Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2 foreign terrorists, 1 Sayyaf neutralized; bomb plot foiled

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (Nov 6, 2019): 2 foreign terrorists, 1 Sayyaf neutralized; bomb plot foiled

Two foreign terrorists and one Abu Sayyaf Group member, believed to be suicide bombers, were neutralized by troops in Sulu yesterday afternoon, November 5.

Government forces also thwarted said personalities and the ASG under Mundi Sawadjaan from executing suicide bombing attack in Jolo, Sulu.

“Intelligence reports revealed that the group is planning of another suicide bombing attack in Jolo. This prompted us to launch a counter action. I tasked the 41st Infantry Battalion to intensify their checkpoint operation in Sitio Itawon, Barangay Kan Islam, Municipality of Indanan,” said Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Brigade.

Amid the conduct of checkpoint operation, troops were fired upon by 3 armed personalities onboard two motorcycle coming from Maimbung.

A running gun battle ensued which lasted for 5 minutes.

This resulted in the neutralization of the three personalities who were then identified as 2 foreign terrorists and 1 ASG member.

Recovered from their possession were 2 bomb vests, one Caliber. 45 pistol, and one Hand Grenade.

The neutralized personalities were immediately brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Office for the post mortem forensics to be conducted by the Scene of the Crime Operatives.

“This successful operation was complemented by the intensified conduct of intelligence operations and the quick response from our ground troops, thus preempting the enemies from executing their terror plan,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, WestMinCom commander.

“I enjoin each and every citizen to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious person or thing in their vicinity,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.

Source: PIO Western Mindanao Command

NDF calls president biggest NPA recruiter

From the Visayan Daily Star (Nov 6, 2019): NDF calls president biggest NPA recruiter

The National Democratic Front-Negros tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the number one recruiter of the New People’s Army, citing the worsening human rights violations, injustices, economic crisis that have driven the people to join the revolutionary movement, its spokesman, Bayani Obrero, said in a statement.

In the statement dated Nov. 2, Obrero said that the administration of Duterte is in hurry to destroy the revolutionary movement in Negros by implementing a de facto martial law, in order to silence all his critics, especially activists who are members of progressive organizations.

He also dismissed the attempt of the Duterte administration to destroy the revolutionary movement as an “illusion”, stressing that it will fade away like smoke.

Obrero condemned the joint and synchronized operation of the Philippine National Police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group as well as of the 3rd Infantry Division against progressive organizations, such as Bayan Muna, Gabriela and National Federation of Sugarcane Workers in cities of Bacolod and Escalante, Negros Occidental, that he claimed arrested more than 62 persons.

He also linked Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, who is newly assigned at the Bacolod City Police Office, to the crackdown against militant organizations.

Obrero also likened the arrest of activists in Bacolod and Escalante City to Oplan Sauron 1 and 2, Oplan Barnstark as well as the arrest of nine other activists in Escalante City.

He strongly denied that those arrested in Bacolod City are members or officials of the NPA, or extending support to the revolutionary movement.

Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday reiterated his challenge for Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Negrense lawyer activist Neri Colmenares to explain the presence of 14 minors, who were among those rescued by state security forces, during simultaneous raids in offices of militant organizations in three barangays of this city on Oct. 31.

Arevalo yesterday said that all they got was a deafening silence from Zarate, Colmenares and their allied militant organizations, on his challenge to explain, what they have been doing to minors.

Zarate and Colmenares had earlier accused the authorities of having planted guns and explosives as evidences, and claimed that there is an undeclared martial rule in Negros.

The raids are also being described by militant groups as possible prelude to an intensified crackdown to cut down or eliminate progressives and critics of the Duterte regime.*

Bangsamoro environment ministry to tap MILF fighters as forest rangers

From Politiko Mindanao (Nov 5, 2019): Bangsamoro environment ministry to tap MILF fighters as forest rangers

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)-Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) is planning to hire tree planters and 400 “palaw” or forest rangers in Maguindanao as part of its P300-million Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program.

MENRE Minister Abdulraof Macacua said his office will tap
some members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Force (BIAF) who were not yet decommissioned to be the forest rangers.

“Sila ang tunay na mga foresters kasi sila ang mga nakatira sa mga bundok bundok na yan, kaya sila ang pwede nating i-hire para mag gwardiya (sa ating mga kagubatan),” said Macacua during the Kapihan sa Bangsamoro held Tuesday, November 5, at his office inside the Bangsamoro Government Center in Cotabato City.

He said the rangers will be hired for only one year.

The official said his office will conduct capacity training for the tree planters and rangers starting next week.

MENRE is eyeing to plant trees in 6,600 hectares of land in Maguindanao alone, he said.

BARMM is Mindanao’s top region in good governance practices

From MindaNews (Nov 6, 2019): BARMM is Mindanao’s top region in good governance practices

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Nov) – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is the island’s top region in terms of good governance, with 28 of its local government units given the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) Award by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Awarding at the Manila Hotel. Photo courtesy of BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo

The winners were given their awards by the DILG during ceremonies at the Manila Hotel Tuesday.

Of the country’s 17 regions, BARMM is fifth overall. Only three in Mindanao made it to the top 10: Region X is sixth with 23 SGLGs, and Region XIII (Caraga) is eighth with 19 awards.

Region I garnered the most awards at 65, followed by Region III at 63, Region II at 40 and Region IV-A at 33.

“Today was a good harvest for the Bangsamoro Government in the area of good local governance in the region. Twenty-eight LGUs were conferred at today’s ceremony with the prestigious Seal of Good Local Governance,” said BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The ARMM delegation during awarding ceremonies. Photo courtesy of Interior and Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo

He said this year’s SGLG awards were an improvement from last year’s 23.

Provincial SGLG awardees in BARMM were Basilan and Maguindanao. In the city category, Lamitan in Basilan was the sole awardee in the region.

Municipal level winners were Maluso and Sumisip in Basilan; Balabagan, Buadiposo Buntong, Calanugas, Kapatagan, Piagapo, and Taraka in Lanao del Sur; Barira, Buldon, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Datu Piang, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Paglat, Shariff Aguak, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan sa Barongis, and Upi in Maguindanao; Talipao in Sulu; and Sibutu and Simunul in Tawi-Tawi.

Sinarimbo thanked his team for their efforts during the audit and validation and the extra work exerted by the LGUs to achieve this feat.

The SGLG Awards is looking at excellence and continuous improvement in financial administration, disaster preparedness, social protection, peace and order, business friendliness and competitiveness, environmental protection, and tourism culture and the arts.

In Maguindanao, Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu has met the mayors of the winning municipalities and vowed to provide more incentives as her way of thanking them for the effort to uplift governance in their respective municipalities.

Foot soldiers: unsung heroes of Makilala helicopter rescue

From MindaNews (Nov 6, 2019): Foot soldiers: unsung heroes of Makilala helicopter rescue

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 November) – Unknown to many, the helicopter rescue in the mountains of Makilala, North Cotabato last Sunday would not have been possible if not for the bravery of Philippine Army troopers.

Soldiers trek across the massive landslide going to Barangay Luayon in Makilala, North Cotabato on 2 November 2019. Photo courtesy of Pfc. Jacil Joe Tupa / 10th ID-ERC

“We didn’t mind the cracks or the landslides, what’s important to us was to save the trapped residents,” recalled Pfc. Jacil Joe Tupa of the Emergency Response Company (ERC) of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

When authorities received information that several residents were still trapped in the mountain village of Luayon in Makilala, North Cotabato, a 14-member team of Army soldiers, among them Tupa, was sent to locate and rescue them.

Aside from ERC, the rescue unit was also composed of elements from the Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion based in Makilala.

The residents were not able to evacuate to safer grounds as massive landslides had blocked the roads due to a series of earthquakes. The area has been rocked by several quakes, including four with magnitudes above 6 (6.3 on October 16, 6.6 and 6.1 on October 29 and 6.5 on October 31).

In a chat with Tupa, he narrated the risks they faced, including imminent landslides, when they trekked on Saturday, November 2, to get to the sitios of Bagong Silang and Kapatagan in Barangay Luayon.

“Maayo pa sa engkwentro”

“Maayo pa sa engkwentro kay makabalos ta, sa landslide dili” (An encounter with the enemy would have been better because you can fight back. You can’t with landslides), he quipped.

Tupa bared that they trekked for five hours before reaching the trapped residents in Sitio Kapatagan by nightfall. They spent the night with them.

“We admit, we were a bit nervous because we know that it is a landslide-prone area and some cracks might cave in anytime,” he said.

The landslides isolated several villages, including Luayon, and were only accessible on foot.

Acting Vice Governor Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva said they learned about the trapped residents on Friday, November 1.

Soldiers assist villagers as they board the rescue helicopter in Barangay Luayon in Makilala, North Cotabato on 3 November 2019. Photo courtesy of Pfc. Jacil Joe Tupa / 10th ID-ERC

Residents from Luayon who were able to evacuate on October 29 informed the authorities that there were still people left in the mountains.

Villanueva joined the rescuers onboard two Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopters: a Bell UH-1 of the 505th Search and Rescue Group and a Bell 412 helicopter, which is often used to transport VIPs, including President Rodrigo Duterte especially during the Marawi Siege in 2017.

The soldiers were assisted by personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection, who also boarded the helicopters.

Landing zone

On Sunday morning, after securing the landing zone, which sits on top of a ridge surrounded by vegetation, the soldiers called for the airlift.

The landing zone is at least 600 meters away from houses of the villagers, Tupa said.

While the soldiers were confident that the pilots were skilled enough to find means to land the helicopters, Tupa said they were also ready to escort the residents to safer grounds on foot if the helicopters could not land.

“If there was no landing zone, we have to hike but the residents will be forced to leave some of their heavy belongings,” he said.

Tupa added that he was astounded by the skills of the PAF pilots who were able to land on top of a ridge which had already partly collapsed.

This writer learned through a PAF personnel who was part of the rescue mission that it was indeed a high-risk mission, acknowledging the vital role of the Philippine Army troopers. “Malaki talaga ang role ng mga sundalo dahil inayos talaga nila ang landing zone, parang pinatigas para di bibigay kasi marami ng cracks.” (The soldiers played a big role because they made sure the landing zone was stable enough, that it won’t give way despite the cracks.)

Of the 21 villagers, only 14 were airlifted before noon to the Incident Command Team headquarters in Amas Capitol Compound in Kidapawan City.

The rest preferred to walk, along with the Army responders, because they had to bring along with them some livestock and motorcycles.

As soon as they touched down at the capitol grounds, Villanueva said they immediately sent two sick children to the hospital.

Trail of destruction

Located at the foothills of Mt. Apo, Makilala is the hardest-hit town in North Cotabato following the powerful earthquakes that also jolted Kidapawan City and Tulunan (also in North Cotabato) and the neighboring town of Magsaysay in Davao del Sur. Makilala was the epicenter of the Magnitude 6.5 quake on Oct. 31, but Tulunan was the epicenter of the previous quakes.

At least 20,000 houses have been totally destroyed across Makilala’s 38 barangays, according to the report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The powerful tremor left a trail of destruction and at least 21 dead—18 in North Cotabato and three in Davao del Sur—and over 400 others injured.

Since October 29, thousands of families have been sleeping on the roadside and open grounds. Appeals were made for food, water, tent materials, among others.

Authorities have ordered forced evacuation in villages affected by landslides. Experts have warned that aftershocks and rains could trigger more landslides, especially in areas where massive cracks have appeared. Aside from landslides, massive cracks have also appeared in many of the villages, including Luayon, one of four villages that have been declared as a “no build zone.”

Philippine troops kill 2 foreign, Sayyaf suicide bombers

From the Mindanao Examiner (Nov 6, 2019): Philippine troops kill 2 foreign, Sayyaf suicide bombers

SULU – Government troops shot dead three suicide bombers, two of them foreigners, at a military roadblock in the southern Filipino province of Sulu, security officials said Wednesday.

A Philippine Air Force gunner trains his machine gun below a coconut plantation while on a mission in Sulu province in southern Philippines in this undated photo courtesy of the Mindanao Examiner regional newspaper.

Officials said the trio was in a vehicle on their way to the capital town of Jolo when intercepted by soldiers who put up a roadblock late Tuesday afternoon in the village of Kan Islam in Indanan town after receiving intelligence of the planned attacks.

The bombers opened fire on the soldiers and a firefight ensued killing all the terrorists, according to Army Lt. Col. Gerald Monfort, a spokesman for the Joint Task Force Sulu.

The foreigners, he said were believed to be the husband and son of another suicide bomber who blew herself up near a military base in Indanan town on September 8.

The other bomber, a Filipino, was an Abu Sayyaf fighter.

“The terrorists, composed of two foreign terrorists and one local ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) member, were about to carry-out their suicide bombing mission in Metro Jolo when they were neutralized by AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) during the implementation of a military operation intended to apprehend foreign terrorists in Sulu,” Monfort said.

He said soldiers recovered a pair of explosive belts from the slain bombers, including a fragmentation grenade and an automatic pistol.

“Recovered from the terrorists were one .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, one hand grenade, and two vests with explosives, and triggering devices identical to the vest used by the suicide bombers during the two IED (improvised explosive device) attacks in Tanjung in Indanan on June 28 and on September 8 of this year,’ Monfort said.

Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade, commended the soldiers in the slaying of the bombers.

“The hostile plan of the terrorists in Sulu could have caused tremendous casualties and could have tarnished the image of this country if not immediately acted upon by our soldiers. Hence, I commend them for such patriotic act,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinulan, the task force commander, said security forces were hunting down other terrorists in Sulu and praised soldiers for their “superb planning and careful execution of their task to (attempt to) apprehend” the suicide bombers.

Vinluan said security forces were hunting down other terrorists in Sulu. “The AFP in Sulu will continue to hunt down all the remaining ASG members in Sulu,” he said.

The military has imposed high security alert in the restive region against possible retaliatory attacks by pro-Islamic State terror groups following killing of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a recent U.S. raid in Syria.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said that at least 7 foreign terrorists who were affiliated with the IS are trying to embed in the local existing terror organizations in southern Philippines.

He said the Abu Sayyaf is coddling the terrorists in Basilan and Sulu, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao province.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly said in public that ISIS is the biggest security threat in the country. Authorities have tagged the Abu Sayyaf, the BIFF and the Maute Group as terrorist groups with alleged links to the ISIS.

Foreign ISIS militants and a local recruit had killed themselves in suicide attacks in Basilan and Sulu. (Zamboanga Post)

Youth sector of Ilocos Sur asks NPA rebels to surrender for lasting peace

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Youth sector of Ilocos Sur asks NPA rebels to surrender for lasting peace

STA. LUCIA, Ilocos Sur, Nov. 5 (PIA) - - The youth in this town have asked the members of the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to voluntarily surrender with their firearms to the authorities for perpetual peace and development in the countryside.

These youth generations made the call in a peace walk rally held last week in Sta. Lucia town prior to the culmination of the three-day youth leadership forum held in Sta. Lucia North Central Elementary School.

Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr., the commander of the army’s 81st Infantry Battalion, told on Tuesday that the forum was attended by at least 61 youth leaders which was spearheaded by the Philippine Army.

The activity aims to enlighten the youth about their roles and responsibilities as future leaders, the ills of leftist organizations, and countering exploitation of the youth sector by left-leaning organizations.

Dubbed as the 1st Sta Lucia Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), which was held on October 25-27, 2019, the forum was anchored on a theme “Youth of Today is the Catalyst of Change for a Better Tomorrow.”

“The youth decided to express their sentiments by writing an open letter addressed to the NPA members in Ilocos Sur and asking them to surrender for the sake of peace and development in the province and for the sake of peaceful living with their families while Christmas season is fast approaching,” said Mariñas.

During the peace walk rally within the municipality, the youth has also carried a slogan: “No to the Communists, Yes for Peace! Spare us from Recruitment and We Love Peace!”

Mariñas said that the conduct of the YLS is an initiative of the army, in collaboration with different stakeholders to enhance the leadership and promote camaraderie among youth for them to become prime movers in peace-building.

“In this forum, we are also promoting awareness among youths on misleading issues being used by Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) to lure them to join the armed struggle,” said Mariñas.

Other topics discussed during the three-day forum were disaster response awareness, lectures on spiritual development, effects of illegal drugs, environment protection awareness, and various team-building activities.

“The youth sector is the future of the country, and we should conduct this type of activity to mold them as future leaders and responsible citizens of the country,” said Mariñas.

Further, Mariñas said, the successful conduct of the 1st YLS in Sta. Lucia town was supported by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation & Unity (OPAPRU) headed by Secretary Carlito Guansing Galvez, Jr.; the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Sta. Lucia headed by Mayor Joseph Simon B. Valdez; and the Sta. Lucia North Central Elementary School (SLNCES) headed by school principal Christine Haluber.

Major General Lenard T. Agustin, the commander of the army’s 7th Infantry Division, lauded the partnership of the various stakeholders for the successful conduct of the youth forum in Ilocos Sur.

“The collaboration among OPAPRU, LGU of Sta Lucia and SLNCES is an indication that stakeholders are working together as embodied in Executive Order 70 or the Whole of Nation Approach to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC),” said Agustin. (JCR/FGL, PIA 1)

Cebuano News: Sundalo ug Armado nag Sangka sa Sibugay

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Cebuano News: Sundalo ug Armado nag Sangka sa Sibugay

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IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay, Nov 6 (PIA) -Ang 44th Infantry Battalion ug unum ka mga armadong rebelde nag sangka sa Barangay Tampalan, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay atong niaging adlaw.

Sumala ni Lt. Col Don Templonuevo, adunay mga reports gikan sa komunidad nga naay presensya sa armadong grupo mao ni responda sila ug kini ni resulta sa pagsangka. Nadakop ug nakuha nila ang isa ka M14 ug M16 rifle, duha ka rifle grenade, duha ka magazines 30 caps sa M16 Rifle, siyam ka magazines 20 caps sa M16 Rifle, napulo ka magazines sa M14 Rifle, 125 ka rounds ammo sa ctg, cal 7.62mm ball, usa ka 145 rounds ammo sa ctg, cal 5.56mm ball, duha ka rifle grenades, duha ka bandoleers, upat ka gagmay nga bag packs, duha ka sling bags, ug usa moto karize pump ug uban pang mga personal nga butang.

Wala may gi report nga kaswalti sa mga sundalo, pero dili mahibal-an kung aduna bay na nasamaran o patay sa armadong grupo tungod sa dugo nga nakita sa ilahang routa sa pag-ikyas human sa 15 ka minuto nga engkwentro.

Sa pagkakaron, si Col. Leonel Nicolas, 102 Infantry Brigade Commander nga adunay operational nga hurisdiksyon sa Zamboanga Sibugay nga gisugyot niya nga mosurender ang mga samarang armado aron matambalan. Iya usab gi garantiya ang ilang seguridad.

Dungag pa ni Nicolas nga kung aduna man ma batian nga presensya sa mga armadong tawo, iyang gi-awhag angtanan nga mag tinabangay ug i-report sa awtoridad. (NBE/JPA/SRMS/ PIA9-Zamboanga Sibugay)

Army to AgNor town officials, residents: Reject communist terrorist group

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Army to AgNor town officials, residents: Reject communist terrorist group (By 402nd Brigade, CMO)

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte, Nov. 6 -- The Army Commander in Caraga urged local leaders and its residents to reject the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) during the Municipal Development Council (MDC) and Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) launching of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC) of the Municipality of Jabonga on October 27 at the Multi-Purpose Gym, Barangay Baleguian, Jabonga.

In his speech during the launching of MTF ELCAC in Jabonga town, Col. Maurito Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade, challenged the local leaders and residents to
reject outright the CTG and its allied left-leaning organizations in order to move forward in one direction particularly in ending the local communist armed conflict and attain a long and lasting peace in the said town.

The launching, as a manifestation of rejection of CTG and support to the EO 70, was also highlighted with the Jabonga MTF ELCAC’s 1st resolution declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF and its allies as persona-non grata in Barangays A. Beltran, Maraiging, Bangonay, Libas and Baleguian of same town.

Present during the joint MDC-MPOC resolution signing of Jabonga which officially created and launched the town's MTF ELCAC were Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera, Agusan del Norte Rep. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante-Matba, and other guests from different agencies and stakeholders.

Col. Licudine said the local residents must resist the CTG and reject them from their communities. "Your Army will side by side stand in unity with the local leaders and its people to demonstrate that the CPP-NPA Terrorist (CNTs) and its left-leaning legal organizations have no place in our peace-loving communities," he said.

"It’s easier said than done but with the local leaders leading their constituents in the fight against the terrorist group and at the same time addressing the root causes of the insurgency problem, no doubt we can achieve to end local communist armed conflict in Caraga the soonest possible time,” he added. (Maj. Francisco P. Garello, Jr., (CMO Officer, 402nd Infantry “Stingers” Brigade, Philippine Army/PIA Agusan del Norte)

Source: Civil Military Operations (CMO), 402nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army

Campus Peace Dialogue: Empowering the youth to say NO to NPA, drugs

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Campus Peace Dialogue: Empowering the youth to say NO to NPA, drugs

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TACLOBAN CITY, Nov. 6 (PIA) -- Something must be done for the youth and the students to become advocates of government programs, reforms and activities.

The youth are most vulnerable to exploitation by the enemies of the state. They are being swayed into thinking that the government is oppressive.

One such positive move is the conduct of Campus Peace Dialogue which has great impact towards building a conflict-resilient community.

Spearheaded recently by the 46th Infantry "Peacemakers" Battalion, the conduct of Campus Peace Dialogue is part of the institutionalization of the whole of nation approach to end local communist armed conflict.

Youth participants of the recently held Campus Peace Awareness Dialogue spearheaded by the 46th Infantry "Peacemakers" Batallion.

Representatives from DepEd, BFP, PNP and AFP converged to conduct the Campus Peace Awareness Dialogue to the San Sebastian National High School students in Samar purposely to insulate them from the deceptive propagandas and recruitment of Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) on the youth sector.

Topics such as anti-drug awareness campaign and other related topics were discussed during the activity.

The activity increased the awareness of students to inhibit themselves from engaging or participating in any activities involving communism in alliance with the CPP-NPA-NDF and from engaging in any drug-related activities.

The concerted effort of the school management, the participants and the various agencies resulted to the success of the endeavor.

The initiators went home with a smile on their faces hoping that they have increased the awareness of the students who are now ready to say No to insurgency and drugs. (PIA-8 with reports from 46IB, 8ID, PA)

Criminal cases filed vs nabbed NPA front leaders, members

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Criminal cases filed vs nabbed NPA front leaders, members (By 3ID DPAO-Philippine Army)

CAMP MONTELIBANO, Bacolod City, Nov. 6 – Criminal charges against arrested front leaders ad members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army have already been filed in court.

The Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) Cluster of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict 6 (RTF-ELCAC 6) through the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has already filed appropriate case before the City Prosecutor’s Office against the arrested CPP-NPA Terrorist front leaders and members on November 4, 2019.

The inquest proceedings of two criminal charges for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosive were conducted by Prosecutor Fernand A. Castro at Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.

The 42 arrested individuals were charged with violating Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, of whom 41 were charged with illegal possession of explosives.

Aside from the criminal charges, the government forces will also be filing qualified human trafficking to six of the arrested personalities for recruiting and indoctrinating minors for illegal activities.

The accused were arrested in simultaneous implementation of Search Warrants for Violation of RA 10591 by PLEDS RTF-ELCAC 6 in Bacolod City last October 31, and in Escalante City on November 1, 2019.

A total of 32 assorted firearms, three fragmentation grenade, two ammunitions of 40MM Grenade Launcher and assorted live ammunition were confiscated inside the searched premises during the conduct of search and seizure operation.

The application of search warrants and filing of charges against these personalities are results of the collaborative efforts of the Negrenses and government forces who are both aspiring for an insurgency-free community.

This also signified the government’s sincerity in ending local communist armed conflict.(JBG/Capt. Cenon C. Pancito III/3ID-DPAO)

IP parents surfaced in Bukidnon, call on NPA to return their children

From the Philippine Information Agency (Nov 6, 2019): IP parents surfaced in Bukidnon, call on NPA to return their children (By 8th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

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In a radio interview, three parents belonging to the Umayamnon tribe in Bukidnon call on the communist New People’s Army to return their children. (8IB)

IMPASUGONG, Bukidnon, Nov. 5 (PIA)--Three parents who belong to the Umayamnon Indigenous Tribe, came out to the open and called on the New People's Army (NPA) to return their children who were recruited without their knowledge.

The parents, known only as Lolita, Durno and Boy, sounded their call in a radio interview over DXDB in Valencia City on November 5.

The three traveled from Cabanglasan town to Valencia City to seek help from radio stations, hoping the NPA could get their message.

Lolita, 58 and Durno, 64, said their 26-year old daughter Jemma was enrolled at Bukidnon State University sometime in 2015 but stopped going to classes because of financial problems. She suddenly disappeared two days after quitting school.

They said they don’t have any knowledge of her whereabouts until they received a phone call from an unknown number confirming that Jemma was in the hands of the NPA.

Lolita begged her daughter to return home. “Jemma, if you are listening, please come home now, the government already has a program for you and your comrades, I don’t know if I have a grandchild from you, You don’t know how we miss you,” she said.

She added that she had received information that Jemma was married to an NPA commander named "Haki."

Boy, 42, also shared how his 16-year-old daughter Rosemarie was forced to join the NPA group.

He said Rosemarie ran away in 2017 to avoid an arranged marriage. At the time, she was still 14 years old.

According to Boy, he only learned her daughter has joined the NPA when he received a phone call from an unknown number informing him that Rosemarie was with the group.

“My child, I am very sorry about our misunderstanding, I don’t know how are you doing there, please come home! Our local leaders promised to help us, I want to see and guide you living here,” Boy pleaded.

The call of the three IP parents is part of the growing number of parents in the country who want NPA to return their children, whom they believed were recruited by the communist rebels.

Meanwhile, the local officials of Cabanglasan, local and national line agencies, and members of the press are open to help those parents who are still searching for their missing children. (8IB/PA)

Source: 8th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army

Army foils NPA extortion activity in Agusan Sur town

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Army foils NPA extortion activity in Agusan Sur town

FOILED. Government troops belonging to the Army's 75th Infantry Battalion have foiled the attempt of the communist New People’s Army to extort money in the guise of revolutionary taxes in Sitio Maputi, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur, on Sunday (Nov. 3, 2019), the military says. A five-minute encounter in the area led to the recovery of high-powered firearms, ammunition and personal belongings of the rebels. (Photo courtesy of 75IB)

Government troops said they prevented the extortion activities of members of the New People’s Army (NPA) against farmers and residents in a far-flung village in Rosario town, Agusan del Sur over the weekend.

In a statement on Tuesday, Lt. Col. Warren C. Munda, commander of the Army's 75th Infantry Battalion (IB), said troops were immediately sent to the area after they received information from community residents about an impending
collection of revolutionary taxes last Sunday by members of the NPA's Guerrilla Front 14 (GF-14).

Munda described GF-14 as a weakened guerrilla unit, led by a certain Arnold Conejar Orlanes.

While en route to the area, he said the troops "were fired upon by the NPA (rebels) that resulted in a five-minute gun battle."

No casualties were reported on the side of the government troops.

Soldiers recovered two firearms, ammunition, and other pieces of evidence at the encounter site, Munda said.

“This is proof that the people of Rosario (Agusan del Sur) are sincere to end the insurgency in their community, wherein numerous tips were fed and received by the 75IB regarding the presence of the armed group roaming around conducting extortion activity,” he said.

The NPA, Munda said, has been "planning to recover the support of the masses and to disrupt the joint efforts of the Army and the local government units to end decades of insurgency problems in the area."

However, he said the "influence" of the NPA has continued to weaken because of the "intensified development interventions done by the Army’s Post Community Support Program and the increased Intelligence and Focus Military Operations."

He said the interventions are part of the "whole-of-nation" approach being implemented through Executive Order 70 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, with the aim of ending the local communist armed conflicts in the countryside.

“The Philippine Army will keep the CNTs on the run and make the ground hostile for them. These will make them weary and would lead the rebels to surrender,” Munda said.

CNT is military term for "Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army Terrorists".

"It is a clear manifestation that they (people of Rosario) wanted lasting peace, live without fear of the CNTs and free from insurgents,” Munda added.

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

Husband, son of foreign female suicide bomber killed in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Husband, son of foreign female suicide bomber killed in Sulu

NEUTRALIZED. Troops recovered two vests with explosives, a grenade, and a .45-caliber pistol with ammunition when they neutralized in a shootout three suspected suicide bombers Tuesday, November 5, in Indanan, Sulu. Two of those killed are believed to be foreigners. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 1102nd Infantry Brigade)

Government troops neutralized three suspected suicide bombers, including two foreigners, in a shootout in the province of Sulu, a top military official said Wednesday.

Col. Ignatius Patrimonio, Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said
the shootout took place around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday in Sitio Itawon, Barangay Kan Islam, Indanan, Sulu.

Patrimonio said the foreign terrorists were allegedly the husband and son of the foreign female suicide bomber, who attacked a military post on September 8 in kilometer 3, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan. The third one is a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The thwarted September 8 suicide bomb attack resulted in the death of the bomber, described by the military as “a female person wearing black hijab."

Patrimonio said the shootout ensued as the terrorists opened fire when they were flagged down by the troops of the Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion along the national road of Indanan.

He said the troops returned fire, resulting in the death of the three terrorists riding in a motorcycle.

Government troops recovered from the slain terrorists a .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, a hand grenade, and two vests with explosives and triggering devices.

According to Patrimonio, the recovered vests were identical to the vest used by the suicide bombers during the two bomb attacks on June 28 in Barangay Tanjung, Indanan, and on September 8 in Barangay Tagbak, also in Indanan.

“The hostile plan of the terrorists in Sulu could have caused tremendous casualties and could have tarnished the image of this country if not immediately acted upon by our soldiers. Hence, I commend them for such patriotic act,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, lauded the soldiers who carried out the military operations for their sacrifices, superb planning and careful execution of their tasks to apprehend the suicide bombers.

“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) in Sulu will continue to hunt down all the remaining ASG members in Sulu. Hence, I urge them to surrender and live a normal life instead of being hunt down as a fleeing criminals and disgrace to the peace-loving Tausug Community,” Vinluan warned.

NPA couple yields to Army in Agusan Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): NPA couple yields to Army in Agusan Sur

REBEL COUPLE YIELDS. Lt. Col. Warren C. Munda, commander of the Army's 75th Infantry Battalion, welcomes a New People’s Army couple, identified as alias “Toro” and alias “Shantal” during their surrender on Tuesday (Nov. 5, 2019). The couple will be provided financial assistance under the government’s program for rebel surrenderers. (Photo courtesy of 75IB)

The Army’s 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion (IB) has welcomed the surrender of a New People’s Army (NPA) couple in the province of Agusan del Sur on Tuesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, 75IB commander, Lt. Col. Warren C. Munda,
identified the couple as alias “Toro” and alias “Shantal” who belonged to the NPA's Guerrilla Front 14 (GF-14), North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

The Army described GF14 as a weakened guerilla unit.
Munda said the surrender of the NPA couple was triggered by the encounter between the 75IB troopers and rebel forces in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur last Sunday.

“They are tired and hopeless supporting the CNTs’ (Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army Terrorists) worthless ideology,” he said.

Munda noted that the NPA couple brought with them two firearms and ammunition.

“Shantal” told Army investigators she and her husband decided to surrender so that they could start a new life and raise a family.

Munda said the NPA couple will be enrolled in the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“They will receive immediate cash and livelihood assistance, as well as remuneration for the surrendered firearms,” he added.

SoCot employee gunned down in Koronadal City

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): SoCot employee gunned down in Koronadal City

Lt. Col. Joefel Siason, Koronadal City police chief. (File photo courtesy of the Koronadal City police station)

Unidentified gunmen shot dead an employee of the provincial government of South Cotabato at a traffic stop in a road junction in Koronadal City Wednesday morning.

Lt. Col Joefel Siason, chief of the Koronadal City police station, said victim Robert Corneta was on his way to work at the provincial capitol aboard a white Kia sedan when he was waylaid by two motorcycle-riding suspects around 6:45 a.m.

Siason said Corneta had just stopped at a red traffic signal in the corner of General Santos Drive and Arellano Street when attacked.

Citing accounts from several witnesses, he said two suspects aboard a motorcycle approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and opened fire at the victim.

Siason said Corneta died on-the-spot due to multiple gunshot wounds on the head and body from a .45-caliber handgun.

The suspects, wearing black masks, fled from the scene after the shooting, he said.

Corneta, in his 40s, was a former jail guard of the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center or provincial jail but was transferred last July to the Provincial Security Unit at the provincial capitol compound.

Siason said they are currently looking into several possible motives, among them personal grudges and work-related circumstances.

“We’re currently doing a back tracking of the background and activities of the victim,” he said in a radio interview.

Based on the manner of the attack, he said the suspects appear to be part of an organized group and carefully planned Corneta’s murder.

Siason said they will submit the recovered slugs to the regional crime laboratory for cross-matching to determine whether the incident was connected to previous killings and other gun attacks in the area.

He said they will review the footage of security cameras installed near the scene to help identify the suspects.

Army exec to Samar rebels: ‘Surrender or die’

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Army exec to Samar rebels: ‘Surrender or die’

CALL TO SURRENDER. Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III, commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division based in Catbalogan City, Samar. On Wednesday (Nov. 6, 2019), Diñoso called on the New People’s Army operating in Samar to surrender and take advantage of benefits for rebel returnees. (Philippine Army photo)

TACLOBAN CITY -- A top military official in the region has renewed its appeal to the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in Samar to surrender and take advantage of benefits for rebel returnees or die fighting in the mountains.

“Rebel members should now surrender because the government is willing to help them live a normal life. Our government agencies have many programs that they can avail if they wish to return to the fold of the law,”
Maj. Gen. Pio Diñoso III, commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, told reporters in an interview here Wednesday.

However, if the communist-terrorist group will continue fighting the government, the military has no option but to use its full force to end the insurgency.

Diñoso made the statement days after recent successful operations against the rebels in Samar provinces.

Last Oct. 16, government forces launched an airstrike, destroying a large NPA lair in Caputoan village, Las Navas, Northern Samar.

From the lair, soldiers recovered backpacks, military-type backpacks, hammocks, sacks of rice, assorted food supplies, sacks of land mines, mobile phones with chargers, an I-com radio, a laptop, a landline tester, and flash drives.

Also seized were SIM cards, external drives, assorted blasting caps, a roll of detonating wire, live ammunition, an empty magazine for carbine, improvised grenades, anti-tank land mines, assorted medical supplies, and subversive documents.

For the first time, government troops utilized the Philippine Air Force supersonic FA-50 jets to do surgical airstrikes.

“That is a stern warning for them, we will conduct airstrikes again if they will not surrender. As much as possible we want to use that as a last resort because what we really want is for them to surrender and return to the society,” Diñoso added.

On Sunday night, soldiers recovered an AK-47 rifle, two M-16 rifles, several magazines and ammunition, and two backpacks containing personal belongings, and subversive documents after a clash with 10 NPA rebels in Lim-ao village, Hinabangan, Samar.

Diñoso added that combat operations against the communist group will continue but their main activity is to prevent NPA recruitment activities, a top priority of Executive Order 70, which institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace.”

One of the major efforts is the deployment of a community support program, which hears issues and concerns of vulnerable villagers and to bring them to the attention of concerned government offices.

The NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

Trafficking raps filed vs. 6 suspected rebels in Bacolod

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Trafficking raps filed vs. 6 suspected rebels in Bacolod

TRAFFICKING RAPS. Parents of three minors allegedly recruited to join the rebel movement filed charges against six suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army for qualified trafficking before the Bacolod City Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday (Nov. 6, 2019). The complainants were assisted by personnel of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Detection and Investigation Group-Western Visayas and Bacolod City Police Office-Women and Children Protection Desk. (PNA photo by Nanette L. Guadalquiver)

BACOLOD CITY -- Six suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) were charged with qualified trafficking on Wednesday by the parents of three minors they allegedly recruited to join the rebel movement.

The respondents were
identified as Albert de la Cerna, Karina Mae Naluis de la Cerna, John Milton Lozande, Noly Lacera Rosales, Proceso Quiatzon and Cherryl Cantero Catalogo. The charges were filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor.

The three minors were among the 13 “rescued” during the raid in the compound of progressive groups
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Gabriela in Barangay Bata here on October 31.

The parents of two females and a male, all below 18, executed their affidavits before Assistant City Prosecutor May Christina Cuevas, with the assistance of personnel of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (PNP-CIDG)-Western Visayas and Bacolod City Police Office-Women and Children Protection Desk (BCPO-WCPD).

Qualified trafficking in persons is a violation under Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

Capt. Cenon Pancito III, public affairs chief of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, who was present during the filing of the complaints on Wednesday, said aside from the parents, two witnesses also executed sworn statements.
The minors were among the 55 individuals rounded up during the raid in two locations in Barangay Bata last October 31. They were placed in the custody of the Bacolod police WCPD following their arrest.

Firearms, ammunition, and explosives were recovered in the Barangay Bata raid.

In Barangay Taculing, a couple was arrested in their residence, and in Barangay 33, where the National Federation Sugar Workers office is located, two were also apprehended.

The four search warrants for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Law were issued by Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89.

Marawi siege hero makes ultimate 'sacrifice'

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Marawi siege hero makes ultimate 'sacrifice'

FALLEN HERO: Police Staff Sgt. Raegan Salbino is a hero not just to his pregnant wife but to the country. He was killed while serving a warrant of arrest against a suspect in Marawi City on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo courtesy of MaryLou Santiago Asingwa Lope FB)
SHILAN, LA TRINIDAD, Benguet-- Special Action Force (SAF) Police Staff Sgt. Reagan Salbino was one of those who had survived the five-month-long siege on the city of Marawi, which started May of 2017, to recover the place from Islamic militants, led by the Maute group.

He was one of the many heroes of Marawi who received a “Medalya ng Kadakilaan" or the PNP Heroism Medal after the siege ended in October of the same year.

Salbino got married on Dec. 20, 2018 to Fretzel, a Police Corporal assigned to the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera Mobile Force company, and dreamt of raising a family with her and living a full life.

“Very proud ako sa kanya (I'm very proud of him); he fought until the end,” Fretzel, who is three months pregnant, said as she narrated the exploits of her husband.

But fate seems to have a different plan for Salbino.

Salbino, a member of the 103rd Special Action Company of the Philippine National Police, was killed while serving a warrant of arrest against Abdullah Angantap Taurac for homicide and illegal gun raps in the early morning of Oct. 30, 2019 in Barangay Lilod Saduc, Marawi City.

Taurac was also killed during a shootout with police authorities that day.

“Masakit kasi wala pa kaming one year at hindi pa pinapanganak tong baby, hindi niya pa nakita pero sabi ko na lang, baka may mission siya na tinatapos niya (Painful because we have not even reached our one year anniversary and our child has yet to be born, but I tell myself that maybe when he still finishing his mission),” Fretzel said.

She described her slain husband as a fighter and strong-willed.

"Fighter siya kaya kahit ganito ang nangyari sa kanya, kahit sa huli nakikipaglaban pa rin siya. Kahit na may tama na siya, nakipaglaban pa rin (He is a fighter that is why even if this is what happened to him. At the end, he continued to fight, even if he was already wounded, he fought),” Salbino's widow said at their family home in Shilan at Benguet’s capital town.

Salbino's body was brought from Marawi to Shilan for a four-day wake. It was transferred to Barangay Taba-ao in Kapangan town, Salbino's birthplace, for a three-day wake, where he will be laid to rest Thursday (Nov.7).


Fretzel recalled how thankful she was when Salbino came home after the "Battle for Marawi" in 2017.

“Nalasat na met diay ngem anya ngay, talaga nga adda ti misyon na siguro (He survived that but what else can we do, probably he really has a mission),” she said when asked why her husband did not ask for an assignment near Benguet.

She said she asked him to request for transfer to a nearer region but simply shrugged his shoulders.

“Sabi niya parang gusto ko pa doon magtrabaho pero sinasabi ko sa kanya, magpa-assign ka na dito (He told me that he still wants to work but I told him to request to be assigned here),” Fretzel said.

Salbino joined the SAF in 2011. After taking the basic recruit course, he went on to complete his two-years commando training.

Last visit home

Fretzel said she will miss him for being a good husband, selfless.

“He does not only think of himself; he is concerned with everybody. He is caring, he washes the clothes and cooks and I will miss those,” she said.

Her husband's last visit home was on Oct. 4 and he stayed for 14 days.

“Alagaan ko ang baby, be healthy, I love you habang hawak niya ang tiyan ko (To take care of my baby and be healthy. He told me ' I love you' while caressing my stomach)," Fretzel recounted as Salbino's last words before leaving for Marawi.

“Since he learned of my pregnancy, he never failed to make me and our child feel how he loves the baby,” Fretzel said.

Fretzel said they spoke through cellular phone evening prior to the operation, their last conversation.

“He did not mention that they have an operation at dawn, which is not usual because he normally tells me but I understand that maybe he doesn’t want me to worry because of my pregnancy,” she said.

Despite losing her husband in battle, she said she would still stay in the police service.

“Ituloy ku ti serbisyok ti PNP ta isu ti kayat na, kinuna na idi nga ituloy mu aginggana agretire ka, agserbi ka nu anya ti sinapataan tayu, ituloy ku para met lang ditoy baby mi (I will continue to be a police officer because it is what he wants. He used to tell me to continue until I retire, serve based on the oath we gave, and I will continue to be one for our baby also),” Fretzel said.

Police Capt. Julius Cesar Ramirez, who was assigned as assistant commander of the group in 2018, said Salbino is a loss for the country.

“He is one who does not need to be told, he volunteers. After a task is discussed, he immediately performs what he needs to do without waiting for another day. He is a responsible SAF trooper and he is a loss to the unit,” Ramirez said.

2 'MILF members' nabbed for illegal firearms possession

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): 2 'MILF members' nabbed for illegal firearms possession

ARRESTED. Police authorities nab two alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front found carrying unlicensed firearms, at a local fish port on Jose Lim Sr. Street, Barangay Poblacion Mother, Cotabato City on Tuesday (Nov. 5, 2019). Also seized from the two were identification cards indicating their affiliation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front 105th base command in Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Brigada News FM Cotabato)

COTABATO CITY -- Police authorities are in custody of two alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who were found to be carrying two unlicensed pistols.

In a report Tuesday, Maj. Glenn Mar Avisa, city police station 1 commander, identified the two as Ebrahim Tasig Guilaon, 28, of Barangay Kalanganan 1 here; and Guiahud Abdullah Mama, 33, of Barangay Bulibod, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

Found in their possession were a loaded .45-caliber pistol and a 9mm Beretta pistol.
The suspects were nabbed early morning at a fish port area on Jose Lim Street, Barangay Poblacion Mother, following a tip from concerned civilians.

“The two did not resist arrest when surrounded by police agents,” Avisa said.

Also found from them were two identification cards stating they are members of the MILF’s 105th base command based in Maguindanao.

"Up to now, we are still waiting for representatives of the MILF to come over our station and confirm the link of the suspects to their organization,” Avisa said.

He said the two refused to answer questions from police investigators on why they were carrying unlicensed firearms.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, were being readied against Guilaon and Mama.

Another Lamitan City shootout suspect killed

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Another Lamitan City shootout suspect killed

Google map of Lamitan City, Basilan province.

Another suspect involved in a shootout that injured a policeman was killed in a continuing follow-up operation in Lamitan City, Basilan province, the police disclosed Wednesday.

Maj. John Paolo Carracedo, Lamitan City police chief, said suspect
Yhajir Tangil, 18, was killed in a shootout around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Barangay Matibay, Lamitan City.

Carracedo said the shootout ensued when
Tangil grabbed the .45-caliber pistol of one of the soldiers and opened fire prompting the troops to return fire while being escorted to the Lamitan City police headquarters.

Carracedo said Tangil was arrested during follow-up operation launched after the November 4 shootout in Barangay Limook, Lamitan City that injured Pat. Ronnie Sawadi, 27.

Sawadi, together with other policemen and soldiers, was manning a checkpoint when the shootout happened in Barangay Limook.

One of Tangil’s companions, Husrie Daimon, was killed during the shootout in the same day.

Tangil was the second suspect who was neutralized by pursuing security forces.

Carracedo said the remains of Tangil was claimed by Jamil Lintawan, barangay chairperson of Tipo-Tipo Proper, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan, for internment according to Muslim rites.

Recovered from the shootout scene was a .45-caliber pistol with two spent shells, which Tangil seized from the escorting soldiers, police said.

OPAV exec lauds prov’l task force efforts to curb insurgency

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): OPAV exec lauds prov’l task force efforts to curb insurgency

CURBING INSURGENCY. Engr. Ricardo Mendoza, senior staff at the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, says the people can now truly feel the government’s presence through activities initiated by the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF-ELCAC) in Siaton and Sta. Catalina towns. In an interview on Tuesday (Nov. 5, 2019), he lauded the efforts of the NOTF-ELCAC toward attaining its goal of attaining peace in the communities. (PNA photo by Judaline F. Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY -- A senior staff of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) has lauded the efforts of the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF-ELCAC) for its successful stints in conflict areas in Siaton and Sta. Catalina towns.

Engr. Ricardo Mendoza, in an interview on Tuesday afternoon, said the people can now truly feel the government’s presence through the twin activities, the "Dagyawan: Talakayan sa Mamamayan" and the service caravan.

“We call it 'Malasakit Serbisyong Caravan' and this the government’s way of bringing the services of government agencies and its partners to the people especially in conflict areas,” he said.

Mendoza was happy to note that a massage therapist from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) told him that a man who availed of free massage in the Siaton leg of the activity told him he was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA) and wanted to surrender but was afraid of punitive actions by the insurgents.

The man told the massage therapist that life was really hard for them up in the mountains and with the NPA, and with what the NOTF-ELCAC is doing, the people can now truly feel the presence of government in their areas, Mendoza added.

On Monday, the NOTF-ELCAC held a Talakayan at the Siaton gymnasium and the Serbisyong Caravan in the hinterland Sitio Mainit in Barangay Tayak of that town, where about 300 to 400 people benefitted from the different services offered by government agencies and civil society partners, said Jennifer Catan Tilos, Infocen Manager of the Philippine Information Agency here and head of the Strategic Communication Cluster of the NOTF-ELCAC.

In Sta. Catalina, the Talakayan was held at Barangay Nagbinlod gymnasium while the Serbisyong Caravan venue was at the Barangay Nagbinlod Elementary School, with about 500 beneficiaries, she added.

Mendoza, who attended these activities, said after the last two activities of the NOTF-ELCAC in Negros Oriental, a “turnover” of the output is scheduled on November 28.

The role of the OPAV, he said, is to facilitate the activities and monitor which agencies had made commitments and whether these can be delivered.

Meanwhile, Mendoza cited that one of the main contributing factors to insurgency is lack of roads. “Where the road ends, insurgency begins,” he said.

Tasked to check the venues for OPAV’s caravan of services, he cited the poor roads leading to these areas. He said he learned that in Barangay Dobdob, Valencia, a person has to pay PHP600 one way on a motorcycle-for-hire or "habal-habal" to go down to the city.

On Nov. 14, the NOTF-ELCAC will go to Zamboanguita and on Nov. 21 in Dobdob, Valencia.

11 suspected CPP-NPA members in Bacolod indicted

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): 11 suspected CPP-NPA members in Bacolod indicted

RAID. Some of those arrested in the raid of the compound of progressive groups Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela, and allied organizations in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City on Oct. 31, 2019. Eleven of them have been indicted on a charge of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives. (Photo courtesy of Glazyl Masculino)

BACOLOD CITY -- Eleven of 42 suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who were arrested during raids in the offices of progressive groups here have been indicted on a charge of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives.

Their indictment was stated in four separate inquest resolutions dated November 4, penned by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Fernand Castro of the Office of the City Prosecutor, and released on Wednesday afternoon.

“After a careful examination and assiduous evaluation of the evidence on records, we find probable cause to indict the respondents,” Castro said in each of the four resolutions approved by OIC-City Prosecutor Dennis Jarder.

Found with probable cause to be indicted for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, are Albert dela Cerna, Karina Mae Naluis dela Cerna, Cherryl Cantero Catalogo, John Milton Lozande, Noly Lacera Rosales, Proceso Quiatzon, Mermalyn Mendieta Bito-on, Romulo Tapalla Bito-on, Mary Anne Villasica Krueger, Danilo Nacario Tabura, and Roberto Dorio Lachica.

The charge against 31 other respondents have been dismissed for lack of probable cause, and the inquest prosecutor ordered the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Detection and Investigation Group to immediately release them once they receive a copy of the resolution.

Meanwhile, Albert dela Cerna, the Bito-ons, Rosales, and Quiatzon were also recommended to be charged in court for violation of RA 9516 or the Illegal Possession of Explosives.

The 11, who were arrested during the serving of search warrants in four locations occupied by progressive groups Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela and allied organizations last October 31, are considered by the police and the military as high-value individuals (HVIs).

In all the resolutions, Castro stated that “(b)ased on the evidence presented, we find the warrantless arrest of the respondents lawful and in accordance with Section 5, Rule 113 of Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.”

He added that the filing of the cases was well within the prescribed reglementary period.

On Wednesday afternoon, the two dela Cernas, Lozande, Rosales, Quiatzon, and Catalogo were also charged with qualified trafficking by the parents of three minors who were among those rescued during the raid in Barangay Bata.

PCG-Dumaguete sends aid to Mindanao quake victims

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): PCG-Dumaguete sends aid to Mindanao quake victims

AID FOR QUAKE VICTIMS. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Dumaguete Station is sending more than a ton of relief goods to Mindanao for the victims of the series of earthquakes that rocked Cotabato and nearby areas. PCG-Dumaguete commander, Lt. Cmdr. Jansen Benjamin, supervised late Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 5, 2019) the loading of the relief goods on board the BRP Suluan, a PCG vessel, that departed the Dumaguete port for Cebu, and Cotabato. (Photo by Judy Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Dumaguete Station, headed by Lt. Cmdr. Jansen Benjamin, has sent more than a ton of relief goods to the people in Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao who were displaced by the recent earthquakes.

Benjamin supervised the loading of the goods on Tuesday onboard the Coast Guard’s maritime patrol ship, BRP Suluan (MRRV 4406), which was docked at the port here.

He said his office started receiving the relief goods from donors since a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck Cotabato in October.

“The Coast Guard is very thankful for the support from the people in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental who responded very quickly by sending food and non-food items,” Benjamin said.

Among the relief goods are bottled water, canned sardines, noodles, other foodstuffs, and used clothing.

Benjamin said they were also waiting for the shipment of relief goods collected by the PCG in nearby Siquijor, scheduled to arrive that same day.

The BRP Suluan departed the Dumaguete port on Tuesday night bound for Cebu to drop off Army soldiers and members of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas and other agencies who had participated in the two-day "Malasakit Serbisyong Caravan" and "Dagyawan: Talakayan para sa Mamamayan" in Siaton and Sta. Catalina towns.

From Cebu, it will immediately proceed to Mindanao to ferry the relief goods, Benjamin said.

He said the sending aid to quake victims is a continuing effort as he appealed to more people to donate.

Once the collected items reach at least one ton, Benjamin will again request for a PCG vessel to bring the donations to Cotabato.

Navy sealift vessel helps in quake relief efforts

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Navy sealift vessel helps in quake relief efforts

BRP Davao del Sur. (File photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

MANILA -- In line with ongoing government efforts to help quake-battered communities in Mindanao, the Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday deployed one of its strategic sealift vessels, the BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), to help in the ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions (HADR) in Mindanao.

Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the ship and her crew left Pier 15, Manila South Harbor, to conduct sealift and HADR missions in connection with the series of earthquakes in Mindanao.

"She (BRP Davao Del Sur) is now en route to Davao City via Cebu," she said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Wednesday morning.

While she does not have specific details on what relief items the BRP Davao Del Sur is carrying, Roxas said the ship is known to be transporting mobile water treatment trucks and kitchens.

"I don't have specific details but LD-602 (is carrying) mobile water treatment trucks from Maynila and Manila Water. (Also the ship is also transporting) mobile kitchen trucks and some military transportations," the PN public affairs office chief added.

Also, the BRP Ang Pangulo (ACS-25) is also scheduled to transport relief goods to Mindanao by next week.

"ACS-25 will be leaving next week. (The ship is tasked) to accommodate all relief goods intended for Davao," Roxas added.

Earlier, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana directed all government agencies to support the ongoing relief operations being spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Office of Civil Defense.

He also appealed to all partner agencies of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to closely coordinate with each other to ensure the expeditious delivery of relief services supporting various evacuations in the quake-affected regions.

Aside from relief efforts, the DND chief also urged these agencies to focus on steps that will help facilitate the early recovery of the affected communities.

PH Army to give part of Nov. food allowance to quake victims

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): PH Army to give part of Nov. food allowance to quake victims

DONATION TO QUAKE VICTIMS. Army troops unload relief goods to be distributed to earthquake victims in Cotabato and other areas in Mindanao on Tuesday (Nov. 5, 2019). Aside from assisting in relief operations, the soldiers will give part of their subsistence allowance for the month of November to quake victims. (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)

MANILA -- Philippine Army (PA) troops will give part of their subsistence allowance for the month of November to the quake-affected victims in Mindanao, its acting spokesperson said Wednesday.

The initiative is in addition to the Army’s ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in the province of Cotabato and other affected areas in the region, Col. Patricio Ruben Amata said in a statement.

“The donations will be allocated to aid the individuals and families affected by the disaster. This command initiative is just a part of our response to our mandate to serve the Filipino people and we eagerly encourage everyone to volunteer or extend support to help our fellow Filipinos in need,” Amata added.

Every donation, he said, will be deducted from each Army personnel’s daily subsistence allowance of PHP150, equivalent to three meals a day at PHP50 each.

Under the measure, Army troops will skip two meals worth PHP100 this month which will be collected and donated for quake victims.

Other contributions will be accepted, either in cash or in kind.

After conducting rescue and evacuation operations, Army troopers also worked together with government units and other stakeholders to provide the residents with temporary shelters and relief goods.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported a total of 23 deaths, 618 individuals injured, and two persons missing after earthquakes struck the Davao and Soccsksargen regions on October 16, 29, and 31.

The disaster also displaced some 30,000 people from their homes.

PNP donates P2-M relief goods to Mindanao quake victims

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): PNP donates P2-M relief goods to Mindanao quake victims

AID TO QUAKE VICTIMS. PNP officer in charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa (4th from right) leads the turnover of donations from police personnel to victims of the recent earthquakes in Makilala, North Cotabato on Wednesday (Nov. 6, 2019). The relief items include food, water and tents, among others. (Photo courtesy of PNP Public Information Office)

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it has provided PHP2 million worth of relief goods to the victims of the recent earthquakes that jolted parts of Mindanao.

PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said PNP officer-in-charge (OIC), Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa arrived in Makilala, North Cotabato on Wednesday to turn over the relief goods which include food, water, tents among others.

"Yes, at present our OIC is visiting quake-affected areas to personally turn over PHP2 million worth of relief goods to earthquake victims," Banac told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday.

Banac said the relief goods came from the donation of all PNP personnel who were previously asked by Gamboa to donate at least PHP10.

He added that all goods were received by officials of the local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (DRRMCs).

On Monday, Gamboa assured that the PNP will provide financial assistance to the policemen affected by the swarm of earthquakes in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,756 PNP personnel in Northern Mindanao, Davao and Soccsksargen regions were fielded for search, rescue, and relief operations in the affected areas.

Three earthquakes hit parts of Mindanao in October.

On October 16, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Tulunan, North Cotabato around 7:37 p.m. at a depth of eight kilometers.

On October 29, a magnitude 6.6 hit the southeastern part of Tulunan, North Cotabato around 9:04 a.m. again which reportedly caused damages to some of the structures in Mindanao.

On October 31, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Tulunan, Cotabato anew with a depth of two kilometers.

Reds raise 'red-tagging', 'state terrorism' cards when beaten

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 6, 2019): Reds raise 'red-tagging', 'state terrorism' cards when beaten

Members of Teatro Obrero in an undated photo during the organizing of the local chapter of Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Mambubukid of the National Democratic Front, formed by the New People’s Army in Malasibog, Escalante City, Negros City. (Contributed photo)

MANILA -- Why do allies and supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) always play up the "red-tagging and state terrorism" cards every time the government gains a significant victory against the terror organization?

This was the reaction of Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) in reaction to a recent statement of CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria "Joma" Sison claiming that “under the tyrannical rule of Duterte, state terrorism is running high with red-tagging, abductions, arrests with planted firearms and murders of social activists, critics, and political opponents.”

Sison made the comment after military and police operations in Bacolod City that resulted in the arrest of at least 60 suspected militants, including 15 minors.

Same tune

"I heard this familiar statement yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon during the Defense Committee hearing in Congress. It is almost what Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela party-list and Rep. France De Castro of ACT PL were saying about their perceived 'state sponsored crackdown on critics of the government'. It was the same line (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) Renato Reyes, (Bayan Muna Party-list) Teddy Casiño, (Kabataan Party-list) Rep. Sara Elago, and (Bayan Muna Party-list) Rep. Carlos Zarate said of the series of successful arrests the government, through the NTF ELCAC, has done in a week," Parlade said in a statement to the Philippine News Agency Wednesday.

The most disconcerting thing, he said, is that the party-list representatives aired all their gripes during the hearing of the Defense and Security Committee to determine what legislative agenda they may have to adapt or prioritize to enhance the protection of the people and the state.

"Instead, the Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc members present took turns questioning (Department of National Defense) Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana if the DND's modernization plan was to enable it 'to kill more people' or to use its funds to harass, red-tag, and arrest more activists," said Parlade, who is also Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations.

While readily dismissing such baseless and groundless allegations, he said the role of the DND and the AFP is to protect all Filipino citizens in times of conflicts or calamities.

"Of course not. It is to perform our constitutional mandate to protect its citizens, in times of war or calamities, like the procurement of more helicopters which you see are now being used in the rescue operations in Makilala, North Cotabato. Don't these "critics" of government see how delicate these air evacuations are like this one perching dangerously in a slope to save people?" he added.

He said while the DND and AFP has surveillance capabilities, these are being used against terrorist groups especially those known to exploit vulnerable minors and put into harm's way

Parlade added that only in self-defense or when their own lives are endangered will government troops use force to neutralize these terrorists.

"We will kill these terrorists if necessary or if they fight back. But some remain alive for not resisting a lawful arrest. This was the case with the series of successful raids in Bacolod City, Escalante, Manila, and Quezon City. Apparently, these Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc members are not happy that nobody from their members fought back. It could have been perfect cases of EJK (extra-judicial killing), most fitting for their narrative," he added.

He said the "motherly-looking" Gabriela or "teacher-actor" members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is only a facade willingly to gain them sympathy from the public.

Howl like wolves

"But the communist terrorists in them are actually wolves, as they hide as members of the underground MAKIBAKA (Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan) for Gabriela and KAGUMA (Katipunan ng mga Gurong Makabayan) for ACT," he added.

The leanings of these individuals or groups, he said, are quickly exposed whenever Sison decides to attack the government whenever the latter gets the upperhand on the campaign against local communist insurgency.

"Look how they talk in unison with Joma Sison, and this is exactly what we said last week. They all walk like a wolf, howl like a wolf, so they must all be wolves. They have been red-tagged by 'Joma' again, after the latter came to their rescue. Yet they continue to deny they are Joma's stooges in the communist party. They continue to belie reports that those arrested are terrorists," Parlade said.

He said he can’t help but wonder why Brosas did not protest the many minors arrested in the last week's operations in Bacolod City.

This is a bit disconcerting as Gabriela party-list, which Brosas is representing, is supposed to advocate rights and issue affecting all women in the country.

"As representative of many mothers, have we ever heard Rep. Brosas complain why there were even kids in the group? Six of them were aged 12-14 and five were aged 15. Many by the way did not give their true names because they were given aliases. What for? So, tell me Rep. Brosas? As a mother, why did not you raise this alarming issue about CPP-NPA's child exploitation?, he said.

The arrest of these CPP NPA personalities with 15 children, he said, were consistent with the Senate inquiry findings that many children could still be missing after being recruited by the CPP-NPA.

“It is consistent with the files of CPP's Vic Ladlad, which said that they have recruited 8,635 children, aged 13-17, up to September 2015 alone," he said.

Parlade scored Gabriela for doing nothing to rescue these minors and yet have the time to protest of being "red-tagged" despite evidence.

"Instead of rescuing these children from their CPP-NPA handlers, you complain of Gabriela being 'red-tagged', even as your group consistently appear in recovered documents and computer files of captured CPP-NPA top personalities. By the way, the houses raided will not pass as an office because the government only knew about them as underground (UG) houses, until you claimed them to be a Gabriela or Bayan Muna office," Parlade said.

He also finds it ironic that these party-list representatives, while having time to complain of the killings of their members by alleged government troops, seem to be indifferent to atrocities committed by the communist rebels.

"Rep. Castro for her part, complained of the killing of many of their members? Would she care to hear the video interview and testimony of surrendered Special Partisan Unit (SPARU hitman) James Durimon alias 'Juros'? He was 14 when recruited by NPAs in Negros and confessed to the killing of many farmers and activists in Panay, on orders of Charity Amacan, Secretary of 'Komiteng Rehiyon' (KR)-Cebu Bohol Negros Siquijor (CBNS) CPP-NPA. Listen to alias 'Juros' and ask Secretary Lorenzana again who is killing your own people so that you can blame the AFP and PNP. Why don't you listen to the tape interview of NPA rebel priest Conrado Balweg who admitted to attacking civilians, while clad in constabulary uniform, in order to create more hatred against the government," he added.

In rebels’ company

Parlade also scored Castro, who is a teacher herself, for not asking why these minors are not in schools and in the company of NPA rebels, when arrested.

"And at age 12-14 (years old) what are they doing in Bacolod, when they are from La Carlota City? Is it not trafficking of minors? Are they not recruits for your 'Teatro Obrero'? Yes, theater so what's wrong with that? Well, take a look at these pictures of the kids under arms. Better yet, why attend the Defense Committee hearing when you can instead follow up on the case of an NPA-failed attack on teacher Zhydee Cabanelez and husband Ramil of Valencia, Bukidnon, the former of whom you insist to claim as ACT member when she is not?" he added.

Members of militant groups claims of being attacked by government security forces are in sync and very much calibrated with Sison's earlier statements, he added.

"Maybe you are all too naive to claim that Jose Maria Sison, your idol who personally tagged Gabriela and ACT as the CPP's progressive allies, is just another political activist and critic of government policies. But how do you explain his order to the NPA to attack all government security forces in light of these arrests? A social or political activist, progressive or regressive moron, does not do that. The CPP-NPA was declared a terrorist organization by US, UK (United Kingdom), Australia, NZ (New Zealand) and the EU (European Union) for nothing," he said.

No sense

He added that he sees no sense in the continued harassment claims of these militant groups except to get more foreign funding for their "fake human rights advocacies".

"How do we make sense of all these allegation of a tyrant government and its propensity to abuse its power? The explanation could be as simple as this: the CPP and the Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc merely want to sustain that narrative of a 'consistent pattern of gross, flagrant, or mass violation of human rights', by projecting a fascist and anti-people PRRD government," he said.

Parlade said such narrative is needed to ensure that Sison can invoke the so-called "non-refoulement clause" and allow him to stay in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

"This is in order for Jose Ma Sison to continue to invoke 'non-refoulement' (Article 8, Section 2, UN Gen Assembly Resolution 47/133). That affords him to stay in Utrecht, and escape state persecution as the EU court ruled. This propaganda of a tyrant state is now more significant for him, especially that a Philippine court had issued a warrant for his arrest due to his crime of genocide," he said.