Friday, August 30, 2019

Slow Marawi rehab puts the city at risk for another ISIS security threat

From the Manila Bulletin (Aug 29, 2019): Slow Marawi rehab puts the city at risk for another ISIS security threat

The snail-paced implementation of the Marawi rehabilitation program can be a factor that will push for another ISIS-inspired siege and this time, the civilian population might be passive and easily give up.

A soldier walks past pro-Isis graffiti in Marawi (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters Marawi Maute/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This is the scenario painted by partylist Reps. Amihilda Sangcopan (AMIN Partylist) and Michael Aglipay (DIWA Partylist) in Muslim Mindanao as they urged government to nudge Bangon Marawi implementors to act swiftly in the rehabilitation of the city nearly destroyed during the Maute siege in 2017.

Appearing as guest panelist at the Partylist Forum, Sangcopan complained that budget released by government for the city’s rehabilitation has been drastically reduced even as plans to restore normalcy appeared to be unacceptable to the civilian population.

“I think that will be a factor, so what we need now is to show our sincerity in helping the displaced population in Marawi and immediately carry out the restoration and rehabilitation program,” said Sangcopan when asked whether the slow government action might push ISIS groups to lay siege in other areas.

Aglipay warned that inaction or slow action on the party of officials and agencies tasked to the Marawi City rebuild could jeopardize security in Muslim Mindanao.

“Everyday na may delay dito, naaapektuhan hindi lamang ang mga taga-Marawi, kundi pati ang mga kapatid na Muslim sa lugar. Baka mamaya maimpluwensyahan lamang sila ng ibang grupo na gumawa ng terroristic act,” said Aglipay. (Everyday that there is delay, it will affect not only Marawi folks but also other Muslims in the area. There is a possibility that some groups might influence them to stage terroristic act).

Sangcopan said the snail paced progress in the Bangong Marawi programs can be overcome with the passage of the Marawi compensation bill which proposes at least P50 billion in government funds as reparations for victims of the 2017 siege.

“This compensation bill is the remaining hope we have in order to make up for [or] compensate for the loss of lives and destruction brought about by the Maute attack,” she said.

Four Muslim legislators, including Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, co-authored the legislative proposal.

Sangcopan also called on the House of Representatives to exercise oversight powers over the Bangon Marawi program to address the sluggish implementation of its program to rebuild the city.

Police collar ‘NPA hitman’ accused of killing ex-rebel

Sunstar article posted to Yahoo News (Aug 29, 2019): Police collar ‘NPA hitman’ accused of killing ex-rebel

A SUSPECTED hitman for the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested after the police found his hideout in Barangay Guiwanon, Tabuelan town, northern Cebu on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 28, 2019.

Jonbert Momo, 29, was arrested by operatives of the first Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) led by Police Lt. Col. Rene Kyamko.
The suspect is a native of Barangay Bongbong, Pangantucan town in Bukidnon, Northern Mindanao.

The arrest was based on the warrant of arrest for murder issued by Malaybalay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Eldred Cole last July 10.

Momo allegedly killed former NPA leader Jerry Baguio.

Kyamko said they were able to receive information from Bukidnon police that Momo was hiding in a northern Cebu town.

Baguio’s wife, Yolanda, said in her affidavit that Momo, a former NPA member, killed her husband following the victim’s defection to the government.

Before he died, Baguio had served in the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit.

On Nov. 27, 2018, Baguio was allegedly murdered by Momo in Maramag town in Bukidnon.

The PMFC’s surveillance showed that Momo found a job in Tabuelan as a construction worker, said Kyamko.

During the arrest, Momo was caught by surprise. He tried to escape; he failed.

Momo reportedly cut his ties with the NPA after he fled to Cebu, said Kyamko.

In a separate interview, Momo denied that he was involved in Baguio’s death; he admitted that NPA members were behind Baguio’s death. He also belied the accusation that he was a hitman for the communists.

Two months before Baguio’s murder, Momo said he had relocated to Cebu.

Momo claimed he and Baguio were close friends, so he would not harm him. They left the NPA to focus on their personal lives.

Hanwha Systems wins contract to upgrade Philippine naval vessels

From Yonhap News Agency (Aug 30, 2019): Hanwha Systems wins contract to upgrade Philippine naval vessels

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- Hanwha Systems Co., a major South Korean defense firm, has signed a deal with the Philippines to export a ship combat system, an arms procurement agency official said Friday.

Under the 30 billion-won (US$24.82 million) contract signed Tuesday, Hanwha will supply the ship combat system to the Philippine Navy for its project to upgrade three 3,000-ton frigates, according to the official of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

By integrating equipment at naval vessels, the ship combat system generates and shares information on tactical situations.

Under the contract, Hanwha will also export electronic warfare equipment and sonar systems for frigate ships, he added.

Meanwhile, DAPA held a seminar in Manila on Wednesday, involving dozens of government officials from South Korea and the Philippines, as well as some 13 Korean defense companies.

"The event served as a venue for the two sides to discuss ways to further boost their defense industry ties and for the Korean companies to promote their weapons systems," DAPA said in a release.

Wang Jung-hong (2nd from R), chief of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration, poses for a picture along with Bernard Valencia (L), head of the Philippine Navy Business Unit; Delfin Lorenzana (C), defense minister of the Philippines; and Chang Si-kwon (R), CEO of Hanwha Systems, in Manila on Aug. 27, 2019, after signing a 30 billion-won contract to supply a ship combat system, in this photo provided by Hanwha. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Cloak and dagger: Duterte's record-high 2020 intel budget

From ABS-CBN (Aug 30, 2019): Cloak and dagger: Duterte's record-high 2020 intel budget

President Rodrigo Duterte is asking Congress to authorize P8.28 billion of the government’s proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 on surveillance alone—the highest during his term so far.

As it stands, the 2020 national budget will be the highest in Philippine history.

This, despite questions by critics on the use of intelligence information by the Duterte administration.

According to the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing attached to the National Expenditure Program (NEP) submitted to the House of Representatives, the Duterte administration allocated P5.57 billion in intelligence and confidential funds in 2017—the first budget written and prepared by the administration. The surveillance budget spiked to P8.16 billion in 2018, before going down to P7.032 billion in 2019 and then to P8.28 billion in 2020.

Duterte’s surveillance funds dwarf even the surveillance budget of the military and police, as well as the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA). Duterte alone controls more than half of what his government hopes to spend on surveillance in 2020—about P4.5 billion.

This is because as commander-in-chief, Duterte gets P2.25 billion in intelligence plus P2.25 billion in confidential expenses in 2020.

On the other hand, for their 2020 intelligence funds, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Philippine National Police (PNP) gets only P806.02 million, the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) get only P1.7 billion, the Department of Transportation which controls the Philippine Coast Guard has P10 million, while the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency gets only P20.2 nillion.

The intelligence funds of the DND/AFP, broken down, are as follows: Office of the Secretary, P10 million; Philippine Army, P444 million; Philippine Air Force, P17 million; Philippine Navy, P39.7 million; and General Headquarters, P1.18 million.

Duterte’s confidential funds—at P2.25 billion—also dwarf the confidential funds of other agencies in government.

Agencies with confidential funds are: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (P13.95 million), Department of Finance (P80.5 million), Department of Foreign Affairs (P50 million), Department of Interior and Local Government (P80.6 million), Department of Justice including the Bureau of Immigration and National Bureau of Investigation (P357.64 million), Department of National Defense (P23 million), Department of Transportation including the Philippine Coast Guard (P6.67 million), the Commission on Audit (P10 million), Ombudsman (P33.7 million), and the Commission on Human Rights (P1 million).

The Makabayan bloc earlier expressed fears over the rising levels of government spending on surveillance.

"Take this proposed intelligence budget with the proposed amendments to the Human Security Act (HSA) along with the PNP's and AFP's push for the revival of the Anti-Subversion Law and the militarization of campuses, then these would effectively make the whole Philippines as a police state. De facto martial law sa buong bansa ang mangyayari sa atin nito," said House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

Zarate last Tuesday expressed concerns that intelligence funds, along with the budget of the military and police, may just be used in "red-tagging".

“In the past, ano ba ginagawa nila? To villify progresisve organizations including (members of the) the Makabayan bloc who are in Congress,” he said.

Even Vice President Leni Robredo called on the government to justify the increased spending on intelligence.


Duterte’s spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, has tried to explain the increased intelligence spending, insisting it simply made more sense for the President to corner a huge chunk of the money. “Eh siguro—I do not know exactly the reason; but if you will ask me, I’ll be using my common sense by saying that you really need money if you want to secure your country. And the Office of the President is one of the better offices that can secure the security of the land.”

Panelo belittled concerns that more money should have been given to the intelligence funds of uniformed personnel, who have the primary deliverable of securing the public.

"Iisa lang naman ‘yan, they are still within the Office of the President, lahat sila," he said.

An official of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), meanwhile, said last Tuesday that the increase in intelligence funds sought by the Office of the President for 2020 is justified.

"It is--to us--justified because we ourselves are not privy to the extent of national security issues," said DBM acting Secretary Wendel Avisado.

But Avisado could not give further details on how the additional funds would be used. He said he leaves it up to the President to share the current situation of the country in light of threats and issues affecting the country's exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, which is being claimed by China in near entirety.

The General Provisions of the NEP define intelligence expenses as those related to intelligence information-gathering activities of uniformed and military personnel, and intelligence practitioners that have direct impact to national security.

Agencies using intelligence funds are required to submit to the President of the Philippines a quarterly report on the accomplishments in the use of said funds.

Implementation is subject to Commission on Audit-DBM-DILG-Government Commission on GOCCs-DND Joint Circular No 2015-01 dated January 8, 2015.

On the other hand, confidential expenses refer to those related to surveillance activities in civilian government agencies that are intended to support the mandate or operations of the agency.

Confidential funds are disbursed only upon approval of the department secretary concerned, according to Section 75 of the General Provisions.

Agencies using confidential funds are required to submit to the President of the Philippines and both Houses of Congress a quarterly report on the accomplishments in the use of said funds.

Former MILF strongholds to be transformed into thriving communities

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 31, 2019): Former MILF strongholds to be transformed into thriving communities

Sec. Carlito Galvez, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity, welcomes the 225 former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who begin training for peacekeeping work on Thursday, August 1. PHOTO by Taher Solaiman / Inquirer Mindanao

After a monthlong training, 219 former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are returning home as newly minted peacekeepers.

They will form part of the Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPST) to help secure former MILF strongholds and guerrilla bases as these are transformed into economically thriving civilian communities.

Making them peacekeepers is also part of the decommissioning of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF), the MILF’s armed wing.

Decommissioning is a component of the peace deal forged in 2014 between the government and the MILF. It involves “putting beyond use” the BIAF’s cache of firearms held by guerrillas and facilitating erstwhile fighters transition to full civilian life.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential adviser on peace, reconciliation and unity, said the JPST would also help settle disputes and actively take part in ridding the villages of “terrorists” and illegal drugs.

The BIAF members were trained on basic military and peacebuilding skills inside Camp Lucero at Carmen, Cotabato, base of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade.

A former combatant, Abdul Nul, said he could not believe at first that he was setting foot inside the camp of a former enemy and that he was being trained by military officers.

Comrades now

“Our enemies before are now our friends and they train us [on the] basic military course. Our former enemies are now our comrades,” said Nul, who was stationed at Camp Darapanan, the MILF administrative base.

“We are all happy that the training has already ended but this is not the ultimate end,” he said. “We have to do good in our task not only in securing the Bangsamoro but also the civilian communities here in Mindanao.”

He said he was excited to fulfill his role as “soldier for peace.”

The former combatants, who were provided with financial and food assistance, reunited with their families after a monthlong absence.

“It was really good that the solidarity and good relations [between us] were maintained. This paves the way for achieving peace in our country,” another trainee said.

“For me, it is really good that the BIAF, the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the PNP (Philippine National Police) are working together to secure and protect our communities,” he added.

Soldier hurt as teachers’ convoy ambushed

From Tempo (Aug 30, 2019): Soldier hurt as teachers’ convoy ambushed

MAP of Patikul, Sulu

A soldier was injured when a security convoy assigned to a group of teachers was ambushed by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu yesterday.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command, identified the injured soldier as Private First Class Ferdinand Payumo of the Philippine Army Special Forces.

The Special Forces and Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team were providing routine security carpooling for a group of teachers when they were waylaid by around five armed bandits in Sitio Kan Bangsawan, Barangay Kadday Mampallam at around 8 a.m., Sobejana said. Where the teachers were headed to was not disclosed.

A firefight ensued between the government troops and the bandits until reinforcement from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Police Regional Office responded, said Police Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos, regional director of the PRO-BARMM. “However, upon arriving in the area, they were also fired upon by the same lawless elements,” Marcos said.

The firefight lasted for a couple of minutes until the bandits withdrew towards south of Barangay Kadday Mampallam.

The teachers and the police were unharmed but Payumo sustained slight shrapnel wound in the back due to a possible rifle grenade explosion, Sobejana said.

Sobejana noted that the bandits used small firearms and an M203 grenade launcher.

Two teams of Special Forces have been sent to the area to conduct hot pursuit operations while police personnel were deployed for clearing operations.

Special Forces soldier wounded in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 30, 2019): Special Forces soldier wounded in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf

An Army soldier was wounded following a clash between government troops and suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu on Friday morning.

Soldiers were providing route security when they were fired upon by Abu Sayyaf members in Sitio Bangkawan in Brgy. Tanum at around 8 a.m., said Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas.

Private First Class Ferdinand Payumo of the 6th Special Forces Battalion sustained shrapnel wound on his back due to a rifle grenade explosion.

The suspects ran away after the soldiers returned fire. 

AFP vows to exhaust ‘lethal and non-lethal’ means vs. Reds

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 30, 2019): AFP vows to exhaust ‘lethal and non-lethal’ means vs. Reds

FEWER BUT STILL FIGHTING Members of the communist New People’s Army. AFP FILE PHOTO

The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday vowed to exhaust all means to end communist insurgency, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to finish the decades-long insurgency problem.

“We will exhaust all means available — lethal and non-lethal to hit the enemy and hit them hard,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

“We will employ the different lines of efforts with other agencies of government address or help alleviate the identified social issues that the New People’s Army capitalizes,” he added.

The President early this week told the military to put an end to insurgency: “We can’t afford to pass it in the next generations. It has to be now.”

He warned the public to expect “a little trouble”as he ordered the military to go after the NPA.

Arevalo said that one of their concerns is to stop the reported recruitment of NPA in schools through front organizations, IP communities, and other areas in the country.

He also claimed that the number of NPA fighters continue to decline, either through armed encounters, surrenders or arrests.

He cited the arrest of top communist leader Esterlita Suaybaguio Espinosa of the Central Committee and Secretary of the Metro Manila Regional Party Committee recently as one of their gains.

In 2018, Duterte signed an executive order to create a national task force to “end local communist armed conflict,” following the collapse of peace talks between the government and communist rebels.

Group seeks closure of 9 IP schools in Caraga region

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 31, 2019): Group seeks closure of 9 IP schools in Caraga region

A multisectoral body has stepped up its campaign against nine private schools for indigenous communities in the Caraga region, which the military has tagged as alleged training grounds for communist rebels.

The Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-Elcac) on Tuesday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to permanently shut down schools under the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) and the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) which, Cabinet Secretary and RTF-Elcac chair Karlo Alexei Nograles said, have refused to be accredited by the DepEd.

In a press release, Col. Maurito Licudine, 402nd Infantry Brigade commander, said closing down these “non-DepEd” schools would mean scuttling their recruitment scheme for the New People’s Army.

Sought for comment, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, a Manobo leader, condemned what she said were renewed efforts by the government to Red-tag and close down “lumad” schools.

“The TRIFPSS and Alcadev have been bestowed a literacy and numeracy award by the DepEd because they have been proven to be teaching a curriculum based on our culture,” she said.

Cullamat also denounced the use of government resources in the “violence and intimidation” against lumad communities, and deplored the “false allegations” by the 402nd brigade about the schools bringing “conflicts in the communities.”

She instead cited the killing of a lumad leader and Alcadev executive director allegedly by paramilitary troops in 2015.

Clash with NPA kills soldier, wounds 5 others

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Aug 30, 2019): Clash with NPA kills soldier, wounds 5 others

A soldier was killed while five others were wounded in a clash with New People’s Army (NPA) at Barangay Mabini, Basey town, Samar on Friday (Aug. 30).

The lone fatality was identified as a certain Cpl. Tabanao.

The soldiers, led by 1Lt. Reyzander Ga of the 46th Infantry Batallion, were on patrol in the area when they encountered the rebels.

Eastern Visayas, particularly Samar Island, remains to be a hotbed of communist rebellion.

Media orgs unite vs. red-tagging of 2 Oro journalists

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 31, 2019): Media orgs unite vs. red-tagging of 2 Oro journalists

Google map of Cagayan de Oro City

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Media organizations have condemned the red-tagging of two local journalists based in this city, saying the allegation was dangerous and an affront to free speech.

In a statement on Friday, the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) described the red-tagging of Leonardo Vicente Corrales and Froilan Gallardo as “unfounded accusations”.

Corrales is an associate editor of Mindanao Gold Star Daily and current member of the COPC board of directors, while Gallardo, a veteran journalist and photojournalist, writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mindanews, and Benar News.

COPC said it can vouch for Corrales and Gallardo, describing the journalists as “fair and unbiased in their reporting”.

Philippine jurisprudence defines red-tagging as “the act of labelling, branding, naming and accusing individuals and/or organizations of being left-leaning, subversives, communists," or worse, "enemies of the State".

Red-tagging is commonly employed by State agents, particularly law enforcement agencies and the military, according to the various jurisprudence on the subject.

COPC maintained that "obtaining stories from non-government entities as sources, even if they are perceived to be critical of the government, does not make a journalist a communist rebel or a terrorist”.

In a separate statement released on the same day, the Mindanao Independent Press Council (MIPC) said red-tagging "is tantamount to suppression of the freedom of the press and the right to free expression".

"Such baseless allegations could force any targeted journalist to exercise self-censorship and smacks of prior restraint,” MIPC said.

The council also noted that Corrales has been a victim of the same harassment in the past.

“Journalists can be critical in their stance about the issues that they are passionate about. Just like any other citizen, they can hold varying political and social beliefs and these are protected by law,” the group said.

MIPC said that when media practitioners go out of line, libel laws can be invoked by any injured party. “In short, legal venues are available when any citizen, journalists or not, is deemed to have broken the law," it said.

“There is no recourse, however, when phantom personalities resort to vicious propaganda against any member of the press whose lives are public in character and whose views are readily accessible to the general public,” it added.

For its part, the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) said it “finds the red-tagging of journalists and media organizations baseless and irresponsible".

"This does not only endanger the profession and render chilling effect but also put the lives of those red-tagged and their families at risk,” PPI said.

“We urge the government to hold accountable the perpetrators of such false, malicious and dangerous propaganda,” the PPI added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Oscar Moreno said he deplored the red-tagging as well as other forms of baseless accusations against any person.

“I am not aware of any governmental action or tactic (in which I am involved) employing tagging of any form, and am squarely against that,” Moreno said in a statement on Friday.

Moreno said he himself has been subjected to relentless, vigorous and orchestrated demolition jobs and character assassinations. “But I have found refuge in my clear conscience and in the thought that democracy must have space for dissent and conflicting views.” he said.

The mayor said he personally knows Gallardo and Corrales, “and I have no reason to believe at all that they should be subjected to any form or manner of demolition; neither do I doubt – even for a moment – their love of country and firm adherence to democratic principles”.

1K families benefit from Maguindanao outreach program

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 31, 2019): 1K families benefit from Maguindanao outreach program

HELPING HAND. A soldier of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade hands over a relief pack to one of the families affected by the recent conflict in Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao. More than 1, 000 families benefited from the outreach program spearheaded by the local government in the area on Friday (Aug. 30, 2019). (Photo courtesy of SSM LGU)

More than 1,000 families have benefited from a joint medical and dental mission spearheaded by the local government of Shariff Saydona Mustapha (SSM), Maguindanao on Friday.

Among the partners of the SSM municipal government in the undertaking were the provincial health office, military, and the office of Senator Nancy Binay.

Mayor Sajid Islam Ampatuan said the senator has given rice assistance to the families, most of whom were displaced by a recent military offensive against the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the area.

During the program, the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade provided security and manpower for the distribution of goods to the beneficiaries.

“This outreach package aims to bring government services to my town’s farthest barangays whose constituents could hardly come to the town center,” Ampatuan said of the activity held at far-flung Barangay Dasawao.

“The welfare of the people always comes first,” he added.

Aside from the distribution of food packs, the program also included prenatal checkup, dental services, diabetic tests, consultation, and minor surgical operations.

The SSM is situated near the so-called “SPMS box” that the military termed for the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Mamasapano, and Salibo, where the BIFF mainly operates.

On August 5, thousands of families fled the area due to the air and ground offensive launched by the military against the BIFF massing at the peripheries of the adjoining towns. After two weeks of the campaign, the military halted its operation and gave the displaced families the go-signal to return home.

Many of the families, however, preferred to stay at the evacuation centers for fear that the conflict between the government forces and BIFF might erupt again soon.

Ampatuan said more outreach programs are to take place in the remote villages of his town in the coming days.

CPP/Ang Bayan: New US military facility

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): New US military facility

The recent agreement to construct a new facility for the “war against terrorism” further strengthens the US’ hold of the Philippine military and police.

The agreement for the construction of a training center at the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite was signed on August 15 by US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission John Law and Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde. The US allocated a P520-million budget for its construction and operation.

The said facility will serve as an additional base of the US military. This is in addition to their base in Marawi City and in other camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as stated in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The construction of the facility serves the aim of the US to direct and control “counterterrorism” operations in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. PNP and AFP troopers will be tranied in the said facility along with other US-allied forces from other Southeast Asian counties. They will be indoctrinated to identify and fight “terrorists” as declared by the US. These forces will operate as an extension of the US military.

The five newly formed battalions of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) will be the first to undergo training in this facility as promised by Albayalde. In 2004, it can be recalled that the US military also secretly trained two SAF companies in Zamboanga City, that were subsequently deployed to operate in Mamasapano, Maguindanao wherein 44 operatives were killed in action.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: FFM in Isabela

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): FFM in Isabela

Karapatan spearheaded a fact-finding mission (FFM) on August 8-10 in San Mariano, Isabela after a spate of human rights violations was reported in the province.

The investigation disclosed that five companies of the 95th and 86th IB have been deployed across 15 barangays in San Mariano, as well as four barangays in Benito Soliven and three in Ilagan City. The military intensified their operations and surveillance in the said areas under the pretext of conducting so-called development programs. Cases including sexual harassment, encampment in civilian infrastructures, indiscriminate firing, and illegal arrest and detention were documented during the investigation.

Starkest among these was the strafing of the house of peasant leader at Sitio Disiguit, Gangalan, San Mariano by the 95th IB last July. His wife, two children and two-year old grandson were in the house when the incident happened.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: 200 Caramoan residents evacuate

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): 200 Caramoan residents evacuate

The Philippine Air Force’s aerial bombardment and strafing of communities in Barangay Lidong, Caramoan, Camarines Sur last August 13 resulted in the evacuation of more than 200 individuals.

To justify the attack, the fascists made it appear that there had been an encounter between the 83rd IB and Red fighters in the area. This claim was, however, belied by National Democratic Front-Bicol spokesperson Ka Ma. Roja Banua.

Last August 14, 18 families were reported to have evacuated from the towns of Lopez, Macalelon, Catanauan and Agdangan in Quezon Province. The farmers were demanding an increase in the farmgate prices of copra and whole coconut. They were summoned to a military camp and coerced to surrender as NPA members.

More than 100 soldiers of the 26th IB encamped in residents’ houses, clinic, and corn mills in a Lumad community at Sityo Simowao, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur last August 16. The residents opposed the occupation as this engenders fear and disrupts the harvest season. Lumads from Tubod, Bolhoon, San Miguel also reported that their community has been occupied by the military since August 17.

Elements of the 20th IB reentered Barangay Capotoan in Las Navas town, Northern Samar on August 12. They segregated 143 men and women from their children. They were then interrogated and threatened to be killed. Seven other residents were isolated, detained for a few hours, and were separately interrogated and threatened. Soldiers continue to occupy civilian infrastructures in the community.

Abduction in Samar. Elements of the 43rd IB abducted Nario Lagrimas, a farmer and resident of E. Duran, Bobon, Northern Samar, along with his companion last August 8. His companion was released few hours later, but Lagrimas is still missing up to the present.

Harassment in Mindanao. Men armed with high-powered rifles looked for Pedro Arnado, national officer of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, in his residence in Davao City on August 20.

In Cagayan de Oro City, two elements of the 1st SFB in plainclothes went to the residence of Kadamay-Northern Mindanao Chairperson Francisco “Iko” Pagayaman, 63, in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City and asked for his whereabouts.

Illegal detention. Despite the dismissal on July 30 of the illegal possesion of firearms and explosives charge against Alexander and Winona Birondo, staff of the NDFP negotiating panel, the couple are yet to be released by the police. They were arrested without a warrant by the police last July 23 in Barangay Maribio, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City and were subsequently detained at Camp Caringal. Both are suffering from diabetes.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

AFP-CRS: Human rights violations in Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Human rights violations in Bukidnon

The list of the AFP’s crimes against the people further expanded as it placed Bukidnon under focused military operations. In 2018, more than five were killed while many other civilians were arrested. This year, 13 were reported killed while hundreds of villages are scoured by soldiers.

Among the most recent cases is the killing of Jeffrey Bayot, a Lumad peasant, last August 11 in Barangay Bongbungon, Quezon who was on his way home.

Two days before the incident, two 88th IB troopers in plainclothes fired upon Alex Lacay and Renard Burgos at Sitio Pag-asa, Barangay Salawagan, Quezon. Alex Lacay died on the spot while Burgos was able to escape. Both farmers were members of Kaugalingaong Sistema Igpasindog to Lumadnong Ogpaan (Kasilo), a Lumad group defending their right to their ancestral lands.

Also killed this year were Guillermo Casas, Liovogildo Palma and Joel Anino in San Fernando. Meanwhile, Datu Kaylo Bontulan was slain during a military airstrike in Kitaotao.

Last July, Datu Mario Agsab was shot inside his home at Sitio Mainaga, Barangay Iba, Cabanglasan. The suspects were identified as Sammy Diwangan, member of Alamara and Emboy Gayao, a CAFGU member under the 8th IB. Agsab was a member of Pigyayungaan, a Lumad organization.

Threat and harassment

Harassment and the spreading of malicious propaganda by the Duterte regime against human rights defenders and the people also continue unabated.

Last August 8 and 9, members of PNP went to a school in Manolo Fortich where Kristin Lim’s children are studying. They asked the parents who were waiting outside the school about Lim’s whereabouts. Before this, elements of the 1st Special Forces Battalion went to Lim’s residence in Barangay Damilag, Manolo Fortich. She was a former station manager of Radyo Lumad.

Elements of 1st SFB also conducted an anti-communist forum in the barangay hall of Damilag last August 7. Before the forum, soldiers roamed around the community and alleged that the community has already been “infiltrated by communism.”

Last August 2-4, the AFP gathered youth leaders in Quezon, under the guise of a Youth Leadership Summit, to propagate lies against the revolutionary movement. A similar event was also held at the Bukidnon State University in its opening of classes.

Persona-non-grata and militarization

Various barangays in Quezon were coerced by the military to issue persona-non-grata declarations against the NPA. Simultaneously, 300 civilians, alleged as members of revolutionary organizations, were forced to surrender as NPA supporters.

Residents of Barangay Merangeran in Quezon, barangays Lumbayao, Banlag and Dagat Kidavao in Valencia City were made to pledge their loyalty to the reactionary government last July 28.

Meanwhile, 30 families from Barangay Tugaya, Valencia City evacuated in their barangay hall after troops of the 403rd Brigade strafed their houses last June 22. Last March, 1,600 troopers of the 60th IB, 56th IB, 57th IB, 58th IB, Scout Rangers and 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company besieged communities in the towns of Cabanglasan and San Fernando. Before the siege, the communities were aerially bombed, mortared and strafed.

On February 2019, the AFP boasted that about 27 barangays have already issued their respective “persona-non-grata” declarations against the NPA. From 2017 to 2018, about 295 civilians have been coerced to surrender either as NPA supporters or members.

Military troops continue to occupy civilian infrastructures inside their communities. Since March, elements of the 8th IB are occupying Barangay Bontongon in Impasug-ong and barangays Manalog and Kibalabag in Malaybalay City.

This August, 8th IB forces attacked Sitio Bendum, Barangay Busdi in the same town.

Aside from these, human rights groups were able to document seven cases of illegal arrests this year. One of the starkest cases was the arrest of 2 minors in Sitio Sanggiapo, Barangay Sinuda, Kitaotao by elements of the 8th IB last February 18.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Offensives against FMOs in Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Offensives against FMOs in Bukidnon

Ang Bayan reports indicate that the New People’s Army-North Central Mindanao Region (NPA-NCMR) was able to launch 30 armed actions amid the AFP’s focused military operations (FMOs) in Bukidnon (March 2018-January 2019). Twenty of these are direct blows against FMO troops.

Most notable of these were the 14 armed actions (13 offensives and a defensive) mounted by the NPA on December 2018 against FMOs in the triboundary of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Misamis Oriental. NPA units reported that 17 soldiers were killed while two others were wounded during these operations.

Meanwhile, four armed actions were mounted by the NPA against 300 soldiers operating in neighboring areas of Malaybalay City, Impasug-ong and Manolo Fortich on August 2018. A soldier was killed while another was wounded. The 1st Special Forces Battalion, 8th IB and 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company conducted its operation from August 8-20 in an attempt to decimate an NPA unit.

On the first day of the encirclement operation of the 8th IB on July 19, 2018, they were ambushed Red fighters in Barangay Busdi, Malaybalay City. Meanwhile, on the last day of the 12th Scout Ranger Company’s FMO in Barangay Lumintao, Quezon on July 2018, seven of its troops were killed and six others were wounded after being ambushed by the NPA.

In sum, the NPA has dealt two platoons of casualties on the AFP during the said period. At least 40 were killed while 16 others were wounded. The NPA was also able to mount a punitive action against Dole Philippines on January 2019.

FMOs are not a hindrance to limit NPA armed actions. Intelligence operations and planning have to be efficiently conducted to deal blows against the enemy at a particular time.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Groups oppose campus militarization

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Groups oppose campus militarization

The youth can never be silenced. They will continue to advocate freedom and the right to free expression and to organize. In the face of the Duterte regime’s systematic and relentless attacks against the sector, they once again showed their unity and firm stand last August 20.

Thousands of students and their teachers protested in and outside universities to oppose the scheme to militarize campuses. This came after the Philippine National Police’s proposal to revoke the agreement prohibiting military and police presence in campuses. Academic communities are aware that the presence of security forces will result in widespread surveillance and suppression of students, teachers and employees especially those who are critical of the regime.

In reality, police and military elements have maintained their presence in campuses across the country. They are using so-called trainings and student conferences to freely conduct psywar operations (now dubbed “information operations”) in campuses. This is on top of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) that they are desperately lobbying for, and is being used by state security forcess to conduct fora and trainings in schools. Even secondary schools are not safe from military presence.

In condemnation, more than 7,000 mobilized during the “UP Day of Walkout and Action” in all units of the University of the Philippines across the country. Spearheaded by the Office of the Student regent and UP Rise against Tyranny and Dictatorship (UPRise), the student-youth, along with university officials, teachers, employees and organizations united to defend academic freedom and the right to organize.

Similar protests were mounted at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers and professors of the Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, UP Diliman and UP Manila conducted a press conference in solidarity with the day of action.

To oppose the scheme, the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution 223 at the Lower House on August 12 to demand the reactionary state to recognize and uphold the Safe Schools Declaration. This declaration, which was drafted by governments across the world in May 2015 in Oslo, Norway, designates schools as safe zones in times of armed encounters.

This also upholds the continuing relevance of education in times of war and the implementation of concrete measures to oppose the military-use of schools. As of August 2019, 95 countries declared support for this declaration.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Nature and objectives of the AFP’s FMOs in Bukidnon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Nature and objectives of the AFP’s FMOs in Bukidnon

The Armed Forces of the Philippines launched no less than 13 campaigns of focused military operations, or one every month, in the province of Bukidnon from March 2018 to January 2019.

This was the principal shape of the AFP’s attempt to encircle and “decimate” units of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the province before the end of 2018. Midyear 2018, on August 7, the AFP declared it as “conflict manageable” and “ready for projects.”

Battalions of the 403rd IBde under the 4th ID scour the mountains of Bukidnon. Five battalions (8th IB, 88th IB, 1st Special Forces Battalion, 65th IB and 58th IB) operate in the central and western parts of the province, its boundaries with Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Sur, and its boundary with Lanao del Sur. The 43rd Division Reconnaissance Company supports its operations. In early 2019, the 1003rd IBde of the 10th ID announced that it will once again operate in barrios and communities in Bukidnon’s borders with Davao, although combat operations of the 89th IB and 16th IB have been recorded in the area since 2017.

In addition, Scout Ranger, Special Forces and CAFGU graduates use the province as training ground, particularly the Pantaron Range which cuts through six provinces (Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur) and serve as the backbone of Mindanao.

Nature of FMOs

An FMO is conducted for six days to two weeks, and launched after long periods of intelligence, psywar and Community Operations for Peace and Development (COPD) operations in barrios. Actual combat operations involve 150-400 troops and are directed at the brigade up to the division level.

In combat maneuvers, columns converge from different areas to assist each other. In an FMO last December 2018, no less than 20 enemy columns were mobilized. The main force came from an unlikely staging point (a few-day trek through a difficult terrain). The troops hiked through trails believed as sites favorable to the NPA. They conceal themselves for up to two weeks while encircling the target area.

The AFP employed this style in its encirclement campaign in the boundary of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Sur. Up to 400 troopers scoured the jungles between two barangays (Barangay Minalwang of Claveria, Misamis Oriental and Barangay Hagpa of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon) for two weeks. A few weeks prior, the main force had started trekking from Barangay Salog in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

In brigade-level operations, the AFP dumps three to four columns (150 troopers) in the target area. In division-level operations, where some of the columns start outside the province, five columns with 2-3 sections are mobilized. Each column is headed by a lieutenant.

Prior to the actual encirclement, the AFP mobilize spies who penetrate targeted barrios. They are usually disguised as ambulant vendors who sell various products. The AFP also deploys its paramilitaries to look for traces and other marks in forests. The AFP uses information from captured Red fighters to pinpoint the location of tactical bases or encampments of NPA units.

Surveillance aircrafts and drones are flown overhead few weeks prior and during the height of combat operations. It has been reported that a small manned-plane (Cessna), two types of white medium-altitude drones (similar to the US Reaper or Predator) and smaller drones (similar to ScanEagles) were employed. The Reaper-type drone is believed to be owned and directly operated by the US military that is stationed in the country.

In areas where ground troops cannot easily maneuver, they are supported from the air using two kinds of attack helicopters (MG-520 and AugustaWestland 109E) from the Tactical Operations Wing (Group 10) of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Cagayan de Oro. A UH-1H (Huey) helicopter is also utilized to drop food supplies, medicine and troop reinforcements. During encounters, enemy troops are supported by artillery fire and 105mm howitzers.

Military troops use Harris radio for encrypted communications. Coordination between troopers is tight, from platoons to sections. Their tactical operations bases are set-up in plains (but are sometimes positioned in higher terrains to serve as observer posts) and serve as medical stations where their wounded are provided first aid. In a campaign last December, for example, a helicopter landing zone was cleared next to the operational center perched at the highest point of target area.

Expenses reach millions

If calculated, the AFP spends up to more than P10 million every two weeks for its troops, bullets, and mortar shells in its FMOs in the province. This excludes expenses for other items such as rifles, machine guns, telescopes, radios, backpacks, uniforms and boots; operational equipment such as base radios, generators, tool kits and others; medical supplies and equipment such as medicines and ambulances; transportations costs using six-by-six trucks (a minimum of 20 are used per FMO).

At the minimum, the AFP spends P3-million worth of bullets per operation. An M16 and M14 bullet costs P25 each, while a Squad Automatic Weapon bullet costs P35 each. In one of its encirclement campaigns in 2018, 13 encounters ensued between its soldiers and NPA units (both defensives and offensives). Meanwhile, each mortar costs P10,000.

Millions are also spent for aerial combat support, bombings and strafing operations, which usually hit small farms and surrounding forests. US Air Force calculations in 2013 indicate that the costs per flight hour of a Huey and a medium-altitude drone are $13,634 (P681,700 at the exchange of P50=$1) and $3,624-$4,762 (or P181,200 to P238,100), respectively. At least 82 personnel are needed to operate and analyze data generated by these drones. Meanwhile, an attack helicopter rocket can cost P1,500 (Warhead M151) to P3,500 (Warhead M282) each. (Note: An MG-520 can launch up to seven rockets per sortie.)

In addition to these are expenses for the delivery of food supply, medical support, evacuation of dead and wounded soldiers, and setting up command centers, among others.

Encirclement operations ”for development”

Encirclement campaigns are launched in the mountains of and other areas in Bukidnon to pave way for the construction of infrastructure projects such as big dams and energy plants and commercial plantations. These aim to “clear” such areas of NPA presence so that companies can enter and evict residents. These areas are agricultural lands and ancestral lands Lumad communities are situated.

In March 2019, the AFP, together with Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Region 10 Martin Andanar, inaugurated the Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) in Iba, Cabanglasan. This program is in line with the “whole-of-nation approach” bandied around by the National Task Foce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. The Mindanao PeaceDev Coordinating Group administers the CAPDev, a group dominated by officials of the 1st, 4th and 10th ID, and the 403rd IBde and 2nd Mechanized IBde, together with regional offices of the Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, and National Economic and Development Authority.

CAPDev covers the following ranges in the province: Mt. Saldab and Kalabugao plains in Impasug-ong, Pantaron Range and Umayam Complex in Cabanglasan and San Fernando, Kitanglad in Sumilao and Baungon, Kalatungan between Talakag and Pangantucan and the West Bukidnon plains. These areas have long been targeted for energy projects and commercial plantations of big bourgeois compradors and their foreign cohorts.

In 2018, no less than 41 energy plants, mostly in large rivers (hydro), were reportedly being planned, under development or already operating in the province. Biggest of these is the planned Pulangi Dam V (250MW) in Kitaotao. The dam is estimated to submerge 40,000 hectares of ancestral and agricultural lands, as well as forests in the borders of Bukidnon and North Cotabato. These projects also include two hydropower plants in the Tagoloan River in Santiago, Manolo Fortich which are operated by Hedcor Bukidnon of the bourgeois-comprador Aboitiz family.

The Kalabugao plains, particularly, have long been auctioned by the reactionary state to foreign developers as an area for the expansion of their commercial plantation. Bukidnon hosts large pineapple and banana plantations owned by Del Monte, DavCo and Dole. These plantations cover whole communities in Manolo Fortich, Sumilao, Impasug-ong, Libona, Lantapan, Maramag and Quezon. Del Monte plans to expand its operations in Talakag.

Also, the Pantaron, Kitanglad and Kalatungan ranges are covered by the bogus National Greening Program. The reactionary state has long opened the forests therein to plunder by mining and logging corporations.

The province is also expected to receive of millions of funds for infrastructure projects. These include the airport project in Don Carlos which has destroyed hundreds of hectares of ricefields. The Mindanao Road Sector Project will also cuts across the province and hit farms and displace hundreds of peasants. The latter project costs P25.3 billion, most of which will be loaned from the Asian Development Bank.

Planned road and bridge projects will be constructed not to benefit ordinary people but only to ease transportation of products from the province to ports and factories. For instance, a road was constructed in Alae, Manolo Fortich to cut short transport time of products from commercial plantations in Bukidnon to the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Meanwhile, two other road projects, the Laak-San Fernando and Mactan-Miaray, are being actively opposed by Lumads as these will cut across their communities.

The mountains of Bukidnon are not merely the ancestral lands of tribes in the province but are also the source of their livelihood. Two large rivers (Pulangi and Tagoloan) originate here and supply water and irrigation to the entire province. These also serve as Mindanao’s watershed and supplies 25% of the island’s energy needs.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Desperate scheme to suppress the youth

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Desperate scheme to suppress the youth

The Duterte regime, through its jester, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, is again desperately attempting to silence the youth by conducting a Senate hearing regarding minor activists who allegedly went missing.

Sen. dela Rosa rode on familial issues between parents and their activist daughters to vilify the progressive and critical stand of the youth and their organizations.

He became a laughing stock when Alicia Lucena of Anakbayan and Lory Caalaman of Kabataan Partylist, activists whom he alleged to be missing, appeared on a press conference and belied his claims. They stated that they are neither missing nor are they minors. They urged the police and military to stop using their parents to vilify their organizations and implement anti-youth policies.

As expected, the regime’s militarist henchmen used the issue as a pretext to justify the ramming through of amendments to the Human Security Act, and the revival of the anti-subversion law.

The Philippine National Police also proposed to revoke an agreement signed by the Department of National Defense which prohibits military presence in campuses. In a relentless attempt to intimidate activists, the Department of Justice is summoning leades of progressive youth organizations by issuing them subpoenas.

This is the regime’s second attempt to silence the youth. On October 2018, it concocted a “Red October” fairytale which maliciously linked the progressive youth movement to the armed movement of the New People’s Army. This targeted to threaten the youth and illegalize their legitimate and critical stance. This violates the youth’s right to free expression and to organize.

The youth as a force for change

Activism and the radical mindset of the youth is a force for change, progress, social justice and democracy. The Duterte regime is afraid of the united ranks of youth who are critical of his regime.

In history, youth activists were the most audicious in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship and martial law. They were at the forefront of the historic First Quarter Storm (1970), Diliman Commune (1971), student uprisings in the late 1970s until the early 1980s against tuition fee increases, protests for the revival of students rights in camps, and the massive demonstrations in 1983-1986 which led to the ouster of the US-Marcos dictatorship.

University students were also at the forefront of the campaign to dismantle US military bases and revoke the Military Bases Agreement in 1991; and against the membership of the Philippines in the General Agreement on Tariffs (GATT) and Trade in 1994 and policies for all-out privatization and liberalization of the economy under the Ramos regime. They stood in firm solidarity with the toiling masses in opposing the GATT-WTO when world leaders converged in the country on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Philippines in 1996.

Their participation in broad uprisings that led to the ouster of the Estrada regime is also notable. Similarly, scores of youth also participated and led the protests against pork barrel which culminated to the Million People’s March during the Aquino regime in 2013. The protest movement of the student-youth against education budget cuts are also memorable.

In 2017, the youth was able to push for the enactment of free education in state universities and colleges. They continued to push for academic freedom, including the right to oganize and join organizations, and the right to free press and expression.

They stand in solidarity with workers and farmers in strikes, pickets and communities. They continue to fight for the interest of the Filipino people despite threats and intimidation by the Duterte regime. Some are being threatened and harassed, while other youth leaders were slapped with trumped up charges.

The participation of students and youth in the armed revolution cannot be denied. From the Katipunan to the New People’s army, majority of revolutionary troops of the people are from the youth. Many revolutionary martyrs offered their lives during the prime of their youth. They are exemplars of a life led in selfless service for the people. The revolutionary movement and the people pay their highest tribute to them.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA-MisOr seizes 4 AK47 rifles

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): NPA-MisOr seizes 4 AK47 rifles

Within just five minutes and without firing a shot, a unit of the New People’s Army was able to raid a plunderous energy plant in Misamis Oriental on August 19 in the morning.

Confiscated from the guards of the AY 76 Security Agency deployed at the Minergy Power Corporation (MPC) in Barangay Quezon Heights, Balingasag town, were four AK 47 rifles, 200 bullets and several handheld radios.

The MPC is a 165-MW coal power plant located along the Macajalar Bay. The plant dumps its toxic chemical wastes in the said bay. Consequently, residents reported to the NPA that they have acquired several complications such as asthma, dizziness and sore eyes since the plant operations went full blast in September 2017.

The city council of Misamis Oriental also conducted an investigation into the infraction but has not acted on it, said Nicolas Marino, spokesperson of the NPA-Misamis Oriental. The MPC is owned Pampanga-based bureaucrat capitalists Ne­pomucenos. The company was awarded a permit to consruct and operate its plant during the Ramos regime. It is the sole power supplier in Cagayan de Oro City and at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, Ka Malem Mabini, spokesperson of the NPA-North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR), belied the baseless arrogant claim of the fascist president Rodrigo Duterte that it has already paralyzed the operations of the NPA in the region.

In reality, 13 tactical offensives were mounted by the NPA-NCMR against troopers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from July 28 to August 9, he added. More than 30 AFP troopers were killed while about 20 others were wounded.

On August 9, the NPA-NCMR attacked 65th IB troopers operating at Sitio Kibulag, Barangay Bagoaingod, Tagoloan 2, in the boundary of Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur. A soldier was killed while four others were wounded. Earlier, 8th IB troopers were ambushed at Sitio Mahan-ao, Barangay Bulonay, Impasugong, Bukidnon. The soldies were killed in action.

Another soldier of the 26th IB was killed while another was wounded when the NPA-Agusan del Sur ambushed at Kilometer 30, Barangay Mahayahay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur on August 5.

In Cagayan de Oro City, four soldiers of the 65th IB were killed while eight others were wounded in a tactical offensive mounted by the NPA-Misamis Oriental on July 30 in Barangay Pigsag-an.

On July 28, the NPA-Agusan del Norte harassed 23rd IB troopers at Sitio Hinandayan, Barangay Camagong in Nasipit. Five soldiers were killed and five others were wounded.

On the other hand, the revolutionary movement paid its highest tributes to Jenos Bade (Ka Bebs) and Edmar Laruya (Ka Lenon), Red fighters who offered their lives for the success of the said armed action.

In Northern Samar, several NPA units were able to successfully mount successive offensives against the military troopers responsible for the killing of civilians, strafing their residences and harassing a barangay captain.

The NPA-Northern Samar reported that no less than four soldiers of the 20th IB were killed in action.

On August 11, Red fighters harassed 20th IB troopers in Gook, Catubig. On the same day, a CAFGU was wounded in a harassment operation conducted by the NPA against their detachment in Barangay Poponton, Las Navas.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Armed actions against all-out war in Bicol

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Armed actions against all-out war in Bicol

More than 20 coordinated military actions were mounted by the New People’s Army (NPA)-Bicol across the region on August 19-21. These include the ambush against Philippine National Police operatives in Barangay Alegria, Pio V. Corpuz, Masbate, wherein seven were wounded. Enemy camps in Sorsogon and Legazpi City were also harassed.

Earlier, 33 soldiers were killed while 21 others were wounded in offensives by the NPA-Bicol from March-June this year. Fifteen of those killed and 12 of those wounded are troopers of the 2nd IB who were hit in during a demolition operation conducted by the NPA-Masbate on April 29, June 2 and June 9 in barangays Progreso and Cawayan, San Fernando, and Barangay Malinta, Masbate City.

In the same province, two harassment operations were mounted on May 22 in Barangay Banahao, Dimasalang and in Barangay Casabangan, Pio V. Corpuz. The headquarters of the 2nd IB in Barangay Bacolod, Milagros, and Barangay Armenia, Uson were also harassed on June 10 and 12, respectively. On June 12, NPA also burned down a detachment being constructed by the PNP Special Action Force in Barangay Daraga, Placer, Masbate.

In Camarines Sur, nine troops of the 22nd IB were wounded in an ambush and harassment operation simultaneously conducted by the NPA-West Camarines Sur (Norben Gruta Command) against a military detachment at Sitio Dinumpilan, Barangay Malinao, Libmanan. A soldier and three CAFGU elements were wounded in action. Wounded soldiers who surrendered were given first aid by NPA medics.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Resist the threat of martial law in campuses

Propaganda editorial from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 21, 2019): Resist the threat of martial law in campuses

The Duterte fascist regime has evil plans. Rodrigo Duterte and his minions wish to impose tyrannical rule on universities because of their deep resentment against students and teachers openly opposing the fascist regime.

Over the past weeks, Bato dela Rosa, Duterte’s loyal attack dog, has been using his senate position to bark at youth activists and teachers. Dela Rosa mounted rubbish shows to clamp down on youth and teachers organizations. The AFP resorted to fear-mongering when it claimed school shootings might not be prevented if they are barred from entering campuses.

Fascist agents insist on revoking the 1982 Soto-Enrile agreement. This agreement is one of the important legacy of the students in their fight against the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship to uphold democracy and make campus academic freedom flourish. Stemming from it is the 1989 University of the Philippines-Department of National Defense agreement which sets similar prohibitions against entry into campus of AFP and PNP personnel.

The ultimate aim of dela Rosa and officers of the AFP and PNP is to remove all hindrances against beefing-up campus presence of police and soldiers who they claim also have the “right” to “indoctrinate” the students. In hundreds of schools, the AFP and PNP are already conducting indoctrination campaigns in the form of “youth leadership fora,” “information drives,” “trainings,” or “immunization” against the “communist disease” and fight “communist infiltration” in schools.

They label activist organizations as “fronts” of the Communist Party. The AFP and PNP teach that all criticism against the ruling regime and system is a result of “communist agitation.” Their fascist ideology insists on obscuring the reality of oppression and exploitation and absence of national freedom which are the root of the people’s armed and unarmed resistance.

The AFP now wants universities to be put under military rule and serve as platform for propagating its fascist ideology. At the most basic, the presence of armed state agents is incongruent with university academic freedom. It is a purveyor of threat and intimidation against students, teachers, scientists and researchers. Intellectual thinking cannot flourish if the academe is under the armed threat of the state. Duterte aspires to bring back the time of Marcos when the academe served as the official broadcaster of the “new society” line. He wants these to be guarded by his armed agents and be ruled over by mercenary intellectuals.

Fascism goes against the liberal tradition of academic freedom. To fascists, there should be no room for thoughts or views that do not mirror or uphold the dogma or doctrine of the ruling regime. Expressing or supporting the patriotic or democratic interests of the people or criticizing the current system and administration is equated with subversion or supporting armed revolution.

If the AFP and PNP will be allowed to freely enter campuses, surveillance and restrictions against students and teachers will be heightened by the Duterte regime’s fascist agents. Their presence will intimidate the youth from joining organizations, assembling or speaking up against Duterte. This will result in the suppression of students’ and teachers’ democratic rights. In other words, it will ultimately redound to imposing martial law on campuses.

All these measures by the AFP and PNP are being carried out in line with the counterinsurgency doctrine now dominating the Duterte regime’s policies. It is the implementation of the “whole of nation approach” which has no other aim but to put the whole nation under military control. The military now wants to control even ideological, cultural, economic and service agencies and make these serve counterinsurgency aims to the detriment of the interests and needs of the people. Those who refuse to support the AFP are under pain of being accused of “sympathizing with the communists.” Beyond “national defense” and “peace and order,” the AFP and PNP are now intervening in all other aspects of civil society.

Everyone must clearly understand that the threat of campus martial law is tightly bound with martial law in Mindanao and undeclared martial law in Negros, Samar, Bicol and the entire country. This is being pushed by the fascists behind widespread military abuses and violations of human rights, repression of opposition forces, suppression of strikes, suppression of peasant struggles and other forms of repression. This is also in line with the proposal to bring back the Anti-Subversion Law (which criminalizes membership in the Party) and amend the Human Security Act to make it a sharper weapon for the suppression of democratic expression and action.

The Duterte regime aims to silence the students and teachers who are among the most active in expressing criticism and opposition to fascism. The Duterte regime wants to silence and beat down activists to do away with hindrances in imposing more oppressive policies such as additional taxes, pork barrel, and foreign loans, Duterte’s national treachery and kowtowing to China and the US, the “charter change” scheme and other anti-people measures.

However, Duterte, the AFP and the PNP are bound to fail in their attempt to suppress academic freedom and impose martial law in campuses. This plan has been met with stiff resistance and widespread protests of students and teachers in big universities over the past days. If Duterte pushes with this plan, it will surely be met by students and teachers with bigger and wider opposition, academic discourse and debate, and protests on streets across the country.

Above all, these acts of suppression will fail to stop the students and teachers from supporting and joining the armed struggle. Because of Duterte’s fascist suppression, even more are being roused to support or become members of the New People’s Army which truly represents the patriotic and democratic interests of the people.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippinesand is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: Mabangis na Intel Asset sa Brgy. Mabunga, Pinarusahan ng LPC-NPA

NPA-Central Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Aug 30, 2019): Mabangis na Intel Asset sa Brgy. Mabunga, Pinarusahan ng LPC-NPA

AUGUST 30, 2019
Ipinagbunyi ng malawak na sambayanan ang matagumpay na pagpapatupad ng Leonardo Panaligan Command- New People’s Army (LPC-NPA) ng parusang-kamatayan sa isang mabangis na intel asset na si Kagawad Ramonito Handumon ng Brgy. Mabunga, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Nasamsam sa kanya ng SPARU team ng LPC- NPA ang isa ka kalibre .45 noong Agosto 28, 2019, alas 5:00 ng hapon.

Base sa masusing pasusuri’t imbestigasyon, nahatulan ng Rebolusyonaryong Korte ng Bayan si Handumon dahil sa aktibo ito sa kontra-kilusan na aktibidad sa pakikigkolabora nito sa PNP, paniniktik sa mga aktibidad ng mga residente sa lugar, nag- uulat sa PNP at nananakot sa mga mamamayan hangga’t sa kaniyang mga hinihinalaang sumusuporta sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Napatunayan na isa rin si Handumon sa mga intel asset ng mga PNP na may kinalaman noong naganap na SEMPO/ Oplan Sauron- 1 sa lungsod ng Guihulngan saan 6 lahat na buhay ng mga magsasaka ang pinaslang at mahigit sa 50 na mga mga sibilyan ang inaresto sa gawa-gawang kaso.

Naging talamak sa nasabing lungsod ang kagaya nitong karahasan dahil sa pagred-tagging sa mga mamayan na nasa progresibong organisasyon, asosasyon ng mga magsasaka at nakikibaka para sa pagkamit ng demokratikong karapatan para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa at hustisya sosyal, na siya ring naging nangungunang biktima’t target ng maraharahas na operasyon ng mga militar, pulis, riding-in-tandem, at mga Duterte Death Squad.

Sa kabila nito, kasinungalingan ang pinapahayag ng mga PNP na nag-imbestiga na nakabonnet ang mga operatiba ng NPA na nakalaan sa pagparusa kay Handumon. Nagpapakilala lamang na gusto palabasin ng mga bayarang AFP at PNP na ang NPA ang sa likod ng mga pamamaslang ng mga nakabonnet sa Central Negros at sa buong isla.

Sa katunayan ang NPA ang hayagan na nagpapakilala at nag-aako ng kanilang aktibidad lalo na sa pagpapataw ng parusang-kamatayan sa mga Kontra- rebolusyonaryo at mga masasamang elemento na nakagawa ng mabibigat na krimen sa pumuluyo.

Kasama ng malawak na mamamayan, hindi tititgil sa paniningil ng hustisya ang LPC-NPA sa mga pasistang tropa militar, mabangis na intel asset ng PNP na nagdududlot ng pinsala sa buhay at kabuhayan ng mamamayan. Depensahan ang kapakanan at buong tapat na maglilingkod at magsusulong ng interes ng sambayanan hanggang sa maabot ang tunay na kalayaan at katarungan.

Hustisya para sa mga biktima ng ekstra-hudisyal na pamamaslang sa Guihulngan at buong isla ng Negros! Hustisya sa mga biktima ng Oplan Sauron/SEMPO! Ipatupad ang tunay na reporma sa lupa at pambansang industriyalisasyon bilang ugat ng armadong tunggalian sa bansa!

AFP-CRS: Parents to CPP-NPA-NDF Front Organizations in Schools: Hands Off Our Children!

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): Parents to CPP-NPA-NDF Front Organizations in Schools: Hands Off Our Children!

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AFP-CRS: Community help sought for arrest of CPP-NPA leaders hiding in Metro Manila

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): Community help sought for arrest of CPP-NPA leaders hiding in Metro Manila

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AFP-CRS: 219 former Moro Islamic Liberation Front members from combatants to peacekeepers

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): 219 former Moro Islamic Liberation Front members from combatants to peacekeepers

AFP-CRS: Happy Anniversary CMO Professionals!

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): Happy Anniversary CMO Professionals!

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The Civil-Military Operations Regiment is a specialized unit of the Philippine Army that conducts focused and purposive Civil-Military Operations to support the different Philippine Army units in order to gain the support of the Filipino people. The unit’s byline is Winning Hearts, Winning Minds which is the soul of the Philippine Army mission of Serving the People and Securing the Land. Counterpart organizations in the US military are Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs units.

AFP-CRS: Why can’t Bayan Muna, Kabataan, and Karapatan Partylist groups condemn the murder, atrocities, and pillage by the NPA?

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): Why can’t Bayan Muna, Kabataan, and Karapatan Partylist groups condemn the murder, atrocities, and pillage by the NPA?

In 28 August 2019, during the second round of interpellation on the Proposed DND Budget for 2020, Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna preferred to devote his time to vent his ire.

He deplored the Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s issue of “blanket statements” that tags them, the “progressive groups”, as affiliates of the NPA. Mr. Zarate deems such as vilification, “red-tagging”, and “red-baiting”.

He vehemently—almost seethingly- raised his voice to take exception on their group being lumped amongst NPA which seeks to violently overthrow government.

He bewailed that such actions put him and his colleagues in danger especially when he visits his constituency.

To this, the Defense Secretary’s reply nailed the point.

He said it wasn’t the Defense Department or the Armed Forces of the Philippines that did what Mr. Zarate referred to as red-tagging”, and “red-baiting”. It was Mr. Jose Maria Sison who identified who were the allies of the CPP. And Bayan Muna was among those that Mr. Sison enumerated.

Sec. Lorenzana went on further addressing Mr. Zarate saying the department finds it difficult to make a distinction between the NPA and the Makabayan Block (MB).

Dahil “Kung saan maraming NPA nandun din kayo. Nagtatayo kayo ng mga activities nyo doon. You do not condemn the killings (and) atrocities of the CPP-NPA.

“Kapag nanununog sila ng equipment silent lang kayo. How can we now dissociate you from this group while you keep quiet?

“Comdemn the NPA and we will stop what we are doing.”

Mr. Zarate was silent, still.

Hindi nagsalita ni gaputok.

Kahit maaari naman syang humingi ng pagkakataon sa Chairman para sagutin ang hamon.

Kunsabagay, matagal naman na ang hamon sa kanya at sa iba pang “progresibong grupo” gaya ng Karapatan ukol sa ganitong pag kondena. Subali’t kaylan man, hindi nila ginawa.

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AFP-CRS: The Army Reserve Command Holds the Senior Officers Exchange Visit Program (SOEVP) with Indonesian Army

Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Aug 30, 2019): The Army Reserve Command Holds the Senior Officers Exchange Visit Program (SOEVP) with Indonesian Army

Camp Riego De Dios, Tanza, Cavite - in line with the Philippine Army’s mission in fostering good bilateral relationship and enhance Philippine Army’s capabilities in serving the people and securing the land, the Philippine Army hosted a 5- day Senior Officer’s ExchangeVisit Program (SOEVP) with the Indonesian Army held in the Army Reserve Command. The SOEVP 2019 is one of the negotiated activities under the 24th Indonesia Philippines Army Working Group meeting last 17 August 2019. The said activity is an army-to-army activity that provides opportunities to learn and exchange knowledge on matters that correspond to the organization, mission, operational system, training and activities and management of the Army Reserve Force.

The activity was participated by five seniors officers from the Indonesian Army led by MGEN ARIF RAHMAN, Commander of Pusat Territorial Angkatan Darat (PUSTERAD), TNI AD which also caters the administration of Indonesian Reserve Forces.

The delegates of the Indonesian Army arrived in Camp Riego De Dios last August 20, 2019. MGEN ARIF RAHMAN, Commander, PUSTERAD was tendered an arrival honor by the Command. MGEN BERNIE SANTOS LANGUB, Commander, Army Reserve Command guided them on a walkthrough tour on the Warfighting facilities and capability demonstration of the ARESCOM Training School. After the tour, the visitors together with the G-staff proceeded to a close door meeting. Following a hectic schedule, MGEN ARIF RAHMAN honored a “talk to men” to the enlisted personnel and trainees of the Command. On his speech, MGEN RAHMAN stated that they are looking forward for a strong partnership with the Philippine Army together with the Army Reserve Command as their counterpart in learning and sharing knowledge for operational readiness of both units since Indonesia is also being challenged in building the security of their borders. After the talk to men, a boodle fight was served to the guests being shared with officers, active enlisted personnel, reservists and trainees. The next day, the Indonesian Army accompanied by MGEN BERNIE SANTOS LANGUB paid a courtesy call to MGEN REYNALDO MEJIA AQUINO AFP, Vice Commander of the Philippine Army. After their conversation, they toured the Philippine Army Museum showcasing the Philippines greatest warfare histories which also include the Marawi Siege.

The SOEVP ended with a successful camaraderie and partnership being seen and observed during the sendoff ceremony on August 22, 2019, Thursday in Army Reserve Command.

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Kalinaw News: Army Continues Fight vs NPA on child recruitment

Posted to Kalinaw News (Aug 30, 2019): Army Continues Fight vs NPA on child recruitment

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon -To prevent youth from being recruited by the CPPNPA terrorist groups and left-leaning organizations, the 8th Infantry (Dependable) Battalion visited and interacted with Senior High School students of Bangcud National High School and Malaybalay City National High School to conduct Information Drive last 28 August 2019.

During the Peace Forum arranged by the faculty members and the Army, the military troopers enthusiastically answered questions from students on how to prevent them [students] from being recruited by the CPP-NPA. They also informed the students of the programs being offered by the government to those who want to surrender to the government and start over a new life.

Schools are being used as breeding grounds of CPP-NPA and its left-leaning organizations’ recruitment and the students become the victims, as proved by the revelations from former rebels who turned their backs on the CPP-NPA and surrendered to the folds of the law and testified against them [terrorist organization].

One of the students said “ After kong marinig yung explanation, narealize ko na wala palang magandang intention ang CPP-NPA. Tapos yung mga party lists na akala namin ay para sa masa, ginagamit lang pala nila para maka-recruit.” ( After I heard the explanation, I realized that indeed the CPP-NPA has no good intentions toward us [students]. And the party lists that we thought are for the masses are only used to recruit us.)

“We, the Philippine Army, is serious in our fight against the CPP-NPA terrorist group and its left-leaning organizations. We do not want our children to waste their lives being one of the victims of the terrorist group. We will do everything we can to prevent them from being deceived by the group”, LTC Ronald M Illana, Commanding Officer of the unit said.

The Philippine Army will continue its efforts to inform the community of the deceptions of the CPP-NPA and its left-leaning organizations to force them to join in their ill-willed intentions and destroy the lives of the innocent.

8th Infantry Battalion 4th Infantry Division Philippine Army
CMO Officcer

[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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