Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Kalinaw News: Army seize Anti-Personnel Mines Depot in AgSur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jun 24, 2020): Army seize Anti-Personnel Mines Depot in AgSur (By 4th Infantry Division)



BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Troops of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion (23IB) discovered CPP-NPA Terrorists (CNTs) Anti-Personnel Mines (APM) Depot buried in the hinterland of Barangay Maasin, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur on June 23, 2020 at around 5 o’clock in the morning.

The discovery of the bomb-making materials was made through a tip off provided by concerned residents in the area who are already tired of the continued extortion, manipulation, recruitment and inhumane activities of the CNTs in their barangay. Upon receiving the information, the troops of 23IB immediately proceeded to the area to conduct strike operation to verify the reports.

Upon reaching the given location, the troops of 23IB seized a total of eleven (11) containers of Ammonium Nitrate; Two (2) blasting caps; Two hundred five (205) rounds ctg, 7.62mm ball; Five (5) magazines of M14 Rifle; One (1) roll firing wire; NPA-issued garments; and subversive documents. Said containers of Ammonium Nitrate will be utilized by the Sub-Regional Sentro de Grabedad (SRSDG) SAGAY, Sub-Regional Committee (SRC) 3, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC) to generate sixty (60) Anti-Personnel Mines.

Each container contains 23 packs of Ammonium Nitrate which can produce five (5) APMs which is a big threat to the residents. They were also worried that they might be killed in an explosion of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) since it was commonly planted by the NPAs in the road ways that the farmers usually used when they are going to their respective farms. It is the main reason why they reported it to the army.

The seized bomb-making materials posed great threat to the residents in the area. They were also worried that they might be killed in an explosion of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) since it was commonly planted by the NPAs in the road ways that the farmers usually used when they go to their respective farms. It is the main reason why they reported it to the army.

IEDs are strictly prohibited because it does not only inflict casualties in the government forces but also the innocent civilians like the farmers. The use of IEDs is a violation on the agreements listed in the Ottawa Treaty, Geneva Convention and Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), which was agreed and signed by both parties.

“Through the cooperation of the civilian stakeholders, we can easily thwart the hostile plans of the CNTs and their recruitment strategies in the vulnerable communities. The seizure of the bomb-making materials in the hinter area of Agusan del Sur is a clear manifestation that the local residents are already tired of the hostilities made by the CNTs,” said Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commander of 23rd IB.

“We condemn the CNTs from making IEDs which creates fear to the peace-loving residents of Esperanza who wishes to live peacefully. The continues production of IEDs only proves that the CNTs do not know how to value life as they keep using it regardless of who their victim will be,” Lt. Col. Paulo 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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]

https://www.kalinawnews.com/army-seize-anti-personnel-mines-depot-in-agsur/

Army: Red’s strength in W. Visayas weakening

From Panay News (Jun 25, 2020): Army: Red’s strength in W. Visayas weakening (By Ruby Silubrico)


Eleven members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army surrender to authorities in Antique on June 23. Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson Major Cenon Pancito III said the strength of the rebels in region is weakening. PROVINCE OF ANTIQUE

ILOILO City – The strength of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in this region is weakening, according to the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) Major Cenon Pancito III, 3ID spokesperson, said the insurgency will be nearing its end if more NPA members would surrender to the government.
“The rebels really feel the pressures of our offensive operations. They also see the good governance of our local government units and the support of the community,” he said.

According to Pancito, only two out of four front committees of the NPA remain. 

“Kung makikita natin, dalawa nalang na front committees (Southern and Central) ang naiwan kasi they need more members para mabuo ang isang committee. Their strength is really (weakening) kasi marami na nag-surrender at namatay sa encounter and then mga tinataguan nila ay na-overrun na natin sa tulong din ng mga mamamayan,” said Pancito.

The 3ID is optimistic the insurgency problem in this region will be addressed soon.

Eleven members of the CPP-NPA in Antique surrendered to the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on June 23.
The highest-ranking surrenderers were “Ka Paner” and “Anton”, both squad leaders who had managed 12 armed rebels.

Other surrenderers were “Bobet”, “Dodoy”, “Tams”, “Boy”, “Nini”, “Boy”, “Junior”, “Jojo”, and “Jan-Jan.”

They also turned over two shotguns, one caliber .45 pistol with bullets, three grenades, five riffle grenades, and 240 bullets of .9MM pistol.

“Massive surrender has really weakened them and talagang kaunti nalang sila. The program of the government is really effective (kasi may) maraming programa para sa kanila,” said Pancito./(With PNA/PN)

https://www.panaynews.net/army-reds-strength-in-w-visayas-weakening/

3 NPAs in Maguindanao yield to gov’t

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 3 NPAs in Maguindanao yield to gov’t
By FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 24 June) – Three members of the New People’s Army (NPA) based in Maguindanao have submitted themselves to the government Tuesday, abandoning their cause in pursuit of normal and peaceful lives.


Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, receive an M-16 rifle turned over by a rebel returnee during ceremonies at Camp Siongco in Maguindanao on Tuesday (23 June 2020). MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

The three officially renounced their outlaw activities in Camp Siongco of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, where they turned over two M-16 rifles, a caliber .45 pistol, an improvised explosive device and grenades.

The three were led by a certain “Jok,” said to be a former rebel cadre, a liaison officer and member of platoon central of the Daguma Range Far South Mindanao Region of the NPA, of Barangay Biarong, South Upi, Maguindanao. The two others were a certain “Tam2x,” of Keytodak, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat; and “Michael” of Ranao Pilayan, Upi, Maguindanao.

Jok said he was convinced to join the rebel organization after he saw injustices to the Lumads and the environmental degradation of the tribal communities in Daguma Range.

He admitted that they targeted to recruit Teduray-Lambangian communities as well as other tribal groups around Daguma Range during their active duty in the rebel organization. But as time went by, he said they saw no more directions in the rebel group as the government and the military have been working with the people and opened a chance for them to live a normal lives.

“It’s been a long time that we have been in the mountains. We want to live normal lives with our families, now that a localized truce is working,” said Jok.

The acceptance event was graced by the 6ID commander, Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, and the head of the 603rd Infantry Brigade, Brig. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag.

Key to the negotiation for the rebels’ returning to the fold of the law is South Upi Vice Mayor Imelda Estorninos, who said that they realized that the NPA was already in their municipality when people started receiving extortion letters.

“We opened our communication to them, we talked to them and through all peaceful means, we reached to this point that they now abandoned the rebel life,” Estorninos said.

Carreon thanked the returnees for trusting the Division and assured they will be bridged to the peace packages that the government is offering to the likes of them.

Meanwhile in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, high-powered loose firearms in the hands of former rebels who are now working as banana plantation security workers were turned over to the Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) by the local government unit.

Mayor Abubakar Paglas spearheaded the activity, together with Carreon, who is also commander of the JTFC, and Brig. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade.

The firearms include 82 M-16 rifles, 27 M14 rifles, a caliber .30 machine gun, 6 M203 grenade launchers, 2 M60 general purpose machine guns, an M79 grenade launcher, and 112-gauge shotgun.

The local government of Datu Paglas has a total 97 Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) while La Fruitera, Inc., a banana-producing company owned by LGU-Datu Paglas, has 100 SCAAs utilizing their personal firearms in maintaining peace and security in the whole municipality.

“We fully support the national campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the government against loose firearms. We want our town to be peaceful and progressive as we continue to change this municipality from a battle area to industrial and business-oriented municipality,” said Mayor Paglas.

Carreon lauded the efforts of the troops and local officials for the successful endeavor leading towards the voluntary turnover of the loose firearms.

“I am extending my gratitude to the support of the local government of Datu Paglas as we sustain our mandates in Central Mindanao. Our SCAA as our force multiplier will continue their mandated duty in maintaining peace and security of this municipality,” he said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)

DHSUD chief cautions subordinates vs communist-infiltrators

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): DHSUD chief cautions subordinates vs communist-infiltrators (By DHSUD)

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QUEZON CITY, June 24 - - Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario reminds personnel of DHSUD to be always on their toes against devious attempts by the communist terrorist group (CTG) to infiltrate the newly created agency.

During the recent Orientation of Government Executives on the evils of the Communist Terrorists conducted by resource persons from the security sector, he stressed the CTG’s expertise on duplicity to pursue its selfish interest of destroying our democratic institutions.

“There is one area where the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) excels at, and that is deception,” Secretary Del Rosario said in his closing remarks. “They are deceiving all Filipinos and our counter strategy is exposure of their evil intentions, the organizations and personalities who disguise to be pro-people but in reality, they are destroying families, our economy and our precious way of life", he added.

Resource speakers from the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), however, maintained that DHSUD remains free from CTG infiltrators but stressed that the agency might be among the CTG’s next targets, citing the department’s mandate of providing decent and affordable housing to Filipinos, especially the informal settlers families who are vulnerable to communist propaganda and recruitment.

One of the speakers said that infiltrating the government allows the CTG to undermine government programs, gain access to government coffers and confidential information and influence programs, policies and legislations for the benefit of the CPP/NPA/NDF vicious activities. Aside from funding, the CTG can also access “confidential government information and use it to forward the CTG’s propaganda, sabotage government programs, and take credit for the projects, programs and services implemented by the government.”

Secretary Del Rosario answered this warning with a reminder to officials and employees to be vigilant always to ensure that DHSUD is free from CTG infiltration. “Never let these infiltrators establish their roots in this department today and in the future,” he said.

The DHSUD chief vowed more pro-active steps within the department to keep its personnel aware of the evils of the CTG that has no other goal but to destroy our democratic institutions and take over government to establish a Communist form of government. “We will keep close engagements and dialogues with our people to ensure they are well-informed about current, social and political issues as we condemn the CTG's deceptive and devious ways,” Secretary Del Rosario said. (DHSUD)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1045683

9ID Commander calls for CTGs to value their lives, return to the folds of law

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 9ID Commander calls for CTGs to value their lives, return to the folds of law  (By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay)

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur -- 9th Infantry ‘Spear’ Division and Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia Chief BGEN Henry A. Robinson, Jr., called on members of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) to ‘value their lives and return to the folds of law.’

This is in the wake of the latest clash between CTG members, elements of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) and 31st Infantry Battalion (31IB) in Brgy. San Bernardo, Bulusan, Sorsogon province, Tuesday, June 23.

The firefight resulted to the demise of Ian Estrellado, believed to be a leader of CTG.


In a press statement released by Division Public affairs Office (DPAO) thru its Spokesperson, CPT John Paul Belleza, joint elements of PRO5 and 31IB were supposed to serve a warrant of arrest to Ian Estrellado around 11:10 in the morning when the suspect together with armed men believed to be communist terrorists fired at the government troops.

“A brief gunfight ensued between the CTG and the government law enforcers killing Estrellado, who is currently facing a murder case and was positively identified by former rebels as the vice commanding officer of Platoon 1, Larangan 1, Komiteng Probinsya 3 of Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC) hiding under the names of Ela and Karding. Recovered from the scene were a carbine with two magazines and a hand grenade,” Belleza added.

No one from the government side was reported hurt during the said encounter.

Nonetheless, BGEN Robinson directed the troops to tighten the security measures in the area as they continue to scan the vicinity for fleeing terrorists.

The Commander assured the Bicolanos that JTF Bicolandia will continue to work hand in hand with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that justice is served to all the victims of CTG atrocities.

"Gayunpaman, muli kaming nananawagan sa mga elemento ng CTG, to value your lives and return to the folds of the law. Kasabay ng ipinatutupad naming intensified military operations ay ang aming pagnanais at layunin na kayo ay tulungan sa pamamagitan ng iba't ibang mga benepisyo at programa ng gobyerno upang kayo ay makapagsimulang muli kasama ang inyong pamilya," BGen. Robinson said in closing. (LSMacatangay, with reports from 9ID DPAO CJPBelleza-PIAV/Camarines Sur)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1045709

6ID lauds LGU-South Upi for the surrender of NPA members

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 6ID lauds LGU-South Upi for the surrender of NPA members (By PIA Cotabato City)


COTABATO CITY, June 24 (PIA) –The 6th Infantry Kampilan Division of the Philippine Army applauded the efforts of the Local Government Unit of South Upi, Maguindanao in bringing members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to return the fold of the law.

This, as three members of the West Daguma Front of the NPA yielded to authorities and surrendered two M16 rifles, one caliber 45 pistol, and one improvised explosive device.


In a ceremony on Tuesday, 6ID and Joint Task Force Central (JTFC) commander Major General Diosdado Carreon emphasized that ending local insurgency does not solely rely on the security forces but also on the local government units.

“Good governance will effectively address the ills of the root causes of insurgency,” Carreon said commending the LGU of South Upi for supporting the national government in its fight against insurgency.

He also announced that the surrenderees will be given financial support, legal assistance, and livelihood as part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government.

Also, the former rebels received an initial cash assistance from LGU-South Upi.

Identified in their aliases as Jok, Tamtam, and Michael, the surrenderees said that they have decided to restart to live normal lives because they are tired, exhausted, and were convinced of the sincerity of the government in helping former rebels to have a fresh start. (LTBolongon-PIA Cotabato City)

Tagalog News: Katutubong komunidad sa Floridablanca, ireredebelop ng pamahalaan

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Tagalog News: Katutubong komunidad sa Floridablanca, ireredebelop ng pamahalaan (By Marie Joy S. Carbungco)

FLORIDABLANCA, Pampanga, Hunyo 24 (PIA) -- Binisita ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno ang Sitio Tirya sa Barangay Mawacat upang i-assess kung paano mapauunlad ang komunidad.

Bahagi ang inisyatibong ito ng Poverty Reduction, Livelihood, and Employment Cluster o PRLEC ng Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict o RTF-ELCAC upang paunlarin ang iba’t ibang mga katutubong komunidad.

Ayon kay TESDA Pampanga Provincial Director Eric Ueda, nakaangkla ang kabuuang pakay ng cluster sa pagpapabuti ng buhay ng mga Pilipino at pagtapos sa mga insureksyon at komunismo.

Bahagi ng mga interbensyon ng gobyerno na ibibigay sa komunidad ay isang farm-to-market road upang mapabilis ang pagluluwas ng mga katutubo sa kanilang mga produkto sa merkado.

Ayon kay Philippine Army 48th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emerito Valdez, tugon ang nasabing proyekto sa kahilingan ng kapitan ng Mawacat, na tugma sa mga programa ng PRLEC.

Aniya, bukod dito, magbibigay din sila ng irigasyon at sistema ng komunikasyon sa komunidad upang lalo itong palakasin.


Inalam ng mga kasundaluhan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga katutubo sa Sitio Tirya sa Barangay Mawacat sa Floridablanca upang matugunan ito at mapabuti ang kanilang pamumuhay. (Marie Joy S. Carbungco/PIA 3)

Sinabi naman ni Arween Lacanilao ng Department of Agriculture na magsasagawa sila ng karagdagang pagtatasa upang makita kung ano ang kulang upang matulungan nila ang komunidad sa pagsasaka at paghahayupan, at maisama ito sa mga proyekto nila sa hinaharap.

Kaugnay nito, nagpahayag ng pasasalamat si Barangay Captain Marilou Bacani sa pamahalaan para sa farm-to-market road na magpapabilis sa transportasyon at pagbebenta ng kanilang ani.

Nangako rin siyang susuportahan ang pamahalaan sa laban nito kontra terorismo at komunismo, at nanawagan sa mga kabataang katutubo na mag-aral dahil ito ang susi sa kaunlaran.

Samantala, sinabi ni Philippine Information Agency Regional Director William Beltran na patunay ang mga ganitong inisyatibo sa pangako ng gobyernong tulungan ang mga pinakabulnerableng sektor ng lipunan.

Aniya, layunin ng RTF-ELCAC na tugunan hindi lang ang insureksyon at terorismo, kundi tugunan ang tunay na pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan. Kailangan lang aniyang magkaisa ang lahat tungo sa pagkamit ng kapayapaan, katiwasayan at kaunlaran.

Nasa mahigit 80 katutubong pamilya ang makikinabang sa nasabing programa. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1045725

TRADOC adapts to ‘new normal’ mode of training

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): TRADOC adapts to ‘new normal’ mode of training  (By Trixie Joy B. Manalili)

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CAPAS, Tarlac, June 24 (PIA) -- Sustainment Center under the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) adapted to the “new normal” in capacitating its personnel.

In the recently concluded five-day Training Administration and Internal Management Seminar-Workshop, various teaching methodologies such as discussion, interactive techniques, online learning, and workshop and output presentation were utilized to tackle the topics.

Modules of training include Human Dimension Development Module, Training Administration & Management Module, Internal Management System Module, and Training Planning Module.


Training and Doctrine Command adapts “new normal” mode of training through various teaching methodologies such as discussion, interactive techniques, online learning, and workshop and output presentation. (Training and Doctrine, Philippine Army)

“I believe that this activity will equip and enhance the competency and proficiency of the participants that will uphold the command’s continuing legacy of providing a highest standard of training and doctrine development for the Philippine Army,” TRADOC Commander Major General Cornelio Valencia Jr. said.

A total of 41 personnel from Sustainment Center and 18 personnel from various units of TRADOC attended the combination of actual participation and video teleconferencing.

“We do really need team players, thinking and committed personnel that will continue to the continuing challenges posed by this new normal situation,” Valencia furthered. (CLJD/TJBM-PIA 3)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1045756

‘Ka Jose’ surrenders to the government after NPA exposure

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 24, 2020): ‘Ka Jose’ surrenders to the government after NPA exposure (By Joanne Namnama P. Dilim)

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BACNOTAN, La Union, June 25 (PIA) -- A teenage boy with his alias "Ka Jose" from this town surrendered to the authorities on the birthday of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal on June 19 after his exposure to the New People’s Army (NPA).

This came after a successful negotiation of the local government of Bacnotan, 81st Infantry (SPARTAN) Battalion (IB), and 2nd Civil Military Operations (CMO) Company with Ka Jose.

According to Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Marinas Jr, commanding officer of 81st IB, Ka Jose voluntarily surrendered and wanted to return to the mainstream society and move on to civilian life.


“Labis ang kagalakan ng mga kasundaluhan ng 81IB at 2nd CMO Company dahil sa nadaragdagang bilang ng mga taong naliwanagan mula sa maling ideyolohiyang dulot ng makakaliwang grupo,” Marinas said.

The commanding officer informed that prior to his surrender, Ka Jose was an officer of the Anak Bayan-Ilocos and Kabatan Party List - North Luzon.
Further, he said the young returnee also took oath as a member of Kabataang Makabayan and Youth Underground Movement (UGM), particularly in the White Area Committee. He also had armed exposure with the NPA in Mt. Province and Abra.

“Sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pagsuko, muling nabigyan ng pag-asa ang isang kabataang naligaw ng landas na naglakas-loob na kumalas at itakwil ang sinamahang organisasyon na may konektado sa armadong grupong teroristang NPA,” said Marinas.

For his part, Bacnotan Mayor Francisco Angelito L. Fontanilla vowed to help Ka Jose in his journey to a renewed life.

He also lauded the Philippine Army in its efforts in the fight against insurgency.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD FO1) also provided immediate assistance to Ka Jose on June 23 by giving him two food packs and two hygiene kits.

Darwin Chan, regional information officer of the DSWD FO1, said their office is also set to give him financial assistance amounting to P5,000. (JCR/JND, PIA La Union)

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1045745

70 former rebels, kin in NegOcc complete TESDA skills training

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 70 former rebels, kin in NegOcc complete TESDA skills training (By Erwin Nicavera)



SKILLS TRAINING. Lt. Col. Gerald Alvaran (standing, right), commanding officer of the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion, speaks before the 47 trainees from Calatrava, Negros Occidental during the graduation ceremony held at the municipal hall on June 18, 2020. The participants attended a course on bread making under the Special Skills Training Program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. (Photo courtesy of 79th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army)

A total of 70 former rebels and their dependents in northern Negros Occidental completed various training with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) this month.

The participants availed of the opportunity under the agency’s Special Skills Training Program (SSTP), a report from the TESDA and the Philippine Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (79IB) on Tuesday said.


On June 18, some 47 trainees from Calatrava town finished a course on bread making (Leading to Pastry Production) National Certification (NC) II while on June 19, a group of 23 participants from Escalante City completed the training on electrical installation and maintenance, also NC II.

Lt. Col. Gerald Alvaran, commanding officer of 79IB, commended the former rebels and their families for showing determination, perseverance, and sacrifice to finish their respective training.

“The knowledge you have acquired, together with the materials and equipment that you received from this program, will enable you to help your families. Continue your journey towards a peaceful and prosperous life and never turn back to the way of living you once had,” Alvaran said.

In Calatrava, the training program was implemented by TESDA in partnership with the municipal government, 79IB, and Atoniya Skills Education Inc. while those from Escalante were trained by the TESDA Provincial Training Center in Cadiz City.

Under the SSTP, the participants are provided with skills training with entrepreneurship, free assessment, allowance of PHP100 per day, and free starter tool kits.

The 70 graduates received training allowance ranging from PHP1,000 to PHP2,800 each.

Beverly Insular, TESDA-Negros Occidental acting provincial director, said the SSTP was conceptualized in response to the mandate of the TESDA as the chair of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“TESDA has been making sure that our programs and services are felt by all sectors of society to live up to our agency’s tagline ‘TESDA Abot Lahat’,” she added.

The PRLEC aims to provide responsive measures to address poverty affectation among marginalized communities and basic sectors through the whole-of-nation approach.

Jaime Cogonon, one of the graduates in Calatrava, said the training and the tool kits will greatly help them in setting up a livelihood.

“I thank the government through the TESDA, Atoniya Skills Education Inc., and the Philippine Army for extending your helping hand to us,” he added.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106804

Army hits leftist groups’ lies on death of NPA leader in N. Samar

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Army hits leftist groups’ lies on death of NPA leader in N. Samar (By Sarwell Meniano)



STABLE CONDITION. Jolina Meraya, daughter of the New People's Army (NPA) finance officer who was killed for resisting arrest, talks to former rebel Rey Christian Sabado at a hospital in Northern Samar in this undated photo. The Philippine Army on Wednesday (June 24, 2020) slammed left-leaning groups for spreading fake news that the rebel's daughter was critically wounded during the operation on June 20 in Palapag, Northern Samar. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army 20th Infantry Battalion)

The Philippine Army on Tuesday slammed left-leaning groups for spreading fake news on the death of top finance officer of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Northern Samar and the wounding of his daughter.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, Lt. Col. Juan Gullem, commander of the Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion (20IB) said there’s no truth to the claim of the communist terrorist group that the daughter of Zaldy Meraya alias “Podyot” is critically wounded when soldiers “strafed their house”.

Gullem said Meraya’s daughter, Jolina, is in stable condition after she was slightly injured during a brief firefight between her father and government troops in remote Bagacay village, Palapag, Northern Samar.

She is now under the care of the Northern Samar provincial government.

“Simply, the NPAs want to twist the story because they are losing. The death of Zaldy is a big loss to their resource generation activities,” Gullem said.

Zaldy is a notorious NPA member responsible for various extortion activities in Northern Samar that amassed millions of funds for the communist terrorist group.


He was killed while resisting arrest inside his safe house on June 20.

The government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Decoroso Turla dated May 11, 2020 for multiple attempted murder, when he fired his gun, which triggered a brief armed engagement.

The operation was an offshoot of the encounter between the government troops and the communist terrorist group in the same village on June 14, which led to the discovery of the NPA lair large enough to accommodate about 50 fighters with 21 makeshift bunkers, four posts, and toilets.

The operation was conducted after soldiers received information from residents about the rebel presence in their area.

Combat tracking on June 20 led the soldiers to the safe house of the notorious NPA fighter, where troops recovered two .45-caliber pistols, a laptop, 12 mobile phones, three flash drives, and subversive documents.

Gullem is optimistic that Zaldy’s death will lessen, if not totally stop the extortion activities and resource generation of the communist terrorist group in the pacific towns of Northern Samar.

Hours after the incident, left-leaning organizations such as the League of Filipino Students (LFS) Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylist posted that Jolina is in critical condition after government troops “mercilessly strafed their house”.

Gullem said it was not a strafing incident since they were just serving a warrant of arrest when Zaldy attacked them.

“Left-leaning groups posted on social media and was shared by their allies saying that their fellow LFS member, Jolina Meraya was critically wounded. The truth is Jolina is in stable condition and she even talked to me and Rey Christian Sabado,” the official added.

Sabado, 22, was a former NPA member recruited while studying at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

He was captured by government troops in Northern Samar last year while conducting extortion activities for the NPA.
https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106827

Cop killed, 3 others wounded in rebel attack in Albay town

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Cop killed, 3 others wounded in rebel attack in Albay town (By Mar Serrano)



ALBAY AMBUSH. Government forces in Jovellar town, Albay province, pursue New People's Army rebels who waylaid policemen returning from a security operation on Wednesday (June 24, 2020). A police officer was killed while three other cops were wounded in the incident. (Photo courtesy of Albay Provincial Police Office)

A police officer was killed while three others were wounded in an encounter between lawmen and a group of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in a remote village in Jovellar town, Albay province on Wednesday.

In an interview, Capt. Millard Bongalon, Jovellar town police chief, quoting a spot report, said the NPA staged an ambush in Barangay San Isidro around 5:20 a.m. while police operatives were returning to their base camp after conducting an internal security operation.

The attack led to an exchange of gunfire between the lawmen from the 1st Albay Provincial Mobile Force Company and some 15 NPA members.

Killed was Patrolman Emerson Belmonte, while those wounded were Corporal Marlon Bertran and Patrolmen Roy Resurecion and John Mark Paz.


The report also said an undetermined number of rebels may have been wounded in the clash.

“Wala naman pong naapektuhan na civilian dahil sa medyo mabundok na po area nangyari,” (No civilian was affected during the firefight since it happened in a mountainous area of the village)," Bongalon said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106849

Tip-off leads Army to NPA landmine depot in Agusan Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Tip-off leads Army to NPA landmine depot in Agusan Sur (By Alexander Lopez)



RECOVERED WAR MATERIEL. Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo (3rd from right), commander of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion, and 1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang (right), civil-military operations officer, check the seized materials for the production of anti-personnel mines and improvised explosive devices belonging to the communist New People’s Army on Tuesday (June 23, 2020). The war materiel were recovered in a hinterland village in Esperanza municipality, Agusan del Sur. (Photo courtesy of 23IB)

A tip-off from Agusan del Sur villagers led government troops to a depot of bomb-making materials and ammunition belonging to the communist New People’s Army (NPA), a military official said Wednesday.

The troops recovered the bomb-making materials and ammunition in the hinterland village of Maasin, Esperanza town, Agusan del Sur
on Tuesday morning, said 1Lt. Roel T. Maglalang, civil-military operations officer of the Army's 23rd Infantry Battalion.

“The citizens in the area saw the danger of these bomb-making materials. Farmers going to their farms usually pass very near the depot where explosive materials are deposited,”
Maglalang told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He said upon reaching the area, government troops
discovered firearms, bombs, ammunition, and subversive documents.


Among the war materiel recovered were 11 containers of ammonium nitrate, two blasting caps, 205 rounds of M-14 rifle ammunition, five magazines for M14 rifle, a roll of firing wire, NPA garments and shirts, and other pieces of evidence, Maglalang added.

The 11 containers of ammonium nitrate can produce 60 anti-personnel mines that could be deadly both to soldiers and civilians, he pointed out.

Maglalang said the recovered water materiel belonged to a sub-unit of the NPA's North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, 23IB commander, condemned the NPA for putting the lives of civilians in the area in danger.


“Every day, our farmers in Barangay Maasin and the nearby villages are utilizing trails near the site where these explosives are hidden by the CNTs (communist NPA terrorists). These terrorists put at risk the lives of our farmers and ordinary civilians in the area,” Paulo said. “Residents who volunteered to disclose to the Army the location of these explosives saw the big threat of these war materials.”

According to civilians in the area, he said, the landmines planted by NPA rebels have killed residents.

“The CNTs commonly plant these deadly explosives along the roads, trails, and other concealed areas where farmers and civilians utilize. These inhuman practices of the CNTs worried the civilians in Barangay Maasin and the nearby villages. The enormous danger that civilians face prompted some residents to bravely come out and (tell) the Army of these hidden explosives,” Paulo said.

He noted that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) violates the provisions of the Ottawa Treaty, the Geneva Convention, and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

"Through the cooperation of the civilian stakeholders, we can easily thwart the hostile plans of the CNTs and their recruitment strategies in the vulnerable communities. The seizure of the bomb-making materials in the hinter area of Agusan del Sur is a clear manifestation that the local residents are already tired of the hostilities made by the CNTs,” Paulo said.

He also lambasted the NPA for "instilling fear among the peace-loving citizens in the town of Esperanza in Agusan del Sur and the other provinces in (the) Caraga region."

“The continued production and use of IEDs only prove that the CNTs do not know how to value life as they keep using it regardless of their victims,” Paulo said.

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106854

Mindoro Occidental guv negotiates 3 rebels' surrender

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Mindoro Occidental guv negotiates 3 rebels' surrender



Mindoro Occidental Gov. Eduardo Gadiano 

One week after receiving authority to talk peace with the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists, Mindoro Occidental Gov. Eduardo Gadiano welcomed three former rebels to mainstream society on Monday.

The military said one of the rebels is a 16-year-old minor while the two others are aged 18 and 19, with the latter recruited by the NPAs three years ago, also as a minor.

Col. Jose Augusto Villareal, Commander of the 203rd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Mindoro Island, identified the former rebels as Yamay Liwan alias Marvin, Layag Sanyuan alias Layka, and alias Celia whose true name is being withheld due to her being a minor.


“It is heart-breaking to learn that our three former rebels are all indigenous people whose innocence and peaceful nature was exploited by the NPA terrorists because they can no longer deceive and recruit the low-landers who are more informed of their dwindling relevance and influence in our society”, Villareal said.

The former rebels said they are members of the NPA’s Kilusang Larangang Guerilla MAV and have been involved in several encounters with government troops on the island.

Villareal acknowledged the soldiers’ “firm resolve to rescue more IPs and child-warriors who have fallen victims to the NPA terrorists’ desperate and evil acts in the battlefield which are against internationally accepted rules of warfare.”

He also condemned the NPA terrorists’ “recruitment, deception, and exploitation of our Mangyans as well as our youth which did not only put them in physical danger but also squandered the bright future that they could possibly live.”

Earlier, Gadiano personally fetched the surrenders from their homes in Rizal, Brgy. Manoot in Occidental Mindoro.

“As the Provincial Chief Executive and Chairman of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or PTF ELCAC, it is my responsibility to ensure that President Duterte’s call for national unity and reconciliation will be realized because I believe that peace is the only way to achieve prosperity for my people,” he said.

PTF ELCAC is the counterpart in the provincial level of the National Task Force ELCAC which President Duterte chairs and was created by virtue of Executive Order Number 70.

Gadiano urged NPA terrorists to “put down your arms, live peaceful lives with your families and join the entire province in our quest for just and lasting peace which every MindoreƱo truly deserves.”

The surrender is the second in four days in the 2nd Infantry Division’s area of operations following the surrender of an NPA leader from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan who turned-over to the military his automatic rifle last Friday.

Maj. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2ID which covers Southern Tagalog, described the series of surrenders in their area as a tangible expression of the public’s rising trust and support to the soldiers and the government.

“Your soldiers’ professionalism in the battlefield coupled with the government’s immediate and transparent implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP has conveyed a message of sincerity across the region which encouraged the enemies of the state to abandon the armed struggle and, instead, be part of the solution to end our beloved country’s woes,” Burgos said.

“We are expecting more surrenders in the coming days because the NPA terrorists are running out of space to evade our relentless combat operations. They are now fearing for their lives because of our additional forces and armaments which we recently deployed and they are now getting hungry because the people who used to support them have already abandoned them after realizing that these terrorists are irrelevant to the lives of the Filipino people,” he added.

The military has deployed more ground, air, and naval assets in Mindoro as part of its push to decimate the few remaining NPAs in Southern Tagalog who were forced to evacuate and seek refuge in the mountains of the island province after suffering unprecedented defeat in Calabarzon.

To date, a total of 568 former rebels from the area of 2ID have returned to the folds of law since E-CLIP was implemented in 2016.

Through Resolution Number 171 signed on June 17, the Provincial Council of Occidental Mindoro authorized Gadiano to lead the Local Peace Engagement with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA terrorists.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106887

3 NPA recruiters yield to Army in Maguindanao

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 3 NPA recruiters yield to Army in Maguindanao (By Edwin Fernandez)



SURRENDER. Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander (2nd from right), receives a firearm from one of three New People’s Army recruiters who yielded to the military in Maguindanao on Monday (June 23, 2020). The three surrenderers (inset) vowed never to return to rebel life and live peacefully with their families. (Photo courtesy of DXMY-Cotabato)

Three communist New People’s Army (NPA) recruiters surrendered to military authorities in Maguindanao on Tuesday afternoon.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and Joint Task Force Central (JFTC), and Brig. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, chief of the 603rd Infantry Brigade, welcomed the rebels during simple surrender rites at 6ID base in Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

During the ceremony,
NPA surrenderers John Eras, Marin Kuner and Leary Bernabe renounced their NPA membership and vowed to reform for good.

Mamawag said the trio belonged to the NPA-Daguma Front operating in the hinterlands of South Upi in Maguindanao and Kalamansig and Lebak in Sultan Kudarat.

The former NPA recruiters said their work entails ensuring the NPA ranks of active guerrillas and mass base supporters continued to grow.


“We are convinced of the government’s project giving communist rebels the opportunity to reform and live normal lives," Eras said in vernacular during an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the surrender ceremony.

Eras told military officials that on many occasions he and his group managed to elude military operations by simply mingling with the civilians during encounters. He said he and his two companions have grown tired of “empty promises” from the rebel movement.

"We have been in the movement for the past five years but nothing has changed actually, we remained poor and hardly eat three times a day, we want to live normal lives,” Eras said.

They handed over to the Army two assault rifles and a .45-caliber pistol. More than a hundred NPAs operating under the 6ID area of operation in Central Mindanao have surrendered in the past 12 months.

The 6ID now has jurisdiction over military units in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and part of Sarangani provinces where the NPA has guerrilla forces.

Eras also said that many NPA rebels still in the mountains are willing to go down and live normal lives with their families.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106858

'Trust in gov't' leads 11 NPAs to surrender

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): 'Trust in gov't' leads 11 NPAs to surrender (By Annabel Consuelo Petinglay and Gail Momblan)



YIELD. Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 (Western Visayas) regional director, presents to the media the 11 former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), in Camp Delgado in Iloilo City on Tuesday (June 23, 2020). The 11 were leaders and members of the Panay Regional Committee operating in the area of Panay island. (PNA photo by Gail Momblan)

Eleven rebel returnees from Antique Province have cited that their trust in government led them to turn their backs from the armed struggle of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“Almost everyone is giving the same reason – that they are going back because they trust the program of the government. They can get more help when they come back to the fold. And they also experienced hardship in the mountains,”
said Brig. Gen. Rene Pamuspusan, Director of the Police Regional Office (PRO 6) in Western Visayas, on Tuesday during the presentation of the surrenderers in Camp Delgado here.

The 11 CPP-NPA were leaders and members of the Panay Regional Committee operating in the area of Panay Island that include the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Iloilo, and Capiz.

The highest-ranking surrenderers were “Ka Paner” and “Anton or Dario”, both squad leaders and had managed 12 armed rebels.

Other surrenderers were “Bobet”, “Dodoy”, “Tams”, “Boy”, “Nini”, “Boy”, “Junior”, “Jojo”, and “Jan-Jan.”


Col. Roy Parena, Antique Police Provincial Office (APPO) chief, in the same press conference, said a middleman facilitated the surrender of the 11 rebels.

Parena said the middleman is a “concerned citizen whom they (rebels) trusted”.

The 11 were the first to surrender to APPO for the year 2020. The rebel returnees also turned over two shotguns, one .45-caliber pistol with ammunition, three grenades, five rifle grenades, nine 12-gauge shotgun shells, one magazine for .45-caliber pistol, and several rounds ammunition.

Pamuspusan said they will be held at APPO for their security.

The PRO 6 is also anticipating for the CPP-NPA to deny that the returnees are their members. “That is the usual response of the CNT (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists), that every time there are members who would surrender, they say that they are fake. But eventually, the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the Philippine Army prove that these are members (of the rebel group),” Pamuspusan said.

The security forces will validate first the participation of the individuals to CPP-NPA activities as a process of recording their surrender.

Parena said the surrenderers will receive assistance from the national government under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP), including cash and livelihood assistance for them to start their new lives.

Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, commander of the Philippine Army 61st Infantry Battalion under the 3rd Infantry Division, said the surrender of the NPAs is proof the APPO and the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), which is a convergence of the national government agencies, are indeed working to bring the needed basic services to the hinterlands.

Meanwhile, Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao said the provincial government as part of its support will give P10,000 to each surrenderer through the Aid on Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

They would also be provided with technical assistance and planting materials if they would like to engage in farming as their livelihood.

The NPA surrenderers were from Culasi and Sebaste towns in northern Antique.
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.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106780

Rebel leader slain in clash with gov’t troops in Sorsogon

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Rebel leader slain in clash with gov’t troops in Sorsogon (By Mar Serrano and Connie Calipay)



A leader of the New People's Army (NPA) communist terrorist group (CTG) was killed on Tuesday in a clash with government troops in Barangay San Bernardo, Bulusan town, Sorsogon province.

In an interview on Wednesday, Army Capt. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) Public Affairs spokesperson, said the slain rebel, identified as Ian Estrellado alias 'Ela/Karding', was a member of a guerrilla front operating in Sorsogon province".

He said an Army and police composite team was about to serve an arrest warrant to Estrellado who is facing a murder complaint, when the suspect, together with his companions, fired upon the troops.

Belleza said a brief gunfight ensued between the rebels and the government law enforcers that led to the killing of Estrellado. No one was hurt on the government side.

“Recovered from the scene was a Carbine with two magazines and a hand grenade,” he added.

Estrellado was positively identified by former rebels as the vice commanding officer of Platoon 1, Larangan 1, Komiteng Probinsya 3 of the Bicol Regional Party Committee.

Brig. Gen. Henry Robinson Jr., Joint Task Force (JTF) Bicolandia commander, earlier directed the troops to tighten security measures in the area as they hunt down terrorists who were coddling Estrellado.

“Brig. Gen. Robinson also assured the Bicolanos that JTF Bicolandia will continue to work hand in hand with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that justice is served to all the victims of CTG's atrocities,” he added.

The Army continues to call on members of the terrorist group to value lives and to return to the fold of the law.

“Kasabay ng ipinatutupad naming intensified military operations ay ang aming pagnanais at layunin na kayo ay tulungan sa pamamagitan ng iba't ibang mga benepisyo at programa ng gobyerno upang kayo ay makapagsimulang muli kasama ang inyong pamilya (As we implement intensified military operations, we aim to help through different government programs so that you could start leading a new life with your family)," Robinson said in a statement.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106871

Village councilman shot dead in NegOr town

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Village councilman shot dead in NegOr town (By Mary Judaline Partlow)



A barangay “kagawad” or councilman was shot dead early Wednesday in the hinterland village of Nagbinlod in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.

The victim was identified as Feliciano Canafuego Trosa, 56, a resident of the barangay, a report from the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) said.

Investigation showed the victim was riding his motorcycle when a male attacker wearing a bonnet shot him for a still unknown reason.

A witness told police investigators that he was selling fruits alongside the road in the village proper around 8:30 a.m. when he saw Trosa pass by on a motorcycle and soon after was shot several times by the suspect who came out from an abandoned house nearby.

The suspect died instantly from gunshot wounds, the police report said.

Meanwhile, a security guard cheated death after three unidentified suspects shot him twice but was fortunately not hit.

A NOPPO report said that victim, Antonio Torres Dedeles, 59, a resident of Sitio Asiotes in Barangay Polo, Tanjay City, was on his way home around 7:00 a.m. on board a motorcycle from Amlan National High School where he works when the shooting took place.

The victim is a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program beneficiary installed by the Department of Agrarian Reform at the Polo Plantation in Tanjay City on March 1, 2019.

He is also the auditor of their organization, Kapunungang Lihitimo Benepisyaro Agrario sa Polo or KALIBAPO and tasked to oversee the rice and sugarcane plantation.

The motive of the victim's shooting has yet to be determined.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106912

Cops, soldiers help restore governance in Maguindanao town

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Cops, soldiers help restore governance in Maguindanao town (By Edwin Fernandez)



SYMBOL OF GOVERNANCE. The Philippine flag flies in front of the newly refurbished town hall of Talitay, Maguindanao on Tuesday (June 22) where local government function was absent during the past 12 months. Government forces helped restore normalcy in the town and install government functionaries in the town center once again after hampered by intermittent clashes among armed followers of local politicians. (Photo courtesy of Maguindanao PPO)

Following instructions of Maguindanao Gov. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu, police and military forces Tuesday brought back local governance to the town center of Talitay, Maguindanao.

For more than a year, the Talitay government center has been operating in a remote village of the municipality following the hostilities involving the town's political arch-rivals.

“On Tuesday morning, the Philippine flag has once again flown proudly in front of the refurbished town hall in Barangay Poblacion,” Col. Arnold Santiago, Maguindanao police chief, said in a radio interview Wednesday.

Santiago said the primary aim of the provincial government is to make the local government unit function in its original designated office as the symbol of authority in the town’s most populated area.

Santiago said the town police will be put up beside the town hall and that soldiers will be deployed in its vicinity to prevent harassment from armed political enemies of elected officials.

Only last week, the town’s satellite government center in Barangay Gadungan was harassed by suspected armed supporters of the political enemies of the incumbent officials.

Santiago said the satellite office was not recognized by the provincial government and the Civil Service Commission and that all employees reporting there were considered absent without official leave.

Military officials said the town’s services have been hampered by bloody skirmishes involving the Sabal and Ameril clans, both political arch-rivals and locked in “rido” (clan feud).

The current mayor of Talitay is Moner Sabal, the town’s top elected councilor. His father, Abdulwahab, ran for mayor in the 2019 local elections with his uncle Montasir, as his father’s running mate.

Both Abulwahab and Montasir won.

Montasir had yet to assume as vice mayor after the election after he went in hiding following his inclusion in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of narco-politicians in the country.

Sabal’s absence made the vice mayor’s seat vacant, making the councilor assume as acting vice mayor. Abdulwahab was assassinated in February this year in front of a hotel in Manila.

His son, Moner became the town mayor.

Santiago hopes that with the town hall in operation, government services will fully function in Talitay while the police is trying its best to address security issues.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106867

Army pursues Reds who burned quarry equipment in Bukidnon

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Army pursues Reds who burned quarry equipment in Bukidnon (By Jigger Jerusalem)



Google map of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

A manhunt operation is ongoing against communist rebels who burned heavy equipment in Valencia City, Bukidnon, the military said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID) said
the rebels responsible for the torching of quarrying equipment belonged to a unit under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Capt. Anthony Pueblas, chief of 4ID’s Division Public Affairs Office, said the rebel unit is under Fredo Banawan, a native of Barangay Cawayan, Quezon town, Bukidnon, who has been a fugitive from the law for arson, extortion, grave threat, and murder.

Banawan also has a standing arrest warrant for trafficking in persons, Pueblas said.


Following the burning of the heavy equipment on June 19, Pueblas said troops under the Army's 88th Infantry Battalion launched pursuit operations against the culprits.

“The burning of private properties is a clear violation of the rule of law and of the International Humanitarian Law committed by these ruthless NPA terrorists,” he said.

On Monday, Pueblas said government troops clashed with Banawan’s group, resulting in the seizure of various firearms and an M203 grenade launcher.

In a separate clash on the same day in the area, Pueblas said the communist rebels also left behind a laptop, six mobile phones, a C4 landmine, two improvised anti-personnel mines, assorted M14, and M16 rifle magazines, three burners, assorted medical items, personal belongings, and documents with "high tactical value."

Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, the newly-installed 4ID commander, vowed the troops would be "relentless in the pursuit against the communist terrorists who have nothing to offer to the people but endless violence and a vicious cycle of terror.”

“This intensified campaign is aimed to finally put an end to the decades-long problem of communist insurgency. Hence, we call on all well-meaning and responsible citizens to support our campaign against the communist terrorist group so that we will finally end this menace of our society,” Centino said.

Centino has also appealed to victims of extortion to come forward and cooperate with authorities to deter the communist insurgents from attacking civilian targets.

“So long as they pursue their acts of terrorism, know that the Diamond Troopers will pursue with resolve and commitment to our mandate of protecting the people and the communities here in our area of responsibility. We call on everyone to support your government’s efforts of convergence to end this communist insurgency once and for all,” he said.

Centino also warned the remaining NPA rebels that their end is near, adding that their "meaningless cause is dying because their deceptions against the citizens have been uncovered."

He said the government remains open to receive communist rebels who want to surrender and receive the government's socio-economic support and rejoin their families.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106918

AFP turns over 2 more quarantine facilities in Muntinlupa

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): AFP turns over 2 more quarantine facilities in Muntinlupa (By Priam Nepomuceno)



PATIENT CARE CENTERS. Officials from the AFP, Muntinlupa City government, and private sector partners take a tour of one of two emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) in Barangay Sucat in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday (June 23, 2020). The two EQFs have a total bed capacity of 40. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Chief Engineer, AFP)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) turned over two emergency quarantine facilities (EQFs) to Muntinlupa City on Tuesday, bringing the number of facilities constructed by the military and private stakeholders to 72.

In a statement Wednesday, Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata said the construction of these EQFs located in Barangay Sucat was completed on June 19.

A total of 23 personnel from the 1st Naval Waterfront Construction Battalion, Naval Combat Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Navy spearheaded the construction activities.

"(These) EQFs will serve as additional triage to decongest hospital wards as part of the government’s efforts in battling the (coronavirus disease) Covid-19 pandemic," he added.

These newly-completed EQFs in Muntinlupa City have a bed capacity of 40. The EQF team has so far completed 72 of their targeted 75 EQFs to build within and outside Metro Manila since they started last March 28.

The three remaining projects include units in Taguig-Pateros District Hospital through the 51st Engineering Brigade.

Meanwhile, the two EQFs in Muntinlupa were funded by Reckitt Benckiser Philippines, WTA Architecture+Design Studio and with the support of AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Filemon T. Santos and Office of the Chief Engineer, Maj. Gen. William Ilagan.

Present during the turnover ceremonies were Ilagan, Architect William Ti of WTA Architecture + Designs, and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi of Muntinlupa City.

“As we draw closer to the fulfillment of our goals, we thank the hardworking personnel of the AFP who became our partners in the construction of these facilities. Indeed, our soldiers are reliable when it comes to selfless service,” Ti said.

Santos, meanwhile, commended the efforts of military personnel involved in the ECQ construction for their hard work and dedication.

"We also thank the other government agencies and private entities for their benevolence and generosity as we battle this health crisis hand in hand. Your trust is more than enough for us to continue serving our country to the best (of) our abilities. For that, we will remain committed to the fulfillment of our mandate and the success of this collaborative project," he said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106825

AFP facilities ready to accommodate LSIs

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): AFP facilities ready to accommodate LSIs (By Priam Nepomuceno)





File photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has facilities that could accommodate locally stranded individuals (LSIs) once safety protocols are observed.

"May naka-(prepare) naman tayong facilities anytime in accordance with existing protocols pa rin (We have prepared facilities for such eventualities anytime in accordance with existing protocols)," said AFP public affairs office chief, Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata, in a message to Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

Zata said protocols refer to the selection of LSIs and other matters such as whether they are allowed to go to their facilities or not.

"Selection who really are the LSIs. Sorting who are authorized to go where. As well as the mandatory health protocol to ensure that the LSI is (coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19 free and where will the suspected and confirmed case be brought, etcetera," he added.

Zata said they are coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units regarding this matter.

Last week, the Philippine Army (PA) sent home 102 LSIs to their respective provinces who were earlier accommodated in their facilities.

The PA opened its Wellness Center, the Army General Hospital (AGH), and specific areas at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani to cater to the LSIs and has accommodated a total of 408 LSIs since June 13.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106863

CHR remark on N. Samar 'attack' insults soldiers' sacrifices

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): CHR remark on N. Samar 'attack' insults soldiers' sacrifices (By Christine Cudis)



National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict Legal Cooperation Cluster spokesperson, lawyer Marlon Bosantog 

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) cried foul over what it called "dishonest statements" from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that propagate hate towards law enforcers.

Lawyer Marlon Bosantog, NTF-ELCAC Legal Cooperation Cluster spokesperson, slammed Wednesday the CHR's statement condemning the reported strafing of a house in Palapag, Northern Samar on Saturday (June 20), which led to the deaths of two persons who were allegedly "red-tagged" by law enforcement agencies.


“It is dishonest to label legitimate law enforcement operations as results of mere red-tagging. It grievously insults the sacrifices and threats to the lives of soldiers, they who stand between you and godless terrorism,” Bosantog said in a statement.

Bosantog called the rights body's statement as irresponsible.

“If you come up with statements that are not results of impartial investigations yet you brand them as victims, you brand the soldiers as murderers,” he said in a separate interview with PNA on Wednesday.

Bosantog said the CHR, as an investigative body, should have spoken through the lens of evidence.

“You call for an impartial investigation yet you already adjudged the casualties of the incident victims. You condemned without a chance of fair inquiry,” he said.



Call for justice

In their statement, CHR labeled the incident in Northern Samar as a “violent attack”.

CHR spokesperson lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the rights body “calls for justice for the family of Jolina Calot, a student of the University of Eastern Philippines and a member of the League of Filipino Students”.

“Her father and his companion were reported to be falsely red-tagged by law enforcement agencies,” she added.

Interagency operation

What was described as a violent attack by the CHR, authorities report, was an interagency law enforcement operation by members of Team Peacemaker or the 20th Infantry Battalion and the Northern Samar Police Mobile Force Company.

Government troops were about to serve a warrant of arrest issued by Judge Decroso Turla dated May 11, 2020, for multiple attempted murder, 20th IB Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Officer 2Lt. Sarah Jane Escobio said in an interview.

“The operation conducted was legitimate and was planned following the rules of engagement. Our group was meant to serve the warrant when the communist NPA terrorists (CNT) fired their guns [at us] which triggered a brief armed engagement,”
she explained.

The CMO report
identified the subject of the arrest warrant as Zaldy Meraya alias Podyot, a notorious NPA terrorist responsible for various extortion activities targeting government infrastructure projects and business establishments in Northern Samar.

This contradicts De Guia’s statement that Meraya, the father of Jolina Calot, was a mere casualty and a farmer.


“Si Podyot (Meraya) ay responsable sa pangongotong ng milyones mula sa government projects, negosyante, at ordinaryong mamamayan sa Northern Samar. Ang grupo nya ang nanunog ng construction equipment dahil sa pagtanggi sa pangingikil nito (Podyot [Meraya] was responsible for extorting millions from government projects, businessmen, and ordinary citizens in Northern Samar. His group burned down construction equipment here because the management refused to pay them),” Escobio added.

Escobio also expressed her disappointment over the CHR’s “uncalled for” statement.

“Sana nag-investigate muna sila bago sila nag-issue ng statement. Their statement is uncalled for. Hindi sila nag investigate pero sa tono ng salita nila guilty na ang mga law enforcement (They should have investigated before issuing a statement. It was uncalled for. They did not do any investigation/inquiry but from the way they talked, they assumed that the law enforcement was already guilty),” Escobio said.

‘Words matter’

Bosantog , meanwhile, noted in his statement the other implications on the military's alleged "red-tagging" of individuals.

"Red-tagging has been a repetitive issue brought before the Supreme Court, prominent amongst are in the Southern Hemisphere v KMU, Zarate v Aquino, and last year's the CA Decisions on NUPL v Duterte et al, and Gabriela v Duterte et al.," he said.

None in these decisions proved that red-tagging amounted to a threat, or that red-tagging singularly caused a criminal incident.

Bosantog stated that de Guia failed in her due diligence when she did not require the report before vilifying the Northern Samar incident as a result of red-tagging.

“Simply, the CHR spokesperson was dishonest in her statement. As tax-paid government employees, if we do not aim to speak the honest truth, then let us not speak at all. Words matter,” he said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106890

Badoy stands by remark vs. activist nun

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 24, 2020): Badoy stands by remark vs. activist nun



Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy (File photo)

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy stood by her statement that activist nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan is a “longtime ally” of the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Badoy first made the accusation in a Facebook post last June 17, after Mananzan condemned the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Rey Santos of cyber libel.

She said the activist nun was putting forth an ideology of “communism.”


In a statement on Tuesday night, Badoy claimed that Mananzan was the longtime ally of the NDF, political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), because she was named emeritus chairman of women’s group Gabriela.

Badoy said Gabriela is the legal front of the Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka) for Women, the first feminist organization with a national democratic orientation.

“The National Democratic Front’s task in the CPP NPA NDF is united front building— ‘front’ as in legal front, as in pagbabalatkayo, as in ‘grand deception of the Filipino people’. And this is where Gabriela fits snugly in,” Badoy said.

She added that the NDF is an illegal organization that advocates armed struggle and all the attending atrocities by way of commission or conspiracy to commit rebellion, sedition, or inciting to sedition which are direct violations of the Revised Penal Code.

“This is what Mary John Mananzan has allied herself with. By aligning herself with the NDF and by leading Gabriela for life, Mary John Mananzan agrees with the violent overthrow of government and the destruction of democracy in our country and installation of communism in its stead,” she said.

'Delusional liars'

Badoy shut down remarks by activist groups such as the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT), Karapatan, Gabriela, among others for describing Mananzan as “a pillar of activism” in the country.

“Most days, these delusional liars practice no restraint, throw all humility to the wind and outrightly proclaim themselves ‘defenders of human rights’,”
she said.


She also refuted allegations that she has “gone too far” by redtagging Mananzan.

“They think I have gone too far and laid on me the usual accusation of ‘redtagging’— that made-up creature the communist terrorist groups use to silence government and to fascist-tag us,”
she said.


Badoy said the atrocities committed by the CPP and its armed wing, New People’s Army (NPA), in the Philippines for the last 50 years are “equivalent of a holocaust.”

“The genocide committed by these terrorists have been spread out over five decades and the work has been cast in shadows and covered in respectability and nobility because of its broad alliances with institutions they’ve deceived into aligning with them like the church, international bodies and reputable NGOs [non-government organizations],” she said. “Conservative estimates on purgings they committed on their own members suspected of being deep penetration agents from 1984 to 1990 run to over 3,000. Satur Ocampo admitted this himself and promised reparations to the victims and their families.”

Despite being hauled to court a number of times by communist fronts, she said cases against her and a number of government officials were thrown out for lack of evidence and failure of the petitioners to present affidavits.

“They themselves know they have no case but they file these cases to embarrass government in media and in the international arena and as a tool they can wave in our faces to silence us when we speak the blinding truth about them,” she said.

Earlier, the MAT called Badoy’s accusations as “wild” and “baseless” and demanded a public apology from her.

Karapatan, meanwhile, said contrary to Badoy’s accusations, Mananzan is a “consistent, steadfast, and feisty human rights advocate.”

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

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1106917