Thursday, July 23, 2020

CPP/Ang Bayan: Police massacre 3 barangay watchmen in Masbate

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 21, 2020): Police massacre 3 barangay watchmen in Masbate

JULY 21, 2020

Three barangay watchmen were abducted by police and soldiers on July 4 at midnight and were massacred in the boundary of ba­ra­ngays Ba­gacay and Ma­rin­toc in Mobo, Masbate. The victims, identified as Edgar Mingoy, Marlon Bajar and Rolly de la Cruz, were all falsely presented before the media as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

The suspects include troops of the Re­gio­nal Mo­bi­le Force Bat­ta­li­on 5, 9th Special Acti­on Bat­ta­li­on, Re­gio­nal Intel­li­gence Unit, Mas­ba­te Provincial Mo­bi­le Force Com­pany and the Mo­bo Mu­nici­pal Po­lice Office. Elements of the 96th Mi­li­tary Intel­li­gence Com­pany were also involved in the crime.

The perpetrators repeatedly fired their guns in the air for an hour to make it appear that they encountered an NPA unit.

Mingoy served as a barangay watchman for 20 years, while Dela Cruz also served as a councilor in their village.

Bombing. Using two FA-50 fighter jets, the military dropped eight bombs near two Lumad communities in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on July 15 at around 2 a.m. Two drones were also seen flying overhead. The incident traumatized residents especially chil­dren. Thirty-seven families evacuated from their communities after the incident.

Arrests. State elements arrested activist Je­nelyn Nag­ram­pa-Ca­bal­le­ro in Ba­ra­ngay San Isid­ro, Na­bua, Ca­ma­ri­nes Sur on July 7. Nag­ram­pa is the chairperson of the Bico­la­na-Gab­rie­la and concurrently serves as the national vice chairperson of Gabriela.

On July 9, state elements also arrested Rev. Dan San Andres, 61 years old, of the Uni­ted Church of Christ in the Phi­lip­pi­nes in Sipocot town in the same province. San Andres is the spokesperson of Ka­ra­pa­tan-Bi­kol.

Both veteran activists were slapped with a trumped-up charges of murder for purportedly killing two soldiers in 2018.

Activists protested in Le­gazpi and Naga City on July 10 to condemn the arrests.

Militarization. At least five military units have been besieging the towns of Ju­ban, Ma­gal­la­nes, Bu­lan, Iro­sin and Mat­nog in Sor­so­gon since the last week of June. In Iro­sin, 23 out of its 28 ba­ra­ngays are currently being occupied by soldiers under the guise of conducting “Com­mu­nity Sup­port Pro­g­ram.” The 22nd IB has also began constructing its camp in Ba­ra­ngay Ca­lo­ma­gon in Bu­lan.

The fascists are conducting house-to-house searches and listing the names of residents. They also coerced barangay councils to stage the surrender of their constituents.

Last July 7 and 8, soldiers and police ransacked the houses of eight residents in Ba­ra­ngay Maa­lo and Calmayon in the town of Ju­ban.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: Surveillance amid the pandemic

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 21, 2020): Surveillance amid the pandemic

JULY 21, 2020

In July 8, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the opening of barbershops, parlors and salons up to 50% of their regular clientele in Metro Manila. Among the IATF’s requisites is for all costumers to use contact tracing applications like the StaySafe.Ph.

StaySafe.Ph is a phone application which registers the location wherever the user may be. The objective of this app is supposedly to provide fast and easy information to individuals if they come in contact with a Covid-19-positive individual by registering phone numbers to establishments they patro­nize.

The app was developed and is being ran by Mul­tiSys Techno­logy Corp. It was endorsed by Her­mo­ge­nes Espe­ron of the Na­tio­nal Secu­rity Council (NSC) and officialized by the IATF generals last April 22. The company aims to enrol half of the Philippine population. It has access to all active cellphones and can directly send messages to all through the De­partment of Infor­ma­ti­on and Com­mu­nica­ti­ons Tech­no­logy (DICT).

Mul­tisys Techno­lo­gi­es Corp. was founded by David Almi­rol Jr. who previously worked in a US military base in Iraq. He met Esperon in 2016 and served as a consultant to the NSC in 2017. He worked on some “technical surveil­lance” projects for the agency. The StaySafe.Ph was said to be commissioned by the Na­tio­nal Intel­li­gence Coor­di­na­ting Agen­cy. PLDT holds 45% of the company since 2018.

Many technology experts have sounded alarm against StaySafe.Ph, claiming that the application could be used to spy on the people and violate their right to privacy. It collects extensive data from registered cellphones. Aside from determining the user’s location, it has permission to read and change messages and contacts, access the camera and mic­rophone, read storage and change phone settings, among others.

The app has no declared privacy statement and it is unclear how the collected data will be used after the pandemic. It can be used by those in power during the next election. Data can be sold to interested businesses.

Critics and the political opposition fear that it will be used against them, especially under the newly-signed Anti-Terror Law. The National Investigation Bureau, which has persecuted Duterte’s critics in the guise of stopping the proliferation of fake news, will have access to the app’s data.

On June 29, the Makabayan bloc proposed that Congress investigate irregularities and privacy issues of the app. Its representatives cited the complaint lodged by then DICT official Eli­seo Rio Jr. who said that the app is incapable of con­tact tracing. At the time it was endorsed by the IATF, the app was only capable of collecting phone numbers and determining locations. It is not integrated with the data­bases of the De­partment of Health and local agencies which are directly in charge of con­tact tracing.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP/Ang Bayan: NPA strikes at fascist soldiers and police in Neg­ros, Pa­la­wan, Sor­so­gon

Propaganda article from the English language edition of Ang Bayan posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 21, 2020): NPA strikes at fascist soldiers and police in Neg­ros, Pa­la­wan, Sor­so­gon

JULY 21, 2020

At least 14 soldiers and police of the US-Duterte regime were killed and 10 others were wounded in successive tactical offensives mounted by the New People’s Army (NPA) from June 8-16.

In Neg­ros Occi­den­tal, 12 elements of the 15th IB were killed in an ambush by the NPA-Southwest Neg­ros (Arman­do Su­ma­yang Jr. Com­mand) in Ba­ra­ngay Ping­got, Ilog last last July 8.

The 15th IB is notorious for conducting brutal SEMPO operations in Sout­hern Neg­ros. Its soldiers are involved in the spate of killings, harassment and forced surrender of civilians in the area.

Meanwhile, the NPA-South Central Negros disarmed a family of bandits at Sitio Binadlan, Ba­ra­ngay Bi-ao, Binalbagan on July 14. An M16 rifle, shotgun, .45 and .38 calibre pistols, ammunition and handheld radios were seized from the the bandits. The bandits are involved in land grabbing, human rights violations and anti-social activities in the area since 1990.

The NPA-Palawan also mounted successive ambushes in Tay­tay, Pa­la­wan on July 12 and 13. Red fighters fired at a mobile of the Phi­lip­pi­ne Na­tio­nal Po­lice (PNP) along the highway at Sit­io Ibang­ley, Ba­ra­ngay Abo­ngan on July 12. The PNP chief of Dumaranan town and another police were aboard the said vehicle.

On the next day, the people’s army ambushed soldiers of the MBLT 3 who were deployed in the same area to respond to the ambush. A soldier was killed while three others were wounded.

In Sor­so­gon, the military and police sustained four casualties in a series of harassment operations mounted by the NPA in two days. The casualties were part of military units deployed to conduct “Com­mu­nity Sup­port Prog­ram” in five towns of the province.

On July 14, at around 6 p.m., Red fighters fired at operating soldiers of the 91st CMO Company in Ba­ra­ngay Cal­pi, Bu­lan. A soldier was killed while another was wounded. In the same evening, the NPA also harassed soldiers operating in the adjacent barangay of Cal­ma­yon in Ju­ban.

On July 16, two elements of the PNP 9th Special Acti­on Bat­ta­li­on were wounded in an NPA harassment operation in Ba­ra­ngay Tu­la-tu­la Sur, Ma­gal­la­nes.

Earlier, during the first week of July, the PNP-Masbate paralyzed the plunderous operations of Ma­ti­bay Ce­ment Factory in Ba­ra­ngay Ca­sa­ba­ngan, Pio V. Cor­puz. Red fighters destroyed its mining equipment.

The said cement-manufacturing company will endanger the lives and livelihoods of residents in 11 ba­ra­ngays in the towns of Pio V. Cor­puz and Espe­ranza. Hundreds of hectares of farmlands and residential areas are set to be covered by its lime mining operations in the area. A coal-fired power plant is also set to be constructed in and pollute the area to enable the company to be fully operational.

[Ang Bayan is the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines and is issued by the CPP Central Committee. It provides news about the work of the Party as well as its analysis of and views on current issues. Ang Bayan comes out fortnightly and is published in Pilipino, Bisaya, Ilokano, Waray, Hiligaynon and English.]

CPP: Bigwas | Mayo 2020

Propaganda publication posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 22, 2020): Bigwas | Mayo 2020

JULY 23, 2020

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CPP: Silyab | Ispesyal na Isyu: Apat na taon ni Duterte

Propaganda publication posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 22, 2020): Silyab | Ispesyal na Isyu: Apat na taon ni Duterte

JULY 22, 2020

CPP/NPA-Southeast Negros: Ongoing focused military operation in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental terrorize farmers – RMPC-NPA

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 22, 2020): Ongoing focused military operation in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental terrorize farmers – RMPC-NPA

JULY 22, 2020

Starting July 6, 2020, military and police forces from the 11th IB AFP & 705th RMFB launched a focused military operation in the hinterland villages of Sta. Catalina and its boundaries to Siaton and Valencia towns in Negros Oriental.

At least two Army companies, 1 PNP mobile force company and two paramilitary geographic companies were deployed in a vain attempt to destroy the NPA and its mass base, as well to suppress all forms of resistance and struggles of the farmers to assert their democratic rights and demands.

To date, several cases of rights violations and abuses has been documented by local human rights and farmers groups especially in the villages of Talalac and Nagbinlod, the epicenters of the operation.

A few weeks before the operation, Nonoy Truza, a barangay councilor and the erstwhile chairman of an association of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Nagbinlod, was assassinated by military death squad operatives.

CPP/CIO: On Justice Carpio’s opinion asserting that CPP/NPA are not terrorists under ATA

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 20, 2020): On Justice Carpio’s opinion asserting that CPP/NPA are not terrorists under ATA

JULY 20, 2020

Former Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio’s July 15 opinion piece “Are CPP-NPA rebels terrorists?” which came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer was a very interesting read for members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its friends and allies. Justice Carpios’ article is a sharp legal instrument that exposes a gaping hole in the Duterte regime’s plan of using the ATA against the CPP and the revolutionary cause.

We take interest in Justice Carpio’s view that the Anti-Terror Law defines “terrorism” as different from “rebellion.” He explained that unlike the now superseded Human Security Act of 2007, the ATA removed “rebellion” as a predicate crime of “terrorism.” He points out that under the ATA “terrorism” is “now a separate and distinct stand-alone crime.” With this insight, the entire assumption and plan of the Duterte government to use the ATA against the CPP is legally challenged.

Of course, we do not expect Justice Carpio’s opinion from stopping the Duterte regime and its military cabal from trying to use the ATA for their tyrannical ends. Defense and security officials have been vigorously pushing the new terror law in line with the plans of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to use all means of suppressing not only the revolutionary forces, but all other patriotic and democratic forces, as well as opposition groups and critics, which the NTF-ELCAC has invariably labeled as communists or linked to the communists.

Justice Carpio’s opinion, however, places them in a legal quandary. He asserted that “CPP-NPA rebels, whose intent is clearly rebellion, are not terrorists under the ATA, and consequently they, individually or as a group, cannot be proscribed as terrorists under the ATA.” This adds to the fact that the CPP and NPA are not listed as terrorist organizations even by the United Nations Security Council.

We welcome Justice Carpio’s insight as a challenge to the official terrorist denunciations by the NTF-ELCAC and the AFP/PNP against the CPP and NPA. While the Party maintains that it is an entity governed by a completely different legal system under the People’s Democratic Government, it will support individuals and other entities in efforts to legally challenge the ATA in order to defend their civil and political rights, as guaranteed by the 1987 constitution and international instruments.

In this light, we congratulate the various democratic sectors and personalities who have challenged the ATA before the Supreme Court. While using Duterte’s terror law against the CPP and NPA can prove to be legally untenable, it remains a fact that the ATA’s overly broad and vague definitions of what constitutes terrorism make it a weapon that can be used to suppress activism, dissent and opposition. Given the record of the Supreme Court now dominated by Duterte appointees, the democratic forces will, however, have to put up more than a legal challenge. Indeed, it will be a pleasant surprise if any of these challenges will prosper.

The Party wishes to reiterate that it is a revolutionary organization guided by a scientific ideology and set of principles that places primordial importance to the liberation of the people from all forms of oppression and exploitation. In principle and in practice, the Party stands squarely against terrorism, especially state terrorism. The New People’s Army, under the absolute leadership of the Party, is guided by high standards of discipline and respect for the people as expounded in its Three Points of Discipline and Eight Points of Attention, as well as by its adherence to international humanitarian law.

The Party avers that the biggest terrorist in the country is Duterte himself who has openly declared animosity against human rights and ordered his military and police forces to kill with impunity, with promises of reward and legal protection. The list of crimes of state terrorism daily grows longer under his tyranny.

CPP: Under Duterte’s police-military state, Covid-19 infections set to exceed 75,000

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 23, 2020): Under Duterte’s police-military state, Covid-19 infections set to exceed 75,000

JULY 23, 2020

Duterte’s order the other day for police to arrest without qualms people without face masks to subject them to shame is typical of his police-military approach that has not only proved a big failure in stemming the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic but has also resulted in widespread military and police abuses of the people’s civil rights.

Those not wearing face masks, even if they are alone in their cars, walking alone in the streets or watering their plants in their yards, are now considered culprits. Over the past days, people are being rounded up by the hundreds, adding to the tens of thousands who have been apprehended, fined and detained since March.

The regime and its incompetent officials, led by former military generals, continue to insist that the spread of the Covid-19 virus is a result of the people’s lack of discipline. They are obscuring the fact Duterte has no public health and medical strategy to manage the pandemic.

Having no clear health strategy in place, Covid-19 infections in the country have shot up over the past weeks ever since business and factory operations were allowed to resume in June. Hospital facilities in Metro Manila assigned for Covid-19 cases are already being overwhelmed. Medical facilities in the regions and provinces are grossly lacking or completely absent.

The number of cases at the start of July is set to more than double before the end of the month. It is now set to exceed 75,000. Without a massive public health intervention to conduct mass free testing, upgrade government laboratories and build medical facilities, the number of infections will continue to rise more sharply and may get completely out of control.

It is evident that the Duterte regime is incapable of leading the country’s efforts to surmount the pandemic because it continues to be obsessed with accumulating power, imposing repressive measures to control the population and silencing those who have stood up to his corruption, incompetence and terrorism.

The Filipino people are seething with unrest. They have suffered grave hardships and hunger under the pandemic. They are determined to take action against the Duterte regime and make it account for the devastation of the economy, for destroying their jobs, taking away their livelihood and for making them ever more vulnerable to the pandemic.

Lorenzana: Groups linked to using child soldiers, charged

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Lorenzana: Groups linked to using child soldiers, charged (By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan)

CALOOCAN CITY, July 23 (PIA) -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said government has filed appropriate charges against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front’s alleged use of child warriors in armed conflicts and hostilities.

Speaking during the Pre-SONA powered and multicast by the Presidential Communications, Lorenzana denounced the CPP-NPA-NDF’s supposed use of minors to wage their decades-long guerrilla-type warfare against government.

“Para pangalagaan ang karapatan ng mga kabataan, sinampahan natin ng kasong trafficking of persons, kidnapping, child abuse at krimen laban sa international humanitarian law ang mga organisasyong nagri-recruit ng mga child warriors gamit ang kanilang mga Salugpungan schools, unibersidad at kolehiyo,” Lorenzana said.

The official said the Department of Education has ordered the permanent closure of Salugpungan schools for indigenous peoples in the Davao region based on probes conducted that these institutions were reportedly encouraging students to rebel against the government.

“Sa pakikipagtulungan natin sa Kagawaran ng Edukasyon, naipasara ang mga huwad na mga paaralang ito na ginagamit na front ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Lorenzana said.

“Layunin ng mga ito na linlangin ang mga katutubong kabataan, lasunin ang kanilang isipan at turuan silang labanan ang pamahalaan.

Earlier, the DepEd's investigation revealed that aside from failing to use government-approved curriculum, the 55 Salugpungan schools across Mindanao also bring students away from their homes without parental consent.

The agency also found out of the schools’ use of the students to generate funds allegedly for use by the CPP-NPA-NDF, as well as hiring unlicensed teachers.

Moreover, the probe also identified that the schools were operating within the ancestral domain of indigenous peoples without the natives’ consent.

“Tinutulungan natin ngayon ang mga apektadong mag-aaral para magkaroon ng dekalidad, kapakipakinabang, makabuluhan at makabayang edukasyon,” Lorenzana said.

“Hindi baril at bala ang solusyon para wakasan ang mga armadong grupong lumalaban sa pamahalaan kung hindi mabigyan sila ng pagkakataong magbagong buhay at mabuhay ng tahimik kapiling ng kanilang mga pamilya,” he added. (PIA NCR)

Tagalog News: Army, mga opisyal ng DRT nagpulong tungkol sa Anti-Terrorism Act

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Tagalog News: Army, mga opisyal ng DRT nagpulong tungkol sa Anti-Terrorism Act (By Vinson F. Concepcion)

LUNGSOD NG MALOLOS, Hulyo 22 (PIA) -- Humigit kumulang 20 mga opisyal sa bayan ng Donya Remedios Trinidad at 48th Infantry Battalion o 48IB ang dumalo sa isang pagpupulong tungkol sa Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Ayon kay 48IB commander Lt. Col. Feliex Emeterio Valdez, layunin ng naturang pulong na armasan ng tamang impormasyon ang mga halal sa barangay para sa patuloy na pagkamit ng pangmatagalang kapayapaan.

Sa mensahe ni Mayor Marita Flores na binasa ni Michael Valencia, sinabi nitong ang bawat barangay na pinamumunuan ng kapitan ang siyang susi sa isang maayos, mapayapa at maunlad na bayan.

Humigit kumulang 20 mga opisyal ng bayan ng Donya Remedios Trinidad at 48th Infantry Battalion ang dumalo sa isang pagpupulong tungkol sa Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. (48IB)

Nakapaloob sa Executive Order No. 70 o ang Whole of Nation Approach to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict ang Local Government Empowerment and Peace, Law enforcement and Development Support Cluster na nagpapatunay na kailangan palakasin ang kakayahan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan hanggang sa barangay upang tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga vulnerable sectors na madalas target ng makakaliwang grupo.

Kabilang sa mga dumalo sa pulong ang mga Punong Barangay ng Camachin, Sapang Bulak, Kalawakan, Camachile, Bayabas, Pulong Sampalok, Kabayunan at Talbak. (CLJD/VFC-PIA 3)

Minor NPA militia surrenders

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Minor NPA militia surrenders (By Rudolph Ian Alama)

LUPON, DAVAO ORIENTAL, July 22- Troops from 28th Infantry (KAMAGONG) Battalion recovered one (1) High Powered Firearm after the surrender of a minor NPA Milita in the town of Lupon last thursday.

A 16-year old minor known as alyas "Buboy" (True name hidden on purpose), a resident of Brgy Calapagan, Municipality of Lupon, voluntarily surrendered to the troops of 28IB deployed in the same barangay in the morning of July 16, 2020.

Upon verification of his identity, Buboy was later on confirmed as a Milbay (Militia ng Bayan) with the help of a former Rebel.

In an interview, said minor stated that he was recruited by alyas "Jhonny", the Commander of the weakened Guerilla Front 18 early this year. He acted initially as a courier of the group but was later on tasked to take up arms and be an NPA militia. He later on divulged an information that alyas Jhonny left a high powered firearm in his custody where he kept near the vicinity of their house at Sitio Yauri of the said barangay.

Acting upon this information, Lt. Col Alexander D. Banatao, 28th Intfantry Battalion commander together with the Philippine National Police immediately organized a team and conducted a joint retrieval operation wherein they recovered one (1) M16 rifle near the vicinity of alyas buboy's residence.

On the other hand, alyas buboy, in coordination with the Lupon Municipal Police Station, was immediately brought to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office of Lupon for proper documentation and intervention.

Alyas buboy however, with the consent from his guardian, signified to be placed under the custody of 28IB awaiting for his enrollment to the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

Ltc Banatao has slammed the NPA's continous use of minors in their efforts to overthrow the government.

"Their (NPA) continous use and exploitation of minors for their terroristic activities is a gross violation of the children's rights. It is a clear manifestation of their desperation to replenish their ranks as their forces weakens because of successive encounters with the government forces." Lt. Col. Banatao said.

It can be recalled that just a few months ago, troops of 28IB were able to rescue a child in armed conflict after an ecounter with the Communist NPA Terrorists in a hinterland sitio of Barangay Maragatas of Lupon town. (RG Alama with reports from, 28th IB)

Former left-leaning communities see bright future with gov’t projects

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Former left-leaning communities see bright future with gov’t projects (By Michael L. Uy)

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña distributed planting and harvesting materials to the beneficiaries of the agency’s training/production of Binangay Banana.

DAVAO DE ORO, July 22 (PIA) - - Communities, who are formerly supporting the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) are now seeing brighter future after they are being poured with development projects by the government.

Benito Baylowanon, a former chairman of the Kilusang Rebolusyonaryo sa Barangay (KRB) and now the chairman of the Kauswagan Side 4 Farmers Association, expressed his elation on behalf of his tribe that the government never left them even if they had supported the CPP-NPA.

“Lipay kaayo ang tribu Matigsalog sa Side 4 kay naabot ang kining serbisyo dinhi sa amoa. Karon ang matag tagsa-tagsa ka pamilya, naa nay lahi-lahi na uma. Tagsa-tagsa sab ka pamilya, nay gihandum nga kaugmaon para sa ilang mga anak,” he stressed. (The Matigsalog tribe in Side 4 is very happy that these services reached us here. Now, each family has their own land to till. Each family also envisions a future for their children.)

Baylowanon recalled that since 2012, they did nothing but support the communist movement. He even said that they sometimes, abandon their livelihood to support the fight against the government.

“Nakatilaw ko ug grabeng sakrispisyo didto sa walhong grupo pero walay gyuy mga benepisyo para sa akong mga anak,” he added. (I experienced excessive sacrifices with the leftist group but there were really no benefits for my children.)

Among the government services, Baylowanon said, that brought changes to their lives are the trainings cum production from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

“Karon pipila pa lang mi kabulan, March pa mi nagsugod, pero naa nay makita na Binangay. Unsa pa kaha ang kalipay sa among mga kabatanonan kung makaharvest na gyud mi ug sugod.” (Now after how many months, we started this on March, but then we can already see the Binangay. If we will start harvesting this, how much more happiness can we see from our children.)

Last March 16, TESDA Davao de Oro started a training cum production of Binangay Banana in Sitio Side 4. Now, according to Baylowanon, they have planted around 25 hectares of their land with Binangay.

Through the said training cum production, the community received planting and harvesting materials from TESDA.

Aside from that, the agency also trained the residents of the community on meal planning and cooking available fresh farm produce.

During his visit, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña emphasized that the government never leaves its people and only wanted to provide them comfortable lives.

“Ito ‘yong mga ginagawa ng goberno para iparating ang serbisyo sa malalayong komunidad; na hindi na shooting wars, but it is more on introducing development projects para maiangat ‘yong pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan sa malalayong lugar at mailayo sila sa exploitation sa CPP-NPA,” Secretary Lapeña underscored. (This is what the government is doing to bring the services to farthest communities; not shooting wars, but it is more on introducing development projects to uplift the lives of our fellow at the farflung areas and keep them away from the exploitation of the CPP-NPA.)

The secretary also pointed out the community was given with a solar power system through the Amoma ug Giya Alang sa Kahamugaway (AGAK) or Care and Guide for Stability Project.

Joining the TESDA in Sitio Side 4, the Department of Agriculture also distributed seedlings of high valued crops.

Aside from Sitio Side 4, Secretary Lapeña also visited on Tuesday Barangay Prosperidad in Montevista, and Barangay Upper Ulip in Monkayo.

Some 25 indigenous peoples in Prosperidad were trained on toddy tapping (Manggiti); while 75 indigenous peoples in Upper Ulip benefited the trainings on carpentry, masonry, and electrical installation and maintenance.

Secretary Lapeña is also scheduled to visit other communities in the region to bring more TESDA programs. (PIA11, Michael Uy)

Brgy residents urged to help bring rebels back to the folds of the law

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Brgy residents urged to help bring rebels back to the folds of the law (By Jeanevive Abangan)

Residents of Barangay Maragatas in Lupon, Davao Oriental during the launch of Oplan Maragatas Program

DAVAO ORIENTAL, 23 July (PIA) - Provincial Governor Nelson Dayanghirang requested residents in Barangay Maragatas in the Municipality of Lupon, to bring family members still with the circle of communist terrorist group (CTG) to bring the insurgents back to the folds of the law.

Addressing Maragatas residents during the launching of Oplan Maragatas Program, he cautioned families with insurgent members or New Peoples Army (NPA) mass-base supporters from “getting caught with a bullet” should they stay long with the CTG.

He confided of being saddened with the latest Maragatas incident during which a CTG leader died in an encounter of government forces and the rebel group “because what we are after is peace and development.”

“Mao nga mag uyon ta, mag hiusa ta, Aron atong maangkon ang paglambo ining inyong dapit. (That is why we have to be in harmony; we have to unite to achieve development in your place).

“Molingkod ta, mag estorya ta, sulbaron nato ug unsay atong prroblema. Dili solusyon ang patay . dili solyyon ang ang rebolusyonaryo. (Let us sit down, let’s talk, let us solve whatever is the problem. Killing is not the solution. Revolution is not the solution),” he made the emphasis.

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang during the Oplan Maragatas launching

Assured Assistance

Having known of few families whose members still work with the communist underground rebellion movement, he tasked residents to bring them to the folds of the law by communicating either with him or through his executive assistant Ednar Dayanghirang, or either with the barangay officials of Maragatas.

“Ato silang tabangan ug hilunaon. (We will help them and put them in proper place),” he said referring to rebels who would surrender.

He then revealed substantial financial incentives that the national and local governments are extending to those who have come to the folds of the law.

He made known how they are comfortably being sheltered at the half-way home for rebel returnees at the Happy Home, and how are being assisted to become economically empowered through livelihood training sessions of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

These are the packages of benefits placed under the convergence program called Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP).

Papilion mo unsa ang gusto. Sundalo? Carpentero. Electrician. Welder. Paeskwelahon mo, libre.. Pag graduate tagaan na pud mo kwarta sa gobyerno aron sa pag bag-o sa kinabnuhi. Ingon ana ang atong gobyerno. (You will be made to choose what you want. Do you want to become a soldier? Carpenter? Electrician? Welder? Education is free; upon graduation you will again be given money by the government to help you change life. That is what our government is),” he said.

Grassroots Presence, Economic benefits
Referring to the community needs assessment process of his local peace strategy, Governor Dayanghirang made Maragatas residents realize of government’s presence even in remote villages, consulting community folks to identify their needs.

“Tan-awa ninyo ang atong gobyerno anaa naa na kaninyo, nialagad ug andam tagana nga mohatag ug dugang nga serbisyo. (Look, the government is already with you, serving you and ready to provide more services),” he said.

With this picture of government at the grassroot level, he reiterated calls for harmony and unity to achieve development. “Walay mamahimong lugar nga malambuon ug anaa mag pabilin ang kagubot,”he said as he pointed out the economic benefits to ensue should there be sustained peace.

Citing Davao Oriental as a major tourism destination in Davao Region, he said such reputation is opening up more income opportunities.

“Kung sauna dili maapalit ang inyong saging, sa kadaghang bisista kulangon ang inyong saging,” he cited as an instance while assuring them that their backyard-raised animals and their crops would have sure market for visitors going their way to Davao Oriental.

He warned that visitors would be discouraged to visit Davao Oriental if there would be no peace.

However, Dayanghirang made it clear in an interview, that presence of communist terrorist group has already been substantially weakened.

He is set to strengthen to sustain and strengthen the consultation process and needs-assessment of his local peace strategy to address prevailing issues capitalized by CTGs in their continued presence in few villages usually at the peripheral areas at the borders with adjacent provinces. (PIA XI/ Jeanevive Duron Abangan)

Convergence of government services held in DavOr barangay

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Convergence of government services held in DavOr barangay (By Frances Mae Macapagat)

Technical Education Skills Development Authority Director General Secretary Isidro Lapeña (standing) at Barangay Maragatas

DAVAO ORIENTAL, July 23 (PIA) - The Poverty Reduction and Livelihood Employment Cluster of the Regional Task Force –ELCAC of Region XI led the launching of its different activities conducted at Barangay Maragatas, Municipality of Lupon, Province of Davao Oriental last Wednesday.

Technical Education Skills Development Authority Director General Secretary Isidro Lapeña led the launching with the support and presence of the Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force (PTF) with its chairperson Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang.

Barangay residents were tapped to receive skills training and livelihood programs provided by the TESDA specifically prioritizing IP/GIDA communities. Barangay Maragatas has been identified as the top barangay in Davao Oriental that still has strong community support for the members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“This activity is showing you the commitment of the government to reach out and serve the people. The PRLEC Cluster of the RTF-ELCAC is one of the 12 clusters that should always go to the barangays and provide assistance and services so the people will have livelihood and employment to lift the people from poverty,” Lapena told the attendees of the said gathering being the chairperson of the PRLEC Cluster of the National Task Force-ELCAC.

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang who is also the Regional Peace and Order Council Chairperson of Davao region urged the residents in the said barangay to give the government a chance to provide the services they needed and cooperate with the government in ending local communist armed conflict.

This led the government to consolidate government services from both national and local governments including the assistance of the private sector to ensure that the barangay will feel the services of the government and thereby end their provision of support to local communist group.

Both national and local government offices provided services such as medical consultation to about 92 Persons With Disability (PWDs), provision of poultry chicken, cacao and coffee seedlings including planting materials, plastic drums for mango growers, tilapia fingerlings; distribution of PWD identification cards; pre-identification and presentation of microenterprise projects for qualified proponents; as well as a Consultation Forum on Project Identification.

Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force Focal Person Ednar Dayanghirang announced that the three core clusters of the PTF-ELCAC responded to the call of the PTF and rent over services needed by the community.

“We made sure that the infrastructure cluster is activated because we all believe that the road to peace is the road itself. We got the commitment of the concerned agencies like the DPWH, the NIA to ensure the construction of road in every sitio of Barangay Maragatas,” said Dayanghirang.

The RTF XI - ELCAC continues to implement programs and activities that would end local communist armed conflict by practicing the whole of government approach. (PIA XI/FGM)

Pacquiao joins roster of PH Army advisers

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Pacquiao joins roster of PH Army advisers (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NEW PH ARMY ADVISER. Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao takes his oath as a member of the Philippine Army's Multi-Sector Advisory Board via videoconferencing on Wednesday (July 22, 2020). The Army said Pacquiao's experience in good governance will translate into initiatives that will ensure the continuity and sustainability of the PA Transformation Roadmap and in promoting volunteerism and shared responsibility. (Photo courtesy of the Army Chief Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Army (PA) on Wednesday welcomed Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao as the newest member of its Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB).

The Filipino boxing icon, who is also an Army reserve colonel, took his oath and received his Army Transformation Roadmap pin via video teleconferencing in a ceremony led by PA chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay.

“As a member of the Board, your role in bridging the gap between the Philippine Army, the private sector, and civil society is indeed invaluable. We look forward to your winning form, the fulfillment of our Army Transformation Roadmap in 2028,” he added.

Col. Ramon Zagala, the Army spokesperson, said Pacquiao's experience in good governance will translate into initiatives that will ensure the continuity and sustainability of the PA Transformation Roadmap and in promoting volunteerism and shared responsibility.

He added that Pacquiao, being a boxing champion, also supports and encourages physical fitness among soldiers.

The PA MSAB aims to promote the continuity and sustainability of the Army Transformation Roadmap at the nationwide and local levels and to encourage shared responsibility through its committees including Governance, Resource Management, Review and Assessment, Strategic Communication, and Research and Education.

PH working with Asean neighbors to protect maritime borders

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 23, 2020): PH working with Asean neighbors to protect maritime borders (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Screengrab from pre-SONA forum briefing

The Philippines has entered into security agreements with neighboring states in the Southeast Asian region to protect its shared maritime borders.

"We strengthened our maritime security cooperation with neighboring nations such as Indonesia and Malaysia," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, head of the Security, Justice, Peace Cluster said in a pre-SONA forum aired at PTV-4 Wednesday.

He was referring to the trilateral maritime patrols between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia which was launched in June 2017 and aimed at securing "areas of common concern" to the three countries.

It is aimed at countering the movements of violent extremists and terrorists.

Also, to protect the biodiversity in its waters, Lorenzana said the country has launched a number of marine explorations, mostly centered at the Philippine Rise.

"In the Philippine Rise, the government-funded an All-Filipino Marine Science Research Expedition to coordinate marine science research initiatives and related activities," he added.

In line with this, consultations were also held with the National Coast Watch Council and the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea to update the country's national marine policy.

The country also entered into an agreement with other nations to help manage and safeguard their marine resources in their respective exclusive economic zones.

"We have also agreed with Indonesia and Palau to advance common interests in managing and preserving marine resources in the exclusive economic zone of the three countries," Lorenzana said.

PH Navy RIMPAC contingent negative for Covid-19

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 23, 2020): PH Navy RIMPAC contingent negative for Covid-19 (By Priam Nepomuceno)

The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to this year's "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) exercises, which include the officers and crew of missile-frigate BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150), have tested negative for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

"Aside from the two personnel from FF-150 that was (earlier) confirmed to be positive (for Covid-19), all (crew members) got negative results," PN public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Thursday.

The two personnel are already undergoing quarantine and treatment at the V. Luna Hospital, Quezon City.

The swab testing for BRP Jose Rizal's crew and other members of the contingent took place at the Philippine Arena, Bulacan last July 19.

"RIMPAC participation (of the PN) will push through and the preparation is on course," Roxas said.

This year's RIMPAC, touted as the largest maritime warfare exercise in the world, is scheduled for August 17 to 31 off Hawaii.

The PN contingent, including the crew of BRP Jose Rizal, is around 100, and scheduled to depart on July 29.

Earlier, Roxas said the ship's crew will use the two-week RIMPAC drills as its "shakedown cruise" to test the performance and seaworthiness of the brand-new missile frigate.

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

Anti-terror law in force sans IRR: SolGen

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 23, 2020): Anti-terror law in force sans IRR: SolGen (By Benjamin Pulta)

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Thursday said the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 (ATA) is already in effect even if the government has yet to craft its implementing rules and regulations.

In a statement, Calida, citing precedent cases previously decided on by the Supreme Court, such as SEC v. IRC decided in 2008, said laws are not contingent on the implementing rules.

"To claim that the law is ineffective until implementing rules are promulgated creates an absurd situation where an agency can delay the effectivity of the law by delaying promulgation of its rules. To argue that a law is less than the law because it is made to depend on a future event or act is to rob Congress of its plenary power to act wisely for the public welfare," Calida said.

Even while the IRR is still underway, the ATA is already in force, Calida said.

"First, the promulgation of the IRR is not a condition precedent for the effectivity of the ATA. The pending issuance of an IRR cannot defer the law coming into force. A law is presumed to be valid when there exists an interpretation favorable to its effectivity. Unless there are clear and unmistakable showing of the law’s constitutional and statutory infirmity, the presumption of validity subsists, and the law is binding and effective," he added.

Calida also noted the law has already complied with the requirement of publication having been published in both the online and print copy of the Official Gazette as required by law.

The ATA was not only posted on the Official Gazette’s website on July 3 but also subsequently published on the print Official Gazette on July 6.

"All these things considered, the ATA shall take effect after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from (6 July 2020) the complete publication on the Official Gazette, that is 22 July 2020," he said.

He added that the law is "self-executing", except for provisions in the law delegating functions to the Anti-Terrorism Council and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Corrections to craft purely administrative rules for the effective implementation of policies.

In an earlier consolidated comment filed before the SC, Calida said suits questioning the law are premature and pointed out the absence of cases or "actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable".

"Petitioners' theoretical and contingent worst-case scenarios occurring upon the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act necessarily take them out of the real of justiciability and the requirement of actual case and controversy," Calida said.

He added that said the petitioners' invocation that the law would create a "chilling effect" is insufficient to bring their claims under the penal statute is not susceptible to a "facial" challenge before the courts.

Citing precedent cases, the top government counsel said one can challenge the constitutionality of a statute only if he asserts a violation of his own rights.

"It prohibits one from assailing the constitutionality of the statute based solely on the violation of the rights of third persons not before the court. This rule is also known as the prohibition against third-party standing. Mere allegation or invocation that constitutionally protected rights will be violated by the Anti Terrorism Act will not automatically result in a finding of grave abuse of discretion. Contrary to petitioners' assertion, there is no such thing as a patently unconstitutional law, " he added.

He also said since every law is presumed valid, the party should rebut this presumption.

"Any reasonable doubt about the validity of the law should be resolved in favor of its constitutionality," he added.

Calida said to justify the nullification of law, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the Consitution and not one that is doubtful, speculative, or argumentative.

He added that the law is consistent with the country's commitment under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution No. 1624 adopted on Sept. 14, 2005, which among others, "reaffirmed the imperative to combat terrorism in all of its forms and manifestly by all means in accordances with the charter of the UN".

The said UNSC resolution also calls on member states to repudiate attempts at the justification or glorification of terror acts that may incite similar acts.