Sunday, March 22, 2020

Kalinaw News: 4ID Celebrates Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 23, 2020): 4ID Celebrates Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary (By 4th Infantry Division)

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Troopers of the 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division joins the simple and unique celebration of the Philippine Army’s 123rd Founding Anniversary with the theme, “123 Years of Gallantry and Dedication in Serving the People and Securing the Land” held at the 4ID grandstand, Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City early this morning, March 23, 2020.

Veering away from its traditional lined up activities during anniversary celebrations, today’s 123rd Founding Anniversary of the Philippine Army is done only highlighting the simultaneous flag raising ceremony thru the Army’s inter-unit communication equipment via live streaming video facilitated by the Headquarters, Philippine Army and participated in by its major units deployed nationwide. After rendering honors to the nation, army personnel reaffirmed their oath of allegiance to the nation and the people they serve.

LtGen Gilbert I Gapay AFP, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, in his message, “By patriotism, the Philippine Army has evolved from its humble beginnings to become the reliable and effective force that it is today: from our fight to freedom until this day against hybrid threats, and man-made and natural calamities. In all these battles of the past 123 years, the Philippine Army has been the embodiment of patriotism – of honor, and duty. Let us work towards realizing our vision of becoming a world-class Army that is a source of national pride.”

The Philippine Army traces its roots during the Filipino-Spanish war. The Philippine Army was established during the time when Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government at the Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897 in Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon in Cavite. Artemio Ricarte was elected to lead the army and designated as Captain General of the Ejercito en la Republica de las Islas Filipinas or the Army of the Philippine Republic.

MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal AFP, Commander of 4ID, said, “The 123rd Founding Anniversary of the Army is celebrated in a simple but meaningful way, as we are reminded of our service – to selflessly serve the people of Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.” “This is also the time for us to look back and recognize our fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, offering their lives, for us to attain the freedom and democracy we are experiencing now,” Gacal added.

“As we are faced with a different kind of threat, the outbreak of this pandemic CoViD-19, let me assure the public that your diamond soldiers will adhere to its constitutional mandate of protecting the people and the state. We will serve the people in accordance with the rule of law, respect to human rights and the observation of the international humanitarian law. We will surpass this epidemic endangering the lives of everybody, with the collaborative efforts of the different agencies of the government and the cooperation of the community, we will succeed,” Gacal ended.

The flag raising ceremony and oath of allegiance activity were conducted inside camp observing the DOH safety and health protocols of social distancing to ensure safety among the participating diamond troopers.

[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:]

Kalinaw News: Another 3 BIFF rebels surrender to 7th IB

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 22, 2020): Another 3 BIFF rebels surrender to 7th IB (By 6th Infantry Division)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Three more rebels from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion at BrgyLadtingan, Pikit, NorthCotabato this morning (March 20).

The surrender was a result of the continuing effort of the unit to convince the members of the terror group to return to the fold of law with the help of barangay chairmen of Kabasalan, Bualan, and Bulol of Pikit town and the former rebels who also surrendered to the unit.

The BIFF former rebels were identified to belong under Karialan faction and they brought along with them were one homemade caliber .50 rifle, one rocket propelled grenade, and homemade M79 grenade launcher.

“We were struggling and really exhausted trying to run away from the persisting military operation,” one of the rebels said.

“We want to live peacefully together with our families,” the rebel added.

Lt. Col. Romel Valencia, Commanding Officer of 7th IB, said that the rebels felt the sincerity of the government where the former rebels have enjoyed the livelihood support provided by the Province of North Cotabato and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“They were made to believe that they were fighting for the sake of their religion, which is wrong ideology taught in their group,” Lt. Col. Valencia added.

The Commander of Joint Task Force Central, Maj. Gen. Diosdado C. Carreon, lauded the efforts of 7th IB in convincing the other members of the terror group to surrender.

“The false ideologies of these rebels will lead them nowhere so I encourage the remaining members of the terror group to surrender to the government and enjoy the benefits of living peacefully with your families and the livelihood opportunities provided by the government,” the Commander stressed.

The BIFF rebels are currently under the custody of 7th IB and they are currently undergoing psychological debriefing.

[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:]

Kalinaw News: ASG Firearms Recovered during AFP’s Focus Military Operations

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 21, 2020): ASG Firearms Recovered during AFP’s Focus Military Operations (By Kalinaw News)

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu suffered combat capability loss when two (2) of its rifles and various war materiel were recovered at Brgy. Upper Kamuntayan, Talipao, Sulu during the focus military operations executed by troops of the 21st Infantry Battalion under 1101st Infantry Brigade, 11th Infantry Division, yesterday ,March 19, 2020.

The successful operation was initiated by Lieutenant Colonel Ricky N. Parcon, Commanding Officer of 21st Infantry Battalion that resulted to the recovery of two (2) M16 high-powered rifles, eleven (11) magazines, one (1) sniper scope, numerous ammunitions and other ASG personal belongings. Lt Colonel Parcon appreciated the assistance of the community regarding the accomplishment and made statement based on their reports. “Isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito, sawa na ang mga sibilyan sa teroristang ASG na walang ginawa kundi mag hasik ng takot at kaguluhan sa lugar”, he said.

ASG’s support from the community diminished due to their terroristic and unlawful acts that displaced the people and forced their families to migrate since 2000. Likewise, the humanitarian operations conducted by the Community Support Program (CSP) teams of the 21IB that were deployed last month in Talipao, Sulu whose mission is to bridge the gap between the local government units and the community convinced and prompted the populace to report the terrorists’ presence and arm caches in the area.

These facts also were concluded during the clash of ASG with the troops of 1st Scout Ranger Battalion at Brgy Buhanginan, Patikul Sulu from the report of concerned citizens on March 13, 2020 causing the surrender of three (3) ASG members the day after.

Major General Corleto S. Vinluan Jr, AFP, Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu and 11th Infantry Division committed to instill the AFP’s mandate in promoting the welfare of community by eradicating the ASG bandits in support to the Local Government’s peace effort to end the local armed conflict. “Your soldiers will eliminate the presence of ASG bandits for us to experience a more peaceful and progressive Province” he 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:]

Kalinaw News: NPA took advantage of ceasefire, slays two civilians in Surigao del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 21, 2020): NPA took advantage of ceasefire, slays two civilians in Surigao del Sur (By 4th Infantry Division)

Tago, Surigao del Sur, March 20 2020 – The Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) took advantage of the ceasefire declaration, slay two civiliansat San Miguel town, this province yesterday March 19, 2020 at around 7 o’clock in the evening.

The two civilians were identified as Zaldy Ibanez, 52 yrs old, Manobo, married and Datu Bernardino Austidillo,73 yrs old, Manobo, a tribal leader both residents of Sitio Inadan, Brgy Magroyong, San Miguel, SDS. The said victims were murderedby more or less 15 CNTs believed to be member of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda 1(SYP-1) of the Weakened GuerillaFront 30 (WGF30) of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under Joel Mahinay @Nicko.

Based on the revelation of some witness in the said community, the victims were stabbed using machete/bolo (Sundang) that cause their instantaneous death. They were killed in front of their respective families who are begging and pleading to the Communist NPA Terrorist. Accordingly, Zaldy Ibanez is a former rebel who surrendered to the PNP and return to the folds of the law last November 9, 2019. While, Datu Bernardino Austidillo is the tribal leader of the said village.

It can be noted that the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared unilateral ceasefire against the CPP-NPA terrorist last March 19, 2020 and it will last to April 15 because of the pandemic disease COVID-19 which the Philippine Government are utmost priority as of now. The President also appeal to the communist NPA terrorist to take part and to cooperate with the government as the country deals with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

It is very cleared that the communist NPA Terrorist are capitalizing onthe declaration of ceasefire of the government. They used the ceasefire declaration to advance their armed struggle and took advantage of the suspension of military and police operation and target vulnerable civilians and IP leaders who are supported to their cause.

This is also a clear violation of the international humanitarian law and the rule of law. The killing of two civilians by the CNTs is a crime against our laws and an outright violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) under Republic Act 9851.

In his statement, Lt Col Jezreel Diagmel, Acting Commanding Officer of 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion said.

“We strongly condemned this barbaric act of the CNTs as they continue to destroy innocent civilians and indigenous people lives. We offer our sincerest condolences to the bereaved families,” Lt Col Diagmel said. “I call on the human rights advocate to investigate on this matter and give justice to the families of the victim. To the remaining CNTs stop the killing of innocent civilians and IP leaders. Abandon your futile armed struggle, surrender now and live a normal lives with your families.” LTC Diagmel ended. (CPT Jonald D Romorosa, CMO, Officer, 36IB)

Kalinaw News: NPAs showing true colors amidst COVID-19

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 21, 2020): NPAs showing true colors amidst COVID-19 (By 3rd Infantry Division)

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – Major General Eric Vinoya, the Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division condemned in the strongest possible terms the CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Negros Oriental for staging heartless action against the government troops who are busy helping Negrenses in its fight against Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19).

This, after the undetermined number of communist-terrorists positioned at estimated 250 meter-distance away from the target, fired their guns towards a CAFGU Active Auxiliary patrol base in Barangay Sandayao, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental at about 09:00 o’clock in the evening of March 19, 2020.

The harassment happened after the President and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CTGs beginning first hour of March 19, 2020 and ending on the 24th hour of April 15, 2020. The declaration was anchored on the sovereign authority and mandate of the government to promote, uphold and protect the general welfare of the people and the national interest of the entire country especially in times of crises. The ceasefire was deemed necessary as both moral and legal obligation as it will facilitate the refocusing of the state’s security forces efforts from primarily security functions, towards securing the general public’s health and welfare of the people and unifying the entire of the government bureaucracy to overcome the pandemic threats of COVID-19 infections that the country is facing together with rest of the world.

“How can these communist-terrorists who always boastfully claim that they are the defenders of the masses commit such inhumane act especially in times like this where our country is facing health crisis? Instead of helping those in the frontlines by not staging any terroristic activities or even by staying in their respective lairs, they still choose to conduct offensive action against the government forces. It is a public knowledge that most of our troops were deployed to conduct monitoring and border regulations to contain the spread of the disease, hence, they took advantage of the situation, but they failed to do so,” MGen Vinoya emphasized.

The harassment lasted for almost two (2) minutes. After which, the perpetrators withdrew towards Sitio Palinaon of same barangay. No casualty on the government side.

“The harassment confirms the truth we already knew a long time ago; that they are the true minions of evil, the epitome of all bad and ugly that are left on this world to continue the satanic actions of the devil of sowing chaos among the peace loving populace ” MGen Vinoya said.

The NPAs Leonardo Panaligan Command in Negros has always been very pretentious as an organization that champions the will of the people where in fact its true color is it does not really care about the lives of the people and the survival of the Filipino nation, which includes members of the CTG who might already be or will be infected with COVID-19. Their senseless actions are exposing their true intention, which is to derail or sabotage at all cost whatever is good for the well-being and future of our people in order to promote their personal interests.

Despite this, Vinoya called on the Negrenses especially the remaining members of the CPP-NPA Terrorists in Negros Island to set aside all differences and conflicts for the common good even only during this tough time. “If you can’t extend help to those working in the frontlines, just discontinue all of your insignificant activities; by doing this you can help prevent the spread of the virus,” the Army Commander added.

[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:]

Kalinaw News: Communist-NPA Terrorist brutally murdered elderly IP leaders amidst ceasefire in Surigao del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 21, 2020): Communist-NPA Terrorist brutally murdered elderly IP leaders amidst ceasefire in Surigao del Sur (By 4th Infantry Division)

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – The Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) brutally and inhumanely murdered two (2) elderly Indigenous Peoples belonging to Manobo tribe in Sitio Inadan, Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur yesterday, March 19, 2020 around 7:00 o’clock in the evening.

The victims were identified as Hawudon Bernardino Astudillo, 73 years old, Manobo, currently the tribal chieftain of Brgy Magroyong and a certain Zaldy Ibaňez, 52 years old, Manobo, both residents of Sitio Inadan, Brgy Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Said victims were forcibly taken from their respective homes in the presence of their family members and were brought in the forested area of the barangay where they were mercilessly stabbed to death by more or less15 CNTs believed to be members of the Guerilla Front 30 (GF30), North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) under Joel Mahinay a.k.a. Nicko.

MGen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of 4ID said, “Our deepest condolences go to the families of Hawudon Astudillo and Ibaňez. We strongly condemn the criminal act of the CNTs against the IPs. The victims were unarmed civilians and should not to be considered military targets involved in conflict. This is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) under RA 9851. Aggravating to the circumstance, the victims identified were elderly people belonging to Manobo tribe.”

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has declared a unilateral ceasefire against the CNTs from March 19 to April 15, 2020 to allow the government to focus its efforts against CoViD-19 pandemic.

“The CNT’s barbaric act also shows how they are taking advantage of the ceasefire declared by President Duterte in spite of the global health issues caused by CoViD-19. We urge everyone to be vigilant against the treacherous actions of the CNTs. Your diamond troopers will pursue the perpetrators so that justice will be served swiftly,” Gacal ended.

[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:]

Kalinaw News: Eastmincom activates Taskforce COVID-19 to protect NSFA

Posted to Kalinaw News (Mar 21, 2020): Eastmincom activates Taskforce COVID-19 to protect NSFA (By Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP)

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Amidst the country’s fight against COVID-19 primarily through medical and military thrusts, MGen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has activated on March 19, 2020, the Naval Station Felix Apolinario (NSFA) Task Force Against COVID-19 and approved a directive to prevent the virus from spreading here.

The directive serves as guidelines to protect the Camp and its personnel from being contaminated by the virus, which could affect the Command’s full operations and other units herein .

Some of the preventive measures outlined in the guidelines are the limiting or controlling the entry and exit of vehicles through pass cards, personnel, and their dependents inside the camp, checking the temperature of all entering persons and mandatory hand washing before entering, practicing “social distancing,” mobile public reminders on COVID-19 related information, and imposing one entry/exit point inside the camp.

Meanwhile, all units inside the camp are also instructed to screen and monitor all their personnel to identify possible PUMs and be advised to take self-quarantine.

[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:]

Rebels harass detachment

From the Visayan Daily Star (Mar 21, 2020): Rebels harass detachment (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Taking advantage of the unilateral ceasefire, suspected New People’s Army rebels yesterday harassed a military detachment in Brgy. Sandayao, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, that led to a gunbattle, Army Capt. Raymond Jamisal, of the 62nd Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations, said.

Jamisal reported that the firefight lasted for about two minutes, and the NPA rebels withdrew towards Sitio Palinion of the same barangay. Nobody among the occupants of the detachment was hurt, he added.

The harassment of the Sandayao CAFGU detachment came a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a halt to military operations against the NPA, while Army soldiers and police personnel are assisting government health personnel in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus disease(COVID -19)

Lt Col. Melvin Flores, 62nd Infantry Battalion commander, slammed the NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command for the harassment, dismissing it also as a desperate and nonsense act of the local terrorist group.

Flores said that the government’s declaration of the unilateral ceasefire and sincere effort to help in resolving the pandemic problem, was answered by communist rebel atrocity, and who did not contribute anything to help the people of Negros, except worsening the situation.

It is a clear manifestation of the CPP-NPA insincerity to peace, desire to inflict casualties, and sow terror in Negros, Flores added.

The NPA is marking its 51st founding anniversary on March 29.

The 302nd and 303rd Infantry Brigade soldiers are assisting in the conduct of border control operations at the boundaries of Negros Occidental and Oriental.

Meanwhile, Col. Romeo Baleros, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, reported a reduction in the entry of people into the province, with no untoward incident on their fifth day of border control operations.

Check up points are being established by the police and Philippine Army in San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto, Moises Padilla, Kabankalan City and Hinobaan in Negros Occidental.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office also reported yesterday to have 40 improvised face shields donated by Karen Tajanlangit of Right Aid Health Insurance, through the effort of Aksyon Radyo-Bacolod.

Baleros said that he will immediately distribute the improvised face shields to NOCPPO personnel manning quarantine control points in Negros Occidental.*

Alleged amazon arrested

From the Mindanao Times (Mar 22, 2020): Alleged amazon arrested (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

AN ALLEGED leader of the alleged NPA-linked group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), was arrested in a joint PNP-AFP operation in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Thursday.

1Lt Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, the civil-military operation officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, said that
Gloria Campos-Tumalon, alias Bae Glo, was apprehended by virtue of the warrant of arrest for Criminal Case No. 6527 for kidnapping and serious illegal detention today in Purok 4, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga.

The military said
Tumalon, who also has standing warrants for arson and destructive arson, is the sister of Pablito Sinzo Campos, a New People’s Army leader nabbed in 2018 in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, and Emelda Campos Belandres, another NPA leader on the wanted list.

He said Campos-Tumalon was also linked in the recent harassment in Diatagon, which wounded civilians in Sitio Emerald last Feb. 21, the failed ambush attempt on government troops in Sitio Simuwao (Km. 9) on Feb. 19.

She is also the alleged liaison officer who collected extortion money to be distributed to the armed guerrillas.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr, Police Regional Office XIII director, reminded all private individual, politicians, and local officials to refrain from giving in to the pressure of the NPA to extort money for its operations.

Giving money to the NPA is a violation of Republic Act 10168 or the “Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012” and Section 3 of Executive Order No. 773 series of 2009, directing Regional, Provincial, Municipal Peace and Order Councils to apply moral suasion to and/or recommend sanctions against local chief executives who are giving material and political support to criminals and Communist Terrorist Groups.

Commies blame Duterte for spread of Covid-19

From the Mindanao Examiner (Mar 23, 2020): Commies blame Duterte for spread of Covid-19

Communist rebels have accused President Rodrigo Duterte of using the health crisis in the country as a cover for militarist rule and blamed him for the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease, of Covid-19, that has infected over 300 and killed more than a dozen more.

The virus, now a global pandemic, break out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, and quickly spread to over 100 countries with China recording over 81,000 infections and more than 3,200 deaths.

“Duterte and his fascist minions should stop manipulating the Covid-19 emergency in the Philippines to push their militarist and anti-people agenda and shortcut their fascist dream to govern the country martial law-style,” said Fidel Agcaoili, chairman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political wing of the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

He said Duterte ignored warnings not to allow Chinese tourists into the Philippines even though the virus wreak havoc in China and spread outside its borders. Because of the spread of the coronavirus in the Philippines, Agcaoili said rebel forces have taken up measures to help villagers in areas they actively operate.

“In February, while the Duterte regime had allowed the entry into the country of hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists, including those from Wuhan, and ignored the grave implication of the death of the first victim in the Philippines, the revolutionary forces have been closely monitoring developments in the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.”

“As the virus started to wreak havoc in China and began to spread outside China's borders, immediately the revolutionary movement through its National Health Bureau has been busy organizing and mobilizing revolutionary health committees from the national down to the village levels to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in their areas, and check on the people's health,” he said.

Agcaoili also demanded the release of all jailed rebels across the country, especially the elderly and the sick, because they are in danger of contracting the dreaded respiratory disease. “The Duterte regime should heed the example of Iran and Canada in releasing prisoners, including those charged with political offenses, on humanitarian and health considerations in response to the threat of the virus spreading in prison,” he said.

Duterte declared a ceasefire from March 19 to April 15 to allow security forces to help contain the spread of the Covid-19 in the country. But the rebels rejected the truce with Agcaoili calling the government’s unilateral ceasefire as “an empty gesture, a psy-war maneuver to cover its criminal neglect in ignoring the grave medical crisis that the coronavirus is inflicting on the people.”

There was no immediate statement from the government on the allegations of Agcaoili, whose rebel forces were being blamed for the spate of attacks on military and civilian targets.

Just last week, NPA rebels executed tribal leader Datu Bernandino Astudillo, 73; and farmer Zaldy Ibanez, 52; whom they abducted in the southern province of Surigao del Sur.

The bodies of the victims were recovered in the village of Magyoyong in San Miguel town. The motive of the twin murders were unknown, but rebels had previously seized and killed tribal leaders and civilians not cooperating with them or accused of helping or passing information to authorities about the rebel group.

Both men were abducted by rebels on March 19 – the same day Duterte declared the ceasefire. (Mindanao Examiner)

2 Sayyafs captured in Zambo

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Mar 23, 2020): 2 Sayyafs captured in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Security forces captured two Abu Sayyaf militants implicated in the ransom kidnapping last year of a government teacher in the southern province of Sulu, officials said Monday.

Police photos released to The Zamboanmga Post show the captured Abu Sayyaf militants Kimar Juram and Erma Sahibol.

Officials said Erma Sahibol and Kimar Juram were tracked down in the village of Patalon here where the duo had been captured over the weekend. They were accused in the kidnapping of the 58-year old Rosina Singua in last September.

Major Helen Galvez, a regional police spokeswoman, said policemen, backed by soldiers, mounted the operation. “The operation led to the arrest of Erma Sahibol, alias Ems; and Kimar Juram, alias Monica, who are members of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf group under subleader Idang Susukan,” she said, adding, a court in Sulu issued a warrant for their arrest in February.

“Erma Sahibol and Kimar Juram were responsible in the kidnapping of Rosina Singua, 58 years old, and resident of Zone 5 in Barangay Culianan in Zamboanga City,” Galvez said.

Regional police chief, Brigadier General Froilan Quidilla, praised the capture of the duo and lauded those behind the joint operation.

There was no immediate statement from Singua, who teaches at the Culianan Elementary School. Singua was recovered at a hotel in Sulu’s capital town of Jolo in October after her sister paid P283,000 ransom that led to the eventual arrest of one of the captors, Nurina Jura, 22, at the pier.

Three other women and a homosexual were also being implicated in the kidnapping. It was not immediately known whether Sahibol and Juram were among the trio. (Zamboanga Post)

2 alleged ASG bandits nabbed in Zambo City

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 23, 2020): 2 alleged ASG bandits nabbed in Zambo City (By Ely Dumaboc)

SUSPECTED BANDITS. A team of policemen and military operatives arrested two suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group on Saturday (March 21, 2020) in Barangay Patalon, Zamboanga City. The two Erma Sahibol and Kimar Juram are allegedly involved in the abduction of Rosina Singua on Sept. 27, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Michael Comprendio)

Two suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a teacher five months ago were arrested in a law enforcement operation here, an official said Monday.

Col. Tom Tuzon, Criminal Investigation, and Detection Group-9 (CIDG-9) director
identified the suspects as Erma Sahibol and Kimar Juram, both allegedly followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Idang Susukan.
Tuzon said the authorities, armed with warrants of arrest, nabbed the two men around 9:15 p.m. Saturday in Sitio Malandi, Barangay Patalon.

Sahibol and Juram have standing warrants of arrest for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Rosina Singua, a public school teacher on Sept. 27, 2019.

Tuzon said Singua, accompanied by Sahibol, were on their way to a wedding when they were abducted.

The Joint Task Force Sulu rescued Singua on October 16 from a hotel room in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, Sulu, minutes after her daughter, Soraya Bantongan, handed over some PHP283,000 ransom to a young lady at the port of Jolo.

Two persons--all ransom claimants--were arrested separately during the operation.

Navy assets for Covid containment measures ample

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 23, 2020): Navy assets for Covid containment measures ample (By Priam Nepomuceno)

The Philippine Navy (PN) is providing ample assets and personnel to aid to its Coast Guard counterparts, ensuring that there would be unauthorized water travel while the 30-day enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is in effect, an official said on Sunday.

In a statement, PN public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said the Navy has deployed four naval craft and its crew along with two rigid-hull inflatable boats with personnel in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

She added that these PN assets and personnel are part of the Task Group Laban Covid-19 (Water Cluster) which includes the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

These patrol boats and crew are under the supervision of the Naval Task Group-National Capital Region (NTG-NCR) tasked to intercept and deny entry and exit of commercial passenger watercraft to and from Manila Bay.

"This is in accordance with the guideline of enhanced community quarantine suspending all sea travels in and out of Luzon unless falling under the special exemption," Roxas said.

She added that maritime patrol efforts of the PN and PCG complement all land quarantine assistance stations or checkpoints of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police and other government agencies in accordance with the quarantine guidelines.

Fight vs. CPP-NPA deception continues: groups

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 22, 2020): Fight vs. CPP-NPA deception continues: groups (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

FIGHT CONTINUES. Anti-communist groups stage a rally to condemn the atrocities and violence of the CPP-NPA-NDF. The groups also demand the return of Joma Sison back to the Philippines. (File photo)

Anti-communist groups say the fight against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) continues amid the government’s implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease.

League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP) chairperson Remy Rosadio on Friday said her group, the Liga Independencia Filipinas(LIF), the League of Youth for Peace Advancement (LYPAD), the Coalition for Peace (COPA) and Hands Off Our Children, alongside mothers of students who were reportedly recruited by various progressive groups, will not stop in denouncing the violence perpetrated by communist groups and its allies.

She said anti-communist groups will continue to speak up against the CPP-NPA's atrocities, exploitation, and recruitment of minors.

She added that while they will temporarily stop their rallies, it doesn’t mean that "they will stop condemning the violent attacks of supposed NPA members on innocent civilians, and the recruitment of its linked youth organizations.”

“With respect to the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country, we will temporarily stop our rallies outside. This is also our way to protect our co-protesters against the coronavirus risks we might get into when we are demonstrating,” she said.

“We may not physically be demonstrating our dismays versus the NPA, but we are still firm on our stand—that we want to end the conflicts and violence caused by these communists and its allies. We will express it, by all means, even if the battle will go on social media,” she said.

Rosadio said the groups also demand the return of CPP founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.

She said communist groups and its alleged allied youth organizations are using the period of the enhanced community quarantine to brainwash minors and eventually recruit them to join the CPP-NPA-NDF.

“These communists are confusing the youth. They continue to tell lies to explicitly recruit new members for the NPA. The community quarantine is not martial law,” she said, citing that progressive groups have been indoctrinating youths with wrong impressions on government efforts to address the coronavirus outbreak.

“The government is doing its best to stop the spread of the virus, while the CPP-NPA leaders are injecting malicious meaning into it. Why not stop brainwashing our children? Stop your propaganda. You are not helping people. Hindi yan pagiging makabayan (That is not patriotism)” she said.

Meanwhile, Rosadio urged progressive organizations "to take care of our children and all the minors they have recruited," saying many of them may have been exposed outside amid the health emergency.

She added that the groups alongside parents continue to raise awareness on the recruitment of minors.

Secret meeting

Rosadio, meanwhile, said there are anonymous individuals trying to reach out to her "to schedule a secret meeting", which she refuses to entertain.

“I don’t want to gamble on this and the lives of my co-members in the LPP to meet with them, the fact that we don’t even know who really they are. Pero ang tono ng pananalita nila malalaman mo talagang kasamahan sila ng mga kinakalaban namin (But you will notice that they seem similar to the ones we are fighting against),” she said.

She said she has been receiving text messages from a certain individual posing as a "political science student" and wants to meet with her alone for his thesis requirement.

She said she declined, and doubted the need to meet up secretly.

Despite getting unsolicited invitations and messages, Rosadio remains committed to leading her organization.

“We will continue to demand justice from the atrocities of the communist terrorist groups in the country and its front youth organizations. We will continue to break our silence until Joma Sison returns back in the Philippines and face the murder cases filed against him,” she assured.

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

PH Navy mourns passing of leading UP prof, sinologist

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 22, 2020): PH Navy mourns passing of leading UP prof, sinologist (By Priam Nepomuceno)

The Philippine Navy (PN) on Saturday expressed its condolences to the family and loved ones of Dr. Aileen Baviera, a leading Chinese studies expert and a former dean of the University of the Philippines Asian Center, who passed away due to severe pneumonia caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

"The PN mourns the passing of Dr. Aileen S.P. Baviera earlier today, 21 March 2020. We pray for peace, comfort and love to surround her family and loved ones during this difficult time," the Navy said in a statement forwarded by its public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas late Saturday.

In a bulletin, UP Diliman said Baviera died at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila around 3:55 a.m. Saturday.

Baviera is one of the members of the PN Board of Advisers (BoA) and “has been serving alongside the Navy since 2009.”

“She heads the Maritime Coalition Committee of the said board, always lending her expertise on matters relating to strategic studies, maritime law and international affairs,” the PN said.

"As a BoA member, her brilliant mind coupled with her strong sense of patriotism has helped in building a strong and credible Navy that our maritime nation could be proud of. Until the very end, her commitment to serve our beloved country remained unfaltering," it added.

The PN also recognized Baviera as one of the country’s foremost sinologists.

"Her passing is a great loss to our maritime nation, but her legacy will live on," it added.

Baviera was an expert on contemporary China studies, Asia-Pacific security, territorial and maritime disputes, as well as regional integration.

Among her published works are the books Regional Security in East Asia: Challenges to Cooperation and Community Building, and the Comprehensive Engagement: Strategic Issues in Philippine-China Relations.

SOLCOM to aid in anti-Covid-19 efforts but on guard vs. Reds

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 22, 2020): SOLCOM to aid in anti-Covid-19 efforts but on guard vs. Reds (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. (PNA File photo)

While doing everything they can to support the Enhanced Community Quarantine being implemented in Southern Luzon, a ranking Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official said no efforts will be spared to ensure that communist terrorists will not be able to attack and commit atrocities against civilians and communities.

This, according to Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., in a statement to the Philippine News Agency Sunday.

"SOLCOM is vigorously supporting the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Southern Luzon to ensure that the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) will be able to perform its mandate of stopping the spread of (the Coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19," he added.

Parlade said SOLCOM is closely coordinating with local chief executives and other agencies like the Department of Health, Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard to make sure that the local government unit officials are taking the lead in the ongoing anti-Covid-19 measures in their respective communities.

"We have to ensure that workers in poultry, livestock, and fishery sectors, as well food processing and medical supply factories, are able to report to their work, and so with health workers in hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics. We want to make sure there is an unhampered flow of foodstuff and medical supplies to communities, in SOLCOM area as well as NCR (National Capital Region)," he said.

He assured that while providing maximum support to the IATF, SOLCOM troops are not only committed to containing the spread of Covid-19 but will continue to perform their duties in securing communities and maintaining peace.

Parlade said SOLCOM will not allow the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) "virus" to inflict further harm and trauma to communities already battered by Covid-19.

"While Covid-19 inflicts the respiratory system, (the) CPP-NPA virus is probably worse, as it has inflicted close to 80,000 casualties for five decades now until the (Executive Order) EO 70 vaccine has been formulated," he added.

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

"The CPP virus attacks the cerebral system, hence impacts the thinking of our young and vulnerable people. While Covid-19 has gone global, the CPP-NPA virus is global too, but afflicts mostly the Filipinos, because this strain was invented by a Filipino traitor (CPP founder) Jose Maria Sison, gone wayward and has been attacking with a mutated strain designed for vulnerable people," he said.

On guard

While engaged in efforts to contain Covid-19, the SOLCOM chief said troops will always be on guard as the CPP-NPA is known to attack treacherously civilian and military targets despite unilateral and bilateral ceasefires.

"So yes, even as we observe SOMO, we will not allow the CPP-NPA virus to attack our communities, our developmental projects, and our forces supporting the IATF. Make no mistake, if we see this virus posturing near our communities or positioning near roads for an ambush, we will be forced to attack," he added.

Parlade said he will not allow his forces to be attacked and harmed by these communist terrorists during this crisis, adding that such measure is called "community defense and self-defense".

"That's my firm order to our troops," he said.