Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Alleged NPA member nabbed in Manjuyod town, NegOr

From Cebu Daily News (Feb 25, 2020): Alleged NPA member nabbed in Manjuyod town, NegOr
(By: Florence Baesa - CDN Digital Correspondent)

Army troops arrested James Casusi Abrasaldo a suspected member of the New People’s Army in Negros Oriental. |Photo courtesy of the 94th Infantry Batallion

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental- A 29-year-old suspected member of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested yesterday, February 23, 2020 in Barangay Lamogong, Manjuyod this province, a military report released only this afternoon, February 25, 2020, revealed.

Arrested by members of the 94th Infantry Mandirigma Battalion (94IB) is James Casusi Abrasaldo alias Roderick of the said barangay.

The report said First Lieutenant Abdulnasser Israel, Commanding Officer of the Bravo Company of the Mandirigma Battalion responded to a tip from a concerned citizen in the area about the presence of an alleged member of the NPA.

While the troops were approaching, the suspect allegedly attempted to run. However, he was cornered and captured by the responding troops.

The suspect was allegedly positively identified by the residents in the area as a member of the communist group. He then admitted his participation in the encounter between the members of the Bravo company at Sitio Cabangahan, Barangay Bantolinao in Manjuyod last October 3, 2019 wherein an improvised explosive device and other war materials were recovered.

Seized from the suspect was a fragmentation grenade.

Colonel Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Brigade Commander in a statement said the arrest of the suspect “clearly shows that our communities are already fed-up with the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) who sow fear and continuously extort from the populace in the area. It also manifests the support of the people on the Whole-of-Nation approach of EO 70.”

Pasaporte added the rebels are not welcome in the area.

“I urged the people of Manjuyod and whole populace of Negros Oriental to continue reporting the presence of the NPAs in their communities in order for us to prevent their extortion and other terroristic activities,” Pasaporte added. 

Military to strengthen info drive vs. communist insurgency

From the Manila Bulletin (Feb 25, 2020): Military to strengthen info drive vs. communist insurgency (By Martin Sadongdong)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will intensify its counter-communist insurgency campaign by conducting information drive in schools and universities, including those which are tagged as alleged “recruitment hub” of the New People’s Army (NPA).

First Lieutenant Arianne Bichara, public affairs officer of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTF-NCR), said Tuesday that they have already started touring schools in Metro Manila to deny the “deceptive” youth recruitment schemes of the NPA.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are making all efforts to schedule our information awareness campaigns especially since the schools are in Metro Manila,” Bichara said.

Last week, the JTF-NCR kicked off its information drive at Saint Louis University in Valenzuela City. It was followed by a program at Felimon T. Liza Senior High School in Navotas City on Monday.

“We would like to extend our advocacy [in alleged recruitment hubs] so that we can help more people,” Bichara said.

The official added that she sees no reason for the schools and universities not to entertain them since they only want to thwart any possible infiltration of communist groups in metro schools.

“This information and education campaign aims to enlighten the youth, parents, and teachers for them to become more aware of the deceptive recruitment scheme of the CTGs [communist terrorist groups],” Bichara said.

In 2018, the military claimed that around 20 universities in Metro Manila were being infiltrated by the NPA to recruit student warriors.

But the allegation has since been denied by the management of the universities who slammed the military for red-tagging them.

Philippines deploys trainer aircraft for maritime patrols in South China Sea

Posted to Jane's IHS 360 (Feb 26, 2020): Philippines deploys trainer aircraft for maritime patrols in South China Sea (By Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore - Jane's Navy International)

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has deployed three SIAI‐Marchetti S.211 trainer aircraft for maritime patrol duties over the South China Sea.

The deployments are to support wider operations undertaken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP's) Western Command (WESCOM) over the body of water body that Manila refers to as the 'West Philippine Sea'.

For the patrols, which began on 24 February, the aircraft will operate out of the Antonio Bautista Air Base on the island of Palawan.

Images released via an official social media channel of PAF's Tactical Operations Wing West on the same day suggest that at least two of the aircraft have been equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks as part of the operations.

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For want of a Visa? Values and Institutions in U.S.-Philippine Relations

Posted to War on the Rocks (Feb 26, 2020): For want of a Visa? Values and Institutions in U.S.-Philippine Relations (By Gregory H. Winger)

Image: U.S. Marine Corps (Photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert)

Losing a military alliance for the sake of a tourist visa seems like a poor exchange, but in the Philippines, it is an outcome that the United States must be willing to accept. The current crisis in U.S.-Philippine relations stems from the decision by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement; Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa — a key political ally — had his American tourist visa revoked. But this is about something much bigger than a visa. For nearly 20 years the United States has worked to strengthen professional norms within the Philippine security forces. Duterte’s dictum is not dependent on dela Rosa’s distant destinations, but a larger question of whether the United States is prepared to sacrifice its support for democratic governance and accountability in the Philippines in order to save the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Throughout the Cold War, Philippine national security existed as a division of labor. The United States assumed responsibility for external defense while the Armed Forces of the Philippines addressed internal threats like the Hukbalahap Rebellion and the New People’s Army. During the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986, and especially after the declaration of martial law in 1972, this internal security mission became highly politicized with systemic abuses and intimidation serving as central tenets of the Marcos regime. More than just degrading the Philippine military’s effectiveness, Marcos gutted the professional norms, standards, and institutional infrastructure needed to sustain the security forces. Although Marcos was ousted by a popular uprising in 1986, Philippine defense institutions continued to be plagued by the rot entrenched during his 20 year reign well after his departure.

When the Philippine Senate voted in 1991 to close U.S. bases and evict American military forces from the archipelago, it created a security vacuum. This not only facilitated China’s 1995 seizure of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea and exacerbated the long-simmering conflict in Mindanao, but also exposed the inadequacies of the Philippine military as well as the lingering institutional damage dealt during Marcos’ dictatorship. Even as security conditions in the Philippines spiraled following the American departure, the 1990s continued to be defined by coup attempts, mutinies, human rights violations, and endemic corruption within the Philippine security forces.

The signing of the Visiting Forces Agreement in 1998 renewed U.S.-Philippine defense cooperation. However, Washington did not fully appreciate the extent of the institutional decay within the Philippine security forces until the start of joint counter-terrorism operations after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration identified the Philippines as a frontline state in the war on terror and dispatched American military advisors to Mindanao in 2002. Their mission was to assist the military in combating regional terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf. Upon arriving in the Philippines, American advisors were dismayed at the condition of their Philippine counterparts and particularly the poor state of military equipment and training. Moreover, the advisors identified a larger issue at play in Mindanao. A long history of abuse and neglect had engendered an adversarial relationship between the Philippine military and the Muslim population of Mindanao. This fracture between the population and the military deprived the latter of local support, and hamstrung any attempt at effective counter-terrorism operations. Faced with these mounting obstacles, American defense officials realized that the problem of terrorism in the Philippines could never be solved without also addressing the institutional malaise that afflicted the Philippine security forces.

Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippine evolved from just combating terrorists to also aiding the fundamental reform of Philippine defense institutions. Through the efforts of key allies within the Philippines such as Secretaries of National Defense Avelino Cruz and Gilberto Teodoro, Philippine defense reform became a national priority in Manila. It also became a focal point within the alliance. Just as the United States sent advisors to Mindanao, so too were policy experts dispatched to Manila to address underlying issues like procurement, budgeting, and strategic planning. In addition to institutional reforms designed to combat corruption, the United States also helped overhaul the training program in order to emphasize issues like professionalization, accountability, respect for human rights, and community engagement.

By 2006, these changes started to have a clear effect. In Mindanao, the Philippine armed forces implemented a new strategy that combined targeted military operations with increased community outreach. This hybrid approach to counter-terrorism made significant gains in defeating Abu Sayyaf and helped to pave the way for meaningful progress in peace negotiations. At the time, Filipino officers were quick to credit American training initiatives for enabling this new strategy and for instilling civil engagement and professionalization as critical missions for the Philippine armed forces.

American efforts to bolster professional norms within the Philippine security forces and strengthen the rule of law did not end with Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, and have continued to be critical missions within the alliance. However, it is precisely these facets of the bilateral relationship and the progress that has been made within the Philippines that President Duterte threatens to undermine.

Since assuming the presidency in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte has worked to erode, disregard, and violate nearly all standards of democratic governance. As part of his brutal war on drugs, Duterte has promoted an air of impunity within law enforcement that has normalized extrajudicial killings and led to the deaths of over 20,000 people. During the siege of Marawi in 2017, Duterte instructed his military to simply kill all enemies because he did not want to feed any prisoners. And when rebuked for his autocratic actions, Duterte moved to silence critical media outlets and imprison political opponents. These actions are not only an affront to American values, but indicative of the behavior that Washington downplayed during the Marcos era and that it has spent the past 20 years trying to overcome.

Despite pressure from the Malacañang Palace, the Philippine armed forces have worked to defend their professional standards and avoid participation in the drug war. This reluctance on the part of the military is a reflection of both how far the Philippine military has come since the Marcos era, and how much the Philippine military values its security cooperation with the United States and is wary of jeopardizing that relationship. Indeed, the ability to leverage U.S. military cooperation as a moderating influence within the Duterte administration is a key reason why such cooperation should continue despite the volatility within the relationship.

The Philippine National Police have not been as fortunate. Then known as the Philippine constabulary, this service was the primary instrument of regime security for Marcos. Separated from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and rebranded as the Philippine National Police in the 1990s, the national police force has continued to struggle with a reputation for corruption and a history of abuse. Under Duterte the national police force has again been wielded like a cudgel to assail drug users, everyday citizens, and regime critics. As Duterte’s first chief of police from July 2016 to April 2018, Bato dela Rosa personally oversaw the violent implementation of Duterte’s war on drugs as well as the arrest of key political opponents, including Sen. Leila de Lima.

Unlike during the Marcos era, the United States has been unwilling to passively watch this erosion of professional standards within the Philippine security forces. The Philippine National Police has already been targeted for severe cuts in U.S. support. During the Obama administration, human rights became a major flashpoint within the bilateral relationship. Although the dispute between Duterte and Obama imperiled the alliance, it also helped forestall efforts to have the country’s military play an active role in the drug war. The Trump administration has proven to be less keen on championing human rights in the Philippines. However, a bipartisan group of senators has taken the lead in condemning the systemic abuses occurring in the Philippines and has worked to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. As such, the State Department’s decision to revoke dela Rosa’s visa was not an arbitrary decision. Instead it was an act of principle in line with American laws, ideals, and longstanding strategic interests in promoting professionalism within the Philippines security forces.

Now that the United States has received Duterte’s official notice to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement, the dispute can no longer be construed as a disagreement over a visa. Washington instead must decide whether it will overlook the erosion of democratic norms within an ally in the hope of preserving its military prerogatives. During the Cold War, Jeane Kirkpatrick lampooned the Carter administration for its refusal to make such tradeoffs. She argued that pushing for democratic reform within friendly dictatorships only fostered instability at the expense of American strategic interests. Yet, the Philippines has proved the danger of such a pernicious disregard for values. Washington’s backing ultimately did not save Marcos. Rather, it abetted the decay of Philippine institutions and stoked the popular resentment that led to the expulsion of American forces in 1992. Duterte provides Washington with an opportunity to learn from this history rather than repeat its follies.

This is not to say that the alliance with the Philippines should be abandoned in the face of Duterte’s diatribes. Despite the ongoing drama, the Philippines has remained a close American ally. Where there are substantive areas of Philippine dissatisfaction within the alliance, it is important for the United States to be responsive and amenable to changes. This is particularly true regarding increasing Philippine self-reliance. Even if the Visiting Forces Agreement cannot be saved, the United States should continue to support the alliance and use initiatives like the International Military Education and Training program to sustain the partnership with the Philippine armed forces. Yet, the alliance’s salvation cannot come at the expense of abandoning reform and accountability within the Philippine security forces. The history of the U.S.-Philippine relationship has repeatedly shown that sacrificing professional standards for expediency ultimately undermines Philippine national security and the viability of the alliance. Surrendering on these issues will harm only Washington’s friends in the Philippines and America’s long-term strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.

[Gregory H. Winger is an Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati. He is also a former Fulbright Scholar to the Philippines and a Fellow with the National Asia Research Program.]

Civilian tip-off leads to arrest of ‘NPA finance officer’

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): Civilian tip-off leads to arrest of ‘NPA finance officer’ (By Alexander Lopez)

BUTUAN CITY — The Philippine Army said information provided by residents in the Surigao del Norte town of Gigaquit led to the arrest of an alleged ranking member of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in the province.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Villarosa, commander of the Army's 30th Infantry Battalion (30IB), said Wednesday the tip-off enabled government forces to intercept suspected NPA officer Joselyn Fortuna Curiba Monday afternoon at a checkpoint in Barangay Sico-Sico, Gigaquit town

Curiba is described by the military as the finance officer of the NPA's Guerrilla Front 16 (GF-16), which operates mainly in Surigao del Norte and parts of the Agusan provinces.

Villarosa said Curiba was en route to the LASICAM complex in Gigaquit when she was arrested. LASICAM stands for Lahi, Sico-Sico, and Caman-onan — three upland areas known to be flashpoints of rebel activities and declared by the government as Peace and Development Zones (PDZs).

Curiba is the wife of Pablo Logatiman alias “Commander Lukas”, one of the top leaders of the NPA in Surigao del Norte, Villarosa said.

“As Curiba tried to pass through the AFP-PNP checkpoint in Sico-Sico, Gigaquit, she was positively identified by civilian tipsters that caused her arrest,” Villarosa said, referring to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Authorities confiscated bomb-making materials and other pieces of evidence from Curiba.

Villarosa alleged that Curiba and her husband were involved in various atrocities in the Caraga Region, including the kidnapping and serious illegal detention of an Army personnel and members of Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur in 2018.

A warrant of arrest was issued against Curiba by a regional court in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, on January 30 this year.

"I commend the people in the community for their vigilance and cooperation that led to the apprehension of Joselyn Curiba. Your AFP and PNP will continue to jointly operate so that we can better rid our communities with the misguided CNTs (Communist New People’s Army Terrorists)," Villarosa said.

He also urged the remaining NPA combatants in the province to surrender and avail of government assistance for rebel returnees under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Army uncovers NPA-instigated ‘evacuation’ of IPs

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): Army uncovers NPA-instigated ‘evacuation’ of IPs (By Alexander Lopez)

Google map of Lianga town, Surigao del Sur.

The Philippine Army said it has uncovered an alleged plan of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), to force Indigenous People (IP) residents in a village in Lianga, Surigao del Sur for a "staged evacuation."

In a statement on Wednesday, 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, civil-military operations (CMO) officer of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), said the information was given to the Army on Tuesday by an informant who attended the actual planning of the "staged evacuation."

Punsalan said the staged evacuation is known in the NPA movement as "taktikang bakwit" (evacuation tactic)."

Based on the revelation of the informant whose identity is withheld for security reasons, Punsalan said the staged evacuation will be spearheaded by a leftist Indigenous Peoples' group Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa mga Sumusunod (MAPASU).

Punsalan said the planning was conducted at the residence of a certain Alex Booc, a member of MAPASU in Sitio Emerald, Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

The meeting was held a day after the NPA fired an M203 grenade launcher in Sitio Emerald that wounded three civilians on Feb. 21, he added.

“They will organize the people of Sitio Emerald in Kilometer 10 and Sitio Han-ayan in Kilometer 16, all in Diatagon for the staged evacuation to Surigao City,” Punsalan said.

He added that Sitio Emerald and Sitio Han-ayan are among the areas in Kilometer 9, Diatagon, that have not been reached by the Army's Community Support Teams (CSTs). The villages are known flashpoints for NPA activities.

Upon learning of the plan, Punsalan said most of the residents of Kilometer 9 have signified their refusal to join the alleged staged evacuation.

“Most of Kilometer 9 residents now realize that staged evacuations are meant to accuse the military of harassments and other forms of human rights violations,” he added.

Punsalan said staged evacuations have been employed by the NPA and their front organizations to blunt the peace and development efforts of the government and expel the military in rebel-influenced areas.

Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, commander of 3SFBn, said the NPA uses the "old strategy when CNTs (Communist New People’s Army Terrorists) are affected because their underground mass organizations that serve as their lifelines are unearthed and neutralized."

Baybayan said that NPA leaders are now feeling the brunt of the positive effects of the "whole-of-nation approach" of the government to end local armed conflicts brought by the communist insurgency in the countryside.

The delivery of services to far-flung and rebel-influenced areas has caused the NPA to become "insignificant and irrelevant," he said.

Punsalan said that “if this reported and alleged plan will materialize, then it goes to show that “taktikang bakwit” is not a natural occurrence but the handiwork of no less than the CNTs, MAPASU and their front groups."

He also took note of the fact that MAPASU is led by the Campos family in the area, whose known leaders include Pablito Sinzo Campos, a captured NPA leader.

Pablito Campos’ siblings, identified as Gloria Campos Tumalon, Jalandoni Campos, and Imelda Campos Belandres, continue to stand as leaders of MAPASU, he said.
Another sibling, Eufemia Campos Cullamat is the present representative of party-list group Bayan Muna in Congress, the Army official said.

“If this strategy (taktikang bakwit) will not materialize, well and good. If it will happen today or within the next days, then we already know the pattern and the script that leads us to the truth that it is nothing but a concept of the communist NPA terrorist movement,” he added.

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

22 ex-BIFF combatants complete Army’s reintegration program

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): 22 ex-BIFF combatants complete Army’s reintegration program (By Edwin Fernandez)

RETURNING HOME. Brig. Gen. Roberto S. Capulong (right), the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, welcomes one of the former combatants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters back to the mainstream society after he and 21 others have completed the initial phase of the reintegration program inside Camp Lucero, the brigade's headquarters in Carmen, North Cotabato on Wednesday. The returnees are former BIFF extremists who recently surrendered to the military’s 34th and 7th Infantry Battalions in the province. (Photo courtesy of 602nd IBde)

Former combatants of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) completed Wednesday the initial stage of the government program to reintegrate rebel returnees into the mainstream society.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong, commander of the Army's 602nd Infantry Brigade, said the program aims to capacitate former combatants to enable them to become productive members of society.

“A total of 22 former rebels took part in a week-long activity,” Capulong said, adding the program was conducted at the “Bahay Tagapagpalaya” of Camp Lucero, the brigade's headquarters in Carmen, North Cotabato.

On Feb. 20, the brigade launched its Returnee Comprehensive Aftercare Program (RCAP), a long- term initiative aimed to rehabilitate, de-radicalize, and reintegrate the returnees back to their communities.
The returnees are former combatants who recently surrendered to the military’s 34th and 7th Infantry Battalions in the area, Capulong said.

The first day of the program included a lecture from Ustadz Abdulrakman Musa, who shared his thoughts about religion and peace.

On the second day, Team Jesus, a Manila-based Civil Society Organization composed of medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers rendered health services. The returnees were informed of the different services and programs the government can offer during the multi-stakeholder forum on the third day.

On Sunday, the returnees were treated to a one-day tour in Davao City, where they dined and window-shopped at SM mall, and posted with the life-size image of President Rodrigo Duterte at his residence in Matina for souvenirs.

According to Capulong, the last day was sentimental for the returnees as they sang the “Lupang Hinirang” and “Pilipinas Kong Mahal,” and recited the “Panunumpa sa Watawat” and “Panatang Makabayan” together with 602nd Infantry Brigade troopers during Monday's flag-raising ceremony.

“It was the first time in their lives that they sang the national anthem and recited the Panatang Makabayan,” Capulong told reporters Tuesday.

“I dream of lasting peace and progress to prosper in the Moro communities – devoid of war and strife. You, too, must share that dream now. We established this ‘Bahay Tagapagpalaya’ to help you realize that dream,” Capulong told the returnees.

“Tagapagpalaya” is an acronym for “Tamang Gabay tungo sa Pagbabagong buhay na Payapa at may Laya.”

Negrenses honor slain cop, condemn CPP-NPA atrocities

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): Negrenses honor slain cop, condemn CPP-NPA atrocities (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

INDIGNATION RALLY. Members of various civil society groups in southern Negros condemn the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army during an indignation rally in Bago City on Tuesday (Feb. 25, 2020). The activity also served as a tribute to Capt. Efren Espanto, a Negrense policeman who was killed during an encounter with the NPA rebels in Janiuay, Iloilo last February 12. (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office)

Some 300 Negrenses gathered to condemn the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) during an indignation rally in Bago City on Tuesday.

The activity, held in front of the Manuel Y. Torres Coliseum, also served as a
tribute to Capt. Efren Espanto, a Negrense policeman who was killed during an encounter with the NPA rebels in Janiuay, Iloilo last February 12.
Col. Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO), in a statement released on Wednesday, said the communist-terrorist group committed an inhuman act in ending the life of Espanto.

“His legacy and bravery will remain in the hearts of his fellow police officers,” he added.

Espanto, who was the team leader of Regional Mobile Force-Western Visayas Reconnaissance Company, hails from La Carlota City but has a residence in Bago City. Married to a fellow police officer, he was a member of the Philippine National Police Academy 2015 Class Lakandula.

On Tuesday, Espanto’s remains were transferred from Baxter Funeral Homes in Bago to La Carlota Gymnasium. He will be laid to rest in his hometown on February 29.

Maj. Edison Garcia, public information officer of NOCPPO, said members of various civil society groups organized the rally, which was supported by the provincial police.

Some of the participants brought banners paying tribute to Espanto, which read “Salute to courage and sacrifice. You will never be forgotten.”

During the indignation rally, a former rebel shared his experience as a misguided member of the NPA. He surrendered to the government authorities after he realized the meaningless ideology of the communist-terrorist group.

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.

NPA arms cache discovered in Davao Oro town

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): NPA arms cache discovered in Davao Oro town (By Che Palicte)

DISCOVERED. The high-power firearms owned by communist guerillas recovered by troops belonging to the Army's 66th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Danawan, Barangay Manurigao in New Bataan, Davao de Oro, on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 25, 2020). Army officials say civilian tip-offs have proven vital to the recovery of the firearms. (Photo courtesy of Eastmincom)

Government troops discovered 11 high-power firearms belonging to the New People's Army (NPA) in New Bataan town, Davao de Oro on Tuesday afternoon, an official said Wednesday.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, head of the Public Affairs Office of the Army's 10th Infantry Division (ID), said in a press briefing here Wednesday that
the recovered firearms consist of four M16 rifles, an M14 rifle, two AK47 rifles, a Garand rifle, a Carbine rifle, and two M203 grenade launchers.

Lamosao said the firearms were found in Sitio Danawan, Barangay Manurigao by 66th Infantry Battalion troops following a tip-off from two former NPA leaders and several concerned citizens in the area.

The two surrenderers also revealed the weakening of the NPA units in the province following the mass surrender of communist rebels in recent months, the Army official said.

“We see to it that we will be the first to recover the firearms. If not, it will be used by the NPA to terrorize the community,” Lamosao said, noting that the NPA usually hide their firearms in strategic locations for easy retrieval during an armed encounter with government troops.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom), called on all Army units to continue supporting the peace initiatives of the local government units while "relentlessly running after" the rebels.

"Let us continue to support the peace initiatives of our local government unit counterparts so that, hand-in-hand, we can sustain the peace gains we have achieved the previous year," Faustino said.

PNP hits group's ‘digital vandalism’ on Camp Crame walls

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): PNP hits group's ‘digital vandalism’ on Camp Crame walls (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac. (File photo)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday slammed the “digital vandalism” made by a group of artists and cultural workers on the walls of Camp Crame in commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution.
“Although the vandals did not leave any visible mark, the fact that the attack targeted a national historic site on the same day that the country commemorates the anniversary of the Edsa People Power Revolution makes it totally deplorable,” PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement sent to reporters.

While stressing that PNP respects freedom of expression, Banac said this right has its limits and should “not step beyond national interest.”

On Tuesday night, the Concerned Artists of the Philippines used projectors to display a wanted poster showing President Rodrigo Duterte's face at the walls of the PNP headquarters compound.

Camp Crame is considered as a national historic site where events which led to the peaceful revolution unfolded in 1986.

It also served as one of the rallying points of protesters during the revolution.

Locsin lauds AFP deployment of 2 ships for Mideast repatriation

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): Locsin lauds AFP deployment of 2 ships for Mideast repatriation (By Priam Nepomuceno)

PH CONTINGENT IN OMAN. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., is given arrival honors during his visit to the two Philippine Navy ships docked in Oman on Tuesday (Feb. 25, 2020). The BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) are currently docked at Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat to repatriate Filipinos affected by recent tensions in the Middle East. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., on Tuesday lauded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for heeding the call to deploy two naval ships to help in the interagency efforts to repatriate Filipinos affected by tensions in the Middle East.

He made this statement after visiting BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) who are currently docked at Port Sultan Qaboos, Muscat, Oman.

In a brief address to personnel, Locsin expressed his appreciation of the “fact that the Armed Forces of the Philippines heeded the call to send two Navy ships to Muscat to assist our fellow Filipinos in the event of mass repatriation in the region”.

This mission is part of the AFP Joint Task Force “Pagpauli” headed by AFP vice chief-of-staff, Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr. who is also in Oman now to personally oversee the situation there, Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said.

Locsin also recognized the goodwill of the Omani government "for opening Muscat and allowing the PN ships to have a temporary home in the region” which he said is a testament of the Philippines-Oman relations.

While awaiting orders from Manila on the specifics of repatriation, Roxas said Naval Task Force 82's contingent, along with Collado's party, engaged the Filipino community in Oman in a two-day open ship tour and visit in Philippine School Sultanate of Oman, as well as promoting naval diplomacy through the courtesy call to the Royal Navy of Oman chief, Rear Admiral Abdullah Bin Khasim Al Raisi.

The mission to Oman is the further voyage the PN had in its recent history and the likelihood the longest mission it can sustain and is a sign of advancing and transforming Navy, Roxas added.

The two ships along with Task Force 82 left Pier 13, Manila South Harbor last January 13 and after refueling and reprovisioning stop in Colombo, Sri Lanka a few days later. It arrived at Muscat, Oman on February 5.

New AFP dental service head named

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 26, 2020): New AFP dental service head named (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NEW OCDTS CHIEF. Col. Angelica de Lara-Torres (left) receives the symbol of the Office of the Chief Dental Service of the AFP from deputy chief-of-staff, Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria (right) in a ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Wednesday (Feb. 26, 2020). She is the wife of retired Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Torres who served as OTCDS chief from 2007 to 2014. (Photo courtesy of AFP Public Affairs Office)

The Office of the Chief Dental Service (OTCDS) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has a new head.

Col. Angelica de Lara-Torres replaced on Wednesday acting chief Col. Enrique Pacifico Pabayo in a change of office ceremony at the AFP Commissioned Officers Country, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

She is the wife of retired Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Torres who headed the OTCDS from 2007 to 2014.

Prior to her appointment, Torres served as Chief of the Air Force Dental Service since 2018. She entered the military service on May 14, 1993, and was commissioned to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

She completed her Dental Medicine degree at the Cebu Doctors College in Cebu City in 1990. She also holds three Master's Degrees – Development and Security, Public Administration, and Dentistry.

Torres is a recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Meritorious Achievement Medal, Anti-Dissidence Campaign Medal and Ribbon, Award of the Distinguished Service Medal, Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation Badge, and various military merit medals.

"This is a first in AFP history as both husband and wife were appointed in the same military position in different terms," AFP public affairs office chief, Capt. Jonathan Zata said in a statement.

The ceremony was presided over by AFP deputy chief-of-staff, Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria.

“I would like to thank Colonel Pabayo for keeping watch of the OTCDS even in just a short span of time. He has done a commendable job in ensuring that the innovations that were established by his predecessors be sustained and further improved,” Gloria said.

Gloria also welcomed de Lara-Torres as the new OTCDS chief and lauded her leadership capabilities.

“With an impeccable track record and impressive achievements during her military career, Colonel Torres is definitely a reliable leader capable of guiding the Office of the Dental Service to greater milestones in the future as well as institute improvements in providing quality dental service for the AFP personnel,” Gloria said.

CPP/NPA-Sorsogon: Ipinapahamak lamang ng estado ang mga sumusukong NPA

NPA-Sorsogon propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 25, 2020): Ipinapahamak lamang ng estado ang mga sumusukong NPA


FEBRUARY 25, 2020

MAINGAY ngayon ang mga tagapagsalita ng reaksyunaryong militar sa pagkundena sa pagkakapatay sa taksil sa rebolusyong si Antonio Benzon, Jr. alias Hazel. Laman ngayon ng mga interbyu sa radyo, dyaryo at internet sina Presidential Peace Adviser Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr.; AFP SolCom Chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr.; at 31st IBPA Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Eric Culvera. Iisa ang sinasabi nila–bakit daw pinapatay ng NPA ang mga surenderi na ang nais lamang ay mamuhay na nang mapayapa. Pinagbabantaan pa nga ni Parlade ang ilang ligal na organisasyon sa Sorsogon na mananagot umano sa pagkamatay ni Hazel.

Taliwas sa sinasabi nila, ang programang E-CLIP ng rehimeng Duterte ay hinding-hindi maglalagay sa tahimik na buhay ng mga tinataguriang “rebel returnee”. Imposible itong mangyari dahil ang sinasabing “livelihood program” ng gubyerno para sa kanila, sa aktwal, ay pagbibigay ng kaunting pabuya kapalit ng aktibo at tuwirang paglahok sa counterinsurgency operations ng estado. Nalalagay ang surenderi sa kalagayang hindi na siya makatatanggi sa anumang ipagawa ng mga ahensyang panseguridad ng estado.

Sa halip na bigyan ng mapayapang kabuhayan kagaya ng ipinapangako sa kanila, ang mga surenderi ay ginagawang mga ghost employee ng mga lokal na yunit gubyerno o di kaya’y opereytor ng mga antisosyal na pagkakakitaan tulad ng pasabong at pasugal, samantalang ang aktwal na ipinapatrabaho sa kanila ay bilang mga intelligence asset o di kaya’y tagagawa ng mga dirty job gaya ng panghaharas, pananakit o pagpatay sa mga sibilyang aktibista at mga pinagbibintangang tagasuporta ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Ang ganitong sistema ng programang pagpapasuko ng gubyerno ay natural na maglalagay sa mga surenderi sa katayuan bilang mga lehitimong target sa pag-atake ng mga rebolusyonaryong pwersa. Dagdag pa, ang estado ay tuwirang nananawagan sa mga nais nilang pasukuin na isuko ang hawak nilang baril–sa esensya’y pagnanakaw sa arsenal ng NPA–na may katapat na penalidad alinsunod sa mga alituntunin ng rebolusyonaryong hukbo.

Ang sinapit ng surenderi na si Antonio Benzon, Jr. alias Hazel ay lohikal na katapusan ng pagkakapasok niya sa programang E-CLIP ng rehimeng Duterte. Ito ang katotohanang hinding-hindi aaminin ng reaksyunaryong task force na nagpapatakbo ng E-CLIP. Ito ang katotohanang dapat mapagtanto ng iba pang surenderi na nabuyo at napasubo sa panloloko ng estado. Sa anu’t anuman, pwede silang sumuko uli sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan at kung wala naman silang nagawang malubhang kasalanan ay magkakaroon sila ng pagkakataon para tunay na makapamuhay bilang sibilyan sa loob ng sonang gerilya, malayo sa saklot ng mga pasista.

CPP/NPA-Negros Island: 87M public fund lost to intelligence and psywar operations

NPA-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 25, 2020): 87M public fund lost to intelligence and psywar operations

FEBRUARY 25, 2020

The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the New People’s Army (AGC-NPA) in Negros Island decried the P87 million budget sugarcoated by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government as peace and order fund but in truth it is allocated for intelligence and psywar operations.

Last February 11, the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) approved an P87 million budget for its projects, programs and activities in Negros Occidental while also allocating separately a P26.1 million intelligence fund.

AGC-NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua pointed out that in 2020 the Provincial Government through the PPOC will be spending a total of P41.1 million, P3.425M per month, in support of intelligence operations apart from its other budget for deception.

“Intelligence funds does not go through audit, really it is a means for plunderers in government and the AFP/PNP to coverup the real situation of the people and corrupt the people’s coffers,” he said.

According to Magbanua, this is the actual implementation of Executive Order 70 or whole-of-nation approach and the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) where the people’s money is used to militarize the services of the local government which is a civilian agency to destroy the revolutionary movement.

“With this purpose, instead of allotting the money for basic social services, it will only intensify widespread terror among the people, worsen human rights abuses and add to the burdens of the broad masses of the people,” he said.

Magbanua said this so-called peace effort is futile and a waste of money and time saying further that it does not solve the root causes of poverty, joblessness, high prices of basic commodities and low wages; and does not implement genuine land reform and national industrialization.

“Whatever efforts of the reactionary government with their lackeys in the AFP/PNP, they will fail because they only bring harm to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the AGC-NPA urged the honest officials in government who swore to serve and is concerned for the people to not allow themselves to be used by the AFP/PNP under the US-Duterte regime, overcome their fear and expose the rottenness of this tyrannical regime.

It also enjoined the Negrosanons to strengthen their unity and hold [Duterte and his clique] accountable for their crimes; be critical of the evil scheme of the butcher and mercenary AFP/PNP to destroy the revolutionary movement however innocent civilians are the ones who suffer; and expose the anti-people program that aims to plunder the people’s money and preserve the oppressive and exploitative system.

It finally called for the ouster of the tyrannical US-Duterte regime that caused the prolonged suffering of the broad masses of the people especially the peasants and workers.###

CPP/NDF-Negros Island: Pahayag sang AGC-NPA Negros kaangot sa “anti-insurgency” fund sang Negros Occidental

NDF-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 25, 2020): Pahayag sang AGC-NPA Negros kaangot sa “anti-insurgency” fund sang Negros Occidental

FEBRUARY 25, 2020

Ang pagtalana sang Negros Occidental Provincial Government paagi sa Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) sang P87M para malab-ot ang pagpaninguha nga kalinong sa probinsya isa ka wala pulos, usik sa kwarta kag panahon. Wala ini nagasabat sa pagsulbar sa ugat sang problema sa kapigaduhon, kawad-on sa trabaho, mataas nga presyo sang nagapanguna nga balaklon kag manubo nga sweldo; pagpatigayon sang matuod-tuod nga programa sa reporma sa duta kag pungsodnon nga industriyalisasyon nga amo ang kabangdanan sang armadong pag-alsa sang pumuluyo. Sa baylo nga ang kwarta nga na-alokar diri magakadto sa mga sandigan nga sosyal nga serbisyo, nangin pamaagi agud hinabunan ang matuod nga kahimtangan sang pumuluyo kag nangin alagyan para makapangawat sa kaban sang gobyerno ining mga korap nga mga opisyal sang reaksyonaryo nga gobyerno kag opisyal sang AFP/PNP.

Sa sini nga programa, ang opsina sang gobernador may na-alokar nga P33.5M nga wala klaro kon diin ini gastuhon. Yara P6M para sa pagpakay-o naman sang dalan pakadto sa 303rd Brigade kag PNP NOPPO headquarters. Ang P15M magakadto sa suporta sa intelligence operations, dugang sa na-approve nga P26.1M intelligence fund nga naga-total sang P41.1M. Kon sumahon, sa kada bulan magagasto ang provincial government sang P3.425M para lang sa intelligence operation. Ang intelligence fund wala ini ginapa-idalum sa pag-audit, gani para sa mga kawatan sa gobyerno kag sa AFP/PNP, isa ini ka maayo nga pamaagi sa ila pagpangawat agud indi na ma-ukat ang kwarta nga ila nakawat sa kaban sang gobyerno. Magluwas sang mga nasambit may ara pa nga na-alokar nga pagpaniplang nga budget sa lain-lain nga ahensya sang reaksyonaryong gobyerno.

Ini nga programa sa “kontra-insurhensya” sang reaksyonaryong gobyerno aktwal nga pagpatuman sang EO 70 ukon whole of nation approach kag pagpatigayon sang Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) sa diin ang kwarta sang pumuluyo ginagamit sa pagmilitarisa sa serbisyo sa LGU nga isa ka sibilyan nga ahensya bilang armas agud wasakon ang rebolusyonaryong kahublagan. Ang gasto diri ginakuha sa budget sang lokal nga gobyerno nga dapat italana sa sandigan nga sosyal nga serbisyo sang pumuluyo. Bangud sini nga katuyuan, sigurado nga magdugang lang ini nga pagsabwag sang kakugmat sa pumuluyo, magalala ang paglapas sang tawhanon nga kinamatarung kag dugang nga pag-antus sang malapad nga pumuluyo.

Ano man nga pagpaninguha sang reaksyonaryong gobyerno upod ang idu-ido nila nga AFP/PNP wala sang malab-ot kundi ang kapaslawan bangud sa kabilugan, wala ini nagaserbisyo sa malapad nga pumuluyo kundi paghalit gid lang.

Panawagan sa mga tampad nga opisyal sang gobyerno nga may sinumpaan kag pagkabalaka nga magserbisyo sa pumuluyo nga indi magpagamit sa AFP/PNP sa idalum sang US-Duterte nga rehimen. Indi magpadaug sa kahadlok kag ibuyagyag ang kagarukan sining tiraniko nga rehimen.

Sa mga pumuluyong Negrosanon, panahon na nga pabaskugon ang paghi-usa kag pasabton sila sa ila krimen nga nahimo. Ma-inalamon nga tun-an ang mga ma-itum nga padihut sini upod ang ila mga idu-ido nga berdugong mersenaryong AFP/PNP agud wasakon kuno ang rebolusyonaryong kahublagan apang ang mahalitan amo ang mga inosente nga mga sibilyan. Hublasan ang ila “kontra-pumuluyo” nga programa nga ang tuyo amo ang pagpangawat sa kwarta sang pumuluyo kag mapreserba ang mapiguson kag mahimuslanon nga sistema. Tapuson ang kabangdanan sang malawig na nga pag-antus sang malapad nga masa sang pumuluyo ilabi na ang mga mamumugon kag mangunguma, palayason ang tiraniko nga rehimen US-Duterte!

Mabuhay ang masang pigos!
Isulong ang armadong paghimakas tubtob sa kadalag-an!

CPP/NDF-Bicol: Tunay na demokrasya, makakamit sa tagumpay ng demokratikong rebolusyong bayan

NDF-Bicol propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 25, 2020): Tunay na demokrasya, makakamit sa tagumpay ng demokratikong rebolusyong bayan

FEBRUARY 25, 2020
Tatlumpung apat na taong nakalipas, pinatunayan ng mamamayang Pilipino ang lakas ng pagkakaisa at pinatalsik ang isa sa pinakamalulupit na diktador sa kasaysayan ng bansa. Sa pagbabalik ng diktadura sa mukha ng rehimeng US-Duterte, higit na nahahamon ang mamamayang ibayong palakasin ang pagkakaisa upang labanan ang anumang tangkang saulain ang mga tagumpay ng pag-aalsang EDSA at alisin ang natitirang hibo ng demokrasyang natatamasa ngayon. Bitbit ang mga aral ng pag-aalsang EDSA, mahigpit na nananawagan ang NDF-Bikol sa mamamayang Pilipino na higit pang palakasin ang paglaban upang ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte at ibayong isulong ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan.

Sa Kabikulan at sa iba pang bahagi ng bansa, sumusuklob ang multo ng batas militar. Umaabot na sa 114 ang ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang. Kamakailan, mismong mga militar na ang nagsasagawa ng mga seminar sa mga eskwelahan, mga upisyal ng barangay at iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan upang magpalaganap ng disimpormasyon at pahinain ang rebolusyonaryong diwa ng mamamayan. Sa pamamagitan ng EO 70, gumagalaw ang buong sibilyang burukrasya alinsunod sa militaristang kumpas ng kampanyang kontrainsurhensya. Labis ang mga pabor at pabuyang natatanggap ng sibilyang junta at mga kasosyong burgesya ng rehimen. Lahat ng tutunggali at hindi magpapakita ng suporta sa rehimen ay itinuturing na ‘terorista’, ‘tagasuporta ng mga terorista’, o ‘kalaban ng estado’.

Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, ihinahambog ni Duterte na ginagawa niya ang lahat ng ito upang mapaunlad ang ekonomya, mapanatili ang seguridad ng bansa at ipagtanggol ang demokrasya. Ngunit para kanino nga ba ang demokrasyang tinutukoy ng isang diktador? Malinaw na hindi ito demokrasya para sa masang anakpawis.

Ilinantad ng rehimeng US-Duterte ang tunay na mukha ng pasismo. Ipinakita nitong higit pa sa pagpapatalsik ng isang diktador, makakamit lamang ng mamamayan ang tunay na demokrasya sa pamamagitan ng pagdurog sa mapang-api at mapagsamantalang sistema. Sa gabay ng Partido, isinulong ng mamamayang Pilipino ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan at naipamalas sa buong daigdig ang isa sa pinakamalalaki at pinakamalalakas na pakikibakang anti-pyudal, anti-imperyalista at anti-pasista.

Sa kanayunan, nakatayo na ang mga binhi ng organo ng kapangyarihang pampulitika na nagsisilbing pundasyon ng sosyalistang lipunan. Dito, napatutunayan ng mamamayan ang kanilang kakayahang pamunuan ang kanilang mga sarili, malaya mula sa kontrol at pang-uusig ng mga naghaharing-uri. Dito, buu-buong naisasapraktika ng mamamayan ang kanilang mga demokratikong karapatan at natatamasa ang tunay na katarungang hindi bulag sa yaman at impluwensya. Kinikilala ang rebolusyonaryong hustisya bilang isa sa mga pinakamabilis at pinakaepektibong sistema ng pagbibigay-katarungan sa buong mundo. Kasabay nito, iba’t ibang antas ng kolektibong paggawa ang pumapawi sa mga pyudal at malapyudal na porma ng pagsasamantala at napapaunlad ang kakayahan ng mamamayang sumalig sa kanilang sariling lakas.

Ngayong ika-34 anibersaryo ng pag-aalsang EDSA, nananawagan ang NDF-Bikol sa mga magsasaka, manggagawa, kabataan, kababaihan, taong-simbahan, mga kagawad ng midya at iba pang sektor ng lipunan, na muling pagtibayin ang kapasyahang lumaban para makamit ang tunay na demokrasya. Patunay ang kasaysayan sa buong daigdig na walang anumang kalupitan ng pasismo ang dadaig sa lakas ng nagkakaisang mamamayan.

Ibagsak ang rehimeng US-Duterte!
Isulong ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan!
Magtalingkas sa pagkaoripon!

CPP/NDF-Panay: The Poster Boy is a Narco Cop

NDF-Panay propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 25, 2020): The Poster Boy is a Narco Cop


FEBRUARY 25, 2020

It seems that Duterte’s poster boy on the war on drugs, Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido is himself now being dragged or drugged? When Duterte announced last month that he had more than 300 cops listed on his narco list he vehemently swore that he would kill them, “i will kill you” he once again uttered his worn-out curse. What twist of fate that weeks after Duterte’s swear, Espenido’s name would pop out from the narco list. Public reaction ranged from dismay to contempt to apathy, but more on contempt worsened by the state’s conflicting and confusing reactions on the issue.

Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo would retort that Espenido’s involvement in the illegal drug trade is untrue and is just “black propaganda” against the president’s trusted cop. Panelo’s words would contradict earlier claims of his president that his foot-thick narco list has been validated and revalidated before the names are revealed. PNP chief Lieutenant Gen Archie Gamboa was evasive saying that the list still has to be validated by the PNP’s due process. But DILG chief Gen Eduardo Año would insist that Espenido’s name is on Duterte’s narco cop list.

The uptight poster boy’s reaction was devastating and dramatic. Arrogantly disobeying his superior’s gag order he hastily called for a press conference in Iloilo City.

He poured out his grievances against two generals and politicians whom he alleged were behind the conspiracy to destroy him. He did not name his persecutors though. He ranted about this plot against him and spilled that if ever he would be killed, the executioners would most probably be from the ranks of the police itself, 90% probable he would say. Wittingly or unwittingly,

Espenido has implied that the unidentified, untraceable, seemingly invisible and invincible riding-in-tandem murderers are his kind after all. No wonder that riding-intandem killings become cold cases because the police could not find witnesses or CCTVs or if there were the footage would be blur and the figures unidentifiable. To effect public sympathy Espenido recounted with misty eyes his sob story of how he rose from the ranks to his present position due to merit, hard work, honesty and the will of his god. He deserved his rise because of his own feats and performances and “my god”. He did not mention his meteoric rise from captain to colonel in just three years because of his murder stints in Leyte and Ozamis City for diligently carrying out Duterte’s fake drug war.

Media say the public is confused but in fact most people shrug off this event with disdain and cynicism because they have grown to realize that this drug war is a fake and that Duterte is a liar.

Duterte himself is the most powerful drug protector in the country and drugs are here to stay so long as Duterte and his cronies rule the country along with their military ang police minions and mercenaries.#

CPP/NPA-Negros Island: NPA Negros spox: They are not NPA

NPA-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 26, 2020): NPA Negros spox: They are not NPA

FEBRUARY 26, 2020

Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command – New People’s Army (AGC-NPA) in Negros Island strongly condemned the arrest of four civilians this week for allegedly being NPA members.

Police Regional Office-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro announced earlier the capture of Jelly Anadon Ebedo, Gellie Ebedo and their father, Belly Ebedo, residents of Sitio Yamot, Barangay Mabato, Ayungon, Negros Oriental, claiming that the three were suspected NPA members who killed four intelligence operatives of the PNP Mobile Force Battalion 7 in 2019.

Meanwhile, a certain James Casusi Abrasaldo of Barangay Lamogong, Manjuyod, Negros Oriental was also arrested last February 23 for allegedly being an NPA member involved in an encounter with the 94th Infantry Battalion at Sitio Cabangahan, Barangay Bantolinao, Manjuyod last October 3, 2019.

“They are mere farmers and contractual workers in the cities,” Magbanua asserted.

According to him, militarization and a “no man’s land” declaration are what the people of Sitio Yamot is facing under the combined forces of the PNP and AFP.

“If we recall, since the implementation of MO 32, the people have experienced alarming terror brought by successive and massive military operations, intimidation, planting of evidences, forced surrenders, fake warrants and arbitrary arrests in farm communities,” he said.

Magbanua added that innocent civilians are targeted because of the desperation of Duterte and the AFP/PNP in their all-out war in the Island to destroy the revolutionary movement.

He stated in his statement that the continuing attacks of the AFP/PNP against the people is the design of the Task Forces to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).

“The Duterte government’s efforts to solve the people’s armed resistance in the whole country reeks of heightened corruption, crimes and inutility,” he said.

Magbanua further noted that the P7 million bounty for alleged 30 suspects of the death of four policemen in Ayungon is an example of [the AFP/PNP’s] aim to whitewash their humiliation and failure.

“In truth, the reactionary armed forces cannot chase the expanding and strengthening NPA force in Negros island and the entire country.###

CPP: PSA amendment unmasks Duterte as subservient to US imperialism

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Feb 20, 2020): PSA amendment unmasks Duterte as subservient to US imperialism

Proving his worth as a US asset even after terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement, Duterte along with his IMF-trained technocrats and supermajority “diehards” are aggressively pushing for the passage of amendments to the Public Security Act (PSA). This reform, which he certified as urgent and is part of his legislative agenda, was approved on second reading by the reactionary Congress on February 18. The amendment will remove telecommunications and transportation from the definition of “public services” to further dismantle restrictions that limit the entry of foreign investments in the country.

This scheme demonstrates Duterte’s utter subservience to imperialism as the amendment is part of the imposition of the US to completely liberalize the local economy to the benefit of foreign monopoly capitalists. Particularly, the removal of the said industries from the list of public utilities is among the policy recommendations of the American Chamber of Commerce under its The Arangkada Philippines Project (TAPP). By lifting the foreign equity limit on these industries, Duterte will subject the Filipino people to worse forms of imperialist domination as foreign capitalists will be able to fully own and control the operation of strategic local enterprises.

Once the amendment is passed, Duterte and his minions are set to accumulate billions of dollars from bribes and cuts from foreign contractors for unsolicited proposals and concessions that are to be negotiated.

The Communist Party of the Philippines denounces the US-Duterte regime for its all-out effort to open the local economy to foreign plunder and exploitation. The Filipino people must resist this liberalization scheme being pushed by the puppet US-Duterte regime as this only aims to guarantee the superprofits of imperialists under the guise of promoting “competitiveness.”