Thursday, July 30, 2020

CPP/NDF,NPA- Negros: The true state of the nation presented by the people demands Duterte’s ouster

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): The true state of the nation presented by the people demands Duterte’s ouster

JULY 28, 2020

Joint statement of NPA and NDF Negros

The revolutionary movement recognizes the genuine State of the Nation Address (SONA) conducted by the Negrosanons in the cities of Bacolod, Kabankalan and Dumaguete where they revealed the true worsening conditions of every sector in the fifth year of the insufferable and bloody Duterte regime. Despite the obvious strides taken by the reactionary government to prevent their resistance, the collective demonstrations of the Negrosanons have unmasked their rage and utterly disgusted to the burdensome, corrupt, and treacherous regime.

“Similar to the first four years, the fifth SONA of the Duterte regime is pointless and full of lies, and remains to offer no comprehensive and scientific solution on solving the increasing Covid-19 cases and no concrete steps taken to resolve the socio-economic crisis faced by the Filipino people.”

Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of NPA-Negros, stressed that Duterte’s government persists to be planless and inutile in dealing with the dying and declining economy of the country amid the public health crisis due to the pandemic. His statements have only been full of hubris and praise for his corrupt, treacherous, and fascist connives in the ruling class of landlords, bourgeois compradors, and bureaucrat capitalists.

“The governance of Duterte reeks of its decaying despite his futile attempts to sugarcoat it. This is uncovered by the worsening conditions of the masses particularly in Negros suffering hunger and poverty where feudal and semi-feudal relations are still rampant. His failed and ignorant response to the people’s demands of a medical approach and mass testing is only adding insult to injury. Instead of addressing this, he has prioritized his personal vendetta against the opposition and the passing of death penalty.”

Aside from the increasing number of those affected by the virus, there are also countless cases of locally stranded individuals who are suffering from hunger and longing to return home, massive unemployment, and landlessness and workforce displacement. He continues the mobilization of his mercenary troops and the implementation of a militarist approach but has ironically surrendered to China the West Philippine Sea and the country’s sovereignty because he admitted he cannot match the prowess of the imperialist power. He has effectively sentenced the Filipino people to death before the passage of death penalty.”, added Magbanua.

Obrero noted that the Negrosanons are fed up with the tyrannical Duterte regime where the residing dictator monopolizes power and uses the bureaucracy as a rubber stamp to rule through instilling fear and fascist terror in the island and the entire nation. Duterte has wasted the efforts and sacrifice of the toiling masses of over 5 months in where he has imprisoned them in their homes through a militarist lockdown and has systematically whipped them with state fascism and wrath.

“The disgruntled masses are at their boiling point because of the puppet Duterte regime’s rule in the country. It is only right to expand and strengthen the revolutionary movement to demand the bloody Duterte regime to pay for its brutal crimes against the people. The rage of the people must be consolidated and transformed to larger militant mass movements to arouse, organize, and mobilize the broad range of the Negrosanon masses.”

“Along with the chronic crisis of capitalism and the sharpening of contradictions to advance the just cause of the armed struggle to put an end to the decaying system of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. Together with the broad masses, the revolutionary red fighters are prepared to launch widespread and intensified tactical offensives to overcome and oust the dictatorial, inutile, and tyrannical US-Duterte regime!”, ended Magbanua.

CPP/NPA-Southeast Negros: Deluge of flagrant acts of rights abuses marked Sta. Catlina FMO

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): Deluge of flagrant acts of rights abuses marked Sta. Catlina FMO — NPA-Southeast Negros

JULY 28, 2020

The recently concluded focused military operation (FMO) in the hinterland vilages of Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental and the adjoining boundary areas of the towns of Sitaon and Valencia precipitated in numerous incidents of human rights violations that include assassination, abducation, raid of civilian houses, manufacturing evidence, threat and coercion, blackmail, forced surrender among others.

This is according to the reports of the masses gathered by the units of the NPA and, as well as, the cases documented by the quick reaction teams of the local peasant associations and human rights organizations.

To serve as an opening salvo of the FMO, barangay councilor and farmer-leader Nonoy Truza was assassinated in broad daylight by motor riding elements of military’s death squad right in the center of Barangay Nagbinlod a few days before several companies of soldiers descended in Sta. Catalina and sow terror.

In the course of the operation, four farmers were abducted by 11th IB and subsequently tortured in Sitio Cansarania, Barangay Apolloy, Siaton. The victims were tending their farms when soldiers swooped in and arrested them in a manner akin to that of arresting hardened criminals. They were not informed of their Miranda rights and the ground for their arrest. They were subjected to intense gruelling interogation and similar types of stressful situations. In the end, they were “recruited” as military intelligence assets .

In Sitio Sinamuhi, Barangay Talalak, Sta. Catalina two civilian houses were raided and searched sans warrant and legal basis. Without consent from the house owners, the soldiers arrogantly barged in without even asking permission. They then put some of their assault rifles in conspicous corner of the house and commenced taking pictures. The purpose of doing so is to create an impression that the house they raided were being resided by NPAs. The soldiers went as far as putting the rifles near the house owners themselves but they flatly expressed disapproval of this.

Many farmers also reported being coerced and threatened by soldiers to admit being NPA o NPA supporter. Those who refused and asserted their rights were warned of grave consequnces like being included in the list of military’s death squad or be issued with warrant of arrest.

In Barangay Talalac and Nagbinlod at least eight farmers were blackmailed into surrendering as NPAs. They were treatened of tokhang style execution, legal cases and warrant of arrest and removal from government post of kins and the like.

The worsening human rights in the Sta. Catalina, Siaton, Valencia and other towns in the Third District of Negros Oriental concern not only the people in the affected areas. This concern all peace-loving citizens and all that yearns for a just and equitable society.

The NPA and the entire revolutionary movement in Southeast Negros call on all concerned sectors, groups, institutions or individuals to support the farmers now assailed by Duterte’s terorrism in various creative ways and means they can.

We also call on the junior officers and enlisted personnel of the 11th IB and 705th RMF to stop being the pawn and slayer of Duterte’s vicious and dirty war against the people. The NPA is more than willing to unite and cooperate with the disgruntled elements of the military and police with the end in view of ousting the tyrant Duterte from power. ###

CPP/NPA-Southeast Negros: The maddening story of Duterte’s 5th SONA: A criminal, fascist tyrant’s ignominious, babbling tirade

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 28, 2020): The maddening story of Duterte’s 5th SONA: A criminal, fascist tyrant’s ignominious, babbling tirade — NPA-Southeast Negros

JULY 28, 2020

In the middle of his 5th state of the nation address, right after his call for the passage of a law to revive the death penalty for crimes specified under the 2002 Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act in order to solve the ever-worsening problem of criminality in the country, Duterte briefly swayed from his prepared speech in order to enlighten his audience by means of a remarkably infuriating tale. 
“I’LL TELL YOU THE STORY [OF] WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PHILIPPINES,” he began. In essence the story starts with illustrating the prevalence of international and local big crime syndicates thriving in the Philippines who prey on the masses of poor Filipino families, and then citing an example of a poverty-stricken family with a shabu-addicted father, whose addiction gradually destroys the family: leads the wife to find another husband or work in the Middle East as an abused domestic slave, the children to likewise adopt the drug-habit, abandoning school, forced into prostitution – all culminating into the disintegration of the family. The solution, of course, is to kill, to impose the death penalty on the malevolent gangsters and all those who prey on the innocent Filipino people.

What’s particularly infuriating and noxious is that he has the audacity, the utter lack of shame and daring to expound on the pitiful and miserable lives of families victimized by the syndicates when he himself and his clique are one of the most powerful and notorious criminal bureaucrats in the nation. A wicked irony, these poor families – and not the big Triad bosses and local kingpins– abused by the syndicates are the ones targeted by the Philippine War on Drugs, with thousands of dead bodies of average Juans left in its wake. Moreover, in cahoots with the Chinese government, he is accountable for the flourishing of the Triad syndicates who run criminal enterprises – such as prostitution, illegal gambling, money laundering, contraband smuggling, contract killing, and of course the manufacturing, smuggling, distribution, and sale of illegal drugs. With regards to the solution to rid the nation of the crime syndicates, the death penalty, if it is to be actualized, it is he who should be the first to be penalized with death by lethal injection for the crimes he has committed against the Filipino people.

This story as told by Duterte himself sets the defining themes of his 5th SONA: outright lies, shameless pronouncements, mad fairytales, inane babble, anti-populist schemes, and empty promises of recovery and prosperity.

“We live in a troubled time. Our dream of prosperity for our country was suddenly snuffed by a pandemic virulent virus,” he began, kicking off his speech after greeting an exclusive audience. Truly, the Filipino people harbor no fantasies nor illusions of national prosperity even before the outbreak of the COVID-19. What the pandemic did however “snuff” is that it exposed the current conditions, made lucid the material reality of the country, brought to the spotlight the glaring economic and political crisis engendered by foreign monopoly-capitalism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism; it banished, casted away all false notions of equality, freedom, progress, development, peace, and prosperity; it helped bring into the light of day the economic reality of the masses and the real state of the Philippine economy – a tragic neoliberal catastrophe; it made ever clearer that the government has no interest in effectively and efficiently providing public and social services for the benefit of the broad masses of workers and peasants; it placed the government on the spotlight and showed for whom the puppet GRP is truly for – the imperialists, the big comprador-landlords, and the criminal bureaucrats; instead of a public health approach and solution, it unleashed the fascist dogs, terrorizing the people, all in the name of fighting a war against the dreaded virus.

Nevertheless, Duterte insists that the government is doing all it can to battle the pandemic. However, he mentions that corruption and criminality spiked and elevated to higher levels. “My countrymen, it is sad that while government focuses its attention and resources to battle the coronavirus, there are those who take advantage of a pre-occupied government…. The corrupt, the grafters…. The dealers and purveyors of illegal drugs, hiding in the shadow of COVID-19, have stepped up their activities.” A relevant point to consider is to raise the question of who controls the bureaucracy that is replete with graft and corruption? Who runs the local criminal enterprises and collaborates with foreign drug cartels and crime syndicates? Is it not the case that the Duterte clique controls the civil bureaucracy by means of civil-military junta by virtue of NTF-ELCAC, controls the majority in the Senate, House, and Supreme Court? Is it not the case that , along with the Chinese mafias, Duterte and his minions dominate the criminal syndicates and enterprises?

Historical levels of unemployment are at an all time high, and all the government could muster up is to give out chump-change, a measly sum of cash, and a few baskets of groceries – an insult to the poor masses who struggle to survive and need to work day-to-day just to put food on the table. OFWs in the tens of thousands are returning to the country, and Duterte offers them special TESDA training programs and low-interest loans so that they can find employment here at home. It seems that Duterte glosses over the underlying cause of why OFWs left the country in the first place – the lack of employment opportunities due to the ever-worsening economy, made even more severe by the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Technical skills training and added debt are of little help to the OFWs.

As for education, he states that “Until the COVID-19 vaccine is available, I will not allow the traditional face-to-face teaching or learning…. We must implement online, modular, and TV- and radio-based broadcast.” So for the time being, the poor masses who cannot afford or do not have access to smartphones, computers, and internet connection, let alone electricity, must make do with modular learning, drastically lowering the quality of education for the masses of poor peasants and workers. Nationwide electrification and digitalization of the countryside, – which is, like most of Duterte’s promises, likely never to materialize — is a must if Duterte wishes to make online, TV, radio based broadcast for “which students coming from different backgrounds can avail.”

As to the solution for the mass of unemployed workers in the congested NCR, he reiterated the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program and its supposed advantages; followed by him saying, “kung hindi ninyo naiintindihan sa binabasa ko, mas lalo ako.” But the Filipino people do understand what the Balik Probinsya Program entails — mass decongestion of Metro Manila, by means of violent demolitions of informal settlements to pave the way for big real estate capitalist ventures all in the name of going back home to and developing the countryside.

To achieve so called peace and development in the countryside, once again he addresses the issue of internal security, pursuing the all-too-famous whole-of-nation approach, and implementing the Barangay Development Programs of conflict affected communities under Retooled Community Support Programs; but the peasants in the baryos know all too well what RCSPs and so called development programs lead to: mass arrests, deceitful government projects, activities, and programs, fake and forced surrenders, armed military and police occupation of the baryos, local intelligence asset recruitment, proliferation of intrigues, and the sowing of uneasiness and anxiety and even outright terror among the baryo populace.
He admits that the armed forces, national government agencies, and LGUs have some difficulties in implementing the barangay development plans, mostly due to “skirmishes and the assassination of our soldiers,” then , referring to the aforementioned problem, he directed, “correct this so that we can proceed with the barangay implementation as soon as possible.” Is Duterte seriously telling the AFP officers to “correct” the problem of “his” soldiers dying as casualties in the civil war? The sheer nonsense is astounding.

“Martial law in Mindanao ended without abuses by… the police, by the military.” Another outright lie as tens of thousands of victims of human rights violations during the 3 years of martial law in Mindanao would most vehemently disagree.

“I reiterate the need for the passage of the National Land Use Act,” he stated, which has indeed been proposed decades ago but never made its way into actuality. If it is to be passed, this would be a green light for the real estate magnates, big landlords, and agribusiness giants to gobble up and further monopolize the country’s real estate and the rural economy; also, land-grabbing and the concomitant displacement of workers and peasants is bound to intensify.

Interestingly, he emphasizes: “ I cannot stress enough the importance of agriculture. The growth of our economy depends on a robust agricultural sector.” He oddly follows with “we must utilize the coconut,” referring to coconut levy funds, “for the welfare of our coconut farmers.” What about the other farmers that plant other crops, Mr. President? However, he highlights that “the problem is we can no longer trace who are the farmers of yesterday.” What a tragedy it truly is for all the powers of the GRP and its bureaucracy to be unable to determine who the owners of the land are, when a simple trip to the land itself will uncover the mystery of the actual tillers of the land, what their names are, how many kids they have, who their neighbors are, how many years they have been working on the land and the ancestral lineage connected to the land tracing all the way back in time long before Duterte came into this world.

In connection to his plan to revamp the agricultural sector, he called on Congress to pass the Rural Agricultural Fisheries Development Financing System Act to “provide adequate, accessible, and affordable food for every Filipino through the Plant, Plant, Plant Program,” further adding, “mas madali ito kaysa Build, Build, Build. Ito Plant, Plant, Plant lang eh.” Indeed, it would be much easier to displace and dislocate fishermen along the coastlines, settlers in the hinterlands, and small planters in the rural plains to give way to big capitalist plantation farming, accompanying crop-conversion, commercial fishing, and agribusiness cartels. The program forebodes of another round of white elephant projects, onerous foreign debt, and graft and corruption.

“We will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy.” Really, Mr. Duterte? Are you sure of what you are talking about? Apparently he is not, for he continues, “I have nothing against America and China, but if you put bases here, you will double the spectacle of a most destructive thing like Manila during the Second World War.” One unmistakable trait here is that of a pathological liar, for the Filipino people know for a fact that on vast territories in the West Philippine Sea stand erect gigantic military reservations – complete with armed Chinese People’s Liberation Army personnel, aircraft carriers, warships, warplanes, and missile and artillery systems — built on artificial islands. Likewise it is no secret that during Duterte’s term at least 5 US military facilities have been built in various AFP camps, and many other satellite bases under Operation Pacific Eagle, adding to the number of US military installations in existence scattered throughout the nation even long before Duterte won the presidency. So once again, Mr. President, would you care to elaborate on what exactly you are talking about?

“We worked without fail to protect our rights in the South China Sea, neither beholden nor a pawn to anyone…. China is claiming it. We are claiming it. China has the arms. We do not have it. So it is simple as that…. Talagang inutil ako dyan. Wala akong magawa.” First claiming to be pursuing an independent foreign policy and “working without fail to protect our rights in the South China Sea,” and then admitting to cowering in fear of the military might of a foreign invader encroaching on Philippine territory is the acme of hypocrisy and contradictory, incoherent thinking. At least, he admits he is an inutile imperialist puppet.

“Together, we shall fight this pandemic with the same fervor as our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, insurgency, and corruption.” The people are desperately hoping that the fight against the COVID-19 won’t be similar to the war on drugs, corruption, and so called insurgency, for it shall bring forth even more suffering, misery, and bloodshed under the terror of the fascist minions.

Capping off his long unbearable oration, he concludes with verbal strikes at Drillon and a brief lecture on oligarchy. “This is the oligarchy that controls the Philippines… control of the water and electricity. Iyan ang oligarchy mo Drilon. Wala ng oligarchy except that.” The people would beg to differ, Mr. President. Surely, it is not merely the water and electricity that are run by oligarchs. What about the land, Mr. President? What about the monopoly of the land by the big comprador-landlords? What about the oligarchy of the most trusted agents of imperialism, the comprador-bourgeoisie, who dominate every single sphere of the economy, from banking, real estate, manufacturing, mining, and energy? What about the oligarchy of the government of criminal bureaucrats, just like you, Mr. President?

Truly, the mad tyrant has either completely lost all sense of actual reality, or he is deliberately lying; possibly, it may be both. At this point, Duterte has totally isolated himself from the broad masses of the people, and even from his fellow puppet-bureaucrats. His ouster is highly probable as he is surrounded by his enemies from all angles and directions. What he has left is the puppet armed forces, that which he utilizes to perpetuate his open terrorist dictatorship over the people; but the rising tide of national democratic revolution will inevitably devour the raving tyrant Duterte, just as what happened to the fascist dictator Marcos, as history is bound to repeat itself. The people have had enough and are taking up arms, venturing onto the radical path of revolution to overthrow the dictatorship of the US puppets, to dismantle the neocolonial state and build a nation truly free, just, progressive, equitable, and peaceful.

CPP/News: Duterte’s most favored political dynasties

Propaganda news story posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): Duterte’s most favored political dynasties

JULY 29, 2020

In his State of the Nation Address 2020 on Monday, Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon for allegedly “protecting oligarchs.” This was his rebuttal to downplay the oppositionist senator’s proposal to push for the approval of the Anti-Dynasty Bill. Instead of disclosing his categorical position on the controversial bill, he hurled tirades against the said senator whom he called a “hypocrite.” Duterte was obviously infuriated as the senator linked Duterte’s daughter and sons to the issue of political dynasties.

Philippine politics has long been dominated by dynastic families. This includes the Duterte dynasty whose members have been in various government positions in Davao since the late 1950s.

The dominance of political dynasties manifests the rottenness of the ruling political and economic system in the Philippines. It clearly reflects how those in power, big land lords, big bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists, perpetuate their dynasties through corruption, nepotism and patronage.

Political dynasties, do not only seek perpetuation of political power, but at the more basic level, seek to accumulate more wealth. Dynastic bureaucrat capitalists serve as agents of local oligarchs and big bourgeois compradors. They aggrandize themselves by using their positions to corner the biggest loot, bribes and cuts from government contracts. Dynasts use their political capital to promote their family businesses or those of their other relatives, friends and allies, as well as gain favors from contractors, loan agencies, foreign capitalists and banks.

Public economic resources, instead of benefiting the people, are diverted and concentrated into the hands of these political dynasties. Using their power, they fleece the people with taxes while giving back almost nothing in the form of social services. To perpetuate their rule, they use the law against their political and economic rivals. Most dynasts in backward provinces also happen to be warlords who maintain large private armies. They cultivate loyalties among military and police officers to protect their businesses and criminal syndicates and suppress anyone who challenge their rule.

The unremitting reign of political dynasties today manifests how bureaucratic capitalism has worsened under the Duterte regime. Corruption is rampant and can no longer be concealed by Duterte’s “I hate corruption” mantra.

The Duterte dynasty
Duterte himself is a dynast who accumulated both economic and political capital during his long stint as Davao City mayor.

Currently, three of Rodrigo Duterte’s adult children hold the highest offices in the city government of Davao, the second largest metropolitan area in the country outside Metro Manila. Duterte’s eldest son, Paolo, is its First District congressman, while his daughter Sarah is its mayor and youngest son Sebastian its vice mayor.

The Dutertes first entered politics in the 1959 when its patriarch, the late Atty. Vicente Duterte, was elected as governor of Davao. During his term, in 1965, he appointed his own son, Rodrigo Duterte, as his Secretary of the Department of General Services.

Rodrigo Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor of Davao City by the Aquino regime in 1986 following the People Power Revolution. He was elected as mayor in 1988 and stayed in office until 1998. To circumvent the reactionary law on term limits, he ran as congressman of the First District of Davao City and won. He again ran for mayor in 2001 and remained in office until 2010, the year he ran as his daughter Sarah’s vice mayor, again to circumvent the aforementioned law. He again ran for mayor in 2013 and remained in office until his presidential bid was launched in 2016. As of today, Rodrigo Duterte has held positions in government for 32 consecutive years.

Duterte’s bureaucrat capitalist accumulation has heightened since 2016 when he assumed presidency.

Duterte launched his centerpiece campaign, the “war on drugs,” to conceal his real aim of eliminating rival drug syndicates and making them submit and pay for their protection. This campaign has been discredited after it was exposed that his son, Paolo, and his Davao associates, are themselves drug smugglers with the discovery of a P6.4 billion shipment of shabu from China in 2017.

Recently, during the onset of Covid-19 crisis, he invoked emergency powers to realign and amass nearly P3 trillion in public funds, and spend this without transparency and accounting in the guise of fighting the pandemic. His regime was also exposed to have procured grossly overpriced medical equipment from his minions’ favored Chinese and local suppliers.

Over the past years, Duterte allotted himself billions of pesos in so-called intelligence and confidential funds which he uses to bribe military officials and ensure their loyalty, and to fund his network of death squads.

He is using his position to monopolize for himself and his favored oligarchs fat public contracts and loans. Behind his claims of simplicity, Duterte continues to accumulate wealth which is secretly stashed in accounts of his cronies, operations of criminal syndicates, and reportedly, in Chinese banks.

He is also using his control of the national budget to consolidate his supermajority control of Congress which is also dominated by dynasties. He armtwists his foes and even allies to make them submit to his whims and consolidate his power. During the 2019 midterm elections, a number of politicians both from old and new political clans, pledged their allegiance to the Duterte regime, majority of whom now occupy various elective positions in different levels of the reactionary government.

His closest allies include dynasts from the Cayetano and Aguilar-Villar families. He has also allied himself with the Marcoses and Arroyos, who are the most corrupt dynasts, to mobilize their political support and has acted in favor of the plunderers by absolving them of their crimes and releasing them from prison, and enabling them to rehabilitate their political dynasties at various levels of the bureaucracy.

The Cayetano dynasty

One of his closest allies in Congress is dynast and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano whose family has dominated Taguig City politics over the past decades. He ran as Duterte’s vice presidential candidate in 2016. He is Duterte’s most rabid lapdog in Congress who is responsible for pushing for his fascist and neoliberal legislative agenda. He is the second biggest contributor to Duterte’s election kitty.

He served as Duterte’s Foreign Affairs Secretary 2017-2018 prior to being elected as representative of Pateros-Taguig in 2019. He also became a member of the Senate from 2007 to 2017.

The Cayetano siblings have have perpetuated their rule in Taguig by swapping government positions over the past decades as representatives of Pateros-Taguig and the 2nd district of Taguig; and as mayor and vice mayor of Taguig City. Alan’s older sister, Pia, is an incumbent senator and a former congresswoman. He and his wife Ma. Laarni ran in different congressional districts last year and won in both, while his younger sibling Lino Edgardo is mayor.

The Cayetanos accumulated wealth with the conversion of Taguig into a business district in the mid-1990s under Ramos, with the sale of large parts of Fort Bonifacio and establishment of Bonifacio Global City. The wealth of the Cayetano dynasty grew alongside the influx of business establishments in Taguig and the increase of tax collections by the city.

The Cayetano dynasty emerged in 1984 when its patriarch, Renato Cayetano became a congressman, and later in 1998, a senator. Ironically, the late senator gained popularity for hosting and giving free legal advices in a late 1990s public service program in ABS-CBN, which Speaker Cayetano recently worked to shut down.

Last year, he was implicated in the anomalous procurement of a P50-million monument, satirically called “Cayetano’s Takore,” for the Southeast Asian Games cauldron erected in New Clark City.

The Aguilar-Villar dynasty
Members of the Aguilar-Villar family, aside from being part of a political dynasty, are also among the biggest real estate and big business oligarchs in the country and are notorious for using public office to advance their business interests.

Villar married into the Aguilar family which built their empire in Las Piñas City by monopolizing key local government positions since 1987. The Villars accumulated vast wealth through state-supported low cost housing projects under the Aquino and Ramos regimes starting from Las Piñas, later expanding to provinces across the country.

Prior to being a senator, Cynthia Villar became a congresswoman. His husband Manny was Senate president from 2006 to 2008 and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2000. Their son, Mark, is Duterte’s current Public Works and Highways Secretary whose wife, Emmeline, was also appointed as undersecretary of the Department of Justice. The appointment of the couple is a clear case of conflict of interest as they both have big business interests. The Villars are notorious for using government road projects to increase the market value of their real estate properties.

The Villar family owns Vista Land & Lifescapes which are known for landgrabbing and converting thousands of hectares of farmlands into subdivisions (Ca­mel­la Ho­mes, Lu­mi­na Ho­mes) and huge malls (Star­malls and Vis­ta Malls). Earlier in 2009, Manny Villar was probed for his Daang Hari project (also known as the Las Piñas-Muntinlupa-Cavite Road) which passes through his family-owned projects.

Last December 2019, Emmeline was also exposed to have been overseeing the review of the contract of two water concessionaires. The Villars own Prime Water Infrastructure Corp., which is notorious for acquiring and taking over local water districts.

Meanwhile, Mark and Emmeline’s daughter Camille is an incumbent congresswoman. Cynthia’s sister-in-law Imelda is also the incumbent mayor of Las Piñas City, while the latter’s daughter April is vice mayor.

Under Duterte, Manny Villar’s wealth skyrocketed from US$1.5 bil­lion (P75.4 bil­lion) in March 2017 to US$5.5 bil­lion (Php288.3 bil­lion) on March 2019. From being the 12th, he is now the richest individual in the country. Meanwhile, Cynthia Vil­lar reported a net worth of P3.7 bil­lion and was considered the richest senator, while their son, Mark Vil­lar, reported P1.4 billion and is considered as Duterte’s richest cabinet official.

During the Covid-19 crisis, the Villars were among the oligarchs that got the contract to build the “megaswabbing” center at the Palacio de Maynila in Manila.

The Aguilar-Villar family is a known supporter of Duterte. Manny Villar’s political party, Nacionalista, is also allied with Duterte’s PDP-La­ban.

CPP/NPA-Southwest Negros: ASJC-NPA: Hustisya para sa mga biktima sang mga aset militar napatuman!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): ASJC-NPA: Hustisya para sa mga biktima sang mga aset militar napatuman!

JULY 29, 2020

Ang rebolusyonaryo nga korte sang Demokratiko nga Gobyerno sang Pumuluyo nagapatuman sang matuod nga hustisya nga ginapangayo sang sin-o man nga nabiktima sa kahimuan sang mga bat-ulan kag kontra-pumuluyo nga ahente ukon mga elemento.

Pareho ni Julie Casumpang, 62 years old, isa ka aktibo nga intel asset sang militar nga halin pa sang 1980’S aktibo siya nga katapu sang CHDF nga may madamo sang himimuan nga pagpamatay sa mga mangunguma. Si Nelson Arquisola nga naga-arado lang sa uma gintiro sang M14 kag napatay. May ara nga nagsaka sa lubi kag gintiro sang M14, nahulog sa lubi kag napatay. Kon mag-operation kag may ara nga masugata sa dalan nga pumuluyo ginapasibangdan nga NPA kag ginapatay. Ang komprador nga si Luncio Nabalitan nasugata sa dalan, ginhold-up kag ginpatay. Si Pekto Bargamento isa man sa biktima sa iya nga pagpamatay. May ara pa nga madamo nga ginpamatay si Julie nga tungod sang iya tuman nga kabangis ang mga pumuluyo nga nabiktima nagakahadlok sa pagpanugid kay wala ini sang kaluoy nga magpatay.

Magluwas sa pagpamatay madamo man sang nabiktima sang pangastigo nga hasta sa subong ang iban nangin inutil, indi makatrabaho kag nangin alatipanon kag ini dugang nga pag-antus sang pamilya nga natungdan tungod ang kalabanan nga apektado amo ang Padre de Pamilya. Ang asawa kag mga kabataan sini nag-antus sang grabe nga kapigaduhon tungod nawad-an sang haligi sa panimalay. Ang madamo nga pamilya sang mga biktima nagapangayo sang hustisya. Ang pagsilot kay Julie, pagpatuman sang desisyon sang rebolusyonaryo nga korte para sa hustisya sa mga biktima sang iya nga pagpamatay, pangastigo kag iban pa nga hinimuan.

Ang isa pa nga may standing order nga napatuman amo si Emie Dela Torre. Isa man ini ka aktibo nga intel asset sang militar nga madugay na nga nagapanago sa tabing nga tagsuporta sang rebolusyonaryo nga hublag. Madamo nga beses nga ginapabulig siya kaangot sa seguridad. Ginapahibalo siya sa lokasyon sang mga kaupod kag sobra maka-walo ka beses niya ginpa-reyd ang mga kaupod. Kag may ara gid nga nadakpan nga mga kaupod nga siya ang gintugyanan sa pagseguro sang alagyan, ginpa-clear sa iya kag suno sa iya maayo lang ang kahimtang pero sa aktwal nadakpan ang mga kaupod. Sa sini nga mga hinimuan, may klaro nga pagkompirma nga siya ang may kahimuan kag may mga saksi. Napamatud-an sa rebolusyonaryo nga korte nga guilty siya kag nadesisyunan base sa kabug-aton sang kaso nga iya nakomiter.

Wala ginakalipay kag indi kagustuhan lang ang pagpatay, pero kinahanglanon nga himuon para sa paghatag sang hustisya sa mga nabiktima kag paglimpyo sang mga bat-ulan nga mga kriminal kag kontra-rebolusyonaryo nga amo ang nagahalit sa kabuhi sang pumuluyo.

Ginapaabot sa iban nga mga intel asset, kontra rebolusyonaryo nga mga elemento, mga kriminal kag sindikato nga grupo nga untatan na ang inyo ginapanghimo nga kahalitan sa pumuluyo. Daku pa ang panahon para sa pagbag-o. Indi na ninyo pagdugangi ang inyo nga sala. Kay kon madesisyunan na kamo sa madugay ukon sa madali manabat kamo sa gihapon.

Indi kamo magpagamit sa mga Opisyal sang Militar nga manugpanginto kay wala kamo sang palaabuton sa ila nga mga pasalig nga makabuhi patay. Napamatud-an na kon ano sila ka kurakot kag gamiton lang kamo para sa ila pangwarta. Ang pamatuod sina, sin-o ang nakabenepisyo sang ila pasalig nga kon magsurender mangin hamungaya ang pangabuhi? Sa madamo nga ginsiling nila nga “surenderee” (Peke nga Surenderee) nga ginkuhaan nila sang kwarta kag ang ginhatag lang P5,000 imbes nga P60,000, sin-o ang nakakwarta? May ara pa subong bag-o nga pangganyat nga kon may ara makapatay ukon makapadakop sang Kumander sang NPA may 2 ka Milyon, ano ka segurado nga makuha ini sang makapatay ukon makatudlo? Madamo sang padugi ang militar para mahinabunan ang ila mga kagarukan.

Makig-isa sa malapad nga pumuluyo nga pigos kag ginahimuslan para bag-uhon ang dunot nga sistema nga mapiguson kag mahimuslanon nga bisan si sin-o man ang magbulos sa poder wala ini sang katibawasan sa baylo, palala nga palala.

Ipatuman ang Matuod nga Hustisya!

Isulong ang Demokratiko nga Rebolusyon sang Banwa!

CPP/NPA-Southwest Negros Guerrilla Front

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): Fascist 15th IB ambushed and sniped, military asset punished by NPA-ASJC

JULY 29, 2020

The NPA-Armando Sumayang Jr. Command of Southwest Negros Guerilla Front successfully mounted a tactical offensive against the AFP’s 15th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pinggot, Ilog, Negros Occidental last July 8, 2020. The AFP succumbed to at least 16 casualties, with 12 killed-in-action and 4 wounded-in-action. A military asset in the same barangay was also punished by the NPA last July 4. The same battalion was sniped by the NPA unit in Sitio Bugtong Lubi, Barangay Damutan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental last July 19.

The 15th IB of the 302nd brigade of the AFP is known for its fascist attacks and SEMPO-like operations in Southern Negros. The battalion has compiled several human rights violations — red tagging, enforced surrenders and evacuation, indiscriminate firing, and murders. The NPA warns the AFP and their assets that the armed revolution will persist so long as they create the conditions for it. Through the absolute leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the people’s war is inspired to carry the revolution forward to greater heights as their commander-in-chief Duterte has intensified attacks against the Filipino people.

CPP: Lingkaw | Hunyo 2020

Regional propaganda publication posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): Lingkaw | Hunyo 2020

Central Luzon Lingkaw Publications Regions

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CPP/CPP-Southern Taglog: On the tyrant’s boasts, lies and threats

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): On the tyrant’s boasts, lies and threats


JULY 28, 2020

The tyrant Duterte yesterday delivered his fifth state of the nation address, spewing out lies, empty boasts and threats. His address failed to touch on the real conditions of workers, peasants and other classes and sectors who are suffering one of the worse crisis of the past several decades.

He sought to wash his hands of any responsibility for the current crisis by heaping blame on the Covid-19 pandemic. He was desperately covering up the fact that it is his delayed, incompetent, militarist and bungled response to the pandemic that has caused widesrpead economic devastation and hardships on the people.
He spoke of “gains” of the past years that were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first place, as far as their socio-economic conditions are concerned, the broad masses of the people have not gained anything, only losses, especially in terms of jobs and income. Even before the pandemic, the Filipino people have suffered worsening hardships as the economy continues to slump in crisis.

The “comfortable life” which Duterte has repeatedly promised the people is enjoyed only by the big bureaucrat capitalists and their ilk among the big bourgeois compradors and big landlords.
Duterte reiterated his plan to pursue infrastructure building as his key economic policy, which the Filipino people have gained nothing from, many of which are driving them away from their homes and livelihood.

Duterte had nothing to say about the people’s urgent demands for higher wages, jobs and livelihood especially in the face of the current economic crisis. He merely wants to drive away millions of unemployed in Metro Manila back to the provinces where they have no land and no jobs.

The Filipino people are seething in unrest due to widespread hunger, poverty and joblessness, and the regime’s abandonment of their well-being. With his terror law, Duterte seeks to suppress the burgeoning protest movement. The arrest of activists planning to join yesterdays protests, police monitoring of church masses leading to seizure of protest paraphernalis and the confiscation of copies of the Pinoy Weekly news magazine are signs of worse things to come.

Despite threats of arrest, several thousands converged yesterday at the UP Diliman campus in a show of militant defiance. In the face of worsening crisis and corruption of the regime, these protests are bound to grow even bigger in the coming weeks and months.

At the same time, the armed revolution is set to grow in strength as the Duterte regime pushes more and more people to either join the New People’s Army or extend it material and political support. In line with its duty, the NPA must continue to wage armed resistance and deal blows against the regime’s criminal and fascist minions.

CPP/CC: Highest tribute of the Central Committee to Comrade Fidel V. Agcaoili

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Jul 29, 2020): Highest tribute of the Central Committee to Comrade Fidel V. Agcaoili

JULY 29, 2020

The entire revolutionary movement mourns the passing of Comrade Fidel V. Agcaoili on July 23, 2020 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was 75 years old. The Central Committee extends its condolences to his wife, Chit, their children and grandchildren, all organizations of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), members of the NDFP negotiating panel, and to all of Ka Fidel’s relatives and friends.

Ka Fidel is a hero of the Filipino revolution. It is but proper to pay him the highest tribute. In line with this, we declare August 8 2020, Ka Fidel’s 76th birthday, as National Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Ka Fidel V. Agcaoili.

The Central Committee calls on all revolutionary forces, progressives, patriotic and democratic forces, migrants and other oppressed sectors, political detainees, as well as various anti-imperialist organizations and personalities across the globe to conduct tribute meetings and other activities wherever they may be to commemorate and celebrate Ka Fidel’s life of struggle and service to the people and revolution.

For five decades, Ka Fidel gave blood and sweat, and time and talent to advance the Filipino people’s great cause to achieve national and social liberation, as part of advancing the international working class movement for socialism and communism.

Ka Fidel was part of the generation of young Filipinos in the early 1960s who challenged the dominant anti-communist and counterrevolutionary ideology peddled by the US and the reactionary state. He was part of the movement that reignited the people’s spirit of patriotism and democracy and pursued the path of activism and service to the people. He jointed the SCAUP (Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines) and helped found the Kabataang Makabayan in 1964. He turned his back on a life of comfort and luxury. He contributed all he could to rouse and mobilize the Filipino people.

Ka Fidel is a steadfast member of the Communist Party of the Philippines. He was elected to the Central Committee in 1970 and performed crucial tasks in the then newly founded Party. For more than five decades, Ka Fidel firmly upheld the Party’s ideological, political and organization line. He was among the stalwarts of the first and second great rectification movement.

He performed various tasks in building the Party and the armed strength of the New People’s Army across the country. Ka Fidel represented leading Party organs in its relations with communist parties in other countries. In the face of sacrifices, he stood firm to perform both big and small tasks.

During martial law, he boldly confronted the dangers of fighting Marcos’ dictatorial rule. Ka Fidel was arrested in 1974, together with his wife and their then two children. As a political prisoner, he stood firm in the face of intense torture, both physical and mental. He was freed in 1985, after being imprisoned for nearly 11 years, the longest sentence suffered by a political prisoner under the fascist dictatorship, more than the sentence for rebellion under reactionary laws. While detained, Ka Fidel drew inspiration from the Filipino people’s struggles. He displayed militance, courage and tireless struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.

After being released from prison, Ka Fidel helped found the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) which was among the organizations that led the struggle to demand the release of hundreds of political prisoners. He also coordindated closely with and led various human rights organizations. To his last breath, he actively denounced the reactionary state for perpetrating abuses against people’s rights.

After the ouster of Marcos, Ka Fidel helped in preparations for peace negotiations with the Aquino regime in 1986 which was later derailed after the Mendiola massacre in January 1987. He also helped in founding the Partido ng Bayan (PnB) in 1986. Amid the bloody killing campaign of rival fascist factions in the AFP against progressive and democratic forces, he valiantly faced serious threats to his life by assuming the position of PnB chair after its first chairperson Rolando Olalia and his companion Leonor Alay-ay were killed in November 1986 by Enrile and Honasan’s troops in the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), followed by the assassination of Bayan secretary-general Leandro Alejandro in September 1987.

Facing death threats, Ka Fidel was compelled to seek refuge in Spain in 1988. There, he was employed the Instituto de Estudios Politicos para América Latina y Africa (IEPALA). From Spain, Ka Fidel continued to perform various tasks to advance the welfare of the Filipino people.

In 1989, Ka Fidel became part of the the NDFP Negotiating Panel upon the resumption of peace negotiations with the Aquino regime in the Netherlands. From 1992, he served as its vice chairperson and helped in forging and signing key agreements between the NDFP and the GRP including agreements which served as foundation and framework of peace negotiations which remain in effect until today. Ka Fidel headed the NDFP Human Rights Committee which actively promoted the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and exposed human rights violations perpetrated by the reactionary state forces.

Ka Fidel replaced Ka Louie as chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel in 2017. As officer in peace negotiations, Fidel was able to travel back to the Philippines for several times to consult with both NDFP and GRP officials. He was able to spend time with leading Party cadres, Red fighters and the revolutionary masses in NPA guerrilla fronts. Despite his age, he took efforts to trek through fields and mountain trails.

Ka Fidel also played a key role in representing the Party and NDFP in establishing friendly relations with other parties, organizations and movements across the globe. He firmly adhered to the basic principles of the Party and thoroughly used these in rousing the revolutionary proletarian spirit and building solidarity among all revolutionary and progressive forces that he got in touch with.

He also served as teacher and inspiration of migrant Filipino workers in building their organizations and participating in the Filipino revolution.

Ka Fidel is known as one of the pillars of the international anti-imperialist movement. He worked tirelessly to forge solidarity among peoples. He helped draw support for the peoples’ struggles in Palestine, Kurdistan, Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia, China, North Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Libya and many others struggling against imperialism and for the right to national self-determination.

As a representative of the International Network for Philippine Studies, he played a key role in founding and broadening the International League of Peoples’ Struggle which is now the strongest and broadest anti-imperialist and democratic mass formation. It is now the leading bulwark of international solidarity of peoples around the world.

Ka Fidel is an exemplar of the revolutionary movement. He was always patient in explaining things and readily answered questions posed by mass media, activists, migrants and friends. He was always calm, and his position was always reasonable and deeply rooted in theory and history.

However, he can also be harsh especially in addressing those who oppress and exploit the people. His sharp statements exposed and criticized the lies peddled by reactionaries.

Ka Fidel is an ardent student and teacher of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He was diligent in studying and applying theory to sharply analyze the Philippine and international situation. He never hesitated in sharing his insights, but he was always open to listen to other people’s opinions. He was always ready to accept criticism to rectify his errors and weaknesses.

People found it easy to get along with Ka Fidel, even new acquaintances. He loved to dish out jokes and also took them in stride. He always put the interests of the people first. He had a big heart for his comrades and was equally loved by them.

Ka Fidel’s countless contributions are thousands of strands woven into the broad fabric of the Filipino people’s struggle. The proletariat and the Filipino people consider him as their hero. His memory will always remain in the people’s hearts and will inspire them as they tread the difficult path of the national democratic and socialist revolutions.

Long live the memory of Ka Fidel!

Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!

Long live the National Democratic Front of the Philippines! Long live the Filipino people!

Analysts: Abu Sayyaf Likely to Resume Kidnappings for Ransom

From BenarNews (Jul 29, 2020): Analysts: Abu Sayyaf Likely to Resume Kidnappings for Ransom (By Eko Widianto)

A Filipino soldier stands with fishermen at a military camp in Jolo, Philippines, following their release from Abu Sayyaf militants, June 22, 2019.  AFP

Cash-strapped and under pressure from security forces, Abu Sayyaf is likely to pick up its piracy and kidnapping in coming months, security experts told a recent online forum.

Five Indonesians, including a minor, are being held by Abu Sayyaf, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said, but there have been no new kidnappings since January, according to authorities.

“There will be more kidnappings,” Sidney Jones, an expert on Islamic militancy in Indonesia, told an online discussion last week, adding that anyone, including Indonesian sailors, could be targeted.

Abu Sayyaf evolved from a terrorist group to become a criminal gang engaging in violence and banditry, according to Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC). Its militants frequently target seafarers in the Sulu and Celebes seas near the borders of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, she said.

Ali Fauzi, a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) member and executive director of the Circle of Peace Foundation, told BenarNews that Abu Sayyaf members resort to pirate attacks because they lack funds.

“Their ancestors in the Sulu Kingdom were notorious for their piracy tradition,” Ali said. “They need money, not only for their struggle but to support poor people.

“They are considered Robin Hoods. They and their community need each other – some kind of a symbiosis of mutualism. If they are pursued by the Philippine authorities, they can blend in with the people and the people will protect them,” he said.

Judha Nugraha, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs director for protection of citizens overseas, said militants carried out 16 kidnappings targeting 54 Indonesians, including in Sabah waters, since 2016.

Many of the hostages were from Wakatobi, a regency in Southeast Sulawesi province, he said while urging authorities there to provide job opportunities to prevent citizens from exposure to pirate attacks overseas.

“We can’t forever rely on ransom payments. We need to address the root of the problem and focus on prevention efforts,” Judha told participants in last week’s discussion.

Ali, whose foundation is dedicated to de-radicalizing former terrorism convicts and combatants, said more Indonesians have been kidnapped than have been reported.

History of kidnappings

IPAC researcher Deka Anwar explained that piracy and kidnappings have occurred since 2010 following an increase in coal exports from Indonesia to the Philippines, adding about 93 percent of the loads pass through Mindanao waters. The slow barges allow Abu Sayyaf militants to abduct sailors.

There was a lull in kidnappings between 2016 to 2017 following large-scale operations by the Philippine military against the militants and a series of money transfers from IS to Abu Sayyaf, Deka said.

Kidnappings resumed in Sulu in 2018. Indonesian crews have been targeted because ransom payments have been made for their release, bringing in large amounts of money for Abu Sayyaf, he said.

Ali, who acknowledged knowing Abu Sayyaf leaders, said negotiators must be skillful to secure the release of hostages without paying huge ransoms.

Malaysia’s Daily Express website reported earlier this month that the Philippine Coast Guard had warned of a possible kidnap-for-ransom attempts by Abu Sayyaf in Sabah and from boats in the Celebes Sea.

In addition, the Singapore-based Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said it received information from the Philippine Coast Guard on July 2 that five members of Abu Sayyaf had been spotted on a speedboat.

Army says nonviolent tactic works, too, vs IS followers

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 29, 2020): Army says nonviolent tactic works, too, vs IS followers (By: Edwin O. Fernandez)

CAMP SIONGCO, MAGUINDANAO—A military tactic to apply the power of persuasion worked in the case of at least 13 Central Mindanao followers of Islamic State who surrendered in the last few days, according to the Philippine Army on Wednesday (July 29).

The IS fighters, who surrendered, were members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a now factionalised Moro armed group that had broken off with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, 6th Infantry Division chief, said the military was giving equal premium to noncombat initiatives in dealing with BIFF even as soldiers continued to increase pressure by armed force on Moro renegades who continued to sow terror.

The 13 IS followers, who recently surrendered, belonged to two groups that operate in the borders of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces, said Brig. Gen. Wilbur Mamawag, commander of the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade.

Mamawag identified those from one group as Haris Marohom, Amer Sanday, Mindo Abdullah, Marvin Guima and Casim Sanday.

They belonged to a group led by a Kiram Abdullah who, in turn, is aligned with the BIFF faction controlled by Kagi Karialan.

“They were involved in different armed encounters with the government forces in the province of Maguindanao,” Mamawag said.

The group turned over caliber .30 Springfield sniper rifle with scope, two caliber .50 Barrett sniper rifles and an anti-personnel landmine weighing at least 8 kilograms with components and triggering device.

Another group is based in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, and were persuaded to give up allegiance to the BIFF by Mayor Resty Sindatok.

Sindatok said it took several weeks of negotiations before the eight militants, led by Ibrahim Guno, agreed to surface and pledge loyalty to government and hand in their weapons.

Aside from firearms, homemade bombs and bomb-making materials were also turned over by the group.

Guno said he and his fellow IS followers no longer saw a good future with the BIFF, prompting them to surrender.

Carreon lauded Sindatok’s initiative of convincing militants to return to mainstream society.

Carreon since 2017, more than 200 militants from various factions have turned their backs on the BIFF, lured out of the IS cause by the government’s offer of socio-economic incentives.

Many of them had been lured into joining the local IS affiliate by promises of cash.

IDP Protection Assessment Report - Forced displacement in Ampatuan Municipality due to Armed Conflict (IDPPAR no. 04, Issue no. 02)

Posted to the Relief Web (Jul 29, 2020): IDP Protection Assessment Report - Forced displacement in Ampatuan Municipality due to Armed Conflict (IDPPAR no. 04, Issue no. 02)

Sources Protection Cluster
UNHCR Posted 29 Jul 2020 Originally published 24 Jul 2020 Origin 
View original

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Ampatuan is frequently affected by conflict between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In February, a number of IDPs has been displaced due to the pursuit operation of the military against the non-state armed group in the remote areas of the Ampatuan Municipality, affecting barangay Saniag and Salman.

On 2 March 2020, over 200 families from Sitio Ugapok, Barangay Salman, were forced to flee their homes due to firefights between the warring parties. On 17 March 2020, the displaced families were advised by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer (MDRRMO) to return to their respective residences, particularly those IDPs who have occupied a private property known as AMARDI compound. Despite this advice, the IDPs opted to stay because of the alleged presence of unidentified armed men and uncertainties on the security situation in their places of origin. There were reported cases of looting and strafing incidences committed by an unidentified group against civilians.


Majority of the displaced families have already returned home but some families still cannot access their farmland due to insecurities. In Barangay Saniag, there are 38 families (190 individuals) who are still displaced, some of whom are currently staying with relatives and some have built makeshift shelters. In Barangay Salman, there are 282 families (1,410 individuals) who also remained with their relatives and in their makeshift shelters, while others have occupied AMARDI 

Lorenzana: AFP taking ‘whole-of-nation’ approach vs terrorists, communists

From the Manila Bulletin (Jul 29, 2020): Lorenzana: AFP taking ‘whole-of-nation’ approach vs terrorists, communists (By Martin Sadongdong)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is taking the “whole-of-nation” approach in addressing internal security threats, specifically communist insurgency and terrorism to achieve the government’s mission of attaining peace and development in the country, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (NTF Against COVID-19 / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

However, the Defense Chief clarified that the military will not interfere with the functions of local government officials contrary to concerns raised by some sectors.

“We understand that the President did not mean the AFP would take part in the day-to-day management of the LGUs [local government units]. Rather, the AFP, with its nationwide deployment, is in a position and an ideal partner of other line agencies and LGUs in the delivery of basic services, and in the implementation of development projects,” Lorenzana explained.

The 51-year-old communist rebellion and the lingering threat of terrorism have been blamed by the government on the derailed peace and development in various conflict areas.

Lorenzana said the military has been taking steps to address these issues.

He mentioned the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in December, 2018, following the collapse of the peace talks between the national government and the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).

The NTF-ELCAC’s primary mission is to eradicate the threat of communist insurgency while delivering the most basic services to communities to prevent residents from being lured into joining armed groups.

It was established through Executive Order No. 70 which aims to “institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace” in the countryside.

Lorenzana also said that some Army commanders are members of the Regional Peace and Development Councils in the communities.

“As such, they participate in the crafting of policies and programs to improve security and implement development programs,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, said the military is creating conditions where communist rebels will be encouraged to surrender to authorities and avail of government benefits intended to help them restart their lives.

This, he said, can be done through sustained intelligence operations, psychological operations and civil affairs. This, he said, is aside from the military’s armed operations and provision of benefits through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“While the AFP does combat operations to defeat the CTG [communist-terrorist groups] and destroy its support system, relevant agencies charged with the construction of farm-to-market roads, bridges, school buildings, health centers, post-harvest facilities and those that create livelihood opportunities and the likes deliver their mandates,” Arevalo noted.

In his 5th State of the Nation Address on Monday, President Duterte said the government needs to provide “interventions” in addressing internal security threats, one of which is the implementation of the Barangay Development Plan.

“This refers to a program where the Armed Forces would play a vital role in the one-nation approach. Everyone, every agency of the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, should participate,” he said.

Rebel killings denounced

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jul 30, 2020): Rebel killings denounced

The Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion yesterday denounced the continued killings of innocent civilians by the New People’s Army, following the death of a farmer on Saturday in Brgy. Carol-an, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental.

Lt. Col. Angelo Guzman, 94th Infantry Battalion commander, said that the victim, identified as Gilbert Garlit, was plowing his farm when three armed rebels suddenly appeared from nowhere, dragged and shot him three times.

Guzman said that Garlit, 32, was the third civilian killed by communist rebels, after Joelito Hilacio and Randy Rociana in Brgys. Carabalan and Buenvaista, Himamaylan City, on June 13 and July 12, respectively.

These killings are barbaric, inhuman, and definitely unacceptable. This is the face of certified terrorists, Guzman said.

He vowed to destroy those who sow terror in the communities.

Medal of Valor awardee named new Army chief

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jul 30, 2020): Medal of Valor awardee named new Army chief

Army Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, a Medal of Valor awardee who used to be assigned in Negros, is the next commanding general of the Philippine Army, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed last night.

Sobejana, who used to be a company commander of the 11th Infantry Battalion formerly stationed in Cadiz City at the height of insurgency campaign in Negros, will replace outgoing Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, who was also named by President Rodrigo Duterte as the new AFP chief of staff.

Gapay will replace Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., who is retiring from the military service on Aug. 3.

Sobejana, who is the commander of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1987, while Gapay belongs to PMA Class 1986.

He is a recipient of the Philippines’ highest military award for courage, the Medal of Valor (MOV), that was also received by then Capt, Arturo Ortiz, who became the commanding general of the Philippine Army.

Ortiz got his MOV while being assigned in Negros as 606th Special Forces Company commander.*

Army deploys 231 new soldiers, snipers to crush NPAs, terrorists

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Army deploys 231 new soldiers, snipers to crush NPAs, terrorists (By PA 2ID DPAO)

A priest blesses with holy water the 178 privates and 53 snipers during the send-off ceremony presided by Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal July 28, 2020. (Photo: PA 2ID DPAO)

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal - "The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle."

These were the first words of Major General Arnulfo Marcelo B Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, who presided over the send-off ceremony for 178 privates and 53 snipers here on Tuesday.

According to the military, the new soldiers completed the 45-day Jungle Warfare and Mountain Operation Course which prepared them for the rigors of military operations, particularly in the treacherous terrains of Sierra Madre mountain range which is a traditional mobility corridor of the NPA terrorists.

In his speech, Maj Gen Burgos reminded the new soldiers "to be mindful of your actions because beyond our ability to fight and win wars, we have the responsibility to the Philippine Army as an organization in promoting a positive image of the Filipino soldiers so that we may be able to attain our transformation objective of becoming a world-class Army that is loved and respected by the very people whom we have sworn to serve."

He added that “having been trained in accordance to the finest traditions of Filipino soldiery and the high standards of being a Jungle Fighter, we are one with our nation in hoping that your deployment will help our frontline units in fast-tracking the already imminent and irreversible defeat of the NPA terrorists in the immediate south of our government’s seat of power.”

In a statement, 2ID said that the 53 snipers have painstakingly completed “two months of very intense training” which can be classified as “beyond the ordinary.”

Maj Gen Burgos emphasized to the snipers that they have been “entrusted with a particular skill set, a skill set not imparted to ordinary soldiers” while expressing confidence that “you will understand that you are expected to act in a better and more matured manner in the frontlines.”
He pointed out that "the units that you will be deploying with will rely on your rare ability, patience and sharpness with the hope that you will be able to turn the tides in the battlefield in favor of your fellow soldiers, in a manner that you were envisioned to do."

"The NPA terrorists’ current state of weakness is a testament that we have already pushed them on the verge of irreversible defeat and that your addition to our forces in the field will help our units to deliver the finishing touches to the more than 5-decade communist terrorist insurgency that has been hampering the growth and potentials of our great country," ended Maj Gen Burgos.

Lt Col Jose DR Del Rosario III, Commandant of the 2nd Division Training School, assured the military’s field commanders that “we have been able to transform these young individuals to a mature and responsible soldiers who can, and will, help the Jungle Fighter Division in living up to our mandate as advocates of peace, servants of the people and defenders of Southern Tagalog."

It can be recalled that 2ID’s military training school has been recognized as the best across the country in 2019 after receiving an excellent rating of 95% from the Philippine Army’s Quality Assurance Team which evaluated their student’s core competencies of marksmanship and land navigation.

The new soldiers and snipers will beef up 2ID’s frontline units and will see action across CALABARZON Region, MIMARO Provinces, Davao, Zamboanga, Basilan and Metro Manila. (PIA-4A/PA 2ID DPAO)

New leadership commands PNP Northern Samar

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): New leadership commands PNP Northern Samar (By Ailene N. Diaz)

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CATARMAN, Northern Samar, July 30 (PIA) -- Given a short notice, a new PNP Provincial Director was installed on Wednesday morning in a turnover ceremony headed by PNP Regional Director, PBGen Bernabe M. Balba at the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office (NSPPO) Multi-Purpose Hall.

PBGen. Balba installed PCol. Arnel J. Apud as the newly NSPPO Provincial Director vice PCol. Reynaldo Dela Cruz.

“Ang turnover command ay isang tradisyon sa PNP na ating ipinapanatili at ipinagpapatuloy hindi lamang upang pormal na ipabatid and mga pagbabagong nagaganap sa ating organisasyon, bagkus, ito rin ay isang okasyon ng pagkilala sa mga pagsisikap at didikasyon ng ating mga lider na pamunuan ang kanyang nasasakupan na may katapatan at karangalan,” said Director Balba.

“Ganun paman, binibigyan din natin ng pagkakataon ang isang lider na lumawak ang kanyang professional career at mapabuti ang kanyang serbisyo sa bayan,” Balba added.

Balba expressed a message of gratitude to the outgoing Provincial Director Col. Reynaldo Dela Cruz for showing laudable efforts by ensuring the peace and security that indeed this province is worth to reckon with.

He personally thanked the outgoing provincial director for his exemplary leadership, hardwork and professionalism that inspires the personnel to do their exemplar job that shows significant contribution in peace keeping in the midst of this global health crises.

“I also commend our new officer-in-charge of the NSPPO, Col. Arnel Apud, for accepting the challenge of serving the people of Northern Samar. May you continue the programs of Col. Reynaldo Dela Cruz with more vigor and enthusiasm. I wish you good luck, and may God continue to guide you,” PBGen Balba addressing the incoming PNP Provincial Director.

“Today marks another milestone in your careers, I wish the best of luck to both of you. You may now be facing a greater challenge in fighting this faceless enemy, but I expect you to give the same level of competence and enthusiasm in addressing our concerns on insurgency, crimes, illegal drugs and other forms of lawlessness. Please continue your attitude towards work, towards service, because Eastern Visayas truly deserves leaders like you.” PBGen Balba’s appeal to the two leaders.

Balba also expressed his assurance to Governor Edwin Marino Ongchuan, that the police force will always be of service and will continue to support the governor’s advocacies and commitment in keeping the province of Northern Samar, a progressive, safe and secure place to live and do business, adding that the PNP will not falter in fighting all the atrocities.

Governor Edwin Ongchuan, for his part, expressed gratitude to the outgoing Provincial Director for being an excellent PD of NSPPO, and well-loved of Nortehanon.

“We really need to emulate his brand of leadership as we enter in these challenging times, especially as we face this pandemic, as we continue to implement the ELCAC of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.” Ongchuan said.

Dela Cruz, he said, has hurdled the pressures of the command very well. In the process, he has forged an even stronger bond of unity and capability in the ranks of the police officers.

Under Col. Dela Cruz leadership, Governor Ongchuan, mentioned the failure of NPA to overrun the Victoria police station and that is one of the best legacies he will leave in the province, an imprint which can never be erased in history.

Speaking before guests and PNP ranks and file employees, the newly installed Provincial Director PCol Arnel J. Apud on his assumption speech expressed his gratitude to the leadership of PNP and the Provincial Government for bestowing him the trust and confidence to lead the Northern Samar Police Provincial Office.

With the guidance of God and with the help and support of all personnel and stakeholders everything will go smoothly, he said.

He assured that the existing programs of PNP will be sustained so that the vision of the province for a vibrant, cohesive and peaceful place will be achieved.

Lastly, he appealed for all to work hand in hand for a peaceful and progressive Northern Samar. (nbq/ADiaz/PIA-N. Samar)

Lorenzana: President's SONA highligts AFP's greater role in delivery of basic services

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Lorenzana: President's SONA highligts AFP's greater role in delivery of basic services (By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan)

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CALOOCAN CITY, July 30 (PIA) -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is "in a position and ideal partner" of local government units (LGUs) and other line agencies in the delivery of basic services as highlighted by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday.

"In his 5th SONA, the President called on the AFP to play a vital role in a whole-of-government governance. We understand that the President did not mean the AFP would take part in the day-to-day management of the LGUs. Rather, that the AFP with its nationwide deployment is in a position and an ideal partner of the other line agencies and LGUs in the delivery of basic services, and in the implementation of development projects," Lorenzana said.

He said, however, that the AFP has long been performing these functions, with some of its officers being active and regular members of local peace and development councils.

"Army commanders are members of the Regional Peace and Development Councils and as such they participate in the crafting of policies and programs to improve security and implement development programs," he explained.

"This function was further enhanced by the issuance of the President of EO 70 on December 2018. EO 70 aims to 'institutionalize the whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace' that would allow countryside development," he said.

"EO 70 provided for the creation of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) with the President as the Chairman. The National Task Force is composed of all government line agencies and the LGUs. The AFP performs an important role in the NTF because it has the manpower and equipment that could easily be mobilized to implement the projects of the NTF ELCAC. Regional Task Forces were likewise created that included regional offices of line agencies and the LGUs," he added.

Lorenzana said while NTF-ELCAC main focus is on ending the communist insurgency it also devotes a lot of its efforts to partnering with the LGUs to bring development to the countryside.

"The call, therefore, for the AFP to play a vital role in governance is a reiteration and emphasis of the AFP’s current function," he said. (PIA NCR)

Cebuano News: Goberno mitunol sa hinabang alang sa mga rebelde’ng mipili sa kalinaw

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Cebuano News: Goberno mitunol sa hinabang alang sa mga rebelde’ng mipili sa kalinaw (By Rey Anthony H. Chiu)

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TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 30 (PIA) –- Kwarta nga dili gyud igkita ug maangkon sa usa ka tawo nga pabilin nga naglatagaw sa kabukiran sa pila ka katuigan aron ipatunhay ang bakak nga mga saad.

Kini human nadawat sa upat ka kanhi mga youth organizer leaders sa New People’s Army (NPA) ang P235,000 nga abag gikan sa kagamhanan aron makasugod sila sa pagpangiinabuhi nga malinawon

KWARTA UG KAPANGINABUHI-AN. Gidawat sa mga kanhi sakop sa NPA ang simbolo sa mga tseke nga ilang madawat isip ayuda sa kagamhanan aron may magamit sila nga mingtahan sa ilang pagsugod sa bag-ong kinabuhi. (PIABohol/47IB)

Ang upat, kinsa nakahukom nga motapon na sa kagamhanan, dala ang ilang mga armas, aron mabuhi nga malinawon, maoy labing bag-o nga pruweba nga matinud-anon ang kagamhanan sa iyang kampanya sa pagtapos na sa lokal nga armado nga pakigbisog ug pagpatunhay sa kauswagan diha sa pagpalapad sa kalinaw.

Ang kwarta nga nadawat maoy hinabang sa kagamhanan pinaagi sa Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration (E-CLIP) Program., aron may kasugdan nga negosyo samtang magsugod sa bag0ong kinabuhi, matud pa ni 47th Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations Officer 1Lieutenant Elma Grace Remonde-Arbulencia.

Mismo si Gobernador Arthur Yap ang mingtunol sa tseke nga nagbalor og P50,000 ngadto kang "Ka Arlene;" P15,000 ngadto kang "Ka Goliat;" P95,000 ngadto kang "Ka Ernie," ug P75,000 ngadto kang "Ka Asyong" atul sa yano nga seremonyas dungan sa ART 160 Caravan niadtong Hulyo 25, 2020 didto sa Mabini ug Alicia Bohol.

Ang mga mingtahan nga nagdala sa high powered fire arms may madawat usab nga dugang sa iyang hinabang sama usab sa magtahan nga may dala nga low powered fire-arms.

Bitbit usab ang mga armas ug ang pakyas nga mga saad nga wala gayud matuman, mingtahan ang upat human inay kinabuhing haruhay sumala sa gisaad, pagtagotago, kagutom ug kanunay nga kahadlok nga maapsan sa mga sundalo ang permi nga masinati sukad sa unang adlaw sa ilang pagtipo sa kalihukang walhon hangtud sa ilang pagkahamtung.

“Mangatulog sa mga kasagbutan, sa mga kabato-an, pait ilabi na kon mouwan ug nagkutoy pa gyud ang tiyan. Matag gabii sa among paglakaw, kanunay nga naa sa among hunahuna nga basin og maapsan ra gyud mi sa mga sundalo. Kanunay ming manaway sa ka-walay hinungdan sa goberno, samtang ang gamay nga suporta nga gisaad, mao lamang ang nagpakaon sa gibiyaan nga pamilya. Pila ka tuig pod kong nanimuyo sa bukid uban nila, nanghinaot nga matuman na ang mga saad apan wala. Karon nga mibalik na ko sa sabakan sa kagamhanan, nakita nako nga ang goberno ra ang makatabang nako nga manimuyo nga malinawon, butyag ni Ka Ernie, kang kinsa nga pangalan ug identity, hugot nga gihupan sa mga kasundalohan aron pagpanalipod kaniya sa pagbawos.

Ang E-CLIP maoy pamaagi sa kagamhanan nga buksan ang ganghaan alang sa mga nasaag nga sakop sa terorista nga komunista’ng kalihukan aron mahimo silang modangop sa kagamhanan ug manimuyo sa kinabuhi nga tarung ug malinawon uban sa mga sakop sa pamilya.

Kini nga programa local nga gipatuman gipangunahan sa Department of Interior and Local Government kauban ang Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, ang Philippine National Police, Philippine Army ug mga kahugpungan nga andam usab motabang sa mga kanhi rebelde.

Kini usab ang matuod nga adbokasyoa sa kagamhanan sa pagtapos na sa armadong pagpakigbisug dinho sa nasud nga nakakalas na sa daghanang inosente ug kadtong nahaylo sa bakak nga saad.

"Nagpasalamat ako sa atong gobernor sa tabang nga iyang gihatag kanako ug sa akoa nga banay. Manawagan ako sa mga kanhi namo nga kauban sa kabukiran sa pagpakaug na diri sa patag aron mopuyo nga malinawon. Naglaum ako nga inyo na nga masabtan nga ang rebelde dili makasalbar kanato, gani ang rebelde magpangayo pa ngani sa masa. Biyai na ang armadong grupo ug dangop sa programa sa kagamhanan aron makasugod na sa maka usa pa, nga mabuhing wala nay kahadlokan pa,” panawagan ni Ka Arlene.

Subay niini, matud pa ni 1Lt Remonde-Arbulencia, ang 47IB padayon pa nga nang-aghat sa mga kaigsoonan nga mobalik na sa patag aron ikauban na ang banay ug manimuyo nga malinawon. Sinsero ang kagamhanansa kampanya nga ipatunhay na ang matuod nga kalinaw nga gipangandoy sa tanan. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol/47IB)

Gov't troops seize NPA lair in Samar

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Gov't troops seize NPA lair in Samar (By 78IB, 801st Infantry Brigade, 8ID PA)

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BRGY. FATIMA, Hinabangan, Samar, July 30 -- A Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) lair was seized by soldiers in a four-hour long intermittent firefight in Sitio Salvacion, Brgy. San Nicolas, San Jose de Buan, Samar around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Operating troops engaged about 50 NPA terrorists who put up stiff resistance before withdrawing away. Troops discovered the lair after several residents complained about the presence of armed NPA terrorists who are extorting money and foodstuff as part of their Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU).

The NPA terrorist lair can accommodate 50 to 100 individuals based on the structures found composed of 34 huts and a kitchen that can be used for huge food preparations

Soldiers recovered five M-16 assault rifles, hundreds of assorted ammunition, a generator set, electronic gadgets, food, medicines, medical paraphernalia and subversive documents.

No soldier was wounded in the skirmish but authorities believe the NPA terrorists could have suffered with many wounded.

Residents who refused to be identified said they can no longer bear the abuses of the NPA. "We do not have enough to eat ourselves and yet they extort RBKU from us," one resident said in the vernacular.

People lament that RBKU is the extortion scheme of the CNT against their enemies yet they impose that against the masses.

The series of surrenders and successful encounters in San Jose de Buan is believed to be the result of the support of the local chief executive who few weeks ago admitted his participation in supporting the CPP-NPA-NDF as part of political survival.

Mayor Joaquin Elizalde, Municipal Mayor of San Jose de Buan, withdrew his support from the CPP-NPA-NDF a few weeks ago and publicly encouraged NPA members to surrender and embrace peace. Several NPA fighters and Militia ng Bayan members heed the call and several armed skirmishes ensued since the public declaration of the mayor.

Brigadier General Camilo Z. Ligayo, the 801st Brigade commander said, "While the NPA continue to harass and abuse people, our soldiers will be more active in serving the masses. We thank the people and local officials of San Jose De Buan for renewing their support to our legitimate government and denying sanctuary to the NPA."

Lieutenant Colonel Reynaldo B. Balido Jr., the Battalion commander of the 87th Infantry Battalion encouraged NPA members who might be wounded to surrender so as to be treated appropriately.

"The wounded must be treated. We call on the leadership of the NPA to let the wounded be treated adequately. Their lives are more important at this time than their passé ideology. There are many cases that their wounded end up dead and they just burry them in shallow graves or worse, they just leave them behind," Lt. Col. Balido said.

In a similar encounter few days ago in Borongan City, Eastern Samar, troops of the 78th Infantry Battalion engaged NPA terrorists in a firefight after residents tipped them off on the presence of armed men extorting from households.

Few months ago, in April and May, during the height of community quarantine in Samar Island, series of incidents were recorded involving NPA terrorists extorting money and foodstuff from the people and some resulted to armed skirmishes after residents informed soldiers. (78IB, 801st Infantry Brigade, 8ID PA)

Army gives recognition to wounded soldiers

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Army gives recognition to wounded soldiers

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, July 30 -- The 901st Infantry (Fight’Em) Brigade of the Philippine Army conferred wounded personnel medals to the two soldiers who were wounded in action in the recent armed encounter against the Communist Terrorist Group, on July 21, 2020 in Alegria town, this province.

The awarding was made during the visit of 901Bde Commanding Officer Colonel George L. Banzon at the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City where the wounded personnel are currently confined and recuperating from their incurred slight gunshot injuries.

Conferred with the award are Private First Class Kevin Cabugsa and Private First Class Jose Isagani De Guzman, both assigned with the 30th Infantry (Python) Battalion.

The soldiers sustained injuries in the recent encounter against more or less 30 members of the Communist Terrorist Group that resulted in the neutralization of one female communist terrorist and the recovery of five high-powered firearms in Barangay Camp Edward, Alegria town, Surigao del Norte on July 20.

In his statement, Col. Banzon praised the wounded soldiers for their heroism and bravery in the performance of their sworn duty.

He further stressed that the actions displayed by the wounded personnel manifest the professionalism of every soldier who continue to risk their lives just to ensure the safety and security of everyone.

Col. Banzon mentioned that medals are not just being awarded because the soldiers became triumphant and survived any fierce battle but these are reminders of the high price that soldiers have to pay in order for our countrymen to continue living in peace and enjoy the freedom they deserve.

“Our injured soldiers took the risks and fought gallantly to preserve peace in Surigao del Norte. As professional soldiers, we are and will forever be grateful for their selfless service. Their acts of bravery must serve as a reminder for all of us that we are enjoying peace because somebody else is willing to sacrifice,” Col. Banzon said.

The Wounded Personnel Medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who are injured or killed in combat. (901st Infantry Brigade/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Tagalog News: Hiling ng IPs sa Magsaysay, tinugon ng OccMin Task Force ELCA

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 30, 2020): Tagalog News: Hiling ng IPs sa Magsaysay, tinugon ng OccMin Task Force ELCAC (By Voltaire N. Dequina)

Ayon kay Voltaire Valdez, Provincial Task Force (PTF) ELCAC Focal Person, ang naigawad na dalawang hand tractors at dalawang makinang patubig ay bunga ng isinagawang Ugnayan sa Barangay ng P/MTF ELCAC. (VND/PIA Occ Min)

SAN JOSE, Occidental Mindoro, Hul. 30 (PIA) -- Tinugunan kamakailan ng Provincial-Municipal Task Force (P/MTF) to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC), ang mga kahilingang gamit sa pagsasaka ng mga Indigenous Peoples (IPs) ng Sityo Basan at Bantilaw ng Barangay Paclolo sa bayan ng Magsaysay.

Ayon kay Voltaire Valdez, Provincial Task Force (PTF) ELCAC Focal Person, ang naigawad na dalawang hand tractors at dalawang makinang patubig ay bunga ng isinagawang Ugnayan sa Barangay ng P/MTF ELCAC.

“Kailangan ang ugnayan upang malaman ang mga hinaing at kahilingan ng ating mga benepisyaryo,” saad ni Valdez, at matukoy ang mga ayudang kayang pondohan ng tanggapan ni Governor Eduardo Gadiano, ng Munisipyo o kaya ay mga kasaping ahensya ng ELCAC.

Sa Ugnayan sa Barangay din higit na nakilala ng mga kasapi ng P/MTF ELCAC ang mga kaugalian at pamumuhay ng mga katutubo. "Nabatid namin na sa pangunguna ng kanilang lider, ay pag-uusapan ng komunidad kung paano pangangalagaan ang mga tinanggap na equipment at kung paano mabibigyang-pagkakataon ang lahat na makagamit ng mga ito,” kwento ni Valdez. Aniya, sa nasabing ugnayan din natukoy ang iba pang pangangailangan ng mga IPs ng Paclolo na may kaugnayan sa kalusugan at edukasyon.

Sinabi pa ni Valdez na dahil malayo sa kabihasnan ang mga pamayanan ng mga katutubo at walang malapit na ospital, kayat hiniling ng mga ito na magkaroon man lamang ng mga gamot sa kanilang lugar. “Tutugunan din ito ng Task Force, at ang nais ni Gob Ed ay makapaglagay ng health center, ngunit kailangan munang may sanayin mula sa hanay ng mga katutubo mismo upang magsilbing tagapangalaga ng itatayong health center,” ayon pa sa tagapagsalita ng PTF ELCAC.

Samantala, naiparating na sa Department of Education (DepEd) ang kahilingan ng mga pamayanan ng IPs na malayo sa paaralan. Saad ni Valdez, kinikilala naman ng DepEd ang pangangailang ito, ngunit kailangan pang pag-aralan ng ahensya kung paano ito tutugunan sa gitna ng patuloy na banta ng Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) sa bansa. (VND/PIA MIMAROPA)

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