Saturday, January 2, 2021

NPA forming urban hit squads, CPP confirms

From the Philippine Star (Jan 1, 2021): NPA forming urban hit squads, CPP confirms (By Artemio Dumlao)

The New People's Army is forming urban hit squads, Communist Party of the Philippines Central Committee information officer Marco Valbuena confirmed just before the New Year.

This, after the communist rebels hinted of reviving teams that targeted police officers, soldiers, government agents and even politicians over "blood debts".

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Valbuena said that "there is a standing order for the NPA to form partisan teams to mete out punishment against enemy units and officers who have committed bloody crimes against the people."

He cited as an example the recent "punishment by partisan teams of the NPA some notorious fascist criminals, including Jumar Bucales, who heads a local paramilitary vigilante group responsible for the 2015 Lianga (Surigao del Sur) massacre."

He said that "in due time, the NPA will be able to form more partisan teams who can carry out punitive actions in the cities or close to the cities," adding regional NPA commands have been instructed to form Special Operations Groups for those operations.

Bucales was linked to the paramilitary Magahat-Bagani armed group blamed for the massacre. Despite investigations and Senate hearings into the 2015 murders of Manobo leaders Dionel Campos, Aurelio Sinzo and ALCADEV school director Emerico Samarca, no charges were filed.

CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, in self-exile in The Netherlands, responding to a supposed "popular demand" for the return of the armed city partisans to fight back at "assassinations and impunity by the Duterte regime" claimed during the 52nd founding anniversary of the CPP that there is basis "to conduct armed partisan operations in the cities to mete out revolutionary justice against Duterte's terrorist forces based in the urban areas."

Sison, now chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, said that "this is up to the leadership of the revolutionary movement to decisively undertake." Although Sison is now called a consultant, he is still referred to by many — including the government — as the leader of the communist insurgency.

The Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the CPP and NPA has terrorist groups, a delcaration that allows the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze accounts believed to be being used by the groups.

READ: CPP-NPA designated as terrorist group

Ma. Lourdes Barros of the NDFP International Information Office in Utrecht said in late December that there have been calls "for punitive justice and calls to fight the fascist attacks against unarmed activists and civilians in urban areas by Duterte’s death squads."

The NPA's Special Partisan Units (SPARUs, also referred to as "Sparrows") were first seen in the 1980s, which also saw the rise of the Alex Boncayao Brigade that later split from the CPP-NPA over ideological differences.

Sison said, however, that "there is no need for the revolutionary movement to shift to 'urban insurrectionism'." The CPP-NPA believes in strengthening guerrilla fronts in the countryside to surround urban centers.

Basilan peace projects continue in 2020 despite pandemic

From the Philippine Star (Jan 2, 2021): Basilan peace projects continue in 2020 despite pandemic (By John Unson)

The coronavirus pandemic has not stifled the 2020 peace initiatives of residents of Basilan, popular now for the fragile peace spreading across its four corners once dotted with Abu Sayyaf enclaves.

Military officials said it was for the concerted security efforts of Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman and his 12 constituent-mayors that started years prior that made 2020 a productive year for the island province.

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Basilan, a component-province of the Bangsamoro region, has 11 municipalities and two cities — Isabela and Lamitan.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Philippine Army, said Friday credit for the markedly improving security situation in Basilan ought to go to its provincial, municipal and city officials.

“Obviously they took the lead. Our units there only provided support role. The role of local government units in addressing domestic security problems via governance is really indispensable,” Sobejana said.

Salliman, now on his second term as governor, said fighting COVID-19 while forging ahead with its peace and development initiatives for 2020 was something so tough for his administration.

“But the show went on just the same. We’ve had tangible accomplishments still despite our having devoted so much time, effort and resources to our war on COVID-19,” Salliman said.

The Basilan provincial government received in 2019 the vaunted Seal of Good Local Governance, or SGLG, from the office of Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. of the Western Mindanao Command said what helped secure the peace in Basilan were the agricultural projects of the provincial government in the past two years.

Among those projects were the setting up of two drip-irrigated greenhouses, one in Isabela City and another in Maluso town, as showcases of organic vegetable farming to encourage diversification by local farmers, among them reforming former Abu Sayyaf members.

The provincial and local governments settled, with the help of the Army's 101st Infantry Brigade and the police, more than a dozen deadly clan wars in Basilan since 2016, according to Vinluan.

Basilan is now more known as the new investment frontier of the Bangsamoro region.
Zamboanga-Basilan ferry route

Representatives from the FastCat shipping company inspected last December the Isabela City port in preparation for its Zamboanga-Basilan ferry operations starting this year.

Basilan residents have been, for more than a year now, complaining on lack of passenger boats serving the route.

The FastCat is also targeting to provide passenger boats for the Zamboanga-Lamitan City route.

The cities of Isabela and Lamitan are the port hubs of Basilan, one of the five provinces in the Bangsamoro region.

Juvenal Azurin, director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for the Bangsamoro region, said Saturday local officials have converted Maluso, an erstwhile transshipment point for shabu in Basilan, into a peaceful and progressive municipality.

The Maluso LGU thrice received in the past three years an SGLG award from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The second–termer mayor of Maluso, Hanie Bud, received last month the Local Government Functional Appraisal Award, or LoGFA, from the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro region.

The MILG’s grant of LoGFA to the Maluso LGU was premised on its best practices in public service and in maintaining law and order in the municipality, known in the past as the “shabu capital” of Basilan.

Maluso has been declared “drug free” by an inter-agency committee led by PDEA’s office in the Bangsamoro region, whose members include representatives from the police and the WestMinCom based in Zamboanga City.

Tumandok in Capiz flee homes after killings

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jan 2, 2021): Tumandok in Capiz flee homes after killings (By By: Nestor P. Burgos Jr.)

The indigenous peoples’ community fears more police operations amid killing of 9 tribe leaders

EVACUATION Tumandok tribe people in Tapaz, Capiz, evacuate to the town proper on New Year’s Day after red-tagged village leaders were gunned down in a police operation. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Residents of a village in Tapaz town of Capiz province where leaders of an indigenous people’s (IP) group were gunned down or arrested in a police operation have left their homes for fear of more operations by state forces.

Church leaders and IPs’ groups are also calling for an investigation on the killing and the arrest of 16 others of the Tumandok or Panay-Bukidnon tribe in a coordinated police operation in Panay on Wednesday.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Western Visayas has started its own investigation amid an outcry from the community and family members of those who died and were arrested.

“We are saddened by the simultaneous killings that happened early morning of Dec. 30, 2020, in the upland barangays of Tapaz, Capiz, and Calinog, Iloilo,” according to a statement of the Capiz Archdiocesan Social Action Center (Casac).

The Casac cited initial reports that those who died were alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).

In Barangay Lahug in Tapaz, members of about 78 households left their homes and evacuated to the town proper, about 8 kilometers away or a four-hour walk, according to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Panay.

Residents, including women and children, brought their belongings while other residents who were left behind are staying at barangay’s daycare center since New Year’s Eve.

In an earlier interview, Lahug village chief Jobelyn Giganto said they were afraid of sleeping in their homes after three village officials were shot dead and another arrested by policemen at dawn on Wednesday.

“We do not feel safe because they came in the night when we were asleep and we could not do anything but hide,” she said.

Rich tradition

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation, a global network of Indigenous Peoples rights activists, advocates and organizations, said those killed were among those who resisted the building of megadam projects in Iloilo and Capiz due to the impact on their ancestral and agricultural land.

Those killed and arrested were also leaders of the Tumanduk organization, an alliance of 17 indigenous people’s communities in Capiz and Iloilo provinces.

The Tumandok have a rich oral tradition that records their legends, epics and events in their community. The sugidanon (epics chanted in the archaic Panay language called the dagil or ligbok) tells the story and exploits of their heroes, like Labaw Dunggon and Humadapnon.

Their rich oral literature is also expressed in the dilot (love songs), talda (repartee) and ulawhay (chanted narrative).

Anthropologists have recorded nine epics chanted for at least 162 hours. The epics, according to studies, provide insights into the history, psyche and culture of the prehispanic Panay Bisayan.

But the Tumanduk organization has repeatedly been accused by the military and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict as a rebel front with members supporting or part of the CPP and NPA.

No room for fearmonger

“As we recognize the importance of peace especially during this time of pandemic and within the Octave of Christmas, this incident raises our concern and, thus, (we) vehemently condemn this act of violence. In this time of calmness, there should be no room for the cultivation of fear and impunity,” according to the Casac statement.

“We remain hopeful in the spirit of justice. Hence, we call on the (authorities) for (an) immediate investigation and action and show us the genuine results founded on truth and justice,” it said.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families of the victims. We assure you of our prayers that God will soothe away in time the hurt and grant them eternal rest in His paradise.”

A pastoral letter is expected to be issued later on the incident.In a statement issued on Wednesday, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza also decried the killing of members of the Tumandok or Panay-Bukidnon tribe.

“Do we have to kill our perceived ‘enemies’—especially if they are unarmed? Is this the way we celebrate Christmas as a Christian country about to welcome the New Year and 500 Years of Christianity? Can we consider this a great accomplishment that (nine) Tumandok—red-tagged—were killed today?” he said.

Alminaza, whose diocese has also experienced continued killings of those accused of being NPA supporters, called for an end to the violence.

“How long will this spiral of violence continue? Have we run out of peaceful means? Are we that desperate? Do we really, seriously believe this is the effective and lasting way to solve our social ills?” he said.

Bloody encounter

The Philippine National Police in Western Visayas insisted that the subjects of the warrants were members of the CPP. The nine tribesmen died because they fought back against members of the operating team, which was led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, it said.

In a statement, Police Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, Western Visayas police director, said the implementation of 28 search warrants stemmed from complaints in the areas of personalities who were in possession of firearms and explosives.

“The service of the search warrants became a bloody encounter when the other subjects put up a fight against the operatives,” according to the statement.

Aside from those killed and arrested, three more subjects of the search warrants were at large.

CHR probe

The PNP regional office said that among those recovered from the house of those arrested and killed were 26 caliber .45-caliber pistols, 26 rifle grenades, 12 hand grenades, an improvised gun, seven improvised/homemade 12-gauge shotguns, a .38-caliber revolver, a 9-mm submachine gun, two air rifles, flare, and assorted magazines and ammunition, and bandoliers.

At least 19 complaints for illegal possession of explosives and illegal possession of firearms have also been filed before the provincial prosecutor’s office of Iloilo and Capiz.

Lawyer Jonnie Dabuco, CHR Western Visayas director, said they started their own investigation on the operation to determine if extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations were committed.

“We are gathering documents from our police offices, interviewing families of those who died and arrested. Obviously, their statements contradict with the official accounts of the PNP so we are gathering as much information and evidence as we can,” Dabuco told the Inquirer in a telephone interview.

Southern Tagalog NPA leader falls

From the Philippine Star (Jan 2, 2021): Southern Tagalog NPA leader falls (By Artemio Dumlao)

Government forces arrested a ranking member of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Bulacan on Wednesday.

Philip Alcantara, said to be platoon leader of the NPA’s Special Operations Group in Southern Tagalog, was cornered in Barangay Panginay in Guiguinto town at around 8:30 a.m. He reportedly yielded a caliber .45 pistol, ammunition and a hand grenade.

Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., 7th Infantry Division commander, said Alcantara has pending warrants for multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder as well as illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Maj. Israel Galorio, Northern Luzon Command spokesman, said the suspect’s father, Tirso, is a consultant of the National Democratic Front, who is wanted for the ambush of Quezon Rep. Marcial Punzalan Jr. in 2001.

In Pampanga, a former member of the NPA’s Tarlac-Zambales Command surrendered in Angeles City on Thursday.

City police chief Col. Rommel Batangas said the husband of the surrenderee yielded to authorities in October.

2nd ID: more Mangyan NPAs surrendering

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jan 2, 2021): 2nd ID: more Mangyan NPAs surrendering (By Lyndon Plantilla)

One of the two NPA ranking couples who recently surrender.(DPAO, 2ID PA)

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 2 (PIA) -- Army officials lauded the decisions of four ranking New Peoples Army (NPA) to surrender in Oriental Mindoro last December 28.

“These series of surrenders across Southern Tagalog is a clear sign that the NPA is on the verge of irrecoverable defeat,” said 2nd Infantry Division Commander MGen Greg T. Almerol as he commended the actions of the NPA officers for abandoning terrorism and opted to have new lives this new year.

Members of Seventh-Day Adventist and Catholic Church assisted in the negotiation for the surrender of “Elsie” and “Justin”, an NPA squad commander and supply officer respectively in Brgy Benli, Bulalacao

Elsie and Justin were the ones wounded during the September 14 encounter versus government forces in Sitio Taboy-Taboy where female terrorist got killed.

Another NPA squad commander and supply officer respectively, Gilbert and Delia, surrendered recently in Brgy. Panaytayan, Mansalay town.

The four NPA officers were all Mangyans.

Local government units are working closely with the AFP and PNP to expedite the processing of the grants and benefits under rebel returnee programs.

Since 2019, more than 700 terrorists have already surrendered across Region 4 (Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions)

During his recent meeting with cabinet officials and medical experts, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte called on NPA members to return to the fold of the law.

The President said the communist terrorist NPA is now engaged in banditry and no longer pursuing good causes.

To those who will heed his call, the President said will be offered with the chance of having decent homes and livelihood training from TESDA. (LP/PIA)

Wounded NPA captured in Sultan Kudarat

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 2, 2021): Wounded NPA captured in Sultan Kudarat (By Noel Punzalan)

CAPTURED. Government troopers provide food and first aid to wounded Elmer Lasib alias Ka Billy, the former commanding officer of the NPA Guerilla Front Musa of the Far South Mindanao Region who was captured in Palimbang town, Sultan Kudarat province on Friday (Jan. 1, 2020). The NPA guerilla has a bullet wound on his right leg when found by soldiers in a secluded section of Barangay Baglas in Palimbang. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Government troops carrying out clearing operations captured a wounded communist New People’s Army (NPA) fighter in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat on Friday afternoon.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID), said soldiers belonging to the 37th Infantry Battalion (37IB) were scouring the area of Barangay Baglas in the municipality at about 3:45 p.m. when they chanced upon the injured NPA rebel.

“The wounded NPA radical yielded because he was surrounded by soldiers,” he told reporters here Saturday.

Initial investigation identified the alleged rebel as Elmer Lasib who carries the alias of Ka Billy, former commanding officer of the NPA Guerilla Front Musa of the Far South Mindanao Region.

"The soldiers immediately provided the wounded NPA with first aid and (he) is now in stable condition,” Uy said, adding that the captured NPA guerilla is also being subjected to tactical interrogation at the 37IB headquarters.

He said the units under the 6ID continue to adhere to the International Humanitarian Law in all their operations against known enemies of the state.

The Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

DND lauds dismissal of 9 cops in Jolo shooting

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 2, 2021): DND lauds dismissal of 9 cops in Jolo shooting (By Priam Nepomuceno)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. (File photo)

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday lauded the decision of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismiss from service the nine Jolo police officers involved in a shooting incident in Sulu that led to the death of four Philippine Army (PA) intelligence operatives in June last year.

"We welcome (Philippine National Police Chief) Gen. Debold Sinas’ approval of the dismissal of the nine police officers involved in the shooting incident in Jolo, Sulu on 29 June 2020, which led to the deaths of four PA officers and soldiers," Lorenzana said in a statement.

He also sympathized with the families of the dismissed policemen who might face jail time once they are convicted in court.

"Their families are as much a victim of the incident as the families of the soldiers who were killed," Lorenzana said.

Moving forward, he expressed hope that the AFP and PNP would learn from the incident and take concrete steps to prevent such things from happening in the future.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the PNP's decision is a welcome development in the pursuit of justice for the slain troops.

“We understand, however, that the policemen’s separation from the service is an administrative penalty. We are one with the families of our slain soldiers in their quest for the filing of criminal charges against the said members of Jolo Police,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

He added that the AFP would continuously monitor the developments in the case.

“We will ensure that justice is served for the hapless victims who were killed while in the actual performance of their solemn duty,” Arevalo said, adding that they are optimistic that appropriate penalties would be meted to the perpetrators.

On Friday, Sinas confirmed the dismissal of the nine police officers – Senior M/Sgt. Abdelzhimar Padjiri; M/Sgt. Hanie Baddiri; S/Sgt. Iskandar Susulan; S/Sgt. Ernisar Sappal; Cpl. Sulki Andaki; Pat. Mohammed Nur Pasani; S/Sgt. Almudzrin Hadjaruddin; Pat. Alkajal Mandangan; and Pat Rajiv Putalan.

Killed in the June 29 incident in Jolo were Maj. Marvin A. Indammog, 39; Capt. Irwin B. Managuelod, 33; Sgt. Jaime M. Velasco, 38, and Cpl. Abdal Asula, 33.

The four soldiers were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against two suspected suicide bombers when gunned down by the nine Jolo police officers.

Kalinaw News: Philippine Army participated in Baler PNP BPATs Skills Enhancement training

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 2, 2021): Philippine Army participated in Baler PNP BPATs Skills Enhancement training

BALER, Aurora-The Philippine Army’s 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion participated in Baler Municipal Police Station’ Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs) Skills Enhancement Training led by Police Captain Ferdinand B. Usita at the AV Mijares Elementary School covered court, Barangay Buhangin, here on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, commander of 91st IB said that the activity of Baler Police Station aimed to further enhance the roles of the participants in their respective barangays.

Topics such as BAPTs’ roles, duties and responsibilities/ Patrolling and Ronda Operation, the First Responders duties and responsibilities, basic hand cuffing techniques, basic human rights of a person and the Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004, Barangay Information Network, were discussed during the training.

Army 1st Lieutenant Candidato S. Paduman also discussed the following Knowing the Enemy, End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) emphasizing the PLEDS CLUSTER and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“These BPATS are our force multipliers so we need to capacitate them through seminars and trainings for them to perform their duty effectively and efficiently. We in the AFP and PNP with the support and assistance of our force multipliers will work together and hand-in-hand in bringing lasting peace and development in our beloved Province,” Rubio said.

Police Captain Usita said that the activity is being conducted every year so that local officials are updated in the significant role in the development and progress in their respective barangays as one of the implementing mechanisms of the Barangay Peace and Order Committee (BPOC), which has the primary task of ensuring that peace and order prevail in the barangay while conducting peacekeeping activities in association with the various sectors of the community and ensuring their continuous support towards the maintenance of peace and order in the locality.

Said training was participated by 100 individuals from the thirteen barangays in this capital town of Aurora.

Also witnessed during the activity was Aurora Police Provincial Director Raul Siriban, Baler Mayor Rhett Ronan T. Angara, DILG-Baler Cecile Rubio and other local officials.

[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: 23 former rebels get E-CLIP benefits in Aurora

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 1, 2021): 23 former rebels get E-CLIP benefits in Aurora

BALER, Aurora-Twenty-three (23) former rebels (FRs) who recently surrendered to the government were given financial aid in this capital town of Aurora at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session hall, Barangay Suklayin, here on Tuesday (December 29, 2020).

Lt. Col. Reandrew P. Rubio, Commander of 91st Infantry “Sinagtala” Battalion, Philippine Army said the activity started at 2:30p.m. benefitting the 23 FRs who belongs to New People’s Army (NPA) and Milisyang Bayan (MB) of the communist terrorist group (CTG).

Seventeen individuals received Php65K livelihood assistance while the other six (6) received Php15K immediate assistance from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“The ECLIP financial assistance given to our FRs will basically use for their livelihood programs. It is also a good start for their daily needs especially this time of COVID-19 pandemic,” Rubio said. Lawyer Offelio A. Tactac, Jr., DILG-Aurora lauded the former rebels for choosing peace and deciding to return to the fold of the law.

“Ang inyong pagbabalik ay bagong pag-asa. Ang pakikipaglaban ay walang maidudulot na mabuti, kung titingnan natin ang mga bansang nagkakagulo, walang nangyari, walang umasenso sa gera. Kaya tama ang desisyon ninyo na makapagbagong buhay,” Tactac said.

Aurora Governor Gerardo A. Noveras said the provincial government is always open to help the surrenderees. He also advised them to spend the assistance given wisely, especially in this time of pandemic. Noveras is hopeful that the beneficiaries will honor their commitment to the government with mutual respect and live peacefully.

The DILG, along with the 91st IB and the Aurora Police Provincial Office, is always ready to assist them, he added.

The DILG is the lead agency in the implementation of the E-CLIP, which entitles a former rebel to receive immediate assistance of PHP15,000; livelihood assistance, PHP50,000; firearms remuneration, PHP12,000 to PHP500,000; half-way house assistance; PhilHealth enrollment and medical assistance; education assistance; housing assistance; legal assistance; and healing and reconciliation initiatives.

The reintegration assistance is being used for the subsistence or meal cost of FRs who have been placed under the protection of government troops while processing their other benefits under the E-CLIP.

E-CLIP is one of the programs under the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), a body created by President Rodrigo Duterte through Executive Order No. 70. The ceremony was witnessed by Colonel Raul Siriban, Major Estrada-Battalion Ex-O and 1st Lieutenant Candidato S Paduman-S7, 91st IB.

[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: 1 NPA killed, firearms seized in 5-minute clash in AgNor

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 1, 2021): 1 NPA killed, firearms seized in 5-minute clash in AgNor

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – A member of the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) was killed and a number of high-powered firearms were recovered in an encounter with the troopers of 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion at around 5:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday, December 30 2020 in KM 6, Purok 26, Lawaan, Barangay Tungao, Butuan City.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the commander of 23rd IB sent troopers in response to a verified report from civilians on the presence of armed men in their barangay. During the conduct of a strike operation, the Masigasig troopers encountered more or less six (6) Communist New People’s Army (NPA) Terrorists (CNTs) believed to be remnants of Guerrilla Front 4A (GF4A) NCMRC led by Junjun Makaundag @KITKIT, Former Squad Leader of Sentro de Grabidad CAOACAO. The firefight lasted for about five (5) minutes and after which, the enemies scampered towards western direction in the area.

The troopers immediately scoured and cleared the encounter site and recovered the cadaver of the dead NPA member identified as Alias ALAS/AYLON along with one (1) M14 rifle, two (2) Cal .45 Pistol, one (1) magazine of M14 loaded with ammunition, one (1) magazine of Cal .45 loaded with three (3) ammunition, one (1) magazine of M16, five (5) rolls of Blasting Cap Leg Wire, two (2) motorcycles, one (1) cellphone, one (1) generator, assorted food supplies, and subversive documents. Heavy bloodstains were also visible in the withdrawal route which indicates that there are still members of CNTs who suffered severe wounds while there is no casualty in the government side.

The recovered cadaver of the dead NPA was turned over to the members of the barangay council of Tungao for proper disposition.

Lt. Col. Paulo extends his deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of the dead CNT.

“We condole to the bereaved family of Alias ALAS/AYLON. It is sad to note that his family will be mourning during the celebration of the New Year due to his loss. This could have been avoided if they had listened to our call to lay down their arms, leave the armed movement, go back to the folds of the law and to their families and avail the programs, projects and assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP),” Paulo said.

He also hoped that the incident would serve as a lesson to the remnants of the CTGs and realize that they are just fighting for the false ideologies and propagandas that will never defend them in times of distress.

“As you can see, they only left the cadaver of their fallen comrade. Inside the 52 years of terrorizing the innocent people, it is very impossible for them to topple down the government especially now that the residents were revealing their whereabouts as they were fed-up by the manipulation and torments done by the armed group in their community,” Paulo said.

The 23rd IB Commander also wished that in 2021, the remaining combatants of the NPA in the area will be given wisdom and clear minds to think and decide wisely and follow the path leading to peace.

“Your 23IB soldiers sacrificed their time not to be with their families in this holiday season because we want to give peace a chance especially in the areas that were terrorized by the CTGs in order for the people to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year peacefully. May the remnants of the NPAs open their eyes and see the bright future waiting ahead of them. Stop wasting your lives defending your rotten ideologies,” Paulo said.

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

Kalinaw News: Army Continues to Score against NPAs in a Series of Clashes in Bukidnon, AgNor

Posted to Kalinaw News (Jan 1, 2021): Army Continues to Score against NPAs in a Series of Clashes in Bukidnon, AgNor

Bancasi, Butuan City – The 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade thru its operationally controlled Battalions, 58th Infantry (Dimalulupig) Battalion and 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion continued to score against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army Terrorists (CNTs) in a series of clashes in the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Norte on December 29 and 30, 2020, respectively.

The 402nd Infantry Brigade launched relentless focused military operations against the CNTs several weeks ago in anticipation of the CPP Anniversary on December 26 to avert NPA atrocities particularly the conduct of raids and ambushes against government troops and installations; killing of innocent IP leaders supportive to the government and burning of equipment of unsupportive private companies as highlights to celebrate said anniversary.

The initial skirmish between the CNTs and 58IB troopers resulted to the killing of one (1) NPA combatant killed identified as Leonido Pacheco alias Macdong of Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) of the Sub-Regional Committee 1 (SRC1); one (1) captured identified as Aman Bilayong alias Neri of Platoon Ryan, Motorola of SRC1 both under the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC); and seized two (2) M16 Rifles, one (1) KG-9 with magazines, ammunitions and subversive documents on December 29, 2020 in the outskirts of Brgy Silo-o, Malitbog, Bukdinon.

While yesterday, December 30, 2020, the troops of 23IB figured in a five (5) minute firefight against six (6) CNTs who are, remnants of the Guerilla Front 4A (GF4A) of NCMRC, at KM6, Purok 26, Sitio Lawaan, Brgy Tungao, Butuan City that resulted to the killing of one (1) CNT identified as alias Alas/Aylon and seized various war materiel namely: one (1) M14 Rifle, one (1) Caliber. 45 Pistol, one (1) magazine each for M14 and M16 Rifle, two (2) motorcycles, one (1) cellphone, one (1) generator, assorted food supplies and subversive documents.

In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Brigade, lauded his Battalion Commanders for the sacrifice and service of their troops who continuously performed their mandated task to drive away CNTs from communities to ensure that the holiday season will be celebrated joyfully and peacefully.

“We already know the practice of the NPAs to highlight CPP anniversary with deaths and suffering of innocent civilians to include other violent activities against government troops and even private companies. Hence, we never let our guards down and continue to be vigilant against the treachery and deception of the CNTs”, BGen Licudine said.

It can be recalled that on Christmas Eve, 58IB troops apprehended two (2) NPA couriers in the hinterlands of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental thru a tip from civilian residents. Said couriers were intercepted in an attempt to insert foodstuffs and supplies for Platoon Falcon, SRC1 of NCMRC. Seized also from their possession were one (1) hand grenade, three (3) detonating cords with blasting cap for anti-personnel mine, personal belongings and subversive documents.

“We will be unrelenting on our pursuit for peace in any given circumstance, even this yuletide season. Our troops are always ready to ensure that peace will be enjoyed by our people especially in the countryside”. BGen Licudine added.

While during the thwarted CPP anniversary celebration on December 26, 2020 due to the continuous presence of AFP troops conducting focused military operation and Community Support Program, the NCMRC met another setback on their weakened terrorist organization after six (6) Milisya ng Bayan (MB) members of GF88 operating in San Luis and some parts of Talacogon and La Paz, all of Agusan del Sur voluntary surrendered to 26IB troopers.

BGen Licudine explained that the surrenders and clashes indicated that the people are tired and wanted to end the path of violence and bloodshed brought by the NPAs. He called on for further vigilance and unity of all sectors especially the local government units and local government agencies to support the people in the far-flung brgys on their fight against the NPAs.

“We are calling everyone to join hands and rise up against the NPAs. This insurgency will not end unless we are united to stop the recruitment and the resource generation of the CNTs. Together, let us put an end to this problem and attain a lasting peace” BGen Licudine said.

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

Kalinaw News: Former rebels in Agusan del Norte receive assistance from PSWDO

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 31, 2020): Former rebels in Agusan del Norte receive assistance from PSWDO

BUENAVISTA, Agusan del Norte – Former rebels (FRs) who are staying at the halfway house inside the headquarters of the 23rd Infantry (Masigasig) Battalion recently received assistance from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) of Agusan del Norte. The distribution was held last December 22, 2020, at the headquarters of the 23rd IB in Jamboree Site, Purok 6, Barangay Alubihid, Buenavista. The FRs received one (1) sack of rice, food packs containing assorted canned goods, noodles, coffee, and other basic needs.

The distribution activity served as gift-giving by the PSWDO and the 23rd IB troopers, especially during the Christmas season. The FRs were thankful for the graces they received, saying that their Christmas this year is already complete and full of joy.

Alias Benon was glad upon receiving his gift, saying that the government has made his family happy this yuletid23e season.

“Dako ang akong pasalamat sa gobyerno labi na sa lokal nga panggagamhanan sa Agusan del Norte, sa PSWDO ug sa mga kasundaluhan sa 23rd IB nga kanunay mo bisita ug mo suta sa among sitwasyon. Wala mi nila sukad pasagdi ug gi atiman kami pag-ayo. Gawas sa mga pinansyal nga ayuda gikan sa mga klase-klaseng ahensya, anaa gayod sila kanunay ihatag nga pagkaon ug uban pang mga pang-adlaw-adlaw nga panginahanglanon. Gawas pa niana, kung aduna man gani mi mga balatian ila ming tabangan aron ma konsulta sa hospital. Dako among pasalamat sa ilang pag tabang ug pag akatar kanamo nga dako kaayo ug tabang sa among pag sugod ug bag-ong kinabuhi,” Benon said.

Miss Silver Joy Tejano, PSWDO Provincial Director gave an inspirational message to the FRs during the distribution activity.

“We are always happy to present simple assistance to you especially in this season of giving. E-CLIP was designed to help the former rebels who left the armed struggle and it was created in order to help the FRs to start living normally. We hope that all the assistance you’ve received will help you begin your new journey. May you help our government to end insurgency so that everyone will be given a chance to reach their dreams and ambitions,” Tejano said.

Lt. Col. Julius Cesar C. Paulo, the Commanding Officer of 23IB was so glad that the FR’s lives were transformed.

“Christmas is the perfect opportunity to reach distressed people. As these FRs here were always receiving assistance from the government, we also want to disseminate the good news to their former comrades so that they might as well be motivated to leave the armed movement and go back to the folds of the law in order to benefit all the assistance provided under the E-CLIP. Before this year ends, the greatest gift that the remnants of the CTGs to give to themselves is a peaceful and life. Lay down their arms now and experience the joy of being with your family,” Paulo said.

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

Kalinaw News: Pamplonas’ Barangay Local Chiefs commit to help End Local Communist Armed Conflict during the Rizal Day celebration

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 31, 2020): Pamplonas’ Barangay Local Chiefs commit to help End Local Communist Armed Conflict during the Rizal Day celebration

Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City, Negros Oriental – In commemoration of the 124th anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s martydom, the Municipality of Pamplona, Negros Oriental held a simple but special programme to pay a tribute for the national hero’s death anniversary. The flag-raising ceremony was followed with a flower offering by the Municipal Mayor, Hon. Janice V Degamo, together with her Sangguniang Bayan members.

Mayor Degamo delivered her welcome message and reiterated the importance of this event; she stressed that “Dr. Jose Rizal’s death anniversary is being celebrated annually to remember the sacrifices he dedicated for our motherland.” Subsequently, she introduced Colonel Leonardo I Peña, being the guest speaker for that occasion.

Colonel Peña, conveyed his special message on the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal in the context of this year’s anniversary theme, “Jose Rizal: Inspirasyon sa Pagbangon at Paghilom ng Bayan.” He urged everyone to emulate the shining virtues that Rizal displayed even at his young age up to the time of his death at the age of 35 years old. He demonstrated his strong patriotism, courage, love and faith in God, love for parents and love for his fellowmen.

Col Peña also enjoined all the people present to make our national hero an inspiration in helping the country as we cope with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in supporting the government’s thrust to put an end with the local Communist armed conflict. He also stressed this statement, “If we join our efforts towards building the foundation for a culture of Peace, it will be far different. For in numbers there is strength. And if we work together as a team – the religious sector, the government sector, the traditional leaders, and all other sectors – we can be unstoppable. Let us help each other on how to bring better foundation and future for our children. Let us not put in vain the vision of Gat Jose Rizal; that the youth is the hope of our Nation.”

On the second part of the program, Mayor Degamo, being the Chairperson of the Municipal Task Force – End Local Communist Armed Conflict (MTF-ELCAC), administered the Oath of Allegiance of her sixteen (16) Punong Barangay. Altogether they renewed their Pledge of Loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines followed by the “Panunumpa sa Kalinaw”. Likewise, she distributed to each barangay captain a tarpaulin condemning the presence of the CPP-NPA-NDF in their respective community. Around four hundred (400) individuals present in the venue witnessed this event.

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

Kalinaw News: ARMY, LGUs arrange a decent burial for deceased NPAs in Agusan del Norte

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 31, 2020): ARMY, LGUs arrange a decent burial for deceased NPAs in Agusan del Norte

KITCHARAO, Agusan Del Norte- The 29th Infantry (Matatag Fighters) Battalion together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Jabonga Municipality and Cabadbaran City recently arranged a decent burial for the deceased NPAs in the area of Agusan del Norte

It can be recalled that the unit launched an operation in response to the information provided by displeased civilians regarding the presence of armed terrorists in the outskirts of Brgy. Baleguian, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte. The operation resulted in a firefight causing the death of two NPA members (1 male and 1 female) and the seizure of two AK47 rifles, assorted magazines with serviceable ammunition, one cellphone, personal belongings, and subversive documents with high intelligence value.

The recovered bodies of the members of the NPA were turned over to the personnel of Jabonga Municipal Police Station; then brought immediately to the hospital and afterwards to Alfranz Funeral Homes, Cabadbaran City where they awaited their family to claim their bodies.

The male NPA member was identified as Reggie May Ochavillo alias Thunder, 20 years old from Cabadbaran City. His body was turned over to his grandparents and sister on the evening of December 28, 2020.

“Daghan gyud kaayong salamat kay nitabang mo, mga sundalo bisan ug NPA akong apo. Inyo gyud gitagaan ug saktong bili ang akong apo, gikan sa pagnaog sa iya sa bukid, sa pagsundo kanamo aron makita siya ug sa paghatag ug tabang aron maplastar siya. Kaning akong apo nangandoy gyud ni siya nga mahimong sundalo apan gilingla siya sa mga NPA.” Lolo Nerio Ochavillo, Reggie’s grandfather said.

(“I am indeed grateful to the soldiers who helped us even though my grandson is an NPA. Thank you for assisting us so we could see him and for letting us give him a decent burial even though it hurts us to see him without life already. My grandson dreamt of becoming a soldier but the NPA deceived him.)

Likewise, at 2 a.m. of December 30, 2020, Annabelle Montero, came to view the cadaver of the female NPA which she identified and confirmed as her sister Marife Mercansel Montero, 23 years old from Tago, Surigao del Sur.

Annabelle Montero became emotional seeing the body of their youngest sister laid in the casket.

“Amo ni siyang bunso. Ang amo gyud nasayran nga nagskwela ni siya ug tarong unya lahi naman diay ni iyang gisudlan. Nananghid ni siya sa amo nga muiskwela unya gipadalhan ni syag kwarta sa among inahan aron pang-enroll niya. Didto gyud ni siya narecruit sa eskwelahan sa iyang mga classmate.”

(She is our youngest sister. All we know is that she was doing well in her studies but we did not know that she had joined a different organization. She told us that she will go to school so our mother sent her money for her enrollment. But then she was recruited while in school by her classmates.)

According to gathered information, one of Marife’s older sister, Leonida Mercansel Montero alias Mina/Tony is similarly a member of the NPA who is still moving in the mountains.

According to Lt. Colonel Aristotle F Antonio, Commanding Officer of 29th Infantry “Matatag Fighters” Battalion, “I am saddened to see the terrible situation that our youths fall into after being deceived by the NPA. The latter just takes advantage of these young minds for their selfish gains and leave them to suffer a miserable fate. This is a sad reality that will befall our youths if we fail to fully guard and guide them. I know that as parents we want only that which is best for our kids. But we cannot give nor assure them of that if our actions and example are influenced by the sweet lies of the NPA.

I know that many of your family members or loved ones are still blind to the truth. We do not want the same fate for our fellows. So, we plead with you once more to help us make them see the light, and find their way back. And, if you think that lying about them and hiding their true nature from us would protect them, think about it again for doing so will just put them in great danger.

We fervently pray that Reggie’s and Marife’s souls will rest in peace. Their deaths should not have happened if only they heeded our call to surrender. And so, to all other NPAs, this is a stern warning to all of you.”

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

Kalinaw News: Mga dekalibreng armas at pampasabog narekober sa bayan ng San Mariano, Isabela

Posted to Kalinaw News (Dec 30, 2020): Mga dekalibreng armas at pampasabog narekober sa bayan ng San Mariano, Isabela

CAMP MELCHOR F DELA CRUZ, Upi, Gamu, Isabela- Narekober ng kasundaluhan ng 95th Infantry Battalion, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army ang dalawang dekalibreng mga baril (M16 at M14) kasama ang ilang mga gamit pampasabog (explosive components, granada, at capacitor), isang cellphone na mayroong electrical cord, ICOM battery pack at battery charger sa tulong nina Ka Ganer (regular na miyembro ng NPA na sumuko noong 2019) at Ka Abner (miyembro ng Militia ng Bayan ng sumuko ngayong araw) sa Barangay Buyasan, San Mariano, Isabela ngayong ika-30 nang Disyembre taong kasalukuyan.

Sa pahayag ni MGen Laurence E Mina PA, Commander ng 5ID, sinabi niya na, “The actions of the former rebels are testament that they are already fed up with the deceptions and false promises of the terrorist group. Further, it proved their commitment and sincerity to return to the folds of the law and abandon their armed struggle.”

Samantala, kinilala naman ni Lt Gen Arnulfo Burgo Jr ang pakikiisa at pakikipagtulungan ng mga dating miyembro ng rebeldeng grupo sa naging matagumpay na operasyon.

[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:]