Sunday, April 12, 2020

Abu Sayyaf bandit surrenders in Sulu

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Apr 11, 2020): Abu Sayyaf bandit surrenders in Sulu

AN ABU Sayyaf bandit, pressured by continuous military offensive, has recently surrendered to government authorities in the province of Sulu, officials said Saturday, April 11.

Lieutenant Colonel Alaric Avelina Delos Santos, Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion commander,
identified the Abu Sayyaf surrenderer as Hadji Mali Sulayman, a resident of Bato-Bato village, Maimbung, Sulu.

Delos Santos said Sulayman has surrendered to his command Monday and has turned over a Garand rifle.

Delos Santos presented Sulayman to Colonel Ignatius Patrimonio, Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander, at the command’s headquarters Camp Bud Datu in the village of Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu.

Sulayman revealed that he decided to surrender due to the hardship brought by military’s relentless operations.

Sulayman also disclosed that the government’s humanitarian efforts weakened their support from the civilians that restrained their movements as well as constricted their ability of gathering foodstuffs, information and other logistical supplies.

Meanwhile, Patrimonio welcomed Sulayman back to the mainstream society and calls for other Abu Sayyaf bandits “to submit themselves under the care of the government.”

“I encouraged other members of the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) to abandon your terroristic acts and return to the folds of law for you to enjoy and live a peaceful life with your families,” Patrimonio said.

CPP/Ang Bayan: State agents kill peasant leader in Surigao

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): State agents kill peasant leader in Surigao

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, state elements gunned down peasant leader Nora Apique, 66, while on her way home in Barangay Patong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur on March 31. She was a leader of the Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur, a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Apique served as the chairperson of the Municipal Agrarian Reform Committee (ARC) and was a member of the Provincial ARC. She participated in caravans of KMP-Caraga to Metro Manila to demand free irrigation. Apique was the 249th peasant killed under the Duterte regime.

Meanwhile, police and 3rd Special Forces Battalion elements arrested Manobo leader Gloria Tomalon in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga on March 16. She is known for actively participating in campaigns against the operation of five multinational companies at the Andap Valley Complex that plunder their ancestral lands. Tomalon is a sister of Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat.

Police and 6th IB elements also arrested civilian Leon Tacduro at Sitio Kipopo, Barangay Keytodak, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on March 16.

Tomalon at Tacduro were both accused of being members of the New People’s Army and were slapped with trumped up criminal charges.

In Davao de Oro, 11 peasant Lumads were illegally arrested by 71st IB troopers at Sitio Manggapaluway, Pantukan on March 30. The victims were on their way home from hunting wild boars when they were arrested.

In Negros Occidental, elements of the 94th IB ransacked houses in Barangay Luz, Guihulngan City and illegally arrested peasant Teodoro Bolhano, a resident of Barangay Budlasan, Canlaon City on April 3. Military operations also continue unabated in Sitios Kambairan and Sampungan in Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City.

Meanwhile, 44th IB troopers ransacked the house of a Lumad peasant identified as Boy Tupaw in Barangay Cianan, Godod, Zamboanga del Norte during the last week of March. Soldiers stole his cash savings and shot his chickens.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: AFP bombing spree in Bukidnon, Davao amid Covid-19 ceasefire

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): AFP bombing spree in Bukidnon, Davao amid Covid-19 ceasefire

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is on a bombing spree and continues to carry out focused military offensives in the Bukidnon-Davao border area amid the Covid-19 ceasefire. Based on field reports by the NPA-Bukidnon Subregional Command, Philippine Air Force (PAF) units under the 4th ID used an FA-50 fighter jet to indiscriminately drop five 500-pound bombs near two Lumad communities in Barangay Mandahikan, Cabanglasan on March 27.

Three bombs were dropped at around 9 a.m. and two more at 2 p.m, traumatizing Lumad children and residents. The airstrike severely damaged the environment which serves as the primary source of food and livelihood of the Lumads in the area.

After two days, using attack helicopters, the military dropped at least 10 rockets in the same barangay at noontime. Rounds were also fired from artillery cannons installed at an adjacent barangay in Loreto, Davao del Norte. A Cessna surveillance aircraft flew overhead the whole day after the airstrike. The military also deployed an additional column of soldiers at Sitio Miyaray to conduct combat operations.

Meanwhile, two columns and three armored fighting vehicles were deployed at Sitio Tapayanon, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte. On March 24, elements of the 60th and 56th IB attacked an NPA unit at the said area. The military made it appear that the attack was staged by the NPA although it was clear that they were carrying out offensive combat operations as evidenced by the fact that they have prepositioned artillery units to back up their ground troops.

The military also raided an NPA encampment in Little Baguio, San Fernando, Bukidnon on March 29 at 2 a.m.

Residents reported that military troops continue to operate in Barangays Kibongcog and Poblacion, San Fernando; Barangay Concepcion, Valencia; Santa Filomena, Quezon; Barangays Bulonay and Kalabugao, Impasug-ong; Barangays Busdi, Caburacanan, Manalog, Saint Peter and Zamboanguita, Malaybalay City; and Barangay Poblacion, Cabanglasan.

Soldiers also installed two artillery cannons in Sitio Nursery, Barangay Concepcion and another in Sitio Salaysay in Barangay Santa Filomena.

The said areas have been subjected to continuous aerial surveillance since the last week of March.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA Covid-19 response: Mass clinics, food aid and production

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): NPA Covid-19 response: Mass clinics, food aid and production

In response to the call of the Communist Party of the Philippines to launch health campaigns to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command) extended medical services to at least 1,000 farmers during the last week of March. NPA medics paid close attention to the elderly and pregnant women. They conducted check-ups and distributed herbal medicines for fever, cough and colds. They also distributed vitamins to improve the masses’ resistance against diseases. At the same time, they educated the masses about the pandemic.

Members of the barrio health committee, Makibaka and Kabataang Makabayan helped in conducting the mass clinic.

In Bicol, around 260 individuals from three barangays received rice from the NPA during the last week of March. The said barrios were affected by the food crisis brought about by the regime’s lockdown. The NPA unit and mass organizations supervised the the distribution of emergency aid. The funds used by NPA in the relief operations were revolutionary tax collections.

NPA units in Panay, Quezon and other areas also launched information drives.

These efforts are in line with the CPP’s call to immediately help those in need. At the same time, the Party advised all its forces to carry out emergency food production and intensify economic work in revolutionary territories. The CPP issued the call amid Duterte’s restrictive lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country which is causing severe problems on the people.

In reality, the lockdown is not just in Luzon. Many local governments have imposed enforced quarantines and closed their borders. Businesses, transportation, schools, churches and other socio-economic activities have been shut down. Because of this, majority of the people have lost their income and are having a hard time buying food, medicines and other basic needs. In some provinces, only churches give out aid. Aid from local government units, if there is any, is distributed at snail pace. The people are yet to receive any subsidy from the national government.

The Party called on all NPA units to plan out emergency food production to cultivate palay, camote and other root crops, bananas, maize, pechay and other vegetables and crops that can be harvested in the short-term.

It also advised its forces to launch economic conferences to assess their needs and supplies, and their production potentials, and come up with specific plans to cover the rest of the year.

The Party also called on landlords to allow the use of their land for emergency food production without rent. It urged landlords to extend financial assistance, use of facilities and other resources. The Party also urged all local and international agencies and organizations to extend all forms of assistance to help the masses in emergency food production efforts.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA celebrates 51st anniversary

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): NPA celebrates 51st anniversary

The New People’s Army (NPA) celebrated its 51st anniversary amid the Covid-19 health crisis. Red fighters and people gathered at temporary encampments in various areas.

More than 2,000 farmers attended celebrations held by the NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Pacsi Command). The NPA staged cultural presentations that paid tribute to the noble contributions of the people’s army in the island. They also paid tribute to victims of Oplan Sauron and relentless extrajudicial killings in the island. The people’s army also held a mass clinic on the same day.

Red fighters from NPA-Negros (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command) wore face masks during the celebration to symbolize its solidarity with the Filipino people’s fight against Covid-19. The celebrations centered on informing the masses about the pandemic and on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet to improve the body’s resistance against diseases. The NPA-Negros also launched Ispading, the literary folio of the revolutionary movement in the island.

More than a hundred Red fighters and residents from nearby barrios gathered in a guerrilla front in Bicol. The highlights of the program include dances, songs and solidarity messages of revolutionary organizations. They celebrated the anniversary with the theme, “Frustrate the US-Duterte regime’s war of suppression! Further strengthen the New People’s Army and comprehensively advance the people’s war!” Speeches by Red fighters centered on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and preparations for the imminent crisis it may cause in the countryside.

In a state­ment, the NPA-Bukidnon called on the people’s army and the masses to intensify their resistance amid relentless focused military operations in the province. Last year, it documented a total of 72 tactical offensives which resulted in 152 soldiers killed and 94 wounded. According to Ka Dereka Magtanggol, provincial spokesperson of the NPA, the AFP has dropped at least 84 bombs and fired 395 artiller rounds in the mountains of the province since 2018.

NPA units from the regions of Southern Tagalog, Panay and Bicol, and from the provinces of Kalinga, Abra and Mindoro also issued their respective statements.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Release 609 political prisoners!

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): Release 609 political prisoners!

KARAPATAN CALLED FOR the immediate release of 609 political prisoners in the country, especially the elderly and sick. This is to take them away from the congested and vulnerable conditions in prisons during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The call was renewed when United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on governments to release prisoners to decongest jails. Iran, Brazil and other countries responded to this call.

The group also launched the #SetThemFree and #FreePoliticalPrisonersPH campaigns in social media. Earlier, churches including the National Council of Churces of Philippines and the Archdiocese of San Carlos also called for the release of political detainees.

Majority (209) of political prisoners arrested under Duterte are farmers who were accused of being members of the New People’s Army.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Looming food shortage

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): Looming food shortage

Widespread food shortage is becoming imminent in the National Capital Region (NCR) and across the country. Many farmers and businessmen incurred high income losses because of Duterte’s militarist and restrictive lockdown. Many were forced to stop production. The situation is bound to get worse with Duterte’s plan to extend the lockdown until April 30.

Agricultural supply became increasingly scarce due to the lockdown. Contrary to the regime’s order to allow the transportation of food products and cargo, trucks that carry food and meat products are hampered at checkpoints.

These past few weeks, tons of vegetables were left to rot, dumped or fed to animals as farmers were unable to sell their produce. Many farmers were compelled to sell their products at extremely low rates. Pechay farmers for instance, sold their produce at P3/kilo, way below the P60/kilo suggested retail price (SRP).

Farmers from Benguet and Mountain Province, provinces which primarily supply Metro Manila with vegetables, incurred highest losses. They have long been suffering from low farmgate price. Now, majority of traders stopped buying their produce as they could not transport these into markets. Despite efforts of some local governments to buy their produce, a large portion of their harvests were not sold.

Poultry farmers in Central Luzon and Calabarzon, regions that supply almost half of the total supply of chicken meat and eggs across the country, are also unable to sell their produce due to the lockdown. This has sparked a poultry glut in the region which further pulled down farmgate prices.

According poultry farmers, the farmgate price of chicken dropped to P30-P50/kilo which is lower than their P70/kilo cost of production. Ironically, the market price of chicken in Metro Manila increased due to limited supply. Recent reports indicate that the average price of chicken in Metro Manila has reached P160/kilo, higher by P30 than the P130/kilo SRP. They are also unable to sell chicken eggs which are also just left to rot.

On top of these, more than 800 container vans containing perishable goods such as vegetables, fruits, meat and medical supplies are stuck at ports in Manila.

Meanwhile, multinational companies in export-processing zones threatened to move their operations to other countries if they will not still be allowed to re-open and operate. They challenged the regime to allow limited operation of their factories. However, they have not offered any comprehensive compensation program or safety measures for their workers. Their operations, which are primarily concentrated in enclaves, were put to a stop due to the lockdown.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Where is the people’s money?

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): Where is the people’s money?

The P200-billion financial aid allocated by Duterte regime is not only insufficient but its coverage is also limited. This was exposed during the regime’s first batch of distribution of the P5,000-P8,000 aid to appease the hunger and poverty caused by the militarist lockdown. To make do with the budget, the regime imposed a quota system on local government units.

In Valenzuela, the aid coverage is limited to only 95,000 families or 61% of the total 155,000 families residing in the city. The city mayor griped against how the DSWD identify beneficiaries and asked how the other 60,000 families will survive without aid.

In other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), less than half of the total number of families will be given aid. In Manila, for instance, only 185,000 (43%) out of 435,237 will receive aid; and 77,764 (49%) out of 160,000 in Parañaque.

The situation is even worse in provinces outside NCR. Local officials are now struggling to bridge the large gap.

They are asserting that all families and not just the poor are affected by the month-long lockdown and need aid and compensation. Many workers and employees, whether regular or contractual, lost their sources of income and jobs. They have no other means to source funds but from the subsidy being distributed by government.

Data by the reactionary government indicate that only P100 billion was distributed by DSWD as of April 3. Around P100 million was allocated to DOLE to aid workers who lost their jobs; and another P100 million to DOH to aid patients with various illnesses. DOST was given P52 million for the production of test kits. Meanwhile, almost the same amount (P52.3 million) was allocated to the PNP under vague terms. If summed up, these allocations are already more than half of the P275 billion promised by Duterte.

The people have been waiting for proper aid and compensation for more than two weeks now. Many are already going hungry. They are enraged at the slow distribution of aid especially since Duterte used this as a pretext to demand that he be granted emergency powers. Duterte is putting the blame on local officials and are accusing them of corruption and being slow. However, the people clearly see that it is Duterte and his military-led Inter-agency Task Force that who are inutile and incapable of handling the current public health crisis.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: Lockdown rouses anger, esprit de corps

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): Lockdown rouses anger, esprit de corps

The lockdown has failed to prevent the breakout of the people’s outrage over the regime’s blunders in facing the Covid-19 crisis.

On April 1, residents of Sitio San Roque, Ba­ra­ngay Ba­gong Pag-a­sa, Quezon City protested to demand quick distribution of food aid. More than 6,000 re­si­den­ts live in the said community, majority of whom are odd jobbers who survive on daily incomes. The local government in the area has long sought to evict residents to pave way for the construction of malls and other commercial establishments.

Instead of addressing their plight, police personnel dispersed the peaceful rally and arrested 21 protesters. They were detained and threatened to be kept in jail until the lifting of the lockdown. In a video broadcast that evening, Duterte ordered the PNP to shoot anyone who will “resist.” His marching order has further stoked the people’s raging anger.

The call #OustDu­ter­teNow immediately trended on social media after his speech. Many artists and known personalities expressed their support for the call and delivered aid for the poor. Many contributed to raise money to bail out those arrested (P15,000 each or P315,000). The police was compelled to release the 21 on April 6. However, the community was again attacked by the PNP on the same day. They violently demolished the residents’ community kitchen.

On the same day, the police demolished a barricade in Ba­rangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya which residents put up to prevent OceanaGold from sneaking in its fuel tanker. On top of lockdown restriction, OceanaGold operates illegally as the local government has already suspended its operations.

Spontaneous protests were also launched by the people to demand immediate aid. In Iloilo, residents protested in front of the DSWD Region VI headquarters on April 3. Tricycle drivers also trooped to the office of Gov. Edgar­do Tal­la­do in Ca­ma­ri­nes Nor­te.

Meanwhile, residents of Ba­ra­ngay Muzon, Tay­tay, Rizal trooped to their barangay hall twice (March 24 and April 2) to demand that they be given aid.

Online protest

Many sectors, especially the youth and professionals, expressed their raging anger against Duterte through the internet as going out and assembly are restricted. They continuously criticized the government’s failure to provide health workers with sufficient face masks, ther­mal scan­ners and other per­so­nal pro­tective equip­ment (PPE).

In social media, they criticized the regime for giving special priority to senators and congressmen in testings amid the shortage in test kits. The calls #No­toVIPTesting and #MassTes­tingNowPH trended as people demanded to prioritize doctors and nurses, and suspected Covid-19 positive individuals. The conduct of mass testing is among the basic recommendations of the World Health Orga­niza­ti­on. The regime announced it will start conducting mass testing on April 14 but only for those who have symptoms and for health workers.

The call #Na­sa­an­Ang­A­yu­­da (Where is the aid?) also trended, demanding the regime’s accountability over the slow distribution of aid and the extremely limited budget allocation.

Netizens also criticized the harassment by Duterte’s henchmen against Vice Pre­si­dent Le­ni Rob­re­do and Pasig City Ma­yor Vico Sot­to who, contrary to the national government, were lauded for their initiatives to help health workers and those adversely affected by the lockdown. Atty. Chel Diok­no, who volunteered to provide legal assistance for people being harassed by the NBI, also received wide support after being harassed and insulted by Duterte.

On April 5, the call #Defend­Press­Freedom also trended in defense of Jos­hua Mo­lo, editor-in-chief of Dawn, the student publication of the Uni­versity of the East, who was threatened to be arrested and coerced to publicly apologize for posting anti-Duterte statements in Facebook.

Esprit de corps in beating Covid-19

In the absence of adequate government assistance, aid poured out from various groups and individuals to help health workers and the poor. This is while local government units are struggling to make do with limited resources to help their constituents survive.

Through the #Ba­ra­ngayDa­ma­yan campaign initiated by Ka­da­may, the group conducted relief drives in various urban poor communities. The Ki­lu­sang Mag­bu­bu­kid ng Pi­li­pi­nas launched the campaign Sa­gip Ka­na­yu­nan (Save the countryside) to aid farmers from Ba­ta­ngas at Bu­lacan. It also conducted the campaign Bag­sak-Ahon Gu­lay Sa­le to help farmers from Bulacan to sell their produce online. Kilusang Mayo Uno also launched a relief drive for workers in Ca­lo­ocan and Que­zon City under the campaign #Tu­long­Obrero (aid workers).

Actress Angel Locsin also spearheaded a donation drive and provided various hospitals in Luzon with isolation tents to help these establishments to accommodate more patients with Covid-19 symptoms. Many other artists and workers also volunteered to raise aid.

Many Filipinos donated to help procure more face masks and other medical needs in hospitals. Many restaurants, food stalls and ordinary citizens donated food, while others volunteered to give free transportation and delivery services, among others.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: The Covid-19 pandemic has become more than just a health concern

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 7, 2020): The Covid-19 pandemic has become more than just a health concern

From being a health crisis, the situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly developed into an economic, social and political crisis. More and more get infected and die in the Philippines and across the globe. Simultaneously, more and more Filipinos suffer from hunger, disease and other hardships brought about by Duterte’s lockdown imposed without comprehensive, sufficient and immediate health and economic measures in place.

The Duterte government is too slow to implement much needed mass testing as an immediate measure to contain the spread of the disease. Three weeks since the lockdown, only more or less 19,000 individuals have been tested while this has to be extensively conducted in communities. Despite the powers given Duterte to realign public funds, only a small amount was allocated to support health workers and aid public hospitals to keep up with the pandemic. The government is acting too slow amid supply shortages and is relying on initiatives by the private sector. Corruption is exposed with its procurement of overpriced equipment.

The longer the lockdown, millions more are made to suffer from hunger by the government. The budget allocated is way too insufficient to compensate all those who lost their jobs and income. The distribution of aid came very late and many are yet to be compensated. Officials of various agencies are passing the buck. It has become stark that the Duterte government is incompetent and incapable of leading amid the crisis. Many are dependent on the quicker and more extensive aid provided by volunteers, mass organizations, private associations and other groups.

Duterte is using an iron fist in facing the public health crisis. He has deployed police personnel and soldiers at the frontline and in command of the government’s machinery to address the health crisis. He further suppressed the people’s right to speech and assembly. Duterte openly threatened anyone who will not abide by his rules and “incite chaos” with a shoot to kill order. Duterte imposes terror while the masses are distressed and left hungry by the lockdown and negli­gent government.

The longer the lockdown, Duterte’s incompetence and incapability to rule and comprehensively address the people’s plight is further exposed. Millions of toiling masses and the middle class are becoming more desperate because of hunger, scarcity and depletion of their savings and loss of livelihood.

In the countryside, the peasant masses are driven to deeper poverty by roadblocks preventing the free flow of farm produce, and restrictions on transportation and food purchase. Despite Duterte’s ceasefire declaration, AFP and PNP counterinsurgency operations continue unabated and have intensified. At least 146 barangays are currently occupied by the military. In some areas, soldiers conduct house-to-house inspections without wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the disease. Under the guise of fighting the spread of Covid-19, soldiers mounted checkpoints to restrict travel and prevent people from tending their farmlands and buying food.

To beat and contain the pandemic, the Filipino people need to stand up, act collectively and work together to prevent the spread of the disease and demand the go­vern­ment to provide aid in this time of crisis. At the same time, they must defend their rights and welfare that are being trampled upon by the regime’s militarist solution.

They must continue to demand an end to the lockdown and for implementation of measures such as mass screening and testing in communities in order to immediately contain and prevent the spread of the virus. Thousands of health workers and volunteers must be mobilized, trained, and provided with sufficient funds and equipment. Now is the time to clamor for the strengthening of public hospitals instead of undermining these under the policy of spending cuts on health services.

While Duterte’s lockdown is in place, the people must demand the quick distribution of sufficient aid for all. They must hold the Duterte regime accountable for its slow, insufficient and non-transparent distribution of aid.

Amid the lockdown, the collective aspirations of the people are primarily gathered in urban and rural poor communities. The people’s hardships are concentrated in these areas. Communities must creatively act to collectively express the entire nation’s plight and demands. They must act in their numbers to fight and surmount Duterte’s threat to suppress all mass actions.

To face the Covid-19 pandemic and in response to the United Nation’s call for a “global ceasefire,’ the Party declared a ceasefire on March 26 that will remain in effect until April 15. We directed NPA units to focus on providing health services in barrios despite being continuously disrupted by AFP operations and raids which have resulted in at least seven armed encounters. Amid relentless AFP offensives, the Party reminded all NPA units to uphold their discipline in maintaining sec­re­cy to deny the enemy an opportunity to attack and to ensure wide latitude for the NPA to continuously provide services to the masses. Organizations and forces in the countryside must be mobilized to assert economic demands and plan for increasing food production in preparation for the imminent shortage due to the lockdown and production stoppage.

While Duterte insists on his fascist dictatorial methods, he continues to isolate himself from the people. Duterte stinks even more because of the Covid-19 crisis brought about by his regime’s failures. His regime is shaken by crumbling support. Every time his dirty mouth opens and with his every misstep, he further enrages the people and fires up their courage. He has at times gave in to people’s demands to ease the situation. It remains to be seen whether he can stop the people’s anger from boiling over or if he will be totally engulfed by the people’s burning anger.

The heavy impact of the Covid-19 in the Philippines exposes the rottenness and fundamental contradiction of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system. It revealed the incapacity of the ruling state to address the plight of the people. The need for revolutionary change to establish a new people’s democratic system that will uphold the interests of the Filipino people has become ever clearer.

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

CPP/Ang Bayan: COIN Operations during Covid-19 pandemic

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 10, 2020): COIN Operations during Covid-19 pandemic

Download: Data sheet of COIN operations (as of April 10)

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

CPP/NDF-ST: AFP is spreading false information

NDF-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 11 , 2020): AFP is spreading false information

APRIL 12, 2020

There is absolutely no truth to the false information irresponsibly being circulated by the AFP that members of the NPA took away distributed relief goods in some villages in Balangiga, Samar. Even the local barangay captain and police officers interviewed by the media deny that there were such incidents in their areas. This false information is being circulated by government broadcast media and websites.

It is despicable and condemnable how the AFP has resorted to outright lies and perverse propaganda at a time that the Filipino people are confronted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AFP desperately wants to discredit the NPA’s public health campaign to raise people’s awareness and enable them to adapt the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19. The NPA’s information drive, mass clinics, and other activities are well received by the masses, especially in the rural areas. There are also efforts to raise food production to prepare for an imminent shortage.

We anticipate the AFP to come up with more lies against the NPA in the days to come. The objective is to justify its counterinsurgency drive relentlessly carried out despite Duterte’s ceasefire.

CPP/NDF-ST: Tulad ni Ponzio Pilato, hugas-kamay si Duterte sa kriminal na kapabayaan at pananagutan sa pagkalat ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas–NDF-ST

NDF-Southern Tagalog propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 11 , 2020): Tulad ni Ponzio Pilato, hugas-kamay si Duterte sa kriminal na kapabayaan at pananagutan sa pagkalat ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas–NDF-ST

APRIL 11, 2020

Sa harap ng malakas na suporta sa kampanya sa social media para patalsikin si Duterte, nagkukumahog ang mga Dutertards na sistematiko at orkestradong pabanguhin si Duterte sa publiko at iiwas siya sa anumang mabigat na pananagutan at pagkakasala sa kriminal niyang kapabayaan sa naging mabilis na pagkalat ng sakit ng Covid-19 sa bansa. Umaabot na sa 4,428 ang nagkasakit ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas at 247 dito ang namatay kabilang ang 21 doktor na nasa frontline ng paglaban sa epidemya.

Sa halip na epektibong makontrol ng militaristang lockdown at sapilitang community quarantine ang pagkalat ng Covid-19 ay ibayo lamang bumilis ang paglawak ng impeksyon dahil sa kawalan ng matinong solusyong medikal at nakalatag na episyenteng sistema para lutasin ang krisis sa pampublikong kalusugan at sawatain ang paglawak ng impeksyon ng pandemya.

Kaliwa’t kanang abala ang mga propagandista at alipures ng Malacañang sa paglalabas at paglalathala ng mga pahayag para ipagtanggol at purihin ang usad-kuhol, inutil at pabaya nilang among si Duterte. Kabi-kabila ang mga pahayag nila sa publiko na nagtatakip at pinabubulaanan ang mga kapalpakan ng rehimeng Duterte sa pagharap sa nakamamatay na Covid-19. Sukdulan ang paglulubid nila ng kasinungalingan para baluktutin at manipulahin ang mga tunay na datos upang ibangon ang bagsak at lugsong imahen ni Duterte sa taumbayan.

Dapat na mariing kondenahin ng taumbayan ang pinakamasahol na pagtatangka ng mga kaalyado at alipures ni Duterte na gumawa ng mga maniobra upang mailayo ang sisi at maiiwas sa anumang pananagutan si Duterte sa ibayong paglubha ng krisis sa pampublikong kalusugan at pinsala sa kabuhayan ng pandemyang Covid-19 sa sambayanang Pilipino. Isa-isahin natin ang mga kasinungalingang inilalako ni Duterte at ng kanyang mga tagapagtanggol:

Sapat ang pondo ng gubyerno para tustusan ang kampanya laban sa Covid-19. Ito ang ipinagyayabang ni Duterte sa harap ng publiko. “Huwag kayong matakot, maraming kwarta ako,” pagyayabang niya. Pagkaraang mabilisang ipasa ng sunod-sunurang Senado at mababang kapulungan ng Kongreso ang Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (BaHO-A) para bigyan ng emergency power si Duterte na galawin ang badyet ng gubyerno para sa taong 2019 at 2020 at makalikom ng Php 275-bilyon, nananatiling mabagal pa sa usad ng kuhol ang paghahatid ng serbisyo at subsidyo sa 18 milyong pamilyang Pilipino na nagugutom at nawalan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa militarista at anti-mamamayang lockdown at enhanced community quarantine na sapilitang ipinataw sa Metro Manila at buong Luzon.

Subalit hindi na mapagtakpan pa ng anumang pagsisinungaling at papuri kay Duterte ang hirap na dinaranas ng taumbayan dahil sa pinatutupad na kamay-na-bakal na lockdown. Kulang na kulang ang pondong inilalaan ng gubyerno bilang ayuda sa mga apektado ng lockdown sa buong Luzon.

Ayon sa Ibon Foundation, sangkatlo lamang sa 18 milyong benepisyaryo ang nahatiran ng halagang Php 26.3 bilyong tulong ng pambansang gubyerno mula sa Php 250 bilyong pondong nakalaan para sa kanila. Ang DSWD ay nakapagbigay lamang ng 190,217 food packs at cash transfer sa 3.7 milyon benipisyaryo ng 4P’s at 1.2 milyong benipisyaryo sa ilalim ng conditional cash transfer.

Samantala, ayon din sa Ibon Foundation, nasa 0.8% ng 10.7 milyong manggagawa mula sa pormal na sektor ang nabigyan pa lamang ng tulong ng DOLE sa pamamagitan ng Covid-19 Adjustment Measures (CAMP) habang nasa 1% naman ng 5.2 milyong non agricultural informal earners ang natulungan ng DOLE sa pamamagitan ng work for pay scheme. Nahiling pa ang DOLE ng karagdagang Php 5 bilyong pondo para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga manggagawang naapektuhan ng lockdown sa Luzon.

Kaya naman, makaraan ng ilang araw lamang, nagbago na agad ng tono si Duterte. Aniya, “Walang pera ang gubyerno at ang Php 275 bilyon pondo para sa paglaban sa Covid-19 ay hahanapin at kokolektahin pa. Naghambog pa na isusubasta nya ang mga ari-arian ng estado at mga pampublikong yutilidad para makalikom ng sapat na pondo ang kanyang gubyerno para tulungan ang mga mahihirap.

Ang Pilipinas ang kauna-unahang bansa na nagpatupad sa buong mundo ng lockdown at travel ban sa China. Ito ang malaking kasinungalingan, lantarang panlilinlang at malinaw na pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko ni Duterte sa kanyang pahayag sa publiko noong madaling araw ng Abril 9, 2020. Aniya, “dahil sa maagap na pagpapatupad ng lockdown kaya mas maliit ang mga nahawahan at nagkasakit ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas.”

Ang katotohanan, ayon sa pahayagang Deutshe Welle, nagpatupad ang Italy ng lockdown noong March 9 at sinundan ito ng Spain ng tinatawag nilang “general confinement order” noong March 14. Ang France naman ay nagpahayag ng “strict nationwide lockdown” noong March 17. Ang Belgium ay March 18. Pinatupad naman sa Pilipinas ang lockdown, una sa NCR noong Marso 15 at sa buong Luzon noong Marso 17. Samantala, ang probinsya ng Hubei sa China ay isinailalim sa total lockdown noong January 23, 2020.

Sukdulan ang kapal ng mukha ni Secretary Salvador Panelo na tahasang baluktutin ang tunay na pangyayari para lamang gawing bida sa mata ng publiko si Duterte bilang kauna-unahang lider sa mundo na maagap na nagpatupad ng total ban sa pagpasok ng mga dayuhang Chinese mula sa syudad ng Wuhan, probinsya ng Hubei sa China. Sa katunayan, habang ang ibang mga bansa ay nagpatupad na ng pagsasara ng kanilang hangganan at travel ban sa China, pinahintulutan ng rehimen ang pagpasok ng 500,000 turista mula mainland China kung saan ang 14,000 ay nagmula sa Wuhan.

Sinabi pa ni Panelo na kung hindi naging maagap na nagpatupad ng travel ban si Duterte ay marami pa sanang nakapasok sa bansa na Chinese na may dalang coronavirus. Agad naman itong sinang-ayunan ni Heneral Carlito Galvez ang chief implementor ng National Action Plan on Covid-19.

Pero ayon sa lathala ng mga pahayagan, ang Republic of Marshall Islands ang unang nagpatupad ng total travel ban mula China noong Enero 24, 2020. Sumunod ang North Korea noong Enero 25, ang Hongkong noong Enero 27 at Singapore noong Enero 29. Ang Afghanistan, Bahamas, Trinidad at Tobago ay nagpatupad ng travel ban noong Enero 30 habang ang Vietnam ay noong February 1. Noon ding Enero 31, isinara ng Russia ang lahat ng pasukan at labasan sa hangganan nito sa China.

Samantala, noong Enero 31 lamang, inanunsyo ni Panelo na magpapatupad ang bansa ng travel ban sa mga manggagaling sa probinsya ng Hubei, China pero noong Pebrero 2 lamang pinalawak ang travel ban sa buong mainland China kasama ang Hongkong at Macau. Isinama pa ang Taiwan pero binawi din agad dahil sa protesta at banta ng gubyernong Taiwanese na gagantihan ang Pilipinas.

Ang Pilipinas ang may pinakamababang rate of infection kumpara sa mga mayayamang bansa. Ito ang malaking kasinungalingan at panloloko ni Secretary Duque ng DOH.

Ayon kay Duque, dalawang (2) infection lang sa kada 1 milyong populasyon ng bansa ang nangyayari dahil daw ito sa maagang pagpapatupad ni Duterte ng absulutong travel ban at ng enhanced community quarantine or lockdown.

Isang tahasang pagsisinungaling at pagbabaluktot sa katotohanan ito. Batay sa pinakahuling ginagawang pagmonitor ng sa Covid-19 infection sa buong mundo, 40 sa kada 1 milyong populasyon ang rate of infection ng Covid-19 sa Pilipinas batay sa 24,500 na naisagawang pag-eeksamen o katumbas ng 224 sa kada 1 milyon ng populasyon. Tiyak na mas mataas pa dito ang tunay na datos dahil simula’t sapul ay wala namang ginawang Covid-19 mass testing sa bansa ang DOH bunga ng kakapusan ng mga testing kit at kawalan ng matinong paghahanda ang DOH at gobyernong Duterte.

Pinagtatakpan at binabaluktot ni Duque at ng rehimeng Duterte ang katotohanan na kaya mataas ang rate of Covid-19 infection sa mga kapitalistang bansa ay dahil maagap na nagpatupad ang mga bansang ito ng Covid-19 mass testing sa kanyang populasyon kung kaya maagang natutukoy ang lawak na inabot ng pagkalat ng impeksyon ng pandemya.

Ang US na may rate of infection na 1,520 sa bawat isang milyon ng populasyon ay nakapagsagawa ng-2,538,888 na Covid-19 test o 7,670 sa kada isang milyon. Ang Spain na may 3,385 na kaso kada milyon ay nakapagsagawa ng 355,000 na testing o 7,593 kada milyon. Ang Italy na may 2,441 na impeksyon sa kada milyon ay nakapagsagawa ng 906,864 test o 14,999 bawat milyon. Ang France na may 1,913 impeksyon bawat milyon ay nakapagtala ng 333,807 test o 5,114 kada milyon.

Samantala, ang Germany na may 1,458 na impeksyon sa kada milyon ay may 1,317,887 naisagawang test o 15,730 bawat milyon; at ang UK na may 1,086 na impeksyon sa bawat isang milyon ay nakapagtala ng 316,836 test o 4,667 sa bawat 1 milyon ng populasyon.

Natural na mababa ang tantos ng impeksyon na nadidiskubre sa bansa dahil sa limitadong kapasidad ng gubyerno na sabayan at maramihang mag-eksamen ng mga pasyenteng pinagsususpetsahang nahawahan ng Covid-19. Kulang na kulang ang mga testing kits at maging ospital na pagdadalhan para masuri ang mga kinuhaan ng swabs na mga pasyente. Kung tutuusin, wala pang nagaganap na mass testing sa bansa. Ang tinututukan pa sa kasalukuyan ng gubyerno ay ang pag-eeksamen sa malulubhang kaso ng coronavirus infection at pagpaparami ng bilang ng ospital na magsasagawa ng pag-eeksamen.

Sa pag-aaral na isinagawa ng UP, ang tayang rurok na aabutin ng impeksyon ng Covid-19 sa NCR sa Hunyo 2020 ay nasa 140,000 hanggang 550,000.

Ayon sa pagsisiyasat ng Rappler, nahuhuli ang Pilipinas pagdating sa kapasidad sa pag-eeksamin. Nitong Abril 4, 2020 nasa 48 persons under investigation (PUI’s) kada milyong tao ang naisasagawa sa bansa. Noong March 20 ay 12 PUI’s kada milyon. Ang South Korea, madali nilang napababa ang infection sa Covid-19 dahil sa nagawa nilang mag-eksamen ng 6,148 kada milyong tao. Sa pinakamatinding tinamaan ng pademyang Covid-19 sa Europa, ang Germany ang may pinakamababang naitalang namamatay sa Covid-19 na 33 sa bawat isang milyong populasyon bunga ng malawakang ginagawang pag-eeksamen sa hanay ng populasyon.

Noong April 4 inanunsyo ng retiradong Heneral na si Carlito Galvez na 6,000 indibidwal na ang nasuri pero ang sabi naman ng Department of Health (DOH) noong April 2 ay nasa 5,000 pa lamang.

Mapanlinlang din ang datos na 24,500 na ang naisagawang pag-eeksamen ng DOH. Hindi ito katumbas ng 24,500 katao na naeksamen dahil bawat taong nagpositibo sa Covid-19 ay kailangang dumaan sa tatlong ulit na pag-eeksamen bago maideklarang magaling na. Sang-ayon sa DOH, sa Abril 14 pa sila nakatakdang magsagawa ng “massive testing” at ito ay para lamang sa mga PUI’s at PUM’s na may sintomas, high risk patients tulad ng manggagawang pangkalusugan, mga buntis, may diabetis at cancer.

Sa kabila na limitado lamang ang bilang ang naeeksamen sa bansa na nalantad sa impeksyon ng Covid-19, sumusunod sa Malaysia ang Pilipinas sa may pinakamaraming nahawahan at nagkasakit ng Covid-19 sa south-east Asia at pumapangalawa sa Indonesia sa maraming namamatay. Ito ang tunay na mga datos na inililingid sa kaalaman ng publiko ng rehimeng Duterte.

Sadyang gagawin lahat ng mga gabinete ni Duterte ang pambabaluktot sa mga datos at impormasyon para lamang mawala ang atensyon ng publiko sa tunay na isyu ng kawalang kakayahan at kainutilan ng pamahalaang Duterte sa paglaban at pagsugpo sa Covid-19. Pipilitin nilang pabanguhin si Duterte at palabasin siyang tagapaligtas ng bayan.

Nais pa nilang gawing bayani at palabasing mahusay na lider si Duterte sa kabila ng mga grabeng kapabayaan ng rehimen na matugunan ang kakulangan sa medical supplies ng mga pribado at pampublikong ospital, kakupusan sa mga personal protective equipments (PPE’s) ng mga nasa frontline, malaking kakulangan sa testing kits, at quarantine and sanitation facilities. Ganundin sa mga naantalang pamamahagi nito ng mga food packs, perang subsidyo at marami pang ibang tulong na dapat agarang ipinagkakaloob ng gubyerno lalo na sa mga mahihirap at bulnerableng sektor ng lipunan.

At upang mapagtakpan ang mga kapalpakan at kakulangan ni Duterte, isinisi ngayon ng mga alipures at propagandista ng Malacañang sa mga Local Goverment Units (LGU’s) ang problema kung bakit mabagal at kulang pa sa kalahati ng mga nakalistang benepisaryo ang nabibigyan ng tulong ng pambansang gubyerno.

Paano nga naman aasahang magiging episyente ang paghahatid ng tulong at serbisyo sa nagugutom na mamamayan kung pinamamahalaan ito ng mga hinirang ni Duterte na mga retiradong heneral ng AFP at PNP na mas sinanay sa sining ng pagpatay at karahasan at hindi sa pagsagip at pagligtas ng buhay?

Huwag tayong palilinlang. Huwag tayong padadala sa paghuhugas kamay ni Duterte at sa pinatutupad na sistematiko at orkestradong paghahasik ng mga kasinungalingan ng kanyang mga gabinete, propagandista, alipures at mga trolls. Si Rodrigo Roa Duterte at wala ng iba ang pangunahing may responsibilidad at pananagutan sa nangyayaring labis na kagutuman at kapighatian ng sambayanang Pilipino. Marapat lamang na patuloy tayong magpursige at walang lubay na isagawa ang iba’t ibang anyo at paraan ng paglaban para patalsikin sa pwesto ang korap, kriminal inutil, pabaya at pasistang rehimeng US-Duterte. ###

Kalinaw News: 10 NPAs surrender in Caraga on Holy Week

Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 12, 2020): 10 NPAs surrender in Caraga on Holy Week (By 4th Infantry Division)

Bancasi, Butuan City – Ten (10) CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) belonging to the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) and North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) yielded to government troops under the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade in a series of surrender in Caraga Region during the Holy Week.

Said surrenders composed of five (5) regular CNTs and three (3) Milisya ng Bayan (MB) under Guerilla Front (GF) 4A, NCMRC and two (2) regular CNTs under GF30 and Sentro De Gravidad (SDG), Sub Regional Command (SRC) 2130 under NEMRC surrendered
to the elements of 23rd Infantry Battalion in Agusan del Norte and 36th Infantry Battalion in Surigao del Sur under the operation control of the 402nd Infantry Brigade.

The CNTs yielded one (1) M16 Rifle, one (1) M1 Carbine Rifle, one (1) M653 Rifle attached with M203 Grenade Launcher, three (3) caliber .45 Pistols, three (3) caliber .38 Pistols, and one (1) Anti-Personnel Mine (APM).

Alias Jack, Squad Leader, Squad Baking of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) KINGDOM of GF4A, NCMRC, and alias Jelan, MB of SYP KINGDOM, GF4A, NCMRC surrendered last April 6, 2020. They revealed that as they approached the communities for food, they took the opportunity to desert and decided to return to the folds of the law because they didn’t see any reason anymore to continue fighting as corruption and abuse became rampant in their organization.

In an effort to help his comrades who also wanted out of the CNT organization, Alias Jack facilitated the negotiation and surrender of alias Brando, Team Leader of Team Abe, Squad Uno, SYP KINGDOM, GF4A, NCMRC on April 8, 2020 and alias Windel, Political Instructor (PI) of SYP SIKOP, GF 4A, NCMRC on April 9, 2020 to 23IB under Lt Col Francisco L Molina, Battalion Commander.

Meanwhile, on April 07, 2020, four (4) female CNTs surrendered again to 23IB namely: alias Russel, 31 years old, former platoon medic, SDG CAOCAO, GF4A, NCMRC; alias Minchie, 31 years old, former squad medic, SYP SIKOP, GF4A, NCMRC; alias Darlyn, and alias Langlang, 24 years old, both members of Milisya ng Bayan (MB).

In Surigao del Sur, two (2) CNT leaders surrendered to the 36IB troopers led by Lt Col Jeezrel Diagmel, Battalion Commander. They were identified as alias EJ, Team Leader, TM 2, Squad 2, Platoon 2, GF 30, NEMRC, 25 y/o and alias Rex, PG, Sqd 1, SDG, SRC 2130, NEMRC, 23 y/o. They disclosed that their stay in the CNT organization became more miserable when the COVID19 struck the province since their supporters were quarantined.

Since January 2020, there are already a total of forty-eight (48) CNTs who surrendered to the government bringing along with their 21 assorted firearms.

In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade said, “We are elated that these former CNTs have realized the futility of their armed struggle as we continuously confront the COVID19 pandemic. The continuous surrender of the ranking CNTs and its members proved that the rotten ideology that the CNT is desperately insisting to the Caraganons are irrelevant and unwelcome. These developments manifest the steady weakening and downfall of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) organization”.

Said surrenderers will be validated and enrolled under the government’s reintegration program, the E-CLIP, to give them the opportunity to go back to their normal lives.

[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: Army conducts loudspeaker operations and leaflets distribution in Surigao Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 12, 2020): Army conducts loudspeaker operations and leaflets distribution in Surigao Sur (By 4th Infantry Division)

BISLIG CITY, Surigao del Sur-Camp Jaime N Ferrer Sr., Brgy Maharlika, Bislig City (Stn) – The 75th Infantry “Marauder” Battalion conducted mobile loudspeaker operation and leaflets distribution in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur on April 09, 2020.

In line with the declaration of ceasefire, the government focused its efforts and resources in addressing the pandemic crisis caused by the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). The unit conducted loudspeaker operations to exploit the situation in favor of the government and advance the campaign against the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) within the unit Area of Responsibility (AOR). Likewise, the troops distributed fifty (50) pieces of leaflets on Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government and 50 pcs leaflets information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Army’s loudspeaker operation is instrumental as it conveys factual information reminding the people and the community regarding the importance of taking precautionary measures such as social distancing, staying at home, eating healthy foods, and proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The loudspeaker operation was first employed during the Zamboanga siege and Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, and Marawi siege in 2017 aimed at providing correct information to the people, particularly during the time of crisis.

Further, the loudspeaker operations with the recorded voice message of the former rebel, expressed out that we should all unite and cooperate with the government to overcome the global health crisis that we are facing right now, and to condemn the brutal activities perpetrated by the CNT’s despite of the ceasefire.

Lieutenant Colonel Warren C Munda, Commanding Officer of 75IB, assured the security and safety of the populace in the AOR and strictly implement the mandate of the local Inter-Agency Task Force to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our AOR.

Informing the community of the correct information on how to avoid getting infected from COVID-19 will lessen their worries and fear. Thus, everyone can contribute in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by just staying at home with their families until such time the government will lift the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the country.

[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: Ex-NPA couple welcomed their firstborn child

Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 12, 2020): Ex-NPA couple welcomed their firstborn child (By 10th Infantry Division)

MALITA, Davao Occidental – Rebel returnee couple @Bornic and @Ing-ing welcomed their firstborn child in the Delivery Section of Malita District Hospital during the celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan last April 09, 2020.

The couple surrendered last February 6, 2020, due to hardship and uncertainty they were facing with the pregnancy of @Ing-ing. They were also wary of the common practice of their communist terrorist organization that the newborn child of NPA couple will be taken away so that they will remain “functional” in the organization. The child will then be given to their contacts to be raised as a future combatant.

According to @Bornick, he will never let his daughter join the communist terrorist. He will teach her to be a god-fearing and a productive citizen of the community. He also added that he would help the government by encouraging his comrades, who were deceived by the communist terrorist, to surrender and to return to the folds of the law.

In her statement, the new mother @Ing-Ing gave her utmost gratitude to the government, especially the 73IB and LGU of Malita and Davao Occidental for their sincere service in taking good care of them. “The government helped us to have a new and brighter life,” she remarked. As my husband said, we will not let the terroristic ideology of the CPP-NPA deceive our daughter. We will pay back the excellent services of our government troops to us by allowing our daughter to grow as a law-abiding citizen of this land, @IngIng promised.

Lt. Col. Ronaldo G. Valdez, 73rd Infantry Battalion Commander, was grateful for the safe delivery of the baby amidst the infectious disease COVID-19.” We hope that the couple, together with their baby, will live their lives peacefully outside of the clutches of the communist terrorist group. The 73rd IB will always be here to assist them in any capacity that we can, Lt. Col. Valdez, 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: NPA disrupts and violates ceasefire agreement

Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 12, 2020): NPA disrupts and violates ceasefire agreement

BAGANGA, DAVAO ORIENTAL – Five (5)members of the New People’s Army (NPA) fired at 67IB troopswhile conducting security patrol and information drive in relation to COVID-19 activities on April 11, 2020, 10:20 in the morning at SitioTagtigbao, Brgy Mahan-ub, Baganga,Davao Oriental persuading the troops to retaliate.

Prior to the encounter, the 67IB troops were having dialogue with the populace of SitioTagtigbaoand SitioCasunugan when one NPA member @RONRON voluntarily surrendered with high-powered firearm to the patrol base Commander of Delta Company, 67IB.Likewise, one of the resident of SitioTagtigbao spilled information that there were presence of NPA who were forcing the civilians to give them a portion of the distributed relief goods from the government. Relatively, @RONRONcorroborated that there were still other members meandering around the area.

Acting on the said information, 2LT JOSEPH S DE LEON (INF) PA, Platoon Leader Alpha Company together with two (2) squads conducted security patrol to validate the said report. After which, the troopswere fired upon by five (5) NPA membersat vicinity SitioTagtigbao, Brgy Mahan-ub, Baganga, DOR. The firefight lasted ten (10) minutes with no casualty on the government side, whereas, the NPAs were unsuccessful and scamperedin southwest direction.

Furthermore, the declaration of the unilateral ceasefire by the government started on March 26, 2020 to address the call of U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres to focus our efforts and resources in fighting the Pandemic COVID-19. It was clear that what happened was a violation of the said agreement.

“Taliwalasaatongpag-obserbasaSemana Santa, anggibuhatsa NPA nagpamatu-odngadilisilamatinud-anon sakasabutanugwalanilagihataganugbiliangpagpaningkamotsaatonggobyernobatoksapagsugposakrisisngaatonggiatubang. Ilanggipakitaang way ayongaprinsipyougkatuohan, ug mas nagpatigbabawangilangpolitical agenda nagubaonangatonggobyerno. Sadugang pa,angnakapasubopag-ayokay nag-antosnaangkatawhanugnagsaligsaayudasagobyerno, gusto pa ilugonsamgaNPA. Rest assured that despite of concentrating our efforts to combat this Pandemic COVID-19, the 67IB will remain steadfast in fighting the insurgency in the Province of Davao Oriental.”LTC DEMA-ALA, 67IB Commanding Officer.

[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:]

Ex-MILF fighters harvest, donate 100 sacks of calamansi for COVID-19 fight in Isulan

From MindaNews (Apr 12, 2020): Ex-MILF fighters harvest, donate 100 sacks of calamansi for COVID-19 fight in Isulan (By BONG S. SARMIENTO)

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 12 April) — The family of a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighter gave up a chance to earn at least a hundred thousand pesos in this time of COVID-19 pandemic by donating a hundred sacks of calamansi to boost the immune system of people in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province against the highly contagious novel coronavirus disease.

Patrick Ibrahim Mama, a decommissioned MILF combatant
now engaged in farming in Barangay Lagandang, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, said his family could have earned 120,000 pesos from the volume of calamansi that they gave to their municipal and village governments for distribution to their townmates.

Calamansi as additional food aid to boost the immunity system. Photo courtesy of Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Mama’s FB page

“Some buyers called me to buy our calamansi harvest but I turned them down due to the lack of available commercial vitamin C in the local market. Our family decided to donate our produce to help boost the immune system, especially of the people who lost their income due to the COVID-19 health crisis,” the father of two children told MindaNews by phone.

Calamansi, a citrus fruit endemic to the Philippines, is a rich natural source of vitamin C.

Due to the high demand for vitamin C, prices of calamansi soared to P1,000 to P1,200 per sack from P400 to P500 before the coronavirus pandemic became a household name for Filipinos, Mama said.

A sack of calamansi usually weighs from 28 to 30 kilograms, he said.

The 36-year-old Mama said the calamansi was harvested by MILF members and civilians affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in the area.

“They were paid 70 pesos per sack by our family,” he added.

Harvest time took only a day last week because of the availability of workers idled by the lockdown.

Mama said he went out to work with the harvesters.

As MILF members, Mama stressed that the donated calamansi is “also our contribution to the health crisis that we should altogether address as one no matter our status in life.”

Patrick Ibrahim Mama (left) delivers donation of calamansi to one of the villages in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. Photo courtesy of Mr. Mama’s FB page

Mama revealed that his elder sister, Bai Ali Mama Guerra, instructed him to harvest the calamansi in their 10.7 hectare farm.

Bai Ali is the wife of Engr. Eduard, Guerra, the Minister of Public Works and Highways of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The minister donated another 91 sacks of calamansi for distribution to various localities in the Bangsamoro region – Maguindanao, Cotabato City and North Cotabato villages that have joined the BARMM.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesperson and also Minister of the Interior and Local Government, said the calamansi donation was repacked by volunteers at the operation center of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 in Cotabato City.

“The calamansi is our substitute for commercial vitamin C to boost the immunity of our constituents,” he said.

Mama said the 100 sacks donated for Isulan town, which is outside BARMM, were his family’s share for being the caretaker of the Guerra couple’s calamansi farm.

“Bahala ka na anong gagawin mo sa parte nyo (It’s up to you what will you do to your share),” he quoted his older sister as telling him.

Before he was deactivated as an MILF fighter, Mama belonged to the First Brigade of the MILF 105th Base Command, which is headed by his brother Nasrullah Mama alias Kumander Stallion.

Nasrullah has also distributed relief goods to some poor families in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Mama said.

According to the Soccsksaragen Region COVID-19 tracker as of 5 p.m. on April 11, Sultan Kudarat has three confirmed COVID-19 cases, including one who died; 27 persons under investigation, with seven currently admitted and 12 on home quarantine and four persons under monitoring presently undergoing home quarantine. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)

Former rebel shot to death in Calbiga, Samar

From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 11, 2020): Former rebel shot to death in Calbiga, Samar (By PIA-8)

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TACLOBAN CITY, April 11 (PIA) -- A 30-year-old surrenderee who used to be a member of the Sqd 2, SYP Pltn, FC-SS1, SRC Sesame, EVRPC, and a resident of Brgy, Daligan, Calbiga, Samar, was shot to death on April 9 about 12:23 p.m., by two unidentified perpetrators wearing bonnet mask, at his farm lot about 1.5 kilometers away from the barangay proper.

An incident report coming from the 8th Infantry Division and Police Regional Office 8, stated that the victim, a certain @MARWAN (TN: Ildefonso T Nablo Jr (PSRL) who surrendered to the 46th Infantry Battalion of the 8ID on October 11, 2019 , suffered gunshot wounds on the right portion of his ear, one on his back and right portion of his thigh using suspected cal .45 pistol that resulted to his instantaneous death.

Suspects fled away towards east direction bringing along one cal .45 pistol and a bag with cash inside owned by the victim.

The PRO-8 said the remains of the victim was brought to the Calbiga Rural Health Unit for post mortem examinations.

RCSP Team from 46th IB, 8ID deployed in Brgy. Daligan immediately responded to the place of the incident.

The Calbiga Municipal Police together with Intel operatives of 46th IB, 8ID are now conducting investigation to identify the perpetrators and the possible motives for the crime. (PIA8)

Ilokano News: Soldado, tumulong a mangipatungpal ti annuroten iti ECQ

From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Ilokano News: Soldado, tumulong a mangipatungpal ti annuroten iti ECQ (By Freddie G. Lazaro)

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Abril 12 (PIA) - - Umabot ti 195 a grupo dagiti kameng iti 7th Infantry Division (7ID) iti Philippine Army ti naideploy kadagiti naaramid nga Enhanced Quarantine Assistance Stations (EQAS) iti akin-amianan a paset ti Luzon tapno adda katulongan dagiti polis ken frontliners a mangipatungpal kadagiti annuroten iti Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Kinuna ni Major Amado Gutierrez, agdama a pannakangiwat ti 7ID iti army, a dagiti tropada a naideploy ket buklen dagiti regular a kameng ti soldado, reservists ken dagiti kameng iti Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs).

Nainget ti pannakaipatungpal ti ECQ iti intero a Luzon babaen iti pammilin ni President Rodrigo Roa Duterte kadagiti kameng iti nabuangay nga Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) tapno malapdan iti panagwaras ti sakit a Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“Nakadeploy dagiti tropami kadagiti EQAS nga adda iti probinsia ti Rehion 1, ken 3; iti probinsia ti Abra; iti ili ti Besao ken Tadian iti Mountain Province; ken iti ili ti Alfonso Castañeda iti Nueva Viscaya, kuna ni Gutierrez.

Tumultulong daytoy maysa a reservist a mangkita ti passes ti umili a sumrek ti tiendaan iti siudad ti San Fernando, La Union kabayatan ti nainget a pannakaipatungpal iti Enhanced Community Quarantine tapno malapdan ti panagwaras ti sakit a Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). (Ladawan ni FGL,PIA1)

Tumulong met dagiti nabati a soldado kadagiti amin a unit ti 7ID nga agideliber ti relief packs para kadagiti naka-ECQ iti probinsia ti Bulacan, Nueva Ecija ken Pangasinan. Dagitoy tallo a probinsia a masakupan ti 7ID ti maibilang a kadduan ti kaso iti COVID-19.

Kalaksidan ti itutulongda iti EQAS, tumulong pay dagiti soldado a mangipaay ti seguridad kadagiti mapan agiwaras ti Social Amelioration Program (SAP) kadagiti nasulinek barangay a masakupan ti 7ID.

Kinuna met ni Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya iti Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) iti interbiuna, kabayatan ti ‘Laging Handa Network Briefing’ idi Sabado, a dakkel ti tulong dagiti soldado iti kapolisan para iti naanayas a pannakaipatungal ti ECQ.

Inyuswat ti Philippine Information Agency (PIA) ti ‘Laging Handa Network Briefing,’ a pagserbian a kas host ni Secretary Ruperto Martin Andanar iti Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), tapno direkta a maammuan ken masungbatan ti amin a problema dagiti opisial ti lokal a gobierno iti pagilian kabayatan ti ECQ.

Mabuya ti ‘Laging Handa Network Briefing’ iti inaldaw iti PTV 4, ken iti selpon wenno kompuiter babaen iti facebook live manipud alas-8 aginggana iti alas-9 iti bigat; ken mangngegan iti Radyo Pilipinas ken kadagiti naduma-duma nga estasion ti radio iti intero a Pilipinas. (JCR/FGL,PIA-1)

Gov't soldiers teach ex-rebels farming methods

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Gov't soldiers teach ex-rebels farming methods (By Eldie Aguirre)

FARMING SKILLS. Soldiers belonging to the 73rd Infantry Battalion tend to the crops being raised in a demo farm in Davao Occidental where former rebels are taught farming and animal-raising methods. The training program dubbed by the military as “Bagong Buhay, Bagong Pag-asa" aims to help surrenderers earn a living to sustain their family's needs. (Photo courtesy of 73IB)

DIGOS CITY – Military troops belonging to the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion (73IB) have started teaching former rebels the various methods of farming and animal raising so that they could earn a living without depending much on financial assistance coming from the government.

Lt. Col. Ronaldo Valdez, 73IB commanding officer, on Saturday said the hands-on training f
or the rebel returnees aims to enhance their skills in farming and other forms of economic activities.

The training is given under the
“Balik-Loob Program” of the government as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and through Executive Order 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte which institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in ending armed conflict in the country.

The farming and animal-raising program dubbed by the military as “Bagong Buhay, Bagong Pag-asa” helps former rebels who have opted to abandon their armed struggle to sustain the needs of their family.

The returnees are taught how to raise their own vegetable farm, chickens, ducks, and even goats inside the “Neutralizer Demo Farm” that serves as their Laboratory Training Center.

The program also involves the active participation of the Provincial Agriculture Office in Davao Occidental and military personnel who know various farming methods.

Aside from the livelihood training, the returnees are also given the opportunity to mingle with villagers and familiarize with their surroundings in order to polish their social skills.

These trainings are specifically directed towards equipping the rebel returnees with enough abilities to make a sustainable living in preparation for their reintegration to the mainstream society.;postID=252008743791588972

Army unit produces face shields for front-liners

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Army unit produces face shields for front-liners (By Ercel Maandig)

FACE SHIELDS. Soldiers under the 10th Forward Service Support Unit (10FSSU) of the Army Support Command of the 4th Infantry Division work to finish the remaining pieces of face shields to be donated to different front-liners in the communities. This is part of their efforts to help contain the spread of Covid-19. (Photo courtesy 10FSSU)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Due to lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) gear for public health front-liners, the 10th Forward Service Support Unit (10FSSU) of the Army Support Command (Ascom) of the 4th Infantry Division (4thID) has sped up its production of PPE such as improvised face shields to help Northern Mindanao in its fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Lt. Col. Lawrence Aninag, commanding officer of 10FSSU, on Saturday said they were able to manufacture 3,070 face shields as of Thursday (April 9) which were distributed to different communities and organizations in Cagayan de Oro City and its neighboring municipalities.

Among the recipients of the face shields were Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), Oro Banker Association in Cagayan de Oro, various police units and offices, the Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard-Northern Mindanao District, Camp Evangelista Station Hospital, and various units of 4ID.

Aninag said aside from this, they also plan to distribute around 1,300 additional face shields to front-liners in different areas particularly health workers and security forces.

Soldiers were also working double time to fast track another batch of 1,500 shields to cater to the needs of Army units and civilian health facilities in the 4ID's area of responsibility, which include the Caraga region.

The 10FSSU, which is headquartered in Camp Evangelista in the village of Patag in this city, also produced 200 face masks that were distributed to troops manning quarantine checkpoints.

Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, commander of 4ID, lauded 10FSSU for its initiative.

“What 10FSSU is doing is another proof of the Filipino soldiers' ingenuity, dedication, and intense desire to help our countrymen especially in times of crisis. I hope this will inspire other groups and sectors of our society to contribute whatever they can to our fight against a common enemy, the Covid-19," Gacal said.

Elsewhere in the region, 4ID units are actively assisting local government units and national and local government agencies in the distribution of food packs, implementation of quarantine measures, and information dissemination among others.

Gacal serves as co- chairman of Northern Mindanao Regional Task Force on Covid-19.

He also commended health workers, volunteers, and other front-liners for their selfless services as the nation scrambles to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Soldiers give livelihood aid to ex-rebels in Aurora

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Soldiers give livelihood aid to ex-rebels in Aurora (By Jason De Asis)

BALER, Aurora — The Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry Battalion (91IB) provided livelihood assistance to eight rebel surrenderers in Barangay Calabuanan in this capital town on Saturday.

The livelihood assistance is part of the 91IB’s Enhanced Adopt-a-Barangay Program (Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko) program.

Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, acting commanding officer of the 91IB, led the distribution of 40 broiler chicks and other poultry supplies to the former rebels as aid amid the health crisis brought by the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“In times of crisis, the act of giving we call 'bayanihan' is innate to us all Filipinos. Being able to extend even a little out of whatever we have to our less fortunate 'kababayans' give a feeling of joy in our hearts,” Rubio said.

Col. Andrew D. Costelo, commander of the 703rd Infantry Brigade, said the effort of the 91IB is not just finding a way to provide food for the needy people, including the former rebels, but to let them engage in livelihood activities that will open opportunities in the future.

“As we commemorate Black Saturday, let the undertaking be a reminder that it is our responsibility not just to give fish to the least of our brethren but to teach everyone as well how to fish,” Costelo said.

Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, commander of the 7th Infantry "Kaugnay" Division, lauded the initiative of the 91IB in giving hope to people in dire need to make both ends meet.

He said that although small, the livelihood starter package lights the way for brighter days ahead “as we often hear and say that it is always better to light one small candle than to stumble in the dark,” Rosario said.

The 91IB launched the enhanced Adopt-a-Barangay program last April 4 by distributing 120 food packs to the indigents in Barangay Calabuanan here.

Rubio said the other company under the 91IB will also conduct the same activity at the soonest time to help the communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Militant farmers' group leader nabbed in Butuan

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Militant farmers' group leader nabbed in Butuan (By Alexander Lopez)

BAGGED. Joint operatives of the Philippine National Police in Caraga Region and the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrested on Saturday (April 11, 2020) in Bobon, Butuan City, Proceso Torralba, the chair of Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte or UMAN. The group is tagged as having links to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13 Information Office)

The leader of a farmers’ organization tagged as having links with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), was arrested in a joint operation conducted by the Police Regional Office (PRO)-13 (Caraga) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday.

In a statement, PRO-13 director, Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr.
identified the suspect as Proceso Torralba, the chair of Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte (UMAN).
Torralba was arrested in the manhunt operation conducted by the elements of PRO-13 Regional Intelligence Unit, Agusan del Norte Police Provincial Office Intelligence Branch, Butuan City Police Station 4, the Mobile Force Company, and operatives from the 42nd Military Intelligence Company of the AFP in Purok 3, Barangay Bobon here.

Esquivel said Torralba was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Fernando R. Fudalan Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur last January 30, 2020 for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

UMAN, according to the military official, has links with the communist movement under the White Area Committee (Wacom).

“Torralba was among the NPA members who raided the New Tubigon 8th Special Force Company Patrol Base in Purok 1, Barangay New Tubigon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur last December 19, 2018 and carted away assorted firearms and kidnapped the two AFP cadres,” Esquivel said in the statement.

He commended all the personnel involved in the successful law enforcement operation, saying the arrest was the result of the good relationship between the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) with the active support of the community.

Esquivel also urged the remaining NPA rebels in the area to surrender, avail of the programs being offered by the government and start renewed lives.

“Together, let us put an end to this local communist armed conflict to attain long and lasting peace in Caraga Region,” he said.

Army lauds private groups’ support to front-liners in Butuan

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Army lauds private groups’ support to front-liners in Butuan (By Alexander Lopez)

PARTNERSHIP AMID CRISIS. A staff from fast-food chain Chowking in Butuan City turns over lunch packs to Army personnel for distribution to front-liners at quarantine checkpoints in Butuan City. 402nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Maurito L. Licudine thanked various business establishments for their all-out support to the front-liners. (Photo courtesy of CMO, 402nd Infantry Brigade)

BUTUAN CITY – The Philippine Army lauded the efforts of private groups and establishments in providing support to the front-liners who risk their lives in the fight against the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the city.

In a statement on Friday (April 10), 402nd Infantry Brigade (402nd IBde) commander, Brig. Gen. Maurito L. Licudine expressed gladness over the all-out support given by various business establishments to the front-liners in the area.

“We are in awe of the support that our front-liners are receiving right now. We express gratitude to them especially on their trust in forging a partnership with the Army to deliver support to our front-liners. Indeed, in unity there is strength,” Licudine said.

He added that such an act of kindness and unconditional support has made the front-liners’ jobs lighter and boosted their morale to continue performing their tasks to help stop the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday (April 9), the fast-food chain Chowking in Butuan City partnered with the 402nd IBde in the distribution of meals to the front-liners manning the quarantine checkpoints in the city.

A total of 120 lunch-time meals were distributed specifically in the control points in Barangays Pigdaulan, Bit-os and Bancasi in Butuan City.

“Private business groups are recognizing the heroism and sacrifices of our front-liners. We thank them for the support,” Licudine said.

In the same statement on Friday, the 402nd IBde quoted Jenn Hyacint Claro, area manager of Chowking in Butuan City as saying that the move is part of the restaurant’s corporate social responsibility amid the crisis that the people of Butuan is facing.

Claro also recognized the sacrifices and dedication of the front-liners, especially in their efforts to contain the spread of the dreaded Covid-19.

She added that Chowking, through the Jollibee Group Foundation’s Food Aid Program, has been coordinating with public and private organizations for the efficient distribution system of food for the front-liners.

“The Jollibee Group is one with them in this fight and we hope that through our food support, we can fuel their heroic efforts. We are more than grateful for what they are doing for our countrymen. We thank our Covid-19 front-liners from the bottom of our hearts,” Claro said.

NPA attack on Army troops clear violation of truce deal: guv

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): NPA attack on Army troops clear violation of truce deal: guv

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang (PNA Fiie photo)

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Governor Nelson Dayanghirang on Sunday said the recent attack of New People’s Army (NPA) on Army soldiers in Baganga town here is a clear manifestation of their reputation as terrorists and anti-people amid the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

"What they did was a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement. While the government is at the thick of implementing measures to combat COVID-19, they still manage to do such acts,” Dayanghirang said.

He added that the violent attack on of five NPA members who open fired at soldiers belonging to the 67th Infantry Battalion while conducting security patrol at Barangay Mahan-ub on April 11 is a lesson learned that the government must no longer talk or make arrangements with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NPA.

He said putting an end to the negotiations with communist terrorists has been the stand of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) that he chairs.

Regardless of what transpired, he said the government, especially the local government, will continue to ensure the welfare of the people of Davao Oriental.

“The government will not be stopped in its efforts to protect the people from these terrorists and even from the invisible enemy – the dreaded Covid-19,” he said.

The military troops were reportedly in the barangay to respond to residents’ reports that they were being forced by the armed communists to give them some of the relief goods given to them by the government.

A 10-minute firefight ensued between the soldiers led by 2nd Lieutenant Joseph de Leon and the NPA group There was no casualty on the government side while the NPA rebels scampered and managed to escape.

Earlier, an NPA member identified only as Ron Ron voluntarily surrendered and yielded his high-powered firearms to the military. He confirmed the presence of his comrades in the sitios Tagtigbai and Casunugan.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Louie Dema-ala, commanding officer of the Army’s 67 Infantry Battalion, urged everyone to work together in fighting Covid-19.

"We should all cooperate and give all our support to help end this pandemic. Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in fighting insurgency in the province while battling Covid-19," he added. (Davao Oriental PIO)

Defense chief offers message of hope amid these trying times

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 12, 2020): Defense chief offers message of hope amid these trying times (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday thanked all Filipinos for cooperating and working hard to contain the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and expressed confidence that the pandemic will be beaten soon.

Lorenzana issued the statement as the Catholic faithful celebrate Easter Sunday, hoping the message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ will continue to give hope even in the most trying times.

"As Easter Sunday culminates the Lenten season, we join our Catholic faithful in remembering Christ's triumph over death,” he said in his Easter Sunday message. “His resurrection and ascension to glory reminds us of the dawning of a new day brimming with hope, especially amid the suffering and challenges brought on by the pandemic we are now facing.”

He said Easter Sunday is as good a time as any “to deepen our faith and become bearers of light for our fellowmen”.

"May the Easter Gospel also inspire us to reach out to those in need, remember to be compassionate as Christ had been, and take heart that we shall triumph against this disease," he added.

Promise of hope

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. said the celebration of Easter Sunday "is a promise of hope".

"Christ is risen! This is the promise of hope throughout mankind as we celebrate Easter Sunday. I join the entire Christian faithful in celebrating this glorious day ever mindful of the promise of our risen Savior that we will all conquer whatever crisis and troubles that befall us. This is especially true as we continue the fight against Covid-19, and with this promise, we will prevail," he said.

While admitting that the country is now in a difficult battle, Santos said resurrection and faith bring message to every Filipino that nothing is impossible.

"Now is the time to renew our strengths and share it with the afflicted and the uncertain, for we are all in this together and we will heal as one," he added.

Santos said the AFP will continue to stand side by side with the country's medical personnel, adding that some 250 military doctors, nurses and medical aides are now also deployed in the patient care centers.

Aside from medical personnel, the AFP also deployed 16,000 troops to support the National Task Force Covid-19's enforcement of community quarantine measures.

"As we are again reminded of our collective sacrifices, we continue to ask for the public's cooperation, support, and patience in our fight and triumph against this pandemic. If the risen Christ be for us, then who or what can be against us? We are assured by His promise and we will prevail," Santos said.

Covid-19 like crown of thorns

For his part, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Archie Gamboa said Covid-19 pandemic is like a crown of thorns that the world has to bear as the global coronavirus death toll has reportedly surpassed 101,000 mark.

“Our nation and world’s fight against Covid-19 this Holy Week made us suffer with God, made the world feel the Crown of Thorns and made us admit our weaknesses, ask for forgiveness and forgive our fellow men,” Gamboa said in a statement.

Gamboa urged the Filipinos to strengthen their faith that God will protect the nation and the whole world from the deadly coronavirus.

“Let us have faith that like Jesus, we are all experiencing His passion, pain and death,” he said.
“Let us help the marginalized who struggle to survive the heat inside their shanties while parting the assistance given to them throughout this quarantine period; let us share the pain of being hungry, the pain of not being able to work or being laid-off from work, the pain of losing businesses, the pain of losing loved-ones from Covid-19 and the pain of its impact in our livelihood, our economy and our physical and mental health.”

He also called for support and prayer for the front-liners, especially the health workers and law enforcers.

“Let us take part in our own 40 days of passion by staying at home while praying and supporting our last line of defense -- the medical health workers together with all the front-liners including the men and women of the PNP and AFP who are all heroes in this battle, who risk their lives, being away from their families -- to save lives. Let us heed the call of government to stop fomenting panic, hatred and confusion by propagating disinformation,” he said. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)