Thursday, July 9, 2020

The MDT and VFA as deterrence

Opinion piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 9, 2020): The MDT and VFA as deterrence (By: Antonio T. Carpio)

The Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States are treaties to deter aggression, warning possible aggressors that they face the combined military might of the alliance should any aggression be committed against any of the treaty allies. The United Nations Charter, which outlaws wars of aggression, allows states to enter into collective self-defense treaties to repel aggression by other states.

To be an effective deterrence against foreign aggression, the MDT and the VFA must be beyond question as to their validity. Otherwise, possible aggressors will not be deterred as they may be misled into thinking that the mutual defense treaty is invalid or ineffective. Any doubt may encourage adventurism by possible aggressors.

The question is, are the MDT and the VFA valid and effective treaties under Philippine and US laws? The MDT, entered into in 1951 under the 1935 Constitution, was ratified by the Philippine Senate and by the US Senate as a treaty between the Philippines and the US. The VFA, entered into in 1998 under the 1987 Constitution, was ratified by the Philippine Senate. However, the VFA was not ratified by the US Senate since it was entered into by the US President merely as an executive agreement, which meant that the VFA did not have the status of US domestic law.

I dissented in the 2009 case of Nicolas v. Romulo, which upheld the constitutionality of the VFA, because the 1987 Constitution expressly requires that any agreement allowing the presence of foreign soldiers in the country must be “recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state.” I explained as follows: “In short, if the treaty is part of domestic law of the Philippines, it must also be part of domestic law of the other contracting State. Otherwise, the treaty cannot take effect in the Philippines.” Thus, I voted to “declare the VFA incomplete and ineffective and thus unenforceable.”

I cited in my dissent the then recent case of Medellin v. Texas, decided by the US Supreme Court the year before in 2008, which held that treaties “are not domestic law unless Congress has either enacted implementing statutes or the treaty itself conveys an intention that it be ‘self-executing’ and is ratified on these terms.” Medellin recognized that at least some 70-odd treaties of the United States would be affected by the ruling, including the defense treaties of the US with the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. I explained in my dissent that Medellin proffered a solution—adoption of an implementing legislation by the US Congress giving “wholesale effect” to such treaties as part of US domestic law.

That implementing legislation by the US Congress came on Dec. 31, 2018, with the signing into law by President Donald Trump of the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018 (ARIA). The shroud of uncertainty unleashed by Medellin was lifted when the ARIA expressly adopted wholesale as US domestic law all the defense treaties that the US had entered into with its allies in Asia, including the Philippines. Section 202(d) of the ARIA expressly states: “The United States Government is committed to the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America, done at Washington August 30, 1951, and all related and subsequent bilateral security agreements and arrangements concluded on or before the date of the enactment of this Act, including the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), done at Manila April 28, 2014.”

When the ARIA states that the US “is committed” to the MDT, it means that the US is obligated under the MDT, making the MDT part of US domestic law. This “reassurance” applies to all security arrangements between the Philippines and the US from 1951 to 2014, making the VFA and even the Edca part of US domestic law. The US has also adopted the Edca as part of US domestic law even if in the Philippines, as ruled by the Supreme Court in the 2016 case of Saguisag v. Executive Secretary, the Edca is merely an executive agreement.

The MDT and VFA are indisputably valid, effective, and enforceable, as both are now part of Philippine domestic law and US domestic law.

NPA terrorists attack police station, 4 wounded

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 9, 2020): NPA terrorists attack police station, 4 wounded (By Nonoy Lacson)

Four policemen were wounded when a group of unidentified gunmen believed to be Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army terrorists (CNTs) attacked a municipal police station in Concepcion, Misamis Occidental early Thursday morning.

A police report reaching this city said the armed men attacked and sprayed with automatic gun fire the municipal station police station of Cencepcion town located in Barangay Putongan in Misamis Occidental at about 7:50 a.m. on Thursday.

The police report identified the wounded policemen as Police Cpl.Marvin Intong, SSgt. Larry Millan, Cpl. Leo Gumisad, and Patrolwoman Ritchel Tañola.

The firefight ensued for almost an hour in the village of Putongan, sending many residents in the village into panic.

NDF/Sison: Tyrant Duterte is culpable for state terrorism and is compelling the people to wage armed revolution

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFPor NDF) Website (Jul 9, 2020): Tyrant Duterte is culpable for state terrorism and is compelling the people to wage armed revolution

By Jose Maria Sison, NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Duterte is trying in vain to scapegoat the CPP and NPA as pretext for state terrorism and nullifying basic civil and political rights of the people. He is making false claims against the CPP and NPA in order to scare the people and make them accept his law of state terrorism. As I have already pointed out in an earlier statement, there is a strong possibility that he will make false flag operations in order to misrepresent and vilify the revolutionary movement.

Duterte will always fail to misrepresent and vilify the CPP and NPA and the revolutionary mass movement as “terrorist” because they are motivated by the highest principles of the revolutionary proletariat and human civilization and shun anything that is offensive to the people whom they are striving to arouse, organize and mobilize to advance and win victory in the revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

Duterte and his running dogs in the military and police are the ones committing gross and systematic violations of human rights and crimes against humanity. That’s why they have become liable for prosecution and trial before the International Criminal Court as well as before the people’s court system of the people’s democratic government in the Philippines. Now, they have the law of state terrorism which practically nullifies the entire Bill of Rights in the bourgeois liberal constitution of 1987, which is still better than the projected fascist constitution prepared by servants of Duterte in Congress.

Duterte and his running dogs in the military and police expose themselves as big liars. Every day in the commercial mass media, the propaganda offices of the tyrant, the military and police claim that the CPP, NPA, the revolutionary mass organizations and organs of political power have been dismantled or decimated several times over their estimated size by killings, surrenders and bribing local officials and communities. But these big liars insist that they still need a law of state terrorism to attack the civil and political rights of the entire people.

Duterte had the opportunity to negotiate a just peace with the NDFP based on a definite bourgeois-democratic program of genuine land reform and national industrialization but he preferred to terminate the peace negotiations in order to push his scheme of fascist dictatorship. And he sold out to China the oil and gas resources estimated at USD 26 trillion in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. These resources would have been more than enough to finance the aforesaid program of genuine land reform and national industrialization.

If the tyrannical Duterte regime has its way in keeping and enforcing its law of state terrorism, it will have the unlimited license to attack and violate the basic democratic rights of the people to an extent and in ways far worse than the use by Marcos of the commander-in-chief provision in the Constitution in order to declare martial law in 1972. He let the Bill of Rights remain intact. In the case of Duterte’s law of state of state terrorism, it abolishes the Bill of Rights and the fascists are allowed to arrest, detain, torture, kill and confiscate bank assets and properties on the basis of mere suspicion and red-tagging.

If the tyrant Duterte and his military and police running dogs have their way, the Filipino people will suffer terribly more than ever before from the brutal violations of human rights and the rapid deterioration of their social and economic conditions. The Duterte regime has already bankrupted the entire economy and his own government by plundering the public treasury and by sinking the country in extreme indebtedness.

As a result of the intolerable and escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation under a law of state terrorism, the revolutionary movement of the people will grow in strength and advance more rapidly than during the years of 1972 to 1986 when those being threatened by martial law went underground and eventually joined the CPP and NPA. Thanks to the brutality and stupidity of Duterte and his armed minions, they are compelling many people to join the revolutionary underground and participate in the people’s war for national and social liberation against foreign and feudal domination.###

CPP/Ang Ngurob san Mt. Cansermon

Propaganda publication posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 9, 2020):  Ang Ngurob | Hulyo 2020

JULY 09, 2020

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CPP/NDF-NPA: We will remember Ka Lean: Youth Inspiration, Hero and Martyr — Concha Araneta

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 9, 2020):  We will remember Ka Lean: Youth Inspiration, Hero and Martyr — Concha Araneta


JULY 09, 2020

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Panay salutes and gives highest honor to our people’s martyr, Ka Lean. We are extending our condolences and sympathy to his family, friends, and former circles. He was martyred last June 29, 2020 because of ceaseless and intense military operations in Southern Panay.

A brave and joyful revolutionary, he selflessly offered his life to the oppressed. He volunteered to become a member of the New Peoples Army last June 2017 right after his 18th birthday.
Ka Lean had served hundreds upon hundreds of poor farmers dispossessed of land and denied of politico-economic justice. He is one of the red fighters engaged in the campaign against the Covid19 pandemic- reaching out to communities to render appropriate medical and economic interventions for the people. He served in various technical and political education efforts to benefit poor farmers. Together with other red fighters, Ka Lean mobilized the masses for improved farm production in anti-feudal campaigns, and forged community unity among them. Ka Lean served the people well.

Like many young martyrs, he is an inspiration to the youth to pursue the revolution for the establishment of the People’s Democratic Government. His willingness to empower and serve the poor stretched beyond his most comfortable spaces. He understood that the problems of the youth and the people are rooted on the inherent structural defects of our country. Ultimately, he denied the illusory bourgeois path and decisively participated in the armed struggle to build a better future.

Ka Lean, although unfamiliar with the experiences of unforgiving poverty and hardship, openly embraced the challenges of simple life and hard struggle in the revolution. He lived with the poor and shared with them their practical experiences. He offered his intellect, energy, creativity, and youth to the people. His selfless sacrifice is a motivation worth emulating by every educated nationalist youth.

The life of Ka Lean is an immortal example that provides an alternative perspective to the dominant bourgeois individualism and idealism that distorted the concepts of service and love of country in public education institutions. The revolutionary alternative remains an imperative for the youth to challenge the perpetuating systemic inequality and injustice.

The present unbearable semi-colonial and semi-feudal conditions of the Philippine society with its repressive education system offers no positive future for the youth. The revolution on the other hand, provides a clear path for a socialist future that will be enjoyed by the left-out, oppressed, and forgotten classes. This path is being materialized everyday by the revolution.

The death of Ka Lean might be a joy for the fascist and a ‘material’ for their anti-democratic agenda. The anticommunist criminals will use his death to demoralize his family, schoolmates, friends, and comrades. As with other people’s martyrs, his photos would be vandalized, misrepresented, and condemned by the enemy. But all of these would be expunged by the genuine narratives of his life as an activist and a revolutionary.

On this very dark time of our country where tyrants and anticommunist criminals rule in shrunken spaces of so-called democracy, the youth must directly take part in the struggle and path that Ka Lean took. This is the only decisive way to achieve justice for the people and all victims of the reactionary state’s crimes. Let us remember that Ka Lean died fighting those who protect the fascist establishment.

The Filipino people are proud to have Ka Lean. His revolutionary life is an inspiration to the young and forever will be immortalized in the annals of the Filipino people’s history.

Long live the revolution!
Long live the hope of our nation! Long live Ka Lean!
Youth, join the New People’s Army!

“Ang kamatayan ay nangyayari sa lahat, ngunit may mga kamatayan na mas may halaga kesa iba. Sa pagsulong ng pambansa-demokratikong rebolusyon, hindi maiiwasan na may mamatay at may mag-alay ng buhay. Ang mamatay na ipinaglalaban ang sambayanan, ay kahanga-hanga at kagalang-galang. Wala nang may mas makabuluhang kamatayan kundi ang mamatay na pinaglilingkuran ang sambayanan. Ang sakripisyo at kahirapan ay normal sa sinumang umaasam ng pagbabago sa lipunan.”
-Ka Lean, circa 2017

CPP/NPA-Panay: NPA, Binigwasan ang Kriminal at Teroristang AFP at PNP ng Rehimeng Duterte

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 9, 2020):  NPA, Binigwasan ang Kriminal at Teroristang AFP at PNP ng Rehimeng Duterte

JULY 09, 2020

Hindi nakulong ng militaristang lockdown ang rebolusyonaryong paglaban ng mamamayan sa isla ng Panay laban sa sindak at karahasang hinahasik ng mapanalasang mga opensibang operasyon militar sa kanayunan na mas mapanganib pa sa COVID.

Angkin ang malawak at malalim na suporta ng mamamayan, binigwasan ng mga yunit ng NPA ang mersenaryong tropa ng 3rdID sa Panay kasabay sa pagtulong sa mamamayan na pangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan sa gitna ng pandemya. Mayo 3, 2020 hinarass ng isang tim ng NPA ang bagong itinayong CAFGU detatsment sa Brgy. Barasan, Igbaras, Iloilo.

Pagkasunod na linggo, binulabog ng putok ng NPA ang Anhawan detatsment sa Janiuay, Iloilo noong Mayo 11 at kinabukasan naman ang Apong detatsment sa Sibalom, Antique. Umaga ng Mayo 25 sekretong nalapitan at pinaputukan ang Cafgu detatsment sa Brgy. Katipunan, Tapaz, Capiz. Noong Hunyo 22 hinaras naman ang Trangka detachment sa Maasin, Iloilo. At nitong huli, 4 ang patay at 3 ang nasugatan sa tropa ng 61stIB ng tambangan ang kanilang convoy sa hi-way sa sakop ng Brgy. Igbucagay, Hamtic Antique ng Hulyo 2 ng gabi.

Naabot ng mahabang kamay ng rebolusyonaryong hustisya ang sagad-saring ahente sa paniktik ng IPPO Provincial Intelligence Unit at Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU) si P/MSgt Arnel Paurillo ng parusahan ito ng isang yunit isparo ng Napoleon Tumagtang Command (NTC) noong alas 9:30 ng gabi ng Hunyo 15, 2020, sa Brgy. Teniente Benito, Tubungan, Iloilo.

Nadis-armahan naman ang intel asset ng PNP na si Nicolas Capeña ng Brgy. Barasan, Leon, Iloilo sa checkpoint na itinayo ng NTC noong Hunyo 1, 2020. Nakuha sa nasabing mga ahente sa paniktik ang 3 pistola, mga bala, at iban pang kagamitan.

Itinago naman sa publiko ng 3ID, PA ang kanilang mga patay at iba pang natamong kaswalti bunga ng mga patraidor at bigo nilang mga pag-atake at nang mga matagumpay na pagdepensa at opensiba ng NPA sa panahon ng tigil-putokan at patuloy na pandemya. Kalakaran na ito ng AFP para makaiwas sa ibayong kahihiyan at palabasin na sa kanila palagi ang bentaha.

Samantala, isa ang naging kaswalti ng NPA resulta ng nasabing mga pang-aatake. Aming pinaparangalan si Ka Lean/Lucas, Malvin Christian Cruz, sa tunay na pangalan sa kanyang katapangan at pag-alay ng kanyang lakas at talino para palayain ang bayan mula sa kamay ng malupit na rehimen.

Hindi na makaya pang tabunan at pigilan ng mga linubid na kasinungalingan ng AFP at PNP ang kumukulong poot ng mamamayan na hindi na makatiis sa kriminal na kapabayaan at kapalpakan ng rehimeng Duterte. Malaki ang pananagutan ng AFP at PNP sa maraming kaso ng pamamaslang, pananakot at red tagging sa mga progresibo at inosenteng sibilyan para bigyang matwid ang kanilang panlulupig.

Malakas na nanawagan ang Coronacion “Waling-waling” Chiva Command sa lahat na rebolusyonaryo at makabayang mamamayan na higpitan ang pagkakaisa para labanan ang korap, tiraniko, pahirap at traidor na rehimen ni Duterte. Patuloy na suportahan ang armadong pakikibaka bilang pinakamahuhusgang armas sa pagdepensa sa demokratikong interes ng mamamayan at paghatid sa pagbagsak ng pasistang paghahari.

Ibagsak ang Rehimeng US-Duterte! Sumapi sa NPA!

Kalinaw News: CPP-NPA-NDF, guilty for violating International Humanitarian Law and Anti-Terorrism Law

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 10, 2020): CPP-NPA-NDF, guilty for violating International Humanitarian Law and Anti-Terorrism Law (By 10 Infantry Division)

Makilala, Cotabato – A 40kg IHL and Philippine Anti-terror Law-banned terror material was surrendered by former NPA member to the 39th Infantry Battalion,10th Infantry Division in Sitio Datal Pitak, Barangay Colonsabac, Davao del Sur on July 8, 2020.

Through delicate identification and validation of information revealed by the former NPA, elements of the 39IB sets out for a mission to save possible victims of a massive IHL-banned landmine laid open to discriminately inflict casualties by the communist NPA terrorists.

It is a “to-whom-it-may-concern bomb.”

A high rise building could blow up in a second and could immediately kill a hundred people once detonated, said EOD personnel. This 40kg-landmine has been deactivated by EOD-trained personnel of 39IB and PNP.

Government forces and civilians of barangay Colonsabac is now safe from harm laid by members of CPP-NPA-NDF. “Truely, CPP-NPA-NDF is a terrorist organization. Before my surrender, a lot of our landmines disrupted military movements and have inflicted casualties both military and civilians,” reveals alias Puting.

[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: Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay Program para sa mga MATAKA

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 10, 2020): Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay Program para sa mga MATAKA (By 10 Infantry Division)

Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental – Nabenepisyohan ang mga miyembro ng MATAKA Community Association sa Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay Program ng Department of Trade and Industry sa lugar ng Brgy Kalbay ng nasabing bayan.

Dito ang dalawampung (20) former rebels na mga miyembro ng MATAKA ay nabigyan ng training at program upang madagdagan ang kanilang kaalaman sa paghahanap-buhay. Kasama ng DTI ang Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), PSWDO at Municipal Agriculture Office na siyang nagturo sa mga miyembro kung pano gumawa ng hollow blocks, pot-making at laundry soap.

Ayon kay @Marco laking pasasalamat niya dahil binigyan sila ng oportunidad na paunlarin pa ang kanilang asosasyon. “Gagawin namin ang lahat upang mapaunlad at hnd madismaya ang gobyerno sa mga tulong na binigay sa amin.”

Sa pahayag naman ni Lt. Col. Ronaldo G Valdez, Commander ng 73IB: “Ito na ang bunga ng ELCAC na pinatupad ng ating Pangulo. Kung kayat sa nilagdaang Anti Terrorism Law, kami ay sumusuporta at gagawin ang lahat upang protektahan ang sambayanang Pilipino. Rest assured na ito ay aming ipapatupad ng tama at hindi sasamantalahin ang nasabing batas.”

Binigyan din ang asosyasyon ng hollow block molder, shovel, at semento bilang puhunan sa kanilang hanap-buhay.

[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: ASG members surrender to soldiers for another chance at life

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jul 10, 2020): ASG members surrender to soldiers for another chance at life (By 11 Infantry Division "Alakdan Troopers")

The Joint Intelligence and Civil Miltary Operations efforts of 9FAB, AAR and 45IB, 5ID, which are both component units of 1st Brigade Combat Team, PA led to the surrender of two (2) Abu-Sayyaf members namely, Alhadi Abdulgani (@LADI INGOG) and Nassae Pasihul (@Jelam, @Nash) under Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron on 03 July 2020.

They also surrendered two (2) firearms, one (1) M16A1 rifle and one (1) M1 Garand rifle.

Alhadi Abdulgani was convinced by his mother-in-law to surrender for the reason that among the seven (7) siblings who are all members of the ASG, he is the only one left alive. His other siblings, including his father, were killed during previous encounters.

Alhadi Abdulgani also shared that he was the brother of the Ajang-Ajang subleader, Suraka Ingog, who was responsible for the Jolo Cathedral Bombing on 28 January 2019.

He also confessed that when he surrendered to the government forces, he finally had the chance to see his daughter for the first time. He believes that if he reforms his ways, he’ll be able make things right with his daughter, make up for the lost time, and try to be the best father to her.

[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:]

Army, Reds clash in Tapaz; 16-year-old lad hurt

From the Panay News (Jul 9, 2020): Army, Reds clash in Tapaz; 16-year-old lad hurt (By Ruby Silubrico)

A 16-year-old lad was accidentally shot during an encounter between the Philippine Army (PA) and Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Barangay Tacayan, Tapaz, Capiz.

The victim was taken to the Tapaz District Hospital by members of the PA’s 12th Infantry Battalion (12IB). He sustained a gunshot wound on the right thigh.

Members of the NPA’s Central Front and 12IB personnel clashed in the area around 6:30 a.m. yesterday. The firefight lasted for several minutes before the rebels fled.

According to the victim’s father, the lad was mistakenly shot by an NPA member.

The victim was wearing camouflage shorts while fetching water in a nearby river, thus he was thought to be a member of the PA.

Army Major Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of the PA’s 3rd Infantry Division said the 12IB personnel were deployed in the area as part of the Community Support Program (CSP) team.

No 12IB members were wounded in the firefight, he added.

Colonel Marion Sison, PA’s 301st Infantry Brigade commander, slammed the rebels for bringing danger to the village.

“The rebels do not care whether civilians or properties will be damaged or destroyed because they are in despair. But this will not intimidate us. This will instead propel us to dismantle them,” he said.
“Our CSP is hurting them because it is very effective in addressing the root-causes of the insurgency. It creates a tangible damage to their propaganda,” Sison added.

Despite the incident, Sison assured the Tapaznons the CSP team – supported by the local government unit and community – will continue to bring the government closer to them.

Army Exec: NPA’s recruitment of minors is a terroristic act

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Army Exec: NPA’s recruitment of minors is a terroristic act  (By Jemin B. Guillermo)

ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PIA) -- The Army’s 301st Infantry (Bayanihan) Brigade said that the recruitment of minors by the New People’s Army is a classic example of a terroristic act, as he called on parents to be more vigilant in looking after the welfare of their children.

Brigade Commander Colonel Marion Sison urged also the public to work with the Army here, who are working in Panay and Guimaras provinces.

“I believe no parent would like their child not to finish school, hold firearms, go to the mountains, and fight a senseless cause with strangers who do not care for their welfare,” Sison said.

He added “Would you like to see your children dead in an encounter because these terrorists recruited your children? If so, you are a failure as parents. Rich or poor, we all have the same hopes of a bright and safe future for our children.”

Sison likewise calls on educators to help in the protection and nurturing of the youth.

“As role models, you have a big impact on the growth of your students. You are the models they look up to. As second parents, you are among the frontliners of their defense, and we in the army are counting on you to help create a safe educational haven where they can grow away from violence,” he said.

This came after the death of Malvin Christian V Cruz also known as “LEAN/LUCAS” and Team Leader of Squad 3, Suyak Platoon, Southern Front, KomitengRehiyon-Panay in an encounter between the government troops and the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) at Sitio Lay, Brgy. Dalije, Miagao, Iloilo last June 29.

The 21-year old student, who started as campus activist and was molded into becoming an active member of the CTG, was a promising student of Bachelor of Science in Statistics Circa at the University of the Philippines Visayas –Miagao Campus in 2015-2016.

During this period, Cruz was an active member of the League of the Filipino Students (LFS) in the UPV Miagao Campus, and also a member of IBON Foundation, a Non-Government Organization (NGO).

Cruz, who was recruited into the NPA ranks at the age of 17 years old, and being an active member of LFS, used to join rallies and campaigns against the government to address educational issues, and alleged school repression.

Sison said that the NPA’s recruitment of minors as child warriors to take part in their armed struggle is a clear violation of Rule 136 of the International Humanitarian Law and Republic Act 11188 or the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act.

“The loss of another youth in the senseless communist armed struggle more than underscores the relevance of the signing of the Anti-Terrorism bill into law,” he said.

He added that it highlighted the need for such measures “so that our youth will be protected from the clutches of the communist terrorists.”

Meanwhile, Sison and the entire Bayanihan Brigade expressed condolences to the bereaved family of Cruz.

“We send our prayers and condolences to Cruz’s family and loved ones, rest assured, your army in Panay, and Guimaras will continue its mandate to serve and secure people against these terrorist groups,” he said. (JBG-PIA6/With report from 1Lt Hazel Joy Durotan/ CMO-301Bde)

Tagalog News: Mga dating rebelde sa Agusan del Sur, tumanggap ng ayuda mula sa gobyerno

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Tagalog News: Mga dating rebelde sa Agusan del Sur, tumanggap ng ayuda mula sa gobyerno (By Jennifer P. Gaitano)

LUNGSOD NG BUTUAN, Hulyo 9 (PIA) -- Bagamat patuloy ang banta ng coronavirus disease2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, hindi pa rin tumitigil ang gobyerno sa pagsugpo ng local communist armed conflict at pagbigay ng naaayon na interventions para sa mga apektadong residente na nasa liblib na lugar sa bayan ng La Paz sa Agusan del Sur.

Kasabay ng inilunsad na three-day Peace-Building Seminar kasama ang mga Indigenous Peoples (IPs) sa Barangay Kasapa II, nagkaisa rin ang mga residente sa isang Peace Rally at Ceremonial Signing ng resolusyon sa pagdeklara ng persona non-grata sa mga teroristang Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army - National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

Maliban dito, tumanggap din ang may 59 na former rebels ng cash assistance na nagkakahalaga ng P15,000 bawat isa. Apat na people’s organizations din ang tumanggap ng tissue culture lacatan plantlets na may kasamang organikong pampataba, at vegetables at corn seeds mula sa Provincial and Municipal Agriculture Offices.

Ayon kay Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane, Jr., mas malawak na ngayon ang perspektibo ng mga IPs pagdating sa usaping pangkapayapaan at mas nagiging aktibo na rin ito sa paglahok sa mga aktibidad kasama ang lokal na pamahalaan at iba pang sektor.

Nakikiisa na ang IP sector sa kampanya ng gobyerno laban sa rebeldeng CPP-NPA. Ilan-ilan na rin ang sumuko at mas piniling mamuhay ng ligtas at payapa kasama ang pamilya lalu na ngayong may pandemya.

“Makakamtan lamang ang kapayapaan at pag-unlad sa isang komunidad kung ang lahat ng naninirahan dito ay nagkakaisa at tumutulong sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan ng lahat. Maraming salamat sa inyong suporta sa mga ginagawang hakbang ng gobyerno upang patuloy na matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mamamayan,” ani ni Cane.

Dagdag pa ng opisyal, magtatayo ng isang barangay health station para sa mga residente ng Barangay Kasapa II upang matugunan agad ang kanilang kalusugan lalu pa at nasa malayong parte ito ng nasabing bayan.

Binigyang-diin naman ni Mayor Michael Lim, na patuloy ang kanilang suporta sa presensya ng militar sa Barangay Kasapa II upang masigurong ligtas ang mamamayan at maayos na nakakapasok dito ang ibat-ibang kinakailangang inprastraktura para sa mga residente.

Samantala, target din ng pamahalaan na makapagtayo ng Secondary School at at Multi-Purpose Building para masiguro ang edukasyon ng mga kabataan rito. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

320 WV new cops undergo rigid training

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): 320 WV new cops undergo rigid training (By Jemin B. Guillermo)

ILOILO CITY, July 9 (PIA) – The 320 patrolmen and women of Police Regional Office 6 have officially started, July 8, their rigid training on Basic Internal Security Operation (BISOC) in Sara Iloilo.

PRO 6 director Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan explained that the Basic Internal Security Course (BISOC) is a mandatory training to all personnel of the Philippine National Police, a press release from the Western Visayas Police Regional Public Information Office said.

“This training provides basic mind set and instinct, indoctrination, discipline and character, individual and unit skills and knowledge which will be applied to internal security operations,” Pamuspusan said.

He added that the training will further lay down to the trainees the concept of small unit operations, standard operating procedures, tactics, techniques and procedures for operation especially in the areas of counter insurgency.

The 60-day course is managed by the Regional Special Training Unit 6.

After the training, all the participants will be assigned at the different Mobile Forces Company in the region to perform anti-insurgency operation.

“I am directing everyone to submit your whole being to this training. Remember, there are no second chances in real life combat and there will be no rewinds,” Pamuspusan said.

He stressed “So take the opportunity given to you; learn and sharpen your skills to be able to adapt in any situation you might encounter.”

After the completion of the training, they will be assigned at the Regional Mobile Force 6 and become responsible on Internal Security Operation in Western Visayas. (JBG-PIA6/With report and photos from Lt. Col. Gilbert Gorero/ RPIO-PRO6)

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Maj. Indammog buried, tribemates demand justice

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Maj. Indammog buried, tribemates demand justice (By Peter A. Balocnit)

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga, July 9 (PIA) - - The late Major Marvin Indammog of the Philippine Army was buried yesterday at the Good Sheperd Cemetery, Mapaoay, Ipil, this city amidst demand for justice for his death and three of his men.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines accorded Indammog funeral honors with the traditional 21-gun salute. The commanding officer of the Army’s 9th Intelligence Service Unit, he was slain with three other soldiers on June 29 in Sulu by alleged policemen.

His remains were first brought to the St. William’s Cathedral for the funeral mass. His classmates in the Philippine Military Academy Mandala Class of 2006 and siblings took turn giving eulogies.

Hundreds of well-wishers from various walks-of-life and sub Kalinga tribes attended the ceremony. His relatives and co-Mangali tribe members wore printed white T-shirts demanding justice for his death and his companions.

Before he was finally laid to his grave, his four year old daughter Marian Thalia while tapping the coffin said "Hi, Daddy", her last greetings to her father. His wife, Jennifer, was silently grieving during the burial.

Indammog’s father Cerilo received the Philippine flag from an Army officer.

His parents recall Marvin as responsible. The eldest of the brood of six who are all males, his mother Violeta described him as strict imposing discipline to his younger brothers.

He is also remembered by his co-officers in the Army as effective and efficient in his work, and by his men as brave, courageous, and their defender. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)

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Home Defense Village for former rebels launched in Bayugan City

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Home Defense Village for former rebels launched in Bayugan City (By Jennifer P. Gaitano)

BUTUAN CITY, July 9 (PIA) -- With the increasing number of terrorist group members who chose to surrender to the government’s fold during this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the city government of Bayugan together with the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (PA), National Housing Authority (NHA) and other concerned agencies have also launched the Home Defense Village.

The nine-hectare of land where the Home Defense Village will be completed is located in Sitio Amongon, Barangay Noli of Bayugan City.

The government aims to address the concerns and needs of the former rebels, as well as to promote their rights and welfare, hence, putting up this infrastructure that creates a conducive environment where they could start a new life.

Through this infrastructure provided to the beneficiaries, the LGU and concerned agencies are anticipating that this will give better opportunities for the former rebels for them to be able to live a normal life in the mainstream society.

According to Police Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel, Jr., regional director of PNP-Caraga, the working relationship and partnership between the government and former rebels are further strengthened as the latter directly get the services and programs intended for them from the different line agencies.

Apart from that, the former rebels will also receive financial assistance under the government’s Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“Live well in this new community where you and your family will start a new home. Encourage others who are still in the movement to surrender and live a peaceful life and a better tomorrow,” cited Esquivel.

Meanwhile, Bayugan City Mayor Kirk Asis stressed that it is but rightful and proper to give the former rebels another chance to start anew with their respective family in an environment that is safe, peaceful and productive.

“Among other projects that we will establish, this one is also very helpful for our FRs and locals who we wanted to have a home in a peaceful community. We will continue to provide what our constituents the programs and services they deserve,” Asis said. (JPG/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

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THE RETURNEES’ PORTFOLIO: Isang sulyap sa mga nagbalik-loob

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): THE RETURNEES’ PORTFOLIO: Isang sulyap sa mga nagbalik-loob (By Olive P. Tiu)

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Dalawang batang babaeng Amasona ang na-rescue ng mga tauhan ng 14th Infantry Battalion noong ika- 12 ng Hunyo, ika-122 na Anibersaryo ng Araw ng Kalayaan.

Hindi na makayanan ang matinding pagod at hirap ng walang kabuluhang pakikibaka sa kagubatan, sina AKA Ermie, 19 na taong gulang na babaeng kasapi ng NPA at ang kanyang 17 na taong gulang na kapatid na babae, si Shane, isa ring kasapi ng NPA, ay nagpasyang tumakas.

Sa gitna ng malalim at madilim na gabi, mabilis na tumakas ang dalawa, papalayo sa mga kasamahan nila sa bundok, iniwan ang kanilang mga magulang na parehong kasapi din sa mapang-abusong NPA.

Nakarating sila sa Barangay Pinamunuan, Mahaplag, Leyte kung saan, sa kabutihang palad, sila ay na rescue ng mga elemento ng 14th Infantry Battalion sa ilalim ng 8th Infantry Division ng Philippine Army, na pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col. Roberto Obaob.

Ang mga batang amasona ay nagsurender ng isang 1911 caliber .45 na baril, isang magazine at pitong (7) ammunition.

Sa panayam ng Philippine Information Agency sa dalawang rebel returnees, sinabi nila na sila ay na-recruit noong sila ay mga menor de edad pa lamang, pinangakuang papag-aaralin hanggang makatapos ng kurso, pangakong napako at lip service lamang.

Ang nakababatang si Shane ay sa Naval sumali samantalang si Ermie ay sa Hindang sumali. Si Shane ay nakasali sa medikal at si Ermie ay sa politikal na trabaho. Mahirap daw ang pagkain sa bundok at kagubatan, umaasa lang sila sa masa. Wala din daw silang pera. Wala din silang permanenteng tirahan dahil takbo lang sila ng takbo. Takot na maabutan ng mga sundalo ng gobyerno.

Nag-usap daw sila ng kanilang mga magulang. Kinumbinse nila ang mga ito na umalis na sa kilusan, subalit hindi pumayag ang kanilang tatay. Itatakwil daw niya sila kung sila ay umalis. Pero iniisip nila ang kanilang kinabukasan.

Tinakot daw sila na papatayin sila ng mga sundalo. Hindi naman daw totoo, mababait daw ang mga sundalo. Hindi kagaya ng NPA na mabait lang sa umpisa.

Ang kanilang dasal na sana bumaba na rin ang kanilang mga magulang para magsama-sama sila na buong pamilya.

Sa ngayon, si Ermie at Shane ay tinutulungan para maka-avail sila sa E-CLIP na programa ng gobyerno para sa mga rebel returnees.

Kinundena naman ng 14IB ang teroristang NPA sa pang-aabuso at pagsira sa kinabukasan ng mga kabataan.

Ang mensahe in Lt. Col. Obaob sa mga magulang nila Ermie at Shane: Bumaba na rin sila at sumuko para magbagong buhay kasama ng mga anak nila. Sa ibang mga magulang, “Protektahan ninyo ang inyong mga anak laban sa exploytasyon at mapanlinlang na recruitment ng mga NPA,” dagdag pa ni Obaob. (PIA-8)

20 ex-rebels in Iligan City acquire new skills

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 9, 2020): 20 ex-rebels in Iligan City acquire new skills (By Apipa P. Bagumbaran)

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Government officials led by Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia, TESDA Lanao del Norte Provincial Director El Cid Castillo, and DTI-10 Regional Director Linda Boniao award certificates to 20 former rebels in Iligan City who completed the Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Driving training programs of TESDA. The graduates also receive sari-sari store kits from DTI. These assistance packages are part of the interventions under the E-CLIP program to help the former rebels start anew. (Gian Raman/PIA ICIC)

ILIGAN CITY, July 9 (PIA) - Twenty former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People's Army (CPP-NPA) have completed a skills training program offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

The former rebels (FRs) received their certificates of training in a graduation ceremony Wednesday, July 8, held at the Regional Training Center in Brgy. Ditucalan, this city.

El Cid Castillo, TESDA Lanao del Norte Provincial Director, said two national certificates (NC) were awarded to the FRs - one for Shielded Metal Arc Welding and another for driving.

"The FRs have undergone training on Shielded Metal Arc Welding from January to March, this year, here in RTC. Our original proposal was only for Shielded Metal Arc Welding but since they were housed at the RTC, we added free training on driving," he said.

During the awarding ceremony, the FRs also received livelihood starter kits from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

"They can find jobs with the new skills they acquired and at the same time, their wives and children can go into a business through the livelihood kits," said DTI Region 10 Director Linda Boniao.

She emphasized that the government is always ready to assists FRs in their transition back to mainstream society.

City Director Edward Bhagwani of the Department of Interior and Local Government said the special skills training program is part of the interventions given to FRs as a component of the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

This ensures that rebels who surrender to the government can avail of a holistic package of benefits including firearm remuneration, immediate financial assistance, and livelihood assistance to improve the quality of their lives.

Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia assures the 20 former rebels who graduated from Shielded Metal Arc Welding training of TESDA that the city government will continue to support them as they return to mainstream society. He also urges them to convince their comrades, who are still in the mountains, to return to the fold of law so that they can also avail of government's programs. (Gian Raman/PIA ICIC)

Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia who graced the graduation ceremony expressed his continued support as the former rebels carry on with their reintegration process in society.

He also urged the graduates to convince their comrades, who are still in the mountains, to return to the folds of the law so that they can also avail of government's programs.

"Sa atong mga FRs, unta inyong gamiton ang inyong nakatun-an sa TESDA aron mabag-o ang inyong kinabuhi kuyog ang inyong asawa og mga anak. Atong kalimtan ang pagbitbit og armas. Nganong mag away man ta nga pareho tang Filipino? Magtinabangay kita aron molambo atong nasud," the mayor said.

(To our FRs, we hope you will use the skills you learn from TESDA to change your life with your spouse and children. Forget carrying firearms. Why should we fight each other when we are all Filipinos? We should work together for our country to prosper.)

The Philippine Army reiterated Mayor Regencia's call on NPA rebels to abandon their armed struggle and avail of the government’s E-CLIP to start a better life.

"Ako ay nananawagan sa ating mga kapatid na nalinlang lamang na bumaba na kayo sa bundok, isuko ang inyong armas at mag-avail kayo sa programa ng ating gobyerno na E-CLIP. Ang armadong pakikibaka ay walang magandang patutunguhan," said LtCol. Domingo Dulay Jr., commanding officer of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

Meanwhile, the 20 FRs expressed gratitude for the government's programs that they say will give them an economic opportunity as they return to mainstream society.

"Dili namo kalimtan ang tabang nilang mayor, DILG, CSWD, og mga trainors namo sa TESDA," said Alyas More. (We will not forget the help extended by mayor, DILG, CSWD, and our trainors from TESDA.)

He said they are thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for his sincere commitment to implement programs for rebel returnees. "Kang President Duterte, salamat sa imong programa. Imong gesaad kanamo, nangabot na," he added. (To President Duterte, thank you for your programs. Your promised to us has arrived.)

The 40-year old returnee also urged his former comrades to go down and return to the folds of the law emphasizing that they have no future in the mountains and that the government has programs that could help improve their lives. (APB/PIA ICIC)

Village chief vows to help monitor communist terrorist activities

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Village chief vows to help monitor communist terrorist activities (By Annabel Consuelo Petinglay)

MONITORING CNTs. Civil-Military Relations Officer, 1Lt. Gil Gamay, of the Philippine Army 61st Infantry Battalion, requests barangay captains in Antique to help monitor activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs). In a meeting with the barangay captains and the Inter-Agency Task Force for Covid-19 at the Binirayan Gymnasium in San Jose de Buenavista on Tuesday (July 7, 2020), Gamay said 35 non-violent activities of the CNTs were monitored during the first semester of 2020. (PNA photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)
SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – A village chief from this province’s Sebaste town has committed to help the Philippine Army in monitoring the activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in their area.

“We will inform the village folks that they should not support the CNTs because if they do, these terrorists will stay in their barangays,” said Barangay Idio Chairperson Pamela Azucena, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) in Sebaste, in an interview on Thursday.

Azucena said they will do their respective roles in the maintenance of peace and order in their barangays. Barangay Idio is one of the 10 barangays of Sebaste.

In her village, she said some CNTs would knock at doorsteps to ask for food or other needs.
“What is just good is that the village folks cooperate with the police,” she said.

Azucena's commitment came after Civil-Military Relations Officer, 1Lt. Gil Gamay, of the 61st Infantry Battalion (61IB), on Tuesday requested the LnB of Antique to help in the monitoring of CNT activities in their areas as well as persuade them not to give in to their demands.

“Please inform the barangay folks not to entertain the CNTs when they visit for they would not bring any good,” he said during a meeting attended by the provincial task force against Covid-19 and the Liga heads.

While Antique was declared as peaceful and ready for development way back in 2015, yet there were efforts done by the CNTs in several villages of the province to recover their influence.

The Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), formed in September 2019, targets to clear areas in the towns of Culasi, Valderrama, San Remigio, Sibalom and Hamtic, where terrorists were monitored.

Gamay said the Army has monitored 35 non-violent activities of the CNTs during the first semester of this year in the towns of Sebaste, Culasi, Barbaza, Laua-an, and in Patnongon in the northern part of the province; and in Sibalom, San Remigio, and Hamtic in the southern part.

“The non-violent activities include recruitment, food acquisition, and planning,” he said.

In a text message Thursday, Lt. Col. Joel Benedict Batara, commanding officer of the 61IB, said 15 barangays in the province are CNT-affected.

These include seven villages in San Remegio town, three in Sibalom, two in Hamtic, and one each in Sebaste, Culasi and Tibiao.

Gamay said attaining peace and development in the province is a shared responsibility where the barangay captains could help a lot.

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.

Cop, driver killed; 4 others hurt in Maguindanao blast

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Cop, driver killed; 4 others hurt in Maguindanao blast (By Edwin Fernandez)

Google map of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao

A roadside bomb explosion ripped through a police car in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on Thursday evening, killing a policeman and its civilian driver while hurting four others.

In a report, Col. Arnold Santiago, Maguindanao police chief, identified the fatalities as Master Sgt. Antonio Balasa and a certain Bobby, the civilian driver.

Injured were identified as Sgts. Larry Amoran and Guerrero Domingo; and Corporals Guai Mangrag and Clyde Peria.

"Investigation is still ongoing,” he said.

Onboard the police car was Maj. Erwin Tabora, chief of the provincial drug enforcement unit, who was reportedly not hurt in the blast.

Tabora’s group was on board the vehicle some 500 meters away from Camp Datu Akilan Ampatuan, the provincial police office in nearby Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao, when the roadside bomb went off in Barangay Mother of Shariff Aguak around 8:30 p.m.

Maj. Oligario Salvador, Shariff Aguak police, said the bombing bore the signature of the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan has condemned the attack and has offered a bounty of a still unspecified amount to any information leading to those behind the bombing.

"Let us not allow terrorism to prevail in our town as we have long worked hard for the peaceful atmosphere in our area,” he said.

Hawaii maritime exercise seen as ‘shakedown’ for BRP Jose Rizal

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Hawaii maritime exercise seen as ‘shakedown’ for BRP Jose Rizal (By Priam Nepomuceno)

BRP Jose Rizal. (File photo courtesy of Naval Public Affairs Office)

BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), the country's first missile-frigate, and its crew would use the two-week "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) exercises as its "shakedown cruise" where its performance would be tested.

"We can say it as part of the 'shakedown cruise' where we can test the seaworthiness and performance of FF-150 while the ship is still under warranty,"
Philippine Navy (PN) public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message late Wednesday when asked why the ship was selected to participate in the exercises.

A shakedown cruise allows the crew to familiarize themselves aboard a new vessel and to ensure all of the ship's systems are functional.

"Other than that, it is a chance for the officers and crew to work as a team since most of the time they are conducting individual training. This time one ship, one team. Through this exercise, they will be able to conduct and function as a whole team of FF-150," Roxas added.

The ship has a crew of 65 and is commanded by Captain Jerry Garrido. RIMPAC 2020 is slated for August 17 to 31 off the waters of Hawaii.

BRP Jose Rizal is scheduled to depart the Philippines by July 29 to 30 to participate in the biennial maneuvers described as the largest maritime warfare exercise in the world.

"(The) RIMPAC (exercises) is a multi-dimensional training exercises so, it means it is our chance to level up our engagement in this four-dimension warfare. Having this exercise for FF-150, it is an opportunity now that we have this capability in our inventory," Roxas said.

Also, she said BRP Jose Rizal will be sailing alone for these exercises as the majority of PN ships are currently involved in supporting government efforts in containing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat.

Meanwhile, Roxas said the ship will not include its AgustaWestland AW-159 "Wildcat" anti-submarine helicopter for RIMPAC 2020 as its crew is still undergoing training which was disrupted by the Taal Volcano eruption and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

For its RIMPAC deployment, an AW-109 "Power" utility helicopter will be aboard, she added.

The Navy's two AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters were delivered in May of last year and are worth PHP5.4 billion including its munition and mission-essential equipment.

The handover, christening, and commissioning ceremonies for the BRP Jose Rizal will be held at the Alava Wharf in Subic Bay, Zambales on Friday afternoon.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will grace the handover and christening ceremonies while President Rodrigo Duterte will serve as the guest of honor and speaker at the commissioning ceremony.

BRP Jose Rizal arrived in Subic Bay, Zambales last May 23 after leaving Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea last May 18.

The ship is capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations.

BRP Jose Rizal was launched at the HHI shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea on May 23, 2019.

PRRD to ‘virtually’ attend commissioning rites

Meanwhile, PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said Duterte will be “virtually” present in the ship's hand over, christening and commissioning activities.

"He (the Chief Executive) is going to deliver a message," he said in an interview on Thursday.

Bacordo said Malacañang confirmed Duterte's virtual attendance to the ceremonies on Tuesday afternoon.

When asked why the President cannot physically grace the ceremonies, he said there are some restrictions due to health issues.

"May mga restrictions sa health issues at saka syempre (there are some restrictions due to health issues, and of course) even the PSG (Presidential Security Group) will recommend for the President not to go, we understand that, we also do not want the President to be exposed unnecessarily," Bacordo said.

He added that Duterte's virtual presence is just as good as his physical presence on the occasion.

Mayor Sara, actor Robin Padilla join Army advisory board

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Mayor Sara, actor Robin Padilla join Army advisory board (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NEW ARMY ADVISERS. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte (center right frame) and actor Robin Padilla (upper left frame) take their oath as new members of the Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday (July 8, 2020). The board's members are composed of individuals coming from the government, non-government, media, business, defense and youth sectors. (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Army Multi-Sector Advisory Board (PA MSAB) formally welcomed Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and actor Robin Padilla to its ranks during its second regular meeting in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City Wednesday.

PA commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay led the oath-taking and ceremonial pinning of the Army Transformation Roadmap pin to Mayor Sara and Padilla via video conferencing.

“Since the conception of MSAB, you have been our long-time partners in the navigation to realize our goals. Throughout the years, the Board’s existence has been evident -- and significant -- in bridging the gap between the Army, private sector and civil society,” Gapay said in a statement.

Board members are composed of individuals coming from the government, non-government, media, business, defense and youth sectors.

The PA MSAB was created to promote the continuity and sustainability of the Army Transformation Roadmap and to encourage shared responsibility through its committees including Governance, Resource Management, Review and Assessment; Strategic Communication and Research and Education.

The current board is led by Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza and composed of members namely Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Representatives Rozzano Rufino Biazon and Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Matteo Guidicelli and others.

“To the newly inducted members, I welcome you with gratitude, trusting in your commitment to champion the cause that is the Transformation Roadmap. Let us promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Let us become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride,” Gapay said.

In a message, Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said Mayor Sara Duterte was invited due to her governance experience with Davao City and special touch on education.

"She volunteered to chair the MSAB education and research committee," he added.

The presidential daughter is an Army reservist with the rank of colonel.

Meanwhile, Padilla was invited for his grasp of the Muslim youth sector.

"Since he is now a Muslim, his interest is our deployment to Muslim areas and how he can put inputs on Islam as a religion to inspire the youth for peace," Zagala said.

6 'Super Tucano' attack aircraft to be delivered on July 29: DND

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): 6 'Super Tucano' attack aircraft to be delivered on July 29: DND (By Priam Nepomuceno)

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong. (File photo)

The Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s six new Embraer Defense and Security A-29 "Super Tucano" close-air support aircraft are expected to be delivered before the end of July, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said Thursday.

"The six 'Super Tucanos' are expected to be delivered on July 29, 2020," Andolong said in a message.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic affected the delivery of the "Super Tucano" planes which was earlier scheduled for the end of February this year.

The aircraft, which will be part of the PAF's 15th Strike Wing, will beef up the remaining North American Rockwell OV-10 "Bronco" attack aircraft used by the Air Force in strike missions.

"They are a welcome and much-needed replacement for the PAF's aged, close air support aircraft, and their mission versatility and capability to carry a variety of ordnance will be very useful in the field," he added.

It is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training.
The contract for the six "Super Tucano" aircraft worth PHP4.968 billion was issued in late 2017.

No new directive on VFA termination: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): No new directive on VFA termination: Palace (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos)

The termination of the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US) remains suspended and is not lifted, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is not giving any fresh directive about the fate of VFA which was revoked by the Philippines.

“Hindi pa po nagbabago ‘yung huling binitawang salita ni Presidente na ipagpapaliban po ng six months yung pagte-terminate sa VFA (The President’s recent directive about the VFA termination for six months remains the same),”
Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

Roque made the clarification a day after Senator Ronald dela Rosa, an administration ally, announced that the US embassy allowed him to reapply for a visa following Duterte’s phone call with US President Donald Trump in April.

Roque, nevertheless, said the Palace was elated by the US’s latest decision to allow Dela Rosa to process his visa.

“So nagagalak po kami na nalinawan ang mga Amerikano na hindi dapat ganiyan ang pag-trato sa mga halal ng taumbayan ng mga Pilipinong opisyal (We are happy that Americans now realize that they should not treat elected Philippine officials that way),” Roque said.

Duterte scrapped the VFA following the cancellation of Dela Rosa’s US visa, as well as the criticism of some US senators against his drug war.

The VFA, a military pact signed between the Philippines and the US in 1998, allows American troops who are participating in joint military deals to visit Manila sans passport and visa.

The VFA was supposed to be abrogated 180 days after the Philippines sent a formal notice of termination to the US on February 11.

However, Manila notified Washington in June about Duterte’s decision to suspend the revocation of the VFA.

The abrogation of the military deal between the two countries was suspended “in light of political and other developments in the region.”

The suspension of VFA’s termination is effective for six months but can be extended by the Philippines for another six months, according to the diplomatic note dated June 1 and addressed to the US.

Roque said nothing has changed when it comes to Duterte’s stance on VFA.

“Iyan pa rin po ang posisyon (The position remains the same),” he said.

Mt. Province town hailed for declaring CPA as persona non grata

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 9, 2020): Mt. Province town hailed for declaring CPA as persona non grata (By Marita Moaje)

The League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Mountain Province chapter on Tuesday expressed support for the municipal peace and order council of Sadanga town and its resolution declaring the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) as persona non grata.

The support was expressed through Resolution No. 4, series of 2020, signed by the members of the league which include Clark Ngaya Municipal Mayor of Barlig, Abraham Akilit of Bauko, Johnson Bantog II of Besao, Jose Agagon of Natonin, Marcos Ayangwa of Paracelis, Marcial Lawilao Jr. of Sabangan, James Pooten of Sagada, Constito Masweng of Tadian, Franklin Odsey of Bontoc, and Sadanga Mayor Gabino Gangganan.

Ganggangan presented Resolution No. 1 series of 2020 to the League of Municipalities of Mountain Province during their meeting at the municipal hall of Bontoc.

The resolution was relayed to the body during their meeting on July 3 and 7.

"It is but proper that the same be respected taking into consideration the said LGUs independence of voicing its common sentiment to an issue which is duly supported by its leaders as well as its constituency," the resolution said.

League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Mountain Province chapter resolution
The resolution was issued in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020, which seeks to curb terror acts and threats.

The new anti-terrorism law aims to correct the flaws in Republic Act (RA) 9372 or the Human Security Act (HSA) of 2007, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar earlier said.

Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario, meanwhile, said the signing of the law is "a victory for all peace-loving Filipinos and a huge setback for the terrorists”.