Sunday, October 11, 2020

Families return to Sulu village after 3 years of fearing Abu Sayyaf

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 11, 2020): Families return to Sulu village after 3 years of fearing Abu Sayyaf (By: Julie S. Alipala)

The military has scored a victory against the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf with the return of more than 600 families to their village in Patikul town of Sulu.

Due to atrocities of the Islamic State-linked bandits, the 645 families of Tugas village deserted their community in 2017 and relocated to Patikul’s other villages of Liang, Sandah, Tanum, Kaunayan, and Buhanginan.

They endured a three-year absence from Tugas which has turned into a battleground as the bandits sought to entrench themselves in Sulu’s communities.

Recently, with assurances from the military, and the weakening strength of the bandits, the families streamed back to Tugas.

“The place is now habitable; the community is starting to bounce back with the presence of the people,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

Vinluan, along with Bangsamoro region’s social welfare minister Raissa Jajurie, personally witnessed the families’ return starting last Thursday, Oct. 8.

In a dialogue with residents, Jajurie acknowledged the need for investing into Tugas’ rebirth such as for restarting livelihoods, and construction of basic facilities like health center, school, village office, and multi-purpose hall for community gatherings.

“I have personally seen today the plight of the people of Tugas. I give my assurance that all of your pleas will be conveyed to the concerned ministries (of the Bangsamoro),” said Jajurie.

The residents’ return is just the first step in Patikul Mayor Habir Hayudini’s Balik-Barangay Program with the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade.

Vinluan said the program also seeks to “put up necessary government structures that will address their welfare needs.”

Currently, volleyball, badminton and basketball courts are being constructed in Tugas in a bid to establish a sports complex there and be a showcase for community rebuilding, said Vinluan.

To ensure the safety of villagers, a security system was established consisting of village watchmen, local police, and soldiers.

Apart from combat operations, the military has also turned to cultivating civilian commitment in the drive against the Abu Sayyaf.

The strategy seeks to deny the bandits with community support hence constricting the physical space within which they operate.

Also on Thursday, Jajurie handed P15,000 to former bandits who surrendered since 2017, representing the Bangsamoro government’s assistance in restarting their lives.

Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said a total of 144 former Abus were given seed capital, in all amounting to P2.16 million.

He said a total of 271 former bandits have surrendered to the government in the last three years. They are being assisted through the Localized Social Integration Program or LSIP that is jointly done by the local governments of Sulu and the military.

Lt. Col. Rolando Mateo, spokesperson of Joint Task Force Sulu, said the LSIP seeks to lure bandits to return into the fold of law, help mould the lives of those who surrendered away from banditry, and facilitate their reintegration into mainstream society.

The package of assistance includes, among others, education, livelihood training, and housing.

KMP, Anakpawis troop to Camp Aguinaldo protest Echanis’ death

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 11, 2020): KMP, Anakpawis troop to Camp Aguinaldo protest Echanis’ death (By Raymund Antonio)

Members of peasants groups on Saturday, Oct. 10, trooped to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to protest the injustice done to slain National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Echanis.

Members of peasants groups on Saturday, Oct. 10, trooped to Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to protest the injustice done to slain National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Randy Echanis. (Photo courtesy of KMP/SAKA / MANILA BULLETIN)

The rallyists were composed of members of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis. They were also joined by supporters of the Justice for Echanis, Justice for All (JEJA) network.

”The government, particularly the Department of Justice, revealed that it is facing a blank wall on the investigation on Ka Randy’s case. We need answers. We demand truth and accountability,” former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said.

The groups staged a protest to mark the second month after the death of Echanis. He was killed in his rented home in Novaliches, Quezon City on Aug. 10 after he was allegedly tortured.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) are probing the brutal murder of Echanis.

Casilao complained about the insufficient scene of the crime operatives (SOCO) reports on the Echanis slay case.

He also blamed the agency for doing a “sloppy job” on its investigation and profiling the perpetrators.

“We won’t allow this case to go cold. We will persistently press the DOJ, CHR, and the Duterte government on this,” Casilao, who is also a JEJA convenor, said.

The groups likewise called attention to the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND), which they claimed will be used against those critical of the Duterte administration.

They noted the defense and peace and order budget for next year is pegged at a P508 billion, P209 billion of which is for the DND, P33 billion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, P19.1 billion for the National Task Forced to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTC-ELCAC), and P8.3 billion for confidential and intelligence funds.

Philippines seeks to deport Indonesian suicide bomber

From Rappler (Oct 11, 2020): Philippines seeks to deport Indonesian suicide bomber (By RAMBO TALABONG)

This comes after alleged Indonesian suicide bomber Rezky Fantasya Rullie was arrested in a predawn raid in Jolo, Sulu

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) will file a deportation case against alleged Indonesian suicide bomber Rezky Fantasya Rullie, the agency announced on Sunday, October 11.

Rullie, also known as Cici, was arrested in a predawn raid in Jolo, Sulu, on Saturday, October 10.

"We pledge full support to government units in our joint fight against terrorism," BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Before the BI can file a complaint, Rullie must first face criminal charges. Still, the BI said it is already preparing its case to kick her out of the Philippines. 

(READ: Women of the Eastern Caliphate: Hiding in plain sight)

Why does this matter?

Rezky Fantasya Rullie is considered a high-profile criminal suspect, as the Philippine military tagged her as plotter of a suicide bombing attempt in Mindanao which she has allegedly not completed.

She is the widow of Indonesian terrorist Andi Baso, who was killed during an encounter with troops in Sulu in August. She is also believed by the military to be the daughter of two suicide bombers who killed 21 people in an attack on a Catholic cathedral in Jolo in early 2019.

Rullie was arrested less than two months after two female suicide bombers – also widows – blew themselves up in Jolo, which killed 15 people and wounded 74 others.

HR advocate’s arrest slammed

From the Visayan Daily Star (Oct 10, 2020): HR advocate’s arrest slammed

The Farmers Development Center (FARDEC), a Cebu-based non-government organization, slammed the recent arrest of its member and three others in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, who were allegedly paraded by the military as members of the New People’s Army.

FARDEC executive director Patrick Torres, said in a statement emailed to the DAILY STAR, that the arrests in Moises Padilla were nothing but another attempt to conceal the true situation in the rural areas of the country and paint legitimate civil society organizations as terrorist fronts to deflect justified concerns on the military’s human rights record.

One of the four arrested suspects tagged by the military as NPA members was Wilmar Pongasi, a staff member of FARDEC and a resident of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

The arrest of Pongasi and three others, including Jovanie Bohol of Danao City, Cebu, yielded a 45 .caliber pistol with two magazines containing 12 ammunition, and four 40mm M-203 grenade launcher ammunition, Maj. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, said.

Pancito said that Bohol is a member of the Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda Platoon of the Central Negros 1.

Even before he worked with FARDEC, Torres said that Pongasi was already active as a human rights advocate, being the co-convenor of Kabataan Para sa Karapatan-Negros Oriental, a network of young human rights defenders in Negros Island.

After FARDEC helped document the killings of farmers and human rights defenders in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. and the bloody Oplan Sauron that resulted in the deaths and suspicious arrests of peasant leaders, Torres said they were named as a terrorist front in a congressional hearing along with other development and humanitarian organizations such as Oxfam and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: Pamalandong sa Bangsamoro Self-determination via RCC-MM (6)

Posted to MindaNews (Oct 11, 2020): ANGAY-ANGAY LANG: Pamalandong sa Bangsamoro Self-determination via RCC-MM (6) (By RUDY BUHAY RODIL)

Part VI. The Gut Level Issue or How to Sustain the Economic Life of the Autonomy

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 11 October) — As early as April 1988, there were already comments from key personnel of NEDA from both Regions IX and XII that even if the Autonomous Region were allowed to retain one hundred percent of its tax earnings, it would not be able to sustain itself. It would continue to require financial subsidy from the national government.

Sometimes in some Committee meetings, but usually in private conversations among the Commissioners, it was often said that it was important that the three highly urbanized cities of Zamboanga, Iligan and General Santos be persuaded at all cost to join the autonomy. Combined the three of them could sustain a large portion of the cost of operating the autonomy. Unfortunately, nobody could tell for sure by how much. And the simple reason was really that no one knew the cost of running an autonomous government.

But perhaps the most unfortunate experience of the RCC-MM was that there was no in-depth discussion, whether at the Committee or at the Commission level, of the natural resources of the region an attempt to figure out the economic viability of the region.

Very few Commissioners knew, for instance, that metallic mineral resources in commercial quantities are to be found only in Zamboanga del Sur and Sultan Kudarat; copper in Zamboanga del Sur and Sultan Kudarat; gold and silver, iron (lump ore), Lead and Zinc and Manganese only in Zamboanga del Sur. Non-metallic mineral reserves: cement raw materials in Iligan; limestone in large quantities in Maguindanao, and a greater portion in Zamboanga del Sur.

Thus, no one had any scenario corresponding to, say, 10 provinces, or five provinces. Even in the discussion of the 10 Billion pesos yearly subsidy from the National Government for ten years as seed money for the Autonomous Region (the original proposal was 20 Billion pesos for an indeterminate period), there were only vague and general references to so much percent of the coconut industry being contributed by Mindanao, or so much percent of the wood industry being supplied by Mindanao, and so on, and that the subsidy was merely an attempt on the part of the Autonomy to recover what has been taken from Mindanao. No specific figures and statistics were cited for each of the 13 provinces and nine cities. No explanation for the reference to Mindanao as a whole, rather than to the 13 provinces and nine cities.

And now comes the results of the plebiscite. Only the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi constitute the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. One cannot help but be anxious for the economic future of a region where about the only abundant natural resources one could cite are people, water, fish and patches of forest cover.

An integral part of the discussion on economy and natural resources is ancestral domain. Let us first have a a look at the Final Report’s definition of ancestral domain (Article VIII, Sec. 49):

“All lands and other areas belonging to the indigenous cultural communities in the Autonomous Region by historic right or equitable imperfect title, by customary title, by actual or constructive occupation and possession including alienable and disposable lands of public domain, lands of the public domain undisposed of or leased, forests, pasture lands, and hunting grounds, shoals, seashores, fishing grounds, coral reefs, sacred shrines, worshiping and burial grounds and trees, ancient settlement sites, air spaces, and such other areas as may be so classified by law are hereby declared as ancestral domain: PROVIDED, That valid claims of ownership over land which have been disposed of by the indigenous cultural communities, donated to or acquired by the inhabitants of the region in accordance with customary laws of a specific tribe or the Philippine laws shall be respected and guaranteed; PROVIDED, FURTHER, That these acquisitions have been made in good faith.”

Notice that ancestral domain includes lands which are alienable and disposable and lands, including bodies of water, forest and mineral areas, which in Philippine laws on natural resources are inalienable and non-disposable.

Thus, if we talk of developing and exploiting the natural resources of the region we are most likely intruding into the domain of the various indigenous communities. Or maybe intruding is a bit too mild.

The truth is there is a very real contradiction between State interests and tribal interests. How did we feel about this contradiction in the RCC-MM?

Those directly involved were the members of the Committee on Ancestral Domain and Agrarian Reform. Their task was to define ancestral domain in accordance with customary laws and state laws within the framework of the 1987 Constitution.

Tall order. But exciting. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. A peace specialist, Rudy Buhay Rodil is an active Mindanao historian and peace advocate)

TOMORROW: Discoveries in contradiction within the Basic law and Lessons

Hoping to start anew, 2 NPA yield in Occidental Mindoro

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Hoping to start anew, 2 NPA yield in Occidental Mindoro  (By PA 2ID DPAO)

CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal, Oct 11 (PIA) - Two NPA terrorists were finally freed from the clutches of terrorism after responding to the government's call for peace through a localized peace engagement spearheaded by Gov Eduardo Gadiano in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on October 6.

Col Jose Augusto Villareal, Commander of the 203rd identified the surrenderers as alias Marlon, 19 and alias Manuel, 20 who belong to the Buhid Mangyan Tribe and were "minors" when they were deceived by the terrorists in 2017.

Alias Marlon admitted their affiliations to the NPA group that terrorizes the hinterland communities of the province of Mindoro.

He opted to surrender because he finally realized that they were deceived by the rebel group and they never followed through with their promises to support them and their families.

Villareal condemned the NPA’s recruitment of minors as it is a grave violation of child rights and international humanitarian law.

“The NPAs have been deceiving these children for as long as we can remember and putting them in a very dangerous situation. They should be stopped and their practice exposed,’’ Villareal said.

MGen Greg Almerol, Commander of the Army's 2nd Infantry lauded the local government units and chief executives in addressing the root causes of insurgency by providing basic services and helping security forces in bringing back normality in the islands of Mindoro.

"We will, altogether, continue to unite in the spirit of service to the people through the whole-of-nation approach.”

Almerol also mentioned that the country is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols and recruitment of children for use in combat is officially prohibited under two Philippine laws pertaining to child labor and abuse (Republic Act 931 and 7610).

The military earlier had reiterated its commitment to provide security to former rebels who turned their backs to the underground movement, assist them in their enrollment to E-CLIP, and prepare them to live normal lives with their families.

A total of 687 former rebels across Southern Tagalog were already facilitated by the 2nd Infantry Division since E-CLIP was launched in 2016. (PIA-4A/PA 2ID DPAO)

ISU, DA, 5ID nagsanib pwersa laban sa insurhensiya at COVID-19

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2020): ISU, DA, 5ID nagsanib pwersa laban sa insurhensiya at COVID-19 (By 5th Infantry Battalion)

GAMU, Isabela, Oktubre 11 (PIA) - - - Nilagdaan ng Isabela State University (ISU), ng Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 02 at ng 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (ISUDA 5ID) ang kasunduang naglalayong maiparating sa mga lugar na apektado ng insurhensiya ang Agri-based Technology, ang paglunsad ng Health Guard System laban sa COVID-19 at 'Education and Skills Training'.

Ang Agri-based Technology Extension Project ay isang konsepto na maghahatid ng mas mahusay na pamamaraan upang mapalago ang agrikultura sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng makabagong teknolohiya.

Layunin din nito na maipaabot sa mga liblib na lugar na apektado ng insurhensiya ang naturang proyekto upang maipagkaloob sa mga residente ang libreng pangkabuhayan sa ilalim naman ng Community Support Program (CSP) ng 5ID.

Ayon kay Dr. Roberto Busania, regional technical director for Operations ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura ng Rehiyon 2, bagamat hindi nagkukulang sa tustus ng pagkain ang Rehiyon Dos, batid nilang mayroon pa ring mga pamilya ang nagkukulang ng pagkukunan ng makakain dahil sa kahirapan na dulot na rin ng insurhensiya.

“Adhikain ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura na mai-ahon ang bawat komunidad sa kahirapan na siyang susi sa katiwasayan ng bansa, kung kaya lubos ang aming pasasalamat sa pamunuan ng 5th Infantry Division at ng ISU na kami ay makasama sa inyong bayanihan. Katuwang ang aming ahensya sa pagtugon sa problema sa insurhensiya sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay sa inyo ng buong suporta bilang isa sa mga miyembro ng Task Force ELCAC,” ani Busania.

Nilagdaan ng Isabela State University (ISU), ng Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 02 at ng 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (ISUDA 5ID) ang kasunduang naglalayong maiparating sa mga lugar na apektado ng insurhensiya ang Agri-based Technology. (Litrato ng 5ID)

Nilagdaan din ang kasunduan sa paglulunsad ng Health Guard System para sa paglaban kontra COVID-19, isang sistema upang mapadali ang contact tracing para mapigilan naman ang pagkalat ng naturang sakit.

Ang nasabing sistema ay mas mabisa kaysa sa ginagawang manual recording sa kasalukuyan. Kakailanganin lamang ang mobile number at address ng isang indibdiwal na kung saan malilimitahan nito ang galaw ng bawat isa.

Base sa kasunduan, ang ISU ang magbibigay ng software, data storage, at technical assistance sa pag o-operate sa naturang sistema habang ang 5ID naman ang magbibigay ng ilan pang mga kagamitan.

Sa ilalim naman ng Education and Skills Training na pangungunahan ng ISU, madadagdagan pa ang kaalaman at kahusayan ng bawat miyembro ng 5ID sa pagganap ng kani-kanilang mga tungkulin sa pamamagitan ng mga pagsasanay at pagtuturo.

Sinabi ni Dr. Ricmar Aquino, presidente ng Isabela State University, na kaisa ang kanilang unibersidad sa pagkontrol ng pagkalat ng COVID-19.

Bukod dito, nakahanda rin sila sa pagsuporta sa hanay ng kasundaluhan laban naman sa insurhensiya at ang paglagda sa naturang kasunduan ay isang pagpapatunay ng kanilang suporta sa adhikaing ito.

“Ang laban sa insurhensiya ay hindi lamang laban ng Philippine Army at Armed Forces of the Philippines kundi laban ng bawat Pilipino. Ang pagbigay solusyon sa ugat nito ay tungkulin ng lahat. Kaya ang pagtitipon ng mga ahensiya tulad ng 5th Infantry Division, Isabela State University at Department of Agriculture sa paghatid ng mga programang nabangit ay halimbawa ng pagbigay solusyon sa mga problema ng ating bayan,” ani Aquino.

Sa naging pahayag naman ni BGen Laurence E Mina PA, commander ng 5ID, ang naturang aktibidad ay ilan lamang sa mga nauna ng hakbang ng gobyerno upang magkaroon ng pag-unlad sa bawat komunidad.

“Ang pagtutulungan ng iba’t ibang mga ahensiya ng pamahalaan, akademya at pati na rin ang mga pribadong sector ng lipunan maging ang mga non-government organizations ay nagsisilbing mahusay na plataporma upang mai-ahon ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga Pilipino sa mga komunidad. Katugunan na rin ito sa problema ng ating mga kababayang magsasaka upang mas lumago pa ang kanilang pangkabuhayan at maging sapat ang kanilang naihahain sa kanilang hapag-kainin,”dagdag ni BGen Mina.

Sinabi rin ni BGen Mina na ito rin ay isa lamang sa mga paraan upang mawaksan ang terorismo, pang-aapi at panlilinlang ng mga teroristang New People’s Army.

“When the road begins, insurgency ends. Kaya natin ipinaparating ang serbisyo at mga programang pangkabuhayan sa kanayunan. Dahil kung mayroong kaunlaran ang isang lugar, mawawala ang mga teroristang grupo na nagpapahirap sa mga residente. Hangad natin ang patuloy na pag-unlad sa bawat lugar upang umangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino,” dagdag ni Bgen Mina. (MDCT/PIA-2)

Teroristang NPA, sinunog ang bunkhouse ng mga trabahador sa Lal-lo, Cagayan

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Teroristang NPA, sinunog ang bunkhouse ng mga trabahador sa Lal-lo, Cagayan (By 5th Infantry Battalion)

Litrato ng 5ID

GAMU, Isabela, Oktubre 11 (PIA - - - Isa na namang teroristang gawain ang ipinaranas ng rebeldeng Henry Abraham Command- New People’s Army sa mga manggagawa matapos sunugin ang kanilang tinutuluyang Bunk House sa Barangay Dagupan sa bayan ng Lal-lo sa Cagayan noong ika-9 ng Oktubre taong kasalukuyan.

Ito ay isang patunay na pahirap sa mga manggagawa ang epekto ng hindi makataong gawain ng mga rebeldeng NPA at ayaw nilang umangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga residente sa nasabing lugar.

Sa naging pahayag ng mga residente, patatayuan ng imprastraktura para sa pangkabuhayan ang mga lupang nabili ng negosyanteng si Danilo Tamayo na siya namang sinusuportahan ng mga residente ngunit tinutulan ng mga teroristang NPA.

Ayon sa mga manggagawa,nais lamang nilang magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan para sa kanilang pamilya ngunit mas pinahirapan sila ng mga rebeldeng NPA matapos na sunugin ng mga ito ang kanilang bunkhouse.

Nagpapakita ito ng pagiging makasarili ng mga teroristang grupo dahil kanilang hinahadlangan ang nakatakdang pag-asenso ng mga mamamayan sa bayan ng Lal-lo.

Litrato ng 5ID

Ayon sa salaysay ng mga security guard na nakasaksi sa pangyayari, nagtungo ang hindi mabatid na bilang ng mga indibdiwal sa bakuran na pagmamay-ari ni Tamayo at biglaan na lamang silang piniringan at iginapos. Matapos nito, sinunog ng naturang grupo ang tatlong mga kubo at tinangay ang isang shotgun at 9mm pistol na baril.

Agad itong ipinagbigay alam sa tanggapan ng 501st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army na nakatalaga sa nasabing lugar na kung saan, mabilisan naman ang ginawang pagresponde ng naturang hanay.

Sa ngayon ay patuloy ang isinasagawang imbestigasyon ng mga otoridad sa pangyayari habang nagsasagawa na ng manhunt operation ang kasundaluhan kasama ang kapulisan para sa agarang pagkakahuli ng mga salarin. Natukoy naman sa inisyal na imbestigasyon na ang biktimang si Tamayo ang nagmamay-ari ng DDT Construction Inc.

Dahil sa hindi makataong ginawa ng mga rebeldeng NPA, apektado ngayon ang pangkabuhayan ng mga trabahante sa naturang kompanya.

Kinokondena ng Lokal na Pamahalaan ng Lal-lo at ng buong Cagayan maging ng 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army ang ginawang pananabotahe ng mga rebeldeng NPA sa pag-unlad sa bayan ng Lal-lo.

Ayon kay BGen Laurence E Mina PA, commander ng 5ID, na taliwas sa kanilang ipinaglalaban, ang panununog na ito ang mismong patunay na sila ang lumalabag sa karapatang pantao. Nagpapakita lamang ito ng kanilang kasakiman at pagkagahaman sa kapangyarihan dahil sa takot na kanilang idinudulot sa mga tao sa bayan ng Lal-lo.

“Ang panununog na ito ay isang desperadong hakbang ng mga komunistang grupo ng Henry Abraham Command upang hadlangan ang patuloy na pag-unlad sa probinsya ng Cagayan at dahil sa unti unting paghina ng kanilang pwersa na dulot din sa malakas na pagsuporta ng mga mamamayan na unti unti nang namumulat sa mga kasinungalingan at maling idiolohiyang pinapalaganap ng rebeldeng NPA,” aniya.

Dagdag pa ni BGen Mina, “Maging ang kanilang pagtangay ng mga baril ay isang paglabag sa Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions. Nagpapatunay lamang ito na walang kinikilalang batas ang teroristang NPA na nangangahulugang ayaw nila sa maayos na sistema sa pamamalakad ng pamahalaan.”

Aniya, maging ang ginawang pagsunog ng mga rebeldeng NPA sa tatlong mga kubo ay nagpapakita ng kaduwagan sapagkat kanilang idinadaan sa dahas ang kanilang laban.

“Kailan man ay hindi kukunsintihin ng ating pamahalaan ang mga ganitong gawain ng teroristang NPA. Sila ay hadlang sa kaunlaran ng bawat bayang nagsusumikap tulad ng La-lo, Cagayan. Higit pang papaigtingin ng ating kasundaluhan ang Focused Military Operation (FMO) upang matugis at mahadlangan ang mga Terroristang grupo na walang ng ginawa kundi ang manggulo at maghasik ng takot,” dagdag ni Mina.

Hinikayat ng heneral ang publiko na makipagtulungan sa kasundaluhan at kapulisan sa Lambak ng Cagayan at Cordillera Region upang tuluyan ng masupil ang karahasan ng mga rebeldeng NPA. (MDCT/PIA-2)

513th CEB assures host communities' safety during projects' implementation

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2020): 513th CEB assures host communities' safety during projects' implementation (By Gene V. Baquiran)

Lt. Col. Crescencio Mogado informs local media practitioners of the battalion's many accomplishment amid pandemic during the weekly Tipon-Tipan sa PIA.

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Oct. 11 (PIA) – The 513th Engineers Construction Battalion , Philippine Army has assured residents of host communities of their safety while infrastructure projects of the government are being implemented in their areas.

Lt. Col. Crescencio Mogado said they bring the brigade’s heavy equipment to critical and geopraphically isolated and underpriveledged areas (GIDA) to accomplish government infrastructure projects like bridges, roads, school buildings, farm to market roads, among other.

He said some project contractors turned down government projects in GIDAs and critical areas because they are often victims of extortion and if they failed, their heavy equipment are at risk of burning and destruction by the New Peoples Army.

While in the community, we ensure they are safe and that they can live freely, Mogado added as the brigade also work hand in hand with the barangay officials not only for security as well as in providing other services like blood-letting, bayanihan and others.

Mogado said they aslo so cater to private organization’s projects provided that these projects are located in critical and GIDAs,” he said.

For local government units who want to avail our services, they can freely contact us, Mogado added. (MDCT/GVB/PIA 2-Cagayan)

Families of Ilocos Sur clash victims grateful to gov’t’s support (

From the Philippine Information Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Families of Ilocos Sur clash victims grateful to gov’t’s support (By Joyah Mae C. Quimoyog)

CANDON CITY, Oct. 11 (PIA) – “Taos-puso ang aming pasasalamat sa gobyerno para sa mga tulong na aming natatanggap dahil kahit na hindi maganda ang mga pangyayari sa nakaraan ay hindi niyo kami pinababayaan.”

Lucita Langas, sister of Ka Eugene – a member of the Kilusang Larangan Guerilla, South Ilocos Sur (KLG-SIS) who was slain in an encounter in Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur last August, expressed her gratitude to the national government after the awarding ceremony of livelihood kits from the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa – Livelihood Seeding Program (PBG-LSP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held in this city on Thursday, October 8.

She received two piglet heads and four sacks of rice bran.

“Malaki ang tulong ng livelihood kit na aming natanggap lalong-lalo na sa aming magkakapatid. Makakaasa kayo na pagtutulung-tulongan namin itong palakihin at palaguin,” she said.

Along with Langas, the DTI also awarded livelihood kits (two goat heads) to Jesus Justo, relative of another slain member of KLG-SIS from Barangay Bugnay; Romeo Cordova, wounded civilian; and Nurijean Valdez, wife of the slain civilian in the same encounter.

In an interview, Valdez, who was left with their seven-year-old child, expressed her gratitude to all the assistance they have received and said they are doing their best to move forward as it has been very hard for them to accept what suddenly happened to her husband.

“Pasalamat kami sa gobyerno kasi kahit papaano ay nandiyan sila na nakaalalay sa amin simula sa lamay ng aking asawa hanggang sa libing at siyempre lalo na ngayon dahil medyo mahirap sa akin at wala na akong katuwang, kaya ano man iyong mga tulong na natatanggap namin ay malaking tulong para sa panimula naming mag-ina,” she said.

“Ang iniisip ko lang naman ay iyong anak ko kasi siyempre ako, sa bahay lang kasi ako, nakadepende lang ako noon sa asawa ko tapos biglang ganun ang nangyari pero kailangan nating matuto na tumayo sa sariling paa para sa anak ko,” she added.

The distribution of assistance was made possible through the development programs implemented by the member-agencies of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC), chaired by Governor Ryan Luis Singson with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as the lead agency.

As public servants, DTI Provincial Director Grace Lapastora said that what gives satisfaction to each PRLEC member-agency is not only the implementation of the program but it is the long-term impact to the recipients which will eventually develop their way of life.

“If you have an improved quality of life, walang mag-i-isip na sumali sa kabila, that is our goal sa PRLEC and we are happy that you recognize and you feel our sincerity, our commitment to bring the things that you need to develop the quality of life that you have,” she said.

Moreover, the four recipients were able to receive the livelihood kits through the endorsement of the 81st Infantry Battalion (IB) of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division Philippine Army who plays a vital role along with the PRLEC member-agencies in ending LCAC in the province.

“Kami sa 81st Infantry Battalion ang naghahanap ng tulay para madala natin iyong ahensiya ng gobyerno na kailangan natin sa isang lugar. Hindi kami ang tumutugon, dinudugtong lang namin ang gap sa pagitan ng masa at gobyerno. Sana sama-sama tayo at huwag nating kalimutan na iisang bansa lang tayo; Pilipino tayo. Magkaisa tayo at ipaglaban natin ang ating karapatan para maging tahimik ang ating barangay at maging maunlad sa darating na panahon,” 81st IB Battalion Executive Officer Major Renante Carsano told the recipients.

Forty-three beneficiaries from barangays Bugnay and Tablac, who underwent TESDA's livelihood training, also received the same livelihood kits from DTI.

In his testimony, Rogelio Ramos, one of the recipients and a former Underground Mass Organization (UGMO) member, expressed his support to Major Carsano’s message and thanked not just the assistance that they have received but most importantly the 81st IB for bringing peace to their community.

“Matagal ng problema ang insurhensiya dito sa Brgy. Tablac, Candon City dahil kahit may mga dumarating na kampo ng Philippine Army, napapaalis naman sila pero hindi nagtatagal ay bumabalik din sila. Kaya nagpapasalamat kami sa 81st IB dahil sila ang tumapos sa problema ng insurhensiya rito sa aming barangay,” he said.

“Malaki rin ang pasasalamat namin sa inyong lahat para sa tuloy-tuloy na tulong na inyong ibinibigay sa amin na naapektuhan ng insurhensiya. Sa aking mga ka-barangay, ating suportahan lahat ng programa ng gobyerno para sa hinaharap ng ating mga anak, apo at para sa susunod na henerasyon,” he added. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ/PIA Ilocos Sur)

Army recovers unexploded ordnances in North Cotabato village

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Army recovers unexploded ordnances in North Cotabato village (By Edwin Fernandez)

DISARMED. The three 60mm mortar projectiles found by villagers in Barangay Pisan, Kabacan, North Cotabato on Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020). The Army has lauded the villagers for reporting their discovery to authorities and preventing the ordnances' land in the hands of lawless groups. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Military officials in North Cotabato have lauded the alertness of villagers and their prompt reporting to authorities about the discovery of three live unexploded ordnances Saturday in Kabacan town.

“We really appreciate the move of villagers for immediately reporting to our troops on the ground about their discovery, thereby saving lives,” Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the 6th Infantry Division commander, said in a statement Sunday.

Uy, also chief of the Joint Task Force Central, said villagers found the three 60 mm mortar projectiles beside a creek in Barangay Pisan of Kabacan town.

Personnel of the 90th Infantry Battalion and the 35th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, together with Kabacan municipal police, responded to the area to conduct safety procedures that eventually led to the disabling of the ordnance.

Uy appealed to the public to do the same and to report any suspicious objects or persons to prevent accidents and terroristic attacks.

“It was good the ordnances did not land in the hands of local terrorists who could convert the mortars into improvised bombs,” he said.

Uy also urged the local officials in the province to help fight violent extremism.

Kabacan is one of the areas where the Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have set off explosives in the past, targeting civilians and government forces.

Suspects in killing of 4 family members in NoCot nabbed

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Suspects in killing of 4 family members in NoCot nabbed (By John Andrew Tabugoc)

ARRESTED. The mugshots of three of four suspects involved in the Oct. 9, 2020 killing of four family members and wounding of four others in Sitio Tugunan, Barangay Lagunde, Pikit, North Cotabato following their arrest on Saturday (Oct. 10, 2020). Authorities are still pursuing the fourth suspect who remains at-large. (Photos courtesy of Pikit MPS)

PIKIT, North Cotabato – Joint operatives of the local police, military, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resulted in the arrest on Saturday afternoon of three of four suspects linked to the recent killing of four family members and wounding of four others in Barangay Lagunde here.

Capt. Mautin Pangandigan, Pikit police chief, identified the arrested suspects as Abdul Amer Mamalo, 29; Nasser Noh Ali, 30; and Salahudin Nando Noh, 21; all members of MILF 118th base command and residents of Sitio Kadingilan in Barangay Lagunde.

Pangandigan said a remaining suspect, whom he refused to identify pending police follow-up operations, remains at-large.

Empty shells from an M16 rifle were recovered at the crime scene.

“The arrested suspects were initially identified by one of the four surviving victims that led to their capture,” Pangandigan said.

He said the survivor and several witnesses pointed to Mamalo as the sole gunman in the incident.

“Mamalo also personally admitted to shooting the victims,” Pangandigan said, adding personal grudge with another close relative of the victims, a village watchman, as the motive behind the carnage.

On Friday, the suspects emerged at Sitio Tugunan, Barangay Lagunde, and shot the victims who were resting inside the house.

Killed on the spot were Sittie Alipolo Abdullah, 58; Zenaida Abdullah Mustapha, 36; Laga Abdullah 34; and a three-year-old girl.

Injured and confined at a local hospital are Asria Abdulrajak Abdullah, 30, and three minors aged 13, eight, and seven.

The suspects are currently detained at the police custodial facility here while the filing of formal charges is readied against them.

Pangandigan has acknowledged North Cotabato Board Member Dulia D. Sultan, the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion Alpha Company, and the MILF leadership for their close coordination and participation in the arrest of the suspects.

Army mulls filing cases vs. NPA for burning vehicles in MisOr

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Army mulls filing cases vs. NPA for burning vehicles in MisOr (By Jigger Jerusalem)

INDIGNATION. Residents burn the flag of the New People’s Army during an indignation rally in Barangay Bulahan, Claveria town, Misamis Oriental on Friday (Oct. 9, 2020) following the burning of three vehicles at a pineapple plantation last week. As NPA rebels are pushed back by the police and armed forces, military officials said the group has resorted to attacking civilians and non-combatant targets.(Photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem)

The military is planning to file charges against the New People’s Army (NPA) over the recent burning of civilian-owned vehicles in Claveria and Balingasag towns in Misamis Oriental.

Lt. Col. Ricky Canatoy, commanding officer of the Army’s 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB), said Saturday that the NPA violated human rights and international humanitarian laws.

By attacking and destroying civilian properties, which are not party to the conflict, he said the communist rebels are liable for these acts.

With the NPA being pushed back by the police and armed forces, he said it has resorted to attacking civilians and non-combatant targets.

Canatoy said they have been consistent in their efforts to stop the NPA from inflicting more harm on civilian population and their extortion activities.

“It is but normal for them to find ways to inflict damage to show they still have a force. But our relentless pursuit of them resulting in arrests of key officers and confiscation of firearms has an effect on the NPA,” Canatoy said.

It can be recalled that the 403rd Infantry Brigade has already filed cases against NPA fighters for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law before a local court twice.

Protest vs. NPA

Meanwhile, following the burning of vehicles allegedly carried out by the NPA rebels in Barangay Bulahan, Claveria town, Misamis Oriental, residents staged a protest against the armed insurgents on Friday.

“We must not cower and we must not allow them to terrorize us,” Meraluna Abrogar, Claveria mayor, told a crowd of more than 300 from Bulahan and neighboring villages during an indignation rally.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, three vehicles used by Del Monte Phils. Inc. (DMPI), a multinational corporation engaged in agri-business, for its pineapple plantations in Claveria, were allegedly burned by members of the NPA in Sitio Talambao, Bulahan.

Set on fire were two hauler trucks and a bus used to transport the company’s workers to the plantation.

The following day, soldiers from the 58IB captured a 19-year-old alias “James,” suspected of being a member of the NPA unit that burned the vehicles.

A follow-up operation also led to the arrest of Edgar Virtudazo and Lope Virtudazo, suspected to be James’ cohorts and also NPA members.

Those arrested are said to be from the NPA’s Subregional Committee 1 of North Central Mindanao Regional Committee.

In 2017, the NPA also torched three dump trucks owned by Del Monte Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative in Barangay Gregorio Pelaez in Claveria.

During the protest action, residents burned the flags of the NPA and Communist Party of the Philippines as they took a stand against the acts allegedly perpetrated by the Maoist rebels.

Abrogar has assured that despite these actions by the NPA, Claveria will continue to move forward as it is now promoting tourism as the town’s new income generator.

Overlooking the Gingoog Bay, the Gingoog-Claveria diversion road has become an attraction for local tourists who flock to the area known for its cold weather and scenic views where restaurants have set up shop and view decks have been erected.

The site is also location of the Cebu Pacific Flight 387 memorial shrine.

“We are concerned, but the tourists are now aware. If they see on the map that the conflict is far from those tourist destinations, I think they will not fear coming here,” Abrogar said.

The mayor added that she will also ask the DMPI management not to pull out from Claveria because of what happened.

The corporation’s plantations are mainly located in a cluster of barangays in Claveria known as “Tabok.”

DMPI started its Claveria operations in 2016.

Jay Vincent Zulita, DMPI area supervisor for Tabok, said there were talks among the company’s top managers to leave the town due to its peace and order situation.

Like Abrogar, Zulita said he wants DMPI to continue its operations in Claveria as close to a hundred workers depend on the plantation for their livelihood.

“We want to deliver more for Tabok. We defended it to the management so it could continue,” Zulita said. “If they (NPA) continue to disrupt our production, it will have an impact on the people’s livelihood.”

Slain Surigao Sur town IP leader laid to rest

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Slain Surigao Sur town IP leader laid to rest (By Alexander Lopez)

LAST MARCH FOR A FALLEN LEADER. More than a thousand members of the Manobo tribe and their leaders staged an indignation rally against the communist New People’s Army on Saturday (Oct. 9, 2020) as they carried the casket of Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative of Lianga town to his final resting place. Bucales and two of his companions were killed in an ambush staged by the NPA on Oct. 4 in Sitio Mamparasanon in Barangay Banahao. (Photo courtesy of 3SFBn)

More than a thousand residents, mostly belonging to the Manobo tribe, joined the march and indignation rally Saturday as the remains of the slain Hawudon Jumar Bucales, the Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga town in Surigao del Sur, was finally laid to rest.

The Manobo tribe, during the indignation rally, condemned the communist New People’s Army (NPA) for the killing of Bucales and the other IP leaders and members in the area whom they said were victims of the continuing terroristic acts of the rebels in different IP communities in the province.

“We lost a remarkable and excellent IP leader,” Datu Jimmy Guinsod, the IPMR of the province of Surigao del Sur, told Philippine News Agency Sunday.

Bucales and two of his companions were killed in an ambush staged by the NPA on Oct. 4 in Sitio Mamparasanon, Barangay Banahao, Lianga.

Guinsod said Bucales won the admiration of the other IP leaders and ordinary residents for the advocacies he lived, worked, and implemented to bring genuine peace and development in IP communities in Lianga and the rest of the province.

“He was a brave man. Despite the several attempts against his life, Datu Jumar continued to carry on with his advocacies towards the IP communities in their town,” he said.

Guinsod said the Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur is celebrating the IP month this October with a heavy heart due to the loss of their leaders and members.

“For this month alone, at the start of the IP month, the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) killed four Manobo tribe members, to include Datu Jumar and his two companions and Pfc. Ariel Guinsod Maca, an IP soldier killed by the CTGs last Oct. 3 in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur,” he added.

The contributions of Bucales to Lianga were also recognized by the local government unit, Guinsod said adding the IP leader “served only for nine months as IPMR but was able to accomplish tangible peace and development programs for the tribe.”

Among his notable accomplishment was the facilitation of the establishment of an IP school that is accredited by the Department of Education (DepEd), electrification of sitios especially those in IP communities, the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, and various livelihood programs in the conflict-affected communities which are the gateways to the Andap Valley Range.

Andap Valley is the home of the Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur.

Lianga town Mayor Novelita Sarmen said Bucales also proposed development plans in the hinterlands to boost the economy and the agri-tourism in the municipality.

Fighting terrorism

Bucales is also known for his resolve in protecting the IP communities in Lianga against terrorism and the continued intimidation and harassment of the NPA.

An IP leader who asked for anonymity for security reasons said the fallen IP leader was at the forefront of establishing a DepEd accredited IP school in Lianga to replace the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) schools in the area.

“These TRIFPSS and ALCADEV are influenced by the CTGs and we do not want our children to be indoctrinated by the communist ideology,” he said.

He added IP leaders in Lianga and the entire province supported Bucales in his efforts to close down the two schools which they suspect of having links with the NPA.

“The schools are also supported by MAPASU, an IP organization influenced by the CTG. In fact, some of its leaders are noted supporters of the communist movement here in Lianga and in Surigao del Sur,” he said.

MAPASU stands for Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod.

He said the advocacy of Bucales was the main reason why he was ordered killed by the NPA.

“The NPA accused Bucales of attacking the ALCADEV and TRIFPSS and the killing of Emerito Samarca, an official of ALCADEV. These accusations by the NPA are baseless and false,” the IP leader said.

A certain Sandara Sidlakan, who identified herself as the spokesperson of the NPA in northeastern Mindanao, claimed responsibility for the killing of Bucales and also accused him of responsibility for the death of Samarca and working for the closure of IP schools.

“The MAPASU group, the NPA, and even Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat, are singing the same song. They all accuse Bucales of being responsible for the killing of Samarca and worked for the closure of TRIFPSS and ALCADEV,” the IP leader said.

Another IP leader, Datu Rico Maca, the IPMR of San Miguel town is asking why Rep. Cullamat is so silent amidst the IP killings in Surigao del Sur.

“Where is Bae Eufemia Cullamat? She belongs to the Manobo tribe as she is from Lianga, a native of Surigao del Sur,” Maca said on Sunday.

He said the IP leaders in Surigao del Sur will continue the fight of Bucales regardless of dangers posed by the NPA.

“Bucales was a target of the CTG. All of us, the tribal leaders who oppose their ideology and continue to condemn their harassment in our communities are also their targets,” Maca said.

Datu Constancio Duhac, the tribal chieftain of Lianga, also vowed to move on with the advocacies left by Bucales.

“The CTGs cannot stop us. Despite the threats, we will continue our fight against terrorism to protect our communities,” Duhac said.

He said Bucales is now regarded as a local hero among the IP communities in Lianga and his death has sparked enthusiasm among the local leaders to pursue what he started.

In a statement Sunday, Lt. Col. Joey Baybayan, the commander of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion (3SFBn) of the Army, expressed grief over the death of Bucales.

He said the Army will help the Philippine National Police and other concerned agencies in the area to bring to justice those responsible for the ambush-slaying of the IP leader.

Baybayan said the 3SFBn will continue to perform its mandate of securing the IP communities in Lianga from the threats of the NPA.

The Army units in Surigao del Sur rendered a hero’s burial for Bucales.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Davao Region peace body awaits Haran’s turnover of IPs

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): Davao Region peace body awaits Haran’s turnover of IPs (By Che Palicte)

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 11 (file photo)

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, chairperson of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 11 (RPOC-11), said they are waiting for the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Center to formally turn over the indigenous peoples (IPs) housed in their facility to their respective communities.

In an interview over the weekend, Dayanghirang told the Philippine News Agency that a dialogue has been made between the two parties where the UCCP agreed to release the IPs.

“We are waiting for their promise and we are waiting for their go signal,” he said.

Dayanghirang added that the RPOC-11 is always ready should the administrators of Haran decide to return them to their respective provinces.

“We are ready to accept and provide a livelihood to these IPs,” he added.

Early this year, RPOC-11 approved a resolution seeking the immediate closure of Haran which has been serving as the temporary shelter for the IPs from various provinces since early 2015.

Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib, who moved for Haran's closure, said the IPs inside the facility are being exploited by the communist rebel movement for "various terroristic activities."

Dayanghirang also accused the center of violating the Indigenous People’s Rights Act, as well as committing child abuse and serious illegal detention offenses while engaging in human trafficking.

"We are urging the concerned agencies to file appropriate charges for we want it to be closed as soon as possible," he said.

He added that the IPs inside the center are being manipulated and exploited and that closing the facility would mean freedom for tribe members allegedly being locked inside it.

“That is our direction [closure of Haran], especially that there is a pandemic and the IPs living in the Haran compound are in danger,” Dayanghirang added.

CHR slams NPA attack on IPs in Surigao del Sur

From the Philippine News Agency (Oct 11, 2020): CHR slams NPA attack on IPs in Surigao del Sur (By Azer Parrocha)

The Commission on Human Rights on Sunday condemned the “disproportionate” and “brutal” killings of indigenous people (IP) perpetrated by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Surigao del Sur early this month.

CHR spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline de Guia expressed heartfelt condolence to the victims who were killed by NPA rebels in separate incidents from Oct. 3 to 7.

“The Commission on Human Rights strongly denounces the recent spate of violence and attacks allegedly done by the New People’s Army,” de Guia said in a statement.

De Guia said the hostilities happening amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic have worsened the insecurity, fear, and vulnerability that conflict-ridden communities are already experiencing.

“No ideology can justify these senseless violations on the right to life,” she said, adding that the killings are a violation of the international humanitarian law.

She also explained that the recurrence of violence only further imperils the people in vulnerable communities, reiterating the CHR’s plea to pursue peaceful ways to resolving conflict.

“We reiterate our plea to pursue peaceful ways to address long-standing issues for recovery and healing to begin,” she said.

De Guia described as “particularly gruesome” the killing of IP soldier, Pfc. Ariel Guinsod Maca, a member of the 36th Infantry Battalion and a Manobo, in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur last Oct. 3.

She said Maca “sustained several gunshots, and bore torture marks including severely flattened face and his plucked out eyes.”

Facebook user named Ka Sandara Sidlakan, who identified herself as the spokesperson of the NPA-Surigao del Sur, claimed that it was them who killed Maca, according to de Guia.

A day later, IP Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of Lianga town, Hawudon Jumar S Bucales was killed by alleged NPA members in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Oct. 4.

Similarly, five persons, which include a policeman and two teachers were hurt in an ambush attack by alleged members of the NPA in Pinabacdao, Samar last Oct. 7.

De Guia, meanwhile, said the CHR’s regional offices will launch an investigation into the spate of IP killings.

“CHR Region Caraga and Region 8 shall probe these cases to ensure justice for the victims and bring the perpetrators to account,” she said.

The NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.