Tuesday, November 3, 2020

3 police execs on shortlist for next PNP chief: DILG

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2020): 3 police execs on shortlist for next PNP chief: DILG (By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año. (File photo)

Three senior police officials are on the shortlist of candidates for the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday.

“Nakapag-submit na ako ng shortlist kay PRRD through a Napolcom resolution (I have submitted a shortlist to President Rodrigo R. Duterte through a National Police Commission resolution). Three senior PNP officials but I cannot mention the names and ranks,” Año said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

This comes as PNP Chief, Gen. Camilo Cascolan is set to retire from the service on November 10.

Cascolan officially assumed as the country's 24th top cop on September 2, replacing Gen. Archie Gamboa.

He is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, along with Gamboa and former PNP chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Oscar Albayalde.

Former PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, earlier said the PNP would follow the “rule of succession” of command if no announcement is made on who would succeed the outgoing PNP chief.

Other ranking officials of the PNP are Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for administration, the PNP's second-highest official, who is also the commander of the Joint Task Force Covid Shield; Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, deputy chief for operations; and Maj. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, chief of the directorial staff.

Eleazar and Binag, both from PMA Class of 1987, will retire in April and November 2021, respectively.

Cruz is a PMA classmate of Eleazar and Binag.

Term extension?

In a press briefing in Camp Crame on Wednesday, Cascolan said he has not yet received an order from the President regarding an extension of his term.

“Susunod lang po tayo sa kautusan. Trabaho lang po tayo and, of course, 'yung (ginagawa) naman po natin ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat (We would just follow orders and continue work. Of course, what we are doing is for everyone’s good) and whoever may be able to replace me, of course, I hope he will be able to sustain our programs," he told reporters when sought for a comment.

Aside from the members of the PNP command group, earlier reports floated other contenders for PNP chief, among them Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, National Police Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief and Police Regional Office 4A (Calabarzon) director, Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao, who belongs to PMA Class of 1991.

Sinas is set to retire in May next year while Danao has two more years left in his service.


No critical damage on Navy attack craft after Sulu clash

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2020): No critical damage on Navy attack craft after Sulu clash (By Priam Nepomuceno)

NO MAJOR DAMAGE. The Philippine Navy's multi-purpose attack craft BA-493 off the waters of Sulu. The Navy on Wednesday (Nov. 4, 2020) said BA-493 did not incur heavy damage in Tuesday’s clash with an Abu Sayyaf speedboat, which resulted in the death of seven terrorists. (Photo courtesy of the Naval Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Navy’s multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) used in intercepting an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) speedboat near Sulare Island, Parang, Sulu was not heavily damaged despite taking fire from the terrorists, an official said Wednesday.

"There is an ongoing battle damage assessment of this vessel. The initial finding shows more or less 20 bullets received by the vessel in the recent gunfight between the ASG in the Sulu Sea. The good news is that no one was injured (among) the crew and no equipment was damaged," Navy public affairs office chief, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when asked for updates on the condition of the MPAC, which was identified as BA-493.

This MPAC is assigned to the Navy's 3rd Attack Boat Division.

"Based on the position of the bullets, only one hit below the waterline, so it means that the craft is not in critical condition," Roxas said.

She added that the engagement off Sulare Island validates the purpose of the MPACs in "terms of naval/ maritime patrol operations, sea denial, fast-attack interdiction of hostile craft, insertion, and search-and-rescue operations."

During Tuesday's encounter with seven ASG members, BA-493 was escorted or screened by another MPAC, BA-491, which is armed with Rafael Advanced Defense Ltd. Spike-ER surface-to-surface missile.

The BA-491 was conducting retrieval operations for the disabled ASG speedboat.

The Navy has 12 MPACs in service capable of running speeds of 30 knots to 45 knots.

Some of these boats are armed with automatic machine guns while the others are equipped with surface-to-surface Spike-ER missiles.


PAF planes make 2nd relief sortie into Catanduanes

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2020): PAF planes make 2nd relief sortie into Catanduanes (By Priam Nepomuceno) 

RELIEF FOR CATANDUANES. Philippine Air Force troops organize boxes containing relief supplies for victims of Super Typhoon Rolly in Catanduanes on Tuesday (Nov. 3, 2020). The relief supplies included bottled water, assorted goods, food packs, and personal protective equipment sets from government agencies and an NGO. (Photo courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs Office)

Two cargo aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have made a second relief sortie, carrying food and other supplies to typhoon-battered Catanduanes province.

In a statement on Wednesday, PAF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Aristides Galang, said a C-295 medium transport aircraft, carrying 530 boxes of food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), took off from Villamor Air Base, Pasay City for Catanduanes at about 12: 30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, another C-130 aircraft carrying 200 boxes of bottled water from the Office of Civil Defense, 14 boxes of assorted goods from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, 553 food packs from the DSWD, 1,000 sacks of food from volunteer non-government organization Go Share, and six boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets from the PAF, took off from Villamor Air Base at about 3:08 p.m.

Both aircraft safely arrived in Catanduanes with the relief goods on Tuesday afternoon.

The first sortie of PAF aircraft took place on Tuesday morning, with a C-130 and a C-295 making relief flights to Albay and Catanduanes, carrying with them food, rescue, and communication equipment, water, beds, and PPE sets.

"Rest assured that your PAF will continuously provide assistance and support to help our fellow countrymen, especially those that have been at the center of this recent calamity," Galang said.


Whoever wins polls, no major change in PH-US ties: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2020): Whoever wins polls, no major change in PH-US ties: Palace (By Azer Parrocha)

Anadolu photo

Malacañang expects no major changes in bilateral relations between the Philippines and the US regardless of who wins the race for the White House in the 2020 presidential elections.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque expressed confidence the Philippines-US bilateral ties will remain strong because the US State Department ensures continuity in terms of foreign policy.

“You see the (US) State Department ensures continuity as far as US foreign policy is concerned. So we don’t expect any major changes in bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States,” Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source on Wednesday.

He acknowledged the “personal relationship” between President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump but noted that he could also establish rapport with Democratic challenger Joe Biden if he wins the Nov. 3 polls.

“Of course, there is an issue of personal relations but I think given time the President can establish equally warm personal relations with whoever wins this election even it’s not President Trump,” he said.

Duterte himself has repeatedly branded Trump as his "friend."

Roque pointed out that Duterte only needed “maybe was a year or two” to foster personal friendship with Trump.

Should there be a new President, Roque said Duterte would be able to develop a “close personal friendship” with Biden.

“And even if there is a new President, I am not saying that there will be, but in case there is a new President in the United States in the person of Senator Biden, I am confident that the President can also develop a close personal friendship with Mr. Biden. May the best man win as of now,” he said.

Asked on his personal take on who will win the US elections, Roque said: “Even US media sources, CNN, Fox are very cautious in making their forecast now. So I think I will follow their lead and really just allow the results to come in.”

Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez earlier said the Filipino-American community is “quite divided” between Trump and Biden in the polls.

There are around 4.3 million Filipino-Americans, half of which are eligible to vote in the US, he said.

The US presidential elections is currently unfolding amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Local news outlets have also started reporting results in several states.


Duterte not in a hurry to abrogate VFA: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 4, 2020): Duterte not in a hurry to abrogate VFA: Palace (By Azer Parrocha)

President Rodrigo Duterte. (Presidential photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte is in “no immediate rush” to abrogate the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte may postpone for another six months the termination of VFA.

“That (VFA termination) has an option of being further extended by another six months. So, my thinking is, perhaps the President will invoke the second six month time to finally abrogate the VFA,” he said in an interview over CNN Philippines’ The Source. “But, anyway, what I am saying is, there is no immediate rush for the President to decide because the notification we sent to the Americans gives them at least one year leeway before it’s abrogated.”

Duterte decided to suspend the planned revocation of the military pact with Washington DC last June.

The suspension of the VFA’s termination is expected to end next month.

In February, Duterte scrapped the VFA over its alleged inequities in its treaty provisions and the US’s alleged assault on the country’s sovereignty and disrespect for its judicial system.

His decision came following criticism of some US senators against his crackdown on illegal drugs, as well as the cancellation of the US visa of his ally, former national police chief, and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa.

He never mentioned to his Cabinet members his plan to suspend the abrogation of VFA.

The VFA was supposed to be abrogated 180 days after the Philippines sent a formal notice of termination to the US on Feb. 11 this year.

However, Manila notified Washington DC in June about Duterte’s decision to suspend the revocation of the VFA.

The revocation of the military pact between the two countries was suspended “in light of political and other developments in the region”.

According to the diplomatic note dated June 1 and addressed to the US government, the suspension of VFA’s termination is effective for six months but can be extended by the Philippines for another six months.

The VFA, a military pact signed between the Philippines and the US in 1998, allows American troops who are participating in joint military exercises to visit Manila without passport and visa.


3 rebels killed, arms cache seized in NPA hideout

From Tempo (Nov 4, 2020): 3 rebels killed, arms cache seized in NPA hideout (BY MIKE CRISMUNDO)

CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – Government security forces neutralized three New People’s Army (NPA) members and seized several high-powered firearms at a rebels’ hideout in the hinterland area of Pangi in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.

Maj. Rodolfo S. Cordero, Jr., chief of Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Fourth Infantry Division (4th ID), said on Tuesday that troops of the 36th Infantry Battalion (36th IB) under the command of Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel were still pursuing withdrawing NPA rebels in the hinterlands of Pangi towards the Diwata Ranges in the provincial border of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur.

The fleeing rebels were members of Platoon 1, Guerilla Front 30 of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee under a certain Commander Nicko, the 4th ID PAO chief said.

The 36th IB troops also killed rebels during the almost one-hour fierce firefight at the enemy hideout, Cordero said.

The government troops also seized three M16 Armalite rifles, two of which were attached with M203 grenade launchers, an AK47 rifle, two 22-caliber rifles, and assorted live ammunition.

Operating troops also seized in the encounter site several personal belongings and anti-government documents.


Joma Sison denies red-tagging claims, receiving extortion money from NPA

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 4, 2020): Joma Sison denies red-tagging claims, receiving extortion money from NPA (By: Krissy Aguilar)

Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday belied claims of red-tagging left-leaning organizations and receiving millions of allegedly extortion money from infrastructure projects.

Officials like Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. have all claimed that it was Sison himself who red-tagged organizations like Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, among others.

During the Senate hearing on military officials’ red-tagging on Tuesday, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency even presented a video of Sison supposedly linking the groups to the communist movement.

“Well, I spoke in Belgium in Brussels in 1988 and the Philippine military was able to get hold of the video and spliced the video to make it appear that I said the legal, democratic organizations are fronts, in the sense that they are facade, I never use that kind of language,” Sison said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.

“As a matter of fact, I differentiated the legal forces of the National Democratic movement from the armed revolutionary movement,” he added.

Sison also debunked allegations that he receives up to P400 million through the New People’s Army that were extorted from contractors of infrastructure projects and telecommunication companies as claimed by Jeffrey Celis or Ka Erik, an alleged former communist rebel.

“Money going to me and others? That’s entirely untrue. I depend on the assistance of relatives and friends. I have some well-to-do relatives and friends, that’s well-known,” Sison said.

“I don’t have to depend on funds that belong to the revolutionary movement and especially the people’s government,” he went on.

An alleged former NPA rebel also appeared before the same Senate hearing and claimed she was repeatedly raped by fellow rebels, an allegation which Sison likewise denied, saying the revolutionary movement is committed to follow humanitarian laws.

“The military keeps on making stories, rape of children, soldiering children. You know, the revolutionary movement represented by the National Democratic Front is a belligerent force in the civil war and it is committed to following international law on human rights and international humanitarian law in humanitarian conduct of waging war,” Sison said.

“You have a very responsible movement that’s why it has lasted for so long,” he added.


'Ex-communist rebel' says NPA gets info from DPWH on infra to be attacked

From ABS-CBN (Nov 3, 2020): 'Ex-communist rebel' says NPA gets info from DPWH on infra to be attacked (Katrina Domingo)

The New People's Army (NPA) said the burning of heavy equipment was the mining firm's punishment for destroying the environment. Photo taken on January 3, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vic Camion/file

A man who claims to be a former member of the armed communist movement in the country said Tuesday the New People's Army (NPA) has been getting information on which rural infrastructure projects to attack from its contacts inside the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Jeffrey "Ka Eric" Celiz, who was presented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in a Senate hearing, said he had first-hand knowledge of the scheme as he was recruited into the Communist Party of the Philippines in the early 90s when he was still a student in Iloilo.

"They (CPP-NPA) cannot overthrow the government, but they can make Smart and Globe pay P200 million," Celiz told Senators during their investigation on red-tagging, referring to the country's 2 largest telcos.

The armed communists would either "bomb" or set cell towers in provinces on fire if the telcos and other infrastructure owner refuse to pay, he said.

"Ang source namin paano namin nalalaman sa'n ang mga project? DPWH," he said, without elaborating on how the information is coursed from the agency to rebels in rural areas. (Our source of information on which infrastructure projects to target? DPWH.)

The DPWH has no immediate statement on the remarks of Celiz.

"If there is one single biggest mafia-style, highly-organized, most prolific organization to come in the face of the earth, it's the CPP-NPA," Celiz said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said it was an "open secret" that businesses usually allocate at least "2 percent" of project costs for the NPA's "cut."

NPA claims torching mining firm’s heavy equipment in Negros Oriental

Forty percent of the money the NPA collects from blackmailing businesses in the countryside is remitted to the organization's Central Committee, while 60 percent goes to regional operations, said Celiz, who now works as a government consultant.

"Hindi ko po masagot categorical [kung magkano], pero may napupunta po sa Netherlands dahil nandun po ang CPP International Department," he said, noting that CPP founding chair Jose Maria Sison has been taking refuge in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands.

(I cannot say categorically how much is sent, but something goes to the Netherlands because that is where the CPP International department is.)

The CPP-NPA can wire as much as P300 million to the Netherlands as the organization skirts anti-money laundering laws by using European non-government organizations, Celiz said.

Lacson ordered Celiz to submit to the Senate panel the list of non-government organizations allegedly helping the CPP-NPA transmit millions of pesos to the Netherlands.

Before he was identified as an ex-CPP-NPA member, Celiz was first known as the former spokesperson of former Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, who President Rodrigo Duterte identified as a narcopolitician.

A certain Jeffrey Celiz was also included in the President's so-called "narco-list."


Recent clues back suspicion that Basilan Abu Sayyaf leader is dead, says military

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Nov 3, 2020): Recent clues back suspicion that Basilan Abu Sayyaf leader is dead, says military (By: Julie S. Alipala)

Although no confirmation has yet emerged, military officials said some circumstances indicate the death of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Furuji Indama could be true.

Colonel Domingo Gobway, commander of the Army’s Joint Task Force Basilan, revealed that the wife of Indama is now trying to sell her husband’s weapons.

“We don’t have any confirmation, but we knew that Indama’s wife was offering to sell his M60 machine gun because they are hard up with the money,”
Gobway told the Inquirer.

He said the machine gun was offered for P800,000.

With this, there is a big possibility Indama is already dead, Gobway added.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, earlier said Indama was wounded in fierce fighting in Alicia town, Zamboanga Sibugay province last Sept. 9 where five gunmen, believed to be Abu Sayyaf fighters, were killed.

Citing information from military intelligence agents and the bandit leader’s relatives, Vinluan said Indama later died from gunshot wounds.

Major Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade, said Indama’s belongings like backpack, clothes, including the assembled improvised explosive device and R4 rifle, were recovered in the encounter site in Alicia.

Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman said Indama’s name was no longer prominent in talks among the province’s remaining circle of bandits.

Hataman also cited the absence of armed encounters between government troops and Indama’s followers in Basilan.

These are indications that he (Indama) is already dead, Hataman concludes.

Indama rose to become the chieftain of Abu bandits in Basilan after the death of Isnilon Hapilon in Marawi City on Oct. 16, 2017.


Philippine Military Kills 7 Abu Sayyaf Suspects in High Seas Shootout

From BenarNews (Nov 3, 2020): Philippine Military Kills 7 Abu Sayyaf Suspects in High Seas Shootout

Philippine troops try to retrieve a sinking speedboat that had carried seven suspected Abu Sayyaf militants who were killed in a clash off Sulare Island in the southern Philippines, Nov. 3, 2020.  Handout Western Mindanao Command

Government troops killed seven suspected Islamic State-linked militants in a predawn firefight during a high-seas chase off the Sulu islands in the southern Philippines, the military said Tuesday.

Two of the suspects slain in the fighting off Sulare Island were identified as Madsmar Sawadjaan and Mannul Sawadjaan, senior members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, officials said. Madsmar was the brother of Mudzimar “Mundi” Sawadjaan, an ASG member who is wanted for plotting a twin suicide bombing on nearby Jolo Island in August.

“It was like in an action movie,” said Lt. Col. Herbert Dilag, head of the Joint Task Force Sulu unit, which spearheaded the operation.

He said the firefight broke out when the Philippine Navy’s multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC), backed by an Air Force Augusta Westland attack helicopter, caught up with a speedboat carrying the militants.

“Our Augusta and MPAC fired at them. They retaliated using some high-powered firearms so a 30-minute firefight ensued. When they tried to escape, we rushed toward them and a high-speed chase took place,” Dilag said. “Finally, we rammed the speedboat as it was firing grenade launchers toward us.”

The clash led to the “neutralization of seven ASG militants,” Dilag said, adding no troops were injured during the clash.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, said troops had to deal with strong currents as they tried to retrieve the sunken speedboat and the bodies of the suspects.

Those killed belonged to a kidnap-for-ransom group led by Madsmar and Mundi Sawadjaan, who were plotting fresh abductions in the south, military officials said. Based in the southern Philippines, ASG is notorious for carrying out kidnappings for ransom.

The identities of the five others were not immediately released, the state-run Philippine News Agency reported.

Family ties

Mannul Sawadjaan (alias Abu Amara) was believed to be the successor to his grandfather, Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, the overall Islamic State (IS) leader in the country who, authorities have said, may have been killed in a previous encounter with troops. The military has not officially confirmed the death of Hatib Sawadjaan, who took the reins of IS after Isnilon Hapilon was killed at the end of a five-month siege of the southern Marawi city by pro-IS militants in 2017.

Madsmar and Mundi Sawadjaan were Mannul Sawadjaan’s uncles, according to military intelligence.

Mundi Sawadjaan has been identified as a top Abu Sayyaf lieutenant who masterminded a double-suicide bombing that killed 15 people in Jolo town in August. He also was linked to an Indonesian couple who, authorities alleged, were being groomed to carry out new attacks in the south.

An Indonesian woman, identified as Rezky Fantasya Rullie (alias Cici), was caught during a raid last month along with two Filipinas believed to be the wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders. Authorities said Rullie, the daughter of a couple who killed 21 people and themselves in a January 2019 suicide attack targeting a church in Jolo, was being groomed for her own mission.

Authorities believe her husband, Andi Baso, was killed by troops on Aug. 29. His body has not been recovered.

Richel V. Umel in Iligan City, Philippines, contributed to this report.


CPP/News: Parlade: Portrait of a fascist as a troll

Propaganda news article posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Oct 26, 2020): Parlade: Portrait of a fascist as a troll

NOVEMBER 03, 2020

Before gaining notoriety as Angel Locsin’s obsessive red-tagger, Antonio Parlade was known as the anti-peace Army spokesperson dismissed in 2011. He went against official policy when he called for the suspension of the government’s ceasefire with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This was after 19 soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in an encounter with the MILF in Basilan, in a lopsided battle that commanding officers blamed on “operational lapses.”

He also openly objected to the court-ordered release of the Morong 43, health workers who were red-tagged as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and detained on trumped-up charges in 2010. He was strident in his contempt for the then ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

He was then assigned to a “support unit” in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Headquarters. During this time, he went to the US for further military studies. In his Facebook account, he boasts of attending Deakin University, the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, among others. In 2012, he published an anti-communist book in his name and fancied himself a “counterinsurgency expert.” The book currently ranks #10,563,490 in Amazon’s best-seller list, and falling.

He served as commander of the 203rd IBde under the 2nd ID which has operational jurisdiction over Mindoro in 2018. Before the year was out, he was promoted to AFP assistant deputy chief-of-staff for operations or J3. It was in this position that he first tested his trolling abilities by conflating the Red October myth and red-tagging student activists, as well as supporters and officials of the Liberal Party.

He identified a total of 18 schools in Metro Manila asrecruitment grounds for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), including the non-existent City College of Caloocan. He baselessly accused ABS-CBN and the media, the Department of Justice and its courts, the European Union and the United Nations itself, as infiltrated by the CPP.

Parlade as troll

Parlade rose to become deputy chief to the AFP’s Civil-Military Operations or J7 in 2019. During this time, he put himself at the center of the Duterte regime’s vilification campaign against legal organizations and started red-tagging progressive lawmakers and institutions.

This earned him a ticket in the junket trip to Europe organized by Communications Sec. Martin Andanar. Before representatives of the European Union, he attempted in vain to paint organizations such as the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Ibon Foundation as extensions of the New People’s Army. He boasted of having “truckloads” of evidence against the said groups and more. Europeans and their funding institutions roundly rebuffed him and Andanar’s coterie. Up to now, he has yet to present a single sheet of evidence to any court.

In true troll fashion, Parlade made sure his antics were covered by the media, scolding reporters who didn’t give him enough airtime. In November 2019, he gatecrashed a human rights forum where organizers compared his presence to a “serial rapist who barged in a meeting of victims and their kin.”

He repeats lie after lie about the CPP and the NPA devouring its own children to detract attention from state killings of prominent activists such as Randy Malayao and Randy Echanis. He has no qualms of justifying killings of human rights defenders such as Zara Alvarez claiming that they are “NPA members anyway.” He portrays the CPP, NPA and the entire national democratic movement as murderers and thugs out to destroy Filipino children and corrupt Filipino minds.

Parlade rose to prominence after two of Duterte’s main trolls, Mocha Uson and Lorraine Badoy, were caught in their lies and became objects of mockery. His brand of slander, childish name-calling and outrageous claims became fodder in social media, generating fake posts, videos and quotes.

His anti-communist zealot persona found an audience in AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) official and sponsored accounts, as well as in state-funded troll farms. With the state machinery behind him, Parlade has accumulated more than 400 “friends” in Facebook.

In showing that no trick is too ridiculous or too vile, Parlade’s career was propelled to the higher rungs of the military bureaucracy. He became a “key person,” eventually graduating to “spokesperson,” of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. He claims to have the ear and gets his instruction to “trample on the Left” from Duterte himself.

On January 17, he replaced Gilbert Gapay as commander of the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) which has operational jurisdiction over the Bicol and Southern Tagalog regions. Gapay went on to become Philippine Army chief in December 2019, then AFP chief of staff in August 3. Parlade is openly currying favor to the most fascist military officials in the hopes of following Gapay as the next AFP chief of staff.

Parlade as terrorist

Unlike other Duterte trolls, Parlade has two infantry divisions, a fleet of naval forces and an Air Force Tactical Operations Wing to carry out state terrorism at his disposal. Under his command, military units under the SOLCOM go beyond red-tagging of activists, human rights defenders, media personalities, peasants and even members of the judiciary. Army units, assisted by police personnel, perpetrate human rights violations and crimes against the people with impunity.

Based on Ang Bayan’s monitor, there are at least 190 victims of human rights abuses in Bicol and 1,357 in Calabarzon from January to October 31. Most of these cases were perpetuated by SOLCOM units. These incidents range from extrajudicial killings (25 victims), unjust arrests and detentions (147), coercion (16), destruction of property (5), food and economic blockade (1200), illegal search and seizure (41), physical assault (13) to threat, harassment and intimidation (91), among others. Majority of the victims are farmworkers and peasants in the countryside, and workers in enclaves accused by the military as NPA members.

The violations include the unjust arrest of four regional leaders of progressive organizations in Bicol. The arrested activists, Jenelyn Nagrampa-Caballero, Rev. Dan San Andres, Nelsy Rodriguez of Bayan and Ramon Rescovilla of Condor-Piston are veterans of Gabriela, Karapatan, Bayan and Condor-Piston. These organizations are among Parlade’s favorites to demonize.

Last October 20, Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court Branch 56 Judge Jeaneth Gaminde San Joaquin narrowly escaped death when she, along with her aide, were shot at by motorcycle-riding gunmen. San Joaquin, who signed the warrant of arrest of Caballero, also ordered her release a few days later after determining that the case was weak. She did so at the risk of earning the ire of Parlade who brandishes his antagonism against judges who allow activists to exercise their legal rights.

In April, SOLCOM and PNP units presented 16 “NPA surrenderees” who turned out to be workers of the Coca Cola plant in Laguna who were red-tagged, threatened and brought to a military camp. They were recycled in another ceremony for “surrenderees” in July. Like other military officials, Parlade and his ilk profited from these fake and recycled surrenders.

Activists in Quezon hold Parlade “solely responsible” for the crackdown on residents of the province and the entire Southern Tagalog region. They cite the attempted murder of Karapatan Quezon Secretary-General Genelyn Dichoso on June 1. Later, Dichoso and seven others were illegally detained while on their way to conduct investigation on reports of child endangerment by the 85th IB. Red-tagged activists are “visited” by soldiers in their homes, while others are simply arrested and later presented as “NPA members.”

Others suffered worse fates. Three peasants were murdered by SOLCOM forces in Oriental Mindoro on January 31, only a few days after Parlade assumed command. Their bodies were riddled with bullets and left to rot. In Masbate and Albay, SOLCOM soldiers killed four barangay officials and a rice trader last September.

Ang Bayan also collated reports of 331 counterinsurgency operations initiated by units under Parlade’s command from January to October. These operations covered 163 barangays in 46 towns across the Bicol region and 128 barangays in 31 towns across Southern Tagalog.

These operations include the strafing incident involving 49th IB soldiers who indiscriminately fired their weapons near a school in Barangay Oma-oma in Ligao City on September 25, resulting in the forcible evacuation of teachers who were preparing for the opening of classes.

Parlade is also notorious for playing dirty in the field of warfare. He deliberately violated GRP President Duterte’s declaration of Covid-19 ceasefire from March 19 to April 30 earlier this year, and ordered his units to mount relentless counterinsurgency operations against the NPA. Combat and psychological operations were highest in Southern Tagalog (138 operations) and Bicol (94) during the said period. These operations include SOLCOM’s successive raids against NPA units in Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal, and in Mulanay and Gumaca Quezon from March 28 to April 1.


EASTMINCOM: 8 Firearms, IEDs recovered in SuSur

From the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Website (Nov 2, 2020): 8 Firearms, IEDs recovered in SuSur

MADRID, Surigao del Sur – Army’s of 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion, Philippine Army battled against CPP-NPA Terrorist in the uninhabited and hilly area of Brgy Pangi, Tandag City, this province last October 31, 2020, at around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Troops of 36IB while conducting strike operations responded to the reports of the locals about the presence of CNTs in the hinterlands of Brgy Pangi, Tandag City who were conducting terroristic activities.

Upon reaching the enemy location, the troops encountered more or less 40 fully armed CNTs believed to be under Joel Mahinay Aka Nicko of a Communist Terrorist Group operating in Northeastern Mindanao.

The exchange of fire lasted for about 40 minutes which was supported by (2) MD 520 MG helicopters from the Philippine Air Force without casualty on the government side while undetermined on the CNTs with heavy bloodstains scattered on the different path of their route of withdrawal.

The clash resulted in the seizure of one (1) M16 rifle, two (2) M16 rifle with attached M203 (40mm) Grenade Launcher, one (1) AK47 rifle, two (2) Cal. 22 converted rifle, live ammunition, Improvised Explosive Devices, Hand and rifle Grenades, medical kits and paraphernalia, CNTs personal belongings and documents with high intelligence value.

It can be recalled that last September 28, 2020, the 2nd Company of the Police Mobile Force Company, Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office encountered the CNTs at Sitio Paningkian, Brgy. Buenavista Tandag City, which is adjacent to the recent encounter site of the Valorian Troopers.

In his statement, Lt. Col Jezreel J Diagmel, Commanding Officer this unit, the result of the encounter is a manifestation of support of the community to the security sector in ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict in the area of operations.

“It is my duty and commitment responding to the call of the peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur to preserve the peace and security in the province. We will never stop until communities and populace will experience the peace and progress that they are longing for,” Lt Col Diagmel said.

“To the remaining CNTs, lay down your arms and return to the folds of the law. Avail the Enhance Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) of the government and surrender now. You have still a chance and live in peace together with your family” Lt. Col. Diagmel ended.

Pursuit operation with PNP Surigao del Sur is in progress as of press time.

Source: Civil-Military Operations Office, 36th Infantry Battalion, Joint Task Force Diamond, PA


EASTMINCOM: 3 CPP-NPA Terrorists die in a recent encounter in Surigao Del Sur

From the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCOM) Website (Nov 2, 2020): 3 CPP-NPA Terrorists die in a recent encounter in Surigao Del Sur

CAMP EVANGELISTA, Cagayan de Oro City – Three (3) CPP-NPA Terrorists died in a recent encounter with the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion in Pangi, Tandag City, Surigao del Sur over the weekend, October 31, 2020.

According to Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, Commanding Officer of 36IB, at around 1 P.M. on October 31, a platoon of soldiers responded to the report that more or less 40 CNTs were conducting extortion activity in the hinter areas of Barangay Pangi when they encounter the armed group.

“While proceeding to the reported location of the CNTs, our soldiers were able to locate their hideout at the mountainous areas of Barangay Pangi at around 1 PM. The firefight broke out when the enemy fired towards our operating troops prompting them to return fire. The encounter lasted for about 40 minutes since the enemy fought hard to hold their ground considering that they are superior in number during the incident. Fortunately, our forces outmaneuvered them which resulted in the death of three (3) terrorists”, Diagmel said.

The armed group belongs to the CPP-NPA’s Platoon 1, Guerilla Front 30 of the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee under Joel Mahinay alias Nicko.

The soldiers seized three (3) M16 rifles two (2) of which are attached with M203 Grenade Launchers, one (1) AK47 rifle, and two cal. 22 rifles.

Twenty jungle hammock, 21 backpacks, and voluminous subversive documents, and several cellphones, sim cards, and memory cards were also seized by the government troops from the CPP-NPA Terrorists.

Meanwhile, Major General Andres C Centino, Commander of the 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Diamond, said that the communist terrorists in Caraga are now extorting money even from the farmers and small businesses because they can hardly sustain their forces due to the massive Focused Military Operations (FMOs) of the AFP in the region.

“Our forces will continue to pursue these bandits until they stop their extortion and atrocities or they surrender to the government. This is the only way to defeat them. Without resources they will not be able to survive”, said MGen Centino.

The cadavers of the three (3) terrorists were turned-over by 36IB to local police for proper disposition.

Source: Division Public Affairs Office, Joint Task Force Diamond, Philippine Army


4 PH Navy ships available for 'Rolly' relief missions

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 3, 2020): 4 PH Navy ships available for 'Rolly' relief missions (By Priam Nepomuceno)

BRP Davao Del Sur. (File photo)

Four of the Philippine Navy (PN)'s largest ships are now earmarked for possible sealift and command-and-control missions in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Rolly.

PN public affairs office chief Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas made this remark Tuesday when asked about the Navy's contribution to the ongoing disaster response efforts for typhoon victims.

Ships now on standby are the PN's two landing docks, the BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao Del Sur, and two logistics support vessels, the BRP Bacolod City and BRP Dagupan City.

"(These ships could) basically serve as military sealift and transport vessel(s) and may act as floating command-and-control ship(s) during times of humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations (HADR)," Roxas said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

She added that the four ships are considered the largest vessels in the PN inventory with the Tarlac-class dockings having a gross tonnage of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 120 meters, breadth of 21 meters, draft of five meters and can carry a payload of 2,800 tons.

Meanwhile, the Bacolod City-class logistic support vessels have a displacement of 4,265 tons at full load and 273 feet long.

As this developed, a Navy BN Islander aircraft on Monday conducted damage assessment flights over the coastal areas of San Andres and Virac in Catanduanes to assess the damage brought about by the super typhoon.

"All units of the PN in areas affected by Super Typhoon Rolly were put on heightened HADR stance and will continue to assist local government units and national agencies in responding to the needs of the Filipino people that were adversely affected by this calamity," Roxas said.


PAF planes fly relief supplies to Albay, Catanduanes

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 3, 2020): PAF planes fly relief supplies to Albay, Catanduanes (By Priam Nepomuceno) 

RELIEF FOR 'ROLLY' VICTIMS. Philippine Air Force troops unload relief supplies for victims of Super Typhoon Rolly in the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes on Tuesday (Nov. 3, 2020). These include food packs, bottled water, communication van, generator set, beds, tents, and personal protective equipment sets. (Photo courtesy of the Air Force Public Affairs Office)

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday deployed transport aircraft to bring food packs and other relief supplies from Villamor Air Base in Pasay City to areas in Legazpi City, Albay, and Virac, Catanduanes that were affected by Super Typhoon Rolly.

Lt. Col. Aristides Galang, the PAF spokesperson, said the Air Force's C-130 heavy lift and C-295 medium transport aircraft were utilized for this mission.

"C-130 and C-295 (aircraft) both landed in Catanduanes. 'Yung (The) C-130, dumaan din ng (also landed in) Legazpi, Albay," he said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

Both aircraft took off past 7:30 a.m. and arrived at their respective destinations around 9 a.m.

He added that the C-130 plane transported a total of 18,000 pounds of cargo consisting of one communication van, a generator set, 15 beds, 10 tents, and four boxes of personal protective equipment sets from the PAF.

Also airlifted were 150 boxes of bottled water donated by Asia Brewery coursed through the office of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, which would be delivered to the most affected areas in the Bicol Region.

Meanwhile, the C-295 plane transported 235 boxes of food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to Virac, Catanduanes.

"The said relief operation is just one of the efforts being undertaken by the government to reduce the suffering of the affected communities during these trying times. Further, the PAF is always ready to support in any relief efforts in the country while protecting the Filipino people," Galang said.


Makabayan solons no-show at Senate hearing on red-tagging

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 3, 2020): Makabayan solons no-show at Senate hearing on red-tagging (By Benjamin Pulta)

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation. (Screengrab from Senate hearing Facebook Live video)

Members of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives were a no-show at the Senate hearing into the complaints of so-called "red tagging" of individuals and groups allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation, said aside from official notices delivered by the Committee Secretariat last Oct. 30 to the different militant groups – Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan, Gabriela, while properly received, did not confirm their attendance.

An open invitation was likewise sent last week to the representatives of the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) bloc of the House of Representatives to voluntarily attend this public hearing. The letter was coursed through the Speaker of the House, considering that the Committee cannot issue the said invitation directly to individual party-list representatives in view of the inter-parliamentary courtesy existing between the two chambers.

"Having said that, we received a letter from former Rep. Neri Colmenares requesting that another hearing be held so he may be given an opportunity to attend, but without the presence of the members of the security sector, particularly Lt. Gen. (Antonio) Parlade. The chair may have to discuss this with the members of the committee," Lacson said.

Only the bloc's representative, lawyer Maneeka Sarza was present during the hearing.

In a letter to the committee on Tuesday, Makabayan bloc members claimed that they are not able to attend the hearing as they are focusing on separate relief missions for victims of Super Typhoon Rolly.

Lacson convened the hearing to exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging or red-baiting pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 559.

"As I have repeatedly done in the recent past, let me be forthright by saying that as one of the authors and the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, we ensure that the same is applied correctly and appropriately with utmost respect for the rule of law, and that the Bill of Rights under the 1987 Constitution will always be the backbone of this legislation," Lacson said in his opening statement.

Members of the defense sector who were physically present during the hearing outlined and presented proof of the radicalization and recruitment program targeting youths by communist terrorist groups using front organizations.

NPA youth recruitment must stop

During the hearing, Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa cited earlier findings on the deliberate recruitment by rebels of teenagers as their manpower and communist terrorist groups (CTG) "continue to spread terror even in the time of pandemic".

"It is about time we call spade a spade. This has to stop," dela Rosa said.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the CTGs "have stunted the growth and modernization not only of the countryside but the whole country".

The CTGs also resort to radicalization and recruitment of the youth to replenish their ranks, Esperon added.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the hearing is very timely.

"So we can expose once and for all the true color of these people who are trying to destroy our democracy," Lorenzana said.

No red-tagging by government

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año denied that red-tagging is a part of the government's policy.

"Let me emphasize that we are not the enemies here. We all know who the enemies are and they are the communist terrorist groups under the CPP-NPA-NDF and their allies who have been the country's bane for the last five decades," he said.

He added that red-tagging is not a mere product of their imagination or a tool to pin down the opposition "as the leftist groups would want it to appear".

"In fact, it was Communist Party of the Philippines (founding chairman) Joma Sison who red-tagged these left organizations such as Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and all other front organizations," he said.

Año, meanwhile, emphasized that the government is duty-bound to protect the people from the enemies of the state.

"It (government) will do everything within its authority to ensure that its people are safe and protected most especially from the enemies of the people who are like wolves in sheep's clothing who take advantage of people's weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that they would unwittingly join their cause. Sometimes, we wonder why these groups complain of red-tagging when they themselves admit to being (Reds)," he added.

While the CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by foreign jurisdictions such as the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, one supra-national jurisdiction – European Union -- is not in the list of the UN Security Council by virtue of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373.

In the Philippines, there is a pending proscription case against the organization before the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Other key government officials present in the hearing were Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Gilbert Gapay, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr, Philippine National Police deputy chief for operations, Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo.


Año to submit shortlist of PNP chief candidates to PRRD

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 3, 2020): Año to submit shortlist of PNP chief candidates to PRRD (By Azer Parrocha and Christopher Lloyd Caliwan)

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday said he will be submitting to President Rodrigo Duterte the shortlist of candidates to replace soon-to-retire Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan within the week.

Año made this clarification after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte already has a shortlist of candidates for the next PNP chief.

“Wala pa ako na-submit. Mag convene muna ang [National Police Commission] ASAP. Sa akin kasi manggagaling yan (I have yet to submit. The NPC will convene first as soon as possible. It will come from me),” Año said in a text message to Philippine News Agency.

He said he will submit the shortlist of PNP chief bets within the week but did not name the possible contenders.

In a Palace press briefing, Roque said while Duterte has yet to mention a possible PNP chief bet, he raised the possibility that he was already reviewing his shortlist.

“I’m sure he has a shortlist already but the final choice is up to the President when he will issue it,” he said.

Cascolan officially assumed as PNP chief on September 2, replacing Gen. Archie Gamboa who reached the mandatory retirement age.

He is set to retire on November 10 and he served at the helm for two months unless his term is extended by Duterte.

Cascolan is also a member of the Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class of 1986 along with Gamboa and former PNP chiefs Ronald dela Rosa and Oscar Albayalde.

Former PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac earlier said the PNP will follow the “rule of succession” of command if no announcement will be made on who will be appointed to succeed the current PNP chief.

If the rule of succession is followed, possible contenders for PNP chief are Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar as deputy chief for administration, the PNP's second highest official, who is also the Commander of Joint Task Force Covid Shield; Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag, deputy chief for operations; and Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, the PNP number 4 man being the Chief Directorial Staff.

Eleazar and Binag, both from PMA Class of 1987, will retire in April and November 2021, respectively.

Cruz is a PMA classmate of Eleazar and Binag.


CPP-NPA 'plastic' for saying they have no legal fronts: Palace

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 3, 2020): CPP-NPA 'plastic' for saying they have no legal fronts: Palace (By Azer Parrocha)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (File photo)

Malacañang on Tuesday said that it cannot be denied that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) have “legal fronts”.

In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Amnesty International urged the government to end the alleged practice of red-tagging and to publicly instruct government officials to refrain from harassing and intimidating activists.

Citing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Roque said military and police officials should refrain from tagging certain individuals as communists or terrorists without proper evidence.

Roque, however, explained that Lorenzana’s remark does not mean that the CPP-NPA does not have any legal fronts.

“Ang CPP-NPA po, talagang mayroon silang revolutionary armed struggle, iyan po iyong NPA; at mayroon silang political, kasama sa political ay iyong mga tinawag nilang mga organisasyon na di umano’y legal dahil hindi sila humahawak ng baril (The CPP-NPA really have a revolutionary armed struggle, that’s the NPA, and they have a political wing, and part of that political wing are alleged legal organizations because these don’t use arms),” he said.

He said it would be hipocrisy for the CPP-NPA to say they don’t have any legal fronts.

“Pero kabahagi pa rin po ng CPP-NPA at hindi po madi-deny iyan. Kaplastikan po ng CPP-NPA kung sasabihin nilang wala silang mga legal fronts na tinatawag (However, they are still part of the CPP-NPA. That cannot be denied. It is hypocrisy for the CPP-NPA to say that they don’t have what they call legal fronts),” he added.

Late last month, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, was criticized for advising actress Liza Soberano to abdicate her ties with Gabriela Youth after she participated in a webinar with the group.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy was asked by opposition lawmakers to resign after tagging members of the Makabayan bloc as “high-ranking members” of the CPP.

However, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. expressed support for claims made by Parlade and Badoy that some groups were acting as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA.

“Hindi ko dedepensahan si Gen. Parlade at saka si Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, kung hindi susuportahan. Ano bang sinasabi ni Gen. Parlade? Na ang CPP-NPA ay mayroong mga underground organizations na mayroong front, legal na front (I won’t defend Gen. Parlade and Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, but I’ll support them. What is Gen. Parlade saying? That CPP-NPA has underground organizations with legal fronts),” Esperon said.

According to Esperon, some legal fronts are the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), League of Filipino Students, Anakbayan, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers.

The Senate committee on national defense earlier started an investigation on the alleged red-tagging activities of military officials against celebrities and groups.

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


Kalinaw News: 1 NPA killed in clash with Army troops in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 3, 2020): 1 NPA killed in clash with Army troops in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental- A member of New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in a 10 minutes encounter with the government troops under 58th Infantry “Dimalulupig” Battalion and 42nd Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) at Sitio Roa-roa, Brgy Umagos, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental this morning, November 03, 2020.

The killed NPA rebel was later identified as Relly Sereño alias Ems/ H-Boy, a resident of Brgy Banglay, Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental and the platoon medic of ADA, Huawei, Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC 1), Northern Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC).

Also, he is a brother of Brenda Sereño alias Sayrel and it can be recalled that last August 13,2020, alias Sayrel was killed during an encounter with the government troops at Brgy Bal-ason, Gingoog City wherein her cadaver was left behind by her comrades following the encounter.

At around 11:28 a.m., the government troops while conducting focused military operation following the information given by the threatened civillians encountered more or less 15 members of NPA.

The enemy withdrew towards Southwest direction while the government troops recovered from the encounter site the following items: one (1) Cal.22 rifle, one (1) rifle grenade, one (1) hand grenade, five (5) M14 magazines loaded with ammo, one (1) cignus radio with 2 batteries, four (4) solar panels, five (5) backpacks, medical paraphernalia, personal belongings and subversive documents.

Currently, the government troops are still in pursuit and clearing the possible withdrawal routes of fleeing rebels.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of 58IB said, “We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved family. It is sad that another fellow Filipino who was deceived by the CTGs died for fighting the wrong ideology.”

“Though the lives of our soldiers are always at stake, we will continue our operation and we will not stop our mandate to protect and secure the communities from any threat posed by the CTGs. Moreover, we are still calling on the remaining terrorists to peacefully surrender to the government and embrace the peace initiatives under Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program (ECLIP). Rest assured that the Philippine Army will assist you in processing your ECLIP benefits as well as in returning to your families,” Lt. Col. Canatoy ended.

[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: Philippine Navy recovers remnants of ASG-KFRG equipment

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 3, 2020): Philippine Navy recovers remnants of ASG-KFRG equipment

Sulare island, Sulu – With the direction of JTF Sulu, the Philippine Navy conducts retrieval operations at the Abu Sayyaf Kidnap for Ransom Group encounter site, November 03, 2020

Today, the 3rd Boat attack division composed of BA489 and BA491, led by Cdr Philip Edward Lamug, despite unfavorable weather conditions conducts intensified retrieval operations in search of the remnants of the vessel and equipment used by the Abu Sayyaf Kidnap For Ransom Group led by Madsmar Sawadjaan.

“We hope that the bodies will reappear maybe about after a day or so but rest assured we will do everything in our power to retrieve all the equipment of the Abu Sayyaf Group, kahit masama yung panahon tuloy-tuloy ang Philippine Navy sa paghahanap sa mga bangkay ng mga Abu Sayyaf” says Cdr Lamug.

So far, the Philippine Navy recovered two 4 rifles with M203 grenade launcher, one M4A1 rifle, Backpacks with M203 shells, ammunition and other paraphernalia used in kidnapping. The Navy also has the Jungkong speed boat of the terrorists in tow. The search continues despite the weather conditions which make it hard for the retrieval units to retrieve other equipment left by the terrorist group

“This is another win for the Armed Forces and another step towards the destruction of the Abu Sayyaf Group. We will continue to intensify our operations against these terrorists so that little by little we can dismantle the Abu Sayyaf Group and restore peace here in the province of Sulu” says MGen William N Gonzales.

[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: AFP warns public of CPP-NPA’s recruitment modus

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 3, 2020): AFP warns public of CPP-NPA’s recruitment modus

CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday took to the Senate its genuine concern for celebrities and vulnerable sectors that might be taken advantage of by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

The AFP Chief of Staff General Gilbert Gapay wanted to raise the public’s awareness about the CPP-NPA’s modus of capitalizing on and exploiting the idealism of youth, students and celebrities who have the capability to influence people. It is in line with the military’s peace and development campaign to shield and protect the people, institutions, and vulnerable sectors from the recruitment of communist terrorist groups (CTG).

Senate Resolution No. 559 directed the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, Peace, Unification and Reconciliation to exercise its oversight authority over the defense sector on the issue of red-tagging/red-baiting of certain celebrities, personalities, institutions, and organizations.

General Gapay was one of the resource persons in the public hearing initiated by Senator Panfilo Lacson at the Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City. Also present were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Commander of AFP Southern Luzon Command Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. Attorney Maneeka Asistol Sarza on the other hand represented the Makabayan Bloc.

The Defense and Security officials set the record that there was no red-tagging on their side and that the term was created by the CPP-NPA themselves who acknowledged that Gabriela and other legal front organizations are part of their party building.

In previous statements, General Gapay said that the military on many occasions, have encountered in combat operations students who are affiliated with front organizations of the CPP-NPA like Gabriela and others. They started as members of these organizations and eventually joined the armed formation of the NPA to become cadres. Many of them unfortunately died in operations.

One of the resource persons in the senate hearing was former communist rebel Jeffrey Celiz once called “Ka Eric” by his CPP comrades. He attested to the CPP-NPA’s recruitment of minors and also confirmed that there were incidents when the vulnerability of the minors was abused by members of the communist organization.

Other former rebels were virtually present to speak up about their experiences in the communist organization. They told the senate committee that they were recruited by the CPP-NPA at a young age through progressive student organizations. They eventually became key officers who led movements by the CPP’s front organizations before returning to the fold of the government.

Meanwhile, the AFP as part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) continues to conduct peace and development projects in partnership with other government agencies to prevent recruitment and concentration of communist terrorists in vulnerable areas.

The AFP as the protector of the people and the state will continue its advocacy to put a stop to the deceitful ways of the CPP-NPA and their front organizations. Beyond its conduct of focused military operations, the military is proactively seeking solutions through continuous dialogues with local leaders, government agencies, and non-government organizations. This is to ensure that the rights of the Filipino people are protected from exploitation and violence perpetrated by the CPP-NPA and its front organizations.

[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: Joint Operations kill 7 ASG Kidnappers at Sulu Sea

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 3, 2020): Joint Operations kill 7 ASG Kidnappers at Sulu Sea

Camp Bautista, Jolo, Sulu – Months of monitoring efforts paid off as joint forces of Philippine Air Force (PAF), Philippine Navy (PN) and Philippine Army (PA)’s Rangers and Special Forces, and the PNP maritime group successfully neutralized seven (7) ASG kidnappers on board a boat in Parang, Sulu at around 2:15AM today, November 3, 2020,

Members of Joint Task Force (JTF) – Sulu have long been monitoring the activities of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members under Mundi Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron, who are set to execute a Kidnap for Ransom (KFR) plan in an undisclosed province in northern Mindanao. The joint military forces, led by JTF-Sulu Operations Officer and Medal of Valor awardee Ltc Herbert D Dilag, successfully thwarted the kidnapping plan of the Daesh-inspired terrorists group as the latter were sighted moving near Sulare Island in Parang, Sulu in preparation for their KFR activity.

According to Ltc Dilag, members of the Air Force’s Augusta Attack Helicopter (AW109), who are also closely monitoring the ASG’s’s movement, decided to fire upon the ASG’s boat direction with a .50 caliber machine gun. As this happens, the Navy’s assault watercraft, carrying the Special Forces Diver Team, Scout Ranger Sniper Team, the PNP-Maritime Group, and JTF-Sulu Command Group, rushed towards ASG-KFRG’S boat and launched a series of strafing. The firefight lasted for several minutes, which resulted to the neutralization of seven ASG kidnappers. Significantly, it is believed that the ASG-KFRG on board the sank boat were Madsmar Sawadjaan (brother of infamous bomber Mundi Sawadjaan), Mannul Sawadjaan @Abu Amara (declared to replace deceased ASG senior leader Hajan Sawadjaan as emir), and five (5) others yet to be identified.

“It was like in an action movie. Our Augusta and MPAC fired at them. They retaliated using some high powered firearm so a 30-minute firefight ensued. When they tried to escaped our MPAC rushed towards them a high speed boat chase took place. And finally we rammed the speed boat as it is firing grenade launchers towards us,” Ltc Dilag said.

For his part, 11th Infantry Division and JTF-Sulu Commander MGen William N Gonzales said the ASG is scrambling to finance their atrocities that they launched the KFR amidst the rainy weather. “They ran out of luck as all our forces in Sulu collaborated to neutralize them. And we are not stopping, troops are still at the area and retrieval operations are still ongoing” 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: BIFF Leader returns to the fold of the law

Posted to Kalinaw News (Nov 3, 2020): BIFF Leader returns to the fold of the law

CAMP Siongco, Maguindanao – Saying he was tired of fighting for a lost cause, a deputy chief of staff of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) under Karialan faction surrendered to the Army’s 33rd Infantry (MAKABAYAN) Battalion in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Friday October 30, 2020.

“I am tired of hiding and I’m always on the run to evade the operating troops of the military in the hinterlands of Maguindanao. I decided to surrender because I want to live a normal life and to be with my family”, according to the former BIFF Leader.

The former rebel combatant was formally presented to Col. Ferdinand Lacadin of 1st Mechanized Brigade together with Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan at the Headquarters in Brgy Kamasi, Ampatuan town Maguindanao at 2:30 in the afternoon. He carried along with him his M14 rifle.

Major General Juvymax R. Uy, Commander of 6th Infantry (KAMPILAN) Division and Joint Task Force Central said “the relentless focused combat operations and Civil-military programs of the JTF Central to decimate the terrorist yielded numerous gains, thus, we will sustain the momentum to put an end to this problem of terrorism”.

Within the week, a total of 42 BIFF combatants had been surrendered and returned to the fold of the government.

“This massive surrender of the local terrorist group is attributed to the gallant soldiers of Joint Task Force Central, the effort of the local government unit and even the civilian community, who continue to support the effort of attainment of peace and sustainable development in Central Mindanao”, stressed by the Commander of JTF Central during his interview.

“My former companions who surrendered earlier are now peacefully living with their families, with livelihood assistance from the government”, the returnee said.

Maj. Gen. Uy added that the JTF Central troops will continue to open its arms to the local terrorist group and to all lawless elements who wanted to reform and live peacefully with their families.

[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]


WESTMINCOM: DI-MG member yields in Lanao del Sur

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Oct 29, 2020): DI-MG member yields in Lanao del Sur

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- October 29, 2020

Based on the report submitted by the JTF ZamPeLan to WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., a member of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group submitted himself to the troops of the 82nd Infantry Battalion at 10 a.m. on October 29, 2020.

“Samad Macaampon Ali, a.k.a. Abu Samad, 40 years old, and a resident of Barangay Gacap, Piagapo, Lanao del Sur was received by Lt. Col. Raman Altre, the Commanding Officer of the 82IB at the Tactical Command Post located on the same barangay,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. said.

Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. further stated that the said personality handed over his M79 grenade launcher.

“Accordingly, Samad decided to come out after being on lie-low status since he left the group sometime in 2017 because he wants to be with his family, live a peaceful life, and be a productive citizen of this country,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.

“Rest assured that we will provide all sorts of assistance as he reintegrates into the mainstream society,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. ensured.

Samad was a known DI-MG member under a.k.a. Abu Sierra, a sub-leader of the Omar Maute Group.

“Through the implementation of our Community Support Programs, we gained the trust and support of the people including the relatives of the DI-MG remnants,” said Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, the Commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade.

“Samad revealed that one of the factors that convinced him to surrender is his family. They are made aware that the government assists all those who lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law,” Col. Cuerpo added.

The surrendered personality was brought to the 82IB headquarters in Barangay Pawak, Saguiaran, the same province for custodial debriefing and proper disposition.

“This success is a result of the combined efforts of the 82IB troopers, the intelligence operatives, the local government units, and the people of Lanao del Sur,” said Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, JTF ZamPeLan Commander.

“I also encourage the others who are still hiding to just submit themselves to the government forces and avail of the programs of the government,” Maj. Gen. Ponio added.




WESTMINCOM: Military foils ASG IED attack

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Oct 31, 2020): Military foils ASG IED attack

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- October 31, 2020

The WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. reported that the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu recovered an Improvised Explosive Device made by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group bomb maker Mundi Sawadjaan on October 30, 2020.

“It can be recalled that Sawadjaan was behind the 2019 Jolo Cathedral Bombing,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan said.

Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. further said that at 4:30 p.m., Friday, the troops of the 1101st Infantry Brigade and the 100th Infantry Battalion acted on a report received from a concerned citizen of the presence of a suspicious object in their vicinity.

“The troops proceeded to the area in Barangay Timbangan, Indanan, Sulu to verify the report and upon confirmation, they immediately coordinated to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team for the proper disposal of the IED,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.

Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. stated that based on the report from the ground, the IED was wrapped with coconut leaves and it is composed of a mortar cartridge, 90RR projectile heat, five liters of Ammonium-Nitrate/Fuel-oil (ANFO), battery, and an improvised blasting cap.

Said IED was emplaced along the barangay road, which if exploded could hurt people within a 20-meter radius.

In a statement, JTF Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales said, "The Abu Sayyaf Group is frustrated by the series of their losses that they resort to the most hideous form of violent extremism - bombing. They want to instill fear, but the bravery and courage of our troops are unsurpassable".

Meanwhile, 1101Bde Commander Col. Antonio Bautista said that on October 29, the 5th Special Forces Company mobilized the 7th CAA Company and the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team to pursue around ten ASG members of the group under sub-leader Ellam Nasirin, an affiliate of Mundi Sawajaan.

A 30-minute firefight transpired that ended with the ASG members scampering away in different directions. Bloodstains were found on the encounter site, strongly indicating that some of the bandits got wounded during the encounter.

"We are continuously tracking the ASG, with the consolidated efforts of all units and the full support from the civilian populace who provide timely and accurate information of ASG's whereabouts and activities," Col. Bautista said.




WESTMINCOM: Disgruntled Abu Sayyaf Group members surrender in Sulu

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Oct 31, 2020): Disgruntled Abu Sayyaf Group members surrender in Sulu

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- October 31, 2020

A known ASG/kidnap-for-ransom group member and two others yielded in Sulu on Friday, October 30, Lt. Gen Corleto Vinluan, the WestMinCom Commander said.

Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. said that a.k.a. Dexter who was involved in the kidnapping of Indonesian seafarers submitted himself to the 6th Special Forces Battalion, along with Albasir Salim, a.k.a., Abu Sadad, a group member of late ASG Sub-leader Sibih Pisih and Edwin Panduga Abdulmain, a.k.a. Splakang, a group member of ASG Subleader Ekoh Udjaman.

According to a.k.a. Dexter, he was not aware that the group he was in was set to conduct a kidnapping activity. He felt that he was lied to because he treated his comrades as friends but it turned out that he was just used. He was forced to execute kidnap-for-ransom activities for fear of being killed if he will not do so.

Lt. Col. Rafael Caido, the Acting Commanding Officer of the 6SFBN said that the most recent involvement of a.k.a. Dexter was the abduction of the five Indonesian seafarers fishing in the Malaysian waters on January 16, 2020.

“He was also present during the group’s encounter with the troops of the on 3rd Light Reaction Company, 4th Special Forces Company, and the Navy and Air Force troops in Sulare Island, Parang, Sulu on January 18.

The surrendered personalities were subsequently presented to 1102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio at the unit’s headquarters in Camp Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan Sulu.

“I would like to commend the troops of the 6th Special Forces Battalion for a job well done. Your humanitarian projects have paid off,” Brig. Gen. Patrimonio said.

The trio handed over one M1 Carbine, one G1 battle rifle, one M1 Garand rifle, and assorted ammunition.

JTF Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales enjoined the remaining members of the ASG to peacefully surrender to authorities.

“The Western Mindanao Command is tightening its security that's why the ASG opted to kidnap outside Philippine borders. On the other hand, all military battalions are focused on neutralizing the ASG and their logistics to include KFR activities. Either members surrender or get killed in the armed engagement. I hope others can also come to their senses and give value to theirs and their families’ life,” he said.

The surrendered personalities are undergoing custodial debriefing at 6SFBn headquarters in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.

“We welcome the surrender of the ASG members and acknowledge the support of the local government and the people in our efforts to defeat the terrorists,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. said.