Sunday, June 14, 2020

BIFF member killed, another arrested

From the Sun Star-Zamboanga (Jun 14, 2020): BIFF member killed, another arrested

ZAMBOANGA. A member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) was killed while another was arrested following a firefight over the weekend against government troops in Midsayap, North Cotabato. A photo handout shows the firearms and other personal belongs the troops recovered after the firefight. (Contributed Photo)

A MEMBER of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed while another was arrested following a clash with government forces in North Cotabato over the weekend.

Brigadier General Roberto Capulong, Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the clash broke out in Lumupong village, Midsayap, North Cotabato, when the troops chanced upon a group of BIFF while conducting security operations.

There were no casualties among the military, he said.

The troops recovered one AK-47 assault rifle, one M-16 Armalite rifle, two long and one short magazines for caliber 5.56-millimeter (MM), 50 caliber ammunition, one bandolier, one motorboat, two cellular phones, three backpacks, and other personal belongings.

Meanwhile, combined troops of the 34th and 57th Infantry Battalions as well as members of the Midsayap Municipal Police Station apprehended a wounded individual on board an ambulance of the Municipality of Datu Piang in Olandang village, hours after the clash in Lumupong village.

The wounded individual was identified as Maguindale Nawal, 25, an alleged follower of the BIFF-Bungos faction and a resident of Dado village, Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He was wounded on his chest.

Major General Diosdado Carreon, Joint Task Force Central commander, said Nawal was wounded on his chest during the encounter in Lumupog. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Reds intensifying disinformation on anti-terror bill – Lacson

From the Philippine Star (Jun 15, 2020): Reds intensifying disinformation on anti-terror bill – Lacson (Paolo Romero)

Senator Panfilo Lacson, who chairs the committee on national defense and security and is a principal sponsor of the measure, said he stands by its constitutionality and vowed to fight any abuse by law enforcers once President Duterte signs it into law.  Geremy Pintolo, file

Fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA) have intensified their disinformation campaign against the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 even as more communist rebels have surrendered ahead of the expected proscription of the rebel group once the measure is enacted into law, according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
Lacson, who chairs the committee on national defense and security and is a principal sponsor of the measure, said he stands by its constitutionality and vowed to fight any abuse by law enforcers once President Duterte signs it into law.

Lacson over the weekend said an Army commander reported that in anticipation of the passage of the bill, NPA guerrillas have started surrendering with 27 rebels laying down their arms in just two days in Quezon, Laguna and Mindoro alone.

“Many more are sending surrender feelers. That is why, he said, their fronts have become busier with their disinformation campaign,” the senator said on Twitter.

He added that there is a pending proscription case against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA at the Manila Regional Trial Court to declare them a terrorist organization.

The CPP is the political wing and the NPA is the armed group under the National Democratic Front, the umbrella organization of all mainstream communist groups and fronts in the country.

The CPP-NPA, along with the Abu Sayyaf, are already designated by the United States Secretary of State as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs).

A list of FTOs posted on the US State Department website indicates that the CPP-NPA was designated as a FTO as early as Aug. 9, 2002. The Abu Sayyaf, which was declared a terrorist organization by a Basilan court in 2015, was designated as a FTO Oct. 8, 1997.

“As per the anti-terrorism bill, once the United Nations designates the local communist guerrillas as a terrorist organization, the (would-be created) Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) can initiate an administrative action through the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze their accounts. These and more could be the reason why there is so much disinformation going on,” Lacson said.

The senator expressed hopes that various political parties opposed to the current administration “will not fall into the scare tactics trap laid out and being peddled by groups who are sympathetic to the CPP-NPA’s cause, which, incidentally, has deteriorated to the level of banditry and extortion activities.”

He said he would not allow anyone to pervert the legislative intent of the measure that he had painstakingly defended on the Senate floor.

“The anti-terrorism bill is the wrong tree to bark at. I vow to join those who are concerned, genuinely or otherwise, about the proposed law’s implementation to be as vigilant in monitoring each and every wrongful implementation by our security forces, even to the point of joining them in street protests,” he said.

Lacson maintained the measure adheres to the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution, and contains more than enough safeguards against abuse, such as 10-year jail terms and perpetual disqualification from public service for law enforcers who arrest suspected terrorists, but fail to immediately inform the ATC, nearest judge and the Commission on Human Rights.

It has more safeguards than the Human Security Act of 2007, which the bill aims to repeal, he said.

The senator recalled that the police officers responsible for the murder of Kian de los Santos were convicted, largely because of the Senate’s inquiry into the case.

Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who chairs the committee on public order and safety, hit back at those who are calling on Duterte not to sign the law, as he stressed that terrorism “is a very complicated crime against humanity.”

Dela Rosa said law-abiding citizens, who are against terrorism, would “rejoice” if the bill is signed into law.

“But if you’re a terrorist or a supporter of terrorists, be afraid of this law – that’s the simplest summary of this (bill),” Dela Rosa told radio station dzBB.

The neophyte senator asked those blocking the enactment of the measure to be careful of what they wish for, as the country may be subjected to another terror attack and the government would have its hands virtually tied with the lack of such a law. – With Alexis Romero

“You want (the bill) junked? Junk it. When you become victims of terrorists, a bomb explodes, a loved one died, or you yourself, don’t blame the government for not finding ways to stop terrorism,” Dela Rosa said in Filipino.

“You want another Marawi siege? Go ahead. You want another Zamboanga siege? Go ahead. You want bombings left and right? Go ahead,” he added.

Butuan police infographic branding activists as terrorists draws flak

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 14, 2020): Butuan police infographic branding activists as terrorists draws flak (By: Jigger J. Jerusalem)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — A police station in Butuan City drew flak after it put out an infographic on Saturday that pictured activists as terrorists, especially those who call the out government on issues hounding its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The infographic, which was posted on the Facebook page of Butuan City Police Station 3, was taken down several hours after it was posted, sometime around 1 p.m., but not before it went viral, was screen shot and heavily criticized by a number of netizens, including a lawyers’ group in Mindanao.

The infographic depicted a roundtable meeting whereby those in attendance were supposedly planning on “issues that will be thrown at government to foment the people’s ire.”

People in the supposed meeting mentioned issues that government was asked to straighten up like the Social Amelioration Program, which has not reached those deserving beneficiaries, the distribution of food aid, the primacy of force in handling the quarantine, and mass testing for the coronavirus.

As if to relate these purely political actions to violence, there is a conversation about killing a village chief and innocent civilians, and blaming it on the Army.

The entire image was bannered: Ganito magpulong ang mga terorista! (This is how terrorists hold a meeting.)

Below is a warning, “Wag magpagamit at magpalinlang sa kanila! (Don’t be used and deceived by them.)

Shown in the infographics were the emblems of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The roundtable image contained logos of progressive groups, such as Gabriela, Kabataan party list, Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, among others.

The hashtag #PNPKakampiMo was printed along with the Facebook page Butuan CPS III, Twitter account @BCPS_3, and the contact number of the police station.

When contacted by the Inquirer, Police Capt. Emerson Apipit, chief of Butuan City’s Police Station 3, no longer explained why they came up with the infographic.

Instead, Apipit explained that the post was taken down in deference to an earlier reminder from Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on the social media protocols of the national police.

CONTROVERSIAL POST This infographic posted on the Facebook page of the Butuan Police Station 3 on Saturday morning claims that these persons or groups represented in a roundtable and raising questions over the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was how terrorists hold a meeting. The post was taken down sometime before 1:30 p.m. —SCREENGRAB FROM THE BUTUAN CPS III FACEBOOK PAGE


In light of complaints of Red-tagging previously lodged by militant groups in Mindanao against the Caraga police, Gamboa warned that police officers can face criminal and administrative charges if they violate the PNP’s social media protocol.

Reacting to the infographic, the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), in a statement, said they were “outraged by the careless statements made by the Butuan Police Station … ”

“What is terroristic about the calls for mass testing? For protection and benefits to our health workers? For social amelioration? For sufficient assistance to our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) and LSIs (locally stranded individuals)?” asked lawyer Czarina Musni, a member of UPLM.
‘Legitimate, pressing concerns’

“Indeed these calls are legitimate and pressing concerns of the Filipino people, and not just the progressive groups, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Musni said.

Musni explained that “with the glaring impunity afforded to state actors violating quarantine protocols while ordinary citizens are being arrested for simply doing what they can to make ends meet, one can expect the growing outrage of every Filipino citizen to rise against abuse, to rise against tyranny.”

“And this is precisely what the antiterrorism bill wants to do — to suppress the people from expressing their concerns, from demanding what is just and what is right, and from calling for accountability from the government.”

Opinion: Globe Philippines: We pay the price for refusing to pay for CPP-NPA favors

Opinion piece posted to the Manila Times (Jun 14, 2020): Globe Philippines: We pay the price for refusing to pay for CPP-NPA favors

We write to express our extreme displeasure with the column of Rigoberto Tiglao, “Communists get P1.9B from telcos, other firms,” and published in The Manila Times on June 10, 2020. In particular, the column claims that “the telcos (telecommunication companies) capitulated to the CPP-NPA’s (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army) demand for extortion money so it would not destroy or damage their 20,000 cell towers spread all over the country.”

Globe has never engaged with, nor paid the CPP or its armed wing, the NPA, any amount in return for favors. It will never support an armed struggle that has claimed so many lives in the country. As a matter of fact, the strong resistance of the company against providing any form of monetary support has cost us dearly with many of our cellsites in the countryside being bombed or burned down. Aside from property damage, our Globe security personnel manning our cellsites have suffered trauma, physical injuries and, worse, loss of life. As a countermeasure, Globe coordinated closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, which led to improved responses to these attacks.

We urge Mr. Tiglao to check his facts and refrain from writing sweeping claims specifically putting all telcos or private companies as supporters of insurgents. Globe abides by the laws of the country and we are one with the government in its bid to end any insurgency through peaceful means.

Yoly C. Crisanto
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications
Globe Philippines

Evacuees return to conflict-wracked Cotabato villages

From the Philippine Star (Jun 13, 2020): Evacuees return to conflict-wracked Cotabato villages (John Unson)

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines — It may take some time for conflict-stricken residents of three barangays in Pikit town to rebuild their homes but their enthusiasm will help them easily get through, officials said Saturday.

Hundreds of families from Pikit’s adjoining Barangays Balungis, Nunguan and Balatican started returning last week to the villages that they abandoned last month due to hostilities between rival groups in the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco, chairperson of the provincial peace and order council (PPOC), told reporters Saturday the Regional Police Office-12, the Army’s 602nd Brigade and the local government unit of Pikit shall together prevent recurrence of the troubles in the three barangays that caused the displacement of about 2,000 families.

The PPOC, the police, the military and the Pikit LGU brokered last week an initial truce between the feuding MILF and MNLF forces with the help of regional officials of both groups.

“There is this feeling of relief now among the affected residents and they are enthusiastic to rebuild their villages with the help of the provincial government, their municipal officials, the police and the 602nd Brigade,” Catamco said.

Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong of the 602nd Brigade said they will sustain the zeal of the evacuees by keeping the visibility of soldiers in Barangays Balungis, Nunguan and Balatican to prevent the rival MNLF and MILF forces from coming back.

More than 50 houses were burned by both sides as they figured in a series of bloody encounters last month.

Capulong said the affected villagers are optimistic they can easily restore normalcy in the three barangays with the help of the North Cotabato provincial government and the Pikit LGU.

Catamco, Capulong and LGU officials facilitated last week the return of hundreds of evacuees to Barangays Balungis, Nunguan and Balatican.

The evacuees agreed to return after provincial officials, the 602nd Brigade and top leaders of the MNLF and the MILF brokered an initial security pact enjoining the rival forces to reposition away from the three barangays.

The two groups are squabbling for control of villages in the three barangays, a dispute the provincial government and municipal officials in Pikit are now trying to resolve amicably.

CPP/NPA-Bukidnon: KM conference nga gipahigayon sa Bukidnon, nagmalampuson

Propaganda article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): KM conference nga gipahigayon sa Bukidnon, nagmalampuson

JUNE 12, 2020

Sa prubinsya sa Bukidnon, adunay nahitabong kumperensya sa Kabataang Makabayan kung diin nikabat kini sa 37 ka indibidwal nga naga-gikan sa nagkalain-laing lungsod ug komunidad. Ang mga partisipante naga-gikan sa mga kabatan-onan ug kabatan-onang estudyante sa prubinsya.

Ang maong kumperensya nagahisgot sa nasyunal nga problema ngadto na sa partikular. Ilabina sa pangkalibutang isyu kabahin sa Covid-19. Kung unsaon ang hiniusang pagbatok niini.

Lakip na ang paghisgot sa paspas nga pag-organisa kabahin sa han-ay sa kabatan-onan. Nagbunga kini sa pagmugna sa usa ka organisasyon arun hiniusang batukan ang pandemya ug ang pagsumpo sa teroristang atake sa rehimeng US-Duterte.

Luwas kini nga nahuman sa nahisgutang adlaw. Kini nga aktibidad nagpamatuod nga bisan una ang pamaagi ug taktika sa kaaway, kung ang kabatan-onan mismo ang mulihok ug mosuporta sa hukbo, bisan kanus-a dili kini matarug.

Busa ang BHB-Bukidnon, mapasalamaton sa walay paglubad nga pagmahal ug pagsuporta sa hukbo.

Mabuhi ang Kabataang Makabayan!
Mabuhi ang katawhang nakigbisog!

CPP/News: Soldiers fire weapons while inside Iloilo cave to fake encounter

Propaganda news story posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): Soldiers fire weapons while inside Iloilo cave to fake encounter

JUNE 13, 2020

“There was no encounter between the New People’s Army (NPA) and 61st IB in Sitio Mahe, Barangay Corucuan, Igbaras, Iloilo last June 7.” This was the rebuttal of Ariston Remus, NPA-Southern Panay spokesperson, to 1st Lt. Ferdinand De Vera of the 61st IB who claimed that his unit “thwarted an NPA attack” at a hydropower plant in said area.

According to intelligence reports gathered by the NPA, soldiers of the 61st IB repeatedly fired their guns last June 7 while in a cave near Sitio Mahe in the said barangay to make it appear that it encountered an NPA unit. Bursts of gunfire were heard for approximately 20 minutes which terrorized farmers and their children residing in adjacent barrios.

In a statement published on Saturday, Remus clarified that no NPA unit was in the area during the supposed encounter. The 61st IB also falsely reported that they were able to recover an M16 rifle, ammunition, documents, flags, and medical supplies from fleeing NPA fighters. He stressed that the said encounter was merely “a concoction of AFP’s warshocked troops.”

A few days before the fake encounter, troopers of the same unit reportedly mauled several farmers at Sitio Danawan, Barangay Lab-on. They also surrounded the house of farmer Narciso Gapal in Barangay Tigbanaba whom they accused of accommodating NPA fighters.

Officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are notorious for faking encounters and surrenders for promotion and to line their pockets of reward money.

CPP/NPA-Southern Panay: Encounter sa Igbaras, produkto sang halusinasyon sang AFP

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): Encounter sa Igbaras, produkto sang halusinasyon sang AFP

JUNE 13, 2020

Wala sang natabu nga engkwentro sa tunga sang New People’s Army kag 61st IB Philippine Army nga ginpamunuan ni 1st Lt. De Vera sadtong Hunyo 7, 2020 sa Sityo Mahe, Brgy. Corucuan, Igbaras, Iloilo. Isa ini ka peke nga engkwentro nga produkto sang halusinasyon kag kabahin sang dirty tricks sang AFP.

Ginpangin-wala na sang Mt. Napulac Command ang presensya sang ila yunit sa nasambit nga lugar sang amo nga adlaw. Sa mga propaganda nga ginpagwa sang AFP sa mainstream kag social media, Sibat Platun kuno sang NPA ang ila na-engkwentro kag nakuhaan pa sang M16 rifle, mga bala, mga dokumento, bandera, kag mga kagamitan medikal? Para sa kaathagan sang publiko, ang “Sibat” isa sa mga unit sang NPA sa idalom sang Napoleon Tumagtang Command. Indi area of maneuver ukon area of operation sang ini nga unit ang nasambit nga lugar. Maathag nga isa lang ini ka halusinasyon (hallucination) sang warshock nga mga Philippine Army.

Sandig sa intelligence network sang NPA ang ginpalukpan sang army, amo ang kweba sa naibabaw nga bahin sang Sityo Mahe. Naglawig sang mas o menus 20 minutos ang linupok nga nagtuga sang tuman nga kakulba sang pumuluyo sa palibot. Antes sini, may ginsakit pa nga mangunguma ang amo nga tropa militar sa Danawan, isa ka ulumhan nga sakop sang Brgy. Lab-on. Ginpalibutan man nila ang balay ni Narciso Gapal sang Brgy. Tigbanaba sa rason kuno nga didto nagpanago ang NPA.

Indi mapapati ni Major Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson sang 3rd ID PA kag sang 61st IB sang ila drama ang pumuluyo sa palibot nga kabaryuhanan sang Igbaras. Sa baylo, labi nila nga ginahublasan sa malapad nga masa ang ila pagkatarantado, pagkapasista kag kontra-pumuluyo nga kinaiya. Ang mga inagihan sang masa sa nagasingki nga pasismo kag militarisasyon mas labi nga magapamuklat sa ila kon sin-o ang ila tunay nga soldado kag sang kahustuhan sang armadong paghimakas.

CPP/NPA-Central Negros: Madinalag-on nga Military Action sang SPARU unit sang LPC-NPA Nagmadinalag-on!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): Madinalag-on nga Military Action sang SPARU unit sang LPC-NPA Nagmadinalag-on!

JUNE 13, 2020

Madinalag-on nga gintigayon sang SPARU unit sang LPC-NPA ang military action batok kay CAFGU Macky Pacunla sadtong Hunyo 11, 2020 sa takna nga alas 2:00 sang hapon sa Sitio Compound Brgy. Luz, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Si Macky Pacunla, isa ka active CAFGU nga naka duty sa brgy. Sikatuna detatchment, Isabela, Negros Occidental kag masupog nga asset sang 62nd IBPA.

Si Macky ginagamit man sa operasyon militar sa mga pagpangbalay-balay para sa pagpamahug sa pumuluyo nga ila gina bansagan nga NPA supporters. Upod man sya sa opersyon militar sa mga pagpangransak sa mga pamalay sa Brgy. Luz kag giya sa operasyon sang 62nd IBPA. Ginagamit man sya nga giya sang mga tirador sang 62nd IBPA padulong sa balay sang ila mga target nga mga sibilyan.

Ang LPC- NPA Central Negros, padayon nga nagapanawagan sa hanay sa mga CAFGU nga mag-untat na sa ila serbisyo tungod sila ginagamit batok mismo sa ila kasahi nga mga mangunguma. Kahibalo ang NPA nga kalabanan sang ara nagasulod sa CAFGU napilitan lamang tungod sang kakulang sang duta nga palangabuhian kag wala sang matrabahoan apang ini nga klase sang trabaho ginagamit sila para punggan ang paghimakas sang pumuluyo para sa matuod nga reporma sa duta kag pungsudnon nga industriyalisasyon nga amo ang magasolbar sa problema sang pumuluyo sa kawad-on sang duta nga palangabuhian kag kakulang sang matrabahoan. Apang ang NPA magatinguha man nga depensahan ang baseng masa, kag pangapinan ang interes sang mangunguma kag pumuluyo nga iya ginaalagaran. Ang NPA nakahanda man sang pagpatuman sang nagakaigo nga action militar batok sa pasista nga tropa kag mga nagapanghalit sa mangunguma kag pumuluyo.

Panawagan sa tanan nga pumuluyo, magmabinantayanon sa mga hulag sang pasistang militar kag ila mga assets para mapangapinan ang seguridad sang palibot kag makahimo sang nagakaigo nga aksyon ang aton hangaway sang banwa. Padayon nga makibisog batok sa pasismo kag indi magkahadlok nga depensahan kag ipakig-away ang kinamatarung sa palangabuhian. Ang aton kadalag-an nakasandig sa aton ululupod nga paghiliusa kag pagbinuligay. Padayon nga padakuon ang aton hangaway sang banwa para sa mas pa nga pagpasulong sang inaway banwa tub-tob sa pag-agaw sang gahum pulitika sang mga nagahari nga sahi. Sa sina lubos nga mahilway kita sa gapos sang pagpanghimulos kag pagpamigos nga amo ang palanublian sang masunod nga mga henerasyon. Padayon magsuporta kag magpakigbahin sa armadong paghimakas para sa pagpanday sang makatarunganon nga sosyedad, wala sang ginapigos, wala sang pagpanghimulos, may matuod nga kalinong nga nakabase sa hustisya sosyal.

Mabuhay ang armadong rebolusyon!

Mabuhay ang sahing pigos!

CPP/NPA-Central Front Panay: Pumuluyo maghiliusa, pakigbatuan ang terorismo sang Rehimeng US-Duterte! — Central Front, Panay

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): Pumuluyo maghiliusa, pakigbatuan ang terorismo sang Rehimeng US-Duterte! — Central Front, Panay


JUNE 13, 2020

Isa ka armas pangkugmat sang rehimeng Duterte ang “Anti-Terror Bill” batuk sa malapad nga pumuluyong Pilipino. Desperado kag mapintas nga tikang ini sang inutil kag berdugo nga rehimen bilang sabat sa nagasingki kag nagalapad nga reklamo kag pagbato sang pumuluyo sa iya kriminal nga kapabayaan, korapsyon kag mga ekstra-hudisyal nga pagpamatay sa pihak sang ginaatubang nga krisis sang pungsod sa COVID 19 nga pandemya.

Tuyo nga patyon sang nasambit nga hagna ang kahilwayan kag kinamatarung sang pumuluyo sa pagpahayag agud pahipuson ang mga kritiko sang gobyerno ni Duterte. Paagi sa ini nga layi, mangin krimen na kag akto sang terorismo ang simple nga pag-kwestyon, paghambal, komento kag pagpakamalaut sa gobyerno ni Duterte sa mga social media platform, forum, eskwelahan, simbahan, entablado, karsada, medya kag iban pa nga palaagyan sang pagpahayag.

Bisan ang pagpatapo, pag-suporta kag pag-upod sa mga aktibidad sang mga organisasyon nga naga-bulig sa pumuluyo ang ginakabig sini nga akto sang terorismo o pag-suporta sa terorista. Sa ini nga layi, lubos ni Duterte nga pabakuron kag pasingkion ang “de facto” nga “Martial law” nga nagaluntad na sa bilog nga pungsod.

Indi katingalahan nga napaslawan ini tapnaon ang terorismo bangud ang rehimeng US-Duterte mismo ang matuod-tuod nga tagsabwag sang terorismo. Linibo ka inosenteng sibilyan ang biktima sang terorismo sang estado sa iya kontra-pumuluyo nga gyera kontra-droga, pagpamatay sa mga mangunguma kag iban pa nga mga kritiko sang rehimen, ilegal nga pagpang-aresto kag himo-himo nga kaso, pagpangbomba kag sige-sige nga operasyon militar sa kaumhan nga nagresulta sa linibo-libo nga nagkalamatay, pagkaguba sang palangabuhian kag pagbakwet sang mga komunidad sang mga pungsudnon minorya kag mangunguma.

Nahadluk si Duterte nga mapatalsik angay kay Marcos kag Estrada kag magaatubang sang nagatumpok nga kaso bangud sa nagalapad nga protesta kag pagbato sang pumuluyo gani ginagamit niya ang Armed Forces of the Philippines kag Philippine National Police sa paglupig sa mga sibilyan nga nagareklamo, hana nga magbato, kag nagabato sa iya mapintas nga pagdumalahan.

Tama ka athag ang katuyuan ni Duterte nga himuon legal ang iya madugay na nga ginasabwag nga terorismo paagi sa pagpadasig sa pagpasar sang Anti-Terror Bill (HB6875) sa iya mga ido-ido sa kongreso kag senado. Bisan wala pa man maaprobahan ining layi, linibo-libo na nga inosente nga sibilyan kag mga aktibista ang ginapatu-patuan sang AFP kag PNP nga “kuno” mga terorista agud may rason ang ila illegal nga pagpang-aresto, torture kag pagpamatay.

Nagapanawagan ang Mt. Baloy Command sa tanan nga pumuluyo nga indi magkahadluk. Maghiliusa kag ubos kusog kag kaisog nga pakigbatuan ang terorismo sang diktador kag berdugo nga rehimeng US-Duterte sa tanan nga patag.

Mag-intra sa NPA kag pukanon ang matuod-tuod nga terorista nga AFP, PNP kag si Duterte mismo. #

CPP/NDF-Sison: The diabolical formula of Duterte in the use of violence and deception

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): The diabolical formula of Duterte in the use of violence and deception

JUNE 14, 2020

The diabolical fascist formula of Duterte for entrenching himself in power and committing the most atrocious crimes is to use all means of violence, mass intimidation and deception to attack, discredit and disable all actual and potential critics and opposition.

While he uses the military, police and special death squads to kill critics, opponents, revolutionaries and competitors in the illegal drug trade, he uses fake news in the commercial mass media and the crudest troll invectives and threats in the social media to malign definite targets and even the entire people as pasaway who need a good dose of violence to instill discipline in them.

To make himself appear “popular”, he gets skyhigh opinion poll ratings by bribing heavily the executives of the opinion poll survey firms with outright cash and appointment of relatives to lucrative positions in government and most important of all he has tight control of the Comelec and the TIM-Smartmatic in order to rig the resuts in any voting exercise like the May 2019 mid-term elections and future plebiscite or elections.###

CPP/News: 200 celebrate wedding in Covid-free NPA area

Propaganda news story posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): 200 celebrate wedding in Covid-free NPA area

JUNE 14, 2020

In a still Covid-free area of the New People’s Army (NPA), life in the revolution took a pause to celebrate love amidst heightened focus military operations.

Last June 11, the people in Bukidnon, along with their army, celebrated the wedding of four couples. Around 200 residents from different communities attended the ceremony to witness the couples exchange vows under the rules of the revolutionary government and flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Forged in the middle of the people’s war, marriage in the revolution encompasses not only the romantic love towards a comrade, but also the genuine love and service to the masses.

At the wedding, the villagefolk took upon themselves the task of preparing food, setting up the stage and organizing cultural performances. Red fighters are not to be outdone, as they also displayed their flair for dancing.

The mass wedding was held at a time when Bukidnon is under intense and brutal militarization by no less than four battalions of the AFP. But as a Red commander said in jest during the ceremony, this should not deter the couples’ long-time dream of walking under the “arms gate,” the customary passage of wedded couples under crossed rifles.

Meantime, a conference of revolutionary youth organization Kabataang Makabayan (KM) was held in the province. Up to 37 KM members from different towns, cities and communities of the province took part in the activity. The participants were students and youth from the province.

Issues of national concern as well as those affecting the KM’s particular areas were discussed in the conference. Foremost of these is the global concern of Covid-19 which calls for collective response.

Deliberations were held regarding prompt organizing work among the youth. These discussions resulted in the formation of an organization aimed at the collective response to the pandemic and opposition to the US-Duterte regime’s terrorist attacks.

Both the mass wedding and the KM conference were conducted safely, demonstrating the collective action of the youth, the masses and the people’s army in frustrating enemy tactics and carrying on with the tasks in the revolution. Despite enjoying Covid-free status, health measures were observed in both activities ###

CPP: End China and US heightened presence and operations in Philippine seas

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jun 13, 2020): End China and US heightened presence and operations in Philippine seas

JUNE 13, 2020

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces heightened armed presence and counter-presence operations over the past two months by both the Chinese and US militaries within the country’s territorial waters and surrounding seas. These large-scale military operations are resulting in heightened military tension and raises the possibility of armed conflict, putting the Philippines and the Filipino people in danger of getting caught in the middle of inter-imperialist armed conflict.

The Philippines is now surrounded by US and Chinese military forces: on the West Philippine Sea, there are Chinese military facilities, aircraft and fully armed coast guard and “militia” ships; and on the Philippine Sea (east of the country) are two US carrier strike groups and submarines.

From April to May, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese and US military forces maneuvered and counter-maneuvered in the South China Sea raising military tension. In mid-April, the Chinese government dispatched the Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel together with a flotilla of coast guard and “militia” ships to harass the West Capella, a Malaysian-hired Panamanian drill ship conducting mining operations in the contested areas in the South China Sea.

To counter Chinese presence, the US military dispatched the littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords on April 28-29 to conduct patrols in the said area, heightening military tensions. On April 29, the US military launched two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from the US mainland which flew over the South China Sea.

In early May, the US dispatched the USS Montgomery and USNS Cesar Chavez to conduct patrol operations. On May 8, two more US bombers launched from Guam flew over the South China Sea and passed through the vicinity of the West Capella drill ship. Around the same time, the US Seventh Fleet revealed that three submarines under its command conducted war exercises in the Philippine seas.

Last week, the US military bragged that it has three strike group warships conducting operations across the Indian Ocean and Pacific. Two of these strike groups, the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group, and the USS Ronald Reagan which left its Japanese port, both nuclear-powered warships and carrying a combined force of more than 10,000 troops, are presently operating in the Philippine Sea.

The Filipino people, as well as all peoples in the region, must denounce these maneuvers and counter-maneuvers by both the Chinese and US military and the relentless build up of military presence by both sides in the country’s within the territorial waters and surrounding seas. All these heighten military tensions and raises the possibility of outright military confrontation and full-scale war flaring up in the region.

The Duterte regime has displayed military, political and economic subservience to both the imperialist US and China.

On the one hand, it failed to assert the country’s territorial and economic rights under UNCLOS as determined by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas in its 2017 decision, and allowed China to reclaim land and build military facilities in the land formations and sea features which are part of the Philippines’ territorial seas, exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf.

On the other hand, the Duterte regime continues to allow the US military to use the country as a launching pad for its military operations in the South China Sea and Philippine Sea. It has allowed the US to build military facilities inside at least eight AFP camps where they can preposition its weapon systems. Duterte has rolled back on its drama of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after the US State Department issued a certification to pave the way for the regime to purchase US war mat├ęriel including helicopters, missiles and bombs to be used in the bloody war of suppression against the Filipino people.

Duterte’s bombast of exercising an “independent foreign policy” is mere rhetoric. In fact, he bows to the whims and dictates of his imperialist masters–both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. As a result, the Philippines is bound to be caught in the middle of escalating inter-imperialist conflict.

The Party reiterates the Filipino people’s demand for China to dismantle all military facilities built within the country’s territorial waters and pay damages for the grave damage to the environment, and the marine and mineral resources siphoned by China in the course of its massive land reclamation. The Party also reiterates the demand for China to withdraw its armed Coast Guard and paramilitary ships in order to allow Filipino fishermen to fish unimpeded in Philippine waters and traditional fishing grounds.

At the same time, the Party reiterates the Filipino people’s demand for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty and all other lopsided military agreements between the Philippines and the United States. All these agreements give the US military extraterritorial rights in the Philippines and allow the US military to use the country’s airspace and airports, sealanes and seaports, as well as airwaves, military camps and other facilities and infrastructure for its hegemonic purposes.

End Chinese military aggression in the Philippines!
End US military intervention and abrogate the VFA and all lopsided military agreements!
End US and China military operations in Philippine territorial waters and surrounding seas!

Kalinaw News: 313 Communist NPA Terrorists, supporters yield to AFP as nation celebrates Independence Day

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 15, 2020): 313 Communist NPA Terrorists, supporters yield to AFP as nation celebrates Independence Day (By Kalinaw News)

CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Continuous military operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) prompted 313 members and supporters of the New People’s Army to return to the government fold in June 6-12.

The Northern Luzon Command alone recorded 277 regular members, supporters, and members of NPA-organized mass organizations who withdrew membership and support from the NPA in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora Province during the said period.

On Independence Day, the AFP in cooperation with the local government of Tarlac facilitated the withdrawal of support by 100 members of AMBALA.

They join 41 other members of AMBALA who also rejected the NPA earlier on June 6.

The 7th Infantry Division, which covers the area of Tarlac, described AMBALA as a group organized by the New People’s Army. It was established to exploit farmers and agrarian reform issues in the area and has recruited members from 11 different barangays in Hacienda Luisita.

In place of AMBALA, the AFP assisted the farmers to organize MALAYA to help them in their advocacies.

The AFP also facilitated the withdrawal of support of a total of 132 members of a similar organization in barangay Bacayao and Manggang Marikit in Guimba, Nueva Ecija on June 7 and 8 respectively.

Also on June 8, four members of another farmers group based in Aurora Province returned to the folds of the law and withdrew their support from the NPA in a ceremony held at Barangay Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora.

Meanwhile, joint elements of AFP and PNP in Sta. Rosa Laguna under Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) forced 14 CNTs to surface on June 11. They also confiscated one shotgun, one cal .45 pistol, and four cal .38 revolvers from the said individuals.

The command also registered 12 others who surrendered in Quezon and Laguna on June 7 and 11.

In Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM), four “milisya ng bayan” members presented themselves to joint elements of 73IB and PNP in Davao Occidental on June 6.

On the same day, two CNTs also surrendered with their firearms to government forces in Agusan Del Norte and Agusan Del Sur. Meanwhile on June 7 and 9, two former CNTs returned to the folds of the law in Tago, Surigao Del Sur.

On June 7 and 12, the Western Mindanao Command and Central Command tallied one CNT apiece who abandoned violence in Zamboanga del Norte and Northern Samar.

Meanwhile, series of intense encounters, apprehensions, and voluntary submissions resulted in the overall seizure of 38 assorted firearms, seven anti-personnel mines, and 51 rounds of ammunition for the said period.

Most notable of which came from a 20-minute firefight between the 3rd Infantry Division and 10 CNTs in Igbaras, Iloilo on June 6.

The encounter resulted in the seizure of one M16 Rifle, two rounds of M203 GL ammunition, one bandolier, three magazines for M16 with 17 rounds of ammunition, NPA flag, one jungle pack, assorted terrorist propaganda materials, and personal belongings.

“We congratulate our troops on the group for these remarkable achievements. The commemoration of our nation’s Independence Day was made more hopeful with these victories in our communities,” AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr. said.“Every Filipino may rest assured in the AFP’s dedication in securing our nation’s freedom and in liberating exploited masses from the influence of the communist terrorist group,” he added.

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

Kalinaw News: 91IB, DTI conduct Entrepreneurship Seminar to former rebels

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 14, 2020): 91IB, DTI conduct Entrepreneurship Seminar to former rebels (By 7th Infantry Division)

Baler, Aurora – As part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) and to provide sustainable livelihood program to the former rebels (FRs), the 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion, 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division Philippine Army under the leadership of LTC REANDREW P RUBIO INF (GSC) PA, in partnership and collaboration with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Aurora headed by Director Edna Dizon conducted Entrepreneurship Seminar attended by fourteen (14) Former Rebels held at Headquarters 91IB, 7ID, PA Brgy Calabuanan, Baler, Aurora on 10 June 2020.

The purpose of the seminar is to educate the FRs on the importance of handling and managing their initial livelihood such as broiler raising, duck raising, “ihaw-ihaw” and recently planting of chili and papaya.

“There will be another wave of livelihood support from DTI by giving of livelihood starter kits intended to our twenty (20) FRs,” LTC RUBIO said, explaining that this is not the end of their support but this is just the beginning of another milestone in order to sustain the daily needs of FRs and their future.

“We are going to help everyone up to the extent that we can and will guide you to be successful in the business industry that you are choosing,” Mrs. Dizon said.

COL ANDREW D COSTELO INF (GSC) PA, Commander 703rd Infantry Brigade, 7ID, PA lauded the efforts of SINAGTALA troopers for their dedication in helping the FRs especially this crisis period.

“We are now observing that benefits from the government are now given to the people who deserved it. It is just showing support and telling us our government’s taking good care of our former rebels,” COSTELO said.

“I am now encouraging the members of the NPAs to lay down their arms and support the government’s initiatives in ending local armed conflict. Let us end the war and live our life together with our family with peace and security,” he added.

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

Kalinaw News: Masigasig Troopers Help in Distribution of Food Packs in Agusan Norte Town

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 14, 2020): Masigasig Troopers Help in Distribution of Food Packs in Agusan Norte Town (By 4th Infantry Division)

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – The troopers from 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion has provided the needed additional manpower to the local government unit (LGU) of Buenavista during the third wave of the distribution of food packs on June 13, 2020 in the different barangays in the area.

A total of 19,503 food packs was distributed to the 25 barangays in Buenavista, as the LGU wants to ensure that its constituents have enough food supply while the whole town is placed under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

After more than three months of being under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) which forced the community earners to stop working, the LGU of Buenavista headed by Mayor Norbert Pagaspas continue to support the daily consumption of the residents due to the restriction of the movements of the people, as implemented by the provincial government of Agusan del Norte.

Aside from manpower, the 23rd IB troopers also provided security during the massive distributions to ensure the safe delivery of the food packs to the doorsteps of all the residents in the area.

Revelations by the former rebels (FRs) who recently surrendered to the 23rd IB indicated of the miserable situation of the remaining Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) in the area due to hunger and scarcity of food supplies.

The FRs exposed the plans of the remaining CNTs to disrupt distributions and snatch food packs intended for the residents especially in remote villages in the area.

In his statement, LT. COL. JULIUS CESAR C PAULO, the commanding officer of 23rd IB expressed the readiness of the Philippine Army to provide assistance to the LGUs and other agencies especially during this time of the pandemic.

“The Masigasig troopers are committed and ready to mobilize its resources, including manpower to assist the LGUs and other agencies to ensure that food packs and other basic necessities will safely arrive in villages and into the homes of our constituents who are greatly affected by this crisis,” Lt. Col. Paulo said.

Lt. Col. Paulo added that the Philippine Army, in the midst of the threats of the Covid-19, will continue to carry out its mandate and mission in serving the people and securing the land.

[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:]

The doctor healing the wounds of war in Basilan

From Rappler (Jun 14, 2020): The doctor healing the wounds of war in Basilan (By Martin San Diego)

In her clinic in the province's capital, Arlyn Jawad Jumao-As heals children, rebels, soldiers. She's played a critical role in keeping the peace.

SHE WHO STAYED. Dr. Arlyn Jawad Jumao-As checks patients in her clinic in Lamitan City, Basilan. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

BASILAN, Philippines — Two Huey helicopters circled over the town of Mohammad Ajul for hours on October 4, 2019. It was where the first ISIS flags in the Philippines were recovered.

At 10:58 am, the Hueys, wielding two machine guns that could fire 500 rounds a minute, maneuvered lower. In the target school below, residents looked up, ran, and screamed with arms raised.

A doctor stood still, and watched it all. She is Arlyn Jawad Jumao-As. And this is Basilan.

Basilan is part of a long history of rebellion in Mindanao, witness to decades of military operations against the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Arlyn grew up watching these as a kid in the 1970s.

In 1977, war hit home. Arlyn’s father died in an explosion from a landmine planted by the MNLF. “We were fatherless, how do we move forward?” She was 11.

Conflicts dragged on. Civilians, soldiers, and rebels all lost comrades and family. More government forces were deployed, while many fatherless youth from the hinterlands fought for rebel groups.

The lack of jobs and basic services in the island made certain this cycle would go on. Peace deals were signed, but the violence remained.

CLINIC FOR COMMUNITY. Arlyn's clinic in the capital of Basilan province, Lamitan. Photo by Martin San Diego

The island doctor

In one morning jog, a soldier casually told Arlyn, who was then a teenager, that she should be a doctor. The idea never left her.

It's this environment – of constant war, hatred, and fear – that pushed her towards a path for healing.

Arlyn now runs her own clinic in Basilan. Clinica de Lamitan has been a melting pot for stories of war since it opened in 1997. Here and in her outreach missions to the island’s fringes, Arlyn earned credibility and the nickname “Mamadoc,” a portmanteau of “Mama” and “Doctor.”

Among her regular patients are children, wives, and rebels themselves.

But it was 3 young patients that changed the way Arlyn saw her homeland.

Trauma hits children

The first is a traumatized boy who hid when bandits raided their village. The second is a girl who witnessed her father get beheaded; she spat on Arlyn’s face in the clinic. And the third is a girl who saw her dead father’s bloodied head; she threw away everything she could lay her hands on.

This led Arlyn to form “Save the Children of War in Basilan.” Its mission: “We will play with children. That should do!”

The group began entering feared strongholds of the MNLF, MILF, and ASG one by one in 2014.

Everywhere they went the “stories of children are heartbreaking,” Arlyn said. Small boys swore to avenge their fathers. “I saw anger in them.”

An assessment found that 93% of the young in one community were under different degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the war.

Conflicts around the world affect children gravely, and Basilan is no exception. A report by the International Conference on War-Affected Children said stress from exposure manifests in different ways, and may leave enduring effects if not addressed early.

With mental health experts, Arlyn improvised interventions that counter negative memories.

Art therapies were held where children sketched their past and the future they wanted. Bombed out schools were rebuilt and repainted. A tree was planted where 3 children died from an explosion.

With her each time were government soldiers. Despite knowing that many held grudges against rebels for slain comrades, Arlyn insisted that everything will be for the children.

DEALING WITH TRAUMA. Children, some sons of rebel fighters, play with gifts in Basilan Island. Many of the ISIS fighters that came to Marawi in 2017, including its leader Isnilon Hapilon, were from this island. Photo by Martin San Diego

In one event, tanks were displayed for kids to play around with, paratroopers glided down from the sky, and several armed units danced for the sons of men they would be shooting at on a normal day.

She also asked rebel leaders, through her patients, to lay down their weapons just for a day.

Both sides eventually talked and listened.

Rebels and their home communities learned that the army is there to bring order, not to destroy their homes. Soldiers understood these communities are deprived of government services and economic means, and that taking up arms was their last resort.


Then in 2017, a sub-commander of the ASG phoned Arlyn to ask for the unthinkable.

“Mamadoc, please help me surrender.”

It was Ibrahim*, father of 10, husband to two, and rebel fighter since 2000. Ibrahim decided to surrender after Arlyn came to his village in Al-Barka, a feared rebel stronghold.

Arlyn asked children to prepare 10 broomsticks each in exchange for school supplies. She did not know then that it was the fathers, mostly ASG fighters, that made them.

Ibrahim himself made 40 for his 3 sons and one daughter. The fighters were at one point even called in as reinforcements, but did not mind making broomsticks.

His children came home happy with new school supplies and toys. It made him think about his life, “How can Mamadoc make my children happy, while I bring them nothing but hardship?”

WINNING HEARTS. A helicopter drops hundreds of stuffed toys in Mohammad Ajul on October 4, 2019. Photo by Martin San Diego

Arlyn relayed Ibrahim’s wish to the military, which then facilitated the rebel’s surrender along with at least 10 of his comrades.

This led to the creation of the Program Against Violent Extremism (PAVE), an initiative by the regional government to accommodate surrendering ASG fighters in Basilan. They were given a house, capital, and education to start a new life. Over 200 have benefited from it to date.

This helped weaken the ASG in Basilan. MNLF and MILF fighters in Basilan have also reconciled their grudges with the military through Arlyn’s initiatives.

The island recorded zero kidnapping incidents since 2016, according to provincial Governor Jim Salliman in his address on March 6, 2020.

The peace now, Arlyn says, is from the realization of Basile├▒os “because no one would ever not want peace for their homeland.”

Roads have been built, allowing commerce to thrive across municipalities. Locals confidently attest violence significantly went down. Tourists are now welcome to see their pristine beaches.

Basilan is well on its way towards healing, and so is Arlyn. “The more I see the former rebels and their children happy, the more my fears are taken away.”

“Now that I am friends with them, I know I have been healed.”

She added, “The real essence of being a doctor, I felt it here.”

Arlyn had plans for further studies and working elsewhere. She traded those for life on an island that has seen the ravages of war but is now crafting a new reality.

It's an island where children “surrender” toy guns in exchange for new bicycles. A place where former terrorists try to rebuild their lives, while government soldiers get the best view of the beach. This is where young soldiers come to play with sons of their former enemies.

This is Basilan today.

NEW REALITY. A soldier catches a stuffed toy for a child during the Festival of Love and Peace in Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, on October 4, 2019. Photo by Martin San Diego

[Martin San Diego is a documentary photographer based in Manila. His ongoing work ‘Youth of the Nation Within’ examines the role of identity amidst the lingering shadow of militancy among Filipino-Muslim youth in Mindanao.]

[*Subjects' last names have been omitted for their safety. All quotes have been changed to English.]

Farmers group organizer abducted from Cebu home

From Rappler (Jun 14, 2020): Farmers group organizer abducted from Cebu home (By Rambo Talabong)

Elena Tijamo is taken from her Bantayan, Cebu home by 4 men and 2 women reportedly carrying rifles and pistols

ABDUCTED. Elena 'Lina' Tijamo. Photo from Karapatan

A farmers group community organizer in Cebu was abducted by armed intruders on Saturday evening, June 13, and has yet to be seen.

In a statement, human rights group Karapatan said Elena "Lina" Tijamo, a program coordinator at Farmers Development Center Central Visayas (Fardec), was taken forcibly from her own home in Sitio Avocado, Brgy. Kampingganon in Bantayan town, Cebu.

"According to initial reports by Karapatan Central Visayas at around 10:56 pm, 2 women and 4 men in civilian clothes and face masks took Ate Lina while covering her mouth with masking tape," the rights group said.

Tijamo was with her sister, who tried to prevent the intruders but failed. Karapatan said the abductors carried pistols and rifles and appeared to be between 40 and 50 years old.

Prior to the abduction, Tijamo's group, Fardec, was among the longtime humanitarian and religious organizations that were included in a recent red-tagging spree of the Philippine military. Fardec and the other groups denied the accusation.

In an earlier e-mail to Rappler, Fardec Central Visayas executive director Patrick Torres explained Fardec is a non-governmental organization that has been helping farmers’ groups in Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental – from educating them about their rights to promoting climate-resilient sustainable agriculture.

U.S. thanks PH for delaying VFA termination, promises vaccine

From Rappler (Jun 14, 2020): U.S. thanks PH for delaying VFA termination, promises vaccine (By Rambo Talabong)

The United States is home to one of the world's current frontrunners in developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper agree that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty needs to be updated. Esper visited Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday, June 12, thanked the Philippines for suspending the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a sudden decision by the Duterte administration prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Sunday, June 14, the Department of National Defense (DND) said that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Esper spoke by phone on Friday where the latter also gave an assurance that the US would share with its allies “developments on vaccines and therapeutics” as the world continues to struggle against COVID-19.

The phone call between Lorenzana and Esper came on the heels of that of President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte where the Chinese leader promised to make the Philippines a "priority" once they have developed a vaccine.

The US is the Philippines’ oldest powerful military ally but Duterte steered a pivot to China as soon as he assumed office in 2016.

It was in February when the Philippines sent its notice of termination for the decades-old VFA after the US canceled the visa of Senator Ronald dela Rosa, one of Duterte's closest men. 

(READ: EXPLAINER: Visiting Forces Agreement)

After the pandemic erupted, the Philippines announced the postponement of the termination owing to "political and other developments in the region." (READ: VFA termination suspended due to pandemic, geopolitics – Locsin)

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

In his phone call with Lorenzana, Esper assured the Philippines of support from the US during the pandemic.

"Secretary Esper mentioned that developments on vaccines and therapeutics in the US are making very good progress, and expressed their willingness to share them with US allies and partners once available," the DND said.

Lorenzana gave Esper updates on the situation in the country and thanked the US for its assistance to the Philippines’ coronavirus response.

The US is currently home to one of the frontrunners of manufacturers attempting to formulate a vaccine against the coronavirus.

US biotech firm Moderna is set to enter the third and final stage of its clinical trial in July with 30,000 participants, the firm said on Thursday.

Matataas na uri ng baril na pagmamay-ari ng NPA, narekober sa Isabela

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 14, 2020): Matataas na uri ng baril na pagmamay-ari ng NPA, narekober sa Isabela (By 55th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

GAMU, Isabela, Hunyo 14 (PIA) - - - Narekober ang dalawang improvised shotgun na pinaniniwalaang pagmamay-ari ng mga miyembro ng Regional Sentro De Grabidad, Komiteng Rehiyong-Cagayan Valley (RSDG,KRCV) sa San Mariano, Isabela noong ika-6 ng Mayo.

Ito ay resulta nang puspusan at patuloy na pagpapatupad ng Executive Order No. 70 o Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) ng mga kasundaluhan ng 95th Infantry (Salaknib) Battalion, Philippine Army kasama ang ilang tropa ng Marine Battalion Landing Team 10 at ng 54th Infantry (Magilas) Battalion.

Ayon kay LTC Gladiuz C Calilan, commander ng 95IB, ang pagkarekober ng nasabing mga baril at mga bala ay dahil sa patuloy na pagsuporta at kooperasyon ng komunidad ng San Mariano at mga karatig-bayan nito sa kasundaluhan upang tapusin ang terorismo sa Lambak ng Cagayan.

Ayon kay Brigadier General Laurence E Mina, commander ng 502nd Infantry Brigade, namulat na ang mga kababayan natin sa mga kasinungalingan at panloloko ng mga komunistang NPA sa mga nasabing lugar na siyang nagresulta ng agarang pagkabuwag ng Central Front ng Komiteng Rehiyong Cagayan Valley.

Ipinapaabot naman ni MGen Pablo M Lorenzo, commanding officer ng 5th Infantry Division, Philipine Army, ang mensahe ng ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte (PRRD) noong ika-12 ng Mayo 2020 na may dalawang milyong pabuya sa sinumang makapagbigay ng impormasyon sa presensya at pagkadakip o neutralisa ng mga matataas na pinuno ng komunistang NPA, katulad nina EVANGELYN RAPANUT aka Chat/Marsha (Secretary ng KR-CV) sa Cagayan Valley; SIMON NAOGSAN SR aka Filiw (Secretary ng ICRC); JACINTO FARODEN aka Digbay na may mahigit limang milyong patung sa ulo at pawang gumagalaw sa Rehiyon ng Cordillera. Sila ay binansagang utak ng mga naganap na terorismo sa buong rehiyon ng Cagayan Valley at Cordillera.

Pinuri ni Lorenzo ang kanyang kasundaluhan kabilang ang mga sibilyan sa pakikipagtulungan at pakikiisa nila kung kaya patuloy ang pagbagsak ng KR-CV ng CPP-NPA sa Lambak ng Cagayan.

Pinapaabot din niya ang kanyang mensahe sa mga kasapi ng komunistang grupo na magbalik-loob at huwag nang hayaang mawasak o masira ng maling ideolohiya ang kanilang buhay habang may pagkakataon.

"Ang ating pamahalaan ay laging handang tulungan kayo sa inyong pagbabagong buhay kasama ang inyong mga pamilya at nang makatamtan niyo ang tunay na kapayapaan," ani Lorenzo.

Dagdag pa ni Lorenzo na may Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) bilang programa ng ating pamahalaan sa bawat rebeldeng magbalik-loob na syang magsilbing lunas sa pagiging biktima ng maling ideolohiya at bilang panimula ng panibagong buhay kagaya ng mga naunang tinalikuran ang pakikibaka at tinatamasa ang mga nasabing programa kasama ang kanilang mga pamilya. (MDCT/PIA-2)

1 BIFF member killed, 5 others arrested in NoCot clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): 1 BIFF member killed, 5 others arrested in NoCot clash (By Noel Punzalan)

Google map of Midsayap, North Cotabato

A combatant of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed while five others were arrested following a clash with military troopers in Midsayap, North Cotabato on Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) commander, said they are still trying to determine the identity of the slain terrorist, while one of the five arrested was identified only as a certain Maguindale, an alleged member of the Daesh-inspired BIFF-Bungos faction.

The group of Imam Bungos is linked to a series of bombing incidents in Central Mindanao over the past several years.

“The wounded Maguindale was cornered near a quarantine checkpoint while apparently on the way to a hospital,” Carreon said in an interview by reporters here on Sunday.

He said a firefight erupted after BIFF terrorists attacked early Saturday members of the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion (34IB) in remote Barangay Lomopog in Midsayap.

“The soldiers were responding to reports about the presence of gunmen in Lomopog village when fired upon by the BIFF, triggering a 30-minute running gun battle,” Carreon said.

Four of the terrorists yielded with their firearms after seeing one of their comrades killed, while soldiers chased and caught up with the escaping Maguindale in nearby Barangay Olandang of the same municipality.

Carreon said military clearing operations against the BIFF are still underway in Barangay Lomopog and the near environs.

Army battalion leads blood donation drive in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): Army battalion leads blood donation drive in Maguindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)

BLOOD DONATION. Soldiers and civilians donate blood in an activity initiated by the Army's 57th Infantry Battalion in Datu Piang, Maguindanao on Saturday (June 13, 2020). Civilians in the Army unit's area of jurisdiction also joined the bloodletting activity. (Photo courtesy of 57IB)
COTABATO CITY – Members of an Army battalion led on Saturday a blood donation drive in Maguindanao through a partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the provincial health unit. 

In an interview, Lt. Col. Jonathan Pondanera, the new chief of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (57IB), said the activity resulted in the collection of a total of 34,000 cubic centimeters (cc) of blood.

“The activity was aimed to generate enough blood reserves to be used during medical emergencies by the constituents of Maguindanao province,” Pondanera said of the blood donation drive held at the Datu Piang municipal plaza that was also joined in by civilian blood donors.

In coordination with the local government units of Datu Piang and Datu Salibo, both in Maguindanao, the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao and the non-government organization Kabalikat Radiocom Incorporated-Datu Piang Chapter, the 57IB and PRC successfully conducted the joint bloodletting activity.

Pondanera said its conduct was a manifestation of the unit’s desire to help and make a difference in serving the populace in its area of operation.

He added more bloodletting activities are set to take place in the 51IB’s area of responsibility in the coming days.

Anti-terror bill timely as int'l efforts vs. terrorism mount

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): Anti-terror bill timely as int'l efforts vs. terrorism mount (By Che Palicte)

Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib (PNA file photo)

Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib has backed the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, saying terrorism has impeded the growth and progress of society.

“Terrorism, in all its attributes, is definitely one against the flow of development and we deeply abhor such acts that impede us to grow and progress as a society and as an economic unit,” he said in a statement Sunday.

He added that the bill comes at a time when it is most needed to protect the nation, its people and the future generation of Filipinos.

“As a Mindanaoan raised and made aware of the longstanding history of violence and armed conflicts in this part of the country, I see the enduring value of maintaining peace and order to the community and of bringing to the fore of justice those who have nothing good but to sow and spread extraordinary fear and aggravation among our populace,” Jubahib added.

He lauded the government "for bringing our counter-terrorism measures with a fortified approach through this landmark bill."

He added that the anti-terrorism bill is a manifestation of the government’s commitment to strengthen its fight against terrorist acts.

Jubahib stressed that the bill is timely with the heightened international efforts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region to stamp out terrorism and related security threats.

“I express my confidence that this new law will enable our country, its law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities with the exact capacity under the Constitution to fight the threats of terrorism while protecting human rights and civil liberties of our people,” he added.

More NegOcc villagers condemn CPP-NPA atrocities

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): More NegOcc villagers condemn CPP-NPA atrocities (By Nanette Guadalquiver)

CALL FOR PEACE. Residents of Barangay Canlandog in Murcia, Negros Occidental hold a peace rally on Friday to show their condemnation of the atrocities and illegal activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front. Four other villages in the province also conducted similar activities to mark the 122nd Philippine Independence Day. (Photo courtesy of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

Five barangays in Negros Occidental were the latest to condemn the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF).

The village folks declared their stand in separate activities held Friday as part of the commemoration of the 122nd Philippine Independence Day.

In northern Negros, residents of Barangay Canlandog in Murcia town held a peace rally to show their condemnation of the atrocities and illegal activities of the CPP-NPA.

During the activity, participants carried posters and tarpaulins with messages calling for an end to the extortion, harassment, and deception and recruitment of minors being carried out by the communist-terrorist group.

They also attended a pulong-pulong (meeting) with the village officials headed by barangay chairman Reynaldo Gawad and personnel of Murcia Municipal Police Station and troops from the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB).

Councilor Hernan Alintana, president of Association of Barangay Captains, gave a message of peace while former rebel “Anne” shared her tragic experience with the NPA.

Lt. Col. Gerard Alvaran, commanding officer of 79IB, welcomed the support of Canlandog residents towards ending the CPP-NPA atrocities as he assured them of protection from any form of terrorist activity.

“The peace-loving residents of Canlandog are already fed up. They long for a peaceful community where they can live with their loved ones free from threats and deceptions,” he added.

In central Negros, the 62nd Infantry Battalion reported that four villages conducted similar activities, including the declaration the communist-terrorist group as persona non grata and the taking of oath of allegiance to the government by former CPP-NPA’s Milisyang Bayan and party branch members.

In Barangay Puso, La Castellana, the barangay council led by village chief Isidro Arnaiz declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.

A symbolic signing of the declaration and the signing of oath for peace was also participated by guests of honor, Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan and Col. Romy Palgue, officer-in-charge provincial director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.

In Barangay Montilla, Moises Padilla, the CPP-NPA-NDF was also declared as persona non grata.

Residents of Barangays Sebucauan and San Agustin in neighboring Isabela town also joined the condemnation of the atrocities of the communist-terrorist group.

According to the 79IB, some 85 former CPP-NPA militia and party members in the four Negros Occidental villages and in three others in Negros Oriental took an oath of allegiance to the government.

Lt. Col. Melvin Flores, commanding officer of 62IB, lauded the efforts of the communities in central Negros and encouraged other Negrenses to work with the government in pursuing a whole-of-nation approach to ending local communist armed conflict.

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

Army exec welcomes deployment of add’l brigade in Caraga

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): Army exec welcomes deployment of add’l brigade in Caraga (By Alexander Lopez)

MORE MANPOWER. Brig. Gen. Maurito Licudine, the commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade of the Army, welcomes the deployment of the 901st Infantry Brigade in Caraga Region on June 12, 2020. The brigade is an additional manpower for the Army to carry out its mission of completely dismantling the remaining guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army in the area. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 402nd Brigade)

A top Army official in Caraga Region has welcomed the deployment of the additional brigade in the area. 

Brig. Gen. Maurito Licudine, commander of 402nd Infantry Brigade (402nd IBde), told Philippine News Agency Sunday that the deployment of the 901st Infantry Brigade (901st IBde) in the region is a boost in the continuing efforts to dismantle the remaining guerrilla fronts of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in the area.

“This is a welcome development. The newly-deployed brigade is additional manpower for the Army to effectively carry out its mission in the region,”
Licudine said.

The 901st IBde, headed by Brig. Gen. Gabriel Viray, arrived in Surigao City on June 12.

The brigade was previously assigned in North Cotabato and its neighboring provinces.

Licudine said the brigade will cover the whole province of Surigao del Norte, including the Siargao Island and the Province of Dinagat Islands.

Two battalions that were previously under the 402nd IBde would be absorbed by the 901st IBde to include the 30th Infantry Battalion and the 29th Infantry Battalion, he said.

“We have a timeline given by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, and that is to finish the problem of insurgency before his term ends in 2022,” he added.

In a media interview, Maj. Gen. Andres Centeno said the 901st IBde will augment the government troopers in the fight against the remaining NPA rebels in the area, particularly in Surigao del Norte.

In his message, Viray assured the residents of their new areas of responsibility (AORs) that the soldiers of 901st IBde are combat-ready as he urged the remaining NPA rebels to surrender.

US willing to share Covid-19 vaccine, treatment to PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): US willing to share Covid-19 vaccine, treatment to PH (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (File photo)

The US government is very much willing to share to the Philippines any coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines and therapeutics once these become available.

This was one of the topics discussed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and his US counterpart, Mark Esper, during their telephone call Friday (June 12).

"Secretary Esper mentioned that developments on vaccines and therapeutics in the US are making very good progress and expressed their willingness to share them with US allies and partners once available," the DND statement said on Sunday.

Lorenzana also took the opportunity to share the Philippines’ response to the Covid-19 and expressed his appreciation for the medical assistance and donations of medical supplies provided by the US government.

Esper, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the DND’s support for the Philippine government’s decision to suspend the termination of the agreement regarding the treatment of US Armed Forces visiting the Philippines, referred to as “the Visiting Forces Agreement”.

Both defense officials also discussed the security situation in the South China Sea, counter-terrorism, and logistics cooperation, particularly on the capability upgrades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"Both sides committed to sustain dialogues amidst the pandemic and strengthen cooperation between the two defense establishments," the DND statement added.

SAF troopers deployed after attack on police station in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): SAF troopers deployed after attack on police station in Sulu (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa (File photo)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Sunday ordered hot pursuit operations against unidentified armed men who attacked a local police station in Sulu on Saturday, killing two police officers and wounding two others.

Gamboa said PNP-Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 14 troops have been deployed to go after the assailants.

He also directed Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PROBAR) regional director Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu to provide necessary medical attention to the wounded police officers.

"I directed the PROBAR to launch hot pursuit operations, and investigation in coordination with our counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to bring the suspects to justice," Gamboa said in a statement.

Gamboa condemned the latest attack against a government installation in Sulu amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In behalf of the entire PNP, he extended condolences to the bereaved families of Cpl. Mudar Salamat and Pat. Arjun Putalan.

According to report, the Parang Municipal Police Station was fired upon by unidentified suspects at 7 p.m. on Saturday, resulting in at least 30 minutes gunfight.

Putalan and Salamat suffered fatal gunshot wounds and died later at the Parang Municipal Hospital.

Executive M/Sgt. Hamid Saribbon and Senior M/Sgt. Harold Nieva were also brought to Parang Municipal Hospital and are now recuperating under close observation by PNP doctors from PROBAR.

The suspects were last seen fleeing towards the direction of Indanan, Sulu.

All PNP units in the region were advised to be alert and vigilant to thwart similar attacks by lawless elements, Gamboa said.

Anti-terror bill to spare youth from armed groups' recruitment

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 14, 2020): Anti-terror bill to spare youth from armed groups' recruitment (By Lade Jean Kabagani)

The proposed anti-terrorism bill will serve as a strong backbone against violent extremism and recruitment of youth into the armed movement, the League of Parents in the Philippines (LPP) said Sunday.

In a statement, LPP chairperson Remy Rosadio said the measure will protect minors against active organizations "who are instilling hatred and brainwashing them to fight the government at all cost."

She said children will also be protected against all forms of exploitation.

"We, parents, fully believe that the bill when passed into law will put a strong legal backbone against terrorism -- which are locally carried out by the Abu Sayyaf and the CPP-NPA-NDF -- thus, protecting our children from their treacherous and harmful schemes," Rosadio said.

The terrorists, she said, are constantly recruiting child combatants for the armed struggle through their allied groups.

"These terrorists have been nothing but a constant and aggravating threat to our children’s rights, which include: the right to health, education, family life, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living and to be protected from abuse and harm," she added.

She said enacting the bill into law will provide a tougher response against the threat of terrorism and will end the long-standing violence by the communist terrorist groups.

"We have heard and lamented over stories of minors being brainwashed by these terrorists and brought them to the mountains to train them to fight, then left beaten and alone, if not dead, after an unfortunate engagement with the military. Thank God for children who have already been rescued by our valiant men in uniform. But what about the others?" Rosadio said. "We need to protect our children because they are the future of this country, and to teach them that terrorizing people can never be a solution to anything."

'Display of ignorance'

Rosadio said the parents of supposed recruited minors, who joined militant organizations, were disheartened by what she called "massive disinformation" created by the groups against the measure.

"We are very displeased with those creating massive disinformation against the anti-terrorism bill, especially because they have not fully read or understood the provisions thereof. Most of what they howl and yammer in the streets or on social media are but a display of their ignorance. Or, as we are inclined to believe more, they may just be fearful," she said.

Rosadio emphasized the passage of the bill could put a halt to children being brought into the mountains and will curb human trafficking, exploiting children as well as teaching them with armed mobilizations.

The parents of those who were reportedly recruited by various militant groups only seek a normal life for their children, Rosadio said.

She urged her fellow parents to remain vigilant and informed with the "propaganda of the fearful and the guilty militant organizations."

"If we will all just take time to read this anti-terrorism bill, then we will understand that it has provisions that will make sure no human rights will be violated, in fact, it’s all about preserving and safeguarding the human life," she said.

"Furthermore, it is not against activism, as some allegedly accuse, because we the League of Parents are also activists and we have been going out in the streets protesting for the sake of our children and our country. And this we will do so until our very last breath," she added.