Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Alleged ex-NPA member face raps linked to 30-year-old ‘mass purging’ inside rebel group

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 16, 2020): Alleged ex-NPA member face raps linked to 30-year-old ‘mass purging’ inside rebel group (By: Joey Gabieta)

An alleged former member of the New People’s Army (NPA) is facing trial in connection to the “mass purging” initiated by the rebel group more than 30 years ago.

Authorities arrested Muco Lubong, 57, in Barangay Campacion, Arteche town, Eastern Samar at 10 p.m. on Sept.12.

Judge Thelma Bunyi Medina of the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in the National Capital Region issued at least 15 arrest warrants against him for murder.

No bail

Lubong was allegedly involved in the slaying of hundreds of people suspected by the rebels to be government assets or informants in Leyte in the 1980s.

In a report, Colonel Carlito Abriz, police provincial director of Eastern Samar, said Lubong worked as a farmer in Arteche town.

On August 28, 2006, 67 skeletal remains were exhumed from shallow graves in Mt. Sapang Daku in Barangay Caulisihan, Inopacan, also Leyte, where the victims of the mass purging were buried.

Lubong, now detained at the provincial jail, will be presented to the court which issued the arrest warrants.

3 NPA rebels from Rizal yield to military in Aurora

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 16, 2020): 3 NPA rebels from Rizal yield to military in Aurora (By: Tonette Orejas)

Three New People’s Army rebels, who were part of a unit that moved from Rizal province to Central Luzon, surrendered to the military in Aurora province, authorities said.

The three rebels, all Dumagat, belonged to Platoon 4A4 of the Guerilla Front Cesar under the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee,
the 48th Infantry Battalion (IB) said in a report.

The three rebels were identified by their aliases as FPJ, JM, and Lara, who just turned 18 and eight months pregnant.

They claimed to have yielded to the government on Monday due to intensified combined operations of the Philippine Army’s 48th IB, 80th IB, and 91st IB, and the police’s 1st at 2nd Mobile Force Company in the mountains of Bulacan, Rizal, Aurora, and Nueva Ecija.

CPP/CIO: What is Duterte’s deal with Russian and Chinese vaccine-makers?

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 15, 2020): What is Duterte’s deal with Russian and Chinese vaccine-makers?


SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

Last night, Duterte disparaged Western pharmaceutical companies saying they are driven by “profit profit profit” as he continued his push for the purchase of Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines. Addressing the Western companies, he promised to “kick your ass” and called on them to “Go back to your country.”

Duterte clearly revealed his bias when he selectively condemned Western companies, when in fact Chinese and Russian capitalist pharmaceutical companies are no different terms of their drive for profit. The Russian company Gamaleya, in fact, has been criticized for cutting coners and foregoing important clinical trials, in their unholy rush to capture the market and make billions of dollars in profit.

So it raises the question, what kind of deal has Duterte struck that he is now using his powers to push his preference for the country to buy future Covid-19 vaccines from China and Russia; and, this early, shutting the doors to possibly better deals with other vaccine vendors?

Duterte’s now declared preference to buy vaccines from China and Russia, accompanied by his effusive expressions of praise and gratitude to both Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, contradicts his earlier declaration that the Philippines will buy the cheapest Covid-19 vaccine. He is conditioning the minds of the Filipino people in what will likely be another questionable government deal involving billions of dollars.

He also makes a pitch for Chinese companies claiming that unlike Western companies, they do not demand advanced payments. The Department of Health, however, denied knowledge of such demands. What Duterte does not mention is how the Chinese government is taking advantage of the desperation of hard-up countries to strike high-interest debt contracts, accompanied by deals to buy vaccines from China such as what has been exposed in Brazil and other countries in the Carribbean. Like other Chinese loans, these are negotiated secretly by companies and state officials and are a known source of anomalies and corruption.

Bribe-paying and other forms of corruption have long accompanied the operations of monopoly capitalists companies, whether Western or Asian. This is among the arsenal of monopoly capitalists in their overseas operations to capture markets and sources of raw material. They differ only in terms of discretion or

Russian and Chinese companies and state officials have been known to engage in high-level corruption, paying bribes and kickbacks, and giving personal favors to win contracts with government officials and capture markets and sources of raw material.

Filipinos know this only too well with the infamous national broadband network deal with China’s ZTE which involved the payment of large amounts of bribe money to former president Gloria Arroyo and her key economic officials. The recent franchise to operate the so-called “third telco” in the country was won by the Chinese Telco and Duterte’s crony Dennis Uy under questionable circumstances and could not have been consummated without the kickbacks and bribes.

Across the world, China and Russia are perceived to be the most active bribe payers and have been denounced for using corruption as a geopolitical weapon. It involves commercial contracts as well as loans and grants for infrastructure. The rise of state monopoly capitalism and widespread corruption in China and Russia is one of the hallmarks of the restoration of capitalism in both countries.

The Filipino people must be vigilant and expose the corruption behind Duterte’s dealings with China as well as Russia. The corruption-laden deals and contracts that are struck on the pretext of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the recent purchases of overpriced protective and medical equipment from Chinese companies, are the most despicable. These must be fully exposed and denounced.

At the same time, the people must denounce the Duterte regime for perpetuating the country’s reliance on imported manufactures and its failure to support the development of the local pharmaceutical industry and production of medical equipment, especially those urgently needed to manage the Covid-19 pandemic.

CPP/NPA-Southern Mindanao: PARAGAS KI TO PAKIGBISOG! Highest Red salute to Ka Rommel and other young heroes of Talaingod!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 16, 2020): PARAGAS KI TO PAKIGBISOG! Highest Red salute to Ka Rommel and other young heroes of Talaingod!

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

The Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao pays its highest revolutionary tribute to Davao-Bukidnon Subregional Command Red commander Potpot “Ka Rommel” Tawsan, 25; and Red fighters Dandi “Ka Dani” Salubiroy, 19, and Divina “Ka Din-Din” Sendon, 24, whose heroism we celebrate and keep as inspiration in the national democratic revolution. All hailing from the Manobo tribe of Mindanao, the three martyrs laid their youthful lives in serving the Filipino people’s war and the indigenous peoples’ continuing struggle for self-determination and defense of their ancestral land.

On the morning of September 9, Ka Rommel and Ka Dani were killed by fascist soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion in an encounter in Sitio Canacan, Brgy. Saloy, Calinan District in Davao City. In the aftermath of the clash, two other Red fighters, Sara “Ka Sara” Amit and Toto “Ka Totoy” Sausa were wounded and captured by enemy troops. Before this, Ka Din-Din was martyred on August 26 during a tactical offensive launched by Red fighters against an operating unit of the 27th IB in Sitio Lubas in Brgy. Paquibato where 5 enemy troopers were killed.

Ka Rommel’s life had always been in the revolution. He was born during the time when the Manobo tribe of Talaingod and its surrounding villages embraced the national democratic revolution in order to defend Pantaron range, Mindanao’s last remaining old forest ranges. From a very young age, Ka Rommel had been groomed to be one of Talaingod’s next generation of fiercest warriors who will continue the historic defense of Mindanao’s last frontier. Early on in the Red army, Ka Rommel distinguished himself to be a bold politico-military cadre, becoming a platoon political instructor and later company commander of Davao-Bukidnon Subregional Guerilla Unit. He became endeared to the masses and comrades alike, who looked up to him as a committed Party officer especially during the relentless focused military operation launched by the enemy in Davao City and in Talaingod.

Ka Dani, though very young, proved to be steadfast Red fighter. Even before joining the NPA, he was a youth activist in their community who found bigger purpose in pursuing the armed revolutionary life. Ka Din-Din, meanwhile, was cherished by comrades and masses as a dedicated Red fighter and a proud member of the LGBT community. Leaving her poor peasant origins, she decided to join the people’s army in 2014 and later became a vice platoon leader of an NPA unit.

The 27th IB and their bosses at the Eastern Mindanao Command are certainly celebrating the deaths of our three martyrs, making feigned fuss and fanfare of “bringing the remains of fallen rebels” to their families but all the while vilifying them as “terrorists.” For several months now, NPA units of the Davao-Bukidnon Subregional Command have delivered blows against the 27th IB, whose abusive troops have relentlessly launched combat and community support program operations in Paquibato, Calinan and other areas in Davao City even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This tenacious militarization of IP communities, particularly in Brgy. Malabog in Paquibato district, primarily serves to ensure the unhindered landgrabbing of at least 41 hectares of ancestral domain by the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command. By capitalizing on problematic reactionary programs like the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and deputizing corrupt Lumad leaders, AFP officials in early June secured a Deed of Usufruct for the construction of a military reservation in Malabog, a virtual garrison meant to hamlet the local population of peasants and Lumad who continue to resist the regime’s anti-people policies and programs.

To countless Lumad youths like Ka Rommel, Ka Dani and Ka Din-Din, the life of struggle has not only become a necessity but an inevitability—one that has been foisted on them and generations before them by the semi-feudal and semi-colonial state’s historic oppression against indigenous peoples. For the US-Duterte regime’s “IP-centric” counterrevolution, in the grand scheme of things, the deaths of three Lumad youths they have branded as “terrorists” mean no more than propaganda, a mere photo-op for the fascist AFP troops out to deodorize their rotten image. But to the thousands of poor peasants and Lumad in the region, while the grief is thoroughly felt, the loss is but temporary because they know that more and more sons and daughters will stand in the place of their staunch revolutionary defenders.

The deaths of Ka Rommel, Ka Dani and Ka Din-Din and the inhumane detention of two NPA hors de combat are adding fuel to a gathering storm in the region. While the masses, especially the Lumad and peasants in the hinterlands of Southern Mindanao, are suffering from abject poverty made worse by the pandemic and the regime’s ineptitude in the face of it, the fascist war machine of the US-Duterte regime heartlessly continues to launch its anti-people counterrevolution, indifferent to the root causes of the people’s plight and their armed resistance.

Adding insult to injury, Duterte himself and his cabal of fascist thugs in the AFP perpetuate their callous condemnation of the peasants and Lumad’s revolutionary armed resistance. If it were up to them, they would rather the masses passively bow down to being displaced from their lands and livelihood and make way for the economic interests of the ruling class such as destructive mining and corporate plantations. The US-Duterte regime is therefore both abhorred by and cowering in fear of the masses’ rallying cry in the midst of their fallen revolutionary heroes: Paragas ki to pakigbisog! Onward with the struggle!

CPP:The fight to end US military intervention continues 30 years after MBA abrogation

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Sep 16, 2020): The fight to end US military intervention continues 30 years after MBA abrogation

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

Close to 30 years ago today, the Filipino people notched a historic victory when the Philippine Senate voted to reject the extension of the Military Bases Agreement of 1947. The vote came at the heels of months of mass protest actions demanding the dismantling of military bases leading to a massive demonstration that day.

Under the MBA, the United States established and operated several military bases in the Philippines. The vote to reject its extension paved the way for the dismantling of American military bases including the Subic Naval Base, Clark Air Base, Camp John Hay, Sangley Point which straddled across 65,000 hectares of Philippine land.

For close to five decades, US military bases served as one of the starkest symbols of US semicolonial rule in the Philippines. These hosted several thousand American soldiers, US military warships, fighter jets and other military hardware for its overseas wars of aggression and occupation. Nuclear weapons were mounted in secret silos in Subic.

The overbearing presence of US military forces in the country served to constantly put the Philippine government under its control, command and direction. US military bases served as facilities to conduct indoctrination and trainings of Philippine military forces in line with US imperialist interests. Officials of the AFP and police were recruited as US agents.

These military bases were used by the US to mount their wars of aggression in Korea and Vietnam through the 1950s and 1970s, as well as in Iran, Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East through the 1980s.

While the non-renewal of the MBA ended US military bases in the country, it did not end US military presence and intervention. Over the next three decades, agreements and arrangements between the Philippine and US governments allowed the US to continue using the country as a stronghold of US hegemonism. The fight to end US military intervention in the Philippines continues.

US military intervention in the Philippines continue to heighten through the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 and other more recent military agreements including the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). All these agreements allow the US to maintain and strengthen its foothold in the country. These give the US military extraordinary rights and access to Philippine sea, aerial and terrestrial territory.

Under the EDCA, the US has been allowed to set up at least five military facilities within military camps of the AFP. The planned military base of the AFP in Fuga Island in the country’s northern tip can well serve as another naval outpost for US warships.

American military intervention has further heightened especially after 2001 when the US designated the Philippines as its “second front” in its “war on terror.” Hundreds of American soldiers were permanently stationed in various military facilities and camps, who thenparticipated in counterguerrilla combat operations and conducting trainings. They have used the Philippines to experiment their tactics and weapons. Yearly, thousands of American soldiers enter the country under the pretext of the Balikatan “joint military exercises.” Since 2017, US military presence and intervention have further heightened under Trump’s Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines

Amid its heightening inter-imperialist conflict with China, the US is set on further strengthening its control over the Philippines.

In addition to high-level cooperation with the Philippine defense establishment, the US military continues to train and command special branches of the AFP such as the Light Reaction Regiment, the 1st Combat Brigade Team (both formed and trained in the US facilities at Fort Magsaysay) and the recently formed 11th Infantry Division. It directly and indirectly participates in counterinsurgency operations which is drawn and designed according to US dogma. The US provides the AFP with weapons that are now being used in the Duterte regime’s dirty war against the Filipino people.

In essence, AFP counterinsurgency is a proxy for the US war to suppress the national liberation movement of the Filipino people. The AFP continues to serve as the strongest pillar of US military domination in the Philippines, securing the semicolonial and semifeudal system and providing protection for US strategic economic and geopolitical interests.

As the Filipino people mark the 29th anniversary of the end of the Military Bases Agreement, the Party calls on all patriotic forces to continue the fight for genuine national freedom, and an end to US military intervention and support for the Duterte fascist regime.

CA confirms nomination of AFP’s intel service head

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 16, 2020): CA confirms nomination of AFP’s intel service head (By: Christia Marie Ramos)

The powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of President Rodrigo Duerte’s appointed military intelligence service head.

Before the CA’s plenary session, the body’s Committee on National Defense deliberated on and recommended the nomination of Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra to the rank of Major General.

Duterte appointed Niembra as the new chief of the Intelligence Service of Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) in July this year.

Niembra served as PSG commander from May 2018 to February 2020.

He was then assigned as Brigade Commander of the 701st Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army stationed in Mati, Davao Oriental.

The CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of the following AFP officers:

Ulpiano Olarte to the rank of Colonel, Philippine Army
Elpidio Natividad Jr. to the rank of Captain, Philippine Navy
Gem Eulogio Escobido to the rank of Colonel, Philippine Navy-Marines
Angelo Gerald Ariles to the rank of Colonel, Philippine Navy-Marines
Rey Leo Pambid to the rank of Captain, Philippine Navy
Sherwin Respeto to the rank of Captain, Philippine Navy
John Barrameda to the rank of Captain, Philippine Navy
Oliver Reforba to the rank of Captain, Philippine Navy
Ma. Dolores Lim to the rank of Colonel, Nurse Corps
Pura Lyn Epres to the rank of Colonel, Medical Corps
Noel Baluyan to the rank of Brigadier General
Audrey Pasia to the rank of Brigadier General
Nolasco Mempin to the rank of Brigadier General
Alex Rillera to the rank of Brigadier General

NPA leader in Bohol surrenders

From the Manila Bulletin (Sep 16, 2020): NPA leader in Bohol surrenders (By Calvin Cordova)

A ranking official of the New People’s Army (NPA) surrendered in Bohol province.

Joseph Gulle Galagar, also known as Rakam and Joshua, surrendered
to the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) last September 2.

Galagar also turned over subversive documents, two .38 revolvers and two motorized bancas.

According to the Police Regional Office Central Visayas (PRO 7), Galagar used to be the leader of Squad 2 under the Sandatahang Yunit Propaganda of the Bohol Party Committee.

The PRO 7 added that Galagan was the chairperson of the Cogtong Fisherman Association, an affiliated people’s organization of Anakpawis and Hugpong Maguumang Bol-anon-Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

One of Galagar’s roles was to transport NPA’s cadre, weapons, supplies and other logistics in Bohol, Ceby and Negros Oriental.

PRO 7 Director Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, presented Galagar to the media in a press briefing on Monday at the BPPO Multi-Purpose Hall in Camp Francisco Dagohoy, Tagbilaran City.

Ferro said Galagar’s surrender was a major setback on the part of the NPA.

“This development will allow former rebels to rebuild their lives with their respective families. The government as well as the Philippine National Police are sincere in helping them who courageously abandoned the senseless and bloody armed struggle,” said Ferro.

Rescued minors claim sexual abuse in hands of NPA rebels

From the Manila Bulletin (Sep 16, 2020): Rescued minors claim sexual abuse in hands of NPA rebels (By Marie Tonette Marticio)

The two minors who were rescued in a clash between troops of the 93rd Infantry Battalion (93rd IB) and alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Kananga, Leyte recently, claimed that women, including minors, were being sexually abused and forced to take oral contraceptives by the Communist rebels.

Seized during the 10-minute firefight in Barangay Rizal of the town were oral contraceptives, together with a caliber-.45 pistol and ammunition reportedly owned by a terrorist leader identified as Juanito Selleza, alias Tibor, Larry, and Jay, cellphones, ID cards, and various subversive documents.

The two minors were turned over to the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office (MSWDO) of Kananga.

The army said that anti-pregnancy pills were also recovered in an encounter by the 20th Infantry Battalion (20th IB) a few months ago in Northern Samar.

Brigadier General Zosimo Oliveros, commander of 802nd Infantry Brigade, condemned the NPA for their abuse, and utter disregard of the rights of women and children.

“This act by the NPA of abusing women including minors is monstrosity at its worst! We hold the NPA and their coddlers accountable against such crimes against the people. Our soldiers will continue to conduct security measures to protect communities from such criminals and we thank the local residents for making sure their own locality is safe from such threats to peace,” Oliveros said.

The army added that the armed men took children and used them as human shields in the middle of the clash. Soldiers were not able to fire their weapons, especially when Sellesa took a child with him in his bid to make good his escape.

Lt. Col. Roberto Beatisula, commanding officer of the 93rd IB, also condemned the “cowardly act of the terrorists in using civilians especially children as a human shield.”

“These NPA terrorists are cowards. To use civilians especially children as a human shield is inhumane, and is a clear violation of human rights. Our troops will do everything necessary to make these NPA terrorists face the bar of justice and pay for their crimes against humanity,” Beatisula said.

The clash stemmed from complaints made to the military by some local residents last Sunday, September 13, about the presence of armed men who were conducting illegal activities together with some minors.

A firefight broke out when government troops encountered about 10 armed rebels that led to the death of Corporal Nicxon Tomenio, and resulted in the arrest of two NPA members.

The members of the group were reportedly the remnants of the same NPA group responsible for the Inopacan Massacre in the 1980s.

Group urges Duterte to pardon ‘deserving’ Filipino inmates

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Sep 16, 2020): Group urges Duterte to pardon ‘deserving’ Filipino inmates (By: Dexter Cabalza)

After the deportation of US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott who was granted an absolute pardon, a prisoners’ rights group and a bishop have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to extend the same clemency to more deserving Filipinos languishing in congested jails.

“[We press] for equity and fairness. It may be too late to reverse Pemberton’s pardon now that he has already flown the coop. But it’s never too late to extend pardon to thousands more prisoners who in fact have long filed for pardon and are far more deserving,” Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim told the Inquirer.

She pointed out that if Pemberton — who was kept in solitary confinement in an air-conditioned facility — was easily pardoned by the President, there was no reason not to order the humanitarian release of elderly and sickly inmates.

“[If the President will grant clemency to our relatives], we will welcome it,” said Lim, whose husband, National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultant Vicente Ladlad, had been in jail since November 2019 on a charge of illegal possession of firearms. His camp, however, claimed the guns and ammunition were planted by the police.

Kapatid also urged the government to release 635 political prisoners, some of them imprisoned for 20 to 30 years on trumped-up charges.

During his homily at the Kambal na Krus chapel in Tondo, Manila on Sunday, Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo asked the President to use his “prerogative to forgive [and] give hope to those who have erred.”

“If there really is such a virtue as forgiveness in the government, why not exercise this for so many who are languishing in jails? As we see, the issue of forgiveness is not just about our relationship with God, but society as well,” Pabillo said.

Pemberton was convicted for killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014 and received a 10-year sentence. In defending his decision, Mr. Duterte claimed Pemberton was treated unfairly.

WSWS publishes Chinese translation of Dr. Joseph Scalice’s lecture exposing the betrayals of the Communist Party of the Philippines

Posted to the World Socialist Web Site (Sep 15, 2020): WSWS publishes Chinese translation of Dr. Joseph Scalice’s lecture exposing the betrayals of the Communist Party of the Philippines (By Tom Peters)

The World Socialist Web Site yesterday published a Chinese translation of Professor Joseph Scalice’s important lecture, “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte and the Communist Parties of the Philippines.” The original English text and video of the lecture, delivered on August 26 at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, are available here. Translations into other languages will be published in coming days.

The lecture is a devastating exposure of the reactionary Stalinist politics of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its founder Jose Maria Sison. Dr. Scalice documents the party’s support for the fascistic Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential campaign in 2016, and the role played by the CPP and the rival Stalinist PKP in supporting bourgeois leaders throughout the 20th century, including Ferdinand Marcos who imposed martial law in 1972.

Dr. Scalice explains that the CPP’s repeated betrayals of the Filipino workers and rural masses were not simply the product of treacherous leaders, but were rooted in the Maoist variant of Stalinism adopted by the party leadership. Based on the anti-Marxist theories of “socialism in one country” and a two-stage revolution, Sison has insisted for more than 50 years that socialist revolution is off the agenda in the Philippines. Instead, the CPP calls on Filipino workers and youth to support the so-called progressive wing of the national bourgeoisie to carry out a democratic revolution, with the explicit aim of developing capitalism in the Philippines.

The exposure of Maoism, from the standpoint of genuine socialism, has profound international significance, including for workers and young people in China, where its legacy needs to be overcome. Readers will gain a greater understanding of the reactionary role of Maoism in the defeats and betrayals of the working class in Asia and internationally throughout the twentieth century.

The roots of Sison’s perspective stem from the crushing of the 1925–27 Revolution in China at the hands of Stalin who subordinated the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to the bourgeois nationalist Kuomintang (KMT), justifying this as the expression of the “bloc of four classes”—the peasantry, working class, petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie—against imperialism and the comprador capitalists. As Trotsky warned at the time, as revolutionary struggles sharpened, the bourgeoisie would inevitably drop its anti-imperialist pretensions and attack the working class. The result was a series of devastating defeats for the CCP and the working class. But Sison, following Stalin, still holds to the bloc of four classes.

Mao and Imelda Marcos

The 1949 Chinese Revolution involved a huge upsurge of the masses after decades of war, brutal rule at the hands of Japanese imperialism and the KMT and immense poverty and want. However, it was deformed at the outset due to the domination of Mao’s nationalist bureaucracy, the rejection of internationalism and the dictatorial suppression of the Chinese working class. In little more than two decades, Mao had begun preparations for capitalist restoration by establishing relations with US imperialism and its allies, including the Marcos regime in the Philippines (see also: “70 years after the Chinese Revolution: How the struggle for socialism was betrayed”).

Jose Maria Sison hails Imelda Marcos's meeting with Mao Zedong as a diplomatic victory, 20 October 1974

Today, Chinese workers and youth confront the consequences of these betrayals. China is integrated into the global capitalist system, with a vast working class that is ruthlessly exploited by multinational corporations. The Stalinist bureaucracy has liquidated the social gains of the revolution and transformed itself into a new super-rich bourgeois layer.

Workers will once again be driven into revolutionary struggle, not only by the unprecedented levels of social inequality, but also the imminent threat of war, as US imperialism seeks to assert its dominance over China and the rest of Asia. In this context, the historical facts and questions of political perspective examined by Dr. Scalice have a burning contemporary relevance.

Crucially, Dr. Scalice points to the revolutionary alternative to Stalinism: the perspective which guided the Russian Revolution in October 1917 and was elaborated in Leon Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution. Trotsky explained that in countries of belated capitalist development, such as Russia, China and the Philippines, there could be no alliance with any section of the national bourgeoisie, which was universally hostile to the aspirations of workers and peasants. The basic democratic tasks could only be accomplished in a socialist revolution, led by the working class and supported by the peasantry, as part of the fight for world socialism. This political program is upheld today only by the International Committee of the Fourth International, which publishes the WSWS.

Dr. Scalice’s lecture has been viewed thousands of times and attracted strong appreciation and support from young people and workers in the Philippines and throughout the world who are looking for a genuine socialist solution to the intensifying crisis of capitalism—which has produced record levels of social inequality, the criminally negligent response to the pandemic, and the imminent dangers of dictatorship and war.

The lecture also triggered an enraged response from Sison, who has repeatedly lashed out at Dr. Scalice with threats and slanders, including libelous claims that he is collaborating with the Duterte regime and US imperialism.

The WSWS has responded to Sison’s statements, including his regurgitation of Stalinist lies about Trotskyism. We have also published statements in support of Dr. Scalice. We urge our readers to circulate his lecture widely and to send us letters defending Dr. Scalice’s academic freedom and free speech.

Violence in southern Philippines highlights resilience of militant networks

Posted to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)--The Strategist (Sep 16, 2020): Violence in southern Philippines highlights resilience of militant networks (By Georgi Engelbrecht)

On 24 August, two explosions in Jolo, a city in Sulu province in the southern Philippines, killed 15 and injured 74—a chilling case of déjà vu in a region that has suffered repeated attacks in recent years. The incident set alarm bells ringing in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) about the resurgence of violence. The explosions also reheated familiar media tropes of Islamic State’s perseverance amid the coronavirus pandemic and seemingly ceaseless lawlessness. But it’s important to move beyond this narrative to grasp the structural foundations of the turmoil Sulu finds itself in.

While some details remain murky, initial information put forward by authorities suggests that the perpetrators may be linked to Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, a key figure in the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)—a loose collection of small networks in the Sulu archipelago. Sawadjaan’s group was most likely behind the Jolo cathedral bombing in early 2019 and has a history of harbouring foreign fighters. Sawadjaan himself, whom Philippine security forces might have killed in an operation some weeks back, was allegedly proclaimed as the new emir of IS’s East Asia province in 2019.

His group, increasingly backed by another ASG commander, Radullan Sahiron, has also been the most lethal challenge to government forces in Sulu in recent years. Small kinship-based cells rooted in local communities make up the ASG. Some are primarily operating as kidnap-for-ransom outfits, others as militant groups opposing Manila’s authority and military presence in the majority-Muslim area. A few fulfil both roles.

At the BARMM’s fringe, Sulu has been a traditional bastion of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the first ethno-nationalist resistance movement in Muslim Mindanao, founded by Nur Misuari in 1972.

Over the decades, the MNLF splintered several times and entered politics at the provincial and municipal levels. It is currently divided into two factions: Misuari’s wing and forces loyal to Yusoph Jikiri, a rival leader. Both are political–military organisations with hundreds of men still under arms. A majority of local elites who dominate various Sulu towns are ex-MNLF commanders who have been co-opted by the state from the late 1970s onwards, and who themselves control private armies.

Because the ASG was established by disgruntled MNLF commanders, its resilience until now has been fostered by blood ties with MNLF personalities and politicians. This intricate web allows room for cooperation while facing a common enemy, such as the military, and while pursuing economic benefits, such as revenue generated by kidnappings.

Sulu mayors publicly denounce the ASG, but they often lack incentives to counteract its presence because of kinship ties or don’t have the capabilities to do so because of weak governance. This in turn gives ASG commanders such as Sawadjaan ample opportunity to draw on a base of young and deprived individuals for new recruits. The governance vacuum also allows the ASG to promote its ideology unimpeded, even if it’s directed at an external audience.

At the outer edges of the Sulu archipelago, violence has declined in recent years. But the largest island in the chain, Jolo, has remained the centre of gravity for continued conflict.

Since late 2018, Sulu has hosted an infantry division of the Philippine army with over 10 battalions that bear responsibility for a population of around half a million. Yet, despite the heavy military presence, the ASG, after several presidential announcements of operations and deadlines to eliminate it, hasn’t been defeated and continues operating from the mountainous town of Patikul and environs. Moreover, bad blood between the military and police has recently contributed to a schism within the local security apparatus, lowering trust in the national government.

In recent peace processes in the southern Philippines, Sulu was more of a bystander than a key participant. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), an MNLF splinter that emerged as the main guerrilla force in Bangsamoro after the MNLF entered politics, signed a peace deal with Manila in 2014. That process culminated in the creation of the BARMM in 2019.

The MILF has been leading the Bangsamoro Transition Authority since March 2019 but has only a miniscule presence in Sulu and limited soft power to shape governance. Sulu’s governor, Abdusakur Tan, the province’s kingpin who controls most local elites, initially opposed the province joining the BARMM but has since adapted to the new situation.

Still, a year and a half into the transition, the cooperation could be smoother. Historic competition for political dominance of Muslim Mindanao between Maguindanaons (those hailing from Maguindanao province who lead MILF and dominate the Bangsamoro Transition Authority) and Tausug (who hold sway in Sulu and command the MNLF) still lingers.

Moreover, various political dynasties that control Sulu’s municipalities are deeply entrenched, and it will take time for the transition authority to navigate the tensions between instituting necessary governance reforms and accommodating Tan’s leadership.

The Philippine army initially proposed imposing martial law in response to the bombings, but locals in Jolo—traditionally wary of the military—were sceptical about that option and army chiefs withdrew the proposal. Governor Tan also rejected martial law, yet he didn’t offer concrete proposals of his own for how to prevent further violence.

Sulu is facing one of two likely scenarios in the aftermath of the bombing: a more intensified campaign by government forces against militants, or a business-as-usual, short-term security response without strategic vision. Either response, however, will need to supplement possible military or police action with measures outside the security toolbox, such as working with local governments and creating economic opportunities.

A comprehensive approach to tackling the complex nature of militancy in Sulu would require patching up strained police–military relations as well as complementary efforts in intelligence sharing between the two services. The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia should also foster stronger cooperation to tackle cross-border flows of militants that feed into the ASG’s networks and to prevent its maritime renaissance.

Security institutions would need to distinguish between the objective of merely dismantling insurgent cells and the broader goal of curbing the power of clan-based networks that fuel the resilience of the ASG. Stronger political engagement by Manila with both MNLF factions could help enlist their support in that task. In addition, leaders in Sulu and the BARMM should increase their cooperation.

Sulu could also learn from the experience in neighbouring Basilan, where provincial elites and government security forces changed the status quo over the years by building a broad coalition against the ASG network. For now, it is unclear whether the fresh violence in Jolo will drive change in a similar direction.

[Georgi Engelbrecht is a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, based in Manila. Before that he worked for several years in Mindanao. Image: Nickee Butlangan/AFP/Getty Images.]

Kalinaw News: Buntis at dalawa pang pinabayaan ng kanilang kasamang CPP-NPA, sumuko at kinupkop ng Military

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Buntis at dalawa pang pinabayaan ng kanilang kasamang CPP-NPA, sumuko at kinupkop ng Military
Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan – Matatandaan na netong ika-14 ng Setyembre ay boluntaryong sumuko sa awtoridad ang tatlong (3) miyembro ng CPP-NPA mula sa Platun 4A4, KLG CESAR, C (STRPC) kung saan isa dito ay walong (8) buwan ng buntis, menor de edad na na recruit at pawang mga Katutubong IP Dumagat.

Maliban sa hirap ng buhay sa kabundukan at pag-iwas sa pinaigting at pinalawak na operasyon ng 48IB, 80IB at 91IB kasama ang kapulisan ng 1st at 2nd Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC) sa kabundukan ng Bulacan, Rizal,Aurora at Nueva Ecija, naging daan din ng kanilang pagsuko lalo na ni alyas Ka Lara ang hindi maayos na pagbibigay suporta ng mga kasama niya sa kilusan sa kanyang pagdadalang tao.
Di umano ay sawa na sila sa mga di natutupad na pangako ng mga CPP-NPA at sa mga maling ideolihiyang kanilang pilit na pinaglalaban.

Ang mga boluntaryong sumuko ay sina alyas Ka FPJ/Bekit- Squad Leader ng Platun 4A4 Komiteng Larangang Gerilya (KLG) CESAR, 32; Ka JM, 31, miyembro ng Platun 4A4, KLG CESAR at alyas Ka Lara/ Renren, 18 miyembro ng Platun 4A4, KLG CESAR.

Sa ngayon ay patuloy na inaaruga ng militar ang mga nagbalik-loob habang inaayos ang mga dokumentong kailangan para sa kanilang mga benepisyong matatanggap bunga ng boluntaryong pagsuko.

Inaasahan naman ni alyas Ka Lara na maayos niyang mailuwal ang nasasinapupunan ngayon na pinili niyang magbagong buhay at magbalik-loob sa pamahalaan.

Ayon kay Brigadier General Andrew D. Costelo, 703rd Brigade Commander, “Laging bukas ang inyong Hukbong Katihan sa sinumang nagnanais na magbalik-loob at magbagong buhay. Katuwang ninyo kami sa pagbabago.”

Sambit ni Lieutenant Colonel Reandrew P. Rubio, Commanding Officer ng 91st IB, “Sila ay ipapasok natin sa Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) na siyang magbibigay sa kanila ng tahanan, trabaho at pagkakakitaan bilang boluntaryong sumuko sa pamahalaan.”

Dagdag ni Lieutenant Colonel Felix Emeterio M. Valdez Commanding Officer ng 48IB ,”Patunay lamang ito na epektibo tayo sa ating mas pinaigting na operasyon laban sa mga CPP-NPA. Hindi pa huli ang lahat upang sumuko at yakapin ang pagbabago para sa kapayapaan at tuloy-tuloy na kaunlaran ng ating bayan.”

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

Kalinaw News: Isang NPA Patay sa Engkwentro sa Occidental Mindoro

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Isang NPA Patay sa Engkwentro sa Occidental Mindoro
BULALACAO, Oriental Mindoro – Patay ang isang babaeng miyembro ng NPA sa isang engkwentro sa pagitan ng nasabing teroristang grupo at tropa ng kasundaluhan at kapulisan sa Sitio Taboy-taboy, Brgy Gapasan, Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro kahapon bandang 6:30 ng umaga ika-14 Setyembre ng taong kasalalukuyan.

Umabot sa limang minuto ang palitan ng putok na nag resulta ng pagkasawi ng isang teroristang NPA na pinaniwalaan na miyembro ng PLTN SERNA, KLG MAV, SRMA 4D. Wala namang nasaktan o nasawi na sibilyan at sa panig ng pamahalaan.

Nakuha sa pinangyarihan ang isang (1) 9mm pistol, tatlong (3) Improvised Explosive devices IEDs ( Anti-Tank, Anti-Personnel Mine, Improvise Hand Grenade), isang (1) rifle grenade, limang (5) Back Packs, isang (1) Roll flat cord, mga publikasyon at mga subersibong dukomento galing sa mga pinaghihinalaan na mga front organizations, ibat-ibang medical paraphernalia’s at mga personal na gamit.

Agad naman nagsagawa ng imbestigasyon sa pinangyarihan ang Magsaysay Police Station sa pangunguna ni PCPT ARIEL S ROLDAN kasama ang SOCO para sa mga legal na hakbangin.

Ayon kay Lt Col Alexander M Arbolado, Commanding Officer ng 4IB, ang mga magsasaka at lokal residente ang nagsuplong sa ating mga awtoridad dahil hindi na umano nila matiis ang mga ginagawang pananakot at paghinge ng butaw sa kanila ng mga teroristang NPA.

Dagdag pa nito “patuloy pa rin ang pursuit operations sa mga nakitang sugatan na teroristang NPA na tumatakas palayo sa pinangyarihan. Sa ngayon patuloy pang inaalam ang pagkakilanlan ng babaeng NPA na nasawi sa nasabing engkwentro. Matatandaan na karamihan sa namatay na mga NPA sa isla ay hindi mga taga Mindoro.

Ang Municipal Task Force ELCAC Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro sa pangunguna ni Hon Cesar M Tria Jr, Mayor at Chairman ng MTF-ELCAC ay patuloy parin nananawagan sa mga nalinlang ng teroristang grupong NPA na magbalik loob na sa pamahalaan. Aniya, handa ang lokal na tanggapan ng Magsaysay at buong lalawigan ng Occidental Mindoro na tulungan kayo para makapag bagong buhay.

Hinikayat din ng 4th Infantry Battalion at ng kapulisan ang mga natitira pang NPA na samantalahin na ang programang Enhanced – Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Magbalik-loob na habang hindi pa huli ang lahat at hindi na umabot sa ganitong pangyayari, dahil ang pamahalaan ay handa na tapusin ang teroristang gawain ng CPP-NPA-NDF.

Nanawagan din ang mga lokal na opisyales sa mga sugatan ng engkwentro na bumaba na upang matulungan at mabigyan ng agarang lunas.

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

Kalinaw News: Eastern Mindanao Command condemns NPA attack and killing of IP member in Davao de Oro

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Eastern Mindanao Command condemns NPA attack and killing of IP member in Davao de Oro

The Eastern Mindanao Command strongly condemns the Communist NPA Terrorists (CNT) in its recent atrocity that claimed the life of another Indigenous Peoples (IP) member in Davao de Oro.

On September 11, 2020, at around 6:30 AM, an undetermined number of Communist NPA Terrorists (CNTs) attacked an IP community at Purok 3, Barangay Belmonte, Laak, Davao de Oro that prompted the tribal group to defend themselves and their communities.

A member of the tribal group identified as Bensar Alcano, was killed after the CNTs attacked the IP community.

This criminal act of the CNTs only shows how they disrespect the Indigenous Peoples who are only trying to make a peaceful living. At a time when the country is still struggling to fight the dreaded coronavirus, the Communist NPA Terrorists have also taken advantage of the situation by executing their treacherous acts.

On the other hand, the bold act of the IP community to stand up against the Communist NPA Terrorists, which began when the Local Government Unit of Laak declared the CPP-NPA as persona-non-grata on July 18, 2020, was also lauded by the Command as it manifests that the community is already tired of the senseless terroristic acts of the Communist Terrorist Group.

It proves that the IP communities stand ready to sacrifice their lives to defend their ancestral domain against any form of threats. This is also enshrined in the Philippine Republic Act No. 8731 otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997, which recognizes and protects the rights, culture, and traditions of the Indigenous People.

Meanwhile, as we grieve the death of Mr. Alcano, we also honor him for sacrificing his life to defend his village from the murderous Communist NPA Terrorists. This heroic act is worthy of all commendation.

We also call on the IP representatives to condemn the recent atrocity of the CNTs and to give justice on the death of Mr. Alcano and other victims.

Further, Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr, the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command has already directed the ground units, particularly the 60th Infantry Battalion, to pursue the perpetrators and to give justice to the slain IP member.

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

Kalinaw News: LGU Pres Roxas, Army conduct Punong Barangay’s Summit

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): LGU Pres Roxas, Army conduct Punong Barangay’s Summit
MAGPET, COTABATO – The Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) of Pres Roxas in collaboration with Army’s 1002nd Infantry “Bagwis” Brigade and 72 Infantry “Gabay” Battalion conducted a 2-Day Punong Barangays Peace and Development Summit on September 14-15, 2020 held at Municipal Hall, Pres Roxas, Cotabato.

The Punong Barangay’s summit with a theme “Kapit Kamay tungo sa Pagbabago ng Barangay. Makiisa, Makilahok at Makialam” was attended by 25 Barangay Local Executives of the municipality. Moreover, the discussions were focused on how to strengthen the individual Local Governance at the Barangay Level, gave them knowledge on how to protect their communities through Integrated Territorial Defense System (ITDS), and more informations with regard to the different programs of our government.

The summit was commenced by the presence of Hon. Jonathan O Mahimpit, municipal mayor. It was initiated by the MLGU-Pres Roxas in partnership with 72IB and facilitated by the different agencies from DA, DENR, DILG, PAO, PPDO, PNP and TESDA in giving lectures on their programs and projects; and also testimonies from former rebels on their experiences in barangay infiltration.

The culmination program was graced by Hon. Rudy S. Caoagdan, 2nd District Representative and expressed his gratitude to all barangay captains for their active participation during the said activity. He also commended the hardwork of the LGU and 72IB for success of the Peace and Development Summit.

“Your Army specifically the 72IB will continue doing its mandate in achieving a lasting peace in your municipality. We are very thankful for your cooperation and rest assured that we will always support every activity, programs and projects of our government” Lt. Col. Rey T. Alvarado said in response.

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

Kalinaw News: 113 former rebels get E-CLIP benefits in Surigao del Sur

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): 113 former rebels get E-CLIP benefits in Surigao del Sur
Tandag City – A total of 113 former members of the New People’s Army received various assistance from the government in Tandag city on September 15, 2020.

The former rebels (FRs) were composed of 65 NPA regular members and 48 militias or members of the milisyang bayan (MB).
Governor Alexander T. Pimentel of Surigao del Sur handed over the assistance during the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) awarding ceremony spearheaded by the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

The Caraga RTF-ELCAC is chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles who is also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Caraga.

According to DILG Provincial Director Pedrito Alacaba, each of the NPA regular member received at least Php65,000 (Php50,000 for livelihood assistance and Php15,000 immediate cash assistance), while the militia received Php15,000 cash assistance. A total of 5.985 million pesos were awarded to 113 FRs.

Those who have surrendered firearms were also paid by the government depending on the kind of firearm that was surrendered and ranges from Php5,000 for a low powered to Php60,000 for a high powered firearm.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Agriculture also distributed livelihood assistance to the beneficiaries.

In his message, Gov. Pimentel underscored the importance of people’s support in ending the insurgency in the country.

“To the peace loving Surigaonons, let us join together in ending the insurgency problem in our province by not supporting the CPP-NPA. Without the support of the masses, the government will be able to end this problem,” Pimentel said.

Meanwhile, Secretary Nograles, via video message, welcomed the FRs for returning and pledging allegiance to the government.

He assured them that the government is doing its best to provide the needed services in conflict-affected and in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

Maj. General Andres C Centino, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division/Joint Task Force Diamond, said that 83 of the FRs who came from different CPP-NPA units operating in Surigao del Sur surrendered to the 36th Infantry Battalion, 75th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Special Forces Battalion. All these units are under the operational control of 401st Infantry Brigade under Brig Gen Allan Hambala. The 30 others surrendered to
PNP units in Surigao del Sur.

“To the remaining CPP-NPA members, this is your chance to avail of the assistance from the government so you will have peaceful and productive lives with your families. The government is waiting for you, abandon the armed struggle now while you still have a chance,” Centino said.

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

Kalinaw News: 600 households benefit from RCSP services in Agusan Norte town

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): 600 households benefit from RCSP services in Agusan Norte town
BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Joint efforts of the 23rd Infantry “Masigasig” Battalion, the local government unit (LGU) of Las Nieves and the team members from the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) delivered basic services to more than six hundred (600) households in Barangay Casiklan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

Las Nieves Vice-Mayor Larry Bautista who represented Mayor Avelina S. Rosales led the RCSP team during the activity with the support of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development (MSWD), the Municipal Health Office (MHO) and the members of the Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) in the area.
The RCSP team plays a vital role in the peace and development efforts of the government to communities particularly in Barangay Casiklan, one of the identified conflict-affected areas in Las Nieves but was recently declared as a cleared area by the Army. Through the RCSP, the needs and the situation of the local populace in Casiklan is directly bridged to the LGU and the national government agencies. The RCSP also strengthens the barangay-based institutions and sectoral organizations to engage in participatory issue resolutions and the different peace and order interventions.

During the activity, the 600 households in Casiklan were provided with free medical services, birth registration, and blood donation activity. The children in the community were also given free haircuts by the members of the “Pogi Team” of 23rd IB.

In his message, Vice Mayor Bautista thanked the members of the RCSP and its core team for their untiring effort to launch the activity.

“RCSP is one of the national government’s mechanisms in implementing the Whole-of-Nation Approach to peacefully end the local communist armed conflict which was institutionalized by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70,” Bautista said.

He added that the LGU of Las Nieves is always ready to perform its duties and responsibilities to address the root causes of insurgency in the area.

“We hope nga mawala na ang armed conflict sa munisipyo sa Las Nieves ilabi na sa Barangay Casiklan aron makab-ot nato ang kalinaw ug kalambuan sa atong lugar. Bisan naay kakulangon ang resources sa inyong lokal nga panggamhan, ginahimo namo ang tanan aron masuportahan ang mga panginanglanon sa katawhan,” Bautista said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, Commander of the 23rd IB, urged the people of Casiklan to unite and support the efforts of the government to bring peace and development to their barangay.

“Uban ta sa kalambuan. Walay puwas ang programa sa agrikultura, ekonomiya ug industriya sa turismo sa gobyernong local sa Las Nieves aron makab-ot ang kalinaw ug kahapsay. Ayaw dawata ug paghatag sa mga mando sa CPP-NPA nga naa diri sa inyong lugar,” Paulo said.

Paulo emphasized that any support given to the communist rebels will be used to destroy communities and the livelihood of the people as the rebels continue to engage in terroristic activities.

“Ang kwarta nga ginahatag ninyo sa mga NPA mao ang ilang gamiton aron masuportahan ang ilang mga nagkalain lain nga aktibidadis diri sa Agusan del Norte. Ang insurhensya dili lang ni problema sa atong gobyerno ug kasundalohan, kay kini ato ning problema tanan. Magkahiusa kita aron humanon kining insurhinsiya aron makab-ot nato ang kalinaw ug mag malamposon ang kalambuan sa atong nasod,” Paulo said.

He also assured the people of Casiklan of the continuing support of the 23rd IB to all their peace and development endeavors.

“Ang inyong kasundalohan sa 23rd Infantry Masigasig Battalion ug ang inyong gobyerno sinsero sa paghimo ug lakang aron mahimong insurgency free ang atong nasod ug kina makab-ot pinaagi sa sensiro nato nga kooperasyon,” Paulo said.

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

Kalinaw News: 2 dead as MILF-BIAF members clash in Sarangani

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): 2 dead as MILF-BIAF members clash in Sarangani

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Two people were killed and one was hurt during a clash between two rival groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) since Friday, September 11 in boundary of Sitio Badol and Sitio Linawasan, both of barangay Mindupok, Maitum, Sarangani.

The slain MILF members were identified as Sudin Petron and Nasrudin Masukat alias ‘Oting’ both members of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces.

The first firefight erupted Friday afternoon between the group of Pinda Kadir, commander of BIAF-MILF and Esmail Mike Binago alias ‘Bonde’ commander of the same Moro Front. Exchange of gunfire lasted for about five minutes that resulted to the death of Petron and wounding of Komaine Mangutara Arariya, both under the group of commander Kadir.

Another skirmish occurred between the two rival groups yesterday (September 13) at 9:30 in the morning that resulted to the death of Nasrudin Masukat alias Oting, 28 years old.

Meanwhile, 37th Infantry Battalion coordinated with both warring parties to cease firing through Esmail Mike Binago and Ustadz Hussein of MILF Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH). Likewise, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) was also informed and recommended to lead the dialogue between the leaders of both warring parties.

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

Kalinaw News: Army’s 12IB hits NPA in Panay for the 4th time in 3rd Quarter

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Army’s 12IB hits NPA in Panay for the 4th time in 3rd Quarter

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz- The Army’s 12th Infantry Battalion hits the CPP-NPA Terrorist in Panay for the fourth time in third quarter of 2020.

The 4th encounter transpired at Sitio Bidang, Barangay Siya, Tapaz, Capiz at around 9:40 a.m, Sunday, September 13, 2020. The troops were conducting combat operations in response to the ‘tip-off’ from the populace on the presence of communist-terrorists doing recruitment and extortion activities when they encountered more or less five NPAs.

The firelight lasted for about ten minutes. No one was hurt on the government side.

Captured the encounter site were one cal .38 revolver; one homemade 12-gauge shotgun; one machete with NPA logo; one black shirt with NPA logo; three empty 5.56mm cartridges; and two empty cal .38 cartridges.

It can be recalled that on August 26, 2020 two consecutive encounter happened between the 12IB and the members of the CPP-NPA Terrorist in Barangay Panuran, Janiuay Iloilo. These consecutive encounters prompted the 2 female NPAs to surrender to 12IB after they were abandoned by their comrades.

On August 8, 2020, the said Army unit also encountered armed members of the communist-terrorist group persistently recruiting minors to join their ranks in Barangay Atimonan of the same town.

Major General Eric Vinoya, the Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, extends his praises to all Spearhead troopers for continuously protecting and serving the local populace who are willingly cooperating with their Army by giving accurate and timely information about the presence and activities of the communist-terrorists. “We are tracking them in precision because of the people’s support. We thank them for supporting the anti-insurgency campaign of the government,” Vinoya said.

“In response to their clamor for an NPA-free community, we will be relentless in our efforts to pursue these terrorists until they are incapable of sowing fear and terror,” Vinoya added.

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

Kalinaw News: Dalawang kalansay ng pinaniniwalaang mga miyembro ng NPA sa Cagayan, natagpuan

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Dalawang kalansay ng pinaniniwalaang mga miyembro ng NPA sa Cagayan, natagpuan
Camp Melchor F Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela- Sa isinagawang pinagsanib pwersang pagpapatrolya ng 17th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army; Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) at ng Baggao Municipal Police Station (MPS) sa bahagi ng KM 16, Barangay Sta. Margarita, Baggao, Cagayan ay natagpuan ang kalansay ng dalawang miyembro ng New People’s Army sa ilalim ng Northern Front Committee ng Komiteng Rehiyon- Cagayan Valley (NFC/ KR-CV) noong ika-14 September 2020.

Isang residente ang boluntaryong nagbigay ng impormasyon sa mga otoridad tungkol sa mga inilibing sa nasabing lugar. Kinompirma naman ng mga sumukong rebelde, na ang mga kalansay ay labi ng mga dati nilang kasamahan na namatay sa engkwentro sa pagitan ng kapulisan noong 2016.
Ang mga nahukay na kalansay ay pinaniniwalaang sina Ka Albay na residente ng Asinga Via, Baggao at si Ka Hector isang Agta na residente naman ng Zinundungan Valley, Rizal.

Sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy na sumasailalim sa pagsisiyasat ng Regional Crime Laboratory ng Police Regional Office 02 (PRO-2) ang mga naturang kalansay para sa mga karagdagan pang impormasyon sa pagkakakilanlan upang maipagbigay alam sa kani-kanilang mga pamilya.

Sinabi ni Lt Col Angelo Saguiguit, Battalion Commander ng 17IB, na walang kahihinatnang kinabukasan sa pagsampa sa rebeldeng grupo dahil sila mismo ang umaabuso sa mga karapatang pantao ng kanilang mga kasapi. “Isa po itong patunay na hindi pinapahalagahan ng mga NPA ang buhay ng kanilang mga kasama at hindi nila kinikilala ang karapatang pantao ng sinuman. Isang taktika ng mga NPA ang hindi pagbibigay alam kanino man tungkol sa mga kasamahan nilang nasasawi sa mga engkwentro upang hindi makaapekto sa kanilang pagre-recruit. Isa itong babala sa lahat ng mga magulang at sa mga kabataan upang maiwasan ang panlilinlang ng kalaban.”

Sa mensahe naman ni BGen Laurence E Mina PA, Commander ng 5ID, PA, ang mga nahukay na mga kalansay ng mga miyembro ng rebeldeng grupo ay patunay lamang ng pagyurak at kalapastanganang ginagawa ng mga teroristang NPA sa kanilang sariling kasamahan. “Nakikidalamhati kami sa mga pamilya ng mga pinabayaang miyembro ng NPA. Sila ay mga biktima ng mapanlinlang na ideyolohiya na naghatid sa kanila sa kamatayan. At sa kanilang kamatayan ay hindi man lang sila nabigyan ng disenteng libing ng kanilang mga pinuno. Patunay lamang ito na walang pakialam sa mga kasapi ang mga pinuno at cadre ng CPP-NPA. Ginagamit lamang sila upang isulong ang kanilang pansariling interes.”

Dagdag pa ni BGen Mina na gagawin nila ang lahat ng nararapat kasama ng kapulisan at ng lokal na pamahalaan upang maibalik ang mga kalansay sa kanilang mga pamilya ng maipalibing sila ng maayos at ng may dangal.

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

Kalinaw News: DILG turns over halfway house to Surigao del Sur LGU

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): DILG turns over halfway house to Surigao del Sur LGU
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) turns over a newly constructed halfway house to the Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur, yesterday, September 15, 2020.

DILG Provincial Director Pedrito Alacaba spearheaded the turn over of the facility to Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander T. Pimentel in a simple ceremony at Barangay Dayoan, in Tago town.
In his acceptance message, Governor Pimentel thanked the national government through the DILG for providing funds for the construction of the halfway house that will benefit former rebels in the province.

The DILG provided P5 million pesos for the construction of the building while the Local Government Unit provided the lot.

Pimentel added that with the active support of all the members of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), he is optimistic that the insurgency problem in his province will end within the President’s term.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Andres C Centino, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division/JTF Diamond, underscored the role of the LGU in operationalizing the halfway house.

“We are looking forward for the operationalization of this facility. It will greatly help the deradicalization and rehabilitization of our FRs prior to their integration to the mainstream society,” Centino said.

“The halfway house will serve as a processing center for surfacing rebels. They will temporary stay in this facility while their benefits under the Enhanced Comprensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) are being processed,” He added.

Centino also reiterated his call to the remaining CPP-NPA members to return to the folds of the law and avail of the government programs under the E-CLIP so they will have a productive life with their families.

Also attending the activity were Brig Gen Allan Hambala, Commander of 401st Infantry Brigade; Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Director P/Col James Gofort; and representatives of RTF-ELCAC member agencies and former rebels.

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

Kalinaw News: Soldiers and Police recover high-powered firearms, overruns NPA hideout in Quezon encounter

Posted to Kalinaw News (Sep 16, 2020): Soldiers and Police recover high-powered firearms, overruns NPA hideout in Quezon encounter

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal – A 20-minute firefight erupted on Tuesday afternoon when soldiers and police raided a communist terrorist hideout in Brgy Abuyon, San Narciso, Quezon.

The military said that soldiers from the 85th Infantry Battalion and San Narciso municipal police station engaged around 15 communist NPA terrorists after responding to reports from concerned citizens.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Cabahug, Commanding Officer of 85IB, who is directly supervising the military operations in the area that the NPAs were under a certain Joseph Delos Santos alias Ken/Bingot, a notorious former member of the Special Partisan Unit or SPARU, who is also believed to be the mastermind of numerous communist atrocities that were perpetrated in Quezon Province in the past.

Brigadier General Norwyn Romeo P Tolentino, Commander of the 201st Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over the area, said that his forces recovered three M16 rifles with magazines, ammunition, IED components, and other personal effects which the fleeing terrorists left behind.

He added that there were no casualties on the part of our soldiers while the casualty count among the NPAs are being validated by the troops who are still conducting pursuit operations.

BGen Tolentino further stated that the success of the military campaign in his area is due to “the overwhelming support and the active collaboration of the Local Government Units at all levels in the implementation and operationalization of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or PTF-ELCAC thereby denying the communist terrorists the space that they need to thrive and further their terroristic plans in this part of the country.”

For his part, Major General Greg T Almerol, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry (Jungle Fighter) Division, expressed his gratitude to the concerned citizens “who disregarded their personal safety to pass the information to our troops knowing that our society will be better off without atrocities perpetrated by the NPAs.”

He also congratulated the combined forces of soldiers and police “for the display of teamwork and maintaining a seamless relationship in pursuing the much coveted peace for every Filipino while continously protecting them from the evils of terrorism which keeps on hampering our very potential as a nation.”

MGen Almerol ended by calling upon the few remaining NPA terrorists “to turn your backs from armed struggle, surrender, live peacefully with your families, avail government grants through E-CLIP and be part of the solution to the problems that our country is facing because we are already mustering all our resources against any individual or group who continuously sow terror.”

Joint AFP-PNP checkpoints have been established in the area to support the ongoing pursuit operations against the fleeing NPA terrorists.

All available military assets have been placed on high alert.

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

Filipino-American kidnapped in Zamboanga del Norte

From Rappler (Sep 16, 2020): Filipino-American kidnapped in Zamboanga del Norte (By GUALBERTO LAPUT)


An initial report from the Army and police says unidentified men kidnapped 64-year-old Rex Triplet in Sirawai town

A 64-year-old Filipino-American was reportedly kidnapped by unidentified armed men at a remote barangay in Sirawai town, Zamboanga del Norte, at about 6 pm on Wednesday, September 16.

An initial report from the Army's 42nd Battalion and the police's 902nd Regional Mobile Force based in Sirawai identified the victim as Rex Triplet.

Triplet and his 24-year-old wife Celsa Maani were on their way home to Barangay Piacan on a black XRM motorcycle when upon reaching Barangay Tapanayan, about 5 kilometers from Sirawai proper, they were flagged down by 4 armed men in military uniforms.
The Army and police report added that the unidentified men armed with M203 rifle and short firearms forcibly dragged the victim to a waiting vehicle.

During the commotion, Celsa Maani managed to escape and ask for help from barangay officials.

The armed men holding Triplet fled to an unknown direction, the Army and police report added.

Sirawai is part of Zamboanga del Norte's triple S and B area (Siocon, Sibuco, Sirawai, and Baliguian towns) where the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front maintain camps.

Triple S and B has been known to be the lair of lawless groups that have been operating in Zamboanga Peninsula.

At least 4 dead as Air Force chopper crashes in Basilan

From Rappler (Sep 16, 2020): At least 4 dead as Air Force chopper crashes in Basilan (By RAMBO TALABONG)

(UPDATED) The initial assessment of police is that the crash was caused by 'bad weather' but this is subject to further investigation

At least 4 people were killed when a Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter crashed in Lantawan town in Basilan on Wednesday, September 16.

Bangsamoro police chief Brigadier General Manuel Abu confirmed in a text message to Rappler that the crash involved a PAF helicopter.

Abu said in an earlier phone interview with Rappler that police counted 4 cadavers at the crash site.

A separate police report from Maluso town police police obtained by Rappler said that 3 of the fatalities were identified as a female pilot, a male co-pilot, and a male flight crew member. Their identities have yet to be determined as of posting time.

CRASH SITE. What is left of the Philippine Air Force helicopter after if crashed in Lantawan, Basilan, on September 16, 2020. Sourced Photo SOURCED PHOTO

The crash happened at around 2:30 pm. Abu said the "initial assessment" of the police is that the crash might have been due to "bad weather" but this was still subject to further investigation.

"The rains are strong now, but we are not concluding that it was because of the weather that it crashed," Abu said.

A Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team and other investigators were at the crash site, he added.

This is the second PAF helicopter crash in 2020, following the Isabela chopper crash in July that left 4 soldiers dead and injured another.

In March, the helicopter of former police chief General Archie Gamboa crashed in Laguna. It injured at least 7 mostly high-ranking police officials and left 2 in critical condition.

COA: Hard to trace how Duterte intel funds and anti-communist task force money were spent

From Rappler (Sep 16, 2020): COA: Hard to trace how Duterte intel funds and anti-communist task force money were spent (By LIAN BUAN)

COA head Michael Aguinaldo says it's the lawmakers who should decide on the propriety of giving the President that much intelligence funds

Commission on Audit (COA) chairperson Michael Aguinaldo admitted to Congress on Wednesday, September 16, that the commission is practically helpless in auditing both President Rodrigo Duterte's intelligence funds, and the funds utilized by the task force he created, the National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

"We are having difficulty also tracing what budget was actually used by the different departments (in the NTF-ELCAC budget)," Aguinaldo told the House of Representatives on Wednesday during deliberations on COA's 2021 budget.

In the case of Duterte's intelligence funds, Aguinaldo said they are hard to audit precisely because they are confidential – citing as an example the case of informants whose identities will never be revealed because of the sensitive nature of their roles. This makes it impossible for auditors to check the agency's reimbursements and payments for these informants. 

(READ: [ANALYSIS] Why you should be alarmed by Duterte’s 2021 budget)

Aguinaldo even refused to share his insights on the propriety of giving the Office of the President (OP) P4.5 billion in intelligence funds for 2021, the same amount given to it this year.

"It's not within our province, it's really a decision more for the Congress and the Senate to determine whether dapat ba silang nabigyan ng ganun kalaking pondo in the face of the circumstances, hindi po kami makapag opinion dyan kasi that's not part of our function," Aguinaldo said. (Whether the OP should have been given that much in funds in the face of the circumstances, we can't give an opinion because that's not part of our function.)

Representatives France Castro of ACT-Teachers Partylist and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna grilled Aguinaldo on what the COA can do to ensure that these 2 controversial budgets are used properly.


The NTF-ELCAC was created in Decemer 2018 through Duterte's Executive Order No. 70, and was tasked to implement a whole-of-nation approach to end communism.

Its budget however is difficult to trace because the expenses are charged against the specific departments that carry out the tasks.

NTF-ELCAC is composed of officials from different agencies, such as its spokesperson, Lorraine Badoy, who is an undersecretary of Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

Zarate said it's like the NTF-ELCAC is given a discretion to come up with a menu of its projects, and award it to different agencies.

Aguinaldo said it was not unusual for a task force created by the President to charge expenses against the department. For example, if a task force is made up of different Cabinet secretaries, the expense of one secretary is charged against his department.

"But this (proposed budget) is quite big, so it's something we have to look at carefuly, the amout of money involved is not typical when you have a task force involving different departments, those are issues we will really be looking at," said Aguinaldo.

For the 2021 budget, P16.4 billion worth of funds for NTF-ELCAC was lodged under the P28.83-billion Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), which is a special purpose fund under Allocation to Local Governments. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said this would allow the NTF-ELCAC to "play God to the requests of the barangays."

The generals’ pork? Duterte eyes P16.4-B fund for anti-communist task force

Zarate said in the past, they had tried to write to the different agencies which got a cut of the task force's budget, but all responses referred them back to the NTF-ELCAC.

Aguinaldo said they're looking into whether there's a need for a special audit in this case.

Aguinaldo said that what auditors have been doing so far was to check the disbursement vouchers of the agencies to cross match if the expense was used properly.

"Based on kung ano ma-trace nila, malalaman natin if we need to do a special audit on those expenditures, or if the audit done on those agencies will be sufficient, that's something we still have to determine, we've taken note of the request. We are aware it's a big issue in the 2021 budget," said Aguinaldo.

Duterte's intel funds

COA's powers are more limited, or close to nothing, when it comes to Duterte's intelligence funds, said Aguinaldo.

"Hindi 'yan nao-audit like the normal expenditures are audited, as far as yung budget ng OP for intel, wala na kasi kami dyan eh," said Aguinaldo, on Castro's interpellation. (It's not audited like the normal expenditures are audited, as far as the Office of the President's budget for intel, we're not involved in that.)

But Aguinaldo said there's a general guideline that intelligence funds cannot be used for capital outlay, representation, salaries and other items like vehicles.

Duterte said part of the OP's intel funds have been used to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Aguinaldo said what Congress can do is create oversight committees that will monitor the expenses.

"If there is information that has to be divulged, it would probably have to be in an executive session," said Aguinaldo.

Aguinaldo said what Filipinos can find "solace" in is if the Philippines enjoys peace, then probably the intelligence funds were used correctly.

"If there's peace, that might be an indication that it's being used correctly, but definitely we cannot say for sure. The alternative is, if that is removed, there could be an unfortunate event... to some extent you just have to think that the law enforcement agencies are using it properly," said Aguinaldo.