Wednesday, December 9, 2020

WESTMINCOM: KFRG sub-leader shot dead while resisting arrest in Zambo City

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Dec 9, 2020): KFRG sub-leader shot dead while resisting arrest in Zambo City

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- December 9, 2020

A kidnap-for-ransom group/Abdussalam Group sub-leader was killed after resisting arrest at Sitio Sahaya, Barangay Mampang, Zamboanga City on December 9, 2020, said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

According to Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr., the combined elements of the military and the police were serving a warrant of arrest to Samad Awang, a.k.a. Ahmad Jamal y Mara, around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when the latter drew his Caliber 45 pistol and fired toward the operating troops. 

“With their lives in danger, the apprehending team retaliated which resulted in the instantaneous death of Awang,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. 

The team immediately coordinated with the Scene of the Crime Operatives to process the scene.
Recovered from the subject’s possession were one Caliber 45 pistol chamber with a magazine loaded with 4 live ammunition, one extra magazine with seven live ammunition, and two fired cartridge. 

Meanwhile, Joint Task Force Zamboanga Commander Col. Antonio John Divinagracia said that Awang had a warrant of arrest for violation of Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (Serious Illegal Detention, Kidnapping, and Hostage-Taking) issued by Honorable Josefino Bael, presiding judge of the 9th Judicial region, Regional Trial Court Branch 31 in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay. 

Col. Divinagracia further stated that Awang is listed number 25 on the KFRG wanted list of the Police Regional Office 9. 

“He led the kidnapping of Joel Endino last Jan 29, 2011, in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. He was also responsible for the kidnapping of Gean Carlos Bossi in 2007 and Kathy Casipong in 2013,” said Col. Divinagracia.

The successful operation was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group, Special Action Force, Regional Mobile Force Battalion-9, Police Station-6, and Zamboanga City Police Office; and the AFP’s Joint Task Force Zamboanga and Marine Battalion Landing Team 11.

WESTMINCOM: 7 armed BIFF members nabbed in Maguindanao

Posted to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Facebook Page (Dec 9, 2020): 7 armed BIFF members nabbed in Maguindanao

Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- December 9, 2020

The WestMinCom Commander stated that operating troops apprehended seven armed members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters at Sitio Barugot, Barangay Mother Tuayan, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao on December 8, 2020.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command said that while conducting a combat clearing operation in the said area, troops of the 40th Infantry Battalion intercepted seven armed personalities who introduced themselves as members of the 105th Base Command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces at 12:15 p.m.

“When our troops asked for any proof that they are legitimate members of the said group, subject personalities failed to show their identification which prompted the troops to apprehend them and confiscate their firearms and other war materials,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. 

Said personalities were then brought to Maguindanao PNP for proper disposition.

40IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Rogelio Gabi said that the operating troops confiscated two M1 Garand rifles, one M14 rifle, one M4, and other war materials.

“The recovered war materials were placed under the custody of the Division Tactical Command Post (TCP) at the Old Provincial Capitol, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao for safekeeping.

Meanwhile, 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade Officer-in-Charge Col. Ferdinand Lacadin said, "I directed the 40IB and 1st Mechanized Battalion to continuously conduct combat clearing operations in the area to possibly neutralize more BIFF militants”. 

Further, Joint Task Force Central Commander Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy commended the operating troops for remaining vigorous and determined in sustaining the peace in central Mindanao.

NDF/Borjal: From Red to Red-baiter

Posted to the National Democratic Front Philippines (NDFP or NDF) Website (Dec 7, 2020): From Red to Red-baiter

Dan Borjal, NDFP Political Consultant on Political and Constitutional Reforms

Rigoberto Tiglao was a former red now turned red-baiter. He has joined Gary Olivar and this tragi-comic character called Jeffry Celiz in the chorus together with Duterte’s running-dogs who having failed to defeat the revolutionary movement militarily have now turned their guns on legal patriotic and democratic organizations, their leaders and sympathizers in on orgy of red-tagging and red-baiting.

Ever since he made a 180-degree turn and embraced the rotten system that he used to condemn when he was a young student activist with high ideals and noble principles, Tiglao has become a pesky nuisance to the revolutionary movement using his column in the Manila Times to spread garbage.

I write this as a rejoinder to his recent diatribe against the movement in his column, “The Communist Party and Sison’s greatest trick.”

I know a little bit about Tiglao. He was a leader of the patriotic organization Kabataang Makabayan at the Ateneo de Manila University in the early seventies. KM was very effective in arousing the masses and making them aware of the ills of Philippine society and their roots in imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Tiglao used to know these things by heart.

When Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, the Kabataang Makabayan was outlawed forcing its leaders and members to go underground in order to be able to continue the struggle against the exploitative and oppressive ruling system. Some headquarters of Kabataang Makabayan were raided even before the people came to know on September 23 that Marcos had assumed dictatorial powers and had signed Proclamation 1081 on September 21 declaring the whole Philippines under Martial Law.

Tiglao was one of the KM activists who went underground. Next thing I knew, he was the head of the Manila-Rizal Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. A short while later I learned that he was arrested. Then a long time passed and the next thing I knew he was the GRP ambassador to Greece. And he was now singing a different tune. Wow, what a great transformation!

In his recent diatribe, he complains that the Communist Party is invisible to many people. And in a snobbish tone says, “Only for us, the newspaper-reading strata of Filipinos, does a Communist Party exist.” Tiglao knows the reason why but he feigns ignorance. He himself tried to make himself invisible to the state’s forces when he went underground after Marcos declared Martial Law.

The Communist Party does not hide the fact that it is a clandestine Party. It is a way to defend itself from its enemy because it knows fully well that its enemy is a vicious enemy determined to defeat it not in civilized debate but to exterminate it physically through murder, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, etc. The Party has to do this especially because the enemy is many times more powerful — armed with weapons that kill, prisons that isolate and huge financial resources to fund its counter-revolutionary operations including paying snitches like Jeffrey Celiz. His experience of being arrested even while he was in the underground should have convinced Tiglao of the sinister efficiency of the state’s repressive apparatus.

One of the recent victims of this blood-thirsty enemy is Randall Echanis who was working in the open as a devoted leader and fighter of the peasant movement. He was also a member of the Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms and participated in all the five sessions of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations until these were stopped by Duterte. That is one of the dangers of revolutionary cadres working in the open. They expose themselves to the murderous enemy.

And what does Tiglao say about this cowardly murder by government agents? “When Randall Echanis was killed in August in his apartment under very mysterious circumstances…” Tiglao brags about being among the select few of the “newspaper-reading strata of Filipinos.” Well, details about Randall’s cold-blooded murder was all over the newspapers and they point to government hitmen as responsible. And Tiglao dismisses all this with his “under very mysterious circumstances”! He absolves the government and its henchmen and hints at the military psywar experts’claim of an internal purge. To what depths this scum has sunk is unbelievable!

The blood-thirsty psywar experts claim in their posters that the dastardly killing of Randy Malayao (another NDFP consultant in the peace negotiations)while sleeping alone inside a bus is the result of an internal purge. Was that also a killing “under very mysterious circumstances”, Rigoberto Tiglao?

Posing like an expert Tiglao says,” In the countryside, the masses have known only the New People’s Army (NPA), with hardly an inkling that there is a Communist Party that commands it.” Tiglao, who never worked in the countryside, pretends to be knowledgeable about revolutionary work in the countryside.

The Party is visible to the masses through the fine work of its self-sacrificing and hard-working cadres, activists and members. They do not announce themselves as communists to gain praise and honor. By their actions the masses know them.

There are instances when the Party comes out in the open. One such instance is the celebration of the Party anniversary in December 2012 somewhere in Compostella Valley attended by peasant masses that Duterte also attended when he was vice-mayor of Davao City. Duterte made a grand entrance coming down in a helicopter to attend the event. According to a news report, he turned over an unspecified amount to the NPA for the victims of typhoon Pablo.

Nevertheless, even in the countryside relatively far from the reach of the repressive machinery of the state, peasant associations have to go about their work semi-open and semi-clandestine because there are bad elements in the barrios paid by the military to spy on them. The peasant masses call them “demonyo” because they are traitors to their own kind. These bad elements are usually those who belong to gangs of cattle rustlers often protected by the military.

In Bicol, “Dose Pares” is such a gang protected and armed by soldiers and engaged in stealing carabaos, chickens, etc. They also write letters to businessmen posing as NPA and demanding money. Their criminal activities are combined with dirty counter-insurgency work under the protection and direction of their military handlers. Duterte alluded to the presence of these “demonyos” in his speech at the celebration of the Party anniversary mentioned above, “For spies who are here right now, do not worry because this is for the masses. This is to restart the circulation of money because right now the people has (sic) no money.”

By the way, in some regions, the masses call government soldiers “hapon” because elderly peasants are reminded of the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation by the criminal behavior of the present government soldiers that beat up and kill peasants suspected of being Party members or members of peasant associations and steal chickens and other belongings of the peasants.

Let’s cut the bullshit, Tiglao. What you really want is for the Party to expose its cadres and members so as to render them as sitting ducks for easy picking by the military hitmen as shown in the cold-blooded murder of Randall Echanis who was 72 years old and no match to the brutes that killed him. These murdering beasts are trained and brainwashed in the American idea that “The only good communist is a dead communist.” ###

CPP/Sison: Duterte terminated the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations because he is a traitor and wants to be a fascist dictator

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): Duterte terminated the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations because he is a traitor and wants to be a fascist dictator


DECEMBER 08, 2020

It was Duterte who kept blabbering about joining a coalition government with the Communist Party of the Philippines when he was an unreliable and unstable bureaucrat capitalist ally and was ingratiating himself with the revolutionary movement as a Davao City mayor and when he was seeking the support of the legal democratic forces when he ran for the presidency.

At no time has the subject of coalition government ever been taken up with Duterte or any of his predecessors as president in the course of the peace negotiations. The people’s revolutionary government based in the countryside can very well exist and develop without him and his likes.

Duterte is lying about being offered a place in what he imagines as invitation to a coalition government. He could not even qualify as NDFP consultant when he offered himself to become one.

It is good for the people and its revolutionary movement to be reminded by Duterte himself that he is against peace negotiations and ceasefire of any kind with the NDFP. In the first place he has terminated the peace negotitaions with Proclamation 360 since November 23, 2017 and designated the CPP and NPA as “terrorists with Proclamation 374 since December 5, 2017.

He has killed the peace negotiations at least for the time being that he is in his current position because he is a traitor following the dictate of Trump and because of his ambition to become a fascist dictator. Imitating his idol Marcos, he has to go on an all-out war and on a campaign of state terrorism under the pretext of anti-communism in order to realize absolute power and absolute corruption.

Duterte is a traitor who tries to be a puppet to two imperialist powers, US and China, which are now conflicting. He keeps the over-all and all-rounded dominance of US imperialism in the Philippines because he depends on the military support of the US to have the brutal means by which to suppress the people.

At the same time, he has sold out to China the sovereign rights of the Filipino people over the West Philippine Sea because of the bribes he gets from contracts with the Chinese state and corpororations and from shady deals with Chinese criminal syndicates with regard to illegal drugs and casinos.

For the Filipino people to be able to hope for a just peace through social, economic and political reforms, they must unite to fight the Duterte gangster clique and oust it from power. They have no alternative but to wage all forms of struggle so long as the tyrannical, traitorous, mass murdering, plundering and swindling Duterte regime persists.

By taking advantage of the pandemic, Duterte has stolen a large amount of public funds and has railroaded the enactment of the Anti-Terror Law in order realise his fascist dicatorship even before charter change and proclamation of nationwide martial law. Because he is physically and mentally sick, he also intends to pass on his fascist rule to his stooge in order to prevent his prosecution and trial for his gross and systematic human rights violations.###

CPP/NDF-CPDF-KASAMA: Mga Maralita sa Lungsod: Lumahok sa Armadong Pakikibaka! Sagot sa Kahirapan, Rebolusyon!

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): Mga Maralita sa Lungsod: Lumahok sa Armadong Pakikibaka! Sagot sa Kahirapan, Rebolusyon!


DECEMBER 08, 2020

Sa panahong mas pinapasahol ng pasistang gobyerno ni Duterte ang abang kalagayan ng mga maralita sa lungsod, sa pamamagitang ng pagtutuloy nito ng kanyang Build, Build, Build libu-libong mga maralita ang mawawalan ng tirahan kaya mawawalay din ang oportunidad na kabuhayan. Katuwang ng pasistang gobyerno ni Digong ang kanyang mga lokal na galamay at mga ahensiya sa pagpapatupad ng mga anti-mamamayang programa.

Sa Metro-Baguio, tuluy-tuloy ang pagpapalawak ng mga kalsada, pagpapatayo ng maraming condominium, malls, subdibisyon, at pag-imbita pa ng mga malalaking kapitalista para mamuhunan kung anong mga pwedeng pagkakitaan sa siyudad. Tuluy-tuloy nitong ipinapatupad ang mga rekisito para sa Jeepney phase out na wawasak sa kabuhayan ng mahigit kumulang 3,000 hanggang 4,000 na opereytor ng dyip. Sa kasalukuyan, may 15 yunit ng mini-bus na magrorota sa Aurora Hill at Trancoville at nagsimula na itong magbiyahe sa Disyembre 4, 2020. Tuliro ang mga drayber at opereytor dahil sa kabila ng maraming mga dayalogo at protesta ay hindi natinag ang pamahalaan sa kanyang Disyembre 31 na dedlayn ng pagkonsolida ng mga prangkisa. May mga isinasagawang experimental kung paano ibalik ang mga manininda kagaya ng night market, mga weekend display sa Session pero marami pa din ang ang hindi na nakabalik sa kanilang dating kabuhayan na nagkukumahog pa rin ngayon kung paano buhayin ang kanilang mga pamilya.

Habang istrikto ang lokal na pamahalaan sa kanyang mga mamamayan kasama ng mga kapit-munisipyo nito, bukas naman ang siyudad sa mga turista. Ito ang ilan sa mga patunay na ang prayoridad ng gobyerno ay ang turismo at interes ng gobyerno ni Digong.

Hindi sapat at akma ang mga programang balik-probinsya o mga handicrafts making dahil nananatiling kulang ang suporta sa agrikultura at walang siguradong market ang mga ito. Lumilipat lang sa iba’t-ibang kamay ang kakarampot na kayamanang pinag-aagawan ng mga mahihirap at api. Dagdag pa, ililipat lang ang problema sa isang lugar kung pauuwiin ang mga ito sa kanilang mga probinsiya na wala ring siguradong kabuhayan. Kaya, hindi patok sa mga apektadong mga maralita ang kampanyang balik probinsiya.

Marami din ang nawalan ng mga tahanan dahil sa mga demolisyon para bigyang pabor ang mga pribado at government housing projects. Nakakapanghinayang na sa kabila ng pagwasak ng mga tirahan ng mga aping sektor ay ang pagtatayo ng maraming subdibisyon, mga condominium, mga hotels, at mga dambuhalang negosyo kagaya ng SM, Robinsons, Puregold, at iba pa.

Sa pagdarami ng populasyon ng siyudad, dumarami na rin ang bilang ng mga maralita sa lungsod na nawawalan ng kabuhayan. Lumala ito sa panahong pandemya at hindi pa bumabalik ang dating kabuhayan ng mga maralitang lungsod. Nanganganib ang kanilang kabuhayan dahil hindi ito prayoridad ng pamahalaang lungsod, dagdag pa ang mga pambansang polisiya at batas na anti-mamamayan.

Sa isang gobyernong nakakonteksto ang programa sa globalisasyon na ini-anak ang liberalisasyon sa ekonomiya, pribatisasyon ng mga batayang serbisyo, at deregulasyon ay hindi kailanman masosolusyonan ang problema ng mga maralitang lungsod sa pabahay at kabuhayan. Ang mga hakbangin ng gobyerno ay hindi akma sa kalagayan habang walang pangmatagalang solusyon sa kabuhayang apektado. Ang mga kabuhayang ipino-proyekto ay pawang nakatali sa turismo. Umiikot lamang ang mga barya sa kamay ng libu-libong mga mahihirap, pero ang mga kabuhayan ay hindi nagsisilbi para sa estratehikong pag-unlad ng lipunan.

Habang tumitindig ang mga mamamayang apektado ng mga anti-mamamayang programang ito, ay gagamitin ng estado ang dahas sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga pulis at sundalo o sa pamamagitan din ng mga mapaniil na batas kagaya ng pagpapaigting ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) at ang Anti- Terrorism Law na pawang layunin ay busalan ang mga nagpapaabot ng puna o rekomendasyon sa gobyerno.

Ang isang gobyernong kontrolado ng mga imperyalistang bansa, mga burgesya kumprador, at mga dambuhalang kapitalista ay mananatiling pasista at mapang-api sa mga mamamayan.

Nakakatakot ang kumilos sa mga sentrong urban dahil target ng mga elemento ng estado ng “surveillance” at “vilification.” Pinakamainam ang pagsapi sa Bagong Hukbong Bayan para wakasan ang mapang-aping kalagayan ng sambayanan. Sa panahong sinisiil ang ating karapatang mabuhay, at pinapaigting ang pagmamanman sa mga kilos at galaw ng mamamayan, bukas ang malawak na kanayunan at mga kabundukan. Para maisagawa ang Pambansang Industriyalisasyon kung saan makakapagbigay ng trabaho at makakapagpanday ng mga makinaryang kailangan sa pag-unlad ng agrikultura at ekonomiya, at Pambansang Reporma Agraryo kung saan makikinabang ang maraming magsasaka.

Kaya’t sa Linggo ng Maralitang Lungsod, ipinapawagan ng Kalipunan ng Samahang Mala-manggagawa (KASAMA) na lumahok na sa Armadong Pakikibaka!

CPP/NPA-SMROC: AFP, PNP guilty of war crimes in execution of 5 unarmed comrades, civilians in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): AFP, PNP guilty of war crimes in execution of 5 unarmed comrades, civilians in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato


DECEMBER 08, 2020

The Regional Operations Command of the New People’s Army in Southern Mindanao condemns in the strongest terms the extra-judicial execution by joint forces of the AFP’s 5th Special Forces Battalion and the Philippine National Police of sickly and elderly comrade Romeo “Ka Melvin” Libron, 60; his civilian wife Merly, 53; his companion Ka Sarge, 69; and two other visiting civilians at around 4 in the morning on December 2 in Sitio Kibang, Brgy. Ned in Lake Sebu town, South Cotabato.

The Tokhang-style operation, carried out furtively in the cloak of dawn, wholly belies the hackneyed and ludicrous claim of the fascist troops that their intent was merely to “serve warrants of arrest” to Ka Melvin and his companions. With no warning, the heavily-armed state forces rained rounds of bullets for several minutes on the unarmed individuals inside a small hut. To bolster their narrative, the despicable fascists later planted high-powered firearm and explosive in vain attempt to legitimize the atrocity.

In summarily killing Ka Melvin and 4 other individuals, the US-Duterte regime’s cabal of armed terrorists has committed serious violations of international war protocols such as the Geneva Conventions concerning hors de combat and unarmed civilians. In the grand fashion ascribed to its counterinsurgency campaign under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the terroristic operation was done extra-judicially, targeted the elderly and sickly, victimized civilians, all of whom were unarmed and unable to defend themselves, and later woven a worn-out storyline that the comrade and his companions “resisted arrest” in order to smokescreen the heinous war crime.

As we condemn this downright dastardly display of AFP’S terrorism, we likewise accord the highest honor to Ka Melvin and his companions for their invaluable contribution to the Filipino people’s war.

Ka Melvin rose from his peasant origins into the ranks of the regional ordnance unit of the NPA in Southern Mindanao, especially in the development and production of the command-detonated explosive (cdx) that the AFP always wrongly and maliciously describes as the contact-detonated “landmine.” In one interview with the regional revolutionary newspaper Pasabilis!, Ka Melvin asserted that not only does the NPA’s cdx complies with the Ottawa Treaty concerning the ban on the use of landmines, but that it is a far cry from the AFP’s indiscriminate and wanton use of artillery fire and aerial bombardment that more often than not manage to only damage civilian lives and livelihood.

Ka Melvin’s life and times in the national democratic revolution is a study of one coming from the toiling masses and becoming an expert in a specialized and scientific field rarely attributed to the peasant class in the semifeudal and semicolonial Philippine society. His revolutionary life is an inspiration to peasants and Lumad alike who continue to be victimized by the oppressive and exploitative reactionary state to take up arms and resist, even when failing health and old age eventually become a challenge.

In the run-up to the observance of the International Human Rights Day, the US-Duterte regime continues to validate itself as the ultimate paragon of state fascism and tyranny, one that can only be forced to answer for its innumerable war crimes and crimes against the people through revolutionary justice in the national democratic revolution.

CPP/CIO: Duterte is obsessed with prolonging the civil war

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): Duterte is obsessed with prolonging the civil war


DECEMBER 08, 2020

The CPP’s Central Committee has yet to issue a decision on whether it will declare a ceasefire or not for the holiday seasons. The decision will likely come a week before the holidays.

Duterte’s declaration that there will be no more ceasefires with the revolutionary movement comes as no surprise. His government’s policies have always been shaped by military generals who are obsessed with prolonging the civil war. They are addicted to war because of the profits they pocket from it.

The doors to peace talks under Duterte have been shut the past three years. Fulfilling a promise to Trump, Duterte issued Proclamation 374 on December 5, 2017 where he declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and New People’s Army (NPA) as “terrorist organizations.”

Duterte has time and again proved himself opposed to any effort to end the civil war in the country through peace negotiations. He and his generals, however, are fooling only themselves, when they declare they can crush the revolutionary armed struggle before their term ends.

They are only interested in profiting from the war while they are in power. They have no interest in the long-term future of the country. Surely, the NPA will outlive Duterte long after he is gone and remembered as the most hated and the most useless president ever of the Philippines.

Duterte’s anti-peace declaration last night further justifies the demand of broad sectors in the Philippines for an end to his reign of terror through his resignation or ouster. It also reaffirms their aspiration to establish a more progressive and democratic government that will heed the people’s clamor for social justice and national freedom as a way of addressing the roots of the people’s armed resistance.

CPP/NPA-FSM ROC: Sistematikong kampanyang red-tagging ug pugos nga pagpanurender; raket sa pagpangwarta, kabahin sa implementasyon sa Anti-Terror Law

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): Sistematikong kampanyang red-tagging ug pugos nga pagpanurender; raket sa pagpangwarta, kabahin sa implementasyon sa Anti-Terror Law


DECEMBER 08, 2020

Desperado ang militar ug ang rehimeng US- Duterte sa sistematikong kampanyang red-tagging sa mga progresibong organisasyon ug mga indibidwal nga nagapasibaw sa ilang katungod bisan mga iladong artista ug sa pugos nga pagpasurender aron ikondisyon ang panghuna-huna sa publiko isip kabahin sa implementasyon sa Anti-Terror Law nga gidali-dali og pasa sa kongreso taliwala sa atake sa pandemyang COVID19.

Buot nilang ilaron ang katawhan nga kining mga legal nga organisasyon, nga makanunayong nagasaway sa mga dili malilong nga kapalpakan ni Duterte partikular sa dili siyentipiko ug busa, dili epektibong mga lakang sa pag-atubang sa COVID19, pagpangandam sa katalagman sama sa linog ug bagyo nga bago lang miigo sa nasud ug paghatag og hinanaling pagtabang sa mga biktima niini, mga ligal nga prente lang sa NPA, nga ginapasanginlan usab nga teroristang organisasyon.

Sumpay niini ang usa pa ka modus operandi nga pagparada og mga masa isip mga NPA nga “nagsurender” ug nagpailalom sa programang amnestiya sa National Task-Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) ug “makadawat” og hinabang gikan sa gobyerno ilalom sa programang Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP). Apan kini usa ka raket-pangwarta lang. Pananglitan, sa South Cotabato, halos magbalay – balay na ang mga ahente sa Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) sa pakigtinabangay sa lokal nga panggamhanan sa probinsya aron mangita og potensyal nga mapasurender. Hatagan nila og P25,000 matag “surrenderee” ug ibulsa sa OPAPP ug sa opisina sa gobernador isip nangulo sa NTF-ELCAC ang nahabiling P125,000 gikan sa orihinal nga P150,000 nga gipasalig nga alokasyon sa matag “surrenderee”. Sumpay sa maong raket, bisan mga sitio leader ginaapil isip surrenderee aron makuha ang budget alang dinhi, recycled surrenderees aron mapangwartahan sa daghang higayon, senior citizens ug uban pang pekeng mga surrenderee aron makapuga og dakung badyet nga makurakot gikan sa kwarta sa katawhan.

Sa Sultan Kudarat, partikular sa Sitio Kiwag, Brgy, Salangsang, sa Lebak, 71 ka tao ang pugos nga gipasurender ug gi-hamlet sa usa ka lugar human gipasaligan og “housing project” apan trapal lang para sa atop ang gihatag ug pugos nga gipatrabaho sa nursery sa kahoy nga alang sa plantasyon sa pamilyang Consunji. Raket kini sa 6th IB sa Philippine Army ug IPMR sa Lebak nga si Renz Apang aron mahakop ang badyet gikan NTF-ELCAC. Samtang aduna pud mga kaso nga ginahatagan lang og grocery goods ang mga “surrenderee”.

Sa Sarangani, ginapresenta sa 73rd IB PA ang pila ka mga tao nga adunay mga kasong kriminal nga ilang nakumbinsi nga mosurender isip mga NPA ug ”benepisyaryo” sa E-CLIP apan walay nadawat tungod kay gibulsa sa 73rd IB PA ang badyet tungod kay ang pasalig, “limpyohon” ang kaso sa maong mga tao.

Samtang sa North Cotabato ug Davao del Sur, ginatanyagan sa mga ahente sa OPAPP ug 39th IB PA, ang mga opisyal sa lokal nga panggamhanan hangtud sa mga barangay og P20 milyon isip bugti sa mga proyekto ug rehabilitasyon sa mga nabiktima sa linog. Apan mapagawas lang kini kung makab-ot ang kota nga gitakda sa ilaha nga mapasurender nga “NPA” sa ilang barangay. Tungod niini, bisan mga barangay, tanod, mga opisyal sa barangay ug bisan mga bata ginapresenta isip mga nagsurender nga NPA.

Nagpamatuod lamang kini sa korapsyon sa AFP nga ginagahinan og dakung porsyento sa national budget. Ang kampanya kontra -insurehensiya usa ka dakung gatasan lang aron makahakop og dakung kwarta ang taas na opisyal sa militar, OPAPP, NTF-ELCAC ug mga kakonsabo niining opisyal sa gobyerno. Kung mao, ang NTF-ELCAC gitukod isip dugang makinarya sa korapsyon.

Sa pikas bahin, tataw kaayo nga ginagamit lang ni Duterte ang pandemyang COVID19 aron itago ang mga teroristang atake niini sa katawhan. Dili layo ang posibilidad nga sa sunod nga mga adlaw mosunod na dayon ang proscription o petisyon sa korte nga ideklarang terorista kining mga ligal ug progresibong organisasyon ug CPP-NPA-NDF ug latuson dayon sa Anti-Terror Law.

Ginapasilaub lamang niini ang nagkalayong kasuko ug pagsukol sa katawhan nga daan nang nag-antus sa ekonomikanhon ug politikanhong krisis bisan wala pa man ang COVID19 ug gipasamot sa pa maong pandemya. Tugbangan kini og subsob nga mga taktikal nga opensiba sa NPA, samtang siguradong mokusog ug molapad nga mga kalihukang masa sa kasyudaran aron palagputon si Duterte sa ulahing tuig niini sa poder.

CPP/NPA-Negros Island ROC: Indi gusto si Duterte sang kalinong kundi ang mahigko nga gyera batok sa pumuluyo

Propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Dec 8, 2020): Indi gusto si Duterte sang kalinong kundi ang mahigko nga gyera batok sa pumuluyo


DECEMBER 08, 2020

Wala sang plano ang rehimeng US-Duterte nga solbaron ang ugat sang armado nga komplikto sa pungsod Pilipinas. Ginsikway ang pagpatigayon sang istoryahanay sang kalinong paagi sa pagdeklara sang Proclamation Order 360 nga nagakansela sang peace talks sa tunga sang Gobyerno sang Republika sang Pilipinas (GRP) kag National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Gilayon man nga gindeklara ang Proclamation Order 374 nga ginakabig ang CPP, NPA, NDF bilang mga terorista nga grupo. Nagpadayon ini sa pag-red tag sa mga progresibo nga organisasyon, pagpangdakop sang mga katapo sang progresibo nga organisasyon, mga aktibista kag lider masa. Lapnagon man ang peke nga pagpasurender kag pagpatay sang mga kilala nga aktibista kag mga NDFP consultants. Pinaka-ulihing biktima ang mga JASIG protected kag retired NDFP peace consultants nga si Agaton Topacio kag Eugenia Magpantay.

Ano ang pinakarason ngaa nagapakatig-a ang rehimen US-Duterte nga masulbar ang ugat sang armado nga komplikto sa pungsod Pilipinas? Plano sang US-Duterte nga rehimen nga dugmukon ang rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan paagi sa militarista nga pamaagi, depensahan ang interes sang dalagku nga agalon may duta kag dalagku nga komprador burgesya sa ila interes sa pagmonopolyo sa duta kag kontrol sa ekonomiya sang pungsod.

Ang pagpadayon sang mahigko nga gyera kontra sa rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan isa sang daku nga ginhalinan sang korapsyon sang mga matag-as nga opisyal sang militar, pulis kag ni Duterte mismo. Gani ginapuga ni Duterte ang iya sumulunod sa kongreso nga ma-aprobahan ang P19 bilyon nga pondo sang National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) para sa kontra-insurhensya nga programa sang reaksyunaryo nga gobyerno sa tuig 2021. Indi malipod nga ang tagsa ka transaksyon sa pagpamakal sang mga sopistikado nga armas kag kagamitan panggyera may ara nga ginapatong nga sobra nga balor ukon overpriced. Sa kabilugan, ang plano sang US- Duterte nga rehimen nakatungtung sa korapsyon indi pa kon paano sulbaron ang problema sa insurhensya sa pungsod Pilipinas.

Kompyansado kag determinado ang bug-os nga rebolusyonaryo nga kahublagan kag partikular sa isla sang Negros nga paslawon ang kontra insurhensya kag kontra pumuluyo nga programa sa idalum sang Oplan Kapanatagan sang US-Duterte. Ang NPA bilang matuod nga hangaway sang pumuluyo ang manguna sa pagpangapin sa interes kag kaayuhan sang pumuluyo batok sa berdugo kag tiraniko nga rehimen.

Upod sa malapad nga pumuluyong pigos, sa husto nga pagpamuno sang Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) aton tukuron ang malapad nga alyansa batok sa US-Duterte nga rehimen kag pasabton sa krimen nga nahimo sa pumuluyo. Aton pabaskugon ang armado nga paghimakas kag maglunsar sang lapnagon nga pakig-away gerilya kag silutan ang mga berdugo nga may utang nga dugo sa pumuluyo. ###

Mabuhay ang masang pigos!

Isulong ang armado nga paghimakas tubtob sa kadalag-an!

Kalinaw News: Seven Personnel promoted to next ranks, Human Rights Consciousness week observed

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 9, 2020): Seven Personnel promoted to next ranks, Human Rights Consciousness week observed

ISABELA CITY, Basilan — The 4th Special Forces Battalion (4SFBN) joins the nation in the observance of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week through the conduct of Flag Raising Ceremony where they also conducted the donning of ranks to the seven newly promoted personnel here at the Headquarters in Barangay Cabunbata, Isabela City on Monday, 07 November 2020.

This year’s National Human Rights Consciousness Week will be observed from 04 to 10 December, in commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of the adaptation, proclamation and signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the theme: “Karapatan at Pagbangon sa Lahat ng Panahon / Recover Better – Stand-Up for Human Rights”.

The Flag Raising Ceremony was led by Lieutenant Colonel Alex D. Ampati, the Commanding Officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion. During his message, he emphasized the importance and strict observance of human rights and rules of engagement in the execution of military duties.

“Ang sundalo ngayon ay katuwang ng mamamayan sa pagsulong at pagrespeto sa mga karapatang pantao”, Lt. Col. Ampati said in his speech.

Simultaneous with the flag raising ceremony, 4SFBN also donned ranks to its seven deserving personnel who were promoted to the next higher ranks. Lt. Col. Ampati personally donned the ranks of Master Sergeant (MSg), Staff Sergeant (SSg) and Sergeant (Sgt) respectively, as cited in the promotion orders from the Headquarters, Philippine Army.

Lt. Col. Ampati congratulated and praised the hard work of the promoted troops and emphasized the responsibilities attached to their new ranks.

The Philippine Army continues to recognize the efforts of its organic personnel who works for the attainment of peace in their respective assignments, and recommends promotion to those who deserves it.

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

Kalinaw News: OPAPP and AFP Peace and Development Office Holds Info Campaign

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 9, 2020): OPAPP and AFP Peace and Development Office Holds Info Campaign (By Jamaiela Ellaine)

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in coordination with the AFP Peace and Development Office (AFPPDO) conducted an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign on the Bangsamoro Normalization Process held at 6ID Headquarters, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao on December 7, 2020.

Col. Jovencio Gonzales, Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retirees Affairs and Col. Michael Santos, Chief of Staff welcomed the IEC delegation of OPAPP headed by the Chair of the Government Peace Implementing Panel, USEC David Diciano and the Co-Chair of the Joint Normalization Committee (GPH), Mr. Ariel Hernandez.

The activity aimed to update stakeholders on the status of implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), particularly on the government’s various peace-building efforts

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

Kalinaw News: Government awards 1.6 Million worth E-CLIP benefits to Former Rebels in Misamis Oriental

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 9, 2020): Government awards 1.6 Million worth E-CLIP benefits to Former Rebels in Misamis Oriental

CLAVERIA, Misamis Oriental- The Department of Interior and Local Integration (DILG) released 1.6 Million worth of cash assistance to Former Rebels (FRs) in Misamis Oriental during a ceremonial awarding held at Pearlmont Hotel, Cagayan De Oro City yesterday, December 07, 2020.

The said awarding was conducted during the RTF-ELCAC meeting which was graced by Hon. Jose Ruperto Martin M Andanar, Secretary of Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) as well as the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS-10). Moreover, the activity was attended by Major General Andres C Centino, Commander of 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, Director Arnel M Agabe CESO III, Regional Director of DILG-10, Mr. Jhunleymar Abella, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, and Lieutenant Colonel Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of 58th Infantry Battalion (58IB).

The beneficiaries composed of 16 FRs in which two (2) received firearms remuneration amounting to Php 270,000 and fourteen (14) received Php 50,000 each for their livelihood assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive and Local Integration Program. They were few among the enlightened individuals who finally returned to the folds of the law after being deceived by the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs).

The activity is one of the strategies of the government to show its relentless effort in ending local communist armed conflict. These benefits do not serve as an end, rather as a means to aid the FRs in securing them as they go back to the mainstream society.

Meanwhile, Director Arnel Agabe lauded our FRs for heeding the call of the government to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. “We, the government will remain steadfast to perform our mandated task and give our best effort just to assist the former rebels in every positive way our respective agencies can offer,” said Director Agabe.

On the other hand, Lt. Col. Ricky L Canatoy, Commanding Officer of 58IB said, “The government is sincere in helping our FRs return to the mainstream society and start a new and peaceful life with their families. Together with other government agencies, we will continue our efforts to ensure that the welfare and rights of the FRs are at utmost priority. Likewise, we will give what is due to those who desire to go back to the folds of the law. But for those who wish to continue their armed struggle, we make sure that the army units will hunt you down.”

The E-CLIP is a complete package program for our brothers and sisters who have decided to abandon armed struggle and return to the fold of the law. It is a peacebuilding and social protection program that provides interventions to FRs in becoming productive citizens of society.

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

Kalinaw News: 45IB facilitate the first BPAT’s challenge 2020 in Patikul, Sulu

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 9, 2020): 45IB facilitate the first BPAT’s challenge 2020 in Patikul, Sulu

Patikul, Sulu – The 45th Infantry “Gallant” Battalion facilitated the 1st (Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team) BPAT’s challenge 2020, spearheaded by Brigadier General Ignatius N Patrimonio Philippine Army, Commander of 1102nd Brigade, 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division, and Hon. Kabir E Hayudini, Mayor of Patikul Sulu, together with Lieutenant Colonel Ruben B Guinolbay, Battalion Commander of 4IB. The said activity was done by performing an endurance firing and it is participated by 20 BPAT Teams or 180 individuals held at 45IB headquarters, Brgy Tugas, Patikul, Sulu, December 08, 2020.

The essence of the activity is a competition of the BPAT’s participants, in order to develop their rapport and self-confidence on how to be a competent individual. It also measured their stamina and ability in shooting the designated targets.
The “Shoot for Peace” activity was conducted by this unit spearheaded by the aforementioned entities with Police Captain Albert Carbungco, Chie of Police, Patikul-MPS and Brgy Captains of Patikul as participants. The activity aims to end the chaos and continue promoting peace in the province of Sulu.

The people of Patikul and the members of 45IB are united and worked together for the development of Patikul.

The unit also facilitated the inauguration of Tugas Sandah Farm-To- Market Road, named as “Gallant Road” with the presence of Engr. Bomidin G Estino Administrator of MPW-BARMM, SULU, likewise the aforementioned entities. It was held at Tugas-Sandah road, Brgy Tugas, Patikul, Sulu. The road was constructed so that the transportation of products will be delivered easily to the market.


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

Kalinaw News: Former rebel receives P518K worth of firearms renumeration

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 89, 2020): Former rebel receives P518K worth of firearms renumeration

An amount of Five hundred eighteen thousand pesos was received by a former rebel earlier today, December 4, 2020 through the Firearms Remuneration Program for surrendering eleven (11) high- powered firearms to the government. Hon. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, Governor of Davao de Oro personally handed the check in an awarding ceremony held at the headquarters of 66th Infantry (KABALIKAT) Battalion in Brgy Cabinuangan, New Bataan, Davao de Oro which was also participated by the heads of local government agencies and Philippine Army units.

The firearms remuneration is one of the many grants provided under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP of the Department of Interior and Local Government that can be availed by former rebels who voluntarily surrender their firearms. This is part of the initiatives of the government to encourage armed members to go back to the folds of the law and yield their firearms which have been used by the Communist Terrorist Groups in waging intimidation and terror in the communities.

In his statement, Mr. Noel C. Duarte, Provincial Director of DILG Davao de Oro emphasized that the remuneration received by the former rebel is twice the appraised cash value of the firearms based on the existing implementing guidelines of E-CLIP and undergone validation by the duly authorized body.

Colonel Krishnamurti A. Mortela, 701st Infantry Brigade Commander of Philippine Army said in his message that the government’s effort to help those who submit themselves to the folds of the law is sincere and that the members of the CTG can trust the government especially the Philippine Army to support them as they go back to the mainstream society.”

On the other hand, Gov. Uy highlighted that the said activity is a milestone achieved by the provincial government marking the 2nd year of the implementation of Executive Order 70 and PTF-ELCAC. Moreover, it served as a solid evidence that E-CLIP is not a fraud or a mere propaganda as what the Communist group claims but a legitimate program that provides an opportunity for those who want to surrender to live a peaceful life with their families.

During his response message, the former rebel expressed his utmost appreciation for all the efforts of the local government and the Philippine Army for him and his family. He said that, “The life I have now is far better than when I was still part of the NPA. Everyday, I would ask myself if I would survive or die. With God’s mercy, despite the years I have spent in the revolution, He still gave me a chance to live and reunite with my family. Indeed, the government is really there to help us. Rest assured that I will use this money for good. The nine years that I have spent as a rebel ends here. From now on, I promise to dedicate my life serving my family and the government.

[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:]

17 FRs receive cash assistance in AgSur

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): 17 FRs receive cash assistance in AgSur (By 26th Infantry Battalion)

TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Dec. 9 – Seventeen former rebels (FRs) who voluntarily surrendered to the forces of 26th Infantry (Ever Onward) Battalion (26IB), Philippine Army have recently received cash assistance amounting to P10,000.00 each from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD) Office held at the PSWD Office, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, this province.

The PSWD released the cash assistance as part of the livelihood program under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) which is designed to provide livelihood benefits for the
former members of the Communist Party of the Philippine – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) and Militia ng Bayan (MB) to restore their allegiance to the Philippine government.

Aside from the cash assistance, the FRs also received food packs and goods. “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat tungod sa sunod sunod nga benepisyo nga among nadawat gikan sa gobyerno. Kining maong kantidad daku na kaayo ug gikatabang sa among pamilya aron kami maka sukad sa among pag plastar sa among bag-o nga kinabuhi (I’m thankful for the benefits provided to us from the government. This amount could already help our family start a new life)," alias Jack said.

The 26IB under the command of Lt.Col. Reynald Romel A. Goce, in collaboration with the PSWD led by Razel Montemor facilitated the enrollment of the FRs to the E-CLIP which will cover their reintegration, immediate, livelihood, educational and housing benefits. “We are committed to help and assist the needs of our brothers and sisters who went back to the fold of law in their new beginning. The government will help you in providing what you need to start a new life," said Montemor.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Goce expressed his gratitude to the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) in its active and unending support in implementing the Executive Order No. 70. "The PTF-ELCAC of Agusan del Sur is exhibiting its good character by showing full commitment in implementing the EO70. As our peace partners, we are glad working with the Provincial Government of ADS in attaining lasting peace in our province," he said.

"The government is more than willing to assist those who want to come back in the folds of law. Once they surrender, we will be providing them the government programs and initiatives that would help them in re-building a more peaceful life together with their loved ones,” Goce ended. (2Lt. Cecille Tappa, acting CMO, 26IB/PIA-Agusan del Sur)

Governor underscores love, unity in message to EO 70-target community

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 7, 2020): Governor underscores love, unity in message to EO 70-target community (By Danilo E. Doguiles)

Gov. Suharto "Teng" Mangudadatu (center) arrives at the Serbisyo Caravan with Mayor Edwin Bermudez (left) and other officials.

COLUMBIO, Sultan Kudarat, Dec. 7 (PIA) -- Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto "Teng" Mangudadatu urged residents of Barangay Sucob to maintain their love for each other and their unity to sustain peace and development in their community.

"Panatillihin ang inyong pagmamahalan at pagkakaisa sapagka't walang ibang magmamahal sa inyong bayan at barangay kundi kayong mga taga-Barangay Sucob," Gov. Mangudadatu told the community during the Serbisyo Caravan on Friday, December 4.

Said service caravan formally announced the inclusion of the barangay in the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP), a strategy in the implementation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's Executive Order No. 70, institutionalizing the whole-of-nation approach to attain inclusive and sustainable peace in conflict-affected communities.

Twelve of 16 barangays in Columbio are targets for the EO 70.

In his message at the caravan, Gov. Mangudadatu narrated that about 25 years ago, Sucob, along with Barangay Mayo and other nearby villages, was a favorite passageway of New Peoples Army and bandits that led to dire peace and order condition in the area.

That situation, he noted, improved when the people in the area cooperated with the municipal and provincial governments as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Recently, Sucob has become a favorite tourist destination for its La Palmera Mountain Ridge, which according to reports receives up to 500 visitors a day, opening economic activities for locals.

Encouraging sustained community support to the peace and development effort of the national government, Mangudadatu emphasized that "President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's objective in issuing EO 70 is to address the needs of each barangay and municipality toward sustaining development. When our place is peaceful there are better chances for better future because there will be livelihood opportunities and jobs."

"Aking panawagan sa mga taga-Barangay Sucob at iba pang barangay sa Columbio sana mas lalo nating paigtingin ang suporta sa Gobyerno upang magkaroon pa tayo ng tamang serbisyo para sa ating bayan.

"Sa lahat naman na opisyal ng barangay sa Probinsiya ng Sultan Kudarat tayo ay magserbisyo para sa barangay, para sa bayan at para sa probinsiya upang madama ng ating mga kababayan na ang tunay na serbisyo ay nakakarating sa kanila," Gov. Mangudadatu said. 

During the serbisyo caravan in Barangay Sucob, 11 farmers receive their respective certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

As an RCSP-target barangay, Sucob could receive P20 million development support package from the national government in 2021. Sucob can also benefit from projects, programs and activities from concerned regional line agencies and municipal and provincial government units that, under EO 70, are mandated to respond in a convergent manner to the identified needs of the community as outlined in their Barangay Development Plan.

Imelda Gandon, punong barangay of Sucob, told Philippine Information Agency that the barangay council in consultation with different sectors, has decided to allot the P20-million support from the national government on farm-to-market road project, construction of additional water system, and construction of a health center.

During the caravan, the residents of Sucob enjoyed basic services from the municipal and provincial LGUs, regional line agencies and Philippine Army. These services include health insurance, medical and dental checkup with free medicine, circumcision, distribution of land titles and livelihood starter kits, supplemental feeding, family food packs, assorted vegetable seeds, and many others.

At the event, Gov. Mangudadatu officially turned over the new Sucob Barangay Hall to Columbio Mayor Edwin Bermudez and Punong Barangay Gandon. (DED-PIA XII)

Tagalog News: 64 na mga dating miyembro ng BIFF nagtapos sa NC II courses ng TESDA

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 7, 2020): Tagalog News: 64 na mga dating miyembro ng BIFF nagtapos sa NC II courses ng TESDA (By PIA Cotabato City)

LUNGSOD NG COTABATO, Dis. 7 (PIA)--Abot sa 64 na mga dating mga Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) combatant ang nagtapos kamakailan sa 30 araw na skills development training.

Ang pagsasanay ay naglalayong mapahusay ang dating combatants bilang paghahanda sa kanilang transition pabalik sa buhay sibilyan at maging mas produktibong mamamayan ng Bangsamoro.

Pinangunahan ng Ministry of Interior and Local Government ng Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MILG-BARMM) ang nasabing pagsasanay sa pamamagitan ng proyekto nito na Tulong ng Gobyernong Nagmamalasakit (TuGoN) sa ilalim ng mga programa ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Ito rin ay sa pakikipagtulungan ng Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE-BARMM), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), at Philippine National Police (PNP).

Sa kanyang naging pahayag, sinabi ni BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim na sa tulong ng mga programa ng TESDA, mas malilinang pa ang kakayahan ng mga benepisyaryo at magkakaroon sila ng mas maraming pagkakataong makapaghanapbuhay.

Ang mga nagsitapos ay nakatanggap ng TESDA National Certificate (NC II) sa pagkumpleto ng masonry, carpentry, at plumbing sa Farasan Institute of Technology, Inc., isang paaralan na kaakibat ng TESDA.

Mamamahagi din ang MILG-BARMM ng livelihood package sa mga nagsanay bilang kanilang starter kit. Ito ay upang kanilang magamit sa mga kasanayan na kanilang nakuha sa pagsasanay. (LTBolongon-PIA Cotabato City/With reports from BPI-BARMM).

DILG-10 trains 29 ELCAC town reps on local legislation

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8, 2020): DILG-10 trains 29 ELCAC town reps on local legislation (By DILG-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA)--Members of Local Legislative Bodies of the 29 Ending Local Communists Armed Conflict (ELCAC) Municipalities participated in the initiative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 to gather local legislators and provide a training on CDP/LDIP Retooling in Aid of Local Legislation, November 19-20.

The department has provided comprehensive perspective to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan/ Sangguniang Barangay members to instill better understanding on the process of planning, budgeting, and resource mobilization through the discussion of Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP)—President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority program aimed towards putting an end to local armed communists in the country.

“It [CDP] serves as the LGU’s road map to progress and development. It contains the strategic plans for five development sectors namely economic, environment, social, institution, and infrastructure,” DILG-10 Regional Director Arnel M. Agabe said, highlighting the importance of CDP as one of the major plans mandated under the Local Government Code of 1991.

Moreover, Agabe emphasized the presence of government through RCSP to the ELCAC barangays of Region 10.

“We should continue to let everyone know that the government is there because that is our mandate and that is where we are best, rendering effective and efficient public service to everyone,” he added.

Furthermore, LGOO VI Jacillo Orongan presented the latest related issuances of the local legislation in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. Issuances include the department’s memorandum on the mandatory wearing of face masks in public areas, guidelines on the risk-based public health standards for COVID-19, the establishment of Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (LESUs), among others.

The two-day webinar workshop ended with Local Government Capability Development Division (LGCDD) Chief and LGOO VII Hazel L. Occeña discussing the dynamics and mechanics of the CDP and the Local Development Investment Program. Further, she stressed the importance and crucial role of LGUs in advancing the country’s competitiveness and ease of doing business. (DILG10/PIA10)

RTF-ELCAC X to continue programs for peace and development

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8, 2020): RTF-ELCAC X to continue programs for peace and development (By Jasper Marie O. Rucat)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA) - The Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC)-10 will pursue its peace and development efforts in Northern Mindanao, as it lays down various programs, projects, activities (PPAs) to be implemented by member-agencies in today's, Dec. 7, meeting.

In the RTF-ELCAC-10 cum Northern Mindanao Regional Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa committee meeting presided over by the Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar, he underscored the importance of working together and moving forward amid COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-10 Regional Director Mylak Faye Aurora B. Cariño presented the Northern Mindanao Regional Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Action Plan that ensures a balanced regional development, equitable distribution of wealth, resources and opportunities through policies and programs that would boost countryside development and inclusive growth, provide adequate social services and promote full employment as well as industrialization and improved quality of life in rural areas.

In region 10, the pilot area for BP2 is Kauswagan town in Lanao del Norte.

Meanwhile, the local government units (LGUs) with proposed resettlement sites for BP2 include Cagayan de Oro City with six hectares, Gingoog City 20 hectares, El Salvador City six hectares Iligan City with 41 hectares with proposed Abaca plantation vegetable farm, Tangub City and Lanao del Norte.

Secretary Andanar together with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 Regional Director Arnel Agabe turned-over to five former rebels from Misamis Oriental firearms renumeration amounting to P180,000 and P90,000 and livelihood assistance worth P50,000 under the government's Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP.

Director Agabe said many lives had already been changed due to the programs initiated by the government particularly the former rebels. "DILG has so far distributed more than P12 million for ECLIP to more than 200 former rebels in the region," he stressed.

Meanwhile, 4th Infantry Division commander MGen Andres Centino shared that through Executive Order 70 (EO 70) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, there is now focused targeting through identification of focus areas such as the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and conflict-affected/ conflict vulnerable areas, and convergence of all government agencies from security to livelihood and infrastructures.

To achieve sustainable peace and inclusive development as well as conflict-resilient communities, Centino said, this can only be done by effectively addressing peace building needs, adopting intuitional efficiency and accountability as well as improving, developing and protecting conflict-affected areas. (JMORucat/PIA10)

OPAPP distributes food packs to MNLF members in LDS

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): OPAPP distributes food packs to MNLF members in LDS (By Lou Ellen L. Antonio) 

MARAWI CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA) -- In its continuous efforts to push forward the comprehensive Philippine peace process, the government, through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) intensified its initiatives on ground by distributing food packs to the members of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Lanao del Sur.

James Alih Abdul, OPAPP area manager for Northern Mindanao, calls for the unity of the members in sustaining peace in the province. (Gian Carlo Raman/ PIA ICIC) 

Under OPAPP’s Support to Peacebuilding and Normalization (SPAN) Programme, a total of 1,000 boxes of grocery packs were given to the members of MNLF-Jikiri Group at Barangay Cabingan, this city.

James Alih Abdul, OPAPP area manager for Northern Mindanao, called for the unity of the members in sustaining peace in the province.

“Ang pinakamahalaga is to sustain ang peace for them. Sana ang peace ay manatili sa Lanao del Sur at Mindanao,” Abdul said.

The MNLF members will also receive 20 kilos of rice from OPAPP.

Meanwhile, 165 boxes of food packs were also distributed to internally displaced persons of Marawi living in CRS Community, Barangay Mipaga.

OPAPP is a member of Task Force Bangon Marawi's Subcommittee on Security, Peace and Order. (LELA/ PIA ICIC)

Army's sectors council swear in new members

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8, 2020): Army's sectors council swear in new members (By Gideon C. Corgue) 

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur, Dec 7 (PIA) — The newly selected Multi-Sectoral Governance Council (MSGC) members of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army were sworn in before Rey Quisumbing, the presiding officer during the 24th council meeting held at Camp Major Cesar Sang-an, Pulacan in Labangan town, recently.

The newly selected members were Dr. Habib Macaayong, President of the MSU system represented by Dr. Hendely Adlawan; Regional Director Noemi B. Edaga of the Philippine Information Agency and Sam Tyra Co of Sangguniang Panlungsod, Pagadian City who promised that they will faithfully do their duty as members of the Council.

The new members thanked the MSGC for choosing them to represent their respective sectors of society.

Regional Director Noemi Edaga said as a representative of the PIA, which is the communication arm of the government, will help strategize communication that is well suited to the MSGC.

“The PIA have the information platforms. We will work and strengthen our collaboration for the benefit and development of the MSGC,” Edaga said.

She added that communication and information are as important as food, clothing, shelter and education but timely and accurate information is very important to everyone especially in the implementation of health protocols during this time of public health crisis.

In the same development, Adlawan said that Dr. Macaayong, extended his support to good programs and council activities.

"If there are things that the council that needs the help of the MSU system, the president is very willing to extend his full support," Adlawaon said, quoting Macaayong.

City Councilor Tyra Sam Co on the other and hand said it is of great pride to be a member of the Council and thanked the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division for giving her and opportunity to represent the youth sector of Pagadian City. (RVC/GCC/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

We are at the brink of defeating the communist insurgency, CORDS 8 says

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): We are at the brink of defeating the communist insurgency, CORDS 8 says (By Olive P. Tiu)

TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 7 (PIA) -- Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, in a video message on the occasion of the 2nd Anniversary of the National Task Force - ELCAC, said the government is at the brink of defeating the 52-year old communist insurgency.

In his video message, Secretary Del Rosario congratulated President Duterte for his strong leadership and clear vision and determination to unify the country through inclusive and sustained efforts in the pursuit for Peace and Development.

Del Rosario also cited NTF-ELCAC Vice Chair and National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. and his tire-less team for spearheading the implementation of innovative and inspiring campaign to cripple the capability of the CPP-NPA both in the national and local level.

“Today, the government is on top as indicated by the recent development,” Secretary Del Rosario said.

Recent RTF8-ELCAC reports show that the campaign against the CPP-NPA in the Region is right on target with the island of Leyte having been declared insurgent-free while the Samar campaign is on the positive, having cleared areas once under the communist insurgents.

More and more rebels are returning into the folds of the law and the communities are vocally denouncing the insurgents as they report to the military their presence in their communities.

Del Rosario declared that being the CORDS 8 and chair of the RTF8-ELCAC, he is proud to be part of these efforts.

“Together, we will defeat the communist terrorists and we will earn lasting peace to achieve unity and economic prosperity for all Filipinos,” the Secretary concluded.

He gave the assurance that through unity, and continuous cooperation of all concerned, the vision to end local communist armed conflict will come true and the long-time elusive quest for lasting Peace and Development will be achieved. (PIA-8)

120 reserve officers to undergo Probationary Officer Training Course

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): 120 reserve officers to undergo Probationary Officer Training Course (By Jemin B. Guillermo) 

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- A total of 120 reserve officers underwent a four-month Probationary Officer Training Course (POTC), which started December 7, at Camp Gen. Macario Peralta, in Jamindan, Capiz.

Colonel Wilson Ma S. Reyes, Assistant Division Commander for Reservist and Retiree Affairs, was the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the opening ceremony, a press release from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office said.

The opening ceremony was followed by the traditional reception rites at around 9 a.m. at the command parade ground.

The training aims to train and prepare advance Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) graduates to qualify them for commission in the Reserve Force to enhance professionalism, standardize the conduct of training, and to accelerate the production of quality Reserve Officers.

"The training is not all physical. You are expected to learn about the Armed Forces of the Philippines. You will realize the importance of leadership, teamwork, camaraderie, and competence," Reyes said.

He also urged the trainees to take their oath sacredly and take the hard training positively.

"I will be happy to see the smiles of fulfillment in your faces on your graduation day,” Reyes stressed. (PIA6/3ID-DPAO/Philippine Army)

NOLCOM Commander: No ceasefire with Reds this holiday season

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8, 2020): NOLCOM Commander: No ceasefire with Reds this holiday season (By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)

TARLAC CITY, Dec.8 (PIA) -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) instructed its troops to continue no let up operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) this holiday season.

NOLCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. issued the order following President Duterte’s pronouncement that ceasefire with the NPA will not be declared this year.

“Our soldiers fully adhere to President Duterte’s decision not to declare ceasefire because time and again the NPA has been insincere and instead used the period to further their terroristic intentions toward the community and the general public,” he said.

“Per military intelligence, NPA has historically taken advantage of unilateral ceasefires declared by the government in the past to build up their army through forced recruitment, oppress our people through extortion and betray peace by launching attacks against both civilian and military targets,” Burgos added.

The official stressed that they will capitalize on the gains they have made in just a span of five days. These included the neutralization of one NPA Regional White Area Secretary and two NPA Finance Officers.

“We can, and we will, crush insurgency in this part of the country within the given timeline which will allow us to completely refocus our efforts in preserving and upholding our sovereignty over every inch of Philippine territory,” he said.

Burgos reaffirmed their support to the Filipino people’s aspirations for genuine and lasting peace which can only be achieved through sincere negotiations devoid of the violence inherent to the armed struggle which the NPA is espousing.

“NOLCOM has been promoting localized peace engagements instead of the traditional top-level as Communist Party of the Philippines and National Democratic Front negotiators no longer enjoy control over the armed NPA fighters in the ground who has almost always defied the provisions stipulated in previous ceasefire declarations,” he said.

Burgos assured that soldiers stationed in Regions 1,2,3 and Cordillera will always be willing to sacrifice time with their families this Yuletide season in the name of the most solemn mandate as defenders of the north, guardians of sovereignty and protectors of the Filipino people. (CLJD-PIA 3)

Army, PNP to intensify law enforcement ops vs Reds in North Luzon

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 8, 2020): Army, PNP to intensify law enforcement ops vs Reds in North Luzon (By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu)

CABANATUAN CITY, Dec.8 (PIA) -- Army 7th Infantry Division (7th ID) and the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations Northern Luzon (DIPO-NL) will intensify law enforcement operations against members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) who are facing multiple charges.

7th ID Commander Major General Alfredo Rosario Jr. and DIPO-NL Director PMGen. Ferdinand Daway made the commitment following the police official’s visit to the Army division’s headquarters in Fort Magsaysay.

“This intensified efforts follows a string of service of Warrants of Arrest in our area of operations,” Daway said.

Last Friday, the head of NPA’s Regional White Area Committee of the Central Luzon Regional Committee identified as Jose Bernardino was arrested through the joint efforts of the Army and Police by virtue of a Warrant of Arrest issued by Judge Paul Attolba Jr. of Regional Trial Court Branch 30 Nueva Vizcaya.

Directorate for Integrated Police Operations Northern Luzon Director PMGen. Ferdinand Daway (middle) visits the Army 7th Infantry Division Headquarters in Fort Magsaysay. (7th ID)

On the same day, a high-ranking member identified as alias Bo/Bert/Roman who was the finance officer of the NPA unit operating in Tarlac and Zambales died while resisting arrest when he fired upon the law enforcement team.

“The Army and Police vow to intensify its joint operations as we hunt down the remaining communists-terrorists in Central and Northern Luzon to put an end to their terroristic activities that threaten the peace and security of the people,” Rosario emphasized.

“Our three major focus these days is to put an end to recruitment activities of the NPA by unmasking their front organizations; arrest the personalities of the CPP-NPA who are facing charges in court, and eradicate the dwindling forces of the NPA fighters in our area of responsibility through our relentless combat operations in the countryside,” he furthered. (CLJD-PIA 3)

US defense aid big boost to PH efforts to secure borders - Lorenzana

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): US defense aid big boost to PH efforts to secure borders - Lorenzana (By Jimmyley E. Guzman)

PASIG CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- The Philippine Government’s defense capabilities got a boost today as P1.38 billion (USD29 million) worth of defense gears, including snipers and anti-IED equipment, were turned over by the US defense department to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as "a symbol of the Philippines and the United States continued warm alliance."

Lorenzana, along with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., accepted the military paraphernalia from acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who is currently in town.

Miller likewise informed Lorenzana that one C130 military transport aircraft will be delivered to the AFP on Dec 17.

Lorenzana and Miller have agreed to boost further the Mil to Mil engagement between the two countries.

“We are grateful for the support provided by the United States as we continuously work on the enhancement of the Philippines’ defense capabilities,” Lorenzana said.

“The modernization of the AFP will ultimately allow us to respond more effectively to both traditional and non-traditional security threats to our maritime nation. Our government expresses our deep appreciation for the US government’s assistance in protecting our borders from external threats,” he added.

Miller met with his Philippine counterpart and other government officials to highlight the long-standing and steadfast alliance between Manila and Washington, and the US government’s commitment to helping the country secure its national and regional security.

Aside from the turnover of the defense articles, Miller also mentioned the US government’s P1.1 billion (USD23.4 million) COVID-19 assistance and disaster relief for recent typhoon victims, as well as ongoing support for Philippine counterterrorism and maritime security efforts.

The US defense has earlier transferred defense equipment to several special mission units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to support the AFP’s modernization goals. The new equipment will strengthen the AFP’s joint precision strike, sniper, riverine, and counter-improvised explosive device capabilities.

US Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett had also handed over to the Philippine Navy a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System, while US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien’s donated P868 million (USD18 million) in supplementary military equipment and training to the AFP.

To recall, the Philippines is the largest recipient of US military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region. (PIA NCR)

CA nods nomination, promotion of 52 AFP officers

From the Philippine Information Agency (Dec 9, 2020): CA nods nomination, promotion of 52 AFP officers (By Jimmyley E. Guzman) 

PASIG CITY, Dec. 9 (PIA) -- The Commission on Appointments (CA) Committee on National Defense confirmed today the ad interim appointments and nominations of 52 Generals, Flag and Senior Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City.

Upon the recommendation of Representative Luis A. Ferrer IV, Chairman of the CA National Defense Committee, the CA chaired by Senator Vicente C. Sotto III found the AFP officers all fit for the ranks given to them.

Medal of Valor awardee and the current Commanding Officer of the 502nd Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General Bartolome Vicente O. Bacarro was among the officers confirmed by CA today.

Also confirmed was the nomination of Rear Admiral Roberto B. Enriquez to Vice Admiral. CA likewise confirmed the nominations to Brigadier General of BGen. Eugenio V. Hernandez, Colonel Lito D. Villanueva, Colonel Jose Maria R. Cuerpo II, Colonel Romulo A. Manuel Jr., Colonel Joannis Leonardi B. Dimaano, and Colonel Rogelio D. Ulanday.

Other military officers confirmed by CA were BGen. Wilbur C. Mamawag, BGen. Jose H. Narciso, and BGen. Gerry E. Pulohanan.

Also recommended for confirmation in the plenary were Air Force Colonels Arman G. Mampusti, Victorino C. Patricio, Kim Eric Alexander D. Agatep, Ferdinand P. Romano, Nestor A. Etis, Emelito T. Lucero, Augusto N. Padua, Gilberto T. Esteban, Jose Tadeo M. Javier II, Oliver A. Bañaria, Marvel C. Sabellon, Ronaldo L. Saragoza, and Carlito P. Lingad.

Meanwhile, 24 Colonels from the Philippine Army received CA nod such as; Harold M. Argamosa, Luciano M. Caiman Jr., Arthur M. Romanillos Jr., Gaspar B. Panopio, Arnel B. Bautista, Randy N. Espino, Jonathan P. Obena, Richard B. Rabaca, Jacob Thaddeus M. Obligado, Glenn Joy U. Aynera, Eufracio G. Malig Jr., Ericson V. Rosana, Isaclolo H. Diroy Jr., Vince James D. Bantilan, Tommy A. Deliva, Wendell J. Basat, Carlo Franco A. Pimentel, Norberto L. Agbay, Eduardo M. Monjardin, Roy Anthony O. Derilo, Esteveyn E. Ducusin, Nonilon T. Lawas, Fernando B. Dulawan, and Hilarion G. Palma.

Navy Captains Ramilo B. Trinidad and Gregory Gerald V. Fabic were also confirmed by CA. The Commission also deliberated on and recommended the approval of the promotions of Marine Colonel Noel E. Buncab and Colonel Bienvenido F. Simon from Corps of Professors.

The confirmation of ad interim appointments and nominations of senior military officers by CA signifies the commitment and professionalism of AFP personnel. It further affirms the opportunity bestowed for select members of the AFP to better serve the nation to positions of major responsibility.

“Promotion is one of the best ways to end this year on a high note. I trust that this will further inspire you to continue dedicating yourselves for a better armed forces for our country and people. In that way, we will always be worthy of the trust and honor bestowed upon us, my congratulations to you all,” the AFP Chief of Staff General Gilbert I. Gapay said in a statement. (PIA NCR)

Cops help repair Datu Piang church damaged by BIFF attack

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 9, 2020): Cops help repair Datu Piang church damaged by BIFF attack (By Edwin Fernandez)

COMMUNITY SERVICE. Policemen in Datu Piang, Maguindanao helped repair and clean the Sta. Teresita parish church on Wednesday (Dec. 9, 2020) after it sustained bullet holes during the BIFF terror attack on Dec. 3. Fr. Prudencio Alviar, OMI, (inset, center in white shirt) the parish priest, who is celebrating his 63rd birthday on the same day, said his “well-wishers” were the police officers who helped him restore the place of worship. (Photo courtesy of PRO-BARMM)

DATU PIANG, Maguindanao – Local police here on Wednesday helped the parish priest renovate the Catholic church hit by stray bullets during a terror attack last week.

Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, police director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), said members of the Datu Piang municipal police, backed by the Police Special Action Force (SAF), helped Fr. Prudencio Alviar, parish priest of Sta. Teresita Church, repair the damaged glass windows and clean the parish compound.

Fr. Alviar was elated with the gesture, especially since he was celebrating his 63rd birthday. He called the policemen his “special guests” and human resources in restoring the partly-damaged church.

“Help the people of Datu Piang, help places of worship, and make everyone feel they are safe,” Rodriguez told the Datu Piang police, now under Major Alexander Butuan, the new town police chief.

About 50 gunmen of the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked the town center shortly before midnight on Dec. 3, trading shots with lawmen and setting a police car on fire.

Police and military authorities said the BIFF had also plotted to set ablaze the parish church and the Church-run Notre Dame of Dulawan high school in the area.

But the plot was foiled when police officers and soldiers engaged the BIFF in a 15-minute firefight until reinforcement came forcing the rebels to withdraw.

The Sta. Teresita Church bore several bullet holes in its glass windows, and in the statue of the patron saint.