Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Region 4B Army gets new commander

From the Manila Times (Aug 28, 2019): Region 4B Army gets new commander

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal: A Special Forces-trained senior officer assumed command of the Philippine Army’s 203rd Infantry Brigade, which has operational jurisdiction over parts of Region 4B — Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon (Mimaro).

Brig. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Second Infantry Division, presided over the formal transfer of authority, responsibility and accountability from Brig. Gen. Marceliano Teofilo to Col. Antonio Lastimado.

Burgos commended Teofilo for the “head ways his troops and units attained during his almost 10-month tour of duty” brought about by the “decisive engagements, New People’s Army mass surrender and neutralization of key terrorist personalities.”

Teofilo will be designated as Burgos’s Assistant Division Commander, thus, “his wisdom and expertise will be felt not only in Mimaro, but also in Calabarzon (Region 4A — Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon).”

A “Military Merit Medal Interim to Distinguished Service Star” was conferred on Teofilo for meritorious achievements in a position of major responsibility.

Teofilo expressed his “utmost gratitude to the men and women of the 203rd Brigade as well as to our stakeholders for the unwavering dedication to duty and unparalleled support.”

He attributed his success as Commander to his “hardworking battalion commanders and troops in the front lines” whose commitment to duty “made things happen in this part of the country” while also recognizing the iron-clad partnership which his unit has forged with the local government officials, Philippine National Police, nongovernment organizations and the general public.

Lastimado, a native of Leyte, served as the 203rd Brigade’s deputy commander prior to his assignment as brigade commander.

Duterte to launch ‘less bloody but troublesome’ campaign vs Reds

From the Philippine Star (Aug 29, 2019): Duterte to launch ‘less bloody but troublesome’ campaign vs Reds

With three years left in office, President Duterte has directed the police and military anew to prepare a “less bloody” battle to eradicate the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Duterte said the anti-insurgency campaign “will not be bloody” but it will be enough to create “a little trouble” and attract criticism.

“And I am serving notice to everybody that in the coming months, it will be not really bloody but there will be a little trouble for our country,” Duterte said during his speech at the 31st anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) main office in Quezon City late Tuesday.

Duterte said he is more determined to stop communist insurgency, which he said has been dragging the country for over 50 years.

“We have to finish it (communist insurgency), including the campaign against illegal drugs), and this will make us a magnet for all criticisms that are waiting for us to do and commit their own,” Duterte said.

He said he is ready to take more criticisms in addition to flak for his bloody drug war.

“As I said in the coming months, we would be dealing (against insurgency), connected with (this) issue of (land reform)… I do not think we can afford to wage a war another 53 years,” the President said.

“So, I am telling the military, can we end it now. We cannot afford to pass it on to the next generation, maybe they cannot afford to continue the fight. It has to be now,” he said.

The President issued the directive following the arrest of Esterlita Espinosa Suaybaguio, a suspected communist rebel leader.

Authorities confiscated a hand grenade and 9mm pistol from Suaybaguio who is now facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The CPP has demanded the immediate release of Suaybaguio, saying her arrest was a disregard of her rights under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed by the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

The CPP claimed the 60-year-old Suaybaguio is among the peace consultants of the NDF in the peace talks with the government. The NDF said Suaybaguio is a consultant for Mindanao concerns.
Duterte had just distributed land titles to farmers, particularly those tilling the lands under the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita.

Duterte vowed full implementation of the CARP with all lands distributed before his term ends.

The President cited the government’s land distribution program as a means for empowering farmers that the country would achieve the sustained growth of its rural economies and eventually the nation’s inclusive progress.

Duterte said it is the ultimate aspiration of every farmer to own the lands that they till.

“Now, with these titles in their hands, I am confident that every beneficiary will be inspired to improve and increase their production through sustainable farming methods. As we work together in improving the quality of life of our farmers, their families and communities, I am counting on all our agrarian reform beneficiaries to support the growth and development of our agricultural sector through responsible farming,” the President said. 

Albayalde: UP’s openness to PNP security training ‘a good sign’

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 29, 2019): Albayalde: UP’s openness to PNP security training ‘a good sign’

The openness of the University of the Philippines for a possible training of its security officers by the Philippine National Police (PNP) is a “good sign,” PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Thursday.

“That’s a good sign. At least they admit na talagang may problema doon. No less than the chair of the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) said na talagang may problema doon sa loob, especially the proliferation of illegal drugs,” Albayalde said in a chance interview at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(That’s a good sign. At least they admit that there is really a problem there. No less than the chair of CHED said that there is a problem inside UP, especially the proliferation of illegal drugs.)

Albayalde said security concerns indeed exist in some UP campuses as he cited recorded cases of petty crimes, robberies, and rape that happened inside the UP Los Baños campus in Laguna but were not reported to police.

READ: UP says open for security officers to be trained by PNP

“Even here, I am sure dito sa UP Diliman, [there are security concerns given] na napakalaking compound ‘yan, and that’s no excuse na merong proliferation of illegal drugs diyan,” he said. (Even in UP Diliman, given that it is a big compound, I am sure that there are security concerns there, and that’s no excuse that there is proliferation of illegal drugs there.)

Albayalde explained that the security officers of the premier state university need training from the PNP since they are not trained for intelligence gathering and do not have background in the investigation and filing of criminal cases.

But Albayalde was also quick to clarify that the possible training is not a move towards the militarization of campuses. Militarization, said Albayalde, is a term being exploited by militant student groups.

Should the security training be pursued, Albayalde said it is better if it will be conducted inside Camp Crame where training facilities are available. UP Vice President for Public Affairs Elena Pernia said the university is open to have police officers visit its campuses for training but only “with proper coordination.”

Albayalde said that the possible training of UP security officers, which includes members of the UP Police — the university’s own police force which is not associated with the PNP — and security guards will be discussed in the succeeding discussions with the Commission on Higher Education and UP officials.

The first installment of the series of dialogues was held on Tuesday to set the conditions in addressing the security concerns of the campuses, including the proliferation of illegal drugs, criminality, and alleged recruitment of UP students by the communist New People’s Army.

READ: PNP, top university execs hold dialogue vs drugs, communist rebellion

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, CHED Chair Prospero De Vera, University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion and members of the UP Board of Regents, Polytechnic University of the Philippines President Emmanuel De Guzman, and representatives from the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University were also present in the dialogue with the PNP.

According to Albayalde, the next dialogues will focus on specific problems in specific universities that need to be engaged by the police. He said the PNP also plans to have discussions with leaders of student groups. 

PNP wants dialogue with CPP’s ‘legal fronts’ to address insurgency

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 29, 2019): PNP wants dialogue with CPP’s ‘legal fronts’ to address insurgency

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde. INQUIRER file photo / JAM STA. ROSA

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Thursday the PNP wants to engage in a dialogue members of the “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) embedded in different sectors to address the government’s problems on insurgency.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military to crush the communist insurgency in the country “now.”

“We will engage them in all their fronts doon sa agriculture [sector], labor, even the health, even doon sa academe which we started already and also even in the religious sector. I-e-engage natin ‘yan [We will engage them] in all their legal fronts,” Albayalde said in a chance interview at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

READ: Duterte to military: We can’t afford to pass insurgency woes to next generation

In a text message to, Albayalde said that the PNP wants to conduct this engagement through dialogues with select groups.

He pointed out that the CPP-NPA has many legal fronts in different sectors, even in politics.

He said the political groups secretly supporting the communist insurgency will be engaged by appropriate representatives from the government and not the PNP since the police force belongs to the armed sector.

“That’s the very reason why we have the national task force. This is a whole-[of]-nation approach, not only a whole-[of]-government approach, but it’s a whole-[of]-nation approach,” said Albayalde.

On Tuesday, the PNP initiated the first installment of a series of dialogues with school authorities to address security concerns inside campuses, including alleged recruitment of students to join the fold of the NPA, the armed wing of the CPP.

Those present in the dialogue were officials of the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University, and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Commission on Higher Education Chair Prospero De Vera. /jpv

READ: PNP, top university execs hold dialogue vs drugs, communist rebellion

PNP to look into anti-communist 'Kagubak' group in Negros Oriental

From the Philippine Star (Aug 29, 2019): PNP to look into anti-communist 'Kagubak' group in Negros Oriental

The Philippine National Police will investigate alleged killings by a supposed anti-communist death squad in Negros Oriental, Police General Oscar Albayalde said Thursday, saying also that the deaths may just be rebel propaganda.

Sens. Ronald Dela Rosa and Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called for a police probe into Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (Kagubak). It was learned during the Senate probe into the recent string of killings in Negros island that five of 15 people tagged as New People’s Army supporters in the group's flyer have since been killed.

News5 reported that Albayalde said he has yet to receive a report from the regional director and provincial director in the area regarding the group.

He said he will confer with the police director in Negros to determine whether the group really exists.

He also assured the public that police are looking into the cases of the victims of the supposed death squad.

The report said that the police chief is also looking into the possibility that the killings were either part of a "purge" or are for propaganda.

"They sacrifice their own and then they blame the security forces—the PNP and AFP. This is not a new propaganda espoused by these left-leaning groups," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Albayalde made a similar statement after nine sugar workers were killed in Sagay City, also on Negros island, last October.

He said a bungkalan, or land cultivation activity, that ended in the deaths was "a grand design to occupy private and government property using their mass base and to create untoward incident then blame it on the government."

Rights group Karapatan and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers earlier said that Trinidad’s murder showed that “hit lists” often translate to killings.

“This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security,” Edre Olaila, NUPL secretary general, said.

Both the Karapatan and NUPL, as well as other rights groups, earlier sought protection from Philippine courts against red-tagging as they point out the rising killings among their members. They failed to receive favorable ruling from the Court of Appeals.
'Hit list' discussed at Senate probe

During the Senate hearing on August 27, Hontiveros pointed out that a third in the Kagubak’s “hit list,” has been killed. This included human rights lawyer Anthony Trinidad.

Trinidad’s killing, the senator said, confirms that the “hit list” is “real.”

Lt. Col. Bonifacio Tecson, Guihulngan City police chief, also revealed that several people on the list—including Trinidad—had approached the police to clear their names when the flyers came out in 2018.

“Many went to the police station. They wanted to clear their names [and clarify] that they are not supporters of the NPA,” Tecson said.

Dela Rosa, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, called on the Police Regional Office 7 “to account for the 10 living persons on the list.”

CPP/NPA-Leyte: After years of government inaction, serial rapist father finally punished by people’s court

NPA-Leyte propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 28, 2019): After years of government inaction, serial rapist father finally punished by people’s court

AUGUST 29, 2019

The New People’s Army carried out the death penalty imposed by the people’s court on a man for raping his own daughters, after years of inaction by the reactionary government.

Red fighters of the Mt. Amandewin Command (NPA-MAC) punished serial rapist Boboy Tapalla, 50 years old, of Carigara, Leyte last July 7 for sexually assaulting over several years four of his daughters as well his own sister who was mentally ill.

According to the NPA-MAC, Tapalla raped two of his daughters while they were still minors. One of them, aged 13, was last assaulted only February of this year. Two of them were impregnated by their own father.

For years the daughters personally filed cases at the offices of the reactionary government but their demands fell on deaf ears. Local police once attempted to arrest Tapalla but he was able to flee.

The daughters and other family members thanked the People’s Democratic Government and the Red fighters for for finally rendering justice on Tapalla.

The masses clapped in delight and assisted the Red fighters after the special operation to make sure they made their way safely back to their unit.

CPP/NDF-EV: NDF-EV commends UP students and supporters for standing up to the fascist and tyrannical US-Duterte regime

NDF-Eastern Visayas propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 28, 2019): NDF-EV commends UP students and supporters for standing up to the fascist and tyrannical US-Duterte regime

AUGUST 29, 2019

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas salutes the students of UP Tacloban and their supporters who were part of the thousands of students and youth activists across the country who manifested their vociferous opposition to the proposal for state forces to conduct surveillance and militarize their schools.

We congratulate the brave and militant Filipino youth and students for unwaveringly defending their democratic rights and opposing the schemes of the tyrannical US-Duterte regime to suppress opposition by implementing anti-student and anti-youth policies such as the revival of mandatory ROTC and the lowering of the minimum age of criminal liability.

Without regard for decency and rule of law, the US-Duterte regime employs the most vicious methods to silence and crack down on the broad spectrum of opposition including the youth and students.

The Filipino youth have shown that they are not deterred by Duterte and his militarist goons in the bureaucracy who engage in Cold War-era scare tactics and launch attacks upon the people that far exceed the brutality of all puppet regimes thus far.

In traditional and social media, the youth creatively express their disgust at the anti-people and anti-democratic policies of the Duterte regime, thus encouraging more people to call for Duterte’s ouster. They have gained the support of their parents, teachers, school staff, and the wide public who also join them in their militant action and defend them against the regime’s terrorist attacks.

Only the ouster of the US-Duterte regime can bring to an end the fascist attacks upon the youth and the people. The youth and students must not waver and continue to be the voice of the opposition in arousing, organizing and mobilizing their ranks to condemn and fight the Duterte regime’s tyranny.

The youth and students must also unite with the basic masses of workers and peasants, conduct social investigation and class analysis to learn the real conditions of the toiling masses, and support their democratic struggles. Ultimately, the US-Duterte regime is the best recruiter of the New People’s Army for showing to the youth and students that in the face of tyranny, there is no other way for national and social liberation than to take up arms and overthrow the reactionary ruling system.#

CPP/CPDF-Abra: Abrenio Agkaykaysa, paayen ti Oplan Kapanatagan! Pudno a persona non grata, AFP-PNP ken ni Gov Joy Bernos!

Cordillera People's Democratic Front (CPDF)-Abra propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 28, 2019): Abrenio Agkaykaysa, paayen ti Oplan Kapanatagan! Pudno a persona non grata, AFP-PNP ken ni Gov Joy Bernos!

AUGUST 28, 2019

Manipud nagtugaw ni presidente Duterte, nagsasaruno a nangiyulog ti memorandom order, executive order ken dadduma pay a linteg na tapnu masentro kanyana ti bileg iti buo a pagilyan. Aggaganat a mangipwesto kadagiti tauhan na iti burukrasya na manipud kadagiti retired generals ti militar a naging berdugo ken kurap tapnu nalaklaka na a pasuroten isuda ti saan makatao a programa.
Saan a makatalna a mangipamuspusan tapnu maipaima kanyana ti kinabaknang ti pagilyan, iti Build Build Build programa na. Intuyang na ti pagilyan kadagiti kapitalista a negosyante ti kadagaan ti Kordilyera para ti makadadael negosyo kas ti Hydro iti amin nga karayan, geothermal ken dadduma pay a makadadael iti umili ken aglalaw a negosyo. Tapnu nawaya ti panagserrek dagitoy a kumpanya iti ili ken kabanbatayan, nangiyulog ni duterte ti nadumaduma a paglintegan ken inot-inot nga insagana na ti burukrasya na ti martial law.

Nadara, naranggas ken sistematiko a programa a mang-ep-ep ti panag laban iti umili kadagiti saan a maka-tao a programa. Panangputed ti tungtungan kapya, panangkaso kadagiti umili a terrorista babaen ti proscription petisyon, panangideklara ti martial law iti Mindanao, oplan tokhang ken operation plan kapayapaan inggana operation plan kapanatagan. Saan mailibak a dagitoy nga executive orders ken presidential declarations na ket dadakkel a pundo ti allotments na, saan met a nailibak a dakkel a kurapsyon iti uneg burukrasya na.

Ditoy probinsya nga Abra, nalawag iti implementasyon ti operational plan kapanatagan babaen ti joint campaign plan ti AFP- PNP ken dagiti local nga opisyales kas kenni gov Joy Bernos. Kasta met, dagitoy ti makintenggel ti dakkel a pundo nu sadinno ket kadagiti amin nga implementasyon dagiti proyekto ket 60-40% , 60 a pursyento ket maibulsa 40 porsyento laeng ti maipatungpal.

Ti provincial peace and order council-PPOC, nu sadinno ket dagiti heads ti AFP- PNP ken ni Joy ti kangrunaan ng konvenor daytoy, ditoy a detalye nga iprograma da nu kasanu nga allilawen iti umili tapnu ideclara nga persona nan grata dagiti legal nga organisasyon ken ti NPA tapnu ibulsa ti dadakkel a pundo. Malakasid pay ti panang awis da kadagiti municipal mayors ken dagiti municipal councils nga agaramid ti patakaran a kontra umili weno panang kontrol ti garaw ti umili iti uneg ti barangay.

Pwersaran nga ipatungpal da dagiti paglintegan kadagiti local a gobyerno inggana barangays babaen ti panang aramid ti planado a panag tiliw, panag kaso, pilit a panagpasurender kadagiti sibilyan, pammutbuteng kadagiti umili ken opisyales ken panag patay tapnu maligalisa ti operasyon inggana panagyan ti military iti uneg ti baryo. Nu kumontra dagiti local nga opisyales ket maipit da ti prob gov ken ti AFP-PNP.

Pakabuyaan laeng ti panangpapatay ti military kadagiti dua a CAFGU iti uneg ti detachment da iti Maguyepyep Sallapadan Abra, pilit a panangisurender da ti sibilyan kas kenni Jovet nga agtutubo ti Lacub ken barangay officials ti Tubo ti napalabas, harassments ken surveillance kadagiti masuspetsa da nga lider wenno suporter ti NPA, uray pay legal nga organisasyon iti umili ket pilit da nga ikonektar ti CPP-NPA-NDF, ken panag usar ti People’s day ni Joy Bernos kada munisipyo tapnu butbutngen iti umili babaen ti lantaran nga panagbroad cast nga saan mairelis ti IRA da nu palubusan dagiti barangay opisyales nga asembliya dagiti umili tapnu pagtungtungan da nu kasanu da padur-asen ti alluyon wenno panagtitinnulong iti uneg ti baryo.

Dagitoy nga aramid ti AFP- PNP ken ni Joy Bernos ket pakabuyaan ti martial law iti probinsya. Isuda ti pudno nga manglaplapped ti panangpadur-as ti kabiagan ti umili, isuda ti nalawag nga mangdangdangarn iti umili. Isuda ti pudno nga terrorista , isuda ti awan karbengan na nga agturay, Isuda ti pudpudno nga persona nan grata iti probinsya.

Para kadagiti munisipal mayors, awan sabali nga mangitakder iti umili kadagiti masakupan yo nu saan a dakayo. Peggad iti umili yo ti panangipatungpal yo ti mandato ti operation plan kapanatagan iti uneg ti join campaign ti AFP- PNP ken ni joy. Ti rumbeng nga kondenaren yo ket ti aramid dagiti AFP-PNP. Apay nalipatan yo ti panang masaccre ti AFP kadagiti pamilya Ligiw iti Licuan-Baay, lima tawen ti napalas nga inggana tatta ket awan hustisya. Addan kayo ti bileg kas opisyales a mang-adal ken mangrebisa kadagiti paglintegan a saan a pumabor kadagiti umili. Rebbengen yo nga suportaran ken takderan dagiti pagsayaatan ti umili. Paset ti serbisyo yo kas local nga opisyal nga inbutos dagiti umili to masakupanyo yo ti pangisigurado ti seguridad ken kabiagan da.

Kakailyan nga Abreneo, awan ti sabali a pamuspusan tapnu magibusan/ masupyat dagitoy a programa nu di panagkaykaysa tapnu papigsaen ti palaban a DIWA a mangsaluad ti daga, rekursos ken biag, palawaen ti rebolusyonaryo a bileg pulitika iti umili. Sumilpo iti CPDF Abra chapter, daytoy ti mangrepreppet ti rebolusyonaryo a timpuyog iti umili ti probinsya.

Paayen ti Oplan kapanatagan ti rehimen US-Duterte!
Gibusan ti Martial Law iti probinsya!
Iyabante ti gubat ti umili! Itakder ti Reblusyonaryo a Gubyerno ti Umili!
Umili sumilpo iti NPA!

CPP: Sa mamamayang Pilipino: Magkaisa at ipagtanggol ang bayan! Buuin ang pambansang patriyotikong prente laban sa pangangamkam sa ekonomya at panghihimasok militar ng China

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 28, 2019): Sa mamamayang Pilipino: Magkaisa at ipagtanggol ang bayan! Buuin ang pambansang patriyotikong prente laban sa pangangamkam sa ekonomya at panghihimasok militar ng China

Sa nagdaang mga taon, labis na naagnas ang soberanya ng Pilipinas resulta ng tuluy-tuloy at sistematikong pang-ekonomyang pangangamkam sa ekonomya at panghihimasok militar ng makapangyarihang China. Mula 2016, umigting ang mga hakbang ng China upang palakasin ang pusisyon at kontrol nito sa bansa. Pinapaspasan nito ang pagdambong ng rekursong dagat at mineral ng Pilipinas at ibayong pinalalaki ang presensyang militar sa loob ng teritoryong dagat ng bansa. Nagawa ng China na gawin ito sa pakikipagsabwatan ng gubyerno ng Pilipinas sa ilalim ni Rodrigo Duterte.

Nananawagan ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) sa lahat ng Pilipinong patriyotiko at nagmamahal sa kalayaan na magkaisa, matatag na manindigan at kumilos nang may nag-aalab na patriyotismo upang ipagtanggol ang soberanya at pambansang kalayaan laban sa pakikialam at panghihimasok ng China. Labis ang kakagyatan ng panawagang ito sa harap ng pagmamalaki ng China at lansakang pagbalewala sa teritoryo, ekslusibong sonang pang-ekonomya (EEZ o exclusive economic zone), likas yaman at seguridad sa pagkain ng bansa, at kabuhayan ng mamamayan.

Pangangamkam at pandarambong sa ekonomya

Winalang-bahala ng China ang EEZ ng Pilipinas at pinatindi ang pangingisda sa West Philippine Sea. Bahagi ito ng mga operasyon ng mga barko ng China na pinopondohan ng estado sa malalalim na karagatan sa iba’t ibang panig ng daigdig na tumutugon sa lokal na demand at pag-eksport ng isda at iba pang pagkaing dagat. Ang malawakang mga operasyong pangisda ng China ay nagreresulta sa labis na pangingisda at pagliit ng suplay ng isda, partikular ang mga isdang may mataas na halaga tulad ng tuna at grouper (o lapulapu). Dagdag pa, notoryus ang mga sasakyang pangisda ng China sa pagsamsam sa mga bahura, pawikan, higanteng mga kabibe (clam) at iba pang nanganganib na hayop sa dagat.

Noong Abril, naiulat na dinumog ng may 200 sasakyang dagat ng China ang isla ng Thitu sa Spratlys. Mula Pebrero, di bababa sa 85 sasakyang dagat ang nakaangkla sa paligid ng isla ng Pag-asa. Kinukuyog din ng mga sasakyang dagat ng China ang mga isla ng Kota at Panata. Ang presensya ng malaking bilang ng mga sasakyang dagat ng China, na napaulat na nagsasakay ng mga milisyang nabal, ay naghahatid ng takot sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino at pumipigil sa kanilang pumalaot sa mga karagatang ito, gayo’y nagkakait sa kanila ng kabuhayan. Kamakailan, nagningas ang malawakang galit ng mga Pilipino sa presensya at panghihimasok ng mga sasakyang pangisda ng China sa karagatan ng Pilipinas dahil sa insidente sa Recto Bank, nang banggain noong Hunyo 9 ng isang barkong pangisda ng China ang sasakyang pangisdang Pilipino at nag-iwan sa 22-kataong tripulante nito na palutang-lutang sa dagat.

Ang mga aktibidad sa pangingisda at reklamasyon ng lupa ng China ay nagresulta sa malawakang pagkawasak sa karagatan, kabilang ang mga bahurang pinagkukunan ng pagkain at nagsisilbing itlugan ng mga isda. Sa desisyon noong 2016, hinatulan ng PCA na nagkasala ang China sa pagwasak sa may 124 kilometro kwadrado ng bahura sa West Philippine Sea.

Hayagang pinaglalawayan ng China ang malawak na rekursong langis sa West Philippine Sea na bahagi ng reserbang tinatayang aabot sa $60 trilyon. Naghapag ito ng kontratang 60-40 upang paghatian ang rekursong langis sa kanluran ng Recto Bank, na nasa loob ng EEZ ng bansa. Mabilis na nagpahayag ng pagsang-ayon si Duterte sa naturang kontrata. Kung tutuusin, ang kontratang ito ay maanomalya at lansakang tagibang dahil ang bansa ang may buong karapatan sa lugar. Nasa pasya ng bansa kung kailan, paano at kanino makikipag-ugnayan sa paghuhukay ng langis sa lugar habang tinitiyak na pangunahin itong nagsisilbi sa interes ng bansa.

Kamakailan, namataan ang mga barkong panaliksik ng China sa loob ng teritoryong dagat ng Pilipinas nang walang pahintulot mula sa mga awtoridad ng bansa, at malamang ay naghahanap ng karagdagang rekursong madadambong.

Malalawak na lugar at isla ang dinudumog at sa aktwal ay sinasakop ng China. Kabilang dito ang 32-ektaryang isla sa karagatan ng Cavite na planong paunlarin bilang “POGO island (Philippine Online Gaming Operations, kung saan pinatatakbo ng mga kapitalistang Chinese ang mga operasyong pasugalan na iligal sa China at nag-eempleyo ng puu-puong libong manggagawang Chinese na dumaranas ng mapagsamantala at mapang-aping mga kundisyon). Balak din nitong “paunlarin” ang mga isla ng Grande at Chiquita sa karagatan ng Zambales na may mga proyektong nagkakahalaga ng $298 milyon kabilang ang 80 matataas na gusali. Samantala, isang malaking kumpanyang Chinese ang nagbabalak na gawing isang $2-bilyon “smart city” ang 70-kilometro kwadradong isla ng Fuga sa Babuyan group of islands.

Nitong maagang bahagi ng taon, iginawad ng gubyernong Duterte ang prangkisa sa telekomunikasyon sa isang konsorsyum kabilang ang China Telco na pag-aari ng gubyerno ng China, at magbibigay dito ng akses sa mga pasilidad sa telekomunikasyon ng Pilipinas, na isang estratehikong pambansang imprastruktura. Isa pang estratehikong imprastruktura, ang lambat ng mga linya ng kuryente sa bansa, ay bahaging kontrolado na ng gubyernong Chinese sa pamamagitan ng State Grid Corporation of China.

Panghihimasok militar

Mula 2015, nagtayo ang China ng mga pasilidad militar sa West Philippine Sea na labag sa soberanya ng Pilipinas at sa UNCLOS. Imperyalistang agresyon ang pagtatayo ng mga istruktura at militarisasyon ng mga artipisyal na islang ito. Sinasakop ng mga pasilidad militar ang Panganiban reef na kinilala sa desisyon ng PCA noong 2016 na bahagi ng EEZ ng Pilipinas, gayundin ang Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) reef at Zamora reef, na dinisisyunang bahagi ng internasyunal na karagatan na hindi maaaring angkinin ng alinmang bansa.

Inilalarawan ang mga pasilidad militar ng China sa Spratly islands bilang “pinakaabanteng mga base ng China” sa South China Sea. Kabilang sa kanila ang mga paliparan na kayang lapagan ng mga eroplanong pandigma ng China, mga garahe para sa di bababa 24 eroplanong pandigma at apat na malalaking eroplano, mga radar, mga antenang high-frequency at iba pang pasilidad sa komunikasyon, mga taguan at lunsaran ng mga misayl, mga parola, matataas na gusali at iba pa.

Paulit-ulit na nagpakita ng agresibong asal ang China sa paglalabas ng mga babala sa radyo at nagbabanta ng mga kahihinatnan laban sa mga sasakyang Pilipino at iba pa na lumilipad o naglalayag malapit sa mga pasilidad na ito.

Patuloy na naka-istasyon ang dalawang barkong Coast Guard ng China sa palibot ng Scarborough Shoal (Panatag o Bajo de Masinloc) upang pigilan ang mga Pilipinong mamalakaya na pumasok sa lawa para makapangisda. Marami nang insidente na itinaboy ng armadong pulisya ng China ang mga sasakyang Pilipino o sinakyan at kinuha ang kanilang mga huli. Nasa loob ng EEZ ng Pilipinas ang Panatag bagamat itinuturing ng PCA bilang tradisyunal na pangisdaan ng mga mangingisdang Pilipino at Chinese. Sinasabi ni Duterte na nagkaroon sila ng kasunduan ni Xi Jinping na “papayagan” ang mga mangingisdang Pilipino na mangisda sa lugar ngunit bigong igiit ang pag-alis ng Chinese coast guard o mapagpasyang kumilos laban sa mga paglabag ng China.

Sa nagdaang ilang buwan, di bababa sa walong barkong pandigmang Chinese, kabilang ang aircraft carrier na Liaoning, ang naglayag nang walang kaukulang pagpapabatid sa Sibutu Strait, isang internasyunal na daang-dagat na nasa loob ng teritoryong dagat ng Pilipinas. Malinaw na nilalabag nito ang teritoryal na karapatan ng Pilipinas. Nilabag ng China ang internasyunal na mga pamantayang pandagat at nagpamalas ng paglapastangan sa teritoryong dagat ng Pilipinas nang pinatay ng mga sasakyang dagat nito ang mga ilaw at sistema ng awtomatikong identipikasyon nito upang umiwas na makilala, na karaniwa’y nagpapakita ng di-mapagkaibigang layunin.

Napalakas ng China ang pang-ekonomya at pangmilitar na kapangyarihan nito sa Pilipinas sa pakikipagsabwatan ng gubyernong Duterte mula 2016. Hayagang idineklara ni Duterte ang kanyang katapatan sa China kapalit ng $19 bilyon sikretong mga pautang upang tustusan ang malalaking proyektong imprastruktura na hihigop sa labis na asero at semento mula China. Paulit-ulit na pinatunayan ni Duterte ang sarili bilang traydor sa mamamayang Pilipino.

Noong 2016, nanikluhod si Duterte sa kapangyarihan ng China nang isinantabi niya ang pinal na desisyon ng PCA na nagbasura sa inaangking “nine-dash line” ng China. Walang inihain na protesta si Duterte laban sa pagtatayo ng China ng mga gusali at pasilidad militar sa Spratly islands. Tuwiran niyang isinuko sa China ang kontrol at “pag-aari” sa Panatag Shoal. Pinalutang niya ang multo ng mabibigong gera upang bigyang-matwid ang pagtanggi niyang gumawa ng mga hakbanging pampulitika, diplomatiko at ligal upang mas mahigpit at mas malakas na igiit ang soberanya at soberanong mga karapatan ng Pilipinas.

Bilang upisyal na hakbang, naglabas lamang ng maamo at huwad na mga diplomatikong protesta na sa kalakha’y winalang-bahala ng China. Walang paltos na tinatalunton ni Duterte ang linya ng China upang ipawalang-sala ito sa mga insidente ng panghihimasok na lumalabag sa soberanya ng Pilipinas. Bigo siyang kastiguhin ang China sa pagpapalayag ng mga barkong pandigma at pangsaliksik nito na di-inosenteng dumadaan sa karagatan ng Pilipinas.

Sa loob lamang ng dalawang taon, apat na ulit nang bumisita si Duterte sa China. Sa bawat pagkakataon, marangyang sinalubong si Duterte at ang kanyang malaking kawan ng mga kaibigang negosyante, mga pulitiko at kapamilya. Nabuo ang mga kontrata sa negosyo at kasunduan sa gubyerno. Karamihan sa mga kontratang ito ay isinikreto. Nakatakdang pumunta si Duterte sa China sa ikalimang pagkakataon ngayong buwan kung saan napipinto siyang gumawa ng mas malalala pang katrayduran. Inianunsyo niya ang planong ihapag ang karapatan ng Pilipinas ayon sa pagkilala ng PCA. Gayunman, walang saysay na drama lamang ito para magkunwaring importante ang palalimos na si Duterte dahil ngayon pa lang ay idineklara na niyang wala siyang magagawa kung patuloy na itatanggi ng China na kilalanin ang desisyon.

Kabilang sa mga kasunduan sa pautang na nabulgar ay nagpapakita ng mabigat na mga kundisyon sa pagbayad na may interes na 2-3 porsyento (kumpara sa 0.25%-0.75% interes ng upisyal na ayudang pangkaunlaran ng Japan). Ang kawalan ng linaw sa pagkakabuo ng mga kontratang ito ay matibay na palatandaan ng malawakang panunuhol na tulad ng natanggap ni Arroyo sa kontratang NBN-ZTE noong 2007 mula sa mga monopolyong burukrata kapitalistang Chinese.

Mayroong mahigpit na ugnayan si Duterte at kanyang mga kasapakat sa sindikato sa droga na Chinese Triad. Habang inilulunsad ni Duterte ang umano’y “gera kontra-droga,” patuloy na lumalaki ang suplay ng shabu na pumapasok sa bansa mula China. Ang ismagling ay hawak ng mga tauhang-militar na itinalaga ni Duterte sa Bureau of Customs na pinuri niya dahil “marunong sumunod sa aking mga utos.”

Ang palalimos at nangangayupapang patakaran ni Duterte ay nagpalakas sa loob ng China na magsagawa ng mas agresibong panghihimasok sa bansa.

Mas nag-iingay ngayon ang mga upisyal sa seguridad at depensa ni Duterte sa paghapag ng mga usapin kaugnay ng pagpapalakas ng China sa militar at kung paanong ang postura nito, bagamat inilalarawan ng China bilang depensiba, ay madaling maipihit tungong opensiba. Tinuligsa nila ang pag-aastang maton ng China. Nangangamba din sila sa panghihimasok ng China sa mga isla sa paligid na maaaring magamit bilang opensibang lunsaran. Ang lumalaking bilang ng mamamayang Chinese (nitong nakaraang taon ay umabot sa 1.2 milyong turista at 200,000 may pahintulot na magtrabaho) ay inilalarawan din bilang pambansang usapin sa seguridad.

Nanganganib din ang pambansang seguridad ng bansa sa pagpasok ng China Telco na pagmamay-ari ng estado at Huawei Technologies Co. na planong pagharian at kontrolin ang imprastruktura sa komunikasyon ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng mga tau-tauhan nito (Dennis Uy at iba pa).

Ang mga usapin sa seguridad na inihapag ng AFP sa kalakhan ay sumasalamin sa lumalaking pangamba ng US sa lumalalim na impluwensya ng China sa Pilipinas at South China Sea. Bagamat sunud-sunuran sa US, nakaasa sa militar ng US at nagsisilbi sa kapangyarihan nito, itinatambol ng mga upisyal sa depensa ng Pilipinas ang mga usapin sa soberanya sa pag-asang makabig ang suporta ng mamamayan.

Sa mamamayang Pilipino

Makabayang tungkulin ng bawat Pilipino na ipaglaban ang pambansang soberanya at panteritoryong integridad habang nananatiling malakolonya ang Pilipinas, sa ilalim man ng imperyalistang kapangyarihan ng US sa kalahatan, o mapalitan man ng China ang US sa anumang antas o kung magsabwatan man ang dalawang imperyalistang kapangyarihang ito upang panatilihing huwad ang kalayaan ng Pilipinas.

Sa harap ng umiigting na pagpapalawak ng China sa ekonomya at militar, nananawagan ang Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) sa mamamayang Pilipino na magkaisa at magiting na labanan ang panghihimasok at pangangamkam ng China sa Pilipinas. Bahagi ito ng kanilang kabuuang pakikibaka na makamit ang tunay na pambansang kalayaan at katarungang panlipunan.

Mahigpit na mahigpit ang paglaban na ito dahil ang soberanya ng bansa ay lalong inaagnas ng China habang hinahamon nito ang dominasyon ng imperyalismong US sa Pilipinas at iba pang bahagi ng Asia-Pacific.

Ang pakikibakang ito ay naglalayong bawiin ang buong soberanong kontrol sa West Philippine Sea at lahat ng rekurso sa loob ng EEZ ng bansa. Igiit sa China na iatras ang mga sasakyang Coast Guard nito sa Panatag Shoal nang makapangisda sa lugar ang mga mamamalakayang Pilipino, kasama ng mga mangingisdang Chinese.

Hinihikayat ng Partido ang mamamayan na manawagan para sa paglansag ng mga pasilidad militar ng China sa Spratly islands at igiit ang pag-atras ng lahat ng pwersang Chinese mula sa mga artipisyal na islang ito.

Maaaring igiit ng mga Pilipino sa China na magbayad ng $105 bilyon kabayaran sa 124 kilometro kwadradong sinirang bahura resulta ng kanilang reklamasyon ng lupa (katulad ng pagpapabayad sa US ng $1.97 milyon sa pinsalang ginawa ng USS Guardian sa 1,000 metro kwadrado ng Tubbataha Reef noong 2013) at di bababa sa $70 bilyon bilang upa sa mga nagdaang taon ng iligal na pag-okupa sa mga bahagi ng teritoryong dagat ng Pilipinas at EEZ (tulad ng paggiit ng Pilipinas sa US noong 1988 na magbayad ng upa sa mga base militar ng US). Maaari nilang igiit na maipailalim ang China sa kauukulang mga organo ng UN at ipakumpiska ang mga pagmamay-ari nito sa US at iba pang panig pabor sa mga iginigiit ng Pilipinas. Ang mahigit $175 bilyong bayarin ng China sa Pilipinas ay di hamak na mas malaki kaysa sa pabigat na mga pautang na ibinigay nito sa rehimeng Duterte.

Dagdag pa, maaaring igiit ng mamamayang Pilipino ang pananagutan ng China sa insidente sa Recto Bank at itulak ang pag-alis sa lahat ng sasakyang pangisda ng China mula sa EEZ ng bansa. Ipatigil ang labis na pangingisda ng China at wakasan ang malawakang paghuli ng mga hayop pangkaragatan na nanganganib nang maubos. Igiit ang paghinto sa pagpapakitang lakas ng mga sasakyang pandigma ng China sa karagatan ng Pilipinas. Igiit ang pagtigil sa mga aktibidad pananaliksik ng China sa loob ng teritoryong daga ng bansa at EEZ.

Igiit na isapubliko ang mga kundisyon sa lahat ng kontrata sa pautang ng China at hingin ang pagkansela sa mga kontratang nakapipinsala sa interes at kapakanan ng mamamayang Pilipino. Ipanawagan ang pagpawalambisa ng prangkisang nagbigay lisensya sa China Telco na pag-aari ng estado na makapag-opereyt ng kumpanyang telekomunikasyon sa Pilipinas. Ipatigil ang mga proyektong sumisira sa kalikasan tulad ng mga proyektong dam na Chico River at Kaliwa, gayundin ang malawakang pagmimina ng black sand at iba pang mineral.

Magkaisa upang itanghal ang bandila ng bansa bilang simbolo ng pambansang pakikibaka at ihiwalay ang gubyernong Duterte sa pambansang pagtataksil nito. Manawagan sa lahat ng patriyotikong pwersa sa gubyerno, kabilang yaong mga nasa militar at pulisya, na kumilos ayon sa adhikain ng mamamayan.

Ang pakikibaka para bawiin ang kontrol sa ating mga karagatan – ang teritoryong dagat at EEZ ng bansa, ay isa sa krusyal na larangan ng laban sa kasalukuyan. Sa gayon, masidhing hinihikayat ng Partido ang lahat ng Pilipinong mamamalakaya at opereytor ng mga bangkang pangisda na magkaisa at maramihang kumilos at manguna sa pakikibakang ito. Ang sama-samang pagkilos ng mamamalakayang Pilipino ay dapat suportahan ng bawat makabayang Pilipino.

Dapat makuha ng mamamayang Pilipino ang suportang internasyunal para sa kanilang adhikain. Dapat silang manawagan sa mamamayang Chinese na suportahan ang paglaban ng mamamayang Pilipino na ipagtanggol ang soberanya laban sa paghamak ng kanilang mapanupil at mapanakop na rehimen. Dapat nilang hikayatin ang lahat ng mga mamamayan at kanilang mga gubyerno na magbigay ng lahat ng tipo ng suporta – diplomatiko, pampulitika, ligal, moral at materyal – sa pakikibaka ng mamamayang Pilipino na bawiin ang kanilang karagatan mula sa China. Gayunman, dapat nilang matibay at malinaw na ideklara na ito’y laban ng mamamayang Pilipino sa pangunahin. Dapat nilang paunang paalalahanan ang militar ng alinmang bansa laban sa pakikialam. Ang lakas sa militar ng China, gaano man kalaki, ay mapatutunayang inutil sa harap ng nagkakaisang mamamayang Pilipino.

Hinahamon ng Partido ang mga Pilipinong kabataang intelektwal na magsilbing tanglaw ng patriyotismong Pilipino at maging pwersa ng makabayang paghihimagsik laban sa dayuhang interbensyon. Pag-aralan at palaganapin ang mga sulatin ng mga haligi sa nasyunalismong Pilipino at tumulong sa pagbubuklod ng mamamayang Pilipino. Tumungo sa milyon-milyong mamamayan upang pukawin at pag-alsahin sila nang nagkakaisa.

Ang Partido’y dapat na maging taliba at gulugod ng pakikibaka ng mamamayang Pilipino para bawiin ang kanilang karagatan at labanan ang mga paglabag ng China sa soberanya ng bansa. Dapat pangunahan ng Partido ang pagbubuklod ng buong mamamayan sa isang malapat na pambansang makabayang prente.

Dapat ilantad ng Partido ang gubyerno ng China bilang imperyalistang gubyerno. Hindi na maikukubli ng manipis na tabing ng “sosyalismo na may mga katangiang Chinese” ang lansakang mga hakbangin ng walang-pagbabalatkayong imperyalismo kabilang ang tuwirang pag-agaw ng mga bahagi ng EEZ sa West Philippine Sea at pagtatayo ng mga pasilidad militar sa mga artipisyal na isla.

Dapat ilantad at tuligsain ng Partido ang hangarin ng China na kontrolin ang mga sona ng pamumuhunan at impluwensya, gayundin ang mga ruta ng kalakalan, pinagkukunan ng hilaw na materyales at murang lakas-paggawa na nagreresulta sa pambansang pang-aapi at paglabag sa mga soberanong bansa. Dapat nitong ilantad ang agresibong pag-eksport ng China ng labis na kapital sa porma ng mga pautang at dayuhang pamumuhunan na dumudumog at nagdodomina sa di-maunlad na mga bansa tulad ng Pilipinas. Dapat ilantad ng Partido ang pandaigdigang krisis ng kapitalismo at ang namumunong pang-ekonomya at pangmilitar na hidwaan sa pagitan ng mga imperyalistang kapangyarihan na mabilis na umiigting tungo sa lantarang mga tunggalian at gera.

Dapat bigkisin ng Partido ang pakikibaka laban sa pananakop at panghihimasok ng China sa pakikibaka ng mamamayang Pilipino para sa pambansa at panlipunang paglaya. Ang umiiral na malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistema sa Pilipinas ay naging dahilan ng pagiging bulnerable nito sa ekspansyunismo o mapanakop na patakaran ng China. Sa ilalim ng maraming dekada ng paghaharing neokolonyal ng US, nanatiling atrasado ang Pilipinas sa ekonomya at nakasandig ang militar. Ang dominasyon ng US sa Pilipinas ay naging sanhi ng pagiging bulnerable ng bansa at marupok sa paghahangad ng China sa imperyalistang dominasyon.

Dapat pukawin ng Partido ang mamamayang Pilipino na lumaban bilang isang patriyotikong pwersa sa hangarin ng China na dominahin ang Pilipinas. Magsisilbing matibay na pwersa ang nagkakaisang mamamayang Pilipino sa pagtatanggol at pagtataguyod ng pambansang soberanya. Walang laban ang higanteng China sa matibay at matwid na makabayang adhikain ng mamamayang Pilipino.

CPP/NPA-Abra: Bukas na liham para sa pamilya ng 2 CAFGU na biktima ng berdugong AFP-PNP

NPA-Abra propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 28, 2019): Bukas na liham para sa pamilya ng 2 CAFGU na biktima ng berdugong AFP-PNP


AUGUST 28, 2019

Para Kadagiti Kapamilya ken Kakabagian ni Dandi Wacquisan ken Gordon Gallao:

Panggep daytoy nga surat mi nga mangilawag iti napasamak a labanan iti detachment idiay Brgy. Maguyepyep, Sallapadan, Abra a nu sadinnu ket da ni Dandi Wacquisan ken Gordon Gallao ti nagbalin a kaswalti.

Konkondenaren mi ti inuulbod nga akusasyon ti AFP-PNP nga NPA ti nakin-aramid iti nasao a krimen. Maysa daytoy a fake news, black propaganda laban iti CPP-NPA-NDF, ken panagkalub iti bukod da a krimen.

Kakadlaw a fake news daytoy ti AFP gapu ta iti napalabas, nu ti AFP,PNP ken CAFGU ti nadarangranan wenno naaddaan ti casualty ket saan da ianunsyo. Ngem ita, napaspas da nga inpadamag ti depensib a pasamak kanyada.Paset daytoy ti scripted a drama wenno military saywar tactics da tapnu pasaknapen iti kapanunutan ti umili nga adda terorismo ken agpammarang nga isuda ti manngibus iti daytoy. Kagiddan na daytoy ti panangiturong ti akusasyon nga ti CPP-NPA-NDF ti terorista.

Amin a plano ken aksyong militar nga isaysayangkat ti NPA ket maisigsigurado nga adda ti politikal a basaran ken panggep tapnu sungbatan ti kadawatan ti umili a mabira dagiti armado a pwersa ti reaksyonaryo a gobyerno aglalo ta isuda pay ti mangiyun-una kadagiti ilegal ken kontra-umili nga aramid.

Saan a galad ti NPA ti panaglimed ken panaglibak kadagiti aksyong militar na kas iti ambush, snayp, reyd, panagdusa kadagiti personahe a kontra-umili ken kontra-rebolusyonayo ken dadduma pay. Amin datoy ket maipablaak kadagiti pagiwarnak, radyo, telebisyon ken dadduma pay a social media outlet, gapu ta paset amin daytoy ti balligi ti gubat ti umili.

Numan pay birbiraen tayo dagiti detachment ti AFP-CAFGU, iti kapadasan, siaamo ti AFP ken CAFGU amin nga maisaysayangkat a laban ti NPA ket saan a napaut ken maksimum a panggep na ket makapagklining ti armas.

Ikarkarigatan met lang ti NPA a magun-od ti wagas ti raid nga awan ti putok ken awan kaswalti aglalo nu napasuko tayo isudan, agagasan tayo dagiti nasugatan ken saanen a makalaban ken aw-awisen isuda nga umikkat iti serbisyo da iti reaksyonaryo ken bulok nga gobyerno.

Taltamegan tayo nga iaw-awis kadagiti CAFGU a panawan ti kastoy a klase ti trabaho. Nabayagen nga napasnek tayo nga ipakpakaawat kadagiti umili ken CAFGU mismo nga pagbalbalinen laeng isuda nga kalasag dagiti Cadreman kadagiti operasyon, tagabo ken para-masahe,maipapaidaman ti sweldo, maipaspasubo kadagiti ilegal a transaksyon ken pagbalbalinen nga asset laban iti rebolusyonaryo a tignayan. Sursuruan da laeng dagiti CAFGU nga mangparnuay ti panakagudua-gudua iti ili, ken pumatay para iti agar-ari a dasig.

Agpayso nga kas armado nga instrumento ti estado, dagiti AFP,PNP, ken CAFGU ket maibilang kas kabusor ti umili ngem bigbigen tayo isuda kas biktima met laeng ti kabulukan ti gobyerno. Ammo tayo nga kaaduan kanyada ket napilitan a pinili daytoy a panggedan. Dakkel a porsyento kanyada ket naggapu iti dasig a mannalon isu nga karaman da met laeng kadagiti umili nga aw-awisen tayo a talikudan ti estado a pagserserbian da ngem isu met lang ti mangparparigat kanyada.

Ti pasamak keni Dandi ken Gordon ket pamaneknek iti maka-ayup ken berdugo a programa ti Rehimeng US-Duterte tapnu maipatungpal ti Oplan Kapanatagan iti intero a pagilian ken naan-anay a maimplementar ti Martial Law.

Planado ti AFP-PNP ti nasao a krimen tapno ikalintegan ti ad-adu a presensya ti tropa da iti intero a proninsya ti Abra.Ti risiris dagiti CAFGU ken AFP a nagturong iti panagpipinnatay da ket dagus da nga inparang iti media kas terorismo kanu nga insayangkat ti NPA. Kasapulan da nga iparang nga adda terrorismo ken ipabasul da daytoy ti CPP-NPA NDF tapnu kagiddan na ket makaluban met laeng ti bukod da krimen.Iti desperasyon da a rippuogen ti rebolusyonaryo a tignayan, maala da a pumatay iti intar da tapno laeng maipagballigi dagiti narurugit da a plano. Ngarud, iti kastoy nga aramid, isuda ti terorista. Kayat da nga idayo ti rikna ti umili iti NPA, banag nga saan a mapasamak gapu ta naadal ti umili ti ag-amiris ken bigbigen da ti NPA kas pudno a soldados da a para iti marigrigat ken maidadanes.

Addu met lang ti maipapadanon a reklamo kanyami kasilpo iti panaggian ti detachment kadagiti komunidad. Ammo mi met lang nga adu dagiti saan a pagkikinaawatan ti CAFGU ken AFP ken uray iti PNP. Agpayso nga saanen a mabura ti narugit ken nadara a rekord ti 24th IB iti panaggian da iti Abra, kakumplot dagiti opisyal iti tukad probinsya.

Ngarud, awan ti kainaigan ti NPA-Abra iti napasamak a rinupak. Makiladladingit kami. Kagiddan na daytoy, makikaykaysa kami nga rumbeng laeng a madusa ti makin-aramid iti daytoy a krimen.

Agbalin koma nga awis daytoy iti amin a kabagian ken kailian ni Dandi tapno saanen a sumrek iti kastoy a klase a panggedan.

Ammo mi nga sakbay a madanon kayo iti daytoy a surat mi, ket palalo ti pungtot yo kanyami gapu ta namati kayo iti inpasaknap a damag ti 24th IB ken PNP. Ngem pag-iggiman mi latta ti kinapudno. Ti kinapudno met lang ti mangiduron kanya tayo nga gun-oden ti hustisya ken iti dalan ti rebolusyon tayo laeng a magun-od ti hustiya.

Kalinaw News: 114 Region 7 Cops Now Ready for Internal Security Operations

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 28, 2019): 114 Region 7 Cops Now Ready for Internal Security Operations

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz- 114 police personnel from the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO-7) successfully completed the PNP Internal Security Operations (PISO) Training at 3 rd Division Training School (3DTS) on August 28, 2019.

The closing ceremony was graced by MGen Dinoh Dolina, Commander, 3ID and PRO-7 Director BGen Debold Sinas.

The said training which commenced last July 16 is part of the collaborative efforts of the Army and PNP in implementing internal security operations through the expanded cross-trained training of more or less 30 to 45 days.

It is designed to train and equip PNP personnel with right attitude, knowledge, skills, and capability on public safety in order to secure the people against criminality, violence, terrorism and threats of insurgency.

In his message, MGen Dolina commended the graduates of the PNP ISO Training for enduring and completing more than a month of training at 3DTS in order to become the best guerilla fighters in the Visayas.

MGen Dolina also expressed his gratitude to BGen Sinas for choosing Camp Peralta as training ground for PRO-7’s potential counter-insurgents. “Having a common denominator with our soldiers here in Visayas brings our organizations closer to each other, thus making our jobs easier,” MGen Dolina emphasized.

He lauded the effort of BGen Sinas for taking serious action to capacitate the PRO-7 and taking the lead in fight against insurgents in Army and PNP joint area of operations.

It can be recalled that the 3DTS also catered the PNP Basic Internal Security Course (BISOC) where 317 police personnel from Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) completed the course last May 03, 2019. These police personnel were trained by 25 Community Support Program (CSP) instructors from 3ID.

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: 219 Former MILF combatants finish basic military training

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 28, 2019): 219 Former MILF combatants finish basic military training

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – A total of 219 former Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) combatants graduated from a month of basic military training in Army’s 602 nd Infantry Birgade in Camp Lucero, Brgy Nasapian, Carmen, North Cotabato this morning.

The former combatants underwent 26 days of Basic Military Training, composed of Class 53-2019 and Class 54-2019, to become part of the Joint Peace and Security Team (JPST) as part of the peace agreement of the government and the MILF.

The training started last August 01, 2019 that aimed to equip them to become competent peacekeeping forces, which is composed of the MILF-BIAF, AFP and PNP. This team will be deployed at the 6 government-acknowledged MILF camps during the decommissioning of the former combatants on September 07, 2019.

The ceremony was attended by Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana as guest of honor and speaker; Joint Task Force Central Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon; 602 nd Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Alfredo B. Rosario; Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Director Police/Brigadier General Marni C. Marcos; Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Assistant Secretary David B. Diciano; BARMM Ministry of Finance and Budget Management Minister Eduard Guerra; Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Vice Chairman Datu Romeo Sema; and BARMM Ministry of Transportation and Communication Minister
Dickson Hermoso.

“I put emphasis on the values as to how this could help you relearn the basics and assess yourselves both in terms of knowledge to concepts and application of combat skills,” said Maj. Gen. Carreon.

“The Joint Task Force Central and the AFP as a whole are glad to have been working with you in pursuit of lasting peace and sustainable development in Central Mindanao, he added.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Sobejana said, in his message, that the training has equipped them to become more resilient and capable because their roles after the training will be as important as the role of every security sector since they will be tasked as additional peacekeeping forces.
In closing, he encouraged everyone to be part of the foundation of just and lasting peace
along with sustainable progress in the Bangsamoro Region. He also reminded not to be
deceived by others who always choose to take the wrong path.

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

Kalinaw News: Army, NPA clash anew in Sursur town

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 28, 2019): Army, NPA clash anew in Sursur town

TAGO, Surigao del Sur – The Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion and the New Peoples Army (NPA) Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) clash anew in the hinterlands and uninhabited area of Vic Sua, Brgy Esperanza, Carmen, this province today, August 26, 2019 at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Elements of Charlie Company, 36IB while conducting combat operation due to the reports from the civilian populace of the presence of NPA CTG in the said area, troops immediately responded and upon reaching the enemy location conducted skirmish position triggering the firefight in a running gun battle to more or less 10 NPA CTG believed to be member of SPP2, WGF30 of the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

The exchange of fires lasted for about 15 mins and the enemy scampered to different direction and forced to withdraw. The clash resulted in the wounded of one soldier and undetermined number to the NPA CTG as bloodstains scattered on the path of their withdrawal.

The said WIA was extricated to the encounter site and arrived at the nearest hospital. The attending physician had treated the WIA and declared in stable condition.

In his statement, Ltc Xerxes Trinidad, Commander of the 36IB said that the 36IB will never stop going after these NPA CTG. We will never stop chasing this menace of the country until the last drop of our blood.

“We will never stop until communities and populace will experience the peace and progress that they are longing for.” Ltc Trinidad added.

He further added that the growing support of the community to the Philippine Army manifest a bold move to help in ending the Communist armed conflict.

“It is our commitment to preserve the peace and order situation in the province. We will sacrifice our lives in order to protect the peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur. To the remaining CTG, lay down your arms and surrender now. You still have a chance, live in peace and harmony together with your family, “Ltc Trinidad ended.

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 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:Tribal Leaders of Agusan and MisOr Unite to End Insurgency

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 28, 2019): Tribal Leaders of Agusan and MisOr Unite to End Insurgency

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – A total of 55 Tribal Leaders of Higaonon, Banwaon and Manobo from the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Misamis Oriental voice their stand to end Local Communist Armed Conflict on August 24, 2019 at Headquarters 23rd Infantry Battalion, Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte.

The activity was conducted to define the roles of Tribal Leaders in relation to the implementation of Executive Order 70 – Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The Whole-of-Nation Approach requires the participation of not only the different agencies of the government but the different sectors of the community in addressing the very long existing insurgency caused by the CPP-NPA which hinders development particularly in the countryside.

The different tribal leaders expressed their desire to fight the CPP-NPA to finally end local communist armed conflict.

Present during the meeting were: Congresswoman Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante-Matba, Representative, 2nd District of Agusan del Norte; Mr. Ferdaussi Cerna, the Regional Director of NCIP in CARAGA and Datu Bawang Eddie Ampiyawan, Provincial IP Mandatory Representative of Agusan del Norte.

Meanwhile, Datu Bawang Eddie Ampiyawan extends his gratitude to the Local Government Unit of Agusan del Norte and to the 23IB for helping the IPs/lumads and for hearing their grievances against the CPP-NPAs who continuously sow terror in their communities. He also said “I encourage all Tribal Leaders to support the government to end insurgency. Let us be one in fighting the CPP-NPA for us to have peaceful community. We will not allow them to deceive and manipulate anymore our families and become victims again of their evil interest.” – Datu Bawang added.

Moreover, Congresswoman Angel Amante Matba expressed her appreciation for holding the activity in supporting the effort of the government in implementing E.O. 70 particularly in the province of Agusan del Norte. “I know that there are many IPs deceived and recruited by the NPAs. I can’t take it if lumads will fight against each other. Let us work hand-in-hand, converge our efforts to end insurgency.” – Cong. Amante-Matba added

Likewise, Director Cerna articulated that the best contribution our Tribal Leaders can extend to end insurgency in CARAGA is to inform our respective constituents that there is only one government. “We shall support only the duly constituted government. Let us not be deceived by the CPP-NPA because they destroy the lives of our people. They caused disintegration amongst the Indigenous Peoples.”

Further, Lieutenant Colonel Francisco L. Molina Jr, Commanding Officer of 23rd Infantry Battalion stressed his appreciation to the Tribal Leaders in their passion in helping the government in ending local communist armed conflict. “Insurgency is not only the concern of the AFP and PNP, but it is the concern of every Filipino. With your expressed desire, cooperation and support, for sure, we can have peace and development in our communities.” – said Lieutenant Colonel Molina.

23rd Infantry Battalion Philippine Army
CMO Officer, 23IB, 4ID, PA
Mobile Nr. 09171440972
Facebook Page: 23rd Infantry Battalion @ TeamMasigasig23

[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: MMRPC SECRETARY FALLS, Nab in High Rise Condo Safehouse

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 28, 2019): MMRPC SECRETARY FALLS, Nab in High Rise Condo Safehouse

CUBAO, Quezon City – No matter how elusive a communist terrorist could be, she is bound to fall and be caught into the hands of vigilant military and police authorities.

Elements from Joint Task Force National Capital Region, Army Intelligence Regiment and Joint Special Operations Group, complemented by combined elements from the NCR Police Office, Quezon City Police District and Philippine National Police Special Action Force, arrested Metro Manila Regional Party Committee Secretary Esterlita Espinosa Suaybaguio while inside her high rise condominium safehouse at Escalades Condominium Tower 5, 20th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City, August 26.

Recovered in her possession were one 9mm pistol, one magazine assembly with seven rounds of ammunition, one hand grenade and subversive documents.

Suaybaguio was swooped down by virtue of a search warrant operation of violation of RA 1059 or illegal possession of firearms used by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 Judge Cecilyn & Burgos – Villavert, August 23.

The captured terrorist is facing three previous cases – multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and murder of Patrolman Ronald U. Napalan of Cabadburan City last June 29.

Suaybaguio was a Tagum City professor and had also served with the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee and Komesyon Mindanao (KOMMID).

It was learned that the woman high ranking leader transferred to Metro Manila after she was chosen by the CPP’s Central Committee to jumpstart and lead efforts to revive the communist movement in Metro Manila.

NCRPO Chief P/Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they applied for a search warrant after receiving intelligence information from their military counterparts.

[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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WESTMINCOM: Former outlaws now ready to serve nation rightfully

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Website (Aug 28, 2019): Former outlaws now ready to serve nation rightfully

After undergoing a month-long basic military training, 219 former Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) members are now ready to be deployed and become part of the Joint Peace and Security Team of the Bangsamoro region.

The training started on August 1, 2019 and culminated in a graduation ceremony held at the headquarters of the 602nd Infantry Brigade in Camp Lucero, Barangay Nasapian, Carmen, North Cotabato yesterday, August 27.

In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Diodado Carreon said to the graduates, “I put emphasis on the values as to how this could help you relearn the basics and assess yourselves both in terms of knowledge, concepts, and application of combat skills.”

“Joint Task Force Central and the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a whole, are glad to that we will be working with you in pursuit of lasting peace and sustainable development in Central Mindanao,” Maj. Gen. Carreon added.

As part of the peace agreement between the Philippine Government and the MILF, the training was done purposely to equip the former combatants to become competent peacekeeping forces prior their deployment to the 6 identified MILF camps, on September 7, 2019. They will form part of the team composed of the AFP, PNP, and MILF-BIAF.

The graduation ceremony was graced by WestMinCom commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana; Joint Task Force Central commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon; 602nd Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario; Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Director Police/Brigadier General Marni Marcos; Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Assistant Secretary David Diciano; BARMM Ministry of Finance and Budget Management Minister Eduard Guerra; Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Vice Chairman Datu Romeo Sema; and BARMM Ministry of Transportation and Communication Minister Dickson Hermoso.

In his message as the guest of honor and speaker, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana reminded the graduates not to be deceived by others who chose to still take the wrong path.

“You are trained to become more resilient and capable of performing your duties and responsibilities as part of the security forces,” said Lt.Gen. Sobejana.

“I encourage everyone to be part of the foundation of a just and lasting peace along with sustainable progress in the Bangsamoro region,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.

302nd IB has new commander

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 28, 2019): 302nd IB has new commander

The Army’s 302nd Infantry Brigade stationed in Tanjay City, Negros Oriental, has a new commander.

Col. Noel Baluyan, a member of the Philippine Military Acvademy Class 1990, took over the command of the 302nd Infantry Brigade from Brig. Gen. Ignacio Madriaga yesterday.

Madriaga, who had served as 302nd Infantry Brigade commander for one year and eight months, has been designated as chief of the AFP Office of the Strategic Studies and Strategy Management.

Before his new position, Baluyan served as deputy commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade and Task Group Cebu chief.

Baluyan supervises three Army battalions stationed in the southeastern portion of Negros island and in Bohol, as commander of the 302nd Infantry Brigade.*

‘Blame Joma, not us’

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 28, 2019): ‘Blame Joma, not us’

“Blame not us, but Communist Party of the Philippines leader Jose Maria Sison.”
The statement was made yesterday by Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, in response to accusations of Red tagging of militant organizations, or linking them to the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Arevalo said militant organizations should blame CPP leader Jose Maria Sison, who revealed that there are three components or processes, by which they are going to advance the armed revolution – that is by building the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“Now, if your organization is part of the National Democratic Front and Joma (Sison) is the one who mentioned the connection with affiliation of the NDF to the CPP-NPA, who should they blame for the Red-tagging?”
Arevalo asked.

“Why do they get offended when their organizations are mentioned to be affiliated with NDF, if they say NDF is legal and that they are not doing anything bad?” he also asked.

Migrante International and other progressive groups in Negros strongly denounced the vilification campaign against them during a recent Philippine Army forum that more than 2,000 students in Bacolod City, attended.

On Monday Maj. Gen. Dinoh Dolina, 3rd Infantry Division commander, vehemently debunked the issue of Red tagging that was hurled against them.

Dolina, who attended the launching of the Church Military Police (CMP) Forum- Negros at the Bishop’s House in Bacolod City, said “We know who our enemies are”.

Anti-insurgency TF backed

From the Visayan Daily Star (Aug 28, 2019): Anti-insurgency TF backed

The creation of Provincial Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) yesterday got overwhelming support from members of the Provincial Peace and Order and Development Councils of Negros Occidental.

The Negros Occidental PPOC and PDC, both, chaired by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, unanimously approved a resolution for its creation, in compliance with Executive Order No. 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte that institutionalizes the Whole-of-Nation Approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace.

Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, who briefed PPOC and PDC members on the creation of PTF-ELCAC during a joint meeting at the Negros First Residences in Bacolod City, said they will schedule its formal launching, and hold another workshop on how to deliver government services, especially to NPA affected areas.

Arevalo said they will also exert efforts for the realization of localized peace talks, that already got the support of the Roman Catholic Church in Negros.

It is a very challenging task, but we will try to, at least, make an effort, he added.

The newly-formed PTF-ELCAC will be chaired by Lacson, with Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer as vice-chairman, and its members will include representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Police and various government agencies.

Following the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is urging the s 81 provinces “to do their share in bringing local insurgency to its conclusion” by organizing their respective task force against insurgency.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said, in a statement, that provinces play a key role in wiping out the decades-old local communist problem because “they are more grounded on the societal issues in their localities which are being exploited by communist terrorist groups to influence locals to take up arms against the government.”

Unfriendly, not hostile: Navy drafting protocols for warship intrusions

From Rappler (Aug 29, 2019): Unfriendly, not hostile: Navy drafting protocols for warship intrusions

The Philippine Navy is working on protocols for foreign vessels 'intruding' in territorial waters, following President Rodrigo Duterte's order to enforce sovereignty even through 'unfriendly' ways

FIRST FRIGATE. The BRP Jose Rizal as it was launched in a shipyard in South Korea in May 2019. Expected to join the Philippine Navy fleet in 2020, it will be the country's most powerful warship yet. Photo from the Philippine Navy

Without the military muscle to match the occasional foreign warship wandering unannounced through its territorial seas, the Philippines is looking for ways to compel trespassers to leave without provoking an armed response.

The Philippine Navy is working on protocols for dealing with intruders, to enforce an order from President Rodrigo Duterte to drive away unauthorized foreign vessels even through "unfriendly" means if necessary, Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad told reporters on Wednesday, August 28.

A series of recent incursions by Chinese naval and survey vessels has caused alarm among security officials, and prompted Duterte to issue the directive.

The question is, how "unfriendly" can Philippine forces get toward stronger navies like China's?

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier dodged the question, saying he would defer to the Navy's recommendations.

"So regarding the 'unfriendly' gesture, the Navy is coming up with rules of engagement…. Not necessarily provocative kasi 'pag nag-general quarters ka(because if you call general quarters), it means your ship is ready for war. We will not be doing that," Empedrad said.

"General quarters" is a signal calling a navy ship's crew to prepare for battle.

Possible scenario

There are no definite rules yet, but the Navy chief described a possible scenario.

Once the Navy's littoral, or coastal, monitoring station detects an unannounced foreign warship, it can send its own vessel to approach and "shadow" the warship.

The Filipino crew will "continuously challenge" the foreign warship by radio, informing it that it has entered Philippine territorial waters, and that it must take the quickest route out.

If the warship ignores communication or if it turns off its automatic identification system, making it undetectable by radar, the Philippine Navy can deploy a plane to shadow it, too, and take pictures to establish its location.

If the intruder still does not budge, then the Philippine ship can cross its bow to cut its course and edge it until it exits Philippine waters.

"Hanggang ganun lang ang puwede nating gawin (That's about all we can do). We cannot provoke them," Empedrad said, but added that a foreign warship is unlikely to respond with hostility if it is caught foraying into Philippine waters without the government's permission.

"Malalagay siya sa alanganin diyan (It will get in trouble)," Empedrad added.


In recent weeks, security officials revealed successive reports of Chinese naval vessels passing Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi and Balabac Strait in Palawan without notice to the government.

Although Sibutu Strait is considered an international sea lane where vessels from any country are entitled to innocent passage, Lorenzana and the commanders of military units in Tawi-Tawi and Palawan said warships ought to inform the government before passing through, as is customary among most navies.

Besides, there were instances when the Chinese warships followed a curved course, which could not be considered "innocent passage" as it must be a straight line or the shortest way through the strait, the officials said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has filed several diplomatic protests against China over the unauthorized passage of its naval and survey vessels.

Although security officials welcomed Duterte's order to demand that foreign vessels seek the government's permission before traversing Philippine waters, they could not immediately tell how they're going to enforce it.

While presenting his proposed budget for the Department of National Defense to lawmakers on Tuesday, August 27, Lorenzana said that the military had only a "small capability to react to these intrusions."

The government is slated to spend P25 billion in 2020 on the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Plan to give it a credible defense capability.

The current phase of the program, from 2018 to 2022, has been alloted a total of P125 billion for acquiring vessels, aircraft, weaponry, and other assets.

On Wednesday, Empedrad said "the Navy should be the one to be modernized" because the Philippines is a maritime nation.

The Navy will be getting new warships over the next few years: two brand new frigates, two brand new corvettes, and possibly two more hand-me-down corvettes from South Korea.

Although these will significantly boost the Navy's capability to stand up to intruders, Empedrad said there is still a long way to go before it can match China's naval might.

Until then, "We will always challenge if they enter our territorial waters. That is our role," said the Navy chief.

Philippines sends BRP Ramon Alcaraz off to ASEAN-U.S. naval drills

From Rappler (Aug 29, 2019): Philippines sends BRP Ramon Alcaraz off to ASEAN-U.S. naval drills

The Philippine Navy will participate in the first ever maritime exercises between the United States and ASEAN member states, as the region pushes back against China's expansionism

NAVAL DRILLS. The Philippine Navy sends the BRP Ramon Alcaraz and its crew off to Thailand on August 29, 2019, for the first ASEAN-US Maritime Exercises. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

The Philippine Navy sent the Del Pilar-class patrol ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz off to Sattahip, Thailand, to participate in the first ever joint maritime exercises among the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US.

A Naval Task Group of 172 Philippine Navy sailors and marines pulled out from the Manila South Harbor on Thursday, August 29, after a send-off ceremony led by the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Loumer Bernabe.

“This is a very important and timely activity as it shall boost our readiness to work seamlessly with our counterparts, particularly in countering security threats,” Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said in a statement delivered by Bernabe.

Navies from the ASEAN states – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines – and the US will hold maritime drills from September 2 to 6 in the waters of eastern Thailand to "promote maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight, and unimpeded commerce in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law," the Philippine Navy said.

The ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercises (AUMX) will be hosted by the US Navy and the Royal Thai Navy.

In recent years, the US has increasingly engaged with its allies in the Asia Pacific region to push back against China's attempts to dominate the region.

Earlier this month, the American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan made a friendly port call in Manila, a move perceived as a message of deterrence against China’s expansionism.

Washington has repeatedly called out Beijing for militarizing the South China Sea, disregarding international maritime law, and bullying smaller countries to gain control of the strategic sea lane.

The Philippines faces the challenge of China’s encroachment of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea, where Chinese vessels have been swarming Philippine-held islands and outposts.

A series of intrusions by Chinese warships in the Sibutu and Balabac straits have posed a security challenge to Philippines and highlighted its Navy’s incapacity to match China’s naval might.

The government recently said that it would prioritize modernizing the Philippine Navy, with the planned acquisition of new warships and submarines in the next few years.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, acquired from the US Coast Guard in 2013, is among the newer vessels in the Navy’s fleet.

As recent as 5 years ago, the Philippine Navy did not get invitations to international drills, Bernabe said, and the fact that it now regularly participates in joint exercises abroad is a sign of improvement.

“When you’re invited by navies around the world, it only shows that you do have the credibility. Before, they did not invite the Philippine Navy to participate because our vessels couldn’t reach their area because of distance. But now, the Philippine Navy is very visible in international occasions and exercises like these,” Bernabe told reporters after the ceremony.

PH Navy to get submarines, might lease HQ

From Rappler (Aug 29, 2019): PH Navy to get submarines, might lease HQ

Racing to keep up with other countries' naval capabilities, the Philippines plans to acquire new warships and submarines, but it might lease its naval headquarters to help fund the asset-buying spree

NAVY CHIEF. Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad speaks to reporters at Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila on August 28, 2019. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

For an archipelago with an enviable strategic location, the fact that the Philippines has one of the region's most underequipped navies is lamentable, the Navy chief admitted, and he would willingly give up his office overlooking Manila Bay if it meant more boats, ships, and perhaps, a submarine or two.

"Maganda mag-opisina dito dahil nakikita mo 'yung dagat (It's nice to hold office here because you have a view of the sea), but then…" Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad trailed off as he discussed a plan to lease their headquarters that occupies prime real estate along Roxas Boulevard.

Empedrad confirmed to reporters on Wednesday, August 28, that the Navy is "engaging with companies" over a plan to lease Naval Station Jose Andrada for about P40 billion.

The Department of Budget and Management has earmarked the lease proceeds for the ballooning cost of retired soldiers' and war veterans' pensions.

Empedrad disagrees, "I would rather use it to modernize our Philippine Navy."

"Relative to our neighboring powerful navies, malayo pa tayo (we're still a long way off)," he added.

Confronted with Chinese naval, survey, and fishing vessels criss-crossing Philippine territorial waters with growing frequency, the government said the Navy will become the focus of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Plan – a 15-year program to boost the military's defense capabilities that began in 2013 worth roughly P300 billion.

Last week, the Navy brought home the Pohang-class corvette BRP Conrado Yap, a refurbished 30-year-old hand-me-down from South Korea, equipped with anti-surface, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

In the next several years, the Navy is expected to get two brand new frigates, two brand new corvettes, and another two refurbished Pohang-class corvettes.

In September, the Navy will commission 4 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) and 3 multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC).

President Rodrigo Duterte has "approved in principle" the Navy's plan to acquire two submarines, Empedrad said. Last month, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the first submarine might be acquired from France.

Meanwhile, the Navy also wants to be able to build its own ships locally. Empedrad said talks are underway with possible contractors, including the Australian shipbuilder Austal, to build shipyards capable of churning out warships for the Navy.

By the end of the Duterte administration in 2022, Empedrad expects the Navy to acquire 6 new offshore patrol vessels (OPV) and 8 new fast attack interdictor craft-missiles (FAIC-M), of which 4 would be constructed locally.

"This is crucial to achieving the self-reliant defense posture that our defense secretary is pushing for," Empedrad said in a mix of Filipino and English.

But to achieve all this requires a lot of money, and Empedrad said the Navy is willing to make its own adjustments to help shore up funds.

They could move the headquarters to Naval Station Sangley Point in Cavite City or Naval Station Fort Bonifacio in Taguig. The Marines could move to Morong, Bataan.

"Although magiging masikip kami doon (we would be cramped there)," Empedrad added.

If and when the Navy moves, the property their headquarters now occupies, adjacent to the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, will be expanded by reclaiming a portion of the harbor.

It would command a hefty price, Empedrad said. "Mahal na dito (It's become expensive here)."