Friday, April 17, 2020

NTFELCAC: NDF Reports Fake News to United Nations about the Philippine Government

Posted to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTFELCAC) Facebook Page (Apr 16, 2020): NDF Reports Fake News to United Nations about the Philippine Government


The claims of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) executive committee member Luis Jalandoni that the Philippine government has violated the unilateral ceasefire amidst COVID-19 pandemic from March 16 to April 15, launching attacks against communities, is a COMPLETE FAKE NEWS.

Source: GMA News…/ndfp-reports-gov-t-to-…/story/…

The New People's Army has never complied with the global ceasefire appealed by UN. The communist terrorist group continues to attack, kill, and harass indigenous peoples, indigenous communities, and military troops.

Clashes between army troops and the NPA only happen when military officers defend and protect its people against violence of the latter.

Timeline of NPA violations amidst COVID-19 ceasefire:

March 16 - Ceasefire declared by PRRD

March 19 - NPA on ‘killing spree’ amid SOMO in Surigao Sur

March 19 - DILG orders cops to comply with Covid-19 ceasefire

March 19 - AFP supports Covid-19 truce, remains wary of Reds

March 19 - DND to comply with ceasefire with Reds

March 19 - Civilian lives 'in peril' as NPA plants IEDs in Agusan Sur

March 21 - Army, NCIP slam killing of IP leader in Surigao Sur

March 22 - NCIP vows ‘swift’ justice for IPs murdered by NPA amid truce

March 24 - Palace welcomes CPP’s ceasefire amid fight vs. Covid-19

March 24 - NPA attacks IP community in DavNor town

March 26 - 3 suspected CPP-NPA members indicted for recruitment of minors

March 29 - Reds have no intention of honoring Covid-19 truce: AFP

March 29 - Palace condemns NPA violation of Covid-19 truce

March 30 - NPA shows arrogance in justifying killing of tribal leader

April 7 - Army soldier killed in clash with NPA rebels in Iloilo

April 8 - Army foils NPA landmine attack in Samar

April 8 - Army hits NPA over extortion in Northern Samar amid crisis

April 8 - NPA rebel killed after clash in Davao de Oro town

April 12- NPA attack on Army troops clear violation of truce deal

April 14 - E. Samar town condemns NPA for 'confiscating' food aid

April 14 - Army condemns NPA 'extortion' on Agusan Norte village

April 14 - NCIP condemns slay of unarmed tribal militiaman in Surigao Sur

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NDF/CPP: CPP orders extension of ceasefire to April 30; NDFP writes to inform UN Secretary General

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Apr 16, 2020): CPP orders extension of ceasefire to April 30; NDFP writes to inform UN Secretary General

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has ordered yesterday the New People’s Army (NPA) to extend the nationwide ceasefire for 15 more days to “prioritize the fight against the pandemic and ensure the safety, health and well-being of everyone.” The CPP Central Committee extended to 11:59 p.m. of April 30 its earlier ceasefire declaration which started on March 25.

According to the CPP, the aim of the ceasefire extension “is to ensure quick and unimpeded support to all people requiring urgent medical, health and socioeconomic assistance in the face of the public emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic.” It also emphasized that all revolutionary forces are “ever ready to cooperate with all other forces and elements to achieve this objective.”

While expressing the desire for the resumption of the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations, the CPP also reiterated the call for the “urgent release” of all political prisoners and for declaring a general amnesty.

The CPP praised all units of the people’s army and people’s militias for their discipline in observing the ceasefire order and shifting priority to the anti-Covid-19 campaign.

“Despite the difficulties and dangers brought about by the continuing occupation of AFP combat troops of guerrilla zones and base areas, the widespread and intense intelligence and psywar operations, and the attacks mounted by the AFP’s strike forces against detected NPA units,” the CPP stressed.

It cautioned the NPA to “maintain strictest secrecy” and not allow themselves to be exposed to AFP attacks. The recent armed encounters which the AFP misreported as NPA ceasefire violations are the result of the offensive actions of the AFP, the CPP affirmed.

It reiterated that all NPA units must strictly limit themselves to active defense operations which shall be carried out only in the face of imminent danger and actual armed attacks by the enemy forces.

The NDFP, meanwhile, wrote United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to inform him of the decision of the CPP Central Committee extending its unilateral ceasefire declaration.

In a letter, Luis Jalandoni, Member of the Executive Committee and National Council of the NDFP, reiterated that the CPP declaration of the unilateral ceasefire on March 25 to April 15, was issued in response to the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire of warring parties to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite violations of the Duterte government’s unilateral ceasefire, which we informed Your Honor a few days ago, this unilateral ceasefire declaration by the CPP Central Committee issued yesterday calls again for the release of political prisoners and declares its openness to resume peace negotiations with the Duterte government,” Jalandoni emphasized.

Jalandoni said the NDFP is assuring the UN Secretary General that the CPP, the New People’s Army (NPA) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are fully committed to carry out health and other programs to effectively combat the COVID-19 pandemic.#

NDF/Sison: A comment on dialectical materialism, idealism and mechanical materialism

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Apr 13, 2020): A comment on dialectical materialism, idealism and mechanical materialism

By Jose Maria Sison

Dialectical materialism is a precise expression for the Marxist materialist philosophy as opposed to both idealism (objective and subjective) and to mechanical materialism. Materialist dialectics takes into account the materiality of the universe as well as the contradictory factors in the balances and transformations within nature and society and in the interactions of society and nature.

The dialectical materialist adopts the materialist and scientific outlook and the mode of cognition and practice that gives due attention to the dialectical or interactive relation of human consciousness and material reality, especially in the process of social transformation, and debunks the supernatural as well as the subjectivist as the sole or main determinant of reality and the transformation of social reality.

Dialectical materialism seeks to comprehend both the natural and social sciences, study how materialist dialectics (with its laws of contradiction) applies in any field of scientific knowledge and understand scientific knowledge as both products of social practice and being consequential to social reality and social transformation. Dialectical materialists are ever obliged and ready to learn from social investigation as well as scientific experiment.

Dialectical materialism is ever interested in and enlightened by the entire range of natural sciences. It appreciates the basic laws of motion in various types of natural phenomena as an explanation and confirmation of the materiality of the universe. In the dialectical materialist explanation of Mao, a piece of stone cannot take the place of the egg and bring forth a chicken, no matter the amount of temperature applied and no matter how much praying by the objective idealist and wishing by the subjective idealist.

The fundamental principles of dialectical materialism as laid down and clarified by Marx and Engels, benefited from the rise of humanism against divinism during the Renaissance and the rise of scientific and rational thought from the 16th century onwards. Philosophy became increasingly shorn of the superfluous Platonistic, idealistic and divinistic categories among the most advanced thinkers. It became clear that matter is the object of scientific investigation.

Dialectical materialists appreciate Newtonian physics as a great scientific advance in its own time and remains useful in building houses and bridges and in making and operating electro-mechanical processes. But it rejects mechanical materialism and sheer empiricism as much as it rejects objective idealism as philosophy and as the basis of or guide to social science. Thus, dialectical materialists have put forward materialist dialectics as the interaction of human consciousness and material reality.

Dialectical materialists appreciate the advance of scientific knowledge, such as the epochal one from Newtonian to Einsteinian physics. The latter gives us a more intimate knowledge of the atom, the materiality of energy and the realm of astral physics. Pertinent to quantum physics, Einstein demonstrated that the photons in a wave of light strike and disturb the electrons of a targeted object in photography.

Quantum physics verifies that particles are in waves and that the particle and wave are two sides of the same physical phenomenon, in the same way as matter and energy as well as photon and light. It debunks the attempt of some idealist scientists and philosophers to spiritualize the wave and make the particles subordinate to it and make these less essential or less important.

There is double absurdity in the statement that “scientific developments, especially in quantum physics, are increasingly in relative correspondence with the spiritual belief systems of what Engels called primitive communist societies. There is an attempt to misrepresent Engels as having been an idealist and as having asserted the scientific validity of spiritual belief systems where in fact he saw through such unscientific belief systems as reflections of social practice and the given level of speculation in primitive communal societies.

The great Mao made no rupture from dialectical materialism when he answered the question, Where do correct ideas come from? His answer is a brilliant summation and amounts to an enrichment or development of Marxist philosophy, particularly in the epistemology of dialectical materialism. He declares and explains that the source of knowledge is social practice, consisting of production, class struggle and scientific experiment.

The three terms are well sequenced historically: primitive and more advanced societies exist and develop on the basis of production as human activity, class struggle impels and propels the maintenance and change of class-divided societies and scientific experiment enables the scientific and technological development that leads to social development.

In our time the application of quantum physics has generated information technology to accelerate production, communications and distribution of goods to favor the monopoly bourgeoisie and its financial oligarchy, especially during the decades of the neoliberal policy regime. But the adoption of higher technology has made more frequent and worse the economic crisis (the crisis of overproduction) and the financial crisis (the abuse of credit) of the capitalist system.

Consequently the deepening and worsening of the crisis of the world capitalist system has generated among the proletariat and people the outrage and desire for revolution. The recurrent rounds of crisis have become the opportunity for building the mass movement and revolutionary forces. And the higher technology for maximizing profit and accelerating the private accumulation of capital provides the tools for arousing , organizing and mobilizing the masses at a faster rate than ever and eventually for building socialism at new and higher technical and cultural level.

Dialectical materialists always seek to learn from the laws of natural science in order to shed light on the materiality of the objective conditions and subjective factors interacting in social reality and social transformation. And in the realm of social science, they learn best and most from the impact on and consequences of the advances in science and technology to society. But they never seek to replace with any notion of dialectical materialism any scientific law or process discovered and proven in the process of scientific experiment or technological innovation. ###

CPP/NPA-Negros Island: AFP’s corruption and fake news–NPA-Negros

NPA-Negros Island propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 17, 2020): AFP’s corruption and fake news–NPA-Negros

APRIL 17, 2020

The recent so-called ‘surrender’ of a certain Jonel Moreno a.k.a Roy is another fabricated lie of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The truth is Moreno is a local military asset who conducts intelligence operations for the AFP and extorts from businesses by posing as an NPA member in the guise of revolutionary taxation. The M16 rifle, .45 cal pistol and other accessories supposedly surrendered by Moreno are just recycled from the AFP’s arsenal.

Moreno is another proof of the government’s failed E-CLIP program, used as a cash cow by corrupt military men. The supposed aid from the program are pocketed by officials while rank-and-file soldiers and CAFGU suffer meager salaries and serve as cannon fodders in Duterte’s failing “anti-insurgency” campaign.

The AFP should instead focus on helping the Filipino people face the COVID-19 pandemic. While the New People’s Army with the entire revolutionary forces are implementing measures to help the people who are expecting aid from the government, the AFP are wasting funds on their failed propaganda against the ever stronger revolutionary movement. Tax payer’s money should be used on social services especially in this crisis, not on Pasaporte and his henchmen’s personal interest. These deceptive acts only anger the Filipino people even more, enticing them to take arms and revolt. Duterte proves once again that he is the #1 recruiter of the NPA.###

CPP/NDF-RCTU-ST: Pondo para sa Covid-19, wag kurakutin!–RCTU-ST

NDF-RCTU-Southern Tagalog Committee propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Apr 17, 2020): Pondo para sa Covid-19, wag kurakutin!–RCTU-ST


APRIL 17, 2020

Dapat pagbayaran ang KRIMINAL NA KAPABAYAAN ng rehimeng US-Duterte sa pagharap nito sa pandemya at nakamamatay na CoViD-19. MABAGAL pa sa usad-pagong ang pagkilos ng buong gubyernong Duterte para bigyan ng solusyon ang mabilis na pananalasa at pagkalat ng nakakamatay na virus. Umabot na sa 4,934 ang kumpirmadong kaso, 315 ang namatay at 242 ang nakarekober sa CoViD-19. Pinabayaan nya ang mga Health workers na nasa unahan ng laban, 252 na sa kanilang hanay ang nahawa ng virus (152 doctors, 63 nurses, 35 other medical staffs), habang 21 na ang namatay na bayani mula sa hanay ng manggagawang pangkalusugan-.

Nangyayari ang lahat ng ito dahil sa kawalan ng kongkretong plano ng gobyerno na gagabay para harapin ang CoViD-19. Gumawa nga ng isang National Action Plan, pero hindi naman nakatuntong at ginagabayan ng isang siyentipiko at komprehensibong plano. Mas pinalala pa ng pag-aakalang isang simpleng “Peace and Order Situation” lamang ito, kaya naman, imbes na solusyong medikal ay aksyong militar ang ginawa ng pangunahing kapural at chief implementor ni Duterte na si Gen (ret) Carlito Galvez.

Matagal nang pabaya ang rehimeng Duterte sa pampublikong kalusugan ng mamamayan. Binawasan ang pondo para sa Epidemiology and Surveillance Program (ESP) mula sa P262.9M noong 2019 tungo sa P115.5M ngayong 2020 na ang trabaho ay mag-monitor, mag-imbestiga at mag-analisa ng mga mabilis na kumalat at nakakahawang sakit. Binawasan din ng P6 bilyon ang pondo ng Health Systems Strengthening Program (HSSP) na magseseguro sa hiring at kapakinabangan ng mga pampublikong doktor, nars, midwives, community health workers at iba pang health care providers. Kulang din ang mga Barangay Health Workers ng aabot sa 802,422, pero hindi nila ma-hire dahil sa kawalan ng pondo, habang bilyon-bilyong pondo ang idinagdag sa sa badyet ng mersenaryong AFP at PNP na siya namang ginagamit laban sa mamamayan, EJK at pagsupil sa kanilang demokratikong karapatan.

Ang ni-railroad nyang batas na RA11469 “Bayanihan to Heal as one Act” o BaHO-A ay nakapokus lamang sa 2 bagay. Una, “emergency power” para mas mapatindi pa nya ang panunupil at militaristang layunin; ikalawa, ang magkaroon ng napakalaking pondo na hahawakan nya. Kaakibat nito ang P275B pondo, na ang P200B ay para sa “social amelioration” ng 18 milyong pamilyang mahihirap. Ang pondong ito ang ipinangangalandakan ni Duterte at ipinagyayabang na “Huwag kayong matakot, may pera ako!”.

Mayabang lang magsalita si Digong, pero sobrang bagal ang pagtugon nya sa nagugutom na maralita. April 1 pa, nakuha ng DSWD ang P100 Bilyon na unang hati ng pondo mula sa DBM, pero hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay umaabot pa lamang sa P48B ang naibibigay sa mga LGU’s at hindi pa tiyak kung naipamahagi na ito ng mga LGU’s sa mga pamilyang nagugutom. Pinahigpit pa nila ang mga requirements para makuha ito; ginamit ang lipas nang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo na noong 2015 census pa at hindi na tugma sa hawak na listahan ng mga LGU’s; at dahil sa katusuhan, ipinasa sa mga LGU’s ang inaasahang sisi dahil sa simula’t-simula ay kulang naman talaga ang pondong inilaan. Sa gitna ng panawagang ng DOH na hugas-kamay laban sa virus, hugas-kamay naman si Duterte sa sisi sa pagpapasa ng kasalanan sa mga LGU. Sa sobrang bagal ng ayuda, nagwawala na ang mga maralitang nakararanas ng matinding gutom sanhi ng ginawa nilang pwersahang pagkakait ng kabuhayan, pagkakakitaan, trabaho at ikinulong sa kanilang mga tahanan dulot ng sapilitang Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Makalipas lamang ang 6 na gabi, biglang nagbago na ang tono ni Duterte. Mula sa astang mayabang na pangulo, nagmukha syang nakikiusap sa pagsasabing “gusto ko maging tapat sa inyo, ang P270B na badget ay hindi talaga tatagal yan”. Kaya naman pala, nais lang niyang ilutang ang pangangailangan ng P1.17 Trillion o $23B pondo “daw” sa paglaban sa Covid-19 at agarang mapunan ito para matalo ang CoViD-19. Nag-iisip na agad ng karagdagang pondo, kahit hindi pa nga natatanggap ng mga maralita ang P5,000.00 – P8,000.00 na ayuda sa mga apektado ng ECQ. Kung tutuusin, lubhang napakaliit pa nga ang ayuda, kung ikukumpara sa nawalang kita ng mga manggagawa kung sila ay nakakapasok sa trabaho sa araw-araw.

WALA NGA BANG PONDO ANG GOBYERNO o SADYA LANG DORUBO? Ayon mismo kay Sec. Carlos Dominguez III ng DOF may pera ang gobyerno, katunayan may halos P200 bilyon mula sa kinita ng TRAIN Law, P200 bilyon mula sa ibat-ibang libro de cuenta ng pambansang gubyerno at GOCCs (government owned or controlled corporations), may inaasahang P190 bilyon sa pagbebenta ng government securities at ang magmumula sa mga biniling government securities ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) na nagkakahalaga ng P300 bilyon. Dagdag naman ni Atty. Terry Ridon (Infrawatch PH), may 49 Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects para sa BBB program na aabot sa mahigit P2.37 Trilyon na magagamit ng presidente sa Covid-19. Kamakailan, ibinalita ng World Bank (WB) na aprubado na ang pautang sa Pilipinas na nagkakahalaga ng $500 M o P25Bilyon. Sa kabuuan, aabot na ito sa P4 TRILYON, sobra-sobrang pera kahit pa hindi na mangutang at magbenta ng ari-arian ang gobyerno.

Hindi pa kasama dito ang bilyon-bilyong pondo mula sa intelligence fund ng AFP, Office of the President at sa mga departamento ng gobyerno na hindi pa ginagalaw at ginagamit lamang para sa malawakang Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) at milyon-milyong pork barrel ng mga kongresistang isiningit ni Cayetano sa budget. May hinihintay pa silang karagdagang inuutang na $5.6 B (P280 B) sa WB, ADB at Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Maaari din magkaroon ng “Debt Moratorium” o hindi pagbabayad ng utang panlabas habang nakakaranas pa ng pananalasa ng virus para agarang mailaan ang badyet na pambayad utang sa paglaban sa Covid-19.

MALAWAKANG PAMUMULITIKA AT KORAPSYON SA GITNA NG MATINDING KAHIRAPANG NARARANASAN NG MAMAMAYAN SANHI NG ECQ AT COVID-19. Masiba pa sa “Buwitre”, walang kabusugan si Duterte at kanyang mga alipures sa pondo ng bayan. Sa inisyal na pondong P27.1B na inilabas noong Marso 16 para sa pagharap sa virus, malaking bahagi nito ay inilaan nya sa Turismo-P14B (para sa paborito nyang kalihim at sa paglalarga ng Tourism Infrastructure & Enterprise Zone Authority), kakarampot lamang ang karagdagang pondo na inilaan nya sa DOH para sa Test Kits at medical gears na P3.1Bilyon. Pinayagan din nya ang pagbili ng DOH ng overpriced na Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) na nagkakahalaga ng P1,800.00 kada isa o may kabuuang P1.8 bilyon, samantalang mabibili lamang ito sa halagang P400 – P600 bawat isa sa ibang kumpanya na hindi kamag-anak ni Sec. Duque ng DOH.

Noong April 3, dinagdagan pa nya ng pondo ang 5 ahensya ng gobyerno para daw labanan ang Covid-19. DSWD – P3.93 bilyon, DOH – P600 milyon, DILG – P520 milyon, DOLE – P100 milyon at DOST – P53.23 milyon. Makikita dito na malaki ang inilaan nyang pondo sa mga ahensyang pinamumunuan ng mga militarista at dating mga heneral na gaya nina Gen. Bautista (DSWD) at Gen. Año (DILG). Para pahupain naman ang sintimyento ng mga LGU’s, napilitan syang magbigay ng suhol sa kanila sa pamamagitan ng “Bayanihan Grant” na nagkakahalaga ng P30.824 bilyon para daw sa pagsustina ng kanilang relief operations kahit na pinapayagan naman na magamit na ang 20% ng kanilang development/calamity fund.

Samantala, parang virus din na di-nakikita at hindi isinasapubliko ang natanggap nilang donasyon (cash at in-kind) ng ibat-ibang bansa, indibidwal, mga negosyante at grupo. Nakapagtataka na kahit may donasyon na 200K Test Kits, PPE’s (20K), Face Masks (1M), 32 Ventilators at bilyong halaga ng medical supply ay bumili pa rin ng mahal na PPE’s ang DOH na tila mauubusan sa merkado o sadya lang minadali para makakuha agad ng kickback?

Kung hindi dahil sa mga pribadong indibidwal at ilang negosyante na agarang nagbigay ng bilyon-bilyong halaga ng food packages sa mga biktima ng ECQ at CoViD-19, mamamatay sa gutom ang malawak na hanay ng mamamayan o hindi man lang mabibigyan ng pagkalinga ang mga medical frontliners at hindi mailulunsad ang maramihang testing. Ang ABS-CBN Pantawid Pag-ibig na nakapagbigay ng milyong halaga ng relief goods at ilang artista kagaya ni Angel Locsin, na nakapagpagawa ng mga tent na matutulayan ng ibat-ibang frontliners sa ibat-ibang hospitals mula sa mahigit sa P10 milyon na naipong donasyon na pinangunahan nya para sa programang #UniTentWeStand.

Samantalang ang gobyernong ito ay PABAYA at BINGI sa kagyat na pangangailangang ayuda ng mamamayan. Maging sa simpleng proteksyon ng mga frontliners gaya ng libreng sakay, diskriminasyon sa kanila o kaya ang nakakaranas ng mag commute dahil walang masakyan ay hinuhuli pa tulad ginawang paghuli sa magkapatid na medical frontliners ng Valenzuela traffic personnel at pinagmulta pa ng P5,000.00 na kalahati na ng isang buwang kinita.

Kailangang patuloy na magkaisa, lumaban at makibaka ang maralita at manggagawa, singilin si Duterte sa kanyang kriminal na kapabayaan! Panagutin sa kanyang kriminal na pananagutan sa dinaranas na kahirapan ng mamamayan sanhi ng malawakang KORAPSYON, pwersahang pag-aalis ng kabuhaya’t trabaho at pagkukulong dulot ng Enhanced Security Quarantine at lockdown! Sa malao’t madali, kailangan na magkaisa ang lahat ng inaapi at pinahihirapan ng rehimen. Para sa interes ng malawak na mamamayan, kailangan nang pabagsakin ang inutil at kontra-mamamayang rehimeng US-Duterte!


Kalinaw News: Army recovers 5 high powered firearms in clash with CNTs prior to SAC distribution in Agusan del Sur Town

Posted to Kalinaw News (Apr 17, 2020): Army recovers 5 high powered firearms in clash with CNTs prior to SAC distribution in Agusan del Sur Town (By 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion)

Prosperidad, Agusan Del Sur – The 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion troops conducting active defense patrol prior to the MSWD’s distribution of Social Amelioration Cash (SAC) encountered about 30 communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in Sitio Mikit, San Martin Propseridad, Agusan del Sur on April 17, 2020 at 6:35am resulting to the Army’s recovery of one (1) AK-47 rifle, two (2) M16-A1 Rifle with one (1) M203 grenade launcher, one (1) M653 rifle, 12 backpacks, 5 bandoliers with full assorted ammunitions and a commercial radio left by the CNTs in the encounter site after a 30 minute-firefight.

There were no casualties on the government troops while bloodstains from undetermined number of wounded CNTs are left from the encounter site. 3SFBn and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 13 (RMFB13) troops are still on hot pursuit.

According to prior information from civilians, the CNTs prepositioned in Sitio Mikit in order anticipate the LGU and MSWD’s scheduled distribution of the Social Amelioration Cash in the barangay and target the civilian recipients for extortion.

Further based on the reports of civilians, the CNTs extorts food supplies from nearby civilians who currently received relief goods from the government.

“Sapat lang sa aming pamilya ang relief goods hihingian pa nila kami ng mas marami,” a civilian who requested anonymity, said.

The strict implementation of localized enhanced community quarantine of various local government units, made it difficult for CNTs to procure supplies because of intensified quarantine checkpoints and their failure to secure quarantine passes. This prompted the CNTs to extort food from the relief goods received by the civilians.

Barangay San Martin along with 30 barangays of Prosperidad have declared the CNT personalities as persona-non grata earlier this year after the CNTs perpetrated the burning of dump truck owned by civilians in barangay Libertad last January 8.

“While we are battling the COVID-19, these Communist NPA Terrorists, make the situations worse for civilians, especially the poorest sectors, who are greatly affected of the Enhanced Community Quarantine,” LTC Joey B Baybayan INF GSC PA, 3SFBn Commanding Officer, said.

COL Allan D Hambala INF MNSA PA, 401st Infantry Brigade Commander said that the active defense security measures in line with the COVID-19 Task Force’s guidelines to maintain peace and order will ensure the safety and security of the delivery of the government’s continuous relief and social amelioration cash distribution for the people affected by the crisis.

“As frontliners in the security sector, it is our job to ensure the government’s safe delivery of relief services and the distribution of social amelioration cash to the affected sectors in the crisis. We must protect the civilians and government workers from any form of harassments and extortion of the CNTs who are the virus of the society,” Colonel Hambala, said.

It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, during his public address, warned the CNTs and other destabilizers that the government will not hesitate to assert its will for those who will attempt to hamper the relief operations and the government’s efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, the military and the local government continuously calls on the CNTs to surrender peacefully to receive benefits through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program and to live a peaceful and normal life away from violence and the useless armed struggle.

[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: Militiang Bayan and exploited local populace of CPP-NPA-NDF surrendered with firearms in Aurora

Posted to Kalinaw News  (Apr 17, 2020): Militiang Bayan and exploited local populace of CPP-NPA-NDF surrendered with firearms in Aurora (By 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion)

BALER, AURORA – As a result of continuous Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) to clear the affected Barangays from Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) influence, and affectation, and despite the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion, 7ID, PA successfully facilitated the mass surrender of ten (10) Milisyang Bayan members and withdrawal of support and membership to CPP/NPA/NDF of sixteen (16) NPA Exploited Local Populace (supporters/contacts/couriers), all under Platoon 4A4, Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC) at Barangay Umiray, Dingalan, Aurora on Wednesday (15 April 2020).

They also turned-over two (2) cal .38 pistols, one (1) HM shotgun, and one (1) HM converted cal .22.

The activity was part of the continued efforts of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) executive order (EO) 70 of the government through RCSP.

The activity was witnessed by the local officials and staff of LGU Dingalan, Aurora headed by Hon Mayor Shierwin H Taay, PNP, and Barangay officials.

LTC REANDREW P RUBIO INF (GSC) PA, Acting Commanding Officer of 91IB led the Pledge of Support to the government of twenty six (26) personalities mostly IP “Katutubo” who expressed their noble intention to abandon the underground movement. RUBIO said that their move is a clear manifestation that despite of inclement weather the group surfaced without hesitation and want to avail the services of the government.

“I would like to thanks our local officials for their untiring support to my RCSP team in providing information that led to the neutralization of the said groups,” he added. Of the 26 surrenderes three (3) among them denounced in public how the communist groups exploited them and other false promises of the NPA rebels operating in the area.

After the simple ceremony, they received food packs and initial financial assistance of LGU Dingalan and 91IB in line with the Enhanced Adopt-a-Brgy Program (Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko).

Likewise, COL ANDREW D COSTELO INF (GSC) PA, Commander, 703rd Infantry (Agila)Brigade, of Philippine Army, lauded the efforts of SINAGTALA troopers, PNP, DILG, and the local officials of Aurora for being very active and supportive in the conduct of overall Internal Security Operations within their AOR.

“I urged the remnants of KLG Sierra Madre to lay down their arms and avail the benefits offered by the government specifically the ECLIP,” COSTELO 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: Gov denounces another NPA atrocities against IP communities resulting in clash, 2 NPA deaths

Posted to Kalinaw News  (Apr 17, 2020): Gov denounces another NPA atrocities against IP communities resulting in clash, 2 NPA deaths (By 67th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang on Thursday denounced anew the series of atrocities committed by the lawless Communist group New People’s Army against Indigenous Peoples residents in hinterland communities in the municipality of Baganga, while the province and the rest of country are still struggling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has only been four days since the NPA harassed the IP residents of a sitio in Barangay Mahan-ub in Baganga and attacked the troops of the Philippine Army despite their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire. And in the ensuing days, the group still managed to unleash terror on our innocent civilians,” said Governor Dayanghirang, saying that the incident proved that the government should no longer negotiate with the CPP-NPA.

Based on the official report from the 67th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, a group of more or less 30 members of the NPA were harassing the residents of different hinterland sitios and barangays in Baganga, by forcibly taking away the residents’ relief goods and harvesting their crops while threatening them if they do not cooperate.

Army troopers, who responded to the residents’ call for help, pursued the lawless group in a Focused Military Operation immediately after the lifting of the unilateral ceasefire at the dawn of April 16 resulting in an encounter.

The clash occurred in the vicinity of Sitio San Francisco in Barangay Campawan, in the town of Baganga which lasted for about thirty minutes resulting in the death of two NPA members.

“These unnecessary deaths would have been prevented if only they (the NPA) abide by the rules of the ceasefire and cooperated with the government by surrendering which is the best way they can help our fellow Filipinos in these trying times,” said Governor Dayanghirang.

Also recovered at the clash site are four high-powered firearms, landmines, and subversive documents with high intelligence value from the NPA bandits who are believed to be members of Front North, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC1) of Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC).

The Governor said that this terrorist group only adds up to the burden of the people in these difficult times brought about by the threat of the coronavirus disease. He described the series of crimes committed by the NPA as a clear violation of human rights and their absence of sincerity towards peace and compassion for the people.

The IP communities, on the other hand, thanked the soldiers who came to their rescue. One resident said that they are happy that the soldiers drove away the NPA from their land. “Naya-pasalamat kami nganaya-engkwentro, ugnayakita mayo yang armadonagrupoaronsaingonmahinay-hinayyaansilanugkawangadisa among lugar. Ugsaiban pa, silaangnayaka-kuha ng gipang-tudaknami para sang kanamiadlaw-adlawnapagkaanugpanginahanglan.” (We are thankful that (though) there was an encounter, you (soldiers) found the armed group and driven them away so that eventually they will be gone in our lands for good. If this did not happen, they would have taken all (the crops) we need for our daily subsistence,” the resident said.

Brigadier General Jose ErielNiembra, Commander of the 701st Brigade, also condemned the NPA atrocities which were committed despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the CPP-NPA’s self-declaration of a ceasefire last March 24.

“We are calling for the NPAs to stop threatening the communities for their own selfish ends. The current situation wherein everybody is vulnerable due to the threat of COVID-19 is already unbearable. This calls for a unified action among us Filipinos. The NPAs can best help by coming back to the folds of the law and be one with the people in fighting this pandemic,” said Brig. Gen. Niembra.

67th Infantry Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Louie Dema-ala reassured the people that “Our troops will continue to safeguard and not let our guards down in the Province of Davao Oriental. It is unfortunate that our fellowmen who were victims of wrong ideologies ended up their lives like this. We are encouraging other remaining NPA members to return to the folds of the law. Thus, the 67IB together with the local government, peace advocates and other stakeholders to reiterate our call for the NPA to stop the violence, armed struggle and surrender with us peacefully”.

The Provincial Government, with the strong support of its partner security forces, vowed to continue its relentless efforts to protect the communities from this lawless group while ensuring the needs of the people amidst the pandemic.

[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: NPAs violates own ceasefire declaration anew, murders unarmed CAFGU in Surigao del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News  (Apr 17, 2020): NPAs violates own ceasefire declaration anew, murders unarmed CAFGU in Surigao del Sur (By 402nd Infantry "Stingers" Brigade, Philippine Army)

Bancasi, Butuan City – The CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) murdered another unarmed CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) in front of his family in Sitio Lamesa, Carromata, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur violating their self-imposed Unilateral Ceasefire at about 6PM, April 14, 2020.

The victim identified as Wilson Behing, a CAA member rendering duty at Bitaugan Patrol Base, Brgy Bitaugan, SMSDS, was summarily executed by five (5) CNTs led by Arnel C Banguis (@ DINDO) of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) 21, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC) shooting him in the different parts of his body while the former was clearing his farm near his residence.

Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, the Commander of the 402nd Brigade, has decried anew the NPA’s insincerity and fake ceasefire declaration as they continue to perpetrate atrocities while their unilateral ceasefire is still in effect at the height of COVID19 pandemic.

Brigadier General Licudine said, “Late CAA Behing was mercilessly killed in front of his own children. He suffered gunshot wounds on his face and different parts of his body including hack wounds which led to his untimely death. This gruesome death is a work of evil, a gross violation of their unilateral ceasefire, the international humanitarian law and the human rights of CAA Behing”.

It can be recalled that the CNTs also murdered two (2) IP members of San Miguel town last March 19, 2020 at Sitio Inadan, Brgy Magroyong, SDS. The CNTs even arrogantly fabricated lies and accusations to justify the said atrocity after admitting the senseless killing in at least two (2) live radio interviews. Then again, on March 31, 2020, the CNTs killed Nora Apique, a farmer-leader, in Brgy Patong, SDS. She had been prominently helping the farmers in Surigao del Sur avail of the government programs to improve their production and well-being.

The CNTs have been continuously deceiving the people by propagating lies to agitate and gain new recruits while instigating terror activities such as murder, abduction, arson and the like as their modus to influence and force the support of the people. They have transformed into notorious bandits with the end view of amassing wealth through extortion and intimidation forgetting the ideals they have been fighting for.

“These wanton killings by the NPA must be stopped. We must join hands in condemning these atrocious acts of the CNTs in the strongest terms and renounce their presence in our communities. They are bandits and murderers who only live for themselves and their caprices unmindful of the stigma and impact of their deeds to the lives of the Surigaonons. They are the true viruses in our communities.”, BGen Licudine added.

Meanwhile, the 36IB troopers under the operational control of the 402nd Brigade together with the BLGU Carromata and Datu Rico Maca retrieved the cadaver on the morning of April 15, 2020 and immediately brought it to San Miguel MPS for post mortem examination.

[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: High-Ranking NPA yields as Army resumes offensive operations in Negros Occidental

Posted to Kalinaw News  (Apr 17, 2020): High-Ranking NPA yields as Army resumes offensive operations in Negros Occidental (By Philippine Army Spearhead Troopers)

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – A high-ranking CPP-NPA Terrorist surrendered to the joint elements of the 62nd and 94th Infantry Battalions of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division today, April 16, 2020 in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

Alias Roy (true name withheld), a Commanding Officer of the Local Guerilla Unit in Central Negros, surrendered to the authorities bringing along an M16 rifle with magazine and live ammunitions, a .45 caliber pistol with two (2) magazines and live ammunitions, and a handheld radio as the military’s offensive operations against the CPP-NPA terrorists resumed.

In his revelations during an initial interview, alias Roy admitted that the hardships inside the group and futility of the CPP-NPA’s “armed struggle” prompted him to surrender and choose the path of peace and reconciliation with his family.

Meanwhile, Major General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, appreciated the decision of alias Roy to surrender. He also reiterated his constant call to the remaining members of the CPP-NPA to surrender, embrace peace, and reunite with their families especially now as our communities face a health crisis.

“Alias Roy made a good decision to go back to the folds of the law because he has not only avoided misfortune following the resumption of our offensive operations, but was also able to reunite with his family who needs him the most in these trying times.” Said Major General Vinoya. “As we fight an unseen enemy, the Corona Virus, we must realize that never in our lifetime have we faced an adversity of this magnitude. Hence, I continue to encourage the remaining CPP-NPA members to lay down your arms, surrender, and embrace peace. Your family needs you now more than ever – a father, a mother, a brother, or a sister whom they can lean on during this crisis.” Vinoya 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:]

Military resumes offensives vs NPA, denies violating lapsed ceasefire

From Rappler (Apr 17, 2020): Military resumes offensives vs NPA, denies violating lapsed ceasefire (JC Gotinga)

The military has reported at least 3 armed clashes with communist guerrillas since the government’s unilateral ceasefire ended on April 15

SOLDIERS. Philippine Army troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion at their headquarters in Placer, Surigao del Norte on August 2, 2016. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Military offensives against the New People’s Army (NPA) have officially resumed and will continue despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Friday, April 17.

The government’s unilateral ceasefire that was declared parallel to the lockdown of Luzon island and many other parts of the country lapsed at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 15, and combat operations against NPA guerrillas resumed on Thursday, April 16, said AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo in a statement.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the parent organization of the NPA, extended its unilateral ceasefire until April 30 after it lapsed on Wednesday.

Duterte earlier extended the lockdown of Luzon island until April 30, but he has not said anything about extending the government’s ceasefire.

Rappler asked Malacañang whether the President would reciprocate extending the truce, but Palace officials had yet to respond as of this posting.

In his statement, Arevalo slammed the CPP's “temerity” in writing the United Nations a letter complaining of alleged ceasefire violations by the military.

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

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), the political wing of the CPP, wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday, April 13, accusing the AFP of launching 13 attacks against the NPA since March 16, when Duterte first called for a ceasefire.

Arevalo called the accusations “bogus,” and said the AFP has counted a total of 17 ceasefire violations by the NPA itself.

The marine general echoed earlier statements by military and defense officials wary of agreeing to a truce with communist rebels, saying the NPA tends to use ceasefires to regroup, harass civilian communities, and even attack unsuspecting military and police troops.

On April 1, Lorenzana accused the NPA of violating the truce by attempting to attack Army troops in Rodriguez, Rizal, on March 28. The Army said it had “thwarted” a planned offensive by the rebels, which resulted in a battle that killed one soldier and one rebel.

NDF leader Luis Jalandoni denied the accusation and said it was the military that “went looking for trouble” then.

More clashes

On Friday, the military reported two more clashes with the NPA – one in Davao Oriental and another in Agusan del Sur – following an earlier skirmish in Sorsogon that the AFP reported on Thursday.

At least two NPA rebels were killed in the encounter in Sitio San Francisco, Barangay Campawan, Baganga municipality, Davao Oriental, at around 11:20 am on Thursday, said a report from the Philippine Army’s 67th Infantry Battalion.

The firefight between Army troops and around 30 guerrillas lasted about 30 minutes. Soldiers recovered 3 AK47 rifles, an M16 rifle, and 3 explosives from the scene.

At around 6:35 am on Friday, the Army’s 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion clashed with around 30 NPA rebels in Sitio Mikit, Barangay San Martin, Prosperidad town in Agusan del Sur.

The encounter also lasted about 30 minutes, after which soldiers recovered an M203 grenade launcher and several AK47, M653, and M16 rifles from the rebels. Bloodstains on the clash site indicated casualties among the rebels, the Army 3rd Special Forces said in a media statement.

On Thursday, the AFP reported an armed encounter between the Army’s 31st Infantry Battalion and the NPA in Barangay Tongdol, Irosin town in Sorsogon. One guerrilla was killed in the 10-minute firefight.

Tense from the start

It was Duterte who first asked the NPA for a ceasefire on March 16, the eve of the “enhanced community quarantine” or lockdown of Luzon island as a means to slow down the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the military and police needed to focus on addressing the pandemic, and so he sought a reprieve from the fight with the rebels.

The truce was officially declared on March 18, and military troops were ordered to stand down on March 19.

Doubting Duterte's sincerity, the CPP-NPA-NDF did not reciprocate the truce until a week later, March 25, after the UN called for a global cessation of hostilities amid the pandemic.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana then warned the military to remain on guard against the NPA despite the ceasefire. CPP founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison likewise told the NPA to keep watch against the military even during the truce.

NPA leader surrenders guns

From the Visayan Daily Star (Apr 17, 2020): NPA leader surrenders guns (BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

A self-confessed New People’s Army commander yesterday gave himself up to the Philippine Army, and surrendered high-powered firearms with ammunition, amidst the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in Negros Island.

The surrender of Jonel Moreno, alias Ka Roy, a full time Communist Party of the Philippines member and commander of a local guerilla unit of the Central Negros Front,
was jointly facilitated by the 62nd and 94th Infantry Battalions, said Maj. Franco Ver Lopez, Civil Military Operations officer of the 303rd Infantry Brigade.

Moreno also surrendered an M-16 armalite rifle with a magazine containing ammunition, a .45 caliber pistol with two magazines containing ammunition, and an ICOM hand-held radio with accessories.

Lopez said that Moreno decided to leave the NPA terrorist group because of hunger, continuous hardships, and false promises by leaders of the local terrorist group.

He added that the surrendered rebel leader revealed the link of a certain local government official to the CPP-NPA, and who had assisted in the transport of logistics and ranking rebel leaders.

However, Lopez declined to identify the local government official, pending validation of the allegation.

Moreno is now undergoing custodial and stress debriefing at the 62IB, prior to his enrolment in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), for him to avail of immediate welfare and livelihood assistance and incentives for the surrendered firearms.

Lt Col. Melvin Flores, 62IB commander, said that the "the surrender of Jonel Moreno adds-up to the increasing number of New People’s Army and Militia ng Bayan who finally woke-up from the deceptions of the CPP-NPA-NDF and decided to come out for good and avail the amnesty program of the government."

Col. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, reiterated his call for the remaining NPA members in Negros to abandon the armed struggle and avail of the government E-CLIP program.

100 families get aid from Army

From the Mindanao Times (Apr 17, 2020): 100 families get aid from Army (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

One hundred poor families received relief goods from the 5th Civil-Relations Group and private sector as part of the “Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko” campaign for the current health crisis.

Capt Benedick Cagatin, commander of the 51st Civil Relations Unit of CRG, led the distribution of relief goods, consisting of 15 kilos of rice, three pieces of canned goods, and two pieces of noodles for each family.

The relief goods were donated by Jeffrey Jess S. Mataro and personnel of 5th CRG intended for 100 poor families of different puroks in Barangay Doña Andrea, Asuncion, Davao del Norte in partnership with the 60th Infantry Battalion and barangay officials of Barangay Doña Andrea, headed by its chairman Al M. Sumalhag.

“We estimate that the 15 kilos for each family can be consumed until the end of the month,” Cagatin said. “We consider those beneficiaries as belonging to the poorest of the poor. Meaning, they do not have other sources of income.”

The “Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko” is a project of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the aim of helping families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The project aims to help poor families by providing for their basic needs until the enhanced community quarantine is lifted in the country.

11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in clash with Abu Sayaff in Sulu

From MindaNews (Apr 17, 2020): 11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in clash with Abu Sayaff in Sulu (By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA)

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 18 April) — Eleven soldiers from the 21st Infantry Battalion were killed while 14 others were wounded as government troops clashed with the Abu Sayyaf in Sitio Bud Lubong, Barangay Danag in Patikul, Sulu at around 3 p.m. on Friday.

“With the determination to ensure the safety and security of the community against the Abu Sayyaf Group, 11 soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in an hour-long ferocious gunfight with the terrorist group,” Major Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao command said.

Encinas said the Abu Sayyaf also suffered casualties.

Patikul, Sulu.

The soldiers were running after ASG leader Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hajan Sawajaan when they were overpowered by the enemy presence inside the jungle, said Encinas.

Several firearms and communication equipment were reported stolen by the ASG.

Killed were 1Lt. Rogelio E. Deligero, Jr., S/Sgt Jason P. Gazzingan, Corporals John T Manodom, Mark Dixter U. Montenegro, Rasul B. Ao-As, Ernesto L. Bautista Jr., Benson A. Bongguic, Jomel N. Pagulayan, Premark P. Vallecer, Jiydon T. Usman and Jomar A. Ninalga.

Wounded were S/Sgt Alexander B. Bolesa, Sgt. Oliver Y. Salvador and Corporals Erick A. Curioso, Jesus P. Genora, Apollo D. Papa, Johnday B. Sabaway, Naricso W. Salidad, Jr., Pfc Robert M. Arias, Odit P. Flores, Jaypee L.Maddawing, Solomon T. Ngayak, RJ G. Estiban, Jesrael U. Sapao and a still to be identified person.
(Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)

Rebels attack troops securing health workers in South

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Apr 17, 2020): Rebels attack troops securing health workers in South

Special Forces soldiers securing social workers clashed with communist rebels on Friday in the southern Philippine province of Agusan del Sur, officials said.

Officials said the
fighting erupted in the village of San Martin in Prosperidad town after New People’s Army rebels attacked troops.

The clashed lasted for about 30 minutes and there was no report of military or civilian casualties, but it was not immediately known if any of the gunmen had been killed, although soldiers recovered blood-stained automatic weapons left behind by rebels, according to Maj. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

“The skirmish resulted in the recovery of one AK-47 assault rifle, two M16-A1 automatic rifles with an M203 grenade launcher, one M653 automatic rifle, ten backpacks, five bandoleers with ammunition, and a commercial transceiver radio set,” he said.

An army photo released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner shows
seized rebel weapons.

Faustino said fighting also broke out Thursday in Campawan town in Davao Oriental’s Baganga town where 2 rebels were slain by soldiers securing municipal social workers. He said troops were serving security for government health and social workers after rebels threatened to kill them. No soldiers or civilians were hurt in the fighting.

“Let us ensure that the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas will not be hampered and shall reach its intended recipients,” he said.

The NPA has been fighting the government for many decades now for the establishment of a communist state in the country. (Mindanao Examiner)

11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf

From Rappler (Apr 17, 2020): 11 soldiers killed, 14 wounded in Sulu clash with Abu Sayyaf (JC Gotinga)

(3rd UPDATE) Bloodstains on the clash site in Patikul, Sulu, indicate an undetermined number of casualties among the Abu Sayyaf Group, says the military

(3rd UPDATE) – Eleven Philippine Army soldiers were killed and 14 others wounded in a gunbattle with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Patikul, Sulu, on Friday, April 17, the Armed Forces of the Phillippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) confirmed to Rappler.

Troops from the Army's 21st Infantry Battalion
on a strike operation against the terror group encountered around 40 of its members in Sitio Lubong, Barangay Danag, at 3:05 pm, resulting in an hour-long firefight, according to a report confirmed by AFP Westmincom chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana.

The ASG members were led by the group's top leader Radullan Sahiron, and the subleader of its pro-Islamic State faction Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan,
according to the spot report seen by Rappler.

Bloodstains on the clash site indicate an undetermined number of casualties among the ASG, who fled the vicinity after the encounter.

Government troops lost 7 R4 rifles, one with a 40mm grenade launcher attached, a K3 saw, and a handheld Harris Radio unit – used by the military for secure communications.

Troops from other military units, including the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, the 6th Special Forces Battalion, the 32nd Infantry Battalion, and the 1st Brigade Combat Team, were called in for reinforcement and increased firepower. A unit of the Air Force deployed two Augusta Westland 109 helicopters to support the engaged troops.

Combat operations were still underway as of 9:30 pm Friday, according to Major General Corleto Vinluan, commander of the Army's 11th Infantry Division based in Sulu.

In a statement, the AFP said the national flag will be flown at half staff at military camps all over the country in honor of the fallen soldiers.

AFP chief of staff General Felimon Santos Jr hailed them as heroes, and expressed his condolences to their families. Santos ensured that all necessary assistance will be extended to the bereaved, the AFP said.

The 14 wounded soldiers were promptly given medical treatment, said AFP Westmincom spokesperson Major Arvin John Encinas.

11 soldiers slain, 14 wounded in Sayyaf clash

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Apr 17, 2020): 11 soldiers slain, 14 wounded in Sayyaf clash

At least 11 soldiers were slain and over a dozen more wounded in fierce clashes Friday with pro-ISIS militants in Sulu province in southern Philippines, reports said.

Television giant GMA, which quoted Philippine military spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said as many as 14 soldiers were wounded
in the fighting with the Abu Sayyaf group in the village of Danag in Patikul town amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It said the clashes erupted in the afternoon, but there was no immediate report from provincial military or police commanders and the Western Mindanao Command also did not issue any statement.

But other reports said the soldiers are members of the 21st Infantry Battalion and Scout Ranger, and among the dead was a lieutenant. News website Rappler reported that the soldiers lost seven R4 assault rifles, one grenade launcher and a K3 machine gun, including a radio transceiver to the Abu Sayyaf.

Security forces are battling the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group for the past 2 decades now and despite government efforts to lure them to surrender in exchange for livelihood and financial aid, its members continue to wage a violent campaign in the restive region.

Its leaders have pledged allegiance to ISIS or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and vowed to put up a caliphate in Mindanao, one of the country’s three main islands largely populated by Christians, although the region was once under the powerful rule of the sultans. (Zamboanga Post)

Troops securing SAP distribution clash with NPA in Agusan Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 17, 2020): Troops securing SAP distribution clash with NPA in Agusan Sur (By Alexander Lopez)

RECOVERED FIREARMS. Troopers of 3rd Special Forces Battalion of the Army recover five high-powered firearms and other belongings after a 30-minute encounter in Sitio Mikit, Barangay San Martin, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, on Friday (April 17, 2020). The Army troopers were providing security to front-liners tasked to release cash assistance through the Social Amelioration Program in the area when fired upon by the communist rebels. (Photo courtesy of CMO 2SFBn)

Government troops securing a team of local officials distributing cash assistance to residents engaged in a firefight with around 30 communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels Friday (April 17) in the Agusan del Sur town of Prosperidad.

1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, the civil-military operations officer of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn), said residents of Sitio Mikit, Barangay San Martin, Prosperidad, had
complained of the rebels' extortion activity in the area prior to the firefight.

“No one was hurt on the side of the government troopers but we discovered bloodstains from the position of the NPA rebels,” Punsalan said in a statement Friday.

Punsalan said the troops managed to prepare for the encounter after being alerted by civilians about the NPA's plan to harass the troops securing the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD) personnel tasked to distribute the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash cards.

He said the NPA combatants fired upon the government troops who served as advance party to the MSWD personnel upon their arrival in the village, resulting in a 30-minute gun battle.

Government troops recovered five high-power firearms after the encounter, including an AK-47 rifle, two M16-A1 rifles with one M203 grenade launcher, and an M653 rifle.

Other items recovered from the encounter site include 12 backpacks, five bandoliers full of assorted ammunition, and commercial radio.
Punsalan said the villagers were afraid the rebels would force them to surrender their cash grants.

The SAP is being distributed in the whole Agusan del Sur following the declaration of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the area.

Punsalan said the ECQs has made the lives of NPA fighters "difficult nowadays. Their couriers could no longer access to the market centers in the area".

“This is the reason why the NPA extort the relief goods and food of the civilians especially in remote barangays,” he added.

Punsalan said that Barangay San Martin where Sitio Malit belongs is among the 30 barangays in Prosperidad that declared the NPA persona non grata earlier this year.

Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn commander, condemned the NPA's attack on government troops and the alleged extortion on the villagers.

“While we are battling the Covid-19, these Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) are making the situation worse for the civilians especially those in the poorest sectors who are greatly affected by the quarantines,” Baybayan said.

Baybayan said pursuit operation is being conducted by the Army to ensure the safety of the residents in the area as well as the front-liners involved in the distribution of cash assistance and food packs to affected civilians.

Col. Allan Hambala, the Army's 401st Infantry Brigade commander, called on the security sector to "ensure the safety and security of all those involved in the delivery of basic services to the people of Agusan del Sur".

“We must protect the civilians and government workers from any form of harassments and extortion of the CNTs who are the real virus of the society,” Hambala said.

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