Wednesday, May 6, 2020

NDF: Duterte has never been interested in peace negotiations with the NDFP

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 5,, 2020): Duterte has never been interested in peace negotiations with the NDFP

Questions from Raymund Villanueva, Kodao journalist

Dear Prof. Sison: In his latest weekly midnight address last night, President Duterte said “malabo” na raw ang peace talks with you, accusing the NPA of attacking government soldiers during the coronavirus emergency. May I ask for a comment from you. Is it possible that Duterte “baited” the CPP into declaring a ceasefire again while the GRP really had no plans of stopping its counterinsurgency operations? What do you think does it serve that Duterte keeps on mentioning and putting blame on the NPA during his midnight addresses on COVID? And if there would no longer be peace talks while he is president, what does it mean?

He also said: “Pero, be careful, because the NPAs are around. There is no longer hope in talking to Sison…Gusto kong anuhin ang mga pulis. But times are not really normal. Talagang papatayin kayo ng mga NPA kapag nakita kayo because they want your firearms. Alam mo, mainit talaga yang m16 at m14. I know that. They’re itching to get it from you. That is why, be careful, mga sundalo at mga pulis, huwag kayong mag-kumpiyansa. Do not be too confident about it. Pati yung mga istasyon na nire-raid. They will kill you, and I am telling you, kill them also. Kaya di ko kayo mautusan mag-tracing. Sana madali, may sasakayan. Kaya lang delikado, so dito na ako sa local governments and mayors (in helping the national government in conducting covid tracing.)”
Reply of Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Duterte was merely pretending to declare a unilateral ceasefire on March 19, 2020 and was trying to bait the CPP and NPA to reciprocate his fake ceasefire. He was trying to deflect attention from his criminal responsibility for the entry of Covid-19 to the Philippine through more than 500,000 Chinese tourists and his lack of preparations and plan for fighting this pandemic.

However, upon the recommendation of the NDFP, the CPP and NPA declared and carried out their own unilateral ceasefire in response to the call of the UN secretary general for global ceasefire. They deliberately avoided reciprocating and being compromised by the malicious fake ceasefire declaration of Duterte. The CPP and NPA did not wish to become complicit with the Duterte regime in its own scheme of escalating military offensives in the countryside and carrying out repressive measures in urban areas,

As well proven by subsequent events and well documented by CPP, the NPA, NDFP, the people’s government and its local organs of political power, the Duterte regime and its military minions have used the fake ceasefire declaration and Covid-19 as cover for escalating military offensives against local communities and the revolutionary forces and undertaking repressive measures in urban areas nationwide.

To deceive the people during the 2016 presidential campaign, Duterte promised to negotiate peace with the revolutionary movement through the NDFP by addressing the social, economic and political roots of the armed conflict. But as soon as he became president, he surreptitiously declared all-out war under the guise of continuing Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan in 2016 and then his own Oplan Kapayapaan in January 2017.

He went through the motion of pretending to be for peace negotiations with the NDFP until he included the CPP and NPA as targets of his Mindanao martial law proclamation in May 2017. It is obvious that since the beginning of his rule, he has been interested merely in the surrender of the revolutionary movement and the people with no intention whatsoever to agree with the NDFP on needed social, economic and political reforms.

Ten days after soliciting and receiving from Trump the go-signal and support for his termination of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, Duterte terminated these peace negotiations on November 23, 2017 under Proclamation 360 and then declared the CPP and NPA as “terrorist organizations on December 5, 2017 under Proclamation 374.

Eventually, it became clear that his overriding malicious objective was to scapegoat the CPP and NPA in order to advance his ambition of realizing a Marcos-type highly-centralized and brutal fascist dictatorship through charter change under the pretext of federalism as well as through the application of Oplan Tokhang methods of extrajudicial killings and mass intimidation against social activists, critics and opponents and the broad masses of the people..

Under the current circumstances, it is even more convenient for Duterte to scapegoat and attack the CPP and NPA in order to deflect attention from his culpability for the wanton entry of Covid-19 into the Philippines through half a million Chinese tourists and casino personnel since December, the lack of preparations and plan to fight the pandemic and the failure to deliver food and cash assistance, mass testing and medical treatment to the people.

At the same time, he has used Covid-19 as the reason for grabbing emergency powers, the immediate amount of more than 375 billion pesos and the license to realign the 2020 budget. After pretending to declare a unilateral ceasefire and plead for reciprocation by the revolutionary movement, he has persisted in launching military offensives against the CPP and NPA and blame them for his own crimes, his ceaseless drive for fascist dictatorship and his failure to deliver sufficient food and cash assistance, mass testing and other necessities under the severe conditions of so-called enhanced quarantine.

Durterte’s mad dog ranting against the NPA is for the purpose of slandering the NPA as well as for rousing his armed minions to take harsher repressive measures and to commit more crimes against the people. But by acknowledging the widespread presence of the NPA in the whole country, he unwittingly belies all the false claims made by his military and police subordinates that they have already finished off the NPA several times over its actual number and potency through fake surrenders and fake casualties in fake encounters.

Duterte is very much aware of the fact that he and his armed minions are engaged in corruption and plunder in all sorts of programs and campaigns. They have used the counterrevolutionary campaigns of military suppression to pocket public money in the name of fake surrenderers and fake casualties. They are are engaged in corruption and plunder on an even larger scale by diverting hundreds of billions of public funds to their private accounts under the pretext of fighting of Covid-19.

It is fine that the health workers, the people themselves, the mass organizations, the local organs of revolutionary power and good-hearted institutions are doing everything they can to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. They are in sharp contrast to the Duterte regime which concentrates on imposing repressive measures on the people, stealing public funds, subjecting the people to isolation and hunger and depriving them of food and cash assistance, mass testing and medical treatment.

By repeating for the nth time that he does not want peace negotiations with the NDFP and wants to finish off the revolutionary movement with brute military force, Duterte is daring and alerting the people and their revolutionary forces (the CPP, NPA, the NDFP, the revolutionary mass organizations and the local organs of political power which are the base of the people’s democratic government) to put up their defenses and to carry out their own revolutionary offensives in a tit-for-tat struggle.

The Duterte regime is already killing more and more social activists, critics and opponents in the urban areas and is practically warning and urging the revolutionary movement to further strengthen its urban underground, increase deployment of cadres to the countryside for people’s war and carry out punitive operations in the urban areas against human rights violators and plunderers.

Duterte forgets that as Marcos escalated repressive measures under his fascist dictatorship the revolutionary movement grew from small and weak to big and strong. As the oppression and exploitation of the people worsen, the objective crisis conditions become more favorable for the growth and advance of the revolutionary movement. The crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system is now far worse than during the time of Marcos and is now far more favorable for carrying out the new democratic revolution. ##

NDF: Extension of NPA ceasefire impossible; revolutionary movement continues to mobilize the people vs. Covid19 and the Duterte fascist regime

Propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (May 5,, 2020): Extension of NPA ceasefire impossible; revolutionary movement continues to mobilize the people vs. Covid19 and the Duterte fascist regime

As the 36-day nationwide ceasefire declared by the New People’s Army expired on April 30, the people’s army said it will transition from an active defense posture to an offensive one, as the Duterte regime continues its combat operations against the NPA and the people.

The revolutionary movement led by CPP declared a unilateral ceasefire to heed the call of the United Nations’ Secretary General for a global ceasefire.
AFP combat operations continue despite ceasefire

In a statement on April 30 published in its website, the CPP said however that during the past 36 days, the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) mounted at least 36 raids against NPA encampments in 23 provinces, namely, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Antique, Bohol, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Iloilo, Lanao del Sur, Masbate, Negros Occidental, Northern Samar, Quezon, Rizal, Samar, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. There were at least 11 other armed encounters as a result of non-stop combat operations of the AFP, according to the CPP.

During their raids and armed encounters with the NPA during the past 36 days under Covid-19 crisis, the AFP suffered at least 56 casualties, 31 of whom were killed in action. On the part of the NPA, 18 Red fighters were killed while 8 were wounded, the CPP said.
NPA continues to fight with the people vs. Covid19 despite AFP combat operations

“Over the past month, NPA units gave priority to conducting a public health campaign to raise the people’s awareness of the Covid-19 pandemic and mobilize them to prevent the spread of the virus, protect the elderly, pregnant women and the infirm, promote personal hygiene, physical distancing, good health and sanitation. Some NPA units in guerrilla zones not under the AFP’s focused operations were able to conduct mass clinics to check up on the state of health of village residents and provide treatment and medication,” the CPP reported.

The CPP also tasked the NPA to promote an economic campaign to raise food production and advance their campaigns to lower land rent, raise wages for farm workers, lower interest rates, and other agrarian reforms. This, the CPP emphasized, is a continuing campaign which must be carried out across the country as the Philippine economy is set to further slide into crisis as a result of Duterte’s lockdown and continuing neoliberal policies.

The CPP added that the NPA’s public health and mass campaigns are being well received by the people. Because of the NPA’s information drive, the people are able to purposely carry out health policies and consciously plan out their course of action in response to the pandemic. The peasant masses welcome especially the food production and agrarian reforms campaign as these address their urgent social and economic problems, the CPP further added.
NPA assures safety of government and private relief agencies and humanitarian missions

Although the ceasefire has ended, the CPP ordered NPA units to continue to exert effort to facilitate the distribution of relief aid for the masses who are suffering gravely from the Duterte regime’s military lockdown. The NPA and all revolutionary forces, the CPP added, must continue to cooperate and work with all concerned agencies, personalities, business enterprises and other entities to extend assistance to the people who are urgently in need of economic relief.

“Agencies of the reactionary government are welcome to assist the masses in the revolutionary areas. The NPA assures your safety. We urge you to refuse AFP escorts as their presence only raises the danger of armed encounters,” the CPP emphasized.

In contrast, the Duterte fascist regime has been arresting, harassing and criminalizing humanitarian and private initiative missions to hungry communities lockdowned and abandoned by government.

The NPA, it continued, will proceed to conduct public health work, extend medical services and help the masses wage agrarian reform campaigns, assist in raising production and continue, help build and consolidate the people’s organizations and their determination to wage revolutionary struggles, and expand and strengthen the New People’s Army.
NPA to keep aAFP blind and deaf

While the CPP has commended the NPA for strict compliance with the Central Committee’s unilateral ceasefire declaration, desisting from mounting any tactical offensives, it also saluted the people’s army. for successfully defending themselves and the masses and thwarting the raids and treacherous attacks mounted by the AFP.

The CPP finally exhorted all NPA units to maintain secrecy at all times and in all their guerrilla maneuvers and conduct of mass work.

“The NPA must keep the AFP blind and deaf and deny them the opportunity to mount offensives. The NPA must continue to raise their capability in dispersal, shifting and concentration,” the CPP stressed.#

CPP: Larab | May 2, 2020

Propaganda publication posted to the from Tagalog language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 5, 2020): Larab | May 2, 2020

MAY 05, 2020

2020 Larab Publications

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CPP/NPA-ST: Sa gitna ng krisis ng Covid-19, kundenahin ang atake ng 203rd Brigade sa NPA-Mindoro

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 6, 2020): NPA-ST: Sa gitna ng krisis ng Covid-19, kundenahin ang atake ng 203rd Brigade sa NPA-Mindoro

MAY 06, 2020

Mariing kinukundena ng Melito Glor Command — NPA Southern Tagalog ang di-makatao at walang pusong pag-atakeng 203rd Brigade sa isang yunit ng Lucio de Guzman Command (LdGC) — NPA Mindoro noong April 30 alas 9:30 ng umaga. Ang inatakeng yunit ng LdGC ay nagsasagawa ng isang malawakang kampanya kontra-Covid sa katutubong mamamayan ng Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro. Tiyak na dagdag pahirap sa masang nagugutom na dahil sa lockdown ang walang tigil na pursuit operations na ikinasa ng berdugo at pasistang 203rd Brigade matapos ang labanan.

Magiting na nilabanan ng yunit ng LdGC ang tusong 203rd Brigade na ilang araw nang namonitor ng mga kasama sa erya. Nagpakita ang NPA Mindoro ng pinakamataas na pagtitimpi sa AFP-PNP alang-alang sa pagtalima sa itinakdang ceasefire ng CPP hanggang April 30. Salungat dito, ang teroristang AFP-PNP ay tuluy-tuloy na nagsasagawa ng mga operasyong militar at pulis at naglalaan ng bilyun-bilyong pondo para tugisin ang mga yunit ng NPA matupad lang ang hibang na pangarap ni Duterte na tapusin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa kanyang termino. Galit na galit na ang mamamayan sa rehimen na tunay na terorista at salot sa bayan.

Wala sa prayoridad ng rehimen ang paglutas sa krisis ng Covid-19 dahil nauulol na ito sa hangarin nitong manatili sa pwesto lagpas sa 2022 at lipulin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan gamit ang NTF-ELCAC. Dapat sampahan ng kaso ang rehimeng Duterte at AFP-PNPsa inihahasik nitong karahasan sa gitna ng krisis ng Covid-1 at pagpapabaya nito sa pangangailangang pangkalusugan at sosyo-ekonomiko ng mamamayan.

Samantalang naghihirap ang komunidad ng mga Mangyan na apektado ng labanan, nagyayabang ang 203rd Brigade at SOLCOM na nareyd nila ang diumano’y panrehiyong himpilan ng NPA. Isa itong mslaking kasinungalingan na ginagamit para pataasin ang moral ng mga tropa ng AFP-PNP na demoralisado sa kahayupang pinipilit ipagawa sa kanila ng rehimen sa gitna ng pampublikong krisis pangkalusugan. Hindi makatwiran ang pag-atake sa anumang yunit ng NPA sa panahong ito, at nababatid ito ng ga naliliwanagang sundalo’t pulis na laspag na sa kontra-rebolusyonaryong gera ng rehimeng US-Duterte.

Sa harap ng kahayupan ng AFP-PNP at papalaking banta ng pagpapalaganap ng Covid-19, patuloy na tutugunan ng lahat ng yunit ng NPA-ST ang tungkulin nitong maglingkod sa mamamayan at isulong ang demokratikong rebolusyong bayan. Habang naglulunsad ng mga gawain hinggil sa Covid-19 ay parurusahan din ng NPA-ST ang mga tropang militar at pulis na patuloy sa paghahasik ng teror sa mamamayan. Gagawaran ng rebolusyonaryong hustisya ang rehimeng US-Duterte at lahat ng instrumento nito sa lahat ng krimen at terorismo nito laban sa mamamayan. Determinado ang NPA-ST na biguin ang JCP-Kapanatagan at paigtingin ang armadong pakikibaka hanggang sa maibagsak ang bulok at berdugong rehimeng US-Duterte.###

CPP/NPA-Albay: Pagkitil sa Malayang Pamamahayag at Bagong Buwis sa Panahon ng Epidemyang COVID-19 — NPA-Albay

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 6, 2020): Pagkitil sa Malayang Pamamahayag at Bagong Buwis sa Panahon ng Epidemyang COVID-19 — NPA-Albay

MAY 06, 2020

Habang nananalasa ang epidemyang COVID-19 sa ating bansa, sumasabay din ang Duterte virus sa pag-atake sa kabuhayan at karapatan ng masang Pilipino. Sinasamantala nito ang umiiral na lockdown bilang tuntungan ng kanyang Batas Militar upang walang sagkang ipatupad ang kanyang mga pasista at neoliberal na hakbangin.

Kasabay ng paggunita ng World Press Freedom Day, tuluyan nang pinahinto ang operasyon ng ABS-CBN sa bisa ng cease and desist order na ilinabas ng NTC noong Mayo 5 matapos mapaso ang prangkisa nito. Walang ginawang hakbangin ang Kongreso para pahintulutang magpatuloy ang nasabing kumpanya. Bago nito, pinagbantaan ni Sol Gen. Calida ang NTC na sinumang magbibigay pahintulot na magpatuloy sa pag-ere ng ABS-CBN ay kanyang sasampahan ng kasong korupsyon. Matatandaang nagbanta si Duterte na kanyang ipasasara ang nasabing kumpanya.

Malinaw na ang hakbanging ito ng rehimen ay pagsikil sa malayang pamamahayag. Masahol, sa gitna ng krisis ng COVID-19, libu-libo pang manggagawa ang tinanggalan ng trabaho. Sa panahon ng rehimeng Duterte, hindi lang ABS-CBN ang kanyang napasara, maging ang Rappler ay nagawa niyang ipahinto. Ni-reyd din ang tabloid na pahayagang ABANTE at sinunog ang mga dyaryong ilalabas nito na nagsasaad ng pagtuligsa sa isang kabinete ni Duterte. Maging ang mga independyenteng midya gaya ng BULATLAT, Radio ni Juan, mga personaheng midya reporter at iba pa ay kanilang binabantaan na huminto sa pagtuligsa sa gobyerno at ang iba ay pinapaslang gaya ng isang mamamahayag sa Kabikulan. Hindi rin nakaligtas ang mga rebolusyonaryong pahayagan gaya ng PRWC, upisyal na pahayagan ng CPP na inatake sa pamamagitan ng pag-hack nito. Pinasara rin nito ang media outfit na Sine Proletaryo sa Youtube na nagpapalabas ng kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Kasabay nito, habang pinagdurusahan ng taumbayan militaristang patakarang lockdown dulot ng COVID-19 pinirmahan kamakailan ang batas na nagpapataw ng 10% import tax sa langis. Tiyak na magreresulta ito ng dagdag na pagtaas ng mga pangunahing bilihin. Higit pa nitong ilulugmok ang masa sa kanilang abang kalagayan.

Hindi epidemyang COVID-19 ang kalaban ng sambayanang Pilipino, mas malala ang Duterte virus dahil libo-libong Pilipino ang pinatay nito, at nagdurusa sa tumitinding hirap ng buhay, kawalan ng tirahan at lupang sasakahan.

Dapat magkaisa at tumindig ang mamamayang Albayano sa paglaban hindi lang sa COVID-19 kundi sa DUTERTE Virus.

Dapat palakasin ang pagkakaisa, paglaban sa pagpapatalsik sa kasalukuyang rehimen, at kasabay nito, dapat makiisa ang mamamayang Albayano sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan, sa pagsampa sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan, dahil tanging sa pagsusulong ng digmang bayan ang siyang lunas sa kronikong krisis ng lipunang mala-kolonyal at mala-pyudal na sistema.

Mamayang Albayano, Magkaisa!
Duterte Virus, Labanan!
Isulong Digmang Bayan!
Sumapi sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan!

CPP/NPA-EV: Garbage about NPA “sexual abuse” to justify Duterte’s inhumane all-out war in the midst of COVID-19

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 5, 2020): Garbage about NPA “sexual abuse” to justify Duterte’s inhumane all-out war in the midst of COVID-19

MAY 05, 2020

The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army-Eastern Visayas dismisses the Philippine News Agency’s press release about NPA “sexual abuse” in Northern Samar as recycled garbage. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines is demonizing the NPA to justify the Duterte regime’s all-out war and threats of martial law,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson of the regional command.

He said the AFP also made such malicious charges earlier in Mindanao based merely on allegedly discovering birth control pills otherwise widely used for contraception. “Nothing came of these except such garbage are conveniently recycled to malign the NPA elsewhere.”

Manuel countered that in fact the impunity for human rights violations of the military and police forces of the Duterte government have made it an international pariah. “Speaking of violating women’s rights, revolutionary publication Ang Bayan reports this April 21 that AFP troops prey on Lumad women in Sityo Tapayanon, Barangay Gupitan, Davao del Norte. The women are forced to line up every Saturday in front of the military detachment so soldiers could choose who they would rape. These war rapes have caused many forced pregnancies and shattered many families over several years of military occupation.”

The NPA-EV spokesperson urged the people to struggle against the inhumane all-out war and creeping martial law of the Duterte regime in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The people have no choice but to stand up and fight the Duterte regime for prioritizing military offensives and martial law scheming over their public health and economic needs. The NPA will persevere in the revolutionary armed struggle in support of the people who wage all forms of struggle to oust the despicable tyrannical regime in the soonest possible time.”#

CPP/NPA-EV: Army raids NPA unit in Eastern Visayas preparing for COVID-19 response

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 5, 2020): Army raids NPA unit in Eastern Visayas preparing for COVID-19 response

MAY 05, 2020

The New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today assailed the 20th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army for attacking a unit of the NPA in Northern Samar that was in the midst of preparing for a local anti-COVID-19 campaign. “The raid by the 20th IB last April 23 shows it is traitorous and hawkish and cannot be expected to at least consider that the NPA unit was on the defensive and strictly abiding by the existing unilateral ceasefire which was set to end on April 30,” said Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson for the Efren Martires Command. “More importantly, it is inhumane and cruel in that it impeded the assistance that could have been provided by the NPA and is much needed by the masses deeply affected by the current public health and economic crises.”

Elements of the 20th IB raided an NPA encampment in Brgy. P. Rebadulla, Catubig town last April 23 at around 3pm. The Red fighters were meeting to prepare local mass organizations on how to conduct information, public health, sanitation and food production campaigns in line with the NPA’s anti-COVID-19 campaign.

“The NPA through the National Democratic Front expressed openness to working with the Duterte government in a broad humanitarian front against the coronavirus. But through the military’s non-stop operations against the NPA, the regime utterly rejected this offer. The 20th IB is clearly dead set to fulfill their president’s pipe dream of crushing the NPA before his term ends on 2022, spending away millions of pesos worth of operations that were better spent strengthening the government’s slow and ineffective public health and economic response.”

The Efren Martires Command urged the people of Northern Samar to reject the lies of the 20th IB as well as their militarist response to the pandemic that is used to disguise their continuing counter-insurgency operations. “Meanwhile, the NPA is willing to cooperate with and guarantees the safety of medical, humanitarian and cause-oriented institutions, including those from the reactionary government, who wish to deliver aid to the revolutionary territories. We urge them to reject the Army’s offer to serve as their security escorts as they may be used to justify overlapping combat operations.”#

CPP: Condemn Duterte fascist regime for closure of ABS-CBN

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (May 6, 2020): Condemn Duterte fascist regime for closure of ABS-CBN

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins all the democratic forces in the country in condemning the Duterte fascist regime for ordering the closure of ABS-CBN. The closure of ABS-CBN is a brazen attack against press freedom. It was carried out in complete disregard of the crucial role being played by broadcast media during the pandemic.

The order to close ABS-CBN clearly comes from Duterte himself. The NTC, would not have acted without the direct orders of the tyrant himself. The order to shut down the operations of ABS-CBN is part of Duterte’s scheme to establish a fascist dictatorship.

By ordering the closure of ABS-CBN’s operations, Duterte has again established himself as the unquestionable tyrant. With thousands of armed military and police personnel roaming Metro Manila, the media network had little option but to immediately comply with the patently underhanded order.

The ABS-CBN closure is just the most recent measure of fascist repression under the military lockdown. It is inextricably linked to the abuses of power committed daily by military and police forces against the people, where common misdemeanors are punished with brutalities. It also shows the fascist and corrupt priorities of the Duterte regime, which up to now, has failed to conduct systematic and mass testing across the country to determine the real extent of Covid-19 infections in the country.

By ordering the closure of ABS-CBN, Duterte also aims to intimidate the people, as well as big business, by demonstrating what massive evil deeds he is capable of doing. It serves as a warning against anyone who will not comply with the tyrant’s wishes.

Duterte and his minions have long been arm-twisting ABS-CBN. They have been using the franchise extension to demand the media company to bow to the regime’s political agenda, as well as give in to the demands for bribe money. It is also a publicly known secret that Duterte’s constant haranguing of ABS-CBN aims to induce the Lopezes to give up the media company to allow one of Duterte’s cronies to take over ownership and control in behalf of the tyrant and his foreign partners.

Duterte took advantage of the military lockdown to order the closure of ABS-CBN, confident that people will not be able to congregate to denounce the attack and defend media freedom. Duterte, however, was not able to stop thousands upon thousands of people from expressing their disgust at the closure of network. Moments after news of the closure came out, one protest statement after another was posted on the internet and became a trending topic in social media.

Duterte has again succeeded in stoking the people’s clamor for his resignation or ouster. The Party calls on all democratic forces to unite, raise their voices in protest and defy Duterte’s attempts to silence the media.

Kalinaw News: Government troops saves abandoned wounded NPA in Zambo Norte

Posted to Kalinaw News (May 7, 2020): Government troops saves abandoned wounded NPA in Zambo Norte (By 1st Infantry Division)

Ipil, ZSP – Combined Army troopers of 97th and 53rd Infantry Battalions saved an abandoned wounded New People’s Army in Barangay Guibo, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, Wednesday afternoon, 06 May 2020.

The NPA was identified as alyas Lando, who was wounded during the recent encounter
between the 97IB and the NPA in Barangay Pange, Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte last May 4, 2020.

Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, Commanding Officer, 97IB confirmed and
identified the rescued NPA as member of Team Abe, Squad 2, Main Regional Guerrilla Unit (MRGU) of Western Regional Party Committee.

“He was also the gunner of the M60 General Purpose Machine Gun that was recovered by our troops during the last encounter,” Lt. Col. Boransing said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col Jo-ar Herrera, Commanding Officer, 53IB who’ve joint forces with 97IB said that,” The unit responded to an information from the locals that a wounded NPA was trying to seek medical help and refuge in one of the sitios of the said barangay”.

In addition, Col Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade said that, “alias Lando will be medically attended and treated by our military doctors.”

For his part, Commander, 1st Infantry Division, Major General Generoso “Gene” Ponio commended the troops for giving premium in protecting lives, even the life of their own enemy.

“Aside from the soldiers’ tactical skills, respect to human rights and observance to International Humanitarian Law are also instilled to every soldier,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.

“These individuals were also victims of deceit and lies from the propagandas of the NPA. If we can save as much individuals through the different government programs such as Enhanced Comprehensive Integration Program (E-CLIP) or even immediately after encounter just like what happened today, we will do so,” Maj. Gen. Ponio added.

As of this posting the rescued NPA was evacuated and is undergoing medical treatment at Kuta Cesar Sang-an Station Hospital in Headquarters 1ID.

[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: Walong nakalayang former rebel tinulungan na magbagong buhaym

Posted to Kalinaw News (May 7, 2020): Walong nakalayang former rebel tinulungan na magbagong buhaym (By 10TH INFANTRY DIVISION)

Nakulong ang walong former rebels sa District Jail, Alabel, Sarangani Province. Nagkaroon sila ng mga kaso na siyang resulta ng kanilang pagkakakulong. Ang walong former rebel ay nakalaya kahapon, May 6, 2020.

Sa kanilang paglaya ay tinulungan sila ng 73rd Infantry Battalion na harapin ang bagong buhay. Tutulungan din sila ni Hon Vic Paul M Salarda, Mayor ng Alabel, Sarangani Province. Sa katunayan, magkakaroon sila ng livelihood at trabaho bilang bantay kalikasan na siya namang suswelduhan ng nasabing munisipyo.

Laking pasasalamat naman ng mga former rebels na tinulungan sila ng mayor na magkaroon ng hanap-buhay. “Sa tatlong taon kong pagkakakulong ay hindi ko alam kung paano ako magbabagong buhay. Dati akong rebelde, idagdag mo pa ang pagkakakulong ko. Akala ko dito na matatapos ang lahat, pero nagkamali ako. Kaya naman malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa kasundaluhan, sa 73IB, at kay Mayor Salarda na nagbigay sa amin ng hanap buhay. Maraming maraming salamat!” emosyonal na sinabi ni @Danny, dating NPA

“Hindi lamang sila, lahat ng ating Former Rebels ay nagkaroon na ng magandang buhay. Dahil ito sa magandang kooperasyon ng LGUs, stakeholders at ibat ibang mga ahensya ng gobyerno. Sila ay binigyan ng pagkakataon na magbagong buhay at harapin ang mga pagsubok kasama ang gobyerno.” saad ni Lt. Col. Ronaldo G Valdez, Commander ng 73IB.

[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: Agrarian reform beneficiary splits from KMP, receives food packs

Posted to Kalinaw News (May 7, 2020): Agrarian reform beneficiary splits from KMP, receives food packs (By 10TH INFANTRY DIVISION)

Mawab, Davao de Oro – Some 37 members of the “Nagkahiusang Mag-Uuma sa Pindasan og Pangibiran” (NAGMAPPA) widthraw their support from the “Kilusan ng Mambubukid sa Pilipinas” (KMP) and receive food packs in Mabini, Davao de Oro, Tuesday.

Maintaining social distancing, members of the NAGMAPPA gathered in the covered court at Purok Madre Cacao, Brgy Pindasan, Mabini, and utterly expressed their dismay towards the promises of the KMP that never been realized. Chairman of the Sangguniang Bayan Committee, Hon. Jun Suarez mentioned in his welcome remarks that it is now the time to stop being fooled by the KMP or other NPA-affiliated organization. The NAGMAPPA members also took their oath of allegiance to the Philippine Government with the municipal mayor, Hon. Reynaldo Dayanghirang acted as the administering officer.

Following the oath taking, the 71st Infantry KAIBIGAN Battalion (71IB) headed by LTC SONNY GONZALES, Commanding Officer, facilitated the distribution of food packs sponsored by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 5th Civil-Relations Group (5CRG) led by COL PAT CINCO, Group Commander, 5CRG, CRS AFP. Each food pack contains 10 kg rice, canned goods and noodles. It also has leaflets featuring government programs like Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) to encourage rebels to return to the folds of the law. The distribution benefitted 300 deserving recipients composed of families not covered by DSWD Social Amelioration Program and the members of NAGMAPPA who were victims of broken promises of KMP.

The NAGMAPPA is a farmers’ union in Brgys Pangibiran and Pindasan both of Mabini, Davao de Oro organized by the KMP that promised the union to obtain a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), said Felix Sultonis, Chairman of NAGMAPPA. “Lubos lubos nga nagpasalig ang KMP nga makuha gyud sa mga nagtikad ang yuta. Tabangan kamo namo taga KMP, ANAKBAYAN og ANAKPAWIS..,”the chairman said in his dialect.

The KMP, ANAKBAYAN and ANAKPAWIS have long been identified as legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and affirmed by its founder Joma Sison. Further, it serves as recruitment ground for its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). In fact, Sultonis revealed that members of NAGMAPPA were trained to become NPA members and he himself was appointed as leader of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB), the armed local peasants. “Gi-meeting me nila, unya nagtayo sila sa ila bandila nga nay karet nga pula [CPP’s flag] og gihimo ko nila nga leader sa MB og gipapanumpa me og gunit-bala,” he said in an anguish manner.

The CPP-NPA is listed as terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines. Last February, residents of the different barangays of Mabini, Davao de Oro declared the CPP-NPA as persona non-grata as the former are tired of the abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the latter.

This is also in consonance to the PRRDs call to unite everyone to attain sustainable and lasting peace through his Executive Order 70, institutionalizing the whole of nation approach in ending local armed conflict. EO 70 enjoins all government agencies, local government units, civil society organizations and private entities to synergize its effort and shift its paradigm from conflict management to cooperation management. Prior to its issuance, peace and order was apparently the concern solely by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP). This time, the AFP-PNP and civilian authorities and private stakeholders work hand-in-hand in order to end insurgency by addressing its root causes: the issues exploited by the CPP-NPA such as but not limited to AgRev or agricultural revolution, poverty, injustices, poor education in the country side and many more.

AgRev certainly is the issue being exploited by CTGs to agitate NAGMAPPA thereby instigating them to go against the government. Luckily, 71IB put an end to it by exposing the evil intent of KMP to the NAGMAPPA. While it is true that agrarian reform has had a significant impact to the farmer beneficiaries, it would be, however, detrimental if it is used to deceive the farmers to do things that would advance the communists’ interest. “Edgar Lao of the KMP and Jaya of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) of the Guerilla Front 2 (GF2) and Nevy/Felix head of the Regional staff of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) who died in the encounter in Pantukan just recently, were identified as organizers of the said group. “At the end of the day, you will be the ones to be at mercy for they [NPA] would just leave you like they did during armed encounters. They even left their wounded comrades, thus they died in vain. It was the 71st IB that gave them a decent burial. The NPA never cared at all.”, Hon. Reynaldo Dayanghirang emphasized.

“We will continue to facilitate continuing activities for the NAGMAPPA to insulate them from CNT’s influence.”, said LTC Gonzales. The 71 IB positively responded to the request of NAGMAPPA that they be reorganized and together with LGU Mabini and concerned national government agencies, is set to help facilitate the resolution of the union’s issues at hand.

[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:]

Negrense general promoted

From the Visayan Daily Star (May 6, 2020): Negrense general promoted

An Army general from Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental is one of the 15 senior military officials promoted to the next higher rank by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The promotion of Brig. Gen. Juvymax Uy to the rank of major general, as approved by President Duterte, came after it was endorsed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Board of Generals and concurred by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Uy, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1989, is presently the Internal Auditor of the AFP following his stint as assistant commander of the 6th Infantry Division in Mindanao. He used to be assigned in Negros.

Col. Monico Abang, who was assigned with the 6th Special Forces Battalion in Negros, was also designated as the new commander of the Light Reaction Regiment, the Philippine Army’s premier counter terrorism unit.

Abang was previously assigned at the 3rd Infantry Division in Jamindan, Capiz.

Last month, former Western Visayas police director Cesar Hawthorne Binag, was also promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. He is presently the chief of PNP directorial staff, making him the fourth highest ranking police official all over the country.

Former Negros Oriental police director Dionardo Carlos was also promoted from the rank of brigadier general to police major general. He serves as chief of the PNP Directorate for Information and Communication Technology.*

20 high-powered rifles found in various NPA arms stockpiles

From the Mindanao Times (May 6, 2020): 20 high-powered rifles found in various NPA arms stockpiles (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

Former communist guerrillas pointed to arms caches that yielded 20 high-powered firearms in the boundaries of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao Oriental on May 3.

Elements of the 66th Infantry Battalion (IB), under Ltc. Roman Mabborang, acted on the information of a former rebel regarding two hidden stockpiles with a total of nine rifles.

The first arms cache in Sitio Matigdaw, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao De Oro, consisted of one M60 machine gun, three M16 rifles, and an M14 rifle. The second location was in Sitio Casunugan, Barangay Mahan-ub, Baganga, Davao Oriental, which yielded three M16 rifles and one US M2 Carbine rifle.

In the afternoon, a former rebel who surrendered to Ltc. Louie Dema-ala of the 67th IB on May 2, led to the recovery of another arms cache in Sitio Spur 3, Barangay Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental.

The troops recovered five M16 rifles, two AK47 rifles, one M4 rifle, onie M203 Grenade Launcher, one M14 rifle, and an M653 rifle.

On May 2, the 67th IB also recovered four AK47 rifles, one M14 rifle, one Garand rifle, and an M79 grenade launcher in Sitio Alimot, Barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur on the tip of another surrenderee.

It can be recalled that the first arms cache of the NPA was discovered by troops belonging to the 66th IB in an isolated area of Sitio Danawan, Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on Feb. 25, yielding four M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, two AK47 rifles, one Garand rifle, one Carbine rifle, and two M203 grenade launchers.

On April 16 and 17, six high-powered rifles were also captured during a series of encounters in Barangay Campawan, Baganga, Davao Oriental. Also on April 18, a member of the group surrendered to the 28th IB in Dawan, Mati City bringing along with him three Garand rifles, three landmines and two .45 caliber pistols.

Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, lauded the accomplishments of the units. “The surrender of NPA regulars with their firearms was brought about by the convergence of all stakeholders in addressing the different dimensions of insurgency,” Faustino said.

“We commend the untiring effort at the different levels of TF-ELCAC and the invaluable support of the local government units,” he added.

200 Manobos get relief aid from LGUs, military

From the Mindanao Times (May 7, 2020): 200 Manobos get relief aid from LGUs, military (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

Two-hundred Manobos received food packs distributed by the local government and Army in Lianga and Marihatag, Surigao del Sur.

Two hundred conflict affected indigenous people (IP) members received the food packs distributed by the local government unit along with soldiers of 3rd Special Forces battalion in Lianga and Marihatag Surigao del sur.

1Lt Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, the civil-military operations officer of 3rd Special Forces Battalion, said they partnered with Lianga Mayor Novelita M. Sarmen and Marihatag Mayor Justin Marc Pelenio, together with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
to help the conflict-affected IP communities of Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga and Sitio Lucnodon, Mahaba of Marihatag Surigao del Sur.

He said sitios Simuwao and Lucnodon have stood up to the New People’s Army and its alleged front group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), from gaining a foothold in their areas.

“We will not leave them behind during these trying times,” Punsalan said.

On Feb. 21, the NPA launched an attack on the Sumiwao that injured three civilians.

The Manobos also Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XIII for the month of March.

The IP leaders, led by Hawudon Jumar Bucales, expressed their gratitude to the third round of relief operations on their communities. He also assailed Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Campos Cullamat for using the Lumads to advance her party’s agenda.

“Eufemia is homegrown and already in congress but is selective in helping the IPs. She prioritizes Mapasu members alone and leaves behind those who are against their radical ideology,” Bucales said.

Datu Constancio Duhac, Lianga tribal chieftain, said that with the entire budget they have in congress, Bayan Muna did not even attempt to put up any IP schools, farm-to-market roads, nor aid the IPs in this time of crisis.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Allan D. Hambala, 401st Infantry Brigade commander, lauded the LGU, battalion, and government agencies for their continuous delivery of basic services.

“We have to remember that we do not only address the COVID-19 virus but also the Communist NPA terrorist virus that corrupted our society for years. We have to put an end to both viruses,” Hambala said.

IP leaders hit solon’s ‘absence’ amid pandemic

From the Philippine News Agency (May 5, 2020): IP leaders hit solon’s ‘absence’ amid pandemic (By Alexander Lopez)

AID TO IP COMMUNITIES. Lianga town Mayor Novelita Sarmen (2nd from left); Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan, commander of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion; and Dir. Rey Cueva of TESDA-Surigao del Sur; lead the distribution of food packs to nearly 100 Manobo families in Barangay Diatagon on Tuesday (May 5, 2020). Indigenous peoples (IP) leaders in the Surigao del Sur towns of Lianga and Marihatag are dismayed over the alleged neglect of Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat of the Manobo tribe. (Photo courtesy of 3SFBn)

Indigenous peoples’ (IPs) leaders in the Surigao del Sur towns of Lianga and Marihatag are dismayed over the alleged neglect of Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Eufemia Cullamat of the Manobo tribe amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.

“Eufemia Cullamat is homegrown and already in Congress but is selective in helping the IPs,” said Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in Lianga town, in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Cullamat and Bucales belong to the Manobo tribe in the area.

Bucales issued the criticism on the same day the local government units (LGUs) of Lianga and Marihatag distributed some 200 food packs among the Manobo families in both towns together with the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The distribution in Lianga was held at the Manobo community in Sitio Simuwao (Kilometer 9) in Barangay Diatagon, and in Sitio Lucnobon, Barangay Mahaba, in Marihatag.

Bucales accused Cullamat of playing favorites by prioritizing the members of MAPASU--a leftist IP organization--to the disadvantage of the majority of the Manobo tribe members in Surigao del Sur.

MAPASU, or the Malahutayong Pakigbisug Alang sa Sumusunod, has long been accused by the military as being influenced and infiltrated by the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

Lianga's tribal chieftain, Datu Constancio Duhac, shared Bucales's view, saying Cullamat failed to allocate anything for the establishment of IP schools and farm-to-market roads in the area.

Duhac said the Bayan Muna solon has not been seen by the majority of the Manobos in Surigao del Sur for a long time, nor did they hear any help from the lawmaker amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It would be good to see if Eufemia Cullamat would work together with the members of ELCAC (Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict) to end to the ordeals of the IPs in the hands of the communist NPA terrorists,” Duhac said.

Bucales and Duhac expressed gratitude to the LGUs, national government agencies, and the Army for the "continued support" to the IP communities in the area.

The relief distribution to IP communities Tuesday was led by Mayor Novelita Sarmen of Lianga, Mayor Justine Marc Pelenio of Marihatag, Lt. Col. Joey B. Baybayan, 3SFBn commander, and Director Rey Cueva of TESDA-Surigao del Sur.

In a separate statement Tuesday, 1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo J. Punsalan, 3SFBn civil-military operations officer, said Sitio Simuwao in Lianga and Sitio Lucnodon in Marihatag are some of IP communities that have openly rejected the NPA and its alleged front--the MAPASU.

"As the IPs of Simuwao and Lucnobon stood their ground against the NPA, the government will not leave them especially during the time of the crisis brought about by the Covid-19," Punsalan added.

Brig. Gen. Allan Hambala, commander of the Army's 401st Infantry Brigade, vowed to continue holding relief efforts for the IP communities in Surigao del Sur.

"We have to remember that we do not only address the Covid-19 virus but also the Communist NPA Terrorist virus that corrupted our society for years. We have to put an end to both viruses,” Hambala said.

Arevalo named AFP education, training command acting chief

From the Philippine News Agency (May 7, 2020): Arevalo named AFP education, training command acting chief (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NEW AFPETDC ACTING CHIEF. AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo (left) takes over as the acting chief of the AFP Education, Training, and Doctrine Command (ETDC) in a turn over ceremony led by vice chief-of-staff, Vice Adm. Gaudencio Collado Jr. (center) on Wednesday (May 6, 2020). Arevalo replaces Rear Adm. Adeluis Bordado (right), who will be assigned as the chief-of-naval staff. (Photo courtesy of AFP Public Affairs Office)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo took over the AFP Education, Training, and Doctrine Command (ETDC) as acting commander on Wednesday.

AFP vice chief-of-staff, Vice Adm. Gaudencio Collado Jr., led the turnover ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo, said Navy Captain Jonathan Zata, military public affairs office chief, in a statement.

Arevalo replaced Rear Adm. Adeluis Bordado, who will be assigned as the chief-of-naval staff.

Arevalo also served as the former head of the AFP public affairs office.

Activated in July 2017, the AFPETDC is mandated to centralize and manage all the training and professional military education of AFP uniformed personnel and the career advancement of its civilian staff.

2 PH Navy ships in India to pick up face mask donation

From the Philippine News Agency (May 7, 2020): 2 PH Navy ships in India to pick up face mask donation (By Priam Nepomuceno)

FACE MASK DONATION. Philippine Navy troops in personal protective equipment load boxes of donated face masks into the BRP Davao del Sur and BRP Ramon Alcaraz at Port Cochin in India on Wednesday (May 6, 2020). The two Navy ships made a brief stop in India to pick up the donations after finishing a repatriation mission for distressed FIlipino workers in Oman earlier in April. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

Two Philippine Navy (PN) ships, the landing dock BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), and the offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) have docked in Cochin, India and loading up boxes of donated face masks.

In a statement Wednesday night, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, PN public affairs office chief, said the face masks were donated by Paul Dantes of LegalZoc Co., a Filipino donor who sources masks from India.

She added that this donation is done in coordination with the Office of Civil Defense.

"The hauling process began shortly after they docked with strict adherence to stringent measures to ensure the safety of PN personnel in charge of the hauling which includes wearing of (personal protective equipment) PPEs and disinfection of the boxes prior loading. A total of 59 boxes constituting the initial 200,000 out of 1 million pieces (of) donated face masks were loaded to LD-602," Roxas said.

She added that the two ships sailed from Sultan Qaboos, Oman last April 21 and arrived in India on the 29th. The PN vessels stayed in the anchorage area while waiting for the assembly of donations at the port.

Roxas said the PN contingent was accorded a simple welcome ceremony led by the chief staff officer for operations of India's Southern Naval Command, Commodore Sanjay Nagar.

"LD-602 will also ferry home around 20 Filipino tourists who are stranded in India with the onset of (the coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19 pandemic. All of them have medical certificates clearing them from coronavirus infection but will still be put in isolation inside the vessel with 24-hour supervision by an onboard medical team," she added.

Roxas said both vessels will immediately depart for the Philippines upon the completion of their mission in India and are expected to arrive within the month.

US provides $5.9-M add'l pandemic assistance to PH

From the Philippine News Agency (May 7, 2020): US provides $5.9-M add'l pandemic assistance to PH (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

The United States is providing an additional PHP298 million or approximately USD5.9 million to its total pandemic assistance to the Philippines.

“This latest assistance builds on our long-standing relationships with local government units across the Philippines, and represents our continued commitment to our Filipino friends, partners, and allies in this time of crisis,” US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim said.

The funding brings to more than PHP768 million or around USD15.2 million Washington's overall aid to Manila's coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will partner with 18 local governments in some of the Philippines’ hardest-hit areas to promote effective crisis management and implement response plans.

"Funding will support local governments to rapidly disburse emergency funding and supplies, and strengthen the capacity of local crisis response centers to disseminate accurate and timely crisis response information, manage quarantine measures, set up public handwashing facilities, ensure food supply, and support local business recovery," the embassy said in a statement.

To assist with small and micro-enterprise recovery, USAID will also facilitate access to credit and provide grants and skills training for heavily affected sectors and communities, said the embassy.

The new assistance includes PHP44 million or approximately USD875,000 from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration for the International Committee of the Red Cross to support the pandemic response in the Philippines that includes increasing stocks of essential medical supplies and expanding hospital capacity, preventing the spread of disease in detention centers, and supporting resilience for vulnerable people and communities.

According to the embassy, the US has so far provided more than PHP228 billion or USD4.5 billion in development assistance to the Philippines over the past 20 years, including over PHP29 billion or USD582 million in health assistance.

AFP lauds seizure of 21 NPA firearms in Mindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6, 2020): AFP lauds seizure of 21 NPA firearms in Mindanao (By Priam Nepomuceno)

AFP Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., (File photo)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., has commended various military units in eastern and western Mindanao for their success in seizing 21 high-powered firearms belonging to the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People's Army (CPP-NPA) during operations early this month.

“The AFP leadership commends the Philippine Army’s 10th Infantry Division, to which 66th Infantry Battalion and 67th Infantry Battalion belong, and the 1st Infantry Division, where the 97th IB and 42nd IB are attached, for their string of successes in degrading the communist terrorist‘s armed capability,"
Santos said in a statement on Tuesday.

Santos added that the seizure of high-powered firearms is a significant accomplishment against the communist rebels who have no compunction of using these weapons to terrorize rural communities and target innocent civilians.

He added that the majority of these weapons were confiscated through information provided by former rebels and communities.

Santos was referring to the May 1 operations of the 66IB in Lupon, Davao de Oro where an M-60 machine gun, three M-16, and one M-14 rifles were seized, and the May 3 patrol of the 67IB in Banganga, Davao Oriental where another three M-16 rifles and an M-2 carbine were confiscated.

In a separate operation, also on May 3, the 67IB also discovered an arms cache in Cateel, Davao Oriental containing five M-16 rifles, two AK-47 rifles, an M-4 carbine, an M-203 grenade launcher, one M-14 rifle, and an M-653 rifle.

"The CTs (communist terrorists) are known to flee pursuing government forces by burying their weapons and ammunition and scampering into smaller groups. These gains added up to the previous 26 firearms seized from the communist terrorists in Davao since the ceasefire lapsed in April," the AFP said in a separate statement.

Members of the CPP-NPA who previously surrendered to the Army willingly provided the location of the arms caches.

A former rebel under the alias "Noli" voluntarily surrendered to the 66IB and the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) headed by Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, while an alias "Jeckol" surrendered to the 67IB.

In a related development in western Mindanao, a high-powered firearm was seized after combined elements of the 97IB and the 42IB encountered about 40 communist rebels in Zamboanga del Norte in the early morning of May 4.

Operating troops conducting security patrol engaged in a 45-minute firefight against a guerilla unit of the NPA’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee in the town of Siayan.

While clearing the encounter site, troops seized one M-60 machine gun; a spare M-60 barrel; three pieces of improvised explosive devices; two AK-47 magazines; 289 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition; one medical kit; two boxes of assorted medicines; two bandoliers; one electronic multi-tester; personal belongings; and subversive documents.

“The AFP assures our people of the military's relentless efforts to prevent communist terrorist groups from spreading harm and violence in the region amidst the country’s ongoing battle against (the coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19,” Santos said.

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

DND studying US attack helicopter offers

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6, 2020): DND studying US attack helicopter offers (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (File photo)

The Department of National Defense (DND) will evaluate the United States' offer to sell two types of top-of-the-line attack helicopters to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they will also determine if the attack helicopters being offered by the Americans are brand-new equipment or old ones.

"We will study the US offer. Baka used na naman mga ito (Maybe these are used ones again)," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency late Tuesday.

Last April 30, the US State Department issued a "determination" approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Philippines of six AH-1Z attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD450 million.

On the same date, another one was issued for the possible sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD1.5 billion.

However, Lorenzana said the PAF is more interested in acquiring around six Turkish Aerospace Industries T-129 choppers for its attack helicopter program which has a budget of around PHP12 to PHP13 billion.

"Yes, the PAF is intent in (acquiring) it," he added.

The PAF is looking for dedicated but affordable attack helicopters to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed choppers like the MG-520 and AW-109E which are being used for counter-terror and ground support missions.

DSWD cites military's role in reaching far-flung areas for SAP

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6, 2020): DSWD cites military's role in reaching far-flung areas for SAP (By Christine Cudis)

CASH AID ON THE WAY. The Army’s 26th Infantry “Ever Onward” Battalion, along with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga, LGU San Luis, Agusan del Sur personnel and police work hand-in-hand to reach far-flung communities. The team distributes relief goods and emergency cash assistance on Thursday (April 23, 2020.) (Photo courtesy of Kalinaw News of Philippine Army)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) cited on Tuesday the role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in helping distribute the government's financial assistance to low-income Filipino families hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the delay in the distribution of cash assistance was primarily due to the hard-to-reach locations of many identified beneficiaries.

“Malalayo ang lugar ng beneficiaries, island municipalities, isolated areas. May mga lugar na high-risk dahil mataas ang Covid-19 cases (The residences of our beneficiaries are far, many are located in island municipalities, and isolated areas. There are areas categorized as high-risk because of the growing numbers of Covid-19 cases),” he said in a live-streamed press briefing.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said they found “difficulties in reaching coastal and island municipalities”.

“We have coordinated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Coast Guard for the provision of air and naval assets,” she said.

In the agency’s special guidelines on the measure of the Social Amelioration provision, the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are to be tapped to secure the area identified by the DSWD or local government unit where social amelioration shall take place.

They are also tasked to accompany, secure, and assist the DSWD and/or LGU representatives in the exercise of their functions; lend technical assistance to further effectuate the social amelioration provisions of those guidelines; and provide land, air, and sea assets to transport DSWD and LGU personnel and goods for the purpose of delivery of assistance to the beneficiaries.

On Wednesday, the DSWD reported on its website that it has given PHP16,703,851,750 to 3,812,526 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) beneficiaries through their cash cards.

Meanwhile, out of the PHP80 billion fund downloaded to local government units, PHP55,051,328 were disbursed to 9,291,540 non-4P’s beneficiaries.

The DSWD has also provided PHP323.3 million for 40,418 drivers of transport network vehicle services (TNVS) and public utility vehicles (PUVs) who were affected by the suspension of mass transport in Metro Manila.

NETDC deputy chief promoted to star rank

From the Philippine News Agency (May 6, 2020): NETDC deputy chief promoted to star rank (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NETDC deputy commander, Commodore Roy Trinidad. (Photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Navy on Wednesday donned a star rank to the Deputy Commander of the Naval Education, Training and Doctrine Command.

PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo led the ceremony at the Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila for Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, with select Navy officers in compliance with social distancing measures amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a statement, PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said Trinidad’s appointment has been approved by the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte on April 27.

Trinidad is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1991.
As a testimony to his competence and prolific military career, he has been a recipient of numerous military honors.

Before named to his current post, he served in numerous key positions in the PN including the Deputy Commander, Naval Forces Central; Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Operations, N3; Director of the Naval Operations Center; Chief of Staff of Naval Forces Western Mindanao and concurrently as the Chief of Staff of Joint Task Force-ZamBaSulTa (JTF-Z).

Bacordo urged Trinidad to be an instrument of change for the betterment of the PN.

“Help me develop a modern mindset for our sailors and marines, a modern mindset that will match our modern equipment; a modern mindset that will develop into modern culture. After all, it is not the modern ships, tanks, aircraft that will bring the Philippine Navy to the modern era, it is the Philippine Navy personnel, armed with the modern mindsets that will,” he added.

Amid pandemic, US, China rival in the South China Sea

From Anadolu Agency (May 5, 2020): Amid pandemic, US, China rival in the South China Sea (By Riyaz ul Khaliq)

Military maneuvers in one of world’s busiest waterway, as Beijing declares administrative control over disputed islands


At a time when the world is struggling to contain the global coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, US and China are engaged in military maneuvers in the South China Sea, a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean encompassing an area around 3.5 million square kilometers (1.4 million square miles).

One of the world’s busiest waterways, the South China Sea, is subjected to several overlapping territorial disputes involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei.

The dispute has now emerged as a flashpoint in China-US relations in Asia.

In the latest incident of escalation, a Chinese navy fleet organized an escort mission drill through the disputed Spratly Islands chain in the far-off sea.

The mission was conducted by the 35th escort fleet of the Chinese navy to “boost far-sea training for combat ships and boost protection against piracy for Chinese merchant ships”, reported a Hong Kong-based English-language daily South China Morning Post.

The maneuver comes after the same fleet returned from the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, after completing an anti-piracy operation.

Challenging Beijing’s maritime claims in what is termed as “freedom of navigation operations”, US bombers flew their sorties in the East China Sea on Monday, reported Taiwan News an English-language newspaper in Taiwan.

The newspaper said that two US B-1B supersonic bombers flew from Guam to the East China Sea and approached Taiwan's northeastern maritime border along the way.

The flight by US bombers comes few days after the Chinese military said it opposes “foreign powers bolstering their naval presence in the South China Sea.”

"Reality has proven once again that the US is the biggest facilitator of the militarization of the South China Sea, and a trouble-maker for the region's peace and stability," Chinese Military Spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian said.

He termed the actions “detrimental to regional peace and stability”.

China declares control on disputed islands
The Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Navy officer Yang Aibin said his force was constantly improving plans and refining the fleet’s ability to perform escort tasks.

Last week, US guided-missile destroyer USS Barry also conducted an operation near the Paracel Islands -- disputed islets between China, which calls them as Xisha Islands, and Vietnam, which calls them as Hoang Sa Islands.

China reacted by deploying its navy to warn the USS Barry.

Early in April, a Vietnamese fishing vessel sank in the disputed waters off the Paracel Islands after being allegedly hit by a Chinese coast guard ship.

China also deployed Haiyang Dizhi 8, its geological survey ship near Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

On April 18, China declared that it has expanded and established administrative control over the disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands triggering angry reactions. Urging “respect to international law”, Philippines rejected China’s declaration.

PH not going back to VFA, Locsin asserts

From the Manila Standard (May 5, 2020): PH not going back to VFA, Locsin asserts (By Rey E. Requejo)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday shut the door on the revival of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, saying there are other ways “to give muscle” to the existing Mutual Defense Treaty between the Manila and Washington.

Under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, the Philippines and the US commit to come to each other’s aid in case of an armed attack by a foreign aggressor.

“We are never going back to the Visiting Forces Agreement but there are other enduring-predictable not just ad hoc- ways of cooperation to give muscle memory to the Mutual Defense Treaty without which we would be an Oriental slave state,” Locsin said in his Twitter account.

According to Locsin, one of the ways is for Washington to provide more armaments to Manila to equip the country’s armed forces.

“Arming us to hold up to our end of the Mutual Defense Treaty is one,” he said.

Last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated the pledge to come to the aid of the Philippines amid growing concern over the aggressive activities of China in the West Philippine Sea which includes the construction of military facilities in seven artificial islands, including three inside the country's 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

The Philippines considers the VFA as a treaty, similar to the MDT, but Washington considers it and subsidiary agreements like the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement of 2014, as executive agreements.

On the other hand, EDCA allows the US to send troops to the country for extended stays and allows Washington to build and operate facilities on Philippine bases, for both US and Filipino forces, but not permanently.

Despite the recommendation of the Cabinet cluster on peace, justice and security to just re-negotiate the VFA, President Duterte has remained adamant on his decision to terminate the agreement. Rey E. Requejo

The President first announced his decision last February after the US cancelled the visa of his long-time confidant Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who also led his bloody war on drugs during his stint as national police chief.

Last March, senators led by Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto filed a petition for declaratory relief and mandamus before the Supreme Court asking the magistrates to issue an order to compel the respondents-Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and o Locsin to course the notice of withdrawal of the VFA to the Senate.

Duterte was not named as a respondent to the case.

The senators also asked the SC to render a decision that withdrawal or termination of a treaty or international agreement earlier concurred to by the Senate also requires the concurrence of two thirds of its members before a withdrawal or termination.

A declaratory relief means the petitioners want the SC to clarify issues or questions about the law while a mandamus seeks to compel the respondents to act or do something.

The SC has yet to rule on the petition.

5 NPA rebels yield to PNP Caraga

From the Manila Bulletin (May 6, 2020): 5 NPA rebels yield to PNP Caraga (By Mike Crismundo)

CAMP COL. RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan City – Five active members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have abandoned the armed struggle, and turned themselves in to the government, according to the Police Regional Office 13 (PRO-13).

In a report submitted to PRO 13 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr., P/Lt. Col. Dexter B. Ollaging, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 13 (RMFB 13) commander said the surrenderers were a finance officer, a political instructor and a member of Sangay ng Partido (SP) and two regular fighters of Militia ng Bayan (MB) Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda Kingdom 4-A (SYP, K4-A), Guerilla Front 4-A (GF 4-A) and Weakened Guerilla Front 20 (WGF 20) of the CPP-NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) and Southern Mindanao Regional Committee operating in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Their names were temporarily withheld for their safety and security.

Ollaging said the surrenderers gave up themselves around 11:45 a.m. on Monday, May 4, and pledged to support the government’s peace and development program.

They also yielded two rifle grenades, two caliber .38 revolvers and assorted live ammunitions.

The regional command of PRO 13 welcomed the new surrenderers.

“Due to the crisis brought by COVID-19 pandemic, the NPAs may have already ran out of food supply, making their lives in the mountains harder,” Esquivel said.

“In fact in other areas, the rebels have resorted to grabbing of relief goods to feed themselves aside from their continued extortion activities,” he said.

Esquivel stressed that the PNP and the military have tightened security measures in the Caraga region to secure the distribution of relief goods.

Troops recover arms, explosives after encounter with NPAs in Samar

From the Manila Bulletin (May 5, 2020): Troops recover arms, explosives after encounter with NPAs in Samar (By Marie Tonette Marticio)

Troops of 46th Infantry Battalion (46th IB) seized high-powered firearms, grenades, an improvised explosive device (IED), and other war materials after an encounter with alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Monday, May 4, in Pinabacdao, Samar.


Lt. Col. Rhomel Langcauon, commanding officer of the 46IB, said the troops encountered the rebels while they were conducting security operations to verify information relayed by villagers about the presence of armed individuals harassing the community.

A five-minute firefight transpired between the government troops and about five NPA members believed led by a certain Pilo, in Barangay Magdawat at around 5:05 a.m.
This resulted in the recovery of two M16 rifles with a short magazine filled with 20 ammunition; two backpacks and personal belongings; a bandolier with a long plastic magazine and 16 ammunition; four improvised hand grenades; an IED approximately weighing 10 kilograms; a binocular, and subversive documents.

Langcauon said the seized war materials were brought to the 46th IB headquarters for proper documentation and disposition.

Col. Camilo Ligayo, 801st Brigade Commander, said the commitment of the people of Pinabacdao was a response to the serious campaign of the different government agencies in ending this local armed conflict through Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) which serves as a leading example to other communities.

“The plight of the security forces alongside the support of the community and agencies is in a full drive for a better advancement of the people’s lives,” Ligayo concluded.