Tuesday, March 17, 2020

BIFF member surrenders in Lanao Sur

From the Manila Times (Mar 18, 2020): BIFF member surrenders in Lanao Sur (By Julmunir I. Jannaral)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: Another Dawlah Islamiya or Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) member surrendered to the military in Lanao del Sur on Monday, according to a high military official, while a section head of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested in Sultan Kudarat province on the same day. 

Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command on Tuesday identified the BIFF bandit as Bokharie Macadato Mahmod, who surrendered to soldiers of the 49th Infantry Battalion in Lanao del Sur. 

In Sultan Kudarat, the head of the Regional Peasant Bureau, Far South Mindanao Region, of the NPA arrested was identified as Leon Tacduro, aka Paeng, at Sitio Kipopo, Keytodak, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.

NPA leader yields to Army in Agusan

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 17, 2020): NPA leader yields to Army in Agusan

CABADBARAN CITY, Agusan del Norte – A ranking Communist New People’s Army (NPA) leader voluntarily surrendered to the command group of the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion (29th IB) in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte on Tuesday.


Earlier, the rebel leader yielded to the field unit of the 29th IB in Surigao del Norte on Wednesday, March 11.

The rebel returnee was only identified as a certain “Ka Jumong” by the military for security reasons. He was allegedly the leader of Sentro de Grabidad (SDG) Platoon Kalaw of Guerrilla Front 16 (GF 16) of the CPP-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.

He turned over his M653 rifle to the command group of the 29th IB, along with five magazines loaded with live ammunitions, personal belongings and anti-government and communist documents.

The rebel returnee disclosed his sad experience in the mountains, the hardship he had to undergo, the lack of food, and failed promises by the Communist movement.

“His hardship and concern about the welfare of his family prompted him also to run away from the armed struggle and wanted to live his life with his family,” said 29th IB commander Lt. Col. Isagani Criste.

“I’m grateful that despite having gone astray from the right path, my family still accepted me and the Army still gave me chance to live a new life with my family,” said the 29th IB commander, quoting the statement of the rebel leader.

The 29th IB commander was grateful to the former rebel leader for also responding the peace and development program implemented by the Army and police units and the local government units.

Lt. Col. Criste called on the remaining rebels still in the mountains to lay down their arms and surrender, too.

“Wake up and shake off the chains that bind and snare you. Surrender now and be with your family,” the 29th IB commander said.

Rebels who would give up the armed struggle would benefit from the government’s livelihood and cash assistance through Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP), which is part of the Duterte administration’s approach to ending the 50-year-old communist insurgency in the country, he added.

Lorenzana: Military ops vs NPA to ‘take a backseat’ to focus fight vs COVID-19

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Mar 17, 2020): Lorenzana: Military ops vs NPA to ‘take a backseat’ to focus fight vs COVID-19 (By: Frances Mangosing)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. FILE PHOTO

The Philippine military’s operations against communist rebels may have to scale down for now, as it shifts its focus on the new coronavirus threat, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.

His statement comes after President Rodrigo Duterte called on the New People’s Army for a truce as he placed the entire island of Luzon on community quarantine to address the rapidly spreading disease.

“Ceasefire muna tayo. Ako na ang nanghihingi, ceasefire [Let’s have a ceasefire for now. I’m asking you]…Kindly give me that,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines have been tapped to assist the Philippine National Police in enforcing the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, which covers more than 30 provinces.

“Operations against the NPA will take a backseat for now as we focus on this COVID crisis nationwide,” Lorenzana told reporters.

“The NPA heard the President. It’s up to them. Our troops will be conducting peace, order and security operations as usual and be in the defensive against attacks,” the secretary added.

Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison, meanwhile, said Duterte should formally make a ceasefire offer, which will be studied by the CPP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

“It will be related not only to the common fight against COVID-19 but also to the resumption of the peace negotiations,” he said.

Duterte formally terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels in March last year, but later in December, he brought it up again with his Cabinet officials the possibility of resuming peace negotiations.


Mixing Business With Pressure: Chinese Arms Sales In South East Asia

From Defense World (Mar 17, 2020): Mixing Business With Pressure: Chinese Arms Sales In South East Asia (By Aishwarya Rakesh)

South East Asia (image: SIPRI)

China is pulling off the impossible- selling arms to nations it is in conflict with over its claim in the South China Sea (SCS). Maintaining a balance between business and conflict, China has kept up pressure by building and militarizing artificial islands in the SCS; at the same time it courts countries such as Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia – which have overlapping claims over the SCS- with attractively priced arms.

China’s arms sales policy in South East Asia (SEA) is derived from its policy of creating a large eco-system of arms buyers from countries that fall within its sphere of ‘Belt and Road Initiative,’ a grouping of nations from Asia to the Middle East and Africa where it is helping to create infrastructure and build trade.

At the same time, Beijing aggressively guards its “nine-dash line,” China’s claim over the SCS (as presented to the United Nations in 2009) that covers most of the South China Sea, extending down to the coast of Malaysia.

Zhou Bo, a senior colonel of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was quoted as saying by CNBC during the 2019 Shangrila Dialogue- a regional security pow-wow in Singapore, “China does need to have necessary defense of these islands and rocks (In the SCS) which we believe are Chinese territory.”

While Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, it controls only seven reefs in the Spratlys, which were all transformed into islands through massive land reclamation starting from 2014. The Spratlys are also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Some 13 per cent of Chinese exports of major arms went to the SEA region in 1999–2018. China’s arms exports to SEA have benefited from competitive pricing, technology transfer and joint- production and maintenance. In addition, it does not lay any end-user condition like what the United States does.

Of late, with increased patrolling of the SCS by US Navy ships citing freedom of navigation, SE Asian nations have not been confronting the Chinese navy or coast guard. China too has been less belligerent not wanting to flex its muscles at the US Navy.

Arms trade and SCS disputes with major SEA countries are detailed below:

A Chinese Coast Guard ship


China sent coast guard vessels to escort numerous fishing boats near the Natuna waters containing significant oil and gas reserves in December 2019, claiming to have traditional fishing rights. The Natuna sea is within 200 nautical miles (370km) of Indonesia’s coastline, making it part of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as per 1982's United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In days following the recent Chinese intrusion, Indonesia dispatched warships and Su-30 jets and announced an intension to buy US F-16 jets and warships from Europe.

The tensions then cooled down after both sides withdrew their ships and since then the Chinese Coast Guard has not made any aggressive intrusions in the Natuna waters.

Indonesia buys its arms from a diverse group of countries including China that accounted for 4.8% of arms sales between 1999 & 2018.

Between 2015 and 2018 Indonesia's arms imports totaled around $2.5 billion. China’s arms exports to Indonesia stood at 4.8% of its total arms imports between 1999-2018, according to data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Indonesia, had ordered C-802 anti-ship missiles, portable surface-to-air missiles and air defense radars from China from 2005 through 2009. Since then, arms buys from China have cooled off. But recent indications- the presence of Chinese arms companies at Indonesia’s defense trade fair- shows Beijing might still be trying to woo Jakarta for arms sales.

China is reported to have bought four strike-capable Wing Loong I medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs from Chinese state-owned aerospace and defense company Aviation Industry Corporation of China back in 2017, Jane’s reported quoting Indonesian sources. This information has not been officially confirmed.


China-Vietnam relations soured over the former's militarization of Fiery Cross Reef. China installed some military structures on more reefs in the vicinity of the Philippines and Vietnamese occupied islands and this led to escalating tensions between these countries.

A 2019 Vietnam Defence White Paper document stresses more defense cooperation among 10 Southeast Asian nations and calls settling differences with China a “long-term, difficult and complex process involving multiple countries and parties.” The two Asian neighbors, which have centuries of border disputes, now contest sovereignty over tracts of the South China Sea.

Recent diplomatic parleys between Hanoi and Beijing indicate a desire for normalization while not giving much leverage to one another in the SCS. Beijing’s immediate worry seems to be to contain growing US arms sales to Hanoi.

Wing Loong drone


Both China and Philippines claim Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal located in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal was formerly administered by the Philippines. In a 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff, China sent warships to invade and overtake the administration of the shoal.

According to experts, control over Scarborough would create a large “strategic triangle” comprising Woody Island in the Paracel Islands to the northwest and its Spratly islet outposts to the south, giving Beijing the ability to police an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea.

After the 2012 standoff with China, Philippines’ military spending has gradually increased. In 2012, it spent $2.7 billion and the next year it shot up to $3.09 billion. Between 2011-14, Manila spent $11.2 billion. From 2015-2018, it increased to $14.9 billion, according to SIPRI.

“The violent anti-drugs operations (commencement- July 2016) of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines have led to severe criticism from Western states and in some cases a refusal to export weapons that can be used for internal operations. When Western states criticized the Philippines and withheld export permissions for some equipment, Russia and China quickly offered to make up the shortfall, on competitive terms, whatever the Philippines was unable to obtain due to the restrictions. Such generosity was partly for commercial reasons, but also had a political motive, especially in the case of China,” SIPRI report said.

Interestingly, in December 2016, Philippines announced its decision to accept arms from China with a 25-year repayment plan. "China is pressing me on the firearms, which are already there. I'll accept them. They're rushing it," said President Rodrigo Duterte.

Philippines-China ties improved when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte opted to temporarily set aside Manila's territorial disputes on the South China Sea with Beijing in order to revive the two countries’ economic relations.

In the year that followed, Philippines submitted the list of defense equipment it hopes Beijing can supply through a $14-million grant. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is said to have disclosed another additional procurement demand for $500 million worth of weapons from China, including precision-guided munitions, boats and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle).

In June 2017, it received some 3,000 rifles with 5 million ammunition and 90 units sniper rifles with 800,000 ammunition from China for free. China handed over the second batch of military equipment to the Philippines that include 3,000 M4 rifles, three million rounds of assorted ammunition, and 30 sniper scopes.

“China is seen as an alternative to Western suppliers. At the same time, Philippines continues to accept military aid from the USA, such as the maritime surveillance system delivered in 2018 for use on a C-130 transport aircraft, and to buy weapons from the USA, such as the Paveway guided bombs ordered in mid-2018, even where alternatives from less critical countries exist,” SIPRI report said.


Malaysia occupies about five of the Spratly (islands) and lays claim to 12. Any claim on the South China Sea and its islands is challenged by China as per its unilaterally imposed nine-dash line. Despite the dispute, China and Malaysia seem to be warming up to each other.

China displayed its FD-2000 air defense missile system, F-22P frigate and LPD dock landing ship eyeing South East Asian defense market at LIMA 2015. In the later editions of the exhibition, Beijing showcased its Wing Loong II drone and unveiled an oddly shaped attack drone named Blowfish A2.

In March 2017, Malaysia bought four Chinese Keris-class littoral mission ships for RM1.17 billion (nearly $285 million). The agreement is the first time a Chinese contractor will build military equipment for Malaysia, Global Times reported. The SE Asian country is also in line to buy a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone. In a first direct competition between Chinese and US military products, the former’s Wing Loong II drone will be competing against the US-made MQ-9 Predator B in a potential tender for UAVs in Malaysia.

At LIMA-2019, Malaysia kicked off its light fighter jet procurement by issuing request for information (RFI) to five manufacturers: Russian Yak-130, Indian Tejas, Pakistani-Chinese JF-17, Italian Aermacchi MB-339 and South Korean T-50.

VT4 battle tank

Thailand takes a neutral stance when it comes to the South China Sea conflict. “Following the military coup of May 2014, several European suppliers again re-evaluated their relations with Thailand. This and Thai unease about the impact of the coup on other arms deals probably helped China to win orders for tanks, armoured vehicles and submarines after 2015,” the SIPRI report said.

China won a 36 billion baht ($1 billion) order to supply 3 Yuan-class S26T submarines to Thailand in 2017. Beijing also agreed to provide CM-708 missiles, which can be fired from the submarines over a range of 290km, free of charge. Thailand has also acquired multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) with technology transfers to develop a Thai MRL.

“In 2017 Thailand ordered first of three planned S-26T submarines from China, its largest investment in any single type of major weapon since 2010. The acquisition process was criticized in Thailand. The need for submarines has not been explained and the final decisions on funding and the contract were not transparent,” the SIPRI document said.

The first of S26T submarines, derived from China’s Type 039A, is expected to be delivered to the Thai Navy in 2023.

In the same year, 28 Chinese VT4 battle tanks costing 4.9 billion baht ($150.5 million) were delivered to Thailand under a deal signed earlier that year. “Plans for additional armored vehicles from Ukraine were shelved in 2015 in favour of an order with China for 28 VT-4 tanks, to be followed by 10 more in 2017 as well as 34 VN-1 IFVs. Additional VT-4 and VN-1 purchases are planned,” the report said.

From 1999 to 2018, major suppliers of arms to Thailand are US (21.4%), Sweden (13.5%) and Ukraine (12.6%). Although China (11%) comes fourth, it still beats other western nations such as Germany (7.7%), Italy (7.5%), UK (3.4%) and France (3.3%).

Arms sales with China


C-802 anti-ship missiles, portable surface-to-air missiles and air defense radars

Wing Loong I medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs (unconfirmed)
2017 (Chinese grant)
3,000 rifles with 5 million ammunition and 90 units sniper rifles with 800,000 ammunition from China
3,000 M4 rifles, 3 million rounds of assorted ammunition, and 30 sniper scopes
4 Chinese Keris-class littoral mission ships for RM1.17 billion (nearly $285 million)

Wing Loong II drone (potential sale)
28 Chinese VT4 battle tanks costing 4.9 billion baht ($150.5 million)

3 Yuan-class S26T submarines for 36 billion baht ($1 billion) order


NPA amazon nabbed in Lanao del Norte

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 17, 2020): NPA amazon nabbed in Lanao del Norte (By Bonita Ermac)

ILIGAN CITY – An alleged leader of the New People’s Army (NPA) was arrested by a team of military and police personnel in Barangay San Miguel, Lala, in Lanao del Norte last Sunday, March 15.

PHOTO BY 5th Mechanized Infantry Battalion/ MANILA BULLETIN

Arrested was Teresita Lapuz Naul, also known as Tessie, 63, and believed to be the secretary of the Regional White Area Committee of the North Central Mindanao Regional Command of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA.

Naul had three standing warrants of arrest against her for destructive arson, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention issued by a Regional Trial Court in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur last January 30.

Second Mechanized Brigade (2nd Mech. Brig.) Commander Brig. Gen. Facundo Palafox IV, commended the troops for their commitment and dedication to duty in providing the people of Lanao del Norte a safer place to live. The 2nd Mech Brig has operational jurisdiction over Lanao del Norte.

Lt. Col. Rolando D. Orengo, commanding officer of the Fifth Mechanized Infantry Battalion, lauded the communities of the Municipality of Lala, Lanao del Norte for their cooperation and trust in the Philippine Army that led to the successful arrest of Naul.

“Let us continue to work hand-in-hand in the quest for peace and progress in the Province of Lanao del Norte and not allow any elements of any terrorist groups to influence and ruin our peaceful community and economic progress in the Province.” Orengo said.

SC grants bail for ex-NPA leader Salas

From the Manila Standard (Mar 16, 2020): SC grants bail for ex-NPA leader Salas

Detained former New People’s Army leader Rodolfo Salas will enjoy temporary liberty after the Supreme Court allowed him to post bail.

The bail was set at P200,000 for the former rebel leader, who faces a murder case in Manila.

The order for Salas’ provisional release was handed down through a resolution by the SC’s Third Division ordered Salas’ provisional release from his detention at the Manila City Jail upon posting of the cash bond is detained for another lawful cause.

But Salas’ son petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would stop proceedings in the murder case of his father before the Regional Trial Court of Manila was dismissed “for lack of merit.”

Last month, the police arrested the 72-year-old Salas on the strength of an arrest warrant for murder for a case over the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte, in 2006 that allegedly contained the skeletal remains of victims of the “purging” allegedly done by the NPA in the 1980s.

Earlier, Salas’ son, Jody, sought for his father’s release before the SC, saying that the elder Salas could no longer be prosecuted for murder because the offense was absorbed in his conviction for rebellion in 1991.

Their lawyers said the conviction was based on a plea bargain agreement that shields Salas from further prosecution for crimes committed in furtherance of rebellion.

But Solicitor General Jose Calida, who represents the Manila judge in charge of the pending murder case, argued that the acts in the old rebellion charge did not include the present 15 counts of murder and could not be “automatically considered” to have been absorbed.

Arno Sanidad of the defense, however, argued that the murders were allegedly committed in 1985 and thus fall under the rebellion conviction, which he said covers all acts committed from 1970 to 1986.

Salas’ bail was discussed during oral arguments on his habeas corpus case last week, where Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo asked Sanidad if they would consider availing of the doctrine in the 2015 SC ruling that granted bail to former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was 91 at the time, on humanitarian grounds.

The Sandiganbayan also cited the same doctrine when it allowed former first lady Imelda Marcos post-conviction bail in 2018.

Sanidad said they would like to move for bail but said the “closest basis” would be the case of ex-Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, who is also an accused in the murder case and whom the SC granted bail in 2014.

“In a similar case pending in the Regional Trial Court, bail was granted to Saturnino Ocampo in G.R. No. 176830,” the SC noted in the new resolution.

Meanwhile, a council member of militant group Karapatan was arrested recently in Lando de Norte, and is being accused of being a ranking member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Karapatan Council Member Teresita Naul was arrested
on Sunday, March 15, in her relative’s home in Lala, Lanao del Norte.

Naul is a long-time officer of Karapatan Northern Mindanao, and was recently red-tagged in a leaflet spread in Northern Mindanao cities accusing her as a ranking officer of the regional Communist Party of the Philippines.

In a statement, the 4th Infantry Division claimed that Naul is the Secretary of Regional White Area Committee based in North Central Mindanao.

Naul is facing charges of kidnapping and illegal detention and arson with no fixed bail filed in the Regional Trial Court in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.

In July 2018, 13 human rights workers and leaders of progressive groups accused of being members of the New People’s Army were arrested by police and military personnel in a raid on a retreat center here on Wednesday night.

Naul, who was in Opol, Misamis Oriental, was among the 13 arrested.

The arrest happened at the the Mother Francisca Sprituality Center along Arradaza Street in Barangay Lagao where the suspected rebels were said to be holding a program consultation.

Elements from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-12, Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan and the city police presented warrants of arrest for two of the suspects, Francis Madria and Maria Limbaga Unabia, who were tagged as members of the NPA in Northern Mindanao.

The two have standing arrest warrants for murder, attempted murder, frustrated murder and kidnapping with murder issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 8 Judge Isobel Baroso in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon and RTC Branch 23 Judge Vincent Rosales in Cagayan de Oro City.

The 11 others were identified as Naul, of Opol, Misamis Oriental; Aldeem Yanez of Cagayan de Oro City; Vennel Chenfoo of Cagayan de Oro City; Jomorito Guaynon of Bukidnon; Analiza Avenido of Bukidnon; Roger Plana of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental; Kristine Cabardo of Cagayan de Oro City; Virgilio Sanama of Purok 4, Rajah Muda, Barangay Bula, this city; Byron Gabales Porras of Zone 2-C, Barangay Bula, this city; Ireneo Udarbe of Misamis Oriental; and Rosemarie Cantano of Glan, Sarangani Province.


Insurgent couple surrenders to military

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 15, 2020): Insurgent couple surrenders to military (By Joseph Jubelag)

Tired of running from government forces, a New People’s Army (NPA) couple yielded over the weekend to military authorities in Malita, Davao Occidental.

Lt.Col. Ronaldo Valdez, 73rd Infantry Battalion commander,
identified those who surrendered as Tata Maganding, 35, and his wife Donya Palapan, 18. They were a former team leader and medic, respectively, of NPA Guerilla Front 71 operating in the provinces of Sarangani and Davao Occidental.

Valdez said the former rebels turned in two M-16 rifles, a caliber-.45 pistol and a commercial radio.

The rebel surrenderers said they opted to yield for fear of their safety while inside the organization as government troops have started to launch relentless offensives against the rebels in Sarangani and Davao Occidental.

“We are on a quandary on who to follow and believe as the NPA organization has already been decimated due to corruption among local leaders,” Maganding said.


Former MNLF fighters offer ‘duwa-a’ prayer to spare PH from COVID-19 scourge

From the Manila Bulletin (Mar 17, 2020): Former MNLF fighters offer ‘duwa-a’ prayer to spare PH from COVID-19 scourge (By Nonoy Lacson)

Former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in cooperation with the municipal government of Indanan town in Sulu province, will offer a prayer or “duwa-a” on Wednesday, March 18, to spare the Philippines and its people from sickness caused by coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chair Yusop Jikiri
, who spearheaded the move, said a “duwa-a” will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Sitio Pasil in Indanan, Sulu for the safety of all the Filipinos, particularly those who are infected with COVID-19.

He said the MNLF will also offer the prayer to all COVID-19 patients, persons under monitoring (PUM) and persons under investigation (PUI) who are now under a recovery stage in the different hospitals in our country.

“A prayer is a very powerful weapon to mankind and it can spare anyone from acquiring the deadly virus. We all now need the protection and help of our creator.” Jikiri said.

The MNLF chair told The Manila Bulletin that tje prayer will be officiated by Ustadz Alfatah Untih, from Talipao, Sulu who also sits as chair of the provincial peoples’ congress of the MNLF.

Jikiri also reported that none of their combatants was diagnosed of high body temperature and other symptoms related of COVD-19.

“We are also thankful that none of our combatants and residents of Indanan has shown symptoms related to the virus as of today,” Jikiri said.

“Considering that none of the residents of Indanan have travel history to cities or country with history of corona virus disease or COVID-19, what we are doing now is to educate or conduct information dissemination about the virus and its ill effect to the people,” he added.

“We also asked our combatants and the people of Indanan to stay home and refrain from going to Jolo, the capital town of Sulu when possible to avoid acquiring the virus from other people,” Jikiri said.

MILF: GPH-MILF Peace Implementing panels commend outgoing IMT for its outstanding work in Mindanao

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Mar 16, 2020): GPH-MILF Peace Implementing panels commend outgoing IMT for its outstanding work in Mindanao

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao– The Government of the Philippines (GPH) – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panels commended the outgoing IMT team for its outstanding work in Mindanao, as they welcomed the incoming IMT M15 led by its Head of Mission MGen Dato Mohammad Anwar.

A farewell party held for the outgoing IMT-Team M14 at Camp Siongco, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao, Thursday, March 12, was hosted by the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH).

According to a report by OPAPP website, the peace implementing panels recognized the invaluable contribution of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) Mindanao Batch 14 to the Bangsamoro peace process as the peacekeeping force completes its year-long tour of duty on Friday, March 13.

In the OPAPP report, GPH-CCCH Chairman BGen Francisco Ariel A. Felicidario III, AFP said that, “Through the IMT’s timely interventions, situations of conflict between both parties were immediately identified, acted upon and resolved, thus preventing the outbreak of armed hostilities which could have adversely affected the ongoing GPH-MILF peace negotiations,” said OPAPP Undersecretary David B. Diciano.

He recounted how the IMT and the other ceasefire mechanisms helped pave the way for the passage of the FAB and CAB.

“Kailangan natin magpasalamat sa kanila kasi malayo ang Malaysia but since the start the peace process, when we started the ceasefire agreement, the Malaysian, Brunei, Indonesia were here already with us from the very start,” Felicidario said.

“They were here already performing duties for the peace process, even before the signing of the CAB. The only thing holding the peace process was the IMT, the CCCH, the AHJAG and other peace tables that were with us during those times,” he added.

Ronnie Delsey, Country Director of Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), recalled how his agency had over the past 13 years helped the Philippines protect the integrity of the peace process despite the many challenges along the way.

“[After] 13 years of accompanying the peace process in the Bangsamoro, Nonviolent Peaceforce remains determined and committed to reinforce the gains of the peace process [by] supporting the normalization [track],” Delsey said.

The NP, Delsey pointed out, was the first international NGO to become a member of the Civilian Protection Component of the IMT in 2009.

Outgoing IMT M14 Head of Mission MGen Yacob Bin Haji Samiran of Malaysia shared that their decision to be assigned in the Bangsamoro is anchored on the spirit of “neighborhood and friendship” between Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

He reaffirmed the “commitment of the Malaysian Government, Brunei Darussalam, European Union and the Japanese Government towards the peace process between the GPH and the MILF.”

Meanwhile, MILF CCCH Chairman Butch Malang expressed the ceasefire body’s appreciation to the international community for their unwavering support to the peace process.

“My message comes from the bottom of my heart. Words are not enough to say ‘thank you’ for your (IMT) unconditional support in maintaining the road of peace for Mindanao,” Malang said.

For his part, Atty. Haron Meling who represented MILF Peace Implementing Panel Chair Minister Mohagher Iqbal, noted that the IMT has been part of the “Bangsamoro narrative.”

“You are now part of the history of your brothers, the Bangsamoro people…without you, these dividends of peace will hardly be achieved,” Meling said.

The IMT was launched in October 2004 to oversee the implementation of the GPH-MILF ceasefire agreement in 2003.

Also present during the gathering were representatives from the incoming IMT M15, IMT TS 1 and 3, AdHoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), Joint Peace and Security Committee (JPSC), Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Philippine National Police (PNP).


CPP/NDF-SMR: Duterte’s militaristic strategy in face of COVID-19 pandemic bodes far worse fate for Filipino masses

NDF-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Mar 17, 2020): Duterte’s militaristic strategy in face of COVID-19 pandemic bodes far worse fate for Filipino masses

NDFP Southern Mindanao Region

The National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao vehemently denounces the US-Duterte regime’s month-long lockdown at the National Capital Region and the regional/local/city community quarantine declarations in handling the outbreak of Coronavirus-19 disease in the country. Workers, urban poor and other members of the working class who live and thrive in hand-to-mouth subsistence and were placed under curfew, curtailment of movement, and restricted transport bear the brunt of this militaristic pandemic remedy.

As the situation unfolds, it is becoming clear to the Filipino people that the US-Duterte regime’s militarist strategy is not meant to address the health crisis but to preemptively stifle dissent that is sure to ensue as the burdensome effects of lockdowns and community quarantines become increasingly felt by the civilian population.

Feeding the prevalent confusion of the masses, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has prescribed “prohibition” on travelling in and out of the city and restricting the people’s movements with community quarantine, while refusing to declare such measures as “lockdown.” The general public find no consolation in her words nor viable means to address their problems such as food, work and other needs. Ever the supporter of militaristic approach in dealing with civilian situations, Sara Duterte has effectively placed the workers, urban poor, and plantation workers of Davao City at the mercy of the fascist discretion of the AFP and PNP, with no regard to how the masses will be able to feed their families—they who are forced to live with paltry wages or under no-work-no-pay schemes; odd jobs and/or selling lowly priced agricultural produce on a daily basis.

In the few days following the national declaration, Davao City and its neighboring provinces have either become virtual ghost towns or are uncertain as to how to cope; prices of basic goods have fluctuated, with medical supplies becoming very expensive or scarce; and civilians were left to fend for themselves despite of restrictions in their movement and with fear of being arbitrarily arrested by armed state agents. 

Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Flaunting their sheltered and insensitive ruling class status, Duterte’s sycophantic minions meanwhile insist that the effects of the pandemic in the people’s economic situation will be “ephemeral,” going as far as idiotically insisting that the poor can afford to go hungry since no one has died of hunger.

As is the policy of this fascist reactionary regime, Duterte has elected to subject the Filipino people under military control instead of delivering concrete remedies such as beefing up the country’s health sector to squarely address the spread of the disease, and ensure that the masses of workers and peasants receive economic safety nets to tide them over as the effects of the pandemic unfold.

The US-Duterte regime is mainly scrambling to remedy the systemic flaws of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system with stopgap measures such as lockdown and community quarantine. It refuses to recognize that beyond the immediate result of increasing toll of deaths and confirmed cases of infection, its band-aid militarist solution bodes a far worse scenario of widespread hunger and poverty, social unrest, and rapid economic decline that will hit the poor with severity and persistence.

Presently, the Philippines has had 8 deaths and 111 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the alarming toll of pandemic involving 128,000 cases and almost 5,000 deaths worldwide. While other countries had exercised some degree of action in dealing with travel to and from China, Duterte’s patent flip-flopping in the past weeks and his recent assertion to even depend on China in the event of the situation becoming worse, shows his inveterate subservience to imperialist interests, endangering Filipino lives in exchange for maintaining his lopsided relations.

We urge our revolutionary health professionals and forces to help educate the masses regarding the disease and practical preventive measures to avoid contraction. They must expose the inutile and fascist measures the US-Duterte regime is employing, which are meant not to provide solution but to inoculate itself from liability.

Revolutionary forces in Southern Mindanao are enjoined to conduct information drive among the masses to ensure that they are able to draw up plans of action to keep their communities safe and be kept abreast of the development of this health crisis. Consultations must also be undertaken to prepare for the expected consequences in the economic activity of the masses as a result of the regime’s restrictions and regulations.

The masses, led by their revolutionary organizations, must prepare for and launch all forms of political action to oppose the Covid-justified de facto martial law of the US-Duterte regime. Furthermore, NDF-SMR urges the masses to be vigilant and assiduous in the machinations of the US-Duterte regime to use the pandemic and deploy its ubiquitous fake news peddling as an excuse to suppress social unrest and perpetuate itself in power.


CPP: Call for collective people’s action against Covid-19

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 17, 2020): Call for collective people’s action against Covid-19

In the face of the coronavirus disease (Covid)-19 pandemic, and the threat of the epidemic rapidly spreading among the Filipino people, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) calls on the Filipino people and all their revolutionary forces to mobilize, organize and act collectively to respond to the emerging public health emergency.

This response must be organized and be led by the organs of political power comprising the people’s democratic government (PDG), based primarily on the revolutionary village committees and mass organizations in the guerrilla zones, as well as by the revolutionary organizations under the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The people’s collective response must be both widespread and comprehensive. All possible resources must be mobilized and directed at supporting the collective response of the people to the threat of a Covid-19 epidemic.

The Party calls on all agencies of the PDG and the NDFP to activate and strengthen existing village health committees and build thousands of other health committees in factories and communities. These committees, composed of local health workers and volunteers, must help organize the people’s collective response.

Health committees must lead in studying and raising awareness about the Covid-19 in order to encourage a collective people’s response. They must exert efforts to mobilize the broad masses in campaigns to prevent the spread of the disease through sanitation and community cleanup drives, as well as encouraging personal hygiene. They can facilitate the free distribution of face masks, alcohol, soap and other cleaning agents. They can mobilize people to produce face masks using other possible alternative material. They can help spread the use of herbal medicine to help strengthen the people’s resistance to similar coronavirus strains.

In addition, the factory-based workers health committees must push for other practical health and safety measures such as free provision of medical and hygiene kits to workers, and other measures to improve working conditions and make them less vulnerable to the easy transmission of pathogens. Urban poor health committees must push for more efficient garbage collection, access to clean water, as well as free distribution of health kits and sanitation systems.

The Party calls for a humanitarian united front of all democratic forces to help mobilize all possible resources in order to extend the broadest support for people’s actions against the threat of a Covid-19 epidemic. The Party calls on all enterprises, from big capitalists to small businessmen, as well as international humanitarian agencies and organizations, to extend all forms of support–including supply of face masks, alcohol and testing kits, to help people’s health committees and local people’s organizations to ensure the success of the collective response of the people.

The Party calls for strengthening the democratic organizations of nurses and doctors, and medical professionals and health practitioners to ensure their welfare amid serious threats to their lives as they stand at the front line in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. They seek an increase in allocations for public health to help ensure funds both for raising salaries, improvement of medical facilities and scientific research. They must counter state policy support for health service-for-profit and medical tourism. They must demand the strengthening of public hospitals and stop the policy of commercialization where generating profits is placed at the center of their operations.

The Party also calls for further strengthening scientific research in order to develop testing kits and vaccines and antivirals. At the same time, there must be deeper study and understanding of the links between the emergence of the Covid-19 and other recent viral outbreaks and the practices of big capitalist agriculture.

The Party directs all units of the New People’s Army (NPA), its medical officers and Red fighters, to assist the people and their health committees in the campaign of mass mobilization against the Covid-19. Units of the NPA can guide the local health committees in efforts to come up with a plan of collective response. Its Red fighters can help in sanitation drives and cleanup campaigns in villages around the areas of operations of NPA units.

Criticism of response of Duterte regime
Instead of coming up with an organized response to the Covid-19 threat, the Duterte regime has resorted to a lockdown which is causing further grave economic hardships on the people, without any provision for financial insurance during the one-month period. The measures has already caused widespread disruptions in economic and commercial activity. Many people observe that if the lockdown stubbornly persists for one month, it is likely that there will be more people who will die because of hunger more than the disease.

The military and police checkpoints across the National Capital Region and other provinces where people’s temperatures are taken and which have prevented people from going to their place of work, or to look for work, border on the stupid. Not only is it useless, it is resulting in chaos and creates conditions for the easy transmission of diseases. What the people need are testing centers not checkpoints.

The lockdown and checkpoints are part of the standard solution of Duterte’s martial law-mindset. It covers up its failure to even ensure basic supplies of face masks, alcohol and sufficient numbers of test kits. Knowing the gravity of the disease, Filipinos are easy to convince to have themselves tested whenever they notice symptoms. Duterte, however, is obsessed with imposing his will, even on the matter of public health, even if this causes large scale dislocations.

The lockdown also covers up how the Duterte regime cut by half the 2020 budget for the Epidemiology and Surveillance Program (from P262.9 million to P115.5 million) which severely limits the capacity of the Department of Health to handle the outbreak of diseases. It obscures the grave state of the country’s public health infrastructure marked by dilapidated facilities and severe lack in state funding for public hospitals. The inability of the Duterte regime to provide a correct response to the emerging public health crisis (through the provision of medical and social and not military and police measures) thoroughly exposes the rotten fundamentals of the Philippine ruling economic system.

The threat of the Covid-19 epidemic has added to the grave public health conditions of the Filipino people. Last year, there were more than 150,000 cases of dengue fever where at least 650 died. There is also the grave problem tuberculosis and other controllable and treatable diseases. These manifest the consequence of the miserable social conditions and state abandonment of the people’s health.


CPP/NDF-Negros: 3ID behind bloody peace and development

NDF-Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 17, 2020): 3ID behind bloody peace and development

MARCH 17, 2020

National Democratic Front – Negros spokesperson Ka Bayani Obrero scoffed at MGen. Eric Vinoya’s monotonous accusation that the revolutionary movement hampers peace and development, calling it pure lie and deceit.

According to Obrero, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) coerces government agencies to follow the intent and orders of the AFP and dictates the courts to falsify the truth in favor of their ruthless acts of planting evidences and filing trumped-up charges.

“Many in local government who want to implement pro-people programs and services are being threatened and intimidated by the AFP/PNP by virtue of Executive Order 70 to force them to cooperate with campaign against the revolutionary movement. Some officials say that if they will not collaborate they will be killed,” he said.

Obrero asked if widespread terror, killings of innocent civilians, redtagging of progressive groups and journalists, and the plunder of government funds through fake surrenderees while neglecting the hunger and poverty of the Negrosanons is what the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) commander calls as peace and development.

“What peace and development have Vinoya given the people when the AFP/PNP destroys the cooperatives of farmers and farm workers compelling them to bow down to military control,” he said.

He said that Vinoya and his master Duterte are the real butchers of the masses and that their bloody hands infuriate the Negrosanons.
Earlier, the 3ID announced the deployment of more than 100 soldiers from the 14th Civil Military Operations Battalion and 33rd Division Reconnaissance Company of the Philippine Army to Negros Island.

“Militarization will worsen the state of the human rights situation in the island. But this move is doomed to fail and is proof that the revolutionary forces is growing and strengthening,” said Obrero.

According to him, the New People’s Army is fighting a just war and it becomes even more just as it confronts a brutal and tyrannical regime. The broad masses of the people understand and live by the justness of this war for there is no other solution to end the violence and oppression by the state.

NDF-Negros implored all revolutionary forces and all Negrenses to resolutely unite and fight the bogus and fake peace and development program of the Duterte regime together with its mercenary AFP and also called for a collective and militant stand against all forms of terror unleashed by the Duterte regime and overcome the de facto martial law.

“In this climate of terror, we gather our courage to fiercely oppose schemes of the Duterte regime to establish a fascist dictatorship. The critical conditions perpetuated by the state’s terror and fascism compels more and more people tread the path of resistance. Let us link arms in order to build a broad anti-fascist alliance against the tyranny of the Duterte regime. Our decisive, collective and militant action will remind Duterte that no tyrant of this country has ever succeeded in the face of the people united against him,” he said. ###


CPP/NDF-Ilocos: Pagpugayan ang rebousyonaryong alaala ng tatlong martir ng Baguio!

NDF-Ilocos propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 17, 2020): Pagpugayan ang rebousyonaryong alaala ng tatlong martir ng Baguio!

MARCH 17, 2020

Pinakamataas na pulang saludo ang ipinapaabot ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines(NDFP)-Ilocos kena kasamang Julius Soriano Giron, Dra. Lourdes Tangco, at Arvie Reyes sa kanilang dakilang buhay na inialay para sa sambayanang Pilipino. Ang tatlong kasama ay walang awang minasaker ng pinagsamang tropa ng AFP at PNP sa Baguio City, madaling araw(3:30) ng Marso 13.

Sa inisyal na ulat mula sa kanilang medico-legal, ang mga kasama ay pawang nagtamo ng tama ng bala ng baril sa kanilang mga ulo. Ayon rin sa ulat, walang balak arestuhin o buhayin pa ang mga kasama taliwas sa ipinapahayag ng AFP at PNP na nanlaban diumano ang tatlo sa panahon ng pag-aresto.

Desperado ang AFP at PNP na sirain ang dakilang rebolusyonaryong imahe nila Kasamang Julius. Ipinipinta nila sila Ka Julius at Ka Lourdes bilang mga “pribilehiyado” umanong mga kadre ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Isa itong malaking kasinungalingan!

Sa kabila ng katotohanang ang 2 kasama ay mga senior citizen na (Ka Julius 70 at Ka Lourdes 69), masigasig pa rin silang nag-aambag sa kilusang pagpapalaya sa buong bayan. Sa kabila ng samu’t saring sakit dulot ng katandaan at hirap na dinanas sa buhay, ang 2 kasama ay patuloy na naglingkod sa rebolusyon hanggang sa kanilang huling hininga. Ang 3 kasama ay isang tunay na ehemplo ng ubos-kayang paglilingkod sa sambayanan. Tinalikuran nila ang lahat ng makasariling kaalwanan at kaluwagan. Ubos-kaya at ubos-panahon nilang inialay ang kanilang buhay sa paglilingkod sa masang api at sila nga ay namatay bilang mga tunay na dakilang rebolusyonaryo. Imahe at ehemplong hindi kailanman makakamtan ng traydor at mga pasistang AFP at PNP.

Nag-iwan sila Ka Julius ng higit pa sa sapat na mga aral mula sa kanilang mayamang karanasan at pinaunlad na mga praktika at teorya ng pakikidigma at pakikibaka upang mas lalo pang magpatuloy, lumakas, at maitaas ang antas ng digmaang bayan.

Hindi masasayang ang buhay na inialay ng tatlong martir na kasama. Libo-libong kabataan at mamamayan ang sasaludo sa kanilang dakilang ambag sa rebolusyon.

Titiyakin ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan na maihahatid sa 3 kasama at iba pang biktima ng pasismo at pagpaslang ng AFP at PNP ang rebolusyonaryong hustisya. Kaduwagan ang pumatay ng isang taong natutulog. Kaduwagan ang pumatay ng patalikod.

Ang mga patraydor na pagpatay at pagkitil ng buhay ng AFP, PNP, at ni Duterte ay animo’y bagyong itinatanim nito na tiyak na aani rin ng bagyo ng malawakang rebolusyonaryong galit at pagkamuhi ng mamamayan.

Mananaig ang rebolusyonaryong hustisya. Mananaig ang sambayanang Pilipino!





CPP/NPA-Rizal: Patuloy na pagbiwas ng tinig ng rebolusyon

NPA-Rizal propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Mar 17, 2020): Patuloy na pagbiwas ng tinig ng rebolusyon

MARCH 17, 2020

Pahayag ng pagbati mula sa NAAC-BHB-Rizal kay Kasamang Armando Cienfuego, bagong tagapagsalita ng MGC-BHB-TK

Taas-kamaong pagpupugay ang ipinaaabot ng Narciso Antazo Aramil Command (NAAC-BHB-Rizal) sa pagkakatalaga kay Kasamang Armando Cienfuego bilang bagong tagapagsalita ng Melito Glor Command – Bagong Hukbong Bayan – Timog Katagalugan (MGC-BHB-TK). Si Kasamang Armando ang patunay na nagpapatuloy ang paglaban at ang rebolusyon na pinangungunahan ng masang anakpawis sa rehiyon ng Timog Katagalugan.

Kasabay ng pagbating ito, amin ding sinasaluduhan ang malaking ambag ng dating tagapagsalita ng MGC-BHB-TK na si Kasamang Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla sa buong rehiyon bago pa man ito arestuhin ng kaaaway. Kaisa kami ni Ka Diego sa panawagang ipagkaloob sa kanya ang makatarungan at makataong pagtrato batay na rin sa nilalaman ng Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) na parehong pinagkasunduan ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) at ng gobyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP). Nais rin naming paalalahanan ang GRP, pati na rin ang armadong pwersa nito, na kilalanin ang kasunduang Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) na pinirmahan nito kasama ang NDFP at gawin itong batayan sa pakikitungo kay Ka Diego. Sa nagpapatuloy niyang pakikibaka sa loob ng piitan, igigiit ng mamamayan ng Rizal ang kagyat na pagpapalaya sa kanya at sa iba pang mga detenidong pulitikal sa bansa.

Hindi maikukubli ng reaksyunaryong gobyerno na patuloy na naghihirap ang mamamayang Pilipino. Sa lalawigan ng Rizal, talamak pa rin ang kawalan ng sariling lupa kapwa sa hanay ng mga magsasaka at ng mga maralitang taga-lungsod. Labis ang pangangalaga ng sangguniang panlalawigan na magpatuloy ang malawakan at mapanirang quarry operations sa pamamagitan ng inilalabas na mga resolusyong paborable sa pag-iral ng mga ito. Ipinagkakait pa rin sa daan-libong maralita ang mga pabahay na kalakhan ay ipinagkakaloob lang din naman sa mga kagawad ng AFP-PNP. Mas madalas ay hinahayaan na lamang na nakatiwangwang ang mga ito kaysa pakinabangan ng mamamayan. Hindi natutumbasan ng gamumong sahod ang nasasaid na lakas-paggawa ng mga manggagawang industriyal at ng mga nagtatrabaho sa quarry, dagdag na pasanin pa ang nagpapatuloy na kontraktwalisasyon sa kanilang hanay. Walang tunay na libreng edukasyong napakikinabangan ang mga kabataan sa lalawigan at patuloy pa nga ang pagkamal ng kita ng mga kapitalista-edukador sa pamamagitan ng pagsingil ng matataas na matrikula at ng hindi makatarungang iba pang mga bayarin. Pinatindi pa ng TRAIN Law, na nagtiyak ng pagtaas ng presyo ng lahat ng mga pangunahing bilihin, ang karalitaan ng daan-libong pamilya sa lalawigan.

Sa lumalalang krisis sa ekonomya sa bansa na tumatagos sa bituka ng bawat Pilipino, hindi na rin maitatatwa ang tunggalian sa hanay ng mga naghaharing-uri. Sa pagkukumahog ng diktador na si Duterte na makuha pa rin ang tiwala ng amo niyang imperyalismong US para makapanatili pa sa posisyon, ikinakasa nito ang digmang panunupil laban sa mamamayang nakikibaka sa pamamagitan ng pagpapatupad ng Joint Campaign Plan – Kapanatagan (JCP – Kapanatagan). Sa pamamagitan ng focus military operations (FMO) at ng retooled community support program (RCSP), ang dalawang kamay nito na ginagamit bilang sandata laban sa mamamayan, pinipiga nito ang lahat ng pamamaraan para wasakin ang pagkakaisa ng sambayanan. Ibinuhos ng JCP – Kapanatagan ang mga berdugong militar sa mga baryo at bayan kung saan buhay ang laban ng mga masang anakpawis sa karapatan sa lupa at sa kabuhayan. Kapag hindi madaan sa panlilinlang ang pagkuha sa loob ng mga tao, gagamitan na ng dahas at paninindak ang pagpapasunod sa kanila – lumang taktika na kanila pang namana sa amo nitong imperyalismong US.

Napapanahon ang muling pagpapanauli ng Tinig ng Rebolusyon sa rehiyon ng Timog Katagalugan. Sa pangunguna ni Kasamang Armando, muli nang maririnig ang tinig ng rebolusyon sa radyo, telebisyon, pati na rin sa social media. Tuluy-tuloy nang maitatambol ang pakikibaka ng mamamayan laban sa mga mapaminsalang proyekto at programang sumisira sa kabundukan at kagubatan ng Sierra Madre. Makukuha na muli natin ang inisyatiba sa pakikipaggitgitan sa propaganda ng reaksyunaryong gobyerno at armadong pwersa nito at itatapat ang propagandang nakabatay sa linyang masa. Magkakaroon na muli ng boses ang nagkakaisang pwersa ng maralitang masang anakpawis laban sa malalaking burgesya komprador at mga panginoong maylupa. Hindi na makakapanaig ang kasinungalingang ipapakalat ng rehimeng US-Duterte hinggil sa rebolusyunaryong kilusan dahil pangungunahan ni Kasamang Armando ang paglalantad at ang pagtutuwid sa mga ito para maipakita sa taumbayan ang tunay na kalagayan ng lipunang Pilipino.

Sa panahong binabaha ang mamamayan ng mga pekeng balita na bitbit ng mga DDS (Duterte diehard supporters), pamumunuan ni Kasamang Armando ang opensiba sa propaganda na tatabunan ang lahat ng pagsisikap ng pasistang estado na linlangin ang taumbayan. Sa ngalan ng sambayanang nakikibaka, papuputukin ng MGC-BHB-TK, katuwang ang NAAC-BHB-Rizal, ang labanan sa larangan ng propaganda na tiyak na pagtatagumpayan ng rebolusyunaryong kilusan.

Patunay ang pagpapanumbalik ng Tinig ng Rebolusyon, sa pagkatao ni Kasamang Armando Cienfuego, na mali at malayo sa katotohanan ang ipinapakalat na tsismis ng kaaway na talo na sa laban ang BHB. Hindi nahangganan ang rebolusyunaryong kilusan sa Timog Katagalugan sa pagkahuli kay Ka Diego, bagkus, naging lakas at inspirasyon ng lahat ng mga komander at mga pulang mandirigma ang kanyang pakikibaka para higitan pa ang tagumpay na nakamit na natin noon pa man. Katibayan si Kasamang Armando na nagpapatuloy ang pagsalin ng rebolusyon sa susunod na henerasyon. Lumalakas, at malabo pa ang paghina, ng armadong rebolusyon sa buong rehiyon. Sa gabay ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, lalo pang palalakasin ng NAAC-BHB-Rizal ang teatro ng digmaan sa lalawigan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapalawak pa ng baseng masa, pagtatakda ng mas maraming mapagpasyang tagumpay ng kilusang magsasaka sa rebolusyong agraryo at pakikibakang anti-pyudal, at paglulunsad ng matutunog at malaganp na mga taktikal na opensiba laban sa kaaway. Sa lahat ng aspeto ng digma, ang rebolusyunaryong kilusan ang tiyak na magwawagi! Buong-lakas at ubos-kayang isusulong ng NAAC-BHB-Rizal ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan hanggang sa ganap nitong tagumpay!



Kalinaw News: PNP, Army, other Law Enforcement Agencies in Caraga Established IATF-CV Caraga Shield

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 17, 2020): PNP, Army, other Law Enforcement Agencies in Caraga Established IATF-CV Caraga Shield (By 4th Infantry Division)

Bancasi, Butuan City – Police Regional Office 13 (PRO13) in partnership with the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) established the Inter Agency Task Force-Corona Virus Caraga Shield during the Coordinating Conference of the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease today, March 17, 2020 at PRO13 Grandstand, Camp Rafael Rodriguez, Brgy Libertad, Butuan City.

The coordinating conference initiated by PRO13 led by Police Brigadier General Jose T Esquivel Jr, the Regional Director, with Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade representing 4ID, PA, LTJG Jesmar C Dasas, PCG Station Commander and FSSUPT Rommel C Tradio, Regional Director of BFP Caraga aims to maintain peace and order, enforce laws and support other agencies in order to prevent and/or contain the spread of COVID-19 in Caraga region.

The said conference with PRO13 as the lead agency highlighted the signing of the Joint AFP-PNP-PCG-BFP Implementation Plan to formally activate the IATF-CV Caraga Shield.

Likewise, an open forum was also conducted to ensure the interoperability mechanism and clarify other issues and concerns among and between said agencies for the implementation of the task force to prevent and manage the entry of people who might be infected of the Corona Virus in Caraga region.

In his statement, PBGEN ESQUIVEL JR stressed the Whole of Nation Approach in addressing the Corona Virus disease. “The IATF-CV Caraga Shield is fully activated and basically, it is about border control to prevent entry of Corona Virus carriers in the region”.

Meanwhile, BGEN LICUDINE expressed his gratitude to the initiative of the PRO13. Speaking on behalf of the AFP units in Caraga, he committed the military’s support providing manpower and logistical resources to the IATF-CV Caraga Shield.

“The AFP will be in a support role to the PNP. While the Task Force is fully activated, AFP units in Caraga are still on standby mode awaiting guidance and directives guided by the provisions of the IATF Caraga. We call on Caraganons to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID. Stay Home and Save Lives”, BGEN Licudine added.

The Task Force CV Caraga Shield is composed of TG Land, TG Water and TG AIR.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]


Kalinaw News: Another armed encounter, ensued between Gov’t troops and communist terrorists in Sorsogon

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 17, 2020): Another armed encounter, ensued between Gov’t troops and communist terrorists in Sorsogon (By 9th Infantry Division)

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur-Government troops and members of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) clashed anew in Gubat town, Sorsogon province, Monday, March 16.

According to the report, joint elements of 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB) and 1st Sorsogon Police Mobile Force Company (1PMFC) were conducting security operations in Barangay Sangat around 9:10 in the morning in response to a report about the presence of the CTG in the area when they
encountered at least 20 communist terrorists led by Fernando Dialogo AKA Karen/Jepoy and Gil Ferreras AKA Brayan in their temporary hideout.

Firefight lasted for five minutes before the enemies withdrew and scurried towards the north-west direction of the said Barangay.

No one was harmed in the government side but the casualty in the side of the enemies is still undetermined.

Recovered from the encounter site were two anti-personnel mines, food stuffs and personal belongings.

Lt. Col. Eric Culvera, Battalion Commander of 31IB condemned the CTG for using anti-personnel mines in spite of their knowledge about the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which strictly prohibits it.

Joint Task Force Bicolandia (JTFB) under MGEN FERNANDO T TRINIDAD AFP directed the troops to tighten the security measures in the area to ensure that the CTGs will not be able to harm civilians and stop their illegal activities.

It can be recalled that just last week, an armed encounter between government troops and CTGs broke out at Baao town in Camarines Sur province where high powered firearms and explosives were recovered.

Gen. Trinidad once again expressed his gratitude for the cooperation of the residents and underscored that continuous military operations and public’s utmost support will be very instrumental in the all-out campaign to end the insurgency problem in the country.

Nevertheless, JTFB also reiterated its call for the CTGs to abandon the armed movement and its useless cause and live a peaceful life with their loved ones.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

Kalinaw News: Kaagapay's Lost a Warrior Basilan Earns a Hero

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 17, 2020): Kaagapay's Lost a Warrior Basilan Earns a Hero (By Kalinaw News)

Headquarters, 68IB, 2ID, PA Brgy Abong-abong, Maluso, Basilan – On Sunday morning, a young Kaagapay officer dedicated his life for BasileƱos.

Second Lieutenant Jordan M. Alberio, a platoon leader of the 68th Infantry Battalion, was leading a team for a clearing operation in the hinterlands of Maluso, Basilan.

As they were trailing back to an overran encampment which they were able to secure on Saturday, March 14, Alberio accidentally stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), that resulted to his demise and wounding of two soldiers namely Cpl Jerome V Donato and Cpl Jessie C Nemir on Sunday, March 15.

Lieutenant Colonel Freddie Calosing, commanding officer of the 68th Infantry Battalion, said that Alberio’s platoon was dispatched to the area for an operation when the unit received several intelligence reports about the presence of the ISIS inspired terrorist group ASG in the remote area of Maluso and Sumisip municipalities both of Basilan province.

The reports stated that the ASG planning to conduct atrocities against the community in order to strew terror and to steal attention about their existence.

“To deter such vicious act, this unit immediately planned out preemptive measures through decisive and focus military operations backed up by information drive informing the public to be wary about the terrorist group,” Calosing said.

On March 13, this unit through the guidance and wisdom of Calosing, deployed one company, as main effort to carry on the mission supported by another one (1) Company and Scout Platoon.

One of the platoons under the Alfa Company was led by Alberio, who was tasked to clear one of the objectives believed to be the temporary harboring area of the enemy.

Early morning of March 15, the platoon conducted thorough scouring in the objective in order to clear the area for any enemy presence, unfortunately the troops accidentally stepped on an IED planted by the terrorist.

Said troops were immediately evacuated for proper medical attention after they were given first aid by the qualified combat first aider.

While on their way, Alberio succumbed to death due to his severe wounds and declared dead by Captain Al Rashid M. Jalaidi, MC PA, a doctor of the Medical Team of 101st Brigade. The other two wounded troops are now on Camp Navarro Hospital, WESTMINCOM, Zamboanga City and both stable and recovering from their wounds.

Alberio is a proud member of OPC (Centurion Virtus) 68 of 2017, a father to Kim Daniell and Grace and a husband to Mrs Nelly Alberio. He was a native of Balingasag, Misamis oriental. He died a hero serving the people of Basilan.

“His gallantry and heroism will be remembered forever. His ultimate sacrifice will not perish in vain. It will serve as our strength to continue our mandate in securing the safety of the people and maintaining the peace in Basilan no matter the circumstances,” Calosing said.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]


Kalinaw News: Cadavers found in recovered BIFF camp

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 17, 2020): Cadavers found in recovered BIFF camp (By 6th Infantry Division)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Three cadavers were found by the operating troops of 33rd Infantry Battalion under 601st Infantry Brigade at the hinterland of Barangay Salman, Ampatuan, Maguindanao last Friday morning, March 13, 2020.

The cadavers were discovered in an abandoned camp of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) during clearing operation as the troops are running after the terror groups, who were subject of the Joint Task Force Central’s sustained and focused operations that started last March 2, 2020 at the adjoining municipalities of Ampatuan and Datu Hoffer in Maguindanao.

The abandoned camp has foxholes, huts and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) makeshift factory that can accommodate around 30 people.

The troops recovered an electric generator, water pump, unserviceable motorcycle, IED components, fertilizer, empty shells, and personal belongings.

“This is how heartless the terrorists are, they just leave their slain comrades behind,” said 601st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Jose Narciso.

“We will continue with our focused military operations to penetrate BIFF lairs and totally eradicate their remaining members, for the people of Central Mindanao to savor lasting peace and sustainable development,” Col. Narciso added.

The Joint Task Force Central launched the operation backed with air and artillery support after the terror groups were reportedly conducting extortion activities and sowing fears at the civilian communities in Ampatuan town.

“The military counterterrorism operation will continue to pursue the terrorists responsible in sowing fear and violence in the communities after our troops had recovered these BIFF encampments,” said JTFC Commander Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon.

Maj. Gen. Carreon said the JTFC will remain on high alert as these terror groups were also planning to launch attacks against the troops and military installations.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]


Kalinaw News: Army participates in the Local Service Caravan in SurSur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 17, 2020): Army participates in the Local Service Caravan in SurSur (By 4th Infantry Division)

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr, Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The 75th Infantry ‘Marauder” Battalion in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur conducted humanitarian assistance in all Barangays of the Municipality of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur on March 6-13, 2020.

The humanitarian assistance was dubbed as “Building Unity and Linkages for Inclusive Growth and Development Acceleration (BULIG DA) Local Service Caravan” that delivered basic services and social development in the vulnerable communities of Hinatuan, SDS. As of this time, there were two (2) Brgys the BULIG DA have already been served. The Brgys Maligaya; Tagasaka; Bigaan; San Ramon; Sto Nino Libuac; Aguino; Sasa; Roxas; Maharlika; Lacasa; Talisay; Tarusan; Bitoon; Tiwi; Pocto; Campa; Cambatong; Baculin; Tidman; Dugmanon; Port Lamon and Brgy San Juan will be the next to be reached by the Local Service Caravan.

Through the proclamation of our government declaring a public health emergency over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19), the local services caravan of local government of Hinatuan is temporarily stoped and will resume upon notice.

Moreover, under the Executive Order No. 70, the Peace and Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) cluster and Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Municipal Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict was launched and converged with the local agencies through the mobilization and delivery of the basic services for the prevention of terrorism and insurgency.

The LGU of every municipality within the 75IB’s AOR is now in full swing in its implementation on this kind of activity to the communities under the Peace and Development Zone.

Hence, the government is making its effort to eradicate the insurgency and terrorism in the country. With the cooperation and support of various agencies from the National, Regional, Province, and down to local levels, all their efforts will pay off, resulting in peace and sustainable development in every community.

Further, Honorable Shem G Garay, Mayor of Hinatuan, SDS, extended his appreciation to different agencies who supported the Local Service Caravan to serve the people and community in the municipality of Hinatuan.

Likewise, Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB is in full support to the Local Service Caravan. He also expressed his gratitude to various agencies for the effort exerted in the implementation of the said activity.

[Kalinaw News is the official online source of information on the pursuit for peace in the Philippines This website is a property of the Civil-Military Operations Regiment, Philippine Army located at Lawton Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. Contact us: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]


Military deploys trucks for stranded workers amid coronavirus lockdown

From Rappler (Mar 18, 2020): Military deploys trucks for stranded workers amid coronavirus lockdown (By JC Gotinga)

The military plans to make this a regular service during the Luzon-wide 'enhanced community quarantine'

MILITARY TRUCKS. In this file photo, hundreds of soldiers from the Philippine Marine Corps and the Philippine Army arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on October 21, 2017. File photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

The Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed its trucks and buses to help convey stranded health workers and employees of essential services in Metro Manila amid the "enhanced community quarantine" meant to avert the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Philippine Army sent out 9 large military trucks starting Tuesday night, March 17, to ferry workers from the Mall of Asia in Pasay City to EDSA-Santolan in Quezon City and vice versa, according to Army spokesperson Colonel Ramon Zagala.

The Army has sent another 9 trucks to service workers from EDSA-Santolan in Quezon City to Masinag in Antipolo, and vice versa.

The General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also sent two buses and 4 large trucks to take stranded workers from EDSA-Santolan to Balintawak in Quezon City, and vice versa, starting Tuesday night, said acting AFP spokesperson Major General Ernesto Torres Jr.

The Philippine Navy has also dispatched M35 trucks to EDSA corner Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, and also to the Cavite Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, and areas of Marikina to ferry workers.

"They will ply this route and determine volume and need so a schedule can be determined. This will be regular and daily, to ferry health workers, and other essential and authorized personnel," Zagala said.

To stay updated on news, advisories, and explainers, check out our special coverage page, “Novel Coronavirus Outbreak.”

The Army will adjust their routes according to demand, he added.

Those who need a ride on the military trucks must present their ID to show that they are covered by the lockdown exemptions.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila on lockdown on Sunday, March 15, and then the rest of Luzon on Tuesday, March 17, cutting public transportation and urging businesses to downscale operations to discourage people from moving around.

The Luzon-wide "enhanced community quarantine" will last until April 12.

The measure exempts health workers, security forces, media personnel, and employees of essential services such as groceries, drug stores, and local governments. It also allows people to buy food and supplies, and to travel for health reasons. (READ: GUIDELINES: Luzon 'enhanced community quarantine')

On Tuesday, the first day of the stricter lockdown, droves of people struggled to catch rides, and many were forced to walk all the way to their destinations.

Some local governments and agencies such as the Office of the Vice President will also deploy vehicles to service commuters who have legitimate reasons to travel during the lockdown.

The government hopes to quell the spread of the coronavirus by limiting the movement of people, urging them to stay home and practice "social distancing," or keeping at least a meter away from one another to avoid contagion. (LIST: Areas in PH under quarantine, curfews, state of calamity)

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has had 187 confirmed cases of infection, 14 deaths, and 4 recoveries.

Experts posit that the number of local cases may reach 26,000 by the end of March if the current spread of the virus is not contained.

The global death toll, meanwhile, has reached 7,063, with 3,226 of the fatalities in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau). The number of cases worldwide has risen to 180,090, with more than 80,881 of the infections in China. The virus has spread to at least 145 countries.


47 former rebels in Leyte town surrender to authorities

From the Philippine Information Agency (Mar 17, 2020): 47 former rebels in Leyte town surrender to authorities (By Consuelo B. Alarcon)

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CARIGARA, Leyte, March 16 (PIA) – The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist (RTF8-ELCAC) has achieved another milestone on Friday in its campaign against insurgency in Leyte when some 47 former rebels formally surrendered to authorities.

The former rebels and supporters of the New People’s Army in Leyte surrendered to 802nd Brigade Commander Brig. General Lope C. Dagoy, Carigara Mayor Eduardo Ong and other government officials.

In a short interview with Gen. Dagoy, he said that the surrenderers were the last group of rebels in Leyte.

The province of Leyte was declared insurgent-free a few months ago.

“Ito yung last na grupo na magsusurender formally. Actually, matagal na sila kaya lang, medyo kukunti sila compared duon sa Third District na umaabot ng isang libo mahigit yun, while dito mga hundreds lang,” Dagoy said

The military official who is contemplating to retire feels happy of the development of the insurgency situation in Leyte, Biliran and Southern Leyte which according to him, is nearing its end.

“Ako sa aking sarili, pinangarap ko na bago ako mag-retire ay matapos natin itong problema sa insurgency dito sa Leyte, Southern Leyte at saka Biliran. True enough, medyo naging successful tayo, so maligaya na ako na nakikita ko malinis na ang Leyte island at saka Biliran,” Dagoy said.

Meanwhile, Alice, a former rebel who was only 14 years old when she joined the leftist group decided to surrender believing that the government’s program for the rebel returnees is viable and good for them.

Mana Alice, now in her middle age urges those who are still in the hills to go down and surrender to the Duterte administration and enjoy the benefits under the ECLIP. (CBA/PIA 8)

She called on the remaining members of the NPA to go back to the folds of the law for them to avail of the programs of the government.

The rebel returnees are said to qualify for the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Said activity coincides with the launching of the More Income In the Countryside (MIC) Program of the Provincial Government of Leyte to be availed of by more or less 300 members of six farmer organizations in the said municipality.(cba/PIA8)