tried to enter UP Rural High School in the adjacent town of Bay “without any clear objective,” according to a statement from All UP Academic Employees Union-UPLB.

Hundreds of UP students also walked out of their classrooms in Cebu City, Tacloban City, Iloilo City, Miag-ao town in Iloilo province, and in Davao City.

“Activists are not terrorists,” read several placards raised by students who marched to the Oblation statue, UP’s iconic symbol, where a program was held.

On the Miag-ao campus, the students held a protest in front of the College of Arts and Sciences building.

The protests were supported by UP Visayas officials.

In Cebu, at least 300 UP students staged the walkout, including Grades 11 and 12 students who were in uniform.

University officials and employees joined the rally later on Fuente Osmeña, about 3 kilometers from the UP campus on Gorordo Avenue.

“The University of the Philippines as an academic institution … continues to be a bastion of free, independent, critical thinking and open analysis of domestic and global sociopolitical issues,” said UP Cebu Vice Chancellor Weena Gera.

In Tacloban, at least 100 UP students joined the walkout at 2:30 p.m. that was followed by a rally downtown.

Several faculty members of UP Mindanao joined students bearing placards urging the police and military to keep off campuses.

In a message sent from the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame, Sen. Leila de Lima urged UP students to go out of their space of comfort as the “space for dissent has been narrowed by antipeople policies of the Duterte administration.”

De Lima, a critic of the administration, is detained on illegal drug trade charges. 

Colmenares, others face raps for recruiting minors

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 21, 2019: Colmenares, others face raps for recruiting minors

Former and current party-list legislators have been summoned by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to face the criminal complaints filed against them for allegedly recruiting minors into leftist groups.

(L-R) Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, and former Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin (MB file photos / Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Those who have been issued subpoenas by the DOJ are former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, current Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago, and former Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin.

Also issued subpoenas are Anakbayan chairperson Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan secretary general Eistein Recedes, Anakbayan spokesman Alex Danday, Bianca Gacos, Charie Del Rosario, and Jayroven Villafuerte Balais.

Assistant State Prosecutor Christine Perolino who issued the subpoenas “commanded” all nine respondents to appear at the DOJ on August 27.

The respondents were also told by Perolino to “submit counter affidavit/s to be sworn before me, and other supporting documents, if any, in your defense.”

“You are hereby WARNED that failure on your part to comply with this SUBPOENA shall be considered as your waiver to present your evidence in this preliminary investigation and the same shall be considered submitted for disposition,” warned Perolino.

Perolino is set to start on August 27 the preliminary investigation on the complaint filed last August 1 by Lucena Relissa and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation Group (PNP-CIDG) against the respondents.

In its complaint, the PNP-CIDG accused the respondents of violating Republic Act 10364 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003), RA 11188 (Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict and Providing Penalties for Violations thereof), RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act), RA 9851 (Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity), and kidnapping in violation of the Revised Penal Code (RPC),

Lucena, who recently testified before the Senate on minors being recruited by leftist groups, complained that her daughter Alicia Jasper was only a minor when she was recruited by Anakbayan after getting enrolled at the Far Eastern University (FEU) in Manila in July 2018.

“She (Alicia) left her home several times without informing her mother where she will be going and will just suddenly appear at home after several days,” read the PNP-CIDG referral letter to the DOJ, citing that her mother observed adverse changes in her daughter’s attitude since joining the group and attending protest rallies.

READ MORE: ‘Student by day, NPA by night’

“On March 10, 2019 she again left their home, leaving a letter to her mother containing strong messages against her mother and her policy at home especially her mother’s contradiction to her desires,” it added.

After reporting to the police blotter about her daughter running away, Lucena managed to convince her daughter to meet in Manila where Alicia was accompanied by Anakbayan’s Gacos, Del Rosario, and Balais.

READ MORE: FEU student: I was not kidnapped. I left home because of family problems

During the meeting, Lucena recounted that Del Rosario even tried recruiting her to join the women’s rights group Gabriela.

The PNP-CIDG also submitted to the DOJ the sworn statement of rebel returnee Ma. Rebecca Pecayo who recounted that she was a minor when she was recruited by a certain Bob to join the League of Filipino Students while she was a student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

“On the final week of September 2017, Rebecca was convinced to finally become a full pledged member of CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) together with other student members of the LFS wherein they were able to reach the main body of the CPP-NPA-NDF in Bukidnon. They underwent ‘Revolutionary Integration’ and taught to handle M1 Garand and M16 rifles,” the PNP-CIDG said.

Kolambugan residents continue to work for “unity among Muslims and Christians”

From MindaNews (Aug 21, 2019): Kolambugan residents continue to work for “unity among Muslims and Christians”

ILIGAN CITY – Eleven years after the tragedy, residents of Kolambugan town in Lanao del Norte still feel the pain but are now working “for the unity among Muslims and Christians,” Mayor Lorenzo Manegos said.

To recall, on August 17, 2008, a few days after the Supreme Court stopped the August 5 signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) by government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), four soldiers and three militiamen were killed in an ambush of a four-vehicle Army convoy by suspected MILF members in Mulondo, Lanao del Sur. Eleven others were wounded.

The convoy was moving along the highway in Mulondo at around 8 a.m. on their way to deliver cash allowances to militiamen in neighboring Lumba-Bayabao town. They were fired upon by around 100 armed men who were positioned on higher ground, Brigadier General Hilario Atendido, chief of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, said.

On August 18, 2008, the MILF led by Abdullah Macapaar alias Commander Bravo attacked the coastal villages of Tacub and Libertad in Kauswagan and Kolambugan towns, leaving a number of civilians dead and sending thousands of evacuees to neighboring cities of Ozamiz and Iligan. In Kolambugan alone, 14 civilians and a military officer were killed while 60 were taken hostage and later released in Tangkal town as the MILF was retreating.

Mayor Manegos, who was vice mayor during the Kolambugan siege, acknowledged that it pains them to remember what happened, “apan ang nangagi nga kasaysayan isipon nga usa ka pag-tulun-an ang nahitabo ug mag padayon ang kahiusahan sa Muslim ug Christian sa Kolambugan” (but let us learn lessons from the past and let us continue working for unity among Muslims and Christians in Kolambugan).

Kolambugan residents attend a mass on August 18, 2019 to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s siege in Kolambugan town in Lanao del Norte on August 18, 2008 after the Supreme Court prevented government negotiators from signing the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain. A peace agreement has been signed with the MILF which is now leading the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Residents continue to work for unity among Christians and Muslims in the town. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

“Nag tuo kami nga diha sa interfaith dialogue masulbad ang suliran sa komunidad ug ma kab-ot ang kahusay ug kalinaw and lig-on nga relasyon” (we believe that through interfaith dialogue, we can solve the problems in the community and we will achieve justice and peace and strengthen our relationship), the mayor said in an interview after the mass.

He said every first Friday of the month, Muslim and Christian religious leaders meet to discuss the situation in the community and to resolve whatever problems there may be.

He said they believe that the success of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) bring about lasting peace in the area


In the mass to commemorate the tragedy on Sunday morning, Father Abet de Lara, parish priest of Kolambugan, said they are offering prayers for those who died in 2008 and for lasting peace and unity among Muslims and Christians in Kolambugan.

The priest read the names of the 15 civilians and a military officer who were killed and the damages to property during the siege.

He said the parish teamed up with the local government unit and joined their Muslim brothers and sisters in celebrating Eid’l Fitr, the end of Ramadan.

“Hand in hand, we shared with the people the value of forgiveness, peace, acceptance and unity,” the priest said.

For Melanie Avelis, barangay chair of Tacub in Kauswagan, “amo nang gidawat ang nahitabo ug dili mi gusto nga dumdumon pa ang nangaging hitabo ug ipadayun namo ang kalambuan sa Tacub” (we have accepted what happened but we do not want to remember what happened but we will work for the progress of Tacub).

Tacub and Libertad are the recipient communities of a 552-megawatt coal-fired power plant which is expected to provide direct socio-economic benefits to the community.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process is preparing for the decommissioning of MILF combatants under the normalization track, which includes alternative livelihood opportunities for MILF community members.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., and military officials joined the MILF’s Abdullah Macapaar, now member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, during the celebration of Eid’l Adha on August 12 in Camp Bilal in Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte.

Duterte dangles self-rule to breakaway Muslim rebel grou

From the Business World (Aug 20, 2019): Duterte dangles self-rule to breakaway Muslim rebel group


PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is considering creating another autonomous government in Mindanao for the Moro National Liberation Front, presidential peace adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said on Tuesday.

“That is the presidential guidance, and we will look into it if it is applicable,” Mr. Galvez said at a briefing.

He said he would meet with MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of creating a peace committee made up of MNLF and Moro Islamic Liberation Front members. MNLF is a breakaway Muslim rebel group.

The peace committee will seek to discuss ways to end decades of strife in Mindanao.

Mr. Galvez said he is in talks with the Jikiri and Misuari factions of the MNLF, whose main territory is Sulu province, about the matter.

Majority of voters in Sulu, which was part of the old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, rejected the Bangsamoro Organic Law in a plebiscite in January. But it had no effect because ARMM provinces including Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi voted as a unit.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao created under the BOL, is a fruit of the peace deal between the government and the MILF.

Mr. Duterte and Mr. Misuari agreed last March to create a panel composed of five MNLF members and five from the government to discuss a possible shift to federalism. The president in July said this was not the time to discuss federalism.

“The president is now beginning to see the imperfections of the Bangsamoro Organic Law,” University of Santo Tomas political science professor Marlon M. Villarin said by telephone. “The challenge is how to make the law inclusive.”

Piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia

Posted to the American Journal of Transportation (Aug 21, 2019): Piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia

During 13 – 19 Aug 19, four CAT 41 incidents of armed robbery against ship were reported to the ReCAAP ISC. The four incidents occurred on (1) 31 Jul 19 at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia; (2) 9 Aug 19 northeast of Pulau Bintan, Indonesia; (3) 12 Aug 19 at Phuoc Long Mooring Buoy No 3, Vietnam; and (4) 15 Aug 19 southeast of Tanjung Piai, Johor, Malaysia.

Refer to map below on the location of the incidents. The detailed description of the incidents is tabulated in the attachment.

Situation of Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah

As the risk of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the abduction of nine crew2 on 18 Jun 19, the ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia. The contact details of the Operation Centres of the Philippines and ESSCOM of Malaysia (updated by ReCAAP ISC on 3 Jan 19) are as follows:

3 military informants ambushed in North Cotabato

From Tempo (Aug 21, 2019): 3 military informants ambushed in North Cotabato

MAP of Midsayap, North Cotabato

Suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters killed three alleged military informants in an ambush in Midsayap, North Cotabato the other day.

A police report reaching Camp Crame in Quezon City identified the victims as Ogie Bantas, 42; Motalib Talungon, 27; and Ismael Sumunsang, 37.

The victims were reportedly on their way home from their farm when they were repeatedly shot by at least three BIFF members in Sitio Basaknin in Barangay Tugal at around 8:30 p.m.

“Further investigation disclosed that the victims were confidential informants of 34th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army,” police said.

“Likewise, the victims were instrumental in the identification of Peng Kulilong as drug lord in the area of Barangay Tugal and neighboring barangays.”

The local police and soldiers were not able to penetrate the ambush site due to presence of various armed groups.

The victims’ cadavers have been retrieved by relatives.

Intelligence report said the perpetrators of the ambush are BIFF members identified as Tsin Salindab, alias “Zainudin Ladtugan”; Abdul Kulilong, alias “Dekinia Kulilong”; and Thoy Zumbaga.

The BIFF is a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The group parted ways with the MILF after the latter decided to strike a peace deal with the government. The BIFF is rooting for independence of Muslims in Mindanao.

3 farmers, 2 MILF members killed in central Mindanao gun attacks

From the Philippine Star (Aug 21, 2019): 3 farmers, 2 MILF members killed in central Mindanao gun attacks

Gunmen killed three farmers in North Cotabato Tuesday after local Islamic State-inspired militants killed two members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Maguindanao.

Ogie Bantas, Esmael Sumunsang and Mutalib Salungon of Barangay Salunayan in Midsayap town in North Cotabato died instantly from multiple gunshot wounds.

They were on their way home together from their adjoining farms when gunmen, armed with M14 assault rifles, blocked their path and opened fire.

Personnel of the Midsayap municipal police are still investigating on the incident.

Two MILF members, Muslimin Daud and Noren Ali, were killed Monday in Shariff Saidona Mustapha town in Maguindanao by gunmen from a rival group using the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as banner.

Lt. Col. Roberto Breboneria, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the suspects arrived at Barangay Bakat in Shariff Saidona Mustapha Monday night and immediately gunned down Daud and Ali inside their houses.

The suspects, wearing black shirts printed with ISIS flags, hurriedly escaped after killing the duo, both under the MILF’s 106th Base Command.

The MILF is helping the 6th ID maintain law and order in areas where there are forces of the outlawed ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

The BIFF has been trying to sabotage the peace process between the government and the MILF, whose top leader, Hadji Ahod Ebrahim, is now chief minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

DILG downplays militarization on campuses ‘figment of imagination’

From the Manila Times (Aug 21, 2019): DILG downplays militarization on campuses ‘figment of imagination’

THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday branded allegations of “militarization” in schools a “figment of the imagination gone overdrive” and “classic communist propaganda,” which used the politics of fear to portray government as a repressive monster to earn political pogi points from students in order to ‘arouse, organize, mobilize’ the youth sector,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said in a press statement.

Malaya said there was nothing wrong with student activism and in fact, all the Department wanted to address was Communist recruitment in schools.

Malaya added that using youth idealism and dynamism to encourage armed rebellion against the State was “completely unacceptable.”

“Criticism, protest and resistance is part and parcel of democratic politics,” Malaya said, emphasizing that government is not the “evil monster.”

“We are your parents, siblings, friends and countrymen who love our country as much as you do,” he added.

DILG expressed alarm over reports of alleged missing students who were recruited to join leftist groups and also that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has now been targeting minors who had been in Senior High School.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that some student organizations from the University of the Philippines and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, have been infiltrated by communist rebels.

Año said a dialogue with state university executives, along with the police and student organizations, would help for their awareness campaign against the recruitment strategies of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.

NPA unfazed by government attacks

From the Sun Star-Cagayan de Oro (Aug 21, 2019): NPA unfazed by government attacks

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Thirty-six newly promoted personnel of the 8th Infantry "Dependable" Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army are recognized and given brand new caliber .45 pistol at the 8th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Barangay Poblacion, Impasugong, Bukidnon. (Contributed photo)

THE New People's Army (NPA) said it remains "intact and strong," while admitting to launching 13 attacks against government troops in just a month.

But Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon, commander of Army's 403rd Brigade, dismissed these claims as only propaganda of the NPA.

In a statement, a certain "Ka Malem Mabini," coming from the NPA-North Central Mindanao Region Command (NCMRC), said President Rodrigo Duterte's orders to paralyze the NPA had no effect to the armed group.

The NPA claimed responsibility for attacks in Agusan del Norte on July 28, as well as in Barangay Pigsag-an, Cagayan de Oro City on July 30, among others.

The group said such operations claimed the lives of two of its members, who were identified as Jenos "Ka Bebs" Bade and Edmar "Ka Lenon" Laruya.

"The intensified NPA offensives prove that the fascist, corrupt and tyrant US-Duterte regime's arrogate statements will only remain as it is -- unwarrantable. The NPA will always be capable and surefooted because of the people's firm and ardent support in their army," the statement added.

Captain Ryan Layug, 403rd Brigade civil military officer, dared Ka Malem to reveal his identity.

"How do we expect someone who could not even tell his real name tell the truth. He even lied and deny his own identity. How many more missing children and youth is NCMRC keeping? We will reveal names of some soon," he said.

Meanwhile, De Leon cited what happened during the Talakag encounter was that the NPA rebels were actually driven out of their lair in Lanao province.

He said they sought the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) help to expel the NPAs who are allegedly setting up hideouts in areas near the MILF communities.

"The MILF acceded to our request, thus 103rd Bde in Marawi made the initial encounter with its 49th Infantry Battalion. The NPAs then moved eastward and were encountered by 51IB of 2Mech Brigade. We in the 403Bde was informed, thus directed 65IB to block the NPAs leading to that decisive encounter in Talakag that resulted to the death of the 2 NPAs," he said.

De Leon said troops took care of the NPA casualties left behind after the encounter.

"Malem did not mention in his story how we helped the parents retrieve the cadavers and how we provided support of the wake until the burial of the dead NPAs," he added.

NPA denies hand in Abra attack that killed 2 Cafgu members

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 21, 2019): NPA denies hand in Abra attack that killed 2 Cafgu members

Communist rebels operating in Abra province denied launching an attack on Aug. 15 when two members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) were killed.

In a statement, Florencio “Ka Bram” Baluga, spokesperson of Agustin Begnalen Command-New People’s Army Abra, said they have nothing to do with the reported attack in Barangay Maguyepyep, Sallapadan town.

“If the NPA launches an attack, we take responsibility,” said Baluga.

Baluga attributed the death of the two Cafgu members to the “crack within the reactionary government’s armed forces.”

Reports identified the fatalities in that clash as Dandi Wacquisan from Bucloc and Gordon Gallao from Bazar, Sallapadan.

“The gunfight shows how rotten is their rank, competition for position, corruption and the lack of discipline,” Baluga said.

In a press release, the Army’s 7th Infantry Division claimed that rebels fired at the patrol base around 8:30 am.

This started a 30-minute gun battle that left two Cafgu members dead.

Reds twisting history to suit their needs: Parlade

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 21, 2019): Reds twisting history to suit their needs: Parlade

Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief-of Staff for Civil-Military Operations. (File photo)

Communist rebels and their allies really know history well as they spend much of their time twisting it to tar the government to suit their ideological needs, an official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) said Wednesday.

Major Gen. Antonio Parlade made this remark in response to claims made by Kabataan Party-list Representative Sarah Elago that they are studying history and injustices being perpetrated in the country along with the malicious attacks allegedly being perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

"Today (August 21) is a holiday. What does history tell you about August 21 if you say you know your history which you use to agitate students and encourage dissent as part of academic freedom?" said Parlade, who is also AFP Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations, in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Plaza Miranda bombing

On August 21, 1971, Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila was bombed by suspected communist rebels, killing nine people and wounding 95 others, many of which were prominent members of the Liberal Party who was then conducting a political campaign rally in the area.

"Today is the day when Plaza Miranda was bombed by the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army) but was blamed on the government because of the CPP's expertise on deceit, lies, and propaganda. I bet your lectures continue to propagate those lies until this day so the youth will continue to mistrust their AFP and their government," he added.

Parlade said communists claim social media is full of fake news from the government in attacking progressive groups and suppressing dissent.

“Well here is the original fake news which until now you use, again to agitate the young to rise against the government -- the Jabidah Massacre," he said, adding that f Elago and her allies have really read their history, then they should have known that the Senate has a complete set of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.'s investigation of the alleged massacre which reportedly took place in Corregidor Island on March 18, 1968.

Then-Senator Ninoy, he said, concluded that that Jabidah Massacre was a hoax, after seeing for himself in Sulu the young Muslim children alleged to have been killed by its military trainers.

“It is available to the public or to anyone who cares to know about the truth,” he said.

Another propaganda tactic
Parlade said Aquino highlighted these incidents to give the Filipino public in general an understanding of the propaganda being used by the CPP-NPA in recruiting and sending minors to their death during encounters with government troops.

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

"It is important for us to know this truth so we will understand that propaganda has been killing our vulnerable children, in the same manner, that CPP cadres hiding under Anakbayan, LFS (League of Filipino Students), NUPL (National Union of Peoples' Lawyers), Ibon Foundation, etc. are killing recruits because of falsehoods and deceit," he added.

Fake news about the Jabidah Massacre, he said, is still being used in Ibon Foundation manuals, to agitate indigenous peoples (IPs) children in Salugpungan schools, by saying that the military was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of 64 Muslim youths in Corregidor Island, thus triggering the Moro insurgency.

"Ibon propaganda materials are still using that parallelism to radicalize IP children into fighting again their AFP. The same Ibon manuals, by the way, teach the Salugpungan children that their national hero should be Father Pops Tentorio, an Italian priest who sponsored the studies of more than 700 IPs, 600 plus of them becoming NPAs," he added.

Parlade said Jabidah Massacre was used by the late Sen. Aquino in his privilege speech in 1968, not to correct the facts, but to expose a state secret about retaking Sabah.

"So believe it or not, Ms. Elago, your icon of democracy actually started the recruitment, training, and funding of Moro rebels, with the help of our Malay neighbor. That alliance of Otso Derecho's forbears started the violence in Mindanao, which killed some 150,000 Filipinos who knew nothing about this deceit," he added.

The ranking military official also dared the militant lawmaker and her allies to tell the truth and give the youth the chance to join either the armed communist rebels, their militant partners or the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

"Do you really want our children to be critical of their government so that they may contribute to nation-building? Then tell them the truth and then give them a choice whether to join Anakbayan and NPA, or ROTC to express their patriotism," he said.