Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Kalinaw News: Pinning of ranks to 57 newly-promoted Enlisted Personnel of 91st IB conducted in a simple ceremony in Aurora

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Pinning of ranks to 57 newly-promoted Enlisted Personnel of 91st IB conducted in a simple ceremony in Aurora

BALER, Aurora- The Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion under the leadership of LTC REANDREW P RUBIO INF (GSC) PA, administered the pinning of ranks to fifty seven (57) newly-promoted Enlisted Personnel (EP) on Monday (October 5, 2020) after the traditional Monday Flag Ceremony at the Headquarters of the 91st IB, Barangay Calabuanan, here.

LTC Rubio said that the newly promoted enlisted personnel of 91st IB is composed of one Master Sergeant (MSg), two Technical Sergeant (SSg), fourteen Staff Sergeant (SSg), ten Sergeant (Sgt), seventeen Corporal (Cpl) and thirteen private first class (PFC).

In his message, LTC Rubio said that the newly promoted will start anew chapter in their military service, explaining that rank is equivalent for an increase of responsibility and much expectations from their seniors and superiors.

“Pinning of rank to the newly-promoted military personnel is one way of recognizing their efforts to the unit both admin and operational accomplishments that made them promoted to the next higher rank. Also a motivating factor for others to work and strive hard towards the attainment of the unit’s mission. I congratulate you for your dedication and devotion to duty,” LTC Rubio said.

Newly promoted Master Sergeant Aldrin Gumabay, First Sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Company said in deep appreciation, “Una po ay nagpapasalamat po ako sa panginoon dahil binigyan ako ng pagkakataon na ma promote at pangawala sa 91IB na ng.recomenda sakin sa promotion. Ang promotion na ito ay hindi dagdag sahod o dekorasyon lamang manapay dagdag na responsebilidad na dapat pagbutihan ang trabaho sampo ng aking mga kasama na na-promote at hiling ko lang sa mga kasama ko na ingatan natin ang ating ranggo dahil taon ang gugulin bago mo makuha ang promotion pero kong ikaw ay magkamali at my hindi magandang ginawa ay tatlo hanggang limang araw lang eh darating agad ang iyong demotion kaya ingatan po natin palagi ang ating trabaho.”

Through the years the Philippine Army had transformed to become a more dynamic and responsive organization through the Army’s Transformation Road map (ATR).

It is noted to place brilliant leaders in key position to ensure that it will always be on track in support of the national government thrust in building a peaceful and stronger nation through ATR.

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


Kalinaw News: Soldiers and police officers receives medal for combat

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Soldiers and police officers receives medal for combat

CAMP GERONA, MURCIA, Negros Occidental – A total of 210 soldiers from the 62IB and police officers in various assignments in Negros received medals for demonstrating commendable exemplary actions during combat and law enforcement operations against the Communist NPA terrorists in Central Negros.

Colonel Michael Samson, Deputy Brigade Commander, 303rd Infantry Brigade, pinned them the Military Commendation Medals (MCM) during the Awarding Ceremony held at MCP 62IB, Brgy Libas, Isabela, Negros Occidental on October 03, 2020 (Saturday). On September 17, 2020, troops of 62nd Infantry Battalion seized NPA’s arms cache after an encounter against NPAs while conducting security patrol at Sitio Bungao, Brgy Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

The said encounter resulted to the recovery of two M16 rifles, eight caliber .38 revolvers, two home-made shotguns, one magazine of M14 rifle with ten rounds of live ammunition, one back pack containing various documents, personal belongings and a red flag bearing the symbol of NPA.
On September 20, 2020, troops of 62IB together with 6th Special Action Force and personnel of Guihulngan City PNP in Negros Oriental conducted law enforcement operations and arrested 9 personalities including 2 NPA leaders at Brgy Buenavista, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

The said operation resulted to the the apprehension of Nona ESPINOSA @ Ava/Jelay, Deputy Front Secretary of Central Negros 1 Front, KR-NCBS and Adidas ACERO @Baldo/BJ, Vice Commander, Front Operational Command both with 8 warrants of arrest for various crimes. Other individuals that were arrested were the following: Lea Niles Y Canja @Susan, Xian Flores Batiken, Rodrigo Benlot Y Himino @Morri, Felix Policher Y Baquilta @Rusi, Analyn Flores y Matusada @Myniel, Crispin T Diano and Juravilla Baloy Y Eno.

The following materials were captured from their possession: 1 Caliber .9mm Glock17 pistol; 3 Caliber .45mm pistols; 2 Hand Grenades; 1 unit Caliber .357 revolver with 5 serviceable ammos; 81 rounds of ammunition; 6 pcs magazine assemble for Cal. 9mm and .45mm pistol; 1 set of Dental Instruments ( 1 pack of Dental Needle and 2 packs of Lidocaine Hydrochloride); 2 sets donation envelope; 2 sets of colored Black and Pink wrist watch;

1 black cellphone holder; 1 set of computer printer; 1 pc of Land Bank savings passbook; 2 pcs of Books of National Democratic Front (NDF) manuals; 3 sets of case folder of shooting incident case in Guihulngan City; One (1) Docket/Resolution document; One (1) set of Subpoena document; personal letters to other NPA leaders; assorted medical and dental tools; 1 colored black medical first aid kit bag; 1 pc colored red stethoscope; 1 piece IV catheter; 1 ML syringe and 12 pcs disposable dental needle; 1 pc pressure therapy manual and subversive documents.

Col Samson, Deputy Brigade Commander of 303rd Infantry Brigade Commander lauds the bravery and selfless dedication of the operating troops to secure and protect the community of the entire Central Negros. “The medal symbolizes your bravery in facing our enemy and selfless dedication on your oath to protect the people and the country. As your Deputy Brigade Commander, I want to recognize your commitment to the service, hard- work and bravery in fighting the terrorist NPAs. Let us continue our efforts in going after the Communist NPA Terrorists, “ Col Samson said.
The activity was graced by Mayor Irene C Montilla, M.D. of Isabela, Negros Occidental and Mayor Carlo Jorge Joan L Reyes of Guihulngan City of Negros Oriental. Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Flores, Battalion Commander of 62IB assisted Colonel Samson in pinning the awards to the deserving 62nd IB troopers and PNP personnel.

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


Kalinaw News: Government troops arrest four NPAs in Negros

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Government troops arrest four NPAs in Negros

CAMP PERALTA, Jamindan, Capiz – Four (4) members of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros/Cebu/Bohol/Siquijor (KR-NCBS) of the CPP-NPA terrorist organization were arrested in a government checkpoint at Sitio Proper, Barangay Montilla, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental around 8:00 pm, Friday, October 2, 2020.

The joint elements of 62nd Infantry Battalion and Moises Padilla Police Station immediately established a checkpoint after receiving information from the local populace about the presence of four (4) suspicious individuals in the area riding two (2) motorcycles. During the interview at the checkpoint, one of the individuals was found to be in possession of an illegal firearm that led to the apprehension of the group.

Further investigation revealed that the arrested personalities were the following: Jovanie Bohol alias JOJO, in possession of cal .45 pistol, 25 years old, a resident of Brgy. Bayabas, Danao City, Cebu, a member of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP) Platoon of the CPP-NPA’s CN1; Wilmar Pongasi alias RAIN, in possession of M203 grenade launcher live ammunitions, 24 years old, a resident of Brgy. Poblacion 1, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, a staff of CPP-NPA-NDF legal front organization Farmers Development Center (FARDEC) based in Cebu, and a known member of the Kabataang Makabayan (KM); Juannie Obidas, 31 years old, a resident of Sitio Banate, Brgy. Macagahay, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental; and Lioltren Trinidad, 31 years old, a resident of Sitio Bandirahan, Brgy. Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Seized from the arrested personalities are the following: one (1) cal .45 pistol; two (2) magazines of .45 pistol; 12 cal .45 live ammunitions; four (4) 40mm M203 grenade launcher live ammunitions; two (2) transistor radios; one (1) pair of rain boots; one (1) NPA flag; one printer; subversive documents, which indicate their connection to the CPP-NPA terrorists; and one (1) marriage certificate of top ranking NPA couple Nona Espinosa alias AVA/GELAY and Adidas Acero alias BALDO/BJ, who were previously apprehended on September 20, 2020 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

In a statement, Major General Eric Vinoya, Commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, questioned the affiliation of Wilmar Pongasi, one of the arrested personalities, with the group as it indicates the direct participation of legal organizations in the CPP-NPA’s terroristic activities in the area. He also attributed the success of the apprehension to the full cooperation of the Negrenses in the government’s fight against terrorism and insurgency as exemplified by their utmost vigilance.

“The arrest of Wilmar Pongasi, a staff of FARDEC, only reveals his affiliation with the Communist Terrorist Group. This is a clear manifestation of the deceptive nature of the CPP-NPA-NDF as they use legal organizations and terrorism against our communities to fuel their ill-motivated intent of raising funds to fill the pockets of their greedy leaders.” said Major General Vinoya.

“While the recent apprehension in Moises Padilla town indicates that our fight against terrorism is far from over, it also showed the vigilance and the willingness of the Negrenses to free their community from violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA terrorists as evidenced by their full cooperation with the authorities.” he added.

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


Kalinaw News: Aurora Ecozone deputy administrator is new 307th Army Reservist commander

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Aurora Ecozone deputy administrator is new 307th Army Reservist commander

BALER, Aurora – The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (Apeco) deputy administrator in this province, MAJ EDWARD A PINEDA (RES) PA, is now the new battalion commander of the Army’s 307th Community Defense Center, the Aurora Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion (ARRIBn).

Pineda officially assumed his new post Saturday morning in a change-of-command ceremony presided by Colonel Roberto B. Sarmiento, group commander of the 3rd Regional Community Defense Group (3RCDG), Army Reserve Command based at the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) in Tarlac.

“I promised that starting today, I will do my best to the fullest level as your new battalion commander of Army’s 307th ARRIBn, I will make sure that our battalion will be known in this province and other places as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Maj Pineda said.

He also vowed to continue the plans started by her predecessor, MAJ ELEANOR M PRADO (RES) PA.

“We will do our best, we will work as a team, let us work hand-in-hand with the command to intensify recruitment of reservists and to ensure that the plans and programs for the province would be carried out,” Pineda said.

Out-going Battalion Commander Major Prado during her message said that she is very thankful to the Philippine Army for making her dream come true to be a soldier and for considering her request to step down because of health condition.

“Thank you for the trust given to me for making and molding me as Battalion Commander by the 3rd RCDG and 307th CDC. Thank you to my officers and men who supported me to all the challenges while serving the people. Thank you to the Battalion Commander and men of 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, Philippine Army to the 100% support given to us specially during the Pandemic situation. Thank you to all leaders of Aurora province, for my family and friends,” Prado said.

She also say sorry for all she have done that affect the services of the Battalion, to her officers group commander and CDC commander.

“I love you all. I will remain as member of the Philippine Army,” Prado said.

LTC REANDREW P RUBIO (GSC) PA, commander of 91st IB extended his sincerest thanks to MAJ PRADO for the support and services extended to 91IB during her stint as BatCom 307th RRIBn.

“We would like to congratulate MAJ PINEDA, the newly-installed BatCom of 307RRIBn. Rest assured that the 91IB will continue to support our reservists regardless of Branch of Service as we are part of the Team AFP,” LTC RUBIO said.

COLONEL ROBERTO B SARMIENTO (GSC) PA who graced the occasion at the army’s 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion headquarter also expressed his sincerest thanks to the local government units in this province who continually support the programs of the army reservist.

He said that PNP, CAFGU and reservist are territorial defense available in the province if the 91st IB is not around and the one who will perform to defend the province and the people of Aurora.

“Communication is very important. Let us inform everyone about the role of reservists, and the territorial defense in this province. Discipline and respect to others should always bear in our mind in serving this land in free, doing civic actions among others especially this time of pandemic. Thanks to our “Laang Kawal” for their dedication to duty in serving our country for free,” he 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: kalinawnews@cmoregiment.com]


Kalinaw News: Local Government Unit (LGU) condemns ruthless acts of NPAs in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Local Government Unit (LGU) condemns ruthless acts of NPAs in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental- The Army’s 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion joins the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Claveria in strongly condemning the violation of Human Rights committed by the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) this morning.

At around 0945H, members of New People’s Army (NPA) burned down three civilian-owned dump trucks and a civilian bus at Sitio Talambao, Brgy Bulahan, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. Damaged during the incident were recyclable dump trucks converted for hauling of seedlings and a bus used for hauling of workers owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc.

The rebels withdrew towards Southwest direction heading Mat-I Gamay, Brgy San Juan, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental while the government troops are conducting hot pursuit on the fleeing enemy.

The act is not only a clear violation of Human Rights but also, a definite violation of Anti-terrorism Act of 2020 which was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last July to end the terrorist acts of the CTGs.

The CPP-NPA has been desperate in attempting to counter the government’s efforts in bringing peace and development to the people through continuous disregard of the law.

Meanwhile, Hon. Meraluna S Abrogar, Municipal Mayor of Claveria strongly condemned theact of violence perpetrated by the NPAs. “The burning of properties is a gesture of desperate move to discredit the government. We are saddened by the act of terrorism, but we still continue to fight and protect the peace and public welfare.” “We strongly believe that we are still the government of the people and for the people,” Mayor Abrogar added.

“We, together with the LGU strongly condemn the CPP-NPA terrorists for their blatant disregard of human rights. Besides, we will not allow these terrorists to plant fear to the communities and people whom we sworn to protect,” said Lt. Col. Ricky Canatoy, the Commanding Officer of 58IB.

Moreover, he is calling the stakeholders of peace to help in convincing the remaining members of the CTGs to follow the path of peace and condemn those who advocate violence and use arms against civilians.

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


Kalinaw News: Mga dating miyembro ng NPA, nakatanggap ng tulong pinansyal

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Mga dating miyembro ng NPA, nakatanggap ng tulong pinansyal

Camp Melchor F Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela– Iginawad na ang tulong pinansyal sa dalawamput anim na mga dating miyembro ng New People’s Army sa Bontoc, Mountain Province ngayong ika-5 ng Oktubre taong kasalukuyan.

Sa ilalim ng Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program o ECLIP, naibigay sa mga sumukong miyembro ng rebeldeng grupo (CPP-NPA) ang kanilang tig-20,000 pesos sa tulong ng Sustainable Livelihood Program ng Department of Social Welfare and Development at ng Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

Ang nasabing halaga ng pera ay nakalaan para sa pagpapatayo ng negosyo’t pangkabuhayan ng mga naturang benepisyaryo na iginawad mismo ni DSWD USec Rene Glenn O Paje kasama ang Provincial Government ng Mt. Province sa pangunguna ni Gov. Bonfacio Lacwasan at ng 503rd Infantry Brigade na pinamumunuan naman ni BGen Henry Doyaoen.

Ayon kay BGen Laurence E Mina, Commander, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, nakahanda ang pamahalaan upang tulongan ang mga kapatid nating nalinlang ng CPP-NPA. “Nariyan ang E-CLIP para sa mga bababa pang mga miyembro ng rebeldeng grupo. Handa ang inyong kasundaluhan na umagapay sa inyong pagbabagong buhay katuwang ang mga ahensya ng pamahalaan. Kung kaya, wala ng dahilan pa, para umanib sa CPP-NPA na walang naibibigay na totoong tulong kundi puto kahirapan, kaguluhan at kahirapan lamang sa mamamayan.”

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


Kalinaw News: Youth For Peace Movement Mabini welcomes new upholders of Peace

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Youth For Peace Movement Mabini welcomes new upholders of Peace

Mawab, Davao de Oro– Following the new normal, 6th Mabini Youth Leadership Summit successfully conducted at Mabini National High School, Mabini, Davao de Oro last October 1-3, 2020

Thirty three (33) participants from thirteen (13) barangays of Municipality of Mabini graduate from the 6th Mabini Youth Leadership Summit. The Youth Leadership Summit is a peace camp which aims to promote character based leadership for the youth and to inculcate among them the virtues of patriotism, adherence to law, support against drug addiction, deeper environmental concerns and other essential knowledge to become a responsible citizen of the country.

The three (3) day activity was a series of lectures and activities including spiritual enhancement, academic competition, cultural night and team building. The participants were encouraged to unleash their talents and discover their full potential.

Through the active collaboration and support from the Local Government Unit of Mabini, BFP and other stakeholders, the 71st Infantry (KAIBIGAN) Battalion successfully conducted the program and activities to educate and empower the youth belonging to the Out of School Youth, Indigenous People and students sector to be an active advocate of peace and a catalyst of change in the municipality of Mabini.

“You are the hope of our municipality. Use what you have learned here and apply it to your barangays so that no more youths will get lost.” Mayor Reynaldo Dayanghirang said during the closing program.

Officially becoming a member of the Youth For Peace Movement (YFPM), they have crafted an action plan that will serve as their guide in programs and activities in their respective barangays.

Rest assured, the Philippine Army through 71IB will remain steadfast in empowering our youth and take an active role in nation building.

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


Kalinaw News: Star troopers get one rank higher amid CoVid 19

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Star troopers get one rank higher amid CoVid 19Camp 

Melchor F Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela– A total of 524 Enlisted Personnel (EP) of 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army who got promoted were donned of their new rank on October 05, 2020 at Camp Melchor Dela Cruz, Upi, Gamu, Isabela.

121 of the promoted EP are assigned in Division Headquarters and post units while the other remaining promoted personnel are assigned in the different units of 5ID.

The donning of ranks was done in strict observance of the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Graced by BGen Laurence E Mina PA, Commander of 5ID challenged the promoted personnel to prove their capability and worthiness of holding greater duties and responsibilities. “Kasabay ng inyong promosyon ang pagbigat ng inyong responsibilidad at paglaki ng mga tungkulin na iaatas sa inyo. Higit pa riyan, malaki ang aasahan sa inyong bawat galaw. Kung kaya, pag igihan pa ninyo lalo ang maayos na pagganap sa inyong kanya-kanyang tungkulin. Remember, in promotion, there are more responsibilities, higher expectations, and bigger demands,”

He ended by congratulating the promoted EP in achieveing another milestone in their career. “My congratulations to all of you on your promotion. Your Star Troopers family is happy to see you step higher in your careers. I truly hope that you will be inspired to do more than what is expected of you.”

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


Kalinaw News: Mayor cites Improvised Explosive Device tipster that saved civilians

Posted to Kalinaw News (Oct 6, 2020): Mayor cites Improvised Explosive Device tipster that saved civilians

Mati City, Davao Oriental – On October 4, 2020 a joint intelligence operation conducted by personnel of 701st Infantry (Kagitingan) Brigade, 104th Military Intelligence Company, 28th Infantry Battalion and Mati City PNP led by Cpt Dexter M Nabora (MI) PA, recovered five (5) IEDs at vicinity Sitio Banahaw, Brgy Central, Mati City.

Mayor Michelle Marie Denise N. Rabat of Mati City condemned the treacherous NPA terrorists for putting the lives of the people of Mati in danger particularly the residents of Sitio Banahaw.

“I thank my concerned constituents for tipping the location of the 5 IEDs to our military. Let’s unite and cooperate as I encourage all people of Mati to report NPA illegal activities such as this planting of IEDs. I invite all remaining NPAs to surrender and be a part of this peaceful city.”

Col Krishnamurti A Mortela, Brigade Commander of 701st Brigade also expressed his gratitude to the tipster on the location of the IEDs in the said barangay.

“I commend the personnel of my Brigade who worked hand in hand with the residents of Sitio Banahaw, Brgy. Sentral, Mati City that made possible the recovery of the IEDs”, Col Mortela added.

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


Cops nab alleged NPA member, 2 other most wanted fugitives in Caraga

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 6, 2020): Cops nab alleged NPA member, 2 other most wanted fugitives in Caraga (By Mike Crismundo)

CAMP COL. RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan City – An alleged New People’s Army (NPA) member wanted for murder, and two other most wanted persons in Caraga region were arrested in separate operations under “Manhunt Charlie” conducted by police forces in Caraga region, ranking police official in the region reported on Tuesday.

Caraga Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) Regional Director Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat, Jr.,
identified the suspected NPA as Dongay Jay Dano, Pluto, 37 and a resident of Purok-5, Sitio Dugyaman, Barangay Anticala, Butuan City.

The suspect was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest, issued last July 22, for the crime of murder with no bail recommended.

According to Caramat, the suspect was an alleged member of Samahang Yunit Propaganda 21C, Guerilla Front 21 of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee, and listed as Top 3 Most Wanted Person Regional Level of Caraga region.

Joint operatives from Butuan City Intelligence Branch, Surigao del Norte Intelligence Branch, First and Second Company of Surigao Del Norte Provincial Mobile Force, Mainit Municipal Police Station and Intel operatives of 29th IB Philippine Army arrested the suspect following an information provided by residents of Purok 1, Barangay Marayag, Mainit town of Surigao del Norte.

Meanwhile, police operatives also nabbed two suspects among the most wanted persons in the provincial and municipal level in separate and intensified operations in Caraga region, Caramat also reported.

In another related development, the intensified anti-criminality operations conducted by the PRO-13 have resulted in the arrest of 367 law violators from Sept. 17 to Oct. 2 this year.

In a press release issued on Monday, October 5, the regional command of PRO-13 said Caraga’s various police units managed to arrest within the period 41 persons for illegal drugs, 76 for illegal gambling, 30 for loose firearms, 17 for illegal logging, and 97 for illegal fishing.

A total of 106 wanted persons were captured during the period.


Two NPA rebels surrender in Ilocos Sur

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 4, 2020): Two NPA rebels surrender in Ilocos Sur (By Freddie Lazaro)

CAMP PRESIDENT QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur – Two members of the New People’s Army (NPA) have surrendered to soldiers belonging to the 81st Infantry Battalion (82st IB) based in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur.

Lt. Col. Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr., 82st IB commander,
identified the NPA rebels as “Ka Eddie” and “Ka Andong”, both members of the Komiteng Larangan Gerilya South Ilocos Sur (KLG – SIS) of the NPA and residents of Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur.

Ka Eddie confessed during his custodial interview that he joined the terrorist group in December 2019, but he had to lie low in March this year.

Ka Andong, on the other hand, was with the terrorist group from 2000 to 2003, but has since gone inactive.

But despite their inactive status, they remained as trusted contacts of the NPA, and served as organizers and recruiters of the NPA in the province.

“The NPA rebels’ act of surrender to the authority is a manifestation of their renewed trust to the government. The army, together with stakeholders, are working hard together to encourage those who are still on the side of the enemy of the state to surrender and give themselves the chance to live a life in peace, especially that Christmas is coming,” Mariñas said.

Army’s 702nd Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Audrey L. Pasia lauded the efforts of Sta. Cruz town Vice Mayor Virgilio Valle, Barangay Caparian Chairman Reymundo Bagano Jr., and Indigenous People’s Chieftain Constante Jaramilla, together with the Sta. Cruz police station and the troops of the 81st IB, for convincing the NPA rebels to surrender to the authorities.

The army’s 7th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Afredo V. Rosario Jr. welcomed the surrender of the two NPA members in Ilocos Sur to the authorities as he commended the efforts of the members of the task force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF ELCAC).

“The cliché that there is strength in unity is true. This is evident with the cooperation of all the stakeholders in the implementation of the programs of the government to end the local communist armed conflict has been stronger than before,” Rosario said.

Meanwhile, concerned government agencies in Ilocos Sur are now working on the possible assistance for the two surrendered NPA rebels under the Enhanced Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP).


Communist Rebels Kill 3 in Attack in Southern Philippines, Military Says

From BenarNews (Oct 5, 2020): Communist Rebels Kill 3 in Attack in Southern Philippines, Military Says (By Jeoffrey Maitem and Nonoy Espina)

Masked protesters raise their clenched fists during a rally to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Manila, March 28, 2018. AP

Communist rebels shot and killed three people during an attack in the southern Philippines over the weekend, including a tribal chieftain who was an outspoken critic of the leftists, the military said Monday.

The chieftain, Hawudon Jomar Bucales, and six of his companions were on their way home after appointing an indigenous peoples’ leader in a village when they were ambushed near a remote town in Surigao del Norte province on Sunday, said Lt. Kris Punzalan, a spokesman for the local Special Forces Battalion.

“Bucales and his group fought back and were able to retreat. He went back to get his two wounded companions but unfortunately, he was hit and killed,” Punzalan said.

In a statement Monday, officials with the Communist Party of the Philippines confirmed that members of the New People’s Army – the party’s military wing – had killed Bucales, whom the party had accused of being “one of the masterminds” of the 2015 killings of a school administrator and two tribal leaders in Surigao, but said they were killed in a gun battle” with NPA guerrillas in Lianga town.

The outlawed Philippine communists have been waging an insurgency since 1969, the longest running one in Asia.

Bucales was the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative of Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

“We mourn his death and we condemn these NPA terrorists,” said Datu Constancio Duhac, a senior tribal chief from Lianga.

“His death will not stop us from fighting for the rights of IPs. His death will not discourage us, rather it will inspire and ignite us more to protect our tribe from them,” he said, using the common term used here for ‘indigenous peoples.’

Bucales was one of the leaders of the Magahat-Bagani, a military-backed militia that some groups blamed for the killing of Emerito Samarca, administrator of a hinterland school built by religious groups for the Manobo tribe, and two tribal leaders, Dionel Campos and Datu Jovelo Sinzo, in September 2015.

Bucales was never formally charged and the military had said that communist rebels were using the school as a shelter, a charge denied by the Communist Party of the Philippines

Many Manobo tribe members had long been opposing the entry of mining and logging companies into their ancestral lands, and were accused by state forces of supporting the communist rebels.

Marco Valbuena, chief information for the CPP, said the statement on Monday that a rebel “people’s court” had tried Bucales and others accused of the 2015 murders.

“Bucales was leader of the so-called Magahat-Bagani paramilitary group in the Surigao del Sur and received guns, funding and publicity support from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and mining companies operating in the area,” Valbuena said.

The communist official further alleged that Bucales had recently been issuing renewed threats against the leaders of the community school.

Anti-terrorism law

Bucales had also been an active campaigner for the passage of an anti-terrorism bill, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law in July.

The new law allows the government to carry out warrantless arrests of suspected militants and hold them without charge for up to 24 days. The legislation removes a clause requiring police to present suspects before a judge to determine whether they were tortured. It also creates a special anti-terrorism council, to be made up of presidential aides instead of members of the judiciary.

The law is widely opposed by lawmakers and human rights groups who say it contains provisions that could be used to target his opponents, including people who have criticized alleged extrajudicial killings carried out during his administration’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.

Analysts also believe that the law will be used to target communist rebels. In 2017, Duterte formally proclaimed the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA, as terrorist organizations.

In August, Randall “Randy” Echanis, 72, a consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – the political wing of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines – was slain at his home during a raid in Quezon City, a northern Manila suburb.

Echanis was active in opposing the anti-terrorism bill.

Ariel Casilao, a former leftist congressmen, condemned the killing of Echanis in August and alleged that his body was found with stab wounds.

“Our anger is beyond words. This is a culture of extrajudicial killings with impunity under the Duterte regime,” Casilao told BenarNews in August.

Duterte has vowed to crush the communist movement and the NPA while rejecting any prospects of resuming peace talks with them. He initiated peace negotiations with the group when he became president in 2016, but talks subsequently fell through after he accused the rebels of continuing attacks.

“This is a declaratory act that national leaders of the legal-democratic movement are now targeted to be killed by the Duterte regime,” Casilao said.


How Filipino activists ended up on a 'wanted' poster

Posted to BBC (Oct 6, 2020): How Filipino activists ended up on a 'wanted' poster (By Preeti Jha)

Image copyrightJEAN LINDOImage captionDr Jean Lindo on a medical mission responding to Typhoon Bopha in 2012

Dr Jean Lindo was on a ward round when a friend messaged to say her face was on a "wanted" poster plastered outside a local church.

The flyer branded her and eight other Filipinos including a bishop and school director - all known for their humanitarian work - as "human rights violators" and "executioners".

It was crude and bore no signatories. But Dr Lindo, who also leads a women's group and environmental coalition, knew the consequences could be fatal in the Philippines where public vilification has been linked to extrajudicial killings.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KARAPATANImage captionA "wanted" poster fixed onto a church gate in Davao City in August

It remains unclear who was behind the poster. But those pictured point to the rise of "red-tagging" - a well-documented tactic used by successive Philippine governments, security forces and at times their anonymous backers to label individuals, without evidence, as communists or terrorists.

They warn the ambit of red-tagging is growing under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who openly expresses his disdain for human rights, to criminalise dissent at large.

And now under a controversial new anti-terrorism law, which has greatly expanded the definition of terrorism, activists say their work is being targeted as even the mildest state critics can be labelled criminals.

Dangers of activism

"I'm aware I've been under (state) surveillance for some time," Dr Lindo told the BBC, explaining that her work as a doctor in conflict zones had triggered official scrutiny in the past. But she was "aghast" to be "marked as a target", she said.

The anaesthetist said the common denominator connecting those on the posters, spotted in several parts of Davao City in August, was their work with underserved indigenous communities.

For decades, Lumad people in the southern Philippines have been caught in the crossfire between the military and communist rebels in Asia's longest-running insurgency. Authorities have often accused the Lumad of aiding the rebellion. In 2017, President Duterte even threatened to bomb tribal schools, claiming they were raising rebels, in remarks that were widely condemned.
But rights experts say they vastly overstate the connection of indigenous people to the outlawed New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Instead, they point to the abuses recorded by a marginalised population who concurrently face threats to their ancestral lands from mining firms tapping the region - along with the activists who defend them.

In 2018, the Philippines was ranked as the deadliest country for environmental defenders by the watchdog Global Witness.

GETTY IMAGES. A protest by Lumad groups in Manila calling for a probe into human rights violations in 2016

The vilification has had a "chilling effect", said Jay Apiag, from the human rights organisation Karapatan, speaking from Davao.

He was seen on the same posters as Dr Lindo - targeted for a second time in a month. An earlier wave of flyers in July labelled him and other left-leaning activists as "terrorist recruiters", a more direct form of red-tagging.

Journalists and lawyers have also reported being red-tagged in recent months. And in June the UN Human Rights Office said the phenomenon of red-tagging "posed a serious threat to civil society and freedom of expression".
The abuse can be even worse online, said Mr Apiag, who reported receiving death threats on social media after being branded a terrorist there too.

"I've witnessed how this red-tagging presents into assassinations," he said.

In August, Mr Apiag's colleague Zara Alvarez was killed after being shot six times by an unidentified assailant on her way home. Her death came hours after the funeral of Randall Echanis, head of an urban poor organisation, who was murdered at his home the previous week.

Both were named as terrorists by Mr Duterte's government in 2018 on a list of 649 people accused of having communist links.

They were later removed from the list, which was eventually whittled down to only two names, as a court ruled most allegations were unproven. But the damage was done, harassment persisted and Ms Alvarez too found her face on a poster declaring her a terrorist.

'A testing ground for McCarthyism'

The government has previously defended the anti-terrorism law passed in July as necessary to counter threats in the Philippines including recent suicide bombings. It says there are safeguards for civil liberties.

The BBC approached the government for comment on this story but there was no response. No one has claimed authorship of the recent flyers. And a local military official has denied any involvement.

For activists the fear is that red-tagging is being used to intimidate them and discredit their work. In June, the justice department linked several of the organisations named in the recent posters to the ongoing communist insurgency - allegations they deny.

KARAPATAN. The targeted activists hold up the police reports they filed over the 'wanted' posters

"Like earlier governments, this one is wrongly conflating the voices of left-leaning activists with armed insurgents," said Roland Tolentino, a professor of mass communication at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

And there had been an "escalating use of red-tagging" by state and non-state actors, he said, with "a culture of impunity" over the murders of activists, similar to that in the drug war prosecuted under Mr Duterte.
The current intensification of red-tagging, which began in the Philippines in the mid-1950s, has a strong historical precedent.

The former US colony was a "testing ground" for McCarthyism, said historian Joseph Scalice from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, referring to the infamous anti-communist movement in the US and the use of red-tagging as a strategy to quash political opposition.

Red-tagging was "generally associated with times of political upheaval such as the present," Dr Scalice said, "with Covid-19 and economic collapse and emerging protests against the Duterte administration".

There have been no new 'wanted' posters in Davao City since August. After filing a police report, informing the national human rights body and tearing down each poster they encountered, the activists resumed their work, determined not to be cowed.

"We have seen attacks far worse than this," said Meggie Nolasco, the executive director of a local Lumad school, who was also labelled. But the latest vilification campaign showed that "everyone should be vigilant" under the new anti-terrorism law, Ms Nolasco said.

"Everyone should be alarmed, because no one is exempt from being targeted."


House eyes probe into fake Facebook accounts linked to PH military, police

 From Rappler (Oct 6, 2020): House eyes probe into fake Facebook accounts linked to PH military, police (By RAMBO TALABONG)

House deliberations on the Department of National Defense budget has been deferred due to concerns over the fake social media accounts

The chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability has suggested a congressional inquiry into the fake Facebook accounts linked to the Philippine military and police.

Bulacan 1st District Representative Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, sponsor of the proposed Department of National Defense budget for 2021, raised this while being quizzed by Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago during the period of deliberations at the House plenary on the DND budget on Tuesday, October 6.

The interpellation lasted until past 3 am on Tuesday, and ended with many of Elago's questions still unanswered. The approval of the DND budget was deferred and will be tackled again on Friday, October 9.

Elago's questions were based on Facebook's takedown of a network of fake accounts that displayed "inauthentic behavior" in generating and steering discussion against youth activists and the opposition, and also support for the controversial anti-terror law. Facebook said the network had links to the Philippine police and military.

Since then, at least 3 military personnel have been identified as among the operators of the fake network.

The money question

During the deliberations, Elago asked Sy-Alvarado how Army Captain Alexandre Cabales and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were able to manage Facebook accounts and allegedly fund advertisements in the fake accounts, which Facebook pegged at around $1,100 or around P55,000.

"The DND is saying that they were not the ones spending (for the Facebook pages)," Sy-Alvarado replied.

Elago kept on pushing Sy-Alvarado for a response, even urging him to ask the DND himself, but defense officials continued to deny any disbursement for the accounts. Elago was not convinced.

How was he able to travel?

Elago asked how Cabales was able to manage one of the recently deactivated Facebook pages, Hands Off Our Children, and was able to travel around the country for its projects if he did not spend public funds.

Sy-Alvarado said Cabales' travels were funded by the members of Hands Off Our Children, who are parents against child exploitation and trafficking allegedly by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

"I just hope that he was on leave of absence (when he traveled)," Sy-Alvarado added.

An impartial probe?

Elago called on the DND to conduct a deeper probe into Cabales and the accounts linked to the military and the police. The military earlier said it would withhold passing judgment on Cabales until they met with Facebook officials on the military officer's social media violations.

Sy-Alvarado then suggested a House probe.

"In the interest of the people, maybe it is more fair for the House of the people to hold an investigation, instead of his own colleagues," Sy-Alvarado said, referring to the DND and the AFP.

Budget approval deferred

With the DND leaving lawmakers with more questions than answers, Elago moved for the deferment of deliberations on the agency's budget, which was approved.

"The AFP is the protector of the people and the state. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory. Why are they attacking the youth and students?" Elago said. 

(READ: Lorenzana defends fabricated posts spread by PH military on social media)

She added: "It is clear that they are not fulfilling their mandate. They continue to waste the funds of the people to attack the people. For all these grave causes of, I move to defer the DND budget deliberations."


Navy delivers 24 tons of PPE sets to Iloilo, Bacolod

From Panay News (Oct 6, 2020): Navy delivers 24 tons of PPE sets to Iloilo, Bacolod

BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) ship arrives in Iloilo City over the weekend after leaving the Manila South Harbor. NAVAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE

The Philippine Navy (PN) said its strategic sealift vessel, BRP Davao Del Sur, was able to transport 20.79 gross tons of personal protective equipment sets to Iloilo City.

Navy public affairs office chief Lieutenant Commander Maria Christina Roxas said the ship arrived in Iloilo City on Sunday after leaving the Manila South Harbor on Saturday.

Roxas said the ship has already departed from Iloilo City and is expected to arrive in Bacolod City later on Monday with some 3.34 gross tons of PPE sets.

“This undertaking highlights the crucial capability of the PN to provide much needed logistical support and another manifestation of its full support to the government by devoting personnel, assets, and resources to the resolve of defeating this coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic,” she added.


Datu murdered

From the Mindanao Times (Oct 6, 2020): Datu murdered (BY RHODA GRACE SARON)

IPMR and NPA critic, two others, slain in ambush

A TRIBAL leader who was very vocal against the New People’s Army was gunned down in an ambush in Sitio Mamprasanon, Barangay Banahao, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Meanwhile, his two companions were also killed and three others wounded in the attack.

The victim was identified as Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Lianga Indigenous Peoples’ Mandatory Representative (IPMR), a staunch advocate of IP rights and
a vocal critic of the front organizations of the NPA.

The two slain Civilian Active Auxilliary members were identified as Alberto Dela Peña and Artemio Muldez, while Ronald Acevedo, Ronald Bucales, and Oliver Rosaldo, a civilian, sustained injuries.

Maj. Rodulfo Cordero Jr., the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said Bucales and his companions, were murdered by more or less 15 communist guerrillas.

The victims were on board three motorcycles after attending an IP dialogue in Barangay San Isidro when the lead vehicle noticed banana trucks blocking the road. They stopped to clear the obstacle and that was when they were ambushed. According to witnesses, they were still able to fight back but were overwhelmed by the number of enemies.

1Lt. Krisjuper Andreo Punsalan, the civil-military operations officer of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion, confirmed that Datu Bucales and his companions were on there way home after an IP council meeting in the said barangay.

Datu Bucales and Dela Peña died on the spot, while Nuñez was still breathing when he was brought to the Lianga District Hospital. Unfortunately, he did not make it. The three wounded are now out of danger and continue to recuperate in the same hospital.

Bucales has long been a thorn on the side of the NPA as he worked with the military to win over the former communist strongholds. He has condemned the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu) for exploiting the IPs and destroying the culture and traditions of the tribe.

He also confronted the communist-linked IP schools, Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao Del Sur (TRIFPSS) and Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (Alcadev), which breed NPA cadres and terrorist fighters.

He crossed swords with Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Campos Cullamat, whom he accused of coddling TRIFFS and Alcadev while claiming to be representing the Lumads.

“Congresswoman Cullamat has not yet sponsored project for the Manobo tribe in Lianga, not even a school or farm-market road that will connect Manobo communities in Andap Valley to the market centers in the province of Surigao del Sur,” Bucales said in a previous interview with the Philippine News Agency in Marcy 2020.

The IP leaders in the area are urging Cullamat to engage with the legitimate tribal organization in Lianga, and not with the leaders of the leftist IP group, Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod, whose members are known to have direct links with the CPP-NPA.

Bucales’ leadership was instrumental in crafting tribal resolutions to close CNT-linked TRIFPSS and Alcadev, and in the establishment of the DepEd IP schools to provide quality education for their children. He also authored resolutions for the continuous development of the far-flung conflict-affected villages.

With his leadership, he anchored his efforts with the Whole-Of-Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Lianga, which was strongly opposed by Cullamat, who is also a native of Lianga and brother of communist NPA leader, Pablito Sinzo Campos alias Batik.

Lianga tribal chieftain, Datu Constancio Duhac, and the whole IP community condemned the murder of their IPMR.

“We mourn for the death of our IPMR, Hawudon Jumar S. Bucales, and we condemn these NPA terrorists to include Mapasu. His death will not stop us from fighting for the rights of IPs. His death will not discourage us in fighting the NPAs, rather this will inspire and ignite us more to protect our tribe from them,” Duhac, said.

“Once again, we challenge Congresswoman Cullamat to take action and condemn the NPA terrorists because what happened is unacceptable. If she cannot do that, this will strongly prove that she is not supporting the genuine cause of the IPs but the cause of the NPA terrorists and the Communist Party of the Philippines whose ambition is to overthrow the government and gain political power through a bloody revolution, “ San Miguel IPMR, Rico Maca, said in his social media post.

Datu Bucales was also a former NPA leader who realized that he was only being exploited by the NPA by using their issues to agitate and recruit Lumads.

In his statement, Maj. Gen. Andres Centino, the 4th Infantry Division commander, said Bucales, Dela Peña, and CAAMuldez died while serving the people. “They were working hard to educate and empower the IPs in Lianga so that they will not be deceived by the communist NPA terrorists.”

“This incident only proves that CPP-NPA rebels are mere bandits and terrorists who continue to bring havoc to the IP communities, and killing IP leaders who are not supportive of their vicious cause,” He said.

Meanwhile, the IP Tribal Council of Lianga will file human rights violations and criminal cases against the NPA for violations of the International Humanitarian Law and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

“We will assist the families of the victims in filing criminal cases for murder and violations of RA 9581 against the perpetrators and their leaders. We will ensure that those responsible for this barbaric act will pay,” Centino said.


ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: Pamalandong sa Bangsamoro Self-determination via RCC-MM (Part 1 of 7)

 Posted to MindaNews (Oct 6, 2020): ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: Pamalandong sa Bangsamoro Self-determination via RCC-MM (Part 1 of 7) (By RUDY BUHAY RODIL)

Part 1 of 7: Formation of the Regional Consultative Commission for Muslim Mindanao

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 6 Oct) – The Regional Consultative Commission for Muslim Mindanao (RCC-MM) was a creation of the 1987 Constitution. The command is clear from the start:

“The Congress shall enact an organic act for each autonomous region with the assistance and participation of the regional consultative commission composed of representatives appointed by the President from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies.” (Art. X, Sec. 18)

Long before the enactment of this law, the Office of the President initiated the process of selecting the composition of the RCC-MM. On 2 October 1987, President Aquino enjoined the Peace Commission (OPC) and the Mindanao Consensus-Building Panel (MCBP) to handle the responsibility.

In about six months, from October 1987 to February 1988, joint OPC-MCBP teams fanned out in the 13 provinces enumerated in the Tripoli agreement and processed nominees for the RCC-MM, both those designated as district representatives and at-large.

Interviews were done by the joint panels and as soon as the nominees were short-listed to three per district, these were in turn interviewed by the President before final selection.

There being no R.A. 6649 yet to guide them, how did the joint OPC-MCBP panel decide on the basis of representation? The Constitution was clear on the matter of “nominees from multisectoral bodies.”

It was merely a matter of defining what multisectoral bodies were, and they did. These were: highlanders, farmers, fishermen, laborers, professionals, businessmen, traditional leaders, and armed Muslim factions. And they were to be private, not government entities that would do the nomination.

And the next issue was what specific territorial unit to represent. The only constitutional reference to territory which could be used as basis for representation was “Muslim Mindanao,” nothing more.

Apparently, the joint panel guided themselves with the policy statement made by President Aquino with respect to Muslim Filipinos on 20 August 1986 in which she expressed a solemn commitment to honor the Tripoli agreement.

Also, a scrutiny of the journals of the Constitutional Commission will show that the Tripoli agreement was a basic reference in the formulation of the provisions on regional autonomy.

These 13 provinces and nine cities were subdivided into 27 congressional districts. These districts became the basis for territorial representation.

They also added the ethnic element. Representation by ethnic group went as follows. The Muslims were distributed into Magindanawon – 8, Meranaw – 7, Tausug – 6, Yakan – 2, Sama – 2, and convert – 1, but married to a Maguindanawon. The Highlanders were Subanen – 2, one-part Subanen – 2, Blaan – 2, T’boli –1, Teduray –1 and Cuyunon –1.

The imbalance among the Muslims may be explained by the appointment of commissioners-at-large representing special groups or sectors.

In the end, 52 people composed the RCC-MM. Twenty-six (26) of these were Muslims, nine (9) identified themselves as Highlanders, and the rest were Christians. A 53rd member was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on 29 September 1988, the day before the last session; he was unable to participate in the body’s deliberations.

Five (5) slots were kept vacant for members of Bangsamoro Fronts. The latter understandably kept their distance.

Oath-taking onward

Oath-taking by the members was presided over by President Aquino herself on 26 March 1988, at Cotabato City.

Five days, April 4-8, were spent at the Asian Institute of Management, in a live-in seminar spiced with group dynamics, workshops and inputs from resource persons. Atty Jose Nolledo, a member of the Constitutional Commission, explained how the provisions on autonomous regions came into being; Rev. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, spoke on the Tripoli agreement; Ambassador Pacifico Castro recounted how the Philippine Government got entangled with the Organization of Islamic Conference which led to the Tripoli Agreement.

Dr. Marilou Palabrica-Costello of Xavier University shared the findings of the study-survey on autonomy done within the 13 provinces by a consortium of universities (Xavier, Ateneo de Davao, Notre Dame University, MSU-Marawi, Western Mindanao State University) and it was found out, among others, that of the Christians who were asked if they wanted their place to be part of the autonomous region, nearly one hundred per cent replied NO; a similarly NO was given by the Lumad, and the Muslim respondents naturally answered in the YES, also by nearly one hundred percent.

The survey impressed on everyone the odds faced by the entire Commission if the intention was to make autonomy acceptable in the 13 provinces and nine cities. But morale among the Commissioners was high and odds of 7 to 3 or even 9 to 1 was nothing to be scared about, only a battle to be won.

The organizational phase at Zamboanga City lasted until April 19, 1988. The spirit of camaraderie and mutual accommodation was very visible and the first result of this was to have a Muslim chairman and three vice chairmen, one each from the Muslims, Highlanders and Christians. Another was the decision to distribute committee membership on a 40-40-20 principle, meaning 40% Muslim, 40% Christians and 20% Highlander.

But as early as the nomination for the offices which was done by group, followed immediately by the selection of committee membership, this spirit would emerge for what it was: an illusion.

To the Muslim submission of a single nominee for chairmanship, there were spontaneous but subdued reactions of “being violated” from some non-Muslims: sigurado ng kanila, hindi pa tayo pinadesisyon. (It should be pointed out that the Muslims violated no election rules approved earlier by the Commission.)

Through whispers a joint Christian-Highlander meeting was convened at past midnight that same evening. More expressions of resentment were put forward. The discussions that followed led to a decision to strategize on how to capture the chairmanship of substantive committees.

But apparently the Muslims did the same thing and, on the day of reckoning, cornered more substantive committees.

Tomorrow: Part 2: What is the Expected RCC-MM Output?

[Si Prof. Rudy Buhay Rodil ay aktibong historyan ng Mindanao, tagapasulong ng kalinaw (Bisaya sa kapayapaan). Kilala siyang espesyalista sa paghusay ng mga gusot sa Mindanao-Sulu. Naging Komisyoner noon ng Regional Consultative Commision sa siyang nagbuo ng draft organic law ng Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao noong 1988. Dalawang beses siyang naging miyembro ng GRP Peace Negotiating Panel. 1993-1996, pakikipag-usap sa Moro National Liberation (MNLF), at noong 2004-2008 sa pakikipag-negosasyon sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Naging visiting propesor sa Hiroshima University, Oktubre-Disyembre 2011. Nagretiro noong Oktubre 2007.]


ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: (2) Pamalandong sa Peace Negotation GPH-MNLF, 1975-1987

Posted MindaNews (Oct 5, 2020): ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: (2) Pamalandong sa Peace Negotation GPH-MNLF, 1975-1987 (By RUDY BUHAY RODIL)

Last of two parts

Sensitive Issues in the Negotiations

Focus on three aspects: the problem of territory, for whom is autonomy, and why autonomy?

Territory. At the very start of the first round of negotiations, the talks bogged down owing, allegedly, to the demands of the MNLF for complete independence for the Bangsa Moro Republic in the entirety of Mindanao, Basilan, the Archipelago of Sulu and Palawan. This may be regarded as a big failure. It can also be viewed as a success in that it broke the ice for further exchange between the two contending parties which in the past communicated only through the barrel of the gun. For lack of details, however, we are unable to put together a clearer picture of this particular negotiation.

What is clear from the manifestations of the MNLF is that the organization considers the Bangsa Moro as a nation and that it is composed of the indigenous Muslims in the region , the native peoples who now refer to themselves as Lumad, the indigenous Christians, and those from the settler or migrant category who sympathize with the basic aspirations of the Bangsa Moro. Its traditional territory or homeland is the entirety of Mindanao, Basilan, the Sulu Archipelago and Palawan.

This particular issue is a lot clearer in the Tripoli agreement. The document specifies that the autonomy is for the Muslim inhabitants of southern Philippines, that this shall be within the territorial integrity and the national sovereignty of the country.

A listing is made of the places that shall constitute the territory of the autonomy, the thirteen provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Palawan and all the cities and towns within said places.

The last provision which is directly related to the issue of territory specifies that the government of the Philippines shall take the necessary constitutional processes in the implementation of the agreement. Which means there shall be a plebiscite within said territory to determine which among them would be willing to be part of the autonomy.

We all know that there was indeed a plebiscite as a consequence of which Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Palawan were stricken from the 13, and the remaining ten provinces were in turn subdivided into five each for Regions IX and XII.

In the third negotiation, the problem of territory re-emerged. It was agreed on in Jeddah that the two parties would continue to discuss the grant of full autonomy to Mindanao, Basilan, the Archipelago of Sulu and Palawan, or a total of 23 provinces, if viewed within the present political set up. The talks focused on how to treat these 23 provinces. There is no need to go into details because nothing happened to the third negotiation anyway. The ratification of the 1987 Constitution caught up with it.

Some questions must be asked at this point. In the first and third negotiation, what was the basis for claiming the entirety of Mindanao, Basilan, the Sulu archipelago and Palawan? In the second negotiation, what was the basis for agreement on the thirteen provinces?

What is the position of the government panel with respect to the territorial question?

From scattered data which we have been able to put together, it appears that the initial position of the panel headed by Undersecretary Carmelo Barbero was confined to the jurisdiction of Regions IX and XII, or a total of ten provinces.

And the initial stand of the MNLF was the same one of the entirety of Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu archipelago and Palawan.

To simplify matters, Dr. Treki requested both panels to submit their respective positions and the basis for the same. The stand of the government was contained in Inc.4 entitled RP Position Paper. We have not seen this document.

At the resumption of the session the following day, Dr. Treki said that the Quadripartite Ministerial Commission had decided that MINSUPALA be the territory of the autonomy.

Mr. Barbero’s group replied that it would be in the interest of the Filipino Muslims to have two autonomous regions. The Muslims constitute the majority population in a number of provinces in Regions IX and XII, and if MINSUPALA were to become the autonomous region it would be meaningless because they are the minority here. It must be borne in mind that the autonomy is being created purposely for them.

The refusal of the RP Panel to agree to the decision of the Quadripartite Commission provoked the first threat of Dr. Treki already mentioned earlier. Later, the MNLF suggested the addition of Davao del Sur, South Cotabato and Palawan to the ten, and this was accepted by the RP Panel, that is, after obtaining prior approval from Malacañang, provided that it would be subject to Constitutional processes.

The revival of the original MNLF position in the third negotiation did not come as a surprise. What is difficult to believe is the absence of a clear stand on the part of the Pelaez panel. [Please see Aide Memoire on the Peace Talks. Position of the Philippine Government Panel (Manila: Philippine Information Agency, May 1987].

A similar phenomenon may be discerned in the Constitutional Commission where the only basis of territory was “Muslim Mindanao” which, incidentally, carries as many as nine interpretations, each one with a corresponding territory of its own.

The Pelaez panel has already given two interpretations. First, the five provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi where the Muslims are the majority. Second, the ten provinces within the jurisdiction of Region IX and Region XII, as provided for in P.D. 1618. What are the other meanings?

Third, the 23 provinces encompassed within the Bangsa Moro Ancestral Homeland as expounded by the MNLF.

Fourth, 16 provinces or those within whose territories the Muslims have traditionally lived. Simply add Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao City and Bukidnon to those enumerated in the Tripoli agreement.

Fifth, 14 provinces or those covered within the Moro Province of the American period consisting of Davao, Cotabato, Lanao, Zamboanga, Sulu.

Sixth, those mentioned by the Mindanao Independence Movement in its 1968 manifesto as places within which Muslims live, or those falling within their sphere of influence, as follows: Cotabato, Davao, Zamboanga, Zamboanga City, Basilan City, Lanao, Sulu, Palawan, including adjacent places and islands, and the seas therein.

Seventh, the 13 provinces listed in the Tripoli agreement.

Eighth, the 13 provinces and nine cities, more or less, as provided for in RA 6649 or the law which created the Regional Consultative Commission for Muslim Mindanao.

Ninth, that which is provided for in the 1987 Constitution as dependent on the result of the plebiscite to be called to determine which of the thirteen provinces and nine cities would want to be included in the autonomous region for Muslim Mindanao. Theoretically, this territory was reducible from thirteen to zero. Now, we know that this means four provinces.

What lessons can we get out of this?

Until today, no in-depth study has ever been made either by the government, or by the different panels which got involved in the negotiations. The lack of consistency in the government stand leads us to assume inadequate knowledge on the part of government or points to the prevailing view in government with respect to the so-called Mindanao problem which is felt but not easily grasped.

I am of the opinion that if the government had only done its homework on this particular subject, a lot of issues could have been placed in their proper perspective.

Autonomy For Whom? At first glance, the autonomous region is for the Muslim Filipinos. But if we take a closer look at the progress of the talks, this does not seem to be the case.

Note that all the talks were bilateral. Only the government and the MNLF panels were involved.

I would like to mention here that at the time of the Tripoli negotiations, the core of the reactions from the non-Muslim segments of the Mindanao population was that it was their life that was being discussed, yet the government had not bothered to ask them.

It was only at the time of the third negotiation that the MNLF had a non-Muslim in its panel, and there was talk of their representation in, say, the legislative and the judiciary. Still, how come there was no specific mention of the other inhabitants of the autonomous region? How many Lumad tribes, for instance, are indigenous here? What is the size of their population? How many indigenous Christians are living in the region? How many new Christians are living in the region?

It seems the talks did not include such details. The only reference to them are the occasional mention with respect to the Muslims being 25% of the total population of Mindanao. Nothing more.

If we put the matter within the perspective of public administration, the Tripoli agreement might emerge as an example of class legislation instead of a simple special law. The situation would be bigger if we consider the devolution of political authority to the autonomous region. It would come out that one part of society is granted political power while another part is not. Or given, but only a little.

But although the non-Muslim segments of the population have not been involved in the bilateral talks, there is nevertheless the matter of the plebiscite, worded in the Tripoli agreement as follows: “The Government of the Philippines shall take all necessary constitutional processes for the implementation of the entire agreement”.

The same process is demanded in the 1987 Constitution.

As experience has shown, this process has had a self-destruct effect upon the noble intentions for providing autonomy. Which brings us to the next section of our discussion.

Why Autonomous Region? The subject first came up during the Tripoli negotiation. This was one of the four guidelines for the talks.

Did the government panel conduct preliminary studies on the subject prior to the negotiation? I do not know for sure.

What I know is that the government did not have any other policy on the minorities except that provided for in R.A. 1888 which created the Commission on National Integration, and it was the object of this law to assimilate the minority into the majority.

There was no provision on autonomy, nor has there been any such policy since. The 1987 Constitution provided for the creation of regional autonomy solely for the Cordillera and for Muslim Mindanao, nowhere else, as if they alone among the indigenous cultural communities were in need of autonomy.

I am raising the question because there seems to be an assumption that this autonomous region was the most appropriate arrangement for our Muslim brothers.

And yet the establishment of autonomy is made subject to a plebiscite wherein citizens who are not in need of autonomy are given the right to decide whether their place, municipality, city or province ought to be included in the autonomy.

Let us look, for example, at the problem of territory. From the original 23 provinces claimed by the MNLF, it became 13 in the Tripoli agreement. As a result of the plebiscite called by President Marcos on April 17, 1977, the single autonomous region became the two regions of IX and XII, with each consisting of five provinces.

In the third negotiation, it seems obvious enough that Ambassador Pelaez merely reacted to the position of the MNLF. The issue of territory kept changing.

True, the Pelaez panel took official notice of the shift in the MNLF position, yet it agreed to discuss the proposal anyway. And now, only four provinces constitute the autonomous region.

What will become of the other Muslims who cannot be part of autonomy even if they genuinely desire to be so for the simple reason that they do not have the number to win in their place of residence? Almost all the Lumad communities find themselves in exactly the same predicament.

It may be necessary to rethink the basic assumptions of our constitutional or political processes with respect to the creation of political units.

It may have struck some of us that the creation of an autonomous region, or even of local autonomy (which has no precedence yet in the history of the country) for Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) does not fall in the same league as the establishment of a local political unit which requires a plebiscite as a must where all citizens affected have the inherent right to vote or take part in the decision-making.

It must be stressed that autonomy for the ICCs is a special political arrangement that calls for a special measure.

From a historical perspective we cannot ignore the basic reality that there exist substantial groups of people that are in need of autonomy because they are culturally distinct from the greater majority.

This is hard evidence that we are very much a country-in-formation and, therefore, must open to new political concepts and possibilities. For the moment, it seems obvious enough that our present Constitution cannot give full satisfaction to the historic right of the Indigenous Cultural Communities for autonomous political existence.


The government should put together an integrated policy and program for the minorities, or for the Indigenous Cultural Communities. If giving them autonomy is the most appropriate arrangement for them, then let them have autonomy, all of them, not just segments of them, differing only on whether it should be regional or local autonomy. The latter may be provincial, municipal or barangay as the case may be.

But before the matter is put into law, there ought to be an in-depth study of the problem, including the possibility of negotiations, or at least consultations in the local level to ensure the appropriateness of the program.

Any autonomy that is created should not be made subject to a plebiscite, where even those who have absolutely no need for autonomy are given the right to decide on the matter. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. A peace specialist, Rudy Buhay Rodil is an active Mindanao historian and peace advocate)


Sayyafs attack farmers, killed 1 in Sulu

Posted to the Mindanao Examiner (Oct 6, 2020): Sayyafs attack farmers, killed 1 in Sulu

Abu Sayyaf gunmen attacked a group of farmers and killed one person in the southern Philippine province of Sulu where local leaders and civilians declared the terrorists as persona non grata.

A military photo released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner shows the body of the slain paramilitary man. 

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the attack and said the lone casualty was also a member of the paramilitary group called Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) in Patikul town’s Igasan village.

He said the Monday attack killed Tali Lakibul and that villagers denounced the attack.

“The residents of Barangay Igasan were harvesting farm products when they were fired upon by an undetermined number of local terrorist group members,”
Corleto said, quoting a report by Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade.

He said soldiers from the 6th Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Rafael Caido and other BPAT members were sent to track down the militants who escaped after the attack. The body of Lakubul was also recovered by security forces and handed over to his grieving family for burial.

“Troops are conducting a hot pursuit operation to neutralize the heartless enemies,” Vinluan said.

Just last week, Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan led the signing of the so-called “Parjanjian Indanan or the “Indanan People Peace Covenant” which aims to harness the community's participation and empowerment to achieve long-lasting peace in the southern province.

Tan signed the covenant with Indanan municipal officials and witnessed by senior military and police officials led by Vinluan and Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, the regional police chief; including Brig. Gen. Bernade Balba, who heads the Special Action Force.

The governor reiterated his all-out support for the peace and development effort in the town and asked villagers to support the government efforts.

Tan also held a covenant meeting with Parang Mayor Alkhadar Loong where government officials denounced the Abu Sayyaf atrocities and propounded initiatives to strengthen and institutionalize public safety, security, and well-being in the municipality.

Vinluan and other security officials also witnessed the covenant which also empowered the religious sector to promote mutual respect and peaceful co-existence. During the signing of the covenant, local and military officials activated the Municipal Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC).

“The activation of the MTF-ELAC substantially proves that the government is serious in accelerating the peace process here in Parang, Sulu. It shows that the different sectors are also working together to sustain security and normalcy in the area,” Vinluan said.

Government officials also activated the Municipal Peace Action Operations and Monitoring Center and the Islamic Religious Council of Parang to address the socio-cultural, security, and development issues and to sustain and tap the development potentials of the town.

President Rodrigo Duterte has previously sought Tan to help him talk peace, but at the same time ordered security forces to crush the Abu Sayyaf, blamed for the August twin suicide bombings in the capital town of Jolo that killed over a dozen soldiers and civilians, and left scores of innocent people injured.

“Ikaw ‘yung — I address you because ikaw ‘yung nire-respeto ko. You have a colorful life. Kung sa patay, dapat patay ka na sa dinaanan mo sa buhay, and yet you are still here around. Why don’t you try to help me within the next few months last term just to talk about peace? It need not really be a — an arrangement, just talk about peace,” Duterte told Tan during one of his recent visits in the province.

Aside from Tan, Duterte also spoke to Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, to support the government’s peace efforts. (Mindanao Examiner)


IP communities participative in peace building-OPAPP

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 6, 2020): IP communities participative in peace building-OPAPP (By Jan Vincent Leuterio)

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Oct. 5 (PIA) – The Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities are now taking an active role in planning, project monitoring, and even safeguarding of the projects placed in their areas intended for development.

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Head Area Management, Oliver Binancilan, revealed this change in the IPs’ behavior during One Davao Presser today (October 5).

“We have noticed the proactive role played now by most IP communities,” Binancilan said.

He said that this is a change in the IPs’ behavior since, before, they used to only “wait and see”.

“Most of our IP communities took part in participating in terms of planning, project monitoring in their particular areas. Alam po natin maam ang behavior ng mga IPs, nandoon lang sila sa area nila(We know ma’am the behavior of the IPs, they just stay in their areas), they seldom go out. But right now, they reach out to the LGUs and provide inputs as far as community planning is concerned,” he said.

As such, the LGUs now recognize the significance in the involvement of the communities.

“They were very much participative. The LGUs recognize their significance in decision making as far as governance is concerned, they are now consulted,” Binancilan said.

He added it is even more significant that the IPs have formed their own security forces to make sure the projects are safe, truly showing their active role in the development of their areas.

“Aside from that, what is very critical is in terms of providing safeguard to our projects. Ayaw nilang mawala at masira etong mga proyektong binigay sa kanila (They don’t want the projects given to them to go to waste). So they formed their own security forces to secure themselves and to secure the projects they are now managing and operating,” he said.

Binancilan believes that with the government’s fulfillment of the communities’ long-time needs through these infrastructure projects, the IP communities are now realizing who the real government is, and who deserves to get their support.

He was referring roads and bridges, housing projects, among other projects funded and constructed not only by OPAPP but other national agencies.

“Na feel namo nga na change ilang paglantaw towards the government (We felt the change in how they see the government). They see now that this is the real government to be supported. They really feel the presence of the government through these tangible projects. These are vertical structures. These are hard infrastructures that they have been requesting for a long time even before this administration,” he said.

Thus, the IP communities are now giving their full participation towards peace building.

“They now have this warm reception to us. They are now very willing to cooperate and participate in nation building, peace building, and development in their Sitios,” he said. (Jan Vincent Leuterio, PIA-XI)


Two NPA members yield to authorities in Ilocos Sur

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 6, 2020): Two NPA members yield to authorities in Ilocos Sur (By Freddie G. Lazaro) 

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Oct. 6 (PIA) - - Two New People’s Army (NPA) rebels surrendered voluntarily to the army troops in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur, according to army’s 81st Infantry Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr.

The two NPA rebels surrendered to the army upon the intervention of the local officials with the assistance of the soldiers and the local police.

Mariñas identified the NPA rebel surrenderees as “Ka Eddie” and “Ka Andong,” both belonging to the Komiteng Larangan Gerilya South Ilocos Sur (KLG-SIS) of the NPA and residents of Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur.

“The real names of the two surrendered NPA rebels are withheld for security reasons,” he said.

The local officials accompanied the surrendered rebels to the headquarters of the army’s 81st Infantry Battalion in Barangay Bugbuga, Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur on October 3, 2020.

During the custodial inquiry, “Ka Eddie” confessed that he joined the KLG-SIS of the NPA in December 2019 but became inactive in March 2020. “Ka Andong” also professed that he was an active member of the KLG-SIS between 2000-2003.

Although they are inactive NPA members, both “Ka Eddie” and "Ka Andong" admitted that they remain as trusted contacts, organizers, and recruiters of the NPA in Ilocos Sur.

Mariñas said the rebel's act of surrendering to the authorities is a manifestation of their renewed trust in the government.

“As a commitment to the Executive Order (EO) 70 or the whole of nation approach to end the local communist armed conflict, the army, and concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs) are encouraging all NPAs to surrender. Let us give a chance to live in peace as the Christmas season is fast approaching,” said Mariñas.

Further, Mariñas said that the other concerned government agencies are now working on the possible assistance for the two rebels as stated in the Enhanced-Comprehensive Livelihood Integration Program (E-CLIP).

For his part, the army’s 702nd Brigade Commander Brigadier General Audrey L. Pasia cited the initiatives of the Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur Vice Mayor Virgilio Valle, Caparian village Chairman Reymundo Bagano Jr., and Indigenous People’s Chieftain Constante Jaramilla, together with the local policemen and the soldiers for the surrender of the two NPA rebels. (JCR/FGL,PIA 1)